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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 4, 1996, New Braunfels, Texas 4A G Herald-Zeitung Q Wednesday, December 4, 1996 Opinion ■ To talk with Interim Managing Editor Jim Denery about the Opinion page, call 625-9144, Ext. 221. Herald-Zeitung Opinion Onlino contact ■ To submit letters and guest columns electronically by way of online services or Internet, or to simply contact staff members, the managing editor’s address is QUOTABLE “Freedom of expression would not truly exist if the right could be exercised only in an area that a benevolent government has provided as a safe haven for crackpots.” Abe Fortas Supreme Court justice, 1969TxDOT keeps state on easy street EDITORIALAirport problem needs action City must move quickly to solve problems over leases at facility The New Braunfels City Council has an obligation to ensure that the airport crisis is resolved quickly. The stakes are high. A preliminary investigation by the Texas Department of Transportation found that conditions on subleases for the operations of businesses at the city’s airport were in violation of an agreement the city has with the Federal Aviation Administration. The subleases, according to the probe, prevent competition in such crucial areas as the sales of aviation ftiel and avionics equipment. If the city doesn’t correct these economically discriminatory clauses in the subleases, it could be forced to pay back the $874,000 FAA grant and possibly turn over the 900-acre airport back to the federal government. The city’s airport has five lease agreements, but the leases in question, according to the TxDOT report, involve Baylis E. Ham ss Jr. and New Braunfels Aero, owned by Richard Looney. According to the Findings of the TxDOT probe, a complicated tr<yl of subleases wiprevented businesses locating at the airport jjrom cor with his existing businesses. The FAA has given the city until Dec. 20 to straighten out this mess or possibly face having to pay back the grant and also lose the airport. During the 25-year period in which these subleases were signed, a process was supposed to be in place that involved former city attorneys and city councils reviewing these subleases before they were signed. It appears this checks-and-balances system failed.Now it’s time to fix this situation before the consequences affect not only the airport, but the city’s commerce and most importantly, the pocketbooks of its citizens. (Todays editorial was written by Hemld-Zeitung Publisher and Editor Doug Toney.) Write us The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung welcomes letters an any public issue. The 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. Please cite the page number and date of any article that is mentioned. Preference is given to writers who have not been published in the previous 30 days. Mail letters to: Letters to the Editor clo the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung P.O. Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, Texas 78131-1328 Fax: (210) 625-1224 New BraunfelsHerald -Zeitwig Editor and Publisher, Ext. 301 .......................................Doug    Toney Director of Advertising, Ext. 308.........................Debbie Banta-Scott Retail Advertising Manager, Ext. 209............................Jack    Osteen Classified Advertising Manager, Ext 214...............Karen Reininger Business Manager, Ext 202........................................Mary    Lee Hall Circulation Director, Ext 228...................................Carol Ann Avery Pressroom Foreman, Ext. 205..........................................Billy    Parnell Interim Managing Editor, Ext 221....................................Jim    Denery Published un Sunday mornings and weekday mornings Tuesday through Friday by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (USPS 377-880) 707 I jmtfc St., or P.O. Drawer 311328, New Braunfels, Comal County, Tx. 78131-1328. Periodical postage paid by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung in New Brauntels, Texas. Carrier delivered in C omal and Guadalupe counties: three months, $20.50; six months, $37; one year, $66 Senior Citizen Discounts by earner delivery only: six months, $33; one year, $62. Mail delivery outside Comal County in Texas: three months, $30.30; six months, $55; one year, $103.50. Mail outside Texas: six months, $78; one year, $11825. Subscribers who have not received a newspaper by 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday or by 7:30 on Sunday may call (2 IO) 625-9144 or by 7 p.m. weekdays or by 11 a.m. on Sunday. Pos I mas rt a: Send address changes to the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, P.O. Drawer 311 328, New Braunfels. Tx. 78131 -1328. “Over the river and through the wood/To grandfather’s house we go/The horse knows the way/To cany the sleigh....” In 1844 when Lydia Maria Child wrote the now familiar poem, “Thanksgiving Day,” horse-drawn vehicles bumping down wagon trails were standard conveyances for families going home for the holidays. Today Texans may travel by automobile, bus, plane or train, but whatever their vehicular choices, they utilize one of the nation’s finest transportation systems when they travel in Texas, whether for holiday or other purposes. When the Legislature established the Texas Highway Department in 1917, no one envisioned that Texas would be one of the leading states in total road and street mileage, total railroad mileage and total number of landing fields. Our state’s transportation system includes more than 294,644 miles of federal, state, county and city highways, roads and streets and more than 13,000 miles of railroad line Additionally, the system includes 1,600 landing facilities and 13 major Gulf Coast ports. Because of our safe, effective and efficient transportation system, a week’s travel during the 1890s is now a short journey along environmentally sensitive highways maintained by the Texas Department of Transportation. In Fiscal Year 1995, for example, TxDOT used approximately 280,000 tons of recycled materials in its construction projects and spent more than $41.9 million for recycled and environmentally friendly construction products. Employees in TxDOT’s 25 districts annually plant 60,000 pounds of wildflower seed and more than 25,000 trees, shrubs and groundcovers along Texas highways. The department saves Texas taxpayers about $4 million annually in litter pickup expenditures through its Adopt-a-Highway and Keep Texas Beautiful programs and the award winning “Don’t Mess with Texas” litter control _  campaign. TxDOT, the largest state transportation agency, primarily is responsible for the state’s highways, including design, right-of-way acquisition, construction arid preventive and routine maintenance. The agency also provides a database for registration and titling of motor vehicles and helps develop and maintain a statewide system of modem airports. TxDOT’s 14,469 employees keep our transportation systems passable and safe. Their work is our state’s bridge to the future. Because modem highways and airports facilitate regional growth, the 74th Legislature appropriated $6.3 billion to TxDOT to provide the state with transportation services that support economic and social prosperity. During the 75th legislative session I will continue to help groups such as the 1-35 Coalition, 1-69 Alliance, US 83 Trade Corridor Association and US 59 organization obtain the recognition and funding needed to upgrade the highways that are destined to play a major role in international com ✓ Judith Zaffirini Guest Column merce. I also will work with TxDOT district office personnel in Corpus Christi, Laredo, Pharr and San Antonio to promote and fund local transportation infrastructure projects in the Senate District 21 counties they serve. Farm-to-maricet roads and state highways are major routes for commercial and private vehicles in our sprawling 19-county SD 21, but airports also play a vital role in the movement of people and goods. TxDOT’s Aviation Division helps support 307 Texas airports and airstrips. In FY 1996 TxDOT awarded $22 million in federal and state grants to aviation projects such as the $1.5 million renovation of the Dimmit County Airport and the $ I million Starr County Airport project. Last month the department awarded $400,000 in airport improvement grants to two SD 21 cities. Uvalde will use the grant to fund 50 percent of the cost of a new terminal building, while Dilley will use it for airport improvements. Modem airport facilities and superhighways contribute to regional growth and economic development and also make it easier and safer for families to travel home for the holidays in vehicles that were not invented or were in their infancy 150 years ago. An inscription on the Transportation Building erected for the 1893 World Columbian Exposition in Chicago reflects transportation’s impact on society; “Of all inventions, the alphabet and the printing press alone excepted, those inventions which abridge distance have done the most for civilization.” (Judith Zaffirini of Laredo represents District 21 in the Texas Senate.) . J I MU 'n I Clinton set to take cuts with line-item veto By TOM RAUM Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON — While President Clinton faces an opposition Congress in his second term, he’ll wield a potent new weapon that is an unintended gift from the same Republicans he’s been battling: the line item-veto. Starting Jan. I, Clinton will be able to use his veto pen as a scalpel. He becomes the first president permitted to excise from spending and tax bills specific items he doesn’t like — from Pentagon weaponry to “pork barrel” bridge and dam projects — while leaving the rest of the legislation intact. In the past, presidents had to either hold their noses over an offending part and sign the overall bill, or veto it entirely, sometimes risking unpleasant consequences, like government shutdowns. While it could be months before Clinton gets a Today in History By The Associated Press Today it Wednesday, Dec. 4, the 339th day of 1996. There are 27 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight In History: On Dec. 4,1783, Gen. George Washington bade farewell to his officers at Frauncee Tavern in New York City. On this date: In 1818, James Monroe of Virginia was elected the fifth president of the United States. In 1878, William Marcy Tweed, the ’’Boas'' of New York City's Tammany Hail political organization, escaped from jail and fled the country. In tilt, President Woodrow Wilson set sail for Franoa to attend the Versailles Peace Conference. In 1982, President Franklin Roosevelt ordered the dismantling of the Works Progress Administration, which had bean created to provide jobs during the In 1942, U.S. bombers struck the italian mainland spending or tax bill on which to apply the new powers, administration aides are already crafting a strategy to make use of it along with Clinton's more traditional veto powers. “He is clearly prepared to use the line-item veto for the purpose for which it was intended: to cut out wasteful spending, and unnecessary benefits on the tax side,” said Larry Haas, spokesman for Clinton’s Office of Management and Budget. “Having said that, I can’t prejudge how often he’ll use it.” A quicker test of Clinton’s 1997 veto strategy could come over a replay of the president’s veto last spring of a bill to ban a type of late-term abortion that critics describe as a “partial-birth” procedure. That veto was sustained. But Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., has pledged to resurrect the legislation early next year. While White House talk since the election has dwelled on compromise and conciliation, administration strategists know Clinton also must flex his veto for the first time in World War ll. In 1946, the Senate approved U S. participation in the United Nations In 1968, the United States launched “Gemini T with Air Force Ll Col. Frank Borman and Navy Commander James A. Lovell aboard. In 1977, Jean-Bedel Bokassa, ruler of the Central African Empire, crowned himself emperor in a ceremony believed to have cost more than $1 OO million. (Bokassa was deposed in 1979; he died this past Nov. 3 at age 75.) in 1990, the bodies of tour American churchwomen slain in El Salvador two days earlier were unearthed. (Five national guardsmen were later convicted of murdering nuns Ital Ford, Maura Clarke and Dorothy Hazel, and lay worker Jean Donovan.) Tan years ago: Both houses of Congress moved to establish special committees to conduct their own investigations of the Iran-Contra affair. Five years ego: Associated Press correspondent Terry Anderson, the longest held of the Western hostiles in Lebanon, was released after nearly seven years in captivity. Patricia Bowman testified at muscles — even if only to improve his bargaining position. Clinton didn’t cast his first veto until June 1995. But he’s now issued 15 of them, with only one override — his veto of a bill limiting lawsuits alleging securities fraud. The addition of line-item veto power could significantly enhance his ability to negotiate with and confront the Republican Congress. Republicans have been actively pressing for this power since Ronald Reagan's presidency and it was a top item in their 1994 “Contract With America” as they seized control of both chambers of Congress. Not surprisingly, Clinton, who had line-item veto power as governor of Arkansas, had no problem embracing this part of the GOP agenda. Republican leaders, leery of giving the authority to a Democrat, stalled for months, then finally agreed last June to give it to the next president — hoping it would be one of their own, Bob Dole. Wiiam Kennedy Smith's trial in Weal Palm Beach, Fla., that Smith had rapad bar th# previous Easter weekend. Pan American World Airways ceased operations (However, a new, smaller version of Pan Am returned last September). Ona yaar ago: In a near-freezing drizzle, the first NATO troops landed In the Beltane to begin setting up a peace mission that was expected to bring 20,000 American soldiers into the middle of the Bosnian conflict. Today’s Birthdays: Actress-singar Deanna Durbin la 75. Game-show host Wink Martindale is 62. Actor-producer Max Baar Jr. Ie 58. Singer-musidan Chris Hillman ie 54. Rock singer Southside Johnny Lyon is 48. Actor Jeff Bridges is 47. Actress Patricia Wettig is 45. Rock singer Vinnie Dombroski (Sponge) ie 34. Actress Marias Tomei is 32. Actress-model Tyre Banka is 23. Thought for Today: “A man Is known by the silence he keeps." — Oliver Herford, American author (1863-1935). ;