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Posts published in February 2020

Water main breaks in East Houston, affects water supply throughout the city

A 96 inch wide water main, carrying water from the Houston water treatment plant in Galena Park to about half the city, burst on Thursday about noon. Workers from Harper Brothers were performing repair work on a small leak, according to authorities, when the whole pipe burst open flooding nearby streets and the six lane East Loop under Clinton Drive. Several feet of water covered the streets, stopping traffic and flooding about a dozen cars. Houston Fire Department said they conducted three deep water rescues. The location of the burst pipe was near the intersection of Clinton Drive and N. Carolina streets in the Clinton Park neighborhood, and buildings in that area had water inside, as outside it was several feet deep.

Water supply and water pressure were affected throughout the east side of Houston and into midtown. Schools and businesses were forced to close without water, and many indicated they would also be closed on Friday, until the pipe could be repaired and water quality restored. In the meantime, Mayor Turner called for a “boil water” advisory to everyone.

Jacinto City avoided the problem by switching from city water supply to its own well system, filling the city water tower and maintaining pressure and a safe water supply, according to City Manager Lon Squyres.

Authorities held a press conference near the break, to inform the public of the severity of the problem and what measures were being taken to solve them. Mayor Turner and County Judge Hidalgo expressed concern about water quality, and availability of adequate pressure in case of fires. Tank trucks with water were being sent to the area as a precaution, they said.





New leadership installed at the 43rd North Channel Area Chamber Gala

2020 North Channel Area Chamber of Commerce Board.

By Margie Buentello, President & CEO

Christie Gates was sworn in as Chairman of the board for the North Channel Area Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, January 23, 2020 at the 43rd Annual Awards and Installation Gala. Harris County Justice of the Peace, Lucia Bates, performed the ceremony at Sylvan Beach Pavilion.

Additionally, other officers and directors took the oath that evening pledging to “promote business growth and quality of life in the North Channel Area.”

Gates is the Chief Administrative Officer in Sheldon ISD. In her current position, she leads the Administrative side of the district, which includes supervising campus principals, as well as overseeing the Advanced Academics, Personnel Services, Student Services, Transportation, Maintenance, Technology, Emergency Operations, and Communications departments for the district. Over the past year, she has worked with her leader-ship teams to successfully open two new campuses in Sheldon ISD. In August of 2019, the district opened a new elementary campus, Sheldon Lake Elementary, and in January of 2020, the district opened the doors to a brand new high school facility by relocating over 2,400 students into a newly constructed C. E. King High School campus.

Sheldon FFA students hold successful Livestock Show

FFA STUDENT EXHIBITORS and Faculty Advisors pose for a group picture after the successful Annual Livestock Show.

SHELDON – The C. E. King High School FFA held their Annual Livestock Show and Sale Saturday, Jan. 18th. Students exhibited a total of 41 animals, and bidding from Buyers was lively. The event was held at the Agriculture barn on Old US90, the Beaumont Highway.

According to FFA adviser Robyn Jones, the bids totaled $32,650 and after add-ons the show raised a total of $44,120 for the students, who use the money for scholarships and costs of raising the animals. Jones said the high volume bidders were Shy Girls Saloon and Alfonso Trevino, tied for the top spot among the buyers.

Growth spurs Houston Port to Fast-Track Channel Widening

The Port of Houston is working to accelerate the widening of its ship channel after reporting its third straight year of double-digit volume growth, much of it from a 51 percent jump in resin ex-ports.

In an interview Roger Guenther, executive director of Port of Houston Authority, said completing the $1 billion project is critical to the port’s future, enabling it to simultaneously handle two 14,000-TEU vessels, the largest that can pass through the Panama Canal. In order to complete the project in four to five years instead of the decade it would typically take, the port is executing the government approval process, design work, and financing simultaneously, rather than sequentially, he said.

Congresswoman Garcia tours new pipefitters school

L – R: Business Agent John Guyon, Organizer Andrea Delagarza, Training Coordinator Kevin Bickerstaff, Business Manager Bryan Edwards, Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia, President Mark Baker, Business Agent Kenneth Waybright, HVAC Training Coordinator Randy Beal and Organizer Matt Patrick. (Allan Jamail Photo)

By Allan Jamail

Deer Park, TX. – February 18, 2020 — Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia toured the new, $4 million state-of-the-art Pipefitters Local 211 Apprentice School. While on the tour, Business Manager Bryan Edwards stopped briefly enough to present Garcia an award in recognition and appreciation for her long history of supporting and promoting organized labor.

Garcia’s district includes thousands of union jobs in the North Channel area and along and near the Houston Ship Channel. Local 211 have a couple thousand members in Garcia’s district as well. She has worked to secure union jobs first when she was as a County Commissioner, then Texas Senator, and now as a member of Congress. She believes organized labor gives workers a voice which allows them to report unsafe job conditions without fear of retaliation and provides a decent fair wage, with health benefits for the union member’s family and a respectable retirement pension.

Garcia said, “As someone who is one of ten children and grew up poor, I know the importance of a good paying job, and organized labor has historically stood up for working families and fought to ensure that they are treated with dignity and respect. That’s why I am such a strong supporter of organized labor.”

She advocates high school graduates to get a college education if possible, but for those who can’t for one reason or another, then a good trade union apprentice school can be a good alternative.

Lady Mustangs Playoff win over Dobie Longhorns 50 – 40

#10 Makayla Patterson, senior Lady Mustangs leading scorer makes a 2 point fade-away-shot. She made 20 points in the game with 15 of them in the final period to seal the win. She made 90 percent of her free throws. (Photo by Allan Jamail)

By Allan Jamail

Pasadena, TX. – February 17, 2020, on a neutral court, the GPISD North Shore Mustangs girls’ varsity basketball team won Monday’s playoff game against Dobie (Houston, TX) by a score of 50-40. The games are a part of the “2020 Girls State Basketball Championships – 6A Regions 1 & 3” tournament.

Mustangs Head Coach Allison Campbell brought her team out after trailing at halftime to outscore the Longhorns in the second half 28 to 17. By pulling out a victory they will now advance to play Clear Springs (League City, TX) on Thursday, February 20th, at 6 pm. The results will be in the next issue of the North Channel Star.

Early voting underway

You have until Friday, February 28th to vote early in the 2020 primary election! Election Day is Tuesday, March 3rd. Texas has open primaries. That means that ALL Texas voters can participate. The Texas primary is an extremely important election in Texas!

All Texans’ ballots will include the statewide races, but the rest of the races on there will be determined by where you live. On the federal level, Texans are divided among 36 congressional districts. On the state level, Texans are divided into 150 House districts, 31 Senate districts and 15 State Board of Education districts. All congressional and Texas House districts are up for election this year, along with one U.S. Senate seat, several Texas Senate seats and eight State Board of Education seats.

Remember to bring an acceptable form of photo ID to the polls to cast your ballot.

Lynchburg Ferry closing for repairs

HARRIS COUNTY – Motorists should prepare for the Lynchburg Ferry to be closed starting Tuesday, February 25th until late 2020 for necessary improvements to preserve the longevity of its operations. During this closure, crews will be reconstructing the approaches and transfer ramps that Lynchburg Ferry Boats use to dock. The $6 million project is a joint venture between Harris County Precinct 2 and the Texas Department of Transportation, who is overseeing construction of the project.

Starting March 1, 2020, the Harris County Toll Road Authority (HCTRA) will manage operations of the Lynchburg Ferry and Washburn Tunnel. This includes overseeing daily operations, maintenance, capital expenditures, and public inquiries for both facilities. Per the Commissioners Court meeting held on June 25, 2019, these facilities will be transferred to the Toll Road Authority without the imposition of tolls. Drivers should expect no changes to operations when utilizing the Ferry or Tunnel, and no current employees will lose their jobs.

Group battles to bring Battleship to Baytown

CONCEPTUAL SKETCH shows Battleship Texas and a new hotel/convention center located next to the existing Bayland Marina and O’Neal’s restaurant.

A group of citizens from Baytown are still hoping to win the competition to locate the Battleship Texas in a new port, at Bayland Marina. The spokesman for the group, Russell Hamman, gave a talk to the Highlands Rotary Club on Tuesday, reviewing the history of the ship and its current need of repairs.

The State of Texas has turned the ownership and control of the ship to the Battleship Texas Foundation, a private organization headed by Bruce Bramlett. They have issued an RFP, or Request For Proposals, for interested locales or groups that would be able to maintain and exhibit the ship in the proper manner to benefit the public and the foundation.

The RFP is due to be returned by March 13, and at that time proposals will be evaluated and a decision made as to a home port for the ship. At the current time, it is thought that Baytown, Kemah, and Corpus Christi are the interested parties. At one time Galveston was interested, but recent statements indicate they are involved in other projects and do not want to compete for the Battleship, Hamman said.

The State of Texas has allocated $35 million dollars to move the ship to a repair facility, probably along the Gulf Coast east of New Orleans, and to also help establish a new setting for display and visits from the public.