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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 6, 1996, New Braunfels, Texas 4A g Herald-Zeitung g Friday, December 6, 1996 Opinion ■ To talk with Interim Managing Editor Jim Denery about the Opinion page, call 625-9144, Ext. 221. Herald-Zeitung Opinion Online 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 “It Is astonishing what force, purity and wisdom it requires for a human being to keep dear falsehoods.” Margaret Fuller author, 1842Tis die season, but for what reason? EDITORIAL Rabies requires caution As Comal grows, contacts with rabid animals are sure to increase The recent discovery of a bat infected with rabies in Bulverde is a reminder that we must be careful of handling wild or strangely acting animals. The bat was found inside a home, probably brought into the house by the family dog. Fortunately, the homeowner took precautions before handling the bat, which tests revealed had rabies. The family pet was quarantined for 45 days. Rabies is a life-threatening disease. As our population grows and housing developments pop up in formerly rural areas of Comal County, the probability of contact with animals with rabies might increase. If you have not talked with your children about the dangers of rabies, you should do so. Inquisitive children often enjoy exploring the wofld around them. As parents, we need to warn them of the invisible dangers that could be lurking with dead or strangely acting animals, both wild and domestic. The symptoms in animals are numerous, including foaming at the mouth or a change in the behavior or eating and drinking patterns of an animal. Remember, never directly touch a dead animal, lf an animal carcass is discovered and must be removed, use a shovel or some other preventive measure. When it comes to rabies, it’s best to err on the side of caution. Enjoy Gruene this weekend The color of Christmas this weekend is Gruene. The annual Gruene Christmas Market Days — a holiday treat of music and shopping — are Saturday and Sunday. More than IOO crafts and art exhibitors will join the more than 25 stores in Gruene to provide an ambience that only Gruene can create. (Today’s editorials were written by Herald-Zeitung Publisher and Editor Doug Toney.) Write us TTie New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung welcomes letters on any public issue. The editor reserves the right to correct spelling, style, punctuation and known factual errors. Letters should be kept to 2S0 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 do the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung P.O. Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, Texas 78131-1328 Fax: (210)625-1224 New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung 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 on Sunday mornings and weekday mornings Tuesday through Friday by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeirwix (USPS 377-880) 707 luanda St., or P.O. Drawer 311328, New Braunfels, Comal County, Tx. 78131-1328. Periodical postage paid by the New Braunfels Herald Zernrna in New Braunfels, Texas. Carrier delivered in Comal and Guadalupe counties: three months, $20.50; six months, $37; one year. $66. Senior Citizen Discounts by earner delivery only: sui 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, $118.25. Subscribers who have not received a newspaper by 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday or by 7:30 a.m. on Sunday may call (210) 625-9144 or by 7 p.m. weekdays or by 11 a.m. on Sunday. Postmaster: Send address changes to the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, P.O. Drawer 311328, New Braunfels, Tx. 78131 -1328. Well into the first week of December, we are drenched in the physical manifestations of the Yuletide season. New Braunfels is decked for Christmas, down to the last molecule. But what about the inner decor? Most of us who celebrate Christmas have a personal “inner Christmas light switch” that turns on the warmth of the season’s spirit. It’s often a repetition — this year’s — of a time-honored tradition. For Jim Denery, Herald-Zeitung city editor, it has to be a specific moment each year. “Not until I see the Underdog balloon (in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade).” The coming of Christmas — and a deluge of Christmas shoppers, not necessarily displaying Christian virtues — can strike fear in the hearts of those who work in retail. “We start getting Christmas merchandise as early as July and August,” one local store manager said. “It’s not so much looking forward to the season as I realize it’s coming. It’s more of a kind of cringe.” Two Christmases spent working in a J.C. Penney store made more than visions of crabby customers dance in my head, though. It was actually fun seeing the decorations each day and hearing the Christmas music all day long. ‘The spirit starts for me when we decorate at the store and at home,” said Natalie Schade, Target team leader. “Customers are very excited about the gifts they’re buying. They’re in the spirit of giving and it shows.” Some people think about Christmas all year, like Pam Brandt, owner of ’Tis the Season Year Round Christmas Village. “Through the year, if I walk in and put a Christmas tape on and I’m feeling a little depressed, it makes me feel good,” Brandt said. “To really get Christmas under way is the first time I hear Bing Crosby sing “White Christmas” or the first time I see “It’s a Wonderful Life,** said Anna Lee Hicks, the driving force behind Festtage, New Braunfels’ assortment of community holiday celebrations. “I feel fortunate to do the work I do because I get to think about Christmas all year long,” Hicks said. “I focus on that feeling all year and try to remember it when the temperature’s 95 degrees and people are not really in the Christmas spirit.” When the lights went on in downtown New Braunfels, the inner Christmas light switch was also thrown in the hearts of many who live here. “Probably all the decorations, especially the plaza, started the Christmas season for me,” said Shana Kohlenberg. “It’s the lights downtown for me,” said Amanda Zigmond. Both are students in Diana Cashion’s fourth-grade Challenge class at Carl Schurz Elementary School. Susan Flynt England Herald-Zeitung Columnist “I think the Christmas spirit really clicks here in New Braunfels when we go downtown to die lighting of the plaza,” said Ray Still, pastor of Oakwood Baptist Church. For Still, for me, and for others, hearing and singing church music flips the inner Christmas light switch. “This year it was starting die first nm-through on our Christmas cantata,” said Cindy Myers, First Methodist Church member. “We’re really excited this year, and you can hear it in our voices.” For especially sentimental types, (my daughter would say embarrassingly mushy types) singing in church choir at Christmas time can open die emotional floodgates so wide that it becomes a challenge to sing without getting choked up. For the devout, the mystery and wonder of Christmas are directly linked to the religious roots of the season. It starts when the tim Advent candle is lit and “Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel” is sung, said Father Richard Oberstar, pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church. “When we start reading those Advent prayers, automatically it ushers in that feeling. It starts with darkness. When we’re lighting that first candle, it ushers in that first light of Christ.” What actually happens, neurologically and electrochemically, when that inner Christmas light switch turns on, and we’re lit with a glow of mysticism and joy? Who knows. Who cares? It’s hard to imagine life as a human machine without (me. Challenges, opportunities await Albright & Co. By BARRY SCHWEID AP Diplomatic Writer WASHINGTON — New opportunities and formidable hurdles await the team President Clinton will rely on to carry out his foreign and defense policies in his second term. Factor in an always unpredictable planet and you have four years of drama about to unfold even if the world remains relatively crisis-free — not that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, ethnic conflict in Bosnia, and Arab and Israel doubts about stepping up peacemaking have disappeared. The Cold War is over. The United States is the world’s only superpower. So Clinton and his team may have a chance to test the boundaries of conventional foreign policy by drawing the world’s attention to diminishing resources, rampant population growth Today in History By The Associated Press Today is Friday. Dec. 6. the 341st day of 1996 There are 25 days left in the year Today's Highlight In History: Seventy-five years ago. on Dec 6.1921, British and Irish representatives signed a treaty in London providing for creation of an Irish Free State The signers included British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, British negotiator Winston Churchill and Irish nationalists Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins. On this dot ox In 17B0( Congress moved from New York to Philadelphia In IBM* Army engineers completed construction of the Washington Monument. In IBM, Jefferson Davis, the first and only president of the Confederate States of America, died in New Orleans In IBM, IOO years ago, lyricist Ira Gershwin was born in New York City. and depletion of rain forests. Already, Clinton is training his sights on terrorism and narcotics traffic as problems the United States should lead the world in tackling. En route to Africa two months ago, outgoing Secretary of State Warren Christopher said that as the new century approaches, Americans must pay increasing attention to that “passel of global and environmental issues” that transcend national boundaries. In the four years ahead, the question is whether the unsettled Balkans and always touchy Middle East will permit Clinton and his team, headed by Madeleine Albright at the State Department and William Cohen at the Pentagon, to have the time to address these transnational issues. “Our responsibility,” Clinton said Thursday in announcing his appointments, “is to build on the strong foun dation laid in the last four years.” But as Richard Haass, director of foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution, noted: “Any administration is going to be distracted or worse by hot spots — Bosnia, Zaire, maybe Korea, who knows?” On a now-traditional but still somewhat controversial level, Clinton is seeking to keep “building a new partnership with democratic Russia." His plan to expand the North Atlantic Treaty Organization eastward toward the Russian border could be a bump in the road. It troubles Russian President Boris Yeltsin and also some members of Congress because of the additional expense and obligations involved. More troubling for the new team will be carrying out Clinton's decision to expand ties with China despite its harsh treatment of pro-democracy advocates and an unfavorable trade balance. Here, too, Congress will question the policy on both grounds and demand Beijing ease off and also open more of the country to American exports. In his first term, Clinton defused a crisis with North Korea by freezing its nuclear program in exchange for energy aid. But the regime in Pyongyang remains unpredictable. So, too, is the situation in Bosnia, where the Dayton peace accords have stopped the fighting but not brought democracy to Serbia and Croatia nor succeeded in bringing war crimes suspects to judgment. Thousands of U.S. troops are likely to be sent to the Balkans next year as part of a new peacekeeping force while initial plans to send others to central Africa to assist in refugee relief may be set aside as the crisis eases. In IMO, a presidential address was broadcast on radio for the first time as President Calvin Coolidge spoke to a pint session of Congress In 1B67, America's first attempt at putting a satellite into orbit blew up on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral, Fla. In 1B73, House Minority Leader Gerald R. Ford was sworn in as vice president, succeeding Spiro T. Agnew In 1BB2,11 soldiers and six civilians were killed when a bomb planted by the Irish National Liberation Army exploded in a pub in Ballykelly. Northern Ireland. In 19B9» 14 women were shot to death at the University of Montreal's school of engineering by a man who then took his own life. In IBBS, Egon Krenz resigned as leader of East Germany. Tun years ago: Talking about the Iran-Contra affair in his weekly radio address, President Ronald Reagan acknowledged that mistakes had been made in carrying out his policies, but defended his overture to Iran. Flu# yuan agal Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass , testifying at the trial of his nephew, William Kennedy Smith, denied hearing screams the night Patricia Bowman said she was raped by Smith at the Kennedy estate in West Palm Beach, Fla. Ona year ago: President Clinton vetoed a seven-year Republican budget-balancing plan. The House ethics committee sent a highly critical letter to House Speaker Newt Gingrich, saying ha had committed three ethics violations. The New York Timet columnist James Reston died in Washington at age 86. Today'a Birthdays: Jazz musician Dave Brubeck it 76. Sen. Don Nickles, R-Okla., is 48. Actress JoBeth Williams is 43. Actor Tom Hulce is 43. Comedian Steven Wright is 41. Country singer Bd Lloyd (Foster and Lloyd) is 41. Rock musician Peter Buck (R E M.) is 40. Thoued for Today: “In dreamt begins responsibility.'’ — William Butler Yeats, Irish Nobel Prizewinning poet (1665-1939) ;