KWA Newsletter Articles

The King William Association Charter was submitted to the State of Texas on July 28, 1967. The purpose of a Charter is to proclaim an organization’s purpose and intent. Seven purposes are listed in the King William Charter. This article is about the second purpose:

2. In pursuance of this basic purpose, the corporation proposes to restore historic buildings and to move to or construct in the King William Area of the City of San Antonio, Texas, other buildings around which to preserve the history of the City of San Antonio, Texas, in general and the King William Area in particular, which such structures not only preserved but made functionally useful in carrying out the purpose of the corporation.

Several neighbors have been victims of one crime or another recently, ranging from thefts of porch furniture to home burglaries. Many of these crimes happened on or near King William street. In response, several King William street residents have organized a neighborhood watch group. The group's purpose is to keep watchful eyes on the homes and street, noting and sharing awareness of unusual activity. We've created an email and phone list which will allow us to keep each other informed. Four neighbors have volunteered to act as the block captain for the blocks they live on. The block capture each resident is informed of important information.

Texas weather can be very unpredictable. However the first weekend of March is typically the last chance for freezing temperatures and annual plants can be planted after that.

At the time of this writing we have not had a killing freeze in King William although officially the City has had a couple of below freezing nights. As I said in last month's newsletter, plants that would normally freeze back to ground level should be cut back to about 6 inches high. This may be hard to do especially if some still have blooms. If not cut back they can become too large for their space and can become unsightly as stems near the ground become bare with new growth only at the top.

Carolina jessamine vines are now blooming with their bright yellow trumpet shaped flowers. It is a trouble free, drought tolerant, evergreen, spring blooming vine that can grow to a length of 10 feet or more. They are not a "clinging" vine and have to be trained on the fence or trellis on which they are planted. This is now the time to find them in local nurseries. Because it a spring bloomer, Carolina jessamine can be planted in areas that may become shady as trees begin to leaf out later in the season.

This year, only King William Association members (those who have paid their membership dues for 2013) and those living in the Fair Zone will receive two complimentary admission wristbands for the upcoming King William Fair. Members may also purchase discounted admission wristbands for $6.00 each from the KWA office.

We encourage you to join the King William Association to receive this benefit. There are several levels of membership, starting as low as $10, and with membership you receive two complimentary admission wristbands to the 2013 King William Fair.

All guests attending the Fair will need admission wristbands to enter. If you are having a party, please remind your friends and family that they will need to purchase a wristband in advance (available at the Fiesta Store, 2611 Broadway) or at the gate on Fair day.

KWA Members please note: A separate letter will be mailed with your wristbands on March 29. They will not arrive in your newsletter as they have in past years.

When You’re Not in Kansas Anymore

I feel slightly entitled to use the subtitle above as I have actually lived in Kansas. Of course I don’t remember much about it since I was a toddler at the time. We moved to Topeka, Kansas for just 11 months in 1968 prior to an overseas assignment for my dad to Germany. I’m sure at that point, with a 2, 4 and 5 year old, moving around the world was an incredible, yet probably difficult, change for my family.

Change continues to occur in the King William Association, which is nothing new, but as mentioned in my last column I want to keep you informed about what goes on behind the scenes. While everyone may know our organization is a nonprofit, not everyone may understand all that the designation implies. Besides using our revenue to further our purposes as stated in the KWA charter, there are other operational and organizational requirements for nonprofits. Starting with our immediate Past President Michael Guarino, and thanks to increased revenue from the Fair, we have begun the process of ensuring the KWA meets all the requirements necessary to maintain our nonprofit status while continuing our everyday work. These efforts include the following:

A dear friend of King William has died. Mary Trevino passed away February 13 at age 102. As a tribute to this remarkable lady, we are repeating excerpts from an interview with her ten years ago when she was only 92:

Mary Trevino’s bright smile has greeted guests at El Mirador for more than 35 years. At 92 years of age, she still works the register, cooks the soup and sauces and fills in wherever she is needed around the restaurant.

Mary’s son Julian and his wife Diana moved to King William in the late 1960’s, and that’s when Mary and her husband Julian, Sr. began visiting the neighborhood. “When our first granddaughter, Jessica, was born,” Mary said, “we couldn’t stay away.”

There was a small restaurant in the building next door to the present El Mirador, a pleasant place where the Trevinos ate occasionally. It had three booths, one table and a few stools at the counter. Julian happened to notice one day that the little restaurant was for rent. Mary got on the telephone right away to her sister-in-law and a friend and said, ”You want to go into the restaurant business with us?”

The first thing they both said was, “Who’s going to do the cooking? You can’t cook! I can’t cook! None of us knows how to cook!”
“We don’t need to know,” Mary told them. “The restaurant already has a cook.” So they pooled their resources and were soon in business, but the cook proved to be temperamental. “About a month after we opened, the cook suddenly took off,” Mary said. “I had no choice. I had to learn to cook in a hurry, taste and make changes until I got it right.” She evidently ‘got it right’ because the business soon began to prosper.

The King William Association Charter, asserting the organization’s purpose and intent, was submitted to the State of Texas on July 28, 1967. Seven purposes are listed in the KWA Charter; this article concerns the first:

1. The corporation is organized and shall be operated for educational, recreational, and cultural purposes, especially the presentation and dissemination of understanding of the early life and cultures of the city of San Antonio, TX, and the Southwest as reflected in home life, government, religion, education, industry (work), and the arts and crafts.

What’s to do with all of this dazzling, but overwhelming sunlight?” was the question we first asked ourselves upon the return to the family home. We had been away from Texas for seven years to the cooler climes of the West Coast and abroad. In that time the planet had grown incrementally hotter. The 110 degree summer threw a shocking homecoming. The aquifer was low, electricity for AC prohibitively expensive, and an uninsulated house whose brick walls wouldn’t cool down once they warmed up under the southern sun all made us look for an answer.

The King William Public Art Committee (PAC) is proud to announce its first art installation! Since its inception, the PAC’s mission has been to further the beauty of the King William area, promote area artists and demonstrate the highest level of excellence in public art using a variety of media. As you may remember, in September, 2011, the King William neighborhood was named a Cultural Arts District by the Texas Commission on the Arts. The goals of the Commission marry well with the King William Charter: Strengthen cultural life, promote arts and crafts and produce events that attract people to the area for cultural pursuits.

We are about to start a new growing season. Hopefully we will have "typical" weather. That means no late frost and good rains at the right time. We can only hope.

If it has been more than three months since you fertilized your lawn and flower beds now is the time to do it. Select an organic fertilizer and not a chemical-based one. A good nurrery can suggest one of many good brands now available. Remember you do not have to water in an organic fertilizer immediately after spreading it if time does not allow. It will not burn like chemical products.

2013 is here! I’ve always been mystified by the notion of an unlucky “13.” Even Wikipedia doesn’t have a solid answer as to its origins. But indeed it’s pervasive in our culture, and even the hospital where I perform surgery has over 20 operating rooms but none labeled 13. Interestingly, in other countries like Italy and China, 13 is considered a lucky number. Numerous successful sports figures have worn the number 13 and had good seasons while doing so. In the end, I’m not a big believer in luck anyway, but rather in the concept of making your own luck through hard work and effort.
In this first edition of the 2013 newsletter, I’d like to share a list of some of the things the King William Association Board of Directors and staff have been addressing. I chose 7 to highlight just because it’s lucky!

The Macias sisters, Connie and Mary Lou, have lived in their pretty cottage at 118 Daniel Street for sixty-seven years. They were teenagers in 1945 when their mother, Concepcion Hernandez Macias, widowed just the year before, paid $1,500 down payment on the house.

Concepcion was a teenager herself in 1915 when she arrived in San Antonio with her family, fleeing a pneumonia epidemic in Guatemala. She attended mass at San Fernando Cathedral for the next few years and that’s where she met Liborio Macias. While social conventions of the day kept them from actually “dating,” they took every opportunity to get to know each other during the social hour after mass. Liborio had emigrated to the U.S. from San Luis Potosi, Mexico in 1905 with his mother and brother to escape political unrest at home.

Most of the buildings in the King William Association are located within the boundaries of a Historic District, or are designated as a local landmark. Both of these are “zoning overlays” regulated by the City of San Antonio’s Zoning Ordinance administered by the City’s Office of Historic Preservation (OHP). As a local landmark or by location within a historic district, City ordinance requires you to have your project reviewed by the OHP.

It is all about a process. The best way to start is to contact the OHP and explain your project. From there the OHP staff can guide you through the steps you need to take. Some projects that fall under “repair and maintenance,” like replacing rotted wood, can be approved administratively. The OHP staff will give you a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA). You or your contractor will need to submit the COA and an application to get a permit from the building department.

There are many things I enjoy about our neighborhood, but one of my favorites is the abundance of nature and wildlife that surround us in this urban environment. "A river runs through it" is not only a famous novella and movie, but a simple fact of life in King William. The river is the habitat necessary to maintain the diversity of birds and wildlife around us, and SARA is doing a fabulous job at ecosystem restoration along the Mission Reach.

It has been a good season for gardening. In the month of September, King William received 8 3/4 inches of rain, a bit more than the City as a whole at just over 7 inches.

Be careful about parking your car under a pecan tree. The picture shows what happened to Nora Peterson and Richard Green's car at 227 Adams St. on Sunday afternoon, September 30. A large pecan tree beside their driveway toppled over, crushing their car and damaging the front porch of their home. The tree appeared to be healthy and why it fell is not known. Losing such a tree is a real tragedy. What is lost when a tree dies or is needlessly cut down? The first thing that comes to mind is the loss of shade which keeps utility bills down in summer. But more important is the moisture in the atmosphere. Through fine roots, trees draw water from underground, some from depths of over 200 feet. A single large tree may pump over a ton of water into the sky in a day. This amazing bit of information comes from a book titled Trees by Gretchen C. Daily, printed locally by Trinity University Press, a recent gift from a good neighbor and friend who shares an interest in gardening.

As we look forward to the improvements on S. Alamo Street we must also be mindful of the disruption that this will cause to the flow of traffic in and through our neighborhood.

The Fair staff and Parade Committee recently met with representatives from the City of San Antonio (Public Works and Traffic), SAPD and Bexar County Sheriffs. There was a tremendous amount of brainpower and expertise in the room, which allowed for a very productive time. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the construction along S. Alamo and how it will affect the King William Fair and Parade. All agreed that our primary concern is for the safety and security of residents, participants and Fair visitors.

The project is scheduled to begin November 12 and is expected to last approximately two years. During this time S. Alamo will be closed to through traffic from Probandt to Pereida Streets. Residents and businesses along S. Alamo will have access to their property. VIA will reroute buses to S. Flores.
At this point, we will stay with the parade lineup and route that we used last year. Fair staff will continue to evaluate and monitor the project, communicating with the Project Officer to make sure that the crossings, E. Guenther at S. Alamo and Wickes/Johnson at S. Alamo, will be paved with asphalt in order to maintain a safe thoroughfare. S. Alamo will be open for the flow of pedestrian traffic on Fair day. Work on the entire project will be shut down from April 15 – 28 to allow for Fair and Fiesta preparations.

Again, we know that this interruption to the routes we use to travel to and from the events of our daily lives will present delays and impediments. Please be patient with all involved in the project. In the end, it will all be worthwhile.

- Zet Baer

Historic District designation is a “Zoning Overlay” administered by the City of San Antonio. Two additional zoning overlay districts within the boundaries of the King William Association include NCD-1 and RIO-4. Both NCD-1 and RIO-4 are Zoning Overlays. Each property within the boundaries of these districts has its own base zoning which determines the use of the property. For example, a building could be C-1 for commercial use, such as a retail store or a restaurant, or O-1 for an office use. The overlay zoning districts regulate the property’s architectural and site characteristics.