New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 30, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 30,2005
SPORTS ROLLING ON
The Canyon boys basketball team holds on to reach championship game in Houston tourney. Page 5
Victor M. Morales will challenge Henry Cuellar in the congressional primary. Page 3
I SerYin9 New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
Vol. 154, No. 343 12 pages, 1 section
DEAR ABBY 9 CLASSIFIEDS 10 COMICS 8 CROSSWORD 8 FORUM 4
OBITUARIES 3 SPORTS 6 TV GRIDS 9
-Casteel to face challenge in March primary
By Leigh Jones
State Rep. Carter Casteel, R-New Braunfels, will have an opponent in the March primary election.
Bulverde resident Nathan Macias confirmed Thursday he would be running against Casteel for the District 73 House of Representatives seat.
Macias would not comment
further on his candidacy, preferring to wait until he files his formal paperwork with the Republican Party. The filing deadline is 6 p.m. Monday.
Although Casteel said she expected the campaign would take on a negative tone, she does not believe the statewide GOP is out to get her, as some recent news reports have suggested.
A Christmas Day story in the
Fort Worth Star-Telegram named 14 Republicans who earlier this year supported a Democratic-sponsored amendment to the school finance proposal as possible targets for political annihilation by their own party. The report listed Casteel and Seguin Republican Edmund Kuempel in the group the state GOP may be working behind the scenes to replace.
Several of the targeted Repub
licans said they voted with Democrats because the amendment benefited their constituents with items such as higher homestead exemptions, the Star-Telegram reported. The House adopted the amendment, but the overall school finance bill died.
“I don’t think the party is out to oust us,” she said. "There may be Republicans who do not agree with some of my stances, but I’m
not a robot or someone who’s going to be told what to do.” While some of Casteel’s beliefs on education, taxation and stem cell research might fall slightly left of the typical party line, the lifelong conservative bristled at the suggestion she might be a Republican in name only. “That’s bologna,” she said.
See CHALLENGE, Page 3
State Rep. Carter Casteel
2005: THE YEAR THAT WAS
■ DEC. 25: The AP's top 10 stories of the year
■TUESDAY: Faces of suffering
■ WEDNESDAY: The year in Washington
■THURSDAY: Energy prices loomed large
■TODAY: Information Age in high gear
■ SATURDAY: Texas deals with drought
■ SUNDAY: The top 10 stories of the year in Comal CountyNOW FOR NEW YEARS
Downstairs in the Prince Solms Inn 295 E. San Antonio 830-70&5411
A CHILD FOR LIFE
McKenna museum almost ready for visitors
Technology boon can be beneficial, stressful
By Anick Jesdanun
AP Internet Writer
Books are being scanned to make them searchable on the Internet. Television broadcasts are being recorded and archived for online posterity. Radio shows are getting their digital conversion to podcasts.
With a few keystrokes, we ll soon be able to tap much of the world’s knowledge. And we’ll do it from nearly anywhere — already, newer iPods can carry all your music, digital photos and such TV classics as
“Alfred Hitchcock Presents” along with more contemporary primetime fare.
Will all this instandy accessible information make us much smarter, or rimply more stressed? When can we br ak to think, absorb and ponder all this data?
“People are already struggling and feeling like they need to keep up with the variety of information sources they already have," said David Greenfield, a psychologist who wrote “Virtual Addiction.”
“There are upper limits to how much we can manage.”
It may take better technology to cope with the problems better technology creates.
Of course, if used properly, the new resources have vast potential to shape how we live, study and think.
Nicole Quaranta, 22, is a typical youth. The New York University grad student in education does most of
See TECH, Page
There is still time left to find a few tax breaks
Republican begins bid to oust Scheel as county judge
By Leigh Jones
The sheet rock dust that permeated the McKenna Healthlink and Children’s Museum facility Thursday seemed to stick to everything except the brightly colored walls and floors.
Lime green, earthy yellow and aqua blue shone through the haze with the promise of playful days in the very near future.
In just three months, the sounds of banging hammers and whirring drills will be replaced with laughing children and interactive exhibits, which will be music to Jennifer Covington’s ears.
“We’re so excited to see it all coming together,” said the McKenna Healthcare Foundation’s executive director. “This facility is going to have a significant impact on the health and well-being of this community.”
The New Braunfels museum is scheduled to open April I with a huge celebration, but Covington hopes to open the exhibits to local children at least a few weeks earlier.
The 57,486-square-foot main building will contain the museum and classroom space for the Healthlink wellness programs currently scattered around McKenna’s other facilities. A 12,809-square-foot gymnasium will provide much-needed court space for local basketball and volleyball leagues, as well as an indoor walking track.
But the facility’s primary focus will be the 11 kid-friendly exhibits designed by Jack Rouse and Associates.
The wonder will begin as soon
By Jessica Sanders
A steady stream of Comal County property owners have been heading into the tax office to get one last tax break for 2005.
Sherman Krause, Comal County tax assessor/collector, said the crowds have not been overwhelming and no seasonal staff will be hired at the tax office.
“At the end of January is when we expect the real rush. Then there will be actual lines,” Krause said. “T his is just something we expect at this time of year.”
Though property taxes aren’t due until the end of January, Krause said, if property taxes are paid before Dec. 31 the deduction can be counted toward residents’ 2005 tax returns.
Forrest McGlothlin, a New Braunfels certified public accountant, said paying property taxes early is only one of the ways to lessen your tax burden.
“lake out the maximum on your employer-provided 401K plan,” he said. “The money taken out of your paycheck for a 40 IK is not subject to federal tax.”
See TAXES, Page 2
By Leigh Jones
Bemus Glenn jackson announced Thursday his candidacy for Comal County judge.
Jackson, running as a Republican, hopes to unseat incumbent Danny Scheel in the March primary.
The retired security guard classifies himself “e™us blenn as a true Republican, in Jackson the mold of former President Reagan and current President Bush, but claims he is not a politician.
“I will be an elected official, not a politician. There's a big difference,’’ he said. “I’m running this campaign on one promise — to uphold my oath of office and enforce the laws to protect taxpaying
See JUDGE, Page 3
Photos by DAVID INGRAM/Herald-Zeitung
Jaime Garza works on the uppermost row of colorful tiles in one of the restrooms located inside the McKenna Children's Museum Thursday. Below, a painter masks off a wall inside the museum.
as the young patrons walk in the door—traveling to the museum’s interior on the floor of the Comal River.
“We’re going to have fish, designed and created by local children, hanging from the ceiling, and the floor will be painted blue,” Covington said, waving her hand above her head. An aquarium at the end of the “river" will help make the experience even more realistic.
Longtime Children’s Museum patrons will recognize several of their favorite exhibits in the new facility, spruced up to be even more appealing to adults and youngsters alike.
The Grocery Store will teach children to make healthy eating choices as they learn how to sort and count their "purchases.” The Hospital will offer make believe physical and dental check-ups and everyone’s favorite, the ambulance.
See MUSEUM, Page 6
Say it, mean it
When making New Year s resolutions, pick ones that are reasonable and can be done.