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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung: Thursday, October 30, 1997 - Page 4

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   New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 30, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas                                4A Q Heraldgelturig g Thursday October Opinion To talk with Managing Editor Margaret Edmonson about the Opinion page call 625 9144 Ext 220 t u n g Opinion Online contact UTo submit letters and guest columns electronically by way of online services or Internet or to simply contact staff members the HeraldZeitungs address is NBHZeitung@AOL.com QUOTABLE Free speech exercised both individually and through a free press is a necessity in any country where people are themselves Theodore Roosevelt 26th President D I T O R I A Kudos Last spring a local business committed an act of generosi ty for which it did not receive adequate thanks Roadrunner Travel and owners Sue and Ken Karger donated a trav el certificate to the 1997 American Cancer Society Starlight Gala The certificate was sold in the silent auction on the night of the gala The generosity of people such as Ken and Sue Karger helped to make the 1997 Starlight Gala the most financially successful ever A gift of is a significant gift and I want to thank the Kargers and Roadrunner Travel on behalf of the 1997 Gala and especially on behalf of all the folks here in New Braunfels who will reach out this year and find support from the Comal County chapter of the American Cancer Society Kathy McLeod Chairman 1997 American Cancer Society Starlight Gala The New Braunfels HeraldZeitung wishes to extend kudos to the following Eden Home staff and residents for making use of plants pets and children to improve their physical and mental health This therapeutic approach brings deeper meaning into lives of some elderly persons who might have felt they had no meaning in their lives Haugh of Haugh Construction and Development Company in New Braunfels for being elected to the board of directors of the Texas Association of Builders Comal County and George A Beere for working out a lease agreement for Spechts Crossing in western Comal County on Old Spring Branch Road west of 281 The county will use the crossing for launching and recovering personal watercraft All of the organizers and volunteers who are offering safe fun activities for local youngsters this Halloween These alternatives to trickortreating doortodoor will help children stay out of mischief and out of harms way Write us The New Braunfels HeraldZeitung welcximes letters on any public issue The editor reserves the right to correct spelling style punctua tion and known factual errors Letters should be kept to 250 words We publish only original mail addressed to the New Braunfels Her aldZeitung bearing the writers signature Also an address and a tele phone number which are not for publication must be included Please cite the page number and date of any article that is mentioned Preference is given to writers who have not been published in the pre vious 30 days Mail letters to Letters to the Editor the New Braunfels HeraldZeitung Drawer 311328 New Braunfels Texas 781311328 Fax 830 6251224 New Braunfels HeraldZeitung Editor and Publisher Ext Toney Managing Editor Ext Edmonson Director of Marketing Ext Borchardt Classified Advertising Manager Ext Reininger Business Manager Ext Lee Hall Circulation Director Ext Ann Avery Pressroom Foreman Ext Published on Sunday mornings and weekday mornings Tuesday through Friday by the New Braunfels HeraldZeitung USPS 377880 707 Landa or Drawer 311328 New Braunfels Coma County Tx 78131 1328 Periodical postage paid by the New Braunfels HeraldZeitung in New Braunfels Texas Carrier delivered in Comal and Guadalupe counties three months six months one year Senior Citizen Discounts by carrier delivery only six months one year Mail delivery outside Comal County in Texas three months six months one year Mail outside Texas six months one year Subscribers who have not received a newspaper by Tuesday through Friday or by on Sunday may call 830 6259144 or by 7 weekdays or by 11 on Sunday POSTMASIER Send address changes to the New Braunfels HeraldZeitung Draw er 311328 New Braunfels Tx 781311328 Voters to decide future of water supplies Texans soon will have a chance to vote on our states future Two amendments on the Nov 4 ballot will change the states constitution and play a critical role in making sure Texas has enough water for the next cen tury One amendment will allow property tax relief on land using water conservation measures The other will give the Texas Water Development Board greater flexibility in financing a wide variety of crit icallyneeded water projects without increasing the states bond debt limit The two votes cap a 40year span of false starts in developing a longrange comprehensive state water plan Lawmakers last spring approved a master plan to conserve develop and manage the states valuable water resources Now its up to Texas voters Failure to get behind the effort could produce dis astrous results in the future Texas grew from million people in 1970 to more than 19 million in 1997 And the states population is expected to reach more than million in 2030 and 99 percent increase since 1990 Although the numbers underscore the challenges facing the state they dont reflect the water shortages Texans have lived with on a regular basis The state has suffered through five major droughts since the 1930s including a catastrophic sevenyear drought in the 1950s Bob Bullock The mostfecent drought in 19951996 cost Texas farmers ranchers and businesses an esti mated billion in damages Federal disaster relief blamed on water shortages went 101242 of the states 254 counties But historically widespread concern about water supplies has washed away when the first drenching rains fill our lakes rivers and streams Texans soon forget the water restrictions that scorched their lawns and the billions of dollars of crops and parched cattle devastated under the glare of the summer sun But the threat never goes away Despite rapid urbanization farms and ranches remain a vital and important part of the Texas economy Other busi nesses and industries need adequate water too and Texas needs them to keep the states economy in high gear The Legislature gave top priority to a water bill this year The law mixes a variety of strategies to meet future demands It deals with drought management response water management marketing and transfers surface and groundwater supplies financial assistance to local governments and small communities and data col lection The law tackles just about every single facet of water resource policy and management with one exception public apathy Like most Americans Texans take a lot for grant ed They expect to have water when they turn on the facet to wash their hands scrub their dishes or brush their teeth Unfortunately taking it for granted that the amend ments to the states water plan will pass is gambling with Texass future A better bet would be to vote yes for the water pro posals in November Bob Bullock is lieutenant governor of Molly Ivins Technical problems again have delayed our ability to get Cal Thomas column so we will be run ning both columns In Fridays paper Cal Thomas Krenrgs on a steoecrafr lowteSSisn Letter to the Editor CISD bond supporters analysis appears flawed Dear Editor We would like to take this opportunity to reply to Dr Randall P Westmans editorial on the need for a new high school in Comal 1SD My wife Linda Bertelsen was the subcommittee chairperson on the Long Range Planning Committees study on school size The first issue that should be addressed is the size of the Long Range Committee CISD continues to tell the public that there were over 100 members of our community that served on the Long Range Plan ning Committee In fact after the first two meetings the numbers dwindled to approximately 35 Of those members approximately 20 were school district personnel As for the ERIC search that Dr Randall P West man commissioned there is a major flaw in his analysis My wife and I did the same ERIC search early on in our studies of school size Unfortunately Dr Randall P Westman was not involved with the Long Range Planning Committee where he would have been able to participate in the discussion on this matter The fact is that small schools refers to schools of 400 students or less We were able to find two documents referring to small schools as those with students or less Due to the fact that both of our high schools have over students we concluded that all 250 or so documents were of no use in our analysis of small versus We then looked to the Texas Education Agency for other comparisons What we found disputes infor mation that is being widely publicized by Comal ISD Based on the TEAs latest information on high schools in the Austin and San Antonio region we found the following to be true High schools with enrollment sizes of out performed those of College entrance test scores were higher inschools with students Dropout rates were lower in schools of Operat ing costs per student in a school with stu dents were over 16 percent lower than those of schools with students These are facts Comal ISOs response to this was that you cannot use TEA figures for comparisons If you cannot use TEAs figures whose figures can you use The con clusion we came to is the same as the study conducted by the University of Washington on the Leon Coun ty schools in Florida This conclusion was that school enrollment size has minimal impact on either acade mic performance or psychosocial Dr Randall P Westman also referred to the sci entific survey that Comal ISD commissioned in 1996 It is true that 70 percent of those surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that they favored smaller schools The fact is that 70 percent of those 403 people surveyed represents 282 people We have over registered voters in Comal ISD This means that we are using less than one percent of the registered voters in Comal ISD to form our opinions Interesting to note is that in the same scientific sur vey over 57 percent of those surveyed wanted to see year round school implemented Are we valuing their opinion on this topic Also of concern is Dr Randall P Westmans views on the need for a new high school In a letter that he submitted on Sept 19 1997 to the Comal ISD Board of Trustees and the Ad Hoc Committee he stated that he was a ticket taker at the football games of Smithson Valleys Middle School and conducted his own personal survey as to high school expansion over a new high school He also surveyed residents in the western half of the district by placing nightly phone calls The results of his personal sur vey were unanimously everyone I spoke to favored expansion over a new high He also makes this statement Regrettably it is now my recommendation that to enter into a bond election with the greatest chance of success we must put forth expansion of Smithson Valley High Why was this information deleted from his editori al about school size As members of the Long Range Planning Com mittee we have projected the committees enroll ment figures to the year 20072008 If we build a new high school and two new elementary schools now we will still need five new elementary schools and two new high schools to provide classroom space for our children in the next five year plan This will cost million Should we vote on school size now or wait five more years Another issue is how much does it cost Accord ing to Dr Randall P Westman it will only cost 70 cents per month Comal ISD is presently million in debt This costs us cents on the tax rate How does million additional debt only cost cents on the tax rate The fact is that Comal ISD plans to restructure its debt that is almost paid off and take another 20 years to pay it off Kind of like pay ing four year payments on your five year car not and then refinancing it for another five years What does that cost you in interest What will we restructure five years from now when we need another million for five new elementary and two new high schools We are not antipublic schools or The fact is that we are FOR respon sible spending on the education of our children We are antiexcessive spending on facilities for our Please consider this when you vote to put your children in debt John and Linda Bertelsen Spring Branch Today in History By The Associated Press Today is Thursday Oct 30 the 303rd day of 1997 There are 62 days left in the year Todays Highlight in History On Oct the radio play that panicked the nation The War of the starring Orson Welles aired on CBS On this date In 1735 the second president of the United States John Adams was bom in Braintree Mass In 1944 the Martha Graham ballet Appalachian with music by Aaron Copland premiered at the Library of Congress with Graham in a leading role In 1945 the government announced the end of shoe rationing In 1953 Gen George C Marshall was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize Dr Albert Schweitzer received the Peace Prize for 1952 In 1961 the Soviet Union tested a hydrogen bomb with a force estimated at 58 megatons In 1961 the Soviet Parry Congress unanimously approved a resolution ordering the removal of Josef Stalins body from Lenins tomb In people were killed when an Illinois Central Gulf commuter train collided with another train in Chica gos South Side In 1974 Muhammad Ali knocked out George Foreman in the eighth round of a 15round bout in Kinshasa Zaire to regain his world heavyweight title In 1979 President Carter announced his choice of federal appeals judge Shirley Hufstedler te head the newly created Department of Education   

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