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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 28, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas Inside Gridiron roundup JIB Wurst Bowl bragging rights on the line in District 27-4A action/1 B Smithson Valley, Tivy play for first place/1 B A -wSM ■PF Cjg*!, L j£fjpa& No library tall enough Lockhart librarian reaches great heights to raise funds JENNIFER RODRIGUEZ/Herald-Zeitung Librarian Rose Meta Laurell eagerly tore down the tent she spent more than 150 hours in during a fund-raiser on the rooftop of Lockhart’s 100-year-old library. Vol. 149, No. 263    18    pages    in K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung Wesley Meyer takes a group of firefighters into a local canyon for vertical rescue training. Trainees come from all over the world to participate in Meyer’s classes. Meyer turns in fire badge, dons rescue trainer hat BY K. JESSIE SLATEN Staff Writer During the flood of 1998, Wesley Meyer was doing what he normally would in such weather. He was checking low water crossings for motorists in trouble. A retired battalion chief from the New Braunfels Fire Department, Meyer said he does that any time hard rains threaten New Braunfels. “I like helping people, and I know people are going to get into situations like that,” he said. When the flood waters hit New Braunfels, NBFD called Meyer to help with a rescue operation in the Sleepy FIollow area. Meyer and NBFD’s Lee Lane rescued a tourist from the Guadalupe River who was unable to grab lifelines. In the water just above Common Street Bridge, Meyer maneuvered his watercraft to the stranded tourist, grabbed the man by the shoulder and dragged him back to shore. After that, it was off to Euling Street to help firefighters rescue stranded motorists. It was all in a day’s work for a man who has worked in rescue operations since age 12. His father and police-officer mother worked in Galveston as volunteers, “picking boating accident survivors out of the water.” These days, Meyer operates his own business, teaching other professionals and sports enthusiasts how to survive Mother Nature’s dangers. Specializing in wilderness environment rescues, Meyer conducts most of his rescue training classes in the New* Braunfels area. This week, a special tech rescue team from San Antonio and volunteer rescue technicians from San Marcos were at the Prince Solms Chute for Whitewater training. They were at the low-head dam for low-water crossing training and a local canyon for vertical rescue technique practice. ‘*This sight is an awesome sight,” Meyer said, in reference to the local landscape. Rescue personnel from all around the See RESCUE/10A NBU plans for utility deregulation By Ron Maloney Staff Writer New Braunfels Utilities will ask the city council to give it the flexibility to negotiate lowered rates with some of its largest customers. The move is intended to position NBU to better compete in the deregulated utility environment after January 2002. The NBU board voted at its meeting Thursday afternoon to send a request for authority to negotiate rates for its biggest customers. If approved, NBU could have new power to offer flexible rates to its largest customers — in exchange for long-term service agreements. In other action in the meeting, the NBU board adopted a resolution that Camp Comal, needed for future wastewater treatment plant expansion, should not be designated as a permanent city park. Under utility deregulation, investor-owned utilities must open their markets to competing electricity purveyors. A municipally owned utility has the option to choose whether to do that, a decision that has not been made yet at NBU, said Jeff Thompson, Assistant General Manager of Business Services. “We’re trying to have flexibility to lower rates for our larger commercial customers,” Thompson said. Those customers include the Coleman Corp., Dittlinger Mills and Plains Cotton Co., Thompson said. NBU is very competitive in its electric rates compared to other Texas utilities, particularly when compared to investor-owned utilities, the official said. But nobody is certain just what deregulation will bring, and NBU wants to position itself to be sure, if it opens up its service area, that the utility’s biggest customers will be less interested in looking elsewhere for power. A strategy for doing that, Thompson said, would be to offer them lower rates in exchange for commitments to long term service agreements. “We’re looking at three years or longer,” Thompson said. “It’s kind of a new concept for us,” he said. If they were to enter into a long-term agreement with us, it would give us the ability to offer substantial discounts. See NBU/10A By Jennifer Rodriguez Staff Writer LOCKHART — At the top of a domed, 100-year-old building at the edge of the historic district of Lockhart, a 52-year-old librarian built a nest egg worth $31,776 for the children in her community. Despite wind, rain and aggressive aerial attacks by birds and bats, Rose Aleta Laurell, the director of library services at the Dr. Eugene Clark Library, spent seven days battling the elements to raise money for a new children’s wing at the library. “She’s not an ordinary, typical, ‘Shh!’ librarian,” library employee Bertha Martinez said. In Texas — one of only six states in the United States that does not invest state money into its public library system — libraries are forced to find creative ways to supplement their incomes. “I don’t think there’s a school child File photo New Braunfels’ Friends of the Library conduct an annual book sale to help raise funds for the public library. in Lockhart who doesn’t know where their library is now,” Laurell said this week. “Besides the money issue, I hope this draws attention to the plight of libraries in the state of Texas by showing these are the kinds of things we have to do.” In the next legislative session, library associations want to push a $20 million initiative for direct state aid, Laurell said. “Texas is 46th in the nation for per capita funding for libraries,” Laurell said. “The way I see it, we either educate (children) now, or incarcer-See LIBRARIAN!0A 50 cents2 sections October 28, 2000    ^crv*ng    County    since    1852 City officials pitch Prop. 1, 2 By Jennifer Rodriguez Staff Writer The two propositions on the Nov. 7 ballot would dump about $2 million into the city’s general fund and increase the council’s spending options for 4B tax money while keeping tax rates the same, officials said at a forum Thursday night. The Comal Area League of Women Voters hosted its NBISD candidates field questions/10A second candidate forum of this election season in the boardroom of the Education Center Thursday. Three of the four candidates for the New Braunfels Independent School District fielded the audience’s ques-, tions and two representatives for the city — City Attorney Floyd Akers and council member Debbie Flume — discussed propositions I and 2. “Neither one of these will raise your taxes one bit,” Akers said. “It’s just opening up the money for other expenditures.” The 4A and 4B taxes are generated every time someone makes a purchase in New Braunfels. Proposition I would allow the city to tap into 4B money for sports facility-related expenditures, including improvement costs of existing amateur and youth venues and land purchases. “Proposition I, if it were to pass, I feel would offer a means for the different sports entities to obtain monies for needed improvements or See CITY/10AInside Abby................................5A Classifieds.......................5-8B Comics.........................  5A Crossword..........................5A Forum  ...........................6A Local/Metro........................4A Movies..................................5A Obituaries...........................3A Sports............................1-3B Today................................2A Key Code 76 Coming Sunday Jk JBw Braunfels and the local area Jj\lihave some real ghost stories to X W share — from Prince Solms Inn to the Devils Backbone,/Lifestyle IC Get ready to fall back tonight By Jennifer Rodriguez Staff Writer Do not forget to fall back at 2 a.m. on Sunday. With the number of daylight hours shrinking and daylight-saving time ending on Sunday, the time has come to roll back clocks by one hour. Unlike the sleepy-eyed faces the start of DST brings, residents usually enjoy the extra hour its ending provides in the fall. The time change is not official until 2 a.m., but officials recommend changing clocks before going to bed. Make sure to change all clocks, watches and anything on a timer, such as security systems. The time change is supposed to make better use of daylight and help save energy: The more hours of light, the less dependent people are on electricity. Congress began tinkering with the nation’s clocks in 1918 to conserve energy for the effort in World War I. But Americans, who typically woke up and went to bed earlier than people do today, hated the time change so much it only lasted seven months. The concept resurfaced during World War ll, when citizens observed year-See FALL BACK/1 OAFall backRemember to set your clocks back. one hour Sunday, Oct. 29.Daylight Saving Time ends this weekend. (AP graphic) ;