New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 1, 1991, New Braunfels, Texas
Page SAHeratt-Zifong, New Braunfels, Texas
Sunday, September 1, 1991
Runways carefully maintained
By BHI DOBROWOLSKI City Engineer
Maintaining adequate drainage, preserving the runways and landing aids and vegetation control at the New Braunfels Municipal Airport all are duties of the city's Street Department.
Maintenance of the airport is funded with monies generated by its lease agreements. The agricultural lease at the airport brings in an agreed upon lump sum each year. Vendors and the airports, fixed base operators (FBOs), lease commercial space at a fair market rate per square foot. The second source of income for the air-•port is a percentage of gross sales of .fuel, aircraft equipment and services sold a the airport by the FBOs.
Runway construction began in 11942. The last major paving project ‘.was in 1977, when Runway 13*31 was strengthened with an overlay. To ensure safe landings and take-offs for '.aircraft that utilize the airport, runways must be free of potholes and 'Structurally sound enough to support Ithe weight of the aircraft. The Street Department checks the runways periodically and patches potholes as needed. Considering their age and minimal amount of maintenance, the Substructure of the runways has held up quite well. Major pavement rehabilitation soon will be needed.
I The pavement markings on the runways show the layout of the runway in relation to magnetic north, identify the runways and define the landing fcreas and traffic patterns. These markings help the pilots align the aircraft with the runway, point out the approach and the ends of the runway, fend guide the pilots along the runways to the taxiways and ramps. The Street Department updates the markings as seeded and as standards change.
Vegetation control along runways |s essential in maintaining their structural soundness. The stem root system of the vegetation undermines the base and asphaltic concrete surface. Moisture seeps into the base and deteriorates the pavement's load-carrying capability. Mowing and chemical means are employed to prevent damage to the pavement.
Well-maintained airports are safer, more attractive and are used more often, which allows them the privilege of continued self-sufficiency. With Die planned installation of an Instrument Landing System, the airport will continue to grow and prove a great anet for the city of New Braunfels.
For more information on airport maintenance, contact the Engineering Department at 625-3425.
Springs habitat survey
By DAVID WHATLEY Farts and Recreation Director
The Comal Springs are one of the
most unique biological habitats on the face of this planet. With an average daily flow of 185 million gallons (equal to All the spring-fed pool completely 123 times daily), the 20-year-old water flowing out of thousands of spring orifices has provided a home for a host of fish, plants, birds and various other animals. Alligators once even made their home in the Comal Springs until the last century.
The springs also are the home of several unique species. Two of these, the fountain darter and the San Marcos salamander, are listed as "endangered species" by the federal government. With the continuing conflict over water usage from the Edwards Aquifer, what might preserve the future flows of the Comal Springs may not be the economic valve of the spring flows to our community, but rather the existence of several small species of vertebrate and invertebrate animala that depend on the Comal Springs for their survival.
For the past two years, the city of New Braunfels Parks and Recreation Department has helped in sponsoring a habitat survey of the Comal Springs along with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Edwards Underground Water District The probe of the invertebrate and vertebrate animals that live in the Comal Springs is being conducted by Dr. Thomas Arsuffi of the Southwest Texas State University Biology Department
The purpose of this biological survey is to identify the native species that occur either only in the Comal Springs or in both the Comal and San Marcos springs. The Parks and Recreation Department has, at various times, assisted Arsuffi with both manpower and equipment, such aa the glass-bottom boat.
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VISACASA speaks for children
Arsuffi's investigation has revealed several interesting findings. Air tong his preliminary results, Ariufli has identified, with the help of biologists from California State University and the Museum of Natural History rn the SmithsonUm Institute, several insect species that are endemic only to the Comal Springs and found no place else on earth. One special is not only limited to the Comal Springs, but im habitat is additionally restriction to one small are of one individual spring run.
Arsuffi feels that the Comal Springs are rich in endemic invertebrate species. From mayflies to snails, he feels there are a host of invertebrate species that have evolved in the pristine waters of the Comal Springs. When the springs were dried due to over-pumping of the Edwards Aquifer in 1956, he feels that several native vertebrate and invertebrate species that may never have been documented and took hundreds of thousands of year* to evolve probably were lost.
in the entire United States, there are only 78 springs scattered among eight states that equal or exceed the Comal Springs in flow. At the turn of the century, Texas had four "first magnitude springs" (which are springs that exceed 65 million gallons of flow day). Today, only the Comal and Marcos springs are left, and they are predicted to vanish permanently within our lifetime. Between the Comal Springs and their predicted road to oblivion is the Endangered Species Act, a handful of dedicated biologists and some "critters" that most New Braunfels citizens did not know were there.
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By ROBERT STEWART
rn Bf Ila Ii a a
Biali WI IMI
The Comal County Child Advocacy is the local branch of the Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (CASA), a non-profit organization partially supported by the United Way.
CASA volunteers are appointed by a judge to speak up for abused and neglected children in court. They work for the judge, alongside attorneys and social workers, as appointed officers of the court. The volunteer is responsible for taking the time to find out as much as possible about the child. They review records, interview parents, and talk to teachers and neighbors.
After the information search, volunteers appear in court to recommend to the judge what's best for the child’s future.
"We work for die child," said Betty Marsh Oreen, executive director of Comal County Child Advocacy. "We are a third party that can be objective on the side of the child, to see that the child's needs are taken care of."
Volunteers are carefully screened and go through a 35-hour initial training program, with continuing training after thai. There are atma 20 volunteers in Comal County right now, Green said.
"Our volunteers go to court with the child and are there to be with them whenever needed," Green said. "District Attorney Bill Reimer instituted the program here and Judge Pfeuffer has been very supportive.**
The Comal County Child Advocacy was named the program excellence award winner for the most innovative fundraising project last year. The organization sold stars for $25 and squares lo make up stripes for $10 on an American flag display, located on the lawn of the New Braunfels Civic Center prior to July 4,1990. Net profit on the flag was $1,914.36.
"Our volunteers go to court with the child and are there to be with them whenever needed," said Betty Marsh Green of Comal County Child Advocacy. (Photo by Robert Stewart)
The Comal County Child Advocacy was honored at the 1991 National CASA Conference in Boston. The local organization also received a $10,953 grant from the Texas Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) program which distributes funds collected form criminal fines, penalty assessments and bond forfeitures in federal criminal court cases.
The National CASA organization has been selected to receive one of the 1991 awards from the Foundation for Improvement of Justice, Inc. Last spring, National CASA's efforts were recognized by President Bush.
There will be another free training program this winter for persons interested in becoming advocates, Green said.
for more information call (512)-620-5536 or write to Comal County Child Advocacy, Inc., P.O. Box 311832, New Braunfels, Texas 78131.
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