New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, July 29, 2000, Page 6

Publication: New Braunfels Herald Zeitung July 29, 2000

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 29, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas Luge 6A — Herald-Zeiti NG — Saturday, July 29, 2000Opinions FORUM Letters Nkw Iu£u.nkki.s Herald-Zeitung New Braunfels Zeitung was founded 1852: New Brauntels Herald was founded 1890. The two papers merged in 1957 and printed in both German and English until 1958. Doug Toney, Editor and Publisher Margaret Edmonson, Managing Editor Michael Cary, News Editor www.herald-zeitung.com (830) 625-9144 Kudos The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung extends congratulations to: ...The Comal County 4-H drill team which competed in the 4-H Horse Show this past week. The 13 young ladies earned the right to compete in the show after practice since the fall of 1999. The competition required not only synchronized movements by the members but also their horses — a true test of skill and control. ... The Offerman family — Don and Marie Offermann and Don Offerman Jr. and Phylis Offerman — on being featured in the Home and Garden Television program, “Restore America." Their efforts to restore the Offerman family home are worthy of national recognition. ... To Mike Fitsko. Merry White and Richard Ramirez on being named principals at New Braunfels High School, Carl Schurz Elementary and OakRun Sixth Grade Center, respectively. These were promotions made by the New Braunfels school district administration and trustees and well-deserved. A big welcome also goes to Curtis Wubbena, an assistant principal in San Marcos, who joins Lone Star Primary as its principal. ... To all the drivers who play by the rules, wait their turn and drive safely and patiently, especially during these trying times of road construction on Interstate 35. Plenty of other drivers appear to be willing to do what it takes, at the expense of safety and common sense, and those who do recognize the need to follow the rules are doing their part to make the situation as sane as possible. Thank you. Today in History By The Associated Press Today is Saturday, July 29, the 21 lth day of 2000. There are 155 days left in the year. Today's Highlight in History: On July 29, 1958, President Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, which created NASA. On this date: In 1588, the English soundly defeated the Spanish Armada in the Battle of Gravelines. In 1890, artist Vincent van Gogh died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Auvers, France. In 1900, Italian King Humbert I was assassinated by an anarchist; he was succeeded by his son, Victor Emmanuel III. In 1914, transcontinental telephone service began with the first phone conversation between New York and San Francisco. In 1948, Britain’s King George VI opened the Olympic Games in London. In 1957. the International Atomic Energy Agency was established. In 1967, fire swept the USS Forrestal in the Gulf of Tonkin, killing 134 servicemen. In 1975, President Ford became the first U.S. president to visit the site of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz in Poland as he paid tribute to the victims. In 1980, a state funeral was held in Cairo, Egypt, for the deposed Shah of Iran, who had died two days earlier at age 60. In 1981, Britain’s Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer at St. Pauls Cathedral in London. Ten years ago: Bruno Kreisky, Austria’s longest-serving chancellor and an architect of its policy of neutrality, died at age 79. ALL MIKE N#LT* GEBKE, WNEIUP. UNM VICK* UNCLE W& WMG KCW lanai / LA Letter to the Editor At what price the JRO TC program? Dear Editor: As a regular attendee of the CISD board meetings and workshops, I feel I need to send you my comments regarding the article you w rote regarding the J ROTO program at Smithson Valley High School, (refer to attached files) Your article states “When trustees were presented a proposal for the program, district officials said CISD would be responsible for paying a portion of the two instructors’ salaries’’. This is not correct. The board, after numerous and similar questions from different board members, was told my Mr. Brad Williams, Principal at Smithson Valley High School, that all the district would need to do was pay for a salary that would be reimbursed by the military and someplace for the two instructors to use as a classroom. Of course, none of the board members asked if there was room to house the two instructors hence about $80,000 for portable classrooms now is needed in the budget. Never was there any mention made that additionally the district would need to spend another approximately $80,000 for regular salaries. You state that the proposed budget allows for $173,000 in funding when at the July 11 board meeting, after Mr. Dan Krueger called attention to the line item in the proposed budget from Mr. Campos, the board was told by Mr. Campos that the figure would be $165,000. You also report that, in addition to the salaries and supplies, there has been “travel expenses’’ budgeted for the course. Travel expenses for what? For the field trips? For the instructors? You reported that Mr. Williams “said the district would have to buy another portable for the school anyway to keep with student grow th’’. But now, if the JROTC program occupies two of the classrooms in the new portable, we will only be able to utilize half of the portables we needed to begin with to help with the overcrowding. There are teachers at the High School now who don’t have the room that they need to adequately teach the students. I would believe that the space that a new portable would provide could be utilized by instructors in curriculum already in place at the school. Of more concern is the practice of presenting programs to the board for approval w ithout presenting all the facts. It seems to be a case of “if they don’t ask, I won't tell.” Or maybe even, “if I might not get what I want, I won’t tell.” If the board made a decision about the JROTC program w ithout knowing all the facts, what recourse do they have? If no recourse, then w hat should happen to those individuals who knew about the added cost but did not inform the rest of the board about the fact of the salaries the district will be responsible for? My w ife and I were in attendance the night that Mr. Williams made the presentation. On several occasions, he was asked if the district’s participation was only for classroom space. He continually responded that only the classroom space would be needed. Never did he mention a regular teaching salary for each instructor. Your article also leads the reader to believe that with the new' expansion at the High School, the class would be housed somewhere besides the portable building now under consideration. At the July I I board meeting, it was said that even with the expansion project complete, there would be no room for the JROTC program except in the portable buildings. No one is questioning the good that would come from such a program. However, when the district has already cut curriculum at Smithson Valley High School “that counts toward graduation requirements" and is not able to adequately provide for bilingual education at the elementary schools, along with a myriad of other budget shortfalls as you described in your article, some patrons question whether this program can be justified financially. Calvin Kempin and Rose Cervin, Spring Branch Got Something To Say? The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung encourages letters on any public issue. The editor reserves the right to correct spelling, style, punctuation and known factual errors. Letters should be kept to 250 words. We publish only original mail addressed to the New' Braunfels I lerald-Zeitung bearing the writer’s signature. Also, an address and a tele phone number, which are not for publication, must be included for confirmation purposes. Preference is given to writers who have not been published in the previous 30 days. Mail letters to: Letters to the Editor c/o the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung P.O. Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, T X 78131-1328 Fax: (830) 606-3413 e-mail: newsfn herald- zeitung.comWe can disagree, but we must be civil about it We expect phone calls when we write editorials sharing our viewpoint on one issue or another. We expect people to disagree w ith us, and we expect to get letters and guest columns from folks pointing out why they disagree. And that’s just what happened this Friday when a caller, who was invited to share his opinion in a letter or column, said, “FII just find some other way to hurt you." He was one of several w ho disagreed with our editorial, “November ballot offers voters no real choice.” We argued against tying together the measures relating to the 4A and 4B sales tax funds. The folks who called Friday — including councilwoman Debbie Flume — disagreed with us. C ouncil voted Monday to ask voters in November if they wanted to eliminate the economic development sales tax and reallocate the money to the 4B board where it also can be used for economic Margaret EDMONSON development as well as streets and drainage. The proposition, if passed also would open up the 4B funds for other uses, such as affordable housing. We believe that this proposition is an either-or situation for people who might want to leave the economic development sales tax fund alone and who want to expand the 4B fund for all legal uses. If council truly wanted to give voters a choice, we believe the proposition should be divided into two: I.) Allow voters to decide whether they want to dismantle the economic development corporation and divert all 4A funds to the 4B board; and 2.) Open up the 4B funds for all legal uses, including affordable housing, sports venues and others. Former city councilwoman Mary Serold and current councilwoman Flume pointed out that our editorial did not make it clear that if the 4A money went to the 4B board it still could be used for economic development. Point made. However, some residents in this community might want to keep the 4A fund the way it is and at the same time open up the 4B fund for all other legal uses. These folks are being asked to choose between one or the other. We believe there is a better way to handle the propositions. Some people will disagree with us. In fact, a gentleman called and said we were not being objective and we were just out to “get” the two new ly elected council members. He did not say much about the proposition or the two new councilmembers, just .that he thought we were supposed to be objective and we were not. I explained to him that on the opinion page, we write editorials reflecting our opinions and we open up the page for other people to share their opinions. I asked him if he would like to w rite a letter or guest column. No, he said. “FII just find some other way to hurt you.” Three years ago, we w rote an editorial against the closing of certain neighborhood streets to accommodate tourism. We said asking some New Braunfels residents to show' their driver’s licenses to get to their own homes was going too far in the name of tourism. The next day, we had representatives from the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce in the publisher’s office, claiming that we were anti-chamber and anti-tourism. They tried to change our opinion, but we said we would continue to call it like we see it. At least they didn’t threaten us. This uncivil response is establishing a dangerous pattern. Mayor Stoney Williams reports decorum at council meetings has degraded in recent months, particularly in the audience. “There are some people who yell during the meeting and they make rude comments as you walk out,” Williams said. “It’sjust gotten nastier. Its like if they can shout you dow n, then their side wins.” For us to address the real problems in this community, we must be able to disagree civilly. To the gentleman who called, I respect your right to disagree with us, but for you to threaten to “hurt us” either as a business or individually is not only immature, it is un-American. Your opinion might be different, but that doesn’t make either of our views less valid. (Margaret Edmonson is managing editor of the Herald-Zeitung.) L ;

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Publication: New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

Issue Date: July 29, 2000

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