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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 1, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas New Braunfels TUESDAY April I, 2003 14 pages in 2 sections J 4 pages in C SCC titHerald-Z eitung [..........................................~ . . ;; j Vol. 152, No. 118 Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 50 cents Trustees urged to drop support for transitional first grade By Sean Bowlin Staff Writer New Braunfels Independent School Board trustees were urged Monday night not to support a retention program for kindergartners because better alternatives are available. Trustees were told by district administrators that keeping kindergartners for an extra year in transitional first grade is no longer the best option for young students who trail some of their peers on the learning curve. Assistant Superintendent Rosalyn Bratcher said the transitional first grade program has been left behind as the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) learning system has been implemented. Kindergarten is no longer just a period of socialization to schooling; it is much more rigorously academic, Bratcher said. So learning expectations for kindergarteners have become more academic in focus. And Bratcher pointed out that respected early childhood advocates don’t recommend retention. Instead, trustees were asked to look at three successful programs within the New Braunfels 1SD as alterna- See SCHOOL BOARD/3A Inside Abby....................................5A Classifieds...........................4-6B Comics  .............  7A Crossword   SA Forum,.................  6A Movies   5A Obituaries..................  3A Sports.............................1-2B Today  ....................„..2A TV Grid  ...........  3B Key Code 76 8 ""56825 OOif01 i Fighting fierce outside Baghdad By DAVID ESPO AP Special Correspondent American forces battled Iraqi defenders in fierce street fighting 50 miles south of Baghdad on Monday, pointing toward a drive on the capital. Army guards shot seven Iraqi women and children to death when their van refused orders to stop at a checkpoint, officials said. U.S. troops and tanks encountered rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire in a dawn raid against Republican Guard defenders of Hindiyah, a key city astride the Euphrates River. Other units fought to isolate Najaf to the south and prevent attacks on U.S. supply lines. “There are maneuvers going (on) to try to destroy those divisions that stand in our way” of Bagh dad, Maj. Gen. Stanley McChrystal said at the Pentagon. He added that more than 3,000 precision-guided bombs have been dropped on Iraq in the past few days, out of 8,000 in the entire war. In the northern part of Iraq, commanders said an assault on a compound controlled by an Islamic Iraqi group turned up lists of names of suspected militants living in the United states. And heavy bombing was reported during the day, from areas near the northern oil fields to downtown Baghdad to Republican Guard defensive positions south of the city. Bombing south of the capital, probably against Republican Guard positions, resumed at daylight Tuesday. On day 13 of Operation Iraqi Free-See WAR ON IRAQ/3 A ■ Demand for local firm's environmental spill kits on the rise, Page 8A ■ The latest briefs from the warfront, Page 8A I Follow late developments on the Herald-Zestung Web Site, mn hic airt-dom Planning commission takes first pass at city’s annexation plans lime, place By Ron Maloney Staff Writer The New Braunfels Planning and Zoning Commission will discuss tonight a city staff recommendation about what pieces of land the city should annex this year. New Braunfels City Planner Frank Robbins said the commission would then make its recommendation to city council. The planning and zoning commission meets at 6:30 p.m. in the city hall council chambers, 424 S. Caste!! Ave. “The planning and zoning commission off and on since the summer of 2002 has been looking at what we’ve been annexing and how we’ve been evaluating what we should be annexing in light of state law,” Robbins said. “The council agreed in January to go through a different process than we have in the past. What we’re doing now is evaluating each tract with a lot more information provided, which has raised our The New Braunfels Planning and Zoning Commission meets at 6:30 p.m. today in the council chambers, Municipal Building, 424 S. Casted Ave. it would provide the public with a first look at what the city would annex later this year. sensitivity to the extension of New Braunfels Utilities and other city services and where we ought to annex for strategic purposes rather than just for control purposes,” Robbins said. The commission and city staff have examined the variables and Robbins said tonight the commission would arrive at a proposal for council. “We believe they’ll make a recommendation of the property to be annexed this year,” Robbins said. Residents east of Texas 46 who have opposed annexa tion, Robbins said, still have concerns. Other nearby development activity — not on the tracts those people live on — suggests the city should consider annexing in those areas, Robbins said. Planners adopted thus year’s annexation schedule in January. New Braunfels has listed IO parcels of land comprising 6.96 square miles of property for possible annexation. Most of that property is located on the east side of the city, although small portions that could come under consideration are located off Texas 46 West. The schedule calls for the city to recommend specific properties for annexation in April. Public hearings would be conducted in July. The annexation ordinance would be* read Aug. 20, Sept. 3 and Sept. 17. Annexations would be completed by Nov. 19. Register to vote by Thursday How to sign up NOTES UMH' To keep voters in the city and Comal Independent School District abreast of the May 3 elections, the HerakJ-Zeitung will begin running a “Campaign Notes” column daily Candidates in both elections are invited to submit for publication details about their electioneering, which can include ■ Planned district meetings for their constituents. ■ Scheduled debates or forums ■ Planned neigh borhood canvas efforts by a candidate or supporters Call Ron Maloney or Gary E. Maitland at 625-9144, or e mail them to: gmaitlandttherald-zeitung com By Ron Maloney Staff Writer Thursday is the deadline for registering to vote in the upcoming municipal and school district elections. Election day is May 3. In New Braunfels, the council seats held by Robert Kendrick and Debbie Flume are up for election. Gale O’Hara Pospisil is opposing Flume in District 3, while Valerie Hull is running against Kendrick in District 4. In addition, three propositions are on the May 3 ballot in New Braunfels, The first would permit the use of Hotel Occupancy 'Pax money to fund the building of a civic center in New Braunfels — not just expanding the existing one. The second would reduce by two-thirds or one-quarter cent per dollar the economic development (4B) sales tax, while the third would dedicate that money to a street repair fund. In Bulverde, two at-large council seats are up for election, Incumbent Charlie Baetz, Sarah Stevick, Elliott L. Franklin and ('indy Cross are seeking the seats. In the Comal independent School District, elections in districts I and 2 have been cancelled because in- Register to vote by visiting the Comal County tax office, 160 Oak Drive kl Sa filer, before 4:30 p.m. Thursday, or the Comal County Tax Assessor/CoMector s Office. 205 N. Seguin Ave., New Braunfels, before 5 p m Thursday. cumbents Dora Gonzales, and Dan Krueger are running unopposed Four people — John Zimmerman, Hose Cen in, Lee Iredale and w rhein candidate Randy Shelton arc seeking the District 5 seat. In District 7, which includes Garden Ridge and Solms, incumbent Randy Pawelek is being challenged by Bill Swint and Lcs Sutton. In Garden Ridge, three incumbents are running unopposed and the city council will volt* Wednesday on whether to cancel the election. Early voting will In* conducted m Room 104 of the Comal County Courthouse. It begins April 16 and runs through April 29, except on weekends and on Founders Day, April 25, when city and county offices are closed. In addition, early voting will be See ELECTIONS One of spring’s most enjoyable rituals is kite flying. When the warm breezes of the season begin to blow, adults and children alike head outdoors with kites and line in hands. The fanciful shapes and colors of kites add intrigue to a sport that traces its origin back thousands of years. But most of all, flying a kite is just pure fun, as the child at right discovered this past Friday at Lamar Primary’s kite day and grandfriends' picnic at    K    JESS,E SLATCK„era|d Zemjng the Comal County Fairgrounds. More kite fun occurs Saturday at the Kite Festival, sponsored by the City of New Braunfels Parks and Recreation Department, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Prince Solms Park. It’s free, but children under 10 must be accompanied by an adult. Fly your own kite or make one for $1. For information, call (830) 608-2167. DAVID INGRAM/Herakl-Zeitung Above, Roxanne Farias and her son, Jeremiah, laugh it up while trying to get Jeremiah’s kite strings untangled during Lamar Primary’s kite day. At left, Jessy Ruiz, a first grader, battles some strong winds as she attempts to get her kite to fly. I Precision-guided bombs not fool proof, Page 8A • % ;