9/6 - 401(K) Day

(click for info)

Monthly COVNA Meeting


7:00 p.m. Monday, September 19th
Southwest Church of Christ
8900 Manchaca Rd. (Rear Entrance)

9 /19 - Talk Like a Pirate Day

(click for info)

Program Notes

Neighborhood Watch and home security will be topics of discussion when the Castlewood Oak Valley Neighborhood Association resumes monthly meetings on Monday, September 19, 2005. At the June Neighborhood Picnic, many folks volunteered to be Block Captains, an important first step in starting a Neighborhood Watch Program. Literature will be available relating to forming an effective and active Neighborhood Watch Program. All interested Block Captain volunteers should plan on attending. If you cannot make the meeting, contact Doug DuBois at dedhm1@ev1.net.

Nominations will be accepted and a vote taken to fill the Secretary vacancy. See articles inside.

The COVNA Email List guidelines will be discussed.


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

2005 Meetings:

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

June 11th - Picnic
September 19th
October 17th
November 21st
December 19th -
Holiday Party

Doug DuBois
Barbara Klein
Marjorie Smith
Doug Tabony
Doug DuBois
Claudia Anderson
President (292-9323)
Vice President (292-9313)
Treasurer (282-1065)
Newsletter (280-4080)
ANC Delegate (292-9323)
Past President (282-1932)
To join the COVNA Email List, send an email with your name(s) to Doug at tabonyproductions@austin.rr.com

Click Ad for Linda's Site




At the May meeting, Mark Yun, a relatively new neighbor on Comburg Castleway, approached me with a great idea. He has a friend who can purchase motion detector security lights in bulk, providing a discount for COVNA neighbors, and saving us sales tax by purchasing through COVNA, if the by-laws allow it, then re-selling at cost to our neighbors.

We have pricing on two lights, both manufactured by RAB. The first is the SNL2, a dual night light kit with two 75W Quartz floodlights. The lights glow at 20% illumination at dusk and the motion sensor kicks them up to 100% illumination. The cost of this fixture is $22. The other light is the STL360Q3, with a single 300 watt motion activated floodlight. The cost of this fixture is $28. Product information is on the web: www.rabweb.com, click “support”.

I have contacted Jimmy Noble of AMP Electric, son of James and Carol Noble on Lancaster. From looking at my single story ranch–style house and the size of the attic over the garage, he quoted me an installation cost of roughly $150. Other homes, particularly the 2-story models might run a little higher, but total package price of light fixture and installation should not run more than $300.

One of the great unknowns is the number of light fixtures desired for our neighborhood and the demand for installation. Many of you may be handier than me and could install them yourself. Help us out by dropping me a note to the home address: 2304 Vassal Dr. or dropping me an e-mail a dedhm1@ev1.net if you are interested in pursuing this further.

This will be discussed at the September meeting, assuming interest is shown, to decide whether to pursue this opportunity.

Doug DuBois

Advertise in the COVNA Newsletter
Only $10.00/month
Reaches over 400 homes Online at COVNA.org
Email Doug Tabony at: tabonyproductions@austin.rr.com


COVNA Secretary Melanie Malewitz has resigned from office due to relocating out of the neighborhood. Melanie has served COVNA faithfully as Secretary, newsletter walker, and dedicated friendly neighbor. We will all miss her and wish her the best.

Helen Lightfoot has been nominated to fill the unexpired term of Secretary. We will accept additional nominations and vote, should a quorum be present at the next meeting, Monday, September 19, 2005.

Come one, come all.

A Note from Melanie

My husband and I were members of the neighborhood association since it started. We had been involved in the Meyerland Neighborhood Association in Houston and felt the need for such a group when we moved to South Austin. Of course, Castlewood Forest was in Travis County then. It was several years before the citizens of the area got angry at what was being built around us and decided to form a "protective" association. (By then my husband was in failing health, but we joined and supported Sam Pole.) This was around 1980. Since then I have served as Neighborhood Newsletter writer and distributor and Secretary and member of the nominating committee.

I would encourage all of the people in Castlewood-Oak Valley to join and support our Neighborhood Association. It has done some remarkable things for the area and has made us a more family-friendly place to live.

I miss you all. Best wishes for continued success.

Melanie Malewitz

Tree Trimming
Leaf Raking
Hedge Trimming
Light Hauling, Etc.

I received an email from a neighbor, Lenora DuBose, who has had to deal with the aftermath of stolen credit cards and who suggested an article based on information she sent. This has spawned the idea for two articles covering aspects of Identity Theft. The information below is loosely based on The Department of Justice’s website, www.usdoj.gov/criminal/fraud/idtheft.html. If all this information is old news, good for you. A specific piece of advice from Lenora – “Contact your bank and have each account password protected. This is a safety feature offered by the banks, but if you don't know it (which I didn't), they don't mention it to their customers.”

Be Stingy about giving out your personal information to others unless you have a reason to trust them, regardless of where you are. Start by adopting a "need to know" approach to your personal data. Don’t give out personal information on the phone unless you know you are speaking to someone who has a right to it – never to someone who calls you. Be careful of “phishing” where you receive an email that poses as an official correspondence from a company such as PayPal or Ebay that has a link to a site that asks for information that any such company would already have, such as credit card numbers, SS# or mother’s maiden name. Limit what you have printed on checks, there is no need for a SS# or even a home phone #.

If you're traveling, have your mail held at the post office, or ask someone you know well and trust to collect your mail while you're away. Don’t give out personal info at an open telephone booth where passersby can listen in on what you're saying.

Check your financial information regularly. If you have bank or credit card accounts, you should be receiving monthly statements that list transactions. If not, call the financial institution or credit card company immediately and ask about it. Checking your monthly statements carefully is the best way to catch unauthorized debits or charges against your financial accounts. If you find any, contact your financial institution or credit card company immediately.

Ask periodically for a copy of your credit report which should list all bank and financial accounts under your name, and will provide other indications of whether someone has wrongfully opened or used any accounts in your name. Credit reports are now free (one per year) from the three national credit reporting companies (does not include score). Go to www.annualcreditreport.com to access.

Maintain careful records of your banking and financial accounts. Even though financial institutions are required to maintain copies of your transactions for five years, you should retain your monthly statements and checks for at least one year, if not more. If you need to dispute a particular check or transaction especially if they purport to bear your signatures your original records will be more immediately accessible and useful to the institutions that you have contacted.