New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 19, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas
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EL PRSO, TX 79903-Herald-ZeitungVol. 148, No. 195 14 pages in I section August 19, 1999 DAY SCrV'ng C°mal County since 1852 50 cents
WORD tables foam law
Board will await meeting between county officials before voting
By Christina Minor
SATTLER — Water Oriented Recreation District board members tabled the approval of a revised polystyrene or plastic foam ordinance Wednesday, saying it would await the outcome of a meeting between its lawyer, the criminal district attorney, county sheriff and a board member.
The prohibition section of the ordinance, re-written by Criminal District Attorney Dib Waldrip, said unapproved foam/polystyrene was prohibited on or in water governed by WORD. A person commits an offense if they intentionally, knowingly or recklessly use any unapproved foam or polystyrene on the river.
The offense would be a Class C misdemeanor.
Waldrip said he wanted an ordinance that sheriff’s deputies could easily enforce. He suggested WORD create a label or marker that would allow lawmen to easily recognize approved containers.
Board president Bill Mayo asked Sheriff Bob Holder if he was comfortable with the revisions.
“If he’s comfortable with it, than I’m comfortable with it,” Mayo said.
Holder said he was.
Board member Charles Stephens, scheduled to meet with Waldrip, Holder and WORD attorney Holly Gilman, said, “How are we going to prove someone intentionally violated the law? They can claim they didn’t know the requirements. I think we should use what we have and mark each one.
“That way, we have the right to pull each one not tagged.”
Holder said “As a citizen, I look at the exemption and think this body is
The Water Wader, a polystyrene ice chest with a coated, locking lid, is the invention that falls under an exemption in the Water Oriented Recreation District's ban on foam objects on its rivers. WORD board members tabled a revised ordinance on polystyrene at their Wednesday meeting.
helping to make a better product, but are allowing an out. It sounds like this body is saying if it doesn’t work then we won’t use it. (WORD) is publicly setting a deadline.”
The ordinance includes a temporary exemption for the Water Wader, a polystyrene/foam ice chest with a coated locking lid that supports 30 pounds of items when turned upside down.
It can be exempted up to five years and will be subject for review and modification at the end of the 2000 season.
Bill Lowman, who has been involved with the creation of the Water Wader, said they were being built to the highest quality.
“We are trying to bring a better product every week, every month,” Lowman said. “We want to stop litter on the river. We are trying to find a quality coating that will help prevent
litter of the foam.”
Lowman demonstrated how the Water Wader will still hold 30 pounds or more of contents after it’s been damaged.
“A lot of credit should be given to the sheriff’s office and increased police efforts for helping to stop litter on the river, but I think the Water Wader should get a lot of credit also,” Lowman said. “A brand new ice chest can be on the river, but if it turns over, it will open and dump its contents in the river, even at about three pounds.”
Board member John Schwartze said he wanted to see a letter sent from WORD to the manufacturer of the approved requirements.
“We wanted a coating on the bottom as well because the things were coming apart,” he said. “But I don’t see that in the ordinance. I think they all need to be coated by the beginning
of next season.”
Charles Lackey of Gruene River Company said he rented about eight of the fully coated Water Waders.
“I think some improvements still need to be made, but they are holding better than before,” he said. “The lugs (locking handles) need to be thicker, and it’s not coated on the inside, but as long as (the manufacturer) is trying to make improvements, I think we should keep with it.”
Zero Rivers, board member and owner of Rockin’ R River Rides, said “We knew we’d have problems. I think most of it if from the rough handling by customers and employees. We don’t have a styrofoam problem, we have a litter problem. It’s also a problem with the sheriff’s deputies and what do they enforce.” The WORD board will meet again next month.
Abstinence seminar aimed at preventionOrganizers hoping to reduce teen pregnancy, diseases
By Heather Todo
Sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancies are a reality in Comal County, but organizers of an abstinence seminar are hoping to change that trend.
Comal County Christian Pro-Life Foundation is sponsoring a free lecture, “Partners for Purity,” on Saturday to educate teens and parents about the physical and emotional risks of premarital sex.
The seminar will feature noted speaker Pam Sten-zel and Dr. Kurt Frederick from I to 5 p.m. at New Braunfels High School gym.
The event is not school-sponsored.
Joannie Grumbles, director of the Crisis Pregnancy Center, said the goal was to give teens and their parents the facts about sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS and teen pregnancy to help young people make healthy decisions.
Statistics on sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancies in Comal County speak for themselves.
In 1998, the Texas Department of Health reported 42 cases of chlamydia, six cases of gonorrhea and one case of syphilis among Comal County residents ages 13 to 20.
In the first six months of 1999, the HIV/STD program for the Texas Department of Health Region 8 reported 40 cases of chlamydia, three cases of
gonorrhea, and four know n cases of HIV infection among all age groups in Comal County.
The Texas Department of Health also reported 47 AIDS cases in Comal County as of March 1999, which is higher than Guadalupe and Kerr counties. Guadalupe County has 29 reported cases of AIDS, and Kerr County has 38 cases.
The Center for Disease Control also estimates that for every known AIDS case there are at least seven to nine HIV infections. According to the CDC estimates, Comal County has between 315 and 405 cases of HIV infections.
Comal Independent School District officials said 25 teen-agers were provided w ith parenting servicesSee SEMINAR/5
Hospice New Braunfels medical director Aaron Malakoff shows an artist’s rendering of the organization’s new building, which will open in March 2000.Hospice begins expansion plan
By Peri Stone-Palmquist
Contractors are scheduled to break ground in the next week on a new building that will help Hospice New Braunfels expand its mission.
A community and volunteer education room, library, chapel, counseling and administrative offices, as well as a Life Transition Center for public use, will go into the two-story, 11,000 square-foot building southwest of the existing offices at 613 N. Walnut Ave.
The transition center will provide resources for anyone in the community experiencing a loss or change — a loss of a job, change in job, diagnosis of a disease.
Meet Hospice’s Typically, Hospice
medical director works with patient, with
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center will allow the staff to help people in all stages of life.
“We hope this will be a very warm and inviting place,” director of development Dana Overstreet said.
Hospice moved into its existing office on Walnut in the early 1990s from an office on Mill Street. Fifteen employees set up shop in the 3,300-square-foot building.
Now, 41 employees fill that same space, some sharing an office with two others. Several staff' members have moved into Frank s Haus, a 1,200-square-foot office on the same lot, which is used mostly for staff'meetings, volunteer training and support groups.
Donations from the public as well as a $108,000 grant from The Meadows Foundation are funding the SI million new building.
Volunteer Tom Stevenson donated his services as a contractor, but all sub-contractors w ill be paid
Hospice began its first capital campaign in May 1998 and expected the new building to be completed by this summer.
But the October 1998 flood changed those plans w hen water damaged Frank’s Haus.
Repairs to the house and to the interior of the main hospice building took precedence over planning a new facility, administrator Joyce Fox said.
But plans are back on track and Hospice off icials expect the new building to be completed by March.
Hospice Thrift Avenue, 303 S. Castell Ave., w ill move into the existing office on Walnut, sometime afterward.
Landa businesses discuss drainage
By Peri Stone-Palmquist
Landa Street business owners sought answers to drainage problems on their street Wednesday night, and city officials offered what they were looking for.
District 3 councilman Randy Vanstory brought city engineer C.A. Bolner to the third gathering of the business owners, who experienced millions of dollars of damage when 20 inches of rain fell in New Braunfels this past October.
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Bolner said drainage issues for Landa Street were being addressed in several ways.
Comal County officials are drawing up a proposal to apply for Federal Emergency Management Administration money for
flood control dams The county was notified Monday of $42 million available for counties and cities affected by the flood.
Commissioners will discuss the FEMA money at a special meeting Monday.
Bolner said a dam on the Guadalupe River would be the most effective tool in preventing flood damage on Landa.
Vanstory said, “It looks like something we should look to the
Key code 76
Texas Jacobson technician expected back at work on Friday
By Christina Minor
A local worker is expected to return to his job Friday after being struck in the head by a machine on Tuesday.
Daniel Mendoza, 42, of San Antonio, was transported by Airlife helicopter to a San Antonio hospital with a head injury on Tuesday. He was treated and released that day.
Mendoza, a process technician at Texas Jacobson Plastics Division,
1404 Interstate 35 North, was working on a piece of machinery w hen he was struck in the head.
General manager Hollis Wooldridge said, “He received some stitches and is doing fine.”
Mendoza had a 4-inch laceration on his forehead and was full) conscious.
Occupational Safety Hazard Administration officials called to examine the accident scene, left Wednesday. Wooldndge said a report from OSHA would be sent to him.