New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 19, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas
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New Braunfels Utilities can only water with hand-held hoses and buckets between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. and 8 a.m. any day of the week. Soaker hoses can ---4 -.round foundations.Herald-Ze
Vol. 149 No. ZZ9 14 pages in 2 sections September 19, 2000
Serving Comal County since 1852
Senator details redistricting to GOP women
By Jo Lee Ferguson Staff Writer
State Sen. Jeff Wentworth wants to remove the “self-interest” that normally characterizes the redistricting process.
The United States counts its population every IO years, as it did this year. Based on that count, or census, states, city councils and county commissioners must redraw the lines that define the state senate districts or city' council districts, for instance.
Wentworth, R-San Antonio, however, sees flaws in the system Texas uses to draw district lines for the Texas Senate and House of Representatives, state board of education and the United States Congress.
He wants to give the responsibility of draw ing district lines to a “citizens” panel. The panel would include an equal number of people selected by state Republican and Democratic legislator.
Wentworth discussed Ins proposal Monday at the Faust Hotel w ith the New Braunfels Republican Women.
“The way the system works it’s a very bad system — the major political party gets together and they decide where all the boundaries are for Congress, the Texas Senate, Texas House and state board of education,” Wentworth said. “The minority party has absolutely no input into that process. As a result, you have the crazy districts that are drawn.”
Democrats controlled the Texas Legislature each of the last three times the census was completed he said. Each time, the district lines “offended” Republicans so much that they filed suit in Federal court.
The Republicans won in court every time, Wentworth said. When this happened atter the 1990 census and redistricting, a federal judge ordered the loser — the state of Texas — to pay $5 million in attorney fees for the Republican Party, he said. “As Republicans, I guess we have something to be grateful for," Wentworth said. “But as taxpayers, it’s a bad deal.”
He said the Legislature should “get out of the business of redistricting.”
“I shouldn’t be drawing lines. My colleagues shouldn't be drawing these lines,” Wentworth said.
Wentworth said that in years where redistricting is necessary, it becomes the “top priority” for the Legislature instead of w ater, educa-
JO LEE FERGUSON/Herald-Zeitung
Jeff Wentworth spoke to the New Braunfels Republican Women Monday afternoon during a luncheon at the Faust Hotel.
don or criminal justice.
Political survival depends on where those lines are drawn, Wentworth said.
“There’s too much self-interest involved in the process when we draw our own boundary lines,” he said.
“You can't remove that self-interest unless you transfer that responsibility to some other group,” he
This has been done in 11 states. Of those, five or six of them have drawn lines that were not challenged in court, he said.
Partisan politics cannot be removed from the process, but the people who represent the districts can be, he said.
He said he would propose that the lines be redrawn by an eight-member group of “citizens.” The tw o parties in the state House of Representatives and Senate would each select two people.
Then, those people would select a non-voting chairperson to lead them.
I Ie first proposed this measure in 1993, when Democrats held the majority over Republicans. Democrats opposed the measure while Republicans supported it, he said.
The tables are turned now, and die Republicans in the Senate have a 16 to 15 majority over Democrats.
Now Republicans oppose the measure and Democrats support it, he said.
“Candidly, I’ve been disappointed in my colleagues in the Senate in both parties,” Wentworth said.
“What I’ve been trying to explain
Board says ‘no’ to city
By Jo Lee Ferguson
New Braunfels Infrastructure Improvement Corp. stood behind its decision Monday to fund half of the city’s emergency communication system.
The city council previously approved a decision by the corporation’s board of directors to fund $350,(K)0 of the city’s new $700,000 emergency communications system. However, the council asked the board to reconsider funding the entire system.
Board members talked with City Manager Mike Shantis for more than an hour Monday before voting to leave their recommendations as it
“What do y’all not understand about no?” asked Director Bill Mayo.
The communications system was the one proposition voters approved during a $32.7 million May bond election.
Council decided it did not make sense to issue bonds for that amount of money and asked the corporation to fund the system.
Mayo expressed frustration Monday at the council’s request for more money and at the way the council treated Director Karen McDonell. McDonell presented the board’s funding recommendations to the council this past week.
Mayo asked if the board was “just a bunch of stooges” who pass what-See BOAR D/5 A
Key Code 76
NBISD takes up insurance, pay
By Jennifer Rodriguez Staff Writer
New Braunfels Independent School District trustees could lower health insurance rates for some employees and increase pay for others tonight.
Trustees will meet at 7 p.m. at the Education Center on 430 W. Mill Street.
A little relief from a severe bus driver shortage could go the trans-portation department’s way if trustees approve a proposal to raise the starting salary of drivers.
Maintenance Director Gary Schlather has been pushing to increase the base pay of bus drivers from $7.94 to $10 an hour.Meeting■ WHAT: NewBraunfels school district
■ WHEN: 7 p.m. today
■ WHERE: Education Center, 430 W. Mill St.
He hopes the move w ill make the district more competitive w itll districts around NBISD.
“The proposal is basically along the guidelines we presented them,” Schlather said. “(A pay increase) will help us recruit other drivers, and not lose the ones we have to our neighboring dis
Increasing base pay to $10 an hour would cost the district about $89,000, which probably would come out of the district’s reserve funds, NBISD Superintendent Ron Reaves said this past week.
The board also will consider lowering insurance rates for aux-iliary and paraprofessional employees by $10 per month.
“ T here are cases where somebody's actually taking home less money than they did that last year,” business manager David Rastellini said.
Trying to keep bodies in the custodial, transportation and cafeteria departments has been hard to See NBISD/5A
with a Twang’
CHRIS PACE/Herald Zeitung
Lyle Lovett and Ray Benson participate in a filming Monday at Gruene Hall for a 45-minute IMAX movie tracing the history of country music, which will be released next June. Costumes and old cars parked in front of the building added to the authenticity of the era for the segment of the film which is tentatively titled “Twang.”
Crews shoot country music movie at historic dance hall
By Ron Maloney Staff Writer
Gruene Hall went through a time warp Monday.
Parked out front were a dusty old truck — a really old truck filled with hay — and a couple of old cars, circa 1940 or so.
Along the right side of the building was a row' of similar-vintage vehicles.
Inside were a number of dancers — two troupes’ worth wearing depression era hats and clothes.
It was lights, camera, action, as the dancers performed old-style, boot-scootin,’ swing-your-partner, reels and whirls.
And the band in its country-style, cotton-brocade shirts and green cotton work pants tucked into black and w flite
cow boy boots were reminiscent of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys.
The difference was one guitarist looked an awful lot like Lyle Lovett, while the other looked like Ray Benson. The rest of the band except for its old-timey clothing, looked just like Asleep at the Wheel, which last played Gruene Hall in June, and played Sunday night in Lubbock.
And that’s who they were.
Lovett, Benson, the band the dance troupes and about I OO extras and crew were shooting “Twang.” “Twang” is the working title for an Imax feature to be released next spring documenting the history and evolution of country music from its Celtic origins through western sw ing, gospel.
honky tonk, rockabilly, cowboy and contemporary music.
Imax is the three-dimensional movie system shown in 300 state-of-the art theaters around the world on six-story high, 80-feet-wide diffuse matte, perforated screens. The perforations make the screen acoustically transparent, much as the cloth on a speaker grille is, creating enhanced possibilities for “wrap-around” sound to complement the 3-D screen.
The nearest Imax theatre is in San Antonio.
Artists who will take part in
the Gaylord Entertainment Company project include Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Vince Gill, Dw ight Yoakum, The Dixie Chicks, Tim McGraw' and other luminaries of the country and western genre.
And why shouldn’t entertainers of that caliber participate in a story of their antecedents — especially one produced by Gaylord ow ners of the Grand OL Opry and a number of other country music-related properties?