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Posts published in “Day: July 14, 2011

Eiland “best rating from Capitol Insie

AUSTIN— Representative Craig Eiland (D-Galveston) was named to Capitol Inside’s All-Decade Legislative Team for the 2000’s. Each legislative session Capitol Inside names the best legislators. This year they named the best legislators for the decade. Representative Eiland was placed on the House Team for the 2000’s.
He had been named Best Legislator twice, once named MVP, and twice been honorable mention. Mike Hailey, the editor and publisher of Capitol Inside said this of Rep. Eiland, “Craig Eiland has been highly effective regardless of which party is ruling the House. He’s been a true statesman – and that’s rare.”
Eiland responded by saying “This is a real honor to be named by the Capitol Inside to the All-Decade team for the last decade. There are some impressive names on that list, and am humbled to be included with them. I am just glad that I have had the opportunity to be in positions that can help my constituents throughout the years.”
Representative Eiland has served in the Texas State Legislature since 1995. This session he served on House Appropriations and House Insurance. These two committees were hotbeds of activity this session with the devastating budget short fall and the reform of the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association.
Eiland says, “This job requires me to be away from home quite a bit and I couldn’t have done it without the support of my wife and children”.

SAN JACINTO RIVER – Remediation completed at waste pits

SAN JACINTO RIVER– Standing on a rock embankment, on a hot, dry day last Wednesday, Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan called a news conference to announce that contractors were finishing the containment of the toxic waste that had occupied the 20 acre site previously.
The waste pits are on a spit of land that is north of the I-10 bridge over the San Jacinto River, along the west bank. Originally the land was above the water line, but subsidence over the years allowed water to cover some of the land and toxins to leak into the river.
The history of the site is that in 1965, waste impoundments were established by constructing berms around the land. Waste sludge, which included industrial toxins, were brought from the Champion Paper Mill in Pasadena, and disposed of on this site.
The two companies involved in the waste dumping, McGinnes Industrial and International Paper, have cooperated with clean-up efforts, after the site was put on the EPA Superfund Priority List in 2008, and an accelerated clean-up schedule was agreed to with efforts from local Congressmen Gene Green and Ted Poe.

The project is expected to cost about $10 million dollars in this first phase, according to Randy Brown of Anchor QEA, one of the contractors. The containment work included clearing the site of vegetation, rebuilding edge berms, and then installing a polyethylene membrane liner, and covering it with 2 feet of heavy rock material. In one corner of the site, cement was added to the soil to stabilize it further.
After the initial containment phase, monitoring and testing will continue, and at some future date a decision will be made by the EPA on whether a second phase is necessary for more permanent remediation. This might include removal of the sludge, or simply letting the biomembrane continue to work.
Because the toxins on the site are so dangerous, including dioxins, the agencies involved have worked with the local communities in Channelview and Highlands to discourage fishing, swimming and boating in the area. Dioxin is know to cause cancer and birth defects. It can be ingested orally, by touch, or through eating seafood products. Signs in several languages have been posted, as well as fences, but Ryan noted that some people continue to ignore them and fish in the river, despite the health dangers. The Galveston Bay Foundation and Texans Tomorrow have been enlisted to help communicate with the public.
The Texas Department of Health has found that fish and blue crabs in the river, from the site to the Lynchburg Ferry, contain dioxins, pesticides and PCBs, all cancer-causing health concerns.
Testing in the area around the Waste Pits has discovered an additional site which may be toxic, according to Ryan. A 3 to 5 acre site south of the I-10 bridge, has shown levels of toxicity and will require further monitoring. This location is on the property of several shipyards in the area, approximately where the old Market Street ends. There is also a possibility of well water being contaminated in this area.

Deputies retire in Pct. 3

Constable Jones seemed to have doubts about wanting the trio to retire due to the nature of experience they offered to younger officers. “I want to show my appreciation for the hard work you have done but for the dedication to the community and the department.” as he passed out watches to the deputies on June 29.
Aguilar began with Precinct 3 back in 1993, Vern Miller has been a staple of stability for the Highlands Community since he joined the department in 1982. Jack Hagee had been with the department since Jones was a deputy having worked in many of the divisions. Each of the retiring deputies will serve in the reserves for the community’s benefit. Jones quipped, “Now you can work without pay.”
Jones remembered that Vern Miller had joked that he would enjoy retirement but bemoaned that he would “have to drink coffee on his own time.”

Aguilar indicated that the most rewarding part of the job for himself was working with kids. He had become a truant officer back in 1993 and “Everybody I meet knows me over in Northshore.”
He then worked as a baliff for Judge Mike Parrott.
Back in the day Vern told me that whenever you had to throw out a cigerette you did not have to roll down the window, just throw it through the hole in the floorboard.” joked Aguilar.
Cake and snacks were provided for the retirement service.
Captain Jack Hagie had been with the department since 1980. He began in law enforcement in 1968 with Houston Police Dept. Airport Police for 8 months. He then went to work for Baytown P.D. following completion of February Police Academy and worked there for 7 and a half years. he then started his own business. He has headed departments and major investigations. He near the end was the press relations deputy and had distinguished himself in public relations.

Tragedies strike in Crosby/Huffman

CROSBY – A man burned to death following a car wreck on July 2, a 16-year-old drowned on July 7 and on July 12 a tree fell on a man working in the Commons of Lake Houston in Huffman.
A man in a silver P.T. Cruiser was pronounced dead at the scene after his car left U.S. 90 for unknown reasons, hit a sign then crashed into a tree at Crosby-Dayton Road. Bystanders and later emergency services tried to get the man from his car following the wreck but failed before flames engulfed the vehicle. Highlands Volunteer Fire Dept. E.M.S. and Crosby Volunteer Fire Dept. worked the scene as ESD#5 was on a medical call. The flames spread rapidly and burned nearly an acre of area. At first Harris County Sheriff’s Dept. misidentified the remains as a woman but when deputies went to inform the widow they learned otherwise, according to a Precinct 3 Constable’s Deputy.

A 16 year old male drowned between 6 and 7 p.m. down Ulrich Rd. on July 7. H.C. E.S.D.#5 made the scene and placed the male onboard a Lifeflight Helicopter for transport.
On July 9 at about 2:00 p.m. H.C.E.S.D.#5 found a man that had fallen from a motorcycle on the river bridge as they returned from taking a patient to Northeast Hospital. He went by Lifeflight to Hermann Hospital.
According to deputy reports to Captain Moore of Precinct 3 Constable Ken Jones office on Tuesday, July 12, three men were working at a home near Commons Vista and Lake Commons Way clearing trees for a homeowner that was out of town. At 11:37 the deputies were called to the scene for an injured party call. A man was pronounced dead at the scene from a tree having fallen on his head. Two other workers at the scene indicate that they had downed two trees and their co-worker was working about 100 feet up a third tree when it broke and fell atop him. They indicted that the tree was more rotten than they had expected. At about 3:00 p.m. three Sheriff’s Deputy cars and a Coroner’s van were stilll working the scene, but paramedics had pronounced the man dead.

Baytown police: Copper thieves lurking, working

The City of Baytown is asking motorists to be on the lookout for suspicious activity involving criminals posing as repair crews while stealing copper wiring from street lights. Copper thieves recently hit at least 42 streetlights on I-10 (between FM 2100 and Hwy 146).
Authorities believe the thieves used vehicles and equipment that made them look like repairmen working on the lights.
“The city maintains the lights, and it would be pretty unusual for our crews to be working on the lights at night,” said Public Works Director Darryl Fourte. “Streetlight repairs are typically done during daylight hours.”

City officials are asking area residents to help. “If you see someone working on the lights at night, even if they appear to be in a legitimate work vehicle, call the police,” said Public Affairs Coordinator Patti Jett. “We’ll send an officer to check out the situation.”
Jett added that motorists should not stop at the location, but should call 911 and allow an officer to investigate the situation.
Not only does this theft create a safety-hazard to motorists by disabling lights, it also places a significant financial burden on the City and tax payers, as repairs to the lights are expensive in both dollars and man-power. Damages in the recent theft are believed to be in excess of $50,000.
Anyone who might have information in regards to these thefts is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers at 281-427-8477 (TIPS), or text to 274637; text “Baytown” plus the message. All tips are anonymous and Crime Stoppers pays up to $2,000 for information that leads to a felony arrest.