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Taking the pulse of Castle Hills Mayor’s survey generates response from residents on several key issues




New shop in Castle Hills teachers customers how to brew perfect cup of java






In spite of the world's ills, there is much to be thankful for this holiday season

PG.19 North East ISD

Eatery on Blanco Road offers takeout and delivery for diners

78213 78230 78231 78248 78249



holds coffee talks


NOV. 16 - DEC. 14, 2015

PG.17 Nirenberg wants

city voting shifted to November elections


FIGHTING TRAFFIC Shavano Park, state teaming up to improve Northwest Military Highway

Issues aplenty for Superintendent Gottardy’s morning chats; voters approve $500 million bond issue INSIDE THIS EDITION


pg. 26 your neighborhood eateries.

PG.15 Booming

development has led to vehicular congestion

BUY LOCAL PG.22 THE CRYSTAL MYSTIC Find enchanting wares and 'spiritual development'

PG.23 JOYRIDE TEXAS AT ALON Step up your fitness regimen by pedaling away the pounds

PG.10 Wurzbach

Parkway is now open, but issues still on table

Officials say kinks need to be worked out along neighborhood stretch


NOV. 16 - DEC. 14, 2015

FROM THE EDITOR tedwards@localcommunitynews.com

Build now to take advantage of our Fall incentives.

President Harold J. Lees Publisher Gregg Rosenfield Assoc. Publisher Rick Upton EDITORIAL Executive Editor Thomas Edwards News Staff Collette Orquiz, Bain Serna and Will Wright Contributing Writers Olivier J. Bourgoin, Joyce Hotchkiss, Carole Miller, Eric Moreno, Edmond Ortiz, Eileen Pace and Susan Yerkes ART Creative Director Florence D. Edwards Contributing Photographer Rudy B. Ornelas

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ADVERTISING Advertising Director Jaselle Luna Zone Manager Marc Olson Account Manager Lt. Col. James Fowler (Army, retired) Controller Keith Sanders READER SERVICE Mailing Address 4204 Gardendale St., Ste. 201 SA, TX 78229 Phone Fax (210) 338.8842 (210) 616.9677 Advertising Inquiries molson@localcommunitynews.com Story Ideas tips@localcommunitynews.com Website www.salocallowdown.com LOCAL Community News publications Zone 1: 78204, 78205, 78209, 78210, 78212, 78215 Zone 3: 78216, 78232, 78247 Zone 4/5: 78109, 78148, 78233, 78239 78108, 78132, 78154, 78266 Zone 6: 78258, 78259, 78260, 78261 Zone 7: 78015, 78023, 78255, 78256, 78257 For advertising, customer service or editorial, please call us at 210-338-8842 or write to us at: Local Community News 4204 Gardendale St., Ste. 201, San Antonio, TX 78229 Reproduction in whole or in part without our permission is prohibited, 2015 Helen Publishing LLC and Local Community News, LLC all rights reserved.

Community news remaining relevant


ontrary to what some would like us to believe, print is far from dead — at least when it comes to community newspapers. As more large news organizations lay off veteran journalists with institutional memory in favor of younger, lessexpensive scribes specializing in Internet quick hits revolving around celebrities and top 10 lists, something gets lost in the process — you, the reader. Some of the bigger papers have even closed down their communitynews departments, which are about the only direct pipeline they have to most of their audience. That’s not going to happen with LOCAL Community News, which is committed to hyperlocal content. What does that mean in plain English? Simply put, it means LOCAL is going to tell you what’s going on in your child’s school, what your neighborhood is planning, how your politicians are voting, what new restaurants and businesses have located in your area, and so much more. And LOCAL is not alone. Community newspapers still make up the bulk of the U.S. press, far outnumbering the big — and shrinking — dailies. Whether they are free, directmailed monthlies such as LOCAL, or weekly newspapers that land in your yard, community publications remain the best and most reliable source of street-by-street news. National Newspaper Week celebrated its 75th anniversary the first week of October, highlighting the fact that newspapers still have a deep and lasting impact on their communities. The same can be said for LOCAL.


ON THE COVER: Increased development and more traffic are leading Shavano Park officials to team up with the Texas Department of Transportation to apply for federal dollars to improve Northwest Military Highway and decrease vehicular congestion. If approved, some of the money would go toward tree preservation. The projects could take years. Photos by Rudy B. Ornelas




Thanks and giving in a time of strife by SUSAN YERKES


ach November we commemorate Thanksgiving — this country’s longest-running holiday. Back in 1621, the story goes, a bedraggled group of British colonists who arrived here on the Mayflower celebrated their first harvest with friendly natives. Although 1789 saw a Thanksgiving proclamation delivered by George Washington, it wasn’t until the Civil War when another president, Abraham Lincoln, established an official nationwide observance on the fourth Thursday of the month so Americans could pray to

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“heal the wounds of the nation.” This Thanksgiving, such a prayer is still lamentably appropriate. Mass shootings, worldwide strife, political polarization and all the issues dominating daily headlines remind us many wounds are far from healed. Thanksgiving is still very much in order. In fact, scientific research has recently proven that giving thanks and helping others are healing actions in their own right. Cultivating what some call an “attitude of gratitude” has shown to make you happier and healthier. A 2014 study in the journal Emotion, published by the American Psychological Association, indicated that saying a simple “thank you” or writing a note of thanks helps people build stronger, more positive relationships. Folks who describe themselves as frequently grateful for their blessings report fewer aches and pains, and tend to take greater care of their bodies. Gratitude reduces depression, loneliness and feelings of isolation, and improves sleep. Just before bedtime, make a list of what you’re grateful for, suggested Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being. Research also indicates promoting gratitude

improves self-esteem, strengthens immunity and lowers blood pressure. It’s hard to maintain negative emotions when thinking positively. As a U.S. citizen, I know even my worst days are better than the best days of many across the planet – the homeless, the hungry, the physically and emotionally traumatized, and so much more. As a South Texan, I’m thankful I won’t have to shovel snow to move my car on Thanksgiving Day. I’m grateful to live in a city with such a colorful, diverse and friendly culture, and to have made many fantastic friends here. I am also pleased the city is building more and better greenways for hiking, biking and enjoying the outdoors, and that the weather is great for fun in our parks this time of year. I appreciate the Tex-Mex food, and plentiful food, period. I’m really grateful that Wurzbach Parkway is finished. And the list goes on. When you start listing positives, thanks come easy. As for the giving, recent research demonstrates generosity is good for body and soul. Those who donate time or money to help others consistently report happier sensations. This “pro-

social spending,” or contributing to charities or organizations you feel good about, produces many of the same physical and emotional benefits that gratitude sparks, and often leads to a “pay-it-forward” point of view. This Thanksgiving, locals have many opportunities to help others. You could volunteer for the 35th annual Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner, for instance. Each year, some 4,000 volunteers plan and prepare holiday meals for 25,000 guests in the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. Christian Senior Services is always looking for help with its Thanksgiving Meals on Wheels deliveries to the homebound. The San Antonio Food Bank plans a big Holiday Turkey Round Up just before Thanksgiving. Through Operation Home Cooking, area families bring some 5,000 military men and women stationed here into their residences for the traditional feast. From big organized opportunities for giving to small personal acts of charity, there are a thousand ways to say “thank you” and to give of yourself. This year, I’m grateful to all who keep the spirit alive.


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NOV. 16 - DEC. 14, 2015

OUR TURN Views and opinions about your community

Good coaching teaches life lessons


hatever happened to good sportsmanship — and for that matter, accountability and responsibility? One has to wonder after recent highprofile accounts of young players, and even coaches, showcasing behavior that went beyond just a flag on the field. Their actions instead highlighted a culture emphasizing winning at all costs — no matter what. One episode that received nationwide attention chronicled the gridiron assault on a referee blindsided by two Jay High School varsity football players during a game against Marble Falls. The teammates later claimed they only followed a coach’s instructions when they tackled the unsuspecting official. In another case, a recent television broadcast revealed a coach yelling at his preadolescent football players

to maul their opponents. Let’s face it — losing is a part of sports; and it’s an inescapable fact of life. We can’t all be winners. Each of us is going to fail at one time or another, whether it’s during an athletic contest or in business, school, family, love or finances. The best sports programs inspire players to win, but not at the cost of their souls. Good coaches teach athletes that how you play the game is still important, and the best instructors know how you react when you lose says something about true character and the full measure of a person. Young athletes — and people in general — must learn to own their mistakes and not blame others. Accountability applies not just to sports; it also is the bedrock of most social interaction, from work to home, faith and nearly everything else. There is nothing silly or ridiculous about learning to lose gracefully and accepting responsibility for a blunder. These are essential lessons which should be taught on the gridiron, in the gym and in the locker room because they remain important for the rest of life. -The Local Community News editorial board includes Harry Lees, Gregg Rosenfield and Thomas Edwards.

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Plan your month with our calendar of upcoming events in the community.




DIWALI: FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS One or more regions of India will be represented in a performance at Cody Branch Library mixing music, dance and storytelling. Presented by Kaveri Natya Yoga, the show takes place from 2 to 3 p.m. in the Meeting Room at the library, 11441 Vance Jackson Road.

NOV. 14

ALZHEIMER’S SEMINAR Arden Courts, an assistedliving facility, is offering a free seminar titled Living With Alzheimer’s for Caregivers – Latter Stage from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The emphasis will be on the resources available to caregivers dealing with the needs of a patient in late stages of the disease. The San Antonio and South Texas Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association is co-sponsoring the event, which takes place at Arden Courts, 15290 Huebner Road. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 408-9100 or online at SanAntonio@arden-courts.com.

NOV. 18

“THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES” The Jackson Middle School Theatre Arts program stages a production of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” 6:30 p.m. Nov. 19 in the auditorium, 4538 Vance Jackson Road. For more, call 407-0040.

NOV. 19

DAIRY DAY This educational event offers fun – and ice cream – as well as a look at the origins of Phil Hardberger Park, which once was the dairy farm of the Voelcker family. The event, from 10 a.m. to noon, will feature the Southwest Dairy Farmers’ mobile classroom and takes place at the Voelcker Historic Homestead. It’s free, but a donation of $3 per person or $5 per family is suggested. The Homestead is accessible off Blanco Road by turning onto Longfield Road, then onto Old Blanco Road and then Voelcker Lane.

NOV. 21

THE MAIN EVENT The Barshop Jewish Community Center’s fundraiser offers music and entertainment, casino-style gaming, plenty of tasty food (all kosher) and a silent auction. The fun starts at 7 p.m. at the center, and tickets are $50 online and at the door. For more, go to www.jccsanantonio.org. The JCC is on the campus of the San Antonio Jewish Community, 12500 N.W. Military Highway.

NOV. 21







GOBBLE, GOBBLE – SCHOOL’S OUT Classes are on hiatus for the Thanksgiving holiday in the Northside and North East independent school districts.

NOV. 23-27

SHAVANO PARK The Shavano Park City Council will hold its monthly meeting at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 900 Saddletree Court.

NOV. 23

NISD TRUSTEES The Northside Independent School District board meets at 7 p.m. in the boardroom at 5900 Evers Road.

NOV. 24

URBAN FORESTRY IN SAN ANTONIO San Antonio City Forester Ross Hosea talks about how the urban forest is faring. Participants can learn how to plant a tree properly, and the first 25 families can “adopt” a tree in a 1-gallon pot. There will be a kid-friendly craft, too. The event, from 9 to 11 a.m. at Phil Hardberger Park’s Urban Ecology Center, is free but a donation of $3 per person or $5 per family is suggested. The center is near the park’s western entrance, 8400 N.W. Military Highway.

DEC. 5

DEC. 8

CASTLE HILLS The City Council meets at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 209 Lemonwood Drive.

NEISD TRUSTEES North East Independent School District trustees are scheduled to meet at 5:30 p.m. in the NEISD board room, 8961 Tesoro Drive.

Part Entertainment

DEC. 14

JINGLE TRAIL RUN A 1k/5k "holiday run on the trail" for friends and family benefiting Any Baby Can is 8 a.m. for the 1k fun run and 8:30 a.m. for the 5k in Eisenhower Park, 19399 N.W. Military Highway. Wear a Santa hat, reindeer antlers, elf suit or just running gear. Register online at www.iruntexas. net or call 479-7200 to pick up a packet.

DEC. 19

ELSEWHERE IN SAN ANTONIO COCKTAIL PASSPORT THROUGH As a lead-up to its Jan. 14JAN. 13 17 event, the San Antonio Cocktail Conference is offering a

HAPPENING continues on pg. 06

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NOV. 16 - DEC. 14, 2015

HAPPENING continues from pg. 05 “passport” for admission to a special party at the conference. Purchase a passport, buy a cocktail at each of the 15 participating establishments and get a stamp at each one; they include Hoppy Monk, 1010 N. Loop 1604 East, and George’s Keep, 17101 La Cantera Parkway, No. 1200. Order the passport at http:// www.sanantoniococktailconference. com/store/2015-cocktail-passport. Profits from all Cocktail Conference events go to children’s charities. EDEN HOLIDAY MARKETPLACE NOV. Vendors will offer an assortment 14 of holiday-themed items and home décor pieces from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The seasonal market sets up at Thousand Oaks Drive and Tavern Oaks, at the Eden Duck Pond. There will be a food truck on hand, and the market is smoke-free and family-friendly. In case of rain, the market will take place Nov. 21. OPEN ENROLLMENT INFORMATION From 1 to 6 p.m., representatives of the Alamo Area Council of Governments will provide information on Medicare and Medicaid as part of the programs’ open

NOV. 16

enrollment period, which ends Dec. 7. The site is Meeting Room B at Parman Branch Library, 20735 Wilderness Oak. RETIRED TEACHERS MEETING North San Antonio Retired Teachers Association holds its monthly meeting at San Pedro Presbyterian Church, 14900 San Pedro Ave. A 9:45 a.m. “meet and greet” will precede the program, which begins at 10:15 a.m. The group meets the third Wednesday of each month during the school year. Members are encouraged to bring friends.

NOV. 18

SONS OF THE AMERICAN NOV. REVOLUTION The San Antonio 18 Chapter of the national organization holds its monthly luncheon at 11:30 a.m. at the Petroleum Club, 8620 N. New Braunfels Ave. Lunch costs $25. RSVPs are required. Call Bob Clark at 402-0871, or email to reservations@sarsat. org by the Monday before the meeting. The chapter meets on the third Wednesday of each month, except July and August. POWER OF A DREAM Villa Finale Museum & Gardens opens a four-part lecture series with a talk by historian Maria Watson Pfeiffer from 6 to 7 p.m. in the home’s

NOV. 19

Napoleon Parlors. Pfeiffer will discuss her family’s European immigrant roots and its part in San Antonio history. Admission to the lecture is $30, or $100 for the series, and includes light refreshments; to reserve a spot, call 223-9800. Villa Finale is at 401 King William St. SAN ANTONIO CIVIL WAR ROUND TABLE The group meets the third Thursday of each month at Grady’s Bar-B-Q, 6510 San Pedro Ave., for a 6 p.m. dinner and 7 p.m. meeting. Those interested in Civil War history are invited to share stories and ideas. No reservations are required. For more, contact Nancy Hodges at lyndz76@yahoo.com or Daniel Snell at surveyking@satx.rr.com.

NOV. 19

SHOWSTOPPERS Three harmony-singing groups will perform shows at 5 and 9 p.m. in the Banquet Room at Holy Trinity Catholic Church. Alamo Metro Chorus, a chapter of Sweet Adelines International, will be joined by the Barbershop Harmony Society chorus and the Marcsmen, along with the Sweet Adelines medalwinning Speed of Sound Quartet. Tickets cost $20, or $15 for seniors, military personnel and students; call 514-0976. The church is at 20523 Huebner Road.

NOV. 21

VEGGIETALES The VeggieTales Live! Little Kids Do Big Things tour hits the Tobin Center with a new, fresh (pun intended) show at 2 and 6 p.m. Don’t worry, greatest hits will be performed. Ticket prices range from $14.50 to $46.50 (which includes a cast meet-and-greet). To purchase tickets, go to tobi.tobincenter.org and click on the VeggieTales show you want to attend. The performances are in the H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin, 100 Auditorium Circle downtown.

NOV. 27

ZOO LIGHTS – HOLIDAY NIGHTS A twinkling, exotic landscape will be the setting for holidaythemed entertainment, activities and dining from 6 to 10 p.m. at the San Antonio Zoo. Tickets cover games and rides, including the carousel and the train, and there will be opportunities for photos with Santa. The tickets cost $10.25 for zoo members and $12.25 for nonmembers; for more, including photo package prices, check out www.sazoo.org/events/zoo_ lights/. The Zoo is at 3903 N. St. Mary’s St.

NOV. 27 JAN. 3


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LOCAL LOWDOWN Take a quick look at what’s new in the community from opening and closings to news tidbits.

Open and Opening Soon 1. CAPOS PIZZA, 17676 Blanco Road,

Address of local business Name of local business

com/joyridetexas. (See story on page 23)

Suite 400, is a pickup or delivery operation that recently opened where Papa John’s Pizza used to be, just south of Loop 1604. It offers New York-style pizza and breads made in traditional deck ovens, as well as submarine sandwiches and other culinary fare, with delivery also available in a 5-mile radius. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1 to 8 p.m. Sunday. For more, call 362-1901 or visit www. capospizzasa.com. (See story on page 24)

3. THE CRYSTAL MYSTIC, 4703 Shavano

Oak St., Suite 100, is a new shop that bills itself as “San Antonio’s portal to enchanting crystals, magical jewelry and inner transportation.” Hours are noon to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. For more, call 809-2103 or visit www. thecrystalmystic.com or facebook.com/ thecrystalmystic. (See story on page 22)


4. CYCLO COFFEE AND BARISTA ACADEMY, 2211 N.W. Military Highway,


Suite 114, is a coffee shop in Castle Hills with a new concept, where you can get not only a good cup of joe, but owner Sylvia Miller and her team will instruct you on how to be a barista. Hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and 9

Military Highway, Suite 1124 in Alon Town Centre, is the newest addition to the Joyride Cycling Studio group. This fitness boutique is dedicated to indoor cycling and offers a high-energy, full-calorie workout geared to all ages, genders and fitness levels. Hours are 5:30 a.m. to 6.:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more, call 332-5240 or visit www.joyridestudio. com or facebook.

LOWDOWN continues on pg. 08

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NOV. 16 - DEC. 14, 2015

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DISTRICT 8 COUNCILMAN RON NIRENBERG PARTICIPATED in a Texas Tribune Festival panel on transportation Oct. 17 at the University of Texas at Austin. Nirenberg, who is chairman of the City Council Comprehensive Planning Committee and serves on the board of the Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, took part in the fifth festival by participating in the panel “An Urban Mobility Reality Check.” Other municipal officials from Austin, Dallas and Houston also discussed the challenges facing Texas cities, which continue to grapple with rapid population growth. According to a spokeswoman, “Municipal leaders now face greater urgency to support urban-mobility plans that address traffic congestion and provide alternate transportation opportunities.”

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SAN ANTONIO IS A COMPETITIVE RIDEHAILING TOWN ONCE MORE, according to District 8 Councilman Ron Nirenberg, who recently praised the return to the city of Uber, which joined Lyft in coming to an agreement with area leaders on transportation rules. “This signals to travelers that we are, in fact, open for business and poised to be the kind of city that welcomes competition and innovation,” Nirenberg said in a prepared release. “Now we need to follow through with our obligation to ensure that this pilot becomes good policy.” He added city leaders should revise Chapter 33 of the Municipal Code, the city’s vehicle-forhire rules. “We have to remove regulatory burdens for the entire industry and make San Antonio streets safe for commuters and truly competitive for business.” Uber and Lyft — which are ride-hailing services summoned through an app — both pulled out of San Antonio last year, but not area


suburbs, over disagreements about the city’s regulations for passenger-hire businesses. STREET REPAIRS IN CASTLE HILLS are well underway as Clark Construction of Texas Inc., which is under contract with the city, has been working to improve the roadways. Construction began on the first street Sept. 30. The four streets in this phase already completed are sections of Halbert Drive, Honeysuckle Lane, Twinleaf Lane and Gladiola Lane. Two remaining streets under construction are Herweck Drive and Tamworth Drive. All streets in this phase are scheduled for completion by Dec. 31. VANDALS BROKE INTO THE MAIL CENTER at Vantana Apartments, 11020 Huebner Oaks St., in October and damaged residents’ mailboxes, officials said. The vandalism was caught on security cameras and Vantana officials are working closely with the San Antonio Police Department and the postmaster to identify the culprits. Locked gates recently have been added to the mail center as a safety precaution and as a deterrent, officials said. NORTHSIDE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT TRUSTEE CAROL HARLE attended the recent Family Literacy Night at Locke Hill Elementary School, where Principal Cathy Cowan wore butterfly wings to remind students to let their imagination soar. THE CLARK HIGH SCHOOL TENNIS TEAM RECENTLY WON ITS 25th consecutive district championship, according to an update from the Northside Independent School District. REPRESENTATIVES FROM GOOGLE VISITED CLARK HIGH SCHOOL Oct. 21 to pilot their Google Expeditions technology, which is “virtual field-trip simulation technology.” Clark students were able to visit places such as the Great Barrier Reef and ancient

LOWDOWN continues on pg. 09





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SALOCALLOWDOWN.COM LOWDOWN continues from pg. 08 Greece, all without leaving their classrooms. The 20-minute expeditions offer about 100 field-trip options and use Google Cardboard viewfinders and cellphones, connected to the Expeditions app, and are controlled by a teacher using a tablet, officials say. Google Expeditions feature 360-degree views including photos, 3-D images and video. Expeditions technology is being offered free to schools as the company develops the technology. The Northside Independent School District adopted Google last year by giving students in kindergarten through 12th grade access to Google Apps for Education. SHOWCASING THE CULTURAL DIVERSITY OF COLONIES NORTH ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, students attended an annual Parade of Nations Oct. 23 in which students represented 34 countries of origin including Afghanistan, India, Sudan and Thailand. The parade celebrated the cultural mix of the student body; the Colonies North student body includes many refugees from the developing world who have settled on the North and Northwest sides. The participants paraded around the blacktop to their national anthem while carrying their “home” country’s flag. Students

shared facts about their native countries to fellow students, and the school choir sang “Together We Can Change the World.” JAGUAR NORTH AMERICA RECENTLY ANNOUNCED THAT Barrett Jaguar, 15423 Interstate 10 West, is celebrating its 30th anniversary as a franchise dealership in San Antonio. Since taking over the Jaguar dealership, Charles Barrett has won the coveted “Pride of Jaguar” award eight times, including being named the sixth-highest for sales in the United States for 2014-15, according to officials. The award is given to the top 16 Jaguar dealerships in the country based on overall dealership quality. In 2000, Barrett was also one of only eight recipients of the “All-Star Dealer Award” from the American International Automotive Dealers Association in Washington, D.C., where he was recognized out of a national membership of 10,000. “Each day, we feel entrusted to build upon the dream that became Barrett Jaguar three decades ago. Our goal was not to become the biggest, but to become the best,” said Sam Rocha, vice president and general manager of Barrett Jaguar. “It has been a long journey of hard work and dedication, none of which could have been possible without a great staff and loyal customers.”

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WURZBACH continues from pg. 01

State increases stretch from 45 to 60 mph by EDMOND ORTIZ


fficials and motorists have hailed the recent completion of Wurzbach Parkway, a project that started more than 30 years ago, but work still remains to curb congestion at intersections and feeder roads. It has taken $146 million to build the parkway, which finally gives motorists a third east-west option across the city in addition to loops 1604 and 410, and it links interstates 10 and 35. The project was broken into parts, with the final 1.7-mile stretch of Wurzbach Parkway – between West Avenue and Jones-Maltsberger Road – having opened to traffic in September. The Texas Department of Transportation estimates the parkway accommodates 40,000 cars daily. District 9 Councilman Joe Krier said a fully connected Wurzbach Parkway meets

Motorists enjoy light traffic on the newly opened part of Wurzbach Parkway between Blanco Road and West Avenue. Photo by Edmond Ortiz

a decades-old area transportation need. “I am profoundly grateful it’s here. It’s a fabulous thoroughfare. It’s a huge congestion reliever,” he said. Officials acknowledge a need to work out kinks along the newly opened parts of the Parkway and nearby areas. Recently, the city’s Transportation and Capital Improvements Department has been doing signal timing and safety reviews as traffic patterns stabilize. “There will be problems. You have to have a roadway operating six months to

see how things are going, to see where the bottlenecks are,” Krier said. But even with a now-contiguous Wurzbach Parkway, it’s taking motorists awhile to get familiar with the newer parts, especially where the speed limit becomes an issue. And local officials feel now is the time to emphasize traffic solutions for some primary and secondary roads that intersect or run alongside the parkway. “We’re in the business of building roads. It’s nice to see a new

accomplishment in our job,” said Josh Donat, a spokesman for TxDOT. Other city leaders including District 8 Councilman Ron Nirenberg said additional work is needed to prevent congestion as Wurzbach Parkway turns into Wurzbach Road — a wide, arterial street that empties into shopping districts, residential areas and the South Texas Medical Center. It also feeds into I-10, which is undergoing its own construction. In an email newsletter to constituents, Nirenberg said he and other local officials are working on short- and long-term solutions to ease traffic in the Wurzbach Road area, especially for peak hours. The city and the state are providing $2 million in matching funds to help address immediate solutions identified in a Wurzbach Road traffic study that Nirenberg asked TxDOT to conduct. Nirenberg has requested the Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization to place solutions to Wurzbach Road congestion on its long-range priority list. He added the city will consider using a planned 2017 bond issue to propose other ways to improve general east-west connectivity in District 8. Donat said much of the development in the Wurzbach area

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SALOCALLOWDOWN.COM “Other than that, I love it. I take it daily to and from work. It has cut 15 minutes per direction off of my commute,” said Shawn Gordon. “I’ll admit 45 is a tad slow, but I pull out of our apartment directly onto Wurzbach Parkway and people are treating it like the Daytona 500,” Damon Pena said. TxDOT was reviewing parkway speeds earlier this fall. In late October, the Texas Transportation Commission approved raising the speed limit from 45 mph to 60 mph from Blanco to Wetmore Road. The signs were changed the first week of November. Donat said, though, drivers should not treat the parkway like a freeway. “It’s best for short trips,” he added. He also urged drivers to use common sense. “The speed limit is also defined by design of the road. There are curves, curbs and sidewalks,” he said. “Just be safe and follow the law.”

WURZBACH continues from pg. 10 has arisen in the last 30 years. “(TxDOT is) looking to see ... if there are other ways to improve/enhance traffic in the general area,” he added. People who traverse the area say pros outnumber cons with Wurzbach Parkway. “I drive from Jones Maltsberger Road to Northwest Military Highway three times a week. I carpool to and from Great Hearts Northern Oaks (charter school) and the parkway is a carpool game changer,” said Carisa Lopez Heiss. “(Wurzbach Parkway) now connects my life — work, school and home. I have not driven on 410 or 35 since it opened,” Michele Autenrieth Brown said. “It’s making my drive across town to visit my mom so much easier,” Melanie Mendez-Gonzales added. A particular point of contention for some motorists on Wurzbach Parkway are the varying speed limits. Some feel they are too slow, others reportedly are going much faster.

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CASTLE HILLS continues from pg. 01

Howell said answers will help city leaders plan for future by BAIN SERNA


ASTLE HILLS — A recent survey of residents launched by Mayor Tim Howell is giving leaders a chance to measure the pulse of the city on issues ranging from recycling to zoning.

Howell used the online service SurveyMonkey to pose the questions, with 128 residents responding. The city’s population numbered about 4,100 in the 2010 census. “I personally did the survey to stay in touch with the constituency out there,” Howell said. “We have the regular meetings and opportunities for the community to come in and tell us how we’re doing,

NOV. 16 - DEC. 14, 2015



AYS 57 W

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NEVER 11.72%


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but I think they feel more at ease when they’re able to answer something in a nonbiased survey like that.” City Manager Diane Pfeil believes the exercise helped get residents more involved in city government, while giving the community a greater voice. “I think it’s a great opportunity for residents to be engaged with the mayor, and that they can speak freely about what they think about their city government



and elected officials are doing for them,” she said. “We can use these surveys to get the pulse of the community and we can also find out what direction they would like the city to go in.” Ten surveys went out during the past few weeks. Responses from the first survey — “How often do you recycle?” — included

CASTLE HILLS continues on pg. 13

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SALOCALLOWDOWN.COM CASTLE HILLS continues from pg. 12 74 who said always, 21 said most of the time, six said about half the time, 12 said once in a while, and 15 said never. The second survey asked, “Where do you currently get your news about Castle Hills?” with responders allowed to cite more than one source. Of those, 51 said primarily from LOCAL Community News, 97 said the city newsletter, 82 listed an online community site, 53 said from others in the neighborhood, and 12 said from other sources. The third survey inquired, “Do you approve, disapprove, or neither approve nor disapprove the way City Council is

handling their jobs in general?” Of the responders, 26 said they approve a great deal, 46 approve a moderate amount, 15 approve a little, 17 neither approve nor disapprove, 11 disapprove a little, seven disapprove a moderate amount, and four disapprove a great deal. The fourth survey asked, “Do you approve, disapprove, or neither approve nor disapprove the way the mayor is handling his job?” According to the returns, 54 said they approve a great deal, 38 approve a moderate amount, 10 approve a little, 11 neither approve nor disapprove, eight disapprove a little,


Give the gift of peace.

CASTLE HILLS continues on pg. 14


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CASTLE HILLS continues from pg. 13 three disapprove a moderate amount, and one disapproved a great deal. The fifth survey posed this question: “How concerned are you about zoning issues in Castle Hills?” Of those polled, 34 said extremely concerned, 42 said very concerned, 32 said moderately concerned, 12 said slightly concerned, and six said not concerned at all. The sixth survey asked, “How enthusiastically do you support the city?” Among the responses, 43 said extremely enthusiastically, 51 said very enthusiastically, 25 said moderately enthusiastically, five said slightly enthusiastically, and one said not at all. The seventh survey asked, “How much can people like you affect the future?” Returns showed 40 said a great deal, 42 said a lot, 23 said a moderate amount, 16 said a little, and two said not at all. The eighth survey asked, “How much does the local government really care about what people like you think?” The responses — 22 said a great deal, 32 said a lot, 41 said a moderate amount, 21 said a little, and nine said not at all. The ninth survey asked respondents to rate city-sponsored events. In their







32 12 6




33.33% 25.40% 9.52% 4.76%

replies, 46 said excellent, 35 said very good, 41 said fairly good, 10 said mildly good, and none said not good at all. The 10th survey asked, “What topics would you like most to learn about or have the City Council address?” It allowed residents to give written replies. Answers varied from concerns about street repairs, drainage issues, public transportation, accountability and transparency in city government to city aesthetics and preservation. Howell said he wants to do more surveys to create greater unity, transparency and understanding between residents and city government. He plans on trying to reach more residents during the next one. “The reason why it was so important is to get out there and show people that in order for us to perform, we need them to give us ideas and help us,” Howell said. “I want to reach out more and I want to be able to get everyone’s opinion, and I feel these surveys are the way to do it. I think sharing that information helps the city, the City Council and the residents know that we’re all transparent here, that we’re not hiding anything, especially in areas that we may not be as strong and have room for improvement.”

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“The Happy Handyman”

SHAVANO PARK continues from pg. 01

Written by his daughter, Trudy Lesage

One aim is to protect trees by BAIN SERNA


HAVANO PARK — City officials working with the state highway department to qualify for funding to improve Northwest Military Highway say they won’t know for several months if the money is coming.

The Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization is charged with the disbursement of $200 million in federal funds for local road projects; it is calling on cities and agencies to submit proposals to qualify for the Surface Transportation Program—Metro Mobility, or STPMM. Final selections will be announced by the MPO in June, and Shavano Park and the Texas Department of Transportation have partnered to share costs for improving Northwest Military. “Right now we’re only at the

If funds are approved in June by the Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, Shavano Park officials plan to add turn lanes, bike lanes and sidewalks to Northwest Military Highway inside Loop 1604. Photo by Rudy B. Ornelas

conceptual stages on this project,” said TxDOT spokesman Josh Donat. “We are working with Shavano Park to develop a proposal for the Metropolitan Planning Organization to consider that would add turn lanes, bike lanes and sidewalks to Northwest Military inside Loop 1604.” TxDOT made an initial presentation to the City Council Oct. 26, and a final one was scheduled for Nov. 16 to seek council approval before going to the MPO Dec. 1.

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“It’s going to be a deliberate decision that is going to occur in the spring with a final decision in June of 2016,” said City Manager Bill Hill regarding the decision as to whether the city will be selected for the funding. “These projects are still some years out, even if they approve it.” Donat said nothing is happening anytime soon.

SHAVANO PARK continues on pg. 16

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SHAVANO PARK continues from pg. 15


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“As far as timing, that would all depend on whether or not the MPO actually selects this project as a prioritized project, and I believe it would then, if selected, be programmed for fiscal year 2018 or thereabouts,” Donat said. City leaders say traffic on Northwest Military Highway in just the last few years has gotten more congested, including a rising number of pedestrians and bicyclists. The roadway needs to be renovated to make it safer, they add. “The development north of (Loop) 1604 in the Stone Oak area along the 1604 corridor, including (Interstate 10 West), has increased the amount of traffic that we’re seeing on Northwest Military Highway,” Hill said. “The city recognizes the increased risks and hazards associated with the increased traffic volume on Northwest Military Highway.” The proposal to acquire the funding has been months in the making. “Over the last several months, our staff and Planning and Zoning commissioners have worked diligently in updating the Northwest Military Highway portion of our Town Plan,” said Mayor Robert Werner. “As part of the negotiating process with TxDOT, City Manager Bill Hill and Zoning Chair Mike Janssen have worked with TxDOT to streamline our Town Plan proposal.” He added, “The current STPMM

proposal includes the core components developed through hundreds of hours of citizen interaction, public meetings and assorted hearings, which included participation by hundreds of citizens.” The improvements along Northwest Military from the city’s southern border to Loop 1604 include a continuous lefthand turn lane, bike lanes adjacent to each right lane and sidewalks along each side of the highway, which will be designed to promote greater tree preservation. “These proposals are as consistent as possible with our long-term goal to maintain the rural feel of our community,” the mayor said. “The proposed enhancements to Northwest Military Highway will serve to anchor the visual appeal of our community for the next 40 years, as we attend to citizen traffic safety with a continual left-hand turn lane, long-term tree preservation by installing sidewalks in TxDOT’s 120-foot right of way, and drainage improvements for certain streets intersecting Northwest Military Highway.” The mayor said residents will appreciate the visual impression of the proposed renovations. “Unlike the 100-foot asphalt footprints south of Huebner (Road), the proposed street and bike-lane enhancements call for only about 65 feet of asphalt — this promotes preservation of our community’s rural feel while protecting Shavano Park’s legacy oak trees,” Werner said.

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o curb voter apathy, District 8 Councilman Ron Nirenberg wants to boost turnout at the polls by moving municipal elections from May to November, coinciding with state and national contests. The councilman hopes to mirror Austin, which saw a 40 percent upswing in participation after switching. Specifically, Nirenberg seeks shifting the day San Antonio votes from May in odd-numbered years to November in even-numbered years. Support must still come from the rest of the City Council. “I proposed as a first step, unifying the elections,” Nirenberg said. “We can change the City Charter to move municipal elections from odd-number spring to even-numbered fall. This would put city elections on the same ballot as

state and national elections, where we know the turnout is four times higher.” According to the Bexar County Elections Department, 11.89 percent of registered voters cast ballots in May, which included a hotly contested 14way race for San Antonio mayor. Just 14 percent voted in the ensuing runoff between incumbent Ivy Taylor and ex-state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte. Contrast those numbers with the November 2014 governor’s race when 31.7 percent of the electorate took part. In the 2012 presidential election, 56.5 percent participated. Relying on his experience working at the Annenberg Public Policy Center and data from The Pew Charitable Trusts and others, Nirenberg sent letters to state Rep. Lyle Larson and San Antonio’s Charter Review Commission citing Austin’s success and requesting their backing. The capital city’s 2012 May mayoral race only produced 10 percent of voters, but in the next mayor’s contest — two years later in November — turnout jumped to 40 percent. Presenting his proposal for the first time publicly at the inaugural University of Texas at San Antonio Civic Engagement Summit in October, Nirenberg said voter indifference and civic disengagement are

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the two most pressing challenges facing the country, creating a ripple effect on what local government tries to accomplish – “from adopting an annual budget to building the comprehensive plan, from addressing public-safety issues to debating new modes of transportation to the future.” Representing parts of the North Side and Northwest Side, including north of Loop 1604 along the Interstate 10 West corridor, Nirenberg believes when a small number decides elections for the whole, special interests establish a foothold in government with others left out. “We don’t have a crisis of registration (to vote),” Nirenberg said. “We have a crisis of public trust.”


Not everyone is voicing support. At press time, most council members remained mum. Taylor at first seemed in opposition, noting last month the Charter Commission decided not to recommend an election change when it met this year. The mayor also was loath to challenge a decision delivered by the commission she just appointed. “I think it makes sense for the city’s

NIRENBERG continues on pg. 18

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Authentic Chicago Style Eatery Comes to San Antonio WiseGuys — A Chicago Eatery 441 W. Nakoma St., San Antonio 210.248.9609 WiseGuys sets the mood with an ambiance that reflects the topsy turvy world of Chicago during the prohibition era. A time of Bath tub Gin, Speakeasy’s, Hooch & Giggle Water. A time when gangsters like Al Capone audaciously seized control of the streets. The background music reflects this period of the roaring 20s evolving into the Rat Pack generation. San Antonio, resident Terri Bratton, worked in Chicago for over 20 years and fell in love with the flavors of the city. While hosting a charity golf tournament in San Antonio, Terri met Bill Nychay, the founder of WiseGuys A Chicago Eatery. Overhearing him talk about the concept and the fact they are true to the Chicago food experience, she was hooked. In less than a year from the initial conversation, Terri found the Nakoma location and opened the doors. WiseGuys reputation is built on serving only the highest quality foods in a unique environment that screams Chicago yet is locally friendly and familiar. If you are looking for authentic Chicago style Italian Beef, Combo Beef & Sausage, Maxwell Street Polish Sausage or Chicago dogs, this will without doubt become your second home. They also have hot dogs, burgers, Gyros, wraps, salads, and their biggest seller cheesesteaks! WiseGuys offers many sides but their hand cut Idaho number 1 fries are second to none and is only $2.99 with a drink combo. At WiseGuys, there is something for everybody. All sandwiches can be transformed into spinach wraps or served on a bed of lettuce as low carb options. Daily specials like Meatball Monday (Meatball sandwich with fires and drink combo for $7.99) or Whacky Wednesday where WiseGuys gives away a free lunch to every twentieth person in line. “You’re a Whacky Wednesday winner” is shouted out and customer applause can be quite loud in response. WiseGuys will soon start serving Spaghetti and Meatball’s during the evenings. It will also be available for Take & Bake take out. A nice array of beers and wines are offered and discounted during “Hooch Hour” (the 20s version of Happy Hour”) daily from 3 to 6pm. WiseGuys serves “Dame’s Sweets” professionally baked cakes from pastry chef Marcia Gonzales for dessert. Looking for a breakfast sandwich? WiseGuys opens up at 7am till 10:30am with curb service Grab & Go breakfast Sandwiches. Delivery service is offered through eatoutin. Catering, party reservations, box lunches and value packages round out the service experience. WiseGuys is open daily Monday through Saturday 11am - 9pm. Sunday 11am - 8pm.


NOV. 16 - DEC. 14, 2015

NIRENBERG continues from pg. 17 Charter Commission to view those types of recommendations,” Taylor said. “However, I would say without having done a lot of study on how it might impact us, that there’s a reason why we have elections in May, which is to preserve the nonpartisan nature of our city government, which I think is an advantage.” “We could look at having partisan city government,” she added, “but I think we’re at an advantage here at the local level. Being nonpartisan helps us to get things done.” Nirenberg counters there are several routes to avoid partiality in local elections. “Yes, we can have a nonpartisan election on a statewide or national ballot. No parties would be listed and there would be no primary,” Nirenberg said in an email. “We could also avoid issues with a primary through various other strategies, such as instant runoff voting.” He finds arguments against November municipal elections flimsy. “I don’t put stock in the excuse of partisanship,” he said. “If a politician wants to avoid the influence of

partisanship, just stop communicating in a partisan way, period. So much of that communication is reactive, and that’s the fault of the person reacting.” Taylor hasn’t dismissed moving the voting day, though. “What I’d like to see is more people voting, regardless of when it occurs,” she said.


Because the City Charter allows for changes only every two years, one isn’t possible until 2017. This year, the public voted to amend the charter to permit council pay increases. Charter commission member David McGee believes the discussion will be addressed when the body reconvenes. Election dates were broached in the last session this year. “One concern was that moving the election would add a political element to city government,” he said. “That’s something that San Antonio has guarded against, but it wasn’t a priority and we did not consider it or draft a recommendation.” However, saving money may be a beneficial reason for electiondate alterations, he added. “One argument in favor of it might be the expense of elections – that

could be reduced by combining elections,” McGee said. A vote to change the charter could take another year, or longer, after the commission receives the proposal. If approved, the measure then goes before the council, which decides whether it should proceed, and if so, schedules a public vote to amend the charter. Nirenberg said there’s still much to discuss, including how unexpired council terms would be managed if the election timing is changed. There are other considerations, too. “School board elections could be affected,” Nirenberg said. “Some of them

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No new high school planned north of Loop 1604 by EDMOND ORTIZ


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On Nov. 3, voters in the North East Independent School District approved by 65 percent the nearly $500 million bond to upgrade facilities. Among other efforts, those preelection chats with district patrons — which NEISD termed coffee talks with the superintendent — helped push the bond issue into the spotlight and allowed voters to digest pertinent information before going to the polls, Gottardy said. “I’m proud of the entire process,” he said after the vote. “We provided so much information to our community, and we could not have been any more transparent.” The superintendent plans to continue the coffee talks, which were held at NEISD high schools in October and September. “I think they have gone over well. Yes, 7 a.m. is early but people can attend, then go to work or whatever else they have to do,” Gottardy said. Attending parents said they like the access to information that Gottardy and his office provided to the community. “It’s nice to know he’s giving honest answers,” said Andrew Norwood, who has a son at Las Lomas Elementary School, which is in the Reagan feeder cluster. “For the superintendent to make himself available like this to parents and taxpayers is wonderful,” added Mandi JohnstonMendoza, also a Las Lomas parent. On that particular Wednesday morning in October at Reagan, Gottardy had no shortage of topics to cover with a handful of community members – campus construction, security, public-school financing and more, in addition to the bond issue. Fifteen to 20 people, many of them parents toting coffee and pastries, surrounded Gottardy to hear what he had to say. NEISD's top administrator answered various questions from several audience members. The inquiries ranged from student population projections to public

NEISD continues on pg. 20

Best Workout You Can Get! WellFIT Private Fitness and Rehab, located in the heart of Castle Hills, has been an integral part of changing lives and making a difference since 2002. Run by Patricia Englund, she has far surpassed the normal standards of what a gym offers. From sports specific clinics, group fitness classes to in-home training, weight loss specialty programs and pre-/ post injury rehabilitation, in a high energy, dog-friendly environment; WellFIT is now offering a fully integrative approach to health and wellness by combining health coaching, nutrition counseling and personal training. This program is known as LifeFX, led by Megan van Dyke. Patricia Englund, has been in the health and wellness industry for over 25 years, and has had the opportunity to train clients of all ages, health and fitness levels all over Texas. Currently dealing with autoimmune issues herself, she has begun providing clients with a holistic approach to making long-lasting lifestyle changes, with nothing but positive mindset coaching. WellFIT proudly provides private and semi-private training in a home-like studio setting. Both her and her coaches strive to accommodate all schedules by providing flexible training appointments. WellFIT is open Monday through Sunday, including holidays, in order to provide consistent training so clients can achieve personal wellness goals in a designated time frame. For those who are frustrated with jam-packed gyms and competing for equipment, WellFIT, provides a more convenient and personable environment, with highly educated and experienced trainers, whom are enthusiastic about helping others reach their goals safely and efficiently. WellFIT’s Mission: • To synergize as a family of coaches committed to each client’s success • To motivate, support, and be a positive role models for all clients • To encourage clients to experience optimal health and well-being • To tackle all challenges with an air of comfort, confidence, empathy and professionalism • To make a lasting impact for a community of change through the promotion of healthier, more holistic lifestyle transitions WellFIT is located at 1919 Lockhill-Selma Road, Suite 101, San Antonio, TX 78213 WellFITs’ website is www.wellfit-sa.com.

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NOV. 16 - DEC. 14, 2015

NEISD continues from pg. 19 school funding. On the latter, Gottardy said he hopes the Texas Supreme Court will rule within the next five months on public schools’ collective effort to sue the state over its current financing formula. Gottardy told a reporter he appreciates the small yet eager crowds that attended his early morning information sessions. “I’m a firm believer in listening to the community. This is just another venue to listen to their concerns,” he said. At the meeting, Gottardy described how district residents convinced a citizens’ steering committee to pare down initial projects and estimates in the bond package before the school board called for the election. This is the fourth time in 12 years NEISD has floated a bond. It allocates money for, among other things, upgrades to facilities, technology, safety and security, and portable building replacements districtwide. More specifically, the new bond allows for security check-in vestibules, expanding the wireless network for technology devices, replacing the 60-year-old bleachers at Comalander Stadium, and expanding or replacing band halls and fine-arts structures at several middle and high schools. “That was $43 million freed up to



Superintendent Brian Gottardy of the North East Independent School District speaks with community members in mid-October at Reagan High School. He discussed the upgrades a nearly $500 million bond could bring to the district; the referendum was approved by voters Nov. 3. Photo by Edmond Ortiz

go to equity and technology,” Gottardy told the audience about bond preplanning. “We and district staff started with Plan A. We’re now on Plan I.” Higher appraised values in recent years have enabled the school district

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to pay down its overall debt. That has given the district room to refund and refinance old bond obligations. That will help the NEISD to hold off on a tax-rate increase for at least five to seven years with the new bond program, Gottardy said.

“My goal has been to keep your taxes low as possible,” he added. Gottardy said he expects no more new middle schools for NEISD north of Loop



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NEISD continues on pg. 21


SALOCALLOWDOWN.COM NEISD continues from pg. 20 1604, especially with the lack of available land. He also said the district foresees that Reagan and Johnson high schools will keep growing, but there’s no long-range plan for a third high school north of 1604. The superintendent added that the district, with bond approval, will seek to do what it can with existing facilities to accommodate student growth projections. One line item in the new bond converts NEISD’s complex on Perrin Central Boulevard and Wurzbach Parkway into a trade/career academy. Gottardy recalled how his brother did not go a traditional high school-to-college route, but rather learned a trade and has built a successful, happy life around that. “I’m going to be honest, not all high school kids will go to college. There’s nothing wrong with that,” Gottardy said. “People have to define what success is for themselves and

let students do what they want to do.” The superintendent added that a career/trade academy could lure away some students from Reagan and the other NEISD high schools, but would also give each of those campuses some flexibility in student population capacity. Now that voters gave the new bond their blessings, it will take most of 2016 for the district to bring on consultants and design plans for any renovations or new construction. Meanwhile, a new facility has joined the NEISD ranks by acquisition. The school district has purchased Time Warner Cable Park, the recreational complex on Wetmore Road, after the previous owners put it up for sale. The district had been leasing it for athletic and Project Graduation activities. The new bond allocates $10 million to help NEISD cover a swimming pool at the park and heat the water in it, as well as fix bathrooms and dressing rooms.




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Pay an enchanting visit to The Crystal Mystic by CAROLE MILLER


he Crystal Mystic is a new shop that bills itself as “San Antonio’s portal to enchanting crystals, magical jewelry and inner transportation.” Located at 4703 Shavano Oak St., Suite 100, the shop — in spite of the mystical name — is run by a trio of very down-toearth folks: geologist Francine Cantrell, her husband Edward Cantrell, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel; and the Rev. Jason Korthauer, formerly a Lutheran minister. “We meditated together three years ago with an Indian guru and came to the understanding that we should work together,” Francine Cantrell said. Patrons entering the lobby are met

by a vast amount of crystals, books, candles, incense, Tibetan singing bowls and handmade Native American spiritual tools. There is a calm, quiet library area that offers free Wi-Fi, as well as larger meeting spaces for yoga, meditation and drumming circles. And there is also a gathering spot to host everything from quarterly metaphysical fairs to weddings. Visitors can also stop by for a psychic reading, to see what the tarot cards hold or to have a healing crystal made into a beautiful piece of jewelry. “No one has a belief system we can’t work with,” Korthauer said. “We’ll speak to you from your point of view because we want to help. Our services can aid your spiritual development

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The Crystal Mystic sells crystals, books, candles, incense and more, and has a library and free Wi-Fi for guests. The staff also offers Reiki classes, tarot readings and shamanic healing. A large meeting room is available for groups to discuss a variety of subjects. Photo by Collette Orquiz

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Pedal your way to fitness at JoyRide Texas at Alon by ERIC MORENO


oyRide Texas at Alon has been turning up the proverbial heat on exercise enthusiasts with unique indoor cycling classes.

Part of the JoyRide Cycling Studio group, the new fitness boutique at 10003 N.W. Military Highway, Suite 1124 in the Alon Town Centre offers a variety of classes for all levels and experience. Memberships are not required. “What’s JoyRide, you ask? Think calorie-torching, endorphin-surged, highenergy, super-athletic group fitness classes,” said owner Becky Cerroni. “A warning, though. JoyRide is highly addictive.” The classes offered at JoyRide include standard cycle; Tabata training, which

is high-intensity interval cycling; and resistance rides. Also offered are the CycleLIVE classes featuring a live band performing during each session. “All of our classes are served with a large dose of authenticity, joy, humor and positivity,” Cerroni said. “Our motto is, ‘Be fit, be strong and be joyful.’” The 50-minute cycle classes combine cardio workouts with strength training using hand weights. Riders can burn 600-800 calories in a single session. “Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or a beginner looking for a new workout, our talented and super-fit instructors are here to motivate and support you and your fitness goals,” Cerroni said. “We believe fitness should never be intimidating or judgmental. It should be rewarding, inclusive and fun.” JoyRide Texas at Alon opened in

Creative director and lead instructor Kelly Middleton leads a 50-minute cycling class that includes aerobic and aerobic interval training at JoyRide Texas at Alon. Photo by Collette Orquiz

August; a sister location, JoyRide Texas on Broadway, is at 1915 Broadway near the Pearl. Other outlets are in Connecticut, according to a company website. Hours for the Alon studio are 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Weekly schedules are released online at noon Sunday.

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NOV. 16 - DEC. 14, 2015

EAT LOCAL Learn about the newest neighborhood places for breakfast, lunch, dinner or drinks

Capos promises quality Italian eats with New York flair by OLIVIER J. BOURGOIN


apos Pizza may be new to the North Side, but the family patriarch behind the eatery’s launch has more than four decades in the business.

In fact, you could say Rick Perna knows his way around a pizza oven. Beginning 40 years ago in Buffalo, New York, and eventually landing at Fratello’s Italian Market in San Antonio, as well as getting involved in several other pizza ventures, Perna has done it again with Capos, 17676 Blanco Road. “My son, Ricky, is the owner and I’m his consultant and helper,” the elder Perna said. “He wanted to get

into the business and Daddy had the experience, so I told him I would help him get it right, but it’s his restaurant.” Launched June 1, the carryout-anddelivery-only shop features a couple of 8-foot countertops, each with four barstools. Customers may sit, relax and view a big-screen television. Visitors can grab a soft drink from a self-serve glass-front refrigerator, and watch through the brick-lined, semicircle opening into the kitchen as chefs perform magic. “We deliver within a 5-mile radius,” Perna said, adding more drivers are sought. Along with seven subs and a dozen pizzas, Capos serves calzones and Stromboli, plus salads, garlic bread, pizza rolls and garlic knots. Try the Clemenza with red sauce,

Capos Pizza features whole pizzas and by the slice (above left), but also available are items such as the Italian sub (top right) and even desserts such as mini-cannoli (bottom right). Photos by Collette Orquiz

mozzarella, pepperoni, Italian sausage, meatballs and Calabrese salami; or the Moe Greene made with basil pesto sauce, Roma tomatoes, mozzarella, grilled chicken, artichoke and shaved Parmesan cheese. Dessert, for now, is a mini-cannoli, but homemade gelato could be coming. “What we’re trying to do here is to offer quality in everything. I have triedand-true recipes I’ve been perfecting for 40 years and it’s second nature to me,”

Perna said. “The concept of what we’re doing is to be people-attentive with quality food with a New York-Italian flair.” Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1 to 8 p.m. Sunday.

CAPOS PIZZA 17676 Blanco Road, Suite 400 For more, call 362-1901 or visit www.capospizzasa.com

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EAT LOCAL Learn about the newest neighborhood places for breakfast, lunch, dinner or drinks

Stop in for a cup of joe, walk out a trained barista by OLIVIER J. BOURGOIN


ASTLE HILLS — At Cyclo Coffee and Barista Academy, it’s no grind to get a cup of joe — or even learn how to brew the perfect blend.

Owner Sylvia Miller said the idea to open a barista training center sprang from a lifelong passion for coffee, coupled with what she perceived as a void in the art of coffee-making. The grand opening for the shop, 2211 N.W. Military Highway, Suite 114, was Oct. 29. “When I started my first coffee shop (near the South Texas Medical Center), I had all these machines I had to maneuver but there was no one to help


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me on how to use them.” Miller said. “I spent hours trying to figure it all out.” That experience convinced Miller that her career path led to coffee. From there she took a job with Starbucks and then debuted her new shop and training center. “Of course we serve customers because the students have to practice in a real-life setting,” Miller said. Novices can pay a minimal fee of $125 for a three-hour course in the arts of frothing and decorating lattes. Tuition of $195 pays for more comprehensive training to become an in-home barista — learning about the perfect method for pulling the ultimate shot of espresso, different types of coffee beans, the finer points of milksteaming and basic coffee-based beverages. Then there is the Cadillac of classes. For $1,295, Miller will guide a student through three days of instruction to become a

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Sylvia Miller (left), the owner of Cyclo Coffee and Barista Academy in Castle Hills, says, 'It's all about the coffee.' She sells java in the front, but also has a teaching lab in the back of the shop where she conducts barista classes (above). Photos by Collette Orquiz

trade-certified barista. Custom weekend classes also can be arranged. Classes of up to five students per session are allowed. “I am open to also do custom training for people who are already working and who want to sharpen their skills or to teach them whatever their employer wants their new hires to know,” Miller said. The name of the shop is a nod to Miller’s interest in bicycling. “I’m a rider myself. I have in mind for us to become a rallying point for local cycling clubs,” she said. Her own bike hangs in the shop. There is no kitchen, but Cyclo Coffee offers bite-size pastries, scones and muffins.

“It’s all about the coffee,” Miller said. “We use organic beans and we make lattes, chai, hot chocolate, Americano frappés with flavors blended-in and pour-over French press coffee, which you can make yourself or we can make it for you.” Hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday — about the same Sunday hours as the neighboring farmers market.

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MEXICAN RESTAURANT Buy Lunch Entrée get a Free Tea 156l4 Huebner Rd #116, San Antonio, TX 78248 • 2l0-314-7151 Hours: 7am-3pm Mon.-Sat., Closed on Sun.



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1/2 Off

dinner only 14602 Huebner Rd., San Antonio, Texas 78230


HOURS: Tues. Thru Thurs. 11am to 9 pm Fri. & Sat. 11 am to 10 pm • Sundays: 4 pm to 9 pm


THE WAY IT OUGHT TO BE. GREAT HARVEST BREAD CO SAN ANTONIO, TX 2267 NW Military Hwy #109B San Antonio, TX 78213 | 210-348-9870 Monday - Friday from 6am - 6pm and Saturday’s from 6am-5pm Stop by our bakery, where Closed Sundays for some “loafing” around.

we love to share generous FREE SLICES of freshly baked bread!

Back to school special 15% off Stop in check out our new coffee Bar

UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP General Manager: Stephen Turner

RSVP Tost’s Holiday Party & New Year’s Eve Party

See site for details


14415 Blanco Rd., San Antonio


www.TheTostBistro.com AMERICAN • FRENCH • ITALIAN Brunch: Dinner: Saturday-Sunday Tuesday-Sunday 10:30PM to 3:00PM 5:00PM to 10:00PM Happy Hour: Everyday • 5:00PM to 7:00PM

Present This Ad and Get 10% off Your Meal.

Excluding Alcohol Beverages, Dinner only, Offer expires 31 December 2015


17 7676 Blanco Rd #400 Sa an Antonio, TX 78232




625 EACH

210-362-1901 1 LARGE 3 TOPPING FEED UP TO 4








(Towards the minimum purchase of $20.00 on Entrees only) Offer can only be used during Lunch hours dine-in only. Multiple certificates will not be accepted. Expires January 31, 2016

Gluten Free Menu and 600 Calorie & Under Entrees are Available


(Towards the minimum purchase of $20.00 on Entrees only) Offer can only be used during Dinner hours dine-in only. Multiple certificates will not be accepted. Expires January 31, 2016

Scuzzis Italian Grill 4035 North Loop 1604 W. SA,TX 78257 • 210-493-8884

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Prsrt Std US Postage Paid Permit 6450 San Antonio TX

principleauto DEALERSHIP A



8434 Airport Blvd. San Antonio, TX 78216 MINIofsanantonio.com *See Dealer for details.

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LOCAL: Castle Hills, Shavano Park, North Central, 78213, 78230, 78248, 78249 November 2015  

This month in Zone 2: The Mayor of Castle Hills recently did a survey and residents are sounding off on several key issues, Shavano Park and...

LOCAL: Castle Hills, Shavano Park, North Central, 78213, 78230, 78248, 78249 November 2015  

This month in Zone 2: The Mayor of Castle Hills recently did a survey and residents are sounding off on several key issues, Shavano Park and...

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