New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 3, 1983, New Braunfels, Texas
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Sohn dislikes fuel charge vote
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By DEBBIE DeLOACH Staff writer
The Public Utilities Commission’s Wednesday ruling to abolish the automatic pass-through fuel adjustment clause will have an “indirect, but definite” effect on New Braunfels Utilities customers.
“As a municipal power company, our governing body is the City Council. It sets and approves our rates,” Utilities .Manager Bob Sohn said Thursday. “However, the ruling will affect the Lower Colorado River Authority, and we buy our power from LCRA.”
The PUC voted 3-0 Wednesday to replace the automatic fuel adjustment clause with a new system, which will require electric companies to come to the commission in April and estimate fuel costs one year in advance.
The new system still allows for adjustments if fuel charges change in the form of surcharges and-or refunds. However, the big difference is, with the new ruling, those adjustments would also have to be approved by the commission.
“What changes this ruling will cause in LCRA’s billing practices, I don’t know yet,” Sohn stated. “But whatever they do to conform, will affect us, and in turn, our customers.”
After the ruling announcement, PUC Chairman Moak Rollins stated Texans will still pay fuel costs. Sohn agreed, adding “The bills won’t change. That fuel adjustment charge is still going to be there.
“This provision is going to serve to drive fuel costs back into obscurity. Fuel costs will be secret again. Even if companies have to go to the PUC for approval, they’re going to have the escalation factor built in,” Sohn continued. “For six, eight, or all 12 months, they’ll be over-collecting. Sure, they will
make it up eventually, but for a time, people will be paying more, not less.”
The fuel adjustment charge became a major statewide issue during Gov. Mark White’s 1982 campaign. White and other critics complained the companies were taking advantage of the fuel adjustment charge and possibly making a profit through it.
Another argument against the fuel adjustment charge was the cost was calculated at the end of the month, and customers didn’t know how much until they got their bill.
“What I think got everybody hacked off, and stimulated this purge of the fuel adjustment charge, was c situation in Houston: Houston Enterprises is a subsidiary of Houston Lighting and Power. The subsid iary was selling gas to its parent company at
See SOHN, Page 16Today's Weather
Comal County forecast calls for increasing cloudiness today, cloudy and cold tonight and continued cloudy and cool Friday. Winds will be from the northeast at 5-10 mph today, then easterly at 10-15 mph tonight. Sunset will be at 6:10 p.m., and sunrise Friday will be at 7:19 a.m. There is a 70 percent chance of light rain tonight, and the same percentage chance of rain or drizzle Friday.Lebanon Showdown
In the most serious confrontation to date between Israeli troops occupying Lebanon and U.S.
peacekeeping forces stationed there,
a Marine officer drew and loaded his
pistol while keeping
tanks from entering U.S.-controlled
territory near Beirut See Page 5.
New -n»-iiriT Braunfels
New Braunfels, Texas
Vol. 92 - No. 24
THURSDAY February 3, 1983 25 cents
By JACQUELINE SMITH Staff writer
State Rep. Edmund Kuempel (R-Seguin) thinks Governor Mark White has got some pretty good ideas for improving Texas.
But the freshman representative — whose 46 th District encompasses Comal, Guadalupe and Kendall Counties — is skeptical of exactly how all of White’s proposals can be funded.
“I have a deep concern as to where the money will come from,” Kuempel said, reflecting on White's “State of the State” speech. “He (White) is trying to start off on the right foot and lay the groundwork (for his administration and programs).
“But I still have questions as to where we’ll (state legislature) get the funding.”
Kuempel wholeheartedly agreed with the new Democratic governor that the “state finances are in excellent shape.
“He (White > inherited a sound state from Governor Clements,” said Kuempel.
The freshman representative is also anxious to begin work on White’s proposals, which he says will "be challenging...to make it (the state budget) all come out (balanced) without passing any new taxes.
“It’d be much easier to raise taxes than to cut the state budget...but we need to learn to live within our means,” he noted.
The state legislature will “have to look at each department in the budget and make each one stand on its own merit” before approving funding requests, he said.
On the subject of taxes, Kuempel will have first-hand information since he has been named to the House Ways and Means Committee, which deals specifically with tax and revenue measures.
See KUEMPEL, Page 16
Trucker strike starts to hurt
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
A Milwaukee brewery cut back operations and California growers warned that Valentine Day roses might wither because of the nationwide strike by independent truckers, whose working counterparts demanded federal protection from snipers, arsonists and vandals.
Officials reported more than 300 trucks have been damaged, one driver slain and 27 people injured in violence stemming from the shutdown, which was called by the Independent Truckers Association on Monday to protest higher fuel taxes and fees.
Food shipments to some Eastern cities were curtailed Wednesday and some produce prices rose.
Bennett Whitlock, president of American Trucking Associations, sent a letter to Attorney General William French Smith, demanding the Justice Department and the FBI play a greater role in fighting the
widespread bloodshed and intimidation.
“There’s an absolute need for strong federal leadership. ... Federal law enforcement officials must make their intentions known and their presence felt,” he said.
U.S. attorneys across the country have been told “to be on the alert” for any violations of federal law, said Justice Department spokesman John Russell, w ho said he was not aware of Whitlock's letter.
Meanwhile, Florida offered Highw ay Patrol protection to truckers if more requests are received and if truckers can organize convoys of 15 to 25 trucks. And Alabama said Wednesday it would use state liquor agents revenue agents and game wardens to help state troopers patrol the highways during the strike.
“It looks like war out there," said Chief Deputy Edmore Rush in Colleton County, S.C., who urged
See TRUCKERS. Page 16
Gunman kills 3 at Kerrville restaurant
KERRVILLE (AP) - Patrons in a crowded restaurant hid under tables as a man with a .12-gauge shotgun opened fire on his ex-wife and her boyfriend, killing three people and wounding another before turning the gun on himself, police said.
Ronald Young, 39, of Kerrville, was in critical condition today after undergoing surgery at Peterson Memorial Hospital for a self-inflicted shotgun wound to his abdomen, said nursing supervisor Cleo Meadow.
“It was a family squabble with his ex-wife,” said Peace Justice Betty Burney of Center Point. “We don’t know if they had any recent
Kerrville police Lt. J. Harvey said three counts of murder and one count of either aggravated assault or attempted murder would be filed with District Attorney Ronald Sutton in Junction Thursday for presentation before a grand jury Friday,
Acapulco Restaurant manager Joe* Hernandez described the scene in his 178-seat establishment as “bedlam.” “This fellow came in looking for his ex-wife and he saw her with a boyfriend and (the boyfriend’s) father and two children. They were sitting eating. Then he went back to his vehicle, got his shotgun and came
back in and shot (them),” Hernandez said.
“We all hollered to hit the floor and everybody hit the floor,” he said. “It was bedlam here. Everyone was in a panic stage.”
The victims were identified by Police Chief Scott Evans as Phyllis Young, Ernest Robert Hneidy Jr. and Ernest Robert Hneidy Sr. The Hneidys operated Warehouse Sales Co. in Kerrville, he said.
Hernandez said the gunman walked directly to Ms. Young’s table, where the two children also were sitting.
“He went right at them. They didn’t have time to do anything,” said
Hernandez. “Then he loaded his shotgun and shot himself rn the stomach.”
The two children sitting at the table were not injured, Harvey said “I don’t know how; by the grace of God. They were sitting at the same table.” he said.
Hernandez said the man told him he was looking for his ex-wife when he first entered the restaurant. Police Detective Lonnie Agold said the restaurant was “quite full” at the time.
“The three people were just sitting down eating when he opened fire." police officer Dolan Barnes said.
Young was a general contractor who recently had remarried, Harvey said.
Hospitalized in fair condition was Robert Smith, 40, of Mesa. Ariz. Harvey said Smith was shot in the side by ricocheting gunshot.
“I don’t know why he did it,” Harvey said. He said investigators w ould talk to Young as soon as he w as physically able.
In the meantime, police were taking written statements from some of the 40 to 50 people who were in the restaurant during the 8:30 p.m. shootings.
Learning about kids
Child development seminar Saturday
The newly-formed Comal County Council of Early Childhood Educators is sponsoring its first big event this Saturday.
Ifs an all-day inservice workshop, with .seminars scheduled on topics ranging from infant care to kindergarten instruction.
Dr. Bonnie Longmon, a professor of early childhood education at Texas Lutheran College, will give the keynote speech at 9 a.m. Registration will open at 8:30 at the Lone Star School on Hidalgo Street.
“We have 51 enrolled, which I think is just great for a first time,” said Dr. Maggie Pearson, director of Maggie’s Garden for Children on Eikel Street.
Those 51 people represent approximately 15 different kindergartens, preschools and day care centers. Lone Star kindergarten teachers will do a demonstration on minimum standards for success. Instructors from New Braunfels Christian Academy will also do a program.
Day care workers attending the workshop will receive seven hours of inservice credit. Twelve hours are required each year for state certification, said Joyce Gibes of Ann & Andy I^arn and Play Center.
In the past, local people have had to attend seminars in San Marcos and San Antonio to get that credit.
Saturday’s workshop will last until 3:30 p.m., with White Swan catering lunch Other guest speakers include: — Barbara Effenberger, special
education counselor from the Seguin Independent School District. She will be speaking on behavior modification and classroom management.
— Nick Perez of the state licensing board, who will talk w ith center administrators.
— Renee Paloma, nurse at McKenna Memorial Hospital. She will discuss infant care.
— Donna Sandercock, speech pathologist in the Seguin ISD.
— Sharron Jones and Thenita Ward, both special ed resource teachers in San Antonio schools.
“I tried to vary it,” said Pearson, who scheduled the speakers. There will be seven topical seminars in all. Each person at the workshop can attend five-
The new council of educators, headed up by Linda Schlater of the First Protestant Church school, was formed late last year. Its primary purpose, said Gibes, is better care and education for children aged five and under.
The first organizational meeting was held in October. “About five centers got together and decided they needed to work together to do better things for the kids,” Gibes said. Examples might be cooperative field trips, or special events requiring a bigger audience than one day care center can provide.
For example, the Brauntex Theatre recently offered a free showing of Peter Pan for local kindergartens and preschool centers. Ann & Andy went, and Gibes said the theater was packed.
“There’s a lot of little kids around here,” she said.
Garden Ridge plat gets city approval
Staff photo by Dyanne Fry
Bob Kolstad outlines the plat
By DYANNE FRY Staff writer
A small subdivision planned in south central Garden Ridge got a goahead from the City Council Wednesday night.
The Muennink Subdivision will consist of three lots on the old George Wissman property at the west end of Gloxinia Drive. Council gave preliminary plat approval on the recommendation of Planning and Zoning Chairman Bob Kolstad, taking due note of two contingencies Kolstad pointed out in his report
The first complication concerns a drainage ditch to conduct w ater awa> from the Gloxinia cul-de-sac. Kolstad said engineers haven’t yet determined whether this ditch should lead to the north or south. When the best location is determined, it will be made apart of the final plat.
The other problem is more serious. Gloxinia has always dead-ended just west of Mountain laurel, but it doesn’t have a wide, paved circle at the end. Apparently, Kolstad said, the city allowed the developer of Garden
Ridge Unit 7 to just “stub the street
W ith more houses now going in on the other side of the street, Kolstad feels a “proper turnaround” is needed. The new developer is responsible for the half-circle on his side of the street. He told Planning and Zoning that he would do finish the other side as well But he’s not interested in doing it for free.
“I talked to Mr. Craig mi Ie, and he agrees with me that the city may have to bite the bullet on this one,” Kolstad said. Councilman Neb Craigmile, in charge of streets and drainage, was not present at Wednesday’s meeting.
Mayor Betty McGranahan has seen the Gloxinia cul-de-sac mentioned in past city records, and thinks that completion of the turnaround was one of the conditions listed on the final plat approval for Unit 7. If no subsequent arrangement was made, the developer that built the unit might be held liable.
She promised to find out before the Muennink plat comes up for final approval.
Staff photo by John Senter
Trucks head up IH 35 north of New Braunfels —many of their independent brethren have parked their rigs