New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 6, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
FRIDAYFootball teams have last tune-ups before district play this weekend. See Page 6.
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16 Pages in one section ■ Friday, Oct. 6,1995
Serving Comal County and surrounding areas for more than 143 years ■ Home of JIMMY WILLIAMS
Vol. 143, No. 235
Birthday wishes from the Herald-Zeituvig!
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung extends birthday wishes to: Jimmy Williams, Sean Hill (nine years), Darrell Hading and Melissa Marie Munoz. Happy birthday in memory of Harry A. Kastner Jr. Happy 57th anniversary to Dorothy and Louis Vollbrecht, and happy 45th anniversary to Milton and Sylvia Erben.
River and aquifer information
Comal River -270 cubic-feet-per-sec.,sameas yesterday.
Edwards Aquifer — 624.91 feet above sea level down D2. Guadalupe River — 200 c f s.
Now Orleans Night in Omens
The Gruene Mansion Restaurant and the American Cancer Society Gala Planning Committee are hosting New Orleans Night in Gruene, Tuesday, Oct. 17 from 6:30 p.m. until 10:30 p.m.
The Cajun-style dinner buffet will include shrimp etouffee, dirty rice with sausage, blackened chicken, complimentary beer and wine and more. The event will benefit the ACS, and help underwrite the 1996 Starlight Gala Seating is limited, so reserve your tickets by calling 629-6153 or 606-4115.
Black Heritage Society to meet
The Black Heritage Society of New Braunfels will host its next meeting at the Dittlinger Memorial Library, Oct. 10 at 6 p.m.
The meeting will consist of the final decisions on the African Extravaganza Style Show and Dance.
Antique Show and sale
The 45th semi-annual Antique Show and Sale will be held at the Civic Center in New Braunfels, 380 S. Seguin St. Quality dealers from all over the state and many out of state dealers will exhibit quality merchandise for sale. The show and sale will be open three days, Friday, Saturday and Sunday Oct. 13-15. Hours will be from 11 a m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Admission is still only $2.50, which is good for all three days. For more information, call 625 0612 or 620-4934.
Seen these photos?
Several photos submitted for publication to the Herald-Zeitung for use in our Comal County Fair special section were picked up with other photos in August from the Herald-Zeitung front desk
The owners of the Fair Queen s Court and Rodeo Queen's Court parade float pictures need those photos returned. Please call the Her ald-Zeitung at 625-9144 if you have any information
A blood drive will be held Sunday, Oct 22 from 8:30 a m. to 12:30 p.m. at the First Prates tant Church Family Life Center. Call 609-7729 to make an appointment.
This newspaper is printed on recycled newsprint
Local blacks like OJ. verdict
By DENISE DZIUK
Debates over the O.J. Simpson trial and verdict continue to take place both on a national and local level, and several African-American residents believe the verdict centered around a lackrof evidence and not around race.
Walter Ervin, of 204 Green Valley West, said he was surprised at the verdict because it was “a black man accused of a crime against two white people.” However, the not guilty verdict was not based on emotion or race, and the prosecution tried to appeal to these just as much as the defense team did, he said.
Ervin said the prosecution tried to elicit emotions by repeatedly playing the 9-1-1 tape and repeatedly showing the pictures of the victims.
He said the prosecution also started the race issue when Chris Darden was put on the prosecution team. Ervin said he believes this was an attempt to soften the view, so it was not a white prosecution team going after a black man. Clifford Wilson, of 820 Simon Ave., and Faye Millett, of 567 Beverly Lane, also said race was not the determining factor.
“Being in California, race is always an issue, but evidence wasn’t there. You can’t convict a man when the evi-
Many say lack of evidence, not race, the key factor
‘Prejudice is still out there, I can see it. I hate to say it, but for each step we take forward, we also go backwards.’
— Faye Millett
dence doesn’t fit,” said Millett.
Ervin also said he does not believe Simpson bought his way out of the charges. Ervin said Simpson simply hired the best defense team he could to present his case.
“O.J. Simpson didn’t do any more than anything anyone else with the money would have done. He hired the best attorney he could afford,” he said.
Wilson said a big question he had, and probably shared with the jurors, was, "Where were all the clothes and the knife?” He also said it is hard to believe a lot of noise wasn’t made dur
ing the crime. He said the evidence didn’t fit, and the jury did a good job. Ervin said there were too many flaws, and the evidence wasn’t convincing enough.
He said that by allowing former Los Angeles Police Detective Mark Fuhrman to be involved in the case, they ruined the credibility of a big part of their evidence, and created reasonable doubt. Any outrage people feel should be aimed at the LAPD and the LA District Attorney’s office.
“If you can’t trust part of the evidence, you can’t trust any of the evidence,” said Ervin. “The prosecution messed up. They played with fire, and got burned.”
Millett said she does not believe the verdict has set back the movement against spousal abuse. She said if anything, this case has brought the issue to the forefront, and has shown people what could possibly happen if they remain is an abusive relationship. She also said she the case has made her leery of the justice system.
“How many more cases did this happen too, and it was overlooked,” said
‘lf you can’t trust part of the evidence, you can’t trust any of the evidence.’
— Walter Ervin
Ervin said the case should not be a divisive factor between races. He said that “if they stop and look at the facts, and how it really happened, race wasn’t that big of an issue.” Wilson said he doubts the case will have a major effect on race relations, but a separation does exist.
“There will always be a separation between the races. There has been for a long time, I don’t think it will change much,” said Wilson.
Millett said she believes the case will cause more friction between the races, especially in California. She said the police will probably be more apt to stop and hassle a black youth. This, in turn, will cause black youths to be more apprehensive, she said.
“Prejudice is still out there, I can see it. I hate to say it, but for each step we take forward, we also go backwards," she said.
Cougar reported loose in River Acres
By SUSAN FLYNT ENGLAND
A mountain lion in Comal County — don’t be alarmed or excited just yet, said New Braunfels Animal Control Officer Tim Bnnkkoeter. It may just be a golden retriever that’s gotten away from its home.
New Braunfels and Comal County animal control officials scoured the River Acres subdivision yesterday afternoon following a report that a mountain lion had been spotted in the area.
“I was trying to find tracks or something that would give us proof that it was out there.” Brinkkoeter said.
“The day before I had been looking for a golden retriever in the same area,” he said.
Before dismissing that it may have been a mountain lion, Brinkkoeter will have a trapper inspect the area and set traps. “It will probably take a couple of days,” he said.
Lots of homes — but few starter homes — being built here
By SUSAN FLYNT ENGLAND
1995 may be a record year for new home building in New Braunfels.
“We’re up to 189 year to date, courting September,” said Michael Meek, Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce president.
Why, then, do so many medium-income families still have trouble finding housing in New Braunfels? “The chamber and local manufacturers have been concerned about it for several years,” Meek said.
Many new homes are being built, Meek said, but most are custom homes in the $ 100,000 plus range.
“If I had homes that were starting in the 50s, 60s and 70s, I’d sell them all day,” said Century 21 Real Estate Broker Sue Norris.
The lack of affordable mid-range housing can defeat the purpose of trying to bring new industry to New Braunfels, Meek said. “When they don’t have a place to live, you’ve got a problem,” he said.
The $100,000 homes are suitable for management, but out of range for most workers, even those who don’t classify for government subsidized low-income housing, Meek said.
“Not everyone can be the boss in a company,” Norris said.
Even companies of 30 employees have trouble getting their workers housed, Meek said. “If a company wanted to move in lock, stock and barrel, they wouldn’t come here,” he said.
The chamber brought together local bankers, Realtors, manufacturers, city
‘Perhaps we have some ordinances that need to be looked at in today’s light instead of yesterday’s.’
— Mike Norris, developer
officials, developers and utility representatives to attack the problem in Aug. 1994. “After studying this for over a year, they gave a report to the chamber board,” Meek said.
From the developer’s point of view, building profitable yet affordable housing is a complex problem, Meek said. “People need to realize that our county is on a geological fault,” he said. “That land is harder to develop.” Finding the land is the easy part. “It’s not so much the cost of the land, but the cost of improvements to that land that have driven this price up,” said developer Mike Noms.
“The developer is the one who installs roads, curbs, water, sewer, all the utilities,” Mike Noms said. “That in itself is quite expensive.”
The city of New Braunfels and New Braunfels Utilities have been quite fair over the years, Noms said, but rollbacks on such things like impact fees would make it easier to build affordable housing.
Herald-Zettung photo by MICHAEL DARNALL
There are several factors that have contributed tothe lack of affordable homes in New Braunfels, but city officials are working with developers to try to get more homes in the $50,000 to $70,000 range on the mar-
Some of the planning and zoning rules might be outdated and could perhaps be revised, he said. “Our standard lot in New Braunfels is supposed to be 60 feet by IOO feet,” Norris said. “Why can’t it be something less?” “Perhaps we have some ordinances that need to be looked at in today’s
light instead of yesterday’s,” he said.
The chamber has made a first step toward making affordable housing more feasible to build, Meek said.
“There are a lot of players involved and it takes lots of communication and cooperation,” he said.
Affordable housing affects more
than those who buy the homes. Meek said.
“lf primary jobs make the economy grow, we need housing for the workers in those jobs, and the result is a better standard of living for everyone in the community,” he said. "We’re all connected .”
Probation no picnic, so criminals ask for jail time, official says
By DENISE DZIUK
More and more people convicted of crimes in Comal County are asking judges to send them to jail rather than being put on probation, according to the director of probation for the county.
“Probation is not a slap on the wrist, and it’s certainly not seen as that way when people would go to jail, said Jack Williamson, office supervisor for the Community Supervision and Corrections Department.
Williamson told commissioners court Thursday that in the past year and a half, the department has been trying to change its mission statement, to focus more on correction and supervision. He said the mission statement says the department serves four purposes. The first is to serve criminal courts. Tile second is to protect the community. The third is to try and get away from the idea of being a form of rehabilitation. Williamson
said this is because that implies people were once “okay, and we’re trying to get them back there.” He said this is only true in about 60 percent of the cases. The final purpose is to be more punitive.
Williamson said probation is considered more punitive for several reasons. He said these reasons include the fact that people are usually on probation longer than they are incarcerated, they have to pay fees and restitution while on probation, they may have to do community service restitution, and they may be asked to make a change in lifestyle.
“I think some of that is because of the improved conditions in the pnson system. If it wasn’t quite so pleasant in there...people wouldn’t be so eager to go there," said Commissioner J.L. “Jumbo” Evans.
Williamson said from Sept. 1,1994 to Aug. 31, 1995, almost 1,800 cases per month were handled, and about 20 percent of those cases are women. He said the number of cases being handled has
‘I think some of that is because of the improved conditions in the prison system, lf it wasn’t quite so pleasant in there ... people wouldn’t be so eager to go there.’
— J.L. ‘Jumbo’ Evans
remained about the same. He said these cases are generating about $112,000 for victim restitution, $406,000 for the county, and $431,000 for the operation of the adult probation program and staff. He said this brought the grand total generated last year to about $950,000.
Williamson also said approximately 17,060
hours of community service restitution was also completed. He said the value of these hours is about $5 per hour, which means $85,000 worth of work was completed for the community.
He also added there were about 67 misdemeanor cases and 34 felony cases revoked, and sent to either jail or penitennanes He said these are the people who are not abiding by their probation conditions, or are not paying their fees.
"Some people say those are your failures. I think it’s us doing our job,” said Williamson “It does cost the county money, but it’s cheaper than locking them up permanently or for their full time.”
Williamson also added that there are a lot of programs made available to those on probanon. Some of these programs are drug and alcohol rehabilitation and intervention, anger and theft intervention, and education and job training He also added that there are residential treatment centers that some may be sent to.Winners in the Livestock Show at the Comal County Fair listed. See Page 5.