Westcreek Living


Published monthly by the Villages of Westcreek Owners' Association 
Communications Committee - July 2018 Edition!
Happy 4th of July


The VWOA Office will be closed on July 4, 2018!

Quote of the Month



"Volunteers are not servants. Volunteers are partners working together for improving America's future."  
   
~ Mayor Richard Daly  
THE SAN PEDRO CREEK CULTURE PARK AND ITS WESTCREEK CONNECTION

De Todos Caminos Somos Todos Uno (From All Roads, We Are All One)

The San Pedro Creek Culture Park invites the people of San Antonio to reconnect with a place of great historical and cultural significance.
Public art, cultural programming, and artistic design features presented in the park express what is authentic about San Antonio's culture today and explores the historical significance of the creek through a contemporary art lens. This unique site provides an opportunity for artists to explore a wide variety of project types, distinguishing it from other cultural amenities in the city.
The program includes permanent or integrated works of art, temporary installations, performance art, and special events. It is supported by the San Pedro Creek Arts & Culture Alliance, a cohort of local artists, arts organizations, and businesses interested in the development of cultural opportunities at the park. Public art and cultural programming is managed by San Pedro Creek Arts, a program of the San Antonio River Authority.
Key features of this park include:
·         4 Tile Murals
·         5 Locations for Poetry and Historical Text
·         3 Bridges with Ceramic Artwork
What you don't know is that one of the murals in the park was the creation of Adriana M. Garcia.  Adriana's parents, Francisco and Evelyn Garcia, live in the Villages of Westcreek and are depicted in the artwork.  Her mural (pictured above) is entitled, "De Todos Caminos Somos Todos Uno (From All Roads, We Are All One)." 
The composition tells the story of how San Pedro Springs brought forth life, growth, and diversity in the San Antonio community. The left represents the west; the right represents the east. They come together (figuratively and literally) in the center of the mural.
Details: On either end we see the moment of contact when the Payaya people (members of the Coalhuiltecan Nation), who were settled along the San Pedro Springs, encounter the settlers. These were Governor Don Martín de Alarcón, Father Antonio de San Buenaventura y Olivares, Father Isidro Félix de Espinosa, and the Canary Islander families. Time gets closer to the present as we move toward the center of the piece, where the San Pedro Springs come forth.
The mural is bookended by the telling of the story, our story, San Antonio's story. The mother and father figures represent the passing down of our heritage from generation to generation and speak to the cycle of life. The indigenous story of the Anhinga water bird gathering sustenance from the Blue Jaguar river spirit swirls from the storyteller's lips.
So, the next time you plan to visit downtown San Antonio, why not drop by the San Pedro Creek Cultural Park.  Adriana's artwork is located between Santa Rosa Avenue and Martin Street.
CLICK HERE to see Adriana talk about her inspiration behind her mural!
Source:  https://spcculturepark.com/
Have Your Say.  The Importance of Volunteer Committees


Volunteer committees are very important to the leadership, direction, and improvement of the HOA. These committees help to give the Board of Directors an idea of what is important to the community, so that we are not just making decisions based on what we feel the community wants.
By volunteering to serve on these committees, you are putting your ideas and opinions to work in a manner that can lead to real results. When the Board is looking at improvements to the community through adding new programs, infrastructure, or improving things that already exist, these committees play a big role in turning ideas into reality.  It is well noted that the most successful HOAs have a very strong volunteer base.
Most of our committees make monthly recommendations to the Board, which are discussed at the Board meetings. Your opinions really do matter to us, and we want to have these constructive dialogs with our fellow homeowners.  
Being on a committee doesn't have to take a lot of your time either. Most committees meet once a month for about an hour or so. Topics and opinions are discussed, and plans, process improvement, and other recommendations are developed and passed on to the Board regarding subjects that the committees feel strongly about. The Board takes the committee suggestions to heart, whether there are 4 members on the committee or 100. This is your opportunity to get involved and to try to make the changes and improvements that you have thought about become a possible reality.
Consider joining one of our many committees and sharing your ideas and expertise to help us be a "Family Centered Community."
To learn more about our various committees, check out our "Committee" page on the VWOA website!
Submitted by: Richard Gentry, President VWOA  

Just a little reminder.

ASSESSMENTS DUE

Your third Quarter Assessment of $99.00 is due on July 1, 2018.

As of July 29, 2018, all accounts with outstanding balances begin incurring a late fee of $20.00, plus a delinquent interest charge.

Click here for more information about how to pay your assessments and our Billing/Collection Policy .
  
NOTE : The Office is open Monday thru Friday from 9:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M., excluding holidays.  In addition, the Office is open on the 2nd Saturday each month from 9:00 A.M. - 1:00 P.M.
Payment Options
 
  • Payments can still be made here at the VWOA onsite office during business hours.
  • Payments may also be mailed to our office, made payable to VWOA, at 12395 Military Dr. West, San Antonio, TX 78253.
  • You may drop off cash (in a sealed envelope), check, or money-order at the drop box, located to the right of our front entry doors at the business office. Make sure you include your address on your check/money order.
  • Cash is accepted in the office.
  • Card Payments will be accepted only after the homeowner is registered with Spectrumam.com.
  • Pay by Phone- 1-877-342-6233 (your account number needed).
  Submitted by:  Melissa Garcia, Administrative Director

Community Updates.  Mike Hunsucker

TIMELY ASSESSMENT PAYMENTS SAVE EVERYONE MONEY!
 
In order to meet its financial obligations, our association depends upon the timely receipt of quarterly assessments from the owners. When our community's budget is approved by the Board, it assumes two things: the amount of income must equal the amount of expenses, and, that each homeowner will pay his or her assessment in a timely manner. If one or the other fails to happen, we have a cash-flow problem and it usually results in costing everyone more money in the long run.
Our community depends entirely upon the quarterly assessments to pay its bills (insurance, landscapers, water, electricity, gas, management, etc.). Whenever homeowners are delinquent in paying their assessments, it creates a "cash-flow shortage" that may prevent the association from paying its bills on time.
There is no other source of income available to make up for the shortage. If we "borrow" money from the reserves to pay for operating expenses, we are required to pay it back, thus we create even more expenses. Ultimately, when even a few homeowners fail to pay their assessments on time, it ends up costing everyone more. That is because since most of the expenses are pre-determined, the only way to make up for a cash-flow problem is to increase the amount of money coming in, or in other words, raise the yearly assessment amount.
We can all take part in keeping the community's expenses down, and one of the best ways is to make sure that your quarterly assessment payment is received on time!
Community Activities from the desk of Jason Dunbar.

DRINK WATER!  EVEN WHILE SWIMMING
A healthy person needs 30 to 50 ounces of fluid per day.
Drinking fluids is crucial to staying healthy and maintaining the function of every system in your body, including your heart, brain, and muscles. Fluids carry nutrients to your cells, flush bacteria from your bladder, and prevent constipation.
Older adults often don't get enough fluids and risk becoming dehydrated, especially during summer when it's hotter and people perspire more. "Older people don't sense thirst as much as they did when they were younger. And that could be a problem if they're on a medication that may cause fluid loss, such as a diuretic," says Dr. Julian Seifter, a kidney specialist and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Warning signs of dehydration include weakness, low blood pressure, dizziness, confusion, or urine that's dark in color.
To ward off dehydration, Dr. Seifter says that healthy people should get 30 to 50 ounces of water per day (about 1 to 1.5 liters), but not all at once. "The kidneys lose some ability to eliminate water as we age. It's important to stay hydrated gradually, throughout the day," he says. He recommends drinking water or juices and eating water-rich foods such as salads, fruit, and applesauce. "An easy way to stay hydrated gradually is by getting fluids at meals, with medicine, and socially," says Dr. Seifter.
It's possible to take in too much water if you have certain health conditions, such as thyroid disease or kidney, liver, or heart problems, or if you're taking medications that make you retain water, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), opiate pain medications, and some antidepressants. Dr. Seifter says for that reason, you should check with your doctor to be sure you're getting the right amount.
Remaining hydrated during the hot summer months is very important. One of your body's best reminders to drink fluids is when you sweat. 

However, as you head to the pool or beach, remember swimmers sweat, too. Like any athletic activity, when you swim, your body temperature rises and your body sweats to keep from overheating. You may not notice because you are in the water, but you can become dehydrated.

Swimmers, from competitive athletes to families splashing around, need to drink fluids before, during and after swimming, even if you don't feel thirsty. Have some water every 15 minutes, if possible.

No matter what your activity or sport -- running, biking or swimming -- avoid dehydration by consuming the fluids you need.
Wesrcreek Sports Program.



FALL SOCCER

Our Fall Soccer Season begins on August 6th.  This is a coed program for children between the ages of 3-16 as of January 1, 2018.

CLICK HERE for details about registration and fees!
It_s your money_

TIME TO START PLANNING

This is the time of year the Finance and Reserve Study Committee begins to formulate and recommend to the Board of Directors a proposed budget for the coming year.  For those who may not know what all is involved, let me start by explaining that a budget is a financial plan for a defined period of time, usually one year. Our HOA prepares an annual Operating Budget (also referred to as an Income and Expense Budget) which is composed of projected revenues from all sources, including assessments and all the various activity and use fees; the costs of running the community, including but not limited to personnel, contracts, and routine expenses such as utilities and maintenance.  There are other budgets that come into play as well.  The Capital Requirements Budget is formulated based on new requirements and projected maintenance/repair of what we refer to as Fixed Assets, such as facilities and equipment that have long life expectancies.  Since we must plan for those expenditures, in addition to the day-to-day operating costs, those projections are combined with the Operating Budget to determine our projected Cash Flow Budget. 
  
The first step we take in preparing our budgets for the coming year is to look back at operational performance over the past 2-3 years.  Then we consider changes that have been made or will come about in the new budget year and make well-informed decisions about increases or decreases to create our new budgets. 

The formulation of our 2019 Budgets will not be a unilateral decision.  We will begin by setting up a Finance and Reserve Study Committee, consisting of the Treasurer, Community Manager (advisory non-voting member), other committee representatives and all homeowners interested in participating in the budgeting process.  Our department heads will be asked for input regarding their program needs, and we will review both our capital requirements and strategic plan to include those impacts. 

Our first committee meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 at 3:00 P.M. in the Community Center Conference Room. Meeting notifications will be posted on the VWOA Website. 

If you would like volunteer to serve on the committee, please send your contact info to me at vwoatreasurer@villagesofwestcreek.com.  I will add your name to the committee roster and notify you personally of our meeting date/time. All homeowners are welcome to attend meetings and discuss budgets and other financial issues before the committee.  All concerns and questions from anyone who attends will be considered, but only one member per household will be allowed to vote on committee decisions.  Once the Finance and Reserve Study Committee has completed and approved a draft budget, it will be presented to the Board in an open session meeting for review, comment, and Board approval.

When we have our Board approved financial plan for the year, we will use it to gauge performance by comparing actual income and expenses to our budgeted projections each month.  This will help us to stay on track and let us know if/when we may need to make any "course corrections" as we go through the year. Should any major changes be required, they will be presented to the Board in open session for vote. 

CLICK HERE to view our upcoming meetings schedule!

Submitted by:  Judi Cannon, VWOA Treasurer
 

FREE YOUTH LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT TRAINING FOR WESTCREEK TEENS

My name is Angie Clancy, a resident here in the Villages of Westcreek and Founder of Grace Under Fire Leadership and Development, LLC.  We are a business and personal consulting company that also focuses on Youth Leadership Development.  

This summer, my company is hosting a complimentary mastermind on Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn for Teens (valued at $975.00).  I have chosen our neighborhood to receive this complimentary leadership development for our youth because I have a vested interest in our youth living in this community.  They are my neighbors, my children's friends, and are all in the same school district which means at some point we will cross paths.  Our premise on Youth Leadership Development is to build leaders for today; to assist in the development of lifelong leadership skills that instill value in ourselves and in others.

What this specific mastermind group will focus on is the book written by Dr. John Maxwell, Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn for Teens.  This book allows teens to grow to understand that life is full of failure, ups and downs.  However, any setback in life can become a step forward when you possess the right tools to learn from that experience.  This mastermind is developed to help our youth develop the eleven essential qualities of winners; teaching all teens how to see any failure as an opportunity to succeed. 
Mastermind groups form a synergistic interaction by individuals bringing their ideas and perspectives from the assigned reading.  From there, education, brainstorming, accountability, encouragement, and support come together to produce Master Minds; everyone walks away with the combined knowledge and experience from the total group.  
Mastermind will meet every Thursday starting on July 12, 2018, thru August 2, 2018, from 12:00 P.M. to 1:00 P.M., at the VWOA Community Center. 
REGISTRATION:
Submitted by: Angie Clancy
Westcreek Fitness Programs for all ages. 
WESTCREEK HEALTH AND FITNESS PROGRAMS
The Villages of Westcreek is proud to sponsor programs that foster "Healthy and Fit" lifestyles for the members of our community.  We have programs that fit all age groups. Click on the links below to learn more about our current offerings!
Submitted by:  Bill Fenstermacher, Chair Communications Committee
Fireworks Safety tips from ESD 2.


Fireworks are often used to mark special events and holidays. However, they are not safe in the hands of consumers. Fireworks cause thousands of burns and eye injuries each year. We at Bexar County 2 Fire Department would like to share some safety information on how people can enjoy fireworks safely if they follow a few simple safety tips:
  • Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
  • Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
  • A responsible adult SHOULD supervise all firework activities.  Never give fireworks to children.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.  Save your alcohol for after the show.
  • Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
  • Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
  • Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
  • Never relight a "dud" firework.  Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
  • Never carry fireworks in your POCKET or shoot them into METAL or GLASS containers.
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
  • Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
  • Little arms are too short to hold sparklers, which can heat up to 1,200 degrees. How about this? Let your young children use glow sticks instead. They can be just as fun, but they don't burn at a temperature hot enough to melt glass.
  • Closely supervise children around fireworks at all times.
Be prepared for an accident or injury:
  • Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. If a device does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate it. Put it out with water and dispose of it.
  • Always have a first aid kit, bucket of water and/or a fire extinguisher nearby. Know how to operate the fire extinguisher properly.
If an injury happens:
  • If a child is injured by fireworks, immediately seek medical care by calling 911 or going to a hospital.
  • If an eye injury occurs, don't allow your child to touch or rub it, as this may cause even more damage.
  • Don't flush the eye out with water or try to put any ointment on it.
  • Cut out the bottom of a paper cup, place it around the eye, and get medical care right away - your child's eyesight may depend on it.
If your child is burned:
  • Remove clothing from the burned area.
  • Immediately seek medical care by calling 911 or going to a hospital.
Let's not forget the safety of our pets!
  • Don't bring your pets to a fireworks display, even a small one.
  • If fireworks are being used near your home, put your pet in a safe, interior room to avoid exposure to the sound.
  • Make sure your pet has an identification tag, in case it runs off during a fireworks display.
  • Never shoot fireworks of any kind (consumer fireworks, sparklers, fountains, etc.) near pets.
We here at Bexar County 2 Fire hope these firework safety tips minimize injury and maximize your holiday celebration. Should you need us, we are just a phone call away!
Submitted by:  Rudy S. Khalaf, Division Chief Bexar County Emergency Service District No. 2 


Community Market Days. 
The Villages of Westcreek will be sponsoring a "Community Market Day" in the overflow parking lot of the VWOA Community Center on July 14, 2018, from 9:00 A.M. till 1:00 P.M.

CALL FOR VENDORS!
  • $10 registration fee
  • Please bring your own tents, chairs, and tables.
  • Space is on a first come, first served basis.
  • Only one vendor per product type will be allowed.
Contact the VWOA Office at 210-679-8761 if you have any questions about this event.

Submitted by:  Melissa Garcia, Administrative Director

Our next scheduled Community Yard Sales will be held on July 14, 2018.  Community Yard Sales listings will be posted on the VWOA website, the day prior to the event.

Guidelines

Residents in good standing with the association can apply for a non-refundable $15.00 fee permit up to 4:00 P.M. the Thursday afternoon prior to the planned sale date.
  • The yard and garage sales will be held on the second Saturday of each month.
  • The sales hours are limited from 7:00 A.M. until 7:00 P.M.
  • You are limited to four (4) twelve (12) hour sales for each calendar year.
  • The resident will be allowed three (3) commercially produced signs  bought by the resident, one sign for their yard and one for the two nearest corners to a major street. These signs may not exceed five (5) square feet.
  • Signs are not to be taped, glued, nailed or affixed in any manner to any tree, street sign, light pole, power pole or fence. Cardboard boxes on the ground are not permitted.
  • The signs must be picked up by 9:00 P.M. on the day of the sale.
Submitted by:  Melissa Garcia, Administrative Director
House Maintenance. 
BATTLE OF THE MOLD
Throughout Westcreek, many of us are battling mold issues on our homes. Keep in mind that mold on the outside of your home can find its way into your interior walls, causing serious costly structural damage and health issues for the occupants.  We would like to share some tips on how you can address this problem on the outside of your home. 

Water Problems

Mold will thrive if the ground next to the house is constantly wet. Correct problems such as poor rainwater runoff, poor drainage, dripping gutters and leaky outdoor faucets and hoses.

Excessive Shade

While shade keeps your house cooler, it blocks the sun from drying off your siding. That makes it susceptible to mold, particularly in damp climates. Soffits, which are not exposed to direct sunlight, attract mold as well.

Inadequate Air Circulation

Besides the sun, air circulation can dry off siding. But if you have dense bushes next to your home, rain-slicked siding will not dry out. Mold likes dark and damp places.

Vines on the House

Various kinds of ivy and other vines may enhance the look of your house, but they can be bad for the siding. Vines latch onto surface, sometimes causing cracks that allow moisture to penetrate the siding. Besides fostering mold, the cracks provide entryways for insects.

Maintenance Tips

Keep gutters and downspouts clean. Fix leaking faucets and hoses. Landscape the perimeter around the home to push water runoff away from the structure. Keep vegetation away from the house to allow for sunlight and air circulation to dry the siding. Inspect the outside surface several times a year. Wash away dirt. Immediately remove mold with bleach and water, natural anti-fungal soaps and sprays or treatments recommended by the manufacturer of your siding.

Source:  eHOW

Standards Review

GAZEBOS AND PERGOLAS    
 
Gazebos and Pergolas are approvable under the following conditions:
  • Placement/location must be behind the dwelling.
  • Size is limited to one hundred forty-four (144') square feet and twelve (12') feet in height.
  • Made of wood, wood composite, powder coated metal, or resin materials.Treated wood may be left natural, clear-sealed, stained and or painted.
  • Untreated wood must be sealed, stained or painted.
  • The roof may be solid, open beam/rafter-type, or canvas.
  • Solid roofs must be compatible with the same type, material, style, color, texture of roof shingles on the dwelling.
  • Open beam rafter-type roofs must match the type of wood and color of the structure's frame work.
  • Canvas roofs must be well maintained and color compatible with dwelling.
    Color must be complementary with the property.
CLICK HERE to view the Standards! 

Submitted by:  Gene Hopkins, Chair Architectural Review Committee

CLICK HERE to view the approved minutes from the Board of Directors Meeting held on May 24, 2018.
Community Calendar. 
CLICK HERE to view our online Community Calendar!

In the Westcreek Kitchen_ mixing it up_ 



4th OF JULY FLAG CAKE

Just in time for your "Independence Day" celebration!

Ingredients  
  • 18 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
For the icing:
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 pounds cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1-pound confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  To assemble:
  • 2 half-pints blueberries
  • 3 half-pints raspberries
Directions

CLICK HERE to watch how to prepare this recipe!
 
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter and flour an 18 by 13 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.
Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed, until light and fluffy. On medium speed, add the eggs, 2 at a time, then add the sour cream and vanilla. Scrape down the sides and stir until smooth.
Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until just combined. Pour into the prepared pan. Smooth the top with a spatula. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool to room temperature.
For the icing, combine the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mixing just until smooth.
Spread three-fourths of the icing on the top of the cooled sheet cake. Outline the flag on the top of the cake with a toothpick. Fill the upper left corner with blueberries. Place 2 rows of raspberries across the top of the cake like a red stripe. Put the remaining icing in a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe two rows of white stripes below the raspberries. Alternate rows of raspberries and icing until the flag is completed. Pipe stars on top of the blueberries.
Serve this cake right in the pan. If you want to turn it out onto a board before frosting, use parchment paper when you grease and flour the pan.

At the Farmers Market_
THE MARKET IS BACK!

The VWOA is hosting a Farmers Market from 9:00 A.M. till 4:00 P.M. every Wednesday.
   
Stop by the market and select from among their fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables.  The
market is located in the overflow parking lot adjacent to the Com
munity Center.  They accept cash, checks and credit cards.

Support our Local Farmers!
 

Submitted by:  Melissa Garcia, Administrative Director
Useful Links_