Monthly COVNA Meeting


7:00 p.m. Monday, March 20th
Southwest Church of Christ
8900 Manchaca Rd. (Rear Entrance)

Meet Officer Dwayne Kinley, our new APD District Representative. Find out his goals for our area. This will be a great opportunity to express your concerns about our neighborhood and the surrounding area. In light of recent criminal activity in our area and the continuing effort to establish a Neighborhood Watch in Castlewood Forest and Oak Valley, having Officer Kinley as a guest comes at an appropriate time. Officer Kinley has been a member of the Austin Police Department for 20 years. "Officer Kinley is very much a people person," says Sgt. Brian Gruetzner of the Central West Area Command, "He can talk to anyone during any type of situation and calm the situation." He has received the following honors: Honorable Conduct Citation, Safe Driving Ribbon, Outstanding City of Austin Employee, Certificate of Appreciation, and the BASICS Customer Service Award. Much more info at:


Enough about crime. You may be pleased
that there is no mention of local crime
in any article below.

3/14 - Pi Day

(Click for info)


3/18 - North American Wildlife Celebration

(Click for info)



The Neighborhood Watch program sets up an organized approach to watching out for each other’s safety and reducing the threat of crime. You can help by becoming a block captain. Several people have volunteered but many more are needed to cover our neighborhood. If you are interested in becoming a block captain please contact Floyd Clark at 282-8245 or by email at

To join the COVNA Email List, click below and send an email with your name(s) to Doug at
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Floyd Clark
Greg Estes
Helen Lightfoot
Hal Ferguson
Doug Tabony
Doug DuBois
Doug DuBois
President (282-8245)
Vice President (282-2782)
Secretary (282-2256)
Treasurer (282-0601)
Newsletter (280-4080)
ANC Delegate (292-9323)
Past President (292-9323)

Monthly meetings are held on the third Monday
of the month.
January 16th
February 20th
March 20th
April 17th
May 15th
June Picnic TBA
September 18th
October 16th
November 20th
Dec Party 18th
The President on
Deed Restrictions

Notice to Homeowners:

A renewed interest about activities in our neighborhood reminds me of the existence of our Deed Restrictions. Each buyer is to receive a copy at the sales closing when the property is purchased.

Re-reading yours might prove helpful. Most, if not all, deed restrictions in Castlewood Forest subdivision include such statements as:

"No lot shall be used for a trade, hobby, or profession; nor shall anything be done on any lot which may be or may become an annoyance or nuisance to the neighborhood."

"No hot rods or junk or old cars will be permitted on any of the premises which will distract to the property owners or which may become a nuisance to the property owners."

"No animals, livestock, or poultry of any kind shall be raised, bred, or kept on any of said lots or streets, except that dogs, or other household pets may be kept provided they are not kept, bred, or maintained for any commercial purpose."

I am sure Oak Valley deed restrictions contain similar clauses.

Deed Restrictions are different from laws. The city does not enforce deed restrictions, nor does the neighborhood association. It is up to the home owners in the same section of the platted sub-division to enforce the restrictions. There are nine or ten platted sections in Castlewood Forest. (From your editor’s personal experience, landowners can be sued over deed restrictions. I moved from Allendale where the neighborhood association blocked unwanted expansion into surrounding lots by the (then) Allendale Baptist Church with a suit based on deed restrictions. The threat of such a lawsuit stopped the construction of an apartment complex on my former block. Thankfully, such issues are moot here.)

Most people wish to get along with their neighbors, and do. Normally, a friendly comment or an offer to help will rectify any possible breach of deed restrictions and avoid problems.

Floyd Clark


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The Williams have lived in Castlewood since 1980. Paul has recently become blind but as his mother wholeheartedly stated, he has remained extremely active. The Statesman excerpt below attests to great endeavors on both their parts.

Red Cross Honors Nine as
Central Texas Heroes

By Dick Stanley, American Statesman Staff
Friday, March 03, 2006

Nine "Heroes of Central Texas" were honored Thursday for extraordinary acts of courage and kindness by the American Red Cross of Central Texas.

The fourth annual recognition awards for people from nine counties, which included a taped message from University of Texas football coach Mack Brown, were presented at a dinner at the Austin Marriott at the Capitol. (Included was:)

•The Community Impact Hero Award to Lonnie Williams and her son Paul Williams of Austin, volunteers in the Red Cross' emergency services department, who spent almost six weeks providing emotional and financial support to people affected by fires, floods, and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Are Termites Bugging You?


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Speaking of Katrina and Rita, a short series of emails on the COVNA email list inspired me to include the following recent Statesman article. Old news to email list subscribers.

Termite warnings in mulch: Urban myth?
Maybe, but experts recommend checking mulch before spreading

By Mary Ann Roser
Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Will the mulch you used in your yard eat your house?

E-mails flying around the Internet in recent days warn that hurricane-ravaged trees that were minced into mulch in Louisiana contain live termites that could be dangerous to homes. Beware of bargains on bags of mulch, the missives say.

But Louisiana agriculture chief Bob Odom says there isn't any unsafe mulch leaving his state — at least none that he knows of — because of a quarantine that makes it illegal to sell untreated mulch and wood from areas infested with the Formosan Subterranean Termite.

A Texas entomologist isn't so sure. Quarantines are hard to enforce, and with the miles of wood chips that Louisiana inspectors would need to keep an eye on, consumers should inspect any mulch carefully before spreading it, said Roger E. Gold, a professor of urban entomology at Texas A&M University in College Station.

In fact, some of the danger could be home-grown. Formosan termites have lived in Travis County since 1992, according to an A&M Web site.

"The bottom line is be vigilant, be careful," Gold said. "We do not know the extent of the problem."

The Formosan termite has inhabited Texas since 1956, according to Texas A&M, and it has spread quickly, burrowing into 24 Texas counties, nearly half of them since 2000. Twenty-three of those counties, including Travis, are under quarantine like the infested parishes in Louisiana. (The 24th will be quarantined later.)

"It's just not Katrina and Rita problems," said Dennis Ring, a professor of entomology at Louisiana State University's Agricultural Center. "I would be much more concerned about being infested from it locally" in Texas.

Consumers should check mulch from any source before using it, he and others said.

Mulch and wood from quarantined counties in Texas and Louisiana cannot be sold outside of the area without being fumigated or treated for termites. Those moving it need proof of treatment.

Gold is concerned about enforcement of quarantines in Texas and Louisiana and said he heard that Louisiana was giving away bags of free mulch, some of which was being trucked into Texas and sold cheaply.

Odom said he was not aware of that, and he hadn't received any evidence to support the Internet claims. He asked that violations be reported to authorities.

Inspectors in Texas have received basic training to enforce county quarantines, Depart- ment of Agriculture spokeswoman Beverly Boyd said, but not the full training that Gold said they should have. That is being put in place, Boyd said.

"Quarantine is not to prevent the spread of termites but to minimize it," Boyd said. "We have limited resources."

Her department has 41 inspectors who check mulch and inspect other items unrelated to termites, including gas pumps and scales, in the counties under quarantine, Boyd said. About a half-dozen inspectors do checks along the Louisiana border a few days a month to make sure that trucks carrying mulch have paperwork showing that the product was fumigated against termites, she said.

Andrew Thompson, a sales associate in the garden department at Home Depot's Sunset Valley store, said none of the mulch sold there was from Louisiana. Customers started asking questions about it over the weekend, Thompson said, when the e-mails kicked into high gear.

Check your mulch

Before mulching, consumers are advised to open the bag, take out some mulch and see if any insects are moving around. Termites are about a quarter- inch long, white and look like a cross between a maggot and an ant. If you see a live insect, put it in alcohol and bring it to an extension agent or call the state Department of Agriculture at (512) 463-7476 or 800-TELL-TDA (835-5832). Don't spread the mulch; return the bag to where you bought it or get a professional to treat it.

Everything Austin Texas



I was checking out the "Austin City News" - the online magazine aimed at neighborhood associations. Nothing doing. The latest issue is January. Should be re-titled "Austin City Old". Looking further on the city's website for newsletter-worthy material I found the page listed below - Everything Austin Texas.

Below is an except from the history link on this wide-ranging web page about Austin.

George W. Bonnell – 1840 (Mountain namesake) "Like the ancient city of Rome, Austin is built upon seven hills, and it is impossible to conceive of a more beautiful and lovely situation."

Rutherford B. Hayes – 1847 "Austin is an inconsiderable village on the Colorado, with large expectations --not more than one or two passable buildings in the city -- gaming and drinking very abounding in all quarters."

Fortune Magazine – 1979 "Austin is what many a U.S. city longs to be -- compact and cultivated. It has style."

Inc. Magazine – 1988 "Austin has as much going for it as an armadillo in a cactus patch."

National Geographic – 1990 "I don't worry about Austin. All signs point to a healthy future. It has survived its spate of overbuilding and will build again. It cares about its hills, its lakes, its parks- about preserving that special feeling that has endeared Austin to so many. Not really surprising for a city whose citizens rallied to a stricken tree, bringing prayers, flowers, get-well cards -- even cans of chicken soup."