New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 20, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas
■ New Braunfels Utilities customers can water any day of the week before 9 a.m. and after 7 p.m. Use of a hand-held hose, bucket, drip irrigation system or soaker hose is allowed on any day at any hour.
Vol. 149 No. 256 20 pages in 2 sections October 20, 2000
Serving Comal County since 1852
Today ......................2 A
Key Code 76
By Jo Lee Ferguson Staff Writer
New Braunfels’ proposed alcohol ban on local rivers hit rough waters this week.
Lou Bright, general counsel to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Cornin i s s i o n , plans to
advise the commission Monday that it does not have the
authority to approve the city’s request to ban open alcoholic beverage containers within a central river business district. He explained his recommendation in a letter this week.
The commission will consider the city council’s request during a 1:30 p.m. meeting Monday at 5806 Mesa Drive in Austin.
Bright’s recommendation depends on the definition of a central business district in the state’s alcohol laws.
“For the reasons that follow, I intend to advise my clients that they do not have the authority to approve this application because it does not properly identify the central business district as that term is used in (a section of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code),” Bright’s letter said.
City Attorney Floyd Akers said the recommendation disappoints him, especially since Akers said he spoke with Bright before the city began working toward an alcohol ban.
He said Bright assured him the See TABC/3A
■ WHAT: The three-member Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission will meet.
■ WHEN: 1:30 p.m. Monday
■ WHERE: 5806 Mesa Drive, Austin
Krause’s set to close Saturday
BY K. JESSIE SLATEN
Dishes already were flying out of the kitchen just before noon Thursday and the lunchtime crowd at Krause’s Cafe was there in force. With the telephone ringing constantly behind the counter, the obviously flustered waitresses at the family-style restaurant were having trouble digesting the news handed them that morning.
Krause;’s Cafe would be closing its doors Saturday, maybe for good. As one waitress struggled to ring up a customer, waitress Mari Boomgarden leaned over and said “We’re losin’ it.”
The staff'around them nodded their heads in agreement. “Yeah, losing it, losing our jobs, everything.” Although owners Glenn and Becky Chandler have had the restaurant up for sale, it was not common knowledge until Thursday morning that Krause’s would be closing. Many of the customers found out as they received a hug from their server when they came in or prepared to leave. Other loyal customers were keeping the phone lines busy, all asking the same question, “Is it true?” Dorothy Eickmann has worked for the Krauses for 52 years, first for Eugene, then his son Kermit. She
hopes the older couple will find a way to re-open the doors. For now, she is telling her customers that the cafe is closing and getting in a goodbye with everyone she can. “I just love my customers, just love to be among people,” the waitress said.
Kermit and Mildred Krause opened Krause’s Kafe and Catering in 1959, after 10 years of catering from their home. It had a regular menu of chili, stew and soup and a special (such as turkey and dressing Thursday) for every day of the week. Although they sold the business to the Chandlers rn 1988, they still have See KRAUSE’S/9A
K. JESSIE SLATE N/Herald-Zeitung
Waitress Kellie Kennard gives customers Rocky Farina (left) and Jim Milam the news of Krause’s Cafe’s closing Thursday afternoon after the lunch rush.
“I feel sorry for the people who got tricked into thinking their problems could be solved with this alcohol ban. I sort of expected this.”
Stoney Williams Mayor
“I don’t give up. I just dig the trench a little deeper.”
Robert Kendrick City Councilman
“I respect his judgment, but I think that those of us who work and live here have a clearer understanding of what needs to be done.”
Kathleen Krueger Citizens United to Save our Rivers
“Now it looks like this committee (River Activities Committee) is going to be even more important than ever.”
Michael Meek President Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commercestaff balking at alcohol ban
Attorney’s letter advises denial
Council reacts to TABC general counsel recommendation
By Jo Lee Ferguson Staff Writer
Some New Braunfels city council members expressed little surprise at the news Thursday that the city’s proposed river alcohol ban faces a challenge before the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
Lou Bright, general counsel for the commission, announced this week that he will advise the commission that it does not have the authority to approve the city’s request for an alcohol ban in a central river business district.
He said the city has not properly identified the central business
district as defined in the state’s alcohol laws.
Mayor Stoney Williams said that was the point he argued since the ban was first proposed.
“It’s common sense to read the rules of a central business district and see what they were trying to do would never, ever comply, and
we can do this locally,” Williams said. “We don’t have to go oft' to the state and have the state make rules for us.”
The city council unanimously approved a ban on consumption of alcohol and possession of open alcoholic beverage containers on portions of the Comal and
Guadalupe rivers inside the city limits. A petition signed by more than 2,500 people in support of the ban prompted the action.
The ban was sent to the TABC for approval as required by law.
The ban was proposed inside a central business district. State law defines a central business district
as a “compact and contiguous” area in which at least 90 percent of the land is used or zoned commercial. The area also must be the location that has historically been the primary location where business has been transacted. lf the council had not approved See REACTIONS
Tubers descended on the Comal River by the thousands over this past Labor Day weekend in New Braunfels. The Comal River saw more tubing activity as a result of a low water flow in the Guadalupe River that weekend.
Lou Bright, general counsel to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, made the following points in a letter detailing what his advice to the commission will be:
• the commission does not have the authority to approve the city’s request because the city has not properly identified the central business district as defined in the state’s alcohol laws;
• a central business district must be compact and contiguous, and a fair argument can be made that the area the city designated is not;
• at least 90 percent of the land in a central business district must be used or zoned commercial, but Bright said he poos not believe
city’s zoning extends into the bed of a river owned by the state;
• even if the zoning does extend into the river, the area of the central business district that is zoned commercial does not constitute 90 percent of the whole;
• Bright does not agree that the portions of the rivers in the proposed central business district are used primarily for commercial purposes; and
• Bright also said he could not agree that the rivers are the areas where New Braunfels residents historically have transacted their business, which is another requirement in the law.
Visitors to the Guadalupe River during Labor Day weekend brought ice chests filled with alcoholic beverages.
River committee explores issues
By Jo Lee Ferguson Staff Writer
As word spread that the city’s proposed river alcohol ban hit a snag, eyes turned toward the city’s newly created river activities committee.
The seven-member group met for the first time Thursday as the possibility that the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission may not approve the ban emerged.
Meanwhile, some city officials said it was good that the council had appointed the committee to begin working on other solutions to the city’s problems on local rivers.
The ban was proposed after local residents complained about problems with behavior, nudity, litter and other issues on the Comal and Guadalupe rivers.
“We can take care of our problems,” Mayor Stoney Williams said. “We proved we can take care of our problems that last weekend (this past summer) with increased law enforcement.”
The committee will explore the problems on the rivers and address the funding problems to increase law enforcement on the rivers, he said.