New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 1, 1996, New Braunfels, Texas
41“I Herald-Zeitung ii Thursday, February 1,1996
■ To talk with Managing Editor Doug Loveday about the Opinion page, call 625-9144, ext. 21
H e r a
t u n g
■ ■ Opinion
■ To submit letters and guest columns electronically by way of online services or Internet, or to simply contact staff members, the Herald-Zeitung’s address is [email protected]
“The writer’s overpowering Impulse is to gyrate before his fellow man, flapping his wings and emitting defiant yells. This being forbidden by the police of all civilized countries, he takes it out by putting his yells on paper.”
— H.L. Mencken critic, 1942
No traffic circle problems here — try Paris
EDITORIALCure found for the blues
Parks and Recreation Department’s 1995 program guide full of ways to stay busy
“Mom, I’m bored.’’
Parents all over the country no doubt hear that refrain at least some time during the summer. The kids are out of school, and after a couple of weeks, the thrill of summer vacation wears off, and you have children complaining that there is nothing to do.
But the wise parent has a valuable tool with which to combat the summertime blues — and it’s free.
The New Braunfels Parks and Recreation Department 1996 Program Guide is packed with programs and facilities that can keep a family busy all summer long.
Of course, the city has Landa Park, with its world-class pools, miniature golf, playground, train, paddle boats, recreation center and hiking trail.
But the city also offers Project Wild, Aquatic Project Wild, Project Learning Tree, Adopt-A Wetland, historical tours, Karate Kids, canoeing courses, Nature’s Way, Camp Thunderduck, Discovery Camp, Jr. Ranger Camp, Junior Lifeguard Camp, nature hikes,’Wildlife Detective, Animals, Animals, Animals, For* the Birds, Creature Features, Creepy Crawlies, Let’s Go Fishing, fitness programs, tennis lessons, swimming lessons, basketball leagues, Concerts in the Park, a punt, pass and kick competition, and lots, lots more.
To get the lowdown on where and when all these programs are offered, and how much they cost, pick up the 1996 program guide at the parks office on Golf Course Road in Landa Park, at the recreation center in Landa Park, or at the city municipal building on Casten Street.
It is free, but the information inside can be priceless for any parent.
Armed with this handy booklet, you will always have an answer for that age-old summer complaint, “There’s nothing to do.’’
(Todays editorial was written by City Editor Roger Croteau.)
The 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 250 words. We publish only original mail addressed to the .Nm’ Braunfels Herald-Zeitung bearing the writer’s signature. Also, an address and a telephone number, which are not for publication, must be included.
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New Braunfels, Texas 78131-1328
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Editor and Publisher............................................................David Sullens
General Manager/Advertising Director..............................Cheryl Duvall
Managing Editor...........................................................Doug Loveday
Retail Advertising Director.................................................Jack Osteen
Accounting Manager........................................................Mary Lee Hall
Circulation Director....................................................Carol Ann Avery
Production Director.........................................................Gene Joyner
City Editor.....................................................................Roger Croteau
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One of the joys of my job is getting to read and typeset letters sent to the editor. When I become dictator of the world, or at least Comal County, I will enact a law whereby citizens will be required to write letters to their local newspaper editor at least once a week. Congratulate, castigate, compliment or condemn whomever or whatever you choose, but write. Complain, commend, correct or condone — you choose the subject. You can even move on to the “D” verbs if you run out of “C’s” — deny, detest, defend, desire. But be civil. And keep it short. We have actually received 20-page faxes from certifiables who apparently had something to say but lost their train of thought in the second or third sentence. Those letters didn’t get published. An engineer doesn’t require 700 cars and a caboose to leave the depot but he does need an engine and a destination. Get to know both before writing. THEN write.
Many people have sent in letters of complaint about the downtown Plaza traffic circle. It seems to be a hazard, a folly of our town’s street planners, a confusing enigma of our otherwise orderly city. It is a nightmare to some, anathema to more. At the very least, it is a challenge.
Actually, it is nothing more than an intersection of two streets with no electric lights to designate the right of way. And that is the problem. Drivers are faced with the decision of when to proceed and when to yield. We are a principled society and there really should be no confusion about when to enter and how to leave the circle. Here are the rules:
♦ Traffic already inside the circle has the right of way.
* When two adjacent lanes are entering a two-lane circle, the left-hand lane must go to the inside lane of the circle; the right-hand lane goes to the outside lane of the circle.
* Vehicles in the inside lane of the circle MUST signal and move to the outside lane before leaving the circle. (Corollary: Vehicles in the inside lane DO NOT have right of way over traffic circulating in the outside lane.)
* Vehicles exiting the circle from the outside lane MUST signal before exiting.
THAT’S IT! There’s nothing else to it. There should be no problems. So where does the confusion lie?
Answer: In human nature and/or ignorance.
Some people never want to Allene yield. Others would rather yield
than anything else in the world Slaker and will do it for hours, given
the chance. These folks are usually at a dead stop directly in front of me at the yield sign even when there are no vehicles within six blocks of the Plaza.
Some drivers choose not to signal, or are unaware that signaling devices even exist. These types like to get in front of me, too, but not when I’m sitting still.
And there are actually a few drivers out there who think that as long as a turn signal is not flashing in front of them, no one is planning a turn. These people have just arrived from Mars.
I am curious as to how many letters to the editor the French newspaper Le Monde receives each week about the traffic around the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Also known as l’Etoile (the star), this traffic circle is 8- or 9-unmarked-lanes wide. TWELVE streets enter the circle, making our little Plaza area look like a pretender.
Being the country France is, the rules of driving differ from those of civilized nations. At traffic circles there, INCOMING cars have the right of way, which means if you are already in the circle and cars are preparing to enter, you should move over to the left a lane or two. As more cars enter (remember, there are TWELVE streets meeting here), more cars have to move to the inside. If you get stuck in the innermost lane, you had better have a sack lunch on hand and not be the type who gets sick on carousels.
A friend of mine stayed in a hotel overlooking I’Etoile and filmed the chaotic traffic scene below. He and his camcorder witnessed 9 wrecks within 15 minutes. Most were mere fender-benders or mild sideswipes. In every instance, though, the drivers got out and flapped their arms and got red in the face and walked around and around before getting back in their cars and trying again. Those who watch the video laugh while they bite their nails. Driving in that part of Paris is not for agoraphobes and definitely not for those few New Braunfelsers who think we have problems enough of our own.
And how would our little downtown traffic circle, with its two, wide, well-marked lanes fare if Parisians were to visit and travel around the Plaza a few times? Well, for one thing, if they drove according to their own rules, things would quickly get a lot more confusing than they already are. More people would be stopping altogether at the yield signs and even more would rush in and out of the circle giving no indication of their immediate plans.
And sure as you’re bom, the Herald-Zeitung would receive another big batch of letters to the editor — plush Pullmans along with empty boxcars — which I would still enjoy reading.
(Allene Blaker is a Herald-Zeitung columnist and editorial assistant.)
More interest rate cuts may be coming
By MARTIN CRUTSINGER
AP Economics Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve, hoping to avoid the mistake it made before the last recession, has cut interest rates for a second time in two months and many analysts believe more credit easing is on the way.
These economists believe the Fed will have the leeway to ease credit as much as needed to keep the country out of a downturn this year because unlike the last recession in 1990, inflation is not a threat.
“The Fed recognizes in hindsight that it didn’t see the problems developing in 1990 until it was loo late,” said David Wyss, economist at DRI-McGraw Hill Inc. in Lexington, Mass. "This lime they want lo be on top of things.”
One difference between now and 1990 is that inflation is expected to remain calm, with energyToday In History
By The Associated Press
Today is Thursday, Feb. I, the 32nd day of 19%. There are 334 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
One hundred years ago, on Feb. 1, 18%, one of the best-known operas of all lime, “La Boheme” by Giacomo Puccini, premiered in Turin.
On this date:
In 1790, the U.S. Supreme Court convened for the first time, at the Royal Exchange Building in New York. (However, since only three of the six justices were present, the court recessed until the next day.)
In 1861, Texas voted to secede from the Union.
In 1893, inventor Thomas A. Edison completed work on the world’s first motion picture studio, his “Black Maria," in West Orange, NJ.
In 1920, the Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceAnalysis
prices retreating after a brief blip upward.
The government was scheduled to release today its report on retail prices in December. Analysts widely predicted that the cost of living edged up less than 3 percent last year, the fourth consecutive year for such a performance, something that hasn’t happened in three decades.
The Fed cited low inflation pressures as a primary reason it was able to cut interest rates Wednesday. It reduced the federal funds rate, the interest that banks charge each other, from 5.5 percent down to 5.25 percent.
It also reduced its largely symbolic discount rate, the interest it charges on direct loans to banks, to 5 percent.
The actions should stimulate economic activity
came into existence as the Royal Northwest Mounted Police merged with the Dominion Police.
In 1943, one of America’s most highly decorated military units of World War II, the 442d Regimental Combat Team, made up almost entirely of Japanese-Americans, was authorized.
In 1946,50 years ago, Norwegian statesman Trygve Lie was chosen to be the first secretary-general of the United Nations.
In 1960, four black college students began a sit-in protest at a lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C., where they’d been refused service.
In 1968, during the Vietnam War, Saigon’s police chief Nguyen Ngoc Loan executed a Viet Cong officer with a pistol-shot to the head in a scene captured in a now-famous news photograph.
In 1979, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini received a tumultuous welcome as he stepped off a jetliner in Tehran, ending nearly 15 years of exile -
Ten years ago: 4,000 people gathered at the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Fla., to
by lowering the cost of credit. The Fed rate cut was followed immediately by the announcement of major banks that they were cutting their prime lending, the benchmark for millions of consumer and business loans, from 8.5 percent down to 8.25 percent.
Private economists said Wednesday’s rate cuts were not likely to be the last.
“Tile Fed is clearly concerned about spreading weakness in the economy," said David Jones, chief economist at Aubrey G. Lanston & Co.
He noted that the central bank, in explaining its action in a brief statement, for the first time cited slowing economic growth as a reason for cutting rates.
In last year’s two rate cuts in December and July, it had cited only die good inflation outlook.
Some analysts said the central bank will be forced to play catch-up now to make sure the current weakness does not deepen into something worse.
bid farewell to the seven crew members of the space shuttle Challenger.
Five years ago: South African President F. W. de Klerk said he would repeal all remaining apartheid laws. Thirty-five people were killed when a USAir jetliner crashed atop a commuter plane on a runway at Los Angeles International Aiiport.
One year ago: The Federal Reserve boosted interest rates by half a percent, the seventh rate hike in a year. House Republicans pushed through a bill restricting the federal government’s ability lo impose unfunded mandates on states.
Today’s Birthdays: Opera singer Renata Tebaldi is 74. Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin is 65. Singer Don Everly is 59. Actor Garrett Morris is 59. Actor Slierman Hemsley is 58. Comedian Terry Jones is 54. Singer Rick James is 44. Princess Stephanie of Monaco is 31. Lisa Marie Presley is 28.
Thought for Today: “When you look into a mirror you do not see your reflection — your reflection sees you.” — Anonymous.