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Posts published in “Front Page”

Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month

Felicitas Gómez Martínez de Mendez with her husband Gonzalo Méndez. In 1946, Mendez and her husband Gonzalo led an educational civil rights battle that set an important legal precedent for ending segregation in the United States.

National Hispanic Heritage Month September 15 – October 15

By Allan Jamail

Today, September 15, 2020, marks the beginning of a month long celebration recognizing the contributions Hispanics have contributed to the United States. National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15.

Allan Jamail, North Channel Star writer said, “I write this article to honor Puerto Rican civil rights pioneer Felicitas Mendez.” She is a Puerto Rican immigrant and her husband Gonzalo took on California school segregation laws after their three children were denied entry at a local elementary school because of their skin color in 1944.

The success of the Mendez v. Westminster case made California the first state in the nation to end segregation in school. This paved the way for the better-known Brown v. Board of Education when Blacks were also denied an education in a segregated White school. It was this case which would bring an end to school segregation in the entire country.

In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a proclamation to establish Hispanic Heritage Week. In the proclamation, the 36th president wrote, “The people of Hispanic descent are the heirs of missionaries, captains, soldiers, and farmers who were motivated by a young spirit of adventure, and a desire to settle freely in a free land. This heritage is ours.”

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Pct. 2 provides “Study Zones” at Rotary Pavilion

STUDY ZONE at the North Shore Rotary Pavilion, behind the Fonteno Courthouse.

NORTH CHANNEL – Harris County Precinct 2 is now offering study zones with free wi-fi access for the community at the North Shore Rotary Pavilion located at 14350 1/2 Wallisville Rd, behind the Fonteno Courthouse.

Students and parents are welcome to study and use for virtual learning. The Study Zone is open daily, from 8am to 6pm. Additionally, the Harris County Public Library will be onsite every Tuesday from 12 noon to 4pm with their mobile library providing e-cards, support with their digital material and book give-away services.

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Public input by ZOOM meeting for Pct 2 Parks & Trails Comprehensive Plan

A map of Precinct 2 shows the extent of population density, and location of parks as indicated by colored dots.

Harris County Pct. 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia held a Zoom meeting last Monday night, to get the public’s input and ideas on how to develop a Comprehensive Plan for Parks and Trails in Precinct 2.

About 100 persons participated in the session, which lasted about an hour, exceeding the time planned because of the enthusiasm of the callers and the commissioner.

Adrian Garcia said that he wants Pct. 2 to have a reputation for outstanding parks, that attract people and publicity, and where people can have a good time. He noted that good parks also increase property values.

Garcia revealed that he has an experienced architectural landscape and urban planning firm working on the project. This is Asakura Robinson, headed by Keiji Asakura.

Also participating in the Zoom meeting and the planning for the parks are representatives from Pct. 2 and also the Harris County engineering department. Another consultant is Jose Eduardo Sanchez, a community engagement specialist.

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Area schools virtually reopen Sept. 8

Galena Park’s new Superintendent Dr. John Moore

NORTH CHANNEL – School districts in this area are planning on starting classes on Tuesday, September 8. Some had planned an earlier start, in August, but changed their schedule on the advice of health authorities.

Class instruction will open at first only virtually, or on the internet, and after a period of several weeks, will change to a hybrid model where parents can choose to continue at-home learning, or face-to-face in-person in school. In Sheldon and Galena Park, this change will occur in four weeks. In Channelview the change will be in three weeks. However, all districts have stated that they will evaluate the health concerns at the time of change-over, and the schedule may be adjusted further.

In Galena Park ISD a new superintendent will be in charge, Dr. John Moore.

Moore has been educator in the Galena Park ISD system for nearly 30 years. Dr. Moore is overseeing the unusual situation of starting school in the midst of a pandemic. He has instituted a number of practices meant to ensure the safety of students and staff when they finally meet in face-to-face classroom situations.

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Hurricane relief for Disaster areas

President Trump, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, FEMA officials, and others walk through the debris of the hurricane Laura disaster that struck Lake Charles, and other portions of Southern Louisiana.

ORANGE – Texas Senator Ted Cruz capped a day of looking into the remnants of Hurricane Laura by saying, “Texans all across the state, Texans here in southeast Texas are breathing a giant sigh of relief right now. This hurricane could have been much, much worse. We just completed an aerial tour of the region and the damage is much more contained than prior hurricanes have been. Obviously, our hearts are heavy for our neighbors in Louisiana. We toured some of that damage as well. The damage in Louisiana is significantly greater, but given the magnitude of this storm, it could have been so much worse.”

And the storms will get worse: Hurricane Harvey almost exactly three years before holds the record for fastest and strongest intensifications in the Gulf of Mexico, for two weeks it held the record for fastest and strongest intensification anywhere then Hurricane Irma beat that. Laura went from tropical storm 35 miles per hour winds to 150 miles per hour overnight.

Hurricane relief is needed by neighbors in eastern Louisiana area who are recovering from Hurricane Laura. The following items are needed: 1. Tarps, 2. Non-perishable food items , 3. Batteries, 4. Water, 5. Diapers (size 3, 4 and 5), 6. Baby wipes, 7. Disinfectant wipes.

Private efforts including Project Hope (844) 349- 0188, supporting healthcare workers worldwide, Samaritan fund, and others like the Red Cross re gathering donations.

Saturday, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner indicated the city is partnering with several local businesses and entities to gather donated supplies for residents who were hit by Hurricane Laura.

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Phony COVID test site in North Shore

By Michelle Leigh Smith

HOUSTON – (August 17, 2020) Unidentified workers at an unauthorized COVID-19 testing site were taking test swabs on Saturday, August 15, in the parking lot of Woodforest Presbyterian Church, 15330 Wallisville Rd., Houston, TX 77049. The church has served Harris County for 60 years and is located in an unincorporated area of Harris County on a busy commercial corner across from a WalMart. One of the church members asked the testers to stop, and they packed up and quickly left the premises. They left behind broken cotton swabs and a lot of unanswered questions.

Ann Martin, treasurer for Woodforest Presbyterian Church said, “Our church members were suspicious because the phony testers were wearing masks, gloves, and face shields – but not the full protective gear seen at legitimate testing sites. We believe this is the first phony COVID-19 testing site in Houston.”

Martin is concerned by reports from Louisville, KY where workers charged $240 for the test and collected credit card, Social Security, and Medicare numbers.

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Hurricane revives talk of Ike Dike

The IKE DIKE would include two huge swinging gates, that would block the storm surge from a Hurricane, and protect the development around Galveston Bay.

HURRICANE LAURA BRINGS RENEWED PITCH FOR IKE DIKE

As thousands fled southeast Texas ahead of Hurricane Laura, Texas A&M promoted an Ike Dike as a critical way to protect the region from devastating damage.

Texas escaped a direct hit from Laura, which made landfall as a Category 4 storm in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, just east of Port Arthur. Despite the state’s luck this time, Texas A&M marine scientists urged action on their proposal to build a series of barriers, levees and gates that would close off Galveston Bay from storm surge.

William Merrell, a professor at Texas A&M-Galveston and a former president of the school, helped develop the plan after Hurricane Ike devastated Galveston in 2008, resulting in $30 billion in damages and killing more than 50 people.

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HURRICANE LAURA HITS TEXAS & LOUISIANA

This map from the National Weather Service shows the likely path of Hurricane Laura, and how it is gaining strength as it crosses the Gulf of Mexico. It is expected to be a Category 4 hurricane, with winds of at least 145 mph with gusts to 175 mph. The expected landfall is the border between Texas and Louisiana, but the cone of possibility indicates Houston may feel some or all of the effects of the storm.

AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott today held a press conference at the Alternate State Operations Center in Austin where he provided an update on the state’s response to Hurricane Laura. This hurricane is expected to bring heavy rainfall, flooding, high winds, and storm surge. He announced that he has added 36 counties to his State Disaster Declaration due to the threat of severe rain, wind, and flooding.

During the press conference, Governor Abbott announced that reception centers in San Antonio, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Austin are open. The state is providing buses to transport Texans that are evacuating. There are also over 225,000 hotel rooms available across the state to provide shelter to evacuees. A full list of mandatory and voluntary evacuations can be found on the Texas Hurricane Center web page. Governor Abbott urged Texans to take action now to protect themselves and their property.

“Hurricane Laura is rapidly intensifying and poses a major threat to communities in Southeast Texas and along the coast,” said Governor Abbott. “Texans in the path of this storm should waste no time preparing for the impact of Hurricane Laura and take immediate action to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. I urge our Southeast and coastal communities to heed the guidance of local officials, follow evacuation orders, and remain vigilant as we brace for the impact of Hurricane Laura. The State of Texas will continue to monitor this storm and provide the resources needed to keep Texans safe.”

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Hurricane evacuations underway

SOUTHEAST TEXAS – Counties and cities from Chambers County to Louisiana were issuing evacuation notices, in the anticipation that the coming Hurricane Laura would bring high winds and heavy rains, with flooding similar to previous devastating hurricanes.

Mandatory evacuations have been issued for Galveston, Chambers County if you live in a flood-prone area, Galveston County for low-lying and beachfront areas, Jefferson County, City of Kemah, Orange County, and City of Port Arthur.

Also, voluntary evacuations have been ordered in parts of Baytown, Harris County flood-prone zones, La Porte, Lake Jackson, League City, Nassau Bay, and Seabrook. Although all of these areas will require shelters after the evacuation, in general they have not been designated as yet.

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