Community News

Houston Super Bowl Host Committee’s Newsletter

May 27, 2016 • Continue Reading »



It’s official, the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee’s signature event during Super Bowl week is named ‘Super Bowl LIVE’. The festival, which will be free to the public, will be located in and around Discovery Green in downtown Houston. Super Bowl LIVE will run for 10 days, starting Jan. 27 and last through Super Bowl Sunday on Feb. 5. There will be games, food, music, sponsor activations and a centerpiece attraction that is being described as the ‘Wow Factor’ which will deliver an unforgettable experience for attendees.

The central gathering point for those celebrating Super Bowl week has had a unique name in each host city. Past names have included Super Bowl City, Super Bowl Village and Super Bowl Boulevard. Super Bowl City in San Francisco earlier this year drew more than 1 million attendees during the 10 days leading up to Super Bowl 50. The footprint for Super Bowl LIVE will be nearly twice the size of San Francisco’s event, and the Host Committee is anticipating similar attendance numbers, with the possibility of larger crowds due to the NFL’s main Super Bowl attraction, NFL Experience, being held next to Super Bowl LIVE inside the George R. Brown Convention Center.

Super Bowl LIVE had been referred to by its working title, Super Bowl Central, by the Host Committee until its official name was finalized. The footprint will run from the new Marriott Marquis hotel and extend south to Root Park in front of the Toyota Center. More details about Super Bowl LIVE, and its ‘Wow Factor’ attraction, will be released by the Host Committee throughout 2016.


Registrations have been coming in fast and furious for the Business Connect program, as local businesses apply to join the NFL’s supplier diversity network for opportunities to do business with the League and its sponsors during Super Bowl LI. More than 500 businesses have signed up to be a part of the program. Businesses must be at least 51 percent minority, women, LGBT or disabled veteran owned, and be certified, or going through the certification process, by one of four agencies (City of Houston Office of Business Opportunity, Houston Minority Supplier Development Council, Women’s Business Enterprise Alliance and the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce).

Though being a part of the Business Connect program is not a guarantee of winning a contract during Super Bowl LI, the benefits participating companies have received, through increased contacts and networking, have historically had a positive impact on those businesses long after the game is played. CLICK HERE to learn more about the Business Connect Program, and how to apply.


The Houston Super Bowl Host Committee’s charitable giving program, Touchdown Houston, is up and running, thanks in large part to charitable partner, the Greater Houston Community Foundation (GHCF). Touchdown Houston is designed to lead Houston into the end zone by providing a positive legacy beyond Feb. 5, 2017. With the NFL Foundation kicking in $1 Million, Touchdown Houston will donate $4 Million in grants to nonprofit organizations in the Houston area with a focus on three key areas of giving: Education, Health & Wellness, and Community Enhancement.

“The ultimate goal of the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee is to impact the community long after Super Bowl LI,” emphasized Sallie Sargent, the Host Committee President & CEO.

The Greater Houston Community Foundation serves as the administrator of Touchdown Houston. Since 1995, GHCF has enabled corporations, foundations, and other organizations to amplify their giving in new ways, and as a result has become one of the largest grant makers in the city. Just last year, GHCF donors gave nearly $112 million to nonprofit organizations in the areas of education, health, human services, the arts, and more, with more than 51 percent of their contributions staying within the Greater Houston area.

“We want to be known as an organization that partners with our donors to meet their charitable goals, and in this fashion helps to improve the quality of life for people in our community. We’re pleased to be working with the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee in this endeavor.” Steve Maislin, CEO of the GHCF said.

Applications for Touchdown Houston will be accepted until June 30, 2016. Visit for more information.



The fourth and final countdown clock made its debut May 24 on Discovery Green. The clock stands 15 feet tall and counts down the days until Super Bowl LI is played at NRG Stadium on Feb. 5, 2017. Previous clocks are located at NRG Stadium, on JFK Boulevard near Bush Intercontinental Airport and inside the main terminal at Hobby Airport.


Houston has not had a team play in the Super Bowl yet, but that doesn’t mean Houston doesn’t have a rich Super Bowl history. More than 115 players from the Houston area and Southeast Texas have played in Super Bowls through the years. Here is the story of one of those players, Yates High School graduate and Super Bowl XXXI champion with the Green Bay Packers, defensive end Santana Dotson. READ MORE


The NFL and its partners will be in Houston from June 1-3 for the NFL’s annual sponsorship summit. Host Committee sponsors will be given the opportunity to meet with the NFL’s sponsorship team to understand how NFL partners fulfill their NFL partnerships. In addition, the NFLPA will also take the Host Committee sponsors through some ‘best in class’ case studies of how NFL and Host Committee sponsors have used player talent to support their marketing and communication objectives.


The Host Committee is more than halfway to its goal of recruiting up to 10,000 volunteers for the 10 days leading up to Super Bowl LI. Volunteers will be ambassadors for Houston. Volunteers might be the only representatives of the Host Committee to interact with visitors to the city, and that contact has the power to create an incredible Super Bowl experience. Click here to find out more information on what it takes to be a volunteer and how you can sign up to join the team.


Members of the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee took a time out in May to volunteer at the Houston Food Bank. The Host Committee members put together five pallets of disaster relief food packages in two days of volunteering at the Food Bank.


TX Food Handler Mandate

May 27, 2016 • Continue Reading »

All restaurant employees will need their food handler certificate by September 1, 2016

FAQs for Employers | FAQs for Employees

About Texas Food Handler Certification

Currently 85 local jurisdictions around the state of Texas require food handler certification. In October 2015, the Texas Department of State Health Services approved a regulation requiring statewide food handler certification as part of the new Texas Food Establishment Rules (TFER).

The statewide food handler mandate is effective September 1, 2016 which means all current restaurant employees required to be certified must have their food handler permit by that date. All employees that work with un-packaged food, food equipment or utensils, or food-contact surfaces such as kitchen staff, bussers, hostesses, servers, bartenders, bar-backs etc., will need to be food handler certified.

Employees in jurisdictions that currently require food handler certifications will be considered in compliance on that date as long as their permit is still valid. Individuals hired after September 1, 2016 have 60 days from date of hire to get their certificate.

Texas food handler certification is valid for two years, and food facility operators are required to maintain record of a current certification for each employee. Local health departments will enforce the mandate during the inspection process.

Food Handler Certification Course

As long as the food handler course is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and/or the Texas Department of State Health Services the certificate is valid anywhere in the state of Texas. Courses that are also accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), like ServSafe Food Handler Texas, are not subject to any additional fees required by local jurisdictions.

ServSafe® Food Handler Texas is a highly interactive online training course and 40-question test that covers critical food safety information and techniques. Approximately 60 to 90 minutes in length, the training delivers consistent food safety training for all foodservice employees.

The ServSafe Food Handler Texas training covers key topic areas:

  • basic food safety
  • personal hygiene
  • cross-contamination and allergens
  • time and temperature
  • cleaning and sanitation.

Learn more…

You are invited to Water Marbling (Ebru) Art Class Reunion 2016

May 26, 2016 • Continue Reading »


You are cordially invited to Ebru class reunion. Join us if you have taken any of our water marbling art class since 2000. It will be a fun gathering full of art.

ebruMay 31st, Tuesday
6:00pm – 8:00pm
at Turquoise Center

Come on, register to catch up with old friends as well as to make new ones.Bring one friend who you want to introduce fabulous water marbling art.

Light refreshments will be available.


Westbury Farm Stand Grand Opening, June 4

May 25, 2016 • Continue Reading »

Westbury Farm Stand Grand Opening

West Orem Family YMCA Movie Night

May 12, 2016 • Continue Reading »

Movie Night Out

Citizens Advisory Council Meeting and PIP Meeting, May 17

May 11, 2016 • Continue Reading »


Plant it Forward Farms: Farm Share Season Begins May 30

May 7, 2016 • Continue Reading »


Video of the Willow Waterhole Music Fest 2016

May 2, 2016 • Continue Reading »

BOMD_Willow_Waterhole_Music_Fest_2016 from ICStudios on Vimeo.

Solid Waste Frequently Asked Questions

May 1, 2016 • Continue Reading »

The following information was provided to our office from the Solid Waste Department regarding debris collection after the City’s most recent flooding event:

FAQs for Debris Placement & Collection

  1. My home was damaged or received water during the recent flooding and storms. What steps should I take to handle the damages and the debris?
    • First, you should contact your insurance company to file a claim.
    • You should also document your property damage(s) by taking photographs.
    • You should contact the Houston 311 customer center to notify the city of your damage(s). This will help identify your address and area as needing debris collection service.
  2. Is there a particular manner that my debris should be placed at the curb?
    • Yes, debris should be segregated as follows and placed away from any obstruction/impediments (mailboxes, fire hydrants, water meters, etc.):
      • Normal household trash goes in your black garbage container. It will be collected by the City on your normal garbage service day.
      • Vegetative Debris (Logs and Trees) should be place separately in a stacked pile. Limbs/trunks and branches should be cut to 36″ lengths.
      • Construction & Demolition Material should be place in its own pile. This type of debris includes building materials, carpet/padding, furniture, treated lumber, mattresses, etc.
      • White Goods (Appliances) should be placed separately and their doors secured with tape (to protect kids). White goods include refrigerators, freezers, stoves, washers, dryers and water heaters.
      • Electronics should be placed together. E-waste includes computers, stereos, televisions or other items with a cord.
      • Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) should be placed together. HHW includes batteries, oils, lawn chemicals, pesticides and cleaning supplies.
    • Further information and instruction for debris placement can be found here or the Solid Waste Management Department’s Facebook page.
  3. My garbage/yard waste/Recycling was not collected due to the storm. When will the city return?
    • Monday’s garbage will be collected Tuesday, April 19, 2016 and Tuesday’s garbage will be collected Wednesday, April 20, 2016. Thursday and Friday’s garbage will be collected on their normal days.
    • Yard waste will be collected on the same schedule as stated in 3-a. above.
    • Recycling will be collected on the same schedule as listed is 3-a above.
  4. Are Neighborhood Depositories sites available to me if I’d like to get rid of my own debris or uncollected recycling?
  5. Is there somewhere I can take my HHW if I don’t want to wait for City crews to come by for collection?
    Yes. Any City of Houston resident can take HHW to the City’s Environmental Service Center at 11500 South Post Oak. HHW can be dropped off every Tuesday and Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. The center also receives HHW on the 2nd Saturday of each month from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Should there be a need; the hours may be increased to accommodate the demand for service.
  6. When will the City begin debris collection operations?
    Collections will begin as soon as the City’s plans are accepted by the State Department of Emergency Management. Typically, debris operations begin after the receipt of a disaster declaration by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA). A request for the disaster declaration has been made to FEMA by the Governor’s office.
  7. My container floated away during the flood period. How do I get another one?
    Please contact 311 to report your lost container. The department will deliver a replacement within 5 – 7 business days.
  8. I live in an apartment complex and was flooded. What should I do with my debris?
    As this is a commercial property, it is the responsibility of your owner/management company to make provisions for the collection and removal of debris.
  9. My business flooded what should I do?
    You should contact your insurance agent and file a claim for remediation. A part of your claim would include any debris demolition and removal.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to the District F Office.

Home Elevation Grant Opportunity Announcement

April 29, 2016 • Continue Reading »

The City of Houston, in partnership with the Texas Water Development Board, will submit a grant application on behalf of interested homeowners to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) Grant. This grant will request funds for Elevation of Existing Homes damaged during the 2015 and 2016 flooding events.

Who is Eligible?

Only Homeowners who have flood insurance. The flood insurance must be from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and be effective at the time of the grant application.

How can this grant help me to avoid flood damage in the future?

If awarded, this grant will pay between 75% and 100% of eligible costs to elevate your home. For this grant, home elevation means that your existing house will be lifted so that the lowest floor is one foot above the expected flood elevation and a new foundation will be built to support your home.

What are my chances of receiving a grant award?

FMA is a nationally competitive grant program. Homeowners who have the strongest chance of award are those who own a property with a history of receiving large flood insurance claim payments over time. These properties have special FEMA designations – FMA Repetitive Loss or FMA Severe Repetitive Loss Properties. To have a chance of award, elevating your home must save FEMA more in future avoided flood claim payments than it costs to do the home elevation. High priority will be given to properties that were damaged in the 2015 Memorial Day, 2015 Halloween and 2016 Tax Day Flood Events. There is no guarantee of award.

How do I apply?

Follow the “Submitting Instructions” and complete the “Voluntary Interest Form and Checklist” published on the website under Rebuilding/Repairs. Attach the required documents and follow the instructions to submit your package to the City’s Floodplain Management Office (FMO). DUE TO A COMPRESSED FEMA SCHEDULE, APPLICATIONS ARE DUE TO FMO BY MAY 6, 2016 AT 5PM.

How do I learn more?

Keep monitoring the website for more details. You can also contact the City’s Floodplain Management Office with your questions at 832-394-8854 or


If you chose to submit online, you still need to print, sign and upload page 2 of this form.

If you chose to submit in person or via mail/fax/email please print and complete pages 1 & 2 of this form.

For all information on Repairing Flood Damage in the Floodplain, please visit this link.