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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 12, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas Page 4A — Herald-Zeitung — Friday, December 12, 2003 Herald-Zeitung Serving New Braunfels aihl.t+onnil ( (unity since IS52. New Braunfels Zeitung was founded 1852. New Braunfels Herald was founded 1890. The two papers merged in 1957and printed in both German and English until 1958 Managing Editor Gary E. Maitland News Editor Brady Craal Features Editor Brian Grant Editor and Publisher Doug Tonay Circulation Director ‘ Craig Pauling Advertising Director Courtnay Abarnathy Business Manager Haathar Grant Our Opinion Gifts from heart warm area’s soul Churches, civic and government groups and businesses have been busy doing their part to make sure that hundreds of needy families have a happier Christmas. aturday morning, dozens of volunteers and employees at the I lerald-Zeitung will travel throughout the community delivering 200 baskets of food staples to needy families. The deliveries culminate our annual Cheer f und campaign. There are many such holiday projects throughout Comal County that are winding toward completion as Christmas nears. Also on Saturday, the Toys for Tots campaign will be accepting donations at latins Street Depot, 262 W. Jahn Street. Within the next 12 days, the Comal County Sheriff’s Office and the New Braunfels Police Department will wind up their annual Green Santa and Blue Santa projects. There are Angel Tree projects under way at schools and other locations in the city. Hundreds of children will have a happier Christmas because of these unselfish undertakings. These are just a few of the community-wide projects involving businesses, churches and civic groups that do their part to brighten the holidays for the underprivileged. We offer thanks to all those whose generosity once again confirms that New Braunfels and Comal County is a great place to live. Today in History By The Associated Press Ic lay is f riday. I)ec. 12, the 346th day of 2003. There are 19 days left in the year. Today’s I lighlight in I listory: On Dec. 12. 1787, Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. On this date: In 1870, Joseph 11. Rainey of South Carolina became the first black lawmaker sworn into the U.S. I louse of Representatives. In 1897, “I he Katzenjammer Kids,” the pioneering comic strip created by Rudolph Dirks, made its debut in the New York Journal. In 1913, authorities in f lorence, Italy, announced that the “Mona Usa,” stolen from the Louvre Museum in Paris in 1911, had been recovered. LUTKUS POLICY ■ Letters must be 250 words or fewer. ■ The Herald-Zeitung reserves the right to edit all submissions. ■ Guest columns should be less than 500 words and must be accompanied by a photo. ■ Address and telephone number must be included so authorship can be confirmed. Mail larkers to: Letters to Editor clo Herald Zeitung RO. Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, TX 78131 1328 Fax them to: (830) 606 3413 e-mail them to: news@herald- 7/in~nA>/e*) GUESTCOLUMN Build new civic center downtown The new civic center should not be built* on the proposed Comal River site. The river is one of several attractions that lure people to visit New Braunfels, but that does not mean it makes sense to put the civic center next to the river. The river is a unique “greenbelt" winding through the city. Tile civic center would be an intrusion into this natural amenity.'-Let s not "pave paradise to put up a parking lot!" The more appropriate site for the new civic center is the existing south Seguin Avenue site along with adjacent property on south Casten Avenue. The Seguin site puts the building in a place of prominence that is visible to arriving traffic approaching the town square. Since the site is on the main axis with the square, the building can visually and symbolically mark the approach to the town center. Both the existing historic buildings and the new civic center would benefit from their proximity to each other. Restaurants, accommodations, and retail stores would be within walking distance of the civic center and would see increased business. The civic center could mar ket the site’s eqse of access to downtownamenities, as well as citywide attractions, in its promotional material. Bordered by south Seguin Avenue, Garden Street and south Casten Avenue, the site offers straightforward opportunities for solutions to site access, visitor parking, public entrances, service entrances, and utilities. The site is easy to find. It’s good urban planning to build there. Like the courthouse, the new civic center will be out in plain view with other architecturally significant buildings. The downtown location connects the civic center to New Braunfels in broader ways than the river site could. The downtown site symbolically addresses history, cultural heritage, business, government and community. It physically places the facility in the center of city life. DALEDIBILLO Dale Dibello, AIA, is a senior tissociate of Eubanks Group Architects in New Braunfels. Letters to the Editor Write, object to toll roads idea I urge everyone who is against converting existing roads into toll roads to write and complain to TxDOT. Not that these public officials will listen, but not complaining makes these officials think that these conversions are ()K. Well, converting existing highways are not ()K. Send your written comments to TxDOT., 125 E. I lth St., Austin 78701-2483, Attn: Phillip E. Russell, PE. director, Texas Turnpike Authority Division. Also, call your county commissioner and remind them who they work for. Tell them not to accept toll roads converted from existing roads. Michael L Maurer Sr. Spring Branch 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: 8023 Vantage Drive, Suite 460 San Antonio 78230 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 CONGRESSMAN ■ Lamar Smith Rayburn House Office Building Room 2231 Washington. D C 20515 Telephone: (202) 225-4236 Fax: (202) 225-8628 SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: HOO NE Loop 410, Suite 640 San Antonio 78209 Telephone: (210) 821-5024 Fex: (210) 821-5947 NOW TO COMMCT Texas    ........................... Government GOVERNOR ■ Rick Perry State Capitol. Room 2S.1 P.O. 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 WHILE IN AUSTIN: PO. Box 2910 Austin 78768-2190 Telephone: (512) 463-0325 Fax: (512) 473-9920 E-mail address: [email protected] STATE SENATE ■ Jeff Wentworth 1250 NE Loop 410, Suite 720 San Antonio 78209 Telephone: (210) 826-7800 Fax: (210) 826-0571 WHILE IN AUSTIN Telephone: (512) 463-0125 Fax: (512) 463-7794 E-mail address: [email protected] state.tx.usDemocrats pay people to vote for big government ANNCOULTER Ann Coulter is an attorney, ait thor and a columnist for Universal Press Syndicate. The cover story in this week’s New York Limes magazine described * toward Dean’s hardcore support as consisting primarily of impotent nosepickers hoping to make some friends and unsuccessful audition-ers for Gap commercials. That is to say, the followers (as opposed to leaders) of tomorrow. Their passion for Dean was aptly summarized by 24-year-old laurel! Popper — the “official representative” at a Dean cam paign office one particular night. Though she “broke into tears several times while try ing to explain” the allure of the Dean campaign, Popper managed to convey that she was first attracted to Dean based on his policy of having a state social worker visit every new mother in Vermont. Not that I’m trying to privatize anything here, but in my home state of Connecticut, a new mother is traditionally visited by her own mother. Popper added, “This campaign is about allowing people to come together and tell their life stories.’’ With quotes like that, it s not going to be easy to tone down the Republicans’ overconfidence in the coming presidential campaign. But lately I ve noticed that a lot of Democrats are comparing inevitable nominee Dean to George McGovern and wearily predicting a landslide for Bush. That’s not the fighting spirit we expect from the party that will go to the smallest town in North Dakota to remove the Ten Commandments. Whenever liberals all start singing from the same hymnal, they are up to no good. I believe the game plan is this: The Democrats will spend the next 11 months ruefully admitting that it s going to be a 50-state landslide for Bush. Republicans will engage in their normal partisan cheerleading, and everyone will seem to be agreed that Bush is going to win a 50-state landslide. Then, it the Una1 tally is anything short of that — if it s a 40-state landslide for Bush —The New York Times will be able to crow about Bush’s poor showing and run headlines like: "Americans Still Deeply Divided on War.” This is precisely what happened in the 1998 midterm elections. That year, Republicans made history by winning a majority in both I louses of Congress for the third straight time. Just four years earlier, millions of Americans who had never voted Republican in their entire lives did it for the first time. In 1998, they did it a third time. Though Republicans lost five seats in the I louse, they held their majority. The Democrats’ half-century stranglehold on the I louse was over. The lx)s Angeles Limes headline the next day was typical: “Democrats Lxult in Victories as GOP lakes Stock of Losses; Elections: Republicans Retain Control of Congress, But Their Leadership There Is Weakened. Defeats Undercut Impeachment Drive and Reopen Party Divisions.” I suppose it’s possible the Democrats’ predictions of catastrophe and ruin in the upcoming presidential election are genuine. It is beyond dispute that Dean is a more appalling candidate than George McGovern ever was. Apparently, some Americans think choosing the leader of the free world should be a process of people coming together to tell their life stories. Consider that approximately IOO million people vote in presidential elections. The total population eligible to vote — including the infirm, the insane, the incapacitated and die bored — is only 180 million strong. And 20 million Americans work for the government. Or at least appear on government payrolls. It gets a little complicated when you’re trying to define “work” in the context of a government employee. Indeed, more Americans work for federal, state or local government than work in any form of manufacturing. We crossed that Rubicon about IO years ago. Admittedly, mixed in with employees in public welfare and housing and community development, there is one lone category of federal employee that tends to vote Republican: the military. That’s why George Bush recently flew hallway around the globe to serve them turkey. But according to the 2002 census, there are more civilian employees working for the post office than for national defense or international relations of any kind (829,587 to 680,645). The entire military, both civilian and armed forces, employs fewer than 2 million people. Meanwhile, there are about IO million government teachers or other education bureaucrats. Then there are the 22 million Americans on food stamps. And, of course, there are the 39 million greedy geezers collecting Social Security. The greatest generation rewarded itself with a pretty big meal. Still, millions more Americans poach off your salary through literally incalculable government largesse, such as government contracts, corporate welfare, and all the bureaucratic quagmires for which there is no exit strategy, like the earned income tax credit, disability payments and workman’s comp. It’s interesting how difficult it is to locate information about the number of people living off the taxpayer. The government knows how many Alaskan natives have at least a bachelor's degree and live in a two-bedroom home, but it s impossible to track down precisely how many voters get checks from the government. At a minimum, there must be at least 60 million Americans who draw salaries, in whole or in part, from die government. And we just keep getting more and more of them. Even when the private sector is suffering through recessions, job reductions, cutbacks, plant closings, unemployment — the taxpayer still is hiring. Consequently, the Parasite Party starts with a guaranteed 40 percent of the vote. They could run a muskrat for president, they could run a stalk of asparagus, they could run an insane person — in fact that appears to be their plan for next year — and the Democrats would get 40 percent of the vote. The Democratic Party pays people to vote for big government and then claims wide popularity for its heinous policy prescriptions. United States Government ;