New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 31, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas
SATURDAY, JULY 31, 2004
WORD questions gorge partnership
By Brandi Grissom
A grant proposal seeking technical assistance from the National Parks Service’s River, Frails and Conservation Assistance Program to develop trails along the gorge below Canyon Dam has been submitted by the Guadalupe-Bianco River Authority.
GBRA and the Comal County
Water-Oriented Recreation District are preparing a joint proposal to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to develop the gorge as a recreational and educational area. The gorge was created when floodwater flowed over Canyon Dam spillway in July 2002.
GBRA, however, submitted the grant request to the Parks Service without approval from WORD.
WORD members are concerned GBRA isn t considering their board a full partner in the development endeavor WORD began more than a year ago.
WORD board counsel Holly Gilman said wording in I he grant application was also troubling.
“GBRA and WORD are partners in this, and they need to treat us as
See GORG!, Page 3A
“I do not intend to withdraw from the commissioner’s race. Mr. Parker wishes to win the November election by intimidation," Zamora wrote. “(He) may have succeeded in scaring the few volunteers that help the elderly community to vote in my district. For that I am deeply sorry.”
Zamora acknowledged that recent revisions of election law could have resulted in minor, technical rules infractions.
“I am told there is an ongoing review, and I intend to be
See ZAMORA. Page 3A
SPORTS GOIN' NETTY
NBHS volleyball coach Phyllis Fowler begins her 10th season with the Unicorns as practice begins Monday. Page SA
FORUM GUEST COLUMNS
William Norvell Jr. says fencing in Garden Street bridge will keep jumpers out; David Buchanan wants seniors to have tax break. Page
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
Vol. 153, No. 224 14 pages, 2 sections
CLICK I SOO
herald-zeitung.com j ■MHI
Details .... 1B
DEAR ABBY 3B CLASSIFIEDS 3-BB COMICS 2B CROSSWORD 2B FORUM 4A
OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 5-6A TV GRIDS SB
They can build it; we can help
Home Depot gets local, state incentives for service center
Parker calls on Zamora to quit
Canyon Lake area neighborhood residents say row of mailboxes creates traffic hazard.
By Scott Mahon
TWo years of behind-the-scenes negotiations culminated Friday when Gov. Rick Perry and local officials announced The Home Depot Supply would build a customer service center in New Braunfels that would create 350 new jobs.
Officials said the center would occupy eight acres, and would have an annual payroll of $7.2 million.
Local officials kept the announcement cloaked in secrecy for weeks, including Perry’s plans to attend.
Perry said company’s decision to build a service center in Comal County was the result of a joint effort between the state, city and county.
“T his was a classic example of the state and the city working together,” he said.
Also attending the announcement were Mayor Adam Cork, state Rep. Carter Casteel, County Judge Danny Scheel, Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce President Michael Meek and The J tome Depot officials.
Meek said the city competed against a site in Illinois.
“The Home Depot narrowed its choice to New Braunfels or a site in Illinois, but I feel the deciding factors were our location, our work force and good financial incentives,” he said.
When completed next year, the center would be only the second customer service cen-ter in the country for The I tome Depot Supply division, but officials wouldn’t disclose the proposed site for the 60,000-square-feet facility.
By Ron Maloney
Precinct 3 Commissioner Cristina Zamora’s Republican opponent called on her to withdraw from the election and apologize to her constituents for alleged election law violations.
Greg Parker, who joined Zamora’s Democrat primary challenger, Ramon Chapa Jr., in allegations her campaign mishandled mail-in ballots, said Thursday Zamora should be ashamed of the accusations. Allegations included obtaining mail-in ballots for elderly voters who did not request them, filling them out or mailing them in for the voters and not recording the assistance in accordance with the law and checking candidates not supported by the voters.
Zamora has denied the alle-gations. None have been proved, and no charges have been filed.
In a prepared statement Friday, she said Parker is being “irresponsible and untruthful” to the voters of Precinct 3.
(Above) Gov. Rick Perry talks with Shay Kowalik. 6, while Home Depot employees look on after a press conference Friday morning announcing that The Home Depot Supply would build a new 60,000-square-feet customer service center here that will create 350 new jobs. (Below) Perry said the new call center, combined with a Home Depot technology center in Austin, will give the state an $800 million economic boost.
The Home Depot also plans to build a new technology center in Austin. The technology center and the New Braunfels service center represent an $800 million capital investment in Texas, officials said.
“Today’s announcement wouldn’t have happened without the hard work and support of Governor Perry, Mayor Adam Cork, the Austin Chamber of Commerce and the New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce,” said Bob DeRodes, executive vice president of The Home Depot Supply.
DeRodes said the Austin technology center would employ 500 people and would open within 18 months.
Cork said financial incen
tives offered by the state and New Braunfels to The Home Depot included “a sharing of sales taxes."
“We can’t disclose the exact details of the financial incentives until we know the site location, but the most impor
tant thing is the city will get a portion of sales taxes from products shipped from any distribution center in Texas,” Cork said. “That’s going to amount to a significant amount of sales tax revenues for New Braunfels.”
Perry said the state contributed an $8.5 million incentive package from the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) for the I tome Depot expansion.
The Home Depot Supply has three distribution centers in Texas — San Antonio, Houston and Dallas.
“The customer service center in New Braunfels will take orders for products, which will be shipped from The Home Depot Supply distribution centers,” Meek said.
The Home Depot Supply is a leading supplier of maintenance, repair and operations products to multifamily, educational and commercial properties.
Lucky Duck Derby host makes crowd quack’ up
By Ron Malonoy
Everything just went ‘quackery Friday afternoon in luanda Park.
Ten thousand ducks floated the Comal River for a good cause—and they weren’t dining on fountain darters.
That’s because they were rubber duckies competing in the tliird annual Lucky Duck Derby, which benefits the Comal County Senior Citizen Center.
The Lucky Duck Derby, a sort of offbeat, traveling tond-raising circus like donkey basketball or cow chip throwing contests, is emceed each year by Cameron Brad-tote, who is so good he could call the Kentucky Derby — or at least a demolition derby.
"And here they come, down around the
comer... in the lead, it’s a yellow duck followed by a yellow duck and a yellow duck, and — let me get my glasses — a whole herd of yellow ducks!”
To be a duck derby emcee requires skill and concentration, Bradfute said.
“I guess I just don’t mind talking and acting a little silly,” he allowed.
To be an emcee, one also must know how to work a crowd, and Bradfute is a master.
“Folks, we’re racing for a million dollars,” Bradfute told the crowd. “That’s right, we have a million buck duck. In fact, we have three of’em!”
To win the $1 million, the first place duck had to be one of three out of the 10,000. Picture2Video didn't have one of those ducks, but Jamie Velasquez, who
picked up the $5,000 prize, didn’t care.
“We just came here to take some photos,” she said.
Bradfute turned to Andrei Serban, who Is visiting this summer from Romania with his sister, iulia.
“They do not have duck races like this in Romania, do they not?” Bradfute asked. Serban acknowledged they did not. “See that?” Bradfute asked, turning to the crowd. “It was worth the price of the airplane ticket just to see this.”
The race is a memory of America Serban will long relish.
“It’s special,” he said, laugliing. “We don’t have them in Romania for sure.”
Melody Medary won the $750 second place prize, and Zane Shuilanberger won third place and $250.
Annette Nixon of the Comal County Senior Citizen Canter pulls the first place duck out of the Comal River Friday during the annual Lucky Duck Derby.