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North Channel Star

Take advantage of early voting in Channelview ISD’s Bond, April 22 – April 30

The proposition addresses growth, safety, program expansion, and more.

Early voting for Channelview ISD’s $195.4 million bond is here. Starting Monday, April 22 through Tuesday, April 30, CISD voters can head to any polling location in Harris County to have a say in the future of the community by casting their vote.

Extended polling hours are available Monday through Saturday of early voting from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., giving voters the option to swing by before or after work. On Sunday, April 28, voting is open from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

For voters’ convenience, there are two in-district early voting locations, the North Channel Library at 15741 Wallisville Road and the Joyce Hendrix Educational Support Center (CISD Admin. Building) at 828 Sheldon Road. You can also vote at any Harris County early voting location. To find a polling location near you, go to cvisdbond.org/ voting-information.

“With the district’s continued growth in mind, we’re looking for community input by asking you to vote on the bond package this May. I encourage every resident to get out and exercise their right to vote, and to take advantage of early voting. This election is very important in determining how our district will look over the next decade,” said CISD Board President Keith Liggett. “We want to hear from you.”

Election Day is Saturday, May 4. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The North Channel Library and Joyce Hendrix Educational Support Center will both be open for voting, or you can vote at any election day polling location in Harris County.

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Rep. Hernandez updates news from the capitol

Rep. Hernandez with students and supporters after presenting House Bill 1602 to the House Committee on Public Education

Dear Friend,

With less than seven weeks remaining in the 86th Legislative Session, the Texas Capitol is growing increasingly busy! Committees are meeting twice a week, major pieces of legislation have passed at least one chamber of the Legislature, and negotiations on major policy topics such as property tax reduction, public school finance, and the final passage of our state’s biennial budget are ongoing.

The past two weeks have been particularly busy for our policy agenda! I wanted to provide you an update on our legislative package’s progress as we reach mid-April. As always, if ever I can be of assistance or answer any questions, do not hesitate to call my office at (512) 463-0614.

Kind regards,

Ana Hernandez

Wrapping Up Two Busy Weeks Of Bills!

Over the last two weeks, Representative Hernandez has presented thirteen bills in committee to crack down on human trafficking, improve public education, and grow our economy. These measures include:

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EPA announces new Air Quality website

• EPA and TCEQ announce story map resource
• Interactive tool provides easy access for ITC fire data

DALLAS – (March 31, 2019) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) announce a new interactive resource to help keep the public updated and informed about the response activities for the Intercontinental Terminals Company LLC (ITC) Fire in La Porte, Texas.

The new resource, a collaborative, interactive “story map,” can be viewed on EPA’s website at response.epa.gov/ITCTankFire.

EPA and TCEQ’s response actions, as well as maps, photos and sampling locations are featured.

On March 17, 2019, in response to a tank fire at the ITC facility, EPA, TCEQ, along with state and local agencies joined ITC in a Unified Command. EPA and TCEQ continue to be onsite for the emergency response focused on providing the assistance and coordination needed to address any discharges from the site. EPA and TCEQ have been conducting water sampling and air monitoring throughout the affected areas from the onset of the response.

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PRESIDENT TRUMP VISITS CROSBY AREA

President Donald Trump signed two executive orders in Crosby, easing regulations on pipelines and water quality.

CROSBY – “It’s like the circus is coming to town!” exclaimed one Republican resident, of the combined excitement and trepidation of having the presidential motorcade come to an unincorporated area that voted for him in the Presidential election by a whopping 74%.

A flurry of questions poured into this newspaper concerning where folks could get a view or when traffic could be expected to be stopped on FM 2100 or Foley Road. Trump landed his plane at Ellington Field, and travelled by Motorcade to Crosby on US90. After his talk, he returned to Ellington for a fundraiser dinner at the Lone Star Air Museum.

The speech and signing ceremony at the IUOE center was attended by about 400 invited guests, from Harris County and a few from Crosby. A number of industry friends of Trump attended, some even riding the Air Force One with the president.

Arrival at the International Union of Operating Engineers International Training and Education Center comes in controversy. President Trump signed executive orders to facilitate easing regulations on making petrochemicals and speeding up pipeline construction, even in the wake of four petrochemical fires and three worker deaths in less than one month in East Harris County. And the union facility recently became non-profit, thus reducing taxes paid to local first responders. White House officials announced the orders will grant incentives for investors to build energy infrastructure, streamlining permitting for pipeline projects. Last May Trump issued a permit to initiate the delayed Keystone XL Pipeline.

The International Training and Education Center is about 266 acres between Newport and Foley Road in Crosby.

President Trump indicated reducing red tape around pipelines would allow the US to remain undisputed leader of the world in natural gas and oil in the future.

Of course, the new Keystone XL permit is under court challenge, environmentalists sued over the issue of whether Congress, not the executive branch, is granted constitutional rule over federal lands.

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Commissioner Adrian Garcia meets with Federal Officials to address ITC incident

Commissioner Garcia with State Officials at Washington, D.C.

HOUSTON – Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia met with federal officials in Washington, D.C., this week to advocate for infrastructure resources and enhancing safety and collaboration with the chemical industry after the ITC explosion.

During the visit, which spanned Monday, April 1, through Thursday, April 4, Commissioner Garcia met with EPA officials to address the lack of air monitors available after a fire broke out at Intercontinental Terminals Company in Deer Park March 17 and burned for days. Garcia emphasized the need for more foam on site to be able to combat these blazes, as well as the importance of knowing quickly what is inside the tanks so first-responders can be both safe and effective.

“We need to work together, at all levels of government, to ensure industry leaders and our communities cannot just co-exist, but be good neighbors and look out for each other,” Commissioner Garcia said.

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Channelview ISD’s May Bond addresses growth, plans for future

REPLACE COBB & SCHOCHLER: • Existing Cobb Campus: Capacity of 471. • Existing Schochler Campus: Capacity of 601. • Proposed New Campus: 1,100 student capacity; located in between; existing campuses; modern learning; environment; improved parking, drives and play areas.

With hundreds of new homes coming to the area, Channelview ISD schools, many which are already nearing maximum capacity, could soon be out of space. The expansion of the Rancho Verde residential development includes more than 620 new homes that will be built within the Channelview ISD boundaries.

In order to accommodate the future growth, Channelview ISD has called a $195.4 million bond election, the District’s first in 10 years, to be held on May 4, 2019.

Currently, Channelview High School and the Ninth Grade Center are over capacity. If approved by voters, one of the projects included in the bond is a new Career and Technical Education Center addition, which will add instructional space for approximately 340 additional students. The CTE expansion will also provide students with increased opportunities to earn industry certifications and prepare them for life beyond high school whether they decide to attend college or enter the workforce. The existing CTE space will be renovated and repurposed to create more space for other academic and art classrooms.

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Rotary Fish Fry tickets on sale for May 18 event

NORTH SHORE ROTARY will hold their 44th Annual Catfish Fry & Crawfish Boil on Saturday, May 18 at the Rotary Pavilion behind the Courthouse on Wallisville Road. Dinners are available for $12 Pre-Sale, or $15 at the Gate.

In addition, raffle tickets are available for $100 for a chance to win either a 2019 Toyota Camry or a Toyota Tundra pickup truck, courtesy of Community Toyota Baytown. These tickets include two meals, and the chance to win 20 other prizes.

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VFW Post 9296 helps Coast Guard in time of need

US Navy veteran Gerald Muller becomes the new commander for Greens Bayou VFW Post 9296. (Photo by Allan Jamail)

By Allan Jamail

Houston, TX — The Greens Bayou VFW Post 9296 (Veterans of Foreign Wars) helped local Coast Guard members during the recent government shutdown. When congress wouldn’t fund President Trump’s border wall he refused to sign the Spending Bill to keep the government open, creating the longest shutdown in history which took a toll on governmental employees and service members.

Commander Muller said when his members learned of Coast Guard members enduring financial hardships his post requested financial assistance for them from the National VFW Foundation. Thirty-five applicants of the Coast Guard received financial-aid.

Muller has served in many capacities of the VFW for the 15 years he’s been a member before becoming Commander of Post 9296 last year.

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San Jacinto Day Festival & Battle Reenactment cancelled due to ITC facility fire

2019 Festival originally scheduled for April 13

The March 17 tank farm fire at the ITC facility remains an ongoing situation that has closed the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site and the San Jacinto Museum of History since the emergency situation began. At the present time, access to the area surrounding the site is restricted to emergency personnel involved in the cleanup. All preparations needed for a successful Festival & Battle Reenactment by necessity, have been halted.

“While the situation is improving, we do not know when conditions will allow for the public to return to this hallowed ground,” said Larry Spasic, San Jacinto Museum President. “Our overriding concern is, of course, the safety of our guests and the participants involved as well as the animals used in the reenactment and our educational venues. Because of the ongoing efforts of the cleanup and remediation of the pollution in the waterways and grasslands in and around the San Jacinto Site and continuing uncertainties, we feel it is better to act proactively than reactively to these circumstances.”

With an abundance of caution, the difficult decision has been made to cancel the 2019 San Jacinto Festival and Battle Reenactment scheduled for April 13th. All involved are deeply saddened that this important tradition will not occur for only the second time in nearly 35 years.

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ITC Fire event is not over, says OEM director Lina Hidalgo

JUDGE LINA HIDALGO, head of Office of Emergency Management, holds a news conference on Monday to update the public on status of the ITC fire and clean-up. (photo Gilbert Hoffman)

DEER PARK – Well into the second week after the huge chemical storage tank fire at the ITC site in Deer Park, authorities and emergency crews are still busy trying to deal with the aftermath of the blaze.

ITC, or Intercontinental Terminals Company, has issued dozens of press releases and conferences, but many of the public feel that the facts of the fire have still not been revealed.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, who is also the head of the OEM, or Office of Emergency Management, held a press conference on Monday. She thanked all those first responders and other government agencies that had worked quickly and in a coordinated way to deal with the disaster.

However, she had a clear message for all, saying, “This Incident is not Over.” She emphasized that the immediate problem was containing the chemicals and to minimize contamination of the air and water around the site.

Multiple agencies are dealing with the problems, including the EPA, TCEQ, Harris County Pollution Control, Harris County Health Department, Fire Marshal’s office, and various first responders around the area.

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