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Posts published in “Day: February 1, 2007”

Rotary’s 32nd annual Chili Feast Saturday

HIGHLANDS The annual tradition of fun, auctions, raffles and Chester Stasney’s famous chili will once again take place this Saturday Feb. 3 at St. Jude’s Social Hall on Main Street in Highlands. The all day event starts at 11 a.m. and runs until after 3 p.m.
Some people come for the music, some to see old friends, and some to take a chance on winning a new pickup truck or any of the other fabulous prizes in the charity raffle.
This year’s top prize is a 2007 Chevy Classic Silverado 4 door pickup, from Keating Chevrolet, but if you don’t win that you might be just as happy with one of the consolation prizes. These consist of an MP3 player, gas grill, camcorder, wooden patio furniture, digital camera, home theater system, flat screen TV, 270 cal. rifle and scope, $500 gift card, 5×10 foot tilt trailer, or a laptop computer.

Highlands Rotary Club uses the proceeds from this event to fund the many community projects, scholarships, and worldwide charity projects they participate in throughout the year. At least $350,000 has been given to projects over the years. This is the primary fundraiser for the club, and has been held every year since they raffled off a used Cadillac convertible in 1975. With the success of that first fundraiser, they have expanded it and made it a regionally famous event to all Rotarians in the Houston area.
All the club members and wives participate, as well as local Scouts, students from Chinquapin, the Pic n Grin seniors band, and Ken Garcia as the auctioneer.
Chairman of the event this year is Charlie Ward, with the assistance of Johnny Gaeke and Steve Miller. Tricia Scott is in charge of the silent and live auctions, and Chester Stasney of the Chili cookers.
Tickets for either the Chili Dinner, served from 11 am to 2 pm for $6 are still available, as well as the $100 raffle tickets. These can be purchased from any Rotarian, and also at Food Town, Rainbow Jewelry, Woodforest Bank, UPS store in Crosby, and many other locations.

Parents, school district clash over high school rezoning

By BOBBY HORN JR.
BAYTOWNÑOn Dec. 16, the Goose Creek CISD cancelled a scheduled rezoning meeting at Sterling High due to inclement weather.
Last Tuesday, there was more wind and rain but the meeting went on. In what turned out to be a duplication of the previous weekÕs meeting at Lee High School, parents spoke out against two proposed rezoning plans designed to accommodate the third high school.
AttendeesÕ main issue of contention was that under both plans they believed that a disproportionate number of economically disadvantaged (ED) students would be sent to Lee.

Currently, Lee has a 62% student population in this group while Sterling as a 37% ED student population. Under the two proposals, Lee would rise to 77% while Sterling and the high school would be between 53 and 55%.
Homeowners in Lakewood said that either plan their property values would go down if their students were forced to change to Lee. Parents also complained about the lack of citizen involved on the high school committee, saying that there should have been as much citizen involvement as at the junior high and elementary committees.
There have been recommendations that Lee be turned into either a 9th grade campus or a vocational campus to help balance campus diversity.
Parents predicted a decline in academic opportunities at Lee and eventual academic failure at the campus if the proportion of ED students did not change.
However, past results on standardized testing at the school would not indicate this.
According to the Texas Education Agency, ED students had an 84% passage rate in reading compared with 87% school wide. In social science the group was 83%, while as a whole Lee had an 86% passage rate. There was a six-percent difference in math with ED rating a 49% while, as a whole Lee was 55%. The largest gap between ED students and students as a whole was in social science with a 49% to 58% comparison.
In no subject were ED students the lowest-ranking subclass. ED students also had an 88.5% completion rate, high than the school as a whole and 93.1% attendance rate (same as the school average). During the 2004-05 school year (the last year recorded) ED students had 9.7% of them complete advanced/dual credit courses. As a whole Lee High had a 14.7% completion rate.
Parents argued that there is still time to draw new boundaries. The district countered, saying that the 14th elementary and Bowie will open for classes in the Fall while the 3rd high school and new Highlands Junior High opens in fall 2008.
Even if boundaries are redrawn, it is likely that all high school students living in Highlands will attend the new high school.

Getting around…

Had a fellow offer a stick of wood from a Catawba tree for use as a walking cane. I said thank you sir. We had a Catawba tree out near the Chattahoochee River back when. Dad would stop by and get gobs of the worms for fishing. As a chap they were nasty, yucky.
Google says the heartwood of the Catawba is used for fence post and rails, so it should make do for a walking cane.
Google also says the tree is named by injuns and they smoked the bean pods for a hallucinogenic effect thus the tree became known as the Indian Cigar Tree, Indian bean and smoking bean.

Anyway the cane top is going to be a chrome knob from a horse hame.
Gonna need a walking cane the way I been going lately. Plum wore out.
Had a wreck last weekend and been stove up ever since. Ought to have enough sense to stay off scooters or itÕll be the death of me yet as this one didnÕt even have a motor.
One of the granddaughters spent last weekend with us and wanted to ride one of the scooters stored out in the shed. SheÕs got her grandma wrapped around her little finger so out to the shed goes the Mrs. She picked out the scooter with tires that needed to be blown up.
Sure enough the tires are flat and IÕm called to the rescue to blow up the tires.
Granddaughter asked me to come fix the scooter and she was asked why. She says, ÒI said pleaseÓ.
Guess that translates into now.
Little Bit donÕt weigh more than a sack of potatoes so I blowed the tire up enough to do her.
She wasnÕt doing well with the scooter and I said here, let me show you. Big mistake oh Lordy.
This particular scooter came from Intercourse, Pennsylvania and you see Amish men scooting down and around town on them.
I take holt of the bar and give it a good scoot. With all my weight the scooter stopped quicker than I realized and over I go, all of me.
Went from leaning left to right to real quick, down and around. Fortunately I twisted, land on my right shoulder, driving pain and agony to my rib cage. No bounce to the ounce, I guarantee it!
Got up looking around to see if anybody was looking.
Said to the Mrs., scooters No Mas!
Rotary Chili Feast this weekend, best case of indigestion you ever had and worth it.

BH Sports Hall of Honor inducts Class of ‘07

MONT BELVIEU— On Saturday, the Barbers Hill Sports Hall of Honor recognized the accomplishments of two student athletes as well as a community leader during their annual induction ceremony.
Joining the Hall was 1960s football standout Robert Neyland; 1990s basketball Christie Tilton Hahn and Special Recognition Honoree Norris “Hotshot” Thomas Jr.

Robert Neylan
1965 – 1969
On the gridiron, Neyland was a member of the 1967 District Co-Championship Team and 1968 Bi-District Championship Team (he also served as captain of the squad). He was All-State in 1968; a member of the Texas High School North-South All-Star team in 1969; was All-District 1967 & ’68 and recipient of the Team MVP Award in 1968.
After graduation he went on to play two years at Stephen F. Austin University. Neyland was also a Two-year letterman in basketball, averaging 12 points per game. He was a varsity letterman in track.
Christie Tilton Hahn
1989 – 1993
Hahn was a member of the 1990 Bi-District Championship Team; member of the 1992 Bi-District Championship Team; member and captain of the 1993 State Semi-Finalist Team; TGCA North-South All-Star Game 1993; TSWA All-State Team 1993; All-Regional 1992 & 1993; All-District 1990, ’91, ’92, & ’93; District MVP 1992; All-Regional Tournament Team 1993.
In 1993 she had a Field Goal Percentage of 63.3%, averaged 14.5 points per game 14.5, and 8.5 rebounds per game.
She also played four years of basketball at Texas Lutheran University.
Norris “Hotshot” Thomas, Jr.
Special Recognition Honoree
The son of pioneer Chambers County sharecropper parents, Norris Thomas, Jr. attended a one-room school on Hatcherville Road in Mont Belvieu for his elementary education.
Rather than be bused to Liberty County schools, his parents paid a friend to take him to George Washington Carver High School in Baytown, where he excelled in football and track.
Following graduation in 1949 he married Jester Marie and was drafted into the Korean War where he served honorably.
In 1965, when Barbers Hill desegregated the schools, Norris was a key community leader in assuring a peaceful transition. His children, by their participation and excellence in athletics, also contributed to the successful desegregation of BHISD.
His eldest son, John Henry (’66), was one of the two first black athletes to wear the Eagle blue and white. His daughter, Cynthia (’67), played basketball and tennis at BH, and his other daughter Sheila was a 1972 graduate. His youngest son, Randy (’83), played baseball and was quarterback and MVP in football.
“Hotshot” continues to be a leader in various areas of the community including an active church role and volunteer community service.
In addition to the three, the hall of honor also recognized four inductees from the 2000 class. When the hall was formed in 2000 there were so many individuals and teams inducted that there was not time to properly honor each of them. Since then, the hall has returned to recognize those again from the inaugural class. Recognized this year was Eva “Susie” Bradford, “Golden” Gordon Speer and the 1954 and 1955 Class A Regional Champion football teams.

Rep. Otto named to key house committees

By BOBBY HORN JR.
DAYTON—State Rep. John Otto, who began his second term in office last month, received a gift from House Speaker Tom Craddick last week when committee assignments were announced.
Otto will serve on two of the most influential committees in Austin during the 80th Legislative Session.

Craddick assigned Otto to the House Ways and Means Committee. This committee is responsible for developing the state’s budget for the next two years. Additionally, Otto will serve as chairman of the Budget and Oversight subcommittee.
While working on Ways and Means, Otto will also have his hand in the budget-making process as a member of the Appropriations Committee.
Otto’s other committee assignment is also expected to be a hot button issue: redistricting. Otto will see at least one familiar face on the redistricting committee. Crosby’s Joe Crabb, who served on the committee in the 79th session, returns as chairman.
“The committee assignments reflect the preferences of each individual member, to the degree that it could be achieved,” Craddick said. “I made these appointments after weeks of discussions with legislators, and I believe this leadership team strikes a balance between experience and the diverse interests of this state. The subsequent selection of subcommittee chairmen will round out the committee process. I want these members to go forth in carrying out the business of the state and in achieving the goals they have set for themselves and their constituents.”
Craddick has been chastised by other members of the House for using committee assignments to punish those who opposed his election as Speaker, while giving out favorable assignments to those who supported him.
During the 79th Session, Otto’s first session in the house, he served as vice chairman of the County Affairs and Government Reform committees as well as a member of the Rules and Resolutions committee.
Craddick said that his appointment of 14 new chairmen reflect the ever-changing face of the House membership. Craddick also expressed his belief that the committees are one of the most important components of the legislative process. “Faced with challenging issues such as appraisal reform, property tax relief, water conservation and healthcare costs, the House leadership team will focus on reaching solutions in a bipartisan and pragmatic manner,” he added.