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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
March 2, 2011     Hays Free Press
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March 2, 2011

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Hays Free Press March 2,2011 NEWS Page 3A + PHOTO BY UNCOLN RAMIREZ Outstanding Kyle firefigMms honored, cadets sworn in The Kyle Fire Department honored its oustanding members and swore in new cadets at its annual banquet on Friday Those honored include (front) firefighter Jeremy Hennen, winner of a Captain's Award; Battalion Chief Mike Vasil, Chief Glenn Whitaker;, Deputy Chief Rick Beaman, Capt Rey Villanueva, Fire Officer of the Year;, firefighter Mark Schultz, winner of a Captain's Award and Career Firefighter of the Year;, (back) firefighter David Schultz, Career Rookie of the Year;, firefighter Kevin Dab/, Volunteer Firefighter of the Year;, Lt Freddy Rolon, winner of a Captain's Award; Cadet Josh Blumhagen, Cadet Firefighter of the Year; and firefighter Alex Barrera, who had his firefighter badge pinned Officials warn of fire danger $1"t=F R0m" Emergency management of_ ficials are warning of increased fire danger across Central Texas due to windy, dry conditions. Hays County remains under a bum ban. On Monday, the National Weather Service issued a Red Rag Warning for the region. Relatively light rainfali earlier in the week led the weather service to ]fit the waming but authorities warn that the danger is stillhigh. "The same system that af- fected West Texas yesterday has moved down to South Texas, Austin down to the Valley. But the conditions won't be as ex- treme as they were over West Texas and the Panhandie yester- day," said Mark Stanford, a Texas Forest Service spokesperson. On Sunday, wildfires swept across West Texas, consuming an estimated 120,000 acres and at least 80 homes. One person died in the blazes. In addition to observing the bum ban, people should be careful about driving their cars into tall grass. The heat from an automobile's catalytic converter can easily spark a fire. Buda Mayor's Race: Lane hits re-election road Continued from pg 1A "Buda's doing good, and there's a lot going on," Lane said "I feel like we've come a long way in the last ten years. I'd hate to walk away from it now." After serving on the council for several years, Lane won his first term as mayor in 2008. Dur- ing his tenure, the city developed a local police department. Lane said his priorities in the next term would be the creation of a municipal annexation plan and improvement of the city's road, water and wastewater infra- structure. "Turning out an annexation plan is part of that managed growth," Lane said. Those priorities will have to be balanced against the fman- cial pressures of the nationwide recession. "We're going to have to weath- er the storm with everybody else on tax revenues," Lane said. Mangham, who announced that she would fo- cus her campaign on gather- ing input from local residents, said she's notunhap- py to have drawn a challenger. LANE "I would do the same amount of work and the same amount of cam- paigning either way," Mangham said. Incumbent Place 6 Coun- cilmember Scott Dodd also filed last week to seek a second coun- cil term. Dodd said he wanted to workto develop environmentally friendly and sustainable building codes that include reuse of effluent for water conservation, as well as im- proving the downtown corridor. "Buda is a fast developing city and requires leadership to ensure the development is environmentally sensitive and responsible use of our limited resources," Dodd said. "I believe the next three years will influ- ence who wants to move to Buda and who wants to stay in Buda." Incumbent Councilmember Tom Crouse says he's leaning against making another run. Planning and Zoning Commis- sioner Dawn Schaeffer has filed to seek Crouse's Place 5 seat. In Kyle, midway through the filing period, no contested races have yet to emerge. Incumbent mayor Lucy Johnson and Coun- cilmembers Becky Selbera and David Wilson each have filed to seek reelection, but have not yet drawn a challenger. Filing opened Feb. 14 and ms through March 14 for the May 14 races. Water district hosts annual meeting The Texas Water Develop- ment Board will host a joint planning meeting for the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer and the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District and eight other enti- ties with stakes in Ground- water Management Area No. 9. The meeting will be Monday, March 7, 10 a.m., at the Upper Guadalupe River Authority, 125 Lehman Drive in Kerrville. HB 1763 requires ground- water conservation districts to meet at least once a year to coordinate efforts and establish "desired future conditions" for the region's aquifers. The water develop- ment board then uses the designation to determine available groundwater for regional water plans and permitting. Groundwater Manage- ment Area No. 9 includes Hays County as well as Ban- dera, Bexar, Blanco, Comal, Kendall, Kerr, Medina and Travis counties. NEWSBRIEFS IkllimJ Way taking applicaUons hxmt charities United Way of Hays County are accepting applications from health and human service agencies interested in seeking funding from UWHC for the 2012 funding cycle. Agencies interested in ap- plying for funding must meet the following requirements: be a non-profit agency, have a CPA audit or equivalent and have been providing services in Hays County for at least two years. Other requirements will be provided to agencies in the application packet. All current and past funded agencies must reapply for funding. Applications are available for download from the United Way of Hays County website. Agencies are asked to notify United Way of their intended application by March 18. All agencies interested in apply- ing for funding must attend a mandatory informational meeting on Tuesday, March 22, at 11 a.m. in the San Marcos Police Department Train- hag Room located at the San Marcos Police Department Headquarters. The deadline for tinning in applications is April 15. For questions regarding the application or the funding process; please call Michelle Harper, United Way of Hays County Executive Director at 512 -353 - 1420 or email united- Sheriff, VFW plan flag disposal ceremonies The Hays County Sheriff's Office will hold a flag disposal ceremony at noon March 18 at the Training Academy, 1307 Uhland Road, in San Marcos. Residents who want to dispose of old flags properly can drop them off at the sheriff's office or with any of the county's jus- tices of the peace. The ceremo- ny is open to the public. For information, call Sgt. Dennis Gutierrez at 512-393-7877. Kyle-Buda VFW Post No. 12058 is holding its own flag retirement ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 12 at Kyle Fire Department Station No. 1,210W. Moore St. Cub Scout Pack 812 will take part in the ceremony. For information, call Post Adjunct David Lyle at 512-539-6968 DrougM Bound: It's not great, but it's not so bad Continued from pg 1A late April. The alarm stage trig- gets a mandatory 20 percent reduction for businesses and other entities - such as the cities of Buda and Kyle - who pump water from the aquifer. "May is typically our wet time; and hopefullywe'll get some rain," said Brian Hunt, the conservation district's senior hydrogeologist. "There's a slight glimmer of hope that we won't enter (alarm stage), but it remains to be seen." Parts of Central Texas are already experiencing severe drought conditions, Nielson- Gammon said. "It's not noticeable for urban residents, because .they are not using a lot of water at this time of year," he said. "But there's a shortage of forage for cattle and so forth, and planting season for farmers is a concern be- cause of the lack of moisture in the topsoil." Texas' worst drought on re- cord came during the 1950s. The most recent one, which ended in 2009, was the worst since then. The two-year drought that ended in the fall and winter of 2009 cost farmers and ranchers around $4 billion in losses. "It was really bad," Fogarty said. 'Any rain that we got was sort of scattered about, it wasn't widespread and we didn't get any good soakers." The good news is that if Cen- tral Texas can make it through the spring the NationalWeather Service is predicting typical rain- fall for the summer. "The long range looks like it's going to be normal," Foga- rty said. "The drought shouldn't get any worse and may improve somewhat. We're hoping that it doesn't become what we had two years ago. We're hopeful that's not the case." Nielson-Gammon said it's too early to say what will happen this summer. "For summer, as usual," he said. "there's no way to tell." Cisneros Ranch: Plant the seed and pray for rain Continued from pg 1A "There ain't nothing we can do about it," he said. "It's just part of it." Some of the land that Cisne- ros leases is already owned by developers. As long as Cisneros is farming and ranching on the property, the developers enjoy agricultural exemptions that lower their annual tax bills. It's only a matter of time, though, before that land gives way to new homes as well. "They didn't buy this land for Rudy to keep cows on it," Cisneros said, chuckling. %t some point it will be developed for homes." Cisnems' own property isn't for sale. His family has ties to the land that go back gen- erations. The property once belonged to a German settler who was the first farmer in the area to own a tractor. Cisneros' ancestors worked for the Ger- man. "My ancestors were raised on this place," he said. Today, several renmants of the old settlement remain. There is an old blacksmith's shop where Cisnems keeps his lawnmower, a smokehouse, a deep well and a rock cellar where the old German's man- sion once stood. The mansion was torn down before Cisneros, his uncle and father bought the place in 1975. Cisnems' father and uncle owned a barbershop in Kyle. His grandfather sheared sheep and cut firewood for a living. 'As a kid I remember going to ranches with my granddaddy, and I always had love for that," he said. This spring, with the help of his relatives, Cisneros is getting ready to plow and plant 60 acres of sudan grass for hay. With the right fertilizer and the fight rain, he can get three cuttings from his hayfields during each grow- ing season. But in the past few dry years, he said, he has been able to bale less than half that amount. "I had saved plenty of hay from years back, and with the hay I had and the little bit I bought, we was able to make it through" the most recent drought, he said. "I think I've still got enough hay to carry myself another year or so." People have offered to buy his land, he said, but he's happy where he is. "What you see I built with my own two hands," he said. "I hope I never have to sell it. After I'm dead and gone, my boys can do whatever they want with it." Cisneros laughed. "More than likely, they'll run a little cattle on it," he contin- ued. "It's in their blood, how they were raised. I don't think they'd be happy without it." To make your home more energy efficient, visit >\> '/!!!!!i]!i!]i]i,i "i!ii'i!ii!iiii'iil, POWER OF COMMUNITY PEDERNALES ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE