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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 9, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas Page 4A — Herald-Zeitung — Sunday, October 9, 2005 FORUM Our Opinion Overnight rentals should be avoided in neighborhoods Allowing an overnight rental in a residential neighborhood is much like a trip down a Schlit-terbahn water slide — it's all downhill, and it only gains momentum. WI 'ilton Warnecke has a point. Warnecke is one of many New Braunfels homeowners who have long fought to keep commercial rezoning due to Schlitterbahn’s success from placing their homes in the middle of a rental resort area. Warnecke drew his battle lines again Tuesday when Planning and Zoning commissioners entertained a request for a special-use permit that would have allowed a residential property on Coll Street to be used for overnight rentals. Although the house is nowhere near Warnecke’s Union Avenue home, he and several other concerned citizens spoke against the zone change for fear it would encourage homeowners in their neighborhoods to make similar requests. “I know these homeowners say they will only rent to respectable family groups, but we’ve heard all these arguments before,” he said. “These properties do attract families, hut they also attract large groups of young people who stay up all night partying.” Commissioners were sympathetic to Warnecke’s arguments and denied the permit, giving homeowners a temporary reprieve. But we wonder how long the commission can say no to the potential economic gold mine. Schlitterhahn’s success and expansion have been an economic boon to an already-healthy tourism industry in New Braunfels and Comal County. Allowing neighborhoods in and around the waterpark to be used as overnight rentals would be another way to attract tourists and their wallets. But traveling down that road is much like a trip down a Schlitterbahn water slide — it s all downhill, and it only gains momentum. Allowing one special-use permit for overnight rentals assuredly would lead to other homeowners asking for the same, and with the precedent set, it would be difficult for the Planning and Zoning Commission to say no in the future. Warnecke’s parents built their home in 1948, a time when Union Avenue was just your average American neighborhood. Schlitterhahn’s emergence has altered that neighborhood, obviously, but commercial success and residential privacy can co-exist. Allowing the houses around the waterpark to become overnight lodges strips away the character and years of work and love families put into that neighborhood, and that’s something we cannot afford to lose. Almost all commission members acknowledged Tuesday that they would not want an overnight rental next door to their homes. It s our hope the commission continues to feel that way in the years to come. Today in History By The Associated Press Today is Sunday, Oct. 9, the 282nd day of 2005. There are 83 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in I listory: On Oct. 9,1888, the public was first admitted to the Washington Monument. On this date: In 1635, religious dissident Roger Williams was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1701, the Collegiate School of Connecticut — later Yale University — was chartered. In 1776, a group of Spanish missionaries settled in present-day San Francisco. Herald-Zeitung Serving New Hraunfels and Comal County since 1852. New Braunfels Zeitung was founded 1852; New Braunfels Herald was founded 1890. The two papers merged in 1957 and printed in both German and English until 1958 Managing Editor Jeremy Pafford Editor and Publisher Doug Toney Circulation Director Jeff Fowler Advertising Director Neice Bell Business Manager Valerie Shields News Editor David Rupkalvis HOW TO CONTACT United States Government i ami uasitussaiasas^aiias^sise^ "TH6 PETTIT /HEV Democrats’ short memories evident in DeLay criticism In the film “The Blues Brothers," Elwood and Jake claim they are on a "mission from God.” In a film Texas prosecutor Ronnie Earle allowed to be made of his movements and thoughts leading up to the grand jury indictment of former I louse Majority Leader Tom Delray, Earle invokes the Bible and its teaching that the love of money is “the root of all evil.” Earle says money in politics is “the devil’s brew,” and he claims his mission is to “turn off the tap.” Earle’s sermonizing in the still-unfinished movie was obtained by National Review Online. DeLay, who says he will be vindicated in court, is being targeted for doing his political job exceedingly well. That job, in part, has been to get more Republicans elected to office and to keep them there. When Democrats did it effectively for four decades, it was considered good politics. When DeLay and the Republicans do it, they are Satan’s serv ants. Earle apparently believes he has been “called" to stop them before they sin again. After several tries, Earle finally succeeded in persuading a Texas grand jury to indict Delray on charges he conspired with two GOF operatives to funnel corporate contributions to Republican candidates for the Texas Legislature, which state law prohibits. When the indictment was challenged by Delay’s attorney on grounds that the conspiracy law which DeLay is alleged to have violated was enacted one year after the acts in question, Earle went to a different grand jury. It gave him the new indictments, charging DeLay with money laundering and conspiring to launder money. DeLay called Earle’s action “prosecutorial abuse." Democrat leaders jumped on DeLay in ways meant to advertise their own “virtue.” I louse Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, said DeLay represents a “culture of corruption" and hopes a “level of shame would set in on the Republicans.’’ I’m glad Pelosi has reintroduced the words “corruption” and “shame” to the political vocabulary, for who would know more about those subjects than the Democrats, who shamelessly defended the corruption of the last Democrat president, William Jefferson Clinton. For those with short memories, the liberal Web page “The Progressive Review” has chronicled them at The Clinton administration gave the country the only president ever impeached on grounds of personal malfeasance: the highest number of convictions and guilty pleas by friends and asso- CALTHOMAS Cal Thomas is a columnist for Tribune Media Services International. He hosts "After Hours" on Fox News Channel Saturdays at 10 p.m. Direct all mail for Cal Thomas to: Tribune Media Services. 435 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1500, Chicago, III. 60611, or leave an e-mail at dates; the highest number of cabinet officials to come under criminal investigation: the highest number of witnesses to flee the country: die highest number of witnesses to die suddenly: the first president to be sued for sexual harassment: the first president accused of rape: the first first lady to come under criminal investigation: the largest criminal plea agreement in an illegal campaign contribution case; the first president to establish a legal defense fund; the first president to be held in contempt of court; the greatest amount of illegal campaign contributions; and the greatest amount of illegal campaign contributions from abroad. The compilation of the “sins" of the Clinton administration (as Ronnie in his role as “evangelist” might have put it) goes on for eight pages. Democrats think that by launching their vast left-wing political and media conspiracy against DeLay and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (whose sale of health care stock before its price fell is being looked at by the Securities and Exchange Commission and federal prosecutors) they will elbow their way back into power. That strategy occasionally worked for Democrats in the past, but not in a time of war. They’ll have to do better than throwing around charges of corruption. Earle seems to have a personal and political agenda, not only against DeLay, but against conservatives, be they Republicans or Democrats. I Ie has had mixed results in court. In defense attorney Dick DeGuerin, DeLay has one of the state’s best lawyers. Twelve years ago, DeGuerin lead the legal team that successfully defended Sen. Ray Bailey Hutchison, Texas Republican, against corruption charges brought by Earle. As for the valid criticism from many conservatives that DeLay and the Republican leadership have broken their promise to shrink the size, cost and reach of big government (they have), that’s a subject for another column. PRESIDENT ■ George W. Bush 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, D.C. 20500 SENATE ■ Kay Bailey Hutchison Russell Senate Office Building Room 284 Washington, D.C. 20510 Telephone: (202) 224-5922 Fax: (202) 224-0776 Web: (Send e-mails through Web site.) SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 145 Duncan Drive, Suite 120 San Antonio 78226 Telephone: (210) 340-2885 Fax: (210) 349-6753 ■ John Cornyn Russell Senate-Hart Room 517 Washington, D.C. 20510 Telephone: (202) 224-2934 Fax: (202) 228-2856 Web: (Send e-mails through Web site.) AUSTIN OFFICE: 221 West Sixth St., Suite 1530 Austin 78701 Telephone: (512) 469-6034 Fax: (512) 469-6020 SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 600 Navarro, Suite 210 San Antonio 78205 Telephone: (210) 224-7485 Fax: (210) 224-8569 CONGRESSMAN ■ Lamar Smith Rayburn House Office Building Room 2184 Washington, D.C. 20515 Telephone: (202) 225-4236 Fax: (202) 225-8628 Web address: (Send e-mails through Web site.) SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 1100 NE Loop 410, Suite 640 San Antonio 78209 Telephone: (210) 821-5024 Fax: (210) 821-5947 ■ Henry Cuellar 1404 Longworth House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 Telephone: (202) 225-1640 Fax: (202) 225-1641 Web address: SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 1149 E. Commerce St., Suite 210 San Antonio 78205 Telephone: (210) 271-2851 Fax: (210) 277-6671  GOVERNOR HOW TO CONTACT Texas Government ■ Rick Perry State Capitol, Room 2S.1 RO. Box 12428 Austin 78711 Telephone: (800) 843-5789 Fax: (512)463-1849 STATE HOUSE ■ Carter Casteel 254 E. Mill St. New Braunfels 78130 Telephone: (830) 627-0215 E-mail address: [email protected] STATE SENATE ■ Jeff Wentworth 1250 NE Loop 410, Suite 720 San Antonio 78209 Telephone: (210) 826-7800 WHILE IN AUSTIN: Telephone: (512)463-0125 E-mail address: jeff. Wentworth® senate, state.tx. us ■ Judith Zaffirini P.O. Box 627 Laredo 78042-0627 SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 12702Toepperwein Road #214 San Antonio 78233 Telephone: (210) 657-0095 Fax: (210) 657-0262Donating to the United Way ensures help will be available at home receive funding. Currently, only about two-dozen organizations receive money from United Way. The local United Way has a board of directors comprised of all local residents. These board members from Canyon l.ake, Garden Ridge, Bulverde and New Braunfels and parts in-between are volunteers who work to ensure that contributed dollars go to organizations that do good work, are legitimate non-profits and are efficient. The local United Way volunteers ensure that donations are spent on local organizations helping right here in Comal County. Many businesses and companies make significant contributions each year to United Way of Comal County and so do their employees. Many companies and businesses, such as the I lerald-Zeitung, allow employees to donate through a payroll deduction plan. Once a non-profit organization is approved to receive United Way contributions, its referred to as a United Way agency. One example is Community in Schools. CIS is a remarkable organization that pro vides social workers, tutors, supplies and other services to students identified in the schools as needing such services in both the New Braunfels and Comal school districts. The Salvation Army and the local office of the Red Cross, both of which have been on the front lines this past month or so helping evacuees from I lurricanes Katrina and Rita, are United Way agencies. In fact, donating through your local United Way is the only way to ensure that the money you donate to the Red Cross will be used here in Comal County, because the local United Way board stipulates that the money it provides the local Red Cross office must be spent in Comal County. Our county is changing. The population continues to soar, and with those changes, come new challenges and needs that must be addressed. As we all witnessed this past month, we cannot rely on government alone to provide the assistance and help that is required when people are in need. Ten of the local United Way’s agencies in Comal County have expanded their services to help evacuees here in Comal County. The ability of those United Way agencies, in part, is determined by how much funding they receive from the local United Way. And the amount of money that United Way can give each year is determined by how much is donated by Comal County residents. If you can, please consider making a one-time donation or a payroll deductioi commitment to United Way of Comal County. Besides knowing that the local board ensures that your money is being used wisely, you can specify which Unite< Way agency you want to receive your donation. And it’s a tax-deductible donation. I have had the privilege of serving the United Way of Comal County board. If you already donate to United Way of Comal County, then thank you. If you do not, please consider helping. It’s nice to know that your money will be used right here in Comal County. If you need more information, call the United Way office of Comal County at (830) 620-7760. Generosity is not in short supply in Comal County. Neither are charitable organizations. This past spring, United Way Executive Director Doug I lammerstrom told Community in Schools board members that he had read a report indicating that Comal County had more than 400 501 (c)3 nonprofit corporations. As they say out on Purgatory Road, that’s a bunch. Last week, United Way of Comal County launched its annual fund drive. United Way of Comal County is the local chapter of United Way of America. The local chapter’s mission is to provide a way for local people to give to local charities, with the United Way’s assurance that the money will go toward charitable organizations that actually do what they say they do. These charitable organizations must apply to United Way of Comal County to DOUGTOWEY Doug Toney is editor and publisher of the Herald-Zeitung. ;