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Posts published in “Day: March 4, 2010

Primary Election Results 2010 — Runoffs to be held for J.P. and State Rep. races

EAST HARRIS COUNTY — The 2010 Party Primaries may well be remembered at the “Vote Before the Vote” with run-off elections planned on both the Democratic and Republican sides.

Democratic Primary

Justice of the Peace Tony Polumbo’s (Harris County Pct. 3, Place 2) decision to retire had created a four-horse race to be the next Democrat to take the bench.

Denise Graves and Don Coffey will face in the runoff, gaining 24 and 46% of the votes respectively.

Raymond Sanchez, Jr., and Dane Listi came in third and fourth with 15% and 13%.

Former Houston Mayor Bill White will continue his run for governor, picking up 90% of the voter. The closest competitor was haircare mogul Farouk Shami, who got 7%.

The rest of the voters were split between Felix Rodriguez Alvarado, Star Locke, Clement Glenn, Bill Dear and Alma Ludivina Aguado.

There was a trio of Democrats who want to be the next lieutenant governor of Texas.

Ronnie Earl, who just missed the mark with 46%, will face Linda Chavez Thompson in a runoff. Restaurateur Mark placed third.

Leading the ballot for county races is that of county judge. Gordan Quan had no trouble with Ahmad Hassan, winning with 83% of the votes.

Republican Primary

Roy Morales avoided a runoff election among Republicans in U.S. District 29. He picked up 58% of the votes beating Tom Stevens, Frank “Mazz” Mazzapica, Eric Storey and George A. Young.

The winner faces incumbent Gene Green in November.

There has been heavy campaigning for the State House District 127 seat, being vacated by Joe Crabb.

Dr. Sue Curling and Dan Huberty were the top vote-getters with 20% and 48% respectively, forcing a runoff.

Also getting votes was Addie Wiseman and Martin Basaldua.

The winner will face Joe Montemayor in November.

The race for Texas Governor has also gotten a lot of attention.

Rick Perry knocked out challenger Kay Bailey Hutchinson with 60% of the votes.


GOP voters had their say on five non-binding referendums ranging from social to economic issues. Democrats had chosen to have no referendums on the ballot.

All five passed with the largest margin being Ref. 1 with 94.4% and 4 with 94.16%.

Referendum 1 calls for legislation that would require a photo ID for all elections in Texas.

Referendum 4 states that the use of the word “God”, prayers and the 10 Commandments should be allowed at public gatherings, public education institutions as well as permitted on government buildings and property.

Early voting for the runoffs will be April 5 to April 9. The election day is April 13.

Community enjoys 12th annual Pilot Club Fair with large turnout

The Highlands community turned out in large numbers last Saturday, as good weather contributed to a successful Pilot Club Fair at the elementary school.

This annual event raises money for the club to support their commuity activities, scholarships, and their national interest in brain injuries.

This year the event returned to a Fish Luncheon, cooked by the Henderson Cooking team, and a raffle, silent auction, live auction, crafts and community booths, entertainment on the stage, and equipment displays by the fire department.

Chairpersons for the event were Sheila McDonald and Jana Jones.

The Pilot Club Community Fair live auction set a record, bringing in about $3000. In addition, there was a large silent auction, and two gift baskets were given away as door prizes, to Tricia Scott and Patricia Brockinton.

The Raffle winners were #1 Gene Body – $500 Gift Card; #2 Delia Mullins – $300 Gift Card; and #3 Brenda Callin – $100 Gift Card.

Entertainers included singer Alyssa Clift, skaters from Princes’ Roller Rink, singer Selena Shoemaker, singers Suzie Thompson and Reilly Garcia, singer Brendon Boudreaux, dancers Memorial High School Dazzlers.

President of the Pilot Club is Laura Dean, and President Elect is Jeannet Walker.

Stimulus Funds at work… Local leaders meet Congresswoman Pelosi at Houston Port

HOUSTON – Rep. Gene Green (TX-29) joined with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA-08), Rep. Al Green (TX-09), Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Harris County Pct. 2 Commissioner Sylvia Garcia, and representatives from the Port of Houston and local industry to discuss the use of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funds for local job creation.

The Port has received $98.8 million to address critical needs by building dredge material and placement areas, and $2.8 million through the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program. These funds have all been supplied by ARRA.

“I am happy to see Speaker Pelosi here at the Port with an active interest in our local economy,” said Green. “ARRA has made, and will continue to make, a huge impact on our area.”

The Port of Houston is the largest U.S. port in foreign commerce and is responsible for $285 billion in economic activity and approximately 1.5 million direct and indirect jobs. The funds awarded by ARRA are estimated to create 2640 direct and indirect jobs and help to maintain the Port of Houston as a major Houston-area economic engine.

ARRA has also awarded money to benefit early education in the Houston-area. Head Start of Harris County has received $632,544 and Early Head Start/Head Start of Gulf Coast Community Services has received over $1 million; all of these funds are to boost current programs of social and cognitive development in children. Harris County Department of Education has additionally received $881,002 to expand their current operations to provide for a greater number of low-income children.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is responsible for a $50 million award to build two direct connectors at U.S. 59 and Beltway 8 and the direct connector in Baytown from State Highway 146 to Spur 330. The Texas Department of Transportation projects will allow for greater traffic flow while easing congestion and drive times.

In October of 2009, the Department of Energy awarded a $200 million grant to CenterPoint energy to begin the first phase of its Intelligent Grid that will improve operational efficiency and reliability. The funding was made possible by ARRA and will sponsor a range of technologies. CenterPoint has been a pioneer in developing a Smart Grid program and will begin with much of Houston’s critical infrastructure.

The State of Texas has received in excess of $12 billion, funded entirely by ARRA. “Without these resources, our state wouldn’t have been able to balance its checkbook,” Green stated. “These funds will continue to help our local and state economy stabilize during the economic downturn, and bring even more needed jobs to our area.”

U.S. 90 ahead of schedule, Overpassed delayed again

HOUSTON – The overpass contract letting has been delayed until July and the date of completion of the connection of U.S. 90 to IH610/IH10 has been moved up to February of 2011.

A Texas Dept. of Transportation (TXDoT) designer, Jorge Garcia, indicates that the letting of contracts for the Overpass of the Union Pacific Railroad on FM 2100 will, “almost certainly be let in July, the money is there and there are still issues with utilities but it has been approved. The design phases have been completed now, in fact; most were completed in November of last year. ”

Another designer indicated, “The plan is now done, it has been sent to division headquarters. Phase work should begin August 31.”

A TXDoT engineer for the U.S. 90 to IH-610/IH10 indicates that if not for utility issues the project might have already been completed.

The U.S. 90 to IH-610/IH10 connection began in 1955 as a proposal of the Houston Transportation Plans to be the Northeast Freeway, now it is being termed, The Crosby Freeway by just about everyone. In 1959 the plans were officially adopted as a necessity. In the 1970s the IH- 610/IH10 connection was constructed with provisions for connections to the future U.S. 90 Freeway.

(This story has been truncated for the web. For the full story, please see our print edition.)

I am ready for Spring…

My fellow Northeast News, Star-Courier, etc. columnist, Charlie Farrar talked about “smelling spring” in his last column. Guess my sniffer isn’t that good as I’m anxious for spring to show itself but still don’t see much hope, at least over the next few days. Am writing this on March 1 and heard the weather man say at about 6 a. m. this morning that out high temperature for today would be 53 degrees and “we already had it.” I think it is about 51 or 52 right now.

Weather has been a bother to all of us in the U.S. this winter, especially in the East. Talk to my daughter or son back home almost every day and they spend more time fussing about the weather than bringing me up-to-date on family items. Hasn’t exactly been a picnic here in Texas either.

Son Dave mentioned a couple of weeks ago that in previous years we had had at least one out-door picnic at his side-yard table. Not this year as it has been too cold and raining. Raining this morning and not expected to get better until about the time this paper comes out on Thursday. Also heard the weather person say we just experienced the fifth coldest February in history for Houston. I’m ready to “smell” and experience spring.

Been getting some of my winter/spring chores done. Not long after arriving in January I got out in the yard enough to get all of the left over fall leaves and other stuff cleaned from the two lots. I always breathe a sigh of relief when that is done. However, got only part of the trimming of the bushes completed. Still have a lot of that to do and I just haven’t wanted to go out in the colder, damper weather and work in the yard.

One other big job I do for Dave while here is wash all of his windows inside and out. Have the inside accomplished and did have an opportunity late last week to get many of the outside windows done as well. Still have six across the front of the house but I guess I won’t get that done until late this week.

Also try to clean all of the rugs before heading back home. That I haven’t started. Usually do that in a couple of days. Move furniture into half the space, get it cleaned and dried and the next day or two move it back, clean the rest and call the job completed. Still have four weeks to get that accomplished as I hit the road for home on March 29.

This will be the first winter we haven’t gone to either San Antonio or Corpus Christi since I started coming down here eight or nine years ago. We decided to skip that weeklong trip this year. Did take another day-trip to Port Arthur last week. My first visit there. We had a good time and I got to see a little more of Texas.

Such are the people, places and things that have touched my life in my home!