Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts published in “Day: April 15, 2021

Rotary sponsors new Library Book Van

HIGHLANDS ROTARIANS pose with the new Library Van sponsored by the club. L to R, Johnny Gaeke, Robert Woodall, Weston Cotten, Chuck Radney, Carol Radney, Sheila McDonald, Club President Andy Scott, Stratford Librarian Mandy Sheffield, President-Elect Jerry Fallin, Diana Weaver, Tricia Scott, Dr. Larry White, and Denise Smith. Picture by Rotarian Gil Hoffman.

HIGHLANDS – The Harris County Public Library Stratford Branch has a new Book Van, courtesy of the Rotary Club.

Club president Andy Scott explained that every third year, the Rotary International joins with a local club to sponsor and partially pay for a community project that the club proposes.

This year the club decided to continue their support of the local Stratford Library, and students, seniors and residents that are served by the library, by providing a Mobile Van to bring the books and other resources directly to the public.

This is especially helpful this year, since access to the interior of the library has been closed, due to the pandemic. It is not known when this restriction will end, so the van will be very helpful in delivering books to community centers, schools, senior living homes, and other locations where library resources will be needed.

Local Leaders oppose SB7 bill as Voter Suppression

HOUSTON – Amid a national outcry against proposed restrictive voting bills in many Republican controlled states, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo hosted a press conference Monday to voice their opposition to Texas House Bill 6 and Texas Senate Bill 7.

“These bills are going through on our watch,” said Turner. “What’s happening in the state of Texas, in the legislature, is wrong.”

“Soon enough, we will have taken the largest step back since Jim Crow,” said Hidalgo. “The dominoes of basic voting rights are starting to fall.”

Lt Governor Dan Parick also held a news conference in Austin this week, angrily defending the bills and accusing opponents of lying about whether they restricted or limited voting, and especially minority voters.

Among other items, Texas HB 6 would prohibit government officials from sending mail-in ballot applications to voters. In addition, it would require anyone providing help to a disabled voter at the polls to show an ID and share why they’re helping the disabled individual.

Texas SB 7 would require people to have legitimate reasons to vote by mail, get rid of drive-thru voting, and allow poll watchers to record video.

Sen. Alvarado sponsors Casino legislation

STATE SENATOR CAROL ALVARADO

By Jada Mier

AUSTIN – New, bipartisan legislation was introduced in the House, HJR 133 by Rep. John Kuempel, R-Seguin. In the Senate, SJR 49 was introduced by Sen. Carol Alvarado, D-Houston. Both bills seek to legalize casino gambling and sports betting in the Lone Star State through a constitutional amendment.

The bills by state Rep. John Kuempel, R-Seguin, and Sen. Carol Alvarado, D-Houston, would allow four casino resorts to be built in Austin, the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Houston and San Antonio and would also legalize sports wagering. The state’s three federally-recognized Indian tribes would also be able to expand full-fledged gambling, including slot machines, on their land, a right the state has long denied them.

“Now is the time to let voters decide on legalizing casino gaming across Texas,” Alvarado said in a statement. “Texas loses billions of dollars a year to our neighboring states that allow gaming and this measure would bring that revenue back to Texas, create tens of thousands of jobs and cut down on illegal gambling.”

COUNTY CONNECTION: Have You Signed Up for a Vaccine Yet?

By Judge Lina Hidalgo

Last week, I followed my own advice and got vaccinated! I want to thank every frontline health worker and Harris County Public Health employee who has been working to save lives for the past year. Now more than ever we have reason to be hopeful and proud of the work we’re doing together to beat the coronavirus. More than 1 million people have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in Harris County. Over 750,000 people have signed up for our waitlist and our call center has fielded more than half a million calls and registered over 27,000 people by phone. Our Health Department is vaccinating a larger proportion of vulnerable groups compared to others. This is what progress looks like.

But as County Judge it’s my job to look beyond the immediate challenges of limited supply of vaccines and toward our next obstacle. If you look around the corner you’ll see evidence that there is a very large proportion of our community that remains wary of getting vaccinated. One national survey shows that up to 40% of Texans say they will either not get a COVID-19 vaccine or are undecided on whether or not to do so. So here’s the bottom line — Harris County will never reach herd immunity if up to 40% of our residents refuse to get vaccinated. Vaccine hesitancy is a clear and present danger to our collective health and our ability to pull through this crisis. We need to do more than just offer vaccines and hope folks will show up to receive it.

Baytown Mayor Receives Vaccine at Houston Methodist Baytown

BAYTOWN — (April 1, 2021) — Taking advantage of the state’s decision to make the COVID-19 vaccine available to all Texans age 16 and over, Baytown Mayor Brandon Capetillo received his first dose of the vaccine on March 31.

The Texas Department of State Health Services opened registration for the vaccine to all Texans 16 and older on March 29, while still asking providers to prioritize appointments for people 80 and older. Capetillo said he is happy to do his part to help bring the COVID-19 pandemic to an end.

“The sooner our citizens are vaccinated the quicker we will be able to return to our normal routines,” Capetillo said. “I encourage everyone who can to register to be vaccinated.”

To date, nearly 10 million Texans have received a dose of the vaccine since it was made available in December 2020. Houston Methodist serves as a state-designated vaccine hub and has administered over 483,210 vaccines. Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital’s vaccine center has administered thousands of doses to Baytown area residents.

Middleton against Taxpayer supported lobbying

OPINION, by Mayes Middleton

Last month, the Chambers County Commissioners Court voted 4-1 in favor of a resolution opposing the ban on taxpayer-funded lobbying (HB 749). In a time when Texans in Chambers County are suffering in the wake of a worst winter storm in a generation, the Commissioners Court decided a main priority for the county was taking more of your tax money to give to insider Austin lobbyists.