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T H E

B AY

A R E A’S

FAV O U R I T E

P U BL IC ATION

March 2012

• 2012 Truck of Texas • Tax Strategies for 2012 • Miss Kemah Pageant • Fishing the Coast this Spring • 2011 Best of the Bay Awards • Buzz in the Bayou City • Community News & Events

Dr. Saqib Siddiqui, M.D. New Bay Area Location for Minimally Disruptive Surgery


March 2012

features

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ON THE COVER

Dr. Saqib Siddiqui, M.D. in front of the Mainland Medical Arts Pavilion in Texas City. Photo by Brian Stewart.

18 Chairman/Publisher Rick Clapp President Rob Kumar Art Director Brandon Rowan

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Photography Brian Stewart Community Affairs Director Lillian Harmon

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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. Please address all correspondence to: Bay Area Houston Magazine P.O. Box 1032 Seabrook, TX 77586 www.baygroupmedia.com R.Clapp@Baygroupmagazines.com 281.474.5875

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What is the Relationship?

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Now Serving the Entire Bay Area

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Award Presented to University Provost

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A Commitment to Education

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Tax Strategies in a Tough Economy

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401k Review and Rollover can be Rewarding

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With Envoy Mortgage and Casey Montgomery

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Hosted by J. Eddie Peck and Nicole O’Brian Lassiter

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Winning Top Award for Best Mexican Food in the Bay Area

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Graphic Designer Victoria Ugalde

Intern Michelle Kaldenberg

Losing Teeth: Exciting for Children, Dangerous for Adults

Dental Health Oral Health - Heart Health The Spine Center - Dr. Saqib Siddiqui UCHL News Briefs NASA/Clear Creek/Friendswood Go-Texan Money Matters Financial Focus The Mortgage Man Miss Kemah/Miss Kemah Teen Pageant Mamacita’s Mexican Restaurant and Cantina

columns

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

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Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2012

The Buzz in the Bayou City Rodeo Chic

17 CLICK! 2011 Best of the Bay Awards 18

Cowboy Coaches

In Wheel Time

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What’s in Store For Fisherman in March?

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The Beauty of Sadness

The Admiral’s Log Texas Meditations

in each issue 10

Advertiser’s Index

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Lakewood Yacht Club News and Events

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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 R.clapp@baygroupmagazines.com.


Writers

America, Stop Mirroring Our Politicians and Leaders

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ith a major presidential election coming up this year my thoughts, prayers and concerns are at an all-time high. Yes, like many Americans I know we could do better and make wiser choices for our leaders. That is where the frustrations lie. We listen to our incumbent president, a Democrat, and his adversaries Newt, Mit, Ron, and Rick who are Republicans. They all have great ideas, speak well, and try to live their lives well but which one is the most qualified and best for the job? Surprisingly, I do not believe we vote for the most qualified or best person for the job. That is precisely why we are where we are today. Without a doubt Americans mirror our leaders and politicians. What do I mean by that? Well, we like to take the easy road; most of us are undisciplined, lazy and want someone else to pay our way. In the real world that is a fantasy. It is human nature that we do not like pain, selfcontrol, discipline and we want lots of freedom. That is the American way! Well, my fellow Americans, be careful what we wish and vote for. Our forefathers Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Hamilton, Franklin and the lot would turn over in their graves if they only knew what we have done with our most precious document, The Constitution has been manipulated by the lawyers, judges and lawmakers. I can imagine one of these men telling Americans today the truth about everything and the true state of our union. They would stand tall with no press secretary or P.R. agency assisting them on the “right” thing to say or do that is politically correct. They would just say the truth, “The country is a mess, and we are broke and headed in the wrong direction.” But, as strong willed Americans we can turn it around, but it will not be easy. We will need the present, as well as two or three more generations to make sacrifices for the freedom and the well being of generations to come. Needless to say, we must all be united (we are, after all, the United States) and make the necessary sacrifices. This means doing away with unwarranted welfare and giveaway programs and keeping our money and efforts here at home. We need to build a stronger manufacturing sector, become the leaders in technology and education, and support a powerful military that acts and does not react—one that will guard our borders and keep us from harm’s way. If we go to war to help another country then that country must pay our military personnel and give the American people the oil, gas, or products they produce at cost. The American people, the soldiers, and veterans must receive something for their many sacrifices. If they are protecting oil and gas interest then the globally owned oil and gas companies should foot the bill. Mirroring is what got us in trouble. In the past we voted for those rascals that did not do what was in the best interest of our country. They did what was best for them and their flock by being overly liberal, offering too many

giveaways and buying votes with favors. Vocal minorities are the “squeaky wheels” that get the grease. Politicians prey on them and media gives them press and publicity that gets them attention. The majority of our country has become apathetic. We have short memories and have become lazy, undisciplined and do not care. This is why politicians run all over us and make decisions without our support. The bottom line is we need leaders that are disciplined, courageous, and strong and do not give in to the lobbyists, weak minds, and ultra-liberals and make us think we are living in Utopia. We need to stop the beauty contest when voting for leaders. Were the looks of Washington, Gandhi, and Churchill like those of Hollywood stars like Brad Pitt, George Clooney and or Denzel Washington? Our best athletes, business leaders, students and most productive people possess one major attribute and that is discipline. The best teachers, parents, bosses, coaches and athletes that helped us accomplish goals were the toughest and kept us disciplined. It is time for all of us to become more self- disciplined and begin to become less self-centered and want everything the easy way rather than the right way. No doubt America is the best country in the world. We are the envy of the rest of the universe. Let’s keep our dollar strong and maintain the standard for the rest of the world. Finally, we also need to be told the truth and tell the truth ourselves to our children. Only then will we again be a people that can handle the truth. We need not be so weak when we hear the truth. Please learn and study all candidates carefully. Be cautious of the politicians and leaders that constantly paint a pretty picture. The old adage “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is,” remains true. If we are an undisciplined people the last leader we need is one that is like us because that is what we will get. We need leadership that does not always do things or make choices that are easy on all of us but rather, that makes the right decisions for us. We are all in this together. Please register and vote! God Bless America!

Don Armstrong In Wheel Time

Rod Evans Boating/Fitness

Michael Gos Texas Meditations

Captain Joe Kent Fishing

Andrew Jeffries Bay Area Bandstand

Betha Merit Travel/Food/Wine

Pat Patton Click

Dr. Ed Reitman Nourishing the Mind

Roseann Rogers The Buzz

Zach Tate Music

Rick Clapp Publisher/Chairman

MARCH 2012 | Bay Area Houston Magazine

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Advertiser’s Index Assistance League Page 44 www.bayareaassistanceleague.org Alan’s Swampshack Page 32 www.theswampshack.com Amadeus Page 14 www.kemahcitylimits.com/amadeus AMOCO FCU Page 33 www.amocofcu.org The Arms Room Page 36 www.thearmsroomtx.com BAHRMA Page 36 www.bahrma.shrm.org Baubles and Beads Page 45 Bayway Homes Page 41 www.baywayhomes.com Boudreaux’s on the Bayou Page 49 www.boudreauxsonthebayou.com Buccaneer Page 43 www.buccaneerconstruction.com Bungalow Dry Goods Page 49 City of Dickinson Page 43 www.ci.dickinson.tx.us Claudio’s Page 36 Clear Creek Winery Page 28 www.clearcreekvineyard.com Clothes Horse Page 48 Coastal Plastic Surgery Page 37 www.tadammd.com College of the Mainland Page 42 www.com.edu Cruz Cortez Clothiers Page 49 www.galveston.com/cruzcortez Cullen’s Upscale American Grill Page 46 www.cullenshouston.com Di Amici Upscale Events Page 19 www.diamiciupscaleevents.com Dickinson BBQ Page 30 www.dickinsonbbq.com Digitex Page 48 www.digitexcorp.com Dr. J. Derek Tieken Page 21 www.tiekensmiles.com Edward Jones Page 42 www.edwardjones.com Expressions Hair Studio Page 36 www.expressionshairstudiokemah.com First Baptist Church Seabrook Page 34 www.fbcseabrook.org Fischer Irrigation Page 14 www.fischerirrigation.com Floyd’s Cajun Seafood Page 31 www.floydsseafood.com Fondren Orthopedic Page 2 www.fondren.com Ginger Snaps Page 48 Gulf Coast Palapas Page 35 www.gulfcoastpalapas.com Hair 21 Page 15 Hairway to Heaven Page 45 www.hairwaytoheavenstudio.com Harbour Plastic Surgery Page 6 www.harbourplasticsurgery.com Head to Footsies Page 49 www.headtofootsies.com House Calls Page 13 www.housecallsdoc.com Houston Technology Center Page 3 www.houstontech.org Island Furniture Page 38 www.islandfurniture.net Jeter Memorial Funeral Home Page 42 www.jeterfuneralhome.com JuJu’s Beachwear Page 45 Jeanette Williams Foundation Page 44 www.child-cancer-research.org Kemah Boardwalk Page 25 www.kemahboardwalk.com Kemah Pan Jam Page 10 www.kemahpanjam.com Kimberly Harding Page 39 www.kimberlyharding.com Kindred Healthcare Page 7 www.kindredhealthcare.com Las Haciendas Page 34 www.lashaciendasgrill.com Legend Physical Therapy Page 20 www.legendpt.com Life Fellowship Church Page 34 www.lifefellowship.me MADD Page 44 www.walklikemadd.org/houston Mamacita’s Mexican Restaurant Page 47 www.mamacitasmexicanrestaurant.com Mayfield Manor Page 15 www.hauntedmayfieldmanor.com Mediterraneo Market & Cafe Page 14 Memorial Hermann Page 5 www.memorialhermann.org Miss Kemah Pageant Page 4 www.misskemahpageant.com Oasis RV Park Page 38 www.ronhooveroasis.com Oasis Salon and Spa Page 29 www.oasisclearlake.com Opus Bistro Page 15 www.opusbistro.net Salon La Rouge Page 44 www.salonlarouge.org Schlitterbahn Page 24 www.schlitterbahn.com South Shore Grille Page 32 www.soshoregrille.com Space Center Auto Page 14 www.spacecenterautomotive.com Spine Center Page 51 www.texasspinecenter.com Star Toyota Page 12 www.startoyota.com SW International Boat Show Page 35 www.southwestinternationalboatshow.com The Terrace Page 20 www.horizonbay.com Texas First Bank Page 40 www.texasfirstbank.com Tuscan Lakes Page 39 www.tuscanlakes.com Unicare Dental Page 52 www.drnoie.com Victory Marine Page 14 www.govictorymarine.com

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Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2012


DENTAL HEALTH Losing Teeth Exciting for Children but Dangerous for Adults and the Elderly

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y eight year old daughter, Hanna, is in the process of losing her baby teeth. Every time that one of her baby teeth becomes wobbly, she can’t wait to lose it. To her, losing baby teeth signals growing up and usually is followed by bigger and stronger teeth and, of course, a special visit from tooth fairy himself. This festive childhood

“Even with dentures, patients with few or no teeth are shown to have reduced masticating (chewing) ability.” experience however has a very different effect on adults and especially the elderly population. Despite a steady decline in the rate of complete tooth loss over the past several decades, still more than one-third of those aged 65 and over is toothless. This affects chewing ability and diet, as well as eating-related quality of life. Besides, wearing partial or complete dentures affects the sensory perception of texture and taste of food.

Major changes in chewing efficiency are seen when aging is associated with a compromised dentition (few or no teeth) as opposed to healthy adult with 24 or more teeth. Because such a large segment of the elderly is toothless, the effect of edentulism (complete or partial tooth loss) on nutritional and health status is an important but overlooked public health issue for the elderly. It can substantially affect oral and general health as well as overall quality of life, including enjoyment of food and overall nutrition. Even with dentures, patients

with few or no teeth are shown to have reduced masticating (chewing) ability and compromised food taste, food preferences, and food consumption patterns. Some other studies also suggest that loss of teeth is associated with suboptimal intakes of various nutrients, which prevents individuals from meeting current dietary recommendations. Several studies have shown that elderly with few or no teeth consume fewer fruit and vegetables; less dietary fiber, carotene, calcium, and protein, and more cholesterol and saturated fat than do their counterparts with full sets of teeth.

Furthermore, these alterations in dietary intake have been suspected to increase the risk of significant weight loss and systemic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. It has been my experience that toothless patients in general have nutrient and food group intakes that are lower than dietary recommendations, greater weight changes, and poorer serum albumin and lipid concentrations than average people with 24 teeth or more in their age group. Basically, tooth loss, dentures, and decreased salivation affect the ability to eat and compromise the nutrient intake of older adults. Compromised oral health is one of many barriers to achieving an adequate food intake in older people; therefore, restoring a patient’s proper chewing ability is important. Dental professionals and primary care physicians should be aware of the early signs of nutritional deficiencies in patients with few or no teeth. They should be observant with regard to other indicators of poor nutrition, such as weight loss, and refer

at-risk patients to a registered dietitian for further assessment and intervention. Health care professionals can develop successful prevention and treatment strategies only through an increased awareness and understanding of the causes of poor nutritional status in older age. Good professional relationships between registered dietitians and dental professionals are essential to this process. It is also imperative that these patients be referred to an oral implantologist for evaluation. Today, most medical insurances have begun covering the cost of dental implants for patients whose systemic health is directly affected by lack of adequate dentition (teeth) and inability to chew their food properly. Doctor Noie has maintained a private practice in Bay Area since 1996 with an emphasis in cosmetics and implant dentistry. He is among a very rare group of dentists that performs both surgical placement and restoration of dental implants. For a complimentary consultation with Dr. Noie please call his office at (281) 332-4700 to schedule an appointment.

MARCH 2012 | Bay Area Houston Magazine

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Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2012

M A R K E T P L A C E


M A R K E T P L A C E

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Hair News

Rodeo Chic Rebecca & Drew Custom Shirts have chic checked shirts perfect with a pair of boots and jeans for the rodeo! These shirts are unique because they’re made to fit by your bra size and your height. That means no peek-a-boos in the front. Custom shirts starting at $165. www.Houston.RebeccaAndDrew.com

French Cowboy We have some exciting news about our beloved French Cowboy, Phillippe Schmit. The buzz is he will be given the prestigious, highlysought after title of Master Chef of France! A year in the making…..it will be official in March at a ceremony in France. He is one of 10 being designated this year and the only one in Texas with this designation. This designation also coincides next month with a French Culture Festival happening in Houston (www.francophonie-texas. org) in which Philippe will be creating a special $55 three-course dinner to celebrate French classics (Every Wednesday in March.)

Cool Solution You may have seen it on TV before and lots of Hollywood’s biggest stars are raving about it. With spring break this month, this maybe just want you’ve been looking for. There’s a new technique on the market to try and help you get the body you’ve always wanted. According to Dr. Shelena Shell, Coolsculpting safely remove areas of stubborn unwanted fat with the only FDA cleared device for non-invasive fat removal. Coolsculpting provides results with no downtime, no surgery or anesthesia. It’s ideal for any area on the body that includes love handles, abdomen and inner and outer thighs. Want to know more about Coolsculpting? Call and ask about the exclusive Bay Area Houston Magazine offer of $250 off @ Dr. Shel Wellness and Medical Spa. www.drshel.com. 281-313-7435.

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Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2012

This is a time of transition ladies. Many of us are bored with our look and need something to feel renewed and special to start the new season. Holidays are over and we begin thinking of the year ahead. “A small change can give you a new look and make you feel totally different,” says Bruce Grossman stylist at Michaelydon. Don’t under estimate a small change. Grossman adds, “It’s time for bangs!” When you simply add bangs to your current hair style it has a whole new look. Often times you’ll achieve a younger and fresher look. You’ll be surprised at the comments from others. They will think you’ve changed your whole cut. The two ways of adding bangs are: cut strong thick bangs that do not taper in to the sides of your hair, or cut a thick bang with a gentle blend to the sides framing the face. This will bring attention to the eyes, change the shape of the face, and start the year with a new appearance. Guess who just got bangs!!!

Self-Adjusting Beauty Products Okay, these products have been popping up all over the beauty market. Through science, these products claim to adapt to your skin tone on contact. “These combinations/formulas are great for women who want a light, effortless glow” says Rachel Gower owner of The Upper Hand. Intuitive Makeup products are great, because they allow you to achieve naturally polished skin without the prolonged prep time. The benefits include fewer colors to choose from. “Basically you have a between three and four shades rather than 12 to 15,” adds Gower. Note: Opaque products change color on your skin as a result of the application. The more rubbing you do, the more natural the color appears. Sheer gels also change color due to a combination of moisture and body heat. For more, check out Rachel’s on Beauty Blog by going to www.theupperhand.com  

Targets for Tourettes This Texas-style event will feature a sporting clays tournament on Friday, March 23 at the Greater Houston Gun Club. The day begins with a sporting clays tournament, followed by a Texas-size party, featuring recording artist Tommy Alverson and a live longhorn auction! Tourettes is a neurologic disorder that affects nearly 200,000 individuals and is characterized by involuntary motor and vocal “tics”.  It usually presents in early childhood and is frequently accompanied by OCD, anxiety disorder, and ADHD.  The Tourette Syndrome Association of Texas, as an affiliate of the National Tourette Syndrome Association, strives to improve the quality of life of individuals with Tourette syndrome and their families. Teams of four are currently available for starting at $2,500.  Nonshooters are also welcome to join us in the festivities. For more information contact Cindy Sacks TSA of Texas Office at 281-238-8096 or visit www.TouretteTexas.org.


BAHM’s Rob Kumar and Rick Clapp. Jim and Lynda Guidry - Guidry News Service.

BAHM’s Patty Kane and Clear Creek Winery owner David Skinner and chef Link Livingston.

2011 Best of the Bay Awards

Alma and Joe Gonzalez – owners of Mamacita’s Mexican Restaurant. League City Mayor Tim Paulissen.

Galveston County Food Bank Executive Director Mark Davis.

The Bay Area Houston Magazine’s Best of the Bay Awards, held at Cullen’s Live on January 28, was a wonderful evening where the best businesses in the Bay Area Houston region were recognized and celebrated. Since the Best of the Bay Awards are the people’s choice awards, just being nominated for a Best of the Bay Award is an honor. Every year the Bay Area Houston Magazine’s (BAHM) readers vote for their favorite businesses, restaurants and establishments in the Bay Area Houston region, and every year, BAHM’s Chairman/Publisher Rick Clapp throws a big party in their honor. The Best of the Bay Awards provides the businesses with a great marketing and advertising vehicle, not only to promote their business during the contest time frame, but when a business wins the Best of the Bay Award in its business category, it gets to promote the business for an entire year as the Best of the Bay winner of 2011. The response to the 2011 Best of the Bay Awards was just incredible. In 2010, three thousand (3,000) people voted for their favorites. In 2011, over ten thousand (10,000) people voted for their favorites. Votes came from the Bay Area Houston area, Deer Park, South Houston, Pasadena, Pearland and the greater part of Houston. Talk about the power of the press! Rick Clapp and BAHM President Rob Kumar were the Masters of Ceremonies and announced the winners. BAHM’s Amber Sample presented Best of the Bay Award certificates to the winners. Cullen’s provided delicious complimentary hors d’oeuvres, and as always, the talented and versatile Mickey Hobbs did a great job of entertaining the crowd. The evening benefited the Galveston County Food Bank. Executive Director, Mark Davis, talked about the importance of the Galveston County Food Bank. He thanked everyone for their donations and for making a difference in so many lives. The Galveston County Food Bank website is www.galvestoncountyfoodbank.org, and their phone number is 409-945-4232.

Judy Slocumb, Latonia Wilson and Pam Schwertne.

Sophia Sereni and Entertainer Claudio Sereni.

Pat Patton and Linda Kloss – Stylin’ With Linda.

Entertainer Mickey Hobbs.

Todd McIntosh - owner of Space Center Automotive. Milta Whitman and Sandy Carnes –owner of The Clothes Horse.


i n wheel t i m e

By Do n A r mst rong

Cowboy Coaches In last month’s issue, we covered the Chevy Silverado and Toyota Tundra, this month we finish up our Rodeo Rides 2-part feature with a look at the other players in the light duty truck corral. 2012 Truck of Texas – Ford F-150 Once a year, Texas Auto Writers Association members gather at the Kinnibe Ranch outside of San Antonio. Here, truck manufacturers’ offer up their latest creations for us to test on just about every kind of terrain the Texas Hill Country has to offer. And this year the winner was the Ford F-150. Not much was changed on the 2012 model from the 2011 except an engine offering you may have heard about in TV ads, the EcoBoost engine, and that’s where the story lies.

Normally aspirated V-6s didn’t have enough horsepower and torque to address the needs of light duty hauling and towing, and although V-8s have the grunt, they typically don’t get great gas mileage. Enter the EcoBoost. In the F-150, the twin-turbo, allaluminum V-6 EcoBoost engine with its 365 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque provides best-in-class towing capability of 11,300 lbs combined with up to 20 percent fuel economy savings over the V-8. F-150s start at $22,990, the EcoBoost engine is a $900 option.

The Japanese Approach to Trucking – Nissan Titan A number of years back, the Japanese realized that light duty trucks in America was big business and Nissan threw down the gauntlet with its half-ton offering, the Titan. Again, it was the subtleties that opened eyes among buyers when the Titan first came to market, namely the Utili-trac Bed Channel System. This option includes five special “C” cross-section rails that are mounted in the bed. Removable heavy-duty utility cleats slide into the channels, providing a wide range of attaching points for tying down cargo. The channels are

2011 Truck of Texas – Ram 1500 Light duty pickups are very close when it comes to capability. When placed in headto-head competitions, most times it comes down to subtleties and options; that’s why at the 2011 Texas Truck Rodeo, Ram eked out Ford. Last year was the battle of the interiors and Ram rolled out a package it calls the Laramie Longhorn edition, a true Texas nod to cowboy saddles including saddle bagstyle storage – with buckles - for rear seat passengers. This year the Laramie Limited gives the city slickers something to gloat over.

open at the rear of the bed, allowing the cleats to be completely removed when not in use. Nissan also offers an extensive line of bed accessories, including dividers, extenders, sliding cargo trays, modular storage units, bike and kayak racks and other accessories. Every Titan comes equipped with Nissan’s advanced 5.6-liter V8 engine that is rated at 317 horsepower and 385 lb-ft of torque, good for towing up to 9,500 lbs. Titan’s start at $28,160, but remember, there is no V-6 option.

Another innovative feature is the Ram Box. This option provides weatherproof, lockable, illuminated and drainable storage compartments integrated into both rear fender sides for effortless access and convenience. Each box holds up to 140-12-ounce beverages, a tailgater’s dream. Is there anything other than a Hemi? Yes, but why? The 390-horsepower V-8 is legendary for power, which means capability in towing and hauling yet it gets very good mileage, 14-city and 20-highway. Base price, with a V-6, starts at $21,820.

Listen to In Wheel Time on Houston’s 1560 The Game/Yahoo Sports Radio! Tune in to 1560AM The Game every Saturday morning from 10am to Noon for Houston’s best car radio show with experts Mike Herzing and Don Armstrong. 18

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Oral Health - Heart Health “What is the relationship?” By J. Derek Tieken, D.D.S.

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eriodontal disease is one of the of the most prevalent diseases of human kind. The World Health Organization shows that periodontal disease affects more than 85% of adults. Most adults do not follow adequate home care but even for those who regularly brush and floss, they still have a problem with plaque control. The fact is that there are more bacteria living in one person’s mouth than the number of people that live on earth. Inflamed and unhealthy gums are diagnosed by a dentist or dental hygienist upon your dental visit. They measure the pocket depth between the gum and the tooth. Healthy gums do not look red or swollen, nor do they bleed. If this exists in your mouth, know that your body is not healthy. There are numerous diseases that have been linked to having an unhealthy mouth. Diseases can range from arteriosclerosis, diabetes, arthritis, respiratory infection, kidney disease and pancreatic, head and neck cancers.

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Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2012

Cardiovascular disease is one of the top illnesses associated with gum disease. Arteriosclerosis has been recognized as an inflammatory disease that in association with plaque formation with the artery, is one of the leading causes of death around the world. Researchers have been able to identify the bad bacteria present in a deep periodontal pocket is also found in the plaque removed from clogged arteries. Blood samples have been taken and these were found to be identical to the oral bacteria. Medical researchers now know that the bacteria in periodontal disease invades the rest of the body by entering the blood stream. These oral bacteria (pathogens) also result in an inflammatory process. This inflammatory process affects the coronary system leading to cardiovascular disease and stroke. Since the mouth is part of the body, it is important to remember that oral diseases also have an impact on other parts of the body. Oral health is in fact body health. When was your last dental cleaning and examination? Unhealthy gums are not the only issue in the mouth, cavities and decayed teeth also create bad bacteria. Recently, Dr. Mehmet Oz said that the most important visit to a healthcare provider should be your dentist.


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By C apt. Joe Kent

What is in Store for Fisherman During March? March, like February, is one of the more undependable months for fishing. Our winter fishing patterns begin to break and wind is usually a big factor that affects fishing.

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pring break occurs in March and one thing that is always a constant is that the weather at the beginning of the break likely will be totally different than at the end and we are talking about only a one-week span of time. Frontal systems continue to be active this month, which create havoc for fishermen. One day will be sunny and warm driving fish to shallow waters

“Trout that grow to over eight pounds did not get to that size by being easily fooled.” in search of food and the next a strong north wind will be pushing water out of the bays sending fish back to their winter refuges. Although a dismal picture is being painted about March fishing, during windows of good conditions, fishing can be excellent. March is the month trophy trout hunters focus on that wall-hanger, as large sow trout begin to spawn. Professionals who specialize in finding the big fish offer a few suggestions that can help increase the odds of landing that fish of a lifetime. First and foremost, wade fishermen catch practically all of the huge sows. One reason is that big trout usually are found in shallow waters, especially around mud bottoms in the back of marshes during March. The time of day is another factor. Just before sunrise and the hour following sunset are the most productive times. The end of the day seems to be the better of the two times for finding Moby Trout. Large baits are a must as the bigger the fish, the larger the bait needed to entice it.

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Mullet imitation baits like those in the Mirrolure 52M series catch a high percentage of the big ones. Corkies or Paul Brown Originals, as they are now called, take a good number, especially the Corky Fat Boy. Also, Strike Pro has a line of mullet imitation baits that have been popular lately. Trout that grow to over eight pounds did not get to that size by being easily fooled. Along with the proper bait and technique for using it, fishermen need to make as little noise and movement as possible. Smaller fish may not be spooked as easily; however, old mama trout has been there before and knows when to take off. Areas around the Galveston Bay Complex known for producing trophy trout include the West Bay shoreline of Galveston Island and East Bay shore of Bolivar Peninsula. Actually any of the grassy shorelines of both bay systems are candidates for holding huge trout. March also is the month when oversized (over 30 inches in length) black drum reach the peak of their annual run. This is a time when the “Big Uglies”, as they are commonly

Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2012

called, spawn along the Galveston and Houston Ship Channels. The North Jetty, Pelican Island, Texas City Dike and the old sunken ship U.S.S. Selma off of Pelican Island all are hot spots for the big brutes. While the ones over 30 inches are catch and release only, they offer some outstanding action for anglers wanting the feeling of fighting a really big fish. While your tackle needs to be more heavy duty than the conventional trout rod and reel, special bait is also needed. Crabs, both live and cracked in half, are the preferred bait of drum. Beside crab,

large chunks of mullet, whole Spanish sardines and large hunks of squid work well for bait. When fishing this month, be sure to have plenty of sunscreen Search “Capt. Joe Kent” on, as this is a month on YouTube when some of the for fishing videos taken worst sunburns occur. all across the Be prepared and enjoy Galveston Bay complex. fishing the Galveston Bay Complex during the month of March.


News & Events LAKEWOOD TO HOST J/80 SHOOTOUT APRIL 21-22

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egatta Chairman Dwight Bengtson has announced that Lakewood Yacht Club will hold the J/80 Southern Circuit Shootout for the first time this spring. The two-day regatta, which is open to the public, is slated for Saturday, April 21, and Sunday, April 22. This will be the second of five events scheduled for the J/80 fleet as part of their 2012 Southern Circuit. This culminates with the J/80 North American Championships, which Lakewood hosted in 2009, at the Fort Worth Boat Club. “Lakewood Yacht Club is very pleased to host the 2012 J/80 Shootout, and we look forward to some exciting competition on Galveston Bay,“ stated Bengtson. Local J/80s will be sailing along with several out of town competitors from Austin, Dallas, and Fort Worth. The J/80s third event will also take place at Lakewood’s Shoe Regatta scheduled for May 19-20. According to Lakewood racer Forbes Durdin, who is also the Fleet Captain of the J/80 Class Association USA Fleet #2, this Shootout will get back to the basics of bay racing. “We plan to have shorter races so that we can have more races. There will be no throw-outs,” he explained. Bengtson expects between 1520 boats to participate and racers can register online through Regatta Network. Cost will be approximately $60 which will include the Friday night Skippers’ Meeting, the Saturday night party and entertainment, concluding with the Awards Ceremony on Sunday afternoon, April 22. For further information or questions, please check Lakewood’s website www. lakewoodyachtclub under the racing button, or contact the front office at 281-474-2511.

Richard and Vivian Tomlinson, Seabrook City Councilman Paul Dunphey with wife Amy, Lindsey Boyd with David Hunt.

Seahorse Youth Sailing Program parents Judy and Chris Dorflinger, Tom and Jay McAndrew, Kathy and Al Goethe (back) and Becca Scoville (front).

Brannon and Jennifer Young, Kristy and Scott Higginbotham, Jim and Diane MacRae.

Pictured left to right are Fleet Captain Joyce Maxwell and husband Darold, Rear Commodore Tom Collier and wife Sue, Vice Commodore Carl Drechsel and wife Sandy, Commodore A. J. Ross and wife Gayle at Lakewood Yacht Club’s Commodore’s Ball in January.

Past Commodore Harvey Denman with wife Jill, Past Commodore Don Rauscher with wife Jill.

Dr. Anna Dewald, Rosebud Caradec, LaMarr Wall and husband Buddy Hare.

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THE SPINE CENTER NOW SERVING THE ENTIRE BAY AREA By Natalie Epperley

Say good-bye to back pain forever with a simple and painless procedure that will allow you to go back to enjoying the weekends and taking part in fun indoor and outdoor activities again.

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“I think minimally invasive spine surgery is the best option for patients because there is a much quicker recovery time, less use of needles, and fewer complications.” Dr. Saqib Siddiqui, M.D.

et relief from chronic back and neck pain with a minimally invasive alternative to open neck and back surgery. Minimally invasive spine surgery is a new option to traditional back surgery, and offers several benefits. Many individuals today suffer from back pain that is so severe that they are unable to participate and enjoy daily activities. Victims of this pain often miss work and may even require time in a wheelchair for support. One may wonder, what is causing this pain? There could be several reasons for this, most of which have to do with the musculoskeletal system. Often, this pain may be the result of trauma that originates from somewhere else in the body. To determine this, it is crucial to pinpoint the source of this pain and decide which treatment approach is best. Dr. Saqib Siddiqui’s specialty is minimally invasive spine surgery, and he will work with his patients to give them the best care possible. Dr. Saqib Siddiqui, M.D. attended and obtained his medical degree from the University of New South Wales in Australia. He also attended the Texas Back Institute in Plano, Texas, completing a fellowship in surgery. Siddiqui specializes in two surgeries that require procedural training, the transsacral fusion and the extreme lateral fusion. The first accesses the lower spine through a one inch incision near the tail bone. The latter requires a one inch small incision procedure that accesses the lumbar spine through the patient’s


The Advantages of a Lateral Approach The XLIF procedure does not require entry through sensitive back muscles, bones, or ligaments, resulting in less postoperative pain. It also allows for complete disc removal and implant insertion, compared with approaches from the back. When compared to ALIF, where the surgeon enters from the front, the XLIF procedure offers the benefit of reducing the risk of vascular injury during the procedure. Reduced Operative Time Traditional procedures can take up to 5 hours; the XLIF procedure can be successfully completed in as little as one hour, reducing the amount of anesthesia time.

“Dr. Siddiqui was elected president of the Houston Spine Center in 2007, and has written many articles in orthopedic journals as well as a chapter in the book Tricks of the Trade in Spine Surgery.” side. In both of these surgeries, Dr. Siddiqui uses technology that allows him to graphically guide his instruments for repair of the disc. “I think minimally invasive spine surgery is the best option for patients because there is a much quicker recovery time, less use of needles, and fewer complications making it less scary for patients,” said Siddiqui. Dr. Siddiqui is one of an elite group of surgeons that are trained in the XLIF technique which uses a minimally invasive approach to the stabilization of the lumbar part of the spine. His surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis and are usually completed in less than two hours. With over twenty years of medical experience in orthopedic surgery of the spine, Dr. Saqib Siddiqui and The Spine Center use cutting edge procedures to relieve back pain as well as serious spinal problems. His specialty as an orthopedic involves treating injuries and disorders that involve the musculoskeletal system. This could include trauma related to injuries from sports that may have caused fractures, sprains, or even osteoporosis as well as other traumas. Dr. Siddiqui believes in providing patients with all the available treatment options, both operative and

non-operative, in order to obtain the best results for the patient. The center offers diagnostic procedures to determine the cause of the back pain. The answer could be as simple as a prescription, an injection, or a back brace. However, in more serious cases surgery may be required. Dr. Siddiqui will make sure that a patient is properly examined, that back pain surgery is the right choice and that the patient will benefit from the procedure. Dr. Siddiqui has had patients fly from all corners of the globe to benefit from his services. About five percent of his patients are from other states or countries. Dr. Siddiqui hopes that within the next year or two he can help an even larger percentage of patients in need of his services from different states or countries. A limousine service will soon be available to pick up out-of-town patients from the airport upon their arrival to see Dr. Siddiqui. “Patients have had x-rays sent to my offices from as far as Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and Brazil,” said Dr. Siddiqui. Minimal invasive spine surgery is preferred over traditional open back surgery because there is a faster recovery time, as well as a lesser need for after surgery medication. The advantages of

this surgery include preserving spinal motion by avoiding unnecessary fusion. There is minimal if any bleeding at all, and it is performed under local anesthetic to avoid the risks of general anesthesia. Also, the complications of nerve injuries or spinal infections are fewer than three percent, making it less of a risk than open spinal surgery. Recovery may only require a few days to a few weeks rather than the months or years required for open spinal surgery. Dr. Siddiqui’s patients are usually discharged within one day and are able to return to work in as little as one or two weeks. Patients are welcome to schedule a consultation to determine if they are a candidate for minimally invasive back surgery. At the scheduled appointment, a patient will speak with Dr. Siddiqui the first time they come in and he will give an educated answer to any and all questions or concerns a patient may have. Appointments are easily made and there are usually no long waiting periods. The Spine Center website, www. surgicalspinesolutions.com, provides detailed videos and procedures as well as information regarding these surgeries. There is also much information regarding

Reduced Blood Loss and Scarring Less-invasive procedure allows for less tissue disruption, resulting in reduced blood loss. Reduced Postoperative Pain The XLIF procedure does not require entry through sensitive back muscles, bones, or ligaments. Many patients are usually walking the same day after surgery. Reduced Hospital Stay Patients are typically walking the same day after surgery and require only an overnight stay in the hospital, compared to several days of immobility and hospitalization typical of traditional open approaches Rapid Return to Normal Activity Patients are usually walking the same day after surgery. Recovery is typically around 6 weeks, compared to 6 months or more.

prevention of back pain and how to deal with the pain, along with tips on how to correctly support your back while sleeping. Dr. Siddiqui was elected president of the Houston Spine Center in 2007, and has written many articles in orthopedic journals as well as a chapter in the book “Tricks of the Trade in Spine Surgery.” The Spine Center has several locations, one being Mainland Medical Center at 6801 Emmett F Lowry Expressway, Texas City, The Woodlands at 1111 Medical Plaza Drive, Suite 230, and Spine Center / Houston at 14450 TC Jester Boulevard, Suite 100. Call them at 866-MY-SPINE (697-7463).

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DISCOVER A TREASURE ON THE BAY IN KEMAH Spring is coming and as the days become longer and warmer, it is a great time to visit Clear Creek Winery and Resort.

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he winery has many special events planned for this spring including vintner dinners, barrel tastings, a mid-week farmers’ market and outdoor concerts. It’s easy to see why, for the third year in a row, Clear Creek Winery has won the Best of the Bay award for best winery/ wine bar. For those who want to relax outside in the fresh air there is a beautifully landscaped outdoor deck and patio area providing the perfect atmosphere for enjoying a glass of Clear Creek Winery’s award winning wine. Clear Creek recently won several medals at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo for its Red Zinfandel and Blueberry Shiraz wines. The winery is a big supporter of the Rodeo and during the month of March you can bring in your Rodeo tickets for a special drawing to be held at the end of the month. If you prefer indoors, take the elevator to the second floor and experience the tasting bar with gift shop where you can sample over 30 handcrafted wines and ports. While enjoying a glass of wine, try one of the delightful appetizers. All the food served at the winery is farm-to-table fresh and can be enjoyed outside on the patio as well. Clear Creek’s knowledgeable staff is ready to make your winery experience both memorable and educational. The winery offers free, guided tours daily or you can stroll the grounds and vineyards at your own pace. While at the winery you can view the fermentation rooms where the wine is made, tour the barrel room where the wine is aging, and on certain days watch the wine being bottled on the automated bottling line (check Clear Creek’s Facebook page for more details). Whether you are a novice or experienced wine connoisseur, the staff will help you choose the perfect bottle to take home and enjoy. For those wanting to have a weekend retreat, just steps away from

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the winery is the Clipper House Inn Bed & Breakfast also named Best of the Bay. There are eight enchanting cottages surrounding a common courtyard and gardens. With summer around the corner, Clear Creek Winery and Resort makes the perfect destination for a mini vacation or weekend getaway. After much anticipation and preparation, Tabella will be opening this month. The farm to table restaurant promises to be the best thing that has happened to dining locally in a long time. Chef Link Livingston is working with farmers to bring the freshest locally sourced foods to the dining experience. The restaurant will feature many glutenfree dishes with the menu changing based on the produce of the season. The restaurant will feature an enviable wine list with limited edition and hard to find

All the food served at the winery is farm to table fresh.” wines augmenting Clear Creek’s locally produced wines. This is also the time of year when brides start planning for their very special wedding day. Clear Creek’s unique venue with both indoor and outdoor options makes for a once in a lifetime setting. The facility can accommodate weddings and events from small to over 200 guests. Combine the lovely atmosphere of the winery with the surrounding grounds, the charming bed & breakfast with its beautiful gazebo, fine dining at Tabella and you have the setting for the perfect wedding! The winery staff is ready to assist you with every detail to make your wedding and the events leading up to the wedding, a dream come true. Call the Winery at 281-334-8300, the Clipper House Inn at 281-3342517 or come by 709 Harris Avenue, in Kemah.


texas m e d i tat i o n s

By M i c ha el Gos

The Beauty of Sadness D’Hanis, Texas

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f you know D’Hanis, it is probably because of bricks. The D’Hanis Brick and Tile Company is the town’s biggest industry. But when I think of D’Hanis, I think only of a large, old-timey restaurant and steakhouse just off 90 called Bill and Rosa’s. When I am in the area, it is a regular stop for me. I love their cheeseburgers. Delivered with the top of the bun sitting next to the sandwich so you can see the mustard smiley face the chef puts atop every one, the burgers are juicy, stacked high and just a bit too large to fit into my mouth. Then there are the chicken fried steaks! The half order overhangs the plate on all sides. I’ve never had the nerve to ask for a full-sized order; I have no idea how big they are. I stop by almost every trip through the area, but I especially like to go there on Sunday afternoons when Ronnie Mason plays guitar and sings. This old cowboy is the perfect complement to a late lunch and a beer. It was about mid-afternoon Sunday and I was sitting there listening to his rather impressive rendition of GRITS (Ghost Riders in the Sky). I had just made the long drive from Seabrook and I had a bad attitude because of (Cont. on page. 33)

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a hard week at work. I noticed her sitting alone in a booth. She had long straight hair, well below her shoulders, and it was pure white. She was definitely an attractive woman, but strangely, she seemed even more so to me because she looked sad. It wasn’t a raging grief—just a gentle sadness. I was surprised I found that so appealing. It made no sense to me at all. But I had to acknowledge it was happening nonetheless. I’m not sure why, but after a couple minutes of watching her, I was transported back to a time not so very long ago when I was, to be blunt, morose. That doesn’t happen to me often. I am, in general, a very happy person. But every once in a while, just like everyone else I suppose, life deals me a blow that, for a time, knocks me off-center. This blow was one of the worst of my life. The sense of loss devastated me. During that time, I basically hid out. I spent the time “licking my wounds” and trying not to let others see the state I was in. The pain was short-lived, but it wasn’t time that healed me. That would have taken months or even years. Instead, the situation that felled me changed and life was good again. Yet even after the change, when everything was looking up, I still felt shaky inside. After all, my world had been turned upside down, if only temporarily. Eventually that feeling passed and I finally became comfortable that I had survived the ordeal. I thought I’d never again want to think about those miserable few days. I tried to banish the memories forever. It didn’t work; they just kept coming back. For months, I would remember, then feel the sadness all over again. I got to the point where I would have done just about anything to wipe all memory of that time from my mind.

But over time, that changed. Today I see those days differently. In fact, now I actually look back on them fondly. I see something there that I didn’t recognize at the time—something I really like. Let’s face it. Sadness changes us—if only temporarily. It makes us act differently. It subdues us, and in doing so it causes us to behave in ways that make us more attractive to others. For example, when we are sad, we tend to speak more softly. That makes our voices sweeter and more comforting. When we can manage a smile, we do so softly, sweetly. There are no big grins or laughs when we are sad—just a small, gentle smile. We even sit peacefully. There is no frenetic energy, no adrenaline spikes, no fidgeting or nervousness, just a relaxed comfort in being still. Most of us find these traits immensely appealing when we see them in others, and we are attracted as a result.

Sometimes it is hard to see it through our tears, but there is a genuine beauty in sadness, even when it is our own. The behavior changes mentioned above are a part of it, but there is something else, something far more profound that makes it attractive to us. Sadness makes us far more aware of all our senses and emotions. When we see someone who is sad, we know that person is experiencing acute feelings and emotions. We are looking at a truly alive human being—a person fully in touch with those feelings. There is beauty in knowing someone could care enough about something to be sad. You just have to like that person more as a result. But even more important, there is a beauty, and strangely, a happiness, in knowing that sadness eventually leads us to a better knowledge and understanding of our deepest feelings. It is a hard road to travel, but sadness is a sure path to self-awareness. It may take a while, but in time, we get to know ourselves better for having been through the hurt. And that makes us better human beings. I sat there for more than two hours taking in the music and periodically looking her way. She was swaying almost imperceptibly to Seven Spanish Angels when I realized that, in just two hours, my outlook had changed. I felt happier for having the gift of her sadness that afternoon. But most important I realized how thankful I was for those days of my own sadness. Looking back now, I understand it was not only a time when I learned something very important about myself; it was truly a beautiful time in my life. I think the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley may have said it best: “Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.”

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Award Presented to University Provost from Alma Mater

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niversity of HoustonClear Lake Provost Carl A. Stockton was selected as a 2012 University of Florida’s College of Health and Human Performance Alumni Hall of Fame recipient. He will be honored at his alma mater’s Spring Awards Induction Ceremony April 13. Stockton joined UH-Clear Lake in 2007, after serving as dean and Houston Endowed Chair for Education at the University of Texas at Brownsville School of Education. He has also served as department chair of Health and Applied Human Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington’s College of Art and Sciences. He was department chair of Exercise, Sport and Health Education at Radford University’s College of Education and Human Development. He holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in Health Education from the University of Florida and a doctorate in Health Education from the University of Tennessee.

GMAT Review Available

Be prepared for taking that required business school exam by attending a GMAT Review course held at UHClear Lake four consecutive Saturdays, February 18 and 25, and March 3 and 10, 8 a.m. – noon, in the university’s Bayou Building, 2700 Bay Area Boulevard. Reading comprehension, critical reasoning and analytical writing assessment are just a few of the necessary test-taking skills covered in the GMAT Review. All participants receive a copy of the Princeton Review’s “Cracking the GMAT” used in the course. The course fee is $349 per person. For more information or to register, visit www.uhcl.edu/camp, call UH-Clear Lake’s Center for Advanced Management Programs at 281-283-3133 or 281-2833121, or e-mail camp@uhcl.edu.

Submissions Sought for Conference for Research & Creative Arts

College and university students from throughout the country are invited to attend a unique learning experience offered through UH-Clear Lake’s 18th Annual Student Conference for Research & Creative Arts, April 25 and 26, in the university’s Bayou Building.

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Community members can view the presentations free of charge. Area undergraduate and graduate students and their faculty sponsors are welcome to participate in the daytime and evening oral and poster presentations in all disciplines, including the arts. The deadline for student presenters is February 27. Group and individual projects that represent interdisciplinary, original work are eligible, and evaluations are provided to presenters. First time presenters are encouraged to participate and gain experience and benefit from the one-on-one discussion with colleagues. Students from all area colleges and universities are welcome. Participating students are required to pay a $20 presentation fee for up to four authors, with a $5 fee for each additional author. Information about presentation guidelines and an online application is available at www.uhcl.edu by selecting the Students tab and the Conference icon under Student Services. Students can also contact the Student Conference Office by calling 281-283-3375.

Fundraiser to Benefit Celebrating Our Elders Scholarship Fund

Help raise money for scholarships and get a delicious meal at the same time during the Celebrating our Elders fish fry at UH-Clear Lake, February 22, 11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., in the university’s Student Services and Classroom Building, Room 1.203, 2700 Bay Area Boulevard. Catfish, rice, salad and bread are on the menu for just $8 per person per plate. Ticket purchase deadline is February 20, 6 p.m., by cash or check, and tickets are available at the university’s Office of Intercultural and International Student Services. Proceeds will benefit the Celebrating Our Elders scholarship fund, which provides money for students who write essays about and have received encouragement from an AfricanAmerican or Hispanic elder or mentor. To learn more about Celebrating Our Elders, visit www.uhcl.edu/iiss/ coefundraisers. For more information about this event, contact the coordinator for Transition and Retention Services, Imelda Estrada-Wicks at 281-283-3373 or Estrada@uhcl.edu.


MARCH 2012 | Bay Area Houston Magazine

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Recognizing the NASA/Clear Creek/Friendswood Go Texan Committee for Their Support and Commitment to Education. Trail Bosses Dayni Alba: Boeing Tracey Escamilla: Barrios Technology Michelle Wilkinson: Jacobs Joan McKinney: Norman Frede Chevrolet Rick Clapp: Bay Area Houston Magazine Dan Swartwood: Satellite Logistics Group Greg Ploss: Chemical Process & Production Daniel Costello: Carrabba’s Italian Grill Joe Schrodi: FastSigns Clear Lake Trail Boss Companies Not Pictured Endeavour Marina Ballroom Grand Finale Catering Service Steel Warehouse Co. WiredIn.cc Ranch Hands Sandy Records: Kelly McGuire Entertainment Bonnie Lem: YourTownTV.com Angela Sharp: Kemah Boardwalk Alex Mead: Texas Wealth Management, Inc. Robert Swint: ATA Associates Todd McEntire: Space Center Automotive Jennifer Vogel: YourTownTV.com Mark Hesse: Mark E. Hesse, CPA David Skinner: Clear Creek Winery Mark Legge: Metro Linen Service Jeff Moore: Top Gun Security & Investigations Mayor Timothy Paulissen: City of League City Mitchell Dale: McRee Ford Kyle Rogers: YourTownTV.com Ranch Hand Companies Not Pictured City of Nassau Bay Nezat Specialty Services Oceaneering Space Systems One Stop Party Shop PetroTech Consultants, LLC

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MARCH 2012 | Bay Area Houston Magazine

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Tax Strategies in a Tough Economy By Jason Alderman

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or most of us, income tax calculations don’t change much from year to year. But thanks to the roller coaster economy of the past few years, many people have undergone major life changes that can have a significant impact – good or bad – on their taxable income and how they should file taxes. Even though April 17 (this year’s tax-filing deadline) is a ways off, it’s never too soon to start planning your strategy, particularly if you experienced financial hardships in 2011 that could affect your taxes. The IRS has a handy guide called The What Ifs of an Economic Downturn (search www.irs. gov) that reviews the tax impacts of different scenarios such as job loss, debt forgiveness or tapping a retirement fund. Here’s a roundup of common economic challenges you may be facing and their possible tax implications: You lost your job. Remember that unemployment benefits, severance pay and payout of accumulated vacation or sick leave are all considered taxable income, so if you didn’t have taxes withheld from these payments, be prepared for a potentially nasty tax bill. If you withdrew money from your regular IRA or 401(k) account to cover expenses, you’ll owe income tax on the amount, plus an additional 10 percent penalty unless you’re over age 59 ½ or meet special circumstances. Also, outstanding 401(k) loans must be repaid (usually within 60 to 90 days of termination) or they’ll be counted taxable income – plus be subject to the same 10 percent penalty. The good news is that many public assistance benefits such as welfare, food stamps and disaster relief payments don’t count toward taxable income. Read the IRS’s Tax Impact of Job Loss for details (www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p4128.pdf ). Lowered income. If you took a big pay cut or lost your job in 2011, it might lower your adjusted gross income (AGI) enough to qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). EITC is a “refundable” tax credit, which means that if you owe less in income tax than your eligible credit, you’ll not only pay no tax, but actually get a refund for the difference. To learn more, search EITC at www.irs.gov.

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Forgiven debt. Many people don’t realize that when you borrow money from a bank or other commercial lender and the lender “forgives” the debt, you generally must count the forgiven amount as taxable income. There are several exceptions to the rule, however: For example, the Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 generally allows taxpayers to exclude up to $2 million in forgiven mortgage debt ($1 million if married, filing separately) on their principal residence if it came through mortgage restructuring, foreclosure or a short sale. The mortgage exclusion is set to expire at the end of 2012 unless Congress intervenes. Other exceptions include: Debts discharged through bankruptcy; or, if you are insolvent when the debt is cancelled, some or all of it may not be taxable. (Insolvency means your total debts are greater than the fair market value of your total assets.) For more information, search for Mortgage Debt Forgiveness at www.irs.gov. Taxes are the last thing you want to worry about when facing financial hardships. Just be sure you’re prepared for the possible tax implications if your income or debt situation has changed in the past year. 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 www.texasfirstbank.com. 


BAHM COVER PARTY

To view more photos from that evening please visit www.facebook.com/ BayAreaHoustonMagazine

MARCH 2012 | Bay Area Houston Magazine

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FINANCIAL FOCUS Brought to you by 401(k) Review and Rollover Can Be Rewarding Your 401(k) offers tax-deductible contributions, tax-deferred growth of earnings potential and a variety of investment options — so it’s a great tool for building retirement savings. Yet like all tools, your 401(k) must be used properly to get the best results. That’s why you should review your 401(k) at least annually and make whatever adjustments are needed. Depending on where you work, you may get some 401(k) review help from your plan provider. But if that assistance isn’t available, you might want to consult with a financial professional to make sure you’re getting the maximum benefit from your plan. As you begin to review your 401(k), your first question should probably be this: “How much should I contribute?” At the very least, try to put in enough to receive your employer’s matching contribution, if one is offered. If you don’t earn this match, you are essentially walking away from “free money.” Beyond this, though, the amount you put into your 401(k) might depend on what other retirement savings vehicles you have available. For instance, if you’re eligible, you may also want to contribute to a Roth IRA, which offers taxfree growth potential, provided you’ve had your account for five years and don’t start taking withdrawals until you’re 59½. Of course, it’s not only how much you put into your 401(k) that determines its success — it’s also how you choose to allocate your investment dollars. (Keep in mind that asset allocation does not guarantee a profit or protect against loss.) Your 401(k) may have a dozen or more investment choices, such as stock funds, bond funds and money market funds. To choose the right investment mix, you’ll need to consider a variety of factors, including these: Your age — Generally speaking, the younger you are, the more aggressive you can afford to be with your 401(k) investments, because you’ll have decades in which to potentially overcome the inevitable down periods of the market. As you get older, you may wish to invest somewhat more conservatively, but you’ll still need some growth potential in your 401(k) portfolio. Your goals — Everyone has different goals for retirement. You might want to retire early and travel the world, while your co-worker desires to work as long as possible and then, upon retirement, stay close to home and pursue hobbies. Because you each have different goals, with different income needs, you also may need to follow different investment strategies within your 401(k). Your other retirement income sources — If you have a variety of retirement income sources — a pension from another job, an IRA, a spouse withgenerous retirement benefits — you may need to invest differently, perhaps less aggressively, than if you had fewer options for retirement income. Apart from putting away as much as you can into your 401(k) and choosing the right investment mix, what else can you do to get the most out of your plan? Here’s a suggestion: If you have worked at various jobs and acquired multiple 401(k)s, consider rolling them over into one account. You might save money on fees and reduce paperwork, but more importantly, you’ll be able to concentrate your resources and pursue a unified investment approach, with your investment dollars working together toward your ultimate retirement goals. As you can see, a 401(k) review and rollover can reward you in many ways — so do whatever it takes to maximize your 401(k)’s performance.

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THE MORTGAGE MAN PRESENTED BY ENVOY MORTGAGE, LTD AND CASEY MONTGOMERY

Let’s face it. Everyone has

in some way been affected by housing uncertainty over the last few years. New programs, lowered home values, and evolving credit/income requirements have only added to the complexity of the mortgage process. It is now more vital than ever to have a highly experienced and reputable company to turn to for trusted advice. Because of this, I have decided to feature a Q and A section in Bay Area Houston Magazine to answer any questions readers might have about their current or future mortgages. Q: Casey, I refinanced my mortgage several years ago. Will the cost associated with refinancing outweigh the benefits of a lower rate? From Nancy in League City A: Nancy, every situation is unique and it’s vital that a cost-benefit analysis is performed to develop a strategy that works best for you. How long do you plan to live in your home? How much money will you save each month? How much interest will you save over the life of the loan? What are the total expenses? These are just a few of the questions we will take into consideration when assessing your potential refinance.

We will look at many scenarios including no cost/ low cost refi’s to suit your specific needs. Typically, the only out of pocket cost will be your appraisal. To fully answer your question...I would suggest that if you refinanced a few years ago you should definitely explore your options now as rates are significantly lower. You will probably be very pleasantly surprised! Q: Casey, I owe more than the current value of my home. I’ve made my payments on time for years but am stuck with a high interest rate. Are there any products available to help me? From Mike in Friendswood A: Yes, there are! A major economic hurdle since the housing collapse has been the markets ineffectiveness to address this exact situation. Underwater homeowners were left paying high interest rates even though they were perfect borrowers. Thankfully, we now have programs that specifically address this issue and will enable you to refinance to a much lower rate. Please submit any questions to cmontgomery@envoymortgage.com and they will be addressed immediately and possibly published in a future edition.

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DOLCE AND GABBANA

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olce and Gabbana are gorgeous one-year-old Russian blue siblings that were rescued from an animal shelter.  The history of the Russian Blue is shrouded in mystery. Some believe the breed originated on the Archangel Isles in Northern Russia, and was brought to Europe by sailors in the 1800s. Legend states that the Russian Blue is a descendant of the royal cats owned by the Russian Czars. They were originally called the Archangel Cat.  Russian Blues are famous for their plush blue coat-uniform in color from one cat to another. The coat has a silvery sheen, the result of silver tipping on the hair.  These siblings are fine examples of the breed. Dolce is a little shy at first, but loves pets, head-rubs and CANNED FOOD!  Gabbana is a regal, sweet male.  And even at a year, they still have a lot of kitten left in them!   Second Chance Pets adoptions are held Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Petco on Bay Area Boulevard at Space Center Boulevard.  Cats are also shown the first and third Sundays of the month PetSmart across from the Baybrook mall. The cat adoption fee starts at $95 and a discount will be given if this brother and sister are adopted together.  All cats are tested for FIV and leukemia, fully vaccinated, fixed, de-wormed, and de-fleaed. All animals are also micro-chipped. For more information email SCP at pets2adopt@yahoo.com or go to www.secondchancepets.org.

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Actor J. Eddie J. Peck to Co-Host Miss Kemah / Miss Kemah Teen Pageant in April with Nicole O’ Brian Lassiter

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ollywood and glamour come together! The Bay Area Houston is thrilled to have J. Eddie Peck, along with former Miss Texas USA®, Nicole O’Brian Lassiter, co-hosting the Miss Kemah / Miss Kemah Teen Pageant on April 22. J. Eddie Peck is known by a half billion viewers worldwide due to his twelve-year stint in daytime television as Cole Howard on CBS’ number one daytime drama, The Young and the Restless. Peck also played Hawk Hawkins on NBC’s Days of Our Lives, and Dr Jake Martin on ABC’s All My Children. Once voted by Teen Magazine as “TV’s Sexiest New Star”, J. Eddie also starred on the hit television show, KYLE XY, as Adam Baylin on ABC Family’s all-time highest rated series. In addition to this, his starring roles on Dallas and Dynasty are still watched throughout the world. J. Eddie was also Host of the MISS TEEN USA® Pageant and later, the MISS USA® Pageant, which proved to be the highest rated MISS USA®Pageant in CBS history. Bringing in the glamour, Nicole O’Brian Lassiter, will join Peck on stage as his co-host. Nicole is not only a former MISS TEXAS USA® and runner up on

the CBS television show, “Amazing Race”, she also has been a reporter for Fox 26 Traffic as well as the co-host of the My Fox Houston live web show. With numerous TV and commercial appearances under her belt, Nicole was also a featured guest on Days of Our Lives. Since 2004 she has been using her experience from pageants and the runway to help other young women achieve their goals, as the owner of her own pageant image consulting business – Bee Your Best. TO BECOME A CONTESTANT OR BE A SPONSOR, Go to www. MissKemahPageant.com or Kelly@ MissKemahPageant.com. For more information on J. Eddie Peck’s acting classes, go to: www. JEddiePeckActingStudio.com For more information on Nicole O’Brian’s Bee Your Best Consulting, visit www. beeyourbestinc.com.

Ann Hacker, owner of Black Rose Steel & Trading, won the 2011 Citizen of the Year at the North Galveston County Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet on January 21, 2012. From left to right: John Kinard, Chris Kinard and Ann Hacker

MARCH 2012 | Bay Area Houston Magazine

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Mamacita’s Mexican Restaurant & Cantina Wins Top Awards

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amacita’s Mexican Restaurant & Cantina is one of the most award winning restaurants in the Houston area. Within the last few months Mamacita’s has won the honor of Best Mexican Food in the Best of the Bay Awards contest. This award is an annual event sponsored by Bay Area Houston Magazine and the winners are determined from votes cast by area citizens and business owners. In the recent “Taste of the Town” Epicurean Evening sponsored by the Clear Lake Chamber, Mamacita’s won Best Food and Best Presentation. This is an especially great honor because the competition is composed of the best restaurants in the area. In an Epicurean competition held in the Woodlands on the same night as the Clear Lake event, Mamacita’s won the People’s Choice Award!

That tradition of customer service has contributed greatly to the success of the Mamacita’s chain of restaurants. “Business and family are very important. We believe that if you invest your time and energy in your customers, they will know you care about them,” states Mr. and Mrs. Gonzalez. The whole Gonzalez family loves getting to know their customers. They especially enjoy the occasions when the restaurants are used for special events such as birthday parties, showers and business lunches or dinners. All five Mamacita’s are kid-friendly and serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Each location has a full service bar area and serves great margaritas as well as a wide variety of specialty drinks, beer and wine. Joe and Alma look forward to many more years and generations of the Gonzalez family carrying on the Mamacita’s tradition. Visit Mamacita’s website at www.mamacitasmexicanrestaurant.com for more information on all the restaurants or www.eljardinhouston.com for information on the El Jardin location.

“A tradition of customer service has contributed greatly to the success of the Mamacita’s chain of restaurants.” Because of their hard work and dedication the Gonzalez family now has five restaurant locations all over the Houston area. The first and original Mamacita’s is the 7849 Harrisburg location in El Jardin. That location was recognized by The New York Times in 2006. The newest location is at 290 & Highway 6. The other restaurants are located at 15335 I-45 North, 515 East NASA Parkway and 7325 Spencer Highway in Pasadena which is the site of Mamacita’s Ballroom. The ballroom is a full service, reception, party and meeting facility that can accommodate up to 500 guests. Mamacita’s menu offers many of the standard dishes found elsewhere such as tacos, enchiladas and burritos but also offers more traditional dishes from Mexico’s Yucatan region which gives diners a chance to sample something different. What really sets Mamacita’s apart from the other Mexican restaurants in the area is the freshness of all the ingredients and the higher standard of the food preparation. And yet the prices are lower then their competitors. With the experience of 35 years in the restaurant business, the Gonzalez family realizes the importance of teaching their staff about hospitality and customer service, guaranteeing you a pleasant dining experience. MARCH 2012 | Bay Area Houston Magazine

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Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2012


MARCH 2012 | Bay Area Houston Magazine

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Bay Area Houston Magazine March 2012