New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 5, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas
Page 8A — Herald ZErruNG — Saturday, March 5, 2011
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use of the state’s savings account, or 'Rainy I )ay Lund, to help with its anticipated $10 billion cut to public schools.
"While the Senate bill includes a portion of the ($9.9
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flood that claimed the life of a tourist. The same storm system that passed over this area wound up claiming 20 lives days later at a central Arkansas campground.
"WORD is very tuned into that, and we don’t want that to happen here,” WORD general manager Mike Dussere said. “Were looking at sporadic installation of them along 30 miles of the river, at tourism-related businesses, outfitters, campgrounds and
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Management Coordinator Steve Harris said. “The poles are being made, and should be here the week of March 20. It will take eight to 10 days for installation, so we re looking at (completion) liy the first week of April. Hy the time we finish the last installation, they will
Four Canyon High School lxitin language students who placed in competitions during the Area Junior Classical League Convention have
billion) Rainy Day Fund, it remains in committee. In addition, all indicators say a state budget will not be approved until after Labor Day, which is too late for us. By law, our sc hool board must approve a budget by Aug. 31,2011.” Walker’s updated strategy calls for the school board to
things of that nature.”
A prototype of the first WORD siren was installed at Be/dek’s Rentals last fall and worked successfully Sept. 8, when rains raised the levels of the Guadalupe River. Canyon Lake engineer Gary Poss, owner of Riv-Alert Systems, has completed production units for the $25,000 project. Kach is solar-powered and carries a sound rate of 120 decibels.
Working with installer Mike Taylor, Poss demonstrated one of the new units Friday at Bezdek’s. A 3-foot-long float stick attached to trees near
Four of the eight sirens will be able to voice announcements and flood bulletin broadcasts audible within a 2,400-foot radius. They will be placed in high-risk, high-traffic areas.
Ihe system is manufactured and engineered by Federal Signal Corp. of Oak Brook, 111. Goddard Enterprises, based in Edmond, Okla., will install
earned spots at the state convention this month.
The area competition was Feb. 5 at Alamo Heights High School. I kindreds of San Anto-nio-area students competed in academics, fine arts and
vote on offering term contracts at its March 31 meeting, and approval of them by April 12. Paraprofessional teachers and support staff will receive letters by early May, informing them if their positions have been eliminated.
Walker reiterated moves he’s already recommended to the
the siren point will activate each siren.
“Each of them will include a level sensor and radio transmitter,” Poss said, dipping one of the sticks into a bucket of water on Bezdek’s back deck. The siren quickly activated, setting off an ear-splitting screech that could be heard for a mile.
Each float stick will be installed at various elevations along the river banks, because some areas are more flood prone than others.
“For instance, this campground is at a higher elevation that some that are fur-
the poles and siren units.
Seven siren sites will be on city or New Braunfels Utili-ties-owned property. A private property owner has consented for a siren on the eighth site.
During April, emergency services personnel will receive training on how to operate the system, with Federal Signal completing finishing touches on the project. Everything
athletics. Canyon students posted two top-three finishes, and four others finished in the top 10.
Francine Stephens won third in vocabulary and placed ninth in Classical Decathlon.
school board: The district will implement no new programs, personnel or initiatives while making every effort made to comply with current and federal regulations.
He urged suggestions from all employees and the public via e-mail to budget^comal-isd.org.
ther down the river, Dussere said. “You have to tailor-make each unit for when the water will start threatening the campground.
“That’s what we like about having the individualized systems, because we’re able to customize them.”
Installation will continue throughout WORD’S district, which stretches from the New Braunfels city limits to Guadalupe State Park.
“We’re shooting for a Finish time in April, and we certainly want to have all of them in before Memorial Day,” Dussere said.
should be ready for river recreation season.
Robinson and Harris applauded NBU for helping pick out sites, and the city departments of parks and recreation, engineering, river activities, real estate, fire and emergency management for working together to expedite the project.
“It’s been a total team effort,” Robinson said.
Tabi Austin won the girls 100-meter dash and finished ninth in latin Reading Comprehension. Austin Pruneda was sixth in Ancient Geography, and William Waller was sixth in Greek Derivatives.
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“There are certain areas that we have a concentrated area where we continue to get repeat calls through the code office," Mattingly said.
Those areas include river-ori-ented neighborhoods, like Sleepy Hollow and Rio, she said. The code enforcement office researches the calls, builds a case for prosecution in municipal court.
The Short Term Rental Ordinance was passed in 2006. Flowever, homeowners with an entrepreneurial hospitality bent could apply for Special Use Permit overlays (SUP) — until this year.
The city no longer allows short-term rentals in residential areas — only in those areas zoned commercial or industrial.
“We just had one come through the (city) planning commission this week,” she said.
The planning commission makes its recommendation, and city council has two readings before approval can be granted.
Comments and complaints
"There have been people who were ‘grandfathered’ — anybody who got a Special Use Permit before the change... we have a process that allows them to come in and show they were grandfathered,” she said, estimating the number of grandfathered properties in the dozens, in areas around Schlitterbahn or along the river. Others are on downtown streets like Castell, Mill and Zink.
“If it is a residentially owned area, they are no longer allowed unless they were previously existing before council made the change,” Mattingly said.
Comments on the issue came in from the real estate sector, individuals concerned about how the changes could affect New Braunfels’ thriving tourism industry.
Complaints have included calls about noise violations from celebrating tourists.
“We also had an outcry from the community and neighbors ... Some people said, ‘We don’t know who’s next door to us overnight if you allow these,”’ Mattingly said.
Authorities cracking down
New Braunfels Police Lt. Michael Penshorn said the police and New Braunfels Fire Department will be working more closely with the city’s code compliance department to crack down on illegal rentals.
“We’re going to be taking enforcement action on rentals ..We’ve had a number of houses in residential areas that people are using as weekend vacation rentals,” Penshorn said.
In its February meeting, the city council heard from a citizen who complained that a neighbor on Rio Drive in the Bluebonnet subdivision has been illegally using a home as a commercial short-term rental; she specifically complained about late-night drunken antics.
Asked by Boyer if she’d testify against die neighbor, she said she would.
Cheaper than hotels
Nationally, short-term rentals
either thrive or are endangered, depending on the location. In New York, a 2010 bill to end short-term rentals was met with both dismay and hooray in a city where it’s estimated that more than half of the whopping 43 million visitors stay in short-term rentals and sublets.
You can, however, still rent a five-bedroom, three-bath home for the whole family on the Chesapeake Bay in Annapolis, Md., or in a San Antonio neighborhood for half what it would cost to put up a family reunion group in a hotel.
The web siteVRBO.com pitches vacation rentals by owner. Dozens of New Braunfels listings include homes for rent in adjoining cities. The area’s attractions are obvious: Schlitterbahn, river tubing, fishing and access to the Hill Country.
And, of course, there’s New Braunfels’ unique German heritage; a number of the shortterm rentals offered by New Braunfelsers have the German suffix “Haus,” meaning house.
Sandy Minkina has been operating Rock Street Retreat for four years. Located in the city limits, she has the required permits.
“You could have a problem with residential properties if they’re not closely managed," she said.
“1 understand that some of the properties on the water do get some heavy riff-raff that can really hurt the whole industry, and leave a bad taste in everyone’s mouth," Minkina said.
“It can be a challenge — some management companies aren’t able to closely watch them... I don’t manage a lot of properties, because I want to make sure I am paying attention,” she said.
Successfully navigating the needs of hospitality and tourism in a city like New Braunfels requires “cooperation from a lot of entities,” she said.
Operating within commercially zoned boundaries has its price—there are higher taxes, and higher property prices in the first place. And prospective weekend hospitality entrepreneurs might not take everything into consideration, she said.
David Miller oversees River Haven, a few waterfront vacation rentals by owner in McQueeney and Seguin.
“We try to be low-key and respectful to our neighbors,” he said. “Our ultimate priority is respecting the neighborhood and not the profit margin.”
For Miller, that means no high school prom parties, no weddings.
“1 try to target the family-oriented thing. If people are looking for a party atmosphere, I usually send them to River Road,” he said.
He’s been following New Braunfels efforts to tighten up on his industry.
“I don’t think any blanket approach will solve the problem ... If it’s a large corporation or they’re in it for the money, it takes away from the flavor of vacation rentals by owner," he said.
“Everyone is just trying to enjoy the river or the lake.”
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“Each day his parents Sab-na Benitez and Joshua Davis r. prayerfully await his safe sturn home where he will leet for the first time his new rother Jeidan, now two /eeks old yesterday,” Flack aid in a press release issued riday.
“Sabrina and Josh have teen continually in contact rith the police department is new leads surface and ightings of baby Joshua are eported.”
“Although none of the sight-ngs have resulted in a positive
ID of baby Joshua, Josh states, ‘Although it has been a month since I held my son, I am as hopeful for his return as the first day he was abducted. I will not give up on looking for my child. No matter how many children I’ll ever have, I’ll love each of them equally, but as long as baby Joshua is missing, my heart won’t be fulfilled until I have all of them home with me,”’ Flack said.
Donations for the continued search effort will be collected during today’s event, Flack said.
The investigation is ongoing, Lt. Michael Penshorn of New Braunfels Police Department said Friday afternoon.
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Four Canyon High School students head to state Latin competition
From staff reports