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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 10, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas New Braunfels * FRIDAY January IO, 2003 12 pages in 2 sections MMpB mmmmmm    IC    pages    in    C    seclHHERALD-Z EITUNG ;tttL H$| Vol. 152, No. 51 Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 50 cents Prisoners to clean out creek area By Ron Maloney Staff Writer Comal County and the City of New Braunfels are about to begin work that officials hope will reduce the potential for flooding from the Dry Comal Creek — with labor provided by the state. County Judge Danny Scheel said Thursday inmates from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice will clear brush and debris from a four-mile-long, HO- At a glance Letters have been sent to affected property owners seeking permission for work crews to enter properties along the Dry Comal Creek to remove brush and other obstructions. Anyone with questions can call 608-21 (X), ext. 224. foot-wide stretch of the Dry Comal Creek. The work would be done from Solms to the confluence of the Dry Comal Creek and the Comal River. Officials first recommended the project in the aftermath of the October 1998 flood when the Dry Comal flooded Live Oak and Landa streets. It was recommended again this past year by the Natural Resources Committee of the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce Inc. as a way to reduce potential damage from major flooding events. The problem with the project is there hasn’t been money available to complete it, Scheel said. “We looked at it after the ’98 flood and just said, ‘No way. There’s just no way we can do it,”’ Scheel said. “TTiis is a fantastic opportunity being offered to us by the Tfexas Department of Criminal Justice.” The inmates will clear brush, See CREEK/3A The litter and debris lining the Dry Comal Creek bed will be cleared soon with help of inmate labor. DAVID INGRAM HerakJ-Zeitung Bike plan falls; group to keep pedaling By Ron Maloney Staff Writer A proposal for painting bike lanes on Mill Street from the West End into downtown New Braunfels died before a city advisory committee Thursday night. The New Braunfels Transportation and Traffic Advisory Board unanimously turned down Comal County Trails Inc.’s proposal for the bike lanes to run from Hidalgo Avenue to Market Avenue along both sides of Mill Street. The board then instructed the trails group to bring back a new Mill Street bike lane proposal — but without the restricted parking. The board’s next meeting is Feb. 13. Mill Street is slated for bike lanes in the city's master plan. The plan envisions a continuous bikeway from the West End across the city and out to Gruene with access to parks and other recreational amenities. Thursday's proposal included prohibiting parking on the south or odd-numbered side of Mill Street. About 40 Mill Street residents attended the meeting in response to a city letter informing them of the proposal. Many voiced concerns about the idea. Most of those concerns would center on the parking issue. Discussion opened with a presentation by Peter Olsen and David Stinchcomb of Comal County Trails. “The goals here are safety and public health,” Stinchcomb said. “People should have the opportunity to get out and exercise and live a healthier lifestyle.” Olsen described a recreational resource that would give residents a healthy alternative to motor vehicles for reaching downtown. The Mill Street plan, he said was primarily a means for “improving bicycle transportation with safety in mind See BIKE/3A Inside Abby....................................5A Classifieds...........................3-6B Comics................................2B Crossword  ...................5A Forum.................................4A Movies ..........................5A Obituaries...........................3A Sports.............................1, 3B Today..................................2A Key Code 76 56825 00001 Lawsuit challenges city over museum, parking ordinance By Sean Bowlin Staff Writer Gruene Hall owner Pat Molak’s lawsuit against the City of New Braunfels goes to court today. Molak claims a city-issued permit to the New Braunfels Museum of Art and Music to build a 10,000 square-foot facility in Gruene will cause parking hassles. “That’s why we’re in there,” Molak said. “They’re not bringing any parking to town.” Judge Fred Clark, presiding in the 207th District Court, will hear Molak’s suit at 9 a.m. in the old Commissioners’ Courtroom on the third floor of the Comal Courthouse Annex Building. The museum bought the Gruene Mansion Inn Restaurant at 1275 Gruene Road in February 2002, renamed it the River’s Edge Restaurant and started building a 10,000 square-foot museum next door to it. “But is it a museum? Is it an assembly hall? It’s 10,000 square feet. What are you going to do in there?” Molak asked Thursday. Actually, entertain as well as inform. The new museum would accommodate concerts like Fiddlefest, recently advertised in Texas Monthly, which will attract about 2,000 spectators, Molak said. Museum executive director Charlie Gallagher said he’s in full compliance with the city. “I believe we accommodated the city’s ordinance for parking. We have gone over and above the city’s ordinance and requirements in terms of the amount of parking under ownership and lease control. And I believe we’ve complied with every’ aspect of the city’s requirement in terms of parking and construction code requirements,” Gallagher said. Molak said inadequate parking became an issue in the mid-1990s when the restaurant itself grew to 14,000 square feet. By code, it needs one parking space per IOO square feet — that’s about 140 spaces, Molak said. Molak said 25 extra spaces were demanded by code due to the facility’s museum designation — and the code is inadequate due to numbers on concert attendance established in the 1970s and the numbers of people who attend museum fund-raisers. “The code’s messed up. The city knows it, ” he said. Molak also said the 130 spaces that the city has leased could be cancelled at any time “if some owner decides he wants to build a volleyball court or something." “That’s the problem — the leases aren’t in perpetuity," he said. Fund-raiser, account set for slashing victim How to Help By Ron Maloney Staff Writer The 24-year-old New Braunfels woman whose throat was slashed in an attack one week ago is recovering from her injuries at University Hospital in San Antonio — and family friends are pitching in to defray her medical costs. A trust fund will be set up for medical costs and a benefit barbecue has been set for 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the sheriff’s office parking lot, 3005 West San Antonio Street, Jan. 18. Meanwhile, Amanda Mane Chandler’s husband, John Adam Chandler, 26, is accused of stabbing and slashing her in their Mill Street home Jan. 3. He was arrested Jan. 4 after a daylong hunt and booked into Comal County Jail on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon — a knife New Braunfels police found at the scene of his arrest beneath a An account has been set up to help defray recovery costs for Amanda Marie Chandler, who was stabbed in a Jan. 3 attack at her home. Donations can be mailed to Amanda Marie Chandler, 301 Main Plaza No. 359, New Braunfels 78130. A benefit barbecue is scheduled for Jan. 18 at the Comal County Sheriff’s Office. Tickets are $6 and must be purchased by 4:30 p.m. Jan. 15. For information, call Aleta Lisk between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. at 620-3431. Loop 337 bridge. John Chandler was transferred to another county jail because the victim’s mother is Sheriff’s Sgt. Christine Treadway — the jail’s administrative sergeant. Comal County Sheriffs officials said such moves were routine in cases that closely involve jail employees. ■ a- Rebuidling blocks K. JESSIE SLATEN/Heraid-Zeitung Larry Phelps and Richard Humphreys, from left, work with New Braunfels Rebounds help rebuild homes destroyed after the July floods. Rebounds is looking for more volunteers to work with the two. Rebounds needs more volunteers to aid pair on homesites By Michael Cary Staff Writer Lots of people volunteered their time to help rebuild homes in New Braunfels after many of them were flooded in October 1998. New Braunfels Rebounds was created by the New Braunfels Ministerial Alliance after the 1998 flood to help residents who did not have flood insurance and could not count on any help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Rebounds, under the direction of St. Paul Lutheran Church, helped about 89 families get back into their homes and performed many other minor repairs after the 1998 flood. It took Rebounds volunteers about two years to help families recover from the devastation of the ’98 natural disaster. But a similar turnout of help did not materialize after July 2002 when the Guadalupe River impacted about 169 homes. Larry Phelps is a retired confectioner. He participated in the 1998 Rebounds project and he went to work again beginning July IO, 2002, to help flood victims reclaim their homes. He drives a school bus for the New Braunfels Independent School District, and donates See REBOUNDS/3A DAVID INGRAM/Herald-Zertung Humphreys cuts a piece of wood trim while helping rebuild a flood-damaged house at 629 Riverside Drive. “Tell ’em we need help,” he said about the Rebounds efforts to restore homes. ;