New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 9, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
TUESDAYBerkman wins SWC Newcomer of the Year honor. Sports Day, page 5
The Landa Park train
10 pages in one section ■ Tuesday, May 9, 1995
Serving Comal County for more than 143 years ■ Home of GEORGIA and MIKE DOERR
Vol. 143, No. 127
Whatley resigns as parks/rec director
Birthday wishes from the Herald-Zeitung!
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung extends birthday wishes to; Krystle Garcia, Jamaica Medrano, Lindsay Bottenfield, and Toby Maxam.
Happy belated birthday wishes to Chat Cow-villon and Lauren Moore.
Happy 25th Anniversary to Georgia and Mike Doerr.
Guadalupe River 224 cfs
Comal River............... 304 cfs
* cfs - cubic feet per second
Republican Women to hold Founders’ Day celebration.
The Canyon Lake Republican Women invite the public to join them May 17 at the Canyon Lake Forest Civic Clubhouse for a combination Founders’ Day celebration and fund-raiser for 1995. A “Fun” time begins with happy hour (cash bar) at 6:30 p.m., followed by a unique program that should have vou rolling in the aisles. Food will be served following the program. Contact Ruby Swain at 889-3673 for tickets. The cost is $10 for a full evening of food and entertainment.
Kids to suit up for eighth annual Toddler Run
McKenna Memorial Hospital will sponsor the eighth annual Toddler Run on May 13. This is a community event that features a race for children between the ages of 10 months and 36 months. All participants will receive a 1995 Toddler Run t-shirt, a participant ribbon, and a grab bag of coupons and goodies from area merchants. Registration forms are available at the main desk in the hospital lobby. The completed form and th'e $5 entry fee must be received in the hospital development office by 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 11.
Camp offers insight into Job of park rangers
Youths between the ages of 11 and 17 may develop an understanding of local park ranger duties, responsibilities, job skills and tasks during the New Braunfels Parks and Recreation Department’s* Jr. Ranger Camp in Landa Park. They will also explore the natural world, visit the Comal Springs and historical city park areas, learn basic environmental citizenship, and participate in various activities environmental projects, outdoor sports, games, hikes, movies, adventure, swimming, etc.
The Jr. Ranger Camp will be held on July 10, 11, and 12 from 10 a rn. to 5 p m. Pre-registration is required and is being taken at the parks office from May 1 to July 7. The fee is $35 per person.
For more information, you may call the parks office at 608-2160 or come by the parks office at 11O Golf Course Road.
By SUSAN FLYNT ENGLAND
Ten-year Parks and Recreation Department Director David Whatley is moving on to greener pastures. He turned in his resignation last Thursday, City Manager Mike Shands said, and it becomes effective June 30.
“David is going to enter into partnership in a family business,” Shands said.
Whatley’s exit comes at a hectic time for the park system, with summer coming, a tuber exit under construction and a grant for parks improvements approved, Parks Board Chair Hal Herbelin said. “He’s going to be very difficult to replace,” he said.
The city has already started a search for a new parks director, Shands said. “The position is being advertised locally, plus a statewide search,” he said. Applicants will need IO years’ experience
in parks management within / ' | either the public or private
I - scctor ar|d a degree in parks
administration or something, closely related, Shands said. Whatley came to New Braunfels with those qualifications.
New Braunfels’ outstanding park system and prime location could attract quality candidates for Whatley’s position, Herbelin said. “I think we will attract a very good cross section,” he said. “I have a tremendous amount of faith in Mike Shands.
Whatley’s easy going personality belies the huge responsibility he shouldered in his job as parks manager. “A lot of people don’t realize how much the park system encompasses — it’s a
mammoth job,” Shands said.
The sheer numbers are staggering. Over
400.000 people come to New Braunfels to visit the parks each year, Shands said, and they spend up to $100 million in the city. “Schlitterbahn brings in about 600,000 people, which puts that figure into perspective,” Shands said.
The miniature train carries about 75,000 to
80.000 riders a year. About 50,000 swim in the spring-fed pool. Fifty thousand slide down the tube shoot with paid admission and tens of thousands more do so from other entrances to the river, Shands said.
“It’s certainly more than a full-time, all-time job,” Shands said. The park system has evolved into one of the more important aspects of the city of New Braunfels, Shands said, something for which we arc known nationwide. “Since David Whatley’s been here the city’s turned the whole park system around,” he said.
Whatley’s accomplishments for the parks include xcriscaping the many landscaped areas, including neighborhood parks to cemeteries to traffic islands to the Plaza bandstand, Herbelin said.
Whatley procured a $40,(XX) grant for the city to have a full-time biologist study the Comal Springs ecosystem, Herbelin said. “Whenever he wants to do something that involves the C omal River, he’s got to go through all types of federal and state bureaucracy,” Herbelin said. The biologist gives Whatley recommendations for Comal Springs management as well as producing research, he said.
“This program will be passed on to the next parks manager,” Herbelin said.
“This gives you the kind of foresight he has,” Herbelin said. “I think he’s one of the reasons the parks board has such a good working relationship with the parks department and the city.”
Blaze guts mobile home
Several Canyon Lake firemen stand outside a mobile home fire (top photo) while others are working to put the flames out inside the home Monday evening. The home is on Maverick Lane near Canyon Lake off Purgatory Road. According to Deputy Comal County Fire Marshal Al Bohne, the Canyon Lake VFD extinguished the fire quick enough so that the damage inside the home can be repaired. Most of the damage was in an inside bedroom, and Bohne estimated its cost at $15,000. The fire began after a kerosene lamp was knocked to the floor and caught fire. The blaze is still under investigation. Firefighters (left) take care of Paul Winsett after he left exhausted from fighting the fire.
Herald-Zeitung photo by MICHAEL DARNALL
Services available for HIV/AIDS patients
By DENISE DZIUK
This newspaper is printed on recycled newsprint
Individuals suffering from the HIV/AIDS virus no longer have to travel to larger counties to receive the services they need thanks to a San Antonio based service agency that now provides unprecedented outreach services for individuals in rural areas.
• Jerry Permenter, director of the Alamo Area Resource Center, said the decision to expand to rural counties was due to a prior neglect of these counties.
“There’s a tremendous gap in services for the rural counties and it’s ridiculous. Someone needs to care for them, so I proposed that this center help them,” he said.
Permenter said the demand is present, however it may be underrated. He said the number of cases may be too low due to the fact that people travel to larger cities, such as San Antonio, to obtain services. Permenter expects the presence of services in the county to reduce the number of individuals relying on other cities.
According to the Texas Department of Health, there
have been 24 diagnosed cases in Comal County from 1980-1994. For this same period, there were 13 deaths due to AIDS.
Permenter said this number is slowly increasing due to a general denial and the belief “that AIDS is a gay disease.”
The center offers a wide range of services, including mental health counseling, medical referrals, a food pantry, and transportation to and from doctor appointments. The center does not currently offer testing for the virus.
The center will provide two case managers who will provide services throughout the area on a daily basis.
The services became available on April I. The grant cycle, which funds the services, will end March 31, 1996. Permenter said if there is enough community support and referrals, the center will apply for an additional grant to maintain services.
The center expanded its services to individuals with the virus in Public Health Region 8. This region includes Comal County, as well as Gonzales, Guadalupe, Kames, Atascosa, Frio, Medina, Bandera, Ken, Kendall, Gillespie and Wilson counties.
Residents lining up to protest appraisals
By DENISE DZIUK
The Comal County Appraisal District has been busy hearing protests from residents concerning the average 11.4% increase in city property values this year.
The increase in appraisals upset many residents. Some believed it was excessive, while others simply called it ludicrous.
Lynn Rodgers, Chief Appraiser for the CCAD, said the increased appraisals resulted from an increase in the market value of property due to supply and demand.
“Right now, in this city, demand is high and supply is low. That means an increase in value,” he said.
However, Rodgers said the increase in property appraisals docs not automatically lead to an increase in taxes. He said the impact of the higher appraisals on taxes cannot be determined until the necessary revisions, if any, are made in the taxing budget.
Citizens who want to protest their appraisals can do so by meeting with an appraiser to discuss it informally. Rodgers said that at the end of last week, 500 appointments had been made to discuss it informally. Two hundred have already been heard.
Rodgers said an estimated 34 have requested a formal heanng with the Appraisal Review' Board.
He said they are currently able to hear between 30 and 40 protests a day, which helps them from becoming backlogged
Rodgers said the citizens arc leaving the informal discussions with a better understanding of why the appraisal rates
‘We’re explaining the realty market and making very, very few adjustments. ... They aren’t really happy, but they’re able to understand.’
— Chief Appraiser Lynn Rodgers
have increased, but no real changes are being made in the actual values.
“We’re explaining the realty market and making very, very few adjustments. People arc leaving here with a better understanding of why there wits an increase. They aren’t really happy, but they’re able to understand,” he said.
Rodgers said that overall, the number of protests are lighter than w hat was anticipated. However, people still ha\e time to protest. The deadline for tiling protests is May 31, or 30 days atter the postmark on the notice.
Rodgers said this still leaves time for many more protests to come in
He said they will continue to schedule appointments for protests in ordei to minimize the amount of waiting time and answer citizens’ questions as quickly as possible
Golfers get reprieve on new fee ordinance
By SUSAN FLYNT ENGLAND
Regulars at the Landa Park Golf Course can golf with fees intact — for the next six months at least. The city council tabled an ordinance changing golf course fees and regulations for six months. “The fees are just too complicated,” a resident said.
Landa Park Golf Course regulars wrangled over various details of the proposed fee structure, from reservation fees and their exemptions to membership categories to reservation methods. “Let’s hold off and try to go with what we have now,” Mayor Pro-Tern Chris Bowers said.
Councilwoman Jan Kennady moved to table the fee change motion for six months. The motion to table passed four votes to three. Voting to table the motion were Councilwoman Mary Serold, Kennady, Bowers and Mayor Paul Fraser. Voting against tabling the fee change were Councilwoman Brenda Freeman, Councilman Ambrosio Benitez and Councilman Tim Walker.
In other action, the city council unanimously decided to let incoming council members Juan Luis Martinez and C. Ray Schoch participate in approving the proposed city budget.
“We’ve got two new people coming in who are going to have to live under that budget and for that reason I move to table,” Kennady said.
City council gave a unanimous nod to developer Bill Lowman to buy a small parcel of city land he needs to build a motel on Thompson Street. Some residents of Kuehler had protested the presence of a motel near their neighborhood.
Lowman showed his good faith to the area residents by applying to the Texas Department of Transportation for permission to have a motel entrance and exit to the 1-35 frontage road. He showed the written permission to city council members.
Two entrances and exits are now planned for the motel, one set on the frontage road and one set on Thompson, Lowman said. No entrance or exit to the motel will be located on Kuehler
Fraser issued a proclamation naming May 13, 1995, Food Dnve Day Ibis is when New Braunfels mail carriers will collect non-perishable food items along their routes. The food goes only to the New Braunfels food bank, S.Q.S. Last year mail carriers collected 15,000 pounds of food. Mail earners will be collecting county wide for the first time this year.Call 625-9144 for information about subscriptions to the Herald-Zeitung