The North Texas Daily (Denton, Tex.), Vol. 72, No. 43, Ed. 1 Thursday, November 10, 1988 Page: 2 of 8
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By the numbers
911 won't work locally
In the public interest, Denton County officials need
to adopt a new slogan for emergency situations:
“Don’t dial 911.”
Metroplex-area campaigns have done a good job
educating Denton County residents about the 911
emergency system. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work
in Denton County yet.
Precious time is being lost by people in emergency
situations because many Denton County citizens are
not aware that there is no 911 emergency system in
the area. And until there is a 911 emergency system,
a special effort must be made to notify citizens of
the correct number for emergency help: 566-8111.
One of the problems is that television transmissions
from Dallas promoting the 911 system are received
in Denton. Dallas and several surrounding cities have
the 911 emergency number, but Denton does not.
In order to keep citizens from being confused by
this, Denton should create its own information
campaign for emergency assistance to let people know
that when they are in trouble, dialing 911 will only
Honor nation's veterans
Both branches of Congress and President Reagan
have approved legislation that will upgrade the
Veteran’s Administration to the level of a Cabinet
If the change represents a real commitment to
veterans' issues, it’s definitely welcome but long
The Department of Veterans Affairs will give
millions of American veterans and their dependents
a strong voice in government and make sure that
money meant for veterans’ services will be spent
The Veterans Administration, with an annual budget
of $30 billion, serves 27 million veterans and 49
million dependents and survivors. The VA is expected
to spend $14 billion this year on income maintenance
and $626 million on education and rehabilitation.
The VA also operates 534 health facilities and employs
more than 240,000 people.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is going to
have to deal With a multitude of problems. Veterans
are not just servicemen who have fought overseas.
They are members of National Guard units and Coast
Guard units. Some veterans are college students.
Widows, widowers and children of veterans are others
These people are entitled.
They or their loved ones have devoted part of
their lives to the defense of our country.
Congress and President Reagan also passed a bill
that allows veterans to take disputes about benefits
to court and allows lawyers to participate in litigation.
According to the Civil War-era law, veterans were
forced to deal with federal bureaucracy without any le-
gal recourse. Lawyers were allowed to charge only $10
to represent veterans in cases dealing with the VA.
One official said, “Veterans will no longer have
to go through the back door of the White House.”
The VA serves more than 25 percent of the
population of the United States. An agency that affects
that many people should have Cabinet status.
Citizens who have fought to defend the country
should not have to return home to fight for benefits
Open co-ed classes best
Some parents of Denton Independent School District
students are not facing reality when they suggest
that some of the district’s health education courses
should not be taught in co-ed classes.
At a series of public meetings of the Lifetime
Skills Task Force, parents voiced their concerns over
the issue. The task force was formed to make
recommendations for the changing needs of the
district’s health education curriculum.
Sex education is taught in co-ed classrooms at
the junior high and high school levels.
Health education, mandated by the state, teaches
such essentials as sex education and drug and alcohol
The state should be commended for giving students
the knowledge they need to deal with adolescence
and the adult world with which they will inevitably
But if these parents have their way, boys and girls
would discuss sexuality separately and behind closed
doors and isolated from their peers.
This would deprive them of an important part of
the educational process.
Students need to discuss attitudes and feelings
together in an environment where a teacher can
moderate and guide discussions constructively.
Students cannot form realistic attitudes about sex
on their own. Discussions degenerate into graphic
tale-telling and exaggeration of the facts.
Students need to understand the feelings and
expectations of the opposite sex. Open sex education
will produce socially aware, well-adjusted individuals
at a time when it is needed the most.
For example, a study recently conducted by the
Center for Disease Control and the American College
Health Association revealed in a preliminary study
that three in every 1,0(X) college students carries the
These alarming statistics call for health educators
to go the extra mile in teaching children about
sexuality, and squeamish parents should not stand
in their way.
These students will eventually have sex together
— they should be given the opportunity to discuss
sex together. \
The North Texas Daily
Member of the
< ot tecta Te
University of North Texas
Southwestern Journalism Congress
NATIONAL PACEMAKER 6 TIMES
REGIONAL PACEMAKER 1 TIME
ALL-AMERICAN 80 TIMES
STEPHANIE MCCOLLUM, editor
WENDE ZOMNIR, advertising manager
The North Texas Daily, student newspaper of the University of North Texas, is published Tuesday through
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confused with the unsigned editorial statements of The Daily. Opinions appearing on this page do not necessarily
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The North Texas Daily
Thursday, November 10,1988
To further complicate matters, there is a 3 percent
service charge for the 911 system on Denton residents’
phone bills. In August of 1988, voters approved the
implementation of a 911 emergency system in Denton
County; however, it will not be ready until late 1989.
The 27 cents per month is the initial charge to pay
for necessary equipment.
Denton Fire Chief John Cook said that dialing
the wrong emergency number can delay critical rescue
time and even allow the intensity of a fire to double
in the time it takes to find and dial the correct number.
For people in need of emergency assistance, those
seconds could mean the difference between life and
The responsibility for getting the message out about
the 566-8111 number falls on the shoulders of Denton
County officials and on the shoulders of Denco Area
911 District officials. The Denco Area 911 District
was created to run the future 911 system. '
For people in emergency situations, there isn’t
time to think. County residents need to instinctively
know that 566-8111 works but 911 does not.
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Congress becomes PAC men
On Election Day, the entire House
of Representatives was up for grabs,
but early returns showed that only 12
incumbents faced a serious challenge.
All the others in the 435-member body
either ran unopposed or atomized their
While Americans have focused on
the White House, the House of Repre-
sentatives has become a “members
only” club. Because of big bucks
from political action committees, high
media visibility and generous home
district spending, incumbents don’t
lose. An article in the current News-
week describes this trend.
In 1986, 98.5 percent of the repre-
sentatives were re-elected. That’s a
lower turnover rate than that of the
Soviet Central Committee of the Com-
munist Party, where candidates don’t
This stinks, but since it ensures that
Democrats control a strong majority
in the House and can probably hold
it for decades, that party has lost its
sense of smell.
But whether Democrats or Repub-
licans or the New Alliance Party
controls the legislative branch, it’s a
The first victim of this system is
The growth of this inequity can be
linked to the funding habits of political
action committees (PACs). The or-
ganizations, set up to represent a
specific interest in Washington, get
the attention of politicians through
money. Lots of money. More than
$140 million was given by PACs to
politicians running for the Senate this
year, and 59 unchallenged House
incumbents received 50 percent of
their contributions from PACs.
Since PACs seek a voice in Wash-
ington, supporting the incumbent is
much more cost-effective. Incumbents
receive three times as much PAC
money as challengers in both houses
of Congress. In close races, PACs
often hedge their bets by supporting
“The PAC-rigged system for
financing congressional elections is
incumbents can’t lose,
regardless of per-
formance, and House
challengers can’t win,
regardless of talent,
then we don’t have real
elections and we don’t
creating a challenger-proof House of
Representatives,” said Fred Wer-
theimer, president of the watchdog
group Common Cause. “When
House incumbents can’t lose, re-
gardless of performance, and House
challengers can’t win, regardless of
talent, then we don’t have real elec-
tions and we don’t have representative
Some of the biggest dollars go to
congressmen running unopposed to
protect against “unforeseen chal-
lenges,” Newsweek reported. The 10
unchallenged incumbents with the
most contributions this year collected
from $402,000 to $524,000 each, and
all but two received more than 50
percent of those funds from PACs.
As if these didn’t provide enough
head start for political races. House
Democrats have established an In-
cumbents Protection Program. It’s
basically a time-proven propaganda
campaign. Hints on fund raising,
media handling and pleasing the home
constituents are given.
Some of the best tactics involve the
media. Politicians send press releases,
television programs and committee
meeting excerpts compiled to make
the congress member look good, and
the media frequently use the material
without much skepticism due to a lack
of funds for Washington coverage.
With all these advantages, in-
cumbents have to really work hard
Incomplete returns show that Rep.
Pat Swindall, R-Ga., will probably
lose; he’s under indictment on perjury
charges due to a drug money-laun-
dering investigation. Ernie Konnyu,
R-Calif., lost in the primaries due to
charges of sexual harassment from his
For every Swindall and Konnyu,
however, there are dozens of Jim
Wrights and Lloyd Bentsens who are
immovable objects in Congress. House
Speaker Wright, the popular Fort
Worth Democrat, faced no opponent.
Republicans begged Beau Boulter not
to oppose Sen. Bentsen.
In all fairness, the political records
of Wright and Bentsen make them
tough opponents under any circum-
But when PACs give extremely
large war chests of funds and Wash-
ington organizes efforts to aid in-
cumbents, challengers face a quixotic
task. Before Bentsen was named as
Michael Dukakis' running mate,
Boulter was urged not to oppose
Bentsen because the GOP didn’t want
to awaken Bentsen’s monstrous
political machine. It tends to digest
opponents and Republicans all over
But Bentsen’s not the only monster
in Washington. PACs are creating a
permanent collection of monstrosities
in the House.
Although the president wields con-
siderable power over the executive
branch and has oversight into the
judicial and legislative arms of the
federal government, the power of
Congress cannot be ignored.
For this reason, the need for a truly
democratic Congress is vital. The
legislators should be concerned about
what their constituents think, not their
Get down to business
NT IS SUFFERING from a lack of
communication among the admin-
istration, faculty and staff. Who suffers
from this isolation? You guessed it:
Problems that should never be
problems take hours to be resolved:
• Paperwork that does not get sent
to the right destination, resulting in the
student having to pay for it again.
• Asking a question and getting a
different answer from each person
• Being told incorrectly by the
teleregistration computer, “You are
not permitted to register at this time.”
if this institution was a business in
the “real world” it would never have
survived to its first anniversary, much
less its 100th.
All that can be heard is, “We have
grown too fast," or, “We need more
money” or “We are understaffed”
in response to student problems and
This is chronic bureaucratic response
to what the business world calls mis-
If the people employed by the
university coalesce on ideas and
solutions, the money and time involved
Students attend a university to
prepare themselves for the working
world. Unfortunately, they can't use
NT as a model for how businesses
survive in the real world.
What can be done to get this
university running smoothly?
• Hire people who are willing to
work with students and make the
necessary corrections when errors
• Stop the paper shuffle.
• Run the school like a business,
on a tight budget.
• Educate personnel and give them
the authority to give final answers to
Students must not allow themselves
to be treated as non-entities.
Here’s what’s next.
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The North Texas Daily (Denton, Tex.), Vol. 72, No. 43, Ed. 1 Thursday, November 10, 1988, newspaper, November 10, 1988; Denton, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth723422/m1/2/: accessed February 18, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.