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Posts published in October 2022

Greens Bayou Regatta: Back to the Bayou

HOUSTON – The Greens Bayou Coalition hosted it first post-pandemic Greens Bayou Regatta on Saturday, October 8th, with dozens of canoes and kayaks participating.

Seventy-two paddlers departed from Brock Park Golf Course for the 2022 Regatta at 9:00 a.m., finishing 7.7 miles down the bayou at Thomas Bell Foster Park. The Regatta, which raises funds to support the mission of the Greens Bayou Coalition, combines recreation, stewardship and education on one of Houston’s most beautiful and secluded waterways. Along with awards for speed, the Styrofoam Cup award is given for most trash collected. TEXAR was on the banks and on the bayou to keep the fleet safe.

Council Member Robert Gallegos was on hand for the regatta send-off, and Paul Young, representing Council Member Ed Pollard, and Beth White of the Houston Parks Board encouraged people to get out and enjoy the bayou.

Latest UH poll shows Judge race very close

Beto ahead of Abbott in Harris County

Harris County Judge’s Race Too Close to Call

HOUSTON, October 24, 2022 – The race for chief executive in Texas’ most populous county is too close to call, with concerns about crime helping to propel Republican Alexandra del Moral Mealer into a statistical dead heat with Democratic incumbent Lina Hidalgo.

A poll from the Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston, released Monday on the first day of early voting, found 47% of likely Harris County voters say they will support Mealer, a political newcomer running for Harris County judge. Hidalgo drew support from 45%.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke is leading Gov. Greg Abbott by eight points (50% to 42%) among likely Harris County voters, while Republican Jack Cagle, the incumbent Harris County Precinct 4 commissioner, leads Democratic challenger Lesley Briones, 40% to 35%.

“Crime and public safety are the top concerns cited by voters in the county races, and that is more pronounced among voters who support Mealer and Cagle,” said Renée Cross, senior executive director and researcher at the Hobby School. Eight out of 10 likely voters listed crime, public safety and government corruption as very important to their decision about which candidate to support for county judge.

“Hidalgo remains popular with voters concerned about voting rights, abortion rights and racial equity, but overall, her support has softened,” Cross said.

Democrats add Star power to campaign

EARLY VOTING STARTS MONDAY OCT. 24

ALDINE – Hundreds of potential voters turned out last Tuesday night at the Escapade club on the Eastex Freeway in East Aldine, to hear campaign talks from Gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke and Attorney General candidate Rochelle Garza. But the featured speaker of the evening was Lin-Manuel Miranda, star of the hit Broadway show “Hamilton.”

Introductory remarks and welcome were given by State Representative Armando Walle, and then fiery speeches were delivered by BETO and Lin-Manuel. The crowd enthusiastically listened and applauded the message of need for change in Texas government.

Democrats are making a strong push near the end of the campaign, as their Republican opponents are showing strength in the polls. BETO has trailed incumbent governor Abbott through the whole race, and although he was with in a few points last week, the most recent Rice University poll shows him losing ground, trailing by over 10 percentage points.

THEA to update community on Waste Pits at meeting on Oct. 25

HIGHLANDS – The EPA is holding its ground against further delays in cleaning up the San Jacinto River Waste Pits Superfund Site. The responsible parties who seem to continuously look for ways to drag out the government-ordered clean up.

It only took a few years to fill the pits with dioxin-laden paper mill waste back in the 1960s. Nearly 60 years later, the companies found responsible for the contamination, International Paper and Waste Management, Inc., are still asking for more time to figure out how to fix the problem. A new letter from the EPA indicates the agency isn’t buying it.

The companies submitted a remediation plan for the northern waste pit earlier this summer. The EPA said it was incomplete and gave them until next month to come up with the full plan. The companies asked to push that deadline until February of next year, almost guaranteeing another delay in starting the cleanup.

Now the EPA has sent them a clear message. The agency writes that it has already allowed the companies to delay finalizing a plan for 725 days and is ordering them to submit the plan by November 8, 2022. It’s worth remembering that the Superfund law allows the EPA to charge three times the cost of the damages if the responsible parties won’t cooperate.

THEA COMMUNITY MEETING PLANNED

Final Weeks of Campaigns: BETO, ABBOTT stump Houston for Votes

By Gilbert Hoffman

HARRIS COUNTY – Voters face a momentous and important task on Election Day, November 8, when they must select candidate and propositions on the longest ballot in Texas and the longest in recent memory. In addition, they must navigate the new voting machines which have a combination of electronic ballot casting, and a paper record to be scanned and archived.

Candidates have been ferociously campaigning, with personal appearances, social media, email campaigns, and ads on TV and newspapers.

Most political observers feel this is one of the most important elections in many years, with the Supreme Court overturning longstanding judgements, and an evenly split Congress deadlocked on many life-altering issues.

Important races on the ballot include Texas Governor and other state offices, Harris County Judge and commissioner, and many candidates for U.S. House and State Legislature.

In addition, there are bond propositions for massive amounts of money, and school districts wanting to fund expansion.

Dozens of judges will be elected, both family, district, civil and criminal judges fill several pages of the ballot.

At a more local level, school board trustees will be voted on in Channelview, Crosby, Huffman, Sheldon, and Lone Star College.

Bond issues for MUD districts are slated in Newport and Crosby.

Rotarians meet area’s “Top Cop”

HIGHLANDS – Captain Nathan Douglas of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office was a guest speaker at the weekly Rotary club luncheon last week.

Captain Douglas spoke about the current state of policing and crime in our society, and of his own career in law enforcement.

Douglas is Captain over the Patrol District III, where he has worked for over 31 years. This district extends from Huffman on the north, to Pasadena and almost to Pearland on the south.

Douglas is a native of Clear Lake and keeps busy in off-hours as assistant chief of the Seabrook Volunteer Fire Department.

Douglas describes his peace-keeping role as “Top Cop — like the small town Chief of Police.” His department is headquartered at the courthouse on Wallisville Road, and has 130 personnel that protect residents and property on the East side of the county.

Over 1200 guns turned in at second Buyback event

HOUSTON — Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is calling Houston’s second gun buyback event a huge success. In fact, he believes this was one of the largest, “if not the largest,” gun buyback events in U.S. history.

The drive-thru event was held in the Alief area at the Westchase Park & Ride METRO. It started at 8 a.m. and ended at about 2 p.m.

City officials said they collected more than 1,200 firearms. The breakdown includes:

Revolvers — 368
Semi-automatic handguns — 279
Shotguns — 243
Rifles — 227
Semi-automatic rifles — 91

Area residents enjoy National Night Out

Pct. 3 Highlands Community Center hosts Festive Event

HIGHLANDS – National Night Out finally got the full attention of the community this year, after having a COVID pandemic and bad weather keeping the event curtailed for the last two years.

Officially sponsored by the Harris County Sheriff’s office, the event is meant to familiarize the residents of the community with their public safety officials, including Sheriff’s deputies, constable deputies, fire department personnel, EMT ambulance staff, and other first responders.

Also present at the event were a number of local businesses and organizations that wanted to meet the public and share information about their activities. This included the Harris County Public Library, Highlands Rotary Club, Highlands/Lynchburg Chamber of Commerce, Harris County Fire Marshal’s office, deputies from Constable Sherman Eagleton’s office, and deputies from the Sheriff’s office. The Water District, ESD#14 Emergency Service District, insurance company, and others were present in the community center.

Highlands community enjoys 65th Annual Jamboree Pageant & Parade

THEME: Fall In Love With Highlands

HIGHLANDS – The 65th Jamboree theme this year was “Fall In Love with Highlands,” and that was easy, with beautiful weather, a colorful parade with many traditional units, and a childrens’ pageant with plenty of posing and waving from the little ones. The pageant was emceed by Miss Highlands Haley Maxey, and organized by Linda Gwaltney in memory of her daughter Cristen Bickerstaff.

The Jamboree is a fundraiser for the Chamber of Commerce, and director Jessica Woods thanked all for their support. She announced the parade judging winners as follows:

Non-Commercial: Highlands 4-H Club

Antique or Classic Car: Pct. 3 1929 Ford Truck

Modified or Race Car: General Lee

School Spirit: Highlands Elementary School Student Council

Best of Theme: First Baptist Church, water hand-out

Business of the Year: Pct. 3, Tonya Kostka.