New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 3, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
WEDNESDAYUnicorns earn share of district title. See Page 7A
The Landa Park train
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18 Pages in two sections ■ Wednesday, May 3,1995
Serving Comal County for more than 143 years ■ Home of MARCOS CAMPOS TORRES
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Vol. 143, No. 123
Birthday wishes from the Herald-Zeitung!
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung extends birthday wishes to; Marcos Campos Torres, Marissa Joe Saari, Florence Wipke, and Cruz Rosa Zavala.
Water agreement called a positive step
Chamber drive breaks records
The 3-day membership drive of the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce ended Thursday and the results brought the total membership of the Chamber to a new record high, according to Bill Morton, Chair of the drive and Immediate Past Chair of the Chamber’s board. Total chamber membership is now 1390 which exceeds any previous year in the chamber’s history.
The membership drive netted 122 new members and $17,630 in new ^ues income, according.to Morton. Wib Amacher, Sue Hahn, Arlon Hermes, Jan Kennady and Chuck Teeter earned membership in the chamber’s Blue Coat organization by recruiting more than 15 membership units. According to Morton there are many workers who are in the process of closing additional sales and it is anticipated there will be several more members joining within the next week or ten days.
Morton said, “There were 47 volunteers who worked over the 3-day period to make this drive a success and it certainly demonstrates the strength of the New Braunfels Chamber which is much larger than other chambers in cities of similar size.”
Smithton Valley Choir to perform
Smithson Valley High School Choir will perform Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the SVHS Commons. Public and parents are welcome. They will perform songs from their award-winning performances.
CMS Eighth Grade Awards Banquet set
The Canyon Middle School Eighth Grade Awards Banquet will be held at 7 p.m. May 16 at the Canyon Middle School Commons.
NBHS All-Sports Booster Club to hold Spring Banquet
The New Braunfels High School All-Sports Booster Club Spring Banquet will be held Thursday, May 4 starting at 6 p.m. in the New Braunfels Civic Center. Athletes will be recognized and honored along with their coaches. Tickets can be bought in advance for $5 each at Unicorn Food Mart and at the High School front office.
An article on page 1 of the Thursday, April 27, 1995 Herald-Zeitung contained some incorrect information. “We might start seeing larger craft on the Comal now that we have that improved exit. It took a pretty athletic effort just to get a tube up those old stairs," was stated by Zero Rivers of Rockin R River Rides.
By CRAIG HAMMETT
Concerned citizens and officials connected with various governmental agencies convened at the Civic Center Tuesday to discuss regional water concerns, specifically a recent letter of intent between several area water agencies.
The letter states that these entities will begin working on a plan to bring surface water to San Antonio and its suburbs. Those entities include New Braunfels Utilities, the Guadalupe-Bianco River Authority, Canyon Regional Water Authority, San Antonio River Authority, San Antonio Water System and Bexar Metropolitan Water District.
GBRA General Manager Bill West said estimates indicated San Antonio
GBRA general manager claims pumping Lake Dunlap water to S.A. won’t hurt the river
would need 200,000 acre-feet of water per year to relieve pumping of the aquifer. The Guadalupe River, he estimated, could provide only about 50,000 acre-feet of water per year.
Short-term projects could include water from near Lake Dunlap being shipped to the San Antonio metropolitan area. That would only be part of a plan, however, and West said Bexar Co. residents would have to pay all costs and make plans for replacement. He claimed the level of the river would not drop due to this process.
“The No. I responsibility of the GBRA is to provide water to the IO counties in the basin (not Bexar Co.)
first,” he said, but added, “...many people (in the region) don’t know the value of water. We’ve got to do a better job conserving and reusing.”
With the State Legislature winding to a close, federal water monitor Joe G. Moore, Jr. told the crowd a federal judge is waiting to see if the State Legislature could come up with some kind of regu lation plan for pumping. West said this was essential to the agreement between the water entities.
One bill in the Legislature is supported by the Edwards Underground Water District, which includes Bexar, Comal and Hays counties, and the Uvalde and Medina Underground
Water Districts. Moore criticized their plan as not stringent enough to ensure spring flow and would probably not keep the federal judge from instituting further measures.
The three Comal Co. members of EUWD do not support wording in an interlocal agreement between these three water districts being used in legislation.
“It (interlocal agreement) was only to serve as a guide so we would have a model and could sit down and talk with these other districts,” said Jack Ohlrich, a EUWD board member from Comal Co. “...it was not to be used directly as legislation.”
Moore warned that water levels over the last months were below normal and that the federal judge could act to restrict pumping if he sees no progress from the Legislature.
“The next 60 days are critical in terms of spring fl<W,” said Moore, adding that over the test 30 years, the aquifer has reached a cntical low point during the summer one in every three years. “...I think it will only get worse.”
The San Antonio City Council unanimously approved the letter of intent by the water agencies for an initial plan. But Moore said many forces, many in San Antonio and western counties where irrigation is needed are opposed to what they consider too harsh pumping limits.
County militia debates its future
By ROGER CROTEAU
Herald-Zeitung photo by MICHAEL DARNALL
State Representative Edmund Kuempel (R-Seguin) was the featured speaker at yesterday's Downtown Association meeting at the Plaza Diner. Here he discusses issues with Karen Crandall, Was Studdard and Esther Headrick.
Two charter amendments would make minor changes
By SUSAN FLYNT ENGLAND
The first Amendment to the New Braunfels Charter on the May 6 ballot has drawn attention and controversy. It would change New Braunfels’ mayoral election to at-large (the whole city voting) and by plurality (the one with the most votes wins).
Two other amendments will be on the ballot for voters to approve or reject. Both are considered “housekeeping” amendments. That is, they change the technical wording of the charter, but changes in policy, if any, are minor.
Amendment 2 deals with eligibility to run for a seat on City Council. Currently the charter reads that a person has to I) be a New Braunfels resident for at least 12 months and 2) own property in order to run. The amendment
would eliminate the part about owning property. That way, a renter would be eligible to run for city council.
Amendment 3 is a change in wording to make the charter agree with the city’s present situation. In the section about property tax assessment, the charter reads that property will be assessed by the City Tax-Assessor Collector. There is no longer a City Tax-Assessor Collector in New Braunfels. Property is now assessed by the Comal Appraisal District.
Amendment 3 would change the words in the charter from “City Tax-Assessor Collector” to “Comal Appraisal District.”
Amendment 2 makes a minor change — renters as well as property owners could run for city council.
Amendment 3 is only a technical change in wording with no policy change.
The Comal County Militia, in its first meeting since the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City, debated its future last night. The meeting ended with the group voting unanimously to reaffirm its status as a militia.
But at the same time the group also started a sign-up sheet to form a “sister organization” that would not have the stigma of the militia attached. The working name for the new group is “The Non-Violent Concerned Citizens Action Group.”
About 55 people attended last night’s militia meeting at the Guadalupe Valley Telephone Cooperative, about half as many as attended many past meetings. Unit Commander Ann Utterback thanked the crowd for turning out. “It took a lot of courage for you to come tonight in the face of such overwhelmingly negative media attention.”
She said many members were afraid to come to the meeting since media reports have tied bombing suspect Timothy McVeigh to a Michigan militia group. She said many members have called her and asked to have their names removed from the mailing list.
“How does it feel to be threatened, intimidated, oppressed? Anyone not feel threatened, intimidated and oppressed in the last couple of weeks?” asked Alex DePefta.
Bill Utterback, who helped form the local militia, told the crowd they should consider changing the organization from a militia to a political action group.
“I do not believe that the militia is going to be the answer to our problems... because a militia is based on force and violence,” he said. “I think the way out of this mess is to decrease the fear factor anti increase the love factor.
“If you want to be a militia, under-
‘lf you are going to be a militia, be a militia. Get organized. Get armed. Get trained and get ready for self-defense.’
— Bill Utterback
st »iri wha* oho is ” Utterback said "This group has been a non-violent concerned citizens action group that has earned the banner of the militia. That banner has become an anchor, lf you are going to be a militia, be a militia. Get organized. Get armed. Get trained and get ready for self-defense.”
Other members said they are proud to be part of the militia and proud of its goals. “I’ve had a lot of people tell me in the last two weeks not to come back. My friends, my mom, my wife. But I am a volunteer fireman, just like I am a Comal County Volunteer, and I don’t care how hot it gets, I’ll keep coming back,” one man said as the room broke into applause.
After a lengthy debate, the group voted unanimously to reaffirm its status and goals as a militia. But they also started the sign-up sheet for a sister organization. Ann Utterback said a lot of people who are now scared to attend militia meetings would be willing to attend meetings of The Non-Violent Concerned Citizens Action Group, and the group could be more politically active than the militia’s charter allows. Other members said the new group could be an excellent recruiting tool for the militia. People could start coming to meetings of the non-violent group, and learn more about the militia and then start attending militia meetings, they said.
Friends For Rivers meet at 7 p.m. tonight
Friends For Rivers, the local non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to education about, and cleanliness of, the Guadalupe and Comal rivers and Canyon Lake, will hold a general membership meeting Wednesday, May 3 al 7 p.m. in the Herb Schneider R(x>m of Victoria Bank and Trust.
Members’ input is needed for 1995-96 goals. Plans will also be finalized for this weekend's upper river cleanup. New members are also being recruited, and anyone interested in learning more about FFR is encouraged to attend.
For information, call 625-5378.
The clean-up will include about a 50-rnile area from Zoeller Lane to the Demi-John Ranch above Canyon Lake. Registration will last from 9 -10:30 a m. Saturday at the Weidner Ranch/Big Foot Canoes, just off FM 311 south of the river. The clean-up will run from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and a dinner will follow at the Weidner Ranch.
Early voting in city election brings in 1,509 ballots
By SUSAN FLYNT ENGLAND
Early voting totals point to good participation in Saturday’s city election. Early voting ended yesterday with a total of 1,509 people voting in person and about IOO mailing in their ballots, City Secretary Veronica Sarkozi said. “We’re looking for a good turnout Saturday,” Sarkozi said.
Sarkozi and other election workers are sealing up ballot boxes and gearing up for Saturday. The polls are open Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. “We’ll be here from seven to seven plus a little, because of the counting,” she said.
Texas has three of its four regular election days on Saturdays, while some states have election days on Tuesdays only. One possible reason for voting on Saturday is that many
schools are used for polling places, Sarkozi said. "It’s easier to find election workers, especially if they’re employed,” she said.
This year’s election workers got high-tech training from the state. “We got videotapes on new information from the Secretary of State,” Sarkozi said. “Election judges will show the tapes to the workers,” she said.
Polls are open Saturday, May 6, 1995, 7 a m. to 7 p.m.
1995 polling places are: Dist. I - Lone Star Elementary, 2343 West San Antonio Street; Dist. 2 - Memorial Elementary School, 1900 South Walnut Avenue; Dist. 3 - Seele Elementary School, 540 Howard Street; Dist. 4 -Frazier Elementary School, 1411 Highway 81 East.
Residents with any questions about voting, such as in which district they live, are urged to call 608-2100.
Heiatd Zeituna photo by MICHAEL DARNALL
Kenneth Brietzke casts his ballot yesterday.Criticize a vegetable and go to jail. Sound silly? It is. See Page 4A