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Posts published in “Day: June 28, 2018”

Morman backs bond

Precinct 2 Commissioner Jack Morman talks with Crosby flood victims Viola Stubbs and Mildred Bebee concerning options for their property on the Cedar Bayou Watershed. The Commissioner expressed many plans based on the recently completed study of the waterway and indicated that another meeting may be planned for the Cedar Bayou Watershed.

CROSBY – Monday, at the Crosby Community Center Harris County Flood Control District and varied parts of Harris County Commissioner’s Court Precinct 2 came together with interested local residents to hear about the proposed bond to deal with flooding issues.

A $2.5 billion dollar bond is proposed by the Commissioner’s Court and this meeting was to help convince locals that their is a need in the Jackson Bayou vicinity, that is to get some flood control measures and addressed the down stream of the San Jacinto River Watershed.

The bond election is to be held August 25 – the one year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey’s landfall. Early voting is to begin August 8th. It is to address Harris County’s most prevalent natural disaster. The total need in the county for flood risk reduction is about $25 billion, the bond is to enable the H.C. Flood Control District to leverage the federal Harvey-related disaster funding that is on its way to Harris County. The cost to taxpayers would be spread over 10 to 15 years for an estimated 2-3 cents per $100 valuation. An over-65 or disabled exemption and a home worth $200,000 or less would not pay any additional taxes.

“In addition to the watershed that we are meeting on today, the Jackson Bayou Watershed, this is an interconnective system. The water flow upstream will impact in a positive way those folks that flood downstream. This is the most important election in my lifetime, it will be the most we can do to combat flooding for generations to come.” said Precinct 2 Commissioner Morman.

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Klobassa Fest success

Eddie Foster checks registration on the record fifty six of classic dream vehicles at the Knights of Columbus’ Klobassa Festival last Sunday. The elegant car show was only part of the attraction as the Live Auction also hit a high water mark. Traditional Czech food was served at its most delicious manifestation for donation. A gun raffle featured some highly desired weapons. Intermittently the Knights of Columbus hall was packed and bids were high for kolaches, bicycles and Catholic Education during the Live Auction. Trophies were awarded to the winners of multiple categories for the car show. Most loud were the drawings for the firearms that went on raffle.

Immigrant kids already housed in County

This building at 15101 I-10 East Frontage Road, now houses about 200 immigrant children most of whom crossed into the U.S. without their parents. The building was formerly the Kindred Hospital, and before that the East Department of the East Houston Hospital. It has been run by Southwest Key Programs as a shelter for undocumented children for several years.

Southwest Key plans to add 5th site

By Gilbert Hoffman

As debate rages endlessly in the nation about the federal government policy of separating children from their parents who entered the county illegally, the debate has now moved to the Houston political stage because the state’s largest provider of these services has requested a permit to use a building at 419 Emancipation Avenue on Houston’s east side. Southwest Key Programs is the largest provider in Texas, now housing 2,725 unaccompanied children in 16 locations.

This includes 4 facilities in the greater Houston area that are virtually unknown and unnoticed, including one that dates back to 1991. Two of these are in the North Channel/Northeast circulation area. Casa Montezuma is on the I-10 Feeder road in the Channelview area. Neighbors had suspected that the facility was a federal children’s shelter, but weren’t sure, they told this newspaper. Records from the Texas Health and Human Services show that the facility is currently housing 191 children, and recently had its license increased to 210, an increase of 11% similar to figures statewide. This shelter is licensed to provide child care services only, since May 2017. Children housed are from 10 to 17 years of age.

The other facility in our area is at 7900 Mesa Drive, in Northeast Houston. It houses 54 children, ages 10 to 17, and is licensed for multiple services, including Emotional Disorders. It has had a license from the state since 1991. Most of the Texas shelters are run by two nonprofits: Southwest Key Programs and BCFS Health and Human Services. The latter is a church sponsored group, based in Dallas.

Southwest Key is a private company based in Austin, founded in 1987 by Juan Sanchez and his wife Jennifer. Southwest Key receives most of its funding in grants and contract revenues. It’s income has increased substantially, from $193 million in 2015, to $310 million in 2018 in the “unaccompanied alien children” program. Its projected income next year is $458 million. It currently houses about 5,100 immigrant children, and operates 26 immigrant youth facilities in Texas, Arizona, and California.

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