Wednesday, March 1, 2000

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 1, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas mT NEW i a i i Ot vi v HERALDZEH o NG Vol 149 No 74 2 sections March 1 2000 WEDNESDAY Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents Walnut Avenue alternatives put on hold BY PERI STONEPALMQUIST Staff Writer New Braunfels City Council wont consider alternatives to widen ing Walnut Avenue until after the bond election Mayor Stoney Williams said If it fails then maybe well look into he said And thats fine with Carolyn Bur row one of several residents who asked council at the Feb 14 meeting to try alternatives before the election I dont want to rush Burrow said Previously Burrow and others said the city should try making Wal nut and Hickory oneway streets before the election so the public could make an informed vote May 6 On May 6 residents will vote on a million proposition to buy 33 properties on the south side of Walnut and expand the street into four lanes with one continuous turn lane Trying an alternative before the election would be rushed Burrow said this past week and could be unsafe People wouldnt have adequate she said City manager Mike Shands said the city wouldnt have enough time to put up any traffic lights before the election either You could do it with stop he said But youd have Traffic light installation takes at least two months Shands said First the Texas Department of Transportation must study the issue and look at the traffic count and number of accidents This study can take two to three months and if it does qualify a light could take up to 18 months to be installed But to really see whether the one way plan would work the city would need lights at Business 35 and San Antonio Street Shands said Stop signs alone wouldnt give a good he said TxDOT resident engineer Greg Malatek said he didnt necessarily agree Its best to have it up and running first and then do a signal he said A oneway Hickory might not need traffic lights he said Folks might decide to take anoth er he said Itd be tough to do the study unless the two one way streets were up and running We could itd be hard to tell right Malatek said he wasnt for or against the oneway idea It could be confusing which is a strong consideration There would have to be enough he said But it could be Williams said he personally didnt think two oneway roads were the answer to Walnuts congestion But others at the Feb 14 council meeting disagreed Fred Willard said For saving million or more we as citizens of New Braunfels should be perfectly happy traveling on a oneway road Its easier than taking John Phelan said the oneway alternative was wise and less expen sive Oneway streets would open up a longterm he said Itll take some reprogramming But Im willing to take that chance to get a ticket going the wrong way on a oneway Burrow a lifelong resident of New Braunfels told council she didnt believe Walnuts traffic was really so bad And as more development occurred along Loop 337 fewer people would need to drive through town she said WHATS City not look at alternatives to widening Wairfut May 6 bond election In the election resi dents will vote on a million proposition to buy 33 properties to expand the street into four con tinues turn lane Sensing the heat camera cuts smoke screens reveals source of fires New Braunfels Fire and Rescues Lt Keith Hoegenauer was among those training on the thermalimaging unit He and others learned to see hot spots and recognize various hidden hazards BY PERI STONEPALMQUIST Staff writer A floppy Buzz Lightyear doll from the movie Toy Story has been tucked behind a mattress in a smoky room his neon green cape pulled over his head like a flag The room is pitch black and even a firefighter with the keenest sense of eye sight would miss Buzzs sign of surrender his desperate call to be found But firefighter after firefighter finds the doll anyway Tuesday despite the smoke darkness and unfamiliar rooms Their trick A new thermal imaging camera that allows them to see through smoke and pinpoint the source of a fire timesaving technology that could save lives and reduce property damage Although the pricey camera has been around for about 10 years New Braun fels City Council just approved the expenditure this past summer and approved a bid from Hoyt Breathing Air Products in November Fire and Rescue officials received the camera about a month ago but started training on it this past week Stacie Zercher lieutenant in charge of the training divisipn said she set up the training like a scavenger hunt Were trying to make this she said Rescue workers receive training indi vidually and must navigate through sev eral dark rooms in the old police depart ment 111 Garden Street using the ther mal imaging camera Zercher placed three heating pads in the rooms as well as the Buzz Lightyear doll Whoever finds all three heating pads and the doll safely and in the quickest amount of time gets a half gallon of Blue Bell ice cream Zercher said And I buy that The idea is to familiarize the depart ment with the new technology which K Jessie NB Fire and Rescue Lt Keith Hoegenauer above looks through the depart ments new thermal imaging unit The device allows fire and rescue crews to search for victims in smokey environments by registering body heat as white light on the viewscreen At left is how an image appears on the screen The camera allows a rescue worker to sarfds of dollars in repairs she said scan a room first and identify my people The camera also allows firefighters to Without the camera these same people nick out hot spots even if the flames wouldnt be visible works by detecting infrared radiation emitted by objects of different tempera ture The hotter it is the clearer and brighter the Zercher said Captain Ray Hacker who helped research the camera said it shows the dif ference between a tenth of a 1 degree Its pretty he said And it has the capability to help save lives and homes Normally firefighters enter a home get down on hands mid knees and follow the right wall to search for a victim Zercher said The problem with that is you can miss some she said Sometimes youll have to go back and do a lefthand ed search And that can take a long This can take five minutes instead of Zercher said Battalion Chief Frank Gonzales said the camera could mean the difference between life and death for a fire victim The camera has paid for itself if it saves one he said In addition the camera could help New Braunfels Fire and Rescue save a home or minimize firerelated damage We get a lot of calls for the smell of Gonzales said Before firefighters had to guess the location of the smokes source Now we can just shine the camera on the he said The whitest spot is the This kind of capability could prevent a fire he said Zercher said another problem the department experienced frequently was attic fires Instead of pulling up the ceiling the camera can pinpoint the source of the she said This could save homeowners thou arent visible You cant see the flames if the fire is in the walls or on the other side of the Zercher said But with this you can see the spot of the The department also can use the cam era to help with night searches for lost people although the camera does not see through water In addition a TV will be mounted in the battalion chiefs car and will display the view from the camera allowing res cue officials to keep close tabs on a fires progress Maybe theyll see something that the firefighter Zercher said Hacker agreed the new camera should speed up searches But this doesnt replace old tech he said The battery could go out or it could Instead of replacing tried and true res cue methods the camera should enhance rescue efforts Chief Jack Collier said This is going to revolutionize our he said Wall files for city council position BY PERI STONEPALMQUIST Staff writer Mary Cameron Wall said she filed for the District 4 New Braunfels City Council seat because she was inter ested in the issues facing the city drainage river cleanup and preserva tion of downtown Wall 35 direc tor of managed care at Alamo City Medical Group filed Monday for the seat currently filled by Jan Koty lo Her campaign treasurer is her brother Joe Cameron Wall joins retired architect Robert Kendrick and life insurance agent Dave Pryor in the Dis trict 4 race Kotylo said she would not seek re election to allow more time for grand children and volunteer work Filing for District 3 and 4 started Feb 22 at the New Braunfels Munic ipal Building 424 S Castell and ends March 22 The election is May 6 Early voting begins on April 19 and ends on May 2 District 4 includes the northeast New Braunfels area including the Loop 337 and Common Street area and the Loop 337 and River Road area District 4 is bordered by Interstate 35 to the east the MKT railroad to the west and the New Braunfels city limits just north of FarmtoMarket Road 306 My goal is to represent the district to the fullest and ensure all citizens and WALL INSIDE Key Code 76