Alamoment: How the Daughters Felt on Receiving Audit Request

Alamoment

The instant when you realize that you are about to be completely and monumentally screwed.

Love this great word coined by a new blog, Portmanteau: The Compoundium, self-described as the:

compilation of several portmanteaus, or “blend[s] of two (or more) words or morphemes and their meanings into one new word.” (Wikipedia)

The Compoundium describes that special Alamoment feeling:

A bright, crisp morning greeted James Whitesides (not to be confused with the Irish poet) as he rose from his post at the mission near San Antonio de Bexar.  Texas had been good to him; the land was cheap and the humidity made his hair very manageable.  The war with Santa Anna hadn’t even wrinkled his disposition.  He took a deep breath and open his sleep-filmed eyes.

And then he looked to the south….

Alamoment:  The feeling experienced by the member of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas who first spied the Texas Attorney General’s fax requesting volumes upon volumes of information to audit the guardians of the Alamo.

While it might seem as though it has been some time since I returned to issues plaguing the Alamo and Alamo Plaza, I secretly have been adding updates at the bottom of older posts.  For example, in older posts about the Alamo and its plaza you can find out that Sam’s the man currently working on sandwich boards on Alamo Plaza; view the Texas Historical Commission’s reactions to the expansion plans the Daughters have for the Alamo grounds; or link to recent news stories and editorials.  I should probably be creating new posts or at least posting these as comments, but then it would seem as though I am talking to myself (which, of course, is what blogging is).

After all, I do not want to seem Alamobsessed (one for The Compoundium?).

July 3 Update:  The big, bad bully Express-News is picking on the Daughters again:

The Daughters also issued a release Friday, accusing the San Antonio Express-News of directing “unrelenting attacks” on the DRT through its articles and editorials.

And while looking for a full copy of the Daughters’ release online, came across the unfortunate news of a setback in fundraising for Alamo preservation in the Dallas Morning News.

Update Added on July 4:  Amazing what Sam Perez has accomplished.  Drove through Alamo Plaza yesterday, fully expecting every single sandwich board (see photos here) to be back in place in the face of every single one of the 50,000 AA conventioneers in town.  After all, Sam would not be out there enforcing the code over the Fourth of July holiday.  But all the sandwich boards were gone, even the ones at the Houston Street establishment next to the Indigo, save one exception:  the monster-sized one outside Pat O’s.  Way to go Sam!  We are still saddled with the unsightly clutter outside Fuddrucker’s and Pat O’s, but this is a remarkable step forward. 

Now, if only the City Manager can charge an equivalent miracle-worker to enforce the multitude of signage violations filling every window pane along the west side of the plaza….

Update on July 7:  As this blogger is but a sophomoric soul, the following represents a comprehensive summary of the “do not do this” lessons one could learn in P.R. 101:

drt response

And the follow-up story in the Dallas Morning News.

Second Update on July 7:  Brian Myler of KSAT-TV has been working on a story on Alamo Plaza signage violations for weeks and reports the City has been issuing citations.  A feature will air during the 10:30 p.m. newscast on Friday, July 9.

Update on July 9The Wall Street Journal

Update on July 10

Update on July 14The “daughter” they wish they never had…. 

Update on July 20KSTX Radio interviews Express-News’ Scott Huddleston; president of DRT unable to find time in her schedule to join them. 

Update on July 25:  These updates tacked onto this blog entry are getting downright cumbersome.  Might have to risk being labeled sophomoricly Alamobsessed and do a full-fledged post soon.  Scott Huddleston writes online:  “Alamo Workers Reassured about Jobs.” 

Update on July 26:  State wants its just desserts à-la-mo-de; opposes DRT trademark application

Update on July 27Follow-Up Alamo Trademark Story

Update on August 1:  This thread keeps going, but it seems so convenient to provide access to the related news reports in one post.  Engineering report returned, and editorial on trademark.

Trademark Update on August 24Dallas Morning News

Update on September 11:   Another linguistic portmanteau from The Compoundium:

Obscenery – “The hotel on the strip was fine, but the view was just awful.”

So we guess we are Alamobsessed with the obscenery dominating the plaza.

Guarding the Guardians

Reporter Scott Huddleston of the San Antonio Express-News dropped this gem near the end of his story about the Daughters of the Republic of Texas efforts to trademark “The Alamo:”

Along with the “Allies” campaign, which raises money for Alamo preservation, operations and educational programs, the DRT hopes to collect funds for a new library building on the grounds that eventually could stand seven stories high.

Seven stories high?  And I have been blogging over a banner blocking the entrance to the grounds and the pop-up on the plaza?

Surely San Antonio’s viewshed ordinance protects us from these guardians in need of guarding: 

The purpose of a Viewshed Protection district is to establish regulations to protect, preserve, and enhance views and vistas. The City of San Antonio has many views and vistas of historic places, landmark buildings, and other sites of cultural importance which have always been important to the city.  These views will continue to be amenities and assets of great value to the city, its people, and its economy. 

New development in the vicinity of these important places is usually beneficial, but when construction becomes too tall and begins to overwhelm or intrude, in scale and mass, the main view or vista of a smaller place of significance, then the viewshed located behind the significant property should be protected. 

Viewshed Protection districts are overlay districts that will be used primarily for unique situations regarding views and vistas that are not adequately covered by the standard zoning districts.  No part of a new structure, sign, tower, roof top equipment, or other appurtenance shall be permitted to encroach into any designated viewshed as set forth in this ordinance unless an encroachment was approved legally before the effective date of the Viewshed Protection ordinance.  If the maximum height allowed in any zoning district within the city differs from the height permitted by a protection district, the more restrictive height limitation shall apply.

San Antonio currently has one (1) Viewshed Protection district: Alamo Viewshed (VP-1).  This Viewshed Protection district lies behind the main entrance to the front door of the Mission San Antonio de Valero (The Alamo), a local Exceptional Landmark and a National Historic Landmark.  A brass disc monument named VP-1, Alamo Viewshed, has been set to mark the viewpoint origination in Alamo Plaza in front of the Alamo Chapel….
(see Ch. 35-337 of the Unified Development Code for full boundary description).

If not, fix it quickly.

May 13 Update“Another Battle Brews at The Alamo”

June 1 Update:  The Texas Historical Commission’s response to DRT’s plans:  page 1, page 2 and page 3

October 28 Update:  The Daughters of the Republic of Texas are only $40 million away from building a three-story addition to the Alamo grounds….