New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 29, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas
Friday, April 29,2011 — Herald-Zhtunc — Page 3
From staff reports
TEMPORARY LANE CLOSURES ON N. WALNUT AVENUE
The City of New Braunfels has announced temporary lane closures on N. Walnut Avenue from W. Mill Street to Landa Street starting the week of May 2 and continuing through Nov. 30.
This section of N.
Walnut Avenue will be reduced to one lane of travel in each direction.
All driveways will remain accessible. T his will allow for stormwater and water utility installation as well as roadway construction as part of the Walnut Avenue Project.
For details, contact Octavio Garza, assistant city engineer, at (713) 205-6237.
EARTH DAY CELEBRATION SLATED AT NEW BRAUNFELS LIBRARY
Lucas Miller, the "singing zoologist," will perform .Saturday, in conclusion of many scheduled 2011 Earth Day festivities, at New Braunfels Public Library.
Today at the library, a Disney Nature Earth Day Film will be shown at 2 p.m.
Saturday’s events include:
• Hummingbirds: Fact and Folklore from the Americas, a visit and book signing with author Jeanette Larsen, 1 p.m.
• Habitat for Humanity ReStore booth, 1-4 p.m.
• Recycling Relay Races with Eunice the Unicorn and Calvin the Cougar, 2:00 p.m.
• Lucas Miller, the Singing Zoologist, 3:00 p.m.
For information, call (830) 221-4300 or email [email protected]
AACOG EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR RETIRES EFFECTIVE JUNE 1
Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG) Board of Directors chairman Marvin Quinney announces the retirement of executive director Gloria C. Arriaga.
Quinney said Arriaga’s retirement is effective June 1.
The board accepted the notification and expressed many thanks to Arriaga for her almost 40 years of selfless and dedicated public service to AACOG and the Alamo Area region.
The board subsequently appointed, effective immediately, Dean Danos, deputy director of government services, as interim executive director, to ensure AACOG’s mission continues unabated.
AACOG’s mission is to enhance the lives of all residents of the Alamo Region by working in mutual respect and partnership with all levels of government, the business sector, and the community at large to meet regional challenges and to create regional strengths.
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TX Senate remains divided over budget
AUST IN (AP) — The Texas Senate is deeply divided over its budget plan and a proposal to use $6 billion from the state’s Rainy Day Fund over the next two years.
Sen. Steve Ogden, Republican chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said Thursday that the chamber will keep looking for alternative sources of money, but he remains committed to tapping into the fund, calling it the "right thing to do.”
“The criticism of it, I think, is just flat wrong,” Ogden said. "The question 1 ask my colleagues is ‘What do we have it for?’ If you’re not going to use the Rainy Day Fund when it’s raining, we might as well get rid of it.”
But some Republicans inside and outside of the Senate and the Capitol fiercely oppose the idea.
Gov. Rick Perry and Republicans in the House have agreed to spend about $3 billion from the fund to cover gaps in the current budget but don’t want to use it for the 2012-2013 spending plan. House leaders have warned that the Senate plan to spend $3 billion more from the fund has no chance in their chamber. The conservative Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, an influential group with Republicans, is rallying to defeat the Senate plan and to advocate for more cuts.
That’s making it tough on Ogden. Senate rules require 21 of the 31 senators to supjiort
Senate pushes status checks by police
AUSTIN (AP)-—The Texas Senate has approved a bill that would require law enforcement agencies to run anyone arrested through a federal immigration enforcement program.
The Secure Communities program identifies immigrants who could be deported because of their immigration status and is just one of several provisions in the bill approved by the Senate Thursday.
The program is already used county jails.
The bill by Republican Sen. Tommy Williams would also require proof of U.S. citizenship to obtain or renew a driver’s license if the information hasn’t been previously provided.
Williams said that's because a license no longer just gives permission to drive, but serves as a secure form of ID.
The bill contains an additional $8 fee for a driver’s license that will go toward improving outdated technology and inadequate staffing.
Crews fight 2-day-old West Texas wildfire
SAN ANGEI-O (AP) — Firefighters continue to work to contain a wildfire that has scorched 8,200 acres in West Texas, burned a home and injured four firefighters.
Federal spokeswoman Bridget Litten tells the San Angelo Standard-Times the Oasis Fire about 13 miles south of Junction has burned 10 structures, including one home, in two days since ignition.
Kimble County Sheriff’s
Office spokesman Jason Whitaker tells the Standard-Times the fire is 60 percent contained after a firefighting effort that left four Junction volunteer firefighters with minor injuries. They were treated at a nearby hospital and released.
No mandatory evacuations were in effect Thursday night. A Texas Forest Service statement Thursday said today could mean critical fire potential with higher winds west of Interstate 35.
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I believe it takes real teamwork to find the answers to the challenges the city faces and I believe if the citizens, City Council, and city staff work together, we’ll be able to find ways to solve many of the critical issues that face us.
I believe 1 have the experience and commitment needed to effectively lead the team over the next three years.
I believe the knowledge I acquired while serving on City Council from 2003 to 2009 provides a strong base from which to serve you as your mayor.
My supporters believe a vote for Gale for Mayor is a vote for common sense leadership backed by experience, knowledge and commitment.
the bill before a vote is taken. Republicans hold a 19-11 majority, leaving them two votes shy of what they need even if ali of them agree on the plan.
Sen. Dan Patrick, a conservative radio talk show host who has forged close ties with tea party activists, voted against the Senate budget in committee.
He and other Republicans say Texas may need that money to head off another potential budget crisis two years from now.
"1 simply want to preserve every dollar of the Rainy Day Fund,” Patrick, a Houston Republican, said.
The Senate budget plan spends about $176.5 billion,
which is about $12 billion more than the House plan. Ogden said the Senate plan needs to tap the Rainy Day Fund to avoid the deep cuts to public education, higher education and human services that are proposed in the House budget.
“In order to write a budget that doesn't decimate public education, we have to use it. I’m willing to fight for that,” he said.
The Senate plan is already about $11 billion less than current spending. With the Rainy Day Fund, the Senate would likely have to make more cuts, Ogden said. And Senate Democrats — three voted against the plan in committee — won’t support a budget that makes any further cuts.
Race, power shape new House redistricting map
AUSTIN (AP) — A new plan for state House districts approved by Texas representatives lhursday protects Republican incumbents while maintaining "protected” status for minority-dominated districts, but Hispanic» said it doesn't do enough to promote the interests of Latino voters and a lawsuit from Democrats and minorities is all but certain.
The map was approved on a 92-52 vote after a marathon debate that dragged into the wee morning hours. Although the bill’s author, Republican Rep. Burt Solomons, said a top concern was protecting people already in office, it would pit several Republicans against each other, the natural result of the GOP’s unsustainably large supermajority. Republicans say the plan also would increase Latino voting strength in at least two districts and would create an extra district where blacks and Hispanics could play a dominant role in
the Fort Worth area.
But Democrats disputed that, saying the GOP failed to create enough minority-dominated seats, particularly in south I’exas, and some black lawmakers said their largely African American districts could be transformed into mostly Hispanic ones under some proposals that had been offered. Democrats and minorities are widely expected to file a lawsuit.
Some Republican members and activists wanted to make the map a much holder grab for conservative seats and limit the number of losses. But House leaders easily beat back those attempts.
Either way, there is only so much they can do given the constraints of federal anti-discrimination laws and shifts in population away from conservative rural areas and toward the suburbs that have seen explosive and diverse population growth.
From wire reports
2 WALK AWAY AFTER SMALL PLANE MAKES CRASH LANDING
FORT WORTH — A flight instructor and a student pilot suffered minor injuries when the aircraft they were flying crash-landed Thursday at an airport on Fort Worth’s far south side.
The FAA says the singleengine Cessna 172 was making touch-and-go landings at Spinks Airport when the aircraft rotted to the left just after takeoff and struck the ground, damaging the left wing and collapsing the nose* landing gear. Neither occupant suffered any serious injury.
TEXAS COMPTROLLER APOLOGIZES FOR RECORDS RELEASE
SAN ANTONIO —The release of personal information of 3.5 million Texans — including addresses and Social Security numbers — was a result of "human error” and was not done maliciously, State Comptroller Susan Combs said Thursday, while also adding that authorities are still going to investigate.
Combs also said there’s no indication the information, which in some cases included birthdates and driver’s license numbers, has been misused.
STATE SENATORS APPROVETEACHER EFFECTIVENESS BILL
AIJ STIN — The Texas Senate has approved legislation meant to improve evaluation of the state’s public school teachers and develop methods to help them succeed in the classroom.
Republican Sen. Florence Shapiro touts her bill as a bipartisan effort to keep effective teachers while helping them improve.
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