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Posts published in January 2019

Pct.2 distributes food during government shutdown

Precinct 2 staff turned out last Friday morning to help distribute the food.

HARRIS COUNTY PCT. 2 – During the current federal government shutdown, veterans and federal employees impacted were able to get food baskets and resource guides at two Food Fairs held at Precinct 2 community centers.

Pct. 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia partnered with the Food Bank to provide drive-thru style support at the Northeast Community Center, and East Harris County Activity Center. Garcia said the event will repeat in the future if necessary.

East Aldine bond rating upgraded by S&P

EAST ALDINE – David Hawes, executive director of the East Aldine District, reports that Standard & Poors, the nationwide credit rating service, has upgraded its evaluation of the District. The result of this upgrade is that bonds that the District sells will have a lower interest rate, leaving a larger net cash reserve for use in the ongoing community projects that the District is undertaking.

The East Aldine Management District has been given a rating of AA- according to S&P Global Ratings. This is primarily due to: continued expansion and diversification of the district area; a very strong audited sales tax collections through 2017 and debt service coverage (DSC) at 3.5x MADS.

The raters view that nationwide sales tax revenue collections have exhibited relatively low volatility with no history of significant volatility at the local level; and the district’s general creditworthiness partially offsets the above credit strengths of the sales tax bond structure.

Some excerpts from the final S&P rating report follow:

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Commissioner Adrian Garcia visits Castlewood Civic Club

Commissioner Adrian Garcia, left, with Castlewood Civic Club members including President Connie Esparza at last week’s meeting.

Commissioner Adrian Garcia’s visit to Castlewood at Bethel Community Church last Thursday proved productive and informative.

The Commissioner listened attentively to the concerns of its residents such as bayou and ditch cleanup, water drainage from ditches, security issues, excessive gunfire in the area, maintenance of vacant lots and abandoned cars, dumping, problems with septic tanks and its possible conversion and heavy trash pickup.

Commissioner Garcia set priorities for the subdivision, first and foremost he said, is the flood mitigation beginning with identifying the proper sheet flow, stripping of the streets in the area, street repair of pot holes and appropriate lighting in the general area. Particular focus is being dedicated to the water drainage coming from Maya Park through Connorvale and possible repurposing of the area off Aldine Westfield on Gault.

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Richard Cantu holds “Thank You” Reception

RICHARD CANTU was recently elected to the Harris County School Board.

RICHARD CANTU, the Assistant Director for the East Aldine District, was elected in November as a member of the Harris County School Board. To thank all his supporters, he held a Victory reception at Mannie’s Seafood Restaurant last week. Pictured above are Patti Acosta, Connie Esparza, Steve Mead, State Senator Carol Alvarado, Richard Cantu, Art Murillo, and Joyce Wiley, just a few of the attendees at the event.

60th annual Aldine ISD Livestock Show set Jan. 30-Feb. 1

Eisenhower High School FFA student Nick Cain raised the Grand Champion Steer at the 2018 Aldine ISD Livestock Show and Country Fair. This year’s event will take place Jan. 30-Feb. 1 at the M.O. Campbell Educational Center.

The 60th annual Aldine ISD Livestock Show and Country Fair will be held Jan. 30-Feb. 1 at the M.O. Campbell Educational Center.

Project judging will be held on Thursday, Jan. 31, beginning at 8 a.m. and concluding at 4 p.m. in the Campbell Center Arena.

On Thursday and Friday, all projects will be on display to the public throughout the day.

The Sale of Champions, which produced $224,007 in sales in 2018, will be held Friday evening (Feb. 1) at 7 p.m. and will be held in the Arena. In addition to FFA students’ projects being auctioned off, Aldine ISD art students will also have their art work auctioned off.

Prior to the Sale of Champions, the buyer’s dinner will be held at 5 p.m. During the buyer’s dinner, AISD art students will have their art projects on display and individuals will have the opportunity to bid on the artwork.

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Mac grad Diana Del Pilar named principal of Avalos PTECHS

Diana Del Pilar, left, was named Principal of Rose Avalos Pathway in Technology Early College High School during the Jan. 15 Aldine ISD Board of Trustees meeting. She is pictured with the school’s namesake, and AISD Trustee, Rose Avalos.

Diana Del Pilar, a MacArthur High School graduate, is coming home.

Del Pilar was named the principal of Rose Avalos Pathway in Technology Early College High School at the Jan. 15 Board meeting. She will assume her new duties on Feb. 4.

She brings nearly 20 years of experience in the field of education to the role which includes more than 10 years in Aldine, and four years as principal of Houston ISD’s Middle College High School-Gulfton.

The Sam Houston University graduate began her teaching career in 1999 as bilingual teacher at Aldine ISD’s Sammons Elementary School. She also taught bilingual education at Hill, Wilson and Stehlik Intermediate schools before moving to Goodman Elementary where she served as the school’s bilingual instructional specialist. In 2005, she moved to Spring Branch ISD and served as an instructional specialist at Treasure Forest Elementary School before becoming an assistant principal at that same campus. In 2011, she moved to Houston ISD to serve as the principal of Helms Elementary School before opening the Middle College.

That experience will immediately be put to use as Del Pilar will lead recruitment efforts Aldine’s district’s first P-Tech high school and 10th high school.

Avalos PTECHS will open in August of 2019 and is the final school built with funds from the $798 million 2015 bond referendum.

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Second driver in deadly chase indicted

Christopher Lopez

The driver of a vehicle that was chasing a 14-year-old male driver and passengers that collided with a pickup truck, killing the women driver, has been indicted by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

A Grand Jury Panel returned the charges of manslaughter, failure to stop and render aid, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, on 48-year-old Christopher Lopez.

On Tuesday, January 1, 2019, at approximately 2:20 p.m., a tan GMC Acadia operated by a 14-year old driver with two juvenile passengers, was traveling at a high rate of speed westbound on Aldine Mail Route approaching the intersection of Aldine Westfield Road.

A tan late 70’s model Lincoln driven by Lopez, was chasing the GMC Acadia, and allegedly displaying a semi-automatic handgun.

The GMC Acadia disregarded a red signal at Aldine Westfield and struck a Ford F-150 as the Ford was traveling southbound through the intersection.

The driver of the Ford F-150 a 45-year-old female now identified as Silvia Zavala was found with no signs of life at the scene by paramedics.

Cantu one of 3 new Trustees welcomed to HC Department of Education Board

(left) Harris County Superintendent James Colbert Jr., newcomer trustees Josh Flynn, Danyahel (Danny) Norris, Richard Cantu and HCDE Presiding Board President Eric Dick.

Jan. 14, 2019 – Three Harris County Department of Education Board of Trustees were sworn into office in January 2019 to represent Harris County students and community. The new faces who will help preside over HCDE matters are Richard Cantu, Position 3, At Large; Josh Flynn, Position 4, Precinct 3; and Danyahel (Danny) Norris, Position 6, Precinct 1.

Richard Cantu is the deputy executive director of the East Aldine Management District and has held a number of nonprofit and municipal leadership positions. The self-proclaimed community and education advocate sees himself as a representative of working families. He supports increasing opportunities for citizens to access early childhood education, after-school services for youth, workforce development initiatives and teacher professional development.

As the son of a Mexican immigrant who worked hard to achieve the American dream, Cantu says he knows the importance of education in transforming lives of working-class families.

“I am committed to improving access to existing critical services and developing partnerships to address community needs and challenges,” he said.

Josh Flynn is a licensed tax professional chartered through the IRS and specializes in nonprofit accounting. He formerly served as trustee for a university in Bethany, Oklahoma. His immediate goal in office is to make HCDE as transparent as possible. Long-term, he will promote efficiency, directing maximum benefits to Harris County students.

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Texas Legislature starts 86th Bi-Annual Session

ARMANDO WALLE, State Representative for District 140, is shown at the first session of the 86th Legislature after his swearing-in ceremony. Pictured with Armando is wife Debbie and family.

Rep. Armando Walle Sworn-in

AUSTIN – State Representative Armando Walle issued the following statement regarding the start of the Legislative Session:

“Yesterday we were sworn-in to our 6th term as member of the Texas House of Representatives. Meaning that we’ve been in office 10 years to date. Family is very important to me so we always make it a point to bring them on for the experience. Appreciate HD-140 for sending me to Austin to fight for them. I love being able to serve my community.”

Tuesday marked the beginning of the 86th session in the Texas Senate, a 140 day term in which state leadership has pledged to tackle the complex issues of public school finance reform and property tax reform. Governor Greg Abbott was on hand to welcome the members, new and current, and promised to finally resolve these issues. “We are going to step up and address it,” he said. Other major issues facing the Legislature this session include state pension funds and contracting oversight, but like Abbott, Senate leader Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and newly elected House Speaker Dennis Bonnen have highlighted property tax and school finance reform as critical issues this session.