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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 21, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas Community connection Photos by MANDY REARY/Heraid-Zeitung (Above) Brittany Vargas paints a sun on 5-year-old Alexis Garcia's cheek    at the    Sonfest    Westside block party Friday in Eikel Park. (Below) Long lost friends from high school Delia Puentes, left, and    Kookie Barboza    greet each other at the party. They've seen each other just three times since graduating high school. Sonfest helps bring growing neighborhood doser together By Bon Maloney Staff Writer Delia Puentes and Kookie Barboza were high school friends more years ago than either would want to count and have seen one another three times since then. Friday, they met again at Sonfest in Eikel Park, the community block party sponsored by Cross Community Church and Primera Iglesia Bautista. They were among hundreds who met to share stories, barbecue and a sense of neighborhood community in an event the pastors of both churches hoped would bring friends together. It worked for Kookie Barboza and Delia Puentes. “Delia and I used to hang in school together," Barboza said. “I've seen her three times since. I didn’t know she belonged to this church." Puentes, a member of the Primera Iglesia Bautista congregation, was a Sonfest volunteer. Barboza visits several churches, but hasn’t stayed with one. But Friday night in Eikel Park wasn’t all about churches. “We’ve been catching up,” Puentes said. “We’ve been talking about kids and grandads," Barboza said. “In a little while, I'll talk to her about the Lord,” Puentes said. A short distance away, Butch Benitez spoke with friends and neighbors. Benitez felt some satisfaction seeing families picnicking and children playing in Eikel Park. He spent a turbulent three years on New Braunfels City Council in the 1990s as mayor pro tem, fighting for the park — particularly for the alcohol ban that helped drive out the drunks and thugs and reopened it to families. His fight made him less than popular, and he was ousted after one term. “I’m really glad to see this going like this," Benitez said. “They’ve got this park going good. They need to keep it like this." Benitez said the two churches — which he described as two important Protestant houses for His panics in the West End — were trying to reach out to their community and help bring it together. The neighborhood has grown and has changed some, Benitez said. While still close compared to many modern suburban neighborhoods, it still has some needs, he said. “There have been a whole See SONFIST, Page 3A State grant pays teachers back for school supplies By Leigh Jones Staff Writer Mary Kay Covington, a sixth-grade science teacher at Comal Elementary, used to spend a large portion of her first paycheck on supplies for her classroom. “It’s just understood that every year you’re going to spend your own money for some supplies," she said. After teaching for 25 years, Covington now knows she can find resources to help her pay for material the school district does not provide. “We have a very supportive Parent-Teacher Organization," she said. “They are very willing to give money if it’s for the kids. This year, they gave me $300 for consumable items we need for science experiments.” Covington knows where to go for help with supplies, but not all teachers do. According to a study conducted by the National School Supply and Equipment Association in March, the average teacher plans to spend $256 on school supplies — glue, paint, paper, pencils, markers, arts and crafts—and $152 on instructional materials — workbooks, educational software, math See TUlCNIItS, Page 3A ATA GLANCE ■ NBISD Education Foundation Fundraiser, ‘Night with the Arts" B 7 to 10 p.m. today B New Braunfels Museum of Art and Music. 1259 Gruene Road N $50 per person Former students and district supporters will be honored, arts and music will be celebrated_ Funds raised support grants for teachers to expand existing curricula and develop new and innovative approaches to teaching, provide classroom and library resources, cultural programs. software upgrades and advanced technology programs Not a telemarketer; county tests phones By Ron Maloney Staff Writer Beginning Monday, the county will begin calling most businesses and residents — and officials want everyone to pick up the phone when it rings. Emergency Management Coordinator Carol Edgett said no one will be asked to buy anything. Comal County is testing its Emergency Notification Call Back System. The test, to be conducted during business hours over the next two weeks, is to ensure that the county can reach all county prefixes served by both major telephone companies. It is also intended to familiarize residents with the system, Edgett said. “We’re going to start testing to let people know what we’ve got, how it works and what they’re dealing with when they get a call,” Edgett said. The system, based in the sheriff’s office and the New Braunfels Police Department, uses the Bexar Metropolitan 911 system for telephone access to every land line in the county. It is designed to enable officials to contact residents in an emergency. The county has already used the system twice, once in early 2003 when a chemical plant south of New Braunfels burned and again in June to warn residents in low-lying areas of potential river flooding. Officials can bring a map up on a computer screen, draw a line around a particular neighborhood or group of addresses, and the system sends out a message to every telephone in the area. Monday’s test will not use the 911 phone system, which is reserved only for See PNOM, Page 3A att*1* fSkVT VVVflVr •** \    \    \ FORUM MOLLY IVINS Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 Vol. 153. No. 242 CL 14 pages, 2 sections 500 WWW. 30% rain chance High Low 95 74 Details .... 1B DEAR ABBY 3B CLASSIFIEDS 445 COMICS 2B CROSSWORD 2B FORUM 4A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 5-6A TV GRIDS 3B New Braun -..yon, Smithson Valley scrimmage other teams before season kicks off next week. Pago SA Now that we know reasons for war with Iraq were false, don't let it happen again with four more years of Bush. Page 4A NBU responds to group s land concerns By Scott Mahon Staff Writer An Austin-based environmental group said New Braunfels Utilities was “very responsive” to its request for documentation pertaining to NBU’s vacated service yard on Klingemann Street. The 13-acre tract, located at the corner of Klingemann Street and Lakeview Boulevard, was used as an NBU service yard since 1968 but was vacated in April. Mostly covered with concrete, the property lies adjacent to the Comal Springs headwaters. A spokesman for SOS Alliance, originally formed to protect Barton Springs in Austin, said last week SOS didn’t “get much of a response" after requesting information from NBU. However, NBU officials said last week the city-owned utility sent 83 pages of documentation to SOS, and invited the group to review other documentation. “They said we could look at more documentation, and we intend to do that,” said John Fritfchie, SOS attorney. “They’ve been very responsive, and we have no complaints.” The city bought the 13-acre tract in 1907 for $2,500. In 1968, NBU built a warehouse on the property. Although the property was vacated in April, NBU still stores utility poles on the site. Fritfchie said SOS was concerned about future development of the property. “Ideally, wed like to know that it would never be developed,” he said. “Right now it s zoned for industrial use, and it shouldn’t be because it's near the headwaters of the Comal Springs. So we’d like to see a zoning change in See NBU, Page 3ARope 'em, cowboy MANDY REABY/Herald-Zeitung The ninth annual Comal County Sheriff's Posse Rodeo and Barbecue Cookoff takes place today at the rodeo arena, off Morningside Drive and F36 between Rueckle and Solms exits. Team penning kicks off at 9 a.m., and barbecue judging begins at 4 p.m. The rodeo begins at 7 p.m., and live music at 9:30 p.m. helps cap off the day. flraimfci* Parks sod Deportment^I fee eesrpBBs* ;