New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 16, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas
Page 6A — HERALD-ZEITUNG — Saturday, September 16, 2000Opinions Forum Letters...... i —i .................. *................
New UjSum kls
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
In this great land of ours, I am reminded daily that freedom is not free. On Aug. 3, 2000, a young law enforcement officer paid the highest price for that freedom in a tragic encounter with an armed motorist. While performing his duty enforcing highway safety for the people of Texas, DPS Trooper Randy Vetter was shot in the head, forever shattering the lives of his family and friends.
In this great land of ours, I also am reminded daily that kindness and compassion are not lost or forgotten values. As I learned of this terrible catastrophe, I rushed to my daughter’s side. I saw how an entire state experienced shock, horror, and then immediately mobilized in an overwhelming effort to save my son-in-law’s life. For all their professional care and dedication, I would like to extend a special thanks to the following groups and organizations:
• Brackenridge Hospital Staff and ICU;
• All central Texas law' enforcement members and Victim’s Services personnel who stood by our sides at the hospital and the funeral;
• All of the ministers who helped counsel us during our disbelief and gnef;
• The restaurants, stores and individuals who graciously donated food;
• Doubletree Hotel for providing us a place to stay;
• The many organizations and individuals that have helped to raise money for the Vetter family;
• The individuals who donated blood in Randy’s name; and
• The news media who allowed our family to grieve in private while tactfully presenting this story to the public.
A very special and heartfelt thanks to the DPS family of Randy’s fellow officers, who throughout this hornble ordeal, provided a multitude of services for our physical, mental and spiritual comfort.
I am especially grateful to the tow nspeople of New' Braunfels for their tribute to Randy. Their generosity and kindness touched our hearts. Their display of blue ribbons and American flags throughout the town expressed a respect for their slain native son with the dignity he deserved.
I sincerely appreciate all the cards, telephone calls, floral arrangements, meals, prayers and other expressions of sympathy. In this great land of ours, I am reminded daily that our freedom of religion is one which we cherish. It is this freedom which will provide the faith necessary to endure the pain, grief, anger and terrible sense of loss which Randy’s wife, Cynthia, and his young son, Robert, will experience for the rest of their lives.
Carne Amsden Corpus Christi
Today in History
By the Associated Press
On Sept. 16, 1940, President Franklin Roosevelt signed into law the Selective Training and Service Act, which set up the first peacetime military draft in U.S. history.
On this date:
In 1630, the Massachusetts village of Shaw mut changed its name to Boston.
In 1638, France’s King Louis XIV was bom.
In 1810, Mexico began its revolt against Spanish rule.
In 1893, hundreds of thousands of settlers swarmed onto a section
of land in Oklahoma known as the “Cherokee Strip.”
In 1919, the American Legion was incorporated by an act of Congress.
In 1940, Samuel T. Rayburn of Texas was elected speaker of the House of Representatives.
In 1966, the Metropolitan Opera opened its new opera house at New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.
In 1974, President Ford announced a conditional amnesty program for Vietnam War deserters and draff-evaders.
Letters to the Editor
Driving off tourists will increase our taxes
Kathleen Krueger needs to be congratulated on her job she did w ith her petition drive. However, a few facts seem to have been left out.
Mrs. Krueger is a well-informed politician who has spent more time inside the beltway in Washington, D.C. than in the city limits of New Braunfels. She and her husband had not even voted in an election here in New Braunfels since 1996. She realizes that to win an election you need to garner the support of the voters who are 65 years old and over. This group has the highest voter turnout of any age group and tends to be the swing vote in most city elections. One thing to remember about the 65 and older group is that their property taxes are frozen.
Members of Mrs. Krueger’s group have stated they want to cut tourism by 40 percent. To cut tourism this much will cause an enormous loss for the city. The only way then to make up the loss will be to raise property taxes. Whether we like it or not, the tourists that float our rivers also spend money in our hotels, restaurants and stores. They w ill argue that in time the families will come back. We all know once the taxes go up, they will never come back down. The city w ill have to raise our taxes, maybe as
much as several thousand dollars per year, to offset the economic loss of tourism. Since Mrs. Krueger’s husband is a member of the 65 and older group, she will not see her taxes raised.
So remember when your tax bill comes, do not blame the city for the tax increase Mrs. Krueger and her group brought upon us.
I have floated the Comal River for more than 30 years and have not seen the kind of behavior that has been described this year. I do however believe we have a problem on our rivers that needs to be addressed, but making criminals out of otherw ise law -abiding citizens is not the answer. Each individual should be held accountable for his/her own actions. We have enough laws to cover the unacceptable behavior that occurs on the rivers without adding more. Strict enforcement of our current laws is a better solution. The city and the river outfitters should work together to find ways to fund the enforcement of our current laws. People who use the river should pay for the enforcement, not the citizens of New Braunfels.
To Councilwoman Watson and former Mayor Fraser, a simple stop sign prohibiting alcohol will not do the trick, as you have suggested. If the troublemakers do not obey the current laws, why will a sign keep them from taking alcohol on the river? It will be our own fault if we do not get involved now.
Call your city council representatives and let them know we need to find other ways to combat the problems on our rivers besides a giant tax increase for the citizens of New' Braunfels.
Fred Meyer New Braunfels
We will pay the price for our waste
What has become of today’s society, the blatant disregard for the natural resources such as fuel and water? I don’t care. What about me? The price of gas keeps rising so that it takes more money to fuel my SUY They make those things because that is what people want to buy. I do not mean that in a good way.
I was listening to a radio station doing listener calls on the watering ban.
How do they know how deep the Edwards Aquifer is? Well, the Trinity Aquifer wells are pumping mud, so what do you think?
The golf courses and businesses water.
Why can’t I? Are we prepared to pay the price, the real price, the end result, and the total bill?
Just when you think you might not live to see it, think again. Your children definitely will.
David VV. Pitman New Braunfels
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 8023 Vantage Drive, Suite 460
San Antonio, TX 78230 (210) 340-2885
Room 2231 Rayburn House
Washington, D.C. 20515
1100 NE Loop 410, Suite
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 Fax: (202) 225-1642 1313 S.E. Military Suite 115 San Antonio, TX 78214 (210) 924-7383 Fax: (210) 927-6222Banned Books Week challenges parents to weigh First Amendment
Here’s a little quiz to start off your Saturday morning:
1. What do the books “Where’s
Waldo?” by Martin Hanford and “Private Parts” by Howard Stem have in common?
2. What do the books “The Dead
Zone” by Stephen King and “The Adventures of Tom Saw yer” by Mark Twain have in common?
3. What does the senes of books
“Goosebumps” by R.L. Stine have in common with “Sex” by Madonna?
Those who have seen the list, “The IOO Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-1999,” probably know the answer to these questions. The American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom released the list this week as a precursor to Banned Books Week, Sept. 23-30.
During the past decade, 5,718 “challenges” of books were reported to the Office for Intellectual Freedom. Of those:
• 1,446 related to “sexually explicit material”;
• 1,262 related to “offensive language”;
• 1, 167 related to material considered “unsuited to age group”;
• 773 related to “occult themes or promoting the occult or Satanism”;
• 620 related to violent content;
• 497 related to homosexual themes; and
• 397 related to religious viewpoints.
This past year, the popular Harry
Potter series, penned by J.K. Rowling, was the most frequently challenged because it delves into wizardry and magic.
According to ALA, most of the books on the “most frequently challenged list”
were not banned from library bookshelves. A challenge refers to an attempt to ban or restrict materials based upon the objections of a person or group, the ALA explains.
Fortunately, that does not happen here often. In fact, New Braunfels librarian Vickie Hocker reports that she has not had such “challenges” in her 16 years at Dittlinger Memorial Library and now at New Braunfels Public Library.
“Occasionally, we’ll have someone find something in the children’s collection that they suggest we might want to move to another collection,” Hocker said.
Many of the books appearing on the ALA’s most challenged list sound like books that were assigned for high school reading lists, Hocker said. Parents might have objected to the content and did not want their children to read those books.
That’s quite understandable. I know I don’t want my 8-year-old reading “Private Parts,” and I’m not sure I would want her to read it when she is 18.
However, would I deign to tell her
school librarian that I want the book removed the library’s shelves? I hope not. I would like to think that I wouldn’t because I believe in the First Amendment and the right to express one’s views or ideas, even if I disagree or find them tasteless.
My job is to make it clear to my child what my beliefs are and what I expect of her. My job is not to dictate what other students in her school or community can or cannot read.
If a teacher assigns a book that contains violent or sexually explicit content,
I would want to understand the context of the book and why it was assigned. Would I tell the teacher I don’t want my child to read that book? I don’t think so.
Would I tell my daughter not to read that book? My first instinct would be to do that very thing, but my rational response would be to let her read the book and make her own decisions. I always have the right to discuss the book with her. I have the right to tell her what I think. I always have the right to be her
Do I have the right to tell her what she can read? I think I do right now, but somewhere down the line, I will have to let her make her own decisions about that. I cannot be with her 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I cannot always protect her from television, movies, videos, etc. I will have to trust her ability to stand by her beliefs and do the right thing.
The answers to our quiz:
1. “Where’s Waldo?” and “Private Parts” rank in the lower 50 of the IOO most challenged books, at 87 and 86, respectively.
2. The Dead Zone” and “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” also rank in the 80s, at 82 and 83 respectively.
3. “Goosebumps” and “Sex” were in the top 20 of most challenged books “Goosebumps” came in at 15; “Sex” came rn at 18.
Read with your children this weekend.
(Margaret Edmonson is the managing editor of the Herald-Zeitung.)