New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 26, 1996, New Braunfels, Texas
TUESDAYUnicorns playoff run comes to an end against Churchill. See Page 5.
'Salute to the dough boy
8 pages in one section ■ Tuesday, March 26, 1996
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Serving Comal County and surrounding areas for more than 144 years ■ Home of RON DEGROAT
Vol. 144, No. 96
Birthday wishes from the Herald-Zeitung!
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung extends birthday wishes to: Ron DeGroat, David Caballero, Melba Weyel, and Mae Voss-Braunberger. Happy 14th anniversary to Jeff and Sylvia Martinez.
Mold — 850 Ash — trace Mulberry — trace Oak — 42 Sycamore — trace Hackberry — trace (Pollen measured in parts per cubic meter of air. Readings taken yesterday. Information provided by Dr. Frank Hampel.)
Comal River — 226 cubic feet per second, down 4 from yesterday.
Edwards Aquifer Panther Canyon Well — 624.10 feet above sea level, same as yesterday.
ACS Gala planning meeting tonight
A general planning committee meeting the the 1996 Starlight Gala, "A Night in Casablanca,’ will be held tonight at 6 p.m. at the Gruene Mansion Restaurant in the pri-'L.;c room. This may be the only general planning committee meeting
Protectors of the power plant to get organized
An organizational meeting of the LORA Power Plant Protectors will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 28 at the Senior Citizens Center, 655 Landa Street. Everyone interested in preserving the LCRA building is invited. For information, call Betty Lou Rushing at 625-6362.
Conservation Society to meet
The New Braunfels Conservation Society's March meeting will be held Thursday, March 28 at 7.30 p.m. in the Forke Store. Chester Rosson, associate editor of Texas Monthly, will speak to the group on "Digging Up Roots.' For information, call 629-2943
Youth Art Beat ’96 this weekend
Celebrating young artists is the focus of Youth Artbeat '96; the celebration itself is Saturday, March 30 from 10 a m. to 2 p.m. in downtown New Braunfels. Singers, dancers, musicians, performers and artists demonstrating their skills on the sidewalks around the Plaza. At 1 p.m., the “Kids as Art' parade will lead the crowd to the main Plaza, where art show awards will be presented.
'The Choice’ to be performed Sunday
First Baptist Church invites the public to an Easter drama and musical presentation,
'The Choice," Sunday, March 31, and April 2 and 3 at 7 p m each night. Admission free,
In the front page story on the N*Bus System in Friday's Herald-Zeitung, it was reported the system will run on $250,000 supplied by the Alamo Area Council of Governments during the first-year trial run. In fact, the bus system is financed by fares paid by riders and $10,000 from the city for bus stop signs and marketing. The system is operated by the Community Council of South Central Texas.Council votes to hike Landa Park golf fees
By MELANIE GERIK
Members of the Landa Park Golf Course may see their fees go up, if the city council once again approves the rate increases at its next meeting.
The council approved the rate increases by a 4-to-2 vote at Monday’s regular meeting, the second reading of the ordinance. The council must approve the ordinance on its third reading April 8.
The biggest jump in the fees are for family memberships. For New Braunfels
residents, it will cost $500 for wife and husband golfers per year, almost a 30 percent increase from the current $385-per-year fee.
For out-of-town residents, the majority being winter Texans, the family fee would be raised to $650 from $495.
Individual rates would go up $25 for both resident and nonresident golfers, according to the proposed rates passed Monday night.
Although council members and golfers disagreed as to who asked for the rate increase, the Landa Park Golf Course
has not shown a profit since the city took over its operations almost two years ago, councilmembers said.
“Everything else that the city charges for makes money,” said City Manager Mike Shands.
Council members also were concerned about giving residents a break in the fees.
“I think it’s fair for those who live in the city to pay less than those who don’t,” said Councilwoman Jan Ken-nady.Horizons ’9G - The Places We Call Home
A Supplement to the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung SSunday— New Braunfels, Sol ms,Today— Fischer, Canyon I uke, Spring, Branch, Crane’s Mill
Wednesday Thursday — Friday-Sunday
Bracken, Garden R idg:e, Northcliffe, Bulverde
— Lake McQueeney, Geronimo, Marion, Lake L>i u dap
Gruene, Freiheit, Zorn, Clear Springs, Barbar ossa,
Citizen of tile Year, Unsung Heroes
Drought turns annual wildflower bloom into a washout
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By MELANIE GERIK
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Herald-Zeitung photo by MICHAEL DARNALL
The dry weather this year has led to a disappointing crop of willowers.
Even an Indian rain dance may not save the Indian paintbrushes and bluebonnets this wildflower season.
Joe Taylor, county extension agent. said the number of bluebonnets and other Texas wildflowers “has just been terrible.”
Because of the lack of rain during the fall and winter. Comal County has fields of brown where green grass and blue flowers were last year.
“Plain and simple, we need water.” Taylor said.
But even if rain poured every day for the next few months, the wildflower season could not reach its full bloom.
“lf you don’t see them now, you’re not seeing them the rest of the season,” Taylor said.
The bluebonnets needed water during their germinating season in September through November, Taylor said.
The lack of wildflowers may have an effect on the picturesque backdrop
if you don’t see them now, you’re not seeing them the rest of the season.’
— Joe Taylor, county extension agent
of races and other events.
“lf they're going to make a wild-flower run, they’re going to have to go to East Texas,” Taylor said.
But Sharon Speer, special events coordinator for the Baptist Memonal Healthcare System, said her organization’s bicycle race will continue as usual May 4.
Entrants in the Baptist Memonal Healthcare System Wildflower IOO Bicycle IOO Tour nde through Bexar, Comal and Guadalupe Counties.
“The lack of bluebonnets certainly will not affect our race,” Speer said. “It just won’t be as pleasurable for the ndcrs.”
The drought also has affected the
grass along Interstate 35.
Texas Department of Transportation workers usually must wait until the end of bluebonnet season to mow the grass in the medians and on the sides of the highways.
But this year “we don’t even have to worry about mowing.” said Jerry Zereher, maintenance foreman for the highway department.
Zerchej said even the usual locations of bluebonnet patches, including along Loop 337, are barren this year.
Comal County residents wanting to see fields of bluebonnets w ill have to travel north to Austin or East Texas to enjoy the state flower, Zereher said.
Although bluebonnets are sparse this year, Comal County residents can enjoy a blue spring next year if the New Braunfels area receives enough rain during the fall and winter.
Taylor said bluebonnet seeds can remain dormant for 30 to 35 years before blooming again.
“They’re smarter than we are," Taylor said “They’ll bloom when they have enough water."
Oak wilt outbreaks spotted around New Braunfels
By DAVID DEKUNDER
Oak wilt, a disease that can kills decades-old oak trees in a matter of weeks, is rearing its head in Comal County.
Retired Comal County Extension Agent Bill Schumann said it is the homeowner’s responsibility when it comes to fighting oak wilt.
“It is up to the homeowner to protect their own trees,” Schumann said.
Schumann said with four outbreaks of oak wilt in Comal County, it is especially important for homeowners to take care of their oak trees to prevent them from spreading into New Braunfels.
“Oak wilt is the AIDS of oak trees,” Schumann said. "Once it gets into the tree, it is dead.”
Oak wilt is prevalent in Central Texas from as far as north as Fort Worth to as far south of San Antonio. Oak wilt is found in Texas red oaks and live oaks. It develops in red oak when a fungal matter under the bark of the tree develops and kills the red oak within two to the three weeks.
After the tree dies, the fungal matter is still virulent and is spread by a sap beetle which visits the red oak tree and picks up the infection. The beetle is then attracted to an open wound in a live oak tree and spreads the infection to those trees. Once the oak Alit is in the live oak’s system, that tree slowly declines.
“Once it gets into the live oak, it is spread by root grass into the adjacent roots of other live oak trees,” Schumann said. “The way it infects it is that it will take several years for the live oak tree to die. The fungus grows in the vascular system of the tree. It restricts the ability of the tree to absorb the water and the nutrients from the soil, which means energy cannot flow up and down the tree. It limits the tree’s ability to translocate energy developed in the leaf from going down into the root.
“Another way it is spread is through the transportation of firewood. If a person buys wood from an infected tree and brings it home, these beetles could be in the tree or attracted by it and spread it.”
‘Oak wilt is the AIDS of oak trees.’
— Bill Schumann
Schumann said there are two ways to stop the spread of oak wilt when it is found.
“Call the Texas Forestry Service or your county extension agent,” Schumann said “They will go out and identify sick and dying trees. After they identify oak wilt, they go and dig a trench on the extremities of the infected area and extend the trench by how far they think is necessary. They do this to stop any additional spread of it through the roots to other trees.”
A chemical called Alamo can be used to treat the disease. Schumann said the treatments, which are done by a professional, can cost up to $ 1,000 a tree and there are no guarantees that the chemical treatments will work.
“The best method of containing oak wilt is don’t prune except during the coldest part of winter — December, January and February — or during the hottest part of the summer,” Schumann said. “The reason for this is during the coldest part of the w inter the insect is not active, he is hibernating. During the hottest part of the summer, the fungus is not active. In addition, any time any pruning is done it should be covered immediately by a pruning compound — latex paint or orange schel-lac.”
Schumann said since there is an outbreak less than a mile from the city limits of town, a beetle could easily get into New Braunfels and start spreading the oak wilt and possibly harming the trees in L anda Park.
“lf one of these beetles is north of town, it could be blown by the wind into town,” Schumann said.
Citing the importance of the trees in Landa Park, Schumann pointed out a study done in 1992 by a Houston tree consulting finn which stated that the 900 documented trees in Landa Park are worth $3,729,710 in terms of longevity and condition.
“Oak wilt is a definite threat to oak trees in New Braunfels,” Schumann said. “It is not a matter of if, but when it will come.”
Herald-Zeitung photo by MICHAEL DARNALL
VFW commander visits
Paul A. Spera, national commander-in-chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, adresses a crowd at VFW Post 7110 Monday morning. Paul H. Duff, Texas state commander of the VFW, also attended.
Herald-Zeitung lands four APME awards
From Staff Reports
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung won four awards at the 1995 Associated Press Managing'Editors Awards ceremony held at the Capital Marriott Hotel in Austin Saturday.
The Herald-Zeitung competed against all daily newspapers in Texas with circulation between 10,000 and 29,999.
Former editonal assistant Allene Blaker won second place in general column writing for her column “One man able to change name of town.”
Susan Flynt England received an honorable mention in the specialty reporting category, for an article about Kathleen Krueger's experiences in Burundi as wife of the U.S. ambassador to that nation.
City Editor Roger Croteau received honorable mention awards in the feature reporting and business reporting categories "It is always gratifying to be recognized by our peers,” said Herald-Zeitung Managing Editor Doug Loveday. “I believe we have the staff in place and the commitment needed to do even better at next year's competition.”
Volunteers needed for hazardous waste collection
The city of New Braunfels and Comal County are looking for volunteers to help run the household hazardous waste collection day, scheduled for Saturday, April 27. For more information, call Elroy Fnesenhahn at 608-2120.
The collection will run from 9 a m. to 3 p m.
Residents can get nd of of pesticides, paints, auto products, kitchen and bathroom cleaners, yard-care products, car battenes, tires, and motor oil The local drop-off site will be Fire State #2 on Loop 337. There will be a $ I per pound charge for dropping off certain items.
oRight to die issues should not be decided by economic issues. See Opinion, Page 4.