Page 1

pg.12 Scrapped apartments in Alamo Heights spark debate on growth pg. 29 EAT: Señor Veggie


Lavaca eatery offers healthy meals


Vol. 2, Issue 10

King William

Monte Vista

Olmos Park

City codes, Comprehensive Plan deserve second looks, officials say

Terrell Hills


Olmos Park police chief's departure sparks controversy Official's memo cites shortcomings; others say Fritz Bohne was a victim of politics pg.22


INSIDE your community

pg. 03 local commentary SUSAN YERKES

Man on fire:

Paul Montalvo’s classical passion pg.14 Oak-wilt warning sounded on North Side Prevention can be costly, beats cost of replacing trees, experts say

fantastic deals

coupons INSIDE Discover the city through LOCAL deals from restaurants, retailers and services in your community, and save money while you do it! pg. 31

pg.18 Career firefighter is artistic director of Chamber Orchestra of SA

pg.13 Like mother, like son is philosophy behind group

Young Men’s Service League Alamo Chapter graduates first class


on the scene at the latest parties


May 2014

From the editor

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 Olivier Bourgoin, Ron Aaron Eisenberg, Joyce Hotchkiss, Nicole Lessin, Carole MIller, Bonny Osterhage, Travis E. Poling and Susan Yerkes ART Creative Director Richard Fisher Jr. Production Designer Pete Morales Contributing Photographers Josh Huskin 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 Phone (210) 616.9677 (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.

Readers love BUYs and EATs


t LOCAL Community News, our

staff takes the word "local" very seriously. That is why each month we feature short stories in the back of the newspaper focusing on relatively new businesses and dining spots/bars that have debuted in your neighborhood. Informal surveys indicate readers consider BUY LOCAL and EAT LOCAL among the most important articles in the newspaper. One caller recently told me, "I love reading those because they keep me informed about what's new down the street. My husband and I try to visit every restaurant featured in LOCAL." It warms my heart to hear such sentiments. One of LOCAL's main goals is keeping residents informed about what's going on close to their homes. That includes shining a spotlight on new businesses and restaurants. These establishments don't have to advertise with LOCAL, although there are times when we feature some of those. Our criteria for selecting these businesses and restaurants is pretty straightforward. They have to be new, opening within the last six months; the staff has to be accessible to a reporter; photography is permitted; and they have to offer viable products, goods or services. We occasionally feature older establishments, but only if they are changing hands, moving, significantly overhauling a menu or undergoing some kind of a radical change. Owners or managers approached by our reporters should know that thousands of potential customers read these stories ‌ and many of them act on the information.

Thomas Edwards executive Editor


local commentary

Goal for San Antonio is a no-kill city by susan yerkes


en years ago, San Antonians came face to face with a shameful reality. The gas chambers in the city pound were working overtime, killing 50,000 helpless animals a year —more than any other major city in the nation. For many years, animal activists had railed against the pound’s gas chambers. Back then, the idea of becoming a “no-kill” city seemed like a pipe dream to most. “It was horrific – a real black eye for San Antonio,” said Animal Defense League Director Janice Darling. “But since then, things have dramatically, dramatically improved.”

paper ad 3_Layout 1 3/12/14 4:04 PM Page 2

Today, with a new strategic plan, bond money, national grants and a number of partner organizations including the ADL, Humane Society, San Antonio Pets Alive!, low-cost spay and neuter providers and other nonprofits, folks at the city's Animal Care Services can talk about a vast improvement. And the dream of a “no-kill” city seems less like a fantasy. In the first three months of 2014, 80 percent of the thousands of unwanted animals passing through the pound found homes. In January, the city hit a historic high when an impressive 86 percent of all animals brought in to the pound left the new, improved ACS facility alive. The change has been driven by innovative strategies focused on three goals: Enhanced enforcement of animal ordinances; programs to reduce the number of roaming strays through education, outreach and more accessible and affordable spay and neuter programs; and continued efforts to increase the live release rate, according to ACS spokeswoman Lisa Norwood. Today the city has contracts with

several shelters to take dogs and cats that might otherwise be euthanized after a few days because of a lack of space. In February, the city and ADL broke ground on a new city-funded kennel and hospital facility at the ADL, which will house even more of the overflow animals from the pound when it opens next winter. Another new adoption facility, built on the remains of the sad old pound in Brackenridge Park, opened last year. Bottom line: Collectively, animal advocates are not just working hard, but working smarter, to deal with San Antonio’s stray, lost and homeless animals. But no matter how hard or smart they work, the problem isn’t going away. “When you say ‘stray animals,'’' Darling said, “you’re really talking about three different categories of animals: Pets whose owners can’t or don’t want to keep them, owned animals left unfettered to roam the streets, and feral dogs and cats that were born homeless.“ Spaying and neutering programs are a vital part of the picture. In 2012, an estimated 55,000 spay/neuter operations were performed by nonprofits such as

the Spay-Neuter Assistance Program and Spay Neuter Inject San Antonio, the major animal shelters and ACS. But motivating folks to take advantage of those programs isn’t easy. Last fall, the ADL was among nonprofit groups that shared a major grant to the city from PetCo to perform free spay/neuter surgeries and vaccinations for pet owners living in specific ZIP codes with consistently high numbers of impounded animals. But more than half the folks who have made appointments for the service have failed to show up. “If we can motivate the community, it’s 99 percent of the battle,” Norwood said. “As a civilized community, we have to take better care of our animals, to keep stressing that pets are not just commodities," Darling added. Thousands of San Antonians are involved in the effort to save unwanted, stray or homeless animals, and that’s a big step in the right direction. But creating a culture of compassion and responsibility is the real key. How can you help? Email comments to syerkes@

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Medical guide pg.10

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Vol. 2, Issue 9


INSIDE your community

pg. 03 lOcal cOmmentary sUsan yerKes





New councilman has long career in military, public service on North Side

Development continues to be sore subject for some by Nicole lessiN


LAMO HEIGHTS — The search for a resolution on a proposed mixed-use luxury apartment development may be on hold, but city leaders say the controversy shows reforms are needed to avoid similar conflicts in the future.

pg. 20 Opera Piccola aims to entertain the masses Contemporary and classic works sung in English

That view, voiced by Mayor Louis Cooper, arose from a sometimes heated discussion that resulted in a 3-2 vote by the City Council Feb. 10 to table approving a written form of a modified specific-use permit adopted at an earlier meeting for

Project continues on pg. 16


pg. 22 Gustology

New venue teaches patrons how to be their own mixologists

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coupons InsIDE Discover the city through LOCAL deals from restaurants, retailers and services in your community, and save money while you do it! pg. 26


says he won’t pg. 15 Gallagher be idle in District 10 seat Alamo Heights Gateway project leads to calls for reforms at meeting

pg.18 Field of dreams emerges from sodden Alamo Heights park Community rallied to erase more than $100,000 in damage after flood

Light rail in SA would help Editor: The city of San Antonio

really needs streetcars and trolleys. Unfortunately, voters were misled by the opponents and the Tea Party, including state Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels. Many of the opponents do not understand that light-rail transportation, or LRT, is very useful in keeping a number of cars off the road. Of course, it will not reduce congestion 100 percent, but LRT does makes a difference. Opponents and the Tea Party do not understand that our traffic is bad enough — like Los Angeles — because we don't have light rail. San Antonio hasn't had any rail transit transportation since 1932. LRT will attract local riders and tourists if voters aren't sleepy. Many cities have successful light-rail systems, including San Diego, Calif.; Los Angeles; Sacramento, Calif.; Denver, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Seattle; Portland, Ore.; and Salt Lake City. David Pattison

But not everyone supports streetcars… Editor: I would love to put my

name on a petition to put the streetcar issue to a vote. No doubt in my mind it would be defeated. Margaret Preston

Editor: We are both registered voters and we are against wasting our money on having streetcars in San Antonio. R.J. Peisinger and G. Peisinger

Too soon to name airport after ex-Mayor Henry Cisneros Editor: There are many of us

who think it unseemly to name public places for living persons, especially politicians of any stripe. Too many people spend their entire life affecting the lives of others, but often pass laws that only affect others, not themselves (like Congress). Many of us feel there should be a period between their passing and their "sanctification" of public entities, where their whole influence should be weighed, not their immediate popularity. C. Reed Carr

Current airport name is fine Editor: The San Antonio International

Airport has a fine name already. Why do we feel the need to name things after city and

county officials at all? A bunch of officials getting together to pat each other on the back and name things after themselves is absurd. If it's something they feel strongly about, put it on a ballot and see if the people who paid for the airport want to rename it. Chuck Hanna

Forget airport name, focus on issues Editor: It seems many of our so-called

civic leaders are more focused on honoring themselves and perpetuating their own longevity, rather than serving the public. I am in the group that believes posthumous recognition is more appropriate, and only if based on the will of “all” the constituencies. I am also in the group that believes less emphasis should be placed on renaming

buildings, and more emphasis should be placed on solving actual problems. The same logic applies to “pet” projects City Council members propose (such as plasticbag elimination) which appeals to individuals who want to clean up the environment. That proposal is a very low political risk and sounds logical, and also a very “safe” endeavor when there are other tough and controversial issues that, if solved, could have a more positive impact on the community. I challenge our civic leaders to prove they are more concerned about the people, than about themselves. Bennie R. West

Too many questions about Pre-K 4 SA Editor: In response to Susan Yerkes'

recent column on Pre-K 4 SA: The piece was very upbeat. However, back in school nobody gave me a "big fat A" if it would take "years" to evaluate my performance. Yerkes produced a soft opinion piece that

left me and probably others hungering for some hard news on this program. At $31 million in tax money and a maximum of 3,700 students in the program (2,000 in the four centers and 1,700 students by grants at some point), I calculate $8,378 per student per year. That seems to be at the high end of national figures for full time pre-kindergarten day care. How does this compare to costs for pre-K care at private institutions offering comparable programs? What effect has the city program had on these alternative providers? How does this program differ from Head Start? How will San Antonio's program do better? There is no elected school board. So exactly what is running this thing? Max Hensley


Local Society

Plenty of Fiesta fun on tap at parties by carole miller


h, Fiesta! It’s that wonderful time of year when our neighbors suddenly turn into kings and queens and the sound of police sirens means it’s time to drink margaritas, eat anything on a stick and attend as many parties as possible. The lovely ladies of the Gardenia and Musical Club gathered at Club Giraud to kick things off. Their annual Fiesta Luncheon honored this year’s Gardenia Queen Ramsey Schultz. Newly appointed King Antonio De Miller stopped by with his entourage. Then it was time to meet and greet the King and Queen of Chips 'N Salsa, Thomas Jeneby and Imelda Lopez-Sanchez, for a night of fundraising benefiting SA Youth. The celebration took place at the El Tropicano Hotel downtown in the form of a fantastic casino night. The lawn of Edward and Nancy Steves' Terrell Hills mansion was the setting for the next big event — the annual King’s Party. A mariachi band played while guests

mingled with Fiesta royalty; dined at food booths offering fresh oysters, tamales and Kiolbassa sausage; and got more than their fill of “Fiesta fun” with margaritas. Next it was the annual Town Club Fiesta Party at the San Antonio Country Club, thrown by chairmen Triple Fuhrmann, Todd Shetler and Brian Arriaga. The theme was “British Invasion” and the band kept everyone on the dance floor until the wee hours of the night. And, finally, after a whirlwind week, the new Queen of the Order of the Alamo, The Queen of Sovereign Legends Mallory Sparr, presided over the ever-so-elegant and ever-so-exclusive Garden Party. She arrived in style with her police escort and remained regal throughout the evening.

Will Hodde, Alessandra Cotten, Marguerite Mannix, Audrey Billups

Lauren Rathburn, Matt Mitchell, Mallory Sparr and Ryan Mays

Queens garden party 2014

John Spalten, Rick LePere, Chuck King and Sam Boldrick

De Miller and Edward Steves

King's Party 2014

Matt & Kelly Strange

Thomas Jeneby and Imelda Lopez-Sanchez

Sean and Martha O'Neill, Nicole Gottsacker and Sue Musgrove

King And Queen of Chips 'N Salsa 2014

Town Club British INVasion 2014

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May 2014

Happening LOCAL

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


The inaugural season’s schedule of entertainment at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts has been released and ticket sales have begun. Some of the acts during the 2014-15 season: Bill Cosby, Garrison Keillor, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, and “50 Shades! The Musical.” Tickets are available at The center is at 100 Auditorium Circle.


alamo heights

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TexasMobilePack and Feed My Starving Children are seeking volunteers to help pack 4 million meals for hungry children overseas during a six-day event Sept. 25-30. The goal is to line up 20,000 volunteers to work two-hour shifts at two local sites. More on the organizations and their goals can be found at http://texasmobilepack. org/ and at


alamo heights 4901 Broadway, Suite 132 San Antonio, Texas 78209 210.824.1115

through OCT. 26


For five years, the Institute of Texan Cultures has mounted exhibitions of works by local and regional contemporary artists. This newly launched exhibit caps off that series, featuring works by 12 of the artists from those shows; the works are linked by a typically Texan exuberance and bold vision. The exhibit is open during the institute’s regular hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for those 65 and older, $6 for ages 3 to 11, and free for students at the University of Texas at San Antonio or the Alamo Colleges with identification.


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Reynolds will lead a San Antonio Audubon Society birding walk along Avenue A in Brackenridge Park starting at 8 a.m. The meeting spot is the parking lot on Red Oak, north of Avenue A at East Mulberry Avenue. Time permitting, the outing will shift to the San Antonio Botanical Garden. Nonmembers are welcome and there is no charge, but there is an $8 admission fee for the Botanical Garden if you are not an SABG member.

happening k ey


ART IN THE PARK The grounds and gardens surrounding the Landa Branch Library, 233 Bushnell Ave., are the site of a series of free programs for children and families this month. On May 10, it’s a community and garden project called Art in the Park; on May 17, beloved storyteller Miss Anastasia is the star. May 24 features singer-songwriter Owen Duggan and Magik Theatre takes the stage on May 31. All programs start at 10 a.m. may 10

POLO IN THE PARK The San Antonio Polo Club will celebrate Mother’s Day with a polo exhibition and match at Olmos Basin Park. The event runs from noon to 4 p.m., and tickets cost $10 in advance or $20 at the gate. Seating can be rented on-site, and there will be a cash bar. A VIP package, $150, will feature a tent and seating, and includes a beef tenderloin lunch, two free drink tickets, private bar, music and a silent auction. Tickets may be purchased through a link at may 11

may 12, 27


City Council meets at 5:30 p.m. in the temporary City Hall, 1248 Austin Highway.

may 14-18


wine dinners, followed by tasting sessions, a food-truck feast, even barbecue and beer – it’s all part of San Antonio’s homage to good food and drink. Events take place across town, at large hotels and intimate restaurants. For a complete rundown on places, times and menus, go to

may 15


Council meets at 6 p.m. in City Hall, 120 W. El Prado Drive.

SCHOOL BOARD The Alamo Heights Independent School District trustees will meet at 7 p.m. in the board room at Central Office, 7100 Broadway. may 15

FIESTA NOCHE DEL RIO It’s party time on the river again, as the fast-paced revue opens its 58th season of music and dance. The shows start at 8:30 p.m. May 16 and then every Friday and Saturday night from May may 16






23 through Aug. 16 at the Arneson River Theatre in La Villita. Tickets – available at H-E-B ticket outlets, www.fiestanochesa. com and at the door – cost $20 for adults, $8 for children age 6-14 and $15 for seniors, military and groups of 10 or more.

may 17


& Gardens offers a tour of two fascinating homes: preservationist and civic leader Walther Mathis’ Villa Finale, and noted regional architect O’Neil Ford’s Willow Way. The subtitle reveals the theme: A Grand Tour for the Historic Preservation Enthusiast. It starts at 10 a.m. at Villa Finale, and runs until 2 p.m. Tickets cost $50 for Villa Finale members, $60 for nonmembers, and include drinks and a box lunch at Willow Way. Call 223-9800 to reserve a spot.

TERRELL HILLS The City Council will meet at 5 p.m. to canvass the election results in City Hall, 5100 N. New Braunfels Ave. may 19

may 19


Scramble is the format for this golf outing to benefit the Guadalupe Radio Network. The cost is $125 per person, and you can sign up in a team of four; to register online, go to GRNonline. com and click on the article to find the registration form. The tournament, which will be at Brackenridge Golf Course, 2315 Avenue B, starts with registration and lunch at 11:30 a.m. Shotgun start is at 1 p.m., and things wrap up with a barbecue dinner at 6 p.m. and the awards presentation at 6:30 p.m.

MEMORIAL DAY Many government and school district offices will be closed in honor of the observance. may 26

may 31


Antonio International Piano Competition presents a concert by fiery Argentine pianist Eduardo Delgado at 7:30 p.m. at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 315 E. Pecan St. Tickets cost $20 in advance through a link at http://, by email through or by phone, 270-3829. At the door, tickets are $10 for students and $25 for adults.


FARM DINNER The Quarry 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 market on Sundays at the Alamo Quarry Market. JUNE 8

SYMPHONY's 75th The 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. JUNE 14

AUG 4-8

CAMP BROADWAY IN SAN ANTONIO Registration is already

under way for the 100 spots in this summer camp, which offers youngsters age 10 to 17 a chance to learn from Broadway professionals. Las Casas Foundation is the local sponsor, and it is offering 20 need-based scholarships for the camp. More details and a registration link are at www.campbroadway. com; click on the specific Camp Broadway item, then on the San Antonio camp link.

Elsewhere in San Antonio FIGHTING DIABETES The YMCA ongoing and San Antonio Metropolitan Health District are offering a pair of free programs geared to preventing diabetes. The YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program is open to adults 18 and older with a body mass index greater than 25; it is a supportive 12-month mix of classes and monthly maintenance sessions. The Y Living Program, for families, offers information in a 12-week series of holistic wellness classes. Both are offered at the Walzem YMCA, 5538 Walzem Road. Call 924-8858 for more.

weekends through may 18

“GODSPELL” The popular

Broadway show, based on the New Testament Gospel of Matthew, gets a staging at the Cameo Theatre, 1123 E. Commerce

St. The musical’s “Day by Day” was an international hit; the show’s songs bring the parables of Jesus Christ to life. Friday and Saturday shows are at 8 p.m., Sunday matinees are at 4 p.m. Tickets are $33, with reduced prices for seniors, students and military personnel. They can be purchased through a link at

may 8 - June 8


much-loved show, reportedly the world’s longest-running musical, on and off-Broadway, is being staged by the Sheldon Vexler Theater at the Barshop Jewish Community Center. Tickets run from $14 to $20 and are available by calling the Vex box office, 302-6835. Shows are Thursday and Saturday nights at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday afternoons at 2:30. The Vexler Theater is at 12500 N.W. Military Highway.

may 10

THE Answer for Cancer The very best cancer care saves the life you’re living today. Hope for the right diagnosis, personalized treatment, and compassionate support lies in the hands of our team of cancer specialists at the CTRC, the only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Cancer Center in Central and South Texas. Here, the highest level of excellence in cancer research and quality of care is the standard of care. At CTRC, we work hard every day to help you and your family find the answer for cancer.


classes, for women only, demonstrate how to prepare Turkish dishes, and the menu changes every week. They take place from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Raindrop Turkish House, 4337 Vance Jackson Road; cost is $10 per session. The May 10 session will feature a sort of pita, with mushroom, cheese, ground beef and potato. Reservations are required, since seating may be limited; email rwasanantonio@ or call 979-422-9260.

Call (210) 450-5050 to schedule a mammogram, or visit our website at for more information.

The City of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District and the YMCA of Greater San Antonio have teamed up to

BILL SINKIN'S LEGACY A fundraiser to benefit Solar San Antonio will honor the late banker/business leader/community activist Bill Sinkin, who pushed tirelessly for solar energy in the latter part of his 100 years of life. The party begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Veranda, 1746 Lockhill Selma Road; tickets cost $101 and include dinner, dancing, drinks, a silent auction and a raffle with a prize — a 4.95-kilowatt solar PV system. For more on the event or to purchase tickets, go to http://www.solarsanantonio. org/celebration/. To purchase a $50 ticket for the raffle, call 354-0236.

Fight Diabetes!

GOLF TOURNAMENT Knights of Columbus Council 8065 will hold a tournament with a four-person-scramble format at Silverhorn Golf Club, 1100 W. Bitters Road, to raise money for charities. Registration is 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., with pre-games running from 11:30

Diabetes Self-Management Program

may 15

may 17

Happening continues on pg. 21

Whether you are at risk for type 2 diabetes or are currently living with diabetes, we have a FREE program for you!

YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program Helping those at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to reduce their chances of developing the disease. For more information call (210) 924-8858

Y Living Program This family-based program empowers the family to obtain total wellness through enriching the Spirit, Mind, and Body. For more information call (210) 924-8858

Through a series of six healthy living workshops, this FREE program empowers individuals to take control of their health and safely manage diabetes. For more information call (210) 207-8744

For more information about these programs please call today or visit us online at:


May 2014

Address of local business


Name of local business

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

Open and Opening Soon

3 4

1. SEÑOR VEGGIE, 620 S. Presa St., is a Lavaca neighborhood spot in Southtown that specializes in vegan dishes including soups, falafel wraps, poblano corn fritters, portobello fajitas and other plant-based dishes. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and closed Sunday and Monday. For more, call 2280073 or visit the website at http://www. (See story on page 29)

3. HEELING SOLE BAREFOOT MASSAGE & YOGA,1864 Nacogdoches Road in the

Carousel Shopping Center, offers massages with a twist — staff uses their bare feet. Sessions include deeper-than-deeptissue massages called Ashiatsu, sports massages known as Ashi-Thai and yoga classes. Though many of the sessions are by appointment only, call 5601992 or visit for availability. (See story on page 26)

6 5


5800 Broadway, Suite 105, recently celebrated a grand opening in Alamo Heights. It features skincare services including microdermabrasion, chemical peels, facials and dermaplaning in conjunction with nail care than ranges from manicures and pedicures to solar nails, shellac nail polish, Vinylux and nail design. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more, call 8264886 or visit the Facebook page at https://

year appointments as Murchison Term Professors. The honorees are Paula Hertel, professor of psychology; Steven Luper, professor of philosophy; and David Ribble, professor of biology. The three-year appointments take effect June 1, and each professor will receive an additional $20,000


2. COOKIE CAB, in North Central San

Antonio, operates three days a week but plans to expand to five days. The company, started by two young mothers, delivers cookies "fresh from the oven" to your doorstep. Varieties include chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, peanut butter, sugar and snickerdoodle. The minimum order is a dozen and the cost is $1 a cookie. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. For more, call 848-9920 or visit https:// (See story on page 28)


New Braunfels Ave., is a boutique owned by Sara Jessop that opened in 2010 and is now expanding to include a hair studio by local stylist and partner Casey Wiatrek. A soft opening with a Fiesta-theme party was April 16. In addition, the boutique specializes in eclectic clothing, jewelry and accessories. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more, call 824-9999 or visit




999 E. Basse Road, Suite 100 in The Shops at Lincoln Heights, has just opened its 10th location and offers a full line of gynecological care, from adolescence through post-menopause, as well as bone-density scans, vaccines, sonograms and additional health services for women. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, with early morning, lunch and evening hours available, as well as one Saturday a month, to fit patients’ busy schedules, the staff says. For an appointment or to learn more, call 656-3040 or visit (See story on page 27)

recently unveiled a new commercial sign funded through Operation Facelift, a facade-improvement program sponsored by the city that provides money for exterior improvement projects of commercial buildings. The project, which includes businesses on Blanco and San Pedro Avenue, is designed to increase marketability, improve the aesthetics of an area and ensure commercial signs meet city codes.

Señor Veggie serves 100 percent vegan dishes with organic and locally sourced produce when available. Despite their meat-like appearance, the veggie carnitas tacos (above) are completely free of meat and dairy. Photo by Collette Orquiz

annually to support research activities. All three have chaired or are currently chairing their academic departments.

THE POLICE DEPARTMENT at Trinity University has been named a “Recognized Law Enforcement Agency” by the Texas Police Chiefs Association Law Enforcement Recognition Program, becoming the 100th agency among more than 2,600 in the state to be recognized and the first private university to achieve the recognition.

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CHRISTINE DRENNON, director of Trinity

University’s Urban Studies Program, has been named the 2014 recipient of the Marilyn J. Gittell Activist Scholar Award by the Urban Affairs Association and SAGE. The national award acknowledges Drennon’s record of scholarship and engagement and her commitment to addressing issues of concern to urban communities, according to a university spokeswoman.

CENTRO ALLIANCE SAN ANTONIO has named King William as Downtown San Antonio’s Best Neighborhood 2014. The award was presented to the King William Association during a recent a luncheon at the Wyndham San Antonio Riverwalk. According to a news release, the Annual Best Awards are given to individuals, organizations, businesses and events that “have made a significant contribution to Downtown San Antonio during the past 24 months.” In the King William neighborhood, walkability and "ease of connection" to downtown are cited as important features. In 2013 King William was awarded BEST Public/Private Partnership – Outdoor Space for the Constance & Crofton Pocket Park. The 2012 Best award recognized the King William cultural arts district. LA FONDA ALAMO HEIGHTS closed its doors March 31. A dining institution that started in 1958, the restaurant at 6402 N. New Braunfels Ave. in the Sunset Ridge Shopping Center celebrated its 55th anniversary in March 2013 under its newest owners. It has changed hands four times since it first opened. STAGE 3 WATERING RESTRICTIONS

started April 14 for Alamo Heights. Under the guidelines, watering using automatic or manual irrigation systems is allowed only once every other week from 3-8 a.m. and 8-10 p.m. The last number of an address determines what day property owners can water. For more, visit the city's website at

A SPECIAL ELECTION May 10 in Terrell

Hills and Olmos Park will allow voters to decide the fate of a one-fourth of 1 percent sales-and-use tax to provide revenue for street repair and maintenance.

SEVERAL CANDIDATES HAVE FILED to run for municipal offices in the May 10 elections. Candidates for three City Council seats in Alamo Heights are incumbent Fred Prassel, Derek Cossey and Sarah Reveley for Place 3; incumbent Elliot Weser and Lynda Billa Burke for Place 4; and incumbent John Savage and Kimberly Lubianski for Place 5. In Olmos Park, the three candidates for two seats on the council are Casey Fry, Kenyon McDonald and Jeff Judson for two-year terms. Judson won a seat last fall during a special election to fill a vacant post. Meanwhile, Mayor Kenneth Farrimond is running unopposed. In Terrell Hills, Mayor Brad Camp has decided to step down after 12 years as the city's leader. Councilwomen Anne Ballantyne and Michelle Brady are competing for the slot; meanwhile, John Low is running for the Place 2 council seat and incumbent Charles Parish has filed for Place 1. BOARD ELECTIONS MAY 10 FOR THE NORTHEAST INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT will see District 2 incumbent

Edd White facing challenger Bob Coster.

Krier in District 9 is running to finish the full term after being appointed by the City Council in November. The District 9 seat came open when Councilwoman Elisa Chan stepped down in a failed bid to capture the GOP nod for state Senate District 25 on March 4. Other contenders who filed for the District 9 slot include Corey Clark, Weston Martinez, Bert Cecconi and Donald Oroian. If needed, a runoff will be June 14.

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May 2014

Debate continues from pg. 01

Burke: Alamo Gateway started a much-needed conversation by nicole lessin


LAMO HEIGHTS — Though plans for a five-story apartment development at Broadway and Austin Highway have fizzled, the bitter debate over the complex that pitted neighbor against neighbor could change the way City Hall does business. The permitting process for the Alamo Heights Gateway project has left many community leaders calling for reforms to city codes and procedures. "This experience showed us the city needs to update the commercial codes to align with and enable the applicable visions of the Comprehensive Plan," said Mayor Louis Cooper about the 100-page

text, which outlines the community's long-term goals for historic preservation, economic development, green space and more. "That must start with stakeholders working together with residents, commercial property owners, businesses, city officials, board members and staff." Former Councilman Bill Kiel, who recently became a member of the city's Planning and Zoning Commission, said the Alamo Heights Gateway project indicated that city ordinances are outdated, while the Comprehensive Plan may not be enough to guide new development proposals. "What happens is that you have a real code that is not workable, out of date... and requires developers to have lots of variances which we saw (with Alamo Heights Gateway), and then you have this thing called the Comprehensive Plan, which is mostly pictures," he said. "The two things are actually competing with each other, so developers come in and latch onto the Comprehensive Plan with their interpretations." Instead, Kiel said Alamo Heights should try to implement codes that are more standard in urban settings, but align them with the

specific long-term goals of Alamo Heights, including encouraging more mixed-use development. One way the city could achieve this, he said, is by considering ordinances that would ease parkingspace requirements for new business developments, which are currently more onerous than for apartment units. "(With) the different usages of a commercial building or a residential building, the peak parking hours vary, so for instance an office may have peak parking during the day and an apartment or condo may have peak parking at night," he said. "If you have a mixed-use building, you might have a formula for parking that took advantage of that synergy. In other words, find a way to home in on what would be a realistic ratio, and that's just one example of the

kind of stuff that we would have to look at in our codes," he added. In February, Dallas-based Alamo Manhattan notified city officials it would not build the controversial $30 million apartment and retail complex. Company officials have said the Alamo Gateway project on the 1.66-acre parcel was not economically viable after the council requested that the developer scale back its proposal. Though some in the city welcomed the proposed development as an economic shot in the arm, others said the project didn't fit the city's image. The year-and-a-half long debate about the project has even weighed on the minds of candidates in the May 10 council election. Place 5 challenger Kimberly Lubianski, who lives near the site where Alamo Heights Gateway had

this experience showed us the city needs to update the commercial codes Louis Cooper, alamo heights mayor

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13 been proposed, said another problem lies with the fact that the five-yearold Comprehensive Plan may itself be outdated — especially given the fact that the Federal Emergency Management Agency recently updated its maps and designated parts of Broadway as a floodway, which can lead to restrictions in new development. "When FEMA came in and designated that as an area that needed to be preserved and free from obstruction of any kind in addition to what's already there, that was not known to the people who created the Comprehensive Plan, and they didn't take that into account in their suggestions and ideas for future possibilities," she said. "So with that in mind, we need to go back to the Comprehensive Plan, if we want to use that as a starting point for some long-range planning, and say, 'OK, here is what we have done that we have recommended, and here is the new set of variables that we have to work with,'" she added. Place 4 incumbent Elliot Weser said he thought the process for the Alamo Heights Gateway project went on too long when flooding issues and other problems with density made it unfeasible. As a result, he would like to see procedures put in place that would allow the council to carefully consider these kinds of mitigating factors early on. "It's not whether we need development, or whether development will happen, it's what kind of development we want in Alamo Heights," he said. "We have to remain open to considering development requests, but I think the city should have a process followed by making sure we won't run into problems with codes and other features of a development, which might be a game changer." While the Alamo Heights Gateway project was controversial for Alamo Heights, Place 4 challenger Lynda Billa Burke, who previously served on San Antonio's City Council and Planning Commission, said it started a muchneeded conversation about planning. "You need to have something in place that you can go and understand what the codes are and that there is a Comprehensive Plan, and it has never been codified," she said. "There is always an upside to something that wasn't pleasant that happened, and I think that now we can have a civil conversation about it... We are going to have to go through that renaissance of who we are, where we want to be, and where we want to go."

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local our turn

Views and opinions about your community.

Politicians must learn to listen


olitical campaigns are as certain as the sun rising and setting. That is why it's more important than ever for voters to remain educated about the issues and pay attention to what the candidates are saying — or not saying. Equally vital to the electorate is staying focused on the issues so they aren't blindsided by glib talk and fancy rhetoric from those out on the campaign trail. For example, here in the greater San Antonio area, a disturbing trend seems to be growing. Local politicians keep pushing projects the public doesn't want. Many of these are quite expensive.

Our Turn continues on pg. 14 Service continues from pg. 01

More members flocking to group by Bonny Osterhage


our years ago, when mom Katie Meissner attempted to sign up her freshman son for the Young Men’s Service League, she was shocked to find out the organization — which pairs boys and their mothers on service projects — did not have a presence in the Alamo City. Meissner quickly set out to change that situation. After she pitched the program to a small group, the Young Men’s Service League Alamo Chapter was formed with the mission of “initiating and encouraging young men and their mothers in the pursuit of philanthropic involvement in their community.” “The hope is that they will continue to volunteer in their communities for the rest of their lives," Meissner said. Open to young men in grades

Service continues on pg. 19


May 2014

Our Turn continues from pg. 13 From downtown streetcars to suburban toll roads, it seems several of our politicos are promoting initiatives the voters have said no to time and again. These leaders appear out of step with the will of the people they claim to represent. Why won't the office-holders listen? Could it be they are putting their future political ambitions ahead of the people's wishes, trying to pad resumes for runs at higher office down the road? Or is it a case of those in office thinking they know what's good for the rest of us, even when we say different? Frankly, voters are partly to blame. Apathy about going to the polls allows some of these lackluster candidates to encourage their own special-interest groups to swamp the voting booth. Many of these politicians are catering to a narrow demographic, because they know these voting blocs will at least show up at the ballot box. In many cases, reasoned voters stay away from the polls because they no longer trust the candidates and they no longer believe in the validity of the democratic process.

Part of the problem is that today, many of those who are the most qualified to lead choose not to run because of the exorbitant funding it takes to mount a campaign. Local politics in America once meant that average citizens felt called to serve because they wanted to help their neighbors. Today we have a professional class of politicians who seek office because they crave power, and special-interest groups with deep pockets to fund their races. It's time for local office-seekers to return to the grass roots, to listen to their constituents and to carry out the will of the people, not focus on some agenda-driven campaign designed to increase their own status at the expense of good governance.

Send letters to the editor to or snail mail them to Local Community News, 4204 Gardendale, Suite 201, San Antonio, TX 78229. We reserve the right to edit for taste, grammar and length. The editorial board is Harry Lees, Gregg Rosenfield and Thomas Edwards

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Warning continues from pg. 01

Disease more prevalent in last five years by collette orquiz


potential rise in cases of oak wilt has officials warning North Side residents to be on the lookout for the devastating fungal disease as winter turns to spring and trees start blooming again. Every year live oaks and red oaks fall victim to oak wilt, which is a vascular disease caused by a fungus. It is spread by insects or roots that infect the tree and cut off the transportation of water and nutrients. It cannot be cured and it can carry a hefty price tag to prevent the spread to other trees. “There are a number of infection areas within the city and the

Oak wilt is a serious disease afflicting live oaks that has slowly made its way through the Hill Country and into San Antonio. Photo by Collette Orquiz

adjoining municipalities,” said Michele Forry, certified arborist and oak-wilt specialist. “It has become more prevalent in the last five years and the infected areas are growing.” San Antonio officials even

Warning continues on pg. 16

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Warning continues from pg. 14 recently issued a bulletin reminding residents of the dangers of oak wilt now that spring is here. The Development Services Department stresses that trees must be carefully pruned to prevent oak wilt, with severed limbs being coated in paint within 30 minutes. Also, a tree-maintenance license is required for anyone who removes, prunes or trims trees inside the city limits. The disease has been in Texas for decades, and has slowly made its way through the Hill Country and into San Antonio, Forry said. “With no cure or total prevention, our city is at risk for losing thousands of trees to this disease. More education and research is needed to help aid in the prevention of this disease,” Forry said. Oak wilt shows up as leaf discoloration, wilt, defoliation and dead limbs. Mark Duff, a certified arborist and oak-wilt specialist, as well as a staff forester at Texas A&M


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According to Mark Duff, a certified arborist and oak-wilt specialist, oak wilt is not present in downtown San Antonio and nearby municipalities, but proper pruning techniques — such as painting fresh wounds on live oaks (left and above) — are still encouraged to keep the disease from spreading. Photos by Collette Orquiz

University's Forest Service, said many communities are sensitive to how an oak wilt problem can be portrayed. “They want to paint the picture that they’re being proactive and managing the disease, not that disease

has come in and just devastated the community,” Duff said. Some cities suggest that open wounds on trees must be painted

Warning continues on pg. 22

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May 2014

Classical continues from pg. 01

Firefighterconductor dedicated to community service by Susan yerkes


f a symphonic work described Paul Montalvo’s life, the music would start with energy, develop parallel yet harmonic themes and build to a powerful crescendo. Listeners would describe it as “passionate.”

The word “passion” keeps coming up when you talk to those who know Montalvo. He uses it himself, whether describing his 19-year career as a San Antonio firefighter, or his role as a co-founder and artistic director of the Chamber Orchestra of San Antonio. You might not expect a career firefighter to revel in the thrill of classical music, but that’s Montalvo.

“He’s passionate about everything he does — music, the Fire Department, relationships with his friends and family,” said Larry Hernandez, who met Montalvo when they were rookies at the same fire station and has become a lifelong friend. “A Renaissance man,” COSA board Chairman Mario Ochoa called Montalvo. “A manly man, but at the same time very articulate and sophisticated. He’s a dreamer in the very best way.” “He’s one of those guys who, when you meet him you go, ‘Wow! Are you for real?’" said COSA Executive Director Lori Skinner. “He hooked me into this job with his passion for classical music. He wants to share that passion with everyone.” Montalvo’s love for classical music developed relatively late, but he credits his childhood exposure to the swing and big band music his parents loved — and the piano lessons they made him and his two older brothers take as youngsters — with “planting the seed” that would flower unexpectedly in his 20s. Montalvo’s father was a physicist at Southwest Research Institute; his mother,

Classical continues on pg. 20




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Service continues from pg. 13 nine through 12, the organization will graduate its first group of boys in May — many of them from the Alamo Heights area. This group of youths and their mothers have performed 3,254 hours of community service this year, and donated about 750 items to their chosen philanthropies in the form of “wish list” items. “Studies show that when you instill a heart for service in a child, they will continue to volunteer for the rest of their lives,” Meissner said. “That is the hope.”

Mother/son bonding

Meissner, the mother of two boys, first heard about the league when her nephew participated in a Dallasbased chapter. She was drawn to the organization for many reasons, including because it is designed specifically for boys and their mothers. In fact, part of the requirements

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Service continues on pg. 25


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Classical continues from pg. 18 a cosmetologist who closed her business to be a full-time mom. From Colonial Hills Elementary School through Lee High School, he was a bright, athletic youngster, unsure of his career path. “I went to (the University of Texas at San Antonio) and kind of felt around for the right career; I took some accounting, electrical engineering, international business…none of it gained my complete interest,” he said. At 23, after a couple of short-term jobs, he signed on with the Fire Department, where his elder brother David, now retired, was a career firefighter. Although Montalvo has lived in the Alamo Heights area for years, he has worked for most of his career at Fire Station 29, on the Southeast Side. His rank is firefighter. “I love all of it; the banter, the camaraderie,” he said. “It’s truly public service. Sometimes the adrenaline runs high, but we have a very strong collective will as a team to go in there and get the job done. It really is a case of being brothers in arms.” Music came to him a year or so later.

May 2014

“It was very strange,” Montalvo said. “Every week I started buying the weekend Wall Street Journal and the Sunday New York Times. I began devouring the arts sections, and got interested in classical music. Then I got a book on collecting, and if I heard a classical piece and loved it I would collect a dozen versions of it, and I became enthralled by how many different conductors could interpret the same piece. And then I got this silly dream: How could I go about studying to become a conductor? “I started taking piano again. I had a little upright piano, but to get the sound I went out and bought a baby grand. And I found incredible teachers.” One of the first was a nun, the late Sister Evelyn Marie Rischner. “She didn’t laugh at me, thank God,” Montalvo said. “I can’t tell you how much she encouraged me.” While working 40 to 60 hours a week at the fire station, Montalvo went back to school, studying piano, music theory and conducting at San Antonio College and UTSA, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in music composition. But, “I didn’t have the chops” to become a concert pianist, he said. And

although he took part in conducting workshops around the world, he finally chose firefighting, his family and his deep ties to San Antonio over trying to make a mid-life career switch to professional conductor. “I thought conducting was what I really wanted to do, but I found at 30 I wasn’t young enough, and I didn’t have the experience. I couldn’t fully understand why it didn’t work — until about five years ago,” he said. The faith that he still had a mission to fulfill in his musical life came in 2008, when Montalvo, his friend Robert Ehlers and Ehlers’ wife, Silvia Santinelli, founded COSA. Robert Ehlers, now a Valero Energy engineer, and Montalvo had both played tennis at Lee, and connected again decades later through their shared enthusiasm for classical music. The two met Santinelli, a concert pianist,

at a concert in San Antonio, and she and Ehlers subsequently married. All three shared a burning desire to spread the gospel of classical music. That led to the idea behind COSA. “We wanted to tear away the veil of elitism,” Montalvo said. “There will always be people who love classical music from childhood. We wanted to expand that base to people who had never really listened to it, and been moved by it, before.” As a measure of success, Montalvo noted that 75 percent of COSA’s donors last year had never made donations to the arts before. COSA presents two carefully crafted musical programs each year, calculated to excite and inspire a wide range of audiences. As artistic director, Montalvo plans programs, then hand-picks individual musicians and conductors for each concert.

I got this silly dream: how could i go about studying to be a conductor? Paul Montalvo

21 According to Skinner, Montalvo puts in 30-60 hours a week on the orchestra, in addition to his firefighting job. For that, he earns a nominal $500 a month. “I live it and breathe it,” he said with a shrug. Working slowly and methodically, Montalvo, Ehlers and Santinelli built a strong board and engaged powerful supporters, including former board Chairman Mario Vasquez and Tobin Foundation Chairman and Trustee Bruce Bugg. One of their biggest breaks came when they were selected as the resident chamber orchestra in the new Tobin Center for the Performing Arts downtown. Their first concert there, set for Sept. 6, has been more than a year in the planning. Meantime,

the group’s spring concert, set for May 31 at Gallery Nord, 2009 N.W. Military Highway, is an intriguing staged radio play/chamber concert written by San Antonio's Rick Moore. And somehow, Montalvo still finds time for other community commitments, including serving as the first male board member of the Cancer Center Council in the group’s 30-year history. Community service and arts advocacy are the two powerful parallel themes in his life, from his day job to his friendships and enthusiasms. “I truly believe creating a wider fine-arts audience is about making San Antonio a better place to live,” he said. “That’s what so many of us in this city are working for —the incredible enrichment the arts bring to life.”

Happening continues from pg. 07 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Tee time is 1:30 p.m. The cost, $100 per player, covers green fees, a barbecue plate, beverages, a goody bag and a raffle ticket. For more information, call Alex Rivera at 8347388 or Charlie Davis at 860-0403.

RETIRED TEACHERS The North San Antonio Retired Teachers Association will open its monthly meeting with a “meet and greet” at 9:45 a.m.; the meeting begins at 10:15 a.m. and will include the presentation of a $1,000 scholarship. The meeting place is San Pedro Presbyterian Church, 14900 San Pedro Ave., and members are encouraged to bring a friend. This is the final meeting of the school year; the gatherings resume Sept. 17 and will take place the third Wednesday of the month. may 21

may 21


Antonio 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, by the Monday prior to the meeting. The chapter meets on the third Wednesday of the month (except for July and August).

may 21


the third Wednesday of the month at Baptist HealthLink, 188 W. Bitters Road, from 4 to 6 p.m. One main topic per hour is covered in the

group discussions, which may be large or small. A syllabus and more information are available at http://

june 5


Antonio Chamber of Commerce will hold its golf get-together at TPC San Antonio, 23808 Resort Parkway, from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The entry fee covers green fees and a cart plus breakfast and lunch, and there will be goody bags and raffle prizes. Entry cost starts at $175 per person. Register by May 30 at; click on Events and the tournament icon to find the registration form.

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Pedro Presbyterian Church is offering a day camp/ vacation Bible school titled God’s Wonderful World of Water. There will be theme-related field trips, science activities, Bible stories, crafts and games. The program runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily and costs $50 per child, and includes a sack lunch and field-trip admission fees. It is geared to those who have completed kindergarten through fifth grade. Call 494-6560 or register online at The church is at 14900 San Pedro Ave.



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Did you know that May is National Better Hearing and Speech Month? During the month of May, consumers are encouraged to go to their local audiologist to get their hearing checked. As the only Doctor of Audiology in the Schertz, Cibolo, and Garden Ridge area, I invite our residents to come out to my office for complimentary hearing screenings all month long. We are also unveiling our new hearing rehabilitation program where individuals with hearing loss can learn strategies to improve communication and make the most of their hearing.

Here are some facts about Hearing Loss: • Over 36 million Americans suffer from hearing loss • More than half of the people with hearing loss are UNDER the age of 65

immediately to diminish the exposure of sapwood. Also, pruning is often discouraged from Feb. 1 to June 30, to lessen the risk of spreading the fungus. Experts say pruning attracts nitidulid beetles, which spread the disease from fungal mats while moving from tree to tree feeding on sap. Oak wilt can also be spread through infected root grafts. Some oaks, however, have been bred to be [ SIDEBAR ] highly resistant to the disease NIPPING OAK including WILT IN THE BUD Monterrey, Chinquapin • Educate yourself (or Chinkapin) • Routinely water trees and Bur. • Practice proper “At present, pruning there is not • Choose diversity 100 percent when planting trees prevention • Treat trees with for the fungicide disease. There • Eliminate diseased are several red oaks treatments • Handle firewood that will aid properly in the survival • Paint wounds on of the tree,” healthy oaks Forry said. • Call a certified Duff said oak-wilt specialist 75 oakwith questions wilt centers are concentrated in northeast Bexar County to help manage any outbreak. Trenching is often a way to stop oak wilt from spreading, but it is not always an option, Duff said.

Trenching can reduce or stop the transmission of the fungus through the roots. The most common technique is to sever the roots by trenching at least four feet down. Using a rock saw, ripper bars or trenching machines, correct placement of the trench is critical for protecting uninfected trees, tree experts said. Trying to prevent oak wilt is more cost-effective than removing a dead or infected tree. The experts say the average cost for treatment is $10 to $12 per diameter stem inch. Both Forry and Duff agree that if a resident thinks a tree may have oak wilt, the best thing to do is contact a professional for an inspection and begin treatments if necessary. Because of the drought, and watering restrictions, residents should also make sure to routinely water their plants, as sometimes a thirsty specimen can show similar symptoms.

there is not 100 percent prevention for the disease Michelle Forry, Arborist

“There’s a lot more scattered drought trees than there is oak wilt,” Duff said. is a valuable resource for information on how to treat oak wilt. It and other sites can offer tips on contacting certified arborists, as well as vendors to purchase fungicides and more.

• Hearing loss is the third most common health problem in the United States • Hearing loss is twice as common in individuals with diabetes Want more information about healthy hearing, hearing loss prevention, and hearing rehabilitation? Contact our office today at 210-819-5002 or visit us online to make an appointment for your complimentary hearing screening.

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Departure continues from pg. 01

Former chief dealing with health issues by ron aaron eisenberg


LMOS PARK — Documents obtained by LOCAL Community News indicate a claim by the city manager of insubordination played a role in Police Chief Fritz Bohne's recent departure, but supporters say he became a victim of City Hall politics.

Some of the documents also indicate the city has started restructuring the department under an interim chief — Rene Valenciano, a 10-year veteran — after concerns arose over a "crime spree." Still, the manner of Bohne's exit left some longtime political observers scratching their heads. Not long after it was first announced the chief 's employment was being terminated, Mayor Kenneth Farrimond issued a statement saying Bohne had been allowed to submit his resignation instead. Bohne, 73, is barred from talking about his resignation agreement with

Departure continues on pg. 24

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Departure continues from pg. 22 Olmos Park, and indicated he is moving on while dealing with a health issue — kidney failure. “It’s so much better to resign than to be terminated," said Bohne, who was relieved of duty March 5. "This way I can go on with my life and so can the city of Olmos Park.” Citing privacy rules for personnel issues, city officials have declined to discuss Bohne's dismissal-turned-resignation, but documents obtained by LOCAL may shed some light on what happened. In a March 5 letter to Bohne, new City Manager Celia DeLeon wrote to the chief: "On several occasions you have failed to comply with city policies and instructions from me and for these reasons your employment as Chief of Police is hereby terminated effective immediately. Specifically, you have been insubordinate or failed to comply with city policy…" Bohne was appointed interim chief in 2012, taking over after Fred Solis retired. And though Farrimond in a message to residents about Bohne's leave-taking expressed appreciation for the veteran lawman's "service to the city," the chief 's tenure had its share of controversies. Crime quickly became a political football when former conservative Councilman Jeff Judson tossed his hat back into the ring to successfully seek a City Council spot in November. He is also running again in the May 10 election. Public safety took center stage after July 3, 2012, when about 20 unlocked cars were burglarized in the 200 block of East Mandalay Avenue, the 200 block of Brittany Drive and the 100 block of Paseo Encinal.  And while some of the documentation spotlights questions about police patrols and officer availability during the car break-ins, Bohne has suggested

the burglaries were merely crimes of opportunity because the vehicles were unlocked, making them easy targets. An internal document makes it clear Judson was pleased by the Police Department's new direction after Bohne left. In an email dated March 20, Judson writes: "The crime spree we suffered ... revealed a lot of flaws in our Police Department culture. The current interim police chief (Valenciano) is mostly responsible for ending that crime spree. A lot of the dysfunction that put our public safety in jeopardy will be discussed in the coming weeks. Once all is known, I am very confident that the vast majority of our residents will take more comfort in our city management than they have had in a long time." Judson went on to criticize "a small group of people … who are spreading one-sided

It’s so much better to resign than to be terminated Former Police Chief Fritz Bohne

information...They have another agenda at work, so please help us reassure our citizens that rational adults are overseeing these decisions and they will reflect well on our city when they are known."     Another controversy reared its head last autumn, bringing unwanted national media attention to the Police Department. According to various media

Departure continues on pg. 31

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Service continues from pg. 19 include a mandatory 10 out of 20 volunteer hours a year to be performed as a mother-son team. In addition, a number of meetings must be attended by both mothers and sons. Meissner says she found the motherson requirements refreshing. “There are so many father-son opportunities available,” she said. “This gives moms a way to spend some quality time with their teenage sons — which, as the boys get older, doesn’t exist as often.” The mothers and sons work together on approved philanthropic projects that range from assisting wounded warriors to building homes for Habitat for Humanity, helping with the animals at the Humane Society and assisting with Special Olympics. “Each chapter determines the needs within their own community, and proposes which philanthropies will best benefit from the services of YMSL,” Meissner said.

History of YMSL

YMSL was founded in Plano in 2001 by sisters-in-law Pam and Julie Rosener. Since its inception, the group has logged more than 200,000 community service hours and now boasts chapters in Georgia, Illinois and California in addition to Texas. Mothers in other communities also sing the praises of the group. "Sharing this amazing experience with my son, meeting so many new friends and serving our community, only skim the surface of what YMSL has given me," said Megan Saustad of the Highland Park YMSL in an online testimonial. "Without a doubt, the biggest reward has been my son thanking me for the lessons he has learned through YMSL, and seeing his change in values." The focus of the organization is threefold: philanthropy, education and leadership. Monthly meetings are completely run by the high school boys, and topics are determined by a four-year plan. However, the six core leadership values are emphasized at every meeting — responsibility, courage, perseverance, citizenship, honesty and respect. Each boy is required to hold a position within the organization, and officers rotate each year. “It is something that was really missing from our community,” said Meissner, whose oldest son will graduate with the 2014 class, while her youngest is just beginning his stint as a freshman. A second chapter has started in San Antonio, officials said. To find out more about joining YMSL Alamo Chapter, visit http://


May 2014


Learn more about newest purveyors of goods and services in your area.

Yoga, barefoot massages featured at Heeling Sole by olivier j. bourgoin


studio that recently opened in the Carousel Shopping Center is offering yoga classes and an ancient form of therapeutic massage using bare feet. Heeling Sole Barefoot Massage & Yoga at 1864 Nacogdoches Road is the brainchild of Jeni Spring, a licensed massage therapist since 2003. Spring and her staff offer deeperthan-deep-tissue massages called Ashiatsu, sports massages known as Ashi-Thai and yoga classes. “What we offer is 100 percent barefoot massages,” Spring said. “Our highly trained therapists stand above you and use gravity while holding onto overhead bars. This technique enables us to achieve

a depth unmatched by any other traditional massage modalities and without the pokey pain or sensation from an elbow or a thumb." Spring also mentors other massage practitioners. "People travel here from all over the country to learn how to execute the barefoot technique adequately and safely," she added. Spring started out on a different career path. "My early training was as a dancer and as a dance instructor. Then, I became a massage therapist," said Spring, who moved with her husband from Seattle eight years ago. Until recently, she operated out of a small studio, then in February moved to the 1,400-square-foot

space at the corner of Nacogdoches and New New Braunfels Avenue. There are four massage therapists and five yoga instructors. A full schedule of yoga classes is available, including a 45-minute lunchtime special, weekdays at noon. Discounts are also available with the purchase of multiple passes. "What we teach here is mostly hatha yoga and viniyoga," Spring said. Massages are by appointment only, but business hours are 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; noon to 7 p.m. Wednesday; and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekends, according to the website. Walk-ins are welcome for yoga classes. Dawn Dotson, a barefoot-massage therapist and yoga instructor, gives a client a 'deeper-than-deeptissue massage' with her feet, while using bars hanging from the ceiling to help with balance and movement. Photo by Collette Orquiz

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New clinic for women's health opens in Lincoln Heights by Collette orquiz


ne of the largest obstetrics and gynecology practices is expanding to The Shops at Lincoln Heights. The Institute for Women’s Health recently opened a new clinic at 999 E. Basse Road, Suite 100. It joins nine other clinics around San Antonio staffed by more than 30 physicians, one nurse practitioner and eight sonographers. “I really think it’s just our compassionate physicians and our staff that make a difference,” said Estefania Arguelles, the marketing manager for IFWH. “We try to make our patients feel at home, like they’re family.” IFWH was founded May 1, 1996, by a group of physicians from multiple practices. Over time, other doctors have joined to create one of the largest practices in the region for obstetrics, gynecology and

fertility, company officials said. The Lincoln Heights clinic's services include ob/gyn, wellwoman vaccines, sonograms, robotic surgery, minimally invasive surgery, urodynamics, menopause management and bone-density scans. Cosmetics are not offered at this location. New patients are always welcome, and it is easy to set up an appointment using the website, Arguelles said. “We try to be as flexible and convenient for women as possible, with our hours, with our services,” she added. “We’re placing ourselves in San Antonio as the voice of women’s health, the experts.” To celebrate the opening of the new facility, the staff will hold Los Luchadores 5K Fighting 4 Women’s Health on Oct. 11. The event will raise money and awareness for the Seton Home, which provides a nurturing

environment for homeless teenagers who are pregnant or parenting and have chosen to keep their child. Institute for Women’s Health is open 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and closed on weekends, but has flexible hours including lunch, early mornings, evenings and one Saturday a month.

The Institute for Women’s Health, which recently moved into The Shops at Lincoln Heights, provides obstetrics and gynecological services. The practice is one of the largest in San Antonio, and has flexible and convenient hours. Photos by Collette Orquiz

Institute for women's health 999 E. Basse Road, Suite 100 For more, call 656-3040 or checkout


May 2014


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

Cookie Cab makes deliveries catering to the sweet tooth by olivier j. bourgoin


ookie Cab, a business based in North Central, delivers freshly baked and still-warm cookies to your doorstep or boardroom. Though it operates three days a week, the owners hope to expand to five days — possibly by the summer. “It's an attractive alternative to flowers or to other edibles and our service is same-day delivery, although at the moment we only deliver on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays," said coowner Molly Rodenberg. That could change in the future, she added. “In the late summer or fall, we plan on expanding to a five-days-aweek delivery schedule," she said. “We do not currently have a storefront — although we may one day in the future," said co-owner Lauren

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Pepping. "We bake our product in a leased commercial space located near Oakwell Farms, but it's not open to visitors. You can’t come pick up your order — it's deliveries only.” Pepping grew up partly in Saudi Arabia and Rodenberg is from Midland. The pair met through mutual friends three years ago and the two young mothers found they had some things in common, including children about the same age. A bond was formed and a friendship soon flourished. Then the pair started talking about opening a business, coming up with the idea of Cookie Cab. The concept is simple: They make five types of cookies — chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, peanut butter, sugar and snickerdoodle. The minimum

order is a dozen; cookies are $1 each. "We deliver them to your front door — still warm (in selected ZIP codes) for a $3 flat fee," said Pepping, who added there is a $5 fee for deliveries to businesses. Cookie Cab also offers seasonal cookies. During Fiesta, for example, the company featured a Fiesta key lime cookie. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; deliveries are made in these ZIP codes: 78202, 78205, 78208, 78209, 78212, 78215, 78218 and 78234. “Although we often make exceptions and deliveries to other areas — as the schedule allows. Just ask,” Pepping said. Cookie Cab delivers warm, freshly baked cookies in a variety of flavors straight to your door, business or anywhere else in selected ZIP codes. Cookies can be ordered and delivered on the same day. Photos by Collette Orquiz


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Señor Veggie offers tasty vegan menu, chef says by Collette orquiz


Southtown couple recently opened a vegan restaurant in what used to Mr. Tim’s Country Kitchen, but don’t have a cow — the menu is diverse and flavorful, according to the chef. Señor Veggie debuted at 620 S. Presa St., part of the Lavaca neighborhood, in late January after José and Tiffany Cruz spent months restoring and renovating, as well as slapping on a few coats of bright orange paint. The couple started Señor Veggie as a catering company three years ago, and their vegetarian dishes became popular at socials in the close-knit neighborhood. When they decided to embrace the vegan lifestyle, they found eating out to be troublesome. “We felt like, well, let’s just go ahead and do it ourselves,” José Cruz said. Though the restaurant is named Señor Veggie, the menu features an

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assortment of foods for any taste, ranging from Mediterranean and Indian to Italian, Asian-inspired and Tex-Mex. Cruz, who is a classically trained French chef with a love of sauces, said he is open to challenges and flavors, and does not plan on sticking to bread-and-butter vegetarian dishes. “We always thought, well, it doesn’t have to be boring, it doesn’t have to be tasteless and it doesn’t have to feel like there’s something left out of it,” Cruz said. Each menu item is 100 percent vegan, even the popular veggie street tacos. They contain jackfruit transformed into carnitas that sit on a bed of coleslaw and pico de gallo, topped with cashew créma and wrapped in a corn tortilla. The restaurant also uses local organic produce when available. Realizing that lifestyles and the environment are changing, Cruz said there are many reasons to eat less meat, but he is not in the business

of telling people what to consume. “We feel that it's your food, you should know where it comes from, (and) if it's compassionate or not,” Cruz said. “My job is to just offer it and allow them to make the decision.” Señor Veggie is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and closed Sunday and Monday. The restaurant still offers catering.

Señor Veggie features flavorful vegan food, including the poblano corn fritters (left) with a chipotle-mayo dipping sauce, as well as a customer favorite — the veggie carnitas tacos (above). Photos by Collette Orquiz

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

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Real Estate LOCAL Trends ZIP Code















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Average days on market





















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Months supply of inventory











Median sold price

Closed sales

Source: San Antonio Board of Realtors: Texas Market Trends report The properties are new listings put on the market from in March 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.


Medical guide

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Vol. 2, Issue 9


INSIDE your community

pg. 03 lOcal cOmmentary sUsan yerKes






Gallagher says he won’t pg. 15 be idle in District 10 seat Alamo Heights Gateway project leads to calls for reforms at meeting New councilman has long career in military, public service on North Side

Development continues to be sore subject for some by Nicole lessiN


LAMO HEIGHTS — The search for a resolution on a proposed mixed-use luxury apartment development may be on hold, but city leaders say the controversy shows reforms are needed to avoid similar conflicts in the future.

pg. 20 Opera Piccola aims to entertain the masses Contemporary and classic works sung in English

That view, voiced by Mayor Louis Cooper, arose from a sometimes heated discussion that resulted in a 3-2 vote by the City Council Feb. 10 to table approving a written form of a modified specific-use permit adopted at an earlier meeting for

Project continues on pg. 16


pg. 22 Gustology

New venue teaches patrons how to be their own mixologists

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pg.18 Field of dreams emerges from sodden Alamo Heights park Community rallied to erase more than $100,000 in damage after flood

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reports, an off-duty Olmos Park officer was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, which investigators said stemmed from a man being shot during an unsuccessful exchange of sexual partners. The officer has since left the department.  Also, City Manager Mike Simpson resigned July 31, 2013, citing personal reasons after his son, Army Staff Sgt. Michael H. Simpson, died from injuries suffered in Afghanistan. DeLeon, who has been with Olmos Park for more than a decade, most recently as city secretary, was appointed acting city manager. In December, the council named her the city manager.   In the wake of Simpson's absence, longtime resident Bart Nichols noted in a March 14 email to Farrimond that he was concerned about “so many perplexing actions out of our city government in the last several months...and so much of it seemingly going on in ‘the back rooms’ rather than the open forum.” Nichols added he questioned DeLeon's appointment to Simpson's spot and said in his email to the mayor, “I hope that

there aren’t other staff positions that are being targeted for this type of 'out of the public eye' maneuvering. Who would be next? The building inspector? The fire chief? The public works director? I again ask, where is the transparency?”   Several City Hall observers have said Bohne and DeLeon had a frosty relationship. In the wake of his firing, Bohne filed an appeal and asked for an open hearing before the council. But days later, he and DeLeon agreed on resignation as the best course of action. During the controversy, many in the city expressed their support for Bohne. Both DeLeon and Farrimond have been unavailable for comment. “The city will have no further comment with regards to Chief Bohne's employment or resignation,” Farrimond said in a March email message to residents. In the meantime, Bohne said he’s not interested in another law-enforcement job. After 25 years with the FBI, more than seven years as police chief in Helotes and his time in Olmos Park, Bohne said he is ready for retirement. Plus, he is battling his kidney ailment and is on dialysis while doctors try to figure out the cause.

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

Olmos Park Police Chief, Fritz Bohne’s departure sparks controversy, Career firefighter, Paul Montalvo, has a classical passion that made hi...

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