New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 25, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
Unicorns Girls Tennis Team advances at region^
lEA&yi-jinBitle I Search and rescue
Birthday wishes from tho Horald-Zoitung!
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung extends birthday wishes to; Jessica Richter (nine years), Victor Martinez Jr., Jo Roberts, George Padilla Sr., Eva Sauce-do, Vanessa Cabello, Cody rben (13 years), George Anthony Garcia (nine years), and Johnny Rodriguez. Happy anniversary to Brian and Vlichelle Hubertus (third).
Bye bye, Bonnie
Bonnie Thrasher, long-time New Braunfels Post Office counter clerk, leaves today for her new home in Florida. She retired Monday after 14 years of service locally with the U.S. postal service and will be missed by thousands.
A retirement party was held ast week which her co-workers, amily, friends and post office patrons attended, and she expressed her mixed sentiments of having to leave this wonderful :own while looking forward to a relaxing future in the Florida panhandle.
Bonnie has family here so she plans to return often; but her pres-ence, efficiency and good-naturedness at the post office are missed already.
Famous last words? "PII miss everyone," and, “Stay in line until called!"
Chamber starts membership drive
The New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce will hold their annual membership drive starting with "kick-off" luncheon on Tuesday, April 25 and ending with a wrap-up on Thursday, April 27. Fifty Blue Coat volunteers and prospective Blue Coats w;il call on businesses for the 3-day drive to tell them about the advantages of being a Chamber member.
According to Bill Morton, Chair of the Drive, "The goal has been set for $20,000 in new dues income and 10O new members. We invite you to join our ranks and to take full advantage of the many member programs and services we provide."
Some of the Chamber's projects include the annual Texas Legislative Conference, Business Trade Show, business counseling, Leadership New Braunfels, Dispute Resolution Center, Business After Hours, in addition to the Industrial Development and Convention and Visitors Bureau activities. Morton said, “It was the Chamber that took the challenge of planning, financing and producing the Sesquicentennial celebration as it did for the 25th anniversary, the nation's Bicentennial and the state's Sesquicentennial in ‘86."
The drive is being held during Chamber of Commerce Week (April 24-28). In a U.S. Chamber of Commerce survey, the New Braunfels Chamber ranks in the top 10 percent. “The average number of members for a city our size is 921. Our Chamber consists of 1,250 members,” stated Morton.
A survey by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce shows that the New Braunfels Chamber ranks well above the average in a low percentage of total budget spent, for administration and operations as opposed to the percentage spent on actual projects. The survey shows the New Braunfels Chamber spends 45% of its budget on programs and prpjects while the average chamber rn cities of similar size spends only 30% of its income for projects.
•. - ft _
Twenty-nine searchers, two helicopters and three police dogs took pan in a five-hour search yesterday. Cola Wilson, grandmother of three-year-old twins Bobby and Billy Neat, reported the two youngsters missing from her home in the River Oaks subdivision near Highway 306 at about 11:30 a.m. Monday. The two boys were spotted by the pilot of a Department of Public Safety helicopter at about 4:30 p.m. The boys had been playing in the woods and were found more than a mile from home.
At top, Billy and Bobby sit on the hood of a Comal County Sheriff's Department car moments after being found, as relieved searchers look on. At left, David Nunley and Ronnie Womack let a dog get the scent from a piece of clothing. Above, the boys are reunited with their father, Bruce Neal.
Herald-Zeitung photos by MICHAEL DARNALL
Hispanics bring lawsuit charging city election system discriminates
Move meant to help charter amendment pass; New Hispanic Chamber of Commerce also announced yesterday
By SUSAN FLYNT ENGLAND
Members of New Braunfels' Mexican American community stood up to be counted at last night’s city council meeting. Cristina Aguilar-Fnar brought a “friendly lawsuit” to the city council “to ensure passage of Amendment I to the New Braunfels charter.”‘Plurality voting is not a new concept at all.’
— Gloria Sasser
Gloria Sasser asked the city council to delay approving another five-year contract for the Chamber of Commerce. She announced the formation of a New Braunfels Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Aguilar-Friar, Domingo F. Herrera Sr. and Yolanda H. Longoria are the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. It charges that the current method of electing New Braunfels City Council “unlawfully dilutes the voting strength of minority voters.”
Aguilar-Friar charged that the city has not heeded the needs of the Hispanic community. New Braunfels has been either reactive to problems and punished after the fact or has ignored problems existed at all, Aguilar-Friar said. “This attitude has been felt in the Hispanic community, that no one really cares,” she said.
“Surely city council knows that the present at-large scheme of electing members minimizes the individual voting rights of minorities,” Aguilar-Fnar said. “This ultimately violates my rights as an American
Newspaper and radio ads opposing Amendment I dismayed New Braunfels Hispanics, said Sasser, a member of the Charter Review Committee. “To the people who are running these misleading ads, you have no idea of the amount of hurt you have caused in this community," Sasser said.
“I knew at the beginning that we were going to be sued win, lose or draw,” said David Wallace, Charter Review Committee chair.
The Hispanic community in New Braunfels seeks strength and unity, Aguilar-Friar said. “As the Hispanic community grows in New Braunfels, we must stnve to create a team,” she said. "The only way we can effectively meet this objective is to establish six member districts and plurality voting”
“Plurality voting is not a new concept at all,” Sasser said.
The plaintiffs are ready to use every available resource to ensure that Amendment I passes, Aguilar-Friar said. “We feel it will ultimately give the equitable representation deserved by all Americans in the community,” she said.
The Hispanic chamber is still in the organizational stages, Sasser said. “At this point in time the Hispanics in this town need to get together,” she said. “I don’t normally participate in separatist movements, but recent events have made
‘We are only trying to unite the people in the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and get them to join in with the rest of the community.’
_— Gloria Sasser
mc feel that this was necessary.”
“A Hispanic chamber is nothing but a plus,” said Ron Gonzalez of the Seguin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Seguin’s Hispanic chamber helped to get Hispanic voters out and helped to pass the Seguin half cent sales tax, he said.
Sasser and Aguilar-Friar emphasized that the Hispanic chamber would seek corporate sponsors at first, not ask for city or greater chamber funds. “The Hispanic chamber is not to oppose but to work with the regular chamber ” Gonzalez said.
“We are only trying to unite the people in the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and get them to join in with the rest of the community,” Sasser said.
Tbe idea of a Hispanic chamber is not a new one in New Braunfels, Councilman Ambrosio Benitez said. “I do think we should have a Hispanic chamber,” he said.
Anyone wishing to get in on the ground floor of planning the Hispanic chamber should contact Sasser, she said.
New Braunfels_ Herald-Zeitung
0 Pages in one section ■ Tuesday, April 25.1995 Serving Comal County for more than 143 years ■ Home of JESSICA RICHTER t ■ Vol. 143, No. 117Militias expect crackdown in wake of bomb
By ROGER CROTEAU AND CRAIG HAMMETT
Members of the Comal County Constitutional Militia say they abhor the bombing that killed at least 86 people last week at a federal building in Oklahoma, and they doubt there is any connection between the bombers and
the militia movement In fact, they suspect the
government itself may ‘Right now politics have planted the bomb in are very dangerousrr.rfi vs; **• <*> not
movement. “I have heard follow Clinton's party
that from more than one lino.’
person, said Melvin A , ,
lr ,. . — Ann Utterback, commander,
Knewald, deputy com- ~ ^
mandcr of the Comal Comal Coun^ M,llt,a
County Militia. “It’s sort _
of far out — not something I could say they did, but I wouldn’t put it past them.”
Joe Roland, a San Antonio Militia member, wrote in prepared statement that “We should also consider that this atrocity may be another Reichstag fire, staged by parties within the government for political effect. Anyone who has investigated official corruption for a while knows that this possibility cannot be dismissed and must be pursued.”
Ann Utterback, commander of the Comal County Militia, said, “We absolutely feel outrage at what happened.”
Members also dismissed any alleged connection between the suspects and the militia movement. It has been reported that one of the men arrested in connection with the bombing attended meetings of the Michigan Militia.
“There has never been anything but that the guy in jail went to a meeting or two and was kicked out for being too radical,” Kriewald said. “It is orchestrated too by the government, by the president and the news media. They would love to give us a bad name ... to keep people from joining the militias, because they have no legal way of slowing us down.”
“The Oklahoma City s ll
tragedy is now being used ' ■ I® f©3lly JIO
to attack the growing num- way to know if it
bets of Americans who are ^ hurt US Until aggrieved about govern- _ ,
ment corruption and abuse, 111© ne XI meeiincji especially those who are —Melvin Kriewald, deputy
banding together as mili- commander, Comal County Militia tias for the protection of-
their communities,” Roland wrote. “They and their grievances are being dismissed. They are belittled as people to interpret the constitution ‘literally.’”
Asked if he was concerned that the strident rhetoric distributed by the group could attract people who are unstable or capable of lashing out against the government, Kriewald said, “Certainly we think about that. We have had undesirables that we have slowly weeded out and they have stopped coming to meetings.”
Kriewald said he does not know if news reports will harm the militia movement. “There will be a certain number of people who have been coming to meetings who won’t be coming back because they are scared. It’s intimidation,” he said.
“There is really no way to know if it has hurt us until the next meeting.”
That meeting will be held Tuesday, May 2 at 7 p.m. at the Guadalupe Valley Telephone Cooperative. He said about 90 people attended the last meeting and the group has a mailing list of about 300 county residents. Besides its monthly meetings, militia members also gather once a month with other area militias for military rrfeneuvers. Kriewald said they have not held military training in the county.
Kriewald said he has been disappointed in new reports that have labeled the militia movement as an extreme right-wing movement for its beliefs, including many members’ belief in a conspiracy to form one world government.
“We are part of the largest grass roots movement in America. We made it possible for returning the House of Representatives to the Republicans,” Utterback said. “We are not terrorists. What Mr. Clinton is doing by demonizing patriots is very dangerous.
Utterback said the Clinton Administration does not have a commitment to maintaining the constitutional guarantee of free speech.
“Right now politics are very dangerous for people who do not follow Clinton’s party line,” she said.
In a letter to the editor pnnted in the Herald-Zeitung in December Kriewald raised the possibility of armed revolt. “If this coalition can grow and blend together enough to make a large change in the ‘96 elections, we may be able to avoid a revolution to get our country back. It is our only chance as I see it,” he wrote.
Kriewald still believes a revolution is possible. “It won’t be started by the people. It will be started by heavy-handed tactics of the government, which has started with Ruby Ridge and Waco.”
He was referring to a standoff that turned bloody between agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and residents in Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and the Branch Davidian siege near Waco. Kriewald called the ATF a “renegade government outfit.”
He added that he doubts the suspects in the Oklahoma bombing will get a fair trial. "That’s for sure they’re not. If the government had something to do with it in the first place, especially. Go back to the Branch Davidians’ trial in San Antonio. Those people sure didn’t... We’ve got a constitution, but they only use that constitution if it is convenient for them.”
Comal County Sheriff Jack Bremer said the county militia has caused no problems, and does not seem to be a militant organization, but more involved in trying to influence politics by working within the system.Coverage of the upcoming May 6 city and school elections — Page 6.