New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 25, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas
WEDNESDAY April 25, 2001
16 pages in 2 sections
___ ■■MHH pages in 2 sectiiHerald-Zeitung
Vol. 150, No. 141
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Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852
On the TAAS track
K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-ZeitungSeele School fifth-graders created this “We know we can” poster as part of their preparations for the TAAS test this week.Witness: Father told school to stay out of girl’s health
By Bon Maloney Staff Writer
School officials testified the man on trial in district court for allegedly injuring and endangering his 7-year-old daughter told them they should worry about her education — and not her health.
Ultimately, it would be the health of the girl that led to her being taken away from Joseph and Yevette Heiser a month later.
Two months after that, the Heisers were indicted for allegedly endangering the girl by depriving her of food and fading to get her proper medical care.
The Heiser trial, in the 26th Judicial District Court of Judge Billy Ray Stubblefield, entered its second week Tues
day with testimony and cross-examination of the girl’s school counselor, school nurse and second-grade teacher.
All three witnesses described being at a parent-teacher conference on Dec. 3, 1999, where they expressed concerns about the girl’s health.
All also described Joseph Heiser’s reaction to their concerns.
Larry Nicholson is a former teacher and principal with decades of experience in education. He has worked 17 years at Liberty Hill Elementary School, and as the girl’s counselor, was at the meeting.
School officials expressed concerns about what they saw as a general decline in the girl’s health, Nicholson said.
They were surprised by Joseph Heis
“He said that we shouldn’t worry about her health, that we should take care of her education,” Nicholson said. “He was rather adamant that we stay out of the health issue. I told him we were concerned about the total child.”
School Nurse Vicki Thompson described the incident for prosecutor Jane Starnes and later was asked about it by defense attorney Randy Leavitt.
“That was a stupid thing for Mr. Heiser to say, wouldn’t you agree?” the attorney asked.
The nurse looked at Leavitt, the defense attorney, a little funny after he asked that question.
“I don’t believe it was appropriate,” she answered.See TRIAL/3A
By Amy Clarkson Staff Writer
New Braunfels City Council chambers filled Monday night with people intent on voicing their opinion about a Guadalupe Blanco River Authority request to amend its water permit.
After debating the rules of parliamentary procedure, council allowed people on both sides to address the amendment.
GBRA wants to take an additional 40,000 acre-feet from Canyon Lake, increasing the total amount taken out of the lake to 90,000 acre-feet. An acre-foot is about
325.000 gallons, enough to fill one acre of land one foot deep.
GBRA also plans to sell
11.000 acre-feet of water out of the district, including 4,000 acre-feet to Bexar County.
The Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission plans to rule on requests for a contested case hearing on May 9. At that time, it could either grant the permit amendment or send it to the state for the contested case hearing.
Council voted 4-2, with one member abstaining, to rescind a former action to request a contested case hearing on the permit amendment.
The city is sending a letter, dated April 26, to TNRCC saying that the council voted to rescind its request for the case hearing.
“By a vote of four in favor, two opposed and one abstaining, the city council voted not to ask the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission for a contested case hearing regarding GBRA Water Right certificate of adjudication No 18-2074,” the letter reads. “In addition, the city council voted five in favor and two opposed to attach to this letter a copy of the minutes from the June 26, 2000, city council meeting at which time city council voted not to send a letter of opposition to TNRCC regarding GBRA’s application.”
In June of this past year, Juliet Watson brought up the GBRA permit and said she was concerned about what could happen if the permit amendment was approved. At that city council meeting, Watson asked council to send a letter of opposition to the TNRCC.
“These are the same issues she brought up then,” Mayor Stoney Williams said Tuesday. “And we voted against it
Watson considers legal options after vote
By Amy Clarkson
One council member is seeking legal options to overturn a vote made at Monday night’s city council meeting.
After hours of debate, New Braunfels City Council voted Monday to rescind a March 26 action to ask the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission for a contested case hearing. The hearing would have been regarding a permit that would allow the Guadalupe-Bianco River Authority to take more water from Canyon Lake.
Councilwoman Juliet Watson said Tuesday, “They can’t make a motion to rescind that wasn’t on the agenda.
“I should have stuck to my guns and not let them have any discussion on the motion at all. I even
then. It should be clear from that meeting that the council does not want a contested case hearing.”
Residents from Bulverde to Canyon Lake spoke on opposing sides of the issue at Monday’s meeting.
“What you do tonight will affect your grandchildren and their grandchildren,” Bill Womack said. “It’s time to survey the facts and realize what this permit will do.” Speaking in favor of the permit, former county judge Carter Casteel said she was amazed that the issue has just now come up and the council failed to speak to one member of the county commissioners about the permit.
“We’ve worked on this for years,” she said. “When I got on the board in 1990, there were problems with water in Bulverde then. Where has See COUNCIL/4A
Public hearing on golf course today
By Martin MALACARA
BULVERDE — Bulverde area residents will get their chance to sound off about another planned golf course over the Trinity Aquifer.
The Southeast Trinity Groundwater Conservation District has a public hearing scheduled for 5:45 p.m. today at Bulverde City Hall on two well permit applications for Cibolo Cliffs Golf Course.
Golf course officials have applied for permission to complete two wells to draw 400 acre-feet of water a year from the aquifer to establish the golf course.
An acre-foot of water roughly equals 325,000 gallons, which can supply a family of
five with enough water for a year.
The golf course would be about five miles east of Bulverde along Farm-to-Market Road 1863.
Russ Napper, president of the Skyridge Property Owners Association, said subdivision residents are worried the golf course could affect their wells.
“The association is not trying to stop them from going in. We’re asking them to look at alternative means of watering,” Napper said.
Skyridge subdivision has 30 active wells, Napper said. This past year, five of those wells, including his own, went dry.
“We want them to be good neighbors,” he said.
Key Code 76
City council rescinds vote for hearing
Police chief helps spread summer behavior rules
By Amy Clarkson
Have a good time on the river, but don’t leave your manners at home — that’s the message Police Chief Ray Douglas wants to send tourists.
To make his point perfectly clear, Douglas agreed to wear a tube and his dress uniform — just to get people’s attention.
“I told them I would do anything within reason,” Douglas said. “And this is what the (public relations) people called reasonable. They wanted me in the water, but I told them no way I was getting in the water.”
Douglas’ photo has been sent throughout the state, to colleges, universities and tourism boards. It comes with a complete fist of rules and the admonition, “Play nice. Don’t Make Waves.”
“We’re serious about this,” Douglas said. “But we want people to have fun. But if they leave their manners at home, they better bring their bond money.”
The Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce launched the advertising campaign to let tourists around the state know the new rules of the river management plan. Chamber President Michael Meek said the message is the city wants visitors but those visitors must behave.
“There are certain types of behavior that we won’t tolerate,” Meek said. “The idea is to have these rules at the point of purchase — when they rent their tubes. But people are there, ready to get in the water. They’ve got their suntan oil; they’re wearing their bathing suits; they’re ready to have fun. Having the photo of the police there — in a tube — drives the point home and gets their attention.”
Police Chief Ray Douglas posed for this photo as part of an advertising campaign to spread the word about the rules for behavior on local rivers this summer.
The police department plans to patrol the river this summer in rafts and air kayaks. The rafts will have trolling motors, the chief said. “We’ve practiced in the Guadalupe with them,” he said. ‘They’re very sturdy, and they go really fast. We’ll be able to patrol the rivers effectively with them.”
The police department already has begun preparing for the summer season and has scheduled two days to learn water safety and
first aid with their new equipment. They will train Friday and May 2.
Douglas said he dreaded the release of the photo and not because it meant the beginning of tourism season. He expects to get a good deal of teasing when local folks see him wearing the tube, standing by the river.
“This is how strongly I feel about New Braunfels,” he said. “I would put myself through this ordeal and all this ridicule. The guys here
at the police department -they are going to have a really good time with it.”
But Douglas said he knew that he was in for some goodnatured ribbing when he first heard of the idea. And he went through with it, he said, because he believes it is important that people know about the plans for the river.
“I knew this would open the door for people having fun with me,” he said. “But that’s OK. This is an important message.”