Join alumni, students, faculty, and other guests of the UH MPA program will attend the 3rd Annual UH MPA Alumni Association Banquet. This year they will be honoring an alumni of the program, East Aldine Executive Director David Hawes.
UH MPA says that “David embodies what is taught in the UH MPA program throughout all of its rich courses – servitude and leadership. This is only a small gesture of appreciation and honoring of a man who has offered so much to the UH MPA community and beyond.”
David Hawes is the Executive Director of the East Aldine Management District, serving in this position since the creation of the District. He specializes in the creation, management, and administration of special purpose districts and zones. He develops project plans and project financing plans to aid stakeholders in reaching community development objectives.
Harris County residents are urged to monitor the weather forecast and use extreme caution if venturing out into rainy conditions according to the current forecast. Portions of Harris County could receive up to four inches of additional rain especially south of I-10 as a weather system moves into the Gulf of Mexico and has the potential to impact the Texas coast with showers and thunderstorms.
As of now, bayous, creeks and tributaries are expected to remain within banks, but roadways and streets may become impassable. Commuters are urged to avoid high water and flooded streets throughout the county and to proceed with caution when driving on area roadways – Turn Around Don’t Drown!
ALDINE – A huge crowd of several thousand supporters turned out for a Beto O’Rourke rally and Town Hall meeting last Saturday, at the Escapade Club on the Eastex Freeway.
Beto, as he likes to be called, is running for the U. S. Senate in the November election, against incumbent Ted Cruz. Beto is on the Democratic ticket, and Cruz on the Republican.
Beto, who is now a Congressman from El Paso, has been campaigning vigorously for months, bringing a grass roots style to his message. He has raised more money than Cruz, all of it on small personal donations. He points out that he has not accepted any PAC or corporate money, which is the mainstay of Cruz’s backing.
Beto told the crowd that this was one of the largest town halls he has had, even though he has appeared in every Texas County.
Some of the issues that he spoke about include getting “big money” out of politics, and not catering to special interest groups.
He has a special message for veterans, wanting to improve their healthcare, disability claims, and housing.
ABOVE, A. Corbett with the Harris County Emergency Corps explains how to properly use a car seat for infants.
This September, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Support Group of Aldine-Harris County, hosted its 15th Annual Family Strengthening Conference!
The Conference is a community service event provided to help awareness of health, family issues, and many more situations that Grandparents and kinship face with raising children and the entire family. Participants were offered free health screenings, school supplies, education materials designed to promote personal health and well-being, and a variety of resources from keynote speakers and agencies.
The community had a fun filled day of informative information, health screenings, demonstrations, a fun day for the children, teenagers, and much more!
HOUSTON – Sitting anonymously along the feeder road at I-10 near Beltway 8, a three story building that was once a hospital now houses over 200 children that are unaccompanied immigrants. In most cases, these young people were apprehended at the Mexican border, and detained by U.S. authorities until their disposition. This could be sending them back to their own country, or finding adult sponsors in the U.S.
On Monday, August 20, Congressman Gene Green, accompanied by State Senator Sylvia Garcia and State Representative Ana Hernandez, made an inspection tour of the facility. Green told this newspaper that he had a difficult time getting access, even though the federal government is paying for the program that supervises the children. In an earlier foray, Garcia and Hernandez had been refused admission, and blocked by armed guards from entry, as reported in this newspaper. Green said that the Southwest Key Program group, that runs the shelter, required two weeks notice and vetted those who wanted to go on the tour.
All three legislators wanted to see the facility and talked with the children, because the building is in their district, and they are ultimately responsible for its financing.
Green explained to this newspaper that the program is administered by the U. S. HHS, or Housing and Human Services administration, and South west Key and other groups contract with the government to care for the children until their situation can be resolved.
Green said that presently there are 206 children in the facility, boys and girls ages 12 to 16. He said they live in dormitories, one gender per floor, and occupy their time with classroom work, recreation, and relaxation. Green said that he did not observe any conditions that alarmed him, and the children seemed well taken care of. In addition to recreation on the property, the kids are also taken to a nearby county park named Gene Green Park. This was dedicated in that name by the County Commissioner at that time, Sylvia Garcia. They also have a soccer field, and basketball court on the property, he said. Green said that most of the children he spoke with said they came from Central American countries, namely Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. Only a few were from Mexico or other countries.
Asked what he would change or improve, Green indicated the facility was acceptable as is, but the real problem was federal policy that was separating children from their parents at the border, or like these children at the North Shore shelter, incarcerating them until their cases can be heard by a federal agency in charge of their future.
HOUSTON, TX – On its last monthly meeting, Green Forest Civic Club (GFCC) received candidates Carol Alvarado who is running for Texas State Senate District 6 and Phillip Aronoff, running for the United States Congress in the 29th District of Texas. These seats are now occupied by Sen. Sylvia Garcia and Congressman Gene Green respectively and their terms will end the last day of the year.
The residents gathered at the meeting to have their questions and concerns answered in lively discussions with both candidates.
Ms. Alvarado shared many of her past accomplishments as a city council member and state representative, and that if elected state senator she would advocate an agenda that would benefit all members of our community.
Mr. Aronoff said he had a lot of experience in business and politics, welcomed and approved of new immigrants to the U.S., and that if he got elected he would fight to empower the people.
A COMMUNITY PLANNING MEETING took place last week, at the Cheyenne Center on E. Crosstimbers and Jensen Streets. Present were these members of the community.
State Representative Armando Walle, center, said that “it was not a coincidence I met Pastor David L. Smith of New Bethlehem BC, and Father Miguel Solorzano of Saint Charles Borromeo Catholic Church. Our office, along with Congressman Gene Green and Pastor Smith, initiated an inaugural faith leaders lunch to better coordinate community efforts along Eastex-Jensen. We are building bridges and ready to work. Momentum is building to revitalize the area. We have done clean-ups, annual parade, disaster relief, and look forward to bike-rides, providing affordable housing, social services and many other outreach efforts. If you want to attend the next meeting, contact my office. Thank you Pastor Smith for helping lead our group.”
Commissioner Rodney Ellis Responds to Historic Flood Bond Election and Renews Commitment to Equity and Transparency for Funding Flood Control Projects
By passing Prop A, those who voted made it clear that we must effectively address flood control— one of the greatest challenges we face. We owe it to everyone to ensure that urgently needed flood control projects are funded equitably and transparently so that every community is protected from future floods.
We still have a lot of work to do to educate and engage the public so that they can better understand where and how these dollars will be spent on flood control, especially in hard-hit and vulnerable neighborhoods that have long been neglected and underfunded.
Throughout this process, I have made it clear that equity, transparency and resiliency must be at the center of the decision-making process for funding flood control projects. Voters have my commitment that I will continue to advocate for transparency and equitable funding for flood mitigation to foster resiliency and protect all neighborhoods.
NORTH HOUSTON – A meeting was held last Monday at the Greater Jerusalem Church on Jensen Drive, for the purpose of discussing plans to build a new housing structure as part of a plan to revitalize the decrepit business district of Jensen Drive.
The meeting was billed as a Community Development Partnership Meeting, and included government officials, local pastors, local business and community persons, and real estate developers.
As explained by Chris Akbari of ITEX Group, a development company, in conjunction with the J. Allen Management company, a new Leo Daniels residential building would be built, and the current tower would be renovated.
Akbari told the group that there are two possible sites, one on the east side of Jensen across from the church, and the other on Harrell Street to the north of the current building. If the second site is chosen, it would also have the possibility of using the rest of the land for a new grocery store and extensive parking. Akbari explained that negotiations for this Option 2 are underway, but not finalized.
Pastor Russell noted that whichever scheme is chosen, it will require the discussion and approval of the Leo Daniels board.
The new building would be six stories tall, and house 136 apartments. 66 of these would be efficiencies, 58 one bedroom, and 12 two bedroom.
Akbari said that financing had already been secured, including 4% Housing tax credits, City of Houston HOME funds in the amount of $5 Million dollars, CDBG federal funds through the state including disaster relief after the floods, and a $6.6 Million mortgage. Total project cost is about $26 Million dollars, he said.
After the new Tower 2 is built, residents from the existing tower would be moved to the new building, allowing renovation of that building.
EAST ALDINE – The District held a welcoming luncheon for the new Aldine ISD school superintendent, Dr. LaTonya Goffney. About 100 persons from the community were present to greet her, and hear her plans for the coming year. Goffney was introduced by East Aldine’s Richard Cantu, a person also interested in education. He is currently the president of the Aldine Education Foundation board, and a candidate for the Harris County school board.
Goffney has been named Texas Superintendent of the Year, and Aldine was pleased to be able to hire her. Previously she had been Superintendent of the Lufkin ISD school district in North Texas.
To explain her commitment to education, Dr. Goffney first told of her childhood upbringing, and the difference that education and a teacher that cared about her made in her life.
She said that although she appeared smart in school, she was the product of a home with a single mother, and actually was raised by her grandmother, who instilled much of the qualities of integrity and hard work that she embodies.
After high school, to get additional education she thought she would have to go into the military, but a teacher that believed in her told her to apply to college, and a federal FAFSA grant to pay for it.
Dr. Goffney saw education as the way her life changed for the better, and believes it can help all students. Her plans for Aldine include changes that she says have already started from the previous administration, and her job is to manage the change.