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The Beacon

Volume 4, Issue 3

March 2013

SPRING CELEBRATION EASTER EGG HUNT

PROOF The Board of Directors is tentatively planning an Easter Egg Hunt to be held at the neighborhood park on March 30th, 2012 from 10 am – 12 noon. Stay tuned to the Spectrum Website and the Rivermist Facebook page for more information. Potential Activities include a rock climbing wall, video game truck, an appearance by the Easter Bunny and many other fun activities for the family!!

Copyright Š 2013 Peel, Inc.

The Beacon -March 2013

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Dear Neighbors, We have had a recent spike in petty crimes such as car break-ins and home robberies while residents were away for the weekend. The Board of Directors hired off-duty policemen to conduct safety patrols intermittently to attempt to bring a sense of security back to the community. Here are a few safety tips that we hope will help keep you safe and our neighborhood crime free.

Crossword Puzzle

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 e m e r g e n c i e s C A L L 9 1 1 ! F o r N o n - E m e r g e n c y, call (210) 207-7273 Please report anything suspicious to the police.

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The Beacon - March 2013

The challenge is to fill every row across, every column down, and every 3x3 box with the digits 1 through 9. Each 1 through 9 digit must appear only once in each row across, each column down, and each 3x3 box.

SUDOKU

View answers online at www.peelinc.com DOWN ACROSS 1. Incline 1. Tack 2. Change 5. Giant 3. Small particle 9. Philippine dish with marinated 4. Compass point chicken or pork 5. Night bird 11. Journalist's question 6. Body snatcher 12. Tiny insects 7. Cultivate 13. Cut of beef 8. Volcano 14. School group 10. Change into bone 15. South 16. Musical productions 17. United States 18. Canadian prov. 18. Bottle need 19. Palladium (abbr.) 20. Upset 20. Many 22. Cow's chow 21. Perfect 23. Year (abbr.) 22. Captain (abbr.) 24. Computer makers 24. Institution (abbr.) 27. Brews 25. Swain 29. Sleep disorder 26. African country 31. Parent teacher groups 28. Fast plane 32. Strong rope fiber 30. Pastry 33. Bend 34. Decorative needle case © 2006. Feature Exchange

The Beacon

Sudoku

Sudoku

2006. every Feature column, Exchange and The goal is to fill in the grid so that every©row, every 3x3 box contains the digits 1 through 9. Each digit may appear only once in each row, each column, and each 3x3 box.

Sign up for email alerts by registering at www.Spectrumam.com Our management website is a treasure trove of information regarding neighborhood©policies, community 2006. Feature Exchange 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) 494-0659. Your Board of Directors

Copyright © 2013 Peel, Inc


The Beacon Come see what your neighbors are talking about. Join Nextdoor Rivermisthoa, the private website for your neighborhood.

To join, visit: rivermisthoa.nextdoor.com/join Your neighbor, Charles Hasberry, invited you to join.

Nextdoor Rivermisthoa

Charles (Rivera Cv) writes: "We are coming together online as a community. Join us on Nextdoor. This will help us share crime/safety info as well as help us get to know each other. " To accept your invitation, visit:

rivermisthoa.nextdoor.com/join Your flyer code: XEIGAR

Nextdoor Rivermisthoa

Get to know your neighbors • Share local recommendations • Lend, borrow and give away • Keep the neighborhood safe • Stay informed Copyright © 2013 Peel, Inc.

The Beacon -March 2013

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The Beacon Neighborhood Walk Groups Submitted by Greg Sedbrook

Hope everyone is as glad as I am that spring is almost here. Longer days, which means more sun; and am I ever ready for more sun! This month’s article is going to be about forming neighborhood walk groups. Many communities around the country are establishing walking clubs to bring neighbors together for fun and fitness; and in light of recent negative activities which are besieging our great community, safety and more neighborhood awareness. Joining a neighborhood walking group is a fun, affordable way to get fit. You can socialize, stay motivated, and strengthen friendships ; all while moving toward a healthier lifestyle. Walking is easy, inexpensive, and a vital part of staying active. The low-impact exercise works major muscle groups, raises your heart rate, burns calories, and lowers blood pressure, leading to better physical and mental health, fitness and weight management. Getting and staying in shape takes commitment. A walking group offers built-in support to keep you focused on your fitness goals. Walking is a simple exercise with numerous health benefits. Did you know that a 45-minute walk at a brisk pace can burn up to 300 calories? And research shows that a brisk walking routine can be just as effective as more vigorous workouts at reducing the risk of heart attack and has many other significant benefits to your physical and mental well-being. If you want to organize a walking group, ask a friend or neighbor to help. Having a planning partner will make the process more fun and make you more likely to stick with the program. Invite neighbors to learn more. Post fliers around the neighborhood to spark interest. These can also be posted in stores, our local library, health clubs,

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The Beacon - March 2013

churches and other popular gathering spots. Of course, always get permission first. E-mail friends and local businesses. We have an EXCELLENT newsletter to post information in. Host an informal meeting. Discuss the frequency, pace and distance of the walks, when and where to meet, and what to do in case of bad weather. Exchange contact information. Welcome as many people as possible. Once you find enough people and begin walking you can always decide to divide a large group into smaller ones, depending on physical ability, fitness goals, availability and other factors. Groups are often times organized by age; with senior groups and younger age groups. Moms with small children often walk together. Be sure to schedule regular walk times. Not everyone will be able to make every walk, but keeping the routine consistent will make it easier to commit. Plan social times together. Meet for breakfast. Attend an event that promotes good health. Celebrate. Hit a milestone? Sticking with your routine? Remember to recognize the successes, no matter their size. Make it fun! Join a wellestablished fund-raising walk to support a favorite charity. These are just a few ideas to get interested people started. And just remember; the simplest way to improve walking in your neighborhood is to get more people walking! There is safety and comfort in numbers. As more people start walking, you’ll get to meet more of your neighbors and thus start building a stronger community. More people will notice barriers to walking and may add their voice to yours. Motorists will be more aware of pedestrians and may change their behavior. And finally, there will be more “eyes on the street” to discourage crime and graffiti. Till next time…be safe and get outside!

Copyright © 2013 Peel, Inc


The Beacon IRS Intensifies National Crackdown on Identity Theft; Part of Wider Effort to Protect Taxpayers, Prevent Refund Fraud

WASHINGTON — Continuing a year-long enforcement push against refund fraud and identity theft, the Internal Revenue Service today announced the results of a massive national sweep in recent weeks targeting identity theft suspects in 32 states and Puerto Rico, which involved 215 cities and surrounding areas. The coast-to-coast effort against 389 identity theft suspects led to 734 enforcement actions in January, including indictments, informations, complaints and arrests. The effort comes on top of a growing identity theft effort that led to 2,400 other enforcement actions against identity thieves during fiscal year 2012. The January crackdown, a joint effort with the Department of Justice and local U.S. Attorneys offices, unfolded as the IRS opened the 2013 tax season. IRS Criminal Investigation expanded its efforts during January, pushing the total number of identity theft investigations to more than 1,460 since the start of the federal 2012 fiscal year on Oct. 1, 2011. “As tax season begins this year, we want to be clear that there is a heavy price to pay for perpetrators of refund fraud and identity theft,” said IRS Acting Commissioner Steven T. Miller. “We have aggressively stepped up our efforts to pursue and prevent refund fraud and identity theft, and we will continue to intensely focus on this area. This is part of a much wider effort underway for the 2013 tax season to stop fraud.” The national effort with the Justice Department and other federal, state and local agencies is part of a larger, comprehensive identity theft strategy the IRS has embarked on that is focused on preventing, detecting and resolving identity theft cases as soon as possible. The identity theft effort — which intensified in January as the 2013 filing season opened — involved 734 enforcement actions related to identity theft and refund fraud. The effort led to actions taking place throughout the country involving 389 individuals. The effort included 109 arrests, 189 indictments, informations and complaints, as well as 47 search warrants. In addition to the criminal actions, IRS auditors and criminal investigators conducted a special compliance effort starting on Jan. 28 to visit 197 money service businesses to help make sure these businesses are not assisting identity theft or refund fraud when they cash checks. The compliance visits occurred in 17 high-risk places identified by the IRS covering areas in and surrounding New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Tampa, Miami, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Diego, El Paso, Tucson, Birmingham, Detroit, San Francisco, Oakland and

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San Jose. A map of the locations and additional details on the January enforcement actions and compliance visits are available on IRS. gov. The latest updates on the identity theft enforcement efforts and individual cases are available on a special Identity Theft Schemes page on IRS.gov. More information on enforcement actions can be found on a DOJ Tax Division page. The identity theft push over the last several weeks reflects a wider effort underway at the IRS. Among the highlights: • •The number of IRS criminal investigations into identity theft issues more than tripled in fiscal year 2012. The IRS started 276 investigations in fiscal year 2011, a number that jumped to 898 in fiscal year 2012. So far in fiscal year 2013, there have been more than 560 criminal identity theft investigations opened. • •Total enforcement actions continue to rapidly increase against identity thieves. This category covers actions ranging from indictments and arrests to search warrants. In fiscal year 2012, enforcement actions totaled 2,400 against 1,310 suspects. After just four months in fiscal 2013, enforcement actions totaled 1,703 against 907 suspects. • •Sentencings of convicted identity thieves continue to increase. There were 80 sentencings in fiscal year 2011, which increased to 223 in fiscal year 2012. • •Jail time is increasing for identity thieves. The average sentence in fiscal year 2012 was four years or 48 months – a four-month increase from the average in fiscal year 2011. So far this fiscal year, sentences have ranged from 4 to 300 months. • More information on IRS Criminal Investigation efforts is available on IRS fact sheet FS-2013-4. • In addition to the national “sweeps” effort announced today, IRS work on identity theft and refund fraud continues to grow. For the 2013 filing season, the IRS has expanded these efforts to better protect taxpayers and help victims. • To stop identity thieves up front, the IRS has made a significant increase for the 2013 tax season in the number and quality of identity theft screening filters that spot fraudulent tax returns before refunds are issued. The IRS has dozens of identity theft screens now in place to protect tax refunds. These efforts helped the IRS in 2012 protect $20 billion of fraudulent refunds, including those related to identity theft, compared with $14 billion in 2011. By late 2012, the IRS assigned more than 3,000 IRS (Continued on Page 6) The Beacon -March 2013

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The Beacon Identity Theft (Continued from Page 5)

Builder Warranty Expiring Soon For Many Homeowners employees — over double from 2011 — to work on identity theft-related issues. IRS employees are working to prevent refund fraud, investigate identity theft-related crimes and help taxpayers who have been victimized by identity thieves. In addition, the IRS has trained 35,000 employees who work with taxpayers to recognize identity theft indicators and help people victimized by identity theft. “We are strengthening our processing systems to watch for identity theft and detect refund fraud before it occurs,” Miller said. “And we continue to put more resources on helping people who are victims of identity theft and resolve these complex cases as quickly as possible.” Taxpayers can encounter identity theft involving their tax returns in several ways. One instance is where identity thieves try filing fraudulent refund claims using another person’s identifying information, which has been stolen. Innocent taxpayers are victimized because their refunds are delayed. To help taxpayers, the IRS has a special section on IRS.gov dedicated to identity theft issues, including YouTube videos, tips for taxpayers and a special guide to assistance. For victims, the information includes how to contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit. For other taxpayers, there are tips on how taxpayers can protect themselves against identity theft. If a taxpayer receives a notice from the IRS indicating identity theft, they should follow the instructions in that notice. A taxpayer who believes they are at risk of identity theft due to lost or stolen personal information should contact the IRS immediately so the agency can take action to secure their tax account. The taxpayer should contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490. The taxpayer will be asked to complete the IRS Identity Theft Affidavit, Form 14039, and follow the instructions on the back of the form based on their situation. Taxpayers looking for additional information can consult the special identity protection page on IRS.gov. A map of Enforcement Actions Taken in January 2013 can also be found on IRS.gov. 6

The Beacon - March 2013

The 10 year warranty on many of the homes in our community will be expiring in the coming years. That warranty is as follows… • Ten-year coverage • The Builder warrants the construction of the home will conform to the tolerances set forth in the following Performance Standards for Structural Elements for a period of ten years after the closing date, subject to the limitations set forth below. • Structural Elements are footings, bearing walls, beams, girders, trusses, rafters, bearing columns, lintels, posts, structural fasteners, subfloors, and roof sheathing. • Floating slabs and partition walls that do not carry any load other than their own weight are not Structural Elements. A Structural Element will not be deemed defective, and no action will be required of the Builder, unless there is actual physical damage that diminishes the ability of the Structural Element to perform its load-bearing function such that the home is unsafe. Some of our residents have discovered what appeared to be cracks in the stone façade on the front of their homes. Some homes have minor issues while others couldn’t open windows and had extensive damage. Some of that damage represented structural damage under the warranty. If you believe you may have structural damage to your home, you should get it checked out while your home is still under warranty. Go to the website below and submit a service request. Centex should have someone come out to verify your damage/claim. If you do indeed have damage that is covered under the warranty, they will take care of it. This goes for other claims that fall under the two and five year warranties as well. One of my neighbors just saved thousands of dollars in repairs by following this advice… http://pulte.com/ownersentry/owners.aspx?open=serviceRequest Charles Hasberry Jr. President, Board of Directors Rivermist Homeowners Association

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The Beacon Want a Green, Thick Lawn the Easy Way? Michael Southworth M.Ed. education_coach@yahoo.com When the St. Augustine sod was laid on the lots in the Rivermist subdivision, very little nutrient rich soil was put down before the sod was laid. To have a thick green lawn there must be plenty of nutrient rich soil for the roots to grow down deep. When the roots don’t have enough soil to grow down deep, there are many things that can destroy your lawn. Sun When your yard has very little soil for the roots can’t grow deep into ground and they grow on the surface. When the summer sun is bright and hot the roots get burned and the grass dies. Lack of Water Think of soil as a sponge that holds water to feed the grass. Because the roots are so shallow in the soil the heat evaporates the (sponge) water very quickly. In the summer, it seems you need to water you grass every day to keep it living. The reason is because there is no grass to protect the soil which holds the water. The sun immediately dries up the water that that’s on the surface. Since there is no soil for the water to soak up, the grass does not have water to grow. Weeds One of the main ways to stop weeds in your yard is to have a thick lawn. Weeds must have plenty of sun light to grow. If your lawn is thick, when weed seeds land in your thick lawn the grass will shade the seed and it will not be able to grow. A thick lawn is a great way to prevent weeds. Solution One of the only ways to get a thick lawn in our subdivision is to increase the amount of soil. The only way to increase the amount of soil is to add topsoil. The topsoil must be nutrient rich and be applied at least once a year for 3 or 4 years. By adding topsoil you will need to water less and have fewer weeds. If your grass is dead and you only have weeds you may need to re-sod your yard or add seed to your yards and then add topsoil. Important points*: Before adding top soil remove all weeds. You may also want to throw out some seed before the top soil is laid out. If you decide to add seed to your topsoil addition, you will need to water in the seeds until the new grass seed starts to grow. In the spring you also want to add fertilizer, organic preferably.

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A Focus on Healthy Snack Ideas By: Concentra Urgent Care

March is National Nutrition Month. Celebrate by trying out some of these healthy snack ideas: • Whole grain bagel with melted low fat or non-fat cheese • Baked tortilla chips and salsa • Cereal (preferably whole-grain) and low-fat or fat free milk • Homemade trail mix of wheat or bran Chex or cheerios, pretzels, raisins, and nuts • Whole wheat toast with butter or margarine and jam • Baby carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, or celery and yogurt-based dip • Fruit, including fresh, frozen, canned, or ready-to-eat fruit, such as apples peeled and sliced, oranges cut into sections, cantaloupe and pineapple in bite-sized cubes, or fruit salad • Fruit shake or smoothie made with frozen fruit and a cup of fat free or low-fat milk or yogurt • Vegetable soup • Bean burritos or burrito bites containing canned, fat-free refried beans, low-fat cheese, and salsa on a tortilla – roll up and cut into bite-sized pieces • Tortilla roll-ups: spread chicken breast strips, salsa, and lettuce on a tortilla. Roll up and cut into bite-sized pieces. Or, leave out the tortilla and roll up the chicken and salsa in the lettuce • Yogurt, alone, or as a dip or topping for fresh fruit • Layer fruit, yogurt and grape-nuts in a glass for a parfait • Nuts • Peanut butter on graham crackers • Peanut butter on sliced apple or celery • Milkshake made with nonfat or low-fat frozen yogurt • Sugar-free pudding or Jello cup • Oatmeal raisin or peanut butter cookies and fat free or low-fat milk • Zucchini or pumpkin bread • Low fat Cottage cheese and fruit • Turkey sandwich on wheat bread • Granola or cereal bar For more information about healthy snacks and diets, contact your health care provider, your Concentra health specialist, or visit the Department of Health and Human Services at: http:// www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2005/recommendations. htm

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The Beacon Dear Homeowner,

Pro Tree Care r o b r A

Ross Hosea, Owner ISA Certified Arborist #TX-3811A Texas Oak Wilt Certified San Antonio native with more than 20 years experience Trimming ● Removal ● Planting Free Estimates

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 rosshosea@hotmail.com

Check us out on the web at www.rivermisthoa.org 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

The Beacon - March 2013

Copyright © 2013 Peel, Inc


Rivermist - March 2013