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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 20, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas NEW BRAUNFELS FRIDAY June 14 pages in 2 sections NG Vol 152 No Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 50 cents Know the water before diving in LIFE 2part series TODAY Safety on the countys rivers SATURAY Boat ing kayaking jet skiing safely issues BY DYLAN Staff Writer Basic safety is essential in any body of water but there are dangers specific to rivers tubers and rafters should know No matter if its yourbackyard in a small or large pool or in a river or lake setting you always want to keep your personal safety New Braunfels Park Director Iris Neffendorf said The most important safety issue is familiarity with the body of water one is in officials Particularly rivers and lakes change minute by minute second by Neffendorf said You may have gone down a river or stream a hundred times prior and each will be Floods have changed depths gorged holes and changed currents on the river said State Game War den Kathleen Stuman who works the rivers in Comal Gounty Zero Rivers of Rockin R River Rides said the Comal is generally steadier than the Guadalupe and has fewer rapids The lowwater crossing near the tube chute can cause problems and the chute itself is not for everyone Neffendorf said There are a number of trouble some spots on the Guadalupe at each of the four River Road cross ings near Loop 337 and several See CASTEEL Session could impact county BYSEANBOWLIN Staff Writer State Rep Carter Casteel R N e w Braunfels isnt sur prised Gov Rick Perry called the Texas Leg islature back for a special ses sion on con gressional redistricting Theyve been talking about dealing with redis tricting for quite some Casteel said The 30day special session begins June 30 It would be the states first since then Gov Ann Richards called one on public education in late 1992 Casteel said redistricting could affect Comal County but its too early too tell Were probably going to be one of many counties in somebodys district I suspect were going with Lamar Casteel said She said its also possible the county could be divided into two congressional dis tricts In other words part of our population could support one congressmans district and part of our population could support she said In that case one part would still be represented by Smith and the other by Rep Henry Bonilla RSan Antonio Casteel said the current congressional maps were drawn by the Legislature in 1991 when it was controlled by the Democrats Democrats were manipu lating the system Casteel said There was quite a bit of See K JESSIE Tabatha Reeves goes over a waterfall at Hueco Springs while tubing the Guadalupe River Thursday Guide maps list dangerous spots on the rivers Mr Schneiders Opas Caricature artists buttons a humorous Wurstfest tradition I K JESSIE Wurstfest Association Promotions and Advertising Director Herb Skoog sits for a cari cature portrait by artist Harry Schneider of San Antonio Schneider has been drawing the Big Grandfather buttons since 1987 BY SEAN BOWLIN Staff Writer If you see someone wear ing a button during Wurst fest that has a caricature of a mans face crowned in a feathered German hat chances are its a Grpsse Opa button Herb Skoog promotions and advertising director for Wurstfest has almost every one of them Hes also well versed in the history of the buttons which became a tradi tion in 1987 From the very beginning of the popular German festi val contest roy alty was named Miss Loverwurst and a Baloney King would meet the public and interact with the media to promote Wurstfest Skoog After the Wurstfest Asso ciation decided to have a Grosse Opa or big grand officials met with San Antoniobased carica ture artist Harry Schneider Schneider has set up a draw ing booth at Wurstfest cari cature for around 30 years Wurstfest officials con vinced Schneider to become HERB SKOOG Wurstfest promotions and advertising director the official caricature artist of the Grosse Opa starting with 1987s honoree Garroll Hoffmann Since then Schneider has drawn for free a cartoonlike image of every Grosse Opa complete with exaggerated features and comical distor tions Its all in good fun but there have been a couple of Grosse Opas who were not pleased with their carica tures Skoog said Most take Schneiders drawings in stride After all Skoog said the drawings are not supposed to be flattering pictures For 16 years the Grosse Opa has distrib uted the buttons to local friends strangers to organi zations coming to Wurstfest at school activities where he meets the students and in Fredericksburg during A Night inOld For a while some Grosse Opas had their own wooden nickels bearing their carica tures Others had their draw ings placed on refrigerator magnets See f you wear a but ton everybody you run into is going to see it and know about it JJ That doesnt look really like me does it Some of Wurstfests Big Grandfathers weigh in on whats its like to immortalized on a button I said Wow I didnt know I was that BENNY ENGEL 1999 Grosse Opa Any resemblance is purely FRITZ WELSCH 1991 Grosse Opa As if we dont look funny enough in our JOEKUEHLER 2001 Grosse Opa It looks more like me than I JOE ROGERS 1990 Grosse Opa The first one was so bad it was LEROYBOENIG 1992 Grosse Opa INSIDE 6A 5A 9 1 A I K QUALITY Health Alert The Texas etarnmission on Environmental Quality and trie Alamo Area CpMncU of Governments has declared today an Air Quality Health Alert Day 1 Reduce unnecessary vehicle driving Carpool if possible or com bine all errands Into one trip Avoid use of drive through lanes or services Dont refuel during daylight Avoid use of gaspowered yard equipment 1 Avoid exterior painting Pollution levels are poeted online at County cautious heading into budget process Budget time BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer As Comal County ramps up to prepare its 2004 oper ating budget County Judge Danny Scheel warned Thurs day that this will be a lean budget year But the county will not need to lay off employees and Scheel said he would do everything possible to avoid a tax increase Scheel repeatedly has asked county department heads to hold the line on spending at 2003 levels and to not add new employees I know its going to be a tough Scheel said Seeing the budget strain the City of New Braunfels was under this year has gave Scheel cause for caution Ive watched the city go through their budget pro ceedings and their tax rate and their budget historically has been similar to ours I know when we see all the fig ures ifs going to be similar to the citys Scheel said However Scheel said the county will not look to lay oSs to balance its budget and it is too early to talk about a tax increase I dont even want to think about a tax increase until Ive seen the Scheel said 1 would consider dipping into reserves before asking for another tax increase if I feel it will not jeopardize our financial He said he wants to bolster the countys reserve funds through lowinterest certifi cates of obligation The available interest rates are about percent Scheel said He would like to maintain million in reserve See County bydoet proposals prepared Budget tear ing conducted July 2125Plans final ised 1 Aug tux with county dark adopt ed rearing cn tax rate pondycted Sept 18 Droved 2004 budget filed with
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