New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 4, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas
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Vol, 148, No. 74 16 pages in I section
March 4, 1999
Serving Comal County since 1852
Brush fire continues to flare up in Fischer
Chuck Hathaway (left) and Jeff Murray of the Canyon Lake Fire/EMS rest at the Red Cross station on Wednesday.
By Chrs Crews
FISCHER— More than IOO fire fighters and law enforcement officials from 21 agencies settled in for a long fight Wednesday against the brush fire that has bedeviled northern Comal and southern Hays counties since Sunday afternoon.
‘This is going to be a war of attrition until we get a good soaking/' said Comal County Sheriffs Deputy Tim Kolbe.
Deputy Terry Roberts, who has helped coordinate firefighting efforts, said the elements were not cooperating.
“The weather is the factor. The low humidity and high winds are working against us," Roberts said.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the fire had scorched almost 3,000 acres along the county line and mostly was contained, but a number of flareups kept firefighters busy. Scouts on four-wheelers and in a Depart
ment of Public Safety helicopter scoured the area.
No injuries were reported, but a small bam burned on Wednesday. The bam was die first structure lost, although the fire had been diverted from several homes.
Three Blackhawk helicopters from the Army National Guard in Austin made 12 strikes against the flareups, dumping 680 gallons of water with each pass.
“Air support is doing the majority
of the work right now," Roberts said.
Paula Morikami said her home was on the county line about two miles from the edge of the fire. She moved to the area from Hawaii two years ago.
“We didn’t have droughts or fires in Hawaii, so this is a new experience for me," Morikami said.
Many firefighters had been on the scene since Sunday with little rest. Many took naps on cots provided by the American Red Cross.
Holocaust survivor shares story with OakRun students
By Heather Tooo Staff Writer
Fellow inmates at Auschwitz didn’t give Sam Rosenzweig much of a chance of survival. Two weeks, ten days at the most, they said.
Standing at 5 feet tall, Rosenzweig was one of only four members of his extended family — which once totaled 300 — to escape Nazi concentration camps during World War ll.
Now 79 years old, he not only survived Auschwitz, but lived to tell his story to others in the hope that what happened nearly 60 years ago would never be forgotten.
Rosenzweig spoke to about 150 sixth-grade students at OakRun School on Wednesday about his experiences in concentration camps during the Nazi occupation of Poland.
OakRun students recently completed a social studies unit focusing on World War II, anti-Semitism, bigotry and hatred, OakRun principal Mike Fitsko said.
“The reason I am talking to you today is because it’s only been 50 or 60 years since this has happened and its already been forgotten,’’ Rosenzweig said. “History can be hidden and falsified and what is going to happen in IO years when all the survivors are gone?
“Unfortunately, history can repeat itself. And you should be aware of this, because the things that happened could happen anywhere."
Although Rosenzweig is small in stature, his determination and religion were big keys to his survival.
“I never lost my faith. From the beginning, I was sure that God would save me," he said.
In a voice still heavily accented by his native German, Rosenzweig recounted vivid memories of his time at Auschwitz — a place that would eventually claim the lives of his father, mother, and brother. Only Rosenzweig’s sister and two cousins lived to see the end of World War II.
Students listened in respectful silence and awe as Rosenzweig gave a first-hand account of conditions in the concentration camps — something they had only read about in history books.
. “I have a message for the future and for all of you. When you fall flat on your face, don’t stay there. You have to get up and never give up," he said.
In 1943, Rosenzweig had been living with his family and studying to become a rabbi in the city of Zawircie, Poland, when all Jewish residents were rounded up and loaded onto box trains headed for Auschwitz.
Rosenzweig told students he and his brother were chosen to work a detail to load dead bodies onto the box trains. Afterward, an armed Nazi soldier asked his superior officer if he should shoot the men or transport them to Auschwitz.
“I heard the most beautiful music when he said the words that we were to be transported. That might not make sense, but with there’s hope," he said.
;!*He described to students his forced march from Auschwitz to $bchenald during the infamous Death March, which began Jan. •*>, 1945.
***For six weeks we walked, and if you couldn’t walk, you wereSee SURVIVOR/5
From STAFF REPORTS
CANYON LAKE — Dave Huff can’t understand why the Federal Communications Commission wanted his radio station off the air.
Huff, who operated Canyon Lake Radio (105.7 FM) out of his home, said FCC officials, along with U.S. Marshals and two Comal County Sheriff’s deputies, came calling around 11 a.m. on Tuesday.
“They were here to arrest my
equipment," Huff said. “I walked out and and looked around. I saw two shemfTs cars and a white Bronco. I went into the house and was greeted by (the sheriff’s) and U.S. Marshals."
Huff said the officers let themselves in, as there was no one else home and he was on the air.
Canyon Lake Radio operated at 30 watts and was named one of the best small-town stations in the state by Texas Monthly magazine.
As the officers entered the studio, Huff said he got back on the air to tell listeners what was going on, but authorities killed the microphone.
Huff said the men took all of his equipment before leaving.
“When they couldn’t figure out how to disconnect the antenna, they threw it over the railing from the third floor," he said.
Huff claimed the station was operating under the 1,000-watt lim
it, meaning it was exempt from FCC restrictions.
Attempts to reach the FCC were unsuccessful on Wednesday.
“Members of the community are outraged about what has happened here," Huff said.
John D. Butler, chief deputy U.S. Marshal for Western Texas, said his office knew nothing about the FCCs objectives.
“We are the facilitators," Butler said. “Our position is to assist the
FCC, which routinely has special agents go out and find bootleg and pirate radio stations, which operate outside of FCC regulations.’’ Butler said he assumed the FCC had a judicial order.
We have the authority to do these types of seizures,” he said. "That’s what we did. We had a pre-seizure meeting on Monday and did the seizure on Tuesday."
(Correspondent Dana Jones contributed information to this report.)
Canyon Lake reeling from loss of 30-watt radio station
AC company getting heat from city, local attorney
By Bill O’Connell
A local attorney and the city of New Braunfels have accused a San Antonio air conditioning company of price gouging and shoddy workmanship.
City attorney Floyd Akers confirmed Wednesday the state attorney general^ office was notified this past year that Hispanic Air Conditioning sold and installed central air conditioning units at several homes in New Braunfels at nearly triple the cost of industry standards.
Repeated calls to Hispanic Air Conditioning were not returned.
“If they’re price gouging, that Is going to be between them and the attorney general’s office,” Akers said.
New Braunfels city officials stopped granting permits to Hispanic Air Conditioning this past year, but did not revoke permits that had already been issued. Akers said the company was allowed to keep permits it previously acquired so work at residents’ homes could be completed.
Officials reportedly decided not to take the company to municipal court for substandard work in the city. Akers said the accusations of price gouging — if prosecuted by the state attorney general — could carry penalties far greater than the maximum $500 fine the city could impose in the local court system.
“Price gouging is a serious violation. We’d rather have the attorney general Is office handle that,” Akers said.
An attorney representing one local resident who complained about Hispanic Air Conditioning has threatened legal action against the company for what he called “deceptive” trade practices.
Barron Casteel said his client, New Braunfels resident Jose Mandujano, signed an $8,220 contract with the company in October 1998. The contract was for the purchase and installation of a central air conditioning system in Mandujano’s home at the 800 block of Holly Street.
Casteel said a recent estimate of the work done at Mandujano’s residence indicated the central air unit was worth less than half of what was charged by the company.
Casteel said he believed Mandujano was not the only person in New Braunfels to hire Hispanic Air Conditioning and overpay forSee COMPANY/5lost my faith’
Sam Rosenzweig displays the tattoo on his forearm — bearing the number 140603 — which was used instead of his name at a Nazi concentration camp. In the frame are photographs of him just after his release from the concentration camp (left) and a year later. Rosenzweig spoke to students at OakRun School on Wednesday.