New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 18, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
Page 4A ■ Wednesday, Jan. 18,1995 ■
■ To talk with Managing Editor Mark Lyon about the Opinion page, call 625-9144, ext. 21
Z e i t u n gOpinion
“Magazines too frequently lead to books and should be regarded by die prudent as the heavy petting of literature.”Stuck in the midst of a lukewarm winter
- Fran Lebowitz humorist, writer 1974
Topsy turvey city politics
Effort to recall mayor is latest in series of creative political moves
An effort to recall the mayor of New Braunfels is well underway, with the city council having accepted a petition for a recall election Saturday.
Whatever the reasons may be, worthy or unworthy, one cannot help but take a short look back at the past two years and immediately connect this movement with similar ones past.
Starting with the election of council member James Goodbread to his fourth term while at the same time a term limits referendum was passed. Goodbread waited in a courtroom for months for the outcome, but more importantly, the council's normal flow of doing their business was interrupted.
Next, a petition to recall council member Dan Bremer is circulated, signed, presented to council and accepted. Some time later, he was successfully recalled. Still later, one person (Mary Serold) instrumental in that movement is elected to replace him.
Next, a member of the council (Paul Fraser) who wins re-election by a slim margin is sued (by opponent Gary Kahlig) because of the way the election was conducted, with accusations of wrongdoing by election officials translating into a lawsuit against someone who was not an election official.
All this in less than two years' time. Sound a little like a made-for-TV script?
Perhaps. Some say this is democracy at work. Others call it a three-ring circus.
Sometimes, it appears to be a little of both.
(Today's editorial was written by Mark Lyon, managing editor for the Herald-Zeitung.)Write us
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I have a complaint.
It is one that is directed toward a specific profession, but also one that will get no results even in light of this complaint.
I don’t like this year’s winter.
The weathermen, or meteorologists, can do nothing about it All they can do is give the same, lukewarm forecast right
■ Von *n to March.
^ In fact, I’m wondering
where winter is. I thought for a few days two weeks ago that we might have one after all. We were chillin’, in the 30s as I recall, and central heating systems everywhere began to crank up. Mine, too.
In fact, it was not until that time that I turned the heater on at all. What’s more, I’ve actually used the air conditioner throughout October and November this year.
Something’s wrong with that.
We should be bundling up, defending ourselves against a cold, Arctic wind that tries to cut right through you. Instead, shorts, t-shirts and even tank tops are everywhere.
This weekend, my family and I went to Landa
Park. We donned our jeans and t-shirts and had a wonderful time - in 70-degree weather with clear skies.
Three years ago I spent a lofty sum and purchased a black leather jacket, one that I had wanted for a long time and finally convinced myself to splurge on. I enjoy wearing that jacket - all three days each year.
Last week, we went through a pretty impressive thunderstorm, the type you see in the spring. We were also under a tornado watch that day.
This is crazy.
I really don’t have anything against spring, summer or the warm fall we have here. But to really appreciate each of those seasons, we simply must have a winter.
Winters like this keep me reflecting back on the dog days of summer, suspecting that we will see an extra-long summer season after such a lukewarm winter.
The visions of summer are still fresh, such as when I would go to my car at around 3 p.m. on practically any day in July, open the door and get hit by a wave of heat with the impact of a hammer.
Its nothing short of grueling.
I also picture myself staring at the millions upon millions of mosquitoes hovering around my porch light at night - wondering if I had been spotted and being considered for dinner. I had a bad experience
with mosquitoes last summer while in Houston. You see, in Houston they grow so big they’ll carry you away if you’re not careful. Somehow I walked into a growth of weeds just a few yards off of a fairway on a golf course there and apparently disrupted a colony of them. They sent a greeting party my way and I spent ten minutes running from some of the biggest, meanest, most horrifying creatures I’d ever seen. And I must have looked like a filet mignon to them. Luckily, I ran by a pair of fellow golfers possessing a handy can of Off.
Mild winters create these kinds of problems. A couple of good freezes each year makes it bearable for all of us.
I don’t think having a three or four weeks of real winter each year is asking for much. I’m native Texan, and faced the fact that I will see very few white Christmases during my lifetime. I don’t mind, if its cold, its the season and that is what matters most.
With my luck, we’ll get four inches of snow dumped on us tomorrow, just because I filed this complaint in ink with my name and picture beside it. Fate has a way of trying to embarrass us, sometimes.
But this time, that would be just fine with me.
(Mark Lyon is managing editor for the Herald-Zeitung.)
Gingrich speeches add to his reading list
By NITA LELYVELD
‘Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — Maybe it’s the hard-to-shed habit of a former history professor. Maybe it’s just enthusiasm. Or maybe Newt Gingrich thinks if he can get people to read all the books he reads, he can get them to think like him, too.
Whatever the reason, every time the new House Speaker gives a speech these days, he suggests books for his listeners to read. Day by day, the Gingrich reading list is growing, and becoming more eclectic.
For the lover of history, there’s James Flexner’s biography of George Washington, ’’Washington: The Indispensable Man.”
Worried about welfare reform?
Try Marvin Olasky’s “The Tragedy of American Compassion ”
For those who want to follow the new speaker into the future he talks about with such relish, there’s the quick-read version of futurist Alvin Toffler’s “The Third Wave.” CalledAnalysis
Today in history
By The Associated Press
Today is Wednesday, Jan. 18, the 18th day of 1995. There are 347 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Jan. 18,1912, English explorer Robert F. Scott and his expedition reached the South Pole, only to discover that Roald Amundsen had gotten there first. (Scow and his party -died during the return trip.)
On this date:
In 1778, English navigator Cape James Cook discovered the Hawaiian Islands, which he (bibbed the “Sandwich Islands.”
In 1718, the first English settlers
“Creating A New Civilization: The Politics of the Third Wave,” it’s written by Toffler and his wife Heidi, with an introduction by Gingrich.
Gingrich often peppers rambling speeches about political life and the cyberspace future with the titles of books he’s reading or has read. He has plugged Olasky repeatedly, for instance — most notably on the House floor, in his acceptance speech after being elected speaker.
Sometimes, Gingrich makes it clear he is virtually assigning the books to lawmakers and those on congressional staffs who wish to succeed under his rule.
That’s what happened three days after the election, when he gave his first speech as speaker-to-be before the Washington Research Group.
Describing himself as a “conservative futurist,” he mentioned two books by Toffler — “The Third
arrived in Australia’s Botany Bay to establish a penal colony.
In 1862, the 10th president of the United States, John Tyler, died in Richmond, Virginia, at age 71.
In 1892, comedian Oliver Hardy was bom in Harlem, Ga.
In 1911, the first landing of an aircraft on a ship took place as pilot Eugene B. Ely brought his plane in for a safe landing on the deck of the USS Pennsylvania in San Francisco Harbor
In 1919, the World War I Peace Congress opened in Versailles, France.
In 1943, during World War II, the Soviets announced they’d broken the long Nazi siege of Leningrad.
In 1943, a wartime ban on the sale
Wave” and “Future Shock.”
In just about the next breath, he referred to the “Federalist’’ papers as “I believe the most powerful single doctrine for the leadership of human beings and for their opportunity to pursue happiness." He also threw in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
And then he began listing a host of other books that he would “recommend to all the congressional staffs" — including management guru Peter Drucker’s "The Effective Executive,” the thinking of quality-control expert W. Edwards Deming and the abbreviated Toffler book.
A few weeks later, when the House Republicans chose him as their candidate for speaker at a party caucus, he thanked them by officially assigning the books he had mentioned previously — and more.
“Now, because I am a college teacher, let me say to you that in addition to your two handouts, there are eight documents I want to refer you to during the Christmas break,”
of pre-sliced bread in the U.S. — aimed at reducing demand for metal replacement parts at bakeries — went into effect.
In 1967, Albert DeSalvo, who claimed to be the “Boston Strangler,” was convicted in Cambridge, Mass., of armed robbery, assault and sex offenses. (Sentenced to life, DeSalvo was killed by a fellow inmate in 1973.)
In 1975, the situation comedy "The Jeffersons,” a spin-off from “All in the Family,” premiered on CBS
Ten years ago: The State Department announced it would boycott future deliberations of the World Court on Nicaragua’s complaint that the United Slates was an aggressor
He was senous. The “Federalist” papers, for example, were handed out to all freshman House members, along with a book version of the Contract with America, during an orientation luncheon.
The reading list is so well known in Washington that Trover bookstore, a few blocks from the Capitol, has a “Newt’s Reading List” sign on the counter, with piles of the books he keeps mentioning behind it.
Among them are both an abridged, one-volume “Democracy in America,” and an unabridged two-volume set.
Lobbyists and congressional staffers have been steadily buying the titles, workers say.
For an author, getting a place on the reading list can be great for the career — especially if the book is technical, a little dry or otherwise not a great candidate for a popular hit.
(Nila Lelyveld covers Congress for The Associated Press.)
Five years ago: A jury in Los Angeles acquitted former preschool operators Raymond Blickey and his mother, Peggy McMartin Buckey, of 52 child molestation charges. Washington Mayor Marion Barry was arrested in an FBI sting on drug-pos-session charges (he was later convicted of a misdemeanor).
One year ago: Retired Adm Bobby Inman withdrew his nomination to be defense secretary, denouncing what he described as attacks on his character and reputation. Iran-Contra prosecutor Lawrence Walsh released his final report in which he said former President Reagan had acquiesced in a cover-up of the scandal, an accusation Reagan called “baseless."