New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 14, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas
Page 6A — Herald-Zeitung — Tuesday, August 14, 2001
BEST AVAILABLE COPYForum
Contact Managing Editor Margaret Edmonson at 625-9144 ext. 220.
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.
Doug Toney, Editor and Publisher Margaret Edmonson, Managing Editor Brian Grant, News Editor www.herald-zeitung.com (830) 625-9144
By The Associated Press
Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Texas vehicle emissions:
Texas doesn’t need to botch another attempt at decreasing vehicle emissions.
It seems that whenever Texas ventures into advanced vehicle emissions testing, disgruntlement erupts. And the haze still hangs over us.
Under a new law scheduled to take effect Sept. I, motorists in Tarrant, Dallas, Denton, Collin and Harris counties will have to put their vehicles through more stringent tests that will cost — for emissions and safety inspections — a total of $35 instead of the current $25.50.
The goal is cleaner air for the state — not only a necessity but a federal requirement.
Apparently inspection station owners are upset, believing that they will not be able to recoup the costs of acquiring the new, sophisticated equipment needed for the tests.
Texas has been through complaints about emissions testing before, and it cost us a bundle.
In 1993, the state contracted with Tejas Testing Technology to build centralized inspection centers and put into effect a plan that would have put Texas ahead of the curve in efforts to meet federal clean-air mandates.
But when taxpayers griped about bearing the burden, newly elected Gov. George W. Bush called for a less “onerous and inconvenient” program. The Legislature quickly obliged in its 1995 session.
That action bankrupted Tejas Testing and cost the state $140 million to settle a breach-of-contract lawsuit.
Between now and the next legislative session, the state should closely monitor the new program to determine whether fees are sufficient to adequately compensate businesses and ensure that enough stations are available to handle inspections.
It’s fair to question whether some are being asked to pay more than their share. But it’s important not to get sidetracked into questioning whether the sacrifices necessary to get cleaner air are worth it.
ly focused on this: What is the cost if weToday in History
By The Associated Press
Today is Tuesday, Aug. 14, the 226th day of 2001. There are 139 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History: On Aug. 14, 1951, newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst died in Beverly Hills, Calif.
In 1848, the Oregon Territory was established.
In 1900, international forces, including U.S. Marines, entered Beijing to put down the Boxer Rebellion, which was aimed at purging China of foreign influence.
In 1917, China declared war on Germany and Austria during World War I.
In 1935, the Social Security Act became law.
In 1945, President Truman announced that Japan had surrendered unconditionally, ending World War II.
In 1947, Pakistan became independent of British rule.
In 1969, British troops arrived in Northern Ireland to intervene in sectarian violence between Protestants and Roman Catholics.
In 1973, the U.S. bombing of Cambodia came to a halt.
In 1980, President Carter and Vice President Walter Mondale were nominated for a second term at the Democratic national convention in New York.
In 1981, Pope John Paul II left a Rome hospital, three months after being wounded in an attempt on his life.
Ten years ago: Freed American hostage Edward Tracy returned to the United States, arriving in Boston, where he was reunited with his sister, Maria Lambert. President Bush expressed ”100 percent” support for United Nations efforts to mediate a settlement to the Middle East hostage crisis.
New law will have elementary school students up and running
When Texas public schools open this month, a new law will have elementary students up and running on a daily basis.
Concerned that a lack of physical activity is contributing to the significant increase in childhood obesity that often results in serious health problems, the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 19, which I co-authored.
SB 19 requires school districts to implement a physical education program that includes up to 30 minutes of daily physical activity for students in grades kindergarten through six. Current law requires physical education classes for grades nine-12, but until we passed SB 19 the law did not address physical activity for elementary school students.
As a result of less physical activity and bad eating habits, the number of overweight children has almost doubled in the past 20 years. Overweight children are at a higher risk for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and other health problems.
Tuition-based prekindergarten classes are another change that might occur in some school districts this year as a result of legislation we passed.
SB 596 allows school districts, on a voluntary basis, to offer tuition-based or district-financed pre-kindergarten classesLetters Policy
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung encourages letters on any public issue.
The editor reserves the right to correct spelling,Jeff Went
to children who speak English, who are not homeless and whose family incomes exceed federal poverty guidelines.
Constituents in Senate District 25 indicated they supported tuition-based pre-kindergarten classes, but opposed SB 526 which would have changed the cut-off birth date for school enrollment from Sept. I to May 31. Most of you will be glad to know SB 526 failed to pass.
Another curriculum change that could occur in public schools this fall is the voluntary implementation of nonsectarian character-education programs. House Bill 946 offers guidelines for the character-education programs.
Because I believe in local control for school districts, I had not supported bills in past legislative sessions that would have mandated a school-start date.
I changed my mind after receiving a large volume of constituents’ calls and seeing Texas students sweltering in 100-plus degree heat during football and marching-band practice in early August. I co
style, punctuation and known factual errors.
Mail letters to:
Letters to the Editor do the New Braunfels
Herald-Zeitung P.O. Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, TX 78131-1328 Fax: (830) 606-3413
authored the bill that prohibits schools from starting fall classes before the week that includes August 21. This bill does not become effective until the 2002-03 school year.
In addition to informing you about education-related legislation that might affect your lives, I also want to remind high school graduates about two $1,000 career-college scholarships that are available. The two scholarships will be awarded to high school graduates from the Class of 2001 who live in Senate District 25.
The scholarships may be used at any of the 73 participating Texas career colleges and schools, such as San Antonio’s ITT Technical Institute and San Antonio College of Medical and Dental Assistants.
A complete listing of participating career colleges can be found on the Internet at www.colleges-schools.org.
Application letters should be mailed to Senator Jeff Wentworth, Texas Senate, P.O. Box 12068, Austin, TX 78711.
To determine if you five in my senate district, please call my office toll-free at (888) 824-6984 or on the Internet at
(Jeff Wentworth represents District 25 in the Texas Senate.)Contact ’EmNEW BRAUNFELS CITY COUNCIL
424 S. Casten Ave.
New Braunfels, TX 78130 608-2100 Fax: 608-2109 E-mail council 1 @ texas.netMayor
Stoney Williams 608-2138 ext. 270 city hall 629-7381 home 625-2420 work E-mail [email protected]
608-2138 ext. 204District 2
609-1242 homeDistrict 3
Debbie Flume 629-2496 home/workDistrict 4
Robert Kendrick 643-1177 home (281) 686-7480 cell phone
Lee Rodriguez 629-4901 work 629-9156 homeDistrict 6
Juliet Watson 620-5656 homeCOMAL COUNTY County Judge
Danny Scheel 150 N. Seguin Ave. New Braunfels, TX 78130 620-5501
Fax: 608-2026Precinct 1 Commissioner
Jack Dawson 620-5504
(830) 899-2948 homePrecinct 2 Commissioner
Jay Minikin 620-5509
(210) 651-9672 homePrecinct 3 Commissioner
Cristina Zamora 620-5503 606-9208 homePrecinct 4 Commissioner
Moe Schwab 620-5508
(830) 964-3400 homeGOVERNOR
State Capitol, Room 2S.1 P.O. Box 12428 Austin, TX 78711 (800) 843-5789 Fax: (512) 463-1849 www.govemor.state.tx.usSTATE REPRESENTATIVE
Edmund Kuempel PO. Box 911 Seguin, TX 78155 (830) 379-8732 Fax: (830) 463-5896
President’s compromise: Let us worship at the altar of science
I rn Inn oiivwnnn J I a *11 ii i i . i - . « -
On the surface, President Bush’s decision to allow for limited federal funding of research on 60 genetically diverse stem cell fines that “already exist” and have “already been destroyed” seems reasonable. But to anyone who has taken a course in logic or philosophy, Bush has opened a door, however reluctantly, that will not again be closed.
He has established — morally, politically and ethically — the principle that it is permissible to experiment on a living component of the human race, even for the presumed benefit of other members of the human race. As The Family Research Council’s Ken Connor noted, this is the “fruit of the poisoned tree. Courts have long held that to allow government to benefit from a wrongful act provides an unhealthy incentive to persist in such acts.”
We have been persisting in such acts since the wrongful act of Roe vs. Wade, 28 years ago. IfCal Thomas
the government can fund these “limited experiments,” what is to stop government from unlimited experiments? Only more pressure from science, more parades of the sick and disabled before Congress and more morally (and legally) vacuous rulings by the Supreme Court, all of which are coming. A number of members of Congress already have said they will introduce legislation to open the experimental stem cell door even wider.
Like the European Jews whose destiny was sealed when they had the misfortune to five under the boot of Adolf Hitler, the fate of millions of unborn babies was
determined when they had the bad luck to be conceived in the anti-life era that officially began in 1973 with Roe vs. Wade, but had its roots in an anti-God culture which began decades earlier.
A nation that will not protect babies at the moment of their birth is not likely to acquire a latent morality on the way to exterminating them at ever-earli-er stages. Europe, which has for decades outpaced the United States in secularism and the horrors that have flowed from that philosophy, openly speculates about which nation will host the scientists who will first clone humans.
The New York Times editorializes against cloning, but that newspaper, which regularly endorses abortion for any reason and at any stage, long ago gave up any right to be heard on this subject. President Bush, too, opposes cloning, but that opposition will be seen as one man’s
sentimentality. We are now viewed as complex machines to be dissected and used for whatever purpose the majority might wish.
During last year’s campaign, candidate George W. Bush courageously advanced many arguments in favor of life. He did the same in his Thursday night speech, but he reached a conclusion not based on his pro-life position. He adopted the “potential for fife” argument that undermines his own stated convictions. Such a view weakens a pro-life position because it allows those already born to impart value to the fife of another simply by stating, without any anchor in objective truth, who has a right to five and who does not.
What and who is next? Can anyone stop this? If so, on what basis? If we can steal the essential elements of fife from others not yet born, why not exterminate those at the other end of fife?Why not kill the elderly and
the infirm when they have become a “burden” on Social Security and Medicare, on society, or even on relatives eager to access an estate before much of it goes for long-term care?
Now that they have abandoned any pretense about the uniqueness of human fife, what is to prevent scientists, ethicists and even some of the useful idiot clergy from signing off on euthanasia, though in Orwellian style they will call it something else, lest our darkened souls see any fight.
It’s over now. Science has declared itself God. And government is its high priest. Let us worship, or else. The “or else” might come anyway because others now have acquired the right to decide the conditions under which you will be permitted to continue your fife or whether, for the supposed “good” and “benefit” of others, you will have to die.
(Cal Thomas is a syndicated columnist.)