June 2019

You've probably noticed that there's been a fair bit of road work in Beacon Hill lately. Starting with Grant, some half dozen streets have been resurfaced. Pleased about this and curious about what else might be coming, one of the Board members did a little research and found a helpful tool. The Department of Transportation and Capital Improvements has a map showing where they intend to do work on streets, sidewalks, and drainage through 2023. As it turns out, there are plans to do more Beacon Hill streets in 2021 (Capitol and Gramercy) and 2023 (Michigan, Lullwood, and Mistletoe). All welcome news. He noticed something odd though. They only intended to resurface Michigan from Fred to Fulton. This would leave the stretch from Fulton to Hildebrand untouched. If you've been on Michigan recently, you'll probably be as flummoxed by that plan as he was. It was completely backwards from what needed to be done. He sent a message to TCI explaining this and asking for a revision to their plan. Just about the time he decided they weren't going to respond (7 weeks), they wrote back. TCI had investigated and decided he was right. So they were changing the plan to include the northern section of Michigan. If you're concerned about a neighborhood issue that is under municipal control, I encourage you to contact the City. You may be able to effect some change also. If you're not sure where to start, try the District 1 office.


 The Board has been kicking around another idea to effect change for a couple months. They've been discussing community clean-up and assistance events. Neighbors coming together to help tackle a job that's too big or too expensive for one resident to handle on his or her own. This isn't a new idea. We've done things like this before with Miguel's house on French and the alley next to Blanco Star. What's different is that they'd like to make it a regular thing. Perhaps twice a year, perhaps once a month. How often depends on how many people are willing to pitch in. If this is something you'd be up for, please let us know.


- Daniel Hubbeling

March 2019

I’m never sure how to respond to people who say they have no voice in government, but also say they never vote. Can they not see that they have robbed themselves of their voice? Do they assume that, because the outcome isn’t always the one they hope for, their vote doesn’t matter. The people we elect only know as much as we tell them about what we want. And no, venting on social media doesn’t really count.

You have two great opportunities to express your desires for your neighborhood right now. The easiest (I’m talking mere minutes of your time) is to complete the survey the Board has created. Let them know what is important to you. Details are on page 3.

The other one is laid out on the front page. We have been asked some important questions. If you saw the threads related to this request on Facebook, you have an example of why that is not a good venue for productive or informative discussion. Please come to the General Assembly meeting and make your voice heard.

- Daniel Hubbeling

December 2018

A neighborhood is a fragile thing. Some of us have lived here all our lives, in houses that have been in the family for three generations. Some of us moved here last week. How does that hold together? How do we find common ground and purpose? By an act of will. By taking the intentional step of being actual neighbors. People who know one another, rather than just people who happen to live near each other. 

For some that’s daunting. I’m not naturally socially outgoing myself. But once you start down that path it gets easier quickly. One connection leads to another. And suddenly you realize you’re part of a community.

Will you be in perfect accord with everyone you meet in the neighborhood? Of course not. There will be differences of viewpoint, some diametrically opposed. But there can be value in that also. Social media makes it increasingly easy to dismiss those with different opinions. Working with neighbors toward a common goal, reminds you that just because you have some points of disagreement doesn’t mean they are bad people. And hopefully they’ll see that about you too.

Perhaps none of that matters to you. Neighborhood. Community. So what? To be honest, for most of my life it didn’t mean all that much to me. Whatever neighborhood I happened to be living in wasn’t much more than a name. I wasn’t likely to have a clear idea of its boundaries. And I definitely didn’t feel connected to the people living there. Having come from a small town, the anonymity of city life felt liberating.

But a sense of community, of connection, is powerful. It prompts us to work for a good beyond our own immediate needs. And therein lies great satisfaction and happiness. I’m thankful to those who welcomed me into the Beacon Hill community. Have you taken the plunge yet?

– Daniel Hubbeling

November 2018

Frankly, I’m still a bit startled to find myself in this role. When I first moved to Beacon Hill 10 years ago, I didn’t give much thought to the neighborhood as a community. It started gradually through reading the newsletter each month. Four years in, my wife and I started to help deliver them. When she began editing the newsletter three years ago, things kicked into high gear. Meeting so many more neighbors. Going to the general meetings every month. The next thing I knew, I was the board treasurer. And rather to my surprise, I found both the work and the board meetings interesting. (Okay, yes, sometimes they run a bit long.) Every time I turned around, there was another way to contribute to the neighborhood. Following the lead of others who have been at it for years, I started pitching in on work days, helping with fundraising, and organizing social events.

You might read this as a cautionary tale: beware of volunteering. But I hope you take the opposite message from it. The more I’ve become involved, the more I wish I could do. Working to bring neighbors together and build a stronger community is very gratifying. There are so many other neighborhood projects I’d like to do if there were more hours in the day; or, more realistically, more hands to pitch in. I hope you’ll consider playing a part. It can be small. Just an hour of your time. But just think how much we could do if all of us gave an hour. And the more people who get involved, the lower the odds that I’ll be twisting your arm to be president in a few years.

– Daniel Hubbeling

May 2017

There are times when a neighborhood is in peril and this is one of those times. The city asks us to make room for more residents as they give tax and other benefits to developers who build multiple storied condos on a lot. What has happened on West Craig—six three-and-a-half-story condos on a lot in a street of bungalows—is the new model for development. Tobin Hill North is fighting a similar development in their community now, and Alta Vista is seeing the same there. Our tax dollars are paying for the demise of our neighborhood. Instead of creating housing downtown, they are zoning for more hotels.

Once our neighborhood is gone, it is lost forever. These homes, designed and built in the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s, are unique and cannot be replaced. More importantly our Beacon Hill community cannot be replaced. What can you do? Attend meetings and contact your elected officials.

Right now, the most important thing you can do is VOTE. What candidate do you feel will stand up for us, protect these precious neighborhoods, and advocate for a more thoughtful approach to development? Talk to your neighbors and attend the candidate forums. Find people whose opinions you trust and talk it over. If we vote, our numbers become a force that can challenge developer money and the huge influence they seem to have on our elected officials.

Don’t let your neighborhood down. VOTE. – Cynthia Merla Spielman, President

April 2017

Spring is here: Easter, Fiesta, and National Poetry Month. Ms. Eller will be hosting the annual Easter Egg Hunt in the Beacon Hill playground in the Linear Park and at Cotton Elementary. That is funny, don’t you think? Cotton and Easter Egg Hunt? I once taught a girl named Bunny Hopkins but she didn’t live in Beacon Hill, and I knew a man who went to a high school with a football team called the “Fighting Bunnies,” but that wouldn’t happen in Texas unless it was one of those mean West Texas rabbits.

The Beacon Hill Community Garden is in full bloom and a great place to take children to see the butterflies and to take pictures. How would you feel about a dog park in the linear park? There was a picture on the Beacon Hill Facebook recently of a blind dog sitting in the middle of the street in a pink sweater and a cat showed up at someone’s door with a pink hoodie. Maybe we can find something pink for Menudo, the neighborhood pot-bellied pig or perhaps for those wayward goats that were eating flowers last year. I was thinking that it would be fun to have a pet parade in the linear park maybe for next Fiesta. The theme could be pink. It would save a lot of people from having to buy costumes.

It isn’t even April as I write this, but April 1st is around the corner. I would not want to be fooled into thinking that don’t need volunteers to work on issues like dog parks, welcome packets, crime, Easter Egg Hunts, newsletter distribution, community plans, and education.

Enjoy the lovely weather!

February 2017

Although property crime was down from 2015 to 2016 in San Antonio, downtown neighborhoods are vulnerable. In Beacon Hill we have been victims of break-ins and theft. Individuals roam the neighborhood and steal furniture and other items off porches and sell to local businesses or online. We have areas in which drug dealers do their business in broad sight of neighbors. We have people buying “tall boys” from convenience stores, getting drunk and congregating in yards (often using them to urinate) or at VIA bus stops. Law enforcement is an important piece of the puzzle but neighborhoods prevent crime. A concerned and active group of citizens can make our neighborhood an uncomfortable place for drug dealers, thieves, and other criminals. We are the eyes on the street. 

Here are five ways we can prevent crime in Beacon Hill:

1 Work with our District One Councilman, the City services, and Beacon Hill Area Neighborhood Association on solving common problems.

2 Report a crime if you witness it or something you suspect might be a crime. Create partnership with police, focused on solving problems instead of reacting to crises. Make it possible for neighbors to report suspicious activity or crimes without fear of retaliation. If you do not report a crime or “suspicious activity” the crime does not happen in the eyes of the police.

3 Set up a Neighborhood Watch or a Citizens on Patrol (COPS), working with police. Make sure your streets and homes are well lighted.

4 Be watchful and use social media to alert people about crimes in the area as we have done recently on Facebook exposing an individual who stole and then sold to a local antique store on Hildebrand.

5 Clean up the neighborhood! Involve everyone—teens, children, senior citizens. Litter, abandoned cars, and run-down buildings tell criminals that you don’t care about where you live or each other. Call the city public works department and ask for help in cleaning up.

Join your neighbors on Saturday February 25th at 8:30 a.m. at Rosewood and Blanco for an alley clean up showing our resolve to take back our neighborhood and make it safe. If you are unable to work, bring some breakfast treats, make some posters!

Jan 2017

Dear Beacon Hill Neighbors, Late on Christmas Eve a tired mother returned home from working all day, with her two teenage girls and her four-year-old son, to a house that had been robbed. The window had been smashed and the thieves emptied her fridge, had taken her television, and worse, had taken the gifts from under the tree. She reached out on the Beacon Hill Neighborhood Facebook page mostly to inquire about what she could do besides the police report. She also said that her two teenage girls would be fine, but that the hardest part was the disappointment of her four-year-old son who would wake up Christmas morning to think that Santa had abandoned him. Our Beacon Hill neighbors came to the rescue immediately. Although it was late Christmas Eve, in the true spirit of Christmas, people ventured out to bring gifts to the child in the night. Gifts were wrapped, people inquired about her daughters’ sizes, food was brought, and people volunteered to board up her window. The mother posted a picture of her son Christmas morning beaming with his new toy truck in delight. Her words to her neighbors will stay with me for a long time: “I have so much gratitude and love for everyone. You guys turned a horrible and scary event into an awe moment for me. There are no words. I thought my kids weren’t going to have a Christmas. You guys made today possible and for that you are my Angels. I couldn’t sleep, and at 6 am when I finally did my son woke me up screaming Santa came last night. The tears it brought to my eyes. You guys made that happen. God bless you and thank you for being Santa. I’m forever in your debt. Merry Christmas. I feel so comforted knowing someone is there. We are not alone. That’s the best feeling in the world. Thank you.” Another neighbor noted on Christmas morning: “I just want to say that watching this neighborhood come together to help a fellow neighbor, at 11pm on Christmas Eve when she was robbed of all the gifts for her kids, is seriously awe inspiring! THIS is what the season is all about and y’all are AMAZING!!” Happy New Year, Beacon Hill! We are so blessed with community. May it be even stronger in 2017!

June 2016

Thursday, June 2, was a very difficult night for our neighborhood association. The BHANA board held a special meeting, along with ZUD (our Zoning and Urban Design Committee) and members of the community, to discuss an appeal we filed with the City of San Antonio. This appeal specifically addressed a City interpretation of a section of our Commercial Neighborhood Conservation District (NCD) standards, in regard to the planned development of a Stripes Convenience Store and Gas Station on Fredericksburg Road at Woodlawn (where site preparation is already underway). The $600 required to file this appeal was raised through community contributions. The special meeting was called to discuss the fact that, on the very same day the appeal was filed, we received a message from the developer that if we proceeded, we would be sued. That our energy, time and money could be tied up in litigation for a long time unless we immediately dropped our appeal. Let me explain it this way: we, as ordinary citizens, filed an appeal as part of the lawful process that the City has in place and encourages us to use. We were threatened in a very serious way in an attempt to keep us from following this process. Our councilman’s office tried to negotiate, but it was too little, too late. BHANA has been trying for years to come together with the developer of this property (whom we first reached out to in 2012) and the City Council office to negotiate; no one but BHANA seemed to be willing. Now, instead of being protected or supported, we were asked to negotiate. But these negotiations hinged on our dropping the appeal. When people say our city is run by power and money, I guess this is what it looks like. When I was a teacher, and I witnessed one student bullying another, I didn’t solve the problem by making the victim negotiate with the bully to appease him. I made the bully stop. It was hard to back down, because filing an appeal was well within our rights. But make no mistake: we were bullied out of our right to appeal. These are stressful times for our downtown neighborhoods. The threat to the neighborhood plans we have adopted is real. Our NCD and Midtown Plans, developed in partnership with the City, are the closest we could get to communitybased plans. The NCD was developed during the fiscal year of 2004–05 and approved by the City Council in December of 2005. In developing it, we held open meetings not only in our schools, churches and local restaurants, but also in living rooms in all parts of Beacon Hill. These meetings were held in Spanish as well as English. This process went well above and beyond the City’s own requirements. While each of these elements on its own doesn’t seem important, honoring our community-based plans is important. In my opinion, these plans are worth fighting for. It is frustrating that we seem to be struggling against the very forces in the City that helped facilitate and encourage the development of these plans in the first place. So, I ask myself: why should we continue? What is the point? I already know the answer: we are the point. This is our community. This is our neighborhood. I am proud to live here. We have a neighborhood worth working for. I am still an idealist who believes in hope. My hope now is that you agree and come join us at our next neighborhood meeting on June 13th.

May 2016

Code enforcement is a blessing when there is a property that needs to be reported. Maybe a remodeling project isn’t following NCD standards, or a sidewalk is impassible because a bush is blocking it. However, it is a curse when the person being cited is you. What does Code Enforcement do? They manage issues such as graffiti, bandit signs, garage sales, property maintenance, NCD violations, preservation, boarding homes and city code issues. They are the people who take reports when you call 311. When I attend Board of Adjustment meetings for the neighborhood, I hear the refrain, “I didn’t know: that I needed a permit; that this area has an NCD; that I couldn’t build whatever I want.” Not knowing the codes is not an excuse that the Board will accept, and the consequences can be very costly. The Codes are sometimes seem hard to understand and may seem complex but you can make the process easier by: • attending the BHANA ZUD (Zoning and Urban Design Committee) meetings where there is always a code compliance officer present who can answer your questions. • asking a ZUD member if they can help you find an answer or help you find the person who can answer your question. (Contact information on the back page of the newsletter.) • by researching, starting with the City’s webpage: www.sanantonio.gov/CES • going down to the Cliff Morton Development and Business Services Center at 1901 S. Alamo. • coming to the May 9 membreship meeting to ask Martin Ruiz, Development Services Manager questions or to share comments. As the weather becomes warmer and we start thinking about fixing up our homes, it is important to check with the City to pull the correct permits for larger projects. Hope to see you at this month’s meeting.

Cynthia Merla Spielman

April 2016

I’ve been asked on occasion, why I or why the Board hasn’t done something. There is no “I” or “them”; there is only “we.” We work together to create improvements in our community. It is the only way we can have power with our local governments. What improvements we would like to work towards is up to us. No one can do something for you. But we can do it for ourselves if we work together. I have been talking to neighbors and some of their concerns about improvements that can be made in Beacon Hill. One gentleman on Agarita and Woodlawn said that we need sidewalks up to the railroad tracks as he sees people who have handicaps, as well as children and elders, struggle with the crossings. Another neighbor would like to see her alley reopened along French and Russell, and yet another points out the flooding and drainage issues in her area. One resident complained about the poor conditions of our streets. Some community members have discussed the need for a more complete and closer senior center, while others have talked about programs that create and sustain affordable housing. Sidewalks are going in on many of our blocks now, but many of our streets still don’t have any sidewalks at all. How would you like to see the City spend funds in Beacon Hill? Come to the April 11th meeting and get to know your neighbors and our neighborhood issues. We can do great things together.
Cynthia Merla Spielman

March 2016

What a great meeting we had in February. Thank you to SAISD Superintendent Pedro Martinez and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Lawrence. Beacon Hill’s elders, or sabios, are an important part of our community. You provide stability, history, and impart wisdom to our neighborhood. We need your histories to document our pasts, but even more importantly, we need your input and ideas at meetings and your insights for our future. We know that you may face special challenges. Often people in our community need living assistance, special services (like meals on wheels), and home care. When I’ve spoken to elders in our community, several issues seem to come to the forefront: You worry about staying in your home comfortably and within your fixed means, you worry about crime, and some of you often wish you were more connected to your neighbors and community. We will focus on several issues of elders in our community as the year progresses. BHANA is interested in programs that help seniors stay in their homes by helping with home repairs, programs that help seniors with utility bills, senior services that help you with nutrition and medical services. What we, as a community, can do is work on issues of connectedness. Often I hear seniors complain, in general, that they simply do not know anyone on their block. That people are too busy to visit. I know that in Beacon Hill, many elders are surrounded by loving neighbors who visit, worry about them, and provide some basic services like lawn mowing or bringing a baked sweet or some leftover soup or dinner occasionally. There are many of you, however, who don’t know your neighbors and feel alone. If nothing else, wouldn’t it be wonderful if a next-door neighbor just introduced themselves to you or stop to say hello when you are out on your porch? For my younger neighbors, it is these gestures of grace that bring joy into someone’s life. I don’t only mean the life of the elders, but in your life. Some of the most interesting, funny, dynamic, and creative people I know are over 90. I am lucky they want to spend time with me! This month’s meeting, which will be conducted by Lola Rodriguez, BHANA Vice-President (I will be out of town), will feature CPS presentation of Casa Verde and Affordability Discount Programs which are programs to help the elderly pay utility bills and to weatherize their homes so they run utilities more efficiently with less expense. In other words, these programs will save time and money. They will enroll people at the meeting. Lola is the perfect facilitator for this meeting—she is a knowledgeable source in her own right as she works with the elderly services professionally. If you are not an elder, get information for your neighbors. It will make a great conversation opener. We are also going to begin our conversation about crime on Blanco and the Rosewood/Lynnwood area. I have received calls from elders and neighbors in that area who are worried about what is going on in that area. Our elders (all of our neighbors) should be able to live safely in Beacon Hill. We hope to continue to bring information about services for elders at future meetings. We need your input! Resources: City of San Antonio Senior Services: (210) 207.8198 www.sanantonio.gov/humanservices/ SeniorServices.aspx Alamo Area Agency on Aging: (210) 362-5561 www.aacog.com/index.aspx?NID=65 Kenwood Senior Center: Betty Eckert, Dist9sec@aol.com


February 2016

Happy Valentines’ Day! What better way to show you care in this month of love, than to show caring to our neighborhood children and concern for their education. We have so many things to celebrate about our local schools, and we have much work to do as they face challenges. February’s BHANA meeting will focus on our relationship with our community schools. An SAISD representative will come to speak on Superintendent Pedro Martinez’ Five Year Plan, the new goals and standards for our students. Principal Rodriguez will show a short slide presentation showing Cotton Elementary. We have invited our School Board Trustee, Olga Hernandez, to the meeting to answer questions and address concerns. We need more community involvement, more caring adults from the community in our schools. As little as one hour a week is all it can take for support. Let’s show some February love to our children. Come to the meeting on Monday, February 8th at 7:00 p.m. at Cotton Elementary cafeteria (on Fulton at Blanco Road) with concerns and questions for SAISD representatives. Before closing, I want to reflect on what a large and productive meeting we had in January. That neighbors coming together to discuss our issues is important. I want to thank Edward Gonzalez and Nancy Wilson from the Department of Human Services and David Huete from Haven for Hope and Assistant Chief Jose Banales for providing information and answering questions and addressing concerns of residents on the issue of homelessness at the January Beacon Hill meeting. Thank you for your service to the Beacon Hill community. I also want to thank Iris Duran and Operation Facelift for awarding grants to Beacon HIll and area businesses. It is great to see revitalization of locally owned and community responsive businesses. I also want to note with sadness that two very involved neighbors and board members, Celeste Wackenhut and Billy Lambert, will be moving and we accepted their resignations at the January Board meeting. They have worked hard on behalf of our community, and we will miss them and wish them luck. We hope to see them back someday soon! Remember, if you live, own property, or a business in the boundaries of Beacon Hill you are a member. We do not charge dues (although donations are always welcomed). Come visit with your neighbors and elected officials. This is what democracy in community looks like. 

Cynthia Merla Spielman, President

January 2016

Happy New Year, Beacon Hill! 

 I usually like making new year resolutions just so I can feel self-righteous for the two weeks it takes before I decide being virtuous is just overrated. The best resolutions are commitments to the work we’ve already begun. I’m thinking of the work in our community. Our priorities are simply a continuation of the hard work that has been going on for years. Priorities for the new year include controlling, in a humane way, the loose animals on our streets; crime; assuring affordable housing; providing a quality education for our kids in our local schools; protecting our neighborhood plan (Midtown Plan and NCD) and asking residents to abide by zoning regulations; creating a healthy food oasis with our community garden; creating revitalization of local and community responsive businesses in our commercial corridor; and struggling with issues of transients and their needs. We need volunteers to help with these issues that are about our own neighborhood. Are you willing to make a New Year’s commitment? Come join your neighbors to help make our great community even better and stronger. This community belongs to all of us and it takes a variety of voices and ideas to meet the challenges that it faces. Contact me (my information is at the back of the newsletter) or better still, come to the next BHANA meeting at 7:00 p.m. at Cotton Elementary on January 11th. It was a great holiday party thanks to Burnt Ends at 1725 Blanco. They were a generous benefactor, and the food was great! Special thanks to Cassy Lewis and Heart of the Neighborhood (HON) for such a wonderful job organizing the party, decorating, buying, and wrapping the children’s gifts and for purchasing the raffle rosemary plants. During the party, I visited with a lot of neighbors, young people, who told me that they were returning to Beacon Hill where their parents or grandparents still live. They told me stories of how they spent much of their childhoods here and now are moving back. Please contact me to record your stories as well as the stories of your parents and grandparents. We could feature them in this newsletter. So the new year begins by honoring the old one: Thank you to all the people who have given of themselves to work on behalf of our community this past year. Here’s to a great 2016! Cheers!

Cynthia Merla Spielman, President


As I dig out my reindeer antler headband (a move I regret every year) to wear to the neighborhood party, I feel incredibly lucky to live in Beacon Hill. We have been given a beautiful gift: the gift of neighbor. So many of you are giving that gift all year in small, kindgestures, gifts of corazon that no one notices, but make a troubledworldinto a place where good can happen. I believe that every small light of kindness towards our neighbors helps defeats the darkness in the world.

I've seen those small lights in the quiet man who edges the lawn of his elderly neighbor every week, the busy woman who volunteers at Cotton Elementary as a tutor, the group of people who plan the holiday party, giving time and money, so neighbors can enjoy one another and talk. 

There are so many ways we can give the gift of neighbor. We can give

•    one hour of chatting with an elder in the community that is on your block

•    one hour working in the community garden so that the children can have a place to play

•    one hour listening to a child read at Beacon Hill or Cotton Elementary

•    an hour painting graffiti for someone who is unable to. 

•    some school supplies to Ms. Eller or Lola Rodriguez for students in the fall.

•    a book for an young adult or child in the LIttle Library in the Community Garden

•    an hour delivering newsletters on your block

•    an hourto a BHANA meeting to discuss issues with your neighbors and elected officials.

•    a half-hour to help find the owner of a lost dog by posting on Facebook or Next Door.

•    one idea to improve our neighborhood at our monthly meeting.

•    one hour writing a short article for The Beacon, our newsletter on a concern or something that makes you happy about our community.

•    one hour cleaning up a small area that needs it in our community

 These are a few of the ways to reach out an be a good neighbor: the list is only limited by the generosity of our hearts. This is one of the few times that "regifting" is encouraged!

 So come, bring your own special light toshare some music, food, Santa's cheer, and neighborliness at Beacon Hill's holiday party. Bring a sweet treat and the kids and let's have some fun.

 Happy Holidays from Beacon Hill Area Neighborhood Association!

 Cynthia Merla Spielman





Harry Wallace, who has served as our president for the last two years, will be a very difficult act to follow. Harry's leadership these last two terms has been marked by his fairness and even handedness, his skill at bringing people together, and his ability to listen and to be compassionate and to find intelligent solutions. We have been lucky that he stepped forward to serve, and we will miss him as president, although he will continue to be an active member, as well as a thoughtful voice in our community. Thank you Harry for your dedication and service to Beacon Hill.

 Harry's example will be hard to live up to, but fortunately, I won't have to take on that task alone. We have elected a great board who is energetic and full of ideas.

 But even more importantly, I have all of you. We are neighbors; we are a community; we are Beacon Hill.  We make decisions together to better our neighborhood as well as celebrate and honor its history and its wonderful spaces. We work together to work with our local government officials to get the help and attention that we need.

 Knowing your neighbors and coming together as a community for the monthly meeting and for events helps keep our neighborhood safer, cleaner, and more vibrant. Volunteering at the community garden, at the local schools, helping with neighborhood projects like painting the cable boxes, serving on committees to help with affordable housing or helping the elderly, or gathering food for the Thanksgiving baskets that Ms. Lucy Eller and Lola Rodriguez distribute makes us more than a place on a map: it makes that place our home.

I am excited about serving as President this coming year and working together with you for a community we love. Let's help each other preserve what is good in our neighborhood and to guide its bright future.

 And Harry? Keep the phone line open.

 Cynthia Merla Spielman



Calling all Beacon Hill Residents who have been to at least 1 meeting during the past year and signed in! We are looking for candidates to be on the Beacon Hill Neighborhood Association Board. 
In addition to attending the monthly neighborhood and board meetings the duties and responsibilities are as follows:

President 1) presides over monthly meetings 2) is a member of all committees 3) represents the association at various functions.

Vice President 1) stands in for the president when the president is unavailable

Secretary 1) takes notes at the meetings and makes them available to the association members

Treasurer 1) records and provides a monthly statement of the associations financial transactions 2) collects and with board approval pays out money for all financial transactions.

The elected officers and three elected directors shall constitute a board of directors /executive committee of the Association. This group shall supervise the affairs of the Association; make recommendations for the Association’s growth and prosperity; adopt any proposed amendments to these by-laws as may be deemed necessary by a majority of the board of directors; transact any business between meetings of the Association and report thereon at the next general meeting of the Association; report at the annual meeting the business transacted by the board of directors during the Association’s year; and fill vacancies in offices other than that of president for the unexpired portion of the term. This group meets monthly. 


Huge thanks (!) to Margaret Leeds and the Baha’i Center of San Antonio for hosting our August BHANA meeting. Our monthly meetings will return to our normal home in the Cotton Elementary cafeteria for the rest of 2015 (thanks & welcome back Cotton!). Congrats to the Beacon Hill Elementary choir for their triumphant summer performance at the Texas State Capitol (we enjoyed watching the video at the August BHANA meeting). Thanks to Senator José Menéndez and Representative Diego Bernal for hosting! More thanks to our neighbor Rolando Briseño for recruiting a stonemason to repair a planter in the Liz Davies Greenspace (French & Michigan intersection), and for quietly keeping that park looking good since it was created a decade ago. Rolando, you inspire with more than your art. Thanks also to David Bogle, Cosima Colvin, and all those who have been monitoring development plans for the open Woodlawn & Fred Rd lot and trying to ensure compliance with our Neighborhood Conservation District standards.


Hello neighbors. We’re taking a break from the monthly BHANA meeting this month, but we’ll gather again on  Monday, August 10 (location will be revealed in the August newsletter). Big thanks to Aubrey Sova for stepping up to lead our animal care committee revival. One goal of this committee is to collect information about specific problems from neighbors so that we can improve our ability to appeal for solutions. If you’ve got an animal problem, you should alert the city (Animal Care Services) via 311 and keep Aubrey in the loop. If the problem is not resolved quickly, we will try to support your appeal for help. And let Aubrey know if you’d like to help with the committee (Ph: 449-2263). Also, as we discussed in our June meeting, BHANA is looking for ways to improve our communication and personal connections with the older people in our neighborhood—our living libraries of Beacon Hill history, and the people who probably could benefit the most from the helping hands of neighbors. One proposed idea would involve featuring stories of and by village elders in our newsletter or perhaps in a community gathering—let us know if you would like to tell your story or nominate a storyteller!


Hello neighbors. We’re taking a break from the monthly BHANA meeting this month, but we’ll gather again on Monday, August 10 (location will be revealed in the August newsletter). Big thanks to Aubrey Sova for stepping up to lead our animal care committee revival. One goal of this committee is to collect information about specific problems from neighbors so that we can improve our ability to appeal for solutions. If you’ve got an animal problem, you should alert the city (Animal Care Services) via 311 and keep Aubrey in the loop. If the problem is not resolved quickly, we will try to support your appeal for help. And let Aubrey know if you’d like to help with the committee. Also, as we discussed in our June meeting, BHANA is looking for ways to improve our communication and personal connections with the older people in our neighborhood—our living libraries of Beacon Hill history, and the people who probably could benefit the most from the helping hands of neighbors. One proposed idea would involve featuring stories of and by village elders in our newsletter or perhaps in a community gathering—let us know if you would like to tell your story or nominate a storyteller!