New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 22, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas
41 Tuesday, November 22; 2011 | herald-zeitung.com
HERALD-ZEiTuriG EDiTORIAL BuARD Publisher and Edrtor Doug Toney
M«ntt*ng Edttor Shivim Itwni Astt Mtnigine Fditor WiH Wrtght
CirCulftKHi Dirtctor J«fl fowrlF' CoovftWot Ktn îhomi»Courts now forced to dean up messy map
It was no surprise when a panel of three federal judges recently refused to approve the state's redistnctrng maps for Congress and the Texas Legislature without a trial [he three judges - two appointed by former President ■ George W Bush, one by President Barack OTHER VIEW <^^bama said the maps, as drawn by This editorial Republican legislators, "used an improper was published standard or methodology to determine which Nov. 11 in the districts afford minority voters tfie ability to Austin elect their preferred candidates of choice '
American- [he Voting Rights Act requires Texas to sub Statesman mit its redistricting plans to the federal gov ernrnent for approval, and the judges said the new districts would discriminate against minorities Now we await a date to be set for a Washington trial to determine the late of the state s districts for the U S House of Representatives, the iexas House and the Texas Senate Republican legislators fiave only tliemselves to blame for drawing ma()s everyone knew were unlikely to pass federal muster So here we are. on the verge of a Nov 28 to Dec 15 fil ing period lor next year's elections, with candidates waiting for another federal couit m San Antonio to finish drawing interim districts for 2012 Legislators redraw district boundaries every 10 years to reflect [x)pulation cfianges I fie 2010 c ensus found that iexas added 4 3 million people between 2000 and 2010 — an increase of 20 6 percent Hispanics helped fuel tfie state s population growth Reapportionment of congressional seats following tfie 2010 census increased tfie size of the state s LI S House delegation frofii 32 seats to 36 Republu ans in the Legislature drew a new congressional map during this year's session to accommodate the four new districts, and they drew a map designed to protect Republican incumbents and increase Re[>ubkan representation in ttie House from 2 ^ seats t<j 26 Austin cunently is divided into three congressional districts, twci Republican and one DemocratK Under tfieir new map. Republican lawmakers further weakened Austin s Democratic rnaiofity by s[>litting ttie cit/ intrj foui congressional distric ts three designed foi Republicans to win and one designed to be won by a Democrat not named Lloyd Doggett
I his nev/ Democratic district. Congressional District 35, is a gerrymandered maivel that runs m a thin ribbon from San Anto-nio up Interstate 35 to Last Austin It is a Hispanic-majority dis trict created t(.) tieat Doggett. and state Rep Joaquin Castro of San Antonio was set to ctiallenge ttie Austin congressman until the recent ruling made ne.vt year s congressional contests an open question
(jerrymandering is a fact ol redistricting life f)ut tfie belliger ently gerrymandered congressional ma[) that Republican legisla tors drew was doomed to be rejected t)y the federal government It does not reflect the size of tfie Hispanic population in iexas, and it leaves Hispanic voters underrepiesented As long as legislatcjrs are tri control ot redistricting, it will femain a paitisan exercise (Intil we decide to draw new districts a bet ter way — ideally by turning ttie job over to an indejjendent redis tricting boaid — the courts will continue to intervene And, unfoitunately we will continue to need tfieir inteivention
TODVY i\ niMOin
I tie AssocialHl Picss
Today is Tuesday, Nov. 22, the 326th day of 2011 There are 39 days left in the year
Today's Highlight in History:
On Nov. 22,1963, President John F Kennedy was assassinated during a motorcade in Dallas; Texas Gov. John B. Connally was seriously wounded, A suspect, Lee Harvey Oswald, was arrested.
On this date:
In 1718, English pirate Edward Teach — better known as "Blackbeard" — was killed during a battle off the Virginia coast.
In 19^, listeners of the British Broadcasting Corp. heard, for the first time, radio coverage of an American college football game as Harvard defeated Yale, 13-0.
AN NBA SDWTINS LINEUP..
The Herald-Zeitung welcomes letters up to 250 words and guest columns up to 500 words Guest columns must be accompanied by a photo The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung resen/es the right to edit or reject submissions All submissions must include an address and phone number so authorship can be confirmed
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• By mail to: Letters to the Editor, Herald-Zertung, PO Drawer 311328, New Braunfels, TX 78130
• By fax: (830) 606-3413 • In person: 707 Landa St, New BraunfelsReader thanks restaurant for Veterans Day meal
I saw in letters to the editor a thank you to restaurants for their free meal for veterans Golden Corral was not mentioned I would like to thank the owner and his wife, who were greeting people clearmg tables, etc for their great suj) port of our military and providing a wonderful meal for us It s great to know there are Amen cans who realize and thank in their own way, those who served and pro tected this country so that we may liv(’ a free people
Jim Bourland Canyon LakeKnights of Columbus give back to community
In his Nov 18 letter to the editor. Don Cork questioned the Knights of Columbus on what we charged for park mg this year As a trustee. I must admit that the decision to raise our fee was not made lightly, and it was certainly not motivated by greed The KofC IS first and foremost a char itable organization Over tfie past three years, we have seen the need for our kind of charitable giving increase as the economy and other fundraising efforts faltered For instance this past year we helped a family in our community receive life saving surgery for two of their cfiildren by flying tfvem to Boston, where both boys were successfully treat ed
Wfien our neighbors in Bastrop need ed financial support, v/e provided much
I i:rri:iJMo iTiK kixtok
needed aid We are helping a new school in our area find its financial feet so it can continue to serve as a shining ligfit in our community We support Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Options for Women and other local grou()s This IS a short list of where our money goes, space alone firevents me from listing more I feel no shame that we choose to support these worthy chanties We in the New Braunfels KofC take charitable giving very seriously, as do all the civic organizations associated with Wurst fest So, with profound respect to our patrons, thank you for helping us give back to New Braunfels.
George Gagnon New BraunfelsOccupy, find something worthwhile to do
'What are the complaints from the Occupy movement about^
A[)parently the protests have something to do with the Wall Street bailouts No one 1 know feels good about using taxpayer money to bail out huge financial intuitions that were over leveraged However, was it not the Frank-Dodd support that had the philosophy that if we don't offer loans to people witfi shaky financials, "only those who can afford them will be able to buy houses '
Let s be fair The Occupy ( whatever) groups really don't know what they are protesting they are obviously unhappy about something If I may venture a guess. 1 would say they are generally unliappy that they owe many thou sands of dollars that they borrowed to attend private schools that charged out
rageous tuitions to those who could afford to pay m order to give grants to minorities so they could claim an ''acceptable level of diversity Further, the protesters majored in sub jects such as black history, gay, lesbian, and transgender something or other, sociology, etc, and wonder why they can t find jobs. Perhaps we should give them a grant to study plumbing, cabinet making, or fertilizer comjiosition (though they may have a head start on that) — something worthwhile To quote anotfier scofflaw, "Can t we all just get alongé" 1 would add and be responsible for ourselves and our own actions^ '
Jerry Welch New BraunfelsNew Braunfels needs decent jogging trails
Where are the jogging trails in New Braunfels^
It seems we have softball, baseball, skating, bowling, soccer, tubing, swim ming, hiking, basketball, a gym, golf, tennis, etc , but no decent jogging trail 1 mean the kind that is easy on the legs, back and ankles like the very short one we have on Flinman Island across from the golf course and ending up at the miniature golf course at Wurstfest — a half mile at best Many communities offer this for its health'conscious residents, and we could partner witfi a developer like the one at the new HEB or (.'reekside to build one at least three miles long on their site if we can't provide one in any of our parks
Maxx Diamond New BraunfelsNewt Gingrich's wonkish, unconventional campaign
DES MOINES. Iowa -- On Nov 4, at precisely tfie moment Herman (,ain was basking in applause at a con servative activists' gathering in Washington, DC. Newt Gingricfi was in a small con ference room at the Marriott Hotel here discussing cognt tive illness with three brain scientists
What I am trying to do IS initiate tfie iciea that solving healtfi problems is the best way to reduce costs,' Gin grich begins Look at polio, he says What if it liad ncjt been cured^ What if one took the fiigh cost of treating polio in 1950 and simply projected it through 2011^ ihe num bers would be enormous Witfiout even considering the fiuman benefits, curing polio was far. far cheaper than treat ing It over decades
Now Gingrich wants to approach Alzheimer’s and other brain disorders the same
way I he scale of brain-relat ed problems is so large and so unreported he tells the scientists, "that if you think of the supercommittee right now, for example — they're trying to find $1.5 tnllion (in savings) over 10 years. The projection the Alzheimer's foundation gave me was that Al/heimer's alone could cost $20 trillion in public and pri vate funds between now and 2050" Spending billions on curing Alzheimer's sums Congress would never approve in today's political atmosphere — could save astonishirig amounts of rnon ey in the long tun.
It's the kind of wide rang ing and wonkish discussion
Gingrich is known for Indeed, the former speaker of the House whose mother spent the last years of her life in a long term care facility, has devoted a lot of time over the years working on Alzheimer's issues. But now he is in the middle of a presidential campaign, He's in Iowa, wit ft 60 days to go before tfie caucuses that could decide hts future He is hours away from a crucial speech at the Iowa Republican Party's annual Reagan dinner And fie is spending nearly two hours of his day behind closed doors with three doctors, a couple of aides and one reporter talk mg about brain research. The topic of the approaching cau cuses does not come up Gingrich often says he is running an unconventional campaign Republicans here in Iowa wQuld probably agree, since they don't see him all that much at traditional
stump events But most have no idea just fiow unconven tional the Gingrich cam[)aign really is
On this day. Gingiich's plan IS to integrate his longtime interest in fiealtfi issues, and in particular brain research into his appeal to voters In an interview after the session, Gingnch says he wants to reach "everybody who's worried about Alzheimer's - and over 55 years of age, it is a more common fear than cancer"
F^ere in Iowa, the organi zation Iowa Against Alzheimer’s estimates there are 69,000 people over the age of 65 with the disease. Take their spouses and children and relatives and friends —- along with other people so far unaffected by the disease but worried about it and you’ve got a very large group They vote, and Gingrich wants to reach tfiem.
Gingrich has test-run the idea in a few recent public forums here and in other early voting states.
"In South Carolina, a tea party leader walked up and said. My dad died three years ago with Alzheimer’s, and 1 understand exactly what you are trying to accomplish,'" Gingnch says. "People can have a checklist in therr head that says on these things, Newt Gingnch understands my world and is trying to make it better." Gingrich plans to work the message into his speeches and discussions with voters more often as voting approaches
Whatever Gingnch is doing these days, it's working. thanks m part to impressive performances in several GOP debates, he is moving up in the pc)lls, both nationally and in key early states. He's raising money again after a meltdown a massive staff
defection and damaging stones about big-spending habits at Fiffany -- that nearly killed his campaign a few months ago And voters appear to appreciate his sticking with It In discussions across Iowa in the last week, it is striking how many voters volunteer Gingrich’s name as someone they're finding more and more appealing. If either of the current front runners, Herman Cam or Mitt Rornney, were to falter, Gingnch is in a posi tion to benefit greatly.
And he's doing it his own way. Which other candidate would take a large part ot a critical day to talk science when the campaign trail beckons, with local officials to meet and fiarids to shake^
" We'll see rf it works, " Gingrich says with a laugh "It’s a great expenmeht "
■ Byron York is chief potitical correspondent for The Washington Examiner