Romance Month

(from poster for "From Here to Eternity")

7:00 p.m. Monday February 17th
Tres Amigos
Slaughter & Manchaca
(Party Room)


Check out the 2014 schedule below and Jennifer Rizkalla's article about the new focus of COVNA. Things will be different this year, no dedicated business meetings except as needed for important issues, no meetings at the church, and a robust line-up of events for all the family. Please come Monday and air your opinion, positive or negative and, of course any other neighborhood concerns. Have some food if you wish.

Cat Health Month


It is time to show your support for the Castlewood—Oak Valley Neighborhood Association.
A membership form is on the inside of the hard copy newsletter.
You can print a membership form by clicking here.
According to the by-laws, dues shall be payable at or before the
February meeting of each calendar year.


Ron Mattison
Hal Ferguson
Doug Tabony
Karen Mattison
Jennifer Rizkalla

Vice President (282-2174)
Treasurer (512 282-0601)
Newsletter (512 280-4080)
ANC Delegate (512 282-2174)
Past President (512 280-4975)

Print and Clip

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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.
Receive recommendations for service providers.


2/17 -Meeting at Tres Amigos: 7 pm
4/12 - Neighborhood Garage Sale:
8 am-1 pm
4/26 - Spring Fling: 5-8 pm

6 /14 - Summer Picnic
10/7 - National Night Out: 6-8 pm
12/14 - Holiday Party: 6-8 pm


We have planned a great year of COVNA events for 2014. We see many of you walking your dogs, playing with your children, taking exercise walks through the neighborhood and realized that many of you, especially families new to area, we have not yet met. We strive to make this neighborhood a safe and familiar place, so stop by any of the many events we have planned this year and say hello.

We will be holding the annual neighborhood-wide garage sale, Spring Fling party, 4th of July Parade and Picnic (new), National Night Out, and finally our Holiday Party. There will be a meeting on Monday, 2/17, at Tres Amigos. Please come and give your thoughts and ideas about this new direction for COVNA.

We will no longer be meeting at the Southwest Church of Christ. We will be holding special meetings through the year as the need may arise, as well as meetings at the events listed above. We could not justify the cost of a gift to the Church with the small turnout we were seeing. We aim to create more interesting, informative, and fun meetings this year. So be on the lookout for those invites.

If you have an idea for a meeting or have any questions, please feel free to get in touch.

In addition, the office for President and Secretary are vacant. If you would like to take one of these offices, please let me know. It is a great way to get to know your neighbors.

We hope you all might take a moment this week to send in your $10 dollar membership fees. The link to the information is here.


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Historically, the White-winged dove nested primarily in the Lower Rio Grande Valley with their distribution apparently restricted to the sub-tropical to temperate environment that reaches its northern limit here. Within the last 20 years however, nesting populations have dramatically increased throughout Texas and even into other states. The range expansion apparently started during the 1980's when citrus groves that had become major nesting areas for white-winged doves, were decimated with killing freezes. (I saw my 1st one in Austin in the early ‘80s.) Many of the citrus groves were never replaced and an increasing human population in the LRGV has caused additional loss of habitat through development

In 2000, Travis County had 264,000 White-wings and the number has grown since then. The nesting White-winged doves prefer older, more established, residential neighborhoods with large live oak, pecan, and ash trees. This may be because of consistent food and water sources due to watering of lawns and bird feeders.

There are way too many White-winged doves in our area. They have replaced both the Mourning dove and the Inca dove in much of Austin. If everyone in the neighborhood would use tube feeders with or without cages instead of open feeders, the White-wings would have a lot less easy pickings and maybe decrease in numbers. They cannot hold on to that type of feeder but all of our other birds can. Cardinals need the cage to hold on. Ours learned the technique.



The elections season is just beginning. The Primary Elections for the Democrat and Republican parties are set for March 4, and will be held at the SW Church of Christ for our Precinct, 435.

Early voting will start on Tuesday, February 18 and ends on Friday, February 28. Ballot by mail ends on February 21. Contact the County Clerk's Election Division for more information by clicking here.

Turnout for smaller, mid-term elections tends to be low. Your vote counts much more in such elections. We have the right to vote. Exercise that privilege.

Floyd Clark, our trusty Election Judge


Michael Embesi, our city arborist, paid a visit to our neighborhood February 10th. Michael will be a huge asset to us over the next few years as Central Texas struggles with high temperatures and low water resources. Hopefully, under his guidance and with City of Austin resources, we will be able to minimize the damage to our precious trees and landscape.

We may not be working in our yards yet, but it is time to plan carefully and well for our hot season. The best thing we can do for our trees is to simulate the natural forest floor as much as possible. In the forest fallen leaves nurture the trees and build the soil to allow oxygen and water absorption. In the urban environment mulch 3-4” deep over a large area that may even connect to a neighbors yard. The picture-perfect 3 ft. ring of mulch around the base of a tree is more for landscape product advertising than the reality of a tree’s needs.

Caution needs to be used when using artificial mulch, crushed granite, or river rock to surround trees. For instance, crushed granite may raise the temperature of the ground and limit oxygen available and provide no nutrients for the trees.

Here are a few quick pointers while you are planning. We still have Oak Wilt in the neighborhood so be on the lookout. The city still has an Oak Wilt Program so we can get some help. Tree trimmers will be wanting your business. Trim oak trees, especially Live Oak and Red Oak, in December, Januany, and February, not March or later.

Michael Embesi

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White-winged doves on open feeders