Page 1

Taking bytes out of crime

pg. 10 MyPD phone app gives citizens quick police access


Vol. 1, Issue 5


garden ridge





Cibolo voters opt for change What's


Four City Council members recalled or ousted

your community

pg. 04 local commentary SUSAN YERKES JUDSON ISD Special Section


pg. 14 CISD ponders next move after bond failure

Lack of specifics, regional divide doomed $451 million issue

pg. 15 Schertz council races snarled by vote tally errors Election Day gaffes by Comal elections office delays results

by will wright

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IBOLO – Andre Larkins’ efforts to change the City Council during the past three months may have just altered the course of the city now that voters recalled two council members and ousted two more. On Nov. 5, in addition to the successful recall election and departures, voters also approved city charter amendments designed to streamline council operations, as well as a controversial ordinance banning alcohol sales within 300 feet of churches and schools.

Change continues on pg. 12

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From the editor

President Harold J. Lees Assoc. Publisher Publisher Gregg Rosenfield Rick Upton

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Editorial Executive Editor Thomas Edwards Managing Editor Will Wright News Staff Collette Orquiz Contributing Writers Eric Moreno, Travis E. Poling, Gianna Rendon, Arthur Schechter and Susan Yerkes ART Creative Director Richard Fisher Jr. Contributing Photographers Joshua Michael Contributing Illustrator Jeremiah Teutsch Advertising Advertising Director Shelly Talamantez Account Managers Michelle Moon and Dawn Radick Controller Gerard “Jerry” Sulaica READER SERVICE Mailing Address 4204 Gardendale Ste. 201 SA, TX 78229 Phone (210) 338.8842 Fax (210) 616.9677 Advertising Inquiries Story Ideas Website


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LOCAL Community News publications Zone 1: 78204, 78205, 78209, 78210, 78212, 78215 Zone 2: 78213, 78230, 78231, 78248, 78249 Zone 3: 78216, 78232, 78247 Zone 4: 78109, 78148, 78233, 78239

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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, 2013 Helen Publishing, LLC and Local Community News, LLC, all rights reserved.

Voters deserve prompt returns


he Nov. 5 elections are over, as voters in Converse, Windcrest, Cibolo, Schertz, Cibolo Creek Municipal Authority and the Comal Independent School District made their voices heard. But the trouble in this election is that final outcomes in several of those locales remained incomplete or questionable a week after voters went to the ballot box. Results from Converse and Windcrest, tallied by the Bexar County Elections Board, were complete around 10 p.m. on election night. Everywhere else was another matter. Cibolo’s elections for mayor and the recall of one of four City Council members, initially decided by five votes and one vote, hung in the balance while provisional votes and mail-in ballots were counted. Granted, by law there’s a five-day window following an election to count those ballots – and the fifth day was Veterans Day, meaning those tallies should have been completed on Nov. 12. However, it wasn’t until the next day voters were assured that Lisa Jackson would be the city’s new mayor and that Ron Pedde retained his seat on the council. Even worse was the mess presided over by the Comal County Elections Office, which compiled results for the CISD bond election and was one of three counties involved in tallying votes for Schertz council and the CCMA. The number of available voting machines weren’t enough to handle an unexpected surge of voters in some precincts, and on top of that, those machines failed to account for every vote cast. That nightmare didn’t affect the outcomes for the CISD bond, which failed, nor the lone contested CCMA election. But it delayed the final outcomes for three Schertz council races. Folks who take the time to vote deserve better. Let’s hope they can get it right next time.

Will Wright Managing Editor

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local commentary

A shot in the wallet: The tangled web of US drug prices by susan yerkes


few months ago I took a big shot in the wallet when the price of the only prescription drug I take – a generic – soared from $17 to $165 for a month’s supply. I thought it was a mistake. But it was not. Pharmacists at two different chains couldn’t explain the change.

I set out to get an answer. Americans take a lot of prescription drugs — an estimated $326 billion in 2012. But even experts can’t fully explain the pricing. “One of the most confusing markets for consumers is located at the pharmacy counter,” wrote Joey Mattingly in U.S Pharmacist last year. “Numerous policies at different levels of government and the private sector have further complicated this market, creating a system nearly impossible for the average person to navigate… the complexity can be overwhelming for health care professionals, as well as the public.” When a new patented drug hits the market, the price is usually pretty high. But the reasons are understandable. “There’s a rigorous process for approval that can take 10 to 15 years, and a company can incur tens, even hundreds of millions of dollars,” says Lee Cusenbary, general counsel for San Antonio’s Mission Pharmacal. “To create a profit, new patented drugs may seem very expensive – for instance, when cholesterol-lowering drugs first came on the market. But when the patent runs out, other manufacturers can apply for FDA approval and sell for a lot less, since they don’t have the investment up front. And if one maker’s generic gets too expensive, in a free market somebody else will usually undercut them.” Sounds good — but with no regulation of generic prices, their costs can vary

wildly, too, depending on factors even pharmacists have difficulty pinning down. “It’s really complicated,” said Mark Richerson, pharmacy director at University Hospital. “The insurers’ prescription benefit, individual companies’ pricing schedules, wholesalers’ prices, dispensing fees at pharmacies…all are different.” The price of any generic drug at most big chains depends largely on the

company’s formulary – a list of drugs the company may buy in bulk. Big price swings, Richerson says, “could be driven by any number of reasons. By the time you as a consumer get your prescription, it’s not only the manufacturer that’s part of the cycle; it’s also the supplier, insurer, the pharmacy… it gets very complex.” While the system is baffling, there’s something you can do: Start asking questions. Don’t expect doctors to be able to keep up with drug costs, especially given different pharmacy prices and individual insurance coverage. If you can’t afford a drug, ask about alternatives. Many doctors can also give you free samples of some expensive drugs. If your prescription is still under patent, the manufacturer may have a rebate program with the pharmacy that will decrease or cover your insurance co-pay. And prices for some generics are so low at some chains or mail-order companies that you may actually save by not using your insurance co-pay. Again, you have to ask. Dr. Jeremy Bass, who often works with low-income patients in the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio’s resident psychotherapy program, gave me the best tip of all – GoodRx. com, a new, independent website that compares prices for thousands of drugs at most pharmacy chains. It also points you to free, no-strings coupons for most drugs (even pet meds) and offers useful info in understandable terms. I still believe something needs to be done to standardize prescription prices, or at least make them more transparent. Entrepreneurs such as may help create that change. In the meantime, if drug prices make you sick, don’t have a heart attack. Instead, here’s my prescription: Become a savvier shopper. Email comments to syerkes@

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local our turn Views and opinions about your community.

Politics needs dose of civility


hey say the art of politics is compromise, but leaders both locally and on the national level don’t seem to be getting the message. The same goes for many of their supporters. Here in the greater San Antonio area, angry residents launched recall initiatives to oust San Antonio City Council members who voted in favor of a nondiscrimination ordinance offering additional protections to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons. In Cibolo, voters upset over the debut of a Walmart in their city wanted to unseat four council members. In Washington, D.C., we just saw the debilitating effects of a government shutdown and furloughs that left 23,000 San Antonians out of work for about two weeks. Right or wrong, the effort arose out of an attempt to derail a national health care plan that was already law and had been upheld as constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. The question now is: When is everybody going to calm down? When will civility reign again? When can we see a return to decorum and the art of debate, which can help decide a political course for the betterment of our cities and our country? These days, the message in politics seems to be, “My way or the highway.” But there rarely are any true winners in such political standoffs.

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This is not an endorsement nor is it a denial of the decisions made by Congress and these councils. Rather, it is a reminder to political leaders and their factions that decisions can be rendered without brinkmanship and actions that threaten local economies. What happened to good manners in the political arena? Certainly one can get his or her point across without trying to put hardworking Americans out of a job … or one can agree to concessions and compromises to preserve those jobs. It’s easy to point fingers and assess blame, whether it’s local politics or the battles at the national level between Democrats and Republicans. The real losers are local residents and the American people. Temperatures need to come down, the rhetoric needs to give way to real conversations and discussion has to replace shouting matches. America is prized for its system of representative government, from local councils to bicameral legislatures. But in these forums, not everyone is going to agree. We used to be represented by statesman and citizen-volunteers. Today it’s ideologues and showboaters. The common people — all of us — need to send a message to our leaders and fellow voters that enough is enough. It is time to return civility, debate and reasoned discourse to the halls of power, whether it’s downtown, Austin or the nation’s capital. We can all learn once again to talk, to negotiate, to come together. Take a balanced approach. Ultimately, if you don’t like how an elected leader is getting the job done, then have your say at the ballot box and vote them out of office.

Harvest Season Offers Lessons to Investors It’s harvest time again. Of course, harvest season may not mean that much to you if you don’t work in agriculture. Nonetheless, you can learn a lot from those who do — especially in your role as an investor. Here are a few of these lessons to consider: • “Feed” your portfolio. Through the proper combination of fertilizers and irrigation, farmers seek to maximize the growth of their crops. And if you want to give your portfolio the opportunity to grow, you need to “feed” it with the right mix of investments. This generally means you’ll need to own a reasonable percentage of growth-oriented vehicles, such as stocks and stock-based securities. Keep in mind, though, that the value of these types of investments will fluctuate, sometimes sharply — and there’s no guarantee you won’t lose some or all of your principal. • Be patient. Crops don’t grow overnight. Farmers know that they will put in countless hours of work before they see the fruits of their labors. And they know that, along the way, they will likely experience setbacks caused by a variety of issues: too much rain, too little rain, insect infestations — the list goes on and on. When you invest, you shouldn’t expect to “get rich quick” — and you can expect to experience obstacles in the form of bear markets, economic downturns, changes in legislation and so forth. Continuing to invest for the long term and focusing more on long-term results than short-term success can help you as you work toward your objectives. • Respond to your investment “climate.” Farmers can’t control the weather, but they can respond to it. So, for example, when it’s been dry for a long time, they can boost their irrigation. As an investor, you can’t control the economic “climate,” but you can make adjustments. To illustrate: If all signs point to rising long-term interest rates, which typically have a negative effect on long-term bond prices, you may need to consider reducing your exposure, at least for a while, to these bonds. • Diversify. Farmers face a variety of risks, including bad weather and fluctuating prices. They can help combat both threats through diversification. For instance, they can plant some crops that are more drought-resistant than others, so they won’t face complete ruin when the rains don’t fall. As an investor, you should also diversify; if you only owned one type of financial asset, and that asset class took a big hit, you could sustain large losses. But spreading your dollars among an array of investments — such as stocks, bonds, cash and other vehicles — may help reduce the effects of volatility on your portfolio. (Be aware, though, that diversification by itself can’t guarantee a profit or protect against loss.) Relatively few of us toil in the fields to make our living. But by understanding the challenges of those who farm the land, we can learn some techniques that may help us to nurture our investments. This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.

The Local Community News editorial board includes Harry Lees, Gregg Rosenfield and Thomas Edwards. Send letters to the editor to tedwards@salocallowdown. com 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.

Cedric B Edwards, AAMS Financial Advisor 3820 F M 3009 Suite 104 Schertz, TX 78154 Bus. 210-566-4540



Happening LOCAL

Plan your month with our calendar of upcoming events in the community. SCHERTZ CITY COUNCIL – The Schertz

City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Nov. 26, Dec. 3, Dec. 10 and Dec. 17 at Schertz City Council Chambers, 1400 Schertz Parkway.


Council will meet Dec. 12 at 6:30 p.m. at Selma City Hall, 9375 Corporate Drive.

CIBOLO CITY COUNCIL – The Cibolo City Council will meet Dec. 10 at Cibolo City Hall, 200 S. Main St. MISS CIBOLO APPLICATION DEADLINE – The Miss Cibolo Scholarship Pageant program is accepting applications for 2014 Tiny Miss Cibolo, Little Miss Cibolo, Junior Miss Cibolo and Miss Cibolo until Dec. 2. The winners will be announced Jan. 25, 2014. For more, email, or visit Miss Cibolo Scholarship Pageant/Facebook.

SCHERTZ CHAMBER EVENTS – The Schertz Chamber of Commerce has several events on tap: The Chamber’s monthly luncheon will begin at 11:30 a.m. Dec. 3 at the Schertz Civic Center, 1400 Schertz Parkway. Shirley Bennett of Barrett Cooper Accounting will speak on “Preparing Your Business for the Tax Season.” Attendees must RSVP the Chamber by Nov. 26. The Chamber’s monthly mixer will begin at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 18 at Texas State Optical, 17460 Interstate 35 North, Suite 410, in the H-E-B Shopping Center at the intersection of Interstate 35 North and FM 3009. The Schertz Chamber Toastmasters meet at the Comfort Inn & Suites meeting room, 5571 Interstate 35 North, in Selma, each Monday at 6:45 p.m. All meetings are open to the public. On Jan. 25 the Chamber will sponsor a Health and Wholeness Fair at the Schertz Civic Center.


The free event will feature health screenings, nutritional consultants and free flu shots. Chamber offices are closed for the holidays Dec. 24-25 and Dec. 31-Jan. 1. For more on these events, call 566-9000 or visit

which features yoga, Pilates and meditation therapy sessions at 18817 FM 2252 (Nacogdoches Road) in Bracken, will feature the following upcoming classes: Relax and Renew restorative yoga will be 2-5 p.m. Nov. 23; the basics of Healing Hula will be 12:30-3 p.m. on Jan. 12 and 12:30-3 p.m. Feb. 9. Pre-registration is required. For more, call 653-5652 or visit


Schertz will stage its annual kickoff to the holiday season Dec. 6-7. The event, which begins both nights at 6 p.m. at the Hal Baldwin Municipal Complex, 1400 Schertz Parkway, will feature a lighted night parade, music by school district choirs and bands, warm food and beverages. For more, go to

TRIUMPHANT LUTHERAN SERVICES – Triumphant Lutheran Church, 21315

Bat Cave Road in Garden Ridge, will present the Christmas cantata, “What Sweet Music,” at 5 p.m. Dec. 7 and at 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Dec. 8. Candlelight Christmas Services are at 5 p.m., 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Dec. 24. For more, call 651-9090 or visit


businesses in Schertz will be hosting a Kris Kringle Market from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 7 at Anything Goes With Glass, 816 Main St. in Schertz. An eclectic mix of items from more than 50 artisans and vendors will be on display, along with a silent auction benefiting Texas Burn Survivors Society. For more, call 658-8887.

CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY ASSISTANCE – Randolph Area Christian Assistance Program is accepting applications for its Christmas Holiday Assistance Program through Nov. 27. Applications are encouraged from families


at Community First Health Plans. Community First is the nonprofit health plan owned by University Health System. Mody-Bailey previously served as president and chief executive officer of University Health System’s nonprofit provider group practice, Community Medicine Associates.

awarded a $6.6 million contract to improve street and pedestrian safety in the South Texas Medical Center. The contract is part of a multiphase collaboration with the Medical Center Alliance. The city will fund construction from the voterapproved 2012-2017 bond program. The project will upgrade traffic signals, add 5,200 feet of 6-foot sidewalks, and install a new crosswalk system. Construction should finish in January 2015.

Dennis Gonzales has been named

the new vice president for mission integration at Christus Santa Rosa starting Nov. 3. He received his doctoral degree in organizational development from the University of New Mexico. Previously, he was the vice president

Dr. Priti Mody-Bailey is the new vice president and senior medical director

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Baylor College of Medicine has teamed

up with The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio to provide a 10-member pediatric team that includes associate and assistant professors from the medical college. The pediatricians are led by Associate Professor Ricardo Quiñonez. The team includes pediatricians C. David DuBose, Kelly M. Basaldua, Crystal M. Davenport, David Diaz De Leon, Sarah F. Denniston, Jorge F. Ganem, Vanessa L. Hill, Stacey L. Keller and Maria De Los Angeles Sandoval.

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WILENCHIK WALK FOR LIFE – The city of Schertz will host the Wilenchik Walk for Life on March 1, 2014. The event, held annually in memory of former Councilman Tony Wilenchik, will feature a 5K competitive fun run and 5K noncompetitive walk along Schertz Parkway. All proceeds will be donated to the University of Texas Health Science Cancer Therapy and Research Center in San Antonio. Registration information and a photo slideshow of the 2013 event are available at

for mission and spirituality for two years at Christus St. Vincent.

The latest in medical, health care and fitness news for your community. The san antonio City Council

in need of help for the holidays because of limited or no income who are at or below federal poverty guidelines and reside in these zip codes: 78108, 78109, 78132, 78148, 78154, 78247, 78233 (Live Oak only) and 78266. Donations may be dropped off at the RACAP office or mailed to 307 Pfeil St., Schertz, TX 78154.





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

Open and Opening Soon OVER THE TOP CAKE SUPPLIES, 10731 Interstate 35 North in San Antonio, located on the southbound access road between Weidner Road and Thousand Oaks Drive, offers retail cake, cookie and baking supplies, mixers and containers. Open 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. For more, call 5641300 or visit overthetopcakesupplies/ Facebook. (See story, page 25)

THE CUPCAKE DIVA, 304 FM 78 in Schertz, is a full-dessert bakery offering red velvet cupcakes and other items, with catering services available. Open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. For more, call 566-4401 or visit thecupcakediva1/Facebook. HARMON’S BAR-B-Q, 100 N. Main St. in Cibolo, offers brisket, chicken, turkey, sausage, pork, pork ribs and an array of side items. Open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday. For more, call 658-8889 or visit (See story, page 24) IN OTHER NEWS Northeast LAKEVIEW INTERVIEWS FINALISTS – Northeast Lakeview College interviewed four finalists hoping to become the institution’s next president during a series of hourlong public forums held at the college’s Performing Arts Center, 1201 Kitty Hawk Road.

The finalists, interviewed during sessions held in late October and early November, are vying to succeed outgoing president, Eric Reno who is retiring in January. Reno in 2008 became the first president of the facility, which is among five in the Alamo Colleges system. Finalists include Rebecca L. Riley, vice president for instruction at Lone Star College-Kingwood; D. Ryan Carstens, associate provost for education and community partnerships at Salt Lake Community College in Utah; Feleccia Moore-Davis, vice president for student learning at Lone Star College-CyFair; and Craig T. Follins, president of Olive-Harvey College in Chicago.

NorthEast LAKEVIEW PRESIDENT HONORED – Eric Reno, president

of Northeast Lakeview College, was named National Council for Marketing & Public Relations’ 2013 Pacesetter of the Year for District 4. The award recognizes a president or CEO at a two-year community or technical college or district office demonstrating leadership and support in communications and marketing. Reno was honored for using public relations in developing a new college and building community relationships and partnerships. NCMPR’s District 4 covers Arkansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming.


and other dignitaries were on hand Oct. 31 for groundbreaking ceremonies for the new Hal Baldwin Memorial Plaza, to be constructed in front of Schertz City Hall. Officials said the plaza, which will include

three new flagpoles and a memorial plaque, should be completed before year’s end. It will function as another tribute to Baldwin, who served the city in various capacities for nearly 30 years until his death at age 76 in April 2012. Baldwin was mayor for 18 years and spent the prior 11 years on the City Council. Schertz city offices are housed in several buildings in the Hal Baldwin Municipal Complex, 1400 Schertz Parkway. Members of Baldwin’s family, as well as city, county and state officials, attended the groundbreaking.


year, the Comal Independent School District received the highest rating of Superior Achievement by the Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas. “The rating is based on an analysis of staff and student data, as well as budget and financial data, reported for the 2011-12 school year,” David Andersen, Comal ISD chief financial officer, told school board members on Oct. 24. “The determination of the rating is established by meeting standards within each indicator. The district received 70 out of a possible 70 points.” FIRST qualifies sound financial practices by school districts in Texas, he said. “This is a great accomplishment,” Andersen said. “It offers a good guide for school districts to follow and helps the state monitor financial health. It is important for taxpayers to have a good feeling about the financial health of our district and this validates that for the 11th year in row.” Also during the Oct. 24 CISD trustees meeting, Smithson Valley High School band director Matthew Boening and Garden Ridge Elementary fifth-grade teacher Jennifer Mundy were honored as part of Texas Education Human Resources Day.


High School seniors Walker Hobson and Sawyer Marshall were formally presented Navy Junior ROTC scholarships, each worth $180,000, during a presentation at the campus on Oct. 22. Commanding Officer for the Navy Recruiting District, Corry Juedeman, presented the checks in front of JROTC members, as well as parents and Smithson Valley faculty.

CHS STUDENT HONORED – Canyon High School senior Rebekah Frausto was recently recognized by the College Board’s National Hispanic Recognition Program, which honors exceptional academic achievements of Hispanic high school seniors and identifies them for enrollment in post-secondary institutions. Frausto, the daughter of Raymond and Barbara Frausto, plans to major in accounting at Texas State University in San Marcos. CISD SCHOOLS OBSERVE RED RIBBON WEEK – Campuses in the Comal

Independent School district recently participated in events marking Red Ribbon Week, Oct. 28-Nov. 2, which promotes not using illegal drugs. Red Ribbon Week, the nation’s oldest and largest drug-prevention program, reaches millions of students yearly. By wearing red ribbons and participating in community anti-drug events, Comal ISD students pledged to live a drug-free life. Schools engaged in daily Red Ribbon Week themes including, “Say Boo to Drugs,” where students dressed as their favorite storybook characters; “Sock it to Drugs,” where they sported their craziest pairs of socks, and “Duck Out Drugs,” in which they wore camouflage similar to the characters on the television show Duck Dynasty. Canyon Middle School students participated in an essay contest in which they wrote on the theme of what it means to be drug-free.


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MYPD continues from pg. 01



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Live Oak, Cibolo PDs offering free service through WiredBlue by will wright


IVE OAK – There’s a free mobile-device application now available to residents, letting them directly contact police departments and provide information about crimes, code violations and other problems. It’s called My Police Department, MyPD for short. It allows those with iPhone and Android smartphones to quickly send tips and photos to police. The service isn’t a replacement for dialing 911 in case of emergencies, but officials with the Live Oak and Cibolo police departments say it’s given their agencies another communications tool at minimal expense. “We can’t be at every place at every given moment,” Live Oak police Sgt. Kent Iglesias said. “This app can help serve as our eyes and ears.” “This is not a substitute for (calling) 911, which is there for immediate police actions and emergencies and EMS response,” Iglesias added, “but sometimes citizens don’t want to bother police about things they think aren’t important, but those types of calls can often lead to other investigations.” Cibolo was the first area department to

offer the app, created by Massachusetts-based WiredBlue. Police Chief Gary Cox said the department paid $100 to start the service, which is maintained for a $500 annual fee. “We’ve been using it for a little over two years,” Cox said. “When I went to the FBI National Academy, I took a class on how to promote images of police departments. I came back with the idea of developing a mobile app we could use to facilitate communications with our citizens. “Being a smaller department without a lot of resources available for mass communications, this app allowed us to reach out to anyone with a smartphone. “It allows us to get information to them through Facebook and Twitter, and allows them a portal to communicate back to us.” The app can be downloaded through iTunes or Google Play. The 22 features offered in the iPhone and Android app versions include the ability to commend a police officer or employee, submit questions, tips and feedback through photos and GPS locations. It also provides residents access to information from U.S. government agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Weather Service and the National Terror Advisory System, as well as reach police departments across the country. It’s a two-way device enabling residents and police to update each other. “This is an app our Police Department is using to be more connected with our citizens,” Iglesias said. “In today’s world, everybody is busy, but we still need to take the time to report criminal or suspicious activity or anything that involves our community. We can keep those lines of communication open through MyPD.”

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The MyPD mobile phone application, developed through Massachusetts-based WiredBlue, provides links to city and police departments in Live Oak and Cibolo. Courtesy photo

WiredBlue founder Peter Olson said the app was launched in July 2011. It was slow to catch on, he said, but requests have picked up during the past 12 months. “It’s growing pretty rapidly,” he said. “We’ve doubled since the first year and are on track to double that again.” Olson declined to provide the total number of hits and downloads received by the local departments, but said the latter has totaled nearly 90,000 nationwide. He added 115 agencies are using the app, including 20 that came online in the past two months, with 35 more scheduled to begin in the next few months. Olson concedes other law-enforcement agencies are using similar devices, but believes none are as cost-effective. “We have most of the same features that you would get from having an app made from the ground up by a custom-

The citizens have been very, very receptive to it and a lot of them have downloaded it. Sgt. Kent Iglesias Live Oak Police Department

Accessing the MyPD mobile phone application, which has given residents easy access to police and civic departments in Live Oak and Cibolo. Courtesy photo


built developer,” he said. “Almost all of our agencies pay under $1,000 a year, and there are those that pay up to $55,000 for the same apps. We are offering a fiscally responsible model.” Other Texas police departments using WiredBlue’s app include Roanoke, Rockwall, Waco and University of TexasPan American. Olson said his company is negotiating with others, including some “very large ones” in the San Antonio area. “It’s a great thing for the public and the police,” Olson said. “It’s low-cost and it gets the job done, which is the goal.” Cox estimated his department gets an average of five or six tips per month. “What we found is that the majority of people get back to us with traffic or animal-control complaints or compliment officers for some deeds they’ve done,” he said. “It’s used pretty frequently. “If they want to give us their contact information they can, but they can choose to submit it anonymously. It gives them flexibility because sometimes people don’t want to get involved.” Photos and incident reports are routed to the appropriate police division and other city departments. For example, a report of a trafficsignal malfunction would go to the traffic division and to public works. “Primarily, it sends the information to email groups, so multiple people get the information,” Cox said. “If I’m not at my desk or on vacation, my staff can follow up on it.” Following a tip from Cibolo police officers, Live Oak police looked into the MyPD app and began using the service last spring, Iglesias said. “We also had a re-launch of it during our National Night Out on Oct. 1,” Iglesias said. “The citizens have been very, very receptive to it and a lot of them have downloaded it. We’ve received a lot of information on abandoned or junk vehicles and code compliance complaints.” Iglesias said his department will again tout the app during its upcoming “Operation Grinch” program. Held in conjunction with Selma and Universal City police, the program is designed to thwart crimes and vehicle burglaries in high-traffic areas during holiday shopping. For more, visit the Live Oak (www. and Cibolo (www.cibolotx. gov) city websites, which have links to its police departments and Facebook pages, or go to “With this technology, people can show us exactly what they’re talking about,” Cox said.

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Change continues from pg. 01

New mayor vows to change course of city’s future The outcome at the polls – sparked by the council’s involvement in an unpopular deal that helped pave the way for a future Walmart in a subdivision – are sure to create a new direction for the city of 20,000, observers said. “The election and recall results were a tremendous victory for every citizen of Cibolo,” Larkins said in a statement after the voting. “Five of the eight council members who failed us in July are gone in November – removed by recall or replaced by candidates of our choice.” For the first time, voters chose their council members through balloting in single-member districts. Incumbents Karen Hale and Mayor Pro Tem Steve Liparoto lost their seats through the recall. Incumbents Miguel Troncoso and Melvin Hicks – realigned together in District 2 – lost to newcomer Verlin “Doug” Garrett. Winning the mayoral race was another newcomer, Lisa Jackson, who narrowly defeated Dick Hetzel, a former council member. Both sought to succeed threeterm Mayor Jennifer Hartman, who didn’t run because of term limits. Keeping their seats are incumbents Ron Pedde, who survived recall by a single vote in District 1; and District 5’s Larry Carlton, who retained his position by 24 votes. District 3 incumbent Gabriel Castro defeated

challenger Kris Holmquist, while Allen Dunn ran unopposed in his bid to succeed Hicks in District 7. Hicks said the election cost the city some hardworking leaders. “I could understand it if we’d done something illegal or crooked, but to be recalled for doing what was best for everyone in Cibolo is just plain wrong. But it was the few in Cibolo who did this. I tell people that you may vote me out, but you’re not going to run me out,” he said. On Nov. 12, city elections officials tallied the final votes, which included overseas and provisional ballots. They were posted at City Hall the following morning, but were not available through the city website until Nov. 14. Pedde’s recall total remained the same, Jackson defeated Hetzel by four votes and Liparoto was recalled by one scant vote. Swearing-in of the winners occurred during the Nov. 14 council meeting, where members discussed how to fill the vacancies left by Hale and Liparoto, whose terms expire in November 2014. Larkins said the grassroots effort to change the council – an organization called Citizens for Cibolo – is a victory for the people. “As citizens, we reasserted ourselves in our supervisory role over the City Council,” he said. “The results should make it absolutely clear to the former and new council members that they work for the citizens; we do not work for them. And when we speak, we expect action.” The political firestorm began in July, when Walmart announced plans to construct a 182,000-square-foot store on a 22-acre tract bordering Borgfeld Road, North Main Street and Cibolo Valley Drive. The city’s Planning and Zoning Board granted preliminary

Citizens for Cibolo members view results from the Nov. 5 election, in which two city council members were recalled and two others were defeated. Photo by Joshua Michael



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plat approval for the project, which council members OK’d in short order. The quick decisions created an atmosphere of distrust among voters, who felt left out of the loop, the council’s critics said. By August, Larkins submitted a signed petition to recall Pedde, Hale, Carlton and Liparoto, and pushed through a petition to place the alcohol ban on the November ballot. On Sept. 24, the council voted 5-2 to approve an infrastructure and final plat agreement with Walmart. The national retailer will spend $3.3 million for improvements around the store site, but receive reimbursement through a portion of the city’s future sales-tax revenues. The November ballot was a complicated one for voters, who also approved a $2.8 million bond issue designed to upgrade two intersections and Fire Department facilities. Only one of the 29 proposed amendments to the city charter failed. Jackson, who moved to Cibolo from the Seattle area four years ago, has never held political office. She said she was “a little surprised” about the closeness of the election. “We’re going to pull the two entities together for a common cause and move forward as a city,” she said. “There’s been a lot of controversy and it’s bothered me. The heat that began back in July and August is still there, and I think that will calm once this election is over and everyone is in place.” “My goal is to bring people together.” Jackson said she wanted Walmart in

Cibolo, but “I don’t like the location.” “I think having this come up has brought a lot of us out of our comfort zones,” she said. “Had the issue not presented itself, a lot of us wouldn’t have gotten the chance to know each other or working together to make Cibolo a better place.” Garrett, also a political newcomer, agreed. “The hard part is done with, now it’s just a matter of getting in there and doing what I know to do and how to do it, which is helping Cibolo grow,” he said. Garrett, originally from Houston and recently retired from the military, said he wanted to give back to the community. He is also bent on healing the division in the city. “This is City Council, not student council,” he said. “We need to be adults, sit down and discuss our differences, and come up with a plan to move forward.” Carlton lamented the council lost valued members over a single issue. “It should not have come down to this. This was a council that did some good things – no one needed to be recalled,” he said. “It’s a shame to break up the council we had over the Walmart issue, which is the only one that divided this council.” Hicks vowed to return to elective office. “It was a good honest campaign. I didn’t like the results of it, but Mr. Garrett went out and beat the bushes and got the people out to vote. I did the best I could, but a lot of people didn’t buy into it – all because of the Walmart issue,” he said.

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Next move continues from pg. 01

Comal ISD will float another bond election for 2014 by will wright


EW BRAUNFELS – Voters in the Comal Independent School District overwhelmingly rejected a $451 million bond issue, leaving school officials pondering their next move.

The measure would have funded improvements to existing schools and created up to six additional campuses, most at middle school and high school levels. It was the product of a 60-member planning committee comprised of parents, volunteers and community members, who drafted the proposal over the summer. The issue, which failed 54-46 percent, represented the district’s first bondelection rejection since 1997. CISD voters approved a $205 million bond in 2008.


CISD Superintendent Andrew Kim said the defeat, which as of Nov. 11 remained unofficial because of incorrect election tabulations by the Comal County Elections Board, conveyed a message. Kim believed voters might have passed a less expensive bond containing greater specification. “We’re respectful of the vote and will move forward and plan for the future,” Kim said. CISD officials began planning for its latest bond campaign in 2011. Recent projections indicated the district’s current enrollment of 19,000 would rise to more than 32,000 within 10 years, and a consensus among committee members agreed there was a need to be proactive. The bond would have funded two new high schools, two new middle schools, and possibly two elementary schools or a third middle school. It would have also financed land acquisitions, transportation needs, safety and security improvements, technology upgrades and other capital improvements throughout the district. Kim blamed the defeat on several factors. First, there seemed to be a regional disconnect between voters in the western and northern portions of the 589-squaremile district – which encompasses parts of

Comal, Bexar, Guadalupe and two other counties – and voters in New Braunfels, who daily witness growth effects. “Because our school district is so large, we have to go back and figure out the messages (voters) sent (from all parts of the district),” Kim said. “We have so many distinct variations (of) voters, we’ll just have to take a look at that.” Second, Kim admitted the $451 million price tag might have been too high, considering the conservative nature of the district’s voters. He said getting them to approve funds to build elementary schools – as in 2008 – is usually easier than middle schools and high schools. “That’s always a tough thing to do, so we knew that this would be an uphill challenge,” he said. “This was a comprehensive bond, one that would have addressed our needs for the next 10 years.” That vision was too broad, said opponents, who instead wanted a five-year period. “I’ve lived in this area a long time, and growth is an issue that can be dealt with,” said Larry Hull, who served on the district’s bond-planning committee before coming out against the measure. “The problem is that they talk about going from 20,000

to 30,000 (enrollment), and we do need some schools. I’m not an anti-growth person, but if you do smaller bonds in smaller time frames, you can deal with the growth in a much more effective manner. “It was twice as much than was needed. The school board administered the 2008 bond in a pretty good manner. It dealt with elementary schools real well.” Hull said, however, there is a need to add middle schools. “The Garden Ridge area and the (U.S.) 281 corridor both need middle schools,” he said. “I question the two high schools. While I was on the bond committee I submitted a proposal that included a high school in the fifth or sixth year, but the elementary schools were never set to reach capacity during the 10-year (projection). I never figured that one out.” During CISD’s Oct. 24 school board meeting, Bob Templeton, president of Templeton Demographics, the district’s demographer, projected CISD enrollment to total 24,929 students within five years and 32,175 within 10 years – an additional 12,716 students. “I can say with great certainty that you’re going to hit 30,000 students,” Templeton said.

“Right now, the project’s highest priority is getting the northbound exit to Forum Parkway finished so we can, in turn, reopen the ramps from Loop 1604 onto northbound I-35,” Donat said in early November. “This prioritization – and a bit of a shortage of

laborers – has placed other tasks a little lower on the totem pole, so to speak.” Donat said the top priority on the project – which he termed as “head and shoulders above other activities” – is getting the northbound exit to Forum Parkway open

in time for the holiday shopping season. “Really, that means Thanksgiving is the deadline we’re working on (so we can be out of the way for Black Friday),” he said. When finished, the 3009 northbound exit will include two exit lanes flowing into five frontage lanes – a completed turnaround lane, a left-turn only lane, an optional left-turn/forward lane, a straight lane and a right-turn only lane. Donat said closing the 3009 exit likely won’t occur until sometime after Thanksgiving – meaning customer access to businesses at or near that intersection will likely be hampered throughout the Christmas-holiday period. Schertz Chamber of Commerce President Maggie Titterington said closing down the 3009 ramp during Thanksgiving “would have killed commerce at the H-E-B, Walmart, that whole intersection.” “It’s possible that the turnaround could be completed before they shut down the northbound exit ramp,” she said, “but that’s still up in the air. I understand that they have a deadline to complete work at The Forum by Thanksgiving, and the contractor has an interest in making that happen.”

Crawl continues from pg. 01

FM 3009 exit, turnarounds delayed by will wright


CHERTZ – Priorities recently changed for the $24 million Interstate 35 expansion project, which is adding main lanes, flyovers and revisions to entrance and exit ramps through a 6-mile stretch from Judson Road in San Antonio to FM 3009 in Schertz. Texas Department of Transportation officials are now delaying work on exit ramps and turnarounds at the 3009 intersection, to concentrate on completing the highway’s critical junction with Loop 1604 and access to Forum and Olympia parkways to the south in Selma and Universal City. TxDOT spokesman Josh Donat said closure of I-35’s northbound exit at FM 3009 has been tabled so the contractor, Dan Williams Construction, can reallocate resources further south. The 3009 exit had been scheduled for temporary, three-week closures in September and then October. Now, it’s unsure when work will begin.

The FM 3009 north-to-south turnaround lane is nearing completion, but the focus of construction has shifted to finishing work at Interstate 35 near The Forum. Photo by Joshua Michael

Crawl continues on pg. 16


Hull contends redistricting would have occurred even if the bond issue had passed. “If you can maximize the use of portable buildings, they can be a good use of infrastructure as you’re building a new school,” he said. “I’m not troubled by that. “My big issue with this bond is that the district didn’t have a plan. They didn’t know where they were going to build all these schools they were proposing. I think the bond issue was really about increasing debt.” Kim said the earliest the district could schedule another bond election would be May or November 2014. “Right now, we need to study the election results from the county,” he said. “If we were to go for a May election, we’d have to call for it by February, which doesn’t leave us with a lot of time. Whether it’s May or November, all it (the bond defeat) does is delay everything by a year or two. That will put a lot of strain and stress on our middle schools and high schools.” “We need (to) figure out what to do in the meantime before we start thinking about a (future) bond, but we’ll start looking at potential plans and go forward with them to make sure our kids will be best served in the future,” he added.

“What’s a little more uncertain is (will) it happen in eight years, nine years or 10 years?” Templeton said four areas – Kinder Ranch, Indian Springs, Hoffmann Lane (in the 281 corridor) and Garden Ridge – each had more than 100 new-home starts in 2013. “Those are our four pressure-point areas,” he said. “We’re growing the district enrollment at 4.3-4.8 percent and by 2016, we see that tick up to over 5 percent.” The bond would have added schools in those areas, including two in Garden Ridge, whose students attend Canyon High and Canyon Middle schools. Garden Ridge Elementary School, which opened in 2010, is inching towards its 800-students threshold. Also nearing capacity are Canyon, Spring Branch and Smithson Valley middle schools. Kim said he now plans to present CISD trustees with several short-term options. One would add portable buildings – at a cost of $100,000 each – to schools nearing overcrowding. Another would redraw attendance zones, shifting students from Smithson Valley High and Canyon High feeder patterns into the Canyon Lake High area, resulting in longer bus trips for various students, some already enduring round-trip commutes of an hour or more.

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John, Edwards, Duke to take seats on Schertz council by will wright


CHERTZ – A week following the Nov. 5 elections, voters still didn’t know the outcomes in two city council races attributed to electronic and man-made errors through the Comal County Elections Office.

An investigation by the Texas Secretary of State’s office is still pending, as electronic voting machines in Comal County, where many Schertz voters reside, erred in tallying results on election night. An unofficial audit, conducted the following day by Comal County Elections Administrator Julie Kassab, found that nearly 2,400 ballots hadn’t been counted in races for Schertz City Council, the Cibolo Creek Municipal Authority



and a $451 million bond issue in the Comal Independent School District. The errors – which election officials attributed to faulty software provided through Comal elections vendor ES&S iVotronics – didn’t affect the outcomes of the lone contested CCMA board election and CISD’s bond issue, which was soundly defeated – but they did somewhat impact two of the three races for Schertz council. Daryl John, with 53 percent of the vote, bested opponent Bert Crawford to succeed George Antuna, who chose not to seek re-election in Place 3. However, the election-night results did affect Grumpy Azzoz’s bid to unseat Place 4 incumbent Cedric Edwards, as well as Matthew Duke’s challenge against Richard Dziewit to succeed Sydney Verinder in Place 5. Election night results from Comal, Bexar and Guadalupe counties, and posted on the Schertz city website, named John, Edwards and Duke as the winners. Comal County commissioners on Nov. 14 canvassed

Aftermath continues on pg. 16

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Aftermath continues from pg. 15 the original results from the Nov. 5 election. They were to ask a state district judge to schedule an official recount after the CISD, CCMA and Schertz canvassed votes from their elections. “It’s my understanding that they will canvass the votes, and (on Nov. 19) ask a district judge to conduct a recount,” said David Harris, Schertz executive director-support. “This is a unique situation; it doesn’t happen that often.” Swearing-in of John, Edwards and Duke was planned for the Nov. 19 council meeting, Harris said. “The city will canvass the election results and they will be seated,” Harris said. “There will be an appeals process to follow that.” The recount isn’t expected to have

an impact on the final results, but the losing candidates could file motions contesting the outcomes, Harris said. “I’m very confident that the (Comal) machines recorded the correct votes,” he said. “We just have to make sure we go through the proper legal steps.” In the meantime, Cibolo Creek Municipal Authority voters re-elected incumbents Richard Braud to Place 3 and Bobby Greaves to Place 5, both running unopposed. Jake Jacobs defeated challenger J.C. Dufresne in Place 4. The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung reported Nov. 13 that members of the recount committee would include representatives from the Comal ISD, city of Schertz and the CCMA. Comal County Judge Sherman Krause said County Clerk Joy Streater would supervise the recount, which could take weeks to finalize.

this is a unique situation; it doesn’t happen that often david harris, schertz executive director-support

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Crawl continues from pg. 14 In the meantime, workers are reconfiguring the northbound frontage road approaching 3009 to allow more flow, Donat said. “We’re working where we can on the turnarounds, though the crews that do the kind of concrete work needed there are committed to the Forum Parkway exit, so the schedule to open that turnaround has been pushed back a bit,” he said. On Nov. 4, Donat said TxDOT hoped to reopen the ramps from Loop 1604 to northbound I-35 by the second week of November, followed by the completion of the northbound Forum Parkway exit. However, wet weather slowed reconstruction of the southbound exit ramp to Forum Parkway and Olympia Parkway, which officials want to complete before Christmas. “Yes, that’s a little later than initially anticipated,” Donat said. Titterington said further delays could be devastating to businesses located further north. “That’s another factor. If there is bad weather, there might be more delays, but it is what it is at this point, and unfortunately

we’re going to have to wait a little bit longer for the 3009 intersection to be completed.” Titterington said TxDOT officials informed her the 3009 intersection wasn’t considered a “critical path” area. “But it is to us,” she said. “All of those businesses there are being deeply affected by this, and they have been for the last seven or eight months. It’s getting to the point where some of them could have to close because they’re not maintaining business.” Visitors can go to the TxDOT blog for daily information. Schertz Economic Development Corp. director David Gwin reiterated his disappointment with delays in the progress of the project, which he acknowledge is still needed. “We also understand that with progress comes some pain,” he said. “Everyone knows that we’ve needed these upgrades. We’re just anxious to have them completed.” Drivers will continue to experience nightly lane closures during the upcoming weeks, as work continues on the I-35 center barrier and lighting. Most of that work should be finishing up by the end of the year, Donat said. For more, visit or www.


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he 2013-2014 school year is off to a great start. We have started building on the success of all schools meeting state academic standards by now launching a teacher mentoring program that is helping instructors to become even more effective in reaching students. It’s already getting positive results and we are expecting that to build and grow. We are building in other areas as well…literally…Construction has already started on our new elementary school near the intersection of Loop 1604 and Coppergate Road. This school is part of the Judson ISD bond that was passed by voters back in May. The new school will be generally patterned after the design of the last school that Judson ISD opened in 2011, Rolling Meadows Elementary School. It with feature several gradelevel pods that will allow for team teaching of several classes together while still keeping the ability to teach in classrooms to smaller groups of students. It will also include several outdoor learning venues. Elementary schools generally take about a year to build, so we are looking at opening

this new school in August of 2014. Its opening will take enrollment pressure off of mainly Salinas and Converse elementary schools. Ms. Gerrie Spellmann was chosen by the Board of Trustees to take on the principal job at the new campus. She has served as assistant principal at Salinas, doing a great job there. We congratulate her on this new position. She is already making preparations for the school and its students. Meanwhile, the district is in the middle of major construction at Kirby Middle School. You may remember last year, the school’s science wing suffered a devastating fire. Thankfully, no one was hurt, but the fire left very little to salvage. So the old building was leveled and totally new construction is in the works. When completed, it will mean nine new classrooms…seven science labs and two special education classrooms, as well as a new library that will feature all new technology. And finally, looking a bit farther down the road is our new high school, also a part of the May bond election. It will be located on Evans Road north of Nacogdoches. High schools take a bit longer to build… usually around three years, but we are proceeding with water lines at this location as environmental studies are being done. Those studies will likely spill well into next year as experts look into any possible impact to the golden cheek warbler’s habitat in this area. Judson ISD is building in so many different ways and we want the community to know how it’s happening. You can keep up with the progress and expenses on our district website as we build toward our students’ future together.




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

Harmon’s Bar-B-Q is all about putting the focus on the food by Eric Moreno


IBOLO – There is nothing as quintessentially Texan to kick-start mouthwatering anticipation as barbecue. Inherently, Texas barbecue provokes hotly contested gastronomic debates as to who’s best, with just about everybody having a say. One mouthful of an entry is Harmon’s Bar-B-Q, located at 100 S. Main St. Specializing in all the Texasbarbecue staples, Harmon’s Bar-B-Q promises quality meats cooked right and to order. “We opened up in 2001 and we have been doing everything quality ever since,” said owner Ray Harmon. “That’s what I’d want everyone to know about us.”

Like all good barbecue joints, Harmon’s Bar-B-Q goes the no-frills route when it comes to the restaurant, making it all about the food. The menu offers brisket, chicken, turkey, sausage, pork and pork ribs, with sides such as pinto beans, coleslaw, creamed corn and green beans, along with the requisite pickles, onions and slices of white bread. The chopped brisket, pork and combination sandwiches — brisket and pork — are particular favorites among loyal customers. “I’ve been cooking for years,” Harmon said. “It is one thing I really enjoy doing.” Harmon’s joy translates to prizewinning food. Since opening,

Harmon and his crew have racked up awards at several competitions, including taking home second-, sixth- and seventh-place finishes for their ribs against about 300 teams competing in San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Bar-B-Que CookOffs in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Recently, the restaurant faced a challenge as “we had a fire last year that closed us down for a while,” Harmon said. “But we always knew we’d be back and open again. The restaurant has come back and I think it is as good as it has ever been.” Harmon’s Bar-B-Q is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. Harmon’s Bar-B-Q in Cibolo offers brisket, chicken, sausage and a variety of side items. Photos by Collette Orquiz

Harmons BAR-B-Q 100 S. Main St., Cibolo For more, call 658-8889 or visit



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

Indulge your inner baker at Over the Top Cake Supplies by Eric Moreno


AN ANTONIO – Dealing with the public can be challenging. Yet, Kevin Johnson, a wholesaler for more than 20 years with Johnson Bros. Bakery Supplies, wanted to see how the other half lived. In July, the new retailer opened Over the Top Cake Supplies at 10731 Interstate 35 North, located on the southbound access road between Weidner Road and Thousand Oaks Drive. “We have a great location with easy access on and off of I-35 that people seem to like,” Johnson said. So far, business is flourishing at his shop featuring baking supplies for novice and experienced bakers. Customers can choose from a wide variety of professional-grade

baking equipment and supplies. Cake kits, in all shapes, sizes, styles and colors, are available for foodies dreaming of small or big confectionery concoctions, from lollipop-sized cakes – or cake pops – to cupcakes, on up to wedding cakes. Johnson said, “Some of our top sellers are our cake packaging, fondant and frozen whipped icings (such as Cool Whip).” Fondant, a semi-sweet paste made from sugar and used primarily for molding and decorating cakes, is a popular item at the store. Currently, Over the Top Cake Supplies is the only city purveyor of Fondx, a brand of fondant seen on baking shows on the Food Network



and Cooking Channel and used in high-end bakeries globally. In addition, the shop sells more than a baker’s dozen – closer to hundreds – uniquely shaped cookie cutters, and a wall of candies where patrons can satisfy their sweet tooth in bulk. Cake classes, another store feature, are designed to be fun and engaging social activities for bakers of any skill level. “Baking is very popular right now,” Johnson said. “I believe the economy is part of why. Also, you can involve the whole family in the process.” Over the Top Cake Supplies is open 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday. Over The Top Cake Supplies features baking supplies for novice and experienced bakers. Photos by Joshua Michael

over the top cake supplies 10731 Interstate 35 North For more, call 564-1300 or visit www.





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

Median sales prices mostly up in NE I-35 corridor



Supply of houses getting tighter in S.A. by Travis e. poling


ost home sellers in the San Antonio area are getting their initial asking price as the inventory of available single-family residential homes for sale shrank in September, according to the San Antonio Board of Realtors. In fact, inventories dipped to their lowest levels in six years, to an estimated 4.6 months supply, with sales closing in an average of 70 days, SABOR’s analysis of Multiple Listing Service data found. The more houses there are on the market, the more likely the seller is to try and negotiate a lower price or walk away for a sweeter deal, so shrinking inventory is seen as another sign of recovery, officials said. In Steven Gragg, neighborhoods SABOR Chairman from Judson Road to the Interstate 35 corridor, median prices were mostly flat and inventory also didn’t show improvement in most ZIP codes. “We have seen our inventory getting smaller

We have seen our inventory getting smaller and smaller all year, making this more of a competitive market

and smaller all year, making this more of a competitive market,” SABOR Chairman Steven Gragg said. “Low inventory could result in sellers receiving multiple bids on homes located in prime locations or being able to sell closer to their asking price.” September’s average sales price rose 7 percent from the same month last year to $205,728, and the median price also was up 7 percent to $168,700. That mirrors the year-to-date average and median prices and increases for the first nine months of the year, SABOR officials said. The number of houses sold in the San Antonio area in September climbed by nearly a fourth, to 2,031 closed deals. In the 78109 ZIP code, the median sales price was down $5,350 to $122,250. Inventory dropped slightly to 4.2 months compared to 4.4 months in September 2012, according to data from the Texas Market Trends Report database. The median home sales price in 78148 was up a scant $550 to $150,000. Inventories were tighter, with a 2.9-month supply compared to 4.7 months doing the same period last year. Closed sales increased by five to 21 for the month. The 78233 ZIP code had the biggest jump in median sales price, up more than 20 percent to $123,000, but inventory also rose by a month to 5.1 months supply. The median sales price in 78239 was flat at $117,500 in the comparable months. Inventory increased to 6.1 months from 3.6 months.

zip codes: 78108, 78132, 78154, 78266

Street Address

List Price






3804 Pheasant







3913 Pecan Ct







3406 Columbia Dr







717 Cherokee Blvd







209 Bareback Bnd







429 Twinpoint Creek







2805 Berry Patch







3791 Pebble Beach







5208 Columbia Dr







3600 Lazy Diamond







Merry Christm 2716 Poplar Grove Ln







121 Newrock Crk







Real Estate LOCAL Trends ZIP Code





Merry Christmas Median sold price











New listings











Average days on market











Closed sales











Under contract Months supply of inventory





















Source: San Antonio Board of Realtors: Texas Market Trends report The properties are new listings put on the market from Oct. 23-Nov. 10. 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: Bracken, Cibolo, Garden Ridge, Schertz, Selma, November 2013  
LOCAL: Bracken, Cibolo, Garden Ridge, Schertz, Selma, November 2013  

This month in LOCAL Zone 5: Cibolo voters recall or oust four city council members demanding change, CISD thinks about moving after bond fai...