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Posts published in April 2018

EAST HARRIS COUNTY LEADERSHIP LUNCHEON: Hernandez voices need for regional solutions

L – R: State Rep. Mary Ann Perez, Sabrina Khan, Rep. Ana Hernandez, Rep. Armando Walle, Adrian Garcia and Amir Khan, CEO of Ashland Hospitality, Inc. (PHOTO BY ALLAN JAMAIL)

HOUSTON, TX — State Representative Hernandez (D-Houston) joined over 100 local business leaders, elected officials, and community members at the Holiday Inn in Channelview on Thursday, April 19. The event, the first of its kind in the region, was hosted by Amir Khan, CEO of Ashland Hospitality, Inc., and his wife Sabrina.

Other officials in attendance included Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, State Representatives Armando Walle (D-Aldine) and Mary Ann Perez (DPasadena), Harris County Constable, Precinct 2 Constable Chris Diaz, and Jacinto City Mayor Ana Diaz. Attendees discussed the need for regional cooperation, pressing workforce needs, and the importance of strong leadership that recognizes those issues at all levels of government and in the private sector.

Battle of San Jacinto Reenacted

Above: Andy Anderson in the role of Juan Seguin (an Alamo survivor fighting at the battle of San Jacinto) duels with a Belgian mercenary cavalier.

Last Saturday, the The Battle of San Jacinto was reenacted 182 years after that day with the same results: the largest land mass ever secured from a single 20 minute battle won, from Antonio Lopez De Santa Anna, by an army of irregulars numbering about 900 total, against a left behind battalion of 1400 regulars that had been in an army of about 9,000, chasing the irregulars over much of Texas. Sam Houston outwitted the “Napoleon of the West” by allowing Anna to believe the Texans would not present battle.

Houston was wounded in the ankle; acting President of the Revolutionary Republic of Texas, David Burnet, ordered that Houston be abandoned on the field with his wound. Decent individuals loaded him onto a New Orleans bound ship and he survived. Later in 1836, Sam Houston would become President of the Republic of Texas, followed by a hero of the battle Mirabeau Lamar in 1838; following Lamar, anti-slavery Houston would be President again. Henry Smith was the first elected president, in 1835, before the revolution was won, but impeached in January 1836. James Robinson lasted from January 1836 until March.

“God Bless Texas, Remember the Alamo, Remember Goliad.”

Galena Park detective Jessica Bolanos receives recognition award

Galena Park Police Chief Rick Gonzales, left, awards Detective Jessica Bolanos, right. (Photo by Allan Jamail)

Galena Park, TX. — April 17, 2018 — At the City Council meeting Galena Park Police Chief Rick Gonzales presented Detective Jessica Bolanos for her investigation and arrest of a child molester.

Chief Gonzales said, “I am happy to recognize Officer Jessica Bolanos as the Officer of the First Quarter award of 2018 for her outstanding service and commitment to the City of Galena Park.”

Galena Park/Jacinto City Rotary raises $10,000 at annual cake auction scholarship drive

Senator Sylvia Garcia with her $310 winning bid chocolate Reese Explosion cake baked by Letha Garcia. (Photo by Allan Jamail)

Jacinto City, TX. – April 17, 2018 — The Galena Park/Jacinto City Rotary Club held their annual cake auction, setting a fund-raising record.

According to Maria Rodriquez, Director and 2018 Chairperson, the auction raised nearly $10,000 to benefit students with scholarships. Amir Khan, CEO of Ashland Hospitality, Inc., made the highest bid of the event, of $500 for a German Chocolate cake baked by Brandon Ceniceros with the GPHS Culinary Class.

Rodriquez, the club’s Past-President, said, “We doubled the money collected from the past years.” She baked and donated 9 of the 43 cakes auctioned, and serves as the Rotary District 5890 official photographer.

Standing L – R: Maria D. Rodriguez, GP/JC Rotary Club, Past-President, Bill Palko, District 5890 Rotary Club Governor, Aliyah Silva, Lupita Ramírez, Pamela Pérez, Bryan Clements, GP/JC Rotary Club, President, Astrit Flores, Crystal Arguelles, Daniela Lira, and Jennifer Ramirez. Kneeling L – R: Oscar Silva, Galibadlo Villareal, Ju-Juan Morín.

Annual ‘Keep Jacinto City Clean’ kick off begins

Don’t Be Mean Keep Texas Clean volunteers picked up litter along Market Street. (Photo by Linda Jamail)

Jacinto City, TX. — Saturday, April 7, 2018 — Volunteers of two organizations kicked off the city’s annual cleanup campaign.

A new group of volunteers going by the name of “DON’T BE MEAN, KEEP TEXAS CLEAN” (DBMKTC) joined forces with the Keep Jacinto City Clean Committee volunteers (KJCCC) to help keep the city cleaner and nicer looking.

KJCCC planted Oleanders along Market Street and the DBMKTC picked up litter along a mile of Market Street.

City Manger Lon Squyres said to prevent the deadly ZIKA virus, citizens must keep grass and weeds mowed, including their utility easements. The free Annual Tire Roundup Day is scheduled for 8 AM, Saturday, May 19th, and citizens must place the tires out front on the edge of the street. The annual Pet Vaccination Clinic is set from 9 AM to 3 PM, Saturday, April 21, at the Public Works Facility (12202 Market). Jacinto City citizens can get their pets vaccinated at a reduced price and buy the required 2018 Green pet license tags.

Squyres said Building Permits is required BEFORE starting any building related projects, including but not limited to roofs, driveways, fences, air condition or heating, electrical and plumbing. Permits must be posted visible from the street or citations and fines can result.

L to R: Keep Jacinto City Clean Committee members, President Teresa Arzapala, brothers Jose and Erick Pena, Secretary Linda Jamail, Oziel Salinas Jr, Vice-President Irasema Salinas, Edgar Salinas, Founder Allan Jamail.

Remembering First Lady Barbara Bush

Her historic visit to Jacinto City recalled

Jacinto City, TX. – Saturday, August 27, 1988 — Jacinto City Mayor Allan Jamail, now a North Channel Star writer, had invited Mrs. Bush to an event named, “The Gift of Life Day.”

Jamail says, “My hope was to bring public awareness for the need of citizens to volunteer to pre-plan in the event of their death, the desire to donate their life saving organs to awaiting transplant patients.”

“The organ transplanting surgery was relatively new then, and I had visited the Medical Center to learn more about it. While touring the hospital’s transplant section, I met patients awaiting a donor organ and a few who had already received ‘The Gift of Life’ organ.”

“I recall an emotional mother and father who had come from Dallas to visit a patient who they had given their son’s heart to. Their son had been killed in an accident at a young age. The mother and father said, ‘Mayor Jamail, please feel my son’s heart beating in this man’s chest.’

“When I felt the heart beating, and heard the recipient and his family’s words of gratitude to the heart donor’s parents, I made a commitment to do whatever I could to make this life-extending surgery better known to the citizenry,” Jamail said.

Barbara Bush, well-known for her chartable help, was invited to a Texas style bar-b-q with Country Music in Jacinto City, where the Tensile Town Theater is now located. Television and radio stations advertised Barbara’s coming to the event, as did the newspapers, and it brought public awareness to the organ donating cause.

Mayor Jamail introduced Mrs. Bush before she spoke to over a thousand in attendance and gave her a key to the city.

“The US Secret Service took her to the awaiting car to take her to the airport. I learned later while on the plane to Washington she personally typed a thank you letter to me,” Jamail recalls.

Barbara Bush, the loyal wife of one U.S. president and mother of another, who was a champion of literacy, died Tuesday, April 17, 2018, surrounded by her family at her west Houston home.

Jacinto City Police capture 6 robbers of CVS store

Jacinto City CVS Pharmacy armed robbery caught on security camera.

By Allan Jamail

Jacinto City, TX. – Saturday, April 14, 2018 at 10 PM, as the clerk of the CVS Pharmacy at 10222 East Freeway was closing and locking the doors, gunmen charged into the store, waving handguns and forced the clerk to give them the store’s money.

Police arrived at the store after receiving a call from a witness, who said the robbers ran out of the store. One of the officers’s spotted the gunmen running away on foot behind the store. The fleeing suspects got into a vehicle waiting for them, but after a short chase, patrol units caught them. Five male suspects, and one female driving the get-away vehicle, were taken into custody. Officers recovered the weapons and an undetermined amount of cash. All Suspects were charged with Aggravated Robbery.

Chief Ayala praised Officers A. Kamali, O. Elizondo, and Sgt. E. Ramos for their quick action and having made the arrests without firing a shot. Chief Ayala said, “I’m proud of the police force for their quick responses to citizen calls and their ability to maintain safety to the community.”

EPA announces San Jacinto River Waste Pits cleanup agreement


EAST HARRIS COUNTY – Environmental activists and residents of the areas around the San Jacinto River Waste Pits praised the announcement Monday that the PRP (Potential Responsible Parties) had come to an agreement with the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) to start the engineering design work required to implement the ROD (Record Of Decision) that called for the removal of all of the toxic waste from the site.

The EPA press release announcement read as follows:

DALLAS – (April 9, 2018) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that an agreement has been reached with International Paper Company and McGinnes Industrial Maintenance Corporation to perform a remedial design for the San Jacinto River Waste Pits Superfund Site selected remedy. The selected cleanup action addresses the potential dangers posed by dioxin contamination at the site in Harris County, Texas.

“This agreement marks the next step in my commitment to the people of Harris County to expedite the remediation of the San Jacinto Waste Pits site,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “EPA will ensure that the remedial design removes all the contamination as quickly and safely as possible and permanently protects the health and safety of the surrounding communities and the San Jacinto River.”

The EPA’s cleanup plan, with support from state partners and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, includes installing engineering controls before excavating approximately 212,000 cubic yards of dioxin contaminated material for disposal. The estimated cost for the remedy is $115 million, representing a reasonable value for the cost incurred.

Galena Park/Jacinto City CIP displays Emergency equipment & planning

Pictured to the right, David Wade Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (Harris County), – Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council Philip Cutler, Chris Collier, Mayor Esmeralda Moya & Austen McMillian. Mayor Moya said, “I fully support the Galena Park-Jacinto City Community-Partnership (CIP) which if there’s a disaster it will protect and save citizens lives. It’s all about the citizens.” In the background is a portable emergency hospital and in a time of need it can be quickly erected in less than an hour with 16 hospital beds to treat victims and to provide doctors and medical personnel with everything needed to stabilize victims until they can be transferred to a hospital. (Photo by Allan Jamail.)

By Allan Jamail

GALENA PARK – Unbeknownst to most Harris County residents, representatives from cities and county governments meet monthly with industries to plan for an emergency disaster event on how to better protect the citizenry.

The Galena Park-Jacinto City Community-Industry Partnership (CIP) met with Diane Sheridan CIP facilitator and heard reports on local plant conditions and how the plants would collectively respond to an emergency. The attendees learned the industry and community capacity for managing major industrial fires, explosions and toxic releases, and then toured and learned how the emergency equipment can be used.

Allan Jamail, writer for the North Channel Star and former Emergency Management Coordinator (EMC) of Jacinto City, said he’s proud of the improvements made to protect the communities since he served in the 1980’s. “Today with the advance technology of emergency equipment and the coordination of governments and industry planning it will mitigate or lessen the severity of the impact on communities should a disaster occur in Harris County,” Jamail said.

The East Harris County Manufacturers Association (EHCMA) announced the release of a new CAER Online member alert notification system. This new system will provide a simpler, more intuitive website for EHCMA member companies to post informational and alert messages to the membership and general public. Community members can visit this website to view posted messages online from EHCMA member and nonmember facilities or local offices of emergency management.

Channelview FFA auction highlights successful show

The annual Channelview FFA Auction was held on Saturday, April 7 at Allen Hall Fairgrounds. The ceremonies opened with the Presentation of Colors by the Channelview FFA Officers. One of the highlights of the auction was the bidding of the Madisyn Beach’s Grand Champion Steer, left, Channelview Glass secured the steer with a winning bid of $5,500. (Photos by Mark Kramer, Channelview ISD)

The 55th annual Channelview FFA Livestock Show celebrated another successful year as the auction highlighted the conclusion of the event at the Allen Hall Fairgrounds on April 7.

Many livestock, horticulture and craft exhibits were featured during the week. Auction highlights included the bidding of the Grand Champion and Reserve Champion steers. Madisyn Beach’s Grand Champion Steer earned $5,500 with a winning bid by Channelview Glass. Colton Taylor’s Reserve Champion Steer was purchased for $8,000 by Yates Remodeling.

Other major winners and their buyers included:

Domecoming: Public parties in the Astrodome

25,000 Fans gathered for the Dome tour.

HOUSTON – Fans of the Astrodome brought their memories to a large party Monday night, inside the famed Dome.

The Astrodome Conservancy held the party, and at least 25,000 fans showed up, to hear music, eat some food truck grub, and mostly just stare at the cavernous space and relive their memories of the last time they saw a game or event there.

It was the 53rd Anniversary of this so-called Eighth Wonder of the World, which is about to gain a new life as an indoor park and event space for the County.

Commissioner’s Court in February approved a $105 million plan to renovate the Dome, and work will start in the fall, so this is the last time the Dome would be available to see it the way it was when it opened in 1965.

Some new, some old fans gazed up at the space.

Phoebe Tudor, chair of the Astrodome Conservancy, said that this event was so popular that the 25,000 tickets sold out in less than two hours. Tickets were free, too.

Fans remembered when the Dome was the home of the Astros, from 1965 to 1999, and the Oilers from 1968 to 1996. In 2009 building inspectors ruled the building unsafe, and it has been closed since then.

The revitalization plan calls for an underground parking garage, with 9 acres of park space above at street level.

The new Dome will be available for festivals, conferences, and commercial space, according to County Judge Ed Emmett. It will also be a passive and recreational park, under an air-conditioned dome, another first for the city and the country. Emmett also envisions that the space can be used as an adjunct to NRG center, for boat shows, auto shows, and the Rodeo. Construction will start in October, and last for 17 months.