New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 23, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
Smithson Valley volleyball team ready to take next step.
New Braunfels ^ ^S0^LL ~*«1SHING 189
The old LCRA building.
16 Pages in one section ■ Wednesday. August 23,1995 Serving Comal County ta more than 143 years ■ Home of LIONEL LOPEZ JR. Vol. 143, No. 207
Arts & Entertainment....................10
Birthday wishes from the Herald-Zeitung!
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung extends birthday wishes to: Vivian Nuhn, Patricia Kraul, Lionel Lopez Jr., Stephanie M. Salazar, Mark Manion, Kery Noble, Ethel Womack and Lau-ra Jane Gonzales.
River and aquifer information
Comal River -266 cubic-feet-per-second, up 12 cfs. from yesterday Edwards Aquifer — 624.49 feet above sea level, down .02. Guadalupe River — 106 c.f.s.
Al Barlow and Friends play free
Al Barlow and Friends will perform the free Concert in the Park Thursday, Aug. 24. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. at the dance slab in Landa Park. Bring lawn chairs, but no glass containers allowed.
Register your well
Well owners in the boundaries of the Edwards Underground Water District can pick up registration forms Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p m. at the Comal County Tax Assessor-Collector office, 150 N. Seguin St., Suite 101, New Braunfels.
County well owners will be required to register their wells with the EUWD effective Aug. 22.
Model train show
New Braunfels Summer Model Train Show will be held from 9 a rn. to 5:30 p.m. Aug.
26 at the New Braunfels Civic Center, 380 S. Seguin.
Admission is $3 for adults and $1 for under 18. Under five free. Railroad art, date nails, model trains, operating layouts, building kits and supplies, memorabilia, books, tools. Call 935-2517 for information.
Rec center meeting
Organizers are calling for a large show of support at a public meeting Thursday, Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. at the Canyon Lake Action Center to discuss concerns for the Canyon Lake Community Youth Recreation Center. Representatives from the county parks committee, Army Corps of Engineers and county officials have been invited to discuss recent actions taken on the proposed site below Canyon Dam.
Cancer support group to meet
The Comal County Cancer Support Dialogue Group, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, will meet at 6:30 p m Thursday, Aug. 24, in the North Building of Victoria Bank and Trust, 1000 N Walnut
Anyone with cancer and their significant others are invited to attend.
lf you have any questions, call the ACS at 629-5717 or Marian Hicks at 629-1763
Find out about Jaycees tonight
Join the Jaycees tonight at Newk's Tennis Ranch, lf you would like to join or would like to know more about Jaycees, eligible 21- to 40-year-olds are invited to a special meeting beginning at 6:30 p m at the ranch's Main Lodge For for information, call Sue Kolath at 620-6349.
New Lone Star Card gets favorable initial reviews
By DENISE DZIUK
At the beginning of |he month, the Lone Star card replaced food coupons and checks for Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) in Comal County, and officials are already calling it a success.
Janet Hahn, eligibility supervisor for the Texas Department of Human Services in Comal County, said the program has been “going great,” and there have been few problems. She said there was a computer hardware problem, in which the connection was being broken, and the system would be down for about 15 or 20 minutes.
“It didn’t cause much of a problem here. It was mainly just an inconvenience,” she said.
Another small problem her office has seen is that people were throwing out the mail-outs because they did not know what they were, or were not registering their cards. However, she said the number of calls and questions have already decreased, and she is expecting an even larger decrease in September.
“I was impressed with how quickly it caught on. I’ve been real pleased with it this far,” she said.
Hahn said there are approximately 1,200 cases in Comal County, and the last figure she remembers seeing showed $240,000 a month in food
stamp assistance. She said she has heard favorable comments from the recipients, and retailers she has dealt with personally say the program is going well.
The program already covers half the state, and State Compt roller John Sharp said the program is paving the way for a similar system nationwide before the turn of the century.
Sharp said the change to the electronic system has already helped reduce tire amount of fraud. I ie said authonties quickly busted a $ I million illegal food stamp ring in the Houston area. Law officers told Sharp’s office the ring had been in existence for at least a year, but adequate evidence could not
The conversion has also saved taxpayers in printing, mailing, security and tabulation costs.
Taxpayers no longer have to send Washington $4.7 million a year to print the paper coupons, $460,OCX) a year to ship them under armed guard and another $2.4 million to^ d
destroy them atter they’,
Hahn said she does] figures on the impact cm Comal County.
However, Sharp s have increased sine implemented.
There was a $4.5 from one month to ('
only food can be bought with the card, said Sharp “It’s a simple, safe and smart way to do business,” said Sharp in a recent report he issued "It has already begun to return those federal programs to their original purpose feeding hungry children.”
Social Security, unemployment insurance, disability payments and other public cash benefit programs are being considered for the card, which will save taxpayers even more money. State lawmakers arc also looking at the possibility of adding photographs to tile cards reduce the potential for fraud even further, and add more security against stolen cards.
BY DAVID DE KUNDER
With the Bulverde area growing at a rapid pace, Bulverde resident Nathan Oxhandler believes the formation of a chamber of commerce will be beneficial for the community.
“There are people who have moved into our community three or four years ago and do not know how many different types of businesses we have here,” Oxhandler, who is president of the Bulverde Chamber of Commerce, said. “We want new people moving into this area to know what is happening here.”
Oxhandler said the goals of the chamber of commerce would be to get people to work together in the Bulverde community, familiarize new residents with the area and promote good steady growth. New members are welcomed into the chamber and are needed to publicize the formation of the
chamber, Oxhandler said. The chamber had 75 members as of last week.
The organization is trying to have a meeting in which it can adopt its bylaws to officially become a chamber of commerce.
Last week, at a joint mixer with the Canyon Lake Chamber of Commerce, Oxhandler said his organization did not have enough members to make up a quorum, which would have been 25 members.
Oxhandler said he will try again at the end of this month to hold another meeting to adopt the by-laws for the chamber.
“Our chamber hopes to take in the individuals, the families and the nonprofit organizations in the Bulverde area,” Oxhandler said. “I want the chamber to publish an area community calendar because we have so many oiganizations raising money at the same time. We want people to work these conflicts out, and a community calendar
would do this.”
To get new residents aware of what is going on in the community, Oxhandler said the chamber will participate in a “welcome wagon” program in which one or two chamber members would get names and addresses of the new residents. Once those residents are identified, the chamber would send packets familiarizing the new people with the area.
Pat Patton, publisher of the Bulverde Standard, has been one of the moving forces behind the formation of the chamber since the movement began this spring.
“Since the Bulverde-Spring Branch area is not incorporated, I believe a private organization such as the chamber of commerce is the best way that we can help insure a higher standard of life,” Patton said. “The chamber would serve as a social function for existing and new businesses to meet other people.”
CISD board makes moves to keep up with growth
By DENISE DZIUK
The Comal Independent School District is once again addressing growth in the district, and is adjusting facilities and staff to fit the growing number of students, according to CISD officials.
CISD Superintendent Jerry Major said the total enrollment of students in the district has increased from last year by more than 500 students. In 1994, die total number of students enrolled on the first day of class was 7,956. As of Monday, the total number enrolled for the 1995-96 school year was 8,463.
Major said the principals at each campus were asked to look at the number of students they have and determine if additional staff or facilities are needed. After looking at the requests of the principals, the board of trustees approved the addition of three teachers, one aide, and two additional portable
buildings. The additional staff will add $105,000 to the budget, and the buildings will add about $26,000.
One of the teachers hired will be a kindergarten teacher for Bulverde Primary, where there are six sections of classes and each one has 24 students in it. The state maximum is 22 students. The principal told administrators that no additional space would be needed for the extra class.
“That’s a lot of kids. Twenty-four five year olds is a handful,” said Major.
The second teacher is for Mountain Valley Elementary School, and will be for the sixth grade. Mountain Valley will also receive a portable building to provide more space. The state does not mandate how many students can be in a class at the fifth and sixth grade level, however, the district tries to keep it at 25, said Major. There are four sections of sixth graders at the campus, with 29 students in each.
Bulverde Elementary has 30 fifth graders in a class, and 29 sixth graders. Principal Linda Swanson said her teachers do not want another teacher, but they would like an aide. The board, approved the aide. However, they also approved an additional teacher and a portable building, which can be used at a later date if enrollment increases greatly.
“I think 35 is unworkable and we could easily get to 35 tty way growth is going," said board President Jim Middleton. “I would like to approve it and have you make the decision when we get to the level of needing it.”
In other business, the board approved an amendment to the bond resolution. The board deleted early voting at the branch locations on Sept 29, due to a school holiday for the Comal County Fair. However, the Central Office will remain open for early voting on that date.
Edwards Aquifer Authority blocked
By SUSAN FLYNT ENGLAND Miller said. “Maybe there’s someone out there who will take
Staff Writer the case pro bono," he said.
U. S. District Judge Lucius D. Bunton 111 made the ruling several years ago that pumping too much water from the Edwards Aquifer would violate the Endangered Species Act, thus protecting the San Marcos and Comal Springs.
“I would anticipate that (Bunton) is likely to remain involved until there are pumping limitations," said Joe Moore, who was appointed aquifer monitor by Bunton.
The 27-page lawsuit attacks the legislation that formed the EAA, calling it “unconstitutional.” The lawsuit says it “destroys landowners’ rights,” and violates contracts.
“The bottom line is that we’re asking the court to declare Senate Bill 1477 and House Bill 3189 as unconstitutional and void,” said W. Scott McCollough, an Austin attorney who filed the lawsuit for the Medina County water district.
Senate Bill 1477 guarantees irrigating fanners two acre feet of water, Miller said. “No one else has been given that kind of guarantee,” he said. “They want unlimited water.
“Everybody has really been working seriously and conscientiously for the deadline,” Miller said. ‘‘There s probably a small group of irrigators that are influencing and making policy for a lot of people.”
A state judge in Uvalde put a screeching halt to Edwards Aquifer negotiations when he issued a temporary restraining order blocking next Monday’s planned start of the Edwards Aquifer Authority (EAA).
State District Judge Mickey R. Pennington granted the order after the Medina County Underground Water District filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of the EAA.
“I am really disappointed that our neighbors to the west have done this,” said Doug Miller, appointed EAA member. “We had really started to form a coalition to work on these issues.”
Pennington set a hearing for Sept. I. At that time he may be asked for an injunction against the law that forms the EAA, blocking the EAA’s authority until the Medina County lawsuit can be tried.
“There is a possibility to take it to a higher court, questioning (Pennington’s) ability to have jurisdiction over this issue,” Miller said.
The EAA’s problem is that since it has no authority and no budget yet, it has no way to hire counsel to defend itself,
Herald-Zeitung photo by ROGER CROTEAU
Day in the sun
Seven-year-old Amanda Smith swings on the playground at Landa Park Monday afternoon. Scotty Ryan and Courtney Brooks play in the background.
Marion approves $400,000, five-year water line project
BY DAVID DE KUNDER
The Marion City Council approved a proposal by City Engineer Paul Denham to build a a 4.5 mile parallel water line that will double the capacity of water flow to the city during its Tuesday night meeting.
“The advantages of a parallel water line is that it is relatively maintenance-free for 50 years and the city can build it in phases,” Denham said.
Denham, president of Ford Engineering in San Antonio, said that the parallel water line would follow the present 8-inch transmission line used by the city for water. The new water line would start at the 300,000 gallon city tank, which is located at the intersection of Green Valley and Old Marion Roads. The new line would parallel the existing transmission line into Marion and be connected to the existing elevated water tank.
Cost estimates for the project are at $400,000, Denham said. Recently, the city was awarded a $123,000 Community Development Block Grant by the state of Texas. The city will use that grant money and possibly $65,000 in excess bond funds to help fund the project, Mayor Glenn Hild said.
Denham said that the project could take five years to complete, depending on the money the city has for the next
'Building the parallel water line makes the best sense in the long run for the city.’
— Paul Denham
five years. Denham said the city will be applying for another Community Development Block Grant to help fund the project for fiscal year 1996-97.
“Building the parallel water line makes the best sense in the long run for the city,” Denham said.
Denham said the existing 50,000 gallon elevated water tank in Marion, which is between 60-70 years old, has outlived it usefulness and that try ing to repaint it would be costly because the city would have to adhere to guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency. Denham said it would be better for the city to tear it down.
In other council business:
•Swore in Jimmy Schulz as alderman. Schulz was appointed to fill in the spot vacated by Rebecca Wilki-son who resigned because she and her family moved to Stockdale.
•Amended the 1994-95 fiscal year budget to add an additional $6,000 to the budget because of increased sales tax revenue for the city. The additional money will be used to pay off a new police car for the city.
Bulverde forming new chamber of commerceFor advertising or subscription information, calf the Heraid-Zeitung at 625-9144.