New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 26, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas
Page 4A — Herald-Zeitung — Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Serving New Braunfels 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.
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Competition key to better elections
Good candidates from all sides of the aisle need are needed so that voters truly have a choice.
lompetition brings out the best in all lot us.” It’s a saying that’s often uttered in reference to sporting events, but it applies to just about everything in life — politics included.
Political competition can lead to a healthy debate of the issues, good decision-making and solid leadership. But such competition has been hard to come by in this state for some time. Republicans have dominated state politics since the 1990s — and that’s after Democrats had a decades-long stronghold on political power in Texas.
We’ve swung from one end of the pendulum to another, with very little time spent in that panacea dubbed “the middle ground.”
Comal County Democratic Party Chairman Larry Horton, who announced Monday he does not intend to run for another term in 2006, said he feels like he has accomplished his goal of creating excitement within his party’s ranks. “I feel like I’ve made it easier to declare you’re a Democrat in Comal County,” he said. “More and more people are doing that now, which is good, and we’re having more candidates file for local races.”
That’s a good thing. Yes, political races in the 21st century too often degenerate into wrestling matches rather than present candidates focused on the issues, but give us mudslinging over one-party control with only one viable candidate.
With Republicans dominating the scene, it’s up to the Democrats to find issues that resonate with the public and spark a debate on them. No one loses when both sides put forth civil, thoughtprovoking campaigns.
This county, state and nation needs good citizens from all sides of the political aisle to step forward to present voters with a choice.
Competition brings out our best, and it will bring out voters, too.
Today in History
By The Associated Press
Today is Wednesday, Oct. 26, the 299th day of 2005. There are 66 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Oct. 26,1881, the “Gunfight at the OK Corral” took place in Tombstone, Ariz., as Wyatt Earp, his two brothers and “Doc” Holliday confronted Ike Clanton’s gang. Three members of Clanton’s gang were killed; Earp’s brothers were wounded.
On this date:
In 1825, the Erie Canal opened in upstate New York, connecting Lake Erie and the Hudson River.
In 1958, Pan American Airways flew its first Boeing 707 jetliner from New York to Paris in eight hours and 41 minutes.
In 1975, Anwar Sadat became the first Egyptian president to pay an official visit to the United States.
In 1977, the experimental space shuttle Enterprise glided to a bumpy but successful landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
In 1994, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel and Prime Minister Abdel Salam Majali of Jordan signed a peace treaty during an extravagant ceremony at the Israeli-Jordanian border attended by President Clinton.
Ten years ago: The House passed, 227-203, a Republican balanced-budget bill aimed at shrinking the federal government, cutting taxes and returning power to the states. Islamic Jihad leader Fathi Shakaki was shot to death on the Mediterranean island of Malta in a killing his supporters blamed on Israel.
Letters to the Editor
Homeowner involvement crucial to good associations
Many new subdivisions have opened in Comal County. With them come property owners’ associations.
Let me warn you about these. For example, mine, right off EM 306. Last year, my association spent the annual dues of 60 members to buy a $4, IOO trailer for hauling rocks down to the Guadalupe River. Few neighbors own a truck capable of hooking onto this trailer. One would think such an expensive purchase would be voted on, but no, the past president didn’t even bother to ask the homeowners for permission to buy it, nor did he notify them for five months after he bought the trailer.
The same board planned to erect a pavilion in a small park owned by members of the association. When this project was put up for approval, the ballot read that there would be a one-time assessment of $50. Not explained on the ballot was that the pavilion could cost $25,000 or more, requiring financing. Few members use the park facility — we all own 5-acre plots. Fortunately, concerned neighbors uncovered the possible deception and distributed a flyer alerting the voters, who turned down the project.
Get involved, my friends. Attend your board meetings. Become a member of the board.
Only 66 of 185 property owners voted in our last officer election.
Such a lack of participation sometimes attracts the wrong people to become board members. Some take the job with an attitude, “Nobody wants the job, so we can do what we want.” Personal agendas usually have a priority then over decisions that are in the best interest of the property owners they were elected to serve.
Richard A Ordorfer New Braunfels
Orchestra program sounds like good idea for county’s students
Congratulations to the Boerne ISD for expanding its fine arts program to include
This is a wise curriculum addition, enhancing an already-strong academic situation. The orchestra offering fills a need for music students who desire instruction in string instruments and gives them the opportunity to perform in a full orchestra. An orchestra program is a pathway to increased student academic performance and can elevate a school from the status quo to the highly desirable.
Hopefully, the Comal and New Braunfels school districts will follow suit. Perhaps the music departments at the University of Texas-San Antonio, Texas State University or Texas Lutheran University could lend a helping hand to institute such a program.
Comal County’s history of excellence and leadership in schools and appreciation of music goes back to the earliest German pioneer days. The first public school in Texas was established in New Braunfels in the 1850s; German singing societies and orchestras, both family and community, were prevalent.
Good music was a very important part of the New Braunfels area in the past, and it would be most appropriate to honor and continue this tradition by offering orchestra programs in the schools. Taking this step toward a more cultured society would be well worth it. Parents should talk to their school districts.
Marie Oelkers Helsley San Antonio A retired teacher and a product of Comal County and New Braunfels schools
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■ George W. Bush 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, D.C. 20500
■ Kay Bailey Hutchison Russell Senate Office Building Room 284
Washington, D.C. 20510 Telephone: (202) 224-5922 Fax: (202) 224-0776 Web: http://hutchison.senate.gov/ (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: http://cornyn.senate.gov/ (Send e-mails through Web site.)
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
■ Lamar Smith
Rayburn House Office
Washington, D.C. 20515 Telephone: (202) 225-4236 Fax: (202) 225-8628 Web address:
http://lamarsmith.house.gov/ (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: http://www.house.gov/cuellar
SAN ANTONIO OFFICE:
1149 E. Commerce St., Suite 210 San Antonio 78205 Telephone: (210) 271-2851 Fax: (210) 277-6671
HOW IO CONTACT
■ Rick Perry
State Capitol, Room 2S.1 P.O. Box 12428 Austin 78711
Telephone: (800) 843-5789 Fax: (512) 463-1849
■ Carter Casteel 254 E. Mill St.
New Braunfels 78130 Telephone: (830) 627-0215 E-mail address: [email protected]
■ 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:
■ Judith Zaffirini
RO. Box 627 Laredo 78042-0627
SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 12702Toepperwein Road #214 San Antonio 78233 Telephone: (210) 657-0095 Fax: (210) 657-0262History lesson: This ‘George W.’ must redefine himself publicly
I louse aide and political guru Karl Rove, along with Vice President Cheney’s chief of staff and a chief strategist in the war in Iraq, I. I,ewis “Scooter” Libby.
If that happens, the media and their ideological friends in the Democrat Party might raise the ghost of Richard Nixon, asserting whatever errors, indiscretions or illegalities these men may have committed are akin to Watergate.
That probably won t fly for long and the Democrats, given their recent history of defending Bill Clinton from moral and ethical indiscretions (including lying under oath), don’t have much credibility in that area.
But even though the Democrats are in disarray and have no moral standing or ideas, its not an excuse for the White House to ride out potentially bad publicity and refuse to do something to halt tile continuing slide in public approval ratings.
What to do? First, the president should shake up his staff, bringing in new people who have vision, experience and unquestioned integrity.
Then, he should say what he thinks it
means to be a conservative Republican, which once meant smaller, cheaper and less intrusive government. Under Republicans, the cost and reach of government have expanded, including gobs of new money for education and new entitlement programs that would shame a New Dealer. A real conservative would at least try to reverse this trend, even if he fails.
The president should announce something dramatic regarding the war in Iraq.
I Ie should speak about America’s objective as victory, instead of the withdrawal of U.S. troops once Iraqi forces are ready to take over. The president should announce a plan to increase the size of the Army, which, as Kagan writes, could and should have been done as early as 2001. If it had been done as late as 2003, new troops would now be available to help crush the Sunni-Arab opposition and to persuade them we have no intention of withdrawing until the job is complete. They have based their hopes on America cutting and running.
Following through on his pledge to do something serious about illegal immigra
tion would also go a long way to rekindling the fire of support for the president that is in danger of going out in many conservative bellies.
If Harriet Miers withdraws her name for consideration as a Supreme Court Justice, or if her nomination is defeated in the Senate, a known conservative would be just the ticket for rousing tile base from its growing disgust.
President Bush must redefine himself publicly and for his own sake. What does he see beyond the face in the mirror and beneath the words others write for him? Where are his convictions and positions on which he will not compromise or falter? The contemporary “George W.” must constantly restate what is at stake domestically and in the war against radical Islam and he must never give up or compromise these principles.
Concerning that other “George W.,” McCullough writes, “Above all, Washington never forgot what was at stake and he never gave up.”
A lot is riding on whether this “George W.” has that same attitude and vision.
Near the end of his magnificent book, “ 1776,” historian David McCullough writes this about George Washington: “He was not a brilliant strategist or tactician, not a gifted orator, not an intellectual. At sev-\ eral crucial moments he had shown marked indecisiveness. He had made serious mistakes in judgment.”
Sound familiar? That’s what critics of today’s “George W.” say about him.
McCullough concludes, “But experience had been (Washing m’s) great teacher from boyhood, and in this his greatest test, he learned steadily from experience.”
Has the contemporary “George W.” learned from experience?
In what could be a critical week for the Bush administration, special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald may indict top White
Cal Thomas is a columnist for Tribune Media Services International. He hosts "After Hours" on Fox News Channel Saturdays at ll p.rn.
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