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Northeast News

Northside Law Enforcement Expo provides free family education, fun

Community supporters join area law enforcement agencies to educate residents at the 17th Houston annual Law Enforcement Expo set for September 22 at Greenspoint Mall. From left are HPD Officer M. Wisnoskie, Henry Vogel, Officers R. Munguia, and C. Bertels, the mall’s Julie Drinkwater, North Houston Greenspoint Chamber of Commerce’s Phyllis Oustifine, Harris County Sheriff’s Department”s J. Soleau, Jerry Lowry, Deputy K. Alee, Jesse Fannin and Deputy C. Gwosdz.

The North Houston Greenspoint Chamber of Commerce will provide Houstonians of all ages the opportunity to be up close and personal with the city’s dedicated crime fighters at the upcoming Law Enforcement Expo set for September 22.

“We’re pleased to spotlight the law enforcement agencies who are here to help us,” said Suzan Deison, chamber president. “It’s also a great opportunity to show how much we appreciate them and to inspire our young people to trust law enforcement.”

Each year, this free community event brings together 50 different law enforcement agencies to educate families on the law enforcement resources available to them.

Among the attractions are various vehicles from bicycles to helicopters, emergency medical demonstrations, mounted patrol, K-9 units and drug/bomb detection, as well as video and live presentations for children, fingerprinting and Gizmo the Harris County Sheriff’s Department robot.
The Law Enforcement Expo is set Saturday, September 22, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Greenspoint Mall.
“We are excited to once again host this annual event,” said the mall’s Julie Drinkwater, director of marketing, Alliance Retail Group. “It gives the community an opportunity to better understand the dedication and commitment of law enforcement officers and thus improve community relations.”

Law enforcement displays will be available inside and outside the mall. This event also gives everyone a chance to make new friends with those who put their lives on the line every day.
An official ceremony with area dignitaries, including Harris County Commissioner Jerry Eversole, a color guard and proclamations, will be held at noon.

For information, call the Greenspoint Mall at 281-875-4201.

Northline Park Advisory Council gears up for Annual Fall Festival

After seven months of preparation, the Houston Police Department’s Northline Park Storefront and civic club members are ready to host the 16th annual fall festival, on September 29, rain or shine.

The Fall Festival will offer a variety of fun activities, crafts and informational booths. The festival takes place from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Fonville Middle School, 728 East Little York.

According to Paula Parshall, President of the Northline Park Advisory Council, the Northline Park Storefront was the first one to be established in the city over sixteen years ago. The community is in partnership with the City of Houston to provide for the needs of the storefront officers.

Proceeds from previous Fall Festivals provided new carpeting when the storefront moved to its Little York location and purchased bicycles for the officers to use while patrolling the community, as well as computers, a fax machine, tables, cameras, and office supplies.

This year the goal is to raise funds to build a shower for the officers’ locker room and to purchase a badly needed computer. Funds are also needed to purchase smoked turkeys for Thanksgiving baskets and Christmas toys for needy children.
Northline Park Storefront’s Sgt. Bill Wehr said that more than 3,000 people are expected to attend this year’s Festival. The community has always been very supportive of the Fall Festival and the storefront and has provided well for its’s needs.
Sgt. Wehr added that the community benefits from having a storefront in many ways. For example, storefront officers are readily accessible to area residents giving them the opportunity to discuss on-going area problems and concerns that they have. Furthermore, the HPD storefront is able to secure the involvement of other city departments such as neighborhood protection, solid waste, animal control, and narcotics. The officers are committed to making the community a better place to live and work.

The Northline Park Storefront serves an area bounded by Canino Road to the North Loop, 610 to the South, 1-45 on the west and West Hardy on the east.

HISD North District Superintendent Erasmo S. Teran said the festival provides an opportunity for school principals and teachers to get to know the civic club members and help raise money to better meet the needs of the community. Furthermore, it is another opportunity for students to show off their talents and get ready for competitions.

The festival will feature a barbecue dinner catered by Mikeska Bar-B-Q & Catering and served in Fonville’s cafeteria. The cost is $6 and each ticket will give the buyer a chance to win a recliner from Gallery Furniture; a Bar-B-Q Grill from Sears Service Center; or $100 cash from Kemp Construction. Tickets can be purchased from all civic club members, school representatives, and at display tables at area banks and grocery stores. Volunteers will deliver meals to area businesses placing orders for 10 or more. The Master of Ceremonies will introduce guests in a presentation at 11:45 a.m.

Dignitaries that will be attending the Fall Festival are Congressman Gene Green, Senator Mario Gallegos, and Representative Kevin Bailey. Representing the City of Houston will be Council Members Orlando Sanchez, Chris Bell, Gordan Quan, Gabriel Vasquez, and Carol Mims Galloway along with police officials Chief C.O. Bradford, Captain J.A. Lampignano and Lieutenant F. L. Guidry. Superintendent Erasmo S. Teran, Dr. San Juanita Garza, and Board Members Karla Cisneros and Kevin H. Hoffman will represent HISD.

The festival activities include the tug-of-war between officers and fire fighters. The North District schools will provide marching bands, cheerleaders, drill teams, and choirs to entertain the festivalgoers. The children will enjoy the train rides, moonwalks, face painting, a dunking booth, clowns, and a variety of fun games.

For ticket or information, please call Dr. San Juanita Garza at 713-696-7650, 713-694-3087, or the storefront 281-272-4250.

Metal Magic, Creepy Critters Featured at Jones Park

From outdoor adventuring to old-fashioned blacksmithing demonstrations to natural decorations, Jesse H. Jones Park has a variety of programs for you.

Saturday, September 22, the park features a Brownie Outdoor Adventurer Try-It at 9 a.m., followed by a Pioneer Blacksmithing demonstration at 1 p.m. and Sunday’s Nature’s Art program is sure to intrigue you some unique uses of nature’s bounty.

Saturday, September 22 from 9 a.m. to noon, all Brownie scouts are invited for a fun filled morning of nature hikes; games and crafts to earn the Outdoor Adventurer Try-It. Reservations are required.

With the development of iron factories, hand fashioned metal goods has become a virtual lost art. Saturday at 1 p.m., witness this interesting trade first-hand as volunteer blacksmiths heat up the forge at Jones Park’s homestead blacksmith shop. Olden-day blacksmithing devices such as a hand-pumped bellows, stump-mounted anvil and leg vise, are used to demonstrate how metal can be hammered and shaped into a variety of useful and beautiful items.

Everything from acorns to yaupon holly berries can be transformed into creative creatures, tabletop art and interesting conversation pieces. Sunday, September 23 at 2 p.m., renowned naturalist Carmine Stahl leads a fun program demonstrating how natural material found in the forests and fields of our area can be made into Nature’s Art. Reservations are required.

Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center, a Harris County Precinct 4 facility, is located at 20634 Kenswick Drive in Humble. All programs are free of charge and open to the public. Harris County Precinct 4 programs serve people of all ages regardless of socioeconomic level, race, color, sex, religion, national origin or disability. For more information on the park or any of its programs, call 281-446-8588.

World leader, Lech Walesa, to speak at North Harris College

Lech Walesa, the former president of Poland, Solidarity movement leader andNobel Peace Prize winner will be speaking at North Harris College, Thursday, Sept. 27, 3 p.m. in the college’s performing arts theater.

Walesa’s topic “Democracy: the Never Ending Battle,” will undoubtedly inspire the audience on the ideals and struggle of democracy around the world. “This is a wonderful opportunity to promote the global dimensions of North Harris College’s programs, students and community members. Attendees will see someone who has made history, and will be read about for many years to come,” says Dr. David Sam, president of North Harris College.

Over the past ten years, a profound democratic revolution has reshaped the world political order and helped secure global economic prosperity. The seeds for this change began in the shipyards of Poland, with the leadership of Lech Walesa.

Walesa, as leader of Solidarity labor union, led a revolt at the Lenin Shipyard in Gdansk, Poland that inspired fear in the hearts of communist leadership and hope in the hearts of those starved for freedom. Despite martial law, repeated imprisonment, and constant surveillance, Walesa prevailed. His leadership of Solidarity fostered the end of communist rule in Poland, and quickly the seeds of democracy spread throughout Eastern Europe.

Walesa won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, and has received praise from around the world. He was named Man of the Year by Time Magazine, The London Observer, L’Express, and others. In November 1989, he became the third person in history, after the Marquis de Lafayette and Winston Churchill, to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress. On Dec. 9, 1990, Lech Walesa became the first democratically elected president of the Republic of Poland, serving in that role until 1995.

“The lessons of history, particularly the knowledge that one man can make a difference, are right here. Lech Walesa is an international role model, a key player in the study of the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the rebirth of Poland. The goals of democratic reform are never-ending, nor easy, and students need to be reminded of what freedom and democracy actually mean.

North Harris College is honored to have such an extraordinary international and distinguished speaker as Lech Walesa visit the campus,” says Dr. Theresa McGinley, NHC professor of history, and coordinator of the event.

“North Harris College is indebted to Linda Wuest, Executive Director of the Houston World Affairs Council for graciously co-sponsoring this event,” say Dr. McGinley.

This special lecture is free to the public. Seating is very limited, but remote television broadcast will be available around campus.

North Harris College is located at 2700 W.W. Thorne Drive, one mile south of FM 1960, between Aldine-Westfield and Hardy Roads. For more information about the college, call 281-618-5400 or send e-mail to: nhc.startcollege@nhmccd.edu.

Rep. Green speaks on the terrorist attack against the United States

Yesterday was one of America’s darkest hours. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims of those injured or killed last Tuesday, and with all Americans.

America is coming together and focusing on bringing the full weight of our nation into the recovery effort. We will find our missing, bury our dead, heal our wounded, and rebuild. The light of freedom has not been extinguished.

As the Book of Isaiah states, “Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more; the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end.”

That brings me to other thoughts I have been having since this tragedy unfolded. From this day forward, the word needs to go out from this country that no matter what dark place enemies of America wish to hide in, our law enforcement and military will find you.

I strongly support President Bush and his position that countries providing safe havens to known terrorists will be treated no differently than the terrorists themselves. We have the ability to deliver destruction of biblical proportions
Those who carried out these horrible acts need to be punished either through our court system or through the reach of our military. To the people of America, I ask that you continue to keep the victims of this attack in your prayers and pray for the safety of all those engaged in the rescue efforts.

This cowardly attack was condemned throughout the world. But it was cheered in the streets of Iraq, East Jerusalem, and the West Bank. It is truly a sick society that teaches its children such hate. For them to cheer at this terrible loss of innocent life is something I will make a point of remembering.

The new war against terrorism began yesterday, but the healing begins today. Our enemies hoped yesterday to weaken America, to hurt it. But they failed.

America will come out of this horrible event stronger, more unified, and more powerful than ever.

Rep. Bailey reminds area voters of 19 constitutional amendments on ballot

Election Day is Tuesday, November 6,2001 for 19 proposed constitutional amendments. State Representative Kevin Bailey will be offering a series of articles in which be will briefly discuss some of the arguments for and against each of the proposed amendments.

State Representative Kevin Bailey urges area voters to become familiar with the proposed constitutional amendments before going to vote, it is easy to think that it doesn’t matter whether or not you vote in this election. The issues are difficult and you are just one person. But, isn’t that the point.

In Texas, we put a great deal of faith in our voters. Each and every Texan has the opportunity – the privilege – to vote on the merits of each idea. This series of articles will briefly discuss some of the issues you may want to consider before going to vote.

AMENDMENT NO. 1 may have voters getting out their history textbooks to vote on this proposition. Under a law dating to 1836, settlers had a right to survey land they wanted to claim or purchase, but the state retained all land not specifically claimed in those surveys. In 1981, 1991, and 1993, Texas voters amended the constitution to remedy title defects for certain landowners. These amendments allowed the GLO to issue patents – original titles to land granted by the state – to qualified applicants whose land titles were defective.

This amendment would relinquish the state’s claim to a tract of land that is 400 feet wide and about four miles long outside of Elgin. The 221-acre tract is among 741,000 acres of surveyed, unsold school land held in the General Land Office (GLO) “scrap file,” so called because it stores applications to buy “scraps” of land between existing surveys.

REASONS TO CONSIDER VOTING FOR THIS AMENDMENT – Proposition 1 is needed to clear the title to land held by innocent parties, resolve an inequity, and save the stare art expensive court fight. It would be a straightforward and fair way to resolve a complicated land dispute in which it is unclear whether landowners were aware they were occupying state land.

REASONS TO CONSIDER VOTING AGAINST THIS AMENDMENT – Texas voters should not have to judge individual land-title disputes. Such matters are best left to the courts. Rather than continue to clutter the Constitution with exceptions for a few individuals, an ongoing mechanism should be established to settle these matters.

AMENDMENT NO. 2 would allow the State to use general obligation bonds backed by the state’s credit to assist border area counties in constructing and maintaining access road projects to connect colonias to existing public roads. Colonias are rural residential subdivisions located in unincorporated areas of counties, typically consisting of substandard housing with few utilities and little or no infrastructure.

REASONS TO CONSIDER VOTING FOR THIS AMENDMENT – Proposition 2 would create a new state funding source to help provide much-needed access to and from colonias. Many colonias residents were victimized by unscrupulous developers who did not provide or arrange for basic services or adequate infrastructures. Although border counties have upgraded some roads, these counties do not have the resources to meet the huge infrastructure needs of colonias.
REASONS TO CONSIDER VOTING AGAINST THIS AMENDMENT – Borrowing money by issuing state bonds to pay for roads is and always will be a bad idea. Colonias are located on private property. Though regrettable, the conditions there are not state government’s responsibility. Taxpayers already have spent more than half a billion dollars (state and federal) through various state agencies over the past 12 years to address numerous problems associated with colonias. Building local access roads with borrowed state money, regardless of the circumstances, would set a bad precedent.

AMENDMENT NO.3 would allow the Legislature to exempt from ad valorem taxation raw cocoa and green coffee brought in through the Port of Houston. Under the Texas Constitution all tangible property, including inventories, held for the production of income is subject to ad valorem taxation unless specifically exempt under the Constitution. The Legislature could impose additional requirements for qualifying for the exemption.

REASONS TO CONSIDER VOTING FOR THIS AMENDMENT – Exempting coffee and cocoa Inventories from ad valorem taxation in Harris County would make the Port of Houston eligible to be designated an exchange port for coffee by the New York Board of Trade. The board has said it will not consider the county’s application unless coffee and cocoa are exempted from taxation. Although exempting coffee and cocoa from property taxes would decrease local tax revenue in the short term, Houston’s certification as a coffee port would spur long-term investment in local warehouse facilities, create jobs, and bring additional business to trucking and distribution companies across the state.

REASONS TO CONSIDER VOTING AGAINST THIS AMENDMENT – Exempting coffee and cocoa from ad valorem taxation would reduce tax revenue for local governments in Harris County. In addition, creating an exemption for a specific industry in a specific county would require other businesses and residential property owners in the county to bear more of the burden of funding public services, It also would set a bad precedent by encouraging other types of businesses to try to carve out similar exemptions for their benefit. Also, a tax exemption should not be granted to Harris County. Other ports in Texas share Houston’s proximity to coffee-growing regions and consumer markets.

AMENDMENT NO.4 would specify a four-year term for the fire fighters’ pension commissioner.

REASONS TO CONSIDER VOTING POR THIS AMENDMENT – The proposed change in the commissioner’s term from two years to four years would make the term coincide with that of the governor who appoints the commissioner and eliminates the cumbersome process of selecting a nominee and securing Senate confirmation every legislative session. The fire fighters’ pension commissioner administers the agency, and a longer term would help ensure continuity and experience in the position

REASONS TO CONSIDER VOTING AGAINST THIS AMENDMENT – The term of the fire fighters’ pension commissioner or of any other appointed office should not be set in the Constitution, which already is bloated with overly specific and constraining provisions. Other executive directors, including the insurance and health and human services commissioners, who have far more extensive responsibilities, face review by the governor and Senate every two years without significant disruption.

These four propositions are challenging issues to deal with and our constitution requires your vote on them. That is why they are on the ballot for November 6.

If you would like additional information on these and the other 15 proposed amendments, feel free to call the office of State Representative Kevin Bailey at 281-847-9000.

Take the Right Steps to Make a Donation

AUSTIN – The Division of Emergency Management (DEM) has received inquiries from people who want to help those affected by the devastation in New York and Washington D.C. While this desire to make a donation to victims is noble and welcome, uncoordinated donations can become a disaster within a disaster.

People who want to assist should ensure their good intentions reach the correct recipients in the most effective manner.

The following are a few items people should keep in mind when donating to disaster victims:
Anyone wanting to donate to or volunteer to help those affected can call either the Salvation Army at (800) 253-1868, the American Red Cross at (800) HELP NOW or their local chapters. These agencies work with the Division of Emergency Management and local governments to provide assistance during disasters. They are in the best position to assure assistance is appropriate, adequate and delivered to the right places.

Consider making a donation in cash. Cash is a good contribution because it allows needed items to be purchased. The time it takes to sort, organize and redistribute materials can be used more effectively and items can get to the victims faster.

If you are not part of a disaster relief organization, spontaneous travel to an affected area to offer help or supplies is discouraged. Travel, lodging and food may not be available, and people traveling into the affected areas may end up unintentionally contributing to the problem.

People who wish to volunteer medical services should call the New York City Medical Volunteer Hotline at (800) 628-0193.

Rather than sending unsolicited items to the area, people should call the American Red Cross or Salvation Army or contact their local established relief organizations. These organizations are in the best position to know types of donations are needed, and they have the ability to ensure the gifts reach the intended recipients.

Following these suggestions will help assure that the right kind of help reaches those who need it most.

HCC graduate pursues opportunities in field of surgical technology

Stella Trimble entered Houston Community College’s Surgical Technology Program in 1972 after die age of 40. Her new career began when she became a Certified Surgical Technologist in 1974.

Surgical technologists, also called O.R. techs or scrub nurses, are well-trained professionals who provide valuable support before, during and after operations. Surgical technologists help to prepare the operating room, assuring that instruments, equipment and supplies are sterilized and in working order. They also ready patients for surgery by prepping the incision area, transporting patients to the operating room, taking vital signs, and helping the surgical team scrub and put on their protective gear. During surgery, surgical technologists1 provide an additional set of trained hands for everything from passing instruments to surgeons to maintaining the supply of blood for the patient.

“Initially surgical technologists were only trained on the job, then formal classes were offered,” said Trimble. “Today, students must graduate from an accredited program to be allowed to take the national certification exam.”

Hospitals employ the majority of trained surgical techs (ST), while many STs find work with clinics, private practices and staffing agencies. Trimble has worked as a surgical technologist at local hospitals, surgery centers and in private doctors’ offices, including those of an oral surgeon and a cosmetic surgeon, but she has also followed other opportunities in the field.

“Since 1996 I’ve been an instructor in Houston Community College’s Surgical Technology Program,” said Trimble. “I tell my students ‘always think of the patient first’ and I encourage them to use their critical thinking abilities.”

Trimble has also served on the Liaison Council on Certification for the Surgical Technologist (1990-1996) and is an inspector for the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.
I travel all over the country to inspect programs that are applying for accreditation and ensure that accredited programs are upholding the standards of the industry,” said Trimble. “Being an inspector is not the only opportunity for travel in the field, many STs work with agencies that recruit staff for hospitals and clinics across the country. They work on a contract basis and can choose where and for how long they stay on an assignment.”

Salaries have improved as hospitals have learned to value educated and certified surgical techs. Nationwide, the demand for surgical techs is as high as the demand for nurses and will likely remain high as the country’s population ages and the number of surgical procedures grows.

Historical clothing, Hispanic Celebration at Jones Park

For those people interested in times of long ago, this weekend is sure to be an enlightening one, as Jesse H. Jones Park &. Nature Center presents a pair of programs for the historically minded. Saturday, September 15 at 10 a.m. the park features a Historical Clothing Open House. And Sunday, September 16 at 2 p.m. the stage comes alive with folkloric dancers and Mariachis to commemorate Dies y Seis de Septiembre.

If you’ve been interested in getting into the spirit of Jones Park’s annual festivals – Pionecr Day Saturday, November 3, and Texas Heritage Day each spring – but you aren’t quite sure how to go about it, a good starting point is to develop a time period correct costume. And what better way to get some ideas than a Historical Clothing Open House? Saturday, September 15 from 10 am, to noon, visit with authentically outfitted re-enactors as they demonstrate the types of clothing and accessories worn during a variety of time periods. Representatives of various local re-enactment groups portray the accoutrements of the War of 1812, early Texas pioneers, Civil War soldiers and the 1870s Texas Cowboy era.

Sunday, September 16 beginning at 2 p.m., come and join the fun as Jones Park celebrates Dies y Seis de Septiembre. The outdoor stage resounds with the delightful music and dancing of folkloric dancers and Mariachis to celebrate Mexico’s independence from Spain. Visitors can make their own maracas and enjoy Hispanic finger foods, or bring a picnic lunch for a festive afternoon of cultural entertainment.

Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center, a Harris County Precinct 4 facility, is located at 20634 Kenswick Drive in Humble. All programs are free of charge and open to the public. For more information on the park or any of its programs, call 281-446-8588.

Tops open house, September 27th

TOPS # TX 547 will be holding a free open house, Thursday evening, September 27th at 7 p.m. at the Polish Home located 103 Cooper. (1 block east of Parker at Airline) Everyone wanting to lose weight or just maintain their weight, is invited to attend our open house to see what TOPS Club, Inc. has to offer. For more information, please call Lynn at 832-593-6847 or Reva at 281-445-1673
TOPS, a non-profit weight loss support organization, offers group support at its very best: Fun and informative meetings, monthly contests and incentives, awards and recognition for losing weight, monthly TOPS NEWS magazine, annual conventions and lots of caring and sharing!

As you follow your personal physician’s diet and exercise plan, TOPS gives you the encouragement and support you need to reach your goal weight. For information on other TOPS chapters call 1-800-932-8677.

Cleanup of Spring Cemetery planned for the fall

A cleanup of the historic Spring Cemetery located at 26206 Aldine Westfield Road is being planned for several dates in the fall.

The initial restoration of the cemetery was begun in 1999 by a group of North Harris College Honors students.

The Spring Historical and Genealogical Society has now joined the restoration efforts in preparation for the installation of a Texas Historical Landmark, which was awarded to the cemetery by the Texas Historical Commission in August of 2000.
Information about the project is on display at the Spring Historical Museum. Photographs and additional information concerning the cemetery is currently being sought. Please call Maryann Readal at 281-618-5497 for further information.