Volume 3, Issue 9
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 awareness and strengthen participation in local anticrime efforts, Peskin felt that a high-profile, 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.” “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, Copyright © 2012 Peel, Inc.
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 (Continued on Page 2) The Beacon - September 2012
The Beacon National Night Out- (Cont. from Cover) 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 John.Rudd@fortworthgov.org. To learn more about the national program, check the Web site at www.nationaltownwatch.org or write NATW, P.O. Box 303, Wynnewood PA 19096 or call (610) 649-7055.
HOA Dues It is extremely important to the community for all homeowners to pay their dues in a timely manner. Your assessment fees pay for all operating costs of the association and for the maintenance and improvements of all HOA property. This includes water, electricity, landscaping, repairs, amenity center operation and maintenance, etc. The fees also pay for insurance necessary to protect the HOA and its members, as well as the administrative, management and accounting expenses associated with running the homeowners association. In order to have the community maintained in a professional manner, the dues of the association must be paid on time. To attempt to get compliance, the governing documents state that there is a fee for late payment. A collection fee is sometimes seen as a punishment tool rather than a negative reinforcement measure to get all homeowners to pay on time. It would not be fair to have the homeowners who are current with their accounts paying for maintenance of the community while others do not, yet still enjoy the amenities and common areas. If there were no consequences for delinquency, no one would pay their dues and the community would not be able to maintain its playground, entrances, and all common areas. This would lower property value and destroy the aesthetics that helped you to decide to purchase a home here. Due to new HOA laws in Texas, the HOA has to follow certain guidelines in its business practices. The Board of Directors has voted to allow late fees to be levied against delinquent accounts due to the large number of delinquent accounts. The current policy actually delays the accounts from being sent to the attorney for collection early in the process. Delinquent homeowners are actually saved money by not being sent to the attorney as a collection until later in the process. The Board would like to reiterate that homeowners may email our community manager, Jason Green, to request a payment arrangement if they are having difficulty paying their dues. He may be reached at jgreen@ spectrumam.com. 2
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National Night Out, sponsored by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF TOWN WATCH, is a neighborhood crime and drug prevention event that occurs annually on the first Tuesday in August (IN TEXAS NNO 2012 IS IN OCTOBER) 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!" 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 2010, and in 2011. Show your neighborhood pride. Meet up with your neighbors on October 2nd between 7pm and 9pm and join us at the park or just go for a walk around the neighborhood to help us reclaim the night. 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. Please turn your patio and driveway lights on to help deter crime in our community. Planned Activities for Rivermist include but are not limited to the following: • Appearances by various city mascots (requests for McGruff and Sparky the Fire Dog have been submitted in addition to other mascots) • Visits by Police/Fire/EMS personnel • DJ/Dancing • Bike safety check • Child ID kits • Clowns • Face Painting • Bouncy castle • Bungee Run • Rock Climbing Wall • Refreshments • Rides • Video game truck • Immunizations booth • Longest/newest resident awards • CASA booth with information We will hold a school supply drive to benefit children in foster care (donations going to CASA). Please bring items to the CASA table at the event. Items needed include backpacks, pens, pencils, paper, Kleenex, markers, crayons, scissors, folders, binders, etc. etc. Copyright © 2012 Peel, Inc
The Beacon Retention Pond Beautification Projects The HOA Board with the assistance of our landscape company, Greater Texas Landscapes, began the first two of five retention pond beautification projects. The idea was 1st put forth by our gung ho members that live near the Rivera Cove cul de sac retention pond. Our homeowners asked the Board about the possibility of adding plants to screen and improve look of the retention pond near them and offered to take care of watering plants if the HOA would plant them. The Board reviewed all possibilities and since there are no HOA water or electric meters near any of our retention ponds to run irrigation systems the only way these projects would be possible would be to have members in those areas commit to watering them in exchange for the HOA installing and maintaining plants. We approached members on River Valley about doing this for their pond as well and they enthusiastically agreed to water just like their neighbors over on Rivera Cove. Here are photos of the plants being installed and
we will post photo updates as the plants fill out. The Board is very excited about the success of these projects so far and would like to thank our member watering teams!! Many thanks to the Wards, the Thomases and the Williamses on Rivera Cove and the Blesers, the Meolas, the Hausers and the Guerreros on River Valley for making all this possible!!! The Board has a goal going forward of landscaping at least one pond a year until the two ponds on Ranchwell Cove and the remaining pond on Rivera Cove are completed. Everyone please drive by and see the great work your neighbors are doing and thank them if you see them out watering. These projects were only made possible and approved because of our members commitment to water them so if you live near a retention pond that has not been done yet they are on the Boardâ€™s list to take care of in the coming years and it will take member involvement to make it happen. Thank you again to our fantastic watering teams!!!!
Rivera Cove cul de sac pond
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Work in Progress
Work in Progress
The Beacon - September 2012
The Beacon River Valley retention pond
TIPS: How to maintain great lawn Provided by Rivermist resident Sabrina Garcia TIP #1 Avoid mowing in the heat of the day. This can damage grass. The 100 degree heat alone will drain the moisture from the grass. This can result in the tips of the blades of grass looking burned. Cutting in the early morning or evening is best. TIP #2 The biggest mistake most of us make is cutting our grass too short. Grass does better if it is cut at a higher setting. This also helps to prevent weeds. A higher mowing height helps to provide a thicker root system which requires less water and maintenance. TIP#3 Water your lawn after mowing. Watering by hand in the morning and evening is best to avoid evaporation. Once your grass becomes thicker and healthier less watering is required. Most importantly, a great looking yard improves the values of our homes and community. Curb appeal is everything. Whether you are buying, selling or renting the front yard is the first thing people see. First impressions are everything in the real estate market. If people aren’t impressed with the outside a lot of times they won’t want to see the inside. Ridge Gate Realty email@example.com Cell 210-970-2501 • Fax 210-647-9959 • Off 210-647-9999
Sign up for email alerts by registering at
Work in Progress
The Beacon - September 2012
Our management website is a treasure trove of information regarding neighborhood policies, community events, community safety and other helpful items. You can pay your assessment fee online and can also sign up to receive email updates/alerts that are sent out by the Board of Directors and site managers. If you need help registering or need to have your password reset, call our site manager, Jason Green at (210) 705-1121. Your Board of Directors Copyright © 2012 Peel, Inc
Neighborhood Safety Dear Neighbors, Here are a few safety tips that we hope will help keep you safe and our neighborhood crime free. Personal Safety Tips for Home and Neighborhood • Don’t allow strangers into your home, even if they are hurt or say they need help. • Don’t advertise that you live alone. • Don’t be afraid to call law enforcement to investigate suspicious circumstances, unusual people, or strange noises. It’s better to be safe than sorry. • Keep outdoor lights on at night. • If you arrive home and your door is open or things appear to be out of place, don’t go in. Leave and call 911. • Be a visibly nosy neighbor. Let anyone walking the neighborhood or sitting in a parked car see you watching them. • Make a note of car license plates and if anyone behaves suspiciously or stays in their car for an unusually lengthy period, call the police. • Tell close neighbors that you trust if you plan to be away or expect any deliveries. • If you are going away, cancel newspapers and put a hold on your mail deliveries or have a neighbor collect any mail or packages from the doorstep. • Having a dog is a HUGE deterrent. Ironically burglars are far more likely to avoid a house with a small dog than a big one – small dogs tend to be nervous and less easy to trick into calming down. They’re less trustful and bark louder and longer. • Take a walk around your home to figure out where the weakest link in your security might be – like leaving a window open in a secluded spot. • Be wary of who you allow into your home and how much information you give about your belongings and schedule (If an HOA board member comes by they will have identification and you can call Spectrum Management to find out if there is a scheduled community outreach going on). • Avoid creating temptation. Don’t leave things like lawn mowers and bikes unattended outside; lock them up. • Don’t hide a key outside. Home burglary crooks know all those “secret” places. San Antonio Police Dept. Contact Information: For emergencies CALL 911! For Non-Emergency, call (210) 207-7273 Please report anything suspicious to the police.
Running for your health Provided by Greg Sedbrook
With cooler weather hopefully heading our way soon, thoughts of getting back outdoors to improve our health start to enter back into our minds. And for many people, that includes running. Running/jogging is an excellent way to get into and stay in shape; both physically and mentally. It is also a very inexpensive way to stay in shape since it requires no equipment and minimal costs as far as proper footwear, etc. You do want to make sure you purchase a good pair of running shoes; not tennis shoes or basketball shoes. A properly fitting pair of running shoes will be your most expensive costs but also the most critical, so try not to skimp in this department. There are a several things to consider before you begin to start any exercise program or routine, such as consulting your Doctor and getting a check-up, setting goals, fitting time into your daily life for exercising, etc. But I am going to mainly focus on proper stretching for running, jogging and walking. In last month’s article I mentioned providing some neck and shoulder stretches for headache suffers. Sorry but I will get those into next month’s article. Before and After Your Run No matter how keen you are to get running, don’t neglect your warm up or cool down. Not warming up properly is probably the biggest single cause of athletic injuries. It’s not rocket science – when cold, tight muscles are pitched into an intense workout, they cannot be expected to perform at a high level. Moreover, if they are pushed into it, something’s going to give. In spite of such obvious logic, relatively few runners warm up diligently before every run. There are two different types of stretches, dynamic and static. Dynamic stretching is a series of slow, deliberate movements designed to increase your mobility and loosen you up so that your muscles are ready when you start working hard. These are the stretches to do before you begin your run. Static stretching will assist with the removal of waste products from your muscles; the real advantage will be felt in the future, as static stretches elongate and loosen muscles and increase the range of motion permitted by the joints. Stretching in this way is cumulative, and it will permanently increase your muscles’ flexibility (as long as you stay active and stretching). Relaxed muscles perform better and are far less prone to injury than taut muscles, so look on stretching after a run as early preparation for your next. Static stretching can be done at any time – in fact you should have a good stretch once a day – but muscles warmed up by running will be far more receptive to stretching, and it will help them relax by reducing natural tightening after exercise. If you are going to stretch during the day, for example after a few hours sitting at your desk, be sure to perform five minutes or so of pulse warmers first so that you are not stretching cold muscles. (Continued on Page 6)
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The Beacon - September 2012
The Beacon (Continued from Page 5) Dynamic Stretches These are the over-all body stretches that should be part of everyone’s daily routine. Since in last month’s article I talked about and described these I will not repeat them here in today’s article. Most runners start out there runs by starting out slow and gradually increasing speed, so your body is getting the dynamic stretching important in running anyways by following their example. The real important stretching is the stretching done after your run; static stretching. Static Stretches Feet/Ankle Stretch Sit on floor with legs out straight. Bring right foot back alongside left knee, resting on heel with toes pointing up. Keeping heel on floor, grab toes of left foot and ease back. Hold for twenty seconds. With heel remaining static, point same toes away from body. Hold for twenty seconds. Perform one more, repeat with other foot. Achilles Tendon With feet shoulder width apart, step forward at least one meter with your left foot – your left thigh should be parallel to the ground, with shin at right angles. Keep your back leg straight with your back foot firmly on the ground and body upright. Resting hands lightly on your left thigh move the knee forward until it is over your toes. Hold for twenty seconds. Relax by drawing the knee backwards. Perform one more, and then repeat with other leg. Calves Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Keeping the heel on the floor, step your left foot straight back, lowering your hips to accommodate the longer stance and making sure your body remains upright. Stop when you feel the stretch in your calf, and hold for twenty seconds. Relax by returning the left foot back to center. Perform one more, and then repeat with other foot. Quadriceps Support yourself on something solid with your right hand. Standing with feet close together, raise your left heel backwards, keeping both knees parallel. Grab your left ankle with your left hand and gently pull the heel towards your buttock. Hold for twenty seconds. Loosen grip to relax. Perform one more, then repeat with the other foot. Hamstrings Sit with your legs out straight in front and feet together. Keeping your back straight, grab your ankles (or as far down your legs as you can reach). Pull your chest to your knees. Hold for twenty seconds. Loosen grip to relax and repeat. (Make sure to pull your chest, not the top of your head, to your knees as this will make sure your spine isn’t curving and that the stretch pulls your hamstrings not your back.) Groin Sit on the floor with the soles of your feet together and heels pulled up towards your groin. With your knees pointing outwards, hold your ankles so that your forearms are along your calves and your elbows are resting on the inside of knees. Push down gently with elbows. Don’t bounce. Hold for twenty seconds then repeat. 6
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Illotibial Band (The thick strip of connective tissue running from knee to hip, on the outside of the thigh between the hamstrings and quads). Sit on the ground with your left leg out straight in front and your right foot planted firmly on outside of the left knee. Twist your trunk to the right, placing your left elbow on the outside of your bent right knee. Using the elbow, gently push your right knee to the left – this will stretch the iliotibial band in the right leg. Hold for twenty seconds. Relax elbow pressure. Perform one more, and then repeat with other leg. Hips and Glutes Lie on your back with your legs out straight. Bend your right leg and raise until your right shin is parallel to the ground and at right angles with the raised thigh. Place your left hand on the outside of your right knee and, keeping as much of your back on the ground as possible, pull your right leg across your left leg until the inside of your right knee is on the ground. Hold for twenty seconds then return right leg to center and relax. Perform one more, and then repeat with other leg. Lower Back Kneel on all fours, keeping your arms straight and below your shoulders, and your back parallel to ground. Tighten your abdominal muscles while angling your pelvis forward, causing your back to arch – if you are doing it correctly you will feel a stretch from the top of your glutes into the small of your back. Hold for twenty seconds. Relax your abs then repeat. Massage One of the greatest ways to round off a hard run or a tough training session – after you’ve cooled down and stretched – is with a deep tissue massage (sometimes called a sports massage). Quite apart from leaving you feeling so relaxed you might have to starch your trousers before you can stand up, a massage will knead away any lingering waste products in your muscles, speeding up the healing time of any muscular and soft tissue injuries you might have incurred during your run. Regular massage will also reduce tightness and improve flexibility and the joint’s range of motion. The massage loosens muscle fibers further. This continues to increase the blood flow within the tissue, which greatly speeds up the repair of any tiny internal tears that might have occurred while you were running. Deep tissue massage is particularly good for breaking up old scar tissue that has “stuck” to surrounding tissue. If too much scar tissue is allowed to build up across the fibers it will have the effect of permanently tightening the muscle as it will eventually restrict movement. Regular massage will also realign the microscopic elements of the fibers that have been pushed out of place by incorrect running action. If unattended these will then rub and cause muscle discomfort – the average runner’s action goes unnoticeably but significantly out of whack as they get tired. Well that’s all for this month. Until next month be safe and take care.
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The Beacon CASA seeking volunteers to be child advocates By Belinda Cox Child Advocates San Antonio is the only nonprofit organization in Bexar County with volunteers sworn-in by a judge to make recommendations to the court in the best interest of children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. A CASA volunteer is community member who is a court-appointed, trained and committed adult who stands by these children’s side, watches over their case and advocates for their best interest. Imagine the experience of children who are removed from their parents because the people who should have protected them cannot or will not do so. These children find themselves in a world filled with social workers, lawyers, judges, and courtrooms where life-altering decisions are made on their behalf, while they remain voiceless. A CASA volunteer ensures that these children remain a priority in an overburdened legal and social service system and they may be the only guiding presence involved from beginning to end during a child’s case. For these children, our volunteers will be the difference between instability and permanence, insecurity and learning to trust, invisibility and being made a priority. As a CASA volunteer advocate we ask a commitment to one specific case for at least a year. On average our volunteers spend about 15 hours per month on their case. During the course of the case, volunteers contact parents/caretakers, family members, medical/mental health professionals, legal professionals, school officials, CPS representatives, foster care and various other sources to gather information about the child or children. They also build a trusting relationship with the child or children and identify their needs as well as resources to address those needs. A CASA provides these youth a voice in court, advocates for stability, ensures educational and medical needs are met, and optimizes opportunity for personal development and growth. They will prepare reports to the court based on the information they gather and on what they believe is in the best interest of the child. Essentially they will serve as the “eyes and ears” of the court; helping the judge make the most informed decision possible. The opinions of the CASA volunteers and staff members are highly valued in the courtroom and regularly incorporated into the children's service plans. The scheduling of the volunteers activities is flexible, and they will
be paired with a staff professional who supports and guides them every single step of the way. CASA volunteers not only greatly improve the life of a child in need, they will also impact their own life tremendously. Many CASA volunteers often question whose life was most affected by a case, theirs or the child's. Volunteers do not need any special kind of education or experience to serve as a CASA volunteer. We provide all the training and support our volunteers will need to serve as an effective advocate and all training is completed before they work directly with children on a case. The initial training is about 33 hours and is offered at a variety of times throughout the year to include Saturday, evening and daytime trainings to accommodate all schedules.
Volunteer to be a powerful voice for abused and neglected children!
Upcoming Volunteer Advocate Training Sessions: September 25, 2012 (Daytime) Tuesdays, Wednesdays, & Thursdays 9:00 am - 1:00 pm OR November 3, 2012 (Saturday) November 3 9:00 am - 4:00 pm Three consecutive Saturdays from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm With two Tuesdays evenings 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm Upcoming Information Sessions: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 9 am – 10 am Or Saturday, October 20, 2012 9 am – 10 am Please feel free to give me a call at 225-7070 if you have any questions or you may also email me at bcox@ casa-satx.org. Sincerely, Belinda Cox Recruitment and Training Coordinator, Child Advocates San Antonio 406 San Pedro San Antonio, Texas 78212 C: 210-838-2634 V: 210-225-7070 F: 210-225-7040 www.casa-satx.org
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The Beacon - September 2012
The Beacon Dear Homeowner,
Pro Tree Care r o b r A
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Here at Spectrum we strive to make the transition to our company as seamless and problem free as possible. This article is just a reminder on the different ways you can pay your homeowner association dues. The most traditional method of coming to our office to pay is available. Our address is 17319 San Pedro, Suite 318, San Antonio, TX 78232. You can also register at www.spectrumam. com and login to pay your dues by e-check or credit card. We accept payment from Mastercard, Discover and American Express. On this site you can also setup recurring payments, view current reports of any ACC requests, Violations, governing documents, upcoming events and other information. For your security, we do not take credit card payments over the phone. If you ever have questions on how to register or how to review something on the website, please feel free to contact us. Our policy is to return all calls and emails the same day. Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. Regards, Jason M. Green Community Manager Office: 210.494.0659 www.spectrumam.com
(210) 912-4869 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Check us out on the web at www.rivermistsa.com Our community website is a treasure trove of information regarding community events, community safety and other helpful items. You can sign up to receive email updates/alerts that are sent out by our talented webmaster. Sincerely, Your Board of Directors 8
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