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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 4, 1996, New Braunfels, Texas 4^CUjleralcLZeih^ {Opinion ■ To talk with Managing <Editor Doug Loveday 'about the Opinion '-'page, call 625-9144, ext.’21 H e raid Z e i i t u n g Opinion Online contect ■ 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] Q ll O T A B “Evidence is not evidence until it conies from [the courtroom], not the ll o'clock news. ( — Lance Ito U.S. jurist, 1994 EDITORIAL Outstanding citizens Nominations from readers needed for H-Z Citizen of the Year, Unsung Hero awards Several nominations have arrived at the Herald-Zeitung office for this year’s Citizen of the Year and Unsung Heroes awards — but not near-r ly enough. With a deadline of Friday, Feb. 9 set for submissions, time is running out to put together your nomination for a deserving friend or neighbor. As has been stated in a previous column by H-Z editor and publisher David Sullens, the newspaper’s Reader Advisory Board will make the final selection for Citizen of the Year through secret ballot. The many Unsung Heroes to be recognized will be chosen by a panel composed of members of the newspaper’s management team. But we don’t nominate people for the awards — you do. We encourage individuals and organizations to take the short time needed to compose a letter outlining the reasons they believe that person deserves the recognition of Citizen of the Year or Unsung Hero (in the past, Unsung Heroes have also been couples or groups of people). If you’re wondering just who would qualify for a nomination, here’s the basic criteria: ■ Citizen of the Year award will go to the person judged to have made a notable and lasting contribution to the Comal County community and/or surrounding area during the 12 months preceding publication of the Horizons ’96 project in late March. ■ Unsung Heroes are those people who, receiving little or no recognition, unselfishly find ways to make the community a better place. It’s that simple. But the process grinds to a halt without nominations. After the selections are made, recipients will be honored at a reception the afternoon of Friday, March 29, to which families and local officials and dignitaries will also be invited and at which advance copies of the Sunday Horizons section will be distributed, according to Mr. Sullens. , Inside that Sunday edition, stories and photographs of the Citizen of the Year and the Unsung Heroes will be published. To make nominations for either award, submit your letter in person to the newspaper office or mail it to The Herald-Zeitung, 707 Landa St., New Braunfels, TX 78130, or fax it to the attention of Managing Editor Doug Loveday at 210-625-1224. E-mail nominations may be sent to [email protected]). Thanks. (Today's editorial was written by Managing Editor Doug Loveday.) Write us ... 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 New Braunfels Herald-Z*eitung bearing 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 is mentioned. Preference is given to writers who have not been published in the previous 30 days. Mail letters to: Tatters to the Editor do the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung P.O. Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, Texas 78131-1328 Fax:(210)625-1224 New Braunfels Herald -Zeitwig 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 Published on Sunday mornings and weekday mornings Tuesday through Friday by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (USPS 377-880) 707 Landa St., or P.O. Drawer 311328. New Braunfels, Comal County, Tx. 78131-1328. Second class postage paid by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung in New Braunfels, Texas. Carrier delivered in Comal and Guadalupe counties: three months, $19; six months, $34; one year, $60. Senior Citizen Discounts by carrier delivery only: six months, $30; one year, $36. Mail delivery outside Comal County in Texas: three months. $28.80; six months, $52; one year, $97.30 Mail outside Texas: six months, $75; one year, $112.23. Subscribers who have not received a newspaper by 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday or by 7:30 a m. on Sunday may call (210) 625-9144 or by 7 p m. weekdays or by 11 a.m on Sunday. Postmaster: Send address changes to the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, P.O. Drawer 311328, New Braunfels, Tx. 78131 -1328.Underground tank cleanup vital In an address before the General Assembly of the United Nations, President John F. Kennedy said, “Never before has man had such capacity to control his own environment.... We have the power to make this the best generation of mankind in the history of the world — or to make it the last.” The Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission constantly endeavors to ensure that this generation is the best by protecting the state’s water, soil and air from contamination. Preserving the environment is a formidable, continual, expensive, noble and necessary task, as reflected in the agency’s efforts to clean up more than 11,000 leaking petroleum tank sites in Texas. Congress recognized that leaking storage tanks were a potential threat to the nation’s underground water supply, and in 1984 created a broad regulatory program for tanks containing petroleum and other registered hazardous materials. The Texas Water Commission, one of the predecessor agencies of TNRCC, responded to Congress’ program through a statewide tank registration effort that resulted in identifying more than 173,000 storage tanks, many of them old and corroded. Others were abandoned or improperly installed and/or maintained. At least one in four leaked, posing a threat to the environment, primarily to water sources. The threat mandated a massive cleanup effort. In 1989, the 71st Texas Legislature created the Petroleum Storage Tank Remediation Fund. Supported by bulk delivery fees that annually generate $60 million, the fund’s assets were used to reimburse owners and operators if they cleaned up sites. Thousands of tank owners responded. After the 72nd Legislature expanded eligibility criteria in 1991, reimbursement demands drained the fund’s assets. In 1992, the 73rd Legislature approved a $120 million loan from the general revenue fund to reimburse claims and establish a cleanup priority system. The loan was repaid, and TNRCC devised the first state plan to prioritize contaminated sites. TNRCC identified tanks that posed the greatest threat to human health and safety, and the cleanup process continued. Since 1989, the state has reimbursed tank owners approximately $280 million. Texas received approximately $24 million in federal money for the cleanup, but costs continue to mount. An additional $1.3 billion is needed to clean up existing sites. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that from 12,000 to 15,000 more unreported tanks are leaking and could cost $1.2 billion to remediate. In April, EPA delegated its authority to TNRCC, simplifying reporting procedures and placing the state in charge of the cleanup process. The 74th Legislature modified this program. House Bill 2587 by Rep. Clyde Alexander, D-Athens, and Sen. Bill Sims, D-Paint Rock, set a deadline for reporting leaking tanks to ensure that their owners are eligible for reimbursement. Additionally, the bill provides violation penalties and stipulates that the Judith Zaffirini reimbursement program will end on Sept. 1,2001. Only tank owners who reported known tanks by Dec. 31,1995, will be eligible for reimbursement. All tanks installed after Dec. 1. 1995 must be registered within 30 days to remain eligible for reimbursement. Exceptions will be made for owners of registered facilities who discover unregistered tanks, property owners who did not know tanks were on their properties and government agencies. Contaminated sites discovered after Dec. 22,1998, will not qualify for reimbursement funds. Tank owners should have their tanks inspected prior to that date. Those concerned about leaking tanks should notify TNRCC via 512-239-2200 for cleanup and registration information. Almost 7,000 sites, averaging 2.5 tanks per site, have been cleaned in Texas. SD 21 reflects more than 9,873 registered tanks. According to Joe Woodard, director, TNRCC Petroleum Storage Tank Division, 2,302 tanks at 921 locations in SD 21 are contaminated and are active cleanup sites. Most registered tanks contain gasoline, diesel or other petroleum products and are located at gasoline service stations and convenience stores. Fewer than 5 percent contain hazardous chemicals such as industrial solvents and pesticides. This cleanup is expensive, as indicated by cost estimates as high as $2.5 billion. Protecting the environment is important, however, for as President George Bush said, “A better America is a cleaner America.” (Judith Zaffirini is a state senator for New Braunfels.) What do you think? TwouM you favor a flat tax system in place of Republican presidential candidate Steve Forbes has sprinted ahead of former front-runner Sen. Bob Dole in many voter polls. Analysts believe his call for a flat tax (as well as his barrage of television ads) has struck a chord with many in the Republican Party. Wqgggfit to know if you would support a flat tax, irvwhich all Anglicans would pay the same percentage of their income. Fill out the coupon (right), drop it by our office at 707 Landa St., New Braunfels, TX 78130 or fax survey to (210) 625-1224. Copied forms are acceptable. Deadline for this survey is Saturday, Fab. 10,1996. I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I L our current tax system? Yes No Comments: Norrie _ Address. Phone#! City_ Age. Sex .rrcnt t-----—--— ""“I I Write ‘em U.S. GOVERNMENT OFFICES: • Lamar Smith President of the U.S. I IOO N.E. Loop 410, Ste. 640 Bill Clinton San Antonio, TX 78209 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW 210-821-5024 Washington, D.C. 20500 202-456-1414 Frank Tejeda 1313 S.E. Military Dr., Ste. 115 Vice President of the U.S. San Antonio, TX 78214 Al Gore 210-924-7383 Old Executive Office Bldg. 17th St. and Pennsylvania NW TEXAS GOVERNMENT OFFICES: Washington, D.C. 20501 202-456-2326 Governor George W. Bush P.O. Box 12428 U.S. Senators for the state of Texas: Austin, TX 78711 512-463-2000 Phil Gramm 402 E. Ramsey Rd. Attorney General Dan Morales San Antonio, TX 78216 P.O. Box 12548 210-366-9494 Austin, TX 78711 512-463-2100 Kay Bailey Hutchison 961 Federal Bldg. Slate Senator Jeff Wentworth 300 E. 8th St. 1250 N.E. Loop 410 Austin, TX 78703 San Antonio, TX 78209 512-482-5834 210-826-7800 U.S. Congressmen: FAX: 210-826-0571 The Survey Says Five readers responded to last week’s survey question, “Was the U.S. correct to punish the soldier who wouldn’t serve in a U.N. operation?’’, and the majority were opposed to the dishonorable discharge handed down by the military court. The responses follow: ■ As a U.S. Army retiree, I give the soldier respect for standing up and fighting for what he thinks is right. Is he any different than Clinton, who chose not serve in Vietnam, yet he is allowed to be president? ■ lf the U.S. wants to be in every battle in the world, let them hire their own army. Keep our army American and in America, where they belong. He was constitutionally right. ■ In a voluntary military: (1) A volunteer should be allowed to leave the military without penalty when he cannot support the UCMJ, Universal Code of Military Justice; (2) A bad conduct discharge gives him no credit for his good conduct. ■ I fought in Europe in WW ll. We knew the enemy by their uniform, and we were not fighting for or serving our country for a draft-dodging, yellow belly like Clinton. We have no business there. ■ As a military person you don’t get to pick and choose the orders you’re going to obey. Also, NATO is running the operation and not the U N. The soldier was convicted of disobeying a lawful order. Today In History By The Associated Press Today is Sunday, Feb. 4, the 35th day of 1996. There are 331 days left in the year. Today's Highlight in History: In 1789, electors unanimously chose George Washington to be the first president of the United States. On this date: In 1783, Britain declared a formal cessation of hostilities with its former colony, the United States of America. In 1801, John Marshall was sworn in as chief justice of the United States. In 1861, delegates from six southern states met in Montgomery, Ala., to form the Confederate States of America. In 1932, New York Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt opened the Winter Olympic Games at Lake Placid. In 1938, Thornton Wilder’s play “Our Town” opened on Broadway. In 1941, the United Service Organizations, or USO, came into existence. In 1945, President Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin began a wartime conference at Yalta. In 1948, the island nation of Ceylon — now Sri Lanka — became an independent dominion within the British Commonwealth. In 1974, newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst was kidnapped in Berkeley, Calif., by the Symbionese Liberation Army. In 1975, more than 22,000 people died when a severe earthquake struck Guatemala and Honduras. In 1977,11 people were killed when two cars of a Chicago Transit Authority train fell off elevated tracks af ter a collision with another train. In 1983, singer Karen Carpenter died in Downey, Calif., at age 32. In 1987, pianist Liberace died in Palm Springs, Calif., at age 67. Ten years ago: President Reagan, in his fifth State of the Union address, proclaimed “a Great American Comeback” from years of economic woes, and told ajoint session of Congress that America was “growing stronger every day.” Five years ago: Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani offered to hold talks with Iraq and the United States in an attempt to mediate an end to the Gulf War. President Bush sent Congress a $ 1.45 trillion budget for fiscal 1992 containing a deficit of $280.9 billion. One year ago: A standoff between the United States and China escalated into a trade war, with each country ordering stiff tariffs against the other. Today's Birthdays: Civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks is 83. Feminist author Betty Friedan is 75. Actor Conrad Bain is 73. Former Senator Donald Riegie, D-Mich., is 58. Comedian David Brenner is 51. Bonner Vice President Dan Quayle is 49. Rock singer Alice Cooper is 48. Actress Lisa Eichom is 44. Country singer Dint Black ii 34. Thought for Today; “No human creature can give orders to love.” — George Sand, French author (1804-1876). ;