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Posts published in August 2022

Habitat plans 450 homes on Tidwell

New 127 acre community known as Robins Landing

Houston Habitat for Humanity breaks ground on 127-acre masterplanned community

HOUSTON — Houston Habitat for Humanity together with partners including the City of Houston broke ground on Robins Landing, a vibrant master-planned community serving low to moderate income Houstonians in their journey to homeownership. Located near Tidwell Road and Mesa Drive in northeast Houston, the 127-acre site will provide critically needed affordable homes, essential services, retail opportunities, and access to green-space. Hines, the international real estate firm, will serve as a strategic advisor to Houston Habitat for the development, which is a first of its kind.

“Today’s groundbreaking on Robins Landing marks an exciting moment for Houston Habitat and an exciting future for many Houstonians” said Allison Hay, executive director of Houston Habitat for Humanity. “Along with our partners, we are creating a more inclusive, equitable, and open path toward homeownership. Everyone deserves a decent and affordable place to call home with access to everyday resources that make a thriving community.”

Designed for mixed-income and mixed-generations, Robins Landing is set to include more than 450 single-family homes. One hundred homes will be built by Houston Habitat for those earning 80 percent or below the City of Houston’s average median income (AMI) and be sold through the Habitat for Humanity Homeownership program. Three hundred homes will be designed, priced, and sold by partner builders CastleRock Communities and Chesmar Homes for those whose income is 120 percent AMI or below.

Robins Landing, a mixed-use community, will have various types of housing, including about 100 Habitat for Humanity single family homes similar to this prototype.

Gang arrested for Catalytic thefts linked to Amendarez murder

Pasadena gang possibly tied to Aldine group involved in Deputy’s murder

PEARLAND, Texas – Five people were arrested last week in a multiagency sting operation after a months-long investigation into a large-scale catalytic converter theft ring in the Pearland area, according to authorities. Investigators believe the suspects were involved in the same operation as two other men who were arrested and charged with murdering Aldine native and HCSO Deputy Darren Almendarez.

The Pearland Police Department, in cooperation with the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office, the Alvin Police Department, and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Houston, executed search warrants at three residences and three commercial properties as part of the investigation.

During the search, 17 pallets of catalytic converters and additional assets were found, authorities said.

District renews contracts with HCSO deputies, HC Attorney for public safety

Annual contract for 21 Deputies $1,629,600

At the East Aldine District board meeting last Tuesday evening, the board heard reports from the public safety director, Victor Beserra, and took action on two contracts related to public safety.

Assistant County Attorney Mike Laster presented information on the contract between the district and the HC Attorney’s Office for nuisance abatement work. The East Aldine District shares an attorney with six other districts for costs. The renewal would be at the same rate as last year, a total of $60,833.33. The board approved the contract, subject to final approval by the Harris County Commissioners.

The other contract considered was for contract deputies who spend 70% of their time inside the district, and the rest in other areas of the county. The contract covers 21 Harris County Sheriff’s deputies, which includes one lieutenant, 3 sergeants, and 17 deputies. The contract amount for one year is $1,629,600 and was approved by the board.

EAST ALDINE DISTRICT: Lucio appointed new Board Member; Wiley retires

Luis Lucio, Lone Star College – East Aldine Dean, is congratulated on his appointment by Carlos Silva, vice-chair of the East Aldine Management District board.

By Gilbert Hoffman

At their monthly board meeting last Tuesday evening, the East Aldine District received the resignation of its chairman, Joyce Wiley, and also moved to fill one of the two open positions by appointing Luis Lucio to the board.

Lucio is a life-long member of the Aldine community, and serves as dean of the Lone Star College – East Aldine campus.

EPA to review TCEQ Permit criteria

HARRIS COUNTY ATTORNEY CHRISTIAN MENEFEE at a press conference last week, announcing that the EPA will conduct an investigation of TCEQ permit criteria. Also present were Adrian Garcia, Rodney Ellis, Armando Walle, Ana Hernandez, John Whitmire, and other county leaders.

County Attorney cites excessive Concrete Batch Plants in Minority areas

HOUSTON – (August 9, 2022)— Today Harris County Attorney Christian D. Menefee announced that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will investigate the Texas Commission on Environment Quality (TCEQ)’s concrete batch permitting criteria and processes under federal civil rights laws. The EPA initiated the investigation in response to complaints submitted by the Harris County Attorney’s Office and Lone Star Legal Aid under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The EPA sent a four-page letter to Harris County Attorney Christian Menefee’s office saying it plans to investigate the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) after receiving two complaints – one in April and one in May. The complaints allege the TCEQ has been discriminatory with public participation, based on race, regarding its concrete batch permit process.

“The EPA stepping in and investigating Texas’s environmental agency is a big step in protecting people who live in Harris County from toxic pollution. Harris County is littered with concrete batch plants, and they’re primarily in Black and Brown communities. The people who live by these plants, including children, can face many health risks, including respiratory illness and cancer. We must do all we can to protect them,” said Harris County Attorney Menefee. “State leaders in Austin are supposed to keep communities safe from this toxic pollution. Yet time and again we see the state pass laws that make it easier to put polluting plants in our communities. And the Texas Commission on Environment Quality does nothing to stop it. I’m glad the EPA is stepping in where the state is dropping the ball.

“People in our community know the harms of these plants all too well. We have 140 concrete batch plants throughout Harris County and they are hyper-concentrated in areas that have a disproportionate amount of Black and Latino residents and folks from low-income households,” Menefee said. “Every resident in Harris County has the right to breathe clean air, regardless of their zip code.”

East Aldine BIG program expands to include Demolition

East Aldine District’s Economic Developer director Lance Dean, explains the new BIG Demolition program at last month’s Business Luncheon.

East Aldine District held their quarterly Business Luncheon last Thursday, July 28 at the district offices. Attending were local business persons and speakers for Lone Star College, BakerRipley, and East Aldine District.

Lance Dean of East Aldine District described an expansion of the BIG (Business Improvement Grant) program that now includes demolition of substandard structures, to improve the appearance of the district and enhance the value of properties. Dean said the 50-50 matching grant program is meant to encourage eligible property owners, businesses or individuals, to demolish structures for future development or quality of life improvement.

Grants are available up to the total amount of $10,000, or 50% of the project cost.

Civic Club holds “Safety Pop-Up” Event in East Oakwilde

Pictured L-R, Armando Cardona, Benito Garza, Sgt. Terry Garza, Gloria Gomez, Marina Flores Sugg, Shirley Ronquillo, Guadalupe Jimenez, Rene Ortiz, Joanna Ortiz, Francisca Hernandez.

The Green Forest Civic Club hosted its first “Safety Pop-Up” event in the East Oakwilde Subdivision on Saturday, August 6, 2022. The event was the idea of the Civic Club’s Special Events Committee chairperson and Board Director, Shirely Ronquillo.

The purpose behind these “Pop-Up” events is to “bring our resources to our residents’ doorsteps and create a safer community for all of our residents,” said Civic Club President, Ruben A. Salazar.

Among those in attendance was Sergeant Terry Garza who was invited to provide East Oakwilde residents with crime prevention and safety tips. Sergeant Garza also engaged in conversation with residents regarding several crime and nuisance issues East Oakwilde residents are facing.

This was the first of many “Pop-Up” events the civic club has in its plans. Shirely Ronquillo says that she wants to bring these events into each of the various subdivisions in East Aldine. “This is an opportunity to not only encourage residents to become more proactive when it comes to crime prevention, but also to try and improve resident involvement in the community overall,” Salazar said.

He also says that the civic club is already planning for its next “Pop-Up” event for sometime in October of this year.

COVID-19 Novavax Vaccine Now Available at HCPH Sites

Houston – Harris County Public Health (HCPH) is pleased to announce that there is a new option for people to get their COVID19 vaccine. On July 13, 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine for emergency use. Following approvals of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), HCPH is now offering the COVID-19 Novavax vaccine to residents. Novavax is a two-dose primary series for individuals 18 years of age and older given 3 weeks apart.

Novavax uses a different technique than other COVID-19 vaccines such as those from Pfizer and Moderna. Instead of using mRNA, which provides the instructions for your body to create the COVID-19 spike protein that in turn induces your body’s immune response, Novavax’s vaccine injects the small protein itself, that your body detects and that triggers your body’s immune response. The Novavax vaccine is based on a well-established method of vaccine development that has been used for years for other vaccines such as the Human-papillomavirus, Hepatitis B, flu, and Shingles vaccines.

Lawsuit filed after concrete truck falls from overpass, injures 3 and kills boy

Concrete Mixer Truck fell from Beltway 8 onto car driving below on frontage road. A 22 month old boy was killed, 3 others injured.

HOUSTON — A family whose SUV was crushed when a concrete-mixer truck toppled off the East Beltway and landed on their vehicle is now seeking compensation in the wake of an apparent freak accident that killed a 22- month-old boy. Nicolas Resendiz was identified as the 22-month-old child who died in the Aug. 5, 2022, crash on the East Beltway

His aunt, Esmerelda Resendiz, described little Nicolas Resendiz saying, “He was just a happy little boy. He wasn’t shy like his sister. He would go to anybody. He would smile with you and laugh.”

The family is having a hard time accepting what happened was real.

“It’s still hard for us to process everything. Doing every day, daily things, with him not being here, or seeing one and not the other,” Esmerelda Resendiz said.

The lawsuit was filed by Jennifer and Maria Resendiz, two of the SUV’s occupants, against National Ready Mix LLC of Kingwood, which is the company that owns the truck involved in the Aug. 5 crash.

Harris County plans $1.2 bond issue for November ballot

HOUSTON – Harris County leaders took the first step to put a $1.2 billion bond referendum on the November 8 ballot. The proposal would devote $100 million to public safety facilities and technology, $900 million to roads, drainage, and transportation projects, and $200 million to parks.

Commissioners voted 3-2 along party lines to authorize multiple county departments to develop a capital improvement bond proposal. Judge Lina Hidalgo set conditions for casting her vote with her fellow Democrats, Commissioners Adrian Garcia and Rodney Ellis.

“The guidelines should include a ‘worst-first’ approach to match funds to the greatest need, with at least $220 million to be spent in each precinct and $100 million to be set aside for public safety,” Hidalgo said.

The “worst-first” requirement addresses a concern that Commissioner Ellis raised, citing past bond initiatives where poorer neighborhoods like those in his Precinct 1 were shortchanged.