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Posts published in October 2016

Early Voting for General Elections underway

HOUSTON – Early voting for U.S. Presidential Election, State Representatives, Sheriff and others begins Oct. 24, 2016.

The Early voting hours are as follows:

Oct. 24-Oct. 28: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm

Oct. 29: 7:00 am – 7:00 pm

Oct. 30: 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Oct. 31-Nov. 4: 7:00 am – 7:00 pm

Early voters in our area can go to:

-Hardy Senior Center, 11901 West Hardy Road, Houston, 77076.

-Acres Home Multi-Service Center, 6719 W. Montgomery Road, Houston 77091.

-Lone Star College -Victory Center, 4141 Victory Drive, Houston, 77088.

– Northeast Multi-Service Center, 9720 Spaulding St. Bldg. #4, Houston 77016.

However, if you are registered to vote in Harris County, you may vote at any Harris County Early Voting locations.

These are some of forms of identification accepted:

-Texas DL issued by DPS

-Texas ID card issued by DPS

-Texas election identification certificate issued by DPS

-U.S. military ID Card, current or expired 2012 or later

-U.S. Passsport, current or expired 2012 or later

-U.S. Citizenship certificate with potograph.

Rep.Walle answers questions on community issues

Possible solutions and progress at Town Hall

Last Thursday night State Rep. Armando Walle talked about community progress and heard about some issues during a town hall meeting in Aldine, this in preparation for the next Legislature which will begin in January 10, 2017.

“The two primary drivers of the state budget are Health Care and Public Education,” said Rep. Walle. “The budget that we are currently in, is about $200 billion dollars for every two years.”

Some work has been done with the Commissioner of Health and Human Services to “allocate those services to our district, and to Harris County.”

Rep. also Walle mentioned that this money, about $17 million will help to open a UT Physicians clinic on Jensen and Crosstimbers. This clinic will be in zip codes: 77093, 77039 and 77016 which includes Highway 59, Jensen, Little York and some Aldine areas.

Another big success for District 140 is the $1 million that through Texas Parks and Wildlife and with the help of now Mayor Turner, the district was able to redo Squatty Lyons Park located at 1701 Chamberlain St., 77093.

A new Town Center on Aldine Mail Rt., which is under construction, is causing some annoying dirt and dust to residents. Rep. Walle wanted to let the public know that they (District 140) and Aldine District know about it and are trying to minimize the situation. “Just know that what is going to be build there is transforming and will change lives for generations to come,” Rep. Walle added. This new Town Center will be home of the 9-1-1 Harris County Call Center, a Vecino Health Care clinic, a Lone Star College Satellite center as well as the East Aldine District offices and Neighborhood Centers, This last one has helped raised $20 million for the Town Center, Rep. Walle stated. Neighborhood-Centers will have its groundbreaking in the middle of next month.

Community Issues/Residents Concerns:

• Castlewood Neighborhood water issue: Rep. Walle said it’s going slower than expected but that they are working on it. In fact, they are working with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) because “there is a lawsuit pending and a temporally restraining order with the water company.”

• Cement Company located on Hartwick Rd., they are also working to solve this issue to the best.

• Junk Yards: Residents explained junk yards are moving into the neighborhood, a committee will work on this and a bill could be filed at the next Legislative session.

• Law Enforcement Patrol: A Couple of concerned mothers asked for more patrol at Keith Weiss Park during kids’ practice time, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm, M-Th, because cars are speeding and they also mentioned there are breaks-in at parked cars frequently as well. Rep. Walle said he will talk to Houston Police and Sheriff’s Office because this is a City park within Harris County. It’s important to mention that Harris County Sheriff deputies patrol this park on a daily basis and there is a bike and ATV patrol, on saturdays.

• Traffic: Residents also mentioned that traffic during school hours is very heavy including double-parking that sometimes blocks their way. Rep. Walle said there will be some traffic studies to solve this issue.

Other concerns were 18-wheelers parked on streets at residential areas with no sidewalks, speeding, illegal selling/dumping of dogs and animals and drunk driving.

House of Nightmares 2016

Friday, October 28th and Saturday, October 29th.

6 pm – 10 pm

10 years and under $5

Adults $10

Senior Citizens $5

North East Community Center

10918 ½ Bentley St.

Houston, TX 77093

281-442-7950

Proceeds benefit Precint2gether, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization.

Jensen Jubilee Parade & Festival

The Jensen Drive corridor and New Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church were the scene of a joyful 3rd Annual Festival last Saturday. Hundreds turned out to celebrate the spirit of rejuvenation that Pastor David Smith has brought to this community.

With a parade that started at 9 a.m. and the Festival at the church grounds that followed, everyone found lots to do, eat, and enjoy.

The Festival was officially sponsored by the Houston Northeast Community Development Corporation, working to improve lifestyles and physical conditions along Jensen Drive.

Attending the event were many local officials, including Congressman Gene Green, State Representative Armando Walle, State Senator Sylvia Garcia, and representatives of the Mayor’s office.

In addition a number of organizations had information booths, and a health fair was also part of the activities.

For the first time, a Mr. & Ms. Jensen Jubilee were named, and honored with a certificate from Congressman Green. The King was Uriel Iglesias, and the Queen was Jennifer Moreno. They each received a $250 scholarship award.

Aldine ISD holds State of District Breakfast

ALDINE – Aldine ISD held its annual State of the District Breakfast on Friday, Oct. 14 at the Hilton Houston North Hotel as Superintendent Dr. Wanda Bamberg and members of her Student Advisory Committee took a look back at the 2015-16 school year and ahead to the challenges the district will face in the future.

In addition, the event served as the kickoff for the Aldine Education Foundation’s (AEF) donor campaign.

More than 400 stakeholders, business partners and Aldine ISD administrators and principals attended the event.

The audience was treated to an outstanding performance by the Aldine ISD High School District Honor Choir, under the direction of Daryl Freeman. Prior to the start of the event, the Eisenhower High School Jazz Band entertained the audience. Following their performance, the audience gave them a standing ovation.

Victory Early College High School student Xavier Bishop delivered the welcome and introduced members of the Aldine ISD Board of Trustees and AEF Board members. He also introduced elected officials and their representatives who attended the breakfast.

Eisenhower High School student Marco Castro then introduced district stakeholders, which included students, parents, grandparents business partners and community/non-profit partners.

Following breakfast, AEF President Bill Ginder spoke on behalf of the Foundation and kicked off AEF donor campaign for the 2016-17 school year.

“I am acutely aware of the need for quality education,” Ginder said. “Since we were formed in 2012, we have raised $3.5 million and funded 14 special projects. We have also provided 150 scholarships to our students and 31 innovative teaching grants to our teachers. We’re only just beginning.”

Ginder said he and the AEF Board were proud of the way Aldine ISD employees have stepped up to support the foundation. The employee payroll contribution has grown from 550 a year ago to 2,240 this year, an increase of 440%.

“While I’m not a student of Aldine, nor a staff member, I am fiercely dedicated to the success of this district. And as the current Foundation board president, know that I and my fellow board members are committed to being a part of Aldine ISD’s future, its growth, and the tremendous achievements still to come.”

After Ginder’s remarks, MacArthur High School student Cortland Washington introduced a video produced by Alyssa Duty, the district’s multimedia communications specialist. The video provided a look at what the future holds for Aldine ISD and provided information on the focus to improve instruction.

Following the video, Davis High School student Sydney Brown provided information on the district’s demographics. During the 205-16 school year, AISD had an enrollment of 70,418 students (it marked the first time the district reached the 70,000 enrollment figure). The district’s current enrollment is 69,894. Other demographic information from the 2015-16 school year included:

•At-Risk Population – 65.2%

•Economically Disadvantaged Population – 88.3%

•Attendance Rate – 94.6%

•Hispanic Population – 72.2%

•African-American Population – 23.8%

•Anglo Population – 1.9%

•Special Education Population – 7%

•Students enrolled in Career and Technical Education – 27.6%

•Bilingual Population – 22.1%

•Graduation Rate – 82%

Sydney also shared information on how AISD students performed on the state’s accountability test, STAAR (State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness). In reading, the percentage of students meeting the standard was 62% in Aldine, and 73% in math. Each year, the state gives the district and individual campuses a rating of either Met Standard or Improvement Required. AISD’s rating is Met Standard. Seventy-one campuses Met Standard and four campuses received a rating of Improvement Required.

MacArthur High School student Karina Puente provided information on how local tax dollars and state funds are used to fund local school districts.

Dr. Bamberg then provided an overview of the district’s finances. She told the audience that the district has expected expenditures of $677,310, 325 and projected revenues of $612,032,811, for a projected deficit of $65,277,514. The district has a strong fund balance of $177,457,889. Dr. Bamberg also added that the district’s one month’s expenditures are $56,442,527. She added that the district’s tax rate is $1.32 per $100 valuation.

Hamma Badat, an Eisenhower High School student, reminded the audience the 84th Legislative Session will begin in January of 2017. Aldine ISD officials will monitor legislation and provide updates on bills that could impact education in Texas and locally. The public can follow the session via www.capitol.state.tx.us.

Carver High School student La’Jasha Champion provided information on the Aldine Education Foundation and the number of scholarships Aldine students received during the 2015-16 school year. Last year, the Foundation awarded 47 AEF scholarships and 118 Aldine Scholarship Fund scholarships. AISD seniors were offered 1,031 scholarships totaling $40.5 million. In addition, AISD staff received 133 grants totaling $922,638.

Victory Early College High School student Faith Baynard shared information about projects completed from the 2007 bond referendum. The last school built from that bond was Greenspoint Elementary School, which opened at the start of the 2016-17 school year. She also shared information about locally funded projects, including the purchase of the old Baker Hughes Building, which is now home to the Donaldson Administration Building. The district also purchased the Fisher Building on Veterans Memorial, which will be the new home for Technology Services, Curriculum and Instruction, Facilities Planning and Construction, the Aldine ISD Police Department, Textbooks, Central Receiving, and the Staff Development Center.

MacArthur High School student Darinka Rosales provided information on the $798 million bond referendum Aldine voters overwhelmingly approved in November of 2015. The bond will fund the following projects: a new Career Technical Education high school, a new early college high school, three new middle schools, one new elementary school, two new EC/Pre-K Centers, replacement schools for Francis and Johnson elementary schools and upgraded WiFi at every AISD campus. Additionally, the bond will fund renovations and additions at Aldine and MacArthur high school, the remodeling of Carver High School and Anderson Elementary School, and repairs and renovations at all AISD schools. GPS systems have already been installed on all district buses with funds from the 2015 bond referendum.

Dr. Bamberg introduced her cabinet and provided closing remarks.

“I appreciate the work that is being done in the district,” she said. “I am so proud of our kids and staff. I appreciate our Board for holding us accountable for what we do every day.”

Aldine community gets together at National Night Out

Last Tuesday, East Aldine District celebrated National Night Out (NNO) with great success.

Families, neighbors gathered to greet and meet and have fun. They also enjoyed free food and giveaways.

Partners that attended were HCSO, HCSO Explorers, Aldine Pathfinders Boy Scouts, Bonding Against Adversity, Kroger, Castlewood Civic Club, Green Forest Civic Club, and High Meadows Civic Club, Northside Food Truck Park with the Community Art Project, YMCA, Buckner/YOUTH, Neighborhood Centers, HCEC, Westfield Fire Department, Moonwalks (Panzon Party Rental), Aqua Frescas, Lone Star College – North Harris, MacArthur 9th and Big Mac (Student Groups), Mac 9 Dance Team, Mac 9 JROTC.

Representative Armando Walle and Gene Green’s Office were also present.

Among Aldine Board members at NNO were Patti Acosta, Joyce Wiley, Carlos Silva, and Gerald Overturff.

“Creepy Clowns” reach Nimitz HS

ALDINE – The national phenomenon known as the “Creepy Clown” threat has reached Nimitz High School, according to authorities.

Last Friday, Sept. 30 the school received a threat by way of Instagram, from a clown that warned he would be on the Nimitz campus that day with unspecified evil intent. After the message was discovered, Instagram voluntarily took down the posting.

In actuality, no occurence or unusual activity was seen, but Aldine ISD sent a warning to Nimitz students on Friday, and another to all parents in the district on Monday.

They also increased security at the campus, according to spokesperson Mike Keeney. However, it was determined after investigation that there was no real danger, and the whole episode was a hoax.

Nimitz was not alone as a target of this threat. Spring, Humble, and Houston school districts also received threats, and in Houston a 14 year old student at Houston ISD was arrested for perpetrating the warning message. He was charged with making terroristic threats against a school on social media, using a clown image.

Other frightening clown incidents have been reported in recent weeks, both locally and nationally.

Neighborhood-Centers displays designs of proposed buildings

EAST ALDINE – The Neighborhood-Centers Inc. held a meeting last Thursday night, Sept. 22 to unveil the architectural renderings for the buildings on their campus, that they will build at the new Town Center on Aldine Mail Route.

The architects explained their approach to the design of the buildings, emphasizing that a driving force was the desire to involve the community, and reflect their ideas of the final result. However, they did emphasize that these were “schematic” drawings, with the possibility of development as time went by. They said these were more “character studies” and would have more final details later.

The project as shown consisted of three buildings, totalling about 44,000 square feet. According to Matt Starr, the cost estimate was originally $12.7 million dollars, but the budget was $12 million and the team is working to reduce costs where possible. In addition to the buildings, there is a large open grass area in the center of the complex, for outdoor recreation for students in the classes, and for informal meetings and presentatons.

The buildings are surrounded by parking, which is reached from an internal loop road. To the west of the site, Lone Star College plans an academic building, which will also include an Aldine ISD early high school. To the east, some neighborhood shopping and offices will be constructed by the District.