New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 29, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas
TUESDAYNew Braunfels m™ 29,2001
*mmmm 12 pages in 2 sectionsHerald-Zeitung
I :; - J li - 1 -..................IVol. 150, No. 170 Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 50 centsMeeting—
■ WHEN: 6:30 p.m. today
■ WHO: New Braunfels City Council
■ WHAT: Regular meeting
■ WHERE: Municipal Building Council Chambers
■ Because of the Memorial Day weekend, council meets tonight.Inside
Key Code 76
Smithson Valley High School graduates 340 seniors
By Martin MALACARA
A near-capacity crowd filled Strahan Coliseum on Sunday as Smithson Valley High School seniors became the second Comal County class of 2001 to graduate in San Marcos.
Smithson VaUey High School had 340 seniors walk across the stage at Strahan Coliseum, putting an end to 12 years of formative education.
“The culmination of 12 years of
education is the foundation of a free society,” interim superintendent Anthony Constanzo said as he presented the senior class to those who attended the graduation ceremony.
Constanzo, Comal Independent School District board members and high school administrators helped dole out 340 diplomas to seniors during the afternoon ceremony.
One graduate attempted to cross the stage without his shoes, but school officials quickly made him
place them back on his feet, otherwise “no shoes, no diploma.”
School officials tried to keep the event as orderly as possible but could do little to drown out the crowd’s exuberance.
Constanzo said he was fortunate to see this group of seniors excel individually and collectively during his brief tenure as superintendent.
“They are a source of pride for us all,” he said.
Constanzo told the senior class to See SMITHSON VALLEY/3A
Smithson Valley High School graduates exchange hugs, tears and congratulations after being presented as the first graduating class of the new millennium.
Some of the many tubers who flocked to New Braunfels for the start of the summer tourist season exit the Comal River.
Opening tourist weekend gets
By Amy Clarkson Staff Writer
On Monday afternoon, many campers and overnight visitors began packing up and hitting the highways for the long drive back to Dallas, Houston, Austin or San Antonio.
But for others, Monday’s break from work was just another opportunity to grab a tube and jump in the Comal or Guadalupe rivers.
On the Guadalupe River, camp grounds were emptying quickly as people took down their tents and got ready to head for home. But elsewhere in the city, people were just beginning to enjoy an extra day off. Families picnicked in Landa Park, swimming and
playing volleyball. And by Monday afternoon, cars lined the streets in front of Prince Solms Park with people getting tubes and coolers ready for a few hours on the Comal River. Some families were even making plans for a return trip to New Braunfels.
“We’re planning on coming back,” Joe Perdue said as he helped his sons get their tubes out of the water at the last public exit on the Comal. ‘We’ve had a really good time this year. The river was clean; the folks were nice. It’s been great. We’ll probably come back next weekend.”
Perdue and his family — including his two small boys — drove from Dallas and spent themixed reviews
weekend camping and tubing the Comal River. On Saturday and Sunday, the increased police presence was evident, they said.
‘We saw them everywhere yesterday,” Perdue said. “And people were really well behaved. The two boys probably were the worst behaved people on the Comal.”
That’s what the New Braunfels police were hoping for over the long Memorial Day weekend, traditionally the kick-off of the busy summer tourist season. While cars lined the streets and the river outfitters kept busy passing out tubes, the visitors mostly behaved.
For sacrifices so costly
Comal County veterans remember fallen comrades
Council’s musical chairs hits sour note with some
By Amy Clarkson
If Mayor Stoney Williams has his way, council members will sit in different seats after Tuesday night’s meeting.
Williams suggested at the May 14 meeting that council members sit according to their districts.
After Sonia Munoz and Larry Alexander officially took their seats, Williams suggested rearranging. Council members did not change
seats because it was not on the agenda and some of the members protested making the change.
“I think it would make things easier for the folks at home,” Williams said. “I also think it will help solve the problems with division on council. If you sit next to someone, you have more of a tendency to want to work with that person.”
If the seating arrangement See COUNCILy3A
Members of VFW Post No. 7110 salute the colors during the flag-raising ceremony Monday at the post’s headquarters across from Cypress Bend Park.
By Amy Clarkson Staff Writer
Harvey Haas spoke of a man he never met — a man whose sacrifice helped shape the outcome of the war, a man who survived the Battaan Death March in the Philippines, only to be killed on his way to a prisoners-of-war camp in Japan.
For Haas, Memorial Day is more than just a three-day weekend. For the Haas family — especially Haas’ wife Karen — it’s a time to remember a man who died fighting for his country.
Karen’s father Capt. Russell Thurman died at sea when American planes bombed a Japanese prisoner-of-war boat taking 1,600 prisoners to Japan. More than 1,000 people died on the boat, Haas said.
Haas spoke of the sacrifices of many soldiers during a Memorial Day ceremony at Guadalupe Valley Memorial Park. About 30 other members of the Guadalupe Valley American Legion Post 35 and Auxiliary met at the cemetery to honor the country’s fallen soldiers.
Haas read some of the captain’s letters home — letters talking about playing poker and dreaming
daughter Erin were all present at the graveside ceremony.
“Memorial Day is exclusively set aside for honoring those whom died serving in uniform,” Haas said during his speech. “And it’s all-inclusive — 226 years, 60 military actions, 1.4 million lives — from 1775 to the attack on the USS Cole in 2000.”
Memorial Day started during the Civil War when Southern women started placing flowers on graves of Union and Civil soldiers. They chose May 30, for no other reason than the flowers were blooming at that time. Memorial Day, then known as “Decoration Day,” changed in 1971, when it was moved to the last Monday in May — creating a three-day holiday, Haas said.
“And that move undermined the very meaning of Memorial Day,” he said. “It is supposed to address the life, service and sacrifice of these men and women.”
Members of the American Legion spent most of Monday placing flags on the graves of those who died in wars at home and around the world. The group placed 895 flags in the Guadalupe Valley Cemetery and an additional 42 in the county cemetery, organizers said.
A flag, placed by American Legion members on the grave of a veteran in a local cemetery, waves in the wind Monday.
of his wife and little girl. Written mostly aboard a ship on its way to the Philippines, the letters are one of the few memories Karen Haas has of her father.
Three generations of the Thurman family were present at the ceremony honoring all veterans who died during wars. Karen Haas, her daughter Lisle and grand
pitches testing for contractors
least 70 percent. If a contractor failed the test, the city would not re-test that person for one year.
According to information provided to the city council, the Construction Board of Adjustment and Appeals, in conjunction with city staff, can provide the test applications for licenses.
Mayor Stoney Williams said, “This may be contentious. It only applies to building contractors — other contractors for air conditioners, electricians are already tested by the state.”
If council agrees to look into the testing requirement for contractors, it will have to be written into an ordinance and looked at again. If council approves the ordinance, contractors would be unable to gain a permit to build in the city without passing the test, Williams said.
By Amy Clarkson
New Braunfels City Council will consider requiring general contractors to pass a test before allowing them to build inside the city limits at the council’s regular meeting tonight.
Council-m a n Robert Kendrick proposed pursuing testing options for licensed contrac-
KENDRICK tors-.]Th.® council will
meet at 6:30 p.m. today, after a special closed session at 5 p.m. The group meets today because of the Memorial Day holiday.
“Some of the city staff wanted to make sure the builders were licensed and qualified to build in the city,” Kendrick said. “There’s not a test requirement for general contractors, and we want to try to stop problems whenever we can.”
Under the proposal, contractors would take an industry-wide, standardized test to obtain city licenses. The tests would be offered not less than four times a year. Applicants would have to pass with at