New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 31, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas
41 Wednesday, August 31, 2011 | herald-zeitung.Com
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Letters to the Editor, Herald-Zeitung PO. Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, TX 78130 •By fax: (830)606-3413
• In person: 707 Landa Si
Disposable container ban is an extreme measure
By Phil Koury
Special to !he Herald Zeilung
Hello, my name ts Phil Koury and I live in Lake Jackson I own a condo on the Comal River and visit New Braunfels often to enjoy the natural beauty of the rivers Hearing the news of the container ban was surprising I can appreciate the efforts of the city council and residents to be good stewards of the rivers The ban is definitely a wake-up call to the seriousness of the matter, but I think the action is extreme I've never written a newspaper before, but I'd like to give It a try with this issue The core problem seems to be littering Perhaps a solution could be achieved without penalizing compliant users and hurting businesses that depend on tourism and recreation Here is one possible solution — require river users with beverages to buy a city approved litter bag for garbage Find a design that is sturdy inexpensive, and most importantly won’ t come open or break away from tubes when they turn over Sell the
garbage containers at retailers and tube vendors in the city limits (green with city logo) Let the local vendors keep a dollar or two and the rest of the revenue goes to the city for river security, river cleanup etc Rules of the river and fines for violations will be displayed on the bag Once people get used to using bags, they will not only comply, but help regulate others (example seat belt laws - initially people doubted ability to legislate and enforce use. now people buckle up as learned behavior) I don't see It as hard to implement or enforce The state and federal government regulates and funds fishing and hunting v.'ith license fees, laws and regulations New Braunfels should absolutely do the same with nver use Don't prohrbit — regulate and manage with a method to pay for services provided I believe the "river litter" bag would solve 95 percent of the litter problem Swimmers and floaters without beverage containers would be exempt The only other problem I see IS "accidental littering" from people dropping bottles and cans in rapids and the chute Solve that by requiring people to finish beverages and secure
containers, coozies, etc before going down the city chute or specific rapids on the Guadalupe Have signage reminding people and enforce with either fines or have them lose either beverage or nver pnvilege for that trip Accidents do happen and security on site will have discretion per incident People can't complain if they know the rules beforehand Drunked-ness and ignorance will not be an excuse.
All other bad behavior (lewd behavior, underage drinking, excessive noise and private property violations) have been controlled with law enforcement. Local police should obviously be consult ed to write regulations they can enforce with ease and confidence In a perfect world, people would behave responsibility and clean after themselves without being told Unfortunately, the "good faith" system doesn't work So make them comply People who are already complying won't mind and the selfish violators will either "get with the program" or pay the price.
I live in Brazoria County down by Surside Beach, where they have a free beach and a paid beach Both rely
on people to clean up after themselves after recreating, but the paid beach collects revenue to help keep it clean and well maintained Which beach do you think is nicer^ We enjoy the freedom of full access to the beaches, including driving on them, fishing, camping, campfires, picnicking. sports, etc But I guarantee if the beaches get too trashed and the local residents get fed up, they'll crack down and restrict driving, overnight camping, or whatever — and they will charge for the pnvi-lege of using the county property for the benefit of its citizens and visitors.
My wife Christy and I. along with our children, love New Braunfels. We have escaped to New Braunfels running from two hurricanes, Rita and Ike. the latter with a 5-day-old baby, 1 personally love to float with a cold beer in hand and an occasional Cigar The enjoyment of the Comal IS why we invested m the community, I truly believe the beauty and ecology of the rivers can be maintained and still enjoyed with sound policy enforcement, and will,
■ Phil Koury IS a cientisf m Lake Jackson He has owned a condo on the Connal River since 2005,
Why subsidize projects that hurt existing business?
Re HEB buys Albertsons in New Braunfels. to offer building for lease The closing of Albertsons is definitely going to be a major loss to the community, especially the neighborhoods surrounding the store But maybe the most disap-
pointing part of this is that the city and county agreed to reimburse $5 1 million dollars to subsidize the development of the WestPointe Village shopping center to incentivize the new HEB store. The same type of deal was just arranged for Buc ee's too Will this new development not significantly cannibalize the business of the two existing convenience stores/ travel centers across the intersection, Tex-
Best b TETCO^ Why are we generously subsidizing these projects when their presence IS likely to shutter existing businesses and buildings, leaving behind empty storefronts across town^ This is not real economic development and the actual net gams in jobs and taxes are much less than claimed
Sean Van Delist New Braunfels
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to prevent theft
Special to the Herald-Zeitung
There are three things we ranchers seem to deal with on a regular basis: government. Mother Nature and cattle thieves We can’t always control how the government regulates our industry, and we can't ever control the hand that Mother ^ Nature deals us. but we can work to protect
I ourselves against cattle thieves by branding our
Branding is a tradition in Texas. Since before the 1800s, Texas ranchers have used brands to identify their livestock and help prevent cattle theft — a phenomenon that still happens pretty frequently in Texas today.
In fact, in 2010. the number of cattle reported missing or stolen to the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) was approximately 7,700. an increase of 220 percent from 2007 In 1877, the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) was created with the objective of preventing cattle theft. While TSCRA has evolved and expanded over the past century, preventing and solving agncultural crimes, especially cattle theft, remains the foundation of the association
Law enforcement is such a prionty for TSCRA that the association employees 30 special rangers stationed all over Texas and Oklahoma whose mam objective is to protect ranchers from thieves
Ask any one of the 30 speciaJ rangers and they'll tell you the best way to prevent cattle theft is to brand, and in the instance that branded cattle are stofen, they are much more likely to be recovered than unbranded cattle Last year alone, TSCRA special rangers recovered or accounted for more than $3,6 million worth of stolen property, much of which were stolen cattle.
The rangers have a high success rate partly because TSCRA hosts the nation's largest brand recording and retrieval system — the first place checked when a special ranger receives a theft call
The database is updated daily by TSCRA market inspectors who collect brands and other identifying marks on 4 million cattle sold at 105 Texas livestock auctions.
While there is no law requiring you to brand your livestock, if you do brand, there is a law requiring that you register your brand with the county clerk's office every 10 years Beginning today, Aug. 31. and running through Feb. 29, 2012. alt Texas brands, whether old or new, must be reregistered in the county or counties where you operate.
If you don't re-register your brand during that time period, then your brand is up for grabs by anyone who may want it It's also important to know that it is against the law to use a brand that isn't registered.
To make the re-registration process a little simpler, TSCRA has put together a website, www.tscrabrands,com, which has all the information and forms needed to re-register your brands.
Here you can find lists of brands by county, guides on how to design and read brands and contact information for all the county clerks.
It's a tough climate for Texas ranchers right now, both literally and politically.
We can't always control the government and we certainly can't control Mother Nature, but we can work to protect our investment from thieves.
The first step is to re-register your brand.
■ Joe Parker Jr, is a third generation lanchei from Clay County. He is president of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, He is also choirnnan of the board and presi dent of the First National Bank of Byers.
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HZBusy Perry proclaims Nov. 8 date for constitutional amendment election
AUSTIN - Gov, Rick Perry's popularity as a Republican presidential candidate quickly vaulted the Paint Creek native to the top of at least three national polls last week Perry committed to a couple of live debates with fellow GOP contenders in Sep tember Moderators and participating candidates are expected to focus on Perry's performance with emphasis on budget issues, job creation, education and health care. He has much more of a record to peer into than the others, with 26 years in elected office, including the past 10 as governor Meanwhile, during a break in fundraising and other campaign-related tasks. Gov, Perry issued a proclamation dated Aug 22 calling for a Tuesday, Nov 8, election m which registered Texas voters will have the opportunity to vote yes or no to each of 10 proposed amendments to the
Texas lawmakers approved the legislation proposing the amendments during the legislative session that ended May 30.Staples requests hay
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples sent a letter dated Aug 25 to other states agriculture officials requesting hay donations for drought-stricken Texas cattle raisers The idea is to identify sources of hay and get the contact information posted on the Texas Department of Agnculture’s Hay fHotline,
"The need for hay is dire and getting more desperate each day," Staples said Aug. 26, According to the state
extension service. Staples said, agriculture losses due to the 2011 drought have already reached $5,2 billion and are now the costliest in state history for Texas farmers and ranchers,Short'term notes sold
Texas Comptroller Susan Combs reported the state's Aug, 23 sale of nearly $10 billion in one-year cash flow notes from the state of Texas "was very well-received by the financial community"
High demand for the notes drove the interest rate down to 0.27 percent - the lowest interest rate the state has received on its annual shortterm notes.
Buyers bid about $31 billion. more than three times the amount offered for sale, Combs said.
Proceeds from these "tax and revenue anticipation notes" will be used to distribute state funding to public
schools early in the upcoming fiscal year and to help state government manage its cash flow between the start of the fiscal year and the arrival of tax revenues later in the year. Combs said.Business fee ruled constitutional
The Texas Supreme Court on Aug. 26 ruled and issued an opinion upholding the constitutionality of the state's sexually oriented business fee.
State laws that took effect over the last few years requires the collection of a $5 per-patron fee from establishments that combine alcohol and live nude entertainment. According to chapters 47 and 102 of the state Business and Commerce Code, fees collected are transferred quarterly to the office of the state comptroller and credited to a fund for sexual assault prevention programs
jerry Strickland, spokesman
for the Office of the Attorney General, called the decision "a victory for the State of Texas and, more importantly. victims of sexual assault"Appeals court upholds conviction
The Third Court of Appeals in Austin on Aug. 26 affirmed former VFZ Ranch resident Michael George Emack's conviction for sexually assaulting a child.
The court rejected Emack’s appeal asserting that authorities' search violated hts rights under the First and Fourth Amendments, and ruled that law enforcement authorities' April 2008 search of the VFZ Ranch in Schleicher County was based on probable cause and therefore was legally justified.
After the ruling Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said. “The search warrant authorizing law enforcement to enter the yf^Z Ranch was
proper - and ultimately led to the indictment and conviction of multiple men. including Warren jeffs, who sexually assaulted children”
Earlier in August, Jeffs was transferred to a state prison facility in Huntsville to begin serving consecutive sentences of life and 20 years.TxDOT names interim chief
Long-time Texas Department of Transportation Executive Director Amadeo Saenz retired at the end of August, and the agency last week named 23-year TxDOT employee John Barton to hold the post as interim executive director Now. with TxDOT embarking on a modernization phase, a national search is on to find candidates for the agency's top post.
Barton, former assistant executive director for engineering operations at the agency, is an applicant.