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Posts published in “Day: January 15, 2008”

New Chamber Board takes office

GREENSPOINT– At an Awards Banquet and Installation Ceremony last Thursday, new officers and board of directors of the North Houston Greenspoint Chamber of Commerce were sworn to office for 2008. The event was underwritten by the Caldwell Companies.
Outgoing board chairman Bill Ginder relinquished the gavel to new chairwoman Jill Boullion, as the new committee chairs were introduced as well as the board.
The luncheon was also an awards presentation, to chamber members that have contributed to the welfare of the chamber or the community in 2007.
As part of the transition, President Reggie Gray gave a state of the chamber address, outgoing chairman Bill Ginder gave an overview of his term of office, and incoming chair Jill Boullion outlined her plans for the coming year 2008.
President Reggie Gray said that membership had increased from about 300 the previous year, to about 400 plus at the end of 2007. This is important, he explained, because active growing membership drives the success of all the other activities of the chamber.
Gray introduced the new office staff, and reviewed improvements to the office procedures and computer equipment.

He thanked the members for helping him make the Chamber the most important thing in his personal life. He then described the Chamber as a “Community Table” to which everyone is invited, but to which only a proper feast occurs when each brings a dish to share with others.
Gray described his goals for 2008 as retention, stability and growth.
Chairman Ginder talked about the year as a “Roller Coaster” event for him, with many successes, and a few personal low points as he visited the hospital twice. High points he described included the Young Professionals Network, the Economic Forum, lunch and learn events, and emerging leaders in the community and Chamber.
Awards were presented as follows:
Company of the Year, to Bill Townsend of North Houston Bank;
Citizen of the Year, Jerry Lowry of Greenspoint District;
Volunteer of the Year, Dana Posednick;
Humanitarian Award, named this year in memory of John Zizelmann, and presented by his widow, to Ralph Wheeler of the YMCA;
Pinnacle Award, for continued support of the Chamber, to several individuals, Seth Sarr, Henry Vogel, Ray Bejarano, and Brian Dooley;
Shining Star Award, Khristene Walker, Primeway FCU, and Rosemary Buske, Contact Promotions;
Small Business Award, Margaret Eyster, Magoo’s PrintShop.
Jill Boullion was sworn in as the new board Chairperson by Susan Hill. It was noted that Boullion is the second woman to hold this post, and that Hill was the first.
In her remarks, Boullion thanks the Chamber, ABWA and Leadership North Houston for preparing her for this role.
She said that her goals for 2008 were 500 members, through growth and retention; promoting the Chamber to a greater extent in the community, with member benefits; and development of the commettees to better serve the members of the Chamber.
She admonished that WE are the Chamber, and to make the Chamber your Road to Growth.

Airline District holds second meeting on Water and Sewer Study

AIRLINE DISTRICT– The public got to ask more questions, and hear an update on the status of the engineering study that is being conducted in the District, as a necessary step to get funding for new water and sewer lines for most Airline District properties.
The meeting was last Thursday evening, at Carroll Academy on Gulf Bank, in the district. About 150 persons, most of them residents, turned out to listen and express themselves on the subject.
Speakers for the evening included State Representative Kevin Bailey, Melissa Hamous of Harris County, who is in charge of the study, and Airline Exec. Director Teri Koerth. Also present as observers were district board members, and Kathleen Garrett, a representative from the Texas Water Development Board, the state agency that will eventually okay the funding for the project.
Hamous said that this is a “30 year study” meaning that all the improvements might take that long to be realized. But she said that some of the work would start much sooner, as funds and grants were received. She pointed out that grant money is required to accomplish the work, since the county and the city will not pay for utilities. She pointed out that in the East Aldine Management District, after about 4 to 5 years the first sewer project for 100 houses has been completed, and two other project areas are set for construction this year.

Hamous said that preliminary information from the study indicated the extent of the problem, as follows:
– Septic overflow has occured in 477 reported cases, or citations, since 1991.
– Half of the properties in the study have private sewers, and just under half have private water wells.
– About 1 of every 8, or 12% of the septic systems, are failing and this rate will increase with time.
In the public discussion, it was noted that septic systems do not function well in the soil that Harris County has. There is too much clay for good absorption to occur.
At present, it looks like water and sewer will cost about $50 per month per home for the new system.
Some speakers in the audience thought that a solution might be to ask the city of Houston to annex the area. Although this would increase residents taxes and water bills, at least the city was seen as a dependable source to solve the problems.
In other comments, Hamous said that fire hydrants would be included in the construction.
Although flooding reduction is not part of this sewer study, she pointed out that other agencies are in the process of studying flood reduction, and some work has already been done.
This was reported in the Northeast News las week, with retention lakes built in Keith-Wiess park.
For more information and updates on studies and meetings, Teri Koerth suggested checking with the district website at www.airlinedistrict.org, and notices in the Northeast News.
The next regular district board meeting is Thursday, Jan. 31 at 11:30 a.m. in the Little York VFD building. The public is welcome.
Another water and sewer meeting will be held in a few months for the next update and conclusion of the study.

Loston earns Defensive Player of Year honors

By MIKE KEENEY Contributing Writer
Craig Loston is a defensive coaches dream. He’s big, fast, agile and has a knack for making big plays when his team needs them.
That was evident during the 2007 season with the 6-foot-3, 205-pound free safety saved three key games for the Eagles during their 7-0 run through District 19-5A, which earned them the league title and a trip to the playoffs.
Loston recorded 85 unassisted tackles, 15 assisted tackles, forced three fumbles, received three fumbles, came up with three interceptions and scored twice on a fumble recovery and an interception.
He also made his presence felt on special teams and offense as he returned a punt and a kickoff for touchdowns. When called upon to assist on offense, he came through there, as well. Loston carried the ball three times for 74 yards, but scored on two of those rushes. He also caught one pass for 37 yards, and you guessed it, a touchdown.
Interim head coach Ray Evans said Loston is one of the best athletes he’s come across during his 31 years as a coach.

“I’ve been doing this for 31 years and he’s one of the best athletes I’ve ever been around,” Evans said. “He’s a very physical player who had a lot of big hits for us this year. He does a very good job of separating the football from the ball carrier. He has a talent for making that particular play. But he’s also a dangerous return man. We used him a bit on offense and it seemed like every time he touched the ball he made a big play for us.”
Evans said Loston was a key reason why the Eagles won the 19-5A title this past season. He pointed to three key plays he made in games against Nimitz, Aldine and Stratford that allowed the Eagles to pull out all three victories in key league games.
“In the Nimitz game, Craig ended the game with a one-handed pick (interception). In the Aldine game, he returned a fumble for a touchdown to kill their late rally and in the Stratford game he came up with a game-saving interception of an Andrew Luck (Luck is considered one of the top quarterbacks in the nation and will attend Stanford next year) pass to put an end to that game.”
And while Loston has been blessed with God-given talent, he also has something else working in his favor, Evans said.
“Craig is an extremely hard worker. As a sophomore he was hurt and was unable to practice very much, but he would be ready come game time. “
Evans believes if Loston continues to work hard, he could take his game beyond just the college level.
“Craig possesses the types of physical qualities that could lead to a professional career,” Evans said. “If he doesn’t get hurt I can see him playing on Sundays.”
Loston is also a good citizen, Evans added.
“He’s all about the team and not himself. Craig is a very respectful young man. He’s never been in any trouble at school.”
In addition to playing football, Loston excels at track and is a vocal presence among his teammates.
“Craig is our leader on defense,” Evans said. “He’s handled all this attention very well. He’s starting to get a lot of attention from major colleges, but he’s keeping things in focus. His focus right now is on the off season.”
And that’s a good thing for the Eagles, but not such a good thing for Eisenhower’s 2008 opponents.

Predictions for 2008

Oh 8 is upon us so, grin and bare it whatever the blessing or curse may be.
With the price of gas trying to catch up with a gallon of sweet milk, it is going to put a lot more people in the poor house. There is plenty of room for everybody so come on in.
Having heard and read several predictions for Oh 8, some good, some not, others cause concern for worry.
Should the price of petrol go to four bucks a gallon, yours truly would not be surprised because those over yonder are out to ruin this great nation.
Who will win the Super Bowl? Have not watched the first game and don’t know who is playing; Texans and Cowboys?
Rick Perry will be tapped to Vice President of the United States. Since it’s a do nothing job, he’ll fit right in.

Border crossings back into Mexico will increase with the return of unemployed housing laborers.
Real estate prices will continue to decline throughout the year and repossessions will continue at record pace.
Interest rates will continue to drop somewhere from a quarter to two percent.
As the price of petrol increases many independent businesses will shut their doors; from body shops to real estate and related companies. Many staff reductions are forth coming.
Grocery stores to hardware stores will be increasing prices due to the high price of petrol especially diesel, and will layoff personnel. Look about your house and you will notice about every thing in your house is delivered by a truck.
Also associated with rising petrol prices are school tax increases to pay for the petrol used in the thousands and thousand of school buses. One thing for sure back when I walked to school, walking wasn’t crowded. Of course with some of today’s kids, they have to be bussed because some kids don’t have enough sense to get out of the street much less the rain.
Restaurants will continue to serve smaller portions and increase the price of everything on the menu.
The Writers Guild will go to the wayside, same way the air traffic controllers did. And to think all this time, I thought Bob Hope came up with his own jokes. Thanks for the memories anyway.
One major car dealership in Baytown will close.
Stainless steel appliances will no longer be the trend since current owners have found out they are hard to keep clean and rid of fingerprints. Good health will be the slowest possible rate at which one can die.
Mad-cow-disease is located among millions of cows in America but we haven’t a clue as to how to locate millions of illegal immigrants or a terrorist. The Department of Agriculture will be in charge of immigration.