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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 16, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas Saturday September 16 2000 HERALDZEITUNG Page 3A Gasoline prices see big drop WASHINGTON AP Consumer prices fell in August for the first time in 14 years as the biggest drop in gasoline prices since 1991 overwhelmed higher costs for clothes and prescription drugs The good inflation news in Fridays report bolstered econo mists belief that the Federal Reserve wont need to boost inter est rates any more this year to ward off inflation and prevent the economy from overheating The Labor Departments Consumer Price Index the most closely watched inflation gauge declined by a seasonally adjusted percent last month a better showing than the modest increase many analysts were expecting The bottom line this is a very positive report for consumers Inflation is tame and households should continue to enjoy weak or falling prices for many products from PCs to said Mark Zandi chief economist at an economic con sulting firm Augusts performance marked the first monthly CPI decline since a percent drop in April 1986 the government said That was caused by a collapse in global oil prices to a barrel in April 1986 from around a barrel just five months earlier econo mists said On Wall Street the tame infla tion report didnt inspire investors Stocks fell on a mix of profittak ing bargain hunting and general anxiety about corporate profits The Dow Jones industrial average closed down points to Economists believe the outlook remains good that inflation will stay low but the wild card in that scenario is energy prices Besides a temporary dip in gasoline prices in August energy costs have been surging with crude oil prices recently hitting a barrel Rebounding gasoline and other energy costs are expected to push up the CPI in September econo mists said Many analysts dont believe higher energy prices will have either a worrisome or long lasting effect on the prices of other products Overall energy costs including home heating costs could be painful this winter Still were not looking for energy to spark any broader inflationary said Oscar Gonzalez economist with John Hancock Financial Services Economists arent worried because the core rate of infla tion which excludes volatile ener gy and food prices has been remarkably stable For the fifth month in a row the core rate rose by a modest per cent in August matching analysts expectations President Clinton chimed in on the subject Friday At a White House photo op Clinton said he did not expect recessionary pres sures in the short to medium largely because we have withstood this oil price spike very much better than we did when it happened The Federal Reserves six inter estrate increases since June 1999 are working to slow economic growth and keep inflation under control economists said In the first eight months of this year consumer prices have been rising at an annual rate of per cent compared with a percent increase for all of 1999 But the pickup has come from higher energy costs which have resulted from production limits by oilpro ducing nations and continuing heavy demand in the United States An international outcry over soaring energy prices prompted the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to announce Monday that it will boost output Energy prices so far this year have been increasing at an annual rate of percent compared with a percent advance for all of 1999 In August however energy prices fell by percent led by the biggest drop in gasoline prices since February 1991 Gasoline prices declined by 6 percent last month a temporary drop that economists attributed to a number of factors including expectations that OPEC would boost oilproduction and political pressure on refineries to rein in high gasoline prices particularly in the Midwest Still economists said Augusts CPI report based on information from earlier in the month didnt catch big increases in gasoline and other energy prices late in the month Falling energy prices helped blunt rising prices elsewhere Wen Ho Lees daughter speaks LOS ALAMOS Alberta Lee grew up a sheltered young woman out of touch with her AsianAmerican heritage That would change dramatically when her father former Los Alamos scientist Wen Ho Lee was thrown into solitary confine ment In the nine months since then Ms Lee a 26yearold technical writer in San Francisco has emerged as a graceful impas sioned spokeswoman for her father and for AsianAmericans And now with her father a free man she wants to go to law school and make a career out of defending others rights I think the one stellar person in all this is Alberta Shes the one to watch Shes going said John Vance a safe ty engineer at Los Alamos National Laboratory and a sup porter of Ms Lees father This week Ms Lee celebrated her fathers freedom after the government dropped all but one of 59 counts alleging he breached national security Neighbors threw a big backyard welcomehome party for the 60 yearold Taiwanborn scientist and Ms Lee brought him cups of tea and introduced him to sup porters Before this I really was kind of going through the motions and didnt really know what to do with my she said at the party I really felt like there was something more important out there for me but I didnt know what it was I think Ive discov ered that Her coming of age began in 1998 when she began getting worried phone calls from home that her father was being asked to take polygraph tests I was begging him from the first polygraph in December 98 on to get a she said adding that her father kept insist ing he had done nothing 1A It wasnt a mistake in the sense that we needed to conserve water but in the trigger level we Bel don said San Antonio voted Thursday not to support the ban but gave city manager Alex Briseno authority to impose it in consultation with the EAA the next time Comal Springs drops below 150 cfs In New Braunfels EAA board vice chairman Doug Miller said Beldons position could be postur ing as a result of political pressure a view shared by Garden Ridge City Manager Mike Castro Both expressed surprise at Bel dons recent remarks How many people do you hear saying this Miller asked Lthink the chairman is speaking for the whole board and maybe he should nt be The credibility of the Edwards Aquifer Authority is becoming suspect and thats unfor Castro said the science didnt change over the past week We were putting the wheels in motion to comply with the ban Nobody thought the chairman of the aquifer authority was going to do a com plete backflip on us Castro said the Garden Ridge City Council would decide what to do when it meets Thursday to adopt its budget and tax rate but its not implementing the sprinkler ban On the one hand Im glad for homeowners who didnt have to go through the tumultuous times with a sprinkler ban On the other Im very very disappointed in their actions Were frustrated and con fused How many other pieces of the puzzle down there are wrong Theyve lost a greatdeal of credi bility at least with respect to this The EAA has not done much bet ter in New Braunfels The aquifer level and the spring flow is more than an endangered species New Braunfels May or Stoney Williams said in a news release issued by New Braunfels Utilities This is the regions water supply for all of us This is one more bla tant example of using the endan gered species to ignore the real issues and avoid taking strong steps The EAA should be prepared to support their own initiatives instead of demonstrating to us all that San Antonio tells them how it will Friday the Comal Springs were running about 165 cfs and rising The water level at the J17 well which was at 641 feet above mean sea level also was rising Beldon said he expected that on Sept 22 when the authority announces the end of the sprinkler ban it could as well announce the qnd of Stage II water restrictions He acknowledged the sprinkler ban will not be enforced in the interim but disputed allegations that he was posturing or knuckling under to political pressure 1 guess they can characterize it any way they want I hope they know I have more integrity than Beldon said As long as the well levels are up and the spring flow levels are up its pretty hard for us to ask them to take action triggered at 150 when were sitting in the Beldon said In response to other comments Beldon made rumblings came from the Fish Wildlife Service that more legal action could be in EAAs future if the flow in Comal Springs drops below 150 cfs and the authority does not do anything to protect springs habitat Beldon said Friday that the sprin kler intended to be a last resort that did not come into play until the aquifer dropped to 630 feet above msl Beldon said the 150 cfs flow at Comal Springs was intended to pro vide a lifesaving cushion for the fountain darter that lives in the springs He said the fountain darter could survive at flow levels much lower than that He said he thought the trigger level should be revisited and that maybe a flow number in the 120s or a combination of flow rate and well level should be considered That viewpoint on the flow rate was news to Fish Wildlife assistant field supervisor Bill Sea well in Austin although he said he was not surprised by it Hes certainly entitled to his opinion and were entitled to ours Theyve the EAA been told many times we dont think their plan is adequate and they could be liable for take of endangered Seawall said Seawell said his agency was dis cussing the matter with its law enforcement personnel and attor neys working on plans to deal with the issue and the EAA Were very concerned about NEW ELS HERALDZEITUNG Published on Sunday mornings and weekday mornings Tuesday through Saturday by the New Braunfels Herald Zeitung USPS 377880 707 Landa or Drawer 311328 New Braunfels Comal County Texas 781311328 Periodical postage paid by the New Bmunfels HemldZeitung in New Braunfels Texas Carrier delivered in Comal and Guadalupe counties three months six months one year Senior Citizen Discounts by car rier delivery only six months one year Mail delivery outside Comal County in Texas three months six months one year Mail outside Texas six months one year Subscribers who have not received a newspaper by 6 ajn Tuesday through Friday and by 7 Saturday and Sunday can call 830 6259144 POSTMASTER Send address changes to the New Bmunfels HemldZeitung Drawer 311328 New Braunfels Tx 781311328 flow in the spring Well do what we have to to protect the spring flows Depending on their action in the future well take appropriate he said Beldon said he had the interests of the region as a whole at heart upstream and downstream and east and west of San Antonio as well as the interests of the endan gered species The last thing I want to see is the springs and the wells going Beldon said Beldon charged that Fish Wildlife has an internal study that says there is no damage to the foun tain darter at spring flows as low as 60 cfs I dont care what we do Fish Wildlife would never think we do Beldon said You cant win in the position Im in If we end up in court so be CREDIT BUILDER DEPARTMENT Credit Problems can make owning your own car difficult but the professionals at our expanded credit department CAN get you into a dependable vehicle while youre reestablishing your credit Ho Matter What the Reason No CREDIT DIVORCE BANKRUPTCY SLOW PAY CHARGE OFF REPOSESSION Fax Mall Bring In or Call Robert Floras WE BRING THE STORE TO YOUR HOME COMPLETE SERVICE For an appointment call Jenny Prejean c 83O56O1O17 I I Name I Address City 1 Rent Home Employer Social Security State Zip Buying Home Work Time on Job Monthly Payment Monthly Income DOB Do you have a trade PHONE 8306062361 FAX 8306080990 l 699W TX78130 I I FREE Jumbo Sheet Set with any Posturepedic set nterest br 12 Months Minimum purchase of Minimum down payment of Finance charges will be shown on contract but will be refunded on any length contract if monthly payments are paid on time 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