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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 20, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas /Page 6A — Herald-Zeitung — Friday, October 20, 2000Opinions FORUM Letters iTS rn __ NKW BMUNFELS Herald-Zeitung 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. Doug Toney, Editor and Publisher Margaret Edmonson, Managing Editor Michael Cary, News Editor Editorial I Alcohol ban proposal needs an overhaul Unless the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission decides to ignore the advice of its legal counsel, the city of New Braunfels’ request to ban alcohol on the Comal and Guadalupe rivers will be turned down. In a letter to the TABC that the Herald-Zeitung obtained a copy of, TABC general counsel Lou Bright compared the city of New Braunfels’ effort to have the rivers declared business districts to the gerrymandering of voting districts. For the TABC to control the use of alcohol on the rivers, the rivers had to constitute the city’s “central business district.” Even the TABC’s attorney in Austin could see that the rivers did not constitute the city’s central business district. The TABC attorney wrote that a central business district must be an “area that has historically been the primary location in the municipality where business has been transacted. “.. .I cannot believe that these channels (rivers) are where the citizens of New Braunfels have historically transacted their business,” TABC attorney Bright wrote. Bright compared the request to calling a park a business district because admission to enter is charged. Something is wrong when the citizens of New Braunfels have to rely on a state agency in Austin to finally bring some common sense to our misguided effort. The TABC attorney also said that calling the rivers a business district because people float the river with rented tubes would be like calling a highway a business district because some people drive rented cars. City attorney Floyd Akers hatched this plan, and it was flawed from the beginning. He can point his finger at others, but in the end, this was his call, and it was wrong. If, as Akers was quick to point out, the TABC had never turned down a request before, then that should tell us just how bad his effort must have been. City council should feel embarrassed. Council owes the city, especially those who organized and signed the petitions to seek an alcohol ban, a quick and decisive plan to respond to the community’s demand to stop the abusive and vulgar behavior on ; the rivers. Council should take three steps; 1. The city should seek the support of local legislators to have a law passed allowing the city to determine whether alcohol can be possessed on the river. Council must act quickly. If nothing can be prepared before the legislative session in January, it will be two more years before the city can seek a state law to empower them to ban alcohol. 2. Determine whether a container ban could have the same effect and whether the city has the authority to invoke such a ban. 3. Pledge to increase law enforcement on both rivers to control behavior until either the Legislature empowers the city to ban alcohol or the increased law enforcement proves that such a law is not needed. City council also needs to decide whether they can continue to rely' on the advice of its current city attorney, who apparently cannot tell the difference between a business district and a river. Mayor Stoney Williams and the council need to act. This is no time to shrug and say they are sorry. The citizens of New Braunfels deserve better. Letters To The Editor It’s time to move past abortion issue Dear Editor: This letter is in regards to all the attention abortion has been getting my whole life, and the two local rallies the “pro-life” people have had this last year. 1.) It is impossible to stop abortions. If we try we only end up with women suffering, if not dying, from illegal abortions. I think it is the “moral” thing "to do and let these women, who have to make this desperate choice, have a safe, caring and sterile place to do so. 2.) Fetuses, from surgical abortions, have been found to be useful for people with diseases who are already alive. But who cares about them, right? 3.) Speaking of people who are already alive, what about the children who need help, who could actually benefit from the money wasted on those signs for protesting. But like I said, who cares about them? Let's move on, people. Move on to more important issues. Has anyone heard about the ozone layer lately? Paige Norman New Braunfels Tawdry dance did not belong at rodeo • Dear Editor: I love to go to the rodeo. I was going to call the people in charge of this year’s rodeo and tell them something very important to me and should be to any Christian, or for anybody with dignity at all. It was not as great this year because they decided to give $100 to any 21 or older female who would dance dirty in their “thong dance.” They didn't remove any clothes but in my mind the dance that was done was equally as bad. There were kids in the stands and my grandmother was sitting behind me. In my mind, the routine and dance that was done needs to remain in the gentlemen’s clubs, even though you can’t find a real gentleman within a hundred Write ’Em yards of a place like that. I am all for freedom of speech, but this expression should have been for those 21 years or older and should be for an option at a club, not a slap in the face of Christians who enjoy the rodeo. The reason I consider it to be a slap in the face was because the opening of the rodeo was done with a prayer asking God to be with us throughout the event. I don’t-think God would bless this event. I went to see a rodeo but I saw something I would rather not see at the rodeo. The Lord is all loving and does forgive the Comal County Fair Association for this. This was the first time that I saw something this low at any rodeo I have attended. I hope I do not see it again. I have enjoyed the rodeo every other year very much. I hope I see all the same people there next year. I also hope this doesn’t discourage people, but opens their eyes. Hope to see everybody next year. I know I will be there. Rusty Trip New Braunfels U.S. SENATORS Phil Gramm, R-College Station Room 370 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510 (202) 224-2934 Fax: (202) 228-2856 404 E. Ramsey Road San Antonio, TX 78216 (210) 366-9494 Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Dallas Room 284 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510 (202) 224-5922 Fax: (202) 224-0776 senator @ 8023 Vantage Drive, Suite 460 San Antonio, TX 78230 (210) 340-2885 U.S. CONGRESSMAN Lamar Smith R-San Antonio Room 2231 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 (202) 225-4236 1100 NE Loop 410, Suite 640 San Antonio, TX 78209 (210) 821-5024 Ciro D. Rodriguez D-San Antonio Room 323 Cannon House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 (202) 225-1640 1313 S.E. Military, Suite 115 San Antonio, TX 78214 (210)924-7383 STATE SENATOR Jeff Wentworth R-San Antonio 1250 NE Loop 410, Suite 720 San Antonio, TX 78209 (210) 826-7800 Fax: (210) 826-0571 Judith Zaffirini D-Laredo P.O. Box 627 Laredo, TX 78042-0627 (956) 722-2293 12702 Toepperwein Road, #214 San Antonio, TX 78233 (210) 657-0095 • Fax: (210) 657-0262Presidential election comes down to whom we trust Most people who vote in next month’s election will not enter their polling places able to pass a pop quiz on the details of each candidate’s positions. Except for activists and the few for whom politics is life, most will vote their perceptions about which one can be trusted to say what he means and mean what he says. Despite Vice President Al Gore’s better speaking and walking skills in the third debate, a fair observer would have to concede the trust factor and possibly the election to Gov. George W. Bush. Gore was not as blatant in his exaggerations and misstatements as in the previous two debates, but there were plenty of inaccuracies. Perhaps the biggest howler was Gore’s claim that the military is “the strongest in the history of the world.” Stronger than Eisenhower’s D-Day force? Stronger than in the Persian Gulf war? The Washington Post reported this past week That the military is suffering from a mass ‘exodus of captains from its ranks. Recruitment is down. Morale is low. Cal Thomas Divorces are up because of lengthy and repetitive foreign “peacekeeping” missions and adventures. Gore claimed credit for cutting government, but most of the reductions came from the Pentagon. Gore’s other major whopper was that pharmaceutical companies spend more money on advertising and promotion than on research and development. In fact, the industry this year is expected to spend a record $26.4 billion on research and development, up from $24 billion in 1999, according to the PhRMA Annual Report for 2000-2001. That is many times the amount spent on advertising and promotion, which Gore implied is a bad thing. Gore frequently descended into the minutiae of his various plans on taxes, education and health care, but Bush kept coming back to his strongest themes, leaving it to others to sort out Gore’s political slights of hand. Repeatedly, Bush stressed his belief that government should allow individuals to do more for themselves and keep more of the money they earn to do it. He portrayed Gore as a big-spending liberal and obsessive regulator. On education, Gore wants to tinker with a broken system, the nation’s largest monopoly. Bush would insist on accountability for teachers and students and empower parents, not the state or the teachers unions, to decide what is in the best. interests of children when schools fail to do the job we pay them to do. On health care, as on education, Bush is pro-choice, believing competition improves quality and lowers costs. He would allow the kinds of health-plan choices Congress and congressional employees get. Gore again blasted HMOs and insurance companies for overruling doctors’ decisions. But that is precisely what Medicare bureaucrats do and what Hiilary Rodham Clinton tried to impose on us when she failed to socialize medicine. Gore said in the St. Louis debate he will give us Hillarycare but “incrementally.” Do we really want government-run medicine? A Democratic-controlled Congress rejected it. Let government fix airline delays and safety concerns. It was on taxes that Bush scored best. Gore again engaged in class envy by invoking his tired mantra of Bush tax breaks going to “the wealthiest I percent.” Bush countered that the people who pay the taxes ought to have them lowered in an era of projected surpluses. Bush thinks it is immoral that anyone should have to pay more than one-third of his or her income to government. His plan would eliminate taxes for a family of four earning less than $35,000 annually. Families making more would get less of a tax break and even those earning above $100,000 would see their taxes reduced IO percent. Gore thinks everyone should seek government permission and funding to run their lives. Bush thinks “we the people” is still best. As a debater, Bush might leave a lot to be desired, but his inclinations to trust the people are right. Gore’s inclinations are in the direction of government. To him, the government is our keeper, we shall not want. Though we walk through the shadow of darkness, the government will be there to comfort us with programs underwritten by the hard work of others and wealth created by others. That’s about as stark a philosophical choice as one gets in an election. The question is, when Election Day arrives, will enough voters understand the difference between liberty and limitation, between dependence and independence, to make the right choice? And will they understand that character and trust, not promises based on focus groups, are the central issues in this campaign? (Cal Thomas is a syndicated columnist.) rn \ ;