Tuesday, February 4, 2003

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 4, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas NEW BRAUNFELS TUESDAY February 4 2003 J my V 12 pages in 2 sections HERALDZEITUNG Vol 152 No 71 Serving New Braunfeis and Comal County since 1852 50cents Shuttle probe to focus on flying chunk of insulation BYMARCIADUNN AP Aerospace Writer SPACE CENTER Houston AP NASA acknowledged Monday that its best and brightest minds may have gotten it wrong when they concluded in a report four days before Columbia disin tegrated that a flying 2 pound chunk of insulation did no serious damage to the shuttles thermal tiles dur ing liftoff Shuttle program manager Ron Dittemore said NASA will redo the entire analysis from scratch We want to know if we made any he said Practically from the start investigators have focused on the possibility that a 20inch piece of foam insulation that fell off the shuttles big exter nal fuel tank during liftoff Jan 16 doomed the space craft by damaging the heat tiles that keep the ship from burning up during reentry into the atmosphere While Columbia was still in orbit NASA engineers analyzed launch footage framebyframe and were unable to determine for cer tain whether the shuttle was damaged But they ran computer analyses for different sce narios and different as sumptions about the weight of the foam its speed and where under the left wing it might have hit even looking at the possibility of tiles miss ing over an area of about 7 inches by 30 inches NASA said The halfpage engineering report issued on Day 12 of the 16day flight indicated the potential for a large damage area to the But the analyses showed no burnthrough and no safetyofflight the report concluded according to a copy released by NASA on Monday Having a reel good time Fish are nibbling but Troutfest is still a hit BY DYLAN JIMENEZ Staff Writer Daniel Caballero 8 and his brother Paul woke up early Saturday excited to go fishing Their mother Nancy tried to get them to eat breakfast They com plained but compromised and had a quick bowl of cereal They made it to Lan da Park for Troutfest well before the springfed pool opened at 8 Nancy Caballero said it is the same every year The boys come at opening and leave after closing This whole week theyre See K JESSIE Tanner Haag didnt need his two front teeth to put the bite on the winning trout at the annual Troutfest Youth Tourna ment Saturday Haag took home the biggest trout of the day a whopping 10inch fish Above Gilbert Vasquez 7 reflects upon his lack of angling luck during Saturdays Troutfest The days greatest fishermen at right from left Jeremy Chapa Tanner Haag and Daniel Caballero show off their awardwinning catches School board county initiate funding search for traffic light BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer The Texas Department of Transportations latest study shows that a signal light could be erected at a danger ous intersection near Smith son Valley High School Now local officials who dont want to wait for state funding of the project are try ing to find a way to pay for it sooner and begin work on it now The intersection which now has stop signs on FM 3159 is to be replaced by an overpass with ramps what engineers call a grade sepa ration intersection But that will not happen for a decade or more officials said The intersection is regard ed as especially dangerous to SVHS students who must travel through it twice each day to get to the Bulverde or Canyon Lake areas While the intersection now warrants a signal Greg Malatek Tx DOT area engineer in New Braunfeis said this past week the project has been put on a waiting list of intersections al ready approved for traffic signals The earliest he thought money would be available for the project would be Fiscal Year 2005 Local funding would be the only way to get the job done sooner Malatek said In past conversations with the school district they had offered to pay for a Malatek said The fastest way to get this signal up is to get outside funding Weve done this HEB paid for the signal Grunert Help signals The Comal Independent School District and Comal County have scheduled meetings Friday morning to discuss funding a traffic sig nal on Texas 46 at FM 3159 CISD trustees will meet at 7 at the district main tenance facility conference room located on Business 35 in New Braunfeis Commissioners Court will meet at 9 in the courtroom of the Commis sioners Court building on Main Plaza located on Texas 46 in front of Bill Brown Elementary School in Bulverde CISD Superintendent Jim Grunert said the district set a board of trustees meeting for 7 Friday to talk about funding for the signal Grunert said the school dis trict administration would be asking its trustees to find at least half of the nec essary funding Were going in feeling this is some thing we need to do for our kids and citi zens We want to get it done as soon as he said Were real excited about the opportunity to get this light Precinct 1 Commissioner Jack Dawson said Comal County has set a special ses sion of commissioners court for 9 to discuss the same issue Im going to be over there at 7 for their meeting See TRAFFIC Ambitious plans for sports complex withdrawn Flumes proposed ballot initiatives throw curveball at lodgers group Mayor Adam Cork wants to slow down the process and carefully exam ine the impacts of taking the 4B money away from economic development BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer Members of the New Braun feis Lodging and Restaurant Association were surprised by District 3 Council member Deb bie Flumes proposal to divert sales tax money now set for eco nomic development to road re pair The association issued a press release this past week announc ing its support for building a regional sports facility that would include baseball softball soccer fields and possibly sand volleyball courts The proposal called for the pro ject to be paid for by 4B money and by increasing the Hotel Occupancy Tax by two cents to raise an additional a year Then NBLRA President Dan Henry went to the city council meeting and heard Flumes pro posal for a pair of ballot initia tives in the May election that would divert twothirds of the 4B sales tax to street repairs Were a little hesitant to do Henry said of the sports com plex They sort of threw a curve at us with 4B money trying to sidetrack some of the economic development The 4B tax so named for its enabling legislation is three eighths of one cent The total local sales tax is two cents per dollar Onehalf cent of that is the county sales tax Flume wants to cut the 4B tax to oneeighth of one cent divert ing the other quarter of a cent specifically to street repairs The District 3 representative said this would create a fund dedicated to street repair and would enable those repairs to happen Detractors say the plan would actually decrease the amount of money available for street repair gut economic development at a time when the city needs it most and hamstring the citys ability to bond for its bigticket street projects by taking away the mechanism to service the debt Whatever it does Henry said the idea is shortsighted and if passed would have a farreach ing effect on the community The first effect is halting plans for the sports complex New Braunfeis Mayor Adam Cork was disappointed to hear that the NBLRA feels the need to back off advancing the region al sports facility concept but he said he could understand why it might choose to I can understand their posi tion Volatility in a marketplace is not the friend of any business and thats what this equates to Nobody wants to invest in some thing that is Cork said The regional sports venue and See SPORTS INSIDE Key Code 76 e