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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 10, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas “THE REPUTATION AN ATTRACTION HAS CONTRIBUTES TO THE KIND OF BEHAVIOR PEOPLE EXPECT TO PARTICIPATE IN, AND REPUTATIONS ...ARE DIFFICULT TO CHANGE."- MICHAEL BAUMANN UTSA organizational psychologistIjfelessordinarv v * SI    "    >•    5'    * ■I’-’i Vt. TW. ' '...i.-i    -    — ‘Pack mentality’ influences individual behavior By Scott Mahon Staff Writer As recreational areas like the Comal River attract more crowds, experts say the subtleties of crowd behavior become more recognizable and more difficult to control. “A lot of things happen when a person is in a crowd, and individuals tend to engage in behavior they normally wouldn't engage in,” said Stella Garcia-Lopez, a social psychologist at University of Texas at San Antonio. “Inhibitions decrease, individuals think they are anonymous and people tend to think they have less individual responsibility in crowds. They do things they normally wouldn’t do, like throwing beer bottles on lawns or urinating in public.” Garcia-Lopez said one theory of social psychology explained why individuals were less aware of personal responsibility. “Being in a large crowd draws attention away from one's self,” she said, “lf crowd behavior is in motion, then individual awareness decreases, and people begin to associate their own behavior with the crowd’s behavior. Whatever the crowd is doing, then its OK to do, especially during leisure activity because people are relaxed and they’re having fun.” Rolf Edward Moore, a Landa No place for garden homes in Garden Ridge, city says rn®rn By Brandi Grissom Staff Writer GARDEN RIDGE — Two years of debate here came to an end Wednesday when city councilmembers decided there would be no garden homes in Garden Ridge, at least for the time being. Councilmembers voted unanimously to disapprove an zoning ordinance allowing 2,000- to 2,800-square-foot homes to be built on one-quarter acre lots. City zoning requirements currently allow lots no smaller than three-quarters of an acre. The decision came after a public opinion poll conducted in May revealed residents overwhelmingly opposed the idea. Of696 respondents, 454 said they were not in favor of Park advisory board member, said he has studied crowd psychology. “There are a lot of studies on the subject,” said Moore, who is also a graduate student at Texas State University. “Many places have had the same or similar problems that New Braunfels has, and the same patterns are recognizable. For instance, large crowds affect the quality of the attraction and threaten the loss of control by law enforcement. People in overcapacity crowds lose their inhibitions, vandalism and minor criminal behavior increases, and eventually the See CROWD, Page 3A IN OTHERACTION See I, Page 3A Garden Ridge Police Chief Walt Myers announcing his retirement effective July 30 Council promoted Lt. Victor Matta to the chief position I The final plat for a 118-home subdivision, Wild Wind, was approved, and construction is set to begin within the month. I A city ordinance regarding out door burning was tabled to give councilmembers time to review the proposed ordinance and to organize a town meeting with officials from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Feibel-man said the ordinance would not be ready for at least two more months. See FAIRGROUNDS Page 3A$500,000 bail set for man deputy shot By Ron Maloney Staff Writer SAN ANTONIO—A Comal County Justice of the Peace set a $500,IX K) bail Thursday on the man accused of trying to shoot a Comal County Sheriff s deputy Tuesday. Sheriff's detective Sgt. Tommy Ward said Precinct I Justice of the Peace William Schroeder set the hail in an arrest warrant for John Edward Morris, alleging the man committed attempted capital murder in a shotgun confrontation with sheriff s Deputy Brett Smith. Smith, 43, escaped injury but fired six shots at Morris. Three shots struck the suspect in the chest. Morris is being treated at University Hospital in San Antonio. Citing a confidentiality order, hospital officials refused Friday to release his condition. Law enforcement officials said he was not conscious Friday. Morris was magistrated by proxy Friday by Bexar County officials. Cbmal County Sheriff’s deputies continue to guard him in an intensive care unit. John Edward Morris  ...<o,    2004 f*Tt%^risHERs EL MSO TX 79983 ■ IiiiIIjIiiI,!,,!! ii,,,!,)! D, 2004 ld-Zeitung WATER WOES HISTORY H South Kuehler Wastewater Treatment Plant was built in 1992. H NBU has been operating the plant under a permit granted in 1999. B That permit expired in 2002. No new permit has been granted because PLDA and other have contested the plant s discharges into the river. A new permit for the plant would be good for two years, hinging on a study of phosphorus levels in the leak. By Brandi Grissom Staff Writer The 4.2 million gallons of treated water discharged into the Guadalupe River from the South Kuehler Wastewater Plant is dangerous to people and to the local economy, say members of the Preserve Lake Dunlap Association. At a public meeting Thursday, the group plans to oppose the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s plans to renew a permit to New Braunfels Utilities for the treatment plant near the intersection of FM 725 and Interstate 35. The plant, they say, is releasing excessive levels of phosphorus into the river, encouraging algae growth, making drinking water unhealthy and bad tasting. NBU officials, however, say stud ies have not conclusively proven the plant is the source of phosphorus in the river. PLDA officials hope enough public outcry at the meeting will cause TCEQ to initiate a contested case hearing before a judge. TCEQ commissioners will review comments from the public meeting and decide whether to grant the permit renewal, send the case to a judge or return the permit to staff for revision. PLDA President Kent Kottler said NBU should either reduce phosphorus levels or divert water away from the river. "We really want TCEQ to put additional restrictions on how much treatment is done on [the water), so it’ll take out some of the See PERMIT, Page 3A County fair opposes Valentines park plan FORUM GUEST COLUMN David Hartmann says Dorothy Vollbrecht believed making New Braunfels better was her civic responsibility. Page Vol. 153, No. 208 14 pages, 2 sections CL Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. DEAR ABBY 3B CLASSIFIEDS 4-8B COMICS 2B CROSSWORD 2B FORUM    4A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 5-6A TV GRIDS 3B 50$ 56825 00001' 50% chance of rain High Low 92 73 Details .... 1B Scott Mahon Staff WriterActivist group: NBU permit plan ‘stinks’ DAVID INGRAM/Herald-Zeitung On a typical summer weekend, thousands of tubers will clog the Comal and Guadalupe rivers. Psychologists say people tend to lose their inhibitions in large crowds and act in ways they might not normally, such as throwing beer bottles on lawns or urinating in public. STAND OUT IN A CROWD More than 200 members of the Comal County Fair Association voted unanimously Wednesday to oppose District 6 City Councilman Ken Valentines petition to designate the fairgrounds as a city park.    air    it    out Axion Hermes, fair j -KGNB 1420AM association execu- = rive board member, I said his members felt designating the i fairgrounds a city park would be too restrictive. “Mr. Valentine’s petition doesn’t serve the best interest of the fair association,” he said. “ There are a multitude of city ordinances and state laws that would affect the use of the property it ii were designated a city park.” Valentine’s petition would call for a Nov. 2 vote on making the fairgrounds a city park. I Ie initialed the petition drive after Schlitterbahn president (iary I len-ry made an offer to swap a 41 -acre parcel witl air a discussion of this topic today at 9 a rn. Guests will include Adon Hermes, District 6 City Councilman Ken Valentine and Gary Henry SPORTS NS ON TOP Minors win loop title; 9 and 10-year-olds closer to crown as Little League playoff series continues. Pago SA ;