Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts published in “Day: November 18, 2008

New face at East Aldine

After 4 years of service to the District, Mike Ledbetter retired at the end of October as the Director of Services. In this position, in the District offices at the Sheriff’s Storefront on Aldine Mail Route, he was the contact for all citizens who had business with the District.

He is being replaced this month by Richard Cantu, hired by the EAMD after an exhaustive search of a field of 30 candidates.

Cantu is quite familiar with East Aldine, and lives in the Melrose Park area near Hardy Toll Road, and serves as the Hawthorne Place Civic Club president.

Previous to his work with East Aldine, Cantu was with the Neighborhood Centers Inc., as manager of their youth department and the Harbach Ripley community Center. This organization was involved in meals for seniors, Head Start education program, and a charter school.

Before that he spent eight years with the City of Houston Parks and Recreation Department, and six years with the Citizens Assistance Office.

Cantu is a graduate of Jeff Davis High School, where he was class president, probably the start of his public service career. He went on to HCC for an associate degree in Government, and to the University of Houston for Political Science.

He has served as a Precinct Chair in Pct. 105 for 16 years, and has even run for office, City Council, in 2003.

Cantu has been married for 20 years, and he and his wife have 3 daughters. His wife is a graduate of Sam Houston HS. Cantu coaches basketball, and has been active also in the TMO, or Metropolitan Organization, and the Holy Name Catholic Church. He helped develop the Community Center and Park known as Clark Park, off W. Tidwell.

While in college, he was honored with a national Truman Scholarship, in 1992, a scholarship for those interested in Public Service, of which only two per state are awarded annually.

Cantu will be available daily in his office at 5202 Aldine Mail Route for those who want to contact the East Aldine Management District. His phone is 281-449-1800. He welcomes your visit.

Bailey Banquet leaves scholarships as legacy

Over two hundred guests enjoyed an evening of fun and socializing as they honored State Representative Kevin Bailey for 18 years of service in the Texas State Legislature, representing Dictrict 140.

Bailey is widely credited with passing the legislation that formed the Greater Greenspoint Management District, the East Aldine Management District, and the Airline Improvement District. These measures, along with other legislation he has been responsible for during his tenure, were praised by 5 speakers who participated in the “Roast and Toast” format of the evening event.

These speakers included Dale Gorczynski, Harris County Justice of the Peace; Reggie Gray, president of the North Houston Greenspoint Chamber of Commerce; Robert Eckels, former Harris County Judge; Chris Jones, representing CLEAT law enforcement agency; and Sylvester Turner, State Representative and Speaker Pro Tempore of the Texas House.

Each of these speakers had been an important part of Bailey’s experience and involvement in legislation as he served both in the legislature, and previously in city government.

The banquet was originally scheduled for September 16 but was rescheduled due to Ike.

The evening was a spirited and fun combination of praise, reminisces, and jokes about working with Kevin Bailey and his personal idiosynchrysies. These included an addition to TAB sodas, black clothing, and Cuban style cigars that he never seemed to light up.

The emcee for this lively evening was Jack Drake, a long time friend and advocate, who is president of Greenspoint District. His organization was the focal point for an Ad Hoc committee that put together the event. These included Reggie Gray, Gilbert Hoffman, Jocklynn Keville, Teri Koerth, Phyllis Oustifine, Adrian Sauceda, and Joyce Wiley, as well as Drake.

An important function of the dinner was fund raising for two endowed scholarships in Kevin’s name, one to Lone Star College, and the other to Houston Community College. These two institutions serve the students within his district.

Fundraising was quite successful, with a total of over $28,000 cleared for the scholarships.

Major sponsors included Crowne Plaza Hotel, developer Dwayne Henson and Steve Ford, East Aldine Management District, Plumbers Local Union No. 68, IBEW Local Union 716, Greenspoint District, Airline Improvement District, Hawes Hill Calderon LLP, Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell LLP, Joe Allen/Allen Boone Humphries Robinson LLP, North Houston Bank, Lone Star College-North Harris, IBEW Local Union 66, Houston Community College, Case Contractors, Aldine ISD, Glen Nitsch/Nitsch & Son Utility Co. Inc., State Rep. Sylvester Turner, Houston Apartment Association, GFI Management Services Inc., North Houston Greenspoint Chamber of Commerce, and Swank Audio Visuals.

In his introductory remarks, Emcee Drake highlighted the life of service that Bailey has devoted himself to, serving his community. Said Drake, “Kevin is known for bringing basic water and sewer services to residents and enhancing public law enforcement,” said Drake. “By helping to establish Management Districts, Kevin has enabled the business community to fund improvements and services that have brought value to the entire community.”

After that, each Roaster speaker poked fun at Bailey, based on their experiences and knowledge. Said Gorczynski, “He may have lost an election, but he’s not dead yet”.

Gray tried to imitate his mannerisms, but admited there was no way, “he’s the real thing. The Man”.

Eckels praised his bipartisanship, and his ability to get things done, and then awarded him a collection of worthless prizes he had collected.

Jones noted his predeliction for Cuban-style cigars, and teased him with the fact that they were to expensive to actually present them to him.

Turner remembered 18 years of working beside Kevin in the State House, and termed him 1 of the 10 best legislators, a man hard to “roast”. He praised him for his passion on important issues such as CHIPS, and getting the Houston Crime Lab and all Texas Labs certified.

Turner reminded him “A Public Servant Never Retires”, a comment that Bailey himself emphasized to the Northeast News. “I’m not retiring, he said.” He noted that he would go back to Austin and lobby for his important issues in the future.

The evening closed with Kevin’s own thoughts on his time in office, and a slide show of memorable presentations.

Utility construction underway in North Houston Heights

EAST ALDINE Management District iscontinuing their work on water and sewer lines, as construction has started on the North Houston Heights project. Photos show work on Collins Street, that began in October and is progressing.

The project is scheduled to take about 12 months, and includes new water lines, sewer lines, and a lift station. The contract was awarded to Calco, Inc. one of 6 bidders, for about $3.7 million dollars, and is being monitored by WaterEngineers, Inc. for Harris County and the Management District. A meeting with community residents was held on October 30th, to inform them how they can connect with the new systems.

Any additional questions can be directed to the Director of Services, Richard Cantu, and the EAMD offices, 281-449-1800. The project is near East Mt. Houston and the Orange Grove Elementary School.

Touring Pennsylvania

Me and the Mrs. went to visit one of the twins in Pennsylvania over a four-day weekend last weekend. That satisfied our thirty-ninth anniversary gift to each other by getting to see grandkids seldom seen.

A fer piece Pennsylvania is, less than three hours by air, two days by car and almost two months by mule and wagon. If I get up there once a year I consider myself lucky. Besides, ain’t nothing up there but Yankees.

We were about thirty something miles from Gettysburg, PA but still have not made the site tour of the old battleground. Want to find me a musket ball and have been told you can walk the fields out there and might find one.

The boy did take me just up the road to see Three Mile Island if you recall that nuclear plant disaster back in 1979? Do not think I would want to live near one of them things. That nuclear plant could get hot enough to melt all those lead musket balls over in Gettysburg but luckily, those plants are mostly safe.

Managed to get to one of the markets in York where some of the Amish come to sell their wares, veggies and food products; bought a jar of their pickled beets… good stuff.

Back to Texas and the ole grindstone, at least it was a four-day work week and the best kind. The Mrs. seems to be in a better mood for the time being. Give it another week, things will be back to normal.

Took a tour of the garden of weedin this morning, fertilized the tomatoes, pinched off half dozen suckers, slapped dozens of mosquitoes and gave it all a good drink of water.

When I dug the potatoes before we went to Montana, must have left a few in the ground because there are potato tops over a foot tall in the garden and a few onions.

We get enough tomatoes, there will be a final 08 makings of chowchow for the year, and might make this a hot batch.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, do not eat too much.

Charlie A. Farrar is author of many columns of homespun Georgia thoughts, that have appeared in local newspapers. He has published a book with some of the best, “Two Cents Worth.” To purchase a copy, send $12.95 to NEWSpaper, PO Box 405, Highlands, TX 77562.