New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 5, 1993, New Braunfels, Texas
Q U O r A B
“It is my duty to report all that is said; but I am not obliged to believe it all alike.”
- Herodotus Greek historian, c. 440 B.C.
E D I
I T O R I
I A L
Toxic waste collection a hit
City, county, Laidlaw officials, and 565 households deserve thanks for making day a complete succes
A lot of people deserve a big pat on the back for making Saturday's hazardous waste collection a model for other communities around the state to follow.
The event was well planned and executed by county, city, and Laidlaw Environmental officials. The turnout was impressive, and it was obvious that this program should be continued on a regular basis.
County Commissioner Morris 'Moe' Schwab deserves special recognition for getting the ball rolling on the project
But the biggest thanks goes to the 565 people who took part of their weekend to gather up the unwanted leftover paint, the old car batteries, the used motor oil and other hazardous wastes that were lurking in their garages and under their kitchen sinks and bring them to the collection site on Loop 337.
The tremendous turnout for the first collection day points out that people in Comal County do not take their pristine environment and the area's natural beauty for granted. Of course it would be easier to dump that old paint down the drain, or drop those old car batteries in the bar ditch outside of town, but people here apparently understand that all of us share the responsibility for preserving our county’s environment
Thousands of gallons of motor oil, about 700 car batteries, 220 gallons of paint, and more stuff you wouldn't want in your drinking water were collected. That means thousands of gallons of hazardous waste that could have ended up seeping into our water supply will be safely disposed of.
The program clearly deserves to be continued. It is not often the government comes up with such a good idea, and follows through with it so successful^
CToday's editoial was written by Roger Croteau, City Editor for the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung.)Write us
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Herald-ZeitungSunday, Dec. 5,1993
Did Lafarge really give up?
Thursday April 8th 1993 - the front page of the Herald-Zeitung reads “LAFARGE GIVES UP.”
For the first time in almost three years the people of New Braunfels and Comal Co. breathed a collective sigh of relief that toxic waste from all over the U.S. and Mexico would not be burned here for profit
BUT, a closer look at the front page revealed the following statement from Lafarge VP. Duncan Gage who said: “ he was confident attitudes in New Braunfels toward burning hazardous materials would change over time, and Lafarge could attempt to gain permitting in the futuren.
This one forboding statement has remained all these weeks since April. In recent weeks, we have seen a reemergence of Lafarge management and it’s supporters making statements in our local media with three main themes.
I. the declaration of the proven safety of cement kilns burning toxic wastes. For example on Nov. 14 in the Herald-Zeitung, Lafarge manager Larry Alexander states cement kiln co-processing of hazardous fuels is a proven, accepted technology worldwide.”
Theme 2, we must find “safe ways to dispose of OUR hazardous wastes” and Mayor Seidel is the villian who wants our new household haz waste center to send its collections to “cement kilns elsewhere rather than the reputable one in our own backyard....”.
Theme 3: Mayor Seidel and Councilman Fraser are perpetrating “deceit” in collection to the amending of the Laidlaw contract to be consistent with city and county policy in not sending our hazardous wastes to any cement kilns.
We the voters of Jan. 1991, who by a margin of 9 to I said we didn’t want commercial toxic waste incineration in our town, should ask ourselves why these new accusations.
Could there be perhaps a hidden agenda behind this new wave of “disinformation”.
Did Lafarge really give up?
On Nov. 22,1 made comments to the city council relative to Lafarge management’s attacks on the corrections made to insure that hazardous waste from New Braunfels does not go to other kilns.
Last Sunday in the Herald-Zeitung, I was accused by a Robert L. Ristair of making remarks that are without “any rationale, reasons, fail to have any scientific or factual support”.
I would like to respond in this forum with an overview of those comments so that you the reader may decide for yourself if there is any factual reason to be alarmed by these recent events. (Also, the documentation of the following has been fowarded to the Editor for anyone who would like to examine it)
Fust, I commended County Judge Carter Casteel Mayor Rudy Seidel and all of our elected officials who when the error of the Laidlaw contract was understood, took quick steps to correct it. I also pointed out that since Lafarge’s subsidary Systech was intended to be one destination in the Laidlaw plan, that it would be helpful to give an update on Lafarge/Systech’s recent regulatory problems (especially with the new espousing about the safety of cement kilns).
The detail of these recent violations was meant to show that the mayor and county were not spreading deceit bitt showing strong leadership in amending the contract
Some of the update was as follows:
1. On Sept 28,1993 the U.S. E.P.A. announced m^jar fines for violations involving hazardous wastes: Lafarge in Fredonia, Kansas. $1,200,000, Lafarge in Paulding Ohio $519,000, Lonestar Industries Greencastle Indiana haz waste handled by Systech/Lafarge) $3,800,000
2. April 12 ,1993, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources finds that Lafarge Alpena MI scores as erne of the top ten sites of contamination in the state” and recommends it be included in the state’s superfund list
3. Sept 28,1993 The Dallas Morning News reports after a meeting of the TRNCC Texas top environmental officials said that they want to crackdown on cement plants practice of burning hazardous wastes.
4. Recently the EPA and the State of Michigan have identified violations of the new Federal BIF regulations at Lafarge in Alpena MI.. Penalties and fines are under review right now.
If the EPA applies the strict application of the $10,000 per day fine the result could be a total fine of up to $22,000,0000.
The EPA does not enforce fines of this magnitude unless very serious condtions exist that could endanger the public.
I concluded my remarks with a request to the council to put the question publicly to Lafarge management: Are you willing to commit categorically that you have no intention and will not in the future attempt to bum hazardous wastes in New Braunfels?
Its a simple question. A clear answer could go a long way in helping this community rest easy. The other question to be answered is why are you making personal attacks on just two councilman when the policy of no cement kiln burning is policy for both city and county?
Thank you Mayor Siedel Council, and Commissioners for standing with the people on this issue.
(Paul Pennington is a board member of Securing A Future Environment.)
What do you think?
Many messages in numerous forms have been sent to the general public in Comal County since the Thanksgiving holiday urging local citizens to do their shopping in New Braunfels. Local business, particularly small independently-owned businesses, count on the holiday revenues to make up a large portion of their annual profits. Some contend that big city malls provide conveniences that cant be found locally. What is your opinion? Where will you do your shopping/ How much of it will be done here in New Braunfels? Fill out the coupon (right), drop it by our office at 707 Landa in New Braunfels and we ll report the results in next Sunday's edition. One vote per person. No names will be published. Deadline to submit your opinion is Friday, Dec. IO. After further consideration, the editorial staff has decided to accept copied forms as well as original forms.
How much of your holiday shopping will be done in New Braunfels?
Name _ Address. Phone#_ City_
70% ... 60% . 10% NONE
Circle one - ALL . . 50%____40% .
. 90% 30%.
.. 80% 20%..
Guilt and Responsibility
In his book People Of The Lie, M. Scott Peck, M.D., writes, ’To feel guilty about something that is not bad, is unnecessary and sick. Not to feel guilty about something that is bod is also sick.”
Sadly, many of us try to run away from emotional pain. We’ll do anything to avoid feelings of depression, guilt, anxiety, anger, frustration, grief, and sadness. In trying to avoid these “negative” feelings, we sometimes lose our humanity.
When faced with a choice between the right way and the easy way, we’ll take the easy way every time.
To quote Scott Peck again, “Humanity is locked in a titanic struggle between the forces of good and evil, between God and the devil. The battleground of this struggle is the individual human soul.
The entire meaning of human life revolves around the battle. The only question of ultimate significance is whether the individual soul will be one with God or one with the devil.”
Just as we become evil slowly over time through a long series of wrong choices, the more often we make the correct decisions, the better we become.
Each choice in life that enhances our honesty, integrity, truthfulness, and courage increases our capacity to make the right choice. On the other side of the coin, each act of cowardice or choosing theJohn Walker, M.D.
easy way increases more wrong choices.
Again to quote Dr. Peck, “Of course there are crimes of greater and lesser magnitude. It is a mistake, however, to think of sin or evil as a matter of degree. It may seem less odious to cheat the rich than the poor, but it is still cheating.
There are differences before the law between defrauding a business, claiming a false deduction on your income tax, using a crib-sheet in an examination, telling your wife that you have to work late when you are unfaithful, or telling your husband (or yourself) dial you didn’t have time to pick up his clothes at the cleaner, when you spent an hour on the phone with your neighbor.
Surely one is more excusable than the other— and perhaps all the more so under certain circum
stances—but the fact remains that they are all lies and betrayals.
If you are sufficiently scrupulous not to have done any such thing recently, then ask yourself whether there is anyway in which you have lied to yourself. Or have kidded yourself. Or have been less than you could be—which is a self betrayal.
Be perfectly honest with yourself, and you will realize that you sin.
If you do not realize it, then you are not perfectly honest with yourself, which is itself a sin. It is inescapable: We are all sinners.”
The key to becoming a fully functioning individual is being aware of our imperfections and making every effort to do better because our choices do make a difference.
Character comes from action.
We are what we do.
As C. S. Lewis writes, "There is no neutral ground in the universe: every square inch, every split second is claimed by God and counterclaimed by Satan.” Facing our problems and doing what’s right salvages our humanity and preserves civilisation.
(Dr. Walker is Medical Director for Professional and Community Education at Laurel Ridge Hospital in San Antonio and speaker and writer who lives in New Braunfels.)Today in history
By The Aeeoclated Pre**
Today is Sunday, Dec. 5, the 339th day of 1993. There are 26 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
Sixty years ago, on Dec. 5, 1933, Prohibition came to an end as Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment to the Constitution, thereby repealing the 18th Amendment
On this date:
In 1776, the first scholastic fraternity in America, Phi Beta Kappa, was organized at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va.
In 1782, the first native U.S. president, Martin Van Buren, was bom in Kinderhook, N.Y.
In 1791, composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died in Vienna, Austria, at age 35.
In 1792, George Washington was re-elected pres
ident of the United Stales; John Adams was re-elected vice president
In 1831, former President Adams took his seat as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
In 1848, President Polk triggered the Gold Rush of ’49 by confirming that gold had been discovered in California.
In 1932, German physicist Albert Einstein was granted a visa making it possible for him to travel to the United States.
In 1955, the American federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations merged to form the AFL-CIO under its first president, George Meany.
In 1978, the American space probe Pioneer Venus I, orbiting Venus, began beaming back its first information and picture of the planet to scientists in Mountain View, Calif.
In 1979, feminist Sonia Johnson was formally
excommunicated by the Mormon Church because of her outspoken support for the proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution.
In 1989, East Germany’s former leaders, including ousted Communist Party chief Erich Honccker, were placed under house arrest
Ten years ago: More than a dozen people were killed when a car bomb shattered a nine-story apartment building in mostly Muslim west Beirut, Lebanon.
Five years ago: A federal grand jury in North Carolina indicted PTL founder Jim Bakker and former aide Richard Dortch on fraud and conspiracy charges. Bakker was convicted of all counts; Dortch pleaded guilty to four counts and cooperated with prosecutors in exchange for a lighter sentence.
One year ago: Russian President Boris Yeltsin narrowly kept the po wa to appoint Cabinet ministers.