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    October 2014
    S M T W T F S
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    HEALTH DANGER TO NORTH CHANNEL; Jackie Young urges action on waste pits

    ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST JACKIE YOUNG leads a discussion about the current status of the San Jacinto River Waste Pits, and remediation schemes. She is shown with a slide of Houston Chronicle Cartoonist Nick Anderson, illustrating the idea that the perpetrators of the dump site are protecting themselves, not the public. Young was a resident of Highlands who suffered serious health problems from toxic well water. She feels that the waste pits in the river pose a serious threat to the public, and has joined two organizations that are working to eliminate the site and its toxins from the river.

    ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST JACKIE YOUNG leads a discussion about the current status of the San Jacinto River Waste Pits, and remediation schemes. She is shown with a slide of Houston Chronicle Cartoonist Nick Anderson, illustrating the idea that the perpetrators of the dump site are protecting themselves, not the public. Young was a resident of Highlands who suffered serious health problems from toxic well water. She feels that the waste pits in the river pose a serious threat to the public, and has joined two organizations that are working to eliminate the site and its toxins from the river.

    HIGHLANDS – On the eve of a trial that Harris County is pursuing against the companies that are responsible for the toxic waste pits in the San Jacinto River, environmental activist Jackie Young chose to hold a public forum to review the status of remediation efforts, and to push for more involvement from the community in government efforts to clean-up the river and the environment in general.

    Young is vitally interested in this issue, because her family lived in Highlands for years, and suffered serious health issues which finally were blamed on toxins in their well water.

    Now she works with Texans Together and the San Jacinto River Coalition, to educate the public and lobby for more government effort to clean up the environment.

    Wednesday’s meeting was attended by about seventy-five people, at the community center. On hand were many residents of the area that had experienced health problems and were seeking answers and help to deal with them. There was also a contingent of private lawyers, talking with people about their situations, and looking for potential clients.

    Read more »

    National Night Out

    national night out 2014The citizens of Galena Park Oaks are having a National Night Out on October 7, 2014 from 5:30 pm until 7:30 pm.

    The event will take place at 1407 Holland, Galena Park, TX., 77547. They are expecting around 100-150 people to be in attendance. Police department, fire department, local school, nonprofits and various other groups will assist this event.

    The Galena Park Oaks Subdivision is looking to bring the neighborhood and city together, so the community can be safer.

    Come out have fun, enjoy music and food as well as giveaways.

    Read more »

    Career Fair held at San Jacinto College North

    job fair

    A WELL ATTENDED JOB FAIR was held Wednesday in the Monument Room of the Student Center at San Jacinto College North. Students looking for information or opportunities had about 50 exhibitor companies to talk to. In the view above, recruiters from BMW, Texas DPS, placement services, communications companies, computer programmers, and healthcare fields were all present to meet with prospective students and answer questions about their companies.

    Rotary holds successful “Community Rally” in Galena Park

    A VERY SKILLFUL CARICATURE ARTIST was on hand to leave you with a drawing of a familiar face -- yours.

    A VERY SKILLFUL CARICATURE ARTIST was on hand to leave you with a drawing of a familiar face — yours.

    GALENA PARK – A successful “Community Rally” was held at Baggett Center last Saturday, Sept. 27. Hundreds of area residents attended, for fun, health screenings, and food distribution.

    Maria Rodriguez, president of the Galena Park/Jacinto City Rotary Club, thanked all the supporters, including Galena Park ISD, Community Health Choice, Galena Park, Jacinto City, and Constable Chris Diaz for their partnership in this event.

    The Rally included health screenings by several organizations, application help for CHIP and Medicaid, a Job Fair, Food distribution by the North Channel Ministries, Entertainment including GPISD performers, a drum line, a mariachi band, live DJ’s, and more.

    Read more »

    Green holds Town Hall Meeting in GP

    CONGRESSMAN GENE GREEN talks about his legislative program at the Town Hall Meeting in Galena Manor, and also about programs he sponsors in the community, such as Senior Citizens Forum, Immunization Day, Town Hall meetings, Job Fairs, Paying for College Workshop, and Service Academy workshops. At left is Galena Manor Civic Club president Mrs. Taggy Hall.

    CONGRESSMAN GENE GREEN talks about his legislative program at the Town Hall Meeting in Galena Manor, and also about programs he sponsors in the community, such as Senior Citizens Forum, Immunization Day, Town Hall meetings, Job Fairs, Paying for College Workshop, and Service Academy workshops. At left is Galena Manor Civic Club president Mrs. Taggy Hall.

    GALENA PARK – Congressman Gene Green met with several dozen of his constituents and residents of the area last Monday night, in a scheduled Town Hall session.

    The meeting was held in the Churchill Community Building, which Civic Club president Taggy Hall noted, “This is the first time a town hall meeting has been held at our community center.”

    Green’s talk was in two phases. First, he explained to the group what services he sponsors on a regular basis in his 29th District. Many of them are aimed at seniors, veterans, and college bound students.

    Secondly, he discussed some legislative issues that Congress is dealing with at present, and also commented
    on difficult world conditions, especially in the Middle East. Read more »

    Free inoculations for school-aged kids

    School Kids getting their shots at the inoculation clinic last year.

    School Kids getting their shots at the inoculation clinic last year.

    HOUSTON – Congressman Gene Green invites students and families to kick off the new school year with a discussion about children’s health and free immunizations.

    Services will be available for school-aged children in the 29th Congressional District at Oleson Elementary, J.R. Harris Elementary, and North Shore Ninth Grade Campus.

    “This event helps raise awareness about children’s health issues, and gets children started out on the right foot for the upcoming school year,” Green said. “We like to see healthy and happy kids.”

    Green said that last year, over 3000 kids received their free shots in the Galena Park school district alone.

    Read more »

    Local resident reports on hazardous community problem

    An 18-wheeler truck with hazardous cargo parks within 30 feet of children’s swimming pool. The pool can be observed at the back right side. (Submitted Photo)

    An 18-wheeler truck with hazardous cargo parks within 30 feet of children’s swimming pool. The pool can be observed at the back right side. (Submitted Photo)

    Dear Editor North Channel Star:

    I would like to inform you of a safety and health concern that our entire neighborhood is fighting about with the City of Houston. They have almost completed the construction of a Stripe truck stop in our neighborhood. We as a neighborhood were not consulted or informed of this business until after construction had started. We have over 500 family homes in our neighborhood. I have contacted every one of them and nobody approves of this truck stop. There are many concerns including but not limited to increase in crime rate, increase in drug trafficking, prostitution, air pollution, noise pollution, flooding and mostly traffic safety.

    According to the Air Alliance Houston, our area has an increased cancer risk due to particulates from trucks and ships. Having a truck stop within 30 feet of where children play is no help. When it rains the people near the truck stop have water within a few inches of flooding their homes. The increased cemented area will increase this threat. Trucks will be parked within 20 feet of back yards with their motors running all night. This cannot be helpful to these working people trying to get a good night’s sleep, I do not believe that any air, noise pollution or flooding study was performed before the city approved this construction.

    Read more »

    COMMUNITY PROFILE: Taggy Hall wants to win $25K for Precinct2gether

    MRS. ERONIA “TAGGY” HALL

    MRS. ERONIA “TAGGY” HALL

    GALENA PARK – Taggy Hall wants your vote, and she is not afraid to ask for it, at community meetings and chamber events. She is the president of the Galena Manor Civic Club, which meets monthly at the Churchill Community Center on Hunter Street in Galena Manor.

    But she is also a community activist, and she sees an opportunity to help the Precinct 2 organization for seniors, Precinct2gether.

    She is competing with four other women, in a contest to get the most votes and win a prize of $25,000 from TexanPlus, a local Medicare Advantage health plan organization that has teamed with the Astros baseball club to sponsor this competition. Whichever of the five women gets the most votes between now and Sept. 12 will win the prize, and her designated charity will get the money.

    Taggy wants you to vote at www.texanpluschampions.com/vote.html. You can vote once every day until the deadline.

    Eronia “Taggy” Hall considers teaching her life’s passion. So after retiring from the Houston Independent School District after 34 years of service, there was perhaps no better way to spend her golden years than teaching seniors. And that’s precisely what she did.

    Read more »

    GALENA PARK: Air quality report cites health dangers

    belinda vasquez - st john

    Belinda Vasquez-St. John places monitors at Galena Park City Hall.

    GALENA PARK – Belinda Vasquez-St. John spoke to the city council at their last meeting on July 15, and summarized a report her organization, Air Alliance Houston, had just issued on air quality issues in Galena Park. A summary of the report follows:

    “Galena Park, Texas is an environmental justice community of some 10,000 residents on the Houston Ship Channel. The community is surrounded by the ship channel; industry, particularly that associated with Houston petrochemical industry; rail lines; and high traffic roadways, including I-10 to the north and 610 to the west.

    Air Alliance Houston has been active in Galena Park for several years. It is a community in which concerns about pollution and public health run high. However, a lack of resources and knowledge leads to very little public engagement on issues that impact environmental quality and health. Although citizens are worried about their health, there is little sense that they can personally affect change.

    Air Alliance Houston and Global Community Monitor conducted a community health impact survey, and community mapping workshop, and a community air monitoring project. Air monitoring was conducted over the course of a year for fine particulate matter and elemental carbon, a surrogate for diesel pollution. The results of the yearlong community air monitoring project form the basis of this report. An independent report was produced by a graduate student at the Rice University Department of Statistics.

    Diesel pollution presents an unacceptable health risk in Galena Park. Cancer risk due to diesel pollution exposure may exceed 1 in 10,000. Fine particulate matter pollution may exceed federal health standards as well.

    Galena Park must act now to reduce diesel and particulate matter pollution in order to protect its residents’ health. We recommend aggressive steps to limit diesel pollution by banning older, dirty trucks and diverting trucks from Galena Park roads. We also recommend further testing to determine the extent of air pollution in Galena Park, and its impacts. Read more »

    Supreme Court to define EPA “suit” for Waste Pits

    AUSTIN – The Texas Supreme Court accepted certification from the Fifth Circuit Court to decide if the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) orders a company to clean up something, is that a “suit.” This will determine who pays for cleanup of the waste pits in the San Jacinto River.

    The high court will hear this case of whether an insurer has to pay for lawsuits that are in fact administrative actions of government agencies in Texas law. At present, a number of such decisions have been made in Texas and throughout the nation. The decisions reached before have fallen into three categories: those that require a formal complaint by the government agency, others saying if a letter has been issued by the agency that is like a suit, while others have determined that it may depend on how coercive the action is to the company before it is considered a suit.

    Presented to the courts are documents that will allege that McGinnes Industrial Maintenance Corporation, a waste disposal company, removed waste from a paper mill and released it in three ponds adjacent to the San Jacinto River during the 1960s and early 1970s.

    Read more »