New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 30, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas
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X r 9 9 0 3Herald-Zeitungr i' Mi .........................•— —iVol. 149 No. 94 14 pages in 2 sections March 30, 2000 Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents
Court splits over prayer at football games
WASHINGTON (AP) — Prayer in public schools, for 40 years a divisive and politically charged issue, split the Supreme Court anew as the justices heard arguments Wednesday over letting students lead stadium crowds in invocations at high school football games.
“Where do we draw the line?” asked Justice Stephen G. Breyer, adding that the court must decide whether student-led prayers over the public address system “fall on the permissive side of the line.” In comments and questions on a Santa Fe, Texas, school district’s now-suspended policy of allowing such prayers, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justice Antonin Scalia were clearly sympathetic to students’ free-speech rights.
But Justices David H.
Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg repeatedly portrayed the policy as a breach in the constitutionally required separation of church and state.
If the court’s decision, expected by late June, were to follow its ideological fault line, Justice Clarence Thomas would join Rehnquist and Scalia; Justices John Paul Stevens and Breyer would side with Souter and Ginsburg.
The court’s newest venture into this area of constitutional law comes as an ABC News poll says two-thirds of Americans think students should be permitted to lead such prayers.
Earlier this month in Texas’ Republican primary, 94 percent of voters approved a nonbinding resolution backing student-initiated prayer at school sporting events.
Texas Gov. George W.
Bush, the presumed Republican presidential nominee, filed a brief supporting student-led prayer.
As in many of the most divisive cases to confront the nine-member court, the pivotal votes would belong to Justices Anthony M. Kennedy and Sandra Day O’Connor.
Both asked numerous questions Wednesday and appeared troubled by a policy that allows student-elected representatives to give a “message or invocation.”
Kennedy worried aloud that such elections might result in “schools becoming a forum for religious debates.”
Supreme Court justices could not agree whether students should be able to lead stadium crowds in prayer at high school football games. Below is how the court might vote in June if it follows its ideological fault line.
O’CONNORCounty, Bulverde officials seek Army’s help in annexation battle
By Ron Maloney Herald-Zeitung Correspondent
BULVERDE — A delegation including a Comal County commissioner and the Bulverde mayor is scheduled to meet today with US. Army officials to voice concerns about San Antonio’s latest proposed annexation of Camp Bulbs land — a 1,000 ft. wide strip along the eastern edge of the military reservation.
Bulverde Mayor Bob Barton told the Bulverde City Council Tuesday meeting he and Commissioner Jay Minikin would meet today at Fort Sam Houston with “the colonel in charge of reviewing the annexation proposal.”
Barton said the meeting had been arranged
by the Fort Sam Houston public affairs office.
The annexation would extend the extraterritorial jurisdiction of the nation^ lOth-laigest city further into western Comal County and behind Bulverde. This is the second attempt by San Antonio to grab Camp Bulbs land.
A similar annexation in 1987 along the western edge of Camp Bulbs was met with a series of last-minute, voluntary agreements by affected property owners to join Boerne’s ETJ to block the extension of San Antonio’s ETJ northward. As a result, the area along East Ammann Road has become known as the “Boerne Wall.”
To date, San Antonio has refused to recognize the Boerne ETJ extensions — or “the
wall” — and has claimed its annexation should have superseded it. Three years ago — after years of negotiation — Boerne sued over the issue, and a final ruling upholding or rejecting “the wall” is expected shortly in a Kendall County court.
So far, the 216th District Court in Kendall County twice has ruled with Boerne. Whichever side wins or loses, an appeal is expected, Barton said.
But the situation is like a military maneuver or a giant chess game where control of terrain is everything, and the center of San Antonio’s northward push points into the lightly-populated underbelly of western Comal County, toward Canyon Lake.
Bulverde officials, who had been watching the situation in Boerne, expressed scant surprise several weeks ago when the newest annexation — with its threatened drive into Comal County — was announced as part of a package of annexation proposals for the north of San Antonio.
Comal County and the City of Bulverde both passed strongly-worded resolutions opposing the annexation, noting that nobody lives on the property and nobody but San Antonio could benefit from the action.
“We could end up engulfed like Alamo Heights if San Antonio gets behind us,”See ANNEXATIONS
Key Code 76
Donation of land, road construction offered with stipulations
if the city...
The latest proposition made to the city by local developers has the developers offering to:
• build a road for free and
• donate two acres for an activity center,
K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung
Developer Rudy Seidel says he’s willing to donate land he owns south of Landa Street and east of Walnut Avenue for a road and an activity center if the city agrees to spend about $1 million to help extend Fredericksburg Road through the property.
• funds the railroad crossing ($270,000) and
• builds the bridge over the Dry Comal Creek ($685,000).
By Peri Stone-PALMQUIST
A local developer is offering land to give the city of New Braunfels an alternative to expanding Walnut Avenue.
Developers Rudy Seidel and son, John, said they were willing to build a street equivalent to nearly two city blocks if the city would connect that street to Fredericksburg Road at the north and either Guenther or Santa Clara avenues to the south.
“This would take a lot of pressure off Walnut,” Rudy Seidel said, estimating the cost of the street at $ 100,000 to $150,000. “And it wouldn’t cost $7.5 million.”
The Seidels’ portion of the road would stretch from the railroad tracks near Landa Street to the banks of the Dry Comal Creek.
They own a total of 32 acres south of Landa Street and east of Walnut.
In exchange for the donation, the city would be responsible for a railroad crossing and building a bridge over Dry Comal Creek to connect the road to either Santa Clara or Guenther avenues (see map).
Seidel said he estimated the cost of the bridge at $685,000 and the railroad crossing at $270,000.
The connecting street would give Seidel the kind of access he needs to develop the property and give the city
Local developers said they’re willing to donate land to the city to help make one of these routes possible.
a better, cheaper alternative to widening Walnut, he said.
But residents on Santa Clara and Guenther might not be so open to the idea, city manager Mike Shands said.
And the project still could require a bond election, he said.
“We’d have to go to another bond
Developers donate land for activity center
By Peri Stone-Palmquist
Thanks to a donation announced Wednesday, New Braunfels City Council will consider a more central location for an activity center if voters approve the project at the May bond election, Mayor Stoney Williams said.
Rudy Seidel and son, John, told the city they would donate two of the 32 acres they own south of Landa Street and east of Walnut Avenue if the city agreed to spend about $1 million to help extend Fredericksburg Road through their property.
“The land’s for sale now, but no one wants to buy it because it’s inaccessi-
WILLIAMS b,e ” John Seidel said-
If die city agrees to fund both a railroad
crossing and a bridge over the Dry Comal Creek, the Seidels also would build the connecting road from the railroad tracks near Landa Street to the banks of the Dry Comal Creek.
The $ I million, therefore, would provide the city 2 acres for an activity center and a new relief route from Walnut Avenue that some are touting as an alternative to the bond expansion project (see related story).
Walnut expansion opponents hope the 2-acre donation will serve as an incentive to the city, encouraging development of Fredericksburg Road and prompting residents to vote down the Walnut expansion.