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North Channel Star

School District Elections Saturday, May 4

By Charlotte Jackson

This week in our community we have two important elections happening. The registered voters in the Channelview ISD have the opportunity to vote on a $195.4 million bond proposal. With the expected growth in the Channelview ISD, Board Members feel there are great needs for replacement schools, program expansions, campus renovations, safety and security improvements as well as technology improvements, new buses and land purchases for future school site.

If approved, the estimated maximum tax impact is 11.75 cents for a total tax rate of $1.5135. (This is approximately a $9.30 monthly increase for the average home valued at $120,000.

Residents who are over the age of 65, who have filed their exemption will not have to pay any additional property taxes associated with this bond.

The replacement schools will address the aging needs of campuses and the need for additional capacity for the elementary level. There will be a replacement school for DeZavala Elementary as well as a replacement school to combine both Cobb Elementary and Schochler Elementary.

The growth and program expansion will include a new Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center Addition as well as a new auditorium and athletic facilities additions and renovations.


San Jacinto College breaks ground on new Generation Park Campus

San Jacinto College’s newest campus at Generation Park is slated to open fall 2020. Pictured left to right: John Peter, San Jacinto College Foundation board member; Gonzalo Echeverria, McCord Development Director of Design and Planning; Rick Yarbrough, McCord Development Director of Land Development; Ian Adler, McCord Development Director of Marketing; John Flournoy, McCord Development Director of Sales and Leasing; Keith Sinor, San Jacinto College Board of Trustees Secretary; Dan Mims, San Jacinto College Board of Trustees Vice Chair; Dr. Brenda Hellyer, San Jacinto College Chancellor; Ryan McCord, McCord Development President; Erica Davis Rouse, San Jacinto College Board of Trustees Assistant Secretary; John Moon, Jr., San Jacinto College Board of Trustees Member; Dr. Ruede Wheeler, San Jacinto College Board of Trustees Member; and Hector Morales, Manager of Educational Programming for the Office of Commissioner, Precinct 2 Adrian Garcia. (Photo credit: Andrea Vasquez, San Jacinto College)

HOUSTON, Texas — San Jacinto College leaders, elected officials, and community partners gathered Tuesday, April 23, 2019 to break ground on the new Generation Park Campus, which will expand the College’s educational accessibility to students and residents of North Houston.

The 57-acre project will become the College’s fifth campus, complementing San Jacinto’s North, Central, South, and Maritime Campuses, currently serving approximately 45,000 credit and non-credit students annually.

“We’re very excited to see this project begin to materialize,” said San Jacinto College Chancellor Dr. Brenda Hellyer. “We’ve been in the evaluation and planning stages for several years and this new campus will be a wonderful asset for the local community and the many students who will attend here. San Jacinto College is proud to be part of this rapidly growing area and we are positioned to serve the needs of the northern part of our taxing district. We look forward to serving the surrounding area by being an academic transfer partner and a resource for workforce training.”


GALENA PARK ISD Spiro Amarantos coming home as Yellow Jackets’ New Head Coach

Coach Amarantos

Galena Park ISD would like to welcome back Coach Spiro Amarantos as the head coach for the Galena Park High School (GPHS) football team.

Coach Amarantos is a 1989 Galena Park High School graduate. He also attended Galena Park Elementary, Jacinto City Elementary and Galena Park Middle School. He was a three- year letterman on the varsity football team and played as a cornerback and receiver. He credits Coach Bill Koch and the rest of the GPHS coaching staff for instilling many values in him, many of which he still carries to this day.

After high school, Coach Amarantos attended San Jacinto College then transferred to the University of Houston. Upon graduation, he returned to his roots to begin a career in education at Woodland Acres Middle School eventually becoming a defensive coordinator and assistant head coach at Galena Park High School. After 15 years at GPISD, Coach Amarantos went to Summer Creek High School to coach for three years then went to Porter High School. When the position for the Galena Park High School head coach opened, it was a no brainer for him to come back to the community that means so much to him.


Community outreach projects help the needy

Last Saturday Judge Lucia G. Bates and her team as well as Helen Berrott Tims from Judge Joe Stephens office collaborated with Bernice Koko and team from United Health Partners, Brian Allen and North Shore GENTS to help beautify homes of three different senior adults in the Cloverleaf area who were identified by Commissioner Adrian Garcia’s Precinct2gether Director Chara Bowie. (more…)


TxDOT has announced that all three westbound lanes will be open in the next few days, and closed ramps and signalization at Crosby-Lynchburg will be returned to normal, according to TxDOT Engineer David Lazaro.

The IH-10/San Jacinto Bridge was originally struck by a barge on February 11, 2019. A contractor started repair and rebuilding of the damaged column in early-April.

Much of the permanent repairs have been completed. This week the contractor is focusing on finishing the smaller details.

Weather permitting, the intent is to re-stripe IH-10 back to its original configuration this weekend. In order to do so we will have to close IH-10 down to 1 lane going westbound. At some point over the weekend we will shift commuters over to the left hand side to re-stripe the side they are currently driving on. By Monday Morning Rush Hour the expectation is to have open:

1. All lanes on IH-10 West at the San Jacinto Bridge

2. SPUR 330 North to IH-10 West

3. All lanes on IH-10 West at Thompson

4. Crosby-Lynchburg Entrance Ramp to IH-10 West

5. IH-10 East Exit Ramp to Thompson Rd.

In the event that the weather conditions do not allow us to perform the work needed, some of the work will take place during the week of May 6th at night and possibly into the next weekend, (May 10th – 12th).

EPA sets public meeting May 7

Water samples from the Ship Channel contain at least 9 toxins in an oily slick.

SJRC reviews Superfund status

HIGHLANDS – At its regular monthly meeting, the San Jacinto River Coalition learned that the federal EPA had scheduled a community meeting in Highlands on Tuesday, May 7 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm. This is one of the quarterly public meetings that the EPA promised to have on a regular schedule. They will update information on activities at the Superfund site, according the EPA spokesperson Janetta Coats.

At the same meeting, THEA president Jackie Young discussed the environmental impact that the ITC fire has had on the water quality of the river and ship channel. She displayed a bottle of water from the channel with heavy oil deposits.


Woman’s body found near San Jacinto River

Deputies reported that a woman’s body was found in the San Jacinto River on April 16, 2019.

Authorities uncovered the body with multiple injuries. The investigation continues and the cause if death is unknown. Deputies do not known if the injuries were sustained before or after the death, reports stated.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office found the body around 5 p.m. in the 17400 block of River Road.

Authorities said the woman was wearing a striped shirt and had multiple tattoos. She appeared to be in the water for several hours and her body and face sustained visible injuries.

The investigation continues and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Unit is asking anyone with information on this case to call homicide unit at 713-274-9100.

LyondellBasell hosts CAPLE Safety Meeting

CAPLE Presenters Dave Gray of LyondellBasell, and Dave Wade of Harris County Office of Emergency Management.

CHANNELVIEW – The CAPLE (Community Advisory Panel to Lyondell and Equistar) group held their monthly meeting last week, at the offices of LyondellBasell. They heard from Matt Smith and Phillip Reid about a national award, the 2018 Distinguished Safety Award from the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers organization, that LyondellBasell had received for safe operation of their plant, with no injuries.

Then David Wade of the Harris County Office of Emergency Management explained how his office interacts with a plant that has an incident. HCOEM maintains personnel 24 hours to respond to any type of emergency. When an incident requires response from the plant or outside fire departments, Wade goes to the plant EOC (Emergency Operations Center) to coordinate plant and outside resources.

David Gray reviewed the resources and procedures that the LyondellBasell Channelview plant has in place to deal with incidents. (more…)

TxDOT updates I-10 bridge repair

TxDOT workers examine the broken support.

The following is an update from David Lazare, an engineer with TxDOT in regards to the San Jacinto bridge repairs:

This is an update on the Emergency Contract to repair the IH-10/San Jacinto Bridge that was struck by a barge on February 11, 2019.

The permanent repair work officially began on Monday, April 8th, 2019. Over the last week, the contractor has setup the cofferdam and is demolishing the damaged/broken column. They have also begun setting up temporary supports to begin the permanent repairs.

Over the next week, we expect to install the permanent replacement column, permanent structural support and welding.

Early next week, we also expect to open 1 lane on SPUR 330 heading north to allow commuters to access the Crosby-Lynchburg intersection, which is temporarily signalized. This should ease the congestion on Thompson Rd and the intersection of I-10.


Jacinto City elementary school celebrates 75th anniversary

Jacinto City Elementary School’s 5th grade Honor Choir under the direction of music teacher Jueretta Berry provided entertainment at the 75th anniversary celebration ceremony. (Photo by Allan Jamail)

By Allan Jamail

Jacinto City, Texas – On Thursday, April 18, 2019 the Jacinto City Elementary School celebrated 75 years of educating children. The celebration brought together former students, teachers, administrators and parents of current students.

Principal Becky Gardea the Master of Ceremonies began the program with students leading the 200 plus in attendance with the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag followed with a prayer from Franklin Kilpatrick a former student.

Librarian Sharon Dixon gave the history of the school which she said began in 1943-44 in a small single story building consisting of an office, small kitchen, cafeteria and several classrooms. The first few years the number of students needing to be taught was so large it required teaching in two shifts. As student growth continued the school’s made several additions to it. It was first named Industrial Elementary School since it was located in an unincorporated area known as Industrial Acres.

In May of 1946 citizens in the area petitioned the state and formed what’s now Jacinto City, the Galena Park school district renamed the school to Jacinto City Elementary School.


Project Recovery-Harvey starts in East Harris County

JUDGE LINA HIDALGO announces the start of the Recovery program, as Malcolm Barrett and Adrian Garcia look on.

BARRETT STATION – The new leadership of Harris County turned out in force to announce Harris County Project Recovery-Harvey Program at the Harris County Barrett Community Center last Saturday.

Lina Hidalgo, Harris County Judge, Adrian Garcia, Precinct 2 Commissioner, Daphne Lemelle, Harris County Community Services Director and a host of county community workers from varied agencies were present to share their expertise enabling residents to get help for their houses, the services they need to recover from Hurricane Harvey.

Harris County Project Recovery-Harvey is for homeowners outside Houston to apply for home repair, reconstruction or reimbursement.

The new Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo indicated that the county is giving out about $200 Million in this program.

“Harvey was an especially difficult disaster because it got to the core of people’s lives because it reached into their homes, in their housing. People’s homes are anchors for them and their families. When people lost their homes and were forced to leave and live somewhere else, they were still forced to watch and wait until they could rebuild and return. That destroys and disrupts the rest of their lives and the fabric of our community.”

“For the first time we are making a massive investment in housing around Harvey,” said Hidalgo, indicating that the program was to be the largest investment a region has made in the area of housing repair.

“It helps us build a stronger community and a more resilient community in all of Harris County,” the Judge concluded.