New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, April 5, 2000

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

April 05, 2000

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Issue date: Wednesday, April 5, 2000

Pages available: 36

Previous edition: Tuesday, April 4, 2000

Next edition: Thursday, April 6, 2000 - Used by the World's Finest Libraries and Institutions

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Publication name: New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

Pages available: 318,726

Years available: 1952 - 2013

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 5, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas Sew into work Anne Hair doesn’t have time for a break from the “sweatshop” run by the Brauntex. The theater group has several local residents who receive ‘poor pay and benefits,’ officials joked, to work long, hours sewing seat covers for the Brauntex opening night Gala April 29. Those interested in joining the crew can call the Brauntex office at (830) 627-0808. Photo submitted Brauntex gears up for fund-raising drive, gala to further renovation plans Special to the Herald-Zeitung The Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre Association launched a plan to raise money to fund a first-class live theater in New Braunfels. The money is needed to continue tile remodeling efforts under way at the historic theater. Fund-raising plans include a founders’ fund drive, as well as a gala and performance by the San Antonio Symphony. While the theater is in fairly good condition, officials say there are several things that must be done before live performances can be offered there. The stage was recently enlarged to accommodate the San Antonio Symphony performance April 29, and the old upstairs enclosure was removed to open up the balcony area to the main stage. But organizers look to accomplish more. They say the acoustics must be improved with a sound system. There are no dressing rooms or storage rooms available for performers. Also, there is no lighting system. In addition, some seats were removed during former renovations and must be replaced. Bill and Connie Cone are heading up the fund drive known as the Founders’ Fund. Several levels of giving have been established, and may be paid at once or over three years. The levels are: Investor;    $ 1,000 - $2,999, Founder:    $3,000 - $9,999, ’ Founder/Chair Sponsor: $10,000 for two chairs, and $5,000 for each additional chair. Chairs will be permanently marked with the donor’s name. Recognition will be given for all amounts pledged during the Founder’s Fund drive, which will continue into the summer. Season ticket holders and major donor’s names will be displayed in the lobby of the theater. Bill Cone said sponsoring a chair does not confer the right to sit in that chair for future performances. It is an excellent way to show support for the community and the efforts to restore the Brauntex, he said. Gifts in excess of $25,000 will receive a permanent listing in all future official programs produced by the Performing Arts Association. Brauntex volunteer Rachael Struthoff tears cloth for new seat covers for the Brauntex. "Ifs a hard job," she said. What’s Up What: San Antonio Symphony performs at the grand opening GALA at the Brauntex When: April 29; symphony performs at 8 p.m., GALA to follow. Where: Brauntex Theater, 209 W. San Antonio St. Cost: $20 for concert; GALA celebration tickets are $100 each and include a champagne reception with symphony members. For information or tickets: Contact the Brauntex office at 627-0808 or purchase tickets at the Brauntex office, The New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce or China-N-Things in New Braunfels. Inside Abby................................7A Classifieds.......................5-8B Comics...............................2B Crossword..........................7A Forum.................................6A Local/Metro........................4A Movies  ......................JA Obituaries...........................3A Sports............................8-10A Today.................................2A Television............................2B Key Code 76 Commission considers aesthetics guidelines By Peri Stone-Palmquist Staff writer The Planning Commission shouldn’t be afraid to set guidelines for a historic preservation district to preserve the town’s character, several residents said Tuesday. But how strict those guidelines should be is still unknown. “We can afford to require more than the minimum,” Luke Speckman said, echoing the sentiments of several other residents including commissioner John Lovett. “People are coming,” he said. “And we can tell them what to do.” But deciding what to tell them isn’t so easy, commissioners agreed, asking for more public input to help define guidelines. “We want to reach some consensus,” commission chairman John Dierksen said. The commission has been meeting for several months to come up with an aesthetics ordinance making city council the arbiter of good taste by preventing unsightly businesses and structures from compromising the character of community’s highly visible areas. Overlay districts would outline certain building restrictions within defined boundaries. Council asked for the ordinance in response to public concerns of metal buildings in older, historic neighborhoods. The commission has decided to focus its efforts on the core of downtown, although it hasn’t agreed on boundaries yet. “I think we need to start small ” Dierksen said. See GUIDELINES5A Yes or no? Panelists debate bed tax referendums on May 6 ballot By Peri Stone-Palmquist Staff writer Building a convention center in New Braunfels could really benefit downtown, as well as various arts ar ', heritage groups. Then again, spending money directly on downtown and those arts and heritage groups — instead of a convention center — also could be beneficial. A group of four panelists made these and other points for and against two referendums going before voters on the May 6 ballot during a public forum sponsored by the New Braunfels Downtown Association Tuesday. If approved, one referendum would prohibit the city from using its portion of bed tax revenue for a convention center. The other would prohibit the city from spending its 20 percent of the tax for two years while a task force studies the issue. More than 50 people filled the New Braunfels Utilities boardroom to hear the debate moderated by former mayor Jan Kennady. Panelists included former Comal County Judge Carter Casteel, District 6 New Braunfels City Council member Juliet Watson, New Braunfels resident Betty Dunkin and the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce Inc. board president Dennis Heitkamp. Watson said now was not the time to spend more money on attracting additional people here. “I think the chamber has done a great job of getting people here,” Watson said. “But the people are already here.” Instead, the city needs to invest in what it already has, she said. “It’s possible for downtown to be a focal point,” she said. “But it takes money and it takes time. What better way to spend hotel/motel tax than on downtown?” Heitkamp argued money spent on a convention center would benefit downtown by bringing people to the community See BED TAX/5A Homestead letter misleading some residents say By Erin Magruder Staff Writer Homeowners beware — a recent letter mailed to many Comal County addresses might mislead residents to pay for a homestead exemption application that is available for free. More than 50 area residents — mostly senior citizens —have contacted the County Tax Assessor-Collector’s Office with complaints and questions about an official-looking letter they got from a Dallas-based business called County Tax Reduction. The letter informed homeowners they might be entitled to additional tax savings by applying for a homestead exemption, county tax assessor/collector Gloria Clen-nan said. In the letter, the company said it would send a complete homestead exemption application form to the homeowner for $46.50.    . What the letter did not say is that the same application form is available free of chaige to all county residents from 8 am. to 5 p.m. at the Comal Appraisal District office, 178 E. Mill St. Lance Dowd, president of County Tax Reduction, said he was not trying to mislead residents—but alerting homeowners that they are eligible for the exemption. See LETTER/5A Free application The deadline is May 31 for residents to turn in completed homestead exemption applications to the Comal Appraisal District office, 178 E. Mill Street. Applications can be picked up, at no charge, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Comal Appraisal District or can be sent through the mail upon request. Residents with questions about homestead exemptions, or who would like to receive an application by mail can contact the appraisal district office at 625-8597. New (jtisalllBHFELS 2% 2 7 E Y RN I) Eli.. DEHerald-ZeitungVol. 149 No. 98    18    pages    in    2    sections    April    5,    2000    x    t    axt    Serving    Comal    County    since    1852    50    cents Wednesday ;