News From Houston City Council District K (September – October 2014)

October 29, 2014

 
September/October 2014
District K
Contact Information
____________________

 900 Bagby, First Floor

Houston, TX 77002

Main Office:

832-393-3016 Office

832-395-9410 Fax

Satellite Office:

832-393-4209 Office

832-395-9410 Fax

District Email:

DistrictK@houstontx.gov

Website:

Click here

Archived Newsletters:

Click here

Facebook:

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Council Member Green Highlighted over $2 Billion in Large-Scale Projects for the Houston Region at an Economic Development Summit

 

Council Member Larry Green hosted a FREE citywide Small Business Economic Development Summit on Monday, October 20th at the George R. Brown Convention Center, Ballroom C in downtown Houston. The summit highlighted current and programmed large-scale projects planned within the Houston region that totals more than $2 billion which are slated to be let within the next 6 months. Such projects include the new convention hotel adjacent to the George R. Brown Convention Center, planned capital improvement projects via ReBuild Houston and the Houston Airport Systems, the Port of Houston Authority Expansion project, and other economic development projects. 

 


Moreover, this citywide economic development summit was co-sponsored in partnership with the City of Houston, Greater Houston Black Chamber, Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce,  Houston Asian Chamber of Commerce, Greater Houston Partnership, and the Houston Minority Supplier Development Council. This collaborative partnership helped garner a broader participation of attendees among small businesses within the Houston area.

 

“I was honored to host this small business economic development summit,” said Council Member Green. “Houston has a robust economy and this summit provided the venue for these small businesses to access these large-scale capital projects.”

 

Mayor Parker was featured as the keynote speaker and underlined her track record with minority, small businesses, and women-owned business enterprise (MSWBE) initiatives in this City. Up to 400 people attended the economic development and community summit. Confirmed attendees ranged from elected officials, area community leaders, developers, bankers, as well as large and small area business leaders.

Hiram Clarke:

TxDOT Update for the Enhancements along US 90A Corridor

If you travel along the US 90A (South Main St.) corridor, motorists have

noticed the completion of the center traffic barriers from Hiram Clarke Rd. to Beltway 8. Now the Texas Dept. of Transportation (TxDOT) is in the midst of installing street lights along the US 90A corridor extending from I-610 to Beltway 8.

 

 The street lights will be installed along the following overpasses of the corridor: West Bellfort Ave., Willowbend Blvd./Stella Link Rd., Holmes Rd., Hiram Clarke Rd., South Post Oak Rd., Chimney Rock Rd., Hillcroft Ave. and Fondren Rd.  Also, additional lights will be installed at the exit/entrance ramp of each overpass but not along the frontage roads at these overpass bridges. According to TxDOT, the street lights construction project is scheduled to be complete by the end of December 2014.

 

South Houston Concerned Citizens Coalition Plans Annual Fall Clean-Up

It’s that time of year again. The South Houston Concerned Citizens Coalition is planning their annual Fall Clean-Up for Saturday, November 8. The staging location is set for Townwood Park Community Center at 7:30 a.m. Anyone interested in volunteering for this year’s annual  clean-up, please contact Linda Scurlock at the Coalition office at 832-393-4205.

Council Member Green Featured as Grand Marshal for Madison High School Homecoming Parade

 

Council Member Green was featured as the official Grand Marshall for this year’s 2014 James Madison High School homecoming parade on October 18.

“As a strong supporter and 1983 alum of James Madison High School, I was honored to be selected by the school’s homecoming committee as this year’s Grand Marshal to lead the homecoming parade,” states Council Member Green.

 

This year’s homecoming game consisted of Madison High School playing Stephen F. Austin High School at Butler Stadium. The homecoming game was a huge victory for the Madison High School Marlins.

             They won the game!!  

Brays Oaks:

District K Partners with TXU Energy to Plant Trees in Brays Oaks — Saturday, November 1st

 

The District K office has partnered with TXU Energy to plant 45, 15-gallon bald cypress trees along six (6) esplanades of West Bellfort Ave. (near South Gessner Rd.).

The tree planting event is scheduled for Saturday, November 1st from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and the staging location will be the old Randall’s shopping center (8703 West Bellfort Ave.). Volunteers are needed to plant and mulch trees along the esplanades. Gloves, safety vests, and shovels will be provided. Other partners for this planned tree planting event include Keep Houston Beautiful, the City of Houston Parks and Recreation Dept. and the Brays Oaks District. The Brays Oaks District has officially adopted those six esplanades and has committed to maintain the 45, 15-gallon trees with water for the next 2 years.

 

District K Partnered with Riceville Mt. Olive Baptist Church to Host Town Hall Meeting

 

The District K office, in partnership with Riceville Mt. Olive Baptist Church, hosted a town hall meeting on September 18th at the Riceville Mt. Olive Baptist Church. The purpose of the town hall was to initiate a community dialogue among area law enforcement agencies and the community at-large about how to properly interact/engage law enforcement.

 

The panelists included the Houston Police Dept., Houston Independent School District Police, and Harris County Constable May Walker, Precinct 7. The community forum was inclusive of the surrounding Brays Oaks community and the dialogue was positive for the most part. “A special thanks goes out to Pastor Terry Mackey, Sr. Pastor at Riceville Mt. Olive Baptist Church for co-hosting this event and for inviting the law enforcement to facilitate this much needed dialogue,” said Council Member Green.

 

Fort Bend Houston:

TxDOT Update for the FM 2234 Roadway Project

TxDOT is nearly complete with the widening of FM 2234 (McHard Rd./Texas Pkwy.) from Cartwright Rd. in Missouri City to the Fort Bend Tollway. According to TxDOT, this $10.7 million roadway project is estimated to be completed by December 2014. Overall, this portion of FM 2234 will ease vehicular flow as a 4-lane highway.

 

 The second phase of the FM 2234 reconstruction project, from the Fort Bend Tollway to FM 521, is estimated to go out for bid in February 2015. The District K office will coordinate with TxDOT to facilitate an informational meeting among the adjacent residential communities before the project starts. Stay tuned.    

 

Fort Bend Houston HPD Satellite Office — NOW OPEN

The Houston Police Department has partnered with the Fort Bend County Constable’s Office, Precinct 2, to open a Fort Bend Houston HPD Satellite Office at 7133 West Fuqua St., located w ithin the Willowridge retail shopping center along West Fuqua St. at Blue Ridge Rd.

 

The HPD satellite office is OPEN on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. An assigned HPD officer is on-site and available to assist with any police-related issues/concerns during those office hours. All other days, the Hiram Clarke HPD storefront, located at 4363 West Fuqua St., is still available for Fort Bend Houston residents.

 

 

 

Please continue to spread the word and take advantage of this community resource!!

 

Westbury:

Council Member Green Featured as Guest Speaker for Westbury Civic Club Annual Meeting

 

 

Last month, Council Member Green was the featured speaker at the Westbury Civic Club Annual meeting at Westbury Baptist Church. He gave an updated overview of projects and initiatives occurring in and around the Westbury community. Some of the updates included the Westbury Community Garden in which the City has purchased from the Houston Housing Authority, Capital Improvement Projects programmed such as the existing water line projects in portions of Westbury, Sec. 5 and the recently completed residential asphalt overlay project in Westbury, Sec. 1 and 2.

 

In addition, Council Member Green shared some exciting news that a LA Fitness is looking into investing in the Westbury community at the former “Westbury Centerette” property site. The deal isn’t finalized, but the District K office has been communicating with the Westbury Board about this initiative.

 

Continue to access the edition of the Westbury Crier for more information about District K initiatives impacting the greater Westbury community (http://www.westburycrier.com/documents/crier).

 

 

Westbury Won Multiple Awards during the 2014 Mayor’s Proud Partner Awards Event

 

Westbury has once again won award after award at this year’s Mayor’s Proud Partners Luncheon. This annual event is sponsored by Keep Houston Beautiful to acknowledge and recognize organizations and individuals across the Houston area who strive to impro ve Houston’s landscape through environmental and beautification projects.

 


The Westbury Civic Club as well as individuals within Westbury has been honored by the Mayor’s Proud Partners event since 1994. As of this date, Westbury area volunteers and organizations have won awards in eight of the last 10 years. According to the Westbury Crier, “This year is the 35th anniversary of Keep Houston Beautiful and is also a banner year for Westbury projects.”

 

This year’s Westbury recognition projects and individual include:

 

  1. The Prairie Plant Rescue Project at Willow Waterhole Mayor’s Proud Partner Award
  2. Marcia Hartman Certificate of Recognition. Marcia is the President of the Westbury Community Garden
  3. Keep Westbury Beautiful Day at Hager Park Certificate of Recognition. Westbury participated in the Keep District K Beautiful Day event in April 2014
  4. The Friends of Chimney Rock Park — Certificate of Recognition.

District K Office also received a certificate of recognition award for its “Keep District K Beautiful Day” event.

 

Braeswood:

Residential Pavement Overlay Project Completed for Knollwood Village

 

 

Last year, the City of Houston Public Works and Engineering Dept. (PWE) completed the neighborhood street reconstruction project — NSR 451, collectively encompasses the neighborhoods of Knollwood Village and the southern portion of Braeswood Place (south of B rays Bayou). The City of Houston PWE Street and Drainage Division has completed the remaining streets within Knollwood Village subdivision with an asphalt pavement that was not part of the overall NSR 451 project.

Under construction

 

Prior to the start of this overlay project, the District K office facilitated an informational meeting at Linkwood Park Community Center. Overall, the turnout was great and the meeting was very informative. The purpose of this informational meeting was to allow the PWE Street and Drainage Division staff to fully address this upcoming overlay project and allow attendees to respond and address this project.

 

 

 

The only street not included in the overlay project was Linkwood Dr. between Buffalo Speedway to Timberside. This segment of Linkwood Dr. has already been included as part of the overall Westridge Storm Drainage Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) project currently programmed for 2019 and will be completely reconstructed (including new infrastructure, curbs, gutters, and sidewalks).

 

District K and Braeswood Super Neighborhood Council Hosts Community Public Safety Forum

 

Last month, the District K office, in partnership with the Braeswood Super Neighborhood Council, hosted a community public safety forum at the Linkwood Community Center. The focus of the meeting was to address the public safety issues impacting the Braeswood SN area. The featured presenters were Houston Police Dept. Capt. Tad Pando of the Southwest Patrol Division, Sgt. Hubert representing Harris County Constable Alan Rosen’s office, and Lt. Jones representing Harris County Constable May Walker office. The community forum was well attended and featured law enforcement officers provided the attendees with resourceful information pertaining to public safety initiatives.

 

In addition, the District K office provided a link to access the Houston Police Dept. crime stats for the Braeswood SN area (http://mycity.houstontx.gov/crime/disclaimerPage.aspx).

 

Relative to this Public Safety Forum, below is contact info for the Houston Police Dept. Southwest Patrol Division, Constable May Walker’s office (Precinct 7) and Constable Alan Rosen’s office (Precinct 1). As a friendly reminder, Precinct 7 patrols the area south of Brays Bayou; whereas, Precinct 1 patrols the area north (except the portion south of the bayou within the Braeswood Place HOA boundary).

 

Southwest HPD Patrol Division

Capt. Tad Pando

4503 Beechnut St.

Houston, TX 77025713-314-3900

OPEN 24 hours

 

Office of May Walker

Harris County Constable, Precinct 7

5290 Griggs Rd.

Houston, Texas 77021

Office (713) 643-6118

(713) 643-3428 FAX

(713) 643-6602 Pct. 7 Dispatch

● WEBSITE: www.hctx.net/conpct7

 

Office of Alan Rosen

Harris County Constable, Precinct 1

1302 Preston St.

Houston, TX 77002

Office (713)-755-5200

● WEBSITE: http://pct1constable.net/

 

Council Member Green Breaks Ground for New Class A Apartment Complex along South Main Corridor

 

Council Member Green participated in a groundbreaking event for a Class A luxury apar tment development planned along the South Main St. corridor during the month of September.The location is 8700 South Main St.              

 

This high-end development coincides with the type of development the Stadium Park Redevelopment Authority wishes to accomplish along the South Main St. corridor and will serve as a catalyst to attract additional quality development as South Main is refaced in time for the Super Bowl in 2017,” states Council Member Green.

 

The Guefen Development Company, a luxury apartment developer, investor, and general contractor, will inaugurate the construction of the Haven at Main complex. The Haven at Main apartment complex will be constructed as a five-story development surrounding a concrete parking garage. The community will offer one and two bedroom apartments ranging in size from 634 square feet to 1,274 square feet. Amenities include a hotel-inspired style pool, 24-hour fitness area, resident clubroom with kitchen and business center, and convenient garage parking. Interior features include tall ceilings, granite countertops, stainless-steel front appliances, upgraded cabinetry, wood plank-style flooring and individual washers and dryers. This 256-unit luxury apartment community will be constructed as a five-story wood frame development surrounded by a concrete parking garage and is estimated to be complete for move-in residents by November 2015.

 

General District K News

 

District K Klean It Up/Green It Up Campaign

 

Council Member Larry Green is initiating a Klean It Up/Green It Up
campaign initiative to further educate and sust ain our District K neighborhoods.

 

This educational campaign will consist of educating District K civic-minded neighborhoods, area businesses, and schools on ways of sustaining the quality of life that makes up District K. Stay tuned for more information about this campaign initiative over the next couple of months.

 

The District K Klean It Up/Green It Up campaign is a way to actively involve District K residents and students in community beautification on a frequent basis. “This educational campaign is a way for District K community stakeholders to take back the aesthetics of our community and become proactive in keeping District K beautiful, ” states Council Member Green.

 

Whether it’s tree plantings, community gardens, recycling, opening up farmer’s markets for fresh produce and more, the ultimate goal is to brand District K as one of the cleanest and “green-est” districts in Houston.  This campaign will use special events, social media and partnerships with environmental organizations, community groups and civic clubs to educate residents on how to make District K greener, healthier and more eco-friendly.

 

“We strongly encourage our residents to get more involved and become part of the solution. No one knows District K better than the community stakeholders; this is why community involvement is key. We hope that you will join us in our mission and continue to beautify, educate, and keep District K clean!”

 

District K Facilitates Neighborhood 101 Symposium: Building Code Enforcement

The District K council office facilitated another series of the Neighborhood 101 Symposiums last month to better connect District K community leaders to resources affecting the viability of their neighborhood.


 

The September Neighborhood 101 symposium was held at Westbury High School and addressed the City of Houston’s Building Code Enforcement process. Representatives from the Public Works and Engineering Dept. and the Planning and Development Dept. moderated the workshop discussion.Overall, we had 60+ District K constituents that attended the workshop.

 

 

 

 

The Neighborhood 101 presentations are posted on the District K webpage: http://www.houstontx.gov/council/k/Neighborhood-101-Workshops. The next 101 workshop is planned for early December. Stay tuned.

 

Online Appointment Service Expanding to Plan Review

Last month, the Houston Permitting Center (HPC) expanded appointments to be scheduled online for Code Enforcement’s Plan Review section. Scheduled appointments will be available for the discussion of plan r eview project comments only.

 

A phone number and email address is required to use the online scheduler. If you do not have either of these contacts, appointments may still be scheduled in person at the HPC or over the phone

by calling 832-394-9000 directly.

 

Please note that the design professional responsible for the respective plans must attend the scheduled appointment, otherwise the appointment is subject to cancellation.

 

All other Plan Review services will continue to be walk-in services on a first-come-first-served basis. For questions regarding this expansion of services, please contact us at 832-394-9000 or houston.permittingcenter@houstontx.gov.

 

2014 National Night Out

 

 

 

 

 

Many neighborhoods throughout District K participated in this year’s National Night Out

on Tuesday, October 7, 2014. 

It was the perfect time to get together and meet your neighbors. This national event is designed to celebrate neighbors and to learn more about safe neighborhoods. Every year, this annual event gets larger and larger.

 

 

Council Member Green wasn’t able to hit all neighborhoods within the District, but he was able to connect with a few:

  • Quail Run CIA
  •  Briarwick HOA
  • Almeda Plaza Civic Club
  • Glenshire Community Association
  • Westwood Civic Club
  • Pinnacle Apt. Complex

 

 

 

District K staff also attended a number of neighborhood block parties, along with officers from the Houston Police Dept. and the local stations from the Houston Fire Dept. National Night Out was an opportunity to get out and meet your neighbors, as well as interact with HPD officers to discuss crime concerns in your community.

 

“I want to thank all theDistrict K neighborhoods that participated in this annual event – those that arranged a community party and those that foster multiple block parties within their respective community. Overall, all the District K National Night Out events were a huge success,” states Council Member Green.

 

 

 

Council Member Green Neighborhood Sightings (September-October)

Council Member Green made his rounds to discuss District K initiatives. Listed below are community meetings Council Member Green and the District K staff have attended during September and October.

  • Sept. 2 – Brays Oaks SNC Meeting
  • Sept. 3 – Briargate Townhome Association Informational Meeting
  • Sept. 4 – Central Southwest SNC meeting
  • Sept. 13 – Dumbarton Oaks Civic Club
  • Sept. 17 – Westbury Civic Club Meeting
  • Sept. 18 – Braeswood SNC Meeting
  • Sept. 18 – South Houston Concerned Citizens Coalition
  •  Sept. 19 – Fort Bend Houston Bridging the Community Divide Meeting
  • Sept. 20 – Neighborhood 101 Workshop
  • Sept. 23 – Neighborhood Matching Grant Informational Workshop Meeting
  • Sept. 24 – West Place HOA Informational Meeting
  • Sept. 27 – Corinthian Pointe Day Event
  • Sept. 29 – Haven at Main Apartment Groundbreaking Event
  • Sept. 30 – Gessport HOA Annual Meeting
  • October 5 – Willow Meadows Civic Club Annual Picnic
  • October 7 – National Night Out
  • October 11 — Southside Church of Christ and Townwood Park Walk for Cancer Awareness Event
  • October 11 – Pamela Heights Public Safety Community Meeting
  • October 13 – Corinthian Pointe Annual HOA Meeting
  • October 14 – Transportation, Technology, and Infrastructure Council Committee Meeting
  • October 14 – Brays Oaks SNC Meeting
  • October 15 – Woodside Civic Club Meeting
  • October 16 – Braeswood SNC Meeting
  • October 18 – Madison High School Homecoming Parade (Grand Marshal)
  • October 20 – Small Business Economic Development Summit (Facilitator)
  • October 27 — 30th Annual Mayor’s Proud Partner Awards Event
  • October 31 – “After Dark in the Clarke” Halloween Event

 

Houston Police Department Positive Interaction Program (PIP) Meetings

District K has three (3) active PIP meetings administered by the Houston Police Department. All PIP meetings are open to the public; regardless of where you live.

Westbury PIP Meeting (every 4th Tuesday of the month)

Aramco Building

9009 West Loop South Freeway

Houston, TX 77096

For more information, please contact the HPD Westbury Storefront at 713-726-7126. The Westbury HPD Storefront hours are 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Hiram Clarke PIP Meeting (every 2nd Monday of the month)

Hiram Clarke HPD Storefront
4363 West Fuqua St.

Houston, TX 77053

For more information, please contact the HPD Hiram Clarke Storefront at 713-433-2720. The Hiram Clarke HPD Storefront hours are 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Braeburn PIP Meeting (every 3rd Tuesday of the month)

Braeburn HPD Storefront
7576 West Bellfort Ave.

Houston, TX 77071

For more information, please contact the HPD Braeburn Storefront at 713-773-7550. The Braeburn HPD Storefront hours are 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

  
Any Annual Civic Association Meetings Planned on the Horizon?

 

The Spring and Fall season is the time of year a significant

number of civic associations host their annual civic association meetings. Since coming into office last year, Council Member Green has made a commitment to visit every civic association within the District. The task is almost complete; howeve r, if you are receiving this e-newsletter and Council Member Green has yet to attend your civic association meeting, please contact the District K office at 832-393-3016 or districtK@houstontx.gov to schedule an appointment.

 

 

Has Your Civic Association Been Updated with the District K Council Office?

 

 

Update your civic association contacts with the District K council office. If your civic association has recently elected new officers, changed the primary contact person, new e-mail address, new contact number and/or new or changed meeting location, time, and date, please take a moment to update your contact info with the District K council office.

 

Periodically, the District K office sends pertinent information about District K news and City of Houston topics of information relating to your neighborhood and neighborhood association. To ensure you and your civic association receive this information, we need you to update your contact info. Thank you for your help and your interest in District K.

 

 

General City of Houston News

 

 

City Council Confirms New Director for the Public Works and Engineering Department

 

 

 

In late August, Mayor Annise Parker selected Dale A. Rudick, P.E. as the new Director of Public Works and Engineering Department (PWE) and City Council confirmed and approved his appointment last month.

 

Dale Rudick has a public works career that spans more than 30 years. Before his Council confirmation, he came to the City of Houston in September 2011 as the Deputy Director of PWE in charge of implementation and manag ement of ReBuild Houston.  Prior to that, he spent over 18 years working for the City of Sugar Land in various capacities including Director of Intergovernmental Relations, City Engineer, Transportation/Utilities Director and Transportation/Traffic Manager.  Rudick has extensive experience managing multi-million dollar projects from planning to design and construction.

 

“I believe Dale Rudick to will build stronger communication ties with community stakeholders and will strengthen the relationships within public works department with the Houston Community.

 

Rudick has been a resident of Houston since 1987.  He  a holds a civil engineering degree from the University of Houston and a degree in Business Administration from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.  He is a Professional Engineer licensed in the State of Texas.

Receive Plat and Permit Reports by E-Mail

 

Keep up with development and construction projects in your neighborhood. Sign up for the City’s E-Plat summary report and the E-Permit report to find out about plat and permit applications.

 

 

The  Plat Summary E-Report contains information about the plats, replats, variances, and special exceptions to plats that will be considered at the upcoming Planning Commission meeting. The report provides locational, plat, and applicant information for each application in an Excel format that can be easily scrolled through, or sorted, based on particular data, such as council district.

 

 

The Houston Planning Commission meets every other Thursday at 2:30 p.m. in City Hall Annex Chambers, 900 Bagby St. unless otherwise posted.

 

The Plat Summary E-Report is usually sent out approximately a week before Planning Commission meets, while the Planning Commission Agenda is posted three days in advance of Planning Commission meetings on the Planning & Development Department website ( www.houstonplanning.com).

 

The Permit E-Report provides information regarding any new construction, remodeling, or change-of-use permits by zip-code in an effort to inform citizens of activity in their neighborhoods. This E-Report is e-mailed every Monday.

 

Report Unnecessary City Signs to 3-1-1

 

 

Do you see city signs on the road and elsewhere that no longer apply or are not necessary anymore? Call 3-1-1 or go to www.houston311.org to report these signs so we can take a look and determine if it’s time for them to be removed or replaced with something more up-to-date and less confusing.  Examples include street name signs or “No Parking without Permit” signs in places where permits are no longer needed.

 

 

 

In addition, the current campaign season is underway and illegal campaign signs need to be reported. Report violators by calling 3-1-1 or go to www.houston311.org. For questions on the proper placement of signs, call the Sign Administration Division at 832.394.8890.

Houston Public Library Announces Library Card Sign-Up Campaign

 

The Houston Public Library (HPL) announced the MY Link Library Card Sign-Up campaign last  month and will continue through the following year. This is an opportunity for Houstonians to renew their existing library card accounts or sign up for a new account. This MY Link Library Card campaign is in partnership with HEB. The campaign goal is to convert all existing cardholders to the new MY Link Library Card and to increase total cardholders to 1,000,000 children, teens, and adults. H-E-B will provide funding to support this innovative way to capitalize on the vast resources of the library and ensure production of the one million cards.

 

“The MY Link Library Card links you to more than six million books, e-books and audiobooks, CDs and DVDs, magazines, databases, and downloadable and streaming media, all for free,” said Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson, Houston Public Library director. “Thanks to the generosity and great support provided by our partner, HEB, we will be able to get a new MY Link Library Card into the hands of every student and thousands of Houstonians of all ages.”

 

Houston Police Dept. Highlighted October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month

 

We are at the end of Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the Houston Police Department (HPD) knows first-hand the effects domestic violence has on suspects, victims and children. It crosses all racial and economic boundaries and although the victims are predominately female, they (and their abusers) can be male or female. During the month of October, HPD has been educating the public on this important issue.

 

What is Domestic Abuse? 

Domestic abuse can take many forms and is one of the most serious of crimes. Aside from the commonly recognized physical abuse, domestic violence can take other non-violent forms. It becomes illegal when the abuser follows up his or her actions with threats of violence. Even when there isn’t physical violence, threats can result in charges.  

 

What are the Signs of Domestic Abuse? 

 Friends and co-workers should be alert for signs of domestic abuse, which can include changes in someone’s personality. If someone was outgoing, but now appears withdrawn; used to socialize with others, but don’t anymore; or if they are avoiding society, or staying inside the house all the time, ask what has changed. Talking with someone will help get their confidence back and open up the possibility of telling what’s going on and further help them realize there’s a way out of this situation.     

 

According to HPD, the physical signs of abuse can come in unexplained injuries or bruising, especially on the arms where someone may be grabbing the victim. In general, police officers also have to be aware of the signs. Victims tend to be scared and won’t tell an officer, but the signs are there. If the victim doesn’t make a report, and the officer leaves, then the abuser has been empowered. 

 

What can be Done? 

The public can be of assistance. Many times, these cases are reported by a neighbor who said they heard it, or a relative suspected it, and then got the police involved. This can lead an officer to investigate the matter. HPD wants the public to get involve if they suspect anything and try to stop it.  It’s not going to stop on its own.

 

Resources 

HPD says the first call a victim or witness makes should be to law enforcement – it’s a 9-1-1 call. The officer can talk with the suspected victim and provide information on the programs available. By law, every victim gets a blue form that lists all the resources available. The form identifies resources and agencies that can help provide shelter for a parent and child, and even provide child care while the parent gets schooling or goes to work.  It helps someone become self-sufficient. In addition, there is access to legal aid that can help obtain child support, divorces, and protective orders. The bottom line: Get help, get out of an abusive relationship, and document everything, whether by filing a report, taking photographs, or talking to police or witnesses. For more information on domestic violence, visit the HPD website at http://www.houstontx.gov/police/fvu/index.htm.

 

METRO Resources

 

With almost 10,000 bus stops throughout the METRO service area that include 2,200 locations with passenger shelters, keeping each location clean is a difficult task. METRO provides maintenance service to bus stops with passenger shelters and trash cans three times a week. However, if you observe a bus stop location that needs extra attention, METRO encourages you to contact them at (713) 615-6195 or email facilities.maintenance@ridemetro.org.   Remember to include the direction and cross street.

 

 METRO also has an Adopt-a-Stop and Adopt-a-Shelter program. This joint effort between METRO Police and community volunteers is designed to help fight vandalism and suspicious or criminal activity within the community. Individuals, civic groups and local businesses are encouraged to do their part by “adopting” a bus stop or passenger shelter within their

community.

By keeping neighborhood bus stops and passenger shelters clean, the chance for criminal activity in your area is greatly reduced.   Learn more about this program at METRO Adopt-A-Stop/Adopt-A-Shelter and remember, if you See Something, Say Something!

 

City Council funding for After-school Programs and Out-of-School Activities is Now Available through CASE for Kids City Connections 

 

City Council approved $550,000 in funding to be invested in afterschool programs and out-of-school time activities as a youth crime-prevention and child safety strategy. The Center for

Afterschool, Summer and Expanded Learning (CASE for Kids) will administer the City Connections program with oversight from the City of Houston Parks and Recreation Program. The collaboration between CASE for Kids, a division of Harris County Department of Education, and the City of Houston allows school districts, charter schools, faith-based organizations or civic groups to apply for funding available within each of the 11 City Council districts. Proposed programming for youth in grades K-12 can be held before and after the school day, on weekends and during the summer. Applications and details are available at www.afterschoolzone.orgThe first application deadline is Nov. 10, 2014. Call 713-696-1331 for more information.