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North Channel Star

SJRC stops one permit, faces other threats

JACKIE YOUNG, San Jacinto River Coalition

HIGHLANDS – Since the beginning of the year, the San Jacinto River Coalition, part of THEA, has held two public meetings to update everyone on developments around the Waste Pits site.

The clean-up itself is in the Remedial Design phase, with the work plan approved. EPA and the PRP are actually working on Pre-Design Phase I, which can be seen on the EPA website. Phase II will be posted by Feb. 12, she said, and will continue through July. Young expected work to remove the waste material could start by the end of 2019.

Young said that the PRP had hired a new consulting firm, GHD Consultants, with experience in this type of Superfund site. They will be helping prepare the work plan and Remedial Action plan. Maintenance of the current Cap is under the direction of another engineering firm, Anchor QEA & Integral.

Sampling of the current material under the cap is taking place, to categorize the degree of hazardous material, and decide where to dispose of it. On site, core samples can be seen in drums, and water level samples in red storage tanks. These will be sent to a lab for testing.

Young criticized the sampling effort, noting that they are not testing for PCBs. “We really don’t understand what is the composition of this waste,” she said. She also questioned whether workers on the site had adequate environmental protection gear, and whether samples taken were protected from tampering or alteration.

SAMPLES of ground water, and cores are being stored in these drums, and then taken off-site for lab tests to determine the toxicity of the material under the cap, and how high the water table is below.

DREDGING PERMIT (more…)

Football Coach Kay Recognized

Rep. Hernandez and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner recognize Coach Kay and the #1 high school football team in the nation, the Galena Park ISD North Shore Senior High School Mustangs.

Coach Kay and the Mustangs also received recognition at a Pep Rally at the North Shore Stadium, and an award at the downtown Houston Touchdown Club.

Coach Kay received an award from the Houston Sports Awards, as televised on Channel 13 at the beginning of February. The team was recognized in a category called “Moment of the Year” for the hail Mary catch that won the playoff game.

Coach Kay and Mustang players were also honored at the North Shore Rotary luncheon in February.

North Shore Lady Mustangs eliminated in Playoffs

Lady Mustang freshman #5 Donalyn Johnson leaps high over two Dobie Lady Longhorn defenders to tie the game late in the third quarter. Lady Mustangs were eliminated 35-29. (Photo by Allan Jamail)

By Allan Jamail

February 11, 2019 – Deer Park was the neutral site for the Girls 6A Bi-District Basketball Playoffs where the Dobie Lady Longhorns eliminated the Lady Mustangs 35-29. It was a defensive game and the lead changed and was tied several times until the final few minutes. The Lady Mustangs turned-over the ball numerous times in the final minutes, the Lady Longhorns easily scored from the turnover’s and pulled away with the win.

Rep. Hernandez hosts Seniors Valentine’s Dance

Rep. Hernandez with senior citizens at the Valentine’s Day Dance

Friday, February 8th saw a day full of dancing and socializing at the 12th Annual District 143 Seniors Valentine’s Day Dance at the Leon Grayson Community Center in the North Channel area. As always, there was delicious food, dancing, and a good time was had by all thanks to the hard work of volunteers and sponsors.

NS Mustangs advance in Playoffs

#11 Mustang Ian Butler jumps high past Trojan defenders with a layup for a score.

Defeat South Houston 42-35; Dickinson next

By Allan Jamail

Tuesday, February 19, 2019 — The North Shore Mustangs basketball team advanced in the 2019 Boys State Basketball Championships – 6A Regions 1 & 3 tournament by defeating the Trojans of South Houston 42 to 35 in Deer Park a neutral site.

The North Shore Mustangs will play next the Dickinson Gators Friday, February 22, at 8:00 PM at the Phillips Field House, 2909 Dabney Dr., Pasadena, 77502.

The Mustangs have an overall record of 29 wins and 3 losses, the Dickinson Gators record is 21-8. If the Mustangs win this Area Around game they’ll advance to the Regional Quarter-Finals against the winner of the Dawson and Humble game.

Channelview ISD calls for $195M Bond Election in May

Proposition Addresses Growth, Safety, Program Expansion, & More

The Channelview ISD Board of Trustees voted unanimously to accept the Citizens’ Bond Planning Committee recommendation to call for a $195.4 million bond package addressing district growth, safety, program expansion, and aging infrastructure across the district.

Development of the bond proposal involved an in-depth process of information gathering, research and community input. The district conducted facilities assessments at each campus, a district-wide capacity study, educational planning with campus staff, and in October 2018, formed the Citizens’ Bond Planning Committee (CBPC).

The CBPC, made up of parents, staff, and local community members, met over the course of four months to study and prioritize the district’s current and long-term facility needs. On Tuesday, January 15, the Committee made its recommendation to the Board of Trustees to call for a bond election to be held Saturday, May 4.

“We are extremely grateful to the citizens who worked diligently to develop this plan for the future of our district. We had over 40 community members from all backgrounds come together to provide their input. Their engagement and commitment to the process resulted in a bond proposal that plans for growth and impacts every campus,” said Board President Keith Liggett. “We are excited to bring it forward to the voters for their consideration.”

Some of the proposed projects include:

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Barge damages I-10 bridge

THIS CONCRETE PIER, under the westbound lanes of I-10, was struck by an uncontrolled barge. TxDOT reported a structural failure both above and below the water line. They reported that they will let an emergency contract in a few days, for repairs and/or replacement of the pier. (Photo by We All Nosey)

Traffic flow severely throttled

Monday afternoon a barge, being pushed by a tug boat, the Lindberg Crosby, hit a support pier under the I-10 highway, severely damaging it.

TxDOT was forced to close the westbound lanes of the highway, until they could ascertain the extent of the damage. This caused a severe traffic jam from Highlands clear to the far side of Baytown. In addition, the entry ramp westbound at Four Corners was closed, and traffic backed up on all the side roads clear to Crosby. Some motorists headed north, to US90, but delays of over an hour were reported.

The Coast Guard told this newspaper that an investigation was underway, but did not have details on the cause of the collision at this time. Aerial photos on TV news showed the barge and a tug boat standing by just south of the highway.

TRAFFIC WESTBOUND at 4:33pm was blocked by TxDOT trucks and the police, as engineers assessed the damage. Later one lane was opened, and on Tuesday two lanes, but the on-ramp from Crosby-Lynchburg was closed, causing massive backups from Highlands to Crosby and Baytown. (Transtar Photo)

Environmentalists such as Jackie Young of the San Jacinto River Coalition, expressed concern that workers repairing the damaged pier might be exposed to toxins from the nearby waste pits, which occur on both the north and south sides of the highway. She also said that the occurrence of a barge out of control was another reason why the waste pits needed totally removed from the river.

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North Shore & South Houston Face-off in Basketball Playoffs

By Allan Jamail

North Shore basketball Coach Sam Benitez is preparing the Mustangs for the first round of the playoffs in a Bi-District showdown against the South Houston Trojans, with a 21 win, 13 loss record. North Shore finished regular season play with 28 wins & 3 loses.

The game will be played Tuesday, February 19th at 7 PM on a neutral site in Deer Park, 710 San Augustine Ave. 77536.

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Wood Shadows II citizens happy with hike and bike trail changes

Wood Shadows II resident’s welcomed the good news from Lisa Kasianowitz, Houston Parks Board Outreach Manager (red boots) and Chip Place Managing Director of Capital Projects for the Houston Parks Board for making changes after they complained in October about the trail running near their backyards. The new route was well received after hearing it would now run along Lafferty Oaks street. (Photo by Allan Jamail)

By Allan Jamail

Houston, TX. – Friday, February 1, 2019 — Members of the Houston Parks Board met with the same citizens of the Wood Shadows II Subdivision where a proposed hike and bike trail back on October 26, 2018 met strong criticism. Back then the suggested route would have been placed close to the backside of their homes. The main complaint then was this would allow users of the trail to possibly wander into their yards and maybe break-in or steal things from their backyards.

The newest proposal relocated the trail to the front side of the homes going along Lafferty Oaks street. It now will include a new neighborhood park to be constructed on vacant lots where flood prone homes were obtained by Harris County’s Flood Control buy-out program and demolished.

Lisa Kasianowitz, Houston Parks Board Outreach Manager (above photo in red boots) conducted the meeting and Chip Place Managing Director of Capital Projects for the Houston Parks Board assured the citizens the new park and entire trail will be maintained to prevent high grass and trash from littering it. They said the area will be patrolled by police patrol cars and the bike patrol and will only be open from dawn to dusk. The new trail and park will put out for construction bids this summer.

Iris Jones the Secretary of the Wood Shadows II Civic Club and a nearby homeowner said, “For 30 years we have lived peacefully in Wood Shadows II subdivision, all we want is a nice safe and clean neighborhood.” She thanked the Park’s Board members for responding to their concerns.

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Harris County Clerk Diane Trautman holds citizens advisory committee meeting

Photo by Allan Jamail

By Allan Jamail

Houston, Tx. – January 23, 2019 – Diane Trautman Harris County’s newly elected Clerk held her first Election Advisory Committee (EAC) meeting. She hasn’t wasted time in full-filling her campaign pledges of having citizen involvement in her decisions and to make it more convenient for voters to cast their ballots.

To get broad based county-wide citizen involvement Trautman will have seven Election Advisory Committee (EAC) meetings. The meetings will educate and seek input from the minority languages of the county as required under the 1965 and 1975 Voting Rights Act (Section 203). Trautman will include meetings in Spanish, Vietnamese and Chinese. She’ll use these EAC meetings to unveil her Countywide Voting Centers Plan and or her Election Day Vote Center (EDVC) plan.

Another of Trautman’s major campaign pledges was to make it easier for voters to vote on Election Day. If her EDVC plan is approved by Harris County’s Commissioners Court, it would make it possible for anyone to vote on Election Day at an Election Day Vote Center (EDVC) at any of Harris County’s 700-plus polling locations. Currently, county residents have multiple options during early voting, but on Election Day, they can only cast a ballot in their home precinct.

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Galena Park ISD Community Pep Rally honors North Shore Mustangs

2018 North Shore Mustangs State Football Champion’s for Conference 6A Division I standing at the table displaying both the University Interscholastic League and MaxPrep trophies with Army National Guard Airborne Staff Sergeant Carla Henry and Coach Jon Kay. (Photo by Allan Jamail)

By Allan Jamail

Saturday, February 2, 2019 at 3 PM was a day that will go into history for the Galena Park ISD community. The Army National Guard, UIL and MaxPreps came together to bring the GPISD community a proud day. The event was billed as a Pep Rally and it surely was, as thousands of fans, family and students packed the stadium cheering their Mustangs.

The Master of Ceremonies was Casey Johnson, a North Shore High teacher who kept the program agenda moving forward and lively with his occasional encouragement and stirring up the crowd to get loud cheers for their Mustangs. The Mustang Nation was “in the house” and let it be known they love their East-Side Boys.

Terri Moore, Assistant Superintendent at Galena Park ISD, introduced elected officials who presented proclamations or resolutions honoring the team. Houston’s Mayor Sylvester Turner, Jacinto City’s Mayor Ana Diaz, Galena Park’s Mayor Esmeralda Moya, Senator Carol Alvarado, State Representative Ana Hernandez, County Commissioner Adrian Garcia, Constable Chris Diaz, GPISD Trustees Jeff Millier, Wilfred Broussard and Yuroba Harris, representing Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia, who couldn’t attend. Mayors Turner and Ana Diaz proclaimed North Shore Mustang Day in their cities.

Bill Moore representing MaxPrep for Andy Beal, President and Founder, gave a press statement proclaiming the undefeated North Shore Mustangs 6A Division I number one in the nation. Maxprep is a CBS Sports Digital property, and it’s the online high school sports leader devoted exclusively to the coverage of high school sports, and uses an intricate program to determine team rank. The computer-based system utilizes the huge number of game results played nationwide each season. The Mustangs set a school record for most wins in a single season; evaluations included strength of schedule, talent, quality wins and returning starters, and to qualify for the Nation’s number one rank, you must have won a state championship.

The Mustangs trampled their opponents to the tune of a 41 point average margin of victory. They set a school record for most point scored in a season with 854 (53.4 average).

Allan Jamail, NC Star writer, asked Coach Kay for a prediction and goal for 2019. Kay said, “I can’t predict this far out. We’re losing some great senior talent, but we have a good crop of upcoming players we’ll work to develop to try to fill in for those we’re losing.

“My goal is to be the best we can be” Kay said.

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