"HIV CASES ON THE RISE” a recent edition of our local daily screamed in 48-point type. Behind the alarming headline — and the alarm is real and appropriate — lay another story, voiced in part by King William neighbor Dr. Barbara Taylor: a story of compassion, progress, and hope.

As clinician, researcher, and teacher — she is associate professor in infectious diseases at UT Health San Antonio and adjunct faculty at the UT School of Public Health — Taylor focuses on prevention and management of HIV infections. The rate of new HIV infections is in decline nationally but still rising in Bexar County, especially in populations underserved by medical care. While infection with the virus was effectively a death sentence when it first emerged in the 1980s, modern therapies can suppress both transmission of HIV and progression to AIDS — if patients are aware of treatment options and receive consistent care.“My patients are super inspiring to me,” Taylor said. “They face so much and come out determined to live, support their families, engage with the community. It’s amazing.”

In preparation for the reissuance of Mary Burkholder’s book, Down the Acequia Madre, Al Rendon is taking pictures of the exterior of houses in the Acequia Madre Historic District.  The pictures will be taken during the next couple of months, at all times of the day, whenever the light is most flattering for individual houses.

It is easier for Al to take a good picture if the houses are free of clutter such as yard signs, trash cans, empty flower pots, leaves on the roofs, etc.  One of the more important but most difficult things to have is the curb in front of your house free of cars!

We are launching this short column to help keep neighbors informed about KWA board activities.  This column is not intended to replace the official minutes, and the content can be blamed on the author, not the Association or its secretary. 

On January 17, 2018, several neighbors attended the board meeting to express their opinions about short-term rentals (STRs) and parking issues.  After hearing from these neighbors, the board finalized its letter to City Council, staff and applicable commissions that opposes non-owner occupied STRs (Type 2) in historic districts.  The letter also requests that the City prohibit any amplified noise at STRs, decline to grandfather existing STRs, and apply the bed and breakfast ordinance to STRs. 

Keep an eye on the convergence of S. Alamo and Pereida Streets in February.  A new public art project is being created and will be installed on that corner in the coming weeks.  The Cultural Arts Committee of the King William Association commissioned local artist Jennifer Khoshbin to create seating that invites travelers to take a “pause” in their stroll through our historic neighborhood.

As part of the ongoing San Pedro Creek Improvements Project, there is some planned construction taking place in the King William area at the bank of the San Antonio River.  The project requires the water level of the river to be temporarily lowered, which will also impact pedestrian access along the west bank of the river.  The San Antonio River Authority is working diligently to minimize the disruption to area residents and anticipates all construction in the area to be completed by the end of March. 

The San Antonio Art League learned in December that it was awarded a grant from the Semmes Foundation for $20,000 to update the outside studio and storage building next to the gallery. 

Among the details of our plans are an accessible restroom and expansion of the teaching space.  Several successful workshops have already been taught in the space, demonstrating the feasibility of the building as an effective venue for learning and outreach.  Future plans for the space include workshops for children and adults, and educational events for the public that align with the SAALM’s well-regarded permanent collection.

Villa Finale: Museum & Gardens, the final home of local preservationist Walter Nold Mathis and the only National Trust for Historic Preservation site in Texas, recently became the recipient of a generous grant from the King William Association.  This grant helps to ensure that Villa Finale’s educational series for children and families continues to thrive. 

Blue Star Contemporary fulfills our mission to inspire, nurture, and innovate through contemporary art in part through our MOSAIC Student Artist Program, led by renowned muralist and our Artist-in-Residence Alex Rubio.  Students are mentored five days a week, after school and during summers, for an intensive, year-round, arts education.  Students participate in BSC’s programs and also attend workshops, lectures and exhibitions at local cultural institutions and artist studios to gain further exposure to the city’s artistic landscape.

Student exhibitions and public art projects, which include a large hand-made mosaic mural at H-E-B’s East Side location and the River Walk’s Compass Rose designating the city’s geographic center, become part of San Antonio and its vibrant and rich visual culture.

Our hands make us human.  We are different, for both good and bad, from all the other living things on our Earth, because of what we can do with our hands.  True, our simian brethren can make and use simple tools, but I doubt the average silverback gorilla is going to engrave treasury notes or sculpt the next David. 

The difference lies in our ability to do very fine work emphasizing highly sensitive control of pressure applied by our fingers and the ability to grasp and manipulate very small objects like engraving tools, bobbins and thread for lace making, rosin-coated bows and micro-surgical tools.

To celebrate the King William Association’s 50th anniversary, two Christmas ornaments were created.  The ceramic ornament is from a Caroline Shelton 1977 watercolor print and costs $10.  The metal ornament was designed by Mike Schroeder using a window hood from 323 Adams Street and costs $20.  

Come by the King William office to purchase.  Your support is appreciated!

Dear King William Friends,

Hopefully everyone is enjoying the cooler weather.  It’s always a great time to be in San Antonio as the summer heat gives way to the arrival of fall and its mild temperatures.  For many, this change in weather allows folks to enjoy the outdoors and take care of projects that were delayed until triple-digit temperatures became a distant memory. 

The KWA awarded The Cannoli Fund a community grant for 2017-2018 that will help fund two programs of our animal welfare group that works in greater King William and Lavaca.  

One of the programs is new: SOS: Save Our Strays.  Our organization does not rescue stray animals itself, but provides advice, access to resources and financial assistance for neighbors who do.  Stray dogs and cats have roamed the streets of King William for decades.  In the past, our Cannolicare program, which provides financial assistance for major veterinary care, has supported neighbors rescuing these animals.  Although Cannolicare officially provides $400 per animal towards veterinary care, we have often increased that amount to help save strays that suffer from at least one serious and costly medical condition, like heartworm disease.  

These are the stories of the houses, their beginnings and who built them, and something of the people who lived there throughout the years; for a house is but an empty shell without some tale of those who made it a home.

Exquisite photographs of each house in the neighborhood are supplemented with short histories and architectural descriptions. The book serves equally well as a coffee table decoration, a guide to the houses or interesting historical reading.

For over forty years, scholars, historians, tourists and especially King William neighbors have relied on the 1970s edition of The King William Area for reference, guidance and entertainment, this edition  updates, corrects and expands the original.

Perfect binding  8 ½ by 11 inches with 162 pages

For Online Orders:  $24.95 plus shipping, handling ($7.00) and tax (2.05)

If you'd like to donate $2.00 to cover our Paypal fees, please click the buy button here:

 

For member discount or to arrange for office pick-up, please call (210)  227-8786

 

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. 

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.  

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. 

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.

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. 

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.  

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. 

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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