HOUSTON — (July 6, 2021) — Harris County Transit Plus begins its inaugural on-demand transport service today for residents living in the Generation Park-area of Precincts 1, 2 and 4.
This affordable service allows residents to schedule transportation from point A to point B, within two established zones, running along the Northeast quadrant of Beltway 8. The service provides a faster trip and enhanced passenger experience through areas of the county that are less densely developed.
The fare to ride is $1 for adults and 50 cents for children, seniors and those with disabilities. Cash, transfers from other buses and the METRO Q® Fare Card are acceptable forms of payment.
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.
BAYTOWN– The Highlands Fire Department held their annual Recognition and Awards Banquet last Saturday evening, at the Baytown Youth Fair & Rodeo pavilion.
Firefighter of the Year award was presented to Christofer Contreras. This award is given in memory of Cecil Kelly, who volunteered with the Highlands VFD for over 42 years before retiring in 1996. The recipient chosen by vote of the membership is a firefighter who performed above and beyond the call of duty.
Chief Little reviewed the history of the department for 2020 against 2019. There were a total this year of 2,670 against 2,838 service calls. Of these 1976 were EMS calls compared with 1991 the previous year. Life Flight was called 24 against 27 times. Fire responses declined to 694 from 847. Motor vehicle accidents were down from 201 to 161.
The department can boast of keeping their response times low, strong staffing, receiving grants for insurance, purchase of a 16 foot inflatable power boat for high water rescues, quality training, using other facilities and combined training with nearby departments.
LYNCHBURG – ExxonMobil Pipeline Company will install pipelines underneath the San Jacinto River, one at the Houston Ship Channel between here and Baytown, the other north to the IH-10 bridge using a technique called Horizontal Directional Drilling.
Some of this work will include activity on Alexander Island, an uninhabited island within the channel. This project is a part of a $500 million energy infrastructure investment in East Harris County.
According to a press release from ExxonMobil Pipeline Company, “Throughout all phases of planning and installation, work will be conducted with an unwavering commitment to the safety of the community, the environment and our team members. We are proud of the highly skilled team we have assembled for this project, and we encourage you to follow our progress as the project advances at: http://webster.exxonmobilpipeline.com/, where you can ask us a question about our work and hear directly from some of our team members about how they keep safety first.
BAYTOWN — (December 18, 2020) — Following this week’s historic roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine, Houston Methodist has provided more than 4,373 vaccines across the Houston Methodist system and over 530 at Houston Methodist Baytown for physicians, nurses and staff to ensure that they can continue to care for patients in the safest possible environment.
The vaccine is currently only being given to health care workers, with priority given to nurses, physicians and other providers in direct contact with patients. On Wednesday, December 16, the first day that the vaccine was made available in Baytown, more than 205 hospital employees received their COVID-19 vaccinations.
The arrival of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine marks a true turning point in the fight against COVID-19. Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital CEO David Bernard said while there is still much work to do as the number of COVID-19 patients in the Houston area continues to rise, the vaccine brings hope that these numbers will decrease as vaccines become more readily available.
“This week has been pivotal in our fight against this virus that has impacted all of our lives for the past nine months,” Bernard said. “I want to thank Houston Methodist Baytown employees for demonstrating to their colleagues and our community how easy and safe it is to be vaccinated. The vaccine offers light at the end of the tunnel, and our hospital remains committed to helping our community emerge even stronger from the enormous challenges created by the pandemic.”
Bernard said the hospital will be focused on informing the public and patients when there is enough vaccine to begin vaccinating them and encouraging them to take it.
In late-stage clinical trials, the vaccine was found to be 95 percent effective. Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital Thoracic Surgeon Dr. Shawn Tittle, the hospital’s chief medical officer/chief quality officer, received his vaccination Wednesday and says it has proven to be extraordinarily effective and safe.
BAYTOWN – A committee to look into the name of Goose Creek Consolidated ISD facilities will be formed according to specifications laid out by certain administrators at the school trustee meeting last week.
Robert E. Lee High School is obviously named for the general that swore he wished he had never participated in the American Civil War in retirement with his property confiscated, under house arrest for treason and having witnessed the deaths of most of his best friends and students. But that little bit of history is often forgotten in the current sensitivity to the Confederacy and horror of the great American sin of slavery.
The committee was given directives by members of the administration in deciding if names will remain as they are or be changed. “This committee is tasked with reviewing data and providing input to the school board concerning potential facility name changes.” stated Matt Bolinger.
Bolinger and others asked the committee to investigate how much a change will cost, which facility will be renamed, how did the school get its name, why and if a renaming would be needed, when would renaming be optimal, and how such renaming impacts students.
Harris County PCT. 2 — Since being elected into office, Commissioner Adrian Garcia has made drainage maintenance a major priority. This week, he celebrated the completion of 1 million linear feet of ditching in Precinct 2.
Roadside ditching and drainage maintenance improves water conveyance to drainage outfalls, which helps in the reduction of potential flooding for residents and businesses. Without proper maintenance, standing water can penetrate and seep under road surfaces causing deterioration, which in turn, requires more frequent, costly road repairs, and neighborhood flooding. Many neighborhoods that have not been serviced in years now have clean, excavated ditches.
Commissioner Garcia stated, “I am so proud of the Precinct 2 family for this outstanding achievement. When I tasked our team to clear 1 million linear feet of ditches, I frankly thought it might be out of reach. Not only have we gotten to a million feet, we did it 2 months ahead of schedule! What we’ve accomplished in one year is collectively more than had been done in the previous two years combined. The hard work of my office will make a huge difference to reduce the risk of Precinct 2 neighborhoods flooding.”
BAYTOWN – Opinions vary widely on whether the Robert E. Lee High School name should be changed. Below is one person’s opinion, and you are invited to send us yours for possible publication. The Goose Creek school board will consider this at their next meeting in September, and may make a decision at that time.
Thank you for taking the time to read my letter regarding the name change of Robert E. Lee. I was born and raised in Baytown, as was my father and grandparents. I went to Lee and graduated in 1994. I am in support of changing the school’s name to something that better embodies who we are as Baytownians. I have a Master’s Degree in United States History and teach at Austin Community College. I say that because I feel I have the education and expertise to speak on the issue of who Robert E. Lee was, what he stood for, and why the school’s name is hurtful to African Americans in our community. Please understand that this is not a “new” issue. People have been pushing to change the name for decades, and we have failed to hear them for decades. We are better than that.
BAYTOWN – Goose Creek Consolidated ISD held a virtual meeting on Monday night, during that meeting the subject of a possible name change of Robert E. Lee High School became a hot button issue.
Hours of meeting was held on-line taking on hearing from two differently opinioned groups considering the current name being from Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Some 450 people tuned in to hear 29 speakers give opinions; 20 being for changing the name and 9 opposed. This comes at a time when a wave of Confederate monument removals across the country have taken place.
The board will meet with the Baytown United Coalition for Change, Baytown Gander Black Alumni Group, Save Robert E. Lee High School Baytown Texas, RAZA Alumni Group and the Baytown Robert E. Lee High School Improvement Allies.
According to Trustee President Jessica Woods, the school board is dealing with a restrictive process by state law amid technical problems with the WebX platform and having received literally hundreds of emails concerning the issue. A lot of the emails did not get read into the public record since they did not ask to be but the trustees did receive them in a binder to review.
“This is such a potentially divisive issue in which the whole community needs to be involved. I think that it is the burden of the taxpayers to fund so why shouldn’t it be their decision?