New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 27, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas
TUESDAY, JANUARY 27, 2004
EL LASO TX 79903 H j 111 f ■! 11111 (, (| (
SPORTS NETS RESULTS
Smithson Valley High School s Erie leke is a star on the court, as well as in the classroom. Page SA
FORUM BAD IMPRESSION
Syndicated columnist Charley Reese writes that if Howard Dean wants to salvage his campaign, he better start looking, acting presidential. Page GA
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
Vol. 153, No. 64 10 pages, 1 section
m Mostly sunny
Details .... 6A
DEAR ABBY 8A CLASSIFIEDS SA COMICS 7A CROSSWORD 7A FORUM 4A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 5A TV GRIDS 8ADemocrats exchange criticisms on eve of New Hampshire primary
NASHUA, N.H. (AP) — Playing to huge crowds of wavering voters, Democrats swapped charges of dirty tricks and elitism Monday, closing out the New Hampshire primary on a sour
note before the presidential race goes national.
From coffee shops, truck stops, school gyms and country stores, the candidates took their last dose of small-state retail poli
ticking with a collective grimace, testy and tired after a seesaw week of campaigning.
“It’s close and it’s closing fast,” Howard Dean said, accusing his rivals of smearing him in a shad
owy phone-and-mail campaign. double-digit lead over Dean, a
“I need your help because we former Vermont governor. Sen.
have every intention of winning John Edwards of North Caroli-
the New Hampshire primary.” na, retired Army Gen. Wesley
Most public polls gave fellow Clark and Sen. Joe Lieberman of
New Englander John Kerry a Connecticut were trailing.
NEU gets OK to sell $10M in bonds
United Way just $140,000 shy of campaign’s goal
Kettle Drive nets $32,000 for local Salvation Army
By Dylan Jimtnez
Gift givers remembered the good guys this holiday.
Local United Way and Salvation Army fund-raising campaigns had strong Christmas seasons.
The United Way, which represents 24 local nonprofit organizations, has been trying to raise $525,000 since September 2003.
lite campaign liad raised about half of that goal by the end of November. Now
the agency is only $140,000 away from its annual goal.
“The projections say it looks very positive that we will make our goal,” said Doug Hammerstrom, United Way executive director.
Since a lot of Comal County residents work in San Antonio, money will trickle in from Bexar County businesses over the next couple months. If those last-minute donations come close to last year’s numbers, then the campaign should be O.K., I lammerstrom said.
Either way, the United Way will hold an end-of-campaign celebration, from 5 to 6 p.m. Feb. 26 at Saengerhalle for all those who made donations.
United Way’s payroll deduction pro
gram allows people to give a small amount year round. A lot of people contribute to the annual campaign because they can give to one agency and know the money will be filtered to two dozen organizations throughout the community.
“It’s one contribution, but you can make a lot of difference in a lot of people’s lives," Hammerstrom said. “We just really appreciate the fact that the community allows us to do that.”
United Way raised almost a quarter of its goal after the end of November.
“December is pretty slow for us because we do most of our campaigning
See FUND-RAISING, Page 3A
By Scott Mahon
City council gave New Braunfels Utilities approval Monday night to sell a $10 million utility revenue bond issue.
Proceeds from the bond issue would be used for capital improvements to electric, water and wastewater facilities.
According to NBU officials, $5 million will be used to improve the utility’s electric system, and $5 million will be used for water and sewer improvements.
“It will allow us to make a capital investment in our infrastructure and to do some reinvestment in advance of the city’s street and drainage improvement program,” said Paula DiFonzo, NBU executive director.
Duane Westerman, a financial consultant with SAMCO Capital Markets, said NBU’s bond ratings were among the highest in the state.
“Moody’s rating agency gave NBU an Al rating, and Standard and Poor’s gave an A-plus,” he said. "Only two or three utilities in Texas have a higher rating.”
NBU’s bond underwriters would sell $10,337,595 in revenue bonds.
“The effective yield is 4.37
WHAT'S TNB MONEY FORT
$5 million would be used to expand the city's water and sewer systems.
$5 million would be used to rebuild NBU's transmission line and to build a new substation on Texas 46.
Bonds would be paid off in 25 years.
percent," Westerman said. “The bonds will be paid off in 2029, or 25 years.” Westerman said NBU’s existing bond debt is approximately $379,000.
“The existing debt is left over from the 1996 bond issue,” he said. “And thai will be paid off, or refunded, with cash from the 2004 issue.” DiFonzo said proceeds from the 2004 bond issue will be used to rebuild NBU’s transmission line, build a new sub-station on Texas 46 and rebuild and expand the existing water and sewer systems.
Officials said payment of the bond 2004 debt has already been budgeted.
“Our debt service is budgeted every year, so the bond issue will not increase our customers’ rates,” said Gretchen Reuwer, communications manager. “In fact, electric rates will be going down this year for residential and large commercial customers."
Banking on results
The City of New Braunfels and chamber of commerce are have hopes that a comprehensive study can help pinpoint tail trade weaknesses. We’ll detail the
preliminary findings on Thursday.
REBECCA S. ROQERS/Herald-Zeitung
At the low vision club Monday, seniors learned from a San Antonio firefighter how to react in the event of a fire, or in case they fall and are unable to get up.
Program gives seniors a better vision of challenges of age
By Dylan Jimdnez
Pauline Alexander, 80, is a legally blind New Braunfels resident, but she still gets around. She uses community services to shop, get her hair done and visit the Comal County Senior Center. To be active at her age is a choice.
“Do we sit in the corner and cry, or do we play the hand that was dealt us the best we can?” Alexander asked.
One of the keys to staying active is her involvement in the San Antonio Lighthouse Focus on Seniors program, which helps people who are more than
55 years old and have vision problems.
For more than seven years, she has been traveling to San Antonio to get practical help and information on how to maintain her independence.
The Ixiw-Vision Club is part of the Focus of Seniors program.
In October, the Low-Vision Club expanded to Comal County. Alexander has gotten involved in the meetings.
The Low-Vision Club offers a variety of free training options to help seniors live independently in their own homes, such as independent living skills training, clubs and counseling.
“The adaptive living skills training is
the most popular activity in this program,” said Michelle Withers.
At no cost, Withers or another trainer will visit a senior’s home and give tips on how to make improve or simplify basic living situations.
Low-visioned seniors might have trouble seeing a piece of furniture that is the same color as the carpet, Withers said. A trainer might advise the senior to cover the piece with a contrasting color, she said.
In February an activities group will start. The Low-Vision Club is mostly informational; the activities group is a social time.
In collaboration with Comal County Seniors Center, a Low-Vision Club and Activities Group will meet once a month.
Meetings will be held on the third Monday of every month from 1 to 2 pm.
i For information, look for the brochure at the center, or call Michelle Withers at (800) 362-4335 or (210) 533-5195
* rn* s * *** ^ ? v
Look in tho classified* Tri. & Sun for our pro-owned Specials!
jsoasawaawNiMOMMSNNaawMaMWMaaaNaMBaMMMMMaMMiwwoifMiiiwiMiiistiiaMiiiiiiiiRiwi ii ioiwiiwhiiii
Kettles of green from hearts of givers
REBECCA 8. ROGERS/Herald-Zeitung
Doug Hammerstrom, executive director of the Comal County United Way, polishes up the agency's sign in Landa Park. The agency is closing in on its fund-raising goal of $525,000.