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

Program Notes

The City of Austin is planning a project to "modernize" the drainage pond that lies behind the homes on Comburg drive. In so doing, this impacts our neighborhood. There will be ongoing construction, an access drive through the vacant lot on Toulouse Drive and other changes COVNA neighbors should be aware of. Nelisa and Dean Heddin (9205 Comburg) will provide an update on the project and it's possible impacts on the Toulouse lot. As they have been working directly with the City, they'd also like to hear any concerns of COVNA members.

Coupon Month

Be Kind to Editors & Writers Month


Break out your helmets and bikes and ride on down to this years bike rodeo! COVNA will be hosting it's 2nd annual bike rodeo. There will be food, fun and bike safety courses for all to participate in. So bring your kids, grandkids, nephews, and nieces and let's RIDE

This Saturday, September 17th - 9 am-noon.
Kocurek Elementary, 9800 Curlew Dr.

Mark Tilley
Jennifer Rizkalla
Dan Anderson
Hal Ferguson
Doug Tabony
Doug DuBois
Dominic Chavez
President (280-2572)
Vice President (358-1610)
Secretary (282-1932)
Treasurer (282-0601)
Newsletter (280-4080)
ANC Delegate (292-9323)
Past President (695-5457)

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.


February 21st
April 18th
Neighborhood Picnic - June 4th
September 19th
November 21st
December Party - TBA

Advertise in the COVNA Newsletter
Only $10.00/month. Reaches over 400 homes & Online at
Email Hal Ferguson at:


Several in the neighborhood have lost money to a scam artist posing as a tree trimmer. Please ask for recommendations on the COVNA email list (click email link above to join) and follow the precautions listed below, especially for larger projects. For small jobs, rule number one is never pay before work is satisfactorily completed.

If someone comes knocking on your door unsolicited, offering to do work around your house, it should raise an immediate red flag. Good contractors, builders and carpenters are typically busy enough that they don't need to go trolling neighborhoods seeking odd jobs. Out-of-town contractors may try to pressure you into making speedy decisions, by saying "This discounted price is only good for today," or "We're only in your neighborhood this weekend." Recognize these tactics as sales gimmicks and coercion. In many cases, they're also the telltale sign of a scam contractor.

Before you agree to do business with any contractor, get three referrals from his most recent clients. Call those homeowners and make sure they were completely satisfied with the work.

Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if other consumers have lodged complaints against the business. If a contractor says he's licensed, bonded and insured, double-check that information with the local building inspector's office and the contractor's insurance company.

Once you decide to hire a contractor, use sound practices when it comes to paying him. A deposit may be required for the contractor to get started, but negotiate with him to make this up front payment no more than a third of the total cost. If you pay too much up front it leaves you vulnerable if the contractor skips off with your money without doing any work, or if he doesn't complete the job as agreed.

Beware of contractors who won't accept checks or ask that you make a check payable to him personally, rather than his company. This is another sure-fire sign of a scam contractor.

If you're getting money from your insurer to do home repairs or upgrades, the Federal Trade Commission suggests that you never sign your insurance check over to a contractor. Instead, have your bank provide a Certificate of Completion. The bank will pay the contractor in phases, as each stage of work is completed to your satisfaction.

Use a Written Contract as Your Guide
Never do business with a contractor based on a handshake or a verbal promise. Instead, get everything in writing, in as much detail as possible, to avoid potential misunderstandings later.

Under federal law, you have three days to think things over when it comes to home improvement or repair projects, or for any contract over $25 signed in your home. So make sure your contract includes a three-day notice of cancellation, which protects you should you change your mind.

Finally, never sign a blank contract or agree to let the contractor just "fill in" certain spaces later. If there's a space in the contract, either fill it in immediately or cross it out.

If spite of your best efforts, you feel you've been ripped off by a contractor, don't stand for any financial shenanigans. Report a repair rip-off to the BBB and the consumer division of your state's Attorney General. For a list, visit

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Walking our dog the other evening I passed a garbage can whose lid wouldn’t close because large chunks of Styrofoam were protruding from it. Austin’s single-track recycling does not take the stuff so one might think that the only solution is to put it into the garbage can headed for a landfill. There is a better solution - Recycle It.

A couple of years ago I found myself with large pre-formed quantities of Styrofoam which had protected a purchased piece of equipment. Having previously spent considerable time attempting to pick up the stuff from all over my yard when it didn’t quite all make it into a garbage truck, I decided it was time to find a better solution. Searching on the internet for “Styrofoam recycling Austin,” I found Cycled Plastics Ltd.

In addition to chunk Styrofoam, they take other CLEAN Styrofoam items such as cups and egg cartons and packing “peanuts”. The reclaimed Styrofoam is used to make such things as Styrocrete, a prefab, light-weight and extremely-high insulation building block for “Green” homes and buildings.

Cycled Plastics Ltd. is located near Balcones Research Center (Burnet Rd & Braker/Rutland) at 10200 McKalla Place, Suite 100. Go North on Burnet Rd. past U. S. 183. Turn right on Rutland, then take the first left on McKalla, just before the railroad tracks. Turn into the industrial park on your left and go straight to the steps to their site. You can see a picture and map at It’s a long way up there from our neighborhood, so I keep a large trash sack for the stuff, and dispose of it there when I make a trip to North Austin. Eventually, as a service to the neighborhood, and if I don’t get overwhelmed, I could take additional bags when I go, about once a month.

Public Drop Off Site: Cycled Plastics maintains a public drop point at it's facility in Austin. The following items are accepted Monday through Friday, 7am - 5pm:

Packaging Foams (styrofoam) free of dirt or food contamination (EPS #6, PP #5, LDPE #4)
#2 HDPE curbside bottles that have been rinsed with caps removed
#1 PET curbside bottles that have been rinsed with the caps removed
#2 HDPE flower pots that have been lightly washed to remove most of the dirt
#4 LDPE bags that have had no food contact and have no paper contamination (labels, stickers) (zip lock bags)

For those of you that may not be aware, Styrofoam is made from Benzene, an oil-based product. It depletes the ozone layer during its creation, and is responsible for the death each year of thousands of animals that swallow it.

Even though it breaks into pieces easily, it can take 500 years for a single cup to dissolve in a landfill. By volume, the amount of space used up in landfills by all plastics is between 25 and 30 percent.

Tom Bray

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The Capital Area Council of Governments maintains an emergency notification system for cell phones for 10 counties in this area. You can register your cell phone to receive emergency notifications (including evacuation notices) based on one or more addresses you provide. This makes sure you are notified by law enforcement of an emergency in your neighborhood if you do not have a land-line.

Go to and enter your phone number. After you do so, you will get a text message with a pin number. Use the pin number to log in and enter an address or location that you want to have your cell phone associated with. You can enter multiple locations in the 10 county area.

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