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Posts published in “Day: August 19, 2021

Jacinto City receives $1.95 million federal grant

Mayor Ana Diaz (left) and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee holding a replica of the $1.95 million check Jacinto City obtained through a U.S. Community Funding matching funds grant. L to R: Lt. M. Longrigg, Elizabeth Flores, Ivan Rojas, Mayor Ana Diaz, Maria Espinoza, Allen Lee, Joyce Raines, Gabe Perez, Kathy Greiner, Mike Bodak, Lon Squyres and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. (Photo by Allan Jamail)

Congresswoman Lee announces grant to improve Water Distribution System

By Allan Jamail

JACINTO CITY, TX. August 11 – Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee announced to Mayor Ana Diaz, Councilman Allen Lee, and city officials, along with a group of citizens and community leaders, the news that $1,950,000 of funds will be given to the city for water line infrastructure improvements.

Lee said, “When I heard Congress’s House Appropriations Committee would be adding Community Funding Projects as an opportunity for Members of the House to address specific local needs with direct funding to solve problems that helps people and communities, I immediately thought of Jacinto City.”

She continued saying, “I reached out to Mayor Ana Diaz and City Manager Lon Squyres to learn what Jacinto City’s needs were and to suggest that they apply for funding for a Community Funding Project. This project will improve the health and safety of all residents of the City by furnishing clean, safe drinking water and the ability to protect homes and businesses from fires.”

The City will only pay the 20 percent of the funding project.

DOLCEFINO SUES CITY OF GALENA PARK

Wants access to records, meetings

By Gilbert Hoffman

GALENA PARK – An ongoing dispute between the City of Galena Park government and various citizens in the community, has moved to the courts for resolution or at least the next round.

The dispute centers on whether the public, and Commissioner Maricela Serna, have been excluded from knowledge of business conducted by the city, and whether their attempts to discuss this matter in Commissioner meetings have been obstructed or muted. Serna has sought the help of Wayne Dolcefino of Dolcefino Consulting to gain access to the information and the meetings.

Wayne Dolcefino, founder of Houston-based investigative media firm Dolcefino Consulting, filed a Harris County state district court lawsuit August 17th, 2021, against Mayor Esmeralda Moya, City Secretary Mayra Gonzales, City Attorney Robert Collins for wholesale violations of the Texas Open Meetings Act and the Texas Public Information Act.

Following is his statement in regard to the court filing, and the ongoing dispute with the city:

County offers $100 for new vaccine shots

HARRIS COUNTY – Harris County Public Health Announced New Vaccine Incentive Initiative for All First Dose Recipients on Tuesday of this week.

Residents who receive their First dose of the COVID-19 vaccine through HCPH will receive a $100 cash card.

In an effort to improve vaccination rates and better protect the residents of Harris County from COVID-19, Harris County Public Health (HCPH) will provide $100 cash cards to residents receiving their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at an HCPH vaccination site.

State Senator Alvarado filibusters to block Voter Restriction bill

Senator Carol Alvarado speaking at the Texas Legislature during her 15-hour filibuster.

Texas Senate outlasts 15-hour filibuster by Senator Carol Alvarado to pass GOP voting restrictions bill

AUSTIN, Texas — Since before sunset Wednesday, state Sen. Carol Alvarado had been on her feet speaking, not allowed to sit or lean against her desk, on the Senate floor.

Unable to take bathroom breaks or drink water, she had worn a back brace, eyeglasses and running shoes and talked slowly behind a desk stacked with papers and with a microphone in her hand as she mounted a 15-hour filibuster. The target of her efforts was Senate Bill 1, the GOP’s priority bill that would place new restrictions on voting that many opponents say would disproportionately suppress ballots from voters of color and disabled voters.

But ultimately, her speaking marathon could only delay the passage of the bill in the Republican-controlled Senate. Shortly after she finally stepped away from her desk around 9 a.m., the Senate voted to advance the measure on a 18-11 party-line vote.

With her Democratic colleagues surrounding her desk on the Senate floor after her marathon, Alvarado invoked her Houston constituents – the voters who took advantage of the voting options SB 1 would ban – and asked why they should not be allowed as many opportunities to vote as the county was willing to offer.

Abbott sued over mask mandate ban

A growing number of school districts, counties and cities have defied Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order banning mask mandates, as COVID-19 cases continue to spike due to the delta variant and a low rate of vaccination among Texans.

As KUT.org reported, officials in Dallas and Bexar counties won a first round in court in requiring masks in public schools and most government buildings. School districts in Austin, Houston, Dallas and San Antonio, among others, are requiring students, teachers and staff to wear masks.

Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton are appealing the initial district court decisions and have vowed to sue any government official who defies the governor’s order.

HOSPITALIZATIONS, COVID-19 CASES CONTINUE TO RISE

Meanwhile, the number of new cases of COVID-19, overwhelmingly among unvaccinated Texans, continues to rise with 98,383 reported in the past week along with 628 deaths, according to the Coronavirus Resource Center at Johns Hopkins University. Hospitalizations are approaching the peak levels of mid-January, with 11,381 lab-confirmed COVID-19 patients, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services, up 27% from the week before.

As students return to classrooms across the state, the number of children in Texas hospitalized with COVID-19 is at one of its highest levels since the pandemic began. In the 19- county region around Dallas and Fort Worth, there were no staffed pediatric beds available late last week, according to KUT.org.