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Posts published in February 2010

East Aldine District recognizes Partners at Awards dinner

NORTHEAST — The East Aldine District took the time to review the accomplishments of the last year, and to announce goals for the coming year, at an Annual Awards Reception & Dinner held last Friday night, Feb. 5th. About 100 persons were in attendance, as hosts David Hawes, Exec. Director, and Clyde Bailey, Chairman, thanked the District’s Partners for their help through this year, and awarded them glass statues in recognition of their work.

In addition, Hawes took the occasion to review the history and success of the district, mentioning that since its inception in 2001, the income stream from sales tax revenue has gone from a few hundred thousand dollars, to $3.4 million last year. All of this money, he explained, is returned to the district in ways that improve the lives and safety of those living here.

A complete 2010 Report to Stakeholders was presented to those attending the dinner and meeting. Copies of this are available from the District office at 5202 Aldine Mail Route. Also, a summary of the major points will be presented in a future Northeast News issue.

In general, Hawes presented progress and goals in the following area:

• Water & Sewer Infrastructure Projects
• Mobility & Transportation Projects
• Parks & Green Space Projects
• Environmental & Urban Design Program
• Business & Economic Development Program
• Security & Public Safety Initiatives
• Facility Development Planning

As part of the evening’s program, Hawes and Bailey presented “Strategic Partners” Awards to those who have participated and helped in the community in the last year.

These went to Capt. Paul Cordova for Public Safety; Janis Jefferson and Fiona Jones and staff from the Harris County Veterinary Services; Sylvia Bolling of Aldine YOUTH for Community and Youth Services; Dr. Stephen Head of Lone Star College-North Harris for Education; Bill Townsend of North Houston Bank, a part of U.S. Bank, for Business; and Shirley Reed for Volunteer of the Year.

In addition, a special Chairman’s Award went to David Hawes from Chairman Clyde Bailey, for the outstanding leadership he had given to the District in the last 9 years. In turn, Hawes thanked his staff and shared his award with them as he presented them to the audience.

Chamber holds legislative breakfast, displays new logos


GREENSPOINT — The newly named Houston Intercontinental Chamber held the first morning breakfast, planned as a regular quarterly networking event for members and guests.

The topic of this breakfast was reports from area legislators, and an introduction to Attorney General candidate Barbara Radnofsky.

State Representative Armando Walle brought the attendees at the breakfast up-to-date on important issues that face the state and will be agenda items for the next session.

These include the need to redistrict after the 2010 Census. With a Texas State House made up of 74 Democrats and 76 Republicans, this will be a difficult and important item to be resolved, he said.

Finances will be an important problem to be solved, as the state now faces the possibility of a $10 to $20 billion dollar deficit for the next budget session. He reminded the audience that during the last term, only a $14 billion stimulus package to the state allowed the budget to be balanced.

Because of the state of the economy, and the state’s revamping of education reimbursements, every school district in the state is looking for means to balance their budgets. Walle emphasized that the two most important issues facing him will be education and healthcare. Even though the Children’s Health Insurance Plan, CHIP, had bipartisan support, it still did not pass the legislature, and so it must be looked at again. This is especially important in Walle’s District 140, where the per capita income averages $10,000, and over 80% of the population are minority.

Congressman Gene Green mentioned that unlike the state legislature, Congress is in session full-time. He agreed that the two main issues, at the state and federal level, are the economy and healthcare.

On redistricting, he pointed out the importance of electing a knowledgeable and capable Attorney General for Texas, noting Radnofsky’s presence. He pointed out that if the legislature is unable to draw new redistricting boundaries in a satisfactory manner, that the law sends the decision to five statewide elected officials, including the AG.

Green is on two committees, Energy and Healthcare. In healthcare, he noted that the area is far behind the average in FQHCs, or Federally Qualified Health Clinics, and there is an urgent need for them in Houston. He said that a satellite pediatric clinic had just opened on Airline Drive.

Green is in favor of a new act, Pay-Go, that he expects Congress to enact soon, that will make it necessary for any spending bill to have a source for the funding. He said this was similar to a bill years ago when he was first elected in 1992 that helped reduce spending and inflation.

In a question from the audience, Jack Drake of the Greenspoint District asked if congressmen were aware of the lack of confidence that the American people have in their government. Green answered that he personally makes a point of coming back from Washington every week to talk to his voters, and explain and listen to issues. He said that was not true of all Congressmen and Senators, and thinks there always exists a “disconnect” between government officials and the public that is not good. Also, he agreed that partisanship has gotten worse in the last few sessions, defeating the work of Congress.

(This story has been slightly truncated for the web. For the full version, please see our print edition.)

North Houston Bank to become branch of Prosperity Bank


HOUSTON — Prosperity Bancshares, Inc. announced last week that it would acquire three Texas branches of U.S. Bank, including the North Houston Bank.

Prosperity Bancshares, Inc. President and COO Dan Rollins said they will pay $420 million in deposits, as well as purchase certain loans and other assets attributable to the branches.

Other branches included in the sale are the Madisonville State Bank in Madisonville and Citizens National Bank in Teague.

“With the addition of these three locations, Prosperity will operate 161 full service banking centers in Texas,” said David Zalman, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Prosperity Bancshares. “We look forward to serving the Texas customers of U.S. Bank.”

The agreement has been approved by both banks and is expected to close during the first quarter of 2010, although delays could occur. The transaction is subject to certain conditions, including customary regulatory approvals.

Aldine FFA celebrates 51st Livestock Show


The Aldine community once again stepped up to the plate and rewarded Aldine ISD’s FFA (Future Farmers of America) students by spending more than $183,000 on student projects during the 51st annual Livestock Show and Country Fair, held Jan. 28-29 at the M.O. Campbell Education Center.

The Sale of Champions was the culmination to the Livestock Show and Country Fair.

“The 51st annual Livestock Show and Sale of Champions was a huge success due to the Aldine community’s unwavering support,” said Franklin Higgins, Aldine ISD’s director of career and technical education. “Once again, the Show exceeded all expectations. We can’t thank our community enough for their generosity. We had another successful show because so many people and groups made a special effort to support our students as buyers.”

In addition to the various vertical buyers’ groups that purchased student projects, the district operations department purchased all of the student projects that did not place, thus ensuring that those students would have some sort of monetary reward for their hard work. That effort generated $30,500 to student projects.

For FFA Auction Photos and more about the event, please see pages 6 and 7 of our print edition.

ELECTION WATCH 2010: Three candidates compete for J.P. seat


Justice of the Peace Tony Polumbo is planning to retire this year, and a primary election will be held in March to determine who will be on the ballot in November to succeed him.

Polumbo holds the Precinct 3 Position 2 spot in the local judiciary. Polumbo is well known in North Forest and East Harris County, for his work with teens in Teen Court, and his innovative sentencing and other court practices. Prior to his 20 years service as a J.P., Polumbo was a state legislator for this area, for 15 years.

Raymond Sanchez is currently a court coordinator in Judge Mike Parrott’s court. He has been working in the justice system since he was a pre-trial officer for Judge Leal in 1991. He cites this long record of experience as one reason to elect him.

His other experience includes knowledge of the many facets of justice of the peace courts, including adult and juvenile probation, evictions, civil cases, jury trials, traffic arraignments, small claims court, mental health cases, bankruptcy, and much more.

Sanchez was educated at Lee College and the University of Houston. He is bilingual, useful in many of today’s court proceedings.

Dane Listi is an attorney in Baytown, and notes that his family has been in East Harris County for 53 years.

Listi was educated at Lee College and the University of Houston. His wife is a flight attendant, and his stepson is in the army, serving his 3rd tour in Iraq.

Listi’s practice has made him familiar with J.P. court, he said. This has included criminal and murder cases, traffic tickets, civil and small claims cases, juvenile and family cases, and more.

Listi is also the City Attorney for Old River-Winfree. He has had experience as a substitute judge for Judge Sylvia, he said. Listi is also a Rotarian in Highlands.

Don Coffey is a retired attorney in Baytown. He was educated at Lee College and the University of Houston. He has been a Regent of Lee College for 26 years.

His experience includes working as a young man for Exxon for 10 years, and later in the office of Congressman Gene Green.

He is familiar with the J.P. court from his law practice, he said. He notes that a Justice of the Peace has the leeway to run the court as he prefers, but Coffey sees it as a “court of equity.”

He reviewed the history of the J.P. courts, and he praised Polumbo’s outstanding work in Pct. 3 Pos. 2. He remarked how important a local court can be, and how much it affects your daily life much more than county courts.

National award and new construction projects among Greenspoint District’s accomplishments

(Op-ed)

Despite a gloomy economy, the Greenspoint District had much to celebrate in 2009.

Recent projects like IDI’s 103-acre Greenspoint Business Center and the 1,000-acre Pinto Business Park earned Greenspoint accolades as one of the nation’s top five places for locating your logistics company. Greenspoint’s proximity to IAH and major freeways were cited by Expansion Solutions Magazine as additional factors in the award.

The Pinto Business Park’s prime location enticed the food distribution giant Sysco Corporation to trade its I-10 East distribution center for a new, state-of-the-art facility in Greenspoint.

Halliburton Co. relocated from downtown Houston to an existing 94-acre office park near Greenspoint and Bush Intercontinental Airport. The office park will be renovated to include new research and development facilities, a cafeteria, child-care and fitness centers, and two parking garages. The move brought 2,200 employees to our area.

To maintain ease of mobility in and around Greenspoint, two road construction projects began in 2009: a TxDOT project widening the Sam Houston Parkway in both directions between I-45 and Hardy Toll Road, and a Greenspoint Redevelopment Authority project reconstructing Greenspoint Drive, enhancing sidewalks, and adding landscaping, public art, and medians along the street.

New street signs featuring Greenspoint’s logo went up around the District. The new signs help build our identity as a business center and make it easier for people to find their destinations.

The Greenspoint Redevelopment Authority brought some more fun to the District in 2009 with the opening of Buckboard Park. The park features metal and tile mosaic animals and insects, shaded picnic tables, and outdoor education. It quickly became a magnet for local children and earned the Redevelopment Authority a prestigious Mayor’s Proud Partner award.

Greenspoint continues to transform itself into a district known for its public art. New sculptures adorn the District and make Greenspoint a more creative and visually interesting community.

We are very proud of these accomplishments and look forward to an exciting and successful 2010.

Home Invasion, car chase leave 3 dead, 2 wounded

Deputies kill assailant after pursuit, crash

An 18-year old man suspected in the home invasion and shooting death of two people, and wounding of two others, was shot and killed by deputies after leading them on a chase in Northeast Houston.

A spokesman for the Harris County Sheriff’s office, Christina Garza, said that the suspect, Jose DelaRosa pointed a gun at the pursuing officers, and may have fired several shots at officers after crashing a vehicle that was believed to be stolen from the crime scene. Deputies reportedly returned fire, striking DelaRosa multiple times and fatally wounding him.

The incident began around 4 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 4. Harris County Sheriff Deputies responding to a call at 14129 Landsfair found Kelly Seymour, 41, who had been shot. Seymour told the deputies that other people were shot inside the residence across from their location, at 14201 Landfair.

Deputies entered that residence and found Paul King, 44, with a gunshot wound. A continued search of the residence revealed two additional white females who had sustained gunshot wounds and were deceased.

Seymour and King were transported to an area hospital in critical condition. The names of the deceased have not been released.

Witnesses told investigators that two Hispanic males came to the residence and forced the front door open and started shooting.

Seymour was able to get out and seek assistance at a nearby residence. A suspect then took one of the victim’s vehicle, a Toyota 4-Runner, and fled the scene.

The sheriff’s department said that the description of the get away vehicle was broadcast over the police radio in the area. Sheriff’s deputies from the East Aldine tactical unit responded, and spotted the 4-Runner on Aldine Mail Route about 5 p.m.

The chase was short as DelaRosa lost control and crashed into a ditch and light pole in the 3000 block of Bertrand, about four miles from where the bodies were found.

Investigators say they do not know the reason for the initial invasion and shooting. They have not elaborated on the other person who witnesses said entered the home with DelaRosa.

Earlier reports of this incident mentioned only one assailant, and did not indicate gunshots at the officers from DelaRosa. The investigation is ongoing, according to the sheriff’s office.

Chamber holds International Economic Forum


GREENSPOINT -– The newly renamed Houston Intercontinental Chamber of Commerce held an International Business Economic Forum as its monthly luncheon for members and guests, which included security experts from local corporations conducting business internationally, and consul representatives from a number of foreign countries.

The luncheon was held last Thursday, at the Hilton Hotel at Greenspoint. Title sponsor of the Forum was the East Aldine District. An additional part of the program was the introduction of the newly formed North Houston Economic Development Council, with Dr. Stephen Head as the interim president. Unveiled at the meeting were the new logos for the NHEDC and the HICC, with credit for their designers, Jeff Kaiser, Elizabeth Nguyen and Christina Gray.

Dana O’Brien and Dave McIntyre spoke on Global Law and Compliance in the first morning session, and Ron Hicks and Alexandra Rodriguez spoke on Corporate Security in the second session.

The keynote speaker at the luncheon was Dr. Dave McIntyre, nationally known specialist in homeland security, who has held a number of security positions with the military, various federal administrations, and teaches security at several universities.

McIntyre spoke in place of Amir Mirabi, who was unable to attend. McIntyre commented on six main issues facing America today. One, the most important issue of the state of the economy, and the huge debt we must now deal with. Two, Terrorism and the change in the nature of terrorism, due to technology and the internet. Three, International Security between countries, and responsibility for ungoverned parts of the world. Four, Major Threats to peace, such as nuclear or biological attacks on a major U.S. city. Five, Technology, and the realization that old types of jobs are not coming back, and we must adjust to a new information age. Six, Our Business must realize that we are serving customer’s needs, not providing a product.

McIntyre’s upbeat message at the end was we have the means to achieve a good outcome from all these threats, but Congress must focus on solutions, and then we need leadership to fight terrorism, and correct the economy.

Hospital changes name, sets ribbon cutting Feb. 15


NORTHEAST –- Renaissance Hospital Houston, located at
2807 Little York Road, is changing its name to St. Anthony’s
Hospital, according to Jason Fisher, the new CEO.

Fisher and his partner Stephanie Victorian, Chief Nursing Officer of St. Anthony’s Hospital, are heading up the 39-bed hospital and will expand medical and clinical staffs. Renaissance Hospital-Houston is one of nearly 5,000 that U.S. News evaluated for the latest America’s Best Hospitals rankings.

“St. Anthony’s is the only hospital located right in this northeast – Little York corridor and our goal is to establish this hospital as one of quality care the community can count on for emergencies, as well as traditional services that will range from bariatrics to orthopedics and pain management,” said Fisher.

“Even as we expand, integrating exciting new technologies into St. Anthony’s, we will never lose sight of our priority: our patients. Our mission is to demonstrate our commitment to the improvement of human life by delivering quality healthcare services with kindness and compassion,” added Fisher.

Fisher, a Baylor University graduate, has spent his whole career in the medical field. He was with Northstar Healthcare Inc., as the VP of Physician Services before joining St. Anthony’s. He is a diligent defender of patients’ rights and has worked with multiple medical businesses in the Houston, Dallas and Austin market. WestMed-owned hospitals, including St. Anthony’s and South Hampton Community Hospital in the Dallas Metroplex, are managed by Austin-based Arise Healthcare Management.

On Feb. 15, President’s Day, from 12 noon until 2 PM, St. Anthony’s will host a ribbon cutting with the Houston-Intercontinental Chamber of Commerce; a Health & Wellness Educational Clinic for area parents and their children; snacks, prizes and entertainment. The popular Rosita’s Mexican Restaurant will be grilling burgers for the event.

Special invitations have gone out to students at nearby Garcia Elementary, Walter W. Scarborough Elementary, Ethel R. Coop Elementary and Patrick Henry Middle School to attend the special event with their families. For more information, call 713-469-4388 or 713-697-7777.

Aldine FFA livestock auction sells 60 lots at mixed prices

ALDINE — The 51st Annual FFA Livestock Show & Country Fair was held last week at the M.O. Campbell Center, with 60 lots of livestock auctioned off to the highest bidders Friday night. Money from these auctions goes to the students who raised the animals, for scholarship purposes and expenses.

Due to the nature of the economy, bidding this year was not as robust as last year. Unofficial figures indicate that a total of $144,100 was bid for the livestock, compared with $170, 730 last year. These figures do not include so-called resale and add-ons, which increase the revenue to the students.

Bidding was lively through most of the evening, and a good crowd was on hand, but from the start, it was obvious that prices were not going to exceed previous years. Some bids were above last year, and many were below. For example, the Grand Champion Steer, raised by Tyler Kelch, sold for $12,000 compared with last year’s GC steer at $20,000. The Grand Champion Pig, raised by Josh Guillen, sold for $7,000 compared with last year at $9,000.

The bidding continued through 60 lots, and by the end prices seemed to be generally higher. Some spirited bidding wars between schools drove individual lots much higher than comparables. For instance, a 4th place goat raised by Johnice Jackson was purchased for $5,000 when last year’s went for $1,200.

The evening was marked with two ceremonies honoring long time supporters of the FFA show. Len Ray of First Construction Group received a certificate of appreciation. Due to the passing of Curtis McCauley, a moment of silence was observed by the audience in his memory.