New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 13, 1987, New Braunfels, Texas
Dm Kramer. Editor find Publisher Jim Water*. Managing Editor
HerwAO-Zeltung, New Braunfels, Texas
Tuesday. January 13,1987
Courage to pay the cost
Mayor Ed Sciantarelli says he doesn’t want to increase property taxes to cover municipal budget shortfalls. He says he is reticent to spend already allocated funds for a drainage study because the city has other needs.
The two positions don’t jibe.
Property taxes in New Braunfels are low in comparison to other towns this size, and whether it is politically wise to advocate appropriate “revenue enhancement” through taxation to cover the city’s coffers, it is without question a fact that City of New Braunfels simply is underfunded.
Property taxes, every penny assessed in 1986 on the ad valorem rolls, did not even pay for our police protection. It is fruitless to talk about cutting services when the level of those services is already at or below what municipal administrators not-so-euphemistically call “survival levels.”
New Braunfels needs drainage Improvements that begin with a comprehensive water shed management study. The town deserves a good police department, needs adequate fire protection and appropriately staffed planning and administrative departments.
We may not like having to pay the price for things we need, but whether you are pro-growth or wish to limit development, the tools needed to do either well will cost more than we have paid to date. It is time we as taxpayers and the city council as leaders make these hard decisions.
Courage is the ability to do what one must despite fear or reluctance. We have that courage here, and it’s time to show it.
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The passion of dispassionate observation
Ait AP News Analysis Sy MICHAEL PUTZEL AP White House Correspondent
WASHINGTON (AP) - Watching Jimmy Carter agonize over the (ate of American hostaes in ran.
Arriving at the White House in the middle of the night to learn that his desperate rescue mission had ended in tragedy and failure.
Watching a gunman empty his pistol at President Reagan.
Listening to a doctor’s almost matter-of-fact announcement that “the president has cancer.”
Seven years after being assigned to cover the White House, this reporter looks back on one of the most important and frustrating assignments of an eventful, 29-year career and sees snapshots of the most dramatic moments. They were times of excitement and horror, rarely of elation.
The dispassionate observer must not celebrate the good times or the bad. Triumph or tragedy, the big stories are hard work.
Despite the popular condemnation of reporters for their supposed fascination with “bad news,” many of the most dramatic stories — including the Iran hostage crisis, the assassination attempt and Reagan’s cancer surgery — had happy endings.
Glamorous as it may seem when one walks up the White House driveway every morning, there are few more difficult places to gather news. Uniformed guards are posted in every corridor, and reporters are prohibited from venturing past their assigned area. The offices of practically all officials, high and low, informed or uninformed, are off limits without an escort, and escorts are assigned only when the officials choose to talk.
Life on a slow day can mean a terminal wait for one phone call to be returned.
Yet. in every great crisis, no matter where it occurs, a vigil is taken up at the White House, for it is there that the president may act, whether it be to wield the nation’s military
might against a renegade Gadhafi or to mourn the deaths of seven astronauts lost in space.
The excitement of major breaking news is electric: There was not a moment of boredom in the hours of waiting for word from Reagan’s last meeting with Soviet Communist Party chief Mikhail Gorbachev at Reykjavik. The very thought later, on the plane home, that the two leaders had seriously discussed — and finally failed to achieve — the abolition of nuclear weapons was enough to astonish and amaze even the hard-bitten veterans who thought they’d seen just about every story repeat itself at least once. k
The presidency, which seemed for a time to have fallen victim to merciless scrutiny and a resurgent Congress, was reborn under Reagan. His extraordinary popularity through six years in office enabled him to change the debate over public policy and redirect the priorities of government.
Then, just when his harshest
critics seemed prepared to concede
his invincibility, the president proved vulnerable to charges he had maintained one policy against ter rorists and Iran in public, while taking a seemingly contradictory course in secret. Allegations that his aides abused the power they held by virtue of their White House address may not be resolved before Reagan leaves office.
Were it not for the great challenge of covering the other most important capital in the world, Moscow, it would be nice to stick around to see how that one comes out. For one must admit there always was some pride, as well as amusement, when a young son, passing the big mansion on Pennsylvania Avenue, would point out the White House to a friend and announce. “There’s Daddy’s office!”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Michael Putzel, who has covered the White House (or The Associated Press since 1979, has been named chief of bureau in Moscow.)
On the economics of caring a lot for an inanimate object
The old station wagon is in intensive care. I’m not sure ifs going to pull through this time.
Last Saturday I started out the driveway and heard an unfamiliar heavy, grinding noise. Over the years, during the time I’ve put 118,000 miles on it. my 1977 Ford Country Squire has made a lot of noises, each with its own meaning. This was different. It was no pebble in a hubcap.
I eased it into the Five Mile River Garage just a mile from the house and left it to be checked over.
Later in the day I dropped back and my worst fears were confirmed. U had a broken axle.
I talked with Malcom in hushed tones about whether Old Faithful should be put out of the way of kept alive by heroic
measures, lf I gave him the thumbs up, the car would need surgery. Thumbs down, it would be gone from my life forever. Malcom told me that first he’d have to operate to make sure there was no serious damage to the gears, lf they were OK he could realign the axle itself and weld the axle casing.
I couldn’t bear to see the car that had given me such good service for nine years be put down so I gave him the go-ahead. The axle is being welded this week.
When a car has a problem, we’re all inclined to think of a new one. We’re looking for an excuse to buy a new car. It doesn't take much and car loans come easy. Even a dead battery can get you thi»king the car isn’t worth keeping. Buying a new car is the ultimate in recreational ■hopping and
most of us do it a lot more often than is necessary. The urge to buy a new car is a disease (or which they ought to develop a shot.
The idea of looking around for a new car appealed to me but as I stood there thinking about delivering the death blow to the station wagon. I knew I couldn't do it.
What would happen to my old car? It was only worth a few hundred dollars before the axle broke. Ifs not a wreck but there are the inevitable dents and scratches on it.
You can’t do anything about the people who open car doors and hit yours with the sharp edge of theirs in the supermarket parking lot. And there are other signs of use. After all, I did back into that high loading dock. I did catch the comer of the garage turning around in the driveway that day several years ago. That truck did skid into me on
the cobblestone pavement down on Canal Street the day before Christmas in 1981. So the car has been through the wars. No prospective buyer could look at my station wagon and be fooled into thinking it had led a pampered life. It looks all of Ifs 118,000 miles.
If I had decided to abandon the car, I know what would have happened. Malcom would have towed it to the car scavengers where they’s dump it out in the yard with all the others, occasionally stripping it of a door hinge here or a generator there. Malcom probably couldn’t get any more from the people at the car parts dump than it would cost to tow It there
All that makes it even harder for me to abandon. I like it. I know it’s silly to feel affection for any inanimate object but I’d hate to see that car get into the hands of so
meone who was going to abuse it or chop it up for spare parts.
My station wagon is being fixed now and I hope everything comes out OK. It’s good to have a car you don’t worry about denting. The wagon was always the one that got left out in the rain and snow. It was the one I used when there was salt and ice on the roads. If there was a dirty job to be done, I did it in the wagon. I saved my good car because I wanted the good car to last. I've had three good cars since I bought the wagon. The wagon, mistreatment and all, has outlasted the cars I pampered
When I get it back, the first thing I’m going to do is give it a nice full tank of high-octane gas, some clean, fresh oil and a warm bath. I want the wagon to know that ifs loved.
Big-hearted Mike Royko resolves to be a realist in 1987
Uke most people. I make New Year’s resolutions. And this year. I’ve resolved to be more open and honest with my friends.
That’s always been a problem of mine, not saying what I really think for lear of hurting their feelings
And in the long nm. that’s not good. because they wind up kidding themselves about their own
For example, when George ielti calls me tar a critique after a concert, ae he usually does. I’m going to say: “Georgia, believe me. you’re still the best. But that was a very sloppy adagio tomtit. And, no, I will aet eh la en rehoamals. There ere only so many hours in the day. pal.”
That peas tar Mike Ditka, foe. I'm going Ie tell him “Don’t ask ase to draw up any
You'll just lose your cool during the gams and send In goofy plays anyway. But, OK, don’t got upset. I’ll sit up in the praos box during the playoffs and phone down what I see. By the way, didn’t I tall you in training camp to crack down on that (at kid’s weifoit? When are you going to loam? You have to be tough ”
Ifs not easy. I’m dreading that Beat phene call from Meryl Streep. But I'm going to be blunt. “Meryl, you’re married and I’m married. So forgot me. As fens goes is of us will
by, your thoufoits So goodbye. And here's looking at you, kid.”
Some people are lousier than ethers, eel don’t think Chuck Yeager will have trouble handling it whan I tell him: "Sure, it would be fen, but why don't we tat the Voyager crew enjoy their glory. No, I won't design the plane and I'm not going to fly it with
you. Come on, do we need every record? Thanks, buddy, and you’ve got the right stuff, too.”
A friend should try to lend a hand when ifs needed. But there are limits. So I’m going to tell Dan Rather: “Of course I’ve seen the slumping ratings, and I can feel for you. But my answer is the same. I’m not going to become your co-anchor. I’d have a schedule conflict, because the show is on when I’m having a beer after work. No, it won’t help if you ask Craniate to call me.”
Friends have to understand that they can't expect a person to spread himself too thin, to give up precious I ca turf time.
I hope Steve understands that. Martin, I mean. I’ll give it to him straight: “Steve, I agree that ifs a brilliant script. It could be the funniest thing you’ve ever done. But I just don't have the time to be your costar. And to ask me to also direct It? Hey, even tar a friend, that's a bit much. Why don't
you call Woody, he’s dying for the part.
Sure, it won’t be great, but it’ll be darned good. Chow, baby.”
And a friend should understand how important privacy is. Not everybody loves the limelight.
That's hard for Robin Leach to accept, but for the 90th time I'm going to tell him: “Because we’re friends, I know you're a good guy, and not the jerk you appear to be on “Life Styles of the Rich and Famous,” but I don’t want your camsras coming into my home or tracking me on vacation. My hectic, jetset life is something I prefer to keep to myself. I've told you before, Robin, that I U do it when Bob De Niro does it. And I know that Bob told you he'd do it only if I do. Catch-8, pol. Look, why don’t you try one of the Saudi oil gays again. I'll give you his number.”
And as much as I want to help any friend when they’re down on their luck.
you have to draw a line So when Ron calls, ITI have to say:
“What have I been telling you tor the last six years? Details, you have to pay attention to details. You can only delegate so much. Didn’t I tell you to keep an eye on those guys in the basement? Didn’t I tell you that there’s more to the job than just patting on and off airplanes and waving at the cameras? I talk myself blue in the face and what do you do? You chop wood in Califoria. So the answer is no. I’m not coming out there. I don’t want Don’s job. But I’ll send you a white paper on how to handle the mem. Try to stay awake long eaouMi to mad It."
So that's my New Year’s Year’s Resolution. and I think I can do it. I’m catodont because I mads a resolution last year and I stuck with it.
I resolved to be more of a hard-eyed