New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 11, 2007, New Braunfels, Texas
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11,2007
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
New Braunfels firefighter still in the running in Spike TV reality show after Tuesday's episode. Page 3A
Vol. 154, No. 128 16 pages, 2 sections
DEAR ABBY 4B CLASSIFIEDS 5B COMICS 3B CROSSWORD 3B FORUM 4A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 6A TV GRIDS 4BCity officials outline plan to fight lawsuit
By Mark Koopmans
A group of river outfitters and individuals who want the ordinances on beer bongs and river-related activies removed from the of New Braunfels slate of ordinances plunged forward Tuesday.
“I was officially served with the lawsuit this morning,” said City Secretary Michael Resendez.
The mostly unidentified group behind "Stop The Ordinances Please” is made up of beer distributors, river outfitters and locals who
■ STOP organization wants river ordinances rescinded
feel the rules keep them from enjoying the river, said Scott Tschirhart, the attorney representing STOP
The four ordinances the group opposes regulate cooler sizes, prohibit alcohol consumption in Binman Island and Prince Solms parks and ban beer bongs and Jell-0 shots on parts of the Comal and Guadalupe rivers inside the city limits.
Issued since this past summer and spring, they affect only river
users who float downstream of the Gruene railroad bridge, and do not affect any businesses located outside the city’s jurisdiction.
Paul Isham, interim city attorney, said he went to the 207th District Court to confirm that a hearing had been scheduled and said as a precaution he contacted the city’s insurance company.
“I don’t think we ll need our insurance carrier in this case, as the plaintiff is not looking for any monetary
damages,” said Isham, who will hand over his duties to the city’s new attorney, Alan Wayland, on Monday.
"But we do want the city of New Braunfels to be in the best position to defend its ordinances,” he said. “Due to the transition, we’re not really equipped to handle this case right now. That’s why we ll be hiring a firm out of San Antonio to represent us.”
Tschirhart has said the city overreached its authority by creating the ordinances. I Ie said state law, in this
case Section 1.06 of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage (bde, takes precedence.
Carolyn Beck, spokeswoman for the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, said she was unaware of any instances similar to the lawsuit filed in New Braunfels, and had received no comments or complaints from the public.
Hie agency, which deals only with state and federal laws, does not enforce locally passed ordinances, Beck said.
"But individuals do have the right
See RIVER, Page 8A1656 State Highway 46 • New Braunfels. TX • (830) 625-2661 ■ www.1cb.com • Member FPIC • Equal Housing Lender|l#l H APRIL I COMMUNITY BANKING MONTH!
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■ Creekside has company unsure of its next move
By Suzanne Ashe
S&T Aircraft Accessories is a doughnt hole in the middle of the Town Center at Creekside site on Farm-to-Market 483.
Owners Mary Turner and her son, Nathan Durbin, said Tuesday if they sell their three-acre tract — the last piece of the Creekside puzzle — relocating their parts plant could put them out of business.
The aircraft accessories plant employs 12 workers and is one of only four or five facilities in the world that refurbishes aircraft parts for radial engines and historic planes such as B-17 bombers, they said.
“We are regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration," Turner said. “If we move and the FAA does a walk through and doesn’t approve the new facility, we’re out of business.”
As Turner walked through work rooms filled with heavy machinery and row after row of rare airplane parts stacked ceiling high, she recalled the last time she and her late husband, Orville, moved the business.
“We moved here from the south side of New Braunfels in 1992,” she said. "We loaded up trucks and moved all of this and nothing got put away where it was supposed to be.”
Moving again, she said, would put a strain on the business, herself and her workers.
“If we move we could be down a minimum of a month or two, she said. “It would be a nightmare to move everything, trying to even do it would be horrendous.”
Turner said she was surprised when she saw a rendering of the Creekside devel-opment in the Herald-Zeitung’s March 25 Horizons section.
“I looked at it and we
Residents worried about possibility of being annexed
■ Bulverde council will revisit topic
By Jessica Sanders
The Bulverde City Council will consider leaving one neighborhood out of future annexations.
More than 40 residents of the River Crossing subdivision packed the Bulverde City Council meeting Tuesday, asking to be released from the city’s extra-territorial jurisdiction.
Residents of the subdivision, located in an unincorporated area northeast of the Texas 46 and U.S. 281 intersection, collected 356 signatures from registered voters in River Crossing petitioning for their neighborhood to
remain part of the county.
Part of River Crossing is included in Bulverde’s one-mile extra-territorial jurisdiction. If Bulverde voters pass a home rule charter during the May 12 election, new city regulations would allow that area to be annexed without a vote by city or county residents.
River Crossing resident Larry Hatfield said he and his neighbors are concerned that they would see a lower quality of services and higher taxes if the area is annexed.
“We’re not asking for anything different than what Bulverde did when they
See BULVERDE, Page 8A
Senate could prescribe changes to Medicare
■ Negotiating prescription drug prices possible
By Mark Koopmans
The U.S. Senate might save millions of Medicare recipients some money if a possible vote goes AARP’s way.
“It looks like ‘mark-up’ in the Senate Finance (Committee) will be this week and a vote may come next week,” said Rafael Ayuso, communications manager with AARP-Texas, part of the national nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50 years and older.
A March poll conducted by AARP of 500 adults age 18 and older shows 86 percent of Texans surveyed supported a proposal to allow Medicare to use its bargaining power to negotiate prescription drug prices with pharmaceutical companies.
Currently, Medicare, which covers 43 million people including more than 2.5 million Texans, is banned from negotiating prescription drug prices.
AARP’s poll shows support for allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription chug prices was strong across party lines, Ayuso said. Fighty-six percent of Democrats, 90 percent of Republicans and 83 percent of Independents agreed Medicare should use its bargaining power to negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs, he said.
Ayuso said AARP believes the power to negotiate would allow Medicare to achieve additional savings for beneficiaries, improve the longterm sustainability of the Medicare drug program and reduce costs for taxpayers.
See MEDICARE, Page 8ASurrounded
Photos by DAVID INGRAM/Herald-Zeitung
S&T Aircraft Accessories' co-owner Nathan Durbin works on a distributor for a radial airplane engine while standing under a model of the Memphis Belle built by his mother and S&T co-owner, Mary Turner. The company's owners say they fear becoming enveloped by theTown Center at Creekside site on Farm-to-Market 483.
weren’t even on it,” Turner said. “PM 483 was gone and we’ve got to have an entrance to our business.”
Jim Ray, whose Texas Commercial Investments company has been involved with the 330-acre proposed development since its beginning two years ago, said he was working with S&T to find the “best way to co-exist.”
“They service antique airplanes and their shop has to be certified by the FAA,” he said. “They don’t want to jeopardize their primary business.”
See CREEKSIDE, Page 8A
S&T Aircraft Accessories, located on FM 483, operates on three acres of land in the middle of theTown Center at Creekside site.