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Galena Park Police prepared for Hurricane season

Galena Park police with one of the city’s two high water rescue vehicles. The $140,000 vehicle was purchased for $5,000 through a military grant. L – R: Chief Rodney Chersky, Sergeant Tim Frantz, Administrative Sergeant – Drew Scroggins and Administrative Assistant – Anabel Reyna (Photo by Allan Jamail)

By Allan Jamail

Galena Park, TX. – Tuesday, August 4, 2020 – The 2020 hurricane season has begun and researchers say this year may be especially active. Galena Park’s Police Chief Rodney Chersky and Fire Chief Tom Ehlers have their departments ahead of the game. Their departments constantly monitor the weather conditions and they plan together for the possibility of responding to emergencies if the city’s streets become flooded.

Police Chief Chersky said “Galena Park has two Light Medium Tactical Vehicles (LMTV’s), one for the police and one for the fire department. The High Water Rescue Vehicles cost approximately $140,000.00 each, however the city purchased them in 2017 during Hurricane Harvey from the state surplus with a military grant for just $5,000.00 each, one only has 900 miles on it.”

Chersky said, the main purpose of the LMTV’s is for high water rescues, but they’re also helpful when called upon to go on utility right of ways or other areas where a patrol vehicle or other emergency vehicle may not be able to get without being damaged or getting stuck.

The police and fire department has emergency backup electrical generators to supply all normal operations of the department as well as the stations emergency telephone and two-way radio communications. In the event flooded roads prevent the normal shift changes requiring the on-duty personnel to work extended hours, the two chiefs plan ahead and stock up with extra supplies of food and drinking water.

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COMMUNITY PROFILE: Bee wrangler at work

Jennifer Scott vacuuming up bees.

By Bob Bartel

Smoke filled the air as the colony rushed home to save their family and treasure. The queen was rushed off to a safe location, and the soldiers stood guard over her, each willing to give their life to protect her. As the intruder breached the outer defenses, there was a swarm of activity inside their fortress. It seemed like their world would soon come to an end, but in reality, it was just Jennifer Scott, the Bee Wrangler, going about her work removing an unwanted hive from the wall of a home. They would soon be relocated to a farm on the outskirts of town to live happily ever after.

“Spring is the busiest time to remove colonies,” Scott commented, as she carefully removed the siding covering the bee’s elaborate home. “I’m booked up three weeks in advance right now.”

For her, bee removal was not just a job, it was a calling. Saving wild colonies and moving them to remote areas where they can thrive is saving what may become an endangered species.

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Schools cope with strain of changes

By LEWIS SPEARMAN

BAYTOWN – Goose Creek Consolidated ISD is a microcosm of schools throughout Texas in the wake of COVID-19 because every activity of schools is seemingly having to spend more to deal with challenges of the pandemic and social change.

The U.S. Dept. of Education says that public school spending has been heavily skewed toward salaries and benefits for employees, making about 80% of the per pupil spending. Indicating that about 11% went to services and 7% to supplies. Now supplies will have to cut into the budgets for about 11%, cleaning services will increase and that bus services will need to expand beyond double.

Issues have been bought to light of digital learning, food insecurity, homelessness, disability services, health care and virtual internet connectivity.

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Sheldon ISD trustees cancel November bond election

District prioritizes safety and academics

At the July 14 school board meeting, Sheldon ISD trustees voted to cancel the November 3 bond election due to the continued effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The bond was originally called by the school board for the May election, but in March trustees unanimously voted to postpone the election due to COVID-19 virus.

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North Shore Rotary presents awards, scholarships

The Awards Presentation was held last Thursday, at the Rotary Pavilion on Wallisville Road. Seen above are club president Ryan Dagley, and (not in order) scholarship recipients Stephannie Villanueva, Aaron J. Daniels, Xenia Garcia, Emely J. Melendez, Alessandra Camarillo Morales, Yuleima Zamora, Sofia Garcia Bucio, Olivia B. Kirby, and Xavier K. Crawford. The students were from C.E. King High School, Channelview High School, and North Shore High School.

Nine graduating seniors receive $40,000 total

NORTH SHORE – The Rotary Club of North Shore held their regular weekly meeting last Thursday, and presented scholarships to nine graduating seniors, and achievement awards to 13 Rotary club members.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the club has been meeting in an outdoor setting at the pavilion behind the Wallisville courthouse. This allows them to maintain social distancing.

Scholarship awards were three types. Four year scholarship, amounting to $2500 each of 4 years, were presented to Stephannie Villanueva of C.E. King high school, Aaron J. Daniels of Channelview high school, and Xenia Garcia of North Shore high school.

A scholarship of $2500 was presented to Emely J. Melendez of North Shore high school.

Five scholarships of $1500 each were presented to the following: Alessandra Camarillo Morales, North Shore high school; Yuleima Zamora, C.E. King high school; Sofia Garcia Bucio, C.E. King high school; Olivia B. Kirby, Channelview high school; and Xavier K. Crawford, Channelview high school.

The occasion also was the venue for achievement awards to club members who had actively helped the organization through the 2019-2020 Rotary year. These were presented by outgoing president Ryan Dagley.

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Sheldon ISD Board of Trustees selected as Region 4 School Board of the Year

Sheldon ISD Trustees. The 2019-20 board members are: President Latricia Archie, VicePresident Eileen Palmer, Secretary Angela Cormier, Member Ken Coleman, Member Erika Martinez, Member Devora Myles and Member Fred Rivas. Superintendent King Davis is at second row, center.

The Sheldon ISD Board of Trustees has been selected as the Region 4 Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) School Board of the Year. Region 4 represents the greater Houston and surrounding area and is one of the largest education regions of the 20 in Texas. The 2019-20 board members are: President Latricia Archie, Vice-President Eileen Palmer, Secretary Angela Cormier, Member Ken Coleman, Member Erika Martinez, Member Devora Myles and Member Fred Rivas. The School Board Awards Program recognizes school boards that have demonstrated outstanding dedication and rendered ethical service to the children of Texas.

“We are blessed to have such a dedicated group of individuals serving the Sheldon community,” said Superintendent Dr. King Davis. “From the challenges of Hurricane Harvey in 2017, Tropical Storm Imelda in 2019 and now the COVID-19 pandemic, our board continues to place children first with every decision they make.”

Dr. Davis also said he was pleased that members of the regional School Board Awards committee were able to see how Sheldon ISD trustees have made tremendous gains in the areas of finance, student achievement and growth.

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Garza’s family provides summer heat relief for pets

Garza Family – L-R: Jayden holding Jumper, Lily, Jay grooming Max and Jesus. Jacinto City’s Garza’s family provides sweltering heat relief for 2 pet dogs. (Photo by Allan Jamail)

By Allan Jamail

Jacinto City, TX. – July, 20, 2020 – During the record breaking heat waves Jacinto City’s Garza family regularly gives their two pet dogs a cooling down. Their dogs get to enjoy the inside air-conditioning when needed.

Galena Park Police Chief Rodney Chersky said, “My officers take very serious the treatment and care pets in the city is getting. While on routine patrol the officers look for outdoor pets appearing to be in distress because of the heat. We’ll immediately call for one of the city’s two humane officers to investigate any questionable pet being neglected. If a citizen suspects animal mistreatment, he urges them to call the police so we can investigate it.”

“People without thinking will get a long haired dog and put them outside and this can be tortuous for the dog. If a person would put on a fur coat and wear it outside for just a couple hours during the summer, they’d quickly see how hot it is for a long haired dog, it’s even hard on a short haired dog outside during the summer,” Chersky said.

“Pet owners should check on their outdoor pets several times a day and give them lots of fresh cool water every few hours. If they cannot bring their pet indoors during the summer then they must provide lots of shade for them. Some people will put water in a small water bowl before leaving for work and expect that to be enough water for 8 to 10 hours while they’re gone, that’s cruel,” the chief said.

Dogs kept outdoors are the most common pets to be mistreated, 70 percent of animal cruelty cases is dogs. With daytime temperatures in the 90’s and 100’s it doesn’t take long before a pet can have a heat stroke.

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Update on San Jacinto River Waste Pits: EPA says deeper toxic waste means more time & money

This illustration of a typical cofferdam and dewatering process, furnished by the EPA, may be the type called for in the Design Package.

By Jennah Durant, EPA Press Office

Here is more information on recent SJR waste pits questions:

1. Have you received the 30% Design package for the South impoundment?

Yes. The 30% design package for the south impoundment was submitted to EPA on April 13, 2020.

2. Have you received the 30% Design package for the North impoundment?

Yes. The 30% design package for the north impoundment was submitted to EPA on May 28, 2020.

3. Will these documents be available to the public? When?

The documents are currently under review by the regulatory agencies. Following EPA’s review of the document and determination that the design is appropriate based on the remedy selected in the Record of Decision, EPA will make the document available to the public.

4. Regardless of whether the reports are public, could you furnish me with an executive summary or your own summation of what they say? 

• The pre-design investigations have refined the volume of waste to be removed in the north and south impoundment;

• Waste in some areas of the northern impoundment are deeper than presented in the Record of Decision;

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GALENA PARK CURFEW: Mayor Moya talks on BBC World News

BBC NEWS, seen locally on Channel 8, interviewed Galena Park Mayor Esmeralda Moya on reasons for imposing a curfew on the city. Moya said she was prompted to order the curfew after Harris County imposed a requirement for face masks in certain businesses. She also said she is concerned about the high rate of COVID-19 hospitalizations and wants to protect the citizens of Galena Park.

LyondellBasell donates $25,000 to Precinct2gether to help fight hunger in the Channelview and Northshore area

Houston, June 15, 2020 – Four Houston-area LyondellBasell (NYSE: LYB) sites have teamed up with Harris County Precinct 2 to fight hunger among vulnerable groups and promote early literacy. LyondellBasell’s Channelview, La Porte and Bayport manufacturing sites and its Houston Refinery donated a combined $25,000 to Precinct2gether.

The donation supports Precinct2gether’s COVID19 Meal Distribution Expansion program and Read2gether, an affiliate of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library that sends free books to preschoolers to help prepare them for kindergarten.

“My office has worked tirelessly to lessen the impact of this pandemic through our extensive food and education programs which are funded through our non-profit – Precinct2Gether,” said Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia. “I am grateful to LyondellBasell for their generous donation, which will enable us to sustain in part our food distribution program that is providing approximately three tons of food every week to Precinct 2 residents. LyondellBasell recognizes that #WeAreInIt2gether.”

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Rotary welcomes two new members

North Shore Rotary Club admitted two new members at their regular weekly luncheon, last Thursday. However, this is the first time in 3 months that the club held an “in-person” meeting, because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The meeting was held at the Rotary Pavilion behind the Harris County courthouse on Wallisville, and was a sign that the parks and the county are returning to more of a normal state. Seen above, new members Mini and Bethany, with Rotarians Shawn Sillman, Derrill Painter, and president Ryan Dagley.