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Galena Park Council hears from public

PAUL WINFIELD, vice president of the Galena Manor Civic Club, makes a point while talking to the Council. “The chief of police… wants to censor the citizens of Galena Park.”

Business-like Council Meeting, and Progress made towards re-opening Galena Manor Community Center

Galena Park, TX. – May 16, 2017 at 6 PM: Mayor Esmeralda Moya called the meeting to order. After a prayer and pledges to the flags the Commissioners unanimously approved minutes for the April 18, 2017 and May 2, 2017 meetings and the Accounts Payable through May 16, 2017.

The Commissioners unanimously approved the engagement letter between Belt, Harris, Pechacek, LLP and the city for the single audit year ending September 30, 2017.

The Commissioners unanimously approved an agreement between the city and Civicplus, Inc. for the amount of $5,500 for website services.

The Commissioners unanimously approved an agreement between the city and JC’s Digital Office Equipment for a color Kyocera copier in the amount of $391.14 for 48 months. The Commissioners unanimously approved the advertising for sealed bids for Phase 2 of the water line and fire protection project.

The Commissioners unanimously approved Ordinance 2017-02 establishing the police reserve force and its passage on the first reading as provided in Article IX, Section 21 of the city charter.

The Commissioners unanimously approved Resolution RO7-2017 giving the City Secretary discretion in determining admission fees, swim class fees and hours the city’s swimming pool will be open to the public.

The Commissioners unanimously approved the amended agreement between the city and Ford Motor Credit Company for the city to enter into a lease agreement for six vehicles for the police department with a total cost of $212,143.35 with an annual payment of $57,134.23.

The Commissioners unanimously approved the memorandum of understanding between the city and Dr. Tiffany Osborn, UT Department of Emergency Medicine and Division of Emergency Medical Services for Medical Director and Medical direction.

The Commissioners unanimously approved Jahbari Raggette as a volunteer firefighter and Nicholas Meekins as a part time fire fighter.

The Commissioners unanimously approved part time summer employment of the following twenty-seven individuals: Julio Bizarro, Jr., Galilea Ibarra, Maria Espinosa, Natalia Vasquez, Mauricio Martinez, Arturo Gonzales, April Chavez, Jose L. Sanchez, Maria E. Sorto, Teresa Guzman, Vincente Cuellar, Esmeralda Martinez, Omar Humphries, Shelby Rundle, Eduardo Sanchez, Adrian Guzman, Ariel Ibarra, Trystan Puente, Rocio Chavez, Alberto Rodriguez, Cindy Flores, Zuriel Espinosa, Jr., Jeffery McCue, Marisela Martinez, Isaac Torres, Stephanie Espinosa, Aaron Rodriguez.

The public was given information as to what will be needed before the Evelyn Churchill Community Center can be reopened. The community center located in Galena Manor has been closed for nine months; citizens have been coming for months to the council meetings in large numbers requesting information about its reopening.

They’ve said the city hasn’t told them why it was closed or what are the plans to reopen it.

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Legislature: “Mother’s Day Massacre” kills 120 local bills

AUSTIN – In the 140 day law passing session known as the the 85th legislative session in the Texas House, the Texas Freedom Caucus has found a way to cut back on all the arguing by stalling to kill local and consent bills.

The Legislature is running a little behind, in fact last May 11, they were still going through May 6’s calendar. Then the Freedom Caucus began to delay legislation. The single exception was that following a tearful begging by State Rep. Drew Springer, R., a bill dealing with stem cell treatment got hustled through. The representative’s wife has a spinal injury and the bill passed with seconds left that might be able to treat her ailment.

“The Mother’s Day Massacre,” pitted factions of the House Republicans as major deadlines closed in to kill other legislation.

House Bill 3476 to ensure echocardiograms for first year athletes before playing sports was dead on the floor without a trial. This was the bill that Crosby resident, Scott Stephens had sought for eight years. Since the death of his son that bill had been unanimously passed by the House Committee.

In fact most of the bills killed are fairly no issue, consented to without much fanfare, sometimes called local and consent calendar items, so they are passed easily. But they can be filibustered to death just by mumbling words at the podium or finding five signatures in opposition.

State Rep. Matt Rinaldi, R. – Irving Texas summed up the Freedom Caucus reaction, “When you give people nothing, they have nothing to lose and they’re going to fight for their constituents and if they can’t do it within the system, they’re going to do it without the system.”

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COMMUNITY CLEAN UP: Jacinto City’s “Day of Good Works”

L to R: City Manager Lon Squyres, wife Glenda, daughters Piper & Scarlett, KJCCC members Miguel Pena, Erick Pena, Secretary Linda Jamail, Vice-Pres. Irasema Salinas, back ground and standing President Teresa Arzapala & Jose Pena.

Saturday, May 13, 2017 – City Manager Lon Squyres and family teamed up with volunteers of the Keep Jacinto City Clean Committee members (KJCCC) to remove weeds at the city hall annex monument. Annually the city and KJCCC select a project(s) to work on together.

Jacinto City workers, after combing the city picked up over 517 old tires.

City Manager Lon Squyres said, “In addition to our yearly tire round up day, we will also pickup tires throughout the year. It is in everybody’s interest that we remove old tires to prevent neighborhood blight and eliminate breeding places for mosquitoes.”

Citizens can place their old tires at curbside for picking up because city workers cannot enter private property. Resident’s can call Public Works at 713-453-7411 for tire pick up at their address. Anyone caught bringing tires into the city that doesn’t belong to a resident can be fined.

(Center standing L – R) Maria Espinoza & Heritage Hall Director Elizabeth Flores with seniors offering garage sale items to raise funds to support activities not funded by the city.

“New” Sheldon ISD STEM Academy begins next school year

Students from STEM academy attended a field trip that was to a GIRLS (Girls Influencing Real Lives in STEM) Conference at Olle Middle.

Beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, Sheldon ISD will be opening its first ever STEM Academy (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) at each of their middle schools.

What is STEM? STEM education is an approach to teaching and learning that integrates the content and skills of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Both C. E. King Middle School and Null Middle School will host a cohort group of (60) 7th graders each to start the academy. Students and their parents completed an application and were drawn from a lottery to be accepted. The school district plans on adding one more grade level a year to complete the middle school academy and progress into the high school academy in the future.

Students in this STEM academy will be given a challenging schedule next year that focuses on Project Based Learning in all of its core classes as well as an AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) class, a STEM Lab class, and two other elective classes that they choose. This challenging, yet supportive schedule is designed to not only prepare the students by supporting them with college readiness standards daily, but it will allow them to learn through experiences with hands-on projects, field trips, STEM career guest speakers and after school STEM activities.

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