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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 22, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas 41 Thursday, September 22,2011 | HERALD-ZEraiNG.COM OTHER VIEW This editorial was published in the Sept 18 Houston Chronicle Residents should help wildlife during drought You don t have to be a birdwatcher, nature lover or tree hugger to realize times are tough outdoors in Houston right now Browned lawns and shriveled orange leaves have replaced the city's normal primeval green With heat records falling as fast as the dead ieaves. rain- _ fall for the year is now under 12 inches. over 23 inches below normal (we usually receive more than 47 inches annually) The weekend rams have turned tan cracked earth to mud but don't begin to correct the extreme conditions for the creatures and plants that can usually fend for themselves And more hot. dry days lie ahead A number of simple measures can help those desperately thirsty birds, small mammals and even insects that form the basis of the wildlife food chain. Houston s Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center web site at wrande org offers the following tips: •    The best way to aid birds is strategic placement of shallow birdbaths or pans m shady protected areas near trees or bushes As the drought has wiped out many food sources for avians. consider providing sustenance as well. A Wide variety of bird feeders and foods for different species IS available at grocery and pet stores •    For squirrels, opossums and raccoons, pans or bowls of water placed at the base of trees outside the reach of dogs Of cats can be a lifesaver During normal conditions these animals get much of their moisture intake from vegetation However, m conditions such as we re experiencing they'll slurp up water wherever they can find it •    For nectar-lovmg insects such as butterflies, bees and moths, try to keep well-watered plants that provide both food and breeding mediums such as milkweed, fennel and salvia And as much as possible, avoid using pesticides that kill beneficial bugs •    For large trees, deeply water around the base to the depth of six to eight inches The Texas Forest Service advises about 60 gallons every week or so. This drought has got to end sooner or later. Until then, give our wild things a little TIC HERALDZEfTUNe EDf^l/^ BOARD rubÜMi«! «IM cwiiwi WtMfW{EdiHrAal»)wiPh*pg    OmIiMii Ikwltr Jt« F«wl«r AM EM* Lmm    «M« Mt Th*)wt \'i)\)\^ IN lll<TOHY AssoCid’'"'! PreS':: Today is Thursday, Sept. 22, the 265th day of 2011. There are 100 days left in the year Today's Highlight in History; On SepL 22,1776, dunng the Revolutionary War, Capt. Nathan Hale, 21, was hanged as a spy by the British in New York. On this date; In 1761, Britain’s King George III and his wife, Charlotte, were crowned in Westminster Abbey. In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, declarmg all slaves in rebel states should be free as of Jan. 1,1863. In 1911, pitcher Cy Young, 44, gained his 511th and final career victory as he hurled a 1-0 shutout for the Boston Rustlers against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Forbes Field. In 1927, Gene Tunney successfully defended his heavyweight boxing title against Jack Dempsey in the famous "long-count" fight in Chicago. In 1961, the Interstate Commerce Commission issued rules prohibiting racial discrimination on interstate buses. Actress Marion Davies died in Los Angeles at age 64. In 1964, the musical "Fiddler on the Roof" opened on Broadway, beginning a run of 3,242 performances. In 1975, Sara Jane Moore attempted to shoot President Gerald R Ford outside a San Francisco hotel, but missed (Moore served 32 years m prison before being paroled on Dec. 31, 2007.) In 1980, the Persian Gulf conflict between Iran and Iraq erupted into full-scale war that lasted nearly eight years. In 1989, songwriter Irving Berlin died in New York City at age 101 Ten years ago: President George W. Bush consulted at length with Russian President Vladimir Putin as the United States mustered a military assault on terrorism in the wake of Sept. 11 Master violinist Isaac Stern died in New York at age 81. Miss Oregon Katie Harman was crowned Miss Amenca 2002 in a patriotic telecast from Atlantic City, N.J I u s PRESIDENT Barack Obama 16iX) Pennsylvania Ave. f JW Washington, D C 20500 U S SENATE Kay Bailey Hutchison RussbII Sénstft Otficfi Butiding Rocxn284 Washington, DC 20510 Telephone (202i 224-5922 ^ . Fax (2021224 0/76 Web. http/Aiutchiscin senate gov (Send e-mails through Web site ) Sar) Antonio office: 145 Duncan Drive, Suite 120 San Antonio 78226 Telephone (210) 340 2885 Fax (2101349-6753 John Cornyn I»*—<l|B Russell Senate Hart Rooni 517 I J Washington, D C 20510 I    Telepftone: (202! 224-2934 1 ^ Fax (202)228 2856 Web hnp//cornyfi.senate gov (Send e-nriails tfirough Web site;) Austmoffice 221 West Sixth St, Suite 1530 Austin, TX 78701 Telephone (512) 469-6034 Fax (512)469-6020 INMNEAß RITURE, CJMC&UfWATlME, nw^CALLEPTHE ■'NACSQJKJFFgT TABLE’., NOW IT'5 ■ ■AierA 0UifET TABl£' LETTCRS POUCY The New Braunfels Herald-ZeKung welcomes letters up to 250 words and guest columns of up to 500 words. Guest columns must be accompanied by a photo. The Herald-Zeitung reserves the right to edit or reject all submissions All submissions must include an address and telephone number so authorship can be confirmed Submit letters •    By e-mail to: [email protected]' •    Online at; herald-zeftungcdm •    By mail to: Letters to the Editor, Herald-Zeitung PO Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, TX 78130 •    By fax; (830) 606-3413 •    In person: 707 Landa St Intro to Incumbent Protection 101 in session The pleasant sound you hear — the clatter of bad laws crumbling — is the edifice of campaign finance festricticns d I s I ntegra 11 ng Was h i n gton state provides a fresh example of the exhaustion of the "campaign finance reform' project, which tries to empov^r government to restrict speech about the composition and conduct of government The state law at issue is awful, but usefully awful: It perfectly illustrates how the political class crafts campaign regu lations for the purpose of protecting the job security of members of that class — elected incumbents Pierce County near Seattle has an assessor-treasurer. Dale Washam, whose comportment in office has offended Robin Farris and others The details about what Washam has done to stir a recall clamor need not dBncern us, courts consider ->vhetiTer the details are sufficiently grave before allowing a recall election to proceed For the record the Tacoma Nev/s Tribune says Washam s two-year tenure has turned a minor government office into a fountain of perpetual controversy ,. Investigations state that Washam retaliated against his employees. wasted government resources, abused his power and hindered the inquiries Costs of those investigations GEORGE WILL COLUMNIST and other legal matters tied to Washam's office now exceed $108,000 The four damage claims — preludes to lav»^uits — seek a collective total of U 25 million" The people s right to vote to recall elected officials is a legacy of Western populism Farris, a retired naval officer who has never previously been politically active, and some kindred spirits have failed to gam enough signatures to force a vote to remove Washam — perhaps because of the impediments to signature gathenng Not unreasonably. Washington state law in order to pre vent attempts to overturn elections for frivolous reasons, requires a superior court judge to have a "sufficiency hearing to determine whether the charges against an official attain a threshold of seriousness by involving "malfeasance or misfeasance " This judges opinion can be appealed to the state Supreme Court So a recall campaign necessarily involves significant litigation expenses *- even before beginning the efforts to collect sufficient signatures to get the recall question on the ballot What IS. therefore, highly unreasonable — and unconstitutional IS the regime of restrictions on raising and spending money on recall campaigns So say Farris and the Oldfield b Helsdon law firm, which ran afoul of state law when It volunteered to do pro bono work on behalf of Farris and the Recall Dale Washam Committee she helped to organize. Farris and the firm are represented by Institute for Justice — a public interest law firm based m Arlington, Va State law restncts individual contnbu-tions to most recall campaigns to just $800 This low limit on the indispensable means of disseminating political speech is a huge impediment to buying newspaper advertising Such advertising is necessary to collect the requisite 65.495 signatures m a county of 1,800 square miles The $800 limit has a constitutional defect The U S Supreme Court has held that the only permissible reason fcx any limits on political contributions is to prevent corruption or the appearance thereof — basically quid pro quo transactions between candidates and their supporters But who exactly can be corrupted by the spending of persons supporting the recall of an elected official^ It gets worse Washington state says lav/yers who do pro bono work on behalf of a recall effort — who uolunteer their time to help with litigation the state makes mandatory — must count their time as a financial contribution subject to the $800 limit This, too. has the effect of crippling recall efforts You almost have to admire the audacity of Washington state's political class in writing a law that constitutes such a comprehensive attack on citizens' First Amendment rights of speech and of association — of assembling to petition for redress of grievances. The law provides a right of recall — and then vitiates that right It turns a de jure right into a de facto nullity by mandating an expensive process, then arbitrarily limiting the ability of participants to meet those expenses It does this by placing low limits on monetary contributions to recall campaigns and It compels volunteer lawyers to monetize the time they contnbute to litigation the state requires This rigging of a process threatening to the serenity of the political class is unambiguous proof that protection of that class is always a — purpose of government regulation of politics in the name of campaign finance reform." ■ George Will is a Washington Post Writers Group eolumnist. Ertiail him at georgewill^ashpost com Shopping in New Braunfels good for community With discretionary money in short supply, It seems to me we locals need to be investing our money back into New Braunfels rather than sending it to New York and Houston corporations Doing so creates jobs and more tax money where we live It benefits our town. It IS hard to find products made in the USA anymore, but it is not hard to spend our dollars in local places so more of our money stays in our community Not to say that we don't appreciate all the Houston and Dallas dollars poured into our economy each year, we do and some businesses depend on it. However, we provide services and we pay dearly for that income When I spend money, I think, "Where is the profit going?" As many as possible of my hardware purchases go into the small i.Krri:KST()TiiK hdhok stores locally owned I now subscribe to the local newspaper, bank at a locally owned bank (not a New York bank), buy pet supplies from two local families, and have instructed my sons to bury me with the locally owned mortuary Henri Farmer New Braunfels Smith, Canseco like those millionaire tax breaks President Obama has proposed to extend the payroll tax cut for low-income Americans. Since the TEA Party acronym stands for "taxed enough already," you’d think TEA Party Republicans would jump on that and agree with the president for a change You'd think wrong. Rep Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) told the AR "It's always a net positive to let taxpay ers keep more of what they earn, but not all tax relief is created equal for the purposes of helping to get the economy moving again" Rep. David Camp (R-Mich), chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, said he also opposed the 12-month tax cut because it would cost the government about $120 billion next year if it were renewed According to the Washington Post, the Bush tax cuts amount to about $ 130 billion per year so I guess that means Republicans will now be against renewing those too, Why aren't we hearing Lamar Smith and Quico Canseco coming out in favor of either continuing the payroll tax cuts or not renewing the Bush tax cuts^ Is expecting logical consistency too much to ask^ It looks like Smith, Canseco and Hensarling never saw a millionaire tax break they didn't like, Melissa Dufresne CitmloCON PACT \OV\i KLKCTKI) omciAI.S San Antonio oHice 600 Navarro, Suite 210 San Antonio 78205 Telephone- (210) 224 7485 Fax (210) 224-8569 U S CONGRESSMAN Lamar Smith Rayburn House Office Building l^rti 2409 Washington, D C 20515 Telephone (2021225-4236 Fax (202)225-8628 Web hrtp:// gov (Send emails 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 Off ice Building Washington, D C 20515 Telepfione: (202) 225-1640 Fax (202)225-1641 Web http;//house gov/cuellar Sah Antoriioofiice 615 E Houston St vSan Antonio 78205 Telepfione: (210) 271-2851 Fax; (210) 277-6671 TEXAS GOVERNOR Rick Perry State Capitol, Room 2S1 PO Box 12428 Austin, TX 78711 Telephone (800)843 5789 Fax (512)463-1849 STATE HOUSE Doug Miller Capitol Office EXT El 216 PO Box 2910 Austin, TX 78768 Phone (512)463*0325 New Braunfels address 387 W Mill Street New Braunfels, TX 78130 Phone (830)625-1313 John Kuempel Capitol address Room Ei 208, Capitol Extension PO Box 2910 Austin, TX 78768 (5121463-0602 (5121480 0391 Fax Seguin address 523 E Donegan #102 Seguin, TX 78155 (830)379 8732 r-% STATE SENATE Jeff Wentworth >1 Capitol office IE 9 f Capitol phone (512) 463 0125 * San Antonio 1250 N.E. Loop 410 Suite 925 San Antonio, TX 78209 (210)826-7800 Fax (210)826 0571 E-mail jeff [email protected],state tx us NEW BRAUNFELS CITY COUNCIL 424S CastellAve: PO Box 311747, New Braunfels, TX 78131-1747 (830) 221-4000 Mayor Gale Pospisil [email protected] org Telephone: (830) 629-2447 Dist. 1 Councilor Richard Zapata [email protected] org Telephone: Extension 4501 |||H||| Dist. 2 Councilor Mark Goodner [email protected];org Telephone; Extension 4502 Dist. 3 Councilor Mike Ybarra [email protected] org Telephone; Extension 4503 B Dist. 4 Councilor Sandy Nolte snoltei®nbtexas org Telephone; Extension 4504 ÉL Dist. 5 Councilor Bryan Miranda tXTiiranda®nbtexas org Telephone (830)837-5178 Dist. 6 Councilor Steven Digges [email protected] org Telephone Extension 4506 COMAL COUNTY COMMISSIONERS COURT Comal County Commissioners' Court 199 Mam Plaza, New Braunfels (830)221-1100 County Judge Sherman Krause krause^o comal tx us Telephone (830) 221-1105 Pet 1 Comm. Donna Eccleston cctdme'Sco comal tx us Telephone (830) 221-1101 Pci 2 Commissioner Scott Haág [email protected],comal tx us Telephone (830) 221-1102 Pci 3 Commissioner Greg Parker [email protected] txus Telephone (830) 221-11:03 Pci 4 Commissioner Jan Kennedy [email protected] comal tx us Telephone (830122M104 STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION William B: Travis Building 1701 N Congress Ave. Austin, TX 78701 m ;