New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 3, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
4 O Herald-Zeitung □ Thursday, August 3,1995
■ To talk with Managing Editor Doug Loveday about the Opinion page, call 625-9144, ext. 21
a To submit letters and guest columns electronically by way of online services or Internet, or to simply contact staff members, the Herald-Zeitung's address is HZeitungOAOL.com.
“The public takes for granted that the news media will act responsibly and give it what it needs. It shouldn't”
— Harold Jackson writer, 1994
EDITORIALHog-tying the EPA
Vote to block enforcement powers of agency a threat to our environment
The U.S. House of Representatives voted Monday to block the Environmental Protection Agency from enforcing major anti-pollution regulations.
If this effort becomes law, our generation could well fail to meet its moral obligation to pass (rn to our children a nation with breathable air and drinkable water.
At issue were 17 provisions that would prevent the EPA from enforcing regulations affecting wetland protection, auto emission inspections, drinking water standards and other antipollution laws. The laws are still on the bodes — there would just be no (me to enforce the laws.
The vote, which failed on a 210-210 tie, was an amendment to an $80 billion measure for environmental, veterans, housing and space programs for next year.
Republican leaders argued that the laws are cumbersome and better left to state and local authorities. Those leaders would do well to listen to Rep. Marge Roukema, a Republican from New Jersey, who said, “In years gone by the Republican Party has been a leader in environmental protection. In fact, it was President Nixon who created die EPA in the first place. And the American people have come to agree overwhelmingly that they want a healthy environment for their children and their grandchildren."
Some of the regulations may be cumbersome, but the fact is, they save lives and they protect the natural heritage of our nation. And there is a good reason for the federal government, not state or local governments, to make and enforce environmental law.
Pollution does not respect state or city boundaries. If Kerrville does not adequately treat its sewage, the folks in New Braunfels get to swim in it, even if New Braunfels is responsible and treats its sewage to EPA standards. If the factories in Detroit do not use the best available pollution controls in their smokestacks, the trees in New York will die from acid rain. Those who drain and fill wetlands may turn a quick dollar, but they will destroy valuable commercial and sport fishing industries that rely on productive wetlands.
The move to gut tire nation’s environmental laws smacks of political payback by the Republican leadership to the polluting industries that contribute so much money to the party. It has been well established already that lobbyists for some of the largest polluters in the country are actively involved in
• rewriting the Clean Air Act and other major pieces of environmental law.
President Bill Ginton has promised to veto the bill if it makes it to his desk as written. Hopefully the bill can be made less radical in committee after the
• Senate votes on it
Because there is no reason that being pro-business has to mean being
(Today‘s editorial was written by City Editor Roger Croteau.)
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung welcomes letters on any public issue. Hie editor reserves the right to correct spelling, style, punctuation and known factual errors. Letters should be kept to 250 words. We publish only original mail addressed to The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung bearing the writer’s signature. Also, an address and a telephone number, which are not for publication, must be included.
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Editor and Publisher............................................................David Sullens
General Manager............................................................Cheryl Duvall
Managing Editor...........................................................Doug Loveday
Advertising Director......................................................Tracy Stevens
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Classified Manager........................................................Laura Cooper
City Editor......................................... Roger Croteau
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Pqctmastex: Send address changes to the New Braunfels HeraU Zeiiung, P.O. Drawer 311328, New Braunfels, Tx. 78131-1328.Substance abuse fight ongoing
President Lyndon Johnson said, “I believe that the essence of government lies with unceasing concern for the wel.are and dignity and decency and innate integrity of life for every individual.”
Legislation that strengthens families and saves lives reflects President Johnson’s viewpoint and my legislative priorities since 1987 when the 70th Legislature passed nine bilk by Zaf-firini that strengthened substance abuse laws and mandated substance abuse prevention programs for schools.
The fight against substance abuse rages during each legislative session. Senate Bill I, for example, the Administrative License Revocation Bill (ALR) by Zaffirini and Rep. Steve Wolens, D-Dallas, became effective on Jan. I, 199S. We passed it on our fifth attempt because we were determined to save lives by decreasing drunk driving in Texas.
ALR is working. The Texas Department of Public Safety reports 34,757 ALR arrests between Jan. I and June 30, resulting in 23,279 drivers’ license suspensions and 7,183 requests for hearings.
A suspension issued to a motorist arrested for driving while intoxicated who fails or refuses to take a chemical test to measure blood alcohol concentration can be contested by requesting a hearing within 15 days. It will be effective on the date the court makes a final decision or on the 40th day after a notice is
served, whichever occurs last.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that ALR will save more than 2100 lives in Texas in 1995.
Shots Across Texas is another lifesaving legislative measure passed during the 73id Legislative Session. SB 266 by Zaffirini and Rep. Nancy McDonald, 13-El Paso, mandates age-appropriate immunization for all Texas children.
Child immunizations increased by 27 percent in the first half of 1994, compared to the same period in 1993. The program’s goal is a IOO percent immunization rate for Texas children. The 74th Legislature strengthened tire program by passing SB 1098 by Zaffirini and Rep. Hugo Berlanga, D-Corpus Christi, making it easier to immunize a child in the absence of a parent
Protecting children was also a priority during other legislative sessions. Bills passed range in scope from the 70th Legislature’s SB 223 by Zaffirini and Rep. Frank Collazo, D-Port Arthur, which requires law officers to investigate immediately when a child is reported missing, to SB 1527 by Zaffirini and Rep. Bill Carter, R-Ft. Worth.
Passed by the 71st Legislature, the bill created the Office for the Prevention of Developmental Disabilities, a private-public initiative aimed at minimizing the economic and human losses in Texas caused by preventable disabilities. Our goals include preventing mental retardation by ensuring prenatal care.
Other bills focusing on differently abled persons include SB 1697 by Zaffirini and Rep. Bill Blackwood, R-Mesquite. Passed in 1989, it directs the
Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation to expand community services for children with mental illness or mental retardation.
Three bills by Zaffirini and Rep. Jack Vowel!, D-E1 Paso, passed during the 73rd Legislature address the abuse of mental health consumers.
SB 221 prohibits remuneration for securing or soliciting mental health patients; SB 210 establishes “whistle-blower” protection for reporters of abuse, j neglect or sexual exploitation of mental health facilities patients; and SB 212 requires licenses for providers of comprehensive medical rehabilitation services.
HB 1345 by Rep. Peggy Hamric, R-Houston, and Zaffirini is another lifesaving bill that focuses on ‘ the protection of unborn children. The bill requires I physicians to test pregnant women for the human j immunodeficiency virus (HIV) if they do not object; and to inform them about treatments that could ; reduce the incidences of transmitting the HIV virus : to unborn babies. One of these treatments (AZT): could reduce the chance of maternal-infant HIV • transmission by two-thirds. ;
By appointing me to chair the Senate Committee: on Health and Human Services, Ll Gov. Bob Bullock: facilitated my sponsoring, passing and implementing legislation that enhances the lives not only of those who live in SD 21, but of all Texans. Chief among these are children, the differently abled and the disenfranchised. As Liz Carpenter said, “If we can’t turn the world around we can at least bolster the victims.”
(Judith Zaffirini is a state senator for New Braunfels.)
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Family planning program survives vote
By DAVID ESTO
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP)—One freshman Republican lawmaker-physician wanted to preserve the government’s main family planning program. Another wanted to end it
Together, Reps. Greg Ganske of Iowa and Dave Weldon of Ronda reflected the division of the House Wednesday night as lawmakers voted narrowly to keep alive a program that was bom in the 1970s and funnelled $193 million last year to clinics around the country.
Ganske, a plastic surgeon, told the House that dismantling the program would “leave my district without adequate access" to needed services. In addition, he said, “none of these funds can be used to perform or counsel abortion."
But Weldon, who came to Congress last January from his medical practice in Florida, said the program had been a “dismal failure,” with the teen-age pregnancy rate higher than it was, venereal disease up, and unwanted pregnancies up.
Today In History
By The Associated Press
Today is Thursday, Aug. 3, the 215th day of 1995. There are 150 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Aug. 3, 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail from Palos, Spain, on a voyage that would take him to the Americas.
On this date:
In 1894, workers at the Pullman Palace Car Co., their strike broken, ended their walkout.
In 1914, Germany declared war on France.
In 1921, baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis refused to reinstate the former Chicago White Sox players implicated in the “Black Sox" scandal, despite their acquittals in a jury trial.
In 1923, Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as the 30th president bf the United IStliles, following die
In the end, the program survived, on a roil call of 207-221, as moderate Republicans and Democrats teamed up to outvote the conservatives. It was restored to a measure that cuts $93 billion from spending for the next fiscal year from health, education and labor programs.
Among the cuts would be $1.2 billion from the program that provides aid to school districts for disadvantaged students.
Republican leaders hoped for final passage late today of the measure, the latest in a string of bills the COP majority is using to meet its twin objectives of reducing the deficit and remaking government into a more conservative image.
With Democrats certain to vote overwhelmingly against the bill because of the spending cuts, the GOP leadership moved swiftly after the family planning vote to try to prevent massive defections on final passage by conservatives.
’There’s a high degree of optimism” the bill can pass, Majority Leader Richard Armey of Texas said shortly
death of Warren G. Harding.
In 1936, the U.S. State Department urged Americans in Spain to leave because of that country’s civil war.
bi 1943, Gen. George S. Patton slapped a private at an army hospital in Sicily, accusing him of cowardice. (Patton was later ordered by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower to apologize for this and a second, similar episode.)
In 1948, Whittaker Chambers, a former Communist, publicly accused former State Department official Alger Hiss of having been part of a Communist underground, a charge Hiss denied.
In 1949, the National Basketball Association was formed.
In 19M, the nuclear-powered submarine Nautilus became the first vessel to cross the North Pole underwater.
In 1981, U.S. air traffic controllers went on strike, despite a warning from President Reagan that mdy would be fired.
before midnight Family planning aside, the bill contains numerous provisions to rein in government, many of which are unlikely to survive in the Senate.
In a gesture to the religious right — which lobbied heavily to kill family planning —- the measure permits states to deny use of Medicaid funds for abortions in cases of incest or rape; shields medical schools who refuse to provide abortion training from loss of federal funds; and bars federal research on human embryos outside the womb, a field that holds promise for treatment of disease.
Democrats failed, on a vote of 270-155, to strip these provisions from the bill, along with many others that prompted one Democrat, Rep. Robert Andrews of New Jersey, to label the bill the “special interest relief act of 1995.”
Other portions of the bill would curtail the ability of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to implement a variety of proposed worker safety standards, and limit the National Labor Relations Board’s reach against alleged unfair labor practices.
In 1988, the Soviet Union released Mathias Rust, the young West German pilot who had landed a light plane in Moscow’s Red Square in May 1987.
Ten years ago: In South Africa, thousands of chanting mourners, defying a government decree banning mass funerals, buried 11 victims of rioting in the eastern Cape township of Zwide.
Five years ago: A day after Iraq invaded Kuwait, thousands of Iraqi soldiers pushed to within a few miles of the border with Saudi Arabia, heightening world concerns that the invasion could spread.
One year ago: President Clinton told a primetime news conference he would sign either of two Democratic health care plans before Congress. Arkansas carried out the nation’s first triple execution in 32 years. Stephen G. Breyer was sworn in as the Supreme Court's newest justice in a private ceremony at Chief Judice William H. Rehn-quist’s Vermont summer home.