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Posts tagged as “Galena Park”

North Shore Rotary hears area Coaches as High School Football season starts

At last week’s North Shore Rotary luncheon, held in the Monument Room of San Jacinto College North, the audience had the opportunity to meet and hear from the head football coaches at each of the high schools in the area.

ABOVE, Rotary president Shawn Silman, center, with coaches (L to R) Spiro Amarantos, GALENA PARK; Averion Hurts, CHANNELVIEW; Jon Kay, NORTH SHORE; and Derek Fitzhenry, C. E. KING/SHELDON.

DOLCEFINO SUES CITY OF GALENA PARK

Wants access to records, meetings

By Gilbert Hoffman

GALENA PARK – An ongoing dispute between the City of Galena Park government and various citizens in the community, has moved to the courts for resolution or at least the next round.

The dispute centers on whether the public, and Commissioner Maricela Serna, have been excluded from knowledge of business conducted by the city, and whether their attempts to discuss this matter in Commissioner meetings have been obstructed or muted. Serna has sought the help of Wayne Dolcefino of Dolcefino Consulting to gain access to the information and the meetings.

Wayne Dolcefino, founder of Houston-based investigative media firm Dolcefino Consulting, filed a Harris County state district court lawsuit August 17th, 2021, against Mayor Esmeralda Moya, City Secretary Mayra Gonzales, City Attorney Robert Collins for wholesale violations of the Texas Open Meetings Act and the Texas Public Information Act.

Following is his statement in regard to the court filing, and the ongoing dispute with the city:

Bad smell in Galena Park traced to LyondellBasell

LYONDELLBASELL identified their plant in Pasadena as the source of the bad smell that has permeated Galena Park for several days.

GALENA PARK — Residents of the city have experienced an unpleasant odor in the air since last Friday. Harris County Pollution Control Services confirmed to this newspaper that they’ve received numerous complaints and they’re looking into it. One person in the area described the smell as a combination of garlic and bug spray.

Just after 9:30 a.m. Friday, a message posted to CAER (Community Awareness Emergency Response) announced the source of the smell as the LyondellBasell Houston Refinery at 12000 Lawndale. Plant officials said they’re working to address the odor, and sought to clear the air on any potential health impact.

“While unpleasant, the odor does not pose any harm to our workers or community, and there is no need for nearby community members to be concerned or take any action,” the statement read. “We regret any concern this odor may have caused.”

Galena Park’s mayor posted the update to Facebook as well.

JC/GP Celebrate 4th of July together!

State Representative Ana Hernandez and Judge Victor Trevino III provided the 4th of July celebrators free bottled ice water, candy for the children and registration of voters. L – R: Victor Trevino III, Justice of the Peace, Pct. 6, Ana Hernandez, State Rep. District 143, Hunter, Emma & Jazlyn Escalante (kids) Linda Jamail, District 143 Community Liaison, “CC” Cazares, JCPD officer and Katherine Nanney (kids mom) (Allan Jamail Photo)

By Allan Jamail

Galena Park – Jacinto City, TX. – On the 4th of July, 2021 the two neighboring cities, Galena Park and Jacinto City joined together to provide a beautiful aerial fireworks show which thousands from each city came to see.

An aerial cluster firework explodes high into the sky as thousands of 4th of July celebrators gathered in Galena Park & Jacinto City to recognize the Nation’s Birthday & Independence Day. (Allan Jamail photo)

According to Lon Squyres, Jacinto City’s City Manager, each city funded half of the fireworks cost of about $7,000 each.

Galena Park refutes charges in citizen protest

This water bill from the City of Houston water department, shows the account of the City of Galena Park. On the left, top line under AMOUNT DUE, Past Amount Due is $0.00. The line below that shows the monthly charge for water, $72,571.08 but it is not overdue. The copy of the water bill was furnished to the NORTH CHANNEL STAR by the City of Galena Park. It does not show any unpaid balance on the account, as charged by Dolcefino Consulting.

GALENA PARK – The city, through its attorney Robert Collins, has refuted the claims made last week by a citizens protest group at the opening of the city swimming pool.

The protestors included city commissioner Maricela Serna, charging the city and the Mayor with secrecy in their method of running the city, stating that City Hall was not open to the public, that Commissioner meetings were closed and limiting what was discussed and told to the public, and in general the business of the city was hidden so that some persons would benefit from the secrecy.

It was also charged, in a public information release by Wayne Dolcefino of Dolcefino Consulting, that the city had a back unpaid bill of $705,000 to the City of Houston for water supply.

Collins said that each of these charges were untrue, and some through a misunderstanding of circumstances.

Citizens in Galena Park protest city’s secrecy

By Jennifer Knesek
Dolcefino Consulting

Galena Park City Commissioner Maricela Serna led a community protest Tuesday, June 15, 2021, at noon as the city pool opened for the summer.

The protest was not against the opening of the pool, she said, but how the opening of the pool highlights the secrecy at Galena Park City Hall.

“The pool is opening but Mayor Esmeralda Moya refuses to open up City Hall for public meetings,” said Commissioner Maricela Serna. “She has used the pandemic to hide the truth from the Galena Park taxpayers.”

Serna wanted the Galena Park City Council to debate the opening of City Hall at Tuesday evening’s meeting, but the city secretary refused to add the secrecy fight to the agenda.

Commissioner Serna claims she has been repeatedly muted during the eight-minute-long council meetings so she can not speak on certain contracts.

“What started as a safety measure has now been turned into a way to hide public business in Galena Park,” Serna said.

HEROIC GP FIREFIGHTERS STOP A CATASTROPHE

May 8, 2021 photo of the fire and smoke of what the Galena Park Firefighters saw upon arrival at the Andersons Mills grain storage and export facility, 1500 S. Main (near Clinton Drive).

By Allan Jamail

GALENA PARK, TX — May 8, 2021 — Early Saturday morning, according to Tom Ehlers, Galena Park’s (GP) Fire Chief, his department responded to a report of a vessel on fire at Andersons Mills in the Port of Houston in the 1500 South Main Street.

Andersons Mills is grain storage and exporting facility used to load ships with various types of grain. Grain dust is highly combustible and when the micro-particles reach a high density level a small spark can set off a gigantic explosion.

Chief Ehlers said when his Fire Engine 1 arrived, the crew found heavy smoke coming from a grain loader, which takes grain from the storage silos via a conveyor where it is dumped into a ship’s cargo hull. On the dock is a tall crane with a large hose attached that extends out over the ship’s deck where the grain is fed into the hull openings. It appeared the fire was coming from the hose. The smart, quick-thinking crane operator swung the crane and burning hose away from the ship’s open cargo bays, preventing the fire from spreading into the ship.

Fallen Heroes Ceremony at JC Police Station

Attendees at the Jacinto City Police station held a commemorating ceremony on behalf of the Fallen Hereos of law enforcement, firefighters and the members of the Armed Forces. L – R: Emcee Allan Jamail, Galena Park Fire Chief Tom Ehlers, Sgt. E. Ramos, Dispatcher Kasey Aguilar, F. Benavides, Chief Joe Ayala, J. Pizano, S. Lopez, Lt. D. Walker, N. Frazier, C. Perez, & Sgt. S. Flores (Photo by Linda Jamail)

By Linda Jamail

Jacinto City, TX. – On Saturday, May 15, 2021, police officers, firemen, and members of the armed forces gathered with wreaths identifying the branches honored. After a prayer by Allan Jamail and the Pledge of Allegence to the flag led by Chief Joe Ayala, which was at half-staff, comments were made in remembrance of the nation’s fallen heroes who died in the line of duty. Cake and refreshments were served inside the new police station.

May 15th was designated by President Joseph Biden as the day to honor both law enforcement officers and members of the Armed Forces. May the 4th was Firefighters Day.

New Pyburn Elementary Groundbreaking Ceremony

PYBURN GROUNDBREAKING “Building Strong Foundations For Our Future Learners”
L – R: Herbert Alexander Sanchez (Trustee), Conrad Rivera (Principal), Dr. John Moore (Superintendent), students Sebastian Elizondo, Colton Baldwin, Valeria Garcia, Noe Esparza (Trustee), Angelica Cuellar (Assistant principal) & Adrian Stephens (Trustee’s Secretary). (Photo by Allan Jamail)

By Allan Jamail

Galena Park, TX. – May 11, 2021, at the GPISD Pyburn Elementary School, Superintendant Dr. John Moore, Board Trustees, and school officials came together for the ground-breaking ceremony of a new school.

Dr. Moore and Principal Conrad Rivera welcomed attendees and stated how the new school, once completed, will create a modern state-of-the-art learning center with the most latest technological advances available.

GLO, Feds deny flood funds to Harris County; but okay Jacinto City, Galena Park projects

Harris County and Houston officials learned Friday that the state GLO (General Land Office) and the federal HUD (Housing and Urban Development) had determined that these two governments would not receive any Flood Mitigation funding of the approximately $1 billion that was available, in the first round of allocations by the state.

The allocations are based on a formula to determine which communities are the neediest, according to GLO. Within Harris County, approximately $90 million was allocated to Baytown, Pasadena, Galena Park, and Jacinto City for flood mitigation projects that they had applied for.

Harris County had submitted an application asking for $900 million, according to Pct. 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia. Commissioner Garcia, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner issued statements expressing their displeasure and disbelief in news of the allocations not including local jurisdictions.

Commissioner Garcia said that he was upset, and “incredibly frustrated.” Judge Hidalgo said, “It is unconscionable that the very community hit with the most flooded structures by far during Hurricane Harvey received nothing as part of this Harvey Mitigation allocation.”

Mayor Turner said, “For the State GLO not to give one dime in the initial distribution to the City and a very small portion to Harris County shows a callous disregard to the people of Houston and Harris County.”

Judge Hidalgo said that she plans to ask HUD for a review of the criteria used, and assurance that the County will receive future fund allocations. She said the formulas that are used disadvantage large urban areas that are hardest hit.

Jacinto City, Galena Park each receive $5m+ in flood mitigation money

TAMU Group reveals its plan for a “Green” Galena Park

THE GALENA PARK STUDY investigated existing “Vulnerabilities” and presented mediation schemes for each. These studies looked at natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods, hazardous materials and plant discharges, and underserved or low income communities. The plan suggested methods to alleviate these disasters, including “green” solutions for planting and drainage in the natural environment.

GALENA PARK – A team of Texas A & M University professors and specialists in professional fields such as planning, engineering, and the environment, presented to the public their project which focused on this city, due to its many “vulnerabilities” to environment threats. The presentation was made last Thursday May 6 to a CIP (Community-Industry Partnership) meeting virtually through Zoom.

Led by professors Jaimie Masterson and Deidra Davis, the team included students and the professors. Investigation and planning were conducted both in person in the field, and in the classroom at TAMU.

The study was entitled “PLANNING TO INCREASE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR GALENA PARK RESIDENTS.” Its stated goal was “Engaging the Galena Park Community to Build Resilience to Excess Industrial Pollutant Releases after Hurricanes and Floods in Greater Houston.”