New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 15, 1996, New Braunfels, Texas
Hh New Braunfels
All-district boys baseball team features local talent. See Page 6.
7627 E YAHDEL
20 pages in one section ■ Wednesday, May 15,1996
Serving Comal County and surrounding areas for more than 144 years ■ Home of SHELBY WATSONting
Vol. 144, No. 132
Birthday wish** from th* Harald-Zoitung!
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung extends birthday wishes to: Shelby Watson (one year), Andrea Martinez (seven years), Jacob Bustos, Jane Granado, Layla Morales, Georgia Brooks and Sylvia Segovia.
To have a birthday or anniversary listed here, call 625-9144.
Pollen Count Mold—960 Grass—8 Oak—trace Hackberry—0 Crepe Myrtle —0 Ash-12 Polen measured In parti per cubic meter of air. neadhge Mean yesterday. Nonnation provided by Dr. Frank Hampel.)
River Information Comal River —184 cubic feet per second, down 3 from yesterday.
Edwards Aquifer Parther Canyon Wa! —623.14 feet above sea level, down OB from yesterday.
Canyon Dam dtocharge —128 cfs Canyon Lake Inflow—63 cfs Canyon Lake level—906.24 feet above sea leveL (Below conservation pool.)
Youth theater presentation
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 (.anda Plaza.
Senior Center to host May dance
The Senior Center will have its May dance Friday, May 17, beginning at 7:30 p.m. and ending at 10:30 p.m. Dress is casual, picnic style with box refreshments by Al and Ann Payne. The 'easy* dance music will be provided by the 'Strictly Dancing' group featuring John and Betty Prejean with Russ Willrup.
Everyone is welcome.
Tickets available at the Senior Center, 655 Landa for $5, but at the door that night are $6
Local artist has show
Canyon Lake artist Edward Reichert will have an exhibit at the Live Oak Art Center, 1014 Milam St. in Columbus. Opening is from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, May 16. The exhibit runs through July 6.
Band of tho Wast
The New Braunfels Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7110 and Ladies Auxiliary will present the United States Air Force Air Education and Training Command Band of the West in concert at the New Braunfels Civic Center May 22 at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free, but you need a ticket.
Tickets are avaialble at Huddleston and Co./Hoffman Agenices, The New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, Jim's Video, Startz Cafe and VFW Post Home. Call 625-6143 for information.
Ron Zipp was misidentified in the Top cop" photo caption on Page 1 of yesterday's Herald-Zeitung. Zipp is the chairman of the Lawman of ; the Year Committee for the ; New Braunfels Breakfast Lions Club.
This newspaper is printed on recycled newsprint
State seeks cause of fish kill in river
By DAVID DEKUNDER
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials are investigating why a number of trout were found dead in the Guadalupe River below Canyon Dam over the weekend.
The first reports of the dead trout were on Saturday from Whitewater Sports Campground on Highway 306 to Bean’s Camp, TPW Kills and Spills team biologist Cindy Contreras said.
“It is really hard to enumerate them because they were stretched all over die river,” Contreras said.
Contreras said TPW is looking into many theories such as high water temperature, pollution, disease, parasites, and concentrations of hydrogen sulfide as possible causes.
The dead fish were sent to the Texas AAM Extension Service in College Station, while water samples were sent to the Guadalupe-Bianco River Authority lab in Seguin.
“The AAM laboratory does disease and bacteria work,” Contreras said. “If it is a disease they can tell us what killed it and look at the tissues for any damage. GBRA will run the water samples to see if there is any ammonia in the water, which is toxic to fish.”
No other species of fish have been affected.
Contreras said TPW could receive some answers within the next few days.
Schools report hepatitis cases
By DENISE DZIUK
Herald-Zeitung photo by MICH AE. DAGNALL
Five cars were Involved in a wreck at about 10:30 aum. yesterday on Interstate 35, northbound, near the Wal-Mart Distribution Center. Police reports state the accident occurred when a a black Toyota pickup truck, pictured above, driven by Lewis Tejada of San Antonio, hit the back of another pickup truck, causing a chain reaction accident.
Three cases of hepatitis-A have been confirmed in die Comal Independent School District. However, the district and the Comal County Public Health Department assure parents there is nothing to be alarmed about.
Comal County Nurse Shel McWilliams said hepatitis-A is a viral infection that affects die liver. She said it spreads when an infected person contaminates an article or food product. When others use the article and place it, or their hands, in their mouth they can become infected. Once exposed, it can take 15 to 50 days for symptoms to appear, site said
“Generally, it’s not a real big concern,” said McWilliams. “The main thing is people need to know, as always, to practice good hygiene.”
C1SD Public Information Officer Don Clark said there have been two confirmed cases at Frazier Elementary and one at Goodwin Primary. He said the schools have issued letters notifying classmates’ parents. However, he said, the school nurses have spoken with the health department and have been told there’s no need for alarm.
“That’s why we have school nurses, to watch for these problems. It was an isolated problem. They talked
to die health department and received guidance in how to handle it,” said Clark. “The health department says it’s no big deal.”
McWilliams said the students became sick between April 26 and May 3. She said die cases are still under investigation to determine die source of die virus. She said die onset dates were in such close proximity tthat it is believed all three contracted it from the same source.
She said they are looking for a common link between the three, but she believes it did not come from within the schools.
McWilliams said a vaccine is available, but is usually only given to individuals living in die same home, due to cost and a minimal supply. She said prevention is die best solution, and “prevention comes down to good hygiene.” She said parents need to reinforce the importiuice of washing hands with soap and water.
However, parents should be aware of the symptoms. Hepatitis-A is usually characterized by an abrupt onset of fever, a stomach ache, vomiting and diarrhea.
“Unfortunately, there’s also a stomach virus going around right now that’s very similar,” she said.
lf a parent suspects a child may have hepatitis-A, keep the child home from school and see a doctor. A blood test can be performed to confirm whether or not it is hepatitis-A.
NBU requests variance from water district’s drought plan
By DENISE DZIUK
New Braunfels residents have paid millions of dollars to develop a source of water other than the Edward's Aquifer, so the city should get a break when it comes to further cutbacks in pumping from the aquifer. That was the message the general manager for New Braunfels Utilities brought to the board of directors of the Edwards Underground Water District yesterday.
NBU General Manager Paula DiFonzo requested a variance from the district’s Demand Management Plan.
The district declared Stage II of the DMP on Feb. 26, when the spring flow at Comal Springs dropped to 225 cubic feet per second. This stage requires 15 percent mandatory reduction in pumping by primary users and weekly reporting of
usage. NBU did not meet the target baseline for pumping.
DiFonzo told the board New Braunfels residents believe in conservation. However, she said the city should get some credit because ifs surface water plant has already dramatically reduced the city's reliance on aquifer water.
DiFonzo told the board she recognizes that some of the money used to pay for the surface water treatment plant comes from the district. However, she said, the bulk of the financial responsibility is on the NBU customers who are paying off $10 million in debt. She said that is New Braunfels’ “investment” in the aquifer.
DiFonzo also pointed out that since going on line with surface water in 1990, NBU has had an 80 percent reduction in Edwards pumping. She said NBU customers have saved about 2.5 billion gallons of aquifer water thanks to surface water.
She also pointed out that in addition to using surface water, the city has a year-round water conservation ordinance and a water rate structure that penalizes heavy users.
“lf we had that kind of commitment across the region, we wouldn’t have the problems we have today,” said DiFonzo.
The variance request asks that NBU’s baseline use volume be based on 1990 pumpage, which is the last year NBU used solely aquifer water. DiFonzo said using these numbers would not penalize New Braunfels for finding an alternate source.
“We are asking the Edwards board to recognize New Braunfels for our efforts,” said DiFonzo. “We believe we are not in violation of the DMP.” Some EUWD board members commended New Braunfels residents for their efforts while others questioned the request.
“You are in compliance,” said Bexar County representative Guenter Krellwitz “I agree with you. Some changes need to come New Braunfels’ way.”
“I do believe you have to cut back on what you’re using,” said Bexar County representative Jo Ann De Hoyos, “and not what you were using.”
Attending the meeting to show support for NBU’s variance request were the mayor, the county judge and NBU board members A special meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on May 23 to discuss DMP compliance and various variance requests.
“We got to make our point,” said DiFonzo following the meeting. “I think we got some recognition today. I hope our presentation helped show them that they need to find a baseline that works across the board.”
Science Camp is more than a day of fun in the sun, ifs an education
Area code change should have little impact in Comal
By DAVID DEKUNDER
By ABE LEVY
If kids' reactions are any indication, the second annual science camp at Guadalupe River State Park last week was a big success.
“The kids are having fun and enjoying themselves,’’ said Henry F. Wagner, president of Friends of Guadalupe River State Park.
The science camp gave 250 Comal County 5th and 6th graders and home-schoolers the opportunity to learn about the environment of the Guadalupe River and the living skills Native Americans used thousands of years ago.
The camp ran from Monday to Friday, with 50 elementary school age children attending each day.
“We feel that if we educate the children about what’s going on on the (Guadalupe) river and their environment, then they can educate their parents,” Guadalupe River State Park ranger Deirdre Hisler said. “We then will have created stewards who will talk to the tourists on how to protect the riv-cr.
The program is divided into two workshops: the outdoor aquatics program and primitive living skills. Each child gets a chance to learn from both programs during the one day camp.
Herald-Zeitung photo by DAVID I
Bulverde Elementary School students Brent Dawson, Kevin San Miguel,
Funkhouse, Thomas Sturgis, Brian Cottier, Kyle Keller and Jessie Quien study river life during the Science Camp at Guadalupe River State Park.
Aids Pineda teaches the aquatics program. She was supervising kids who were collecting wildlife samples from the river and identifying them.
“The aquatics programs is basic river activity in which children learn the habitat along the river and how the wildlife survives on it,” Pineda said. “ They use seining nets to catch fish, and they have caught a lot of minnows. We let them know science is fun by doing it hands on and letting them get into it.”
Neal Tilley had a big blue mat spread out under a huge tree. Spread out over the mat where tools that Native Americans used.
“I have the kids experiencing and understanding the primitive living skills of the Native Americans and relating them to that
early period of time,” Stiltey said. “By letting them see all of these things, the kids better understand who they (Native Americans) were.”
The 5th and 6th graders get a hands on demonstration on throwing the adati, a prehistoric hunting tool which was used for 6,000 years by Native Americans before the bow and arrow came into use.
“The atlatl gave the Native Americans 200 times more power on impact than a hand-held spear,” Stilley said.
The science camp was underwritten with help from the Water Oriented Recreation District (WORD), TAD Moravitz, Inc., Guadalupe-Bianco River Authority and the Guadalupe Valley Telephone Cooperative, Inc.
New Braunfels will likely retain the existing 210 area code even after plans are implemented to divide the region with a new area code, officials from the Public Utility Commission said Tuesday.
The three-member PUC commission is considering two plans from Southwestern Bell Telephone, which is the state’s number plan administrator, that call for a redesign of the 210 area code and creation of a new one for the remaining portion.
Neither plan changes New Braunfels' area code from 210, but changes are possible in upcoming meetings.
In 1992 the New Braunfels’ area code was changed to 210 from 512.
PUC officials said the eventual split will not affect metro lines, but 10-digit numbers may have to be used.
Southwestern Bell officials said die plans are in the beginning stages and merely offer a platform to start negotiations from any interested parties.
“It’s too premature to say exactly when the line is going to be drawn,” said Brett Gray, a spokesman from the San Antonio Southwestern Bell office. “As a basis for discussion, we have given the PUC these (two) potential scenarios.”
Gray said that Southwestern Bell hopes to minimize die negative effects of changing area codes on businesses.
“When you put out a new area code, it does affect some new business and we want to make sure the new area code is least disruptive to our customers.”
They said an area code is exhausted when the number of three-digit prefixes reaches 600 to 650. The 2 IO area code reached 606 prefixes in January. One prefix equals 10,000 phone numbers.
PUC commissioners are expected to decide on a plan by December and implement the split by 1998.Action follows Bob Krueger's documentation of atrocities in Burundi. See Page 4.