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Posts published in “Day: November 16, 2010”

Chamber Starlight Awards honors Hawes for achievements

By Gilbert Hoffman
Northeast News
The Houston Intercontinental Chamber held their annual Starlight Business Awards and installation banquet last Thursday night, and honored a number of companies and persons for their achievements.
Jocklynn Keville of the Greenspoint District was sworn in as the new chairman of the board of the Chamber, as well as the installation of the new board for 2011.

A special “Lifetime Achievement Award” was presented to David Hawes, founding partner of the Consulting firm Hawes Hill Calderon LLP, who represents the East Aldine District and eight other management districts in their governance.
The Gala event was held at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Greenspoint, with about 200 persons attending.
The evening included silent and live auctions, awards, and swearing in of the new Chamber board for 2011. The live auction was conducted by Greenspoint president Jack Drake, with lively commentary as well as bidding.
Emcee for the evening was Chamber president Reggie Gray, beaming not because of the gala, but because he had been a new father just two days before.
Recognition was given in various categories, which are shown on page 8 of this issue.
The highlight of the evening was the award to David Hawes for his years of dedicated service to communities in Texas. He has served the population while at the Texas Department of Human Services, as CEO of TCARE, a nonprofit residential treatment service to adolescents, as chief economist in the Lanier Houston administration, and helped form 11 of Houston’s 22 TIRZ zones and administer nine Management districts.
In accepting the award, he spoke of his vision to change the face of Houston, but said “this award is not about me — it’s about the people in the communities.”
Jack Drake swore in Jocklynn Keville as the new Chamber chairperson. The two of them joked about her starting from a humble beginning on a fishing boat in Louisiana, and her “journey” to Houston’s Greenspoint District.
Keville then spoke of her vision for the Chamber, to provide valuable information and services to the member businesses. She admonished members to “Challenge your Chamber to serve your business needs.”

Aldine’s Sonny Donaldson helps with “Kairos” prison ministry

By JULIETA PAITA
Northeast News

Aldine Optimist Club had a special guest at its last meeting on Nov. 10. Sonny Donaldson, retired superintendent of Aldine ISD and now an active member of Kairos Prison Ministry at Hightower Prison in Dayton, explained the functions of this program to help prisioners feel relief and improve themselves, while behind bars.

There are two prisons in Dayton, Texas. Hightower is one of them, and is the one the Kairos program assists.
Kairos Prison Ministry Program is an international operation that is in many states. “In Texas we have about 155,000 people that are incarcerated,” said Donaldson.
This program works by going to the prisons to visit those who are in prison and talk to them about God. “Kairos is an individual’s special time with God,” said Donaldson. “It’s God’s time that we are spending with the prisoners.”
Every year, there are about 50 volunteers in the Kairos program who go twice a year for 3 and half days to visit prisoners at Hightower. During these days members of the program and volunteers present bible lessons, “we sing, we pray,” said Donaldson. “We talked about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.”
These 50 volunteers, or “team members” are supported by another outside team composed of men and women. There is also participation from three inmates who have taken this program in previous years and now they work with the team.
“We go in and pair with the inmates, we’re there to build a relationship, and say there is a better way,” said Donaldson. It’s about developing a culture within that prison and they begin to think about their lives.”
With this program prisoners can find support within an environment that has rules and regulations behind bars.
Applicants for this program need to fill out an application form and only 42 are selected by Committee. The group of 42 is a diverse group. And every year there are different prisoners who participate in this program.
During the three and half days at Hightower, they distribute 25,000 bags of cookies to prisoners, this is called the day of ‘Love Cookies’, they also eat breakfast, lunch and dinner with the prisoners.
Sonny Donaldson also said there is a prisoners band, “they can play guitar, thay can play music, they’re very active and energetic.”
The Kairos program “has changed the culture for prisoners and guards about relationships and treating people with respect,” said Donaldson.
Research have shown that more than 80% of prisoners will be back in prison unless they have experienced the Kairos program or any other type of ministry program. For those who take part in a ministry program, recivitism is less than 20%.
If you want to be part of the Kairos team, they are always looking for volunteers. To make donations or support this work, please call Sonny Donaldson at 281-516-9792.


Airline Improvement District targets mobility issues

By Teri Koerth, Executive Director
The Airline Improvement District is continuing to move forward with numerous projects. The District has completed the negotiation process and has signed an Advanced Funding Agreement with TXDOT to oversee the mobility projects listed below and is in the process of selecting a consultant to design the projects.
These projects were among those listed in a mobility study that was conducted in partnership with the Houston-Galveston Area Council.
All projects are subject to final approval from Harris County and final cost assessments.
1. Construct sidewalks on both sides of Airline drive from Gulf Bank Road to Canino Road.
2. Two additional crosswalks in the 8000 block of Airline Drive, one North of the existing crosswalk and one South of the existing crosswalk.
3. A raised median in the 8000 block of Airline Drive in front of the market area which would only allow right hand turns into parking areas and provide a safe haven for pedestrians
4. Addition of two bus shelters near the 8000 block of Airline Drive.
5. Construct sidewalks on both sides of Aldine Mail Route from Airline Drive to the Hardy Toll Road (final design will be subject to Harris County roadway alignment for the widening of Aldine Mail Route).
6. Construct sidewalks on the North side of Canino Road from Airline Drive to Nordling Road and on the South side of Canino Road from Van Ness Street to Airline Drive.
7. Add east bound left turn lane to Gulf Bank Road at Sweetwater Lane and upgrade signal.
8. Upgrade intersection signal located at Sweetwater Lane at Mount Houston Road.