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North Channel Star

Governor Abbott signs SB2 Property Tax Reforms into law

GOVERNOR ABBOTT SIGNS SB2 BILL IN AUSTIN RESTAURANT (PHOTO: Office Of The Governor)

AUSTIN – June 12, 2019 – Governor Greg Abbott today signed into law Senate Bill 2, which delivers significant property tax reforms that will cap property tax increases without voter approval and provide tax reform to homeowners and businesses across Texas. The Governor hosted the bill signing at Wally’s Burger Express in Austin, TX. Wally’s Burger Express is a family-owned business founded in 1980 that has been struggling due to skyrocketing property taxes. Just this year, Wally’s property taxes increased 44%.

The Governor was joined at the bill signing by Robert Mayfield, the owner of Wally’s Burger Express, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, Speaker Dennis Bonnen, Representatives Dustin Burrows, Terry Canales, and John Zerwas, and Senators Kelly Hancock, Dawn Buckingham and Charles Perry.

“We made it clear from the outset of this session that our goal was not to simply mask the problem of skyrocketing property taxes, but to make transformative changes that would provide meaningful and lasting reform,” said Governor Abbott. “Because of the work by legislators this session, we are ensuring that Texas remains the best state in the nation to live, work, start a business, and raise a family. By signing Senate Bill 2 into law, we are making tremendous strides to provide long-awaited relief to Texas homeowners and businesses.”

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11-yr-old boy dies in shooting in Channelview

OVER 20 SHOTS were fired into this house and adjacent cars on N. Brentwood in Channelview.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez was visibly shaken by the events he was reporting, at a shooting in Channelview that resulted in the death of an 11-year-old boy.

The shooting occurred last Sunday, about 4:20 a.m. at a home at 15117 N. Brentwood Street, off Dell Dale. Sheriff Gonzalez said it appeared someone with an assault rifle fired into the home, perhaps not knowing that an adult and five children were sleeping inside. It was not known if the assailant was walking or driving past the house.

A neighbor described the sound of about 22 shots, that were fired into the house and cars parked in the driveway.

The 11-year-old was dead at the scene, but the other occupants were not injured.

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New procedures simplify Primary Voting

County Clerk Diane Trautman (left) and Michael B. Winn, Director of Elections explaining the new procedure of how voter’s will be able to privately declare their political party’s affiliation. (Photo by Allan Jamail)

County Clerk Trautman offers Joint Primary Dem. or Rep. Registration

By Allan Jamail

Houston, TX. – Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at the Harris County Clerk’s office, a new speedier and private process was presented by County Clerk Diane Trautman, Administrator of Elections Michael Winn, and Director of Communications Teneshia Hudspeth. Trautman said after numerous Primary Elections, she has heard of voters not voting because they felt uncomfortable stating their party’s affiliation out loud to where others could hear. She said, “This new process is to remove any fear from one declaring their party affiliation out loud; the voter will have complete anonymity. This is not a partisan issue to help either party separately; this is to make all voters of both parties feel more comfortable.”

Michael Winn, Administrator of Elections, said, “Combining the amount of staff from both parties to run just one polling location allows for fewer clerks needed. This also reduces the amount of party specific staff needed at the locations but at the same time will also increase the number of locations to which staff can be assigned.”

The use of Election Day Vote Centers (EDVC), another new program of Trautman’s, allows voters to vote anywhere regardless of their home precinct, which will save them time by not having to stand in lines. They can go vote at any location that doesn’t have a long line. The EDVC will also remove the problem of a voter not getting to vote because of going to the wrong location.

A mock demonstration by Harris County Clerk employee Margaret Aguilar (left) posing as a voter using a touchscreen tablet privately discloses her political party affiliation to both Democrat C. Patrick McIlvain (right) and Republican Kathryn Gray both election clerks in order to vote in a Primary Election. (Photo by Allan Jamail)

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LEGISLATIVE NEWS: State Rep. Ana Hernandez Session Wrap-up

REP. HERNANDEZ WITH NORTH SHORE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENTS, TEACHERS, AND ADMINISTRATORS AT THE STATE CAPITAL.

After months of proposed legislation, negotiations, and passionate debate, the 86th Legislative Session has come to an end.

The decisions made and laws passed by the Legislature will direct our state for the next two years until the next legislative session in 2021. Until then, we will continue to work together to identify acute needs that must be addressed. I am proud to have passed several key pieces of legislation addressing a range of concerns including public safety, quality of life, and workforce development. These new laws will make a lasting, positive difference in our state.

Over the course of the next several months, the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives will present each committee with their interim charges in preparation for the next legislative session. As a member of the House Committee on Licensing and Administrative Procedures, and the House Committee on State Affairs, I look forward to working on your behalf during the interim on critical issues facing our state. As we seek to resolve real challenges, I am eager to advocate for District 143 and to work with you in preparing our policy priorities for the 87th Legislative Session.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you in the Texas House of Representatives. I welcome any and all suggestions on how we can better advocate for you. It has been and continues to be my pleasure to represent you in Austin.

Kind regards,
Ana Hernandez (more…)

Groundbreaking for new Jacinto City Elementary

L – R: Constable Chris Diaz, Sara Montelongo-Oyervidez, Trustees Wilfred Broussard Jr, Superintendant Dr. Angi Williams, Principal Becky Gardea, Trustee Ramon Garza, Assistant Principal Cecilia Meza, Hector Morales and Linda Jamail. (Photo by Allan Jamail)

By Allan Jamail

May 29, 2019 – The Galena Park Independent School District Trustees (GPISD) is working towards the completion of the voter-approved $290 million school bond projects with the ground breaking ceremony for the soon to be built 2 story replacement school of the Jacinto City Elementary School. The $26 million new school is scheduled to be completed by the fall of 2020.

The elementary school home of the Tigers was built 75 years ago in 1944. It was a small single story building consisting of an office, small kitchen, cafeteria and several classrooms for the 200 students. As student enrollment increased the building was enlarged and renovated several times to its current size with 925 students attending.

The district has 15 elementary schools and the trustees plan to replace and build 6 new elementary schools, renovate 24 other campuses and facilities, upgrade safety and security and fully conform to the Americans with Disabilities Act district-wide with the bond funds.

ARCHITECTS RENDERING: VLK architect’s rendering of the future Jacinto City Elementary School.

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Census award at Safety meeting

Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia became a Proud Partner of U. S. 2020 Census. Melissa Allala, U. S. Census Partnership Specialist presents Proud Partnership certificate. (PHOTO BY ALLAN JAMAIL)

By Allan Jamail

Houston, TX. – May 29, 2019 at the Houston Police Department’s East Freeway storefront office, Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia brought together governmental agencies, law enforcement and citizens together for her regular Neighborhood Safety meeting.

Harris County Sheriff Deputy Sergeant E. Rivera said, “The crooks and bad guys crisscross back and forth from law enforcement jurisdictions so the sheriff’s department and Houston’s police department work closely together on solving and preventing crime.”

He said gun and cell phone is highly sought after by criminals.

“Criminals don’t buy their guns legally, they steal them from citizens who are careless with their guns,” Rivera said. “Cemeteries is a place citizens usually get careless, they leave purses, cell phones and guns unlocked in their vehicles while walking away to visit graves.”

Houston Police Sergeant T. Schmidt reported crime statistics along the East Corridor from downtown Houston eastward to Beltway 8 along the East Freeway (IH-10) including Pleasantville and Clinton Park. Reports of breaking into vehicles was high with 64 cases, 77 cases of thefts, 27 cases of robbery, 28 auto thefts and 23 cases of aggravated assault.

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Sheldon Fire Dept. opens new Fire Station and Training Tower

NEW SHELDON FIRE AND RESCUE STATION #2, as seen from US90 Old Beaumont Highway.

By Gilbert Hoffman

Sheldon Community Fire and Rescue, and Harris County Emergency Services District #60, opened an impressive new fire station, and training tower last Thursday morning.

The 15,000 sq. ft. fire station is the third station in the ESD#60 District, and with expansive growth of the area, the plan is to build two more and another to replace the existing station on C.E. King Parkway, according to Fire Chief Sydney Webb.

Webb presided over the grand opening ceremonies, and the ceremonial ribbon cutting and hose uncoupling for the two buildings.

Participating in the ceremonies were members of the ESD#60 board, with Helen Lauersdorf, president; and Fire E-board members, with Curtis Roane, president. Also speaking were “Pistol Reed” the son of Paul V. Reed, whom the training center is named for, and Judge Joe Stephens.

The Training Center is a tall 5-story building, to be used to train firefighters in multi-story rescues and fires. The fire station has room for six vehicles in three drive-thru bays. It also has offices, sleeping rooms, training and exercise facilities, and a day room with kitchen and TV.

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Channelview High School Top 10% students

Channelview High School Top 10% students are:

1. Micah Rois Macarandang Micarandayo
2. Summer Grace Ijarah
3. Ashley Nicole Durbin
4. Alondra Guadalupe Gallegos
5. Ashley Maldonado
6. Byron Dunstan Henderson, Jr.
7. Lilia Ana Morales
8. Diojani Carolina Valle
9. Carolina Alejandra Herrera Sonora
10. Luis Eduardo Sarabia
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Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton visits Houston

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Hillary Clinton, Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia and Congressman Al Green gives their farewell wave to the attendees at the Democratic Party fund raiser. (Photo by Allan Jamail)

By Allan Jamail

Houston, Texas – Friday, May 24, 2019 at the George R. Brown Convention Center a sellout crowd of 2,400 Democratic Party members assembled for their annual Johnson-Rayburn-Richards (JRR) fund raiser to hear Hillary Clinton, their 2016 former presidential candidate.

The JRR is named for former President Lyndon Johnson, former U.S. House Speaker Sam Rayburn, and Gov. Ann Richards.

Hillary remains very popular in the Houston area; in 2016 she won with 54 percent of the votes, she carried Harris County with 162,000 more votes than Donald Trump and got more votes than President Barack Obama had won four years earlier in 2012.

The former U.S. Senator, Secretary of State, First Lady and recent presidential candidate criticized President Donald Trump and called the upcoming 2020 presidential election one of the most critical in the nation’s history.

Clinton said, “We can’t just cross our fingers and pray and hope for a perfect candidate to come along. We have to organize and work hard getting out the voters. We must talk about the issues and remind Americans we are the party that can deliver for them. We support health care for all, women’s rights, an economy that provides fair wages for all, equal pay for women, decent immigration laws, protecting the children of immigrants and we also are the party that will stand up and protect the Constitution and address what is a very real constitutional crisis that this president has put us in.”

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After needed repairs, Battleship may be moved

BATTLESHIP TEXAS is currently on display in La Porte, near the San Jacinto monument.

LA PORTE – The Battleship Texas may be in line for another big battle, and the loser may be La Porte and East Harris County.

In a last minute maneuver in the 86th Legislative session, State Representative John Cryer (R-Lockhart) and State Senator Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) sponsored a bill that would allow the ship to be moved to another location, reportedly Galveston, after it received $35 million in state money for repairs in a shipyard in Alabama. SB1511 provides for the transfer of the ship from the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife to the Texas Historical Commission, and then to a nonprofit, possibly the Battleship Texas Foundation. Who would make the final decision on relocation is not clear from the bill.

Local state representatives Mary Ann Perez and Briscoe Cain have been vocal in opposing the move. Perez pointed out that the Galveston population is seasonal, and there is no guarantee that more people would visit than in La Porte. Cain filed an amendment to stop the ship from being relocated, but it was not in the final bill.

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