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EPA meets with community on Waste Pits

Ashley Howard, EPA Project manager for the Superfund San Jacinto River Waste Pits, made the presentation and update to the community last Thursday evening at Channelview’s Fluckinger Center.

CHANNELVIEW – Representatives of the federal EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) met with the public last Thursday evening, June 23 at the Flukinger Community Center in Channelview. The purpose of the meeting was to update interested members of the public on progress in remediation and removal of the toxic wastes in the San Jacinto River at several sites.

The slide presentation was made by the Superfund Project Manager, Ashley Howard, and a question and answer period following the talk was moderated by Jeanetta Coates.

About 75 interested members of the Channelview and Highlands communities attended the meeting. Many of them asked questions after the presentation.

The Audience at Flukinger Center listened intently for almost two hours, while EPA representatives (at far right in the background) showed slides and reported on progress and the schedule. Excavation of toxic material in the Southern Impoundment site is scheduled to start in the fall of this year, but the Northern Impoundment work will not start until next year, and continue for 5 or more years.

NORTH SHORE ROTARY INSTALLS NEW PRESIDENT

North Shore Rotary held their installation of new Officers and Board last Friday night, June 24, at the Magnolia Event Center in Houston. Outgoing President Shawn Silman (above, left) passes the torch to new President Ken Wimbley at the event.

Other awards and mentions were given at the awards dinner. The installing official was Judge Lucia Bates, and the Rotarian of the Year was Mini Izaguirre.

See more photos from the event on Page 5.

San Jacinto College is finalist for Aspen Institute $1 million excellence prize

BRENDA HELLYER, SAN JACINTO COLLEGE PRES.

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 7, 2022 — Today the Aspen Institute announced the ten finalists for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. Started in 2010, the $1 million Aspen Prize is the nation’s signature recognition of community colleges that are achieving high, improving, and equitable outcomes for students. The ten finalists represent the amazing potential of America’s thousand-plus community colleges as engines of prosperity and social mobility.

The finalists also represent the impressive diversity of community colleges, from a 2,700-student college in Iowa granting primarily technical awards to a 57,000-student college in Florida with a focus on transfer and bachelor’s degree attainment. Excellent community colleges, regardless of their size or location, are defined by their focus on outcomes and their emphasis on developing students’ talents and strengthening their regional economies and communities.

Awarded every two years, the Aspen Prize honors colleges that show outstanding performance in five critical areas: teaching and learning, certificate and degree completion, transfer and bachelor’s attainment, workforce success, and equitable outcomes for students of color and students from low-income backgrounds. The winner will be announced in the spring of 2023.

“We’re grateful to all the experts who have helped Aspen identify these impressive colleges,” said Josh Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. “We can’t wait to dive in to learn more about how they have achieved these measurable student outcomes so we can share what we learn with the field.”

The finalists are:

Drive-by shooting kills 8 year old sleeping in his bed in East Houston

PAUL VASQUEZ

HOUSTON – The Harris County Sheriff’s Office provided updates on a possible suspect after 8- year-old Paul Vasquez was shot and killed during a drive-by shooting in east Harris County on Sunday, June 12.

According to authorities, the shooting happened in the 13800 block of McNair Street around 10:45 p.m.

Deputies said Vasquez was in his bed inside of his room when a bullet pierced him in his chest. Investigators said the boy was able to tell his mother what happened before collapsing.

Authorities say there were about nine to 10 shots fired during the incident.

He was rushed to Ben Taub hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Officials are now searching for those responsible, stating it may be more than one suspect who remains at large.

Deputies released a photo of the suspect’s car, describing it as a Gray KIA Optima with damage to the front right side.

SUSPECT CAR, A GRAY KIA OPTIMA WITH DAMAGE TO THE RIGHT FRONT FENDER AND BUMBER, AND TIRE WITHOUT ORIGINAL WHEEL.

Jake rescued by JC Police

Jake the Dog, Owner Justine Balderas,
and Officers Fisher and Seydler.

By Allan Jamail

Jacinto City, TX. – Saturday, June 12, 2022 – The Jacinto City patrol officers got an unusual assignment from their dispatcher when they were sent to a citizen’s home.

Long time Jacinto City resident Ms. Gloria Balerio called the police to report her granddaughter Justine Balderas’ dog had its paw stuck in the fire place grating.

Sgt. A. Seydler and Officer R. Fisher arrived on the scene to see a sad puppy (Jake). Jake somehow managed to get its paw caught in the grating. The officers couldn’t free the paw by gently pulling on it, so they quickly dismantled the grate, freeing Jake.

Galena Park ISD votes pay raises for staff

GPISD Board of Trustees Approves Generous Compensation Package

The Galena Park ISD Board of Trustees approved the 2022- 2023 compensation package for district employees. The Board, Superintendent, and district administrators realize competitive compensation packages are important in attracting and retaining the very best staff possible. Some highlights of the district’s 2022-2023 compensation package include:

–3% general pay increase for ALL employees

–Equity adjustments to maintain competitiveness for teachers with 17 to 25 years of experience

–Minimum pay rate of $14.50/hour for custodians, bus aides, and student nutrition workers

–Starting teacher salary of $62,750

Activists watching environmental activities in San Jacinto River

EAST HARRIS COUNTY – Whether it’s toxic waste dumps in the San Jacinto River, or unauthorized dredging and barge facilities, the citizens of Channelview and Highlands have two active watchdogs to monitor and protest when activities threaten the environment.

Jackie Young Medcalf and Carolyn Stone can be heard at many public meetings, questioning public authorities and requesting the proper procedures be followed. This Thursday the EPA will be at the Flukinger Community Center in Channelview to report on remediation work in the river, and the public will have an opportunity to question progress. Prior to the meeting, Medcalf issued the following statement:

Dear Community Members,

We have two important action items for the San Jacinto River Coalition.

Constable Silvia Trevino’s Appreciation Crawfish Cookout

Constable Silvia Trevino with elected officials at her 4th Annual Law Enforcement Crawfish Boil & Fish Fry. Front Row – L – R: State Rep. Christina Morales, JP Elect Judge Dolores Lozano, State Rep. Mary Ann Perez, Constable Silvia Trevino (centered crawfish shirt), State Rep. Ana Hernandez, State Senator John Whitmire & State Rep. Armando Walle. Back Row – L – R: City Councilman Robert Gallegos & JP Judge Victor Treviño III. (Photo by Allan Jamail)

By Allan Jamail

Houston, TX. – June 12, 2022 – Precinct 6 Constable Silvia Trevino at her East End home had her 4th annual crawfish cookout to show her appreciation to her staff and others assisting her department. She gathered her deputies, administrative staff, law enforcement officers from various agencies and elected officials (see photo cutline) from East Harris County and community leaders to thank them for their work in Pct. 6.

“I can’t think of a better way to celebrate our Precinct 6 Employees than with our Annual Crawfish Boil. But most importantly thank you to all my Precinct 6 employees for your hard work and for another wonderful year of Public Safety,” Trevino said.

EPA meeting June 23 will report on Waste Pits

Rachel Jordan, at left, of THEA updated CHIC members last Thursday, May 26. Above, Ginnie Ramsey and Carolyn Stone of CHIC at the meeting in Channelview.

CHANNELVIEW – CHIC members and guests heard of recent activity regarding the remediation of the San Jacinto River Waste Pits, at a meeting held last month at the Channelview FD Station 3.

Public interest remains high regarding the waste pits, and the EPA plans a public meeting for everyone on Thursday June 23rd at 6:30pm at the Flukinger Community Center in Channelview.

GPJC CIP TOPIC: Recycling by Plants, Cities, County, and Individuals

David Clark, U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary showed how he stops bringing home restaurants plastic or Styrofoam food containers from leftover meals when eating out. He takes his own reusable take-home container to restaurants to bring leftovers home. If more people would take their own reusable containers when eating out this can save lots in the waste landfills. (Photo Allan Jamail)

By Allan Jamail

Galena Park, TX. – Thursday, June 2, 2022 at the Alvin Baggett Community Building, 1302 Keene Street, the first in-person Community-Industry Partnership (CIP) took place since the COVID-19 Pandemic forced meetings to take place via Zoom. The meeting was hosted by Hosted by Houston Cement.

Facilitator Diane Sheridan opened the meeting, and introduced Glenda Squyres as the Secretary, and said that CIP celebrated its 10th Anniversary in 2021. Its formation began in October 2010 with a team of community members and plant representatives who developed ground rules and selected the core membership.

Sheridan explained the following topics:

• Recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products. (EPA)

• When we refer to recycling, we often mean avoid, reduce, reuse, and recycle.

• Recycle is the last step before disposal in the waste hierarchy.

Plant members, CIP cities, individuals, and the Harris County representatives attending presented what they do in recycling and what they recycle.

Highlands native new Hospital CEO

JEANNA BAMBURG

Houston, Texas — HCA Healthcare Gulf Coast Division President Troy Villarreal announced Jeanna Bamburg has been named chief executive officer of The Woman’s Hospital of Texas. Bamburg will assume her new role Tuesday, July 5, 2022.

A native Houstonian originally from Highlands, Bamburg has been the chief executive officer at HCA Houston Healthcare Southeast since 2012. Prior to serving as CEO, Jeanna served as chief operating officer at HCA Houston Healthcare Southeast when it was Bayshore Medical Center. Additionally, she has held positions of increasing responsibility in her 25 years with HCA Healthcare.

Bamburg has been named one of Houston’s Most Admired CEOs, Houston’s Women Who Mean Business and Houston’s Breakthrough Women.

“Jeanna has demonstrated expertise in improving patient safety and quality, expanding clinical service lines and HCA’s footprint in the community and transforming the hospital’s culture. She has dedicated herself to ensuring the hospital is a great place for patients, their families, staff and providers,” said Villarreal. “Her work ethic, talent and natural leadership ability make her a great fit to take the helm at The Woman’s Hospital of Texas.”