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Northeast News

Congressional Candidates speak at East Aldine

CANDIDATES FOR CONGRESS FROM TEXAS DISTRICT 29 included Phillip Aronoff, Roel Garcia, Tahir Javed, Sylvia Garcia, Augustine Reyes, and Carmen Montiel.

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.

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Pct. 2 meets with public on improving drainage

Pct. 2 official Jeremy Phillips explains drainage route to East Aldine board members Reyes Garcia and Gilbert Hoffman.

ALDINE – Representatives from Harris County Precinct 2 met with the public last Thursday evening, to hear about the county’s plan to alleviate the severe flooding that has occurred in many neighborhoods around Aldine Mail Route and Lauder Road.

They specifically targeted the Western Homes and Magnolia Gardens subdivisioins north of Aldine Mail Route. Although the flooding can occur from normal rains, they said, it has become critical due to events such as the 500 year flood that accompanying Hurricane Harvey in September.

Precinct 2 Director of Infrastructure Jeremy Phillips, and engineering consultant Derek St. John, of the firm Lockwood Andrews & Newnam, showed drawings, maps, and slides of the proposed improved drainage for the area.

Also present at the meeting to hear from the public and receive comments, were representatives from the Harris County Flood Control District, and the Harris County Office of Housing & Community Services. These agencies had questionnaires and explained their services.

Phillips and St. John made a presentation, through slides and aerial maps, of solutions to the flooding problem that the county is planning for the area.

A federal CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) has been applied for, to improve an existing drainage channel, or ditch, that runs from Aldine Mail Route south to Halls Bayou.

See accompanying map, with a line showing the channel. (more…)

Early voting started Feb. 20th

Voters in Northeast Harris County can now vote early for the Primary Election, at the following locations:

• Northeast Multi-Service Center, 9720 Spaulding St., Building #4, 77016.

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

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

• Hardy Senior Center, 11901 West Hardy Road, 77076.

Early Voting Hours are:

• Feb. 20 – Feb. 23, 8am – 4:30 pm

• Feb. 24, 7am – 7pm

• Feb. 25, 1pm – 6pm

• Feb. 26 – March 2, 7am – 7pm

The Primary Election Day is Tuesday, March 6. Polls will be open 7am – 7pm. You may vote either Democratic or Republican ballot, but not both.

Voters will be choosing a US Senator, US Congressmen, Texas Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, and various department commissioners. Additionally there are State Senators, Representatives, and Justice of the Peace on the ballot. The Democrats have 12 non-binding Propositions for your opinion.

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Crime stats reviewed at Aldine Safety Forum

These Sheriff’s Deputies, including Patrol officers and Command Staff, were present at the District II Patrol Bureau. Also in the photo are some of the Citizen’s Police Academy. The event was organized by Sgt. C. Adolph at right, and the main presenter was Captain Ken Melancon, at center in the second row.

East Aldine offices were the venue for a meeting last Tuesday night, between the Aldine community and many of the deputies that patrol District II. Captain Ken Melancon welcomed that audience, and moderated the presentation. He explained that Sheriff Ed Gonzales intended for these meetings to be on a regular basis, throughout the County. Melancon noted that his District is responsible to cover 290 square miles, with 500,000 persons residing. He has 128 officers, who work 3 shifts and 7 days. More resources are needed, and the audience learned that 50 new police cars and 150 new officers are due in the County soon.

Melancon said that crime had been reduced in the last year, and there was a “huge difference.”

However, he acknowledged that Aldine had problems with individuals being robbed, gang activity, loud noise, and celebratory shooting into the sky. He promised additional effort on these problems.

Melancon praised his department for their work during Hurricane Harvey, noting that they had made 3635 water rescues during the flooding.

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Students receive scholarships at Green’s College workshop

Students who attended Congressman Green’s College Financial Aid Workshop were eligible for a drawing for scholarships. These students received the awarded scholarships. At the front are Congressman Gene Green and State Senator Sylvia Garcia.

College-aspiring students from schools throughout Congressional District Texas-29 attended Congressman Gene Green’s annual “Paying for College Workshop” held last Monday night, February 22nd at MacArthur High School in Aldine.

Sponsors of the workshop were Congressman Green, Project GRAD Houston, and the Sallie Mae Fund.

At the free college preparation seminar, students learned about the federal financial aid process, scholarships, loans and other ways of paying for college. Speaking to students and families who had gathered in the auditorium were Sergio Gonzales, of Sallie Mae, and Romero Franseco of CafeCollege.

In addition to the speakers who provided valuable information, several local colleges had booths in the lobby with specific information for their schools. These included Texas Southern University, Lone Star College, San Jacinto College, and the University of Houston.

These schools also provided scholarships to attendees. Through a drawing, the University of Houston awarded three $1000 scholarships, TSU awarded three $1000 scholarships, and San Jacinto College awarded one scholarship at $250.

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Texas Central picks high-speed rail train station site at Northwest Mall

Houston Bullet Train Station Rendering. The High Speed Rail from Dallas to Houston is planned to cut travel time to 90 minutes, and cost less than airplane fare.

HOUSTON [Feb. 5, 2018] – Highlighting Houston’s history as a major railway hub, Mayor Sylvester Turner and developers of the Texas Bullet Train have announced the preferred site of the new passenger station, at the Northwest Mall near the interchange of Interstate 610 and US 290.

They said the terminal will be ideally located in a high-growth area, with easy access to employment centers, including the Galleria, the Energy Corridor and downtown. The station not only will be a catalyst for economic growth but it also will offer a convenient, efficient and direct network for passengers to and from local transit systems.

The selection comes about a month after federal regulators released an environmental analysis that said the 200-mph, Houston-to-North Texas train would alleviate the strain on the state’s existing infrastructure and is needed to accommodate growing demands.

“Houston continues to grow. Growing the smart way includes providing a wider choice of transportation options beyond more private vehicles and more roads. The Texas Bullet Train fits the transportation paradigm shift I have called for. And now with a preferred location for the Houston station, we are one big step closer to boarding for an exciting trip to the Brazos Valley and on to Dallas,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said.

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Aldine FFA art show winners

Grand Champion Art Winner Autumn Taylor, entitled Round Up.

The 59th Annual FFA Sale of Champions on February 2nd included awards to six artists. The grand champion artwork was produced by Autumn Taylor of Nimitz and was purchased by the Curriculum and Instruction Group, with Dr. Sara Ptomey, and Dr. Michaelann Kelley for $3,750.

The reserve grand champion artwork was produced by Beatriz Cabrera of MacArthur and purchased by TCCA for $4,500.

Other winners included 3rd Place Isabel Rivas, Nimitz, purchased by the Superintendents Group for $2000; 4th Place Janet Gonzalez, MacArthur purchased by MacArthur Vertical for $3500; 5th Place Angel Salgado, Davis 9th Grade, purchased by First Construction for $$3250; and 6th Place Michell Maldonado of Carver, purchased by TCCA for $3500.

The money earned by FFA students can be used for college scholarships or to fund projects for the 2019 Livestock Show.

Reserve Champion Art Winner Beatriz Cabrera, entitled Stars and Spines.

Congress votes to keep government offices open

WASHINGTON, DC – February 9, 2018 – Representatives Gene Green (TX-29), Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Al Green (TX-9), Filemon Vela (TX-34), and Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) issued the following statement regarding their support of the continuing resolution that contains a bipartisan budget agreement, funds the government through March 23 and provides relief for Hurricane Harvey victims:

“Communities in our districts and along the Texas Gulf Coast have waited for more than five months for Congress to pass a comprehensive relief bill aimed at funding recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Today’s legislation will deliver $89 billion in hurricane relief for Texas and other states impacted by last year’s major disasters, allowing our communities to continue rebuilding schools, businesses, and homes that suffered severe damage last August. This disaster relief package additionally includes $15 billion for flood control projects through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The Bipartisan Budget Act will very likely be the most significant bipartisan legislation to pass Congress this year. The health and well-being of families and children we represent are among our top priorities. By extending and increasing funding for critical programs like community health centers for the next two years, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for the next 10 years, and Medicaid provisions that allow our rural hospitals to continue to provide critical access to healthcare, we can give our constituents certainty that they have access to reliable and affordable healthcare – no matter their socioeconomic status. Families should never have to receive letters from the state informing them that they might lose their healthcare coverage.

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FFA livestock show rewards student work

The Grand Champion Steer was raised by Nick Cain, and sold for $20,000, more than $6000 above last year. The buyer was First Construction Group.

ALDINE – The FFA students from all five high schools held their 59th Annual Livestock Show and Sale of Champions last Friday night, with sales equalling last year’s amounts, and in some cases exceeding last year’s bids by a substantial number. There were 60 lots, including art, buckles, cakes, and the animals that the students raised all year.

The top grand champion steer was raised by Nick Cain, and sold for $20,000. The buyer was First Construction Group, and Patrick Mouton.

Other notable sales were grand champion pig, raised by Ravone Gooden and sold for $8000, an increase of $2000 over the previous year. The buyer was AISD Operations Group.

The grand champion goat was raised by Alondra Lara, and sold for $7000. The buyer was the Superintendents Group.

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Congressman Gene Green invites families to College Financial Aid Workshop

HOUSTON, TX — Congressman Gene Green invites Houston-area students and parents to a FREE Financial Aid Workshop on Monday, February 12, 2018, at 7:00 P.M. in the auditorium of MacArthur High School (Aldine ISD), 4400 Aldine Mail Rd., Houston, TX 77039.

During this free seminar, representatives from The Sallie Mae Fund and Project GRAD Houston will speak to families on applying for scholarships, financial aid, and the important factors to consider when selecting the school that fits them. In addition, local colleges and universities will have representatives present with information about their institutions, giving students the chance to speak with them one-on-one. Several universities will award scholarships onsite to attending high school seniors at the end of the college prep PowerPoint presentation.

“I want every student to have the option to attend college, regardless of financial background,” said Rep. Green. “This event is an opportunity to present our community with as many resources as possible, so that they are able to make the best educational and financial choices for themselves and their families. It is my hope that every student who attends this event walks away feeling more confident that the cost of college can be made affordable.”

Participating colleges: University of Houston, UH-Downtown, Texas Southern University, Houston Community College – Northeast, San Jacinto College North, and Lone Star College

Flood Forum on TV explores solutions to flooding

Mayor Sylvester Turner and County Judge Ed Emmett were the featured speakers on the program. In general, they agreed that this was “a defining moment” and time for major funding with help from state and federal partners.

HOUSTON – Television Channel 2 KPRC sponsored a forum last Monday night, featuring the two government leaders in the area, Mayor Sylvester Turner of Houston, and Judge Ed Emmett of Harris County.

The two leaders were discussing the devastation from the floods after Hurricane Harvey, and what the plans are to alleviate future disasters. In addition, they answered questions from viewers that were phoned into the program.

In general the leaders agreed that this was the time for action to solve the flood problems of the area.

Emmett said that Harvey had changed our lives, and changes are needed in the regulations that govern building. He said they were based on a 100 year flood plain, when actually that most recent floods, 3 in 3 years, indicate a 500 year flood event instead. He said this change was being implemented in the county since January 1st.

Both leaders said that more money was needed, to help those who are suffering from the Harvey floods, and to improve infrastructure to minimizing flooding in the future.

Emmett said that a new third reservoir was needed, probably at a cost of more than $500 million. He noted that these reservoirs are federal projects, not county.

Turner noted that the city’s drainage fee was not intended to solve flooding problems, and flood projects would cost billions. Both speakers said that the state should release some of its “rainy day” fund to Houston.

“If this isn’t a rainy day, what is?” they quipped.

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