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Posts published in “Day: May 21, 2002”

Aldine Library begins new hours, summer reading program

The Aldine Branch Library, 11331 Airline Drive will have new hours beginning June 1. The library will close at 8:00 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday nights. The new hours are:
Monday, 1-8
Tuesday, 10-7
Wednesday, 10-8
Thursday, 10-7
Friday, 1-6
Saturday, 10-5

The library will be closed on Monday, May 27, 2002 for Memorial Day.

The Summer Reading and Read-to-Me Program,
Read Across Texas! Will begin on Tuesday, May 28 and continue through Tuesday, July 28. Children who read 10 books or for 5 hours and earn a certificate and a free book while supplies last.

On Wednesday, May 29, there will be Pre-School Storytime at 10:30 a.m. Bilingual Storytime is on Thursday, May 30, also at 10:30 a.m.

Also on May 30 at 3:00 p.m., visitors can learn about cowboys and ranch life .

Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council recognize local volunteer

GSSJC President and Chair of the Board Cora Ann Blytas, left, awards Carolyn Hightower with the Thanks Badge.

Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council (GSSJC) recently honored Girl Scout volunteer Carolyn Hightower for her many years of service to the organization. She received her award during the GSSJC recognition event from the Council President and Chair of the Board Cora Ann Blytas.

Hightower received the Thanks Badge. This award is presented to registered adults in recognition of truly extraordinary service that benefits the Council or Girl Scout Movement.

“This very special volunteer has been serving Girl Scouts and adults in so many ways. For the past three years she has been the co-chair of the Fall Product Sale and has done an outstanding job – before, during, and after the sale,” said fellow volunteer Marianna Olivarez.

One of the things Hightower enjoys doing most is training. She enjoys giving advice to new leaders. Hightower’s favorite saying is “Always remember, it’s for the girls.”

Girl Scouts of the USA is the world’s preeminent organization for girls, with a membership of more than 3.5 million girls and adults. Today, as when founded in 1912, GSUSA helps cultivate values, social conscience, and self-esteem in young girls, while also teaching them critical life skills that will enable them to succeed as adults. In Girl Scouting – and its special girl-only environment – girls discover the fun, friendship and power of girls together.

Chartered by GSUSA to provide Girl Scouting locally, Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council is one of the largest Girl Scout councils in the country serving over 50,000 girl members and 13,000 adults in 21 southeast Texas counties.

“Star Wars” Saga Continues

Hayden Christensen is Anakin Skywalker, Natalie Portman is Padmé and Ewan McGregor is back as Obi-Wan Kenobi in “Star Wars: Episode II, Attack of the Clones.”

With some reviews it’s hard to know where to start – this is the case with the latest installment in the “Star Wars” saga “Episode II, Attack of the Clones.”

There’s so much that can be said about this movie alone, plus it’s hard to write about the latest without mentioning the first 1977 “Star Wars” and those that followed. Most of you know the original was actually the fourth episode in the series that will probably end at six. It’s all rather confusing. The last three were made first in the 70s and early 80s while “Episode I” came out in 1999, now there’s “Episode II” and “Episode III” is scheduled to be released in 2005.

First off, “Clones” is better than the last movie, “Star Wars: Episode I, The Phantom Menace.” It harks back to the tone and spirit of the original three movies, especially the best of those “The Empire Strikes Back,” but it does not reach that superior film’s level of sophistication or satisfaction.

“Empire” was a perfect blend of suspense, action, romance and character development. “Clones” is nowhere near as evenly paced. It even gets boring at times. At others, it hammers you over the head with gee-whiz effects and relentless motion.

There’s no denying that the movie looks gorgeous and the effects are wonderful, but it almost looks too good. Just because you can create something visually on a computer doesn’t mean that you should. I rather long for painted sets, puppets and miniatures. There’s a lack of honesty in tangibles created by computer that do not exist in the real world.

It all seemed more honest back in the original three. A sense of truth and honesty is important when actors are spouting corny lines about the “force” and the “dark side.” Or maybe it’s that I have grown more cynical since I saw the fourth, fifth and sixth episodes.

Ten years have passed for Anakin Skywalker and company. He is now 19 and showing more skill as a Jedi as well as exhibiting some of the traits that will enable him to turn to the dreaded dark side. Hayden Christensen (“Life as a House”) is Anakin, the future Darth Vader. He’s rather wooden in the role.

Anakin is handsome and mostly likable, but he’s also sulky, angry and more childish now than he was 10 years ago. He’s rebelling against his trainer Obi-Wan Kenobi, who is once again played by Ewan McGregor (“Moulin Rouge”).

Obi-Wan gets one of the best lines in the movie when he refers to his exasperation with his young pupil, but it’s good ol’ Yoda who steals the show. The little green guy proves why he’s such a revered master Jedi. It’s not because of his backward way of speaking.

As was mentioned before, there’s many other things I could write about, but it is necessary that I write about the plot, though I’d rather not. Actually, by the time this review is printed just about every fan of the series will have seen the movie – at least once.

A quick overview: As with “Menace” there’s a lot of boring politics and the former Queen Padmé Amidala of Naboo is smack in the middle of it, this time as a senator. Obi-Wan and his student Anakin are given the job of protecting the senator from an assassin. Anakin is very happy about this since he’s been thinking about Padmé since they first met 10 years ago.

We all know they are the future parents of Luke and Leia so it’s no surprise that they get together. There are obstacles but most of us already know how it all ends. The big question of how Anakin turns evil is not revealed yet, but we do see he has a dark, vengeful side, especially when his mother is taken away.

It turns out he’s a mama’s boy and everyone knows you don’t mess with someone’s mother.

While Anakin and Padmé eye each other all lovey-dovey, Obi-Wan is chasing down the man responsible for the attacks on Padmé. It turns out to be Jango Fett who is none other than the father of Boba Fett, the bounty hunter after Han Solo in “Empire.” Obi-Wan also discovers that a large army of clones is being built.

There’s a big showdown and as the title promises there is an attack by clones – lots and lots of clones.

To reassure all those Jar Jar Binks haters – there are many of you – he’s only in this movie for a few blessedly short minutes. All the other major characters that were alive at the end of “Menace” return. The ever so cool Samuel L. Jackson gets more screen time as Mace Windu. Plus, he has a purple light saber and knows how to use it.

For fans of the saga, “Clones” will whet your appetite for more. It’s every fans dream to watch all six movies together, but we must wait a few more years for episode three. Darn! Rated-PG

Carter Academy hosts dedication today

At 4 p.m. on May 21, 2002, Carter Academy for the Performing and Visual Arts will host a dedication ceremony for its new marquee.

The dedication will include sinking a time capsule adjacent to the base of the bilingual sign. The fourth-grade “graduating” class took charge of filling the capsule with representative mementos and a projection into their futures with individual essays answering, “What will I be doing in ten years?”
The Carter Academy PTO Board and administrators will have a hand – literally – in the event, as each leaves a handprint in the wet cement interring the capsule for the next ten years. Refreshments and entertainment will follow.

The celebration is hosted by Carter Academy for the Performing and Visual Arts, the PTO and the 21st Century Community Learning Center. Parent and community volunteers will also be recognized and celebrated at the dedication.

Carter Academy is a magnet school in the Aldine Independent School District. It is located at 3111 Fallbrook Drive.

For more information, contact Nancy Olson at 281-878-7760 or email nolson@aldine.k12.tx.us.

AISD to assess children 3-5

The Special Education Department of Aldine Independent School District offers free early childhood assessments for those children parents feel might need special education services between age 3 and 5.

In order to qualify for special education services at one of the four Pre-K/EC Centers the child must be tested and qualify with a handicapping condition. In order to qualify the child must have a severe deficit in cognition, articulation, language development, motor skills or physical limitations. The child might also have a hearing loss or vision impairment.

The process of referring and testing a child occurs year around. The goal of summer testing is to evaluate and have services ready to start the first day of the 2002-2003 school year.

If you feel that your child may qualify with a handicapping condition and would like your child tested please contact the Pre-K/EC Center in your attendance zone.

If you are unsure of which Pre-K/EC Center to contact please call Pat Fuller at 281-985-6167.

Spider Man, dancing spaghetti at HCC-NE college for kids

What do Spider Man, dancing spaghetti, and 200 kids in surgical caps and masks have in common? They were part of Health Careers Day at the College for Kids program at Houston Community College-Northeast Health Careers Day was the second session in the five-week program. Dr. Charlesetta Deason, principal HISD’s Michael E. DeBakey High School for Health Professions, was chairperson of the session. On the first Saturday, the students were introduced to careers in fine arts. The youngsters were entertained by professional dancers and musicians and viewed works of art by both local and world-renowned artists.

During Health Careers Day they were delighted by a visit from Spider Man, given free surgical caps and masks, and created “Mr. Germ” toys to take home with them.

John Galiotos, Ph.D., FAIC, chair of the Chemical Laboratory Technology, Process Technology and Biotechnology programs at the College, dressed as Spider Man and enthralled the kids using science technology techniques to make spaghetti dance and chemicals produce huge clouds of smoke when he mixed them together.

Linder Sneed, instructor in the Health Careers Department at HCC-Southeast, discussed various careers in the health professions, and gave each child a surgical cap and mask to wear.

Rhonda Raford-Adams, program director of Art Angels Healing Arts Program, explained the benefit of art and similar projects in the healing process. She then handed out sponges, pipe cleaners, and other household materials and let each youngster create his or her concept of “Mr. Germ”.

Sponsored by HCC-Northeast, in partnership with HISD, Project GRAD USA, and the National Congress of Black Women-Houston Chapter, College for Kids is designed to allow elementary and middle school students to explore various career paths and opportunities for the future.

After completion of the seminars, the youngsters will be paired with individual mentors from Northeast College who will follow their progress and assist them through high school. The ultimate goal of the program is to significantly increase the high school graduation and college attendance rates of students in Houston’s northeast communities.

“I am so pleased with the success of this pilot program,” stated Northeast College President Margaret Forde, Ed. D.

“Ms. Patsy Flowers, whom I’ve appointed director of the College for Kids program, has done a splendid job,” she said.

“Working with Dr. Laurie Ballering of Project Grad and our other partners, she has created sessions that are educational and informative; yet keep the youngsters on the edge of their seats,” she added.

Faces of Cinco de Mayo

The faces of Ernest F. Mendel’s Cinco de Mayo Multicultural celebration were shining even in the beginning days of summer.

On May 2, the annual festivities were organized and successful thanks to P.E. teacher Mrs. Stasie Veinotte, and Mrs. Carol Penton, music teacher.

There were dancers and singers, and special costumes and traditional dancing. Each grade level represented a different dance from different cultures around the world.

Parents and friends came out to watch their children perform. What a wonderful way to teach children about different cultures.

Thank you students for a wonderful and entertaining day.

Aldine ISD offers summer recreation program

Aldine ISD will offer recreation classes in gymnastics, tennis, swimming and weight training during the summer.

Classes will be offered at Dunn Elementary, Raymond Academy, Conley Elementary, Aldine High School, Eisenhower High School and Nimitz High School.
The cost is $20 per course (with the requirement that at least 12 students sign up for a class). Cash or money orders will only be accepted for payment. No refunds will be made once the class starts, unless classes are canceled due to enrollment. Registration will be held May 28-29 from 9-11:30 a.m. in the gymnasium of the schools where classes will be offered.

Gymnastics will be offered at Dunn, Raymond and Conley for students in grades one through 12. Swimming lessons will be offered at Aldine High School for grades one through 12 and weight training will be offered at Aldine, Eisenhower and Nimitz (students must be 10 years of age or older to take the weight training course). Additionally, 12 lessons will be offered from June 3-18 in gymnastics, tennis and swimming. A second series of 12 lessons will be offered from June 24-July 11. Weight training will be offered June 3-July 11. Twenty-six lessons will cost $20 (there will be no lessons July 3-4).

In addition to the classes, the gyms will be open at Aldine, Carver, Eisenhower, MacArthur and Nimitz high schools June 3-July 12 from 1-7 p.m. for recreational play at no cost to the students.
Swimming pools at Aldine, Eisenhower, Nimitz and Carver will be open for recreational swimming beginning June 3. Participation levels will determine if pools will remain open throughout the summer. The schedule for the pools is as follows: Monday through Friday – 3-5 p.m. and 5:15-7:15 p.m.; and Saturday – 1-3 p.m. and 3:15-5:15 p.m. Admission is $1 for students and adults.

For more information, contact Bill Smith at Aldine High at 281-447-1171, Richard Carson at Eisenhower High at 281-878-0940, Jerry Drones at MacArthur High at 281-985-6337, Randy Rowe at Nimitz High at 281-233-4361 or Daryl Wade at Carver High at 281-985-6100.

For information on all locations after June 1, contact Wade at 281-985-6100.

New family practice clinic opens

Dr. Rafael Borges is flanked by two of his staff members, Mayda Hernandez onthe left and Camillia Barrington on the right.

Rafael Borges, M.D., recently opened up his Family Practice Clinic, located inside Houston Community Hospital. Originally from The Dominican Republic, Dr. Borges completed his training at New York Medical College and Sacred Heart Hospital in Allentown, PA, and affiliate of Temple School of Medicine. Dr. Borges moved here from San Antonio and the office opened is February. He sees patients Monday through Saturday and no appointment is necessary.

Dr. Borges will be a major asset to this community because he and his staff speak fluent Spanish. The Family Medicine Clinic treats all age groups, accepts Medicaid (including many HMOs), Medicare, many private insurances, as well as cash. He is also currently working on becoming a provider for many new insurance companies.

When asked why he chose to practice in this area of town, Dr. Borges states “this area has historically been medically underserved, and I felt I was needed. The hospital welcomed me so here I am.” About his philosophy of care, Dr. Borges states, “Honesty is the most important part of providing good care. The patient must be honest with the doctor and the doctor must be honest with the patient. I want to be an asset to my patients as well as to the community. I will always give my patients the time and attention they deserve.” Dr. Borges also says that he chose Family Practice because of the diversity it offers.

Dr. Borges is on staff a several hospitals but primarily practices at Houston Community Hospital. He has already been very active in the community and several more events are in the planning stages.
Family Medicine Clinic, P.A. is located at 2807 Little York Rd., Ste. 110 and the phone number is 713-696-4652.

The office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Please call for any additional information.

Pacific war museum offers activities for Memorial Day

Fredericksburg, Texas – In honor of Memorial Day, the National Museum of the Pacific War will offer families a week of activities in remembrance of those who have risked or given their lives for our country and in gratitude to those to are risking their lives in combat today.

Operation Patriotism

Recognizing that the thoughts of many Americans this Memorial Day will be with our troops overseas, the National Museum of the Pacific War is spearheading “Operation Patriotism,” a drive to collect items to send to troops. Items should include writing materials, crossword puzzles, hard candy and nuts, playing cards, magazines (sports, health, women’s), feminine toiletries and hygiene items. The troops also have requested items to give to Afghan children including, pens, pencils, paper tablets, crayons, chalk, markers, soccer balls with air pumps and patches, kites, shoes (new and gently used) and socks.

The public is also encouraged to include personal letters of support for troops. Those wanting to make monetary donations can do so and those funds will go toward additional items and shipping costs.
The public is encouraged to drop off items from May 20-27 at the following locations:

Austin – American Legion Post, 4401 E. St. Elmo from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Great Hills Baptist Church, 10500 Jollyville Road from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Hill Country – National Museum of the Pacific War, 340 E. Main St. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

San Antonio – Crossroads Mall Service Center from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday-Friday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. American Legion Post T-Patch 568 at 2300 N. St. Mary’s from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. VFW Post, 10th Street, 3 p.m. to midnight; and Alzafar Shrine Temple at 901 W. North Loop 1604 from 9 a .m. to 5 p.m.

Donations can also be mailed to the Admiral Nimitz Museum, P.O. Box 777, Fredericksburg, TX 78624. Checks should be made payable to the Admiral Nimitz Foundation.

The public is invited to the museum July 4-7 to help pack the items. Everyone donating items or participating in the packing will receive a discount to museum admission.

Island Assault: 1944

Through television news reports, Americans get a close look at how war is being waged. For a look at how Americans fought more than 50 years ago, the museum will present “Island Assault: 1944,” on May 25-26, a living history program. The program uses objects from the museum’s education collection to bring World War II to life for visitors as re-enactors demonstrate the weapons and discuss the tactics and strategies that won the war.

Visitors can follow authentically dressed and equipped Marines on a tour of a re-created Pacific War battlefield and experience a combined arms attack on a Japanese pillbox. In the attack, volunteers use the only operational World War II flamethrower in Texas. Flamethrowers were a key weapon in infantry tactics during that war. Other famous vehicles and weapons of World War II that are featured include a Stuart tank, half-track, M-1903 Springfield rifle, M-1 Garand rifle, M-1918A2 Browning automatic rifle, M-1919A4 .30-caliber machine gun, Japanese Nambu machine gun, and Japanese-type .38-caliber rifle (also known as the Arisaka).

Demonstrations will be presented at the Pacific Combat Zone at 10:30 a.m., 12:30, 2:30 and 4 p.m. both days. The Pacific Combat Zone is located two blocks northeast of the museum complex on East Austin Street between Elk and Lee.

“Island Assault: 1944” is free with regular museum admission which is $5 for adults, $3 for students, and free for children ages 5 and younger. Fees without museum admission are $2 for adults and $1 for students.

Annual Memorial Day Ceremony

World War II veterans and their families will gather at the National Museum of the Pacific War on May 27 to honor Americans who have given their lives to keep our nation free and strong. Members of the museum’s Memorial Wall Wreath Endowment Fund will place memorial wreaths of red, white and blue flowers along the wall honoring men and women who died in the war. Guest speaker is retired four-star Gen. Billy J. Boles, a director of the Admiral Nimitz Foundation and executive vice president of Karta Technologies, Inc. He will speak about keeping heroes’ stories alive.

Ceremony organizers are the USS Colorado and the museum. The ceremony, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 10 a.m. in the Nimitz Memorial Courtyard.

For additional information on any of the Memorial Day-related activities, visit www.nimitz-museum.org or www.tpwd.state.tx.us/park/nimitz/nimitz.htm, or call 830-997-4379.

Search for Clues at Jesse Jones Park

Many people plan on enjoying the great outdoors during the long holiday weekend by grilling, playing outdoor games or other outdoor activities.

And what better place to enjoy the outside life than Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center? Visitors can enjoy 225 acres of forest, cypress ponds, white sand beaches along Spring Creek, a state of the art playground facility, and picnicking and grilling opportunities, all in a quiet setting. Jones Park also offers children ages 5 to 16 the chance to test their nature skills, as the park features a Scavenger Hunt Saturday, May 25 at 10 a.m.

The popularity of television’s Survivor series demonstrated how fascinated people are with the ability to test their skills against the elements. The contestants are pitted against nature and each other as they attempt to survive in their remote location.

Although Jones Park’s scavenger hunt is nowhere near as difficult as the trials and tribulations facing the Survivor contestants, participants must find a wide variety of items and natural resources in order to complete the hunt. 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.