New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, January 30, 2000, Page 9

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

January 30, 2000

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Issue date: Sunday, January 30, 2000

Pages available: 64

Previous edition: Friday, January 28, 2000

Next edition: Tuesday, February 1, 2000

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 30, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas Sunday, January 30, 2000 — Herald-Zeitung — Page 9AKeeping warm K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung NBHS soccer players tried to defend against the chilly winds early Saturday afternoon. Fans and players wrapped themselves in blankets while sitting on the cool benches. Mcuh to the delight of fans, the Unicorns burned up Mac Arthur on the playing field. BOMB THREAT/From 1A Extra security steps have been taken at SVHS this week, including daily searches of the buildings, additional security and limited access to buildings and restrooms. During a board meeting Thursday night, Superintendent Jerry Major said the recent threats have “wreaked havoc on the system” and disrupted the lives of students, parents and staff. “A handful of students have made 10,500 students, 1,500 employees and a lot of parents uneasy, and frankly we’re sick of it,” he said. “We don’t think this is funny, and neither do the vast majority of students.” Major also said students and staff depended on instructional time, which was lost every time the school had to be evacuated. “We have about 1,800 students sitting in a football stadium half the day,” he said. “Kids have a life. They have jobs and afterschool activities. This is lost instructional time, and that time is critical.” Major appealed to parents and students to come forward with any information concerning any of the bomb threats. He also said the district had plans in place to mobilize buses and had arrangements to feed large numbers of students in case students had to be moved to another school. Major said individuals responsible for the threats would be punished “to the fullest extent of the law.” The New Braunfels/Comal County Crimestoppers program and CI SD are offering up to a $1,000 cash reward for information concerning the threats. All calls to Crimestoppers are confidential. The number is (800) 640-8422. Of the seven bomb threats since Jan. 13, four have been at SVHS, SCHOOL/From 1A Tiroutfest 2000 Local anglers fish for prizes, fun during annual 10-day tournament By Erin MAGRUDER Staff Writer Even the unluckiest of fisherman will have no problem landing that “big one” at the 12th annual Troutfest Feb. 3-13 at the spring-fed pool at the Aquatics Complex in Landa Park. The City of New Braunfels Parks and Recreation Department event will take place from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and from IO a.m. until 8 p.m. on weekends. Children and seniors can buy passes to the event for $4; adult passes are $6, and disabled individuals are admitted at no charge. Each pass has a IO fish limit, and no more than five fish can be taken home each day. There is no “catch and release,” so residents can keep everything to take home and cook for dinner, Aquatics Superintendent Jaime Jones said. “This event is great fun for everyone,” Jones said. “It’s better than trying your luck anywhere else .... We’re stocked and ready to roll.”What’s Up Troutfest will take place Feb. 3-13 from 4 to 8 p.m. on weekdays and from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. on weekends. The parks and recreation department stocked the spring-fed pool with 1,000 trout and 1,500 pounds of catfish—up to 5 pounds each— for the event. No fishing license is required to participate, and residents who catch tagged fish will win prizes, such as gift certificates and T-shirts, donated by New Braunfels businesses. A special event at Troutfest is the kid’s fishing tournament, hosted by the parks and recreation department. The tournament will take place from 8 a.m. to IO a.m. Saturday. Kids age IO and younger can participate, and passes must be bought before 8 a.m. to enter the contest. Trophies will be warded for the top trout and catfish, Jones said. Youths age IO to 17 also can learn the art of fly casting at a seminar hosted by Guadalupe River Trout Unlimited. The event will take place Feb. 5 and Feb. 12 from 8 a.m. to IO a.m. at the spring-fed pool, and will be taught by fly casting instructors certified by the Federation of Fly Fishers. All equipment will be furnished courtesy of Alamo Fly Fishers and San Antonio YMCA, GRTU member Hylmar Karbach said. Residents are asked to bring only one fishing pole per person to Troutfest, and no glass or alcohol containers are allowed at the event, Jones said. Bait, tackle and refreshments will be sold by the parks and recreation department. For information on Troutfest, residents can contact the New Braunfels Parks and Recreation Department at 608-2160 or Jones at the Aquatics Complex at 608-2164.OWENS CORNING/From 1A one at Smithson Valley Middle School, one at Spring Branch Middle School and one at Arlon Seay Intermediate School. Four arrests have been made, and the Comal County Sheriff’s office is continuing to investigate Friday’s incident and two unsolved bomb threats — the threats on Jan. 21 and Jan. 26 at SVHS. Two 13-year-old male SVMS students, a 14-year-old SVHS male student and a 12-year-old Arlon Seay Intermediate male student were taken into custody in connection with the threats. CISD officials said two of the juveniles were attending classes at an alternative school. One of the SVMS students was allowed back on campus for a couple of days, but he attended classes in a self-contained classroom, said Kari Hutchison, CISD public information officer. The two other juveniles in custody had detention hearings Friday morning. Carol Robison, director of Comal County juvenile probation, said both juveniles were released to their parents Friday but with a number of conditions. Law enforcement officers searched the homes of both juveniles. Both juveniles will have to use electronic monitoring devices. CISD officials will decide whether the students will return to their home campuses or attend an alternative school. The Comal Council of PTAs is sponsoring a Safe Schools meeting with parents and law enforcement officials 5 p.m. Thursday at the Guadalupe Valley Telephone Cooperative, IOO Farm-to-Market 3159. The recent threats will be discussed, as will the process for dealing with them and possible solutions. Textile Employees) — that’s how many cast “yes” votes in a union election conducted Thursday at the plant, 1851 S. Seguin. Fifty-seven voted no. And seven votes were contested. UNITE has contested four votes that it says were submitted by management. Three other votes are contested by management, which says contract employees not included on a preapproved roster of voters submitted them. At least 50 percent plus one vote of the hourly workers must vote in favor of UNITE in order to receive its representation — in this case, 62 votes. Owens Coming Fabrics, a specialty fabrics manufacturer, employs about 120 hourly workers in New Braunfels and more than 20,000 employees worldwide. In 1997, a union vote failed by IO votes, several workers said. UNION/From 1A This vote likely will be settled in a hearing before the National Labor Relations Board, union organizer Debi Nilsen said. Just when the hearing would happen was uncertain, she said. No matter what the outcome, not all Owens Coming workers will have to join UNITE. A yes vote at Owens Coming, however, would allow workers to have union representation if they want. Members must pay $5.68 a week to receive UNITE representation. Jonathan Cornwell, who has worked at the plant for 12 years, said he believed UNITE would bring “human dignity” to the plant. “We have none,” he said. “They have humiliated us, threatened us and intimidated us.” They have played favorites and cut benefits, he added. Other workers said that Owens Coming has reduced the amount of matching retirement contributions from 55 percent to 35 percent, not recognized sick leave accumulated over several years and threatened to cut overtime hours. Adam Miller, who’s been at the plant for three years, accused the management of playing favorites. “Certain employees wouldn’t receive cross-training,” he said. Management at the Owens Corning New Braunfels plant referred all questions to an office in Lubbock, but its thoughts on the issue were evident — more than one management employee donned a button that said, “Vote no.” Hamilton, who works at Owens Coming’s corporate office in Toledo, Ohio, said the company was not opposed to unions. “We want to find out what the will of the people is,” he said. “If they vote yes, we’ll bargain (with the union) in good faith.” managers across town are predicting very different futures. Jeff Morrow, who’s been at the plant for 11 years, said he believed conditions would improve at Owens Coming and other businesses in New Braunfels. “Pay will go up,” he said, “because management will want to keep unions out This is not a historically union town. But we hope the other companies will wake up.” Not everyone agrees. If this does become a union town, several businesses could choose to leave New Braunfels, and others might opt against relocating here, a manager of a local manufacturing plant said. “I hate to see this town screwed up,” he said. The manager, who asked that his name not be used, had experience with unions and found that their presence often resulted in divisiveness and lowered worker productivity. ‘There was a time when the union concept was necessary,” he said. “But that’s not the world we live in.” And, he said, unions often create more problems. “Management becomes the enemy,” he said. “You can’t go to your boss with a grievance anymore. Instead, it’s a monumental paperwork situation that relies on a third party. And that third party has its own agenda.” In addition, unions come in and set low performance standards, he said, charging that union workers don’t have an incentive to work faster because they’ll earn the same amount regardless of their productivity. “So how can a company become prosperous or create the profit needed for raises or bonuses?” he said. Others argue that unions could be a positive force. Workers at ADM Milling Company, 398 E. San Antonio St., belong to the Teamsters union, one of the few unions operating in New Braunfels. General manager Kevin Cocquyt said the union provided a “standardization” of wages and benefits. “It takes the ambiguity out of labor relations,” he said, adding that it also provided collective bargaining power for workers. UNITE organizer Debi Nilsen said union workers were more productive. “Union workers do better because they’re happier,” she said. “They’ll produce more and the company will do better.” Managers at other companies said they didn’t believe a union was necessary. ays, then get another holiday for lartin Luther King, Jr. that folding Monday,” he said. Clay also pushed for a school oliday the last Friday in April so undies could attend the Battle of ie Flowers parade in San mtonio. “The teachers and staff who do lese calendars need to underand that not everyone in Comal bunty lives in New Braunfels,” e said. “We have people scattered ll over this district. I wanted to dp the people in this district who ve in northern Bexar County or luthem Comal County and work i San Antonio.” Clay said the district allowed a oliday for the Battle of the lowers parade two years ago. “We have a holiday for the omal County Fair Day for the ;ople in New Braunfels, and I anted a spring holiday for the her end of the district,” he said. Next year, students will have vo one-week breaks — one Feb. I) through March 2 and another pril 9 through April 13. The school year will end May >. Both Canyon and Smithson Valley high school graduations are tentatively scheduled for May 26. By state law, all students in Texas must attend school for 180 days, but when school starts and where holidays are placed is left up to local school districts. According to survey responses, the majority of CISD parents and staff favor a mid-August start date and the two one-week breaks. In other business, trustees approved conceptual floor plans for a new fine arts building at Canyon High School. The fine arts building is part of a $18 million plus expansion and renovation project at CHS included in the May 1999, $141 million bond issue. The fine arts building will be built east of Cougar Den on the existing school site. Trustees also approved the location of a new agriculture facility pending acquisition of property on the east side of the existing agriculture building. The district is looking at buying about five acres of property for expansion. The site of a future athletic facility for dance, pep squad and cheerleaders possibly will be decided at the next board meeting — 6 p.m. Feb. IO. NEW!!! 50-STATE QUARTER MAP “Our policy is to provide a good working environment, wages and benefits that surpass what a union could provide,” said Tony Mudford, vice-president of Detex Corporation, 302 Detex Drive. A plant manager of another company, who asked not to be named, said, “We believe if we treat our people fairly and honestly you don’t need a union,” he said. People in New Braunfels are close-knit and workers typically were comfortable with management, he said, noting that his company would monitor closely the Owens Coming situation. Beautiful 18”x 24” full color U.S. map with one space for each state quarter Dates of statehood indicated in spaces not yet filled. Suitable for framing or hanging as is. Heavy duty board with spaces on back for hanging. Fun and educational. Release dates for quarters and state capitals listed on back. $19.95 plus tax. NB Juwelier 358 Lamia .Suite J. 629-2781 mn I “Puttin9 on the Ritz 99 Ss Is the Place To Be!! Saturday, Feb. 5, 7 pm Art Auctions, Food, Entertainment Gala Benefit to Fund Elevator Installation New Braunfels Art League Gallery 239 West San Antonio Street Admission by $10 Donation lr* IK HEALTH AWARENESS SCREENING ... 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