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Posts published in June 2019

County, City won’t support ICE raids

For several days last week, rumors were rampant that a national effort to round-up and deport immigrants without legal papers would include Houston and Harris County persons. The rumors emanated from Washington, D.C. and said that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement would carry out unannounced raids, detention, and deportation without a court’s due process.

Local leaders reacted with negative comments, vowing that they would not cooperate with such an undertaking, citing inhumane treatment of individuals, and questionable legal authority. Here are the statements by the County Judge and the Houston Mayor:

Judge Lina Hidalgo Statement:

The Trump administration announced that potential raids on undocumented families across the nation, including in Harris County, have been delayed. The Harris County Judge’s Office had been working with community and government leaders to seek answers so we were prepared to do right by our community, and did not ever receive notice from any governmental agency regarding the reported enforcement operation planned by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Nonetheless, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo expressed disappointment at the reported threats of raids, saying, “Creating a climate of fear puts lives at risk. Even the threat of raids are a shameful attempt to push some of our most vulnerable residents further into the shadows. Families belong together, and immigrants make our communities stronger. My office will not assist in any rumored raids and will continue to advocate for reforms at all levels of government.”

Individuals with questions or in need of legal advice are advised to call the Immigrant Rights Hotline: 1-833-HOU-IMMI (468-4664). Should a loved one be detained by ICE, leave a message with a name, phone number and point of contact. Messages will be returned.

Mayor’s statement:

“The city of Houston has not been directly notified by ICE of any plans to conduct mass raids targeting undocumented families. The unconfirmed reports have created a great deal of anxiety for some and it proves once again this country needs comprehensive immigration reform.

Highlands Rotary installs new officers

HIGHLANDS ROTARIANS gathered at the Boat Club in Highlands, for the installation banquet and awards ceremony last Friday night. Pictured are Front Row: Sheila McDonald, incoming president, and Betty Brewer, Membership and PIE chair; Back Row: Denise Smith, outgoing president, Charlie Ward, Foundation Chair, Patricia Scott, Treasurer, Johnny Gaeke, Sergeant at Arms, Gilbert Hoffman, Program Chair, Weston Cotten, International Services, and Dr. Larry White, Scholarship Chair. Not Pictured: Andy Scott, president-elect, Teresa Martin, Secretary, Diana Weaver, Community Service & Polio Plus chair.

HIGHLANDS – The Rotary Club of Highlands held their Installation and Awards Banquet last Friday night at the Boat Club on Clear Lake Road.

Present were about 40 persons, including new officers and board members, family and friends, and invited guests. Emcee of the evening was outgoing president Denise Smith.

The theme for 2019- 2020 for Rotary International is “Rotary Connects the World” an acknowledgement of the presence and activities of Rotary in almost all the countries of the world.

Small clubs like Highlands are actually part of the much larger organization, first the District 5890 with 3000 members in greater Houston, then the national Rotary organization in the United States, and finally part of Rotary International, with 35,000 clubs worldwide, and 1.2 million members. Highlands Rotarians are welcome at all these clubs.

Hunter Hearn plays America’s Pastime

The Hearn family with Hunter’s girl friend, with Carol and Blane next to Coach Deggs.

Signs with MLB Phillies

CROSBY – Blane and Carol Hearn raised a son who played baseball since he was four years old.

The couple sat with this reporter at Blane’s shop, where he was reconditioning a truck from the 1940s and making a fantastic queen sized bed from vintage truck parts, complete with lights and radio. He showed me what he was making for his customer as I made my way through a menagerie of artisan life-like, taxidermic crafted deer heads.

“I was concerned to see if he wanted to keep living baseball after college.” said Blane. “Hunter answered, ‘I can do this, dad.’ So, I knew he would get after it.”

Hunter signed with Philadelphia Phillies in the 26th round of the Major League Baseball draft on June 5. That means he gets to try professional baseball and is in Florida training currently. The training isn’t a walk in the park; it is the same workout as U.S. Navy Seals endure for fitness training. The details of what his freshman year in the big leagues will be are still open, although he has a great history as a catcher. The minor’s papers only say “outfield.” We are told that is just generic.

Hunter is a graduate of Crosby High School and Sam Houston State University with a degree in Construction Science and Management with a minor in General Business Administration. Hunter continues to hold baseball records at both his former schools.

Crosby looks at HB3 funds

CROSBY – At the June 17 meeting of the Crosby ISD Board of Trustees meeting, Lisa Jones gave a report of the 2019-2020 Budget, including how the school district expects that House Bill 3 will effect that budget.

The school is going to hold an open meeting next Monday, June 24, 7:00 p.m., to discuss the budget with any of the public that might make it into the new Administration Building, known as the bus barn or old HEB. The purpose is to adopt the 2019-2020 budget based on the old law. The tax rate will go into effect in September or October. The budget will be amended when the new HB 3 is better understood.

“With a measure of caution and a great deal of thanksgiving and hope, take this report we are giving tonight,” said Superintendent Scott Davis.

HB3 requires increased compensation to full time personnel, such as 75% for teachers, counselors, nurses and librarians, and prioritizing differentiated compensation for classroom teachers with over 5 years of experience. Regarding salaries, Davis said, “The thing I am most excited about is that those that decided to stay with this district are the winners.”

Waste Pits cap needs major repair

Articulated Concrete Block Mat is the current solution for sealing the toxic waste under the cap.

HIGHLANDS – Members of the San Jacinto River Coalition learned at a meeting last month that major repairs were needed to the northwest corner of the Waste Pits site and its cap.

The meeting was held Tuesday, June 4th at the Community Center. THEA director Jackie Young led a review of the EPA Update meeting that was held May 7th in Highlands, and then brought the group the latest news on work being conducted at the site.

Construction equipment including several cranes, trucks, cement mixers, formwork and a work crew of about 15 can be seen from a safe distance, working on the placement of a new technique known as Articulated Concrete Block Mat or (ACBM).

The EPA is calling this current work “Slope Enhancement” and says it will take about a month to complete. They said that this method has key benefits over the method used before, which was a textile membrane held in place with a rock cover. This method proved to be unstable, and not a reliable method of sealing the waste material. This is the third time that major repairs were required on the cap. Work was also done in July 2018 and November 2018, but this is the first time that the ACBM technique has been used. The cap was constructed in 2011, and has a history of unreliable performance.

“Tough Enough” awards $172,000

Tough Enough to Wear Pink awarded $130,000 to Pink Heals Foundation Houston Methodist Baytown Cancer Center and $42,000 to Houston Candlelighters from funds raised from Bras for the Cause held last February at last Saturday’s event filled Crosby Fair & Rodeo. Tough Enough to Wear Pink is a Committee of Crosby Fair & Rodeo dedicated to helping those fighting cancer in the surrounding community. The Pink Heals is a national foundation active in many cancer centers devoted to helping cancer fighters handle the day to day struggles.

Crosby’s recovery plans crumble old admin. bldg.

The old Administration Building for Crosby ISD was to be a new DHS school to keep disciplinary challenged students in the district. Dilapidation and a moldy interior presented health problems and called for demolition.

CROSBY – Superintendent Scott Davis has visited multiple civic organizations over the last month communicating the state of the school and his vision for where the school district ventures from here.

Davis will be first to say that Crosby ISD isn’t completely recovered from the financial emergency in which he had to lay off teachers in midyear but the “worst is over and now we can begin to move forward.”

By now many have figured out that the 2017 – $109 .5 Million bond might be called the C.Y.A. bond in that the driving factor behind it was that cost overruns and change-orders had made the 2013 bond for $86.5 Million short about $16.5 Million in Covering Yon Assets, about $6 Million more than it could receive with no reserves to cover the shortfall. Back then, the district had allowed about $10.9 Million to cover past overruns from the newer bond.

Davis’s voice reflected the stress of the financial emergency that has now been attended. He expressed regret that it was necessary to make Pre-K a half day.

In the 2017 Bond, the old administration building was to be made into a school for kids with disciplinary problems, so that they would not have to be moved out of the district. So it was said, then it would be noted that the expense would be prohibitive and the funds applied elsewhere.

CROSBY FAIR & RODEO JUNE 1ST – 8TH: Rodeo hosts cooking teams, parade

Friday and Saturday of last week the 73rd Crosby Fair & Rodeo featured the best of local showmanship and cooking as the Cook-Off brought out a host of locals to dine with friends and catch up on a rather dynamic year. Even if sound problems didn’t make for the best of graduations at the high schools but the sound systems for Bag Of Donuts and Travis Matte were loud and clear. Below Southeast Texas Cowboy Church won the Trailride and Wagon Heritage Parade Competition.