New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 29, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas
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SUNDAY July 29, 2001
48 pages in 5 sections
4g pages in 5 secti<
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Vol. 150 No. 223
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852
“We have not seen the end of Mike Shands.”
— County Judge Danny Scheel
Shands calls it quits after 7 years
K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-ZeitungMike Shands soon will be closing the door on his years as city manager of New Braunfels.
By Ron MaloneyStaff Writer
A former college professor, poetry editor and planning director becomes a former city manager Tuesday afternoon when Mike Shands retires after seven-and-a-half years as chief administrator for the City of New Braunfels.
Between meetings Thursday, Shands cleared his cre-Colleagues comment on Shands’ retirement/1 OA
denza and cleaned his desk — hauling out IO recycling containers of papers he had piled in his office.
Then he took time to talk about where he and New Braunfels have been, where they’re going and how both
will get there.
Shands intends to begin his retirement by “decompressing” from the workload as the head of Comal County’s largest city.
He might need to. Shands is known by his staff for getting on the streets at 6 a.m. to cruise by city projects, monitor progress and keep a finger on the pulse of New Braunfels.
A city sanitation worker,
tossing bags into the back of a compactor truck before most people go to work, is likely to spot Shands as he drives by, looking around.
Shands works through lunch. People who deal with him know early morning, lunchtime or just after 5 p.m. are the best times to catch him by his phone.
If you miss him, he calls See SHANDS/10A
On the Record..............
Key Code 77
Bill would boost spending for farms
By Phiup Brasher AP Farm Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — A farm-program overhaul under consideration in the House would keep money flowing to grain and cotton farmers during the next decade while adding new commodities to the federal dole, including honey, peanuts and wool.
The $168 billion draft bill that the House Agriculture Committee started work on Thursday would boost spending on conservation programs
by $1.6 billion a year, an increase of 75 percent. Much of the extra money would go to cattle and hog producers to pay for controls on manure.
The plan was crafted by the committee’s Republican chairman and top Democrat to maintain support from the grain and cotton growers that traditionally have dominated farm subsidies as well as to appease demands from other farm interests that are demanding a bigger share of federal subsidies.
“We’ll never find a perfect
answer, because there is not one,” said Texas Rep. Charles Stenholm, the committee’s senior Democrat.
Mary Kay Thatcher, a lobbyist for the American Farm Bureau Federation, called the bill a “real good balancing act.”
The committee was expected to approve the bill Friday after debating an amendment that would require foods to be labeled with their country of origin.
Permanent subsidy See FARMS/5A
K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung
The New Braunfels Red All-Star hit the diamond Saturday In the state Little League tournament in Waco. See game results/1 B.
Men of steel
Local company produces forms for construction use worldwide
Fox wants all Mexicans in U.S. to be legalized
By Traci CarlAssociated Press Writer
MEXICO CITY (AP) — President Vicente Fox said Saturday that all Mexicans working in the United States should be legalized in recognition of their contribution to the U.S. economy.
During his weekly radio address, Fox urged President Bush and the U.S. Congress to approve a plan that would grant guest-worker status and eventually legal residency to 3 million illegal Mexicans.
“I hope that with the backing of President Bush and the good will of the Senate and the American Congress, we can soon accomplish this for 3 million or 4 million Mexicans that are there,” he said.
However, the plan would fall short of legalizing all Mexicans living secret lives in the United States — a goal Fox said he and Bush should work toward.
“It isn’t fair to consider them
illegal when they are employed, when they are working productively, when they are generating so much for the American economy,” Fox said. “They shouldn’t have to walk around like criminals or stay hidden.”
Fox’s comments came hours after he inaugurated the opening of a clothing factory in Puebla, 65 miles southeast of Mexico City.
The factory is the project of Jaime Lucero, who migrated from Mexico to New York 40 years ago. Lucero returned to his home country to open the first factory under a government program encouraging the creation of businesses in areas with high poverty and migration levels.
During the ceremony, Juan Hernandez, head of Fox’s Office for Mexicans Abroad, announced that officials were in the process of creating a trade office in New York, similar to one in Santa Ana, Calif.
By Martin Malacara Staff Writer
K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung
Symons Product Manager Chuck Podgurski conducts a tour through the New Braunfels plant as welders work on the concrete forms the company produces.
Most of the earth’s creatures perform some type of construction every day — birds build nests, termites and ants build mounds and humans build bridges.
Insects and birds use what’s at hand, but for Roy Allen, everything else on the planet is made from concrete and steel.
Allen, director of engineering at Symons Steel Form Division in New Braunfels, helped design the framework that helps build many large structures across the world.
The company, located inside Loop 337 across from Goodwin Primary, makes different types of steel form equipment to aid in pouring concrete for the construction of buildings and bridges — most notably, the Interstate 35/Guadalupe River bridge.
The company also is helping build a bridge in China, a power plant in St. Croix and various structures across Latin America.
Closer to home, the company is involved with more road construction projects in Austin and San Antonio.
Chuck Podgurski, project manager for Symons, said the company used about 5.5 million pounds of steel dur
ing the past year for creating its steel forming equipment.
The company, located locally since 1969, employs about 220 employees with about 28 employees working from other national or international locations.
Its parent company, Symons Corporation, celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.
Allen said the steel form industry was never stagnant.
“It’s always different. In 1978, we did a lot of high rise buildings. After eight
years, that phased out and then we did underground tunnels for the mining industry. We then worked on dams for about six to eight years, and then we shifted over to sports arenas.”
Sports arenas, specifically Raven Stadium in Baltimore, have posed a bit of a challenge for Allen.
“One problem is the geometry is not tied down. The difficulty is its all done on the fast track,” he said.
Allen and his engineering staff had to go over every inch of Raven Stadium’s
design without the designer’s help.
“We have to make assumptions and guess right. We have to figure out what they’ve done,” he said.
In the computer-assisted design world of engineering, time plays an important role. CAD makes the job easier, but it works so fast, the engineer has to move on to the next project and cannot afford the luxury of spending more time than necessary on a particular project.See STEEL/5A