New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 16, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
4 Cl HeraW-Zeltung □ Thursday, November 16,1995
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“Art is the signature of civilizations.”
— Beverly Sills opera singer, 1985Reform — priority of Congress
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Whose property rights?Bulverde protesters bark up wrong tree when condemning Ingram Readymix plant
Talk about irony. There it was on the front page of yesterday’s paper. Along with the story about the Citizens League for Environmental Action Now rallying at the Governor’s mansion in Austin, there was a photo of the protesters.
They and others were protesting what they see as bias in favor of businesses at the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission. The protesters from this area are angry that a concrete batch plant may be approved in the Bulverde area.
They want the TNRCC to block the plant. The other protesters had similar concerns in their towns.
One of the protesters in the photo is holding a sign that reads “Where’s Landowners’ Rights?”
That’s right, the protester asking the TNRCC to ban a property owner from using his property as he wishes is holding a sign asking “Where’s Landowners’s Rights?”
In other words, this protester, is using a poster proclaiming support for property rights to argue against property rights.
She wants Ingram Readymix to be denied its property rights for the public good.
The people opposed to the Ingram Readymix plant have some excellent points.
They argue persuasively that the plant poses a threat to their community by polluting the air and water and by overwhelming an already dangerous intersection with a bunch of huge trucks.
But it is not a property rights issue, lf anyone has the right to use the property rights argument, it is Ingram.
Property rights is a hot cause right now, and it seems like everyone wants to fly the property rights banner over their cause. But there are many instances when the wishes of a private property owner to do whatever he wants with his property pales when compared to the damage he would do to the environment.
The catfish farm in San Antonio is one example. Developments that would destroy endangered species’ habitat or wetlands are another. The Ingram Readymix plant in Bulverde is yet another.
(Today’s editorial was written by City Editor Roger Croteau.)Write us
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New BraunfelsHerald -Zeitung
Editor and Publisher............................................................David Sullens
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City Editor.....................................................................Roger Croteau
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The 104th Congress has made reform its first priority: reform the budget process to let families keep more of what they earn; reform regulations to spur job creation; reform environmental laws to protect both wildlife and private property owners; reform immigration laws to serve America’s interests. Most important, we’ve also reformed how Congress works. We cleaned our own house first.
The first bill in the Contract with America applied the laws that Congress imposes on the American people to Congress as well. We passed that bill on the first day of the 104th Congress. President Clinton signed it and it’s law today. It’s amazing that for years Congress didn’t have to comply with the laws it passed. But the days of the “Imperial Congress” are over.
Cleaning house also meant reducing congressional committee staff and equalizing congressional pensions. We promised both those reforms and we kept our word. Just as we promised, our budget reduced by one-third the congressional committee staff that has grown over the years. We also ended the unfair practice of congressional pensions accruing at higher rates than those of other government workers. Under
our budget, congressional pensions have been reduced, and are computed at the same rate as all other government workers.
We applied term limits to the Speaker of the House and to the chairs of committees. In the .past, members of Congress served as committee chairmen or Speaker for years, wielding huge power and influence and sometimes rising to the role of “imperial barons.” No longer. Under our term limits, the Speaker of the House or committee chairman can serve no more than six years.
In addition to reducing congressional pensions, reducing committee staff, and applying the laws that cover American families to Congress, we have turned over many congressional functions to private business. Past Congresses maintained an array of perks and services, all at taxpayer expense.
Congress employed a barbershop that cost at least
$50,000 per year, an upholstery shop, cabinetmaker shop, finisher shop, and a venetian blind shop that cost taxpayers $90,000 to maintain.
The House of Representatives’ supply store lost $1.6 million of taxpayer money in the fourthquarter of 1994.
We ended these wasteful operations by privatizing those essential services to ensure that taxpayer money is carefully spent.
As a result, we keep prices low and help to ensure that the quality of services members use while performing their duties on behalf of constituents remains high.
The American people cannot reasonably expect I Congress to balance the federal budget and re-order federal agencies unless it cleans its own house first. This was our first promise and by keeping our word we set the tone for the new Congress. Congressional reform is ongoing in the 104th Congress and is intended to set the standard by which all agencies entrusted with the taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars are expected to perform.
(Lamar Smith is a U.S. representative for New Braunfels.)
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Judge won’t keep lawsuit deposition secret
By MICHAEL FLEEMAN
Associated Press Writer
SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) — The public may get to hear O.J. Simpson tell his side of the story sooner than he wanted.
A judge on Wednesday refused a request by Simpson’s lawyers to seal written transcripts of his upcoming deposition in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by die families of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.
Superior Court Judge Allan B. Huber also said he would allow the deposition to be videotaped if a mediator supervises the testimony lo keep attorneys from becoming abusive.
The mediator would then take charge of the videotape.
“If there ever was a case that called for a discovery referee, this is it,” Haber said.
In his request lo seal the transcripts, Simpson lawyer Robert C. Baker argued that releasing them might taint the case, and that a videotape could be leaked and “will be the lead story on the 6 p.m. news.”
“We will get a jury pool that has made up its mind to a degree,” he said.
Haber replied that he would be surprised “if there were a great number left in the county of Los Angeles who have not formed an opinion as to the culpa
bility of Mr. Simpson.”
While Simpson has given some interviews — to The New York Times and The Associated Press — he has refused to discuss details of the case.
He never testified at his yearlong trial that ended Oct. 3 in his acquittal in the knife slayings of his exwife and Goldman.
He has said that he would like to talk publicly about the case in detail one day, but not while litigation is pending.
Simpson had agreed to a pay-per-view TV appearance, but that idea fell flat when cable companies rebuf fed die idea.
He then backed out of a no-holds-barred NBC-TV interview.
His deposition in the lawsuit had been tentatively scheduled for Dec. 4-6. On Wednesday, Haber set a firm date but ordered it kept secret.
Haber set trial for April 2. A status hearing before another judge was set for Jan. 18, at which time a trial judge will be named.
It was unclear when and in what manner the transcripts would be made public, including whether they will be released in complete form or quoted in sections in court papers.
“It does not mean we will release the transcript,”
Today In History
By The Associated Press
Today is Thursday, Nov. 16, the 320th day of 1995. There are 45 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Nov. 16,1933, the United States and the Soviet Union established diplomatic relations. President Roosevelt sent a telegram to Soviet leader Maxim Litvinov in which he expressed hope that U.S.-Soviet relations would “forever remain normal and friendly.”
On this date:
In 1776, British troops captured Fort Washington during the American Revolution.
In 1864, Union Gen. William T. Sherman and his troops began their “March to the Sea” during the Civil War.
In 1885, Canadian rebel Louis Riel was executed for high treason.
In 1907, Oklahoma became the 46th state of the union.
In 1959, the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical
“The Sound of Music” opened on Broadway, starring Mary Martin as Maria von Trapp.
In 1961, House Speaker Samuel T. Rayburn died in Bonham, Texas, having served as speaker since 1940 except for two terms.
In 1966, Dr. Samuel H. Sheppard was acquitted in his second trial of charges he’d murdered his pregnant wife, Marilyn, in 1954.
In 1973, Skylab 3, carrying a crew of three American astronauts, was launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on an 84-day mission.
In 1973, President Nixon signed the Alaska Pipeline measure into law.
In 1982, an agreement was announced in the 57th day of a stnke by National Football League players,
Ten years ago: President Reagan arrived in Geneva for a three-day summit with Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev.
Five years ago: Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev told an angry Soviet legislature he would fire government and military officials blocking his reform plans. Four of the so-called Keating Five
said Daniel M. Petrocelli, a Goldman family attorney.
The judge also consolidated lawsuits against Simpson filed by Goldman’s father and sister, a separate suit filed by Goldman’s mother and a third suit by the estate of Nicole Brown Simpson.
“If I were not to consolidate the cases, there is the possibility of inconsistent verdicts,” Haber explained.
The hearing was attended by Goldman’s father and stepmother. Fred and Patti Goldman, and sister Kim Goldman.
Simpson did not attend.
“This lawsuit, as I’ve said before, is the only opportunity left for our family to get justice," Fred Goldman said outside court.
He previously had said the suit is designed to strip Simpson of his wealth and that Goldman would reject any settlement offer.
The lawsuit represents “Nicole’s voice from the grave,” said John Kelly, a lawyer for her estate.
Haber also allowed attorneys for the victims’ families to inspect some of Simpson’s property seized by police.
The items include a fake beard, credit cards and a handgun.
The attorneys were given two weeks to see the property before it is returned to Simpson.
A lawyer representing the AP and other media organizations opposed sealing the deposition.
wert before the Senate Ethics Committee to deny any wrongdoing in helping failed savings-and-loan owner Charles H. Keating Jr.
One year ago: The government reported consumer prices rose one-tenth of one percentage point in October. A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting the state of California from implementing most provisions of Proposition 187, the voter-approved measure that would deny most public services to illegal aliens. President Clinton, ending a five-day trip to Asia, discussed human rights with Indonesian President Suharto.
Today*! Birthday!: Actor Burgess Meredith u 87. Journalist Elizabeth Drew is 60. Actress Joanna Petter is 51. Tennis player Zina Gamson-Jackson is 32. Baseball player Dwight Gooden is 31, Actress Lisa Bonet is 28. Olympic gold medal figure skater Oksana Baiul is 18.
Thought for Today: “Whom God would sorely vex, He endows with abundant good sense.” — Yiddish proverb.