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Posts published in “Day: March 20, 2008”

Crosby I.S.D. proposes $103.5m bond election

By LEWIS SPEARMAN
CROSBY – On March 10 the Board of Trustees for Crosby ISD passed a proposal for a school bond election for $103.5 million in upgrades to local schools with just under half that amount going to build a new 6th, 7th and 8th grade Middle School behind Barrett Primary on FM 1942.
The Board voted unanimously to hold the bond election.
A Long Range Planning Committee, made up of 25 community members, visited every campus and talked with all administrators over the past 5 months. The committee made their recommendations to the board the week of March 6.
In 1998 Crosby passed a $23 million bond and in 2003 another bond passed that totaled almost $46 million. The bond election in May is for $103.5 million. With the increase in construction costs, the new proposed middle school is almost $47 million, which is more than the total package in 2003.

According to Superintendent Michael Joseph, “the referendum will address several critical needs of the district – student population growth, safety and security of our students and staff, technology equipment and upgrades, building for key programs, and big ticket maintenance items.”
Crosby ISD has been growing at 3 – 4% a year for the past six years. Several of its campuses are close to capacity.
The proposal includes adding eight new classrooms to Crosby Kindergarten, building a new 6th through 8th grade middle school behind Barrett Primary, and moving the 9th grade to Crosby Middle School. Crosby High School would then be able to accommodate the 10 – 12 grade students comfortably for the next 10 years.
The bond calls for replacing several of the district’s aging buses, providing for replacement of 16 regular buses and five special needs buses.
Expanding the parking lot at Barrett Primary to get all pick-up traffic off 1942 is a safety need. The bond calls for protective canopies for students during inclement weather, electronic security entrances, and new fire alarm systems.
A technology center that will house the tech staff, servers, and network backbone will be constructed. The bond provides for new equipment, programs, and replacement computers for students.
The installation of a video distribution network throughout the entire district will make it possible for teachers to share ideas, strategies, and curriculum. It will also provide teachers with access to many innovative lessons and experiences for students.
The bond also addresses two programs that need more space and improved facilities. The JROTC program, which is currently operating out of two portables, will have their own building complete with classrooms and a range. This election also calls for a Boys/Girls Athletic Training Facility, which will include dressing rooms for boys and girls sports, and a weight room that will have enough space for our students to train in a safe environment.
The total Bond Package would result in an increase of 20 cents. On a home valued at $100,000, that would translate into an increase of $16.67 per month. Homeowners who are 65 years of age or older, and who have been granted an ‘over 65 tax freeze,” will not have any increase in their tax rate as a result of the bond.

Historic Burnet Park opens in Lynchburg

LYNCHBURG– Harris County Pct. 2 Commissioner Sylvia Garcia has a dream for her district, and last Saturday she inaugurated one of the first in a series of landmarks that will occur throughout the precinct. Project Stars, as she calls the San Jacinto Texas Historical District, was conceived to have 26 locations that will highlight the history, the strengths, and the future of the land and its people.
Fittingly, the first major enhancement was the site of the homestead of Texas’ first president, David G. Burnet. Garcia said “We are at the North end of a great trail for Texas Independence. You can follow the road south, to the site of Old Lynchburg, and of course the Lynchburg Ferry. Battleground Road will become Independence Parkway, with markers all the way to Highway 146. She said that the plan for the park also included future construction of a building that will be an open pavilion resembling the original house.
Garcia was joined in the ceremonial ribbon cutting by local residents and organizations. These included sponsor groups Midtown Engineers, Highlands Rotary Club, Henderson Cooking Team, Highlands/Lynchburg Chamber of Commerce, and the entertainers, the Coastliners. Also on hand were politicians, veterans, and county officials.
These included veterans J. R. Castillo and Frank Rangel, and Minister Rev. Tommy Meekins, who lives next to the site.
A special guest was a living relative, Hazen Burnet of Florida, who spoke about the history of the family, starting with their involvement in the Revolutionary War and their help to General George Washington in his battles in New Jersey. Hazen was a great nephew of David Burnet many generations removed.

This small but important park is the historic site of the plantation and home of David G. Burnet, the first president of the Republic of Texas. This park gives an opportunity to demonstrate the proud history of David Burnet and his role in Texas and U. S. history.
For over 30 years Burnet and his wife Hannah lived in their 4 room brick home on Burnet Bay, where they could watch the Lynchburg Ferry cross the San Jacinto river to the land that was to become a battleground of Texas independence.
Commissioner Garcia said that Burnet Park is part of the master plan for the parks of Precinct 2. It is one of the 32 parks within the Harris County Pct. 2 park system.
In addition to offering recreation, the park has been designed to provide the community, neighborhood and school groups with an interactive outdoor learning environment.
To this end, a series of plaques on the history of the Republic and the State of Texas, and Burnet’s part in their development, have been placed throughout a walking path around the park. Visitors can learn about the whole history of the Republic and Burnet simply by following the path and reading the inscriptions.
In her dedication remarks, Commissioner Garcia mentioned that it was 172 years ago, March 16, 1836 that the Republic of Texas named Burnet as its first president.
She said that over the course of developing the park in the last two years, an archaeological dig was conducted, and exhaustive studies on the history of the homestead were made.
“But, there is more to be done here,” she said. “We want to erect a statue of Burnet here in our park.”
The statue will be paid for by donations, which included monies from a chicken dinner that was served during the day.
Other events included pony rides, a rock climbing wall, a permanent playground, and historical costumed reenactors. Also entertaining the hundreds of people that attended was the music group The Coastliners.
The park was designed by Sheila Condon of Clark Condon landscape architects, and built by Jerdon Enterprises.

Old habits are hard to break

Old habits are hard to break but my ordering water with lemon days are over after reading an article backed up by Snopes.com.
A study by a New Jersey microbiologist found nasty bacteria in two-thirds of the lemons tested in over 20 places to eat.
Long story short, high levels of fectal bacteria were detected on the lemon wedges being sliced. Who ever heard of a restaurant washing a lemon before slicing?
Besides, some restaurants slice lemons on cutting blocks meat or poultry was cut on or they used the same knife. Health laws require waiters and waitresses to use gloves or tongs. It is common practice and a lot faster to simply pop the lemon wedge into your drink with bare hands.
I started ordering lemon with water after tasting the water from a restaurant in my hometown in Georgia. One would have thought I ordered a glass or water with a shot of Clorox.

Think about it next time you order a slice of lemon with fecal bacteria in your drink.
Must have a straw too.
This article is writ without using the Mrs. moral conscious because she is above the Mason Dixon Line visiting the newest grandson (Jakob Lee) in the Keystone State. That is Pennsylvania in case you did not get it.
Anyway, she proofs each and every article, some of which she deletes entire paragraphs with red ink telling me I cannot say this and that. Plus a lot of the red is corrections to my spelling.
Since she has been gone, I have been bad. Bought potato chips, ice cream and been in the red too. Life is good.
Conversations prove interesting in a circle of friends telling their tales.
One banker said he had to foreclose on a house that was fresh built. After all the legal mumbo jumbo stuff he had to go through to get the house back, the house was finally sold to an individual without taking too big of a hickey on the deal.
Low and behold and the opening of a can of worms.
Seems as though the plumbing would not work, come to find out the line was filled with concrete by the repossesse.
From inside the house, the line was replaced and in addition to the problem, the line went under the concrete driveway.
Stories and tales like that are interesting and cautions should be taken.
Heard one about a home loan to an individual that had a substantial down payment, which would be used first to build the house, and after the funds were exhausted, the lender would step in and start lending on the project.
The borrower came to the lender and requested an advance or a draw on the loan.
The lender ordered a slab survey to make sure the slab was where it was suppose to be.
Good lord, the slab was poured on the lot next door and the house was over 75% complete.
Attempts to buy the lot with the slab and almost completed house were unsuccessful.
Ouch!

Rockets’ streak creates new pro basketball fan

I’ve undergone somewhat of a change this winter. For several years I have become less and less interested in professional basketball. This winter that has changed somewhat. For a number of years I’ve paid only passive interested in the won-lost records, the standings and the teams in general.
I’ve only seen two or three professional games in my life, the last being about two years ago when we watched the Rockets beat the Lakers in Houston. This year however, I’ve become somewhat of a Rocket fan and have watched some games on TV this winter.
Of course, the winning streak has struck many people this winter and certainly added to my interest. Right now it sits at 22 straight with probably the biggest challenge coming up in a day or two with the Celtics coming to town. They are loaded.

I, like many others, thought the winning streak was over when Yao Ming went down with an injury. I not only thought about the winning streak but also found myself concerned as to the Rockets ability to reach the playoffs. Ah, ye of little faith.
Last Sunday I was in front of the TV when the Lakers took the floor against the Rockets and was pleased when the local favorites took the lead. While I was hopeful again my faith weakened when Tracy McGrady couldn’t make his shots. I said to no one in particular, “without his 20 or more points the cause is lost.”
But the cause was not lost as there were others to step up and provide the offense and the usual defense was there. I was amazed at Alston’s eight three-pointers, Jackson coming off the bench and scoring 19 while running around the floor as if it belonged to him. In part it certainly did. Meanwhile Battier, one of my favorite players of the college ranks at Duke, kept covering Kobe Bryant so close he held him to about a 33% shooting night. Mutombo was getting the rebounds and Scola was getting his share of points of rebounds as well. At 41 I wonder how Mutombo holds out.
Still I had my doubts as the Lakers continued to draw close and I nearly went through the TV when the Lakers got 12 points in a row to start the second half. From then until near the end it stayed close and I never left my chair. Finally the Rockets got hot near the end and pulled out a 12-point victory. I had a great morning at church listening to a fine Palm Sunday cantata and this completed a successful day for me.
Move on Rockets.

What can investors learn from gardeners?

Spring is here. If you’re a gardener, you know it will soon be time for you to put in your flowers or vegetables. But even if you don’t have a green thumb, you can still take advantage of the season by “planting the seeds” for the growth of another valuable piece of property – your investment portfolio.
Actually, you can find a few similarities between successful gardening and effective investing. For starters, both gardeners and investors need to conasider their individual circumstances. If, for example, your garden is in a shady part of your yard, you might be able to grow some nice geraniums, but you’ll have tougher time with roses, which crave the sun. As an investor, you’ll also find that some investments are more appropriate for your situation than others. So, before you purchase a stock, bond, certificate of deposit or government security, you’ll need to determine if it’s suitable for your risk tolerance, time horizon and long-term goals.

Furthermore, just as gardeners don’t usually grow only one variety of flower or one fruit or vegetable, you, as an investor, shouldn’t stick with one type of investment vehicle. If you own nothing but aggressive growth stocks, you’ll likely take on too much risk. Conversely, if you “are too conservative” and invest only in government bonds and certificates of deposit, you’ll probably never achieve the growth you need, and your earnings may not even keep pace with inflation. Instead, build a portfolio containing a variety of investments that, when put together, is designed to help you make progress toward your objectives.
Another trait exhibited by gardeners and worthy of emulation by investors is patience. If you were dissatisfied with the growth of a plant after just a few days, would you uproot it and put another plant in its place? Probably not. Instead, you’d nurture the original plant, hoping that, in the long term, it is possible for it to grow. The same thinking can apply to investments. Over the short term, your investment choices will fluctuate in price, and sometimes you may be frustrated by what you perceive as the lack of progress. But instead of constantly selling off investments and buying new ones, you’ll likely be better off choosing quality securities and holding them for a period of many years. Eventually, your efforts may be rewarded.

What else do gardeners do that might be relevant to investors? For one thing, they get rid of weeds that can choke off the growth of flowers or vegetables. As an investor, you too may benefit from occasionally “pruning” your portfolio of those investments that no longer meet your needs, and, in fact, take up space that could otherwise be more profitably used. That’s why it’s a good idea to review your holdings at least once a year.
Finally, just as backyard “diggers” may turn to master gardeners for advice and guidance, you, as an investor, could quite likely benefit from the services of a financial advisor – an experienced professional who knows the markets and who will take the time to understand your situation, needs and goals.
So the next time you see some industrious gardeners making something beautiful and productive in their yards, watch them closely. Their skills and habits might be productively transferred to you as you invest for the future.

Chambers Co. Birthday Bash set for Saturday

CHAMBERS COUNTY– Chambers County turns 150 years old this year and you can be a part of the Celebration!
The Chambers County Sesquicentennial Birthday Bash will be held Saturday, March 29, at Fort Anahuac Park in Anahuac from 10 a.m. to midnight and admission is free.
Come join this once in a lifetime, daylong celebration – a perfect opportunity to invite family and friends to enjoy a beautiful (birth)day in Chambers County!
Bring a lawn chair for the day’s festivities including, historic artisans and craftsmen, pony rides, petting zoo, wagon rides and more. Stay for the street dance and fireworks that night!
There will be family fun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a petting zoo and pony rides, horse and buggy rides, historic photo exhibit, historic crafts and artisans giving live demonstrations.
Various gospel choirs will perform from 2 to 6 p.m. with a free street dance featuring The Electric Blues Crew, Cheap Whiskey and Al White & Chaparral from 6:30 p.m. to midnight. A fireworks display will be held at 10 p.m.

The planning committee is looking for groups to have food booths at the day long celebration. Food Booth space rental is only $50 and will allow you a space and electrical and water hookups for the day long event.
For more information, call the Chambers County Economic Development Office at 409-267-8225.
Don’t want to do a food booth – how about entertain? There are time slots available to sing, dance or entertain on the Gospel Singin’ Stage from 10 am until 2 pm.
To schedule an entertainment time call the Chambers County Economic Development Office at 409/267-8225.