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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 26, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas NEW PELS HERALDZEITUNG Vol 150 No 38 16 pages in 2 sections December 26 2000 TUESDAY Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents Special deliveries Blue Santa comes bearing armloads of presents BY Jo LEE FERGUSON Staff Writer Four smiling children patiently waited on their couch Sunday morn ing when New Braunfels Police Officers Mike Penshorn and James Rackley arrived with arms full of pre sents The children were quiet and well behaved as the officers and several Citizens Police Academy alumni placed presents around the childrens Christmas tree and distributed them to each child But it was obvious from the way the children squirmed on the couch that they were working hard to con tain their excitement Theyve been waiting since 6 oclock this their mother said Similar scenes played over and over all around town Sunday as police officers and volunteers distributed gifts collected in the Blue Santa pro gram The New Braunfels Police Department and Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association coor dinate the Blue Santa program Each year the groups work with the Cpmrnunitjfis in Schools program tb identify families with financial need to provide gifts to at Christmas This year the program helped 100 families and 303 children Alumni Association President Bill Gray said Blue Santa trees were placed in several locations around town They were decorated with blue Santa shaped cards each with the name of a child and a gift that he or she wanted for Christmas K JESSIE Waiting patiently since 6 to see Blue Santa at their door these four children are thrilled Sunday to see Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association members and police officer Mike Penshom at their door bearing Christmas gifts We had an excellent said Id say probably 95 percent of the toys were provided by the citizens off the trees We used money donated to buy the rest of the Media reports said some charities saw declining donations this year because of increased donations to political campaigns But that was not the case with the Blue Santa program Gray said We received more cash donations this year than last and better response off the trees than in the he said On Sunday police officers acade my alumni and other volunteers gath ered early in the morning at the New Braunfels Marketplace An vacant store there was filled with gifts wait ing to be distributed Volunteers already had spent weeks wrapping and separating the gifts It was said Arlene Kearns a Citizens Police Academy graduate IfNot only was it a good feeling of giving time and effort to help boys and girls it also was won derful just to be with people who enjoy doing the same things as Kearns and her husband Ed joined fellow academy alumni Mary Beth and Paul Bomke to distribute presents Sunday They caravaned with the police to a mobile home park lined with neat yards and houses Isnfcthis exciting Mary Beth Bomke said as the group took pre sents up to one house The officers knocked on the door and a woman opened the door and let them inside The house was neatly decorated for Christinas The woman who livdd there with her family responded to compliments about how pretty their Christmas tree was She said she had a friend who sold Christmas trees I got she said He let me have New Braunfels Police Chief Ray Douglas initiated the Blue Santa pro See BLUE Firefighters reach out to make holiday brighter for Comal fire victims K JESSIE The Comal County Fire Marshals office and Spring Branch Volunteer Fire Department and Canyon Lake firefighters bring clothes and gifts to the Ethridge family Sunday afternoon FROM STAFF REPORTS SPRING BRANCH A Spring Branch family burned out of their home late this past week found out Sunday that Santa Glaus really does exist Comal County Fire Marshals office Spring Branch Volunteer Fire Department and Canyon Lake took clothes and gifts to the Ethridge family Sunday after noon A barking dog alerted the Ethridges to a fire Thursday that caused extensive damage to their Indian Hills mobile home and destroyed their Christmas presents The fire also claimed the life a family pet a cat that firefighters found in a bathroom Comal County Fire Marshal Lin Manford said the fire began in the corner of the familys home where the Christmas tree sat Manford said the parents had gone to sleep early but their two children a boy and girl ages 7 and 11 had stayed up The lights on the tree were left burning when the children went to bed Manford said See ALEXANDER City farms contract to prevent annexation BY Jo LEE FERGUSON Staff Writer A local family recently became the first to protect its farm from annexation through an agreement with the city of New Braunfels City council approved an agreement this month with the Clarence Timmerman family that prevents the city from annexing the land for five years The land however must continue to be used for agri cultural purposes or it immediately will be annexed as part of the agreement Councilman Larry Alexander led council to offer this option to local residents during controver sial annexation discussions earli er this year The city had planned to annex square miles in 10 areas in the citys extraterritorial juris diction this year However in July council delayed annexation for a year to give the targeted areas time to negotiate voluntary annex ations with the city Alexander also asked that families with farms be able to prevent their annexation into the city Every time even when I go back to when I was on the planning and zoning commission when the annexation came up with the farms they always came in aiyl said This farm has been in our family for hundreds of years and we have no plans to do anything else with it except Alexander said I got to thinking What can we do that will help those people out as long as they maintain the farm as a farm That was the proposal I came up with to let them go into contract with the city As long as that land remained a farm and remained in their heirs I thought we should not annex According to documents presented to council the Timmerman family owns about 200 acres near Frei heit Road FarmtoMarket Road 483 and Barbarossa Road The land has been in the family for more than 90 years and has been used as a farm for near ly 50 years Portions of the land were targeted for annexation in the citys fiveyear annexation plan Clarence Timmerman declined comment about the agreement f Alexander said I think to me farmers need a break Its not an easy living and I think as long as theyre maintaining the farm as farmland I dont think we gain any advantage by annexing them Im surprised theyve waited this long to do Under the agreement family members who own portions of the 200 acres cannot change the use of their land from agriculture or subdivide the proper ty for other uses If they do the contract acts as a voluntary peti tion for annexation At the end of fiveyear contract period families can return to the city council and ask for an extension City Attorney Floyd Akers Its solely at the discretion of the he said Akers said any farm or ranch could take advantage of the opportunity to enter into a similar agreement so long as the land was contiguous to the current city limits NB wants to make mulch out of your Christmas trees FROM STAFF REPORTS New Braunfels residents can give an afterChristmas gift to the environment by recycling their Christmas trees The city of New Braunfels is conducting Christmas tree recycling from 8 to 5 Monday through Friday through Jan 15 Recycling takes place in Landa Park by the aquatic center Lt Ranger Frank Cerda said Its open to residents to bring their trees drop them off and well take them off their Cerda said He advised residents to make sure all the ornaments anything thats not natural to the tree is removed nails ornaments bows whatever you put on Cerda said the city grinds the trees into mulch and city residents can pick up the mulch at Cypress Bend Park Were recycling the trees to help the plant life around here conserve Cerda said We put the mulch around the trees and it keeps them damp vegetation plants stuff like that It keeps them moist You dont use as much water to water the INSIDE Key Code 76 Maldonado NBISD post chance to learn more about schools BY JENNIFER RODRIGUEZ Staff Writer The newly appointed District 2 trustee in New Braunfels school district describes him self as simple and straightforward Jorge Maldonado of Maldonado Nursery and Landscape off FarmtoMarket road 725 will finish the end of District 2 trustee Jim Callahans term Callahan is moving out of the district in January District rules required him to resign The school board had one of three options fill the seat via appointment conduct a special See CHRIS Jorge Maldonadp of Maldonado Nursery and Landscape will represent District 2 on s the New Braunfels school board ;