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Posts published in “Day: February 25, 2021

Winter Storm Uri causes power crisis

Harris County Precinct 2 coats roads in a brine-salt mix clears ice from bridges Tuesday as temperatures were 15 degrees locally.

NORTHEAST HARRIS COUNTY – When the vortex that generally encircles the Arctic wobbled down to touch the US/Canadian border, the state was smacked with paralyzing cold, and far more frost than the electrical infrastructure was able to handle.

Snow invaded like a foreign army on Sunday, Feb. 15. On Monday, northeast Harris County began losing power in a freezing rain that slicked up roadways. At about 6:00 p.m., the power went out throughout the area. Some locations, like Highlands, lost water soon thereafter, and by Wednesday, loss of water and burst water pipes were commonplace, with all the fixings of destroyed sheetrock and indoor furniture. This Tuesday, Highlands remained on a boil water notice.

Most municipal utility districts were not placed on a boil water vigil because their generators kept the power going. About 15 million Texans had to endure the boil drinking water warning. Some local communities still had no water on Friday, at least in isolated pockets due to pipe damage.

On Tuesday, Governor Greg Abbott said the situation was “unacceptable,” calling for ERCOT executives to resign. Some legislators announced plans to investigate what led to the loss of power.

AOC raises $5 million in Storm Relief

At a press conference at the Food Bank L-R: Congresswomen Sheila Jackson Lee, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) & Sylvia Garcia (Allan Jamail photo)

Historic Texas Ice Storm Victims Receive Aid From New York Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez

By Allan Jamail

Houston, TX. – Saturday, February 20, 2021 – Houston’s Food Bank (HFB) President and CEO, Brian Greene welcomed and introduced Congresswomen Sylvia Garcia, New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), and Sheila Jackson Lee to the facility. He said the HFB is a non-profit organization and the nation’s largest food bank in the United States by size and distribution; providing access to 159 million nutritious meals in 18 counties in southeast Texas.

Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia told how New York’s 14th Congressional District Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) contacted her and said she’d like to help Texas’ ice storm victims. Garcia invited AOC to Houston so she could visit the HFB and see how they provide meals year-round to the needed. She said about one in four children in our area are at-risk of hunger. Kids must have consistent nutritious food for the body, mind, and spirit in order to be successful. Garcia told of how AOC began raising funds to aid the ice storm victims. The first day, AOC quickly raised over a million dollars, so she then decided to continue raising donations. On the second day, the day before her trip to Houston, AOC had raised over two million, and Saturday, on the day she arrived here, AOC had raised 3.2 million dollars. After leaving the HFB, Garcia’s took AOC out to some Houston communities to visit and see first-hand how devastating the brutal storm struck millions of people.

Chester Stasney passes

Chester Stasney, Sr. has passed away on February 18. He was 91 years old. Chester is an honored patriarch of Highlands, having served on the ESD fire board for 20 years, a member of St. Jude Catholic Church for 68 years, Houston Rodeo volunteer for 40 years, and a Rotarian honored as a Paul Harris Fellow. The famous chili served at their Chili Feast is named after him.

October 6, 1929 ~ February 18, 2021 (age 91)

Heaven gained a beautiful angel as Chester J. Stasney, Sr. received his wings on February 18, 2021. He was a wonderful husband, Daddy, and PaPa. Chester was born to Frank and Vera Stasney of Crosby, Texas on October 6, 1929. While drafted into the Army, in 1951, he married his high school sweetheart, Marie Martin. They shared nearly 70 wonderful years of marriage. Chester and Marie moved to Highlands in 1953 and were pillars of the community. He and Marie belonged to St. Jude Catholic Church for 68 years and were among the oldest parishioners. Chester was instrumental in starting the annual church bazaar where he was head cook and his barbecue recipe was regarded as one of the best.

Chester worked for General Tire and Rubber Company followed by Bell Telephone prior to enlisting in the Army in 1950. After his service to our country, he returned to General Tire and Rubber and then Shell Oil Company. He spent the remainder of his career, 30 years, at Harris County Precinct 2. At the time of his retirement, he was administrative superintendent for the road and bridge department.

Chester was a proud member of the Highlands Rotary Club for 54 years, where he was the oldest surviving member. He was a cofounder of the Highlands Rotary Club Chili Feast in 1975 where Chester’s chili recipe became famous. He received the highest honor bestowed by the Rotary Foundation and was named a Paul Harris Fellow.

Catastrophic Winter Storm Power Disruptions

By Mayes Middleton

Millions of Texans were without power for days, with lives lost and many more put at risk. The words anger and frustration do not do justice to what we are experiencing. Over the last several days, I have been working with CenterPoint, Entergy, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) to improve our power situation in Galveston and Chambers Counties.

There are two major failures. First, ERCOT has clearly failed. Our state’s electrical grid operator has shown unparalleled incompetence during this critical time and Texans are paying the price. The “R” in “ERCOT” is for “reliability” and that did not happen.

Second, CenterPoint energy’s rolling blackouts were not made in a fair “pro-rata” manner. Instead, Galveston and Chambers Counties have disproportionately suffered. Centerpoint is in control of which areas are turned on and which aren’t. Overall, Galveston County was 88% out and the west side of Chambers County was 76% out, while Harris County was just 16% out at times. Some communities were hit even worse, Galveston and San Leon/Bacliff approached 100% outages. Centerpoint said 1.2 million of their 2.5 million customers were out and that only essential circuits were left on, so the question remains why are so many homes in Harris County on essential circuits and so few in our area?