New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 22, 1996, New Braunfels, Texas
FRIDAYUnicorns get ready for soccer game against Mavericks tonight. Page 5.
MOI A 10/22/99 EL PASO, TX 79903-
The Mergele House, 708 W. Mill
14 pages in one section ■ Firday, March 22, 1996
Serving Comal County and surrounding areas for more than 144 years ■ Home of LENA IVEY
Vol. 144, No. 94
Birthday wishes from the Herald-Zeitung!
The New Braun fels Herald-Zeitung extends birthday wishes to: Vance Braune, Leatrice Saur, Brandon Cisco Hernandez, and Lena Ivey.
To have a birthday or anniversary listed here, call 625-9144.
Mold—215 Ash —22
Cedar — 0 Oak — 33 Sycamore — 16 Hackberry — trace (Pollen measured in parts per cubic meter of air. Readings taken yesterday Information provided by Dr Frank Hampel)
Comal River — 234 cubic feet per second, same as yesterday.
Edwards Aquifer Panther Canyon Well — 624.13 feet above sea level, down .03.
Train to be a literacy tutor
The Guadalupe, Bexar, and Comal County Literacy Council will hold a training session for those interested in tutoring non-readers or low level readers.
The 10-hour workshop will De held Friday, April 12 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday. April 13 from 8 a m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Adult Education Center, located at 703 Curtiss in Schertz.
Preregistration deadline is April 8. lf you would like to tutor, or know of an adult who needs a tutor, call the Literacy Council at 945-6093, Monday Friday from 8 arn to 2 p m.
There will be a $5 registration fee and a literacy resource book can be purchased for $12.
For Kiefs Sake group forms
Family Outreach of Comal County will offer ‘For Kid s Sake,’ a seminar for divorcing parents, which will help parents realize the damaging effect of divorce on children and enable parents to nurture their children through the transition of divorce.
The four-hour seminar will be offered twice each month from 6 p.m. to 10 p m. on the second Tuesday and Wednesday evenings of the month.
For information, call 620-1299.
Volunteer work day
The New Braunfels Girls
Softball Association will have a volunteer work day to get the fields in shape Saturday, March 23, starting at 1 p.m. Bring shovels, rakes, hammers, etc A coaches clinic that had also been scheduled for Saturday has been cancelled.
Women’s Center needs high chair
The Comal County Women's Center needs a high chair and medium and large size diapers. Bring your donation to the Comal County Women's Center at 1547 Common Street, or call 620-7520.
Comal County Democrats to meet
The Comal County Democ rats will meet March 26 at 7 p.m. at Comal bowl. The guest speaker will be from the Women's Center.
This newspaper is printed on recycled newsprint
N*Bus ridership low, but officials pleased
By MELANIE GERIK
The two buses may be transporting few passengers now, but the numbers will increase when people become more informed about the N»Bus system, the Main Street director said Thursday.
For the first week of service, which started March 11, 90 full fares and 40 transfers were sold to passengers, collecting $77.76. (A passenger donated an extra penny.) That is an average of 23 rides per day.
Ninety percent of passengers ride in the afternoon, according to Figures from Lynn Fountain, Main Street director for the city.
Fountain said the first week's numbers are “very positive.”
“Of course we want more riders ... until they’re squished and hanging out the windows,” she said.
The bus system is on a one-year trial run. The Alamo Area Council of Governments funds 96 percent of the system’s $260,000 cost.
Fountain said ner otnce has received many calls from senior citizens, middle school students and their parents, social serv ice agencies, tourists, store managers and restaurant owners.
“We’re hearing by phone the groups we want to hear from." she said.
Fountain said many wanting to use the bus system are attracted to the possibility of not having to rely on
others for rides to go shopping, downtown and around New Braunfels.
“We’re talking about independence that they otherwise wouldn’t have,” she said.
Brian Printy, 14, and his friend Erie Hoover, 15, agree.
“I can take the bus if I need a ride and my parents or brother won’t take me,” Printy said.
“We don’t have to bug our parents to take us anywhere,” Erie Hoover said.
The two boys, along with Eric’s brother Andy, 13, and Adam Curtis, 14, tried the bus for the first time Thursday. They said they were testing the system to see if they could get to Schlitterbahn quicker than riding their bicycles.
Erie Hoover said it usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes to ride from their neighborhood to the water-park, “and that’s on a good day.”
He said it took about an hour to ride the buses around town, with a 30-minute wait at the Hummel Museum to transfer buses.
Fountain said transfers can take as few as 15 minutes or as lorn* as two hours, especially if nasseneers are trying to get from one side of town to another.
She advised passengers to plan out the quickest route before stepping onto the bus.
Enc Hoover also said he thinks riding the bus requires a little advanced planning.
“Once we figure out what we’re doing, it will be a lot easier,” he said.
Herald-Zeitung photo by MICHAEL DARNALL
Siu Tan was driving her 1979 Chevrolet van south on Interstate 35 near the Walnut Street exit, when she lost control, rolling the vehicle three or four times. Two passengers and the driver were taken to McKenna Memorial Hospital for treatment. None of the injuries appeared to be life threatening.
Speed limit to drop on parts of Highway 281
Marion may cancel city election
New law allows voting to be called off if candidates have no opponents
By DAVID DEKUNDER
By DAVID DEKUNDER
MARION —* Under a new state law passed last year, the city of Manon would be able to cancel its elections scheduled for this spnng because all three of its city council candidates are running unopposed, an official with the Secretary of State’s office said on Thursday afternoon.
The new law. Senate Bill 680, went into affect in September 1995, said Melinda Nickless, director of election administration for the Secretary of State.
“It states that if every candidate is unopposed for their office and if there are no write-in candidates, then a city may cancel the election,” Nickless said. “lf the outcome is going to be known, why hold an election and waste the taxpayers’ money?”
The 5 p.m. filing deadline on Wednesday afternoon passed by at Manon City Hall with only the three incumbents — Florence Bryant, Felix Arambula and Jimmy Schulz — filing for three at large seats for the May 4 city council elections.
Mayor Glenn Hild agreed with Nickless’s assessment that the elections should not be held if they are not necessary.
“It makes no sense to spend $ 1,000 for an election if you don’t need to hold it,” Hild said. “I know a
‘It makes no sense to spend $1,000 for an election if you don’t need to hold it.’
— Glenn Hild, Marion mayor
number of cities in Guadalupe County who have uncontested races who are facing the same situation.”
In fact, Cibolo, located in Guadalupe County and eight San Antonio subuibs either have unopposed candidates or no propositions on their ballots for the May 4 elections.
Marjorie L izana, a secretary for the city of Manon, said that City Secretary Maggie Harding talked to the Texas Municipal League on Wednesday and that the league informed the city that 40 cities across the state were contemplating taking the same action as Marion.
“According to the Texas Municipal League, the council would have to pass an ordinance saying that the election would not be held,” Lizana said. “This notice would then be posted at the polling places on election day.”
The next city council meeting will be on April I and the council would decide on passing an ordinance at that time.
lf the Marion City Council votes to cancel the elections, the law requires that “a certificate of election shall be issued to each candidate in the same manner as provided for a candidate elected at the election."
Dnvers who have gotten used to speeding through Bulverde at 70 miles per hour on Highway 281, will have to ease off the accelerator, because the speed limit will go back to 55 mph pretty soon.
At Thursday’s county commissioner’s court meeting, Commissioner Danny Scheel announced that TxDOT had agreed to lower the speed limit back to 55 mph at the intersection of Highway 281 and FM 1863, the original speed limit before it was changed to 70 mph back in December.
“I have been talking constantly with officials from TxDOT since they raised the speed limit,” Scheel, who represents the Bulverde area, said. “I have taken video photos of it (the intersection). It is a dangerous intersection at 55 mph much less 70 mph. TxDOT officials called me yesterday (Wednesday) and said they had agreed to do it. The Texas Highway Commission will sign off on it at their meeting in April. You will actually see the drop oft’ in the speed limit by late April or May.”
Area engineer David Kopp of the New Braunfels TxDOT office said he agreed with the concerns raised by Scheel.
Kopp said it was the San Antonio TxDOT district office that raised the speed limit, not his office.
“We had received a lot of concerns (about the speed limit),” Kopp said. “I was partly one of those people who did not agree with raising the speed limit. If we still did a study out there, it would still be 70 mph, but if
you take into consideration the number of school buses that cross it and since it is a heavily traveled intersection, TxDOT felt it would be better if we lowered the speed limit.”
TxDOT has plans for a grade separation at the intersection in the next couple of years. The plans call for an overpass for Highway 281 to be built over FM 1863 so that the traffic flow would go smoothly.
Scheel said that Commissioner “Moe” Schwab had met with Kopp on Thursday to discuss the possibility of lowering the speed limit back to 55 mph on Highway 281 between the Blanco County line and the Guadalupe River bridge.
“Moe and I are pursuing TxDOT to lower the speed limit to 55 (on that stretch) because the intersection of Highway 46 and Highway 281 (near Spring Branch) is inundated with traffic coming from Canyon Lake during the summer,” Scheel said. “We are proposing this to TxDOT and we will try to pass a resolution at next week’s (commissioner’s court) meeting.”
Kopp said he will listen to the concerns the commissioners have and pass those concerns on to the TxDOT office in San Antonio.
“Commissioner Schwab, as a commissioner for that part of the area (Spring Branch), can go on record and pass a resolution saying that he wants the speed limit lowered,” Kopp said.
“That would put the monkey on our back. TxDOT. to say that we are letting them (dnvers) travel that fast,” Kopp said.
Laney receives Texan of the Year Award
By MELANIE GERIK
The speaker of the Texas House of Representatives was honored Thursday night for signifying “everything that is great about
James “Pete” Laney, a representative from the Panhandle town of Hale Center for 23 years, was honored as Texan of the Year at the 30th Annual Texas Legislative Conference.
“The best thing about Pete Laney is that he goes back to Hale Center while the Legislature is in session and works the land,” said Allan Shivers Jr., advisory committee chair for the conference. “He knows the people and the workers of Texas.”
More than 500 state legislators, chamber members and public officials from around the state attended the reception at the New Braunfels Civic Center.
Laney, who kept his acceptance speech brief, said the Texan of the Year honor is “only matched by the honor of being elected as state representative by the people of my district and being elected as speaker of the house by my fellow legislators."
Laney said he wants to continue to give Texans “the kind of government they can respect, take pride in and deserve.”
Past recipients of the honor include Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock, Barbara Jordan, George Bush, Barbara Bush, Phil Gramm and Lloyd
Herald-Zeitung photo by MICHAEL DAHNALI
Texas Speaker of the House Pete Laney addresses the Texas Legislative Conference yesterday.
After he accepted his award, Laney said two of the major issues to be discussed dunng next year’s legislative session will be the perennial favontes education and the budget.
, Laney said legislators probably will tweak details of Senate Bill I, the reformation of
the state education code signed into law last year.
The conference continued Friday morning with discussions about the predictions and issues of the November elections and changing the role of Congress.
Rural recycling gets second grant
By DENISE DZIUK
The Comal County Rural Recycling Program received another grant that will help the county set up the baler recently purchased.
The county commissioners ratified the signature of Commissioner “Moe” Schwab Thursday on a grant agreement accepting a grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority. Schwab will accept the check from LCRA at 10:30 a rn. on Tuesday, March 26.
Schwab said the grant is worth $4,500, and will be used to pay for the actual hookup of the baler. He said it includes running cables and tying into transformers. Schwab said the funds should be sufficient to cover the costs.
“Whatever we don’t use, we’ll have to give back though," said Schwab.
In other business, the court approved beginning the bid process for a new dump mick for the recycling program.
Schwab told the court that he currently uses a truck from the road department three times a week, and an additional truck is needed. He told the court he is hoping to receive a grant to help defray the costs of the truck, but wants to go ahead with the process anyway.
“I want to be one jump ahead,” said Schwab. “It doesn’t hurt.”For subscription or advertising information, call the Herald-Zeitung at 625-9144.