KWA Newsletter Articles

We have been cutting lawns for a while now, so it is time for my annual appeal to reduce air pollution by recommending that readers switch from a gas powdered lawnmower to an electrical mower.  It has been reported that gas mowers pollute as much in an hour as a car in a day.  Another plus for electricity is that electric mowers hardly ever need repairs other than to perhaps have the blade replaced which would also be required with gas mowers.  Just plug it in, flip the switch, and go.  

Read more: Out in the Garden with Alan Cash: June 2017

 

Parade viewing has been historically very low.  This gives the parade participants the idea that the parade is over and they start to bail.  The Parade Team wanted parade viewers all the way back to Eagleland.

Last year we went before the Board with our request.  We were posed a number of good questions, then given the OK from the Board.  This spring we included the route change (and time change 9:45-ish on Adams) to quite a number of media outlets. 

And the viewers came!  While it wasn’t yet crowded, it did have a sizeable number of viewers, and there were many neighbors on their porches celebrating the new route.

Thank you KWA Board!

- Sue Duffy, Chief Parade Wrangler

We’d like to say welcome and thanks to Alicia Spence-Schlesinger.  She is the Graphics, Merch & Promos Manager at Freetail Brewing on S. Presa.  Before that she served the same position at Blue Star Brewing Co.  Alicia has had a parade connection with the King William Fair for many years in planning and executing the Blue Star parade entries. 

Last May, Alicia asked me about volunteer opportunities in working with the Parade team.  I was ecstatic – here’s a woman who knows how to put on events!  I gave her one project, included her in my planning, gave her more projects, and the rest as they say, is history.  She took off running and has added so much to the Parade team.  Along with her good ideas, she is a great personality with an abundance of creative energy. 

We are already planning for next year and are so happy to have her on the Team!

- Sue Duffy, Chief Parade Wrangler

If you've driven by Bonham Academy, chances are you've seen Rose Cunningham and Linda Jackson. These crossing guards, affectionately known as Ms. Rose and Ms. Linda to neighbors, are sisters who have been standing watch over Bonham crosswalks as a team for twelve years. Ms. Rose, who works the intersection at St. Mary's and Pereida, started in 2003 and brought in her sister, who works at Pereida and S. Presa, a couple of years later. 

 “I just love kids,” is Rose's reason for choosing this job. Both women are grandmothers, and their affection for children is apparent to anyone who observes them in action. Rose said that former students come back to visit from time-to-time and asks if she remembers them. “Of course I do!” she answers enthusiastically. Past Bonham student Felice Martinez says that, in addition to making sure kids cross safely, they also “really brighten your day.” These women are a wonderful asset to our neighborhood.  Thanks, Rose and Linda!

- Angela Martinez

The City has refined its parking pilot to align it with a traditional residential permit parking program (RPP).  An RPP allows certain areas of on-street parking to be designated for resident parking only.  Residents in these designated areas can park in the designated area with a permit.  The neighborhood already includes an RPP on Arsenal Street. See map below for proposed streets to be affected.

In summary: 

  • The program will operate from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. daily.
  • There is a fee of $10 for each permit per year.
  • Four permits per parcel are available.  Multi-unit parcels are allowed two permits per unit.
  • KWA will solicit signatures for a petition to document support or opposition for the project.
  • Residents can identify their preferred side of the street for residential parking.

Next steps involve your help, as KWA volunteers and staff gather signatures from the affected blocks. Once signatures are collected and reviewed by City staff, City Council will be asked to pass an ordinance identifying the pilot area.  The pilot will last for one year at which time it will be evaluated.

- Rose Kanusky

What is a RPP?

A residential permit parking program allows for certain areas of on-street parking to be designated for resident parking only due to a chronic commuter problem. Achronic commuter parking problem is the regular occupancy of curbside parking spaces by commuter vehicles at the same hours and same days. This does not include parking for events that occur on a frequency of less than once every two weeks. This pilot program would allow for an RPP on one side and open parking on the opposite side (general public or RPP permit holders). Residents in these designated areas can purchase permits from the City of San Antonio to allow for on-street parking.

Read Parking Zones Fact Sheet

Download Parking Zones Map

Wow!  What a fabulous Fiesta and celebration of the 50th anniversary of the King William Association!  I want to thank the staff and all the volunteers and sponsors for your hard work, dedication and support in putting on what I consider the premier Fiesta event, The King William Fair.  I also want to thank the King William community for your support which has made the Fair possible for the past 50 years. 

Read more: President's Message: May 2017

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

This article is going to press between the City’s public meetings on April 6 and 13, 2017, when the City provided updates to its proposed parking pilot.  Changes are anticipated between the meetings, as well as after.  Be sure to check KWA’s website for the latest details and a map of the pilot area (which is much smaller than the confines of either King William or Lavaca).  Comments about the revised proposal should be submitted to KWA or me no later than May 13. 

Parking on the commercial corridor (Alamo, Presa and St. Mary’s) will be limited to three-hour parking.  The pilot area will be roughly two blocks off each street in the commercial corridor. 

Read more: Pilot Parking Program (May 2017)

There is a new and interesting garden in the neighborhood.  At river level just below the San Antonio River Authority building, at 100 E. Guenther, is what is called a Monarch Waystation.  It is a garden designed to provide nectar and shelter to monarch butterflies as they migrate through North America.  A sign near the walkway says it is “certified” and that San Antonio is a Monarch Champion City.  Go by on your next walk along the river.  For more information and how you can create one in your own garden, go to monarchwatch.org.  

Read more: Out in the Garden with Alan Cash: May 2017

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

This article is inspired by past issues of the King Association newsletter, beginning in November 1967.  Its purpose is to inform newer neighbors and remind those who have been here awhile of how the King William Area has evolved through the years.

References and comments are from those issues containing “news” items that seem, to this writer, to show the development of the King William neighborhood or merely to show how some things are unique to an historic district. The series starts with comments taken from the November 1967 newsletter about the first King William Association meeting held in October 1967.  Articles will continue, but will not in every issue of the newsletter. 

MAY 1968 - After meetings among members of the City Council, the KWA and the San Antonio Conservation Society, the King William area was designated as an Historic District.  Then Mayor Walter McAllister asked the KWA to nominate persons for membership to the new Review Board for Historic Districts.  Five of the 9 members were selected from those nominated.  

MARCH 1969 - This issue included 3 important matters of concern to the King William neighborhood.  One was that plans were proceeding for the new Post Office to be built where the San Antonio Housing Authority and O. P. Schnabel apartments are now, between S. Main Avenue and S. Flores Street.  Four blocks of homes had been razed for the site.  Thanks to efforts and negotiations between the Federal government, the Housing Authority, the San Antonio Independent School District, and the King William Association, a compromise was reached to locate the Post Office away from the residential area to a site east of the airport.  

Read more: Old News: May 2017

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
Read more: Southtown Businesses Recognized as San Antonio's Best

Do you remember how close we came to losing one of our most precious structures?  Steve and Debra Walker spent many months and many dollars completely restoring the Harnisch House at 523 King William from roof to basement.  On Saturday, August 14, 1999, just before 10:00 p.m., several fire trucks screamed through the neighborhood and converged at the corner of King William and East Guenther.

Read more: Saving King William

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.

Read more: Short Term Rentals: Are They Really New?

 

The National Historic Preservation Act was adopted by the US Congress in 1966.  This legislation enabled Federal and State governments to create ordinances to protect historic resources.  In 1967, 50 years ago, the King William Association members set out to create a historic district.  City Council designated the King William area as a local historic district in 1968 and Mayor McAllister asked the KWA to nominate 10-12 people for the Review Board.  By 1971 King William was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Read more: Celebrating  Historic  Preservation

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.

Read more: Contemporary Art Month 2017

Greetings neighbors!

At our January meeting, KWA Board members voted to create the King William Foundation, a 501(c)(3) supporting organization. Creation of the foundation fulfills several purposes. 

First: The KWA Strategic Plan under the fundraising category states, “Exploration of endowment and planned giving.”  By creating a separate entity, we can build up a fund that will earn interest, thereby reducing our reliance on the Fair as the primary source of revenues.

Read more: President's Message: March 2017

Subcategories

Monthly column from KWA president.

Tips and resources for historic home and building preservation.

Learn the history of some of the neighborhood's historic structures.

General history and anecdotes about the King William Area.