New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 25, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas
■ New Braunfels Utilities customers with addresses ending in 6,7,8 or 9 can water today after 7 p.m. Well users with addresses ending in 6 or 7 can water today after 8 p.m.
Vol. 149 No. 134 16 pages in 2 sections May 25, 2000
Serving Comal County since 1852
Meet the Class of
■ Check out today’s insert for a complete list of New Braunfels High School, Canyon High School and Smithson Valley High School’s graduates. Also find out what awards and scholarships the graduates received.
Elementary school teacher inspired SVHS valedictorian
Key Code 76
Local craftsman heads to state fair
By Christina Minor
Paul Sjulson likes to use his hands.
Every morning, he emerges from his house and heads for the workshop just a few feet from his back door.
With the flick of a switch, he begins his day’s work of cutting, sanding and shaping wood into crafts that fill his room and cover the world.
This weekend, the 80-year-old New Braunfels resident will take his finely crafted wares on the road, setting up shop Friday through Monday at the Texas State Arts and Crafts Fair in Kerrville on the campus of Schreiner College.
“Sometimes I just sit down and start
crafting,’’ Sjulson says. “Other days, I experiment. I learn by doing. I always say show me the tree. If it’s a nice tree for crafting then I cut it down.” Sjulson has crafted since 1969, first starting with stone and later moving to wood.
“I used to hatch and raise turkeys,”
he says. “One day I saw someone stone crafting. I admired it and wanted to do something similar, so I decided to do it.”
Inheriting his artistic ability from his mother, the owner of Paul’s Nature Crafts has created planters, birdbaths, tables, mailboxes and lampposts. He currently makes lazy Susans and coasters. He stays up late at night thinking of new designs for them.
Most of his creations have a mosaic design in which he mixes several types of native and exotic woods, including walnut, chinaberry and mesquite.
Sjulson said tile best materials is
Like many artists, Paul Sjulson has had to create many of the tools he uses for his special projects. A special pressure device pulls out of the ceiling of his workshop to hold pieces in place for sanding. Far right, a few of the lazy Susans and coasters he is taking to the Texas State Arts and Crafts Fair Festival in Kerrville this weekend.
K. JESSIE SLATEN/
By Ron Maloney Staff Writer
Alicia Garcia was told when she was eight years old that she would be valedictorian of her high school class — if she wanted it badly enough.
“My third grade teacher at St. Monica’s in Converse, Mr. Richard Chambers, told me I could be valedictorian,” Garcia said. “I don’t think I really believed him, although I think a little piece of me wanted to.”
So, she tried.
“I’ve been working toward it ever since,” said Garcia, valedictorian of her graduating class at Smithson Valley High School.
She’s also kept in touch with Chambers.
The day she found out,
Garcia called Chambers, now retired, to let him know' she’d realized the goal he’d set for his third grader.
But not immediately.
“I cried for an hour and a half when I opened the letter. I was excited and surprised,” she said, noting that, while she hoped she’d make the top honor, she’d expected saluta- E.A. Hoppe torian, E.A. Hoppe IV Valley High of Spring Branch, to was named be named valedictorian.
“E.A. and I were really close, but I think we expected it to go the other way,” Garcia said.
She didn’t know what her grade point average had been at the end.
“I’d been ranked No. I in the class for two years,” Hoppe said. “It went out to three decimal points. Alicia beat me in the end by one-one-thou-sandth of a point.”
Like Garcia, Hoppe said hard work and determination got him
where he is now.
“It’s a great accomplishment for anybody who can be at the top of this class,” said Hoppe, whose parents are Gene Hoppe III and Kathy Rust Johnson.
“I’ve been blessed with great gifts, but I’ve never felt like I was especially smart or anything. Hard work and determination can compensate for a lot of things.” Another big compensator is a supportive family, Hoppe said.
“I thank my family. I love them a lot. They’ve always helped guide me and supported me in whatever I’ve decided to do. I’ve always looked to my parents for an exam-
K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-ZeitungIV, left, was named Smithson School salutatorian. Alicia Garcia valedictorian.
pie. Hard work and determination are learned traits.”
Hoppe said he believed doing the best at anything one tries is important if one ultimately is to succeed in life.
“I’ve always tried to open doors for myself. I’ve always tried to prepare myself for the future — to give myself opportunities.”
Garcia said,“High school is important to create a foundation so you don’t get to college, get bom-See SVHS/8A
Walnut Avenue opening delayed
By Heather Todd Staff Writer
Officials with the Texas Department of Transportation said construction work on a portion of a $93 million project to widen Interstate 35 through New Braunfels is behind schedule and could delay the opening of Walnut Avenue until at least July.
Dean Word Company is currently working on a portion of the 1-35 construction project from Solms Road to a half-mile north of Walnut Avenue and is schedule to complete the project by May 2002.
Michelle Kopp, assistant area engineer for the TxDOT office in New Braunfels, said the work on the project is lagging according to a
“It’s going to get worse
before it gets better.’’
Dean Word, owner of Dean Word Company
schedule provided by Dean Word.
According to the contract with TxDOT, Dean Word has 576 working days to complete the project.
As of the end of April, TxDOT had charged 307 working days and charged about 10 days so far in May.
Ani Kopp said, according to the current rate of progress and the contractor’s most recent schedule, she believed Dean Word
would exceed the 576 working days to complete the job.
“We don’t feel they have the resources assigned to the job to complete it,” she said.
But, Dean and Forrest Word, owners of Dean Word Company, said they disagreed with TxDOT’s assessment.
They said continuous utility problems along the construction zone have caused significant delays — delays they have no control over.
In the current phase of the project, a utility subcontractor is working to place storm sewer drainage along the 1-35 frontage roads near the intersection of Walnut and 1-35.See WALNUT/8A
Traffic backlog inevitable with
K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung
t Walnut Aven
35 and Ruekle Road (below), both typical places for delays in town.
holiday weekend ^arS wait their tum 00 the lnterstate 35 access road at Walnut Avenue and at I-
By Erin Magruder
Rain or shine, thousands of tourists will make their way to the New Braunfels area for Memorial Day weekend, creating the annual backlog of traffic that can become a headache for local residents.
Persistent drought and public focus on dwindling flows down the Guadalupe River have done little to curb the enthusiasm for the tourist season kick-off, said New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce Inc. President Michael Meek.
“It still looks real good for this weekend,” Meek said. “People are still going to be here. It’s just going to be big regardless.”
To make the weekend as painless as possible, residents and tourists should “play nice” by following a few, simple traffic rules that will make the congested roadways safe and sane for all holiday travelers, said New Braunfels Police Department Lt. John Wommack.
“This weekend is a time when people start celebrating,” Wommack said. “You should be aware of others because you don’t know if they are being careful and responsible drivers.”See HOLIDAY/8ADPSTravel Checklist
■ Residents can call 1-800-525-5555 in case of roadside emergencies.
■ Move your vehicle as far off the roadway as possible in case of a break down. Make your vehicle visible.
■ Make sure your vehicle is roadworthy. Check fluids, tire pressure, windshield wipers, spare tire and emergency equipment. A flashlight is a must.
■ Monitor weather conditions and allow for construction and heavy travel periods. The Texas Department of Transportation’s road conditions hotline is 1-800-452-9292.
■ Don’t travel when you’re tired.
■ Never, ever drink and drive.
■ Don’t play chicken with your fuel ievel.
■ Don’t drive into flooded areas and low water crossings.