New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 16, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas
iimZZ Air quality health alertNew Braunfels
SATURDAY June 16, 2001
16 pages in 2 sections
16 pages in 2 sectnHerald-Zeitung
Vol. 150, No. 186Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852
Jacqueline Caballero and her father Tomas operate a pinata store in New Braunfels.
New Braunfels business supplies area’s pinatas
By Martin Malacara
What’s large, colorful and gets smashed at a lot of parties?
You would be the weakest link if you said it was one of your drinking buddies. Pinatas are what usually wind up getting smashed at parties.
And if you need one for a birthday party or other festive event, you don’t have to travel to San Antonio to find one.
New Braunfels residents can usually find Tomas Caballero across the street from the LORA building selling his pinatas.
“He was the one with the brainstorm,” said his daughter Jacqueline. “He did it so he wouldn’t have to work so hard.” Jacqueline filled in for her father Friday while he worked at a road construction job.
She said her father is semi-retired from road construction and uses most of what he earns to put back into his enterprise, which he started several years ago.
Caballero’s business, Banda Park Pinata and Castle Bounce, 231 Landa St., is trying to expand.
“We’re hoping to get on the Internet— and maybe even get a cash register,” she said, laughing.
Right now, she said her father wants to spruce up the landscape surrounding the old house that now contains their operation.
The family is native to New Braunfels. They travel to Nuevo Laredo to pick up most of what they stock.
The Caballeros do business with another family in the border town that makes the pinatas the Caballeros sell.
Jacqueline makes some pinatas herself, but mainly repairs the ones damaged from the trip back from Mexico.
“I’ve made clowns and I even made a football with the (New Braunfels High School) Unicorn colors,” she said.
The most popular pinatas sold on Landa Street are Barbie, Scooby-Doo and Pokemon— particularly the diminutive, yellow Pikachu, Jacqueline said.
The shop also carries the more traditional “star” pinata.
Spanish missionaries during the 16th century used the pinatas to convert North American natives to Christianity. The “star” pinata has seven spikes on it, symbolizing the seven deadly sins — greed, gluttony, sloth, pride, envy, wrath and lust.
The pinata itself is supposed to represent Satan, wearing an attractive mask to seduce humanity. The candy stuffed inside the pinata represents temptation.
Open meetings question clouds park pact
By Amy Clarkson Staff Writer
New Braunfels City Council apparently violated the Open Meetings Act when it authorized City Manager Mike Shands to sign an agreement to buy land for parks, open government advocates said Friday.
The contract is to buy land at 776 East Torrey St: and 2136 Gruene Road to create a new city park. The current owners are Howard and Yasako Wimberly.
Although the council had discussed buying land for parks in closed session on several occasions, the discussions were never made
See related editorial/6A
public nor was the discussion ever placed on a public agenda. Shands said he disagreed that the council violated any open meetings laws and that secrecy was important for the council to negotiate an agreement for the land.
While the contract was signed and earnest money was delivered, the first public discussion of the issue will be at the Infrastructure/Improvements Corp. meeting Wednesday night when the board discusses funding the purchase. The $1,000 earnest money to hold the property came from the general
fund, Shands said. It will be reimbursed if the 4B Board fails to fund the purchase or if the council fails to formally approve it. The date on the contract is June 8, before new city attorney Charlie Zech attended his first council meeting.
Charlie Daughtry, attorney for the Herald-Zeitung, said, “They absolutely can discuss negotiations in closed session. They cannot sign contracts. There are no exceptions. Discussing real estate is an exception to the law itself.”
The contract with the Wimberlys hinges on several conditions, Shands said. Those
Western Comal County wants water flowing its way
By Martin Malacara
Small groups concerned about water loss from Canyon Lake are taking last-minute steps to oppose the Guadalupe-Bianco River Authority’s request to draw more water out of the lake.
But some groups on the western part of Comal County have waited four years for water to quench the thirst of an ever-growing Hill Country population.
GBRA wants to provide water to the cities of Bulverde, Fair Oaks Ranch and Boerne. It can accomplish this by constructing a pipeline from the lake.
But the pipeline, also known as the Western Canyon Project, might get delayed an additional two years if the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission grants a group of trout fisherman a contested case hearing over GBRA’s request to draw 90,000 acre-feet from the lake.
GBRA currently is permitted to draw 50,000 acre-feet. The additional 40,000 acre-feet are needed to meet water demands for the next 50 years.
“It’s finally needed for Bulverde,” Bulverde Mayor Bob Barton said. “The TNRCC should go ahead and issue the permit. It’s been in the works since 1997 and should not get delayed a couple of years.” This past year, two subdivisions in Bulverde had to have water hauled in by tanker trucks. The mayor even had to declare a water emergency during the summer of 2000.
See WATER/3 A
Waging War Over Water A Series Today
Thirsty in West Comal Trout Unlimited Sunday Friends of Canyon Lake Lawmakers on the issue
A water well and holding tank sit on a lot off of Panther Drive in Bulverde. The well was drilled more than a year ago and is currently not in use. The Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission will consider a permit amendment request from the Guadalupe-Bianco River Authority next week that would help provide water to Bulverde.
Trout group: Water for fish benefits economy
By Martin Malacara Staff Writer
Its a universal fact that water equals life.
However, a group of concerned trout fisherman says — more specifically — water equals economic life.
Guadalupe River Trout Unlimited wants to protect a trout fishery, which can stock up to 300,000 rainbow and brown trout in the Guadalupe River.
GRTU contends the fishery can benefit Comal County and the rest of the state by bringing in more dollars from other avid trout fisherman.
“We’re looking for something that’s a great benefit for Comal County,” GRTU spokesman Dave Schroeder said. “Water has more value than just to sell. That’s our philosophy.”
The trout group has concerns with the Guadalupe-Bianco River Authority’s request before the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission to draw more water from Canyon Lake.
The group contends drawing additional water from the lake will severely impact its ability to sustain trout year-round in the Guadalupe.
The Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission gave GRTU six weeks to reach an agreement with GBRA officials through the agency’s office of dispute resolution.
“The only thing they’ve offered is the same thing they offered Comal County limiting the amount to 24,000 (acre-feet). This is not acceptable,” Schroeder said.
The county’s current agreement with GBRA is to have no more than 24,000 acre-feet directly drawn from the lake annually.
Comal County Commissioners’ Court made the agreement with GBRA in November 1999 to support the proposed permit amendment with TNRCC to draw an additional 40,000 acre-feet out of the lake.
The amendment would increase the draw from the lake to 90,000 acre-feet, if approved by TNRCC. An acre-foot is
■ WHO: Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission
■ WHAT: meeting to decide fate of permit amendment to take more water from Canyon Lake
■ WHEN: 9:30 am. Wednesday
■ WHERE: Building E, second floor conference room in TNRCC offices in Austin.
■ DRIVING DIRECTIONS:
Take Interstate 35 North through Austin. Take the Yager Lane Exit and go to the light. Turn left and go over Interstate 35 to the southbound access road. Park 35 is the main building to the TNRCC. Take a right into the main road and go down to the parking lot.
Schroeder said his group had two proposals to offer GBRA.
The first is for GBRA to ensure a minimum stream flow from the See TROUT/3A
Dead man’s past includes murder conviction
By Ron MaloneyStaff Writer
The man found dead in a car left in a New Braunfels parking lot Wednesday was himself convicted in a 1986 New Braunfels murder.
Jesus (Jesse) Medina Espinoza, 50, who police have said met his own fate under suspicious circumstances and whose rotting corpse was found in the H-E-B shopping center on Walnut Avenue, is no stranger to local law
Espinoza has a long local criminal history that dates back to a 1970 arrest and conviction for assaulting a police officer and includes drug and theft convictions in each of the three following decades.
Officials haven’t said how Espinoza died, except that his decomposing body was found in a car. Comal County District Attorney Dib Waldrip said detectives are awaiting
toxicology testing results.
While law enforcement officials call the death suspicious, nobody is ESPINOZA saying
Espinoza was murdered, and New Braunfels police released no new information on Friday.
What officials do say is forensic specialists are carefully examining Espinoza’s body, the car he was found in and other unspecified evidence, looking for fingerprints or other indicators that could lead them to someone who knows what happened to him. Also, detectives are reviewing videotapes from security cameras that scan the parking lot of the H-E-B shopping center.
Key Code 76
Pecos hosted the world’s first rodeo 118 years ago /Sunday in the Herald-Zeitung