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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 9, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas Lifestyle New Braunfels resident lays surgeon for stars f Cow Parade/1 C ate " w 40**-' ■JI . ■> Leisure Circle Arts Theatre takes laughs inside sanatorium/inside New Braunfels Sports Girls basketball playoffs begin Monday/1 B SUNDAY February 9, 2003 40 pages in 5 sections ■■■■pi    pages    in    b    sectic Herald-Zeitung Vol. 152, No. 76Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 $1.00 NB Council mulls loan for plastics industry By Dylan Jimenez and Ron Maloney Staff Writers New Braunfels City Council members will be asked Monday night to approve a three-year, $600,000 no-interest loan — with a clause that includes forgiveness of $150,000 — to lure a major injection molding firm to the city. Council members will also consider whether to offer Moll Industries, Inc. a 10-year tax abatement on $6 million worth of equipment that will be moved to New Braunfels. The firm would pay full taxes on $4 million more worth of equipment, inventory and property that would be added to the tax rolls under the proposal. Also on the table Monday night will be an item calling for spending $10,000 — matched by the lime, place The New Braunfels City Council meets in executive session Monday at 5;30 p.m., followed by its regular open session at 6:30 p.m. in the council cham- -bers at City Hall. 424 S. Casten Ave. Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, Inc. — to determine how best to use economic development funding. Moll Industries, a plastics firm, is a major player in injection molding with plants located around the world. Council will meet in closed session to discuss incentives proposed by the Infrastructure/Improvement Corp. (4B Board) and then will vote on a resolution outlining the deal in its open meeting. Moll Industries Inc. now has facilities in San Antonio and in Austin that it is considering relocating either to New Braunfels or Round Rock, said Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce Inc. President Michael Meek. “We’re in the finals,” Meek said. “If you were to draw up on a piece of paper an industry that you wanted to come in to fill an empty building and hire people that have been laid off, we couldn’t have drawn it up any better.” The business is interested in relocating to one of the former Flextronics buildings ‘They wrote us a letter of what they wanted us to do for them. We took that to the 4B board. They tweaked it a little bit and they’re making a recommendation to city council on Monday that Moll be given an incentive to come here,” Meek said. Moll asked for a tax abatement, Meek said. What the 4B board is offering the industry is a loan to cover the relocation See CITY COUNCIL/7A HOT topic: Will council go back to voters on civic center? By Ron Maloney Staff Writer The vote this past May to allow the city to dedicate Hotel Occupancy Tax money to expanding the New Braunfels Civic Center could be revisited at city council Monday night. Council meets at 6:30 p.m. in the City Hall council chambers, 424 S. Castell Ave. Mayor Adam Cork — who in 2002 proposed throwing the initial question to the voters — has placed an item on the agenda that could bring another civic center vote in the coming May election. Council will consider a res olution allowing HOT money to be spent for “the maintenance, enlarging, equipping, repairing, improvement and construction of a civic center rn the downtown area of New Braunfels and any currently operating civic center.” The resolution expands on the similar one passed in the May 2002 election by a 2-1 margin by opening up the use of HOT money to fund any civic center project downtown — and not just expanding the existing one. If passed by council and then approved by voters, the measure would be a step nec- See HOT TOPIC/7 AInside Abby......................................2C Classifieds..............................1-8D Comics..................................4B Lifestyle................  1-6C Forum....................................6A Local/State.................... 4    A Movies..................................2C Obituaries.............................3A Records................................5A Sports................................1-3B Today ................................2A Stocks...................................5B 8    56825    000021    « ‘Jesse’ Gomez, business, civic leader, dies By Ron Maloney Staff Writer A local businessman who was one of the first two Hispanics to serve on the New Braunfels City Council has died. Jesus “Jesse” Gomez, 80, died early Friday in his home. Visitation will be Monday from I to 9 p.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church with a Rosary to be recited at 7 p.m. Funeral Mass will be I p.m. Tuesday at Holy Family Catholic Church with entombment to follow in the Sts. Peter and Paul Mausoleum. Gomez’s family said Friday his upbringing set the tone for a life of public service. He was born not far from New Braunfels in Baibarosa, a little town near Geronimo. His father died young, and members of his extended family raised Gomez. “His father died at 29, so I think my dad didn’t basically know him," recalled son, Joe Gomez. "He was brought up by his uncle, Cristobal. My granduncle came here from Mexico. He bought the block my dad lived on. He instilled in my dad the hard work ethic and he believed in education as a way to better yourself,” Gomez said. ‘That’s what my dad believed in. That’s why he did everything he did. He always tried to do it to the best of his ability.” Gomez joined the U.S. Army Air Force and served as ball-turret gunner in a B-17 “Flying Fortress” bomber in the European Theater of World War II, flying the maximumSee GOMEZ/3A JESUS GOMEZ ■ Obituary, Page 3A ■ The legacy he left his community extends far beyond the West end, Page 6A What's the deal? st , New Braunfels skat player Vernon Schultz tosses out his best ead as he and Helmut Brinkmann of Los Angeles (not pictured), Bob Leonhardt (left) and Don Feltman play the last few hands of their first round in tournament play Saturday morning. K. JESSIE SLATEN/Hera'd-Zeitung New Braunfels native Noland Koepp prepares to lay down his cards in the final round of skat. Tournament helps keep German card game alive By Dylan Jimenez Staff writer The phone rang at the Elks Lodge Saturday morning just as the annual international skat (pronounced skat) tournament got under way. Not one of the 65 players flinched. They counted cards in their heads and slapped cards on the tables. They laughed and teased about the hands they played and talked strategy. Eventually, the phone stopped ringing. For the past ll years the international tournament has brought skat players from all over the country and Canada to halls in New Braunfels. Seventeen players made the trip from Minnesota. The group has been coming down for eight years. Other groups traveled from Canada and Florida. Uwe Clausen, 47, was one of the Florida group. Born in Germany, Clausen follows the skat scene in North America with the German Americans Club. He said everyone plays skat back home from the poor to the aristocracy. Clausen learned skat in school at the age of seven. “In Germany you learn to read and you learn to play skat,” he said. James Stolte of the Tfexas Skat Association said many of Saturday’s players were German-born. Only about 15 of the players competing were locals. He said about 25 locals follow the New Braunfels skat scene. Local George Goepf said skat used to be popular in the See SKAT/7A rn ;