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Posts published in “Day: March 31, 2003

Texas Quarter Horses…

Welcome to my humble home. I am so pleased you decided to come and visit.

Now, do you like that or would you rather hear, “Howdy, you all! Good to see ya again!”?

I guess I better stick to bein’ me, cause I do that pretty good. Last week, I went out to the George Ranch to set some things up and they were short two hands. You guessed it; I wound up ridin’ a horse all day, muggin’ cattle, dippin’ cattle and ropin’. I enjoyed the time, but found out how out of shape I really am!

Don’t forget the George Ranch Working Ranch Competition and Chuckwagon Cook-off May 3, 4. There will be great food, great rodeo, stick horse races for the kids, live cowboy poetry from your wrangler and friends and a whole lot of stuff for the whole family on both days. Admission is low and it’s close, just go south on 59; take the first exit after the Brazos River bridge and go left about eight miles. You’ll have a ball!

We also have the Texas Foundation Quarter Horse Show at the Crosby Fairgrounds Arena on April 12 at 8:00 am. It’s free and is back for the second year because they loved our Crosby hospitality, so mark your calendars. I’ll tell you more next week. By the way, your wrangler will be announcing the show and I’ll have books, CD’s and stuff available. I’d love to see all of you there!

I am goin’ to introduce you to one of my favorite cowboy poets, Badger Clark. He’s gone, but his work is still some of the best. Here’s why:

There is some that like the city-Grass that’s curried smooth and green,
Theatres and stranglin’ collars, Wagons run by gasoline-
But for me it’s hawse and saddle, Every day without a change,
And a desert sun a blazin’, On a hundred miles of range.
Just a ridin’, a-ridin’-
Desert ripplin’ in the sun,
Mountains blue along the skyline-
I don’t envy anyone-When I’m ridin’
When my feet is in the stirrups, And my hawse is on the bust,
With his hoofs a-flashin’ lightin’, From a cloud of golden dust,
And the bawlin’ of the cattle, Is a-comin’ down the wind,
Then a finer life than ridin’, Would be mighty hard to find.
Just a ridin’, a-ridin’-
Splittin’ long cracks through the air,
Stirrin’ up a baby cyclone Rippin’ up the prickly pear, As I’m ridin’
I, don’t need no art exhibits, When the sunset does her best,
Paintin’ everlastin’ glory, On the mountains to the west,
And your opery looks foolish, When the night-bird starts his tune,
And the desert’s silver mounted, By the touches of the moon.
Just a ridin’, a-ridin’-
Who kin envy kings and czars,
When the coyotes down the valley
Are a-singin’ to the stars, If he’s ridin’?

When my earthly trails is ended, And my final bacon curled,
And the last great roundup’s finished, At the Home Ranch of the world,
I don’t want no harps nor haloes, Robes or other dressed up things-
Let me ride the starry ranges, On a pinto hawse with wings!
Just a ridin’, a-ridin’
Nothin’ I’d like half so well
As a-roundin’ up the sinners
That have wandered out of Hell, And a-ridin’.

I guess that says it all! Gotta go feed again, so close the gate, and ‘till we meet again,

Happy Trails,

Health Department to tear down 44 abandoned homes

By P.J. Williams

The Aldine area will receive a special spring cleaning April 14 when the Harris County Health Department begins to demolish 44 abandoned houses as enforcement of the Nuisance Abatement Laws.

The Health Department chose these properties for abatement based on complaints from individuals, the Aldine Community Improvement District, and from the manpower efforts of Environmental Health Division.

The Department’s efforts focused on an area bounded by Interstate 59, Homestead Rd., Greens Bayou, and Little York. “We identified all the [dilapidated] houses in there we could find,” said Philip Moore, administrator of the Neighborhood Nuisance Program.

Federal grant monies from Harris County Housing and Economic Development made this extra manpower possible. The grant funds a staff position and the demolition of houses.

Much work is required before an abandoned property can be abated. First, a diligent search must be made for the owner. This is done with the help of files from the appraisal district, the Harris County Attorney, voter registration records, and internet databases.

Then, the Health Department must post a legal notice in the paper listing the houses are up for demolition. “We make every effort to find the owner so we can get them to demolish the building, and we can spend money on other homes,” Moore said.

If the owners cannot be found, the property is put before the court in a public hearing. After the demolitions are approved, the Health Department seeks bids from contractors. Moore said the whole process usually takes six months from the first complaint.

“If it goes like it should, the process should take three to four months, but sometimes there are extenuating circumstances,” Moore explained. These circumstances include difficult to locate owners or owners who are elderly or on fixed incomes.

“There’s always a story behind these properties. Some of them are pretty sad stories,” said Moore. He said the Health Department tries to work with owners to come to an acceptable solution.

In early May, another group of approximately twenty-five houses, not all in the Aldine area, will be presented to the Commissioner’s Court for demolition. This list may grow before it is presented depending on leads from the community.

“This time of year has traditionally been when the complaints come in. In the six months between April and the end of October we receive seventy five percent of complaints,” said Moore.

This list of properties below have been approved for demolition by Harris County Commissioners Court. Demolition is scheduled to begin the week of April 14, 2003. These properties are not for sale by Harris County; however, if anyone has legal interest in these properties they should contact Harris County Health and Environmental Services at 713-439-6270 and speak with Philip Moore or Liliana Gretzer. 4907 Cedar Hill 13522 Darjean 13838 Darjean 13830 Darjean 13834 Darjean 13618 Darjean 13710 Darjean 13823 Darjean 13402 Darjean 4022 Darwin 5207 Hanley 5234 Hanley 5031 Hartwick 5326 Hartwick 5652 E. Hillside 2318 Hopper 2438 Hopper 4711 Hopper 4906 Hopper 5601 Huse 5607 Huse 2609 Kowis 4308 Lone Oak 5721 Mary Francis 5736 Mary Francis 2014 Mierianne 2401 Mierianne 4302 Mohawk 4532 Mohawk 4910 Mohawk 3021 Mooney 3805 Nuggent 5933 Ridgedale 6005 Ridgedale 2821 Rosemary 4907 Rosemary 4333 Shelton 4509 Shelton 13701 Terlin 13810 Terlin 4320 Trenton 2407 Trenton 11735 Varnell 2419 William Tell.

Teen burglar’s flight interrupted when hit by train at Hirsch & Tidwell

By Gilbert Hoffman

A 14 year old boy was struck by a train last Tuesday afternoon, as he was running from police after alegedly being involved in a house break-in at 9706 Pettibone Street.

Police said that 4 or 5 boys were taking part in a kick-in robbery, but were discovered by neighbors who called police. As the police arrived, the boys scooped up about 22 items and fled. One of them ran toward the railroad tracks along Hirsch Road, and was struck by a freight train, according to Officer A. Wright of the HPD. As the train was moving, he was struck along the rail line between Tidwell and Laura Koppe. The train traveled several hundred feet south before stopping. He was apprehended and taken to Ben Taub for treatment, not seriously hurt, with bruises of the leg, shoulder and head.

The EMT that responded said the boy was “fortunate to be knocked off the track”, as many pedestrians are dragged into or under a moving train.

A second juvenile was arrested in the area, and police are looking for 2 or 3 others. The two apprehended have been turned over to Juvenile Division, of Harris County.

Aldine Optimist Club sponsors Special Olympics

By P.J. Williams

Over 200 Special Olympics athletes enjoyed snacks and entertainment provided by the Aldine Optimist Club again this year. The athletes competed at the Aldine Auxilary Stadium Saturday, March 22. In addition to juice and popcorn, the Optimist Club brought a fire truck, set up carnival games under the bleachers, and took the athletes’ pictures with a giant chicken.

The club’s involvement with the Special Olympics is just one of many volunteer projects this group provides for the Aldine community. The chicken suit is part of the Optimist’s largest program that works with Aldine Independent Schools to teach 4,500 fourth graders to avoid drugs. The club uses the costumes in the yearly kick off for the program. They also help provide t-shirts for all the fourth graders, host a banquet for the counselors who administer the program, and send one counselor each year on a weekend getaway.

The Aldine chapter of the Optimist Club, an international organization, began in 1965. The chapter has thirty members on the roles, a third of who is regularly active. Their budget comes from one golf tournament each year and various raffles. Still, this small group makes and big impact in the Aldine area.

Most of the club’s projects involve a partnership with Aldine schools. This Saturday, they will hold a barbecue fundraiser for the Lane Center. Each Spring, they sponsor project prom which reminds prom goers to not drink and drive. They also provide for two Aldine Scholarships which helps area students attend North Harris Community College.

The Optimists support the Aldine FFA by buying a steer and a hog each year. They then donate the meat to needy families. At Christmas time, they work with head AISD nurse to give food baskets to the families of twenty-five students. Another club project helps send four area sophomores to Rice University each year for a weekend of educational opportunities.

The Aldine Optimists recently purchased an inflatable jumping room, called a Moonwalk. They loan it to AISD schools to use as an attendance reward and to other groups.

The Optimists plan all these projects in just two monthly luncheon meetings. “We talk about what we’re going to do or have a speaker. Our meetings are very, very informal,” said club president Steve Mead.

The group is always looking for new members. “We need more members to try to do more for the kids and to get enjoyment from getting to know other people,” Mead said.

It isn’t hard to join the Aldine Optimist Club. Prospective members need to fill out an application and be sponsored. Mead said they would help anyone who was interested get involved. Meetings are the second and fourth Wednesdays and are held at either the club’s building on Aldine Bender or at the Clarion hotel on Beltway 8. Yearly dues are $90 and lunch at the meetings is $10. For more information, call Steve Mead at 281-442-8127.