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March 2013


SWI Boat Show March 21-24 Best of the Bay Awards 2013 City Elections Clear Lake Chain of Lakes


Cock & Bull British Pub Owner Jeanette Walker Welcomes Rodeo Committee Trail Bosses

features 11

The link between a great smile and professional success


Now accepting entries, sponsors


Sure to please the most critical Cajun palate


OB/GYN practice opens in Pearland


Lockheed Martin joins Dream Chaser team


The place for fun, food and friends


LiveWell Women’s Network

Rodeo Committee Trail Bosses join Jeanette Walker, standing at far right, at her fabulous Cock & Bull British Pub in Seabrook. Photo by Brian Stewart.


Many council, mayoral posts up for election

President & Chairman Rick Clapp


Golf course may become chain of lakes


Walter Hall Park, March 23-24

Executive Vice President Patty Kane


Keep an eye to the future, says mayor

Vice President & Art Director Brandon Rowan


Barbara Koslov

Director of Graphics Media Victoria Ugalde


A long battle expected



Publisher & Editor in Chief Mary Alys Cherry

Sales & Marketing Patty Bederka Natalie Epperley Ashley Karlen Amber Sample




Bay Area Business The Cock & Bull British Pub CHRISTUS St. John Hospital City Elections, May 11 Clear Lake Chain of Lakes? League City Uncorked The State of League City BayTran Introduces New President School Funding Lawsuit

50 Fire! Preparing against fires and other disasters


Yep, it’s time to saddle up for the rodeo

Clear Lake Chatter


What are we thinking?


Surprises for boaters and fishermen in March


2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Texas Meditations The Admiral’s Log In Wheel Time

in each issue

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


Texas Children’s Hospital

13 CLICK! 2012 Best of the Bay Awards

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.


Pod-Zu’s Cajun Cuisine


Photography Hal Bushnell Mary Alys Cherry Brian Stewart

2013 Keels & Wheels

44 Finance Must have insurance plans

Editorial Don Armstrong Mary Alys Cherry Michael Gos Capt. Joe Kent Betha Merit Pat Patton Dr. Edward Reitman

Distribution Chris Mirka Tim Shinkle

Dental Health


Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2013


Advertiser’s Index


Lakewood Yacht Club News and Events




Main Events

MARCH 2013

It’s time to button up the lips and ‘play nice’ When the last votes were counted in November, most everyone was hopeful Washington might be entering a new era -- that the two political parties would make an effort to get along and get on with the nation’s business. e sent several new congressmen and a new senator to the nation’s capital to represent Texas and hopefully accomplish more than had been the case in the past few years. Sadly, it does not appear true. Instead of representing us, they appear to be representing their political backers. Instead of showing good manners and presenting a pleasant demeanor to their new colleagues, while making friends with others of both political persuasions, they have taken a negative stance, putting Texas in a bad light. Local Congressman Steve Stockman, R-TX, is an example, challenging the sure re-election of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, by voting “present” and then adding, “We cannot tolerate betrayal of conservative principles and economic reality,” explaining that he disagreed with the way Boehner handled President Obama and House conservatives. He had hardly moved into his office when he made headlines by calling for the impeachment of President Obama. Now we wonder how Stockman, who no doubt has alienated the House speaker, along with most of the Democrats, will be able to accomplish much for his district. Congressman Randy Weber also has not been making friends with those covered by flood insurance. He started out his career in Washington in January by joining

66 other Republicans that voted against a Hurricane Sandy aid bill that provided $9 billion to keep the National Flood Insurance Program from going bankrupt so hurricane victims who paid for the insurance coverage could get their money. And, he wasn’t the only area congressman to vote against the bills. Pete Olson did, also. Representatives from states in the path of hurricanes, which includes both the Gulf Coast and the East Coast, likely didn’t appreciate that. One has to wonder how the East Coast senators and congressmen might react if a Category 5 hurricane devastated the Gulf Coast and we needed help. That’s called thinking ahead. Duh. And, then there’s Sen. Ted Cruz who has been tossing verbal bombs all over Washington and as of this writing has voted “no” on every single issue before the U.S. Senate – the only one to do so. In fact, he and Sen. John Cornyn and one other senator were the only ones to vote against Sen. John Kerry for secretary of state. It was a foregone conclusion that he would be confirmed, so why even bother to come out against him? Does that help Texas? Perhaps we are naïve, but didn’t our grandmothers teach us “you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar?” Another case in point is the distribution of the retired shuttles. Certainly both the Johnson and the Kennedy space center communities should have been given one of the retired shuttles. But after a constant barrage of negative attacks on the president by Texas congressmen, surprise, no shuttle for Texas. Did you expect otherwise? We also wonder if NASA’s Constellation Program would have been canceled in a more pleasant political atmosphere. While a few make political points for their party with their caustic tone, thousands of the America’s best and brightest lost their jobs as the shuttle program ended and there was no Constellation Program for them to transition to. Rest assured that probably would not have happened if folks like Lyndon Johnson and Sam Rayburn had been in power. They knew how to get things done without insults. We think it’s time our political representatives Mary Alys Cherry – both Democrats and Publisher Republicans -- buttoned their lips and “played nice.” Our future may depend on it.

“Perhaps we are naïve, but didn’t our grandmothers teach us ‘you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar?’”

MARCH 2013 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Advertiser’s Index Alan’s Swampshack

Page 51

Amadeus Page 55 Assistance League

Page 46

Battleground Golf Course

Page 33

Baubles and Beads

Page 39

Bay Area Kitchens

Page 49

Bayway Homes

Page 15 & 32

Best Publications

Page 54

Big Splash Web Design

Page 56

Birra Poretti’s

Page 13

Casanova’s Downfall

Page 13

City of Dickinson

Page 48

City of Friendswood

Page 15

CHRISTUS St. John Hospital

Page 35

Coastal Plastic Surgery

Page 7

Cullen’s Page 59 Dickinson BBQ

Page 19

Don Julio’s

Page 54

Dr. J. Derek Tieken

Page 6

Encore Resale Shop

Page 46

Envoy Mortgage

Page 10 & 14

Floyd’s Cajun Seafood

Page 27

Fondren Orthopedic

Page 2

Ginger Snaps

Page 39

Glass Mermaids

Page 14 & 39

Green Links

Page 55

Gulf Coast Palapas

Page 49

Harbour Plastic Surgery

Page 3

Houston Technology Center

Page 29

Island Furniture

Page 52

Jeter Memorial Funeral Home Page 45

J Hilburn Page 48 Kemah Boardwalk

Page 4

Kimberly Harding

Page 14

Las Haciendas

Page 51

Life Fellowship Church

Page 45


Page 14 & 55

Marine Max

Page 25

Mediterraneo Market & Cafe

Page 54

Memorial Hermann-SE

Page 5

The Meridian

Page 50

Norman Frede Chevrolet

Page 15 & 42

Oasis Salon and Medispa

Page 37

Opus Bistro

Page 55

Pauline Chapman

Page 14

Ron Carter Clear Lake

Page 57

Salon La Rouge

Page 15 & 52

Schlitterbahn Page 41 Sealake Yachts

Page 21

SWIBS Page 23 Space Center Auto

Page 15 & 33

Star Toyota

Page 53

Stone’s Gym

Page 15

Stylin’ With Linda

Page 24

Sunsation Tanning

Page 46

Texas Citizen’s Bank

Page 45

Texas Coast Yachts

Page 24

Texas First Bank

Page 44

Trust Building Systems

Page 47

Unicare Dental

Page 60

Wild Bill’s Page 18


Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2013


The Link Between a Great Smile and Professional Success


By Dr. Farid Noie

ast month I came across a very interesting study sponsored by University of Arkansas. The purpose of this large scale study was to help college graduates secure the best possible career opportunity in this challenging job market. The researchers selected a group of 12 interviewees and provided them with nearly identical qualifications. The only difference was the candidates’ physical appearance and friendliness. They monitored and recorded the interviews of more than 50 unsuspecting interviewers. They studied the facial expression and subtle body language of the interviewers with the help of a panel of expert psychologists and behavioral specialist. After analyzing the body language of the interviewers, the panel concluded that likability and physical appearance is just as important as academic qualifications. The researches of this study did not claim that appealing appearance is a substitute for good skills and academic accomplishment. They, however, concluded that in this competitive job market one needs more than just great skills and good work ethics to climb the professional ladder. They also concluded that while their conscious mind analyzes the candidates for their related qualification, there was another invisible force at work which was equally (if not more) crucial in their decision making process. The average first impressions were formed in the first three seconds. Furthermore, the panel determined that the interviewers were often not aware of this initial conclusion. While there was little bias toward any particular eye color, the color of the teeth and quality of the smile, along with a symmetrical facial structure, fullness of hair and lean body seems to play a major role in the first impression. Once the interviewers formed their initial opinion, they tend to remain faithful to it. Most interviewers were not even aware of their initial assessment based on appearance. That fact reflected on their written assessment where most subjects tend to rationalize their initial opinion with other inaccurate reasons. Incidentally, the study additionally determined that the same principles also applies to personal relationship. A total 78 percent of men and 87 percent of women surveyed stated that teeth are among of the first things they notice and judge in members of the opposite sex. A similar percentage of those surveyed also admitted that they consider unhealthy or missing teeth a major turn off while ranking a beautiful smile as a major plus. It also goes without saying that teeth are intimately tied to our status symbols. Teeth are more than just functional tools for eating; they are markers of our social status regardless of age. Successful people and nearly all celebrities invest heavily in their smile. Many child psychologists believe children who grow up in less affluent families and are not able to get regular dental check up and

braces (if needed) feel less confident later on in life. Sociologists Susan Starr Sered and Rushika Fernandopulle, have concluded that inadequate access to health care not only creates physical problems for lower income individuals, but because these problems can be visible—like missing teeth—we have in effect created a social order system, where status becomes a visible marker. Imagine the challenges someone might face if he or she is missing front teeth looking for a job, especially one at a managerial level. In another study conducted by the University of Nebraska, 200 volunteers, 19 to 50 years of age, were presented with several photographs depicting tooth presence or absence, from a full dentition to missing as many as four upper front teeth. They were then asked to rank them based on social traits including attractiveness, health status, educational attainment, satisfaction with life, active social life, intelligence, trustworthiness, amount of caring, friendship, dating, and likelihood to be successful. Analysis suggested a person missing visible teeth was more negatively perceived on all social traits than a person with full dentition. Results were strongest when students were proposed to be linked to the toothless individual in a personal way, i.e., dating or living as neighbor. Men and women agreed on perceptions of social traits and teeth condition. These results suggest the presence of strong Western cultural values, whereby those who are missing teeth may experience significant barriers to personal and social success. Bottom-line, everyone wants an attractive smile and is attracted to it as well. The right smile, at the right time, wins friends and calms enemies. So, Smile big and smile often. It’s not vain. It shows confidence and it’s good for you. And, yes, it’s essential. Having good teeth, shows that you either have fantastic natural genes (unlikely) or you care about your appearance and have the finances to fix whatever problems you were born with. If you are interested in improving your smile, feel free to call Dr. Noie at 281332-4700 for a complimentary digital “Lumineer” or all Ceramic crowns smile makeover and a “no obligation” cosmetic consultation with Dr. Noie. Be sure to inquire about our affordable payment plans.

“A total 78 percent of men and 87 percent of women surveyed stated that teeth are among of the first things they notice and judge in members of the opposite sex.”

About the author: Dr. Noie has been in private practice in the Bay Area since 1996. He is a Diplomate of Int’l Congress of Oral Implantologists, Fellow of Academy of General Dentistry, and Assoc. Fellow of American Academy of Implant Dentistry. He has completed his surgical training at New York University as well as Medical University of South Carolina, Temple University, and Wright state University School of Medicine. He completed his oral Anesthesiology training at University of Alabama in Birmingham. He is a member of American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

MARCH 2013 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


2 0 1 2

BEST ASIAN Merlion on 4th

BEST BRUNCH Lakewood Yacht Club



BEST AUTO REPAIR Space Center Automotive

BEST BURGER Stomp’s Burger Joint



BEST BANK Texas First Bank

BEST CAFE Mediterraneo Market & Cafe

BEST CREDIT UNION JSC Federal Credit Union

BEST GIFT SHOP Glass Mermaids

BEST BARTENDER Andrew - Merlion on 4th

BEST CAJUN Floyd’s Cajun Seafood & Texas Steakhouse

BEST DENTIST Dr. J. Derek Tieken

BEST HAIR SALON Oasis Salon & Medispa

BEST BBQ Dickinson BBQ

BEST CAR DEALER – DOMESTIC Norman Frede Chevrolet Ron Carter Cadillac


BEST HAIR STYLIST Lisa Cook - Salon La Rouge






Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2013

2012 Best of the Bay Awards Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!! Let the Good Times Roll!! The Bay Area Houston Magazine threw a fun Mardi Gras party to celebrate both the nominees and winners for the Bay Area Houston Magazine’s 15th annual Best of the Bay Awards at Cullen’s Live, Jan. 24. The room was packed!! What a great turn-out with so many of the Best of the Bay Awards nominees, their friends, fellow workers, and families. What made it really fun was that so many people came to celebrate the party Mardi Gras style. I love any event with feathers, boas and beads!! The Best of the Bay Awards are the people’s choice awards and just being nominated is an honor. The Best of the Bay Awards are very important because they allow small business owners the opportunity to compete with the big businesses. Rick Clapp, president and chairman of the Bay Area Houston Magazine said, “there was a tremendous turnout of votes, and we increased our number of votes this year by almost 20 percent, and almost

all through our online presence. More and more of our social media is really paying off and this is an example by having so many responses through our website and social media. Big Splash Web Design has done a tremendous job monitoring our site.” Votes came from the Bay Area Houston area, Pasadena, Friendswood, Pearland, League City, Houston and Galveston. Clapp, master of ceremonies, announced the winners with help from BAHM Executive Vice President Patty Kane. BAHM’s Amber Sample presented the Best of the Bay Awards to the winners. Cullen’s provided delicious complimentary hors d’oeuvres, and a delicious congratulatory cake. The Zach Tate band was fantastic!! The band – Zach Tate, Charlie Glen, Brandon Robbins and Tom Rivera -- delivered some great Rock N Roll and did a wonderful job of entertaining the crowd. I had a total blast dancing to the band. The Zach Tate band contact information is: phone number: 281-881-5256, email address:, and website:



BEST PLASTIC SURGEON Dr. Todd Adam - Coastal Plastic Surgery

BEST STEAK Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille

BEST ITALIAN Amadeus Italian Restaurant


BEST PUB/BAR Boondoggles


BEST LADIES BOUTIQUE Casanova’s Downfall

BEST MEXICAN Mamacita’s Mexican Restaurant




BEST MORTAGE Envoy Mortgage

BEST ROMANTIC RESTAURANT Cullen’s Upscale American Grille



BEST PHYSICIAN Dr. Steven Dennis

BEST SEAFOOD Pappas Seafood House


BEST MARINA South Shore Harbour Marina

BEST PIZZA Mario’s Flying Pizza - Seabrook

BEST SPA Oasis Salon & Medispa

BEST WOMEN’S APPAREL Dillards BEST YACHT CLUB Lakewood Yacht Club MARCH 2013 | Bay Area Houston Magazine



Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2013

MARCH 2013 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Photos by Mary Alys Cherry

NASA Clear Creek Rodeo Committee Capt. Elizabeth Taylor, left, and Rodeo Style Show Coordinator Ann Blanchard wear big smiles as the crowd jams NASA’s Gilruth Center for “Rodeo Rocks the Runway.”

Joan McKinney, left, and Suzanne Frede Bonner mingle with the crowd as they await the start of “Rodeo Rocks the Runway” at the Rodeo Style Show, held at NASA’s Gilruth Center.

Erika Heule, Erika Ballard and Carla Fitzpatrick, from left, look over the crowd as they make their way across NASA’s Gilruth Center while awaiting the start of the Rodeo Style Show.

Yep, it’s time to saddle up for the rodeo

IT’S TIME TO RODEO and no one knows it better than the NASA Clear Creek Rodeo Gang, who put on some of the best shows around. And, this year was no exception as dozens of well known guys and gals strutted down the runway, showing off a variety of fashions from Adelaide’s Boutique, The Clothes Horse, Dillard’s, Back Bay Boutique, Cavender’s Boot City and Jill’s Fashions before a cheering crowd at the Rodeo Style Show after new Johnson Space Center Director Dr. Ellen Ochoa welcomed one and all to NASA’s Gilruth Center. Some of the models included League City Mayor Tim Paulissen, Shari Sweeney, brothers Mark and Michael Hesse, Anna Babineaux, Macy Osoria and Kelly Williams.

Belinda Parker, left, and Ann Brannen are ready to rodeo as they arrive at NASA’s Gilruth Center and join the crowd at the NASA Clear Creek Committee’s annual Go Texas style show, ”Rodeo Rocks the Runway.”


Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2013

MARY ALYS CHERRY Heading up the partying crowd is Bay Area Go Texan Captain Elizabeth Taylor with Ann Blanchard as fashion show coordinator.

Faces in the crowd include Sheila Dell’Osso, Jackie and Dr. Phillip Daley, Emmeline Dodd and Gene Hollier, Joy and Jill Smitherman, Mary McMullen, Ann Nemer, Annette Dwyer, Anita Fogtman, Erika Heule, Erika Ballard, Carla Fitzpatrick, Belinda Parker, Ann Brannen, Joan McKinney, Suzanne Bonner, Cathy and Bobby Osoria and Ernie Falks. Other cowgirls and cowboys included Badiha Nassar, Shirley Lang, Johanna Mathera, Tracey and Dr. Doug Webb, Sally Wiggington, Carol Bergman, Donna James, Diane Konick, Marie Keener, Jeri Knapp, Donna Gartner, Jennie Hampton, Cindy Castille, Peggy Heinrich and daughter-in-law, Elana Heinrich, Kathleen Killen and Jo Nell Hunter.

New Bay Oaks Women’s Association President Jennifer Simmons, second from left, makes plans for the coming year with the other BOWA officers before luncheon at the country club. They are, from left, Treasurer Allyson Jackson, Vice President Kimberley Weathers, Secretary Sue Broughton and Vice President Annette Dwyer.

Terri Divine, Sharon Dillard, Patricia Simon and Mary Colombo, from left, gather to swap ideas for the committees they will head for the Bay Oaks Women’s Association for the coming year.

Bay Oaks Women elect officers JENNIFER SIMMONS is the new president of the Bay Oaks Women’s Association and is already busy presiding over luncheons and board meetings. Joining her in leading the country club organization are Vice Presidents Annette Dwyer and Kimberley Weathers, Secretary Sue Broughton and Treasurer Allyson Jackson with Past President Terri Divine serving as advisor. Other top lieutenants already making plans for the group’s March 19 luncheon include Danele Buehler, Pat Simon, Ann Brady, Betsy Salbilla, Ondi Lyon, Janet Greenwood, Sharon Dillard, Jane Sweeney, Mary Alys Cherry, Mary Colombo and Lea Bodie.

Under the Sea Gala launched WITH THEIR big Under the Sea Gala only weeks away, Assistance League members and their husbands gathered at The Aquarium Feb. 1 for a launch party, that coming during Mardi Gras season was mostly a night for fun and frivolity. And, believe me, it didn’t take long to get in a nautical

Jenny Verghese, right, and Barbara Maxwell go over plans for publicizing the Assistance League’s April 13 gala.

Lea Bodie, Jane Sweeney, Ondi Lyon, Betsy Salbilla and Janet Greenwood, from left, meet to work out the details for the Bay Oaks Women’s Association committees they will chair for the coming year.

mood, what with fish and sharks swimming merrily along nearby as President Lisa Holbrook and Presidentelect Kim Barker and her husband, Dave, greeted the partying crowd. Including Badiha and John Nassar, Helen Schlaifer, Stan and Cindy Senger Lewis, Jill Williams and her new hubby, Rick Lammers, Jenny and Tom Verghese, Sonya Moore, Angie Weinman, Atiya and Dr. Ezzat Abouleish, Dee Cover and Stan Herrmann, Lisa Delhomme, Linda and Einar Goerland and Peggy and Jerry Clause. Before long, Gala Chairman Kathleen Courville, who came with her husband, Mike, and Co-Chairman Dee Cover were checking on assignments to make sure the April 13 fundraiser at the Hobby Marriott would be a runaway success, while Trisha Totten, silent auction chairman, and Barbara Weitenhagen, who came with her husband, Matthew, and is in charge of the auction baskets, were busy swapping ideas. Other gala chairmen include Invitations and Program, Neerja Bhardwaj; Publicity, Jenny Verghese and Jennifer Maxwell; Reservations, Peggy Heinrich; Silver Stars, Jill Smitherman; Sponsors, Angie Weinman and

Barbara Weitenhagen, left, and Trisha Totten look for more volunteers in the crowd at the Assistance League “Under the Sea Gala” launch party at The Aquarium.

Macy Osoria and Chelsea Andoe show off a variety of fashions from Bay Area boutiques at Rodeo Style Show.

Dee Cover; Table Favors, Jill Williams; and Treasurer Lisa Holbrook with Peggy Heinrich in charge of the Sponsor Party. Some of the others in the crowd were Linda and Pat McCormack, Gail and Steve Ashby, Kathleen and Kyle Killen, Jennifer Maxwell, Peggy and Jim McBarron. Proceeds from the April 13 gala benefit the league’s philanthropic projects such as Operation School Bell, which clothes needy area school children.

Crawfish Festival March 23

THE CLEAR LAKE Area Chamber will host its 18th annual Clear Lake Crawfish Festival Gumbo Cookoff from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, March 23, in Clear Lake Park’s Landolt Pavilion. Besides the Gumbo Cookoff, a Crawfish Eating Competition and a silent auction also are planned and volunteers are needed to work three-hour shifts that day, Chamber Vice President Shari Sweeney says. For sponsorships and other information, contact the Chamber for details – 281-488-7676.

Kathleen Courville, left, who will chair the Assistance League’s annual benefit gala April 13, welcomes the crowd to launch party at The Aquarium with CoChairman Dee Cover.

Animal prints and boots were big as models came down the runway at the Rodeo Style Show.

MARCH 2013 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


texas m e di tat i o n s

By M i c ha el Gos

What Are We Thinking? when Considine will be playing in the area. I came close in 2008 when he was scheduled to play part of an all-day festival just four days after I had to leave. I went back to Big Bend this past August and as always, I asked about him. The bartender at La Kiva told me he was hosting an open-mic night the next evening. After nine years I would finally get to hear him play. f

Study Butte, Texas I’m a real fan of the Texas singer/ songwriters. I count Robert Earl Keen, Gary P. Nunn and Laird Considine among my favorites. I first heard the Considine CD Ghost Tones in 2003 over the sound system of my favorite Big Bend area bar, La Kiva in Study (pronounced “stoo-dee”) Butte. I immediately set out to find a copy of the CD. It took two days and a drive to Alpine, but I didn’t leave the area till I found it. Today it remains one of the few CDs that never leave my Jeep. When I first moved to Texas 20 years ago, a number of people told me clearly— forcefully even—that you haven’t been to Texas until you’ve been to Big Bend and Luckenbach. I immediately set out to see both and have been returning regularly ever since. And I never make a visit to Big Bend without a trip to La Kiva. Like Big Bend itself, La Kiva is a one-ofa-kind experience. Mostly underground, built into the side of Terlingua Creek, this bar is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. I won’t try to describe it because if I did, you wouldn’t believe me anyway.


Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2013

A typical trip to Big Bend finds me spending an afternoon on the Terlingua porch (a cultural adventure every Texan needs to experience) and at least two evenings at La Kiva. On each trip I ask if anyone knows

This year, on the 20-year anniversary of my first trip out there, I decided to break my rigid traditional itinerary and venture out beyond the national park. It was time to have a look at the state park, Big Bend Ranch. My first stop was the Barton Warnock Visitor Center. It was late afternoon when I pulled in. We had just finished driving the most beautiful parts of FM 170, the River Road. The place was deserted except for one park ranger who manned the counter. I told him what I was looking for and we spent about a half hour poring over maps. He marked the best Jeep and hiking trails for me. I’ve always found the people at visitor centers to be

friendly and helpful, but this guy went beyond that. I can’t really explain it, but I felt a real connection. This guy seemed to think like I do. By the time we were done talking, it was five o-clock. The actual exploration of the park would have to wait for another day. I was supposed to meet some friends in Terlingua for some beer time on the porch and then dinner at the Starlight. After a day on the road, I was dusty, sweaty and needed a change of clothes. I used the visitor center’s washrooms to clean up. It wasn’t the shower I really wanted, but it would have to do. Finished, I was ready to move on. As I was leaving, the park ranger was ending his day as well. While he was locking the doors on the washrooms, I thanked him one more time. We said our goodbyes and I headed out. After a great dinner, my friends and I got to La Kiva just as the sun was setting. I asked the bartender if Laird was there yet. He pointed him out. There is only one window in La Kiva. It is a glass sliding door that leads out to a patio on the creek bed. I walked up to him, but really couldn’t see his face. It was a trick of light. With his back to the glass and the intense desert sunset behind him, it was impossible to make out his features. He was nothing but a large shadow. Nonetheless, I introduced myself quickly and told him how much I loved the Ghost Tones album, particularly three songs that I thought captured the Big Bend spirit better than anything I had ever read or heard. His response was that I didn’t need to re-introduce myself. He remembered my name from our first meeting—about three hours earlier. I moved off to the side so I could see his face and, sure enough, he was the

ranger from the Barton Warnock Center. We sat down at the bar and took a bit of time to get better acquainted. We didn’t have long, of course, because he had to go to work. He was playing the first two sets of the evening. I was very impressed when he introduced my friends and me to the crowd and then played one of the favorites I had mentioned. I listened to his whole first set feeling, I am almost embarrassed to say, a bit of hero worship.

At the first break I went out to the Jeep, pulled the Ghost Tones CD out of the player and brought it in for him to autograph. He seemed humbled by it and surprised that I would still have an album that old with me on my travels. And we talked some more. In his next set he played my two other favorites. All in all, it was the perfect end to a perfect Big Bend day. f I have to wonder sometimes about our society’s priorities. We have people who barely finished high school making six-figure salaries in industry while high school and elementary teachers with master’s degrees struggle just to get by. We pay exorbitant salaries to athletes and Hollywood types who have little or no

understanding of the universe and how it works, yet some of our most gifted artists are struggling. It’s easy to say that a singer/songwriter in far west Texas made his own choices. He could have chosen to be an engineer, a doctor, or a CEO. He chose to be a musician. I’m not so sure that’s true. I certainly did not have the option of becoming a painter, either of canvases or walls. The result would have been pathetic. And you certainly don’t want to hear me sing. You would pay handsomely, just to get me to stop. Those were not life options available to me. I think we do what we are born to do, even if that means we have to work a different, day job to keep body and soul together. I am a professor by day, but I have to write to be truly alive. I’ll never be the artist Considine is, but I still have to do it. I have no choice in the matter. There is no question that the day job stifles, to some degree, the creative process. I sometimes think about just how much we lose because our artists are distracted from their work by the need to make financial ends meet. What would happen if we just let these people, the most talented among us, do what they do best? Laird is about to release his second album—more than nine years after the first. How much beauty and insight have we missed out on in those intervening years? I can’t help but think we as a society are impoverished by our misguided sense of priorities. I’m not sure how we got to this point, but I have to believe there is a better way. There has to be. If I can find anything positive in all this, it is that at least Laird’s day job is a cool one. Come to think of it, mine’s not too bad, either!

MARCH 2013 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


News & Events 1


Photos by J. Pamela Photography 1. Commodore Carl Drechsel and first lady, Sandy Drechsel. 2. Past Commodore Jack Thomas and his wife, Alice 3. LYC Director Jack Fryday and his wife, Marcy 4. Lakewood Yacht Club flag officers get together for a photo at the annual Commodore’s Ball. They are, from left, Darold and Rear Commodore Joyce Maxwell, Sue and Vice Commodore Tom Collier, Sandy and Commodore Carl Drechsel and Marilyn and Fleet Capt. Don Mitchell.



Lakewood toasts new commodore By Mary Alys Cherry

A glittering crowd of some 250 toasted new Lakewood Yacht Club Commodore Carl Drechsel and his wife, Sandy, at the 2013 Commodore’s Ball.


Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2013


ther flag officers and their wives joining the Drechsels in the limelight were Vice Commodore Tom Collier and his wife, Sue; Rear Commodore Joyce Maxwell and her husband, Darold; and Fleet Capt. Don Mitchell and his wife, Marilyn; and immediate Past Commodore A.J. Ross and his wife, Gayle. Secretary Becca Scoville and her husband, Charles, were in the black-tie crowd, as were Assistant Secretary Rex Bettis with his wife, Kim; Treasurer Al Goethe and his wife, Kathy; and Assistant Treasurer Cary Bass and his wife, Fran. Along with Past Commodores and their ladies – Bob and Judy Fuller, Drew and Sandy Lewis, Don and Trish Kugle, Steve Leth and Mary Ainslie, George and Pat Pappas, Gary and Vicki Anderson, Bunny and Eloise Pearl, Harvey and Jill Denman, John and Kendra Broderick, Glenn Robinson with Martha Mullins, Brian and Lynn Irvine and Jack and Alice Thomas.

Another high point of the evening came when Steve Hegyesi was named Yachtsman of the Year, as his wife, Marisa, beamed with pride. Afterwards, he spent much of the evening receiving congratulations from Kim and Elizabeth Morrell, Paul and Amy Dumphey, John and Johnnie Mae Houchins, Tom and Sue Collier, Jim and Joy Edwards and Barbara and Mike Duckworth. Jack and Marcy Fryday were in the crowd, as were Carol and Bob Robinson, Carl and Johnette Norman, Dr. Paul Fine, Jay and Rosemary Bettis, Anna Dewald, Rita Matthews, Bob and Sue Warters, Rosebud Caradec, Steve and Ann Palm, Sam and Pat Crowder, Roy and Judith Shaw, and Tom, Harriet, Ryan and Carolyn Dreschel, to name a few. Specials guests included Houston Yacht Club Commodore Bob Wright, Vice Commodore Nancy Edmondson and Rear Commodore Robert Williams. After dinner, there was dancing to the music of Nine o’clock.

MARCH 2013 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


2013 Keels & Wheels Now Accepting Entries, Sponsors


he 18th Annual Keels & Wheels Concours d’Elegance, benefiting The Boys & Girls Harbor, is now accepting car and boat entries for exhibitors to participate in the event, which is scheduled for May 4-5, 2013. The weekend-long, nationally acclaimed classic car and vintage wooden boat show takes place each spring at the Lakewood Yacht Club in Seabrook and attracts more than 20,000 attendees. The exhibitors and spectators come from every part of the United States, contributing to the more than $1 million that the Concours has raised to date for local charities. Owners of classic cars and antique wooden boats are encouraged to register for the judged competition, which takes place on Saturday, May 4. The classic boating event is sanctioned by the Antique and Classic Boat Society, an international organization established to standardize the judging procedure. Nearly 60 car judges and 20 boats judges evaluate approximately 40 classes for cars and 20 classes for boats. In addition, Keels & Wheels welcomes celebrity and VIP judges to participate in honoring select vehicles and boats for the “Chairman’s Award.” This year, the event will once again welcome Bill Warner as the honorary chief judge. As the founder of the Amelia Island Concours, which is one of the most prestigious Concours in the nation, as well as the recipient of the 2002 Meguiar’s Award Collector Car Hobby Person of the Year, Warner’s expertise and insight on classic automobiles is among the most proficient in the world. His extensive knowledge and encompassing history of involvement in such events makes him and his assessments an asset to the Keels & Wheels Concours. Invitations and entry forms for the 2013 Keels & Wheels event are available online and must be submitted no later than March 1. Because only 200 automobiles and 100 boats will be selected, it is important for submissions to be made as early as possible. Potential exhibitors are asked to submit one photo of the car or boat, along with year, make, model, owner information and a brief history of the entry. Typically Keels & Wheels does not consider any automobiles newer than 1972 for entry in the event. Event officials also are currently recruiting sponsors for the event. Potential sponsors can choose from six different support levels ranging from $1,000 to $50,000, and include bronze, silver, gold, platinum, presenting and title sponsorships. All levels of funding will receive recognition in printed collateral, a color advertisement in the program, VIP guest passes to Saturday or Sunday Concours, complimentary guest passes to the Friday Evening Party, VIP parking pass, and the company logo will appear on the Keels & Wheels website. Further benefits are available for higher-level sponsorship packages. For more information about entering a classic automobile or antique boat, sponsorships or to download an entry form, visit or visit Keels & Wheels on Facebook.


Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2013

Owner Carole Barnett shows off her wonderful cajun creations.

Pod-Zu’s Cajun Cuisine By Mary Alys Cherry


ot a yen for Cajun? Well, mosey on down to Bacliff for some classic Cajun at Pod-Zu’s at Clifton By The Sea. It’s not only the prettiest restaurant on the bay, they have some fantastic seafood gumbo and crawfish etouffe. Heading south, travel down the Gulf Freeway, Highway 3 or Highway 146 until you reach Highway 646, where you’ll turn left and head east until you arrive at Pod Zu’s, sitting there at the corner of Grand Avenue where Clifton By The Sea once stood overlooking Galveston Bay. The colorful building, trimmed in bright chrome, is so eye-catching, you almost can’t stop looking at it.

Pod-Zu’s offers a variety of delicious cajun fare such as grilled oysters, spicy crawfish, deviled eggs topped with fried oysters, crab stuffed flounder and even expertly cooked steaks are a part of the menu.

Scanning the menu, we found quite a few entrees sure to please the most critical Cajun palate. Dishes such as Shrimp and Smoked Gouda Grits, Blackened Catfish Courtbouillon, Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya, Crabmeat au Gratin, Crawfish Fettuccini, Blackened Chicken and Sweet Mash – even a Cajun Ribeye! You can order a Stuffed Whole Flounder after starting off with Oysters on the Half Shell, Boudin Balls, BBQ Shrimp or Boudin Poppers – to name a few of their appetizers. Plus a Bread Pudding that is to die for. They also offer Poboys, a variety of sides including Cajun Fries, and a Kids Menu. We even sampled one their customer favorites –four varieties of oysters: BBQ, Au Gratin, Bayou Scampi and Mardi Gras. “We are here to provide a bona fide Cajun atmosphere with authentic Cajun food, great service and live music,” says owner Carole Barnett, who studied at the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Dallas. While Pod-Zu’s is new to Bacliff, the family style restaurant actually got its start about three years ago in Texas City, where it was known as Pod-Zu’s Crawfish Shed. Barnett said she and business partners Darryl Vernon and Chat Conner had worked very hard to make the new restaurant a place where families will want to go. On weekends, there’s live music out on Da Porch, weather permitting, Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons. Pod­-Zu’s is open from 4 to 9 p.m. MondaysThursday, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. They invite you to “come on down.”

Unpleasant Surprises for Both Boaters and Fishermen in March By Capt. Joe Kent


arch is one of the more frustrating months for boaters and fishermen. Weather forecasts, especially for wind, are likely the most unreliable of the year and fishing is usually hit or miss. March also is Spring Break Month and most schools designate a week or so as holidays. The first thing on the mind of spring breakers is heading to the coast. For years, while my daughter was in school, there was an annual ritual of spending time at our weekend home on the west end of Galveston Island. One thing I always emphasized to our guests that week was that whatever the weather upon arrival, it would be different upon departure. I don’t recall ever being wrong on that prediction. Spring Break also is a time when many fishermen and boaters hit the water for the first time during the New Year. While the weather can play a major role in their enjoyment or lack thereof, equipment failure can really mar the occasion. This is especially true for boaters. Fishing equipment failures may take fishing out of the plans, but boating equipment problems can really take a toll on your time and enjoyment of the time off.

For those of you planning to take the boat out during a week of vacation, let’s take a look as some of the things that you can do ahead of time to possibly ward off problems away from home. Engine problems stand out as the number one frustration, as boaters often get stranded away from the dock or find that the motor will not start after launching. Here are a few tips on what to look for ahead of time. Remove the cowling from your outboard engine and check for things, like corrosion, that have set in during the off months or a dirt dauber’s mound connected to an engine part. If the interior looks OK, then spray liberally with a light oil spray such as WD-40. Check the lower unit oil and, better still, change it for the season. If water is present, either drops out upon removal of the plug or the oil is milky color, do not run the engine in gear. The source of the water, usually seals, needs to be determined and repaired. Next, use a flushing device connected to the water intake and crank the engine. If it starts, run the engine for a few minutes. If the cranking battery is weak, check to make sure it can be charged up and is not on its last leg. Check the power tilt and trim to make sure it is operable. Turn the steering wheel as far in both

directions as it will go to eliminate any frozen lines. If all of this checks out, add some new fuel stabilizer to the gasoline. If your tank is not full, add fresh gasoline. Although your engine and fuel may pass the initial inspection for the season, you still should have seasonal maintenance performed. Next, check out your trailer. Start with an inspection of the axle, springs and wheels. While rust likely will be present, make sure that it is no more than surface rust. Check the tires for wear, including dry rotting and pressure. If the tire pressure is low, add air before heading out. If you feel uncomfortable performing any of those tasks, take your rig to a specialist. Remember the old saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Now, plan to enjoy your spring break on the water.

MARCH 2013 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


New Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women OB/GYN practice now open in Pearland Texas Children’s Hospital offers continuum of specialized care to Pearland community as OB/GYN practice opens next door to new facility for Texas Children’s Pediatrics  


exas Children’s Pavilion for Women, Houston’s premier hospital for women’s, fetal and newborn health, opened its first community-based OB/GYN practice in Pearland recently. The new OB/GYN practice brings the Pavilion for Women’s leading expertise closer to home by offering outpatient services, making it more convenient for women to receive preventative care, sub-specialty gynecology services and pre-natal checkups in their community. The new practice is located at 9003 Broadway Street in Pearland, next to the new location for Texas Children’s Pediatrics Pearland, which opened on December 17. “Texas Children’s Hospital expanded into obstetrical and gynecological care to fulfill our mission to improve long-term outcomes for babies and children by providing great care for their moms, even before they become mothers,” said Cris Daskevich, senior vice president of Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women. “By opening an OB/GYN practice next door to Texas Children’s Pediatrics Pearland, we can provide the Pearland community with a continuum of specialized care starting before pregnancy and continuing throughout the childhood and adult years.” Pearland was a natural choice for Texas Children’s to open a communitybased OB/GYN practice because of the area’s dynamic growth rate and its proximity to Texas Children’s main campus in the Texas Medical Center, Daskevich added. The new OB/GYN practice is staffed by two Baylor College of Medicine OB/ GYN physicians, Drs. Beth Davis and Kelly Hodges. In addition to a full range of regular gynecological and pre-natal care, the practice will soon offer subspecialty services as well. “Many of the women we care for at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women are currently driving to the medical center for their regular OB/GYN services,” said Dr. Laurie S. Swaim, chief of gynecology at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women and division director of gynecology and obstetrics at Baylor College of Medicine. “With this new clinic, women in the Pearland area will only need to travel to the Pavilion for Women for more specialized


Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2013

gynecological care, surgery or delivery.” Located in the heart of the Texas Medical Center, Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women is designed to care for a woman throughout her life and offers a full range of obstetrical and gynecological services, beginning before conception and continuing after delivery. The 15-story, $575-million state-of-the-art Pavilion for Women is one of the few hospitals worldwide to offer a full spectrum of maternal and fetal medicine services including an array of fetal diagnostic procedures and highly specialized fetal surgeries. Level II and Level III NICU care is provided in 36 private rooms, four of which are specifically designed to accommodate multiples. A two-story circular sky bridge connects the Pavilion for Women to Texas Children’s West Tower and Clinical Care facilities, enhancing patient care by providing physicians, staff and patient families with rapid access to all patient care facilities. To schedule an appointment at the Pavilion for Women Pearland OB/GYN practice, call 281-412-4335. To learn more, visit Pearland.

About Texas Children’s Hospital

Texas Children’s Hospital, a not-forprofit organization, is committed to creating a community of healthy children through excellence in patient care, education and research. Consistently ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the nation, Texas Children’s has recognized Centers of Excellence in multiple pediatric subspecialties including the Cancer and Heart Centers, and operates the largest primary pediatric care network in the country. Texas Children’s has completed a $1.5 billion expansion, which includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute; Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, a comprehensive obstetrics/ gynecology facility focusing on high-risk births; and Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, a community hospital in suburban West Houston. For more information on Texas Children’s, go to Get the latest news from Texas Children’s by visiting the online newsroom and on Twitter at

i n wheel t i m e

All-New Corvette Wows Bay Area Enthusiasts By Don Armstrong


aking its much anticipated debut at this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray generated as much media play as Psy’s Gangnam Style at a dance party. American’s love affair with the iconic nameplate dates back 60 years, and since this is only the 7th generation of the 2-seat sports car, it is a major milestone. If you’ve ever owned one, driven one or just longed for one, this Vette will be the ultimate Bay Area baby when it arrives in showrooms this fall. The new Stingray will be the most powerful standard model ever, with an estimated 450 horsepower and 450 lb.-ft. of torque. It will be able to accelerate from 0-60 in less than four seconds and is expected to be the most fuel-efficient Corvette ever, exceeding the EPA-estimated 26 mpg of the current model.

The all-new 6.2L LT1 V-8 engine combines advanced technologies, including direct injection, Active Fuel Management, continuously variable valve timing and an advanced combustion system that delivers more power while using less fuel It incorporates an all-new interior that includes real carbon fiber, aluminum and hand-wrapped leather materials, two new seat choices – each featuring a lightweight magnesium frame for exceptional support – and dual eight-inch configurable driver/ infotainment screens. Advanced driver technologies, including a five-position Drive Mode Selector, tailors 12 vehicle attributes to fit the driver’s environment along with a new seven-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Matching. All models have a new grille/radiator arrangement and hood vents. Venting air out of the hood reduces total frontend lift for improved steering response at high speeds. The front fender side coves also help vent underhood air pressure to reduce aerodynamic drag.


Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2013

Airflow through the differential and transmission heat exchangers exit through the tail lamp vents and lowerrear fascia air outlets. Corvette Stingray’s provocative exterior styling is as functional as it is elegant, said Ken Parkinson, executive director of global design. “Developing a new Corvette, while every designer’s dream, is not an easy task,” Parkinson said. The result is a new Corvette Stingray – a fantastic car that breaks new ground yet remains true to the fundamental elements that make a Corvette a Corvette. Pricing hasn’t been announced on the 2014 model – the outgoing base version has an MSRP of $49,600 but expect the new Stingray to continue to be the most sports car for the money.

B u s i n e ss

lockheed martin joins dream chaser team By Mary Alys Cherry


ockheed Martin Space Systems is joining the Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser team and will be its exclusive partner on the NASA Certification Products Contract. Dream Chaser, one of three competitors in the space agency’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capability Program, is Sierra Nevada’s orbital crew vehicle in development and is a piloted Rendering of aircraft that can land on a runway. The the Dream Chaser other two are Boeing’s CST-100 and landing on a Space X’s Dragon – both capsule designs. conventional The partnership comes at a time runway. when the corporation realizes it needs more experience in building the composite structure, President Mark Sirangelo said in making the announcement. Lockheed Martin has extensive experience in building composite structures for both spacecraft and high performance aircraft. “(This) offers the Dream Chaser team the opportunity for a more robust technical interchange with NASA as we work to develop a safe, reliable orbital crew transportation system. “This contract capitalizes on SNC’s success working with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, as well as

Lockheed Martin’s expertise in developing and certifying Orion’s beyond low Earth orbit human spaceflight hardware as part of NASA’s Exploration Program.” Lockheed Martin currently is developing NASA’s Orion crew vehicle and brings extensive and current experience in obtaining space agency certification for a crewed flight vehicle to the Dream Chaser program, he explained. “We are pleased to join the SNC Dream Chaser team,” Lockheed Martin Vice President Jim Crocker said. “Lockheed Martin brings with it tremendous


Two astronauts leaving NASA Two astronauts - Clayton Anderson and Brent Jett have left NASA after long careers with the space agency. Anderson began his 30-year NASA career in 1983 as an engineer in Mission Planning and Analysis at Johnson Space Center and was selected as an astronaut in 1998. He trained as a backup crew member for Expeditions 12, 13 and 14 and most recently served in management and as space station Capsule Communicator. Anderson conducted six spacewalks during two space missions and has more than 167 days of spaceflight experience. “Clay will certainly be missed in the Astronaut Office, especially for his technical expertise. His combination of shuttle, station long duration, and spacewalk experience was extremely valuable to us,” said Bob Behnken, chief of the Astronaut Office. “We wish him continued success in future endeavors, and know he will continue to captivate whenever and wherever he shares his spaceflight experiences.” Anderson holds a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from Iowa State University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in physics from Hastings College.


Jett’s NASA career includes four space shuttle flights, two as pilot and two as commander, heading the agency’s Flight Crew Operations Directorate and most recently serving as deputy manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. “Brent has been a remarkable asset to NASA and our human spaceflight programs,” said NASA Association Administrator William Gerstenmaier, who said Jett’s work in Russia and in Houston has really helped position the agency for future endeavors. Soon after his second flight, Jett served as one of the early directors of NASA’s operations in Star City, Russia, at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, helping establish the training protocols for astronauts traveling to Mir and eventually to the International Space Station. Jett retired from the U.S. Navy as a captain in 2007 after more than 26 years of service. He had logged more than 5,000 flight hours in more than 30 different aircraft and performed more than 450 aircraft carrier landings. His experience on four shuttle missions totaled 42 days in space while traveling 17 million miles and orbiting the Earth 659 times.

Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2013

human-rated space flight knowledge from our significant experience with large, human-flight structures, including 135 flights with the Space Shuttle’s external fuel tanks. “We feel we can share many synergies between the Orion exploration spacecraft and the Dream Chaser lifting body space vehicle. This provides a great opportunity to take NASA’s investments in crew exploration capabilities and leverage them toward commercial transportation to low Earth orbit,” he added.


Mireles to head Pearland office Diane Mireles, a realtor with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Green’s Friendswood office at 2251 County Road 94, has been tapped as manager at the company’s Pearland office. “We are pleased to have Diane lead the team at our Pearland office,” said Mark Woodroof, partner in Gary Greene. “Diane is successful, experienced and has a solid reputation,” added Marilyn Eiland, also a partner in the firm. Mireles, who has 20 years experience in residential real estate, is certified as a buyer’s agent, fine homes specialist and relocation agent, has been honored as Realtor of the Year by the Bay Area Board of Realtors. She also is involved in community and charitable causes. “My goal for the office,” she said, “is expansion. I have seasoned agents who are dedicated and successful at what they do, and I’ll be looking for more team members who can help us increase our market share in the area.”

NASA hikes value of Wyle contract NASA has increased the value of a contract

with Wyle Integrated Science and Engineering Group of Houston to provide continuing support to the Human Health and Performance Directorate at Johnson Space Center. The modification increases the value of the contract by $49 million, from $914.5 million to $963.5 million. This value is just a portion of the contract. The overall value of the contract with this change is $1.2 billion. Wyle has held the cost-plusaward-fee contract since May 1, 2003. The contract ends April 30. A follow-on competition, known as the Health and Human Performance Contract, is under way. Services provided under the current contract support the International Space Station and Orion programs and includes medical services, research, technology development, engineering, operations and flight hardware development to support the health, safety and productivity of crews living and working in space. Major subcontractors include Lockheed Martin Space Operations, Barrios Technology Inc., Enterprise Advisory Services Inc., Bastion Technologies and Muniz Engineering Inc., all in Bay Area Houston, and Futron Corp. in Bethesda, MD.

The Cock & Bull British Pub The Place for Fun, Food, Friends By Betha Merit

The Cock & Bull, British Pub in Seabrook, Texas is more than a bar and more than a restaurant. It is a place for fun and adventure, too. 30

Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2013


wners Jeanette and David Walker have created an environment that provides both a neighborhood feel where everyone knows your name, with exciting events that include live music, themed British Balls, Jack the Ripper Party, and sponsored 5K Pub runs. And they major on the food by having two full time chefs. Chef John specializes in their British fare, and Chef Brent Evans amazes with American style. Upon entering you will be greeted by their welcoming staff; Gen who manages the restaurant side, or Mac or Nick, who man the bar. “Service is

everything,” says owner, Jeanette, “if we’re not doing our job, we want to hear about it.” Jeanette and David have lived in Bay Area Houston for decades, and love to support local businesses and the community. They also own Redfish Island Marine (www.redfishislandmarine. com) in Kemah, Texas, which provides a variety of boat services from maintenance to pump-out to concierge and delivery services. Jeanette and David are originally from Australia and England, respectively. “Small communities are what we know and love, and why we choose to live, work, and raise our kids here,” says Jeanette. “We realized there wasn’t

a nearby restaurant or bar that captures the typical British flair, and sends out the message, ‘Come in, have fun, be happy.’” So they opened The Cock & Bull to meet that need in early 2012. Decidedly British and eclectic in style, from the dark wood anchor bar, to the rich, deep red, leather upholstery and wall coloring, the feel is distinctly UK, yet comfortably casual. And, the goal really is to provide service and fun. “Every time you come in, you will see something new that you haven’t seen before,” says Jeanette. There are flat screen televisions for watching the game, perhaps football (we call it soccer in the U.S.) or cricket or rugby. David and Jeanette are Chelsea Football Club fans. In addition to the large bar area, complete with tables and booths, the restaurant has a dining room with a bar, grand piano, and elevated seating section. A Dart Room is open for guests, with bar table seating and flat screen television as well. And the Library/Coffee Lounge is another room that offers sofas and upholstered chairs for a more intimate setting. Games such as dominoes, barrel of monkeys, checkers, and chess, are

available for guests. They even have a “Cock & Bull” game that is easy and quick paced. The Cock & Bull is a place where you can come as you are anytime, after work or a work out. And it is a pub after all, so it is important to mention that they have 15 beers on tap, from local craft beer to British beer to American light styles, and the selections vary. The wine list also changes, and you are sure to find one that suits both your taste and wallet. For drinks on the soft side, iced teas are available and coffee, espresso, cappuccino, and hot tea are offered. The menu features British fare from Fish & Chips to Shepherd’s Pie with English Cheddar Mash, Bangers & Mash with Gravy and Peas and more. For the American palate, fine dining options range from filet mignon

to lamb chops to a variety of seafood and more. Elegant appetizers and salads complete the menu with creative, flavorful side dishes included with the main course selections. A late night menu and happy hour menu are also available. Beginning March 17, Sunday Brunch will be an option and include a traditional British Breakfast as well as a British Carving Station and other choices. Live music is offered on Fridays and Saturdays, Monday is Trivia Night, and Jazz Wednesday is an idea in the works. “We like to support local musicians, and mix it up,” says Jeanette. “I am keen on new ideas, and welcome any musicians who want to audition, or check us out.” Jeanette and David live life to the fullest. Both are runners, bicyclists, and athletes into adventure. David is an avid kitesurfer and powered paraglider fan. He also is part of the Men Who Cook annual local event. Their energy permeates the environment at The Cock & Bull, where you can come in and meet them. Located at 3659 NASA Parkway, Seabrook, Texas, 77586; phone: 832.864.2131;

UPCOMING SPECIAL EVENTS Sunday, March 17th St Patrick’s Day Brunch Sunday, March 31st Easter Brunch April Date TBA 5K Pub Run Saturday, April 20th St. George’s Day Ball (black tie) Sunday, May 12th Mother’s Day Brunch Monday, June 10th Queen’s Birthday Celebration Sunday, June 16th Father’s Day Brunch July 22nd to 27th James Bond 007 Week Saturday, July 27th Bond 007 Ball (attire from any Bond film required)

All Month of August, British Invasion Month celebrating Monty Python, The Rolling Stones, Downton Abbey, Sherlock Holmes, and more Thursday, October 31st Jack The Ripper Costume Party

STANDARD WEEKLY EVENTS Monday Trivia Night, Happy Hour All Night Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday, Happy Hour from 4 to 6:32p.m Friday/Saturday Live Music Nights Sundays, beginning March 17th British Style Brunch and Carving Station

MARCH 2013 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Trail Bosses

Barrios Technology, Bay Area Houston Magazine, The Boeing Company, Chemical Process and Production, Endeavour Marina/Admiral banquet Room, FastSigns Clear Lake, Grand Finale Catering, Jacobs, Metro Linen Services, Norman Frede Chevrolet, Satellite Logistics Group, PRP Entertainment Company,

The NASA/Clear Creek/ Friendswood Go Texan Trail Bosses and Ranch Hands


Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2013

Ranch Hands

ATA Associates, City of League City, City of Nassau Bay, Kemah Boardwalk, Medsafe, Mark E. Hesse CPA, McRee Ford, Oceaneering Space Systems, One Stop Tent and Events, Petro Tech Consultants, LLC, Space Center Automotive, Texas Wealth management Inc, Top Gun Security & Investigations, Your Town TV, Emmeline Dodd and Gene Hollier

The NASA/Clear Creek/ Friendswood Go Texan Committee has been a leader among Go Texan Committees within the HLSR. Last year they raised over $125,000 and a student in each of the area high schools was awarded a $16,000 scholarship. For 2013 this level has been raised to $18,000. HLSR’s 2013 commitment to Scholarships is $12,264,000 with Area Go Texan support committed at 72

four-year $18,000 -totaling $1,296,000. Since its beginning in 1932, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has committed more than $330 Million to scholarships, research, endowments, calf scramble, participants, junior show exhibitors, School Art participants, and other education youth programs. Thank you to our Trail Bosses and Ranch Hands for their generous support!

MARCH 2013 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


CHRISTUS St. John helps women focus on their own health, well-being through CHRISTUS LiveWell Network


any women are so good at taking care of everyone else that they put their own health and well-being at the bottom of their priority list. That’s exactly why CHRISTUS created the LiveWell Women’s Network at CHRISTUS St. John Hospital. LiveWell is a free online resource designed especially for women to easily connect to important information for the health of themselves and their families. So far, more than 2,000 women in Southeast Texas have tapped into the CHRISTUS LiveWell Women’s Network. The network, available at www., not only provides engaging health information, but allows for direct interaction between women and physicians and other healthcare experts. The network also connects women to community health resources and events, including the annual CHRISTUS St. John Hospital’s LiveWell Women’s Conference, taking place May 16 in Clear Lake. The event delivers highprofile speakers and a day of workshops that address the physical, spiritual and mental health of women. “Women tend to be primary caregivers and as a result of helping everyone else in their lives, they put themselves last,” says Nancy Pittman, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nursing Executive at CHRISTUS St. John Hospital. “We knew that when it came to healthcare, women needed a quick, easy, go-to resource that would get them the information they need and also provide helpful connections within the local community.” The interactive site makes it easy to get the useful information on a variety


of health-related topics, with physicians, dietitians, clinicians and other experts blogging on the site and providing up-tothe-minute content. In addition, those who sign up for the network can learn about health screenings and seminars and take

(Conference registration opens April 1). It’s a day designed just for women with interesting workshops addressing physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. The conference is also famous for its high-profile keynote speakers. Last year conference attendees enjoyed a dynamic presentation by Kathryn Stockett, bestselling author of “The Help,” and Tate Taylor, director/screenwriter of feature film based on the book. “This event is always a highlight for everyone who attends,” Pittman says. “It’s a day when women can just focus on themselves, get a fresh perspective on their own well-being and recharge their batteries.” The day begins at 8 a.m. with a light continental breakfast as women arrive. The first session begins at 8:30 a.m., with participants choosing from four or five workshops taking place within the session. Workshops cover a wide range of topics from skin care to self-esteem, from yoga to personal finances. Medical issues are also a popular subject. During one recent conference, the workshop with the highest attendance was “Below the Belt,” which featured open questions to doctors of gynecology, urology, obstetrics, and proctology. The conference also includes a Professional Development Track which offers attendance credit hours for select

“It’s a day when women can just focus on themselves, get a fresh perspective on their own well-being and recharge their batteries.” advantage of other benefits including discounts and early access to special events, special invitations to fun and entertaining activities, online educational webinars and blogs and insider tips on local discounts. CHRISTUS St. John Hospital is continuously adding to the list of member benefits and the event calendar, Pittman says, and members are alerted when new additions are made. CHRISTUS ST. JOHN HOSPITAL’S LIVEWELL WOMEN’S CONFERENCE One of the network’s signature events is the CHRISTUS St. John Hospital’s LiveWell Women’s Conference, taking place Thursday May 16 on the campus of the University of Houston Clear Lake

Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2013

sessions, and may assist women working full-time in attending with registration costs covered by their employer. “Our goal is always to schedule a wide range of workshops that are relevant to the lives of women,” Pittman says. “We want each woman to be able to customize the day based on her needs and interests.” The day includes lunch and a keynote presentation by a dynamic, high-profile speaker. (For early notification of the 2013 Keynote Speaker, register online at www. The afternoon brings more workshops to choose from, along with an afternoon tea. Throughout the day, attendees can visit Market Square, a bazaar combining interesting wellness exhibits, free health

screenings and a shopping boutique with one-of-a-kind items. “It’s an absolutely energizing day and the benefits last long after the day is through,” Pittman says. “The conference inspires women to do the things they should to take better care of themselves, and it also gives them the knowledge to know what steps to take.” Save the date and receive notification when registration opens by signing up online at, or call 281-333-8837 for more information. MAKING WOMEN’S HEALTH A PRIORITY CHRISTUS St. John Hospital’s focus on women’s health also extends to its services and facilities. The hospital makes it easy and convenient for women to get the high-quality health care services they need. For example, screening mammograms are available by the breast care specialists at CHRISTUS St. John’s Breast Imaging Center of Excellence. The mammograms are available with extended office hours, including early morning and evening appointments, and do not require a physician’s order. For new mothers and their babies, The Center for New Life at CHRISTUS St. John Hospital offers obstetrical services are provided in a warm, family-centered environment. Designed to keep mother, father and baby together throughout the birthing process, the Center features 19 private birthing suites that let mothers labor, deliver and recover in the same comfortable room. The Center is equipped to support any birth option that the family wishes, along with a special care nursery to provide neonatology support. CHRISTUS St. John Hospital also makes it easy to monitor the effects of changes in diet or exercise or follow up on chronic disease in between physician visits without a physician’s order. Through the Direct Access Testing Program (“Your Health, In Your Hands, On Your Schedule®”), the CHRISTUS St. John Laboratory offers a variety of individual wellness tests, wellness testing packages and more for those who wish to monitor their health. While these resources and more are all conveniently located within CHRISTUS St. John Hospital at 18300 St. John Drive in Nassau Bay, accessing a world of health information is as easy as going online via the CHRISTUS LiveWell Women’s Health Network. It’s a great starting point to making women’s wellbeing a priority, Pittman says. “LiveWell Women’s Network and everything else we do centers around empowering women to make informed decisions about their own health care and that of their families,” Pittman says.

Many city council, mayoral posts up for election May 11 By Mary Alys Cherry


t will soon be time to vote again. Filing has begun for about three dozen mayoral and council posts and two seats on the Clear Creek ISD Board of Trustees up for the voters’ decision in the May 11 city elections. Mayors whose jobs are on the line include Johnny Isbell of Pasadena, Brad Emel of El Lago, Vern Johnson of Clear Lake Shores, Jon Powell of Taylor Lake Village, Stephen Don Carlos of Baytown, Wayne Riddle of Deer Park and Bob Cummins of Kemah. Clear Creek ISD trustees up for election include the Single Member District 1 seat held by Robert Davee and the At-Large Position B Seat held by Ann Hammond. City elections for Houston, of which Clear Lake City is a party and League City will be in the fall. Seabrook does not have any seats up for election this cycle. Some current officeholders, including Ron Swofford of Nassau Bay, Steve Waltz of Webster, Jackie Welch of Pasadena and Woody Owens of Pearland are term-limited. Filing began Jan. 30 with would-be candidates given until March 1 at 5 p.m. to file for a place on the ballot. Those who are interested in filing for a mayoral or city council seat should contact the city secretary of that city for a candidate application. Wouldbe school board candidates are asked to contact Linda Bertram by email, or by phone, 281-284-0181, to obtain a candidate application and information packet. To vote in the city elections, a voter must be registered by April 11, 2013. Voter registration cards are available at the Harris County Clerk’s Office. The period for submitting an application to vote by mail is March 12-May 3, 2013. Early voting will begin April 29 and continue until May 7, in most instances in the City Secretary’s Office. On Election Day, voting will be conducted at the various city halls from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. A voting device to assist voters with a disability will be available during early voting and on Election Day. Contact your city secretary’s office for more information. Seats up for election and the current office holder:


Baytown Mayor Stephen Don Carlos Pos. 1 – Mercedes Renteria III Pos. 2 – Scott Sheley Pos. 3 – Brandon Capetillo Clear Lake Shores Mayor Vern Johnson Al Burns Jr. Arline Laughter Deer Park Mayor Wayne Riddle Pos. 1 – Jerry Mouton Jr. Pos. 2 – Thane Harrison Pos. 3 – Chris Richey Dickinson Pos. 2 – Mary Dunbaugh Pos. 4 – Mark Townsend Pos. 6 – William H. King III El Lago Mayor Brad Emel Pos. 1 – Robert White Pos. 2 – Amy Carr Friendswood Pos. 4 – Patrick J. McGinnis Pos. 6 – Deirdre Brown Kemah Mayor Bob Cummins Pos. 2 – Pat Buchanan Pos. 4 – Wayne Rast Nassau Bay Pos. 1 – David Braun Pos. 2 – Ron Swofford Pos. 3 – Jonathan Amdur Pasadena Mayor Johnny Isbell Pos. A – Ornaldo Ybarra Pos. B – Jackie Welch Pos. C – Don Harrison Pos. D -- Pat Van Houte Pos. E – Leroy Stanley Pos. F – Phil Cayten Pos. G – Steve Cote Pos. H – Darrell Morrison Pearland Pos. 1 – Woody Owens Pos. 5 – Greg Hill Taylor Lake Village Mayor Jon Powell Pos. 2 – Lilian Norman Keeney Pos. 4 – Einar Goerland Webster Pos. 3 – Mel Donehue Pos. 4 – Steve Waltz Pos. 5 – Natalie Dolan

Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2013

Golf course may become chain of lakes By Mary Alys Cherry


lear Lake City may be getting its own version of New York’s Central Park one day soon. Perhaps a “Land of Lakes.” After many hours of meeting with various citizen groups and conferring with hydrologists and various other experts over the past year, the Clear Lake City Water Authority has drawn up a plan to turn the Clear Lake Golf Course into a beautiful park the community can enjoy and which will add value to property in the area. As envisioned, it will be a 178-acre chain of five lakes, with a waterfall, picnic areas, hike and bike trails, practice fields, public restrooms, perhaps a concession stand, areas for canoes and kayaks – even a tree just for birds and sitting on an small island so wandering cats can’t snatch them. The plan was presented to the community at a town hall Feb. 21. The hike and bike trails, along with existing golf cart trails, would be among the first things done. Each will tie into the various Clear Lake neighborhoods, CLCWA Vice President John Branch said, adding that while the chain of lakes “is just a vision at this point,” he hopes to see become a reality in the not-too­-distant future. Each lake will be six feet deep normally, except in times of heavy rainstorms, and a dam will hold all the water in. It will have no lighting and will be open

during daylight hours only for safety reasons and will have “a nice park-type atmosphere,” Branch said. Sadly, some trees will have to be removed. But 42 percent of them will be saved and hundreds more will be planted, he explained. The golf course became quite an issue a few years back when a developer bought it, shut the course down and indicated that he wanted to use it to build homes and

“Each lake will be six feet deep normally, except in times of heavy rainstorms.” apartments. He ran into a stumbling block when it was discovered that Exxon Mobil held the deed restrictions, which said the land could only be used for recreational purposes until 2021. The Water Authority, feeling development of the golf course would cause serious flooding and drainage problems for much of Clear Lake City, finally stepped in and took the land by eminent domain with the intention of using it for water detention and to avert flooding. It will be done in phases and will take time, probably one to five years to develop each of the five sections for a total of about 15 years. Grants can be used to fund much of the development, Branch added.

League City Uncorked coming up March 23-24


eague City Uncorked -- a global wine and art experience -- will be held in the 86-acre Walter Hall Park March 23-24 from 1-10 p.m. on Saturday and 1-7 p.m. on Sunday. This inaugural event is unlike any other event ever held in the city and is expected to provide an exciting and one-of-a-kind flavor. Gulf Coast Public Affairs, on behalf of League City, will create a weekend of fine arts, exotic wines and universal customs. League City Uncorked will assemble a world-class stable of artists and fine craftsmen. It will feature dynamic music, over 40 different types of wine from around the globe along with local flavors from Texas wineries, and delicious food, transforming the park into an entertainment hotspot for the weekend. Tickets for League City Uncorked start at $15, with discounts for tickets purchased before March 21. Weekend passes and a limited number of VIP tickets are also available. The VIP Moroccan-styled, luxury tent area with a custom cigar and international wine bar, along with private entertainment, is sure to enhance the VIP ticket purchasers’ experience. Tickets may be purchased at the gate, at and Community sponsors include: primary sponsor Elite Care-24 Hour Emergency Center, South Shore Harbour Resort and Conference Center, Lynn’s Landscaping, Women Who Art and Wycoff Construction. Sponsorship, featured artist and vendor opportunities are still available, but will run out soon. Visit the web site for more information. A portion of the proceeds from League City Uncorked will benefit Communities in Schools-Bay Area and The Jesse Tree. Communities In Schools – Bay Area is an organization that helps young people stay in school and prepare for life. The Jesse Tree is a faith-based, organization that connects people with the health care, social services and ministerial resources. Contact the festival hotline at 832-704-1110, via email at info@ or www. “Like” League City Uncorked on Facebook or Twitter for festival updates and sign up to receive occasional festival updates on your cell phone by texting “281281” and type “uncorked” in the text bar.


League City Mayor Tim Paulissen, left, welcomes State Sen. Larry Taylor, center, and Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset to the League City Chamber State of the City Luncheon at La Brisa.

League City mayor: We need to keep an eye on the future By Mary Alys Cherry


he state of the city is good, League City Mayor Tim Paulissen told the League City Chamber at its monthly luncheon, but “we need to keep an eye on the future.” While the city’s population is only about 85,000 now, “it will be 160,000 in a few years, so we need to be preparing now. “We’ve made a lot of progress, and people notice. About a year ago, we were named one of the smartest cities in our state and nation. This year, we’ve been named the seventh safest in Texas and 68th in America.” With that in mind, a recent council strategic planning session identified three main issues for attention, he said: 1. Financial management – Reduce the city’s debt and hire a city auditor to identify efficiencies and savings. 2. Economic development – Encourage commercial growth while managing the residential pace to bring the city tax base, which is now 80 percent residential, into balance; encourage private development; streamline the permitting processes; and make sure we’re treating everyone equally. 3. Beautification – Seek help from local landscapers on the city entryways. “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression;” invest in public improvements along Main Street. Meanwhile, he said, “don’t forget the basics,” going on to mention improvements to traffic, sidewalks, drainage, the water supply, work on various roads that should result in a 30 percent increase in traffic capacity and the start of construction on the new public safety building for police, fire and emergency management.

Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2013

Key to accomplishing all this, he explained, is protecting the taxpayer, keeping the city’s financial position as strong as it is today. “We have ample reserves, our debt load is strategically managed and under control, and our revenues are strong as the economy shows signs of recovery.” The city needs to continue to hold taxes low. “We have had three consecutive tax cuts and now have the lowest rate since Ronald Reagan.

“We’ve made a lot of progress, and people notice. About a year ago, we were named one of the smartest cities in our state and nation.” “Like a young and growing family that borrows for major investments such as a home or car, League City may need to spread the cost of necessary infrastructure over a reasonable period of time – while not overburdening ourselves or the next generation.” When people talk, we listen, he said. “The 518 access management project was withdrawn for more study, and after November’s clear vote on red light cameras, we’ve already gotten one removed more than 18 months ahead of schedule. “It’s been more than 50 years now since League City residents and businesses banded together to form this city. They knew what we must remember – that together we can do more for ourselves and one another.”

MARCH 2013 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


BayTran introduces new president

Clear Springs High School student Elizabeth Wood, fifth from left, poses with her artwork she present the Clear Creek ISD Board of Trustees. Trustees are, from left, Charles Pond, Dee Scott, Vice President Ann Hammond, President Ken Baliker, Trustees Win Weber, Page Rander and Robert Davee.

New BayTran President Barbara Koslov welcomes Pearland Mayor Tom Reid, left, and Port of Houston Executive Director Len Waterworth to recent Transportation Partnership luncheon at Cullen’s Upscale Grill.

By Mary Alys Cherry


Houston woman with some 30 years of progressive experience in regional planning and urban development has been named president of the Bay Area Houston Transportation Partnership. She is Barbara Koslov, whose focus over the years has been on transportation. She replaces Colleta Castleschoult, who resigned. BayTran members got to meet her for the first time at a recent luncheon at Cullen’s Upscale Grille. BayTran Chairman Karen Coglianese said, “Barbara’s transportation knowledge and her leadership skills fit perfectly with BayTran’s. “The members of the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors of BayTran are very excited that Barbara accepted the position of president, and we anticipate a very rewarding future for BayTran and Barbara,” she added. For the past three years, she has been participating in a study for the City of Galveston to develop and evaluate alternatives for improved mobility along the Galveston-Houston corridor while also working on a Fort Bend County Park & Ride project. Some of her other professional experience includes work on a Sugar Land Comprehensive Mobility Plan, a Rosenberg Transit and Pedestrian Study and a Pearland Transit Feasibility Study. She worked for a number of years for the Metropolitan Transit Authority, first as a senior transit planner and later as manager of capital planning, and as a senior consultant with HDR/SR Beard & Associates of Houston. She earned her B.A. in Political Science from Tulane University in New Orleans and graduated from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin with her Master’s in Public Affairs.


Long battle expected over school funding lawsuit By Mary Alys Cherry

A final decision in the school funding lawsuit may be months off and will probably be decided by the Texas Supreme Court.


tate officials indicated as much after State District Judge John Dietz ruled that the current funding system is not only inefficient and inadequate but unconstitutional as well, and needs to be repaired. In his ruling, a decision that could have a major impact on education, Judge Dietz specifically called on the state to provide the resources necessary to give all students a real opportunity to graduate from high school ready for college or a career and provide equitable funding to bring all Texas school districts up to the funding levels necessary to meet Texas’ high standards. Gov. Rick Perry declined to comment and Attorney General Greg Abbott said the system is adequately funded but that school districts don’t always spend their money wisely. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst expressed disappointment in the ruling and said he expected “an immediate appeal to the Texas Supreme Court.” Clear Creek ISD was one of 600 Texas school districts to file suit against the state when the Texas Legislature cut $5.4 billion from public education in 2011-- at a time when the state increased unfunded requirements and testing requirements for school districts. “We are pleased with Judge Dietz’s decision,” said Dr. Greg Smith, superintendent of schools. “We are in favor of higher standards for education. We look forward to the state doing its part to provide the appropriate financial and human resources to meet those shared goals. I think that is the bottom line on this verdict. “We certainly hope our lawmakers, who are currently in session, use this as an opportunity to meet the needs of students and teachers in classrooms across Texas,” said Smith. Public school financing, Smith explained, is a complex and controversial system dating back to 2006 when the state forced school districts to reduce property tax rates from $1.50 to $1 per $100 valuation, froze per-student

Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2013

funding based on 2006 property values, and promised to make up the difference through the business franchise tax. “This tax never delivered the intended results. In 2011, the state cut $5.4 billion to education. This reduction equaled $17.5 million for the Clear Creek Independent School District.” Besides the funding cut, which resulted in massive job cuts and larger classes, the state imposed a new tougher testing program and additional unfunded mandates such as requiring four years of math and science to graduate. The Texas Constitution forbids a state income tax, meaning the school finance system is built on what schools districts can raise in local property taxes. The state also sends money to fill in the funding gaps between districts. With the Feb. 4 ruling, nothing will change immediately in the way education is funded. The attorney general’s office can appeal Dietz’ decision directly to the Texas Supreme Court, and, if it upholds the district court ruling, will order the Legislature to overhaul the way it finances Texas schools.

“We certainly hope our lawmakers, who are currently in session, use this as an opportunity to meet the needs of students and teachers in classrooms across Texas.” Such a decision will most likely mean Governor Perry will have to call a special session on school finance in 2014, as the current session ends in May. But allowing the case to slowly wend its way through the lower appeals court system might be a better political option for Republicans, who might not want to have to vote in favor of increasing education funding before the March 2014 primary, so as to avoid challenges from tea party candidates. Some of the area school districts in the lawsuit included Pearland, Houston, Pasadena, Spring Branch, Klein, Katy, Cy-Fair, La Porte, La Marque, Santa Fe, and Humble, plus Dallas, Austin and Fort Worth.

Education Clear Creek ISD Science Fair Grand Award winners show off their trophies as they stand with SAIC Program Manager and former astronaut Kenneth D. Cameron, left. They are, from left, Grand Award winner Kevin Cyr and runner up winners Allen Hu and Kushal Kadakia. Grand Award winner Perry Alagappan is not pictured.

CCISD District Fair Special Awards 2013 CCISD District Fair Special Awards also were given to students who completed a science fair project every year from Kindergarten through 12th grade.

District Science Fair Winners Announced


he results have been tallied and the Clear Creek School District had some good news for about a hundred students as the winners of the 2012-2013 CCISD Science Fair were announced. More than 400 4th and 5th graders competed at the district level science fair. “We had teacher volunteers from each of our 26 elementary schools who helped make the district fair a success,” said elementary science coordinator Anne Smith. “Our community of judges worked very hard to evaluate the projects and assign the awards.” At the intermediate and high school level, 270 students competed in four divisions and 14 different categories. Winners were announced during a special award ceremony after projects were evaluated by teams of volunteer judges from the community. They selected Grand Award winners and place winners. Approximately 100 Junior, Ninth and Senior division

winners are eligible to advance to the Science Engineering Fair of Houston. Winners of the Jesse A. Dorrington 2013 Grand Award are: Jesse A. Dorrington 2013 Grand Award Life Science - Kevin Cyr Bridging the Gap Between in Vitro and in Vivo

2013 CCISD Science Fair Special Awards Swaralayam Arts Forum: Sound Music Through Science 9th/Senior Division Sulochana Pattabhiraman Award Rosie Fasullo Drumming It Up

Jesse A. Dorrington 2013 Grand Award Physical Science - Perry Alagappan Optical Characterization of SWNTS in a Magnetic Field

Honorable Mention John Lin Identifying Corresponding Sheet Music and Audio

2013 Grand Award Runner Up Life Science - Kushal Kadakia Heavy Metal Removal Using Fe3O4 Nanoparticles II

Junior Division Pattu Rajagopalan Award Megan Flores and Ankita Rao Shop the Beat: Effect of Music Tempo on Purchase Intentions

2013 Grand Award Runner Up Physical Science - Allen Hu Effects of Calix(4) Pyrrole on DyeSensitized Cells

Honorable Mention Isha Parupudi The Effect of Music on HR and BP

The “Lucky13” winners: Anne Arceneaux- CLHS Travis Banneyer - CBHS Brittney Butler - CBHS Allen Hu - CLHS Julia Kuchenmeister - CSHS Rohan Limaye - CBHS Chamali Raigama - CLHS Ryan Sharpe - CBHS 12-Year winners: Amanda Bradley - CLHS Elizabeth Craft - CFHS Christopher Fleming - CFHS Shyam Gaudhi - CBHS Jasmin Gildere - CLHS Harsh Gupta - CLHS Patrick Harold - CLHS Eric Ho - CLHS Andrew Hood - CLHS Sabrina Hussain - CLHS Brenna Johnson - CLHS Jacob Kantara - CSHS Deeksha Madala - CLHS Ellen Martin - CBHS Nick Motamedi - CLHS Sarah Pierce - CSHS Homais Qadri - CLHS Kaanan Shah - CLHS Pieryn Sinwiroon - CFHS Mauricio Sotamayor - CLHS Rishi Suresh - CBHS Adam Verma - CLHS Karen Yen - CLHS Amanda Zhao – CLHS Additional winners are listed on the CCISD website.

Photo and story by MAC


CCISD Students Perform Above State Average on STAAR Test


he 2012 STAAR test results for grades 3-8 are in, and Clear Creek ISD students performed well against the new rigorous standards and well above the state average. The results, released by the Texas Education Agency, are as follows: • 87% - 90% of all 3rd thru 5th grade students passed STAAR in reading • 77% - 86% of all 3rd thru 5th grade students passed STAAR in math • 85% of all 5th grade students passed STAAR in science • 87% - 91% of all 6th thru 8th grade students passed STAAR in reading • 86% - 88% of all 6th thru 8th grade students passed STAAR in math • 85% of all 8th grade students passed science   • 75% of all 8th grade students passed social studies “As we all know there are multiple indicators of student success. This is simply one measure,” said Superintendent Dr. Greg Smith, “I am optimistic that we will see positive changes on assessments this legislative session.” CCISD is one of 23 school districts selected to participate in the High Performing Schools Consortium. The consortium will work with the Texas Education Agency and legislators to develop new learning standards, assessments, and accountability systems. “The school districts selected to participate in the consortium are already known for their innovative

work and are looked to by many as educational leaders,” said State Education Commissioner Michael Williams. “This exciting project will help the governor, legislative leaders and the Texas Education Agency craft a sound, well-thought out plan to move all Texas schools to the next performance level.” For several years CCISD has been working with the Schlechty Center, national experts on school transformation. The CCISD superintendent is also one of the authors of Creating a New Vision for Public Education and thanked the TEA and Texas Legislature “for recognizing the need to explore new ways to engage students in the 21st century, best prepare them for a competitive and global workforce, and measure performance through meaningful assessments.” The following CCISD schools directly involved in the process are Clear Horizons Early College High School; Clear Springs High School; Clear View Education Center; Creekside Intermediate; Westbrook Intermediate; North Pointe Elementary; and Stewart Elementary. These schools were selected to ensure a fair geographic representation of the district. The consortium will make recommendations in four key areas – digital learning, learning standards, assessment methods and local control. The education commissioner said passing rates on most State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness tests for grades 3-8 topped 70 percent in 2012. The STAAR was given for the first

time in Texas public and charter schools last spring. Among the results for grades 3-8, the highest passing rates are seen on some 8th grade tests. Eighty percent of eighthgrade students passed the STAAR reading test, 76 percent passed the STAAR mathematics test, and 70 percent passed the STAAR science test. “We have set the bar higher with a more rigorous test, and our students and teachers are already on a path to meeting those higher expectations,” Commissioner Williams said. “I have no doubt results in future years will continue to improve but only if our state elects to keep the focus on educating every child in every classroom in every district across Texas.” Commissioner Williams noted the passing percentages for all areas (except three) are at 70 percent or better. The lowest passing rate (59 percent) occurred on the 8th grade social studies test could be attributed to the inclusion of new social studies curriculum content, as well as the use of more primary sources in test questions than occurred previously on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS). Following are state passing rates for the Grade 3-8 assessments.

As with the high school STAAR tests, passing standards are being phased in for the elementary and middle school tests using a four-year, two-step process. This approach provides school districts with time to adjust instruction, provide additional training for teachers, and close knowledge gaps.

“Among the results for grades 3-8, the highest passing rates are seen on some 8th grade tests.” Although students first took the STAAR tests last spring, the passing standards were not finalized until recently for grades 3-8. State law required the passing rates to be set on the high school end-of-course exams first, with the standards for tests in lower grades aligned to those standards. Passing standards for the end-of-course assessments were established last spring. For spring 2013 testing, results will be released on the normal schedule, which is typically by the end of the school year.

Passing Rates for 2012 STAAR Grade 3 4 5 6 7 8

Reading 76% 77% 77% 75% 76% 80%

Grades 3-8 Mathematics Writing Science Social Studies 68% – – – 68% 71% – – 77% – 73% – 77% – – – 71% 71% – – 76% – 70% 59% – STAAR not required for grade level

MUST-HAVE Insurance Plans


any people adopt a “penny wise, pound foolish” mentality when it comes to buying insurance. When trying to lower expenses, some will drop or reduce needed coverage, gambling that they won’t become seriously ill, suffer a car accident or fall victim to a fire or other catastrophe. But all it takes is one serious uncovered (or under-covered) incident to potentially wipe you out financially. Here are insurance policies no household should be without:


This is the most critical – and unfortunately, the most expensive – coverage you need. When comparing plans, consider: • Are your doctors in their provider networks? If not, can you afford out-of-network charges – or are you willing to find new doctors? • Are your medications covered under the plan’s drug formularies? • Do they restrict specialized services you might need like maternity, mental health or weight reduction treatments? • If you choose catastrophic coverage to lower premiums, can you afford the high deductible in case of an accident or major illness? • Homeowner/renter. Faulty plumbing, theft and home-accident lawsuits are only a few catastrophes that could leave you without possessions or homeless. A few tips: • “Actual cash value” coverage repairs or replaces belongings, minus the deductible and depreciation, whereas “replacement cost” coverage replaces items in today’s dollars. Depreciation can significantly lower values, so replacement coverage is probably worth the extra expense. • Jewelry, art, computers and luxury items usually require additional coverage. • Review coverage periodically to adjust for inflation, home improvements, new possessions, change in marital/family status, etc. • The market is competitive, so compare your rate with other insurance carriers. Get “apples to apples” quotes since policies may have varying provisions.


Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2013


You probably can’t even get a driver’s license without demonstrating proof of insurance. Consider these coverage options: • “Liability” pays if you cause an accident that injures others or damages their car or property. • “Uninsured motorist” pays for damage caused to you or your car by an uninsured motorist. • “Collision” pays for damage to your car resulting from a collision and “comprehensive” pays for damage caused by things like theft, vandalism and fire. However, they only pay up to the actual cash value (ACV) minus deductibles. Because the ACV for older cars is low, repairs often cost more than the car is worth. • Common ways to lower premiums include: Raising deductibles; discounts for good drivers, exceeding age 55 or installing security systems; comparison shopping; and buying homeowner and car insurance from the same carrier.

Life insurance

If you’re single with no dependents, you may get by with minimal or no life insurance. But if your family depends on your income, experts recommend buying coverage worth at least five to 10 times annual pay. Other considerations: • Many employers offer life insurance, but if you’re young and healthy you may be able to get a better deal on your own. • After your kids are grown you may be able to lower your coverage; although carefully consider your spouse’s retirement needs. • You probably don’t need life insurance on your children, but you might want spousal coverage if you depend on each other’s income. • If your divorce settlement includes alimony and/or child support, buy life insurance on the person paying it, naming the receiving ex-spouse as beneficiary. Don’t gamble your future financial stability by passing on vital insurance coverage – the odds aren’t in your favor. 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

The Next Best Thing to a Trip to Israel this Summer


our child most likely has not (yet) been to Israel. Now you can have the youth experience the next best thing – in a 5-day Vacation Torah School (VTS) in the form of a day camp. Once again, the campers will embark on a new “Journey to Israel,” filled with daily adventures. The camp, which offers a high quality experience to the community, will include “visits” to different places in Israel each day, with related activities – every day is a different journey, basic Hebrew, preparation and taste of Israeli food, songs, Israeli dance and much more. Vacation Torah School will take place on Monday, Aug. 5 through Friday, Aug. 9 from 9:00 a.m. to noon at Congregation Shaar Hashalom in Clear Lake. Camp cost is $125 for the week and $50 for each additional camper per family, open to children Pre-K – 8th grade. Scholarships and financial aid may also be available. The camp website is

The camp is open to the community, as CSH membership is not required to attend. The Congregation, which is the conservative synagogue in the Bay Area Houston, is located at 16020 El Camino Real, Houston, TX 77062. Please contact the synagogue office at 281.488.5861 or at csh@shaarhashalom. org for more information.

MARCH 2013 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Regis Philbin Comes to Houston as the CHRISTUS Foundation for HealthCare Keynote Speaker, March 19 Spring Luncheon honors Dr. and Mrs. Ernest D. Cronin


arch 19 will mark the 9th annual CHRISTUS Foundation for HealthCare Spring Luncheon, which takes place every year to raise money for a local charitable cause. This year’s beneficiary is Operation San José: Because Everyone Should Face the World with a Smile, which is part of the Cronin & Brauer Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate Clinic in Houston. For 30 years, the Cronin & Brauer clinic has helped children and adults face the world as they should— with a healthy, winning smile. The keynote speaker for this year’s luncheon is the legendary Regis Philbin. Often called the “hardest working man in television,” Philbin is known best for hosting talk and game shows since 1960 and holds the Guinness World Record for the most time spent in front of a TV camera. During the luncheon, Philbin will talk about his rise to fame and his life before, during and after his many years on TV. “Regis was our overwhelming choice this year for our keynote speaker because of his exuberance and vast popularity,” said Les Cave, president of CHRISTUS Foundation for HealthCare. “The Foundation is beyond thrilled to have him as our guest.”  The luncheon will be held at noon (check in begins at 11:30 a.m.) at the River Oaks Country Club, located at 1600 River Oaks Blvd. To reserveyour seat or table, please visit www., or for more information, contact Kemah Blair, senior director of Development, at 713-6523100. At 10:45 a.m., there will be a VIP “Meet and Greet” with Philbin for those donors that contribute $5,000 or more.


Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2013

If you cannot attend but wish to help children face the world with a smile, you can do so online at www. About CHRISTUS Foundation for HealthCare CHRISTUS Foundation for HealthCare is dedicated to extendingthe healing ministry of Jesus Christ, continuing the legacy of the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word through the promotion of health and welfare to people in need. CHRISTUS Foundation for HealthCare is exempt from Federal Income Tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, granted in May 1966. About the Cronin & Brauer Cleft Lip and Palate Clinic The Cronin & Brauer Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate Clinic was founded to help offer the finest in comprehensive care for patients with congenital cranial and facial birth defects. The fourth most common birth defect, cleft lip or cleft palate indicates a separation of parts of the lip and/or roof of the mouth. Reconstructive surgery repairs this separation and thus enhances the patient’s appearance, facilitates normal speech and ensures normal breathing and chewing. The clinic’s success depends on an experienced, multidisciplinary team that serves each patient’s diverse needs. Providers in the fields of plastic surgery, speech pathology, otolaryngology, orthodontia, social and nutritional services, collaborate and coordinate to best achieve the physical health of the patient.

Lunar Rendezvous distributes $113,000 to the community


unar Rendezvous Festival has distributed $113,000 in festival profits for college scholarships for local students and to help Bay Area charitable organizations. Fourteen two-year $4,000 scholarships were given to Clear Creek ISD and Lutheran South Academy to be presented at each high school’s award ceremony in April. Festival Chair Jill Reason distributed the funds to 20 different nonprofits and cultural arts organizations in amounts mostly between $500 and $1,500. A check for $36,000 was presented to the Bay Area Museum and $10,000 was set aside for the 2013 festival. As an example as to how some of the funds will be used, Bay Area Turning Point was given $1,500 to provide shelter for abused women and children and this donation will be matched 100 percent by an anonymous donor. Another $1,000 was given to Family Outreach Clear Lake/ Bay Area for its “We Help Ourselves” program for anti-victimization program presented to 1st and 4th grades at CCISD. Other beneficiaries included Butler Longhorn Museum, Clear Brook High School, Clear Creek Education Foundation, Jill Rauscher School of Dance, Lighthouse Christian Ministries, Assistance League of Bay Area, Clear

Lunar Rendezvous Festival Advisory Board Chairman Annette Dwyer, left, and Festival Chairman Jill Reason, right, present a $2,000 check to Ellen King for the Bay Area Houston Ballet’s student scholarship program as they distributed $113,000 in festival profits for college scholarships and to various community groups.

Lake High School, Clear Creek High School, Community in Schools, Bay Area Museum Guild, University of HoustonClear Lake, Harris County Freeman Branch Library, West Bay Common School Children’s Museum, E. A. Smith Family YMCA, Clear Creek Community Theatre, Bay Area Houston Ballet, Houston Symphony League/Bay Area. Any Bay Area charity or non-profit group can request funds from next year’s festival by contacting the Bay Area Museum at 281-326-5950 and submitting a Funds Distribution Request form before Aug. 1, 2013.

Day By the Bay Home Tour scheduled for March 22-24


fter such a successful home tour last spring, the Houston Symphony League Bay Area plans to showcase four luxurious homes around Taylor Lake in the Lake Cove section of Seabrook and in Taylor Lake Village on its 2013 Day By the Bay Home Tour. In addition to the Home Tour from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, March 23 and 24, a Pre-Tour Party is scheduled Friday, March 22, in Taylor Lake Village in a spacious traditional home filled with beautiful antiques, many of which have come from New Orleans, President Carole Murphy said, adding that one is a teardrop crystal chandelier. “This homeowner is an avid collector of World War I memorabilia—uniforms are displayed on mannequins, campaign flags are beautifully framed, depictions of various generals and soldiers, and campaign chest articles.” The two homes in Lake Cove are the closest together of the homes on the tour, have a beautiful tropical setting and many collections—a set of trains that


Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2013

surrounds one room—and both are on canals. “ One of the homeowners has been redecorating recently—so even if you’ve been there before, some of it will look different. The other two homes are in Taylor Lake Village with a view of the lake. “One is a spacious contemporary home which sits at the end of a cul-de-sac, and has a strong Mediterranean feel with soft, warm tones throughout. The other sits back from the street nestled in a woodland and is actually two homes -- one is the residence and the other a guest house. Tickets are $75 for the pre-tour party and home tour, or $15 for the home tour. They are available from HSLBA members or by calling Alberta at 281-480-4370. The website is The community is invited, Murphy said, ‘to join us for a fun day touring the homes and helping support the Clear Creek ISD music enrichment programs HSLBA provides for the 13,000+ elementary students from first through fifth grades. The organization has a 501c3 designation.

MARCH 2013 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Preparing Against Fire and Other Disasters By Christopher Shiver

“FIRE!”...few words inspire such fear and pain. What do you do? What if a hurricane is coming or other unexpected disasters like floods, forest fires or busted pipes in the winter occur? After family and life, what are the things that matter most to you?


very day all over the world, tens of thousands of people suffer disasters or damage to home, family and belongings. Next to losing a family member or friend, the next most devastating pain that people suffer is the loss of priceless and irreplaceable personal belongings. Pictures and picture albums, scrapbooks, generational family treasures and heirlooms, wedding videos -- these are the things we can’t live without. Every year in the United States, one in every 310 residences will have a fire, one fire every 83 seconds, over 1.5 million fires resulting in over $28 billion in damages. Floods and hurricanes result in massive water and even fire disasters. In Hurricane Sandy, over 200 homes burned down. In Hurricane Katrina, over 100,000 homes were washed away or severely damaged. Disaster preparation plans are essential even though we hope to never have to use them. As the famous motto of the Boy Scouts says – Be prepared! Just in case… So many painful images come to mind of recent disasters (the Bastrop fires, Colorado Springs fires, Hurricane Sandy, Ike and Katrina, Mississippi river flooding, etc… ). Endless stories and pictures of people desperately digging through the ruins searching for some connection to their past….pictures, an heirloom, digital media, a child’s treasured hand drawing, grandfathers burial flag, etc. A house fire can reach 1,000°F in 3 minutes. In seven minutes it can reach a full inferno up to 1,700°F. You have


Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2013

very little time to extinguish the fire – maybe one to two minutes. Then get out! It might only be a small kitchen fire but the firemen arrive on average in 7 to 9 minutes from the call, and If they can extinguish the fire, will have flooded your house with 150 gallons a minute of high pressure water. You and your family need to think about these situations. What do you need to prepare for? What do you most desperately want to protect? You have insurance on everything but the things that matter most – your irreplaceable pictures and family heirlooms. The loss is crushing and avoidable with proper planning and a little effort. Double check your fire extinguishers and smoke detectors – one in every room. Think about protecting and backing up critical documents and pictures, your great grandmothers wedding dress, your wedding albums, generational scrapbooks…Check your fire proof safes if you have them. Most are “fire proof ” not “heat proof,” meaning – what’s inside will still be damaged in an average house fire. Pictures and hard drives are damaged at about 170° F. Update your pictures and videos of the contents of your home for insurance purposes, and store those in a safe place, not in the home!! Christopher Shiver is the founder of Clear Lake based DreamSaver – a next generation space shuttle heat shield based, fire and heat proof safe. For more information about obtaining a DreamSaver go to

MARCH 2013 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


SNAPSHOTS Saturday, Feb. 9 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. was a special day at Baybrook Mall as they sponsored “My Furry Valentine”, an event that is focused on family pets and possibly finding qualified applicants that would like to take them home. Individuals had the opportunity to adopt a cat or dog, thanks to the help of the Friends of League City Animal Shelter. If you would like to give any donations, you can send them to P.O Box 57069 Webster, TX 77598. For information on donating, adopting or volunteering visit the website at www. FriendsofLeagueCityAnimalShelter. org. Like them on Facebook. All donations are tax deductible.

Photo: Natalie Epperley

Work on San Jacinto College’s $52 million, three-story, science and allied health building, going up on Beamer Road on the South Campus, is scheduled for completion this summer, in time for classes this fall. The 150,000-square-foot building, shown in this architect’s drawing, will house nine areas of scientific study and include nursing simulation labs, an astronomy observatory and laboratories designed to model pharmaceutical environments.

Katie Gallagher, Corporate Market Director of the Bay Area, Brazoria County, and Galveston Division of the American Heart Association presents the award for top fundraiser company 2012 to Memorial Hermann Southeast. Pictured from left to right: Kyle Price, COO, MHSE, Lori Gordon, MHSE top fundraiser, Katie Gallagher, AHA, Todd Ginapp, Director of Cardiovascular Services, MHSE, Billie (Diane) Jephson, MHSE top fundraiser, Erin Asprec, CEO, MHSE, Jim Garman, Chief HR Officer, Memorial Hermann.


Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2013

Photo: Mary Alys Cherry

Joe Farella, left, received the Seabrook Association Volunteer of the Year award from outgoing President, Jenny Arunyon, right. Arunyon presented Jean Platzer, left, with an Outstanding Service Award on behalf of the Seabrook Association.

Springoree Chairman Rosemary Lengefeld, second from right, goes over plans for the March 21 Space Center Rotary benefit party with President Marilyn Musial and committee members Ralph Kramer, John Branch and John Taggart, from left. This year’s benefit will be held at Lakewood Yacht Club with the public invited to attend. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased by emailing RosemaryM


Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2013



MARCH 2013 | Bay Area Houston Magazine



Bay Area Houston Magazine | MARCH 2013

Bay Area Houston Magazine March 2013  

The March issue of Bay Area Houston Magazine features the Cock and Bull British Pub in Seabrook, Texas. Also in this issue: 2014 Chevrolet C...

Bay Area Houston Magazine March 2013  

The March issue of Bay Area Houston Magazine features the Cock and Bull British Pub in Seabrook, Texas. Also in this issue: 2014 Chevrolet C...