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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 23, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas Page 6A — Herald-Zeitung — Thursday, January 23, 2003 BEST    £    COPYForum Contact Managing Editor Gary E. Maitland, 625-9144 ext. 220 Nkw Braunfels Herald-Zeitung New Braunfels Zeitung was founded 1852; New Braunfels Herald was founded 1890. The two papers merged in 1957 and printed in both German and English until 1958. Doug Toney, Editor and Publisher Gary E. Maitland, Managing Editor www. herald-zeitung .com (830) 625-9144 Editorial-New civic center plan deserves consideration Looking at the latest rendering for a new civic center, it’s hard not to be impressed. The proposal does a great job of blending the stone architecture so commonplace in the community with a glass-and-steel of the modem era. It appears at first glance to be a bridge crossing of the Comal River. And therein lies the uniqueness of the idea. Architect Ken Rehler has hit upon an idea that could draw opposing camps closer together. Here’s what we like about the plan: 1) It’s location emphasizes one of the city’s greatest resources — the river. That should create a unique marketing opportunity for the chamber of commerce. 2) It’s a postcard-perfect design. Not being the typical box structure would certainly enhance the appeal of the civic center, making it one of the more memorable places to host an event. 3) It frees up the existing civic center/chamber complex to be used by the city as a much-needed municipal government complex. Combined with the current city buildings located nearby, the space and land would be enough to meet the growth needs of the city for three decades or more. That means the city would not have to buy up any more private land, leaving land and structures on the tax rolls. The downsides? It would cost nearly $5 million more than a plan to renovate the existing facility; add one year to the completion timeline; and it would have to go back to the voters for approval. But the idea is so innovative, it mu£t be seriously discussed, and widely shared with the community at large.Today In History By The Associated Press Tbday is Thursday, Jan. 23, the 23rd day of 2003. There are 342 days left in the year. Today’s history highlight: On Jan. 23, 1973, President Nixon announced an accord had been reached to end the Vietnam War. On this date: In 1789, Georgetown University was established in present-day Washington D.C. In 1845, Congress decided all national elections would be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. In 1920, the Dutch government refused demands from the victorious Allies to hand over the ex-kaiser of Germany. In 1932, New York Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. In 1943, critic Alexander Woollcott suffered a fatal heart attack during a live broadcast of the CBS radio program “People’s Platform.” i^eanertllingnegg) lo cooperare I Tney even offered to help us look ftrvieapon&ibeymf# -    have cweruDoKed iPolicy Letters To The Editor Fond remembrances of ‘Old Ironsides’ Reading about Old Ironsides in the Herald-Zeitung recently brought back memories of when I was a member of the Sea Scout Ship AFOOFA in San Antonio as a teenager in the 1930s. Our ship met in the attic space of a large church. We had a light pole set up for the mast and an outline on the floor to resemble the deck of a ship. Capt. Keith Gordon helped as one of our advisers, teaching us seamanship, etc. He was a retired British commander who served on sailing warships in the British Navy, and was the last living person who knew Admiral Farragut. I remember when “OldWrite’Em President George W. Bush 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW Washington, D.C. 20500 U.S. Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Dallas Room 284 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510 (202) 224-5922 Fax: (202) 224-0776 8023 Vantage Drive, Suite 460 San Antonio, TX 78230 (210) 340-2885 Fax: (210) 349-6753 U.S. Congressman Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio Room 2231 Rayburn House Office Building Ironsides” came to Corpus Christi. Our ship of Sea Scouts went to Corpus to help visitors who came aboard, and Capt. Gordon was our leader. One of the first things he called our attention to, as we approached the ship, was the rigging (ropes to landlubbers). The lines were right-stranded instead of left-stranded as on the original war ship. The ship was to have been sailed down to Corpus, but we were told that not enough sailors familiar with square riggers were available to sail the ship at that time, so it was towed. We spent the entire day aboard and were quite excited about the opportunity. Capt. Gordon was a very interesting person. He had built a scale model of “Old Ironsides” making small Washington, D.C. 20515 (202) 225-4236 1100 NE Loop 410, Suite 640 San Antonio, TX 78209 (210)821-5024 Governor Rick Perry State Capitol, Room 2S.1 P.O. Box 12428 Austin, TX 78711 (800) 843-5789 Fax: (512)463-1849 Texas State Representative Cartel Casteel, R-New Braunfels How to contact in Austin: (512) 463-0325 Fax: (512) 463-5896 e-mail address: carter.casteel @ house.state, Texas State Senator Jeff Wentworth, guns that actually fired small pellets in the cannons. The lines were left-stranded as per original. He loaned the model to the museum in Brackenridge Park for a temporary display, and later sent it to England. He told us many tales of when he sailed the seas when the British Navy and flag was respected and feared. He was very proud of “Old Ironsides” and the U.S. Navy who built it. So, you can see that we were quite impressed, and I’m sure the students at New Braunfels High School were also impressed. History has many things to teach us. Our Sea Scout Ship’s name, “AFOOFA” meant “all for one, one for all.” Carl W. Lavin WPK I WMT I New Braunfels R-San Antonio 1250 NE Loop 410, Suite 720 San Antonio, TX 78209 (210) 826-7800 Fax: (210) 826-0571 How to contact in Austin: (512)463-0125 Fax: (512) 463-7794 E-mail address: jell. Wentworth © senate .state .tx. us Judith Zaffirini D-Laredo P.O. Box 627 Laredo, TX 78042-0627 (956) 722-2293 12702 Toepperwein Rd #214 San Antonio, TX 78233 (210) 657-0095 Fax: (210) 657-0262 The Herald-Zeitung encourages the submission of letters. Letters must be 250 words or fewer, and the Herald-Zeitung reserves the right to edit all submissions. An address and telephone number, which are not for publication, must be included so authorship can be confirmed. Mail letters to: Letters to the Editor c/othe Herald-Zeitung P.O. Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, TX 78131-1328 Fax: (830) 606-3413 e-mail: [email protected] 'Em City Council Mayor Adam Cork 608-2100 city hall 609-1958 home mayor® District 1 Sonia Munoz-Gill 608-2100 District 2 Larry Alexander 609-1242 home District 3 Debbie Flume 629-2496 home/work District 4 Robert Kendrick 643-1177 home (281) 686-7480 work District 5 Lee Rodriguez 629-4901 work District 6 Ken Valentine 625-7384 home [email protected] Comal County Judge Danny Scheel 150 N. Seguin Ave. New Braunfels, TX 78130 620-5501 Fax: 608-2026 Precinct 1 Commissioner Jack Dawson 620-5504 (830) 899-2948 home Precinct 2 Commissioner Jay Minikin 620-5509 (210) 651-9672 home Precinct 3 Commissioner Cristina Zamora 620-5503 606-9208 home Precinct 4 Commissioner Jan Kennady 620-5508 (830) 625-6739 homeRepublican governors sound like Democrats ‘It’s the most dire situation we’ve seen in over 20 years,” laments Raymond C. Scheppach, executive director of the National Governors’Association. He’s talking about the deficit faced by many states. The Washington Post reported Sunday (Jan. 19) that many Republican governors are proposing tax increases to close the gap and abide by their state constitutions which require balanced budgets. Many, including Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne, say they’ve cut expenses as much as they can and will now have to raise taxes. Kempthorne says, “I’m not going to dismantle this state, and I’m not going to jeopardize our bond rating, and I’m not going to reduce my emphasis on education.” He is joined in his taxing proposals by other Republican governors, including Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, Sonny Perdue of Georgia (the first Republican governor since Reconstruction) and Connecticut’s John Rowland. The message is the same: We can’t cut Cal Thomas anymore, and the taxpayers will have to pony-up additional money to feed the government beast. Not so, says the Idaho Statesman newspaper. A Jan. IO editorial notes that many “cuts” in government programs are really reductions in increases previously approved by the legislature. Education in Idaho, for example, will receive more money than in the previous year, but not as much as the legislature had promised before the economic downturn. Kempthorne has announced he will forgo a salary increase and reduce the expenditures for his office (saving $100,000 out of a budget of $14 million). The Twin Falls (Ida.) newspaper thinks that’s an example worth emulating. An editorial suggests a graduated pay cut of I to 5 percent “may be the easiest and fairest way to fix state shortfalls.” Those who make more should take the bigger hit, recommends the paper. When the economy improves, it says, salaries could be restored to present levels. The problem for states is a familiar one. During good economic times, they spend money. When a downturn comes, they cry about the “pain” of budget cuts and propose tax hikes. But when taxes are raised, businesses often leave and take jobs with them, creating a greater long-term problem than the one they were hoping to solve. Colorado Republican Gov. Bill Owens has the right approach. During the booming 1990s, Owens held down spending and rebated more than $6 billion to state taxpayers. The state flourished, and as a result, Colorado’s budget troubles are far less severe than other states. The American Legislative Exchange Council and the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research have published an essay called “Show Me the Money: Budget-Cutting Strategies for Cash-Strapped States” ( They include reducing the size of government: “State employees’ salaries and benefits account for a significant portion of states’ costs. Most states will find it almost impossible to balance their budgets without impacting state employees.” The essay also recommends selfing state-owned enterprises and assets, such as airports, stadiums, ports, utilities, liquor operations, buildings, land and gas and electric utilities; competition in the delivery of services; a reduction or elimination of programs that perform poorly (why should any government program be allowed to five forever if it doesn’t work?); rewarding employees for saving money, not spending it (a member of the Bush administration recently told me her department saved several bil lion dollars and when it tried to give it back to the Treasury, Congress demanded the money be spent); create cost-cutting brigades to allow state budgets to be examined and reformed by experts. This last proposal is what Texas did in the early 1990s. It assembled more than IOO of the best budget analysts, auditors and number crunchers. They came up with more than 1,000 recommendations and identified more than $2.4 billion in budget savings, ending the budget crisis and averting the need for a state income tax. That’s the approach states should take before asking taxpayers to contribute more of their money to government. For Republicans to be suggesting taxes should be raised eliminates the need for a Republican Party. If Republicans behave like Democrats, it would be better to vote for the real thing and spare us the disappointment. (Cal Thomas is a syndicated columnist.) ;