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Feb. 12, 1997

By Rosie Flores

Spare the rod

and spoil the child

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Earlier this year we ran a story on the front page of our newspaper
about a child who ran into some problems at an elementary school by
accidently hurting another child.

Well, according to reports, it seemed to be an accident, but police
officers were sent to the scene nevertheless. Police officers at an
elementary school?

It seems a little extreme to a lot of us, but is this the newest
policies the schools have had to adhere to? Are children that
troublesome, or is the adults that get involved afterwards that cause
the problems?

Whatever the situation might be, things didn't always work out that
way. Disciplining children was handled a lot differently and parents
didn't get into trouble for giving their children a well-deserved
"whipping" when they needed it.

By "whipping" we don't mean that they got disciplined with a horse-whip
or something totally extreme like that, but a few good smacks on the
behind usually straightened a child out. At least for a while, until
they got into more trouble!

The trouble is that these days, parents are afraid to discipline the
children for fear of hearing those dreaded words, "child abuse."

At the first signs of any problems the children cry `wolf' and blame
their own troubles on their parents. You've often heard these same
children talk about how strict and totally mean their parents are!

But being mean and discipline are too very different things! It's just
very hard during these days and times, to figure out where exactly the
line should be drawn.

For example a friend of ours was regaling us with tales of her own
child. The troubles he got into and the many mistakes he made. Some of
these stories are really funny now, but back then they weren't so
humorous. And had those same incidents happened today, they sure would
have been handled differently and exaggerated a little bit more.

For instance, one day while playing outside in the playground he picked
up a rock and threw it high in the air, but behind his back. Little did
he know that that same rock was going to hit a child that was walking or
playing back there!

The child received a bruise and my friend's child was disciplined. But
no, police officers were not called to the scene. The incident was
handled in a fast, efficient manner. But nowadays, school personnel have
to be very careful about how to handle such situations. Why?

Because of all the parents that get involved and want to make a bigger
issue out of everything! Some of these incidents really don't need to be
blown up, they're not that serious.

Parents nowadays should realize that all of us at one time or another
have made similar mistakes. Or have gone through similar incidents.

As the old saying goes, "Kids will be Kids."

EDITOR'S NOTE: Rosie Flores is an Enterprise writer and editor of
Lifestyles and Golden Years. Her column appears each Wednesday.


American Heart Month - action time

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Heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases remain the
number one killer in the United States. On an average day in Texas in
1995, 150 Texans died due to cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Heart
disease affected my family this year, and, chances are, it affected many
of yours too.

Every year since 1963, February has been designated American Heart
Month. This month is the time to learn more about cardiovascular disease
detection, prevention and treatment. The American Heart Association has
designated this year's educational message as "Get in on the Action!"
urging Americans to make physical activity a part of their daily lives.

There are a few simple things we can all do to reduce the risk of heart
disease. Exercising regularly is an important step. We all enjoy some
form of exercise. So, whether it's horseback riding, jogging, walking or
bike riding, help keep your heart healthy and "just do it!" Other easy
approaches to control heart disease include eating a diet low in fat and
high in fiber, and controlling stress.

One of the myths surrounding heart attack and stroke is that it is a
"male disease." Wrong. Heart attack and stroke do not discriminate. In
fact, heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases remain the
number one killer of American females.

Research and education are key to battling and preventing heart
disease. Today, the chances of saving a life and reducing disability
from heart disease and stroke are better than ever because of research
done in our lifetime. Important discoveries such as life-extending
drugs, bypass surgery and pacemakers, have improved the lives of many
heart patients. But the fight against heart disease is far from over.

Hopefully, with more heart disease research and better education, fewer
Texans will fall victim to the disease this year. As with any other
health problem, please consult a physician immediately if you, or
someone you know, shows any sign of a heart problem. For now, as we
remember American Heart Awareness Month this February, get in on the
action and increase your physical activity!

For more information or questions concerning prevention or treatment of
heart disease, please call the Texas chapter of the American Heart
Association at 512-433-7220 or the San Antonio division of AHA at

EDITOR'S NOTE: Henry Bonilla represents the 23rd Congressional District
in the U.S. House of Representatives.


Crime lab mess another FBI lapse

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The FBI, rocked by allegations of serious problems at its vaunted
high-tech forensic laboratory in Washington, needs to be concerned not
so much about the effect on its image as the damage to its effectiveness
in fighting crime.

... The crime lab mess smacks of the same leadership lapse that got the
FBI in hot water after the operation against the Branch Davidian sect in
Waco, the deadly shootout at Ruby Ridge in rural Idaho and the
investigation of Olympics security guard Richard Jewell.

This time, the water appears just as hot for the bureau, because the
lab is at the heart of its fight against crime in the federal courts.
The agency needs to conclude its investigation as quickly as possible
and assure the public that its evidence in the Oklahoma City, Unabomber
and other cases is not tainted.
-- The Times-Picayune


Yeltsin and team need to speak out

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... In an interview with The Post ... (Russian Prime Minister Viktor
Chernomyrdin) warned sharply against NATO's plans to welcome as new
members former Soviet allies in Central and Eastern Europe. Here's the
curious thing, though: Mr. Chernomyrdin acknowledged that such an
expansion wouldn't threaten Russia. ``I'm not afraid that Poland or
Hungary or anyone else will be within NATO,'' he said. ``It is not so
dangerous for Russia.'' The danger, rather, is internal, the prime
minister said. Ultranationalists who presumably think NATO expansion is
threatening will be strengthened, ``will accuse the president and the
government of doing nothing'' and will thus force a Russian rearmament.

Somehow we can't work up much sympathy for this argument. Yes, now that
Russia is a democracy, Mr. Chernomyrdin has to worry about public
sentiment. But in a democracy, he also has a responsibility to provide
leadership and help shape public opinion. If he understands that Hungary
isn't going to invade Russia, why doesn't he say so to his own people?
Why don't any Russian leaders? Instead, Russian President Boris Yeltsin
and his team pander to the nationalist sentiment they pretend to fear.

--The Washington Post


Only the sellers deny tobacco harm

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New York, which this week became the 20th state to sue the tobacco
industry, has a huge financial interest in recouping the cost of
health-related illness: The medical cost of such treatment is estimated
by the Attorney General's Office at $2.6 billion a year.

But successful litigation may be elusive.

It may not be enough for the plaintiffs to show that the industry
intentionally withheld information about cigarettes being addictive and
dangerous, all the while promoting it as a glamorous stress-reliever.

The plaintiffs must also convincingly lay the blame for present-day
smoking at the door of the tobacco industry, when for years the risks
have been well-publicized. Only people paid by the tobacco industry have
been bold and callous enough to deny smoking is bad for one's health.
-- The Saratogian of Saratoga Springs, N.Y.


Star Wars welcome on this dark planet

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The force is with us again - and none too soon.

The return of ``Star Wars'' to the big screen, complete with new
characters and high-tech improvements to its already dazzling special
effects, should provide the American public with a much-needed respite
from the depressing vulgarity and tawdriness that has marked box-office
hits of recent years.

Imagine a role for a leading actress that doesn't require her to be a
prostitute, alcoholic or stripper. Or a hero who is clean-shaven,
spiritual, and not apt to utter the ``f'' word every other minute. How
clever that the villain is not a gory reptile sprouting from someone's
stomach. How refreshing that battle scenes are not bathed in blood.

``Star Wars'' and its two sequels are endearing throwbacks to old
cowboy movies and sci-fi serials. They combine high adventure with
moralistic tales about the never-ending conflict between good and evil,
clearly drawn.

Welcome back, Luke, Princess Leia, Han, Darth, R2 and Chewie. Tatooine
may be your home, but this planet could use your help to repel our own
dark side - if only for a few hours.
-- South County Journal, Kent, Wash.
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Copyright 1997 by Pecos Enterprise
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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