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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 3, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas Page 4A — Herald-Zeitung — Wednesday, August 3, 2005 FORUM Our Opinion 3 chances to make public impression Comal County residents have just J chances to get to know Walker and decide if he is the right person to lead the district. F or more than a month, the Comal ISI) Board of Trustees got to know Marc Walker before deciding he was the right person to lead the school district. While trustees met and debated in secret, teachers, parents and others who care about the district had to wait. It is finally your turn to get to know the man who will likely be leading Comal ISL) into the future. At 7 p.m. Thursday at Mountain Valley School, trustees will present Walker to the public for the First time. Choosing the leader of the school district is a vitally important decision that will impact every person who lives in Comal County. We encourage parents and community leaders to attend this meeting, or one of the other two meetings to introduce Walker. Other meeting dates are: ■ Monday, 7 p.m., at Smithson Valley I ligh School in the theater. ■ Aug. IO, 7 p.m., at Canyon Intermediate School in the cafeteria. Walker comes from a district that has gone through some of the rapid growth that Comal ISI) is facing. Trustees said his experiences in dealing with growth-related problems were one of the main reasons Walker was selected for the job. Comal County residents have just three chances to get to know Walker and decide if he is the right person to lead the district. Use one of the opportunities to ask the lone finalist what he will bring to the district, what he will do for our children. And don’t forget to ask his opinions on taxes and funding for education. Ask questions, get to know the new GISI) superintendent and then let your school hoard representative know how you want them to vote when the final decision is made later this month. Your child’s future could depend on it. Today in History By The Associated Press Today is Wednesday, Aug. 3, the 215th day of 2005. There are 150 days left in the year. Todays I lighlight in History: On Aug. 3, 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail from Palos, Spain, on a voyage that took him to the present-day Americas. On this date: In 1914, Germany declared war on France. In 1923, Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as the 30th president of the United States, following the death of Warren G. Harding. In 1936, the State Department urged Americans in Spain to leave because of that country’s civil war. In 1949, the National Basketball Association was formed. LETTERS POLICY ■ Letters must be 250 words or less. ■The Herald-Zeitung reserves the right to edit all submissions. ■ Guest columns should be 500 words or less and must be accompanied by a photo. ■ Address and telephone number must be included so authorship can be confirmed. Herald-Zeitung Serving New Braunfels anti (. .amal ( .aunty tutee 1852. New Braunfels Zeitung was founded 1852; New Braunfels Herald was founded 1890. The two papers merged in 1957 and printed in both German and English until 1958 Managing Editor Gary E. Maitland Editor and Publisher Doug Toney Circulation Director Jeff Fowler Advertising Director Neice Bell Business Manager Valerie Shields News Editor David Rupkalvis Letters to the Editor Mail letters to: Letters to Editor do Herald-Zeitung RO. Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, TX 78131-1328 Fax them to: (830) 606-3413 e-mail them to: news@herald- Falling TARS scores at NBHS an offshoot of lack of discipline I don’t know why anyone’s surprised by the falling exit TALCS scores at New Braunfels High. We have no one to blame but ourselves. The last principal who expected students to be in class on time and ready to learn got run out of town. Whether his way of implementing much-needed discipline was right or wrong is beside the point. Discipline went out with the principal. If you listen to the stories teachers tell, anytime there is a confrontation between students and teachers or coaches over discipline or workload, the students win. Teachers can’t get any support from the administration. If you believe the worst of the stories, one of the school board “leaders" took a personal interest in disciplining the administrator, who made the mistake of disciplining the w rong troublemaker at the middle school. We, as parents, need to send our students to school with the attitude that they can have all the fun they want as long as they follow the rules and get their work done. We also need to stand behind the teachers and principals when they enforce that needed discipline. I can assure you that once these kids get out of high school and into college and work, they won t get five chances to pass the test. They need to be developing the selfdiscipline now that will be required for success in the “real world." John Malik Mew Braunfels ‘Plastic atrocities’ detract from spring-fed pool’s natural beauty The article (July IO) about the banda Park spring-fed pool prompted me to write this letter I ve been wanting to write for years. Born and raised in this beautiful town, I spent my summers during the late 1950s and early '60s at the park pool. I have wonderful memories of those times. What stands out in my mind is the natural beauty of the pool — cottonwood trees, cold spring water flowing through it, the light of that hot Texas sun shimmering against the water’s surface. Then, the only attractions at the pool were diving boards and wooden rafts. There was no better way to appreciate what a gift the spring-fed pool was than sprawled out in the middle of it all on one of those rafts. Today, you're lucky if you can catch a glimpse of that shimmer between the plastic atrocities that scream for attention. These so-called “attractions" do nothing to add to the beauty of banda Park. Their method of attraction is akin to a joe Camel billboard standing high and mighty in a field of bluebonnets. Does it attract? That’s why they put it there. More importantly, does it distract? You bet. I believe children benefit from imagination and a connection to their natural environment. If so, its up to adults to guide them in that direction. Our choice: We give them the plastic toy or we give them something few places are lucky enough to have — our beautiful spring-fed pool restored to its natural splendor. Jennifer Seffel Graham New Braunfels Judge Roberts has intellect and experience to serve High Court President Bush has tapped a qualified man with solid character to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge John Roberts has the intellect and experience required to fill such an important position in our government. When he was nominated to his current post on the U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Columbia, more than 150 members of the DC. bar weighed in with their support, calling him a “brilliant writer" of “unquestioned integrity" and “fair-mindedness.” Ile earned those accolades, in part, as a lawyer who argued more cases before the high court than all but a few of the 180,000 members of the Supreme Court bar. Despite this impeccable track record, though, Roberts can expect to face stiff opposition from Senate liberals like Ted Kennedy and Chuck Schumer. They’ve already begun assailing his nomination. judge Roberts deserves better than to have his nomination derailed by these politically motivated attacks. Suzie I) io mw New Braunfels HOW TO CONTACT United States Government PRESIDENT ■ George W. Bush 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, D.C. 20500 SENATE ■ Kay Bailey HUTCHISON Russell Senate Office Building Room 284 Washington, D.C. 20510 Telephone: (202) 224-5922 Fax: (202) 224-0776 Web: (Send e-mails through Web site.) SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 145 Duncan Drive, Suite 120 San Antonio 78226 Telephone: (210) 340-2885 Fax: (210) 349-6753 ■ John Cornyn Russell Senate-Hart Room 517 Washington, D C. 20510 Telephone: (202) 224-2934 Fax: (202) 228-2856 Web: (Send e-mails through Web site.) AUSTIN OFFICE: 221 West Sixth St., Suite 1530 Austin 78701 Telephone: (512) 469-6034 Fax: (512) 469-6020 SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 600 Navarro, Suite 210 San Antonio 78205 Telephone: (210) 224-7485 Fax: (210) 224-8569 CONGRESSMEN ■ Lamar Smith Rayburn House Office Building Room 2184 Washington, D.C. 20515 Telephone: (202) 225 4236 Fax: (202) 225-8628 Web address: (Send e-mails through Web site.) SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 1100 NE Loop 410, Suite 640 San Antonio 78209 Telephone: (210) 821-5024 Fax: (210) 821-5947 ■ Henry Cuellar 1404 Longworth House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 Telephone: (202) 225-1640 Fax: (202) 225-1641 Web address: SAN ANTONIO OFFICE 1149 E. Commerce St., Suite 210 San Antonio 78205 Telephone: (210) 271-2851 Fax: (210) 277-6671 GOVERNOR HOW TO CONTACT /    \ Texas    .    A-®*-:- Government ■ Rick Perry State Capitol, Room 2S.1 RO. Box 12428 Austin 78711 Telephone: (800) 843 5789 Fax: (512) 463-1849 STATE HOUSE ■ Carter Casteel 254 E. Mill St. New Braunfels 78130 Telephone: (830) 627-0215 Toll Free: (866) 687-4961 Fax: (830) 627-8895 E-mail address: carter.casteel a STATE SENATE ■ Jeff Wentworth 1250 NE Loop 410, Suite 720 San Antonio 78209 Telephone: (210) 826-7800 WHILE IN AUSTIN Telephone: (512) 463-0125 Fax: (512) 463-7794 E-mail address: jeff.Wentworth^ senate.state.tx.iStem cell research opens door to a ‘Brave New World’ Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist made some fundamental mistakes in announcing his support of federal funding for stem cell research. One was rhetorical. In a July 29 Senate speech, Frist said, “We should federally fund research only on embryonic stem cells _ derived from blastocysts leftover * from fertility therapy, which will not be implanted or adopted but instead are otherwise destined by the parents with absolute certainty to be discarded and destroyed.” According to, a “parent" is “One who begets, gives birth to, or nurtures and raises a child; a father or mother.” One cannot be a parent unless that thing a parent has begotten is a child to which the parent is a father or mother. Another important factor concerning Sen. Frist’s position is the company he is keeping. Following his speech, a number of senators praised him. The ones I saw on TV mostly favor abortion, at least in some circumstances, if not on demand. When you see praise CALTHOMAS Cal Thomas is a columnist for Tribune Media Services International. He hosts "After Hours" on Fox News Channel Saturdays at ll p.m. EST. Direct all mail for Cal Thomas to: Tribune Media Services, 435 N. Michigan Ave, Suite 1500, Chicago. 60611, or leave an e-mail at www. cult homos. com. from the likes of Sens. Aden Specter, Pennsylvania Republican, and Edward Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat (and The New York Times, which editorially praised Frist, but said he didn’t go far enough), you can properly conclude this is not just about stem cell research. It is about the value of human life, where it comes from and who gets to decide. Many backing embryonic stem cell research argue that a fertilized egg cannot be considered even partially human until it is implanted in a woman’s uterus. But these same people oppose any restrictions on partial birth abortion, so their argument is morally inconsistent. They would not protect the unborn at any stage of development. The science on this is even less certain than global warming. Scientists are always eager for more research money and may have allowed their quest for dollars to obscure their better judgment. As Ronald DG. McKay, a stem cell researcher at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, told The Washington Post last year, “People need a fairy tale. Maybe that’s unfair, but they need a story line that’s relatively simple to understand.” McKay was explaining why scientists have allowed society to believe wrongly that stem cells are the magic bullet for curing all sorts of diseases, from Alzheimer’s to Parkinson’s. Are scientists willing to allow the public to believe a lie and to destroy what few remaining protections exist for human life? Former First Lady Nancy Reagan praised Frist for his new position, but stem cell research advocates ignore Michael Reagan’s opposition, as well as that of his father, Ronald Reagan, who said in 1983, “My administration is dedicated to the preservation of America as a free land and there is no cause more important for preserving that freedom than affirming the transcendent right to life of all human beings, the right without which no other rights have any meaning.” Frist reiterated his “comprehensive set of IO principles” that would include a ban on embryo creation for research and a ban on human cloning. But having abandoned the moral high ground in favor of allowing federal binding for embryonic stem cell research, Frist has no basis on which to invoke or impose his personal set of IO principles. His principles are less compelling than, say, the Ten Commandments, which are regularly violated by us all. lf Congress passes a bill allowing federal funding for stem cell research and President Bush’s threatened veto is overridden, the world envisioned by Aldous I luxley in his novel “Brave New World” will be ever closer. Consider a portion of the plot summa ry ( “The novel opens i the Central London I latching and Cond honing Centre, where the Director of tilt I latchery and one of his assistants... are giving a tour to a group of boys. The boy learn about the Bokanovsky and Podsna Processes that aflow the I latchery to produce thousands of nearly identical human embryos. “During the gestation period, the embryos travel in bottles along a conveyor belt through a factorylike building, and are conditioned to belong to one of five castes: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta or Epsilon. The Alpha embryos are destine* to become the leaders and thinkers of the World State. Each of the succeeding castes is conditioned to be slightly less physically and intellectually impressive. Hie Epsilon*, stunted and stupefied by oxygen deprivation and chemical treatments, are destined to perform menial labor.” Coming soon. ;