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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 23, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas Inside rn Junior Livestock Show gets ready to get under way Leisure STAGE production looks at race relations in 1960s/lnside New Braunfels Sports First-place NB girls beat second-place Alamo Heights 5-1/1B SUNDAY February 23?, 2003 36 pages in 5 sections aipvaaHB    AO    pages    in    o    sectit Herald-Zeitung ,v -..................... . .. .7 . Vol. 152, No. 88 Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 $1.00 Study: Lake levels will vary more By Ron Maloney Staff Writer CANYON LAKE — Comal County residents should expect in the future to see Canyon Lake levels fluctuate much more than they have in the past. That’s not because of the Guadalupe-Bianco River Authority’s permit amendment that increases the confirmed yield of the lake from 50.000 acre-feet per year to 90.000 acre-feet. Comal County officials were told Friday that the water demands of future growth would dictate that the lake be drawn down during drought periods. The permit amendment — and included subordination of hydroelectric rights — will actually decrease the impact of those drawdowns, a consultant said. David Keen of BBB Research and Consulting of Denver, outlined the findings of an economic impact study prepared for the Canyon Lake Advisory Committee. The net economic result of the permit amendment — necessary to provide water to Bulverde, Boerne, Blanco See LAKE/5A A learning experience Junior Miss BAYLEA TAYLOR/Herald-Zeitung About 30 local young women competed for more than $80,000 in scholarships and cash in the New Braunfels Junior Miss program Friday and Saturday. Find out who won on Page 3A. Councilman wants city to take over operation of CVB Photos by K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung (Above) Fort Bend ISD’s Joseph Landrum calls his group to arms as junior ROTC units converged on New Braunfels High School for skills competitions. From Color Guard units to physical training, the cadets competed for honors. (Below) Ross S. Sterling High School freshman Mirian Tovar tries to keep her grip on the chin-up bar as her team competes in the physical training part of Saturday’s competition at New Braunfels High School. NBHS JROTC hosts skills competition By Sean Bowlin Staff Writer Amid spinning rifles, shouts of “OORAH!” and short-haired youngsters doing pull-ups and sit-ups, proud parents watched as the cadets of the Marine Corps Junior ROTC unit at New Braunfels High School learned organizational skills during rain and sun Friday and Saturday. That’s because this time they were hosting — not competing in — a military skills competition. “It’s the last day of a two-day military skills competition for Junior ROTC units from around the state,” Col. Jim Reid, the senior Marine instructor at the high school, said Saturday. “We’re having great weather after yesterday’s rain.” Reid and his cadets hosted 27 teams from Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps JROTC units. They were from as close as San Antonio and as far away as Brownsville, Laredo, Donna, Harlingen, Irving, Houston, Round Rock and Humble. And they were busy. What kept them busy were drill exhibitions with and without weapons; physical fitness tests with pull-ups, See JROTC/5A By DYLAN JIMENEZ Staff Writer New Braunfels City Council will discuss Monday night whether to take over funding of the tourist informat ion center currently operated by the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce Inc. The issue, said District 6 Councilman Ken Valentine, is leveling the commercial playing field when it comes to visitor dollars spent in the city. Valentine said businesses in town would receive equal recommendation and representation from the tourist information center, if it were financed by the city. Currently the Convention and Visitors Bureau, as a department of the chamber of commerce, oversees the New Braunfels Highway Visitor Center on Post Road. Valentine said he is concerned some businesses as chamber members receive preferential representation to visitors who come to the Highway Visitor Center because the chamber is a private organization whose job is to advocate the commercial interests of its members. He said he hopes council will change that when the visitor center is moved to the proposed new location on 4B tax issue New Braunfels City Council will hear Monday night the first reading of an ordinance that will let voters decide whether to divert two-thirds of sales tax revenue from economic development to street repair. The ordinance comes in response to a petition signed by more than 1,000 residents who support two ballot initiatives. One would reduce 4B tax and the other would set a tax of a similar amount to be devoted to street repair. The second and third readings of the ordinance will take place during special council meetings 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. lf approved after the third reading, the issue will go to ballot May 3. Seguin Avenue near Interstate 35. If the city decides to fund the center, Valentine hopes the city could ensure all local businesses are represented equally. “I think it should be apolitical and represent everyone in the community and should be funded by hotel occupancy tax,” Valentine said. See CVB/5A Inside Abby......................................2C Classifieds..............................1-8D Comics..................................4B Lifestyle............... 1-6C Forum....................................7A Local/State............................4A Movies..................................2C Obituaries.............................3A Records................................6A Sports................................1-3B Today...........................  2A 56825 0000ZThe tate on JAKS Parents concerned about test’s effects on kids Beginning Tuesday, students throughout Texas will take a new test — the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS). In a three-part series, the Herald-Zeitung takes a look at this new educational initiative.■ FRIDAY: Where will the money come from?■ SATURDAY: Preparing for the test.■ TODAY: What parents, students think of the test. By Sean Bowlin Staff Writer Two parents of third-graders, one of them an elementary school counselor, voiced their concerns about the TAKS, a test one considers in need of adjustment and the other feels shouldn't be administered to children that young who are “tested a lot.” Carlene Comer, mother of Zachary, a third-grader at Comal Elementary, said shes aware that because you can take the TAKS three times to pass it in third grade, kids could fail it. She’s been to meetings about it, and her son is aware he needs to pass it. But has it sunk in how important it is to Zachary? “My son, I think, knows that there’s a test they’re preparing for, but I don’t think the kids know that there’s as big an influence as maybe the parents and the teachers perceive — they’re trying not to affect the kids by not saying, ’We’ve got this huge test you’ve got to take,”’ Comer said. So she thinks her son doesn’t know all she knows about it. “He knows theres a test you have to pass to get out of the third grade and you get three chances to take it.” And she has tried not to stress him out about it. “I don’t want to worry him,” Comer said. “People take tests differently." After all, he passed a benchmark test with a 50-something score. But that makes Comer think the passing standard might be low. “O.K., so now we’ve instituted this, but what are we saying if the passing score is 58? I like the idea of the test, I just don’t know if this one's been planned out,” Comer said. Coiner said she thinks the schools an1 right to do benchmark testing “but the state is wanting to have a test that everybody passes." The test for the third- graders is being given too early in the school year, Comer said, and for that and other reasons, the test will definitely be re-evaluated and changed later by the state. And for those who fail to go on to fourth grade, if they go on to special classes, how will those be paid for in an era of sinking school budgets and a death warrant out for Robin Hood, the state’s method of evening out funding between property-rich and property-poor districts, Comer asked. Comer’s friend Staci Wells, a counselor at Comal Elementary and parent of Man-ah, 9, said she has two roles.See TEST/5A ;