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Willowlake

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October 2011

Volume 8, Issue 10

The Official Publication of the Willowlake Homeowners Association WILLOWLAKE ANNUAL

HOA MEETING OCTOBER 27TH

Attention Willowlake Residents! Just a reminder that the Willowlake Annual Homeowners’ Association Meeting will be held Thursday, October 27, 2011, 7:00PM at the Church of the Nazarene located at 10001 Sam Houston Parkway. There are (2) board positions up for election this year. If you have someone that you would like to nominate to serve on the board for a three year term, please contact Annette Rathgeber, (annette_mg@yahoo.com) or Nancy Kapell, (nancykapell@yahoo.com). As a Homeowners’ Association, we are required to hold an annual meeting with at least 10% of our residents present. It is very important for you to either attend the meeting or send in your proxy so that your vote gets counted. If we do not have enough proxies/residents at the meeting, we will have to hold another one and spend the money to mail out additional notices and proxies to everyone. So please, be a responsible resident and either send in your proxy or attend the meeting so that you know how your dues are spent and can voice your opinion! -The Willowlake Board of Directors WILLOWLAKE TO

HONOR VETERANS IN NOVEMBER NEWSLETTER

For Veterans Day 2011, if you are an active or retired veteran living in Willowlake, we would like to honor you by listing your name, rank and service in the Willowlake November newsletter. The deadline for this information is October 5th, 2011. Please contact Linda at mommyma1422@sbcglobal. net if you would like to be recognized for your service to our country in this way. By Linda O’Pry, Newsletter Editor Copyright © 2011 Peel, Inc.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR Sept. 30................................................... Pool Closed Oct. 4............................... Texas National Night Out Oct. 5......................................Waste/Recycle Pickup Oct. 10.............................................. Columbus Day Oct. 12....................................Waste/Recycle Pickup Oct. 19....................................Waste/Recycle Pickup Oct. 20...............................................Board Meeting Oct. 26....................................Waste/Recycle Pickup Oct. 27............................. W. Annual HOA Meeting Oct. 31..........................................Happy Halloween Nov. 6............................Daylight Savings Time Ends Nov. 8....................................................Election Day Nov. 11................................................. Veterans Day

Halloween Kids’ Corner What happened to the guy who didn’t pay his exorcist? Answer: He was repossessed. Boogieman: Guy who passes time at a stoplight picking his nose. Invisible man: What a guy becomes when there’s housework to be done. Also, see “Mr. Hyde.”

HALLOWEEN IS COMING…

DRIVE SLOWLY OCTOBER 31 Please drive slowly and watch out for “TRICK-or-TREATERS” on Monday, October 31st!! Willowlake Watch - October 2011

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Willowlake IMPORTANT NUMBERS All Emergencies................................................................911 Bratton Pools................................................... 281-988-7700 Cypress-Fairbanks Hospital............................. 281-897-3300 Harris County Sheriff...................................... 713-221-6000 Department of Public Safety........................... 281-890-5440 Fire Department (non-emergency).................. 713-466-6161 Center Point Energy - Power Outages Only.... 713-207-2222 Center Point Energy - Gas............................... 713-659-2111 Harris County Animal Control....................... 281-999-3191 Memorial City Hospital.................................. 713-932-3000 MUD #11....................................................... 281-807-9500 Poison Control Center.................................... 800-222-1222 Willowplace Post Office................................. 281-890-2392 Harris County Road & Bridge........................ 281-353-8424 VF Waste Services, Inc.................................... 713-787-9790 Harris Co. Public Health & Environ. Svcs...... 713-920-2831

MANAGEMENT INFO Your Randall Management, Inc. Team............. 713-728-1126 Association Manager Jane Godwin....... jgodwin@randallmanagement.com, ext. 11 Assistant Manager Janet Bonura........jbonura@randallmanagement.com, ext. 17 Deed Restriction Coordinator Lucy Mora................deed@randallmanagement.com, ext. 18 Accounting Contacts Janeth Flores. collections2@randallmanagement.com, ext. 25 Lily Flores collections@randallmanagement.com, ext. 22 Answering Service: 713-850-4729 - After Business Hours (For Emergencies) For information on your homeowner’s assessments, deed restriction violations or questions in general please contact:Randall Management, Inc. 6200 Savoy, Suite 420, Houston, TX 77036 Phone: 713-728-1126 Fax: 713-728-5015 www.rqsmith@randallmanagement.com

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

2011 COMMITTEES Architectural Control Committee Mark Lackey........................................ markl@comcast.net Social Events...............................................................OPEN Newsletter Linda O’Pry.......................mommyma1422@sbcglobal.net Yard of the Month .............................................................................. OPEN Security Chairman Mark Hubenak........................mhubenak001@comcast.net Block Captains James Deitiker...................................deitikerj@yahoo.com Gazebo Rental - Randall Management............ 713-728-1126 Pool Chairman Lynn Piwonski................................LMP4040@yahoo.com Park Chairman Diego Lamacchia.........................dlamacchia@hotmail.com

NOT ABILABLE ONLINE

President - Annette Rathgeber...............annette_mg@yahoo.com V. President - Debi Bon........................... debibon@sbcglobal.net Treasurer - Stacey Ward............................w.stacey@sbcglobal.net Secretary - Daniel Flores........................dsflores10@sbcglobal.net Director - Nancy Kapell....................... .nancykapell@yahoo.com

NEWSLETTER INFO Newsletter Publisher Peel, Inc.......................................................... 888-687-6444 Sales Office........advertising@PEELinc.com, 888-687-6444 2

Willowlake Watch - October 2011

Copyright © 2011 Peel, Inc.


“I WONDER WHY?” I wonder why Willowlake doesn’t have an annual garage sale like other communities? Answer: Because this would require a little planning/organization from a volunteer and no one has come forth. I wonder why new homeowners aren’t greeted by a committee and with a small token gift? Answer: Because we don’t have a volunteer for a ‘Welcoming Committee.’ I wonder why we didn’t see any award sign displayed this summer for Yard of the Month? Answer: Because we haven’t had a ‘Yard of the Month Committee’ chairperson since last March. Without a volunteer(s) for this committee, there can be no holiday decorations winners in December as well (bummer.) I wonder why we didn’t have an Easter party earlier this year, 4th of July party or pool party this summer? Answer: Because we don’t have a ‘Social Events Committee’ chairperson to organize such parties. Without social events volunteers there can be no Halloween or Christmas party later this year as well. I wonder why every street in our subdivision doesn’t have a block captain? Answer: Because only 6 out of 22 streets in Willowlake have residents volunteering in the ‘Block Captain Committee.’ As of August of this year, we now have a new block captain chairperson and that’s good news for all of us. I have lived in Willowlake for twelve years and I know many of you can remember, as I do, lots of fun parties for kids as well as adults that we used to enjoy; a time when ALL the committees had a chairperson and life was good. Remember the event when we had a band play for us at the gazebos and how much we loved that? It can be that way again, but only with volunteers. It isn’t fair that the same volunteers utilize their time and efforts while others sit back and do nothing. I ask, “Whatever happened to the spirit we once had for our community?” I know many of our residents work and have families to care for, but volunteering for a committee doesn’t mean that one must do it every year, and in fact once would be great. And the parties can be big or very small, whatever you choose. Without volunteers, 2012 looks to be about the same as 2011 when it comes to committees. I think we can do better than that, don’t you? A community is only as strong as its volunteers. Won’t you ‘please’ consider chairing one of our OPEN committees perhaps for one event only? Contact any board member if you are interested in chairing or assisting in any way one of the committees above. And for all of you who presently volunteer, a BIG, BIG THANK YOU goes out to you! By Linda O’Pry, Newsletter Editor

Copyright © 2011 Peel, Inc.

Willowlake A FEW REMINDERS • The pool closed Sept. 30. Please keep your pool cards, as they will be used next year. • Join your neighbors for National Night Out Tuesday, October 4, 2011. • The Willowlake Annual HOA Meeting will be held Thursday, October 27, 2011, 7PM located at the Church of the Nazarene. • We have a new Block Captain Chairperson, James Deitiker. Please contact him if you are interested in becoming a block captain of your street or for information. • The Willowlake Trash Survey Results were printed in the September newsletter. The majority vote was to keep the once-a-week trash pickup. • Unfortunately, there will be no Halloween party, Christmas party or holiday decorations awards in Willowlake this year unless residents volunteer for these committees. • Daylight Savings Time ends on Nov. 6th. By Linda O’Pry, Newsletter Editor

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Willowlake

PROPER ETIQUETTE FOR RUNNERS/WALKERS

In the interest of promoting an enjoyable running/walking experience for everyone, we encourage good runners/walkers etiquette. Whether running or walking in a group or alone, always follow the following safety guidelines. And remember, whatever the pace, manners matter.

• Alert pedestrians when you are passing them - don’t assume they are aware of their surroundings. A simple “on your left” warning will suffice.

RULES OF THE ROAD & TRAILS

• It is never polite to walk very quickly to pass another person only to stop directly in front of them leaving no time/opportunity for them to avoid collision.

• Run against traffic if running on the road. If running on the sidewalk or multi-use trails, travel on the right and pass on the left. • Never run more than two abreast if you are running in a group and when approached by a single pedestrian, it is proper for the 2 people to provide enough room for the other pedestrian to pass without having to walk off the sidewalk into the grass or mud. Don’t be a road or trail hog. • Don’t run down the middle of the road or trail. • If you are running an out-and-back route, don’t just make a sudden u-turn at your turn around point. Stop, step to the right to allow oncoming traffic the opportunity to pass. Ensure the road or trail is clear of oncoming traffic (runners, in-line skaters, etc.), then make your u-turn. Making a sudden u-turn without looking over your shoulder is a good way to get hit.

• If you’re wearing headphones, keep the volume low enough so that you can hear someone as they come past.

• If you are going to spit (or do something similar) make sure you have enough distance between you and the person behind or next to you. It’s never fun to have to dodge someone’s spit, or even worse, be hit by it, yuk. • It is also not correct to use a baby’s buggy to push other pedestrians off the sidewalk/pavement. • Do not let your children run free on our trails without close supervision.

Leaping onto strangers far ahead of their parents, children can leave their muddy hand prints on shirts and shorts before happily running off. This rule applies to dogs as well. • Be alert on blind curves. • Stop at stop signs and ensure oncoming traffic yields to you before proceeding across a road. Don’t assume cars will stop if you are entering a cross walk. • Respect private property along your route. Don’t relieve yourself in the neighbor’s bushes (for more reasons than one.) • Don’t litter. If you can’t find a trash can, carry your trash home. • If you are walking your dog on streets or trails, by law, they must be on a leash. • It is good manners to keep your dog close and switch him to your side opposite another walker. • Clean up after your dog by bagging the poo and properly disposing of it in a trash can. • Keep your dog on the trails and off of private property. Dogs can be destructive. Keep them off private lawns and gardens. Submitted by Linda O’Pry, Newsletter Editor

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Willowlake Watch - October 2011

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1-888-687-6444 ext 23 ryan@PEELinc.com Copyright © 2011 Peel, Inc.


DEED RESTRICTIONS: "WHAT ARE THEY FOR?"

Property values are impacted by the price one individual is willing to pay for a property and the price the other individual is willing to accept for that property. When you are purchasing a home, you look for items that will impact the value of the home such as the homes next door, the homes in the neighborhood, unleashed pets roaming the neighborhood, the general street appeal and that of the subdivision entrances, and the neighborhood parks and recreational facilities. All of these items have a significant impact on the value of your home. These should be areas of concern for you and your family. All of these items tell you something about the level of pride the homeowners and the HOA have for their homes and neighborhood. They give you an indication if the homeowners are conscientious of the upkeep and appeal of their home. It also tells you if the HOA is doing their part in keeping the common areas attractive. Ignore these signs? I should say not! We as homeowners must protect what is likely the biggest investment of our lives – our homes. There are a number of methods that local jurisdictions use to maintain property values. One method used by some cities and townships is zoning. Another method used by various governmental jurisdictions may be local ordinances, or in the case of our subdivision, the use of Deed Restrictions. When many of the subdivisions were developed in the Houston and surrounding areas, deed restrictions were created and implemented for the explicit benefit of providing direction in the use of a property along with a mechanism for providing architectural controls. When you purchase property in a deed restricted subdivision, you enter into a contract and agree to acknowledge and perform in accordance to the contents of the deed restrictions. Typically, nothing within the restrictions is excessively unreasonable. Neighborhoods and communities are generally designed with concerns for animal controls, storage of vehicles or boats in public view, architectural controls, the exterior maintenance of your property to include the yard and general landscape, protection for the potential change of lot contours which may impact drainage, and generally just basic guidelines aimed at keeping the neighborhood looking consistent and attractive. You have made a major commitment in the purchase of your home and so have the people around you. Someday you will likely be in a position where you will want to sell your home – you may be upgrading, downgrading or moving with your job. Your neighbors will also likely sell their home at some point as well. If you choose not to maintain your property, not to routinely paint or maintain your home, not to mow, edge and weed your plant beds, not to store your boats, trailers or other vehicles within a garage or storage facility, not to conform to the requirements for architectural application and review and not to pay your annual maintenance fees when due ... you may be very disappointed in the perceived value your potential buyer has for your home. If we all follow the guidelines of our deed restrictions, our home values will be maintained, or hopefully increase, and none of us should experience the disappointment of our life’s biggest investment losing value. Copyright © 2011 Peel, Inc.

Willowlake At no time will any source be allowed to use the Willowlake contents, or loan said contents, to others in anyway, shape or form, nor in any media, website, print, film, e-mail, electrostatic copy, fax, or etc. for the purpose of solicitation, commercial use, or any use for profit, political campaigns, or other self amplification, under penalty of law without written or expressed permission from the Willowlake Homeowners Association and Peel, Inc. The information in the Willowlake Watch is exclusively for the private use of Willowlake residents only. DISCLAIMER: Articles and ads in this newsletter express the opinions of their authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Peel, Inc. or its employees. Peel, Inc. is not responsible for the accuracy of any facts stated in articles submitted by others. The publisher also assumes no responsibility for the advertising content with this publication. All warranties and representations made in the advertising content are solely that of the advertiser and any such claims regarding its content should be taken up with the advertiser. * The publisher assumes no liability with regard to its advertisers for misprints or failure to place advertising in this publication except for the actual cost of such advertising. * Although every effort is taken to avoid mistakes and/or misprints, the publisher assumes no responsibility for any errors of information or typographical mistakes, except as limited to the cost of advertising as stated above or in the case of misinformation, a printed retraction/correction. * Under no circumstances shall the publisher be held liable for incidental or consequential damages, inconvenience, loss of business or services, or any other liabilities from failure to publish, or from failure to publish in a timely manner, except as limited to liabilities stated above.

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Willowlake SOLICITATION INFORMATIONAL ARTICLE This article is being presented as an informational article regarding the issue of Solicitation. Solicitation is not a new issue for any community. Several residents have voiced concerns regarding solicitation and the ability of the Association to enforce “No Soliciting” within the community. Many of you have probably noticed that a number of organizations including school groups, girl scouts, boy scouts, sport leagues, etc. all recognize communities as their best resource for fundraising opportunities. The same consideration applies to many for profit organizations. Communities become recognized for their responsiveness to these solicitors and as a result, year after year sales representatives for both non-profit and for profit organizations return to the neighborhoods providing the best results last recorded. Door to door solicitation is not illegal. Streets and public right of ways are owned and controlled by the County and

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Willowlake Watch - October 2011

or the respective controlling jurisdiction. According to advice received from officers of the law is that solicitors are protected under the Constitution of the United States. The only enforcement powers provided under the law is the right to remove a solicitor after they refuse to leave your private property. It is not considered a breach of the law for an individual to enter upon your property and request your consideration for the purchase of anything from cookies to vacuum cleaners. The united effort of the community should be to clearly communicate that solicitation in the neighborhood is undesired and will not be supported. This action speaks louder than any words on a sign that can be printed. If you witness solicitation in our neighborhood, please share with the solicitor that their presence is undesired in Willowlake. If the solicitation continues, contact the Sheriff’s office and they will share your desire to not be solicited to with the solicitor.

Copyright © 2011 Peel, Inc.


GET A NEW ‘LEASH’ ON LIFE By: Katie Hiett

Anyone who has ever been confronted by a stray or loose dog knows how unsettling it can be. There are many questions that run through your mind in a split second. Is that dog friendly? Will he leave me alone or chase after me? Will he approach my dog? Do I turn and walk away or cross the street? I have been teaching dogs and their owners for over 10 years in the Cypress area, and I consistently have residents who are concerned to walk around their own neighborhood in fear of loose dogs. Leashing your dog is a helpful way to make your community a better place to live. Simple, yes, but it can have a lasting impact with the people that share the common space around you. But it is not a practice that all people feel comfortable doing. Here are 5 reasons to keep your pet on a leash around the neighborhood: For the safety and well-being of others. Believe it or not, some people do not feel comfortable around dogs. If they are taking a bike ride, playing at the park or using the trails, it can be startling to have a loose dog approach them. It may elicit a negative response from the person who believes they are being ‘attacked.’ Children can especially become fearful of strange dogs, and can injure themselves trying to escape. I have seen friendly dogs get kicked, hit in the head with sticks and sprayed with mace for running up to and/or jumping on a stranger to say hello. Not only does it traumatize the person involved, but it can have lasting negative impacts on a dog that was just excited to see another person. Not all dogs are friendly. Many times, people feel that if their dog is friendly, that everyone must have a friendly dog. Keep in mind that reactive and fearful dogs must have walks too! Not all dogs feel comfortable with other dogs they meet, and can react defensively when approached by a strange dog. We can keep our dogs safe by making sure they only approach other dogs that are happy to interact and play. It will also help your neighbor, who may be trying to make their dog feel more comfortable around other dogs by keeping a distance. Quality of life. I have heard the excuse many times from people that feel their dogs will not receive a fulfilling walk if they are not allowed to explore and run free. It is very true that dogs need to explore. It promotes great mental stimulation and is highly encouraged. Fortunately, dogs can receive this stimulation on a 6 foot leash! By stopping periodically to allow a dog to ‘check out’ a smell, you are allowing them to exercise their nose and mind. It also becomes a perfect reward for good behavior (i.e. no pulling) on leash! Why waste such a valuable training opportunity? It’s the law. Plain and simple. Harris County leash law mandates that “All dogs and cats must be kept under restraint while in the unincorporated areas of Harris County, Texas, “The custodian of a dog or cat is not authorized to have, harbor or keep any unlicensed dog or cat, nor to allow any dog or cat to become a stray” (see entire ordinance at www. houstontx.gov/barc.) This is not to say that your dog can never run free again! There are many places around Houston that allow dogs to play and interact in a safe environment. Dog parks are a great place for dogs to unleash their energy (keep in mind that all dog parks have rules, but most are not regulated. It is up to the community to keep them clean and safe.) Visit www.houstondogpark.org for more details, and to help them lobby for a dog park in Cypress! Doggie Daycare is also an excellent way to allow dogs to safely interact with qualified staff that has temperament tested all the dogs in their program. Not only will your dog have fun, but they will be tired when you pick them up after work! By letting your dog run free in safe areas, and leashing them around the community, you will ensure their protection while allowing them to have a fulfilled life! Copyright © 2011 Peel, Inc.

Willowlake

WORDS WE NEED PINKLE (VERB) to decorate the room of a small girl INTERRUPPETY (ADJECTIVE)

descriptive of a tendency to call others at work too often

WHAT ABOUT TINTED CAR WINDOWS? Question: Do dark tinted windows make a car absorb more heat? Or do they keep the interior cooler? Answer: If heat is your only concern, the darker the tint the better---but you may not be able to drive your really cool car on public roads. Window tinting is heavily regulated, mostly for safety reasons, and officers may be carrying tint meters. Tint laws vary from place to place, but they target issues such as darkness, reflectivity, and the location of the tinted glass on the vehicle. For more information go to www.txdps.state.tx.us

RIDDLE A man worked at a high security institution. The man tried to log in to his computer and the computer denied the password. He then remembered that the passwords to the computer were reset every month for security reasons. He called his boss for his new password. The man said, “Boss, my old password is out of date.” The boss said, “Yes, it is. The new password is different, but if you listen closely you will be able to figure out the new one. Your new password has the same amount of letters as the old one, and four of the letters are the same.” The man then logged in to his computer with no trouble. What was the new password? What was his old? ANSWER The man’s old password was “out of date.” His new password was “different.” Willowlake Watch - October 2011

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Willowlake

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Willowlake Watch - October 2011

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Willowlake - October 2011