New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 31, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas
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Vol. 149 No. 95 14 pages in 2 sections March 31, 2000
Serving Comal County since 1852
50 cents, schools agree tech school needed
By Heather Todd
On the heels of New Braunfels City Council’s decision to help fund a study on the community’s higher education needs, several school officials and representatives of the manufacturing industry agreed Thursday on the need for a technical school in New Braunfels.
Representatives of both Comal and New Braunfels school districts and the manufacturing community met Thursday to discuss ways to
build a better partnership between schools and the business community-
Jim Davis, chair of the industrial development committee for the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, Inc., said the meeting’s primary was to identify needs of the manufacturing community and the what training schools could provide to better prepare students for the workforce.
“The focus of high school vocational education has changed,” Deb
bie Fitsko, career and technology coordinator for NBISD said. “It used to be you trained for a specific occupational area or you went on the academic track. Today, its more integrated. Our job is to raise the level of achievement for all students.”
“We want to give all students high level math, science and English skills to prepare them for the workforce,” she said.
Fitsko said both school districts offered vocational-related courses
and implemented several programs exposing students to the working
Fitsko also said students were encouraged to earn certification in law enforcement or health-related occupations in addition to getting diplomas.
But, many manufacturing representatives said the problem wasn’t necessarily lack of training but a decrease in work ethic among poten-See SCHOOL/3A
Mayor, resident battle over public comments
By Peri Stone-Palmquist
A New Braunfels resident is calling on city council to honor freedom of speech after the mayor limited his comments at Monday’s meeting.
Mayor Stoney Williams said he would continue to squelch “accusatory” comments and demand professionalism at council meetings, even if that meant silencing a resident.
But some believe the mayor’s silencing has happened too frequently recently.
“It tends to be a dictatorship,” said Walter Sears, who wasn’t allowed to read a prepared statement in its entirety Monday. “I have always thought the citizens have the right to free speech.”
They do, Williams said. But certain
To read Walter Sears’ full statement, see 6A in today’s Herald-Zeitung.
behavior is not acceptable at a public meeting, he said.
“I am not going to allow people to accuse council of things,” he said.
Sears said council wasn’t listening, Williams said. “He stated it as a fact,” he said.
The city actually has a decorum ordinance outlining the rules for public participation that says “no personal attack shall be allowed by any speaker.”
Disturbances and disorderly conduct are reasons for the mayor to remove a person from council chambers.
According to the ordinance, the mayor should first call the person to order and
explain the infraction, then advise the person that the infraction must stop immediately or the person will be ordered to leave the meeting. Lastly, the person can be ordered to leave the meeting.
Williams said he wouldn’t allow residents to bash council or single out a member of council.
Sears said his intention was not to bash council, and he nowhere singled out a council member.
“My comments weren’t directed at one person,” he said. “These were perceived facts.”
Sears said he actually was trying to respond to comments made by District 3 councilman Randy Vanstory and District 4 councilwoman Jan Kotylo at the previous meeting.
At that meeting, Vanstory and Kotylo gave prepared statements explaining how they were responsive to the public and not influenced by money or the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, Inc.
Promptly after the speeches, Williams said he wouldn’t allow any public response. Members of the public were given a chance to speak at the beginning of the meeting during “Citizen’s Communication.”
City attorney Floyd Akers said council legally didn't have to allow discussion unless the item was a public hearing. “This was a public meeting, not a public hearing,” he said.
Sears said he believed public comment was needed after Vanstory s comments.
“He couldn’t understand why citizens were distrustful,” Sears said. “I wanted to explain why.”
County wants census to count
By Erin Magruder
Comal County’s population could reach
80.000 in the 2000 census, and county officials want to make sure every person is counted.
Comal commissioners are planning for the redistricting process that will depend upon accurate population figures from the
Commissioners heard a redistricting presentation Thursday from David M. Guinn, a professor at Baylor University School of Law and a partner in the firm Guinn and Morrison. The firm was contracted by the county for the 1990 redistricting process.
Guinn said ensuring an accurate census count for 2000 would be vital for residents' quality of life in the rapidly growing county.
“As far as county growth is concerned, I don’t have to tell you how much you’ve grown,” Guinn said.
Texas A&M University projected the population of Comal County would exceed
78.000 this year, he said.
“I have a feeling it will come closer to 80,000,” Guinn said. “Judge (Danny Schecl), that would be a mind-boggling 51.5 percent enhancement over IO years.”
Using the forecasted county population figures for 2000, each of the four commissioners would represent precincts of about 20,000 residents.
Guinn put the population explosion into perspective by looking at what lies ahead for future generations.
“When the elementary school children out here are 35 years old, 34 million people will live in Texas,” Guinn said.
The population of Texas already is predicted to exceed 20 million in 2000.
And Texas A&M University predicted more than 288,000 people will call Comal County home in 2030.
Fend off rabies with vaccination
By Heather Todd
Comal County residents are urged to protect their cats and dogs against the deadly rabies virus Saturday at an annual rabies vaccination drive.
Comal County Veterinary Medical Association is sponsoring a rabies clinic from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Comal County Fairgrounds or Canyon Lake Fire Stations I and 2 for a $6 vaccination fee.
Canyon Lake Fire Station No. I is located at 1425 Sattlei Road and station No. 2 is located at 1010 Oblate Dr.
Key Code 76
Yawn! Time change nears
By Erin Magruder Staff Writer
By late Monday afternoon, some New Braunfels residents might be a little more wooly than usual.
A collective yawn from area commuters already could be heard this morning as much of the nation prepares for Saturday’s spring forward time change.
Okay, so everyone gets to enjoy an extra hour of daylight in the evening.
But in return, residents will be downing extra coffee and droning their way to work long before the rooster crows.
“I’m dreading it already,” said New Braunfels mayor pro-tem Juan Luis Martinez, who works in San Antonio. “I usually get to work around 6:20 a m. so its going to take me a while to get used to getting up even earlier.”
So what is Daylight-Saving Time and w hose idea was it, anyway?
file idea for DST was First suggested by none other than Benjamin Franklin in a humorous essay written in 1784.
But the United States did not observe DST until more than a century later,
Jim Davis, industrial development committee chair for the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce Inc., addresses school officials and manufacturing industry leaders at a forum Thursday.
Folkfest grounds are open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday Events are scheduled as follows:
Kindermasken Lineup - 9:30 a.m. Downtown New Braunfels Kindermasken Parade - 10 a.m. Downtown New Braunfels Costume Judging - noon at Folkfest Grounds Indian Dances -after Costume Judging Activities - 52 different booths open all day Saturday and Sunday “Picker’s Paradise” - all day Saturday and Sunday Food and Drink Booths on the grounds both days.
All dressed up
It’s fishing time for some 1999 Kindermasken Parade participants. The German tradition has been part of New Braunfels for 150 years. The children's costumed event is slated for 10 a.m. on Saturday, beginning at the Brauntex Theater where it will proceed down San Antonio Street, around the Plaza and end at the Sophienburg Archives Building. Children are encouraged to be creative and don a favorite costume for the parade. Participants are asked to begin lining up at 9:30 a.m. behind the Brauntex.
Be sure to set your clocks and watches forward one hour at 2 a.m. Sunday, April 2.