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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 22, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas ■To talk with Managing Editor Micah Boyd about the Opinion page, call 625-9144. Ext. 220. Herald-Zeitung Opinion Online contact BTO submit letters and guest columns electronically by way of online services or Internet, or to simply contact staff members, the Herald-Zeitung’s address is [email protected] QUO.TABLE “We eqjoy the shield of the First Amendment, but it can’t, won’t and shouldn't protect us from any resentment we engender when we act as if we were accountable only to ourselves and as if we had no obligation at all to the public.” Colbert King columnist 1996 State laws tackle local problems EDITORIALThree PhrksRunSaturday’s race benefits participants, community Some ideas are so good they make one wish the whole world could work with such simplicity and justice. Habitat for Humanity is one such idea. Community members and local businesses join with a family who needs a home to build that home hands-on, from the ground up. The family gets a of chance for a better life and a piece of the American Dream. Everyone involved in building a Habitat home has an experience that renews their faith in humanity. Saturday New Braunfels can nurture the local Habitat dream in two ways. First United Methodist Church celebrates the Habitat home it has built at Katy and Hackberry at 2 p.m. at the home. The entire community can help raise money for Habitat and begin Memorial Day with a bang by participating in the Schlitterbahn Three Parks Run. Fast becriming a NCW Braunfels tradition, the Three Parks Run has an event for every activity level — 5-K run, kids* races, 5-K fitness walk, I-mile run and a silent auction. Participants will receive a bonus of buy-one-get-one-free passes to Schlitterbahn for Saturday. Preregistration continues through Friday at McKenna Sports Fitness & Rehabilitation Center. Race-day registration begins at 6:30 a.m. at the Rapids Pavilion next to Schlitterbahn’s Blastenhoff section on Lincoln Street. There will only be winners in the Three Parks Run. (Today’s editorial was written by Herald-Zeitung News Editor Susan Flynt England.)Write us... The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung welcomes 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. We publish only original mail addressed to the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung bearing the writer's signature. Also, an address and a telephone number, which are not for publication, must be included. Please cite the page number and date of any article that is mentioned. Preference is given to writers who have not been published in the previous 30 days. Mail letters to: Letters to the Editor do the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung P.O. Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, Texas 78131-1328 Fax: (210) 625-1224 “Local bills are excellent examples of the democratic process, as I discovered when I requested and received senatorial support for a bill relating to a Bee County Court at Law,” said Bee County Judge Jimmy Martinez. While most bills have statewide implications, others, such as the Bee County bill, impact specific geographical areas. Of the 91 bills that I authored or sponsored durin •» the 75th Legislative Session, IO are local bills that affect specific counties in senatorial District 21. Because they address regional issues such as parks, ground water protection, land transfers and counties' judicial systems, local bills are, as Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock says, “positive legislative responses to constituents' specific concerns.” Senate Bill 401 by myself and Rep. Richard Raymond, D-Benavides, for example, expedites the prosecution of misdemeanor cases in McMullen County. Because the county’s population does not justify hiring a fulltime county attorney, the 75th Legislature passed, and Gov. George Bush signed, SB 401. The bill authorizes the district attorney for Bee, Live Oak and McMullen counties also to perform the duties of the McMullen County attorney. House Bill 3559 by Rep. Judy Haw- Judith Zaffirini ley, D-Portland, and myself, responds to Judge Martinez and Bee County Commissioners’ request to extend the time for creating a Bee County Court at Law to Jan. I, 2000. In 1995 HB 3214 by Hawley and myself created the court to handle increasing case loads. Financial constraints, however, make it difficult to create the court by the Jan. I, 1997, deadline in the earlier legislation. Another local bill requested by a commissioners court would transfer land from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to Duval County. In 1993 Duval County granted TDCJ 308 acres of land as a site for the Ernestine Glossbrenner Substance Abuse Felony Punishment Facility. Duval County Commissioners requested that 25 unutilized acres be returned for use as the site of a juvenile substance abuse facility. HB 3212 by Raymond and Zaffirini would authorize the transfer. Ground water conservation and drought management concern Texans, especially South Texans. The Senate recently passed a comprehensive water bill, SB I, by Sen. Buster Brown, R-Lake Jackson, that would provide a framework for out state’s future water policies. Because the bill indicates that ground water conservation districts are die preferred governmental entity for managing ground water resources, I filed or co-authored bills creating three new ground water districts in SD 21. In 1996 Bee County received 20 inches of rain, significantly less than die yearly average of 30 inches. Because the drought severely affected the county’s agriculture-based economy, Bee County farmers and ranchers want to create a ground water district to better manage available water resources. SB 16 by myself would help them do so by authorizing the creation of a Bee Groundwater Conservation District to be governed by a seven-member board An election would be held to confirm or reject the district. SB 1947 by myself would create die Wintergarden Groundwater Conservation District comprised by Dimmit, La Salle and Zavala counties. Similarly, SB 1582 by Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, and co-authored by myself and Sen. Ken Armbrister, D-Victoria, would provide for the cre ation of the Guadalupe County Groundwater Conservation District, subject to voter approval. The bill would facilitate cloud-seeding projects that could help prevent our state’s recurring droughts. The Live Oak Underground Water Conservation District Board requested that I file SB 15. The bill would reduce the tax cap for the Live Oak UWCD from 50 cents to 5 cents per $100 valuation. Live Oak UWCD board members report that a 5-cent cap would raise enough money for district activities, including a planned cloud-seeding project. The Comal County Water Oriented Recreation District would benefit from SB 199 by myself and Rep. Edmund Kuempel, D-Seguin, that the Senate passed recently. The bill was sent to the House of Representatives. SB 199’s provisions address WORD’S legal counsel, competitive bidding and bond requirements. Because I concur with President John F. Kennedy’s observation that “the business of government is the business of the people,” I will strive to ensure that the Legislature continues to pass these and other local bills that benefit our district. (Judith Zaffirini represents District 21 in the Texas Senate.) New BraunfelsHerald -Zeitung Editor and Publisher. Ext. 301........................................Doug Toney Managing Editor, Ext 220...............................................Micah Boyd Marketing Director, Ext. 308....................................Jason    Borchardt Classified Advertising Manager, Ext 214...............Karen    Reinmger Business Manager, Ext. 202........................................Mary    Lee Hall Circulation Director, Ext 228...................................Carol    Ann Avery Pressroom Foreman, Ext. 205..........................................Billy Parnell Published on Sunday mornings and weekday mornings Tuesday through Friday by the Hew Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (LISPS 377-880) 707 Landa St., or P.O. Drawer 311328, New Braunfels, Comal County, Tx. 78131 -1328. Penodical postage paid by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung in New Braunfels, Texas. Carrier delivered in Comal and Guadalupe counties: three months, $20.50; six months, |37; one year, $66. Senior Citizen Discounts by earner delivery only: six months, $33; one year, $62. Mail delivery outside Comal County in Texas: three months, $30.30; six months, $55; one year, $103.50. Mail outside Texas: six months, $78; one year, $118.25. Subscnbers who have not received a newspaper by 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Fnday at by 7:30 a.m. on Sunday may call (210) 625-9144 or by 7 p.m. weekdays or by 11 a.m. on Sunday. POSTMASTEJt: Send address changes to the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, P.O. Draw-ar 31132*. New Braunfels, Tx. 78131-1328. jim rifitl* a »'tt©nbirio Bemum nonmen Gang prevention lies in the hands of local communities Since 1991, my office has been tracking youth gang problems in our state, especially in our larger cities. The Attorney General Gang Reports reflect the views of police and sheriffs departments: gangs are a growing menace to public safety a id the future of our young people. We are encouraged by our state’s decreasing come rate and the progress we have made in the arca of juvenile crime. I am concerned, however, because the gang problem in Texas is apparently still getting worse, not better. Some signs of gang problems in schools are a rise in truancy, an increasing number of social groups with unusual names, and young people wearing tattoos, beads and uniform colors. Not every child who experiments with gang styles is a gang member. Bid the presence of gang style and subculture is not a healthy clement in a child’s environment. Graffiti (names and symbols painted on walls and other surfaces) is significant, too. “Tagging,” or graffiti that consists of only names and pictures, is Today in History The Associated Press Today is Thursday, May 22nd, the 142nd day of 1997 There are 223 days left in the year. Todiy’f Highlight in History: On May 22, 1947, the Truman Doctrine was enacted as Congress appropriated military and economic aid for Greece and Turkey. On this date: In 1761, the first life insurance policy in the United States was issued, in Philadelphia. In 1813, composer Richard Wagner was bom in Leipzig, Germany. In 1819, the first steam-propelled vessel to attempt a trans-Atlantic crossing, the Savannah, departed from Savannah, Ga., May 26 and arrived in Liverpool, England, June 20. In 1868, the Great Train Robbery Dan Morales not necessarily gang-related. It is vandalism, however, a costly nuisance. When gang names, challenges and symbols appear, the situation is more serious, especially if signs and gang names are crossed out. Gangs challenge one another by painting over each other’s graffiti. Your local police or sheriffs office may be able to help you decipher the sometimes cryptic signs. Graffiti is not confined to walls; look for gang signs on school notebooks, books and papers, too. Finally, a rising incidence of confrontations, “stare-downs” and racial tensions should be taken very seriously. “Show-bys” (displays of weapons) and “drive-by” shootings are clear signals that gang activity is well out of hand. took place near Marshfield, Ind., as seven members of the Reno gang made off with $96,000 in cash, gold and bonds. In 1939, Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini signed a “Pact of Steel” committing Germany and Italy to a military alliance. In 1969, the lunar module of Apollo IO separated from the command module and flew to within nine miles of the moon’s surface in a dress rehearsal for the first lunar landing. In 1972, the island nation of Ceylon became the republic of Sri Lanka with the adopting of a new constitution In 1979, Canadians went to the polls in parliamentary elections that put the Progressive Conservatives in power, ending the 11 -year tenure of Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Ten years ago: A deadly tornado What can we do about gangs? First, acknowledge the problem. In some communities, residents and officials are afraid to admit that there is a gang problem. They may be concerned about their community’s image or about the negative effects of labeling young people as gang members. Some people are even afraid that by giving the problem any attention, they will be encouraging gangs by giving them notoriety they seek. All of these understandable concerns should be addressed, and all can be met. But, denial is never beneficial. You cannot solve a problem until you define it. Secondly, assess the problem. Every locality has its own version of the gang problem Before you can begin to find solutions to your own situation, you must understand it. How many gangs and gang members arc there? What lunas of gangs are present? What sods of local conditions are contributing to gang activity? To gather this information you must establish coope itive relations between schools, police and community orga- devastated the small West Texas town of Saragosa, killing 30 people and injuring 162. The storm destroyed 61 houses and leveled the community center and church. Five years ago: After a reign lasting nearly 30 years, Johnny Carson hosted NBC’s “Tonight Show” for the last time, telling his audience, “I bid you a very heartfelt good night.” (Carson was succeeded by Jay Leno.) One year ago: President Clinton counterattacked against Republican criticism of his foreign policy during a commencement address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn.; the president then traveled to New York where he was cheered by sailors from four nations aboard the USS Intrepid. Today's Birthdays: Movie reviewer Judith Crist is 75. Singer Charles nizations. You may wish to call a meeting at your church, school or community center. Invite citizens who are concerned about gangs to meet with local authorities. Finally, act on the problem. Send a clear message to the gangs in your community that gang activity will not be ignored. Clean up graffiti immediately after its appearance — and keep it cleaned up. Arrange to hear about new graffiti promptly. To find out what you can do to help young people in your area, contact your police or sheriffs office, local community center, school or church. You can also write for our free brochure, Gangs and Community Response, Office of the Attorney General, Research and Legal Support Division, P.O. Box 12548. For help in organizing a plan to address gang problems in your community, contact our Juvenile Crime Intervention Division at the same address. More information is also available on our home page on the Internet, at (Dan Morales is the Texas attorney general.) Aznavour is 73. Actor Michael Constantine is 70. Conductor Peter Nero is 63. Actor-director Richard Benjamin is 59. Actress Susan Strasberg is 59 Actor Frank Converse is 59. Actoi Michael Sarrazin is 57. Actor Paul Winfield is 56. Songwriter Bernie Taupin is 47. Singer Morrissey is 38 Country musician Dana Williams (Dia mend Rio) is 36. Rock musician Jesse Valenzuela (Gin Blossoms) is 35 Rhythm-and-blues singer Johnny Gil (New Edition) is 31. Model Naom Campbell is 27. Singer Doncll Jones ii 24. Thought for Today: “One of the greatest pains to human nature is the pain of a new idea.” — Walter Bage hot, English editor and economic (1826-1877). ;