Articles

Report on Mayor’s Back 2 School Fest

September 11, 2014 • Continue Reading »

Mayor Annise Parker welcomed thousands of pre-registered students and their families to the 4th Annual Mayor’s Back to School Fest on Saturday, August 16, 2014. Joining Mayor Parker for the opening ceremony and ribbon-cutting were fest presenting sponsors Shell Oil Company and Motiva Enterprises LLC, host University of Houston, donors, participating agencies, and volunteers.

The event’s purpose was to aid economically disadvantaged students grades K-5, who reside in the City of Houston, prepare for the new school year. Participation in the fest was offered by advance registration only. Families who were not able to pre-register to participate in the event are advised to call the 2-1-1 United Way Helpline for referrals to community agencies offering assistance.

The City of Houston is grateful to all of its sponsors, volunteers, and exhibitors for making this event a success and wishes all students great academic achievement in this school year!

4th Annual Mayor’s Back to School Fest Sponsors

Presenting Donors:

Shell Oil Company and Motiva Enterprises LLC

Sponsors: University of Houston, Kroger, Undies for Everyone, FirstService Residential, Summit Dental Center, Texas Children’s Health Plan, CenterPoint Energy, Comcast, Fiesta Mart, CHI St. Luke’s Medical Center, TAM International Inc., Union Pacific Railroad, Kelsey-Seybold Clinics, KBR, , MetroPCS, UPS, Capital One Bank, The Felix and Angela Morales Memorial Foundation, Delta Dental of California, Blue Cross/Blue Shield Care Van, Smart Financial Credit Union, Texas Barber Colleges & Hairstyling Schools, Texas Exposition Services, Walgreens, Academy Sports & Outdoors, Simple Tech Solutions, Fallas Paredes, Your Logo, CESI, American Textile Recycling Service, Whole Foods, CompuCycle, and Walmart.

 

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District K council member touts safety of area communities

September 10, 2014 • Continue Reading »

More Information
Want more info?
Connect with Southwest Houston 2000 Inc. at its website, swhouston2000.org, or on facebook at SWHouston2000
For a list of certified Blue Star multi-family properties, visit Blue Star – Multi-Housing Program or contact HPD’s Apartment Enforcement Unit at 713-308-3900
Contact Houston City Council District K 832-393-3016 or email districtk@houstontx.gov

Crime statistics show that Southwest Houston neighborhoods are among the city’s safest, and Houston City Councilman Larry Green credits the work of residents who are engaged in the community.

“We have some challenges. There will always be criminals out there. But I think we have systems in place, organizations in place like Southwest Houston 2000, to help address them,” Green recently told the group’s safety and security committee.

Formed more than two decades ago, Southwest Houston 2000 Inc. is a coalition of civic and religious groups, nonprofits and businesses that works to improve quality of life in the region. Crime prevention is a key focus for its safety committee.

Green said his District K, which extends from Braeswood Boulevard into Fort Bend County between Almeda Road and Gessner, ranked as third safest in Houston in “Part I” crimes, behind District E, which includes Clear Lake and Kingwood, and District G, which takes in River Oaks and the Memorial area. Part I crimes include violent and property crimes such as murder, rape, aggravated assault, burglary, robbery and theft.

District K had 10,156 Part I crimes in 2013, compared to 9,740 in 2012, the data shows. District E Part I crimes fell 2.1 percent to 6,859 in 2013, and District G had 9,973, 1.1 percent less than in 2012.

“Obviously, we want to have the lowest crime rate,” Green said.

“It’s happening,” said Perry Radoff, who chairs the SWH 2000 safety committee.

Radoff routinely collects data on police calls for service to local apartment complexes, where many of the area’s crimes reported. From 2011 to 2013, the number of calls continued to trend downward at most properties, his most recent report shows.

“Our folks are in better communication with Houston Police Department than ever before,” says Andy Teas, vice president of public affairs for Houston Apartment Association.

A recent training session provided by the Blue Star program to reduce crime at rental properties was filled to capacity by apartment staff members, he said.

Blue Star, a joint effort by HPD and HAA, also requires multifamily properties to comply with an environmental safety survey and to host a safety social involving residents.

HPD has cracked down on high-crime properties, putting in place remedial action plans where necessary, Teas said.

The Brays Oaks Management District helps area apartment owners and managers connect to HAA and similar services, including tenant screening.

Last month, the district’s Richard Rodriquez unveiled a program that will recognize properties focused on safety and crime prevention.

Teas said the improved economy has helped. With fewer vacancies, apartment managers can be more discriminating about whom they rent to.

“A rising tide lifts all boats, and I think that’s very true,” Teas said.

But still, Green agreed with Radoff that more work is needed to address area poverty and its impact on youths.

“It’s very difficult for us to change what happens in those households,” Green said.

“The only thing we can do is make sure that, when they come out, the community is safe and able to provide resources so the kids have an outlet.”

Residents in the area, including some on the committee, are advocating for more park space through the Houston Parks and Recreation Department’s master parks survey process.

Green said the challenge continues to be finances.

“There still is this huge chasm in regards to the haves and the have-nots,” said Green, who is focused on bringing resources and activities to his district, including afterschool programs through churches and community centers.

“I look for suggestions about systems or programs we need that we don’t already have,” he said.

District J Town Hall Recap

September 8, 2014 • Continue Reading »

Dear District J Residents,

As you may know, I hosted a Town Hall meeting last week to address the effects of the expansion of the Sharpstown TIRZ boundaries and HBU’s ongoing construction of improvements on its campus.

We had a productive meeting, attended by many residents, and I would like to thank our wonderful panel of experts for their participation. Here is a recap of the evening:

  • The TIRZ has no authority to use governmental condemnation powers and cannot force private landowners to sell their property to the TIRZ or any other party.
  • The expansion of the TIRZ boundary does not enhance the City’s condemnation powers or increase the likelihood that the City would exercise those powers. No properties located in Section 2 will be condemned as a result of the TIRZ boundary expansion.
  • The expansion of the TIRZ boundaries is solely an administrative act with only one outcome: it allows TIRZ budget monies to be spent on public improvements within the TIRZ area.
  • The TIRZ has, since the date of its creation invested, or will within the next five years invest nearly $58 million dollars for public improvements in the Sharpstown area.
  • The City does possess governmental condemnation powers but is restricted by law to use that power only for public purposes. The City has no plans to condemn residential property in Section 2.
  • Private property located in Section 2 cannot be purchased, nor re-platted, for commercial purposes, because the Deed Restrictions require that such property be used for single-family residential purposes only.
  • On March 20, 2013, City Council also approved a Development Agreement between HBU, the City, and the TIRZ. It stipulates that HBU will add $160 million in value to the area by constructing infrastructure improvements solely on its Campus, in exchange for a credit from the City of $4.4 million (not funded by TIRZ monies).
  • After passage of the Development Agreement, an exhibit showing a drawing listed as “Science Lab Building Option 6″ was incorrectly attached to the Agreement. The exhibit was attached by human error and is not part of the Agreement. The City will take steps to remove the incorrect exhibit in order to eliminate public confusion.
  • HBU owns 13 residential properties in Section 2, which it uses for faculty housing. HBU pays annual voluntary membership dues to the Sharpstown Civic Association. HBU has no active plans to purchase additional residential properties in Section 2.
  • HBU is a private sector university that does not possess governmental condemnation powers therefore cannot force private property owners to sell property to HBU.

I hope this list of facts will address any questions you may have, correct any misinformation, and put to rest any confusion that has surrounded the community’s understanding of these matters.

If you have any further questions, or if we may be of service to you in any other way, please do not hesitate to contact my office. It is an honor and pleasure to serve you.

Thank You,

Council Member
Mike Laster

The District J Journal – September 5, 2014

September 5, 2014 • Continue Reading »

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Organizing for Good in Westwood . . .

 

Last year, your District J staff and I worked closely with the Gulfton community in establishing the Gulfton Super Neighborhood Council. Since January, under the direction of energized and enthusiastic neighborhood leadership, the Gulfton Super Neighborhood Council has been coming together to envision the future of that community. I am excited about all ways the Gulfton community is looking to improve their homes and businesses in that part of District J!

This year, I am hoping to jumpstart that same conversation within the Westwood community. I am looking forward to Tuesday, September 9th, when your District J office will be holding our second Westwood Social Service Meeting at Betty Best Elementary School at 6:00 P.M. Not only will we be discussing the re-vitalization of the Westwood Super Neighborhood Council, we will also begin a conversation about possible future improvement plans for Forum Park.

Speaking of parks, I wanted to also remind Sharpstown residents that our Lansdale & Crain Parks Update Meeting will be at the Lansdale Community Center on the evening of Thursday, September 11th at 6:30pm. We will be reviewing design plans for the new water spray-ground at Lansdale Park, the walking trail improvements to Crain, as well as the creation of an advocacy organization for the parks in the Sharpstown community. If you are able, please join me for these meetings!

 

Thank You,

Mike Laster - signature

-Mike Laster, Council Member – District J

 

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Call for Presentations for the 2015 NUSA National Conference

September 3, 2014 • Continue Reading »

Houston is proud to have been selected as the host city for the 40th anniversary NUSA conference. Neighborhoods USA (NUSA) is a non-profit group focused on building stronger communities by providing learning, information sharing and networking opportunities for its members. The organization is also known for recognizing outstanding communities and individuals dedicated to improving neighborhood quality of life. The annual NUSA conference is the organization’s premier event that is anticipated to draw 1,200 participants in 2015. The conference will be held from May 20 – 23, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Houston.

One of the most important aspects for a successful NUSA conference is high-quality workshops. The workshops provide conference attendees with the tools and training to improve and maintain great neighborhoods. The Program Development Committee of NUSA is seeking proposals from the best and brightest to present workshops on a wide range of topics related to neighborhoods. Preference will be given to proposals that address the conference theme, Passion into Action, or one of the 10 workshop tracks.

2015 Workshop Tracks

  • Social & Civic Engagement
  • Changes in the Natural Environment
  • Housing
  • Demographics & Population Change
  • Transportation
  • Green Things & Food Sustainability
  • Show Me the $$$
  • Neighborhood Initiatives
  • Social Concerns & Political Advocacy
  • Health & Safety

Proposals are due by Wednesday, October 1, 2014, 5 p.m. EDT and must be submitted in the Proposal Outline format. Further information and the Proposal Outline format can be found at http://www.houstontx.gov/nusa2015/call_for_presentations.pdf or www.nusa.org.

Please contact 713-837-7836, if you have any questions.

Volunteer Opportunity – Provide Free Tax Preparation through VITA

September 3, 2014 • Continue Reading »

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Volunteer Opportunity
Provide Free Tax Preparation through VITA
Free Training

Become IRS-Certified for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program to provide free tax preparation for taxpayers in the low-to-moderate (LMI) bracket for the 2014 tax season. Hands-on experience as a volunteer for free tax preparation using online tax preparation software. Learn tax law updates for upcoming individual income tax filing season.

Bilingual volunteers are also needed.
In-person and Online training available
Volunteer Registration begins: October 1, 2014
Go to: http://beyondcareers.org/contact/
Subject: VITA Volunteer
The VITA program is approved to provide Continuing Education (CE) credits for Enrolled Agents and Other Tax Return Preparers. Enrolled Agents and Other Tax Return Preparers must certify at the Ad-vanced level in tax law using Link & Learn Taxes on irs.gov before beginning their volunteer service. Your Form 13615, from Link & Learn, reflecting your completed certification will be attached and e-mailed to: beyondcareers2@gmail.com

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Help Students “Get Ahead of the Game” with The Graduation Game Plan!

September 3, 2014 • Continue Reading »

The Graduation Game Plan provides students with a network of mentors through Houston Public Library branches to help them get on their “A-game” in school and in everyday life

What’s Involved?

Work with small groups of 3-5 students for 3-7 hours total (depending on location), to help them:

  • Figure out their plan for graduating high school
  • Map out what they want to do after graduation
  • Develop the work ethic they need to succeed in life
  • Build a network of people who will help them reach their goals Continue Reading »

Support student scholarships with the Houston Dynamo

September 3, 2014 • Continue Reading »

Attend any of the games listed below and the Houston Dynamo will donate a portion of your ticket purchase to the HCC Foundation for student scholarships.

Purchase your tickets today by visiting the following special HCC ticket sales page: www.hccs.edu/dynamogames.

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About HCC
HCC is one of the country’s largest singly-accredited, open-admission, community colleges offering associate degrees, certificates, workforce training and lifelong learning opportunities for 75,000 students each semester. HCC is composed of six colleges that serve the greater Houston area’s diverse communities by preparing individuals to live and work in today’s increasingly international and technological society. To learn more go to hccs.edu.

The District J Journal – August 22, 2014

August 22, 2014 • Continue Reading »

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Good Things For Crain and Lansdale Parks…

As school is about to start up again, and with Fall just around the corner, September is gearing up to be a busy month for District J! 

I hope you can join me at  the Lansdale Community Center on Thursday, September 11th at 6:30pm, to learn more about planned renovations for Lansdale & Crain Parks. Representatives from the Parks Department will be present to unveil design plans for a new Water Spray Play Area at Lansdale and walking trail at Crain. These improvements are being funded from the $1 million I was able to secure from the Sharpstown Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (Sharpstown TIRZ).

 

In addition to discussing the budget and scope of each project, there will be time for public comment and a question and answer session. We will also discuss efforts to organize an advocacy and fund-raising group for our Sharpstown Parks.

 

I look forward to seeing you there.

Thank You,

Mike Laster - signature

-Mike Laster, Council Member – District J

 

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News From Houston City Council District K (July- August 2014)

August 19, 2014 • Continue Reading »

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District K Contact Information

 

 

  

 

900 Bagby, First Floor

Houston, TX 77002

  

Phone:

832-393-3016 office

832-393-4203 Satellite 

 

office

 Fax:

832-395-9410

  Email:

DistrictK@houstontx.gov

Website:

Click here

  

Archived Newsletters:

Click here

Facebook:

Click here

Hiram Clarke:

Council Member Green Pushes Bees Out of Almeda Plaza Subdivision

 

 

Council Member Green partnered with Gotcha Pest Control during the summer to remove two (2) large bee hives from the former Almeda Plaza Civic Club clubhouse at 2803 Knotty Oaks Trail within the Almeda Plaza neighborhood of the Hiram Clarke community.

Promoting public safety and enhancing the quality of life for residents are top priorities for Council Member Green. One way to accomplish this was to eliminate hazardous areas within District K neighborhoods. Council Member Green states, “I’m thrilled the District K council office was able to identify resources and partner with Gotcha Pest Control for the removal of these bees. Over the years, these bees have detrimentally plagued Almeda Plaza. Our office continually works with District K neighborhoods to identify resources in the community to solve the myriad of complex problems that arise in our District.  In this instance, it just so happens to involve bees.” 

Due to the hot summer months, vacant buildings and old trees are havens for bees to make their hives.  The former Almeda Plaza clubhouse was such a haven and contained about a million bees inside. According to Gotcha Pest Control, the crew found hundreds of honey combs with 500 to 600 pounds of honey.

“I really want to thank the local television stations for covering this public safety event and Claude Griffin with Gotcha Pest Control for coordinating this initiative with the District K council office. It was an experience getting suited up and down and dirty to make the bees disappear,” said Council Member Green.

 

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