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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 26, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas 4A □ Hergrfd-Zeitung □ Friday, December 26,1907 Opinion ■ To talk with Managing Editor Margaret Edmonson about the Opinion page, call 625-9144, Ext. 220. Heratd-Zeitung Opinion OnNno cornroot ■To submit letters and guest columns electronically by way of online services or Internet, a to simply contact staff members, the Herald-ZeHung’s address is QUOTABLE “There must be no secrecy around government decisions or acts which can be made public without bajury to die national interest” Tom Johnson television executive E D I T O R IThanks to those who gave to United Way United Way of Comal County reached a milestone this week as donations to its annual fund drive surpassed the ambitious goal of $370,000. “We felt like, with this generous community, we could make it,” United Way director Joe Rogers said this week. Thanks to employes of such businesses as H-E-B, Wal-Mart, Chekcs in the Mail, Mission Valley Textiles and Comal and New Braunfels school districts, United Way drive chairman was able to put the “over-the-top” insignia on the United Way thermometer on the Main Plaza this week. C omal County deserves a huge pat on the back for giving so generously to such a worthy cause. Ninety-eight percent of the money raised will help 30 local organizations serve those in need in our community. With United Way, donations touch so many lives in so many ways. Thanks goes to all who gave!... and those who helped This week, volunteers throughout the county opened their hearts and gave their time so others could have a happy holiday season. These volunteers donated, wrapped and delivered toys through the C omal County Sheriff’s Office Green Santa program, the New Braunfels Police Department Blue Santa program and the New Braunfels Jaycees Toys for Tots program. Volunteers also gave their time to serve nearly 1,000 people at the I larvest from the Heart dinner Monday night at the New Braunfels Civic Center. In so many ways this holiday season and this year, this community’s spirit of sharing was evident and shines as an example of what makes this community great. (ToJay 's editorials were written by Herald-Zeitung Managing Editor Margaret Edmonson.)Write us The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung welcomes letters on soy public utttue Tile editor rw»nw the right to correct spelling, style, punctuation and known factual errors Letters should be kept to 300 words. We publish only original mail addressed to the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitun# liearing 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 la mentioned. Preference is given to writers who have not been published in tbs previous 30 days Mail letters to: Letters to the Editor co the New Braunfels Herald-Zsntung FO Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, Texas 78131-1328 Fax (830) 625-1224The homeless make a comeback in D.C. New BraunfelsHerald -Zeitung Editor and Publisher, Ext 301........................................Doufl    Toney Managing Editor, Ext 220     Margaret    Edmonson Marketing Director, Ext 208 ................................Jason    Borchardt Classified Advertising Manager, Ext 214...............Karen Reininger Business Manager, Ext 202 .......................................Mary    Lee    Hall Circulation Director, Ext 228 ................................Carol Ann Avery Published on Sunday morning* and weekday mornings Tuesday through Friday by the Vvi Braunfels Herald /strung (USPS 377-880) 707 Lands Sl. or P Q. Drawer 311323, New Braunfels, C oms! County, Tx. 78131 -1328 Periodical postage pad by the New Braunfels Herald-/janw# 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; six months, $33; one year, $62 Mail delivery outside Comal County rn Texas: three months, $30.30; SU months, $55, one year, $103 50. Mail outside Texas: six months. $78; one year, $111.25. Subscribers who have not received a newspaper by 5:30 pm Tuesday through Frisky or by 7:30 am on Sunday may call (830) 625-9144 or by 7 pm weekdays or by 11 am on Sunday. Postman im: Send address changes to the New Braunfels Herald-Zettung, P.O. Rawer 311328, New Braunfels, Tx. 78131-1328. We haven't heard much about the homeless since the Clinton Administration took office nearly five years ago. Until then, homelessness was said to be the result of Republican insensitivity and the economic policies of the Reagan and Bush administrations. Vice President Al Gore thrust the homeless back into the spotlight just before Christmas when he rounded up a group of children from a Washington, D.C., homeless shelter and brought them to the Department of Housing and Urban Development where they served as props for an administration announcement to spend $865 million to help the homeless “find homes and hope." Displaying his theological ignorance (matched only by his environmental ignorance), the vice president said that Mary and Joseph were homeless. In fact, they had left home to pay taxes in another town. They found a “no vacancy” sign at an inn and had to camp in a stable. While traveling I have been turned away from motels because they were booked to capacity, but in seeking other accommodations I never viewed myself as homeless. Cal Thomas A HUD _.    spokesperson f    said the home- fek    less children . a. ~ I were briefed Hfb    before the event. Jessica Christie said the kids were shown a picture of Gore' before he showed up and were given “background information so they would know why he is important.” That would be instructive for the rest of us. The vice president then showed up to what must have been wondering eyes. He read them a Christmas story (hut not THE Christmas story). When the event concluded, the homeless kids — having served his purpose — were shuttled back to their shelter where they could ponder the important company they had briefly kept. Gore told them not to worry because some of America's publishers were going to donate hundreds of thousands of books to them and other homeless kids. Former Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder, now head of the Association of American Publishers, said, “Every American needs to know that reading out loud to children is as important as fastening their seat belt” Things are looking up for the homeless, no thanks to government. Since government benefits have declined, 20 percent of die homeless have checked into rescue missions, according to tile International Union of Gospel Missions. Instead of a government cherie, rescue missions seek to change lives from the inside-out. IUGM Executive Director Rev. Stephen E. Burger says: “Those who lost benefits tend to be alcohol and drug-addicted men and women in their 40s and 50s who previously received Social Security Disability and SSI benefits. The government has finally done away with their drunk checks.” While rescue missions cannot force people to change, they can lead them to confront the responsibility they have to deal with their problems and can empower them in ways that secular government cannot. How cynical of the vice president to use homeless children as props and then immediately thrust them back into their all-too-real world. In the story of the Good Samaritan, the one who tells tile injured man by die side of the road to have a nice day is condemned, while the man who picks up the injured traveler and instructs the innkeeper to care for him at his benefactor's expense is praised. Real compassion isn't a government check and it isn’t using the wretched unfortunates as backdrops for one's political aspirations. Why didn’t the vice president ask the kids to spend the night, or give them sleeping bags or some other substantive gift that might have eased their misery? Ask yourself. If you were homeless, would you prefer t meal and a home to a hook? “No child should have a life where there’s no address for Santa Caus to come on Christmas morning,” Gore said in his most compassionate voice. Thanks to Gore's quick eviction of die homeless kids (they were there for 90 minutes, which included the briefing), Santa could see all of them together in a homeless shelter. Mrs. Bush's story time was better than tiiis. (Cal Thomas is a syndicated columnist.) Other views I Letter to the Editor By The Associated Press Here are excerpts from editorials in newspapers in the United States and abroad: Journal Star. Peoria. III., on Ll S. troops in Bosnia: The best case to he made for extending the stay of U.S. troops in Bosnia is that the peace has been kept. The peacekeepers have done their job. Granted, that peace has been accompanied by very little goodwill to men. But the mass murders of men, women and children have ceased. So, too. the rapes and the starvation camps, and the bombings, and the street fighting, and the brutal ousters of citizens from their homes in the process of religious and ethnic cleansing. This is the case President Clinton made when he abandoned a June deadline for bringing home 8,500 American peacekeepers. Nearly that many soldiers will stay until benchmarks of reconstruction and reconciliation are met, he said With those benchmarks yet to be set, we may be looking at a semi-permanent peacekeeping force here. There is precedent. United States soldiers have helped keep the Korean peace since 1953. The United Nations has had peacekeeping forces in Cyprus since 1964.... Congress may yet have something to say about President Clinton’s intentions. That is OK. Foreign commitments do best when they have the support of the American people. We would adc only that grandstanding he kept to a mint-mum This is an issue unworthy of partisan politicking. Aftonbladet. Stockholm. Sweden, on President Clinton's visit lo Bosnia: President Clinton’s lightning visit to Bosnia could easily be dismissed as a media spectacle for home consumption. But it was not entirely worthless. Clinton made it clear that American soldiers, at least some of them, will remain in Bosnia even after June of next year. In order to gather the support of skeptical Republicans in Congress, there were several congressmen in the delegation. Especially good was that Clinton now wants to avoid setting a new time limit for involvement in Bosnia. The reasoning is that progress in internal Bosnian cooperation, not the date, will determine when a withdrawal can begin.Today in History By The Associated Press Today is Friday, Dec. 26, the 360th day of 1997. There are live days left in the year. Today's Highlight in History: On Dec. 26, 1944, in the World War ll Battle of the Bulge, the embattled U.S. 101st Airborne Division was relieved by units of the 4th Armored Division. On tMs date: la 1776, the British suffered a major defeat in the Battle of Trenton during the Revolutionary War. la 1799, the late George Washington was eulogized by Col. Henry Lee as “first in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen.” la 1S6S, J ames H. Nason of Franklin, Mass , received a patent for a coffee percolator. In 1917, during World War I, the U.S. government took over operation of the nation's railroads. In 1941, Winston Churchill became the first British (mine minister to address a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress. In 1944, Tennessee Williams’ play “The Glass Menagerie” was Arri performed publicly, at the Civic Theatre in Chicago. In 1947, heavy snow blanketed the Northeast, burying New York City under 25.8 inches of snow in 16 hours; the severe weather was blamed for some 80 deaths. In 1972, the 33rd president of the United States, Harry S Truman, died in Kansas City, Mo. Ten years ago: A bomb exploded at a USO bar in Barcelona, Spain, killing one U.S. sailor and injuring nine others; a little-known group called the Red Army of Catalonian Liberation claimed responsibility. Five years ago: Milan Panic con-coded defeat to Slobodan Milosevic almost » week after Yugoslavia’s presidential election. Time magazine announced it had chosen Presidentelect Bill Clinton its 1992 “Man of the Year.” One year ago: Six-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey was found beaten and strangled in the basement of her family's home in Boulder, Colo. (To date, the slaying Dear Editor, I am writing in response to Friday's, Dec. 19 story regarding the traffic issue in Greene. John Paine, owner of a business and property in Greene, Texas, stated that I brought the issue to the Transportation and Advisory Board. When Mr. Paine discussed the matter with me, I simply put Mr. Paine in touch with his City Council Representative Jan Kotylo. Her response was immediate. That was the extent of my involvement. While I greatly enjoy Greene and applaud its success, I have no financial investment there nor reason to become involved in this issue. Susan Phillips New Braunfels remains unsolved.) Today's Birthdays: Actor Richard Widmark it 83. Comedian, composer and author Steve Allen it 76. Comedian Alan King is 70. Actor Donald Moffat (“Clear arid Present Dinger”) is 67. Rhythm-and-blues singer Abdul “Duke” Fakir (The Four Tops) is 62. Record producer Phil Specter is 57. “America’s Moat Wanted” host John Walsh is 52. Retired baseball player Carlton Fisk it 50. Baseball coach Chris Chambliss is 49. Country musician Brian Weterem (Sons of the Desert) is 35. Rock musician Lars Ulrich (Metallic!) is 34. Rock musician J (White Zoo Me) is 30, Country singer Audrey W iggins is 30. Rock musician Peter Wen (Canlehoa) is 28. ;