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Posts published in September 2019

TROPICAL STORM IMELDA FLOODING PARALYZES HOUSTON

Homes and autos all over the county were inundated with high water in a short time. These motorists at Aldine Mail Route/Eastex frontage road were stopped by the high water. Authorities had to tow over 1600 autos to clear major highways.

20” of Rain in 24 hours; 1500 High Water Rescues

By Gilbert Hoffman

HARRIS COUNTY – Tropical Storm IMELDA never reached hurricane status, but it ended up doing more flooding than Hurricane Harvey two years ago, according to authorities.

The storm came ashore near Freeport on Tuesday evening, and by Thursday had dropped massive amounts of water on Harris County and counties to the north and east of Houston, all the way to Beaumont.

Motorists sought high ground, such as this gas station at W. Mt. Houston, as the water rose quickly and caught many drivers by surprise. At left, a high water rescue vehicle from the sheriff’s office takes some to safety.

The storm took five lives, three in Beaumont and two in Harris County. Authorities said a man drove into high water on Will Clayton Parkway in Humble, and another body of Rene Salas, 52, was found in a ditch near W. Mt. Houston.

Houston recorded as much as 10” of rain in a 24 hour period, and a total of about 20” in three days. Northeast Harris County, including Crosby and Huffman, recorded about 30” in that period, and a record was set in Winnie, in Chambers County, of 43” total for a storm.

Aldine student Jayden Payne was credited with saving this mother and child after their car went into high water in a drainage ditch near the school.

Many of the same houses and neighborhoods that were under water two years ago after Hurricane Harvey suffered the same damage this time. Many who were interviewed expressed despair and depression over this continued personal disaster, and asked why the government had not done more. Last year the county passed a $2.5 billion bond issue to improve the flooding situation, but County Judge Lina Hidalgo stated that flood relief projects took time to plan and build. Some detention ponds and larger drainage bayous are under construction, and the county voted recently to accelerate the schedule.

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Lone Star College-East Aldine Center celebrates dedication of new building

Lone Star College Officials and community leaders at the ribbon cutting of the new LONE STAR COLLEGE – EAST ALDINE CENTER.

HOUSTON – On Friday, Sept. 13, Lone Star College-North Harris representatives joined with community leaders and elected officials to celebrate the opening of Lone Star College-East Aldine Center in the East Aldine Town Center.

The event included a ribbon cutting ceremony and pronouncements from dignitaries to an audience of approximately 250 attendees.

Lone Star College – North Harris President Dr. Gerald Napoles opened the event with welcoming comments and introduced the day’s speakers. The dignitaries included the following Lone Star College representatives, elected officials and community leaders.

– Dr. Stephen C. Head, chancellor, Lone Star College

– Dr. Alton Smith, chair, Lone Star College Board of Trustees

– Art Murillo, secretary, Lone Star College Board of Trustees

– U.S. Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia

– Texas State Senator Carol Alvarado

– Texas State Representative Armando Walle

– Mayor Sylvester Turner, City of Houston

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North Houston District National Night Out to host 500 area residents

When it involves public safety, the North Houston District goes all out! Join neighbors, businesses and law enforcement for Houston’s largest National Night Out, Oct. 1.

Approximately 300-500 apartment and area residents, local law enforcement, businesses and community partners including Houston Police Department, Harris County Sheriff’s Department, Houston Fire Department, US Army, US Airforce , AT&T, Amazon HOU2, Aldine-Greenspoint YMCA, Lone Star College, Home Depot, Greenhouse International Church, Texas General Land Office, Spartan Security, Texas Litter Control, Madera Residential and Villa Serena Communities will gather at North Houston District’s National Night Out 2019 on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019 from 5 – 8 p.m.

The event will take place at Tom Wussow Park, 500 Greens Rd. near I-45 North & North Sam Houston Parkway/Beltway.

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Rebuilding Kowis Street initiates planning and design of the first Texas Roadway Project to seek Envision Verification

The Office of Commissioner Garcia and Harris County Engineering Department affirms their commitment to deliver sustainable infrastructure that enhances the economic, social, and environmental conditions in Precinct 2

HARRIS COUNTY, TX— Commissioner Adrian Garcia will kick off the design of the first roadway project in Harris County and the State of Texas that will seek Envision® Verification. The reconstruction of Kowis Street in East Aldine is intended to enhance the economic, social, and environmental conditions along the corridor between Halls Bayou and Precinct 2’s James Driver Park.

The proposed project includes reconstructing Kowis Street from the Halls Bayou Hike and Bike Trail to James Driver Park so that pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers using the corridor and the adjacent property owners and tenants will realize improved social, environmental, and economic benefits.

“I have directed my staff to work with Harris County Engineering Department to develop a sustainability management policy that includes commitments to achieving improvements in sustainable performance with clear objectives and targets,” said Commissioner Garcia.

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Community voices concern about Concrete Plant at TCEQ Hearing

State Representative Armando Walle gave welcoming remarks, and set the tone for a constructive, informative meeting. At left are two representatives of the Rocket Materials LLC company wanting to build the concrete batch plant; at right are two reviewers from the TCEQ, and the TCEQ facilitator Diana Avalos stands beside Walle.

East Aldine residents turned out in large numbers last Monday night, to voice their concerns over a concrete batch plant that is proposed for a site at 914 Pinafore Lane, near East Hardy frontage road.

The meeting was an official hearing by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and run by their facilitator, Diana Avalos. The meeting was held at BakerRipley, and lasted over an hour.

Opening comments were made by the facilitator, and State Representative Armando Walle. Walle said that although he wasn’t against small businesses, that a concrete plant emits particulate materials into the air, and has heavy truck traffic on the surrounding roads.

The comments started out with questions and answers, but as the meeting continued the residents became more expressive of their concerns and displeasure that the company wanted to locate in Aldine.

Steve Adame spoke about the dangers of heavy, slow moving trucks exiting onto East Hardy, and concrete spills on the roads and overpasses in the area, which no one seems responsible for.

In a surprising revelation that was an answer to Adame’s comment, the permit reviewer for TCEQ, Don Nelon, stated that he was only allowed to review the application for air quality, and not for traffic problems or water pollution.

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METRO $3.5 Billion Bond on November Ballot

METROnext includes a new type of vehicle, a BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) that will drive on dedicated roadways, such as this artist’s view of a development on Post Oak Road in the Galleria.

HOUSTON – Moving to the Future, a political action committee formed to pass the METRO Proposition on the November 2019 ballot, launched its campaign today. Carrin Patman, chair of the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO), said:

“The METRO Proposition is a bold new plan for sustainable transit solutions that will provide more transportation choices for more people, connecting them to jobs, education and healthcare – all while improving our economy, environment, quality of life, and competitiveness with other urban areas.”

The METRO Proposition provides funding to implement the METRONext Moving Forward Plan, which increases high-capacity rapid transit services, including:

– Providing more than $4 billion over 20 years to fix our streets and sidewalks

– Extending existing light rail lines and adding a light rail line to Hobby Airport

– Expanding park & rides and commuter service on most major freeways

– Improving service on 260 miles of bus routes

– Creating new Metro Rapid high-speed bus lines which have many of the same advantages as rail

The funds would be provided by the sale of up to $3.5 billion in bonds over 20 years with no new taxes. METRO would also apply for federal matching funds – up to an additional $3.5 billion – to increase METRO’s investment to a potential $7 billion for transit improvements.

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Walle appointed to state School safety committee

Armando Walle

Speaker Bonnen Appoints 13 Members to House Select Committee on Mass Violence Prevention and Community Safety

AUSTIN, Texas – Speaker Dennis Bonnen today appointed 13 members of the Texas House of Representatives to serve on the newly-formed Select Committee on Mass Violence Prevention and Community Safety. The House Select Committee was formed in response to the recent tragedies in El Paso, Midland, and Odessa, and will be tasked with studying and recommending effective legislative solutions and other measures to help prevent mass violence and improve community safety in Texas.

“Words alone will not deliver the bold solutions Texas needs in order to defeat the violence that has become far too commonplace in our state,” said Speaker Bonnen. “The Texas House is putting words into action by forming this committee, and it will be well-served by the range of backgrounds, skillsets, and expertise these particular members provide. While the charges before this committee will be no simple undertaking, their importance cannot be overstated. I am grateful for the service of each of these members and know their readiness to take on the challenging work before them will translate into thoughtful, life-saving solutions for the State of Texas.”

The following members have been appointed by Speaker Bonnen to the select committee: (more…)

Castlewood hears plans for flood mitigation

A FULL HOUSE of Castlewood Residents attended the Flood District’s meeting last Tuesday, held at the offices of the East Aldine District.

Harris County Flood Control District and the Harris County Engineering Department have partnered to implement some of the flood control projects included in last year’s $2.5 Billion bond program.

As part of the process, they held an informational meeting with the Castlewood Civic Club last Tuesday, September 10th. The meeting at the offices of the East Aldine District were at full capacity, as residents are very interested in what these projects might accomplish to reduce future flooding in their area.

The civic club president, Connie Esparza, welcomed the HCFCD and the HCED representatives, including Marcus Baskin the project manager of the HC Engineering Department, and Melvin Spinks, consultant with CivilTech Engineering, Inc.

The program consisted of a presentation of the study, a video of the general overview of the Harris County Engineering Department, and then an Open House for comments and interaction with the project team and local residents.

ENGINEER’S DRAWINGS presented at the Castlewood meeting indicated the existing drainage conditions at the top, with asphalt paved roads and ditches used to remove flood water, and the new proposal at the bottom, of a wider concrete street and a deep concrete box drainage culvert below the surface.

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Community Events fill week’s Agenda

Grandparents, Mammograms, Health Fair, Environmental Hearings

Residents of the Aldine area and the North Houston neighborhoods were kept busy last weekend, and on into this week, with a number of events that mark the end of summer and the beginning of school and family activities.

GRANDPARENTS DAY AT CAMPBELL CENTER: Lone Star College North Harris president Gerald Napoles welcomes families with a “Lone Star Fan.”

GRANDPARENTS DAY

At Campbell Center, the 16th Annual Grandparents Raising Grandchildren event, also known as the Family Strengthening Conference, was held on Saturday, Sept. 7 with several hundred families attending.

The event started at 10 a.m. with opening remarks by Aldine ISD Assistant Superintendent Abel Garza, Scout Troop 141 presenting colors, and an invocation by Pastor Jamail Johnson. The family counseling roundtable sessions began after that, with topics for raising Children, Teens and Adults. Each session had a discussion leader, Aldine counselors and social workers, and was followed by a Q&A time. The adult Roundtable included State Representative Senfronia Thompson, Family Court Judge Angela Graves-Harrington, Attorney Damiane Curvey Banieh, and Baylor Teen Health Clinician Rosa Acosta. (more…)

Lone Star College to dedicate new Campus

View of the new Lone Star College campus in East Aldine

$29 million facility brings new educational opportunities to East Aldine community

By Joe Lengfellner

HOUSTON, TX – Lone Star College-East Aldine Center, the newest addition to Lone Star CollegeNorth Harris, will be formally dedicated with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, Sept. 13 at 2:00 p.m. Public officials will join Lone Star College representatives to recognize the occasion. After the ribbon cutting, attendees will be invited inside for an open house and tour.

The center is the first of its kind in the East Aldine community. Lone Star College-East Aldine Center, located in the East Aldine Town Center, is the fourth leg of a partnership with Aldine Independent School District, BakerRipley East Aldine Campus and East Aldine Management District.

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