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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 9, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas 4 □ Herald-Zeitung g Tuesday, September 9,1997 Opinion p To talk with Managing Editor Margaret Edmonson about the Opinion page, call 625-9144, Ext. 220. Herald-Zeitung Opinion * Online contact ■ To submit letters and guest columns electronically by way of online services or Internet, or to simply contact staff members, the managing editor’s address is QUOT ABLE “The freedom of the press is one of the greatest bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by despotic governments.” George Mason statesman EDITORIALNB breathes SA’s fumes As it goes with water, it may go with air. The Environmental Protection Agency is in the process of testing the San Antonio area for air quality with new standards. The EPA includes Comal, Guadalupe and Wilson counties in the San Antonio area, because it says commuter traffic from those areas contributes to San Antonio’s air pollution. The new standards are tougher in some ways and easier in some than the current ones. • Under the new standards, pollution must measure less than .08 parts per million. Under the current standards, the cut-off point is . 125 parts per million. • Air will be tested based on an eight-hour average and the fourth highest day is counted under the new standards. The current standards test based on a one-hour average during peak times. • The new standards allow four violations in a three-year period. The current standards allow only three. lf San Antonio does not meet the new standards, then it will be required to meet the current standards. San Antonio already has exceeded the current limits twice in a year-and-a-half, with another year-and-a-half to go. lf San Antonio flunks the air quality test, the EPA will designate it a “non-attainment region,” which will make it subject to EPA sanctions. Comal County will be subject to the same sanctions. That could mean lost state and federal funds to expand Interstate 35. It could mean manadatory vehicle emissions testing and requirements to buy reformulated fuel that costs as much as 5 cents extra per gallon. As with Edwards Aquifer management, Comal County citizens find themselves at the mercy of the good judgment and forethought of their neighbors to the south. Here s hoping San Antonio surprises us. (Today ’s editorial was written by Hemld-Zeitung News Editor Susan Flynt England.)Write us ... The New Braunfels Hercdd-Zeitung welcomes letters on any public issue. The editor reserves the right to correct spelling, style, punctuation and known factual errors. Letters should be kept to 250 words. We publish only original mail addressed to the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung bearing the writer’s signature. Also, an address and a telephone number, which are not for publication, must be included. Please cite the page number and date of any article that is mentioned Preference is given to writers who have not been published in the previous 30 days. Mail letters toe Letters to the Editor do the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung P.O. Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, Texas 78131-1328 ’    ■ *.    ■ * :■ ■ > \ 'Literacy opens the door to the universe New BraunfelsHerald-Zeitung Editor and Publisher. Ext. 301........................................Doug Toney Managing Editor, Ext. 220.................................Margaret    Edmonson Marketing Director, Ext. 208....................................Jason    Borchardt Classified Advertising Manager, Ext, 214...............Karen    Reininger Business Manager, Ext. 202 .......................................Mary    Lee Hall {Circulation Director, Ext 228...................................Carol    Ann Avery ^Pressroom Foreman, Ext. 205............................................................. Published on Sunday mornings and weekday mornings Tuesday through Friday by the [New Braunfels Hendd-Zettung (USPS 377-880) 707 Linda St, or P.O. Drawer 311328, New ; Braunfels, Comal County, TX 78131 -1328. Penodical postage paid by the New Braunfels ’ Her als J-Jet lung in New Braunfels, Texas. Carrier delivered in Comal and Guadalupe counties: three months, S20.50; six months, $37; one year, $66. Senior Citizen Discounts by carrier delivery only: six months, $33; one year, $62. Mail delivery outside Comal County in Texas: three months, $30.30; six months, $35; one year, $103.30. Mail outside Texas: six months, $78; one year, $118.25. Subscribers who have not received a newspaper by 5:30 pm Tuesday through Friday .or by 7:30 a m. on Sunday may call (830) 625-9144 or by 7 pm weekdays or by 11 am. on Sunday I Postmaster: Send address changes to the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, P.O. Drawer 31 1328, New Braunfels, Tx. 78131-1328. Monday we celebrated International Literacy Day, a special day designed to call attention to the world's commitment to literature, reading and education. For me, a 20-year veteran English teacher, Literacy Day is similar to a holy day, a day when I and many other teachers around the world take time to rededicate ourselves to our goals, promises and dreams involving language, literature, and most of all, learning. For most of us teachers, literacy is more than being able to read and write. Sure, we want our students to read and write, but even more so, we want them to appreciate literature, learn about others through fiction or non-fiction, and, most of all, discover for themselves the value of literacy. As teachers, we set out to encourage the growth of young human minds, who will add ideas and creations to our society’s storehouse of knowledge. Ever noticed the similarity between the words “light” and “literature?” The abbreviation for literature, lit., and the past participle of light, lit, are identical. In my mind, literature is light. The written word has lit the way I Susan Leos for me and for countless others on our journeys toward becoming good citizens and caring human beings. Actually, it has lit the long road back in time for me, through history books and mythology, as well as blazoned a beacon for me in trying to understand what might be needed in a dark, fuzzy future, a future that seems to be here already. Speaking of the future, never have anthropologist Margaret Mead’s words from the 1960s ever pealed so madly in my ears as they have in this year of 1997: “We are now at a point where we must educate our children in what no one knew yesterday, and prepare our schools for what no one knows yet.” Yikes! This is me! This is the caution that-nngs in my ears every day as I read my newspapers, surf the Internet and, in short, see what all I don’t understand. To simply focus on literacy is not enough. All of us teachers, parents and com munities in general must foster thinking and lifelong learning. According to' the Southern Newspapers Publishing Association, more than 40 million Americans age 46 or older have significant literacy needs. More than 20 percent of our adults read at or below the fifth-grade level. Not only do these adults often lack jobs or job skills, but research shows that their children sometimes suffer the same consequences. Despite many corporate, state-run and volunteer organizations that combat illiteracy, more needs to be done to create a completely literate American society. My goals of literacy and lifelong learning comfort me each and every day as I walk into my classroom to teach of language and literature. I may not know what my students will encounter in their worlds of tomorrow, but I do sleep well, at least most nights, knowing that my personal plan for teaching the love of words and ideas will do more than just light their ways as they solve unheard-of problems in the future. Hence, my earlier statements that on Literacy Day, what I really celebrate is not only the written word, but also the human capacity to learn and grow. This optimistic and purposefully sunny view of literacy is what keeps me going and motivates me to continue teaching and learning. If I can get my kids to read, read, read — usually, the ideas inherent in the words can captivate their minds and engender a feeling, a kinship, a thought that then attaches them to another person or place outside of themselves. I try to teach my kids that it is through the lives of others that we see our own selves and, therefore, the selves of others. Lady Nancy Astor, the American-bom British social and political leader, put it this way, “Real education should educate us out of self into something far finer — into a selflessness which links us with all humanity.” For this English teacher, the “real education” Astor discusses and literacy are my personal links with humanity — a chain of ideas that can forge relationships, build knowledge, solve problems, and pave the way for our future generations. I celebrate literacy every single day. (Susan Leos teaches English at New Braunfels High School) An ounce of prevention cures car-repair headaches Car repairs can be one of the biggest headaches a consumer faces. Today’s cars and trucks are so complex that it is sometimes very difficult to diagnose problems. This can make it hard for the average consumer to know if the proposed repair actually will fix the car. It can also make it easy for an unscrupulous mechanic to include unnecessary but expensive work as part of the repair job, use secondhand parts or bill you for repair work that was not done. We at the Office of the Attorney General want to assist you in avoiding this kind of “repair” job. Texas has no law specifically governing auto repairs. However, the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act — the state’s most comprehensive consumer protection law — includes several sections that cover repairs. Under this act, it is illegal to: • Knowingly make a false or misleading statement about the need for parts or repair. * State that work has been done orToday in History By Tho Associated Proas Today is Tuesday, Sept. 9, the 252nd day of 1997. There are 113 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: Qn Sept. 9, 1776, the second Continental Congress made the term “United States” official, replacing “United Colonics.” On this date: In 1850, California became the 31st state of the union. In 1893, Frances Cleveland, wife of President Cleveland, gave birth to a daughter, Esther, in the White House. It was the first time a president’s child was bom in the executive mansion. In 1926, the National Broadcasting Co., HBC, was created f*bv the Radio Cornoration of Dan Morales that parts were replaced when that is not true. • Claim that the parts used in repair are new or original, when in fact they are second-hand or reconditioned. The simplest way to avoid a problem is to find a reputable mechanic or repair shop to do your repairs. Ask your relatives or friends for referrals. Call the local Better Business Bureau and our office to see whether anyone has complained about the shops you are considering. Also ask for the names of customers you may contact to sec if they arc satisfied with the work done by the shop. If you suspect the repair shop has violated the law, and you cannot get the problem resolved to your satisfaction, take your car to America. In 1943, Allied forces landed at Salerno and Taranto during World War ll. In 1948, the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea (North Korea) was created. In 1956, Elvis Presley made the first of three appearances on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” In 1957, President Eisenhower signed into law the first civil rights bill to pass Congress since Reconstruction. In 1971, prisoners seized control of the maximum-security Attica Correctional Facility near Buffalo, N.Y., beginning a siege that claimed 43 lives. In 1976, Communist Chinese leader Mao Tse-lung died in Beijing at ave 82. another shop and have the repair work inspected. Get the second shop’s report in writing. You will need it in the event of mediation or a lawsuit. Remember, if you refuse to pay a repair bill, the shop owner has the legal right to keep your car until you pay. You may find the only way to resolve the situation is to pay the bill (making clear to the mechanic that you do not agree to it), then either seek mediation or file suit against the shop under the DTPA rn small claims court. To reduce the risk of becoming a victim, consider the following tips: • Always get a written estimate before any work is done. • Tell the mechanic to call you in advance if additional work is needed. •Ask to have the old parts returned to you. • Get everything in writing, including an explanation of the difference between the estimate and final bill, and keep every piece of paper. • If your charge is much higher In 1986, Frank Reed, director of a private school in Lebanon, was taken hostage; he was released 44 months later. Ten years ago: Appearing before President Reagan’s special commission on AIDS, Surgeon General C. Everett Koop denounced doctors and other health workers who refused to treat AIDS patients, calling them a “fearful and irrational minority.” Five years ago: Russian President Boris Yeltsin called off a.trip to Japan in the face of growing pressure to resolve a dispute over four Kuril islands seized by the former Soviet Union in 1945. One year ago: Promising safer skies, President Hinton issued orders to tighten airport security and challenged Congress to support a $ I. I (Jillion anti-terrorism crackdown. than the estimate, or if the work was done without your authorization, politely, but firmly, question the bill. • Try to settle the matter amicably before taking any other action. Honest repair shops know that their business depends on their good reputation. They will try to resolve the problem to everyone’s satisfaction. We’re here to help. If you have a repair problem that the shop will not correct to your satisfaction, contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Office nearest you and ask for a complaint form. Or call us toll free at (800) 621-0508. Also, the consumer complaint form is available at our web site on the Internet at Our trained mediators w»ii attempt to resolve the dispute between the consumer and repair shop. Your local Better Business Bureau may also provide mediation services. (Dan Morales is the Texas attorney general) Keeping her word not to cooperate with Whitewater prosecutors, Susan McDougal was led away to jail for contempt of court, denying she was trying to protect President Clinton with her silence. Today’s Blrtlidays:Actor Cliff Robertson is 72. Jazz musician Elvin Jones is 70.Actor Topol is 62. Singer Inez Foxx is 55. Singer-musician Billy Preston is 51. Football commentator Joe Theismann is 48. Actor-comedian Michael Keaton is 46. Actress Angela Cartwright is 45. Actor Hugh Glint is 37. Actor Adam Sandler is 31. Thought for Today: “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal." — Hannah More, English author and social reformer (1745-1833V ;