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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 16, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas Waterwise panel sends back rules By Ron Maloney Staff Writer Comal County’s water study committee is sending proposed subdivision rules — essentially unchanged — back to commissioners court. The Comal County Waterwise Growth Study Committee reconsidered the proposed rules Friday. Some commissioners said the rules might not go far enough in forcing a developer to certify that water exists to serve a proposed project. County Engineer Tom Homseth said the rules going back to commissioners’ court would include the same guidelines as before, in terms of testing and monitoring wells. “Commissioners’ Court sent us back to discuss certain issues,” Hornseth said. “We revisited the issues and we’re coming back with the same findings.” Commissioners sent the proposed subdivision rules back to the committee more than a week ago. On Friday, the committee determined that the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission guidelines allow a certifying engineer some flexibility in determining how best to meet the rules. Meeting the requirements to prove enough water exists for a subdivision would cost between $30,000 and $40,000. That would pay for a hydrogeologist and a professional engineer as well as drilling a pair of wells. The geology of the Trinity Aquifer is so complex that no single solution will work in all situations, said a pair of hydrogeologists and the president of the Southeast Trinity Groundwater Conservation District. “There’s no one size fits all solution,” said Chris Dullnig, president of the STGCD board. “It’s a very unique and diverse aquifer. One of the things you get into in Comal County is the difference between east, west and north are so great, you can’t put out a blanket requirement.” Hydrogeologists Bob Stein and Ed Miller agreed. “It’s not a homogeneous, isotropic aquifer,” Stein said. See RULES/3A What’s Next Comal County commissioners will vote Thursday on new subdivision regulations that will require developers to prove enough water is available to serve their projects. •feJNFELS I J DEC I 6 2000 J  »Herald ^ 50 cents Vol. 150, No. 31    16    pages    in    2    sections    December    16,    2000    Saturday    - Serving Comal County since 1852 Lawmakers to tackle school calendar control Fond farewell By Jennifer Rodriguez Staff Writer The 77th Texas Legislature could take on a nightmare that plagues school districts every year — the school calendar. One of the hundreds of proposals coursing through the legislative networks would limit local control over deciding when a school year begins and ends. MAJOR early in August that students have little time to spend with their families and to work. They also say the earlier school starts, the hotter the temperature is and consequently, the higher the utility bills. “August is a hot month, and there’s no question that you’ve got to open those air conditioners up,” Comal Independent School District superintendent Jerry Major said. “It seems like right after Labor Day, things get cooler.” Deciding when school starts and ends is not as easy as picking dates on a calendar. Districts have many special inter-See CALENDARS CHRIS PACE/Herald-Zeitung Mike Crownover recently received an award from the State Department for his help during the Sierra Leone coup in 1997. Helping hams is his speciality By Ron Maloney Staff Writer When Mike Crownover was a boy, he listened to a short-wave radio in his room, hearing the bells of Big Ben announcing broadcasts of the British Broadcasting Corporation and dreaming of places far, far away. What grew in adulthood into a “ham” radio hobby one day put him the middle of a real-life adventure in a place far, far away. When Crownover “met” Henry Kenealy three years ago while monitoring his ham radio, Kenealy was in a bit of a jam in a little place many of us had never heard of. Kenealy worked for the U.S. State Department and was assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Sierra Leone. Things were getting a little exciting at his duty station on the Atlantic coast of Central Africa. The tiny nation of Sierra Leone went through a military coup in 1997. And Crownover, a New Braunfels ham radio operator, played a role in the State Department evacuating 500 people during the crisis. “This happened when I had my radio on, monitoring frequencies,” Crownover said. He was living in the Houston area at the time. “I heard this guy come on, kind of a weak signal. By his call sign, I knew where he was from,” he said. But in talking a little bit, quite a story began to emerge. Kenealy was in the U.S. Embassy in Sierra Leone and a “stray” missile had knocked out the embassy’s communications equipment and its air conditioning. . Outside, participants in a coup unfriendly to US. interests were trying to break down the doors. “He had no communication except for the radio with the ham bands and a small antenna. His signal wasn’t very strong,” Crownover said. “Henry needed us to help him get in contact with the Department of State.” Crownover took Kenealy’s information and relayed a set of telephone numbers through See HAM RADIO/3A After lifetime of service, pair says goodbye to law enforcement REAVES “The calendar is always a very controversial issue,” said Ron Reaves, superintendent of New Braunfels Independent School District. Supporters say some school districts are starting classes so K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung The Comal County Sheriff’s Department celebrated the careers of retiring law enforcement officers Chief Deputy Bill Collins (facing, center) and Capt. Rudy Rodriguez (right) on Friday. Below: From left, Chief Deputy Richard Bennie, Sheriff Bob Holder, Rodriguez and Collins. By Ron Maloney Staff Writer It was a time for good times remembered by good friends. On Friday the Comal County Sheriffs’ Department celebrated the careers of two officers whose combined service in law enforcement totaled more than 70 years. Deputy Chief Bill Collins and Capt. Rudy Rodriguez will hang up their stars and their guns at the end of this month and try something new — retirement. Collins plans to fire up his recreational vehicle when the weather warms up. In the meantime, his wife Casey has some cedar woodworking projects lined up for him. Rodriguez said he would play with his grandchildren. But Friday afternoon at Ryan’s Family Steakhouse, both men remembered the old times with about 40 fellow deputies, county employees and some of their husbands and wives. “We’re here today to honor two guys for their time with Comal County and the sacrifices they’ve made for their families and for the fine service they’ve provided,” Sheriff Bob Holder said. The sheriff said he’d known both men — particularly Rodriguez, a former Texas Ranger who followed Holder to the sheriff’s department — a long time. “The first word that comes to my mind when I think of these two men is ‘character.’ Nobody has more. Another word is ‘integrity.’ Both are honest as the day is long,” Holder said. “The third is ‘gentleman.’ Some of us are good at some things, some of us are good at others, and not many of us in our business are gentlemen. “These two men are. It’s been a pleasure working with them.”Inside Abby................................5A Classifieds.......................5-8B Comics...............................4B Crossword..........................5A Forum.................................6A Local/Metro........................4A Movies..................................5A Obituaries...........................3A Sports  .....................1-3B Key Code 76Coming Sunday ’Tis better to give than to receive, and New Braunfels has plenty of ways you can give this holiday season. /L if es ty Ie IC Airport board reviewing hangar proposal By Jo Lee Ferguson Staff Writer One company responded to New Braunfels’ request for proposals to build new T-hangars at the New Braunfels Municipal Airport. The airport advisory board probably will interview Erect-A-Tube Inc., of Harvard, 111., in January and decide how to proceed, Airport Manager Darrell Phillips said. The airport already has 30 T-hangars, which are for small individual aircraft. However, the hangars have been full since they were built and have a long waiting list. The airport board approached council with the need for new hangars, and council instructed the board to seek proposals from private investors. “The company that put the proposal together and sent it to us is the same company that we bought our hangars from,” Phillips said. “They build a real nice hangar. What they sent us looks PHILLIPS pretty good. It may be something we can work with.” After interviewing Erect-A-Tube, the airport board could decide to forward the proposal to council for consideration. Erect-A-Tube’s proposal is to build 60 hangars in three phases, including some which would be for larger corporate aircraft. Phillips said the city’s leases of airport land to private investors require that what they develop revert back to the city after 20 or 30 years, Phillips said.See HANGAR/4A ;