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The Bay Area Observer Serving Communities Along Galveston Bay VOLUME 2, NO. 13


SOSS Lighthouse Gala Lakewood Yacht Club Friday April 1, 2011 7 pm - 11 pm


HYC to Host Elissa Regatta April 2- 3

Dinner, Dancing to the music of the “Big Bands” & Silent Auction. $50 per person for a full evening of fine dining and entertainment! A Beacon of Hope - Benefiting Society of St. Stephen Outreach Ministry and local Food Pantry. Seabrook United Methodist Church. www. For ticket information, contact. Carolyn Hillers 281.474.9316.

Gumbo Geaux Geaux Landolt Pavilion in Clear Lake Park. April 9th, 2011

The 15th Annual Great Texas Birding Classic April 9 – April 17, 2011 Registration for the 15th Annual Birding Classic is only open for another week! Registration is still available with a late fee. If you have further questions, go online to See you on the coast!

Beginning Basket Weaving Workshop University of Houston/ Clear Lake Campus April 10, 2011

University of Houston Steel Drum Band By Rebecca Collins

The Kemah Lighthouse District came alive with the sounds of the islands as the 8th Annual Kemah “Pan Jam” Steel Drum Festival kicked off on Saturday and Sunday. The festival, launched in 2001, typically draws 8,500 to 10,000 people to the Kemah area. Steel or Pan Drums were created in the Caribbean island republic of Trinidad and Tobago in the 1930’s, but their history can be traced back to the enslaved Africans who were brought to the islands during the 1700’s. These drums became the main percussion instruments in the annual Trinidadian carnival festivities. Modern day steel pan drums were first invented by Elliott “Ellie” Mannette who is widely credited with developing and refining the instrument, and its tuning, over the past half-century. Mannette is often

April 10, 2011 9 am-5pm Cost: $25 (for materials) Held at University of Houston-Clear Lake Learn to weave an Easter Basket. Sponsored by Clear Lake Basket Weavers Guild, and taught by Stewart McGowan, with the assistance of other Guild members. To register, contact Stewart McGowan, 281-242-5677 by April 5, 2011. For Guild information, contact Gale Brom, 281-557-7572 / LadyBrom@ or website http://www. University of Houston/Clear Lake Campus, 9 am - 5 pm. Contact Person:Stewart McGowan at 281-242-5677

The 19th Annual Ed Brandon Cenikor Golf Tournament Bay Oaks Country Club May 9, 2011

Did you know that, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 23.1 million Americans age 12 and up suffer from some type of substance abuse or chemical dependency? Did you know one of the most researched programs in the nation operates within your backyard? Cenikor has been Continued on page 2

INDEX Community..........................2 Crossword............................2 Education.............................4 Election News......................5 Senior News.........................7 Classifieds............................7 In The Garden.....................8 Cuisine.................................8

230 Jefferson La Porte, Texas 77571


referred to as the “Father of the Modern Steel Drum.” Today steel pan drums are a sought after instrument in bands and orchestras in the United States and around the world, as performing arts programs, musical groups and festivals play major roles in

exposing these unique instruments to the world.” The calypso and reggae musicians at the event included Freddy Harris III and Mustafa, both from New York City, along with Outriggers, Jerry Dias and Hanna’s Reef. College groups from San Ja-

Dennis Clifton Dunham born October 21, 1930 to Joda L. and Thekla (Bobbie) Dunham in La Porte, Texas. Graduated from La Porte High School in 1948 then attended Wharton Junior College. Dennis joined the Marine Corps. In 1950, and became a tank commander with the rank of sergeant during the Korean War. In 1951 he married Essie Pearl Roper while home on leave, and relocated to Camp Pendleton California. Following his honorable discharge from the Marine Corps., Dennis worked in area industries until he was hired as a career firefighter for the City of La Porte Fire Department. After completing his B.S. degree from Sam Houston State

cinto College, University of Houston-Clear Lake and Lone Star College steel drum bands were also there to entertain the crowds. Among the entertainment were Performances by “Sonny the Bird Man” with his tropical birds, and a CASI Chili Cook Off. There was a new Kidz Zone this year with lots of cool stuff for the little ones including giant inflatables This year’s charity is Bay Area Pet Adoption, which hosted a pet costume contest. Girl Scouts sold cookies, and the Yellow Rose of Texas club sold military apparel to benefit the Wounded Warriors Project.

Mark your calendars for a fun weekend of racing, food and fun during the Elissa Regatta April 2-3 at the Houston Yacht Club, which is located in Shoreacres, Texas. The regatta is open to all sailors. Online registration is available on the HYC web site at on the Race and Regatta page. The Skipper’s Meeting is Friday night, April 1 at HYC; racing, dinner and a silent auction take place Saturday, April 2; and racing and trophies are scheduled for Sunday, April 3. For 25years, the Houston Yacht Club has supported the ship and her programs at Galveston Historical Foundation’s Texas Seaport Museum through the annual Elissa Regatta. Elissa is preserved, maintained and crewed by a group of volunteers. The funds raised from the Elissa Regatta provide a living connection with her maritime past. The Tall Ship Elissa is facing a tough challenge this year with the discovery of hull plate damage from electrolysis. There are many ways to give the much needed support to maintain the Elissa as a seaworthy vessel. To help support this effort: • Enter the regatta and join the festivities April 1-3. In addition to racing, there will be a dinner and silent auction Saturday night (April 2), with door prizes. • Reserve your space today on a spectator boat. For $125 you can watch the races on a comfortable power boat. Beer, wine, and hors d’oeuvres included, plus one dinner ticket for Saturday night. • If you are not racing, please join us for dinner and the silent auction Saturday night (April 2) for $15 per dinner ticket. The sign-up form for the spectator boat and/or dinner tickets is listed on the HYC web site at on the Race and Regatta page. Click on the general information tab to download the sign-up form. For more information, please call the HYC Office at 281.471.1255.

La Porte Police and City Officials Lay Out New Golf Cart Operation Guidelines Sophia and Einstein

Lifelong La Porte Resident Dennis Dunham Passes Away

Smart Shoppers Browse In Santa Fe... But Buy It At The World Famous The


Candidate Statements On Page 5

8th Annual Pan Jam Steel Drum Festival Brings Flavor of The Islands To Kemah

By The Bay

Please join Seabrook Rotary for a day of family fun at the Gumbo Geaux Geaux 2011 on April 9th at Landolt Pavilion in Clear Lake Park. This will be a fun event with zydeco music by the Diva of Zydeco, Lady D and the Zydeco Tornadoes. In addition, there will be a gumbo cook off and crawfish plates available. We will also have vendors for your shopping pleasure.Please support Seabrook Rotary and its work by helping us get gumbo teams and vendors. To make things interesting, we will set aside $1 for every $8 gumbo tasting cup we sell for a cash prize for the peoples choice gumbo award. Prizes will also be awarded from a judging panel for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place gumbo teams. Contacts are: Tim Trahan, Gumbo Cooking Teams, (713) 203-0685, Lisa Cook, Vendors, (281) 474-2528, Glenn Royal, General Questions, (281) 703-3442. Laissez le Bon temp rouler! ‘


University he worked as a safety engineer for the insurance industry, followed by teaching Industrial Fire Technology at San Jacinto Jr. College. While working at the college, he continued to work the family business, Dunham’s Tax Service which his father started in the 1950’s. Dennis taught many years at the Texas Volunteer Firefighter’s Summer Fire School at Texas A&M University and helped train many members of the La Porte Volunteer Fire Department over the years. In his spare time Dennis was a true outdoorsman, hunting, fishing, and gardening to provide for his family. His love of the Fire Service and the outdoors was instilled

upon him by his father and has been passed down to his son, son in law, and his grandson all who are volunteer firefighters in La Porte and enjoy the outdoors. Dennis is preceded in death by his parents and his wife Essie Pearl. He is survived by a brother Arlen Dunham and wife Billie, his sister Arlene Berges and husband Herman, son John (Champ) Dunham and wife Pam, daughters Denise Holley and husband Carl, and Laura Dunham. Grandchildren Cara Kaminski and husband Chad, Christa Holley, Chad Holley and wife Teia, Jody Wright and husband David, Katy Parker and husband Dustin, great grandchildren Kyle Kaminski, Victoria (Gracie) Kaminski, Alexis Holley, Chad Clifton Holley, Caison Holley, Fisher Wright, and Emersyn Paige (Emmy) Wright. Visitation will be held Thursday March 31, 2011 at 6-8PM at Paul U. Lee La Porte Funeral Home Chapel. Services will be held Friday April 1, 2011 at 3PM at La Porte Community Church. In lieu of usual remembrances donations may be made to the Hope Foundation, for Retarded Children, 15403 Hope Village Road, Friendswood, TX 77546, in memory of Dennis and Essie Pearl Dunham.

Encouraging news has arrived for all La Porte residents who own personal golf carts. A new ordinance passed by La Porte City council will soon allow properly registered and equipped golf carts to operate along designated roadways within the city. The new local rules were officially passed during the March 14th City Council meeting and will go into effect on March 28th. The new ordinance, amending the Code of the City of La Porte, standardizes the legal use of golf carts on public roadways within the city limits of La Porte providing that the street has a posted speed limit of not more than 35 miles per hour and all other requirements for golf cart equipment and registration are met. The golf cart must have liability insurance and the driver must be licensed. Golf carts must also be equipped with headlights, taillamps, reflectors, parking brakes, rearview mirrors, and a slow moving vehicle emblem. Golf carts must be inspected and permitted by the Police Department each year. The $35 registration fees must be paid at La Porte City Hall and then the owner of the golf cart may call the police department at 281-471-2141 to schedule an appointment for an inspection of the cart at their residence. If the officer inspecting the golf cart finds no discrepancies, a city-issued inspection sticker will be affixed to the golf cart by the inspecting officer. The permit will be valid for one year, but may be revoked at anytime should the golf car owner fail to follow the rules contained within the ordinance. Operators of golf carts will be required to abide by the same traffic regulations applicable to normal vehicular traffic and, as such, golf carts will not be allowed on public sidewalks or bike trails, unless the section of bike trail is directly adjacent, and runs parallel, to a public highway with a speed limit of more than 35 miles per hour. Golf carts will also be required to move to the right and yield the right of way to faster moving vehicles when travelling on a public street. Concerning the safety of occupants during golf cart operations, it has been established that no person may ride in the lap of the driver or in the lap of any other occupant within a golf cart and that all occupants must be properly seated. Children under the age of 10 must also be properly restrained by an American National Safety Institute certified seat belt. Of additional note, golf carts will not be allowed to pull or tow any person, vehicle or equipment along city roadways. Following suit, Harris County has agreed to allow the operation of golf carts within the parking areas of Sylvan Beach. Golf carts will, however, remain prohibited from grass and beach areas. For more information on licensing guidelines, insurance requirements, or to schedule an inspection of a golf cart, please contact the police department at 281-471-2141. Otherwise if you have further ordinance inquiries or specific questions related to permitting guidelines, fees, or registration procedures, please contact the La Porte City Hall at 281-471-5020.

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COMMUNITY Seabrook Gears Up for Nation’s Largest Classic Car and Wooden Boat Show Seabrook is a community best known for its beautiful waterfront property and miles of scenic nature trails. The city also plays host to one of the region’s most popular events, Keels & Wheels Concours d’Elegance, now in its sixteenth year. Held at Lakewood Yacht Club, the event attracts more than 15,000 visitors from across the globe. Approximately 300 classic cars and boats from around the United States are on display, showcasing some of the most interesting vehicles seldom seen traversing the roads or cruising the shores these days. Other vintage vehicles will be available for sale during the event’s Houston Classic Auction. The City of Seabrook and the Seabrook Economic Development Corporation are proud supporters of the event. “Keels & Wheels is a great endeavor that brings tremendous economic value to the local economy and the Seabrook community,” stated Ernie Davis, President of the Seabrook EDC. “LYC Concours Corporation, the company that operates Keels & Wheels, also generously contributes to various local charities, such as Boys and Girls Harbor.” As a result of their contributions to the community and the organization’s philanthropic spirit, LYC Concours Corporation was chosen as the 2010 Business-of-the-Year by Seabrook EDC. “We are thrilled to have been selected for this great honor,” said Bob Fuller, Chairman and co-founder of Keels & Wheels. “We have another amazing weekend planned that is expected to top prior attendance records, so we encourage the community and any car or boat enthusiasts to join us for exceptional displays, fun performances and one of the largest auctions in the nation of its kind.” The award was presented to both Fuller and co-founder Paul Merryman at the annual Economic Alliance Houston Port Region awards banquet. Keels & Wheels will be held this year from April 30 - May 1. Attendees can view nearly 200 cars and more than 100 boats on display, enjoy festive music and stroll along the marina of Lakewood Yacht Club. This year’s theme pays tribute to the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500, and will feature previously raced Indy cars, such as the 1935 Miller-Ford, and pace cars.

Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser, April 8th at Jennie Riley Center The La Porte Community Civic Club will be sponsoring a Spaghetti Dinner on Friday, April 8, 2011 at the Jennie Riley Center from 6:00p.m. to 8:00p.m. The members will be serving up Meat Ball Spaghetti, Ground Meat & Spaghetti, Italian Spaghetti and Shrimp Spaghetti with Green Salad, French bread, tea and peach Cobbler. You don’t have to cook, just come on out to Jennie Riley Center at 322 North 4th Street. Sample one of all Spaghetti for a $7.00 donation. Monies will help sponsor the Scholarship fund and Juneteenth activities. For information call Mary Gay at 281-471-3259 or Daisy Roscoe at 281-471-4740.

New Directional Signage Aims To Point the Way Seabrook leaders are making it easier for tourists and visitors to find their way around the city. Through a new signage program, the Seabrook Economic Development Corporation intends to bring additional focus on its many quality businesses. “We are implementing wayfinding panels that feature public facilities, the character districts and Seabrook business establishments,” stated Ernie Davis, President of the Seabrook EDC. “We believe that this initiative will help showcase the many quaint shops, tasty restaurants, great accommodations and exceptional businesses that have called Seabrook home.” The signage is being placed on arterial streets throughout the city. Located within the right-of-way, each sign holds up to five panels, which are available for lease on a first-come, first-serve basis. National Sign Plazas is administering Seabrook EDC’s directional sign program. If a Seabrook business is interested in leasing a business panel, contact Pat Fuller of National Sign Plazas at 512.670.3717 or via email at There is a one-time production fee of $100 for the panel, and a leasing fee of $40 per month.

Grand Opening of Carothers Gardens

The Drusilla Carothers Coastal Gardens, located at 502 Pine Gully in Seabrook, will officially open in Seabrook on Saturday, April 9. There will be a ribbon cutting at noon, followed by an Open House until 4:00 p.m. The public is invited. The Open House will showcase Seabrook’s newest and much anticipated 8.5-acre park which boasts a lovely mission-style home, beautiful gardens and a waterfront view of Galveston Bay. The facility is an extension of and located adjacent to Pine Gully Park in northeast Seabrook. The property was acquired by the City of Seabrook through a 2007 public referendum. The property was home to the late Drusilla (“Dru”) Dickson, née Carothers, who served on the Seabrook Parks Board some twenty years ago and was instrumental in the development of the city’s prized network of hiking and jogging trails. The house and grounds are the perfect venues for weddings, social, corporate, or civic functions. It is also suitable for exhibitions, small-scale conferences, and environmental education activities. “Seabrook has never had a park property of this kind,” said the city’s Open Space Committee Chair Dori Nelson. “It enriches what our park system offers in exciting new ways. Everyone is invited to come and see the house, walk the grounds, and stroll down to the bay.” Nelson noted that visitors seeing the place for the first time often comment that they feel as if they have left town: “The spacious garden with its wooded boundaries creates a wonderful sense of seclusion. It makes a most inviting event venue.”

“Don’t Mess with Texas Trash-Off” Set For Saturday, April 2nd

La Porte Rotary To Host 2nd Annual Wine-Tasting & Style Show

Rotary Committee: Bob Pizzitola, Crystal Redden, Brenda Thompson, Kathy Boehm, Janis Edwards, Joan Higham

The La Porte Rotary Club is hosting our 2nd Annual Wine-Tasting & Style Show Foundation Fundraiser on Sunday, April 10, 2:00 – 5:00 pm, at the Magical Creations Ballroom in La Porte. Event tickets are only $25, and include a Silent auction, Door prizes, Diamond Draw, local Restaurant tasting, and Vendor demonstrations. Please contact your favorite friendly Rotarian to purchase your event ticket. Full tables available to Sponsors and include a complimentary bottle of wine. Brenda Thompson at 281-380-1291, Crystal Redden at 713-2063199, Salon Avante’ at 281-842-9770.

The La Porte Parks and Recreation Department, Port of Houston Authority and Republic Services will be co-sponsoring a citywide “Don’t Mess with Texas Trash-Off” on Saturday, April 2, 2011, beginning at 8 a.m. at the Evelyn Kennedy Civic Center, located at 618 San Jacinto in La Porte. This event is the largest, one-day cleanup event in the state and serves as a signature event for the Great American Cleanup in Texas. Beginning at 8 a.m., registration and check-in of volunteer teams interested in helping clean up the city will begin. Each registered team will receive trash bags and safety instructions. At 8:30 a.m., Republic Services will provide training on recyclables. At 9a.m., the whistle will blow and everyone will head out to their assigned trash pick-up zone. By 11 a.m., all volunteers will return and their trash and recycle bags will be weighed. All volunteers will be treated to lunch, music, entertainment and fun! There will be prizes for the volunteer teams that collect the most trash and recyclables: · · · ·

COMMUNITY EVENTS Continued from page 1 helping people change since 1967. We would love to discuss how you and/or your business can help make the Greater Houston area  a healthier and more productive place to live and work.  Cenikor is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and appreciates your help in getting this message to others. For More Information Contact: Roni Archer Sponsorship information available

Arthritis Foundation Bay Area Walk May 21, 2011 Clear Lake City Park Pavilion 5001 Nasa Road 1, Seabrook, Tx 8 a.m. Registration • 9 a.m. Walk begins Join our Bay Area Walk Hero, Logan, age 6, as she and others in your neighborhood walk and spread the word that TOGETHER we can find a cure for arthritis! More than one million Houstonian’s struggle everyday with arthritis including children and dogs.  For more information contact Tami Navarro at 713-942-9063 <tel:713-942-9063> or

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The minimum size of a volunteer team is five members. Volunteers are urged to come up with a team name, however, they may also use their organization name, booster club, church group, or service club name to register. To register or for more information, please visit the City of La Porte website, bash_2011/default.asp

Second Chance Pets

Tic Tac is a calm, sweet teenage guy who loves to snuggle with other kitties. He is a 7-month-old brown tabby male who is playful and quiet. He was rescued from a high kill shelter. Cat adoptions start at $95 and include all shots, flea treatment, spaying/neutering AND a microchip. For more information on Tic Tac email SCP at or call 281-286-3535. Adoptions are held on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Petco on Bay Area Boulevard (at Space Center.) SCP adoptables are shown on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Petco store (Bay Area and Space Center Blvds.) and cats are shown at the Petsmart store across from Baybrook Mall the first and third Sundays of every month. Selected cats may be seen during the week at the Petco location and photographs of most adoptables are posted on our website http:// Almost all SCP animals are fostered in local homes because it does not have a shelter. As always PLEASE SPAY AND NEUTER YOUR PETS. Second Chance Pets is a nonprofit 501 (C) (3) animal welfare organization. All donations are tax deductible.

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The Bay Area Observer


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Opinions in this paper are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the newspaper. Any erroneous statement which may appear will be corrected if brought to the attention of the publisher. Liability for errors is limited to the reprinting of the corrected version. Submissions are encouraged by mail, by fax, or by email to

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EDUCATION BMW or Two MINIs for Winning Putter At Keep Kids in School Golf Tournament

Jerry Foyt (Right), General Manager Of Lexus Of Clear Lake, Presents The Dealership’s Platinum Sponsorship Check To Communities In Schools-Bay Area’s (From Left) Rick Gornto, Keep Kids In School Golf Tournament Chairman; Angela Jenkins, Development Director, And Janet Summers, Program Director.

La Porte High School Announces Join The Conversation At ‘Small Talk, Big Ideas’ Event 2011 Valedictorian And Salutatorian Start the day off right and savor the pleasure of learning at University of Houston-Clear Lake’s “Small Talk, Big Ideas” event that gathers 12 university experts, students, alumni and community members together to discuss thought-provoking topics over breakfast on April 13, 7:30 – 9 a.m., in the university’s Bayou Building, Forest Room, 2700 Bay Area Blvd., Houston.     “Experts on a broad range of topics walk the halls of University of Houston-Clear Lake every day,” said Director of Alumni and Community Relations Charity Ellis. “With ‘Small Talk, Big Ideas,’ the UH-Clear Lake Alumni Association is providing access to 12 faculty and alumni experts by inviting community members to enjoy a casual conversation over breakfast with the expert of their choice.”     This unique event will offer a variety of fascinating topics, including the following: • How to Stay Young the First 100 Years; • The Science of Happiness; • Foreign Languages as Gateways to the World; • Connecting with Your Adolescent: What-ever…; • Six Sales Lessons Learned from a Shoe Shine Man; • What Happened to Yugoslavia?; • Enhancing Lives by Unleashing Human Potential; • Growing Business Relationships with Social Media • What ‘Relief’ Will You Get Under the 2010 Tax Relief Act?; • The Myths of Serial Murder; • Refuse to be a Victim®; • and, the Art of Raku.

Winner of the Putting Contest at the Keep Kids in School Golf Tournament can choose as their prize a BMW or TWO MINI Coopers from Advantage BMW MINI of Clear Lake! This challenge will highlight the tourney benefiting Communities In Schools-Bay Area (CIS-Bay Area), a   The Alumni Association held its first breakfast discussion event last dropout prevention program. The Keep Kids in School Golf Tournament year and plans to continue hosting it annually with various topics and will be a shamble held April 11 at Bay Oaks Country Club. speakers. “This is our second annual Keep Kids in School Golf Tournament and     “Most networking events are filled with chatter of weather, sports and it promises to be bigger, better and more exciting,” says Rick Gornto, other benign and predictable topics,” said Ellis. “Not this one. This event tournament chairman. Underwriter for this year’s tournament is Legend offers the rare opportunity to sit down with seven people you may have Healthcare & Rehabilitation. never met and immediately begin a discussion on a topic that matters to Joining Legend in their support of the tournament are Platinum Spon- you personally.” sors AMOCO Federal Credit Union, Clear Lake Regional Medical Cen-      Space is limited, so reservations are requested. Tickets are $12 for ter and Staff and Lexus Of Clear Lake. Gold Sponsors are Advantage students and alumni and $15 for community members. For event and BMW MINI of Clear Lake, Barrios Technology, BP-Texas City, Merrill registration information, visit Lynch Wealth Management, My Flooring America, Null-Lairson PC, or call UH-Clear Lake Coordinator of Special Events Kris Thompson, MaximGroup, Rotary Club of Space Center and Staples (Webster). 281-283-2040. Join the conversation on Facebook at http://www.faceSilver Sponsors are Rick and Janice Gornto and Medinc of Texas. Bronze Sponsors are Hometown Bank of League City; Johnson, Bender & Company; MRI Technologies, Gurry Mechanical; Jacobs Technology, and Perdue, Brandon, Fielder, Collins and Mott. Vehicles awarded for a Hole in One are donated by Lexus Of Clear Lake, Norman Frede Chevrolet and Gulf Coast Golf Carts. Runners-up in the Putting Contest will receive other outstanding prizes. Lunch will be furnished by Outback Steakhouse. Immediately following the competition, the awards dinner, donated by Grand Finale Catering, will be held at the club with a live and silent auction. Emcee will be Dayna Steele and auctioneer will be Judge Louie Ditta. Top auction items will include a stay at the Lost Iguana Resort and Spa in Costa Rica; a week’s stay at a ski-in/ski-out condo in Breckenridge, Colorado, donated by Paula Tomasi; a dinner for eight in your home by the Culinary Institute of America’s Steve Swofford; diamond earrings, donated by Tama Brantley; and a Texans VIP Experience for 4 including a Matt Schaub signed football. Ann Hacker of Park Avenue Antiques has donated a room of antiques for the auction. For information regarding sponsorships,contact Angela Jenkins at 281486-6698 or CIS-Bay Area serves 15 campuses in the Clear Creek and Dickinson Independent School Districts. For more information on the program, TOP STUDENTS – College Park Elementary has announced its Couvisit gars of the Month for March. They are Pre-Kindergarten students Jackson Brugha, Zaira Gaona, Ivan Rangel, Delylah Rea, Lila Snider; Kindergarten students - Christian Benavides, Abel Hernandez, Bryce Shawley; First Graders - Rosalind Barron, Adrianna Hernandez, Sarah McKenzie; Second Graders - Austin Gibson, Audrie Kolenda, Addison Masters ; Third Graders - Ashley Barron, Lexi Cino, Haley Miller; Fourth Graders - Kendal Boston, Jonathan Gutierrez, Lauren Pope, Nazareth Salinas; Fifth Graders - Alycia Allen, Mykala Hamlett, Lila Grace Martin. Principal Tami King and Assistant Principal Carol Williams are pictured with the honored students.

Dr. Joanne Kolius, center, principal of La Porte High School, congratulates the 2011 salutatorian, Karma McPhee, left, and valedictorian, Kristy Tatom, who were recognized by the La Porte ISD Board of Trustees at its March 8 meeting.

La Porte High School has announced the valedictorian and salutatorian for the Class of 2011. Kristy Tatom, daughter of Becky and Darrel Tatom, is this year’s valedictorian. She plans to attend Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana, where she has received a scholarship to play soccer. After earning a degree in nursing, she hopes to continue her education by completing her master’s degree and becoming a nurse practitioner. Karma McPhee, this year’s salutatorian, is the daughter of Shawn and Scott McPhee. Karma plans to attend Texas A & M University or Oklahoma State University. She plans to study veterinary medicine. Both students are products of La Porte ISD schools and have been involved in numerous activities at La Porte High School. They were recognized at the March 8 meeting of the Board of Trustees.

La Porte High School Students Train As First Responders In Teen CERT Program

College Park Elementary Cougars Of The Month For March

College Park Elementary Cougars Of The Month For February

La Porte High School Chatos Dance Team Wins Top Honors At Recent Competitions

TOP STUDENTS - College Park Elementary has announced its students of the month for April. They are Pre-Kindergarten students Elijah Jack, Candyce Washington, Peyton McKenzie, D’Andre Jackson, Jenna Lay; Kindergarten students: Shelby Ward, Aaron Sargent, Nathan Gutierrez; First Graders: Moises Soriano, Aiden Finnen, Adrian Tamez, Nicholas Gracia; Second Graders: Trenton Valdez, Hannah Ontiveros, Jonathan Ochoa, Yestin Talent; Third Graders: Miguel Cabrieles, Cesar Resendez, Hannah Newman, Kayla Buffkin; Fourth Graders: Bria Watkins, Hector Valladares, Eliana Morin; Fifth Graders: Olivia Robles, Alyssa Atilano, Tiffany Dunford. Principal Deborah Shearer and Assistant Principal Deanna Narcisse are pictured with the honored students.

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The La Porte High School Chatos dance team brought home numerous awards from three recent competitions. The team competed at the Champion 2011 Northwest Houston Regional Competition on Feb. 26 at Cypress Woods High School, bringing home the 2011 Officer Judges’ Award and the 2011 Team Judges’ Award. Other awards included first place in Officer Novelty; second place in Officer Open; and first place in Team Jazz, Team Military, Team Kick and Small

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Ensemble. In addition, the group was runnerup for Best in Category for Team Kick; received the Award of Excellence for Top Highest Scoring Teams, and earned awards for Outstanding Technique and Outstanding Choreography. The Chatos also earned top honors at the Crowd Pleasers’ Texas Showcase of Champions State Competition at Cypress Falls High School on March 5. The group earned Texas State Champion in Officer Open, Officer Novelty, Officer Superior Circle, Team Jazz, Team Military, Team Elite Circle and Overall Precision Merit. In addition, the team earned first runner-up in Officer Lyrical and Officer Group, first runner-up in Team Jazz, and second runner-up in Team. The Chatos completed their competition season at the Houston Grand Finale at Katy Taylor High School on March 12. At the contest, the officers won Best in Category for Novelty, Open and Lyrical, while the team earned Best in Category in Jazz, Kick and Military. The group also won several Judges’ Applause Awards, Judges’ Choreography Awards and Judges’ Technique Awards. Both the officers and the team were named Houston Grand Finale Champions and earned the Overall Champion Circle and Overall Top Team Grand Champion honors. In addition, Allison Brown was named the Kick Master Grand Champion, and Noelie Barbay, Allison Brown and Heather Salazar were senior solo finalists. Lyndzie West was the junior soloist Grand Finale Champion, and Raven Moore and Penny Wheeless were the duet Grand Champions. The Chatos are under the direction of Sherri Hoff.

La Porte High School JROTC students Brian Dodson, left, and Josh Stitt work to remove debris via cribbing during a mock drill . The students are enrolled in the Teen CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) program and participated in a mock disaster drill on Feb. 18 at the Harris County Sheriff’s Academy. Photo courtesy Harris County Department of Education

La Porte High School students were among the participants from 17 area school districts who joined in a Feb. 18 final exam drill as part of the Teen Community Emergency Response Team (Teen CERT). The Harris County Department of Education’s (HCDE) Center for Safe and Secure Schools coordinates the Teen CERT program, a nationally recognized Harris County Citizens Corps Initiative. Through the challenging, team-building curriculum, students acquire skills needed to be first responders during an emergency. La Porte’s participants are part of the high school’s JROTC program, through which the Teen CERT curriculum is taught to all 117 students as part of the standard leadership training. During the training, they learn to put out fires, triage accident victims, use search-and-rescue tactics and provide disaster relief. Thirty-four top-performing students were chosen to participate in the drill and became certified when the group “passed with flying colors,” said Captain Tony Hernandez, director of the LPHS JROTC program. Hernandez explained that he and SFC Joe Glennan, assistant director, felt the need to incorporate TeenCERT into the JROTC program after Hurricane Ike struck the La Porte area. Then, many of their LPHS students served as volunteers at point of distribution (POD) sites but would have liked to have been even more involved in the disaster relief efforts. With the Teen CERT training, the students will be able to provide support to the adult relief operations teams in the event of an emergency. Students acquired skills ranging from turning off a water or gas valve to applying first aid and assisting in jacking up a building during a rescue effort. HCDE provides the 30-hour training at the schools, and the program culminates with the final drill, which tests student abilities in emergency response, at the Harris County Fire and Sheriff’s Academy in Humble. “The key to this is what to do after the event,” Hernandez said, noting that the support of LPHS principal Dr. Joanne Kolius and school administration was instrumental in the success of the students. LPHS participants included Josh Stitt, Cassandra Hubbell, Bryan Dodson, Luis Garcia, Greg Johnson, Robert Bunden, Daniel Ayers, Brandon Lane, Zach Johnson, Jose Chapa, Caleb Waller, Irene Berrones, Fide Martinez, Rachel Ward, Jacob Porier, John Pounders, Megan Gill, Dustin Olive, Nick Calvert, Colby Sanderson, Dustin Haviland, Emmanuel Garcia, Chris Ballard, Cody Kickertz, Scott Dodson, Megan Miller, Rachael Ward, Brian Graham, Cody McKay, Andria McClennen, Aaron Reitenour, Dakota Brown, Tanner Reynolds and Kendall Parsons. “It was just great to see our students analyzing problems critically and using methods to come up with a solution,” Hernandez said. “They absorbed the material well and used everything they learned in the classroom during the Teen CERT final exercise.” Hernandez added that the skills acquired by the participants will also help to give them a competitive edge as they apply for jobs in emergency medical services, law enforcement, fire protection, the petrochemical industry, and more. “Teen CERT in Harris County is considered a national training model,” said John Wilson of HCDE’s Center for Safe and Secure Schools. “We have trained over 2,400 students in community emergency response. By training, equipping and integrating a Teen CERT program, schools can meet the obligation they made in the Texas School Safety Center emergency operations plan.” In addition to La Porte, districts participating this year included Conroe, Huffman, Galena Park, Aldine, Spring Branch, Columbus, Houston, Lamar, Deer Park, Friendswood, North Forest, Katy, Crosby, CypressFairbanks, Spring and Tomball. Around 1,005 students participated in the Teen CERT classes. This year, Teen CERT was funded by United Way of Greater Houston Community Building Grant and the Harris County Citizens Corps. Other contributors include Walmart and Eastern Michigan State University. Funding is being sought for 2011-2012.

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LOCAL ELECTIONS The Bay Area Observer invited candidates on the ballot for the May 2011 elections to submit a candidate statement introducing themselves to voters. Candidates are from the cities of Seabrook, La Porte and Kemah. Please keep in mind that statements are optional, and as such, not every candidate has submitted one. Each candidate is responsible for what is written in the statement, and questions about a statement should be directed to its author.

City of Seabrook Mayoral Candidate La Porte City Council At Large “B” La Porte City Council At Large “B”

Glenn Royal

that can be purchased here An excellent roadmap for business development that does not encroach upon our residential areas has been prepared by our Planning and Zoning committee. Using this tool and the talents and resources of our Economic Development Corporation, new development should first focus on businesses that provide resources for our citizens, then to region. We live in a vibrant community on the Texas Gulf Coast and I am bullish on Seabrook and optimistic about the future for our current businesses and development opportunities. My name is Glenn Royal and I am a candidate for mayor of Seabrook, Texas. My challenge is to take Seabrook further forward while maintaining the residential quality of life that we all enjoy. Your challenge is to vote for the most qualified mayoral candidate on Election Day, May 14th. Provide safe harbor for our residents I have a strong commitment to our trails, parks, and shores of Galveston Bay and recognize the importance that our natural areas have to our quality of life. Not unlike Seabrook of the past, I have a vision where we can come together and continue to be proud to call Seabrook home. In the last few years, I have been working with civic groups to join with the city to leverage scarce resources for the benefit of our community. I will continue to push for small events and avenues that will showcase Seabrook to our visitors and provide family entertainment for our citizens. Seek opportunities to diversify our tax base I believe that it is best to increase tax revenue by first taking care of our current business base. A thorough review of ordinances that place Seabrook businesses at a competitive disadvantage to surrounding communities should be conducted. In addition, we should encourage our residents to “Shop in Seabrook” for the items

Keep an ongoing dialogue with our citizens I believe that no one has a monopoly on good ideas and I want you to share yours with me. You can do this by emailing me at or by visiting my website at www. and posting your comment. There are many important issues facing the city. If we want to maintain high quality parks and trails, we have to be able to pay for it. Rather than paying higher residential property taxes, we need to focus on diversifying our tax base and increasing sales tax revenue. Uncertainty over Highway 146 development plans has created apathy toward redevelopment. Rather than let Highway 146 dictate our progress, we need to get in front of this project. Pine Gully needs to have its watershed restored. The construction of a new road on the Point using grant funds is about to begin and redevelopment of restaurants and other businesses located here needs to be actively pursued. Seabrook is at an important time in its wonderful history. There is much work to do and we are fortunate that we have a tremendous city staff. What we need is a mayor, along with a city council, that has the vision and leadership ability to take Seabrook further forward. I don’t take this request lightly, but I do ask that you place your trust and confidence in me by selecting me to be your next mayor.

Dottie Kaminski

My name is Dottie Kamanski and I am running for Councilman at Large Position B for the City of La Porte. I would like to ASK for your vote on May 14, 2011. Below are listed some of the reasons I feel I am the best representative for this position. I have attended La Porte High School and I am a 4th generation La Portian. In the last 45 years, I have put my heart and soul into La Porte’s development. During this time, my involvements have included government, civic organizations and many athletic organizations. I have served on the Planning and Zoning Board for over 21 years. For over 17 years I have been an active volunteer/member of the La Porte Bayshore Chamber of Commerce; which has included 6 years of the Board of Directors and 15 years as Chairwoman of the Sylvan Beach Festival. I have also served on the Economic Development Board and the Small Busi-

Seabrook City Council Position 2

Mike Giangrosso

board as Secretary. Mike has been married to his wife, Hilda for 14 years and they have two children, Clarissa and Craig. They enjoy family outings and hosting neighbors and friends and are very active in the local school and community. No stranger to the Bay Area, Mike has served this community for 11 years, frequently in positions of leadership. Community Involvement:

Seabrook City Council Position 6

Laura Davis

Our family has lived in Seabrook for 6 1/2 years. My wonderful husband Ernie and I have been married for almost 10 years, and we have two beautiful children, Joshua (8) and Hannah (6). I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from Texas A&M University. Currently, I teach music for the Weekday Ministry Program at University Baptist Church where I work with preschool children. The opportunity to begin the process of shaping and molding these wonderful children as they prepare for elementary school is so rewarding. Our family has been very active in our community and really enjoys this beautiful city. Before being elected to City Council in 2008, I had the privilege of serving on the Hotel Tax Committee and then chairing that committee. It was a wonderful opportunity to use my creativity to increase tourism in Seabrook, and also gave me a great working knowledge of the City. Since my election, we have worked hard to keep Seabrook on the right track, but there is still much work

to be done. I believe there are three major issues that Seabrook currently faces. The first is Transportation. In the next three years we will be working diligently on development of the Repsdorph area, the Point (on Waterfront Drive), and on the plan for State Hwy 146. We will continue to cultivate good relationships with County and State officials to ensure Seabrook’s needs are addressed on roads that are not under our control. The second issue Seabrook faces is Economic Development. In such a lean economic climate, City Council needs to do all it can to encourage quality, long-term businesses into our commercial areas to increase our commercial tax base (and decrease the tax burden on residents). We have worked hard to avoid a tax increase in my last three years on Council and will continue to do so. We also need to work relentlessly to retain our current businesses, especially along the Hwy 146 corridor. The third issue Seabrook faces is Quality of Life. We need to look for opportunities to obtain grant funding for our trails system, to connect our trails to other area trail systems and to establish goals and a long-term plan for the Carothers Coastal Gardens Property. I believe that municipal government affects every aspect of our daily lives… where we work, play and live. To be effective, municipal government has to be consistent, honest, practical and discerning. I am committed to this approach and am proud to have the opportunity to serve the citizens of Seabrook.

La Porte City Council District 6

Charlie Rothmund

My name is Charlie Rothmund and I announce my candidacy for the District 6 council seat. I am a native Texan and have worked and lived in this community for the past 23 years. I am currently a board member with the Fairmont Park East Homeowner’s Association. I joined the board to help address the flooding issues in our area. I feel that the citizens in district 6 are not properly represented and this is the reason I am a candidate for this office. It is true that the city is now remedying the flooding on Fleetwood Drive, however, it was only after the HOA retained legal representation that we saw any real progress. I support the emergency services’ personnel and would vote to ensure that they receive necessary equip-

ment for needed for the safety concerns of all La Porte citizens. My beliefs are conservative in both my personal and business involvements. My voting record with the city will be conservative as well. While there have been amenities constructed in the city in the past few years, many of these projects will not and have not improved the quality of life for the citizens of La Porte. I have a strong feeling that the needs of the people, should be heard above all else. I want to work for the people and set the city government back on that course. I believe that politics should not be a person’s career, fresh outlooks and ideas need to be brought in from time to time.

ness Board for the past 6 years. Sports involvements have consisted of 12 years on the LP Football Booster Club, 15 years with the La Porte Boys Baseball Association with jobs ranging from organizer to player’s agent…and one of the co-founders of the La Porte Oilers football program now the La Porte Texans. During this time, I have continued to be an independent Business Woman with marketing promotions and manager as my primary job description. Besides working for myself and my community, I have found the time to raise two great sons which I am very proud of, Tommy and Chad Kaminski. In the last 16 years, I have been blessed with 4 beautiful grandchildren. I like being a grandmother the best of all my endeavors. I am a recent graduate of the Citizens Police Academy and in 2008, I was the proud recipient of the Gus Groos Humanitarian Award. A solid City Council is so important as we move further into 2011. City Council has to decide to all work as a TEAM. We must join hands and make a stand all together to get OUR city where it needs to be for us and more importantly our Citizens. As you can tell by all of my many years of involvement throughout La Porte, I am very interested in my town. I feel I am the most qualified to be your next Councilman at Large Position B. “Don’t forget to get out and VOTE on May 14, 2011 and make the right CHOICE….

Mike Giangrosso has been a Seabrook resident for nearly 5 years. Raised in a military family (his dad, a retired Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer) his family instilled in him the value of hard work and persistence. His military upbringing afforded him the opportunity to travel throughout the world. Born in Bremerhaven, Germany in 1969 he has traveled extensively with his family residing in Massachusetts, California, Saipan, Virginia, Louisiana and finally settling in Deer Park, Texas. Mike is a Deer Park High School graduate and has been in the Bay Area for over 31 years. Comfortable with travel and at ease with transitioning into new experiences, Mike proceeded to launch a career in the travel and tourism industry. Professionally, Mike has worked in the hospitality industry for over 20+ years and has had the pleasure of working in several different markets including West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Boston, Dallas and Austin. Throughout his career in the hospitality industry, Mike has been known for his commitment to service excellence. He will bring these same high standards to the Seabrook City Council. He currently serves on the Seabrook Open Space, Beautification and Preservation Committee and has served on the Seabrook Hotel Tax Committee. He has recently completed the Community Emergency Response Team Training (Bay CERT). He will be one of the select trained volunteers to assist and aid with any type of fire, hurricane, flood, or natural disaster. Mike was one of the first hotel managers to charter the Bay Area Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau (BAHCVB) in 2001. Since the inception of the BAHCVB, Mike has served in all executive board positions, including Chairman of the Board for 2008-2010. Mike is also a member of the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, where he currently serves as a board member and has previously served on the executive committee as Vice Chairman of Finance and the Tourism Chairman. He is actively involved with the Hotel & Lodging Association of Greater Houston and currently serves on the executive

• Seabrook Open Space, Beautification and Preservation Committee Member • Chairman of the Landscaping Committee for Seabrook Island Homeowners’ Association • Seabrook Lucky Trails Marathon (Planning and Volunteer Committee) • Trash Bash (Volunteer) • Seabrook Association (Active member and supporter) • Keels and Wheels (Active supporter) • Bay CERT (Active volunteer) • Pelican Path Project (Active supporter) • Boys & Girls Harbor (Active supporter) • Girls Scouts (Active supporter) • Ed White Elementary School (Active supporter and volunteer) • Men Who Cook (Active supporter) Goals • The citizens’ needs are priority number one. We need to ensure that police protection, fire protection, city services and emergency management services are all working together to keep our residents safe and informed. • Budget – continue to monitor to resist increasing taxes and work to control expenses. • Economic Development -increase Seabrook’s commercial tax base by filling existing commercial properties and promoting new businesses that will increase the commercial tax base. • To continually improve and increase economic development to provide additional revenue sources for Seabrook and also provide better amenities so that our residents can shop and dine locally. • Continue to keep residents and current businesses on Hwy 146 informed of the TxDoT expansion plans and work together in keeping those businesses successful in Seabrook throughout the improvements. • Continue to monitor Repsdorph/ Lakeside extension plans to keep its completion on schedule. • Quality of Life – Create a comprehensive plan that continues to improve and connect the hike and bike trails throughout Seabrook. Keep the parks clean and safe for our families and children to enjoy. • Tourism – continue to work with Seabrook Hotels and B&B’s to increase tourism to our city.

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Rick Guzman

Our city government more directly touches our daily lives than any other. As your City Councilman, I’d like to work with you to make life even better here in our beautiful historic community. I take great pride in La Porte as a city where families can live in a safe environment and have the opportunity to enjoy a good quality of life. I am Rick Guzman, your candidate for La Porte City Council At Large Position B and resident of LaPorte for over 53 years. I have fond memories of growing up in La Porte. I remain very close to many childhood friends that I have known for over 53 years. We spent many days fishing and swimming in the bay from dawn to dusk. We wandered carefree in and out of the Main Street businesses while walking home after the Saturday morning movies. I am a 1971 graduate of La Porte High School and received a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Houston at Clear Lake. I’m a devoted member of this community, which is why my wife of over 34 years, Leslie, also a La Porte High School graduate, and I have chosen to make LaPorte our home and raised our three children here. We are active members of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in La Porte, which I have been a member of for over 50 years. Professionally, I retired from a large local chemical company after 34 years of service. While there I was employed as an Environmental Specialist and Safety Specialist serving as a key contact between the plant and government agencies regarding compliance and life critical policies for the site. I served as a core member on several multimillion dollar projects that brought about efforts to reduce costs, save money, and use resources wisely. I, currently work for a leading safety contractor as a site Safety Manager. I am very familiar with the issues of safety that La Porte faces as a community surrounded by industry, as well as its location

on the bay. I also enjoy working at a community college as an Adjunct Instructor and have taught there for the last 14 years. Presently, I serve on the La Porte Fire Control, Prevention, and Emergency Medical Services District Board. I am at a point in my life where I have the time to devote to further serving our community and representing you. As you evaluate the candidates in this election, I ask that you consider some things I envision for La Porte: • Efficient, accountable, and open government • Promote new business growth and support local business • Support our firefighters, police officers, and EMS Personnel • Maximize the use of city facilities • Address the needs for youth activities and programs • Progress for our city drainage and flooding issues • Minimize the harmful effects of truck traffic • Promote new single-family housing development Much of my background has been working with people to find common ground to important issues. I seek reasonably, fiscally sound solutions to the issues that our city faces based on the best interests of all of La Porte’s citizens. Regarding the controversy of new ideas for our city, I want to empower people to bring VISION to the future of La Porte. “You see things and you say ‘Why?’ But I dream things t hat never were and I say ‘Why not?’” What George Bernard Shaw wrote in 1921, and paraphrased many times by Robert Kennedy throughout his career, can be directly related to the founding of our community and the times we live in today as we strive to better improve the lives of our citizens. Dream fearlessly for the future of our La Porte. Make a difference! If elected it will be an honor to represent you in a positive, open, and honest independent voice for you! I want to be a City Councilman for all citizens and serve with integrity. Mark your calendar! Early voting begins May 2 and goes through May 10. Election Day is Saturday, May 14th. I ask for your vote and look forward to representing you and being your voice on La Porte City Council. Email me - rick.guzman@ymail. com; Call me - 832-439-7718; Find me on Facebook I am asking for your vote! Rick Guzman

City of Kemah Mayoral Candidate

Bob Cummins

I made the decision to run for mayor, because I believe that Kemah is at a critical impasse. I want to redirect the focus of the city back to the needs and wants of its residents. I

want to resolve the issues that matter to you: public safety, commercial encroachment, traffic control, and more efficient use of our city services. I want to see the right balance of thoughtful development. I operate a local trucking company, which gives me first-hand experience in dealing with a struggling economy while adhering to a budget and managing people. I believe my business sense will prove invaluable at city hall. You can expect an open-door policy from me. Having a direct line of communication to the residents is the most important key to being an effective mayor. I care what you think. Please come aboard my campaign to ensure my victory. Together, we can put Kemah back on the right track.

La Porte City Council District 6

Mike Clausen

My name is Mike Clausen, and I am a candidate for City Council, District 6. I have been honored to serve in this position for the past seven years. My family and I have lived in La Porte since 1969, and it has been a wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family. I am employed by the La Porte Independent School District and have been since moving to La Porte. I am currently serving as assistant superintendent. My wife, Kathy, and I have two sons, Shane and Jason, and four grandchildren. We are members of the First United Methodist Church of La Porte. I am a member of the La Porte Rotary Club, and I have served

on the Board of Directors of the La Porte-Bayshore Chamber of Commerce. I am also a member of the Board of Directors of the Gulf Coast Educators Federal Credit Union. I am seeking re-election because this community has been a great place to live, and it is my belief that I should try to give back to the place that has been good to me and my family. The City of La Porte is doing well: we have a good staff; we are financially sound; and we are steadily making improvements to the City. We need to continue to make improvements in our infrastructure, in our economic development efforts, and in the quality of life for La Porte residents. We have an outstanding police department and a low crime rate, and we need to continue to support their efforts. Drainage has been a major focus for the City in the last few years, and we are making many improvements in this area all over the City. All of this has been accomplished without an increase in the tax rate. These are the major areas that I will continue to support if I am re-elected.








The Senior Class

La Porte Seniors Visit Brenham’s “Miracle Farm”

By Jay Dunham

A Lunch Date: The seniors celebrated Washington’s Birthday with their monthly lunch outing at Casa Anita here in La Porte. The food was good, the service even better. The downside was being seated in the smoking section. That has a way of spoiling it all. The obligatory departing ice cream cone, though, is the best I’ve had anywhere….thick and creamy. When Fairmont Parkway returns to normal, getting there will be more convenient. Memories: 17 seniors joined Robbie for Robbie’s Hobbies Thursday, February 24. They each brought with them special items from either themselves or another family member, something with a significant personal meaning. From these, each made a shadow memory box for a oneof-a-kind keepsake. The variety was wonderful…from Dorris Baker’s wedding memories to Gene Nees’ Boy Scout memorabilia. Along with the box construction, they shared stories of their items, creating a nostalgic air in the class. The Bells Are Ringing: A busload of seniors, chaperoned by Mason, left the Norman L. Malone Senior Center, destination Stafford Center in Stafford, on Saturday, February 26. With a stop at Sweet Tomatoes for sustenance (a senior must), they arrived in time to witness over 500 handbell ringers with over 1400 handbells in a one hour concert. It was called Feb Fest 2011, an annual event. Three members of our Senior Center , Shirley Hughes, Loretta Dearing and yours truly, and staff person, Deb D., were among the ringers. Don’t miss this event if the opportunity presents itself again. Rodeo Week: The Norman L. Malone Senior Center celebrates The Rodeo in a big way. The Center is decorated with Western motif posters and “Wanted” posters of all our members. On Friday, the great chili cook-off took place with 6 teams vying for the grand prize and bragging rights. The honorable judges, Councilman Jay Martin, newspaper editor Rebecca Collins and the venerable Linda Faulk, again unanimously selected Dora’s & Ruby’s offering as the superior one. Following the judging, a 2 act western drama, ‘Shoot Out At Hole-In-The Wall’ was presented to the enthusiastic audience. The

members of the cast rehearsed three times a week for six weeks to perfect the end result. Anyways, a fun time was had by all. The play was followed by a chili lunch prepared and served by the staff. Elvis Is In House: The members and guests of the March 14 AARP meeting were privileged to a rare treat: a visit by Elvis (aka Josh Burton). Dubbing some of Elvis’ famous ballads and gospel songs, and ably assisted by Mom, Cindy, Josh thoroughly entertained the gathered crowd. Chapter 1973 meets the second Monday of the month at La Porte Community Church, First and “A” streets, at 10:30 AM. President Lynn Wilbarger invites seniors 50 plus to come visit, hear topics of interest to seniors, enjoy fellowship and a covered dish luncheon Wearing O’The Green: St. Paddy’s Day at the Norman L. Malone Senior Center was a colorful affair. Green in every imaginable shade adorned the congregant members and the munchies table!!! green cookies, green cupcakes, (no green eggs?) and green lemonade. St. Paddy would have been proud. After snacking and socializing, many stayed for the daily hot lunch, provided by the Harris County Area Agency for the Aging. This is served Monday-Friday (except holidays) at noon. It is a wonderful opportunity for seniors to have a hot meal in the company of friends. If you aren’t a regular diner, come in, sign up and try us

out. Games: The last of the season “game afternoon” was held Friday, March 18. Beginning in April, the hours are 5:00-8:00 PM. We play any game we wish; dominoes, canasta, skip bo, or any which strikes our fancy. Mid way, we stop and have a “bring from home” snack supper. I know from past experience, some tasty vittles show up. Check the newsletter for dates and plan to come. A good time is had by all. Miracles: As we departed the Norman L. Malone Senior Center on the county bus March 21, anticipation was high on seeing Hill Country bluebonnets on our way to Brenham. This was the only disappointment of the day. Due to the unusual winter drought, few were to be seen. We stopped at the Cannery Café in the old historic section of Brenham for lunch. We were graciously received by the restaurant staff, made welcome and learned of the faith based origin of the facility. The ministry serves greater Washington County in many ways. Well fed and laden with gift shop goods, we set out for Independence, which is the location of the original Baylor University. It is also the home of Miracle Farm, a Children At Heart ministry. Miracle Farm is a residential boys’ ranch ministry that offers boys a “Chance of a Lifetime” opportunity to reflect, renew and rebuild their lives. Following a video explaining the goals and methods of the ranch, we were loaded onto an

old hay wagon and treated to a tour of the facility. We ended at the arena where the 16 residents and their mentors entertained us with a “calf” roping demonstration. Johnnie W. of Abner fame traded his hat from the play with one of the boy’s baseball caps. I don’t know who’s smile was greater! After a stop at Mickey D’s (a must), a tired busload of seniors returned to the Center from another satisfying trip. Coming Up: Tuesday afternoons at 1:00 pm – Story Telling Group Thursday afternoons at 1:00 pm – Yoga Class Thursday April 7 & 14 – Robbie’s Hobbies will be making Easter bonnets Friday April 15 from 5 to 8 pm – Game night Friday April 15 at 7 – concert at 5 points Monday April 18 at 12:30 pm – Jeanne Robertson video Wednesday April 20 – Galveston Harbor and Dolphin Tour Tuesday April 26th at 11:00 am – Sing-a-long Wednesday April 27th at 1:00 pm – Sock Hop Details on these activities can be found in the Senior Sizzle Newsletter either online at seniors/default.asp or in the Senior Center located inside the Recreation and Fitness Center at 1322 S Broadway in La Porte.

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Senior Citizens from the Norman L. Malone Senior Center Visited Brenham on March 21st with a trip to Miracle Farm. Miracle Farm is a residential boys’ ranch ministry that offers boys a “Chance of a Lifetime” opportunity to reflect, renew and rebuild their lives. The group enjoyed an old hay wagon ride and were treated to a tour of the facility. The day ended with a roping demonstration by 16 of the facilities’ residents and their mentors who entertained them with a “calf” roping demonstration.

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Shoppers with a nose for bargains head straight for the Classifieds. In the Classifieds, you can track down deals on everything from cars to canine companions. It’s easy to place an ad or find the items you want, and it’s used by hundreds of area shoppers every day.

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The Bay Area Observer P.O. Box 305 • Seabrook, Texas 77586


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The Bay Area Observer


2701 Center St. Deer Park, Texas 77536

There’s No Place Like Home

Happy Doctor’s Day To The Medical Staff Of San Jacinto Methodist Hospital San Jacinto Methodist Hospital would like recognize and thank you in honor of National Doctor’s Day. You are an integral member of our healthcare community. Often, the services that you provide go unrecognized. National Doctor’s Day is a formal opportunity for the hospital to show our appreciation and recognize the pivotal role that you play in caring for our community, promoting healthy lifestyles, and advancing medicine. You truly portray the mission of SJMH which is to tirelessly serve our patients/families, employees, medical staff and community in a spiritual manner that is consistent with our ICARE values of Integrity, Compassion, Accountability, Respect, and Excellence, without compromise. We are so grateful to have a medical staff that demonstrates excellence in the provision of patient care every day. For the last 4 years, we have been named a top hospital by Healthgrades for the quality of care that is delivered to our patients. Likewise, we have achieved numerous certifications and accreditations in various specialties. Your work, in large part, has contributed to those achievements. As you know, SJMH physicians represent breadth and depth in the delivery of health care by serving patients in more than 40 specialties, across 3 counties. Your dedication to improving the health and well-being of our community is commendable. Your life commitment has touched many lives through the delivery of exceptional care in a compassionate, respectful and safe manner on a daily basis. On behalf of the San Jacinto Methodist Hospital Board of Trustees, Employees, Volunteers, and Hospital Leadership, we would like to thank you for the extraordinary care and service that you provide to our patients and the vital role that you play in our community. Thank you for all that you do. With sincerest appreciation, Donna Gares President and Chief Executive Officer




IN THE GARDEN Spring Is Prime Time For Oak Wilt Disease The big, beautiful live oaks that line your street and shade your home aren’t indefensible. There’s a silent killer that at this very moment could be creeping down your block, one yard at a time. Considered an epidemic throughout Central Texas, oak wilt is one of the most destructive tree diseases in the United States. The infectious disease spreads in the spring, killing trees that share its name, with red oaks and live oaks most susceptible. “Live oaks are just phenomenal trees that we’re blessed with here in the Hill Country; oak wilt is just its Achilles heel,” said Texas Forest Service Forester Eric Beckers, who is based in Austin. “It’s an incredibly valuable tree. It’s a great survivor against everything that gets thrown at it from wind damage to drought to insects and other diseases, but it’s a poor survivor with Oak Wilt.” Oak mortality has been noted since the 1930s, but oak wilt wasn’t confirmed as the cause until the late 1970s. It has since been found in 73 counties — principally in Central Texas though it’s crept as far as Amarillo and Houston. An infected oak can spread the disease to surrounding oaks via their interconnected root systems. When that happens, the only way to stop further spread is by digging trenches to break the root connections. Oak wilt also can be spread from February through June via sapfeeding beetles, which eat spore mats produced by infected red oaks. The disease is spread when those insects fly off to feed on a healthy red oak or live oak with a fresh wound. Diseased live oaks do not produce the same spores but they can become infected by them. “We’re talking about trees that have been in the landscape for a century or more. We don’t replace those trees overnight,” Beckers said, adding that the death of such majestic trees can lead to drops in property values. “Preventing oak wilt is the key.”

Live Oak Leaf Exhibiting Chlorotic Veins Due To Oak Wilt Disease A wound is created any time bark is removed and wood is exposed, Beckers said. That can happen with the simplest of tasks — planting flowers, pruning or even pushing a lawn mower over a bare tree root. That bare wood produces sap, which attracts the sapfeeding beetles, Beckers said, stressing the importance of avoiding wounds in the spring, painting tree wounds year round and destroying diseased red oaks. “You don’t want to have to manage oak wilt. That means you have it. You want to prevent it from happening,” Beckers said, explaining that there was no cure for the disease. “Oak wilt is a bear. It’s very difficult to stop.” For more information about oak wilt and maps detailing which counties are affected, visit

Texan Wines – Good For Texans And The Texas Economy

Photo from website

The Texas wine and grape industry is 5th in the United States for wine production with over 2 million gallons produced every year. Texas is also the 7th largest grape producer in the nation. The 3,300 acres of vineyards and 215 wineries contribute to our state economy to the tune of over 1.7 BILLION dollars yearly. The wine industry in Texas employs more than 10,000 people. Wine lovers around the world who want to know more about Texas wines, promising varietals, Texas terroir, the growth

of the industry and other GO TEXAN topics can now chat virtually with experts and other Texas wine enthusiasts on “Texas Twitter Tuesday.” The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA), as part of its GO TEXAN wine program, now hosts “Texas Twitter Tuesdays” on the first Tuesday of each month, 7–7:30 p.m. CT. Various Texas wine industry experts, winemakers and growers, authors, sommeliers and chefs will chat with and answer questions from interested Twitter participants. The first Texas Twitter Tues-

day was Feb. 1, as Bobby Champion, Jr., TDA state coordinator for wine marketing, kicked off the series and talked about the Texas wine industry, its successes in 2010 and the expected future growth. “There are so many exciting developments happening in the Texas wine industry – from one of the best harvests on record last year to Texas wines being available on tap at wine bars,” said Champion. “We want to make it easy and fun to talk with wine enthusiasts about what grapes grow best in Texas, which wines best represent Texas, where to find Texas wines, and which Texas wines pair best with Texas’ iconic foods.” To participate, sign up for a Twitter account at It’s free and easy. Go to the Tweetchat room set up for Texas Twitter Tuesdays: GOTEXAN. No registration is required. In the Tweetchat room, participants are invited to follow tweets, add comments, share thoughts, and also use the hashtag #GOTEXAN with Tweets, if they use TweetDeck or another tool. The Texas Twitter Tuesday is one of many TDA social media programs where wine enthusiasts can learn about Texas wine. TDA has hosted numerous Twitter Tastings at events with its popular Texas TwoSip Tastings, where Texas wines are blind tasted against non-Texas wines. Information about events and announcements are regularly shared on and Facebook (GO TEXAN Members). TDA has also produced the GO TEXAN Winecasts, short video podcasts on popular Texas wine varieties as well as Texas wine trails. Just go to YouTube and search on Go Texan Wines. The next Texas Twitter Tuesday is scheduled for April 5th. For more information about Texas wine, visit

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New Physician in Dermatology Joins San Jacinto Methodist Hospital Medical Staff

SHelley Sekula-GibbS, M.D.

Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, M.D., is a board certified specialist in dermatology. Dr. Sekula-Gibbs completed her residency in dermatology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. She is certified by the American Board of Dermatology. In addition, she is a member of the Texas Medical Association, Houston Dermatological Society, American Academy of Dermatology, American Society for Mohs Surgery, and the Texas Dermatological Society. For Information or Appointments: 832-695-3112 Office Location: 4301 Garth Road Suite 209 Baytown, TX 77521

P.J. Mock, Jr. M.D. Family Medicine • American Board of Family Medicine

1200 Highway 146, Suite 250 La Porte, Texas 77571 E-mail:

Phone: (281) 471-0130 Fax: (281) 867-9241

Uphill’s Liquor “Come To Uphill’s For Your Spirit”

1021-A S. Broadway • La Porte


Dr. Sekula-Gibbs brings expertise and experience in dermatology to Baytown and the surrounding area. Please join us in welcoming her to our staff.

Ranked among the top 5% of all hospitals in the nation by HealthGrades™.

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Bay Area Observer 3-31-2011  
Bay Area Observer 3-31-2011  

Bay Area Observer 3-31-2011