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Rep. Green holds community safety meeting

Congressman Green with citizens and governmental agency representatives at his August Community Safety Meeting. (Photo by Allan Jamail)

Houston, TX. – Monday, August 20, 2018 — Citizens from the North Channel area came to Congressman Green’s regular monthly community meeting to report their concerns about problem conditions in their neighborhoods.

Crime conditions, flooding, littering, weeds and public nuisances are an ongoing monthly concern citizen’s report. Citizens were eager to give praise and thanks to the agencies representatives for taking care of their complaints.

Green always has guests from governmental agencies present who’ll take notes of the citizen’s issues and then try to resolve the problems and report back their remedies from the issues reported at the previous community meeting.

To help promote his 23rd annual immunization event in his district Congressman Green was the first of many present to receive his shots.

Congressman Green announced these upcoming events:

Northside Job Fair on September 17th

Senior Citizens Issues Forum on September 21st

Paying for College Workshop October 15th

For event locations and times or the next Community Meeting location and date, call 713-330-0761 or 281-999-5879.


Rotary hears from JP candidate Lucia Bates

Lucia Bates

By Gilbert Hoffman

This year’s general election, set for November 6, will see a change in the Justice of the Peace in Baytown’s Pct. 3 Position 2. This is the position currently held by Judge Don Coffey.

Marketing Executive Lucia Bates, a life-long resident of the North Shore area, will become the next JP in that jurisdiction, since she is running with no opponent on the Republican ticket.

Bates spoke about her life and qualifications at a recent luncheon held by the Highlands Rotary Club. Rotary has had a special relationship with all the JP’s in recent years, Tony Polumbo, Mike Parrott, Don Coffey, and Joe Stephens. It was only natural that they wanted to meet and greet the next JP, Lucia Bates.

She spoke having been born in the Carribean island of St. Lucia, and moving to the U.S. as a child. She originally worked for GTE in Baytown, so she knows the area well. After that, she moved into advertising and marketing, first for the Houston Chronicle, and later for Houston Community Newspapers. She currently has her own business, LB Marketing Solutions. In many of these positions, she has won awards for outstanding performance.

Bates said her motivation to be a judge came from her passion to give back to the community. Her resume is full of public service positions, as a Rotary director, Chair of the North Channel Chamber, president of her HOA, and former board members of the YMCA, Pilot Club, Top Ladies of Distinction, Advisory Panel to LyondellEquistar, and much more.


Jacinto City hires new Police Officer Samuel Lopez

Left to right: Jacinto City’s newest police officer, Samuel Lopez and Chief Joe Ayala. (Photo by Allan Jamail)

By Allan Jamail

Jacinto City, TX. — August 9, 2018 — The Jacinto City Council approved the hiring of Samuel Omar Lopez as a full-time patrol officer.

Officer Lopez graduated from HISD’s Furr High School and obtained his law enforcement qualifications from the Houston Community College Police Academy.

His desire is to make a career with the Jacinto City Police Department.

Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke in Channelview

Beto O’Rourke and Adrian Garcia at the Channelview Town Hall. Many politicians were present for the event, including Pct. 2 Commissioner’s candidate Garcia, County Judge candidate Lina Hidalgo, JP candidate Lucia Bates, and many others. Garcia gave the warm-up introduction for Beto in his usually warm and friendly manner.

CHANNELVIEW – Candidate for Texas Senator Beto O’Rourke held a Town Hall meeting last Tuesday, at Armenta’s Reception Hall. Hundreds of supporters, and the curious, turned out for a warm greeting.

O’Rourke is on a 34-day grassroots drive across Texas, and Channelview was one of his few stops in this area. Beto has made a point of visiting all of the 254 counties in the state.

Although the crowd was mostly Democrats, many of them wearing “Beto for Texas” tee shirts, there were also some Republicans and Independents who tolds the North Channel Star they admired the man and message that Beto represents.

Beto gave a fiery speech, animated with arms waving, about his position on Veterans’ rights, public education, better pay for teachers, and universal healthcare.

Beto noted that his campaign is funded entirely by individuals, and not PACs or special interests, in contrast to his opponent, incumbent Senator Ted Cruz. O’Rourke said that so far he has raised more than $10.4 million dollars for his campaign, almost twice what Cruz raised.

In addition, polls are now showing that he is within 4 points of potential votes, with the latest being a poll taken by NBC news. The poll gave Beto 45% of the vote, with 49% for Cruz, and 6% undecided. Beto claims that as the general election in November approaches, he will pick up the difference.

Casino night benefits Chamber foundation

Namesake Bill Palko, at the table far right, kept an eye on the money all evening and had some fun playing.

Town Center in Jacinto City resembled Las Vegas last Friday night, as the North Channel Chamber Foundation held their Casino Night fundraiser.

Almost a hundred funseekers turned out for an evening of casino games, and good food from Pizzinis. Games included craps, blackjack, poker, and roulette, all played with “funny money” in the thousands.

The Title Sponsor was Bestway Oilfield, and Corporate sponsors included Arkema, Amegy Bank, Community Toyota, HCA Houston ER, North Shore Rotary, San Jacinto Colleg Foundation, Top Dog Fireworks, Woodforest Bank, United Community Credit Union, and Alamo Ready Mix.

Proceeds from the evening will go to the William C. Palko Scholarship fund.

The evening also included a silent auction, and a raffle.

Guests for the evening included North Shore Rotarians, Chamber members, and sponsors.

Poker was one of the popular games of the evening, as Rotary president Bill Bowes (in hat) checks his cards.

Jacinto City Council receives ‘Flood Prevention Bond Project Proposal’

Early voting has begun on 2.5 Billion Bond Election

By Allan Jamail

Jacinto City – On Thursday, July 26, 2018, City Manager Lon Squyres presented to City Council the flood prevention project he’s been promoting for the city with the Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) should the 2.5 billion Bond Election pass.

By implementing the HCFCD list of proposed projects for Hunting Bayou upstream of Jacinto City Squyres said it stands to reason that if those improvements are made it will cause an increase of water to flow downstream more than ever before, causing even more flooding in Jacinto City. Flood control projects are required by law to show zero negative impact to upstream or downstream areas.

Squyres said, “I suggested that we look at the downstream area of Hunting Bayou for potential projects. I walked the banks of Hunting Bayou and I saw troubled areas that do not move flood water effectively. In particular, as the bayou reaches the southern border of Jacinto City, it takes an eastern turn then flows just south of Pyburn Elementary. From that point it winds and snakes back and forth making about a dozen changes in direction. At one point, the bayou forms an oxbow causing a complete reversal of the direction of the water flow. The area containing this snaking of the bayou is heavily wooded, there have never been any bayou channel improvements to my knowledge, and it’s not part of any regular maintenance program like most other bayous in Harris County. Because of this, flood debris tends to pile up in the area, farther restricting the flow of storm water. I proposed the possibility of a new diversion canal to be cut in order to allow the flow of both Turkey Run Gulley and Hunting Bayou to bypass the troubled area which would improve drainage for the Jacinto City area. The bayou’s original path would remain in place to allow areas on the bayou’s East side to drain.”

The United States Army Corps of Engineers has announced funding for four projects: Brays Bayou, Clear Creek, Hunting Bayou and White Oak Bayou. All four projects have significant local funding match requirements. If the bonds are approved, these projects could start immediately.


Chamber Luncheon hears Ana Hernandez


The North Channel Chamber held their monthly luncheon last Friday, at the Jacinto City Town Center.

Featured speaker was State Legislator Ana Hernandez, who represents District 143. She is also a practicing attorney with the firm Soto and Hernandez.

Ms. Hernandez presentation was first about her life story, and then about issues she is concerned about that she will take to the next session of the State Legislature that starts in January 2019.

She said that she was born in Mexico, and raised in Pasadena. Her parents were undocumented, giving her a special interest in this issue. She was educated at the University of Houston, and the UT School of Law.

Ms. Hernandez was first elected in December 2005, and represents parts of Houston, Channelview, Galena Park and Jacinto City.


Jacinto City Police nab Donut Store robbers


JACINTO CITY – The Jacinto City Police Department was able to chase and arrest five juveniles that had participated in a crime spree last week.

Chief Joe Ayala told the North Channel Star that a robbery of the Shipley Donut store at I-10 and Uvalde occurred at 4:00 am on Wednesday Morning, August 2nd, and officers from his department were alerted to the fleeing robbers by police radio. Although the store was not open at the time, the robbers forced their way in because some personnel were working.

According to Ayala, a car with the perpetrators left Uvalde and headed west on I-10, where it was observed by officers from Jacinto City. The car exited onto Mercury Drive, and soon turned right on Rumar Lane. At this point, two units of the Jacinto City department were in pursuit. The chase wound through some local streets, and headed back east. Eventually, with the two police units close behind, the car with the robbers crashed over an embankment and stopped in the vicinity of Jacinto Port.

The car was disabled and the youthful robbers scattered and ran, but they were soon apprehended by the police.


Construction to begin on four new San Jacinto College learning facilities

North Campus Cosmetology and Culinary Center Rendering

2015 bond referendum projects well underway

PASADENA, Texas – Following voter approval of a $425 million bond referendum in November 2015, progress on infrastructure updates and new facilities on each of the San Jacinto College campuses has begun, with four more buildings set for groundbreaking this fall.

“We are pleased with the progress being made to date on the 2015 bond referendum projects, said Bryan Jones, San Jacinto College associate vice chancellor for facilities services. “Much of the work has been focused on infrastructure and campus security, so residents and taxpayers in the District will begin to see structures taking shape on each of the campuses in the near future.”


On the Central Campus, the new 145,000 square foot Center for Petrochemical, Energy, and Technology is taking shape on the edge of the campus along Fairmont Parkway. When it opens in 2019 it will be the premier petrochemical training facility for industry, designed by industry. The Center will house programs in process technology, instrumentation, electrical technology, nondestructive testing and craft trades. The Center will include adequate space to teach credit students and incumbent workers to meet the needs of the growing workforce and economy along the Texas Gulf Coast. An 8,000-square-foot exterior glycol process unit will be available to every program that trains in the building.

“From the beginning stages of planning, industry has had a seat at the table for the vision, the design and the curriculum of the Center,” said Jim Griffin, associate vice chancellor / senior vice president for the College’s petrochemical training division. “This facility will ensure that San Jacinto College produces graduates with the right skill sets to meet the workforce needs.”

The total cost of the Center for Petrochemical, Energy, and Technology is $60 million.

Set to break ground this fall on the Central Campus is a new welcome center. The centralized location will provide students with 43,000-square-feet of easy access to student and career resources. The new building will provide a spacious, technologically-advanced facility for enrollment services, advising, financial aid, tutoring and other related services. The total cost for this building is $16.6 million. The building is expected to open summer 2019.


Theft of historic jewel leads to Highlands man


Two people were arrested last Saturday by West Columbia police and the Brazoria County Sheriff’s department for the theft of a precious jewel from the historic Varner-Hoff Plantation Historic Site in West Columbia.

Arrested for the alleged theft were Carla Fuentes, 26, of Freeport, and Tirso Miguel Perez, 24, of Highlands, TX. Court records show that Perez has a history of as many as 13 theft convictions.

The pair tried to sell the brooch at a jewelry store, but the owner recognized the piece and called police. (more…)

Driver dies in rollover crash on Highway 90

A man died on July 30 in an accident that Harris County Sheriff’s Accident Investigators say may be related to speed. Witness indicate a 2004 Mazda 6 in the 13,500 block of US 90 at 2:00 a.m. was going over 100 m.p.h. and the witnesses could not indicate a reason for the speed. Investigators determined that the car had yawed leaving the highway then rolled end over end and then side to side before coming to rest on the roadside. Deputies determined that Juan Clemente-Mejia was ejected from the vehicle and that he was the sole occupant and the only person injured. There were no signs of life when he was found and he was pronounced dead at the scene.