Wednesday, December 31, 2008

THESE ARE A FEW OF OUR FAVORITE THINGS: THE BABBLE'S 8 FAVORITE THINGS IN DRIPPING SPRINGS IN 2008

We began our "favorite things" posts as musings with no grand plan, but we have one more favorite thing to add and, as it turns out, we had 8 favorite things. This will be our last post for 2008, so to recap and cap off we present The Babble's 8 Favorite Things in Dripping Springs in 2008 :

#2-8 (in no particular order)...

THE BIG DRIP'S SAUSAGE & CHEESE KOLACHES
The Big Drip is not just ice cream and sweets; they open every morning at 7:00AM with fresh-brewed coffee and the best savory kolaches we've ever had. The sausage and cheese to bread ratio is perfect. There are no superfluous bready bites just to get to the stars of the kolache show, rather the snap of the sausage and ooze of the cheese is immediate. And, speaking of the sausage, it's sliced in a clever fashion to also give complete side-to-side coverage (again, perfecting the ratio).

BLOOM
Elizabeth McIntosh and her landscaper husband John have created a colorful and charming oasis on the grounds of Rolling in Thyme & Dough with their beautiful nursery, Bloom. Thanks to Bloom, our own gardens bloomed beautifully this year as Elizabeth patiently helped us choose the right plants for our respective homes (and we love her deer resistance scale).

CHICKEN MOUSSE RAVIOLI @ CREEK ROAD CAFE
We remember with great excitement when we first saw the Creek Road Cafe sign go up at the former Orgeron's location. We liked the local-vibe name and the simple, but country-hip, look of the sign; once inside, we were not disappointed by the new, soothing, muted colors and use of local photographs. But what about the food? We've become at least semi-regulars and have yet to be disappointed. While we could wax poetic over the spicy shrimp dish with sausage and cheese grits, we're dedicating this 2008 memory to their refined (not fussy) ravioli stuffed with chicken mousse, dressed with a cream sauce, and finished with chopped pistachios.

HARRISON RANCH PARK
Early in 2008, the City of Dripping Springs acquired Harrison Ranch Park, located directly across from Dripping Springs Elementary School off of RR 12. The 64 acre property, on rolling Hill Country land complete with charming farmhouse (wrap-around porch, no less), should prove to be a real boon for the Dripping Springs community and culture. In November, the City hosted Wines, Sunsets, & Stars, a tasting of local wines, and the City's inaugural event held at the park. We look forward to similar events at the park in 2009.

CHICKEN FAJITA TACOS @ DRIPPING'S ORIGINAL FLORES
Thinking back on our favorite things, they're clearly, umm, food-focused. Indeed, it was a bit of a stress-eating year, but thanks to several Dripping establishments that eating was no dull, mindless endeavor. A consistent (at least twice a week) standby was "chicken fajita taco with pico and cheese, please" at Dripping's original Flores in the green and yellow taco shack (not the new restaurant by Kirby Springs). Their breakfast tacos are also the best we've ever had, but we could not have survived lunchtime in 2008 without those chicken fajita tacos. The chicken is tender and perfectly spiced, the cheese is mild and melty, and the pico is fresh and crisp. Wrap it all in a soft, flour tortilla, drizzle a little red sauce, drizzle a little green sauce, and take the perfect bite.

Dripping's original Flores is located at 920 W Highway 290.

PAIN AU CHOCOLAT (AKA CHOCOLATE DANISH) @ ROLLING IN THYME AND DOUGH
In February we were lucky enough to once again visit Paris, France, where our strolls along the Seine and through awe-inspiring cathedrals were interrupted only by lingering repasts at cozy cafes. Every morning was begun with a stop at a patisserie for "un café et pain au chocolat". But, interestingly enough, no Parisian pain au chocolat could match the perfect balance of flaky, buttery pastry and rich, silky chocolate being turned out right here in Dripping Springs at Rolling in Thyme & Dough. The little sign in their pastry case may declare it a "chocolate danish", but a rose by any other name is still our favorite pain au chocolat in the world.

And #1...
DRIPPING SPRINGS BABBLE READERS
Thanks to all of you who read the Babble and who have given us such words of encouragement. Thanks to everyone who sends news tips (and please keep them coming!) We love living in Dripping Springs and talking about Dripping Springs, so thanks for listening! We wish everyone the happiest and healthiest 2009.

UPDATE 2009: We started at 8, but changed our mind on one. So those were 7 of of our favorite things in 2008.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

DRIPPING TREES: STRIPPING TREES - FOLLOW UP

On December 1, we reported that residents on Creek Road had rallied to halt the County's tree cutting on their road. Having witnessed the over-cutting or "skinning" of trees from other Dripping Springs roads, the Creek Road residents quickly formed a coalition and, thanks to their concerted efforts, the cutting crews were pulled. No more cutting crews were seen on Creek Road until today. We just received a report from a resident who met with them and it looks as though the cutting specs have been changed from 10 feet back from hardtop (12 feet up), to 4-5 feet back from hardtop (12 feet up). It sounds as though these new specs are not set in stone, but it's hopefully a start at trying to preserve the trees and atmosphere of our Hill Country backroads. If you have an opinion on the matter, contact your County Commissioner:

Karen Ford
County Commissioner, Precint 4
karen.ford@co.hays.tx.us
512-858-7268

DRIPPING MUSIC: ALEJANDRO ESCOVEDO & CHARLIE SEXTON IN DRIPPING ON JAN 4TH!

Holy cow. On Sunday, January 4th, music superstar Alejandro Escovedo is playing a benefit concert for his daughter's school, Parkside Hill Country School of Wimberley, at Dripping's Memory Lane (from 290 & 12, go 4.3 miles headed toward Wimberley, take a right on KC Memory Lane and go about 1/4 a mile). Escovedo will be backed by guitarist Charlie Sexton (yes!), cellist Brian Standefer, and violinist Warren Hood. Hood’s combo will open the show, which also features singer-songwriter Amanda Mora. In Dripping Springs, advance tickets are available at Itsy Bitsy Spider (on Mercer) for $25 (their hours aren't the standard, so call first to see if they're open @ 512-858-2688). Tickets will be $30 at the door. Concert doors open @ 4:00PM.

Monday, December 29, 2008

ROAD CLOSURE: SPORTSPLEX

The City of Dripping Springs has posted a public notice for the temporary closure of Sportsplex Drive for construction of a water line this week (Monday 12-29-08 through Sunday 1-4-09). Access to the library will be available via Mighty Tiger Ln. off of Highway 290. For more information, contact City Hall at (512) 858-4725.

Friday, December 26, 2008

DRIP SPOT: THE CHRISTMAS FAMILY @ FIRST BAPTIST DRIPPING SPRINGS

The Statesman had a sweet story yesterday on the Christmas family, members of First Baptist Church Dripping Springs. Check out the story here (and note the photo with one of our favorite performers).

Thursday, December 25, 2008

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Wishing everyone a merry and peaceful Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

BUDDY THE ELF, WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE COLOR?

We'll be cooking and wrapping today and eating and opening tomorrow (plus watching Elf at least twice more), so no more Babble posts until Friday.

Hope everyone has a safe and happy Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

DRIP SPOT: AMBER FETT

KEYE has a feature on Amber Fett, a Dripping Springs teenager who suffers from Cystic Fibrosis and who is awaiting a double lung transplant. Through the years, the Christmas break from school provided the best opportunity for Amber to get her lungs cleared, which required lengthy hospital stays. During those stays, she noticed other kids at the hospital who didn't have anybody or any gifts for Christmas day, and she decided to change that. Amber created the non-profit Amber's Angels, now in its fourth year, to deliver Christmas gifts bags to children at Dell Children’s Medical Center. Get the complete, and inspiring, story here.

Monday, December 22, 2008

NEW SHERIFF APPOINTED

Hays County commissioners today appointed retired Texas Ranger Tommy Ratliff as our new sheriff (sole dissent from Will Conley). Ratliff, replacing Allen Bridges who died unexpectedly earlier this month in his Dripping Springs home, is expected to be sworn in tomorrow morning.

DRIPPING GREEN: CHRISTMAS TREE RECYCLING

We can't help you fit into your skinny jeans after Christmas, but we can take one post-Christmas worry off your list: The City of Dripping Springs is offering the city’s first ever Christmas Tree Recycling Program. Marcus Lees, owner of Lees Trees, has generously donated the services of his company to recycle undecorated Christmas trees into high quality mulch that will be given away for free.

Residents participating in the Christmas Tree Recycling Program should drop off their trees, also free of charge, at the Triangle, located at intersection of Hwy 290 and RR 12, from 8:00AM until 5:00PM on Saturdays, January 3 and 10, 2009. The mulch will be available on a first-come-first-service basis. Individuals picking up mulch should bring their own bags and tools required to carry it away.

Before depositing trees, all tree stands, lights, ornaments and other tree decorations must be removed. Please do not illegally dump any other items at the drop off location. If you have any questions, contact City Hall at (512)858-4725 for more information.

We'll post a reminder before that first Saturday.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

RR 12 LANE CLOSURE MONDAY & TUESDAY

The North bound lane of RR 12 will be closed Monday and Tueday (9:00AM - 4:00PM) for Sports Park Road improvements. Access to Sports and Recreation Park will be available via Rob Shelton Blvd. off Hwy 290. Any questions? Call City Hall at (512)858-4725.

THE PEC REPORT

The Statesman has a rundown on the just completed (and 849 page) report on the "management gone awry" at PEC. Read it here.

Friday, December 19, 2008

LIVING NATIVITY AT FIRST BAPTIST DRIPPING SPRINGS

Get into the real Christmas spirit tonight (Friday) and Saturday night with the living nativity at First Baptist Church Dripping Springs (203 Hwy 290 West). They have two performances each evening at 6:30PM and 7:30PM. Each performance lasts approximately 10 minutes and then folks are invited into the fellowship hall for the good stuff – cookies!

Performances of particular note by Violet the donkey and the two littlest shepherds.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

GOAT HERD "NON-GALA" FINALE

The traveling Tour de Goat wraps up its tour de Drip today with a silent auction. All proceeds raised go to local children's charities and activities in Dripping

Time: 6:00PM - 9:00PM
Location: Prosperity Bank (formerly Franklin Bank)

WE'RE NOT DRIPPING SMOKED SALMON

Where in Dripping Springs does the smoked salmon hide? Not at Super S. Not at Main Street Deli. Not even at Ray's Butcher Block headed toward Wimberley. Have we missed a place? Does anyone know where one can get smoked salmon without "going into the city"?

UPDATE ON SMOKED SALMON CRISIS 2008: Brookshire Brothers in Wimberley has plenty of smoked salmon. Cheers, Brookshire Brothers!

UPDATE ON SMOKED SALMON CRISIS 2008: We were in Super S in Dripping on December 28th and there are now 2 brands of smoked salmon! Way to go Super S (where the "s" stands for "smoked salmon").

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

MCDONALD'S IS OPEN

Dripping Springs is now a link in the world's largest chain of fast food restaurants. The McDonald's on 290 (directly across from the Sonic) opened today. When we drove by just a few minutes ago there were cars in line at the drive-thru and people at the counter inside.

DRIPPING BEEF: LOCAL AND GRASS-FED

At a holiday party last night, one of the appetizers served was venison sausage made from a deer harvested by one of the party hosts. This turned the conversation to knowing your food source. Some preferred a don't ask-don't tell policy, while others wouldn't touch a hamburger unless the cow could be identified, which brought us round to Red Barn Beef here in Dripping Springs. On a working cattle ranch in operation since 1934, the grass-fed beef is "produced with humane, sustainable, and natural methods". The beef can be ordered directly from Red Barn Beef (see their website here for minimum quantities and ordering details) and we're getting word that Onion Creek Farm may also have some available for purchase shortly (we'll keep you posted).

For information on more local products like Red Barn Beef, be sure and check out DrippingThings.com.

DECISION ON NEW SHERIFF NEXT WEEK?

Following the death of Sheriff Allen Bridges, it will be up to the Hays County commissioners to appoint the new sheriff. It looks like a decision could be made early next week. Bridges' family members have indicated their support for Chief Deputy Sherman Brodbeck.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

CAN YOU SMELL THE FRIES?

We're getting word that the new McDonald's is this close to opening.

STORYTIME AT THE LIBRARY

For those with young kiddoes, the Dripping Springs Community Library does "storytime" every Tuesday. Today's storytime with "Ms. Marie" is from 10:30AM - 11:00AM for listeners ages two and up, accompanied by an adult.

Monday, December 15, 2008

DRIPPING GIVING

Dripping Springs photographer Kristen Joy Moore is giving away $1,000 worth of custom photography to a deserving person in the area. She is asking for your nominations. Get all the details on her blog.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

IT'S A BIRD! IT'S A PLANE!...IT'S A BIRD!

Our superstar hummingbird is still in the news! The San Marcos Daily Record has a new story on the rare hummingbird that has made itself at home with Babble reader and Dripping Springs resident Howard Williams. Read the new story here.

Friday, December 12, 2008

DRIPPING EVENTS: THSD OPEN HOUSE

Tomorrow (Saturday), the wonderful Texas Hearing and Service Dogs will hold an open house on their Dripping Springs campus at 4925 Bell Springs Road. The open house is 11:00AM - 2:00PM. THSD trains dogs to assist Texans living with hearing or mobility challenges. Call 512-858-1495 for more information on the open house, and learn more about this inspiring charity at ServiceDogs.org.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

SHERIFF BRIDGES LAID TO REST

The Statesman has a nice report on the funeral yesterday for Sheriff Allen Bridges. Read it here.

Reports we received from law enforcement relatives in the procession to Dripping Springs (estimated to have stretched out over 4 miles), and those lining the roadsides as it passed, all echoed the enormity and emotion of the moment.

Sheriff Bridges' obituary is online here.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

DRIPPING DREAMS

Thanks to all who have submitted their "Dripping Dreams". We've received quite a few and hope they'll keep coming throughout December. We'll do a wrap-up first of January. But, we just couldn't keep this wonderful dream to ourselves until then:

"A DANCE HALL! Please Santa, bring Drippin' a dance hall where we can scoot our boots to Texas Swing! Oh, and Santa, please please please make sure it has a wood dance floor."

Thanks for the dream, "T"!

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Christmas is a time of dreams and wishes, what do you wish for Dripping Springs? A lower speed limit through town on 290? A brewpub? Another bank? Not another bank? A dog park? Send us your thoughts at driptips@gmail.com (names and addresses in emails will be kept private).
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FOUND DOG

An older female short haired dachshund found her way to another porch near Hamilton Pool Road in the storm last night. She has a collar but no tag.

UPDATE: OWNER FOUND!

QUICK DRIP: ROLLING IN THYME & DOUGH ON THURSDAY NIGHTS!

It's no secret the Babble love for Rolling in Thyme & Dough, so we were very excited to learn that, starting tomorrow night (December 11), Rolling in Thyme & Dough will open every Thursday evening from 6:00PM - 9:00PM serving coffee, savory and sweet treats, and featuring an open mic. They have expanded seating by adding tables inside and a patio heater on the new deck.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

DRIPPING CHRISTMAS: HOLIDAY MAGIC JUST DOWN THE ROAD

Austin has the Trail of Lights. We have the Templeton lights.

And if you think that’s not saying much, just let the sun set and then take a short drive to Driftwood. Hill Country holiday magic lies just down Ranch Road 12.

Judy and Bobbie Templeton have lived near Dripping Springs on Elder Hill Road in Driftwood for 35 years and, for the past 34 years, they have lit up their property every Christmas with an ever-growing holiday display. Now entailing at least 33,000 lights (conservative estimate) festooned across approximately 3 acres, the Templetons are once again spreading their Christmas joy.

Beginning around November 1st of each year, wife Judy starts wrapping trees, testing timers, and checking lights. The week before Thanksgiving, husband Bobbie takes a few days off work to run wiring and set up their burgeoning collection of lighted figures. Start to finish, the couple estimates it takes about 2 full weeks to get everything up and running. Just setting up the electricity takes a couple of days.

The Christmas light tradition began humbly enough in 1974, with Judy painting reindeer made from plywood Bobbie had cut with a jig saw. Simple spotlights were the only electrical concerns then. But, about 10 years ago at a garage sale, they purchased a couple of light-wrapped wire deer and the rest, as they say, is history. The Templetons try to add a new feature every year (to accommodate their holiday lights collection they’ve built dedicated storage rooms in their big barn). The new feature of this Christmas season is a 10 foot trellis with more than 1,200 lights flashing on and off to 20 different Christmas songs.

They make no money from their efforts (only spend it) and every year brings blown breakers and fuses and plotting an intricate maze of extension cords and time clocks (not that they’re complaining), so why do they it?

“We just want to wish everyone that passes on our country road a very merry Christmas and a happy new year,” says Judy. “We hope our lights bring them a smile.”

To see the magical display, driving from Dripping Springs, take RR 12 headed toward Wimberley. From the intersection of 290 and RR 12 it’s about 6 miles to Elder Hill Road (the Driftwood Vineyards turn off), take a left. Drive a couple of miles up Elder Hill Road. You’ll know it when you see it.

The Templetons keep the light display turned on every evening during the Christmas season from about 5:45PM to 10:00PM.

UPDATE: Judy wanted to make sure that the other spirited Driftwood folks get recognized. In "downtown" Driftwood, at the intersection of 150 and Elder Hill, just 1.5 miles from the Templeton home, the old Masonic Lodge built in 1924 (now Chic + Green) is done in lights and the Methodist church next door, built in 1884, has also turned out the Christmas spirit. From Dripping Springs, you can also get to Driftwood by taking RR 12 to FM 150. "Downtown" Driftwood is at the intersection of FM 150 and Elder Hill Road.

DRIPPING DREAMS

Christmas is a time of dreams and wishes, what do you wish for Dripping Springs? A lower speed limit through town on 290? A brewpub? Another bank? Not another bank? A dog park? Send us your thoughts at driptips@gmail.com (names and addresses in emails will be kept private).

Monday, December 8, 2008

CATTLE DUMPING ON PURSLEY ROAD

Over the past week, dead, apparently diseased cattle have been illegally dumped on property along Pursley Road in Dripping Springs. If you have any information regarding this crime, please contact the Hays County Sheriff's office at their non-emergency number: 512-393-7896.

SERVICES FOR SHERIFF BRIDGES

Funeral services for Sheriff Allen Bridges, who passed away Saturday, will be on Wednesday at 10:00AM at First Baptist Church San Marcos. Sheriff Bridges will be buried here in Dripping Springs at Phillips Cemetery (intersection of RR 12 and FM 150).

Visitation is scheduled from 4:00PM - 7:00PM on Tuesday at Thomason Funeral Home in San Marcos (2001 RR 12, 512-396-2300).

Saturday, December 6, 2008

HAYS COUNTY SHERIFF ALLEN BRIDGES DIES

Hays County Sheriff and Dripping Springs resident Allen Bridges died early this morning. Update from News 8 Austin:

"According to Hays County Public Information Officer Leroy Opiela, last night Sheriff Bridges spoke at a Brown Santa fundraiser then went home. It was there that he collapsed. His family tried to revive him using CPR and called an ambulance. Sheriff Bridges was taken to South Austin Medical Center where he died...Bridges was a resident of Dripping Springs for 21 years. He leaves behind his wife Kathy, four daughters, one son and eleven grandchildren...Sheriff Allen Bridges was 63 years old."

Read the complete News 8 Austin report here.

Our thoughts are with the Bridges family.

STATESMAN REPORTS SHERIFF ALLEN BRIDGES DIES

The Statesman is reporting that our Hays County Sheriff Allen Bridges passed away at 12:15AM this morning. Awaiting details.

Friday, December 5, 2008

BREAKING: MCDONALD'S OPENING NEXT WEEK?

We're getting word that the new Dripping Springs McDonald's could be opening Wednesday or Thursday of next week. Looks like that's what they're shooting for. Further word is that this McDonald's is making an extra effort in the appearance department. Sounds like we should soon see. We'll keep you posted.

DRIPPING CHANGES: NEW POST OFFICE

Inquiring minds have asked us what is going in on the property next to Security State Bank between Highway 290 and Old Highway 290 Road, near the Hidden Springs and Meadow Oaks neighborhoods. We checked in with the always helpful and knowledgeable Jon Thompson, City of Dripping Springs Development Coordinator, and the answer is a new post office. They are scheduled to be open this time next year, just in time for the 2009 Christmas rush.

DRIPPING EVENTS: THIS VERY MERRY SATURDAY

Dripping Springs is Dripping Christmas all day tomorrow, Saturday December 6th:

CHRISTMAS ON MERCER STREET
Date: Saturday, December 6
Time: 10:00AM - 5:00PM
Location: Downtown Dripping Springs

FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY ANNUAL CHRISTMAS TOUR OF HOMES
Date: Saturday, December 6
Time: 10:00AM - 5:00PM
Location: Around Dripping Springs

3RD ANNUAL PULLING TOGETHER ART BENEFIT
Date: Saturday, December 6
Time: 10:00AM - 6:00PM
Location: The Gallery of the Republic (2600 Highway 290 West)

CHRISTMAS ON MERCER STREET LIGHTING OF THE TREE CEREMONY
Date: Saturday, December 6
Time: 6:30PM
Location: "The Triangle" (290 @ RR 12)

Get all the detail for these and more under "Events" on DrippingThings.com.

And if you're in Austin around 3:00PM, don't miss Dripping poet Nancy Fierstien at Book People (6th and Lamar).

Thursday, December 4, 2008

DRIPPING HELP: MOBILE HOME TRAGEDY AFTERMATH

As was widely reported, on November 10th a tragedy occured at Terry's Mobile Home Park on RR 12 here in Dripping Springs. That morning, a man took a female hostage in one of the homes, leading to a SWAT stand-off, ultimately ending with multiple rounds of tear gas being shot into the home and the man committing suicide. The story was told that day, and we heard nothing more on the matter. Until today, when we learned the ripple effect of that tragedy.

The mobile home where the events took place is owned by a 60 year old woman who has lived in the park for 30 years. She had recently paid off the home and lived there with her granddaughter, the female taken hostage. In the wake of the tear gas shot into the home, it became uninhabitable (not to mention the trauma of splattered blood from the suicide). The powerful chemicals in tear gas linger long after the event, invading the walls of the home and causing eye irritations and respiratory distress. Crime scene clean up companies specialize in tear gas clean up, but at a considerable cost. With her home uninhabitable due to the toxic tear gas and associated damage, the grandmother sought victim's assistance help but was reportendly denied. Now, friends are seeking help for her. If anyone has any suggestions or ideas on how to get this long-time Dripping Springs resident back into a home, please call family friend Jana Erickson at 512-496-5338. And, be sure and keep the Babble updated on your efforts.

STORY CORRECTION: The grandmother's daughter was the female taken hostage, not her granddaughter who lives with her grandmother.

DRIPPING POETS: NANCY FIERSTIEN

There is so much going on in Dripping Springs this Saturday (more on that tomorrow), we didn't want to let local poet Nancy Fierstein's reading in Austin to get lost in the crowd. Nancy will be one of the featured poets reading from the 2009 Texas Poetry Calendar, beginning at 3:00PM on Saturday at Book People (6th and Lamar in Austin). As many know, Nancy hosts the "Thirsty Thursday" poetry readings here in Dripping. Information on the next Thirsty Thursday in January and more 2009 events will be coming soon on DrippingThings.com (and while you're there sign up for the email updates to receive weekly event and other local updates and reminders).

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

QUICK DRIP: DRIPPING SPRINGS HOME CENTER

The sign is up, along with leasing information contact, for the "Dripping Springs Home Center", the new Whit Hanks' retail center in the former Dripping Springs True Value Hardware location

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

TOUR DE DRIP: HOMEBOY LANCE CONFIRMS TOUR DE FRANCE RETURN

As we've mentioned before, Babble founders are Tour de France junkies. One has followed the Tour for more than 20 years. As of yesterday, homeboy Lance Armstrong's spokeman confirmed he will be riding in the 2009 Tour. The Dripping Springs connection as reason to obsess over the Tour is also now confirmed.

Monday, December 1, 2008

DRIPPING TREES: STRIPPING TREES

Creek Road residents rallied today to halt the County's tree cutting on their road. Having witnessed the over-cutting or "skinning" of trees from other Dripping Springs roads, the Creek Road residents quickly formed a coalition and, thanks to their concerted efforts throughout this morning, the cutting crews were pulled from Creek Road just a short time ago. No more cutting will take place until our County Commissioner Karen Ford has driven the road with the project engineer. Creek Road residents urge those affected by the County tree cutting to contact Ford and express your concern over the amount of trees being cut and the cutting methodology. The residents raise concerns over increased speeding along the road due to the increased openness and, at a time when the county is in the throes of a tree disease epidemic, it would seem greater care and preservation would be observed.

Karen Ford
County Commissioner, Precint 4
karen.ford@co.hays.tx.us
512-858-7268

DRIPPING TREES: DROOPING TREES

The City of Dripping Springs Community Newsletter has an informative article on oak wilt, the destructive tree disease that has left an unfortunate and indelible mark on the Dripping Springs tree population and our landscape. Many new Central Texas residents (as well as old-timers) are not aware of their ability to stop (and spread) the epidemic that has killed more than 1 million trees in 70 Central Texas counties. If you received the newsletter in the mail, be sure and check out the article and the timely tips for helping manage oak wilt. If you did not receive the newsletter, or if you want to learn more, visit www.texasoakwilt.org. Highlights for helping prevent the spread include least hazardous times of year to prune (such as coldest days of midwinter) and the importance of immediately painting all wounds on oaks. Even if you know about oak wilt, your neighbors may not and oak wilt spreads via a vast interconnected root system. What we must do is spread this information.

The oak wilt problem is a serious one, affecting not only the beauty of our landscape, but our land values as well. Indeed, the Dripping Springs City Council is considering adopting a disesed tree ordinance to help prevent the spread of oak wilt. A free workshop on Managing Oak Wilt will be presented at City Hall in January, but don't wait until then to learn more.

QUICK DRIP: KOI-RIOSITY

The sign for Koi Lantern has gone up at the new "Shops at the Springs" (where the McDonald's will be) and, for the curious, it will be a restaurant with an "Asian-inspired" menu. Koi Lantern is scheduled to open in 2009.