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The Gazette

The Gazette A Newsletter for the Residents of Westminster Glen April 2010

We are dedicated to promoting drowning prevention and helping equip residents with the best tools to keep families safe in and around water. 1. Always have a pool gate around home pools. This includes having a locked and securely fastened gate that is not accessible to little ones. 2. Continuously educate children on water safety. This is a great thing to do at home, on the boat, at the pool, wherever there is water. Each time you are getting your little one ready for a swim session or water play, go over the Copyright © 2010 Peel, Inc.

rules of water safety. Repetition is key with small children. Make sure your swim instructor incorporates a “Safety Lesson of the Week” into its lesson curriculum. This includes questions about water safety and how to avoid dangerous situations. 3. Designate a “Water Watcher.” This is a responsible adult who sticks to alcoholfree beverages during swim time and who is in charge of keeping both eyes on the pool while it is in use. Or, better yet: consider renting a Lifeguard for your party or group event.

Volume 2, Issue 4

4. Remove all pool toys, floaters, ring buoys and other child-enticing items from the pool area when it is not in use. One wrong reach for that floating rubber ducky could be disaster. 5. Clear homes of common household items that can be dangerous to a curious toddler. It takes just 2 inches of water for a child to drown in a bucket. Put all mop buckets, dog dishes and coolers out of children’s reach. 6. Never leave a young child in the pool or bathtub--even “just to get the phone.” 7. Enroll your child in swim classes. Start lessons early. The longer a child has lessons the more they understand water safety. A great time to do this is in the spring! This way your kids are already prepped and ready to roll for the summer swim season. You’ll want to find an inside heated pool and lesson times geared towards working families. 8.  Supervise, Supervise, Supervise! Try to have your eyes on your children in and around the pool at all times. Adults should always be present when any child is in the pool area. Let’s help our kids love the water while also respecting it by being safe and well-trained at all levels. Submitted by Lynn Neillie The Gazette - April 2010



The Gazette mission statement The Gazette, For Westminster Glen

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The mission of The Gazette is to provide the Westminster Glen Community with one source of local news content that is written by Westminster Glen residents. Our goal is to help build the community by connecting local businesses with residents and residents with relevant neighborhood information. "Be the community."

advertising info Please support the advertisers that make The Gazette possible. If you would like to support the newsletter by advertising, please contact our sales office at 512-263-9181 or [email protected] The advertising deadline is the 8th of the month prior to the issue.

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The Gazette AUSTIN CURRENTS

Bluebonnet Photo Time

Many families return to the same spot each year to take family pictures in the bluebonnets which spring up all over Central Texas. Bluebonnets are some of the first flowers to open; when the bluebonnets come out, you know that winter is effectively over and spring is coming fast.  The State of Texas plants seeds along our highways so that many can enjoy the blooms.  The strength of bluebonnet blooms is in part based on how much rain was received in the fall, and to a lesser extent the rain over the early spring time. Some of the better places to see carpets of bluebonnets are along Lake Buchanan, especially along RR 2341 and Graphite Mine Rd.  A closer trip is just going to Burnet, and looking along TX 29.  Or head out TX 71 toward Johnson City.  Be sure to park well off the

roadway for safety and do not enter private property without prior written permission. If you want to get great pictures, I recommend either staying really low or shooting from above.  Staying low concentrates the bluebonnet’s color in the back of your subjects, but can include distracting features such as fences and power lines.  When shooting from a point above and in front of your subjects, you can make them seem to float in a pool of bluebonnets because there is nothing else in the picture but them and the flowers.  Early and late are best, but if you must take pictures during the middle of the day, try using a flash to fill in the shadows under your subjects’ noses, chin and eyes. - Submitted by Rich Keith

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The Gazette - April 2010



The Gazette COUNTY SEEKS TO REGISTER THOSE AGED 18-25:

Challenge 10,000 Is Here!

 Only 29% of young Travis County citizens age 18 - 25 are registered to vote and officials aim to change that fact starting today. Challenge 10,000 seeks to collaborate with individuals and groups for the purpose of increasing voter registration among young adults. The goal is 10,000 new voters by October 4, 2010 which is the deadline to register for voting in the November election. The low rate among young adults stands in stark contrast to the overall voter registration rate for Travis County: 95%. I encourage all young adults to register and vote, and to make sure their friends do the same, said Nelda Wells Spears, Voter Registrar. Voter registration connects the individual to government decision making in a unique way; I believe young voters desire equal participation but need encouragement to get registered and vote.  Over the next six months, several voter registration drives associated with festivals and other events will target young adults. Other efforts will focus on institutionalizing voter registration in organizations and places popular with young adults. Challenge 10,000 invites all to download a PARTICIPATION KIT from www.traviscountytax.org/goVotersVDR.do Participants

can increase their effectiveness as volunteers by signing up as a Volunteer Deputy Registrar or VDR. VDRs receive training to register a citizen to vote and accept the application on behalf of the Voter Registrar. VDRs increase effectiveness by catching errors and making sure the application gets to the voter registrars office quickly. Applying to be a voter requires citizenship, age 18, residency in Travis County and a drivers license or social security number. Applications are on display throughout the county at many post offices, public libraries, grocery stores and online at www. traviscountytax.org . Upon receipt of a completed application, the voter receives a voter certificate by mail within 30 days. Voters who believe they have registered but are unsure may check their voter registration status online at www.traviscountytax.org The most common error, an outdated residence address, can be corrected easily online if the move was within Travis County at https://www. texasonline.state.tx.us/tolapp/sos/SOSACManager Others may update address, name or any other part of the voter record by simply completing an application. (Continued on Page 5)

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The Gazette County Seeks To Register - (Continued from Page 4) For assistance with the Challenge 10,000 effort or any other question regarding voter registration, contact the help line at 8549473 or click on www.traviscountytax.org FACT SHEET 1. # OF REGISTERED VOTERS IN TRAVIS COUNTY = 587,151 2. # OF REGISTERED VOTERS IN TRAVIS COUNTY AGE 18 - 25 = 78,885 3. # OF VOLUNTEER DEPUTY REGISTRARS IN TRAVIS COUNTY = 788 4. EVENTS SCHEDULED FOR VOTER DRIVES: - Galindo Health Fair / Galindo Elementary March 26, 2010 - St. James 5K Run / March 27, 2010 - Turfcats Home Opener / April 12, 2010 - Cinco de Mayo Celebration / Univision / May 2, 2010 - Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Celebration / May 14, 2010 5. PARTICIPANTS IN CHALLENGE 10,000: ·AnotherOptionProduction ·UTVotes ·Organizing for America ·Austin Community College Men of Distinction

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The Gazette - April 2010



The Gazette FINANCIAL FOCUS

Put Your Tax Refund to Work

It’s Tax Refund Season again. This year, if you’re going to get a check from your Uncle Sam, why not put it to work to help you meet your financial goals? Last year, the average tax refund was more than $2,700, according to the IRS. The size of your refund, or whether you will get one at all, depends on your individual circumstances. But if you are going to get a refund, plan ahead for what you’ll do with it. Here are a few possibilities: • Pay down some debts. In these difficult economic times, you may be carrying a higher debt load than usual. If so, you may want to use some of your refund to pay down some of these debts. The lower your debt payments, the better your cash flow and the more money you’ll have to invest for the future.

• Build an emergency fund. If you don’t already have an emergency fund containing six to 12 months’ worth of living expenses, you could use your tax refund to start one. Without such a fund, you may find yourself constantly dipping into your long-term investments to pay for unexpected costs, such as a new furnace or an expensive car repair. Keep your emergency fund in



The Gazette - April 2010

a liquid account — one that you don’t draw on for your day-today expenses.

• Help fundyour IRA. In 2010, you can put in up to $5,000 to your IRA. Consequently, if you received a $2,700 refund, you’d have more than half of what you need to fully fund your IRA for the year. (If you’re 50 or older, however, you can contribute up to $6,000 per year.) You might not think that your $2,700 would make much of a difference in the long run. But by investing your refund and giving it many years of growth potential, you could end up with a sizable amount. Consider the following: • If you put $2,700 in your IRA, and you earned, on average, seven percent a year for 30 years, you’d end up with about $20,000, even if you never invested another dime. • If you put $2,700 every year in that same IRA, again earning an average seven percent annual return, you’d end up with more than $270,000 after thirty years. (Continued on Page 7)

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The Gazette Financial Focus- (Continued from Page 6) (These examples are hypothetical illustrations and do not represent any currently available investments.) You’d eventually have to pay taxes on your earnings, typically when you make withdrawals at retirement. And if you qualified for a Roth IRA, you’d never have to pay taxes on your earnings, as long as you had your account for at least five years and didn’t start taking withdrawals until you were at least 59-1/2. • Contribute to a Section 529 plan. If you have children or grandchildren, you may want to establish Section 529 plans to help them pay for college. You can contribute virtually any amount, and the earnings grow tax-free, provided the money is used for higher education expenses. (Withdrawals used for expenses other than qualified education expenses may be subject to federal, state and penalty taxes. Contributions are tax-deductible in certain states for residents who participate in their own state’s plan. Please note that a 529 college savings plan could impact a beneficiary’s ability to qualify for financial aid.) You may be tempted to spend your tax refund on things you want today — but, with a little planning, you can use it for things you need tomorrow.

The Gazette is a private publication published by Peel, Inc. It is not sanctioned by any homeowners association or organization, nor is it subject to the approval of any homeowners association or organization, nor is it intended, nor implied to replace any publication that may be published by or on behalf of any homeowners association or organization. At no time will any source be allowed to use The Gazette contents, or loan said contents, to others in anyway, shape or form, nor in any media, website, print, film, e-mail, electrostatic copy, fax, or etc. for the purpose of solicitation, commercial use, or any use for profit, political campaigns, or other self amplification, under penalty of law without written or expressed permission from Peel, Inc. The information in the newsletter is exclusively for the private use of Peel, Inc. DISCLAIMER: Articles and ads in this newsletter express the opinions of their authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Peel, Inc. or its employees. Peel, Inc. is not responsible for the accuracy of any facts stated in articles submitted by others. The publisher also assumes no responsibility for the advertising content with this publication. All warranties and representations made in the advertising content are solely that of the advertiser and any such claims regarding its content should be taken up with the advertiser. * The publisher assumes no liability with regard to its advertisers for misprints or failure to place advertising in this publication except for the actual cost of such advertising. * Although every effort is taken to avoid mistakes and/or misprints, the publisher assumes no responsibility for any errors of information or typographical mistakes, except as limited to the cost of advertising as stated above or in the case of misinformation, a printed retraction/correction. * Under no circumstances shall the publisher be held liable for incidental or consequential damages, inconvenience, loss of business or services, or any other liabilities from failure to publish, or from failure to publish in a timely manner, except as limited to liabilities stated above.

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