New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 15, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas
TNRCC sets hearing for Ingram permit
SVHS reports case of bacterial meningitis
— Page 5A
By Heather Tooo Staff Writer
BULVERDE - State officials have set Jan. 25 as the start of a formal hearing on Ingram Readymix Company’s plans for a concrete batch plant on Texas 46.
Gary Johnson, vice president of Ingram Readymix, said the
_ Texas Natural
Resources Conservation Commission would have a formal hearing starting at IO a.m. Jan. 25 at the Guadalupe
_ Valley Telephone
Cooperative facility north of Smithson Valley High School.
Ingram Readymix has applied for a permit with TNRCC for a new concrete batch plant in the Spring Branch and Bulverde area. Johnson said the hearing was part of the formal procedure.
The concrete batch plant is slated to be built about 2.3 miles west of US. 281 and Texas 46, a mile away from Bill Brown Elementary School, Arlon Seay Intermediate School and Spring Branch Middle School.
The Bracken Christian School and three daycare centers are also in an area close to the proposed plant site.
The hearing was scheduled to run three or four days and will beHear Ye
■ WHO: Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission
■ WHAT: Public hearing
■ WHEN: 10 am Jan. 25
■ WHERE: Guadalupe Valley Telephone Cooperative, Inc., 36101 Farm-to-Market 3159.
■ WHY: State environmental regulators will conduct a formal hearing related to the local company’s request to build a concrete batch plant about a mile from three Comal ISD school campuses.
The hearing is expected to last three to four days.
presided over by an administrative law judge appointed by the Texas State Office of Administrative Hearings.
Area residents and Comal Independent School District board members voiced concerns about the proximity of the proposed concrete batch plant to local students. C1SD trustees adopted a resolution opposing the location of the plant because of its proximity to campuses.
Man brings pet Home; county delays decision
By Chris Crews Staff Writer
With television cameras rolling in Comal County Commissioners’ Court Thursday, the saga of a man and his dog continued.
Or is it the saga of a man and his wolf? Or a man and his wolf-dog hybrid?
Jim Higdon’s four-year-old pet, Shadow, had been living in exilet
at a friend’s house since Higdon received a citation from county animal control officer Steve McKin in December for keeping a wild animal as a pet.
Higdon, of Canyon Lake, went before county’s commissioners’ court Thursday to seek a variance from a 1989 county ordinance prohibiting the keeping of
New^aunfels IfrHERALD-ZEI TUNG
—- -r-"? ■"?' T ......Vol. 1478, No. 41 20 pages in 2 sections January 15, 1999 _ T Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents
Above: A volunteer firefighter looks on as the Union Pacific hazardous material drill wraps up Thursday morning. Below: Trying to keep her hands warm, New Braunfels Fire Department Lt. Stacie Zercher keeps the walkie-talkie pressed against a videocamera as she videotapes the hazardous materials drill Thursday behind city hall.
Union Pacific trains firefighters on hazardous materials cleanup
By Bill O’Connell Staff Writer
Union Pacific railroad officials this week made their latest attempt to satisfy local concerns about public safety after the reactivation of a second track in New Braunfels.
And while New Braunfels fire officials said they appreciated the training in hazardous materials abatement, city manager Mike Shands said the railroad had not done enough to address safety concerns.
City fire department crews received classroom instruction and hands-on training this week on how to combat accidental hazardous materials spills involving
Union Pacific equipment.
Fire crews were taught the health dangers of different chemicals, how chemicals were identified on railroad tankers, and procedures for locating and closing valves to stop hazardous materials spills.
“The likelihood of an emergency with all the safety factors
that are built into these tank cars carrying hazardous materials is very low, but the preparedness aspect is very important,’’ Union Pacific regional chemical transportation safety manager Herby Bart said.
The nation’s largest railroad company provided four days of hazardous materials instruction
and training^his week to the New Braunfels Fire Department at no cost.
“We’re very happy to oblige any request,’’ Bart said.
City officials said the training was helpful but did not address all environmental and public safety issues tied to the reactivation of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas line this past November.
“This is certainly better than nothing,” Shands said.
Still to be resolved, according to Shands, were safety concerns such as railroad crossings without traffic gates and protective measures for areas where railroad tracks crossed creeks and rivers.
Shands said negotiations between the city and Union Pacific led him to believe the railroad decided not to take a proactive approach to safety.
‘This (hazmat training) is an example of the kind of minimalSee SPILL/5ABulverde votes on incorporation
By Chris Crews
BULVERDE — The residents of Bulverde East will go to the polls Saturday to decide whether they want to be part of the consolidation effort that could lead to formation of a single city with 3,000 residents.
The process began in November of 1997 when the cities of Bulverde North, South, East and West voted to incorporate. Since that time, consolidation elections have taken place, so all that remains is Bulverde East and Bulverde South.
lf Bulverde East votes to consolidate with Bulverde South, the citizens to the south will go to the polls in May to decide whether to consolidate with the city to the east.
Election judge Vicky Martin said more than 60 voters cast their ballots
Year later: T-shirt teen goes to college
during the early voting period.
“I’m hoping thafis a good sign that we will have a good turnout Saturday,” Martin said.
She said the cities needed to consolidate to provide effective representation for its residents.
“None of the cities standing alone is really big enough to be a city,” Martin said.
Residents can vote from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Saturday at the polling site in the fire station at 6950 Circle Oak Drive in Oak Village North.
By Heather Tooo
Eighteen-year-old New Braunfels resident John Schroeder accompanied his mother, Olga, into H-E-B one year ago today.
It doesn’t sound like an event worth remembering - in fact, it’s what many local residents do everyday.
However, the routine excursion into the local grocery store swept the Schroeders, and the city of New Braunfels, into a storm of controversy and media attention.
John Schroeder was arrested Jan. 15,1998, by New Braunfels policeman Pete Villareal and charged with obscene display for wearing a Marilyn Manson T-shirt bearing the phrase “I am the god of (expletive).”
Schroeder’s arrest made headlines across Texas and the nation for its impact on First Amend
ment rights and the reaction it generated from public interest groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union. ACLU representatives came to Schroeder’s defense after his arrest.
National interest in Schroeder’s case was so great radio jock Howard Stem asked the shock rocker himself about the controversy during an interview with Marilyn Manson and John’s mother, Olga.
On April 22, Judge David Perkins ended the issue for the Schroeders when he ruled the lack of a drawing on the T-shirt fell short of obscene display.
The Schroeders are no longer in the national spotlight, but they
have found that their experience made an impression on their lives.
“On the one hand the experience was unpleasant, but I think some very positive things came out of it,” Olga said. “I stand by my belief that all people should not be judged by a superficial viewpoint.
“I am in no way standing up behind the belief that people can wear whatever they want, whenever they want. I think we are all aware that there are appropriate things to wear in certain places, but I don’t think this particular situation is like that.”
She also said more was underneath the surface of John’s arrest than just one offensive T-shirt.
“If I look around the local community, I could see shirts that offend me, but there is no censure of the T-shirt industry and merchants are allowed to sell questionable T-shirts,” Olga said.
John’s four-month battle with the city did not stop him from wearing T-shirts with particular band names on them or deterred his plans for a higher education, his mother said.
John graduated from New Braunfels High School and is living at home with his mother while working and taking classes at San Antonio College.
John plans to study English and his future goals include writing or teaching, his mother said.
John’s mother also said he enjoyed cartoon illustration.
John declined comment when contacted.
Olga said the family was not looking for publicity during John’s defense last year, but the experience reinforced her belief in the power of the press.
“I think sometimes through controversy comes compromise,” she said.