New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 30, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
Sunday, April 30, 1995BHerald-ZeitungB3 A
Sierra Club files new water lawsuit
AUSTIN (AP) — The Sierra Club filed a lawsuit Friday against the U.S. Department of Agriculture, seeking to end subsidies it calls “economically wasteful and ecologically damaging.”
The subsidies benefit farmers who irrigate crops with water from the Edwards Aquifer.
“The USDA spends $8 million in taxpayers’ money each year subsidizing Edwards pumping by big irrigators,” .said Ken Kramer, director of the club’s Texas chapter.
“It threatens to poison San Antonio’s water supplies. It threatens to ruin the tourism economies in New Braunfels and San Marcos, which are far more valuable than, say, sorghum for hog feed,” Kramer said. “It also threatens to kill off irreplaceable endangered species.”
Jim Petterson, deputy press secretary at the USDA in Washington, said he was unaware of the lawsuit and had no comment.
The lawsuit claims the USDA is violating four federal laws that require the department to develop •> and carry out plans and programs to prevent subsist dizcd irrigation practices from poisoning human water supplies and killing wildlife.
‘It threatens to poison San Antonio’s water supply. It threatens to ruin the tourism economies in New Braunfels and San Marcos, which are far more valuable than, say sorghum for hog feed. It also threatens to kill off irreplaceable endangered species.’
— Ken Kramer on pumping the aquifer for irrigation
“The USDA needs to obey the law,” Kramer said.
The aquifer is the sole source of drinking water for San Antonio, and it feeds the natural springs in New Braunfels and San Marcos that many tourists visit.
The lawsuit targets subsidized farms in Bexar,
Medina and Uvalde counties.
“We are not singling out individual agricultural users and filing suit against them. We arc filing suit against a federal agency for what we consider to be an ineffective and inappropriate policy on the part of that agency,” Kramer said.
Pete Schenkkan, one of the attorneys who filed the suit, said irrigation of the crops grown in those counties was unnecessary. He said more acres are cultivated in all three counties without irrigation.
The lawsuit claims the USDA “has failed or refused to pursue reasonable and prudent alternatives to economically wasteful and ecologically destructive irrigation agriculture” in the counties.
Schenkkan advocated irrigation systems more efficient than a standard sprinkler method.
“lf the federal government decides it needs to subsidize irrigation of cotton in Uvalde County, ho’w about putting the money behind fanners who will install drip irrigation systems and save most of the water that is presently being used?” Schenkkan said.
Drip imgation uses less water and directs it toward a specific arca. *
Border Patrol Chief Memorialized at McAllen Service
McAllen (AP) — About 400 mourners from across the state gathered to remember a McAllen man whose gentleness and dedication marked his 25 years with the U.S. Border Patrol.
Bruce Fuller, who was scheduled to retire in September, had been the McAllen sector chief since 1993. The Southern California native died Wednesday after he fell from a ladder outside his home.
Law enforcement officers from the Border Patrol, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, police departments from Kingsville to Alton and civilians came to honor Fuller Friday.
INS District Director Mike Williams offered comments about Fuller during the services at Kreidler Funeral Home.
“The chief did not believe for a moment that we don’t make a difference,” Williams told The (McAllen) Monitor Friday.
Two Rape 'Victims’ Get Angry, Form Survivors’
HOUSTON (AP) — After Dana Skyvara was sexually assaulted, she ; did what few women do.
Skyvara formed a group to teach women about sexual assault before it happens and urge women to “get ' angry” and put rapists behind bars.
“There has really been no education until after it happens and you real
ly don’t want to learn about this stuff that way,” she said.
Skyvara formed the Natural Bom Survivors Association with another woman who was raped, Donna Costa, after the two met at the Houston Area Women’s Center.
Both women have allowed their names to be printed in hopes of fostering awareness of sexual assault.
Proposed Law Would Have Protected Father Seeking Records on Girl’s Grade
HOUSTON (AP) — All Robert Ult wanted was an explanation from his daughter’s school when the 13-year-old brought home bad conduct marks.
What he got instead was a legal battle.
“I’ve been locked up in this thing for two years now,” Lett says. “I spent about a year constantly typing on the computer at night and during the day when I’d get home.”
Lett wound up in court after citing the Texas Open Records Act to see documents he believed contained information on his daughter’s behavior.
A bill heading through the Texas Legislature would have prevented Lett from being sued by the Klein Independent School District.
His daughter Crystal, now a 15-year-old at Klein High School, has done her best to stay out of the feud and lead a normal teen-age life.
“Several of her friends tell me that they admire me for the fact that I was willing to pursue this,” Lett said.
Husband wants more done in search for missing plane
DALLAS (AP) — The husband of one of four Texans aboard a plane missing since Monday said he’s upset the Air Force hasn’t gotten involved in the search for his wife.
Allen Gray said he and other families of the four. missing Univcsco employees have been on “pins and needles” not knowing the status of the aircraft.
The aircraft is one of three which took Univesco employees to Lake Powell, Ariz., for a fishing expedition. The other two searched the homeward flight route to no avail as they flew back to Texas on Wednesday and Thursday. The flight left Page, Ariz., on Monday but wasn’t reported missing until Tuesday afternoon.
Aboard the single-engine Cessna 172 were Teresa Gray of Plano, David Caines and David Warren, both of Carrollton, as well as pilot Mark Ballou.
The U.S. Coast Guard auxiliary and the National Park Service have joined the search, checking the lake’s surface and the area’s rugged canyons.
Gray said his wife was returning on the first plane out to return home to their 16-month-old baby.
“Other wives (of the missing men) have young families,” Gray said. “We’re terrified that maybe they’re
out there and OK and not enough is being done. There aren’t enough assets in the air.”
Gray said he contacted Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and U.S. Rep. Dick Armey for assistance in getting as much federal search and rescue involved as possible. A request from the president, a congressman or the Rescue and Recovery Center at Randolph Air Force Base is needed for the military to involve itself in domestic affairs.
Air Force officials were not immediately available for comment.
The aircraft’s owner has joined the search that centers on Lake Powell, near the Arizona-Utah border. Univcsco president Bob Werra left the company’s Addison, Texas, headquarters to work with Civil Air Patrol wings from Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
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bludge says Chicken Ranch will close
LONGVIEW, Texas (AP) — Folks at the East Texas Chicken Ranch say a local judge laid an egg in announcing that the nude steak house will shut down soon.
Gregg County Judge Mickey Smith told the Longview News-Joumal that the Chicken Ranch offered to close by May 15, ending a legal battle with the.county.
But a representative of the steak house denies the report.
“We have not made an offer to shut down,” said Doman Cox, a manager of the restaurant.
Smith said the Chicken Ranch offered to close if the county did not ask for court costs and attorneys fees associated with the Chicken Ranch’s legal fight with the county.
The Chicken Ranch filed a lawsuit after county officials passed an ordinance regulating nude and topless entertainment. The county then flied a counter-complaint asking a judge to close the Chicken Ranch.
Circgg County passed the ordinance after several nude businesses popped up over a period of several years.
Now, there are nearly a dozen nude establishments. The Chicken Ranch opened in May 1994.
Henry LeRoy Means
I lcnry LeRoy Means, age 59, of New Braunfels, passed away Thursday, April 27, 1995. He was bom July 19, 1935 in Webb City, Mo.
I lcnry is survived by two Daughters, 5 Sons, 3 Grandsons, IO Granddaughters, and a Sister.
Graveside services will be Monday, May 1, 1995 at 9:30 a m. at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, with U.S. Army honors.
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