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Northeast News

Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan to remain at the helm of HISD

Grenita Lathan remains as HISD Interim Superintendent.

Oct. 15, 2018 – The Houston Independent School District Board of Education announced today that Dr. Grenita Lathan will remain as the interim superintendent of HISD, the largest school district in Texas.

During a press conference at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, trustees announced that they have mutually agreed to consider the reinstatement of Dr. Lathan as interim superintendent and the rescinding of Thursday night’s vote to appoint Dr. Abelardo Saavedra to the position.

“We are committed to working together as a board for the benefit of our students, and we are unified in our efforts to build a better governance structure for our children,” HISD Board President Rhonda Skillern-Jones said. “We are confident that Dr. Lathan is the right person to lead the seventh largest school district in the nation as our interim, and we thank the public for their encouragement and support.”

“We, the Board of Trustees of the Houston Independent School District, would like to apologize to Dr. Grenita Lathan, our students, the community at large, the parents and families, all HISD employees, and our business and community partners,” Trustee Diana Davila said.

“We will work to improve our behavior as adults, treat each other with respect, and embark on the right focus of doing all we can to improve academic achievement for all our students,” Trustee Jolanda Jones said.

Dr. Lathan will remain as interim superintendent of HISD while the executive search firm Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates conducts a national search for a permanent superintendent. Dr. Lathan will have the opportunity to apply for the permanent superintendent position.


Community working to revitalize Eastex Jensen Area

Last year’s parade floats travelled down Jensen Blvd.

Parade Marshals Mattress Mack & Jerry Davis

When communities struggle, whatever the cause, a unique opportunity exists to bring people together and focus on working for the benefit of the community. The Houston Northeast CDC and Jensen Jubilee Committee are committed to seizing this opportunity to help to rebuild a resilient community in the Eastex/Jensen area. On Saturday, October 20, 2018, the organizations will host their 5th Annual Jensen Jubilee Parade & Festival.

Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, and City Council Member Jerry Davis (District B), will serve as Grand Marshalls for the parade starting at 10:00 am proceeding from 2800 Trout Street to 9001 Jensen Drive, where the Community Festival will take place immediately following the parade.

The purpose of the Jensen Jubilee project, which launched from strategic planning meetings to clean-up the area, is to promote sustainable revitalization through residential, commercial and economic development, historic preservation and the empowerment of our neighborhoods.

Some of the successes of the Jensen Jubilee collaborative include partnerships with residents, schools, churches, businesses, and public officials; providing scholarships to area high school students; hosting town hall and specialized meetings; organizing community clean-ups; and the opening of UT Physicians Community Health and Wellness Center Jensen. This shows that together with great partnerships and hard work, we are able to not just revitalize our community but also to rebuild it, says Pastor David Smith, president of the Houston Northeast CDC. The very fact that there is a coming together within the community is a huge step forward. The Houston Northeast CDC & The Jensen Jubilee Committee is grateful to all the partners who provide their time, expertise, and the perspective necessary to maintain the momentum and relevance in the community.

The Parade & Festival serve as the premium fundraiser to be able to offer the community services provided through the Jensen Jubilee collaborative.

Festivities will begin with the Jensen Jubilee Parade on Oct. 20th, of which the community is invited to come and enjoy at 10:00am.

After the parade, the Festival will kick off with music, kid’s zone and participation of over 30 service providers and vendors.

Introduction of King & Queen at last year’s Jensen Jubilee.


Flood Control District completes removal of channel blockages

140,000 Cubic Yards of Hurricane Storm Debris Removed From Bayous and Channels

The Harris County Flood Control District has completed a county-wide effort to remove downed trees and other storm debris left blocking Harris County’s bayou drainage system since Hurricane Harvey more than a year ago. With a last push on Buffalo Bayou and Cypress Creek, and expenses estimated at $8.9 million so far, more than 140,000 cubic yards (roughly 40,000 tons) have been removed since this work began shortly after the storm.

In recent months, crews removed more than 25,000 cubic yards (7,042 tons or 642 truckloads) of debris from Buffalo Bayou, and 14,000 cubic yards (3,978 tons or 327 truckloads) from Cypress Creek. Concentrated effort on those two forested bayous followed an initial countywide sweep that resulted in the removal of 101,383 cubic yards of material from Harris County’s 22 watersheds.

Removing debris from within our channels was a high priority in the days and weeks after Harvey. Downed trees and other storm debris can impede stormwater flow and increase erosion, especially along natural forested channels. The Flood Control District used special storm debris contractors, as well as in-house debris removal crews, to complete its sweep of the county’s 22 watersheds.

Crews used floating barges, chainsaws, and excavators to remove debris in some areas, hand tools in others. In areas with unique challenges in terms of equipment access, such as Buffalo Bayou, the Flood Control District was able to secure additional temporary rights-of-entry to public and private property, and to purchase access property that will be useful in future ongoing maintenance.


Houston ISD votes for Leadership Change

Former superintendent Abelardo Saavedra, right has been voted in to replace Grenita Lathan, left, as the search continues for a permanent superintendent. SEE UPDATE. SAAVEDRA WITHDRAWS.

BULLETIN: Saavedra withdraws; HISD Board to reconsider plans

The Houston Independent School District is bringing in a new interim superintendent. It’s the third leadership change this year for Texas’ largest school district.

At a contentious meeting last Thursday night, the school board voted 5-4 to replace Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan with former superintendent Abelardo Saavedra, while they are searching for a permanent one.

Former Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra will serve as Interim Superintendent for six months during the search for a permanent superintendent. Saavedra was HISD’s superintendent from 2004 to 2009, and has recently served as superintendent of South San Antonio ISD. He will reportedly not pursue the permanent superintendent position.

“It is nothing that has anything against Dr. Lathan, and the work that she does, and the work that she’s done up to this point,” HISD Trustee Diana Davila told News 88.7. “We just want this to be a fair process for all candidates that are interested in coming down to Houston ISD.” Davila said she welcomes Lathan to apply for the position.

Grenita Lathan was chosen as Interim Superintendent, after the departure of Superintendent Richard Carranza.

Lathan will resume her previous role of Chief Academic Officer on Monday.

The motion to replace Lathan was met with backlash from several board members.


BakerRipley Membership & Fee Information

By Leonardo Escalante, BakerRipley

What’s the cost?

• We have three different type of membership:

• Senior 65+ ($35 per year)

• Youth 16- ($35 per year)

• Family membership ($150 per year)

• Covers two adults in the household and all the kids under the age of 18

• For those that have United Healthcare or Community Health Choice medical plans, they qualify for a free family membership

What’s included?

• All classes, events, and workshops in the East Aldine Campus

• All classes, events, and workshops in any other BakerRipley Campus

• Exclusive membership events, like holiday parties, Halloween, Easter, birthday celebrations

• Discount on the rental of the space at any BakerRipley Campus for private events like, birthday parties, anniversaries, weddings, etc.

• Note: Services like monthly food fairs, health workshops, financial education workshops, annual Back to School event, community events, etc., are open to the public and no membership is required

Why does the membership have a cost?

• Increases level of engagement from community members as opposed to a free membership

• Its an investment made by community members that serves as their buy-in

What happens if a community member cannot afford the membership?

• We strive to ensure that the membership cost is not a barrier for community members

• In the given case that a community member is unable to cover the membership cost, we encourage them to come talk to us as there are different options that will allow the community member to obtain a free membership. For example, as mentioned, subsidized membership, and/ or sponsored membership.

Civic Club news

New date for Castlewood Civic Club Board Election

At the last civic club meeting, September 28, 2018, we proceeded to elect a new board for the civic club. No new nominations were made so the people in attendance voted to postpone the election to November 8, 2018. An effort will be made to seek candidates for President and Vice President as we have volunteers for the posts of Secretary and Treasurer. However, please note that all positions will be open to the floor for nominations that night and for voting into office.

The meeting to elect a new Board will be held at: Bethel Community Church, 2414 Lauder Rd., Houston, TX 77039. November 8, 2018 (Thursday) at 6:30 p.m. Any questions, please contact Connie Esparza at (832) 306- 0231.

Green Forest Civic Club Meeting

Green Forest Civic Club’s October 2018 has been rescheduled to Tuesday, October 23, 2018, 6:30 p.m. at the American Legion Hall, 3415 Aldine-Mail Rte. (next to Shipley’s Donuts). Please mark your calendar. Neighborhoods covered by GFCC are Eastex Freeway Forest and Fairgreen 1, 2, 3 & 4. Meetings are open to the public. For more information, please contact President Shirley Reed at 281-449- 7531 or Secretary Marina Flores Sugg at 281-442-3573.

National Night Out celebrated in many local Communities

Enjoying the NNO were HCSO deputies, East Aldine board members, Lone Star NH president Napoles and daughter, Representative Armando Walle, and the Chick-Fil-A mascot. Hundreds of others from the neighborhood enjoyed the evening, too.

Tuesday night, Oct. 2 many communities in the area stepped outside to meet and greet their neighbors, as part of the National Night Out program.

The event is meant to promote public safety, and community involvement. In this area, events were held in the East Aldine District at the new BakerRipley campus, in the Airline District at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, and in the North Houston District at Wussow Park.

In East Aldine, several hundred residents came out for a night of dancing, eating, games, viewing exhibits including the new BakerRipley campus, and music and fun as well as just meeting their neighbors.

The event was sponsored by the East Aldine District, BakerRipley, the Harris County Sheriff’s office, Brookside Funeral Home, Lone Star College, ESD #1, Westfield Fire Department, MacArthur Generals, MacArthur 9th grade, and Castlewood, High Meadows, and Green Forest Civic Clubs. Chick-Fil-A provided 400 sandwiches, which were quickly gone.

Aldine ISD Police arrest student for Instagram threats

HOUSTON, TX, September 26, 2018 — Aldine ISD Police arrested an Aldine Middle School student for posting threats on social media against a campus administrator on Wednesday, September 25, 2018. The Harris County District Attorney’s Office has filed a charge of felony terroristic threat against the student.

Late Tuesday, September 24, Aldine ISD Police received information that an individual was using Instagram to issue threats towards an administrator at Aldine Middle School. During their investigation the next day, Aldine ISD Police officers discovered information which led them to a student who was interviewed about the posts. The officers also found evidence that the threats originated from the student’s cell phone.

“I want to commend our district’s police officers for their quick action and for bringing this situation to a swift conclusion,” said Aldine ISD Superintendent Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney. “Aldine ISD will not tolerate any threats made against any Aldine ISD school or individual. We will work with law enforcement officers and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office to prosecute offenders to the fullest extent of the law.”

“Parents, I implore you to talk to your children and remind them that their actions can have serious consequences,” Dr. Goffney said. “Aldine ISD will continue to make the safety and security of our students and staff our top priority.”

Recently, the Houston FBI office held a press conference addressing threats and hoax threats. They provided the following information of the consequences individuals face when they make threats on social media. That information includes:

• Making hoax threats directed at schools is a serious criminal action that has potentially dangerous consequences. Hoax threats are not a joke. They have ramifications for both first responders and those who issue the threats.


Baker Ripley offers classes and services

BakerRipley’s new campus at the East Aldine Town Center offers a variety of opportunities for families and individuals.

The campus is a place of welcome, engagement and collaboration, where neighbors can enjoy a variety of programs, resources and services.

Individuals of all ages, from youth to seniors, will have access to tools and equipment for digital fabrication in the FabLab Houston.

Entrepreneurs will learn how to start or expand their business, adults will find continuing education opportunities, and youth will be able to develop their leadership skills. With the entrepreneurial spirit of East Aldine, as evidenced in the BakerRipley workshops over the last year, the center will be a place for neighbors to learn, make, and sell.

Families and individuals who want to participate in these opportunities will join with a yearly membership fee. For families, including 2 adults and all children in the household aged 17 and under, the yearly fee is $150. Individual memberships for Seniors aged 65+ the fee is $35. For Youth aged 14-18, the fee is $35.


New Signs in North Houston

Have you noticed the new North Houston District branded street signs? Installation of nearly 500 signs is in progress throughout the District and is expected to be completed by the end of this fall!