Bay Area Houston Magazine May 2019

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May 2019

LIFE’S A DANCE: Luck, determination, and one woman’s recovery from massive stroke

HCA HOUSTON HEALTH CARE CLEAR LAKE launches innovative alternative to open heart surgery

LEAGUE CITY WOMAN swaps wedding china for bibs and diapers following miracle delivery.

M AY 2 0 1 9



ON THE COVER HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake Hospital is located at 500 W. Medical Center Blvd, Webster, TX 77598


Police seeking the public’s help

Killing Fields Murders


A higher quality of life is not so far away


Congratulations to the winners!

Dental Health Best of the Bay Awards Announced

26 Aerospace NASA to accelerate man’s return to lunar surface 28

The importance of Greece-US relationship

Oceanus Hosts Greek Ambassador


Making Clear Lake safer and more enjoyable


Slade Lewis is elected Lunar Rendezvous King


No place in the galaxy like it!


Hospital celebrates miracles and milestones

Exploration Green Gets $500,000 Grant 2019 Lunar Rendezvous Festival The Longhorn Project at JSC HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake

36 Healthcare Massive crowd dedicates UTMB Clear Lake Campus 38

By Dr. Victor Kumar

Publisher & Editor in Chief Mary Alys Cherry


Bay Area guide to the best restaurants and pubs

Vice President & Creative Director Brandon Rowan


Brooklyn spirit in the heart of League City

Graphic Designer Kelly Groce


Celebrating plant based lifestyle

Sales & Marketing Judy Gaines Karen Laroux Sophia Martin Amber Sample Robyn Weigelt


Tom Tollett donates to Galveston Bay Foundation

President & Chairman Rick Clapp


Photography Mary Alys Cherry Sumer Loggins MoonBridge Media NASA 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.

Best Bites of the Bay Sloppy Nick’s Brooklyn Deli VegFest at Rice 1953 MG TD Roadster Donated

The Effects of Social Media By Lili Heintz

60 Neighboring... By Pastor Brad Heintz


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


How the 1890’s Shaped Today’s Healthcare

58 Education San Jacinto College again in the top 10 59

Editorial Don Armstrong Mary Alys Cherry Sumer Loggins Michael Gos Betha Merit Xander Thomas




Bay Area Houston Magazine | MAY 2019


BAHEP gets 2019 economic overview

Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership


Seabrook coach facing charges

News Nuggets

columns 20

Dr. Glenn Freedman

Movers & Shakers


Batman, Superman add to fun at ALBA Gala


Truck Paradise


64th annual Blessing of the Fleet


The mathematics of decision making


Bay Area Houston Calendar of Events

Clear Lake Chatter In Wheel Time Lakewood Yacht Club News & Events Texas Meditations Main Events

Photos by Mary Alys Cherry

FBI Agents Patrick York, left, and Richard Rennison formerly worked with the League City Police.

League City Detectives Reice Tisdale and Gina Vogel were two of those who never gave up.

Steve Campion, left, and Jeff Ehling, of ABC13 – two of the many reporters covering the Calder Road news conference.

Police seeking the public’s help to solve ‘Killing Fields’ murders lane of I-45, her wallet inside, not far from her home. In 2016, William Reece, long a suspect in several murders, led police to the places he buried Laura Smither and Jessica Cain and has been indicted in their murders. He is awaiting trial in Oklahoma for a murder there before being released to Texas authorities.

By Mary Alys Cherry


fter working for

three long decades questioning people, testing evidence but never giving up, League City Police, through DNA testing, have finally identified the last two of four young women whose bodies were found in the area known as the Calder Road “Killings Fields.” Jane Doe and Janet Doe now have names, Audrey Lee Cook and Donna Prudhomme. But police still need the community’s help. They are hoping someone will remember the victims and provide a clue that might lead to their murderer(s). They ask that “anyone who knew or had personal knowledge of either Audrey Cook and Donna Prudhomme around the time of their deaths or has information that will further the investigation of these cases to contact the League City Police Department Cold Case tip line, 281-338-8220.” Audrey lived in the Channelview area and worked as a mechanic from 1976-1985. Associates said she possibly used and sold cocaine. Before her murder, she worked as a mechanic for a Houston golf cart company in 1979, for Harrison Equipment Co. in 1980, for Balloon Affair in 1981 and as a mechanic for National Rent-A-Car. Last contact with her family was in 1985. Donna moved from Beaumont to Austin in the mid-80s and in 1988 moved to NASA Road 1 in Seabrook. She lived in various apartment complexes in Seabrook and Nassau Bay and reportedly frequented several NASA Road 1 bars in Seabrook between 1988 and 1991. She was living in Nassau Bay when she disappeared.

HIGHWAY TO HELL The Bay Area is a fascinating place – home to NASA’s Johnson Space

VICTIMS IDENTIFIED Center and some of the smartest and best educated people in the country. And, while it had long been a place of envy, for many years it also had a dark side -- women kept getting raped and murdered and their bodies dumped in the swamps along the 50-mile stretch of I-45 between Galveston and Houston. So many murders occurred along the stretch, a.k.a. the Gulf Freeway, that most Bay Area women avoided driving it alone at night. One tabloid writer even labeled it “America’s Highway to Hell.” The string of murders dates back to 1971 when three Galveston girls disappeared. One was found in Galveston Bay, two others in Turner’s Bayou in Texas City. Six more who lived close to the Gulf Freeway in Alvin, Dickinson, Sagemont and Houston were found in watery graves during the next few months. Another, 14-year-old Sandra Ramber disappeared from her Santa Fe home in 1983 and is still missing. The No. 1 suspect in several of the murders, Edward Harold Bell, 82, who has been serving a 70-year sentence in an unrelated murder, died April 21 in a Texas prison. He confessed several times in letters to prosecutors and in person to a reporter to abducting and murdering girls as young as 12 who had disappeared from Dickinson, Galveston, Houston, Clear Lake and Alvin between 1971 and 1977, referring to them as “Eleven who went to Heaven.”

FOUR MORE BODIES Heidi Villareal Fye, 23, a cocktail waitress, and Laura Miller, 16, both disappeared from the same League City convenience store – one in 1983, the other a year later in 1984. Their bodies were found in the Calder Road “killing fields,” as were the just identified bodies of Audrey Cook and Donna Prudhomme, who for years were known as Jane and Janet Doe after being found in 1986 and 1991. On Aug. 31, 1983, Susan Eads, 20, of Seabrook also was found dead. Her killer dumped her nude body along NASA Road 1 in Seabrook after raping and strangling her. She worked two jobs, as a waitress at a Clear Lake night spot and as a disc jockey at another. Her death remains unsolved. In 1996 Krystal Jean Baker, 13, of Texas City disappeared from a convenience store. Her body was found the same day under a Trinity River bridge in Chambers County.

JOGGER, 12, KILLED In April 1997 Laura Smither, 12, a Clear Creek High sophomore, was abducted while jogging near her Friendswood home. Her body was found three weeks later in a Pasadena retention pond. Four months later, on Aug. 17, 1997, Jessica Cain, 17, of Tiki Island vanished without a trace after joining her theatre pals that evening at a party at Bennigan’s in Webster. Her truck was found parked in the emergency

Cook and Prudhomme were finally identified by police using their genetic genealogy with GEDmatch. “Detectives pieced together family trees in an attempt to identify the victims,” League City Police Chief Gary Ratlitt told reporters at a recent press conference called to announce the victims’ identities. After months of constructing family trees, FBI Agent Richard Rennison offered his assistance – the use of Family Tree DNA – and on Jan. 29, 2019 provided detectives with the results from the FTDNA comparisons. Additional family matches were discovered in the database, and after completing the victims’ family trees, detectives were able to identify and locate living family members. DNA samples were collected from the son and sister of Prudhomme, and FBI agents coordinated the collection from Cooke family members who live out of state. “DNA comparisons from all the family members were conducted and positive matches were made,” Ratliff said. Finally, after three decades and with the dogged determination of League City Detectives Gina Vogel and Reice Tisdale, along with former League City detectives – now FBI Agents Patrick York and Richard Rennison, Jane and Janet Doe have names. Now they need the names of their killers.

MAY 2019 | Bay Area Houston Magazine



Bay Area Houston Magazine | MAY 2019


A HIGHER QUALITY OF LIFE IS NOT SO FAR AWAY anything but exceptionally friendly, treating him always like part of the family. He says that Dr. Noie has helped him out tremendously, and that he has helped Joe through the entire procedure, staying with him “every step of the way.” After everything that Joe has been through, he says that the first thing he notices when talking to people is their teeth. “If I see they’re having problems with their teeth, I tell them look, there’s no need for you to go around like that,” he says, “It’s not a good thing to go throughout life when you’re trying to smile and you don’t want to because of your teeth.” To his family and friends, Joe recommends Dr. Noie whenever the people he sees need dental care. “I’m so happy I came to Dr. Noie,” Joe says, “My quality of life for sure has gone through the roof. I can’t thank him enough.”

By Xander Thomas


our smile says a lot about you. Having the confidence to open your mouth and talk to people, or to flash a toothy grin without having the worry of embarrassing mouth problems, can be advantageous in various situations. “My confidence is back. I’m not ashamed to smile. It’s just a life-changer,” says Joe Gonzalez, a man who, until recently, didn’t want to smile or let people see the problems he was hiding beneath his lips. Joe says that his oral problems started at a very young age, so for most of his life he had not been comfortable with his smile. “My teeth were decaying, and I went to several dentists and none of them could help me,” Joe said, “When I came to Dr. Noie, I found out that my problem was more serious than I expected.” He says that before having Dr. Noie take care of his situation, that the previous doctors had only been doing patchwork in his mouth, and not concentrating on the entire issue. What he needed was a specialist, an oral surgeon who could understand and tackle this entire hurdle all at once. “My life was in a crisis at that point. I could not chew, swallow food,” He said, even stating that his difficulty eating was causing him gastrointestinal problems. Something had to be done quick. Though the procedures that he was going to get done had caused him some nervousness, there was some comfort in the fact that his family had seen Dr. Noie for years. One family member had even been coming from quite a distance for years, just to be in his trusted hands.

“I had a daughter who lived in New Jersey for eight to ten years, and she would make a point of flying in just to be under Dr. Noie’s care no matter what it was!” “I had a daughter who lived in New Jersey for eight to ten years, and she would make a point of flying in just to be under Dr. Noie’s care no matter what it was,” Be it cavities, a root canal, or any other dental work, she would fly in just to book an appointment with the professional that could offer great care in a comfortable environment. Joe says “So I got confidence from my family to come in and address the issue.” On top of being good at what Dr. Noie does, Joe says that Dr. Noie’s staff has never been

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.

MAY 2019 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Movers &Shakers Name: Dr. Glenn Freedman

Occupation: Retired university professor and administrator; Semi-retired business owner Hometown: New Castle, PA Current home: Clear Lake Family: Wife, Sara; Son, Matthew, his wife, Emily, and their children Alexandra and Olivia; Son, Brian, his wife, Erica, and their children, Claire and Jonathan. My favorite writer is: Fiction: Gabriel Garcia Márquez; Non-Fiction: Yuval Noah Harari

Someone I’d like to meet: Living: J.K. Rowling; Historical: Benjamin Franklin

My favorite meal is: Anything I have never eaten before

If I could switch places with someone for just one day, I’d choose: James Madison

As a youngster, I wanted to grow up to be: A novelist

My favorite performer is: Current: Benedict Cumberbatch; Past: Fred Astaire

You’ll never catch me: Bored

I like to spend my leisure time: Reading, writing, golfing, traveling, and family gatherings If I could travel to any place, I’d choose: Mount Everest

Ron Carter Cadillac Hyundai announces first scholarship recipient

My favorite movie is: Duck Soup Few people know: That I love to cook.

Clear Lake Hospital offers class for expecting couples



on Carter Cadillac Hyundai is proud to announce the first of five recipients of the 2019 Ron Carter Clear Lake Community Achievers Scholarship, McKinley Young. Ms. Young, an outstanding senior at Friendswood High School, will receive $1,000 in scholarship funds. She plans to attend Texas A&M University – College Station, seeking a major in forensic investigation in preparation for law school. As a member of numerous Honor Societies and a PALS member, she achieved an excellent academic record, while simultaneously volunteering her time with a multitude of service organizations. Not the least of which was as a Camp Counselor with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, providing individual and continuous care to campers. Young hopes that her education will afford her the opportunity to ensure more effective treatment options are available for the

The thing that bugs me the most is: Negativity

Chris Premont, Ron Carter Cadillac Hyundai Marketing Director, McKinley Young, Award Recipient, Denise Stanley, Ron Carter Cadillac Executive Administrative Assistant.

mentally ill that are convicted of crimes. Since 2012, Ron Carter Cadillac Hyundai has offered Clear Lake Area high school seniors an opportunity to participate in the Ron Carter Clear Lake Community Achievers Scholarship. Five college scholarships of $1,000 each are awarded to the deserving participants beginning in March. Applications are accepted February through June. For more information on this scholarship, please visit

CA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake has added a free early pregnancy class to its suite Webster residents Robert and Joyce, of educational offerings for who are expecting their bundle of joy in November, pose with Education expecting families in the Bay Coordinator Lisa Welty at HCA Area. Houston Healthcare Clear Lake’s The new two-hour “First inaugural “First Steps” class. Steps” class is tailored for women at less than 16 weeks’ gestation, and is packed with critical information for the early days of pregnancy. The class also features a tour of the hospital and details on its services, including high-risk obstetrical care, a level IIIb neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), and a dedicated pediatric intensive care unit (ICU). The hospital has already held its inaugural “First Steps” class, and moving forward, will provide the class on Saturdays from 9-11 a.m. and weeknights from 7-9 p.m. Although the class is free, registration is encouraged. Interested participants may visit the website to sign up and view the full list of HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake classes from Lamaze to infant CPR and more.

WONKA? The Bay Area Houston Ballet & Theatre’s production of Roald Dahl’s “Willy Wonka” delighted audiences of all ages in April at the UHCL Bayou Theater. Visit for performance schedules and tickets for future BAHBT productions.


Bay Area Houston Magazine | MAY 2019

MAY 2019 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Clear Creek ISD Trustee Ann Hammond just had to get her photo made with Superman, a.k.a. Superintendent Dr. Greg Smith, at the Assistant League Gala.

Matthew and Angie Weinman have fun with the Assistance League’s Super Heroes theme for its annual gala, held at Lakewood Yacht Club.

Chairman Jill Williams stops for a photo with her husband, Rick Lammers, at the Assistance League’s annual gala.

Dr. Wynn McMullen and his wife, Mary, had a great time playing Batman and Cat Woman at the Assistance League Gala at Lakewood Yacht Club.

Batman, Superman add to the fun at ALBA Gala ASSISTANCE LEAGUE members never fail to bring smiles to our faces with their annual gala, and, this year was no exception with their salute to the Super Heroes, while raising a cool $93,000 to help those in need in our community. Some of the costumes got more than a smile. Clear Creek ISD Superintendent Dr. Greg Smith, who is always grateful to the League for all the needy area students League members help each year, got lots of smiles as he arrived all dressed up as Superman. Not wanting to miss a great picture,

Now we can see how photographer Pam Culpepper and her husband, Peter Cronk, are spending their retirement these days – here at the Assistance League Gala.



CCISD Trustee Ann Hammond talked him into posing for a photo. Incidentally, Ann, came dressed as REG (Ruth Bader Ginsburg). Badiha and Dr. John Nassar and Mary and Dr. Wynn McMullan followed close behind, both couples

Dr. John Nassar and his wife, Badiha, turned many heads when they walked into the Assistance League Gala dressed as Batman and Cat Woman.

Bay Area Houston Magazine | MAY 2019

dressed as Batman and Cat Woman. No, Robin didn’t come. Remember when we used to play the role of Super Heroes? Fun! League President Sarah Foulds joined Gala Chairman Jill Williams and her husband, Richard Lammers in welcoming the festive crowd to Lakewood Yacht Club, including John and Jill Smitherman, Gene and Eileen Hult, Matthew and Angie Weinman, Jill Reason, Jana Miller and Traci and Richard Dvorak. Sharon and Dr. Howard Dillard were also in the crowd, as were John Gay and his wife, Becky Reitz,

Traci and Richard Dvorak stop for a photo as they enjoy the Assistance League Gala, held this year at Lakewood Yacht Club.

Elaine and Randy Lister, Jim and Jane Sweeney, Lisa Holbrook, Dave and Kim Barker, Emmelind Dodd and Gene Hollier, Gail and Steve Ashby, Kathleen and Mike Courville, Beverly Braden and her husband, Ed Smith, Sara and Dr. Glenn Freedman and recently retired Pam Culpepper and her husband, Peter Cronk. Mary Pergande was the lucky winner of the Superman Golf Cart in the reverse draw, after which many headed to the dance floor, where they enjoyed the music of Password.

Assistance League President Sarah Foulds, left, joins CCISD Trustee Ann Hammond for a memento of a fun evening at the annual ALBA Gala at Lakewood Yacht Club.

Bay Area Turning Point President and CEO Leigh Ann Fry, right, and Marketing Director Angela Corns wear big smiles as another Dogs & Divas Fashion Show comes to a successful end.

Ange Mertens spreads her wings on the runway at the end of the Dogs & Divas Fashion Show at South Shore Harbour Resort.

Four inducted into Hall of Fame

spent more time in space than any American. Gene Kranz, who served as a NASA flight director at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, was the guest speaker. Chris Kraft, Gene Kranz and Dr. Whitson are all residents of the Bay Area Houston. The Texas Aviation Hall of Fame was established in 1995 through a resolution by the 74th Texas Legislature and signed by then Gov. George W. Bush, to honor Texans and Texas organizations that have made significant and lasting contributions to the advancement of aviation. There are currently 76 individuals and groups in the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame, in four categories

FOUR FAMOUS Americans were inducted into the 2019 Texas Aviation Hall of Fame during an Induction Luncheon on Friday, April 12 at the Lone Star Flight Museum at Ellington Field. The four, selected from 110 candidates, include World War II U.S. Army Air Force Gen. Ira C. Eaker (deceased); Christopher C. Kraft, NASA’s first flight director; H. Ross Perot Jr., an aviation pioneer and entrepreneur who circumnavigated the world in a helicopter at age 23; and Dr. Peggy Whitson, the first woman spacewalker and the astronaut who

Jaime Westheimer, left, and Taylor Solis join the crowd at the Dogs & Divas Fashion Show Luncheon at South Shore Harbour Resort.

Brenda Weber models an eye-catching evening gown on the runway during the Dogs & Divas Fashion Show.

Fay Picard shows off a pretty black dress for the crowd at the Dogs & Divas Fashion Show, held at South Shore Harbour Resort.

which include: trailblazers and explorers, wartime aviators, leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators.

Dogs & Divas make for fun times NOTHING QUITE like turning puppy dogs into fashion models. Yep, you guessed it – they’re cute as can be but mostly scared to death. Most of the models for the Bay Area Turning Point Dogs & Divas Fashion Show April 4 at South Shore Harbour Resort solved the problem by carrying the pooches down the runway. A few of the canines got brave enough to walk along with their model as the event raised $55,600.

Joni Roberts, left, and Theresa Graham share a light moment at the Bay Area Turning Point’s Dogs & Divas Fashion Show Luncheon.

Kelly Williams makes a pretty picture as she shows off both her dress and her pooch at the annual Dogs & Divas Fashion show.

Fashion models included Brenda Weber, Fay Picard, Jill Reason, Deborah Laine, Missy Rorrer and Kelli Williams, Diane and Jim Overman, Tyra Hodge, Brenda Sykes, Kerry Jo Humphrey, Kelli Williams, Jana Miller, Erin Wilrich, Lauren Leal, Susan Heffner, Michelle Holland, Deborah Laine, Jessica Bedore, Doreen Hughes and Blaine Ochoa wearing some beautiful outfits provided by Shoppe Girl, Dress Galaxy, Chico’s, Black House White Market and the BATP Resale Shop, as Executive Director Leigh Ann Fry and Marketing Director Angela Corn could be seen beaming their approval from the sidelines.

Bo Brinkman, right, says hello to Pat and Wendell Wilson as they arrive at the Bay Area Turning Point’s Dogs & Divas Fashion Show Luncheon.

MAY 2019 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


CONGRATULATIONS TO THIS YEAR’S WINNERS! Best Asian Cuisine 888 Asian Bistro Best Auto Repair Space Center Auto Best Bank Texas First Bank – Kemah Best Bartender Tara Calvert – Tommy’s Best BBQ Red River BBQ


his year’s Bay Area Houston Magazine Best of the Bay Awards were announced March 29 at Water’s Edge in Seabrook. The best of the best, voted by you, the reader, were recognized against a gorgeous backdrop of the sun setting over Clear Lake.


Bay Area Houston Magazine | MAY 2019

Best Breakfast Skipper’s Greek Cafe Guests enjoyed fine catering from Red River BBQ, Red River Cantina, Tookie’s Seafood, Pomodoro’s, Sloppy Nick’s Brooklyn Deli, The Sundance Grill II, NOKturne and Nothing Bundt Cakes. Thank you to every participating voter and congratulations to this year’s winners!

Best Brunch Sundance Grill II Best Burger Hubcap Grill

Best Cajun Restaurant Little Daddy’s Gumbo Bar

Best Entertainment Spot T-Bone Tom’s

Best Car Dealer – domestic Ron Carter Cadillac

Best Entertainment Venue Kemah Boardwalk

Best Car Dealer – foreign Ron Carter Hyundai

Best Family Restaurant T Bone Tom’s

Best Credit Union JSC Credit Union

Best Indian Restaurant Noon Mirch – Cuisine of India Best Italian Restaurant Grazia Italian Kitchen

Best Pizza Dan’s Pizza

Best Vocalist – Male Claudio Sereni

Best Pub Scotty’s Pub on the Bay

Best Vocalist – Female Kelly Williams

Best Realtor Kimberly Harding

Best Luxury Car Cadillac

Best Resale Shop Assistance League

Best Gift Shop Spruce

Best Margarita El Tiempo Cantina

Best Café Classic Cafe

Best Hair Salon Brazil N Drops

Best Marina South Shore Harbour

Most Romantic Restaurant Marais

Best City to Live League City

Best Hair Stylist Bonnie Wolcott – Heist Hair Bar

Best Mexican Restaurant El Tiempo Cantina

Best Hospital Houston Methodist Clear Lake Hospital

Best Oysters Tommy’s Restaurant Oyster Bar

Best Contractor/ Remodeler Dynamic Construction Texas Best Dentist Dr. J Derek Tieken

Best Web Design Big Splash Web Design Best Wine Bar Chelsea Wine Bar Best Women’s Apparel The Clotheshorse

Best Seafood Tookie’s Seafood

Best Boutique Belle Lee’s Boutique

Best Steak T Bone Tom’s

Best Yacht Club Lakewood Yacht Club

Best Sushi Michiru

Best Urgent Care UTMB League City

Best Vegan Nokturne

Best New Restaurant O2 Bistro

MAY 2019 | Bay Area Houston Magazine



NASA administrator pleased with proposed 2020 budget

NASA ready to accelerate man’s return to lunar surface


ASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine

is ready to send astronauts back to the moon – and soon. Here’s what he said after the March 26 announcement by Vice President Mike Pence, at the fifth meeting of the National Space Council, about putting American astronauts back on the Moon in the next five years: “Today, I joined leaders from across the country as Vice President Mike Pence chaired the fifth meeting of the National Space Council. Vice President Pence lauded President Donald J. Trump’s bold vision for space exploration and spoke to NASA’s progress on key elements to accomplish the President’s Space Policy Directives. “Among the many topics discussed during our meeting at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, was to accelerate our return to the Moon: NASA is charged to get American astronauts to the Moon in the next five years. We are tasked with landing on the Moon’s South Pole by 2024. Stay on schedule for flying Exploration Mission-1 with Orion on the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket next year, and for sending the first crewed mission to the lunar vicinity by 2022. NASA will continue to ‘use all means necessary’ to ensure mission success in moving us forward to the Moon. “It is the right time for this challenge, and I assured the vice president that we, the people of NASA, are up to the challenge. “We will take action in the days and weeks ahead to accomplish these goals. We have laid out a clear plan for NASA’s exploration campaign that


Bay Area Houston Magazine | MAY 2019

cuts across three strategic areas: low-Earth orbit, the Moon, and Mars and deeper into space. “I have already directed a new alignment within NASA to ensure we effectively support this effort, which includes establishing a new mission directorate to focus on the formulation and execution of exploration development activities. We are calling it the Moon to Mars Mission Directorate. “Earlier today I was also at Marshall Space Flight Center for an all-hands to reinforce our commitment to SLS with the workforce. We discussed my recent announcement that NASA would consider all options to fly Orion around the Moon on schedule. I shared the analysis we conducted to assess flying the Orion on different commercial options. While some of these alternative vehicles could work, none was capable of achieving our goals to orbit around the Moon for Exploration Mission-1 within our timeline and on budget. The results of this two-week study reaffirmed our commitment to the SLS. More details will be released in the future. “There’s a lot of excitement about our plans and also a lot of hard work and challenges ahead, but I know the NASA workforce and our partners are up to it. We are now looking at creative approaches to advance SLS manufacturing and testing to ensure Exploration Mission-1 launches in 2020. We will work to ensure we have a safe and reliable launch system that keeps its promise to the American people. “I know NASA is ready for the challenge of moving forward to the Moon, this time to stay.” To learn more about NASA’s Moon to Mars plans, visit:

“I know NASA is ready for the challenge of moving forward to the Moon, this time to stay.” That was NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine’s thinking after an announcement by Vice President Mike Pence, at the fifth meeting of the National Space Council, about putting American astronauts back on the Moon in the next five years. And part of that challenge will involve having the funds needed. He appears pleased with President Trump’s proposed 2020 space agency budget, even though there has been talk of a possible 6 percent cut. Here is Bridenstine’s statement about the budget: “President Trump’s fiscal year 2020 NASA budget is one of the strongest on record for our storied agency. At $21 billion, this budget represents a nearly 6 percent increase over last year’s request and comes at a time of constrained resources across the federal government. It also is a huge vote of confidence for all of the agency’s hard work and dedication. “We will go to the Moon in the next decade with innovative, new technologies and systems to explore more locations across the lunar surface than ever before. This time, when we go to the Moon, we will stay. We will use what we learn as we move forward to the Moon to take the next giant leap – sending astronauts to Mars. “This budget will build on our successes in low-Earth orbit to create a sustainable exploration campaign that combines NASA’s expertise with that of our commercial and international partners’. We will continue ushering in a new era of human spaceflight as we launch American astronauts on American rockets from American soil for the first time since 2011. The Space Launch System, Orion spacecraft, and Gateway will continue to be our backbone for deep space exploration. “Beginning with a series of small commercial delivery missions to the Moon as early as this year, we will use new landers, robots and eventually humans by 2028 to conduct science across the entire lunar surface. “With this budget, NASA’s critical work studying our home planet and the Sun will benefit humankind for generations. We will reveal the unknown with missions to Jupiter’s moon Europa and the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope. We will continue planning and developing the first round-trip mission to the Red Planet with Mars Sample Return. “This budget also continues support for transformative aeronautics technology research. We will make air travel safer, greener and more efficient, and continue pioneering the next generation of supersonic flight. “As we approach the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 this July, we are moving forward to the Moon and on to Mars, and we want the world to come with us. “NASA is everywhere, and we are impacting people’s lives across the globe. As we celebrate the past, let’s inspire our friends and family for the future that we are building.” To learn more about NASA’s 2020 budget, visit

Oceanus Hosted Greek Ambassador Visit to Bay Area Houston Pictured from left, Tony and Emily Panagiotareas, Ambassador Haris Lalacos, Sumer Loggins, Anna Michalopoulou and Rick Clapp.

By Sumer Loggins


he A mbassador of

Greece to the United States, Harris Lalacos, made his first official visit to Houston. Bay Group Media CEO Rick Clapp and I graciously accepted the invitation to attend the honorary celebration. The commemorative dinner reception on March 24 at Lakewood Yacht Club included distinguished guests Rear Adm. Paul Thomas commander of the Eighth Coast Guard District, Houston mayoral candidate Bill King, Col. Michael Fossum former American astronaut and COO of Texas A&M University at Galveston, League City Mayor Pat Hallisey, R.W. Bray Southeast Texas Deputy Regional Director for Sen. Ted


Cruz, the Consul of Greece Ioannis Stamatekos, the Hellenic Attaché for Maritime Affairs Koutsodontis Nikolaos, Admiral Mike Rodriguez, superintendent of the Texas Maritime Academy, and Port of Houston Executive Director Roger Guenther and Senior Director Charlie Jenkins. Ambassador Lalacos succinctly presented the importance of GreekAmerican relationships which focuses on energy, maritime shipping, and tourism. Greeks are leading pioneers of the sea for the last 3,500 years with the largest merchant marine fleets in the world, Harris Lalacos comprising 20% is the Greek of all merchant Ambassador to the U.S. vessels. Ambassador Lalacos said, “I’m glad I represent a country which is recognized as a stability provider in our region, as a reliable ally in NATO, a friend of the United States, and a country which has never had a conflict with the United States ever since our respective independence.” International trade is dependent on Greek-owned ships which provides security, research, and resources that connect people around the world. “Greece is the champion of energy diversification in our part of the world,” says Lalacos. Greece has one of the largest terminals for LNG and plans to build a second terminal in Northern Greece. LNG is cleaner, safer, and takes up about 1/600th the volume of natural gas in the gaseous state. Liquified natural gas is non-toxic, non-corrosive, and more

Bay Area Houston Magazine | MAY 2019

efficient to transport. Greece has managed to secure a major pipeline that brings Azari natural gas from the Caspian sea, passing through land bordering Turkey and transported to Northern Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea, to Southern Italy and on to Europe. “We have very solid plans and strong American support to enrich amounts of this pipeline and to build vertical interconnectors going from Greece Northbound. This will revolutionize gas flows in our part of the world.” asserts Lalacos. Their newest project, the Eastern Mediterranean Pipeline, with help from the United States and European

Union, will bring through Italy a deepwater pipeline with natural gas from Israel, Cyprus, Egypt, and Greece. Israel has already found natural gas reserves but they need more pipelines to distribute it to the world market. Recently ExxonMobil had positive results with exploratory drilling offshore South of Cyprus, and Egypt discovered natural gas in the Mediterranean. Next, ExxonMobil will be drilling South of Crete while multinational companies drill on and offshore in the Western Part of Greece. “We are hopeful to diversify energy flow and production in the Eastern Mediterranean Basin. This may take place in the next decade.” says Lalacos. Texas is the largest natural gas producer globally and a world leader in the chemical and petrochemical industry. Houston is an international hub for shipping and energy, which are two areas of primary importance to Greece. We are one of eight cities in the United States with a Greek Consulate, and one of two with a Coast Guard Consulate. Privateowned companies with sustainable solutions take the lead in global partnerships to expand energy sources. Oceanus Maritime Services LLC is a Greek-owned company with headquarters in League City. Oceanus started as an idea between business partners Tony Panagiotareas and Kent Dangtran, and now represents a fleet of 500 vessels belonging to 40 shipping companies. They are one of few companies in Texas to hold

an International Ship Management Certificate to operate commercial vessels. Oceanus Maritime leads efforts to assist Greece in developing their energy reserves. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) addresses the human health and environmental impact of the oil and gas industry. In 2020 new regulations will implement that all ships must reduce sulphur fuel content to 0.5% 200 nautical miles from the shoreline. This demonstrates a clear commitment by IMO to ensure shipping meets environmental obligations. Greece celebrated Greek Embassy’s

Exploration Green gets $500,000 grant


he Clear Lake City

Water Authority and Exploration Green Conservancy have been awarded a $500,000 grant to help in their joint effort to make the Clear Lake area a safer and more enjoyable place to live. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission recently awarded the grant to develop pedestrian trails, landscape and site restoration, and help fund installations of irrigation systems. Exploration Green received the People’s Choice Award for

Official Independence Day at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Houston for the first time in history. On March 25 1821, Greek revolutionaries fought for their freedom and victoriously won against the Ottoman Empire. They established hard-earned independence in 1830. The festivities were hosted by the Consul of Greece Ioannis Stamatekos and over 200 Houstonians. The Pappas family graciously donated beautiful selections of wines and Nikos Nikos provided an elegant dinner. It was quite a traditional Greek experience. Besides the exciting opportunities for

energy development, Ambassador Lalacos says, “The help that we need is not grants, it’s investment; mutually advantageous, profitable investment. When it comes to investment, the greatest asset [of Greece] is its well-educated workforce.” This three day weekend of Greek hospitality and festivities elucidates the importance of working together. We have common goals of peace, prosperity, and positive international relationships. We all want independence, security, and a safe, diverse supply of energy. Greece and America are always friends,

always allies. Investing in each other is paramount to success and building long lasting friendships. We can work together to overcome challenges as well as preserve liberty, freedom, and sovereignty. It was a symbolic moment to visit with Ambassador Lalacos and maritime officials. We encourage more Greek-owned businesses to come to the Houston Bay Area. We’d like to see more Greek-American collaboration to establish energy independence and a robust economy in both countries.

Urban Land Institute Development of Distinction, recognizing the Exploration Green Conservancy, a non-profit, for its conservation efforts and dedication to environmentalism and safety for all citizens in the Houston Bay Area. Exploration Green was only on Phase 1 of 5 when Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston last year. It was estimated to have retained a 100 million gallons of water and prevented more than 100 homes from flooding in the surrounding neighborhoods. The second phase started this year and will add another pond, wetlands, trails, and 1,000 native trees.

vulnerable community from imminent disasters. The purpose is to build a vital stormwater detention on a 200-acre recreation space to preserve the bay and surrounding areas. Exploration Green is a naturebased solution to prevent tragedies before disaster strikes and provide park recreation area for citizens and wildlife habitat. Last fall, Exploration Green was recognized by the Galveston Bay Foundation as its governmental “Guardian of the Bay.” It was also recognized with the National Disaster Resilience Award sponsored by Allied World Insurance and the National Wildlife Federation. The wetlands implement manmade filtration systems for storm sewer runoff before it is released downstream. Recycled water systems are used to maintain clean water for aquatic life and wildlife, and utilized as a drought-proof water source for the community.

created to engage the community in fundraising for all the amenities and coordinating volunteer support. Frank Weary, chairman of the Exploration Green Conservancy, said, “The response from the community has been phenomenal with over 9,000 volunteer hours documented already. Fundraising has been a huge success and we continue to seek new grants and gifts to complete all five phases.” Exploration Green is a great role model for sustainable development along the Gulf Coast, CLCWA President John Branch pointed out. “Policymakers must realize in order to maintain our precious Bay Area Houston community we need to be proactive and prioritize planning. Amenity funding has been graciously donated from groups such as Trees for Houston, Texas Parks and Wildlife, the Galveston Bay Foundation, City of Houston, Texas Community Watershed Program, Space Center Rotary Club, and Harris County,” he added. Recently, a representative from FEMA visited the project for consideration as a national model for local flood control, Branch said.

NEARING END Phase 2 should be completed by the end of 2019. Construction on Phases 3 and 4 will begin later this year and will be completed in 2020. The final Phase 5 will begin construction in 2020 and will be completed in 2021. When all five phases are complete, they will hold half a billion gallons of storm water. The project utilizes natural infrastructure to protect our

VOTERS APPROVE Funding for the construction of the detention ponds was approved by CLCWA voters in 2016. The Exploration Green Conservancy was

MAY 2019 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


2019 Lunar Rendezvous Royal Court KING Slade Lewis QUEEN Sabrina Curran QUEEN ALTERNATE Skylar Slattery CAPTAIN Trey Dorman LITTLE LADIES IN WAITING Evelyn Bonnecaze Caroline Botik Abigail Davis Casey Jackson Ada Rogers Madeline Mark Posie McCourt DeLaney Motley Olivia Olson Cai Plunkett Tessa Schott Sophia Sobkowiak Adeline Vencil PRINCESS COURT Taylor Allen Katelynn Andaur AJ Ashby Megan Bader Aishworya Bajracharya Lauren Ballard Bridget Barcelo Katie Barlow Sloan Beecher Ashley Beiermann Grace Burgess Natalie Cox Laura Demchak Shelby Donnow Avery Flanagan Alexandria Gibson Caterina Giuliani Bianca Granelli Himadri Gunarathna Audrey Hall Jameslee Hendricks Allison Hickman Lauren Hickman Sarah Hickman Braeden Holland Bella Iovieno Carlee Jackson D’Nae Johnson Mallory Keehn Kirby Jane Landry Ashley Nicole Leistad Grace Marietta Allyson Mark Meredith Martin Kaitlyn McCann Amy McTaggart Emily McTaggart Kaylee Morales Lauren Morrow Faith Munoz Nicole Newman Alyssa Nugent Katelyn Oliver Eriika Passi Savanah Perry Jenna Pickle Madison Ramirez Crystal Rorrer Amery Saldana


Jewelers, which they have helped grow into one of the top 100 jewelry stores in the nation, as recognized by Harpers Bazaar. Through the store, Slade has been involved with several local and national charities. From being selected as heart throb for the American Heart Association and walking the stage for Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, to being on the board of Space Center Rotary, he has also been involved with Lunar Rendezvous, Bay Area Houston Ballet, Clear Creek Education Foundation, Friendswood Education Foundation, Assistance League, Panhellenic, MS150, Qhubeka, American Lung Association and many more.

Taplin Sauls Samantha Simmons Alexandra Staat Brianna Towner Gabriela Umana Clarissa Valcoviak Samantha Williams Anna Williamson Alexis Wright LIEUTENANT COURT Grant Ballard Blake Brady Christopher Colling Lance Covington Aaron Douglas Nicholas Dunphey Cole Gunnells Garrett Knox Pearson Leboe Trenton Nickel David Oliver Makai Power Joel Thompson Gage Whiteman Kyle Wilson CHAIRMEN General Chiarman-Michelle Holland Vice Chairman-Debby Reichert Auction-Wendy Drapela Kickoff-Kari Cook & Melissa Jones Golf-Renee Adams & Beth Burroway Spa-Holli Stone, Heather Sabrsula & Lori Hunter Dining Night-Christiana Ballard & Allison Cravens Fashion Show-Anoug Davis & Meg Crowley Coronation Ball-Katy Rea & Veronica Rapp Treasurer-Lisa Hollbrook Publicity-Brandy Jackson & Kim Woods Corporate SponsorsDebby Reichert & Laurie Vaughn Big Court-Katie Jones & Elizabeth Olin Little Court-Kendra Rogers & Jessica Burgess Raffle-Melissa McKinnie Royals-Cameron Cannon & Danielle Stafford Programs-Dawn Kayser Printing-Hilary Morris Sunset Service-Amanda Mark & Laura MacKay ADVISORY BOARD Kelli Byrd Peggy Clause Terri Dieste Karen McCorkle Jana Miller Jill Reason Kathy Reeves Mike Reeves Mary Ann Shallberg Wendy Shaw Jill Williams Mary Williams

Bay Area Houston Magazine | MAY 2019

Slade Lewis is elected Lunar Rendezvous king


lade Lewis is known around the Bay Area as an astute businessman, an athlete and philanthropist. Now he will go down in history as the 2019 Lunar Rendezvous Festival king. In 1989, he graduated with honors from Clear Creek High School, winning the President’s Award. While at Creek he represented his high school at Boys State and is one of the last Clear Creek ISD athletes to letter in four sports -- Cross Country, Football, Track and Basketball. He was named Most Athletic his senior year and was the District Champion in several events. After receiving scholarship offers in all four sports from many different universities, he decided to stay home and accept a scholarship at San Jacinto College to run cross country and track. He received All American honors in track and field as well as Academic All American. After two years, Slade accepted an academic and athletic scholarship to run cross country and track at Northwestern State University Scholars College.

HONOR GRAD While attending Northwestern, he earned academic all-conference honors in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track along with several conference championships. He also became a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, a member of Blue Key and was selected to be on the Student Council Supreme Court. Slade graduated with honors from Northwestern’s Scholars College Liberal Arts program with a concentration in scientific inquiry. After college he married his high school sweetheart, Cindy Whitley, and, following a short stent in network marketing, Slade and Cindy joined the family business, Lewis

Slad Lewis with former Lunar Rendezvous king Gene Hollier.

HOSTS FUNDRAISERS The one closest to his heart, however, is Texas Children’s Hospital Renal Department in which Lewis Jewelers has hosted a fundraiser for several years running. Through this effort, The Dialysis Unit at Texas Children’s was recently renamed The Lewis Jewelers Dialysis Unit. Lewis Jewelers is the current official jeweler of all University of Houston athletic teams and has been the official jeweler of the Houston Rockets and Astros. The past three years, Lewis Jewelers has been named to the University of Houston Cougar 100. Slade was chosen to help start the Clear Creek ISD Hall of Honor and appointed to the board. He was also chosen to be one of Houston’s Modern Men and featured in Modern Luxury and has done commercials with the likes of NASCAR great Jeff Gordon and WWE Hall of Famer Booker T. He has competed in many road cycling events and triathlons including finishing several half Ironman’s and Full Ironman distance triathlons. He was recently selected to participate with team Qhubeka to cycle along with several world champions in South Africa in a 200k time trial and compete in his first Freediving Competition on the island of Curacao. He also has been the Texas State Champion in several disciplines in cycling and is aiming for a World Championship Spot in Ironman.

2019 Lunar Rendezvous Advisory Board and Board of Directors 2019 General Chairman Michelle Holland 2019 Advisory Board Co-Chairmen Kelli M. Byrd Jill Williams Spa Chairman Holly Stone and Vice Chairman Lori Hunter.

Fashion Show Chairman Anouk Davis and Vice Chairman Meg Crowley.

Vice Chairman Terri Dieste Secretary Kathy Reeves Treasurer Kim Barker

Cornation Ball Chairman Kathy Rae and Vice Chairman Veronica Rapp.

Publicity Co-Chairman Kim Woods and her daughter, Lauren, a budding photographer.

Lunar Rendezvous volunteers get ready for 2019 Festival


t’s springtime, and that

means hundreds of volunteers will be busy working on the 54th annual Lunar Rendezvous Festival in the coming days. Many braved the pouring down rain and gathered April 7 at UH-Clear Lake for the annual Kickoff, chaired by Kari Cook and Melissa Jones, and where Festival General Chairman Michelle Holland welcomed the crowd and pointed out the various event tables where volunteers could sign up to work on their favorite event.

It was also the occasion to introduce the 2019 festival king, Slade Lewis, along with the 59 princesses, 15 lieutenants, 14 little ladies in waiting and meet the 2019 Queen Sabrina Curran and Captain Trey Dorman. Lunar Rendezvous also used the time to pass out part of the nearly $154,000 in profits from the 2018 festival to various Bay Area non-profits and announce they would soon be awarding college scholarships to area graduating seniors.

Board of Directors Chairman Michael Landolt Vice Chairman Dr. Charles Schuhmacher Secretary Mary Ann Shallberg Treasurer Gerald Clause Parliamentarian Dick Gregg, Jr.

Lunar Rendezvous royalty has a little fun with the photographer Kim Woods during the festival kickoff at UH-Clear Lake April 7. They are, from left, Festival King Slade Lewis, Queen Sabrina Curran and Captain Trey Dorman.

Save the date! Upcoming LRF events Spring Silver Tea May 5 @ 3 p.m. Bay Area Musuem

Ooh La La Let’s Spa! Spa Night July 18 @ 7 p.m. Oasis Salon & MediSpa

#Lovelifelunar Sponsor Apperciation Party June 27 @ 7 p.m. Lewis Jewelers

Sunset Service July 21 @ 6 p.m. Bay Harbour United Methodist Church

Shoot for the Stars Golf Night June 28 @ 6:30 p.m. TopGolf - Webster

Sail Away Lunar Fashion Show July 23 @ 10:30 a.m. San Luis Resort & Convention Center

A Stellar Night Dining Event July 13 @ 6:30 p.m. Merlion

Hot Havana Nights Coronation Ball July 27 @ 5 p.m. San Luis Resort & Convention Center

Kippy Caraway Dr. Peggy Clause Annette Dwyer Ann Wismer Landolt Jana Miller Karen McCorkle Jill Reason Mike Reeves Mary Ann Shallberg Wendy Shaw Mary Williams

Big Court Chairman Katie Jones and Vice Chairman Elizabeth Olin.

Past Chairman Gene Read Kippy Caraway Judge Louie Ditta Jerry Foyt Ken Gurry James Hargrove Mike Hernandez Larry Jensen John Wilkins Capt. Wendell Wilson Dr. Gloria Wong 2018 LUNAR RENDEZVOUS FESTIVAL DISTRIBUTION OF FUNDS *Because of funds raised from last year’s Festival, we were able to distribute $153,750! Ten $8,000 4-year scholarships will be awarded to CCISD students. We were also able to distribute funds to the following organizations: Assistance League of Bay Area, Bay Area Chorus, Bay Area Houston Ballet and Theatre, Bay Area Houston Symphony, Bay Area YMCA (E.A. Smith and Perry Family YMCA), Bay Area Youth Singers, Clear Brook High School, Clear Creek High School, Clear Lake High School, Bay Area Council, Boy Scouts of America and Friends of Evelyn Meador Library - Seabrook.

MAY 2019 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Proud mentors with the 2018-19 Show Team, LHP’s accomplished youth & leaders of tomorrow. (Back row L-R): Andrea Wilson, Board Chairman; Henry Wilson, Project Manager. (Front row L-R): Brandon Couvillion, Libby Butterfield, Emma Lucas, Quinton Cherry.

The Longhorn Project at Johnson Space Center No place in the galaxy like it. Texas longhorns meet manned space exploration.


ome be a part of the legendary

Longhorn Project at Johnson Space Center (LHP). The organization has blended an award-winning Texas longhorn herd with STEM educational and environmental programs with a noteworthy record of achievement for nearly a quarter century. Hundreds of local FFA students have been awarded scholarships on “Show Teams,” raising and exhibiting longhorns across Texas and in bordering states. In collaboration with NASA scientists, the LHP works with master naturalists, environmental professionals and volunteers to champion sustainability projects, connecting countless high school students with experts on everything from maintaining a 7-acre garden to Aquaculture, inventive landscaping and Agronomy. The LHP also engaged more than 60,000 local elementary and middle-school students through its STEM-based curriculum. Founded in 1996 by JSC Center Director George W. S. Abbey, the LHP began with a commitment to making the Center’s resources available to the educational community. “In his office, Mr. Abbey had a cattle photograph that served as his inspiration in bringing the worldfamous longhorns to JSC,” said Andrea Wilson, chairman of the LHP Board of Directors. “In fact, the cattle in that 1960 photo grazed on land owned by the family of James Marion West Sr., co-founder of Humble Oil & Refining Company, that would eventually become the home for NASA JSC.” “He thought bringing the cattle, native to the state of Texas, to NASA JSC bridged Texas’ past to NASA’s present and America’s future,” she added. The next step was to dedicate 53 acres of NASAJSC’s tract of land, adjacent to NASA’s Rocket Park, for the development of a “hands on” agricultural education facility. Subsequent discussions among


Bay Area Houston Magazine | MAY 2019

Abbey, Dr. John E. Wilson, then Superintendent of Clear Creek ISD, the Houston Livestock Show and RodeoTM and the Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America resulted in a partnership, developing the first of its kind facility for furthering agricultural education linked to America’s space exploration. Dr. Sandra Mossman, past Superintendent of Clear Creek ISD, inspired the initiative to incorporate a science curriculum for the district’s third and seventh graders. Lessons include the history, genetics and characteristics of the Texas longhorn, fruit and vegetable cultivation, Aquaculture, recycling technologies and space exploration. Initially supported by Clear Creek ISD, in 2017 the LHP transitioned to a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, governed by a board of directors overseeing the management and fundraising programs. Because of the rich educational program

developed by Clear Creek ISD and close ties with NASA JSC, the LHP works closely with the school district to ensure its educational program meets Texas state academic standards and is provided to its 3,100 third grade students each year. “As an independent nonprofit, we’re now able to seek essential funding from sources that may not be available to a school district and extend the educational programs to area school districts and private and home-school organizations,” Wilson said. “Consequently, over the past three years, an additional 2,500 students have participated in the educational programs annually.” With thanks to a grant provided by the Moody Foundation, more than 1,700 students from Galveston, Dickinson and Santa Fe school districts, and the Odyssey Charter School in Seabrook, attended the field trip program. The AT&T Aspiring Fund allowed 350 high school students from Houston, Pearland and Clear Creek school districts to attend the program as well. The Houston Livestock Show and RodeoTM, one of the founding partners, has provided grants and support to renovate the barn facilities to ensure a safe as well as aesthetically-pleasing educational environment for the students. “Today, there’s a longhorn trophy steer herd that have made Johnson Space Center their home for the duration of their lives,” Wilson said. “And a show herd of 25 longhorns on loan from members of the Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America.” Under the direction of project manager, Henry Wilson, a selected team of FFA students care for the trophy steer herd, raising and exhibiting 25 longhorns at numerous livestock and longhorn shows. Through this worthwhile program, the show team students learn about ranch management, animal husbandry and to promote the preservation and legacy of the cattle native to Texas. They also earn scholarship funds by competing in exhibition shows, speech, art, livestock judging, showmanship, photography and Ag Mechanics contests. Andrea Wilson initiated the Garden, Agriculture, Sustainability and Arts (GASA) program so high school students could earn volunteer hours and connect with nature. For the past three years, students from Clear Horizons Early College High School have assumed GASA’s leadership and self-initiated projects that contribute to the overall educational program. Bay Area Houston Magazine and Gulf Coast Mariner Magazine are proud to sponsor and support The Longhorn Project at Johnson Space Center. There is “No place in the galaxy like it.” The Longhorn Project is offering unique sponsorship and advertising opportunities. Your investment would help support the growth and development of these educational programs. Like any classroom, we need to replace and renovate end-life equipment and facilities to ensure the safety of the students and ‘lock-in’ the program’s future for generations to come.You, your company, or organization can support or sponsor a longhorn, or The Longhorn Project, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization, by contacting Rick Clapp at 281-474-5875 or Roll em, roll em, roll em!

On the heels of its January rebranding, 50-year old Bay Area institution HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake celebrates miracles and milestones

HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake at a Glance HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake is a comprehensive community hospital, differentiated by:

HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake CEO Todd Caliva poses outside of his newly rebranded hospital

“I’m what you’d call an HCA Lifer and have been with this company a long time. As HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake aligns more deeply with the broader HCA network and looks forward to major investments in women’s and emergency services, our future has never been more bright. I’m proud of our staff, patients, and community for their resilience and commitment to making the Bay Area best-in-class not just for medicine, but for working and living.”

47 years serving Houston’s Bay Area community

Level II trauma center

High-risk obstetrical care


Pediatric ICU

Comprehensive Stroke Facility

Comprehensive Cancer Center

Only dedicated Heart Hospital South of Houston

Get in touch: (281) 332-2511 HCAHoustonClearLake @HCAHouClearLake

-Todd Caliva, CEO, HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake

Life’s a dance: Luck, determination, and one woman’s recovery from massive stroke “But she’s a fighter!” Sheralyn cried. Her active mother, Sheryl Homick, had suffered a massive stroke, and although doctors were doing everything they could, they warned she may never be the same. She couldn’t speak or move, but Sheryl accepted this challenge. She didn’t know how her stroke would affect her, but she would do everything in her power to reclaim her former life. Three months later, she would honor this silent promise, returning to the dance studio she founded 44 years Just months ago. after her stroke, Sheryl Homick Granted, luck works with her aided Sheryl’s granddaughter recovery. Her at her dance studio off of husband knew the Spencer Highway signs of stroke and in La Porte.


Bay Area Houston Magazine | MAY 2019

happened to be home when she had hers. She also lives within 20 miles of a comprehensive stroke center, HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake, where she received clot busting medication and where surgeons expertly removed the clot, restoring blood flow in her brain within 130 minutes of her arrival to the emergency department. Despite these advantages, Sheryl knew from the moment she woke up her recovery would be no picnic. She didn’t recognize her voice, and one of her hands kept floating up around her face against her wishes. Thankfully, Sheryl’s therapy began immediately, and with it, the tools to retrain her body. Her first assignment was to say, “mama, fifty fifty, and baseball player” – a humbling

The HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake cardiology team celebrates after the hospital’s first TAVR procedures.

HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake launches innovative alternative to open heart surgery


his April, Houston’s Bay Area

marked a major cardiology milestone as HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake launched its transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) service, successfully completing three procedures on its first day. A relatively new procedure, TAVR replaces damaged aortic valves through a catheter in contrast to open-heart surgery in which surgeons cut open the chest to expose the heart. Typically, candidates for TAVR suffer from aortic

exercise for a summa cum laude graduate. Channeling the serenity prayer, she strove to practice patience while dedicating every spare moment to remastering basic skills. After two weeks in the hospital, Sheryl moved to outpatient therapy where she gained helpful perspective: “You wouldn’t expect a broken hip to heal in six weeks,” she recalls her therapist saying. “Why would your brain be different?” Sheryl believes her support system and her goal of returning to work were also critical to her recovery. Her daughter visited almost every day and kept the dance business – in Sheryl’s words, “my baby before my babies” – running. Despite her success, Sheryl knows her doctors were right: she may never be the same. She struggles with numbers and has lost her taste for foods she used to enjoy. Still, she’s grateful for the progress she has made and the opportunity to share her experience with others. Her advice for stroke survivors is to “work hard, but give yourself a break,” which come to think of it, is good advice for us all.

stenosis, a common but serious valve problem in which the aortic valve opening narrows, dangerously restricting blood flow and affecting pressure in the heart. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved TAVR in 2012 for patients who are considered at high risk for open-heart surgery. In 2016, the FDA approved the procedure for patients at intermediate risk. Later this year, experts expect the agency to expand its approval to low-risk patients, which will dramatically

increase the number of patients who qualify for TAVR. Just this April, Rolling Stones rocker Mick Jagger underwent TAVR for his heart valve disease, raising awareness of the procedure’s benefits, including not needing to rely on a bypass machine and a faster recovery – one to two days instead of three to five. The FDA imposes strict requirements for hospitals wishing to practice TAVR, including successfully completing a certain number of open heart, surgical aortic valve, catheter, and percutaneous coronary interventions per year. The heart hospital at HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake, the only dedicated heart hospital in the Bay Area, performs more than 1,000 heart procedures annually. Surgeons Pranav Loyalka and Hannan Chaugle worked with a team of cardiologists to successfully perform HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake’s first TAVR procedures. Patients interested in learning more about TAVR and other cardiology services should call (888) 8423627 for more information.

League City woman swaps wedding china for bibs and diapers following miracle delivery At age 26, Taylor Thurstonson

had life figured out. After snagging a job as a nurse, she had met the man of her dreams and was planning her fairytale wedding. One fateful November night, however, her well-laid plans derailed in the most spectacular way. After helping her fiancé move into the apartment they would share once married, Taylor suddenly started to cramp and bleed. Identifying these as the signs of an early miscarriage, Taylor – who hadn’t previously suspected she was pregnant – was disappointed, but not concerned. When a few hours later, she began to hemorrhage, her fiancé rushed her to HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake. There, the couple received the shock of their lives: Taylor wasn’t miscarrying, but she was 29 weeks pregnant and her placenta was separating from her uterus. This “abruption” was causing Taylor to

hemorrhage and her baby to lose oxygen by the second. Ten minutes later, after an emergency delivery, Taylor was holding a baby girl. Asked how Taylor didn’t know she was pregnant, Dr. Edesiri Akajagbor, an obstetrics and gynecology specialist affiliated with HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake, explained it’s not unheard of. “This can happen when birth control fails, when a woman has been told they can’t become pregnant and is less sensitive to symptoms, or when a woman has irregular periods,” he explained. “It’s also possible for a woman to still not being showing at the beginning of her third trimester if fetal development hasn’t caught up with gestational age or if the woman has a uterus that’s tilted backward.” Reflecting on her whirlwind experience, Taylor says she wouldn’t have it any other way. When

Blake and Taylor Elias with daughter Brooklyn after their wedding at HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake.

Brooklyn made her appearance, she swapped her wedding registry for a baby registry. She and her sweetheart married at HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake’s chapel where they could be closer to their little one who, born premature, spent 46 days in the hospital’s Level III neonatal intensive care unit before being released a month ahead of schedule. Their ordeal behind them, the Elias’s are now settling into their routine as a family of three with an epic birth story and a newfound appreciation for life’s little surprises.

MAY 2019 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


[HEALTHCARE] UTMB President Dr. David Callendar prepares to cut the ribbon to signify the opening of the new UTMB Health-Clear Lake campus in Webster as Congressman Pete Olson; Webster Mayor Donna Rogers; Galveston County Commissioner Ken Clark; UTMB Health System Executive Vice President and CEO Donna Sollenberger; Clear Lake Chamber President Cindy DeWease and Chairman Brian Freedman; Fay Picard, Dr. Greg Bonnen’s district director; and UT System Executive Vice Chancellor Amy Shaw Thomas gather around.

Taylor Lake Village Mayor Jon Keeney, from right, Congressman Pete Olsen, Clear Lake Chamber Chairman Brian Freedman and Tammie Neilson of Sen. Larry Taylor’s office mingle with the crowd at the opening of UTMB’s Clear Lake Campus. Photos by Mary Alys Cherry

Massive crowd helps dedicate UTMB’s New Campus By Mary Alys Cherry


ust a glanc e a r ou n d

at the massive crowd, and you could see – and feel -- the excitement. Our pretty hospital was b-a-c-k! Where once we had joined the celebration as Bay Area Regional Medical Center opened four years ago, we were back again in the hospital’s same beautiful entrance hall celebrating the dedication of UTMB Health’s Clear Lake Campus there at the corner of Blossom Street and Highway 3 in Webster with UTMB President Dr. David Cavender welcoming a crowd of about 500, including lots of dignitaries. Congressmen Randy Weber and Pete Olson were down from Washington joining the celebration with Mayors Donna Rogers of

Webster, Carl Joiner of Kemah and Jon Keeney of Taylor Lake Village, Mayor Pro-tem Todd Kinsey of League City and Galveston County Commissioner Ken Clark, to name a few. FOUR YEARS OLD Actually, the new UTMB campus is four years old. It started life as Bay Area Regional Medical Center, but ran into financial difficulties last May and shut down suddenly, leaving about 900 employees out of a job. “Today’s celebration recognizes a journey that began for UTMB late last summer when UTMB Health recognized we could meet an important need for continued access to exceptional health care and services in the Clear Lake community,” UTMB Health

Nuvothera’s Super Micronized Turmeric Curcumin Changed my Life By Sumer Loggins


battled acne for many years. It has been debilitating to my confidence and self image. I tried expensive antibiotics, medications, ointments, and spa treatments. Nothing seemed to work, and my acne even worsened. This encouraged me to research better ways to keep my skin healthy and clear. I realized in order to maintain health I must heal my body from the inside out. That’s when I discovered Nuvothera’s Super-Micronized Turmeric Curcumin and its powerful restorative benefits. Turmeric is a natural healer for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and


antiseptic properties. Nuvothera’s SuperMicronized formula unleashes the full potential and maximum benefits of this amazing botanical ingredient. Turmeric and its unique compound curcumin have anti-inflammatory effects that heal the gut and body. Nuvothera’s Turmeric Curcumin is proven to be 100 times more potent than other leading brands. The key to Nuvothera’s unique scientific formulation is the watersoluble formula that produces amazing results from the inside out. Nuvothera makes use of the entire turmeric root of over 200 active beneficial molecules which work better in collaboration than isolation.

Bay Area Houston Magazine | MAY 2019

System CEO and Executive Vice President Donna Sollenberger said at the March 20 dedication. “As a five-star academic medical center, it also presented UTMB with an exciting opportunity to advance our education and research missions and expand our area health care services while we bring high-quality, comprehensive health care services to patients close to their homes.” FULL SERVICE The full-service hospital has 87 medical/surgical private patient rooms and can expand to 191 rooms. Also included in the facility are 90 intermediate and intensive care beds, 26 pre-anesthesia and postanesthesia care beds, 23 private emergency rooms (including three for trauma), eight operating rooms,

Nuvothera’s Super-Micronized Turmeric Curcumin is unlike any other because micronization achieves maximum absorption, efficacy, and bioactivity without using harmful chemical enhancers. Micronization is the process of reducing the particle size of a substance in order to improve bioavailability. Studies show that super micronizing and making use of the whole turmeric root is the secret to greater potency and safety, which is why Nuvothera is a leader in health, innovation and researchdriven results. Nuvothera CEO and Entrepreneur Arthur Clapp has decades of experience using evidence-based research to develop botanicallybased alternatives to pharmaceutical treatments. “Our Super-Micronized Turmeric Curcumin excels in so many ways beyond conventional curcumin options,” says Clapp, “but the star of the show is our finding of 126 times greater COX2 inhibition, which is a biomarker for inflammation.” The SuperMicronized Turmeric Curcumin

three interventional suites for cardiac procedures, two interventional radiology/interventional neurology suites and a pair of endoscopy suites. The hospital is the former Bay Area Regional Medical Center, which employed about 900 people when it shut down suddenly last May. UTMB said it has staffed the hospital with 427 employees, including new hires and people transferring from other UTMB posts. “This is a tremendous opportunity for us to advance UTMB’s education, research and patient care mission in a dynamic area,” UTMB President Dr. David L. Callender said at the time they leased the hospital. “We will be able to expand our ability to provide health care services for an area that is one of the fastest-growing regions in Texas.”

is a game changer for sought after anti-inflammatory benefits. There’s a plethora of health advantages of turmeric and curcumin. However, the anti-inflammatory benefits are the most exciting. Since using Nuvothera’s maximum potency Turmeric Curcumin, I’ve noticed a major difference. It helped me combat chronic inflammation and improve digestion, immunity, and overall health. Nuvothera’s SuperMicronized Turmeric Curcumin changed my life. It’s not just a supplement, it is a powerful remedy for health and wellness. I feel nourished, energized, and my skin is glowing, which helps me live life to the fullest. Turmeric curcumin especially supports joint health, mobility and skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, eczema and psoriasis as well as balances blood sugar levels, improves circulation, and detoxes the liver. Nuvothera now sells SuperMicronized Turmeric Curcumin on their website, or from Amazon and other outlets.

MAY 2019 | Bay Area Houston Magazine



HOW THE 1890s SHAPED TODAY’S INCREDIBLE TECHNOLOGY AND HEALTHCARE During the pre-centennial 1890s decade, despite one of the world’s worst recessions, incredible technical and medical innovations and initiatives by resilient individuals revolutionized the following 20th Century socio-medical landscape.


In 1892, Sir William Osler, MD, wrote his monumental clinical textbook “Principles and Practice of Medicine”. He developed this for the proposed Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. The school had been made possible through lastminute fundraising by three women in 1893, on the condition it admit women medical students. Later, funded by John D. Rockefeller, Osler’s bedside teaching method and textbook revisions inspired the ongoing explosion of medical research documented in the vast international medical literature of today. In 1892, Andrew Taylor Still, pioneered and opened the iconic American School of Osteopathy in Kirksville, Missouri, stating “A mind is not in use when doing no good.” In 1895, Daniel David Palmer devised therapeutic musculoskeletal manipulation and opened the Palmer School and Infirmary of Chiropractic in 1898 in Davenport, Iowa. In 1892 George Eastman founded Kodak with his flexible photographic film roll, and launched the 1898 Kodak pocket camera, the 1900 $1 Brownie and later 35mm movie film. In 1895, Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen, invented x-rays, and showed an aghast, skeptical world an


Bay Area Houston Magazine | MAY 2019

Eastman photographic film of his wife’s left hand bones and wedding ring. In 1896, UT Galveston was the first in Texas to install an x-ray machine. In 1899, Sigmund Freud, Austrian neurologist, founder of the art of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy, wrote his classical book: “The Interpretation of Dreams”, and became a dominant influence in Western psychological thinking. The U.S. National Formulary “applied to substances intended for medicinal use” by authority of the American Pharmaceutical Association, was first published in 1888, comprising mainly minerals, herbs and animal extracts. In 1896 the revised 2nd Edition, provided the basis for current official definition, nomenclature as well as drug standardization protocols. German chemist, Felix Hoffman acetylated salicylic acid derived from Willow bark, which had been used by ancient Egyptians and Hippocrates for analgesia, creating aspirin. In 1899 Aspirin was commercialized by Friedrich Bayer as a miracle drug, spawning the competitive global pharmaceutical adaptation of classical herbal remedies as well as synthetic medication. In 1899, a drug company, Merck, published a 292page, portable Manual of the Materia Medica, ”an aid to physicians and pharmacists as memory is treacherous.” The frequently updated manual has been extensively used internationally, even by Albert Schweitzer in Africa. The 1999 Centennial 17th Edition of 2,655 pages was also published in CD and Internet formats, in several languages as well as in a man- in-the- street popular vernacular version. In 1891, Stanford University was officially

opened, funded by railroad magnate Senator Leland Stanford, on the recommendation of Harvard’s president Charles Elliott, to honor his 15-year-old son, who had died of typhoid. In 1891, former Texas governor, Lawrence Sullivan Ross saved the Agricultural and Mechanical’s College of Texas from potential closure. He then made major improvements, and created the Aggie Ring. In 1891, funded by John Sealy, the University of Texas established a one-year Medical School Program in Galveston with 23 students, graduating its 1st female MD in 1897, when it increased the MD curriculum to 4 years. In 1891, William Marsh Rice founded the Rice Institute for the Advancement of Literature, Science and Art in Houston. In 1896, he willed the bulk of his estate, $4,631,259, to the Institute, now known as Rice University, stating “Texas received me when I was penniless, without friends, or even acquaintances. And now, in the evening of my life, I recognize my obligation to her and her children.” In 1894, Jesse Jones came to Houston, later promoted the Red Cross internationally, and established a foundation with his wife, Mary Gibbs, who later donated $1 million to build a college at Rice University for women students. In 1898, frugal George Hermann, whose Humble property gushed oil, donated land and funds to create charity hospitals. In 1900, Baylor College of Medicine, as part of Baylor University, that had been founded in 1841 by Robert Baylor of the Texas Union Baptist Association, was established with 81 students in Dallas Texas, by a group of dedicated alumni. The sisters of Charity St. Mary’s hospital in Galveston saw expansion during the 1890s. In 1898, Madame Curie and her husband Pierre published strong evidence supporting the existence of a new element – which they called radium. In 1903, she was awarded the Nobel Prize for physics, for her work on radioactivity. The medical intelligence, initiatives, innovations, inventions and institutions established in the transformative 1890’s pre-centennial decade laid the foundation for 20th century spectacular advances in the quality, availability and capabilities of healthcare delivery worldwide. At the same time, unique 1890’s innovations in energy, transportation and telecommunications set the stage for tectonic upheavals in the geo-political, socio-economic landscape of the planet in the 20th Century:


The pivotal 1890s: Tele-communication In 1892, Alexander Graham Bell’s AT&T established long-distance calling on a telephone line from New York to Chicago, which led to the eventual wiring of the world, enabling humans to communicate, regardless of location. In 1896, Nikola Tesla developed wireless telegraphy, and Guglielmo Marconi, a few years later, funded by Andrew Carnegie, accomplished wireless transatlantic transmission from Newfoundland, Canada to Cornwall, England.

Electricity In 1891, Mikhail Dobrovsky, along with Tesla, invented the three-phase electric generator much in use today. In 1891, Werner Siemens produced the 1st longdistance transmission of AC power, and Tesla, funded by George Westinghouse, enabled turbine AC electric generation at Niagara Falls, then went on to light up the United States. In 1892, J.P. Morgan incorporated the General Electric (GE) Company with Thomas Edison, who had developed DC electricity, which now empowers the familiar batteries used universally in a plethora of household and business devices. Transportation In 1896, Henry Ford, adopting Nicholas Otto’s 1876 Internal Combustion Engine invention, fitted a 2c ylinder, 4 horsepower engine on a metal frame with 4 bicycle wheels, in a shed behind his home, sparking a global thirst for oil. Anthony Lucas, drilling for oil in the 1890’s, struck black gold in January 1901, near Beaumont, Texas, launching the petroleum industry, and

“Today, modern medicine is capable of incredible feats of human preservation and health promotion, but sadly, is not available or affordable to all.” inspiring the Roosevelt International and Eisenhower Interstate Highway systems that united all Americans. In 1892, the Wright brothers opened a bicycle repair shop. In 1899 Wilbur Wright wrote to the Smithsonian Institute, asking for flight information, opening with “I have been interested in the problem of mechanical and human flight ever since as a boy.”

NATIONAL POLITICS The pivotal 1890s:

In 1890, the National American Woman Suffrage Association, led by Susan B. Anthony was formed. In 1890, Wyoming became the first state to have a female governor and to grant women the right to vote, long before the 19th amendment of 1920. In 1892, Ellis Island Immigrant Station in New York opened, in sight of the 1866 Statue of Liberty and in 1898 the US Supreme Court decided children of immigrants born in the US were automatically US citizens. In 1892, Francis Bellamy introduced the recitation of his Pledge of Allegiance into schools. This became widespread, uniting a country recovering from the tragic divisiveness of the Civil War, and invigorating national pride. In 1898, President William McKinley appointed Theodore Roosevelt, hero of the SpanishAmerican war, as his 1900 Vice President running mate, but McKinley was assassinated in 1901. President Theodore Roosevelt then promoted internationalism and an all-inclusive, socioeconomic “Square Deal”. He was the first to entertain an African-American, educator Booker T. Washington in the White House, and appointed the first Jewish cabinet minister, Oscar Strauss.

He also organized US construction of the Panama Canal after France’s Suez developer Lesseps withdrew, bringing Atlantic and Pacific shipping to all US ports including the Texas Gulf Coast, ushering the United States into global geopolitical and maritime prominence. In 1890, Herman Hollerith designed a punch card system for the US Census that led to the creation of IBM. In 1895, Charlotte Allen donated Market Square for a City Hall and recommended that the city be named after Sam Houston, rather than herself. The confluence and implementation of the 1890’s considerable medical and technological innovations, inventions and institutions – during the 20th century, have enabled today’s incredibly advanced healthcare delivery systems.

THE 21st CENTURY The pivotal 1990s:

Incredible tele-computing, information management of the pre-centennial 1990’s decade has substantially changed our way of life: 1991 World Wide Web, 1994 Amazon, 1995 Yahoo, 1995 eBay, 1998 Google and 1995 public GPS. Fueled by American national pride, venture capital, political stability, economic prosperity, inclusive diversity and international commercethe 21st Century will no doubt create an as yet unimaginable, global technology-based quality of life. Currently, this is already evident with the 2001 Smart phone, 2003 AOL, 2004 Facebook, 2015 Amazon Echo. Today, modern medicine is capable of incredible feats of human preservation and health promotion, but sadly, is not available or affordable to all. However, emerging hyper-efficient Net based, wave relay, trans-lingual tele-technology can be integrated with smart phones and medinfowearables including Augmented Reality Operating System (rOS) glasses. This can enable synergistic medical human / artificial intelligence on site, to empower individuals to self-care, assess and triage, treat the simple or video-consult the more complex, even from the most remote, isolated areas. Moreover, cumulative clinical digital databases acquired on line from mass, multilingual public health screening can drive analytic algorithms and machine learning to contain disasters and expand research worldwide. Texas, with the world’s largest medical center, NASA engineering, world-class corporations and an international trade hub has attracted the best experts and expertise in medical care and technology. In upcoming related articles I will be highlighting and showcasing some of these best practices. Victor Kumar-Misir M.D. is an international physician who has spent the past 40 years integrating translingual, cross-cultural healthcare delivery with emerging information management tele-technologies.

New system called ‘Major step forward in cancer treatment’


ouston Methodist Clear Lake Hospital has installed a new radiation therapy system, which integrates imaging, beam delivery and motion management to give physicians unmatched control of radiation therapy. “This is a major step forward in cancer treatment,” said Dr. Twisha Verma, radiation oncologist at Houston Methodist Cancer Center at Clear Lake. “The new system allows us to limit side effects and reduce the impact on surrounding tissue while improving the delivery of radiation. It actually gives us a 4-D image as we work – a three-dimensional view of the tumor along with any movement – so that we can deliver radiation doses to a precise spot at the most opportune moment.” The system, called TrueBeam, developed by Varian Medical Systems, is ideal for treating tumors of the lung, abdomen, breast, prostate, head and neck. One of the major advances of the TrueBeam is its GPS-like system for prostate cancer treatment, in which tiny markers are implanted in the patient for precise, real-time tracking of the tumor. “This is especially beneficial because the prostate can move slightly throughout a treatment session due to a full bladder or abdominal gas,” Verma said. “Now, we are able to adjust the delivery of radiation in real time to ensure we are hitting the tumor, even if there is slight movement during treatment.” With this new technology, clinicians can correlate the tumor position in breast cancer patients in relation to the patient’s respiratory cycle. Using an infrared tracking camera, the system measures the patient’s respiratory pattern and range of motion. This allows the clinician to set gating thresholds that turn the radiation beam on and off automatically for maximum benefit. “As the patient inhales, the heart is shifted away from the breast by the expanded lungs. This allows us to reduce the radiation exposure to the heart, especially for young woman or women with left-sided breast cancer, who are at increased risks,” Verma said. “The gating mechanism in the TrueBeam system allows us to rapidly deliver radiation doses when the patient’s heart and lungs are furthest from the tumor, limiting the amount of radiation those critical organs receive.” The gating system can also be used with other forms of cancer, such as lung cancer, and will be used in stereotactic body radiation therapy, Verma continued. TrueBeam also allows for quicker treatment sessions – just a few minutes a day in most cases – and a more comfortable patient experience. For example, the system is quieter than traditional linear accelerators and there are enhanced communication capabilities that enable the patient to remain in constant contact with the operating therapist. “Our success relies on our collaborative approach with patients,” Verma added. “The TrueBeam system gives our team another powerful tool that we can use to plan and deliver the best possible care.” Visit to learn more about the cancer services at Houston Methodist Clear Lake Hospital. MAY 2019 | Bay Area Houston Magazine




Sokols Greek





Pappa’s Delta Blues

Masa Sushi

El Tiempo

r l e a

l a k e

South Shore Grille




Jackie’s Brickhouse


Crazy Alan’s Bakkhus


Ocean Sushi

Nobi Las Haciendas Preamble

Tookie’s Seafood

Hubcap Grill



Franca’s Noon & Mirch

Avenida Brazil


Villa Capri

888 Chinese



Chelsea Wine Bar

g a l v e s t o n

b ay


T-Bone Tom’s

Floyd’s Red River BBQ Main St. Bistro

Stomp’s Burgers



AMERICAN 1. Jackie’s Brickhouse 1053 Marina Bay Dr, Kemah, TX (832) 864-2459 2. Main St Bistro 615 E Main St, League City, TX (281) 332-8800 3. Red Oak Cafe 6011 W Main St a106, League City, TX (832) 905-3150 4. Stomp’s Burger Joint 3107 TX-146, Bacliff, TX (281) 339-0785 5. South Shore Grille 2800 Marina Bay Dr, League City, TX (281) 334-7700 6. T-Bone Tom’s 707 TX-146, Kemah, TX (281) 334-2133 7. Cabo Bar & Grill 2513 NASA Rd. 1, Seabrook, TX (281) 532-2691 8. Hubcap Grill 1918 E NASA Pkwy, Seabrook, TX (281) 339-7116 ASIAN 1. 888 Chinese 16744 El Camino Real, Houston, TX (281) 990-8888


Red Oak Cafe

Tight Ends

Topwater Grill

Gumbo Bar


Dickinson BBQ


2. Masa Sushi 977 E NASA Pkwy, Webster, TX (281) 486-9888

3. Little Daddy’s Gumbo Bar 1615 FM 646, League City, TX (281) 524-8626

3. Sawa Mediterranean 16608 El Camino Real, Houston, TX (281) 990-0817

5. Chelsea Wine Bar 4106 E NASA Pkwy f, El Lago, TX (281) 326-5282 m o s e s

3. Michiru Sushi 20911 Gulf Fwy, Webster, TX (281) 338-9988

4. Marais 2015 FM 517 Rd E, Dickinson, TX (281) 534-1986

4. Sokols Greek Deli & Cafe 2410 Bay Area Blvd, Houston, TX (281) 286-2989

6. Tight Ends Sports Bar 2502 Gulf Fwy S, League City, TX (832) 769-4330

4. Noon & Mirch: Cuisine of India 505 E NASA Pkwy, Webster, TX 5. Ocean Sushi 3020 Marina Bay Dr Suite A2, League City, TX (281) 957-9122 BARBEQUE 1. Dickinson BBQ 2111 FM 517 Rd E, Dickinson, TX (281) 534-2500 2. Pappas Delta Blues 19901 Gulf Fwy, Webster, TX (281) 332-0024 3. Red River BBQ 1911 E Main St Suite B, League City, TX (281) 332-8086 CAJUN 1. Crazy Alan’s Swamp Shack 310 Texas Ave, Kemah, TX (281) 334-5000 2. Floyd’s Cajun Seafood 20760 Gulf Fwy, Webster, TX (281) 332-7474

Bay Area Houston Magazine | MAY 2019


MEXICAN 1. Angelo’s Pizza & Pasta 400 Bay Area Blvd A, Webster, TX (281) 332-2404 2. Gio’s Flying Pizza & Pasta 650 FM 517 W. Dickinson, TX (281) 337-0107 3. Grazia Italian Kitchen 1001 Pineloch Dr #1100, Houston, TX (281) 486-2083 4. Villa Capri 3713 NASA Rd. 1, Seabrook (281) 326-2373 5. Franca’s Real Italian 1101 E NASA Pkwy, Houston, TX (281) 488-2207 MEDITERRANEAN

1. El Tiempo Cantina 20237 Gulf Fwy, Webster, TX (713) 802-1580 2. Habanero’s Tacos 1908 Hialeah Dr #2, Seabrook, TX (281) 474-4400 3. Las Haciendas 1020 W. Nasa Rd 1, Webster, TX 77598 281-557-3500 PUB/BAR/FUSION 1. Nobi Public House 241 E NASA Pkwy, Webster, TX (832) 932-5111 2. Scotty’s Pub 3202 Marina Bay Dr, League City, TX (281) 339-7474

1. Bakkhus Taverna 605 6th St, Kemah, TX (281) 538-1800

3. Skallywag’s 600 6th St, Kemah, TX (281) 538-8877

2. Mediterraneo Market & Cafe 18033 Upper Bay Rd, Houston, TX (281) 333-3180

4. Boondoggles Pub 4106 E NASA Pkwy, El Lago, TX (281) 326-2739

l a k e

7. Preamble Lounge & Craft House 20801 Gulf Fwy #12, Webster, TX (832) 905-2927 SEAFOOD 1. Gilhooley’s Oyster Bar 222 9th St, San Leon, TX 77539 (281) 339-3813 2. Tookie’s Seafood 1106 Bayport Blvd, Seabrook, TX (281) 942-9445 3. Topwater Grill 815 Avenue O, San Leon, TX (281) 339-1232 4. Sundance Grill II 800 Mariners Dr, Kemah, TX (281) 535-5350 S O U P/S A L A D/ D E L I 1. Salata 1780 E NASA Pkwy, Houston, TX (281) 532-6988 STEAK 1. Avenida Brazil 201 Bay Area Blvd, Webster, TX (281) 557-9999

Sloppy Nick’s Brooklyn Deli Brooklyn-Style Spirit in the Heart of League City By Xander Thomas


enerous portions and a high standard of delicious food, including vegetarian and keto options, are just a few things that Sloppy Nick’s Brooklyn style deli pride themselves on. New owner, Giorgio Floridia, stresses not only the quality and portions that his sandwich shop offers, but also the cleanliness that they like to maintain.

“We really emphasize in quality and keeping the place clean,” said Giorgio, “It’s important for people to know that this is a really clean environment.” Giorgio, along with his wife Antonella, bought the restaurant in January from his cousin, Luigi, because they could be present more often in the building and help manage it more closely. They currently offer many between bread classics, such as an Italian sandwich, a Monte Cristo, and big juicy burgers. But what does Giorgio recommend? “Well, the best is the Reuben!” he said “And we have great hamburgers.” He says that these, as well as the hot dogs, one of which is wrapped in bacon and deep fried (the Sloppy Pig), and the Cubano, are all big favorites. They get praise on more than just their main courses on the menu, too. “People say we have the best garlic Parmesan fries,” he said. Though they are discussing a few additions to the menu to be able to better cater to customer desires, Giorgio says that they won’t be making any major changes yet, because they already have good


Bay Area Houston Magazine | MAY 2019

feedback about almost everything that they offer, but also “we won’t lose the nature of the Brooklyn Deli,” as he says. So don’t get too worried, all of the favorite sandwiches and salads will still be offered. So what are the adjustments they are thinking of making? “We are thinking about doing some brunch,” Giorgio said, “Once a month brunch, and see how people respond.” Many people have been asking Giorgio about delivery, so they might offer this in the near future. But, he stresses, these are all things that they are trying to do for their guests at the moment, they aren’t there, yet. Some of the little additions they have gotten a nice response on, are the antipasto board that they now offer, where guests can pick a few meats and/or cheeses, and that guests can relax with their meal and share a bottle or glass of wine or sip on a beer. That isn’t evem the best part of what they will roll out since taking over this restaurant. “We have this showcase that is going to be completely dessert,” he said, “We’re going to make in-house cakes, desserts, biscotti and Italian cookies Everything is going to be freshly made.” Keeping up a restaurant is not all that keeps Giorgio and Antonella busy though. He says that they have two children, Giuseppe and Francesca, who were both born in Italy and have gained dual citizenship. He says that he and his wife are both very appreciative of the support from the community to his family. “I want to thank the community for the great response they have given to me and my kids,” he said, “obviously I want to thank my cousin Luigi and his wife Josephine for the opportunity to own a great place.”

1. Vegan twins at Falacos Food Truck 2. Tommy’s Superfoods serve tasty, healthy, and easy to prepare cuisine

VEGFEST @ RICE Rice Vegan Society and the Peaceful Planet Foundation proudly presented the 2nd annual VegFest at Rice University on March 24th. Rice VegFest educates all Texans about the benefits of a plant based lifestyle.Â


Bay Area Houston Magazine | MAY 2019

3. Vegan Society of Peace are people for the Earth, Animals, Compassion, and Enlightenment 4. Volunteers join together to support Peaceful Planet Foundation and Lifestyle Docs 5. VegFest couple keep calm at Korny Vibes


Bay Area Houston Magazine | MAY 2019


HOUSTON METHODIST staffers enjoy the Bay Area Houston Magazine cover party at Tommy’s Restaurant Oyster Bar.

THE BAY AREA COMMUNITY CENTER hosted the South Channel Ladies’ Tea and benefited the Precinct2gether Inc non-profit.

Silver Tea Co-Chairmen Belinda Scheurich, left, and Jill Smitherman enjoy the view of Clear Lake as they get together to plan the 2019 tea, coming up Sunday, May 5 at Bay Area Museum.


Bay Area Houston Magazine | MAY 2019

Tom Tollett donates 1953 MG TD Roadster to Galveston Bay Foundation

Photography: Moonbridge Media


om Tollett, owner

of Tommy’s Restaurant & Oyster Bar, is offering his 1953 MG TD roadster as a generous donation to the Galveston Bay Foundation. There’s a little over 1,000 miles on this elegant class 1 sports car. This two-seater certified classic car has 2 barrel, 4 speed, with excellent performance and meticulous restoration. The fair market retail value is $48,000. Those interested in purchasing this remarkable vintage English sports car, please contact Michael Kamins at The Galveston Bay Foundation’s mission is to protect and enhance the Galveston Bay for future generations. The Galveston Bay Foundation provides sciencebased environmental education programs to thousands of students in the Houston Bay Area and provides opportunities through advocacy programs for all citizens and organizations to take action. Their water programs help keep our precious bay clean. Galveston Bay plays a central role in conserving land, water, and wildlife as well as connect people in the community. Join the Gulf Coast Mariner and Bay Area Houston Magazine by supporting the Galveston Bay Foundation, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving our thriving waterfront community.

KEELS & WHEELS UNCORKED AT THE LONE STAR FLIGHT MUSEUM Photos by Sumer Loggins The 10th Annual Keels & Wheels Uncorked event on March 21st at the Lone Star Flight Museum was a fundraiser for Today’s Harbor for Children, a home for abandoned and abused children. The Uncorked event was made possible by sponsor MCM Worldwide to raise awareness of the Keels & Wheels Concours d’Elegance, a classic automobile and boat show that will take place on May 4-5 at Lakewood Yacht Club.


Artist Patti Lennon shows off her talents for the crowd at Keels & Wheels Uncorked.

Bay Area Houston Magazine | MAY 2019

Astronaut Walt Cunningham, right, is presented the trophy at during Keels & Wheels Uncorked.

Rick Clapp and Bob Fuller.

NASA Awards SAIC contract

By Don Armstrong


he midsize truck market is on fire and with two more manufacturers

joining the segment, there’s going to be an all-out war. Bay Area Houston Magazine had the chance to drive a couple of contenders and it appears the gloves are coming off.

Toyota Tacoma

Dominating the midsize segment for more than a decade, the Toyota Tacoma is finally feeling the heat from competitors. The 2020 Tacoma made its appearance at the recent Chicago Auto Show and at first glance, not many changes. But digging a little deeper, Toyota heard owner grumblings and is now offering a 10-way adjustable driver’s seat along with tech goodies that include Apple Car Play, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa voice. There are no changes in the powertrain, you choose from a 4-cylinder – for the not too serious tucker – or the V-6, which we recommend. A 6-speed transmission, manual or automatic, is available, depending on the trim level you select, of which there are no fewer than 6. The Toyota Tacoma has earned a great reputation so to pick the nits would be silly, and with a “Built in Texas” sticker on the window, what Bay Area Texan

wouldn’t be proud to own one. 2019 pricing starts at $25,550. The 2020 won’t be available until the last quarter of this year.

Ford Ranger

It’s back and looking better than ever, albeit much larger than the old one, last built in 2011. The 2019 Ford Ranger is all-new, kind of. Think of it as the Americanized version of the Australian Ranger, a very capable midsize built since 2015. If you’re a Ford fanatic, the new Ranger might check all the boxes on your wish list including the ability to fit in the garage. The Ranger’s shape is modern and attractive including its hexagonal grille. And, depending on the trim level you choose, a nice set of factory wheels that strike a chord with your design tastes are readily available. There is only one engine assigned to it, the 2.3-liter turbocharged, inline 4-cylinder that delivers 270-horsepower. It’s mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. We averaged almost 23-MPG during our 400-mile test week. Who would have ever thought a little 4-banger would be up to towing 7,500-lbs and hauling 1,860lbs.? That’s impressive. Pricing starts at $24,300, add a few extras and it will run you closer to $40,000.

NASA has awarded the Mission Assurance Engineering Contract (SMAEC) II to Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) in Reston, Va. SMAEC II is a single award, cost-plusaward-fee contract that includes core, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, and level of effort elements. The contract begins June 1 with a two-year base period, followed by two two-year options. The total maximum value of the contract is approximately $292 million. The contract will provide safety engineering, reliability engineering, quality engineering, quality assurance, and software assurance in support of NASA programs and projects at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston and White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico. These programs and projects include the International Space Station, Orion and Commercial Crew Programs, and the Extravehicular Activity Project Office. Services also may be provided at other NASA centers, U.S. government facilities, contractor or subcontractor locations, or vendor facilities as provided in the statement of work, or as specified in the issued task orders. These locations may be domestic and abroad. For information about NASA and agency programs,

Houston returns glass recycling During the official grand opening of a state-of-the-art recycling facility, Mayor Sylvester Turner announced the return of curbside recycling of bottles and jars made from clear, green and brown glass. The resumption of curbside glass recycling after a two-year pause is made possible by the city’s new recycling contractor, Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas, Inc. (FCC), which built the recycling facility in northeast Houston. In 2018, Houston City Council selected FCC after considering several proposals from competing recycling companies. The FCC agreement saves taxpayers millions in recycling costs and expands the type of materials the City’s Solid Waste Department can collect curbside. “I promised residents we would bring glass containers back to curbside recycling bins and I kept that promise,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said. “My thanks go to residents for their patience, to City Council for approving the FCC contract in 2018 and to Director Harry Hayes and his team at Solid Waste.” Glass, along with other items accepted in the recycling cart - paper, cardboard, aluminum, tin cans and plastics -- should be clean, dry and empty before recycling. MAY 2019 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Hundreds on hand for LYC’s 64th annual Blessing of the Fleet


he Blessing of the Fleet

and Opening Day Ceremonies is always a popular event with Lakewood Yacht Club members, and this year was no exception with hundreds gathering by the lake on a beautiful Sunday, March 31. As usual, the day started with music presented by the Clear Springs High Marching Band and the St. Thomas Episcopal Pipe Band, bringing smiles to the faces of all,


and followed by the flag officers – Commodore Tom Frankum, Vice Commodore Rex Bettis, Rear Commodore Mike Downs, Fleet Capt. Gary Romer and Immediate Past Commodore Ashley Walker – leading the 64th annual Blessing of the Fleet Ceremonies. Afterwards, there was the christening of all new yachts and the blessing by the Rev. Dr. Barbara Clemmons.

Bay Area Houston Magazine | MAY 2019

MAY 2019 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Jordan Davlin, owner of JetSurf Houston, puts the big scissors to work during the League City Regional Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting ceremony.

Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce President Cindy Harreld DeWease welcomes Jordan Davlin to the chamber.

Community welcomes JetSurf Houston to Clear Lake JetSurf Houston, the region’s hub and authority on the exciting new watersport of JetSurfing, officially opened for business on April 11. Located at Endeavour Marina, JetSurf Houston has everything you need to get you involved in this thrilling sport, including gear and lessons by certified trainers.


Bay Area Houston Magazine | MAY 2019

JetSurf Houston owner Jordan Davlin is a Clear Lake native and a Iraq war veteran. For more information, call 281-JET-SURF(538-7873), email, follow JetSurf Houston on Facebook and Instagram, or visit


San Jacinto College again in top 10 community colleges

By Amanda Fenwick


he Aspen Institute

for Community College Excellence has named San Jacinto College as one of the top 10 community colleges in the nation. The announcement was made at a luncheon in Washington, D.C. “I am honored and humbled to accept this award on behalf of the entire San Jacinto College community,” said Chancellor Dr. Brenda Hellyer. “This award reflects the achievements and commitment of our faculty, staff, and administration who are focused on helping our diverse student population pursue and accomplish their goals. As a college, we hold ourselves to the ultimate measure of student success, and being recognized as one of the top 10 community colleges in the nation is proof that our mission to provide innovative, accessible education is being accomplished.” Launched in 2011, the $1 million Aspen Prize is awarded every

Kemah votes to underwrite Stewart Elementary program


aVac e Stewa r t

Elementary School will soon welcome The Leader In Me Program onto the campus thanks to longtime partner and supporter, the City of Kemah. In a recent City Council meeting, councilmembers voted to underwrite the program for Stewart and budget $10,000 in the coming year for the start-up of the program. The city’s intent is to budget an additional $40,000 over the next four years, which is subject to the annual renewed approval by the City’s active council. The Leader In Me aligns with Clear Creek ISD’s strategic plan, most specifically to “ensure each student understands and is prepared to assume his or her role as a productive


two years to a community college achieving high marks in student learning, certificate and degree completion, employment and earnings for graduates, and access and success for minority and low-income students. From the more than 1,100 community colleges nationwide, San Jacinto College was first selected among the top 150 last spring. A selection committee then narrowed down those institutions to the top 10, and today named two Aspen Prize winners and three Rising Star recipients. San Jacinto College was a Rising Star Award recipient in 2017, placing the College among the nation’s top 5 community colleges. “San Jacinto College offers strong workforce programs that are directly aligned to employer needs and job opportunities in the region— especially in health care, maritime, and petrochemical industries,” said Joshua Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program. “The college has also made significant investments in guided pathways citizen.” The District is in its third year of progressively implementing The Leader In Me Program at its schools. The program, grounded in Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, is a school-wide transformation that develops the next generation of leaders with its focus on culture, academics and leadership. The program incorporates quality tools and educational best practices. Financial support is made up of District and campus funds and is substantially subsidized by generous sponsorships from community partners like the City of Kemah. This support allows for the purchase of coaching and professional learning for staff, student and family materials, measurable results assessments and surveys and program licensing. “It is not often that an opportunity like this comes along, having the ability to meaningfully impact hundreds of children by equipping them to become successful and engaged members of our community,” Kemah Mayor Carl Joiner said.

Bay Area Houston Magazine | MAY 2019

reforms, ensuring that students receive strong, consistent advising to help them stay on track to completion.» Over the last 10 years, San Jacinto College has increased the number of certificates and associate degrees awarded by 169 percent. Last academic year, 7,019 students earned a certificate or degree from San Jacinto College. This increase is due to a laser focus on student success and the support students receive along their paths from when they first arrive at San Jacinto College through graduation. The college concentrates its efforts on initiatives that show results in student achievement and progress. 2019 Aspen Prize Winners • Indian River State College (Fort Pierce, FL) • Miami Dade College (Miami, FL) Rising Star Award • Odessa College (Odessa, TX) • Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom (Lakewood, WA) • Alamo Colleges District – Palo Alto College (San Antonio, TX) Finalists • Broward College (Fort Lauderdale, FL) • CUNY Kingsborough Community College (Brooklyn, NY) • Mitchell Technical Institute (Mitchell, SD) • Pasadena City College (Pasadena, CA) • San Jacinto College (Pasadena, TX)

Stewart Elementary School will begin implementing The Leader In Me during the 2019-2020 school year. More than 800 students will soon have a unique skillset to become selfreliant, take initiative, plan ahead, set and track goals, prioritize their time, manage their emotions, express their viewpoints persuasively and more. “Because of their long history of support and friendship with our school, we have always considered the City of Kemah to be a member of the family,” said Stewart Principal Dr. Britani Moses. “We are so honored by the city’s generous commitment to underwrite this empowering program for Stewart Elementary.” The Clear Creek Education Foundation (CCEF) partners with the District to help fund a portion of program costs as well as identify future partners to support the expansion of the program at additional schools. CCEF sponsored the launch of the first two programs at Falcon Pass Elementary and Armand Bayou Elementary schools.

Scholarship fund assists UHCL students still impacted by Harvey


he University of Houston System applied for and has received a $500,000 grant, called the Rebuild Texas Fund, to assist students still struggling financially with the aftereffects of the 2017’s Hurricane Harvey. UH-Clear Lake has been designated to receive $200,000 of these funds, which can be applied to students’ financial aid package starting in the fall 2019 academic year.The UHCL scholarship is named the Qatar Harvey Fund Scholarship, in honor of the funds that Qatar has committed for this purpose.“These funds can be used for tuition, books, room and board, and anything related to completion of a student’s degree program,” said UHCL Executive Director of Strategic Partnerships Dwayne Busby. In order to be eligible for funds, students must be currently enrolled or returning students who withdrew from a UH System campus in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. They must demonstrate an unmet financial need and material or financial hardship due to the hurricane. Undergraduate students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0, and graduate and doctoral students must have a 3.0. They must be able to demonstrate via data or anecdotally, the impact of the hurricane on their financial circumstances. Priority will be given to students who have exhausted all other forms of aid and who are nearing graduation based on credit hours remaining toward their degree.For more information, or to apply for the Qatar Harvey Fund Scholarship, visit www.uhcl. edu/scholarships.

The effects of social media By Lili Heintz


ocial media has its ups and downs. Through

this internet life, we are able to meet people that are miles away, keep in touch with people while on vacation or after they’ve moved, get jobs, and see what people are up to every day. These apps have many good things to them, but they can also have some bad sides. Personally, for me I have to use social media for my job. I am required to post about my life or modeling jobs so that clients can see who I am, and it could lead to more jobs. They get to see my personality when I am with my friends, by myself, and also when I work. I have to constantly be on these apps to make sure my image stays maintained. Personally, I wish that it was different. The younger generation has been changed by these apps. In the month of March a popular app, that you probably have on your phone, called Instagram shut down

for a day. People who I know did not know what to do. They started to freak out because they couldn’t post about their workout, what they ate, or what they were doing that day. I on another hand, was relieved because it

gave me a reason to get off my phone and enjoy what was around me. I remember I was at a fitting that lasted all day so I couldn’t even be on my phone. When I got home I went on to post a picture that I took and that is when I realized the app was down. I then got to get off my phone and played some music and cleaned my apartment a little. For my roommates, they were freaking out because she took a picture in SoHo and wanted to post it. It was just such an eyeopening experience. We are so caught up in making ourselves look interesting and to uphold this image of ourselves that we sometimes can’t even recognize. When we meet someone in person, we look them up later on the apps and will judge them on how they look rather than their personalities. We don’t try to get to know people anymore. Everyone just wants to hear the short story and not the whole story. They just scroll on these apps to see where you are from, where your family goes on vacation, and what you do in your free time. We will compare our lives to other people and be jealous even though we are living our own amazing life. There are people who will see a post from a model or an influencer and instantly be sad about their own bodies or personal image. It gives a more toxic mindset to people by saying this is what you should look like or how you should act. Everyone is built differently, but it’s hard not to compare ourselves to other people. If you are unhappy while scrolling on social media, try unfollowing people who make you sad. Follow a pet account or something that makes you smile as you scroll through. These apps can also ruin friendships. You will see all your

friends post about being together at a gathering or event that you were not invited to. I struggled with this all through high school and even to this day. It can be hard because you try to fit in, but they might not know the real you. I just have to remember that sometimes it is not personal. That they could have honestly just forgotten you were in town or were free that day. I try not to get sad about these things anymore and try to make myself happy in the moment. I am not writing this to suggest we delete these apps or not to post about your life. I wanted to write about this topic to show how these apps can be controlling to people. Yes, I will post for fun because I like an image, or I thought I looked cute that day or I want the guy I have a crush on to see it. I like to post on these apps because on days that I am down I can look at times I spent with my friends or did an amazing job. I use it kind of like a photo diary so that I can look back on it and realize just how amazing my life really is. To be honest, if I didn’t have social media I would forget what I did last week or even 5 years ago. I just want you to be aware of how your life is with social media. Are you just posting things because everyone else is? Are you showing how fun you really are? I want to suggest to whomever is reading this to post what makes you happy. Post a random caption about your day that made you smile, don’t try to post things because everyone else is. Be who you are so that when you meet someone in person they already feel like they can connect with you because you are constantly being yourself. Be the loving soul that you believe you are. Use social media in a way that will benefit your life.

MAY 2019 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


of busy people and families going every direction and not realizing spiritual transformation in their lives. We saw the need to reach neighbors with real relationships, in community with one another that would make a real difference. So we started Living Word as a grass roots movement reaching neighbors and showing God’s love with the Living Word through faith in Jesus. We started in a school and then found a shopping center and started sharing God’s love in a pure, simple and real way. In our tenth year, we encircled Bay Area Houston By Pastor Brad Heintz in prayer. We walked every street in77586, prayed for every home and i d yo u g r ow up business and asked God to show us watching Mr Rogers on how we can serve each other. TV? I did. It was either Living Word is pleased to that or Sesame Street, announce that we have purchased Scooby Do or Speed Racer. We didn’t 6.42 acres on Kirby Road in Taylor have Nickelodeon, the Disney or Lake Village where we will be cartoon network. Even then I thought building our permanent Church Mr. Rogers was a little quirky, a little Home and Community slow, needed a new Center. This multiwardrobe, but I loved purpose facility, “Living Word how inviting, friendly nestled in six and a half is pleased and caring he was. It wooded acres, will be to announce wasn’t until later in a great place for the life I realized he was a community to gather that we have Presbyterian minister, for our church to purchased 6.42 and with a background in worship, study, serve acres on Kirby child development, and share. whose purpose was to We value working Road in Taylor reach children, at their with and serving the Lake Village.” level, with what was community in practical good in life. In recent ways. Whether years the word neighbor has been it is providing school supplies, turned into a verb, “neighboring.” conducting neighborhood food Neighboring is serving, helping drives, encouraging acts of kindness and caring for those in immediate or organizing hurricane relief, proximity to you. This could be Living Word has and will partner around your home, work, school or with you to make a difference in our activities. Neighboring is not a new community. concept or action. It goes back to Mr. While we are building, we will be Rogers and all the way back to Jesus, worshiping on Sundays at Robinson who said, ““You shall love the Lord Elementary just down Kirby Rd. your God with all your heart and from our property. Starting June 2, with all your soul and with all your we invite to you to go on spiritual strength and with all your mind, safari -- “Wild About Jesus” Big VBS: and your neighbor as yourself.” every Sunday, all summer long, for Then he told a story about caring everyone! And bring the kids. They for others and asked this question, will have fun too! “ Which of these three, do you think, Basically we have prayed for you. proved to be a neighbor to the man We want to neighbor with you. We who fell among the robbers?” He will show you God’s Love. We are said, “The one who showed him Living Word Church. mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise” (Luke 10:25-37 Pastor Brad Heintz New International Version). is the founding When we founded Living Word pastor of Living Church, just over 10 years ago, we Word Church in Seabrook, Texas, a looked around and asked what was vibrant family-style, needed. It was evident that there non-denominational were great organizations, people, gathering of believers and churches that were doing great who take a pure, work. But we also saw people from simple and real approach to faith and life. different backgrounds not finding a Like us and watch us church home where they could center live on and grow spiritually. We saw a lot




Bay Area Houston Magazine | MAY 2019

MAY 2019 | Bay Area Houston Magazine



Bay Area elected officials at the BAHEP meeting included Mayors Jon Keeney of Taylor Lake Village, Michel Bechter of Morgan’s Point, Julie Masters of Dickinson, Thom Kolupski of Seabrook, Carl Joiner of Kemah and Mark Denman of Nassau Bay.

Texas Citizens Bank President Mike Cornett is happy to see Elizabeth Quigley, owner of Elizabeth Quigley Insurance.

Texas Citizens Bank President Mike Cornett is happy to see Elizabeth Quigley, owner of Elizabeth Quigley Insurance.

Barrios Technology CEO Sandra Johnson chats with MEI Technologies CEO David Cates during the reception preceding the BAHEP meeting at Lakewood Yacht Club.

BAHEP gets 2019 economic overview


he outlook for the Texas economy


Bay Area Houston Magazine | MAY 2019

Space City Films President Marc Havican stops to say hello to Ana Guzma as he arrives at the BAHEP economic meeting.

stronger than it was 12-15 years ago, according to Hunt. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that inflation expectations over the next five years are still quite low at an average of 2 percent. Is it possible to have a recession this year? Hunt explained that it isn’t impossible. He said that real GDP would have to fall a lot. “To get a recession this year, with GDP at 2.9 percent last year, the GDP would have to drop like a rock. Based on the hard data I’ve just showed you, I just don’t see that happening,” he said.

By Kathryn Paradis in 2019 is good, but not so much for the global economy, according to research economist Harold Hunt, Ph.D., with Texas A&M University in Waco. The Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership invited him to speak at its annual State of the Economy luncheon, held March 28 at Lakewood Yacht Club in Seabrook. Hunt opened his presentation by cautioning, “It’s going to start off pretty grim. I need you to hang with me, because it’s going to get better at the end.” He reported that the global economic growth is slowing, vulnerable, and unsynchronized. German industrial production is falling. Brexit is a confusing mess, which increases uncertainty in the European Union. Japanese growth remains weak while Chinese economic growth is also decelerating. Hunt said that the slowing of Chinese GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth is very much on the radar and is “really a big deal.” Hunt explained, “The fear is obviously that if China goes down, then the EU goes down. If the EU goes down, then

Bankers Paul Maaz and Mike Huss, from left, strike up a conversation with Dustin Young, who’s in the inspection business, as they await the start of the BAHEP meeting at Lakewood Yacht Club.

TEXAS OUTLOOK? Overall, Hunt stated that the 2019 economy should be slower than 2018, but 2019 will still be a good year for Texas. Houston will see $2.5 billion Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership President Bob Mitchell, from more in construction contracts versus left, shares a light moment with Galveston County Commissioner Ken last year. As with Texas overall, an oil Clark, CLC Properties CEO John Wilkins, and Houston City Councilman Dave Martin. price in the mid-$50 to $60 range per barrel will keep the Houston economy stable, according to Hunt. we go down. There is a domino effect, and that is (Editor’s note: Dr. Hunt’s entire slide presentation why we are seeing so much in the press.” with many, many more details can be viewed as a pdf on BAHEP’s website at POSITIVE SIGNALS content/News_Events_and_Reports/reports.) He then turned to the positive aspects of the U.S. economy. U.S. consumer confidence is

BayTran members learn what’s next for Metro Photos by Mary Alys Cherry


ETRO’ s B oa r d of Directors is currently developing a new transit plan for the Houston and Harris County region. Board Chairman Carrin Patman, speaking to the Bay Area Houston Transportation Partnership, said it will be a forward-looking plan focused on providing more transportation choices to more people. Some 4.6 million call Harris County home, and “with so many people on the move, maintaining your safety is our No. 1 priority.” Besides being safe, “we strive to make one’s transit experience easy and accessible. “We are developing a plan that will benefit everyone – even those who do not typically use Metro’s services,” she told the luncheon crowd gathered at the Hobby Marriott Hotel. Metro’s goal is to improve mobility and enhance connectivity to jobs, education, healthcare and other destinations.

Port officials in the crowd at the Bay Area Houston transportation Partnership’s luncheon at the Hobby Marriott included, from left, Oscar Zavala, Monica Glover and Erik Eriksson.

Cathy D’Arche, Mindy Cernosek and Peggy Zahler, from left, Join the BayTran crowd at the Marriott South Hotel luncheon who came to hear Metro Board Chairman Carrin Patman discuss Metro’s new regional transit plans.

Seabrook coach facing charges A former Seabrook Intermediate coach and teacher, who resigned Jan. 7, is now facing charges of possession of child pornography. An investigation is underway, according to Clear Creek ISD officials. Ryan Pearson is facing three felony charges stemming from a December 2018 investigation by the Seabrook Police Department. Police reportedly found at least three images of child pornography on Dec. 21, and filed charges March 27. Pearson, 28, was a social studies teacher and cross country coach who was hired at Seabrook Intermediate in August 2018. School officials said they do not believe any students were depicted in the images.

Kemah adding new roadway As a part of the 2017 Galveston County Bond initiative, the City of Kemah and Galveston County hosted a groundbreaking March 26 for “Ralph Gordy Avenue,” a new roadway being constructed jointly by the city and county. This road in Kemah is one of the first Galveston County Bond projects to be constructed after voters

BayTran President Theresa Rodriguez, left, and BayTran Chairman Carl Joiner welcome Metro Board Chairman Carrin Patman to the BayTran luncheon, where she discussed Metro’s new regional transit plans.

A number of elected officials were in the crowd at the Bay Area Houston Transportation Partnership’s monthly luncheon on Metro included, from left, standing, Mayors Thom Kolupski of Seabrook and Tom Reid of Pearland, Galveston County Commissioner Ken Clark, League City Councilman Larry Millican, Kemah Mayor Carl Joiner and, seated, League City Mayor Pat Hallisey.

approved roughly $56 million for roadway projects across the county in 2017. The approximately 2,000 linear foot road will create a new access point for travelers wishing to access retail and entertainment within Kemah, and will open up new land for future development within the community. It will also create an alternative route for traffic flow as TxDOT continues its five-year expansion of SH 146 through Seabrook and Kemah. At their March 20 meeting, Kemah City Council officially named the roadway after Ralph Gordy, a longtime Kemah resident and landowner whose family donated the land for this roadway to be constructed.

Ellington gets new air tower Ellington Airport’s long-awaited $12 million air traffic control tower got a grand sendoff March 29 with a ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by General Manager Arturo Machuca. The 143-foot tower comes with all new communication and weather observation equipment, plus a mission control area that could handle Houston Spaceport space flights in the future and replaces an air tower that dates back to 1955.

Lone Star Flight gala set May 18 Lone Star Flight Museum will host “Moonstruck: 2019 Blue Skies Gala” Saturday, May 18, at 6:30 p.m. at The Revaire by A Fare Extraordinaire, 7122 Old Katy Road in Houston. Khambrel Marshall, TV Channel 2 meteorologist, will emcee the museum’s fourth annual gala and philanthropist Margaret Alkek Williams will serve as honorary chairman, with Janine Iannarelli, and Ralph and Bette Thomas as gala co-chairs. Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Doug Owens, president and CEO of The Lone Star Flight Museum, said the event will celebrate the Apollo program during this 50th anniversary year of the moon landing, and honor Universal Weather and Aviation and remember President George H.W. Bush, a member of the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame and a generous supporter of the museum’s mission. Guests at the black-tie event will enjoy cocktails, live and silent auctions, dinner and dancing to music of the Richard Brown Orchestra. Individual tickets are $500. For more information, visit www.lonestarflight. org/blueskiesgala or contact the museum’s development associate Marissa Trevino at 346-3527678 or

MAY 2019 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


“Until we get better at quantifying intangibles, we will continue making bad decisions.”


Route 66, Texas


n a beau t i f ul a f t er n oon ,

we were driving along Route 66 through the Texas panhandle. As a kid, I grew up hearing about this magical road and watched the TV show every week with my mother. I wanted to be Buz Murdock. Growing up in a family that didn’t have a car and had to travel everywhere by city bus, Route 66 seemed like a fairyland to me. Some kids wanted to go to Disneyland. I wanted to cruise Route 66 in a big convertible. By the time I got out of high school, I had read Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath and Kerouac’s On the Road, so I had seen Route 66 from a variety of points of view and I was still fascinated. Built in 1926, one of the original roads in the U.S. highway system, Route 66 was also called the “Will Rogers Highway,” or more commonly, the “Main Street of America.” While it was popular for decades, it eventually fell out of favor with a general public that was set on going through life as fast as possible—with no pauses in between. As a result, it was replaced by interstates and soon the Mother Road lost her appeal. In some places, it doesn’t even exist anymore. But when I finally got a chance to see a remnant of it, I jumped at the opportunity. They tell me Amarillo is the place where the old road is most like it was in the early ‘60s. So, on a Palo Duro Canyon adventure, we took a day and made a side trip to see this cultural icon. It was indeed like going back 60 years. The shops and restaurants were proud of the fact that they remained basically unchanged since 1960. In some shops you are greeted at the door by a dog or two and in others you can sit on a round, rotating stool at a counter and have a phosphate or a root beer made right there on-site. All are proud of


Bay Area Houston Magazine | MAY 2019

their place on this famous highway and promote it heavily. Any time I am in an “old-timey” environment like the shops along the route, I find myself thinking about the changes I have seen over the decades. As a kid, I remember the milkman in my aunt’s town delivering from a horse-drawn wagon. I remember the Kennedy assassinations and fellow Purdue man Neil Armstrong landing on the moon. And I think I remember yesterday. I can’t help but be in awe of all the changes I have seen. But one thought I can’t escape is “What are the costs of all these changes?” While all humans are capable of making decisions, clearly some of us are better at it than others. I think most of us have a pretty superficial method of calculating the cost of decisions we are making. Whether we realize it or not, it is impossible for the human mind to make a decision without a set of criteria we can use to measure the various options. The problem is, sometimes we don’t think about, much less articulate, what those criteria are. But even if we can’t articulate our criteria, they have to be there subconsciously, or we would never be able to make a decision. At the very least it comes down to a decision of “Does the coin land heads or tails?” Let’s say I am looking for a new car. I don’t even have to think about it to know it needs to have offroad capabilities and a high ground clearance. That is in-bred in me. I use it to make the decision, even if I don’t think about it or even know it is there. But of course, a good criteria set needs to be more substantial than that. Among other things, I also would like the car to be either black or silver. Is this criterium equal in importance to the off-road capabilities? No, and it is important to establish that up front. Color might be negotiable if I can’t really find the car I want, but off road and ground clearance are not.

These non-negotiable ones are what we call “allor-nothing” criteria. If an option doesn’t meet an all-or-nothing criterium, it is immediately removed from consideration. For instance, I absolutely have to have a convertible. If not, on the first nice day, I know I will have to take a chain saw to the roof. That is an all-or-nothing criterium. So, some criteria carry more weight than others. Some are necessary, some are nice to have, and some are “Gee, in a perfect world it would have X.” People who are good at the math of decision making usually can articulate, and then weigh, their criteria. My best friend’s son recently had a job offer from a company in Seattle for a substantial raise in pay. He is good with decision math and understood he needed to go beyond just the salary offer. He took time to compare the cost of living between Seattle and McKinney, Texas, where he now works. Suddenly the raise which looked enormous on first view, became much less impressive. Many of us would stop there. But being good at the math of decisions, he took a look at some of the intangibles. This is where many of us go wrong. How do we quantify something that we may not even be able to clearly define? What value do you put on the fact that McKinney is thriving while Seattle is a dying city? Or, as was the case in his decision, what value do you put on being able to see the sun? For him, that turned out to be the final straw. It was comparing Texas to Hell. He turned down the job. Measurement of the intangibles is the point where most of us find that our decision skills are not what they should be. Because we don’t know how to quantify these things, we find we can only react to them emotionally or, if they are really hard to quantify, we ignore them altogether. That is when we get into trouble.

That brings me back to the Mother Road and those U.S. Highway Department people back in the ‘60s. How good were they at decision math? It is obvious that they had in mind a criterium about moving traffic quickly and efficiently from one place to another and for the most part, with the interstate system, they succeeded in their goal. But did they ever consider articulating criteria for the intangibles? Did they think about the towns that would be wiped out? Far more important, did they think about the generations of travelers who would never be able to experience a mythic cross-country road trip along something like old Route 66? I fear that until we get better at quantifying intangibles, we will continue making bad decisions and generations of Americans will lose out on valuable, and enjoyable experiences—all because we were bad at the mathematics of decision making. It is important that we be able to enjoy those experiences—even if we don’t remember them the next day.

MAY 2019 | Bay Area Houston Magazine



Bay Area Houston Magazine | MAY 2019