December 29, 2011 Issue

Page 1

CMYK FOUR POINTS

Steiner Ranch Orthodontics Treatment for Children, Teens & Adults Call for your Complimentary Exam Steiner Ranch

Volume 7, Issue 51 • 8 pages

Bastrop

Give yourself the gift of Peace of Mind this Holiday Season.

DERMATOLOGY

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Site Map

Quinlan Crossing brings in more tenants

The Whitfield Company Latitude: 30.388683 Longitude: -97.882426 Rings: 1, 3, 5 Miles

Site Type: Ring

By LYNETTE HAALAND

Lynette.FourPoints@gmail.com

Quinlan Crossing’s anchor tenant Randalls grocery store is expected to open the first day of spring 2012. Joining Randalls will be a variety of tenants including Chase Bank, the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf shop, Great Clips, Steiner Ranch Wine and Liquor and 4 Hip Chicks. All have signed leases at the retail shopping center which totals 163,000 square feet and is located at the entrance of Steiner Ranch, according to Gail Whitfield, president and founder of the Whitfield Co., which is leasing the property for Property Development Centers. Other tenants are in the negotiating stages including a phone store, tire store and optometrist. Still others show interest includ- The Whitfield Co.’s demographic information shows median aning a mattress store, dry cleaners, nual household income in a one mile radius of Quinlan Crossing is fitness studio, massage studio $150,991, in a three mile radius $132,483, and a five mile radius at

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Steiner designer volunteers on apartment makeover By Staff Reports James Ferguson’s once simple East Austin apartment was transformed by the help of Steiner Ranch’s Julie Tamez, owner and partner with Shelley Hause of Chic Interiors. Tamez and Hause spent five days shopping for furniture and decorations for Ferguson's

apartment before the seven hour makeover earlier this month. Ferguson is part of the Austin American-Statesman's Season for Caring campaign, which helps 10 families nominated by local nonprofit agencies and hundreds more like them through reader donations. Amplify Federal Credit Union and Chic Interiors teamed to-

gether to provide more than $10,000 in products and man hours to remodel the apartment. Ferguson, 66, has intellectual disabilities and spent most of his childhood in foster homes and the Austin State Supported Living Center. He has diabetes, high blood pressure and arthritis. His apartment 500-squareDESIGNER, 2

$122,233. Demographic information also shows current population

QUNILAN, 2 within one mile is 2,512, three miles is 21,943 and five miles is 46,884.

Viper volunteers team with Salvation Army ©2009 ESRI

On-demand reports and maps from Business Analyst Online. Order at www.esri.com/bao or call 800-292-2224

12/09/2009

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The Vandegrift Viper family pulled together to help support the Salvation Army Angel tree last week. Over 70 Vandegrift students, coaches and parents gave their time and energy to help make someone else’s Christmas a little bit merrier. Students from wrestling, football, volleyball, tennis, band and lacrosse were shelving, bagging, shopping and delivering presents. “This experience taught the Viper volunteers that helping others is the true meaning of Christmas,” said Scarlet Hebert, one of the event organizers. The most valuable lesson the kids learned was that through Above: Cousins Caitlin McKeand (6th Grader FPMS) and Hannah volunteering they get so much work together to move a bag full of presents. more out of it than what they put into it, she said. See more photos on page 2.

Jay Janner AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Steiner Ranch designer Julie Tamez of Chic Interiors and several other volunteers helped redecorate James Ferguson's apartment recently. Here is Ferguson with case worker Roy Salazar and Tamez after receiving a James Bond movie at his newly redone apartment. Tamez and several employees of Amplify Federal Credit Union volunteered to do a one-day cleanup and makeover. 'He told one of the volunteers it was the best day of his life,' she said.

Concordia donates three scholarships to area Extreme Makeover family Concordia University Texas presented three full college scholarships to the children of the Zdroj family during Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’s press conference recently. The Zdroj family is from Smithville and they received a new home courtesy of the ABC reality show after losing theirs in the September wildfires. In addition to donating scholarships for the children’s education, more than 120 volunteers

from Concordia served more than 750 hours on the home building project. Smithville is 65 miles to the west, not far from Bastrop. “Our mission is based on servant leadership,” said Dr. Tom Cedel, president of Concordia University Texas. “When Extreme Makeover: Home Edition announced plans to build the home for this deserving family our students, faculty and staff jumped MAKEOVER, 2

Inside

School......................................3 Opinion...................................4 Food........................................5 Classifieds...............................6 Sports......................................7 Find us on Facebook We wish you a warm holiday season with family and friends.

Great Clips to open in Steiner in late March Brad and Jodi Melnick are opening their latest Great Clips shop in Steiner Ranch. “We are looking at opening at the end of March when Randalls does,” said Brad Melnick, whose day job is product engineering at Freescale Semiconductor. Jodi manages their chain of a dozen shops.

Great Clips will occupy just under 1,000 square feet in the space beside Randalls, on the Quinlan Crossing Road side. The Melnicks started their local Great Clips chain Mane Image LLC some 16 years ago. Now they have a dozen shops including the three they are currently opening

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throughout Austin. With 3,000 salons throughout the United States and Canada, Great Clips is the world’s largest salon brand. “We wanted something that is family oriented and local,” Melnick said. They have three children, a freshman in college, a senior

in high school and a 5th grader. They moved to Austin in the Circle C neighborhood nearly 20 years ago. “Great Clips is customer-centric, has value oriented pricing and is a good, solid, fantastic company,” he said. “We really like working with this franchise. They have good support.”

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CMYK

Page 2 • Four Points News, Thursday, December 29, 2011

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Above: ACF volunteers (from left) Mi Kim Goelkel, Carol Emmerich and Lorri Payne try to stay warm while making sure last week’s hayrides run smoothly. Left: Christen Black attempts to make sense out of a tangled mess of lights at SunTree Park last week. Black joined Austin Christian Fellowship members to organize hayrides for area families, with donations contributed to a needy family in a local RV park. Below Right: ACF’s Cameron Childs (blue) is ‘all smiles’ after riding around the River Place neighborhood atop bales of hay during last week’s holiday festivities. Below left: ACF members Todd Childs, Terry Payne and Chuck Oertli took the reins of three trailers last week, hoping to earn donations for a needy family in the Armadillo RV park. The hayride event, sponsored by the Four Points’ area church, included about 300 riders.

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Above Left: Marisa Collmann (8th Gr CRMS) loads a large load of gifts into a cart Above Middle: Viper Parents and siblings - Debe McKeand and David Collmann Above Right: Jake Gordon, Kelsea Janak, Liz Slezak , Austin Hebert, Conner Voekel, Sydney Voekel Left: Jordan Leitao, Austin Hebert, Joseph Suttorus, Sydney Voekel, Conner Voekel, Valerie Schroeder

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there will be 19,000 residents in Steiner including the 200 or so homes by Lake Austin. Steiner is almost finished building its 4,071 homes. The materials say that the total Steiner households occupied now are 3,257 which average 2.84 people per household making the population 9,250. Earlier expectations were that Quinlan Crossing would open in the fall of 2011. Now it will be closer to the end of March. Whitfield is optimistic about getting the types of tenants the Four Points community wants.

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Marketing materials show that traffic counts are 39,000 vehicles per day on RM 620. Demographic information at the Quinlan Crossing website show median annual household income in a one mile radius is $150,991, in a three mile radius $132,483, and a five mile radius at $122,233. Demographic information also shows current population within one mile is 2,512, three miles is 21,943 and five miles is 46,884. Whitfield marketing materials state that once fully built out

since 2004

MAKEOVER, FROM 1 at the opportunity to serve this family and community,” Cedel said. Not including the hours spent volunteering on the Extreme Makeover:Home Edition project, since September 2011, Concordia volunteers have served more than 900 hours cleaning home sites in Bastrop County, distributing clothing at shelter locations and collecting funds to aid families in wildfire recovery efforts. DESIGNER, FROM 1 foot apartment was scrubbed, de-cluttered, organized and refurnished with a recliner, dining room table and chairs, flat-screen television and DVD player. Amplify employees donated a full day to cleaning and fixing up the. They removed broken down furniture and cleaned out dated items in the refrigerator. Tamez added a number of railroad pictures because Ferguson loves trains. She also gave him a model boxcar from her own collection, something she received from her uncle. She updated the apartment but also kept it similar so it would not be too much change. Tamez also added bright, overstuffed pillows and colorful accent pieces of blue and gold fabric on canvas squares, along with several framed pictures of Ferguson, she said. Ferguson spent the day shopping at Wal-Mart, bowling and watching a movie before returning home. He was amazing when he stepped into his place. "He told one of the volunteers it was the best day of his life," Tamez said.

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School

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hursday Four PToints News

December 29, 2011 • Page 3 www.FourPointsNews.com

Thanks to Leander ISD’s Teachers and Staff The holiday season is a great time for reflection, to remember everything for which we are thankful. And so as we conclude 2011 and look forward to 2012, I would like to thank our fabulous teachers and staff for all of the work they do to open doors for the students of Leander ISD. If you have a student in LISD, you know that our district is made up of outstanding folks who work tirelessly to support learning. And you also probably know that it isn’t an easy task. No matter what the job is, few careers present as many fantastic opportunities and daunting responsibilities as those in education. The stakes are high because we are working with

our community’s most precious commodity—your children. But while it can be challenging, it is also, without a doubt, one of the most rewarding careers out there. Principals, teachers and staff are in our schools building relationships with students, serving as mentors, coaches and advocates for students who are trying to find their way in the world. They work together to create engaging and rigorous learning opportunities for students because they believe in the value of education. Our principals, teachers and staff equip our students with the skills to take responsibility for their own learning. Above all, they do whatever it takes to

open doors and keep all students the teachers who go out their on paths to success. way before, during and after Speaking as a former class- school to help students with their room teacher, sometimes it’s not homework. I get to hear about easy to see if you are making an the Plant Services employee who impact on the drives across students you the district to see every day. mentor a young But that doesn’t boy because the mean progstudent needed ress isn’t being a little extra atmade. And it’s tention. I get to often the little about the BRET CHAMPION hear things that bus driver who make a big difference. visits campuses in December In the almost four years I’ve dressed in a Santa suit just to served as superintendent, I have bring a little cheer to students had numerous opportunities to and staff alike. I get to hear about be out in the community and to the middle school registrar who hear about the great things going goes above and beyond to enon in LISD. I get to hear about sure elementary students have

enough to eat over the weekend. I get to hear about the numerous Child Nutrition Services employees who take time to read to elementary students. I get to hear about the principal and administrative assistant who make coats for underprivileged kids in the Austin area. Believe me when I say that the list could go on. But no matter where I am, I hear that LISD principals, assistant principals, teachers, counselors, transition coordinators, coaches and others are challenging and encouraging students to pursue excellence, all the while opening doors and creating powerful learning experiences. Parents often tell me how blessed they feel to be in LISD, a

LWB collects nearly 1,000 books for fire families

Recently three students at Vandegrift High School competed in the Texas Computer Education Association’s Robotics competition and won the Area 13 “Robotics Arena Championships”. Hannah von Oldenburg, Spencer Ronshangen and Ben Gilbert finished 1st place in the Area 13 TCEA Robotics Arena Championships and will now advance to the TCEA State Robotics Championships in April in San Angelo. This has garnered the VHS Engineering Club and these students their first visit to the TCEA’s state championships in April 2012.

When the devastating fires of Central Texas burned through Steiner Ranch, many Four Points residents thought of those who lost everything. The parents and students of Laura Welch Bush Elementary School worried about those who were affected, and they wanted to do something to help. After considering various ways to raise money, the LWBE PTA opted to host a coin drive. The challenge: boys versus girls in a friendly penny war-of-the-sexes to see which gender could raise more. The proceeds from their coin drive will benefit the children who lost their homes in the devastating Steiner Ranch fire in September. Specifically, these funds will go toward rebuilding personal libraries. While the boys proved to be a collective formidable opponent, the girls were the victors in the end. Together, the generous families of Laura Bush contributed $888.50, which went toward the purchase of

place where they know their children are supported and teachers truly care about their students. I couldn’t agree more. I know that the students of LISD are steadily reaching for the highest levels of success because of the outstanding staff we have in our district. Every one of us is committed to staying true to what’s most important, to student learning, and to demonstrating the heart of the LISD Learning Model every day. And so this week I close with a simple message to the principals, teachers and staff of the district: thank you for opening doors and making a difference.

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104 Scholastic books. Furthermore, Scholastic Books has generously agreed to match the children’s efforts: for every dollar raised a book will be donated to non-profit organization such as Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, Kids in Distressed Situations, Inc., and Kids in Need Foundations. In other words, 888 additional books will be donated due to the philanthropic efforts of the star students of Laura Welch Bush Elementary School.

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Three students at Canyon Ridge Middle School were recognized for the State of Texas at the American Mathematics Competition 8 (originally called the American Junior High School Mathematics Examination) which too place last month. Victor Lai (on the left) and Samiksha Mulpuri (on the right) in 6th grade were recognized on the Achievement Roll and Brendan Hollaway (in the middle) in 8th grade was recognized on the Distinguished Honor Roll for achieving in approximately the top 1%.

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Opinion

Thursday

Page 4 • December 29, 2011

Publisher’s Point of View

This New Year, I resolve to...

Four Points News www.FourPointsNews.com

Four Points of View

Do you have a New Year’s Resolution?

Many people are thinking about New Year Resolutions this week. If we voice them or not is another thing. According to a SlideShare survey, the top 5 resolutions for 2012 are:

vision, play less video games Take a trip Volunteer to help others, use civic virtue, give to charity Four Points families have the last one down for certain. This week’s issue of our • Be financially-savvy paper shows at five examples of local people • Read at least one book per month volunteering time and donating • Eat properly money to help others: Viper ath• Get enough sleep letes working with Salvation Army, • Keep a journal of awesome moa church group raising money at ments a hot cocoa stand, and a local designer volunteering on a makeover I have one friend who made the project. Additionally Concordia “reading a book a month” resoludonated scholarships to children tion a year or two ago and puts all who lost their home in the Septemof the books she has read on one LYNETTE ber fires, and Ernie Reyes World shelf as a visual reminder of her Arts donated thousands HAALAND Martial accomplishments. to the Heart of the Pines Volunteer A study in 2007 from the UniFire Department. versity of Bristol showed that 22% of those Wow! Isn’t it great to be surrounded by who set New Year resolutions succeed. In good hearted neighbors! the study, men achieved their goal 22% more Another popular resolution is staying fit. often when they set smaller, measurable One New York City woman has a resogoals like lose a pound a week instead of just lution to be more active. She is starting off saying “lose weight”. Women succeeded 10% the new year with about 5,000 others at the more when they made their goals public and 4-mile Emerald Nuts Midnight Run through Central Park in New York City. got support from their friends. Other popular goals made by many on This coming year I am resolving for the New Year’s include: first time to bump up my very comfortable Improve health: lose weight, exercise fitness regiment to prepare for the Shape more, eat better, drink less alcohol, quit Diva Dash obstacle course in April. smoking Improve finances: get out of debt, save Thanks to neighbor Ann for getting a group money together for this “wild celebration of action Improve career: get a better job and adventure, camaraderie and bonding, Improve education: improve grades, get a with more obstacles than ever!” better education, learn something new I need to convince myself to embrace the Improve self: become more organized, new idea and in a few months look out for reduce stress, be less grumpy, manage time, the Ranch Divas! build stronger relationships, watch less tele-

Letters to the Editor:

Four Points News welcomes all Letters to the Editor. All letters must be signed and include phone number for verification. Deadline is Friday before publication. Four Points News reserves the right to edit letters for clarity, length and for libelous or objectionable statements. Letters containing more than 400 words will be edited for length. Four Points News • 3129 Rippling Creek Ct. Austin, Texas 78732 • Email: lynette.fourpoints@gmail.com

7 Organizing myths that keep you stressed, stuck and crazy By KARIN FLAGG Guest Contributor For some people just the mere mention of the word “organizing” is enough to send them into a panic. There’s usually a long laundry list of reasons why they can’t go there, but actually most of those reasons are based on myths. Here are the top 7 organizing myths and the truth behind them. 1. I wasn’t born with the KARIN organizing gene. We all know those people, the ones who are super-organized and make it look so easy. What’s the difference between them and you? They’ve learned the skills that let them be organized. The good news is you can learn those skills too! 2. Getting organized takes so much time. It may seem like a waste of your time to spend it getting organized, but you’ll actually gain time. Just think how much time you waste looking for things, not to mention the stress that goes with it. Start small and set a timer for 15 minutes. Little actions lead to big results. 3. Getting organized is expensive. There are lots of items you already have around the house that can be repurposed for organizing, and if you’re creative, personalized to fit your décor. Think shoe boxes covered with wrapping paper, cutlery organizers for drawer organizers, and little plastic boxes with dividers for jewelry. 4. There is a ‘perfect’ way to organize. The only perfect way is the one that works

for you. There is no one perfect system and if you try to make yourself fit one that doesn’t match your style, you’re setting yourself up to fail. Do you like things put away in drawers and filing cabinets, or would that mean ‘out of sight, out of mind?’ Learn your style and select a plan that fits you. 5. I know exactly what’s in every pile of paper. Yes, these people will tell you they actually know what’s in every single pile. The realFLAGG ity is they spend valuable time hunting through those piles to find that one specific piece of paper. And not just, once but over and over – and over again! 6. It looks neat so it must be organized. Looks can be deceiving! You can cram lots of things in those cute little organizers and sure it may look nice. However, will you be able to remember what’s in them? Being organized is about being able to find what you want, when you want it. 7. Once I’m organized I’ll finally be able to relax. Getting organized is not a one-time event or a destination you finally arrive at then you’re done. It’s like weeding a garden or cleaning a house. If you do a little bit every day it’s easy to maintain. Leave it alone for too long and it’s as if you never did it at all. Karin Flagg is the founder of Organize With Purpose! - a professional organizing company and has a free newsletter at www.OrganizeWithPurpose.com.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from our home to yours.

Jared Graham Lockhart

John Marnack River Ridge

Bryan Clegg Steiner Ranch

Hannah Bell Steiner Ranch

Spend more time with my wife, more QT (quality time). With two boys it’s not easy.

I don’t have any. That way it’s hard to fail.

Better balance between work, family and responsibilities.

Quit procrastinating on all of my homework. I’m a sophomore at Vandegrift.

Four Points News Your Community Newspaper

PERSONNEL

Editor & Publisher...........................................................................LYNETTE HAALAND Advertising Sales Representative....................................................HOLLIE KENNEY Circulation....................................................................................................FRED FRANCO Reporter.................................................................................................LESLEE BASSMAN Creative Services..............................................................................JENNIFER ROBERTS Contributors.................................................................BRET CHAMPION, RICH KEITH

Published weekly in Four Points, Texas by Four Points News LLC. For subscription information, email inquiries to fourpointsnews.bookkeeping@gmail.com

New Year’s resolutions for every stage of your financial life

By JON FLETCHER

It’s time for that annual rite of passage into the New Year: making your resolutions. In addition to vowing to lose 10 pounds or organize your photo drawer, perhaps 2012 should be the year to focus on your finances. Regardless of your age or financial status, the following ideas might help make 2012 more financially beneficial. Twenty-Somethings: If you are fortunate enough to have school behind you and have landed a job in this challenging job market, congratulations! Now it’s time start preparing for your financial future. Once you have a plan to repay your student loans, perhaps the most important step you can take in 2012 is to start creating a cash reserve for emergencies. Some experts recommend stashing away three to six months worth of living expenses to keep you afloat in the event of a job loss, accident or any other unforeseen situation that might affect your financial security. Keep your cash reserves in liquid investments that will be readily available in case you need them. Thirty-Somethings: With all the current demands for your time and money, it’s hard to think about saving for retirement. If you haven’t started doing so already, resolve to make 2012 the year you start making contributions to your company’s retirement savings plan.

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If you can’t contribute the maximum right away, contribute at least enough to qualify for any employer matching contribution. It’s essen-

JON FLETCHER tially free money that can help you take full advantage of the savings plan. Forty-Somethings: Now that you have more at stake financially, make 2012 the year to review your insurance coverage to ensure that it reflects your current situation and your future goals. Start by asking yourself these questions: How might unexpected events impact my family’s goals? How will I provide for dependents if I’m unable to earn income or if I am gone? Fifty-Somethings: Are you feeling behind on your retirement savings? Resolving to take advantage of retirement plan catch-up contributions in 2012 can help make you feel more on track. People age 50 and older can make special contributions to their qualified and non-qualified plans over and above the regular contribution limits. With retirement just around the

corner, you can make this the year to kick your savings into high gear. Sixty Plus-Somethings: If you are retired and enjoying the fruits of your financial planning, it’s time to start thinking about your legacy and estate plan. If you’ve procrastinated doing so, 2012 can be the year to give yourself peace of mind knowing that you’ve secured your family’s future, and are ready to help the causes close to your heart. Designing a legacy consistent with your values is a personal and complex process, but well worth the effort. Before the year gets away from you, set up a family estate planning meeting to open communication, prevent conflicts and let your family know what’s important to you. Then seek professional advice from an attorney, tax professional or financial advisor to make sure your estate plan is in order. Before you close the book on 2011, take a look back at what you’ve accomplished with your money and think about what you’d like to change for next year. Your financial picture is ever evolving – and it’s never too late to make changes to help ensure many happy new years to come. Source: IRS 401(k) Resource Guide - Plan Participants Jon M. Fletcher, CRPC®, Financial Advisor, Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Advisor is registered to do business with U.S. residents only in the states of AZ, FL, MN, NV, TX, and VA.

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Food

Four Points News www.FourPointsNews.com

Thursday

December 29, 2011 • Page 5

Endive spears, Argentine chimichurri - great for entertaining Catering to many different types of parties during the holiday season can be difficult. To make it easier for you, I put together a few ideas. The first recipe is perfect for a large informal party. The endive itself is the vessel for the food so it makes for an elegant display and no plate is needed (meaning less clean up). You can mix up the ingredients that go into the endive as you wish. Endive Spears Ingredients: • 1/2 baguette – cut into ½ inch cubes • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper • 1 tbsp. fresh picked thyme • 4 anchovy fillets - mashed • 1 small garlic clove – roughly minced • 1/4 cup mayonnaise • 1-2 lemons – zest & juice • 1/4 cup grated ParmigianoReggiano (plus more for garnish) • 3 Belgian endives – larger outer leaves intact (inner leaves will be julienned) Directions: 1. Preheat the oven to 375°. In a medium bowl, toss the bread with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt, pepper and thyme. 2. Spread the bread on a parch-

ment covered sheet pan. Toast quintessential sauce that we for about 10 minutes, stirring have with almost anything that once, until golden is meat (sauand crisp. Place into sages, beef, a bowl and set aside. and empana 3. Using a blender, das). The recblend the anchovies, ipe below is garlic and a small a step by step pinch of salt. guide to make 4. Add the mayChimichurri onnaise, lemon zest, CARLOS CRUSCO so you can lemon juice and give it durblend again. You may have to ing the holidays or anytime. The clean the sides of the blender sauce can be kept refrigerated in with a spatula. a tight sealed jar for up to 4-6 5. Add remaining oil, Season weeks. with salt/pepper if needed. Stir Argentine Chimichurri in 1-2 tbsps. grated cheese. Ingredients: 6. Remove the largest leaves • Coarse sea salt & Fresh ground from the endives (about 15-20). pepper Using a sharp knife carefully • 4 garlic cloves – finely chopped cut the bottom of each endive • 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaf so it has a flat base. Thinly AND oregano – finely chopped slice remaining endives & toss • 1 tsp. crushed red- pepper w/ dressing. Season with lemon flakes juice, salt & pepper. • 1/2 tsp. each - smoked and 7. Spoon salad onto each spear sweet paprika and garnish with the croutons & • 2-3 tbsp. – Argentine spice mix Parmigiano. Enjoy! (Purchased from Chef Crusco or Next up is a gift idea that can Phoenicia Bakery) be used during the holidays or as • 1 lemon – zest from half the a hostess gift anytime. Nothing lemon only makes a gift more personal than • 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar something you’ve made. Anyone • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil can just go and buy something already made. Spending the time Directions: to make something from scratch 1. Mince the garlic, parsley shows how much you treasure and oregano very finely, and put the relationship. in a medium bowl. Chimichurri is Argentina’s 2. Add the red-pepper flakes,

paprika, the spice mix and the zest. 3. Whisk in the red-wine vinegar, then the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 4. Transfer to a jar with a tight-fitting lid, and keep in the refrigerator. 5. If possible, let the flavors mingle for at least a day or two and serve with grilled meats.

one and volunteer. She shows her love for others through cooking and baking. This fall, Carol completed her second online cookbook “Food for Thought”, a compilation of food experiences. Nestled between the pages are over 35 of

her current favorites. These recipes are all gathered from cookbooks, magazines, websites, blogs, family and friends, and they are all tested, photographed and tweaked!

month’s article will be about Mendoza - Argentina’s famous wine country! If you would like more information regarding my

recipes or my personal chef services, please visit my website at www.chefcrusco.com for contact information.

Let Our Family Take Care of Your Family • Free Estimates • Lot Clearing • Tree Trimming • Chipping/Mulching

Contact your local Steiner Ranch arborist today! Russell Crawford 512.689.2747 tlctree@hotmail.com www.happiertrees.com Crawford has worked on trees at over 1,000 Four Points homes!

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I hope you enjoy these recipes and share them with your friends at your next get together. Next

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Crème Fraîche mashed potatoes By CAROL KILLGORE Food Contributor This Paula Deen starch is one of my favorites to serve, especially with her Italian Meatloaf. It's a stick-to-yourguts dish and will keep 'em coming back for more. Ingredients: • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream • ¾ cup sour cream • 2 lbs small red potatoes • 1 tsp salt • 1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened • 2 tsp roasted garlic (jar or homemade) • 1 tsp The Lady's House Seasoning (below) • 1 tsp seasoned salt • 4 tbsp butter, slivered • ¼ cup green onions, sliced • 1 tbsp chives, chopped fresh Preparation: 1. Prepare the Crème Fraîche ahead of time by combining 1 cup of heavy cream with ½ cup sour cream. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 12-24 hours at room temperature. Stir well and refrigerate for at least 4 hours; Mix will keep up to two weeks. 2. Put the potatoes in a pot and add cold water. Add the salt and bring to a boil. 3. Cook until potatoes are tender; about 20-25 minutes; drain. 4. Preheat oven to 350° F. With an electric mixer, beat potatoes with the cream cheese and the ¼ cup sour cream and 2 tablespoons heavy

cream, the garlic, house seasoning and seasoned salt. 5. Stir in butter and onions. 6. Place the mashed potatoes in a lightly greased 2-quart round

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Community

Thursday

Page 6 • December 29, 2011

Four Points News www.FourPointsNews.com www.FourPointsNews.com

Firework safety tips Each year, thousands of people, mostly children and teens, are injured while using consumer fireworks. The result of not following safety rules and manufacturer’s recommendations is often accidental fires, devastating burn injuries, and even death. The Travis County Fire Marshal strongly recommends that families attend public fireworks displays rather than purchase fireworks for home use. Remember that it is illegal to possess and transport fireworks in the City of Austin. If celebrating with fireworks is legal in your area, and you decide to use them, follow these safety tips: Before you shoot: • DO NOT LET YOUR CHILDREN BUY FIREWORKS WITHOUT ADULT SUPERVISION • Only buy from reliable fireworks sellers • Never experiment or attempt to make your own fireworks • Find a smooth, flat surface -- away from the house and other buildings, or dry leaves and grass Be sure to have water handy in case of a malfunction or fire • ALWAYS HAVE ADULT SUPERVISION!

Some Hill Country Bible Church families braved the elements and hosted a donut, coffee, hot chocolate stand at John Simpson Park last Thurs. They raised $278 that was delivered to an area family in need on Friday.

When you're ready to shoot: • NEVER ALLOW CHILDREN TO PLAY WITH OR IGNITE FIREWORKS • Always read and follow label directions, warnings, and instructions • Be considerate of your neighbors • Only ignite fireworks outdoors, and away from houses and other buildings • Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks • Light only one firework at a time • Never try to re-light fireworks that have not fully functioned • Don’t give sparklers to small children. They can reach temperatures of 1,200 degrees. Never throw fireworks at another person, vehicle, or animal • Do not use fireworks while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. • Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers • Dispose of spent fireworks properly

SRE teachers raise $400 to benefit CASA kids Steiner Ranch Elementary teachers supported children of CASA of Travis County this holiday season by raising $400. Donations went toward providing the children with You Are Good Angel Tshirts. “Not only do these women work tirelessly to provide a great education to their students but they are thinking of those less fortunate as well,” said Jennifer Rountree, who is a special education teacher at SRE and who also volunteers at CASA.

CASA or Court Appointed Special Advocates of Travis County promotes and protects the best interest of children who have been abused or neglected. CASA trains volunteers to advocate for children in courts, schools and the community to help them find safe, permanent and loving homes. “I feel so blessed to have theses amazing women teaching my children,” Rountree said.

Steiner Ranch Elementary teachers supported children of CASA of Travis County this holiday season by raising $400. Donations went toward providing the children with You Are Good Angel T-shirts.

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CMYK

Stars of the Week

Four Points News www.FourPointsNews.com

B A S K E T B A L L

S O C C E R

S W I M M i N G

Clive Muka-

Sophomore

Elise Patterson -

Senior

Favorite part about being involved in Viper Swimming and Dive: After a swim workout it is like being on cloud nine! It’s AWESOME.

Mexican Cuisine Open everyday 11am - 9pm, Sat. & Fri. until 10pm

512.372.9700 Located in the Shops at Riverplace

Ernie Reyes World Martial Arts

Natasha Desai -

Junior

Regan Williams -

Senior

Favorite part about being involved in Viper Basketball: I love that we work hard together as a team to win a tough game.

Favorite part about being involved in Viper Soccer: I really love the overnight tournaments.

Favorite part about being involved in Viper Soccer: I love the team, the guys are great and the coaching staff is superb. I hope we do very well in the approaching season!

El Señor

December 29, 2011 • Page 7

Junior

Favorite part about being involved in Viper Basketball: Basketball has changed my life in a positive way. It is also easy to be passionate about basketball.

Jack Evans -

Thursday

KevinRutkowski -

W R E S T L I N G

Favorite part about being involved in Viper Wrestling: I like wrestling because its an individual sport. Even though you practice with others, your matches are all dependent on you and how hard you’ve worked during practice. If you ain’t 1st your last!

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Vista Ridge beat the Lady Vipers 44-17 Boys Basketball: 65 Vandegrift 46 Vista Ridge The Vandegrift Lady Vipers traveled to Vista Ridge, taking on the Rangers before the Christmas holiday. The game began as a defensive battle; however Vista Ridge prevailed beating the Lady Vipers 44-17.

During the Dec. 20 Vandegrift vs Vista Ridge game, the Vipers were neck and neck until the end of the 3rd quarter and then broke away in the 4th quarter. The final score was 65 Vandegrift 46 Vista Ridge.

Above: Natasha Desai (#5, junior) with executing the reverse layup perfectly against the Ranger defense Right: Jasmine Mobley (#13, senior) taking the tip off for the Lady Vipers Below: Sophia Duffield (#3, junior) defending against Vista Ridge Photos by: John Lichtenberger

Jim Parker, from Jim Parker Photography.

Scott W. Coleman, Hill Country News

Scott W. Coleman, Hill Country News


Page 8 • Four Points News, Thursday, December 29, 2011

CMYK Ernie Reyes World Martial Arts Kick-a-thon raised $7,000 The Ernie Reyes World Martial Arts Kick-a-thon held in Steiner Ranch weeks ago raised $7,000 for the Heart of the Pines Volunteer Fire Department. Chief Nathan Decker and his wife Teresa Murphy from Heart of the Pines received the donation recently. "As a student body, we did 41,000 kicks in 90 minutes, raising $7000 for the department! We learned that of the 24 volunteer firefighters, 14 lost their homes in the Bastrop fires. We were humbled and delighted to make our donation," said Cindy Villanueva-Allen, owner of the local studio.

Leadership and service to others is a huge part of our curriculum - it's not just about kicking and punching. Being a well-rounded martial artist means thinking about and acting on behalf of others, and this was a wonderful opportunity for our students to help our neighbors in a big way, Villanueva-Allen said. In addition to the presentation to the Heart of the Pines Volunteer Fire Department, the Steiner Ranch Ernie Reyes studio graduated four first-degree black belts: Jakob Tan, Ryan Kamp, Lauren Kamp, and Arthur Li.


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