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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 24, 1996, New Braunfels, Texas Inside Editorial........................................4A Letters..........................................SA Comics.......................................12A Market Place..........................3B-7B Stammtisch Birthday wishes from tbs Herald-Zeitung! The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung extends birthday wishes to: Cindy Fitzsimmons, Roy Young (41 years), William Dor-row, and Amelia Garza. Happy anniversary wishes to: Walter and Dorothy Mueller, Rocky and Kathy Rust (20 years), Gary and Julie Erben (20 years), and Gilbert and Gloria Guerrero (25 years). To have a birthday or anniversary listed here, call 625-9144. Pollen Count Mold—2,460 Grass—10 Oak-382 Ash—0 Hackberry—0 Mulberry — trace (Polen measured in parts per cubic meter of air. Hearings token yesterday. Information prodded by Or. Frank Hampel.) River Information Comal River—215 cubic feet per second, up 4 from yesterday. Edwards Aquifer Panther Canyon Wei — 624.73 feet above sea level, down .02 from yesterday. Ssxusl assault advocacy training offered In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the Comal County Women's Center is presenting sexual assault advocacy training for volunteer advocates wanting to work with victims of incest, date rape and other sexual assaults. The program has been expanded in the last six months and advocates are badly needed to answer the hotline, as well as to accompany victims to the hospital and through the legal system. Training is offered twice a month on Tuesdays from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the center and will continue for about eight weeks. Advocates will be required to attend eight or more two-hour training sessions, to do reading at home, pass pre- and post-tests, and to acquire more experience by shadowing more experienced sexual assault advocates. Call 620-7520 to sign up for the next training session. Schlittcrbatin offers clinic Schlitterbahn Waterpark opens for 1996 this Saturday with a free immunization clinic for kids. Children will receive free shots and free Schlitterbahn tickets. The immunization clinic runs from 10 a m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 27 at the Rapids Pavilion off of Union Street. For details, call the Schlitterbahn information line at 625-2351. Novice Night at theater Circle Arts Theatre will hold its annual Novice Night, a workshop on basic acting skills. Wednesday, April 24, beginning at 7 p.m. Experienced actors will be there to assist novices in preparing short skits. There is no fee. Wear comfortable clothes. The workshop is for ages 17 and older. Plaza Niles Thursday, April 25, at 7 p.m. is the final installment of this year's Plaza Nites concert series at the bandstand. Mariachi Ecos de America is the featured entertainment for the final concert. Bring a lawn chair and a picnic. The series is sponsored by Main Street. Dropping spring flows threaten rare species By DENISE DZIUK Staff Writer As the drought plaguing the area continues, the endangered species in the Comal and San Marcos springs are taking the brunt of the attack. Spring flows dropped this weekend to levels where species begin to die. “We're right at the threshold. It’s getting very serious. Mother Nature’s not treating us very good,” said Guadalupe-Bianco River Authority General Manager Bill West, who is working with users to find an alternate source of water. The daily average spring flow at the Comal Springs on Monday was 200 cubic feet per second (cfs). The level at the San Marcos springs on Monday was approximately 98 cfs. At 200 cfs, it is believed individual members of some species begin to die, while entire populations begin to die at IOO cfs. David Bowles, an endangered species biologist for Texas Parks and Wildlife, said that as the water begins to drop to low levels, the species begin to die. He said this happens because of the quality of water and the physical environment changes. “You may have water coming out, but it’s a lot less than the species are used to,” said Bowles. “The conditions just become more harsh.” Bowles said that during the drought in the 1950s, the springs actually dried up for six months. When the water returned in the springs, some of the endangered species also returned. However, demands on the aquifer were not as great thai, and there is no telling what would happen if the springs dry up this year. “Those effects on the endangered species may be greatly magnified,” he said. “That may be what were beginning to see now. We just don’t know.” Alisa Shull, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services biologist said the agency really isn’t sure at what level the species begin to be at risk. However, she said die best estimate they could determine was the current levels of the springs. She said there is a contingency plan to help protect the species in that situation. The plan consists of taking a “representative sample” out of the springs and place it in hatcheries. She said there is some question about the numbers, but some samples are already in hatcheries. “We have biologists in the field right now to monitor and refine those numbers,” said Shull. “We’re also in the process of trying to collect some of those samples.” Shull said that without the samples, it is questionable the species will survive if the springs go dry. However, she said the samples in hatcheries do not guarantee anything either. She said the success of the plan depends on the ability to breed the species in captivity and then reintroduce them into the environment. She added that the reintroduction could be complicated, depending on the severity of the dry spell. “The ecosystem that is left could be damaged. It could be years before the ecosystem is restored, and that still doesn’t guarantee successful reintroduction,” she said. On to state Herald-Zeitung photo by MICHAEL DARNALL Kevin Hargrove, of the Canyon Cougar tennis team, returns a shot during regional finals in San Antonio yesterday. Hargrove won his match yesterday, and became the first Cougar aver to advance to state in tennis. (For complete coverage, see Sports, Page 8.) Putting Targeting Hispanic tourists could bring in more tourist money, some say By MELANIE GERIK Staff Writer The Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce says its umbrella strategy is a catch-all way of attracting all types of people into the area. But some, including the Greater Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Comal County, think that the umbrella repels many tourists of different ethnic groups. The Hispanic chamber and other organizations now have the chance to bid for the money, which totaled $733,000 last year, to formulate the best way to “put heads in beds” in New Braunfels. The council decided to accept proposals on how to spend the nearly 75 percent of the hotel and motel tax instead of renewing the chamber’s Convention and Visitors Bureau contract. The bureau’s five-year contract expires June 30,1997. The bureau wants to continue down the same path it has been following for the past seven years. At a recent meeting, the Strategy and Steering Committee of the Convention and Visitors Bureau affirmed its support of the current marketing strategy of Anderson Advertising in San Antonio. *We want them to have money to help our economy.’ — Michael Meek “They saw no need to make any changes,” said Michael Meek, chamber president. “We cannot change a successful program.” Meek said the chamber has a “destination marketing plan,” selling New Braunfels not to ethnic groups, but to middle to upper class people living in large cities, including Houston, the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and Corpus Christi. “We want them to have money to help our economy,” Meek said. Minorities havs money, loo Cristina Aguilar-Friar, who is in charge of cultural awareness and international trade for the Hispanic chamber, said specifically marketing to Hispanic and other ethnic groups will bring in more affluent tourists. “We have money to spend,” she said. “Our purchasing power is $200 billion.” Friar said the chamber needs to diversify its marketing plan to empha sis the different cultures in the community. “lf we enhance our product, people will come for more than the rivers,” said Aguilar-Friar, a publicist for Sosa, Bromley, Aguilar, Noble and Associates, the largest advertising firm in San Antonio. But Aguilar-Friar said targeting ethnic groups is not “race-based marketing,” which Meek mentioned in a letter dated March 8 to Don McGregor, owner of the Rodeway Inn on Interstate 35. “Race-based marketing doesn't exist," she said. “Hispanics are not a race.” Using alternative means Wei-Na Lee, an advertising professor at the University of Texas at Austin, said in order to attract ethnic groups, “mainstream media cannot be used.” The chamber advertises in general interest publications such as Texas Monthly and other tourist-oriented guides, Meek said. Lee said almost half of large corporations are using special activities such as cultural carnivals and advertising in specialized publications such as Hispanic magazine to attract minorities. Lydia Marie Treviflo, executive We have money to spend. Our purchasing power is $200 billion.’ — Christine Aguilar-Friar director for the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, said ha organization uses cultural events, including Camivale, a Mardi Gras-type celebration, to attract Hispanic tourists throughout the state. “We don’t duplicate — we share with the [regular] chamber,” Trevifto said. “We don't want to reprint all the brochures with Hispanic stuff.” Chambers work together The San Marcos Hispanic chamber receives a small portion of the city’s hotel/motel tax. Aguilar-Friar said the Hispanic chamber may be interested in doing something similar in New Braunfels instead of taking the whole 74.28 percent. She said the Hispanic chamber does not want to change everything about the current marketing strategy. “We want to work with the chamber to build confidence in our diversity,” Aguilar-Friar said. “We should capitalize [on our different cultures] and make money off of it.” Appraisal district joins security plan By DENISE DZIUK Staff Writer Low bridge Heraio-zeitung p -on o> * 11 ut *. uAnn«u. Elizabeth Staley, of Lubbock, was heading east on Lands Street, when her tractor-trailer truck got wedged underneath th# railroad overpast between Lands Park and Bluebonnet Motors at about 4 a.m. Tuesday. Workers had to deflate the rear tires to get the truck unstuck. The board of directors for the Comal Appraisal District opted Monday night to participate in the county security system at a pro-rated cost to the district. Chief Appraiser Lynn Rodgers said the board received a letter from the county outlining the measures that would be made available to the CAD through the county’s system. Rodgers said the system is the same as the one being installed in the courthouse and annex. “This is a county owned building. We just rent from them,” said Rodgers. “They implement their own plan, and we pay a pro-rated price for security in the part we rent.” Murder/suicide ruled in elderly couple’s death From Staff Reports The system includes swipe cards for after-hours access by employees, panic buttons, and a roaming security offica. Rodgers said there has never been a major incident involving security at the office, but he believes the proposed system will provide a sense of security for the staff. “Sometimes, I think these measures are more for that than the likelihood of an incident,” he said. Rodgers said he believes the system will be adequate in providing safety both during and after business hours. He said the panic buttons are “a big plus” because they let employees know “help is only a button away.” He also added that the biggest deterrent to crime is to have an officer roaming the building. The deaths of an elderly couple south of Gear Springs have been ruled a murder/suicide by the Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office. “All the evidence points to it,” said Larry Morawietz, chief criminal investigator of the sheriffs deparment. Authorities think Thomas J. Riggs Sr., 85, shot his wife, Lula Riggs, 81, then turned the gun on himself. The couple was found in the kitchen of their house in the 3200 block of South Highway 46, just south of Gear Springs, Friday afternoon. Each had been shot once in the head. Thomas Riggs was airlifted to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, but died shortly afterward. Lula Riggs died at the scene. New signs may lead to more stops By MELANIE GERIK Staff Writer Bright blue signs soon will tell Interstate 35 travelers where they can exit to fill their gas tanks, stomachs and need for sleep. The New Braunfels area is the first along Interstate 35 to put up the gas, food and lodging signs under relaxed regulations, said Connie James, regional manager for Texas Logos Inc, which is erecting tile signs through a contract with the Texas Department of Transportation. James said a law passed last year changes tire population restrictions on where the signs can be placed. The blue signs were limited to counties with less than 20,000 residents. Now the signs can be placed in nonurbanized areas with less than 50,000 residents, James said. She added another restriction is the highway must have qualified for a 65-mph speed limit, although it does not have to be the posted limit. Mayor Paul Fraser said he has been in constant contact with the transportation department in the past year to put the signs along the highway. Fraser said more people will stop because of the signs. “When you see New Braunfels with eight exits, it’s easy to pass up the town without knowing it,” he said. “Any kind of marking is going to help.” Fraser’s primary concern was directing tourists to the downtown area from the interstate. “It’s difficult to know what exit takes you to the downtown area,” he said. The signs are financed through advertising from restaurants, hotels and gas stations on the designated exits. “It does not cost the state anything,” James said. Businesses must pay $547.32 per year pa direction for what James called “main line” positioning. For “ramp signs,” directing travelers after they exit the interstate, businesses pay $27.61 pa year per sign. Because more businesses are along the highway than spaces on the blue signs, David Kopp, area engineer for the transportation department, drew names last month for positions on the signs. Once businesses are on the signs, “they maintain their space until they choose to give it up,” James said. New Braunfels is one of three Texas Logos projects in the state, James said. A ribbon cutting for the new signs was held Tuesday morning in Greenville, on Interstate 30 east of Dallas. Also, the signs are going up on Interstate IO near the Louisiana border. The blue signs are in place now in New Braunfels, and the business logos soon will follow, James said. “They’re gening ready to send us a I truckload, and a lot of New Braunfels | signs should be on it,” she said. A bold agenda for New Braunfels’ future. See Opinion, Page 4A. WednesdayNew Braunfels Tbs Plaza Bandstand Herald ^ w t P R OF UBL. I SH IN® 41°,icqT M1CROP r«“E?    * 22 pages in two sections ■ Wednesday, April 24,1996 ty 79903"" Serving Comal County and surrounding areas    PASO,    _. ,^iio m HOY YOUNG ii*# Vol. 144, No. 117 ;