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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung: Sunday, February 25, 2007 - Page 5

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   New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 25, 2007, New Braunfels, Texas                                February 2007 HERALDZEITUNG Page 5A Paid Advertisment SETTING THE RECORD Newsweek in River City They transform private riverside lawns into public They pave the river bed and banks with beer They prance nude in the gardens of local Some couples openly congestion on access roads is so appalling that recently a grid locked ambulance took an hour to reach the site of a August not a misprint19821 Dallas Morning when The Dallas Morning News asked readers whether New Braunfels officials are most of them said Its one reader describing garbage and cigarette butts floating in the river famous for its pristine And Going to New Braunfels was always so much Now its just dirty and August 2006 Texas Monthly Bum Steer in Toobs on the Comal 2006 The stories printed in magazines and newspapers are not My family spends a lot of time on both Our grandson learned to snorkel and scuba in the Comal he gets excited when he sees a fish now and then among the cans that cover the river there have been too many times when we have attempted to shield his eyes from obscene to apologize for the F word being screamed in his or tried to explain why they throw beer cans in our river when we float with him after school or on week There is no question that our community would not allow this behavior or litter to take place on our I have attended all but two of the River Activities Committee RAC The majority of those who criticize the recommendations have never attended a meeting or provided input to the I resent these issues being framed as driven by a certain councilman or a few people who live on the Only two of the seven members live on the river several are members of the one member has worked for an outfitter and one manages lodging on the The committee listened to many hours from August to present of input from hundreds of law residents and city RAC listened and made recommendations accordingly The smaller cooler suggestion came from outfitters on the Comal and the 6pack size was endorsed by the police The ideas for fencing the banning open containers in the parks passed by the Parks Board and one cooler per person came from Staff and Law Enforcement for public safety The overwhelming evidence of public safety issues presented by Law Enforcement has lead to the recommendations Citations and arrests in 2006 Over citations for underage drinking Alcohol is the root cause of behavior problems The Police chief and the Sheriff reported that more law enforcement will not solve the problems Law enforcement is hesitant to address large groups of inebriated individuals for the safety of its officers Very few people leave the rivers stone cold sober Law enforcement is not able to address GUIs from rivers Law enforcement and staff see problems coming from people migrating from areas that have banned alcohol from their parks Police chief supports an alcohol ban on the rivers The majority of the committee agreed with law enforcement and city staff that alcohol is the root cause of the bad behavior and supported recommendations to limit alcohol consumption for public The argument that only a small percentage of river users are causing the problem does not hold We know that all those that exceed the speed limit are not ticketed note 6 7 Would I expose my family to a neighborhood that has only a 25 percent violent crime rate since the rest of the neighborhood is fine There is much more at stake here than inner tubes and sales tax This issue frames who we are and the image we want to We are now known as the place to go and get We need to decide if we want to cater to those who want a spring break culture or a Family If we truly want families we must make hard We live in one of the fastest growing areas in the There is no shortage of tourists to draw We can afford to chose who we want to come and who we want to Those that claim we will lose sales tax dollars have ignored increased sales tax receipts and also ignored other communities who have made changes to get rid of the spring break Communities like Lauderdale and Galveston overcame objections Galveston did not have a unanimous council and cries of ruin when they banned alcohol from their They have no interest in going back their economy is booming with family attractions and report a rising tide lifts all Those that oppose change have limited vision of what these rivers could mean to our What other community has two beautiful ecosystems running through its city limits Why should a river created from pristine springs bubbling from the ground have two or more feet of cans lining its bottoms the current litter management does not work when boy scouts gather 180 Ibs of cans off 75 feet of the river Why not advertise to families Come swim in an aquarium See unique flora and Learn what an endangered species might even see one Stop at several restaurants along your float and snack on sausage on a snow and ice cream Combine your float trip with a through our historic downtown district We provide free shuttle services to the rivers from events at our Civic We would be overrun with families Through the excellent media coverage that the Chamber provides and with the cooperation of the we can communicate River We can be successful in having different rules on different rivers as shown by one of the studies provided RAC on a river in Colorado that has three different zones that accommodate tubing and a quiet zone for I know that many of you do not venture on our but this issue is yours as much as it is those that make money from the Our streets are being used by inebriated drivers coming off the and public safety is a major Will it take another tragedy Wursfest entire family mowed down by drunk driver to make significant change Lets stop prostituting our rivers and our It was not that long ago that almost 3000 registered voters signed a petition to ban alcohol on the which is more than vote in City Council The majority of you were not represented at Council but your council needs to hear from A large group of people who show up for a single council meeting should not overrule 6 months of study focusing on public safety issues from law enforcement and city We need to move forward with positive Please let your voice be heard and join us in fighting to protect these beautiful our community reputation and for the benefit of future Carola Davis Fifth New Braunfels1   

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