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B U S I N E S S .





January 2012

Also in this issue: • Health and Fitness

• Boat Purchasing Tips • 2012 Infiniti G Series • Galveston Battle of the Badges Recap • Community News and Events


Your Neighborhood Emergency Room



ON THE COVER The team at Clear Lake ER. Photo by Brian Stewart.


Chairman/Publisher Rick Clapp

Dental Health


New Year, New You?


Tabella in Kemah


Keep Your Vessel Seaworthy


Clear Lake ER


Money Matters


Battle of the Badges Recap


Financial Focus


Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce


South Shore Grille

Reclaim Your Smile and Health Lose Those Extra Holiday Pounds The Restaurant at Clear Creek Winery to Reopen Crucial Boat Maintenance Providing Fast, Local, State-of-the-Art Emergency Care Managing Debt The Galveston Island Boxing Event Put on a Show When Should You Start Taking Social Security? Celebrating 50 Years of Excellence Serving Traditional American Dishes with Cuban Flair


President Rob Kumar


Creative Director Brandon Rowan

The Buzz in the Bayou City Martini Time!

19 CLICK! Texas Yacht Show and Jazz Fest 20

Tate’s Texas Music


In Wheel Time


The Admiral’s Log


Galveston Surf Check

Graphic Designer Victoria Ugalde


Texas Meditations

Videographer Michael Palm


Nourishing the Mind


The Big Picture


Back Bay Barker

Vice President of Sales Patty Kane Sales & Marketing Patty Bederka Lillian Harmon Colleen Martin Whitney Parks Amber Sample


Photography Brian Stewart Community Affairs Director Lillian Harmon


Please address all correspondence to: Bay Area Houston Magazine P.O. Box 1032 Seabrook, TX 77586 281.474.5875

Westbound Infiniti G Series, Nissan Maxima Tips for Searching Recreational Boats 2011 in Photos In the Colors A New Year and a New Way of Life All the World’s a Stage Resolutions and More

in each issue

Bay Area Houston Magazine is produced monthly. All rights reserved. Material may not be reproduced by any means whatsoever without written permission. Advertising rates are available upon request.




Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2012


Advertiser’s Index


Lakewood Yacht Club News and Events


Events Calendar

Bay Area Houston Magazine is always looking for motivated, self-reliant professionals to add to our sales team. If you are interested in becoming part of our family please call our office at 281.474.5875 or send inquiries and resumes by e-mail at


Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce Celebrates 50 Years


he Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce celebrates 50 years of a rich history in helping create one of the most unique and dynamic regions in the world. I am very proud to be part of that organization which stands for promoting excellence, quality of life and economic development of our area. Over the next several months you will notice the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Their logo will be displayed on our cover. This is Bay Area Houston Magazine’s way of saluting and recognizing all of the individuals that held an office, volunteered, chaired a committee or worked at the chamber. Furthermore, we offer a special thanks to those people for their hard work, dedication and creativity. They helped turn our area from a swamp and prairie into a mecca. The area boasts an aerospace and high tech industry that is second to none. It further offers its citizens quality healthcare, and claims one of the world’s largest seaports in the world as well as numerous quality education institutions. We owe a portion of our success to the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce because of its many resources. The chamber and its staff have access to a large variety of research and important information which all its members have opportunities to use. Additionally, their staff has been here for many years and can educate as well as inform you about the local area and our community’s culture. President Cindy Harreld has an open door policy and is happy to help chamber members. The organization provides its members a platform to get your name out there by sponsoring events, galas, luncheons, activities etc…By supporting events you create awareness about your company and receive valuable recognition in the community. Furthermore, this opens the door for direct sales and marketing opportunities. Sponsoring and supporting these worthwhile events pays off because it helps brand your product into the community and creates goodwill as well as brand loyalty. Sponsoring the Spring Golf Tournament, Christmas Boat Parade, Epicurean Night, and Ballunar Festival goes a long way in gaining publicity for your business.

One of the many benefits of the chamber is the networking opportunities that their luncheons, mixers, receptions, galas, breakfast and committee meetings provide its members. You must attend and participate to receive the full benefits. You may also meet people you have been unable to visit with during work hours. Like all things in life, you must work at it. Simply, the more you put into your efforts the more you will receive. Too many naysayers join and drop out because they do not put the effort or time to make it work. They think you pay your dues and poof, you start receiving business right away. All well-seasoned business people know the principle that “what you put into it is what you may get out of it!” It takes work and persistence. More than ever, during these economic times it is the time to join the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. We all need to band together to share ideas and create new business and various opportunities for our future and the future of our children. So for only a few hundred dollars the chamber will assist you on your road to success by introducing you to dynamic hardworking people and potential clients. Finally, over the next few months we will be featuring and publishing some of the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce’s 50 years of history. In the month of September, 2012 the cover and entire Bay Area Houston Magazine will be dedicated to celebrating the 50th anniversary. Congratulations and all the best on the next 50 years! Please join me and become a new member of the chamber. If you were an old member get back on board this fast moving train heading towards success! God Bless America!

Rick Clapp Publisher/Chairman

Don Armstrong In Wheel Time

Michael Gos Texas Meditations

Captain Joe Kent Fishing

Andrew Jeffries Bay Area Bandstand

Betha Merit Travel/Food/Wine

Jill Michaels The Big Picture

Whitney Parks

Galveston Surf Check

Pat Patton Click

Dr. Ed Reitman Nourishing the Mind

Roseann Rogers The Buzz

Kathleen Statham Back Bay Barker

Zach Tate Music

JANUARY 2012 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Advertiser’s Index 4 Smiling Aesthetic Dentistry Page 33 Allegria Wine Bar page 44 Amadeus Page 14 Ameriprise Page 38 American Heart Association Page 52 AMOCO FCU Page 43 The Arms Room Page 15 BAHRMA Page 15 Best Publications Page 38 Bosone Auto/Wrecker Page 15 Boudreaux’s on the Bayou Page 29 Brueggen Dental Page 59 Buccaneer Page 44 Bungalow Dry Goods Page 29 Christus St. John Hospital Page 27 City of Dickinson Page 45 Clear Creek Winery Page 21 Clothes Horse Page 57 Coastal Plastic Surgery Page 49 College of the Mainland Page 15 Cullen’s Page 12 Dickinson BBQ Page 37 Digitex Page 33 Dr. J. Derek Tieken Page 54 Edward Jones/Mickey Maddox Page 48 First Baptist Church Seabrook Page 41 Floyd’s Cajun Seafood Page 23 Fondren Orthopedic Page 2 Galveston Cruises Page 28 Ginger Snaps Page 57 Gulf Coast Palapas Page 36 Guidry News Page 44 Hair 21 Page 32 Harbour Plastic Surgery Page 13 Head to Footsies Page 29 Hope Village Page 10 Houston Metro Page 5 Island Furniture Page 32 J.Hilburn Clothiers Page 38 & 48 Jeter Memorial Funeral Home Page 48 Kemah Boardwalk Page 34 Kindred Healthcare Page 3 Las Haciendas Page 10 Life Fellowship Church Page 41 Mamacita’s Mexican Restaurant Page 35 Mayfield Manor Page 14 Mediterraneo Market & Cafe Page 45 Memorial Hermann Page 7 Oasis RV Park Page 47 Oasis Salon and Spa Page 39 Ohana Surf and Skate Page 28 Opus Bistro Page 14 Roman Delight Pizzeria Page 45 Salon La Rouge Page 26 Schlitterbahn Page 6 Seabrook Association Page 52 South Shore Grille Page 46 Spine Center Page 55 Star Toyota Page 56 Stylin’ with Linda Page 10 Testarossa Motors Page 15 Texas First Bank Page 42 The Wash Page 23 Unicare Dental Page 15 Victory Marine Page 26


Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2012



f you or a loved one has lost one or more teeth, you are all too familiar with the unpleasant consequences of missing teeth. Loss of even a single tooth can affect the balance and harmony of our mouth. Once a tooth is lost, the adjacent teeth have a tendency to shift around. Imagine two domino pieces that are leaning on each other - back to back. If one of them suddenly moves, the other one will most likely fall down. The neighboring teeth also have to handle the work load of the missing tooth. Affinity to move and added work load will certainly shorten their life span and they are much more likely to be lost prematurely. Having missing teeth also affects the health of our digestive system and nutrient intake. Our digestive track works similar to an assembly line. There are several stations and each station performs a particular task. If one station fails to perform its job, the process will be compromised as a whole. Our mouth is the first processing station in the digestive tract. Mechanical digestion takes place in the mouth. The front teeth cuts up the food into bite size while back teeth are gears to demolish chunks of food by a series of actions such as piercing, grinding, and crushing. As we chew, our salivary glad produces saliva which has two important functions. It softens up the food so it can pass more smoothly down the throat. It also contains a very special substance, an enzyme called pytalin, whose main task is to break down the starch and fat in the food at the molecular level. If the food does not go through initial breakdown in the mouth – the rest of digestive tract will not be able to perform its task efficiently. People who do not have adequate dentition (teeth) produce less saliva because the food usually gets swallowed prematurely before the mouth is able to produce adequate saliva. People who use removable appliances usually suffer from dry mouth which is a clear sign of inadequate saliva production. They also have difficulty eating types of food that are essential to our health - foods such as hard fruits (apple), vegetable (salad), and foods that require extra

NEW YEAR RESOLUTION Reclaim Your Smile and Health

chewing such as a nice piece of steak. The average denture patient with an excellent fitting denture eats at 15-20% efficiency when compared to a person with natural teeth or dental implant. Dental implants can restore chewing efficiency comparable to that of natural teeth. This allows you to eat your favorite foods with confidence and without pain, enjoy what everyone is eating and not think twice about it. Another little known problem associated with tooth loss is a process known as “atrophy,” a shrinking of the supporting bone that can progress relentlessly over the years. Bone atrophy not only affects jaw function, but can cause adverse facial cosmetic changes. The facial muscles become tense in an attempt to hold the teeth in place. This often results in mumbling, slurred speech or clicking noises. The ongoing shrinkage of the jawbone makes the face look older than natural age. The use the gooey denture adhesives additionally suffocates the gum. Partials and dentures can also cause denture sores or speech difficulties. Dental implants can slow or stop this process. Bridgework usually involves altering (cutting down) precious natural teeth to provide a stable foundation for support of replacement teeth. Because bridged teeth are connected; it is more difficult to floss between the teeth (requires special threading tool). Also, if one of the teeth underneath the bridge decays or gets damaged, often the entire bridge will be compromised and must be replaced (not just the affected tooth). Dental implants spare the adjacent teeth and won’t decay like natural teeth. They look, feel, and function like your own natural teeth. Dental implants can improve your self-esteem. You can regain nearly all the capabilities that most people have with natural teeth, giving you renewed confidence, and allowing you to enjoy your meals and not think twice about it. You can even clean your dental implants just as you would your natural teeth. There are no special formulas or adhesives to use!

“Dental implants spare the adjacent teeth and won’t decay like natural teeth. They look, feel, and function like your own natural teeth.”

JANUARY 2012 | Bay Area Houston Magazine



Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2012



JANUARY 2012 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


By Rod Evans

All that’s left of the Christmas tree are those annoying random pine needles that keep popping up. The last of the leftovers was taken care of weeks ago. Yes, the holidays are over, but they’ve left you with a reminder you’d love to get rid of: those extra holiday pounds.


f there’s a common thread in most people’s New Year’s resolutions, it’s the line that goes, “I need to drop some pounds and get in shape.” All you need to do is take a look at the parking lot of your nearest gym or health club in January to see that thousands of like-minded people are finding their way to the gym to begin a new fitness and health regimen. According to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), the U.S. health club industry, with approximately 30,000 clubs and nearly 50 million club members, is a $20 billion per year business. The annual January surge helps to fuel much of the revenue, but if you’ve resolved to improve your health this year, experts agree that coming to grips with one fact is critical; to truly improve your health, you must consider making a lifestyle change and not merely aim for short term weight loss goals.


Just Do Something “The key to improving your health is to find an activity that you enjoy doing. It could be walking, taking a salsa or Zumba class or bicycling, but it has to be something you enjoy. You’ll have a higher success rate of sticking with it. If you’re doing nothing now, just do something,” says Shaun McCrary, a trainer with CrossFit Unity in Seabrook. McCrary, who’s been a personal trainer for more than 12 years, says improving your health requires a comprehensive system that incorporates cardiovascular exercise, resistance (weights) training and adjusting your diet accordingly. He says if you’re interested in hiring a personal trainer to help you on your fitness journey, it’s a good idea to first ask for training references and make sure you and the trainer are on the same page in terms of your goals. “The first thing I ask new clients is, ‘What are you looking for? What made you walk through the

Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2012

(gym) door?’ Maybe they want to look good at their daughter’s wedding or the doctor said they need to lose weight or risk getting diabetes. Once we establish what they’re looking for, we set goals to help them get there,” McCrary said. McCrary then takes new clients through a functional movement assessment to gauge range of motion in the joints and to determine if the client has any physical restrictions. Like McCrary, Frances Field, owner of Body By Frances Bootcamp, now in its 11th year and with locations in Seabrook, Webster and Pearland, believes that embarking on a fitness program takes dedication and a certain amount introspection. “Everything we do from a physical perspective is generated from our thoughts,” said Field, a personal trainer for over 12 years. “When a new client comes to me, I look at how they’re thinking. Are they focusing on feelings of success or self defeating behaviors?”

“Eating frequently helps to speed metabolism, which aids in the fat loss process. Skipping meals is actually the last thing you should do.” Men vs. Women The reasons why men and women want to begin fitness training are generally different. Field says women primarily want to look and feel good, while men are more concerned with building muscle and strength. “While the goals may be different between men and women, the training aspect is not. You have to incorporate cardio work with resistance training and improve the diet. So both are really going down the same path,” Field says. Field says women are so averse to gaining muscle that many skip weight training entirely and focus almost exclusively on cardio exercises during their sessions. Men, on the other hand, put more emphasis on adding muscle mass and may neglect the cardio side of the equation.

Don’t Do That Many of us launch into a new fitness program with grand visions of returning to our high school weight or dropping a couple of dress sizes, but that enthusiasm can lead to bad habits that can derail your plans. “The most common mistake new clients make is doing too much too soon,” McCrary says. “It’s best to start slow and remember it’s not about short term goals; it’s about lifestyle change.”

Field says many new exercisers make the mistake of not eating enough, and thus rob their body of the energy it needs to maintain a training schedule. “Another common mistake is overestimating their commitment in terms of what they can do. A lot of people start out saying, ‘I’m going to workout twice a day, six days a week,’ but after about three days of training, they’re worn out. People need to allow time to adjust to the new lifestyle,” Field says.

Eating 101

Stay the Course

The fact that the U.S. is in the midst of an obesity epidemic is not due to a lack of availability of information on nutrition. There are countless diet plans out there and a Google search of “nutrition” will bring over a million results. But many people overcomplicate the issue. “Nutrition is not rocket science,” Field says. “There are nutritional plans everywhere, but what most have in common is the part that says you should eat high quality food frequently; about four to six small meals per day. You should eat every two to three hours, with each meal consisting of a high quality protein and carbohydrate, plus vegetables and fruit.” Field says eating frequently helps to speed metabolism, which aids in the fat loss process. Skipping meals is actually the last thing you should do. McCrary informs new clients that diet is about 70 percent of the weight loss equation. “Working out does not make up for a crappy diet,” he says. “I’d say 95 percent of experts agree on the same principles, such as staying away from too much refined grains and sugars. But people often get bogged down in the five percent of minutiae out there.” McCrary often turns to technology to help keep clients on the proper eating path. “I’ll have my clients take a picture of what they’re eating and have them text it to me. You’d be amazed how much weight people lose in a week if they have to send me the pictures,” he laughs. “Most people know what they should be doing diet wise. They just need to hear it from someone else.”

The only thing tougher than starting a new fitness program is sticking with one. Both Field and McCrary believe keeping your training interesting and fun is the key to preventing burnout. “It’s got to be fun and have some variety,” McCrary says. “The good thing about CrossFit is that you’re training with a group of people, so you bond as a group. Setting reasonable and measurable goals is also important in maintaining focus.” Field says answering the question, “Why am I training?” is vital. “You have to make a mental and emotional connection to your goals. It’s easy to get off track when all you’re thinking about is getting into those size five jeans.” For More Information Contact:

CrossFit Unity

2100 Nasa Parkway, Suite 101B Seabrook, 77586 281-291-7929

Body by Frances Bootcamp

(Three locations) 12003 Delany Rd., LaMarque, 77563 803 E. Nasa Pkwy. #114, Webster, 77598 2530 Garden St., Pearland, 77581 281-642-4501 JANUARY 2012 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


New Eatery Open

Save the Date!

What do the homeless and supermodels have in common? More than you think. Now’s your chance to come and meet the supermodels of the 80s in person and learn about the power of image in our country at the I Am Waters Luncheon on Wednesday, April 25 at River Oaks Country Club. I Am Waters, founded by former top model and Houston resident Elena Davis is a non-profit organization, which provides spiritual and physical hydration for people in need. After an encounter with a homeless woman seeking water on the streets of Houston, Davis knew she had to do something to help people living on the streets. “Homelessness is a national problem that gnaws at our country’s economic recovery and future. I am so impressed and inspired by the many great organizations that help the homeless with housing, job skills and food. I Am Waters compliments these groups with our straight-forward mission to provide clean water to the homeless on the streets,” adds Davis. With the fundraising luncheon, Davis will expand her efforts and awareness and continue the work of I Am Waters. A-list supermodels already confirmed include Cheryl Tiegs, Joan Severance, Tara Shannon, Tony Spinelli and Jack Scallia. For more information on the luncheon or the foundation go to or call 281.221.579.

BlackFinn American GrilleEatery and Saloon is now open in Midtown and is creating quite the buzz all around town. A bevy of bars, restaurants and residential options are rapidly joining some of the city’s most eclectic and acclaimed eateries, stores, markets and tree-lined streets Whether catching up on stock quotes or scores, seating areas are trimmed with power outlets for phones and laptops, and free Wi-Fi is available. A full menu of dining options is offered all day and late into the night. A welcome retreat from taquerias and drive thrus, food service will continue until 2 am. 1910 Bagby Street. 713.651.9550.

Local Foods Opens in the Village

If you’re a fan of benjy’s but want something a little more casual, this is your kind of place. The 3,300 square foot venue, located just west of and adjacent to benjy’s, will boast a simple yet flavorful menu, offering Houstonians an ever-changing menu of grab-and-go items and made-to-order sandwiches, salads and sides. “We’ve always felt it important to invest in our community and local family farmers who grow for us,” said Chef Dylan Murray, chef and partner of benjy’s restaurants.    Local Foods will also feature retail items resulting from these collaborations, including custom root beer brewed by Houston food truck favorite, The Eatsie Boys.  Other Texas vendors they will showcase include, Animal Farm Greens, Texas Hill Country Olive Oil, Bee Wilde Local Honey, Pam Greer’s Texas Jurassic Salt and Black Hill. 2424 Dunstan Road.

Hot Read

Known for being the toughest man in football and changing the way NFL quarterbacks played the game, NFL legend, former Houston Oilers quarterback and drag racing icon, Dan Pastorini, has written his autobiography with the assistance of sports writer and radio personality John P. Lopez, Taking Flak, My Life in the Fast Lane.  The story is a detailed account of Pastorini’s full life with Hollywood starlets on his arm and a legion of fans in the palms of his hands. For an excerpt, please see - excerpt.asp.   Taking Flak is available at,, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and major retailers.

Ultimate Kids Party

Martini Time!

Treat yourself to a splash of fun in the New Year with a refreshing cocktail that’s light on your stomach as well as your wallet. During their lunch time hours, 11-2 p.m.; Brennan’s serves 25 cent martinis with the purchase of an entrée. Brennan’s sister restaurant, Commander’s Palace, originally promoted this lunchtime specialty and it was such a hit that Brennan’s decided to partake. With just a quarter, you can spice up your mundane lunch breaks with these perfectly sized miniature drinks. If you prefer something different than a traditional martini, they also offer a cosmopolitan and melon martini. For more information, call 713.522.9711 or visit www.


Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2012

If you haven’t noticed, children’s parties are serious business these days. Let’s face it, gone are the days of getting a store-bought cake and playing pin the tail on the donkey. For a real party to remember, the Omni Houston hotel has come up with the perfect paradise with its Kids Fantasy Suite. Splashed in vibrant colors and swathed with kid-friendly décor’ this suite has been transformed into a child’s dreamland. Features include a separate bedroom with two double beds and a connecting guestroom perfect for parents, while amenities include art tables, chalk walks, sport zone equipment with a basketball hoop and team jerseys, music corners and a Wii game console, as well as toys, books, games and DVDs. These special rooms are decorated for the birthday boy or girl and are available for $229 per night, including parent’s guestroom. For an extra celebration, the hotel offers a Children’s Museum Birthday Party package for 10 children and two parents, including limo ride to and from the hotel, fun activities, food and beverages for $899. 4 Riverway. 713.871.8181, www.

“It’s very much a ‘one plus one equals more than two.’” -John Stoll of Westbound on writing songs with Rebecca Ferguson. It would be easy to overlook Rebecca Ferguson and John Stoll’s solid songwriting (performing as Westbound) in the wake of Stoll’s frenetic guitar playing and stompbox fervor and Ferguson’s electric vocals. Behind the fury of this roots Americana inspired duo are two people winding their way down life’s whiskey roads and heartbreak hills, churning out great songs along the way. As they write in the liner notes of their latest CD Blackjack Road: “We hope that you enjoy this journey with us, with the windows down and the music loud, and the road wide open ahead.” With vivid lyrics of rusted road signs, muddy waters, romance and deceit, it’s not difficult to relate to the themes this ‘real-life couple’ write about. But, as they admit, they’ve only been living and writing together for a few years and look forward to digging deeper into the corners of their hearts. Not that any fan of Westbound should hope for anything less than domestic bliss for the two troubadours from Houston, but as Ferguson reveals in Blackjack’s title track, “the blues I got ain’t bad”. Perhaps a line that best sums up Westbound’s love for the blues, and all it’s lyrical discontent, while maintaining an optimistic outlook on the future. On working together creatively in Westbound and being a couple John and Rebecca both allude to the benefits of trust that come from their romantic involvement. “It’s very much a ‘one plus one equals more than two’ approach,” says Stoll. Live, Westbound embodies the spirit of a front porch revival from somewhere in West Virginia, delivering salvation to anyone in earshot. Stoll’s use of


either acoustic guitar, banjo or resonator guitar, along with a mic’d stomp-box and shoe tambourine give the “band” a full, driving sound. While all of the material on Blackjack Road is original, Westbound includes songs from a diverse catalog in the folk/roots/blues genre when performing live. “We look for anything we can find an emotional connection to. Right now, we’re looking at a lot of older Appalachian folk style that we can put an edge on,” says Ferguson. Blackjack Road was released in 2010 and contains 13 songs that encapsulate Stoll’s multi-instrument abilities more delicately than his live performances. Working in the controlled environment of a studio often challenges musicians to find a balance between capturing the energy of a live performance and accepting the sometimeslimiting parameters of recording. For Westbound, the labor of recording (all done by Stoll and Ferguson) produced a remarkably energetic sound without the incorporation of a traditional rhythm section (bass and drums). “Translating that (stage energy) to album is difficult. I feel like the album has got great punch to it,” said Stoll. Adds Ferguson,

Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2012

“We just had to take a different approach to find it. It manifests in different ways live versus in the recording booth.” Despite all the foot-stomping, folk-fever, some of Westbound’s strongest material can be heard in their country music-flavored ballads like The Closest Friends of Mine and Let Me Drown Or Set Me Free. While Ferguson’s voice has a timeless quality, reminiscent of Tammy Wynette and Patsy Cline, Westbound delivers their songs resisting all-too-often heard lap-steel and tear-in-my-beer melodies to create a fresh take on a traditional sound. Westbound is traveling the roads they write about (and not just West), at times, up to 700 miles to play a gig in a small town. Like so many musicians today they are totally independent: writing, performing, recording and producing their own material. Unlike many acts, though, their live shows and their recoded efforts are both outstanding, yet different from each other. See a show, buy a CD, go along for the ride – you won’t be disappointed!

Tabella Restaurant at Clear Creek Winery to Reopen

By Patty Kane


enovations, under the direction of new Chef Link Livingston, are underway for Tabella. The restaurant is scheduled to reopen in late January. But you don’t have to wait until then to sample some of the delicious food prepared by Chef Link. The winery can accommodate your special occasions and events right now by reserving the Barrel Room or newly expanded second floor bar area. Winery owner, David Skinner, continues to expand the facility to meet the demand for weddings, receptions, corporate events, private parties, lunches and dinners. The bottling parties are especially popular and you can even design your own personalized label!

To accommodate everyone’s schedule there are two seating times for the Valentine Dinner: $40 per person for the 5:30 p.m. seating, $60 per person for the 7:30 p.m. seating. Reservations are required. Call Clear Creek Winery at 281-334-8300 for reservations and more information.

A very special and romantic Valentine’s Dinner is planned for Tuesday, February 14. The Valentine’s Menu at Clear Creek Winery Includes: Complimentary Glass of Champagne Appetizer • Spinach & Gruyere Bruschetta Salad • Poached Pear Salad with Dried Cranberries, Crumbled Goat Cheese, Candied Pecans in a Balsamic Vinaigrette Entrees • Shrimp Scampi & Angel Hair Pasta • 8 oz. Filet with Herb Butter Dessert • Decadent Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Covered Strawberries

“Winery owner, David Skinner, continues to expand the facility to meet the demand for weddings, receptions, corporate events, private parties, lunches and dinners.” As always the food served at the winery is farm to table fresh and prepared to a strict standard of quality. The winery is open Tuesday through Sunday. Come by for a tour at 709 Harris Avenue in Kemah or visit online at www. JANUARY 2012 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


i n wheel t i m e

By Do n A r mst rong


iving in the Bay Area is all about enjoying the outdoors and what better way to connect with it than in a sexy convertible. The Infiniti G Series has been nothing short of a smash hit for the automaker, and for good reason. Here is a perfect example of a successful marriage of good looks with plenty of power in an upscale package. Sounds like something off of Muscle Beach, doesn’t it? The G Convertible has model-exclusive architecture and


he Nissan Maxima tells the neighbors a lot about who you are; smart, with a good sense of value and taste and a person who thinks highly of friends and family. No, we don’t claim to be astrology experts, but that kind of owner definition is really a no-brainer.


beautifully sculpted door panels and an easy-on-the-eyes dash. All of the latest electronic hook-ups are placed in sensible locations for lazy days by the bay. Oh, it goes fast too, if you want it to. Top up and foot to the floor brings to life its 325-hp 3.7-liter V-6 that sprints from 0 to 60 mph in 6.0-seconds. The G also gets pretty good mileage, 17-city and 25-highway – as long as you don’t put your foot in it too often. The 2012 Infiniti G Convertible starts at $46,400.

bodywork from the windshield back, giving it the same agility as its roofed coupe cousin. The interior offers butterysoft leather surrounded by

“The Maxima is spot-on when it comes to balancing power and weight.” The 2012 Maxima gets a number of updates including a new front grille, tail lights and wheels, as well as a bunch of interior enhancements. If you like cars with a trunk then this 5-place, 4-door mid-size may be your ticket to a long term love affair. Powered by a well-healed 3.5-liter 290-hp V-6, the Maxima is spot-on

Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2012

when it comes to balancing power and weight. Mileage is 19-city and 26-highway. We’ve never been a big fan of CVT transmissions, but Nissan has figured out how to make it feel right and now has us saying, “hooray… finally!” Nissan offers two trim levels, the S and SV, with option packages that

include Sport, Premium and Tech. As you can imagine, load up any car with options, and you’ll push the price into the stratosphere. The base 2012 Nissan Maxima S starts at $31,850.

Search “Capt. Joe Kent” on YouTube for fishing videos taken all across the Galveston Bay complex.

By C apt. Joe Kent


Here are suggestions that apply to both new and used rigs:

anuary is boat show time and one of best times of the year to shop for the new or used boat of your dreams. January and February typically are slow months on the saltwater fishing scene and are a great time to find good deals on boats. Beginning in early January, the largest of the boat shows in the Southwest takes place at Reliant Center in Houston. It is the Houston International Boat, Sport and Travel Show and features one of the largest collections of boats, especially trailerable fishing boats, anywhere. Throughout the first quarter of the year there are several boat shows that follow Houston’s including those in Beaumont, Corpus Christi, Dallas/Fort Worth and San Antonio.

“The winter season is the best time to find bargains on boats and boat shows are a good way to start your search.” Sales of new boats, including the whole rig of motor, trailer and accessories, have been slow for the past few years as a result of our depressed economy. The winter season is the best time to find bargains on boats and boat shows are a good way to start your search. This year, there should be some outstanding values on new boats that did not sell during the prime time of spring and summer. If you are new to boat shopping, here are some hints that could prove useful in your search. First, if you can decide on the type of boat you want, (e.g. fishing vs. pleasure) that would be a good start. Second, and more importantly, set a budget. Know how much you are willing to spend and limit your search to boats in that price range. While many boaters would like to own a brand new rig, economics may not justify it. Used boats can be purchased at significantly reduced prices; however, there are pitfalls in shopping for that previously owned rig.


Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2012

Look up the blue book values of your rig. Values of both new and used boats are easily obtainable over the Internet.

Take the boat for a spin if possible. For new boats, a demonstrator should be available for you to check out on the water.

Know what the warranty covers. While warranties are good selling tools, many are stated in a manner that creates an illusion as to what they actually cover. The best way to address this is to learn what the most likely problems are and specifically check out that coverage. An example of this is in fuel-related problems. One of the most common hiccups in new outboard motors comes from use of ethanol-based gasoline. Most warranties will not cover damage from this fuel although it is the only fuel readily available in most areas.

Review the accessories that are added on to the purchase price. You may not need or want some of them and eliminating them could reduce the price by hundreds of dollars or more. In addition to the items above that apply to new and used rigs, a more detailed analysis is needed in shopping for previously owned rigs. Here are a few recommendations that are critical in avoiding getting stuck with a lemon.

Have a survey run on the boat by a competent, experienced mechanic. Items that need the most attention are the motor(s) and hull. An experienced surveyor knows what to look for and can give you a good indication of what shape the boat package is in. While there are no guarantees that a clean bill of health will result in trouble free use, it is worth the money to assure that there are no glaring problems.

If a pre-purchase survey is not feasible, look for signs of problems. One sign that can be visible to the purchaser is the condition of the motor with the cover removed. If paint is missing, that could be an indication that the motor overheated and one of the first things to occur is for paint around the head and spark plugs to burn off.

An obvious freshly painted interior, that is around the block and spark plugs, also could indicate over heating as the burned off paint was replaced.

Observe the lower unit. If the motor has a number of hours and the prop and lower quarter of the unit show little or no ware or appear to have been freshly painted, this could be a red flag for lower unit problems.

If possible, run a simple pressure check on the lower unit oil reservoir, as a pressure leak likely indicates water seepage and lower unit oil and saltwater (or fresh) is a lethal combination. A compression test is another vital step in the evaluation.

Enjoy your search for that new or used boat and hopefully these hints will help make things easier and more pleasant.

News & Events

2012 CLUB EVENTS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC Gulfport Kickoff Party

Saturday, February 25, 4 p.m. Lakewood Yacht Club ballroom, 2425 NASA Parkway., Seabrook Kickoff for a new off-shore race which will start on Friday, May 25 with a race to Gulfport, Mississippi, and Awards Ceremony on Thursday, May 31. Cash bar with complimentary hors o’doeuvres.

Bay Cup I

Saturday, March 3 Skippers’ Meeting Friday night at 7:30 p.m. Race first gun at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 3 Lakewood Yacht Club ballroom 2425 NASA Pkwy. Seabrook This is a long distance race held on Galveston Bay, racing to Trinity Bay across the Houston Ship Channel. An awards party will follow the race in the evening and the awards ceremony will be at 8 p.m. Register on line at Cost: $55 - $60

J/105 Mid-Winters Regatta

Friday, March 9 - Sunday March 11 Skippers’ Meeting Thursday, March 8 Race first gun at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 9 Lakewood Yacht Club ballroom 2425 NASA Pkwy. Seabrook One design J/105 boats racing on Galveston Bay for 3 days; party after racing on Saturday, March 10. Awards ceremony in ballroom after final race on Sunday, March 11.

Blessing of the Fleet

Sunday, April 1 1:30 pm Lakewood Yacht Club’s Inner Harbor 2425 NASA Parkway, Seabrook

New boats are christened in a very nautical, traditional ceremony.

Gulfport Race Safety Seminar Saturday, April 14 9 a.m. Lakewood Yacht Club’s ballroom 2425 NASA Parkway, Seabrook

Experts give advice on off-shore racing, safety, medical emergencies, off-shore oil rigs in Gulf of Mexico, etc.

Heald Bank Race

Saturday, April 21 and Sunday, April 22 2 p.m. start at Galveston jetties into the Gulf of Mexico Skippers Meeting is Friday night, April 20, 7:30 p.m. Lakewood Yacht Club’s ballroom 2425 NASA Parkway, Seabrook Overnight off-shore race from the jetties to Heald Bank and back. Check website for link.

Keels & Wheels, Concours d’Elegance

Saturday, May 5 and Sunday, May 6 10 – 5 p.m. on Saturday, 9 – 4 p.m. on Sunday Lakewood Yacht Club 2425 NASA Parkway, Seabrook 17th annual event, 200 classic antique automobiles on the grounds and over 75 classic wooden boats in the harbor. The largest car and boat show combination in the country and rated within the top three; public parks across the street (free) and shuttles take attendees to the front gate of the club; food and drink available for sale; no pets allowed. Cost: $35, but advance discount tickets available at

Shoe Regatta

Saturday, May 19 and Sunday, May 20 11 a.m. first gun on both days Galveston Bay Skippers’ meeting 7:30 p.m., Lakewood Yacht Club ballroom 2425 NASA Parkway., Seabrook An annual event with 80 – 100 boats participating in all classes; named the shoe race as first place winners of the different classes get certificates for Sperry Top-Sider Shoes. Check website

Gulfport Race

Friday, May 25 in Galveston Race to Gulfport Yacht Club in Gulfport, MS Lakewood Yacht Club ballroom 2425 NASA Pkwy., Seabrook First annual race to a new facility in Gulfport; should be a 3 day race depending upon the winds; Skippers meeting is Friday, May 18, 6 p.m. with the awards ceremony at Gulfport Yacht Club on Thursday., May 31. Check website:

Bay Cup II Cool Out

Saturday, August 11 First gun at 11 a.m. Galveston Bay Lakewood Yacht Club ballroom 2425 NASA Parkway, Seabrook The second part of the Bay Cup series long distance race to Trinity Bay. Skippers Meeting, Friday night, 7:30 p.m., Cost: $55-60

26th Annual Harvest Moon Regatta

Thursday, October 25 – Sunday, October 28 2:30 p.m. start in Galveston, over the Gulf of Mexico to Port Aransas Ballroom of Lakewood Yacht Club 2425 NASA Parkway, Seabrook 150 mile offshore race to Port “A”; over 200 boats participating; Bacardi Run is founding sponsor with Welcome Sailors Rum Party on Saturday, October 27, 4 p.m. Dinner and awards ceremony follows involving around 2,000 racers and their crew, friends and family. Bands Saturday afternoon and night in the City Pavilion. Harvest Moon Regatta Safety Day is Saturday, September 29, 9 a.m. It is mandatory for racers to attend for their own safety and well-being during the race. Cost: $125 with wrist bands for Saturday party, $20 in advance, $25 in Port “A” Website:

J/Fest Southwest Regatta

Saturday, October 13 and Sunday, October 14 First gun all days is 11 a.m. Galveston Bay Lakewood Yacht Club ballroom 2425 NASA Parkway., Seabrook This is a one-design race for J design boats. Racing on Saturday, and Sunday, parties around the pool following racing and awards ceremony on Sunday, October 14. Skippers’ meeting held on Friday night. October 12 at 7:30 p.m.

JANUARY 2012 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Keep Your Vessel Seaworthy By Rod Evans


n a perfect world, taking your boat out on the lake or in the gulf would be the ideal remedy for a blazing hot summer day. But this past summer’s historically hot weather made just getting out on the water a matter of survival. With the cooler weather upon us, perhaps you’re looking to make up for some lost time by heading to your nearest body of water. However, it’s a good idea to make sure your boat is equally as ready as you are. “It’s a lot of work to get a boat up to standards, but it’s even more work if it breaks down in a strange location, like in the gulf,” said Dan Cantrell, the delivery captain for Marine Max in Seabrook. Cantrell says if your boat has been inactive for a while, it’s advisable that either you or your mechanic perform some basic maintenance. He says a good place to start is the sea strainers for the air conditioning and the main engine. Those should be checked and cleaned, with special attention paid to possible algae build up in the air conditioning system. The impellers should be replaced after 100 hours of use. Cantrell says the devices will fail to pump enough water to cool the engine if they are worn. Fuel filters are another important area that must be inspected before taking your boat out, and making sure you add a fuel stabilizer to your fuel tank is critical as well. “Stabilizers are a necessity these days,” Cantrell says. “If the boat has been sitting for a month or more, the ethanol will separate and play havoc with the engine. Running your boat without stabilizers can lead to some pretty expensive repairs.” He recommends stabilizers sold by Star Brite or Sta-Bil. According to Cantrell, who teaches boating safety and maintenance seminars at Marine Max, inspecting the condition of the steering connections is often overlooked. “You’ve got to check the turnbuckle and all of the steering mechanisms for rust and, if you have cable steering, make sure it is not locked up. Be sure to look for any hydraulic leaks and check for sufficient pressure.” Cantrell says another oft forgotten maintenance concern is inspecting the shaft log and rudder post, especially making sure the packing gland is functioning properly. On the safety front, Cantrell says boaters should inspect the fire extinguishers annually, but also give a quick look at the gauge indicator periodically to check for signs of lost pressure or discharge. All flares should be changed annually and life jackets should be U.S. Coast Guard approved. Don’t leave the dock without a hand held VHF radio and GPS system loaded with fresh batteries.


Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2012

“Don’t leave the dock without a hand held VHF radio and GPS system loaded with fresh batteries.” “If you’ll be boating with kids, allow them to decorate their life jacket with reflective stickers because they make it easier to find them if they should go overboard. Also, attach a whistle to the jacket. It might be a little annoying at times, but will come in handy if you’re searching for them,” Cantrell says. He says many boaters opt for having the Coast Guard Auxiliary give their boat an inspection for an added peace of mind. The agency will issue a sticker to be displayed on the boat indicating all safety checks have been performed. One of the best things boaters can do, he says, is leave a “float plan” with family or friends that details where and when you’ll be boating, which could prove valuable should something happen on the water. For Cantrell, perhaps the best habit to get into is doing a quick inspection of your boat at the dock. “If you haven’t run the boat in a while, start up the engine and let it get up to operating temperature. Check for any leaks by sight and smell. Check all of the engine fluid levels before you leave the dock.” He also recommends becoming a member of organizations like Sea Tow or Boat U.S., which offer rescue assistance among other services. “Making sure your boat is ready at the dock is the key,” Cantrell says. “There’s usually no one out there to help if you have trouble.”

Photo: Whitney Parks


Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2012

Photo: Whitney Parks

Galveston Events for January Saturday, January 7, 2012 2012 New Year 5K / 10K Fun Run (Galveston Island State Park, Galveston, TX) - 8am Saturday, January 14, 2012 Battle of Galveston Reenactment (Strand, Between 20th and 23rd, Galveston, TX) - 2pm Sunday, January 15, 2012 “Fiddler on the Roof” (The Grand, 2020 Postoffice St., Galveston, TX) - 4pm Saturday, January 21, 2012 Yaga’s Chili Quest & Beer Fest (Saengerfest Park, 23rd & Strand, Galveston, TX) - All Day Monday, January 23, 2012 “The Ugly Duckling” & “The Tortoise & the Hare” (The Grand, 2020 Postoffice St., Galveston, TX) - 10am Saturday, January 28, 2012 The Oak Ridge Boys (The Grand, 2020 Postoffice St., Galveston, TX) - 7:30pm JANUARY 2012 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Providing State of the Art Emergency Care Faster, With More Choices, and that Individual Touch By Betha Merit


ou just ate dinner, cleaned up, and are settled down to watch an hour of the news before bed. But you just cannot get comfortable. Is that indigestion? But why are you sweating? You sure don’t


feel like spending your night at a hospital emergency room, waiting in line for machines, tests, and the busy medical staff to determine if you need PeptoBismol or have something far more serious going on. But it’s your life and your health. You need to know.

Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2012

Your son is at football practice and you get the call he’s had an injury. His collarbone may be broken. You have to get it x-rayed and diagnosed. It is emergency room time, but your history with stitches, broken bones, and other emergencies reminds you that this will take hours waiting your turn for an available x-ray machine and then for a radiologist to read the scans. You need an ER, but which local hospital do you choose?

There is another emergency room option whose time has come. Clear Lake ER (emergency room) is a freestanding, fully staffed and equipped emergency facility. The doctors, nurses and technicians (lab and radiology) have years of experience, and are handpicked for their job. At Clear Lake ER you are a priority, and are treated that way. Typically, you will be seen within 10 minutes, diagnosed, treated, and on your way in less than an hour, even

“You will be seen within 10 minutes, diagnosed, treated, and on your way in less than an hour, even when an x-ray or CT scan is required.”

when an x-ray or CT scan is required. Should they determine you need hospital admittance, they can call ahead to make sure there is a bed in the hospital of your choice and order transport. Clear Lake ER can save you hours of critical time. And the cost is no more than any hospital ER visit. Dr. James Jackson, M.D., is the founder of Clear Lake ER, which opened in May 2010. He grew up in Clear Lake and went to Clear Lake High School, followed by Texas A & M University and then UTMB Galveston for medical school and his residency in Internal Medicine. After serving a year as chief resident of internal medicine, Dr. Jackson stayed at UTMB for 3 more years as an assistant professor of emergency medicine. He later spent 10 years at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Houston, working in their ER department. “There is no substitute for experience,” says Dr. Jackson, whose staff of Clear Lake ER physicians includes Dr.

Paul English, M.D., and Dr. Bobby Chu, M.D., as well as several part time emergency physicians. Dr. Jackson hired nursing and technical staff that he had worked with at Galveston and St. Luke’s ERs. “It was like cherry picking,” says Dr. Jackson. “I selected only the best staff who I felt would provide the highest level of care,” says Dr. Jackson, referring to everything from compassionate patient-first treatment, to quality of emergency medical knowledge, to the dedication to customer service. The offices are also designed for functional flow with no wasted space, thanks to Dr. Jackson’s vision of making the ER experience efficient and calming, rather than hectic and traumatic. The tones of glacier blue and warm golden walls, with rich wood flooring provide a soothing ambience, in stark contrast to the typical white walls and cold linoleum of a traditional hospital ER. In the year 2000, freestanding emergency rooms began opening up in Texas. “I saw that this sort of model could work,” says Dr. Jackson. “I wanted to bring that vision to Clear Lake, since no one had focused on this area of Houston. Basically, I saw that we needed more options for emergency care in this area, so I designed a facility that would allow us to provide the best emergency care available anywhere.” Many people are familiar with the urgent care model, which offers general practice medicine on weekends and nights, for non-emergency type diagnoses like sinus infections,

earaches, and sore throats. But a free standing ER is a new, cutting edge concept where both major and minor emergencies can be treated in the same facility. Clear Lake ER is the first freestanding ER to be licensed in the state of Texas. They are also the first to get their freestanding pharmacy license too. Accredited by the AAAHC (Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Healthcare), Clear Lake ER just had their accreditation renewed for the allowable maximum of three years. What are some of the emergency treatments that might send you to Clear Lake ER? They treat any emergency for patients of any age including such things as acute abdominal pain, allergic reaction, burns, chest pains, altered mental state, headaches, lacerations both simple and complex, fractures, sprains, bruises, head injuries, seizures, rashes, overdoses, asthma, pneumonia or anything that might send you to the hospital ER. A list of typical treatments and emergency situations can be found on their website at Clear Lake ER has six patient rooms; two are dedicated to critical care with the ability for cardiac monitoring and defibrillation. From the outside, Clear Lake ER looks like a standard doctor’s office, but is actually a full size ER complete with its own lab and a pharmacy for time saving dispensing of medicine. “So, it’s one stop,” says Dr. Jackson, describing the experience at Clear Lake ER. Also, the front desk staff is knowledgeable about insurance and can quickly assess the patient situation and get the patient into a room within a minute or two.

Dr. Jackson has been consulted by other physicians who opened, or plan to open, freestanding ERs, all over Texas and as far away as Georgia. His quality standards include hiring a full staff to work only the job they are trained to do. The radiology technician only does radiology testing. The nurses do not have to cover the front desk. And when it comes to starting an IV or getting a finger stick for a blood test, he has hired the best of the best. “There is no substitute for hands on, been there, seen that,” says Dr. Jackson, referring to every level of service at Clear Lake ER. Clear Lake ER is involved in the community of Clear Lake as well. They have a medical tent which they staff and take to various school, charity, and community events or festivals, to assist should a medical need arise. Dr. Jackson met his wife, Allyson, at the McDonald’s on NASA Road 1 while they were in high school. Their son is a junior at Clear Lake High School, and their daughter is in 8th grade at Space Center Intermediate. “ I’ve been a part of this community for over 30 years” says Dr. Jackson, “ and I’m proud to call Clear Lake my hometown.” You know where your favorite fast food restaurant is located, and where to find your personal bank branches. Why not make a plan for where you will go for emergency medical treatment? Clear Lake ER is located at 2409 Falcon Pass #100, just off of Space Center Drive, behind the Walgreens and next to Falcon Pass Elementary School. Their phone number is 281-461-1111. Clear Lake ER will be open 24/7 beginning July 2012. Currently, they are open daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

JANUARY 2012 | Bay Area Houston Magazine



Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2012

JANUARY 2012 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


texas m e d i tat i o n s

By M i c ha el Gos

In the Colors Seabrook, Texas

The universe speaks to us in archetypes—primitive mental images whose meaning we inherit from our earliest human ancestors.


egardless of how different our cultural backgrounds may be, as humans we share archetypes. The meanings we extract from them tend to be the same across different cultures. That is why they are so popular in art and literature. But sometimes those universally accepted meanings limit our understanding of the message the archetypes present. Take the rainbow, for example. In Western culture we generally recognize it as a symbol of a promise (next time, the earth will be destroyed by fire), as a gateway to another world (Dorothy’s trip over the rainbow), or as something to follow because there is a treasure located at the end. But those are all pop culture interpretations and they are probably a far cry from the true meanings we really recognize when we see a rainbow. Archetypes touch a deeper, more visceral understanding in us. And at that primitive, ancestral level, the rainbow means something very different. S I was sitting by the pool in my backyard, contemplating relocating to Hill Country. I always loved the small town and


Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2012

country environments there and the rolling landscape. Recently, two hurricane evacuations and some serious damage after Ike had me thinking that maybe living this close to the water might not be such a great idea as I get older. It had been raining all morning, but the sun had finally come out and, like always, I came outside with it. Like everyone else, I have seen countless rainbows in my life—even several doubles. But as I looked out over the lake I saw something I never knew was even possible. I saw the end of a rainbow dropping onto the waters of Lake Mija not 200 yards from my dock. Knowing no one would ever believe me, I ran into the house, grabbed my camera and shot as many photos as I could before it vanished. While the sight of the rainbow was fleeting, its effects were not. For months I was haunted by the event and what it could mean. How many of us ever get to see what is at the end of the rainbow. I did—and it was my backyard! My initial feeling was that my question had been answered. The treasure at the end of the rainbow was my home. Leaving here, even for a life in my beloved Texas Hill Country, was out of the question. But that was a couple of years ago and since then, things have happened that have made me start to rethink my original interpretation of the encounter with the rainbow. First, there was a faint, but persistent discomfort. I know that if I had the right understanding of the rainbow’s message, if I was supposed to stay right here on this lake, I would be at peace with it. I would have absolute comfort in knowing that I was meant to be here forever. But I don’t. Whether it will happen by my choice or the force of circumstance I can’t say, but to this day I continue to feel I’m not going to stay here forever. There is somewhere else for me in the future.

“The gift of the the time we spend inside the colors” If that feeling is right—and I believe we should all trust those kinds of feelings—how do I explain my encounter with the rainbow? Was it just a coincidence? I am greatly suspect of anyone who could have such a transcendent experience and simply write it off as no more than a random occurrence of a common scientific phenomenon. I knew that it was an important event. But none of the traditional Western interpretations seemed to fit the situation. That left only one possibility—the rainbow must have a different meaning. The message of this symbol still waited to be discovered. It may seem obvious, but it took me several months to wrap my thinking around the idea that rainbows have two ends. What if the treasure interpretation really did have validity, only the treasure was at the other end of the rainbow? Then what I was looking at that afternoon on Lake Mija might be the place where the journey begins, where you get on the path that leads to the treasure at the other end. Maybe from here my job is to follow the rainbow to wherever it takes me, having faith that what it holds at the other end is the treasure I’m looking for. Perhaps that is the true meaning of the rainbow archetype—it shows us the path we need to take in life. If that is so, where I stood now was my starting point.

Just as the sun after a rain makes the colors of the world so much more brilliant, a shift in my perspective on the meaning of the end of the rainbow made my sense of what the rainbow was telling me come together. I realized that all those interpretations we put on the rainbow might be entirely wrong. It is more than just a path to follow. When I was there, experiencing the rainbow up close and personal, the feeling I had was clear. The rainbow was a metaphor for life itself. Like the rainbow, our lives begin at ground level; in a sense we arise from the earth. For a long time we are climbing skyward as we move laterally through time. At some point, we come to our peak, be it in terms of advancement, income, accomplishments or happiness. Once we hit that peak, we begin a long, slow, but beautiful descent back toward the earth from which we came. The rainbow captures that shape perfectly. It is more than just a symbol. It is a picture of life itself. I’m not sure why, but today, I suspect there is no treasure at the other end of that rainbow—only the earth. Rather, the gift of the rainbow, the treasure, is the rainbow itself. It is the time we spend inside the colors. It is life. Seeing the end of the rainbow in Lake Mija that morning was indeed a message. There is no more time to sit around waiting. It’s time to get started on the next stage of life.

JANUARY 2012 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


nourishing t h e mind

By D r. Ed Reit man

A New Year and a New Way of Life


ew Year’s has arrived once again. It’s 2012, if you haven’t noticed, although many of us will still be writing 2011 for several weeks, until the idea settles in that 2011 ended a month ago. It’s usually a time for regeneration, for making resolutions, and deciding, “What am I going to do this year better than I did last year, or maybe even for the past several years?” All of you know the typical areas of concern: stop smoking, drink less, exercise more, eat less, get involved with people that you haven’t heard from or contacted for months or even years, learn more about your religion, do a good deed every day—all of which are wonderful intentions, few of which will be followed through on. To support this notion, all you have to do is check the records at health clubs. Everyone signs up and starts training vigorously on January 1st. As a result, their parking lots are filled. By February 15th, it’s back to normal. The well-intended are no longer in attendance. In many ways, that’s the way most of us live our lives. We have good intentions, but we don’t follow through, not only with regard to the small stuff, which may not be so small, but even where big issues are involved. There’s one area, perhaps more so than any other part of your lives, that best reflects this pattern of behavior. It’s in our long-term relationships and marriages. It’s the people with whom we start out deeply in love, so much so that we’re willing to commit to a lifetime together—a relationship, which in most


Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2012

instances involves bringing children into the world and eventually growing gracefully old together. Sadly, that doesn’t always happen, because over 50% of marriages end in divorce. And who’s to say how many unhappy marriages there are among the remaining 50%? Far too many people wind up staying together, only tolerating each other but too frightened to leave, unwilling to face the world on their own, reluctant to admit failure and fearful of living alone. These are only a few of the reasons that so many divorced individuals searched for a future companion even before they left the partner they originally thought they loved and committed to years before. You have to wonder, what contributes to this phenomenon? Similar to New Year’s resolutions, they started out with good intentions, loving emotions and blessings from a rabbi, priest, minister, or justice of the peace. Over the years, however, the blessings were long forgotten, the intentions diminished and the love tarnished. By that time, countless husbands no longer relish going home to wives who no longer eagerly await their arrival. They refer to one another in confidence, or to close friends as, “my old lady”, “the wimp”, “the witch with a B”, the insensitive, frigid, or disinterested, controlling spouse who either “prefers to stay home with the kids, gossip with girlfriends and watch The View”, or “Go out with the boys, drink beer, or spend the weekend watching football or putting a white ball in a little hole, rather than be with me.” This behavior has become so commonplace that it almost appears to be an epidemic. Something is radically wrong with the institution of marriage and the people in it. They’ve become far too complacent and uninvolved, or reach a point where they no longer feel it’s worth fighting for or about. As a result, they go through all

the motions, but without the emotions. They buy presents on appropriate occasions, such as birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas or Hanukkah, and send cards expressing loving affection on Valentine’s Day, but the warmth and genuine involvement isn’t there. The excitement’s gone, conversations lag, and outward signs of civility that are typically shared with friends, work associates, or even clerks in stores, disappear. “Thank you”, “I’m glad I’m married to you”, “I really love you”, a touch, a caress, a kiss on the forehead even physical intimacy, all but disappear. Again, the question arises, why? What’s lacking? What causes this to happen and

“If you and your partner are emotionally whole and healthy, your marriage will be, as well.” how can we circumvent it? There are countless books written on the subject, but none of them really seem to provide an answer, let alone a definitive solution. As a result, the next series of articles I plan to write will deal with this problem. I hope to provide you with some thoughts regarding why, how and what brought you to where you are and, hopefully, help you to create a new, emotionally healthier way of life that will enable you to fulfill your original dreams and expectations. To begin, there is a previous article, “Healthy People Have Healthy Marriages”, which you need to read. It is on my website, It says that, when you marry, you always get who you are. Therefore, you have to be who you want because, based on this premise, it follows

that, if you don’t like who you are, after a while you’re not going to like who you got. The result will be that you’ll spend the rest of your marriage punishing your spouse for the things you see in him or her that you can’t stand in you. The only viable solution is for you to be the person that you’d like to get. Another way to say it is, if you and your partner are emotionally whole and healthy, your marriage will be, as well. In the meantime, if you’re about to enter into a meaningful relationship or feel the relationship you’re in is lacking: 1. 1) Make time to introspectively evaluate the role you play in your present relationship and ask this question, “Is my behavior what I would want from a spouse?” 2. If your answer is no, make a list of at least two significant changes you can make in your actions, your verbalizations, or even your thinking, that might improve your behavior. 3. Look forward to my future articles, which will deal with other issues you need to deal with to improve the relationship you’re in, or to ensure that the relationship you’re thinking of entering is one that will provide happiness, joy, intellectual stimulation, physical excitement and a future that you can look forward to, rather than dread. To learn more about Dr. Reitman, read more of his articles, or to obtain copies for family or friends, please visit his website,

JANUARY 2012 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


T h e Big P i c tu re

by J ill M ich aels

All the World’s a Stage


’ve never cared much for Shakespeare. But when the curtain closed on a media event starring the STS-135 Atlantis crew, I remembered that: All the world’s a stage. And all the men and women merely players. Last March, NASA invited reporters to view a rendezvous simulation. During the 15-minute sim at JSC, three of the four STS-135 astronauts—Chris Ferguson (“Fergy”), Doug Hurley and Sandy Magnus—flew a virtual rendezvous and docking with the International Space Station, approaching from 30 feet. Also swimming with me in the press pool, I discovered to my chagrin when I arrived, were some 50 other reporters. Half an hour later, the astronauts arrived. I didn’t realize it then, but the stage was set for a performance of global proportions. I became acquainted with Fergy and his dry, cerebral humor back in 2005. I had written an article about Max Q, the astronaut rock-and-roll band, for an airline’s in-flight magazine. My astronaut point of contact had forwarded my story to his fellow band members for factchecking before publication. Fergy, the band’s primary drummer, responded to me directly. In late 2008, I met Fergy and Sandy after the STS-126 pre-flight news conference. I got preoccupied with shooting the breeze with Fergy and nearly missed shooting a photo of Steve Bowen for Steve’s hometown newspaper in Cohasset, Massachusetts. Doug and I crossed paths when I interviewed the STS127 crew in 2009 for my hometown article about Tom Marshburn. As the STS-135 astronauts arrived at the Avionics Systems Laboratory at JSC, I happened to catch Fergy’s eye. He waved back in recognition. The sheer number of reporters naturally meant that each of us would receive only a few minutes to watch the crew perform their rendezvous in the darkened Alpha Dome of the Systems Engineering Simulator. The SES reminded me of a planetarium theater, but with moving scenes of full-sized ISS modules over a simulated Earth instead of the traditional starry sky with constellations. Fergy, Doug and Sandy stood at the mockup of the space shuttle’s flight deck. In the darkened room, the viewing angles of 180 degrees horizontal and -30 degrees to 105 degrees vertical proved spectacular. Surrounded by other groundlings, I switched myself from reporting mode into audience mode. I made my way up the stairs to the second-story observation gantry, the balcony of this virtual theater. After the sim, Fergy offered the reporters their choice of another run or Q&As. My silent preference for an encore performance of operating in a real-time environment was vetoed by those in the


Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2012

STS-135 Mission Specialist Sandy Magnus, Pilot Doug Hurley and Commander Chris Ferguson inside the Alpha Dome of JSC’s Avionics Systems Laboratory on March 23, 2011.

audience clamoring for more lines from the players on stage. It dawned on me that most of these reporters had not met these particular astronauts. So the rare chance for virtual-flying with an astronaut took a solid back seat. Alas! During the Q&A exchange, Fergy explained that according to Doug’s research, STS-6 was the last time that NASA has flown a four-person shuttle crew. “We’re relearning how to fly,” Fergy announced. One reporter asked: “How do you feel about being the last space shuttle crew?” Dramatic pause. Fergy replied: “Honored.” A NASA stagehand asked me to leave the balcony, temporarily, to allow another reporter the opportunity to shoot photos. Near the end of the Q&A bartering, I flew back to my second-story pigeonhole next to the spotlights, hoping that I could get a photo of Fergy, Doug and Sandy standing on the flight deck looking up at my camera. Just as NASA lowered the curtain on the day’s event, I got my wish. I called out to get the crew’s attention and asked them to look up. They graciously complied. As I was taking the photo, out of the blue Fergy called up to me: “How’s life in Cohasset?” The line caught me offguard, as I was not expecting an interactive theater performance. I stammered back: “I don’t know. I live down the road in Seabrook.” Without losing a beat, Fergy responded: “But you still write for Cohasset, don’t you?” I replied: “Yes. I made sure to take care of Steve Bowen last month,” writing two STS-133 articles for his hometown newspaper. I left the Alpha Dome that day in a reflective mood. Most theatrical plays are good, due to countless hours of rehearsal. But the most meaningful ones are those you savor because offstage you’re acquainted with the key players. Chris Ferguson departed from NASA on December 9.

B a c k Bay Barker

By Kathl een Stat ham

Resolutions and More paradoxical mix of mourning and longing (Will this new year finally see me breaking our infinite silence and asking my old buddy to speak with me once again?). No, I don’t believe I’m a masochist for reflecting on what might have been had I acted differently. True, reflection is sometimes painful, hence it requires courage. But this act of taking stock at year’s end, or what I call “emotional check-listing,” is also the basis for self-betterment. Revisiting the old year enables us to live proactively, rather than idly or passively, in the next.

for our resolutions. Tiny, huge, maddeningly detailed or wildly cosmic, they are oriented toward the future and toward positive change. And that’s good for us. As well, it never hurts to affirm what already thankfully exists that doesn’t require change, or at least not radical change. Tell your spouse and kids, whatever their ages, that it’s a blessing to know them and be a part of their lives. Throw a party for employees in celebration of their work and commitment to the company. Sit on the front porch at dawn with a cup

“Tiny, huge, maddeningly detailed or wildly cosmic, they are oriented toward the future and toward positive change. And that’s good for us.”


s I was researching the history of our New Year holiday, I discovered that its tradition is tied to the 365day solar calendar, which we follow, and that it traces back to about 153 B.C., when the Roman god Janus took his place at the head of the calendar. Most interesting to me is that Janus is usually depicted in profile with two faces: the one on the front of his head looks forward, while the other face behind his head looks backward. I find the image apt, because I’m not able to welcome a single new year without first remembering and pondering the 40

meaning of the year that is exiting. Such an exercise may seem futile. After all, what was in time has passed, irrevocably. Plus, there are all those inevitable, “negative” emotions associated with it, such as nostalgia or regret; they do crop up, surely and hauntingly. I can no more avoid the creeping sensation of melancholy each December than I can avoid the arrival of January. The imminent loss of the old year directs me to ask questions about failure (What kept me from finishing that project?), remorse (Why, since I was able, didn’t I visit my neighbor in the hospital?) or the

Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2012

As a standard practice, we demonstrate the desire to change by making resolutions. Come New Year’s Day, we grab hold of our banners emblazoned with vows and charge forth with ferocious sincerity. Before long, we’re weighed down by the peskiness of our resolutions, which usually drop off, die midstream or go AWOL by March. I wonder if we’re making the mistake of going all grandiose on ourselves. Those determinations to never touch alcohol again, to like everyone we meet, and to not lose The Roman god Janus. less than five pounds a week for the next three months appear headed for defeat from the get-go. I should know. I’m the one who for decades swore off cigarettes, cold-turkey style, every January 1st at midnight; the one who fell off the wagon two weeks later and rationalized that since I’d broken the perfect abstinence record, I might as well wait another year again to quit; and who then lit up another cigarette! Once I set more realistic goals for myself, got in the habit of climbing right back up on that wagon after falling off, and accepted the rhythm of moving onestep-forward and half-a-step-back, I eventually stopped smoking entirely. Still, we mustn’t rebuke ourselves

of your favorite hot beverage and take in the marvelous sights and sounds and other sensations that humans neither created nor can ever take credit for. Affirmation is about being in the present, the here-and-now, and fully appreciating what is. Sometime after the rowdy countdown in New York Times Square, the drunken revelry, the exchange of kisses with everybody, including your party host’s Cocker Spaniel, we’ll find that we’ve crossed a familiar but unique threshold and entered a never encountered, brand-spankingtruly New Year. We may feel anxious, hung-over, antsy, off-key and wholly unprepared. But sooner or later, we’ll grasp the reality that we play a major role in shaping the next twelve months. We’ll plan, move forward, roll up our sleeves and busy ourselves--like we have and yet haven’t before. And if we’re open, if we pay close attention, we’ll use every opportunity to reconcile, create, dream, grow and do the things we enjoy with the people we love. If we don’t, ah, well, there’s always next year. Thanks to all you readers. Please also view for our “Bay Breeze” Webcast and many other local happenings.

Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University Classes Finances are one of the greatest pressures individuals and families face today. The start of 2012 is a great time to set new financial goals and become better equipped to manage your money. Life Fellowship Church in Kemah is offering the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University classes beginning January 11th. This 13-week long teaching will change your perspective and give you insight in handling your money better. We are not selling any product or attempting to have you invest your money with a financial planner. This is not a “get rich quick” formula, a “pyramid scheme” or a ploy to have you sell anything. These classes are designed to give you practical tools to improve your financial position. Dave Ramsey is quoted from his website: “We want you to stop worrying about money! More than 1.5 million families have attended Financial Peace University with amazing results. On average, these families paid off $5,300 in debt and saved $2,700 during the 13-week period! Stop worrying about money, and start your journey to Financial Peace today.” What freedom would you have if you were debt free? Join us in this exciting journey toward financial freedom and peace. Life Fellowship is a Christ-centered, Bible based, non-denominational church. For more information, please call 832-864-2800.

JANUARY 2012 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


By Jason Alderman


f you’re in debt, you’re not alone. Consumer debt in America is extraordinarily high. Sometimes it’s hard to know – or admit – if you have a problem with debt. It can be overwhelming to realize that you’ve gotten in over your head, and to worry that you won’t be able to pay back what you owe. The key to getting out of your situation is to act now. Don’t procrastinate. Taking charge of your finances and creating a plan for tackling your debt will cut down your anxiety and get you on the path toward a better financial future. First, ask yourself whether debt has become a problem for you. Here are some circumstances that might indicate it has:

• • • • •

Next month’s bills arrive before last month’s have been paid Your bills often include late fees You avoid opening bills when they arrive in the mail You procrastinate balancing checkbooks You bounce checks

Write it Out

Do you actually know how much debt you have? Many people don’t. Start by making a list of everything you owe, whether it’s a mortgage, a credit card balance, student loans or even money you borrowed from family or friends. Write down:

• • • •

The lender’s name The amount you owe The term of the loan The interest rate and fees

Then total them up. Looking at the numbers can be worrisome, but this is a positive – and necessary – first step to tackling your debt.

The Power of 50

Paying the minimum amount due on your credit cards is one of the fastest ways to fall further into debt, and it can keep you in debt for years or decades. If you have a credit card with a $3,000 balance at an annual interest rate of 18%, and you pay only the 2% minimum monthly payment of $60 per month, it would take you 8 years to pay


Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2012

off your bill. Not only that, you will have paid $5,780 by the end of the 8 years – almost double the $3,000 you thought you were spending when you made the charges. Paying just $50 above the minimum amount due each month will make an incredible difference in how quickly you can pay down what you owe. But if you can pay an additional $50 per month on that debt, for a total payment of $110 a month, you will pay down more of the $3,000 you originally owed. And that means less money for the creditor to charge interest on. As a result, you would pay off the debt in 3 years and save over $1,800 in interest payments. Imagine what you could do with $100 more per month.

Be Realistic

Now that you have analyzed your debt situation, it’s time to look at your monthly budget and set realistic goals. That trip you had planned for next summer, or the new car you were hoping to buy may not be in the cards right now given your new outlook on reducing your debt. Use this free Rework Your Budget (http://www. calculate/reworkYourBudget.php?calcCa tegory=budgetcalculator) to help you get your budget back on track.

Don’t Get Discouraged

Reducing debt is like losing weight. You’re not going to lose 50 pounds in a month – you need realistic goals in reasonable time frames, and debt works the same way. For most people, it takes years to become debt-free. This doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying your life. It’s just a reminder to live within your means and be diligent about adjusting any spending habits that have contributed to the situation you are in today. Dedicating yourself to paying off what you owe and becoming debt-free will be worth the wait, with the payoff being a brighter financial future. This article is brought to you by a partnership between Visa and Texas First Bank and was authored by Jason Alderman, who directs Visa’s financial education programs. For more information, follow Texas First Bank on Facebook, Twitter and You Tube or visit us at

JANUARY 2012 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Around the Lake Congratulations to Dr. Mark and Mrs. Skellenger on their recent marriage! The Seabrook Association recently presented the Seabrook Fire Department with a check for $10,000 to be used for equipment on the new fire boat. Accepting the check on behalf of the Seabrook Fire Department is Fire Chief Ray Cook, left, and representing the Seabrook Association is Mark Neff, center, and Seabrook Association President Marcy Fryday.


Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2012

JANUARY 2012 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


After months of preparation, the long awaited night had finally arrived. Two dance groups were in separate dressing rooms preparing for their performances.  A rappel master was inspecting the ceiling structure to insure that everything was still in order.  In the meantime a Galveston Police motorcycle officer was pointing out that the convention center floor was a bit slippery and it would


require extra caution on his part when maneuvering his motorcycle around. On the other side of the hall, a 6 foot 6 inch police officer in a Grim Reaper outfit was getting an equipment issue of sorts.   An extensive search of costume shops had netted no results in the effort to find a plastic scythe that was long enough to accommodate this extra tall performer so a real scythe was located and ordered. That

Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2012

item had just arrived and it was painfully apparent that extra care would have to be taken with this dangerously sharp and deadly looking prop. All of this preparation was not for a fancy Broadway production. It was for the Galveston Island Battle of the Badges (Hometown Heroes Fighting for a Cause) boxing tournament.  The event was being presented for the third year and had many surprises in store for its audience.  At the end of the event we were pleased that it was almost flawless and the audience was treated to four hours of

Vegas-quality entertainment. A couple of the fighter entrances included mariachi music accompanied by a large group of Mexican Folkloric dancers.  The colorful costumes lit up the stage and excited the crowd.  You see, in this boxing tournament, the entrances are as important as the actual fights and there are awards given for “Best Fighter Entrance” and runner up. The runner up entrance featured a Grim Reaper walking slowly out of a cloud of smoke.  He stopped on the stage and stood perfectly still with scythe in hand as 10 bell gongs could be heard in the distance.  The ten count was slow, ominous, and was, of course, symbolic. It appeared to make some in the audience a little apprehensive and that was the desired effect.  After the tenth gong the grim reaper slowly pointed his bony skeleton hand with an extended index finger toward the fighter waiting patiently and probably nervously in the red corner.  The blue team fighter then walked in from behind the curtain and stood in front of the angel of death and slowly walked down the eight foot by 60 foot stage as DMX sang his rendition of “Ain’t No Sunshine When It’s On.”  Once in the ring, the real show began as red team Port Police Officer Phillip Tamayo and blue team UTMB P.D. Officer Derrick Fillmore picked up right where they left off in 2009 at the first battle of the badges when Tamayo walked away with a close and still debated decision win.  At the end of the three round slugfest, the result was the same, as Tamayo walked away with a much clearer decision win this time around.

“Fighter Entrance of the Night” honors went to Galveston County Deputy Joe Falcon. After his interview was played on the three jumbotron screens, the focus turned to the stage as the audience waited to see what this fighter had in store for them.  Sounds of gunfire and helicopter blades chopping the wind could be heard in the distance.  These sounds became louder and as the smoke cleared on the stage one could clearly see that a six-man military fire team, armed with automatic rifles, was slowly getting to their feet.  The team leader then gave the move signal and the squad proceeded forward, ever so slowly and methodically.  The laser targeting devices attached to their rifles emitted beams that cut through the smoke and accentuated

the fact that every angle and every area was covered. When the sounds of war were replaced by an upbeat tune (Unbreakable by Metallica) the soldiers double timed to the ring and took strategic positions at the stairs and then boarded the ring.  Then, without notice, a rope bag was seen falling from the ceiling and Deputy Falcon dropped halfway down to the ring before applying the brakes on his rappel rope.  He hung there and slowly spun around as he pointed at the audience who in turn erupted in cheers and applause.  He then dropped to the ring and was geared up with headgear and gloves and continued to put on a show.  Deputy Falcon and his opponent Luis Lopez so thrilled the audience with their fight that they were awarded the Male Fight of the

Night award. “Female Fight of the Night“ was awarded to blue team Deputy Amanda Quintanilla and red team’s Christina Trevino. Christina walked in first and all eyes were focused on the screens as the fight announcer urged the crowd to prepare for the “trash talking.”  This so called trash talking was carefully scripted by the producers of the show and was highly effective in getting the crowd hyped up for the fights.  Christina started with “I’m Christina Trevino and in 2009 and 2010, I participated as a ring girl. This year I wanted a challenge so I decided to fight.  This is a wonderful event and I have met a lot of wonderful people in it.  Amanda, you are one of those wonderful people.  That’s why it’s going to be a shame that I’m going to have to knock you out!!”   This got the crowd fired up, especially the blue team fans who cheered loudly when Amanda’s video started to play.  In it she was heard saying, “My name is Amanda Quintanilla and I work for the Galveston County Sherriff’s Office.  Christina, your Daddy got you into this fight.  But I‚m going to get you out !!”  When the bell rang, these two ladies came out swinging and did not stop until the final bell.  When the fight was over, the audience gave them a standing ovation in appreciation for their outstanding effort.  The fight was so close that the officials, who, by procedure will only declare the winner and nothing else, presented the ring announcer with the exact scores.  The crowd sat back and there

was loud applause as it was announced that judge number one had scored it 22 to 21 Quintanilla. He continued to inform the audience that judge number two had seen it as 22 to 21 for Trevino.  Everyone waited and the anticipation could be seen in both fighter’s faces as the announcer sang out that it was a split decision with judge number three scoring it 22 to 21, for the winner, in the blue corner Amanda Quintanilla.                 These are only a few of the highlights of the night.  There were many other entertaining and unforgettable entrances and fights.  Compliments have not stopped coming in and there is already incredible interest from the police and the fire fighters to fight in next year’s battle.   The night was successful in other meaningful ways.  Thanks to sponsorships and ticket sales proceeds, we were happy to be able to donate money to the following charities:  $22,000 to the Galveston Boy’s and Girl’s Club, $5,000 to Galveston County Kids and Cops (summer camp for at risk youth), $5,000 to Camp Janus (free camp for burn survivors ages 5-18 years old), $2,000 to Shriner’s Burn Hospital and $2,000 to USA Boxing.   We would like to again express our gratitude to our major sponsors, AMOCO Federal Credit union, A-1 County Bonding/H-Town Bail Bonds, and The TEXAS Air National Guard.   The 2011 Galveston Island Battle of the Badges was an unforgettable night spotlighting our public safety professionals. We were happy to be a part of it and hope to be a part of it for years to come.

JANUARY 2012 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


FINANCIAL FOCUS Brought to you by When Should You Start Taking Social Security? If you’re of a certain age, the new year means you’re that much closer to a day you may have anticipated with a combination of humor and resignation — specifically, the day you’re eligible for Social Security. But just because you can take Social Security, it doesn’t mean you must take it. So, should you? Before we get to that question, let’s review the basic rules governing Social Security payments. You can typically start collecting benefits at age 62, but you’ll get only about 75% of what you’d receive if you waited until your “full” retirement age, which varies according to your birth year but is most likely 66. You’ll get even bigger monthly checks if you delay collecting them until you’re past 66, and you’ll “max out” on your payments once you reach 70. So, the question boils down to this: Should you start collecting Social Security early — thereby receiving smaller, but more numerous, checks — or later, when your checks will be bigger but fewer? If you really need the money once you reach 62, you’ve already got your answer. But if you could potentially afford to wait, we recommend you view your decision through a LENS: L: Your projected lifespan —You can’t see into the future, but given your family history and general health, you can make an educated guess about your projected longevity. If you’re fairly confident that, once you reach 66, you’ve still got another two or more decades in front of you, you may want to consider delaying taking Social Security past age 62. E: Your employment status — If you’re under full retirement age — between 62 and 66 — then for every two dollars you earn over $14,640 (in 2012), you’ll lose one dollar in Social Security benefits. In the months before you reach your full retirement age, for every three dollars you earn over $38,880 (again, for 2012), you’ll lose one dollar in benefits. But starting in the month you reach your full retirement age, you can earn as much as you want without losing any benefits. N: Your need, including your other sources of retirement income — If you have a pension, or you’ve built substantial resources in your IRA, your 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement plan, and you can support your income needs with modest withdrawals from these accounts, you might decide it’s worthwhile to delay taking Social Security to maximize your benefits. Remember that regardless of your Social Security decision, you typically would have to pay a 10% early withdrawal penalty if you started taking withdrawals from these accounts before you reach age 59½. S: Your spouse/marital status — If you’re single, you basically just need to think of yourself when making this decision. But it’s a different story if you’re married. If you die first, your spouse can keep receiving his or her own Social Security benefit or receive yours — whichever is larger. Consequently, you and your spouse will want to coordinate when you take Social Security benefits so that you can maximize the benefit for the spouse likeliest to live longer. The choice of when to start taking Social Security can affect your lifestyle throughout your retirement years — so weigh all the factors and make the choice that’s right for you.


Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2012

By Cindy Harreld President & CEO Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce


s the United States was entering the space age and NASA had announced the home of our nation’s astronauts and Mission Control would be a region 25 miles south of downtown Houston, so it began. The business leaders of our then small community looked ahead at what was to come and decided that combining efforts and forming one strong organization to serve the entire area would be best. In 1962 the Seabrook Chamber of Commerce and the Kemah Chamber of Commerce merged, two years later the League City Chamber joined their efforts and we became the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce named for our lake. Over the next several years, as the community grew, so did the Chamber. By the late 1960s there was a Chamber staff in place in a portable building parked on NASA Road 1 in Webster. By the late 1970s our Chamber was named the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce as we had begun serving all nine cities around the lake, plus portions of two counties making us an area Chamber with a regional impact. As the Chamber was the first business organization to form in the area serving both the business community as well as our fast growing population, many of our current local organizations, such as the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership, Bay Area Houston Transportation Partnership, Bay Area Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, Crime Stoppers of Clear Lake, Lunar Rendezvous, and the Arts Alliance Center of Clear Lake started as committees within our Chamber. As we celebrate our Golden Anniversary we are reflecting on our rich history as an organization with several projects commemorating our 50 years. •

• • •


The “50 Years 50 Faces 50 Stories” project. Conducted by Dion McInnis with University of Houston-Clear Lake with interviews and photographs of the people that have made a significant impact on our Chamber and our community. “Share Your Memories” program. Let us hear from you with your special stories of the community or Chamber. “Paving Our way to the Future” program. Commemorative pavers can be purchased and will be placed at the front entrance of the Chamber building. The Clear Creek Independent School District Literary and Art Contest “The Clear Lake Area: Past, Present & Future: Building a community”, involving our local high school students. Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2012

Although we are spending time reflecting on the past, we are also looking to our future with one of our leadership focuses being the development of our Chamber 2017 – Five year strategic plan. The Mission of our Chamber continues to be: “To promote business growth, educational excellence and community connections while fostering overall vitality and quality of life throughout Clear Lake—Bay Area Houston.” According to a recent survey reported in Fortune Magazine, of the100 best companies to work for, 94 are members of their local Chamber of Commerce. Businesses that tend to care about their employees tend to care about their community so they invest in both. If you have joined the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce you have made a wise investment for yourself, your employees, your company and your community. If you are not a member yet, we would enjoy meeting you and invite you to stop by the Chamber office. From all of us here at the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, we wish you a prosperous and happy 2012.

The delectable fish tacos are highly recommended.


Experience South Shore Grille for the Right Reasons By Rick Clapp


he South Shore Grille is owned and operated by local restaurant maven Mickey Wooten. Most recently his establishment has deservedly received many accolades in and around the entire Houston Galveston area. South Shore Grille serves traditional American dishes with a Cuban flair and is located at 2800 Marina Bay Drive in League City. South Shore Grille’s food is what it’s all about! Wooten’s chefs and cooks create some of the finest dishes in the Houston Bay Area region. They serve everything made fresh daily—from tantalizing appetizers such as their Marina Bay dip, crab cake Duvalle, calamari de Havana and the award winning flat-grille scallops, just to name a few. The soups and salads are quite bountiful and favorites include the spicy Cuban black bean soup, tortilla soup, prime salad dinner, seafood salad, Louie and the petite Cobb salad. The menu also features a wide range of select sandwiches such as the Hemingway’s favorite, “The Cuban”, deluxe gourmet burgers, and chicken and fish sandwiches. A must try is their signature mouth watering original French dip sandwich made with certified Angus beef. South Shore Grille provides daily lunch specials which are usually $10 or less. The complete lunch menu runs $7 - $11. For the hearty diner, South Shore Grille offers a vast list of entrees to select from. These include butcher’s block, seafood and specialty items. Popular items include pollo tropical, a large chicken breast topped with caramelized onions, Monterey Jack Cheese and Pico de Gallo. Other choices include their tender 8 oz. filet mignon topped with herbed butter. Mouthwatering Prime Rib, Angus Steaks, fresh Red Fish Ponchatrain and delicious Caribbean Grouper are also available. The Cuban fish tacos are to die for and the Grouper and Shrimp Havana is the

bomb! Finish with Cuban Bread Pudding with Flor de Cana Ron Sauce or the Island Brownie for dessert. Restaurants are usually judged by the atmosphere, quality and freshness of their food and customer service. Without a doubt, South Shore Grille scores top marks in each of the three categories. This establishment has a very inviting atmosphere and ambiance both in and outside. Each day fresh produce is selected and hand chopped for the day’s fare. They also offer fresh seafood, meat, poultry and pork dishes daily. South Shore Grille’s staff of hostess, wait staff and bartenders are pleasant and well-trained. Many have worked at the restaurant for several years and know their frequent customers well. South Shore Grille’s bar is warm, relaxed and offers a variety of liquors, beer and wine selections. Have one of their talented bartenders create one of their magical Mojitos and or Martinis. The dining room features leather cushioned booths, table seating, and dark wood with intimate lighting. One will also notice the unique nautical art carefully exhibited throughout the restaurant provided by Eagle Nest Gallery. Outdoor seating is available. The tropical landscape of palms and plants creates the setting for that perfect meal. Mickey Wooten has masterfully taken a high end steakhouse restaurant and segued it into a very popular affordable neighborhood bar and diner. South Shore Grille is a nice place for lunch or dinner but it is an awesome gathering spot for friends to meet after 18 holes of golf to enjoy a cold beer or two. For all of you hardworking, budget conscious Americans try South Shore Grille for all of the right reasons, including the price. You will not be disappointed. Bon appetite!


On December 6, The Jeanette Williams Foundation and Bay Area Houston Magazine hosted a successful toy drive at Bakkhus Taverna and Restaurant in Kemah for the patients of UTMB’s childrens ward.

For more information on the Jeanette Williams Foundation please visit JANUARY 2012 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


TAKE THIS DOG HOME! Ziggy, a beautiful Australian Shepherd mix, was sadly left behind by his family when they moved out of town. He is young, about a year and a half, loves to play and needs a home where the people have time to spend with him. He’s a working (herding) breed, so he will need lots of exercise to keep him balanced. Ziggy’s heritage makes him a very loyal, intelligent and intuitive dog.  Please consider adding him to your pack and giving him the fulfilling life he deserves. For more information call 281-286-3535. You can view additional pictures of him and all the SCP pets at www. SCP adoptions are held on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Petco on Bay Area Blvd. near Space Center Blvd. The adoption fee for dogs starts at $125. All pets are heartworm tested, on Heartguard, spayed or neutered, vaccinated, de-wormed and de-fleaed. ALL animals are microchipped.  SCP is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit animal welfare organization.  All donations are tax-deductible.  

Channel Two News Anchor Bill Balleza To Be Guest Speaker For The Third Annual Pelican Ball Mark you calendars now for the Third Annual Pelican Ball, Saturday, February 4 2012. The event is sponsored by the Seabrook Association and everyone in the Bay Area is invited to attend. Bill Balleza of Channel 2 News is the honored guest speaker. Because the net proceeds go toward a Veterans Memorial, the Seabrook Association is especially pleased to have Balleza, a former Marine, attend and speak at the ball. This evening of non-stop fun and entertainment will be held in the ballroom at Lakewood Yacht Club, 2425 NASA Parkway in Seabrook. Tickets are $60 a person and the festivities include presentation of colors by the Clear Lake High School ROTC, dancing to the spectacular sound of the Pee Wee Bowen Band, buffet dinner, cash bar, awards for volunteer, citizen and business of the year, silent auction and a special appearance by “Parkie Pelican and the Parketts”! Your check is your reservation. Mail it to The Seabrook Association, P.O. Box 1107, Seabrook, Texas, 77586. This is a sell out evening so make your reservations now. Go to for more information or contact JennyA2947@aol. com, 281-291-7756 or, 281-532-2540. The Seabrook Association is dedicated to making the Bay Area a better place to “Live, Work and Play”. The Association welcomes new members and invites you to attend the monthly meetings held the 3rd Wednesday of every month at Lakewood Yacht Club. All residents and business owners in the greater Bay Area are welcome to join. For more information go to and learn how you too can give back to your community and be a part of this organization. The Seabrook Association donates to worthy causes all over the Bay Area.


Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2012

U.S. SENATOR JOHN CORNYN TO BE HONORED WITH BAHEP’s 2012 QUASAR AWARD The Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership will honor U.S. Senator John Cornyn with its prestigious 2012 Quasar Award for exceptional leadership in Economic Development presented during the organization’s Annual Quasar Award Banquet on Friday, January 20, 2012, at the South Shore Harbour Resort and Conference Center in League City. The Quasar Award is presented each year to an outstanding individual who has contributed greatly to the economic wealth and diversity of the Bay Area Houston region. In 2008, Texans overwhelmingly re-elected Senator John Cornyn to represent them for a second six-year term in the United States Senate. Senator Cornyn was first elected to the Senate in 2002 and previously served in Texas as a district judge, a member of the Texas Supreme Court, and as Texas Attorney General.  Since 2002, Senator John Cornyn has worked diligently in the U.S. Senate to protect and promote Texas businesses.  In June 2011, Senator Cornyn wrote EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson highlighting the dangers of unfairly sweeping Texas into the final CrossState Air Pollution Rule program without due process and he continues the fight against government overreach in Washington.

Senator Cornyn’s commitment to the continued economic growth of the State of Texas and the Bay Area Houston region makes him the ideal honoree for the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership’s 2012 Quasar Award. Bob Mitchell, BAHEP president, said, “For more than 25 years, Sen. John Cornyn has worked for the people of Texas. He has served its businesses, both large and small, individual entrepreneurs, and Texas workers. The strong economy of Texas and the Bay Area Houston region is due in no small part to his efforts, and, for these reasons and more, we strongly felt that Sen. Cornyn would be the ideal 2012 Quasar Award honoree.” Sen. Cornyn responded, “I am deeply proud of the accomplishments of the men and women of the Bay Area Houston community, whose hard work has elevated America to the forefront of human spaceflight. I am honored to receive the Quasar Award, and I appreciate all the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership does to support and promote the region.  I look forward to continuing my efforts to ensure that as our space program transitions, both the Johnson Space Center and the Bay Area region continue their rich tradition of helping to advance America’s leadership in space.”

The Arts Alliance Center at Clear Lake Announces 2012 Printmaking & Art Furniture Exhibition The Arts Alliance Center at Clear Lake (TAACCL) announces its call for portfolio submissions for its 2012 Printmaking & Art Furniture Exhibition. Scheduled for February 9-March 15, this show will feature original work from local artists, printmakers, furniture makers, woodworkers and designers. Submissions for the Printmaking & Art Furniture Exhibition are due to TAACCL by Tuesday, January 3 at 5 p.m. Information on the requirements for each medium (printmaking, furniture, woodwork and design) as well as submission rules can be found on The Arts Alliance Center’s website at or can be requested by emailing Debra Kendrick, TAACCL curator, at The Arts Alliance Center at Clear Lake is a non-profit organization that presents, enriches and promotes the visual, literary and performing landscape in

Houston’s Bay Area. By engaging more than 50 non-profit arts organizations, including educational institutions, dance and drama theater, guilds of basket weavers and quilters, writers’ leagues, choral groups, musicians, photographers and artists using many different media, TAACCL brings the arts together. For more information, visit or call 281335-7777.

KENNEDY DANCE THEATRE TO PERFORM AT THE YAGP The Kennedy Dance Theatre is excited to announce that for the first time, they will be competing at the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) in Dallas on February 3-5. The YAGP is the world’s largest student ballet scholarship competition, and is held annually around the world and in New York City. The YAGP’s mission is to provide extraordinary educational and professional opportunities to young dancers while exposing them to world-renowned dance professionals. KDT’s internationally acclaimed Ballet Mistress Milena Leben will be bringing three of her senior dancers to compete, all part of KDT’s Pre-Professional Company Ballet Jete’. Michelle McKay, age 17, will be performing The Letter, Madeleine Tao, age 13, will be performing Le Corsaire, and Cherilene Guzman, age 13 will be performing Sleeping Beauty, Blue Bird. All of their performances will be pointe solos and The Letter will showcase new original choreography by Leben. “I am so excited for my girls because it really is such an honor just to compete,” states Leben who is a former 2x YAGP judge. Thousands of ballet dancers will be coming from all over the world hoping to be chosen to move on to the New York City finals which gives them an automatic recognition in their professional dance careers. KDT is proud to be represented by these three amazing dancers in their first upcoming worldwide competition. For more information about Kennedy Dance Theatre please call 281-480-8441, or visit their website at JANUARY 2012 | Bay Area Houston Magazine




he New Year is a great time to change your style and shop for all the upcoming birthdays, Valentine’s gifts, anniversaries and things you wanted, but didn’t get for Christmas. League City shops have a treasure of wonderful fashions, accessories and gifts to finish out the winter and carry you into the coming spring. Ginger Snaps, located in Founder’s Square, 501 East Main, is a delightful place to shop for clothes and gifts. The fashions are comfortable and stylish. Owner Betty Walker stocks clothes that go with our sometimes cold, sometimes warm semi-topical climate. The shop carries fashions by Flax, Bryn Walker, Comfy, IC, and shoes by Yellow Box and Grazie. You will also find accessories, unique jewelry and those “in demand” beads by Chamilia. Also located in Founder’s Square is Annette’s Emporium. Owner Annette Conwell, stocks

American-made products only. Everything in the shop is handcrafted and made in the USA! This is a gift shop with something for everyone. If you need a unique item for someone special, this is the place to go. Just down the street at 809 East Main is The (fabulous) Clothes Horse. The Clothes Horse is a fashion institution in the Bay Area. Owner Sandy Carney employs a wonderful staff ready to assist you to find just the right outfit or dress for any occasion. The shop carries the latest fashions, accessories and jewelry. Joseph Ribkoff, Brighton, Pandora and Vera Bradley are just a few of the brands you will find at The Clothes Horse. The shop also has a fantastic selection of shoes, handbags and everything you need for a “new you” this New Year! Speaking of new, the latest addition to the Main Street – “Under the Oaks Shopping District” is

Park Avenue Showplace and Antiques. Owner Ann Hacker has relocated her shop to 610 Main Street and invites everyone to come by and see her selection of antique furniture, accent pieces, vintage jewelry and furs, “man”tiques and rare finds. This is the place to discover a really unique treasure! Accents, Petals & Metals is a must stop for fashions, jewelry and décor. The shop is located at 905 Main Street. Owner Bonnie Holcomb has a great selection of fun jewelry, scarves, handbags and gift items. The yard art and interior décor items are beautiful as well as functional. Bonnie is always adding new inventory and coming in January she will have a coffee bar in the shop. Stop by and enjoy a taste of brew while shopping for a variety of coffee blends, decorative coffee cups, travel containers and coffee accessories.


Bay Area Houston Magazine | JANUARY 2012

Bay Area Houston Magazine January 2012  

Bay Area Houston Magazine's January 2012 issue features the local, high quality emergency care of Clear Lake ER. Also featured is health and...