At the beginning of my ninth year as newsletter editor, webmaster, and email list manager as well as my sixteenth year as resident, I would like to express my gratitude for the support provided and appreciation expressed by many in the neighborhood. I have seen how important a neighborhood association can be having been involved with the Allendale Neighborhood Association as it dealt with a massive zoning rollback and the aftermath of the Memorial Day flood.

I missed the period when COVNA was formed and dealt with housing density and other problems as the land around our neighborhood was developed. My body willing, I look forward to continue doing what I can to keep this neighborhood what it is now - a great place to live.


1/5 - Twelfth Night

National Polka Music Month



Beat the rush! According to the by-laws, dues shall be payable at or before the February meeting of each calendar year. You can print a membership form by clicking here.
It’s always a good time to show your support
for the Castlewood-Oak Valley
Neighborhood Association.

Dean Heddin
Jennifer Rizkalla
Mark Tilley
Hal Ferguson
Doug Tabony
Doug DuBois
Mark Tilley
President (589-1028)
Vice President (358-1610)
Secretary (280-2572)
Treasurer (282-0601)
Newsletter (280-4080)
ANC Delegate (292-9323)
Past President (280-2572)

To join the COVNA Email List, click below and
send an email with your name(s) to Doug at
Now 100+ households strong!

Find out the latest neighborhood news and developments.
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February 20th
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Neighborhood Picnic - June ?th
September 17th
November 19th
Holiday Party - December 17th

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Welcome to a New Year!! For some, it’s your first year in COVNA, for others, your 40th, but for each us it is special. I am very excited to not only live here but to also get the opportunity to be the COVNA president. My name is Dean Heddin, and my wife Nelisa and I have lived on Comburg Drive for the last five years with our two children. Over the last five years I have spoken to and gotten to know many of the original owners here in Castlewood, and I have heard the stories and seen the pride they have in this neighborhood. When we purchased our house in Castlewood, we lived only one mile away and had no plans of moving… but, we saw this neighborhood and fell in love - we love the large trees and big lots and beautiful homes, little did we know that we would come to love the people as much. In real estate, we learn that there are three stages to a neighborhood, early growth, maturity and decline. Early growth happened long before I arrived; the stories of open fields and cow pastures remind me of this. Maturity is a time that I believe has no specific length. The mature trees, manicured lawns and freshly painted houses tell me that COVNA is a place of great maturity. Not to say that we are headed to decline. Just the opposite, in fact, as neighborhoods mature they become more desirable. COVNA is a place that people want to move to, that parents want to raise their families, and people want to retire in. This is a great attribute for all of us. My hope as COVNA president is that we can identify ways in which the neighborhood association can continue to serve our residents and continue to be just one more asset that our neighborhood has to offer. Over the next couple of months, I hope to receive feedback from each of you on ways in which the association can better serve you. My goal is to ensure that the association is meeting the needs of the residents in the most effective way possible. My email address is, please feel free to contact me at any time with your thoughts, ideas and suggestions. We have amazing neighbors all around us; I hope that each of you will take the time to get to know yours.

Austin's New Year's Eve celebration

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The 2011 party attracted a sizable crowd. The food was delicious, especially the home-made desserts. A great time was had by all.

Elections for President, Secretary, and Newsletter Editor were held with no last-minute, dark-horse candidates and no debates. Dean Heddin was elected as President, Mark Tilley as Secretary, and Doug Tabony as Newsletter Editor.

It was encouraging to see families with young children at the party. For the neighborhood association to thrive, the younger generation needs to join the old-timers in helping maintain the integrity of Castlewood Forest and Oak Valley.

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The first physician to settle in the area which was to become Austin was Dr. Thomas W. Anderson, who came to Hornsby Bend in 1835. By January 1840, when the first census was conducted, six doctors were listed in the city. Seven other residents practiced medicine on the side when they were not fulfilling duties in Congress or appointive offices. Several years later, historian Frank Brown noted that "Austin was an exceedingly healthy location, hence poor pickings for the medics," but even so, "old Dr. Anderson [was reliable] to fall back on in the critical cases."

"[Dr. Anderson's] office existed wherever his horse stopped. For most illnesses he would give quinine in horrid bitter powders. If the pulse was fast he would bleed the patient by incising a vein in the arm without benefit of anesthetic. If the tonsils were inflamed he might scarify them with a surgical rake. Many of his remedies were prepared in the home, using mustard for plasters and egg for poultices. If a tooth ached he pulled it or plugged it. Almost inevitably his treatment included the administration of calomel or senna and if cramping was notable, opium was given. He stayed at the patient's side during this process, ate at the family table and slept there if the illness was dangerous. He also kept everyone busy, for there were herbs to gather and decoctions to be simmered on the the stove. Patients were sponged and sweated and the doctor spent long periods studying the pulse and scrutinizing the tongue."

Aesculapius on the Colorado: The story of medical practice in Travis County to 1899 by James M. Coleman.
Published by Encino Press for the Friends of the Austin Public Library, 1971.

Dr. Thomas W. Anderson

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Merced River, Yosemite