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Posts published in September 2014

National Night Out set for Aldine, Airline

East Aldine

East Aldine District, is planning to host a National Night Out Event from 6:00 to 8:00 pm on Tuesday night, Oct. 7, 2014.

The event will be held in the Parking Lot in front of the EAD offices, at 5333 Aldine Mail Route (Jed’s parking lot).

There will be live DJ, music, dancing, food, drinks, games, door prizes and fun!

Visit with neighbors, talk to Harris County Sheriff’s Deputies, ESD-#1, Harris County Pct. 2 and Westfield Fire Dept.

Questions? call the East Aldine District at 713-595-1220.

Castlewood Civic Club

Castlewood will have its First Annual National Night Out. There will be food, music, fun, games and fellowship. Tuesday, October 7, 2014, at the corner of Lauder Road and Trailcrest (vacant lot) from 6:00 p.m. to 8 p.m. Bring your lawn chairs. There will be door prize drawings. Local leaders have been invited. Come visit and meet your neighbors!

Bellmar Civic Club & Northline Terrace CC

There will be food, fun and fellowship.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall located at 7822 Northline (Corner of Northline & Canino) from 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

For the pot luck dinner, please bring your favorite food. There will be also door prize drawings.

Congressman Gene Green, Senator Sylvia Garcia, State Representative Armando Walle, Airline Improvement District Board of Directors Executive Director Teri Koerth, Contract Deputies for the Airline Improvement District, Harris County Sheriff’s Department and the Little York Volunteer Fire Department all have been invited.

For more information contact: Bellmar Civic Club: 281 445-0337. Northline Terrace Civic Club: 281 447-2810.

Chamber hears of Healthcare services

GREENSPOINT – The Houston Intercontinental Chamber held their monthly luncheon at the Greenspoint Club last Tuesday, with the subject of the program “Doing business with the Healthcare Industry.”

The presenter at the meeting was Tangula Taylor, representing Texas Childrens Hospital and Texas Childrens Health Plan.

Ms. Taylor spoke about the new clinic in Greenspoint for children and women, The Center for Children and Women. This clinic enrolls families as “members” and provides services for them in the fields of pediatrics, vision care, obstetrics and pregnancy care, x-rays and labs, nurses, social workers, untrasound and sonograms, behavioral health, on-site pharmacy, dental care, and speech therapy.

The Center is specifically aimed at underserved populations who qualify in the CHIP and Medicaid programs of the state and federal government.

The Center uses a “coordinated care” model, so that a patient presents themselves and gets services in several fields, in one visit, coordinated among several nurses and doctors. There are about 9000 members in the Texas Children’s Health Plan, and the centers provide 4000 visits per month to their members. Taylor emphasized that the Center focuses on quality care and procedures, and is not interested in high numbers of patient visits or the so-called ‘Medicare Mill.’

Patients can reach the clinic with a new bus route, METRO #56, she said, or you can call and arrange transportation otherwise. Medicaide provides some transportation, and other sources are available through the clinic. Hours are seven days a week, and most days starts at 7 a.m. and end wither at 7 p.m. or 11 p.m. You can make an appointment, or come as a “walk-in.”

The Center for Children and Women actually has two locations, one in Greenspoint at 700 N. Sam Houston Parkway West, and one in the old Westwood Mall Building, at 9700 Bissonnet in Southwest Houston. This latter location is set to open in November of this year, Ms. Taylor said.

Taylor said that the Center can provide so many complete services because they partner with three organizations: Texas Children’s Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine, and UT School of Dentistry.

The Center also has a number of educational classes, including Car Seat Safety, Becoming a Mom, Breastfeeding, Keeping Fit, and New Parent Classes.

Ms. Taylor said that for those families that don’t qualify under CHIP and Medicaid guidelines, there is also available a charity care program, where patients may receive healthcare services free or at discounted rates.

At the request of the Chamber, Taylor also noted how to reach their vendor department, with a phone number.

The Chamber meeting was run by Jeff Kelly, chamber business development representative, in the absence of Chamber president Reggie Gray, who was in New York City meeting with a trade representative from Malta, during the United Nations sessions.

NCI & East Aldine report at Civic Forum

EAST ALDINE – Representatives from the Neighborhood Centers Inc. have continued to survey resident of this area, with the goal of defining the qualities that make it unique. These will guide the development of facilities and programs in NCI’s portion of the new Town Center, according to Jose Rivera, heading the survey team.

Last Thursday, East Aldine District held a Quarterly Civic Forum Luncheon, and heard reports from EAMD president David Hawes, and in a second session, a report from Jose Rivera on the NCI survey results to date.

Hawes reviewed the history of the District since its inception in 2001, and the accomplishments and goals that are current.

The audience was a diverse group of people representing area organizations.

Hawes explained that the District now operated on a budget of $6 million a year, and has contracted for over $30 million in new water and sewer lines. Currently they are planning a new 61 acre Town Center, with a college and community facilities on Aldine Mail Route. This development is expected to lead to other improvements, and more jobs and educational opportunities. The Town Center is expected to be a new gateway into Keith-Wiess Park.

Hawes emphasized that these projects are in partnership with others, such as Harris County, the City of Houston, Lone Star College, Neighborhood Centers Inc., and others.

Jose Rivera then led a Visioning Session, to continue identifying themes or characteristics of the Aldine neighborhood. The intent is to tailor there new facilities to answer the needs of the community.

He announced a preliminary draft of these programs, as follows:

1. Job development

2. Business support

3. Financial literacy help

4. Art programs

5. Education supplements

6. Community building and support

Rivera structured his presentation so there was adequate time for feedback, and facilitators met with small groups to hear their input in the ideas put forth so far. An important question that was asked, what have we missed or left out, so far? Then participants were asked to rank the various programs, so that NCI could prioritize their programming work.

Rivera also announced at the meeting an important new program, Weatherization Assistance. Using federal funds, low-income residents are eligible for improvements to their houses that will save them money. Call 713-956-1888 for more information.

East Aldine & Neighborhood Centers will partner in new Town Center

EAST ALDINE – Neighborhood Centers, Inc. a social services agency with locations throughout Houston and surrounding Texas counties, has come to an agreement with the East Aldine District to build a campus with various community services, to be 40,000 to 50,000 square feet and project costs at approximately $20 million dollars total.

This is in addition to the college facility planned for the site by Lone Star College-North Harris, and other amenities and facilities to be built by the District. Also planned is a facility for the Sheriff’s office to handle 9-1-1 calls for the whole county.

At their board meeting last Tuesday evening, Sept. 16, East Aldine District adopted a “memorandum of understanding” with NCI, to allow them to proceed with planning and fund raising.

In this document, EAMD agreed to convey 7 acres of land fronting Aldine Mail Route, to be used by NCI to build several buildings and develop outdoor support areas. NCI reported at the board meeting that they have already received commitments for a substantial portion of project costs.

Planned for the NCI site are such amenities as workforce development and training, a “maker space” or business incubation center, financial services, adult enrichment programs, after school programs, senior services, voter registration services, health and medical services, and more. NCI plans to partner with other agencies to provide some of these services, and to help pay for them. This model is used in their other developments, and as a result they are able to have 72 community facilities in the Houston area. Their total yearly budget is over $260 million dollars, according to their latest annual report.

Prior to last week’s EAMD board action, a joint meeting was held with NCI, and their facilities were toured.

At the meeting was Angela Blanchard, NCI president, David Hawes, Gerald Overturff, and some EAMD board members, State Representative Armando Walle, who has been very interested in helping this development, and Melissa Gonzalez of Lone Star College. The parties investigated the possibilities that resulted in this agreement.

Aldine ISD Board of Trustees seeks applications

Aldine ISD Board of Trustees Member Dr. Alton Smith has announced his intention to step down from the board later this fall in order to serve on the Lone Star College System Board of Trustees.

The Aldine Independent School District Board of Trustees is accepting applications from those interested in serving the remainder of Dr. Smith’s elected term, which expires after the November 2015 election.

Applications are due by 4 p.m. on Sept. 22, 2014. An election for this position’s next full four-year term will be held in November 2015.

Copies of the application to be considered for appointment to the Aldine ISD Board of Trustees may be obtained in person at the office of Assistant Superintendent of Community and Governmental Relations Jason Spencer, 14910 Aldine Westfield Road, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. You may also download the application at the district’s web site, www.aldine.k12.tx.us. Applicants must provide a resume, including their history of advocacy and community service. Completed applications must be delivered to Mr. Spencer’s office by 4 p.m. on Sept. 22, 2014.

Background:

Dr. Alton Smith, secretary, was named to fill the unexpired term of former Trustee Emmett W. Hill, who resigned in October, 2005, due to health concerns. Dr. Smith is a resident of the Inwood community and currently serves as Assistant Director of Human Resources Services in Klein ISD. Prior to entering the public education field, Dr. Smith spent more than 30 years in the private sector in human resources with Shell Oil Company. Dr. Smith is a member of various civic and professional associations and organizations.

His children are graduates of Aldine ISD schools and his wife is a former AISD teacher.

Paws in the Park dog gone fun

EAST ALDINE – Dog owners and their pets were able to take a free dog training class last Saturday, thanks to the sponsorship of the East Aldine District.

This community service benefitted the owners, the dogs, and the community by providing basic obedience training, health and feeding tips, and a question and answer session with Teri Mercatante, a trainer with Teri’s Canine Companion. The District also provided a gift bag to each participant.

If you are interested in the next class, call Lucy Ayala at 713-595-1220 for information.

EMMETT MAKES PROPOSAL TO SAVE ASTRODOME

World’s Largest Indoor Park

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett announced a proposal this afternoon to convert the Harris County Domed Stadium – known worldwide as The Astrodome – into the world’s largest indoor park and recreation center. Emmett unveiled his proposal from the floor of the Dome, which he described as the realization of Judge Roy Hofheinz’s “vision of the future.”

“I believe it is time to put forth a new vision for the future of the Dome,” Emmett said. “With that in mind, I am suggesting that we explore the concept of creating an indoor park and recreation area inside the Dome for the people of Harris County. The world’s largest indoor park.”

Emmett has been exploring the indoor park concept with local officials, stakeholders and interested parties for the past couple months, seeking input and suggestions and refining the idea. While details of the concept are still being refined, Emmett suggested leaving it open to the public except when in use by tenants like the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Offshore Technology Conference, or others. He also recommended including a large, open green space that would be perfect for festivals and other community gatherings. Emmett also proposed having a pavilion for music and other events and sporting facilities from archery ranges to hiking and biking trails.

“Rather than try to convert the Dome into something it was never intended to be, I think it is time to look back to the original vision of Judge Hofheinz,” Emmett said. “That vision was to provide a place for traditional outdoor activities in a climate-controlled space. A space like none other in the world.”

ST. ANTHONY’S HOSPITAL CLOSES, FILES BANKRUPTCY

Aldine’s local hospital, with a troubled history, has closed its doors once more. Filings with the bankruptcy court indicated that the small, neighborhood hospital was ordered closed by the bankruptcy judge Marvin Isgur on August 12th. The owners, an investment group known as Little York Hospital of Houston, aka as LTMH Houston, reported assets of $1.5 million, and liabilities of about $27 million.

Creditors include First National Bank of Edinburg, the IRS, and the state of Texas Workforce Commission.

The hospital has had many names and owners over the years. Most recently it was Renaissance Hospital, prior to St. Anthony’s. The investment group also owned hospitals in Grand Prairie and Groves, Texas that also had financial difficulties.

It has been known since last year that St. Anthony’s has had trouble meeting payroll and paying its bills. CEO Jason Leday issued a statement in January, saying that the problem stemmed from another company, Novitas Solutions, being too slow to reimburse the hospital for Medicare claims. Novitas has said it follows federal guidelines, and is not at fault.

The hospital had 39 acute beds, and employed 44 full-time and 30 part-time employees.

It is not expected to reopen, and the bankruptcy trustee plans to sell assets and equipment from the building.

St. Anthony’s had filed for bankruptcy protection in July, and was unable to find new financing or a new buyer, according to the hospital.