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North Channel Star

Rotary hears about hurricane preparation

BILL WHEELER OF THE HARRIS COUNTY OFFICE OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT spoke to the North Shore Rotary on preparation of various emergencies, including Hurricanes.
BILL WHEELER OF THE HARRIS COUNTY OFFICE OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT spoke to the North Shore Rotary on preparation of various emergencies, including Hurricanes.

NORTH SHORE – Bill Wheeler, assistant director of the county Emergency Management office, spoke to Rotary about the 20 types of emergencies his office deals with in a year. OEM has about 20 employees, he said, and they are responsible for safety in 34 cities, 1200 MUD and PUD districts, 54 fire departments, and ultimately the lives of over 4 million people in Harris County.

The most recent disaster in the North Shore area was the tropical storm Allison, in June 2001 when 14 inches of rain fell in 3 hours in the Greens Bayou watershed. The resultant floods killed 23 people, and damaged 34,000 homes.

Other notable disasters included the hurricanes of 1900 in Galveston, 1983 Alicia in Houston, 2005 Katrina and Rita, and 2008 Ike.

His message to survive these disasters was simple:

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Kinder-Morgan Splitter Tower traverses streets of Galena Park

KINDER-MORGAN’s T-102 SPLITTER made the trip down Clinton Drive last Monday, from the old Brown & Root dock on the ship channel, out on the roadway, and finally into the driveway of their new plant on the east side of Galena Park. The Tower is 20 feet in diameter, and when transported it is over 25 feet high and 200 feet long. Help was needed from the Galena Park police department for traffic control, and Centerpoint Energy to raise wires and traffic lights to make clearance for the height of the tower. Plant Manager Derrick Bockius reported that the move went as planned, and no major problems were encountered, due to advance planning and some modifications to the original plans. (K-M Photos).
KINDER-MORGAN’s T-102 SPLITTER made the trip down Clinton Drive last Monday, from the old Brown & Root dock on the ship channel, out on the roadway, and finally into the driveway of their new plant on the east side of Galena Park. The Tower is 20 feet in diameter, and when transported it is over 25 feet high and 200 feet long. Help was needed from the Galena Park police department for traffic control, and Centerpoint Energy to raise wires and traffic lights to make clearance for the height of the tower. Plant Manager Derrick Bockius reported that the move went as planned, and no major problems were encountered, due to advance planning and some modifications to the original plans. (K-M Photos)

GALENA PARK – Kinder Morgan has moved the largest piece of their new plant, a Condensate Processing Facility, onto the site from the fabricator’s plant a few miles west on Clinton Drive.

The original plans had called for a totally overland route to transport the tower, using Clinton Drive, Market Street, McCarty, and back to Clinton. However, obstructions and scheduling made the planners revise the route, using a barge on the ship channel for part of the trip, and the final leg from a dock down Clinton Drive, through the heart of Galena Park, and eastward to the plant site.

Plant Manager Derrick Bockius reports the plant will be in operation by October.

AERIAL VIEW on the new plant site shows the T-102 Splitter Tower negotiating a turn in the driveway, after it safely left Clinton Drive, out of view on the left. Galena Pakr is in the distance, looking west.
AERIAL VIEW on the new plant site shows the T-102 Splitter Tower negotiating a turn in the driveway, after it safely left Clinton Drive, out of view on the left. Galena Pakr is in the distance, looking west.

He said that the new “Splitter” would cost $370 million to build, and generate hundreds of temporary construction jobs and 23 full time positions. This is in addition to the 400+ employees that now work for Kinder-Morgan in the Galena Park area. Given industry standards, the community can expect another 150 jobs to be created in support of this plant by other businesses.

Tax revenue paid by Kinder-Morgan for this plant will have an enormous impact on local government. Bockius said that they estimate property tax revenue to the City of Galena Park at $1.4 million annually, and $2 million to the school district. Another $900,000 would be paid to Harris County.

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VOLUNTEERS REVITALIZE LOCAL PARK ALONG GREENS BAYOU

Volunteers planting shrubs and flowers at Thomas Bell Forest Park, on Greens Bayou near Normandy Road.
Volunteers planting shrubs and flowers at Thomas Bell Forest Park, on Greens Bayou near Normandy Road.

Employees and friends give back on 15th Annual LyondellBasell Global Care Day

CHANNELVIEW, Texas May 19, 2014 – LyondellBasell Channelview Complex employees and their families planted more than 2400 shrubs and trees at Thomas Bell Foster Park as part of the company’s Global Care Day. The event encourages LyondellBasell employees around the world to collectively participate in community service projects on the same day.

“As a dedicated organization that cares about the community and committed to being involved and making a difference,” said LyondellBasell Senior Engineer Susie Geraci. “This project will leave a lasting impression for everyone that visits the park.”

For the company’s 15th annual Global Care Day, volunteers in 20 countries on six continents demonstrated their commitment to their neighborhoods on Saturday, May 17.

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51st Annual Livestock Show & Sale: Channelview FFA Livestock Show grows in size and scope

Grand champion Steer shown by Colton Taylor

The Channelview FFA held its 51st annual Livestock Show at the Allen Hall Fairgrounds in Channelview on April 2nd through 5th. The community event highlights projects from the members of the Future Farmers of America and the 4-H Club. Students compete for thousands of dollars in scholarships through the show and auction of livestock projects.

The FFA has been a part of the Channelview ISD educational landscape since the mid 1960s. Over the last 50 years, the FFA’s livestock show has grown in both size and scope.

“In the early days, everything happened under one large event tent,” said Allen Hall, retired Channelview agricultural sciences teacher, director of vocational education, and director of transportation (1965-1998). “The first one I helped with was 30 ft by 60 ft, and was set up behind the old high school.”

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NORTH SHORE ROTARY: Winning Raffle Ticket goes to Shari Bigelow of North Shore

winning raffle ticket

DECISIONS, DECISIONS. Shari Bigelow, second from left, had the winning ticket last Saturday at the North Shore Rotary Fish Fry and Raffle, and had her choice of a new Toyota Avalon auto or Toyota Tundra pick-up truck, and was leaning toward the truck. The vehicles were provided by Community Toyota of Baytown. With the winner is Rotarian Jim Mills of Pineforest Jewelry, at center her husband Randall Rojas, and at right North Shore Rotary Fish Fry chairwoman Allatia Harris. Hundreds attended the annual Catfish Fry and Crawfish Boil at the North Shore Rotary pavilion on Wallisville.

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NORTH SHORE ROTARY ANNUAL EVENT: Fish Fry draws big crowd, big dollars

Rotary Event Chair Allatia Harris, and past president Derrill Painter, pull the winning Raffle ticket at the end of the afternoon, after much anticipation and drama. The Winner was Shai Bigelow and husband Randall Rojas. They have their choice of a new Toyota pick-up or Sedan from Community Toyota.
Rotary Event Chair Allatia Harris, and past president Derrill Painter, pull the winning Raffle ticket at the end of the afternoon, after much anticipation and drama. The Winner was Shai Bigelow and husband Randall Rojas. They have their choice of a new Toyota pick-up or Sedan from Community Toyota.

NORTH SHORE – A large crowd gathered at the Rotary North Shore pavilion on Wallisville last Saturday, for the 39th Annual Catfish Fry & Crawfish Boil.

Chairwoman Allatia Harris declared it a big success, with over $300,000 raised for the club’s community events for the coming year.

Live and silent auctions had hundreds of big ticket items, eagerly bid on by the audience. About 1500 raffle tickets at $100 each were sold, with 20 valuable prizes awarded, including a new vehicle. And over a thousand catfish and crawfish dinners were served, as the afternoon progressed.

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San Jacinto Pilot Club presents scholarships to local students

San Jacinto Pilot club members Joan Van Fleet, Winn Richbourg and Darlienne Hamilton-Powell join scholarship recipients.
San Jacinto Pilot club members Joan Van Fleet, Winn Richbourg and Darlienne Hamilton-Powell join scholarship recipients.

San Jacinto Pilot Club is proud to announce the winners of this year’s scholarships.

Recipients were honored at a banquet held at Woodforest Presbyterian Church on Thursday, May 15, 2014. Julie Fallin, President, welcomed the winners and their families, while Rev. Cassandra Dahnke offered the opening prayer. The club is proud to be able to give out $14,000 in scholarships this year. The following are the scholarship recipients:

Galena Park High School
Selena Garza
Arianna Ibarra
Cristian Garcia
Leslie Gallegos

C. E. King High School
Jassury Ceballos
Veronica Gomez
Jahzeel Galvan

Channelview High School
Adriana Galindo

North Shore Senior High School
Joshua T. Matthews
Lela S. Culpepper

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COMMUNITY PROFILE: Local jeweler travels 8,000 miles to purchase diamonds in Belgium

Jim Mills and his wife Linda select diamonds at Antwerp, Belgium before bringing them to Pineforest Jewelry.
Jim Mills and his wife Linda select diamonds at Antwerp, Belgium before bringing them to Pineforest Jewelry.

Diamond Jim & Linda Mills of Pineforest Jewelry in Houston recently returned from a buying trip to the Diamond Capital of the World — Antwerp, Belgium — where two-thirds of the world’s diamonds are traded. While there, Diamond Jim & Linda had the unique opportunity to buy direct from the major Antwerp cutters and pass significant savings on to customers in the Houston area. Diamond Jim & Linda louped and handpicked all the diamonds purchased in Antwerp, Belgium.

Pineforest Jewelry has direct access to the Antwerp diamond trade as the area’s exclusive Master IJO Jeweler member of the Independent Jewelers Organization (IJO), an international Buying Group and Educational Organization for retail jewelers. IJO has almost 900 members in the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, Australia & the U.S. Virgin Islands, and maintains buying offices in Antwerp for the use of its members.

“It is generally out of reach for a single jewelry store or small chain to buy direct in Antwerp,” said Diamond Jim. “One of the benefits of our IJO membership is that we become a direct importer of Antwerp diamonds and can save our customers the normal middleman’s fee.”

“We are excited about opening a window on the international diamond world and look forward to making some diamond dreams come true for our customers!” Linda Mills added.

Stop by Pineforest Jewelry to take a look at the most beautiful diamonds in the world at exceptional values.

ELECTIONS IN GALENA PARK, JACINTO CITY: Moya, Thibodeaux in Mayoral run-off

Jacinto City incumbents return to Council

A close race for Mayor in Galena Park was the highlight of this year’s city elections, in both Galena Park and Jacinto City. As shown in the box to the right, Esmeralda Moya led a field of four candidates with 260 votes, but that was not enough to avoid a run-off for the position with Joseph Thibodeaux. The city will decide at their council meeting on May 20th when the run-off will be held, and where voting will take place.

In other races, incumbent Councilman Danny Simms was returned to office, and newcomers Lois Killough, and Mericela Serna won seats at the GP council table. Position #4 had 3 candidates, none of which had a majority, so that will result in a run-off between the top two candidates, Juan Flores, Jr. and Martha Flores. It was notable that Killough garnered the most votes of any candidate by far, with 394 cast in her favor.

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Kinder Morgan’s new plant a “Game Changer”

GALENA PARK TO RECEIVE $1.4 MILLION IN TAX REVENUE ANNUALLY, NEW JOBS 

GALENA PARK – At the May meeting of the CIP, or Community-Industry Partnership, attendees learned of a huge new plant being constructed at the east edge of Galena Park, by Kinder Morgan, known as a Condensate Processing Facility.

Plant Manager Derrick Bockius told the details of the plant, and showed slides of the site and the equipment.

He said that the new “Splitter” would cost $370 million to build, and generate hundreds of temporary construction jobs and 23 full time positions. This is in addition to the 400+ employees that now work for Kinder-Morgan in the Galena Park area. Given industry standards, the community can expect another 150 jobs to be created in support of this plant by other businesses.

Tax revenue paid by Kinder-Morgan for this plant will have an enormous impact on local government. Bockius said that they estimate property tax revenue to the City of Galena Park at $1.4 million annually, and $2 million to the school district. Another $900,000 would be paid to Harris County.

Kinder-Morgan currently has several large terminal operations in Galena Park or the immediate area. A pipeline is being built that will bring more crude to the area for processing.

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