New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 7, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas
March 7, 2003
12 pages in 2 sections
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Vol. 152, No. 98Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852
SO centsRise in school parking fees draws parents’ ire
By Sean Bowlin Staff Writer
Comal Independent School District raised its parking fees this year for students at Canyon High School and Smithson Valley High School. And some parents are questioning that decision.
Parking fees rose from $10 to $25 at CHS after fees at Smithson Valley rose from $20 to $25, school district spokesperson Kari Hutchison said.
One parent of a CHS student, Brenda Klar, has initiated a petition drive and has collected about IOO signa
tures asking the school board to take a closer look at the fees.
Klar said many CHS students who park on campus work to maintain their cars.
“A lot of these kids aren’t rich. You see a lot of clunkers out there,” Klar said.
She thinks the fee is unjust
because it’s being levied on a small group of students.
A friend of Klar’s, Laura Wooldridge, who has a son who parks his car at CHS, said she didn’t like the fee, either. She’s signed the petition.
‘I guess if there were some accounting for what’s hap
pening with the money, that would be alright. Where is the money going? There’s no accounting for this money. And that’s offensive,” Wooldridge said.
But school district officials say they can account for the money.
The funds go into a student
activity account, which helped start Air Force Junior ROTC, CHS Principal Bob Weigand said. It also pays for club field trips, KOOG radio, helping the UIL academic program and for class incentives — things like pizza parties to See PARKINGS
Commissioners agree to help fund Eikel skate park
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James Dobson goes horizontal while riding a wakeboard at Texas Ski Ranch Extreme Sports Complex Thursday afternoon. TSR will host a wakeboard and water-ski camp the week of spring break.
Ski Ranch scores some big events
By Dylan Jimenez
Though the weather might not want to cooperate, Tfexas Ski Ranch Extreme Sports Complex is gearing up for spring break.
“For anyone who can’t go to Cancun or Padre, we’re spring breaking here,” said Christine Bialick, who owns TSR with her husband, Paul.
The ranch is 70 acres of campgrounds, lakes, a 25-foot diving pond, shops and skate and bike courses located off Interstate 35 just north of New Braunfels.
Brad Allen, a student at Southwest Texas State University, takes to the air after crossing a ramp at Texas Ski Ranch Extreme Sports Complex. TSR is a part of the recreation department at SWTSU.
TSR will host a wakeboard and water-ski camp the week of spring break and open its main boat lake and
a restaurant toward the end of March.
Bialick said owners have not decided on a name of the
eatery that will overlook the lake and much of the property.
A Hawaiian Tropic model and representative are coming March 15 for a TSR beach party. And the extreme sports complex will host a skate competition March 29.
TSR also has several upcoming events in the summer months, including major extreme sports tournaments to be held weekly.
The main lake of TSR will host three major regional competitions, two major touring clinics, American Water-ski Association Wakeboard Nationals and AWA College Nationals. Bialick expects hundreds of participants and thousands of patrons to attend these events.
By Ron Maloney Staff Writer
In a move officials hope will in part help keep skateboarders off the streets — and off the commissioners’ court steps — by providing a better alternative, county officials have agreed to help New Braunfels build a skate park.
The item was one of three park-related questions on Thursday’s commissioners’ court agenda.
The other two pertained to Hidden Valley Sports Park, located on Dam Access Road at Canyon Lake.
In those items, commissioners voted to lease 13.36 acres recently added to the 40-acre site to a Canyon Lake area service organization and agreed to ask the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to add the spillway gorge to the park.
At its last February meeting, the New Braunfels City Council voted to build a skateboarding facility at Eikel Park in the west end of the city.
Comal County and New Braunfels partnered at Eikel Park to build a walking path that gets considerable use — and has increased use of the park.
City officials Thursday sought county help in paying for the new skating facility.
Assistant City Manager Don Ferguson and Parks Director Iris Neffendorf approached commissioners asking that the county take up half of the estimated $32,000 cost to pour a concrete pad on which a skate park will be built.
The new skateboarding facility would replace volleyball courts at the park.
“The City of New Braunfels has the opportunity to obtain the elements of a skate park at a really reduced price. We feel we
need something like this to find a place for kids to recreate, and our thought was we would further our partnership with the county that we established to build a successful walking path,” Ferguson said.
“We think it’s a unique opportunity to serve both city and county residents," Ferguson said.
County Judge Danny Scheel agreed.
“I support the skate park facilityhe said.
He mentioned damage to tiles on the front of the commissioners’ court building and bars erected in county parking lots and said both were related to skateboarding.
Scheel said he thought it was important to provide a safe place to skateboard.
“From what kids tell us, it will be so utilized we would have to find another one,” Ferguson said of a skate park.
During the skate park discussion, Scheel raised the idea of giving Solms Park to the City of New Braunfels for inclusion in the city’s parks system. That item will appear on future agendas at city hall and commissioners’ court.
Precinct 3 Commissioner Cristina Zamora and County Parks Manager Erie Gibson would be directed to enter into discussions with city officials about granting control of the park to the city.
Solms Park, developed at a cost of around $200,000, is a nine-acre facility at Farm-to-Market Road 482 and Rusch Lane that was supported by community volunteers who helped build it. Spearheaded by
County approves creating assistant treasurer position
By Ron Maloney Staff Writer
Comal County commissioners Thursday unanimously approved hiring an assistant for Treasurer Susan Patterson.
A second agenda item involving the treasurer’s office — a system that would allow people to pay for county fees fines and services with credit cards — was postponed while details are hammered out with the county’s bankers.
The position in the treasurer’s office will be posted in the county’s Human Resources office to be filled by April I.
Cost of salary, benefits and equipment the employee will use will be $23,364.95 for the remainder of the year.
In a brief presentation to commissioner’s court, Patterson told the body how the position would be paid for, what the employee would be doing and why it is important to the county.
In recent meetings with Wells Fargo Bank, Patterson discovered that reduced bank fees negotiated two years ago were never applied to the county’s bank accounts.
Wells Fargo acknowledged the error and credited the See TREASURERS
Key Code 76
Legislative Conference later this month
At a glance
By Dylan Jimenez
Tbp state and national business and governmental leaders will gather at the New Braunfels Civic Center March 20-21 to interact with community members at the 37th annual Tfexas Legislative Conference.
Highlight of the conference is a reception to honor this year’s ‘Ttexan of the Year,” Karl Rove, senior presidential adviser and assistant to President Bush.
Tile reception begins at 7 p.m. March 20 with an introduction by U.S. Sen. John Comyn. This month, Rove is on the cover of Thous Monthly.
“He is arguably the most
■ WHAT 37th Annual Texas Legislative Conference
■ WHEN: March 20-21
■ WHERE: New Braunfels Civic Center
influential person in America right now with his access to the president,” said Michael Meek, president of the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce Inc., the event’s main sponsor.
The “Texan of the Year” award is given to the Tfexan with the most valuable contribution in public service. Previous winners included for
mer President George Bush and President George W. Bush, as well as U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and businessman Red McCombs.
During March 2Is conference, guest speakers will discuss insurance costs, homeland security and terrorism and other hot political topics from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m.
Speakers include Mike Tbomey, chief of Staff for the Office of the Governor; state* Sen. Tfeel Bivins, chair of the Senate Finance Committee; state Rep. Tom Craddick, Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives; Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst; Jose