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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 1, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas Page 4A — Herald-Zeitung — Saturday, February I, 2003Forum Contact Managing Editor Gary E. Maitland, 625-9144 ext. 220 New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung 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. Doug Toney, Editor and Publisher Gary E. Maitland, Managing Editor (830) 625-9144 Other views The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, on Busks State of the Union speech: President Bush offered the most specific explanation to date for his drive to make war on Iraq. Less forceful, and less credible, was his outline of a domestic battle plan. Bush framed the need to force the disarmament of Iraq in the global context of the larger war on terrorism. His speech linked the body of evidence that Saddam Hussein has continued to amass chemical, biological and nuclear weapons and al-Qaida. The president used that link as justification for military action to prevent future terrorist attacks.... But trusting solely in military might is likewise neither strategy nor option. Building a truly democratic nation out of the ruins of Iraq’s fallen dictatorship will take time, money and likely continued loss of American lives. ... Bush’s defense of his strategy on domestic matters was less compelling, and far more familiar: Boost the economy with tax cuts heavily weighted toward the top of the economic scale. Make health care more affordable by limiting injured patients’ ability to seek compensation. Shift social service expenses to private agencies and charities. Spend more on drug treatment but earmark much of it for “faith-based” programs. Offer senior citizens much-needed prescription drug coverage but only if they leave Medicare for private insurance programs. Create “healthy forests” by lifting restrictions on timber harvests on federal forestlands.... There was certainly more power in Bush’s speech when he talked of carrying war abroad than when he spoke of delivering economic security at home. After [the speech], it seems there can be little to deter Bush from imposing America’s will on Iraq, with or without the support of the rest of the world. Today In History —- By The Associated Press Tbday is Saturday, Feb. I, the 32nd day of 2003. There are 333 days left in the year. Tbday’s hisotry highlight: On Feb. I, 1943, one of America’s most highly decorated military units of World War II, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, made up almost entirely of Japanese-Americans, was authorized. On this date: 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 (xutrrY.needft affcrdafcle health cane. TiiftCoiMY needs aPWawe health cans.* awm Policy iVihie» courmryneede. affc*dS=le health cafe. "_ The Herald-Zeitung encourages the submission of letters. Letters must be 250 words or fewer, and the Herald-Zeitung reserves the right to edit all submissions. An address and telephone number, which are not for publication, must be included so authorship can be confirmed. Letters must be confirmed before they will be printed. Mail letters to: Letters to the Editor c/othe Herald-Zeitung P.O. Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, TX 78131-1328 Fax: (830) 606-3413 e-mail: [email protected] It’s your money: Sign petition to force a vote Maria,” in West Orange, N.J. In 1920, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police came into existence. In 1946, 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 1979, Ayatollah Ruhol-lah Khomeini received a tumultuous welcome in Tehran as he ended nearly 15 years of exile. Our current 4B Economic Development Board receives three-eighths of I percent of the sales and use tax coming into the city. This amounts to approximately $2,250,000 per year. We recently learned that none of this money can be used for existing residential street maintenance and repairs. It must be tied to economic development and can only be used for adding new streets or maintenance and drainage work in areas that would benefit economic development. I am proposing the placement of two propositions on the May 3 ballot. One proposition would reduce the 4B Economic Development tax from three-eighths of I percent to one-eighth of I percent. The remaining one-eighth percent, approximately $750,000 per year, would remain available for all 4B Economic Development projects. The second proposition would dedicate two-eighths of I percent, approximately $1,500,000 per year, for ah city street repairs and maintenance on streets existing at the time the tax is voted in. This would be a four-year plan and would have to come before the voters again at the end of four years for renewal. Write’Em President George W. Bush 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW Washington, D.C. 20500 U.S. Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Dallas R&xn 284 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510 (202) 224-5922 Fax: (202) 224-0776 8023 Vantage Drive, Suite 460 San Antonio, TX 78230 (210) 340-2885 Debbie Flume We cannot continue to build new streets without repairing the ones we currently have. I believe we can fund the major street and drainage projects and still have a surplus for remaining street projects. There is currently $13,000,000 in the city’s reserve account of which at least $5,000,000 must remain. We can fund the drainage portion of the entire Churchill and Wright project ($5,721,880) and the Comal Avenue reconstruction project ($368,762) for a total of $6,090,642, from the reserves (less the general fund budget for street maintenance of $200,000) leaving in reserves $7,109,358. From the remaining one-eighth of I percent in the 4B economic development fund we can bond up to $5,000,000. This would cover the drainage portion of the Landa Street project ($1,458,120), the drainage portion of the Gruene Road project ($2,137,034) and the County Line Road extension ($961,078) for a total of $4,556,232. The two-eighths of I percent dedicated to street maintenance over a four-year period would generate approximately $6,000,000. These funds would cover the District I residential street projects ($792,688), the street portion of the entire Churchill and Wright project ($1,056,140), the street portion of the Landa Street project ($1,055,880) and the street portion of the Gruene Road project ($1,748,482) for a total of $4,653,190, leaving a surplus of $1,346,810 for additional street repair and maintenance. It’s your money! It’s your streets! Do you want the right to vote? If you do, then show up this weekend (with your voter registration card) on the comers of the Downtown Main Plaza, sign the petitions, and on May 3 exercise your right to vote. (Debbie Flume is the District 3 representative for the New Braunfels City Council.) Fax: (210) 349-6753 U.S. Congressman Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio Room 2231 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 (202) 225-4236 1100 NE Loop 410, Suite 640 San Antonio, TX 78209 (210) 821-5024 Governor Rick Perry State Capitol, Room 2S.1 P.O. Box 12428 Austin, TX 78711 (800) 843-5789 Fax: (512)463-1849 Texas State Representative Cartel Casteel, R-New Braunfels How to contact in Austin: (512) 463-0325 Fax: (512) 463-5896 e-mail address: carter.casteel @ Texas State Senator Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio 1250 NE Loop 410, Suite 720 San Antonio, TX 78209 (210) 826-7800 Fax: (210) 826-0571 How to contact in Austin: (512) 463-0125 Fax: (512) 463-7794 E-mail address: jeff.Wentworth® Judith Zaffirini D-Laredo PO. Box 627 Laredo, TX 78042-0627 (956) 722-2293 12702 Toepperwein Rd #214 San Antonio, TX 78233 (210) 657-0095 Fax: (210) 657-026Barriers against media concentration set to fall AUSTIN — Now here’s a dandy example of the kind of thing that never makes it to the front page or the top of the news broadcast, but that affects absolutely everyone. The Federal Communications Commission, led by Michael (“my religion is the market”) Powell, is fixing to remove the last remaining barriers against concentration of media. This means one company can own all the radio stations, television stations, newspapers and cable systems in any given area. Presently, IO companies own over 90 percent of the media outlets. Bill Kovach of the Committee of Concerned Journalists and Ibm Rosenstiel of the Project for Excellence in Journalism say these are the most sweeping changes in the rules that govern ownership of American media since the 1940s. The ownership rules were put in place after we had seen how totalitarian governments use domination of the media to goad their countries into war. We already know what happens when the free market zealots •SR Molly Ivins remove restrictions on ownership. In 1996, the FCC eliminated its rules on radio ownership. Conglomerates now own hundreds of stations around the country. One company, Clear Channel, owns more than 1,200 stations, and there are 30 percent fewer station owners than there were before 1996. The result is less local news and local programming, since the formats are programmed at headquarters. Clear Channel owns as many as six or seven stations in a market, broadcasting generic country, generic pop, generic oldies, etc. The fearless investigative television journalism we have all come to expect (an hour-long special on Michael Jackson’s face in the works) will not be improved by this move. The FCC is doing this in an almost covert way. FCC Commissioner Michael Copps reports that only under pressure did the commission agreed to hold one lone public hearing on it, in Richmond, Va. A coalition of consumer and media advocacy groups presented a 140-page filing that shows joint ownership of newspaper and broadcast outlets fails to meet the constitutional requirement, set out by the Supreme Court in 1945, that “the widest possible dissemination of information from diverse and antagonistic sources is essential to the welfare of the people." In 1987, FCC commissioners appointed by Ronald Reagan repealed the Fairness Doctrine, and that has already had a stunning effect on political debate in this country. That same year, Congress put the Fairness Doctrine into law, but Reagan vetoed it with this memorable rationalization, “The Fairness Doctrine is inconsistent with the tradition of independent journalism.” The Fairness Doctrine had been upheld by the Supreme Court in a 1969 decision that viewed the airwaves as a “public trust” and said fairness required the public trust to accurately reflect opposing views. In a 1986 decision, the D.C. Federal Court of Appeals in a 2-to-1 decision upheld a new FCC rule refusing to apply the Fairness Doctrine to television text. The two prevailing judges were Antonin Scalia and Robert Bork. Edward Monks, a lawyer in Eugene, Ore., did a report for the newspaper there last year on the prevalence of right-wing hosts on radio talk shows. “The spectrum of opinion on national political commercial talk radio shows ranges from extreme right wing to very extreme right wing — there is virtually nothing else.” Monks notes the irony that many of these right-wing hosts , spend much of their time complaining about “the liberal media." On the two Eugene talk stations, Monks found: “There are 80 hours per week, more than 4,000 hours per year, programmed for Republican and conservative talk shows, without a single second programmed for a Democratic or liberal perspective.... Political opinions expressed on talk radio are approaching the level of uniformity that would normally be achieved only in a totalitarian society. There is nothing fair balanced or democratic about it.” Tb point out the obvious, broadcasters and their national advertisers have a clear stake in promoting the views of those who advocate lower taxes on the rich and on big corporations. What is so perfectly loony about the FCC’s proposal to unleash yet another round of media concentration is that it is being done in the name of “the free market.” Is the free market not supposed to encourage competition rather than lead to its disappearance? The U.S. now ranks 17th, below Costa Rica and Slovenia, on the worldwide index of press freedom established by the Reporters Without Borders. (Molly Ivins is a syndicated columnist.) ;