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Posts published in “Day: March 24, 2009

East Aldine District simplifies name, gets sewer/water funding approval

EAST ALDINE – It’s been known as the “Improvement District” and the “Management District.” Now just call it by it’s nickname, the “District.” In a move to simplify and strengthen the area’s identity, the board decided last week to use the new term on its signage, planned to go up around the perimeter of the district in the near future.

In other board action, the financial report was reviewed, and the status of a bond sale and grant funding was heard.

Accountant Jack Roland reported that sales tax receipts for the month of March were up 11.5% from the previous year. This means the district received $281,991 from sales tax collected in February by the state. For the year to date, the state has forwarded $986,446 to the district. The projection for the whole year is expected to be almost $4 million.

Discussion ensued on the status of bond sales, and grants to accomplish the sewer and water projects for the District.

Executive Director David Hawes reported that TCEQ, the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality, has given approval to issue about $13 million in revenue bonds, to be used for new sewer and water lines in the area east of US59 known as Service Zone 11, and North Houston Heights. The bonds will also be used for about $2.7 million of Transportation and Mobility projects, according to the TCEQ documents.

In addition, the TWDB, or Texas Water Development Board, has put on its agenda for early action, a grant of $450,000 to be used by the EAMD for two subdivisions water and sewer lines. These are Sherwood and Benton Place. This money would be matched by a later grant of $3.5 million for construction, according to Hawes.

A new committee structure for the board was announced. There will now be a Mobility and Transportation Committee, headed by Art Murillo; an Environmental and Urban Design Committee, headed by Debra Foster; and a Facility Development Committee, headed by Bill Townsend. The latter committee will be investigating the potential for constructing a multi-service center in the district to house a number of agencies, educational institutions, social service agencies, government offices, and the district offices. Plans for this facility are only in a very preliminary discussion at this time.

The sheriff’s office reported that they were looking into equipment to analyze noise, which could be used in conjunction with new legislation that may be passed in Austin to help abate the noise problem.

Reports were received from the Proactive Sheriff’s unit, the Nuisance abatement officer, Grafitti abatement, Neighborhood Clean-up, Bike Patrol, and Economic Development directors. Residents can contact the abatement officer at 281-449-1800, or the Director of Services at 713-595-1220.

HCC chancellor will meet with North Forest families at April 9 breakfast

What does the future hold for Northeast Houston?

Dr. Mary S. Spangler, Chancellor of Houston Community College will address this issue on April 9 during a breakfast at the former Forest Brook High School Cafeteria, located at 7525 Tidwell Road.

Spangler will focus the discussion on “HCC’s Economic Impact of Education in the North Forest Community.”

The breakfast will begin at 8:30 a.m. and is free and open to the public.

A Breakfast Menu of Peppered Bacon & Breakfast Links in Gravy, Potatoes O’Brien, Scrambled Eggs with Cheese, Buttermilk & Honey Biscuits with Orange Blossom Honey Jelly, Grits, Coffee & Assorted Juices will be served.

Because of limited seating, an RSVP is required.

Please RSVP to the HCC Northeast-Office of Public Relations at (713)718-8021 by April 6th.

North Forest proposes major reductions in facilities

More school closures and consolidations are in the future for North Forest ISD.

Dr. Adrain Johnson, superintendent of schools, said that everyone in the community wants better schools, improved facilities and “quality programs executed by highly qualified, dedicated and passionate teachers.”

In order to realize the goal, he said sacrifices must be made.

“Our resources are stretched, and we will not be able to compete until we start making the best use of our facilities and funds,” Johnson said.

The school district plans to close facilities and create new attendance zones. During the 2009-10 school year, North Forest expects to operate one high school, two middle schools and five elementary campuses.

Specific changes include combining the district’s early childhood education program with one all-day, Pre-K program at Thurgood Marshall Elementary. Lakewood and W.E. Rogers Elementaries will be closed. A new elementary school will open at the facility that now houses Oak Village Middle School.

R.E. Kirby will also be closed. The district plans to use the former Forest Brook High School campus to house middle school students.

Johnson added that the district would be rezoned to “redistribute and rebalance enrollment among the district’s schools.” The Learning Academy, which houses this Suburban Street facility, will be closed and the program will be moved to another site, which has not be announced.

This relocation and closure plan is pending school board approval.

Former president visits new Gallery Furniture

Former President George H.W. Bush paid a surprise visit last week to the new Gallery Furniture, which opened on Post Oak at Westheimer in Houston.

The visit was an impromptu stop, as President Bush wanted to see the latest entrepreneurial venture of his valued friend, owner Jim McIngvale.

McIngvale toured President Bush around the 15,000 square foot store that features collections from famous manufacturers such as Kreiss, Drexel Heritage and Tempur-Pedic. The store was designed by noted interior designer Bill Stubbs.

The two men have had a long history of partnering together in many philanthropic ventures from Tsunami Relief for those halfway around the word to Hurricane aid for those devastated by the Gulf Coast hurricanes.

A spokesperson for Former President Bush said that he was proud of the success of McIngvale’s new location.

‘Slumdog Millionaire’ is amazing

“Slumdog Millionaire” — Winner of eight Academy Awards (including Best Picture), “Slumdog Millionaire” is an uplifting tale of love and triumph set against the backdrop of the violent and poverty-stricken streets of Mumbai, India.

The film opens with a young man, Jamal (Dev Patel), who is on the Indian version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”. He has answered every question correctly and is only one answer away from winning the grand prize. Because Jamal is an orphan and comes from such a poor background, it is assumed that he is somehow cheating, so he is brutally interrogated by the police to find out how he can possibly know the answers to such hard questions.

And so the film unfolds in a series of flashbacks of events in Jamal’s life that illustrate how he came to know the answers to questions — from the death of his mother, which leaves Jamal and his brother homeless and poor on the streets of Mumbai, to their escape from a Fagin-like character who wants to lead the boys into a life of crime, to Jamal’s search for his lost childhood-love Latika (Freida Pinto).

“Slumdog Millionaire” is an amazing movie that mixes humor and brutality without compromising the integrity of the characters, and still manages to get away with a Bollywood dance number at the end. Brilliant.

“The IT Crowd: The Complete Season One” — One of Britain’s funniest TV series is finally on DVD in America. Until now fans had to resort to illicit Internet downloads or ponying up the cash to watch the show on IFC.

Written and directed by Graham Linehan (“Father Ted”), “The IT Crowd” is a hilarious sitcom that revolves around the misadventures of two socially inept geeks who work for the IT support team of a huge multinational corporation that is run by a complete moron. If you’re a fan of British comedies like “The Mighty Boosh” or “The Office,” then you definitely need to check this out.

Clowning around at Greenspoint Mall

Visitors to Greenspoint Mall were recently treated to the antics of COTTON CANDY, seen at the right, and KIBBEY THE CLOWN, below.

The clowns were present for the Bull Riding event held in the mall.

The clowns are part of the Houston Clown School, which provides clowns for parties and special events, and teaches new clowns the history and techniques of Clowning. Also available are face painting and balloon sculpture. If you have a need for clowns, or want to learn clowning, or have something to barter, contact Larry Kibbey at 281-495-7523 or check out