New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 21, 1993, New Braunfels, Texas
Wednesday, April 21,1993
Principal calls for disclosure
By ROSE MARIE EASH Harakt-Zftltung
Robert E. Brockman Jr., the embattled principal of Canyon Middle School, has asked the Comal Independent School District board of trustees to disclose a portion of a controversial investigative report which led to disciplinary actions against him.
The CISD board had voted not to extend Brockman’s contract this spring alter an investigation into racial discrimination charges brought by some parents in the district Repeating the board’s statement that evidence of intentional racial discrimination” and “no evidence to show that Rusty Brockman has acted in an intentional discriminatory manner against minority students” was found, the letter said the board is perpetuating “both the cloud of racial distrust that hangs over the district and the perception of racial bias that unjustly enshrouds Mr. Brockman.”
The letter asks that the board release the portion of the investigative report they have presented to Brockman and identify any other charges which may not have been disclosed to Brockman or his law firm of Davis, Adami and Cedillo prior to any other public disclosures.
According to Ricardo G. Cedillo, who signed the letter, the board’s stand that they will not release the report to protect the rights of those accused when they have said they found no evidence of discrimination is confusing and suspicious.
According to the letter sent to William Hays Jr., president of the board of trustees, the board had ample opportunity to act in response to a report by Dora Gonzales, a CISD patron and parent, that a Canyon Middle School teacher had used the term “Aztec Princesses."
The letter states that the board did not act and or provide any direction on how to handle the matter to Brockman.
The letter goes on to say The reality is that not until the socalled ‘Letter of Directive’ given to Mr. Brockman last month has the board cared enough about problems of racism in the district to formulate express policies concerning the discipline of employees who make improper racial comments.”
Cedillo also said in the letter that although matters discussed in executive session were assumed to be confidential, Eva Potter, wife of board member Tom Potter, has been privy to highly confidential information concerning the controversy and has been discussing the matters in public.
The letter said Brockman did not want the kind of protection the district was offering and that the firm was requesting the opportunity to be heard on behalf of Brockman concerning the matters addressed in the letter and other issues affecting him at the upcoming April 26 board meeting.
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Vol. 141, No. 108
Pictured with their students are Carl Schurz Elementary School teachers Vicky Krejci, left, and Linda Bingham, right, have been honored as 1993 Reader’s Digest American Heroes in Education.
Teachers named ‘American heroes’
By ROSE MARIE EASH Hsrsld-Zsltung
At Tuesday’s New Braunfels Independent School District board meeting, Superintendent Charles Bradberry announced that Linda Bingham and Vicky Krejci, two of the district’s elementary teachers, were named Reader’s Digest American Heroes in Education for 1993.
The NBISD team was chosen from more than 650 nominations submitted by fellow educators in public, private and parochial schools nationwide for their outstanding efforts in education.
Bingham and Krejci recruited hundreds of community volunteers to launch a one-on-one tutoring program that has dramatically improved their school’s academic performance. In 1989, the team launched the Help One Student to Succeed program to help their fourth and fifth grade remedial reading students.
These tremendous teachers exemplify the word, ‘hero’,” said Bradberry. “Knowing Linda and Vicky, I know they feel rewarded daily for their hours of hard work and effort on the behalf of their students and the HOSTS program by the gains seen in their students — the reading growth, the social skills and the increased self-esteem."
HOSTS requires community volunteers to tutor students. Bingham and Krejci went to their churches and searched the community to find the volunteers.
There are now 480 IIOSTS volunteers in five of
• Board member resigns, Page 2.
The improvements have been dramatic — hundreds of children have improved their reading level by a grade or more and attendance has increased.
Other recognition received for these efforts have included the Governor’s Award of Excellence in 1990 and innovative grants from the Texas Education Agency and The Meadows Foundation of Dallas for Carl Schurz Elementary.
Still amazed that they won, both teachers were quick to praise their co-workers.
“We thought it was a joke,” said Krejci. “When she called me on the telephone I just screamed ‘no, this can’t be true!’ But it is really an honor. It’s an award we both accept on behalf of our principal... the faculty at Carl Schurz ... the tutors (that) have help so many kids.”
“It’s wonderful, we’re very honored,” Bingham said. “But it just shows what all the teachers in this district do. We all work really hard so we were just fortunate to get this award.”
The winners of the Reader’s Digest American Heroes in Education awards and their school will share a $15,000 prize, of which $5,000 is awarded to the team for their personal use and $ IO,OOO will go to Carl Schurz Elementary to support the HOSTS program.
Babbitt offers help to resolve aquifer fight
Miller says Interior Secretary to act as ‘referee’
Staff and wire report
A New Braunfels water reprsentative hails Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt’s offer to help to resolve a years-long feud in the region over the Edwards Aquifer and recently has dragged the federal Endangered Species Act into the fray.
Implicit in Babbitt’s offer of assistance, made in a letter to Texas officials, is that if they don’t solve the tangled debate, the federal government will step in.
“From our perspective hear in New Braunfels, it’s good,” according to Doug Miller, water representative for Comal County, the city of New Braunfels and New Braunfels Utilities.
“Basically, what he's saying is that we need to resolve this issue. If it takes the federal government to be the heavy’ in the process, because they are required to be by law, he is ready to accept that responsibility,” Miller said.
In the April 16 letter to Gov. Ann Richards, Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock and House Speaker Pete Laney, Babbitt urged legislative action in advance of a federal judge’s June deadline for resolution of the aquifer fight.
“I am writing to offer my assistance at this critical juncture to take whatever steps are necessary to protect the resources of Edwards Aquifer,” Babbitt said.
“I know you agree that, as the current regular session of the Texas Legislature nears adjournment, it is vitally important that the state of Texas pass legislation” to provide for conservation and management of the aquifer, he said.
“Absent state legislative resolution of the problem of overdrafting of the Edwards, the Endangered Species Act and the courts require that certain steps be taken to protect the federally listed species."
Miller said Babbitt’s letter assures Richards that the Interior Secretary does not want the U.S. Fish and Wildlife to play a central role in “what is clearly a state and local matter.”
“But he will institute actions that constitute federal law,” Miller said.
Miller said Babbitt’s role will play like that of a “referee, an umpire and a little bit of someone who would force us to make a decision.
“And I expect that something will happen in the next 60 days,” Miller said. “I’m very hopeful, but there are still some people who are very solid in their position and do not seem ready to move.
That’s unfortunate, because we’re going to have federal intervention if they don’t” he said.
The fight over the aquifer has been brewing at the local and state levels for years.
But the dispute gained new urgency when U.S. District Judge Lucius Bunton ruled in February that unrestricted pumping leads to declining levels of Comal Springs in New Braunfels and San Marcos Springs in San Marcos.
That ruling exacerbated the battle between San Antonio — which draws on the aquifer for its drinking water — and cities and other users downstream. Several measures that would impose an aquifer management plan are being considered by the Legislature.
Enmeshed in the battle is the Endangered Species Act, which Bunton used as the basis to order aquifer pumping limits. T
he judge found that the fountain darter and other endangered or threatened species are in danger when spring Hows drop.
Babbitt endorsed legislation that would create a new regional groundwater district to implement the management plan developed by the Texas Water Commission.
A San Antonio official said the city concurs with the Water Commission management plan “in the spirit of compromise.”
The city, Texas Department of Agriculture, the Texas Farm Bureau and a coalition of industrial water users are appealing Bunton’s ruling.
City officials contend Bunton’s order would reduce San Antonio’s pumpage from the aquifer by 60 percent.
Opponents contend the city is addicted to cheap water and is unwilling to conserve and find other sources.
Local officials inspect county’s five flood control dams
By ROSE MARIE EASH Hsrald-Zaltung
On Tuesday, county officials inspected the five flood control dams that prevent possible damages of over $i million from occurring during “100-year flood” conditions in New Braunfels.
The dams, which incidently provide for increased recharge in the Edwards Aquifer, protect people and property along the Dry Comal and Blieders creeks whenever IO inches or more of rainfall is received with
in a 24-hour period — commonly known as the “100-year flood" designation. Damaging floods caused by such conditions have occurred seven times since 1932.
Although built with federal help, maintenance of the dams is the responsibility of the county. The inspections are done annually to determine maintenance requirements.
Commissioners Neil Craigmile and J. L. Evans, Carl F. Englerth, USDA district conservationist, Tom Hornseth, county engineer, Larry Maltz, assistant opera
tions manager for the Guadalupe Blanco River Authority and Michael Schultze, grounds maintenance chief for GBRA participated in the inspection.
The maintenance consists mainly of clearing brush and trees from the banks of the structures and the spillways.
The county will clear out any obstructed draw-down tubes which allow water from the high side of the dams to drain out slowly below the dams.
The Guadalupe-Bianco River Authority will be contracted to clear away the brush
and trees from the structures.
The brush clearing is done to maintain the integrity of the core of ti le dims,” Craigmile said. They wert put in for flood control, but they serve the dual purpose of flood control and aquifer recharge."
The five structures control runoff from 57 percent of the Comal River Watershed and provide ground water recharge increases at an average of 2,600 acre feet annually into the Edwards Aquifer.
One acre-foot is equal to 325,000 gallons of water.
The New Braunfels Herald Ze it un# invites its readers to submit items to Stammtisch. According to the Sophienburg Archives and members of the German community, mStarnrntischm represents a sit-ting place reserved for a group of special people — ora time set aside for members of a community to gather and share the day’s happenings. We invite you to share with us.Best Wishes
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung sends Birthday wishes to Diana Pineda Espinoza, Dorothy Seidel, Angie Alanis, Theresa Werner and Elgon Schriewer. Anniversary wishes go to Ann and John Lea and Frank and Mona Vermillion. Belated Anniversary wishes go to August and Hilda Zimmermann.
Celebrate Texas Music!
The Celebrate Texas Music! evening concert series on the Main Plaza continues at 7 p.m. Thursday with Savannah Rose, a local country and western band popular throughout the region. Other aspects of our musical heritage will be celebrated in the series throughout April. For information, call Penelope Church at 625-3425.Candidate forum
The Republican Business Women of Comal County will host a “Meet the Candidates" forum at the Guadalupe Valley Telephone Cooperative auditorium at 7 p.m. Thursday. The forum will feature three rounds of questioning, involving select panelists and questions from the audience. The public is invited.
Canyon’s Marty Robles walked New Braunfels' Jaye Garza with two outs in the bottom of tfie seventh to score Jeff Juarez for an 11 -10 Unicorn victory.
For a complete report of the 18-hit, 7 error game between the inner-city rivals...
Sa« Sports, Pag# 9A.