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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung Newspaper Archives

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 8, 1987, New Braunfels, Texas Opinions DAVE KRAMER, Editor and Publisher JIM WEBRE, Managing Editor Page 4    Hera\6-Zeiturig    New    Braunfels.    Texas      Wednesday    July    8    1^8. Editorial A simple solution for having what we want A group calling itself the Texas Conservative Coalition has released what it calls a “responsible approach” to trimming the state budget. They say that 51 percent of Texas’ citizens want the budget balanced by cutting spending alone. “Some liberal members of the Texas Legislature, however, don't seem to care,” says coalition’s press release. Here are a few of the suggestions of the coalition that some liberal and not so liberal Texans will want to think about. The coalition proposes: — Freezing career ladder allotment at 1987 levels for teachers. — Eliminate state funding for pre-kindergarten programs and provide half-day funding for kindergarten; eliminate full-day kindergarten portion or merely suspend payments through the biennium. — Reduce enrollment and per student funding at state-supported medical and dental schools. — Elinunate the Texas A&M University medical program. — Transfer mental health and mental retardation screening and counseling programs to private funding sources. — Reduce Texas Department of Aging grants. — Delete insurance coverage for temporary state employees. There are other proposals by the conservative coalition that involve the sale of state lands, capturing capital gains from the Permanent School and University Funds and a variety of cuts in services offered through Texas Department of Human Services and transfer of funding for a variety of human service programs to private or local sources. If these and similar proposals ever come to fruition, citizens at the county and municipal level will have to decide, for example, whether to pay for pre-school centers, senior citizen centers and services, etc., out of local donations, fees, surcharges or local property or sales tax revenues. The state cannot continue paying as much for education, for example, for largely the same reason New Braunfels doesn’t have enough property tax revenue to afford things like fireworks displays and mosquito abatement — there is not enough money. But, as those rallying in Austin this week seem to say, we can afford a lot of things. Ail we have to do is pay for it. Forum LETTER POLICY The Herald Zeitung welcomes correspondence All letters should tx* sign ed and include an address or telephone number The newspaper reserves the right to edit letters should t>e sent to Forum. .New Braunfels Herald Zeilung PO Drawer 111 528. New Braunfels Texas 78131-1.128. or brought to our offices at 707 Landa Flashy fireworks To the editor: I have been a resident of New Braunfels since 1978 and have attended ever) fireworks display in the park on the Fourth This year’s display is the best I have ever seen. In the years past. I have been thoroughly disappointed each >ear, bat I continued going hoping each year would be better If it takes all of Hie residents in Comal County to donate money to get the BEST, then I will contribute each and every year. Thanks again for a beautiful and sate Fourth Smce'ety. Judy Ewing Look also at educational dollar To the editor: In reference to your editorial of Wednesday. July I: To attempt to arouse public sentiment against a pay increase for public school employees on the premise that they make more than the average New Braunfels citizen is hitting below the belt. First of all, many citizens of New Braunfels are retired Secondly, Your Representatives U S Son Phil Gramm United States Senate 370 Russell Senate Bldg Wa .hmgton D C 20510 Gov Bm Clements Governor s Office State Capitol Austin Texas 78711 U S Rep Mac Sweeney (Guadalupe County) United States House of Representatives 1713 Long worth House Office Bldg Washington DC 20615 state Sen. Judith Zattirmi Capitol Station P O Box 12068 Honalo Reagan    Austin.    Texas    78711 President of the United States The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Washington D C 20500 many who live in upper income neighborhoods such as Oak Hun, River Oaks. Guada Coma Estates. etc . must be making more than $2J.OOO to $35,000 to afford these homes Thirdly, and most important. the average citizens of New Braunfels do not possess the masters degrees and doctoral degrees that are required of school administrators i and which mans teachers also possess» Educators are upstanding citizens who pay taxes, have children in their schools, are involved rn PT A. Scouts, religious and civic organizations It would seem that a newspaper which attempts to serve the entire city of New Braunfels as well as the whole of Comal County would not attempt to divide its citizens. If you want to publish some useful information, then instead of printing administrators' salaries and positions as well as their names i publish the figures for the instructional budgets of the two school districts. These figures will show how much of the educational dollar is being spent on our children’s learning Very truly yours, Maurice Kcnserman No, governor, they say they voted FOR you.” S    v 6"1 „^e' Vi',' °cr//, 6V >Me N....... .I The insurance information maze One of the most frustrating jobs known to man is trying to get information out of an insurant« company Insurance companies are faced with so many people trying to cheat them that you have to be a little sympathetic to their efforts t protect themselves But. boc. do they protect themselves! And let’s face it, insurance companies have us where the\ want us Six weeks ago I had surger* to correct a hernia Before undergoing surgery. I went to an internist w ho gave me a very thorough examination You don’t shop around trying to find the cheapest doctors when you’re having work don* on a body you can’t turn in for ,i new one Both the internist and the surgeon ar* the very u*st kind of representatives uf the medical profession They are not tmh medically expert but socially aware It gives me a lot of con fidence in both of them that the> ar** each other s doctor The charge for the medical examination, including all the tests that went with it. wa> $ 14 I paid Hie doctor by check and sent in the Prudential Insurance Co forms for reim bursernent In two week-. Prudential sent me my check for 111 20 Your family deductible, the fotni said, is now satisfied ” Well DK, but obviously Prudential w,t> rn i* satisfied than I was Guest Column The surgeon’s charge for the operation, a hernia with minor complications, was $1,550 It did not seem out of line to me for an outstanding surgeon in an expensive part of the country I paid the surgeon and this time the Prudential check came w ith a semi-form letter It -aid Your group plan provides only for reimbursement of usual and prevailing fees In determining a usual and prevailing fee, we refer to statistical profiles •>( physi* ans charges for the same or similar services in tile area The check from Prudential for the surgeon -fe* was for $840 They pay 80 perc ent of the fie lr** they assign to the operation $1 050 I de* ided to try to find out more about the billing I talked to three people at Prudential, then to an adnunistrator at the hospital, a Blue Shield executive, two people at the State Com mission on Hospitals and Health Care and four doctors, not including either or mine l h** dtx tors said $1,5jo was a norma* charg* The Prudential people were polite but evasive In answer to my question. How do you determine usual and prevailing,’ ” they hedged It depends, we tmve different ways We divide the country into 2a2 areas and d< it Uiat way \ ..    W    NI    ■ whose name was at the bottom of th** letter finally said. Gosh, I probably shouldn t tx** talking to you about this ,*t all ll** must have he s rate thought he ti given me some informal; that s the last thing an insurance «>n:p one of its employees to do W pen I complained I another al.- it only $840 ba* k on tile I! a50 bi!: I (>a. I We update cjr usual and pr< vailing every quarter You probably just miss* update My employer provides the •■sun** • so I spoke to the company expert and . biggest surprise of all Prudential, he said. dorsn t really ms My company pays the medt> al bills M. Prudentiai dt*es is the book work f* r af employer pay s Prudential a tx ut $56 for eat h employee but it s tmiv a b»«>kk figure Actually, he said my employer that amount in a bank account out of vt medical costs are {laid It must be a col practice but I d never heard of it and u prised to find my company in business insurance company Obviously my t * in doesn t mind when Prudential keeps p. down The w hole episode wasit I even a total U got my fierma fixed and I fee! a lot batter though I never found out how th* n.-ur.i!. . company decided I ti only get Un k half w paid out. I learned some tiling That s about as go**! as you can ex(*** : t> [pl .ll a moi wpm. dept- Witt Of Charles Kurault and small town America State Sen William Sims Capitol Station P O Box 12068 Austin Texas 78711 U S Sen Lloyd Bentsen United States Senate 703 Hart Senate Bldg Washington D C 20510 U S Rep Lamar Smith United States House of Representatives 509 Cannon House Washington D C 20515 State Rep Edmund Kuempe! Texas House of Representatives P O Box 2910 Austin Texas 78769 By BOB KRUEGER A few weeks ago CBS Television gave an hour-long retrospect on correspondent Charles Kurault’s “On the Hoad’’ programs A paean to sinall-town America, it celebrated tile simple values and pleasures to be enjoy ed in places where the word “community" still has its root meaning, and where the flash of electronic media is balanced by the gentle rhythms of life lived near the soil and near one s neighbors I reflected on that program y esterday as I parked in front of Naegelin’s Bakery, located for the past century by the main plaza in my hometown of New Braunfels Its sign, ‘ IOO Years of Service,” conveys a simple truth that reminded me of a daily routine in my boyhood At noon, my sister and I walked from school to my father’ business, from where the three of us drove home for lunch. On the way, Dad always stopped across from the bakery , bolted from the car, and strode across the street. If Mrs. Naegelin saw him coming, she would meet him at the door to hand him a fresh loaf of bread, with occasionally a few cookies for the children, before we proceeded home for our noon meal. In those days she and Mr. Naegelin lived over the bakery , and rose at 3:00 a rn to begin their day. Their only son assisted in the baking and delivery, but being a small family efideavor, the Naegeiins could only bake enough for their regular customers. Thus, if you were a stranger to the town, or to Mrs. Naegelin, and entered the store, chances were you’d be quizzed extensively by this sharp-minded, sharp-tongued woman in her seventies before she decided whether or not to sell you a loaf of German pumpernickel or French white. “Well, who told you to come here to buy bread, then9” I’ve heard her ask After all, she had to keep enough on hand for the customers who had relied on her for years They trusted her. and she trusted them-in many ways Once a year, before Christmas, she gave Dad a bill for the entire year's purchases She claimed she liked to do that since she used the money to buy her Christmas gifts But I suspect she real}) did it to save time for my father, a businessman in a hurry She was more thoughtful than she let people know With thoughts of Kurault and Naegelin in my head. I drove home to find a message from Mr Kraft on my recorder I liad called him two days earlier when a window air conditioner went out, because we had always called Mr Kraft with such problems. Now in semi-retirement, he had nevertheless come the same day to remove and check it The message now was that it could be repaired; I wouldn’t have to buy a new one Our family had trusted Mr Kraft for 30 years if he said it could be fixed, he'd fix it; if he said it needed replacement, it did With Mr Kraft, as with the Schuberts who au* putting new wallpaper in our bedroom, there is no need to ask the price in advance Harvey Schubert and his son are repapering the same room that his father had papered for my parents when they lived here The Schuberts and Mr Kraft would no more overcharge us today than Mrs. Naegelin would have overcharged my father on the yearly bread account. And I would no more need to oversee their work than to watch the Naegeiins bake bread. They respect their craft and their customers; their pride is in their work, their community, and their relationship to it And it’s the same with Mrs. Ott. One of my wife’s happiest phone calls tius year was when Mrs. Ott celled to say that she could add Kathleen to the group of people for whom she ironed The rules are simple: “If I’m not here, just come in the kitchen I .eave the clothes to be ironed, and pick up your clothes from last week You’ll find them hanging in the back room ” The ironing, of course, is faultless. It all seems so simple on the surfa> ** Just come in the kitchen if I'm not then just pay th* tiakery bill once a year just leave it to Mr Kraft or Mr Schubert to lo the repairs r* *' What makes it different from s<> many I ar day-to-day business dealings is that a t> rid f simple trust exists, often it has * Kist* «j regenerations My work sends me to Vt ohing:    O, *- Houston, and San Antonio regularly I would not want to see Amenia without the vigor and energy of their business, legal, political, and academic lives one senses that important tfungs are happening there, and that being involved, one s life there can make a difference for many people But I would equally be reluctant to m*c America lose what the Naegeiins, Schub* to Otis, and Krafts offer in New Braunfels ro t just their craftsmanship oand pride in their work, but more important, that their craftsmanship is conveyed in an atmosphere of mutual trust One is not just ‘ doing business but exchanging values The reason, of course, that one can trust them to charge fairly, arid to perform excellently. without either written contracts or advance price agreements, is because one intuitively knows, and has found by long experience, that they would never cheat since they value some dungs more than money Their pride is as much in their work as in what they are paid for it, and is more in who they are and how they live with their neighbors than in their dollars One can’t put a definite monetary value on what it means to live in a community with people like that, because their lives renund us that living well in a real “community” has nonmonetary values Charles Kurault was right when he said that our small towns are just as important as our major cities to the greatness of America, and to creating an environment that makes life well worth living ;