Jan 122017
 
The agenda for the January 16, 2017 SMVE Board of Directors meeting has been posted on the Board Meetings page and is available to homeowners who login to the website.  Other materials such as financial reports and policy changes are attached to the agenda. Consider printing a copy and bringing it with you to the meeting as we will not provide additional copies at the board meeting.

Jan 082017
 

We’re so lucky to live in SMVE where we’re surrounded by open space and can enjoy the diversity of the flora and fauna of the Sonoran Desert. While one member of that fauna, our native white-throated woodrat (aka packrat) can be a nuisance, they serve a purpose in the food chain as prey species for bobcats, coyotes, snakes, hawks and owls.

One of my most memorable Christmas mornings was in 2011 when a mom bobcat left her two teenage kittens in my back yard. My husband and I were entertained for two hours watching their antics–play fighting, cuddling together on our wall, napping and grooming. What photographic subjects they were!

What function do bobcats serve in our community?

Bobcats, like other predatory wildlife, exist to preserve the balance of nature. Wild animals help keep rodent populations such as packrats in check. Communities that attempt to eradicate predators often see an increase in the rodent population, as well as rodent-borne diseases.

What do bobcats eat?

Bobcats eat mostly rodents such as packrats, rabbits, squirrels and less often birds. They’re unlikely to make a meal of your pet because bobcats, like domestic cats, are usually afraid of dogs.

Never trap and relocate bobcats!

If only the mother is trapped and removed, the young will die. If the entire bobcat family is trapped and relocated, often the young are too small to travel with the mother and are left behind to die.

Predator species, such as the bobcat, establish and defend a territory. A female’s territory may be as large as five square miles and females never share a territory with each other. Male territories tend to overlap and may be as large as 25-30 square miles. When a bobcat is relocated to an established territory, the defending bobcat will attack potentially killing, injuring, or driving the relocated bobcat from its new territory. An injured bobcat may not survive because survival depends upon the ability to hunt, capture and kill prey.

Please never kill, remove, poison or injure our native wildlife (except for trapping packrats on your property) without first contacting me at wildlife@smve.org or 520-576-4416 or my husband Ted Forsberg at 520-203-6153. If you can’t reach us, contact a board member before calling a wildlife removal service. See following article on snake issues.

How can you protect pets from bobcats and discourage them and other wildlife from coming into your yard?

  • Bobcats are no threat to humans; they are easily scared away by yelling, clapping your hands, or throwing small rocks at them.
  • Don’t leave pets unattended outdoors.
  • Don’t leave pet food or water outside and remove other food sources, such as fallen fruit.
  • Clean up brushy areas or wood piles and eliminate thick undergrowth in landscaped areas.
  • Always walk your dog on a leash and don’t let it wander close to thick brush.
  • Never encourage or allow your pet to interact with wildlife.
  • Never feed wildlife except birds. And never put poison out for any animal or reptile.
  • If you feed birds, ensure there is no overflowing bird seed on the ground to attract rodents at night.

What if a bobcat has kittens in your yard or on your roof?

Bobcat moms, just like other moms, seek a place safe from predators such as coyotes to have and raise their young. Should that safe place happen to be on your property, they will move on as soon as the young are old enough to travel as a family.

If you don’t leave pets unattended outdoors and the bobcat’s not making a nuisance of itself, why not just reach for your binoculars or camera and enjoy the show? Here at SMVE our goal is to live in harmony with the birds and wildlife around us. Remember, they were here before we moved into their territory.

Jan 082017
 

I realize many people are afraid of snakes; however, they play an important role in our desert ecosystem. One of the main entrees in a snake’s diet is rodents, such as our native white-throated woodrat (aka packrat). When snakes are killed, or removed from SMVE, the packrat population increases. This in turn costs homeowners and our HOA more money for packrat removal. Besides, trying to kill rattlesnakes actually puts you at greater risk than does leaving them alone. Homeowners and renters should tell their landscapers not to kill or injure snakes. Any snake removed from your property must be placed in SMVE common land, such as the wash behind your home.

When snakes are killed, or removed from SMVE, the packrat population increases.

While we do have rattlesnakes in our area, the most common being the Western Diamondback, we have other non-venomous snakes as well such as the Gopher (aka Bull) Snake and the Common Kingsnake.

Snakes are amazingly adept at climbing over our brick walls and sometimes appear in our yards or on patios in search of prey. Don’t panic! Snakes will usually move on if left alone. Do not attempt to pick up a snake. If you have a pet, keep it inside if a rattlesnake is in the yard. Learn how to recognize a rattler and distinguish it from a harmless gopher snake. Go to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum website and enter “snakes” in the Search box for useful information.

Even rattlesnakes are unlikely to strike a human unless they feel threatened. They perceive people as predators, not prey, and prefer to avoid us if given the chance.

Other tips for avoiding adverse rattlesnake interactions:

  • Never reach under a bush, into your irrigation control box, or any outdoor dark space without getting a good look first. Use a tool or pole to look under bushes.
  • Always take a flashlight or use the flashlight on your phone when walking outside in the dark; often snakes wander onto our roads for warmth at night.
  • Don’t walk in the desert barefoot or in open-toed shoes.
  • Keep your yard free of brush or rock piles and dense vegetation low to the ground.
  • Don’t leave pets unattended in your yard. If you do, consider snake avoidance training for your dog.
  • If you hear a rattle, the snake is warning you of its presence. STOP and locate the snake so you can avoid it.
  • Never pick up a dead rattlesnake with your hands. It may not be dead, and even if it is, it may still bite (reflexively) and envenomate.
  • Snakes can be active in winter if temperatures reach 70 degrees.

If you need a snake removed from your property, call or text SMVE residents Ted Forsberg at 520-203-6153 or Granny Grant at 301-641-5666 or email snake@smve.org.

We will respond as soon as possible and move the snake to a safe location away from your yard.

While we have many lizard species in our desert environment, the only venomous one is the Gila monster. These slow moving, large heavy-bodied lizards are no threat to humans unless you try to pick one up with your hands or your pet harasses it. If one gets into your yard, the best strategy is to leave it alone as it will move on in search of food or a mate. Gila monsters prey on newborn rodents, rabbits, and hares, ground nesting birds and lizards, as well as eggs from birds, lizards, and snakes. They live in burrows and according to some estimates spend 98 percent of their time in their burrow.

In 1952 the Gila monster became the first venomous animal in North America to be afforded legal protection; it is therefore illegal to collect, kill, or sell them in Arizona.

If you cannot reach either of us and are a Rural /Metro Fire subscriber, call and they will remove the snake for free, but insist that the snake is not harmed and is relocated on SMVE land.

Jan 012017
 

BRING YOUR OWN BEVERAGE and a BRUNCH APPETIZER TO SHARE

Saturday, January 14, 2017

10 a.m. – Noon

SMVE Clubhouse

All SMVE Residents Welcome (Homeowners & Tenants)

Celebrate the New Year and winter Snowbird Season in the neighborhood … join us for BYOB and brunch appetizer at the clubhouse on Saturday, January 14 from 10:00 a.m. – noon. We’ll be enjoying our popular new format as far as seating and eating. This will be the same as the previous two events. Hopefully, weather permitting, we’ll be able to spill out to the Ramada too. We will also have the coffee ready; bring your favorite brunch appetizers to share, and your beverage of choice. Now all we need is for you to join us to help bring in the new year! Looking forward to seeing you.

You are welcome to bring your own drinks. SMVE policy allows alcohol in the clubhouse and under the ramada, but not in the pool areas (per insurance and liability requirements). Thank you for not bringing glass as it is not allowed in the pool area.

You bring: your beverage of choice and a brunch appetizer to share
We provide: coffee, paper cups, napkins, etc.

For questions please contact: Jane Spalding at (520) 615-5036.

Dec 242016
 
Below are some brief highlights from the December board meeting:

  • No significant security issues occurred recently. Board member Joe Steiner reminded us of importance of keeping our street light lit.
  • Palm trees will be trimmed and two will be removed at south pool on December 26th. Tennis players should use caution if accessing the restrooms at south pool during this work.
  • Alert homeowner Andy Sherman reported the sole irrigation leak in the past month. This was particularly appreciated as it was in a spot that did not leak onto road and therefore would not have been obvious to spot.
  • Approximately 134 homeowners have responded and have been included in homeowner directory which is now available online at SMVE.org (You must be logged in to access the directory). Approximately 70 homeowners have not responded. The online directory will be updated periodically as additions or changes occur.
  • Crack sealing of roads occurred Sunday Dec 19th with a piece of Via Sempreverde to be completed this week.
  • Treasurer Larry Spencer reported operating expenses are still running below budget. He reported that approximately 132 homeowners have already paid their first half 2017 dues. Larry continues to investigate liability insurance and a knowledgeable homeowner, Andy Sherman, has volunteered to provide some expertise in this area.
  • New Finance Committee member Tammy Eversole completed a review of the HOA’s financial processes and submitted a report of results. Tammy has volunteered to reconcile accounts to statements to provide additional separation of duties.
  • Phil Mowbray was named Associate Director. He will be running for full Board Member position during the February Election.
  • The Nominating Committee is still seeking volunteers for board and committee positions. Contact Kathy Mitton if you have any interest.

We wish you happy holidays! Stay tuned for the first Board meeting of 2017 on January 16, 2017!

✉ by Kathy Mitton, SMVE Secretary

Phone: (cell)

Dec 162016
 
The agenda for the December 19, 2016 SMVE Board of Directors meeting has been posted on the Board Meetings page and is available to homeowners who login to the website.  Other materials such as financial reports and policy changes are attached to the agenda. Consider printing a copy and bringing it with you to the meeting as we will not provide additional copies at the board meeting.

Dec 022016
 
We have reports of homeowners not receiving email they expect or that their neighbors receive from SMVE.  Here is a brief explanation of two types of notifications we send, where each obtains the email address, and some simple trouble shooting if you are not receiving expected emails.

SMVE sends homeowners two different types of email:

  • “SMVE News Alerts” for items of immediate interest (e.g. notice of road construction, a special event, or newsletter availability). These occur a few times a year.  Alerts are sent from alert@smve.org and are sent to the email address you specified on the Homeowner Information Sheet you filled out when you purchased your home.
  • “Website update emails” are sent each day our website is updated with a new article if you have subscribed to updates (we do encourage you to subscribe).  These emails are sent from mailfeed@smve.org and sent to the address you specified when you subscribed to the website email update service.

Steps to Take if Not Receiving These Emails

1. Check your spam filter.  If you are not receiving one or both of these types of email, check that they have not been caught by a spam filter or placed in a spam or quarantine folder.  Each email provider has its own spam detection tools and many tailor their spam filter to reflect your own email use. Spam filters can change from one day to the next, so receiving one alert does not guarantee the next one will not be treated as spam.

2. Mark SMVE as a “safe sender.”  Most email providers allow you to specify certain email addresses as “safe senders” so that email from that address will (almost) never be placed in your spam folder. To maximize the chance that SMVE News Alerts and website update emails will be delivered successfully, please add alert@smve.org and mailfeed@smve.org to your safe senders list.

Add both “alert@smve.org” and “mailfeed@smve.org” to your safe senders list to ensure you receive these emails.

The method  of identifying a safe sender varies with the email provider.  If you use gmail, you need to create two new contacts, with “alert@smve.org” and “mailfeed@smve.org” as their email addresses.  For other email providers, please see How to add email to safe senders list. This page has detailed instructions for most common email services such as gmail.com, aol.com, msn.com, outlook.com, yahoo.com, etc.

3. Check with the We can check that we have your correct email address(es) in our database for SMVE News Alerts and whether emails have been sent normally.  You may give us several email addresses if you want alerts sent to several addresses. 

We can also check the mailing list for website updates and determine whether you have successfully subscribed to the list.  If you want website update emails sent to several addresses, just subscribe with each address.

Please contact me if you have any problems receiving SMVE emails.  I’ll be happy to work with you to try to resolve the problem.

Nov 292016
 
The new Fall 2016 SMVE Newsletter is now available on the website.  Click here to see the newsletter in website article format. To read the newsletter as a PDF file, first login as a SMVE Homeowner and then click here to read the newsletter.

Nov 292016
 
✉ Guy Scharf, President, SMVE HOA

Phone:

Homeowner Directory: Homeowners have missed the SMVE homeowner directory last published in 2012.  Now, a new SMVE Homeowner Directory is available on our website, where you can look up names or addresses online or print your own copy if you wish. We expect to update this directory throughout the year so new homeowners and any changes will be included quickly.  Just click on the Directory button above to see the new directory page.  Click here to read more about the directory and how to be added or to change your listing.  For those of you without internet access, a printed copy will be available early in 2017.

Please join me in thanking Pam Negri for her work in collecting information for the directory from homeowners.

Website Improvements: You’ll see several other improvements to our website.  A new Calendar page shows both social events and meetings homeowners are welcome to attend.  The cumbersome login procedure has been changed.  Just enter the username and password in the box on the right side of any page and click on the Login button.  You no longer need to login on a separate page and then figure out how to get back to the page you wanted to see.  Finally, the menu buttons at the top and side of each page have been re-arranged to emphasize the pages of most interest to homeowners.

Gratitude: I also want to thank the homeowners who have notified us of problems needing attention.  With 238 homeowners, your 400 pairs of eyes see things we miss, or aren’t there to see.  Whether it is a water leak, garage door left open, a damaged sidewalk, a problem tree, pool problems, or anything else requiring attention, please call any Board member.  We will pass your report to the proper person to take care of the issue.

Roads: Over the next nine months, you will see the first installment on major road improvements.  This winter a pavement contractor will fill the cracks in the roads.  Crack filling helps extend the life of the roads by preventing water from getting underneath the asphalt, where it weakens the base and eventually leads to pavement failure.  Crack filling should be a minor inconvenience as it will require street parking be avoided for some hours in different areas so the cracks can be accessed.  The entire project is expected to take about two days.  We’ll provide full information later.

The biggest project is to repave Paseo Otoño and Via Sempreverde from Paseo Otoño up to the first set of mailboxes.  Paseo Otoño is failing and developing potholes, so is in urgent need of reconstruction.  This work is tentatively planned for May, 2017.  We expect to close the Paseo Otoño entrance from Sunrise for as long as a week.  You will need to enter and leave the HOA via Territory rather than Sunrise.  The parking lot in front of the pool will be closed during construction.  We will be contacting all homeowners as we get nearer to the project date and the complete scope of the project is known.

Finally, all the roads will have a seal coat added in June.  Sealing the roads is an important step in maintaining the roads and extending their life and needs to be done about every four years.  As homeowners who have been here during previous road sealing projects, this is a major inconvenience to all homeowners.  An entire lane of each road must be closed for 24 hours, and traffic patterns have to be adjusted to allow the closures.  The sealing project will require several days, as we rotate the lane closures through all roads.  We schedule this work for June, as there are fewer homeowners in residence and so fewer inconvenienced.  As we get closer to the project date, we’ll let everyone know the closure and traffic control plan.

After these projects, the next repaving is anticipated to be Via Velazquez from Paseo Otoño to the central set of mailboxes.  The condition of the roads over the next years will determine what we repave and when.

Dogs: You’ve read our articles about dog poop before and we thank you for picking up after your dog.  But now we are getting reports from Via Sempreverde that unknown persons, after picking up after their dog and placing the debris in a plastic bag, leave the bag in a driveway or throw it into the bushes in front yards instead of taking it home and disposing of it properly in the trash!  If you see someone doing that, please ask them to dispose of their bag properly. 

Subscribing to Website Updates: Subscribing to website updates (see Subscribe link in right column) is the best way to stay abreast of everything that is happening at SMVE.  Whenever a new article is posted on the website, the next morning we will send you an email with the new articles (but we won’t bother you if there is nothing new).  About 100 people subscribe to these updates.

When you click on the Subscribe link, fill out your email address as requested and submit the request.  The mail system will then send you an email which you must respond to to confirm that you want to be on the list.  If you do not confirm OR you do not receive the confirmation note, then you are not added to the list.  We have received reports of the subscription process not working properly. If you don’t receive the confirmation note OR never get a notice indicating new articles are available, please email or call me so we can fix the problem and add you to the subscription list.