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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 11, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas Page HERALDZEITUNG February 2001 FORUM Contact Managing Editor Margaret Edmonson at 6259144 NEW BRAUNFBLS HERALDZEITUNG New Braunfels Zeitung was founded 1852 New Braunfels Herald was founded The two papers merged in 1957 and printed in both German and English until Doug Editor and Publisher Margaret Managing Editor Jo Lee News Editor 830 6259144 motorists can share the road You cannot really blame bicyclists for believing that no one wants them around these Garden Ridge City Council is considering amending its traffic ordinances to prevent large of bicyclists from riding through town except on FarmtoMarket Road Cyclists also could be required to get permits and pay application fees for large rallies and Jeff Wentworth has proposed legislation that would prohibit bicyclists from riding two abreast on farmtomarket The proposed legislation would require slow vehicle emblems prohibit groups of more than three from rid on roads without improved f Instead of restricting where bicycles can per haps lawmakers should look for ways to make traveling safer for motorists and The state could require Licensing and safety edu cation for This education could begin as i early as elementary school so that young children who rely on bicycles for transportation will not to turn in their Providing more bicycling paths also would give cyclists a safer alternative to riding on farmto market Motor vehicles and bicycles can share the roads if drivers of both would treat the other with more Enforcing and abiding by existing will go a long way toward making the roads 11 safer for cyclists and Today in BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Today is the 42nd day of There 323 days left in the Todays Highlight in History Texas is no California On President elect Lincoln departed Spring for In American inventor Thomas Alva Edison was born in Its easy to see theres a crisis in California these Every we read reports of severe electricity You may be wondering if this could happen in The answer is No for three key Texas is building power plants and power lines to stay well ahead of customer California is This the Public Utility Commission issued updated figures on our power Thanks to our new 35 power on the hottest day of this coming we should have a percent excess power reserve above firm cus tomer Texas is an electricity buyers with a reserve margin near is a sell ers This plant construction happened because the Texas Legislature allowed any company not just util ities to enter the power generation market in The PUG has set out clear rules to speed the connec tion of new power plants to the power The per mitting process is also clear and As a PAT WOOD it takes about two years to build a effi cient power plant in compared to six or seven years in A second key difference between Texas and California is the diversity of our power Last about 46 percent of our power came from gas fired 41 percent from coal and 13 percent from nuclear West Texas is now the hub of wind power but up for a couple of By California depends on hydroelectric power including a large amount from outside the state for 25 percent of its Hydropower is great when it but when it the safety cushion Here in we dont reply on intermittent our focus in Texas is on implementing competition before deregu Workable competi tion is a much better regu lator than But until there is sufficient supply of power and the wholesale market is work ing it doesnt help customers to deregulate a Thats why the Texas plan has a 12year which began in Pennsylvania is one state thats doing it right by focusing on competition Customers there already are seeing savings of up to 15 percent on their monthly Texans ability to shop and save is coming June In the next few five percent of the retail cus tomers of the states investorowned utilities can enroll in the Retail Choice Pilot Enrollment means you can choose your electric provider seven months before such freedom comes to other Look for information in your electric bill next The power of choice is Get ready to use Pat Wood III is chair man of the Public Utility Letter To The Editor Businesses carry heavier tax burden Dear Editor A recent letter to the edi tor by Comal Independent School District Trustee John Bertelsen was wellwritten and accurate regarding the benefits of the homestead exemption to the CISD prop erty I think it is important to point out that the 20 percent homestead exemption that CISD patrons receive does not apply to the businesses in when Allen Trial claimed that CISD has one of the highest tax rates in the state of he is correct when applied to property owned by This is yet another exam ple of the role that local businesses play in order to benefit all our Because of the Farmto Market Road 306 industrial area being included in that district gets 41 percent of its local property tax revenues from The WalMart Distribution Center became the districts largest taxpayer even after a tax abatement Residential property owners in the NBISD pay as much as 80 percent of the property taxes because of the lack of more taxable commercial value in that More commer cial value in the NBISD would be beneficial to NBISD residential taxpay I hope well remember these facts the next time someone wants to complain about business in our com Business not only pays a large portion of the tax burden but also steps up to the plate for good such as the United each and every Dennis Heitkamp Comal ISO taxpayer Submit Letters To the Letter via email at news or fax at 830 Smoking ban another step away from independence Without much the New Braunfels City Council soon will ban smoking in local offices and Americans who lived during earlier times would not have tolerated that which is hardly I am a nonsmoker and find cig arette smoke in my face to be I choose not to eat in restaurants in which I cannot avoid It is my decision I j to People who are extreme ly sensitive to yet choose f to go to restaurants that allow also have made a i iThey have no reason to y Some restaurant owners have chosen to make their facilities That is their deci sion to If smokers dont ft want to patronize those restau i that is a decision they can I This is how it is supposed to work in an adult where j the adults enjoy the liberty of self j We make our deci l sions and live with the conse The world of parental govern ment is a vastly different I Government makes rules to pro tect the citizen from the conse quences of his It is a world of feudal lord and serf of elite and inferior of parent and In this the idea of private property must be When Karl Marx wrote his mani yesto his blueprint for the of a perfect feudal first rule was that there could no private property as Quy found KATHY MCLEOD ing that human liberty is dependent upon the concept of private We are increasingly steering our country away from We want to make our own deci but we demand protection from the consequences of those should they turn out less than From abortions to school lunch programs from wel fare and food stamps to govern ment provided health insurance from abandonment of children to day care centers to increased drug use from bankruptcy to a demand for cures for our lifestylegenerat ed we Americans have become increasingly childish in our expec Like drug we are first seduced into a dependence which ultimately enslaves The concept of political correct ness has affected every aspect of American even our medical Thus certain such as AIDS are not treated as the public health threats that they and speaking out against the behaviors which spread these dis eases is considered in poor taste at and as intolerant bigotry at Smokers who develop heart or lung diseases arent treated with concern for their sensitive To the they are approved targets for vilification by anyone who considers himself or herself to be They are expected to suffer rude insults and increasingly restrictive But second hand smoke is dan gerous for everyone Some will We that some research has proven something and we take it as yet much of the research being touted is question able at The last few years I worked as an I conducted research for the medical school in Dallas and I discovered that unbi ased research is very difficult to do and requires that the researcher have no stake in the results of the A study fund ed by government agencies col lecting settlement funds from tobacco companies is no more unbiased than research paid for by tobacco If you read the proven results of various you will discov er that eggs are bad for eggs are good for us coffee is bad for coffee is good for us saccha rine will kill saccharine is safe longterm antibiotic therapy in children with middle ear infec tions is such therapy is use less and even f In a recent issue of this a local doctor claimed that smoking in the home could be blamed for about 50 percent of the cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrpme SIDS each this baf fling syndrome is another pie of conflicting At one parents wefe advised to take their babies home on expen sive infant apnea they are usually told that such monitors are not Parents in the United States are told to never place their babies chestdown in the In parents are advised to wrap their crib mattresses in so that the infants wont inhale the fumes from flame retarding After about three years of such the SIDS incidence in Australia fell almost 50 Despite the uncertainty sur rounding the catchall diagnosis of doctors feel free to inform smoking parents of babies who have died that their smoking is But if 50 percent of infants succumbing to SIDS were from homes in which that means that 50 percent were from nonsmok ing Is it better for babies to live in a smokefree environment Just as its better for them to live in a twoparent home and be fed nutritious meals and receive close and loving supervi sion by their a diag nosis of SIDS means that the cause of death There is no proof that casual secondhand smoke is anything more than a This isnt a public health issue it is an issue pf private property and the prop er role for government in a governing What will our government protect us from next If restaurants and bars were unable to sell alcoholic there would be fewer drunks on the road to harm us with their incompetent And what about the single biggest health problem in America obesity Shouldnt the government regu late portion sizes and nutritional content of the food we buy in restaurants It already has start Banning vending machines in even high is being The same kids who are assumed to be old enough to engage in sexual activi to become parents and to oper ate potentially deadly are assumed to be too weak minded to decide whether or not they should drink a like drug is the only way to turn a once free people into dependent wards of the Our elected representatives discovered years that they can achieve through incremental that which we wouldnt toleratein one giant The perfect example is the withholding Whether its the incremental nationalization of American health limitations on per mitted speech in increasing confiscation of the American workers earnings or the steady erosion of private property we are even those we elect to change the very nature of Losing our liberties a little at a time is like losing our blood a little at a We may hardly notice it until it is too Kctthy McLeod is q New Braunfels ;