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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 9, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas New Braunfels FRIDAY May 9, 2003 16 pages in 2 sections mmmmmm obi    IO    pages    in    Z    SCHHHerald-Zeitung r Vol. 152, No. 151 Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 50 cents Superintendent’s job on the line at review today By Seam Bowlin Staff Writer Comal Independent School DiHtriet Superintendent Jim Grunert’n job could hinge on the findingn prenentod tonight during a standard midyear evaluation. The meeting hegina at 6 p.m. in the dint net conference room at 1419 N. Business I-35. Truateea plan to hold a cloaed-Heasion diacuaaion to review (Irunert’n performance and consult with attorneys about legal questions raised by plans tx) loan school dis* trid funds tx> athletic boonter clubs to help pay for art ificial turf at two football fields. Comal ISI) Public Infer* motion Officer Kan Hutchinson said school board President Dan K. Krueger asked that a “special meeting a standard midyear evaluation he held to evaluate the superintendent.” Hutchison confirmed trustees would he considering the continued employ* GRUNERT ment of Grunert. “They’ll consult with legal c o u n s e I regarding legal issues related to employment and evaluation of the superintendent in closed session,” Hutchison said. Afterward, trustees will go into open session. Hutchison said Grunert’s performance is,reviewed at least semiannually. “The last time they reviewed it was in December. They reviewed him at least at the same time last year," Hutchison said. In January, Grunert’s contract was extended through June 2006. He is paid $117,(HK) |>er year. Regarding Grunert’s continued employment, John Bertlesen said trustees were “reviewing all options.” Officials tout turf as economical, safe Loans legal? VV By Sean Bowlin Staff Writer A sales representative and an athletic trainer familiar with the artificial turf called “Playfield” said Thursday that it is Ixrth economical and safe. Comal Independent School District trustees . ueiI'Vwrm h a v e TIP ll !* approved the installation of the turf at the footha 11 fields at Canyon and Smithson Valley high schools. David Visintine, a sales representative for'lbn-X turf out of San Antonio, the company that is installing the artificial turf, said fans and school officials will Im* please! with the product “It’s of very high quality,” he said. 'Phi* surface of the turf is See TURF/3A mm w Texas Education Agency officials said Thursday there doesn’t appear to be a legal statute prohibiting school districts from lending taxpayers money to booster clubs to buy artificial turf But one of the state education agency's attorneys did find a provision under Article 3, Section 52 of the Texas Constitution that raises questions about the practice The article deals with Tend mg credit" on the behalf ot public institutions “lf you read it, it would give you the impression mat it [constitution] <*dn t allow it,' a TEA spokeswoman said after consulting wttf i the agency s atter ney s, The spokeswoman said tfiat recent Texas Attorney General opinions have found ti vat rn situations where money has beer lent from pubfccty elected bodies. lending of credit would be allowable under a two-question test — Is the expenditure serv Ing a necessary school district purpose? And are there controls rn place to ensure that purpose hi carried out? Historic ‘new hat’ in store for NB main street director By Dylan Jimenez Staff Writer New Bn rn nfela Main Street Manager Jan Soechting could become the city's first h intone preservation officer. The city's H intone Prenervation Gornminnion unanimously voted to recommend the denigration tx) city coun-cil. Soechting already con* tributOH to the historic denudation procenn sitting on the (xmiimnnion an a city staff member. An historic prener vation officer nile phi fin to step up her involvement in a role she in pannionate about. “I’m excited the commission foeln confident iii me,” Soechting said. Historic Preservation Cornin i h H i o n members also rejxirt ed their progress on a verification survey of designated city prop-ertien. For tim bint two months the commission has been chocking up on landmarks to ensure they are in gins! condition and have up-to-date signage.See HIST0RIC/7A SOECHTINGInside • Abby ..................................5A Classifieds..........................5-8B Comics................................3B Crossword   3B Forum ............................. 6A Movies  .......  5A Obituaries   3A Sports...........................1-2,SB Today......................  2A TV Grid........................  4B K®y Code 70 Lack of water district concerns county 0000 f By Ron Maloney Staff Writer In Saturday’s election, Hays County voters by a 2-1 margin approved creation of a groundwater conservation district in that county. Comal County officials warned again Thursday that this county, being the only one in the region without such a district, has given up control over the Trinity Aquifer and could see its water plundered by outsiders. It could also sis* the State of Texas step in to manage the county’s groundwater. Precinct 2 Commissioner Jay Minikin discussed Thursday in Commissioners’ Court the Hays County vote and its implications. MILLIKIN He ran t h r o u g h the history of the Hill Count r y Priority Groundwater Man a g e m e ii t Area entab-lished by the state in 1990 and legislation that placed the onus for protecting groundwater on local rose dents and governments. On an overhead projector, Millikm displayed a map of the counties in the PGMA including the two-thirds of Comal County that lies over the Trinity. He colored them in, one at a time. “All around us, we have groundwater conservation districts,” Millikm said. “In Comal County, voters have said twice t he most recent time iii 2001 that they don’t want one.” In November 2901 Comal County voters by a 2 I margin voted against confirmation of the Southeast Trinity (Irou lid water Conservation District. Under the Texas Water (’isle, the district would have regulate! groundwater in the 'IVinity much the same as riv er authorities regulate surface water The HTG CD would have had authority to levy 1<h*h and regulate pumpage, had it been confirmed as a permanent district.See WAT EM/3 A Showtime! Museum of Art, Music opens year late Upcoming exhibits at The New Braunfels Museum of Art and Music: ■ Grand opening, 7 p m Saturday — “Dance Halls and Last Calls,” based on the book by Geronimo Trevino III, who wUi play at the opening, and “Walt/ Acrose Texas,"a collection of more than 130 paintings by Gail Wended Also Included are black-and-white dance hall photos taken by Bruce Jordan ■ May 16 and 17 —The Texas Accordion Association “Squeeze Off with Gulf Coast Playboys, Los Plnkys. Mingo Saldivar, Nick Ballanni. Tony LoveHo, Jim Rommel. Greg Klugewicz, Dick Albreski, Sharon Seaton, The Jubilee Band. Rafael Meres Sr., Robert Atwood and Santiago Jimenez y Polka, along with the Los Tres Tenors ■ July — An exhibit of Texas photographers that will document 30 years of Texas music. ■ Late August — “Heart and Hands" exhibition provided by the Smlthsoman Institution ■ October — Exhibit by contemporary artists Terry Allan and Jesse Lott. A performance series by some of the state's blues musicians will be present ed si conjunction with the exhibit. ■ December — Texas Craft Masters." day art featuring Pat Sowell and James Watkins included wttl be children's workshops with local artists Ron Boling, Dee Buck, Patty Burns ami Danville Chadbourn©, In the spotlight again By Ron Maloney Staff Writer GRUENE When the New Hraunfeln Muneum of Art and Music opens its doors to the public Saturday, it will be almost exactly a year after officials expected to reopen. After selling its former Main Plaza location to Comal County, the museum was to build a sparkling new facility in Gruetli* which it has. There was to he a smash grand opening at the end of May 2(X)2 with concerts and a Smithsonian institution exhibit on folk music icon Woody Guthrie. It just didn’t work out that way. What had started as a verbal agreement with the city turned into a permitting nightman' and then a lawsuit since tossed out of district court over parking. A deal with Comal Coun ty let the museum out of its prohibitively expensive downtown digs and left it with enough operating capital to pay off debt and build the new facility. That almost went for naught in a legal and permitting battle. A verbal understanding with city staff members that a building permit in the 1200 block of Gruonc Road would he issued for a facility that included parking for See MUSEUM/7A DAVID INGRAM/Horald-Zoitung Artist Gail Wendorf adjusts one of the more than 130 paintings she has on display on the second floor of the New Braunfels Museum of Art and Music. Her “Waltz Across Texas” collection is joined by the “Dance Halls and Last Calls" exhibit on the ground floor. Road to opening was pretty humpy By Ron Maloney Staff Writer DAVID INGRAM^! loraW Zoitung They’re all smiles now, but it’s been a long, steep road for Craig Hillis, Gail Wendorf and New Braunfels Museum of Art and Music Executive Director Charlie Gallagher (from left). When the museum opens it will be almost a year late and $200,000 over budget. GRUENE    At ti rn oh thin punt year, it looked doubtful t,h«* Now Braunfels Mu ho urn of Art and Munic would ever got into itn now building. The inuHoum was founded uh the Hummel Muneum, which featured the artwork of Sinter Maria Innix-entia Hummel, a nun in World War ll Germany. Her paintingH of happy children were later interpreted in platen and figurine** famous around the world. See BUMPY/7A ;