Hill Country Times News Bulverde ~ Spring Branch ~ Canyon Lake
November 3, 2010
Voters in Comal Speak with Ballots While polling locations saw brisk activity across the nation, where the voters used their ballot as a voice, the Spring Branch Baptist Church (Precinct 405) polling location saw a steady stream of voters on Election Day for the mid-term elections. Comal County, consisting of 22 precincts, has 73,842 register voters but less than half cast a ballot. According to reports, the total number of ballots cast in the County were 35,012 (47.41%). Of those, 927 were Mail-in Ballots, and Early Voting saw a high turn out with 19,440 compared to 14,645 on Election Day. ESD #5 Sees Passage of Proposition BULVERDE - The Comal County Emergency Services District No. 5, who provides first responder and fire services via a contract with the Bulverde Fire Department, gained voter approval for a
3/8 of 1% sales tax increase with a vote of 779 to 489. "We are very thankful for the support of our voters and will do our best to surpass the communityʼs expectations," said Kevin Lenahan, ESD #5 president. "That is great news," said Bulverde Fire Chief Charlie Ivy, upon hearing the election results. Comal County Elects New Commissioner for Precinct 2 and County Judge
Joing Haag in Commissioners Court for 2011 will be newly elected County Judge Sherman Krause, who ran unopposed.
COMAL COUNTY - Republican Scott Haag won the race for the County Commissioner Precinct 2 seat against Democrat Wade Jocoby. Haag will replace longtime Commissioner Jay Millikin who chose not to seek re-election. He brought home the win with 8,912 (81.43%) votes, to Jacoby's 2,032 (18.57%) votes.
Countywide Voting Results in State and County Elections To view State Election Results, click Texas Nov 2010 Election Results To view Comal Votin Results, click Comal County Election Returns (PDF)
Canyon Lake High Sophomores Learn Leadership Qualities Eric Weissgarber Special Report
Twenty-two Canyon Lake High School sophomore students were selected through an application process, by The Scholarship Foundationʼs Board of Directors, to learn important leadership qualities outside the normal classroom setting. The second of four Emerging Leaders Seminars will detail the role etiquette plays in the workforce and everyday life, while allowing the students first hand experience through fine dining and situational scenarios. In addition to garnering an understanding of traditional social etiquette, groups of students will have the opportunity to instruct fellow Emerging Leaders on social media and phone etiquette. At the first Emerging Leaders Seminar, held September 15th at the Bulverde/ Spring Branch Library, the student leaders learned the details about brain preference through a presentation by Dr. Larry Sunn.
Courtesy Photo: Canyon Lake High sophomores were selected for first-ever Leadership Seminar Series by The Scholarship Foundation. See LEADERSHIP P2
CISD Calls “Town Hall” Meetings Comal ISD has called three “Town Hall Meetings” to discuss implementation of a College and Career Readiness Curriculum for all CISD middle school students. The Town Hall Meetings are scheduled to be held at Mountain Valley Middle on November 8, the districtʼs Support Services Building on November 9, and Spring Branch Middle on November 10. Comal ISD administration and faculty will be on hand to discuss the middle school initiative with parents and community members. All three meetings are scheduled to begin at 6:30 PM. Light refreshments will be provided.
HILL COUNTRY TIMES NEWS e-EDITION
LEADERSHIP from P1 Outlining the importance that brain preference plays in daily activities, Dr. Sunnʼs discussion was an immediate hit with the emerging leaders. When asked what they took away from the presentation, students responded that: “I will now know the person before I know their name” “(I learned) where most of my thinking occurs and the careers that suit my line of thinking”
Established in 2005
Hill Country Times PO Box 1201 Spring Branch, TX 79070 Publisher/Owner Dixie Pape Contact Information 210-416-2483 cell NEWS firstname.lastname@example.org ADVERTISING email@example.com WEBSITE www.hillcountrytimes.com Distribution: The “Hill Country Times News e-Edition” is an emailed version of the weekly online publication and may not include all the website content. Subscription to this e-Edition is FREE and delivered to your Inbox. Sign up for your subscription on the website. Letters to the Editor: The Hill Country Times reserves the right to edit letters to the editor for grammatical purposes, appropriateness, and to refuse any letter. All opinions in letters to the editor or in articles are the sole opinions of the writers. ADS DESIGNED BY THE HILL COUNTRY TIMES ARE THE SOLE PROPERTY OF THE HILL COUNTRY TIMES AND MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED AND USED WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM THE PUBLISHER. Publication of any advertisement, article and/or editorial does not constitute in any way, shape or form, endorsement by the publisher, either explicit or inferred, of any opinion or product. All opinions reflected in any advertisement or by writer, column, or editorial are those of the advertiser or writer, respectively. The Hill Country Times will not be held responsible in any way for failure or dissatisfaction with any advertised product or service. Hill Country Times is published online each Wednesday. DEADLINES News - Mondays @ 2:00 PM Display Ads - Fridays @ Noon
“(I learned) how to communicate with people that think differently than me”. The second Emerging Leaders Seminar will be held at the McKenna Events Center on Wednesday, October 27, 2010, with the main etiquette session presented by etiquette expert, Diane Gottsman. In January 2010, The Scholarship Foundationʼs Board of Directors transitioned the 501(c) 3 organization from solely focusing on scholarship fundraising and distribution, to identify area sophomore
NOVEMBER 3, 2010
leaders and impact personal growth through an intense seminar series that would benefit their growth and college endeavors significantly. Seminars include, brain preference/awareness, etiquette, resume writing, college application process, improving decision making skills, and more. To participate in or assist with sponsorship of the Emerging Leaders Seminar Series, please contact The Scholarship Foundationʼs Vice President, Mr. Warren Alston, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Nathan Honored at Texas Tech College of Human Sciences Honors Distinguished Alumni Texas Tech Universityʼs College of Human Sciences announces the recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Awards, New Achiever Award, Lifetime Distinguished Service Award and Distinguished Leadership Award. The Distinguished Leadership Award recipient is: Catherine S. Nathan of Spring Branch, who received her doctorate in early childhood/special education in 1989. The Distinguished Leadership Award recognizes a significant leader who has achieved the highest levels of excellence in one or more fields associated with the College of Human Sciences. During her 17 years as director of Texas Tech's Child Development Research Center (CDRC), Nathan's dedication and hard work led to advances such as a $5.2 million facility expansion that doubled the capacity of the center. Her commitment carried over into community service and within various professional organizations, as well. Nathan continues her advocacy in retirement as president of the board for Upstarts: Education for the Real World, an innovative program for at risk youth, and Texas Early Childhood Education Coalition and Texas Association for Infant Mental Health. Honorees for 2010 will be recognized at the 28th Annual Distinguished Alumni Luncheon to be held at 11:30 AM on November 4 in the Red Raider Ballroom at the Student Union Building.
Comal Unemployment Down Slightly COMAL COUNTY - Comal Countyʼs unemployment rate decreased in September, according to labor market statistics released by Workforce Solutions Alamo. The countyʼs jobless rate for the month was 6.5 percent, down from 6.7 percent reported in August. Comal Countyʼs unemployment rate, meanwhile, registered well below the overall jobless rate of 7.1 percent for the 12-county Workforce Solutions area, which includes Atascosa, Bandera, Bexar, Comal, Frio, Gillespie, Guadalupe, Karnes, Kendall, Kerr, Medina and Wilson counties. Gillespie County registered the lowest unemployment rate in the Alamo Area, at 4.5 percent. When the Workforce Solutions Alamo metro area is compared to the state and nation, the Texas unadjusted (actual) unemployment rate decreased to 7.9 percent in September, down from 8.4 percent reported in August. The nationʼs unadjusted (actual) unemployment also decreased to 9.2 percent in September, down from 9.5 percent reported in August. Comparatively, the state and nation released seasonally adjusted unemployment rates, with Texas dropping to 8.1 percent in September and the nationʼs unemployment rate holding steady at 9.6 percent.
NOVEMBER 3, 2010
HILL COUNTRY TIMES NEWS e-EDITION
Letters to the editor Dear Editor,
The Mayor’s Pen Water and Roadways Mayor Bill Krawietz
It is my understanding that the polls were open Tuesday through Thursday from 10am to 7pm but closed on Friday at 4:30pm here in Comal County. My question is why was Friday different than all of the other days? Whether it is procrastination on a voter behalf to wait until the last minute or that they just could not fit the time into their schedule is irrelevant. Consistency is the key word here and the county should have been consistent with the times that the polls opened or closed until the last day. This should be a common sense decision. It is my understanding that the polls were open in Bexar county until 7pm and in reality I feel that there should be a governing law across our state that standardizes all polling times to be the same, especially for a national election. Fortunately I voted but my wife, who travels a lot on business, only had Friday as a day that she could fit the time into her schedule to vote did not get the chance simply because the County changed the closing time to 4:30pm. This is wrong and can easily be fixed IF our elected County officials use the common sense to make the changes. Sincerely Darrin Brown Canyon Lake Dear Editor, I was raised with the value that a personʼs religion (or lack of) was a private matter, a personal choice and no one else's business. However, after reading the many articles and letters to the editor in last weekʼs local newspapers, I wanted to join the public discussion about the Bulverde City Councilʼs handling of prayers before meetings. I was born in Texas, as were both of my parents and many generations of my family before me. My paternal grandmother was a proud member of The Daughters of the Republic of Texas. I am not an “outsider”. I was raised in a Christian household and I graduated from an international Christian high school. I am not a member of a small sect or cult. My husband is a political scientist. His passion for politics and government has taught me a great deal. I have attended many City Council meetings in my 12 years as a resident of Bulverde and could foresee that there would be trouble brewing with this issue. After reading all of the comments about this subject from members of our City Council and our community, it is clear to me that we need outside help in resolving this issue. Simply inviting all local Christian clergy to give a Christian prayer before our council meetings is not enough. Asking members of our community to wait outside while a Christian prayer is recited is not going to make this problem go away. Neither is adding a moment of silence after a Christian prayer. One angry letter writer was unable to recognize a prayer that isnʼt Christian. Another resident believes this is part of a national conspiracy to “foster a revolution in this nation” and turn the United Sates of America into a ʻsocialist state”. We are only being asked to follow the U.S. Supreme Courtʼs rulings on Constitutional compliance. I applaud Mayor Kraweitz's sensitive handling of this matter and his sincere apology to anyone who may have been offended. But his statement that religious leaders have assured him they are “familiar with the subject and what the law allows” concerns me. If this were true, we wouldnʼt be in this pickle in the first place. I am also concerned about relying solely on the advice of our city attorney. Why didnʼt our lawyer inform the city years ago that we are not in compliance? I encourage our city leaders to accept Ms. Rootʼs offer of arranging for a representative from Americans for Separation of Church and State to address the council. I hope many residents will attend. Being fully informed about this issue will benefit us all. Listening doesnʼt cost anything; not listening could cost us all dearly. Sincerely, LaDona Mamber Bulverde
The power of the press is amazing. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the City having difficulty getting Bexar Met Water District to fix streets where they had repaired water leaks. Despite numerous phone calls and being put on infinite telephone hold, our public works director was getting no satisfaction. Within a couple of hours of my column being put on the newsstand I received a phone call from our elected Bexar Met Board member. I explained our frustration of having our recently paved streets being dug up and not repaired for months. To my surprise crews were patching the street cuts by 9:00 am the next morning. Bexar Met has sold its three water systems that they operate in Comal County to Canyon Lake Water Service Company (CLWSC). The neighborhoods they currently serve are Bulverde Hills, Woods of Spring Branch and Oakland Estates. The terms of the sale slowly transition the operation from the seller to the buyer over the next couple of years. By now I am sure you have heard of the new rate structure in which CLWSC is trying to force on customers. CLWSC rates are already high and they are in the process of seeking a 71% increase. CLWSC management has informed me that once the buyout is complete they will adopt the same rate structure as for their other customers. Residents of these neighborhoods now served by Bexar Met can expect a significant increase in their water bill. The City has been in talks with the developer of the property behind and to the east of Bill Brown Elementary School on Hwy 46. The development will be called “Singing Hills”. The entrance will be on the north side of Hwy 46 directly across from Old Boerne Road. The developer has proposed to make changes to Old Boerne Road to make it perpendicular to Hwy 46 from its current angled configuration. The concept calls for a stoplight to be installed at the intersection. Traffic to the school would then enter off the new road instead of Hwy 46 aiding in their traffic flow. The City and School District have looked closely at the traffic flow plan and found it to be the best option. The City and CISD have both given Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) the necessary approval letters to start the design process. The main obstacle to the idea is the developer does not own the property west of Old Boerne Road to make the change. The property is currently owned by and used as a rainwater runoff detention pound for H-E-B. This is something the developer will have to work out. TxDOT has sent me a letter and asked to spread the word on a new “Pothole and Other Maintenance Issue” program. To report a problem on a State Highway you can either call (888) 885-8248 or go online at www.dot.state.tx.us/contact_us/potholes/ .
HILL COUNTRY TIMES NEW e-EDITION
NOVEMBER 3, 2010
Columns Vote ʻem out... Peary Perry A Nation of Fools
You know as you get older you start to notice things you probably overlooked in your younger years. Things like better offers on the things you buy if you were a first time user. You know what I mean, you sign up for a cell phone at ʻXʼ dollars a month…..then after youʼve had it a couple of years, you see a new ad on TV for the same service but way cheaper than what you are paying, but the catch is …you have to be a ʻnewʼ user. So, in some cases it actually makes sense to cancel your existing contract and start a new one for the better rate. It used to hack me when I would see insurance rates from my broker that were cheaper than I was paying. If I asked the broker Iʼd get told that this was their current rate and oh, yes they would lower mine…now that I asked. The problem as far as I was concerned was that I had to ask. No one offered these deals to me before I asked. They didnʼt seem to be looking out after me. Well, friends it seems as if we have the same thing going on in the nationʼs capital doesnʼt it? For the past couple of years the majority of Americans have been concerned over our rising national debt, the annual deficient, out of control spending and how can we get our economy back on track. Voters on November 2nd are expected to express their anger with the size and scope of our government and with their elected representatives. Most Americans feel as if their elected officials do nothing but pay lip service to their constituents when it comes to our concerns. The average voter is treated as a third class person not worthy of notice or concern by those inside the Beltway. Yesterday the following was released by the White House: The president has signaled that at the start of the New Year, he will speak more directly to the country about the financial choices ahead. "If we're going to get serious about the deficit, then we're going to have to look at everything: entitlements, defense spending, and revenues. ... And that's going to be a tough conversation," he said. You think? Why werenʼt they (both parties) doing this all along? They didnʼt seem to be looking out for any of us, were they? Why werenʼt they looking at runaway spending? Why werenʼt they looking at defense cost overruns and more efficiency in the branches? Why werenʼt they weeding out governmental corruption? Why werenʼt they concerned over bloated programs that produce little, but cost much? Why werenʼt they concerned over self serving members cutting ʻinsiderʼ deals? Because they didnʼt care…did they?
Get more news online at www.hillcountrytimes.com
Now, with the midterm elections right around the corner, we are hearing the cries of ʻreformʼ….ʼreformʼ….and we are expected to vote the same tired old politicians who refused to listen to us as they cling to their plush jobs which might be slipping away. This is not strictly a democratic party problem, no this is a problem for both parties. This is a problem of too little, too late and of lies, deceit and arrogance on the part of the elite elect. Their distain for the ʻcommon voterʼ shows in their interviews and ʻoff the recordʼ conversations. Well, you know what? The time for playing games is over. The time to change the forces that donʼt look after us to someone who does is almost here. You need to vote, you need to make certain your children vote, and your neighbors and your grandmother. Everyone needs to vote.
You have no right to complain if you don’t.
Veterans to Be Honored at BSC Cindy Stone Seniors Columnist
Good food and comradery was on the menu Monday at BSC. As we caught up on current news, we learned that some of our regular Monday group were absent, due to illnesses. We miss our ailing friends and look forward to their healing, so that they will be with us again soon. Next Monday, on November 8, we will welcome a group of Tae Kwon Do students, who have offered lunch and celebration to honor Veterans. They will provide the entree and dessert and seniors will bring side dishes to share. We encourage all BSC members, especially our veterans, to be sure and come for this important early Veterans Day Celebration of appreciation for your service. We have an opportunity to have prepared meals available to seniors one or two days a week, besides our Monday pot luck meals. These meals may be eaten at our facility, or taken home to enjoy later in the day. In order to take advantage of this opportunity, we need volunteers who can help with serving and clean-up. As we continue to grow, volunteers are needed in other areas, as well. If you have a few hours a week that you would be able to devote to BSC, either in serving seniors or assisting in the office, we would be most appreciative. If you could volunteer a few hours a week, please let Laurie or DD know as soon as possible. Turkey and all the trimmings will be shared with volunteers and community friends on Monday, November 22. There is a sign up sheet for BSC members to specify the food items they will prepare and bring for this special occasion. Our regular Board of Directors Meeting will be held at BSC at 1 PM on Tuesday, November 9. If you have a topic that you would like to add to the agenda for discussion, please advise Laurie or DD as early as possible. The agenda is determined by the amount of time allotted for the meeting, so if the upcoming agenda is full, your topic can be added for the next meeting. A Sadie Hawkins Senior Night Out will be hosted by our Smithson Valley High School friends at 3 PM on Saturday, November 13. Come with or without a date and join the fun. Our FACs group has provided much enjoyment with their events this year. It is almost time to decorate for the holidays. Volunteers will be needed on November 23 to help set up and trim the tree and decorate the building. We will have some college community service volunteers to help us, also. We invite you to come and join the fun and friendship, as we bring the holiday spirit into our facility. We want our center to be welcoming and cheerful for all who enter, beginning with the Bulverde Christmas Lighting on Friday, November 26, when we will be open for visitors to enjoy Encoreʼs skits, hot cocoa and cookies.
NOVEMBER 3, 2010
HILL COUNTRY TIMES NEWS e-EDITION
Education SVMS Teacher Named SACU KENS5 Golden Apple Award Winner Jason Gordon Contributing Writer
Smithson Valley Middle School teacher Bart Cooper was honored as Comal ISDʼs KENS5 San Antonio Credit Union ExCEL Award winner in a ceremony at SVMS on October 26. He received the Golden Apple Award from KENS5 and a check for $1,000 from SACU. KENS5 ran the story featuring Cooper during its 6 PM newscast on October 28. “This award is really about my students,” Cooper said. “They are the reason I love coming to school every day and the reason I love my job.” Cooperʼs journey down the path that ultimately led him to becoming an educator was anything but typical. He was first a member of the U.S. Marine Corps, a design engineer and a selfdescribed “Mr. Mom.” After spending four years as an active Marine, Cooper decided to go to college and received his degree from the University of North Texas in manufacturing engineering. Upon graduation, Cooper didnʼt have his sights set anywhere near a classroom as he took a job in the defense industry, working first at Texas Instruments and then at Raytheon. “I was aware I built weapons and weapons systems which would be used to defend our military but would also cost the lives of people in military conflict with the United States,” Cooper said. “While Iʼm a proud Marine and also consider it an honor to have helped protect our military as a civilian, I also knew I would have to balance the scales of humanity.” Cooper didnʼt know at the time it was the love of a woman and her two little girls what would eventually lead him to teaching. “I fell head over heels for Katie and her daughters,” said Cooper, who would eventually adopt Amanda and Lauren. “I asked Katie and her daughters to marry me, and they accepted.” Katie was living in Comal County, but Cooper and his new family would soon have to make the decision that would shape the rest of his life. He received a lucrative offer in the defense industry, but would have to relocate to Tucson, Ariz. After a trip out west, it didnʼt take Bart and Katie long to decide Comal County is where they wanted to be. “This was a difficult decision because both of us had jobs with good companies, and Katie really loved Comal County and the school the girls were attending,” Cooper said. “In a yearʼs time I had gone from being a bachelor with a good income to a husband and father of two girls. I was also now looking for a job. We would also soon
Smithson Valley Middle teacher Bart Cooper gladly accepts the Golden Apple Award from KENS5ʼs Wendy Rigby as SVMS student Miranda Ashley looks on during the presentation on October 26.
welcome in another daughter, Reilly, into our lives as we learned Katie was pregnant.”
fear to a place of comfort and safety came close to bringing this former marine to tears on more than one occasion.”
Cooperʼs mother-in-law Nancy Riley happened to work in the front office at Mountain Valley School, where his daughters attended. Cooper volunteered there regularly, and after principal Sarah Towler noticed how well he worked with the students, she asked if he would like to help out in the schoolʼs behavior resource center.
After six years of teaching in the behavior resource center, Cooper accepted the position as a seventh grade science teacher at Smithson Valley Middle School in 2007.
Cooper was accepted into the Region 13 Certification program and became a certified special education teacher. “I was hooked,” said Cooper, who also picked up general education certifications in math and science. “I loved working with these kids. While it could be extremely difficult at times, the rewards were incredible. I loved my job. Seeing the look on a studentʼs face when they learn to read or begin to understand math is indescribable. Seeing a student change their opinion of school from being a place of
“It was a whole new challenge,” Cooper said. “I knew that any one of these students could go on to finding the cure for a devastating disease or discover something that would change all of our lives. Each of them has the ability to change the world and humanity for the betterment of all.” Smithson Valley Middle principal Michael Keranen said Cooper certainly understands what teaching is all about. “Bart is one of the most dynamic and energetic teachers Iʼve seen,” Keranen said. “He gets his kids involved and makes learning fun and engaging. We are very lucky to have him on our campus.”
Bulverde Fall festival Saturday - nov 6 gates open at 9am
Lawnmower Mow-Down Show-Down Fun ~ Food ~ Rodeo ~ $5 Admission
Tejas Rodeo Grounds Obst Road on the Cibolo
HILL COUNTRY TIMES NEW e-EDITION
NOVEMBER 3, 2010
More News Finale for One Book/One Community a Huge Success Joan Stachiw Contributing Writer
The third annual One Book/One Community Project sponsored by the Friends of the Bulverde/Spring Branch Library ended on October 23 and again was a huge success. Begun on September 25 and encompassing some twelve different activities over the month, there was something for everyone. And the finale was no exception. The activities began with a chili tasting contest prepared by the Chili Queens (aka FOL members). Some eighteen different chilies were presented and judged by W.C. Jameson, Betty Etter and Rob Hurst. Sherry Soberra won first, Fredna Barg got second and Terri Franklin was awarded third.
Seated are (left to right) Judges Batty Etter from Well Fargo Bank, W.C. Jameson, and Rob Hurst )Bulverde Mayor Pro-Tem). Standing were the chili queen winners: Terri Franklin 3rd place, Sherry Soberra 1st place and Frenda Barg 2nd place.
Then W.C. Jameson entertained the group with songs and conversation. Later San Antonio Living History actor Glenn Briggs did a first person impersonation of Jim Bowie. Jameson had several of his CDʼs for sale and was willing to autograph them. Briggs explained each piece of his costume and noted how it was used. He related stories of present day rendezvous here in the West of impersonators. Every activity except the bus trip to Goliad was free and open to the public. Some 140 people from this community attended this finale and helped make this the best yet. The third annual One Book/One Community Project sponsored by the Friends of the Bulverde/Spring Branch Library ended on October 23 and again was a huge success. Begun on September 25 and encompassing some twelve different activities over the month, there was something for everyone. And the finale was no exception.
Find... Comics Political Cartoons
printable coupons community calendar event info PET GROOMING
meeting agendas Classifieds & more
on the website www.hillcountrytimes.com