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Northeast News

HCC North Forest opens new facilities

Ribbon cutting participants included HCC-NE President Monique Umphrey, Maxine Lane-Seals, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, HCC Chancelor Cesar Moldonado, HCC Board Chair Carolyn Evans-Shabazz, State Rep. Senfronia Thompson, Judge Joe Stephens, Millicent Edwards, and many others from the HCC and North Forest community, past and present.

NORTH FOREST – After many years of planning and construction, the Houston Community College Northeast finally was able to open their new North Forest expansion facilities at a ceremony last Tuesday morning. The complex of buildings will house a new academic wing, expanded work force offices, and a unique auto maintenance training facility.

Dr. Cesar Maldonado spoke about the importance of the new campus not only being an educational opportunity, but a driver of economic development for the whole community.

The hour-long ceremony was not only a chance for HCC educators to speak about the new programs and opportunities, but it also became somewhat of a reunion party for all the past North Forest school officials that had endured closure of their district, and hoped this was a closure of their educational future achievements.

The main speaker for the event was Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, who had worked to save the old North Forest ISD, and now was able to help bring funding for the new community college campus to the area. She spoke about not only the present opportunities, but also a vision of expansion into a complete campus. She noted that there was a lot of vacant land adjacent, and saw the North Forest campus expanding again. She congratulated the community leaders that had worked hard to bring the campus into North Forest. She noted that it had taken several attempts to bring the promised funds into reality for the college.

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Commissioner Garcia details his plans for Pct. 2 improvements

Commissioner Adrian Garcia speaks at the Chamber luncheon about his plans for Pct. 2.

By Gilbert Hoffman

Speaking last week at a North Channel Chamber luncheon, Harris County Pct. 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia covered a wide range of topics related to his concepts of improving conditions for all the residents.

Garcia said that his focus at all times is on Precinct 2, and what he can do to better conditions there. He said a fundamental change in how the precinct is run is his emphasis on spending county money to hire companies and workers that are located in the precinct. He introduced his purchasing director, Jose Jimenez, saying he was they key to implementing the new plan.

Garcia reflected on his first seven months in office, and how it seemed like an unending string of catastrophes. He noted that his term started the first week with an ExxonMobil fire in the refinery in Baytown, and currently was ending the period the same way with the same disaster. He noted that the refineries in Precinct 2 have a history of violations of air and water pollution, and vowed that the county would implement new procedures to minimize these. Because of the large number of petrochemical plants in his district, he said that environmental concerns and safety would be a primary concern that he would focus on.

Garcia noted that his precinct has the lowest household income in the county, and related to that is the lowest home ownership percentage. He noted how important this is, related to other problems of educational achievement and crime rates.

He said a priority is to raise the level of educational achievement, and as a start he has partnered with HCDE, the Harris County Department of Education, to provide free SAT college preparation for about 200 motivated students that need help to pass the college entrance tests. This is a four week course for high school students, and if successful will be repeated for more. Garcia noted that passing the SAT will open more educational opportunities, and result in more job and career choices and opportunities.

Garcia told the students, “Go on to succeed, but come back to Precinct 2 and Give Back.”

Garcia said that healthcare was a major concern, and noted that he had started the first “food pantry” at a Clinic in the district, to provide more healthy food to clients. He noted that other factors affecting access to good healthcare included transportation, which is being provided.

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Aldine ISD to hold second annual Jamboree Aug. 13

Aldine ISD will hold its second annual Jamboree to showcase the district’s athletic and performing arts programs on Tuesday, Aug. 13.

The Jamboree will be held at the M.O. Campbell Educational Center (1865 Aldine Bender Road) and will run from 6-8 p.m.

Aldine ISD Superintendent Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney will address the crowd, as will other guest speakers. Last year, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner delivered remarks.

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Online Enrollment Expedites Registration for New Students

More than 1,740 new Aldine ISD students were enrolled using the new student online registration portal, since July 8.

At the beginning of the month, the district launched a new and convenient way for families new to the district to enroll their students. The online enrollment tool has expedited the registration process allowing families to complete a portion of their back-to-school registration before coming to their campus.

Students new to the district or previous Aldine ISD students who were not enrolled on the last day of school must register as a new student for the 2019-2020 school year.

Forms are available online and can be completed on most computers, cell phones or tablets. Aldine ISD campuses will also have computers available for parents to complete required forms electronically. (more…)

Hurricane Recovery snagged by floodplain rules

HARRIS COUNTY – The public doubtlessly wants to stop flooding, but with new rules adopted in early July, building new will come at a premium.

Harris County Commissioner’s Court has established new rules that require that builders set off as much retention as would handle flooding at the 500-year floodplain. The vote was unanimous on July 9 concerning unincorporated Harris County to move the model from the 100-year to 500-year floodplain. The new rules are related to projecting increases in the state’s rain from federal studies and the Atlas -14 rainfall data. All of this is atop of any other requirements by enforcers like the Harris County Flood Control District.

According to County Judge Lina Hidalgo at the assembly, “To make sure the new development takes into account the latest rainfall protections and the new development is required to retain as much water as possible so as to offset any impact they would have on the folks downstream.”

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HAPPY Summer Camp at Nimitz HS

A group of Aldine ISD students pose with staff from the Memorial Hermann Nimitz Clinic prior to one of their session at the H.A.P.P.Y (Healthy Attitudes Promote Positive Youth) Summer Bootcamp held the July 15-19 at Memorial Hermann’s Nimitz Clinic.

Aldine ISD students get start on healthy Lifestyles by attending H.A.P.P.Y Summer Bootcamp

It’s never too early to start a healthy lifestyle and that’s why a group of Aldine ISD students spent a week this summer at the H.A.P.P.Y. (Healthy Attitudes Promote Positive Youth) Summer Bootcamp sponsored by the Memorial Hermann Nimitz Clinic.

The camp was held July 15-19, and 13 AISD students in fifth – eighth grade participated.

The weeklong camp consisted of daily sessions that included an hour of daily exercise, a medical evaluation, a nutrition consultation and a self-esteem group counseling session. Campers also enjoyed a daily arts and crafts session.

The sessions promoted a healthy lifestyle through guided practice, according to Ashley Scott, MPH, PA-C, the camp organizer.

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OPINION: Governor’s Veto of Northeast Houston District is wrong

By State Senator Borris Miles

During the 86th Legislative Session, I worked with several organizations to pass more than 28 pieces of legislation targeted to help the many communities of Senate District 13. Many of those bills, you, the community, had a hand in crafting. From criminal justice reforms, consumer advocacy, affordable and accessible healthcare options to jobs and economic development, my legislative package was about improving and growing Senate District 13. I authored Senate Bill 390 to create the Northeast Houston Redevelopment District. This bill was one of the most critical bills in my legislative package.

Like many parts of low-income and economically challenged areas, there are abandoned shopping centers and a lack of grocery stores and major retailers in the area. After meetings with local Northeast community leaders and local elected officials, we crafted SB 390 to give this area the help it needed to attract new businesses and jobs and breathe life back into the community.

I carefully moved this bill through the Senate Chamber, and personally met with the governor and his staff, to ensure he understood this bill’s importance. Throughout the session, the governor did not indicate any problem with the bill until May 20th, one week before the end of the session. After working with the governor’s staff and making the requested changes, his staff even provided assistance in clearing procedural hurdles to help pass the bill. After the session ended, he vetoed the bill, which made little to no sense to me.

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Project Recovery Harvey has funds available

Project Recovery Harvey is open to Homeowners affected by Hurricane Harvey, or, depending on the program, the floods of 2015, 2016, & 2017, who are U. S. Citizens and Permanent Legal Residents.

The first step is to complete the pre-application to determine which program you may qualify for by visiting www.HarrisRecovery.org.

After you complete the pre-application, you should receive an email verifying that your information has been recorded. Help is available by calling 832-927-4961 or stop in to speak with an intake specialist at any location listed here.

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Aldine ISD Back-to-School Expo set for July 27

Students and parents at last year’s Family event.

Aldine ISD, in partnership with U.S. Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia and BakerRipley, invites the community to the annual Back-to-School Family Engagement Expo. The event will be held from 8 a.m to noon on Saturday, July 27, at the M.O. Campbell Educational Center, 1865 Aldine Bender Road. The free event is open to families in Aldine ISD with children in prekindergarten to high school.

The event will provide resources for school and helpful tips and strategies to help students succeed. Free immunizations and free health screenings will be available, while supplies last. Additionally, vouchers for free uniforms and free school supplies will be available while supplies last. Throughout the event there will be an opportunity to win door prizes and refreshments will be available.

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