New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 22, 1987, New Braunfels, Texas
site for contamination
By JIM WEBRE Staff Writer
Environmental Protection Agency Inspectors will investigate reports that City of Seguing utilities dvision has polluted city-owned land with cancer-causing oil from electric transformers.
Dart Mount of the Dallas regional EPA office is responsible for the enforcement of PCB regulations and said he would assign investigators to look at the Seguin site within the next three weeks.
“I will request a PCB Inspection on it. It's definitely something we're interested in." Mount said. The statement came after Herald-Zeitung staff questioned the EPA about practices discovered Friday within Seguin’s public works compound on Neida between Seguin’s Guadalupe Comity Coliseum and the county fairgrounds and public softball fields.
Mount said the concentration of PCB that violates regulations is 50 parts per million and requires digging down several feet and special chemistry to derive.
“Ifs always possible that it’s not illegal if ifs less than (50 ppm),’’ Mount said, adding any indication of PCB contamination warrants inspection.
Workers at about 9 a.m. were found using transformer oil and other flammable substances to burn piled debris within IO feet of opened and old electric transformers. The burn site is immediately on the opposite side of a chain fence separating the compound from public softball fields and county fairgrounds.
Older transformers, boxes that direct and lower high-voltage current off power poles, generally contain a compound called poiy-chlorate-biphenyl.
PCB oil is used to cool the transformers and other contained electrical devices. When burned at relatively low temperatures, PCB's by-product is dioxin, a general term for a cancer-causing family of compounds that were responsible for the pollution of Love Canal. PCB Itself is an inert compound that is rapidly being phased out of electrical transformer construction as a result.
In 1979, after a tornado raked through the City of Wichita Falls, the city, because of the threat of pollution to the water table, had to remove several PCB transformers that had been buried in the city’s landfill.
June-July 1985 regulations for management and disposal of PCB transformers and other devices were issued by the EPA and disseminated to utility and electric companies nationwide. Violation of the regulations are subject to criminal prosecution, EPA officials said.
Seguin workers said the practice of using transformer oil and other flammable liquids to burn debris and insulation off copper wire for scrap salvage is long-standing. Wayne Oliver, operator of a crane truck used to pour heavy containers of oil onto the fire, af id he was doing what he was told to do and what he had been doing for some time.
Copper wire is an indication of the age of transformers and similar devices Newer devices incorporate aluminum cables and harnesses.
Asked if anyone hoi tested the transformers for PCB content. Oliver referred the question to one employee who said he had not tested the transformers being emptied onto the burning area inside the compound. The worker said he had tested for PCB routinely and some
See PCB. Page 2A
A City of Seguin utilities employee guides an opened electrical transformer out of the way after a crane was used to dump the oily coolant inside the device onto a fire at the city's utilities compound Friday. The material in
Of RYLCLARK/Statf Photographer
the transformer reportedly was not tested for possible PCB contamination before being emptied. It was one 61 many such smokey episodes in what employees said was a longstanding practice.
EPA will inspect SeguinStammtisch
Things that got by but shouldn't have:
— The front page notice of a Texas Hangers preview should have said Smithson Valley Rangers
Steve Gose is the former mayor of Selma, not of Schertz Earl Sawyer is the mayor of Schertz. It wasn't stated that way last week in a story about the reaction of Nor-thcliffe residents to the brutal slaying of a man for which his brother-in-law was arrested A note of clarification: Cibolo police Chief Hugo Ackerman wants the residents of Northcliffe to know he does not have jurisdiction in their neighborhood and when he responds to calls in your area, he is doing so as a courtesy to Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Department ...
We asked about favorite day care centers Read on.
Thanks for the chance to give some great folks well-deserved recognition The people at Kid Power are sensitive, kind, goodnatured. easy going and terrific. We are all better for their commitment.’’ says Trisha Jowal of New Braunfels about the care given her 3-year-old daughter and year-old son ...
As long as we are giving some credit to surrogate parents, so to speak, who operate day care centers, it’s nice to let y’all know New Braunfelser Suezell Rawski has ben named “Poster Parent of the Month’’ (or February by Texas Department of Human Services' Child Protective Services office. Rawski had taken care of several children on a temporary basis and recently took care of a small child who had a mother with AIDS. Though tests showed the toddler did not have the disease, placement for the tot was difficult until Rawski picked up the slack. Rawski was observant and early on noticed symptoms that wound up being an incarcerated hernia. Medical care was prompt and the baby is fine. ..
Oh, now this is going to be (un. Canyon Lake Chamber of Commerce will host "Go Western Night" from 7 to ll p m. Saturday at Wild Bill’s Bar B-Que on FM 2673 between Settler and Startzville. Children less than 12 years of age get in free The SIO a throw event is a fund raiser for another outstanding event, the “Hot Dam. Cold Water Festival" in June Canyon Lake Trail Riders Association will be rollin', rollin’ rollin' and keeping those dawgies (what dawgies?) movin’ during “Go Western Night," so this will be a real opportunity (or country hospitality and western fun...
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New Braunfels, Texas
Vol. 134, N. 36 Five Sections, 78 Pages
Neighbors: B>lanoil>«»ot Giese clan reclusive
By SARAH DUKE Staff Writer
Neighbors of a man reported to have trapped and abandoned cats in his home near Bulverde said Friday they believe the man s two reclusive daughters are still living near the home
Virginia and Gene Giles said they had reported the abandoned cars and piles of junk to county health officials for the past two years and nothing was ever done to force Robert Giese to clean up his homestead Comal County Sheriff's officials have issued an arrest warrant and are on the lookout for Giese Eight cats were discovered Thursday in small, crude traps piled full of debris in the man's house northwest of Bulverde County animal control officer Olen Elliott said as many as 35 cats were living in or near the home “This is nothing new We reported them two years ago and nothing was ever done The main reason I called was because of the trash, you had to wonder how anyone could live like that," Virginia Giles said Virginia and Gene Giles live more than a mile from the Giese property. They said they both enjoy walking in the Hill Country area and their three-mile daily route takes them past the Giese property.
They said they have seen Giese and
See CATS, Page SA
Assault suspect facing probable jury indictment
LStLll KR IR WALDT/Staff I
Mime Mario Lorenz balances a bandana on the tip of his finger during Saturday's fundraiser for cystic fibrosis on Main Plaza. He also iuggled balls and pins, while various local big names were put in a iail to await "bail".
By DAVID MAY Staff Writer
A story appearing in Friday's edition of a San Antonio newspaper reporting that an indictment had been returned against a New Braunfels teen ager involving an alleged sexual assault was erroneous, according to local officials
The Expre&s-News reported that a Comal County grand jury returned an indictment Wednesday against Erie Rivers. 19. who is accused of sexually assaulting an 16-year-oid female at a party on the city's nor thside Jan. 17
Rivers remains in Comal County jail on a $15,OOO bond on a motion to revoke probation he received on an earlier forgery conviction He was arrested early this month on a warrant issued for the alleged sexual assault
New Braunfels Police Lt Felix Roque. chief investigator, took the blame for the erroneous report. citing poor communication between himself and the reporter
A routine check Thursday of grand jury indictments showed no action regarding Rivers Report of the initial arrest was never entered in the police log records by New Braunfels
police Arrest reports are a matter of public record
District Attorney William Schroeder and District Clerk Margaret Herbrich both confirmed that no indictment against Rivers had been brought We probably will present the case to the next grand jury." Schroeder said The grand jury convenes the third Wednesday of each month
Roque explained the w inholding of the arrest report, saying. “We were not trying to suppress information but we wanted to keep this case in confidentiality for investigative pur poses." he said
Roque said that often in these types of incidents potential witnesses get “scared away” if the incident is publicized
At least two more arrests are likely in the assault. Roque said. as in vestigators try to conclude their case.
The party, attended by what police termed “a large number of teens " maybe as many as 50 youth, was held at a private residence According to police investigators, the woman was unconcious at the time of tile alleged assault
Candidate positive about city's future
By DAVID MAY Staff Writer
In his bid for an at-large saet on New Braunfels City Council, Dennis Rhoads is advocating increased fire and police protection, growth, and an overall balance of revenue sources such as industry, business and tourism, which he says is vital to avoid putting the burden of city operations on property owners.
“I’m very positive about the future of New Braunfels and what I can do as a council member,” said the 4!year-old council candidate. “I will take the responsibility necessary to study the issues, talk to the people and do the bast job I can for the citizens of New Braunfels.”
Rhoads Is one of nine hopefuls vying for three at-large berths on council to be decided in April 4 municipal elections Born In Springfield. III., the New Braunite High School graduate hee lived in New Braunfels since the age of 5. Rhoads and his wife, the former
Theatre again off to contest
Penny Kivlin, a native New Braunfelser, have two children-He Is the owner and president of Rhoads Interiors Inc. located on North Walnut, which hat been in business for 12 year*.
Active in many community groups, Rhoads is a former
lee RHOADS, Rage SA
By SARAH DUKE Staff Writer
For the fourth time since 1981. New Braunfels' own regional theater has entered the statewide competition of non-profit theaters On its first time out. Circle Arts Theatre won the top place in the state and went on to represent Texas at the regional event in Oklahoma
Since then, the number of quality productions in the state has continued to grow. Texas now has more than 200 non profit theaters Spon sored by the state organization, Texas Non-Profit Theatres Inc , the bienniei (estival begins on the quad level, usually involving six to eight theaters competing in each of four quads Two theaters from each quad are then chosen to proceed to the state level.
"Whether you win at state or not, there is such a high quality of theater presented, that you can’t help but be terribly proud just to be one of the eight.” said Elizabeth Elliott, executive artistic director of arete Arts.
The local theater will be taking its season opener, “And a Nightingale Sang.” to the Quad III Featival. hosted again by San Antonio Little Theatre Also participating in the competition are Bulverde'! com
munity theater. S T A G E , Curtain Call Players from McAllen. Georgetown Area Community Theatre; Point Theatre from Kerr Ville; Uvalde Area Community Theatre, and Victoria Community Theatre
Asked how he felt about going to the contest. Lewis Sarkozi (who plays the head of an English household in "Nightingale") said he found the experience “exhilarating “ This arui be the second time Sarkozi has been part of a competing cast, but he says he’s just as excited as he was the first time.
“The role I play this time is mere challenging, but one I feel very comfortable with. And I’m in good comfy — our cast to made up of fine who also happen to be very talented,” Sarkozi said.
Other members of tile Circle Arts cast are: Roberta Elliott in the lead role of Helen Stott. Marion nark as her mother, Gary Pemberton as her grandfather, E. Lynn Burkett as her sister, Hobby Houde as her sister’s iMMband. and Jim Schmidt as her lover.
Roberta Elliott called the project of pontes! ’‘scary.”
"As narrater of the play, I never git off stags, which means the pleasure to continuous for a solid hour. requiring the utmoat control In
movement and dialogue and yet enough relaxation to be totally credible.” she explained. “I ve seen how a few minor flubs can take the high shine from the show I want to be very good for the sake of my fellow cast members, so we can ail show the kind of theater that’s representative of New Braunfels "
Elizabeth Elliott said offering con sistently high-quality theater and demanding the best from all casts and crews for every show is the key to excellence ‘‘Our auuiences deserve that, ” she said.
Elliott described the play selected for competition as “endearing.'’ “It’s a humorous and poignant storv of an English (amay during World War ll." she said
"It’s a neat story. Ifs a comedy, but B’s really a realism piece (The main character’s) whole life to funny and then sad. Ifs a dear story. That’s the word that keeps coming up - the characters ere very endearing.” Elliott sold of the work of British playwright C P. Taylor.
Tickets for festival shows wtu ba evadable et the Sen Antonio Utile Theatre box office.
"We hope all our friends will take this opportunity to demonstrate their support by coming to S. A. to cheer us on,” Elliott said.