New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 15, 1996, New Braunfels, Texas
4A □ Herald-Zeitung □ Friday, Nov. 15, 1996
BTO talk with Managing Editor Doug Loveday about the Opinion page, call 625-9144, ext. 220
“Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward; they may be beaten, but they may start a winning game.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe German poet, dramatist, c. 1790
Troops heading for Zaire should have every advantage militarily possible
A Pentagon spokesman was quoted Thursday as saying US. troops would likely be entering a war zone in eastern Zaire without a formal cease fire in place.
The U.S. troops taking part in the Canadian-led mission to bring order and food to tens of thousands of starving refugees are expected to number near 5,000.
The Pentagon acknowledged that it had not even received oral agreements from warring factions that no hostile actions would be taken against the international force.
Those uncertainties and the lack of a troop withdrawal timetable or clear objective are just of few of the objections being raised about the mission.
They’re being balanced, however, with the grisly possibilities that confront the world community.
Starvation and genocide could be the result of a lack of action on the part of the international community.
According to a Washington Post Service story, an estimated 500,000 refugees are being held as virtual hostages in their dirty refugee camp by Rwandan Hutu militias, the same fighters
blamed for tens of thousands of deaths in Rwanda.
Those fighters will have to be dealt with for relief supplies, sanitation measures and other humanitariatroteps to be taken.
The parallels of this mission to the debacle in Somalia ane striking. What the U.S. can do, however, is learn from those previous mistakes and prepare for the worst if this mission is undertaken.
The Clinton Administration was rightly criticized for its handling of the situation in Somalia. When it was revealed that some military equipment, which had been requested by U.S. commanders on the ground in Somalia, had not been forwarded to them immediately just prior to a deadly firefight with Somali militias, the American public was outraged.
If we’re going to drop US. troops into ethnic conflicts, give them more than enough strength to handle any situation. The U.S. troops in Bosnia are well equipped. Make sure those heading for Africa are equally supplied and supported.
(Today’s editorial was written by Managing Editor Doug Loveday.)
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Holiday vortex disorder upon us
The day after Halloween has zipped by, which means stores are already decked — with twinkling lights, canned carols (that employees will probably hear in their nightmares by New Year’s), and the bizarre small appliances of the year.
Halloween also marks the start of the “holiday vortex.” It’s that time of year when moms find themselves heading toward Christmas with so many things to do it’s as if we’re hurtling down a huge, accelerating slide.
We’ve no control over direction or velocity — and our gazillions of deadlines are whizzing by while we frantically try to grab at them with our fingernails.
Children’s and adults’ church choirs are already practicing for Christmas, as well as school performing groups. Scout troops are going at full steam by now with camp-outs and work projects.
There are parties — school, church, work, sports, scouts, clubs — which need cookies, drinks, and games, and more cookies.
Not to mention presents.
(The Betty Crocker moms will already have these done by now. We “I work better under pressure” procrastinators have barely begun to think about who’s on our lists this year.)
If we have jobs outside the home, we find concentrating on tasks at work a Herculean endeavor.
Within the holiday vortex, moms will start switching their children’s names, or calling children by pets’ or spouses’ names. Anger compounds this disorder. My stepmom Maria named all five of her kids with “D” names. When she was angry at vortex time, she’d just say, “Now, David, Diane, Dormy, Debby, Dennis — oh, you know who you are!”
Grocery stores are full of moms with symptoms of
holiday vortex disorder. Some hold two brands of spaghetti sauce with a fixed stare — for IO minutes or more. Others are reduced to quivering protoplasm by the sound of a whiney child’s voice. The percentage of fast food meals increases on a geometric scale as the holiday vortex progresses.
This is the time of year when moms look back on the commitments we made at the beginning of die year with such words as, “fool,” “pushover,” “what on earth possessed me to say yes,” and “never again.”
But, what’s done is done. We’ve already signed on the dotted lines and people are counting on us.
Crying isn’t any fun, neither is yelling at our kids. Besides the standard stress-management techniques (exercise, quiet activities, more exercise) I have my own personal menu of sanity-rcstoratives for when I feel lost in the holiday vortex.
Looking at the totality of commitments and deadlines is a sure ticket to holiday vortex depression. Keeping focused on a few immediate tasks is a key to vortex management — but it’s so easy to say and so hard to do.
So I make lists. At 3 a.m. in a recent stressed-out sleepless morning, I got up and re-did my lists. Shuffled goals and commitments around between “today,” “this week,” “must do,” and “want to do.” Didn’t accomplish a thing, but somehow the burden seemed
Giving a holiday slant to the tried-and-tnie “pamper yourself for a little while” vortex-control measure can be fun and very personal. We collect mail-order catalogs, since our relatives are a continent away. I love to look through them and pretend what $800 Metropolitan Museum or Smithsonian item my exquisite taste would choose to give each loved one if money were no object.
I also like to go to die big malls — North Star, River Center, the ones on a different planet from our budget — and gaze at the beautiful clothes and decorations. Just like going to a museum, to enjoy the sheer beauty.
We have a crystal decanter and sherry glasses that were wedding gifts.
We fill the decanter only during the holiday season — with Harvey’s Bristol Cream or single malt Scotch, and use the tiny crystal glasses to savor it.
Another trick can work wonders for some — celebrate, in some small, personal way, the spiritual basis for the holiday season. I play carols on the piano, or re-read favorite stories. Or curl up with a crystal sherry glass and the cat and remember childhood Christmases.
If those last techniques don’t help, it’s time to seek professional help — or bow out of a commitment in the interest of mental health.
As a fellow PT A mom said, “By the end of the year, we’U vow not to get so involved next year, but we’ll probably forget by next fall when it’s time to sign up again.” It could be much worse. We could be lonely or bored.
(Susan Flynt England can be reached by calling 625-9144, ext. 222.)
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Letter to the EditorIt’s time both sklos of tho school district issuo got aired
In response to Mr. Alexander’s letter. I’d like to point out what is wrong with this picture. It’s onedimensional; otherwise known as one-sided. While it is true that Dr. Campos and Mr. Weaver voice the same way on all issues, I believe that is because they feel the same way about these issues, lf that is an “agenda," so be it.
Now as for the teacher in question, since when is it illegal or unethical for an individual to voice her opinions about an issue? When I took A.P. government and economics at New Braunfels High, I learned that any individual has the right to free speech, and to deny that right is to commit felony. Furthermore, when I saw Turman’s and Engler’s who at the now infamous board meeting, I realized that the first amendment must still be in effect if no one was ejected after such violent histrionics and vituperative diatribes, lf the school board did not reprimand teachers for their own personal beliefs, I guess it is because the school board is intelligent enough to realize that it is illegal to stop people from deciding for themselves what is right or wrong. Also, if the truth be told, the teacher in question did not report behind the backs of the principals. The principals misquoted teachers’ comments on a candid survey on the block scheduling, and then leaked the names of the dissenting teachers to a known board member who then wrote an editorial in this newspaper.
Finally, about said teacher contributing $50 to Mr. Weaver’s campaign fund, in a list of contributors to Mr. DeHaven’s campaign fund published in this paper, a respected teacher at Memorial Primary and her husband contributed a total of $300 to Mr. DeHaven.
Another issue I wish to address is the personal letter that Mr. Weaver wrote to Mr. Bradberry that was intentionally leaked to the Herald-Zeitung. Mr. Weaver has clarified the fact that the letter was never supposed to be published.
Finally, this comment about a city councilman attending the school board meetings and his possible agenda is ludicrous. I myself have seen Carter Casteel, a supposed unbiased political figure, and Jan
Kennady, the mayor of this town, showing their wholesale support for Turman and Engler. And if that isn’t a political agenda, than I don’t know what is.
I do not wish for anyone to think that I have a vendetta against anyone. I just believe it is time for both sides of the issue to be aired.
Joseph A. Alvarado New BraunfelsRmI improvements could be mode to looming environment
First, I would like to thank Mr. Hoyt, who is the Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of San Antonio. He came to Sts. Peter & Paul recently to not only introduce himself, but inform his audience of what his vision is for the Archdiocese in the coming years. An additional personal thanks is extended for listening to the concerns of us “unhappy” parents, as I do not think that was on his agenda.
As for the one-sidedness of the newspaper story, I saw no one who was shielding the reporter from whomever wanted to talk to her. It doesn’t matter if it is 3 percent or IOO percent of parents who are unhappy with what has happened to date at Sts. Peter & Paul School, but the fact that a percentage does exist. In the time that I have had my children at Sts. Peter & Paul (start of 8 years excluding pre-K, which they were also at Sts. Peter & Paul) I can’t remember seeing, reading or hearing of any dissatisfaction in the operation of this school, that caused this much animosity.
Based on the 1996-97 school directory, we have 238 families. The 3 percent that is mentioned in the article would give me seven families that are unhappy. If you want to express a percent applicable to unhappy parents, two approaches could be made and as one will see, they both exceed 3 percent and they are very conservative percentages. One is to take the total number of families (238) and apply the absolute known families who have pulled their children out, which is 16. This gives 7 percent. The second is to take the total number of children applicable to the fourth through eighth grades (where most unhappiness was) which is 122 and apply the 16 students who have been pulled out. This gives 13 percent.
I have been to both school board meetings and have not only heard the concerns of other parents, but have voiced my own and when it came time for routine matters to be discussed, the principal had nothing to report. I am not unhappy, but I am more concerned and frustrated that as of this writing I have yet to be told that the English and math teachers that my children started the year off with are no longer at Sts. Peter & Paul. My children are being taught English and math by substitute teachers. I have no problem with the substitute teacher filling in until permanent teachers are found, but what I do have a problem with is that no information has been sent home to introduce these teachers to me. I take offense to the suggestion that if I don’t like what is going on at Sts. Peter Sl Paul to “consider withdrawing my children.” Of the many good things I have been blessed with, one is the capability to think for myself. I have been around a long time and have come up against many things that I did not agree with, were not to my liking, etc., not only in the work place but in life in general. For the most part I was able to work through them with the people involved, but to learn from them not to run.
In closing, I will continue to pray that Sts. Peter & Paul can get back to an atmosphere in which an education, not only academically but spiritually, can be provided for my children.
P.S. My eldest child brought home a memo Nov. 6 informing me that a math instructor has joined the staff of Sts. Peter & Paul. Welcome! I will not comment on the second paragraph of said memo, because it only confirms, in my opinion, the lack of math exposure my children have had during the period Aug. 19 through Nov. 5, 19%.
Jim Matelskl Cibolo
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