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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 28, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas Page 4A — Herald-Zeitung — Friday, October 28, 2005 FORUM Our Opinion Dressing down our pro sports It would be nice if professional sports leagues focused on the games as much as they focus on minutia. A si OI vt s if debating the merits of on-base percentage versus slugging percentage wasn’t mind-numbing enough, leave it to the world of professional sports to find other matters of minutia to argue over. A stir was raised during the World Series about the fact that the Houston Astros were the first championship team in more than a half-century with a roster that doesn’t include a single black player. In an Associated Press story, former Astro Joe Morgan, who is black; Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig; and Astros general manager Tim Purpura, both of whom are white, lamented the fact that black players make up only about 9 percent of big league rosters. Sports Illustrated did a well-researched article a couple of years back examining baseball’s drop in popularity among blacks. It found that many blacks identified more with basketball and football players and that there were fewer opportunities for inner-city blacks to play baseball than basketball or football. There was no bias against blacks or minorities when it came who made big league rosters — the burgeoning number of latino and international players confirms that. To bring up the issue in the middle of the World Series was ill-timed and inappropriate to the series at hand. Nobody in the National Basketball Association is lamenting the lack of white Americans in the league. Theres no reason to argue: NBA teams pick the players to play and don’t worry about their skin color. I lowever, the NBA isn t devoid of trivial arguments. The NBA wants its basketball players to dress better. Popular urban wear, bling-bling and classic sports jerseys are out; ‘‘business casual’’ wear is in. A dress code for pro basketball players is in the works to contribute ‘‘to a sense of professionalism,’’ says NBA Commissioner David Stern. Many NBA players, including San Antonio Spurs super-star Tim Duncan, have cried foul. Some black players say the dress code is tinged with racial overtones. We say who cares what players wear going to and from games. There are more important issues such as overly coddled athletes and the ever-increasing ticket prices to debate than whether Duncan should be allowed to wear a retro George Gervin jersey while entering the SBC Center. Maybe the NBA players who feel choked by wearing a tie should look into being an NFL coach. Earlier this year, first-year San Francisco 49ers head coach Mike Nolan had a noble wish — to honor his late father Dick Nolan, who at one time had coached the 49ers as well. Dick Nolan always wore a buttoned-down white shirt and tie on the sidelines during games, and his son wanted to do the same in remembrance of the man who blazed the path he followed. No dice — or rather no shirt-and-tie — said the NFL. Coaches are only allowed to wear licensed NFL apparel such as polo shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, etc., on the sidelines. Reebok, the maker of licensed apparel for the 49ers, doesn’t make a buttoned-down dress shirt, so Mike Nolan isnt allowed to wear a shirt like his dad did many years before. (As an aside, imagine Tom Landry coaching in the NFL today with a Reebok or Nike insignia embroidered into the side of his trademark hat. That’s sacrilegious.) We have an idea for a dress code for all sports leagues: Just put on your uniforms and play and forget the micro-managing of pre-game attire. Herald-Zeitung 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. /’    <**■'    +rr.    ■    *> Managing Editor Jeremy Pafford Editor and Publisher Doug Toney Circulation Director Jeff Fowler Advertising Director Neice Bell Business Manager Velerie Shield* News Editor Devid Rupkalvis ~A- „ ^ \*> 20crv**n VSSsi&g-t&gbr—**“ ^ SS™* *    tlC    T, XCJ «*» *^25?" Aa*,r*‘ *1 sow'*’*"* 8C Cl 3 c& 555- *    X    SS*-    a*,    c*~ SPC    „ MC-    ion*"* sa, How**!*'    M vUlorJ.P*    20CO    WO SPC *W 0    ITI?;' 2»    <t JOW "*<1 SPC    n i-ousW* •'*    ?? V IV# X** CM* ll* IJI ccw**?    «    20O*A« Sot .'KtoxE    „ v^>*nww>"«    j,    /COS    "*> £ ****££, wVrsiwi r*wTr""*W X****1» W*''2L?sw^w'*00-'- v    fairer ^ f'mt fefth mw n    ct*    S200* •••» Kern I* 0*^    T»iW: ?! ^ ji JOW.*** (M MFW* -TS r*cr*    » J** “*> Iraq ^f    -a,«—    ^    ti    iv*» *** J’ irs*ii r« IR is    r SPT b“'^ ^SST? als-****  ..... Letters to the Editor Canyon Lake water sale has suspicious appearance The contract recently signed by the board of directors of Canyon Lake Water Supply Corp. to sell the corporation to San Jose Water Corp. appears to he arrogant, dumb and suspicious. It is arrogant behavior because the decision to sell was made by the board well in advance of bringing it before the membership for discussion. The board then disregarded all suggestions that would have given the sale an appearance of fairness and respect for all members. The board has agreed to a sales contract wherein the value of CLWSC has not been clearly established. For example, it appears CLWSC’s monthly income is somewhere in the neighborhood of $300,000 per month. If so, it would be capable of handling twice the $20 million debt for which it is currently obligated and which apparently served as the basis for the buyer’s bid. That suggests CLWSC could be worth twice the amount offered by SJW Corp. I encourage members vote “no” at a members’ meeting at I p.m. Nov. 5 at Mountain Valley Elementary School in Sattler. If a member cannot attend, a “no” vote may be registered by mailing in the proxy card. To do so, the member must sign his or her name in the designated area on the card and then, in the other designated area on the card, write in “Jack Harris” or the name of some other member who will be at the Saturday meeting and is willing to cast a “no” vote. Jack Harris Canyon Lake Whether in person or by proxy, vote ‘no’ on purchase of CLWSC The proposed sale of Canyon Lake Water Supply Corp. to San Jose Water Corp. of California is going to be decided Nov. 5. If you are against this sale, you must either attend the meeting or designate a proxy vote by name before you sign and send it in. A blank proxy will be taken as a vote for the sale. For those of you wanting to vote against this sale and cannot attend this meeting, sign the proxy and print my name and I will vote “no" for you at the meeting. Alfred H. Cordes Jr. Spring Branch Proposition 2 will protect state from arbitrary changes to law The citizens of Comal County should vote for Proposition 2 because the amendment is needed as constitutional protection from the threat of legal problems due to lawlessness. In 2004, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ordered the state legislature to redefine marriage or amend the state’s constitution. Officials in San Francisco purposefully broke the law of California because of an agenda in direct opposition to an explicit, recent and statewide voter referendum. There have been similar instances of arbitrary arrogance in Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and other states. Proposition 2 will prevent the very real division and polarity that would result in Texas if a local official or judge decides to arbitrarily nullify law passed by our elected representatives. Formal and common-law marriage and all sorts of other contracts currently defined in state law will not be affected by the amendment. Beverly B. Nuckols, MD New Braunfels ‘Liberal’ is someone who dares to question authority figures Guest columnist Stinson Worley pointed to syndicated editorial writers who refer to the word “liberal” as a dirty word. I suggest that to many “liberal” is more than just a dirty word. “Liberal,” to my “conservative” friends, means someone who has the audacity to disagree. One who refuses to tow the party line, who refuses to blindly follow the authoritative voices of conservative talk radio hosts. A liberal is one who questions authority. And don’t forget, a liberal is also accused of being Godless. All of this, simply put, is poppycock. We are proud Americans who defend our country, vote, pray, raise our children and, yes, we often disagree with the powers that be. So I unabashedly, for many years now, call myself a proud liberal. Jerry Kempe New Braunfels LETTERS POLICY ■ Letters must be 250 words or less. ■The Herald-Zeitung reserves the right to edit all submissions. ■ Guest columns should be 500 words or less and must be accompanied by a photo. ■ Address and telephone number must be included so authorship can be confirmed. Mail letters to: Letters to Editor c/o Herald-Zeitung RO. Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, TX 78131-1328 Fax them to: (830) 606-3413 e-mail them to: news@herald- minimum HOW TO CONTACT United States Government 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 HOW TO CONTACT Texas Government PHiisir I 1111111111111 GOVERNOR ■ 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: [email protected] ■ Judith Zaffirini P.O. Box 627 Laredo 78042-0627 SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 12702Toepperwein Road #214 San Antonio 78233 Telephone: (210) 657-0095 Fax: (210) 657-0262Not doing something about heating costs could be high-priced mistake barrel over more than two decades to prepare for a genuine national emergency. What we face this winter is not a calamity of sufficient gravity to warrant selling off part of the reserve, but we can borrow it for a while. Why doesn’t the president order that about 200 million barrels of the reserve be sold at current market prices? If the price runs about $60 per barrel at the time the sale is consummated, the sale would generate $12 billion. Since we purchased the oil at an average price of $27 per barrel, or about half as much as we are now going to make from the sale, we should put aside half of the proceeds — $6 billion — to use replenishing the reserve once prices have come down to more normal levels. Then we can feel free to use the remaining $6 billion to subsidize home heat-ing-oil prices this winter at no cost to the treasury. While oil prices are destined to rise in coming years because of increased demand, particularly from developing nations such as India and China, they aren’t likely to stay above $30 per barrel for more than the period of the current emergency. We should shortly be able to replenish all we have borrowed from the reserve, again without any additional drain on the treasury. We certainly will not need the extra 200 million barrels during this interim period. We can replace it before we experience any ill effects from its absence. The oil is doing us no good sitting in the reserve. There is no reason why our government cannot cash in on the current escalation of fuel prices to mitigate some of the effects of this rapid increase on our people. It would be great if Bush could, for once, anticipate the need for a program before he has to be beaten over the head to initiate one. The looming disaster of higher heat-ing-oil prices clearly will require a federal subsidy. This proposal offers a way Washington can give help without spending more money. Without the subsidy, one can well imagine low-income families in Northern climates having to choose between heating and eating, not a choice they should be forced to make. No means test should be necessary to trigger the federal subsidy, since the increase in costs should not cause otherwise self-sufficient citizens to feel as if they are receiving charity or welfare. Nobody can plan for a 50 percent increase in heating-oil costs, and few can absorb the higher bill without cutting out something else in their budget. The sell-off of reserve oil would not require congressional approval. Bush has ample authority to order it under his current executive powers. Using that fund for heating-oil subsidies will require Senate and House consent, but legislators are particularly adept at voting for subsidies that do not cost anything. Passing the bill should not present much of a problem. The administration should act v promptly to take advantage of this win-win proposal. President Bush had better initiate a program to subsidize home heating-oil costs before sticker shock turns the red states blue with cold this winter. With heating-oil prices expected to increase by at least 50 percent because of the high global demand for petroleum and Hurricane Katrina-induced damage to American refineries, prices for natural gas and electricity will also inflate, lagging not far behind. And theres a way Bush can subsidize those costs without further adding to the federal budget deficit. The U.S. strategic petroleum reserve contains about 700 million barrels of oil, approximately a one-month supply of oil for the nation (and a bit more than two months if we assume that only foreign oil were to be cut off). The oil in the reserve has been purchased at an average price of $27 per DICKMORRIS Dick Morris was an adviser to Bill Clinton for 20 years. ;