New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 16, 2007, New Braunfels, Texas
Something to do today
Qruene Market Days
Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Location: Hunter Road in Gruene, in front of Adobe Verde.
Tube the Cornel or Guadalupe
You should know:
After 3 weeks of water releases from Canyon Lake, the Guadalupe flow is back down to tubing
SATURDAY, JUNE 16,2007
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
LITTLE LEAGUE I EMPLOYMENT
Area teams fare well on the first day of Little League tournament play.
Despite recent gloomy economic forecasts,Texas jobless rate drops.
Vol. 154, No. 186 20 pages, 2 sections
Possible heavy rain
Details .... 1B
DEAR ABBY 3B CLASSIFIEDS 5B COMICS 2B CROSSWORD 2B FORUM 4A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS SA TV GRIDS 3BSlow start to summer tubing season
By David Saleh Rauf
The Herald Zeitung
A preliminary report on river managment fees paid to the city of New Braunfels indicates a drop in the total number of tubers on the Comal River this year that is hitting business owners where it hurts the most — their wallets.
On Friday, at least three Comal river outfitters reported that their business has dropped by nearly 50 percent compared to last year.
The figures for May were released to the I lerald-Zeitung late Friday afternoon and appear to substantiate what business owners have feared since the city council passed a group of controversial river ordinances: New regulations would deter tourism on the river and, in turn, would equate to less money in their pockets.
The river managment fee is a $ 1.25 levy that outfitters are charged for each person who rents water recreation equipment or purchases a ride from an outfitter that operates or uses facilities within city limits. The fees, which are aren’t audited and are mandated by city ordinance, a ie collected by outfitters for payment to the city.
According to the city’s figures, Texas Tubes — which submitted nearly $55,000 in fees in 2006 — paid about $3,700 last month. In May of 2006, it paid $7,750.
The numbers for Texas Tubes indicate a 52 percent drop in business and a loss of more than 3,200 people for
Outfitters say tubers are confused by new city rules, staying away from Comal River
the month of May alone.
“Business is down a substantial amount," said Sondra Reno, co-owner of Texas Tubes. “We’ve had a lot of our long time regulars say they’ll never come back to the city of New Braunfels.”
What the river fee manage
ment numbers don’t say is exacdy how much money the outfitters are losing daily. And business owners aren’t saying either, adopting a “mum’s the word" philosophy that leaves exact totals unclear. Reno did say that “cash flow” has decreased.
Another Comal River outfitter — Felger’s Tube Rental — reported paying about $1,300 in management fees last month. In May of 2006, it paid about $2,150, which appears to indicate that Felger’s Tube Rentals put about 700 fewer people on the river this May.
“Business is very, very slow,"
See TUBING, Page 10A
River Management Fees
Some river outfitters have paid in river management fees that appear to reflect a substantial decrease in the number of tubers on the Comal River. Some people blame the city's river rules for deterring tourists.
City ordinance calls for outfitters to pay $1.25 per river user.
■ Comal RapidTransit
■ Felger's Tubes
Source; City of New Braunfels
Weekend could be stormy, wetGov. Perry cuts $570 million from budget, vetoes 49 bills
Special projects at universities axed
By April Castro
Associated Press Writer
AUSTIN — Criticizing millions of dollars in pork-barrel spending, Gov. Rick Perry signed the state’s next two-year budget Friday, vetoing $570 million in costs he deemed unnecessary spending.
Many of the cuts were made to higher education and items lawmakers had advocated specifically for their communities. Perry criticized the flurry of earmarks for colleges and universities, slashing $35.8 million for such special projects.
The 2008 and 2009 budget, which amounts to almost $153 billion, increases state spending by $7.7 billion from the current budget period. Most of die growth is in edu
cation, human services, criminal justice and the environment. Lawmakers started with an expected $14 billion surplus, and used all but about $7 billion.
“Not one cent of more than $7 billion unspent by this legislature went to additional tax relief,” Perry
See BUDGET, Page 3A
Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund tax eliminated
By Kelley Shannon
Associated Press Writer
The 80th Legislature
AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry made his final rulings Friday on legislation approved by Texas lawmakers, vetoing 49 bills that came out of the five-month session.
The Republican governor
had until Sunday to decide whether to sign or veto bills, but he planned to get it all done before the weekend.
On Friday, Perry announced he’d signed the 2008-09 state budget into law, allocating $151.9 billion for state programs. I Ie used his line-item veto power to get rid of $570 million from the budget that lawmakers passed.
Vetoing bills from Democrats and Republicans alike, Perry used his veto pen on some legislation before the 140-day session ended May 28 and announced Friday he was striking down dozens of other bills.
One of the vetoed measures, Perry said, would have
See BILLS, Page 3A
New resource for parents in conflictConnections opens child custody exchange location
By Mark Koopmans
Local residents embroiled in parental disputes have a new resource to safely and securely exchange their children for weekend visitation purposes.
Connections Individual and Family Services, a 26-year-old nonprofit agency
that provides counseling, education and emergency residential programs across 18 counties in south central Texas, is offering a neutral site to transfer children to a non-custodial parent at its regional headquarters in New Braunfels, officials said Friday.
The Connections Kids Exchange program offers a local, safe and neutral environment for supervised visitations, and the transfer of children between parties, said Sandy Sheelar, assistant director and program coordinator.
“The kids exchange can help couples
who are separated, divorced — or divorcing— or those in paternity situations by providing a place where parents do not have to come into contact with each other,” Sheelar said. “The visits take place in a monitored or structured setting with staff supervision. Services are also available if a parent has concerns about their children’s visits with the other parent.” Connections’ also offers family counseling as needed, as well as providing assistance in finding a solution to custody and visitation questions. However, the
See PARENTS, Page 3A
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DAVID INGRAM Herald-Zeitung
TexasTubes employees Casey Wright and A.J. Davidson ring up customers waiting to make a splash on the Comal River Friday afternoon.
National Weather Service officials forecast storms to cross the Interstate 35 corridor early Saturday.
Additional storms are expected to bring rain
through Sunday with breaks of 12 to 18 hours between them.
Most locations will receive from a half-inch to one inch of rain, but no doubt some locations will see repeated rainfall and isolated totals of 5 to 7 inches, forecaster Larry Eblen said. The first 2 or so inches of rain will saturate the soil and any rainfall after that will turn into flash flooding, he said.
4DSO% chance of storms
50-80% chance of heavy rain
DAVID INGRAM/Herald-ZeitungThe children's exchange room at Connections has recently been redecorated and contains a closed circuit television system.