* * I M P O R T A N T * *
Meeting moved to the 27th

7:00 p.m. Monday, January 27th
Southwest Church of Christ
8900 Manchaca Rd.
(Rear Entrance)


Representatives from the City of Austin Public Works Department will present information on the Davis Lane/Leo Street project. In summer 2012, the city will begin installing a modern roundabout at the intersection of Davis Lane and Leo Street and will improve Davis Lane from where it currently dead ends to the new intersection at West Gate.

The city's design is 90% complete, but are seeking public input. Please come to the meeting to find out more information about this project and ask any questions you might have.

Umbrella Month
- really march (oops)

Embroidery Month



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)

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send an email with your name(s) to Doug at

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If you have lived in the neighborhood for any amount of time and use Davis Lane with any frequency, you have probably asked yourself two questions: Why does the road not connect at Leo Street and will they ever fix it? I have only been in the neighborhood five years, but I have heard that longtime COVNAites have been asking for some 25 years. Given that, you might be surprised to hear that the City of Austin informs us that the design for the Davis/Leo intersection is 90% complete.

So, what does that mean? First, it means that Davis Lane will be continuous from Manchaca Road to Brodie Lane. Also, Davis will be improved from the intersection at Leo all the way to the new intersection at West Gate. No improvements are planned between Manchaca and Leo. Interestingly, part of Guide Post Trail will be removed, so that Guide Post will tee into Davis. And perhaps most interesting, the intersection at Davis and Leo is planned to be a "modern roundabout."

Roundabouts are circular intersections where incoming traffic yields to the circulating traffic. According to the city and the Federal Highway Administration, roundabouts reduce traffic accidents and they increase fuel efficiency. They also allow for some nice landscaping opportunities and a provide a potential landmark for the entry to our neighborhood

At this point, the city is seeking public input as to the plans for the intersection. To that end, we have invited representatives from the city to come present at our next meeting on February 27. So, what does 90% complete mean? The project manager indicates that they could start bidding out the job this spring and begin work as soon as this summer.

I'll understand if you take that timeline with a grain of salt but the fix we have been waiting for at Davis and Leo is coming sooner than later. If you have any questions or concerns about this project, or if you just want to see the map of the proposed improvements, please come to the next meeting and talk to the folks from the Austin Transportation Department. Hope to see you there.

Mark Tilley


In summer 2012, the City of Austin Public Works Department will begin the Davis Lane Project. This work will install a modern roundabout at the intersection of Davis Lane and Leo Street and extend Davis Lane where it currently dead ends. Currently, drivers must take Guide Post Lane and Huebinger Pass to reconnect with Davis. The extension and roundabout will help improve the flow of traffic through the neighborhood while reducing congestion.

Click map for full sized image of the "modern" roundabout.

Jul 2012 to Feb 2013 (approximate dates)

$ 1.4 million – funded by the Transportation Department and the Public Works Department

The project includes:
• Installation of a roundabout at the intersection of Davis Lane and Leo Street
• 400 linear feet of paved street to extend Davis Lane
• Addition of a “bulb-out” parking area along the Ellen Higgins Pocket Park
• Landscaping along Davis Lane medians and the roundabout island
• Installation of new sidewalk and bike lanes along Davis Lane from Leo Street to West Gate Blvd.

• Temporary road closures while roundabout is being installed
• Possible noise from trucks and construction equipment during work hours
• The contractor’s allowable work hours will be 7:00 am to 6:00 pm
• The Capital Metro bus stop may be temporarily relocated
• The project will be phased to allow access from West Gate Blvd. to the neighborhoods
with the roundabout being built to allow vehicular access during construction

Darryl Haba, Project Manager
512-974- 7205
Carolyn Perez, Public Information Officer

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Do you find it strange that it is February and your grass is growing? I know this is sad but my yard may look the best it has in the 5 years I have been here. Well at least it is green, even if it’s just glorified weeds. In Castlewood and Oak Valley I feel that we have a certain duty to the neighborhood to maintain and keep our yards looking their best. I myself am not a green thumb guy, so I have resorted to Google to find most of my yard maintenance tips. These are a few pointers to get our yards looking their best.

FERTILIZING: Fertilize your lawn two times a year: April and late September/early October. (June, could be added, if necessary). There are many options when it comes to fertilizing both chemical and organic. Do a little reading or go to your local green house and educate yourself on what is best for you and your lawn.

TOPDRESSING: Early in the spring, and/or in the fall, spread compost on your lawn, one-half inch or less, and water in. This practice amends the soil, improves drainage, boosts beneficial organisms, helps decrease thatch, and helps hold in moisture. According to some sources, topdressing can reduce water requirements by 50%! Top soil can be bought in bulk, applied by professionals, or purchased one bag at a time. Here is a simple equation to help you determine how much you need. Length (in feet) x Width (in ft.) x Depth (in inches, e.g. 0.5") / 324 = # Cubic Yards.

AERATION: As lawns age or sustain heavy use, soil compaction can result. Where your soil is compacted or contains heavy clay, aeration is the most successful solution, especially when preceded by topdressing. Roots require oxygen to grow and absorb nutrients and water. Compaction reduces total pore space and the amount of air within the soil. It has a negative impact on nutrient uptake and water infiltration, in addition to being a physical barrier to root growth. Lawn aeration involves the removal of small soil plugs or cores out of the lawn. Manual aerators are great to help those foot-worn paths, but for an entire lawn, renting a gas-powered aerator is easiest. For those who aren’t into power tools as much as I am, you can buy “strap-on” shoes that have spikes in them – a few minutes a day of walking around your lawn can work wonders!

WATERING and MOWING: It is better to water deeply and less often. Deep watering means deeper roots! Water a full inch at a time, and do this twice a week. To figure out how long to water to achieve an inch of watering, mark the inside of an empty tuna fish can with a permanent marker 1 inch from the bottom, place the can on your lawn, and stop when the water level in the can reaches one inch.

Mow no more than 1/3 of the grass blades' height at a time. This avoids stress and also encourages a deeper root system. As a result, do not wait too long between cuttings – otherwise you may be cutting too much at one time (not to mention when lawns go for too long without being mowed they begin to look ragged, and lower the curb appeal of your home). Deeper roots mean less watering! Keep mower blades sharp; ragged cuts invite more disease. Leave clippings on the lawn - they are fertilizer and are organic matter!

I’m sure a few of you look at these as common knowledge – but hopefully these are good reminders of easy ways to tend to our lawn. As homeowners we should all take the time to learn and to maintain the investment that is our home. At the next COVNA meeting, February 27th, I plan to introduce a yard maintenance program designed to encourage everyone to invest some time in the exterior of their homes – please come, hear the proposal, provide your feedback and vote on whether to implement the program. Curb appeal means everything and impacts property values for the entire neighborhood.

Dean Heddin

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Maine's Allagash River