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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 9, 1994, New Braunfels, Texas 4 A ■ Herald-Zeitung ■ Wednesday, Nov. 9, 1994 Opinion I To talk with Managing Editor Mark Lyon about the Opinion page, call 625-9144, ext. 21 Z e i t u n gOpinion Q U O T AB L E "The individual freedom of conscience protected by the First Amendment embraces the right to select any religious faith or none at all." — John Paul Stevens, Supreme Court Justice, 1985Strange things are happening in toilets Q LU ITOH! < Anew directionAfter a big election night win, it’s time for Bush to govern "My mission is to include, not exclude, to unify, not to divide." So said George W. Bush, the new governor of Texas, as he claimed victory Tuesday night. He will certainly have to do that if he is to deliver on his campaign promises of reducing juvenile crime, reforming the welfare system and giving local communities more control of their schools. Bush ran a clean campaign, steering away from personal attacks on his opponent, and that fact should make it easier for him to deal with members of both parties. During has campaign, Bush spelled out clearly his vision of Texas' future and his legislative agenda. Texans responded to that message. Richards, whose popularity still ranks high at about 60 percent, was gracious in defeat, stating "All of us wish him the very best upon taking office in January, because he is taking on the responsibility for Texas and that mpans he deserves Godspeed." While Richards remains popular, voters still decided for a change in direction. 'Texas is ready for a new generation of leadership," Bush said. "I have heard from Texas today, and I hear a call for constructive change." > Bush faces serious challenges in delivering on his promises. Juvenile crime especially seems out of control. We all >vish him good luck in tackling the challenges that face the state. With hard work and a little luck, he can make Texas a better, safer place to live four years from now than it is today. ;That is something everyone, Democrat or Republican, can hope and work for. • (Today’s editorial was written by City Editor Roger £ rot eau.)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 260 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 c/o The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung • P.O. Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, Texas 78131-1328 Fax: (210)626-1224 New BraunfelsHerald-Zeitung Editor and Publisher............................................................David Suttons General Manager............................................................Cheryl Duvall Managing Editor..................................................................Mark Lyon Advertising Director............................................................Paul Davis Circulation Director....................................................Carol Ann Avery Pressroom Foreman...................................................Douglas Brandt Classified Manager...................................................Karen Reminger City Editor.....................................................................Roger Croteau Published on Sunday mornings and weekday mornings Tuesday through Friday by the New Braunfels Herald-haunt (USPS 377-880) 7071anda Si, or P.O. Drawer 311328, New Braunfels, Comal County, Tx. 78131-1328. Second class postage paid by the New Braunfels Herald Zeiiunt in New Braunfels. Texas Carrier delivered in Comd and Curialupc counties: three months, $19; six months, $34; one year, $60. Senior Citizen Discounts by earner delivery only: ax months, $M>. one year, $56. Mad delivery outside Comal County in Texas: three months, $28.80; six months, $32; one year, $97.50. Mail outside Tex* six months, $75; one year, $112.25. Subscribers who have not received a newspaper by 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through linday or by 7:30 im on Sunday nay cad (210) 625-9144 or (210) 606-0846 (toll-free for Seguin, Mar on, Canyon Lake, Bulverde and San Antonio) by 7 pm weekdays or by 11 im on Sunday. Postmaster: Send address changes to the New Braudels Herald-ZeHung, P.O. Drawer 311328, New Braunfels, Tx. 78131 -1328. As you are aware if you follow international events, over the past year I have written a number (two) of columns about the worldwide epidemic of snakes in toilets. As a result, I have received man letters from people who have had personal toiletsnake encounters, to the point where I now consider it newsworthy when somebody reports NOT finding a snake in a toilet. But now I am getting nervous. I say this because of a recent alarming incident wherein a woman, attempting to use her commode, was attacked in an intimate place - specifically, Gwinnett County, GA - by a SQUIRREL. I have here an article from the Atlanta Journal Constitution, written by Gail Hagans and sent in by a number of alert readeis. The headline • a textbook example of clear journalism - states: "Squirrel somehow makes way into commode, scratches Gwinnett woman's behind." I am not making this up. The woman is quoted as follows:" I went to the bathroom and lifted the lid and sat down. That's when I felt something scratching my behind." So following the recommended"" Jump, Slam, Call and Tell" emergency procedure, she jumped up, slammed the lid down, called her husband at work and told him to come home immediately, which he of course did. We may live in an age of gender equality, but men have a protective instinct that dates hack millions of years, lo when they would have o defend their mates from such vicious predators as the saber toothed tiger and the mastodon (toilets wee much bigger then). Unfortunately, by the time the husband got home, the squirrel had drowned, forcing us to once again ask When the Failed Clinton administration will demand that all Commodes be equipped with tiny life preservers. But that is not the issue at hand. The issue at hand is that the squirrel apparently got into the plumbing system via a roof vent, which means that if your, like so many people, have a roof, your toilet is vulnerable to ANY organism with a long narrow body, including (but not limited to) otters, weasels, dachshunds, squids, and international fashion models with only one name, such as Imam But that is by no means the only major toilet development. There is also the Mystery Toilet in Texas that produces ballpoint pens. I am not making this up, either. According to a story in the Wichita Falls Times Record News, written by Steve Clements and sent in by several alert readers, a man named David Garza of Henrietta Texas has fished 75 Papcrmate ballpoint pens out of his toilet over the past two years, sometimes as many as five pens per day. Garza has no idea where they are coming from and neither do the local sewer authorities. The story was accompanied by a photograph of Garza sitting on the bathtub next to the Mystery Toilet, holding a pen, looking like a successful anger. I called him immediately. "What is the status of the toilet?" I asked. "It s still a mystery," he said He said he hadn’t found any new pens since the newspaper story. , but he has become something of a celebrity. This is understandable. People naturally gravitate to a man who has a Mystery Toilet. "Everywhere I go," he said, "people say to me, 'Hey you got a pen" "I asked him if the pens still write and he said they do. "Papcrmate out to make a commercial out of this,’’ he said. The slogan could be, We come from all over and write anywhere.' You Know, like Coca-Cola, it s there when you need it. Actually, I don't think that's Coca-Cola's slogan. But Garza's statement got me to thinking about a possible breakthrough TV commercial wherein an athlete is standing in the locker room, sweating, thirsty as heck, and the toilet gurgles and up pops a nice refreshing can of Coke. Yum! A commercial like that might be exactly what Coca-Cola needs to counteract all the free media attention Pepsi got recently with the syringe thing. But the question is: Why are Paapermate pens showing up in this toilet? Tcre is only one logical explanation - I’m sure you thought of it. Alien Beings. David Garza's toilet is apparently connected to some kind of intergalactic sewage warp, through which aliens arc trying to establish communication by sending Papcrmate pens (which arc for sale everywhere.) Probably they want us to write down our phone number on a piece of Charm in and flush it back to them. Speaking of toilets and communication, you need to know about a TV review column from the Daily Yomiru, an English language newspaper published in Japan. The column, sent in by alert reader Chris Graillat, states that there is a children's show in Japan called Ugo Ugo Ruga, which features -1 am still not making this up - "an animated character with heavy eyebrows called Dr. Puri Puri (Dr. Stinky), a piece of talking excrement that keeps popping up from the toilet bowl to express strange platitudes only an adult can fathom. "You're thinking: Hey! Sounds like Henry Kisscnger!" No, seriously, you are thinking that there arc indeed some scary worldwide developments occurring in toilets and die international authorities had belter do something about it. And Bien they had better wash their hands. (Dave Barry is a syndicated columnist with Tribune Media Services.) ttuee eecuRny tightens/ Scientists probe the value of earthworms WASHINGTON (AP) — An Agriculture Department study unearthed some of the ways worms help make healthy soil. The yearlong study found, for example, that worms help rain soak into soil at least tour times faster and their presence also reduces water runoff. “Burrows left by the worms are nature’s own system for collecting rain water in the soil where plant roots can suck it up,” USDA entomologist Edwin Berry said. By allowing the water into the soil, the burrows keep valuable topsoil from washing away and prevent agricultural chemicals from reaching waterways. Today in history Analysis The study was conducted on Iowa test plots, using overhead sprinklers to simulate rainfall. Untilled fields, with about IOO night crawlers per square yard, soaked up 2 inches of water in only 12 minutes. It look two hours for the water to soak into tilled, worm-free fields. The insights on worms came as part of a wider study of soil as an ecosystem. The research focused on the interactions that create healthy sol1 that fungi, insects, microbe: bacteria and nematodes also play mportant roles. Wormholes can be found up lo 6 feet below ground. The crisscrossing burrows create a natural drainage and aeration system for farmland. The extent and placement of burrows in the soil depends on how the worms react to variety of stimuli, such as soil temperature, moisture, density and soil type. For example, heal and dryness cause worms to burrow deeper. Researchers also found that tilling the soil reduces the worm population by destroying burrows and disrupting to M supply, inadvertently robbing the ecos stem of their benefits. Al iough there are around 3,000 species of earth worm, the night crawler is the most familiar, often found emerging to tlx* surface al night as the weather permits. In his research on earth worms, Berry has found no explanation for this ageold scientific puzzler Why are there so many worms on the sidewalk after it rains? “Earthworms do not drown and.can exist underwater for weeks in controlled environments," Berry said. “We’re not certain why they leave their burrows during rain." By The Associated Press Today is Wednesday, Nov. 9, the 313th day of 1994. There are 52 days left rn the year. Today’s highlight in history: Five years ago, on Nov. 9, 1989, communist East Germany threw open its borders, allowing citizens to travel freely to the West; joyous Germans danced atop the Berlui Wall. On this date: In 1872, fire destroyed nearly a thousand build ings in Boston. In 1918, Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm II announced he would abdicate. He then fled o the Netherlands. In 1935, United Mine Workers president John L. Lewis and other labor leaders formed the Committee for Industrial Organization as part of the American Federation of Labor. In 1938, Nazis looted and burned synagogues as well as Jewish-owncd stores and houses in Germany and Austria in what became known as Krisiallnachi. In 1953, author-poet Dylan Thomas died in New York at age 39. In 1963, twin disasters struck Japan as some 450 miners were killed in a coal-dust explosion, and 160 people died in a Bain crash. In 1965, the great Northeast blackout occurred as several states and parts of Canada were hit by a series of power failures lasting up to 13 1/2 hours. In 1967, a Saturn 5 rocket carrying an unmanned Apollo spacecraft blasted off from Cape Kennedy on a successful test Hight. lit 1970, ;ormer French presider! Charles De Gaulle died at age 79. in 1990, Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbacfiev signed a historic non-aggression treaty with Germany, winning praise from German leaders for his role in the peaceful fall of the Berlin Wall. Ten years ago: A bronze statue by Frederick Hart, lilied “Three Servicemen," was unveiled at the site of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. The statue, depicting a trio of bat tle-weary soldiers, was included in response to criticism that the memorial did not adequately represent Vietnam veterans. One year ago: Vice President AI Gore and Ross Perot debated the North American Free Tirade Agreement on CNN’s “Larry King Live.” Edward J. Rollins, who had managed New Jersey Gov.-elect Christine Todd Whitman’s campaign, set off a furor by asserting New Jersey Republicans had paid money to curb black voter turnout, a claim denied by Whitman and retracted by Rollins. Today’s Birthdays: Actress Hedy Lamarr is 81. Former Vice President Spiro T. Agnew is 76. Sportscaster Charlie Jones is 64. Baseball execu-uve Whitey Herzog is 63. Astronomer Carl Sagan is 60. Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla., is 58. Actor Lou Ferrigno is 42. Thought for today: “Before I built a wall I’d ask toknow< What I was walling rn or walling out." — Robert Frost, American poet (1874-1963). ;