New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 11, 1987, New Braunfels, Texas
Dav«» Kram«*r. Editor and Publisher Jim W^hre. Managing Editor
Page 4 Herald-Zedung New Braunfels Texas I hursday. June n 1987
The Herald-Zeitung welcomes correspondence All letters should be sign ed and include an address or telephone number The newspaper reserves the right to edit.
Letters should be sent to Forum. Mew Braunfels Herald Zeitung P O Drawer 311328, New Braunfels, Texas 78131 1328, or brought to our offices at 707 Landa
To the Editors.
On Dehalf of Comal C ounty Senior Citizens and the Senior Citizens Foundation, thanks to the Herald Zeitung for cooperation in getting facts about our services and activities publicized Interest and participation have improved
To the Editor.
Call me "disturbed" if you w ill I have heard too many stories of people abuse" by the same agency that concerns itself with "children abuse "
There is no quarrel with the great many staffers and caseworkers who deal every day in a world of bruised and damaged children and w rest them from impossible situations, both emotional and physical They are heroes in their own right and for this we praise them
On the other side there is a new and damaged personnel emerging And they are asking "Why''" They are damning not praising As the Texas Department of Human Ser vices has turned on them for nothing more than a finger pointed by an anonymous caber or the sun pie act of whacking a disobedient child across his knees That act
viewed by an unknown witness busybody But the real pur pose is to breathe some common sense into an area where hysteria, revenge, motive and too much government reign
Here are some legal tools that just might reverse the trend for "sue happys" and others who' ac cuse an innocent person "just because":
Any questioning by a governmental agency should be conducted within the home with at least one parent or parents or legal guardian present
Not only shall the one accused be required to take a polygraph test but also the accusor or ae eusors before any formal charge and or arrest is made
When it is determined that the child protective service has made a mistake, it should be required that the agency issue and formally publicize as much as possible, in that they have wreaked havoc and ill will to persons who are enjoying quiet enjoyment" and good reputa Hon, an apology
After accusation, charge and arrest are achieved and to the ex tent that the acussed has paid for his or her defense against such un true charges that expense should be reimbursed rn full by the same state agency acting on behalf of the accusor si
Of summer vacation and immodest ticks
By CAROL RUST Beaumont Enterprise
Boy. oil boy, here we are at the advent ol vacation time and am I ever excited
A ou see tile advent of summer vacation tune tilings back lots of childhood memories, which is tile primary reason I ve started taking vacations in the spring and tail
There was tile one July our family borrowed a large tent from a family and attempted to stud an even larger crop of squabbling siblings into it. us still clamoring over color books or Dr Suess readers when we arrived rn the country for our first
and last Family Tent Camping Trip
In the car on the w ay down. my brother kept scribbling on my Dr Suess book. "One Fish. Two Fish,
Bed Fish, Blue Fish" until the title should have been "One Fish, Two Fish. Brown Fish, Brown Fish and I had hell to pay at the school library the following Monday
But it was nothing like the hell our whole family was fixing to go through unsuspecting as we were back then What we didn t know is that we d just pitched the tent t and not without some aggravation, pine splinters, sweat up our nose and hurt feelings) right over the exact perimeter of a teeming seed tick metropolis By the time we discovered this, my little brother had already gotten stung on the face by a yellow jacket, shortly alter my mother sprayed insect repellent into his eyes by accident
Actually, she sprayed the spray in another direction altogether at one yellow jacket and my little brother jumped into the line of fire in a desperate attempt to get away from another It didn t work He got the double whammy insect spray and sting both
bile was feeling so bad about that, she barely had time to sympathize with me on account of me slamming my pinkie when one of my other little brothers “helped me" close the back of the station wagon By that time, though I was fairly well engrossed in the amazing purple colors that spring up underneath fingernails when they’re slammed
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Quality schools for poor kids are possible
in flu* backs of station wagons and didn't sulk too much Hut I never let my little brother forget about it, at least not until the start of school that tail
We d pitched the tent under the shade of a grove of pine trees, not quite out of the olfactory reach of several cow paddies in the pasture But all in all it seemed like a perfect site. we kept remarking to each other, alter we finally got bak mg soda on my little brother's yellow jacket sting and got him to stop hollering
We were feeling kind of earthy like pioneers in the wilderness, the first folks in a new territory, the Waltons before they built their
But all the while, the pepper-sized population was crawling up our legs in black masses We didn t know this then
By the time we did. it was almost dark and the little buggers were hard to spot But luck was on our side. we figured, since we could apply insect spray on just about any part of our body and kill off a few It wasn't long before we quit spraying our arms and ankles and took turns in the tent for some real genocide It was then I learned that seed ticks tend to get VERY PERSONAL With a flashlight in one hand and spray in the other, we attacked the tribes in our troubled trousers
This may come as new s to some of you, but the venom of 83.4% seed ticks all at once can make you very sick
I’m not sure w hen Dad and Mom got tired of fighting the losing battle but Hie camp fire had died into embers and we were almost out of insect spray
We packed up and headed back to our house and out of the olfactory reach of cow paddies
It wasn't long before dawn, so us kids stayed up for cartoons Mom and Dad were sick in bed.
Sitting in front of the TV, my brothers and I didn t feel earthy, didn’t feel like pioneers in new territory or the Waltons before they built their house We felt safe.
Outside of their immediate localities, has anyone ever heard much about Dennis Sidebot tom, J .Joseph Whelan, ( amorino U>pez or princess Whitfield ‘ Probably not But if good news were as newsworthy as bad news. their names would be widely recognized They are public school principals who have done a superlative job Each of them was recognized recently in a heartening report from the I S Department of Educ ation on the teaching of "disadvantaged" children Ordinarily in this capital of euphemisms, * disadvataged is taken to mean "black ' or Hispanic In this report the adjective is used precisely The report addresses the needs of children who are in fact culturally disadvantaged they are poor.
The thrust of the report is altogether posit ive Secretary of Education W illiam Bennett is con vinced that children from the slums, the ghettos and barrios can learn provided they are given opportunities and encouragement Teaching such children may be demanding, one says it is easy to intill habits of study and discipline in youngsters who are indifferent to academic values Demanding, yes difficult, yes, But impossible’ No Bennett introduces us to Dennis Sidebottom 1%1 he became the principal of the tiny Carrizozo High School in Carrizozo. N M an isolated ranching community In the area of chronic high unemployment He inherited an apathetic faculty and an uninterested student body The school was characterized by
absenteeism and vandalism Sidebottom set out to make the school respected and he succeeded Today 37 percent of the students win their diplomas, -to percent go on to college Louise Smith became principal of Charles Rice Elementary School in Dallas three years ago Of the school s 8.r>o students % percent are black and virtually all come from low income families She decided to concentrate on skills in reading and math Teachers tutor daily after school children are encouraged to stay for a homework center where they get individual help Today 73 percent of the sixth graders are at or above grade level in reading. 87 percent are at grade level in math Chambers Elementary School in East Cleveland. Ohio, has 72H students All of them are black, three quarters live in poverty and two thirds are from single parent families For the past 18 years J Joseph Whelan has been working devotedly with this unlikely material He demands discipline Without apology he promotes old fashioned patriotism At the front door is the school's motto "To Achieve Excellence. Think Excellence " In a dozen ways Whelan recognizes and rew ards good work Camerino Uipez has been principal of Garfield Elementary School in Phoenix. Arr/, tor the past five years Some % percent of her MNI students come from low income households More than half are Hispanic. This means a bd ingual kindergarten, followed by intensive in struction in English from the second through the sixth grade Parents and local businesses con
tribute time and money The school s attendance rate of % percent is the highest in the district
Here in Washington DC Mine Junior High School used to be known as Horrible Hide Bennett’s report accurately describes the situa turn in 1982 "Enrollment had plummeted from I.iMHi students to 298 Drugs were openly used vandalism was rampant and academic achieve ment poor " Instead of closing tin* school, as a commnumty task force had recommended, the Board of Education named Princess Whitfield as principal and gave her the assignment of turning the place around
"Her plan for action included strict discipline and security policies active parental and com munity involvement and the introduction of rich curriculum that would hold the attention of all students "
Today Huh* s enrollment has passed the 7uo mark, its curriculum includes Latin and •‘Great Books " Vandalism and drug use have virtually ceased " School spirit has soared and it is "Horible lime" no longer
The moral to all these stories is not only that top notch principals canmake top notch schools There is more to it All that is required to turn poor schools into good schools is parental sup port, community support, and a determination every hand that the jot) will bedene Bennett s report provides a hundred specific suggestions toward that end I pward of 12.5 million poor children are out there, and half of them are seer mg in tile bottom quarter on achievement tests They need all the help they can get
Remember that scene in The Rainmaker?
A young couple I know has been trying to choose a name for their first child, which will arrive soon, and it hasn't been easy They don’t want to name it after a relative a famous person or themselves They want a name that’s distinctive but not unusual.
So they asked if I had any suggestions, since I went through the same thing a couple of times “If it is a boy," I said, “name him Bronko or Bruno Better yet, name him Bronko and give him Bruno as his middle name ”
The woman was appalled and said: “Why would I want to name a tiny child Bronko'* Or Bruno’”
Because it’s a tough world and with a name like Bronko Bruno, he won t grow up to be a wimp.
“Then why didn’t you name your sons Bronko or Bruno ’” she asked The fact is, I tried When my first son was born, and I saw how big he was. I wanted to name him Bronko. I figured that with a name like Bronko or Bruno Royko. he would probably end up as a tight end or maybe a linebacker, get through college free, maybe turn pro, make a lot of money, and I could cash in for IO percent as his agent.
As It turned out, I was half right He grew big enough to be not only a tight end but maybe a goal post
But I was overruled on his name. Instead of Bronko, he was tagged with David.
David is a fine name, but it doesn’t have any mud or soot or coal dust on it. It s a clean, refined, sensitive name So what happened? There he stands today, about 6*/•< feet high, huge arms, strong back, and not once In hts life has he ever knocked anybody unconscious Instead, he’s a shrink, a musician and a scholar Try to get IO percent out of that parlay.
And as I explained to that couple, it was his name that helped shape his career W ho d go to a shrink named Bronko ’
I w anted to name my second son Rocco Rico Royko I figured that lie could wind up as alder man of the 1st Ward, or maybe a jukebox distributor But I was vetoed on that, too
• But if I have a son," the prospective mother said, “I’m not particularly interested rn his becoming tough or macho We just want something nice but distinctive, whether it is a girl or a boy ’’
Then they showed me one ol those books that contain thousands of names to help parents make a choice
“We’ve been looking in this,” the husband said "It even has a list of the most popular names today and the least popular And it also has a list of the names that were popular years ago, when you were a kid.”
I looked at the list and wasn't surprised by what is now popular Everybody I know has a kid with a trendy name
Girls are being named Heather, Jennifer,
Erin, Jessica. Kimberly, Kelly. Allison, Melissa or Stacy.
Boys are Christopher, Brian, Joshua, Scott, Jason, Mark, Kevin and Jeffrey
When I was a kid, I didn t know anybody nam ed Heather or Joshua In my neighborhood, boys had solid workmanlike names: Stanley, Chester Walter, Norbert, Albert. Henry or Joe Girls had in the kitchen names like Bertha, Dorothy, Helen, Mildred, Eleanor, Mary, Lucille and Gertrude.
But today, it's not unusual to find people with monickers like Heather Potkowski, Kevin Bongorino or Danielle Goldberg. No wonder young people grow up confused about who they are
So I suggested that they go for an old fashioned name maybe Gertrude, so they could call her Gert
"I’m not going to name my daughter Gelt." the woman said. "That s awful.”
I suggested Phoebe, too. but they didn t like that any better than Gert.
"If it's a girl.” the husband said, “I’m kind of leaning toward Lisa ”
I made a retching sound and warned them thai by the year 2000. one out of every five young females in America would be named Lisa. And they would all marry guys named Mark Ear better to name lier Pearl There will be few Pearls, so she ll stand out And if it s a boy, Elmer
“Elmer,” she cried “That’s horrible.’’
Which shows how little she knows. There used to be a very popular song called "Elmer s Tune ” Have you ever heard of a song called "Jason’s Tune" or "Kevin’s Tune?”
When I left, they were pondering Samantha as a possibility The wife said “We could call her Sam That’s cute "
I told them that if they wanted to give her a man s name, why not just call her Horace and be done with it
But a name choice is a serious matter and many people have been embarrassed by the label they’re stuck with
I’m sure many people remember the famous case of the man named Joe Crapp who went to court to get his name changed.
The judge said "I don't blame you for wanting a new name, Joe What name have you chosen?”
And Joe Crapp responded “I want my name changed to John Crapp. I’m tired of people always saying ‘What'ya know, Joe7' ”