Fire and Ice In the two months since the
last issue of this newsletter, our community has experienced two major emergency
the Great Rimrock fire of ‘06, and the Ice Storm of ‘07. As documentation
of these events, photos communicate more than words.
|November 15, 2006: Residents, many with family pets
in their cars, wait outside the GWW entrance during the fire for news that
they can return
home. (M. Paine)
||Sheriff’s deputies barred the entrance to the neighborhood while
firefighters worked to control the fire.(M. Paine)
|January 17, 2007: Ice accumulations of more than half an inch were common.
||Agarita leaves form “ice flowers”. (D. Paine)
|Hill country natives coated in ice. (M. Paine)
One Hays County fire official, when asked why all residents were evacuated
long before they seemed to be in direct danger of the encroaching fire,
said that it was important to know that the fire would not be threatening
life as it spread. Officials, in deciding whether to implement extreme
procedures which are likely to endanger the lives of their firefighters,
strategies depending on whether human lives are at stake. The weather conditions
present during our fire event in November made the fire’s projected
Both the fire and the recent ice storm are reminders to residents of GWW
that we have good neighbors, and efficient local services, on which to
depend. • Editor
Central Texas Weather: An Accurate Forecast?
Watching, waiting” is the headline in the morning’s newspaper.
Will the impending ice storm wreak havoc in our daily lives? Will we lose
power? Will the roads turn into ice rinks? Or will we skate through the next
Before electricity, wintry weather had far less impact on the lives of
early Texans, so few records of what we consider major disruptions exist.
indication of impending trouble was ominously dark clouds on the horizon
as a “blue norther,” or, more prosaically, a cold front, barreled
down from the Arctic. One particular day did reach the record books – 12
February 1899 when half of Texas was below 0º F and Galveston Bay froze over.
In his “Tales of Old-Time Texas,” J. Frank Dobie says that old-timers
think the northers don’t blow like they used. He relates some great tales,
no doubt embellished by the passage of time. Out fishing on a balmy day in
January 1840, Josiah Beam, lounging beside a stream in his shirtsleeves, suddenly
glanced to the north. “Holy smoke … a blue norther a-coming.” Realizing
he must get home as fast as possible, he gathered his belongings then grabbed
his line, only to find he had snared a catfish. He hauled back the line,
the catfish flew through the air and landed, not in water but on ice!
Dobie states that only the coyotes know what weather to expect, “but
their haunting cries are unreliable.” So, I guess all we can do is
watch and wait! • ©2006 J.
Driftwood Volunteer Fire Department Appreciation About a dozen families
attended the event on Tuesday night, December 4, to show their support
of the Driftwood Volunteer Fire Department. Another dozen families sent
gifts with those attending. The DVFD was very appreciative of the support
from the residents of Goldenwood West. Those who still want to contribute
may do so by sending your gift to the Driftwood Volunteer Fire Department,
FM 1826, Austin, TX 78737.
The details of the recent fire were discussed and it was noted that over
150 Volunteer Fire Firefighters and 51 different agencies participated
days in fighting and monitoring the fire zone.
Jan Fulkerson of the Texas Forest Service discussed what residents can
do to prevent wildfires and what to do to reduce risk in the event of
was interesting to hear suggestions of plants and landscaping techniques
to reduce fire risk. The presentation included too much information to
this article. Hopefully, we can publish fire prevention tips from time
to time to make our residents more aware of fire prevention. The Forest
well as the local Fire Fighters emphasized the importance of keeping
grass mowed and cleared away from structures. The dead winter grass was
as a particular danger since it was dry, and increased the fire hazard.
Bo Montague, the Hays County Deputy Fire Marshall was also at the meeting
and answered questions concerning the fire. John Anderson presented Bo
a list of
the various claims residents had submitted pertaining to their property
damages. Bo said he would combine this information with other data to
the Judge and would let us know how to proceed with our claims.
One item the local Driftwood Volunteer Fire Department requested was
that all residents properly identify their street address, preferably
County standardized reflective house number sign. A sign may be obtained
from the County for $3.00. A form for ordering the sign is available
on the “Resources
for Residents” page of our GWW website.
The Driftwood Volunteer Fire Department, with the support of many other
local Volunteer Fire Departments, provided outstanding service in the
protection of our homes and property. Since these men and women are volunteers,
missed work and personal commitments to fight the recent fire. We owe
them our gratitude.
We also owe our gratitude to many of our neighbors. There were people
on each cul-de-sac and block that took it upon them selves to fight the
were also reports of neighbors from Goldenwood and local tradesman who
in the neighborhood who helped fight the fire. Seek out these individuals
and thank them. Also, a special THANK YOU to Amy and Lance Johnson for
instigating and helping with the appreciation event.
If you have not noticed, Goldenwood West is a great place to live! • John
[Editor’s Note - Resident Talia Jurgens adds the following: “The
team work, support, care and concern that neighbors showed for one
another is truly genuine. Even the fence builders that were helping me hose
on Lone Deer Run were heros in their own way, and the man (didn’t
get his name) that was driving neighbors around in his golf cart to
closely dangerous situations is to be thanked for all his help and
concern as well. Glad we are all okay! Talia”]
Raising funds for ALS research Tracy Schach lives on Westview Trail
and is planning a fund raiser in which she will walk to Boston! Tracy
Bob have received permission from the APC to keep an RV in their
driveway for the next couple of months to use for the fund raiser. Tracy
be leaving Austin on March 1, and plans to be in Boston by June 15.
with a non profit organization that raises money for research for
ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Tracy will be walking
by herself, with an RV following driven by her son and a nephew. She is
looking for sponsors,
and any donations are tax deductible. If you are interested in helping
Tracy, call her at 431-9342, or stop by 16308 Westview Trail. To keep up
progress as she walks, log on to www.sharontimlinrace.org. • Editor,
Nova Birchfield, and Tracy Schach
Keeping GWW beautiful: Understanding
This new feature of our newsletter
highlights a covenant or bylaw in order to
clarify residents’ understanding of our architectural guidelines.
|It is important to recognize that, while
our CCRs do limit our individual freedoms regarding use of our
land and property, they are our guarantee that the physical appeal
of our neighborhood, and our ability to enjoy a high quality of
life here, will be maintained for our immediate benefit and to
protect the value of our investment. In this issue of the GWW News
we look at Article 7.16:
(excerpt) “...DUMPING, RUBBISH, GARBAGE AND STORAGE. No Lot
shall be used or maintained as a dumping ground for rubbish or
trash, nor may such materials be buried or burned on any Lot, and
all garbage or other waste shall be kept in sanitary containers.
All garbage, storage, and disposal containers shall be kept in
a clean and sanitary condition, and the location and type of such
containers shall be subject to the approval of the Committee. ...”
In the aftermath of the Rimrock fire, the importance of using caution
in burning outdoors is obvious. Controlled burning of brush (no
household trash or rubbish) should only be executed on days with
little to no wind, relatively moist conditions, and when no burn
ban is in force. To learn whether a burn ban is in effect, check
the Resident Resources page of our website, or call the North Hays
County Fire Department at 858-4600. Before burning, call the NHCFD
to let them know you are executing a controlled burn.
An online, for-reference-only, copy of our CCRs is available on
the GWW website. See the “Covenants” button at the
top of the page.• Editor
Welcome committee We are still very much
in need of volunteers to help welcome new residents. Pairs of greeters will
rotate with other members of their group
to visit new residents, welcome them to the neighborhood, and deliver baked
goods and useful information. Bakers will be on call to rotate with others
in their group to provide a homemade food item which can be given to our new
neighbors. Warren Hayward is chairing this committee. Please contact the editor
to volunteer. • Editor
Board of Trustees News
Proposed CCR revisions have been completed by the review committee and approved
by the BOT. A meeting with the full POA membership will be scheduled soon
to present the revisions to all residents. Meeting time and location will
as soon as it is set by the Board.
New officers elected A wonderful turnout of residents and proxies exceeded
the minimum number for a quorum at the Annual Membership meeting on November
15. An election was held to fill three Trustee positions. John Anderson,
Audrey Pudder, and Sue Ponder, will serve full two-year terms ending December
2008. Thanks to these members for volunteering their time for the community.
At the January BOT meeting, elections were held for officers on the Board
with the following results: President, Mark Ruthenbeck; Vice-president, Sue
Treasurer, Audrey Pudder; Secretary, Margaret Paine; Member at large, John
Anderson. John offered to serve as the Board’s liaison to the APC and
will attend their meetings in addition to those of the BOT.
The next meeting of the BOT will be on Tuesday, February 6, at 7 pm. Due
to expected cold weather, it will be held at the home of David and Margaret
8104 Coyote Ridge.
News from the APC
Holiday decorations The APC selected Terry and Elizabeth Dunk of 17105 Westview
Trail as the yard with the best holiday decorations. Many thanks to the
Dunks and all those who decorated their yards for brightening up our holiday
The next two meetings of the APC will be on February 20 and March 19 at
7 pm at the pavilion. Residents with questions for the APC are always welcome
attend the meetings. POA members and visitors may speak during the public
forum at the beginning of the meeting.
News from the GWW Water Board
The next meeting of the GWW Water Board will be on January 29 at the
fire station at 7:30 PM.
If you have any problems or concerns feel free to contact ECO, our
water system management provider, at 512-335-7580. If you are unsatisfied
you get from their customer service department, our service representative,
Jesse Kennis, invites residents to contact him directly via email at:
Notice! The back gate of the pool area has
been found ajar several times in the last months. For the safety of our children,
please close both
when leaving the pool area. • Editor
For useful reference information, such as a listing of area churches and telephone
numbers for important local contacts, please go to our neighborhood web site
at www.goldenwoodwestpoa.org or contact
This newsletter published for:
Property Owners’ Association
16200 Westview Trail
Austin, TX 78737-9068
(512) 858-9528 office
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