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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 6, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas >AV N EW •xx    r~~w Herald-Zk '< I p. I i-i -U 11 LJl ..........’MT t: Vol, 149 No. 99    14    pages    in    2    sections    April    6,    2000 Thursday Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents What’s Up Chemical Exchange Day This Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Behind Fire Station No. 2,4120 Loop 337 Reuse-Recycle Day Saturday, April 15 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Behind Fire Station No. 2,4120 Loop 337Household chemical exchange program set By Erin Magruder Staff Writer County residents can rid their homes and the landfill of excess hazardous waste by participating in the ninth annual household chemical exchange program Satur day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. behind New Braunfels Fire and Rescue Station No. 2, 4120 Loop 337. More than 700 households are expected to participate in the toxic waste exchange program sponsored by the City of New Braunfels, Comal County and the City of Garden Ridge, said project manager Elroy Friesenhahn, who also is the New Braunfels Fire Marshal. “Residents should participate in the event because it is a way to get the chemicals out of the landfills — where it could end up in our water or other places and off of the shelves where it could be harmful to the homeowners,” Friesenhahn said. “One individual can make a difference. All residents have to do is drive up, we’ll even unload their vehicles for them.”See PROG RAM/3 A The Main question City considers downtown expenditures By Peri Stone-Palmquist Staff writer Many of those passionate about revitalizing downtown New Braunfels have asked the city to inject more public funds into what they consider the economic and cultural heart of the city. But the city already spends more than $90,000 out of the general fund for a department some say could be doing more. And at least one councilman thinks the program should be self-sufficient in another five years (see related story). - Currently, Main Street’s budget is about $92,000 — 80 percent of which funds salaries and wages for the Main Street director and secretary. In fiscal year 1999, before the department had a full-time secretary, the budget was $64,000. Now the city is looking at a budget of $158,000, including a one-time expense of $50,000 for capital improvements, such as downtown lighting. Council will vote Monday on the first reading of the budget. lf that budget is approved, Main Street’s budget will increase nearly 150 percent from the 1999 budget. While money spent on capital improvements creates tangible changes for downtown, measuring the impact of money spent on Main Street isn’t so easy. Main Street director Lynn Fountain will be the first to admit her department isn’t a “traditional*city service.” “A lot of people don’t understand what we do,” she said. But back in the late 1980s, a group of New Braunfels residents decided Main Street was the best mechanism to revitalize downtown, she said. “I see it as a choice,” she said. “Different communities use different mech- New Braunfels City Council will vote on the first reading of proposed new budget at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the New Braunfels Municipal Building, council chambers, 424 S. Casten Ave. arusms. K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung Above: Lynn Fountain points to the main plaza on a map representing the various districting zones throughout New Braunfels. Below: Fountain and Planning secretary Sam Sarske discuss business. Councilman: Downtown should stand on its own By Peri Stone-Palmquist Staff Writer New Braunfels city councilman Larry Alexander said he believed the Main Street program should be self-sufficient in about five years. “I do feel downtown needs to eventually stand on its own,” he said. While the program “had its place,” the businesses must make the difference, not the city, he said. Downtown business owner Marty Lindley, who serves on the Main See DOWNTOWNS 9 ALEXANDER The National Main Street Program started in 1980 with several goals: to save and rehabilitate historic structures downtown, improve economic management, strengthen public participation and recruit new businesses. The Texas Main Street Program started in 1981. Since then, it has helped 125 Texas cities. New Braunfels was designated a Main Street city in 1991 when the city signed a contract See MAIN/8 A Landa Station lawsuit dismissed By Peri Stone-Palmquist Staff writer A federal civil suit filed by owners of a now-defunct bar and live music venue against Comal County and the City of New Braunfels was dismissed Tuesday. The suit, filed in June, alleged that during the 1997 hepatitis A outbreak county and city officials violated the civil rights of Irene and Gary Smith, owners of Landa Station, and Derrick Tillman, a previous employee diagnosed with hepatitis A. U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia filed the dismissal Tuesday — a decision that can be appealed within 30 days, although Gary Smith said he was unsure whether he would. Austin-based defense attorney Tony Nelson, who represented the county, called the lawsuit “frivolous.” “We don’t believe there’s a basis for an appeal for the case or a basis for the lawsuit,” he said. Smith said he didn’t have a direct comment on the lawsuit. “More than anything, I hate losing our lifelong investment,” he said. The Smiths closed Landa Station, 381 Landa St., in September, after watching business dwindle for a year because of the hepatitis scare. According to the plaintiff’s petition, former county judge Carter Casteel had a press conference Jan. 16, 1998, and released the name of Landa Station as employing a waiter with hepatitis A. The Smiths say Landa Station, suffered “irreparable economic harm as well as embarrassment, humiliation and public ridicule” and “severe mental anguish requiring medical treatment.” Irene Smith said they were forced to close their restaurant after the Jan. 16, 1998, press conference and operate only as a bar, dropping business from between $200 and $600 a day to $30 a day. In the Jan. 16, 1998, edition of the Herald-Zeitung. Casteel said, “The reason we’re revealing the name ... is there is a medical necessity because we don’t know who’s eaten there.” City attorney Floyd Akers agreed: “We deny we’ve done anything wrong. We acted for public health and welfare.” People who ate there could have been infected with hepatitis, which causes fever, vomiting, diarrhea and jaundice, Akers said. “Early detection could be the difference between life and death,” he said. “It’s as simple as that.” Between 50 and 60 cases of hepatitis A were confirmed by the Comal County Health Department in See LANDA/RA Biker rides for MS awareness ERIN MAGRUDER/Herald-ZeitungCyclist Thomas Beasley has raised more than $60,000 for Multiple Sclerosis in the past nine years in crosscountry trips taking hirti to every U.S. state but three. Erin Magruder Staff Writer California native Thomas Beasley spent many years of his life working toward the dream of competing in the Superbowl of cycling competitions — the Tour de France. After returning from a cross-countiy cycling trip in 1990, Beasley, 31, was confronted with a grim reality that would alter his life forever. A 29-year-old close friend of Beasley’s had been stricken with and succumbed to the crippling effects of Multiple Sclerosis. The event so impacted Beasley, that in 1991, he set a personal goal to raise $ 100,000 in ten years to donate to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. During the past nine years, three months and four days, Beasley has cycled more than 145,000 consecutive miles through every US. state except Alaska, Vermont and New Jersey. He also has worn through 50 sets of tires with three different bicycles hauling more than 65 pounds of gear, appeared in more than IOO newspaper articles and raised more than $60,000 to donate to Multiple Sclerosis. And he is not finished yet. Beasley cycled into New Braunfels from San Antonio Wednesday afternoon hoping to gain local support for his cause. “I just like riding a bike and helping people out — knowing one day there might be a cure for MS, and I might be one of the reasons why,” Beasley said. “Everybody always makes their own life, and I’ve always wanted to do something a little different.” Beasley will be in the New Braunfels area — his hotel accommodations courtesy of Hampton Inn, 979 N. Interstate 35 — until Friday when leaves for Se© AWARENESS/3A Inside Abby........................... .....5A Classifieds.................... ..4-6B Comics......................... .....3B Crossword.................... .....5A Forum........................... .....6A Local/Metro.................. .....4A Movies............................ 5A Obituaries..................... .....3A Sports.......................... ..1-2B Today............................ .....2A Television....................... 3B Key Code 76 ;