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.
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.
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.
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.”
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!
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.
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…)
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.
HOUSTON – Mayor Sylvester Turner will celebrate his 11th Annual Family Day on April 14 with baseball, music, games, food and more.
Family Day at Sylvester Turner Park will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 14, at the park at 2800 West Little York. Admission is free, as are all the games and food.
“Each year we welcome up to 12,000 people to this fun family event,” Mayor Turner said. “We have added even more this year and hope everyone across Acres Homes will join us.”
The entertainment lineup continues to grow. Back by popular demand are J. Paul Jr. and the Zydeco Nubreeds. Also returning are the talented students from Aldine Carver High School. There’s something for everyone as the Mayor welcomes Baby Sonic Boom, the Luna Llena mariachi band from Rice University, Tiger Rock Martial Arts and the Teo Chew Temple lion dancers. Radio One, KTSU and KSBJ will also be on hand. Come hungry because the food line-up includes turkey legs, sausage on a stick, hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, snow cones and corn on the cob. And Nathan’s returns with everyone’s favorite hot dogs.
ALDINE – With the retirement of Congressman Gene Green from the 29th District, many other candidates have started campaigning for the position.
Last Wednesday evening, civic clubs and the East Aldine District hosted a Candidates Forum at their offices, to meet some of the candidates and hear their positions on various issues.
Candidates attending were Democrats Roel Garcia, Sylvia Garcia, Tahir Javed, and Augustine Reyes, and Republicans Phillip Aronoff and Carmen Montiel. Not present were Democrats Dominique Garcia, Hector Morales, and Pedro Valencia, and Republicans Jaimy Blanco and Robert Schafranek.
Because the district is heavily Hispanic, it is expected that this seat will finally go to a representative of that community. It has been held the last 26 years by Gene Green, a non-Hispanic male quite popular with his constituents, partially due to his hard work to represent their needs and issues in Congress.
The Forum was moderated by Marina Suggs of the Green Forest subdivision civic club, and questions were taken from all the civic clubs and the audience.
Also, each candidate had two minutes at the beginning to state their position, and a minute at the end to summarize. In between they answered questions read by various civic club representatives.
An underlying theme most of the candidates mentioned was the need for a Hispanic delegate to represent their special interests.
Some of them emphasized that they were born and raised in District 29, but Javed was a Pakistani and Montiel was from Venezuela. Reyes said not only was he raised in District 29, but cited his service as a Marine, and later helping to clean up the drug trafficking.
Questions ranged from asking positions on healthcare, and Obama Care vs. Trump’s plans, flooding and drainage, and social security and medicare. One odd question was whether we should make English our national language.
Reyes Garcia wanted to know how the candidates would get more federal funds for sewer and water projects for Aldine.