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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 10, 1991, New Braunfels, Texas Opinions DAVID SULLENS, Editor and Publisher JANINE GREEN, Managing Editor Page 4A    *    Herald‘ZNtunq, New Braunfels, Texas_Sunday,    March    IO,    1991Harald-Zeltung Published Sunday morning, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons by New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, 707 banda St, or P.O. Drawer 311328, New Braunfels, Texas 78131-1328. Second Class postage paid by New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung at New Braunfele, Texas. DAVID SULLENS Editor and PubHshor JANINE GREEN    LONE'    BEASLEY Managing Editor    Advertising    Director cheryl Duvall Business Manager KAREN REININGER Classified Manager CAROL ANN AVERY Circulation Manager GUS ELBEL Pressroom Foreman Carrier delivery in Comal, Guadalupe, Hays, Blanco and Kendall counties: three months, $10.25; six months, $17.90; one year, $32. Senior Citizens Discount (carrier delivery only): six months, $14.90; one year, $27.00. Mail delivery outside Comal County, in Texas: three months, $18.00; six months, $32; one year, $60. Mail outside Texas: six months, $42; one year, $70. lf you have not received your newspaper by 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, or by 7:30 a.m. Sunday, call 625-9144 or 658-1900 by 7 p.m. and ll a.m., respectively. Postmaster: Send address changes to P.O. Drawer 311328, New Braunfels, Texas 78131-1328. David SullensTeens exhibit warmth, spirit Those who speak ill of today’s young people should have been at New Braunfels High School last Tuesday night. The halls of the high school were cluttered with booths set up by members of the many student organizations at NBHS. Most of the booths were impressive in and of themselves. Let me share some highlights with you. The theater group’s booth and that of the science club both were impressive simply by the volume of their “props.” The machinery in the booth manned by the drama students included a bubble machine and a smoke machine. Asked about the latter, one of the students was quick to grin and demonstrate, flooding that arca of the hall with enough smoke to hide an amphibious landing force (well, almost). And the science club students were playing with everything from electricity to a solution that coated coins with zinc. At the Spanish Club booth, visitors were offered tortilla chips and some of the best guacamole around. The French Club was making crepes. The work of the students at the Advertising Art Club’s booth was of professional quality. The talent exhibited at that booth alone was amazing. Bul what was most impressive in the halls of the high school Tucsday evening was the enthusiasm of those kids — and, indeed, of their teachers. T.J. Bchling perfectly exemplified that as he, as one of the students at the theater group’s booth, enthusiastically and openly greeted anyone and everyone who ventured close to his group's display. There’s no way any normal human being walked anywhere near that booth that night without feeling T.J.’s warmth and friendliness. And there is, therefore, no way anyone passed that way without feeling better for having been there. But T.J. wasn’t unique. That same warmth and enthusiasm could be felt throughout NBHS Tuesday night. The next time someone tries to tell you today’s kids are going to hell in a handbaskei, don’t try to argue with them. Just take them out to NBHS and show them how totally wrong they are. Lamar SmithEnergy Strategy arrives ll is only about IO years late and it’s more than a dollar short. The National Energy Strategy has finally arrived. In the late 1970s, we were held hostage by foreign oil interests and prices at the gas pumps soared. At that lime, Americans began calling for a national strategy on energy. Here it is, more than a decade later, and we are still waiting for a comprehensive plan. While I support some of what is included in the Administration’s National Energy Strategy, it is only a first step. President Bush’s plan calls for opening up new areas for oil and gas exploration, pushes for additional research and development in the oil and gas industry and overhauls some regulations to increase competition in the wholesale market. The Administration’s strategy is designed to reduce U.S. oil consumption by 3.4 million barrels a day by the year 2010 and increase domestic production by 3.8 milion barrels a day by they year, according to the U.D. Department of Energy. lf current trends continue, we will be importing an estimated 65 percent of the oil we consume — continuing to leave us at the mercy of other nations. Should we implement the entire National Energy Strategy, oil imports are expected to drop to 40 percent of the total oil consumed. Utilities more expensive elsewhere I’ve just come to New Braunfels from the Houston area. That’s a welcome move for many reasons. The greatest of those reasons is that the people in New Braunfels are real and warm and caring. Where I lived in Houston, folks don’t know their next door neighbors. And they could care less how you and your family were getting along. But Comal County is a good place to be for many other reasons, too. Quite a few of them have to do with money. Just in case you've been here a while and have forgotten exactly how lucky you are, let me remind you. If business associates came to see me around lunchtime where I was before moving to New Braunfels, it was a given that we were going to drop $20-25 apiece having lunch somewhere. New Braunfels has many good restaurants, restaurants with atmosphere quite the equal of any where I came from. As I took the San Antonio correspondent for the Associated Press to lunch one day last week, it suddenly dawned on me that we’d eaten for about half — perhaps less — than it would have cost to have had lunch in the Houston area at a comparable restaurant. As everyone knows, auto insurance is significantly less expensive here. And utility bills are significantly lower. Just as an example, take a look at what you’re paying for electricity. In Houston, I was paying Houston Lighting & Power 8.4 cents per kilowatt hour. Here we pay about 5.65 cents. That means that, if you live in an 1800-2,000 square foot house and are an average user of electricity, you pay about $60 per month less in New Braunfels than you would in Houston. (Most families who live in homes that size use about 2,000 kilowatt hours per month.) I found that an interesting comparison (since it means about $720 a year to my family) so I decided to compare further. I found that electricity is cheaper just about everyplace in Texas than it is in Houston. But I also found that it is more expensive just about everyplace in Texas than it is in New Braunfels. (There is one exception. It is cheaper in Fredricksburg.) Folks in the City of Austin paid 6.435 cents a kilowatt hour in January for their electricity. Customers of Texas Utilities, which serves most of Northeast Texas, including the Dallas area, paid 6.932 cents. If you lived in the Central Power & Light service area, you’d have paid 7.93 cents per kwh in January. Gulf States Utilities would have charged you 8.424 cents and West Texas Utilities 7.842 cents. I did find one place where electricity is more expensive than it is in Houston. El Paso Electric Co. customers pay 8.773 cents per kwh. Think about that. If you lived in El Paso and used 2,000 kwh in a month, you’d get a bill for $175.40.Forum But we need to go farther in our trek toward true independence from foreign oil. The National Energy Strategy offered little support to the independent oil producer who accounts for 41 percent of our domestic production in the lower 48 states. The Administration claimed with its National Energy Strategy that it was committed to developing new technologies to recover oil left behind by conventional oil production methods. This I support wholeheartedly. At the same time, however, the president’s budget cut research and development for fossil fuels in half. The opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Outer Continental Shelf, though needed, does not address the need to rely more on the production capability of the lower 48 states. Also omitted from the strategy were tax incentives to encourage domestic exploration and production of oil and natural gas. Over the years, statistics have shown our reliance on foreign oil has increased as our production here at home has fallen. Less than half of our energy needs are satisfied by domestic oil. To cut research and development funds now is misguided. It is imperative that we expand exploration and increase production of domestic energy.28 successful ’Shadows* Editor: Tucday, Feb. 19, 28 students from my Career Investigation program at Canyon Middle School participated in the Chamber of Commerce’s “Shadow Program.” It was such a tremendous success for them, I want to thank all of those involved. To the Chamber of Commerce: Tony Mud-ford. Bonnie Tetrault, Beverly Giacoletli and their staff — the chamber should be congratulated on the successful planning and coordination of the project. Your involvement in the education of our children is a WONDERFUL way to give something back to our community. The students who participated are the next bankers, managers, lawyers, judges, sales personnel, millworkers, city employees, etc., of New Braunfels and it is important for them to see the opportunities for a variety of occupations — right here at home. To the participating businesses: I sent you 28 scared adolescents who were unsure of what to say to you, what to ask about your company and what exactly WAS your company. You sent back 28 young men and women who were tremendously enhanced by what they saw. Their enthusiasm has been ignited and those around them are encouraged by the opportunities that await them when they get to participate in a “Shadow Program." Your time and thoughtfulness has done a great deal more than you realize — in some cases altering the course of their high school career. To New Braunfels Middle School: As hosts of our Shadow Program Breakfast, you were our first contact with our Shadow sponsor. Your students and staff were most gracious when they welcomed us and the breakfast served was a great way to start our morning. The setup was a wonderful idea to allow the students to find their mentor. We look forward to having you as our guests next year. Margi Handrick Canyon Middle SchoolPresent citizens’ view Editor: On Feb. 6., Gov. Ann Richards announced a request for a two-year moratorium on toxic waste burning. She said, “No more will hazardous waste facilities be rammed through the permit process over the objections of local communities. No more will they be located near schools or residential areas or water supplies.” Richards is addressing the concerns of New Braunfels' citizens through proactive government. I have waited patiently forLetter policy The Herald-Zeitung welcomes correspondence concerning topics of general interest. All letters must be signed and include an address and telephone number for verification purposes — only the name and community of residence will accompany the letter in print. No anonymous letters will be accepted. Length is limited to 300 words and letter-writers to acceptance for publication only once per month. The newspaper reserves the right to refuse any letter as well as edit all letters. The letters become the property of the Herald-Zeitung. Letters should be sent to Forum, New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, P.O. Drawer 311328, New Braunfels, Texas 78131-1328, or brought to our offices at 707 Landa. In New Braunfels, your bill for that same amount of electricity is $112.94. “This is kind of a neat trick,” I told NBU's Bob Sohn. “How do you do that? And do you pull rabbits out of the hat on weekends?” Sohn attributed the difference to the fact that “we tend to our business.” The difference, he said, lies in a combination of many factors: good maintenance of the system (it is far less expensive, he said, to keep something in good shape than it is to fix it after it breaks, especially if it breaks at night or on the weekend); tight control of investments (“Every nickel we take in this morning will be invested by noon,” he said); NBU only pays 3 percent to the city in lieu of taxes where San Antonio and Austin, for example, build 14 percent into their rates to be paid to the cities they serve. “We just run a pretty tight ship,” Sohn said. NBU has, he told me, 17,000 electric customers, 10,000 water customers and 9,000 sewer customers. The utility employs 175 people. I’m generally pretty cynical, but, in light of those numbers — and having just compared the electric rates where I came from to those here — I decided he's right. He does, indeed, run a pretty tight ship. I, for one, appreciate that. To the tune of about $720 a year. Heck, that’s almost enough money to keep my beagle fed for 12 months. Thanks, Bob. Charlie — the beagle — appreciates what you're doing. David Sullen* ii editor and publisher of the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung.Emotions our mayor or county judge to move on this opportunity and represent the citizen’s view as expressed in our recent election. Since this announcement the mayor has said nothing and the county judge is busy addressing stray animal control and smoking at the county courthouse. While moderately important they pale in comparison to the protection of our homes and children. Opportunity knocks only once. Soon we will begin to wonder who our elected oficials at the local level are representing. Join the governor and represent us. In the meantime, Lafarge is lobbying at the Texas Legislature with their paid lobbyist. They are going to buy the best study to support their position. From their perspective money is important and the community is secondary. They arc embarrassed to talk about the profit projections from waste burning and executive bonus incentives attached to waste burning. KMOL News in San Antonio asked Capitol Cement if they planned to bum toxic waste. They said as a “good neighbor” they would not engage in this activity. Contrast this position with Lafarge. It is pretty telling of motives and company philosophy. The governor’s office represents a low-cost option our local leaders must use. In closing, are good neighbor policies from our corporate community and positive initiatives from our local elected leaders to much to ask for? Jim Holster New Braunfels By JOHN I WALKER, M.D. We live in a predictable world. And we like it that way. Consider the time and energy poured into insurance, estate planning, home and auto maintenance and preventive medicine. We’d like to believe if we were careful enough that nothing would ever go wrong in our lives. Robert Lauer, lecturer and author of Watersheds: Mastering Life's Unpredictable Crises tells us that crises are a certainty of life — like death and taxes. It is individual responses that make the difference. When something seriously unpleasant happens to some people they just stop growing. Afraid of more pain they avoid active participation in life and settle for a constricted, often bitter existence. Researchers at the University of Michigan reported that between 20 and 40 percent of peopler don’t fully recover from a crisis in spite of the promise of time’s ability to heal. Of the remainder, most find a suitable way to cope with their physical, financial and emotional setbacks and eventually get on with their lives. Then there are some people who find ways to master crises and use them as springboards for growth. Dr. Lauer, after studying this most desirable response, offers the following suggestions for dealing with the unpredictable — but certain — crises of life. • Take responsibility for yourself. Bad things happen — we lose our parents, our spouses and sometimes our children. Marriages fail, fortunes fluctuate, accidents happen. Don’t allow yourself to feel like a victim or to blame others — or God — for your misery. When you take responsibility for your life you see whatever happens as simply something that you must deal with. • Affirm you own worth. You must believe that you are a valuable person in order to recognize the benefits of a crisis situation. This can be particularly difficult when a crisis assaults your self-esteem. The loss of a job or a disabling illness, for example, can make one feel very vulnerable. At times like this it helps to recognize that you are a victim of a common human experience. “What do I stand to learn in this situation?” is a valuable question to ask yourself. Your worth as a person cannot be removed by any crisis as long as you are capable of reacting and restructuring your life within a new framework. • Balance self-concern with other-concem. Affirming you own worth involves being concerned with yourself and your own well-being. But beware of drowning in your own concerns, for growth requires sensitivity to the needs of others. • Learn the art of reframing. Dr. Lauer tells the story of a man who wrote the department of agriculture for help on removing crabgrass from his yard. When none of the suggestions he received worked, he wrote again. This time he got a shorter reply: “We suggest you learn to love it.” Reframing doesn’t mean denying your feelings about something, but it does mean that you can choose to sec something in a different perspective. • Persevere within reason. Perseverance means continuing to work at something when you’re discouraged and want to stop. The history of human achievement is full of stories of people who accomplished what was considered impossible because they persevered. To persevere within reason is to continue as long as you can see even the slightest bit of progress. Now, if you are dedicated to the principle of perseverance sometimes it’s hard to know when to stop. Dr. Lauer suggests if you are making absolutely no progress, life is probably telling you to try something else. Change is universal. There is no way to avoid life’s unpredictable crises or the pain that accompanies them. No matter how hard you try you can’t control some of the things that will happen to you. What you can control is the way you respond. To see a crisis as a threat is to limit yourself. To see a crisis as a further opportunity for growth is to engage life actively. Dr. Jota I. Walker aialaUkii a payckUtric claik; ■ New Braccia I I ;