Page 1

PG. 16 Improving school

safety for NEISD campuses

City representatives, superintendent, police chief meet with parents to discuss crosswalks and traffic VOL. 2, ISSUE 12








THE GUNS OF SAN ANTONIO PG. 17 In city known for shooting sports, club at Olmos Basin Park range has become legendary WHAT'S




PG. 23 SOBRO Pizza Co. Bringing a taste of Naples, Italy, to Broadway

PG. 23 BUY: King William District Crossfit Staying healthy at new gym south of downtown

FANTASTIC DEALS PG. 27 COUPONS INSIDE Discover the city through LOCAL deals from restaurants, retailers and services in your community, and save money while you do it!

PG. 18 Mahncke

PG. 15 Elections in

Park one step closer to historic designation

Alamo Heights, Olmos Park produce surprises

Not all residents, property owners support move, but enough signatures are on petition

Lynda Billa Burke wins in Alamo Heights

PG. 12 Downtown

Residents Association on journey to increase membership Wednesday Wanderings just one offering to showcase life in the urban core


JUNE 2014


President Harold J. Lees Publisher Gregg Rosenfield

Assoc. Publisher Rick Upton

EDITORIAL Executive Editor Thomas Edwards News Staff Collette Orquiz and Will Wright Contributing Writers Rose Mary Budge, Ron Aaron Eisenberg, Joyce Hotchkiss, Carole Miller, Eileen Pace, Travis E. Poling and Susan Yerkes ART Creative Director Richard Fisher Jr. Production Designer Pete Morales Contributing Photographers Josh Huskin and Aiessa Ammeter Contributing Illustrator Jeremiah Teutsch ADVERTISING Advertising Director Jaselle Luna Account Manager Kelly Jean Garza Controller Keith Sanders READER SERVICE Mailing Address 4204 Gardendale Ste. 201 SA, TX 78229 Fax (210) 616.9677 Phone (210) 338.8842 Advertising Inquiries Story Ideas Website LOCAL Community News publications Zone 2: 78213, 78230, 78231, 78248, 78249 Zone 3: 78216, 78232, 78247 Zone 4: 78109, 78148, 78233, 78239 Zone 5: 78108, 78132, 78154, 78266 For advertising, customer service or editorial, please call us at 210-338-8842 or write to us at: Local Community News 4204 Gardendale Ste. 201 San Antonio, TX 78229 Reproduction in whole or in part without our permission is prohibited, 2014 Helen Publishing, LLC and Local Community News, LLC, all rights reserved.

A big welcome to new readers


ith great pleasure, I’d like to welcome another newspaper to the LOCAL Community News family of quality publications. This month the LOCAL edition serving the greater Stone Oak and Encino Park communities north of Loop 1604 debuts. The launch of our newest paper marks another milestone for our 2-year-old company. During that short time, a vision to offer hyperlocal news content to readers in targeted zones through direct mail has grown from two initial newspapers to six, boasting a press run of more than 200,000 copies. The readers holding the new Stone Oak publication are going to learn what fellow residents across the greater San Antonio area already know — LOCAL delivers in-depth coverage of neighborhood news, ranging from new restaurants and businesses to school activities and government. We hope readers living in ZIP codes 78258, 78259, 78260 and 78261 will find LOCAL as informative and enjoyable as established audiences from Shavano Park and Alamo Heights to Cibolo and Garden Ridge. In addition to great stories, other features offered each month include insightful commentary from veteran journalist Susan Yerkes, the Happening LOCAL calendar, synopsis of major stories and business items in LOCAL Lowdown, and stories about new dining spots and services under the EAT and BUY sections. We look forward to hearing your suggestions and comments. Send them to





Shrinking Blue Hole reflects water woes by SUSAN YERKES


t’s going to be a long, hot summer, and here in droughtstricken South Texas, that has once again brought water issues to the forefront.

My musings about water got jump-started recently when my friend Rhon Bayes made a short film about the Blue Hole — the headwaters of the San Antonio River. I first visited the spot on what was then Incarnate Word College in the mid-1980s with the late Amy Freeman Lee, president of the college board at the time. She recalled swimming and boating in the clear blue waters flowing from the artesian spring, but during our trip, the deep stone well was far from full.

The most recent visit with Bayes’ film crew was a sad surprise. The stone well was dry as a bone, the parched bottom in disrepair. Where green space once surrounded the area, now parking lots, a retirement center and nursing home loom over the dry creek bed and the Blue Hole itself. Traffic noise from Broadway drowns out nature. Yet something sacred still remains — and some people have begun to reclaim, in some measure, the gift of water. Back in 2008, the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word took a big step to preserve the last remaining undeveloped property they owned – 53 acres, including the Blue Hole, in the Olmos Creek Basin. They created the Headwaters at Incarnate Word, a nonprofit to protect and preserve the legacy of the springs. Long-time conservationist Helen Ballew, Headwaters’ executive director, is leading the restoration effort. Volunteers are cleaning trails, removing invasive brush, replanting native vegetation and creating footpaths. Students on field trips learn about the once-flowing streams that sustained humans here more than 10,000 years ago. The group is even in discussions with the National Park Service about expanding the Missions National Historical Park to include the Headwaters Sanctuary.

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“You look at it (springs) now and it’s sad,” Ballew said. “In a way, it symbolizes the disconnect between humans and the natural world we depend on for survival; the way we draw water from the Edwards Aquifer like it’s going to last forever.” Civic leader George Brackenridge gave the Sisters of Charity more than 500 acres in the area. In the late 1800s he built a home (now the restored Brackenridge Villa), near the Blue Hole. Brackenridge owned the municipal water supply company, and his engineers suggested drilling wells to tap the aquifer’s clean, fresh water. “In 1891, when (Brackenridge) drilled the first big Edwards well, the springs went dry. He knew what was causing it. But he made the choice to supply clean water to a city where people were dying of dysentery for lack of it. To me, that is a symbol of the trade-offs we make,” said Gregg Eckhardt, an environmental scientist with the San Antonio Water System. Eckhardt cited the sad state of Medina Lake as a metaphor for the most pressing water issues South Texas faces today. “It’s not just the drought. The whole Hill Country is being gentrified; big ranches cut into smaller parcels, and everyone drilling their own well, putting in dam structures to hold water, “ he said.

The Trinity Aquifer, which adjoins the Edwards, is being pumped faster than it can recharge. “Everybody loves the Hill Country, and we’re loving it to death,” said Annalisa Peace, director of the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance, a coalition concerned with water issues. “Comal, Bandera, Kendall, Bexar, Williamson, Travis and Medina counties have among the fastest-growing populations in the country now, and the practices we have of development are just unsustainable.” San Antonio itself is in good shape. With conservation and recycling, SAWS is pumping the same amount of water from the Edwards that it did 30 years ago, when the city’s population was smaller. And as Eckhardt noted, the springs supplying the Blue Hole will almost surely flow again – when we get enough rain. But with a forecast of progressively hotter and drier years, it’s critical to remember how important the ecosystem of land and aquifers all around us is to our daily lives. Isn’t it time to restore the sanctity of the Blue Hole, the legendary source of the water sustaining this city for centuries? What do you think? Email comments to syerkes@





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JUNE 2014


Big hats, flip-flops, luaus and an offer you can’t refuse by CAROLE MILLER


his month’s tour de fêtes began with la fantastique “Le Brunch des Chapeaux.” (Naturellement.)

Chairwomen Raven Labatt and Cynthia Kerby took the lawn of the Argyle through the rabbit hole and hosted a whimsical Alice in Wonderland-themed luncheon benefitting Any Baby Can and the Autism Community Network. The ladies who lunch donned their most fabulous hats and gathered to raise money for autism research while enjoying a delicious meal and Julian Gold’s over-the-top Spring Style Show. The Mad Hatter was even spotted chasing after a white rabbit! Then Will Smith Foundation Founder and President Susan Moulton hosted “Luaus and Lariats” at the San Antonio

Country Club. Ursula Pari served as mistress of ceremonies for this Hawaiianluau-done-Texas-style shindig featuring a gourmet Texas-Hawaiian fusion feast and entertainment by Nashville recording artists Bryan Lewis and Wynn Varble. Have you ever received an “unvitation” to a party? So have all the Fiesta Rebels! Their response? They simply threw their own, completely unofficial Fiesta party for everyone who wished they were invited to the official royal events, with the “required dress” being “black tie and flip-flops.” Marco and Anne Gamboa opened up their gorgeous Alamo Heights home and hosted the unofficial festivities (and even gave me a glass of sangria the next day when my car overheated in front of their house). Gracias, Gamboas! And capping off this marvelous party adventure, the ladies of the Texas Biomedical Forum made San Antonio socialites an offer they couldn’t refuse with their annual gala, “La Dolce Vita.” This highly anticipated event, chaired by Daniela Serna and Ashley Hixon, has morphed into a before, during and after spectacular at the Argyle. And it was, indeed, dolce, capice?

LE DOLCE VITA: Lisa Longoria (left), Rita and John Feik and Jena Barker; Stephanie Bailey (left), Lindsay Nash, Tori Spielhagen, Caty Shelton and Jenevieve Coch

LUAUS: Ann Kercheville (left), Joe and Dot Heminghaus; Bryan and Sheila Lewis

REBELS: Traci and Bill Hunter (left), Sandra Ford, Jenny Ulm, Martha Coerver, Niti Volpe; Vivienne and Chris Bathie

CHAPEAUX: Raven Labatt (left), Cynthia Kerby; Amy Swaney (left) and Leslie Miller

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JUNE 2014


Views and opinions about your community.

Less tests ok


exas lawmakers must continue efforts to reduce a reliance on one-size-fits-all standardized tests in public schools.

Not only are all the exams unnecessary, they also create a culture where educators are teaching the test instead of giving students a broad education. Schools should continue to promote vocational training to better serve those students who don’t want to go to college. Our leaders must ignore the siren’s lure of the so-called testing lobby, which is guided by profit motives and not the educational needs of students. Parents and educators should have a say-so in how high-stakes tests such as the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness are handled, putting the issue back in the hands of the community. These standardized tests, when used, should not be the basis for deciding whether

a child moves on to the next grade. Instead, the exams are better utilized as one of many indicators to determine how much a child has learned and plan the curriculum accordingly. And families shouldn’t be kept in fear of the tests. Many parents, for instance, don’t realize the law allows them to opt their child out of the STAAR test based on religious or moral beliefs. Gov. Rick Perry during the last legislative session signed a new law that rolls back testing requirements, reducing the number of end-of-course exams required of Texas students. The Legislature has listened to parents and made some necessary changes. But elected leaders mustn’t stop there. Already in place as of last summer are greater flexibility for school districts and pupils, additional control at the local level and a decrease in state-mandated tests. Nobody wants Texas students to fall behind their peers in other states or countries. But leaders also have to realize that education is not a cookie-cutter process. The LOCAL Community News editorial board includes Harry Lees, Gregg Rosenfield and Thomas Edwards.


in total agreement with the antistreetcar editorial published in the April LOCAL Community News. We think the streetcar initiative is a bad idea that doesn't benefit the people of San Antonio. As taxpayers, we would rather see that kind of investment put to better use, such as education or technical training programs to improve the caliber of talent or the workforce in San Antonio. That in turn would attract more companies to the city and, consequently, fuel our city's economy. As residents of the city, we want to make sure politicos aren't pushing their own agenda, but are doing what is best for San Antonio and its people. Ayon Wen-Waldron


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pre-kindergarten programs. Research shows that caring teachers and involved parents are the greatest factors, by far, that influence student learning. Pre-K can help students who have needs to be school-ready, better than anything else. Michael J. Brown

TOLL ROADS USEFUL EDITOR: Regarding the recent editorial

about toll roads: I like toll roads. Not that I have more money but the fact is, if it will save me time and grief, I'll be happy to pay the toll. I take Texas 130 anytime I'm driving north from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Interstate 35 is packed with 18-wheelers in the corridor between San Antonio and Austin. I'm happy driving to Seguin and cut up through 130. My other gripe is the amount of personal pickups. This is Texas, so the truck is the vehicle of choice. However, the mega-land yachts are becoming ridiculous. Road dimensions have not changed since they were first designed, yet the trucks have become bigger. Drivers are not getting any better. They buy larger and larger vehicles, yet they drive worse. Driving

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through a parking lot holds little joy due to the size of the trucks and their numbers. I would love to tax the vehicle based on size. I have a truck, but it is midsize and I only drive it when I need to haul stuff. Rob Lee STREETCARS ARE NEEDED DOWNTOWN EDITOR: In the April edition of LOCAL Community News, the editorial made an unpersuasive case against streetcars. I want to live in a city with a vibrant and lively downtown. The editorial was partially right stating streetcars would serve “gawking tourists,” but the last time I looked they brought a ton of money to our city and paid enormous sums into our tax system. Streetcars are not bad for the city, not on this issue. Modern streetcars do not “chug chug” as the editorial noted, but offer a smooth, quiet ride. Another point in the newspaper’s opinion piece is that streetcars will be paid by those parts of Bexar County not served by the new system. A true statement, but I do not believe this is the first or last time this will happen. I helped pay for the new Loop 1604/U.S. 281

exchange, but I do not use it. The San Antonio International Airport terminals (which bring in lots of tourists) do not serve our residents who do not fly, even though they help pay for it. Finally, let’s look at what the streetcar system is trying to accomplish. Downtown San Antonio, unlike Houston and Dallas, is not blessed with wide streets and sidewalks. People making bus transfers pack certain stops. As more people come to our city, this will increase to a choking point. Establishing two transit centers on each side of downtown will allow more buses to be brought into the system. However, unless you have a smooth, seamless transfer system offered by the streetcars, you still have a clogged, noisy downtown. The cost at $280 million is small compared to the $1 billion we just spent on each of the Loop 410 lane expansions, the two 410 interchanges, the 1604/281 interchange and new construction on Interstate 10 and 1604. I support the streetcar proposal. Bruce Ashton — Member of the National Association of Railroad Passengers

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


LAST DAY Classes end for the

Alamo Heights and North East 5 Independent school district’s 2013-14 academic year. According to the Alamo Heights ISD website, commencement practice for graduating seniors is 8:45 a.m. June 5 in Laurie Auditorium at Trinity University, with the ceremony at 7:30 p.m. that day in the same location. Graduates need to be there at 6:30 p.m. with cap and gown. For the various NEISD graduation dates, visit the district’s website at http://www. and click on District Calendars.




organization’s Alamo City Guards Camp 1325 will hold its monthly first-Thursday meeting starting at 6 p.m. at the Grady’s Bar-B-Q at 6510 San Pedro Ave. The meetings, which begin with a meal and include a speaker, are open to anyone interested in Civil War history; no reservations are needed. More on the SCV is available at





EAST TEXAS ARTISANS The Texas Folklife Festival, which takes place June 7-8, will include the opening of an exhibit, “Folklife in the Piney Woods of Texas.” The Institute of Texan Cultures, aided by the National Endowment for the Arts, has documented an array of traditional art and crafts from a 33-county area, along with the people who keep those skills and traditions alive. After the festival, the exhibit will be open during regular institute hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission ranges from $6 to $8 and is free for members and those with Alamo Colleges or University of Texas at San Antonio identification. The institute, part of the UTSA Hemisfair Park Campus, is at 801 E. Cesar Chavez Blvd. JUNE 7 AUG 31

event is a fundraiser for Yoga 7 Day, a nonprofit with a mission to teach hatha yoga to lower-income segments of the population. It runs from 8:30 a.m. to noon at Brackenridge Park, between the San Antonio Zoo parking lot and the Tony Martinez Softball Field. For more, go to




25 Years of Community Leadership” is the theme of the 25th Annual Neighborhood Conference sponsored by the Neighborhood Resource Center. It is 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Laurel Heights United Methodist Church, 227 W. Woodlawn Ave. Various panels will address neighborhood issues. The conference is open to the public and a $15 donation is suggested to reserve lunch. For registration information and to reserve an exhibit table, go to, or call 735-0586.



Farmers and Ranchers Market has teamed up with the Tuk Tuk Taproom, 1702 Broadway, for a three-course dinner. The meal will feature fresh, locally produced ingredients, but the dishes will






reflect the cooking of Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar. Courses will be paired with craft beers. Tickets are $95 for adults and $50 for children under 12, and seating is limited. For reservations, call 722-5077, email or visit the Cowgirl Granola tent at the Alamo Quarry Market on Sundays.



Playhouse is offering one- and two-week camps that allow youngsters to learn a variety of skills used onstage and backstage. There are three age groups, 5-12, 9-18 and 13-18. The classes run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. MondayFriday, and pre- and post-class care is available. For specific subjects, dates and costs, go to http://www.theplayhousesa. org/?q=shows/2014-summer-camps. The Playhouse is at 800 W. Ashby Place.

Looking for a place to cool off ? JUNE


TERRELL HILLS The City Council meets at 5 p.m. in City Hall, 5100 N. New Braunfels Ave.

The summers really sizzle in San Antonio, but there are some wonderful homes with fabulous swimming pools that are perfect for cooling off – like this exquisite 4 bedroom, 4.5 bath contemporary home, complete with a gorgeous custom pool, in Terrell Hills. If you have been been thinking about a move, there’s never been a better time – call and let me show you around San Antonio’s very best homes and finest neighborhoods!

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ALAMO HEIGHTS The City Council meets at 5:30 p.m. at 9 the temporary City Hall, 1248 Austin Highway, Suite 220. Another meeting at the same time and place is June 23. JUNE



who like to dig in the dirt and are curious about the natural world might enjoy the camps being offered by the San Antonio Botanical Garden. Weeklong sessions start June 9 and are geared to children as young as 3. The classes will cater to junior naturalists and junior gardeners as well as special-needs youths. For more on camp dates and costs, go to You can register online, by mail or in person. The garden is at 555 Funston Place at North New Braunfels Avenue.




Nix Health Foundation and Los Padres Foundation are offering free prostate screenings 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Nix Medical Center, 414 Navarro St. Men will be seen in the order they arrive. The free screenings are for men ages 40 and older who don’t have a personal physician or the means to be tested. Free parking at Houston Street Garage at the corner of College and Navarro streets with Nix validation. For more, call 579-3157 or visit




Lighthouse for the Blind’s “The Touch…The Sense…The Feel…” of Art 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Witte Museum, 3801 Broadway, for a fundraiser that benefits education programs for sight-challenged children. Meet the artists, potters and sculptors donating their art to this event. Each piece will be draped and the artist will discuss the piece and show their other works. Guests can touch the art, but no peeking. Tickets are $25 in advance, $35 at the door. For more, call Nancy Lipton at 531-1533, email or visit



San Antonio Symphony will celebrate its 75th anniversary with a classical concert followed by a festive reception. The concert, at the Majestic Theatre, 224 E. Houston St., will include works performed during that first concert in June 1939, among them selections by Wagner and Strauss. Afterward, there will be dessert, Champagne, jazz and a full bar at the St. Anthony Hotel. VIP tickets that include both concert and party cost $150 and can be purchased through a link at or by calling the symphony box office at 223-8624.


MATISSE: LIFE IN COLOR The San Antonio Museum of Art will host a major exhibition of works by the 20th century master drawn from the collection of the Baltimore Museum of Art. The pieces, covering six decades of the French artist’s long career, include paintings, sculpture and works on paper. Admission will be by tickets with specific times, available on SAMA’s website, There will be a $15 fee in addition to the regular admission, which is $10 for adults, $7 for those 65 and older, $5 for students and military personnel (with identification), and free for children under 12. Museum hours are 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. The museum is at 200 W. Jones Ave. JUNE 14 SEPT 7

JUNE 16 AUG 22


Antonio Children’s Museum offers a series of summer camps where science, art and creativity come together. The one-week camps gear their subjects to 4- to 6-year-olds and 7- to 10-year olds, with the younger campers’ sessions running from 9 a.m. to noon and the older group’s camp going from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Before- and after-care is available. To register over the phone, call 212-4453, ext. 1307. For details on the camps and the cost, and to register online, go to www.

UT Medicine offers the power of academic medicine from our School of Medicine faculty and the convenience of a private practice setting at the Medical Arts & Research Center in San Antonio’s Medical Center. We accept most major health plans. For an appointment, call (210) 450-9000.

TRUSTEES of the North East Independent School District 16 meet at 6:30 p.m., 8961 Tesoro Drive at the district’s headquarters building.




OLMOS PARK City Council meets at 6 p.m. in City Hall, 120 W. El Prado Drive. THE ALAMO HEIGHTS INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT board meets

at 7 p.m. in the board room of Central Office, 7101 Broadway.


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series of free lectures at the San Antonio Central Library, 600 Soledad St., explores major artworks and societal themes from the ancient world. The June session looks at the Egyptians’ fascination with the afterlife as it is represented in their art. It runs from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Library Auditorium; the lecturer and discussion leader is library assistant Michelle Hill, who has a master’s degree in art history.


Happening continues on pg. 13

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JUNE 2014

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. SOBRO PIZZA CO., 1915 Broadway,

just opened on the corner of East Grayson Street and boasts “great Neapolitan pizza” with dough from Italy, a housemade sauce, classic and non-traditional toppings, salads, gelato, craft beers, wine, coffee and more. The decor includes an open interior with large windows, a stone pizza oven, a bar and a terrace. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more, call 227-6276, visit or check out the Facebook page at sobropizza. (See story on page 23)

Address of local business Name of local business

4 5

2 16

2. STAY GOLDEN SOCIAL HOUSE AND BOOZERIA, 401 Pearl Parkway, bills itself

as a great watering hole specializing in cocktails, cocktails on tap, craft brews, food trucks, outdoor seating and prices that are “easy on the wallet.” For more, call 4440707 or visit the Facebook page at www. (See story on page 24)


812 S. Alamo St., recently opened in the neighborhood south of downtown. It offers workout plans tailored to individuals, depending on personal goals and factors including condition, age or injuries. Staffers say the focus is on endurance, stamina, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy. For more and to find a class schedule, visit or call 529-2338. (See story on page 21)


N.W. Loop 410, Suite 102, is a one-stop shop for all cake, candy and baking needs, according to the staff. Hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. For more, call 475-3032 or visit the Facebook page at https://www. (See story on page 22)

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250 E. Basse Road, Suite 205, celebrated a grand opening June 2. It specializes in women’s health care including pregnancies, menopause and post-menopause. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday *Rebate amount based on a 5-ton, 17 SEER unit.

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3 through Friday. For more, call 653-5501, go to or visit them on Facebook at

6. BIKE WORLD, 300 E. Grayson St., Suite 100 B, began with a small shop at the Pearl in 2010 featuring an extended collection of rental bicycles and is now adding a full retail shop. The company started in 1971. Merchandise includes Trek, Salsa, Surly, Fairdale, Bianchi, Retrospec, Sunday, ElliptiGO and more. It also has Shinola bikes, watches, leather goods and a broad line of Electra Bicycles. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. For more, visit IN OTHER NEWS VOTERS ON MAY 10 ELECTED JOE KRIER

to fill an unexpired term on the District 9 City Council seat with 57 percent of the ballots, defeating four other contenders. Krier, the former Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, was appointed to the seat in November after Councilwoman Elisa Chan stepped down to run — unsuccessfully — in the Republican March primary for state Senate District 25.



Krier will hold the seat until next spring’s citywide elections. Officials said turnout for the District 9 special election was low.

IN THE ONLY CONTESTED RACE facing North East Independent School District voters May 10, Place 2 incumbent Edd White won election to a sixth term, defeating challenger Bob Coster. Running unopposed were Sandi Wolff, wife of Bexar County Precinct 3 Commissioner Kevin Wolff, for the Place 3 slot, and Place 7 incumbent Brigitte Perkins. THERE WILL BE A JUNE 14 RUNOFF

advises motorists to “keep vehicles locked at all times when unattended to prevent theft of property or the vehicle.” In addition, the chief said vehicle owners should set their alarms; never leave valuables in open view, secure them in the trunk instead; park in lighted areas if a garage is not available; barking dogs are a “great alert system,” so don’t ignore them; always record serial numbers of valuables; and remember that “charging cords leading to consoles, under seats, etc. (are) a clue there may be something of value at the other end.” Pruitt said detectives are following leads in the break-ins.

election for two board positions in the Alamo Community College District. Lorena Pulido and Albert Herrera will face off in District 4, while incumbent Gary Beitzel will take on challenger Clint Kingsbery in District 8. District 9 incumbent Jim Rindfuss easily defeated challenger Felix Grieder.


A SPECIAL-USE PERMIT for a proposed


garden-home development along Olmos Drive was approved May 7 by the Olmos Park City Council during a special-called meeting, officials said. Residents’ concerns were addressed after lengthy negotiations with the developer and are reflected in the permit, officials added. According to a statement from the city, “The project will reduce overall housing density from the multi-family units currently along Olmos Drive, will add more green space, reduce impervious cover, replace old, worn-out buildings with new quality construction, and will attract new homeowners to replace renters. Development conditions agreed to include strict building design requirements that will be verified throughout the construction process.” The council next will consider rezoning the areas affected by the special-use permit to “single family” to keep the properties from reverting to multifamily units in the future. “The SUP also will apply to a second phase the developer intends to undertake on Olmos Drive, which could yield a total of 26 garden homes and the removal of more older apartment buildings in the process,” the statement said. During the May 7 meeting, residents voiced support for the project but said they oppose “the higher density of homes compared to other single-family areas of the city.” Members of a special committee met and worked for more than 100 hours, developing architectural designs and negotiating with the developers.

ALAMO HEIGHTS police are urging residents to keep their vehicles locked after five autos recently were targeted overnight in the 100 block of Elmview Place. Burglars are looking for easy access to steal a vehicle or grab valuables inside it, so Police Chief Rick Pruitt

the Alamo Heights Fire Department. They are Bryan Peterson, who hails from Chippewa, Wis., where he served with the department for more than four years; and Sheldon Leonard, who has worked for the Live Oak and Houston fire departments.

are being reminded to clean up after their four-legged friends if they go for walks. “It only takes a few seconds to keep your neighbors’ yards and public areas clean so all may enjoy a clean and healthy community,” according to a city newsletter. Seven pet waste stations have been installed in the city: three along the La Jara Boulevard median, one at the ball fields, one at the Jack Judson Nature Trail, one at the community garden and one at Vanderhoeven Drive and East Castano Avenue. Each station includes a “mutt mitt” bag dispenser, a steel trash can with a lid, and a small sign.

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an upscale residential community at 1111 Austin Highway, helped highlight the revitalization of one of San Antonio’s historic business corridors. According to a spokeswoman, The 1111 replaced several downtrodden businesses that once stood on Austin Highway. The project is among the new developments in the Austin Highway Revitalization Zone.



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Journey continues from pg. 01

Members believe in being vocal about downtown issues by ROSE MARY BUDGE


ednesday Wanderings is the catchy title that Downtown Residents Association board member Rita Heck dreamed up for her “journeys of discovery” in the heart of the city. She hopes these treks will call attention to the association, an organization determined to increase membership and update its image. The association is also dedicated to preserving the urban core and taking a stand on issues facing downtown. The wanderings take place every second Wednesday of the month and feature visits to museums, parks, historic hotels and other gems that make downtown

life in San Antonio special. Heck is also hoping her brainchild will spark new interest in the city’s center, where so many attractions are clustered. “We’re trying to increase our ranks, offer new events like Rita’s Wednesday Wanderings and reflect the real downtown demographic,” said association Vice President Margie Beecher, who took office in March. Beecher realized the association wasn’t representing all levels of downtown dwellers when she attended a DRA meeting a while back. “I walked in expecting to see a cross section of ages but, at 50, I was the youngest person in the room,” she said. Her concern about the one-sided picture helped launch the current membership drive, which is emphasizing the diversity that gives downtown its energy and eclectic vibe. All ages and people from many walks of life have taken up residence downtown in recent years. According to the DRA’s vice president, this has resulted in a colorful kaleidoscope of older folks, young professionals, college kids, families, careerminded couples, singles and more. A

healthy mix is in residence, loving the lack of long commutes and the convenience of having the San Antonio River, the restaurants, the historic sites, theaters and the retail shops right next door. Finding a convenient downtown spot to call home was next to impossible a decade ago. But today there has been a complete turnaround. Lofts and condominiums with breathtaking views, such as the Vistana, have risen in the urban center. Buildings including the old San Antonio Savings Association on Commerce Street offer living spaces; historic locations such as the Judson Candy Factory property have been repurposed into homey spots; apartments can be found above the Majestic Theatre—and that’s just a small sampling of the vast and varied residential scene. In fact, residential real estate is growing so fast and bringing so many folks to town that commercial concerns such as Rivercenter Mall, now being renovated, find themselves needing to rethink the market in order to keep up. Beecher said one of the DRA’s biggest challenges is building rapport and respect between retailers and residents. And to promote a congenial relationship, the

group is always seeking sponsors from the business community. A strong list of supporters, including the Baptist Medical Center and Centro San Antonio, already can be found on the DRA website. But Beecher hopes to add more and is relying on Wednesday Wanderings to help gain merchants’ attention. How does Heck’s event bring retailers into the fold? The DRA board member contacts commercial concerns and tourist attractions, explains about her group and asks if she can bring members over for a visit. “Most of the merchants I’ve called on are just delighted to cooperate, talk about their businesses and roll out the red carpet for us,” she said. And sponsorships could follow. Members are enthusiastic about the events. Not long ago, DRA President Heather Monroe praised a Wednesday tour to the Plaza Wax Museum, writing on her organization’s website that she never realized how much fun the house of wax could be or how many

Journey continues on pg. 14

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LOCAL LIVE MUSIC KEY: AT&T Center, 1 AT&T Center Parkway, (855) 286-2721 Aztec Theatre, 201 E. Commerce St., Ste. 300, 481-1200 Backstage Live, 1305 E. Houston St., 689-2856 Charline McCombs Empire Theatre, 226 E. Houston St., 226-5700 Limelight, 2718 N. St. Mary’s St., 735-7775 Majestic Theatre, 224 E. Houston St., 226-5700 Sam’s Burger Joint, 330 E. Grayson St., 223-2830 The Korova, 107 E. Martin St., 995-7229 White Rabbit, 2410 N. St. Mary’s St., 737-2221 6/10 South Texas Jazz: Brent Watkins and his 18-piece orchestra, 7:30 p.m., Charline McCombs Empire Theatre, $30/$50 6/11 Backtrack, Harms Way, Expire, Bitter End, DOWNPRESSER, Suburban Scum, Iron Mind, 6 p.m., The Korova, $20

6/14 Vans Warped Tour, 11 a.m., AT&T Center, $50.57 6/19 Too $hort, E-40, Cool Nutz, Kinnfolk, Philly Phill Mane, Ronnie Blaze, Tracy TC Counts, Tyler TS Sloan, Thuggizzle, 7 p.m., Backstage Live, $26 6/20 Dizzy Wright, Fly America, 8:30 p.m., The White Rabbit, $15 6/21 The Honest Tour: Future, Que, Rico Love, 8:30 p.m. The White Rabbit, $25/$75 6/22 Circa Survive, 7 p.m., The White Rabbit, $25 6/23 Dog Fashion Disco, Psychostick, The Bunny The Bear, Celebrity Sex Scandal, 8 p.m., The Korova, $12 6/26 The Yardbirds, 8 p.m. Aztec Theatre, $25/$62 6/27 Joe King Carrasco, 8 p.m., Sam’s Burger Joint, $15 6/28 Reel Big Fish, Survay Says!, This Magnificent, 7 p.m., Backstage Live, $18

6/12 MXPX, Allister, 7 p.m., Limelight, $20/$25

7/1 Cannibal Corpse, Evil United, The Ruined Few, 7 p.m., Backstage Live, $15

6/13 Rodney Crowell, 8 p.m., Sam’s Burger Joint, $25

7/5 Kansas, Arc & Stones, 8 p.m., Aztec Theatre, $27/$50

Happening continues from pg. 09



The dining room at Villa Finale 21 Museum & Gardens has a stunning assortment of silver serving and decorative pieces. Drawing from that, the museum is offering a close-up look at specialized Victorian silver dining utensils in its collection, as well as some pieces from a private collection. The informal class will be in the dining room at 10:30 a.m., and it is free. To reserve a spot, call 223-9800. Villa Finale is at 401 King William St.




The city’s Parks and Recreation Department is recruiting trailer users to serve as Trail Watch Volunteers in San Antonio parks and the Howard W. Peak Greenway Trail System. Volunteers must be 18, friendly, passionate about the parks and commit to four hours a month. An orientation with an overview of the volunteers’ roles, is 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Lou Hamilton Community Center, 10700 Nacogdoches Road. For more, call 207-8603 or email Meredith.Tilley@sanantoniogov.




Chapter of the national organization will hold its monthly luncheon meeting at the Petroleum Club, 8620 N. New Braunfels Ave., at 11:30 a.m. Lunch costs $25. Reservations are required and should be made with Bob

Clark, 402-0871, or reservations@sarsat. org, by the Monday prior to the meeting. The chapter meets on the third Wednesday of the month (except for July and August).



The Woodlawn Theatre will give the show, based on the Disney movie, its San Antonio premiere. Choreography will be by Eric Mota, a San Antonian who was part of the Broadway tour production of the play. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays. Tickets cost $23 for adults, $20 for seniors and military personnel, and $15 for students and children. To purchase them, go to www.woodlawntheatre. org or call 267-8388. The theater is at 1920 Fredericksburg Road.




Community Center’s free summer concert series features a performance by Rick Recht, a star of Jewish rock. His popular concerts are family-friendly. Downbeat is 6 p.m. The JCC is at 12500 N.W. Military Highway.


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Journey continues from pg. 12

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club but take civic responsibility. Among her current concerns: loud trash pickups in the wee hours and the idea of streetcars on tracks in the city center. “I’m really against streetcars because they’ll change the character of San Antonio,” she said. A downtown resident since 1992, Korte is passionate about protecting the urban center. She took over the helm of the DRA in 2002, had a break in 2006, and then served again from 2009 to 2013. During her terms of office she fought for many important projects. Among her achievements: working with City Council to get panhandlers off the streets, requiring restaurants/bars to lower noise levels and championing public restrooms in the Riverbend Garage. Korte is proud of how DRA membership grew during her tenure. But then, due to membership application glitches and a variety of other problems, interest started to dwindle, necessitating today’s fight for survival and the push to involve all living within the association’s residential boundaries: Interstate 35 on the north and west, U.S. 281/Interstate 37 to the east and Cesar Chavez Boulevard to the south. The boundaries really aren’t limiting, though. Anyone who loves San Antonio can join the group, Korte said. “We’re here for downtown residents and those who wish they were,” she said. To learn more about the association and access the Wednesday Wanderings schedule, visit

Mark Dominguez is a member of the Downtown Residents Association, an organization promoting life and culture in the urban core. One of the group's activities is Wednesday Wanderings, which includes visits to downtown businesses and points of interest. Photo by Josh Huskin

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fascinating figures were inside. Other Wednesday destinations have included a backstage tour of the Magik Theatre, a distillery tasting and a jaunt to Hotel Indigo, which is housed in one of San Antonio’s most historic buildings. Heck is still dreaming up places to wander and she’s trying to schedule things after work. When the DRA was formed in 1982, life was less hectic and club activities could revolve around lengthy luncheons, Beecher noted. But now the business scene has become too demanding to take off a big chunk of time in the middle of the day. So, Heck is aiming for late-afternoon or early evening hours with Wednesday Wanderings. In addition, the DRA will be looking at even more afterwork events in the future. Group goals, however, aren’t changing. The mission statement has always called for promoting the well-being of residents; providing a quality environment for living; and for preserving, protecting and promoting downtown’s multicultural heritage. Joan Korte, an association past president, emphasized that every DRA member must support the goals and keep abreast of issues that have an impact on downtown. The group must never be just a social

JUNE 2014

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Surprises continues from pg. 01

Judson says Olmos Park in ‘great shape’ by RON AARON EISENBERG


he results of the May 10 municipal elections in North Central produced a few surprises, with a veteran politico losing his seat in Olmos Park and a former San Antonio councilwoman winning a spot in Alamo Heights.

Councilman Jeff Judson, who was seeking election to a full term on the Olmos Park City Council, lost by three votes. Judson won a special election in November to fill an unexpired term, and he is a former long-time Olmos Park council member. The bigger upset, according to some political observers, was the 62-38 percent margin by which Lynda Billa Burke defeated incumbent Alamo Heights Councilman Elliot Weser. Burke, 60, was a newcomer to Alamo Heights, although she was well known in the community. She’d served on San Antonio’s City Council in the early 1990s. Later, she sat for eight years on the East Central Independent School District board. “Friends encouraged me to run for council,” Burke said. But it didn’t take a lot of convincing. “I was already unhappy with


how things were going in Alamo Heights,” she said, claiming that micromanagement of city staff by some city leaders “had driven a lot of really good staff people out of City Hall.” She strongly believes Alamo Heights must reach out to surrounding communities including San Antonio to work together on


issues of mutual interest. “We need to work with other municipalities…including the city of San Antonio…. and we need our elected officials to do that on a regular basis. We are an island. And we are land-locked,” Burke said. “It is in our best interest to work with other governments in a cooperative fashion.” Burke also wants to get young people involved in politics. “They can help us create the kind of community they want to live in,” she said. “My goal in running for council was to start a movement for Alamo Heights to be a leader in doing issue-oriented campaigns.” She said she resisted adopting a negative tone during the race. Weser raised questions about her residency. “I had fun and I look forward to serving the people of Alamo Heights,” Burke said. Weser said he knew a run for re-election wouldn’t be easy. “I knew it was going to be a difficult contest for the election,” Weser said. “But I had my own track record on council and I tried to be as factual as I could regarding myself and Lynda.” He added, “She’s a relative newcomer to Alamo Heights.” Weser remained a vocal critic of the Alamo Gateway project, an apartment and retail complex proposed for Broadway and Austin Highway that many argued was not in keeping with the city’s character. “I thought when (Burke) was on City Council in San Antonio, she seemed to strongly support highdensity apartment development which I have made clear I think would not be good for our community,” he said. Weser, 82, who unsuccessfully ran for mayor in Alamo Heights last year, is not ruling out campaigning down the road for another council slot. Meanwhile, he has other interests. He is still a practicing gastroenterologist and a professor emeritus at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. And he and his wife like to travel to Rockport, their ranch in Rock Springs, and to visit their grandchildren in Cleveland, Ohio. “I learned a lot about city government in my four years on council. And I have had a lot of people contact me, urging me to run again,” Weser said. “For now, let’s just say I’ll be watching as a resident of Alamo Heights.”

Surprises continues on pg. 16

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Surprises continues from pg. 15 In other Alamo Heights races, Fred Prassel won a third consecutive term as the Place 3 council member with 65 percent of the vote, beating Sarah Reveley and Derek Cossey. And John Savage claimed a third straight term as the Place 5 representative with 67 percent of the ballots, defeating Kimberly Lubianski. Mayor Louis Cooper, Place 1 Councilman Bobby Hasslocher and Place 2 Councilman Bobby Rosenthal were not up for re-election.


The election in Olmos Park was also closely watched in the wake of the recent departure of Police Chief Fritz Bohne and the resignation last summer of City Manager Mike Simpson. Judson, after losing re-election by just three votes, was questioned about seeking a recount, but decided against it. “No, I don’t think so. Odds of error are small with a single precinct,” he said. Judson said he has no regrets about his tenure over the years on the council.

“I served on Olmos Park City Council for (a total of) six years and am ready to serve in other ways,” he said. “I am running for State Republican Executive Committee in Senate District 25, which is a big commitment, and so I am glad to have the time back that Olmos Park demanded of my schedule. I think Olmos Park is in great shape, so it is a good time to change leadership.” In an email to friends and supporters, Judson wrote, “Three voters in Olmos Park determined that I won’t be returning to City Council.” But he went to say that he is not bitter. “Olmos Park is moving forward and I’m at peace with where things stand in our city. Crime control is working, and the most run-down area of the city is going to be redeveloped according to Olmos Park standards,” he said. “I’m happy to let others lead, and win back a big chunk of my schedule for other endeavors.” Using his loss as an example, he went on to encourage people to vote in every election. In other election results, newcomer Casey Fry was elected to council and Kenyon McDonald was re-elected. Mayor Kenneth Farrimond had no opponent and returned to office.

NEISD continues from pg. 01

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oncerns about making crosswalks and traffic areas safer for students at North East Independent School District campuses took center stage during a recent brainstorming session with police, city leaders, educators and parents. Audience members shared ideas with District 9 Councilman Joe Krier, NEISD Superintendent Brian Gottardy and Police Chief William McManus ranging from more emphasis on chaperoning students as they walk to school, to educating motorists about proper driving in school zones and around buses, more enforcement of antitexting laws and additional collaboration. Much of the discussion was prompted by the death of Tatyana Babineaux, 9, who was struck and killed by a hit-andrun driver while she was walking to

Larkspur Elementary School in January. Krier during the meeting May 5 said Tatyana’s death near Braesview Street and Larkspur Drive made school-zone safety very personal to him. “We met with neighborhood associations and streets people and the Police Department and came up with a lot of changes that make that (Larkspur) school zone safer,” Krier said. “What we wanted to do tonight is to say to the rest of District 9 … tell us about your schools, tell us about your school-safety issues.” Mike Frisbie, director of the city's Transportation & Capital Improvements Department, told residents at the meeting in the Piper-Bass Community Student Center the city has begun replacing, repairing or adding signage and flashing lights, and in some cases, overhead flashing beacons to warn drivers to slow down once they hit a school zone. However, it’s going to take time to work through the 1,100 school zones in San Antonio and the city can only proceed as the budget allows. Gottardy said the district has about 68,000 students, and only 60 percent are eligible to ride the bus. “So 40 percent of students are being driven to school by mom or dad or they’re driving themselves, or ride their

NEISD continues on pg. 20



Range continues from pg. 01

Gun club strives to give back to community by SUSAN YERKES


esidents of Olmos Park and Alamo Heights often hear muted popping, almost like distant gunfire, carrying over the air. It’s the sound of shotguns and it is coming from Olmos Basin, home of the only shotgun shooting range in the United States still located inside a major metropolitan city’s limits.

The range and its old stone structures, along with the rest of the 1,100-acre Olmos Basin Park, belong to San Antonio’s Parks and Recreation Department. But since 1934 the shooting fields have been managed, operated and steadily improved by members of the venerable San Antonio Gun Club. Shooting sports are big in Texas, and San Antonio is nationally known as a hub for folks who enjoy nothing more than sighting down a

and draws competitive shooters and amateurs from around the world.   There are a dozen other shooting ranges within the confines of Bexar County, too. But none can match the history of the San Antonio Gun Club, a membership organization open to all. Current club president Bill Ethridge has traced the club’s roots back to the 1800s. “In the early 1880s, they were shooting at San Pedro Springs. They also had some private property at Elmendorf Lake, out in the area where Our Lady of the Lake University is now,” he said. “They also shot quite a bit at the Exposition grounds, where the AT&T Center is now, and they did some shooting at Brackenridge Park.” Ethridge has spent a lot of time on his research, though some records were lost in the flood of 1998. The Olmos Basin forms a floodplain between Alamo Heights and Olmos Park. In 1934, after Olmos Dam was built, the Texas Civil Works Commission, a shortlived predecessor of President Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration, created the shooting range and two stout stone safety walls, as a historic plaque there attests. Since then, the Gun Club has held a renewable 25-year lease on the 65-acre range site, and has added hundreds of thousands of dollars of improvements.

Shooting-sport enthusiasts such as Larry Hancock, who also is a member of the San Antonio Gun Club, enjoy the skeet and trap facilities at the club's decades-old range in Olmos Basin Park. The range and others like it have made San Antonio a hub for firearm competitions, organizations and training. Photo by Josh Huskin

barrel at a standing target or a flying disk. The National Shooting Complex, a multimilliondollar facility sprawled over nearly 700 acres on the Northwest Side, houses the headquarters of the National Skeet Shooting and National Sporting Clays Associations,

In its early days the club facilities were limited to an open-air stone pavilion with wood bleachers attached to the walls, according to club manager P.D. Parker.

Range continues on pg. 18

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The San Antonio Gun Club has operated the shooting range in Olmos Basin Park since the 1930s. The clubhouse includes mounted heads of game (top photo) and pictures of past shooting competitions (bottom right). It is home to the only shotgun shooting range still inside a major American city. Photos by Josh Huskin

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Range continues from pg. 17

Today the open-air pavilion has grown into a cozy, low-slung stone house with a spacious front room and a conference room, as well as a kitchen that’s often used for social functions. The ranch-style décor is complemented by dozens of sepia-toned historic photos of dating back to the 1890s. And there are trophies — dozens of

mounted heads; a startling, snarling 8-foottall Alaskan brown bear; and a leaping male lion — all donated in the 1970s by the widow of late San Antonio Sears executive and avid sportsman Jerry Erler. “After Jerry died, she called the club and said ‘Come get these things out of my house,’” Parker said. “So we did.” Two massive, ornate silver trophies dominate the fireplace mantel. They were donated by the late banker and shooting enthusiast Tom C. Frost Sr. in 1963 for the club’s two

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are two seven-week Women’s Leagues a year, each drawing 150-180 women, according to current president Kimberly Blackburn. Many women also participate in the popular summer Bird Hunter’s League. Safety is a primary concern among club members, but the proximity of dense residential neighborhoods has occasionally spawned complaints. A few years ago, the club created some new retaining walls after nearby homeowners complained about shotgun pellets falling on their roofs. Noise complaints are rare, Parker said, although “occasionally someone new moves into the area and they don’t know what the sound is.” He added the club works hard to be a good neighbor, and has excellent relationships with the nearby incorporated cities. The lease agreement with the city of San Antonio also involves environmental stewardship, and every five years the club uses heavy equipment to “mine” its acreage to remove all the metal shells. “A lot of people don’t recognize what the gun club does for the community,” Etheridge said. “We host wedding receptions, birthdays, charitable events, fundraisers and corporate events,” he said. “We have a lot of non-shooting activities, like a 5K run here, a group that introduces kids to outdoor skills here, and we host wounded warriors several times a year. We do a lot of good things. We have a lot of fun. And we welcome anyone to join us.”

Designation continues from pg. 01


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biggest shooting matches – the Memorial Toepperwein Trap and Skeet competitions, named for champion shooting couple Adolph and Elizabeth “Plinky” Toepperwein. Today, club membership is steady at about 500 members. They pay $150 a year to belong, or $1,500 for life memberships. The range is also open to the public, and hosts a variety of annual and semi-annual shooting leagues and private lessons. Visitors can rent shotguns, earmuffs and safety glasses and purchase ammunition there. An average of 2,200 to 2,300 people visit the facility to shoot every year, Parker said — and that’s not including 500-700 corporate shooters, or the Trinity University shooting classes. There’s also a strong family element at the club these days, reflecting a sharp national rise in women’s participation in shooting sports. “Many of our daughters and daughtersin law shoot here,” said Elise Cox, former club president, who helped founded a Women’s League at the club in 1997. “In Texas, because hunting is so big, a lot of us mothers would like our kids to be comfortable when they are invited to hunts, and we want them to know about gun safety early on,” she added. Although the Gun Club has traditionally been closed on Mondays (the official “quiet day”) and Tuesdays, it now opens on Tuesday nights for the Women’s League. Today, in addition to open and juniors leagues, there

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he city of San Antonio has started the long-awaited zoning process to create a historic district within Mahncke Park and is on track to complete the designation in August. Some — but not all — of the residents want the more stringent rules of a historic district, which proponents say helps preserve the architectural and aesthetic integrity of a neighborhood by creating a buffer against commercial encroachment. “This has nothing to do with what style our houses are, what flavor, what color,” said Scott Day, a volunteer helping with efforts to get the designation. “It has to do with sheer economics. I’m saying the historic district is a buffer. It’s a boundary to keep the commercial district where

it belongs and to keep the projects that are inappropriate and inappropriately scaled out of the neighborhood.” Some residents sought the designation in 2012, but were not able to garner enough support for the city to move forward on the issue. Since then, partly due to a change in city guidelines, the residents have re-grouped around a newly drawn map of a more compact area and now have the support they need. “Under new city guidelines, a neighborhood must demonstrate 30 percent support for the historic designation,” said Shanon Miller, director of the city’s Office of Historic Preservation. In January, Mahncke Park residents went back to the city with a new, more compact map of the proposed district and presented a petition with the signatures of 32 percent of the property owners in the designated area, between Groveland and Funston places. The newly drawn map excludes two streets north of East Hildebrand Avenue that were included in the old one. It also is smaller than the Neighborhood Conservation District that exists for a portion of Mahncke Park.

SALOCALLOWDOWN.COM A public hearing is required for each phase of the city’s process of approving a historic designation, and the first one was called April 29. “We’ve reached the 30 percent – we’re at 32 percent – which is the threshold to move forward,” said Elizabeth Porterfield with the OHP. “So that’s what this meeting was for, to let people know that we are initiating the process.” Day, a volunteer with the steering committee that worked to get signatures on the petition, said a historic designation will preserve the integrity of the neighborhood. “With the historic district, they’re going to have a set of guidelines that will guarantee that major additions and infill development are more compatible with the adjacent fabric of the existing building stock so that it will feel like it’s part of the same family,” Day said. “The intent is not to replicate the exact look of the neighboring houses, but to put something in that complements them,” he added. Isabel Garcia said that in the years she served on the Historic and Design Review Commission, she heard consistent misunderstanding of the purpose of a historic district. “One of the things that was a misconception was that if you design or add an addition or do a new design in a historic district, that it must look like all the other houses around it, which is not true,” Garcia said. Garcia, who lives within the boundaries of the proposed historic district, said homeowners often have common fears about what they can or cannot do with their property. “They can’t tell you what color to paint your house,” Garcia said, pointing to photos of several homes in the Lavaca neighborhood just south of Hemisfair where homes are being renovated and have been painted in different colors. She showed several examples of new construction next to older homes. “Again you can see some things that echo what’s already there in terms of roofline, pitches and scale,” she added. Support for the designation in the North Central neighborhood is not universal, however. Numerous residents and property owners who attended the public hearing spoke out against the historic designation. Many who live within the boundaries drawn on the new map don’t want to be included. Some residents at the meeting shouted, “Remove Funston,” referring to the last street on the south end of the proposed district. The San Antonio Botanical Garden is also located on Funston. Michael Lockridge, who said he owns four houses in the designated area but


does not live in Mahncke Park, said he had three pages of opposition. “Tax bills,” Lockridge said. He cited an example of a nearby neighborhood where he said property taxes increased by 35 percent from 2009-13. “And they went historic in 2010,” he added. Some of the other property owners also worry property taxes could go up because of the historic designation. “That’s absolutely not true,” Miller said. “We have studied every single historic district and compared it to neighborhoods similarly situated. And the reality is that the taxes have either stayed the same or, in a couple of cases, gone down after the creation of a historic district.” She added, “There is no evidence to support that upon designation of a historic district...the taxes shoot up dramatically.” Lockridge said there’s not a direct connection between a historic designation and a rise in taxes. “I attribute it to the fact that (that neighborhood) put a big target on their back when they went historic so that Bexar County said, ‘Oh, let’s look closer, there’s something we’re missing.’ And they realized property values weren’t high enough and started ratcheting them up quickly,” he said. “The city says they freeze your property taxes, but they can only freeze the city portion,” he added. Day told residents that the ease of maintaining historic integrity of the homes in Mahncke Park makes the neighborhood a good candidate for a historic district. “A lot of the kit of parts that our homes are composed of are still readily available materials,” Day said. “Mahncke Park homes are largely Craftsman bungalows. They are composed of parts that are natural wood, whether it’s wood shingles or wood siding, and all those things are still available.” Garcia said, “My concern as a resident in this neighborhood is that it’s not just my house. My house is just a box. It’s plain vanilla, it’s not a Craftsman, it doesn’t have a lot of detail, it’s a two-story box. I like it. “But my bigger concern is for the fabric of the neighborhood because that’s what makes this community. It’s that all of these houses one by one, street by street, that’s what gives Mahncke Park the character that has people coming here wanting to move in.” After the initial review by the HDRC June 4, the Zoning Commission must approve the application before it can go to the City Council. “It will likely go to council in August,” Miller said.

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NEISD continues from pg. 16 bikes or walk to school,” he said. Gottardy said the district has a program to train teachers and administrators in some schools to help kids cross the street. “Our (NEISD) Police Department offers a variety of pedestrian- and driversafety programs to schools including a school crossing-guard training program. (NEISD) police officers are out early in the morning and late in the afternoon to help with traffic flow and help students who are crossing the street,” Gottardy said. He said the district is particularly proud of a new program called the Walking School Bus, which recruits parent chaperones to walk students to and from school in the morning and afternoon.



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Frisbie said although the city is enhancing warning systems, safety does not depend solely on motorists. “What we see with pedestrians a lot is that false sense of security,” he said. "They think that driver sees them and think they’re going to stop, when a lot of times (that pedestrian) is not seen. So they really need to pay attention and continuously watch where they’re at.” McManus told the group that safety in school zones involves cooperation between police, the city, educators and the parents. “One thing we must remember is that we cannot ticket or arrest the safety issue away,” McManus said. “When we’re present, when people see us, they’re going to slow down and do right. But there are 1,100 school zones throughout the city and we can’t be at all of them.”


Residents called attention to several locations where school-zone signage has been damaged or working improperly, with lights flashing at incorrect times. Others expressed concern that children are walking to school while talking on phones or texting, and wondered if it was possible to regulate their phone use. Jill Rudik, a resident of a Coker Elementary School neighborhood off Bitters Road, showed the group signs she created using pictures instead of words to clarify the no-texting phone law in school zones. “We had noticed last year that too many people were driving by while talking or texting on a cellphone,” Rudik said. “The signage that we have out there is written in English, so I’m suggesting a sign in universal language with a visual representation.” McManus said before City Council passed an ordinance in 2010 banning texting in school zones, he recommended prohibiting

JUNE 2014

talking on handheld cellphones as well. But the chief said the ordinance is difficult to enforce. “The driver is always going to say, ‘I wasn’t texting, I was looking up a phone number,’ or ‘I was answering my phone.’” Rudik also suggested a more durable paint for crosswalks around schools. “I’ve noticed they paint them at the beginning of the school year. And it actually fades in the first couple of months," she said. Frisbie said the city is is considering different products that last longer and offer the best reflectivity. Rudik also emphasized parent and child education. She sees parents parking across the street to avoid long lines in the school drop-off lanes, and children often run between cars to get across the street. “We need to encourage pedestrians of all ages to cross at the right spot,” Frisbie said.


Gottardy said traffic violations around school buses are also serious. Students are not supposed to wait at the curb, he said. “Students are supposed to wait at least six feet away from the curb and 10 feet in front of where the bus is going to stop, but that’s hard to get kids to do,” he said. He said NEISD is part of a state pilot program using a camera system that takes video of cars that illegally pass a school bus. A gasp rose from the crowd when he described the number of vehicles illegally going around a stopped school bus while loading or unloading children. “It was 750 times in one day – twice on the right side of the bus,” Gottardy said. The fine for illegally passing a school bus is $1,250. “There’s no excuse for it,” Krier said. “I mean, think about that — we’ve got 13 school districts in this larger city area. So if it’s 700 times in one day in one school district, there are thousands of people violating the law around school buses in Bexar County.”


The concerned groups must continue working together, the chief said. “We can’t arrest it away. We can’t ticket it away. We can’t awareness it away. It’s got to be a continued collaboration and a continued effort among all of us,” McManus said. Now that the 2015 city budget is under review, Krier asked constituents to continue to provide input regarding safety. In the meantime, Krier has asked parents to talk to their children about pedestrian awareness just as they would the dangers of talking to strangers or using drugs and alcohol.




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Fitness in crosshairs of King William business by ROSE MARY BUDGE


FIT-LOOKING FELINE NAMED ASH—and sometimes a sleek and muscular dog—may greet you at the door of King William District CrossFit, which recently opened at 812 S. Alamo St. Owner Dan Kachtik’s pets (one cat, three dogs) hang out with the folks sweating at the rowing machine and barbells, watching them build strength and a better quality of life. These men and women aren’t afraid to fail. They fall down and struggle back up, not once but countless times. They challenge themselves to improve. From the smiles mingling with sweat, you can tell there’s joy in the journey. CrossFit is about developing physical



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prowess and much more, according to Kachtik, a certified trainer/coach. It can prepare you mentally to tackle whatever this world throws your way. And he thinks the King William area is perfect for the business. “The receptive neighborhood has a Bohemian feel with lots of personality— we’ve been growing beyond our most optimistic predictions,” he said. Workout plans are tailored to individuals, depending on personal goals and factors such as condition, age or injuries that might be limiting. Attention is paid to endurance, stamina, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy. Clients work out together—it’s a very congenial atmosphere—but

there’s also an opportunity for one-on-one privacy, according to the owner, who always wanted a CrossFit gym and started seeking the right space when he moved to San Antonio with wife Janelle in 2011. She is a CrossFit coach, too. Others are Dani Nickle and Matt Farishon. Each has specialties. Nickle, for example, loves to inspire kids and has a children’s class going. But anyone of any age can benefit from CrossFit, which was launched in California by Greg Glassman in 2001. “Our oldest client so far is in the mid-60s,” Kachtik said.

King William District CrossFit teaches clients such as Wendy Anderson (top left) to build strength and endurance during specialized workouts. Classes start as early as 5:30 a.m. on weekdays, with options available until 6:30 p.m. most days. Photos by Collette Orquiz

KING WILLIAM DISTRICT CROSSFIT 812 S. Alamo St. To learn more or find a class, call 529-2338 or visit www.


JUNE 2014

“We all here have a passion for baking, and you know we all love to do the cookies, the cupcakes, the cakes. For us it’s fun. Every person who comes in is a new, exciting experience for us,” Iennaco said. Over The Top Cake Supplies is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and closed Sunday.


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Bakery-supply shop sweetens experience for costumers by COLLETTE ORQUIZ


akers of all backgrounds — professionals or hobbyists — now have a place to call home, where the sprinkles are abundant and all the products they could possibly need are available. Over The Top Cake Supplies, which is affiliated with wholesaler Johnson Bros. Bakery Supply Inc., recently opened a second location, this one in the Blanco Junction shopping center at 1010 N.W. Loop 410, suite 102. Owner Kevin Johnson said the store is the place to go for all things baking, as well as a model for future franchising opportunities. “This is all I’ve ever done ... I grew up in a bakery, my parents own bakeries, so to see this at a retail

level is really cool,” Johnson said. From sprinkles and frosting to cake pans and chocolate molds, the store has everything necessary for baking projects, General Manager Jean Iennaco said. If the store doesn't, the staff will do their best to get it for the customer, she added. Over The Top Cake Supplies offers several classes each month, from making cookies to wedding cakes, as well as ladies' nights and children's parties. The shop will also have a kids' camp during the day in the summer. Johnson described the staff as caring, understanding and excited about each customer’s project or venture. He added they have designed a place where customers will be satisfied and keep coming back.

Over The Top Cake Supplies has a candy and sprinkle wall (far left, top) where customers can buy by the pound, a wide selection of items for baking needs (far left, bottom) and cake bases, toppers, fondant and more (above). Photos by Collette Orquiz

OVER THE TOP CAKE SUPPLIES 1010 N.W. Loop 410, Suite 102 For more, call 475-3032 or visit

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

SOBRO brings Neapolitanstyle pizzas to Broadway by EILEEN PACE


AUL HUGHES KNEW HE WANTED TO START A RESTAURANT IN THE MOSAIC AT 1915 BROADWAY, so he partnered with Gerry and Mon Shirley and together, the friends quietly opened SOBRO Pizza Co. during Fiesta. The word spread quickly about the fresh pizza, great wines and craft beers. Now the place is buzzing almost every night. “It’s a loud restaurant,” Hughes said. “It’s got a really nice feel to it.” And there’s a lot to see, including a sweeping bar made from a single Texas pecan tree that faces the open pizza kitchen and stone oven. “We wanted the pizza oven to be the focal point,” Hughes said. The open design allows customers to connect with the staff as they

prepare the dough, top the pizzas and place them in the stone oven. Oh, and the pizza is Napoletana. “It’s pizza the way it was originally done in Naples, Italy,” Hughes said. “We make our own dough. We stretch our own dough. We make our own sauce.” Hughes said he did his research and went to school at VPN Americas in Los Angeles to learn the culinary art of making Neapolitan-style pizzas. But don’t expect airborne spinning crusts. “No, the crust is too delicate to do that,” he said. “That’s New York style. And theirs goes in a pan. Our pizza goes from the peel right onto the stone floor of the oven.” Hughes buys SOBRO’s ingredients from Italy.

The restaurant boasts FigJam pizza made with figs and gorgonzola. SOBRO also has calzones, with bread made by hand from imported Italian flour, and fresh gelato or sorbetto desserts. The SOBRO vino list includes more than 60 wines, most from Italy, and eight craft beers on tap. Co-owner Gerry Shirley is the wine and beer expert. “Italy has some great wine regions, such as Abruzzo that has a lot of value-based wines that complement our food,” Shirley said. “Or, you can go to a world-class tier of wines.” Many of the wines are for carryout sale, retailing for $20 to $30 a bottle. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.. SOBRO Pizza Co. features the Neapolitan-style pizza of Naples, Italy, such as 'The Fun Guy' (top left), made with pancetta, braised mushrooms, onions, and taleggio cheese. The restaurant also has more than 60 wines to pair with meals, as well as S. Pellegrino water (bottom left). Photos by Collette Orquiz

SOBRO PIZZA CO. 1915 Broadway For more, call 227-6276 or visit http://

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New watering hole near Pearl packs a wallop by COLLETTE ORQUIZ


N INDUSTRIAL BUILDING ON THE FRINGE OF THE PEARL is transforming into a multi-faceted watering hole, with elixirs for craft cocktail lovers and beer enthusiasts alike. Chris Erck (Swig Martini Bar, The Worm Tequila & Mezcal Bar, Tacoland), Jeret Peña (The Brooklynite, The Esquire Tavern) and the Boulevardier Group — which is led by Peña — have collaborated to create The Ice House, which will transform a warehouse into four different places to grab a drink, each with a different concept. “The idea is to create one center that has a little bit of everything,” Erck said. Though still in the beginning stages, they have recently opened Stay Golden Social House and Boozeria at 401 Pearl Parkway. The establishment is dog-, bike- and child-friendly. Originally called The Golden

Gloves Social House and Boozeteria, it’s a dive-bar-and-food-truck park with a boxing theme, decent prices and cocktails that pack a punch, according to Erck. “Our goal with this is to be very accessible from a price point and from a flavor point,” Erck said. The food trucks rotate every week, and serve up lunch, dinner and late-night bites. The menu was created by manager Javier Gutierrez, who also is a partner in the Boulevardier Group. Cocktails range from $5 to $7, and canned beers start $2. Peña also comes up with a new concoction every week, called Suckerpunch, which is on tap. You won’t find these drinks at any of the partners' other Riverwalk locales. Erck said the location was prime, and while The Ice House is not part of the Pearl, it is less

than a block away from three major apartment complexes. “This has a great neighborhood feel. This is the kind of place you can stumble upon and immediately feel at home,” Erck said. The entire complex is expected to be completed by the end of summer. Hint: The Glassjaw is arguably Erck’s favorite cocktail. It features vodka, elderflower, Cherry Heering, lemon and Topo Chico, topped with a sprig of mint. Happy hour is 4-7 p.m. and features $4 Moscow Mules. Hours are 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily. Stay Golden Social House and Boozeria manager Javier Gutierrez (top left) shakes and pours Kiss The Canvas, a cocktail with J. Wray & Nephew white rum, raspberry, lime and rhubarb bitters. The finished cocktail (bottom left) is just one of the boxing-themed craft cocktails available each day for under $7. Photos by Collette Orquiz

STAY GOLDEN SOCIAL HOUSE AND BOOZERIA 401 Pearl Parkway For more, call 444-0707

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LIVE LOCAL From real estate trends and neighborhood listings to home improvement, we’ve got you covered.







































































SOURCE: San Antonio Board of Realtors: Texas Market Trends report The properties are new listings put on the market from April 2014. The properties may no longer be on the market by publication date or prices may have changed. Local Community News assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions.


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LOCAL: Alamo Heights, Monte Vista, Olmos Park, Downtown, King William, Terrell Hills, June 2014  

This month in LOCAL Zone 1: The club at Olmos Basin Park range has become legendary in a city known for its shooting sports, Mahncke Park is...

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