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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 27, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas Page 4A — Herald-Zeitung — Sunday, November 27, 2005 FORUM Our Opinion Bring cheer to the holidays The Herald-Zeitung’s “Cheer Fund” is a great way to make the holidays a little brighter for those in need. Ii ’tis been said that it’s better to give than to receive. .But when giving brings in return something no amount of money could buy, we get the best of both worlds. We at the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung recendy launched our annual “Cheer Fund” effort. In its 23rd year, the campaign brings food to needy families for the holidays. During a time of year when family, friends and good will toward others should be foremost in our thoughts, too many of our neighbors instead are saddled with worries about whether they’ll be able to feed their loved ones this holiday season. Cheer Fund seeks to alleviate those worries. Each year, this newspaper and its readers join in an effort that culminates die week before Christmas when volunteers deliver baskets of food to 250 families. This year, the food will be delivered Dec. 17. Donations are now being accepted and can be made in person at the newspaper office at 707 Landa St. or by mail. Names of the donors will be printed in the paper unless they would prefer to remain anonymous. The newspaper also provides a receipt for tax purposes to anyone who needs one. Anyone who can help deliver baskets Dec. 17 can reach coordinator Rosie Willingham at 625-9144, ext. 203. Each year, the Herald-Zeitung and its readers work to brighten the holidays for Comal County families. It’s a campaign we at the newspaper always look forward to, and we hope many of you do as well. Please give if you can, and have a happy holiday season. Today in History By The Associated Press Today is Sunday, Nov. 27, the 331st day of 2005. There are 34 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Nov. 27, 1978, San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and City Supervisor Harvey Milk, a gay-rights activist, were shot to death inside City Hall by former supervisor Dan White. On this date: In 1901, the U.S. Army War College was established in Washington, D.C. In 1945, Gen. George C. Marshall was named special U.S. envoy to China to try to end hostilities between the Nationalists and the Communists. In 1970, Pope Paul VI, visiting the Philippines, was slightly wounded at the Manila airport by a dagger-wielding Bolivian painter disguised as a priest. In 1973, the Senate voted 92-3 to confirm Gerald Ford as vice president, succeeding Spiro T. Agnew, who had resigned. LETTERS POLICY ■ Letters must be 250 words or less. ■The Herald-Zeitung reserves the right to edit all submissions. ■ Guest columns should be 500 words or less and must lie accompanied by a photo. ■ Address and telephone number must be included so authorship can be confirmed. Mail letters to: Letters to Editor do Herald-Zeitung RO. Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, TX 78131-1328 Fax them to: (830) 606-3413 e-mail them to: news@herald- Herald-Zeitung Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. New Braunfels Zeitung was founded 1852; New Braunfels Herald was founded 1890. The two papers merged in 1957 and printed in both German and English until 1958. rn k I 1 I I I nm Mi I ivii XCJ w Managing Editor Jeremy Pefford Editor and Publisher Doug Toney Circulation Director Jeff Fowler Advertising Director Neice Bell Business Manager Velerie Shields News Editor Devid Rupkelvis GUESTCOLUMN Bond proposal is good deal that addresses CISD growth Voters in the Comal Independent School District have an opportunity to take a giant step toward addressing the tidal wave of growth hitting us districtwide. Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the past five years, I am sure you have seen firsthand — or at least heard about — the number of new neighborhoods being planned for development in every corner of the district. A strategic planning committee was formed in August 2004 to identify these growth issues and make recommendations on how to address them. Our recommendations included establishing new grade configurations, the expansion of several of our existing campuses and last, but certainly not least, the construction of new campuses where we already are behind the growth curve. I think each person joined the committee knowing we were living in a school district experiencing rapid growth. Few of us had any idea, however, just how critical the situation is. CISD is growing at a rate of 900 students per year. Enrollment has been capped at Specht Elementary, which means it cannot accept any new students. New students at Specht are now being bused to other schools in the district. Specht is the first of many schools that soon will have to deal with these same drastic measures. The SPC study revealed that during the 2006-07 school year there will be five CISD schools exceeding capacity and five more within 15 percent of capacity. Our mantra should not be “Build it and they will come,” but rather, “If you don’t build it, they are coming anyway.” We simply have no choice but to build more KENBRUCKS Ken Brucks is chairman of Friends for Comal Public Schools. schools. The bond package brought before the taxpayers is simple. There are no football stadiums, no artificial turf, no whistles and no bells. This bond issue addresses core education, transportation, technology and facilities. It does an excellent job of utilizing our existing facilities and building new schools where we know the growth is occurring. Your school district has been a good steward of your tax dollars. In fact, the district was able to shave 2 cents off of your school taxes by refinancing the 1999 bonds. Those 2 cents are precisely what they are asking district taxpayers to bear — and that increase would not kick in until 2008. Current growth in the district is outpacing the available capacity in our schools. This means that much — if not all — of the tax burden for this bond issue will be covered by new citizens moving in to CISD. To have the opportunity to build six new schools and make necessary upgrades or improvements to 16 of our existing schools for an average of $25.32 per year is unique — and one we simply can not afford to pass on. I urge you to vote “yes” for Propositions I and 2 of this bond issue. Early voting starts Monday and runs through Dec. 9. Election Day is Dec. 13. Please don’t let apathy kill this opportunity to address growth. Q&A about the CISD Bond Issue Provided by Friends of Comal Public Schools "Why do we need a bond issue?" — Comal County is one of the fastest growing counties inTexas.There are about 24,000 new home lots currently registered or platted in the Comal Independent School District's area of responsibility. We must provide classrooms and teachers for these new students as soon as they move into the district. "We need to make the developers pay for new schools" —Texas county leaders have no authority to regulate county growth, nor to assess impact fees. Until the laws change, property owners will have to bear the cost of new schools through school taxes.The good news is that the new residential lots will, when developed, bring new taxpayers to share the burden. "Why not wait until these lots are built out?" — It takes time to acquire land, draw the plans, build new schools, and hire teachers and staff — up to 4 years from the day the bond issue is passed.Therefore, we must plan and break ground now, for the children who are coming now and in the near term. HOW TO CONTACT United States Government PRESIDENT ■ George W. Bush 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, D.C. 20500 SENATE ■ Kay Bailey Hutchison Russell Senate Office Building Room 284 Washington, D.C. 20510 Telephone: (202) 224-5922 Fax: (202) 224-0776 Web: (Send e-mails through Web site. SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 145 Duncan Drive, Suite 120 San Antonio 78226 Telephone: (210) 340-2885 Fax: (210) 349-6753 ■ John Cornyn Russell Senate-Hart Room 511 Washington, D.C. 20510 Telephone: (202) 224-2934 Fax: (202) 228-2856 Web: (Send e-mails through Web site. AUSTIN OFFICE: 221 West Sixth St., Suite 1530 Austin 78701 Telephone: (512) 469-6034 Fax: (512) 469-6020 SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 600 Navarro, Suite 210 San Antonio 78205 Telephone: (210) 224-7485 Fax: (210) 224-8569 CONGRESSMAN ■ Lamar Smith Rayburn House Office Building Room 2184 Washington, D.C. 20515 Telephone: (202) 225-4236 Fax: (202) 225-8628 Web address: (Send e-mails through Web site. SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 1100 NE Loop 410, Suite 640 San Antonio 78209 Telephone: (210) 821-5024 Fax: (210) 821-5947 ■ Henry Cuellar 1404 Longworth House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 Telephone: (202) 225-1640 Fax: (202) 225-1641 Web address: SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 1149 E. Commerce St., Suite 21< San Antonio 78205 Telephone: (210) 271-2851 Fax: (219) 277-6671 HOW TO CONTACT Texas Government a ll Ullin III 11 GOVERNOR ■ Rick Perry State Capitol, Room 2S.1 RO. Box 12428 Austin 78711 Telephone: (800) 843-5789 Fax: (512) 463-1849 STATE HOUSE ■ Carter Casteel 254 E. Mill St. New Braunfels 78130 Telephone: (830) 627-0215 E-mail address: ca rter.casteel ( STATE SENATE ■ Jeff Wentworth 1250 NE Loop 410, Suite 720 San Antonio 78209 Telephone: (210) 826-7800 WHILE IN AUSTIN Telephone: (512) 463-0125 E-mail address: [email protected] ■ Judith Zaffirini RO. Box 627 Laredo 78042-0627 SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 12702Toepperwein Road #214 San Antonio 78233 Telephone: (210) 657-0095 Fax: (210) 657-0262Airport reunions display the joy of the season, one embrace at a time I DOUGTONEY Doug Toney is editor and publisher of the Herald-Zeitung. In the four years since 9/11, with increased airport security and with airlines flying into bankruptcy, traveling by air and just being at an airport can be an annoying experience. On Tuesday night, we were at the San Antonio airport to pick up our daughter who had been away at college since August. We were prepared for the inconveniences that are expected at an airport. But we were not prepared for what turned out to be one of the best parts of our holiday week. As we walked into Terminal 2, we joined a crowd of people waiting at the end of the walkway where the final manned security screeners are posted. The crowd, comprised of what seemed to be every age, shape and walk of life, fell into various poses of anticipation. Some stared at the floor. Some paced. Some leaned against pillars or walls or against the kiosks that were closed for the night. If you stood off to the side, you could watch the crowd to determine whether they could see passengers walking down the long ramp. When the first arriving passengers could be seen, the crowd seemed to instantly change. People stood on their tiptoes and stretched their necks and moved to the left and then the right to get a look at that friend or family member they wanted to see. The first bunch of passengers had come from another warm area of the country. They were in shorts and short-sleeved shirts. They hugged and kissed and leaned over to look at the children who greeted them. A middle-aged man’s stern, solitary stare vanished as he got his first glimpse of his tall, college basketball-sized son. The son pulled off his headset and his face broke into a world champion-sized smile when he saw his father. They embraced and as they walked toward the luggage area, they did not want to let go, so they walked together with their arms around each other. Different versions of that scene unfolded before us, one after the other. With each reunion, the others in the crowd watched and enjoyed. Soon another planeload of passengers came. This time, they wore scarves and winter coats. A mom and dad with their teenage son had struck up a conversation with a woman they recognized as a high school softball coach from a competing school. They told the coach how their daughter was attending college out east and playing softball. When their daughter walked down the ramp, the younger brother could not wait any longer. He rushed forward. She looked up and screamed with outstretched arms: “Look how tall you are!” The younger brother, a full head taller than his big sister, picked her up off the floor with his embrace. The mother and father did not move at first. They stood a few yards away, enjoying the moment like everyone else. The father could not hold back his tears, but he was not alone. As one looked across the crowd of faces, eyes were watering up all over the place. As the brother and sister rocked in place, the parents walked forward and engaged in a foursome family hug. The daughter kept repeating, “He’s got ten so tall! I can’t believe it. He’s so tall!” People now were moving about and wiping tears and chuckling, more anxious than ever for their own reunions. And as more people came down the ramp, the happiness of families broke out all over the place. Grandchildren were hugging grandparents’ legs, and the joy that comes with friendships and faro flies filled the building.    f Then it became our turn to join all the    I hugging.    : As we picked up our daughter’s luggage, many of the parents from the crowd acknowledged each other with a nod and grin as they departed. Today and tonight, those scenes will be played out in reverse. I can’t help but wonder whether we’ll see some of those same families. It will be a long, quiet drive home tonight from the airport. ;