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.  

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.  

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

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. 

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.  

Many neighborhood businesses were recognized in the San Antonio Current's Best of 2017 issue in April.  Aren't we lucky to have such a plethora of "Bests"!  

Staff Picks

  • South Alamomode Panini & Gelato Company, Best Ice Cream
  • Battalion, Best New Restaurant
  • Station Café, Best Sandwiches
  • Hot Joy, Best Wings
  • Pig Liquors, Best Liquor Store
  • Sexology, Best Adult Store
  • Southtown Vinyl, Best Record Store
  • SAY Sí, Best Non-profit
  • El Mirador, Best Patio
  • Hemisfair Park, Best Place to Watch a Movie Outside

The City of San Antonio is crafting a new ordinance to address short term rentals (STRs) like Airbnb, HomeAway and FlipKey.  The issues raised by STRs are not new to KWA.  Today, opponents of STRs are concerned about neighborhood safety and stability.  Proponents of STRs cite property rights and economics.  These are the same topics that arose in the 1990s when the City struggled to address those who wanted no B&Bs in neighborhoods and those who wanted no regulation of B&Bs.

March marks the 31st annual Contemporary Art Month in San Antonio.  What began as a grassroots event at Blue Star Contemporary in 1986 has grown into a month-long celebration of San Antonio’s artists, museums, galleries and studios.  Contemporary Art Month (CAM), an independent, volunteer-run nonprofit established in 2003, manages the calendar and promotion for the month.  CAM sponsors several free, educational programs during the month for the public, as well as an open call for artists.

March is Contemporary Art Month!  The King William Association is participating this year by inviting local artist A.J. Rodriguez to display some of his paintings in our office.  The exhibit will be on view from February 20 through mid-April.  There will be a “Meet the Artist” reception on Thursday, April 6 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. 

I recently met A.J. at Radius Center where his paintings were on exhibit.  Over lunch at Pharm Table at the Center, we got acquainted and he shared his artistic journey with me.  A.J. gave me a guided tour of his paintings, explaining his technique using acrylic paint in vibrant colors in the series he has named “Figuras.” 

Union Pacific has been contacted by the City regarding the increase in train horn noise and concerns from the neighborhoods regarding the noise.

The Notice of Intent (NOI) for the Quiet Zone was submitted in the fall of last year.  The City received comments from Union Pacific and is now addressing access issues for properties adjacent to the track.  COSA Senior Transportation Engineer-Traffic Engineering Manager Bianca Thorpe is coordinating with those property owners to come up with a solution.  Once that is completed, Notice of Establishment (NOE) will be sent for final approval by UPRR and Federal Railway Administration.  For further information, contact Ms. Thorpe in the Transportation & Capital Improvements department at 207-1484.  

The average age of a plumber in the United States is 55.  That fact alone seems to indicate that this is a moribund trade populated by persons who probably don’t fit under sinks as well as they once did.

A leak under my kitchen sink, escaping the confines of the little pail I had placed under it, necessitated a service call that was answered by someone half the age of the aforementioned fact.  He had an even younger helper with him.  He introduced himself as David and asked if he could see the basement.  “What does the basement have to do with the kitchen?” I asked, rather thoughtlessly.  “Everything – its where the service lines and drains are, most likely, and I’ll bet the original connections are all iron pipe,” he replied tactfully. 

Ethel Pedraza, a King William resident for many years, is an inveterate traveler with an adventurous spirit.  She was born in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico.  Growing up she traveled regularly with her parents, Manuelita & Ruperto, and sister, Norma, within Mexico and to the U.S.  Her dad, who learned English well while studying in San Antonio, was dismayed that she had forgotten the English that she had been learning.  This wouldn’t do, so he instructed her to listen to WOAI A.M. news radio and report to him what the news was about.  This was a powerful radio station that they listened to in Mexico.  He also expected her to make As in history to be better prepared for eventual U.S. citizenship.  

 

The following neighbors recently joined the Board to complete the terms of members who had resigned: 

Shawn Campbell

My husband Jim and I have lived in King William for five years now and love it.  We are native Texans and have lived our married lives in Houston, Rockwall and Austin with a 10-year period in Washington, D.C.  Our two sons are grown, out of the house and gainfully employed.  We love being empty nesters.  We moved to King William for the diversity, walkability, uniqueness of the neighborhood and access to the San Antonio River.  I agreed to be on the board to contribute.  I found myself attending some of the HDRC meetings to figure out what was going on.  This is a great opportunity to be informed and have an impact on changes that will continue to make KW a vibrant neighborhood while maintaining its historic nature.  I am currently on the 50th Year Anniversary Committee and the Architectural Advisory Committee.  

Shelley Galbraith

Shelley and Peter Galbraith were drawn to King William in 2012 by friends to purchase and renovate the Nix House on King William Street.  (After 20 years in San Antonio, it was about time!)  Shelley works in digital marketing for HOLT CAT from her home office, and serves on the KWA board as a way to give back to the community.  She also serves on executive board of the San Antonio Tennis Association.

Dear Friends in King William,

Last month, after a busy fall of Bond Committee meetings and community input, my City Council colleagues and I unanimously voted to approve the slate of projects the City staff and the Bond Committees presented to Council.  I felt the process was inclusive and many voices were heard, considered, and incorporated.  I am a proponent of inclusivity and I always encourage the community to participate in the processes of government.  To that end, I hosted three Bond Block Parties in various parts of the district to ensure there were multiple opportunities to meet the District 1 Bond Committee members to propose and discuss projects important to neighborhoods.

STADCast is a weekly podcast hosted by Joe Turner of JTP210 Photography and Burgundy Woods of Style Lush TV.  Together, the two Southtowners highlight information about the Southtown Arts District and its five neighborhoods: Lone Star, King William, Lavaca, Roosevelt and Collins Garden.  The duo also informs listeners about events around the city, the Spurs, food talk and other fun “chitter chatter” highlighting local creatives and what they have going on.

As we begin the year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the King William Association (KWA), it is appropriate to pay tribute to those who worked tirelessly to assure the preservation and restoration of the neighborhood we know today.  By the time the first meeting of the KWA was held on October 4, 1967, residents had already been working for 20 years to protect the place many of their families had called home since the 1800s.  

Concerned about the decline of the neighborhood, residents formed the King William Area Conservation Association (KWACA) in March 1947.  The group included descendants of founding residents — the James, Groos, Steves, Pancoast and Guenther families — as well as more recent arrivals.  At a party in their honor, new residents Della Gething and her daughter Margaret suggested forming an organization to preserve the “unique charms and historic values of King William Street.” 

I was rummaging in my massively disorganized bookcases and a battered sketchbook fell out, and open, on the floor. It was the sketchbook I carried as a 21 year old art history student at the University of Siena. The page was dated February 22nd, the day of Carnevale, the Italian answer to Mardi Gras. On that long-ago night I was at the art student’s ball at the Palazzo Chigi-Saracini, the seat of Siena’s famous music school. I’d been trying to catch the eye of a reddish-blonde with almond shaped green eyes, to little avail. Most of the crowd was in the Palazzo’s grand ballroom, a rococo confection of crème and gilt plaster swirls and mirrored doors catching the flickering light of its enormous chandeliers. In the courtyard just outside was a clock set on a stone well head, about to play its part in the evening’s ritual of turning its hands back from midnight to postpone the arrival of the first day of Lent.

Brackenridge High School, at the southern edge of the King William neighborhood on Eagleland Drive, is 100 years old this year. Since the KWA will celebrate its 50th year in 2017, it seems appropriate to tell something about the school that has been a part of that history.

The original three story red brick building was replaced by the present structure in the 1970s, and the campus expanded to take in about five blocks of homes on the edge of the neighborhood. A picture of the original school building is shown in full article. It was designed by well-known architect Alfred Giles.

The school was named for George Washington Brackenridge, born in Warwich County, Indiana. At the end of the Civil War, Brackenridge moved to San Antonio where he started the San Antonio National Bank. In addition, he was president of the San Antonio Water Works, director of the...

Photographer Al Rendon is photographing King William residences for our revision of Mary Burkholder’s book, The King William Area, to be published in 2017. He started taking pictures in November and will continue into spring 2017.

Different homes will be shot at different times of day to catch the best light. Also, some homes look better in the evening with exterior lights on, others are better in the full light of day, sometimes interior lights should be on or off. Automobiles need to be out of sight.

Mr. Rendon’s assistant will call to make an appointment before he photographs your property. He is an expert at making our historic homes look their best, so please try to “stage” your home as he suggests.

Most of the homes will be photographed after the Christmas season, but please contact Mr. Rendon at (210) 288-4900 or alrendon@ satx.rr.com if you would like your home photographed without holiday decorations.

Feel free to contact me at 224-9756 or jnmsimpson@hotmail. com if you have questions. Thank you for helping the committee with this project! - Jessie Simpson Burkholder Book Chair

We lost another long-time resident on October 14, when Karine Berghauser passed away after a short illness. Friends and neighbors recalled how vibrant, smart, generous and witty Karine was. Many described her as a connector of interesting people and beautiful things. She supported the arts, education and children, often connecting them to her world in ways startling and inspiring. In many ways, Karine embodied the best of King William.

Karine was born on September 29, 1954 in Wiesbaden, Germany, to Irmgard Berghauser and Gilbert Davila. The family moved to San Antonio in 1956. While in high school, Karine discovered music and acted on the stage. After graduating from Churchill High School in 1973, she performed at the Melodrama Theater in Hemisfair until moving on to study acting and modern dance at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. She later moved to Los Angeles and then New York where she performed in live theatre and film.

Karine returned to San Antonio after marrying Bart Nichols (an accomplished dentist and musician), and they settled in King William. Their daughter Sydney was born in 1983. Karine and Bart purchased the Albert Carl Moye House at 524 King William Street in 1986, where they lived for more than 20 years.

Karine was active in our community, hosting dinners remembered for their tasteful creativity and beautiful surroundings. She chaired the parade for several years, joining it with her own blend of wit and charm. Many remembered her “duchess themes” with great fondness.

But life wasn’t just fun and games for Karine. When Sydney was older, she went back to school, earning a doctor of psychology from Our Lady of the Lake University, where she later taught as an adjunct professor. Her dissertation focused on the resiliency of same-sex parented families. Karine also championed troubled youth by serving as a...

Both Regina Moya’s writing and her life are a blend of two cultures. Her childhood in Mexico City was interrupted by a period of living in Philadelphia from the age of two to six. This was the perfect age to become fluent in both Spanish and English, and to absorb some of the culture of America. Fast forward to 2003, and a six-month to one-year project in San Antonio has turned into 13 years to date. Now she is happily ensconced in her King William home with her husband, Juan Fernandez, and their three children.

Growing up, it fell to Regina, the second of five children and one of 30 grandchildren, to organize the holiday posadas created to entertain their family. She used her rich imagination to write the dialogue, full of humor and often containing parodies of her elders. Regina went on to study communication and to earn a Masters degree in literature and creative writing. She wrote her first novel when she was 20 years old. She announced to her family that she had written it, but was not going to let them read it yet. She registered it in Mexico, but did not pursue publishing it.

Three years later, at her wedding, her father surprised her by announcing a secret about Regina that he was going to reveal. While packing up her belongings for the move to her new home, her parents found the manuscript she had hidden. They really liked the story. To her great surprise, they found a publisher for the book, and her father presented the printed Memorias de dos mujeres mexicanas to her at the reception. She told me that she read it over and over during her honeymoon and told herself that she needed to write.

Regina began to have an interest in children’s literature. She took classes to learn illustrating as well as painting. She was fortunate to meet Lina Cuartas, a children’s book author and illustrator who was born in Columbia but now lives in San Antonio. Lina took Regina under her wing and taught her illustration. Regina also took classes at the Southwest School of Art and at Gemini Ink. While perfecting her skills, she participated in the Writers in Communities (WIC) program sponsored by Gemini Ink. She was able to teach writing and painting to migrant children in detention, to kids in juvenile detention, to high school dropouts and to incarcerated, pregnant moms, among others.

After a 10-year break from novel writing, Regina set herself a deadline to start a book. It was just before...

You have probably seen some flags flying on a lot of the old houses in King William and perhaps you wondered, what’s the story about these flags? The flag is blue and orange and yellow and has 100 printed on it. I talked to Mike Schroeder, KW resident and architect, who designed the flag in 1991, which was the 100th year of San Antonio’s Fiesta Celebration.

Since 1968, the King William Fair has been a part of the annual Fiesta occurring each April. Dee Dee Polk was the Fair Chairperson in 1991. She and her committee thought it would be a good idea for KWA to honor the 100-year tradition of Fiesta. Someone suggested a flag and Dee Dee approached Mike about creating a design. He made some sketches incorporating elements and colors that would be eye-catching.

The resulting design has a suggestion of unfolding panels...

Winter Highlights Well, the election is over and the matter of the next occupant of the nation’s White House has been determined. And finally, after six long years, the Bonham White House has moved to Pereida St. If you look back through my articles over the past four years, you may see several references to it. It has been p r o m - ised to be moved s e v e r a l times. As a historical building, it was important to keep the house i n t a c t , but our children need room to play and grow. The solution: move it down the block to the intersection of Cedar and Pereida. As many have noticed, the old Children’s Shelter building is gone and a townhome center is under construction in its place.

Bonham Academy Winter Festival

Bonham Academy is gointo host its Winter Festival on December 9. Over 200 Bonham students, family members and staff are expected to take part in the festivities. Money collected from the sale of food and drinks will be used to...

Over 16 neighbors have taken advantage of the City’s cost-share program and KWA Sidewalk reimbursement program to get new sidewalks.

(See details in the July KWA Newsletter.)

City Council has approved the program for the 2017 budget year, so more funding is available.

Call 311 to get your quote, but remember to have the inspector come out to give the actual quote as it is usually lower than the $60/ linear foot quoted by 311.

King William Fair proceeds fund this project. Take advantage today!

So far KWA has reimbursed over $5,900 for the five repaired sidewalks.

-Cherise Bell

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