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The Beacon

Issue 2, Volume 10

October 2011

IN THIS ISSUE: National Night Out...................... 2 New Addition to the Rivermist Park............................... 3 Nominate Your Neighbors for the Yard of the Month......................... 3 Nominate Your Neighbor for the "Good Neighbor" Award............... 3

National Night Out:

A History of America's Night Out Against Crime “The National Association of Town Watch (NATW) is a nonprofit, crime prevention organization that works in cooperation with thousands of crime watch groups and law enforcement agencies throughout the country. Since 1981, NATW has been dedicated to the development, growth and maintenance of organized crime and drug prevention programs nationwide. NATW's network has grown to include over 6,000 crime, drug and violence prevention organizations.” “National Night Out, 'America's Night Out Against Crime,' was introduced by the Association in 1983. The program was the brainchild of NATW Executive Director Matt A. Peskin. In an effort to heighten Copyright © 2011 Peel, Inc.

awareness and strengthen participation in local anticrime efforts, Peskin felt that a highprofile, high-impact type of crime prevention event was needed nationally. At that time, he noted that in a typical 'crime watch community', only 5 to 7% of the residents were participating actively. Due to the growth and success of these programs, he felt this percentage was too low. Subsequently, he proposed a national program that would be coordinated by local crime prevention agencies and organizations - but that would involve entire communities at one time. The first National Night Out was introduced early in 1983 - with the event culminating on the first Tuesday in August.” (Continued on Page 2)

Check us out on the Web.............. 3 Texas Venoumous Snakes.............. 4 Immunizations: Not Just for Kids.. 5 September Yard of the Month Winners........................................ 6 Congrats to Our New Board of Directors................ 6

The Beacon - October 2011


The Beacon

NATIONAL NIGHT OUT 2011 Tuesday, October 4, 2011

National Night Out, sponsored by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF TOWN WATCH, is a neighborhood crime and drug prevention event that occurs annually and is celebrated in every city, town and village in the US. In addition to increasing awareness of crime and drug prevention programs, NNO also strengthens neighborhood spirit and community-police partnerships, while sending a message to criminals that "neighborhoods are organized and fighting back against crime!" Show your neighborhood pride. Meet up with your neighbors on October 4th between 7pm and 9pm and go for a walk around the neighborhood. Let’s see how many people Rivermist can put on the streets for a good cause!! Remember safety first… If you plan to walk after dark, wear reflective clothing or carry a flashlight. San Antonio has always had strong and enthusiastic support for and participation in NNO, and won national NNO Awards in 1998, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2009 and in 2010.


The Beacon - October 2011

National Night Out- (Cont. from Cover) “That first year, 400 communities in 23 states participated in National Night Out. Nationwide, 2.5 million Americans took part in 1984. The seed had been planted. In subsequent years, participation has grown steadily. The 19th Annual National Night Out on August 6, 2002 involved 33 million people in 9,700 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities, and military bases worldwide. National Night Out 2003 culminated on August 5th.” “While the traditional 'lights on' and front porch vigils remain a part of NNO, activities have expanded considerably over the years to include block parties, cookouts, parades, visits from police, festivals, neighborhood walks, safety fairs, contests, rallies and meetings.” “Peskin said, "It's a wonderful opportunity for communities nationwide to promote police-community partnerships, crime prevention, and neighborhood camaraderie. While the one night is certainly not an answer to crime, drugs and violence, National Night Out does represent the kind of spirit, energy and determination that is helping to make many neighborhoods safer places throughout the year. It [NNO] is a night to celebrate crime prevention successes - and to expand and strengthen programs for the next 364 days." NATIONAL NIGHT OUT HISTORY In 1983, the National Association for Town Watch, sponsor of National Night Out, was first subsidized by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance. The goal was to encourage interest in the formation of Neighborhood Watch groups that would involve citizens at the national, state, and local levels. The program began slowly, but in the late ‘80s, reports were developed to summarize the events before, on, and after each National Night Out. Through these reports, the National Night Out Against Crime and Drug Abuse documented the success

of this interaction between citizens and law enforcement officials. The National Association for Town Watch gives awards to states, cities, counties, and neighborhoods based on these reports. Several categories are established using population brackets as the differentiating factor. Since 1995, Texas has won every year. Connecticut won the first state award in 1990. Then Connecticut won the next two awards before Michigan claimed the ‘93 title. Colorado won in ‘94. HISTORY IN TEXAS Tyler held the first National Night Out in the State of Texas in 1982. Corpus Christi has been an award winner since 1983. The Woodlands, San Antonio, and Houston/ Harris County have all been ranked number one in their respective population categories at least once since 1994. The following Texas communities have ranked in the top 10 in their categories since 1994: The Woodlands (7), San Antonio (2008 2nd place, 2007 3rd place, 2006 1st place, 2005 3rd place, 2004 2nd place, 2003 1st place, 2002 5th place, 2001 3rd place, and 2000 6th place), Houston/Harris County (6), Richardson (5), Arlington (2), Central Texas (2), Travis County (2), and Coppell (1). The Texas National Night Out trophies are on display in the trophy room of the Sheriffs' Association, 1601 S. IH 35, Austin. The Texas sheriffs invite everyone to stop in to see what neighbors and law enforcement professionals working together have earned. For information about Texas' NNO 2009, contact Mike Clowdus, Chairman of the Texas NNO Coordinating Committee at or call him at (512) 670-5512. Or you can call Bill Rudd of the Dallas Police Department at (817) 994-5512. His e-mail address is To learn more about the national program, check the Web site at www. or write NATW, P.O. Box 303, Wynnewood PA 19096 or call (610) 649-7055.

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New Addition To The Rivermist Park!!

If you haven’t driven down Rock Mist lately, swing on by and take a look at the new additions to our neighborhood park. The Board of Directors is proud to announce the installation of a new set of swings as well as additional benches. These additions are part of the Board’s long-term plan to enrich our community. We would like to thank all of you that submitted ideas for neighborhood improvements. We are still brainstorming and budgeting to add more improvements next year.

The Beacon Nominate Your Neighbors for the Yard of the Month!!!

If you see a great yard on your street and think it deserves recognition in the Rivermist Beacon, email the Board of Directors and let us know. You can reach us by sending a short note to: .

Nominate Your Neighbor For The “Good Neighbor” Award!!! New Swing

New Park Benches

If you catch your neighbor doing something wonderful and think it deserves recognition in the Rivermist Beacon, email the Board of Directors and let us know. You can reach us by sending a short note to: hoa.bod@ .

Check us out on the web at

Our community website is a treasure trove of information regarding community events. Regular updates are posted regarding the retaining wall repairs as well as other useful information. You can sign up to receive the electronic newsletter, email updates andalerts that are sent out by our talented webmaster. You can also now find us on Facebook. Just go on Facebook and type “Rivermist Homeowners Association” in the search box. Sincerely, Your Board of Directors Copyright © 2011 Peel, Inc.

The Beacon - October 2011


The Beacon Texas Venomous Snakes Safety First This article provides simple and timely safety and firstaid information about the venomous snakes found in Texas. It is important to remember that not every snake is venomous, and while the very mention of the word often sends chills up the spines of many humans, snakes do have an important role in our Texas ecosystem. Their contribution can hardly be overstated. Equally important is an understanding that envenomation is a defensive mechanism for the snake, as they do not sit in the grass waiting for the unfortunate human to come by. Nor do they pursue or hunt humans. Bites are almost always a result of the snake being surprised or cornered, or being handled.

The state of Texas is home to 15 potentially dangerous venomous snake species or subspecies.

Keep storage areas and livestock sheds/ barns as neat as possible. Treat tools and materials stored on the floor as possible snake shelters.

Despite this, each year there have been more deaths in Texas attributed to lightning than to venomous snakebites. This is due, in part, to the public’s increasing awareness of snakes around us, improved firstaid and medical practices, and excellent educational and outreach efforts by herpetologists and snake enthusiasts across the state.More information on each of these species can be found in many excellent books, including Andy Price’s Poisonous Snakes of Texas.

Treat overturned boats, tarps and similar objects as potential shelter for transient snakes moving through the area.

Remember that snakes are adept at finding their way through small openings. Keep this in mind when entering crawl spaces, garages, basements and similar areas.

SAFETY AROUND THE HOME As our population continues to grow and people continue to move into “pristine” and “untouched” areas, encounters with venomous snakes are going to occur. Many of these encounters happen around the home, with the result that incidents of bites close to home are statistically high. Snakes in general are found around a home for the specific purpose of seeking food and shelter. Keeping these things in mind provides us with guidelines to help prevent snakebites: •


Keep wood piles, brush piles, trash dumps and livestock pens as far as possible from the residence. Exercise caution when working in these areas. Never put an arm or leg into something if you cannot see the bottom. The Beacon - October 2011

Wear protective clothing if working in areas where you suspect snakes are nearby. Heavy footwear, snakeproof trousers and/or leggings will help reduce your risk.

Freeze when snakes are known to be nearby until you know where they are. Allow the snake to retreat. If you must move, back slowly andcarefully away from the snake.

First aid for snake bites can prevent disability, disfigurement or death if it is applied effectively and efficiently.

SAFETY IN THE FIELD Since venomous snakes are more common in the rural areas of Texas, it is important for ranchers, hunters, rural residents, outdoor enthusiasts, and others who frequent these areas to exercise caution. •

Be careful where you put your hands and feet. Don’t reach or step until you see the bottom.

Never step over a log without first seeing what is on the other side. If you must move a log, use a long stick or garden tool first, to ensure snakes are neither on, under or around these favored places.

Use a flashlight when moving about, even in your yard at night.

Animal burrows make excellent habitat for snakes. Don’t reach in without checking first.

FIRST AID Recommendations have changed drastically over the years, and staying informed on effective first aid should be a priority of everyone working in snake habitat. A good firstaid course from a qualified instructor should be sought. •

Assume envenomation has occurred even before symptoms appear.

Identify the species of venomous snake with care. This could help with the medical treatment but will complicate the situation if there is more than one victim. If you cannot identify the snake, don’t pursue it. (Continued on Page 5) Copyright © 2011 Peel, Inc

The Beacon Texas Venomous Snakes- (Cont. from Page 4) • Keep the victim as calm as possible. Keep yourself calm as well. •

Know and treat for any symptoms of shock – elevate feet, loosen clothing, etc.Wash the bite area with disinfectant soap.

Remove constricting clothing or jewelry in the bite area. Prevent movement of the bitten extremity. Splint it, if necessary.

Seek medical attention as soon as possible.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you cut between the punctures, suck the venom out or apply electric shock!

FOR MORE INFORMATION Excellent, current information on Texas snakes and particularly the venomous snakes, can be found in a number of books. Some suggested reading includes: Price, Andrew H. (1998) Poisonous Snakes of Texas. Texas Parks and Wildlife Press, Austin.

Immunizations: Not Just for Kids By- Concentra Urgent Care

Although most toddlers in the United States have received all recommended vaccines, many adults and adolescents have not. These missed vaccinations increase their risk for infection, hospitalization, death, and disease spread, and they contribute to the estimated $10 billion that is spent annually on vaccine preventable diseases in the United States. Evidence shows that currently approved vaccines are safe and effective. However, coverage rates for persons of all ages vary nationwide. Reasons cited include lack of health insurance, unfamiliarity with vaccine recommendations, limited access at physicians’ offices, or the perceived cost of vaccines. What you need to know is that obtaining recommended vaccines in a timely manner can prevent disease. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends the following immunization schedule for generally healthy adults and adolescents: VACCINE


Tennant, Alan. (1998) A Field Guide to Texas Snakes. Second Edition. Gulf Publishing Company, Houston.


Yearly, especially if at risk


One dose, age 11-12 or 13-18 if not previously immunized

Werler, Jon E. and James R. Dixon. (2000) Texas Snakes: Identification, Distribution, and Natural History. University of Texas Press, Austin.


One dose, age 11-12, then booster


every 10 years

Human Papilloma Virus:

(Females only) Three doses, age 11-26

Measles - Mumps - Rubella:

If born after 1956, one or two doses if never immunized up to age 65


One dose, at or after age 65

Varicella (chicken pox):

Two doses if no prior infection or immunization received

Zoster (shingles):

One dose, at or after age 60

4200 Smith School Road Austin, Texas 78744 (800) 7921112 © 2009 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department PWD BR W7000693 (3/09)

* Specific recommendations for individuals may vary depending on age, prior immunization history and the presence of other existing conditions; please see the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Web site at: schedules/default.htm. For more information about immunizations and where to get them, contact your health care provider, your Concentra health specialist, or visit the CDC’s Web Site at:

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The Beacon - October 2011


The Beacon

Congratulations September Yard of the Month Winners

Back Yard George and Juanita Ward at 10731 Rivera Cove

James and Cynthia Hembree at 11803 Ranchwell Cove

Christopher and Angela Bailey at 11031 Falling Water

Congrats to Our New Board of Directors Charles Hasberry Jr. - President/Newsletter Editor

Rudy Cervera - Vice President

Debora Estes - Vice President

Michael Southworth - Treasurer

Jeff Wells - Advisory Member


The Beacon - October 2011

Copyright Š 2011 Peel, Inc

Rivermist - October 2011  
Rivermist - October 2011  

October 2011 edition of the Rivermist newsletter