A challenge awaits all of us

A challenge awaits all of us

Ernie Wittwer is a resident of New Braunfels. He is a volunteer for the Comal County Conservation Alliance (CCCA), believing that the wonderful natural features of the area should be preserved. He is retired after a career in public service. Those of us who live in Comal County face a challenge that will not disappear. How can we live with significant growth while maintaining the things that brought us to the county in the first place? The Comal County Conservation Alliance was formed to…

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Hill Country caves reveal secrets to the biology of cave-dwelling animals

Hill Country caves reveal secrets to the biology of cave-dwelling animals

Along U.S. Highway 281 headed north to the Comal County line, drivers can see shopping centers and housing developments that look indistinguishable from suburbia elsewhere in the country. But hundreds of feet below the highway, inside the Edwards Aquifer and some local caves, new species of salamanders, crustaceans, and other creatures are being discovered. Animals that live inside the Edwards aquifer include two species of blind catfishes. A recent report also documents the discovery of several species of crustaceans (shrimp-like…

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Binational summit on health of the Rio Grande

Binational summit on health of the Rio Grande

Key players in Rio Grande conservation from Mexico and the United States congregated on Friday at the USO Building in Marfa. The binational coalition of scientists, academics, environmental activists and government employees was a rare sight. A gathering of this caliber and with such acute attention on the river hadn’t occurred since a meeting at Sul Ross State University over a decade ago, in 2008. The collaborative meeting occurred one day after the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo Water Symposium in Marfa,…

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MoPac construction at Slaughter and La Crosse faces delays over environmental concerns

MoPac construction at Slaughter and La Crosse faces delays over environmental concerns

Construction along a stretch of MoPac Boulevard is facing delays after crews discovered dozens of fissures and holes in the ground along the freeway that help recharge the Edwards Aquifer and Barton Springs. The discovery of 72 so-called karst features has forced the Texas Department of Transportation to redesign the La Crosse Avenue bridge over MoPac (Loop 1) and push its opening to late this year at the earliest. TxDOT has not given a firm timeline on how much of…

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Plans for treatment plant raise worries about impact on San Marcos River

Plans for treatment plant raise worries about impact on San Marcos River

Huddled into a small 1930s-era high school auditorium, dozens of people this week declared their opposition to letting a yet-to-be-built residential development dump treated wastewater into Dickerson Creek, a tributary of the San Marcos River and a typically dry waterway that feeds private wells in Caldwell County. The proposed Cherryville development, which would have 10,000 homes on a 1,200-acre plot off Texas 80 and Texas 130, requested a permit to dump up to 160,000 gallons of treated wastewater per day…

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Letter to the Editor: Get started now to save green space for the future

Letter to the Editor: Get started now to save green space for the future

by Richard Bigelow, New Braunfels ETJ Resident Letter to the Editor of the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung July 14, 2019 Citizens of New Braunfels and Comal County, help save our area’s natural beauty! I began looking for a place to move in 2007 and the beauty, parks, open spaces, and friendliness of Comal County and New Braunfels put this area at the top of the list. At the time, there were about 52,000 people in New Braunfels and 106,000 in Comal…

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Dry Comal Creek Greenway public session set July 10

Dry Comal Creek Greenway public session set July 10

The city of New Braunfels and the National Park Service are hosting the final community meeting associated with revisions to the Dry Comal Creek Greenway Master Plan from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, July 10 at Columbus Club, 111 Landa Street in New Braunfels. All property owners on or near the Dry Comal Creek are encouraged to attend the session, which will feature presentations by the Texas Hill Country Alliance and San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance on available land conservation tools in Texas…

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Water recycling system at new elementary school will cut use by 90%

Water recycling system at new elementary school will cut use by 90%

The newest elementary school in Wimberley will be the most water-efficient school in the state, conservation groups and planners hope. The school, funded through 2018 bond money, will gather rainwater and air conditioning condensate to flush toilets; that wastewater will then be treated on-site and used to irrigate fields. Planners say the system will cut water use at the school by 90% and save the district as much as $1 million over the next 30 years. Students will see the…

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Letter to the Editor, Time to get past denial and start finding solutions

Letter to the Editor, Time to get past denial and start finding solutions

by Eva Silverfine Ott, Comal County Resident Letter to the Editor of the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung June 27, 2019 I want to applaud Chris Lykins for his editorial, “The Climate Change Conspiracy” (Herald-Zeitung, 6-16-19). The effects of greenhouse gases (82% of which is carbon dioxide; U.S. EPA 2017) have long been known. As Mr. Lykins points out, how we address the problem is open for debate, but the fundamental science is not. Doubt has been sowed by an industry and…

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Letter to the Editor, Face the challenge of growth

Letter to the Editor, Face the challenge of growth

By Jeri Porter, Fischer, TX Letter to the Editor of the New Braunfels Herald-Zietung June 27, 2019 Comal County is at a crossroads.  We have options in the directions to take and your readers can help! The changes we see today in our landscape and wildlife are primarily a function of loss of habitat.  Comal County is in the crosshairs of developers and we all should recognize the reason—beautiful rolling hills, clean air, lots of clear flowing water, all because we do still…

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