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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 5, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas Page 6A — HERALD-ZEITUNG — Saturday, May 5, 2001Forum Contact Managing Editor Margaret Edmonson at 625-9144 ext. 220. New 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 Margaret Edmonson, Managing Editor Jo Lee Ferguson, News Editor (830) 625-9144 Kudos Today in History By The Associated Press Today is Saturday, May 5, the 125th day of 2001. There are 240 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On May 5, 1961, astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr. became America’s first space traveler as he made a 15-minute suborbital flight in a capsule launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla. In 1821, Napoleon Bonaparte died in exile on the island of St. Helena. In 1862, the Mexican army for the first time defeated the most feared French army of Napoleon III in "La Batalla de Puebla" (The Battle of Puebla). In 1891, Carnegie Hall (then named Music Hall) had its opening night in New York City. In 1893, panic hit the New York Stock Exchange; by year’s end, the country was in the throes of a severe depression. In 1925, John T. Scopes was arrested in Tennessee for teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution. In 1942, sales of sugar resumed in the United States under a rationing program. In 1945, during World War II, Japanese forces landed on the Philippine island of Cor-regidor. In 1955, West Germany became a sovereign state. "In 1955, the baseball musical “Damn Yankees” opened on Broadway. In 1980, a siege at the Iranian embassy in London ended as British commandos and police stormed the building. In 1981, Irish Republican Army hunger-striker Bobby Sands died at the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland in his 66th day without food. Ten years ago: President George H.W. Bush continued to experience an irregular heartbeat, one day after he was taken to Bethesda Naval Hospital because of fatigue and shortness of breath. New York’s Carnegie Hall celebrated its centennial with an all-day, all-star concert. Five years ago: Israel and the Palestinians began the final stage of their peace talks in Taba, Egypt. The FBI released preliminary figures showing that serious crimes reported to police fell for the fourth straight year in 1995. Tm hdppfio announce a biparrisan tax cur hae> m necpridTQj in Congii! The Comal County Child Welfare Board would like to say thank you to numerous county businesses that helped us promote National Child Abuse Prevention Month. We asked businesses with marquee signs to display a message for one or more days during April emphasizing the importance of keeping children safe, preventing and reporting child abuse and getting involved in our children’s lives. Many local businesses generously supported our efforts — we were pleasantly surprised by the number of messages we saw displayed for a day or more through the month. One of the charges of the Comal County Child Welfare Board is to educate the community about child abuse and neglect. As a non-profit organization we try very hard to ensure that the dollars we receive through donations and United Way funding go directly to the children of Comal County. For this reason we are especially grateful to all the businesses that helped us get the message out to the community. Without the help of organizations such as Century 21 Action Realty, McDonald’s, Mid-Tex Oil, Rudy’s Barbecue, Goofy’s, David’s Auto Repair, Pizza Hut, Sensational Sign Company and others we would never have been able to reach as many people as we did with this important message about the safety of our county’s children. Lori Waters CCCWB Secretary Letters Policy The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung encourages 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. Also, an address and a telephone number, which are not for publication, must be included for confirmation purposes. Preference is given to writers who have not been published in the previous 30 days. Mail letters to: Letters to the Editor do Herald-Zeitung P.O. Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, TX 78131-1328 Fax: (830) 606-3413 Letters To The Editor Juror left wondering why case was tried Dear Editor: I recently was chosen to serve on a jury for Comal County, and I believe you should know the type of cases our district attorney is prosecuting. To make a long story short, a local man dumped some trash in a dumpster and was reported to the sheriff’s department by a former police officer. Some months later, to this man’s surprise, he found out there was a warrant for his arrest. He located the owner of the dumpster and paid more than $200 for the space he had used in the dumpster. The owner of the dumpster, being more than satisfied with the arrangement, wrote a letter stating such, and signed notarized paperwork indicating he did not wish to press any charges. Upon trying to clear up the warrant, this man, who has never before been in trouble with the law, was arrested, jailed and had to post bond and obtain a lawyer. The district attorney has repeatedly refused to drop the charge of “theft of services,” a serious Class B misdemeanor. Our tax dollars paid for this case to go to trial. Why are cases like this being brought to trial? I can tell you a few of my observations that might answer this question. The DA’s office now has many more assistant DAs than previous years, and this is a particularly slow time of year. The assistant DAs that prosecuted this trial were obviously young and inexperienced. I believe this unfortunate local taxpayer was being used to keep the assistant DAs busy and give them a practice run. The Good Old Boy Network also seems to be in full swing. The first witness was the former police officer who originally called the sheriff’s department, starting this fiasco. By the looks of the energy he has placed into this complaint, he apparently has some personal interest in the outcome. I would question what influence he still might have with local law enforcement officials. There was a “hung jury” as a result of this trial. So guess what? Unless these ridiculous charges are dropped, we get to pay for this trial again, but that is a small price for us to pay. The real injured parties here are the man on trial and we as a society. I do not believe for one minute that law enforcement without the application of common sense was what our forefathers had in mind for our country. Please speak out against this type of travesty that is occurring in our county. If not, the next time it could be you or me called before our county court for an asinine charge. Lizanne Peel Spring Branch Mayor does not know how to disagree Dear Editor: An open letter to the mayor of our fair city. Re: Herald-Zeitung, May I, “Mayor: Watson Goes Too Far.” So you disagree with Councilwoman, District 6, Juliet Watson. I have not a problem with that. Even I, one of her staunchest supporters, occasionally have disagreed with her, and I believe that it is only normal. It sure would be boring if everyone agreed with everyone else on all issues. I, however, do not throw fits or tantrums over issues, for I know that she is doing her level best for the folks living in New Braunfels, and she is not restricting her efforts just to help her district. She keeps the entire city in mind in all of her deliberations. Because you disagree with her on everything, you want to put a gag on her. Get off it; you are acting like a childish bully. She was elected, twice, to serve District 6 and to work for the district, and the city and you want to take our duly elected representative out of the democratic process and disenfranchise the voters of this district simply because you are totally beholden to our shadow government and Ms. Watson does not hold the chamber of commerce in the highest esteem. The current flap was caused by a council voting for something it did not understand. After voting for Juliet’s motion to send a letter of opposition to the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, concerning a Guadalupe-Bianco River Authority permit application, some council members later decided that this was not what “council” (amend that to read “some council members”) intended. Sounds remarkably like the Florida voters in the recent presidential election; they didn’t intend to vote for George W. Bush, according to arrogant Mr. Gore. Your own arrogance shows as does your rudeness, any time Councilwoman Watson begins to speak. You slouch down in your throne fscuse me, chair) and roll your eyes (Ann Landers recently said that is the height of rudeness). You, sir, would be better off taking lessons from Juliet, than from your chamber bosses, on how to deal with people. Marty Norton New Braunfels Write 'Em GOVERNOR Rick Perry State Capitol, Room 2S.1 P.O. Box 12428 Austin, TX 78711 (800) 843-5789 Fax: (512) 463-1849 STATE SENATORS Judith Zaffirini P.O. Box 627 Laredo, TX 78042-0627 (956) 722-2293 12702 Toepperwein Road No. 214 San Antonio, TX 78233 (210) 657-0095 Fax: (210) 657-0262 Jeff Wentworth 1250 NE Loop 410, Suite 720 San Antonio, TX 78209 (210) 826-7800 Fax: (210) 826-0571 STATE REPRESENTATIVE Edmund Kuempel, R-Seguin P.O. Box 911 Seguin, TX 78155 (830) 379-8732Sometimes the best defense is having potential for offense It’s always been a mystery as to why the Left so viscerally opposes a;missile defense system. When Ronald Reagan first proposed r >ch a plan, the Left mocked it as “Star Wars,” a fantastical delusion about as realistic as the George Lucas movie of the same name. On Tuesday, President Bush laid out a philosophical and geopolitical rationale for a missile defense system that was even better than Reagan’s. In a speech at the National Defense University (NDU) in Washington, ‘D.C., Bush noted that the 1972 ABM Treaty, which implied that the survival of the Soviet Union and United States was best assured by leaving both countries defenseless tq each other's nuclear missiles, is no longer valid:'Such a policy ratified the philosophy of the nuclear age that mutual assured destruction (appropriately abbreviated as MAD) was the best deterrent to nuclear war. Cal Thomas Everything has changed since ABM. The Soviet Union is no more, and the threat of nuclear attack has shifted from one nation where command and control could be commanded and mostly controlled, to several smaller nations. Any one of these countries might use the threat of a nuclear attack on an American city to deter U.S. intervention against an assault on its allies. Bush rightly called for “moving beyond the constraints of the 30-year-old ABM Treaty.” He said clinging to ABM “enshrines the past.” When Reagan proposed a missile defense system, the central question was whether the tech nology existed to make it a reality. Several tests have produced mixed results. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld says he’s persuaded that the technology now exists or will soon be developed. Why should he not be believed? Some people thought it fantastic when President John F. Kennedy pledged in the early 1960s to land Americans on the moon by the end of the decade. The goal was met 17 months early. We had faith in our skills then. Have we now lost that faith? During the Cold War, those opposed to missile defense believed that such a system — even research into its feasibility — could increase the likelihood of war. That’s a silly argument, something like believing your chances of being burglarized are increased if you put a sign on the door that your home is protected by either an alarm system or a gun. As for the attitude of other nations, theres no reason for them to oppose an American missile defense system unless they intend to attack the United States. America’s enemies are spreading nuclear, chemical and biological technologies to rogue states and terrorist groups around the world. These are people who care nothing about their own citizens, much less inhabitants of other nations. Some believe they have a religious mandate to kill “infidels.” Others worship their politics. Why shouldn’t we use all of the expertise at our disposal to do what's necessary to preserve, protect and defend the United States and our interests abroad? We can’t wait until China follows up on its threat to launch a missile at downtown Los Angeles, or until Saddam Hussein has the capability to take out New York City and so deters the United States from intervening to save Israel (or Kuwait) from his aggression. President Bush threw a large bone to the Left when he coupled his proposal with the possibility of further reductions in our nuclear weapons stockpile: “We can, and will, change the size, the composition, the character of our nuclear forces in a way that reflects the reality that the Cold War is over.” We won’t need as many nuclear weapons if we have a system in place to shoot down any missiles that might be launched toward American territory. An enemy will think more than twice about attacking the United States if he knows that attack will be repelled and he will be left vulnerable to a counterattack. Although the president pledges to be in regular consultation with our allies and Congress, his proposal to build a missile defense system puts America and American interests first, which is where the country and those interests ought to be. (Cal Thomas is a syndicated columnist.) ;