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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 23, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas rt0TcBO%^lN6 SO;f V'.;So. TX 7qq03N EW jtisattlwFELS 2033 ■w* ■'gjjrHerald-Zeitung l$iV* ’W    *    : Vol. 148, No, 154    20    pages    in    2    sections    June    23,    1999 Wednesday Serving Comal County since 1852 50 centsCISD going back to its old schedulesMajor apologizes to parents, labels change ‘not right’ By Heather Tooo Staff Writer BULVERDE — Superintendent Jerry vlajor apologized to a room of IOO parents md teachers Tuesday night for a recent icheduling change he said was “not the ight plan” before recommending a rever sal to 1998-99 start times. Major’s recommendation and apology was followed by a round of applause horn audience members shortly before Comal Independent School District trustees voted unanimously to revert school start and end times back to the 1998-99 schedule. Major and CISD trustees had felt pressure from district parents following a May Aft MAJOR 20 decision to start elementary students’ school day at 9 a.m. and secondary students* classes at 8 a.m. next year. “I apologize, I know how busy all of you are and there was a lack of communication on part of the administration. I’m sorry we did not handle this properly, and we’ll do a better job next time,” Major said. “I get credit for the good things, so I guess I’ll have to take credit for a little of the heat now and then.” Secondary students will now begin school the same time as last year, around 8:30 a.m., and elementary schools will start their days at either 7:55 or 7:45 a.m. At the board’s June 8 meeting, more than a dozen angry parents accused the board of putting the lives and education of young children in danger with the 9 a.m. start time. More than IOO parents listened and applauded while speakers criticized the board decision for almost two hours. However, district parents filed out of the Bill Brown Elementary School cafeteria calmly after the board decision to reverse the schedule. On June 8, many parents of elementary- age children said the 9 am start time would create a longer school day for young children and was made without parent input. Parents also said the later start time would conflict with work schedules for marry who had to leave for their jobs by 7 a.m. Patrons told the board on June 8 the 9 am. start time would force parents to drop off children two hours before school starts or leave them home alone. The scheduling change was made to alleviate a bus shortage problem in the district. Three district patrons were scheduled to See CISD/5A Feeling the sting of the spraySheriff’s officers get peppered with new peacemaking device By Chris Crews Staff Writer Twelve deputies from the Comal County Sheriff’s Office learned an important lesson Tuesday afternoon: You’ve got to be able to hike it before you can dish it out. Beginning this week, Comal County deputies will carry pepper spray to help thwart potential evil doers. As a part of the certification process to carry and use pepper spray, they had to be sprayed in the eyes with the highly irritating substance. Most of the deputies had red eyes, red skin and some facial swelling to show for their experience. The spray was met with some mild and a few not-so-mild oaths. “It’s hotter than fire ants. It gets on your skin and bums and bums,” said Cap!. David Ott, who also experienced irritation on his neck. Ott said he made the mistake of trying to wipe the substance from his eyes instead of letting running water flush the irritant CCSO Chief Deputy Richard Bennie said deputies had to know the effects of the new weapon. “We don't just give them pepper spray and turn them loose,” Bennie said. “They have lo go through training, and they have to take it themselves.” Bennie said carrying the spray would be optional, but he expected most of the 55 men and women in the field would sign up for classes. Bennie said pepper spray could be used to put a potentially violent person at a disadvantage without using deadly force. The class, including about six hours of classroom time, was taught by Deputy Gregg Van de Loo. Van de Loo joined the CCSO about three months ago after retiring from the FBI. The spray, used by agencies including the FBI, the Texas Department of Public Safety and San Antonio Police, was designed to protect the officers and PETER BROWWHera&Zatung Above, instructor Gregg Van de Loo. squirts pepper spray into the eyes of Comal County Sheriffs deputy Chris Kyle as a part of his certification Tuesday to carry and use the spray on duty. Right, Sheriffs deputy Bill Klare helps Capt. David Ott wash pepper spray from his eyes. potential third-party victims. “It is not going to create a permanent physical injury because it goes away in 45 minutes to an hour without leaving permanent side effects,” he said. The deputies were trained in proper techniques to cleanse the eyes as well as how to use the substance. Ott was involved in creating a written policy for use of pepper spray in the field. He said the spray would be used only on people posing an immediate threat to deputies and others. Lt. Ed Whitson said from his experience Tuesday it would be hard for someone to fight after they had been sprayed. He said he would deploy the new weapon selectively.NBISD ready to talk taxes By Heather Tooo Staff Writer New Braunfels Independent School District trustees are expected to discuss the 1999-2000 budget and set a date for a public hearing on next year’s tax rate today. Trustees are scheduled to take a roll call vote on the highest tax rate it could impose next year at 6:30 p.m. at the Education Cotter, 430 W. Mill St. Board president Bette Spain said the district was required to publish the maximum increase on local taxes for next year in order to inform NBISD patrons. Meeting WHO: New Braunfels ISD board of trustees WHEN: 6:30 p.m. today WHERE: NBISD Education Center, 430 W. MillSt. WHAT: Discussion of 1999-2000 budget, setting public hearing for next year’s tax rate “It doesn’t mean that we are going to raise taxes to that level. That just means that’s highest we could raise it. We have to give patrons plenty of notice before we adopt a tax rate,” she said Spain said the roll call vote required board members to vote individually during the meeting. David Rastellini, NBISD business manager, said the roll call vote was a notice of intent to raise taxes, not the adoption of a tax rate. “lf the board is considering a tax increase, they have to declare their intention to raise taxes and publish it in the paper,” he said. Rastellini said the roll call vote would be published as soon as possible, maybe as early as this weekend. NBlSD’s current tax rate is $1.65 per $100 valuation, with the current maintenance and operations rate at $1.40 and the debt service rate at 25 cents. NBISD published notice of its effective and rollback tax rates in the June 2 edition of the Herald-Zeitung. This year’s effective tax rate, or the rate necessary to raise the same amount of tax revenue as the previous year, was $1,615. The dis- See NBISD/5A Inside Abby.......................... ......7A Classifieds.................... .5-10B Comics........................ ......2B Crossword................... ......7A Forum.......................... ......6A Local/Metro................. ......4A Movies......................... ......7A Obituaries.................... ......3A Sports.......................... .8-10A Today......................... ......2A Television..................... ......2B Key Cage 76 Miller: Recent rain could keep water restrictions away By Chris Crews Staff Writer It’s a good time to be a member of the board of directors of the Edwards Aquifer Authority. Doug Miller, Comal County’s representative on the board said recent recent rains that left the aquifer 20 feet above this past year’s drought levels might keep the county free of water restrictions this summer. “We’re in good shape for the rest of the summer if we can keep water use in moderation,” Miller said Tuesday. The aquifer level on Monday was 698.9 feet above mean sea level. EAA drought management plans take effect when the aquifer hits 650 msl. Miller said he believed the board was not seeing as much hostility and opposition from the public as in previous years. He said public awareness of the rules governing the aquifer resources had improved. “Most people respect what we’re trying to do as the best thing for the most people,” Miller said. Ironically, the drought of 1998 served to improve the public^ perception of the aquifer board. He said the effectiveness of this past year’s drought management program and the realization that the aquifer required man- Edwards Aquifer Authority representative Doug Miller on the recent rein: “We ’re in good shape for the rest of the summer if we can keep water use in moderation” On the EAA’s drought management program: “People took (the aquifer) for granted for a long time, but now they see it as precious resource...” agement opened the eyes of many naysayers. “People took (the aquifer) for granted for a long time, but now' they see it as a precious resource that is not a bottomless pit,” Miller said. EAA has suspended its cloud seeding precipitation enhancement program because o! the recent rainfall. Miller said the recent rainfall was plenty for the crops, and the See RAINA# ;