Bay Area Houston Magazine February 2014

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February 2014

Claudio’s Restaurant & Piano Bar Live Music and Fine Dining Straight From Italy


Where to Go For Valentine’s Day 100 Years of the Houston Ship Channel Tips to Help Quit Smoking for Good The Race for District 36’s Seat

features 9

Charles F. Bolden Jr. to Receive National Space Trophy


Dental Health

Presentation will be made April 11 Same day dentistry is finally here

12 Community CCISD chief sees rosy future ahead


ON THE COVER Claudio Sereni stands amongst the fine wines served at his restaurant. Photography by Brian Stewart

President & Chairman Rick Clapp


Publisher & Editor in Chief Mary Alys Cherry

Vice President & Creative Director Brandon Rowan Graphic Designer Kelly Groce


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


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.



Memorial Hermann: Breaking New Ground


Causeway FunD Run/Walk March 8


The Greatest Free Ride in Texas


Claudio’s Restaurant & Piano Bar

Re-dedication scheduled for Nov. 10 New facilities in Pearland and Friendswood Benefiting UTMB School of Health Professions students A day in the life of a ferry boat captain Fine Italian dining and live music nightly


Bay Area Residents Loosen Purse Strings


Movers & Shakers


The Dangers of Smoking


Tour the Historic West Mansion


The Race for District 36 Congressional Seat


Vote the March 4 Primaries

$2.25 billion in state sales tax revenue collected Dec. 2013 Glenn Royal Impacts to health and tips for kicking the habit Houston Symphony League’s 13th Annual Home Tour 15 candidates from Southeast Texas Candidates galore vying for several positions


Clear Lake Chatter UH President is Quasar Award winner

in each issue

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


100 Years of the Houston Ship Channel

38 Light@Work Home of Hope provides a fresh start

Distribution Tim Shinkle Company


Authentic five star Italian dining


Digital Strategy Consultant Pierr Castillo Photography Mary Alys Cherry Brian Stewart

Review: Brooklyn Phil’s Italiano

28 Entertainment Where to go on Valentine’s Day

Executive Vice President Patty Kane

Sales & Marketing Shannon Alexander Betty Butron-Smith Patty Bederka Terry Grover Debbie Salisbury Tabatha Underwood



Bay Area Houston Magazine | FEBRUARY 2014


Advertiser’s Index


Lakewood Yacht Club News


Main Events

NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden Jr. to Receive the National Space Trophy


ASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden Jr., retired U.S. Marine Corps major general and former astronaut, has been named recipient of the 2014 National Space Trophy by the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement (RNASA) Foundation. The presentation will be made April 11 at the Houston Downtown Hyatt Regency at the annual Rotary Space Banquet, with the public and members of the aerospace community invited to attend. Bolden was nominated by Col. Robert Cabana, director of the Kennedy Space Center and former astronaut, and by NASA Deputy Associate Administrator, Office of Communications Robert Jacobs. Cabana nominated Bolden for his “many years of dedicated service and exceptional leadership through an extremely challenging transition in America’s space program, establishing NASA’s exploration architecture for the future, and enabling successful commercial operations to low Earth orbit,” while Jacobs nominated Bolden for his “dedication to public service, leadership, and contributions to aeronautics and aerospace throughout a distinguished military and civilian career.” Rodolfo González, RNASA Foundation president said, “We are very pleased with the selection of the board of advisors and look forward to celebrating General Bolden’s exemplary service.” “I am humbled by this selection and will be extremely honored to attend the RNASA Gala in April to accept this award on behalf of the entire NASA-Contractor Team I am privileged to lead,” Bolden said. Bolden was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the 12th NASA administrator. He began his duties as head of the agency July 17, 2009.

As administrator, Bolden leads a nationwide NASA team to advance the missions and goals of the U.S. space program. During Bolden’s tenure, the agency’s science activities include an unprecedented landing on Mars with the Curiosity rover, launch of a spacecraft to Jupiter, enhancing the nation’s fleet of Earthobserving satellites, and continued progress toward the 2018 launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. A veteran of four space flights, he has logged over 680 hours in space. Bolden served as pilot on STS61-C (Jan. 12 - 18, 1986) and STS-31 (April 24 - 29, 1990), and was the mission commander on STS45 (March 24, 1992 - April 2, 1992), and STS-60 (Feb. 3-11, 1994). Bolden earned a Master of Science degree in Systems Management from the University of Southern California in 1977. In 1978, he was assigned to the Naval Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, Md., and completed his training in 1979. Bolden’s 34-year career with the Marine Corps also included 14 years as a member of NASA’s Astronaut Corps and also included many military decorations. On Aug. 28, 2012, Bolden was the first human to have his voice broadcast on the surface of Mars or any other planet. Although the Curiosity rover has no speakers, it received the transmission of his voice and then beamed it back to Earth. Bolden is married to the former Alexis (Jackie) Walker of Columbia, S.C. Their family consists of son Che`, a lieutenant colonel in the Marine Corps, daughter-in-law Penelope “Penny” Jan McDougle from Sydney, Australia, three granddaughters, Mikaley, Kyra, and Yalia, and daughter Kelly Michelle, a plastic surgeon at the Howard University Hospital in Washington. Tables to the banquet may be reserved online at

“I am humbled by this selection and will be extremely honored to attend the RNASA Gala in April to accept this award on behalf of the entire NASA-Contractor Team I am privileged to lead.”

Houston Symphony coming to Bay Area


or the first time in a number of years, the Houston Symphony will appear in concert in the Bay Area – this time to mark its Centennial Season. The concert will be Saturday, March 15, at 7:30 p.m. at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 18220 Upper Bay Road in Nassau Bay. Concertmaster Frank Huang will play a double role in the program, both as leader and soloist. He will enthrall the audience with his brilliant technique, precision and artistry in Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings and Vivaldi’s eternal masterpiece -- The Four Seasons -- two exhilarating works in which the Houston Symphony’s string section will take the limelight. Huang made his debut at the age of 11 in a nationally broadcast concert and has since established a major career as a violin virtuoso. He was the First Prize Winner of Walter W. Naumburg Foundation’s Violin Competition and the Hannover International Violin Competition, among others, and has performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras and on NPR’s Performance Today, Good Morning America and CNN’s American Morning. An esteemed chamber musician, he held the position of first violinist of the Grammy Awardwinning Ying Quartet and was selected by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center to be a member of the prestigious Chamber Music II program. He serves on the faculty at Rice University and the University of Houston and teaches at the Bowdoin International Music Festival, the Texas Music Festival, and the Great Mountains conductor-less chamber orchestra based in New York. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased online at, by phone at 713224-7575 (Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.), and in person at: Gloria Dei Lutheran Church— between Sunday morning worship services at 8, 9:30 and 11; at Nassau Postal 957 NASA Parkway, contact Virginia Rousseau or at meetings of the Houston Symphony League Bay Area Feb. 12 and March 12 at 10 a.m. at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church

FEBRUARY 2014 | Bay Area Houston Magazine



Key Housing Market Forecasts for Buyers & Sellers in 2014


s the housing recovery continues, more people are thinking about purchasing a home. Naturally, they wonder whether 2014 is a good year to buy and to sell, if they own the home they are in. No one can perfectly predict the future. But for the coming year, here are four forecasts from the experts that should interest prospective buyer and sellers: 1. Home prices are forecasted to rise, but at a slower rate. National median home prices have been increasing steadily for quite some time. This is good for sellers and for buyers; it means better selection as more homes come on the market. Rising prices also show buyers that gains shouldn’t be too steep. At the National Association of Realtors annual conference last November, their chief economist forecast home price increases of 6% for existing homes and 5% for new homes. 2. Mortgage rates will edge up, but remain near historical lows. The Federal Reserve has been engaged in an $85 billion a month bond buying program aimed at keeping interest rates low to stimulate the economy.

As the Fed “tapers” this bond buying and ultimately eliminates it, mortgage rates will edge up. The NAR predicts mortgage rates at 5.4% by year end. 3. Homes will remain very affordable. Even with mortgage rates a tad higher and home prices rising, housing still remains affordable. The head of a housing think tank at the Urban Institute said that with mortgage rates at 6%, affordability is expected to remain at the 20002003 levels. This affordability assures sellers of a larger market of buyers. 4. Home sales keep growing. The NAR predicts new home sales will be up 18.5% in 2014, with a 25% increase in new homes starts, although existing home sales will be flat. A home builder advisory firm predicts both existing and new home sales rising this year. Fitch Ratings projects housing starts up 16.5%, new home sales up 20%, and existing home sales up 5%. Conclusion: 2014 should offer sellers better prices and a larger market of buyers. Buyers should benefit from affordable prices, good value, better selection and mortgage rates that are near historical lows.

Advertiser’s Index Advanced Weight Loss

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Alan’s Swamp Shack

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Amadeus Page 30 Assistance League

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Back Bay Boutique

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Baubles and Beads

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Bayway Homes

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BIC Alliance Page 40 Big Splash Web Design

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Chuck Maricle

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Claudio’s Piano Bar

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City of Dickinson

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Coastal Plastic Surgery

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Cock & Bull British Pub

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Cullen’s Upscale American Grille

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Dog Tales Pet Spa

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Don Julio’s

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Dr. J. Derek Tieken

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Encore Resale Shop

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Frank and Sons Jewelry

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G.C. Model Railroad Club

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Go Red for Women

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Harbour Plastic Surgery

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Home Network Specialist

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Houston Methodist San Jacinto

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Island Furniture

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Kemah Boardwalk

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Las Haciendas

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Little Yacht Sales

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Mamacita’s Page 31 Martha Turner - Sotheby’s

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Massage Envy

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Mediterraneo Market & Cafe

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Melissa Hulvey

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Memorial Hermann SE

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MD Anderson

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Norman Frede Chevrolet

Page 47

Oasis Salon and Medispa

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Opus Bistro Page 31 Painted Cabinet

Page 42

Primrose Schools

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Ron Carter Clear Lake

Page 19

Salon La Rouge

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Savannah Cafe

Page 32

Shades Salon

Page 35

South Shore Grille

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South West Int. Boat Show

Page 23

Star Toyota Page 37


Bay Area Houston Magazine | FEBRUARY 2014

Supreme Lending

Page 10

Texas Chiropractic College

Page 23

Texas Coast Yachts

Page 34

The Hop

Page 32

Thomason’s Fine Jewelry

Page 36

Unexpected Interiors

Page 34

Unicare Dental

Page 52

UTMB Health

Page 24


Same Day Dentistry is Finally Here At last, the age of CAD/ CAM (Computer Assisted Design Computer Assisted Manufacturing) in dentistry is here, and it’s more exciting than anything I could have dreamed of.


o you remember when LensCrafters® first opened? It was 1983 when LensCrafters® successfully combined a clinician (optometrist), CAD/ CAM, and glass milling (lens grinding) together under one roof in about an hour. It also placed the control of the entire procedure in the hand of the treating doctor from start to finish. Those of you who wore glasses in 80s probably remember visiting your optometrist, getting a prescription, selecting choice “A” or “B” as the optometrist flipped through lenses, then picking out your “lens-free” frames only to be told: “Come back in two weeks and we’ll have them ready for you.” If there were any problems with them, the cycle continued for another two weeks until it felt right. Today, we get a little impatient waiting more than an hour to get our new prescription glasses, and we don’t think twice about the quality of the end result. In the same decade (’80s), three dental pioneers (Duarte, Moermann and Andersson) began working on a similar concept in the field of dental care, utilizing CAD/CAM technology. They collaborated with a German company named Sirona and introduced the first “in office” and “same day” designed and milled machine about 15 years ago. Unfortunately, technology needed had not yet reached the concept. First generation oral scanners were not able to accurately capture the 3D image of prepared tooth or required a lot of powder and other mediums to work. Besides, they were limited on what material they could mill. Most available materials were not durable and had some challenges from a functional perspective. Consequently, traditional porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns with all their flaws and drawbacks remained the method of choice for nearly 50 years. During that period, other dental technological advances continued to change dentistry drastically. Dental implants revolutionized the way we treat tooth loss. Patients no longer had to endure awkward removable appliances or grind two or more healthy teeth and connect them together just because they lost a tooth or more. Other advances such as predictable guided bone and tissue regeneration, digital and 3D radiography, LED head lamp illumination with over 17,000 candles brightness, 6+ times Magnification loups, and laser dentistry are just some of the many new improvement in the field of oral health that allowed practitioners to replace and restore natural

teeth with something nearly as good. Over the last two decades some cosmetic minded dentists experimented with all porcelain crowns. They were certainly more natural looking and solved some of the most common shortcomings of traditional crowns such as dark lines around the margins and lifeless appearance due to inability of metal (under porcelain) to transmit light. But, they were more brittle than natural teeth and fractured at an alarming rate. Today, utilization of Zirconium oxide (Crystal Diamond) has finally provided cosmetic dentists a durable ceramic alternative to traditional porcelain-fusedto-metal crowns. A recent comprehensive study at NYU concluded that results seen with new crystal diamond restorations are comparable to the “gold standard”. Another study at University of Michigan determined that “There were no clinically long term identified cases of crown fracture or chipping with newest generation of Crystal Diamond.” The study further concluded that, “Performance of these new products has exceeded that of traditional PFM (Porcelain-fused-to-metal) restorations as well as many other all-ceramic restorations.” In-office chair- side CAD/CAM is an empowering tool that enables cosmetic dentists and their staffs to take complete control of several aspects involved with creating and delivering durable and esthetic all-ceramic restorations. It will also eliminates the need for temporary crowns and all the inconveniences that come with it. Most importantly, It will allow me to complete the entire procedure the same day without a need for a second appointment. To find out more about this exciting new technology please contact our office at 281-332-4700 to schedule a complimentary consultation. Please mention this article and receive a $50 discount on your next same day all ceramic crown.

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. FEBRUARY 2014 | Bay Area Houston Magazine



CCISD chief sees rosy future ahead By Mary Alys Cherry

C New Principal Named at Clear Creek High


ayside Intermediate Principal Jamey Majewski has been named principal of Clear Creek High School, replacing Scott Bockart who was recently named assistant superintendent of secondary education for CCISD. His selection was approved by Clear Creek School District trustees at their monthly board meeting. Before becoming principal at Bayside in January 2010, Majewski served as an assistant principal and associate principal at Clear Creek High. “I am extremely excited and honored about my return to Clear Creek High School as principal,” Majewski said. “I am looking forward to working with their staff to ensure that all of the students at Clear Creek High School have the skills and opportunities to enter college or the career they aspire. I am grateful for the opportunity to have been the principal of Bayside Intermediate and to be associated with the Education Village. I wish Bayside and the other Education Village campuses continued success in their journey to transform teaching and learning.”

lear Creek ISD Superintendent Greg Smith couldn’t help but smile as he delivered the 2014 State of the District Address at the start of the new year. He had so much good news to share with teachers and parents. “Clear Creek ISD and every campus have far exceeded state standards under the new Texas accountability system. While the state no longer ranks schools as exemplary, recognized, or acceptable, all CCISD schools were rated well above the new ‘met standard’ by the state,” he pointed out in his video address, adding, “High school completion rates are among the best in the state and our students, like young Patrick Pan, continue to outperform their peers on the ACT and SAT tests across the nation. At the mere age of 15, Patrick will graduate Clear Lake High School in June with a perfect SAT score and . . . attend Harvard in the fall. “CCISD is also home to a record number of 43 national merit semi-finalists.” Admitting that he is not a big fan of ratings, Dr. Smith was quick to add that “these are strong indicators that we have the right team on board, a dedicated community and some absolutely talented students who shine in and outside the classroom every day in their own special way. “What our local community thinks of us is what matters most. It is why hundreds of families move to our area every year. CCISD continues to grow in enrollment. This school year we broke the 40,000 mark for student enrollment. “Based on a recent demographic report, CCISD is projected to top 41,000 students by 2016. Based on home construction and best projections, we will be at ‘build-out’ in 2023 with more than 43,600 students. This data will help us determine when and if we will need to adjust school boundaries in the future. At this time, we do not see a need to adjust school boundaries for the next two years.” Smith also devoted part of his address to update the community on the recent bond issue, including the distribution of approximately 1,100 Dell Latitude 10 tablets to each of the five high schools in January; selection of a naming committee for the new stadium;

Clear Brook High sophomore Jacob Almendarez shows off his new Dell Latitude 10 tablet Dr. Greg Smith mentioned in his State of the District Address.

and the expected savings to the taxpayers after the school board reworked the $367 million bond financing plan, which, he said may save the taxpayers upwards of $50 million or two cents less on the tax rate. “To put this in perspective, when voters went to the polls in May, they considered a 13 cent increase on their property taxes to fund the $367 million bond. The reworked bond financing plan includes approximately $145 million in adjustable rate bonds with a yield of approximately 1.30 percent and $46 million in fixed rate bonds with a yield of approximately 3.41 percent versus the original full amount at a fixed rate of 4.70 percent. “Under the new financing plan, we project the tax rate increase will be 11 cents versus 13 cents. CCISD is consistently watching the interest market and refinances debt at lower rates no different than people do on their own homes. Over the last ten years, these efforts have led to almost $36 million in interest savings for taxpayers.”

Top Doctor and Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. James G. Pyle


r. Pyle is an orthopedic surgeon practicing general orthopedics, who maintains active staff privileges at Houston Methodist San Jacinto Hospital. Dr. Pyle received his Bachelor’s Degree from Indiana University and his Medical Doctorate from the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. He completed a rotating internship at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth and did his residency in orthopedic surgery at Fort Worth Affiliated Hospitals, also in Fort Worth.


Bay Area Houston Magazine | FEBRUARY 2014

He is certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and is a fellow in the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. He is also a member of the Harris County Medical Society, the Texas Medical Association and the American Medical Association. He also has been a “Top Doctor” from 2008 to the present. Correction - In the January issue we said Dr, Pyle was on the staff at Texas Orthopedic Hospital and affiliated with Fondren Orthopedic Group. This was incorrect and we regret the error.


all the dishes he loved growing up in Brooklyn. His dream has come true. With the assistance of renowned and world class chef, Andrea Gaspercic, Phil has put together a restaurant unique to our area. Located at 1105 Clear Lake City Blvd., I found the interior welcoming and family friendly. The atmosphere lends itself to a great place for a romantic dinner and also a venue for celebrations, a casual lunch or just a place to stop by on the way home from work. Phil told me that some of his happiest memories were spent at the local pizzeria in Brooklyn and he wants his customers to have that same great food and comforting experience. I found the reasonable prices do not reflect the high quality of the food. That quality of cuisine is the result of having Chef Andrea overlooking every detail of the menu and recipes that are served. As Phil puts it, “We serve five star food at three star prices.” Phil’s strong sense of community and giving back also reflects his childhood experience. He wants his restaurant to be a haven where people from every walk of life and economic position can feel at home with family

and friends. Chef Andrea and Brooklyn Phil have formed a wonderful partnership based on the love of fresh, creative and authentic Italian cuisine. Chef Andrea, a graduate of the Italian Culinary Institute, was born in Trieste, Italy, near Venice. He uses recipes passed down from his family in Italy and is a master at creating new dishes. Not satisfied with serving the same thing over and over again, Chef Andrea loves experimenting with new flavors, spice combinations and recipes, while still preserving the traditional Italian flavors that Brooklyn and Italy are known for. Looking at the extensive menu I was impressed to find it features traditional Italian dishes as well as selections and creations of Chef Andrea. There are starters to get you ready for things to come: salads, home made soups and the “Brooklyn Favorites” main dishes featuring everything you would expect if you were sitting in a restaurant in Brooklyn or better still, in a lovely café in Italy. Other menu items include Pizza, available also by the slice, Calzones and Paninis. Is anyone hungry yet?

Recently I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to do a food review at Brooklyn Phil’s Italiano restaurant in Clear Lake. By Patty Kane fter reading a 5 star review in a local publication and seeing a 4 ½ star rating on Yelp, I was really looking forward to finding out what all the buzz is about. I have come to the conclusion that there is no need to get on a plane and fly to New York or Italy to get fantastic, five star Italian food. I found it right here in the Bay Area. Brooklyn Phil has always had a childhood dream of owning a restaurant and serving


Bay Area Houston Magazine | FEBRUARY 2014

Chef Andrea Gaspercic at work in the kitchen.

To excite your palate even more, here are a few of the must try delicious menu choices:


Main Dishes

Plate of Prosciutto was the first dish I tried and it was one of my favorites. It is an excellent light starter. The prosciutto is imported from Chef Andrea’s home town in northeast Italy and in my opinion…the perfect way to start your meal! Five Stars!

Brooklyn Heights Pork Tenderloin caught me by surprise because it was so tender. It was sauced in a rosemary white wine demi glace with a side of garlic mashed potatoes. The combination of the tenderloin, sauce, and potatoes made for a hearty meal…a piece of heaven on a plate! Five Stars!

Stuffed Mushrooms came next. Filled with a combination of romano, mozzarella, salami, ham, shrimp, lump crab meat, spinach, bread crumbs and served with a creamy mushroom sauce, they were some of the best stuffed mushrooms I ever tasted ...absolutely divine! Five Stars!

Casarecce Delia Casa is a dish I thought was a particularly original and exciting creation by Chef Andrea. A creamy, smooth dish with twists of pasta tossed in a saffron cream sauce, prosciutto and asparagus…an unbelievable experience for my palate! Five Stars!

Sheepshead Bay Mussels are one of my favorite things. These were the freshest mussels you can imagine and bathed in a spectacular white wine garlic sauce, served with fresh bread and seasoned with rosemary, garlic and other spices…to die for. Need I say more? Five Stars!

UFO Pizza was a delight for my taste buds. It is definitely a pizza lover’s classic treat. This double stuffed pizza does resemble a flying saucer. I loved how it was stuffed with salami, ham, mushrooms, eggplant, green peppers and a selection of cheeses…the ultimate pizza experience! Five Stars!

These are only a few samplings of the menu items you will find at Brooklyn Phil’s. Catering is available and of course there is a selection of desserts, wine and beer. Please save room for the Tiramisu. It was a great finish to my tasting. No Italian meal is complete without it and Chef Andrea’s is the best this side of Brooklyn. The service I received was great. So combined with the outstanding food, lovely atmosphere and very reasonable prices, I have to give my dining experience a 5 star rating all around. For more information call 832-284-4767 or go to FEBRUARY 2014 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Photos by Mary Alys Cherry

Dr. Glenn Freedman and his wife, Sarah, join the crowd at the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership Quasar Banquet in the Crystal Ballroom at South Shore Harbour Resort.

Quasar Award winner Dr. Renu Khator and her husband, Dr. Suresh Khator, right, chat with Johnson Space Center Director Dr. Ellen Ochoa and her husband, attorney Coe Miles, at the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership Quasar Banquet Jan. 17 at South Shore Harbour.

Congressmen Pete Olson, center, and Randy Weber and his wife, Brenda, left, visit with Nassau Bay City Councilman John Amdur and his wife, Stacey, during the reception preceding the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership Quasar Banquet Jan. 17 at South Shore Harbour Resort’s Crystal Ballroom.

UH president is Quasar Award winner

QUASAR AWARD honoree Dr. Renu Khator is just as impressive in person as is her record as president of the University of Houston System and the University. Just ask any of the 600 at the Jan. 17 Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership Quasar Banquet who sat in stunned silence as she ticked off a few of her accomplishments over the past six years – accomplishments that generally take much longer. Besides overseeing the expansion of UH-Clear Lake and UH-Victoria to four-year institutions, UH has experienced record-breaking research funding, enrollment and private donations, launched a 75-acre Energy Research Park that is part of a $1 billion campus construction program and, oh yes, been designated a Tier One research university by the Carnegie Foundation.


She no doubt was as stunned as her Quasar audience to learn on taking the job that UH did not offer a degree in petroleum engineering – in a city considered the petroleum capital of the world. That was a quick fix and today UH has about 500 students in that program. And, what an audience she had: dozens of public officials and the heads of many of Bay Area Houston’s top businesses and education institutions and their spouses.

Banquet Committee members Harriet Lukee, Jim Sweeney and Eva deCardenas, from left, prepare to begin signing the black tie crowd in at the Quasar Banquet.


Congressmen John Culberson, Pete Olson and Randy Weber were in the crowd that also included State Sen. Sylvia Garcia, State Reps. John Davis, Greg Bonnen, Mary Ann Perez and Ed Thompson, Galveston County Judge Mark Henry and County Commissioners Ken Clark and Ryan Dennard, Harris County Tax Assessor Mike Sullivan, Constable Phil Sandlin and Judge Holly Williamson. Plus Superintendents Dr. Greg Smith of Clear Creek ISD and Trish Hanks of Friendswood ISD, UHClear Lake President Dr. Bill Staples, retired UH President Dr. Glenn Goerke, CCISD Trustee Dee Scott and San Jacinto College Chancellor Dr. Brenda Hellyer, who is the new BAHEP chairman. Mayors Tim Paulissen of League City, Floyd Myers of Webster, Glenn Royal of Seabrook, Julie Masters of

Dickinson and Louis Rigby of La Porte, were in the crowd, as were Mayors Pro-tem David Braun of Nassau Bay, Carl Joiner of Kemah, Laura Davis of Seabrook, Andy Mann of League City, Alexandra Dietrich of Webster, Jay Martin of La Porte and Jim Hill of Friendswood, plus Nassau Bay City Manager Chris Reed. City councilors included Dave Martin and Jack Christie of Houston, John Amdur and Bob Warters of Nassau Bay, Gary Johnson, Robert Llorente and Mike Giagrosso of Seabrook, Chuck Engelken of La Porte, Cody Wheeler of Pasadena, Pat McGinnis and Carl Gustafson of Friendswood, the Rev. William King of Dickinson, Joanna Dawson, Todd Kinsey and Geri Bentley of League City, Diane Newland, Larry Tosto, Doug North, Bill Jones and Natalie Dolan of Webster.

BAHEP President Bob Mitchell and his wife, Brenda, center, stop to talk with BAHEP’s Dan Seal, left, Retired UH President Dr. Glenn Goerke and his wife, Joyce, are happy to see Diane Gillebaard, whose late husband, Frans, and Boeing’s Brian Freedman at the Quasar Banquet.

Bay Area Houston Magazine | FEBRUARY 2014

was honored for his work with BAHEP at the banquet.

Constable Phil Sandlin and his wife, Nerrisa, arrive at South Shore Harbour Resort for the Quasar Banquet.

They mingled with a crowd that included Johnson Space Center Director Dr. Ellen Ochoa; the 2013 Quasar Award winner, developer Fred Griffin; Jacobs Engineering GM Lon Miller, GB Tech President Gale Burkett, Barrios Technology President Sandy Johnson, Space Center Houston President Richard Allen, MaximGroup President Ron Masters, Oceaneering Space Systems GM Mike Bloomfield, Boeing GM John Elbon, Lockheed Martin VP Rick Hieb, Norman Frede Chevrolet GM Joan McKinney, Moody Bank President Victor Pierson and Capital Bank President Paul Maaz and their spouses and dates. MEI Technologies CEO David Cazes was in the mix, as were Houston Airport Systems Director Mario Diaz, Clear Lake Chamber President Cindy Harreld, MRI VP Tim Kropp, GeoControl Systems Partner Rosanne Zarcaro, Chemical Process Plant Manager Greg Ploss, Minuteman Press President Jim Sweeney, Texas

New BAHEP Chairman and San Jacinto College Chancellor Dr. Brenda Hellyer looks forward to the coming year.

Lakewood Yacht Club Commodore Tom Collier joins new Lakewood Ladies Association President Roz Clayton, seated, and the other officers for a photo before the installation ceremony. They are, from left, standing,Vice President Evey Leavens, Treasurer Marilyn Mitchell, Secretary Barbara Gessner, Past President Rosemary Bettis and Fleet Captain Amy Dunphey.

A&M-Galveston Professor Dr. Jim Merrell, Griffin Communications’ Gwen Griffin and Jeff and Mengo Carr, Space City Films owner Marcus Havican, Dr. Bernie Milstein, San Jac Vice Chancellor Teri Crawford, and attorneys Joe Barlow, Dick Gregg Jr., Dick Gregg III and Chris Gregg. Some of the others BAHEP President Bob Mitchell and his wife, Brenda, welcomed were Bernie and Debbie Roan, astronaut Bill McArthur, former astronaut Bonnie Dunbar, BayTran President Barbara Koslov, Drew and Sandy Lewis, Pat and Wendell Wilson, Emmeline Dodd and Gene Hollier, Shari Wilkins, who sang America the Beautiful, and husband, John; Dennis and Eliza Paul, Marilyn and Billy Burt, Steve and Keri Owens, Mike and Mimi Huss, Steve and Monica Jackson, Alberto and Eva deCardenas, Leslie and Ted Cummings, Sue and Jack Garman, Karen and Mark Keesler, and Holly and Mike Kincaid.

Boeing Vice President and General Manager John Elbon, right, and AT&T External Affairs Director Mike Flanagan cross paths as they look for their tables at the Quasar Banquet.

Mary Ellen Arledge, right, catch up on each other’s news during the Jan. 17 Lakewood Yacht Club Ladies Association installation luncheon.

Ladies Association taps Roz Clayton ROZ CLAYTON, new president of the Lakewood Yacht Club Ladies Association, took office, along with the other officials, at their annual installation luncheon Jan. 17 at the club as new Commodore Tom Collier and the other flag officers joined them for the special occasion. Serving with her for the coming year are Vice President Evey Leavens, Secretary Barbara Gessner, Treasurer Marilyn Mitchell and Fleet Captain Amy Dunphey. Committee members include Sandy Lewis, Rita Matthews, Joy Edwards, Elaine Keith, Barbara Duckworth, Kerry Jo Humphrey, Elizabeth Morrell, Kathy Hall, Janet Starr-Hale, Roxanne Spalding, Marion Dehart, Ruthie Zittrer, Joyce Lindsay, Ann Palm. Carol Robinson, Barbara White, Johnette Norman, Sue Clements, Sherri Romer, Judith Shaw, Susan Allen, Mary Ellen

Sandy Lewis,Vice Commodore Joyce Maxwell and Sue Warters, from left, join the crowd at the Lakewood Yacht Club Ladies Association installation luncheon.

Arledge, Jan Smith, Faye Cutter, Stacie Covington, Sue Warters and Mary Moorehead.

Garden club sets style show date THE NASSAU BAY Garden Club will be “Celebrating 50 years of Flowers, Friendship and Fun” at its luncheon and style show Friday, March 28, at Lakewood Yacht Club in Seabrook. Club members will model fashions from Dillard’s at Baybrook Mall. The celebration begins at 10:30 a.m. with Nancy Guthrie and Audrey Legendre co-chairing the event. Tickets, which are $50 per person, may be purchased by mailing checks and reservation lists to: Nassau Bay Garden Club, P.O. Box 580341,Nassau Bay, TX 77258-0341 Call 281-333-4662 for more information.

Nancy Guthrie, left, and Audrey Legendre work on the upcoming Nassau Bay Garden Club luncheon and style show Friday, March 28, at Lakewood Yacht Club in Seabrook.

FEBRUARY 2014 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


of containerized cargo in the U.S. Overall, the port ranks first in the U.S. in numerous categories, including waterborne tonnage and imports.”

Port Day Festival

Birthday Bash Plans in the works to celebrate the Ship Channel’s centennial By Rod Evans


or those of us who call the Gulf Coast home, it seems as if the Houston Ship Channel has always been there. The serpentine, 52-mile industrial waterway, which includes the 25-mile long Port of Houston, has been a source of pride and a prime economic generator for the region for generations, but a century ago, only the boldest dreamers could have imagined the existence of such a vast engineering and construction marvel. In the early days of Houston, before the ship channel was carved out of the muddy, murky upper Texas coast, the shallow draft of Buffalo Bayou was sufficient to support the fledgling maritime trade industry of the region. But because larger, heavier vessels had to be off loaded onto barges near Galveston for the trek from the Gulf, Houston was at a decided disadvantage when it came to being able to handle large amounts of cargo and ship traffic. With the Houston Ship Channel celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, Port of Houston (POH) officials are planning to commemorate the work of visionaries like then-Houston Mayor Horace Baldwin Rice and U.S. Congressman Tom Ball, two of the driving forces behind the funding and construction of the channel, and the men and women who labored tirelessly to make the channel a reality, with a host of events and public awareness and educational campaigns throughout the year. “We formed the non-profit Promote Port of Houston 2014 board last year to focus on putting together events for the centennial celebration and we currently have three events scheduled: the Port of Houston Port


Day Festival, the Re-Dedication Ceremony and the Chairman’s Gala,” said Gilda Ramirez, the managing director of community outreach for the Port of Houston. Innovation has been at the heart of the channel from its inception. From the revolutionary funding mechanism proposed by Congressman Ball, after whom the city of Tomball is named, that called for Houston to share the cost of constructing the channel with the federal government, to countless technological concepts developed to improve the dredging process, the facility has relied upon creativity, engineering acumen and industrial vision throughout its history. Ramirez says all of the events and initiatives scheduled in the coming months to celebrate the ship channel’s founding are focused on showing the public what an enormous amount of effort it took to build the channel and highlight its position as the prime economic driver for the region. “After opening in 1914, by 1930 the Houston Ship Channel ranked third in foreign exports in the U.S., and by 1937, the channel was second only to New York’s port in tonnage and national importance,” Ramirez said. “When the Barbours Cut Terminal opened in 1977, followed by the Bayport Terminal 30 years later, the Port of Houston helped to usher in the era of containerization. Today, the ship channel handles 70 percent

Bay Area Houston Magazine | FEBRUARY 2014

While public awareness and educational initiatives developed by the Promote Port of Houston 2014 board will be rolled out in the coming weeks, the first official port centennial celebration on the docket is the Port Day Festival, set for Sept. 6 at the Bayport Cruise Terminal. The outdoor fair will be combined with the fourth annual Maritime Youth Expo, a program intended to inform and educate students enrolled in the Maritime Academy at area schools. During the festival, Ramirez says activities will include booths set up by shipping lines, stevedoring companies and other major stakeholders, in addition to interactive games, rides aboard the M/V Sam Houston tour boat, and much more. “We wanted to give the public an opportunity to come to the port and be able to see the various types of jobs available and learn what the port is really all about. Visitors will also get a glimpse into what types of equipment are used and take a look inside an actual cargo container,” Ramirez said. “We’ll also have high school bands and other entertainers performing and we’ll be giving away memorabilia. We’re looking to partner with an area grocery store to show how products make it from the port to store shelves. It’s all designed to help people become more familiar with the port and how it impacts the economy and industry.” Ramirez says officials estimate 2,000 to 5,000 visitors will attend the all-day festival, which is open to the public. A ticketed RSVP with online registration is required.

“Today, the ship channel handles 70 percent of containerized cargo in the U.S.”

Re-Dedication Ceremony

To mark the 1914 opening of the ship channel, a massive celebration, including a gigantic parade through downtown Houston and a party attended by numerous dignitaries was held at the Turning Basin. The highlight of the event took place when President Woodrow Wilson pressed a button from the Oval Office to fire a cannon via remote control to officially signal that the channel was open for business. Ramirez says officials hope to re-create at least a portion of those festivities during the 100th Year ReDedication, scheduled for Nov. 10.

“We’re hoping to get President Obama to attend the event or do a video presentation and we’re working with area city officials to declare it Port of Houston Day around the area. We’ve invited elected officials and dignitaries, including Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, former Secretary of State James Baker, Governor Rick Perry and Houston Mayor Annise Parker,” Ramirez said. The ceremony coincides with the American Association of Port Authorities annual convention being held in Houston, giving officials from ports around the country the opportunity to participate in the celebration. Ramirez says invitations will be extended to 200 to 300 officials to attend the re-dedication, scheduled to be held at the Sam Houston Pavilion at the Turning Basin Terminal. A new historical marker is also set to be unveiled at the pavilion during the ceremony.

Chairman’s Gala

The Chairman’s Gala, an elegant reception and dinner, is scheduled for Nov. 15 at a yet to be determined venue. The invitation-only gala will include dinner and dancing and remarks by Port of Houston Chairman Janiece Longoria, with invitations extended to Honorary Chairman James Baker, President George W. Bush and other VIPs. “We will donate a portion of the proceeds from the gala to maritime education programs and the Maritime Museum. This will be the culmination of our public celebration, so we’re looking to bring together key figures in the community, as well as local, state and federal officials. There’s also a fireworks display planned to bring the evening to a close,” Ramirez says. The list of official centennial events and programs is still being developed, Ramirez says, and the POH is also working on a variety of public awareness and educational campaigns. She says officials are in discussion with the Houston Arts Alliance to develop a special port exhibit that would be on display at the Downtown Houston Public Library branch. They are working with the Texas Foundation for the Arts to produce a documentary for the Public Broadcasting System focused on the history and impact of the Port, and the organization is planning an educational component that includes developing a maritime curriculum guide with local school districts. Volunteers are needed to help at the various events on the schedule. If you’re interested in donating your time and services, contact Ramirez’s office at 713-670-2590.

BREAKING New Ground New Facilities in Pearland and Friendswood will provide convenient access to care


emorial Hermann Health System is known for its worldclass clinical expertise and patient-centered care. And it is growing to keep up with the increasing healthcare needs in the region. In late July 2013, Memorial Hermann broke ground for a new medical complex in Pearland. The facility will include a convenient care center, scheduled to open in early 2014, that will provide one-stop, highly coordinated access to adult and pediatric primary care, a 24hour emergency room, imaging and laboratory services. The centerpiece of the new Campus will be a 64-bed acute care hospital, set to open in late 2015. It will feature an intensive care unit, operating rooms, cardiac catheterization labs, medical/surgical units, women’s services, sports medicine and rehabilitation. “This new medical Campus gives us a wonderful opportunity to bring the expertise of our Memorial Hermann medical professionals and affiliated physicians, including some of the region’s top specialists, to the area,” says Dan Wolterman, president and CEO of Memorial Hermann Health System. The new medical complex will benefit from integration within the larger Memorial Hermann system, where patients can be transported within minutes to Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital or Memorial


Hermann-Texas Medical Center, if a higher level of care is required. The new facility will be located on the 40-acre site that now houses an outpatient imaging center, diagnostic lab services and a medical office building. Meanwhile, work continues on an Urgent Care Center and

“The centerpiece of the new Campus will be a 64-bed acute care hospital.” Multispecialty Clinic in Friendswood. The 9,000-square-foot facility will be fully equipped to treat minor illnesses and non-life-threatening injuries. The urgent care center will provide care for medical problems that need immediate – but not emergency – attention, such as minor sprains, small cuts, sore throats, fevers and ear infections. The Friendswood facility also will provide primary care, occupational

Bay Area Houston Magazine | FEBRUARY 2014

medicine, X-rays, labs, vaccines, school and sports physicals, and onsite prescriptions. These new services are in addition to the existing outpatient imaging and diagnostic lab services the clinic currently offers. The urgent care center is scheduled for completion in early 2014. “The nurses and affiliated physicians who will staff both the Pearland and Friendswood facilities are the same professionals who provide high quality care to families in this area,” states Erin Asprec, CEO of Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital. “We’re all excited that they will be here to serve the needs of our community.” The Friendswood facility is at 1505 East Winding Way Drive. Memorial Hermann Pearland will be located on the southbound side of Highway 288 near FM 518. To learn more about the specialty services already available at our facilities, log onto memorialhermann. org. About Memorial Hermann Health System An integrated health system, Memorial Hermann is known

for world-class clinical expertise, patient-centered care, leading-edge technology and innovation. The system, with its exceptional medical staff and 20,000 employees, serves Southeast Texas and the Greater Houston community. Memorial Hermann’s 12 hospitals include three in the Texas Medical Center, including a Level I trauma center, a hospital for children and a rehabilitation hospital, as well as three Heart & Vascular Institute locations and eight suburban hospitals. The system also operates the Life Flight® air ambulance service, cancer, imaging and surgery centers, sports medicine and rehabilitation centers, outpatient laboratories, a wellness center, a chemical dependency treatment center, a home health agency, a retirement community and a nursing home. To learn more, visit memorialhermann. org or call 713.222.CARE.



akewood Yacht Club Fleet Captain Jim Winton has announced that the 2014 Bay Cup I will be held Saturday, March 1. This year marks the 13th time the club will have hosted the Bay Cup series. Open to the public, this is a long distance race on Galveston and Trinity Bays. Racers can register online at under the race button. “Bay Cup I is the first of a two-race series with races having multiple legs totally about 15 to 20 nautical miles,” Winton explained. Bay Cup II is slated to be held Saturday, Aug. 2. Overall trophies will be presented for the tworace series at the conclusion of Bay Cup II. Racing classes will be the Cruising Classic Canvas, Cruising Poleless Spinnaker, PHRF Spin and Non Spin, Shorthanded Offshore Sailors (SOS), Multihull and One Design Classes. A minimum of four boats constitutes a class. In addition to the long legs of the races, the course will also present a navigational challenge. The entry fee of $75 includes post-race activities Saturday, March 1, which will be a dinner party at 6 p.m. in the ballroom, followed by the awards ceremony at 7 p.m. Afterwards, there will be music and dancing to the tunes of Kelly McGuire in the club’s lounge. Photos of the day’s race will be shown on the lounge’s LED television for all to enjoy. The entry deadline for Bay Cup I is Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 9 p.m. There will be a Skippers’ Meeting in the Lakewood Yacht Club Ballroom, 2425 NASA Parkway, Seabrook, on Friday, Feb. 28, 7:30 p.m. All skippers are urged to attend for last minute regatta updates. Winton said that Bay Cup I is made possible by the support of DonQ (Puerto Rico’s premium rum), Caliche Rum, Hays Insurance, Little Yacht Sales, OJ’s Marine, Sea Lake Yacht Sales and Banks Sails. Additional sponsors include the City of Seabrook and Bay Access, a not-for-profit organization support youth and amateur racing on Galveston Bay. For questions, e-mail Lakewood Yacht Club at


Julie Harman Howell Joins Lakewood’s Staff


lear Lake area native Julie Harman Howell has joined Lakewood Yacht Club’s staff as their director of member services and events. She replaces long-time Clubhouse Manager Shirley McCullough, who worked for Lakewood for more than 33 years. McCullough retired Jan. 25 after the annual Commodore’s Ball. Howell grew up in Nassau Bay with her parents Herb and Carol Harman and older sister Laurie. A graduate of Clear Creek High School, she attended Southwestern University in Georgetown. With her first position as the executive director for the South Belt/Ellington Chamber of Commerce at the age of 20, she was the youngest chamber executive in the state of Texas. Because of her varied positions held throughout her life, Howell confesses that she has always been in the events business. “For most of these, it was just a question of timing and taking advantage of being in the right place at the right time,” she relates. She has a wealth of experience working on Galveston Island. Howell joined UTMB in its fund raising department and then moved on to be the development director for the Galveston Historical Foundation, as well as the Galveston Bay Foundation. While at the Galveston Convention & Visitors Bureau, she oversaw all events on the island including Spring Fest, which involved 100 days of 100 events. While there, she also launched the island’s first Nature Tourism Program and established the Galveston Nature Tourism Council featuring the first Birding Event on the island.

In the spring of 2002, Howell moved with her husband, Donnie, to Fort Worth, where she held various marketing and management positions at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, Chili’s Restaurant and Woodhaven Country Club. Moving home to the Clear Lake area in 2006, Howell joined the staff of Bay Oaks Country Club working for ClubCorp as private events director, where she earned numerous staff awards for her excellent performance and team work. Howell said she learned a lot by working for ClubCorp of America while also setting a record there by doing over 700 events in one year. Howell’s philosophy of private club work is that the club is a haven for members, “a home away from home.” “Everyone here at Lakewood has been so warm and welcoming. I am proud to be part of the Lakewood team. Lakewood Yacht Club has a proud legacy in the Clear Lake/Bay Area community and we all should be proud of that!” The Howells, along with their French bulldog named Porterhouse, live on the water at South Shore Harbour Marina in League City. Hobbies include loving to cook and travel. “We are very proud and fortunate to have Julie as our newest staff member over member services and events,” Commodore Tom Collier said. “Her enthusiasm, energy, and creativity are matched only by her dedication and devotion to serving our membership.”

Lakewood to Host J/105 Mid-Winter Championship J/105 Fleet Captain and Lakewood Yacht Club racer Bill Lakenmacher has announced that Lakewood will host the national J/105 Mid-Winter Championship Regatta to be held March 7-9 on Galveston Bay. “We are very pleased to host the Midwinters for the third consecutive year” Lakenmacher said. Before 2012, the J/105 Mid-Winters were held in Key West, Fla. Hoping for approximately 15 - 20 J/105 regatta participants from around the country, race organizers are looking forward to three days of “as much racing

Bay Area Houston Magazine | FEBRUARY 2014

as possible,” said J/105 racer Bee Bednar. It will be a windward/leeward course with the first gun at 10 a.m. all three days. Cost for the regatta is $400 which entitles racers to a free crane to splash their boats into the water, a Friday and Saturday night dinner and party, along with the Sunday Awards Ceremony following the last race. For further information and to register for the regatta, which is open to the public, check Lakewood’s website at www.lakewoodyachtclub. com under the racing button.

5K FunD Run Crosses Causeway Bridge – March 8 Event to benefit UTMB School of Health Professions students


s the path in and out of Galveston, the causeway looms large in the lives of those who live and work on the island. In the spring, this route will open to two-legged traffic for the Causeway FunD Run benefitting students attending the School of Health Professions (SHP) at the University of Texas Medical Branch. Revived in 2013, after a 15 year hiatus, last year’s run/walk drew more than 80 sponsors and donors, plus over 700 participants. Organizers hope to double the numbers in 2014. The FunD Run, in partnership with fitTRIrun, is one of only two events that allow running and walking enthusiasts to negotiate the causeway. Participants are sure to have a unique experience. The second annual run will start with a kid’s 1K at 7:45 a.m., followed at 8:05 with a 5K wheelchair race. The 5K run begins at 8:15 with the 5K walk immediately following the runners. The 5K course is USA Track and Field certified and starts in the parking lot of the Galveston County Daily News building, then proceeds up the southbound lanes of the causeway turning around at the acme of the bridge where participants will head back to the starting line. Early registration is now open and runs through Feb. 9. Early registration fees are $10 for the kid’s 1K and $25 for the 5K races/walk. Beginning Feb. 10, late registration fees will be $20 for the kid’s 1K and $40 for the 5K. Chip timing is available for any participant registering on or before


Bay Area Houston Magazine | FEBRUARY 2014

March 7, but will not be available on race day. All early registrants will receive a commemorative t-shirt. Registrations are non-refundable. The SHP plays a vital role in preparing the health care providers of the future by educating students to become physical therapists, occupational therapists, physician assistants, clinical laboratory scientists, respiratory care therapists and nutritionists. By donating, sponsoring or participating, supporters help to provide scholarships to the many talented students in the school and represents a powerful investment in the future of health care for our region and state. For the students pursuing these degrees, any financial assistance is appreciated. Claire Megan Conroy from Houston is working on her doctoral degree in physical therapy. She’s putting herself through school, so the scholarships she’s received have made all the difference to her financial future. “I’m supporting myself and paying for graduate school on my own, using loans,” said Conroy. “These scholarships have helped me not only reduce the amount of loan money that I will have to borrow/pay back, but also the amount of interest that I will incur financing my education.” Her own diagnosis of type 1 diabetes at 7 years old, coupled with a close family member’s life long struggle with cystic fibrosis, led her to choose health care as her career. “Seeing the way that different health care professionals were able to help and make a difference intrigued and inspired me to do the same.” “It is a special thrill to run the Galveston Causeway. Last year we had over 700 runners who took on that steep climb, and were exhilarated by the beautiful views. Many of us were compelled to stop and take a photo op when we got to the top. It did not help our times, but it sure was a special Texas experience.” says Dr. Elizabeth Protas, SHP vice president and dean. “We also felt good to be able to raise scholarship money for students in the School of Health Professions. Please join us for a good time, a good cause, and great views.” For more information on sponsoring or registering, go to or call the SHP Causeway FunD Run hotline at 409-772-3006.

The Greatest Free Ride in Texas A Day in the Life of a Ferry Boat Captain


he Galveston-Bolivar Ferry started service in 1930. The Texas Department of Transportation operates the ferry year round and it’s free to the public. We spent some time with Captain Johnny Smith, he started out as a deck hand in 1989 and four years later he was a captain. Grab the kids, a camera and take the greatest free ride in Texas. BAHM: How did you get interested in this line of work? Smith: In the summer of 1989 I took advantage of the great opportunities the Texas Department of Transportation had to offer and I like the work so much I decided to make a career out of working on the ferry. BAHM: Why a ferryboat captain, why not a tug boat captain? Smith: I enjoy working on inland vessels, this allows me to go home every day and spend time with my family and friends. If you work offshore then you’re gone a lot. BAHM: How long have you been a captain?

Smith: I’ve been a captain with TxDOT for 20 years. BAHM: What type of engines do you have in the current ferries now in service? Smith: Currently there are two 12 cylinder engines that provide 1500 horsepower each. These modern boats have plenty of power and are fun to drive. BAHM: How long does it take to make the trip over to Bolivar? Smith: A normal trip to Bolivar takes about 18 minutes. To make the trip to Bolivar and then back to Galveston takes about 50 minutes. BAHM: Where did you receive most of your training? Smith: I received most of my on the job training with TxDOT and some offsite training with various schools in the area. BAHM: How many cars can you get on a ferry? Smith: It takes approximately 65 cars to fill up the ferry. That can vary with the addition of trailers and other work vehicles. For more information on the Galveston-Bolivar Ferry go to the TxDOT web site FEBRUARY 2014 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


CLAUDIO’S RESTAURANT & PIANO BAR Fine Dining and Live Music Nightly By Betha Merit


t Claudio’s Restaurant & Piano Bar in League City, it’s all about authentic Italian cuisine. No, on second thought, it’s all about amazing music. Scratch that. Claudio’s is an environment unlike any other. Yes, the food and music are in a class by themselves, and it’s the combination of these things with the special touch of hospitality and welcome that exudes from owner Claudio Sereni and his staff. “People show up for dinner at 7 and end up staying all night,” says Claudio. And that’s just the way he likes it. Claudio Sereni has a rich history of music and food. Born in Italy, where he lived for 28 years, Claudio was selected to sing in the Sistine Chapel Choir where he had the privilege of singing for the Pope for seven consecutive years. The Vatican paid for Claudio to attend music school at the Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia in


Bay Area Houston Magazine | FEBRUARY 2014

Rome to study bassoon and voice. He credits his time in serving food as a waiter in the Vatican for training him in “the most beautiful presentation and taste of fresh Italian food.” At 17, Claudio was chosen to be on RAI national television’s small chorale ensemble, named “4 x 4 of Nora Orlandi.” He sang with the most popular singers and stars from all over the world. Claudio performed with Garinei and Giovannini productions and has also voiced over characters on Italian versions of many Walt Disney movies. He performed as a vocalist in Italian and American movies such as “Once Upon a Time in America” with Robert DeNiro, “Popeye” with Robin Williams, “Conan the Barbarian” and “Red Sonja” with Arnold Schwarzenegger, and many more. In 1981 Claudio visited his father in the U.S. and loved it so much, he decided to stay. He worked in Houston in the restaurant business doing a variety of work related to food and music, naturally. In 1989,

NASA asked Claudio to perform at a surprise party they were giving for a visiting Italian astronaut. “I saw the lake and the beautiful area, and decided I wanted to move here.” And so he did. Originally, Claudio worked in various Bay Area restaurants in management and performing musically. Then, in 1996, he opened his first Piano Bar in Kemah to great success. So successful, that there were too many people, too many cars, and the area could not sustain the volume of traffic. Claudio moved his business around to Clear Lake for several years, and then returned to Kemah, at the request of the city, as it built up and traffic was no longer an issue. And then came Hurricane Ike in 2008. Claudio’s Piano Bar was five feet under water and Claudio shut the door. For the next several years, Claudio performed at various restaurants and to private parties in the area. Until his great love for creating an environment where his love of music, Italian cuisine, and hospitality mix together for an almost magical experience for his guests was resurrected. And Claudio’s reopened in a brand new location, with a cast of 25 employees, innumerable musicians, and an environment that makes you feel like family. “I want to make people happy and have the best time. They eat, they dance; I am here for them,” says Claudio. Every night there is something different, from both the music and food points of view. Musically, the one thing that stays the same is quality. Sunday highlights top-notch

local bands, and six nights a week Claudio and Christa Sereni both jam with Abel Salazar, “our most talented local artist,” who plays keyboards, saxophone, flute, and sings. Monday is open mic and many weeknights highlight special guest entertainers, friends of Claudios, who feel free to stop by and take the stage for a song or two. “You never know who you will see perform,” says Claudio. You just know it’s going to be fabulous. What about the food? Daily, there are new dishes, always taste tested by the staff. And, you can request any food from the talented chefs. You have your choice of handmade pasta. The sauces are made daily. The herbs are fresh. In fact, everything is fresh and the recipes are authentic Italian. Claudio speaks glowingly of his staff. Paolo and Chef Loredana Merli are a couple from Italy, who own a restaurant near the Adriatic coast, currently run by their son and daughters. They love Bay Area Houston so much, they prefer to live

“Claudio performed with Garinei and Giovannini productions and has also voiced over characters on Italian versions of many Walt Disney movies.”

and work here for Claudio. Executive Chef Luis Hernandez, Chef Marvin Flores, and Chef Alberto Patlan, have each worked for famous or five star restaurants and top resorts. Claudio speaks of each person as family. Speaking of family, three of Claudio’s children work here. Daniel is a waiter, Gina hostesses, and Christa sings. “Music is a family affair,” says Claudio. “Their mother

is a pianist and teaches music, so they got it from both sides.” Claudio also has a musician son, Alex, who lives in Austin, Texas. His daughter, Jessica, still lives in Italy and has made Claudio a proud grandfather of three. Claudio is engaged to a lady named Summer Winter Camp. There was a decided twinkle in his eye when he gave up this information. Upon further questioning, he conceded that almost every time he introduces her, people do a double take regarding her unique name. You can meet her at the restaurant, and perhaps mention that “Summer Sereni” sounds quite lyrical if she chooses to change her name. Claudio’s Restaurant and Piano Bar offers special events featuring magicians, Elvis and Johnny Cash impersonators, wine dinners and more. Go to their website at www. for more information. They are located at 3202 Marina Bay Drive, League City, Texas 77573, phone: 281.957.9262.

FEBRUARY 2014 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Let Us Entertain You

Valentina serves up world class martinis at International Signature Bistro.

Aaron and Shelly Nichols enjoy open mic nite at International Signature Bistro.

Make a date with Opus Bistro on Valentine’s Day!

Ladies Nite every Tuesday and Thursday at The Hop! Drink Specials all nite long!

Check out the great items in the gift shop at Crazy Alan’s Swamp Shack.

Las Haciendas’ free mini buffet at happy hour, Monday through Friday!

Good times and good friends at the Bay Group Media January Cover Party at Claudio’s Restaurant & Piano Bar.

Bay Area Houston Magazine is proud to be the magazine of choice for Jet Linx Houston.


Bay Area Houston Magazine | FEBRUARY 2014

FEBRUARY 2014 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


TAKING A CHANCE ON LOVE WITH THE MATCHMAKING MASTER Rose Matchmaking is Houston’s premier boutique-style matchmaking firm.


he company focuses on providing its clients with discreet, caring one-on-one matchmaking. Jamie Rose is the only certified and BBB-accredited independent matchmaker in the greater Houston area. She meets every potential client in person herself and hand picks matches that will work best for the client. All clients must be interviewed by Jamie and pass a background check before Rose begins its search. These meetings can last for hours with Rose pouring over a client’s, past, present and future needs. The first step is to fill out Rose Matchmaking’s online form or give the firm a call directly. Once your information is received, you will be contacted by an appointment coordinator who will set up the initial one on one appointment. All of Rose Matchmaking’s clients receive expert guidance from Jamie herself. As CEO and founder, Jamie consults with her clients to determine their relationship goals and needs.


Bay Area Houston Magazine | FEBRUARY 2014

Jamie’s clients are usually very busy people who rely on her to introduce them to quality individuals. Most clients can easily get dates on their own - they look to Jamie to find them the right person who will become more than just a date. Along with matchmaking, Rose Matchmaking has experts available to help in other areas of life - including coaching and counseling, date feedback, image consulting, health and wellness, and invitations to private events. All of its services are completely customizable and are comprised to suit each client. Rose Matchmaking is at 1330 Post Oak Blvd. in the Galleria area. Get started today by filling out Rose’s form or calling 713-963-3663 or For more information, visit www.

Light @ work

By Steve Lestarjette

Home of Hope provides a fresh start to victims of human trafficking

It is a horrendous statistic. Two hundred years after the Civil War, more than 300,000 U.S. children are enslaved in sexual human trafficking — and Houston leads the nation with 20% of the victims.


he average age is 13, and the life expectancy is only seven years. According to reports, these children are abused between 20 and 40 times every day. Some manage to escape, but where can they turn? In the world’s most prosperous nation, only a few organizations are prepared to offer care. A mere 500 beds are available in the entire country; just 25 in Texas. That statistic, at least, will change soon if Rodney Daniels and his team at Home of Hope have their way. Rodney and wife Rhonda set out in 2012 to refurbish a large house with surrounding wooded acreage into a vibrant center where lives destroyed by the sex trade can be redeemed, restored — and relaunched. “The Bible tells us to ‘speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed” (Prov. 31:8, NLT), Rodney says. “These kids are slaves with no way of defending themselves. If we don’t help them, who will?” So, he and his team have rolled up their sleeves. After purchasing an out-of-the-way property, Home of Hope has worked diligently to bring the house up to fire code. “Another month and we should be ready for licensing,” Rodney says. The house has space for 13 girls, and plans are to build up to a dozen additional units — for 150 victims — on the same property. “We will offer these girls a place of safety, an accredited education, and psychological, medical and therapeutic treatment.” Rodney, who directs the operation, says plans are to open later this spring with a “full house” between ages 8


Bay Area Houston Magazine | FEBRUARY 2014

and 17. They will arrive from the FBI, Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, Juvenile Probation, and other sources. “Houston alone has about 6,000 runaways every year,” the director says. “Three-fourths of these are pulled into human trafficking within 48 hours after they leave home.” Home of Hope is putting together a team of highly trained staff and volunteers to minister to the needs of victims “24/7.” These oversee the children’s safety, education and therapy, and teach life skills. The biggest hurdle, to be sure, is funding. No federal or state funding exists. As Rodney explains it. “All funding comes from private donations — individuals, churches and businesses. Right now, about 50 local churches and individuals are contributing on a regular basis, but clearly we need much more. Our monthly operating budget is $50,000.”

“These kids are slaves with no way of defending themselves. If we don’t help them, who will?” So, he says, as soon as the center opens this spring, he will begin raising funds to build the other homes on the property, including a multipurpose center for education and counseling. “We will help these girls get into college or work with them to get a job. The goal is to restore the lives of each so they can live a normal life.” Missionary C.T. Studd once wrote, “Some yearn to live within the sound of a church bell. I’d rather run a rescue mission within a yard of hell.” Our community has a rescue mission, inscribed with the name “Home of Hope.” To learn more, write Rodney at

Movers &Shakers Name: Glenn Royal

Hometown: Houston Current home: Seabrook Family: My wife, Diane and our two Yorkshire terrorists, Daisy and Izzy My favorite writer is: Lately, Jack Kerouac Someone I’d like to meet: Thich Nhat Hanh

If I could switch places with someone for just one day, I’d choose: I’m OK with being me My favorite performers are: Boz Skaggs and Marvin Gaye I like to spend my leisure time: Riding my motorcycle and RV traveling with Diane If I could travel any place, I’d go to: Kathmandu, Nepal My favorite meal is: A chopped beef sandwich with jalapenos, Fritos, iced tea and

Blue Bell vanilla

As a youngster, I wanted to grow up to be: A fireman You’ll never catch me: Giving up The thing that bugs me the most is: Traffic My favorite book is: John Kennedy Tool’s A Confederacy of Dunces Few people know: Elvis is alive

Bay Area residents loosen purse strings By Mary Alys Cherry


he Bay Area Houston economy just keeps improving each month with home sales growing, businesses expanding and spending on the upswing all around the area and across the state. That has resulted in the collection of $2.41 billion in state sales tax revenue in November – up 2.8 percent over November 2012 – and $2.25 billion in December – up 3.9 percent over the same period last year. Sales tax collections continued to increase with almost all Bay Area Houston cities showing an increase over last year. “Consumer spending in retail trade contributed to the largest gains in state sales tax collections,” Texas Comptroller Susan Combs said. “Sales tax collections have increased for 45 consecutive months,” she continued, adding, “Revenue from sectors such as wholesale trade, service industries and restaurants contributed to the most recent increase.” The sales tax rebates she distributed in December were collected in November for sales in October while January rebates were collected in December for November sales.


There were many bright spots with Baytown, Dickinson, Friendswood, Nassau Bay, Seabrook, Taylor Lake Village, Pasadena, Texas City and La Porte making big gains this October over last year. Even officials in little Shoreacres had reason to smile as the $7,060 in rebates it received was up 11 percent over last year, and its $86,756 in rebates for the year to date was up 26 percent over 2012. Houston, of which Clear Lake City is a part, had a more moderate increase of 4.92 per cent for the month with a 6.71 percent increase for its year to date total of $608.2 million in tax rebates.

Meanwhile, Pearland, Galveston and Clear Lake Shores showed little growth in sales for the month. Then in November, Alvin received $483,266 in rebates – up 8.37 percent, while Baytown earned $1.156,168 – up $10.17 and Clear Lake Shores received $150,000 – up 57.44 percent from last year. La Porte’s $545,954 November rebate total was up 31.53 percent over last year, while League City received $1,160,000 – up 10.91 over last year and Pearland received $1,940,190 – up 10.76 percent.


Monthly payments in the Bay Area, the increase are decrease for the same period last year; the year-todate total through October in parenthesis, plus the percentage increase or decrease follow: Alvin — $486,925, 4.87; ($6,030,205) 5.35; Baytown -- $1,196,354, 7.21; ($14,518,442) 5.46; Clear Lake Shores — $147,160, -15.08; ($1,714,131) 0.97; Deer Park — $443,626, 4.05; ($5,037,564) 7.20; Dickinson — $656,690,180, 39.55; ($6,742,898) 33.55; El Lago — $10,800, 6.46; ($127,474) 8.87; Friendswood — $335,710, 13.41; ($4,303,251) 10.30; Galveston -- $1,291,651, 2.52; ($17,931,699) 2.51; Houston — $48,830,150, 4.92; ($608,189,684) 6.71; Kemah — $255,608, 7.69; ($3,348,526) 5.05; La Porte — $724,622, 15.34; ($7,228,766) 3.69; League City — $1,164,440, 7.68; ($14,681,939) 2.15; Nassau Bay — $88,502, 33.45; ($883,881) 2.44; Pasadena — $2,518,129, 17.98; ($28,217,241) 8.25; Pearland — $1,879,591, 2.73; ($23,664,262) 5.86; Seabrook — $177,578, 10.28; ($2,255,468) 5.77; Taylor Lake Village — $8,408, 11.64; ($116,669) 26.73; Texas City -- $1,601,562, 12.37; ($18,258,119) 11.92; Webster — $1,250,619, 4.49; ($14,342,118) 0.83.

Man charged in shuttle vandalism


he Harris County Precinct 8 Constable’s Office has filed charges against Jesse Ray Calloway, 19, of Clear Lake in connection with the vandalism to the mock Space Shuttle Independence in late November. It is believed others were involved and deputies are asking for anyone with additional information to contact them, Chief Deputy Jason Finnen said. The investigation began Nov. 27 when deputies from Constable Phil Sandlin’s Office were called to Space Center Houston at 1601 NASA Parkway in Clear Lake to investigate the vandalism that occurred between 11 p.m. Nov. 26 and 9 a.m. Nov. 27 when individuals breached the perimeter of the facility and spray painted vulgar and racial messages along the right side of the recently installed mock shuttle. Calloway, who lives in Clear Lake’s 77058 zip code, has been charged with committing the offense of graffiti, a Class A misdemeanor. His bond was set at $1,000. Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Precinct 8 Sgt. Chris Yetter at 281-488-4040.

FEBRUARY 2014 | Bay Area Houston Magazine



Bay Area Houston Magazine | FEBRUARY 2014

A 50-year retrospective on the dangers of smoking By Richard Ehlers, M.D., F.A.C.S.


his month marks an important anniversary in the history of public health. In January 1964, the U.S. Surgeon General’s office released its first report on smoking and health, a comprehensive scientific review which identified cigarettes as a major public health hazard and quickly shifted public attitudes about smoking. Although adult smoking rates have been cut in half in the 50 years since the surgeon general’s original report, tobacco remains a major killer of Americans in 2014.

Surgeon general’s report

Within months of the report’s first publishing, the Federal Trade Commission ordered cigarette manufacturers to place a warning label on their products, and in 1969, cigarette advertising on American TV and radio was banned. Since then, adult smoking rates have been cut in half, from 42 percent in 1965 to 19 percent in 2009. Unfortunately, the number of actual smokers hasn’t decreased as dramatically as percentages would indicate, due to the large population growth in the U.S. over the last 50 years. Today, there are 43.8 million smokers, versus 50 million in 1965, and the habit is still taking

disease is half of someone who still smokes. Five years after quitting, risks of cancer of the mouth, throat and bladder are cut in half. At 15 years, the risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a lifelong nonsmoker’s. It also improves the health of those around you, particularly children, who do not choose to smoke, but are placed at risk from the smoker’s they care about.

American lives at an alarming rate. Smoking has been linked to 11 different types of cancer and remains the leading cause of preventable and premature death in the United States.

Impact on health

Tips for kicking the habit

In addition to the many smokingrelated cancers, it is a major cause of heart disease, stroke, lung diseases such as emphysema and asthma, low birth rate in newborns, and SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Secondhand smoke can be just as detrimental, increasing a person’s risk of developing heart disease by 25 to 30 percent and lung cancer by 20 to 30 percent. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, secondhand smoke kills nearly 38,000 nonsmokers each year.

Benefits of quitting

Over time, quitting smoking is the single most important thing you can do to improve your health. Just 20 minutes after quitting smoking, a person’s heart rate and blood pressure return to normal. Within 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in the blood drops to normal, according to the U.S. Surgeon General. After 2-3 months, circulation improves and lung function increases. One year after a person stops smoking, his or her risk of coronary heart

A great way to reduce withdrawal symptoms while you are trying to quit is to use some sort of nicotine replacement therapy. These products work by giving the body controlled doses of nicotine without the harmful chemicals that are in tobacco products, such as cigarettes, cigars and snuff. Patches, gums and lozenges are available without a prescription. With a prescription, people also can try a nasal spray or inhaler. Other good tips for quitting include setting a quit date and telling family, friends and coworkers about your plans. Get rid of cigarettes and ashtrays at home, work, and in your car, so there are no physical reminders of cigarettes in your daily life. Lastly, consider getting involved in a smoking cessation program in order to have a constant support system from people who understand the unique challenges that come with quitting. Please contact your doctor or MD Anderson at 713-792-7848 if you would like help with quitting. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the surgeon general’s report, and in the spirit of the new year, I encourage all smokers to make a commitment to quit smoking for the benefit of their health and the health of their loved ones. Richard Ehlers, M.D., is the medical director and assistant professor of surgical oncology at the MD Anderson Regional Care Center in the Bay Area. For more information, visit

FEBRUARY 2014 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


West Mansion on this year’s Symphony League Home Tour


ay Area residents will have an opportunity to see inside the beautiful Jim West Mansion on NASA Parkway as it will be on the Houston Symphony League Bay Area’s 13th Annual “Day by the Bay” Home Tour Saturday and Sunday, March 22 and 23, from noon to 5 p.m. The West Mansion, one of six structures on the tour, has an Italian Renaissance elevation designed by Joseph Finger in 1929 and built in 1930 with Art Deco designs in the bathrooms, Palm room, sun and family rooms. The wood craftsmanship, the Venetian tiles, ceiling, and the view from the top of the stairs are such a tribute to that bygone era. Jim West was an oil and cattle baron who owned much of what is now the Clear Lake area. Many of the original materials are still in the building because it was protected by the Historic Society until Hall of Fame basketball star Hakeem Olajuwon bought it for retail purposes and named it “Dr34M.” Another home on the tour is a church home that was the original Webster Presbyterian Church (1911) and today is the Bay Area Museum, often referred to as “The Little White Church in the Park.” It’s in Clear Lake Park next door to the West Mansion and will be open for the tour. Four other homes that are “younger” will be available, three in the Timber Cove section of Taylor Lake Village and one in Bayview. These homes incurred damages


Bay Area Houston Magazine | FEBRUARY 2014

Symphony League Home Tour Co-Chairmen Pat Biddle, left, and Vicki Buxton make plans for the Day by the Bay tour’s visit at the West Mansion on NASA Parkway overlooking Clear Lake March 22-23.

from Ike, and one was redesigned when it needed rebuilding in the owner’s “vision.” The homes are truly unique, waterfront homes that have different styles, elevations, and designs. Don’t miss the opportunity to view the different decades of home building, furnishings, accessories, construction, etc. A pre-tour party will kick off the Home Tour Friday, March 21. Tickets are $75 per person, which includes the tour. Tickets for the tour are $15/$20 at the door for viewing all six structures, and may be purchased from Symphony League members, at Unexpected Interiors in Historic League City; Nassau Postal, 957 NASA Parkway; Casanova’s Downfall and Arlan’s Market on NASA Parkway, Seabrook; Marci’s Consignments, 18049 Upper Bay Road, Nassau Bay; and Island Furniture, 4101 NASA Parkway, El Lago.

15 eye District 36 Congressional Seat By Mary Alys Cherry


total of 15 southeast Texas residents are in the running for the District 36 congressional seat formerly held by Steve Stockman of Friendswood -- 12 Republicans, 2 Libertarians and 1 Democrat. The district includes part of Harris County and all of Newton, Jasper, Tyler, Polk, Orange, Hardin, Liberty and Chambers counties. Bay Area candidates include the following -- all Republicans unless otherwise noted. John Amdur, a Houston business immigration attorney serving his second term on Nassau Bay City Council, is vice president of the Nassau Bay Economic Development Corp., a native Texan and a graduate of the University of Texas, where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration before earning his law degree at SMU. Amdur says he is passionate about public service and seeks to instill in Washington both the strong conservative values that made our country what it is and the integrity and access to its representative that District 36 deserves. His family law firm, which he runs, practices business immigration law, and assists organizations in obtaining visas and employment authorization for foreign personnel and in ensuring regulatory compliance. A long-time conservative, he hopes “to eliminate overregulation and bureaucratic overgrowth that unnecessarily stifles the private sector and discourages innovation.” He is married and the father of two children. Doug Centilli, who lists Baytown as his address, is the former chief of staff for Congressman Kevin Brady. Centilli has served in a number of political staff positions, including as a special assistant for Gov. Bill Clements and former State Sen. Mike Jackson. He’s been Rep. Brady’s chief of staff since Brady was a state representative, and continued in that role when Brady was elected to Congress in 1996.


Centilli currently serves as a director of the Texas Lyceum, Texas’ premier leadership incubator, and he is on the board of Perfect Attendance, a publicprivate initiative that combines the strengths of the schools, the business community, community organizations, the media, celebrities and entertainers to reward students to stay in school and to graduate from high school. He has also served on the board of the Texas Leadership Institute and is an alumnus of the John Ben Sheppard Leadership Institute. He is a graduate of Texas A&M University, where he was also a member of the Aggie football team. Col. Jim Engstrand of El Lago grew up on a family farm in a blue collar working class family that taught him to treasure faith, free enterprise, patriotism, public service and private business productivity. His parents instilled in him a work ethic by giving him duties such as loading and unloading hay, building fences, taking care of livestock and working in the fields on the farm that his family still owns and operates today. He served as sophomore and senior class president in his public high school and competed in wrestling, football and track. Additionally he was a member of 4-H, FFA and served as the president of the junior dairymen’s association. After high school, he went on to college and enlisted in the Army National Guard to serve his state and country, joining the infantry and rising to the rank of colonel. A combat veteran, he has lived his life in private business and public service with Christian conservative family ethics and values as his guide post. He says he is a country boy who understands the hard work a Texas rancher and logger endure everyday in order to pay their bills and is a staunch private property rights advocate. John Manlove, president and CEO of John Manlove Marketing and Communications, and the former mayor of Pasadena, hopes to go to Washington and get the country back on track. “I’ve lived and worked here all my

Bay Area Houston Magazine | FEBRUARY 2014

life, near the channel and refineries, and I’m proud of that. Hard work and good Christian values are what built this country -- not apologies and entitlements. It’s time to stop the Washington madness and put America back on the right track.” Manlove serves on the Galveston Wharves Board of Trustees which oversees the Port of Galveston. While mayor, he worked closely with the Port of Houston Authority during development of the Bayport Container Terminal in Pasadena. Kim Morrell is a former mayor protem and two term city councilman who lives in Seabrook, where he owns a small business and where he helped secure $8 million in grants to rebuild the devastated city after Hurricane Ike. Married and the father of two children, he is running on a probusiness and economic development platform. He advocates personal freedom, security, job fulfillment and education and deficit reduction and balancing the budget. “I am a Pro-Life, Second Amendment candidate. I also support building the Keystone pipeline, easing EPA regulations, states’ rights, using the National Guard and military equipment to patrol our borders, and using practical politics in Washington. Morrell feels we have the right to choose our own healthcare, and the freedom to exercise our Christian family values. Dave Norman graduated from Clear Lake High and attended Stephen F. Austin and Rice Universities, earning a B.S in Biology and a minor in Military Science that led to a commission as an Army officer and a 24-year career as a helicopter test pilot and an AH-1 Cobra attack pilot that ended in Cold War Germany. Finally, he decided to resign his commission and come home and start a business and continue as a weekend warrior attack pilot in the Texas National Guard. He retired at the rank of major as the Berlin Wall came tumbling down. Dave is the principal of Norman Insurance in Webster, an agency started by his mother, Lilian Norman Keeney, in 1972. He and his wife reside in Seabrook and have two daughters in college. Issues he plans to focus on include flood reform, NASA and space

exploration, the economy, energy independence, defending the Second Amendment and immigration reform and border security. Robin Riley is a former mayor of Seabrook and also served four years as chairman of the board of the Houston Ship Channel Security District. A University of Houston graduate with a degree in mathematics, he spent nearly 20 years working at NASA’s Johnson Space Center and has also spent nearly 20 years working in the oil and gas industry designing drilling systems. He hopes “to get our great nation back on track and headed in the right direction while ensuring that we have a federal government that stays out of the way of our market-driven economy and out of our daily lives here in Texas.” While mayor he worked to improve the city’s infrastructure, opened a new fire station and partnered with Harris County to open a new library.


Michael Cole of Orange, the only Democrat in the race, got interested in politics his senior year at West Orange Stark High, running for the school board just before graduating in 1994. Today he is an educator at Little Cypress-Mauriceville, where he works with students with discipline issues and sponsors the Chess Team and the Robotics Team. He is also in college with the ultimate goal of earning a doctorate in history and a degree in space sciences. His wife of 10 years also is an educator. Five years ago, a foot infection led to the loss of his right leg below the knee.“I do not let this stop me; the prosthetic has reminded me how precious every day of my life truly is. But, I will not allow this to slow me down. This has also taught me how our health care system needs work. Without insurance, there was no way that I could have afforded these treatments; without insurance, I would have lost my life and not just my foot.”


Robb Rouke of Deer Park, a Libertarian, graduated from Ball High in Galveston and attended Galveston Community College and the University of Houston-Clear Lake. “My reasons in running for public office is simple, I believe in ‘More Freedom and Less Government.’” “I believe that we can limit government spending by cutting the fat and the abuse, but not the meat; that we as a legislative body act as

a go-between for big and small businesses as a means for new jobs in Texas. I believe in allowing for small business sales taxes to be utlilized for the support of our firefighters across Texas.” He is a former Galveston ISD substitute teacher and also worked for the Republican National Committee, the National Right to Life Alliance and as a union representative for SEIU Local 100 before going to work as a clerk for Kroger six years ago. He was a Republican candidate for Congress in Virginia, 2003-2004. Rodney Veach of Pasadena, also a Libertarian, is a graduate of Texas A&M, where he earned a B.A. in Finance and his MBA. He currently works as a NetSuite administrator at Confidential in Houston. Previously, he worked as a procurement agent for Able Communications in Pearland, as the general manager of Domimo’s Pizza in Pasadena and as an inventory specialist for Milan Institute of Cosmetology in Houston.

OTHER REPUBLICANS Dr. Brian Babin, a dentist, is a former mayor of Woodville who appeared at a rally in Beaumont Jan. 18 to show his

unwavering support for the Second Amendment Constitutional right to bear arms. He ran for Congress back in 1996 and 1998, both times unsuccessfully. Phil Fitzgerald, a Liberty construction contractor by trade and a former Liberty County judge who was being investigated concerning federal money that was supposed to be used for cleaning up after Hurricane Ike. He has been cleared for now of charges but may still have to face charges at some point. Pat Kasprzak of Crosby, an attorney, is the only woman in the race. She graduated from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., with a degree in political science and earned her law degree at the University of Houston Law School, where she met her husband, Dan. After working for 18 years as vice president and trust officer at JP MorganChase, she became a high school teacher in Galena Park ISD -- a switch she feels prepared her with skills critical to being an effective legislator. Chuck Meyer of Liberty, an assistant district attorney for Hardin County, is a former BlackBerry executive and high technology attorney who hopes to push Congress to pass bipartisan

legislation to create a special purpose Savings Bond program to support NASA’s plans for human space flight. “Funding human space exploration is not a Republican issue, not a Democrat issue, it is an American issue. We cannot afford to relegate human space flight to the annals of history,” asserts Meyer. He has a B.S. in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia, an M.S. in Operations Research from George Washington University and his law degree from American University. He is married and the father of three daughters. Ben Streusand of Spring currently serves as the advisory board chairman of Americans for Prosperity – Texas, a national organization, whose one million members are dedicated to reducing the size and cost of state and federal government. Streusand (pronounced Struzand) is a 30-year veteran of both the investment banking and mortgage banking industries and a former president of the Texas Mortgage Bankers Association. He currently manages C Capital L.L.C., a private equity firm, and serves on the board of the state’s Texas Tuition Funds and the Texas Tuition Tomorrow Fund.

Voter registration deadline grows near


ot registered to vote? Get your running shoes on. You need to get your voter registration application in to the county tax assessor 30 days before the election. With the primaries coming up March 4, better make haste – no doubt about it. The deadline is Feb. 3. Early voting will be held Feb. 18-28 with run-off voting in May. To apply online, Harris County voters should go to and Galveston County voters should visit www. and fill out the voter registration application. You have to be a U.S. citizen and at least 18 years old. And, you will need to provide your address, phone number, gender, date of birth and Texas Driver’s License number -or the last four digits of your Social Security number, if you do not have a driver’s license. Your voter registration certificate will then be mailed within 30 days from the date the application is received, unless an election is under way, which might cause a delay in receipt of your certificate. If you have moved from one town to another or one county to another, you need to change your voter registration. The May 10 municipal elections also are just around the corner with candidates already filing for various council and mayoral seats up for election.

FEBRUARY 2014 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Do men make good cooks? Here’s where to find out


eabrook Rotarians are inviting Bay Area residents to join them Tuesday, Feb. 11, for their 20th Seabrook Men Who Cook from 6:30 – 10:30 p.m. at the Lakewood Yacht Club for a fun night of dining and dancing. “This is the 20th Anniversary of Men Who Cook,” Rotary President John Chimenti said. “Bay Area celebrity chefs will prepare their delightful recipes for your tasting. Dance the night away with The Ezra Charles Band in the Ballroom or relax in the lounge listening to Claudio Sereni on the piano. “Then cheer with us as we honor the Seabrook Police Officer of the Year,” he added. Guests also can take their chances on a raffle for a Sunday champagne brunch at Lakewood Yacht Club and a half-day private cruise for 10 people on a 67-foot Expedition luxurious private yacht. Raffle tickets may be purchased at the event for $20 and one does not need to be present to win. All proceeds will benefit the Seabrook Rotary Foundation and the Seabrook Police Officers Association Charities. Visit the Seabrook Men Who Cook website to purchase tickets to the event ($50/person in advance, $55/person at the door) and get additional details.


Candidates galore vying in the March 4 primaries By Mary Alys Cherry


he spring primaries are just around the corner and you’ll probably need a program to just keep up with all the candidates. A total of 12 are running for governor. Besides front runners Attorney General Greg Abbott and State Sen. Wendy Davis, you can have your pick of 6 Libertarians, 1 other Democrat and 3 other Republicans. Even more are in the race to fill the District 36 congressional seat vacated by Steve Stockman, but more about that later. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is running for reelection with State Sen. Dan Patrick, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and Agricultural Commissioner Todd Staples vying for his job in the Republican Primary. The winner gets to face Democratic State Sen. Leticia Van De Putte. Two Libertarians and a Green Party candidate also are in the race. A host of attorneys have their eye on the attorney general’s post including former Clear Lake resident and Railroad Commissioner Barry Smitherman, State Rep. Dan Branch and State Sen. Ken Paxton, all Republicans; two Libertarians, a Green Party candidate and a Democrat named Sam Houston.

Bay Area Houston Magazine | FEBRUARY 2014

But Sam Houston isn’t the only famous name. A George Bush is running – George P. Bush, son of Florida Gov. Jeb Bush – for land commissioner. And you’ve no doubt heard of singer Kinky Friedman? He’s in the race for agriculture commissioner. Most crowded race is the one for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by John Cornyn. Besides the incumbent, 7 Republicans including Stockman, 5 Democrats, 3 Libertarians, 1 Green Party and 1 Independent have their eyes on the nation’s capitol. But a local congressional race is almost as crowded as 15 vie to represent the Southeast Texas District 36 that includes part of Harris County. Among the candidates are 12 Republicans, 2 Libertarians and 1 Democrat. Among them are Nassau Bay Councilman John Amdur, former Pasadena Mayor John Manlove, former Seabrook Mayor Robin Riley, former Seabrook Councilman Kim Morrell and Clear Lake insurance agent Dave Norman. District 22 Congressman Pete Olson has no Republican opposition but will face one of two Democrats in November – Frank Briscoe Jr. or Mark Gibson – or Libertarian Rob Lapham. And, that’s just a few of the races.

FEBRUARY 2014 | Bay Area Houston Magazine



Gardeners to meet Feb. 5. Gardeners By The Bay will hear Texas A & M entomologist Dr. Paul Nester, discuss “Ants – Crazy and Firey” at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, at University Baptist Church, 16106 Middlebrook Drive. “A Taste of Space” Feb. 6. The Clear Lake Area Chamber’s Epicurean Evening, “A Taste of Space,” will be held from 6:30 p.m. – 9 Thursday, Feb. 6 at Space Center Houston on NASA Parkway, where ticket holders will be delighted by tantalizing food samples from over 40 area food establishments and entertained by a variety of musical treats like mariachi bands and vocalists. Ticket also includes two beer/wine coupons, a silent auction and free parking. Children’s tickets include playing on Kids Space Place. Consumer law topic at UHCL Feb. 6. Richard M. Alderman, director of the Center for Consumer Law at the University of Houston will discuss consumer law for the Clear Lake Association of Senior Programs from 5:30 p.m. to 7 in the UH-Clear Lake Garden Room.


Victorian thriller starts Feb. 14. The Bay Area Harbour Playhouse will present the thriller, Angel Street Friday, Feb. 14, through Sunday, March 9, in the Top Side Theatre with curtains at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and matinees at 2:30 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $17 for adults and $12 for seniors and students. For reservations, call 281-337-7469 or email


Mardi Gras starts Feb. 22. The 103 celebration of Mardi Gras! Galveston will kick off at noon Saturday, Feb. 22, with the 26th annual Mystic Krewe of Aquarius Mardi Gras Kick Off Parade on the Galveston Seawall (from 14th to 59th Street), followed at 6 p.m. by the Krewe of Gambrinus Parade when King Gambrinus throws a party for 200,000 of his closest friends with over 650,000 bead throws with giant searchlights lighting up the night. Open and free to the public. The party continues Saturday, March 1, with the Krewe d’Esprit Parade at 11 a.m. and the Knights of Momus Grand Night Parade at 6:30 p.m. along the Seawall.

BayTran to hear senator Feb. 12. The Bay Area Houston Transportation Partnership will have State Sen. Larry Taylor as the keynote speaker at its monthly luncheon at 11:30 Wednesday, Feb. 12, at Cullen’s Upscale Grille on Space Center Boulevard. The public is invited. For reservations, which are $35, contact Diane Thornton, 281-474-4124, ext. 121 or email BAHBT & The Beatles Feb. 14-23. Bay Area Houston Ballet & Theatre will present “A Stroll Down Abbey Road — BAHBT & The Beatles,” Feb. 14-17 and 21-23 in the University of Houston-Clear Lake Bayou Theatre. For ticket information, call the ballet, 281-480-1617. Trailride Dance Feb. 25. The NASA/Clear Creek/Friendswood Metro Go Texan Committee will host its annual Trailride Dinner Dance from 7 p.m. to 11 at NASA’s Gilruth Center. Tickets, which are $25, may be purchased by calling Angela Dinwiddie 713-628-4171.


Farmers Market open Saturdays. The Clear Lake Shores Farmers Market at 1020 Marina Bay Drive in Clear Lake Shores is open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For information, visit www.


State of the City address Feb. 27. Deer Park Mayor Jerry Mouton Jr. will deliver the State of the City address to Deer Park Chamber of Commerce business members at the Jimmy Burke Center in Deer Park. For reservations, call the chamber, 281479-1559.


Benefit 5K fun run Feb. 22. Interfaith Caring Ministries will hold its 4th annual 5K Fun Run and Walk, “Superheroes Strengthening our Community,” at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22, at ICM’s offices at 151 Park Ave. Area residents of all ages are invited to find their inner superhero and come dressed up to participate while helping ICM fulfill its mission of “strengthening our community one family at a time.” Runners, volunteers and sponsors needed. For information, contact ICM Special Events Coordinator Haley Lusson at or at 281-332-3881 ext. 1112.


Symphony League meets Feb. 12. Houston Symphony League Bay Area will meet at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12, at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church with music by violinist Mika Hasler and pianist Gustavo Bianchi. For information, contact Membership Chairman Pat Biddle at 281-488-2346. New fare at CCCT Feb. 21. The Clear Creek Community Theatre will present Ray Cooney’s Run for Your Wife Friday, Feb. 21 through Sunday, March 9, with performances at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and matinees at 2:30 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $14 for adults and $12 for seniors and students. For reservations, call 281-335-5228.



Krewe Into Kemah Weekend Feb. 28. The Krewe du Lac and the City of Kemah are planning a host of activities to celebrate Mardi Gras including a Kickoff Party at Bakkhus Taverna on 6th Street, a “Galloway Gallop Fun Run, Kemah Mardi Gras Parade and a boat parade. For details visit the Krewe du Lac website.


Chamber luncheon Feb. 7. The League City Chamber will host its annual State of the City Address by Mayor Tim Paulissen from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in South Shore Harbour Resort’s Marina Plaza Ballroom Friday, Feb. 7. Tickets are $25 for chamber members and $35 for non-members. For reservations, call the chamber, 281-338-7339.

Shop ‘Til You Drop Feb. 20. Butler Longhorn Museum at 1220 Coryell will host the 3rd annual “Luck Be A Lady,” a shop ‘til you drop for women only from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. with music by Mickey Hobbs, food, silent auction, wine tasting, fun and shopping. For information, call 281-3321393. Profits will go to the continuing operations of the museum.

Bay Area Houston Magazine | FEBRUARY 2014

Mystery at Little Theatre. A World Premier mystery, A House Divided, by local playwright Jeff Luchsinger, is now playing at Pasadena Little Theatre, 4318 Allen-Genoa Road, and continues weekends through Feb. 9 with curtains at 8 p.m. and Thursday and Sunday matinees at 3 p.m. Tickets are $14 for adults and $12 for seniors and students. Thursday, Feb. 6, is a specially priced Admit Two for $14 show. Credit cards accepted. For reservations, call 713-941-1758 or reserve on line at


CLASP Series Feb. 10. The History of Texas Independence and Statehood will be the topic for the Clear Lake Association of Senior Programs from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Monday, Feb. 10, at the Pearland Chamber of Commerce. The speaker will be Tom Green, chairman of the Sons of the Republic of Texas Speakers Bureau.


Gershwin music at COM. The Community Theatre at College of the Mainland is currently presenting an original, world premiere celebration of the music of George and Ira Gershwin with Fascinating Rhythm: A Gershwin Celebration through Feb. 16 with performances at 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and at 2:30 p.m. Sundays. Tickets range in price from $11 to $23. For reservations, call 1-888-258-8859, ext. 8345.

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