New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 24, 1989, New Braunfels, Texas
Minorities not prepared for freshman skills test
AUSTIN (AP) — It would be misguided for the state to test the skills of college freshmen without providing remedial courses for those who need improvement, said Higher Education Commissioner Kenneth Ashworth. _ _
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Commission wants ruling on track TV guidelines
AUSTIN (AP) — The chairman of the Texas Racing Commission has asked Attorney General Jim Mat-_ tox to decide whether state law prohibits the comrnis-i sion from adopting rules on simulcasting.
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Vol. 137, No. 52
707 Landa St., New Braunfels, Texas 78130 (LISPS 377-880) 512-625-9144
January 24, 1989
25 Cents One Section, 10 Pages
Plenty of sunshine and breezy winds from the southeast will make for a nice afternoon. Tonight’s low will dip to 60 degrees. Tomorrow’s forecast calls for a high of 68 and a low of 47. A cool front will ride in Thursday and bring lots of rain and cold temperatures.
The Most Rev. AFM Clavier, Primus of the American Episcopal Church, will hold Holy Eucharist services tonight at 7 p.m. at the St. Joseph American Episcopal Church, 440 N. Seguin. The public is invited to the service....
All New Braunfels Band Boosters are urged to attend the Booster meeting tonight at 7:30 p.m. The agenda includcds an update on the patron sale, volunteer plans for the Feb. 4 New Braunfels Invitational Solo and Ensemble Contest, and a report from Wayne Tucker regarding future band activities. The refreshments will ward off January doldrums and the current winier virus....
The ninth annual Dinner With the Arts celebrating the art and artists of this area is set for Sunday at the Civic Center, beginning at 5:30 p.m. A catered dinner, a talented performance following the theme of “Lullaby of Broadway,” and a display of visual art works round out the event. Tickets arc available at Krause Books and the Arts Center in Walnut Square. No tickets will be sold at the door....
By DAVID BUILTA Staff Writer
Paychecks for City of New Braunfels employees will be a little bigger for the first time in three years beginning Feb. 9 following action by New Braunfels City Council Monday night.
Council approved a plan which gives parity to employee salaries and gives merit raises. Funds for the increases were allocated in the budget for fiscal year 1988-89.
“As most of you know, we’ve talked at some length about changing our pay plan — how we pay our employees,” City Manager Paul Grohman told council. “I think
there have been numerous complaints for many years on parity among the employees, not necessarily with any other organization but inside our own organization.
“We have a proposal for you that I think is a very solid foundation to pay our employees. It’s based on some solid information and I think it’s a very solid plan,” said Grohman, who devised the plan.
Grohman said by his development of the plan, the city saved the $20,000 to $25,(XX) it would have cost to hire a consultant.
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City approves plan
Firm to collect
Collecting the more than $2 million in delinquent taxes, penalties and interest for the City of New Braunfels and New Braunfels Independent School District is the task of a San Antonio law firm.
The firm of Heard, Goggan, Blair and Williams mailed out 1,995 letters today to delinquent taxpayers. “If taxpayers do not pay their delinquent taxes immediately, they will face the possibility of a lawsuit and the risk of losing their property as a result of tax foreclosure,” said a firm representative.
Total delinquency, including base tax, penalty and interest, for both the city and school district, is $2,199,428. Of this amount, $567,263, or 26 per cent, represents taxpayers who have not been delinquent prior to 1987.
Of the total delinquency tax roll for the city and school, $1,557,089 represents real property, $531,686 represents personal property and $110,653 represents other property.
“We realize our efforts are more crucial than ever to citizens in New Braunfels,” said Oliver S. Heard Jr., firm partner. “These tax dollars help keep providing basic services such as police and fire protection, streets and drainage, school teachers aid facilities. If funds are not available to provide these services, we have a choice — we cai collect this money from tax delinquents or we cai increase tile tax burden on those of us who pay when we’re supposed to.”
“Delinquent taxpayers need to take immediate action to meet their tax responsibilities to avoid paying higher interest and penalties and possibly court costs," said Bob Krueger, firm representative. “We intend to make sure everyone pays their fair share of taxes to continue providing vital government services for the citizens of New Braunfels.”
Senior citizens, age 65 or older,
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Officials to discuss West End projects
Residents of the West End will have the opportunity Wednesday to meet with officials of the City of New Braunfels and New Braunfels Utilities to discuss improvements in the area.
City Manager Paul Grohman and City Engineer Bill Dobrowolski will discuss street repairs in the area and NBU officials will discuss phase two of a sewer project at the meeting at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Holy Family Church Hall, 245 S. Hidalgo.
Mayor Pro Tem Ramon Chapa of District I, invites all residents of his
These Double-Crested Commorants certainly aren’t here for the golf, but they have come to Central Texas from the Gulf Coast area for the nicer weather. This bird is known as the “Oriental Fishing Bird” because fishermen in the Orient put rings around the birds' necks so they can't swallow fish, and wait for the birds to bring up their catch. A group of these birds has made Landa Park their year-
round home and Landa Park is a bird-watchers' paradise because a large variety of birds have made it their home, too, said Parks Director David Whatley. By the way, if you park near Landa Lake and find a fish head on your car, these Commorants are the culprit because they eat as they fly over the area. (Photo by Deryl Clark)
Council to hire coordinator for downtown revitalization
New Braunfels City Council unanimously voted to hire a downtown coordinator as pan of a downtown revitalization effort.
The city will provide 75 percent of the funds to hire the coordinator with the other 25 percent coming from the private sector. The private sector — individuals, service organizations or finanical institutions — has 120 days to raise its portion of the funds.
Paul Grohman, New Braunfels City Manager, presented two budgets to council for a downtown coordinator’s office. The budgets were based on
what other cities involved in Main Street projects are spending for downtown revitalization.
He presented a $50,752 budget which included $21,132 for a director, $12,480 for a clerk, $2,020 for travel and training, $3,156 for equipment, $480 for office supplies, $ 1,2(X) for telephone and $200 for dues and suscriptions. Grohman also presented a lower budget that did not include a clerk.
The lower budget was $34,368. By eliminating clerical support, personnel expenses would be $27,472 rather
than $43,696 and equipment expenses would drop from $3,156 lo $2,996.
“I think we could do a very good job with cither one,” Grohman said. “I think these are conservative budgets. I think these people, with the proper direction and cooperation from downtown merchants' and proper direction from us, could really make an impact on the downtown,
“You have to look at it as an investment. I don’t think you’ll see any dividends in year one and maybe not in year two, but I think it’s real good See COUNCIL, Page 2
district to attend the meeting.
“I want to tell all the residents down there we’re coming," Chapa said. “I’ve been getting a lot of calls on this. People arc concerned with all the streets. I’m inviting die people to come over.”
“We’re hoping for a good crowd,” said Grohman. “We want to go in and explain what we’re doing. We’re very optimistic about what we’re doing.” .
NBU had a similar meeting with the residents when construction on the first phase of the sewer project began.
Post office employee suspended following federal fraud charge
A local post office employee was placed on suspension after a federal grand jury indicted him on fraud charges Thursday.
Pedro Cantu, 551 W. Mill St., a six-year veteran of the local post office, was suspensed after he was indicted on three counts of embezzlement charges and one count of illegal possession of food coupon charges, said Postmaster
Inspector John Tara, who investigated the city letter carrier, presented evidence to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
“Hie opportunity (fraud) is there all the time, Lara said. “But as far as a problem — no.”
Lara refused to comment on how long the investigation had progressed.
Tonight’s Cancer Support Group topic is “Eat, Eat, Eat. Yuck,
Yuck, Yuck” and will focus on loss of appetite and nutrition during treatments. Anyone with cancer or friends and family of cancer patients are invited to join the group, which meets each Tuesday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Garza Street Classroom across the street from the main entrance to McKenna Memorial Hospital. Next week’s topic is “God Didn’t Give You Cancer” and the guest speaker will be the Rev. Buckner Fanning from Trinity Baptist Church....
The Bargain Box of St. John’s Church at Casten and Coll streets needs volunteer workers. The store serves the community by offering second-hand clothing and small household items at reduced prices. The Bargain Box helps several local organizations with financial aid — Teen Connection, Community Service Center, the 24-Hour Club, Hospice, and the Children’s Emergency Shelter. For more information, call Madeline Blum at 625-7836 or the Bargain Box at 629-1831....
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Hearing all sides
Appraiser organizes citizens advisory board
By STEPHANIE DAVIS Staff Writer
After surviving controversial budget hearings and citizen backlash, the local chief appraiser is organizing a 15-member citizens advisory group to hear “every side of every issue” this year.
“I have such a diverse group and they represent so many different opinions,” said Chief Appraiser Richard Rhodes about his newly formed group. “I don’t look at them as a cure all fix-all. I want their input.”
Members of the group, representing all walks of life, will research long- and short-term goals for the Comal Appraisal District and give opinions.
Subjects to be explored include the annual budget; feasibility of new computers; mapping; housing of the district; salary and benefit guidelines; public relations and education.
“I don’t think people understand this budget process or anything about it, so I’m going to get more public involvement of the budget process,” Rhodes said.
Various citizens and taxing entities continually criticized the district and its budget in 1988.
“I want them to understand tile set of criteria that we have to work under in terms of die formulation of die budget,” Rhodes said, “lf nothing else, I will have
heard every side of every issue by the time I get it through the group.
“Sonic of the people that arc on the group have been critical themselves in times past.”
Members of the group will not be paid or expected to shoulder any aggravation on behalf of the district, Rhodes said.
“It’s hard for us sometimes in this industry, who understand it, to understand what people who arc not in it don’t understand,” Rhodes said. “By having these people who are not part of this industry ... tell us what they don’t understand about it, maybe we can better address the needs of the community of a whole in terms of education.”
Rhodes, who is blazing new ground, said he doesn’t know of other appraisal districts who have an advisory group.
In the process of trying to make the group understand what die district does, Rhodes said he will learn how to better communicate his job.
But there are dangers.
“It has it’s dangers,” he said. “If we don’t get some good ideas or if it creates further turmoil, then it won’t
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Chamber hitting trail to attract more visitors
By DAVID BUILTA Staff Writer
Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce is striving to make New Braunfels an even more popular site for Winter Texans to visit.
Michael Meek, the chamber’s Convention and Visitors Bureau director, recently returned from the Rio Grande Valley where he represented New Braunfels at two Winter Texan travel fairs. New Braunfels, Natural Bridge Caverns and Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch were among 66 participants at the fair in Harlingen Jan. 9 and IO and among 88 in McAllen, where they were joined by Scenic Hills.
The chamber is planning to conduct a Winter Texan Survey in February to gain more information about visitors to the area.ifaeek also will represent New Braunfels at Wintcrfcst in Corpus Christi in February. Through the ‘Texas Approach," information about New Braunfels is being distributed at travel shows in nine slates.
Winter Texans typically are residents of mid-western or northern slates who spend the winter months, usually December or January through March, in warmer climates. In recent years, Meek said, approximately 1,500 residents of states such as Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, and Michigan have called New Braunfels home from December through March.
“In four days’ time there were approximately 2,500 visitors that actualy walked through displays and picked up brochures and we talked with them one on one,” Meek said. “Just myself alone, we distributed 9,(XX) different pieces of literature to those folks. That doesn’t count what Natural Bridge Caverns and Scenic Hills handed out, so that was a good hit.
“We would have liked to have seen more raw numbers of people because we know that during a period from
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