Castlewood-Oak Valley
Neighborhood Association

April 2004
Monthly COVNA Meeting

7:00 p.m. Monday,
April 19th

Southwest Church of Christ
8900 Manchaca Rd. (Rear Entrance)


Tired of waiting in traffic? The Austin Monorail Project was founded as a non-profit corporation dedicated to educating the public about the benefits of Monorail as a rapid transit solution. Unlike the light rail system conceived by the City of Austin and Capital Metro and ultimately rejected by Austin voters in Nov. 2000, Monorail is a electrically-powered, elevated system which precludes collisions with automobiles, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Because Monorail is elevated it is also faster than light rail and offers a real solution in getting commuters to their destinations. Monorail is truly rapid transit, as opposed to simply mass transit. In January 2002, the AMP debuted its website, where interested persons can learn more about Monorail.

Our Speaker - Michael T. DiBrino holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in computer science from the University of Connecticut and an M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Mr. DiBrino has worked in the computer industry for 18 years for companies such as IBM, AMD and Motorola. He recently founded his own consulting company, Texas Embedded Solutions, where he designs custom hardware and software microprocessor-
based solutions.

After extensively studying Monorail as a rapid transit solution, Mr. DiBrino became a member of the Monorail Society in October 2001 and in January 2002 he founded the Austin Monorail Project as an educational non-profit corporation. He is now actively engaged in educating the Austin area community about the benefits of Monorail as a rapid transit solution.

Recently, there has been property defaced with graffiti in our neighborhood. Being a relatively new experience, we did not know exactly how to respond to the incidents. Now we know. The Austin Police Department would like us to call 3-1-1 to report the markings as non-emergency property crimes. Call and report the tagging as soon as possible so APD can keep a record of the location and timing of the incident. If you have a Polaroid or digital camera, take a photo of the markings for police records. Next you should call the Graffiti Removal number in the City of Austin directory–854-4125. They have youth who will come out and clean up the reported tagging.

At present, we have reported the spray paint markings on the concrete area of the drainage ditch just off Collingwood, between Comburg Castle Way and Vassal Dr. APD has been notified and Graffiti Removal has been contacted. We’ll see how long it takes to have the markings cleaned up.

COVNA resident (and son) complete March 28 Capitol 10,000 in style, providing inspiration all. Mira redefines “old”.

An Old Lady’s First Race;
Mira Hill places 2nd in Capital 10K

In early March, while doing my usual 2 mile walk in our neighborhood, it occurred to me that I had never done the Capital 10K (a 6.2 mile race). When I mentioned it to my daughter, Barbara Huffman, she agreed to walk with me…very sane idea since I am 82! She decided that we could complete the race in two hours. My son, Kenny Hill, a marathoner and active in running races, encouraged us to compete in the competitive timed event, rather that the leisure “fun-run”. Now I really got serious about training…faster and longer walks in the neighborhood each morning striving
for a 15 minute mile pace! As race day approached, I really got fearful of being the last to finish, or falling, or getting sick. But all went well! I enjoyed every minute of the walk…the enthusiastic cheers from the sidelines and the local bands along the route spurred us on! My son, after completing his race in 40 minutes [3rd in the 50-54 age bracket out of 260 entrants, editor’s note], met us on the First St. Bridge to complete the race with mom and sister. At the 6 mile marker, we joined hands, turned on the adrenalin, and jogged to the finish line, completing the race in 1 hour 40 minutes and 28 seconds, beating our goal of finishing in 2 hours! I placed second in my age group. I received a medal, but better yet a great feeling of accomplishment and an urge to do better next year!
Notes from the Editor

Efforts are underway to vault our neighborhood into the high tech age. I have produced a website – presented to great interest at the March meeting – for the neighborhood association. This is a work in progress and I hope it will reflect the atmosphere of the neighborhood and be useful to its residents. I have applied to for free hosting but haven’t received a reply. You may view the site at its temporary location:

Please provide your feedback and suggestions concerning this website. Email me at .

Another possibility for computer interaction would be a list-serve where those who subscribe (free) can send emails that the entire membership receives simultaneously. This is a great forum for the exchange of ideas and information, getting to know folks better, and having fun. More about this soon.

(3/31) Lovely day here in suburban Austin. My wife stretched me in the front yard. The air was soft and full of cooing white-wings. Our cat, Neko, standing in the middle of the street, arched his back and bristled as a friendly-looking dog with owner in tow made his way past. Danger gone, Neko sauntered over, looked up with his golden eyes, and jumped in my lap as he often does outdoors. His fur was slightly cool and silky, short but still dense from winter. He next proceeded to roll in the petals and stems still drifting down from the Bradford pear trees shading us as we finished my stretches. We rolled and strolled through the neighborhood, some of the streets tunnels through the arching branches of elms and oaks with chickadees scurrying back and forth.. We searched for the best angles in the waning light to photograph gardens coming into their own, many varieties of flowers bursting forth in the height of this Texas spring. With the partially full moon becoming distinct against the indigo sky we made our way home