New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 30, 1996, New Braunfels, Texas
4 O Herald-Zeitung O Thursday, May 30,1996
■ To talk with Managing Editor Doug Loveday about the Opinion page, call 625*9144, ext. 21
t u n g
Q U O T A B“How can you understand history, how can you understand literature if you don’t understand the importance of religion?”
Evelyn Holman educator 1994
Buildthereservoir!San Antonio mayor’s thinking misses the point about need for surface water source
San Antonio Mayor Bill Thorton weighed in on die water issue last week with statements that can only be described as clueless.
Oh, where to start? How about here: According to the mayor of our neighbors to the south, “After all these measures we arc doing as a city — placing businesses at risk, harming some of our businesses — if at the end of that all the Fish and Wildlife does is drive a pickup truck into New Braunfels and haul a few salamanders to San Marcos to solve that problem, I say solve the problem now and leave our businesses alone.”
Hauling a few salamanders to San Marcos, where the endangered species will be kept in a fish hatchery is not a “solution” at all. It is a desperate last-ditch effort to stave off extinction. And breeding the species in captivity is by no means a sure thing. Keeping them in the hatchery does not ensure their survival, but they can probably be kept alive until rains bring the spring flow back to levels where the species are safe.
Next, he added, “If there’s an answer to this problem that we’re going to learn in July, let’s have the answer today in May so we don’t have to run through these various painful conservation measures that cost people jobs."
The mayor must be misinformed if he thinks that if the endangered species “problem" was solved, San Antonio would be relieved of “these various painful conservation measures.” The aquifer is low and dropping fast. Saline water could infiltrate public wells, and we in New Braunfels and San Marcos would still like to see our springs flow even if there were no endangered species in them. San Antonio would still have to conserve water.
Third, Thorton said, “There are people in this community whose families depend upon their ability, quite frankly, to mow lawns at a time when we’re not waieriog.^gaaa;’^v
Think about the cost and benefit of this. He wants people to start using additional millions of gallons of water so a few dozen San Antonians can work at minimum wage (or close to it) jobs. This is a man clearly dedicated to the prospect of sucking every last drop cut of the Edwards Aquifer.
Finally, he added, “But I want to tell you that at the level of the largest corporations, business people will not make capital investments in this community if there is uncertainty or lack of predictability of water."
It is not the fault of the endangered species that San Antonio has a lack of certainty in its water supply. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it is because San Antonio does not have a surface water supply.
Just build a reservoir, like every other large city in America has done — like you’ve known you should for at least the past 30 years.
Just build a reservoir.
Are you listening?
Build a reservoir.
(Today’s editorial was written by City Editor Roger Croteau.)
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Why save endangered species?
Editor and Publisher...........................................................Doug Toney
Managing Editor...........................................................Doug Loveday
Director of Advertising.................................................Debbie Banta-Scott
Retail Advertising Manager...............................................Jack Osteen
Accounting Manager........................................................Mary Lee Hall
Circulation Director....................................................Carol Am Avery
Pressroom Foreman...........................................................Billy Parnell
City Editor.....................................................................Roger Croteau
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It’s still only May, with what lodes to be a long, diy summer staring us in the face, and Weare already facing the prospect of the Comal and San Marcos springs going dry.
If that happens, there is a real chance that several of the endangered species that call the springs home could become extinct. But really, who cares if the fountain darter or the San Marcos salamander or the Comal Springs riffle beetle become extinct?
Everyone in New Braunfels agrees it would be a shame if the springs go dry because we’d lose the spring-fed pool, the tubing bn the Comal, etc., but who really cares if some bugs and tiny animals die off.
When it comes to bald eagles, mountain lions or grizzly bears, many people get emotional and are sympathetic to any efforts to keep these species alive. But when it comes to beetles, or Texas wild rice, their eyes glaze over and suddenly it’s a waste of time and effort to try to save them.
So I talked to Jana Grate, assistant field supervisor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Austin office, and Dan Krause and Scott Royder, of the Sierra Cub in Austin, to ask “Who cares?”
Below is a summary of the arguments they offered. You can decide if it is worth money to save these species.
The Canary in the Coal Mine Argument — “You can look at an ecosystem like an airplane wing, and die individual species like the rivets that hold the wing together,” Grate said. “You could still fly the plane with a rivet or two missing, maybe three or four, but eventually, that wing is going to fall off.”
All species are interconnected, including humans, and if salamanders start dying off, it is an early signal that there is a problem that, if ignored, could
impact people. The removal of a single species can set off a chain reaction affecting many others.
For example, the brown-headed cowbird has a habit of laying its eggs in other birds’ nests. Those other birds would then raise the baby cowbirds. In the old days, the cowbirds followed the buffalo, eating insects the buffalo stirred up. Since they were always on the move, the cowbirds weren’t a big problem for any other species. Once in while, a bird would raise a cowbird, but it was no problem. When the buffalo disappeared, the cowbirds stopped migrating, which led to big concentrations of cowbirds in certain areas, including around Austin, where they are one of the chief reasons for the decline of the endangered black-capped vireo and golden-cheeked warbler.
Medicine and Agriculture — The first rule of intelligent tinkering is to keep all the parts, you’ll probably need them later. Many species become extinct before they have even been studied. Powerful medicines are often derived from plants and animals. Every time a species goes extinct, we could be losing a cure for cancer. For example, the Pacific yew tree was almost extinct when it was discovered to contain a powerful anti-cancer agent. Texas wild rice, an endangered plant which grows in the San Marcos River, may be used to make other strains of rice more productive.
Saving Ecosystems — By using the Endangered Species Act to protect species, entire ecosystems can be saved, thus providing the benefits of habitat for
many other species of plants and animals, providing open spaces, preserving our natural heritage, protecting ground water supplies and recharge zones and other benefits.
The Moral Argument — Aside from the more concrete reasons for preserving endangered species, moral considerations are often mentioned. May people believe that every creature, after adapting for millions of years to fit a constantly changing environment, has an intrinsic right to exist Exterminating other forms of life, they say, would not only be shortsighted, but wrong - especially since the species could never be replaced. In short, since man did not create the species, he has no right to destroy them.
There are 955 species protected by the Endangered Species Act. It cost $83 million last year to run the endangered species program, which is less durn it
costs to build one mile of urban highway.
• • •
A lot of people have asked me what kind of response I got to my last column (‘A message the Klan won’t forget’, May 16).
■ Fourteen callers, writers or visitors thought mooning the Klan was a great idea.
■ Eleven thought I was an idiot to make such a suggestion. (There were probably more of those, since some of the people who hated it called the publisher, and he probably didn’t tell me about every call he got.)
■ Six said confronting the Klan was a good idea,
but mooning was out.
■ Three just had comments that weren’t pro or con.
(Roger Croteau is city editor of the Herald-
SPRINGTIME IK MERICA!Clinton embraces curfews to fight teen crime
By SONYA ROSS
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP)—Sounding a conservative theme, President Clinton is embracing tough curfews to fight crime: Kids under 17 should be off the streets at 8 p.m. on school nights.
Clinton will offer his recommendations for successful curfews today in New Orleans, where a strict “dusk to dawn” curfew is credited with reducing juvenile crime by 27 percent and lowering auto theft by 42 percent.
He will deliver a speech before a women’s group of the Church of God in Christ on “a specific type of safety program for kids,” White House spokesman Mike McCurry said Wednesday.
Today’s trip provides a good sounding board for the president to test his conservative themes. Louisiana is a conservative state that gave Clinton 42 percent of the vote in 1992 and has a healthy number
Today In History
By The Associated Press
Today is Thursday, May 30, the 151st day of 19%. There are 215 days left in the year.
Today** Highlight in History:
On May 30, 1431, Joan of Arc, condemned as a heretic, was burned at the stake in Rouen, France.
On this date:
In 1539, Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto landed in Florida.
In 1854, the territories of Nebraska and Kansas were established.
In 1883,12 people were trampled to death when a rumor that the recently opened Brooklyn Bridge was in imminent danger of collapsing triggered a stampede.
In 1911, Indianapolis saw its first long-distance auto race; Ray Harroun was the winner.
In 1922, the Lincoln Memorial was dedicated in Washington D.C., by Chief Justice William Howard Taft.
of swing voters.
New Orleans’ curfew is similar to those in six other cities that require youngsters to be off the streets at night and steer violators to curfew centers where they receive counseling — and where parents pick them up.
A curfew report being issued today by the Justice Department says the best curfews provide exceptions for youths who are married, accompanied by an adult, traveling to or from work, responding to an emergency or participating in a supervised school, church or recreational event.
The report is to act as a guide in how to establish curfews that can withstand a constitutional challenge. The most successful programs, Justice officials said, use “creative community involvement” to attack “the root causes of juvenile delinquency and victimization.”
“Law enforcement professionals generally view a juvenile curfew ordinance as an effective means to
In 1937, IO people were killed when police fired on steelworkers demonstrating near the Republic Steel plant in South Chicago.
In 1943, American forces secured the Aleutian island of Attu from the Japanese during World War II.
In 1958, unidentified soldiers killed in World War ll and the Korean conflict were buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
In 1971, the American space probe Mariner 9 blasted off from Cape Kennedy, Fla., on a journey to Mars.
In 1980, Pope John Paul ll arrived in France on the first visit by the head of the Roman Catholic Church since the early 19th century.
In 1981, tire president of Bangladesh, Ziaur Rahman, was assassinated in a failed military coup.
In 1982, Spam became NATO’s 16th member, foe first country to enter foe western alliance since West Germany in 1955.
Ten year* ago: 21 elderly passengers were killed when a tour bus went out of control chi a mountain road and plunged into the Walker River near the
combat late evening crime,” department officials wrote. “However, curfews are also intended to protect youth from becoming victims of crime.”
Officials recommend that curfews fulfill seven criteria:
— A curfew center to receive violators.
— Volunteers and social service professionals at the curfew centers.
— Counseling or other referrals for families.
— Fines or community service sentences for repeat offenders.
— Recreation or jobs programs.
— Anti-drug and anti-gang programs.
— Hotlines for follow-up services.
Clinton is embracing curfews enacted in Dallas, Phoenix, Chicago, Denver, Jacksonville, Fit., and North Little Rock, Ark., White House officials said. But the New Orleans program, created by Mayor Marc Mortal, contains foe most elements outlined in the Justice Department report.
Five years ago: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that prosecutors can be sued for the legal advice they give police and can be forced to pay damages when that advice leads to someone’s rights being violated.
One year ago: In a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic demanded guarantees of no further NATO air attacks and de facto recognition of a self-styled Serb state.
Today*! Birthdays: Country musician Johnny Giinble is 70. Actor Clint Walker is 69. Actor Kerr Dulles is 60. Actress Ruts Lee is 60. Actor Michael J. Pollard is 57. Country singer Wynonna is 32. Rapper Cee-Lo is 22.
Thought for Today: “There are two statements about human beings that are true: that all human beings are alike, and that all are different. On those two facts all human wisdom is founded.” — Mark Van Doren, American poet (1894-1972).