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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 18, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas Page 4A — Herald-Zeitung — Sunday, December 18, 2005 FORUM zmmmm Our Opinion Qty must make developers help with drainage Development should pay for itself and the impact it has on this city's drainage issues. Ti I he city of New Braunfels got some good news this week when a visiting district court judge ruled the city did not violate state law when it created a drainage ordinance that requires developers to pay a stormwater connection fee. The fee is much-needed in a community that sees drainage issues, primarily flooding, as a major concern. With two rivers running through the middle of the city, flooding is a constant concern. But flooding has grown progressively worse as the city has grown. Developers always have been required to mitigate increased water flow due to their developments, yet flooding has consistendy increased. In some neighborhoods, it only takes a major rain for water to flow into their homes. Many city residents have a set pattern when it rains — put out the sand bags and remove items from the floor. There shouldn’t be any debate about the need for funds to maintain drainage structures to mitigate stormwater flow in New Braunfels. How those new funds are derived is the question that was before the court, and that question likely will remain there for awhile since opponents of the drainage ordinance fee almost certainly will appeal the judge’s decision. Simply put, it is only fair for new growth to pay for the stormwater problems, and increased costs, new developments can cause. But the stormwater connection fee is just a start. The fee will help the city maintain its drainage structures, but it cannot be used to build new ones. When discussing the court victory, Mayor Bruce Boyer said he was ready to propose impact fees that could be used to pay for drainage system improvements. Impact fees are always controversial, but in New Braunfels, they are becoming more and more of a necessity. We applaud Boyer and the city council for showing the political fortitude to fight for the stormwater connection fees. But, at the same time, we remind them that this one court battle is not the final step. Now development should pay for itself and for the impact it has on the community. It is the councils job to make sure that happens. Letters to the Editor Truth out of Iraq hard to discern Isn t it fortunate that as the 2006 elections draw near and Bush’s poll numbers show that the American people have finally understood that they were misled, the Iraqis have suddenly and miraculously become capable of defending and governing themselves. Out of the blue, we find that circumstances have suddenly improved to the extent that we can start to withdraw from Iraq. This is the exact scenario that most people have expected from the beginning of the Iraq occupation. When all the indicators point to a real disaster, we suddenly snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. I believe that this is what is called “cut and mn.” If we were lied to and misled into this military action, how can we expect to hear truth when the whole thing falls apart? Next November can’t come quickly enough. Ken Luckett New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. 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. Managing Editor Jeremy Paffbrd Editor and Publisher Doug Toney Circulation Director Jeff Fowler Advertising Director Neice Bell Business Manager Valerie Shields News Editor David Rupkalvis GUESTCOLUMN Stand with the sign ordinance Dear mayor and city council members: I am David W. Hartmann, a member of the city of New Braunfels Historic Landmark Commission and a concerned citizen. Some of you are familiar with my past service to the city as a volunteer and city official. I would like to begin by applauding all the volunteers and especially your Planning and Zoning Commission for their recent recommendations regarding the proposed sign ordinance, which will be brought before the city council Monday. In like fashion, I am appalled by certain individuals within the city and the county who herald these recommendations as no less than an infringement on the “rights of individuals” and business. I, too, am a citizen and operate a business, so those who oppose this sign ordinance do not represent the whole. To digress for just a moment, I would like to give you a bit of background with reference to these past 30 years. As a longtime member of the Planning and Zoning Commission and also its chairman, your appointed zoning commissioners then and now have researched in detail such ordinances from across the United States, selecting the ideas to present to you as to what they believe best for our entire community. As in the past — and so it will always be — there are those individuals and groups who represent their own special interests, disregarding the general populace as a whole. Thirty years ago, city government attempted not only to recommend such an ordinance, but also new, improved and restricted building codes which would have allowed New Braunfels to retain its small town atmosphere like such cities as Fredericksburg, Texas; Fredericksburg, Va.; Williamsburg, Va.; and the like. However, then and now, Today in History By The Associated Press Today is Sunday, Dec. 18, the 352nd day of 2005. There are 13 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Dec. 18, 1944, in a pair of rulings, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the wartime relocation of Japan-ese-Americans, but also said loyal Americans of Japanese ancestry could not be detained. On this date: In 1865, the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery, was declared in effect. special interest groups and certain individuals are shouting injustice. The consequences of the decisions of the past are evident everywhere in the city and county. If city and county officials had taken a stand 30 years ago, we would have retained the ambiance for which New Braunfels has long been admired, much of which has been lost forever. Therefore, I request that you uphold the recommendations of your Planning and Zoning Commission with reference to the proposed sign ordinance and pass the measure uncontested and unaltered. DAVID HARTMANN David Hartmann is the former chairman of the New Braunfels Planning and Zoning Commission and a current member of the City Historic Landmark Commission. It is with grateful thanks that I commend Jan Kotylo, Bill Norvell, Peter Olsen, James Whetstone and Chairman Randy Haugh for their stand as true public servants who represent the majority of citizens of New Braunfels. Now let us hope and pray that County Judge Danny Scheel and the Commissioners Court do what they can to preserve the county from further sign pollution. Because of health, I will not be able to be present Monday evening to further my commentary or answer any questions related to official city records from 30 years past. Therefore, it is my earnest plea that each of you do your duty in representing the majority of your constituents. LETTERS POLICY ■ Letters must be 250 words or less. ■The Herald-Zeitung reserves the right to edit all submissions. ■ Guest columns should be 500 words or less and must be accompanied by a photo. ■ Address and telephone number must be included so authorship can be confirmed. Mail letters to: Letters to Editor do Herald-Zeitung RO. Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, TX 78131-1328 Fax them to: (830) 606-3413 e-mail them to: news@herald- I III ll 11 mill mow to comer United States Government 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: 145 Duncan Drive, Suite 120 San Antonio 78226 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 2184 Washington, D.C. 20515 Telephone: (202) 225-4236 Fax: (202) 225-8628 Web address: (Send e-mails through Web site.) SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 1100 NE Loop 410, Suite 640 San Antonio 78209 Telephone: (210) 821-5024 Fax: (210) 821-5947 ■ Henry Cuellar 1404 Longworth House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 Telephone: (202) 225-1640 Fax: (202) 225-1641 Web address: SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 1149 E. Commerce St., Suite 210 San Antonio 78205 Telephone: (210) 271-2851 Fax: (210) 277-6671 MOW WI CONTACT Texas Government iiiiiiiiiiiiin 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 E-mail address: carter.casteel @ STATE SENATE ■ Jeff Wentworth 1250 NE Loop 410, Suite 720 San Antonio 78209 Telephone: (210) 826-7800 WHILE IN AUSTIN: Telephone: (512)463-0125 E-mail address: jeff. Wentworth @ ■ Judith Zaffirini RO. Box 627 Laredo 78042-0627 SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 12702Toepperwein Road #214 San Antonio 78233 Telephone: (210) 657-0095 Fax: (210) 657-0262Parents need to step up to quell the increase in sexual activity among teens xm vv CALTHOMAS Cal Thomas is a columnist for Tribune Media Services International. Direct all mail for Cal Thomas to: Tribune Media Services, 435 N. Michigan Ave, Suite 1500, Chicago. IL 60611, or leave an e-mail at www. cal tho mas. com. More than the weather gets hot in Tampa, Fla. A survey of the Hillsborough County school district has revealed nearly half of high school students and one in five middle school students claim to have had sexual intercourse. And this is surprising news to many Hillsborough parents. The Youth Risk Behavior Survey, compiled in four thick volumes by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, polled more than 5,000 randomly-selected Hillsborough students finding that nearly one-third said they ,*ere propositioned to buy, bought or sold drugs while at school. More than 9 percent of male students and nearly 12 percent of female students said they had been forced to have sex. Reporter Marilyn Brown, in the Dec. 11 edition of the Tampa Tribune, reported on a small PTA meeting of Hillsborough par ents and grandparents, who said they didn’t know about the survey, but were interested in the results. Sex educators promised that more information about sex would mean, if not less sex, then “safer sex.” The CDC survey reveals the opposite to be true with younger kids having sex and condom use declining with age, dropping from 78 percent usage in eighth grade to 61.4 percent for high school seniors. Leaving out the emotional and spiritual damage caused by early sexual activity (which is significant), the physical and societal consequences of teen sex are considerable. According to a Heritage Foundation policy paper by Robert E. Rector, sexually transmitted diseases, including incurable viral infections, are now epidemic. While we contemplate a bird flu pandemic, 3 million teenagers contract STDs every year, afflicting about one-in-four sexually active teens. Rector writes about research that has shown a correlation between sexual activity among adolescents and the likelihood they will engage in other high-risk behavior, such as tobacco, alcohol and illicit drug use. Pediatrics magazine (Vol. 87, No. 2 Feb 1,1991, pp 141-147) reports that sexually active boys ages 12 through 16 are four times more likely to smoke and six times more likely to consume alcohol than those who describe themselves as virgins. With fewer models in culture, or at home, for stable, two-parent families, by the time teens reach their 20s, many are living together and having babies in a nonmarital environment that has been modeled befor e them through personal experience, the media and their peers. Though true abstinence-only programs have been effective in altering sexual behavior, the so-called “sex education” programs in government schools do more to promote sex than prevent it, giving lip service to chastity while spending most of the class time teaching kids how to use condoms. If parents care enough about their children to want to do more than fret about such things, they are going to have to radically alter their approach to childrearing. Step one is to pull them from the government schools that serve as hothouses for this kind of behavior and thinking. Step two is to reduce lavish lifestyles so that parents work less and invest more time in their children, with one parent actually staying home to make the home a safe haven. Step three is no television in the home. Television has become hostile to the things most parents want their children to believe and embrace. It is deadly to their moral development; it encourages disrespect for fathers and undermines those things that used to make families a strong, positive cultural force. The government schools and the sex and entertainment industries aren’t about to fix the problem. The responsibility to properly raise children belongs to parents The state and various interest groups have no right to develop the moral fiber o a child and, in fact, they are speedily undermining that development. If parents don’t want any more surprise: like those in Tampa, they have to rescue their kids from a hostile culture, just as they would rescue them from a burning building. In fact, those "buildings” are enveloped in the flames of self-indulgence. And the damage is not only to theii bodies, but also to their minds and souls. ;