New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 28, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
* 0 HtftM-ZeltunQ a Friday, July 28,1995
• To talk with Managing Editor Doug Lovaday •bout tho Opinion Pig*, call 625-9144, ext. 21
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“The public Is more easily swayed by persons than by principles.”
— Rachel Field novelist/poet, 1939
Plans to cut drug treatment programs in Texas prisons will haunt all of us
It's a vicious circle.
Drag addicts arrested on drug charges or for crimes they committed to get money for drugs or while high on drugs, are sent to prison. In prison they get no treatment for the addiction that got them in trouble in the first place. So they we kept in jail for a few years at tremendous cost to taxpayers and released no more prepared to live a productive life than when they were arrested. Usually it does not take long for diem to end up back in jail, costing the taxpayers more money and leaving a fresh trail of crime victims in their wake.
Four years ago, then-Govemor Ann Richards convinced the Legislature to fond a program to provide 14,000 prison beds specifically designated for drug treatment services. It is the best chance to break that vicious cycle.
But now, in a misguided and mistaken attempt to save money, the Legislature has cut the program back to about 4,500 beds.
The Texas prison system holds 133,000 inmates, and 75 percent of them we substance abusers. A majority were drunk or on drugs when they committed the crime that put them into prison.
Now, instead of more than IO percent of the inmates getting treated for their addictions, it will be less than three percent. Backers claim this will save $379 million over the next two years.
But that is shallow thinking. Every inmate that is successfully treated for addiction and stays out of jail upon release will save the state $20,000 a yew for every year he would have beat in jail. Not only that, but chances we good that an untreated released inmate will create dozens of new victims before being arrested again.
And the drug-addicted criminals are still people. They still have value. Helping them overcome their addiction can literally turn their lives around.
The Texas Treatment Initiative, as it is called, is a good investment It saves money, it spares hundreds, maybe thousands, of Texans the trauma of becoming crime victims, and it saves the lives of drug addicts.
While it may be politically popular for politicians to adopt a “lock 'em up and throw away the key” attitude and rail against “coddling criminals” with expensive treatment programs, that really does not solve the underlying cause of much of the crime that is committed.
The fact is that many crimes are committed that would not be committed if foe criminals had kicked their drug habits. Many of than want to kick then1 drug habits, but have had no access to rehabilitation services. Locking them up without treatment does a disservice to the taxpayers, to the addicts and to their future victims.
(Today's editorial was written by City Editor Roger Croteau.)
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New Braunfels, Texas 78131-1328
Editor and Publisher............................................................David Suttons
General Manager............................................................Cheryl Duvall
Managing Editor...........................................................Doug Loveday
Advertising Director......................................................Tracy Stevens
Circulation Director....................................................Carol Arm Avery
Pressroom Foreman...................................................Douglas Brandt
Classified Manager........................................................Laura Cooper
City Editor.....................................................................Roger Croteau
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FtofTMAfTVa: Send address changes to the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, P.O. Drawer 311329, Now Braunfels. Tx. 78131-1328.Foundation to miss Cramer
The Comal County Senior Citizens Foundation membership mourns the death of Nell Cramer. Nell was a devoted and respected employee of the foundation until Nov. 1993, when she became ill with cancer and had to resign.
Nell died on July 25, 1995 and a memorial service will be held for her at the Senior Center at IO a.m. on Monday, July 31.
Nov. 11,1993,1 wrote a column for the Herald-Zeitung about Nell and her contributions to the center in which I said that Nell Cramer was worth her weight in gold, and she was. She was active in every phase of the operation.
Primarily, Nell coordinated the home-delivered meals program. Meals are delivered each weekday on four routes by 5 to 8 volunteers from various community service organizations and churches. They rotate the duties.
Meal recipients typically are elderly, homebound people. Nell coordinated the program through the Senior Center, and monitored the preparation of special no-salt, diabetic, and other special diet meals.
I recall Nell commenting many times that wonderful volunteers take their lunch times, their vehicles, and their gasoline to get the meals delivered. She further remarked, “That’s what life is all about-doing for those less fortunate."
Well, that’s what Nell Cramer was all about She was an employee of the foundation, but she gave way above and beyond the call of duty. You could find twat the center each morning by 7 a.m. and many weekends.
If a volunteer could not make a route, Nell did it.
She coordinated and helped cook the Tuesday congregate meal, and she worked in the snack bar every Tuesday night for bingo.
Sometimes, Nell could be seen on Friday nights and Sundays cooking and getting ready for the next week. She received no pay for those extra hours and she took no reimbursement for expenses. She gave of herself.
As a matter of fact, I have observed that all employees of the center give many hours of volunteer work along with their paid hours. They are a terrific bunch, and it is dug spirit and teamwork between the employees and the volunteers that makes our organization work. Everyone, paid employee or volunteer, respects the other and appreciates the special expertise of that person.
Among other duties, Nell picked up goods for the Thrift Shop. She also picked up the government-issued food to distribute to the needy each week, and as Gladys Battling put it, “Nell did everything and anything.’’ And I must add, she was always so very pleasant and never complained.
Nell would be proud of the growth of the center. She would be proud of Susan Adams who took over the home-delivered meals and congregate meals. If Nell were here today, she probably would be driving the handicapped van, and most certainly she would be running the bingo snack bar. She loved the center.
When Nell became ill, she handled it with courage. She fought back and had a period when she was feeling pretty good again. During that period she worked as a caregiver for others. Then, as Nell’s condition worsened again, she still remained in good spirits.
So it is, on Monday, July 31, we give thanks for having known Nell Cramer, and we all know that Nell will be volunteering and working away in that big senior center in the sky because there is just no
way to stop her.
“If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain.
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.”
—Emily Dickinson And as another tribute to Nell:
“Did you tackle that trouble that came your way? With a resolute heart and cheerful?
Or hide your face from the light of day With a craven soul and fearful?
Oh, a trouble’s a ton, or a trouble’s an ounce,
Or a trouble is what you make it.
And it isn’t the fact that you’re hurt that counts, But only how did you take it?
You are beaten to earth? Well, well, what’s that? Come up with a smiling face.
It’s nothing against you to fall down flat.
But to lie there—that’s a disgrace.
The harder you’re thrown, why the higher you bounce;
Be proud of your blackened eye!
It isn’t the fact that you’re licked that counts It’s how did you fight, and why?
And though you be done to death, what then?
If you battled the best you could;
If you played your part in the world of men Why the Critic will call it good.
Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce, And whether he’s slow or spry,
It isn’t the fact that you’re dead that counts But only, how did you die? —Edmund Vance Cooke (Marie Dawson is a New Braunfels resident who writes exclusively about senior citizen issues.)
Ut SERB& VflU£D WDWER IOO CIVILIANS WD SEVEN PEACEKK^RS 1H1& MOVIUS!
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CHMN OF CONWHDi
Reporters fighting salary disclosure
By LAURNE AS8EO
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP)—Both sides may suffer from low public esteem, but the stakes are high as the Senate and the news media square off in a fight over money, credibility and freedom of the press.
Provoked by huge speaking fees paid to some media superstars, the Senate says it will consider requiring thousands of Washington journalists to disclose how much money they earn on the side.
Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., says this will improve journalists’ credibility. But media advocates are crying foul. “It’s unconstitutional,” says Jane Kinky of the Reporters’ Committee for Freedom of the Press.
Today In History
By The Associated Press
Today is Friday, July 28, the 209th day of 1995. There are 156 days left in the year.
Today'■ Highlight In History:
Fifty years ago, on July 28,1945, the U.S. Senate ratified the United Nations Charter by a vote of 89-2.
On this date:
In 1540, King Henry VRTS chief minister, Thomas Cromwell, was executed, the same day Henry married his fifth wife, Catherine Howard.
In 1750, composer Johann Sebastian Bach died in Leipzig, Germany.
The First Amendment says: “Congress shall make no law... abridging the beedom of speech, or of the press...."
This means government officials don’t get to decide who is qualified to repent on their activities. Unlike lawyers and real estate brokers, journalists cannot be required to get a license to do their work.
It’s debatable whether the American public holds members of Congress or journalists in lower esteem. And now that political pressure has forced members of Congress to stop taking honoraria, Byrd and other senators apparently think turnabout is fair play.
“It is time for the media to be accountable,” Byrd said last week as the
Senate voted 60-39 to consider requiring journalists to file annual statements disclosing all outside earned income and who pays it
Some journalists earn honoraria by giving speeches to conventions and special-interest groups. For the superstars, fees can range into the tens of thousands of dollars.
Some — but far from all — news organizations are starting to restrict what speaking fees their employees can accept. These restrictions are intended to eliminate perceptions that earning a big fee would color a reporter’s judgment about a particular issue.
Reed Irvine of the watchdog group Accuracy in Media says he doesn't see how Byrd’s proposal would violate constitutional protections for the media.
“The public has a right to knoi who’s paying them,” says Irvine, perennially harsh critic of the estat lishment news media.
“You’ve got people taking position that could be influenced by who is pa) ing them huge fees."
"There’s a factor here, an envy fat tor,” Irvine said, adding that some law makers may think, ‘Why is Coki Roberts worth $35,000 an hour an I’m not?”’ Roberts, of ABC New was paid that much for a speech to Junior League seminar last sprinj according to the American Joumalisi Review.
About 6,700 journalists have pres cards allowing them to work in th Capitol press galleries, attend new conferences and get reserved seatin at public hearings.
In 1794, Maximilien Robespierre, a leading figure of the French Revolution, was sent to the guillotine.
In 1821, Peru declared its independence from Spain.
In 1868, the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing due process of law, was declared in effect.
In 1896, the city of Miami, Fla., was incorporated.
In 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia.
In 1932, Federal troops forcibly dispersed the socalled “Bonus Army” of World War I veterans who had gathered in Washington to demand money they weren’t scheduled to receive until 1945.
In 1943, President Roosevelt announced the end of coffee rationing.
In 1945, a U.S. Army bomber crashed into the 79th
floor of New York’s Empire State Building, killing 14 people.
In 1959, in preparation for statehood, Hawaiians voted to send the first Chinese-American, Hiram L. Fong, to the U.S. Senate and the first Japanese-American, Daniel K. Inouye, to the U.S. House of Representatives.
In 1965, President Johnson announced he was increasing the number of American troops in South Vietnam from 75,000 to 125,000.
In 1976, an earthquake devastated northern China, killing at least 242,000 people, according to an official estimate.
In 1977, Roy Wilkins turned over leadership of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to Benjamin L. Hooks.