KWA Newsletter Articles

Summer in South Texas is one of the best times of the year to be outside along the San Antonio River. On some days, though, if the heat doesn’t keep you inside, the mosquitoes will. Luckily, the San Antonio River Watershed is home to a native fish that helps us with those pesky insects. The Western Mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) is a small (1 to 2 inch) fish that lives in ponds, lakes, creeks and rivers. This fish, along with its close cousin, the more localized Largespring Gambusia (Gambusia geiseri), eats mosquitoes. While these fish might be considered pests in some parts of the country where they have been introduced, they are native to our watershed and therefore provide a natural form of pest control. Incredibly common and numerous, these hardy fish are not hard to find.

The King William Association By-Laws have gone through a lengthy review process, culminating with a set of proposed amendments that were presented to the membership at the June general meeting. At the direction of the KWA Board, the proposed amendments are scheduled for approval by the members eligible to vote at the annual meeting in September, in accordance with the current by-laws.

At the KWA General Meeting on June 5, 2013, H-E-B spokesperson Dya Campos announced that H-E-B had submitted a proposal to the City to build a grocery store at the corner of S. Flores St. and Cesar Chavez Blvd. In addition, Ms. Campos stated that H-E-B would be asking the City’s permission to close S. Main Avenue between Arsenal St. and Chavez Blvd. at an undetermined future date, regardless of whether or not a grocery store is built.

There is a process for any entity that wants to permanently close a city street, the “Closure, Vacation and Abandonment Process.” This is available for review online at the City Of San Antonio website under the CIMS department:

Most of us have probably heard the term heirloom plants, but do not know what they really are. The following is taken from The Southern Heirloom Garden by William C. Welch and Greg Grant.

Heirloom plants are living antiques and belong in the garden because they are tough, adapted and pretty. They evoke nostalgia by their sight and smell because they are plants that Grandmother grew or we grew up with as children. The use of heirloom plants should be considered in establishing the garden to complement the restoration of any older home.

In last month’s KWA newsletter, I read about a nifty private social website called Nextdoor King William. No sooner had I signed up than I saw an intriguing post from neighbor Rhoda Hockett:

We have lived here 29 years and tonight was the first time we’ve seen fireflies on the river banks!!! We started seeing the first one from the bridge by Brackenridge HS then saw two more as we walked back toward Blue Star. Imagine if there were fifty or a hundred? The magic begins!

For many years, there was a corner of the King William neighborhood that was made up mostly of families of Italian decent. Many were first generation immigrants from Italy. The four square blocks bounded by S. Main, W. Guenther, Sheridan and Flores was a quiet, peaceful neighborhood where families like the Granatos, Pantusos, Martinos and Scarnatos would gather on one front porch or another after a day’s labor to exchange news and gossip.

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 sixth purpose.

6. In further pursuance of this purpose, the corporation shall plan, promote, and conduct activities and special events designed to attract people to the King William Area for educational and cultural pursuits and to promote the arts and crafts.

Behind the scenes, it is a busy summer for the KWA. In the last issue I mentioned the Board of Directors will work on and approve a 2014 budget which will include funding for many of the activities we support throughout the year: concerts at SARA, artists at the office, graffiti clean-up, tree planting, the home tour program, sidewalks, socials and scholarships. The budget also includes general operating expenses from salaries to staples. In addition, we budget for building maintenance of our office on S. Alamo. After accounting for what the KWA needs to operate and complete programs or approved projects we look to the remainder of the KW Fair income to award grants to organizations throughout our community.

The Architectural Advisory Committee of the King William Association has declared 2013 “The Year of the Window” ... and in previous issues of the Newsletter we have discussed the City’s historic guidelines that call for appropriate, energy-conserving restoration of historic windows over replacement. In this installment we visit with neighbors whose home and guest house exemplify best practices for residential window restoration (and much else besides!).

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 fifth purpose.

5. The corporation shall foster and promote the cooperation and support of individuals, business groups, civic groups, and governmental units in developing tourist attractions in the general area and in strengthening the economic and cultural life of the surrounding area.

Over two weekends in late May and early June, between 10 and 11 inches of rain fell over most of the area between S. Flores St. and the I-37 Freeway. If you have a lawn of any size you have probably been out cutting it every few days. It seems clear that xeric landscapes are not only environmentally better, but can be less labor intensive. If you would like to reduce the amount of grass in your landscape, go by 815 E. Guenther to get some ideas about what can be done to reduce water usage and still have an appealing garden. If you have gone by this garden before, notice that there seems to be more pieces of unique yard art than previously.

There’s a new social network gaining popularity in San Antonio. It’s called Nextdoor, and it is a private social network designed to help neighbors connect and communicate. Different from email and Facebook groups, Nextdoor was designed from the ground up to help serve neighborhood-specific goals: fight crime, find lost pets, discuss neighborhood issues, organize yard-sales and community events, find baby-sitters and share recommendations on everything from restaurants to handymen.

A 1948 city map shows South Main Ave. dead-ending on the north edge of the old U. S. Arsenal property at current day Cesar Chavez Blvd. On the south side of the Arsenal, the street, which eventually became the southern extension of South Main was named Bois d’arc. Bois d’arc ran just two blocks from Arsenal Street to Johnson Street then it became Frasch Street until it dead-ended on South Alamo.

Ah, summer is here – or is it ugh, summer is here? On Sunday, June 2 at 6:30 p.m. on the banks of the San Antonio River, it was definitely “Ah, summer is here!” The Mission City Hot Rhythm Cats were performing for the KWA concert series at the San Antonio River Authority and the weather was fabulous. The temperature stayed under 90 and cool breezes wafted across the grounds. I settled in to my portable travel chair, poured a glass of pinot grigio and took in the sights and sounds.

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 fourth purpose.

4. In order to disseminate historical and cultural material and to promote the King William Association and its purposes, the corporation shall publish periodicals, pamphlets, and other materials from time to time as the Board of Directors deems appropriate.

Thanks to everyone for a great King William Fair! It was a magical time and, despite the rain, everyone I saw had big smiles.

We couldn't do it without the multitude of volunteers, sponsors and supporters. There are too many to name, but your hard work will be repaid in the good that the KWA will be able to do for our community via grants this coming year.
I would especially like to praise the KW staff of Zet Baer, Susan Rothman, Cherise Bell, Monika Perez-Moad and Carol Jackson. They were awesome! If you see any of these women, please give them a big hug!

Finally, this is your first chance to start thinking about volunteering to be Fair Chair for next year. If you’re interested, let us know. It’s a great job, I promise!

Michael Girdley, 2013 Fair Chair

Thanks to These Folks Who Made the 2013 KW Fair a Great Success!

Fair Chair: Michael Girdley
Admissions: Ruben Cuero, Alan Cash, Bill Cogburn
Art & Craft: Max Martinez, Roland Rodriguez
Beverages: George Reihner, Kit Walker, Jim Johnson, Jr.
Enforcement: Mary Helen and Joe Mansbach
Entertainment: Rudi Harst
Environmental: Jack Kent, Jeremy Nelson
Food: Annice Hill, Ginger Ardid, Keith Hill,
Ilse’s Attic: Nancy Diehl
Kids Kingdom: Richard Contreras, Richard Warren, Mission Trail Rotary
Marking: John Hartman, Rose Kanusky, Siboney Diaz-Sanchez
Office: Roslyn Cogburn, Connie & Max Martinez, Mary Ann Ohlenbusch, Deb Mueller, Rosemary Segura, Joe Van Meter, Molly & Harry Shafer, Michael Anderson, Dolores Lopez, Joe Shinner, Penny Abbott, Mark Saenz, Frank Tijerina, Cyndee Conrad, Trinity Walker, Donna Simon, Dina Toland, Deb Field
Parade: Sue Duffy, John Doski, Ryan Orsinger, Jerry Witte, Pat Conroy
Parade/ KW Kids: Naomi Neuburger
Signage: Ed Day, John Doski, Joachim Singelmann
VIP Hosts: Villa Finale
Everything Else: Monty Baer, Eric Guess

- Zet Baer


We are still under Stage 2 watering restrictions. They have changed slightly. Landscape watering with an irrigation system, sprinkler or soaker hose is still allowed only once a week on your designated day determined by your address. Watering times have been changed to 7:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m., and 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Garden Tips:

  • Trim the "sucker" shoots sprouting at the base of crepe myrtles. These take nutrients from the main plant, reducing its vitality.
  • New plants added to the garden need frequent watering for their roots to grow outside their root ball and become established in the soil. Annuals, perennials and shrubs should be watered thoroughly when the top two inches of soil are dry. The amount of water disbursed by a sprinkler system is not usually enough to sustain new plantings.
  • Now is the time to trim climbing roses if you have not already. New growth will produce next springs flowers.
    Wait until the foliage of spring-blooming bulbs to turns brown before trimming.
  • The recipe for hummingbird feeders is 1/4 cup sugar to 1 cup warm water. Change at least weekly.