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Posts published in August 2018

New Leo Daniels tower to lead in Jensen Revitalization efforts

Architect’s rendering shows a 6 story building, to be built on one of two possible sites on Jensen. The building will have 100 apartments, of which 25 will be set aside for Veterans.

NORTH HOUSTON – A meeting was held last Monday at the Greater Jerusalem Church on Jensen Drive, for the purpose of discussing plans to build a new housing structure as part of a plan to revitalize the decrepit business district of Jensen Drive.

The meeting was billed as a Community Development Partnership Meeting, and included government officials, local pastors, local business and community persons, and real estate developers.

As explained by Chris Akbari of ITEX Group, a development company, in conjunction with the J. Allen Management company, a new Leo Daniels residential building would be built, and the current tower would be renovated.

Akbari told the group that there are two possible sites, one on the east side of Jensen across from the church, and the other on Harrell Street to the north of the current building. If the second site is chosen, it would also have the possibility of using the rest of the land for a new grocery store and extensive parking. Akbari explained that negotiations for this Option 2 are underway, but not finalized.

Pastor Russell noted that whichever scheme is chosen, it will require the discussion and approval of the Leo Daniels board.

The new building would be six stories tall, and house 136 apartments. 66 of these would be efficiencies, 58 one bedroom, and 12 two bedroom.

Akbari said that financing had already been secured, including 4% Housing tax credits, City of Houston HOME funds in the amount of $5 Million dollars, CDBG federal funds through the state including disaster relief after the floods, and a $6.6 Million mortgage. Total project cost is about $26 Million dollars, he said.

After the new Tower 2 is built, residents from the existing tower would be moved to the new building, allowing renovation of that building.

East Aldine hosts lunch with Superintendent

New Aldine ISD Superintendent LaTonya Goffney appeared at the East Aldine community luncheon last week, along with Richard Cantu and Veronica Sanches.

EAST ALDINE – The District held a welcoming luncheon for the new Aldine ISD school superintendent, Dr. LaTonya Goffney. About 100 persons from the community were present to greet her, and hear her plans for the coming year. Goffney was introduced by East Aldine’s Richard Cantu, a person also interested in education. He is currently the president of the Aldine Education Foundation board, and a candidate for the Harris County school board.

Goffney has been named Texas Superintendent of the Year, and Aldine was pleased to be able to hire her. Previously she had been Superintendent of the Lufkin ISD school district in North Texas.

To explain her commitment to education, Dr. Goffney first told of her childhood upbringing, and the difference that education and a teacher that cared about her made in her life.

She said that although she appeared smart in school, she was the product of a home with a single mother, and actually was raised by her grandmother, who instilled much of the qualities of integrity and hard work that she embodies.

After high school, to get additional education she thought she would have to go into the military, but a teacher that believed in her told her to apply to college, and a federal FAFSA grant to pay for it.

Dr. Goffney saw education as the way her life changed for the better, and believes it can help all students. Her plans for Aldine include changes that she says have already started from the previous administration, and her job is to manage the change.

Voters Approve Flood Bond

HARRIS COUNTY – Voters overwhelmingly approved a $2.5 Billion dollar bond proposal, that will result in 237 projects to mitigate future flood dangers in the county.

With 98% of the votes counted, District Clerk Stan Stanart reported that the bond issue passed with 85% approval, or about 129,000 votes. Opposing the proposal were 15% of the voters who turned out, about 21,000. Votes were almost evenly split between Absentee, Early, and Election Day votes.

Election Day was August 25th, the one year anniversary of the landfall of Hurricane Harvey onto the Texas coast.

The bond issue includes 237 projects, $1.2 Billion for channel improvements, $12.5 Million for floodplain mapping, and $1.25 Million for an early warning system.

Keeney’s Korner: Aldine ISD football starts 2018 season

Mike Keeney

Labor Day weekend full of high school & college matchups

Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of summer and the official start of the football season.

This weekend, high school stadiums across the state will be filled with screaming fans as they gather to watch their favorite teams begin their 2018 seasons. That will be the case in Aldine ISD where all five of the district’s varsity programs will begin their seasons with hopes of landing one of the four playoff spots up for grabs in District 16-6A.

AISD has two new head coaches who will be making their debuts this weekend. Eric Jackson is the new head coach at Eisenhower. He served as the team’s defensive coordinator prior to being named head coach last February. Wayne Crawford is the new head coach at MacArthur after serving as the Generals’ offensive coordinator. Crawford was also promoted last February. Both men are excited about their new positions and would like nothing more than to open their respective seasons with a victory.

Labor Day weekend will also be the official kickoff for the 2018 NCAA season (four games were played last weekend), as fans will have plenty of intriguing games to watch in the first full weekend of competition.

Aldine ISD Jamboree a big success

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner delivered remarks at Aldine ISD’s Jamboree on Monday, Aug. 13 at the M.O. Campbell Educational Center. The Jamboree showcased the district’s extra curricular programs, such as band, cheerleading, performing arts and athletics. Approximately 3,800 people attended the event.

Aldine ISD Board President Steve Mead waves to the crowd at the Aldine ISD Jamboree held on Monday, Aug. 13 at the M.O. Campbell Educational Center. Pictured along with Mr. Mead are fellow trustees Dr. Kimberley Booker, left, and Dr. Viola M. Garcia, right. The Jamboree showcased the district’s extracurricular programs.

Members of the MacArthur High School football team wait to be introduced during the Aldine ISD Jamboree, held on Monday, Aug. 13 at the M.O. Campbell Educational Center. The Jamboree attracted approximately 3,800 people and was held to showcase the district’s extracurricular programs.

Voting for flood bond underway

Judge Ed Emmett

HARRIS COUNTY – Voters will have a chance to decide to spend $2.5 billion dollars to help alleviate flooding, according to County Judge Ed Emmett.

The measure includes a list of 150 potential projects that will be paid for by the bond money, some of it to repair flood damage and some to mitigate future flood risks. Judge Emmett said “People realize this is our chance to say we are really serious about flood-control, mitigation and resilience.”

Emmett continued “If this bond passes, it will not only show we are serious, it will actually provide $700 to $900 million that will be matched by the federal government.”

The funding includes $1.2 billion for drainage improvements, $12.5 million for new floodplain mapping, and $1.25 million for an improved early warning system. The money will be spent over a 10 to 15 year period.

Election Day is August 25, the one year anniversary of the time Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coast and brought devastating flooding to the Houston region. Voting at your precinct will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

School District needs your help to keep students safe through the school year

Keep an Eye Out for Children and School Buses

The first day of school in Aldine ISD is Monday, Aug. 20. This is a reminder for drivers that they will be sharing the road with students and school buses.

District leaders encourage parents to go over safety rules with their children. They also encourage drivers to obey school zones and yield to buses.

Bus Safety Tips

• Yellow flashing lights mean drivers should slow down because the bus is about to make a stop.

• Red flashing lights mean the bus has stopped. All drivers must stop for buses while the red lights are flashing and the Stop sign is out. It is against the state law to pass a school bus with the red flashing lights on, loading or unloading children. If a roadway is divided, the opposite direction roadway may proceed with caution. Traffic behind the school bus traveling in the same direction MUST stop.

• The area 15 feet around a school bus is where children are in danger of being hit. Drivers should stop far enough back to allow children necessary space to safely enter or exit a bus. Never pass a stopped bus on the right that is loading or unloading. It is illegal and could have tragic consequences.

• Drivers should be patient. Buses travel at a slower rate and they make frequent stops.

Keeney’s Korner: Texans hope for a full season from Watson

Mike Keeney

Aggie fans hopeful Fisher is right man for job

By Mike Keeney

Welcome back football, we’ve missed you!

The 2018 season is right around the corner and while baseball is still the talk of the town thanks to the Astros, football will always be king in these parts. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as big of an Astros fan as there is in this area, and am hopeful for another long playoff run in the fall, but injuries and a tepid offense has made things more difficult this time around. Heck, they may not even win their division. The Oakland A’s are breathing down their necks and are the hottest team in baseball. It would help to get Jose Altuve and George Springer back in the lineup (both are out with injuries) and get Carlos Correra’s bat going.

But enough about baseball. It’s time to turn our attention to the 2018 football season and what story lines we will be following this year.

Aldine ISD to open six new schools

The Lou Vardeman EC/Pre-K/K School will be one of six new schools that will open in Aldine ISD when the 2018-19 school year begins on Monday, Aug. 20. The school is located at 3302 Connorvale Rd.

Aldine ISD will open six new schools when the 2018-19 school year begins on Monday, Aug. 20. In addition, Francis Elementary School and Johnson Elementary School will have new facilities for the upcoming school year.

The schools were built with funds from the $798 million bond referendum Aldine voters overwhelmingly passed (by 72%) in November of 2015. The district will open one career and technical high school, three middle schools and two EC/Pre-K Centers.

The Dr. Archie Blanson Career and Technical Education High School will be located at 311 West Road. It is named after former Deputy Superintendent Dr. Archie Blanson. Ben Ibarra will serve as the school’s principal.

The three middle schools that are opening are Dr. Viola M. Garcia Middle School, Marine Jones Middle School and Steve Mead Middle School.

Green’s 23rd annual Immunization day at UT clinic

Congressman Gene Green, center, poses with representatives of the UT Physicians Jensen Clinic on Crosstimbers, and members of the community who helped administer the immunizations at Green’s 23rd Annual Immunization Day. Congressman Green sponsors the Immunization Day in several locations throughout his district. This year locations included AAMA Learning Center on the Gulf Freeway, El Centro de Corazon-Magnolia Health Center, North Shore Senior High School and the UT Jensen clinic.

By Zach Maxwell

NORTH HOUSTON – For nearly a quarter of a century, U.S. Rep. Gene Green has held a back-to-school immunization clinic at locations in his District TX-29, in northeast Houston. Even though Green is leaving office soon, he says the tradition is likely to continue under the next office-holder.

Three Houston area locations played host to Green’s immunization clinics on Saturday, Aug. 11 – North Shore High School, AAMA Learning Center on Gulf Freeway, and UT Physicians Jensen Clinic on the north side. Through various community partners, the impact of families served numbered in the thousands.

“Our goal is to have healthy children for the next generation of our community,” Green said.