New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 21, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas
(Kl available conNew Braunfels
SATURDAY July 21, 2001
16 pages in 2 sections
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Vol. ISO, No. 216
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852
Hospital construction project enters next phase
By Ron Maloney Staff Writer
McKenna Memorial Hospital’s $40 million renovation and construction program essentially will see the entire facility rebuilt or replaced.
Now, in the final phase of that program, renovation and enlargement of the hospital’s dining room and kitchen is proceeding alongside work to install a $2 million, state-of-the art Magnetic Resonance Imager.
The MRI will permanently replace a series of devices that have been housed in trailers on the hospital grounds during the past decade.
Now, three months into the $6.5 million phase of the project, work will continue into next year,
Allen Strickland, McKenna’s chief financial officer, said McKenna’s new MRI would be the equal or better of any in the area.
“There’ll be no reason to get a scan anywhere else,” Strickland said. “Ours will be the top of the line. It’s a quantum jump in imagery.”
Strickland said upgrading facilities made this an important time for McKenna — although there were inconveniences.
McKenna patients and “team members” — or staff personnel — are bearing with the inconveniences of hallways that are boarded off.
“I want the community to know we really appreciate their patience with us. You can’t do additions and add-ons without inconveniencing people,” Strickland said.
K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-ZeitungSlightly shielded from the sun’s heat by an overhead tent, Manuel Rodriguez, Jr. adds fuel to the fire as he welds a flange onto a three-inch chill pipe on the roof of what will be the new cafeteria at McKenna Hospital Friday afternoon.
‘When we finish
with this project,
either he brand newor newly remodeled. ” — Allen Strickland McKenna’s CFP
But probably no one is being inconvenienced like McKenna’s staff is.
While construction continues, McKenna’s 800 employees have no place to eat on the property.
The kitchen and dining hall are closed, which is a major hardship, Strickland said.
“Everyone’s kind of doing what they can and making do. This just isn’t the kind of business where you can take hour-and-a-half lunches,” he said. “On the nursing units, you eat when you can.”
And sometimes, you don’t. Many employees are packing lunches. Others order out or drive to fast food places when they can.
McKenna’s 75 patients are being fed three meals a day that are prepared by hospitalSee CONSTRUCTION/3A
K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung
Jose Lara moves a tall piece of shaft-wall paneling into position at McKenna Hospital Friday afternoon.
Part of frontage road opens over bridge
By Ron Maloney Staff Writer
There’s good news and bad news on the Interstate 35 road construction front today.
First the good news.
The new northbound frontage road bridge over the Guadalupe River is now open, giving local motorists their first taste of what it will be like to not have to detour to Business 35 to continue northbound on the frontage road from FM 725.
Now the bad news.
The northbound FM 725 exit is closed for the foreseeable future while the northbound main lanes are reconstructed.
Motorists will have to either take the Walnut Avenue exit and drive north to FM 725 or the Schmidt Avenue/San Antonio Street exit and take Business 35 or 81 up to Seguin Avenue/FM 725.
The change is not going to be a convenient one, acknowledges Greg
Malatek, area engineer for the Texas Department of Transportation.
“It’s one of those things to where with the interstate shifted onto the center lanes, there isn’t access to the exit,” Malatek said. “What we’ll have is information to let people know the ramp is closed.
“Everybody’s going to have a different route to take, but to avoid Walnut as busy as it is, people might want to take a different ramp a little
The northbound frontage road bridge across the Guadalupe River, on the other hand, opened early Friday and ready for use for anybody wanting to head northbound from FM 725.
“Of course, if you’re northbound on FM 725 and going downtown, keep going straight,” Malatek said. “If they need to get around a little faster, they can use the bridge to get to the loop,” Malatek said.
City gets peek at redistricting plan
By Amy Clarkson Staff Writer
New Braunfels City Council will get its first look at redistricting plans during a special workshop Monday.
During a workshop beginning 5:30 p.m., attorneys from Gwinn and Morrison will give the council a progress report on redistricting.
“It’s basically just a progress report,” City Man
ager Mike Shands said. “The advance information we have is only that there is a need for redistricting in some areas.” Shands said until Monday night, the city would not know which districts grew during the past decade, which would force the city to redraw district lines.
The redistricting process is based on the 2000 Census figures released this year.
While specific information was not available, Shands
said he believed one area that needed to be redrawn was District Two.
“I would say Larry Alexander’s district, two, is an area — especially out by County Line Road — that has seen a lot more growth than say, an area like District Six,” Shands said. “But that’s just a guess.”
Council will ask questions about redistricting, and theSee REDISTRICTING^
Key Code 76
County names lake committee
By Ron Maloney Staff Writer
Comal County commissioners, still stung by a deal struck earlier this week by the Guadalupe-Bianco River Authority and Trout Unlimited, named members of a committee that will advise county and GBRA officials on Canyon Lake issues.
The committee would have no veto power over GBRA decisions, but the agency has agreed to consider its recommendations about Canyon Lake.
The move to name its members, taken at Commissioners’ Court on Thursday, came less than two days after GBRA reached a settlement with Guadalupe River Trout Unlimited intended to head off a contested case hearing on a proposed GBRA permit amendment.
The permit amendment would increase the confirmed annual yield of Canyon Lake from 76,000 acre-feet per year and allow GBRA to pump 90,000 acre-feet per year for water customers.
Under the agreement with the trout group, the GBRA promises during the summer months to release water from Canyon Dam at a rate of up to 200 cubic feet per second on any year where the lake level is above 909 feet above mean sea level.
The increased flow is an effort to keep Guadalupe River water cold enough for rain
bow trout, which are a nonnative, cold water fish species. The trout have been stocked, Trout Unlimited said, to replace native species whose habitat was destroyed by Canyon Dam and the colder water that flows downstream out of the lake.
County officials believe the GBRA/Trout Unlimited agreement violates a 1999 agreement between Comal County and the GBRA because the river authority didn’t consult the county when it made the deal.
The GBRA has made a number of other promises to the county — some codified in the 1999 agreement under which Comal County chose not to seek party status on the permit amendment application, and some not.
Among them are to spend $100,000 to conduct a yearlong study of the potential economic and environmental impacts of drawing more water from the lake and participating in an advisory committee on lake affairs.
County commissioners named members of the committee at court Thursday.
Gladys Bartling, former social service director for the Comal County Senior Citizen Center, hugs a guest during her retirement party Friday evening at the center in New Braunfels.
Bartling retires after IO years at Senior Center
By Martin Malacara
After IO years of working to improve the lives of Comal County seniors, Gladys Bartling has decided its time to pamper herself.
Bartling will retire as social service director of the Comal County Senior Center on July 31.
“I just want to do those things I haven’t been able to do. I don’t want to be on any schedule,” Bartling said.
Friends and senior center staff gathered Friday at the center to honor Bartling and her work.
She said she could not help feel embarrassed about the party, but “I consider it a party for the center. I’ll do anything to highlight the center.”
Senior center president Bernie Dillon said, “Shes been to a large measure
directly responsible for every worth while effort at the center. She will be sorely missed, but I hope she visits frequently.”
Dillon said he hopes the rest of the center’s staff and volunteers can continue the good work Bartling started.
Senior center director Kathryn Walker said, “Gladys is a phenomenon. It’s an amazing thing that she did.”
Bartling has worked for the center since 1991. She also helps out with the AIDS task force and the SOS Food Bank.
Bartling was the center’s first employee when it relocated from Comal St. to its present location, 655 Landa
She remembers people working through the lastSee RETIRES/3 A