New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 18, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas
Saturday, November 18, 2000 — Herald-Zeitijng — Page 3A?
Clinton visits MIA search site
HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — President Clinton, on a mission “to heal the wounds of war,” visited a rice paddy Saturday and watched excavation teams dig into thick mud in search of the remains of an American fighter pilot downed on a bombing run 33 years ago.
The president rode 50 minutes outside Hanoi, past farms and water buffaloes, to a site where dozens of Vietnamese and a few Americans toiled, passing buckets of mud to a platform where it is put through a sieve. It is one of six sites being excavated in Vietnam for MIA remains.
Clinton was accompanied by his wife Hillary and their daughter Chelsea.
The visit came on the heels of a speech in which Clinton encouraged Vietnam to become a more open society and said of the two nations’ warring history: “We must not forget it but we must not be controlled by it.”
In a city rebuilt after American bombing, Vietnamese President Tran Due Luong welcomed the prospect-of “immense” cooperation between the old enemies, and thousands greeted Clinton with great curiosity and some excitement.
Vietnamese leaders welcomed the prospects for greater cooperation between the two nations but were cool to his measured call for greater freedoms.
“It is necessary that our two governments take positive action and create a favorable environment to exploit these immense potentiali
ties,” Luong said in a state dinner toast Friday night.
Clinton said that guaranteeing the right to religious worship and political dissent builds confidence in the fairness of institutions. Vietnamese officials did not agree, saying that they have different interpretations of human rights, according to Clinton’s national security adviser, Sandy Berger.
Clinton was the first American president to visit Hanoi, an enemy capital during the Vietnam War, which ended 25 years ago with a communist victory over U.S.-backed forces.
“The history we leave behind is painful and hard,” Clinton said in his toast. “We must not forget it but we must not be controlled by it.”
Earlier-he presented 350,000 pages of documents about battle dates and locations, along with medical records, to help Hanoi determine the fate of 300,000 missing Vietnamese.
The president promised a million more pages of documents by the end of the year. Clinton praised Vietnam for its help in trying to account for 1,498 missing Americans.
“No two nations have ever before done the things we are doing together to find the missing from the Vietnam conflict,” Clinton said.
Thousands of curious onlookers watched and occasionally waved as Clinton’s motorcade rode along streets usually teeming with motorcycles and bikes. There was an embarrassing glitch when the president spoke at Vietnam National University to urge a more open society and economy, along with greater freedom
and human rights.
Students stirred restlessly during his remarks, broadcast on live television, and some removed their translation headsets. White House officials said later that the translator assigned by the U.S. Embassy spoke in a southern dialect that was hard to understand in the north.
“In our experience, guaranteeing the right to religious worship and the right to political dissent does not threaten the stability of a society,” Clinton said, picking his words carefully.
“In our experience, young people are much . more likely to have confidence in their future if they have a say in shaping it, in choosing their governmental leaders and having a government that is accountable to those it serves.”
But he said: “Only you can decide how to weave individual liberties and human rights into the rich and strong fabric of Vietnamese national identity.”
At the MIA recovery mission that Clinton was visited Saturday, Vietnamese workers haul bucket after bucket of mud from a suspected crash crater and force it through mesh screens. American experts are combing the debris for any particle of human remains.
The site is where Air Force Capt. Lawrence G. Evert, of Cody, Wyo., is believed to have crashed in an F-105 fighter-bomber on Nov. 8, 1967.
He was flying one of four planes in a bombing raid on a railroad bridge 17 miles northwest of Hanoi.
Hindsight haunts as recount unfolds
WASHINGTON (AP) Hindsight is haunting supporters of would-be presidents George W. Bush and Al Gore as the nation awaits the results of the presidential drama.
As they watch the painstaking ballot counts and recounts in Florida, campaign activists and officials acknowledge that questions swirl through their heads about how the candidates could have widened the margin and averted the showdown.
With such minute gaps in the vote tallies in Florida and several other states, virtually anything could have made the difference, they say.
Questions whirling about the Bush campaign: Should the Texas governor have devoted more time to Florida earlier rather than put it in the sure-win column? Consultants and other activists widely say yes. Bush himself was known to roll his eyes at suggestions that he needed to struggle for a state governed by his brother, Jeb.
“We could be criticized maybe for not getting off the mark as quickly as we should have, but in the end Jeb was fully engaged,” said Tom Slade, a Republican National Committee member from Florida. “He was spending an awful lot of time doing his duties as governor four and five months out. I fall in the category of Republicans who were unfortunately overconfident.”
In addition, GOP pollster Frank Luntz said Bush should have stayed out on the campaign trail in the election’s final, precious days, rather than take a Sunday break in Texas.
“The only advice I would have given would have been to ask Bush, nine days out, not to take a day off,” he said, referring to the day off a week and a half before the Nov. 7 election.
Belated news of Bush’s 1976 arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol especially stands out as a distraction that might have been avoided, Republicans say.RECOUNT/From 1A
holds a 200,155 vote lead out of the 103 million ballots cast nationwide, and a slender lead in the electoral votes.
On a day pitted with emotional highs and lows for both campaigns, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta rejected Bush’s request to halt the recounts, returning the matter to Florida courts.
As aides watched glumly from Texas, Bush adviser James A. Baker III said neither court has yet to address the core of the Bush’s case — that hand counts from selected counties are unfair and expose the election to mistakes and political mischief. “We remain confident... the supreme court will find the secretary of state properly exercised
her discretion” in barring manual recounts, he said.
Republican operatives were in each of Florida’s 67 counties in case a statewide manual recount was ordered either by the courts or—as a last resort — by Bush himself.
Bush aides had been working behind the scenes to set up a “victory” statement Saturday, followed by a news conference Sunday — plans that were put on hold by the court setbacks.
“As we say around the office, the worm turns,” said Gore spokesman Mark Fabiani. “And now the worm is getting dizzy.”
Florida’s high court stopped Secretary of State Katherine Harris from certifying the results of the
state’s election Saturday at the end of absentee balloting. She planned instead to release an updated count without comment.
The one-paragraph supreme court ruling blunted a morning order from a trial court judge who upheld Harris’ right to seal the results.
In its unanimous order, the high court said they wanted to “maintain the status quo” while lawyers made their challenges in the state that will settle the race for the presidency. Harris was told pot to act “until further order.”
In its order denying Bush’s request to halt the county recounts, the circuit cpgft in Atlanta said, “States have<the primary authority to determine the manner of appoint
ing presidential electors and to resolve most controversies concerning the appointment of electors.”
There was no end to the wrangling.
“There are more attorneys than there are ballots,” said Bob Edwards, chairman of the Republican Executive Committee for Walton County, where five absentee votes were tossed out, including those of four people who had already voted. In Orange Qounty, officials discarded 117 of 147 votes received.
Democrats protested a number of ballots, saying they were not postmarked as required. A GOP official said Republicans might
challenge the discarding of hundreds of ballots, many from military personnel.
Gore’s presidential dreams rested with the courts and in the ballot-counting rooms of Palm Beach and Broward counties, and now Mia-mi-Dade. Local Democratic allies lobbied county board members to reverse course and approve the recounts in Broward and Palm Beach counties.
“I want to be clear neither Governor Bush, nor the Florida secretary of state, nor I will be the arbiter of this election,” Gore said shortly after the high court ruling. “This election is a matter that must be decided by the will of the people as expressed under the rule of law.”
“She’s pretty,” he said, admiring the new truck. Sheppard said he was one of the primary people who drove the truck when it was brought to New Braunfels for a demonstration.
Also, he said that he normally would be one of the truck’s primary drivers.
“I told chief I would personally wax the parade bell once a month,” Sheppard said, and rang the oldfashioned bell on the engine’s front bumper.
The new truck is a “big deal” to the department, he said.
“With the advanced capabilities this truck has it’s going to add a lot to the department to help the city and add a lot to our capabilities,” Sheppard said.
Santa Claus normally arrives at the ceremony in an antique fire truck, but Collier decided to use the new truck instead.
“I thought this could be the best way to debut the new piece of equipment to the citizens of New Braunfels,” Collier said. “The timing .was perfect.”
The truck is a “quint” which means it provides five functions: a 1,500-gallon-per-minute water pump, a 500-gallon water tank, a hose for attacking fire, ground ladders, and a power-operated, 75-foot all-steel ladder.
The fire truck purchase was included in this year’s budget for $400,000. The fire department began searching for a truck about six months ago, Collier said.
“What we looked at, No. I, was price,” Collier said. “It had to fit in our budget.”
But the fire department also needed a truck immediately. It could not wait for a truck to be built, something that Collier said could take up to a year.
“We had the need right now and
have had the need,” Collier said.
The new truck will replace the city’s current ladder truck, a 1982 Sea Graves model with a 100-foot ladder. That truck will become a reserve unit, Collier said.
“(The Sea Graves truck) is unsafe. It’s old. It breaks down,” Collier said. “That particular model, they’ve had safety problems with it across the state.”
The model that is being retired is prone to turning over if the ladder is used at certain angles, he said.
“When we use it right now, we have to be very conscious of the proper angle and take precautions,” Collier said. “With this new one, we don’t have to consider it. It has automatic safety features.” However, the new truck was originally out of the city’s price range, Collier said. The fire truck’s original price tag was $471,000.
“It was available, however, it wasn’t available at our price tag until the
11th hour,” he said.
Ferrara lowered the price for New Braunfels, and Collier said he knew that was the right truck.
Collier recently was at the company’s plant in Hammond, La., checking it with a “fine tooth comb,” when he learned the truck would be in Austin this week. He said he believed the truck was the best value for the dollars and asked for the fire truck’s purchase to be placed on Monday’s council agenda.
That kept the truck from having to be driven to Austin, back to Louisiana and then back to New Braunfels, which would put extra miles on the truck.
The truck has about 55,000 miles now, but Collier said it comes with a “brand new warranty” for the engine, transmission, paint, pump and other components.
“In my opinion, it’s better than a brand new rig because any bugs or
glitches have been worked out,” Collier said. “The factory has maintained this in an exceptional manner. Any little thing was corrected.”
The new truck and the old ladder truck will provide the department “really good” capabilities in the event of a large warehouse fire or tall building fire, Collier said.
Although the truck appeared in Friday’s lighting, it will not go into active duty until the firefighters are trained in its use next week or the week after.
The firefighters were excited about the truck’s arrival Friday, Collier said.
“It’s the finest piece of equipment this city has ever seen,” he said.
New Hii&ft&M i'XsHerald-Zeitung
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THANKSGIVING CELEBRATION Sunday, November 19, 2000
Devine Worship at 10:15 am Church and Grounds decorated Traditional Turkey Dinner Public invited. Free will offering accepted. Net proceeds to community food banks.
Friedens Church 2555 Friedens Church Rd. Seguin, TX 78155
FLU PREVENTION STUDY
by this event to join us at Becker Motor Company to turn the memory of this tragedy into a life-saving triumph,” Left said.
A&M Clubs across the state are hoping to donate a total of 12,000 units of blood. Everyone Bleeds Maroon was created by Off Campus Aggies.
Scott Blackwell, class of 2000 and chair of Everyone Bleeds Maroon, said, “We realize we can never replace them, but we can embrace the Aggie Spirit each of them embodied and pass that spirit on to others."
Virginia Leigh Carden, a New Biaunfels native and class of 2002 A&M student, has recorded
a song titled “11-18-99” in commemoration of the Aggie bonfire victims. The CD is available at the New Braunfels Museum of Art. For information, call 625-5636.
On Tuesday, the Comal County A&M Club Aggie Bonfire is scheduled to take place at the main lodge of the John Newcombe Tennis Ranch . Fellowship will begin at 7 p.m. with dinner starting at 7:30 p.m. Bonfire and yell practice begin at 8:30 p.m. in the outback. Cost is $15 for adults and $10 for children younger than IO. For information, call Gregg Goebel at 606-5490.Obituaries
In June, Texas A&M President Ray Bowen announced the Aggie Bonfire might continue, but not until at least 2002 and not without major changes, including greater school supervision and a professionally engineered design.
Keep the Fire Burning, an Aggie-led effort to conduct an off-campus bonfire this year in College Station, was unsuccessful in its attempt to conduct Bonfire 2000. The group had produced a bonfire design that was approved by four independent licensed structural engineers, meaning it would have been one of the safest bonfires in the history of the tradition, according to the group.
The board of directors of Keep the Fire Burning announced the bonfire was cancelled because the $27,000 needed to cover costs for a liability insurance premium could not be raised.
The group is making plans to raise money for Bonfire 2001 and is asking interested persons to visit its web site at www.keep-thetradition.com.
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Kathryn Wiedermann, 91, passed away November 15, 2000 in New Braunfels, Texas.
She was bom November IO, 1909 in Ralphton, Penn.
Memorial services will be held on Monday, November 20,20(H) at 5 p.m. at Saints Peter and Paul
Catholic Church Braunfels, Texas.
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