New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 9, 1996, New Braunfels, Texas
New Braunfels sprinter qualifies for state meet. See Sports, Page 5.
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10 pages in one section ■ Thursday, May 9,1996
Serving Comal County and surrounding areas for more than 144 years ■ Home of LINDSAY BOLLENFIELD
Vol. 144, No. 128
Birthday wlshM from the Harald-Zaltung!
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung extends birthday wishes to: Jane Lakey, Lindsey Bollen-field, Debbie Vela (IS years), Scott Schwind and Eric Schwind.
To have a birthday or anniversary listed here, call 625-9144.
Pollen Count Mold—610 Grass—0 Oak—23 Pecan—0 Craps Myrtle — IO Ash —11 (Polan measured In pare per cubic motor of air. Roadngs taken yesterday. Information provided by Dr. Frank Hampel.)
River Information Comal River—191 cubic feet per second, up 7 from yesterday.
Edwards Aquifer Panther Carryon Wei —623.26 feet above sea level, up .OI from yesterday.
Restaurants help Cancer Society
The Plaza Diner is showing its support for the American Cancer Society by matching the cost of each dessert sold at the diner during the week of May 6 to May 12 with a donation of the same value to the ACS Starlight Gala.
The fourth annual Gala is set for Saturday, June 15 at the Civic Center and is the only fund-raiser of the year for the local unit of the ACS. For more information, call 629-6153.
The Comal County Women's Center needs volunteers on Saturday, May 11, to assist children in decorating cakes for Mother's Day. lf you are able to share some of your time so that a child can honor his or her mom with a special gift, call 620-7520.
Diagnosing and treating arthritis
May has been designated National Arthritis Month, and the week of May 13 will be Nursing Home Week. In observance of both, Colonial Manor Care Center is hosting a public presentation on •Arthritis: Diagnosis and Treatment.* The event will be held at 7 p.m., Wednesday. May 15 at the New Braunfels Civic Center. Orthopedic surgeon Dr. John Horan will speak.
American QI Forum to mast
The American GI Forum Chapter 1014, holds its monthly meeting Thursday, May 9 at 7 p.m. at the American Legion Hall on Coll Street.
American Legion to
Guadalupe Valley American Legion Post #35 and Auxiliary will meet Tuesday, May 14 at 7:30 p.m. at the post home, 4210 FM 482. Nominations for 1996-97 officers will be heard. For information, call 629-1252.
Youth thsotor prassntatfou
. Circle Arts Theatre will present its touring youth company, The Inner Circle, in its annual end-of-the-school-year show, Saturday, May 18 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 19 at 3 p.m. The show is a collection of dramatized folk tales, comedy and music. Tickets are available at China-n-Things in Landa Plaza.
Hemkt-Zeltung photo by MICHAEL DARNALL Jim Mayfield displays his 570-fooMong, hand-carved wooden chain
It Keeps Growing
Jim Mayfield hopes his carving project lands him in the record books
By DAVID DEKUNDER
Jim Mayfield hopes he is carving a piece of history for himself Five years ago, Mayfield decided to start carving a wooden chain out of three-foot-long dowel rods by using his trusty pocket knife. Five years later, he is still at it, and his chain is now 570-feet long.
Each link in the chain also has a hand-carved wooden ball in it, which rolls back and forth.
He plans to enter the potential record breaking chain in die Guinness Book of Records.
M1 did this to keep my hands busy,” said Mayfield from his New Braunfels home with his wife Mary. ”1 need to keep going. I always need to do something with my hands.”
Mayfield's hands and diligence have certainly kept the chain expanding for the past few years. And Mayfield said he intends not to quit, but just keep on going.
"My purpose for doing this was to see if I could do it,'’ Mayfield said. “So, I started making a cage with a little ball in it and kept adding on and made a chain out of it.”
Mayfield said it takes him between one to two hours to carve out one section of the chain from the three-foot dowel rod.
The world’s longest chain is not the only thing that he has been carving, Mayfield said.
”1 whittled a walnut chain which had 21 balls in it,” Mayfield said. ”1 carved it on a one-inch-thick board, which was six inches wide.”
He said he has whittled statues and small chains ever since he began woodcarving when he was in his 20s.
Mayfield said his chain will be something different from other chains that have been carved in the past.
”1 have seen a chain that was 1,000 feet long,” Mayfield said. “But never one with balls in it It is hard to make a chain with balls in it.”
City attorney asks for better info on chamber tax money
By ABE LEVY
The New Braunfels city attorney recommended Wednesday that die city council require more specific budget reports in future contracts with tourism agencies.
In a memo sent to all council members, city attorney Jacqueline Cullom called for more articulate wording in contracts paid for by the hotel occupancy tax, of which about 75 percent goes to the New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce.
Cullom said she doesn’t think the chamber is mismanaging the money, but said more specific financial reporting is needed for upcoming contract negotiations.
“The budget doesn't reflect how (the chamber is) spending the money,” Cullom said. “There has been some friction in the past. We could minimize those suspicions and concerns by being more clear. Anybody on the street should be able to look at the chamber’s budget.”
Chamber President Michael Meek said the memo was politically motivated.
“The way this has all come up is for political purposes. It is very suspect. The comments (in the memo) are very unusual,” Meek said.
Meek said he makes about $30,000 from the hotel tax contract but refused to release the breakdown of salaries for the other 12 full-time employees of
‘Anybody on the street should be able to look at the chamber's budget.’
— City Attorney Jacqueline Cullom
Releasing the information at this time might hurt the chamber’s efforts during a possible bidding process to secure a new contract with the city, Meek said.
The chamber, whose contract expires June 30, 1997, turns over a quarterly financial report to the city. It includes general budget information, but the current contract does not require the chamber to report a breakdown of specific expenses.
The chamber, which received about $750,000 in 1995 from the city’s hotel tax to promote tourism, has had this contract with the city since 1978.
Cullom’s memo was issued before Monday’s council meeting when members will consider the wording of a search for bids from prospective tourism agencies. The memo warns that the council needs to write hotel tax contracts that require agencies to report such items as amendments to their budgets and office equipment. Outgoing Mayor Paul Fraser said the memo voices his concerns over the use of public money.
“I’m not satisfied with the present
The way this has all coma up Is for political purposes.
It is vary suspect.’
— Chamber President
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contracts," Fraser said. “I think it needs to be more specific. I don’t dunk that’s unreasonable to ask.”
Meek said his agency has reported its budget to the satisfaction of the council and the Texas Hotel/Motel Association, an Austin-based trade organization.
“We’re more than in compliance,” Meek said. “We have nothing to hide.” Meek estimated that 34 percent of money from the hotel tax goes toward salaries of chamber employees, while for every dollar spent, $250 is returned into the New Braunfels economy.
The council, during the last regular meeting, did not renew its contract with the chamber and is considering contracting with more than one agency to promote tourism.
If the council approves and issues a request for proposal, die chamber and Greater Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Comal County have said they will respond.
“This is not only opening up the door for ourselves, but giving other companies a chance,” said. Ron Gon-salez, chairman of die Hispanic chamber.
Homeowners file in to protest appraisals
Comal County appraisers are accepting appeals from property owners who have complaints concerning this year's appraisals.
About 40 informal hearings have been conducted daily since Monday, with most people asking for explanations for the increased appraisals, Chief Appraiser Lynn Rodgers said.
The appraisals were released in late April and showed an increase in the city’s taxable value from $996.2 million last year to $1.12 billion this year.
Appeals will be accepted until May 31 and formal hearings can be made with the five-member board of directors for the Comal Appraisal District.. To date about 40 formal appeals have been scheduled for June.
Much of the overall increase in property values is from new construction which for Comal County totaled $145 million. But the values of existing buildings also continued to increase.
“We’re in an appreciating market. It was totally expected. You have to expect the real estate values are going up,” Rodgers said.
Rodgers also said the increase in new construction means
New construction values in New Braunfels
$18.27 $14.13 mi.
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996
lower property tax since a greater number of taxpayers have come in to share the burden.
Property owners who want to try to have their appraisals lowered can call the Comal Appraisal District at 625-8597 for information, or stop by the appraisal district office at 178 E. Mill Street, to pick up a protest form.
Sisters reunited in New Braunfels after 40 years apart
By DENISE DZIUK
This newspaper is printed on recycled newsprint
They searched for the family they knew was out there somewhere, and despite being in different countries an ocean apart, they found each other. Three sisters were reunited in New Braunfels recently after being separated for over 40 years.
Marga Claycomb, 45 of New Braunfels, Erika Anwander, 47 from Germany, and Sheila Oliver, 43 of Missouri, were bom in Munich, Germany along with two brothers. Their mother was single, and had a very hard time. The mother kept Anwander. The rest of the children were put into foster homes or given up for adoption. The same family adopted both six-day-old Oliver and two-year-old Claycomo Clay-comb said she knew she had more family because she had a picture of Anwander and herself at a young age.
“That was the only thing I had to know what Erika looked like,” she said.
Anwander’s daughter, Sabene Petersen said her mother and grandmother wanted to look for the children. However, she said the government prohibits the mother or family
We Just foil we needed this. I needed to know who I was. We’ve all enlarged our families. We’re a family now and not just individuals.’
— Marga Claycomb
from searching for a child given up for adoption.
“The mother is not allowed to search for her children. The same was true for (Anwander),” she said. “We knew it, but had no chance to look for them.”
Claycomb said Oliver wrote a letter to their mother in 1972. However, the family was not certain it was really one of the children, so did not pursue it. Claycomb said she could not give up that easily, so in September she wrote another letter, tins time to Anwander. It came back due to an incorrect address. She tried another address, and this time had more success.
“I got the letter in late October, and called two days later,” said Anwan
“I didn’t know what to say. I was in shock,” said Claycomb. “I was so happy.”
Anwander’s husband sent her and her daughter to the United States for two weeks to meet her sisters. Oliver was able to come to town for a lew days to meet with the third sister also. Both Anwander and Claycomb said it was “scary” yet “exciting” meeting face to face for the first time in 40 years.
“(Anwander) wanted for a long time to know her sister. The day before, she was very nervous. We didn’t know what it would be like," said Petersen.
As the sisters’ two week reunion draws to a close, they say it has been a great reunion. They have taken a lot of pictures, and intend to give their mother a framed picture of the three of them together. Claycomb said they will continue with the letters and calls, and will even try to get together again.
“I’ve got to work very hard and save a lot of money and then go to Germany in September to see my mom for the first time,” she said.
Claycomb said her adoptive family has gotten smaller due to death, and she always had a longing to find out more
bater* they found tach other.
That (an old photo) was tho only thing I had to know what Erika looked like.’
— Marga Claycomb
about her biological family. She said she thinks finding them after all these years has been good for everyone.
“We just felt we needed this. I needed to know who I was,” said Claycomb. “We’ve all enlarged our families. We’re a family now and not just individuals.”
Seeing the reunion of his mother and aunts has inspired 25-year-old Timothy Claycomb to start his own search.
“After all this, I think TU go look for my dad," he said.For subscription or advertising information, call the Herald-Zeitung at 625-9144