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Posts published in April 2012

Commissioner Jack Morman presents new infrastructure projects for Crosby-Newport area

By Lewis Spearman

CROSBY – Commissioner Jack Morman spoke here last week and informed the local business population about new roads to be resurfaced, new roads to be built and spraying against mosquitoes.

The commissioner’s discussion of infrastructure was interupted 5 times by applause at the Crosby-Huffman Chamber of Commerce luncheon last Thursday.

Morman became the Commissioner for Crosby after the redistricting was announced on March 31 and he will probably be the County Commissioner for Huffman after November once the current lawsuit is settle over redistricting.

There are two infrastructure  projects that Commissioner Morman started in the last 30 days within the Crosby/Newport area.

Newport:

Widening of S. Diamondhead. Generated from the response of the Newport HOA meeting – Pct.2 will move forward with engineering tasks to improve S. Diamondhead from Cape Hope to FM 2100. Commissioner Morman has already met with Harris County Engineering Dept. to begin preliminary design. It is the precinct’s intent to bid this project the first quarter of 2013. The estimated project cost is $2 million.

Crosby, Nelson Subdivision & Jackson Bayou Community:

BetterStreets2Neighborhood

BetterStreets2Neighborhood is the base repair and resurfacing of asphalt streets in the Crosby, Nelson Subdivision, Jackson Bayou Community and outlining areas. This project is already in design and will start construction mid-summer to be complete in 45-60 days. The estimated project cost is $2 million.)

That $2 M. was about the amount awarded to Precinct 2 by Commission’s Court for the equipment that went to Precinct 4 with the new extended land area that Precinct 2 will absorb probably after November from the Redistricting Texas legislation and court rulings.

Tees-N-Tails Fundraiser brings record for support

CROSBY – The Crosby-Huffman Chamber of Commerce again had a successful fundraiers for their operations that include staff and general operations in support of the community last Friday, April 13. The event was lucky for most participants in that they had excellent playing weather. A community dinner followed contributed by Crawfish Shack featured Crawfish with a Cajun flavor and shrimp with corn and red potatos. ACE Sponsor was United Community Credit Union. This year the event was termed Tees and Tails.

The Morning Golf Flight saw First place go to Madison Benefits, Ryan Moss, Alvin Cormier, Harris Reid; Second place went to Baytown Seafood with Rav Graham, Jerred Payton, Javier Garcia, Lance Maxwell. Third place went to Great Western Valve with Jim Reilly, CortFyvie, Wendell Franklin

Longest Drive was made by Casey Nickell – Crawfish Shack.

Closest to the Pin was Alvin Cormier of Madison Benefits.

The Community Dinner with Live Auction performed by Bill Busby put the fundraiser over the top and will enable the Chamber to proved service to the Community.

Students Helping Local Business’s One Breakfast Taco at a Time

Contributed by Maddie Drilling

SAN MARCOS, Texas – Every Monday through Thursday members of Students in Free Enterprise sell Lolita’s breakfast tacos in the quad at Texas State University. They sell 200 tacos everyday for $2 a piece.

Lolita’s Café is a popular breakfast restaurant in San Marcos. SIFE wanted to increase their revenues by selling the tacos in multiple locations, so this is what they did. They recently bought a freezer, fridge, and two grills for Lolita’s shop. SIFE student Jared Trimm says,” I love the smiles on people’s faces when they receive their breakfast taco”. This project has been very successful, and it is all because of the hard working students in SIFE.

SIFE is a global, non-profit organization that is literally changing the world through highly dedicated student teams on more than 1600 university campuses in 40 countries. SIFE offers these students the opportunity to develop leadership, teamwork, and communication skills through learning, practicing and teaching the principles of free enterprise, thereby improving the standard of living for millions in the process.

Texas State SIFE is one of the leading collegiate teams within the United States. SIFE has been helping others achieve their dreams through free enterprise education for more than 25 years. Today, SIFE is the world’s prominent and largest university-based free enterprise organization.

If you would like to learn more about SIFE please visit the SIFE website, http://www.business.txstate.edu/sife/ or contact Sam Walton Fellow, Vicki West at vw03@txstate.edu or 512-245-3224, SIFE President, Kinnon Martin at km1525@txstate.edu or 512-484-3823, or Maddie Drilling at md1358@txstate.edu or 281-796-2063.

San Jacinto Day Festival and Battle Reenactment on April 21

LA PORTE, TX – Booming cannons, cracking musket fire, thundering hooves and battle cries will resound across the San Jacinto Battleground, 3523 Battleground Road, LaPorte TX 77571, on Saturday, April 21, as hundreds of history reenactors recreate the events leading up to Texas winning its independence at the decisive Battle of San Jacinto.

This dramatic battle reenactment is the centerpiece of the admission-free San Jacinto Day Festival, held on Saturday, April 21, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the grounds surrounding the San Jacinto Monument.  Highlights of the Festival include family entertainment, living history demonstrations, a children’s area and vendors reflecting all things Texas. 

The largest battle reenactment in the state celebrates the 1836 Battle of San Jacinto, and it’s the most popular event of the day, it begins at 3 p.m.  Presented by hundreds of members of the San Jacinto Volunteers and other living history organizations from across the state, the reenactment dramatizes the decisive battle where General Sam Houston led his Texian soldiers to victory over the Mexican Army eventually leading to almost one million square miles of Mexican territory becoming a part of the United States.  The reenactors will dramatically interpret the Runaway Scrape (Texians fleeing from the advancing forces of Santa Anna), the cannon duel and the final battle between the two forces.  

Some entertaining and educational activities scheduled as of March 27, 2012 include:

•New this year: Solero Flamenco presents a “fiery, passionate and virtuoso flemenco performance,” let by founders Irma La Paloma and Jeremias Garcia.

•New this year: The Coleman Brothers:  The Coleman brothers are true “road warriors” from Texas who have toured with Willie Nelson, Ray Price and many other Texas legends.  They had two #1 independent hits last year with “Beer Thirty” and “Down by the Fishin’ Hole,” and are known for their pure true-to-life country music and trademark layerd vocals.

•New this year: J. R. Ancira: J. R. Ancira is a solo acoustic, singer/songwriter that specializes in country, with a variety of cover songs plus his own originals.  J.R. has been singing and playing guitar for the past 20 years and has a “one-of-a-kind” voice.

•Dr. Jesús F. de la Teja – the former State Historian of Texas, and presently the Distinguished Professor of History at Texas State Univ. and a board member of the San Jacinto Museum – will present a talk on “Antonioo Menchaca and Santa Anna: An Unlikely Encounter” at 12:30 and 1:30 in the Monument’s theatre.  Menchaca is one of the Tejano heroes of San Jacinto who had an encounter with Santa Anna following the general’s capture the day after the battle.

•Phydeaux’s Flying Flea Circus, which is “family-friendly, audience-interactive, historically accurage, educational street theatre” performed by the Flea Meister in period costume.  The performance consists of “snake oil, comedy, tall tales, breathtaking feats of Phydeaux’s world famous acrobatic fleas and shameless hyperbole.”

•Visitors can wander freely among the Mexican and Texian camps of the reenactors to learn what the soldiers of that day were doing prior to the battle in 1836.

•Texas Parks & Wildlife Department will offer archery classes for young people.

•Monument visitors can take the famous 489-foot elevator ride to the top of the Monument; enjoy the digital presentation Texas Forever!! The Battle of San Jacinto; and view the museum’s latest exhibit Making a Mark, Leaving a Legacy.  Combo tickets for the elevator ride, the exhibit and movie can be purchased for $12 for adults, $10.50 for seniors, $8 for children.

“For the Texans, their victory at San Jacinto led to Texas’ annexation into the United States,” says Robert B. Hixon, Chairman of the Board, San Jacinto Museum.  “In the end, the United States would gain not only Texas but also New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, California, Utah and parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and Wyoming.” 

Tips to further enjoy the 2012 festival:

•Do not take the ferry on I-10; because there is only one ferry working right now, the wait is long.

•Visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and/or blankets for comfortable viewing of the battle reenactment.

•For more information please call 281.479.2421 or visit www.sanjacinto-museum.org. 

Crosby’s new officials promise improvements

By Lewis Spearman

CROSBY – Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Jack Morman and Rep. Wayne Smith, R, District 128 Texas Legislature addressed the Newport Property Owners Association on April 12 and discussed roadway improvements for South Diamondhead in Newport and resurfacing in Crosby.

On March 29, the courts determined that District 127 had too many people and Dan Huberty had to give Crosby to Smith and Huberty retained most of Huffman, and west through Humble. Smith a Vietnam Veteran has been given the Outstanding Public Servant award by the Texas Association of Businessmen and is named a Conservative Leader by the Heritage Alliance.

Jack Morman, R, gained the largest land area of Harris County for his Precinct 2 in redistricting. But Precinct 4 now condensed in acreage and expanded in per capita income retained all the mowing and other service equipment it held under Jerry Eversole. Morman now controls 380 employees, 50 parks, 11 community centers and 1050 miles of county road.

There are two infrastructure projects that Commissioner Morman has initiated in the last 30 days within the Crosby/Newport area.

 Newport: Widening of S. Diamondhead: Generated from the response of the Property Owners meeting – Pct.2 will move forward with engineering tasks to improve S. Diamondhead from Cape Hope to FM 2100. Commissioner Morman has already met with Harris County Engineering Dept. to begin preliminary design.

“It is our intent to bid this project the first quarter of 2013. The estimated project cost is $2 million.” said Morman

 Crosby, Nelson Subdivision & Jackson Bayou Community:

BetterStreets2Neighborhood is the base repair and resurfacing of asphalt street in the Crosby, Nelson Subdivision, Jackson Bayou Community and outlining areas. This project is already in design and will start construction mid-summer to be complete in 45-60 days. The estimated project cost is $2 million. Maps of the street locations will be available at the Chamber of Commerce luncheon Thursday.

Mowing:

Mowing in Crosby has already begun with complete mobilization of 8 mowing crews starting in May.

Commissioner Morman spoke directly to each question asked about managing streets and improvements. His challenge for the future will be to purchase the right of way for the proposed widening of FM 2100 from Crosby to Huffman to give to the TXDoT to build the highway.

Smith although stating flatly that he was at the meeting to hear questions from the audience explained some of the functions of the State Legislature.

“We meet officially for 140 days every odd number of years. The state’s big battle is 125 million people with a $180 billion annual budget and last year it was $170 billion because we cut much of it out. It is a big state and we need more than 140 days set by the constitution so we continue to meet, I was over there last weekend. I’m chairman of a committee, environmental regulations, that is the committee that has oversight into TCEQ that issues the permits for all of the industry in this District, you can see my district includes from the industry from Pasadena, out to Baytown all the way up to part of Huffman. The speaker was gracious enough to appoint me to the committee I wanted to be on, so I’m working to see if we can create jobs for folks in our area. The last cycle was the sunset of environmental regulations, in Texas every agency ceases to exist if not reauthorized approximately every 12 years sometimes it is shorter. This was TCEQ’s time to be sunsetted, so I then as chairman of the committee was asked to carry the bill for the sunset and we have sunsetted. I am extremely glad that I get to represent Crosby.’

Smith spoke of the proposed widening of FM 2100 from Crosby to Huffman as on the charts to begin within the next three years. He is awaiting TXDoT to inform him of when the proposed exit off of U.S. 90 Westbound to FM 2100 will be completed. He asked to be informed of guardrail problems by the public.

FM 2100 lanes narrow Saturday

By Lewis Spearman

CROSBY – This Saturday April 21, according to the construction supervisor of the overpass at FM 2100, through lanes will be narrowed to one lane in each direction.

The upcoming bottleneck is sure to slow traffic as the new roadway for FM 2100 is being built. The website: www.visitcrosby.com promises to keep web saavy commuters up on changes to the surface street conditions.

Two sections are to undergo changes as construction of new roadways begin in earnest to complete the proposed overpass and roadway improvements including softening the curve near the Chevron Station North to South Diamondhead.

A section of South Diamondhead before FM 2100 is to undergo widening. This Saturday it will narrow to one lane as it will receive State construction from the first turn out to FM 2100 and continue as one lane in both directions all the way up onto Edna Road.

This Saturday from the traffic light at Wahl Street all the way to the curve on the other side of the FM 2100 roadway from the beginning of First Street the roadway will narrow to one lane in each direction.

Traffic is expected to remain in this configuration for several months. It is expected to be finished by Summer. At that time a new frontage roadway, currently under construction that is to become ultimately the northbound lanes, is expected to have been completed.

Final completion of the overpass project is expected to be in the Summer of 2013.

Judge Coffey addresses Juvenile Justice

By Lewis Spearman

CROSBY – Justice of the Peace in Precinct 3 Position 2 Don Coffee spoke to the Friends of the Crosby Library about the role of the library in modern times and got into explaining what he does for a living.

After a single question he lead into the problems facing today’s youths and problems with the schools and judicial systems in their efforts to handle those problems.

Coffee will not be hearing the case of 5 Crosby youths that are facing a class 2 felony for Criminal mischief but is familiar with the conditions and the questions of how to administer justice when youths are involved.

All this came on Monday when the names and charges against five area youths were released that had flattened the tires on 58 buses with bolt snips.

Cody Wagone, Nicholas Soza, Javone Garcia, Cecil Fontenot and Nelson Rodriguez—have been charged as adults with criminal mischief for damaging the buses. Sgt. Rick Miranda and Deputy Chris Harrison of Precinct 3 Constable Ken Jones Office put in 22 hours investigating the case.

“Wednesday and Thursday are the juvenile cases,” said Coffee, “I have kids with $11,000 in fines from the schools. They usually don’t pay those fines. On their 17th birthday, the county issues a warrant for their arrest. I have 5,300 warrants for arrest on kids that got tickets in the sixth grade. They can’t get a drivers license, but don’t think they are not driving. When I came in to office I tried to make a change to make this system less punitive. Because the system isn’t working. If it was working, I would not have changed anything. I am not being critical of the system, I am trying to do differently.”

“When a child comes before me I give them 60 days probation. They can not have unexcused absences and can not have any citations, and they owe me $100 court costs right then. So, I let them work that court cost off in community service and we have a list of community service opportunities. One of those involve tutoring, they return to the school and say the judge has ordered me to do tutoring.”

“My first goal is to improve their reading levels because reading is elemental to everything.” Coffee explained.

“In 1993 they adopted the 0 tolerance ruling and you started getting 10 and 11 year old with fines and charges. In Crosby one of the more frequent charges is dipping snuff. Fighting and assault of course have to be handled seriously.”

“Those five kids that thought it was going to be a cute stunt to cut the valve stems off those buses are facing state jail felony charges and one has seemingly lost a scholarship. Kids make bad choices, it is one of the things that marks being kids. The system in place called zero tolerance seems to dictate that if they make a bad decision their life is ruined. It isn’t our fault there is zero tolerance. But ours is a court of equity, we do not keep transcripts my decision is what we follow so I have some space to rule, if they don’t like my ruling they can appeal but they will start all over again.” he explained.

So if someone begins life with a second degree felony does it correct them or does it, “ruin their life” as Coffee stated?

“I think their will be some common sense applied at some point, I think right now we are at the shock and awe stage where we are trying to scare some sense of how serious the act was to others. I think it will be bigger than a Class C and they will probably face Criminal Mischief with a record and they will be put on probation and maybe that one kid will not lose his scholarship. But right now it is a dollars and sense thing. I think the cost was about $1900 for the tires and other costs I am not aware of now. But we all know that when we are kids some pretty egregious things happen but no one went to jail. Nobody’s lives were ruined but truly we have gotten into this mode of zero tolerance. There were all kinds of reasons for it but I think that at some point we have to rethink extreme enforcement.” stated Coffee.

What is really important is making sure these kids get though High School. I got me a man that understands these kids, has won awards, he had to take a $2 an hour cut to come to my court and he loves it. We get that family help and treat the whole family.”

The school districts think I am their truancy prevention program I am not I am their truancy enforcement program and I added a question for the schools to ask before they slap on a fine, ‘Why was the student absent.”

“On Sept. 1 with the help of Senator John Whitmire we established legislation that each school have a truancy prevention program asking why students are absent.” Coffee stated.

Tires slashed on 58 Crosby school buses

By Lewis Spearman

CROSBY – It is said that the measure of an administrator is how well they respond to a crisis; well, measure Superintendent Dr. Keith Moore by Monday, April 2 beginning at about 6:00 a.m. when he first learned that Crosby ISD buses had been damaged in a district that transports about half of their students to school.

Sometime on April Fools Day and Palm Sunday vandals cut their way into Crosby ISD’s bus lot with bolt snips and then went to work on tire stems and hoses on 58 of 70 buses.

Superintendent Keith Moore says the Houston ISD helped provide valve stem replacements so the buses could run their regular routes later Monday. He was very grateful for the cooperation of law enforcement, Houston ISD, the Maintenance Dept., the Transportation Dept. and the community in general.

By 11:00 a.m. all buses were running for the late morning rounds, a remarkable recovery.

“We have a great community but we don’t have a whole lot of extras so we have to be very efficient with what we have not only in our schools but our whole community. I think we have done a great job with what we have but when somebody comes along and damages our buses or steals the copper from our air conditioners – we don’t have the replacements. It is frustrating.”

According to Captain John Moore of Precinct 3 Constable Ken Jones’ Office, investigators began receiving information as soon as Dr. Keith Moore began to spread the word that his buses had been vandalized, he was looking for information on who might have done it, parents were asked to bring their students to school. By Tuesday 6 persons of interest were being questioned related to the break in and damage incident. That afternoon five 17 year olds or older Seniors from the local high school were being detained based on their statements.

“The same names were mentioned numerous times by those with which we spoke.” said the Precinct Captain.

“Word gets around pretty quick.” commented Dr. Moore.

The high school was asked for information on Monday at a special meeting in the Crosby High School Gym. According to one parent, students were concerned that the Senior Prom would be cancelled.

“I’m not going to let the entire senior class suffer for the actions of five students.” said the Superintendent, “I don’t have the energy or volunteers to get ahead of the rumor mill.”

Concerning the cost to the school district Dr. Moore says that the valve stems cost about $5.00 each but the labor for 3/4 of a day for everyone concerned is substantial.

“I think we are going to be down about 10% attendance for the day. You have to be down about 10% attendance on the day to apply for a waiver that will recoup our loss to A.D.A. monies due to an unforeseen event. They have to approve it but I feel confident that we will qualify for that ,”said the Superintendent, “ The real damage is they put kids in danger that are waiting on buses, they could get hit or abducted, who knows what dangers could have been out there for our kids. Parents were inconvenienced, they had to come back and take their kids to school. Employers were not happy that employees had to leave from work.”

“We cannot plan for every situation that occurs. I try to surround myself with good people that can step up like the administrators that communicated with parents and with those parents for helping out and law enforcement.” said the Superintendent, “One thing I want to get across is that these are still our district’s kids. We may be angry and disappointed in what they did, they will have to face the consequences but we have to keep in mind that they are town kids.”

There are about 5,050 students in Crosby ISD some 2500 were inconvenienced by the incident.