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Northeast News

East Aldine to get sculpture by famed Artist

In the artist’s studio East Aldine District Art Committee chairman Carlos Silva, left, views the statue of John F. Kennedy that will be erected in the esplanade of JFK Boulevard at Aldine Bender. At the right is the sculptor, David Adickes. He is well known in the art world for his series of sculptures of presidents’ heads, which can be seen from I-45 Southbound near his downtown studio. Adickes is also best known for the 67’ tall statue of Sam Houston which sits along the I-45 highway in Huntsville.

EAST ALDINE – A huge bust statue of the late president John F. Kennedy may soon mark the northern edge of the District, and greet travelers arriving from Intercontinental Airport.

The Art Committee of the East Aldine District has recommended to the board the purchase and installation of a unique statue of JFK, sculpted by famed artist David Adickes. Adickes is known for the towering statue of Texas hero Sam Houston, which sits along the highway I-45 in Huntsville.

The statue would be located in the median between the northbound and southbound lanes of JFK Boulevard, at the intersection with Aldine Bender.

An artist’s constructed photo shows how the JFK Statue will look as it is installed on a base pedestal in the median or esplanade of JFK Boulevard at Aldine Bender.In this photo, Aldine Bender runs left to right, and JFK Boulevard runs toward and away from the camera. The Statue will serve as a welcome to travelers arriving from the airport toward the city, and also as an introduction to the East Aldine District.

According to Silva, the art committee has a number of projects that would bring public art to East Aldine. These include the Big Walls Big Dreams mural recently painted on the wall at the High Meadows library, Mini Murals on utility boxes, the JFK statue, and a gigantic mural scheduled for the lobby wall of the new East Aldine District office building, that would tell the story graphically of the history of the Aldine Area.

87th Legislature ends, as Democrats walk out to kill Voter Restrictions bill

AUSTIN – A bill to overhaul voting rules in the state failed to pass in the Texas House on Sunday night in a victory for Democrats and voting rights advocates. Sunday was the last day of the legislative session that the bill, Senate Bill 7, could have been passed, but it may be brought up again in the future.

SB7 failed to pass in the Texas House because a group of House Democrats walked out of the legislature, causing the House to lose quorum — in order for certain procedures to take place, such as passing legislation, a certain number of House members must be present — blocking Republicans from passing the bill despite their majority. Birnel said that was all made possible by the work of organizers.

The bill would place limits on early voting hours, drive-thru voting, and tighten restrictions on who can vote by mail. It would also expand the role that poll watchers can play, including allowing them to be closer to the polls and to record certain voters.

Mural Fest brings art scene to East Aldine

Artist Jesse De Leon works on the East Aldine community painting on the wall of the High Meadows Branch Library. Citywide, the project is known as BIG WALLS, BIG DREAMS. The district is promoting the inclusion of art of various types in the visual fabric of the community, and this mural is one of many efforts to introduce public art to the East Aldine District. (ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF EAST ALDINE DISTRICT & VERONICA SANCHES)

New Mural at High Meadows Library is start of Art Committee events

EAST ALDINE – The Aldine community held its first annual “ART FEST” last Saturday, May 22nd. The event took place at the Harris County High Meadows Branch Library, who were one of the co-sponsors the fest.

The idea behind the Art Fest was to involve the community, both children and adults, in participating art projects. The Art Committee of the East Aldine District plans to have many additional types of art and art projects throughout the community in the future, and on an on-going basis.

GLO responds to criticism, sends $750 mil to Harris County

HARRIS COUNTY – After last week’s announcement from the state GLO, local leaders in Harris County and the City of Houston were vocal in their unhappiness about the fact that almost no flood mitigation funds had been allocated for these two areas, in spite of the fact that Hurricane Harvey had devastated more homes and businesses than anywhere else in the state. Judge Hidalgo petitioned HUD, the federal department providing the flood funds to the state, to reconsider the criteria and allocate money to the local needs.

As a result, George P. Bush, director of the GLO, changed his original statement and promised the county that they would receive a block grant of $750 million without waiting for the second round of allocations. However, as told to this newspaper by a representative of the GLO, this money will come from the $2.144 billion sent to Texas for flood mitigation from Hurricane Harvey, rather than additional funding.

HCDE elects Cantu as VP

HARRIS COUNTY – The Harris County Department of Education held their annual election of officers of the board last week, and East Aldine’s deputy executive director Richard Cantu was elected as first vice-president. As a board member and officer, Cantu has championed education matters for the underserved of the district and the county. He also serves on the board of the Aldine Education Foundation, and several advisory boards for HCC and LSC.

Position 6, Precinct 1 trustee Danyahel (Danny) Norris, an intellectual property attorney, was unanimously elected president.

Norris, who began his term in January 2019, is a principal partner of Norris & Norris LLP and is a past president of the Houston Lawyer’s Association. A native Chicagoan, Norris holds a chemical engineering degree from the University of Houston and a law degree from Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law.

Other new officers for 2021-2022 are Richard Cantu, first vice president; and Andrea Duhon, second vice president.

Aldine ISD votes Pandemic bonuses for Employees

Aldine ISD Trustees Connie Esparza, left, and Rose Avalos, right, hold up novelty checks after the Aldine ISD Board of Trustees approved a resolution to give all district employees a one-time bonus for going above and beyond during the 2020-21 school year.

One-time Check amounts will be $1000 to $1200

ALDINE – During the May 18 Board meeting, Aldine ISD Trustees approved a resolution to give all district employees a one-time incentive and retention payment. The Board of Trustees approved a resolution to give all employees a one-time incentive and retention payment of $1,500 to exempt staff (teachers and administrators) and $1,000 to non-exempt staff (hourly employees) for going above and beyond their duties and responsibilities during an unprecedented school year.

The Aldine ISD Board of Trustees has always been intentional when allocating financial resources, and has made it a priority to invest in recruiting, retaining, and developing the best team for Aldine ISD students and families. They believe without a doubt, that there is no better investment to make than in our incredible educators and staff.

At the meeting Superintendent Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney expressed that dedication shown by district staff has not gone unnoticed.

“Please accept this check on behalf of the Aldine ISD board of trustees as a tangible expression of appreciation for the dedication you bring to work each day. Thank you for teaching and working in extraordinary ways this school year.”

Robbery, shooting at Wells Fargo ATM

FBI and HPD investigators examine the ATM machine at right, and the Armored Truck left, in the Drive-thru.
Police Crime Scene tape surrounds the Wells Fargo building on Tidwell, after an Armored Truck robbery and shooting of the guard.

HOUSTON – A guard was shot in the face during a robbery at the ATM machine at the Wells Fargo bank on Tidwell near the Eastex Freeway. The crime took place Friday at about 12:20 pm, in the drive-thru of the bank.

HPD Asst. Chief Yasar Bashir reported that two guards were inside the truck when it arrived, and one left to service the ATM machine. Shortly thereafter, the guard was accosted by a robber who shot him and took the money he was carrying.

The second guard exited the truck, and fired at the robber, who was escaping in a waiting vehicle. According to Bashir, there was an exchange of gunfire between the two men.

GLO, Feds deny flood funds to Harris County

Harris County and Houston officials learned Friday that the state GLO (General Land Office) and the federal HUD (Housing and Urban Development) had determined that these two governments would not receive any Flood Mitigation funding of the approximately $1 billion that was available, in the first round of allocations by the state.

The allocations are based on a formula to determine which communities are the neediest, according to GLO. Within Harris County, approximately $90 million was allocated to Baytown, Pasadena, Galena Park, and Jacinto City for flood mitigation projects that they had applied for.

Harris County had submitted an application asking for $900 million, according to Pct. 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia. Commissioner Garcia, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner issued statements expressing their displeasure and disbelief in news of the allocations not including local jurisdictions.

Commissioner Garcia said that he was upset, and “incredibly frustrated.” Judge Hidalgo said, “It is unconscionable that the very community hit with the most flooded structures by far during Hurricane Harvey received nothing as part of this Harvey Mitigation allocation.”

Mayor Turner said, “For the State GLO not to give one dime in the initial distribution to the City and a very small portion to Harris County shows a callous disregard to the people of Houston and Harris County.”

Judge Hidalgo said that she plans to ask HUD for a review of the criteria used, and assurance that the County will receive future fund allocations. She said the formulas that are used disadvantage large urban areas that are hardest hit.

Harris County Judge Moves COVID-19 Threat Level to Level 2: Orange

Key COVID-19 Trends Continue Downward Trajectory; Hidalgo Commends Community for Driving Indicators Down By Getting Vaccinated, Urges Continued Vigilance and Action to Reach Non-Vaccinated Population

Harris County, Texas – May 18, 2021, Judge Lina Hidalgo today announced that she is moving the county’s COVID-19 Threat Level Indicator from Level 1: Red to Level 2: Orange, the system’s second highest threat level. The move comes as a variety of indicators demonstrate significant progress in reducing the threat of COVID-19 and the availability, administration, and efficacy of vaccines for eligible age groups.

Over the past several weeks a convergence of factors has led to the lowering of the threat level. Among them, a variety of key indicators used to inform the county’s threat level system made significant improvements. These include hospital population trends, hospital usage trends, case trends, and positivity rate. Additionally, the on-demand availability of vaccines, their efficacy against variance, an increasing number of individuals getting vaccinated, and updated CDC guidance regarding mask usage and testing. These indicators have been used by the county in conjunction with health experts to make decisions about policy changes and community guidance.

“Thanks to the hard work of our residents, we have made substantial progress in turning a corner against this virus,” said Judge Hidalgo. “This is not a mission accomplished moment, but we should feel encouraged that these vaccines have helped us finally trend in the right direction. Let’s continue to pull together and help persuade friends, family members, and others those who haven’t been vaccinated to do their part.”

Scarborough Elementary holds virtual grand opening of new campus

AERIAL VIEW OF THE NEW SCARBOROUGH ELEMENTARY, AT THE CORNER OF EAST LITTLE YORK AND BENTLEY ROAD.

ALDINE – Scarborough Elementary School hosted a virtual grand opening on Friday April 23 to celebrate its new campus. The virtual celebration was live online at HoustonISD.org/LiveTV.

Scarborough was among four HISD elementary schools that had to be rebuilt after receiving significant damage and flooding as a result of Hurricane Harvey. Students and staff were forced to temporarily relocate while the schools were razed and rebuilt.

Though the new school opened to students in the fall of 2020, Scarborough Principal Miriam Medina said having a virtual grand opening marked their official homecoming.

“It’s symbolic to us that we survived, and that Scarborough is strong,” Medina said. “The Huskies will keep on going.”