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Goldenwood West News
Jan 2007

Fire and Ice In the two months since the last issue of this newsletter, our community has experienced two major emergency events: 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. (M. Paine) 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 human life as it spread. Officials, in deciding whether to implement extreme procedures which are likely to endanger the lives of their firefighters, develop different strategies depending on whether human lives are at stake. The weather conditions present during our fire event in November made the fire’s projected progress uncertain.

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 few days relatively unscathed?
Before electricity, wintry weather had far less impact on the lives of early Texans, so few records of what we consider major disruptions exist. The first 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 0 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. Marie Bassett

Driftwood Volunteer Fire Department Appreciation
About a dozen families attended the event on Tuesday night, December 4, to show their support and appreciation of the Driftwood Volunteer Fire Department. Another dozen families sent gifts with those attending. The DVFD was very appreciative of the support and gifts 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, 15850 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 over three 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 a fire. It was interesting to hear suggestions of plants and landscaping techniques to reduce fire risk. The presentation included too much information to cover in this article. Hopefully, we can publish fire prevention tips from time to time to make our residents more aware of fire prevention. The Forest Service as well as the local Fire Fighters emphasized the importance of keeping grass mowed and cleared away from structures. The dead winter grass was noted 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 discuss with 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 using the Hays 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, many 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 fire. There were also reports of neighbors from Goldenwood and local tradesman who were 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 Anderson

[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 down houses 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 assess the 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 and her husband 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 will be leaving Austin on March 1, and plans to be in Boston by June 15. She is associated 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 with Tracy’s progress as she walks, log on to Editor, Nova Birchfield, and Tracy Schach

Keeping GWW beautiful: Understanding our covenants
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 be published 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 31, 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 Ponder; 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 Paine, 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 landscape!

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 to 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 with the response you get from their customer service department, our service representative, Jesse Kennis, invites residents to contact him directly via email at:

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 doors firmly when leaving the pool area. Editor


Helpful Information

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 or contact the webmaster.

This newsletter published for:

Goldenwood West
Property Owners’ Association
16200 Westview Trail
Austin, TX 78737-9068
(512) 858-9528 office

Please direct comments, articles, email subscriptions and inquiries regarding advertisements to the above address.

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Archived newsletters (click on date to review)

2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008



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