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Posts published in “Day: February 18, 2003”

Town Meeting hears about Iraq, floods, unemployment, Medicare

Congressman Gene Green continued his series of Town Meeting last Saturday, with a group of interested citizens meeting at the High Meadows Library.

Topics that he presented included discussion of the possible war with Iraq, the loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia, and education funding.

Musing on Iraq, Green noted that “the world is just not a friendly place,” and therefore we must act to protect ourselves as necessary.

Topics that were raised by the audience included current high level of unemployment, and many recent layoffs, tax cuts and their meaning, prescription drug policies of the government, floods and flood insurance, crime victims rights, and double taxation policies of the federal government.

Green listened to those who had recently lost their jobs, and mentioned that one large employer in his district, Abitibi paper mill, has closed completely. A member of the audience said she worked for many years for K-Mart, and now has no job and no benefits. Green is applying for additional monies for some of these laid-off workers, and is especially interested in directing them to retraining programs.

Many in the audience seemed concerned about health benefits, and prescription drug policies of the government. One person mentioned that their monthly bill for medicine was over $990 dollars, and was not covered by Medicare. Another had a monthly bill exceeding $500. Green is in favor of including prescriptions in Medicare, and is working toward that goal, he said.

Another major issue raised by several attendees was the problem of flooding in the area. Some wanted to know what was being done to prevent future floods, others wanted to know if reimbursements were available for damage already experienced. Green mentioned flood retention and park plans that were underway for Greens Bayou, which is a federal program, and Halls Bayou, a county jurisdiction. Specifically, a retention pond will be built at Weiss Park, near Aldine Westfield Road.

Aldine students receive awards at Harris County Art & Writing event

HOUSTON– Five students from the Aldine district were among several hundred outstanding students that were honored last week by the Harris County Dept. of Education, in their annual Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

These awards are part of a national program, sponsored by Scholastic magazine, that recognizes students and teachers for their creative talents. Prejudged student work is submitted by the student’s teacher, and then is again juried by local scholars for the awards.

Locally, Harris County Dept. of Education accepted 1072 pieces of art, and 449 pre-juried writing entries. All public and private schools, and home schooled children are eligible to submit.

Three levels of regional awards are given: Pinson Portfolio Awards, Gold Keys, and Silver Keys. The top two categories will go on to New York to be judged nationally, and then invited to Washington, DC for an awards ceremony in June.

Awards carry cash grants, ranging from $100 to $1000.

Aldine ISD students that received honors include:

Gold Key Winner: Amelia Ruiz, MacArthur HS, Laura Schauermann, teacher.

Silver Key Winners: Daniel Gonzales, MacArthur HS, Laura Schauermann, teacher; Jameela Ingram, MacArthur HS, Laura Schauermann, teacher; Violetta Krol, Grantham MS, D’Ann Delgado, teacher; Chuck Yee, MacArthur HS, Laura Schau-ermann, teacher.

Also receiving the top award, the Pinson Writing Portfolio Award, was the daughter of the NorthEast News publishers. Kristan Hoffman, a student at HISD’s Bellaire High School, read from her work at the awards ceremony. The award recognizes excellence in writing as well as commitment to the sustained effort necessary to produce an exemplary body of work, according to the judges.