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Bids authorized for Galena Manor remediation

Detecting mold laden wood and insulation requires special moister meters with inspectors wearing special protective clothing and respirators.

GALENA MANOR COMMUNITY CENTER PROGRESS

Galena Park Council Meeting Business

Galena Park, TX. — June 6, 2017 — Mayor Esmeralda Moya at 6 PM called the meeting to order. After a prayer and pledges to the flags the minutes of the May 16, 2017 meeting and the Accounts Payable through June 6 was unanimously approved.

Welcoming news for Galena Manor residents was when the Commissioners unanimously approved for the City Secretary to advertise for bids for Phase I of the mold remediation project for the closed Evelyn Churchill Community Building. The building has been the main topic for months at the council meetings sparking protests and heated confrontations between unhappy citizens and city officials.

Phase I work consists of mold remediation and drywall removal of the community building.

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Protests grow over beating death at Denny’s

ON WEDNESDAY, PROTESTORS INCLUDING THE HERNANDEZ FAMILY MARCHED in downtown Houston, holding a rally on the stops of the Harris County Criminal Courts building. They were demanding “Justice for Johnny” and criminal charges against his assailant, Terry Thompson. Late in the day, the DA’s office announced that they would refer the case to the Grand Jury for possible charges and indictment.

Protesters demonstrated last Tuesday, in front of the Denny’s restaurant on Sheldon Road in Channelview where a man was beaten and choked so badly that he later died. The demonstrators were making the point that the man Terry Thompson, 41, who beat a Denny’s patron, and who is the husband of Shauna Thompson, a Sheriff ’s deputy, should be charged with a crime, perhaps murder, and so far has not been. A small flowered memorial, with a sign saying #JusticeforJohnny was placed at the site.

Last Sunday night John Hernandez, 24, the victim, and his family had entered the restaurant, but he went outdoors and reportedly was urinating, when Thompson arrived with his three daughters. He confronted Hernandez and told him to stop.

What followed was a fight, with Thompson on top of Hernandez, choking him and not stopping when other patrons tried to intervene. The assailant’s wife, who was an off-duty Sheriff ’s deputy, arrived at that point and helped her husband restrain the man. At that point they both saw that Hernandez had stopped resisting, lay motionless and was not breathing.

The deputy then began CPR until an EMS unit arrived and transported him to LBJ hospital.

The family reported to the media that Hernandez had died Wednesday night May 31st at the hospital, when they removed life support.

The Sheriff ’s office is investigating the incident including surveillance video from the restaurant, and cellphone video of the fight itself taken by a citizen observer.

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Pollution Pioneer supports SJRC efforts

TO SUPPORT THE SJRC in their fight against the Waste Pits, David Killgore presents a check to Jackie Young for $863, the balance of funds from the CCAP organization.

At their monthly meeting last Tuesday night, the San Jacinto River Coalition heard from a pioneer in this area’s fight against environmental pollution.

David Killgore was lliving in Channelview in 1992, when a company formed by Kay Crouch announced a plan to build an incinerator on land near the DeZavala Elementary school, and to process and burn waste products from all over the United States.

After researching the process, and realizing that the incinerator would pollute the air and affect the health of those living close by, including the children in the school, Killgore formed an organization, Concerned Citizens Against Pollution to try to stop the project.

With the help of then State Senator Gene Green, the legislature passed a bill opposing the project, and it was signed by Governor Ann Richards. In spite of this, the EPA issued a permit for the project and Killgore’s group went to court to stop it. Their attorney, Jim Blackburn, got an injunction to stop the incinerator, but it was fought by Crouch and her investors for the next 8 years. The investors spent $21 million dollars versus CCAP’s $50,000. After the 8 years, and facing more court costs, the investor group abandoned the proposal, and Killgore’s CCAP had won.

Killgore and his wife Margaret now live in Ruidoso, New Mexico and he remarks about how clean the air is, compared to Houston.

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HOUSTON SYMPHONY Summer concert series plays at North Shore HS

Houston Symphony and Associate Conductor Robert Franz played a program of familiar songs from movies, plays, and other popular venues. Each summer the Symphony plays five Community Concerts at schools and churches as part of their Community Concert series, to bring the sound of an orchestra to everyone. The annual concert was last Wednesday evening, at North Shore High School auditorium, and was well attended.

Conductor Robert Franz engaged the audience in narrative and participation. He invited a young lady, Nicolle, to come up on stage and actually lead the orchestra in playing a number, a John Phillip Sousa March entitled “The Washington Post.”

Jacinto City celebrates Memorial Day

 

Group photo: Sheila Jackson Lee and Charles Scott (center) who led the pledge to the flag. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (center with flag) with resident Charles Scott who led the pledge to the flag.

Representatives Lee and Hernandez honor Veterans

Jacinto City, TX. – May 26, 2017 at the Jacinto City Health Care Center Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and State Representative Ana Hernandez recognized Memorial Day. Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee presented a United States Flag to Veterans that flew over the United States Capitol in Washington, D. C. and a proclamation paying tribute to those of the Armed Forces.

Representative Ana Hernandez while in Austin because the Texas Legislature is in session was represented by her Community Liaison Linda Jamail who presented a Texas flag which flew over the Texas Capitol and a certificate honoring those who died in service to the country.

Former Jacinto City Mayor Allan Jamail (founder of Keep Jacinto City Clean) was the Master of Ceremonies. He began the memorial ceremony with a prayer and was followed by army Veteran Charles Scott a retired Jacinto City employee who’s now a resident of the health care center.

The Honorable Congresswoman Lee stated, “I am humbled and honored to be with you this afternoon in the presence of heroes and in remembrance of every man and woman of the Armed Forces who gave the last full measure of devotion in defense of our country.”

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Channelview ISD apologizes for offensive certificates

Officials of the Channelview school district were faced with criticism last week, because a teacher at Aguirre Junior High had awarded her students mock graduation certificates, with offensive wording on them.

One of the certificates said the student was “most likely to become a terrorist,” and another cited the student as “most likely to blend in with white people.”

The awarding of mock graduation certificates to students is not unusual, officials said, but the 7th grade teacher unofficially identified as Stacy Lockett, was cited by her principal Eric Lathan, and the District’s superintendent, Greg Ollis, for using poor judgement in the wording. District spokesperson Mark Kramer said the teachers involved had been disciplined according to district policy.

The matter drew a great deal of attention from parents and the public, both locally and nationally.

Representative Hernandez’ End-of-Session Update

Rep. Ana Hernandez

After 140 days of proposed legislation, negotiations, and passionate debate, the 85th Legislative Session concluded this week.

The Legislature approved a $217 billion two-year budget that encompasses $20 million in additional funding for our local community colleges and fully funds healthcare for our retired teachers through the biennium. I am especially proud of the efforts we made to provide an additional $500 million in resources for the state’s foster care system and CPS, improving care for our most vulnerable children.

However, the budget fails to adequately invest in healthcare services, while also allocating an additional $800 million in “border security” funds for the Department of Public Safety for initiatives that lack transparency and hard accountability standards. I look forward to addressing these topics with my colleagues during the interim.

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Mold inspection tour at Galena Manor Churchill

Termite infested support columns outside the facility.

Galena Park, TX. – May 23, 2017 — After months of my writing news articles for the North Channel Star, I felt it was time for me to have a first-hand look at the community center. I felt I owed it to both the citizens and the city to take a photo tour even though I knew I’d be entering an environment which could be a health hazard. The explanations given to the citizens by the city needed to be verified or found to be over exaggerated and without merit.

I contacted Robert Collins the Galena Park City Attorney and asked if it was okay for me to take a photo tour of the center. After a few days Collins said I could contact the City Secretary Mayra Gonzales and she’d make the tour possible.

Tuesday morning May 23rd I called Gonzales and she said I could go take the tour. I went to the closed community center and was met by Commissioner Barry Ponder and Gustavo Mendez a recreation department employee.

We entered the facility and I immediately could smell a musty odor. The appearance of the inside looked like a typical remodeling job that was stopped in progress before completion.

I observed and photographed mold, termites, rotten supporting studs, dangerous electrical wiring in the breaker box, the broken emergency rear exit door to name a few things to make the place appear a very long ways from being used again.

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Rotary Fish Fry a great success

THE LIVE AUCTION had many unique items, including this “Dia de Muertos” (Day of the Dead) sugar skull donated by the Rotary Club of Torreon, Mexico.

NORTH SHORE – The Rotary Club of North Shore held their 42nd Annual Catfish Fry and Crawfish Boil, and had thousands either turn out for the event, or come and pick up dinners.

The Fish Fry is a fund raiser for the club, who use the money for community projects such as the fire departments, scholarships, Pct. 2 park improvements, school awards programs, food pantry, and much more benefitting the public.

There are four major parts to the event: a limited draw raffle, to win a new Toyota truck or 19 other high value prizes; catfish and crawfish dinners; a live auction, and a silent auction.

The chairman for the event is always the president-elect, which this year is Adam Lund of Capital Bank. Last year it was Kim Gonzalez, who is now president. All 75 members of the club assist with the execution of the all-day event in some function.

Proceeds from the Fish Fry average $300,000 to $400,000 every year, most of which is available for community projects after expenses. For instance, this year the live auction raised $131,700 dollars, the dinner tickets tens of thousands, and the raffle tickets about $120,000. There is also support from corporate sponsors.

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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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