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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 21, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas Page 4A — Herald-Zeitung — Sunday, December 21, 2003 Herald-Zeitung Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. New Braunfels Zeituqg 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 I. Maitland Features Editor Brian Grant Editor and Publisher Doug Toney Circulation Director Craig Pauling Advertising Director Courtney Abernathy Business Manager Heather Grant Our Opinion Water fight worth county’s attention o The battles over water will grow as the demands for this limited resource grow. Every citizen should pay close attention to water issues in Comal County. f all the big political issues that local governments will face in the decades to come, none compares in importance to the fights developing over water rights. The rapid growth in and around Comal County is already straining our infrastructure — roads, sewer and water lines, utilities. There’s plenty of aggregate to build roads. More pipes for water lines can be laid. Power lines can be strung. But water is different. The battles over water will grow as the demands for this limited resource increase. So it comes as little surprise that the Guadalupe-Bianco River Authority and the City of Bulverde filed a lawsuit Thursday over water rights. They are challenging the rights of Bexar Metropolitan Water District to provide serve Bulverde residents. GBRA and Bulverde have asked Comal County’s commissioners to join the fight. Commissioners will be briefed on the issue Jan. 8 and vote later next month on whether to get involved. These water fights are complicated and emotional. But they are incredibly important to local citizens. That’s reason enough for every citizen to pay close attention to legislative and judicial matters involving the most precious of all our resources. Today in History By the Associated Press Today is Sunday, Dec. 21, the 355th day of 2003. There are IO days left in the year. Today s Highlight in History:    „ On Dec. 21,1620, Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower went ashore for the first time at present-day Plymouth, Mass. On this date: In 1898, scientists Pierre and Marie Curie discovered the radioactive element radium. In 1913, the first crossword puzzle was published, in the New York World. In 1945, Gen. George S. Patton died in Heidelberg, Germany, of injuries from a car accident. In 1958, Charles de Gaulle was elected to a seven-year term as the first president of the Fifth Republic of France. In 1968, Apollo Eight was launched on a mission to orbit the moon. In 1971, the U.N. Security Council chose Kurt Waldheim to succeed U Thant as Secretary-General. In 1978, police in Des Plaines, IU., arrested John W. Gacy Jr. and began unearthing the remains of 33 men and boys that Gacy was later convicted of murdering. In 1988,270 people were lulled when a terrorist bomb exploded aboard a Pam Am Boeing 747 over Lockerbie. Scotland, sending wreckage crashing to the ground. LITTIItS SOUCY ■ 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. Letters to the Editor Mail letters to: Letters to Editor cjo Herald-Zeitung RO. Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, TX 78131 1328 Fax them to: (830) 606 3413 e-mail them to: news@herald- Voters have spoken twice; time to move ahead on civic center . Seems to me the reasons we need a new or improved civic center are getting shoved to the back burner. I’m sure the best minds in the city can figure out how to do it in a more affordable way. First, we are a city of over 41,000 with a 33-year old, outdated, single-use facUity. Answer: Create a multiuse one with modem amenities. Not gold-plated, just durable and long-lasting like our current one. Second, our city is dependent on sales tax revenue to pay for city services—police, fire, garbage and so on. Year-round, high-dollar visitors will help fund these instead of from my pocket only. I urge city leaders to move ahead. Yes, update the existing studies if necessary, but keep your eye on the prize! The voters have spoken, twice. Don’t waste time appeasing those few who just can’t accept the fact their views have not been accepted by the majority in previous elections. John Seidel New Braunfels Forget the civic center; why not do something for our children? On behalf of the 100,000 children in this area who desperately need or want a new skating rink/recreation center/dance club, we want to thank the city, county and chamber for spending all that money on things that will have absolutely no effect on our lives as much as building “our’’ complex. Ten million dollars for the technology center to teach kids how to fix an auto fender; $12 million to $ 14 million to build a new civic center when the one we have might need a little touchup. Could it be the chamber wants new offices? A $750,000 loan to a bankrupt company that doesn't even have to pay all of it back. And all the studies being done in vain to attract new businesses to our area. Why not do something for "our" kids? Today’s children need even more (attention and help than any other time in the history of our great nation — with obesity on the rise, test scores going down, drop-out rates going up, teen pregnancies, drug problems and the list could go on and on. So why doesn’t everyone get together and help “our" kids. Find a way to get this taxpaying won derful project, that would create 15 to 20 jobs, open. By the way, Merry Christmas and maybe a Happy New Year, if tpiyone cares about “our” kids. Jim Pace New Braunfels Same song third or fourth verse — on civic center plan It was only a matter of time, I guess, until we heard from the “anti” crowd on the civic center or some other progressive issue. It s been pretty quiet since these folks got whopped in the last three municipal elections. Now we have one of their leaders long opposed to even being able to use hotel occupancy funds on a civic center expansion who now says: let s only use these fluids — nothing else. Talk about hypocritical! Then in the same letter to the editor the writer explains die virtue of maintaining 4B economic development sales tax dollars as a needed “tool in the tool chest." This from the same person not successful in leading the campaign to strip the community of these dollars as recently as November 2002 — wow! Betty I Dunking just for the record, the chamber didn’t run the campaign for it, it was once again the overwhelming majority of citizens who rebuffed your “dose die door behind me” mentality. Dennis W. Heitkamp New Braunfels Wreck victim: Thanks for help At the beginning of June this year I was in a car accident in front of the church across from the old H-E-B. I was run off the road, and my car slammed into the tree. I received only a gash the size of quarter on my forehead right above my right eye. Almost instantly after I hit the tree there were two men by my side. One took his shirt oft and gave it to me to hold over my eye to stop the bleeding. The other talked to me constantly to make sure that I didn t fall asleep. Neit her of these men’s name were in the police report, so I have not been able to give them a proper thank you. I only hope that they read the paper and realize this is for them. I thank you gentlemen for help and allowing me to see that there are still good samaritans in the world. Sarah O'Neal New Braunfels 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: 8023 Vantage Drive, Suite 460 San Antonio 78230 Telephone: (210) 340-2885 Fax: (210) 349-6753 ■ John Cornyn Russell Senate-Hart Room 517 Washington. DC. 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 Fox: (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, DC. 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 Fax: (210) 821-5947 flfsm Texas Government GOVERNOR ■ Rick Perry State Capitol, Room 2S.1 PO. 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: P.O. Box 2910 Austin 78768-2190 Telephone: (512) 463-0325 Fax: (512) 473-9920 E-mail address: carter.casteel® 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 Email address: jeffwentworth®senate ■ Judith Zaffirini P O Box 627 Laredo 78042-0627 SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 12702 Toepperwein Road *214 San Antonio 78233 Telephone: (210) 657-0095 Fax: (210) 657-0262Most empires have lasted 250 years; US nearing that limit CHARLEYRIISI Charley Reese is a columnist for King Features Synicate. You can write to him at PO. Box 2446, Orlando, Flu. 32802. Its clear that the president’s brain is occupied by the neoconservatives who surround him. It s clear from their writings and policy statements that the neoconservatives believe the United States can become the dominant power on Earth. This is a bad judgment that is dangerous and could become lethal. This is why thoughtful people believe it is imperative to defeat Cieorge Bush in the 2004 elections. This wrongheaded policy, cooked up by academics and journalists, is not one that will merely embarrass the United States. It is a wrongheaded policy that could have dire consequences for the American people. This wrongheaded idea that the United States can now dominate the planet rests on a number of fallacies. Let’s look at them. f allacy No. I is the belief that the rest of the world will acquiesce to American dominance. Russia, China and India, not to mention the Islamic World, are not about to go quietly into the sunset. All three have large populations, large amounts of natural resources, and nuclear teeth. Their nuclear teeth mean that the U.S. attempts to bully them will always fall short of being effective. Fallacy No. 2 is the false belief that the United States is as strong as it was in 1945. The truth is we are much weaker. The great manufacturing capacity that became the "arsenal of democracy" has been eroded almost beyond recognition. Our agricultural base has been eroded. Iron ore and oil supplies have been seriously depleted. We are in fact dependent on imports not only for energy supplies but for manufactured goods, strategic minerals, parts for our own strategic weapons systems, and increasingly for food. We are running high federal deficits, high trade deficits and high current account deficits. The value of the dollar is eroding rapidly. Fallacy No. 3 is the false belief that our military is undefeatable. This falsehood has been led by the fact that since Vietnam, we have used our high-tech forces to attack small, poor, defenseless countries such as Grenada, Panama, Serbia, Afghanistan and Iraq. But even Afghanistan and Iraq, both dilapidated and lacking all modern military technology, have put a great strain on America's military forces. We do not yet have full control of either country. Our strength is not jn our ground forces but in our high-tech air power and the ability to coordinate the two. One breakthrough in air-defense technology could seriously weaken us, and you can be sure both Russia and China are work ing assiduously to make that breakthrough. Before you dismiss Russia, you should remember that we are now dependent on Russian spacecraft to reach the space station and that Russia, not us, has the world’s largest mobile intercontinental ballistic missile force. lf we are so strong, why has the president tread so carefully in his dealings with North Korea? Why not bully them as he did Iraq? Why not issue ultimatums? For the simple reason that we would pay a very high price in American casualties if we got into a war with North Korea. Don’ forget, it is their civilian sector that is poor. They have put most of their resources into their military. In 1945, die United States was the strongest and richest country on Earth. In 2003, we are one of, if not the, most indebted countries on Earth. Foreign holders of that debt could wreck our economy simply by deciding to dump their holdings on the market. Domestically we are a divided people with a decadent culture, if you can even call it a culture. Far from entering a period of dominance, we are entering a period of great danger. Most empires have lasted about 250 years, and we are approaching that number. What we need are not empty heads controlled by pseudo-intellectual ideologues but the smartest, wisest leaders we can find. Our future depends on it. ;