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Northeast News

CASTLEWOOD CIVIC CLUB MEETING

The next meeting is scheduled on Tuesday, June 26, 2018, at 6:30 p.m. to be held at East Aldine Management Offices, 5333 Aldine Mail Rt. (next to Jed’s Hardware).  The speaker will be Mr. Vince Ryan, Harris County Attorney, who will introduce his office and the many topics their staff attorneys can speak about upon request.  There will be a Q & A session afterwards so please come prepared to participate.  Meetings are open to the public.

Contacts: Connie Esparza, Treasurer: (832) 306-0231 and Carmen Schnur, Secretary: (832) 443-7541.

Judge Emmett speaks on $2.5 billion flood bonds

Judge Ed Emmett speaking at the Rotary Club of Houston last week.

HOUSTON – In a wide ranging talk before the Rotary Club of Houston, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett spoke about a number of topics of interest. He started by talking about his appreciation for the work that Rotary does in the community, and across the world. He gave examples from his own experience of how he has been touched by and involved in this work.

Then he spoke about the upcoming $2.5 billion bond issue that will be on the ballot in a special election on August 25th. He explained that the date is the one year anniversary of the devastation when Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coast, causing flooding throughout Harris County and other parts of the state.

“Harvey changed a lot of lives,” he said. He noted that 154,000 homes in Harris County and Houston flooded. The Hurricane dropped 51” of rain in a four day period. Many homes were destroyed or made unlivable, and there were many deaths in the flood waters.

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First allocation of funds available for voluntary home buyouts due to Hurricane Harvey flooding

The map below indicates where these approximately 169 homes are located within Harris County.

HARRIS COUNTY, TX – Since Hurricane Harvey made landfall in August 2017, the Harris County Flood Control District has been working with its many local, state, and federal partners to address the flood risk reduction needs of the county. This includes responding to and addressing volunteers for the Flood Control District Home Buyout Program by maintaining a Home Buyout Hotline, collecting information from thousands of home buyout volunteers, reviewing and identifying properties that meet the Flood Control District Home Buyout eligibility criteria, and submitting grant applications for funding to support home buyouts in response to Hurricane Harvey.

Home buyouts are used by the Flood Control District to reduce flood damages in areas hopelessly deep in the floodplain where structural projects to reduce flooding are not cost effective and/or beneficial. Since the Flood Control District’s voluntary buyout program began in 1985, more than 2,075 structures have been purchased with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grants and more than 960 properties (with and without structures) have been purchased with local Flood Control District funds.

As announced by the Texas Division of Emergency Management, Harris County will receive its first allocation of FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds in response to Hurricane Harvey. $25.6 million are estimated to be received out of the total $163.5 million that the Flood Control District requested for home buyouts through HMGP. The Flood Control District will be able to purchase approximately 169 homes with $8.6 million required local matching funds and the $25.6 million in HMGP funds. Additional funding allocations from the same grant application are expected later this year.

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Aldine says “goodbye” to Wanda & Archie

Superintendents Archie Blanson and Wanda Bamberg were presented with framed histories of their early years in education, and subsequent years as they developed at Aldine ISD.

Two beloved superintendents set to retire

Campbell Center was the scene of a Gala Celebration last Thursday afternoon, as the Aldine ISD community and others paid tribute to the years of dedication and leadership provided to the district by two retiring superintendents, Dr. Wanda Bamberg, and Deputy Superintendent Archie Blanson.

Several hundred Aldine staff, guests, family, and the public were present and seated at beautifully decorated tables on the floor of the center. Before the celebration the audience was entertained by the Eisenhower Jazz Band, and near the end by the MacArthur Show Choir. These presentations were a hallmark of Dr. Bamberg’s public presentations, and fitting accompaniment to the program. Dr. Bamberg is also known for keynoting her talks with readings from a book she has chosen for the occasion, and so this time there was a reading from “Collectors Collect Things” in this case words leading to their use and education.

The program was actually a combination of a Toast, and a Roast, as many of the superintendents’ colleagues took the opportunity to describe with humor some of the foibles the pair had faced over the years.

There were many speakers who added to the legacy of the pair, some with insight, some with humor, or both. These included school board president Steve Mead, board member Rose Avalos, associates Bill Plummer and Raymond Stubblefield. In addition, there were a number of certificates of appreciation presented by officials, including representatives from Congresspersons Gene Green and Sheila Jackson Lee, and a thank you talk in person by State Senator Sylvia Garcia, saying Wanda is known through the state of Texas at the top of her profession.

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Commissioner Rodney Ellis and Harris County Street Olympics Officials Kick-off Exciting Summer Games

Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis and State Rep. Ana Hernandez get Hula Hoop tips from youth who participated in the Harris County Street Olympics Summer Games kickoff on Tuesday.

Young Athletes Light Olympic Flame and Demonstrate “Street Games” that will Keep them Engaged in Positive Activities this Summer

Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis, joined by about 80 young athletes demonstrating “street games,” on Tuesday kicked off the 32nd annual Street Olympics Summer Games.

Street Olympics officials and sponsors assisted Commissioner Ellis at Mickey Leland Memorial Park to highlight the exciting Olympic-style competition that begins June 9 at 90 Houston-area youth agencies, including three operated by Precinct One. Three youth also lit the Olympic flame.

About 5,000 Houston-area youth, ages 6-17, are expected to participate in the Summer Games, Discovery Camp, 3-on-3 Basketball, and Harris County Aquatics Program’s Learn-to-Swim classes over an eight-week period. The Summer Games culminate in the Final Event, Bright Futures Fair and the closing ceremonies’ “Parade of Champions” on Aug. 3 at NRG Arena.

“I want to let you know that Street Olympics programs are about more than just games,” Commissioner Ellis said. “We are using sporting games to teach our youth about life, which involves teamwork, competition, self-esteem, discipline and confidence.”

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Run-off election sets slate for November, Cantu wins position

Richard Cantu won his bid for Democrat candidate for County School Trustee

The May 22nd Run-off election only turned out about 1.5% of the eligible voters, but the results were significant for several races of local interest.

For Harris County School Trustee at Large, Richard Cantu won his race against Josh Wallenstein. Although it was a nail-biter, with the lead changing all night, nevertheless when all the votes were counted, Cantu had 50.25% or 26,014 votes, and Wallenstein had 49.75% or 25,780 votes. Cantu will go on to challenge the Republican candidate in the general election in November.

Cantu issued a statement thanking his supporters, as follows: “We did it!! Thanks to the voters of Harris County, I will move on to the November General Election as the Democratic nominee for Harris County School Trustee. Position 3 (AtLarge)!

This campaign was about our 3 and 4 year-olds that need someone to fight for them, for the teens that need more options to engage them afterschool, for the hardworking families that need more opportunities to earn more and can only get there by learning more, and for the indispensable teachers that deserve to have the absolute best training and resources available to be able to produce the Nation’s best!

I’m so thankful to our friends and family for their encouragement, and financial support; our campaign was successful because you believed in our vision! I’m also extremely grateful to my wife, Thelma, for her unwavering love and support throughout this adventure!

#ThankYouHarrisCounty #Cantu4HCDE#3.”

In the run-off on the Republican ticket, for Gene Green’s seat in TX-29, Phillip Aronoff won with 51.87% or 1,151 votes, and Carmen Montiel lost with 48.13% or 1,068 votes. Aronoff will face Democrat Sylvia Garcia in the general election in November.

Aldine ISD will serve up good nutrition for local children this summer

Bringing healthy summer meals to children ensures kids have a healthy vacation and return to school ready to learn.

Aldine Child Nutrition Services will connect children 18-years-old and younger with healthy Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) meals at no cost to the child beginning June 5, at 18 sites.

SFSP is a U.S. Department of Agriculture nutrition program administered in the Lone Star State by the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA). For the children who rely on school meals during the academic year, these meals offer a source of good nutrition when school is out for the long summer vacation.

“Aldine children need good nutrition year-round so they can learn, grow and succeed in life,” said Dani Sheffield, Executive Director for Child Nutrition Services. “With nearly 2 million food insecure children living in Texas, these healthy meals are vital to nourishing young Texans during the summer vacation.”

Specific schools sites can be found on the Child Nutrition website, www.aldinecafe.com. Meal Services times are scheduled by each school site.

Families are encouraged to use these three tools to find a meal site anywhere in the state:

• Call 2-1-1 to speak to a live operator

• Visit www.SummerFood.org for an interactive site locator map

• Text FOODTX to 877877

Summer food program meal sites help children succeed by providing the nourishment they need to return to school in the fall ready to thrive.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Top 10 Aldine ISD Students set for graduation this week

Graduations

• Thursday, May 31 – Lane School Graduation, Hall Center for Education, 5:30 p.m.

• Thursday, May 31 – MacArthur High School Graduation, M.O. Campbell Educational Center, 7 p.m.

• Friday, June 1 – Hall Center for Education Graduation, M.O. Campbell Educational Center, 6 p.m.

• Friday, June 1 – Davis High School Graduation, M.O. Campbell Educational Center, 7:30 p.m.

• Saturday, June 2 – Aldine High School Graduation, M.O. Campbell Educational Center, 8 a.m.

• Saturday, June 2 – Carver High School Graduation, M.O. Campbell Educational Center, 10:30 a.m.

• Saturday, June 2 – Nimitz High School Graduation, M.O. Campbell Educational Center, 1 p.m.

• Saturday, June 2 – Eisenhower High School Graduation, M.O. Campbell Educational Center, 4:30 p.m.

• Saturday, June 2 – Victory Early College High School Graduation, M.O. Campbell Educational Center, 7 p.m.

School districts deal with threats, including Aldine

Alleged Threat to Aldine HS student Warnesha Crawford. (Image courtesy KRIV)

HARRIS COUNTY – Following the school shooting in Santa Fe last week, authorities report that there has been an increase in threats recorded across many schools in the county.

At least seven school districts in the area have had to deal with threats, by searching for senders, sending additional police, and hardening security features. Districts with problems included Clear Creek and Huffman, where students had guns, Cleveland where a student had a gun replica, and YES Prep West, Crosby, La Marque, and Aldine where threats were recorded.

The Harris County District Attorney’s office has reported that they filed charges against 24 students since last week’s shooting at Santa Fe. Most of these were against kids whose ages were from 12 to 16, but some were as young as 10.

John Jordan of the DA’s office said that it was imperative that these cases be filed, to protect other teachers and students. If a potential problem is seen, it must be reported and investigated, he said, “because you never know who the next shooter is going to be.” In Aldine, channel 26 Fox new’s Randy Wallace reported that a student, Warnesha Crawford, had received a threatening text from a fellow student that she claimed had been bullying her. She identified the student to school authorities, but her mother claimed they did not take the appropriate action, and the sender was still in school.

Aldine ISD officials issued a statement saying they were aware of the situation and were handling it according to the “student code of conduct.” (more…)

Memorial Day Observed

Memorial Day was observed at the Houston National Cemetery, with speakers including Mayor Sylvester Turner. 80,000 flags were laid at the graves of the fallen servicemen and women.

IN FLANDERS FIELDS
John McCrae, 1872 – 1918

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place, and in the sky,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead; short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe!
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high!
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Walle holds Immigration Forum

NORTHEAST – State Representative Armando Walle hosted a two night Forum last week, on the subject of Immigration and DACA status. The events were held at MacArthur and Aldine High Schools, on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Parents, students, and the public attended, and each program had about 75 to 100 persons in the audience.

Speakers at MacArthur included Walle, Jill Campbell of BakerRipley, Cesar Espinosa of FIEL, and two representatives from the local Mexican Consulate.

The program was presented in both English, and Spanish, with translation for English only speakers.

Topics that were covered included SB4, DACA, Know Your Rights, Immigration information, and Consular Services.

Representative Walle opened the evening with remarks about his own situation as an American with Mexican parents, and problems that his family has had, and how his interest and advocacy was related to that background. He also noted that the majority of his constituents were os Hispanic heritage. He explained that the meeting would give information on two important topics, SB4 or the “Show Me Your Papers” Texas law, and DACA or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. He said that because of SB4, in Texas it is okay for the police to ask about your immigration status if you are stopped for a violation. But you have the right to remain silent, and not answer any questions except to identify yourself. Cards were available with all the answers to “Know Your Rights” which are fairly complicated.

Jill Campbell of BakerRipley made an extensive presentation on Immigration help, and ways to avoid deportation. She indicated that anyone that needed help could contact BakerRipley at 713-273-3707 for free legal help on DACA renewal assistance. Offices are on Navigation Blvd., and Rookin Streer. When the Town Center is finished in East Aldine, there will be an immigration office in the BakerRipley complex, too.

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