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Posts published in September 2020

Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month

Felicitas Gómez Martínez de Mendez with her husband Gonzalo Méndez. In 1946, Mendez and her husband Gonzalo led an educational civil rights battle that set an important legal precedent for ending segregation in the United States.

National Hispanic Heritage Month September 15 – October 15

By Allan Jamail

Today, September 15, 2020, marks the beginning of a month long celebration recognizing the contributions Hispanics have contributed to the United States. National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15.

Allan Jamail, North Channel Star writer said, “I write this article to honor Puerto Rican civil rights pioneer Felicitas Mendez.” She is a Puerto Rican immigrant and her husband Gonzalo took on California school segregation laws after their three children were denied entry at a local elementary school because of their skin color in 1944.

The success of the Mendez v. Westminster case made California the first state in the nation to end segregation in school. This paved the way for the better-known Brown v. Board of Education when Blacks were also denied an education in a segregated White school. It was this case which would bring an end to school segregation in the entire country.

In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a proclamation to establish Hispanic Heritage Week. In the proclamation, the 36th president wrote, “The people of Hispanic descent are the heirs of missionaries, captains, soldiers, and farmers who were motivated by a young spirit of adventure, and a desire to settle freely in a free land. This heritage is ours.”

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Lake Houston Trump rally displays fervor

Out of Atascocita, eastbound the south end of the McKay Bridge is lined with cars, rescue vehicles, and cheering President Donald R. Trump supporters. Boats and vehicles were on both sides of the bridge and in the lake.

HUFFMAN – The day national polls talked about a lack of enthusiasm by Latinos and a five point slip in the polls for the Democratic Presidential Candidate since the selection of a Vice Presidential running mate, Kamala Harris, locally, the zeal of the Republican ticket was abundant on Lake Houston.

The Lake Houston Marina and the Lake Houston Brewery east on both sides of the McKay Bridge were stages for Lake Houston Party Boaters, a group of about 458 members, to launch close to 800 water craft for the Big T 2020 Parade at 2:00 p.m. last Saturday.

That was a follow up from the Lake Houston Fun Run where participants donated $10 to benefit Texas Adaptive Aquatics. Awards were presented after the event at Lake Houston Brewery. The held a captains meeting at 1:00 p.m. to advise of safety precautions and distancing.

That group was joined in the parade by Lake Houston Voters for Trump sporting about 383 members that describe themselves as “A group of people to support Trump, like to keep their own money and have fun. They simultaneously launched Trump 2020 – Lake Houston Boat Parade.

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Census Parade emphasizes the need to Be Counted

Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia speaks about the need for everyone to register in the Census which is soon drawing to a conclusion. Garcia was talking at the BakerRipley center in East Aldine, along with others including East Aldine’s Richard Cantu, Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Pct. 2 Harris County Commissioner Adrian Garcia, Pct. 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis, State Representative Armando Walle, and BakerRipley president Claudia Aguirre.

Sylvia Garcia, County and City leaders join in effort

HARRIS COUNTY – U.S. Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia has organized an intense public effort to count as many residents of the area as possible, stating that federal dollars that are sent to the state, county, and city are dependent upon the number of people counted and living in the area.

To draw attention to the need to sign up in the Census, Garcia and other community leaders have organized “Census Caravans” that drive through neighborhoods and urge residents to complete their census forms. Garcia says it only takes 5 minutes to complete the questionnaire, and can be done in several different ways.

Last Saturday the Census Caravan drove through the streets of East Aldine. Authorities have noted that this is one of the areas where only a small percentage of the residents have registered.

Prior to the Caravan leaving on its neighborhood tour, community leaders spoke on the importance of a complete census count.

Mayor Turner noted in his remarks that only 40% of the eligible residents in the city have been counted so far. Only a few weeks remain until September 30, when the Census Bureau stops its field activities of counting. This includes door-knocking, online responses, over the phone, and by mail. After that the bureau will make adjustments and assumptions, and deliver a final count by December 31.

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Pct. 2 provides “Study Zones” at Rotary Pavilion

STUDY ZONE at the North Shore Rotary Pavilion, behind the Fonteno Courthouse.

NORTH CHANNEL – Harris County Precinct 2 is now offering study zones with free wi-fi access for the community at the North Shore Rotary Pavilion located at 14350 1/2 Wallisville Rd, behind the Fonteno Courthouse.

Students and parents are welcome to study and use for virtual learning. The Study Zone is open daily, from 8am to 6pm. Additionally, the Harris County Public Library will be onsite every Tuesday from 12 noon to 4pm with their mobile library providing e-cards, support with their digital material and book give-away services.

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Public input by ZOOM meeting for Pct 2 Parks & Trails Comprehensive Plan

A map of Precinct 2 shows the extent of population density, and location of parks as indicated by colored dots.

Harris County Pct. 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia held a Zoom meeting last Monday night, to get the public’s input and ideas on how to develop a Comprehensive Plan for Parks and Trails in Precinct 2.

About 100 persons participated in the session, which lasted about an hour, exceeding the time planned because of the enthusiasm of the callers and the commissioner.

Adrian Garcia said that he wants Pct. 2 to have a reputation for outstanding parks, that attract people and publicity, and where people can have a good time. He noted that good parks also increase property values.

Garcia revealed that he has an experienced architectural landscape and urban planning firm working on the project. This is Asakura Robinson, headed by Keiji Asakura.

Also participating in the Zoom meeting and the planning for the parks are representatives from Pct. 2 and also the Harris County engineering department. Another consultant is Jose Eduardo Sanchez, a community engagement specialist.

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Area schools virtually reopen Sept. 8

Galena Park’s new Superintendent Dr. John Moore

NORTH CHANNEL – School districts in this area are planning on starting classes on Tuesday, September 8. Some had planned an earlier start, in August, but changed their schedule on the advice of health authorities.

Class instruction will open at first only virtually, or on the internet, and after a period of several weeks, will change to a hybrid model where parents can choose to continue at-home learning, or face-to-face in-person in school. In Sheldon and Galena Park, this change will occur in four weeks. In Channelview the change will be in three weeks. However, all districts have stated that they will evaluate the health concerns at the time of change-over, and the schedule may be adjusted further.

In Galena Park ISD a new superintendent will be in charge, Dr. John Moore.

Moore has been educator in the Galena Park ISD system for nearly 30 years. Dr. Moore is overseeing the unusual situation of starting school in the midst of a pandemic. He has instituted a number of practices meant to ensure the safety of students and staff when they finally meet in face-to-face classroom situations.

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Hurricane relief for Disaster areas

President Trump, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, FEMA officials, and others walk through the debris of the hurricane Laura disaster that struck Lake Charles, and other portions of Southern Louisiana.

ORANGE – Texas Senator Ted Cruz capped a day of looking into the remnants of Hurricane Laura by saying, “Texans all across the state, Texans here in southeast Texas are breathing a giant sigh of relief right now. This hurricane could have been much, much worse. We just completed an aerial tour of the region and the damage is much more contained than prior hurricanes have been. Obviously, our hearts are heavy for our neighbors in Louisiana. We toured some of that damage as well. The damage in Louisiana is significantly greater, but given the magnitude of this storm, it could have been so much worse.”

And the storms will get worse: Hurricane Harvey almost exactly three years before holds the record for fastest and strongest intensifications in the Gulf of Mexico, for two weeks it held the record for fastest and strongest intensification anywhere then Hurricane Irma beat that. Laura went from tropical storm 35 miles per hour winds to 150 miles per hour overnight.

Hurricane relief is needed by neighbors in eastern Louisiana area who are recovering from Hurricane Laura. The following items are needed: 1. Tarps, 2. Non-perishable food items , 3. Batteries, 4. Water, 5. Diapers (size 3, 4 and 5), 6. Baby wipes, 7. Disinfectant wipes.

Private efforts including Project Hope (844) 349- 0188, supporting healthcare workers worldwide, Samaritan fund, and others like the Red Cross re gathering donations.

Saturday, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner indicated the city is partnering with several local businesses and entities to gather donated supplies for residents who were hit by Hurricane Laura.

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Phony COVID test site in North Shore

By Michelle Leigh Smith

HOUSTON – (August 17, 2020) Unidentified workers at an unauthorized COVID-19 testing site were taking test swabs on Saturday, August 15, in the parking lot of Woodforest Presbyterian Church, 15330 Wallisville Rd., Houston, TX 77049. The church has served Harris County for 60 years and is located in an unincorporated area of Harris County on a busy commercial corner across from a WalMart. One of the church members asked the testers to stop, and they packed up and quickly left the premises. They left behind broken cotton swabs and a lot of unanswered questions.

Ann Martin, treasurer for Woodforest Presbyterian Church said, “Our church members were suspicious because the phony testers were wearing masks, gloves, and face shields – but not the full protective gear seen at legitimate testing sites. We believe this is the first phony COVID-19 testing site in Houston.”

Martin is concerned by reports from Louisville, KY where workers charged $240 for the test and collected credit card, Social Security, and Medicare numbers.

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Hurricane revives talk of Ike Dike

The IKE DIKE would include two huge swinging gates, that would block the storm surge from a Hurricane, and protect the development around Galveston Bay.

HURRICANE LAURA BRINGS RENEWED PITCH FOR IKE DIKE

As thousands fled southeast Texas ahead of Hurricane Laura, Texas A&M promoted an Ike Dike as a critical way to protect the region from devastating damage.

Texas escaped a direct hit from Laura, which made landfall as a Category 4 storm in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, just east of Port Arthur. Despite the state’s luck this time, Texas A&M marine scientists urged action on their proposal to build a series of barriers, levees and gates that would close off Galveston Bay from storm surge.

William Merrell, a professor at Texas A&M-Galveston and a former president of the school, helped develop the plan after Hurricane Ike devastated Galveston in 2008, resulting in $30 billion in damages and killing more than 50 people.

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