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Posts published in March 2021

State opens COVID shots to everyone

HARRIS COUNTY – All adults will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Texas beginning Monday, March 29. The Texas Department of State Health Services expects vaccine supplies to increase next week, and providers in multiple parts of the state have made great strides in vaccinating people in the current priority groups. The state’s Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel recommended opening vaccination to everyone who falls under the current Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorizations to protect as many Texans as possible.

“As a matter of fact, we in Houston had pretty much exhausted our waitlists and we wanted to have more real-time appointments available,” said Houston Health Department director Stephen Williams. Texans can continue to find vaccine providers throughout Greater Houston and sign up on waitlists through the DSHS Vaccine Information page at dshs.texas.gov/covidvaccine.

Jacinto City Police Officers Recognized

L – R: Lt. Dennis Walker, Sgt. Eliserio Ramos, Patrolman Ronnie Barker II, Chief Joe Ayala, Dispatcher Kasey Aguilar, Lt. Mark Longrigg, Patrolmen Jody Pizano & Cuitlahuac Cazares. Others recognized but not present, Kathy Andrews & Esther Perez.

By Allan Jamail

Jacinto City, TX. – At the Jacinto City council meeting members of the Jacinto City Police Department were recognized for their outstanding performance in the investigation and apprehension of several dangerous crime suspects. Multiple felony criminal cases were solved involving aggravated robberies, house burglaries, vehicle burglaries, stolen credit cards and stolen motor vehicles. The suspects after being booked were transferred to the Harris County Jail and are awaiting their trials.

Channelview FD achieves higher Fire Insurance rating

According to Jimmy Sumbera, Administrator for Harris County ESD No. 50, and the Channelview Fire Department, a reclassification of the ISO rating for the department will have possible benefits to Channelview property owners. This information may reduce your insurance rates, but you must notify your insurance company of this change. The reduction in your homeowner’s policy will not be automatic. Channelview Fire Department is getting the word out to the community related to the upcoming change in our ISO Public Protection Classification rating. For the past year the fire department has been working with the Insurance Services Office (ISO) to have Channelview Fire Department evaluated for a reclassification. The PPC Classes range from 1 to 10 with a Class 1 providing the best fire protect and also resulting in the best insurance rates. Channelview is currently a Class 6.

Texas House considers Deep Freeze bills

REPRESENTATIVE ANA HERNANDEZ

Report by Rep. Ana Hernandez

On March 8, Speaker Dade Phelan announced the first phase of the House’s legislative reforms to protect consumers and strengthen our state’s electric grid in the aftermath of the recent, unprecedented cold weather event. Speaker Phelan highlighted the following key legislation filed by members of the Texas House of Representatives:

HB 10 – Reforming Energy Reliability Council of Texas Leadership

HB 10, filed by Representative Paddie, restructures the ERCOT board, replacing the unaffiliated members with members appointed by the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Speaker of the House. HB 10 also requires all board members to reside in the state of Texas and creates an additional ERCOT board member slot to represent consumer interests.

HB 11 – Protecting Consumers and Hardening Facilities for Extreme Weather

HB 11, filed by Representative Paddie, requires electric transmission and generation facilities in this state to be weatherized against the spectrum of extreme weather Texas may face. Utilities will be required to reconnect service as soon as possible and prevent slower reconnections for low-income areas, rural Texas, and small communities.

HB 12 – Alerting Texans During Emergencies

Senegal joins EHCEC as Resource Development Director

VAL SENEGAL

East Harris County, Texas – March 2, 2021 – East Harris County Empowerment Council (EHCEC) hires Val Senegal as Director of Resource Development.

A Louisiana native, Val Senegal, has been recently named as the Director of Resource Development for East Harris County Empowerment Council.

As a former AmeriCorps member, public school teacher, and political candidate, Senegal brings a wealth of knowledge and experience addressing the subject matters of public safety, affordable insurance, education, behavioral health, and mental health within both the public and private sectors. Her extensive experiences as both a change agent and an employee-centric leadership professional will complement the initiatives of EHCEC. Senegal will lead EHCEC’s fundraising & volunteer initiatives. Terence Narcisse, Founder & CEO of EHCEC, said, “We’re very excited to have Val join our team. Her experience, knowledge, and management capabilities will propel us to the next level!”

We are so close to beating the virus

We are Texans, and the concept of freedom is an essential piece of our identity. We all want the freedom to go out to eat and to socialize, the freedom for our economy and our schools to open without the fear of getting deathly ill, the freedom to use amazing science and vaccine developments to our full advantage. But taking away critical public health interventions that we know are working in the name of personal freedom won’t make our community safer, nor will it hasten our return to normalcy. The state’s decision on Tuesday to end the statewide mask mandate and increase business capacity to 100% is a threat to all of the sacrifices and progress we’ve made, as well as to everyone who has not yet received a vaccine. At best, Tuesday’s decision is wishful thinking. At worst, it is a cynical attempt to distract Texans from the failures of state oversight of our power grid.

Every time COVID-19 public health measures have been pulled back, we’ve seen a spike in hospitalizations. If we start the climb now, we’d be starting from the highest starting point ever when it comes to our hospital population, an unacceptable and dangerous proposition. Even more troubling is the revelation that Houston has the unfortunate distinction of being the only city recording every major strain of COVID-19. Our positivity rate is still sky high and moving up, not down — we’re now at 13% positivity. We’re still seeing hundreds of new cases a day. With the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines, we’re finally inching closer to the finish line of this deadly, destructive pandemic — now is not the time to reverse the gains we’ve worked so hard to achieve. We’re able to finally see the light at the end of the tunnel now because of the common sense steps we’ve taken to prevent the spread of this virus, like wearing masks. We can’t take one step forward just to take two steps back.

Allatia Harris new Chamber Chair

DR. ALLATIA HARRIS

By Jada Mier

Dr. Allatia Harris was sworn in as Board chairman for the North Channel Area Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, January 19th, 2021, virtually via Zoom at the first Chamber Board meeting of the year. Harris County Justice of the Peace Lucia Bates performed the ceremony, and additional officers and directors took the oath that morning to “promote business growth and quality of life in the North Channel Area.”

Raised in Dallas, Harris attended the University of North Texas, where she majored in Communications, obtaining her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree. Dr. Harris holds a doctorate in educational administration with a specialization in community college leadership from the University of Texas at Austin where she has been recognized as a Distinguished Graduate. After being in administration in the Dallas county community colleges, a presidency opened up at the San Jacinto Community College North Campus. Not wanting to leave Dallas, Harris was hesitant to interview; when she went to the campus, she fell in love with the North Channel community.

Vaccine shots administered at East Houston Hospital

East Houston Hospital’s LVN Jasmine Tamez vaccinates patient Amin Rosado with his first dose of the COVID-19 virus vaccine. The hospital streamlined the vaccination process so patients could quickly get in and out to minimize their wait time. Most patients received their life-saving vaccine in about 30 minutes total time.
Observers L – R: Rubin Shah, CEO of the East Houston Hospital & Clinic, RN Hilda Bentley Director of Surgical Services, RN Miriam Keary and RN Cynthia Wallace. (Photo by Allan Jamail)

Streamlined process means patients quickly get life-saving shots

By Allan Jamail

East Houston, TX. – March 17, 2021 the East Houston Hospital & Clinic located in Houston’s North Channel area (12950 East Freeway) is quickly making a positive name for itself by providing the best quality and convenient patient experience for most any medical services provided at Houston’s Medical Center. To review all their services, visit: www.adhealthcare.com

North Channel Star writer Allan Jamail said, “Since the start of the virus vaccinations I have seen many other locations and facilities administering the life-saving vaccine but nothing compared to the vaccination process I witnessed today at the East Houston Hospital & Clinic. CEO Rubin Shah was personally on hand making sure their streamlined process was going as planned.”

“Hilda Bentley, RN-Director of Surgical Services, kept her eyes on every phase of the processes, ensuring top quality medical practices were maintained.”

Patients weren’t having to wait long to get their shot, mostly moving in and out in approximately 30 minutes total time.

Channelview concerned about dredging for more barges near Superfund Waste Pits

Construction activity along River Road includes piles about to be driven into the water to support a new set of berths for barges. Dredging of 15,000 cubic yards of waste material will take place in the same area and be sent to a new landfill in Devers.

CHANNELVIEW – According to the C.H.I.C. community action group, residents in the San Jacinto River Estates area along the San Jacinto River near the Waste Pits received a notice letter last week from the Corps of Engineers, calling attention to a dredging and mooring project in the river near Meadowbrook Park and asking for comments within 15 days.

This is apparently a continuation of a project that was attempted last year, by the landowners TimTom Holdings and Holtmar Land LLC. In that project, excavated materials from the south side of I-10 were to be hauled to Beach City, and deposited in a landfill site near a park and residential area. Complaints by citizens and the city government managed to stop that work.

Carolyn Stone of C.H.I.C. says she believes that this project is using an old permit, with a different description of the work. She believes they would need a new permit for this, which is a different project.

Galena Park’s Medical Clinic Administers COVID Vaccine

Certified Medical Assistant Claudia Franco at the Galena Park Medical Clinic is giving the life saving Moderna COVID 19 virus vaccine to patient Francisco Luevano. Observing, Galena Park Mayor Esmeralda Moya (red) and Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia (right) (Photo Allan Jamail)

By Allan Jamail

Galena Park, TX. – Friday, March 5, 2021, at the Galena Park Medical Clinic, Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia and Mayor Esmeralda Moya assisted the clinic in obtaining the Moderna COVID-19 for the citizens and the nearby areas.

Congresswoman Garcia said, “My objective is to bring the virus vaccine to the people. Many people are unable to travel long distances and wait in long lines for hours to be protected from the virus. With President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion Economic Rescue Plan, we’ll now be able to make sizable gains in protecting citizens from the deadly virus.”

Octavio Plaza, the clinic’s office manager, said, “This is so true. Frequently we have some older citizens unable to get from their cars to get inside for their vaccination, and I and others have gone out into the parking lot to assist them in getting inside.”

The plan calls for $20 billion in a national vaccination program, including launching community vaccination centers around the country and mobile units in hard-to-reach areas. It’ll provide $50 billion in testing providing funds to purchase rapid tests expand lab capacity and help schools implement regular testing to support reopening. It will also fund the hiring of 100,000 public health workers, nearly tripling the community health workforce. And it will provide support to long-term care facilities experiencing outbreaks and to prisons for mitigation strategies.

School districts respond to Abbott’s Mandate… The Masks Stay on

DR. JOHN MOORE, Superintendent of Galena Park ISD, wears a mask at a recent news conference.

By Jada Mier

Governor Greg Abbott issued an Executive Order (GA-34) lifting the mask mandate in Texas and increasing capacity of all businesses and facilities in the state to 100 percent. Although this gives institutes the freedom to lift their own mandatory mask protocols, many feel that it is unwise to do so.

Galena Park ISD, Channelview ISD, Sheldon ISD and San Jacinto community college have all decided that in wake of this new mandate it would be safer for students and staff to carry on with their mask requirement.