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Northeast News

County Now Offers Vaccine Boosters

Houston – Harris County Public Health (HCPH) is now administering the COVID-19 vaccine booster for people in certain groups. Eligible residents include those who completed their two-dose mRNA vaccine series (Pfizer or Moderna) at least six months ago and anyone who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago. Eligible fully vaccinated residents can get a booster dose of the vaccine of their choice.

All COVID-19 vaccines provide strong protection for most people. A booster vaccine in an additional dose given after the protection provided by the original series has begun to decrease over time.

Free Entrance to Texas State Parks Nov. 14 in Honor of Veterans Day

AUSTIN— In honor of both active and retired military, daily entrance fees at Texas State Parks will be waived for all day-use visitors Sunday, Nov. 14.

“The dedication, sacrifice and service displayed by the women and men that serve in our country’s military is unparalleled and is a source of pride throughout the country,” said Rodney Franklin, Director of Texas State Parks. “Their commitment to service undoubtedly inspires us at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. To celebrate their service, Texas State Parks would like to once again invite everyone to spend the day at any one of our beautiful State Parks for free. I am glad that we are able to encourage families to get outside in honor of our veterans.”

Anyone planning a trip to a Texas State Park is encouraged to reserve their day passes in advance since some parks are expected to reach their capacity limit. Day passes can be reserved online though the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website or over the phone by calling (512) 389-8900.

Mural depicting history of Aldine Unveiled at Town Center

This History Mural, 10 x 50 feet in size, is mounted in the lobby of the new East Aldine District Office Building in the new Town Center. From left to right, it depicts the start of Indian civilization in Aldine, progresses through settlers, notes major milestones such as the railroad, fire department, and founding of the Aldine school district, and ends on the right side with a celebration of the diverse cultures of the district, and the improvements signaled by the new EAMD building.

EAST ALDINE DISTRICT BUILDING: Ribbon Cutting signals new era in Aldine

A Ribbon Cutting signaling the Completion of the new East Aldine District Office Building, and the Town Center development, was held last Thursday, Oct. 28. The public joined with all those who had worked to realize the building and the 61 acre center, including EAMD Board Members, Hawes Hill staff, architects and contractors, Harris County Sheriff’s Office, public officials from Harris County and the city, BakerRipley, Lone Star College, Aldine ISD, and a number of local civic and social organizations in East Aldine.

East Aldine unveils dynamic improvements

By Alan Bernstein

HOUSTON — Making it harder to maintain its status as “the best kept secret in Houston,” more than 125 members of the rapidly strengthening East Aldine community today celebrated the grand opening of dynamic public amenities at its Town Center.

Proud residents, elected officials, East Aldine Management District staff and other partners cut a ceremonial ribbon at a three-story office building, a commissioned lobby mural called “Building Community: The Story of Aldine;” an amphitheater and audience lawn; and outdoor recreational features next to the giant Keith-Wiess Park. The project anticipates the needs of the long-overlooked area, just south of Bush Intercontinental Airport, that increased its hard-working, family-rooted population by 63,000 in the last decade, twice the prior number.

The community’s growth, demographics and location make it ripe for further commercial, industrial and retail development, especially as distribution centers and other enterprises take advantage of the area’s availability of land and proximity to the airport and highways.

Cantu daughter is shooting victim

Reports from the Houston PD indicate that a shooting that took place early Sunday morning in North Houston took the life of 18 year old Aleksis Cantu, the daughter of East Aldine District Deputy Director Richard Cantu. She was apparently an innocent victim at a Halloween party, where shooting occurred after an argument among other participants. Several others were wounded. HPD is continuing to investigate, and look for the shooter.

Local Aldine trustee embroiled in national school board controversy

Controversy has arisen from the national media and some conservative parents regarding a letter that the NSBA, the National School Board Association, sent to President Biden asking for “Federal Assistance to Stop Threats and Acts of Violence” against school board officials, school children, and other school officials and educators. The letter was issued over the signature of NSBA Exec. Director Chip Slaven, and Viola Garcia, president of the NSBA and an Aldine ISD trustee.

Criticism has been vocal and widespread throughout the country, with conservative politicians, media, and the public saying that the letter indicates the NSBA wants to curb constitutionally guaranteed free speech, and labels parents and those who speak out on their opinions at school board meetings as “domestic terrorists.”

The NSBA letter notes that critics are against COVID mask mandates, and extend that fear to the subject of Critical Race Theory, which she says is mistakenly thought to be taught in schools, but is not. The letter does ask for assistance from federal law enforcement agencies to secure a safe environment for teaching, and board meetings.

But in comments to this newspaper, Garcia points out that it did not ask for any suppression of free speech, and in fact states that it supports peaceful expression of opinions.

Garcia said that the letter was prompted by the number of contentious and extreme statements made at some school board meetings nationally. School board members are also concerned for their safety, due to threats made at meetings and in their personal life.

EA District loses leader Gerald Overturff

GERALD OVERTURFF

By Anne Marie Kilday

The East Aldine Management District and its friends and supporters are mourning the death of Gerald Overturff, 82, a life-long Aldine resident and community leader who chaired the District board of directors from November 2011 to July 2021.

When he died at a local hospital Thursday night, he had served on the board for 17 years.

Before joining the board, Overturff worked for 31 years for the road and bridge department of Harris County Precinct 4. Two years after retirement he led the creation of the Sunbelt Freshwater Supply District, which serves parts of the Aldine area.

Overturff dedicated himself to the history and culture of the Aldine area, with his encyclopedic and humorous knowledge of the unincorporated area of the county just north of the Houston city limits.

Jensen Jubilee festivities draw large crowds

Mayor Sylvester Turner and Rep. Armando Walle at the Jubilee

The 7th Annual Jensen Jubilee Fall Festival was held last Saturday, Oct. 16 at Shady Lane Park. Hundreds of adults and children joined in the fun on a sunny, pleasant family type day. Jubilee director Pastor David Smith thanked the Platinum Sponsor, UTHealth/UTPhysicians, for their support and donation of Scholarships.

East Aldine holds 3 Family Friendly events in October

By Anne Marie Kilday

East Aldine residents, businesses and friends are invited to participate in three exciting celebrations this month at the expanding East Aldine Town Center at 2800 Aldine Mail Route Road.

The dynamic, free events show the growth, hard work and colorful makeup of East Aldine and the enrichment of the area by the East Aldine Management District.

Garcia unveils final Pct. 2 Parks & Trails Plan

New exercise equipment at Highlands Park is an example of improvements underway at existing Pct. 2 parks.

By Gilbert Hoffman

PCT 2 HARRIS COUNTY – Last Thursday, Oct. 14 Commissioner Adrian Garcia presented the completed Parks and Trails Plan to the community. This plan is not only meant to enhance the physical environment of the various parks and neighborhoods in Precinct 2, but also to weave a cohesive relationship between different neighborhoods through the precinct. The Commissioner has initiated an ambitious project, to study each community and present a Comprehensive Master Plan for enhancing the physical and quality of life aspects of its features. This includes roads, drainage, and other amenities as well as the park system.

The presentation of the Parks and Trails Final Plan was made through ZOOM, to an audience that totalled almost 100 participants. The presentation was made by Katie Coyne, project manager for the landscape planning firm AsakuraRobinson. It was monitored by Jorge Bustamante, planning manager of Precinct 2.

After over a year of meeting with community stakeholders, the Precinct 2 Parks and Trails Plan is complete. Through a collaborative process involving in-depth community engagement, research, and analysis, the Precinct 2 Parks and Trails Plan outlines how the parks and trails system will best serve the diverse communities in Precinct 2. The Plan will guide the Commissioner and the Precinct 2 team in prioritizing investments, incorporating best practices for programming and design, and help create and maintain the best parks and trails for the Precinct 2 community.

In his welcoming remarks, Commissioner Garcia called parks “A Place to Celebrate Community.” He said Parks and trails in Precinct 2 provide opportunities for communities to safely come together, play, exercise, and connect with nature. Now more than ever, parks are a vital resource for all residents.