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Posts published in “Day: June 8, 2004

Summer Fun Activities

This summer, the Crosby Fair & Rodeo and three museums in Houston are doing their darnedest to make the next few months of heat more than bearable.

Crosby Rodeo, June 10-12

Thursday, JUNE 10, Patrick Murphy will lead for Chris Chitsey after P.R.C.A. Championship Rodeo. This is an exciting lead in to three nights of dust and blood with high caliber singing. Both Chitsey and Murphy are audience centered and highly interactive, and both are gaining greatest respect for true heart expression.

Friday, JUNE 11, is designated as College Night because the Crosby Fair & Rodeo Board has booked some of the fastest rising stars on the Texas College circuit. Cooder Graw, No Justice and Jason Boland means three lively bands are to bear a plethora of alternative country to the Rock’N C Arena.

Saturday, JUNE 12, is the wrap of the PRCA Championship in Crosby, the Rodeo Queen’s Contest but the kick off of some fabulous classic country performance. The stage charisma of Mark Chesnutt alone is worth twice the price of the ticket, couple that with master guitarist and Western troubadour Jeff Bates and you have a full steam concert for any stage. Be sure to check out the rodeo and these once-in-a-lifetime shows!

Machu Picchu exhibit stars in museums’ summer features

This summer, the Houston Museum of Natural Science is proud to present a special exhibit on Machu Picchu, the famous Incan retreat perched high in the mists of the Andes between two enormous peaks in Cuzco, Peru. This extraordinary pre-Columbian ruin is the focus of the largest exhibition of Inca artifacts ever assembled in the United States, on show from Jun. 11 to Sept. 6. Filled with stunning panoramic photographs and some of the finest surviving examples of Inca art, the exhibition will transport visitors into the past, when the Inca resided at Machu Picchu. For more information or for tickets, call 713-639-4629 or visit the website at

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s upcoming exhibit, Inverted Utopias (Jun. 20 – Sept. 12), is the first large-scale exhibition devoted to the emergence and development of avant-garde art in Latin America from 1920 to 1970. This major exhibition brings into focus, for the first time in the United States, more than 250 works by nearly 70 artists and artists´ groups from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Also, the Children’s Museum of Houston is proud to present Everyone Counts! / ¡Todo el mundo cuenta! (JUNE 12 – September 6), a one-of-a-kind bilingual exhibit in which kids enter a fun-filled, everyday world of people who count and embark upon an exploration of hands-on discovery and beat their problem-solving fears in a variety of games and activities. For more information (including directions) call 713-522-1138 or check it out on the web at

Mayor to Chamber: “This is Houston’s Time”

GREENSPOINT– Mayor Bill White stepped to the microphone with confidence and good humor, as he addressed the luncheon group of the North Houston Greenspoint Chamber this week.

In general, his talk was very upbeat. He said “It is a Great Time to be in Houston Texas”.
He cited the net job growth in the last 12 months as a strong indicator for our future.

“We are in a place to ‘Fulfill the Dream’ and we should work hard to achieve that.”

He spoke about the goals and accomplishments of his administration since he took office in January.

He outlined four areas which are his goals for having an impact on the city:

One, Economic Development. Noting the unique diversity of Houston, and the high quality of life including low living costs, he cited these as strengths which have attracted many people and corporations to the city. In particular, he mentioned Chevron Texaco’s International operations, and Citgo Corporation. He also wants to encourage growth from local businesses, and cited a new speeded up permitting process for construction, which he plans to implement. This process would be radical, and allow design professionals instead of city plan reviewers to certify drawings for construction.

Two, Mobility. White said he was trying to do simple things first, that would have greater impact, and cited the retiming of traffic lights throughout the city as an example. This program has received an overwhelming response, much to his surprise. By Dec. 15th he expects 2/3 of all traffic lights in the city to be retimed.

Another initiative that has now been worked out, and will be fully effective by January, he said, is the towing of accidents off the freeways to keep traffic moving. This should result in faster service and lower rates, he said.

Mobility plans also include new Mass transit alternatives, which are being studies. He has also asked METRO to coordinate construction so less inconvenience to street traffic occurs.

Three, Quality of Life. Especially in neighborhoods, White thinks there is much room for improvement. He said the city will provide more hours for libraries to be open, and more swimming pool hours, as well as build more bike trails.

Flooding, a major campaign issue, will be addressed with a special dedicated fund. It will be financed by a bond issue.

He cited subsidence as a major Houston problem, and noted that the intersection at Beltway 8 and Hwy. 290 had sunk 2’ in the last 10 years. The switch from well water to surface water throughout the city is expected to alleviate much of this problem, White said.

Four, Government reform. White will implement many reforms to customer service and personnel matters that he used in private business, he indicated.

He feels that the city could be more responsive, and more efficient.

For the first time ever, there will be an employee Performance Evaluation city-wide. And, he will try to implement a scheme with more pay for better performance on the part of city employees.

In response to questions, he indicated the city will work in closer collaboration with non-profit existing non-profit agencies, to deliver social service, health care, parks, and after school programs.

In other Chamber business, Marilyn Bayless reminded the group of the upcoming Murder Mystery Theater on July 9th at the Greenspoint Club, and the July 8th luncheon that will feature Roundtable discussions. Call 281-872-8700 for reservations or details.

Condo Fire burns two in NE Houston

Two women in their thirties were injured during a two-alarm fire at the Country Haus condominiums on Cotillion and Aldine Bender. One woman suffered second and third degree burns on her stomach and chest. The other woman’s hands were seriously burned.

The fire broke out after three p.m. Wednesday. The fire was almost directly across the street on Aldine Bender from a City of Houston fire station. What started out as a one-alarm fire quickly escalated to two-alarms, calling in more firefighters. The blaze destroyed four units while others were damaged by smoke and water.

Cause of the fire is under investigation at this time, due to its rapid spread. In the meantime, the management has hired a specialty remediation firm to clean and restore the premises, and that work is currently underway.

Houston Rodeo awards local scholarships

Beginning with just one scholarship in 1957, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo scholarship program has grown into a multi-million dollar endeavor rewarding youth in the Houston area and across Texas with hundreds of scholarships each year. On May 26, the Show’s largest scholarship presentation in 2004 resulted in recognition of 309 Houston-area students with four-year, $10,000 scholarships — a presentation of more than $3 million in one evening.

The Houston-area high school seniors each received a scholarship through one of three scholarship programs — Metropolitan, Opportunity or School Art.

The largest of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s scholarship programs, 194 Metropolitan scholarships were awarded to students in Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery and Waller counties based on academic achievement, leadership, community involvement and financial need.

The Opportunity scholarships, the Show’s newest program, have been awarded to 100 recipients each year since 1998. More than 1,300 students from Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery and Waller counties applied for the scholarships. The Opportunity scholarships are based on academic achievement, leadership and community involvement, as well as financial need, which is 50 percent of the applicant’s evaluation.

Artistic talents were the launching point for 15 recipients of School Art scholarships. In order to be eligible for a School Art scholarship, applicants must have achieved Best of Show, Gold Medal, Special Merit or Gold Star Finalist status at the district level in the Show’s School Art Program. These scholarship recipients must demonstrate the same academic achievement and leadership as Metropolitan and Opportunity winners.

The Metropolitan, Opportunity and School Art scholarships comprise one part of the Show’s annual educational program commitment — a program that will reach $100 million in total commitment this year. The Show’s educational commitment also includes four-year, $10,000 scholarships through the Texas 4-H, FFA and FCCLA programs; Area Go Texan scholarships ranging from $2,500 to $10,000; graduate and doctoral fellowships; endowments; and support of educational programs such as the Rodeo Institute for Teacher Excellence.

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is a 501(c)(3) charity with a mission to benefit youth and support education.

2004 Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Metrpolitan, Opportunity and School Art Scholarship Winners by School District and High School:

Aldine ISD
Jacqueline Nicole Burnett (M)
Chester W. Nimitz
Kristina Lynn Roberts (M)
Douglas MacArthur
Kristopher Nickolas Darnell (M)
Cristopher Alan Tijerina (M)
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Rebekah Elizabeth May Fields (M)
Kristen Michelle Rover (M)
George Washington Carver
Danielle S. Howard (M)
Ebony Raecole Smith (M)
Tina Trang (M)

Houston ISD
Sam Houston
Ruth Elizabeth Alanis (M)
Brandon Rashard Bissoon (M)
Rene Cantu (M)
Priscila Ramos (O)
Ricardo Silva (O)

North Forest ISD
Forest Brook
PaTrinia Gabriella Marsh (M)
Chundra Renee Smith (M)
M.B. Smiley
Michelle De-Nae Felder (M)

Life is like a jar of jalapeno peppers . . .

It is Memorial Day weekend and my American Flag is flying, how about yours?

Cut down the briar patch this morning as all of the blackberries have been picked, pecked and eaten by us and the birds. That old Four Dog will take a tomato off the vine but he ain’t touched those berries with the briars. But he will eat them all day as long as you throw them to him. I even had the Mrs. back there with me this morning working. She would take the iron rake and pull the briars over while I was on the other side cutting them. Needless to say, we got our workout for the day as that was one huge briar patch. Had a rabbit in there the last few days. Four Dog was about to go nuts when he would see the rabbit. I finally let Four out the back door this morning, not worried that he would catch the rabbit.

The Mrs. normally sleeps in on this day but I woke her up early this morning on purpose. That crazy woman came home yesterday with two kittens. TWO OF THEM. I was not even asked. I told her she’s loosing it. I fussed, discussed and cussed but it did no good, the cats stay. In one ear and out the other. She has it in her mind that she is going to do as she well pleases and that’s that. Danged old female woman.

Anyway, I grabbed those kittens early this morning and placed them on the bed by her. I told her she needs to get it up off of it and take care of her baby kittens. That did the trick. The kittens are brother and sister just like the last two we had; only we have Boots left and he’s older than dirt. That’s why I didn’t want any kittens because they will be messing with my Kitty Boots. Much less anything else that eats or poops.

She has not named the kittens yet but I’m just libel to give them names and I can guarantee you she will not like it. How about one called Kitty and the other called Cat? How about Charlie and Rosetta? George and Bush? Putty and Tat? Me and Ow?

I get all sorts of email at the house, lots of jokes, cartoons, etc. One item that came from Mauriceville, Texas was words of wisdom and no, I ain’t taking up poetry.

Life is not like a box of chocolates

It is more like a jar of jalapenos

What you do today could burn your butt tomorrow.

I get reminded of that every time I eat a jalapeno pepper.

Summer lawncare shows signs of aging

Today is Monday and it is a real workday. I just put in a couple hours (about all I can handle at one time) cutting weeds on my riverbank with an electric weed-eater. Somehow over the years the length and height of our riverbank property has enlarged.

Linda and I purchased this property along the beautiful River Coal (about two miles from downtown St. Albans) something over thirty years ago. I was in my early forties. Having almost two acres in lawn (complete with flowers, shrubs and trees) there is always something to do outside from March to November.

We enjoy working on the lawn but this world has changed for me. When I first bought our home 40, 50, 60lb. bags of lime, fertilizer, gravel or whatever it was no problem. I would sling them from one place to another with little trouble. Somehow over the years the 40lb. bags now weigh in at 60lbs or more. Did I miss something? Did the government change its weights and measures in the past few years?

I’ve always used an electric weed-eater on the riverbank because it is lighter. I would cut my 550-foot strip in one eight-hour day and have little trouble. Now, the bank is higher and the strip has grown longer. The weed-eater is also heavier. What has happened?

Cutting the large lawn was no problem. Sometimes I would cut it all with the push-mower but now the mower is several pounds heavier and that seems silly. Now I am glad when I am finished trimming around the shrubs, trees, etc. Using the rider to give my butt a ride seems to be less restful now and I breath a sigh of relief when the job is done.

We have a nice fishpond (Linda’s inspiration) in the back of our house at the top of the riverbank. I dug it, did the brickwork for the walk around it, built the waterfall and planted the shrubs. Now I‘m rebellious when Linda reminds me of repairs that need to be made. Who made these jobs harder than they were a few years ago?

And don’t even talk to me about cutting down trees on the lot that were too big and then cutting the logs for use in the wood-burning stove! Every tree is bigger and every log is heavier than it used to be.

All three of our kids (now past or close to the age I was when we moved here) try to tell me the answer to the problem. But, what do they know? This younger generation just doesn’t want to work like we do! I’m not listening to them.

The government seems to be responsible for everything else. I think the government is responsible for my lawn care problems. Think I’ll complain do my Congresswoman or Senator. That just might just do the trick!

Such are the people, places and things that have touched my life in my West Virginia home!