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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 6, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas Photos by DAVID NHGRAM/Herald-Zeitung (Above) Madison Gibson, 2, dances on her dad's lap (Erie Gibson) while listening to the music at Concerts in the Park Thursday night at Landa Park. (Left) Jay Erie entertains the crowd gathered around the dance slab. Thursday night's performance was a benefit for Communities in Schools, and attendees were asked to donate school supplies. Next Thursday will be the last Concerts in the Park. By Scott Mahon Staff Writer As local residents try to cope with traffic congestion on South Walnut Avenue, some say the New Braunfels Planning Commission’s decisions on commercial zoning are inconsistent. Tuesday, commission members denied a request by Seth Ronan to rezone a residential home a commer-office at the corner of South Walnut Avenue and Stonewall Street. Like other applicants who wanted to rezone their residential property to commercial property, Ronan said his home’s market value was not keeping up with its appraised value. But in a previous zoning ordinance hearing, commission members voted unanimously to approve rezoning a residence at the comer of Bridge Street and South Walnut Avenue to a commercial office. The two properties are five blocks apart. A handful of neighbors protested the rezoning of Ronan’s home, but no one protested the rezoning of the property at Bridge Street and South Walnut. "When neighbors voice their concerns, it’s a factor,” said Mike Ybarra, Planning Commission chairman. “And when people don't protest an application, that’s also a factor.” The commission and council approved rezoning a multifamily property located in the 500 block of South Walnut Avenue to commercial. “The closer you get to Business 35, the bigger the problem becomes," Ybarra said. District 6 Councilman Ken Valentine voted against rezoning the property at Bridge Street and South Walnut. "The whole thing (on South Walnut Avenue) is a disaster," said Valentine. "If they think See ZOKNRM, Page 3A COMING SUNDA Y Something stinks Ijfc»{^BJapiiw^«Mtelia<IHiMyti>w<l SAVE? THE GumtUfE Rise TUNNELL INSURANCEHOMEGrand jury indicts bank robbery suspect By Hon Maloney Staff Writer The Comal County grand jury Wednesday returned a robbery indictment against a San Antonio man suspected of a string of bank heists. New Braunfels Police Lt. John Rios said Thursday Joe Rene Tamayo, 39, was indicted on a first-degree felony robbery charge in connection with the April 12 holdup at the Wells Fargo Branch located inside the New Braunfels Wal-Mart. Rios said Tamayo was a ranking member of the San Antonio Mexican Mafia. “He confirmed that himself,” Rios said. If convicted, Tamayo faces between five and 99 years in state prison. But the New Braunfels charge isn't Tamayo's only problem. He has also been charged in similar robberies April 2 and April 9 in Austin and is suspect in others, lf convicted on the federal charges, Tamayo faces 20 years in the federal penitentiary on each count. Tamayo and a co-defendant in the Austin robberies, Ernest Hurtado Rodriguez, 44, of Austin, were sought for weeks by law enforce ment officials in several counties. Tamayo allegedly wore a baseball cap while Rodriguez allegedly wore a cowboy hat during some of the heists, causing police investigators to refer to him as the “Cowboy” before they identified him. Rodriguez was arrested April 14 after an alleged botched robbery attempt at an Austin credit union. Information developed in the New Braunfels investigation allowed officers to make the Austin arrest, Rios said. That night, Tamayo was arrested in San Antonio. Chamber donation protects CL officers By Bon Maloney Staff Writer CANYON LAKE—Work for Canyon Lake-area constables will soon get a little safer. Commissioners accepted Thursday from the Canyon Lake Chamber of Commerce a $3,917 donation to purchase eight bulletproof vests for constables and their deputies in precincts I and 4. Jeanne Slupik, president of the Canyon Lake Chamber of Commerce, told commissioners the money was raised at the chamber s third annual “To Serve and Protect” silent auction. In each previous year, the fund-raiser brought about $800 in donations. This year, with the recent shooting incident involving Sheriff’s Deputy Brett Smith, the chamber raised four times as much, she said. “We’ve had some dangerous situations,” Slupik said. “We’ve received very generous donations, and we will be able to protect the people who protect us.” Four of the $500 vests — once a luxury now considered a basic safety item for law enforcement officers — were written into the 2005 budget requests for constables. See DONATION, Page 3A Mission work takes St. Francis members to Honduras _ LETTERS Readers sound off on river enforcement, Smithson Valley's former principal, trash giving city a poor image. Page 4A FRIDAY, AUGUST 6, 2004 Zeitung SPORTS VOLLEYBALL Local netters take to the court today for scrimmages in their first tests of teamwork. Raga SA Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. Vol. 153, No. 229 12 pages. 2 sections CLICK I 500 cloudy High Low 95 72 Details 1B 8    56825    00001 DEAR ABBY 3B CLASSIFIEDS 3-6B COMICS 2B CROSSWORD 2B FORUM 4A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 5-6A TV GRIDS SB “One day, I was drinking a bottle of water, sitting on a street curb,” he said. “This 5-year-old little boy walked up to me and offered me a stick of gum. He was just dressed in rags. Somehow I persuaded him to come to our children’s activities, and he ended up spending the whole day with us.” After teaching the children gospel stories, the missionaries encourage them to work hard in school for the possibility of receiving a higher-level education scholarship. The Honduran government only provides hee education through sixth grade, and the $250 yearly fee for high school is too much for poor families to pay. St. Francis currently supports 18 students with guaranteed scholarships, as long as they keep their grades up. The Honduran church is growing so fast it needs its own building. Members from St. Francis and three other central See CHURCH. Page 3A Dancing lesson Walnut Avenue shows zoning inconsistencies By Leigh Jones Staff Writer CANYON LAKE—Three times a year, missionaries from St. Francis-by-the-Lake Episcopal Church travel to Central | America to deliver small pieces of civilization to the poverty-stricken natives of Danli, Honduras. Sewing machines and computers have enabled locals to learn marketable skills that help them get good jobs in the cigar producing town. “People take what little we bring them and turn it into something wonderful,” said John Carter. Carter, who is a retired nurse, made his first trip as part of a medical relief team of doctors and dentists. For the last four years, he has traveled with the church planting and evangelizing teams and working to communicate his faith with people he cannot talk to. Carter cannot speak Spanish, but he manages to get his message across. Spring Mountain Drive will feature a different house of worship. ST. FRANCIS-BY-THE-LAKE EPISCOPAL ■ Pastor Jerry Sneary ■ Attendance: 140 ■ Meeting times: 6:30 p.m. Saturday; 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. Sunday ■ Location 13250 FM 306 ■ Phone: (830) 964-3820 ■ Web site: ■ Worship style: Rite one and two; contemporary Saturday ■ Mission: As children of God. we at St. Francieby-the-Lake are committed to living, learning and sharing the love of Christ. Word of God and power of the Holy Spirit with our church family, our community and the world. DAVID INGftAM/Herald-Zeitung St. Francis-by-the-Lake's Rector Jerry Sneary stands in the church's Memorial Garden. ;