New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 7, 1983, New Braunfels, Texas
PEC hammers out rate hike plan
By SANORAJACKSON Staff writer
Although still not formally ratified, a permanent rate increase for customers of the Pedemales Electric Cooperative has been agreed upon by all parties concerned.
Asking for an increase of $10.3 million per year, PEC representatives went into settlement con-ference Friday with staff members from the Public Utilities Commission, who had recommended the increase be held to $9.45 million. However, in the end, PEC came out of negotiations with a $9.1. million annual increase in base rates.
“Although all of the interveners have agreed upon the rate, the increase still has to be ratified by the five city councils,” said Bill Cunningham, spokesman for the cooperative. The five cities involved in the negotiations are Leander, San Leanna, Granite Shoals, Marble Falls and Lakeway.
The rate hikes will mean higher bills for the Canyon Lake area, which the PEC serves.
"This increase ought to carry us for the next two to four years,” Cunningham said, explaining that the rate hike was needed to cover additional operating expenses for the utility company.
The PEC won a bid for an interim rate request June 24 after taking its case to state district court,
where Judge Charles Matthew granted a temporary restraining order allowing the cooperative to implement its interim rate hike. The utilities commission had denied that request April I.
The temporary rate increase was the result of a PUC ruling last year that the utility company could no longer pass on the Lower Colorado River Authority's excess energy charge to its customers. Because the PUC only has jurisdiction outside city limits, this rate structure caused different rates for PEC members who do not live in the 13 cities within the PEC service area.
See PEC, Page 19AToday's Weather
It will be partly dandy thrash Friday, and fair and pfld knight There is a 9 pence* chance af ttandenbowtrs today. Winds will be Cram the aas! Baar Id mph today, Ugbt and variable tonight, and Cram the soathsast at lbli mph Friday* Sunset will be at S.34 p»m., ■arise Friday will beaters? ba.
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CROSSWORD ....DEAR ABRY............
Haw Braunfels, Texas
Vol. 92 - No. 134
OC O Qnrtinnc
THURSDAY July 7,1983 25 coms
18 Pages — 2 Sections
Voting drive targets West End citizens
By DYANNEFRY Staff writer
West End voting strength increased by approximately 500 last month, thanks to a strong grassroots effort in the Mexican American population.
Two residents of this largely-Hispamc neighborhood were deputized by County Tax .Assessor Glona German early rn June This gave them the authority to sign up eligible voters on the spot, wherever they found them.
‘We finished that campaign last Saturday," said Ezequiel "Cheque" Torres, who has often served as a spokesman for New Braunfels Hispanic residents "In a month, working mostly an Saturdays, we registered over 500 people."
Debbie Wagner, a clerk at the county tax office, confirmed his figure. The deputies brought in some 350 names between June I and June 30. she said Last Fnday and Tuesday, they came in with approximately 150 more Some, she said. were registered already, but there were a lot of new names on the lists.
Torres said the last push came Saturday night at Western Palms dance hall We hadn't planned it. we were just going to get together over there." be said. "But we started asking people who came in if they were registered to vote We signed up 28 people right there at the dance "
The next challenge, he said. will be getting those people out to vole in the Qty Council election on Aug 13
West End residents will have their first opportunity to elect a neighborhood representative this year, as New Braunfels' new district election plan
goes into effect.
If the U.S. Department of Justice approves the plan 'which hasn't happened yeti. districts I and 2 will be ( housing their representatives next month District I includes the West End. and has a Mexican American majority. District 2 encompasses the downtown area
If the Justice Department doesn't approve the plan, New Braunfels may not have an election at all. But the city is going ahead with preparations.
" Many of our people do not feel very free to go and vote, because of the bad experiences we have had rn the past with some of the election judges." Torres said Thursday morning. Some have been embarrassed at the polls, because they didn't know how to vote, or needed assistance.
“We will have a precinct down here on the West End That will be an advantage,” Torres added
And we’re going to push hard to get Mexican Americans as election judges lf we don't, we're going to call the justice department right then and there."
Residents of District I will vote at Holy Family church In past years. West End residents have had to travel downtown to the United Methodist Church
Qty Secretary Veronica Sark on has already appointed Pat Hernandez as judge for the new box. It will be up to Hernandez, she said, to line up the other
Espinoza files for council
With five days left to file. New Braunfels now has two candidates running in the Aug 13 City Council election
Jose Valdemar Espinoza put his name in for District I council member Thursday morning, lf elected, he will be the first Mexican American in several years to sit on the council, representing the Hispanic majority on the town's so-called West End"
As of today, both Espinoza and the District 2 candidate, Gerald Schaefer, are running unopposed Under the city's new election plan, which is still under review at the U.S. Department ol Justice, voters in those two districts elect their neighborhood representatives next month
The 1994 election, to be held on the first Saturday in April, will be for three at-large council members, elected by the entire citizenry Districts 3 and 4 will
elect their representatives in 1985. at which point the re-structuring of the city council will be complete,
At present, all seven council members are elected at large b> the enure city Espinoza, a 49-year-old insurance agent, is one of the group which put pressure on the council to change that system, claiming that it discriminates against minority voters
Espinoza is not new to local politics On April 3, hr was defeated in a three-way race for a seat on the New Braunfels Independent School District Board of Trustees Rud> Reinter, incumbent board president, got 1.023 votes in that race David Cook got 441, and Espinoza came in last with 397 Schaefer, an incumbent council member presenUy serving as Mayor Pro Tem. will be seeking his third term.
-OYANNE FRYOfficials say court's ruling won't affect Death Row—yet
AUSTIN (AP) - A US. Supreme Court ruling cleared the way for quicker handling of death row inmates’ appeals, but no one involved in the process is predicting a sudden parade to the Texas death chamber.
Texas Attorney General Jim Mattox said the Wednesday ruling "removes one more roadblock” to execuUons, and provides a "new tool" for prosecutors. However, the state’s top law enforcement officer foresees no "major leap forward" In executions.
The decision could mean the death af Thomas Barefoot within 45 days, according to a Bell County prosecutor. Barefoot’! case was chosen by the high court as a test case on the handling of death row appeals, which can postpone execution dates far years.
None of the 172 people under death sentences in Texas have execution dates, according to Texas Department of Corrections spokesman Rick Hartley'. But Bell County District Attorney Cappy Eads said he’ll move swiftly to get Barefoot back to Bolton to have a death date sot.
That date probably will be within 45 days, ho
'We’ve waited years," said tbs prosecutor. Barefoot had been sentenced to die for the Aim* 7, UTI, shooting death of police officer Carl Levin, II, who had boon investigating a Bro at a night dub In tbs town of Harbor ■sights, asor tho central Taxes city of Killona.
The Supreme Court stayed the execution 12 hours before Barefoot was scheduled to die Jan. 25, deciding to use the case to look at the handling of emergency appeals The court ruled death row inmates are not entitled to stays of executions in all cases in which appeals are pending If a federal court does not determine the appeal raises good points, the execution can be earned put on schedule, the 94 decision said "Ifs obvious they are not going to be able to speed (the number of executions) tremendously,” said Mattox John Duncan, director of the Texas Gvil Liberties Union, initially predicted the ruling would mean a major speed-up in executions, but later said it would only result in "some expediting" of death case appeals A hurried-up process means leas chances of reversal of death sentences, he said.
"If a court spends a year considering whether (defendants) live or die, they would live,” he said. "If they are going to spend leas than 30 days, they will die.”
Mattox and Gov. Malt White praised the Supreme Court decision. In separate statements, both officials said, "Justice delayed is Justice denied.”
"Wa areel the opinion that this case will give the attorneys general around the United States a new tool In which to attempt to expedite these Mid Mattox.
Making the push
Salvadoran army trying to take key province
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) -Army troops are pouring into a key agricultural province in eastern El Salvador in the second phase of a pacification and reconstruction" campaign to drive leftist rebels from the region.
New troops arrived Wednesday in Usulutan province to reinforce 2,000 soldiers fighting guerrillas who have been blocking traffic on major highways and waging a campaign of economic sabotage in the area Army officers said the combined force pushed insurgents north of a strategic highway.
"We have taken control of a very large area The enemy has suffered some, and
many have fled north, " Lt. Col. Napoleon Hermon Ca ll to, commander of the Untrained Atonal battalion, said in interview at the army base in El Castano, about 55 miles east af the capital
They persist in try ing to reoc cupy the area, but we will not permit them to do so, not this year or the next We are going to stay here forever," Cabio said.
He said at least 13 government troops and four guerrillas were wounded ut fighting during the previous 24 hours The escalation of the drive in Usulutan — one of the country’s most productive farming regions — came as special UJS Central American envoy Richard Stone planned to travel to El Salvador today A diplomatic source said Stone will try to
initiate talks between the government and rebels and encourage leftist participation in elections tentatively scheduled for late this year
The drive in Usulutan is the second phase of a military -civil action program planned by U.5 and Salvadoran officials to rid San Vicente and Usulutan provinces of guerrillas who have been fighting for 44 months to overthrow the rightist Unbacked government
Under the program, the government provides economic aid to help local inhabitants rebuild war-shattered communities once the areas are cleared af insurgents
See SALVADOR, Raft HA
Suspect arrested in lake-area burglary
A Lufkin man apparently made himself feel right st home at a Canyon Lake Shores residence last Saturday. Only problem was it wasn’t his house.
Charles M. Hicks, 17, was arrested for burglary af • habitation at Gary Corps Center by Comal County Sheriff’s Detective Rudy Rubio. Hicks was released Wednesday afternoon on a $2,500 bond, set by Peace Justice Precinct 3, Fred Stewart
The home in the Potter’s Creek area belonged to Tim Teenier of Star Route 2,
Box 33$. Rubio said the suspect broke lido the house, fixed himself a steak, drank about four beers, watched television for a while, and decided to take the stereo with him.”
The stereo unit — one of thoee with "everything but the kitchen sink in it,” Rubio said — was the only item taken from the house. "It hasn’t been returned to the owner yet, but it has been recovered," the detective added
Law enforcement officers are also on the
lookout for three white males, wha allegedly abducted a Houston teenager MV River Road Sunday, July 3, and raped her. "They pulled up beside her in a van an River Road, and took her to sn unknown location about 3:30 or 4 p.m. Sunday,” Rubio said. "Then, believe it or not, they brought her back to River Rend aal dumped her sometime before dark.” Officers have a description of the van and the three aspects from the victlM, Rubio said.Generating real interestOld mill generators may save money—Sohn
By DEBBIE DeLOACH Staff writer
Utilities Manager Bob Sohn is a true utility man. He thinks five to ten years ahead of the game, and reactivating the existing generators at WestPoint Pepperell is a prime example.
"A utility person has to be thinking five to ten years ahead, because by the time he or she decides there’s a need, it’s too late," Sohn said. "The project has got to be on line by then."
In following that mode of thinking, Sohn is "quite enthused about the WestPoint Pepperell generators.” And his board of trustees have supported a pre-feasibility study on the project, under the direction of Daverman Associates of Austin.
"About a year or so ago, someone asked me if I knew about the existing generators at WestPoint Pepperell. I had seen the powerhouse and the dam, so I knew there was something back there," Sohn said. "In the meantime. Pepperell had contacted Daverman for its own pre-feasibility ideas, but decided not to get into the utility business. ”
Sohn and trustees Amo Becker and Edgar Sahm toured the facility, along with Pepperell* Bob Fisher. "The generators were totally intact, down to the spider webs, and even the field reo-stats, which adjust the voltage to the rotor of the generator," Sohn said.
The WestPoint Pepperell units are very similar to the operating Lands Park facility. Both are pre-1935 construction, which means "they are fairly maintenance-free, very simple, and operate at mid-range efficiency with the existing equipment," Sohn said.
The lands Park facility was renovated during the Richard Sledge regime (prior to Sohn’a management). "In that case. the decision was made to refurbish what was there,’’ Sohn said, "and don’t get me wrong. Whatever was done was done right."
However, the pre-feasibility study on WestPoint Pepperell will give Sohn more of an alternative.
There’s no doubt we could go in there, and renovate, and put the units back un line without much expense. But it’s also possible, with the existing water head there, to employ new higb-efficiency turbine generators," Sohn said. "What we have to determine is whether the energy difference is worth the additional expense."
Sohn said the Lands Park generator provides Utilities with a net savings of $15,000 to $20,000 a month. "We call that displaced cost. Now what’s $15,000, compared to a $35 million budget?," Sohn
See UTILITIES, Page MA
A reflection on me s** .aw* s~>«*
The famous, woe Id-renowned Landa Park ducks do more than just swim around all day or surround picnickers looking for handouts. Sometimes they stand around and allow their public to admire them, which sometimes creates an optical illusion in the process, as this mallard demonstrates