New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 20, 1984, New Braunfels, Texas
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Henry, resort owners at odds on room tax
By DY ANNE FRY Staff writer
Of the 20 hotel and resort managers who met Thursday at Guadalupe Outpost, none favored an increase in the city room-occupancy tax. Not now, at least.
Gary Cattell, manager of the Faust Hotel, said he might support an increase if more revenue was needed to promote the tourist industry. He added that as far as he can tell, the Chamber of Commerce is doing all right with what it’s getting, and no one in the tourist industry is asking for more.
Stan Woodward and Jack Krueger,
part owners in The Other Place, weren’t sure anyone at all wanted to raise the room tax, despite Bob Henry’s reports of “a move afoot” to do so in city government.
‘‘The best information I have is there’s no move afoot,” Krueger told Henry, who precipitated Thursday’s meeting with a letter of warning to his fellow hotel owners. Henry’s family owns the Schlitterbahn and Landa Resort.
“If you had your ears out, you’d know there was — in spite of what they say in the paper,” replied Henry. (All seven council members, when queried by the Herald-Zeitung, denied any knowledge of such a move. They
also denied having discussed the room tax with Henry, who stated in his letter that he’d gotten his information from a city council member.)
After two hours of discussion, the assembled hoteliers conceded that the tax money now allotted to the chamber’s Convention and Visitors’ Bureau might be better spent. They decided the best way to achieve that was to work through the visitors’ bureau. Before it was all over, Bob and his son Jeff Henry had more or less agreed to rejoin the chamber, which the elder Henry had left in disgust some years back.
“Let me explain to you why I don’t belong to the Chamber of Com
merce,” he told the crowd. “Ninety-five percent of my business is done in the summer, and I find it unreal that the chamber refuses to advertise when I do most of my business.” Krueger, who has served on the tourism committee ever since its inception, said, “Ifs the committee’s choice not to advertise for summer tourists. We didn’t think it was wise to spend chamber money advertising for tourists when you’re already full.” Woodward challenged statistics quoted in Henry’s letter, which said the highest occupancy rate for any resort during the best quarter of the year was only 69 percent. “We’re way over that,” he said. The Other Place is
usually booked up a year in advance, because people leaving at the end of their stay make reservations for next year.
Henry asked him which quarter: April through June, or August through September?
“During the summer,” said Woodward. “After Labor Day, everything falls off. September is one of the months we (the chamber committee) promote, Bob.”
As the evening progressed, Jeff Henry admitted his family’s resorts had all the business they could handle in July and August, but he said June
See HENRY, Page 7New JjaM- BraunfelsNew Braunfels, TexasHarald-ZeitungVolume 93—No. 15 16 Pages
FRIDAY January 20,1984 25 Cents
By DORIAN MARTIN Staff writer
The State Commission of Education upheld the dismissal last year of a New Braunfels ISD teacher.
State Board of Education Chairman Joe Kelly Butler ruled on Jan. 14 that the non-renewal of the contract of Carmen Amaro was correct. NBISD Superintendent Charles Bradberry was informed of the decision in a letter received Thursday.
With the decision, Amaro’s only chance for reinstatement is through a civil court of law.
Contacted Thursday night about her plans, Amaro said, “It depends. I’m not going to answer anything now.”
She said she would be contacting her attorneys. Butler’s findings in the case were based on recommendations by the board’s hearing officer on July 22,1983 and commissioner on Sept. 19.
Amaro, a first-grade teacher, was with the district for 13 years, half of which was spent at Lone Star Elementary.
Her contract was not renewed during a four-hour hearing by the NBISD board of trustees May 17. That decision followed the administration’s recommendation.
The first indication of the non-renewal came in a meeting March 15,1983.
Afterwards, Amaro requested a formal hearing, which is allowed by district policy.
However, the teacher did not appear at the hearing, following the advice of her legal counsel. Her attorneys also were unsuccessful in obtaining an injunction to District Court to halt those proceedings.
Four school officials, including Lone Star Principal Richard Free, were questioned by NBISD Jack Borchers during the hearing.
The reason for her dismissal was not available. Following the board’s decision, Amaro appealed to the TEC.
In his opinion, hearing officer Mark W. Robinett wrote:
— “Petitioner received adequate notice in compliance with... Term Contract Nonrenewal Act.”
— “Petitioner waived her right to any issue related to the local hearing by failing to appear."
— “Petitioners appeal should be DENIED" (emphasis added by Robinett).
I New storms bring sub-zero readings
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By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
A curtain of cold descending from Canada plunged temperatures to below zero today from the northern Rockies to the Northeast, and readings in the teens were recorded as far south as louisiana, Alabama and Georgia.
“In fact, if you want a nice, warm vacation, you can go to Alaska," said Nolan Duke of the National Severe Storms Forecast Center in Kansas City, Mo. Juneau and Anchorage were both to be at or above the freezing mark, he said.
The mercury sank to 31 below today in International Falls, Minn., and 24 below in Fargo, N.D. Minneapolis reported a reading of 19 below, and most of Minnesota was in the minus-20 to rninus-30 range.
New Orleans hovered around the freezing mark overnight, and south Florida could do no better than the 40s and 50sToday's Weather
Temperature a*« expected to dtop into the 20s tonight, end that. combined With high winds Witt send the wmd chill facto* down to a bone chilling minus five degrees
There s also a 30 percent chance of sleet or snow today, ending late tonight Winds will be from the northeast at 1525 mph today, shifting to the north at 15 25 mph tonight Sunset will be at 5 58 p rn and sunrise Saturday will be at 7 25 a m
But dense cloud cover apparently spared the Florida citrus belt from another killer cold like December’s.
"Think of the clouds as being a roof, and it keeps the heat in,” said Emmett Ricks of the National Weather Service in Miami That protective roof has been blown off most of the nation by a jet stream of icy air from the depths of the arctic. And while
the sun was expected to shine on most of the nation today, it will be an empty light bringing little warmth to a nation weary of cold.
Duke said temperatures will moderate somewhat over the Rockies and the Plains but warned that "ifs still only January.”
From the Rockies to the Northeast and as far south as Kansas and Missouri, the mercury was stuck below the zero mark.
Chicago checked in at minus 6 this morning It was 6 degrees below zero in Pittsburgh, 15 above in New York City and 12 degrees in Baston.
In the Northeast, the bitter cold compounded problems caused by the snowstorms of the last two days.
“Whatever you got from the storm, if you didn t scrape it off you can forget it for the next couple of days.” said Jim Eberwine of the National Weather Service in Newark. N J., where it was 7 degrees. “Ifs going to be rock -olid.”
Interest low in utility payment plans
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Some sharp shooting vandals shot out a window and a meter in the Freiheit electrical substation behind Canyon High Thursday night. The suspects had to shoot through a window and from behind a fence to damage this meter, located inside the substation control room. The damage was discovered Friday morning.
By DEBBIE DetOACH Staff writer
Because of December’s Big Chill, local gas and electrical bills for January have been averaging two or three — even four — times higher than usual.
Both New Braunfels Utilities and Entex have publicized deferred payment options to their customers for January, but there haven’t been any takers yet.
No one had signed up for NBU’s deferral plan, Roberta Schmid, collections supervisor, said Friday. “We have had a lot of phone calls asking about the plan, but no actual signatures,” she added
The situation at Entex is slightly different. “We have for years worked with customers who can’t pay all their bills,” Robert Jones, Entex district manager for
South Texas, said Friday. “Our proposal for January is to take the excess from December, and disperse that over 60 to 90 days.
Jones added there are Entex customers currently on deferred payment plans, but no one has signed up yet just because of the December cold wave.
lvocal gas bills in the mail for January “have been close to twice the normal amount,” Jones said. “Many people haven’t gotten their bills yet, and some don’t start thinking about paying it until two days before we cut their gas off. So we could still have some people sign up this month.”
Schmid said electricity bills to be paid in January “have been three to four times higher than usual The cold spell coming
during the Chn.-anas holidays really hit some people hard.” she added
“Many people have called about our temporary deferred payment plan, but no one has actually come in and signed an agreement,” Schmid said “We explain the program over the phone, and then tell them they have to pay their February bill in full, plus the unpaid January portion.
“A lot don’t want to gamble that much, because it’s still cold and supposed to get colder," she added.
Under the NBL' plan, customers with a history of good credit may defer up to 50 percent of their Jan 15 and Jan 30 bills. To sign up, customers must bring their bills to the Utilities Main Office at 263 E. Main Office and sign a payment deferral agreement.
Garden Ridge residents oppose zoning law
At least 200 people braved the cold to show up for a town meeting over possible changes in the zoning ordinance in Garden Ridge Thursday night.
And with one exception, everyone who took the microphone had the same message: We want Garden Ridge to continue as a way of life, and not just a place to live.
Concern over a survey questionnaire listing 13 different zoning classiifications brought the crowd to the Bracken Volunteer Fire Department Station, and the city’s Planniing and Zoning Commission got exactly what it wanted: lots of public input.
The city’s current zoning ordinance contains only three classifications: R for residential single family, RA for residential-agriculture, and B for retail business. However, P&Z Commission chairman Bob Kolstad said, “There are no B’s to date.”
The current minimum lot size is 30,000 square feet, with two-thirds of the city undeveloped. The present zoning ordinance was established in June, 1974.
Residents at the town meeting seemed to like the current minimum lot size, and didn’t want to see it get any smaller — with one exception. Elaine Mount of 9335 Sumac Lane was all for a Garden Home Residential zoning proposal with a 9,000 square foot minimum lot size.
“I’m for garden homes, because that’s what I’d Uke to Uve in,” Mount said amidst voices in the audience suggesting she move somewhere else. “I’m not saying I want a lot of shoddy, high density housing here either. But we could have a few nice garden homes with big yards to keep up, instead of having to move when we get too old to mow the grass.”
Everyone else said leave things alone. The former
mayor of Garden Ridge, Betty McGranahan, brought the house down with her comments:
“(The Commission and the City Council) needs to realize why we came to Garden Ridge in the first place — big lots, country atmosphere and lots of grass to mow,” McGranahan began. “I’m going to get old too, but I’m Uving in the cheapest housing I can find, and I’ll find some alternative to mowing the grass when that time comes.
"Those with heads on their shoulders know places like Garden Ridge are hard to find,” she added, “lf we destroy it now, we won’t ever get it back.”
Pete Read, who wrote the 1974 ordinance, agreed. “To do anything to speed up the growth or change this place would be foolish. The present ordinance answers all the requirements we have,” Read said, “and I don’t think developers should make money at our expense.”
At its Dec. I meeting, the Planning and Zoning Commission had proposed this recommendation to city council: RA-residence-agriculture: R-l for residence single family 130,000 minimum square foot lots with septic system); R-2 for residence single family (min. 22,500 sq. ft. lots with public salutary sewer); R-3 for garden home (min. 12,000 sq. ft. lots with public sanitary sewer); B-l for retail business and neighborhood service district; B-2 for general business district; 1-1 for light industrial; and PDfor predevelopment.
The commission’s Dec. I vote on R-2 was 4-2 in favor, but disharmony over R-3 prompted the questionnaire and the town meeting suggestion, Kolstad said.
- DEBBIE DoLOACH
.. .no tax consensus
Bill and Nan Dillen receive congratulations from Chamber President Mitch Sacco after winning the Besserung Award at last year’s Chamber of Commerce banquet The annual banquet starts tonight at 7 at die Civic Center.
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WEATHER....................... . 2
Expert says McClellan didn't have 'crib death'
GEORGETOWN (API - A pathologist testified today that Chelsea McClellan’s death was officially attributed to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, although the decision “wasn’t a firm thing ” Prosecutors say murder defendant Genene Jones killed 15-month-old Chelsea in 1982 by injecting a powerful drug But defense lawyer Jim Brookshire today tried to show jurors that the infant’s death could have been a result of SIDS.
Dr. James Fletes, who performed the autopsy on the child, said the cause of death was listed as SIDS but “the child wasn’t the correct age ” He said SIDS usually kills children in the 5-to-6-month-old range.
"The circumstances were not correct,” Fletes said, adding that the SIDS decision was based on another pathologist’s tests “It doesn’t fit the characteristics of full-blown SIDS, “he said.
Brookshire tried to show jurors that SIDS (sometimes called ‘crib death’) can strike older children, but Fletes would go no further than acknowledging that “a very few children older than six months die from the mysterious syndrome The pathologist said the death case was listed as “atypical form of SIDS probably. It wasn’t a firm thing
Ms Jones is charged with injecting the 15-month-old girl with a muscle relaxant that baffled doctors and killed the baby in September 1982.
Kerr County District Attorney Hon Sutton started telling the story somewhere in the nuddle, beyond the point when Ms Jones allegedly gave the injection at a Kerrville pediatric clinic. It may be up to Dr Kathleen Holland, wtio owned the office and hired Ms Jones, to clearly implicate her former hurse.
Thursday’s prosecution witnesses recounted a tale of a baby they didn’t think was in a struggle for life.
Ambulance driver Steve Brown was called to Ms Holland s office on Sept 17,1982 to take the girl to Sid Peterson Hospital in Kerrville
He testified the baby was on an examining table in Ms. Holland’s office and there w as "not much of any kind of movement.” The girl was loaded into the ambulance and stopped breathing during the three-minute trip to the hospital, he said.
At the hospital it was decided to take Chelsea to a San Antonio hospital for tests Brown said the infant seemed OK w hen loaded back into the ambulance “Everything seemed real good to me. The baby was stable That’s what I was told,” he testified.