New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, August 30, 2000, Page 6

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

August 30, 2000

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Issue date: Wednesday, August 30, 2000

Pages available: 32

Previous edition: Tuesday, August 29, 2000

Next edition: Thursday, August 31, 2000

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 30, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas Page 6A— HeraLD-Zeitung — Wednesday, August 30, 2000Opinions FORUM Letters GE _________________________ ........................................... lllli —...................... — _____ NKW RuaLnrki sH erald-Zeitung 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 www.herald-zeitung.com (830) 625-9144Other View By The Associated PressWaco Tribune-Herald on electric deregulation around the corner: Texans soon w ill be hot under the collar when they get their electric bills. Natural gas prices have doubled and this added expense for utility companies will be passed along to consumers. It’s not as though electric bills in Texas aren't high enough now'. Texans already pay some of the highest electric bills in America. On top of this. Texas is about to deregulate its electric power industry. Deregulation is supposed to provide consumers with lower electric bills and more choices in a competitive marketplace. That’s good. California, w hich always strives to be on the bleeding edge of new' movements,already has deregulated its electricity industry for the same reasons that the Texas deregulation bill was signed into law last year, which also were good. What was bad however, was that deregulation in California has led to little competition, electricity shortages and higher electric bills. Electricity shortages have forced some California firms to install expensive electricity generation systems to keep their businesses running. Rolling brownouts have caused utilities to turn off the juice to selected California residential customers. Electric bills in San Diego went up nearly 400 percent since deregulation. Fortunately, California stepped first into the deregulation unknown. Texas can learn from California’s mistakes. That’s w hat Pat Wood chairman of the Texas Public Utility Commission, and state Sen. David Sibley, R-Waco, and state Sen. Steve Wolens, D-Dai las, authors of the deregulation bill, say. They also say that, compared to California, Texas has its own power grid has better regulations and will have more competition. One would hope. Fortunately, electricity deregulation in Texas will be phased in gradually through 2007. Lawmakers and regulators, who must stay attentive to the impact of deregulation, will have the opportunity to adjust the restructuring to avoid the mistakes made in California. Electricity deregulation is reportedly in place or being considered in 25 states. Two major problems loom. One comes from demand and the other from supply. On the demand side, there has been a rapid rise in electricity consumption. Much of that increase has been attributed to the surge in use of the Internet, computers and computer accessories. Experts expect that use to continue to shoot upward. On the supply side, new power plants and transmission lines need to be built, not just in Texas but across the nation. In addition, power plants need a reliable supply of clean-burning fuel. There is plenty of coal, but it causes serious pollution problems. There are plenty of natural gas supplies, but much of the gas is blocked from drilling. Clean alternative energy has yet to be made cost-effective, plentiful or reliable. These problems need to be solved nationwide, and particularly here in Texas. Today in History By The Associated Press Today is Wednesday, Aug. 30, the 243rd day of 2000. There are 123 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Aug. 30, 1862, Union forces were defeated by the Confederates at the Second Battle of Bull Run in Manassas, Va. On this date: In 30 B.C. (on Aug. 30, by some estimates), Cleopatra, the seventh and most famous queen of ancient Egypt, committed suicide. gme Letters To The EditorProject Cuddle wants to save babies’ lives Dear Editor: I would like to thank you for giving Baby Hope such coverage in your local paper. I am wondering what became of that precious little girl. I also wonder what might have happened had her mother known of an organization called Project Cuddle. It runs a hotline 24 hours — toll free — to help young mothers in that position. Anyone can call for information or just advice on a legal safe alternative to abandoning a baby! Please encourage those in our community to look into this non-judg-mental group looking to save babies’ lives. Project Cuddle wants to make sure there are no more abandoned babies out there. Look them up on the web www.projectcud-dle.org or call: (888)TO-CUDDLE. Thanks for keeping us posted on Baby Hope’s well being! Here is to saving others like her! Katsy Joiner BulverdeEnough is enough: Preserve rivers’ beauty Dear Editor: Recently there have been numerous articles in the paper concerning banning alcohol from the river. Residents who live near the action spots and have children are all for it. Others say it will hurt our economy and some retailers depend on the sale of alcohol. First, let’s look at New Braunfels and its growing community. Both rivers that flow through here are major assets and a complement to our tow n. It adds beauty, recreation, peacefulness and an opportunity to be close to nature. I myself am privileged to live on the Guadalupe right before it merges with the Comal, and its a small piece of Heaven. I do not see the action like others. But I have friends who have very lovely homes on the Guadalupe and Comal and when visiting them I have seen fights worse than any bar room brawl, open sex, defecation, loud and uncontrollable behavior. Guess what spurs this type of action on? You’re right; alcohol and drugs. There is nothing I enjoy more than having a chilly one and float w ith friends, but enough is enough. Let’s be a little proactive and protect our children from violence. Clean up the river and let the fun of floating down the river be an experience of a lifetime, in a positive vein. Other cities have done this and the results all have been positive. Our city is growing and in a few short years, we will be in the center of a major boom with more children, friends and families who enjoy the beauty of our rivers. So let’s not destroy this beauty. If you feel the need to be blind, stupid and drunk, go somewhere else or, better yet, take a video of your actions and show your family in IO years .... this was your old mom and dad. Robert A. Kelley New BraunfelsIts time to take back our rivers Dear Editor: For the record, I support the ban, not only on beer but on any disposable container on our rivers within the city limits. Our city council members, especially our Honorable Mayor Stoney Williams, should not bow to the tube renters or beer sellers such as Mid Tex Oil, whose many gas stations in our area sell beer. The tube renters merely are interested in selling an extra tube for the beer cooler and we know' that Mid Tex wants to sell more beer. It is time to take back our rivers. Putting extra police on the rivers is a strain on taxpayers. The police have better things to do such as watching for speeders, making their presence known to prevent burglaries and car break-ins and traffic control on weekends. Our rivers are becoming a joke, scaring away families w ho want to spend time here in our restaurants, motels, bed and breakfasts and other tourist attractions. We are losing more tourist dollars w ith the families staying away than we make from the six-hour tourists who bring that trash on our rivers and river front properties and then leave. We have brought control to Wurstfest and we need to bring control to our rivers. What do you think our beautiful rivers would look like if volunteer divers no longer came to clean the bottom of our rivers that look much worse than the riverbanks? We then could rename our rivers, “Miller Lite River One” and “Miller Lite River Two.”Jerry White New BraunfelsDemocrats still represent average citizens Dear Editor: House Bill 4865 recently was passed by the House of Representatives in Washington. This bill would reduce taxes on Social Security for those singles making at least $34,000 and couples making at least $44,000. I doubt those of us 65 years and older making that much need a tax reduction. We probably aren’t having to buy school supplies and clothes for our children, nor having to pay college costs for them. We probably aren't still buying a house. We also have part of our health costs covered. How many in New' Braunfels are making $30,000, or $14 an hour? Maybe some business managers, but do their employees? Look at our tourist industry, a biggie in New' Braunfels. Do the employees at motels, restaurants, water sports make that much? No. Do the clerks and secretaries in our stores, the courthouse or most offices make that much? No. But they do probably have the expenses listed above. Look around you. Look at all the people who work here in New Braunfels. How many of them would benefit from a bill for those making more than $30,000, or $14 an hour? This bill is for the wealthier, not most citizens. In the Austin American paper July 30, there was a listing of the roll call vote on this bill. A few Democrats (four) voted for this bill, but not a single, not one, Republican voted against it. President Clinton said he would veto this bill. That tells me something. There is a difference in the parties. The Democrats are still for the average citizen and the Republicans are still for the more wealthy. When you listen to the conventions and the candidates, they sound much alike. I look at what they do. How they vote. What gets vetoed. I’m glad we have a Democratic president to veto some of the legislation the majority Republican Congress passes. I appreciate what President Clinton has done with domestic and foreign policy, and do not condone his mistakes, but he is not running for president (although you would think he was when you listen to Republicans).Thea Chessher New BraunfelsNew Braunfels must act now to lengthen life of landfill By Terry Fischer Special to the Herald-Zeitung This letter is in response to the July 23 letter from Luke Speckman to the editor of the Herald-Zeitung. There is no idea for “overcharging” for trash pickup. Rather the idea is to charge based on usage of the service. This is not yet a done deal, as the Recycling Committee of New Braunfels is in the process of investigating changes in residential garbage collection here. All the recommendations will have to go to the City Council for action. Presently, the committee is looking at households with excessive garbage more than the recommended three-can limit currently in effect. The great majority of users do not place near the garbage limit at the curb for pickup. The normal users are in effect subsidizing the large garbage generators here in New Braunfels. So far, no fee increase has been discussed. One of our challenges is to determine what is the equivalent of three cans for those folks who place garbage out at the curb rn boxes or similar non-standard containers. City of New Braunfels residential garbage pickup costs $10.83, less than private pickup for $13.00, and in addition it is done twice weekly with recycling pickup. I think most people will still want to have the New Braunfels bargain rates and good service. As far as the large amounts of waste from people with large yards, they should start composting leaves and yard waste. The larger parcels of property makes this option easier to accomplish because they can accommodate the compost storage for use in later seasons. The loss of nutrients from grass cuttings and leaves must be replaced by commercial fertilizers or some source as diminished growth will result in the trees, plants and grass over the years. The city can help with low cost shredding and chipping if there is a large quantity of trees to be ground up. This service is available w ith a call to the city, but there is a fee to the requester. Whether the city hauls the waste off or whether a private contractor hauls it off', the capacity of the landfill should be a concern to all. When the present landfill reaches capacity, a new landfill most likely will be required, or the waste hauled to a distant existing landfill. Hauling to the distant landfill most likely will cost more. Keep in mind that the landfill off Farm-to-Market Road 1102 is no longer a city-or county-owned operation, and as such, waste from areas other than New Braunfels and Comal County is going into the site. With the growth of the local area, the time is coming when a new location w ill be sought. How palatable will the location be to folks in Comal County? There will be a huge cost in the future that will have to be paid. We should not think we won’t be around to see this but act today to extend the landfill life by reducing waste and recycling. The idea of maintenance and replacement cost of garbage trucks being of no concern to the customer is a gross oversimplification. Who really thinks that the service provider will not pass along costs to the customer? It is not likely the company will reduce its profits when tipping fees increase, their trucks need replacement or fuel costs escalate as they have done recently. The problem of dumpster stuffing would seem to be a problem where security is lax or non-existent. Isn’t it easier to just put the trash on the curb than haul it to someone's dumpster? Likely the source of the dumped waste is a person who does not have any means of waste disposal . The New Braunfels City Council has addressed the littering problem with greatly increased fines for littering; the minimum fine is $200 and the maximum now is $2,000. Who would take the chance of being caught littering, much less dumping a w hole load of trash in New Braunfels? The recycling meetings are usually on the third Tuesday of the month and are posted on the city bulletin board in the lobby of C ity Hall. I invite Mr. Speckman and other interested parties to come to the meetings and give their input and ideas on recycling and garbage collection. (Terry Fischer is chairman of the recycling committee Jar New Braunfels.) ~ ■ ;

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