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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 11, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas HTHURSDAY, MARCH 11. 2004 E SPORTS FORUM TAKING A SWING LETTERS Canyon girls chip and put their way to victory winning the Comal Invitational with a team score of 338, Page 5 I Readers sound off on loud, j annoying train horns, building I an American empire and 'alter-I native viewpoints.' Page 4 Zeitung Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. Vol. 153, No. 104 10 pages, 1 section CLICK 'www: FRONTand Center REDEFINING RECREATION A few weeks on the job, new parks director outlines goals By Scott Mahon Staff Writer New Braunfels’ new Parks Director, Stacey Laird, won’t have long to get ready for the summer crunch hut says shes already gearing up for one of the busiest times of the year, Laster weekend. Laird, who was the recreation manager for the Arlington Park’s Department, started Feb. 17, alter beating four other candidates for the $72,(Hit) a year position. I iii rd said her goals for the department include past experiences. “I ve got some ideas based on my past experiences,” she said. “Whether they work out remains to be seen though. But I also want to take into consideration my staff’s experiences, as well as the community’s input.” City Manager Chuck Pinto said development of the parks department is a priority for city council. “We want the parks department to be on a equal looting with the tire department DAVID INGRAM/Herald-Zeitung Stacey Laird, started with the city Feb. 17 after working as recreation manager for the Arlington Parks Department. and the police department,” he said. The parks and recreation department’s revenues for fiscal year 2003 were $419,000. Total expenditures were $2,015,000. “One of my biggest concerns is infrastructure improvements," Laird said. “We need new restrooms, signs and playground equipment. But none of those are immediate needs, although they will definitely give the parks a feeling of change for the better.” Laird said she hopes to implement more youth programs. “I d like to get a summer track and field program organized for youth," she said. “But I also want to upgrade playground equipment and (have) more sports and leisure-time activities for kids like a summer swimming team for kids at varying athletic levels." A $25,000 grant will help improve Camp Comal adult softball fields, replace some bleachers and upgrade the irrigation, she said. Community feedback will be an important tool for Dun!. “We want to develop a customer matrix program and use surveys to gather feedback from park users,” she said. With summer only months away, Laird is preparing for one of the biggest weekends of the year, she said. “We’re gearing up for summer, so I’m trying to become an expert on river activities and summer recreation policies in a short period of time," she said. "Laster weekend is one of our busiest weekends, and we have to be ready. We’ll be putting all our resources into that weekend.” Pinto said I .anda Lark Golf Course might eventually be under the parks department. See PARKS. Page 3 City considers nixing permit-only parking AT A GLANCE I Transportation Advisory Board I 6 30 p m today I Municipal Building, meeting room D, 424 S Casten Ave Ken Valentine “We re bursting at the seams, lf we want to be a world-class resort destination, we have to have world-class facilities." By Scott Mahon Staff Writer New Braunfels officials say attempts to restrict rivet side neighborhood streets to permit-only parking during the summer aren’t working. Now, the Transportation and T raffic Advisory Board will consider dropping the permit-only requirements for East Lincoln Street, Washington Avenue and Cross Liver Street. The board only makes recommendations to city council, which will ultimately decide the issue. Each summer, streets near the river are cluttered with parked cars as out-of-town visitors feel free to park wherever they can find a spot, local residents say. Daisey Watson, who lives in the 500 block of Union Avenue, said tourists park in her driveway to get to the river. “I ve had people park in my driveway and change clothes,” she said. “I don’t know what the solu tion is, but something has to be done.” T hree years ago, in response to complaints, council restricted designated streets to permit-only parking on weekends and holidays during the summer, said District 6 Councilman Ken Valentine. “To help relieve the traffic congestion, blocked mailboxes and driveways, lewd behavior, inebriated tourist harassment of taxpaying citizens, council approved weekend parking by permit only,” Valentine said. “Weekend barricades are used to control the traffic How on those few streets.” Since then, more than 2,(KH) residents in adjacent neighborhoods petitioned council for permit parking on their streets. However, officials say the city lacks sufficient resources to pro tect all neighborhoods from the summer deluge of parked vt T lit It s. “We’ve had requests from adjacent neighborhoods for permit-only parking, hut we just don’t have the stall to enforce more permit parking,” said Mayor Adam Cork. “Its simply an issue of fairness. Its not cut appropriate way to spend taxpayers dollars, because we don’t have the manpower to close off all the streets in neighborhoods that want permit parking. ’ Valentine said infrastructure was the problem. “We could raise the river management fee ami get 4B to fund a large parking garage,” he said. "We’re bursting at the seams, lf we want to In* a world-class resort destination, we have to have world class facilities, like ofi-site parking garages with shuttle service and good restrooms, not Bort-a Duties and parking in residential areas.” Sharon (anilin, who lives in the 200 block of Last lincoln, said lier street needs the restriction. “People park in my driveway, throw' garbage on the grass and (*ven urinate on my lawn,” she said. "So we need permit parking only, and this has worked for the past three years. I don’t understand why they want to take it away now.” 500 '56825 ■ Most Iv DEAR ABBY    8 CLASSIFIEDS    9-10 COMICS    7 CROSSWORD    7 FORUM    4 Mostly cloudy High Low I OBITUARIES 3 66 ai1 sports 00001    1    ;    Details 1B TV GRIDS April runoffs vital to local Republicans By Ron Maloney Staff Writer The 2,438 Democrats who voted Tuesday won t have another ballot decision to make until the general election in November. Republicans, on the other hand, have three runoff races to decide April 13. And while Democrats have no party-affiliated runoffs, those who did not vote Tuesday can still impact the April 13 election, if they should choose to cross over and cast ballots in the Republican ticket runoffs (see related story, below). The April 13 election is all important to the six Republicans still in the races. In Comal County, winning the Republican Party’s primary election or a subsequent runoff is usually tantamount to winning the general election as COP winners often end up unopposed in the general election. That would he the case in all three of the Republican races still being contested: ■ In County Commission Precinct I, incumbent Jack Dawson will try to hold off the challenge of retired U.S. Air Force Col. Bob Wickman. ■ In the Precinct 4 constable race, candidates Doug Dunlap and Shane Kapp will square off to determine who See RUNOFF. Page 2 • The Repiijican Prmary nnoff eteo ton wi be conducted April 13 ® Early voting runs April 5-8 • Races to be decided include Comal County Commissioner Precinct 1. Precinct 4 constable and County Court-at-Law 2 judge OTHER RACES F Rodriguez wins Democrat nomination in close primary race. Page 2 • Democrats oust GOP supporters. Page 2 ii ArnoldZwicke. Vicki Pattilk). Elizabeth Murray-Kolb win Guadalupe County sheriff, district attorney, county attorney races, respectively: face no oppostion in general election. Page 2 Stamp key to knowing who can vote in runoff By Ron Maloney Staff Writer The primary elections are conducted by the political parties — Republican or Democrat — and require a voter to declare a party. So what, then, are the ramifications of declaring a political party at primary time? Who gets to vote in a runoff election? The short answer in (ritual (bounty’s three runoffs slated for April 13, is Republicans, Republicans, Republicans — unless you’re a I Jemocrat wlio didn’t vote in the primary. That’s because neither county Democrat election went to a runoff . Only one, Precinct 3 (rimmissioner and Democrat Cristina /amora, even faces a challenge in November — Republican Greg Darker. Those who brought their voter registration card to the primary had it stamped with the party they declared — Republican or I )emocrat. That stamp is key to wilether a person can vote iti the runoffs. Comal County Elections Coordinator I innell I linojosa said Democrats who voted in the Democrat party are locked out for the runoff but can vote for candidates of either party in November. “If you didn't vote at all T uesday, you can vote in the runoffs,” I linojosa said. "lf you voted Democrat, you can’t vote in the runoffs because they’re Republican races. If you voted Republican in the primary, you would have to vote Republican in the runoff.” Sound contusing? It needn’t be, I linojosa said. The bottom line is simple. "I)emocrats can’t cross over in the runoff," she said, "lf you voted one way or the other in the primary, you have to stay with the same party in the runoffs. If you missed the primary, you could vote in either party’s runoff.” T hat means a Democrat who didn t vote in the primary could vote in a Republican runoff. Regardless, she said, voters can go either way in the general election — Republican or Democrat. The April 13 runoff elections will be preceded by early voting at the courthouse April 5-8. The general election will be T uesday, Nov. 2. [JJJ32 Shutterbugs Spring inspires many to take up photography as a hobby. SUNDAY f*'V" TI’ DAVID INGRAM/Herald-Zeitung Roger Dolle, park ranger superintendent, gives new city Parks Director Stacey Laird, former recreation manager for the Arlington Parks Department, a tour of the Landa Park facilities. 2004 ;