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Northeast News

Castlewood CC meets with County representatives

Castlewood Civic Club members at the meeting.

Precinct 2 Engineering Department held a meeting with Castlewood residents to provide an update on the Lauder Stormwater Detention Basin drainage and mitigation in the Castlewood neighborhood.

Engineers from Harris County and Flood Control were in attendance. Castlewood Civic Club President Connie Esparza welcomed all who attended and provided a brief update on the status of the sheet flow that would provide appropriate drainage to Castlewood and also referenced the Undine Consumer Confidence Report pertaining to the quality of drinking water. Ms. Selina Valdez, Constituent Services Liaison, addressed two important community concerns that included the procedure of reporting abandoned houses and pot holes.

All these concerns raised serious discussion from the residents. A plan was recommended and agreed upon on how to take bold action to address these issues.

Special thanks to the Westfield Fire Department, Assistant Chief Clint Loftin, for providing the facility.

Connie Esparza
President
Castlewood Civic Club

Back to School Immunizations Sat. July 27

UT Physicians and State Rep. Armando Walle are holding a Back to School Immunization clinic on Saturday, July 27 from 9am to Noon at the UT Clinic at Jensen and Crosstimbers. Parents should bring immunization records. The shots are free, and the first 100 will also receive a backpack with school supplies, courtesy of the Rotary Club.

Residents hear details of Lauder Road Flood Control

MAP showing location of Phases 1,2, and 3 of the Lauder Road Detention Basin Project. See p. 8 for more maps.

ALDINE – Residents of the area learned details of the proposed Lauder Stormwater Detention Basin Project at a community engagement meeting held last Wednesday, June 26 at the BakerRipley East Aldine Campus. They also heard a progress report on Phase 1, and projections for Phases 2 and 3 from the Harris County Flood Control District representatives who made the presentation.

The flood remediation work is part of the $2 million 2018 Bond Program to alleviate flooding throughout Harris County.

Also speaking at the meeting was Pct. 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia, who voiced support for the detention basin project, and told the audience of about 100 persons that this was part of his plan for improvements in the Aldine area.

The Flood Control District made a slide presentation of the project, and then attendees were able to study the visual maps and other information on tables and display stands around the room. Residents were encouraged to make comments and contribute to the planning process. Community Input Forms were available for written comments, as well as discussion with many of the HCFCD staff. For those who want to submit comments later, this can be done at the website: www.hcfcd.org/C34.

The Lauder Stormwater Detention Basin project will be constructed in three phases and focuses on reducing flooding risks in the Greens Bayou watershed by safely storing excess stormwater during heavy rain events and slowly releasing it back to the bayou when the threat of flooding has passed. The basin will be designed to hold at least 600 acre-feet, or more than 190 million gallons of stormwater.

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CASTLEWOOD CELEBRATES 4TH WITH PARADE

PARADE UNITS included 4-wheel ATVs, decorated cars and jeeps, golf carts, walkers, and even some heavy construction equipment.

Castlewood 4th of July Parade, spearheaded by Steven Adame, Sr., proved to be a colorful display of decorated bikes, golf carts, 4-wheelers, floats, cars and trucks.

Dr. Luiz Lúcio, Dean of Lone Star College, and its students participated for the first time passing out T-shirts and other promotional goodies as they walked. Residents were invited to the “finish” line where the Lone Star College table was set up with college information.

All who attended enjoyed BBQ sandwiches, chips, drinks and desserts generously donated by Rep. Armando Walle, Mr. & Mrs. Tony and Carmen Schnur, Precinct 2 and last but not least the East Aldine Management District.

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Authorities caution against Celebratory Gunfire over Holiday

This official map released by the Sheriff’s department indicates areas with the most reports of gunfire in the last year with red dots. The green line indicates the East Aldine District boundary.

As the July 4th holiday approaches, the Harris County Sheriff’s office and the East Aldine District have cautioned residents against shooting guns as part of their celebration of the events.

Each year persons are injured by bullets that fly into the air, and then come down and hit someone. In the past, these injuries have ranged from minor to fatal, and often involve someone in the shooters group of friends or family.

This activity is against the law, and is subject to a $4000 fine and one year in jail, according to HCSO.

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East Aldine District hires more deputies

BOARD MEMBER
REYES GARCIA

East Aldine Management District (EAMD) held their regular monthly board meeting last Tuesday night, and considered the problem of public safety and citizen reports of increased crime in some neighborhoods.

At several of the board meetings, citizens have come forward to report robberies, gunfire, and other problems in their areas.

Recently, the board heard of persistent nighttime gunfire on Ladin Road and the Castlewood subdivision. Another citizen complained of car and house robberies in neighborhoods along Mooney Road. They said there is increased drug activity near them. Others have reported to the board, or sheriff’s office, or even this newspaper, of a “serial burglary ring” in the Oakwilde neighborhood.

East Aldine District pays for contract deputies in addition to regular sheriff and constable patrols. The DRT/Pro-Active unit consists of 10 deputies and one sergeant that spend 70% of their time on District patrols. For this service the District last year budgeted $770,000. With the increased reports of crime, they have voted to add three more deputies and another sergeant to this force.

Board member Reyes Garcia said that these new deputies should be assigned to the evening shift, where much of the crime is occurring.

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One dead, one critical in Pine Forest North shooting

A Sheriff’s deputy notes location of about 20 gun shells.

Sheriff’s deputies are investigating the shooting of two men in the Pine Forest North subdivision. The incident occurred about 11:30 am last Thursday morning. The location was in the service alley behind townhomes in the 5700 block of Easthampton Drive, according to authorities.

About 20 shots were fired into the windshield of a Jeep Liberty. According to HCSO Homicide investigator Lt. Robert Minchew, the driver was killed, and the passenger is in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the head. He was taken by ambulance to Ben Taub hospital, where his condition is unknown.

The two African-American male victims were in their 20s, but at this time their identity has not been announced. A motive for the shooting is not known.

Northeast Redevelopment District vetoed by Governor

STATE SENATOR BORRIS MILES

By Gilbert Hoffman

Community leaders and residents of Northeast Houston, including North Forest and some areas in Sheldon and Old Beaumont Gardens, were disappointed to learn that Governor Abbott had vetoed SB390, which would have created a Redevelopment District for their area.

It was expected that the new district would have been a boost to economic development in the area, and also bring other quality of life improvements such as increased police patrols, water and sewer improvements, and more educational opportunities, similar to other Management Districts.

State Senator Borris Miles, who represents the area and was the major sponsor of the bill, issued the following statement: “I am very disappointed and shocked with the Governor’s veto of SB 390, which would create the Northeast Houston Redevelopment District. The governor’s office did not indicate any problem with this bill until late in the session but worked with my staff on changes to eliminate concerns and even helped clear procedural hurdles to get the bill passed. This part of Senate District 13 has been in desperate need of economic development for years and was one of the areas hit the hardest by Hurricane Harvey.

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Governor Abbott signs Disaster Relief and Preparedness Legislation into law

Texas Governor Greg Abbott signing the four disaster relief and preparedness bills. The signing was held at Gallery Furniture in Houston, in recognition of the help that Jim McIngvale extended to victims of Hurricane Harvey. Looking on are Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Speaker Dennis Bonnen, are various senators and representatives including Armando Walle and Carol Alvarado. McIngvale looks on from the back row.

AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott today signed into law several monumental bills related to disaster relief and preparedness in Texas. As a result of Hurricane Harvey, Governor Abbott made this issue an emergency legislative item this session, resulting in several bills being passed that will better prepare the state for future disasters. Additionally, the legislature voted to appropriate $3 billion in relief for Harvey-impacted areas from the Rainy Day Fund.

The Governor was joined by Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, Speaker Dennis Bonnen, and members of the legislature including Senators Lois Kolkhorst, Brandon Breighton, Joan Huffman, Carol Alvarado, Larry Taylor, Paul Bettencourt, and Donna Campbell, and Representatives Dade Phelan, Alma Allen, Gina Calanni, Garnet Coleman, Sarah Davis, Harold Dutton, Sam Harless, Dan Huberty, Will Metcalf, Rick Miller, Mayes Middleton, Ron Reynolds, Jon Rosenthal, Valoree Swanson, Steve Toth, and Armando Walle.

The bill signing was held at Gallery Furniture in Houston, owned by Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale. When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston in August 2017, McIngvale opened two of his stores as shelter for Houstonians displaced by the storm. McIngvale’s company also deployed its largest moving truck to help rescue those displaced by flooding.

“Thanks to the work of the legislature, we are rebuilding Texas stronger and more resilient than ever,” said Governor Abbott. “In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, we saw the unshakable spirit of the Lone Star State through the generosity of Texans helping their neighbors. These important pieces of legislation are a symbol of that spirit, as well as a sign of Texas’ commitment to improving the way we respond to natural disasters.”

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Dead body found on Aldine Mail Route

A man’s body was found behind the car wash and El Guera check cashing on Aldine Mail Route.

ALDINE – Family members were summoned by an unknown informant to an SUV located behind a car wash and check cashing business at 4000 Aldine Mail Route near JFK Blvd. last Wednesday Morning.

Sheriff’s Deputies said that the body was Jaime Diaz, 44, and was in the rear luggage area of the SUV. They said he showed signs of trauma and the death was not self-inflicted or natural. (more…)