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North Channel Star

Allatia Harris new Chamber Chair

DR. ALLATIA HARRIS

By Jada Mier

Dr. Allatia Harris was sworn in as Board chairman for the North Channel Area Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, January 19th, 2021, virtually via Zoom at the first Chamber Board meeting of the year. Harris County Justice of the Peace Lucia Bates performed the ceremony, and additional officers and directors took the oath that morning to “promote business growth and quality of life in the North Channel Area.”

Raised in Dallas, Harris attended the University of North Texas, where she majored in Communications, obtaining her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree. Dr. Harris holds a doctorate in educational administration with a specialization in community college leadership from the University of Texas at Austin where she has been recognized as a Distinguished Graduate. After being in administration in the Dallas county community colleges, a presidency opened up at the San Jacinto Community College North Campus. Not wanting to leave Dallas, Harris was hesitant to interview; when she went to the campus, she fell in love with the North Channel community.

Vaccine shots administered at East Houston Hospital

East Houston Hospital’s LVN Jasmine Tamez vaccinates patient Amin Rosado with his first dose of the COVID-19 virus vaccine. The hospital streamlined the vaccination process so patients could quickly get in and out to minimize their wait time. Most patients received their life-saving vaccine in about 30 minutes total time.
Observers L – R: Rubin Shah, CEO of the East Houston Hospital & Clinic, RN Hilda Bentley Director of Surgical Services, RN Miriam Keary and RN Cynthia Wallace. (Photo by Allan Jamail)

Streamlined process means patients quickly get life-saving shots

By Allan Jamail

East Houston, TX. – March 17, 2021 the East Houston Hospital & Clinic located in Houston’s North Channel area (12950 East Freeway) is quickly making a positive name for itself by providing the best quality and convenient patient experience for most any medical services provided at Houston’s Medical Center. To review all their services, visit: www.adhealthcare.com

North Channel Star writer Allan Jamail said, “Since the start of the virus vaccinations I have seen many other locations and facilities administering the life-saving vaccine but nothing compared to the vaccination process I witnessed today at the East Houston Hospital & Clinic. CEO Rubin Shah was personally on hand making sure their streamlined process was going as planned.”

“Hilda Bentley, RN-Director of Surgical Services, kept her eyes on every phase of the processes, ensuring top quality medical practices were maintained.”

Patients weren’t having to wait long to get their shot, mostly moving in and out in approximately 30 minutes total time.

Channelview concerned about dredging for more barges near Superfund Waste Pits

Construction activity along River Road includes piles about to be driven into the water to support a new set of berths for barges. Dredging of 15,000 cubic yards of waste material will take place in the same area and be sent to a new landfill in Devers.

CHANNELVIEW – According to the C.H.I.C. community action group, residents in the San Jacinto River Estates area along the San Jacinto River near the Waste Pits received a notice letter last week from the Corps of Engineers, calling attention to a dredging and mooring project in the river near Meadowbrook Park and asking for comments within 15 days.

This is apparently a continuation of a project that was attempted last year, by the landowners TimTom Holdings and Holtmar Land LLC. In that project, excavated materials from the south side of I-10 were to be hauled to Beach City, and deposited in a landfill site near a park and residential area. Complaints by citizens and the city government managed to stop that work.

Carolyn Stone of C.H.I.C. says she believes that this project is using an old permit, with a different description of the work. She believes they would need a new permit for this, which is a different project.

Galena Park’s Medical Clinic Administers COVID Vaccine

Certified Medical Assistant Claudia Franco at the Galena Park Medical Clinic is giving the life saving Moderna COVID 19 virus vaccine to patient Francisco Luevano. Observing, Galena Park Mayor Esmeralda Moya (red) and Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia (right) (Photo Allan Jamail)

By Allan Jamail

Galena Park, TX. – Friday, March 5, 2021, at the Galena Park Medical Clinic, Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia and Mayor Esmeralda Moya assisted the clinic in obtaining the Moderna COVID-19 for the citizens and the nearby areas.

Congresswoman Garcia said, “My objective is to bring the virus vaccine to the people. Many people are unable to travel long distances and wait in long lines for hours to be protected from the virus. With President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion Economic Rescue Plan, we’ll now be able to make sizable gains in protecting citizens from the deadly virus.”

Octavio Plaza, the clinic’s office manager, said, “This is so true. Frequently we have some older citizens unable to get from their cars to get inside for their vaccination, and I and others have gone out into the parking lot to assist them in getting inside.”

The plan calls for $20 billion in a national vaccination program, including launching community vaccination centers around the country and mobile units in hard-to-reach areas. It’ll provide $50 billion in testing providing funds to purchase rapid tests expand lab capacity and help schools implement regular testing to support reopening. It will also fund the hiring of 100,000 public health workers, nearly tripling the community health workforce. And it will provide support to long-term care facilities experiencing outbreaks and to prisons for mitigation strategies.

School districts respond to Abbott’s Mandate… The Masks Stay on

DR. JOHN MOORE, Superintendent of Galena Park ISD, wears a mask at a recent news conference.

By Jada Mier

Governor Greg Abbott issued an Executive Order (GA-34) lifting the mask mandate in Texas and increasing capacity of all businesses and facilities in the state to 100 percent. Although this gives institutes the freedom to lift their own mandatory mask protocols, many feel that it is unwise to do so.

Galena Park ISD, Channelview ISD, Sheldon ISD and San Jacinto community college have all decided that in wake of this new mandate it would be safer for students and staff to carry on with their mask requirement.

Waste Pits update by Zoom meeting

MAP above of Southern Impoundment, shows excavation of toxic waste from 4’ deep (green) to 10’ deep (red).

Waste Pits remediation schedule extended, disposal and classification of waste questioned

By Gilbert Hoffman

The San Jacinto River Coalition, and THEA have learned that the time line for remediation and removal of the Waste Pits in the river will take considerably more time than originally thought, due to a number of factors.

Pre-Design Investigation, or PDI, discovered that the depth of the waste to be removed was much greater than the original 12 feet. In some places in the Northern Impoundment it was as deep as 25 feet. The significance of this meant that more material would have to be removed, and more water infiltrating from the river would have to be treated. The original time line had been to complete the project in 2 and one-half years, and now it looks like the schedule will be seven years. The Final Design plan called for one year of preparation to procure contractors and materials, 5 years to remove the waste material (the site would be divided into five zones, each separated from the others, and taking a year to remediate) and a year to mobilize.

However, in September THEA learned that the EPA had granted the PRP consultant’s request for additional time for engineering, due to the increased scope and depth of the waste.

Pct. 2 Medical SmartPod wins innovation award

Pct. 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia last October, dedicating first SmartPod in the Aldine area.

Harris County, TX — Commissioner Adrian Garcia and Precinct 2 received the prestigious American City & County 2020 Crown Communities Award. Garcia and Precinct 2 were chosen for their entry, which described the purchase, installation, and deployment of two SmartPod mobile health care units designed by Baylor. Precinct 2’s SmartPods are known as ACCESS2HEALTH.

Crown Communities Awards are based on uniqueness, short- and long-term value to the community and effective/innovative financing. The announcement cites ACCESS2HEALTH for its “Innovative COVID-19 Emergency Response.” Though the two ACCESS2HEALTH units were purchased prior to the pandemic, once installed, their availability for remote COVID-19 testing was of immediate value that continues today. Once COVID-19 is no longer the most pressing health issue of the times, ACCESS2HEALTH can be converted to provide clinical and behavioral health services, ultimately providing patients with a medical home.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo: “This is not the time to give up”

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo

This Wednesday, the state’s decision to open everything at 100% and eliminate the mask mandate comes into effect.

For the vast majority of the community who have been following public health recommendations from the beginning, the state’s ending COVID-19 precautions is a gut punch. As I said in a recent TIME Magazine Op-Ed:

“It is a heavy burden for a community to carry, to continue to sacrifice in spite of false hopes being offered at the highest levels of the state… I hope that people of this county won’t allow pandemic politics to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and that we won’t throw away a year of pain and sacrifice so that politicians can have their ‘mission accomplished’ moment.”

I have received a lot of questions about what that means for Texans, and what our community should do.

The bottom line is this: This is not the time to give up.

Our positivity rate is sky high and still rising.

Governor lifts Mask mandate, opens businesses 100% against heavy criticism

GOVERNOR ABBOTT makes announcement at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Lubbock.

AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott stirred up a major controversy Tuesday, by issuing an Executive Order (GA-34) lifting the mask mandate in Texas and increasing capacity of all businesses and facilities in the state to 100 percent. The Governor made the announcement at Montelongo’s Mexican Restaurant in Lubbock in an address to the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce.

The announcement immediately drew criticism from County and City governments, labor unions, and public health officials that have been attempting for over a year to reduce the number of illnesses and deaths caused by the COVID-19 virus. This highly contagious virus is spread through human contact, and masks and social distancing, and “lockdowns” are the major elements in the fight against the disease.

AOC raises $5 million in Storm Relief

At a press conference at the Food Bank L-R: Congresswomen Sheila Jackson Lee, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) & Sylvia Garcia (Allan Jamail photo)

Historic Texas Ice Storm Victims Receive Aid From New York Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez

By Allan Jamail

Houston, TX. – Saturday, February 20, 2021 – Houston’s Food Bank (HFB) President and CEO, Brian Greene welcomed and introduced Congresswomen Sylvia Garcia, New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), and Sheila Jackson Lee to the facility. He said the HFB is a non-profit organization and the nation’s largest food bank in the United States by size and distribution; providing access to 159 million nutritious meals in 18 counties in southeast Texas.

Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia told how New York’s 14th Congressional District Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) contacted her and said she’d like to help Texas’ ice storm victims. Garcia invited AOC to Houston so she could visit the HFB and see how they provide meals year-round to the needed. She said about one in four children in our area are at-risk of hunger. Kids must have consistent nutritious food for the body, mind, and spirit in order to be successful. Garcia told of how AOC began raising funds to aid the ice storm victims. The first day, AOC quickly raised over a million dollars, so she then decided to continue raising donations. On the second day, the day before her trip to Houston, AOC had raised over two million, and Saturday, on the day she arrived here, AOC had raised 3.2 million dollars. After leaving the HFB, Garcia’s took AOC out to some Houston communities to visit and see first-hand how devastating the brutal storm struck millions of people.