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Star-Courier News

Final Highlands Plan presented to public

Jorge Bustamante of Pct. 2, and Amanda Haney of Clark-Condon consultants, presented slides showing the final details of the Highlands/Lynchburg Plan.

By Gilbert Hoffman

HIGHLANDS – After a year of planning efforts, which included 3 public meetings, and 2 study groups, a planning study for the Highlands/Lynchburg communities was unveiled in its final format last Thursday night. The public presentation was held at the Highlands Elementary School multi-purpose room, with about 50 persons present, including residents, precinct representatives, and planning consultants.

Several dozen residents, precinct representatives, and planning study consultants discussed their opinions on the plan after the presentation.

Pct. 2 commissioner Adrian Garcia opened the meeting with recorded remarks, and reminded the audience that the theme was “Revive2Thrive” with the goal of determining how to improve the quality of life and serve the needs of the Highlands/Lynchburg communities.

The planning started in August 2021, and continued through this month. The resulting text and graphics can be viewed on the website: www.highlandslynchburgplan.com.

ELECTION RESULTS: Amendments pass, Bonds defeated

Huffman, Sheldon bonds fail; May 24 date for runoff election

HARRIS COUNTY – Voters went to the polls last Saturday, and voted on the few issues that were on the ballot. Two state constitution amendments, that lower property taxes, easily passed. Statewide, 1,300,000 votes were cast, with 85% approving the amendments.

Other ballot items were local, including two bond issues in Huffman, that were defeated by over 60% of the electorate that voted, and a Sheldon bond issue that was defeated by more than 65% of those who voted. Obviously the electorate was not in a mood to spend money that might mean higher taxes for them. Both districts had stated that they needed the money to build or improve facilities to accommodate student growth.

In Crosby, three directors for Newport MUD were elected: Earl Boykin, Deborah Florus, and DeLonne Johnson. Johnson won by only 3 votes over her opponent, John Webb by a count of 128 to 125.

Comm. Garcia tests positive for COVID-19

Harris County Commissioner Adrian Garcia has tested positive for COVID19 and will be working a limited schedule while isolating at home. The Commissioner’s symptoms are minor, and he says he’s “feeling good.”

“Thankfully, I am feeling ok with what appears to be a mild case of COVID-19. I am grateful to have been vaccinated and boosted which I maintain is the reason my symptoms aren’t worse,” said Commissioner Garcia. “I strongly encourage anyone who hasn’t yet been vaccinated to please go and do so now.”

Hundreds attend Aldine ISD’s Festival de Primavera

Families spoke with school representatives and staff members from 15 different departments to learn more about the district, School Choice options, and other programs and services.

Families learn about AISD in Spanish language

Aldine ISD hosted its inaugural ‘FESTIVAL DE PRIMAVERA’ on Saturday, April 30, at the M.O. Campbell Educational Center. The three-hour event was an opportunity for Spanish-speaking families to learn all things Aldine without a language barrier. The district staff held the event entirely in Spanish.

Several invited speakers also chatted with families at the festival. Superintendent Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney welcomed families and shared a little about her story and what she hoped families would take away from the festival. She delivered her speech in Spanish to a crowd of families attending the festival as well as student volunteers and community partners. Families also heard from Dr. José Luis Zelaya, whose message on the power of education has been broadcast worldwide via television, radio, and newspapers, and author Jasminne Mendez, an award-winning author, poet, and playwright.

The district targeted the Spanish-speaking community, the largest demographic in Aldine ISD, to ensure key messages and information were reaching families and students.

Crosby Rodeo announces Line-up of Concert Performers

Events include Cowpoke Pageant, Cook-Off, Livestock Auction, Little Wrangler

CROSBY – It’s YeeHaw time, as our Western roots show at the Annual Crosby Fair and Rodeo. Plans are underway for a full schedule of events, except for the dance. Top entertainers will be performing on 4 different nights, as well as the C.P.R.A. Championship Rodeo on 2 nights. A BBQ cook-off and a parade are also on the schedule. Student exhibitors will have their animals judged on June 7 and 8, and then the livestock auction will follow on June 9. Don’t miss the buyer’s dinner that afternoon.

The kick-off event will be the Cowpoke Pageant, to be held at the Fairgrounds pavilion on Saturday, May 7 starting at 10am. Contestants will be in three age categories: 0- 2, 3-5, and 6-8. Categories will be All American Cowboy, All American Cowgirl, Rodeo Clown (boys), and Rodeo Dress (girls). Cowpoke director Rachel Hicks reports that a large field of over 40 kids, in 55 categories, have signed up for the event.

The fun and festivities really get underway in June, when the BBQ Cookoff takes place Friday, June 3 starting at 5pm. That same evening, the popular group Bag of Donuts will give a concert at 7pm in the Rock’n C Arena.

PCT. 3 COMM. RAMSEY INHERITS SJR WASTE PITS PROBLEMS

HARRIS COUNTY – After realignment of Precinct Boundaries this year, the East side of the county found Highlands split in two, with Pct. 3 on the west side of Main Street, and Pct. 2 on the east side. As a result, the area got a new Commissioner, Tom Ramsey. He is now in charge of roads and bridges, drainage, parks, community centers, and work camps that once belong to Pct. 2 and Commissioner Adrian Garcia. In this opinion piece written for his Notes column, Ramsey opines about the San Jacinto Waste Pits and his take on the problem they present. Ramsey writes:

“In the 1960’s a paper manufacturer dumped their waste into pits near the San Jacinto River. The waste was filled with harmful chemicals including the carcinogen called Dioxin. As the course of the river changed, the pits became submerged. In 2011, the EPA recognized the superfund site, and is now known as the as the San Jacinto River Waste Pits.

Throughout my many years as a professional engineer, these waste pits have been festering, polluting, and killing innocent people and animals around it. We have waited long enough. This week at Court I directed our Pollution Control Director to work with the EPA to expedite the removal of the toxins. Jackie Medcalf, who has been the most ardent supporter of the cleanup effort, told her story at Court as well.

Election Day May 7 for amendments, Newport Board, bonds

CROSBY – Voters will go to the polls on Saturday, May 7 which is Election Day. Only a few items will be on the ballot this time.

Two Texas Constitutional Amendments deal with limiting taxes on residential property, and school bond issues will be voted on in Sheldon and Huffman.

In Crosby’s Newport subdivision, three MUD board members will be elected. Running are incumbents Earl Boykin, Debra Floreous, and DeLonne Johnson. Also running is newcomer John Webb.

LyondellBasell will close Pasadena Refinery

LyondellBasell will stop work at it’s huge Pasadena Refinery by the end of 2023, according to the company. The sprawling plant covers 700 acres, the largest in the Houston area, and employs over 500 persons. The company said that the closure will not affect work at its other plants, including the Channelview complex.

HOUSTON, April 21, 2022 — LyondellBasell (NYSE: LYB) today announced its decision to cease operation of its Houston Refinery no later than December 31, 2023. In the interim, the Company will continue serving the fuels market, which is expected to remain strong in the near-term, and consider potential transactions and alternatives for the site.

“After thoroughly analyzing our options, we have determined that exiting the refining business by the end of next year is the best strategic and financial path forward for the Company,” said Ken Lane, interim CEO of LyondellBasell. “These decisions are never easy and we understand this has a very real impact on our refinery employees, their families and the community. We are committed to supporting our people through this transition.”

Lane added, “While this was a difficult decision, our exit of the refining business advances the Company’s decarbonization goals, and the site’s prime location gives us more options for advancing our future strategic objectives, including circularity.”

When media reached out to LyondellBasell about how many jobs would be impacted as a result, the company said “approximately 550 LyondellBasell employees currently work at the Houston Refinery. We are still very early in the process. We are committed to do everything we can to assist our people through this transition. We are evaluating options for the affected employees.”

Langston Boulevard Extension Map

Mont Belvieu – The Langston Blvd. project added 1 mile of roadway extending west from Eagle Dr. and connects the city to the soon-to-open SH 99/Grand Parkway.

The $8 million, 18-month project, constructed by Angel Brothers, included not only the roadway, but trail-width pathway connecting nearby neighborhoods to the developing Hackberry Park and an amenity bridge that serves as a gateway into Mont Belvieu from the Grand Parkway. The bridge features oil derrick-style spires that are a nod to Mont Belvieu’s history and the city’s continuing importance in the oil and natural gas industries.

While the ribbon cutting does officially mark the completion of the Langston Blvd. project, the road will not be open to traffic until TXDOT and the Grand Parkway Initiative (GPI) complete and open SH 99.

Early Voting starts April 25; Election Day May 7

Ballot Issues: Two Constitutional Amendments; Huffman Bond Issue

HARRIS COUNTY – The Municipal and Local primary election will take place on Saturday, May 7 with a low voter turnout expected by authorities. No major candidates are on the ballot, only two state constitutional amendments and a number of bond issues for local districts, and local candidates.

Early voting will start on Monday, April 25 and continue through May 3. Hours in general are M-S 7am – 7pm, Sun 12pm – 7pm. Hours on Election Day are 7am – 7pm.

Polling places for Early Voting in this area are BakerRipley campus, Acres Homes Community Center, and Houston Community College North Forest Campus.

HUFFMAN ISD 2022 SCHOOL BOND

PROPOSITION A – $98.9 MILLION

• District Wide Safety & Security Improvements

• Land, Buses, and Operations Center

• Middle School Renovations and Expansion

• High School Renovations and Expansion

• Technology Improvements

• Major Maintenance Projects

PROPOSITION B – $2.9 Million

• Baseball & Softball Turf Improvements

EARLY VOTING SITE: Huffman Middle School

ELECTION DAY VOTING SITES: West Campus Gym First Baptist Church of Huffman Crosby Church-Huffman Campus

Since the main issues on the ballot have to do with two Constitutional Amendments that may lower your taxes, State Senator Paul Bettencourt has issue the following analysis (edited) to aid all voters: