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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 30, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas New Braunfels WEDNESDAY ■ July 30,2003 14 pages in 2 sections "mmm*    mmmpmmmm    14    pages    in    2    seeHer ald-Ze itung Vol. 152, No. 218Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 50 cents Senate Democrats hold their ground in New Mexico | SPECIA sessio: On the Web Texas Legislative Council: From Staff and Wire Reports AUSTIN — Democratic and Republican senators dueled across the Texas-New Mexico state line Tuesday as each camp tried to score political points in the intensifying battle over congressional redistricting. Republicans urged their Democratic colleagues to end their boycott and return horn Albuquerque, N.M., to work on a fair redistricting plan. District 73 Representative Carter Casteel, R-New Braunfels, expressed frustration Tuesday at the second Democrat walkout since May. “You have to stand your ground. You win some and lose some. But you can’t just run off and hide,” Casteel said. “No Tbxas problem has ever been solved in New Mexico,” said Sen. Tbdd Staples R-Palestine, chairman of the Senate Republican Caucus. The ll Senate Democrats who left the Capitol to break a quorum Monday just as Republican Gov. Rick Perry was about to call a second special legislative session gave no indication they would give in. The senators said they’re prepared to remain out of state — beyond the reach of Tbxas law officers sent to arrest them — up to 30 days, the maximum length of a special session. “There’s nothing fair about a partisan redistricting effort that turns a deaf ear to the overwhelming majority of Texans and turns it back on the minority opportunity,” Sen. ..... See SESSION/3A CASTEEL United NeattftCare Monthly Premium: $38.30 Annual Deductible: $600 / Monthly Premium: $35 Annual Deductible: $500 GSD employees get new insurance By Dylan Jim&nez Staff Writer Comal Independent School District employees will have to pay a little more for health insurance this school year. C I S D trustees decided Tuesday to switch insurance providers from Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Texas to United Health-Care. Although the school district has used Blue Cross for 52 years, a committee of employees representing each CISD school recommended in June to change to United. “We wanted a good plan to protect our people,” said Sid Ridgeway, director of personnel services and employee benefits. United contracts with almost every physician in New Braunfels and with 3,000 physicians in Central Texas, said Frank Witting, CISD health insurance consultant. Deductibles and premiums would be more expensive with United, but the company provides the latest in technology, including Internet services, Witting said. New services also include a mail-order drug program and a 24-hour nurse call-in program. Beginning today, staff will to educate employees about the new insurance coverage- Trustees also approved a 1.5 percent pay increase for teachers, administrators, nurses, librarian and other See CISD/4AInside Dear Abby  ...........3B Classifieds..............343B Comics...............6A Crossword.............6A Forum................5A Obituaries...........   3A Sports...............7-8A Today.................2A TV...................2B 8    56825    00001    1 Project will renovate, improve flood-damaged sports park By Ron Maloney Staff Writer CANYON LAKE — Next year, Canyon Lake Little Leaguers might once again have their own fields to practice in and play on. Commissioners this week will open bids for the restoration of Hidden Valley Sports Park. The 47-acre park includes ball holds and a recreation center operated by the Community Resource and Recreation Center of Canyon Lake. Last year, commissioners voted to lease ail additional 13 acres of land for more fields and facilities. That property, which has not yet been improved, will not be part of the reconstruction project, according to county Parks Manager Erie Gibson. When water poured over the spillway during the July 2002 flood, it cut a path past th§ park and dumped rocks, gravel, trees and debris on its playing fields. The irrigation system, dugouts, fences and other facilities were damaged or destroyed. DAWSON The recreation center has operated since the flood, but the fields have yet to be restored, although inmate work crews cleared much of the debris during the fall and winter. “The Little League, football and soccer associations have had to make do with other facilities and are waiting for their courts to get put back in,” Gibson said. ‘This will be a huge reconstruction project.” Work will include new topsoil, fencing, seeding and irrigation systems. Gibson said the bids would open Aug. 7 and would be awarded at commissioners’ court one week later. “We know we won’t have it done in time for fall ball, but we want it done as soon as possible to get kids playing out there again,” Gibson said. Hidden Valley Sports Park is located in Precinct 4 Commissioner Jan Kennady’s precinct and is adjacent to Jack Dawson’s precinct I. When Kennady took office in January, one of the first requests she received was to get the reconstruction project moving. ‘It’s taken awhile to get started because we had to first do the things that were critical,See PARK/3ADid you know? ■ Hidden valley Sports Park is one of three county parks. ■ The 47-acre facility is on South Access Road below Canyon Dam. ■ Comal County leases the park land from the U.S. Amry Corps of Engineers and sublets it to the Community Resource and Recreation Center, toe Canyon Lake Little League, Canyon Lake Soccer Association and Pop Warner Football League DAVID INGRAM/Herald Zeitung City of New Braunfels employees will now pay the same price to use the city’s pools as tourists like Kaitlyn Lampley from Bryan, who is visiting the Landa Park pool. Until Tuesday, city employees were admitted to the pools free. DAVID INGRAJWHerald Zeitung Shelia Henk, left, and Cindy Martinez purchase wrist bands from New Braunfels Parks and Recreation cashier Amanda Reeves at the Landa Park pool. Pool By Dylan Jim&nez Staff Writer New Braunfels employees no longer will be allowed free access to city swimming pools. The Parks and Recreation Department announced Tuesday the long-standing perk would no longer be practiced. City council decided Monday night to discontinue the practice after a man, who would not give his name for publication, addressed council regarding the second reading of a parks fee ordinance. The resident was not opposed to the employee perk but argued it should be more strictly regulated, claiming friends of city employees take advantage of the policy. Mayor Adam Cork expressed surprise at the practice, which Parks and Recreation Director Iris Nef-fendorf said had been in place as long as she could remember. “If council had taken action, it would be in the ordinance,” Cork said. “It was a matter of practicedTlmagine there are some city employees who aren’t going to be too happy about it, but there are probably some taxpayers out there who aren’t too happy about (city employees getting free pool access), either.” Cork said it was important everyone be treated equally and urged department heads to bring special-treatment policies to council’s attention. City Manager Chuck Pinto said it would be best for such policies to be discussed before council because they affect revenue sources. The city currently charges $110 for an annual family pass. Family passes are also taken advantage of, Nef-fendorf said. Barbara Sink, Landa Park Aquatic Complex assistant manager, said she didn’t think eliminating the policy See POOL/4A Hi other action New Braunfels City Council also directed City Manager Chuck Pinto begin studying the need for additional fire stations in the city. Locations could include stations to the northwest and southeast of town to service growing areas of the c*ty. A construction timeline would also be developed. perk washed out Council members say special treatment unfair to taxpayers ;