New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 15, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas
TEASER YEAR-ROUND BALL
New Braunfels Thunder basketball team gives players the chance to hone their skills before jumping back into high school. Pogo SA
Y, JULY 15, 2004
FORUM MOLLY IVINS
Columnist apprises D ” Clinton's
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
Vol. 153, No. 210 12 pages, 2 sections
Details .... 1B
DEAR ABBY 3B CLASSIFIEDS SOB COMICS 2B CROSSWORD 2B FORUM 4A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 5-6A TV GRIDS 3BTax freeze, city petitions submitted
By Scott Mahon and Ron Maloney
City and county officials accepted three petitions Wednesday, totaling four that seek to put questions on the Nov. 2 ballot.
Commissioners’ Court for-mally received a petition
from a group of seniors seeking to freeze property taxes for the disabled and those over age 65.
At Commissioners’ Court, Sigfrid Swenson presented a petition carrying 3,160 validated names — well more than the 2,624 needed to get the tax freeze question on the
county’s November ballots.
Swenson said those who circulated petitions found broad support for the tax freeze — and not just among retired people. Many younger voters, he said, supported the petition drive. Organizers, he said, intentionally shot for the November election after
learning it would cost the county $20,000 to put on an election for a single ballot item in September — and another $10,000 for New Braunfels.
“That’s not chicken feed to me,” Swenson said. “We decided to put it in for November, win lose or draw.
We think we’ll win.”
If Swenson does win, he’ll do it without the vote of County Judge Danny Scheel, who said he asked the group to bring forth a petition so all voters would decide the issue.
“I don’t feel that, in good conscience, I can pass my responsibilities on to my chil
dren or my grandchildren,” Scheel said. “That’s all I’m going to say.”
The county tax freeze petition has been pre-certified by Tax Assessor/Collector Sherman Krause. The city has five days to certify petitions.
In New Braunfels, District 6
See PETITIONS. Page 3A
Photos by MANDY REARY/Herald-Zeitung
Schlitterbahn Waterpark began a program this summer supplementing its summer workforce with foreign students. Valentin lliu (above) of Romania works at an Ieee stand at Surfenburg. Inha Minayeva (top right) of Belarus lifeguards one of the many slides at Blastenhoff. Anna Masluk (center right) of Russia works in the front gift shop banding hangers together. Victoria Afanasenkova (bottom right) prepares a meal in the employee restaurant.
Schlitterbahn heads to Europe to find workers
By Scott Mahon
It took Victoria Afanasenkova three days to travel from her home in Russia to New Braunfels where she would spend the summer working at Schlitterbahn.
A 20-year-old language student, Afanasenkova spoke Wednesday in English about her first time to America.
“My flight went from Moscow to Frankfurt, then to Boston and Houston,” she said. “I took a bus from Houston to New Braunfels. I was a little nervous, and my parents were concerned because it took three days to get here.
“I’m excited to be here, and I like New Braunfels. It’s a small town, and the people are friendly and nice. I live in an apartment in New Braunfels with five
other European students,” she said.
Afanasenkova is one of 150 Eastern European college students recruited to work this summer at the local waterpark.
“It’s a pilot program we started this year,” said Stacey Smith, Schlitterbahn’s director of human resources. “Most of the students are from Eastern Europe and are third- and fourth-year college students. I don’t think any of the other area theme parks have a program like this, although I think Six Hags in Arlington does.”
Smith said the foreign students were able to work through the end of the season at Schlitterbahn.
“The waterpark is open until Sept. 19, and local students usually have to return to school in
August," she said. “Local students take vacations with their families and start school sports early, so the European students fill a gap for us until the end of the season.”
Smith and Toni Degutis, staff services manager, flew to Eastern Europe in January to recruit college students from Russia, Romania, latvia, Lithuania and Belarus.
“We used a Boston firm to schedule job fares in Eastern Europe,” she said. “Seasonal employment in America isn’t as popular in Western Europe because the economy is stronger in Western Europe. While we were there, we met every student who signed up to work with us this summer.”
See FOREIGN. Page 3A
Bulverde outlines far-reaching city plan
By Brandi Grissom
BULVERDE — City council Tuesday unanimously adopted Bulverde’s first comprehensive plan detailing how explosive growth expected here in the next 20 years will be managed.
“It just goes to show we can get along and get things done,” Mayor Bill Cole said.
The Sunrise 2025 Comprehensive Plan took more than a year to develop and cost the city more than $59,000. City Planner Chance Sparks AT A glance i described the _ i motivation behind
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firm, steering committee volunteers and hundreds who responded to a survey about Bulverde helped guide the creation of the 10-chapter plan. The plan establishes goals and objectives for community development as thousands flock to the small Hill Country town expected to reach nearly 20,000 bv 2030.
“It’s a good sign that Bulverde is wanting to take a proactive approach to growth," Sparks said. “They don’t want to be reactionary. They want to be prepared for the growth before it happens."
To accomplish the plan objectives, the city must develop standards and ordinances that reflect desires of the citizens to maintain the community's rural, open feel, said James Vaughan, of Larsen, Vaughan and Associates, who
See BULVERDE. Page 3A
Family, friends memorialize Molina with candlelight vigil
By Ron Malonoy
Hie Guadalupe River rushed past 40 of Stephen Molina’s friends and family members Wednesday night, showing them the same icy indifference displayed Monday when it took his life.
The evening after divers called off their underwater search for Molina’s body, a candlelight vigil and wake were held near the spot where he disappeared in the swift, cold current.
Molina, 19, a former New Braunfels Independent School District student, ROTC member and friend, was memorialized by the people who best knew him.
His mother, Mary Garber, was handed
photos of Molina. In both the boy smiled broadly. One was taken when he was 3 years old. The second was in his high school ROTC uniform. Both were placed by the bank.
Garber thanked her family for helping her through her son’s death.
“My family’s been really wonderful,” Garber said. “They have been shielding media and trying to take care of things for us.”
She met with various visitors and relatives, touching them and thanking them for coming to the river to share in her son’s memory.
“I want to thank them all and tell them
See VIGIL. Page 3A
Relatives of Stephen Andrew Molina are overcome with emotion during a candlelight vigil for the 19-year-old who drowned in die Guadalupe River Monday afternoon.
Smile, you’re on convict camera! Comal County i*stattc new $135,000 security system at the sheriffs office to improve inmate, officer safety.