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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 26, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas 4A g Heraid-Zeitung g Friday, September 26,1997 Opinion ■ To talk with Managing Editor Margaret Edmonson about the Opinion page, call 625-9144, Ext. 220. Her 3 * cl Zettung Opinion rn'' i ■To submit letters and guest columns electronically by way of online services or Internet, or to simply contact staff members, the HeraJd-Zeitung’s address is QUOTABLE“Journalists are now creating the coverage that is going to lead to their own destruc tion.”Kathleen Hall Jamieson journalism educator EDITORIALCISD now must plan to sell Nov. 8 bond issue Comal Independent School District trustees called for a bond election on Nov. 8 to address facility needs, which have been the focus of months of study by two committees. On the ballot are four proposals totaling $92 million to fund construction and equipment for schools, building of a new 1,500-student high school and two elementary schools, technology upgrades at existing campuses and renovation and expansion of existing campuses. The way the proposals are presented will allow taxpayers to vote down the option of building a new high school w ithout jeopardizing die entire package of requests. With its decision Wednesday, the board complied with resident Peggy Laughlin s request. “...Please, give us a package to address districtwide needs. As a district, we’re all in it together. We need to begin this journey with a single step. Give us a bond package to vote on,” she told trustees Wednesday. Ninety-two million dollars is a lot of money, and the ones who will hav e to foot the bill are the ones who are going to have to approve it. CISD trustees have called for the bond election; now it is up to them to selllUCLthe voters. The need for facilities is there, and there has been little argument that something needs to be done to address the problems that the expanding student population is causing. WTiat is at issue is how to solve those problems. We encourage CISD trustees and administrators to plan for a way to get the message to the public, through town meetings, new sletters or other written information. The first ballot in this election hits the box on Oct. 22, the first day of early voting. CISD needs to get busy if it wants to conduct a successful bond election.(Today s editorial was written by Heruld-Zeituing Managing Editor Margaret Edmonson.)Write us ... The New Braunfels Herald 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 SSO words. We publish only original mail addressed to the Sew Braunfels Her-ald-Zeitung bearing the writer’s signature. Also, an address and a telephone number, which are not for publication, must be included. Please ate 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 to: Letters to the Editor co the Sew Braunfels Herald-Zeitung P O Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, Texas 78131-1328 Fax: 1830) 625-1224 Interim committee delves into health issues New BraunfelsHerald-Zeitung, Edita and Pufclisner Ext. 301.........2........  *.......;.Doug Toney Managing Edna Ext 220       Margaret    Edmonson Marketing Director Ext 208.............    Jason    Bachardt Classified Adver sing Marager Ext 214 * Karen Reirwnger Business Manager Ex! 202...................................... Mary    Lee Hall Circulation Directa Ext 228 ..................................Carol    Arm Avery Pressroom Foeman Ext 205 .......................................................... Published an Sunday mununip and weekday mornings Tuesday through Fishy by the New Braunfels HeruO-Zeaun^ tLSPS 377-880) 707 Lath St., ut P.O Drawer 311328, New biaun ic Iv Coma! County, Tx. 71131-1328. Penmhcal postage paid by the Sew Braunfels Herald let tuna in New Broun leis, Texas. Camer delivered in Conal and Guadalupe counties: throe months, 120.30; six months, $37; one year. $66. Senior Caum Discounts by camer delivery only, ax months, $33; one year, $62. Mail delivery outside Comal County in Texas: three months, $30.30; nx months, $35, one year, $103.30. Mail outside Texas: six months, $78, ane year, $11825. Subscribers who have not received a newspaper by 5 JO p m. Tuesday/trough Fmhy or by 7:30 a.m. on Sunday may ca0 (830) 623-9144 or by 7 p.m. weekdays or by ll i*L on Sunday POSTMA* ru. Send address changes to the Sew Braunfels Hendd-leuung, P.O. Chawer 311328, New Braunfels, Tx. 78131-1328. Texas legislators’ commitment to ensure the health and safety of 90,000 Texans in nursing homes continues with the appointment of an interim committee that will study nursing home regulations and longterm care availability. “The state has an obligation to ensure that your elderly citizens do not get tangled in a web of bureaucratic red-tape, regulatory inefficiency or a lack of access to long-term care,” said Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock. The Legislature passed Senate Bill 190 by Zaffirini and Rep. Elliott Naishtitt, D-Austin, which strengthened nursing home regulations and created to ensure implementation of the biU. Lt. Gov. Bullock appointed me chair of the oversight committee and also appointed Sen. Jane Nelson. R-Flowcr Mound, and Ken Kramer, professor emeritus at Trinity University, to serve on the committee. House Speaker Pete Laney will appoint two members of the House of Representatives to the committee During the interim at hand. the committee will identify significant problems in nursing home regulations, determine the effectiveness of current standards and assess the availability of long-term care. Because 17 percent of the Texas Judith Zaffirini population will be 65 years or older by the year 2030, compared to IO percent in 1990, the need for long-term care facilities is increasing.' Seniors considering such facilities should do so with confidence that their health and safety would be protected. While there are many excellent nursing homes in Texas that offer quality care for our elderly and disabled, unfortunately, there are others that have not provided the care our seniors expect and deserve. That situation is being addressed by Texas Attorney General Dan Morales, who filed more than 30 lawsuits in two months against nursing homes. Some of these lawsuits seek fines of up to $10,000 a day from facilities that aUegediy threaten the well-being and security of residents. During the 75th Legislative Session members and staff of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services, which I chair, invited representatives of the Attorney General’s Office, the Department of Human Services, the American Association of Retired Persons and the nursing home industry to participate in discussions about the nursing home reform legislation. Because advocates from all sides of the issues were involved in the legislative process, communication improved between PAG and DHS. Investigators from DHS increased the number and quality of referrals to OAG, and OAG responded by filing lawsuits against substandard facilities. In Fiscal Year 1997, for example, 53 nursing homes were referred to OAG for litigation, compared to 11 in FY 1996. SB 190 requires both DHS and OAG to report annually regarding their efforts to enforce nursing home regulations. Through the passage of the nursing home reform bill and OAG’s vigorous prosecution of offenders, legislators are sending a strong message to interested parties that we are committed to protecting Texas’ most vulnerable citizens. The OAG’s efforts to stop the abuse and neglect of our senior citizens is commendable. Additionally, our committee’s interim study also will analyze the availability of long-term services for the elderly and disabled. This is a critical issue for an aging population that is expected to reach 2.63 million by die year 2000. Lt. Gov. Bullock also appointed me to the Unfunded Mandates Interagency Work Group. Its interim task is to study the economic impact of state laws that require new expenditures by cities, counties, school districts and other units of local government The workgroup also is required to publish a list of die laws that received no appropriations from the state to cover the expenditures. Because local governments requested relief from unfunded mandates, the Legislature passed House BiU 66 by Rep. Henrv Cuellar, D-Laredo, and Zaffirini, ere ating a conynittee to review the issue. The Lt. Gov. also appointed me to the Sunset Advisory Commission and to the Texas Integrated Enrollment Services Legislative Oversight Committee. I will review these and other interim appointments and charges in succeeding columns. Because our interim work determines future legislation, it reflects Oliver Wendell Holmes’ observation that “the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.” (Judith Zaffirini represents the 21st District in the Texas Senate.) SUPER RMER5? TtefdDtit HBtetiras litetey usedt)! vt I WU I f I Missing pocketknife part of weird trend of events By BLACKIE SHERROD The Dallas Morning News DALLAS — If you will pardon personal reference, my grandfather earned a pocketknife all the way from Tennessee This, of course, did not make him unique. In his day, a male person would sooner appear in public in his BVDs than without his pocketknife. My father inhentcd this knife and toted it maybe a half-century I assumed camership for another 20 years. It was a noble little thing: The bone handle was worn slick, the insignia on its shield was indecipherable, its main blade curved inward by decades of whetstones. There was a faint inscription of what appeared to be “Schrade VV alder NY” on the blade hilt. You could whittle a wagon tongue out of a bots d’arc tree or pick a sticker out of your finger with this knife, or shave with it or. if the situation arose, perform an emergency appendectomy or take a scalp They don’t make steel Uke that anymore Well, sir, about a year ago, the knife turned up missing It had happened before, and, like Mary’s little lamb, it always came home, in a forgotten pocket or maybe at the laundry counter when a thoughtful attendant shook down some corduroys. This tune, it stayed lost. Closets were ransacked, drawers emptied, car seats probed, sofas invaded. Soda A year passed. We changed houses. Old coats and jackets and shirts and denims and corduroys were searched before discarded. Mementos were reviewed and banished to the attic. A new home office was set up. and a new collection of junk began. Then one night recently, I had occasion to leave the workbench and visit the water closet. On my return, I saw a snail object on the parquet floor. It had not been there before. You guessed it. There probably could be a simple explanation. Perhaps the knife had dived into the bowels of the office lounger, where it escaped probing hands and lived for months untended. Then, just at this particular moment, it escaped its oblivion and dropped to the strange floor, seeking its master. I do not believe this. Instead of logic, I choose to classily the knife as another weird happening ic ol* buster here. There are too many unexplained events to be coincidental. Example: Years past. the family car was a Nash, and during frequent visits to Bosque County, on the same country bridge over the same country river, the motor would quit. It would always start again, and the trip would continue, but the next week or next month, whenever the Nash reached the middle of this particular bridge, click, nothing. Does this happen to the average American citizen? I think not. There was one night I returned home after an evening of social research at several stops. I emp tied pockets on the dresser, as is every man’s privilege, and discovered my credit card was missing I must have left it at one of the stops, but follow-up calls failed to locate same. .American Express was notified, and all that red tape completed Three months later, alter the weather turned cool, a tweed coat was fetched from the rear of the closet, unworn for at least eight months. In the breast pocket, the card Another weirdo: On a football trip to New York, I bought three sets of underwear at a midtown store. One set I wore, others I stuffed, still sacked in my trusty suitcase. At the luggage carousel at Love Field, the radio announcer Vem Lundquist hoisted bra bag off the track, and a sack fell from its outside packet MY underwear. Go figure. Once the esteemed Brad Sham had a sports talk show on KRLD, and at the exact same time, the esteemed Randy Galloway had a simitar program on WB AP, 300 kilocycles away. Twice, on the tollway after work, the unexplainable happened Mr Sham’s voice came into my car via the radio’s front speaker, and Mr. Galloway’s lucid tones, at the same time, came on the rear-seat speaker. Twice it happened, lf I’m lying, I’m dying The re-appearance of the heirloom knife is just another weird adventure in this otherwise plebian life, leading me to the uneasy conclusion I may be some sort of witch. Blackie Sherrod is a columnist for The Dallas Morning News. This column was distributed by The Associated PressToday in History By The Annodated Pmm Today is Friday, Sept. 26. the 269th day of 1997. There are % days left in the year. Today’s Highlight la History. Ob Sept. 26, I7S9, Thomas Jefferson was appointed America’s first Secretary of State, John Jay the first chief justtee of the United States; Samuel Osgood the first Postmaster-General; and Edmund Jennings Randolph the first Attorney General. On lids dale: la 1777, Bnush troops occupied Philadelohia dun mw the American Revolution la 1914, the Federal Trade Commission was established. In 1950, United Nations troops recaptured the South Korean capital of Seoul from the North Koreans. la 1957, the musical “West Side Story” opened on Broadway. „ In I960, the first televised debate between presidential candidates Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy took place in Chicago. la I960, the Cuban government abruptly closed Marie! HarboEverett, Wash la 1906, W illiam H. Rehnqutst was sworn rn as the 16th chief justice of the United States, while Antonin Scalls joined the Supreme Court as its 103rd member la 1991, four men and four women began a two-year stay inside a sealed-off structure known as Biosphere 2 in Oracle, Ariz. Tea years aga; In his Saturday radio address, President Reagan said he was reluctantly rigging legislation restoring the automatic deficit-reducing provisions of die Gramm-Rodman Act Five years aga;t$f0*th African President F.W. de Kleik and African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela held their first meeting in three months, during which they agreed on the urgent need for an interim government. A Nigcnan military transport plane crashed shortly after takeoff, killing all 163 people aboard One year age: Astronaut Shannon Lucid returned to Earth in the shuttle Atlantis after six months aboerri the Russian Mir space station. President Clinton signed a bill ensunng two-day hospital stays for new mothers and their babies. ValuJct received federal permission to fly again three months after it was grounded following a deadly crash. Richard Allen Davis, the killer of 12-ycar-old Polly Klans, was formally sentenced to death in San Joee, Calif. ;