May 2005

Armed Forces Day

Monthly COVNA Meeting


7:00 p.m. Monday, May 16th
Southwest Church of Christ
8900 Manchaca Rd. (Rear Entrance)

National Towel Day
With information and tips from Officer Fred Rodriguez

There have been reports of several doors kicked in within our neighborhood and close by. Austin Police Department District Representative Officer Fred Rodriguez will give an update about our area and discuss crime prevention measures we can all practice to maintain the safe neighborhood we enjoy. Officer Rodriguez will also address other concerns you may have. Please show your support for the APD with your attendance.

*National Towel Day commemorates the work of
Douglas Adams who wrote Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, recently released as a movie.
For more info, go to
To quote from the Guide,
“A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitch hiker can have.”

To join the COVNA Email List, send an email with your name(s) to me at


Monthly meetings are held on the
third Monday of the month.

2005 Meetings:

January 17th
February 21st
March 21st
April 18th
May 16th

June Picnic TBA
September 19th
October 17th
November 21st
December 19th -
Holiday Party

Doug DuBois
Barbara Klein
Melanie Malewitz
Marjorie Smith
Doug Tabony
Doug DuBois
Claudia Anderson
President (292-9323)
Vice President (292-9313)
Secretary (282-0048)
Treasurer (282-1065)
Newsletter (280-4080)
ANC Delegate (292-9323)
Past President (282-1932)

As reported in the newsletter this month (below), there has been a rash of daytime break-ins in the northern area of our neighborhood - Comburg Castle Way, Sheri Oak, and Shelby Oak. While this is cause for alarm, it does not indicate a decline in the safety of our neighborhood or a threat to our security. It does call for a response and our response should be one of calm and confidence. For those who are on the neighborhood e-mail list, you have presented many valuable suggestions - getting

outdoors during the daylight hours more; getting to know the names of your neighbors, not just their faces; tell a neighbor if you are going to be out of town for a few days; lock your storm door when you are gone; and many others. We will discuss these ideas and those of the Austin Police Department at the next meeting, Monday, May 16. Come early for coffee and cookies and a little neighborhood networking.
Doug DuBois

Tree Trimming
Leaf Raking
Hedge Trimming
Light Hauling, Etc.

From recent COVNA Email List posts:

At 1:30 pm or so on Wednesday. April 27, someone kicked in the front door at 2509 Comburg Castleway. The apparent burglary attempt was foiled by the alarm system. The police responded promptly, investigated, and questioned some teenagers seen walking on the street in front of the residence.
I believe there may have been another break in or attempted breaking in the neighborhood a short time later this afternoon...perhaps by the same person or persons who had been chased off by my neighbor's alarm system. The break in occurred just a few minutes after my neighbors left the house which would tend to indicate that the intruders were watching and waiting for them to leave.
The door down the street was knocked in at 2 a.m. in the morning. A ball was thrown through the window at the corner of Queenswood and Crownspoint.
I just heard from someone I know with contacts in the Austin Police Department that there was another door kicked in on Shelby Oak Lane this afternoon.
We back up to Davis Hills Estates (we live on Comburg Castle Way). One of the two neighbors who lives behind us, just spoke to us over the fence. Last Friday her house was broken into during the day. She also told us another house in Davis Hills Estates was broken into.

A fitting response from Nita Smith:

I posted the info about the break in only to alert people, not to alarm anyone. The break in was an unusual event, not the norm for our area.

I feel that this neighborhood is very safe because people do talk to each other, the regular walkers keep an eye out for anything unusual, and we do seem to keep an eye out for each other and help each other out. In fact, the policeman that I was talking with told me that he thought our area was one of the "best example" neighborhoods – neighbors who did keep an eye out and help each other.

I can think of many examples of why the area is good. There have been two accidents on my corner at Collingwood/Comburg Castleway [both the result of the stop sign being ignored]. Both times, neighbors heard the crash, multiple neighbors called 911 and then raced to help the people involved until the emergency people could get here. When a person walking her dogs had her dogs attacked by loose dogs, her screams at 5:30 am brought two neighbors into the street to help. When a person ran down the street bloody and yelling, neighbors rushed to help and called 911. When we heard a loud explosion, we rushed out to see if someone needed help (it was just a squirrel who had shorted a transformer—which shut off the electricity). When we had flooding problems due to the excessive rain, neighbors helped each other to build dams and rig things to divert the water, and then helped each other with cleanup. When an ambulance or fire truck pulls up on the street, neighbors come to ask if they can do anything to help.

I think the area is great and safe because we do keep an eye out for each other and offer to help when something out of the ordinary happens. We don't stay behind locked doors with the drapes closed, and we aren't afraid to talk to each other and help each other out...even if we don't know everyone's name, we act as neighbors should.

I, for one, am very glad to live here.

The W. 45th Street reconstruction project will begin mid-May and be complete around July 2006. The project stretches from just west of MoPac Expressway to Airport Boulevard. The contractor will start with utility work at two locations, Airport and Lamar Boulevard, and move west from both. After the construction makes some westward progress, street reconstruction will begin following

the utility work. Motorists will then see work occurring at four locations, if not more. You may visit the 45th Street Project Web site: Information includes a description of the project, updates, traffic impacts and other updates as information becomes available.

Curtis Hundley, a loving husband to Lisa, a wonderful son, brother, and uncle, and an American warrior, gave his life in defense of his family and his country, April 21, 2005 in Iraq. Curtis is the son of Steve & Marianne Hundley, COVNA members who have lived in the neighborhood for almost 28 years.

The family of Curtis Hundley would like to say THANK YOU, to all of our wonderful neighborhood friends for your expressions of sympathy and hope. His funeral was in North Carolina, April 28th. His ashes will be interred in a small chapel in Virginia that he and his wife often visited. He was the consummate warrior, often referred to by his brother as "Josie Wales". He strongly believed in what he was doing, and had already signed on for another tour with Blackwater.

By now, many of you have seen the wonderful memorial tree and flowers in front of our house, planted with MUCH effort by our good friend, Frank McCarthy, while we were in North Carolina. Yesterday, we located, and purchased a statue of St. Michael, Patron Saint of paratroopers, and God's warrior general, and placed it by the tree. This morning, during a visit to our house, Bishop McCarthy asked for God's blessing over the memorial. The real St. Michael now has a warrior angel with him that will strike fear in the hearts of evil.

As a memorial to Curtis, his family requests that when you wake up, a free person, living in America, you remember Curtis, and the thousands of other brave young Americans who gave you that opportunity.


During 2005 the world celebrates the 400th anniversary of the publication of Cervantes’ Don Quixote de la Mancha.

Through the end of May 2005 the Faulk Central Library, 800 Guadalupe St., the Carver Branch, 1161 Angelina, and the Ruiz Branch,1600 Grove Blvd. will host a Don Quixote de la Mancha exhibit. Items such as paintings, posters, books, statues, and other Don Quixote memorabilia will be on display. The collection comes to Austin from El Paso, Texas by two collectors, Albert and Shirleen Askenazi.

The first edition of Book One of Don Quixote came

off a printing press in Madrid on December 20, 1604, and reached the public on Jan 6, 1605. The novel quickly became an international best seller. Four centuries later, it still ranks as the most published and translated book after the Bible.

If you’ve not yet read all of Don Quixote, here’s a striking recommendation. In 2002, Don Quixote de la Mancha was voted the best book ever written by a group of 100 writers from 54 countries, among them Salman Rushdie, Wole Soyinka, Milan Kundera, John Irving, Seamus Heaney and Norman Mailer, in a survey organized by the Norwegian Book Clubs in Oslo. It beat its closest contender by a 50% margin!