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Posts published in “Day: August 13, 2002

Pet of the Week

August 13, 2002

This week’s featured pet is a ten-week-old Shepherd, Hound mix. He is tan with a white muzzle and black brindling on top. He has soulful brown eyes, big feet (he’s going to be a big dog) and a playful and alert manner.

He has been neutered and has had all of his puppy shots.

If you would like to adopt him or any one of them or any one of the fine companion animals available for adoption, go to the Harris County Rabies/Animal Control shelter at 602 Canino just west of the Hardy Toll Road.

For hours and information, please call 281-999-3191.

Aldine ISD employees start off 2002-03 school year with talk from Continental CEO

Thousands of Aldine ISD staff members kicked off the 2002-03 school year last Monday by gathering at the district’s M.O. Campbell Educational Center for the annual convocation event.

This year’s featured speaker was Gordon Bethune, chairman and CEO of Continental Airlines.
Aldine ISD Superintendent Nadine Kujawa welcomed back the staff and congratulated them on helping the district attain its sixth straight Recognized rating from the Texas Education Agency.

“Before we move into this 2002-03 school year, I would like to bring closure to last year, a year that tested the strength and courage of all Americans. As you can see, hanging from the top of the arena, our sixth banner, indicating that Aldine is a Recognized school district for the sixth consecutive year, the only large urban school district in the state to be able to make that statement,” Kujawa said. “But more important than that, student achievement continues to improve in almost every area and with every group of students. I am very proud of that accomplishment, and you are to be commended for the outstanding work that you do.”

Kujawa reminded the staff that the 2002-03 school year will offer new challenges, but she is confident the district will be ready to meet and accept any challenges put before it.

“The next level is waiting for us, the 2002-03 school year,” she said. “It will bring change and challenge for us, for our students and for our parents. Our planning, collaboration and action plans will guarantee the success of our students. I am confident that the changes and the challenges of the coming year will be met and conquered and the next level will be ours.”

Someone who knows what it means to meet challenges head on then addressed the audience, which filled the Campbell Center to capacity. When Bethune was named president and chief operating officer of Continental in February of 1994, the company was not highly regarded by travelers, employees or shareholders, but eight years later, it is the nation’s fifth largest airline, thanks to Bethune’s vision and leadership.

Today, Bethune serves as chairman and CEO of the airline and shared with the Aldine staff how working as a team is important in any endeavor, be it business or education.

“We had to learn how to work together to achieve our goals, and that’s what you have to do as well,” Bethune said. “When I arrived on the job, there was a lot of finger pointing, one department blaming another department when things didn’t go right.
We developed a four-point plan that turned around our airline.”

The four-point plan, titled the “Go Forward Plan,” was designed to improve Continental’s operational performance and working environment for employees and achieve and sustain profitability. The four points of the plan are:

•Fly to Win
•Fund the Future
•Make Reliability a Reality; and
•Working Together

Bethune said the most important component of the four-point plan was creating an atmosphere among the employees of working as a unit for the good of the company. The same is true for a school district, he said.

“Every employee, administrators, teachers, bus drivers, janitors, and cafeteria workers are involved in the education of children and everyone must work together to accomplish the goal,” he said. “Superintendent Kujawa and the district leadership (the Board of Education) have set the direction for the district.”

Bethune added that Aldine has met and is meeting its challenges head on to ensure academic achievement among its students.

“Despite the challenges you face, your teachers have already accomplished remarkable goals such as earning a Recognized rating for six straight years. Like any successful business, your school district is focused on its goals. You are to be congratulated on the work you have done and setting the goal of providing the best education for your students,” Bethune said.

Members of Aldine ISD’s Board of Education and business partners, community partners and parents of the district also attended the convocation.
The 2002-03 school year begins in earnest on Monday, Aug. 12 when students return to classes.

A letter to Mr. Eastwood regarding ‘Blood Work’

Paul Rodriguez is a Los Angeles cop, Tina Lifford plays a local sheriff and Clint Eastwood is a former FBI agent in a scene from the crime thriller “Blood Work.”

Dear Mr. Clint Eastwood:

You are a very talented man and you have had a long stellar career, but I have some sad news for you – you are too old to play a rough, tough cop and you are really too old to be romancing a woman half your age. Sorry to be the barer of bad news.
Your new movie “Blood Work” is a serviceable crime thriller with some strong points, but when you got lovey-dovey with Wanda De Jesús I couldn’t muffle a snicker. “Oh please,” I thought as I rolled my eyes.

I know that your current wife is some decades younger than you, but you’re Clint Eastwood, rich, Academy Award winning director and famous tough guy sex symbol of the last 40 years, not a broken down ex-FBI agent like in the movie.

Honestly, Mr. Eastwood you don’t look so good in this movie. I know you’re not really supposed to…since you just had a heart transplant…which is why I can’t understand why De Jesús would want you for anything other than your crime solving abilities.

Sure, I can understand why you might go for her; she is pretty and vulnerable. You want to be the hero and find the guy who killed her beloved sister and at least one other guy. You want to show up the L. A. cops (played by comic Paul Rodriquez and Dylan Walsh) who don’t like you. You want to impress your old friend who is played very well by Tina Lifford. She is cool.

I figured out who the murderer was and why he went about his convoluted scheme long before you and your law enforcement acquaintances did. But hey, I’ve seen lots of crime dramas and read lots of mysteries. I must have missed something though; I did not get the last big clue that led you to the killer.

I know you have seen your share of movies as well not to mention directing such fare as “Space Cowboys,” “True Crimes,” The Bridges of Madison County,” “Pale Rider,” “Sudden Impact” and Oscar winner “Unforgiven,” to name a few.

So I would have thought that you could spot a cliché with your squinty eyes at a hundred yards and blast it out of sight instead of embracing it as it were something clever and new. But no! Your character, Terry McCaleb, lives on a boat and has a wacky friend, Jeff Daniels (“Terms of Endearment,” “Dumb and Dumber”), who becomes a partner of sorts. Now really, we’ve seen that set up so many times in cop movies.

The big showdown that takes place in an abandoned rusty metal structure is so clichéd it hurt to watch. Speaking of hurting, what do you take to soothe your throat muscles after all that low gruff talking? Every syllable seems to strain your vocal cords. I know your voice is not that rough in real life.

Back to the plot. I know Brain Helgeland of “L.A. Confidential” fame wrote the screenplay from the Micheal Connelly novel, but as director you have ultimate say about what goes in the movie. So, what’s with the clichés? And the silly romance that slows things down and adds nothing to the plot?

If there was to be any romance it should have been with your heart doctor played by the lovely, talented and under-used Anjelica Huston (“The Royal Tenenbaums”). We should see her in more movies.

The investigation aspects of your movie are interesting and ring relatively true, but a scene in the middle where you and Lifford shoot and shoot and shoot at a car and never even graze the driver is another cliché. As is the before-mentioned showdown where guns blaze, but no one gets hit.

Well, Mr. Eastwood I really have enjoyed some of your movies though I thought “Unforgiven” over-rated and “A Perfect World” under-appreciated. I can’t say “Blood Work” is one of your best efforts though it does have entertainment value if one doesn’t think too much.

One of the reasons it doesn’t add up to much is because you cast yourself in the lead. And once again you insist on showing us your 72-year-old chest. As 72-year-old chests go, I suppose it’s not bad, but I really think it’s time to keep the shirt on in movies. Relax, have some fun. Play a character part where you can loosen up and not take things so seriously. Where you don’t have to lower your voice or raise your shirt.

Rated-R for violence and language

P.S. Your former TV reporter wife did a lovely job playing a TV reporter.

Girl Scout service project

LARGEST Pop Top delivery to Houston Ronald McDonald House EVER! Right to left: Marlena, Kailey, Patricia, Jaylin, Kim.

The Ronald McDonald House of Houston is a home away from home for families with children being treated in the Texas Medical Center for cancer or other serious illnesses.

Girl Scouts from Cadet Troop # 3256 and Senior Troop # 3628 delivered 34 milk jugs and a box weighting over 100 lbs to the Houston Ronald McDonald House. This is a service project idea led by Marlena Gann, starting in January 2002. She did the research and found out about the Pop Top Program for the Ronald McDonald House and acquired cardboard fold out houses to be placed in homes, lounges at schools, businesses, churches, anywhere there was an interest that the aluminum can pop tops could be collected. The result was the LARGEST amount of pop tops donated the Houston house had ever seen!

The girls would like to say Thank you to Larry Turnbull and his family who donated the largest amount. Thank you to all the girls and volunteers attending Silver Springs Day Camp for their collection efforts at camp and home. Thank you to all others who made a big impact in the collection!
The girls plan to continue with their Pop Top Service Project. Any individuals, businesses, organizations, churches, that would like to collect the pop tops and have them picked up by the girls can page 713-406-9071.

You can visit the Ronald McDonald House of Houston website and find out more information about the Houston House and the Pop Top Program. click on: “Current Volunteer Needs” “Make a Donation” “Pop Top” Call or e-mail directly to Erin Ayers @ 713-795-3580 or

Lone Star Chapter hosts Hibiscus show

Hundreds of exotic hibiscus blooms will be displayed by the Lone Star Chapter of the American Hibiscus Society from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Sunday, August 18th at the Bellaire Community Center, 7008 South Rice Avenue in Bellaire.

Named variety hibiscus will be for sale. Blooms will be displayed representing varieties of the tropical “Chinese” hibiscus that grow well in Texas. Admission is free.

Visitors will receive the free leaflet “How to Grow Better Hibiscus Near The Texas Coast.”

To raise funds, the chapter will sell landscape and exotic hibiscus plants, the internationally acclaimed Hibiscus Handbook, and the Space City Chapter’s water-soluble fertilizer, 18-10-28, formulated especially for hibiscus.

The Lone Star Chapter meets every fourth Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., March through October, at the Garden Center in Hermann Park. Visitors are most welcome.

PSI HomeSavers launches summer A/C program for elderly or disabled

PSI HomeSavers will once again sponsor its summer air conditioner program for elder or disabled homeowners in Houston, according to Robert Conklin, executive director of PSI HomeSavers.

Through the air conditioner program, PSI HomeSavers provides homeowners who are disabled or are at least 62 years old who do not have a working air conditioner with a window unit. HomeSavers also is seeking financial contributions to cover the cost and installation of the units.

“As hot as it gets during the summer in Houston, having a working air conditioner is more of a. necessity than a privilege,” Conklin said, “By providing air conditioners for homeowners who can’t afford one, we help protect them from the intense heat that can be dangerous to their health.”

Applicants for the air conditioner program must be low-income, live within the Houston city limits, own their home and not have an air conditioner in their home that is currently working. Units are not available for renters, apartments or condominiums. Homeowners interested in applying for the program should contact PSI HomeSavers at 713-659-1806.

PSI HomeSavers, a non-profit organization founded in 1982 by Rob Mosbacher, is located at 1111 Fannin, Suite 1335. HomeSavers initiates and encourages private sector involvement in addressing critical community needs with resources, expertise and compassion. HomeSavers’ primary focus is the delivery of free home repairs to qualified low-income elderly or disabled homeowners.


•ALDINE HEALTHY COMMUNITY WALKING WELLNESS PROGRAM. Thursday, August 1, 6-8 p.m. Walking is great exercise. Join your neighbors and friends.

•BEGINNING SPANISH. Classes meet from 6-7:30 p.m. each Thursday starting on August 8th

•BLOOD DRIVE. The Blood Center will be at High Meadows on Friday, August 16 from 1-5 p.m. Please come and give the gift of life!

•ESL CLASSES BEGIN TUESDAY, AUGUST 20th. ESL Classes meet each Tuesday and Thursday from 1-3 p.m. beginning August 20th

•CITIZENSHIP CLASSES BEGIN WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21st. Citizenship Classes are offered each Wednesday from 2:15-4:00 p.m. First class starts August 21st.

•BEGINNING COMPUTER CLASSES. Classes offered weekly (Internet, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel). Reservation required. Call for information.

•COMMUNITY EXERCISE PROGRAM. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 1:15-2:l5pm. Come enjoy the benefits of aerobic exercise.

•PRESCHOOL STORYTIME, Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m.

•SLEEPING BEAUTY AND THE HANDSOME PRINCE. Wednesday, August 7, 3 p.m. Young Audiences of Houston presents this timeless classic.

News from the Harris County Sheriff’s Department

On July 29, 2002, Sheriff Deputy S. Campbell received a call from dispatch regarding a burglary of a motor vehicle in progress in the 3900 block of Cherry Meadow.

Sheriff Deputies arrived at the scene and apprehended the suspect, later identified as Herbert Arnold Contreras, who was located in the vehicle he was burglarizing. Contreras announced to the officers that he had a handgun in his possession. In addition, a search revealed that Contreras was also in possession of narcotics.

Additional information was given to the deputies regarding a suspicious vehicle that had been circling the block waiting for Contreras. Upon further investigation, the driver of the vehicle was identified as Ruth Ivonne Diaz, who was taken into custody for an open warrant. Diaz was arrested for Theft $20-$200 with a Check. She is currently out on bond and has a future court date set for August 12, 2002.

A 16 year old Hispanic male juvenile was also in the vehicle. He was released to his guardian.
Herbert Arnold Contreras of Houston was charged with Burglary of a Motor Vehicle, Unlawfully Carrying a Weapon and Possession of a Dangerous Drug. He is currently out on bond and has a future court date set for August 19, 2002 for all three cases.