New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 18, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas
Friday, November 18, 2011 | herald-zeituî^.COM
HERALD-ZEITUNG EDITORIAL BOARD
HIM« Pdit«r Ooiifl Tt>«»y
Census figures show the graying of America is accelerating
Drop the rhetoric and do the right thing for our elderly citizens
Time for leaders to show some real respect
Studying census figures might seem bonng. but the statistics you discover paint a fascinating picture of where the nation is headed For example new data show the number of people in . the United States who are 90 or older
has nearly tripled m number since 1980. to I 9 million. By mid-century, the oldest old" population is projected to increase to 8 7 million — or one in 10 older Americans The census reveals California. Flon-da and Texas lead the nation in the 90-plus population, each with more than 130 000
While it s welcome news that people are living longer, the trend presents quite a challenge to governments at every ievel. The Medicare and Social Security programs are already stretched thin, and healthcare costs for people of all ages are gomg up ' Gtven its rapid growth the 90 and^older population merits a closer look,' Wan He told The Associated Press He is a Census Bureau demographer who wrote the report The older people get the more resources they consume because of health care, and disability rates significantly increase This creates demands for daily care and for families the care burden increases dramatically."
The report comes as a special congressional committee IS struggling to meet a Nov 23 deadline to cut more than SI trillion from the federal deficit over 10 years ihe panel, wtnch is split along partisan lines, is having trouble resolving proposals to increase tax revenue while trimming Social Security and Medicare spending.
The census figures highlight the need for lawmakers to quit bickering and get to work. Planning for tomorrow begins today It should ve begun yesterday but elected officials blew that opportunity The Imgermg rhetoncal war between the two major political parties has our eld-edy population caught in the crossfire.
This must end now Both sides need to come to the rabie and develop a plan that moves the phrase "respect our eiders' from being overused words to real action.
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Ihe Associated Prps^,
Today is Friday Nov 18, the 322nd day of 2011 There are 43 days left in the year
Today's Highlight in History:
On Nov. 18,1883, the United States and Canada adopted a system of Standard Time zones
On this date:
In 1886, the 21st president of the United States, Chester A. Arthur, died in New York.
In 1910, British suffragists clashed with police outside Parliament on what became known as "Black Friday "
In 1928, Walt Disney's first sound-synchronized animated cartoon, "Steamboat Willie" starring Mickey Mouse, premiered in New York.
In 1936, Germany and Italy recognized the Spanish government of Francisco Franco.
In 1958, the cargo freighter SS Carl D Bradley sank during a storm in Lake Michigan, claiming 33 of the 35 lives on board
In 1966, U S Roman Catholic bishops did away with the rule against eating meat on Fridays outside of Lent.
In 1978, U S Rep Leo J Ryan, D-Calif, and four others were killed in Jonestown, Guyana, by members of the Peoples Temple, the killings were followed by a night of mass murder and suicide by more than 900 cult members.
In 1987, the congressional tran-Contra committees issued their final report, saying President Ronald Reagan bore "ultimate responsibility" for wrongdoing by his aides.
In 1991, Shiite Muslim kidnappers in Lebanon freed Anglican Church envoy Terry Waite and Thomas Sutherland, the American dean of agriculture at the American University of Beirut,
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To burn or not to burn, that is the question
Almost daily you hear the argument about climate change Three things must be considered
1 It IS an argument that can t be absolutely proven
2 It shouldn t be a political question
3 No one is saying the problem is man made per se
There have been climate changes before In nature after a time, a tipping point IS reached and the changes precipitate a reversal fv1an has added a new dimension to the process that has exac erbated the situation, causing acceleration and adding severity to the natural process
We might quickly exceed the tipping point and extend the time to reversal That extended time before reversal could be deadly It might not end the worid. but
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it will do a tremendous amount of dam age to the vs^rld and its inhabitants This might be a good time to apply Pascal's Wager, which stated that even if the existence of God could not be proven, a rational person should wager that God does exist If you live life accordingly, you have everything to gam and nothing to lose Any entrepreneur will recognize this as a principle of risk management or decision theory.
How does this apply to the climate problem'’ If the scientists are right, we are heading for a catastrophic future The smart bet would be they are nght and we should begin to live m a manner that will rectify the situation if they are wrong we’ll still benefit from new enterprises inventions and a cleaner atmosphere that would be developed by the effort
Donald Ament New Braunfels
Why so greedy with $10 parking at KofC lot?
It has been reported that Wurstfest 2011 had strong income and attendance figures
That IS outstanding for all of the civic organizations manning vendors reaching their goals for charitable contributions back to the city One thing 1 did notice is that it was awful offensive for the Knights of CoiurTibus to charge $10 for parking,
A $5 fee for parking has been the norm for years, and 1 think $10 is near price gouging The KofC should be ashamed Per haps next year, you will consider not being so greedy
Don Cork New Braunfels
American newspapers speak on topics of the day
■ The Boston Globe on the American Dream
If young people deem the American Dream to be as relevant as Lawrence Welk, it s a problem for a social contract built on the idea that each new generation will be more prosperous than the last.
Sadly, every new study makes the economic plight of younger adults more apparent
Consider a recent Pew Research Study which found the wealth gap between adults over 65 and adults under 35 to be at a stunning ratio of 47 to I — nearly five times what it was m 1984. Further,
Pew's research found that almost 40 percent of young people have either no net worth or negative net worth. This study comes on top of
other data showing that over one in four recent college graduates is unemployed It's easy to blame this state of affairs on young people They're too coddled and feel too entitled: they re too busy partying or playing video games or occupying Wall Street to focus on getting a job and contnbutmg to society But this explanation overlooks deep changes in the economy Even as the cost of a college degree rises, it's increas mgly become more of a minimum qualification than a guaranteed pass to the middle class. And unlike those who came of age during a penod of extended prosperity. today's young people are facing the vA)rst job market m decades Lawmakers should recog
nize that questions of generational equity arise in a number of national policy issues — for instance, whether and how to adjust Medicare and Social Security benefits — and that younger Americans have a particular interest m measures that might stimulate the economy now
■ San Francisco Chronicle on the NBA:
The National Basketball Association is losing big in the court of public opinion The damage will be compounded if the 201 M2 season IS lost, which appears to be a real possibility after the latest breakdown m negotia tions.
Neither the owners nor the players should look here for sympathy Instead, they should look out their tinted
windows to get a sense of how absurd their dispute seems in the context of the times
Owners See the rising anger at the callousness of the 1 percent^ That's you.
Players: See the people struggling to stay employed and keep their homes out of foreclosure^ Those are the fans who dig deep for $60 tickets and $ 10 beers that help cover your seven-figure salaries.
NBA Commissioner David Stern has suggested the league was on the brink of a "nuclear winter ' without pro basketball
What really should scare players and owners is the possibility that casual fans won't come to think of it as a "nuclear winter,” but the winter they discovered other great pastimes of the seasonNew Braunfels should approve regional transportation plan as is
As the oroduct of an inclusive process that engaged expert planners from the cities of New Braunfels and Seguin. Texas Department of Transportation. and citizen stakeholders the Regional Transportation Plan reflects a rational consensus that should be approved without amendment The plan, as submitted addresses planning for transportation infrastructure needed to accommodate economic development and projected growth while recognizing the necessity to preserve the rivers and springs that make this region so special The City of New Braunfels, as a managing partner of the Edwards Aquifer Recovery
Implementation Program (EARIP), has committed significant financial resources to the protection of the endangered species at Comal Springs Efforts to preserve the species, however, could be severely and permanently compromised by any plans, such as the proposed New Braunfels Outer Loop, that promote development within the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone The EARIP Expert Science Subcommittee, on page 22 of
Its Dec. 28, 2009, report, states ‘ [w]ater quality encompasses a range of vanables that can potentially impact fountain darters and other aquatic life if altered too far from the historic range to which the stream inhabitants have become accustomed Most potential water quality problems are linked to non-point source pollution such as fertilizer runoff and chemicals washed in from adjacent streets; The potential for accidents and non point source pollution to affect the organisms m the Cornal River may be exacerbated during below average flows since chemicals and nutrients would be lesldiluted when a lower volume of water is pres
According to the report of the EARlP's Water Quality Subcommittee, “As illustrated by the water quality data previously presented to the EARIR runoff and spills originating even at long distances from the spring openings also can affect water quality at the springs. Fortunately, water quality in the Edwards Aquifer and at the spring openings remains very good However, as levels of deyelopment continue to increase over the recharge zone, transition zone, and even the contribut-mg zone, the threats to water quality will increase.” ;
"Water quality impacts can be expressed m a variety of ways. For example, impacts.
such as sedimentation, result mg from stormwater runoff directly into the spring or stream habitats used by covered species could actually reduce the extent of suitable habitat areas Some of those direct impacts, particularly to the extent that they origínate within the riparian areas adjacent to the habitat areas, are addressed in the report entitled "Restoration and Mitiga tion Actions for the Comal Springs Ecosystem" produced by the Ecosystem Restoration Subcommittee"
The resources the City of New Braunfels has devoted to storm water management, transportation planning, and the protection of Comal Springs are truly impressive
We therefore urge the City of New Braunfels to keep in mind potential impacts on water quality when consider mg plans for transportation infrastructure.
We hope that you will continue planning for growth with the goal of sustaining the springs and riparian habi tat that make the City of New Braunfels one of the most desirable locations in the state of Texas.
■ Annalisa Peace is the executive director of the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance, which unites 50 organizations within 21 counties in Central Texas behind a comprehensive plan to protect the Edwards and Trinity aquifer ecosystems.