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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 17, 1994, New Braunfels, Texas Page 4A ■ Tuesday, May 17,1994 Opinion ■To talk with Managing Editor Mark Lyon about the Opinion page, call 625-9144, ext. 21 H oral d - Z O I lung Opinion QUOTABLE “Newspapers are the schoolmasters of the common people.” - Henry Ward Beecher, Clergymen, 1887 D I T O R I A L Seafood safety Inadequate state laws are letting dioxin-tainted crabs onto your dinner table Commercial crabbing in the brown industrial waters of ; the Houston Ship Channel has become so prevalent that ; several industries have complained of navigational hazards from the large number of submerged crab traps. Scientists warn that the channel waters have a high concentration of dioxin, commonly considered one of the most toxic substances on die planet Dioxin has been linked to cancer and birth defects. The Texas Department of Health has issued a warning that women of childbearing age and children should not eat crabs from the ship channel, and others should not eat crabs from the channel more than once a month.Federal law bans crabs from the ship channel from begin shipped to other states. But incredibly, there is no law that forbids commercial crabbers from working that water. And even more incredibly, there is nothing preventing those fishermen from 'selling those crabs to restaurants and markets in Texas, ’where they are served to an unsuspecting public. : Clearly, if the state is going to allow the sale of these dioxin-tainted crabs, at least the consumer should be made aware of the health risk involved in eating them. While there are many examples of government overregulation of industries, this is an obvious example of an industry where under-regulation has put the public at risk. . (Today's editorial was written by City Editor Roger Croteau.) Write us • • • Braunfels Herald-Zeitung welcome* letter* on any public issue. Hie editor reeervee the right to correct epolling, style, punctuation and known tectuel error*. Letter* ohould be kept to SSO word*. We publish only original mail addressed to The New Braunfels Herald-Zntenf bearing the writer's signature. Also, en address ands telephone •number, which are not for publication, must be included. Flea** cite the peg* number and date of any article that ie mentioned, preference ie given to writer* who have not been published in the previous 30 days. [Mill letters toe •Letter* to the Editor do The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung P.O. Drawer 311326 Hew Braunfels, Texas 78131-1328 Pax: (210) 626-1224 t New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung Edtor and Publisher............................................................David SuUens General Manager............................................................Cheryl Duvall Managing Editor..................................................................Mark Lyon Advertising Director............................................................Paul Davis Circulation Director....................................................Carol Ann Avery Pressroom Foreman...................................................Douglas Brandt Classified Manager...................................................Karen Reininger City Editor.....................................................................Roger Croteau Pgfafehad an Sunday aurang* awl weekday muvmiga Tuesday through Frisky by tm Hmr Bmegdt HereHZatmi (USPS 377-MO) TOI Urn* St, cr RO Dn«v 311328. New BnueMa, Camel County, Tx. 78131-1328. Second daw postage pad by die New Brum fdt Hereld-Zeiimg ie New Braunfels, Texet riii lite 11 ii ie ^rrmri Tnt1'"’-—Mg f “'n rnfii THV en Iii yr. cee yew. $e9. Sewer Qiaa Dtoowtfi by cene debvrry coly: ax menthe, $25; one yew, S4S. MM tehvay amide Conal Cassy ie Twee: tew muter, SKS* ax mon**. $47 JU ora ym, $88.30. MUI cete* Tour: ax month*, $61.93; cee jaw, $109.23. SufaKziten wfco have not (waived • newspaper by 5:30 pm. Tuesday fooufh friday cr by 730 aet ae Sunday nay call aid) 623-9144 or (210) 606-0846 (laU-fee for Sepia, Mates, Caeyoe Lake, Butvaed* sad Sea Amado) by 7 pm weekdays ar by ll aje ca Sunday. tantaras: teed addn** cheap* lo Sp New Brmnfds HereU-Zeikmg, PX). Draw-w311328. New Swinish, Tx. 78131-1328.The river was great, but can that trash There are some definite advantages to living in a tourist town such as New Braunfels. Having lived here only since last August, I still have plenty tourist-type activities to explore. Last Sunday, for the first time, I rafted down the Guadalupe River, courtesy of some generous neighbodiiood friends, Valerie and Kyle, who invited me to join them on their raft. And I would be amiss if I left our their big black dog Lucille, who swam alongside after forfeiting her usual seat in the raft to my daughter and me. The whole experience was all it's cracked up to be and more. The three-mile section we traversed had just enough Whitewater to be thrilling and to give me a great set of bruises on my shins. Pitting the aim muscles against the current does produce a real rush of excitement But our ride was also calm enough to be safe for my eight-year-old, who incidentally did wear a Susan England lifejacket The most wonderful surprise was the wildlife we observed. With the river running through the center of town, and with all those tourists swarming in the summer, I had no idea we'd find such a wealth of animal life. We ran straight for the Audubon Field Guides when we got home to try to identify what we’d seen. In just three miles, on one day, we think we spotted wood ducks, a little blue heron, a blue grosbeak, a vermilion flycatcher, and a multitude of turtles, sunning themselves in tightly packed lines on rocks and logs. Each time Lucille approached, they plopped back into the water one by one in perfect rhythm, as if choreographed. The whole experience was our own little slice of a National Geographic Explorer adventure. So naturally I was appalled, no, nauseous is a better word, to see trash floating in the river . I was told that the amount I saw was peanuts compared to what is dumped during the summer. The tourism this river brings is one of the economic lifelines of our community. But the river is also a fragile ecosystem. It's a crying shame that people don't care enough to hold onto their trash until they get to a garbage can. I was also somewhat aghast to see people tubing down the river trailing another tube frill of beer. It surprises me that this is legal. Anyone experienced in outdoor sports will tell you that mixing Whitewater sport, however seemingly tame, with alcohol is a move worthy of Beavis and Bullhead on a bad day. When drinking, the judgment to keep control of one's own garbage is probably the first thing to go down the tubes. At the worst, the combination of slow reflexes, strong current and hidden rocks can be deadly. But, of course, "It won’t happen to me" seems to be the prevailing attitude. The environmentalist in me wishes that bringing alcohol to the river were illegal and that fines for dumping were stiff enough to be a real deterrent In the real world, though, I’ll have to content myself with trying to set an example and encouraging others to do the same. I sincerely hope we don't let our enjoyment of the rivers lead to their demise. (Sue England is a New Braunfels resident and an employee of the Herald-Zeitung.) Explosive base closings issue may go on hold By JOHN DUMOND Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — For President Ginton, closing military bases offers little to gain and much to lose. Unless Clinton and Congress agree to a delay, the president faces the prospect of ordering dozens of bases closed and putting thousands people out of work on the eve of his re-election campaign. And according to the president’s own experts, by the time the savings from the 1993 round of base closings roll in, his second term would be over. In part for these reasons, Clinton is considering deferring some base closures until alter the 1996 presidential election. The proposal contradicts the advice of the Pentagon’s top generals and admirals, who view base closings as a way to free up money for modernization and new weapons. And it injects an element of politics into a debate that Congress sought to insulate from Today in history Analysis partisan and parochial pressures. Under the base closure law, 1995 was to mark the last of four rounds of base closings and, by all official accounts, it was to be the largest single round. "We are committed to as large a base closing in 1995 as we can do in a responsible manner,” Deputy Defense Secretary John Deutch told a Senate Armed Services subcommittee Wednesday. Because of the sprawling nature of the military base network, the resulting job losses would probably hit several large, politically significant states. In the 1993 round, far example, base closures were expected to claim mote than 40,000 military and civilian jobs in California, 22,000 in Florida and 14,700 in South Carolina. Ordering bases closed would he easier for Clinton if there were an imme diate payoff to offset the pain. But closing bases costs money before it saves money. The costs include environmental cleanup, transfer of hard ware to other bases and the disposition of surplus property. From the time a base is ordered closed, it lakes an average of six years before the government starts to save money, Robert Bayer, the deputy assistant defense secretary in charge of base closing, told Congress last week. In other words, after Clinton suffers the political damage associated with closing bases, whoever is president in 2001 will reap the savings. Nor can Clinton count on savings from earlier base closure decisions. For the three previous base closure rounds in 1988, 1991 and 1993, the "crossover point" at which the government begins to realize savings is 1997, according to Bayer. Bul if the government orders major new closures in 1995, that crossover point slips lo 1998 or 1999. An idea being considered by Clinton and Defense Secretary William Ferry is to add another base closure round in 1997 so that the 1995 round would be less severe. Some lawmakers want to put off the 1995 base closure round entirely, arguing that the government is going too far too fast and may need some of these bases later if the military expands. Rep. Jim Hansen, R-Utah, and Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., have filed separate bills to delay next year’s base closure round. Dole, considered a possible presidential contender in 19%, cited national security concerns along with cost issues. But Sen. Sam Nunn, D-Ga., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, warns (hat the longer the Pentagon delays in closing bases, the longer it will have lo wait fur the savings. By The Associated PTM* Today is Tuesday, May 17, the 137th day of 1994. There are 228 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: Forty years ago, on May 17,1954, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark Brown vs. Boart of Education of Topeka ruling which declared that racially segregated public schools were inherently unequal. On this date: Ie 1792, the New York Stock Exchange was founded by brokers meeting under a tree located on what is now Wall Street 1b 1814, Norway’s constitution was signed, providing for a limited monarchy. la 1875, the first Kentucky Derby was nm at Churchill Downs in Louisville. The winner was Aristides. 1b 1938, the radio quiz show "Information, Please!" made its debut on the NBC Blue Network. 1b 1938, Congress passed the Vinson Naval Act providing funds for a two-ocean navy. la 1940, the Nazis occupied Brussels, Belgium, during World War II. In 1946, President Truman seized control of the nation’s railroads, delaying a threatened strike by engineers and trainmen. In 1948, the Soviet Union recognized the new state of Israel. In 1973, the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities opened its hearings into the Watergate scandal. In 1987,37 American sailors were killed when an Iraqi warplane attacked the U.S. Navy frigate Stark in the Persian Gulf. (Iraq and the U.S. characterized the attack as a mistake.) Ten years ago: The U.S. House of Representatives, rejecting President Reagan’s claim that it was “absolutely essential” to resume the manufacture of chemical weapons, defeated his proposed purchase of components for nerve gas bombs and shells. Five yean ago: The government of Poland approved freedom of religion, giving legal status lo (he Roman Catholic Church. More than I million people swarmed into central Beijing to express support for Chinese students fasting for democracy. A court in Frankfurt, West Germany sentenced Mohammed All Hamadi to life in prist for his role in the 1985 TWA hijacking. One year ago: President Clinton visited the b Alamos National laboratory in New Mexico, th* birthplace of the atomic bomb, where he pro*non his five-year, $20 billion defense-con version plai Today's Birthdays: Actress Maureen O’Sulli van is 83. Former Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox is 82. Opera singer Birgit Nilsson is 76. Ac tor-director Dennis Hopper is 58. Energ Secretary Hazel O’Leary is 57. Nebraska Gov. Ben Nelson is 53. Boxer Sugar Ray Leonard is 3 Thought for T oday: "We do not usually look for allies when we love. Indeed, we often look oi those who love with us as rivals and trespassers. But we always look for allies when we hate." — Erie Hoffer, American author and philosopher (1902-1983). ;