For many years, the King William Association has been proud to award grants to schools and nonprofit organizations in the King William area.  The mission of the Association is to promote its residents’ educational, cultural and recreational pursuits, as well as to preserve the neighborhood’s historic structures and the diversity of its people.  

In an annual competitive process, organizations submit a grant application outlining their missions and goals, describing the program or project for which funding is requested and how such funding will address the needs of the organization, and explaining how their project fulfills the Association’s mission. 

Read more: KWA Announces 2017 Grant Awards

If you’ve ever needed a first responder in an emergency, you know how helpful they can be.  What do you know about our own fire department?

The SAFD consists of 51 fire stations and 1800 uniformed and civilian employees.  First responders provide service to well over 1 million citizens and visitors within a response area covering over 460 square miles. SAFD responded to over 167,000 emergency incidents in 2015 with medical emergencies accounting for more than 80 percent of total calls.  Through careful resource management, the San Antonio Fire Department (SAFD) has one of the lowest response times and property damage rate for cities of comparable size.  

Read more: The SAFD: On the Front Lines of First Response in Emergencies

The sign on the door said “Closed during August,” but there was a lot of action inside the San Antonio Art League & Museum.  Downstairs, volunteers and board members were carefully sliding out paintings by the Onderdonks, William Merritt Chase and Jose Arpa from their storage spaces as they documented and tagged the 600+ artworks in the League’s Permanent Collection.  Meanwhile, the old Gift Shop was being scaled down to provide more exhibition space.  Upstairs, SAAL&M members were putting together a salon-style Members Gallery that will showcase work by nine different artists every two months.  

Adding to the mix was excitement and anticipation about the blockbuster September exhibit, a solo show by James Wyatt Hendricks, the Art League’s Artist of the Year for 2017. If you haven’t seen it, it’s up until October 22, and it’s not to be missed.  Hendriks’ interpretation of Myth and Hero in metal, resin, paint and Prismacolor fills the gallery with magic. 

Read more: Time to Visit the SA Art League & Museum

Do you want to be part of The Party with a Purpose year-round?  When you join the Fiesta San Antonio Commission, you become part of a proud tradition celebrating San Antonio’s culture and diversity – and receive benefits all year long!  

Just some of the benefits you will have access to include your very own exclusive annual Fiesta® member medal, special discounts, early access to tickets and opportunities for discounted advertising through the Fiesta® Commission.

Read more: Fiesta San Antonio Commission

EPIcenter, the non-profit transforming the Mission Road Power Plant into a hub for new energy innovation, is hosting its Neighbors for an EPIc Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, October 28, from 8:00 – 10:00 am.

There will be pancakes and sausage, music, games and face painting for the kids, and, for adults over the age of 18, a chance to tour the historic power plant.  Wear your closed-toe shoes if you hope to tour!  Please join us as we open the property to Neighbors for the first time.  This event is FREE!

Watch for more details in the KWA weekly e-blast and, if you have already registered as a Neighbor, in your personal email.

The EPIcenter Neighbors Program is free to residents and property owners in the 78210 and 78204 zip codes.  Neighbors can register at epicenterus.org/connect/neighbors or call me at 210-904-2682.

- Jill H. Vassar
Director of Development and Partnership

Even the signs and advertisements that proclaim “Back to School” have begun to disappear after their fervid flowering at the end of August.  I’m back in the classroom and so is my latest crop of graduate students.  The economy is strong, and they all have part time jobs in the architects’ offices where most of them are likely to begin their post-graduate careers.  Finding an opening as an undergraduate isn’t so easy; employers aren’t as likely to be charitable about less developed skills and translucent resumes. 

Read more: City Lights: September 2017

Every August at the KWA General Membership meeting the slate for next year’s board members are named by the nominating committee in addition members have an opportunity to nominate a qualified member “from the floor”.  This year we have nine returning board members and six new members.  Elections will be held at the September 6 General Membership meeting.  Please come out, vote and meet your board members.  

Read more: Nominees to KWA Board of Directors Named

September 11, 2017 is a special date for the King William Association (KWA) and neighborhood.  It’s the sixth anniversary of the designation of the King William Cultural Arts District (KWCAD) by the Board of Governors of the Texas Commission on the Arts.

Ours was the first Cultural Arts District in San Antonio, and is distinguished by being one of few in the state that was sponsored by a neighborhood group and not a city government. Since then, Zona Cultural, sponsored by the City, was named San Antonio’s second cultural arts district in 2015.  This downtown district is supported by Centro San Antonio, a collection of downtown organizations with a goal to keep San Antonio vibrant. 

Read more: Cultural Arts District Celebrates Sixth Anniversary!

New members welcome!

Books of every description – new, old, fiction, nonfiction, bestsellers, obscuriana. 

Meets last Monday of each month, 6:30 p.m.,at Liberty Bar. 

For more information contact Annice Hill at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Over 23 years ago a group of King William neighbors were working and planning a program.  Neighborhood leaders, who realized the urgent need in the community for youth development programming with a critical emphasis on the arts, launched SAY Sí.  Starting from very humble beginnings, but with admirable ideals, the program quickly grew. 

After 23 years we have broadened our philosophy beyond arts education to join an international movement, creative youth development.  At the forefront, SAY Sí has successfully shown that creative communities help young people succeed.

Read more: SAY Sí Thanks the KWA for 23 Years of Growth

One last look.  I’m standing in the now empty house that I’ve loved and labored over for almost eleven years.  It looks for all the world like the last scene from Checkhov’s Cherry Orchard.  There is the shadow of a banjo clock on the wall at the landing where its rhythmic ticking acted as the beating heart of the place.  The chandelier with its Edison bulbs in the dining room now floats over empty space, no table to illuminate.  The built-in china cabinet is void of its contents, its mirrored back reflecting nothing but daylight filtered through lace curtains. 

Read more: City Lights: August 2017

The 85th legislative Session was certainly challenging; however, our office had some victories, two of which I want to share with you here.

SB 725, also known as the Student Fairness in Feeding Act, was developed as a result of my visits with educators from all 55 public schools in my district.  No matter which school district, these educators identified chronic hunger of students as a problem, yet ripe, edible, and wrapped food was being thrown away daily.  Schools want to give their kids this food, but fear of violating policy kept them from doing so.  The bill permits schools to have an on-campus food pantry that allows schools to collect the food that would have previously been thrown away to give to their hungry children.  I will continue to fight for Texas children, especially those most vulnerable.

Read more: Texas House District 123 Report: August 2017

Steel City Pops opened at the end of June and is one of the new businesses at 812 S. Alamo Street (behind Credit Human).  Originally started in 2012 by Alabama native Jim Watkins, the business is still family-owned and branched out to Texas.  A new King William neighbor, Ben Cleveland, is the General Manager.  Ben is from Alabama but married to a San Antonio native, so moving here was an easy decision. 

Read more: Pops: Paletas with Pizazz

 

In 1986 the King William Association announced in its newsletter that it wanted to mark its 20th anniversary with house address signs which included “Est. 1967.”  The original oval plaques were designed and custom made by KWA member Bob Bradley using wood and silkscreen printing.

The design and material has changed over the years as different contractors were selected.  The “Est. 1967” remains on the plaque to remind all of our Association’s beginnings.  The KWA currently has plaques available for $60 if you would like to purchase one for your home. 

- Cherise Bell

Hooray for another great July 4th Regatta in King William!  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.  The canoe and kayak races kicked off the festivities, but just-for-fun paddlers were the heart of the celebration.  Mike Casey was the only original KW Yacht Club member who participated in the paddling this year.  Mike brought his singular style and grace to the canoe he shared with new neighbor Monica.  

Read more: In a Regatta de Vida 2017

I’m looking forward to an extraordinarily long Fourth of July holiday this year.  Thanks to the happy news on the calendar, I see it occurs on a Tuesday.  I’ll do what millions of my countrymen will do and take Monday off, stretching this to a four-day escape from the cares of business as usual. 

If Memorial Day was any predictor, I’d like to be on the back porch with a cup of coffee or glass of wine (depending on the hour), savoring the sight of a tropical downpour cascading through the pecan trees.

Read more: City Lights: July 2017

At the March 5, 2014 membership meeting, revised bylaws were presented and approved with exceptions.  The exceptions caused duplications and duplicate numbering to occur.  Brad Shaw, Parliamentarian, has renumbered the bylaws and will be presenting the corrected bylaws at the August 2, 2017 KWA General Membership meeting. 

According to the KWA Bylaws ARTICLE X11 AMENDMENTS:

These By-Laws may be amended by a two-thirds majority vote of the active members present and voting at any general meeting of the Association where a quorum is present, provided that the proposed amendment has been presented in writing by the Parliamentarian to the general membership at least two weeks prior to voting. 

If you wish to see the renumbered bylaws prior to the member meeting, please come to the KWA office or go the KWA member portal on our website at www.ourkwa.org

- Cherise Bell

 

The groundbreaking for the Linda Pace Foundation’s new structure, conceived by its founder Linda Pace (1945-2007) and designed by acclaimed architect Sir David Adjaye, took place on May 31 at 150 Camp Street off of S. Flores Street.  The modern crimson-hued building will house the Foundation’s growing collection of more than 800 paintings, sculptures, installations and video works by contemporary artists from around the world.  The $16 million project, which includes a 14,000-square-foot, two-story building, is privately funded by the Linda Pace Foundation.  In addition to Adjaye Associates as the design architects, the local teams that are working on the building project include Alamo Architects.

Read more: Ruby City Breaks Ground

Amols’, our iconic novelty and party store on S. Flores Street, will be moving a couple of miles up the road toward the Deco District soon, and owners Jeffrey and Maritza Weiss aren’t happy to go.  After 55 years at their current location, the decision to move is a very emotional one.  The neighborhood went through hard times, but Jeffrey’s grandfather, founder Julian Amols, stuck it out at the same address downtown.  Julian loved the central location with easy access to highways on both sides.  

“I grew up here – this is our home.  I have always worked here and we love this neighborhood and location,” said Jeffrey.  He grew up working with his grandfather and took over the business in 1991.

Read more: Amols’ Moving in Late 2017

This fall the City will be investing $1 million dollars to improve South Alamo Street from Pereida to South St. Mary’s Streets, providing pavement, bicycle lane and sidewalk improvements.  After working for over a year with City staff regarding South Alamo Street, the City identified and secured funding to improve the street.  However, due to a funding shortage the project was not going to add new street lights.  To add pedestrian street lights to match those installed on South Alamo Street south of Pereida, the City needed additional funding.  

Read more: Grant to Shed Light: Perseverance Pays Off

Short-term rentals (STR) is a hot topic in San Antonio and the State of Texas.  As stated in Rose Kanusky’s article last month, the KWA was instrumental in the 90s in the creation of San Antonio’s B&B ordinance. With the advent of the internet, marketing of houses or rooms for rent is on the rise.  The Texas Legislature has two bills pending regarding STRs; House Bill 2551 and Senate Bill 451.  Both bills basically limit a city’s regulatory authority over STRs. House Bill 2551 is currently “dead” in the Urban Affairs Committee.  Senate Bill 451 was approved was sent to the Urban Affairs committee to be voted on May 20.  

Read more: Short-Term Rentals

This is a tale of three houses, and the taxes their owners pay on them.  I could write a column full of bitter recriminations about the regressive nature of taxes in my home state and town, and their destabilizing effect on neighborhoods and my own way of life, but I knew what I was getting into when I came back to Texas from the east coast (and the three income taxes I paid there, Federal, State of Pennsylvania, and City of Philadelphia). 

All those income taxes were challenging to a then young Texan who thought lack of taxation was a birthright.  Then he found out he could write off the local and state taxes on his Federal taxes, and all of a sudden the pain went away.  Homeowners in states with income taxes pay substantially less in property taxes than we do here in the Lone Star State because their local governments don’t have to squeeze blood out of the root vegetables that are their taxpayer base. 

Read more: City Lights: May 2017

The first phase of the AT&T Fiber project will be in the northern portion of King William, with expected installation from July through September.  What does this mean?  Digging, 22” x 17” holes in the right-of-way (grassy parkway area), then boring underground to add duct to hold the fibers.  Boxes will then be placed underground with a plastic lid at grade level.  

There will also be some aerial construction.  Submitted plans have one above-ground fiber hut, 40.5” x 42.8” x 19.9”, located at the end of E. Sheridan Street.  KWA worked with the City and AT&T regarding the placement and screening of this hut to reduce the visual impact to the streetscape.  The Office of Historic Preservation has approved the project.  

- Cherise Bell

For the past 95 years, the Texas Cavaliers have selected one of their members to serve as King Antonio to reign over the San Antonio celebration known as Fiesta.  In keeping with this tradition, the Cavaliers selected King William neighbor Dr. Michael “Mike” Casillas as King Antonio XCV.  Mike’s mission as King Antonio has been to spread the message that an act of kindness is the greatest gift you can give or receive.  Kindness really does start with one — one person, one act, one place, one city, one county, and one movement with one goal in mind: To make our world a kinder place one act at a time.  And with Mike’s mission in mind, every single one of us can play a part in this by being good to another person. That is what makes a difference in our world.  He visited many schools and numerous charity events, plus the multitude of official Fiesta events during his 2017 reign.  

Read more: Our Neighbor Michael Casillas, King Antonio XCV

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