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Posts published in March 2022

Galena Park welcomes new Police Chief

Richard Wagner, Galena Park Police Chief (Photo by Allan Jamail)

By Allan Jamail

GALENA PARK, March 23, 2022 — At the Galena Park Police Station, I sat down with Chief Richard Wagner, the seventh and newest police chief for the city in seven years, for one reason or another. I’ve interviewed 5 police chiefs in that same office in a short period of time. Hopefully this one will have a long career there.

As a former police chief myself of Jacinto City, Chief Wagner and I had lots to share with each other about policing, as well as a few old “war stories.” I found out he’s a pet lover and has a new puppy named, GALENA.

We both agreed that policing and city politics should not be intertwined. He said since he’s new to the city, he’s not a part of any political faction and wants to be friends with all the citizens and make them a good chief and give them the best police services possible. It’s hard enough for law enforcement to do their jobs without fear of stepping on some friend of local elected official’s toes.

The city is fortunate to have Chief Wagner. He has an extensive law enforcement background in education and experience. In my opinion Chief Wagner is going to make the city a good chief if he’s allowed to, and given what the department needs of ample personnel and equipment.

Galena Park Boys Soccer wins District & Bi-District Playoff

Galena Park Boys Soccer Team with family & fans celebrating their shutout victory after the game. (Photo by Linda Jamail) MORE PHOTOS PAGE 5

GP Yellowjackets 2 – LaPorte Bulldogs 0

By Allan Jamail

Friday, March 25, 2022 at Clear Creek ISD Challenger Columbia Stadium, the Galena Park High School Boys soccer varsity Yellowjackets shut out the LaPorte Bulldogs 2 – 0.

Head Coach Shannon Summers with assistant coaches Steven Botello and Dalton Strouse had the Jackets who won their district title playing outstanding defense and offense.

The 2 goals were made by senior Fernando Mendoza. Critical to winning the game was their good defense and senior Goal Keeper Bernardo Vazquez made several outstanding blocked goal attempts to shutout the Bulldogs.

Rep. Sylvia Garcia secures $10mil for Projects in Houston, South Houston, Galena Park and Jacinto City

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia (TX-29) voted to pass the historic $1.5 trillion Bipartisan Omnibus Appropriations Bill. As part of the package, 9 Community Project Funding (CPF) requests led by Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia were secured. The bill’s transformative investment will help Texas families with cost-of-living increases, good-paying jobs, and local community projects.

“I was proud to secure nearly $10,200,000 in Community Project Funding for Houstonians across our community,” said Congresswoman Garcia. “These critical funds will invest in local neighborhoods, strengthen communities, and foster economic development for Texans. This will improve our district and benefit all district residents for years to come.”

The legislation includes the following Community Project Funding secured by Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia:

GP/JC CIP MEETING: Progress Report on Ship Channel Bridge

Artists renderings show details of the new Ship Channel Bridge design that will carry Sam Houston Highway 8 over the ship channel. ABOVE: Cable stays support the bridge deck panels, allowing a clear span of 1350’ width, and 185’ height.

NORTH CHANNEL – The GP/JC CIP group (Community-Industry-Partnership) met last Thursday evening by Zoom, to hear industry reports and an progress report from HCTRA (Harris County Toll Road Authority) on the construction of the new replacement bridge that carries Beltway 8 over the ship channel.

The presentation was made by John Tyler, HCTRA Deputy Director for Engineering. Using slides, he detailed the problems the bridge construction has faced, and the status of building the new design.

The original contract for the bridge was let in 2018 to a consortium of Traylor Brothers and Zachry Construction, two contractors with extensive experience in this type of highway bridge. The design engineer was FIGG Engineering. The original contract was for $962 million dollars, for the bridge and connecting roads from Highway 225 to Interstate 10. However, after one of FIGG’s bridges collapsed in Florida, an analysis of this design was ordered, and determined that it was flawed and unstable. Work was halted in August 2019 to allow a redesign.

The new roadway will have 4 lanes in each direction, plus 10’ wide shoulders and a shared-use path for bicycles, pedestrians and other vehicles. Parking lots at either end will facilitate that usage.

A new foundation design was engineered by COWI engineers, and the new plans added $291 million dollars to the cost, including $50 to demolish work already in place. This mainly involved the piers at the base of the pylons, which were redesigned with new reinforcing. Tyler noted that construction of the new bridge is the largest single project in county history. He said that the cost of the bridge will be paid for by tolls, and no tax money or federal subsidy will be used to pay for it.

GP/JC Rotary adds new members in 2 countries

The Galena Park/Jacinto City Rotary Club has been busy with new members, and preparing for their Cake Auction and Baked Potato Lunch on April 14th at JC Town Center.

ABOVE, New member Juan Carlos Ramirez, at center, Principal at Woodland Acres Middle School is welcomed by Rotarians Maria Cortez and President Bryan Shepard.

BELOW, the club has installed 20 new satellite members from Torreon Mexico, and converted to an E-Club.

New Channelview Doctor has a familiar face


Dr. Melissa Silva has joined Channelview Family Medicine, the medical practice of Dr. Donald Nino at 15055 East Freeway in Channelview.

Dr. Silva may have a familiar face for many of her patients. She is a native of Channelview, having grown up in the area and attended local schools.

Dr. Silva is a Houstonian raised in Channelview, TX. She completed all of her education and training in Houston and it has always been her passion to learn how to best serve the community that raised and nurtured her.

Melissa Silva, M.D. is a board-certified Family Medicine physician at Channelview Family Medicine clinic. Dr. Silva received her BA in History and BS in Biology from the University of Houston. She then went on to earn her doctorate in medicine from the University of Texas Health Science Center McGovern Medical School. Dr. Silva completed her medical training with a residency in Family Medicine from Memorial Family Medicine Residency Program.

In her practice of medicine, Dr. Silva intends to offer medical services to all ages and hopes to create long-lasting relationships with patients based on trust and shared decision-making. She is on a mission to make healthcare accessible and approachable to patients who speak different languages and come from different cultural beliefs. Dr. Silva is bilingual in English and Spanish.

Chamber and Rotary events

Chamber luncheon April 1

North Channel Area Chamber will hold their monthly luncheon Friday, April 1 starting at 11:30am at San Jacinto College North/Monument Room. Speaker is Dr. Cecella Martin, of TEEM Leadership.

Program also features Channelview ISD and Sheldon ISD Students and Educators of the Month.

Member $20, Nonmember $30. RSVP to 713- 450-3600 or info@nca

Rotary Cake & Bake Apr 14

GP/JC Rotary club will hold a Bake Potato Lunch and a Cake Auction in one combined event: Thursday, April 14 from 10 am to 12 noon for lunch, and from 12 noon to 1 pm for the Cake Auction.

The public is invited, at the Jacinto City Town Center, 1025 Oates Road, Jacinto City. Potato lunch $10. Info Maria at 713-539- 8021.

Jacinto City recognized in Texas Magazine


Celebrates 75 Years in spite of COVID pandemic

By Gilbert Hoffman

Jacinto City won attention and praise in Texas Town & City magazine this January, for its planning and execution of its 75th Anniversary Celebration, in spite of restrictions caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic. The magazine is published by the Texas Municipal League for officials and the public throughout the state.

Jacinto City was all set to celebrate its 75th Anniversary in 2021, after its incorporation as a city 75 years earlier in 1946. But the COVID pandemic was rampant, and the County was restricting all public events. It seemed a large public celebration was out of the question.

There was no question that Jacinto City residents were affected by, and suffering from the COVID virus. The local nursing home had a majority of their residents affected, and the Senior Citizen program was curtailed, with no in-person contact. As noted in March of that year, 12 per cent of the residents had been infected by the virus, and 54 persons had passed away, many from the disease.

But the city took a positive approach and fought back. They hosted COVID test sites, had a number of drive-thru food distribution events, and sought organizations that could help provide COVID vaccine shots. All of this effort resulted in a decline in the infection rate and new hope for the future.

The city decided to proceed with the Anniversary event, but to reduce the scope and number of events.

County sets $8mil for new Early Childhood program

HARRIS COUNTY, TX – February 22, 2022 – Harris County Commissioners Court on Tuesday awarded grantees a combined total of $7.9 million in American Rescue Plan funds provided by the Biden-Harris Administration to seed a targeted portfolio of early childhood programs, including resources for educators and new parents, and the expansion of home-based child care providers.

Commissioners approved the following contracts on a 3 to 2 vote:

— $4.6 million to Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH) to implement Build the upWORDS Community-Based Universal and Targeted Intervention Model: The program will provide universal education, resources, and materials to parents of young children. Over three years, 20,000 children will be served and TCH will train 6,000 early childhood educators.

— $2.4 million to First3Years to implement Expand the Safe Babies Approach in Harris County: This initiative, which will be offered to 300 young children and their families over three years, is designed to to improve family reunification by strengthening the relationship between birth and foster parents.

— $906,173 to The Alliance for Home-Based Child Care Supports to expand home-based child care operations. This effort will create jobs, creating at least 23 licensed programs that will add child care capacity in low- to moderate-income communities.

— Funding for independent evaluators to assess the impacts of the program

YEE-HAW! RodeoHouston updates NCA Chamber


Guests at the North Channel Chamber monthly luncheon last Friday, heard about the history and current attractions at the Houston Livestock & Rodeo.

The speaker was Janice Mayes-Clayton, a volunteer who has served on the speakers committee, the gatekeepers and other positions for the last few decades, she said. As a speaker, she enjoys promoting the economic, scholastic and agricultural impact the Rodeo has on our area. She also likes the fact that it promotes our Western heritage.

RodeoHouston is celebrating its 90th anniversary, having started in 1932 with its first rodeo. The entertainer for that year was Gene Autry, the “singing cowboy.” He reportedly was the only act, and performed for a whole week.

For many years the Livestock Show & Rodeo was held in the Sam Houston Coliseum downtown, but in 1966 it moved to the newly opened Astrodome, where it remained until 2002, when it moved to the new NRG Stadium and surrounding grounds.

Today, the Houston show is the 2nd largest private rodeo in the Nation, Clayton said. Only the rodeo in Calgary, Alberta Canada has a larger crowd or purse for the riders.

In terms of attendance, the Houston Rodeo has more people attending in its three-week run, than any Houston sports team the whole season, Clayton said.

Free Flu Vaccines and Immunizations in March from Harris County Mobile

HOUSTON (Feb. 28, 2022) — During March, Harris Health System’s Troubleshooters Mobile Immunization Program is offering free immunizations for children two-months to 18-years of age and free flu vaccines to children six-months to 18-years of age.

To receive immunizations, a parent must be present with the child’s shot record. All shots will be given based on availability.

(All times are 9 a.m.-1 p.m. except when noted)