The Voter - April 2017
 
 
 
 
IN THIS ISSUE 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
OFFICERS & DIRECTORS
 
 
 
 
President 
Roxanna Deane
VP-Organization
Darlene Hicks
VP-Program
Connie Born
VP - Voters Service
Robin Engel & Susan Herr
Secretary
Charlsie Hays
Treasurer
Gloria Suarez-Sasser
Director, Publicity
Jensie Madden
 Membership Chair
Bonnie Leitch
Chair, Nominating Committee
Fran Hargrove
 
 
 
 
LWV NON-PARTISAN POSITION
 
 
 
 
LWV is a non partisan political organization which encourages informed and active participation in government and influences public policy through education and advocacy. LWV never supports or opposes candidates for office, or political parties, but does take positions on issues based on member study
and consensus.
 
 
 
 
LWV Public Policy Positions
 
 
 
 
Impact on Issues - LWV-US public policy positions

Program Perspectives - LWV-Texas policy positions
 
 
Kara Bliss with Austin Haller on piano and Pat Harris on base
Robin Engel registering students at Smithson Valley HS
Dr. Richard Dixon
Commissioner Kevin Webb
 
Mark your Calendars
 
 
 
WHAT: Comal ISD Candidate Forum
WHEN: Wednesday, May 3, 7 pm
WHERE: Tye Preston Memorial Library, 16311 South Access Road

WHAT: LWV-CA  Annual Meeting
WHEN: Thursday, May 11, 7 pm
WHERE: Unitarian Universalist of New Braunfels
135 Alves Lane, New Braunfels

May 6 Election Calendar


April 6 – Last day to register for the May 6 election.

April 24 – Early voting begins.

May 2 – Early voting ends.

May 6 – Election Day

Click CALENDAR in the bar above for a complete list of activities for 2016-2017 and mark your calendars now. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
First I would like to thank everyone that made the April 2 concert such a success.  The music of Kara Bliss, Austin Haller, and Pat Harris were enchanting and took us all to another place and time.  The Unitarian Universalist meeting room was transformed into an intimate club.  Austin told us that the piano was one of the finest that he had ever played.  Thanks to everyone that brought food and helped put the room together (and take it down).  Thanks to Connie Born for acting as Impresario Extraordinaire and pulling this all together.  And last but not least, thanks to the audience for their support.

Next I would like to thank Robin Engel and all the deputy voter registrars that went to the three Comal ISD High Schools to register students who were turning 18. 

May 11 is the date for the annual meeting.  I am pleased to announce that the speaker will be Clay Thorpe, news editor for the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. We asked him to talk about the Herald-Zeitung's significant history; how the paper has managed to continue publishing when others have not; and the challenges a community newspaper faces in times of extreme political fragmentation.

Following his remarks, we  will present an award to the newspaper recognizing the contribution to our community in helping make democracy work for everyone.

Members and guests are invited.  Please put this on your calendar.  More details will be in the May issue of the Voter.

Roxanna Deane
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cynthia Hooper
1988 Hunters Cove
New Braunfels 78132
chooper04@gmail.com
210-859-3332

Most people join the League because they are asked.
Please share this email with friends by clicking the "Forward to a Friend" button at the bottom of this newsletter and tell them you are a member.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Jensie Madden, LWV-TX Land Use Issue Chair & Mary Ellen Summerlin, LWV-TX Water Issue Chair ask for your help—

- Contact Sen. Donna Campbell (donna.campbell@senate.texas.gov) and ask her to

co-sponsor SB 1796.

- Contact Rep. Kyle Biedermann (kyle.biedermann@house.texas.gov) and ask him to

co-sponsor HB 3467 and HB 3036.   


As legislators representing the Hill Country, they need to hear from us about supporting protections for water quality in the Edwards Aquifer. Read more about these bills and why LWV-TX is supporting them in the letter below.


Re-print of letter from Annalisa Peace, GEAA (Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance)

You have probably been getting inundated, as have I, with appeals for your help on a variety of issues. I admit to hitting “delete” repeatedly when checking my inbox these days and, so surmise that this may be the reason that we are getting far fewer responses to GEAA’s Legislative Alerts this session.


The 85th session, however, is half over. We won’t have the opportunity to oppose or support legislation that will shape the future of Texas much longer.


We need your support for S.B. 1796 (Menéndez) / H.B. 3467 (Howard) state “The commission (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality-TCEQ) may not issue a new permit authorizing the discharge of sewage effluent directly into any water in the contributing or recharge zone of the San Antonio or Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer.” H.B. 3036 (King) expands the geographic area impacted by this legislation to include the entire Edwards Aquifer Contributing Zone. You can read more from GEAA here and from LWV-TX here.


Over the past decade Hill Country citizens have spent millions of dollars fighting these Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES) permits to discharge into surface water or dry creek beds. Help us stop this practice.

Click here to sign the petition

 
 
 
 
 
 

Voters in the May 6 elections will decide two contested school board races and whether to approve a significant school bond package.


Here’s what to look for if you vote in the Comal Independent School District:

A $263.5 million bond package aims to address overcrowding in two high schools and anticipated growth in the county.

In District 3, Jason York challenges incumbent Laurie Schley.

In District 4, Incumbent Denise Kern runs unopposed.

Early voting and election day polling locations.


There will be a CISD candidate forum on Wednesday, May 3 at 7 pm at the Tye Preston Memorial Library.  There will also be speakers for and against the CISD bond issue.


If you vote in the New Braunfels Independent School District in District 2, there is a race between Joe Terrones and Michael Calta.

Early Voting and election day polling locations



LWV-CA will be posting candidate replies to questions and pros and cons for the Comal ISD bond measure on VOTE411.org.  Watch for notification when the site goes "Live".

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

About 20 people attended the LWV-CA meeting on March 23 to learn about planning efforts regarding regional transportation and air quality.


Dr. Richard Dixon, geography professor from Texas State University, gave the attendees a crash course in the chemicals that are regarded as pollutants in our air. In the Alamo region, which includes Comal County, ground-level ozone is our number one problem. It can cause acute respiratory health effects when people breathe high concentrations of it over several hours. Ground-level ozone is formed when compounds emitted from vehicles are “cooked” in strong sunlight.


Because of high concentrations of ground-level ozone, the Alamo region is currently out of compliance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. The Air Improvement Resources (AIR) Executive Committee of the Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG) is monitoring the situation. Currently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is prevented from enforcing the standards in Texas because of a state lawsuit. Future, more lenient, standards may bring our region into compliance. Dr. Dixon pointed out that health studies have shown that allowing higher concentrations of ozone will cause more instances of respiratory diseases, including childhood asthma.   


Kevin Webb, Comal County Commissioner, Precinct 3, serves on the Executive Committee of the Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (AAMPO) that oversees $200 million in federal and state funding for transportation projects in our region. Mr. Webb explained that several road-widening projects are occurring in Comal County right now with this funding. These projects were chosen through a process that prioritizes them according to “technical scores,” showing need and benefits, and “public input scores,” showing high citizen involvement from Comal County residents.


Mr. Webb responded to several questions from the audience. Regarding the absence of a rail system from San Antonio to Austin, he explained that the Lone Star Rail project failed because Union Pacific wouldn't allow the project to use its rail. However, AAMPO is conducting studies with TXDOT and meeting with Capital Area MPO to investigate options.

Is attention being given to moving people who do not have reliable transportation? Mr. Webb responded that some mass transit (buses) is subsidized but given the geography and low use of public transit, the economies of investing in buses have not been good.

Are we planning ahead for a more dense population (e.g., bicycle lanes)? He explained that AAMPO and the Comal County Commissioners are dealing with a diversity of perspectives in Comal County. While some of the newer residents are moving here from urban areas and desire more bicycle and pedestrian access, most longtime residents prefer using their own vehicles. Mr. Webb said that the 25-year plan has about $2.6 billion available to spend in the region and $4.6 billion in transportation needs. They are working to find a balance.

Are air quality concerns incorporated into transportation planning? He said that yes, plans must demonstrate how road construction/improvements will improve air quality (e.g., improve traffic flow and result in less idling).


 
 
 
 
 
 

1. Buy a fuel efficient vehicle.
2. Group your trips together.
3. Avoid drive through lanes. (Get out & walk inside. Meet people! Get some exercise!)
4. Keep your tires properly inflated.
5. Watch for Ozone Action Days. http://www.co.comal.tx.us/AirQuality.htm
6. When ozone levels are high, refuel after 6 pm.
For more information on the effects of ground-level ozone see https://www.epa.gov/ozone-pollution
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Contact our President:
Roxanna Deane, 830-935-4635 or roxanna@gvtc.com

Send dues of $50 per person or $75 per household to:
LWV-Comal Area, P.O. Box 311324, New Braunfels, TX 78131-1324.
Or pay with a credit card at lwvcomal.org.
 
 
 
 
League of Women Voters of the Comal Area | PO Box 311324 | New Braunfels| Texas | 78131
 
 
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