New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 31, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas
THI IR SHAYNew Braunfels july 31,2003
■MM* mmmmmm mmh 14 pages in 2 sectionsHerald-ZeitungVol. 152, No. 219 Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 * 50 cents
By Ron Maloney Staff Writer
SAN ANTONIO — District 73 Rep. Carter Casteel, R-New Braunfels, called on Senate Democrats Wednesday to return to Austin and conduct the business they were elected to do.
Casteel spoke at a news conference organized by Republicans at a north side elementary school.
The conference turned into a debate when two San Antonio Democrats said their Senate colleagues might return — when redistricting is taken off the table.
Casteel spoke alongside San Antonio Republicans Frank Corte, Elizabeth Ames Jones and Ken Mercer. Democrat representatives Trey Martinez Fischer and Joaquin Castro — both were
CASTEEL among 51 House Democrats who fled to Ardmore, Okla. in May to forestall a redistricting vote — also addressed assembled news media.
Casteel, whose district includes Comal County, assailed Democrats for leaving Austin with nearly $800 million in state funding for schools, transportation and trauma centers, among other legislation, in limbo.
“I’m an old gal taught to stand up for what I believe in and take my licking, and I’ve taken some lickings in my life,” Casteel said. “When you go to play, you stay.”
Redistricting isn't the only issue on the legislative plate, Casteel said.
About $372 million in funding for public education is being held up through a snafu in the regular session, Casteel said.
In the regular session, the legislature approved a one-month delay in payments to school districts that was supposed to take effect in August, 2004, but in the bill that passed, the date was changed to August, 2003.
Casteel said the problem would delay funding for school districts this August, and affect more than 700 of the 1,060 districts in Texas.
Many will have to dip into reserves or seek bridge loans to get them into the next fiscal year, Casteel said.See CASTEELEREDISTRICTING G&A:
Q.Why are Texas Senate •Democrats breaking a quorum?
A .GOP leaders are •breaking the Senate's decades-old “two-thirds rule” — and Lt. Gov. Dewhurst^ own “Dewhurst Two-Thirds Standard” requiring 21 votes for congressional redistricting.
Q.What is the Senate’s .“two-thirds rule”? How and why are GOP leaders breaking it?
A.Since at least the • 1950s, the Senate has forced bipartisan cooperation by requiring a two-thirds vote (21 of 31 senators) to bring up legislation. The rule is enforced by filing an inconsequential “blocker bill,’’ which prevents ail other bins from reaching the Senate floor without a two-thirds vote to suspend the rules. Dewhurst has refused to file a blocker bdl in thus special session.
Q.Are they fugitives who •can be arrested? What does it cost taxpayers? What about other priorities?
A .No. The senators vio •lated neither state cr federal law. Quorum breaking is a legitimate legislative procedure — provided by the Texas Constitution — and people like Abraham Lincoln in the 19th century and Republican U.S. senators in the 1980s have tried it Quorum breaking costs nothing, but passing DeLa/s map could cost $9 million — $1.7 million per special session, plus $5 million in legal fees to defend it in court.
Q.Did Gov. Perry, •Dewhurst Attorney General Abbott suggest using off-duty police or private investigators as vigilantes or bounty hunters to kidnap senators who are fuF fffling their oonstitutjonal duty to defend their constituents?
A.Yes — just as Perry, •Speaker Tom Craddtok and Tom DeLay abused state and federal security resources against House Democrats in May.
Q.Did GOP senators use •the two-thirds rule to block redistricting in 2001? Can they change the rules now?
A .Sen. David Sibley and •other Republicans usedSee Q&A/5A
K. JESSIE SLATEN/HeraW ZwtungManuel Valenzuela touches up a mural at Frazier Elementary, as he and other Comal Independent School District employees prepare for the start of school.
On the Web
Texas Legislative Council: www.tlc.state.tx.us
County health clinic provides free vaccinationsFrazier Elementary gets new principal
By Dylan Jimenez
Betsy Nash, a public educator of ll years, will take the reigns at Frazier Elementary this year,
School officials said they need a unique leader for the school, which serves second-and third-graders and enrolls mostly poverty-level students,
Dr. Victoria Pursch, Comal Independent School District executive director of elementary curriculum and instruction, facilitated a review for the new principal after former principal, Ann Boney Ikels, retired at the end of the last school year. Ikels served as assistant principal
for three years and as principal for two. CIS!) trustees approved Nash as principal at their regular meeting Tuesday.
Frazier is a magnet bilingual education campus with about 400 students.
More than 60 percent of Frazier Elementary students are at poverty-level, Pursch said. But the school performs well academically, with TARS scores in the 90th percentiles,
“We were looking tor someone with experience with children who traditionally don’t succeed but do. We were looking for someone who rec ogruzed this was a high-functioningSee PRINCIPALS
MEET THE PRINCIPAL
Most mw Fiaziw Elementary toodv and principal H Bac* to School NghL 530 to 6:30 pm Aug 14.
K JESSIE SLATEN/HerakJ-Zerturig
Jose Caiz braves nurse Maria Smith’s needle Wednesday afternoon as he gets an immunization shot required for school.VACCINATION COST COMPARISON
Private practice average
TB skin test: $12 MMR: $45 Hepatitis 8: $23 Hepatitis A: $23 Dtap: $31 IPV: $32 Van $70
Administrative costa and office visit fees vary between $30 and more than $100, depending on whether children are patients on We with a doctor. There might also be charger for initial checkups.
$42 to $300 par child
Comal County Public Health Clinic Free
4 year olds: $12
5 to 10 year okte: $15 11 to 19 year olds: $15 TB skin test: $5 Total:
$12 to $15 par childVACCINATION CLINICS
Comal County Public Health Office will provide vaccinations at the fodowtng schools.
School clinics are for students at that school Required vaccinations might not be available at ail locations.
Alton R. Seay Intermediate 1:30 to 4 p.m. Aug. 4
Canyon High School: 9 to ll 'a.m. Ort . 28
Comal Elementary 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Aug. 29
Goodwin Primary 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. Aug. 8
Hoffman Lena: 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 to 4 p m. Aug 0
New Braunfels High School 8:30 to 11:30 arn and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
New Braunfels Middle Softool: 8:30 to 11 30 a rn and I to 3 p m Aug 8 Oak Run Immediate 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. Aug. 12 Rebecca Creak: 8:30 to 11:30 a m. and 1 to 4 p.m. Aug. 7
Smithton Valley Middle School 8:30 to It 30 a m. and I to 4:30 p.m. Aug. 5
Smithson Valley High School 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 4:30 p.m. Aug. 5 Specht Elementary 8:30 to 11 30 am and 1 30 to 4 p.m. Aug 4 * The courtly also wi give immunizations by appointment at the Comal County Public HeaNh Office, 178 E. Mi at
By Dylan JimEnez
Time is running out for New Braunfels and Comal County students who are not current on their booster shots.
Boosters are shots students must take before returning to school. Vaccinations vary depending on the child’s age.
In the private sector, parents could shell out as much as $300 to have kids immunized, said Nanette Burkhardt, of the Comal County Public Health Office. An office visit alone could run $60 or more, plus the price of each shot, which could be as much as $70.
The health office will give vaccinations for students free at several county locations starting Monday.
“The price is right; that’s for sure,” County Nurse Karon Preiss said. “They can also call their family physicians, but this is the time of year when everyone is stacked up to the ceiling with kids needing immunizations.”
Usually, a flood of procrastinating parents line up around the health office as they realize time is running out, PreissSe© BOOST/5A
Classifieds ...... 4-68
K. JESSIE SLATEHHefUkl /oilunyMaria Luisa, Cristian, Jose and Artabe! Cruz (from left) react as nurse Maria Smith chooses Anabo! as the first to get her immunization shot Wednesday afternoon.