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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 13, 1991, New Braunfels, Texas Opinions DAVID SULLENS, Editor and Publisher JANINE GREEN, Managing EditorPage 4A    HeraW    Ze/fung,    New    Braunfels,    Texas         Wednesday,    February    13,    1991Har«ld-Zfitun$ Published Sunday morning, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons by New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, 707 Landa St., or P.O. Drawer 311328, New Braunfels, Texas 78131-1328. Second Class postage paid by New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung at New Braunfels, Texas. DAVID SULLENS Editor and Publisher JANINE GREEN    LONE'    BEASLEY Managing Editor    Advertising    Director CHERYL DUVALL Business Manager KAREN REININGER Classified Manager CAROL ANN AVERY Circulation Manager GUS ELBEL Pressroom Foreman Carrier delivery in Comal, Guadalupe, Hays, Blanco and Kendall counties: three months, $10.25; six months, $17.90; one year, $32. Senior Citizens Discount (carrier delivery only); six months. $14.90; one year, $27.00. Mail delivery outside Comal County, in Texas: three months, $18.00; six months, $32; one year, $60. Mail outside Texas: six months, $42; one year, $70. lfyou have not received your newspaper by 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, or by 7:30 a.m. Sunday, call 625-9144 or 658-1900 by 7 p.m. and ll a.m., respectively. Postmaster: Send address changes to P.O. Drawer 311328, New Braunfels, Texas 78131 1328. Janine Green Policy on letters seeing change “Change is the only evidence of growth,” science tells us, and the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung is in a season of change. Some changes — like the arrival of new editor and publisher David Sullens — you’ve read about; others you can see on our pages. Today, we’re instituting some changes in the letters policy, which appears on the Opinions Page. The most dramatic of these changes is a length limit, set at 300 words. I’d be dating myself if I quoted my high school English teacher’s advice to write an essay “like a girl’s skin, long enough to cover the subject but short enough to be interesting." The expats in our trade tell us a reader loses interest in a subject as its length increases. Also, keeping the individual components of our twice-weekly Forum at three to five column inches per letter would allow us to include a wider range of opinions each time the column appears. With longer letters taking up a greater proportion of the allotted space, you’ve sometimes had to wait a week or more for your neighbors’ reaction or response to events and issues. The new length limit should allow us to get letters in the newspaper more quickly. The volume of Forum letters already is enviable. I’ve worked in larger markets where the newspaper printed periodic appeals for letters to fill a small space set aside for them each Sunday. The Forum should be as varied as the Heralds readership. Limiting letter writers to one acceptance for publication each month may help than choose their topics with care. And we hope it will encourage those who don’t normally write to put pen to papa. In the same way you learn a lot about a child by meeting his parents, we believe an idea is enhanced by knowledge of the thinka. Anonymity eitha angers readers, negating the value of the opinions expressed, or sets up a disruptive guessing game on the writer’s identity. The Herald no tonga will withhold the names of letta writers. While we ask for a complete address and phone numba with each letta, we promise not to publish those — though we will add a community of residence to each signature. That phone numba allows us to contact you if the need arises to verify who wrote the letta, to double check a word choice (since we don’t all have typewriters and penmanship may not be your specialty), or to get more information if we feel a news story is in orda. The Herald wants to provide a forum for your thoughts. The way we see it, we’re here to serve the community. Janine Often is mnaging editor of the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. Forum Letter policy The Herald-Zeitung welcomes correspondence concerning topics of general inierest. All letters must be signed and include an address and telephone number for verification purposes — only the name and community of residence will accompany the letter in print. No anonymous letters will be accepted. Length is limited to 300 words and letter-writers to acceptance for publication only once per month. The newspaper reserves the right to refuse any letter as well as edit all letters. The letters become the property of the Herald-Zeitung. Letters should be sent to Forum, New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, P.O. Drawer 311328, New Braunfels, Texas 78131-1328, or brought to our offices at 707 Landa. Lamar Smith_ Federal budget based on wasteful spending Mike Royko Ribbons, rallies: Is that all there is? School tax credit Editor: ■ It was recently reported that a small town in New Hampshire has become the first community in the nation to grant a property tax credit for taxpayers who educate their children outside the local schools. Under the plan, taxpayers will receive up to $1,000 in property tax abatements if they pay to educate a high school student outside the school system. I believe that in Texas it is time for innovative expaiments and models to be tested that could lead to betta education at a lower cost to taxpayers. The design should recognize that education is primarily the responsibility of the parents; continue the philosophy that the best schools should be available to any child who is willing to work and has the ability; and encourage understanding and respect between different races and economic groups. The key to cost reductio) may well be changing the school districts’ role from that of providing education to that of providing expertise and monitoring. It has been pointed out that any meaningful educational reform will likely come from the grass roots. I hope that people who arc like-minded on this issue will be drawn together as future tax increases are enacted. Fred Matthews New Br ousels ’Kaleidoscope’ of thanks Editor: On behalf of the Board of Directors of the New Braunfels Children’s Museum, I would like to publicly thank all the members of the New Braunfels Service League for their efforts in making ‘Kaleidoscope* such a wonderful event for the children in our community. As many as 2,500 children had the opportunity to be a pot of the creative an experience sponsored by Hallmark Cards in late January. Children were given the opportunity to explore their own creativity by seeing, touching, imagining and creating their very own art. While the Children’s Museum invited Hallmark to bring this unique display to New Braunfels, it was hard work and cooperation of the Service League volunteers who assured our children’s visit was such an enjoyable one. Certainly special thanks go to Connie Juries for organizing and schedul ing the many Service League volunteers during the 10-day period. Because of their commitment and support, the children of New Braunfels were able to experience a wonderful, creative an unique learning adventure. Thanks to all fa a job well done. Michael J. Fitsko New Braunfels Children’s Museum Just getting even Editor: Head this “Innovative way to raise taxes” a “How they ga even when you fight City Hall.” I vocally supported the roll-back effort. Later, I vocally and with an ad in your papa, opposed the 'A -cent sales tax increase. More recently, I went before the City Council and was critical of the fire marshal for nor enforcing the ordinance against high weeds and grass on lots or parcels in the city. It seems that he was reluctant to enforce it against the developers or the city for that matter. I was also critical of the amateurish way the road department Iud overlaid the streets. After the meeting, Councilman Good-bread called me a trouble-maker. Well, we all make mistakes, but they say if you recognize your mistakes you will IMH repeal them. I made a mistake. Prior to the last election, I put up signs and vocally encouraged voters to vote for James Goodbread. Well, I recognize my mistake and won’t make that mistake again. Last spring, I received a notice that the taxable value of my home was being increased. I asked my neighbors if their value had been increased and they said no. I then went to the Tax Appraisal office to find out why my valuation was going up. I was taken into one of the cubbyholes by one of the men and after much work with the computer and a couple of trips into another room, he said the reason my home value had gone up was because when my home was originally appraised they didn’t show it had bathrooms (the house is three years old). They just found out I had bathrooms so they increased my valuation. Anyone who believes this was the reason my taxes are going up, I have some beachfront property in Death Valley I would like to sell them. I think they were just gelling even. A W. Saunders New Braunfels Congressional and Administration officials met for IO days last September to find innovative ways to slice large chunks from the eva-growing budget deficit. During that lime they carved out a $60,000 piece of pie for food and drink, according to information released in January. Of this amount, $34,000 went to meals. An additional $14,500 kept the summittccrs in coffee, pastries, fruit, cheese, candy and soft drinks in the main room. Another $2,100 supplied separate Democratic and Republican caucus rooms with chips and other snacks. The rest of the money was spent on drinks. When trying to knock $500 billion from the federal deficit, it docs not appear appropriate to be dining on prime rib and sundaes. The point is not that eating hamburgers would have reduced the deficit significantly. It would not. However, this is symptomatic of the mind-set of the federal government: “We can cut programs or we can raise taxes.” These arc not our only options. Culling government ovehead by IO percent the first year and holding overhead spending lo the rate of inflation — approximately 4 percent — for the next four years would save an estimated $135 billion over that five-year period. That estimate comes from taking the government's total indirect costs, $340 billion, and excluding $70 billion designated for research and development. This leaves $270 billion in annual government overhead. The first-year savings would be $27 billion, IO percent of the total. Savings realized could be even higher since this is the arca where many managers pad their budgets. My staff investigation showed that the federal government does not normally track overhead costs, which include travel, supplies and communications. This month, I plan to introduce a resolution in the House that would call for cutting federal government overhead by IO percent. This does not mean that each item of overhead must be cut IO percent. It means the total overhead should be reduced IO percent. This allows federal managers to cut where possible, such as reducing travel or reducing the number of news releases mailed out. A revolutionary concept to the fed-cral government, cutting overhead by IO percent is a way of life for Fortune 500 companies. Our survey showed that businesses routinely cut overhead by IO percent, or more, when the economy slumps. In addition to introducing this legislation, I will look for examples of government waste and report them to the proper governmental authorities. One prime example of waste has been through travel. Travel jumps significantly in September, the last month of the fiscal year, almost doubling August expenditures. A Maryland-based travel agent who used to deal with the federal government recently dropped the government account because he was appalled at the waste. He cited one incident where a federal agency representative called to say they had $49,000 left in their travel budget. The agency representative reportedly told the travel agent to “set up some meetings. We’ll figure out what they’re about lata.” It is this kind of waste, premeditated waste, that we must stop. It already is out of control. I nm w Smith in U.S. Representative for Con greisional District 21, which includes New Braunfels. “I got a problem,” Slats Grobnik said. “See, I'm behind our troops ova there, but I don't know what to do about it. I don’t wanna just sit around watching Blitz Woofer and these other TV guys. I wanna do something.” No problem. Have you thought about flying a flag above your home? “What good will that do?” Well, I suppose it would la your neighbors know that you feel patriotic. “I don’t care what my neighbors think. All I want from them is not to walk their dogs on my front grass, the slobs.” Then you might consider wearing a yellow ribbon ai your coat lapel or tied to your car antenna. “For what?” Because it would la people know that you would pre fa that this country win the war, rather than see Iraq win it. “Well any goof ought to know that. You think if I don’t wear a ribbon somebody will think I got a pin-up post a of Saddam in by parlor?” “So what good will it do if I pin a piece of yellow suing to my jacket?” It will let people who pass you on the street know that you are concerned. “So some stranger knows I’m concerned. Everybody is concerned. My wife watches ONN so much that she knows that whole commercial about bleeding gums by heart. What good will it do to let some guy I pass on the street know that I’m concerned? Maybe he’ll just think I spilled pea soup on my lapel.” I don’t know. Have you though of going to a support-the-troops rally? “No. What happens if I go to one?" Oh, you’ll hear speeches, sing the National Anthem, cheer, yell, wave a flag and maybe you'll be on TV. “Yeah? What good will that do? I mean, besides maybe getting me a screen test for a horror movie?” It will let the other people at the rally know that you stand shoulder to shoulda with our troops. “What’ya mean, we stand shoulda to shoulda with the troops? They’re dug in ova in the desert geum’ ready to shoot it out with some real mean guys, and I'm siltin’ here on a bar stool. And if I go to a rally. I’ll be standing on a sidewalk instead of sitting on a bar stool. So eitha way, what good does it do, huh? At least sitting here, I ain't going to tie up a bunch of cops who got to work crowd control. Besides, when I sec those things on TV, the people act like it’s some sort of pep rally. I saw one guy hold up his finger and yell ‘We’re numba one.* What did the yo-yo think, this is a football game?” Then all I can tell you is to call a talk show or send a letta to a news-papa to express your views. “You mean I should say: ‘If we gotta fight this war, I hope we win and that too many people don’t get killed.' Then what happens?” I suppose the talk show host will thank you and talk to someone else. “That’s it?” Well, what do you expect? “I dunno. But in World War II, when I was a kid, people did stuff. Everything was rationed. Gas, some kinds of food, anything they needed in the war. And people worked in defense plants, night shifts, day shifts, weekend shifts. And we saved grease and bought Wa Bonds, and put up signs saying that loose lips will sink ships. I walked around for a month with my lips stuck togetha with paste. They stopped making cars, you couldn’t hardly buy a chocolate ba, and the feds would pinch black market peddlers. We had air raid drills and blackouts, and my old man wa* assistant air raid warden on our block until the night he had one too many and started shooting his shotgun at the streetlights. He thought they were German planes. So at least people were doin' somethin’." Yes, but we don't have defense plants anymore. And those industries that manufacture defense products have an ample labor pool. Jobs ae snapped up as soon as they become available. Of course, you could buy stock in a defense contractor. “Would that help the wa effort?" In a way. If the wa goes on for a long time, you might turn a tidy profit in that stock. Then you would have more income, which would mean that you could pay more in taxes. And since this is going to be an extremely expensive wa, that might help defray the cost. “Is that going to help the troops?" I suppose it might cover some burial expenses. “That’s not what I had in mind. Hey, why can’t we have gasoline rationing?” Because there’s no gasoline shortage. “Wha about buying bonds?" They’re already selling like crazy. Good, solid investment in a bear market. “Then there’s nothing I can do?" You might try praying. “I tried thai. Korean Wa, Vietnam War." So? “So the lines must have all been busy.”TV CAMBIA * MOUNTED IN WARHEAD - CONFIRMS TARGET UXfcON'" AND IMPENDING DESTRUCTION BV LASER-GUIDEq UNSTOPPABLE'*" RECESSION MISSILE. ;