KWA Newsletter Articles

June 26, 2016 marked an important milestone for our friends at Blue Star Brewing Company, who celebrated their 20th Anniversary.  The day-long festivities began with a jazz brunch and continued with games, food, live music and, more importantly, 1996 beer prices!

Owned by San Antonio locals Joey and Maggie Villarreal, Blue Star was the first micro-brewery in San Antonio.  Joey’s love for beer and knowledge of biology got his passion for brewing up and running.

The brewery, along with Joe Blues, the Bike Shop and their newest addition, Provisions market, are now an indispensable part of our neighborhood. 
Congratulations to Joey and Maggie on this achievement.  Here’s to another 20 successful years!

- Josie Botello Garcia

KWA and LNA created a joint parking/transportation committee in October 2014 to secure a parking needs assessment.  Since that time, this volunteer committee has attempted to address a wide variety of transit-related issues.  In summary, the committee has:

  • Attended over two dozen meetings with city officials and stakeholders.
  • Surveyed current transit-related signage.
  • Conducted a traffic/parking survey for Lavaca and the same survey for King William.
  • Secured a city sponsored online survey regarding narrow streets.
  • Acquired two technical memos from the city’s consultant regarding current conditions.
  • Created “This Could Be A Ticket” push card for parking offenses.
  • Authored numerous newsletter articles and board reports.
  • Received additional safety striping at the Alamo/Probandt intersection.
  • Obtained removal of dangerous striping at the Alamo/Adams intersection.
  • Added “No Parking” signs near the Alamo St. crosswalk at the Friendly Spot.

Roofless Solar has come to San Antonio and is now available to every CPS Energy customer in the area.  CPS Energy, the nation’s largest municipally owned utility, in partnership with Clean Energy Collective, is providing a greener way to buy power.  Community solar is ideal for all CPS customers, including renters, those with rooftops not suitable for rooftop solar and anyone who wants to harness the sun’s energy but doesn’t want to spend tens of thousands of dollars for an on-site system.

Steve Yndo and Betty YndoBetty Yndo is one of the first residents I met in King William back in 1997.  She was showing my husband, Richard, and me around, as we thought we might like to live here.  We did not buy a house from her, but she certainly sold us on the neighborhood.  She pointed out fabulous historic homes and told us about gathering spots such as La Tuna Ice House.  While not originally from San Antonio, Betty became an unofficial ambassador for King William, known and beloved by many in our historic section of downtown San Antonio.

Betty Gibson grew up on a farm in Stanton, Texas, where folk were welcomed by “3,000 friendly people and a few old soreheads.”  After attending the Baylor School of Nursing, she married Dr. Don Gaddis, and they had two sons, Paul and David, and a daughter, Pam.  Don died in 1972.

Betty first worked in real estate while living in Austin, where she loved working out of doors.  She and her sons built cedar kit houses, ordered from Seattle, in Alpine and in Austin.  Betty went on to convert a warehouse in Alpine into a seven-shop mini mall, taking advantage of a Small Business Administration loan for female entrepreneurs.

We had another great July 4th Regatta in King William.  Started in 1983, the Regatta is organized by the near-mythical King William Yacht Club for the happy purpose of enjoying our neighbors and our neighborhood by cruising our portion of the San Antonio River.  A great crowd showed up this year, some to power-paddle in the canoe and kayak races, others to show off their stars-and-stripes style in our leisure class, and the rest of us for the thrill of spectating. 

On June 6, VIA launched a new branded service called VIVA.  The three lines that comprise the VIVA service include:

  • VIVA Culture – direct connections to Southtown, King William, Downtown, Pearl and Broadway
  • VIVA Missions – direct connections between the Alamo and the San Antonio Missions World Heritage Site
  • VIVA Centro – connections between Centro Plaza and St. Paul Square

VIVA replaces the blue trolley line. For more information visit viainfo.net/BusService/VivaMain.aspx.

The City of San Antonio has started a Sidewalk Cost Sharing Program.  Since the KWA is in a non-CDBG area, the city will pay for 50% of the cost to replace sidewalks.  The City’s program can be combined with the KWA’s Sidewalk Program.  The KWA will pay $25 per linear foot to help King William residents to repair their sidewalks.

Historic homes, because of their age and condition, offer considerable potential for energy retrofits that can reduce their energy use and utility costs as well as improve living conditions for their owners.  However, few reliable studies are available to inform the owners of historic homes in hot and humid regions as to appropriate retrofits for their homes, and none offer any prioritization of these potential retrofits.  Such guidance is needed both to ensure that the retrofits are appropriate for older homes and, more importantly, that they meet the requirements typically placed on these historic homes and do not impact their cultural value. 

It’s a wrap, folks!  On May 26, we gathered up some of the 2016 King William Fair troops to Beethoven Maennerchor Halle und Garten and celebrated with those who dedicated their valuable time and incredible talents to make this the best Fair we have had to date! 
Although the Fair had close to 1,000 volunteers, there were some exceptional people we wanted to reward for their commitment, experience and positive performances.  We also wanted them to know that our community appreciates their efforts to preserve and enhance the King William Historic District.  Neighboring businesses and those beyond our boundaries donated their services and products to recognize these amazing individuals.

Congratulations to the outstanding artists who won this year’s Art and Craft awards!  We had a wonderful group of talented artists, and it was challenging to make these selections.  Thanks to all who participated in the 2016 King William Fair, and to Nancy and Chris Price who served as our volunteer Art and Craft Managers!

Best Fiesta Spirit: Emmanuel SA Artist, Martin Rangel

Martin Rangel was born in San Antonio and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of the Incarnate Word.  Rangel is fascinated by iconic people and symbols of different generations throughout the past and present and how they evoke different meanings in different people.  Images contained in his works include Mission San José, a bottle of Mexican Coke, the Virgin of Guadalupe, Bruce Lee, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, just to name a few.  Abstraction and representation, cultural and educational experiences, and his own personal foundations all blend in his mind, allowing Rangel to create works of art that bring an emotion or memory to viewers.  To view his artwork, visit emmanuelsa.com.  

Hope, Help, Independence

Visual impairment is an ever-increasing health issue and the leading reason for loss of independent living among older Americans.  Where can they turn for non-medical help?  What can they do to maintain independence?  How can they stay connected with the community?  The Low Vision Resource Center (LVRC), which just celebrated its 19th anniversary, can help.  The LVRC offers two major programs for visually impaired people in the San Antonio area: the San Antonio Low Vision Club and Owl Radio.

As directed by the KWA Board in 2014, the KWA Finance Committee began the task of developing a Statement of Investment Objectives, Policies and Management Guidelines (the “Statement”).  The Statement was carefully crafted by the Finance Committee Investment Subcommittee over two years.  The Subcommittee deliberately built a schedule to provide a generous amount of time to gather input, review, adapt and deliver the Statement to the Board for their consideration.  The Board approved the Statement at the May 2015 meeting.  

Walks can be more enjoyable if you have a destination.  Here are two.  On the west side of the river, just north of Caesar Chavez Blvd. toward town, is a Texas Naturalist Wildscape Demonstration Garden.  It has been there awhile, but with the good weather we’ve had, it is looking very good.  It contains many native and adaptive plants that do well in San Antonio and South Texas.  Many have tags giving the plant name and its growing habits.  Take paper and pen because you may see something you want to add to your garden.  The second destination is at 310 E. Arsenal between City St. and S. Main Ave.  The home is a new addition to the neighborhood and the front garden is signed as a “Pollinator Habitat.”  Here also the plants are native and drought tolerant with the added benefit of attracting visitors such as bees and hummingbirds.  

There is a continued commercial development trend going on along the S. Alamo corridor.  Two major commercial properties, the former vending machine warehouse at 1811 S. Alamo and an adjacent tract at 1302 S. Flores, were purchased by David Adelman.  The S. Alamo property is scheduled for mixed-use with creative office space, plus a restaurant and/or bar.  The King William Association has been following the process through HDRC and Zoning, and formally requested that no outdoor amplified music be allowed.  The Zoning Commission approved the IDZ zoning with C2 and Bar uses without restricting any amplified noise.  The property adjoins a potential historic neighborhood adjacent to King William and a prominent multi-story loft is located across S. Alamo along S. Flores, residences that are well within the “sound shed” of amplified noise.  

This year’s King William Fair Parade Awards Team – Robert Young, Doane Derricks (KW residents and new Fair/Parade volunteers), Sarah Cooper and John Milam (Parade photographer and assistant) – had a hard time choosing from all the great entries, and insisted that the Parade participants deserved this many awards!  

The Awards Team also wanted a special award for the Alamo City Roller Girls.  While technically not a Parade entry, they do expertly organize the Parade line-up and flow, and skate the whole route.  

  • Best in Show:  Slab Cinema
  • Best Kids’ Entry:  School of Science and Technology - Discovery
  • Best Visuals:  Pi Arts of San Antonio
  • Most Entertaining:  M.O.S.T. Mermaids of South Town
  • Most Comedic:  La Tuna’s Selenas
  • Best Outreach:  Girls Inc.
  • Best on Wheels:  Brotherhood of the Coast
  • Outstandingest:  Order of Granaderos y Damas de Galvez
  • Best Animals:  Fiesta 4 Paws
  • Best Live Music:  Huppertz and Fenwich Elementary Choir & Drums
  • Best Musicality:  Pride Show Band of San Antonio
  • Special Award for Biggest Heart:  Alamo City Roller Girls – THE Parade Wranglers!

For more award photos please check out the web page: kwfair.org/parade.

- Sue Duffy
Chief Parade Wrangler