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The Bay Area Observer Community News For The Galveston Bay Area VOLUME 2, NO. 28

By The Bay Seaside Garden Club Seabrook Carother’s Coastal Gardens Third Wednesday 12:30 p.m. Seaside Garden Club meets on the third Wednesday of every month at 12:30 pm at the beautiful new Carother’s Coastal Gardens Wedding and Event location, 502 Pine Gully Rd in Seabrook. Next meeting: July 20th Attend Seaside Garden Club’s presentation on attracting butterflies to your Seabrook garden. TishReustle, Galveston County Master Gardener, will teach us how to create a butterfly friendly habitat garden on Wednesday, July 20th, 2011, at 12:30 pm at Carother’s Coastal Garden. For more information call 281474-4825.

Bay Forest Two Man Team Championship Bay Forest Golf Course July 16-17

Go to for entry form

CERT Training South Houston Community Center Tuesday Evenings 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. TCCI, Community Chaplain Corps CERT training will be held at the South Houston Community Center, 1007 State St., South Houston, TX 77587. Classes will be held on Tuesday evenings from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m., starting July 12, 2011 and ending August 30, 2011. The training is free and open to the community and surrounding areas. To register contact Misty Gunn at 281-436-8169 or misty.gunn@oem. or Chaplain Sheepdog at 713-540-6304 or

PandaMania!!! LP Community Church July 25 to 29 5:30pm to 8:30pm PandaMania!!! Where God is Wild about you. The wildest VBS you’ve ever seen will be coming to La Porte Community Church at 202 S. 1st St. on July 25 to 29th. Dinner will be at 5:30pm and VBS will to held at 6:15 to 8:30pm. Ages 3 years through 5th grade. For more information call Leslie at 713-7030479 today!.



Intense Fire Destroys Home In Shoreacres By Rebecca Collins

On July 8, 2011 a fire destroyed the home of a long-time resident, Jimmy Permenter at 211 East Forest Ave in Shoreacres. The house and most of his possessions were destroyed. Shoreacres City Administrator, David Stall said in a press release issued immediately after the fire, “Jimmy was one of the very few residents that stayed during Hurricane Ike and never left. He rebuilt and repaired and never looked back. Tonight the challenge is so much greater. We are very sorry for his loss”. The intense fire and windblown embers caused damage to nearby trees and set grass and brush fires as far away as a half a block. La Porte firefighters and EMS were assisted by Shoreacres Police officers and were able to tamp out those small fires and prevent further loss. Surrounding structures were not destroyed but neighbors suffered damage due to the extreme heat. The siding melted off the house across the street, patches of lawn were scorched, and even nearby vehicles also suffered effects of the heat. There were water pressure issues that caused a slight delay in fighting the fire. David Stall said “There were pressure issues at the fire today. I personally monitored the supply (suction) pressure at the first-in pumper. It was zero and intermittently negative at the peak of the fire. As more trucks arrived and more demands were made it wasn’t going to get any better. That said, I also can tell you that no amount of water pressure or supply would have saved this house under the circumstances present this afternoon. The fire just had too much of a head start before any fire hoses were charged”. City of La Porte Assistant Fire Chief Donald Ladd confirmed that the home was probably beyond saving, and that the water pressure issue didn’t help the situation, but was not a factor in stopping the destruction of the house. Ladd said, “Yes, we would have liked more

Photo by David Stall, City of Shoreacres

water pressure, but the fire did have a head start, and the time it took to realize we didn’t have the pressure we needed wouldn’t have help save the house”. Water was pumped from Galveston Bay to help extinguish the fire, and once pressure built in the hoses, firefighters then had enough pressure to quickly extinguish the fire. Assistant Chief Ladd confirmed that response time by the La Porte Fire Department was ap-

proximately 3 minutes. Five engines, one aerial, and 1 grass rig were called to the scene. Backup manpower from Deer Park was also requested. Although the city of Shoreacres maintained water pressure in the system throughout the fire, it has been operating at about half capacity since Hurricane Ike destroyed Water Plant #1 near City Hall. Approximately half the water storage, water sources, water pres-

sure boosters, and the pressure/elevated storage were completely destroyed by Ike. Most of the hydrants in Shoreacres were also damaged by Ike and are still awaiting repair. As a result there are hydrants that may not be functioning to their full ability. Plans are in the works to rebuild Water Plant #1 which should be fully operational early next year. Plans are also in place to rehabilitate all of the fire hydrants in Shoreacres. Stall said in his press release, “Our system today simply is not up to the high demands of large scale firefighting. All of our water comes from our smaller Water Plant #2 on Bayou Forest at the extreme west end of the City where the water tower is located. The further east you go the harder it is for us to supply large volumes of water. We have been anxious to rebuild Water Plant #1 for almost three years so that we can meet the city’s routine demands and improve water pressure and delivery. And we look forward to having a good supply of water for fighting fires like the one today. The new water plant will be a huge improvement and provide better pressure than the city has ever experienced. That won’t however improve our distribution system, the pipes in the ground. We have fewer hydrants than we should have. But hydrants require large water mains, the pipes that we don’t have”. The City of Shoreacres is taking open bids to replace four blocks of water mains east of Old Highway 146, which will improve the system’s pressure and capacity in those areas. Stall says it’s the first step of a long range plan to upgrade our water distribution system. As of July 12, no definite cause of the fire is known. An investigation will be complete within a couple of weeks. Status updates on the City of Shoreacres projects can be followed on their website at Under the heading of “City Project Status Reports” residents can finding updates on all city projects including water system improvements,

We’re looking for classmates!! La Porte High School Class of 1971. A reunion is being planned for this fall. Please contact us on Facebook @ LPHS Class of 1971 Reunion or call Don Davison @ 409-944-1311

LPPD Announce Citizens Police Academy for August The La Porte Police Department will begin a new Citizens Police Academy (CPA) on August 9, 2011 with graduation scheduled for November 15, 2011. CPA participants attended classes at the La Porte Police Department every Tuesday night for 15 consecutive weeks from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Participants are exposed to a large group of well-qualified instructors. All courses are taught by City of La Porte Police Department employees, both certified police officers and civilian employees, serving in specialized positions. To supplement the classroom instruction, hands-on training is offered to participants involving 15 areas of police operations, ranging from Special Weapons and Tactics to Community Policing. Participation in the CPA is free and all materials are provided by the Police Department. Applicants must be at least eighteen years of age with a clear criminal history. This means that applicants can have no convictions for felony offenses, cannot be on probation for any reason, and must not have any outstanding warrants. An application is also required to be completed and a background check will be conducted prior to the first night of class. The department asks that all applicants live or work in the City of La Porte, although occasional exception(s) may be made. For questions concerning La Porte’s Citizens Police Academy, contact Officer Robyn Gallion at 281-842-3162 or log onto the department’s website at us/gov/police/support/default.asp.



Community......................2 Local News.....................3 Business.........................4 LPISD Newsletter,,,,,,,,5-8 NASA News....................9 Police News..................10 Classifieds....................11 In The Garden...............12

The Fire Destroyed Everything Including An Antique Car

La Porte City Council Recognizes Employees, Takes No Action On Drought Contingency Revisions

LPFD Pumping Water From Galveston Bay

Seabrook City Council Approve Conditional Use Permit For Motorcycle Sales and Service Shop

By Rebecca Collins By Rebecca Collins

During Monday night’s city council meeting Nicole Wells received recognition for a job well done in the human resources department of the city. Wells was named Employee of the 2nd Quarter. She performs a variety of activities within Human Resources including employment, benefits, compensation and records. Nicole advises employees and management on the interpretation of City policies, programs, and procedures and ensures programs are implemented in accordance with established policies and procedures and administered consistently throughout the City. Nicole also serves as Chairperson of the Special Events Committee and coordinates events. She actively participates in almost all events, which usually are after work hours and on

On Tuesday July 5th Seabrook City Council voted 4-1-1, with Mayor Glenn Royal opposed and Paul Dunphey recusing himself, on the first reading of Ordinance No. 2009-09 to approve a conditional use permit to establish a “motorcycle sales and repair’ business in a C-2, Medium Commercial Zoning District at 910 Bayport Boulevard. The location is currently a defunct gas station. The applicant, Twisted Custom Cycles, wishes to establish a motorcycle repair facility at the old Food and Fuel gas station and convenience store. The owners have indicated that they wish to establish a repair and retail (parts, accessories, and apparel) facility

that will operate Monday through Friday 9 am to 6 pm and Saturday 9 am to 1:30 pm. Twisted Custom Cycles already operates a similar facility in Alvin. This business would be a satellite location of that original operation. Seabrook resident Marcia Jones objected to the motorcycle shop going in at that location. She said, “I am just incredulous that anyone would even consider this. If you know where this location is, first of all it’s less than a block from a very, very quiet residential neighborhood. Second of all it’s fronting Hwy. 146 right across of Dairy Queen where cars are coming in and out of there all day long. It’s exceedingly dangerous to even think of even putting something like that there. We have a heck of a Continued on page 3

Continued on page 3

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COMMUNITY City Of La Porte Urges Seabrook Association Space Shuttle Program Citizens To Conserve Water Tribute - July 20th The Seabrook Association will be hosting a special event inviting everyone from the Bay Area community to come together to honor the achievements of the tens of thousands of NASA civil servants and contractors who have contributed so much to the mission successes and space exploration aboard the “most complex machine ever built in the world”. Astronaut, Steve Nagel who has flown 4 missions on the shuttle and been involved with the program since STS-1, will be our guest speaker. There will also be a NASA video highlighting the 30 year history of the shuttle. The Seabrook Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to making the Bay Area community a better place to live, work and play! Reservations by 7/15.

Space Shuttle Program Tribute July 20th - 5:30 – 7:00 PM Lakewood Yacht Club -281-474-2511. Admiral’s Ballroom - 2425 NASA Parkway

As a result of the current drought conditions the City is urging all residential and commercial users to take drought contingency measures and reduce their water consumption where possible. Since July 1, water usage has been on the rise and the City is asking residents and businesses to conserve water to keep usage levels below the 6.9 million gallon Stage 1 point. Seek ways such as, limiting the number of days for lawn watering or reducing other non essential water usage. Other recommendations are outlined in the City’s current Drought Contingency Plan. Please visit the City of La Porte website at www. <> for the most up to date information related to the City’s Drought Contingency Plan. For additional information please call the City of La Porte’s Public Works Department at (281) 471-9650.

News From The Friends Of Evelyn Meador Library

The Evelyn Meador has opened on N. Meyer and ready for all to see and use. Our new feature is drive up service for returning books and checking books out from the library. Just come and check out this service. Every Tuesday at 10:30 am, year round, they have Preschool Story time. Every Wednesday at 10:30 am, year round, they have Bookworm Babies. On July 18th, at 1 pm. Johnette Downing , author, will presThe full moon this weekend will provide a rare opportunity for ent her book with music. The theme is “ Lyrics to Literacy” to nighttime nature explorations at Armand Bayou Nature Center. promote her unique style of reading. Special afterhours moonlit EcoExploration programs will allow visitors to experience the nature preserve as prairie, forest and bayou wildlife begins to emerge under the Texas night sky. On Friday evening, a Prairie Hayride will allow visitors to travel through one of the region’s rarest habitats with the guidance from a top prairie naturalist. Saturday evening offers two unique programs, a nighttime birding walk and a cruise on the darkened bayou. The guided Owl Prowl Night Hike will lead visitors into South Side Roller Derby invites you, your family, and your the hardwood forest in search of owls and other creatures of the friends to sign up for a Free Month of instructional roller derby darkness. A Moonlight Bayou Cruise on the Bayou Ranger pon- training from experienced skaters including skating the track, toon boat will provide unique up close wildlife viewing along taking falls, getting up, stopping, blocking, taking a rail, speed skating, and much more…. Armand Bayou. EcoExploration programs have limited seating and require Girls (7 to 17) – Mondays at 5:30 advance reservations. Program details and fee information are Women (18 and up) – Mondays at 8 pm available at To reserve a space, call 281-474Men (18 and up) – Tuesdays 7 pm 2551. Armand Bayou Nature Center is located at 8500 Bay Area To sign up email: Blvd. near Red Bluff Road in Pasadena, TX. The Center is open or visit: Wednesday through Saturday at 9:00 AM. On Sundays the Center opens at Noon. The last admission is at 4:00 PM. The gates South Side Roller Derby - House of Derby and parking lot close at 5:00 PM. Admission fees are $2 for 3502 Palmer Hwy seniors over 59, $4 for adults, $2 for children 4 to 12, and chilTexas City, Texas 77590 dren under 4 are free. Visitors are encouraged to wear sturdy (281)460-2240 shoes and be prepared for changing weather conditions. More information about Armand Bayou Nature Center is available at

Benefit For Kristie Johnson

Come join us: August 6, 2011, 12p.m. - 7p.m. Eagles Lodge 803 S. 8th Street, La Porte, Tx. 77571 Kristie is a loving mother to 2 young sons, and a devoted wife of 11 years to her husband Lance. The Johnson’s are local members of our community, and are in need after a terrible accident that has left Kristie hospitalized. Kristie is facing a long road of recovery after an automobile accident on June 3rd. She sustained several injuries and is looking at a 6 month stay in the hospital. Her insurance will not cover all of her medical expenses, making it difficult for her family to meet those needs without help from our community.

Full Moon Full Of Nature Opportunities

Free Roller Derby Lessons For Kemah Residents

For additional information, contact: Barbara Baxter Visitor and Member Services Coordinator Armand Bayou Nature Center 281-474-2551 ext. 10

During the benefit we will be selling Bar-B-Q plates for $8. There will also be a live auction starting at 2pm and a silent auction will run from 12p-5p. We will have a 50/50 raffle, liquor basket raffle and a dessert wheel also. Come join us for a fun filled afternoon while helping out one of our fellow neighbors.

To make a donation or for more information please contact: Glenna Soltes 832-876-3425, Betty Fiala 281-236-1072, Amanda Conway 281-917-9001 Ann Minton 281-787-5419, Kristie Baez 832-414-0407

LAREDO’S TEX-MEX CAFE Serving homemade Mexican food in the Bay Area since 1969

Homemade Tortillas Fresh Local Seafood Old Family Recipes

2119 Bayport Blvd.

For To-Go Orders Call 281-291-8080

Hours: Monday - Saturday 10:30 - 8:00 Sunday - Closed

(Hwy. 146)

Seabrook, Tx. 77586

Free Summer Swim Lessons For Kemah Residents. Session 1: June 27 - July 8 Session 2: July 25 - August 4 Class times and levels will be set based on the levels and times needed based on registration. Final class times will be called/ emailed on the Thursday prior to the session beginning. For more information visit

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The Farmer’s Market At Clear Lake Shores customers got a jump start their Fourth of July celebrations and got in the patriotic spirit on July 2nd while eating red, white and blue cake and shopping a true neighborhood farmer’s market. The Market donated a portion of the day’s proceeds to the “Clear Lake Shores Civic Club Scholarship Fund” to support its annual Independence Day fundraising efforts.

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The Bay Area Observer Established in 2006 Serving the communities along Galveston Bay.

Editor & Publisher.....................................Rebecca Collins

Associate Editor.........................................Carolyn Collins

Sales Representative..............................Beverly Lawrence 281-793-7961 •

Sales Representative...................................Charlotte Horn 281-507-8257 •

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

P.O. Box 305 • Seabrook, Texas 77586 Phone: 281-907-3140 • Fax: 866-596-8973 Email:

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LOCAL NEWS La Porte City Council...

Seabrook City Council...

Continued from page 1

Continued from page 1

weekends. Mayor Louis Rigby read the presentation, part of which said, “Nicole serves the City of La Porte Employees and chairs the committee with a great, positive attitude and gratitude. She does it all willingly, all the time. She’s a leader for the committee and all enjoy serving with her. Nicole’s commitment to her job and the employees should be recognized and Nicole should be commended”. The city council voted unanimously to table action on the proposed donation of property from the La Porte Main Street Association. The property the property owned by the Association on Lots 29 and 30, Block 39 on Main Street is involved in a delinquent tax suit which was served on May 10, 2011. City Attorney Knox Askins was approached by the treasurer of the now defunct La Porte Main Street Association and asked if the City would be interested in acquiring the property. The total amount of taxes owed is $1,112.68. City council discussed the proposed revisions and amendments to the current La Porte Water Conservation and Drought Contingency. At City Council’s June 27, 2011 meeting, staff recommended three revisions to the existing Water Conservation and Drought Contingency Plan, which included the addition of a penalty to coincide with the mandatory water reduction measures that are mandated by the Stage 2 component of the plan. Other revisions included clarification of the Stage 2 lawn watering schedule and public information updates to include the various networking and social media outlets that are now available to the city. La Porte Resident Phillip Hoot spoke during the public hearing portion of the meeting concerning the proposed changes to the drought contingency plan and said, “If we’re concerned about going into drought conditions, why can’t we tell our citizens now to cut back? I reduce because I was told to. I don’t see the point in fining people. Every time a government wants to restrict or fine somebody it’s the same old thing. Let’s scare them, lets tell them all the bad things that are going to happen. I heard very little of what the program consists of but about the bad things that are going to happen if we don’t do this”. The city council discussed, but took no action on proposed revisions and amendments to the current La Porte Water Conservation and Drought Contingency Plan.

time coming out of there most of the time coming straight over the Kemah bridge. The alternative is they will be coming down through the neighborhood. If you’ve even been anywhere near a repair shop you know you’ve got something very, very noisy all the time. I don’t understand this at all. If there’s any way to get a petition, I will personally go door-to-door. I ask all of you would you want this business next to your house”? The ordinance had previously been amended by the same vote to provide for a landscaping plan and to ensure compliance with the city’s noise ordinance. Jason Olson, owner of Twisted Custom Cycles said, “The safety issues are concerns for us. Most people on motorcycles aren’t going to put themselves in danger. We promote safety. We promote community leadership. I don’t believe that our motorcycles will be any louder than the regular traffic already is on 146, and I’ll study that if need be”. City council also voted 4-2, with Mayor Royal and Mike Giangrosso opposed, to rescind an agreement to contribute $1,500 to the Annual Poker Run, which was held in Seabrook on June 24 and 25. The organizers of the event had agreed to post the city’s logo and the events official website. That did not occur as agreed. Chuck Pinto, Seabrook’s City Manager discussed a pending increase in water rates by the City of Houston. The increase will automatically be passed through to water customers in Seabrook. No action was taken on the item.

OBITUARIES Marilyn Jo Parker Marilyn Jo Parker 77 of La Porte passed away Saturday June 11, 2011. Born in Salida Colorado, June 8, 1934. Survivors include her Husband John W. Parker,Jr of LaPorte, Children are Carol Buttler and husband Alan of La Porte, John W Parker,III and wife Kitty Shannon of Northshore, Jamie Lu French and Donnie Creel, Mark Parker and wife Donna Owens of Conroe, Robert Parker and wife Carla, Teresa Damm and husband George of Ft Davis Tx., Michelle Roy and husband Rob, Mary Chovanec and husband David, Uncle Jack Turner and wife Shirley of Denver Colo., 26 Grandchildren and 11 Great Grandchildren also survive.

Beverly Mendell Halet

La Porte Rotary Club “Rotarian of the Year”

Beverly Mendell Halet passed away at her home in Seabrook, Texas on Sunday July 10th, after a lengthy illness. Bev was born on June 29, 1943 in Liverpool, Nova Scotia and spent her formative years in New Westminister, British Columbia, Canada. Bev graduated from General Hospital School of Nursing, Winnipeg, Manitoba, and moved to California where she worked in the emergency room at UCLA Medical Center. Bev later became a flight attendant for United Airlines and told many stories of the celebrities she met on her flights from Los Angeles to Honolulu, Hawaii. Bev later moved to Houston where her two children, Crystal and Jason, were born. She continued her education while in Houston earning a Bachelor of Sheery Lowe of the La Porte Community Civic Club presented Science degree cum laude from a plaque to city council in appreciation of their support and the University of Houston. Bev sponsorship of the 30th Annual Junettenth Celebration. worked for the City of Houston Anytime the La Porte Rotary Club has what seems to be an Health and Human Services impossible challenge this ‘Rotarian of the Year’ steps up with Department as an Environmena huge smile and a helping hand! Ray Nolen has served on the board in many capacities: Sergeant at Arms for three years; the outgoing 2010-2011 Vice President; and now he is 2011-2012 President Elect. He was the 2010-2011 Bulletin editor where he made our bulletins very interesting and had our members looking forward to the “quotes of the day”. Ray was responsible for co-organizing & planning our first Crawfish Boil Fundraiser which was a big success and the model for what is now our Annual Crawfish Boil Fundraiser, which he chaired this year. He has chaired our service project ‘Paint Your Heart Out’ for the past three years and has been ticket chairman of the Reverse Draw for the past four years. The Reverse Draw is our club’s largest fundraiser and this year’s theme is The HeeHaw Reverse Draw, Ray is the 2011 event chairman and he is responsible for the event theme & format change which will bring our event to the Lomax Rodeo Arena.

Randy Cernosek, Retiring After 30 Years From The City Of La Porte Parks & Recreation Department.

tal Quality Specialist before retiring in 2001 from the City of Houston Department of Public Works as an Assistant Public Works Operations Manager. Bev was involved as a volunteer with many organizations but she especially love to volunteer at Memorial Hermann Southeast where she made many friends. Besides doing volunteer work, Bev loved to fish, garden and travel. Although a Canadian at heart, Bev became a US citizen in 2007. Bev is survived by her husband, John, and her two children Crystal Mendell and Jason Mendell. Bev is also survived by her father, Dr. John Mustard, Victoria British Columbia, sister Elizabeth Mustard and her children Tristan and Tory Khaner of Edmonton Alberta, sister Jean hill and Brother-inlaw Dr. John Hill of Bedford, Nova Scotia, her Mother-in-law Patricia Halet and sister-in-law Mary Lederer both of San Antonio, as well as numerous cousins. As was her wish, Bev’s remains will be spread along the coast of Nova Scotia. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Cancer Society or the charity of your choice. A reception to celebrate Beverly’s life will be held at a later date. The family wishes to thank the doctors and nurses at Kelsey Seybold, MD Anderson, St. Lukes and Vitas Hospice for their care and compassion during Bev’s illness.

Billy Bryan Lamar

Randy Cernosek began his career with the City of La Porte on June 28, 1981. Ronald Reagan had just begun his first term as President, gasoline was $1.25 a gallon, a new 19” color TV cost $399, and IBM introduced the first Personal Computer. Some things have reversed, many things have changed, but there is one constant. Randy is the same hard-working, cantankerous, knowledgeable,workman today as he was back in 1981. He has served the citizens of La Porte faithfully and has made a lasting contribution to the City that he can look back on and be proud of. We salute Randy on this milestone in his life, we thank him for his 30 years of service, and we wish him the very best that retirement can bring for him and his wife Kathy. Congratulations, Randy and Good Luck!

Support Continuing Efforts To Protect Texas Rivers & Bays Ask Your Legislators To Support The Texas Bottle Bill In 2013

Billy Bryan Lamar, 84, of La Porte, Texas passed away on July 11, 2011. Born October 7th, 1926 in Greenwood, Texas

to Clarence and Viola Lamar. A veteran of World War II, and retired from the military after thirty-seven years ending up at Ellington Air Force Base. Survivors include his wife, Theresa Lamar and children Linda Nieman and Husband Clarence, Ronnie Lamar, Bill Lamar and Wife Cherrie. Several Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren also survive. Services will be held 10:00 A.M. Friday July the 15th at Paul U. Lee Funeral Home Chapel with interment to follow at Grandview Memorial Park. In lieu of usual remembrances, donations may be made to American Diabetes Association.

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BUSINESS Dinghy Planet, LLC Acquires KO Sailing; Continues Longstanding Tradition of Serving Recreational and Performance Sailing Needs Dinghy Planet, LLC announced on July 8, 2011 the acquisition of KO Sailing, a leading provider of recreational and performance sailboats, kayaks, windsurfers and accessories. KO Sailingís new owner and president, Mark J. McNamara, is a world-class sailor and recreational boating expert. McNamara succeeds the current owner, John Kolius, and plans to continue KO Sailingís longstanding support of boat enthusiasts with a retail store in Texas and an online store at Current employees will remain with the company and John Kolius will take on an advisory role as a member of the Board. The acquisition provides for the continued growth of KO Sailing, including the addition of several new product lines, distribution and partner growth, and enhanced marketing programs. The retail business will also be moving to a new location in Seabrook, Texas in the coming months. John Kolius has contributed a great deal to youth and performance sailing during the past 20 years,î said Mark McNamara. ìThe company began by supporting one-design sailing along the Gulf Coast and has grown into a solid business with multiple product

lines, world-class partners and devoted customers. The boating industry has grown based in no small part to his work, and I aim to continue Johnís support of local sailing communities, recreational boaters and youth sailors all over the country.î Approximately 75 million Americans participated in recreational boating in 2010, a 14 percent increase from 2009, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Associationís (NMMA) annual Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract. Additionally, $30.4 billion was spent on recreational boating, including retail sales of boats, engines, trailers, accessories and services last year. Nothing makes me happier than to pass the KO Sailing baton to someone with as much passion as I have for the sport,î said John Kolius. ìWith this acquisition, KO Sailing will continue to support recreational and performance sailing for generations to come—I believe that’s very good news for the boating industry.” Youth Sailing 
“Youth sailors are the backbone of the sport of sailing,” McNamara continued. “Whether it is a nine-year-old sailing her first Optimist or an Olympic hopeful training in his Laser, we provide everything a young sailor needs to fall in love with the sport

and contribute to its ever-growing popularity in America.î In support of youth racing, KO Sailing also plans to charter Lasers, Laser Radials, Optimists or Club 420s ready to sail at race events. KO Sailing’s support trailer will be on-site at the following events with boats, parts, gear, clothing and sailing accessories available for sale: Texas Youth Race Week, July 9 ñ 15, 2011 U.S. Junior Sailing Event/USODA Team Trials Qualifier Texas Corinthian Yacht Club, Kemah, Texas Lakewood Yacht Club, Seabrook, Texas Houston Yacht Club, La Porte, Texas 2011 Optimist National Championships, July 17 - 24, 2011 Houston Yacht Club, La Porte, Texas KO Sailing will also be sponsoring the 2011 Girl’s Optimist Nationals Dinner and Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, July 20, 2011, at the Houston Yacht Club in La Porte, Texas. Terms of the acquisition were not released.


UH-Clear Lake Receives National Distinction For Second Year University of Houston-Clear Lake has been named to the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to community service. This marks the second year UH-Clear Lake received the honor. The corporation recognized 641 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from literacy and neighborhood revitalization to supporting at-risk youth. UH-Clear Lake is among 511 colleges and universities throughout the country named to the Honor Roll for its various community service initiatives. “Providing service to the community has been a long-standing commitment for UH-Clear Lake, reinforcing our goal of being a community-minded, partnership-oriented university,” says UHClear Lake President William A. Staples. “Our centers and programs are outstanding resources for the community in which we live. We feel honored to be recognized for this service.” Several community service initiatives supported by UH-Clear Lake were recognized including the Center for Student Leadership, Involvement and Community Engagement, which provides students with a way to foster learning and personal development through leadership training and community service. The center coordinates volunteer opportunities for students with agencies such as the Habitat for Humanity and United Way. UH-Clear Lake’s Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities offers assessment and intensive behavioral and other therapies for autistic children and their families, while the Psychological Services Clinic, provides individual, couple, family and group therapy.

The McWhirter Professional Development Laboratory School, a partnership with Clear Creek ISD, offers research-based professional development and education practice to improve student achievement. To increase educational opportunities for first-generation low-income students, UH-Clear Lake’s STEP or Success Through Education Programs provide a seamless path for students to graduate high school, attend college and return to their home communities as teachers. Celebrating Our Elders is a unique college transition and mentoring program that assists disadvantaged and first-generation students. Since its inception, Celebrating Our Elders has distributed approximately $159,000 in scholarship funds to 270 firstgeneration Hispanic and African American students. “UH-Clear Lake is pleased to be named to the honor roll for the second year, as we continue to strive to make community service an important part of our students’ education,” says UHClear Lake Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Mrinal Mugdh. UH-Clear Lake’s sister institution, UH-Downtown, also made the honor roll for the second year. The Corporation for National and Community Service reported that in 2009, 3.2 million college students dedicated 307.3 million hours of service to communities across the country, which represents 27 percent of college students. Overall, 63.4 million Americans, age 16 and older, volunteered in 2009. The corporation oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education. To find out more about the university, visit

UH-Clear Lake Students Study In Turkey ground roads, some of which may have been built as far back as the Neolithic period. Lash said that students’ exposure to historic landscapes was balanced with visits to contemporary sites such as elementary schools, high schools, universities, a writers’ and journalists’ association, and numerous cultural museums. These visits allowed students to better understand how Turkey integrates secular citizenship, education, and human development with Islamic spirituality. During the tour, participants were introduced to members of the Gülen community, a transnational civic movement engaged in altruistic service for the common good and intercultural dialogue. School principals, journalists, and members of the business community discussed how the movement’s philosophy guides socio-economic development in one of the world’s most dynamic societies. In Houston, Turkish-Americans and their friends established the Institute of Interfaith Dialog in 2002 as a non-profit educational organization. The institute aims to eliminate or reduce false stereotypes, prejudices and unjustified fears through direct human During a recent trip to Turkey to investigate the geography and culture of the country, students from University of Houston-Clear Lake and University of Houston and professors from UH-Clear Lake visited the ancient Library of Celsus at Ephesus, built in 117 A.D. Pictured with UH-Clear Lake Associate Professor of Geography Jeff Lash (standing, center back) and Associate Professor of Sociology Mike McMullen (standing, second from right) are Ursela Sultan, Deborah Karam, Juan Garcia, Monica Rincon, Heather Day, Evgenia Terekhova, Michele Gaddis, Ali Bozta (volunteer guide from the Institute of Interfaith Dialog), Tuba Bozta (volunteer guide from the Institute of Interfaith Dialog), Samantha Solis, Imelda Estrada-Wicks and Beth Sresthaphunlarp.

For 11 days in May 2011, 10 students from University of HoustonClear Lake and the University of Houston traveled throughout Turkey studying the country’s cultural landscapes. Led by the School of Human Sciences and Humanities Associate Professor of Geography Jeff Lash and Associate Professor of Sociology Mike McMullen, and in collaboration with the Houston-based Institute of Interfaith Dialog, the itinerary included stopovers in the cities of Istanbul, Bursa, Izmir, Kayseri, and Konya. “Throughout the field study, students became acquainted with Turkish culture by reading its highly varied geographic and cultural landscape,” explained Lash. “Masterpieces of religious architecture such as the Hagia Sophia and the Sultan Ahmet Mosque (also known as the “Blue Mosque”) in Istanbul, the Great Mosque in Bursa, and the Temple of Hadrian located in the city of Ephesus that is now a spectacular outdoor museum, allowed students to experience more than two thousand years of spiritual expression.” Visits to the House of the Virgin Mary or “Meryem Ana Evi”, (Mother Mary’s Home) in Selçuk near Izmir, and to the antique ruins of the Basilica of St. John, built by the Emperor Justinian in the 6th century, provided context for the history of Christianity. Lash added that Christianity’s strong presence resonates in the naming of the nearby Selçuk-era Isa Bey Mosque, or the Lord Jesus Mosque. In the city of Konya, set on a high plain in the middle of the Anatolian steppe, students became acquainted with the life and times of Mevlâna Celaleddin Rumi, or simply Rumi, one of the Islamic world’s greatest Sufi mystics and the founder of the Mevlevi order better known as the “Whirling Dervishes.” Lash added that Rumi’s literary works are well loved around the world and he is one of the best selling poets in America, even eight centuries after his death. Just west of Kayseri, in the Cappadocia region of central Turkey, students toured the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage site of Göreme National Park. In this spectacular landscape of eroded fossilized volcanic ash, students experienced underground dwellings, convents, kitchens, wineries, and granaries, and churches containing 4th century Byzantine art. The region was the launching point of the idea of the Holy Trinity, as well as the iconoclastic movement and remains an important pilgrimage site for Christians who have more than 300 ancient churches to select from. Archeologists have discovered several underground cities that are connected by under-

Ten students from University of Houston-Clear Lake and University of Houston traveled through Turkey in May investigating the cultural landscape with UH-Clear Lake Associate Professor of Geography Jeff Lash and Associate Professor of Sociology Mike McMullen in collaboration with the Houstonbased Institute of Interfaith Dialog. Pictured with Lash (standing, back) and McMullen (kneeling, front) in front of the Konak Clock Tower are Samantha Solis, Heather Day, Ursela Sultan, Beth Sresthaphunlarp, Juan Garcia, Monica Rincon, Imelda Estrada-Wicks, Tuba Boztas (volunteer guide from the Institute of Interfaith Dialog), Michele Gaddis, Evgenia Terekhova and Deborah Karam. The group is posing in front of the Konak Clock Tower in Izmir, Turkey.

communication. It is with this goal in mind that UH-Clear Lake Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Cross-Cultural Studies Maria Curtis, a, first approached the institute with a proposal to develop a permanent UHCL study abroad program in Turkey in 2007. “Without Dr. Curtis’ dedication to cross-cultural education,” stated Lash, “this year’s study abroad program would not have happened.” UH-Clear Lake’s School of Human Sciences and Humanities plans to conduct the fourth annual Turkey Summer Study Abroad Program in May 2012. For more information about study abroad opportunities and possible study abroad scholarships, call the Office of International Initiatives, 281-283-3008, visit OII or email








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NASA NEWS Astronauts Make Last Spacewalk Of NASA Shuttle Era

UHCL President Presented A Copy Of “Wings In Orbit: Scientific And Engineering Legacies Of The Space Shuttle 1971-2010”

In an image made from video, astronaut Ronald Garan Jr. dangles outside the International Space Station during the last spacewalk of NASA’s space shuttle era, with fellow astronaut Michael Fossum (not shown), Tuesday, July 12, 2011. They will retrieve a broken ammonia pump outside the International Space Station and pack it aboard the docked shuttle Atlantis. The two will also set up a robotic refueling experiment. (AP Photo/NASA) By MARCIA DUNN AP Aerospace Writer

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- Astronauts making the last spacewalk of NASA’s space shuttle era on Tuesday retrieved a broken pump from the International Space Station and installed a fill-er-up experiment for a robot. The space station’s two-armed robot Dextre won’t tackle the $22.6 million playset - a fancy Fisher-Price toy as one astronaut describes it until long after Atlantis departs and the shuttle program ends. But perhaps more than anything else on this final journey by a shuttle, the robotic demo illustrates the possibilities ahead for NASA: satellite-refueling stations in space run by robots. In a departure from previous shuttle visits, the spacewalking job fell to space station astronauts, Michael Fossum and Ronald Garan Jr., who teamed up for three spacewalks in 2008. The four-person Atlantis crew is the smallest in decades, and so the lone spacewalk of the mission was handed over to the full-time station residents. It was the 160th spacewalk in the 12 1/2-year life of the orbiting outpost, and the last one planned for Americans for more than a year. “To see that we’ve really done it, it’s just aweinspiring,” Fossum said of the completed space station and all the spacewalks that went into it. “Ron and I are honored to be a part of it, to help close out one of the final chapters.” Fossum and Garan completed the two major chores - the pump removal and robotic test hookup - inside of 3 1/2 hours. They spent the rest of the 6 1/2-hour spacewalk on a variety of small tasks. The two paused during their spacewalk to admire the view 245 miles below - Kennedy Space Center - and on the next swing around the world, Houston, home to Mission Control. “Hello Kennedy, beautiful launch,” Fossum called out. Atlantis departed Kennedy on Friday on the very last shuttle launch. The ammonia coolant pump stopped working last July and, for more than two weeks, left the space station with only half its cooling capability. Space station residents had to perform three emergency spacewalks last summer to replace the pump and restore full cooling to all the onboard equipment. NASA wants the pump brought back to Earth so engineers can figure out why it failed to help them keep the on-board station pumps running. The space station is intended to operate until at least 2020. Garan gripped the pump as the space station’s

robot arm maneuvered him over to Atlantis. The pump was anchored in the shuttle’s payload bay, ready for next week’s ride home. A small object ended up floating away, possibly a fabric strap from some insulation. As they turned their attention to the robotic experiment, the spacewalkers thanked all the thousands of people who worked on the shuttle. “It is really beautiful,” Garan said. Flight controllers choked up as Garan wrapped up work in the shuttle payload bay and noted that he was leaving it for the last time - the last time by anyone. “We’re technical people and we keep our heads in the game in real time,” said Mission Control’s Glenda Brown, the lead spacewalk officer, “but there wasn’t any one of us who didn’t have a little bit of a catch in our throat.” The robotic workbench - which the astronauts attached to a shelf on Dextre’s base - consists of a 3 1/2-foot box holding four customized tools, including a wire cutter and a safety cap removal device, as well as an assortment of knobs, caps, valves and a half gallon of ethanol. Dextre - a hulking metal robot with 11-foot arms - will release locks on the tools in August but won’t try out the workbench until January. The designers of the experiment - based at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. - envision robots one day using these methods to fill the fuel tanks of satellites orbiting as high as 22,300 miles. That would keep the spacecraft operating longer, instead of becoming expensive pieces of space junk. What’s more, spacecraft bound for distant worlds could fill up after launch, thereby flying more payloads because of the savings in fuel weight. While the spacewalk unfolded, some of the eight astronauts inside worked to unload the nearly 5 tons of supplies that were delivered in a giant cargo carrier by Atlantis. It represents a year’s worth of food, clothes and other housekeeping items, to tide the crew over in case commercial rocket makers fall behind in their own cargo runs. The first such haul is supposed to take place by year’s end. Until now, the shuttle has hoisted the bulk of supplies to the space station. Cargo runs by Russia, Japan and Europe will continue. NASA is turning to private enterprise in the post-shuttle period, so it can meet the White House goal of sending astronauts to an asteroid by 2025 and Mars the decade after that. The 13-day flight by Atlantis is the last for the 30-year shuttle program. Atlantis is due to return July 21 to Kennedy, where it will go on display at a tourist center.

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University of Houston-Clear Lake President William A. Staples was presented a copy of “Wings in Orbit: Scientific and Engineering legacies of the Space Shuttle 1971-2010” by one of the book’s co-editors and director for University Partnerships at NASA Johnson Space Center Kamlesh Lulla. The book showcases the scientific and engineering accomplishment of the Space Shuttle program. UH-Clear Lake, which was created because of growth in the Clear Lake area during the formation of NASA Johnson Space Center in the late 1960s and early 1970s, has maintained a strong relationship with NASA Johnson Space Center. In addition to working with them to establish programs and sharing resources, UH-Clear Lake’s Alfred R. Neumann Library serves as a home to the Johnson Space Center History Collection.

NASA Selects Five Firms For General Construction Contracts NASA has selected five firms for awards under a $400 million solicitation to perform large general construction projects. The work will be performed at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Ellington Field, the Sonny Carter Training Facility, all in Houston, and the White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico. The five selected firms are Swinerton Builders of Arvada, Colo.; J.T. Vaughn Construction, LLC of Houston; Kiewit Building Group of Arlington, Va.; Skanska USA Building of Houston; and Hensel Phelps Construction Co. of Austin, Texas. Awardees will provide general construction services, including limited design-build capability, modification, repair and demolition for multiple unrelated large projects. The guaranteed minimum amount of work for each firm under the contracts is $5,000. The maximum total amount of all task orders under all contracts awarded under this solicitation shall not exceed $400 million for the five-year period of performance. There are no options included.

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POLICE NEWS La Porte Police Scheduled To Provide Education On Child Safety-Seats And Seatbelt Usage Children are indeed a precious resource, yet they often remain unable to care for many of their own basic needs. Therefore, in an effort to partner with Safe Kids of Greater Houston and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the La Porte Police Department will teamup with neighboring Deer Park Police on July 15, 2011 in an effort to promote the proper securing of children in vehicles.  The event will take place from 8:30am-12:30pm and will take place in the Wal-Mart parking lot located at 9025 Spencer Highway.  The primary focus for police

LPPD Continues to Pursue Auto Thieves and Other Wanted Criminals

show motorists how to operate the equipment first-hand. Furthermore, if any citizen finds themselves in need of guidance on an additional safety measure, La Porte officers report that they will welcome all questions.     The Car Seat Check-up Event is for all persons who are interested and the cost is free.  Additionally, there will also be information for individuals to receive and apply for during the event will entail ed- free safety car seats during the ucation on the use of seatbelts, event. For more information booster seats and car seats.  contact La Porte PD Support However, as an additional Service Officer Roger GonzaIn September of 2009 the feature, officers will properly lez at 281-471-2141. La Porte Police Department install the safety devices and celebrated the arrival of a new piece of technology which has since revolutionized their battle in combating car thieves. tory: Be sure to keep a record of However, given the continued Hurricanes and tropical storms all major household items and success in the device’s patrol can cause extensive flooding on valuables. These documents are the coast and stretch hundreds of function, the recent attainment critically important when filing miles inland, but the La Porte Ofinsurance claims. For help in con- of two additional automated lifice of Emergency Management ducting a home inventory, visit cense plate scanning and mon(OEM) reminds residents and Protect itoring devices is something businesses there are steps they can important financial documents the department expects will take to reduce the impact of floods by storing copies of irreplaceable increase in their crime fighton their businesses, homes, family documents (such as birth certifi- ing efforts. These new mobile and finances. cates, passports, etc) in a safe, dry automated License Plate ReadLearn your flood risk: Anywhere place. Keep originals in a safe de- ers (L.P.R.) not only search for it can rain, it can flood; and anyposit box. where it can flood, homes and stolen vehicles, but have also La Porte OEM urges residents properties are at risk for flood been programmed to alert padamage. Learn your individual wait for a flood insurance policy and businesses to get prepared to take effect. The average flood now. Visit or trol officers of motor vehicle flood risk by entering your adinsurance policy premium is gen- call 1-800-427-2419 to learn more operators who may be unlidress at Make sure you have the right erally inexpensive each year and about your flood risk, how to pur- censed or uninsured, have outinsurance coverage: Most hom- provides structure and contents chase a flood insurance policy and standing warrants issued for eowners insurance policies do not coverage. In moderate-to low-risk the benefits of protecting your their arrest, or are registered cover flood damage, so be sure areas, homeowners can protect property against flood. For more sex offenders frequenting proto consider flood insurance for their properties with lower-cost information, visit hibited areas. By combining or contact La Porte OEM at (281) these multiple features, LPPD both your structure and its con- Preferred Risk Policies (PRPs). Conduct a household inven- 470-0010. tents. There is typically a 30-day expects to bring resolution to yet even more criminally-related dilemmas. L.P.R. devices, permanently mounted on a police vehicle, monitor all four sides of a patrolling police car using high speed video cameras. The Burglary...............................................................................................................................6 system works by automatiCVE Citations...................................................................................................................................6 cally reading all license plates within view of any of the four Disturbances.....................................................................................................................11 cameras, scanning them directDomestic Violence.............................................................................................................................3 ly into an established police database, and providing offiDWI/DUI...........................................................................................................1 cers with an audio and visual Prisoner Transport/Process ............................................................................................................16 alert of vehicles that have been Public Intoxication ...........................................................................................................................1 reported stolen or of operators who have outstanding arTraffic Accidents ............................................................................................................................ 9 rest warrants. The equipment Traffic Citations/Arrest ..................................................................................................................34 simultaneously displays all related suspect information directly onto the computer screen located inside of the police car. In a most-recent example of the L.P.R.’s effectiveness, on June 25th LPPD evening shift officers located a stolen rental car thanks to L.P.R. detection. After conducting a traffic stop on the identified vehicle, officers placed the operator in custody for Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle and the vehicle was scheduled for return to the rental company. In all other patrol vehicles, without L.P.R. devices, officers must type license plate numbers into their mobile data terminals by hand or call in plate numbers to the depart-

Flood Insurance – You Can’t Afford to Wait

Police Blotters

Seabrook Police Department

ment LPPD Continues to Pursue Auto Thieves and Other Wanted Criminals In September of 2009 the La Porte Police Department celebrated the arrival of a new piece of technology which has since revolutionized their battle in combating car thieves. However, given the continued success in the device’s patrol function, the recent attainment of two additional automated license plate scanning and monitoring devices is something the department expects will increase in their crime fighting efforts. These new mobile automated License Plate Readers (L.P.R.) not only search for stolen vehicles, but have also been programmed to alert patrol officers of motor vehicle operators who may be unlicensed or uninsured, have outstanding warrants issued for their arrest, or are registered sex offenders frequenting prohibited areas. By combining these multiple features, LPPD expects to bring resolution to yet even more criminally-related dilemmas.


Lakeview Police Department Offences - June 2011

WHITECAP - BURGLARY - HABITATION Resident reported that a collection of coin change was removed from the master bedroom closet and no sign of forced entry was found. Approximate value of $ 150.00 in miscellaneous coin change was taken at some time during the past week by an unknown suspect, but complainant suspects that possibly the housekeeper may have taken the money since she was the only person in the residence in the past week. Investigation is in progress. CREEK HOLLOW - BURGLARY – HABITATION Resident reported possible burglary occurred during the day but no property was found to be missing from the residence. Forced entry at a back window of the house was determined. No further investigation planned. BAYVIEW - BURGLARY – HABITATION Resident advised that a forced entry burglary had occurred during the day by an unknown suspect. Forced entry determined to have been at a back window of the residence. Fingerprint evidence was lifted for investigation. Suspects stole gold and silver rings and bracelet jewelry from the master bathroom area along with a Rolex pendant necklace all with a value of approximately $ 1,500.00. Investigation is in progress. WOODLAND - MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT Contract lawn maintenance company owner reported that his 1994 Ford 150 pick-up truck and a towed 6 ft. by 12 ft. utility trailer with lawn equipment was stolen from the street at a customers’ address in El Lago. Reportee stated that the truck was worth $ 2,000 and the trailer and lawn equipment, which included an Exmark 32” riding mower, a 22” walk behind lawn mower, weed-eaters, grass blowers and a concrete saw and gas cans, was valued at $ 16,000.00. No suspects were identified. The truck and the Exmark mower were entered into TCIC/NCIC. Investigation is in progress. NASA PARKWAY - ROBBERY – STRONGARM Resident at apartments reported that he had been assaulted and robbed by an Hispanic male suspect after he tried to speak with the suspect’s girlfriend in the parking lot at the apartments. The suspect chased the complainant and knocked him down and then punched and kicked him on the ground before he stole his cell phone and $ 27.00 in cash from him. Responding officer found the suspect in the apartment’s parking lot within a few minutes of receiving the robbery report and recovered the complainant’s money and cell phone from the suspect. Suspect was arrested, charged and placed into county jail and the property was returned to the complainant. Case closed. SEAWAY - BURGLARY – HABITATION Residents reported that their house had been entered during the day, while they were at work, by an unknown suspect and property was stolen. The suspects stole numerous items of gold, silver and diamond jewelry and a 9MM pistol from the master bedroom. The value of the stolen property is approximately $ 4,400.00. Pistol was entered into TCIC/NCIC computer system. The residents were not sure if the back door of the residence was locked or unlocked when they left for work, but the door was found unlocked when they returned home from work. No sign of forced entry was determined. No suspects. Investigation is in progress.

L.P.R. devices, permanently mounted on a police vehicle, monitor all four sides of a patrolling police car using high speed video cameras. The system works by automatically reading all license plates within view of any of the four cameras, scanning them directly into an established police database, and providing officers with an audio and visual alert of vehicles that have been reported stolen or of operators who have outstanding arrest warrants. The equipment simultaneously displays all related suspect information directly onto the computer screen

located inside of the police car. In a most-recent example of the L.P.R.’s effectiveness, on June 25th LPPD evening shift officers located a stolen rental car thanks to L.P.R. detection. After conducting a traffic stop on the identified vehicle, officers placed the operator in custody for Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle and the vehicle was scheduled for return to the rental company. In all other patrol vehicles, without L.P.R. devices, officers must type license plate numbers into their mobile data terminals by hand or call in plate numbers to the department’s dispatch center, whenever suspicion is raised concerning a particular vehicle within their assigned patrol area. Although most of the Department’s patrol officers manually scan license plates during their tour of duty each day, the procedure is slow and tedious, resulting in only a few dozen license plates being checked each day. Each of the automated License Plate Readers, however, has the capability of checking a license plate every second, allowing an officer equipped with this new technology to check as many as 3000 license plates every hour and scan through a relatively bottomless database of stolen vehicles, wanted subjects, and other persons of special interest. By acquiring the additional new L.P.R. equipment, the La Porte Police Department has taken another step to protect the interests of their citizens. For more questions regarding the agency’s continual efforts to thwart criminal activity or for any other matters concerning La Porte Police operations, please call 281-471-2141. ’s dispatch center, whenever suspicion is raised concerning a particular vehicle within their assigned patrol area. Although most of the Department’s patrol officers manually scan license plates during their tour of duty each day, the procedure is slow and tedious, resulting in only a few dozen license plates being checked each day. Each of the automated License Plate Readers, however, has the capability of checking a license plate every second, allowing an officer equipped with this new technology to check as many as 3000 license plates every hour and scan through a relatively bottomless database of stolen vehicles, wanted subjects, and other persons of special interest. By acquiring the additional new L.P.R. equipment, the La Porte Police Department has taken another step to protect the interests of their citizens. For more questions regarding the agency’s continual efforts to thwart criminal activity or for any other matters concerning La Porte Police operations, please call 281-471-2141.





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Helping Wildlife Drought Victims

A textured, shallow bird bath no more than 3” deep is recommended. By Marian Henderson and Cyndi Bohannon

The drought Texas is experiencing is one of the worst this state has ever seen. At the Wildlife Center, both mammals and birds are being brought in by the public in dehydrated and emaciated condition. There’s not much we can do to increase our chances of rain, but there are things we can do to help wildlife in their quest for survival during this extreme hot climate change. This article will look at what can be done to help different groups of animals. Birds Both baby and adult birds are greatly affected by the heat. The birds are either starving because their parents are struggling to find food, or the adults collapse from the traumatic heat stress they are enduring. The best way to help our native birds is to provide a water source for them to help endure these dire conditions. Generally speaking, a bird bath should be no more than 3” deep for birds. Change the water daily to avoid spreading disease. Do not chemicals to clean your birdbath. Just use a brush to scrub out any algae every few days. Weekly, you should rinse you freshly cleaned bird bath with a 10% solution of bleach and water. That’s just over 1 ½ ounces of bleach per gallon of water. Let the solution stand for a couple of minutes and rinse. This will kill parasites and bacteria. Place the birdbath near some small bushes or low cover. This makes them feel more secure and not out in the open and vulnerable to predators. It also allows them to have a place to fly to in order to preen their feathers after bathing. If possible, textured birdbaths such as concrete are preferred so birds can get a better footing when bathing. Place rocks or broken pieces of terracotta pots in the middle to provide a landing area for birds. If you only have a smooth surface bird bath, you can place pebbles in it for more texture. To attract birds to the birdbath, drippers can be purchased from wild bird suppliers to create a running water sound. Most of these drippers can also be turned into misters which the birds will most happily fly through. You may also place small pans or plant saucers a little lower to the ground, but slightly elevated to avoid predators. Relatively speaking, the closer to the ground your water source is the more open area there should be around the water source. Experiment with different size, depth and elevation off the ground, you will find that certain species prefer different configurations. Making sure plenty of food is available not only to our year round native birds, but to those that come to Houston for the summer to raise their young would be an added plus. Put out various types of seeds like sunflower, thistle, millet and cut up fresh fruit to attract a large variety of birds. To attract woodpeckers of all kinds, provide suet feeders, peanut butter spread on pine cones and mealworms. An ideal backyard could also offer a buffet of bloodworms, crickets, and suet feeders most of which can be found at your local pet store or specialized bird supply stores. If squirrels are the bane of

your birdfeeder, purchase the metal feeder that has a pressure sensitive perch. Not only will this keep the squirrels out, it will prevent the larger birds from bullying the smaller birds at the feeder. I have 2 of these feeders, one is set high enough the woodpeckers can come for the shelled peanuts and the other is set for smaller birds so the crows and grackles can’t monopolize the feeder. Place the feeder near bushes or trees, but not close enough that the squirrels can jump to them. To slow down climbing, use a metal shepherd’s crook. Grease with vegetable shortening or purchase a baffle if the gray squirrels become too adept at climbing. Most people are unaware of mice and rats raiding the birdfeeders at night. While the population of rodents is necessary to feed the owls and hawks, no one wants an overabundance. Either use the metal birdfeeders with the spring loaded perch or bring the feeders in at night. Many of our native birds eat insects and while providing a buffet of bloodworms, mealworms or crickets can be very expensive, you can help these birds by simply not using insecticides in your yard. I’m not suggesting that you not treat ant mounds or allow every ornamental plant be ravaged by insects – just remain mindful that even if you have plant damage in the short run, the insect eating birds will minimize this problem in the long run. One of the most damaging insects to hibiscus and other ornamental plants is the aphid. The aphid can be naturally controlled by the release of ladybugs. Don’t forget to put out hummingbird feeders as well. Most hummingbirds migrate through in the fall and spring, but some do stay in the greater Houston all summer. When making hummingbird food, boil one cup of sugar to 3 cups of water. Make sure to change out their feeders every two to three days to avoid mildew buildup. Placing saucers of fruit in your backyard will draw flies, gnats, wasps and other smaller insects to the area. Hummingbirds are known for swooping down and snatching insects out of the air, a great protein source for them. Contrary to popular belief, hummingbirds do not exclusively drink nectar for a food source. Squirrels Although some people tend to find squirrels bothersome at the bird feeder, this would be an ideal time to let them share the birds’ food. They too are struggling to find food and are coming in to the wildlife center under extreme conditions. One suggestion to keep them out of the bird’s feeder is to provide them one of their own. This worked well in my yard until the White Winged Dove learned how fun it was to empty it. Dove are usually ground feeders, so I guess these larger dove thought the human was stupid for putting the seed in the feeder and proceeded to rectify the situation. They can empty a 3-tube feeder in less than 2 hours! In the end, dove and squirrel eat peacefully around the base of the feeder, so I guess all is well. Squirrels enjoy fresh fruit and vegetables as well as the seed that is put out for birds. Instead of tossing wilted grapes, car-

rots, squash and zucchini, place bowls of these on the ground for their dinner. Shelled or unshelled pecans, acorns, and corn on the cob are some of their absolute favorites. Anything left over come evening will be eaten by the opossum or raccoon. Squirrels need water sources also, but their preferred configuration is different than that of birds. Squirrels will come to my birdbath because there is a nearby four foot picket fence nearby to jump to and from. The one they prefer is a shallow pan that I’ve placed at the base of a tree. Squirrels don’t spend much time on the ground at my house since I have dogs, instead they have a well traveled path through the trees to the feeder. I have placed the water dish at the base of one of the trees near the feeder. Raccoon, Opossum and Armadillo At the Wildlife Center we do not encourage the feeding of raccoon and opossum. We understand why people want to feed these animals, but in the long run it can be more harmful than helpful. First of all, you are putting these beneficial animals out of work. Their job is to scavenge everything edible so the environment stays clean. Next you are luring animals to a single spot where contact allows disease to spread. This isn’t as important to opossums since they are immune to almost everything that preys on warm blooded animals (including venomous snakes), but distemper can jump from raccoon to raccoon like wildfire and kill all the animals in a given population. The external signs of distemper resemble rabies, so suffice it to say that it isn’t a kind death. Another point is that you cannot control who comes to the party. In addition to the opossum and raccoon, you will undoubtedly be feeding the mice and rats too. Bird feeders and the seed left on the ground at night are magnets for mice and rats. Feeding supports a higher density of animals than the land could support itself. This increased density (especially rodents and raccoon) can wreak havoc with neighbors that don’t share your love of wildlife. During such stressful times as this drought, the arguments against feeding become thinner, but we want you to know the consequences. Except for the argument about spreading disease, water would be very beneficial to these animals. To minimize the issue of disease, please empty and thoroughly rinse containers each day. Once a week, rinse with a solution of 10% bleach to water. A useful container for these animals is a dish that goes under a flower pot.

raccoons. As the caterpillars turn into adults, a wide variety of birds become dependent on them for extra nutrition. In the meantime, it’s fun to watch the ravenous caterpillars lay waste to the milkweed and enjoy the beauty of the adults as they feed on the flowers. Avoid using any pesticides during this severe drought unless absolutely necessary. The more insects out there for animals to eat, the better it is for all the animals. Remember, there is no pesticide that only kills one specific type of insect. When you spray a pesticide, it will kill all the insects in the area…even the beneficial ones. Also, if you have one of those electronic bug zappers in the backyard, now would be a good time to put it inside the garage to increase the population of insects as a food source for the animals who need it. Butterflies have special requirements for drinking. They take in liquids through their proboscis, a long, hollow tube that is sort of a modified tongue. Butterflies are often seen “puddling,” or gathering at damp, sunny spots, where they get their moisture from sand or mud. Butterflies are incapable of drinking freestanding water that bird baths provide. Constructing a butterfly watering station is easy once the requirements are known. First, you will need clean sand (sandbox sand is available at any home improvement store) and a shallow dish or birdbath. Fill the container with sand and keep it moist, mound the sand to the center or around the edges so there is always sand that isn’t covered in water. To make landing pads for them, place rocks in the middle and at the sides. Rinse the sand regularly to keep it clean and to inhibit mosquitoes from breeding there. Besides providing watering stations you can also provide nutrition for them as well. Butterflies enjoy overripe fruit such as bananas, watermelon or pears. Place these offerings in brightly colored dishes in your backyard, to attract a variety of butterflies. This article was printed courtesy of The Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center in Houston Texas. Wildlife Rehabilitation & Education Center The Wildlife Rehab & Education facility was formed to meet the need for wildlife assistance in the Greater Houston/ Upper Gulf Coast. Every year thousands of injured, ill, or orphaned wild birds and mammals are received by the licensed rehabilitators at WR&E. It is the only trauma and rehab center in our area that treats all injured, sick, or orphaned Texas wildlife species. Together with the SPCA and the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network, WR&E cares for every single species of animal. WR&E is located at 7077 Katy Rd. in Houston just inside the 610 Loop off of I-10.For more information about this valuable asset to our community go to their website at

Seaside Garden Club To Host Tish Reustle On July 20th, Vic Madamba On August 17th

The Seaside Garden Club will host two speakers in the coming months to talk about butterflies. Tish Reustle, Galveston County Master Gardener will give a presentation on attracting butterflies to your Seabrook garden at the July 20th meeting at 12:30 p.m. and teach members how to create a butterfly friendly habitat. At the August 17th meeting Vic Madamba, Texas Master Naturalist, will present a program to increase awareness of last winter’s devastating effect on the population of the Monarch Butterflies. He will speak about how we can help them in their annual migration to our area in late September with habitats, food and protection for their larva. Dori Nelson, Seaside Garden Club members said, “We look forward to hearing from Tish Reustle next Wednesday July 20th at our meeting, and, for the following month, this next presentation will be most appropriate. The Monarch’s numbers are way down due to many environmental factors. We will be learning what we can do to help the Monarch at our August meeting”. Seaside Garden Club meets on the third Wednesday of every month at 12:30 pm at the beautiful new Carother’s Coastal Gardens Wedding and Event location, 502 Pine Gully Rd. in Seabrook. For more information call 281-474-4825.

Vic Madamba, Texas Master Naturalist, giving a presentation on last winter’s devastating effect on the population of the Monarch Butterflies

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As the hierarchy goes in nature, insects are typically at the bottom of the food chain. With no rain in sight, our vegetation, which is what a lot of insects depend on for food, is not growing. No insects, no food for the birds. The big exception is butterflies. Keep watered those plants that bloom and become a nectar source for the butterflies and bees. Milkweed and passionflower, for example, are both a nectar source and host plant for Monarch butterflies and Gulf Fritillaries. These caterpillars are then a food source for many species of birds, possums and

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Butterflies and other Insects


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Bay Area Observer July 14, 2011  

Bay Area Observer July 14, 2011