New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 19, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
Page AA ■ Sunday, Feb 19.1994
■ To talk with Managing Editor Mark Lyon about the Opinion oage. cal! 625-9«44, ext 21
d - Z e i t u n g
Q U O T I
“The First Amendment as we understand it today rests on die premise that it is government power, rather durn private power, that is the main threat to free expression.”
* Sandra Day O'Connor Supreme Court Justice, 1994
Don’t take the risk
Failing to get your pet vaccinated for rabies could cost more than your pet
Due to a rabies epidemic in the extreme portions of South Texas, rabies, an age-old disease which plagues wild animals and unfortunately domesticated animals as well, a campaign to have pets vaccinated for the disease is well underway.
Since the outbreak began, rabies cases have been climbing and geographically, they have been appearing closer and closer to the Comal and Guadalupe County area.
Yesterday, the Comal County Veterinary Medical Association held a rabies clinic at three locations in the county for minimal costs in an effort to help prevent cases from developing locally. The Herald-Zeitung promoted the clinic on the front page of Wednesday's edition.
lf you missed the clinic, you can still have your pet(s) vaccinated by simply calling your veterinarian. It could be one of the most important phone calls you make.
Rabies doesn’t just affect animals. Once animals are infected and become rabid, they can infect people, even children from only one bite.
Prevention is the key.
If you see an animal which looks suspicious, perhaps mad or drooling, do not approach it. Be smart and call the Comal County Sheriffs Department, your local vet, or your local animal shelter and let them do what they are trained to do.
(Today's editorial was written by Mark Lyon, managing editor for the Herald-Zeitung.)
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-Zeitung 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 Also, an address and a telephone number, which are not for publication, must be included.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.
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Letters to the Editor c/o The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung
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New Braunfels, Texas 78131-1328
Editor and Publisher.......................................... David Sullens
General Manager .........................................................Cheryl Duvall
Managing Editor................................................................Mark Lyon
Advertising Director........................................................... Paul Davis
Circulation Director...................................................Carol Ann Avery
Pressroom Foreman..................................................Douglas Brandt
Classified Manager .....................................Karen Reinmger
City Editor.....................................................................Roger Croteau
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More Choice and More Competition
Ii appears the board of the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce soon may be asked to endorse a resolution in support of Texas telephone companies' effort to secure relaxed regulation.
The Chamber should not adopt such a position, no matter how innocuously worded it may be. (Such resolutions, presented to other chambers of commerce, have called for progress, change, competition and brighter tomorrows, things so broad as to be almost meaningless, but they are intended to be presented to legislators as endorsements of the phone companies' efforts to end regulation.)
There are many reasons for the Chamber not to endorse such a resolution.
What follows is a column written toward the end of January by my good friend Dolph Tillotson, the publisher of The Galveston County Daily New’s. It makes the very complicated and controversial telephone deregulation issue about as understandable as it can be.
The telephone companies in Texas are again in Austin seeking relaxed regulation so they can make more money.
Many other Texans, including most of the state's
newspapers, oppose blanket deregulation for good reasons. They fear local franchise holders have too much power to monopolize new businesses such as home computer information services.
If you own a home computer or a telephone, you’ve got a dog in this fight. What is at stake is the future development of the much-talked-about information highway in Texas — what new services arise, who provides them, how much they will cost.
The phone companies say: We need relaxed regulation in order to bring to Texas fiber-optic cable and other innovations.
If you don't listen very, very carefully, you would think regulation prohibits such development. Actually, there is nothing in state law or Public Utility Commission regulations that prevents those developments today.
In fact, they are underway now.
The phone companies say: We'll spend $1.5 billion on infrastructure if you free us from restrictions.
That's the same promise the phone companies made in the late 1980s when they sought rate increases. At the very least, Texans should require the promise to be in writing and in detail this time. Make the commitment real.
The phone companies say: Freeing us from regulation will bring new jobs to Texas.
In the next decade, experts predict 80 percent of the state’s jobs will come from small businesses.
Those are precisely the kinds of businesses that could be squeezed out of the picture if the phone companies get their way.
The phone companies say: Newspapers that oppose deregulation are dinosaurs vainly trying to hang onto the dying past.
Actually, opposition does not come just from newspapers. It comes from a broad coalition of media companies, cable TV, AT&T and other long distance providers, small businesses and virtually every consumer group in Texas.
Newspapers are not trying to cling to the past. Many are leading the effort to develop new, innovative computer-telephone information services.
Those who oppose telephone deregulation are more interested in encouraging competition than in stifling it.
It is our hope that Texans will have a dazzling array of choices for computer-telephone information sources. Newspapers, of course, hope to participate in that exciting future.
It is our biggest fear that each community will have one choice only for such services. That will be the same choice they have now for local telephone service — no choice at all.
The good news is consumers do have an opportunity to speak on this issue. No doubt they will call clearly for more choice and more competition. That is best in the long run for everyone.
(David Sullens is editor and publisher of the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung.)
A whopping 244 roaders responded to last week's Herald-Zeitung reader survey question which asked if Comal County Commissioners were right in making the alcohol sales hours in the county 12 arn (weekdays) and 1 a.m. (Saturdays). Approximately 220 readers said commissioners were wrong while 24 agreed with them. However, many responses from both sides indicated that they would like to see an election so that the people can determine the hours, instead of the commissioners.
What do you think?
Fill out the coupon (right), drop it by our office at 707 Lands in New Braunfels and well report the results in next Sunday's edition. One vote per person. No names will be published. Deadline to submit your opinion is Friday, Fab. 24. Copied forms are accepted.
Can the Republicans afford to be left behind?
It’s the dead of winter During recent Republican administrations this has meant numerous network television reports on the homeless. These reports usually linked the “insensitive" and “harsh" policies of the Reagan and Bush administrations to the plight of those who slept on heating grates and on occasion froze to death.
With the exception of a few local newscasts, the homeless watch is virtually over for the networks. There have been no suggestions that President Clinton is to blame for those foraging in trash cans and eating out of dumpsters or sleeping in cardboard boxes.
One man is trying to rise above the political battle by actually doing something to help the homeless. Not only is Ohio Congressman Tony Hall a Democrat, he is proposing a solution that might work and wouldn’t cost the taxpayers any money—something that ought to appeal to Republicans.
Beginning in his home district of Dayton, Hall has persuaded the local Democratic Party to open its headquarters to homeless people Sounding like
some of his Republican colleagues, Hall said, “Government alone cannot solve these problems. Private organizations must also bear the burden."
The chairman of the Montgomery County Democratic Party, Dennis Lieberman, announced that empty upstairs rooms of the party's building in Dayton will be equipped with bunk beds to house as many people as possible. Most will be the overflow from the St. Vincent Hotel, which currently pays through the local shelter program for overflow residents to sleep in other hotels.
Lieberman says the party’s offer should reduce or eliminate those expenses, currently running between $10,000 to $15,000 per year Local Democrats estimate it w ill cost the party between $1,000 and $2,000 a year to maintain their building as a facility for the homeless. They say they will bear the cost, whatever it is.
Hall also wants doctors, dentists, lawyers and other professionals to donate their services to needy people in the community. If the homeless are able to work, they will receive job counseling, resume help and, it is hoped, be directed into the Job Training Partnership program that develops the skills they need to find jobs.
The executive director of St. Vincent, Jim Butler, told the Dayton Daily News: “This is an ideal soluuon to a problem we’ve been facing for the
past five years. The community didn’t want to create another shelter because of the financial burdens that would have resulted."
An “ideal solution" is not a phrase usually associated with the homeless problem. But if Democrats and Republicans could get together on this significant social concern, they might become a model for other groups and individuals that political and philosophical differences don’t mean people can't work together in true compassion and chanty
The Republican rap is that Democrats see problems as opportunities to create new, expensive and unworkable federal programs. The Democratic rap is that Republicans care too little about the poor and hungry. Hall is providing by example a way to badge that philosophical gap and to demonstrate that where compassion and humanity are concerned, party labels should be checked at the door of at least one pany’s headquarters.
Democrats are showing the way in Dayton. Can Republicans afford to be left behind in that city and in other communities?
(Cal Thomas is a syndicated columnist with Los Angeles Times Syndicate.)
Today in history
By The Associated Press
Today is Sunday, Feb. 19, the 50th day of 1995. There are 315 days left in the year
Today's Highlight in History:
Fifty years ago, on Feb. 19,1945, dunng World War II, some 30,000 U.S. Marines landed on the Western Pacific island of Iwo lima, where they encountered ferocious resistance from Japanese forces The Amencans look control of the strate gically important island after a month-long battle.
On this dale:
In 1473, the astronomer Copernicus was bom in Torun, Poland.
In 1803, Congress voted lo accept Ohio’s borders and constitution, but in a bizarre oversight, did not get around to formally ratifying Ohio statehood until 1953.
bi 1807, former Vice President
Aaron Burr was arrested in Alabama. (He was subsequently tned for treason and acquitted )
In 1846, the Texas slate government was formally installed in Austin.
In 1864, the Knights of Pythias was founded in Washington, D.C.
In 1878, Thomas Edison received a patent for his phonograph In 1881, Kansas became the first stale to prohibit all alcoholic beverages
In 1942, President Roosevelt signed an executive order giving the military the authority to relocate and intern Japanese-Americans.
In 1959, an agreement was signed by Bntain, Turkey and Greece grant-ing Cyprus its independence In 1963, the Soviet Union informed President Kennedy it would withdraw “several thousand" of an estimated 17,(XX) Soviet Hoops in Cuba
220 readers say Commissioners were out of line
From staff reports ■ Do the citizens of Comal County
run this county or do the commissioners and the police? Are we a dictatorship? This situation does not generate capital within the county. What is wrong with this picture?
■ It was voted in by the people. It shouldn't be taken away by a few people. Enough of our Constitutional nghts are being infringed upon. Lets stop it here. I am an adult and cap decide for myself where and when I want to go somewhere. Small business will be hurt by this,
■ I felt the commissioners were right but still I would have liked to have had a say in it. What would it have hurt to let the people have a say in this by having an election. I like the idea, but I am only one person. There is more at stake here
Approximately 220 Herald-Zeitung readers said that Comal County Commissioners were wrong in changing the hours of county alcohol sales from 2 a rn to midnight (weekdays) and to I a rn on Saturdays. Approximately 24 readers responded favorably, saying the agreed with the commissioners' decision.
Some of the responses included:
■ I agree The changes will hun the local tourism industry.
■ The commissioners abused their authonty by playing God for their voters. The best way would have been to have a vote and let the people decide. This is a good example of government doing their own interest - not the people's.