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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 13, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas _ T „    WEDNESDAYNew Braunfels    june    13,2001 16 pages in 2 sections pages in 2 seemHerald-Zeitung IL...... pa;--------p...........w?—..m......--........rr?1".......m—...........--*—---—t—-—— .............. ..................................... | Vol. 150, No. 183 Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 50 cents Let the sunshine in Young cancer patients enjoy day of fun at waterpark CHRIS PACE/Herald-Zeitung Above, D.J. Farrar, right, from Pennsylvania, rides the Family Blaster with Merideth Lahl Tuesday during the Sunshine Kids day at Schlitterbahn Waterpark. Below, Michelle Solove, from Florida, goes screaming down part of the Hillside Tubechute Tuesday at Schlitterbahn Waterpark. By Amy Clarkson Staff Writer As they climbed stairs to the waterslides, floated in the lagoon and swam in the pools at Schlitterbahn, memories of painful treatments, chemotherapy and hospital stays began to fade for the Sunshine Kids on Tuesday. They were on vacation, enjoying the waterpark just like the hundreds of other kids at Schlitterbahn on Tuesday. But the 29 Sunshine Kids are special — many are seriously ill and some are recovering from cancer. Some just started treatment, and others have spent years at the hospitals, battling diseases such as leukemia. “Other kids get to take vacation, other kids get to go to summer camp,” executive director G.W. Bailey said. “Why not these kids? They have cancer, yes, but they still have to have a chance to be kids.” The Sunshine Kids is a nationwide group based in Houston that specializes in providing vacation They are in the Hill Country this week — going to Sea World, swimming at Schlitterbahn and enjoying their summer vacation. Bailey, who is better known for his roles in the television series “M*A*S*H” and the serial movies “Police Academy,” has been involved with the group for 15 years. He discovered Sunshine Kids when his goddaughter was diagnosed with leukemia. ‘The ‘Police Academy’ movies were out then and doing well,” Bailey said. “So she introduced me to the group. I was her ‘Hollywood godfather.’ About a year later, I started volunteering, organizing trips in California.” For 16-year-old Danny Harper, the trip to Schlitterbahn was a great time — and he and some of his friends talked to bikini-clad girls, “using cancer as a pick-up line,” chuckled Bailey, as he watched from nearby. “We were at Sea World yesterday and they tried to scam a stuffed pig from a girl,” he said. “They wouldSee SUNSHINE/3A trips to children with cancer. Bailey, who became executive director this year, said the kids came from several different hospitals in areas from Illinois to Pennsylvania, from Alabama to Kentucky. CL Friends offer exchange to river authority Group will withdraw TNRCC motion if GBRA delays permit By Amy Clarkson Staff Writer The Friends of Canyon Lake have agreed to withdraw any legal motion with the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission against a proposal to take more water from the lake — with one major caveat. The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority must agree to delay the permit until after a complete assessment of the impact of its proposed permit is performed. The GBRA wants permission from the TNRCC to increase the firm yield of Canyon Lake to 90,000 acre-feet. GBRA’s current permit is for 50,000 acre-feet. A single acre-foot equals about 325,851 gallons. Friends of Canyon Lake board member Bob Wickman said, ‘We want to let people know that we are being flexible. We’re agreeing in writing that if the assessment is done by an objective third party that we will withdraw our motion to reconsider that is now before the TNRCC.” Members of the Friends of Canyon Lake see themselves as a community action group that organized within the past month to try to fight the GBRA permit amendment to take more water from Canyon Lake. The group recently filed a motion with TNRCC to reconsider granting the group party standing in a contested case hearing about the permit. The GBRA proposed the economic study of the permit’s effect on the lake during recent a meeting with Friends members. The Friends then approved a resolution to withdraw any legal motion before the TNRCC, with the one stipulation. Wickman stresses that members of the group are not the “greedy, arrogant” people that the GBRA has alleged in print and broadcast media. Instead, he said their greatest concern was for the environmental and economic impact of the Canyon Lake. “Why is GBRA making such strong accusations in print and on the radio and television?” he asked. “We’ve been portrayed as cruel, heartless obstructionists. These accusations are painful. We are simply property owners and business people. This is our See FRIENDS/3A Trustees to vote on GBRA resolution By Martin Malacara Staff Writer Comal Independent School District’s letter to the state’s environmental agency to delay Guadalupe-Bianco River Authority’s request to draw more water out of Canyon Lake was the action of its interim superintendent and not the result of any action by the board of trustees, the school board president said Tuesday. John Clay said the board had yet to take formal action on a request to the Texas Natural Resource Conserva tion Commission to delay action on the GBRA permit until an economic impact study is completed. The board plans to vote on a resolution concerning GBRA’s permit at its next board meeting June 26. Clay said the GBRA issue was mentioned briefly by trustee John Bertelsen in closed session at a May 24 school board meeting in connection to the district’s efforts to buy land for a new school at Canyon Lake. ‘The board did not have a See CISD/3AHigher property valuations concern county commissioner By Ron Maloney Staff Writer A Comal County commissioner who is concerned about stories he’s heard of high property reappraisals has asked a Comal Appraisal District official to explain the process at court Thursday. Chief Appraiser Lynn Rodgers will update Comal County commissioners on the district’s progress — and explain its procedures. Pct. I Commissioner Jack Dawson invited Rodgers to commissioners’ court, which meets at 8:15 a.m. in the commissioners’ courtroom, third floor of the Comal County Courthouse Annex. Rodgers will address the court during its workshop session. No action will be taken. “Some of the phone calls I’ve been getting are worth noting,” Dawson said. “One man’s property went up 300 percent. Another guy’s proper ty went up 150 percent. There’s been another one I’m aware of that went up nearly 60 percent. We just need to know why.” Dawson said the meeting also was intended to clarify for the county’s planning purposes appraisal timeframes and procedures. The county sets its budget and tax rate based on information provided by the appraisal district, Dawson said — although it doesn’t appraise property or set property values. "The CAD gives us verification of appraised values,” Dawson said. ‘This is the root of our budget and tax rate. If we get it late — or if ifs early but then has to be changed, it can affect us.” By law, the CAD must certify 95 percent of the tax roll by July 20. The remaining 5 percent will be certified in late August or early September.See VALUATIONS/5A To Appeal How to dispute an appraisal: Appeal by June 22 by calling the Comal Appraisal District at 625-8597 to request an appointment with an appraiser or the Appraisal Review Board. Formal requests or for an appointment with the ARB can be mailed to the Comal Appraisal District at 178 E. Mill St., 78130. The appraisal district encourages property owners to seek an informal hearing before filing a request for a formal hearing.Inside Abby................................5A Classifieds.......................6-8B Comics..............................2B Crossword.......................5A Forum.................................6A Local/Metro........................4A Movies.................................5A Obituaries...........................3A Sports............................7-8A Today.................................2A Key Code 76 DPS unveils new underage driver licenses By Connie Mabin Associated Press Writer AUSTIN (AP) —New vertical driver licenses for people under the age of 21 were unveiled Tuesday by the Tfexas Department of Safety, where officials hope the new design will help deter underage drinking and tobacco use. The design also comes with beefed up security features aimed at making it harder to make fakes. The legal drinking age is 21 in Texas, where tobacco products can be legally sold to people 18 and older. “We’re hopeful the new under-21 design will make it much easier for merchants who sell age restrictive products, like alcohol and tobacco, to identify underage consumers,” said Col. Thomas A. Davis Jr., DPS director. The licenses will be up- and-down, compared to the current Texas driver’s license, which is horizontal, like a credit card. The person’s photo will be at the bottom, instead of on the right, and a picture of the Texas Capitol will appear in the background. Licenses for people 21 and over will remain horizontal, but will include the new security features and Capitol design.Summer safety CHRIS PACE/Herald-ZeitungMelissa Dean helps fingerprint Elizabeth Rable during Summer Safety Night Tuesday at Chick-fil-A. $ * * ;