Bay Area Houston Magazine February 2015

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February 2015


Bayport Terminal’s Cruise Ships 2015 Mini Cooper & Lexus IS 250 BAHEP’s Quasar Award The Zen of Sushi

SUN FIT Tanning & Fitness Supports Bay Area

Go Red

for Women



ON THE COVER Matt and Mindy Duhon, owners of the new Sun Fit Tanning and Fitness in Seabrook.


President & Chairman Rick Clapp Publisher & Editor in Chief Mary Alys Cherry Executive Vice President Patty Kane Vice President & Creative Director Brandon Rowan Graphic Designer Kelly Groce Sales & Marketing Shannon Alexander Debbie Salisbury Lisa Waxman


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


Distribution Shinkle Distribution 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.



Space Trophy Recipient Named


How do we lose bone volume?


Dr. Donna Rich’s artful approach to plastic surgery


3-Mentors honors Summer Roberts


Seabrook’s one-stop-shop for tanning and fitness


Rising consumption of sugar and carbohydrates


Diabetes: the silent killer


Port welcomes two cruise lines at Bayport Terminal


Upcoming events in the Houston Port Region


Reappointed chairman of Port Commission


Developers work to solve neighbors concerns


It began as a bank


Masa Sushi’s Michael Zhou

Dental Health An Artist’s Touch Business Buzz Get Fit With Sun Fit Dissecting American Obesity Diabetic Warning Signs Smooth Sailing An Eventful Region Janiece Longoria The Reserve at Clear Lake City Remembering a Nassau Bay Landmark The Zen of Sushi


Dr. Bill Merrell given BAHEP Quasar Award

Clear Lake Chatter


Posterity’s view


LYC to host Bay Cup I


Lexus IS 250, Mini Cooper


Dr. Dennis Brown

Texas Meditations Lakewood Yacht Club News In Wheel Time Movers & Shakers

46 CLICK! BAHM Cover Party

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

Robert Cabana selected for RNASA award


Digital Strategy Consultant Pierr Castillo Photography Mary Alys Cherry Brian Stewart




Bay Area Houston Magazine | FEBRUARY 2015

Main Events Calendar of events for Bay Area Houston


Robert Cabana is named Space Trophy recipient


ol. Robert D. Cabana, director of the Kennedy Space Center and former NASA astronaut has been selected by the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement Foundation as the 2015 recipient of the National Space Trophy. The presentation will be made Friday evening, April 24 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Downtown Houston during the annual RNASA Space Awards Gala, to which the public and aerospace community is invited. Rodolfo González, president of the RNASA Foundation said, “The Foundation is overwhelmed with the number of nominators that came forward with a submittal for Colonel Cabana. We are pleased the board of advisors’ selected him, and look forward to honoring him at the 2015 Gala.” Cabana, who was deputy director of the Johnson Space Center before assuming the top post at KSC, was nominated by JSC Director Dr. Ellen Ochoa, former JSC Director Michael L. Coats and Dr. Michael D. Griffin, former NASA administrator, and chairman and CEO of the Schafer Corp., “for his exceptional leadership and executive guidance in leading the evolution of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center as the world’s premier multiuser spaceport in support of NASA’s exploration goals.” Rick Hieb, vice president of Lockheed Martin Civil Programs, also nominated Cabana, “for outstanding leadership, commitment, vision and public service benefiting America’s security and our nation’s human space exploration program.”

Very caring John Zarrella said, “I have known Bob for decades while I was covering the U.S. Space Program for CNN. During those years it became very evident, very quickly that no one cared more about the successes of the program. No one hurt more over the failures. And no one had greater hope about the future.” And Elliot Holokauahi Pulham, CEO of Space Foundation said “I can think of no one more deserving of the 2015 National Space Trophy than Bob Cabana.”

personnel who operate and support numerous space programs and projects. He has been instrumental in ensuring the successful transition from the Space Shuttle and establishing KSC as a true multiuser spaceport of the future. Cabana has logged over 910 hours in space. He served as pilot on STS-41 (Oct. 6-10, 1990) and STS-53 (Dec. 2-9, 1992), and was mission commander on STS-65 (July 8-23, 1994) and STS-88 (Dec. 4-15, 1998), the first ISS assembly mission. Cabana was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2008. He is the recipient of The Daughters of the American Revolution Award for the top Marine to complete naval flight training in 1976, is a Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, and has logged over 7,000 hours in 50 different kinds of aircraft.

Minnesota native

“I am extremely honored,” Cabana said, “to be receiving the National Space Trophy. The previous awardees are my heroes, and it means so much to me that the board considered me worthy to be among them.” The retired Marine colonel is currently serving as the10th director of Kennedy Space Center, which is the primary U.S. launch site that has been used for every NASA human space flight since 1968. In this role, Colonel Cabana manages all NASA facilities and activities at Kennedy Space Center, leading a team of dedicated civil service and contractor

The Minneapolis, Minn., native is a Fellow in the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, an Associate Fellow in the AIAA, and he has received numerous awards and decorations, including the De La Vaulx medal by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale in 1994, the Presidential Distinguished Rank Award, and most recently was honored with the National Space Club 2013 Dr. Kurt H. Debus Award. A U.S. Naval Academy graduate, Cabana’s personal decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement, two NASA Distinguished Service Medals, two NASA Medals for Outstanding Leadership, two NASA Exceptional Service Medals, and four NASA Space Flight Medals. Use to reserve a table for the gala, and for information about sponsorships and tickets. To reserve a hotel room, use www. at the Houston Hyatt Regency. The telephone number is 713-654-1234, ask for Reservations, and request the RNASA group rate. The RNASA website is

FEBRUARY 2015 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


The four best New Year’s resolutions for your money Four key financial resolutions for 2015 1. Save more. Resolve to put more money into your savings and/or investment accounts. This boosts your financial security, giving you money for your kids’ college educations and weddings, or to tide you over between jobs. Also look at re-financing... rates have dropped recently. You might be able to save money every month. 2. Cut your debts. Resolve to get rid of your credit card balances. Why keep spending all that money on interest? Examine your monthly expenses, and then cut the low-hanging fruit: dining out, movies, and lattes. Reduce or eliminate these expenditures, just for this year, and then use that money to whittle your credit card balances down to zero. 3. Set up an emergency fund. Resolve to open a separate savings account for large emergency expenses such as a new furnace, major car repair, or medical emergency. Experts recommend you stockpile 3 to 6 months worth of living expenses.


4. Get serious about retirement. Resolve to put away more money for retirement. If you’re in a companysponsored 401(k) plan, make sure you’re putting in enough to get the full company match. Beyond that, increase the amount you’re saving even if it feels a little uncomfortable. Ultimately, you’ll be happy you did. Whether you’re upgrading, downsizing, or purchasing your first home, please contact us for help with the financing. We can also answer questions about refinancing your current home, or funding home improvements. Just call or email us any time.... Have a great day! P.S. - Mortgage rates are still at historically attractive levels, but it’s smart to start the process early. Please call or email us to explore the great options now available.

Bay Area Houston Magazine | FEBRUARY 2015


How do we lose bone volume?


ur bone is made of complex, constantly changing, living tissue. They are able to grow and heal, and are also susceptible to changes in diet, body chemistry, infection, and stimulation levels. If we compare our skeletal system to a house’s wooden frame work, then bone loss is similar to termite invasion. The process is slow and painless until it is too late. So, let’s examine the main contributing factors.

Body chemistry Estrogen plays an important part in maintaining bone strength. Starting at about age 30, up until the onset of menopause, women lose a small amount of bone every year as a natural part of the aging process. When women reach menopause, the estrogen levels decrease significantly and the rate of bone loss increases. That is the main reason why women are four times more likely to develop osteoporosis than men.

DIET Successful treatment of bone loss usually involves a proper diet. As it turns out, daily consumption of milk and other dairy products (even low or non-fat) does not prevent bone loss. Countries where people consume large amounts of dairy products—places such as the United States, Australia, and northern Europe are also among nations that suffer the highest rate of fractures due to osteoporosis. While the calcium in the milk adds to our body’s calcium level slightly, the acidity of the milk forces our body to withdraw a larger amount of calcium from our bones to maintain pH balance. Almond milk and Coconut milk are great source of Calcium, Protein, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. They are readily available and are reasonably priced. Soy milk can be beneficial if it is fermented. Unfortunately most soy milks sold in the supermarkets (including Silk brand) are not fermented. The high content of “enzyme inhibitors” in unfermented soybeans interferes with digestive enzymes in saliva and makes carbohydrates and proteins from soybeans indigestible. When soy milk is not completely digested, bacteria in the large intestine try to finish the job, and this can cause discomfort, bloating, and embarrassment.

AGE Throughout life, our body keeps a balance between the loss of bone and the creation of new bone. Early in life, more bone is laid down than is

removed by the body. People typically achieve peak bone mass by around age 30. Then, sometime between age 30 and 35, your body begins to lose bone faster than it can be replaced, unless we step up the stimulation process. The bones in the extremities and spine can benefit from activities such as walking or resistant training. Many experts believe that at least 20 minutes a day of exercise is needed to reduce the rate of bone loss adequately.

BONE LOSS OF THE JAW There is another form of bone loss that has been getting little attention. That is bone loss in the jaw bone following loss of tooth. Teeth contact each other thousands of times a day. These small stresses prompting the bone to remodel and rebuild continually. The lack of stimulation that follows after tooth loss will lead to loss of jaw bone volume. There is a 35 percent decrease in width of bone during the first year after tooth loss and an additional one millimeters decrease on each following year. As bone loses continue, gum tissue also gradually decreases. Ability to chew and to speak can be impaired. Tooth loss also leads to loss of function. This leads to some serious cosmetic and functional problems, particularly in completely edentulous (toothless) people. Over the years the distance from nose to chin decreases and with it, the lower third of the face partially collapses. The chin rotates forward and upward, and the cheeks, having lost tooth support, become hollow. Extreme loss of bone can also make an individual more prone to jaw fractures as its volume depletes more and more.

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 2015 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Lynette Mason Gregg tribute planned


he Bay Area Houston Ballet & Theatre will pay tribute to its founder, Lynette Mason Gregg, with a retrospective performance of dance on Saturday, Feb. 28, and Sunday, March 1, at the University of Houston - Clear Lake’s Bayou Theatre. A wide variety of favorite pieces from BAHBT’s history will be presented, as well as new pieces choreographed in Mason Gregg’s honor. The new works will represent how Mason Gregg changed the face of the arts in the Bay Area and touched so many dancers’ lives. Performances are planned at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday. From a Swan Lake classical ballet excerpt to contemporary numbers, some energetic tapping and even a musical number from Hairspray, “Take Time to Dance,” will both touch your heart and make you smile in its telling of the story of Mason Gregg and BAHBT through dance. Mason Gregg passed away on Oct. 24, 2014. Her life’s work and passion were the Royal Academy of Fine Arts and the Bay Area Houston Ballet & Theatre, founded in 1972 and 1975, respectively, with a desire to establish a professional training facility for aspiring dancers and to enrich the overall atmosphere of the community. She devoted her life to these two organizations, training and inspiring young dancers, now three generations strong. The sky was the limit with Mason Gregg; she knew that if you could dream it, you could achieve it. Her favorite quote was “Never, ever, ever, give up.” She was passionate about the arts and inspiring young artists. Mason Gregg was a visionary who did nothing in moderation. She produced 39 seasons and hundreds of ballets for BAHBT and brought in dancers from all over the world to Bay Area Houston as guest artists. She also trained thousands of dancers who now share their love of the arts both on and off the stage throughout the U.S .and in Europe. Tickets for this eclectic performance are $25 and $35. And may be reserved on the website or by calling 281480-1617. An Encore! cocktail reception will immediately follow Saturday evening’s performance. Tickets for this event and the Saturday evening show may be purchased for $75. A scholarship that has been established in her name and those who would like to make a donation to BAHBT in memory of Mason Gregg to support the organization may do so by contacting BAHBT at or 281-480-1617.


Assistance League Planning Evening with All the Right Stuff


he Assistance League

Go Red For Women is the American Heart Association’s solution to save women’s lives – educating and connecting millions of women of all ages. The Bay Area Go Red For Women luncheon will be held at the South Shore Harbour Resort on Friday, Feb. 20, 2015. This year’s keynote speaker is Michelle Aguilar, the winner of the sixth season of the Biggest Loser. She will be joined by several other inspiring guest speakers. This empowering luncheon will also feature heart healthy eats and treats, wine tasting and a silent auction. Since 2004, Go Red For Women has made it their mission to save lives by bringing a voice to this silent killer. This year, make it YOUR mission to stop the No. 1 killer by attending the Go Red For Women Luncheon and donating funds to support scientific research and educational programs promoting women’s heart health. For more information, please contact Carly Murrell at 713-610-5093 or by email at carly.murrell@

of the Bay Area kicked off the new year by unveiling plans for its annual fundraising event 2015: “The Right Stuff: Icons of the 1960s.” The dinner and auction will be held Saturday, April 11 at Space Center Houston. Gala tickets are $125 per person and include dinner and live musical entertainment. Tickets may be purchased at the Assistance League’s resale shop, 100 E. NASA Parkway, Suite 80, in Webster or by calling 281-5542594. For more information click “Current Events” on the Assistance League website: www.bayarea. Event underwriter and sponsorship packages are available ranging from $250 upwards to $2,500. Packages include tickets as well as invitation, event, program or website recognition. Contact Gala Chairman Katy Bastedo at for more information. All proceeds for this annual fundraising event are used to support Assistance League’s seven philanthropies including Operation School Bell® which has already clothed over 1,900 children in need for the 2014-15 school year. These children were identified by Clear Creek, Dickinson, La Porte and Friendswood school districts. Proceeds also will support Operation Cinderella, which outfits young men and women from head to toe in appropriate attire for their senior prom.

The Gala Committee, chaired by Katy Bastedo and Perri Fox, is busy planning an entertaining evening which will begin with a chance to mingle and take in the sights of Space Center Houston and the iconic 1960s. Dinner will be followed by both silent and live auctions and an evening of dancing to the sounds of The Navigators. Committee members are busy soliciting for sought-after items, entertainment packages and hotel getaways. This year’s gala promises to include the “right stuff” for a spectacular evening. Please email assistanceleagueba@ or call 281-554-2594 to donate to either auction. “A donation of only $50 provides one child with three shirts, two pairs of pants, socks, undergarments, shoe voucher and a hygiene kit,” said Bastedo. “Please help us continue these philanthropic programs within the greater Clear Lake Area by attending this year’s gala, becoming a sponsor or by simply requesting a form for a donation. “Come join us for a night of celebration and good will on Saturday, April 11 and help Assistance League continue to provide these valuable services to the children of the Bay Area. You can make a difference!”

New Voices Discovered in CCISD Singing Competition


he judging was nerve racking, but the votes are in and three talented Clear Creek ISD students have been named winners in the 5th annual So You Think You Can Sing? Competition, put on by the Department of Visual and Performing Arts. Sponsored by the CCISD Choral Music Department, the event at Bayside Intermediate School featured choir students from almost every campus in the district. During the competition, the 22 elementary, 9 intermediate and 6 high school singers won the right to represent their school by submitting an audition video that was selected as the best by a campus judging committee. Visual and Performing Arts Director Dean Muths announced the winners to the delight of the crowd. In the Elementary Division, congratulations go to Gilmore Elementary School student Christina Colocado, who sang “My Heart Will Go On.” The

Bay Area Houston Magazine | FEBRUARY 2015

The three winners, from left, Christina Colocado, Madison LaSota and Sophia Sereni.

Intermediate trophy was awarded to Sophia Sereni of Clear Creek Intermediate School for her rendition of “Mercy.” The third winner is Madison LaSota of Clear Lake High, who performed “Mercy On Me.” The winners were selected by a panel of three judges.

the practice required her to learn skills that most medical schools don’t teach. “When you’re a resident, you never think of your practice as running a business, but it is definitely a business,” she said. “Most people don’t think of it like that, but the hardest thing to learn is that you have to run your practice like a business in order to be successful. You have to be a business person and a doctor at the same time and you have to learn it on your own because they don’t teach much of that in medical school or in residency.” Dr. Rich says her career arc was made more difficult by her decision to open her own practice immediately after finishing her residency rather than joining the staff of an established practice as many newly minted doctors do before transitioning into running their own practice. But she says being a female surgeon in the male dominated world of plastic surgery proved to be a positive.

Donna Rich, M.D. uses her aesthetic skills to improve patient’s lives

“Providing a calm, relaxed atmosphere for her patients has been a priority for Dr. Rich since she opened her practice.”

By Rod Evans


f things had gone as planned,

Donna Rich, M.D. might be administering rabies vaccinations rather than helping people improve their quality of life. After graduating from high school, Dr. Rich, a native Houstonian, attended Texas A&M University and planned on a career in veterinary medicine before her career path changed. “I was going to be a veterinarian and that’s why I went to A&M initially,” Rich said. “But things were re-directed. I earned my master’s degree at the veterinary school, but when I graduated, I went to work at Baylor (Baylor College of Medicine’s Institute for Molecular Genetics). I worked with a lot of children that had genetic abnormalities, including chromosome deletion syndromes, and I found myself more interested in working with people in clinical aspects instead of research. So I applied to medical school and that’s how it all started.” After graduating from A&M with a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Science and earning her Master’s in Molecular Genetics, Dr. Rich applied to medical school at the University of Texas, Medical Branch at Galveston. Following five years of general surgery residency and two years of plastic surgery residency, Dr. Rich opened her


practice, Bayview Plastic Surgery, in Webster in 2000. Since then she has become one of the region’s most respected plastic surgeons and one of only a handful of female plastic surgeons practicing in the Houston area. “Once I was exposed to plastic surgery during my residency, I knew instantly that this is what I wanted to do,” she recalls. “In plastic surgery, you are always treating something different. You never do the same procedure because each surgery is customized for each patient and that makes it exciting.” “I think you need to have some sort of artistic background to be a plastic surgeon. Art is a big component of it and it’s not all about techniques. You need a good eye and approach it as an art form to get a good result,” she said. While Dr. Rich enthusiastically launched her new career, building

Bay Area Houston Magazine | FEBRUARY 2015

“Women make up only eight percent of the specialty and there aren’t many (female surgeons) in Houston either,” she says. “Plastic surgery is a highly competitive field and there are a lot of doctors to choose from, but being a female is one of my biggest selling points because 90 percent of our patients are female. Men are having more procedures done, but women still make up the overwhelming majority of plastic surgery patients.” Breast augmentation and liposuction are the two most popular procedures she performs, and Dr. Rich says she has become renowned for her breast augmentation skills. But she says throughout the plastic surgery industry less invasive procedures that offer greatly reduced recovery times have become increasingly popular. The use of cosmetic fillers and injectables, such as Botox, has soared because patients want quick results with limited down time.

Bayview Plastic Surgery offers a full range of cosmetic procedures, including face lifts, chin lifts, breast augmentation, breast lifts and reductions, and breast implant revision, in which Dr.Rich corrects issues from past breast surgeries. The practice also performs a host of body sculpting procedures, such as liposuction, buttock lifts and “Mommy Make Overs” that include breast enhancement and tummy tuck and/or liposuction. Skin rejuvenation procedures include Botox, Juvederm and Intense Pulsed Light treatments that target skin conditions such as sun damage, birthmarks and other blemishes. “Many patients opt for the less invasive procedures before they get ready to jump into a surgical procedure,” she said. Because Bayview Plastic Surgery has its own surgical suite accredited by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities, Dr. Rich says her patients are treated to a more personalized and relaxed atmosphere than they would most likely encounter in a large hospital setting. “Our surgical center is private, safe and you can have all of your treatments there without having to go somewhere else,” she said. “Plus, our operating room, allfemale staff has all worked together for years, so everything is relaxed, which makes it very soothing and helps people to not be as nervous about their procedure.” Providing a calm, relaxed atmosphere for her patients has been a priority for Dr. Rich since she opened her practice. The 5,000-square foot facility located at 300 East Medical Center Blvd. that Bayview Plastic Surgery has occupied since 2007 features a home-like ambience and an allfemale staff. “Lots of women like the allfemale staff because we can give a feminine perspective to everything we do,” Dr. Rich said. We offer compassionate care in a professional setting. Dr. Rich, who lives in South Shore Harbour with her husband of 27 years and their three dogs, says Webster was the perfect place to open her practice and she has become entrenched in the community. When she’s not in the operating room, she spends much of her down time making jewelry, gardening and reading, but plastic surgery is always close to her heart.


Bay Area Houston Magazine | FEBRUARY 2015

FEBRUARY 2015 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Photos by Mary Alys Cherry

Johnson Space Center Director Dr. Ellen Ochoa and her husband, attorney Coe Miles, join the crowd at the 2015 Quasar Banquet.

Dr. Bill Merrell, second from left, smiles as he is presented the 2015 Quasar Award for his efforts to protect the Bay Area from hurricanes. With him are, from left, 2015 and 2014 BAHEP Board Chairmen Vic Pierson and Dr. Brenda Hellyer and President Bob Mitchell.

Patriot Bank Senior Vice President Mike Huss and his wife, Mimi, look for their table at this year’s BAHEP Quasar Banquet.

BAHEP President Bob Mitchell thanks Membership Director Harriet Lukee for all her hard work on the Quasar Banquet.

Dr. Bill Merrell given BAHEP Quasar Award FOR SIX YEARS Dr. Bill Merrell has been the driving force behind the Ike Dike coastal barrier concept to protect the Galveston Bay area from devastating hurricanes – fighting to get action before it is too late to save our homes, churches, schools and businesses from the ravages of wind and water. His long hours of hard work have not gone unnoticed Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership President Bob Mitchell and 2014 and 2015 Board Chairmen Dr. Brenda Hellyer and Vic Pierson said as they laid the groundwork for his introduction to the crowd of more than 600, who cheered as he was presented the 2015 Quasar Award Jan. 16.


Among those applauding the Texas A&M at Galveston chairman of Marine Services and former president of the university were hundreds of business leaders, elected officials and community leaders, gathered at South Shore Harbour Resort. Galveston County Judge Mark Henry was in the crowd, as were

Taylor Lake Village Mayor Jon Kinney and his fiancée, Lynn Wilson, right, stop to talk with Capt. Gary Bell and Houston City Councilman Dave Martin, from left, during the reception preceding the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership’s Quasar Banquet.


Bay Area Houston Magazine | FEBRUARY 2015

County Commissioners Ken Clark, Ryan Dennard and Joe Giusti, Congressman Randy Weber, State Reps. Dennis Paul, Ed Thompson, Wayne Faircloth and Ana Hernandez, Harris County Tax Assessor Mike Sullivan, Constable Phil Sandlin, Judge Holly Williamson and Johnson Space Center Director Dr. Ellen Ochoa – many with their spouses. Along with Mayors Julie Masters of Dickinson, Tim Paulissen of League City, Louis Rigby of La Porte, Mark Denman of Nassau Bay, Kevin Holland of Friendswood, Michel Bechtel of Morgan’s Point, Glenn Royal of Seabrook, Jon Keeney of Taylor Lake Village and Mayors Pro-

College of the Mainland President Dr. Beth Lewis and her husband, newspaper editor T.J. Aulds, look over the crowd at the Quasar Banquet.

tem Alexandra Dietrich of Webster, Carl Joiner of Kemah, Jim Hill of Friendswood, David Braun of Nassau Bay and Geri Bentley of League City. Council members in the mix included Louis Decker, William H. King and Charles Suderman of Dickinson, Carl Gustafson and Patrick McGinnis of Friendswood, Greg Collins of Kemah, Jay Martin and Check Engelken Jr. of La Porte, Tommy Cones, Todd Kinsey and Nick Long of League City, Sandra Mossman and Bob Warters of Nassau Bay, Melissa Botkin, Mike Giangrosso, Thom Kolupski and Robert Llorente of Seabrook and Martin Graves and Lawrence Tosto of Webster.

Lockheed Martin Program Director Rich Jackson and his wife, Karen, right, visit with Wylie Life Sciences Vice President Dr. Vernon McDonald and his wife, Terri, at the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership Quasar Banquet Jan. 16 at South Shore Harbour Resort.

Outgoing President Annette Dwyer, left, will serve as an advisor to the Bay Oaks Women’s Association, assisting the new president and BOWA’s committee chairmen, including, from left, Mary Columbo, Emmeline Dodd, Sharon Christman and Angela Bivens.

Plus, six Houston City Councilmen -- Dave Martin, Oliver Pennington, Jack Christi, Stephen Costello, Richard Nguyen and David Robinson. You might also have spotted Texas A&M at Galveston CEO R. Adm. Robert Smith III, Superintendents Dr. Greg Smith of Clear Creek ISD and Dr. Kirk Lewis of Pasadena ISD, UHCL President Dr. Bill Staples, College of the Mainland President Dr. Beth Lewis Aulds, Texas Chiropractic College President Dr. Brad McKechnie, San Jacinto College Chancellor Dr. Brenda Hellyer and Board Chairman Marie Flickinger, Coast Guard Cmdr. Brian Penoyer, Port Commissioner John Kennedy, Bill Read, the former head of the National Hurricane Service, and Banquet Chairman Marc Havican. Not many people get such an

One of the happiest Bay Area stories in recent days was provided by Cindy and Scott Allen, the mother and son who graduated the same day in December from UHCL.

Sue Broughton, center, is the new president of the Bay Oaks Women’s Association. Joining her in leading the organization for 2015 are, from left, Vice Presidents Cambrey Rogers and Becky Hensley, Treasurer Allyson Jackson and Secretary Barbara Dickey.

impressive turnout of admirers — and that was just a few of the many there. Glancing around, you might have seen Lockheed Martin and Oceaneering VPs Rick Hieb and Mike Bloomfield, Barrios President Sandra Johnson, MRI execs Tim and Debbie Kropp, GB Tech owners Gale and Jean Burkett, MEI Technologies CEO David Cazes, Cimarron President and CEO Darren and Jeannie Crowell, Boeing Program Manager John Shannon; MaximGroup President Ron Masters, attorneys Joe Barlow, Dick Gregg Jr., Dick Gregg III with Stacy Froeschner and Chris Gregg with his new bride, Mitzi; Pearland Deputy City Manager Jon Branson, BayTran President Barbara Koslov, Clear Lake Chamber President Cindy Harreld and Capital Bank President Paul Maaz – many with their spouses.

Lea Bodie, Sharon Dillard, Janet Greenwood, Karen Reed and Courtney Atchley, from left, are among about two dozen committee chairmen planning a busy year for the 300-member Bay Oaks Country Club Women’s Association, including a fashion show, coffee, bus trip, holiday market, luncheons and a November gala.

Some of the others included John and Shari Wilkins, Rich and Karen Jackson, Tom and Sandra Brooker, Bernie and Debbie Roan, Kim Bonnen, Patty Kane, Mike and Holly Kincaid, Jim and Lynda Guidry, Betsy and Fred Griffin, Harv and Carolyn Hartman, Kevin and Teri Crawford, Leslie and Dr. Ted Cummings, Teri and Frank Goodman, John Collins, Phyllis and Dr. Bernie Milstein, Cheryl and Col. Len Waterworth, Jeff Carr, Carol and Bob Robinson, Glenn and Sara Freedman, Kaci Hanson, Paul and Amy Dunphey, Laura and Jamieson Mackey and Karen and Mark Keesler.

Sue Broughton to head BOWA

THE NEW PRESIDENT of the Bay Oaks Women’s Association is

New BOWA President Sue Broughton presents outgoing President Annette Dwyer with a gift at year-end luncheon at the country club.

Sue Broughton with Vice Presidents Chambry Rogers and Becky Hensley joining her in leading the organization, along with Treasurer Allyson Jackson and Secretary Barbara Dickey. Past President Annette Dwyer will serve as advisor to the president. Committee chairmen include Lea Bodie and Melissa McKinnie, who’ll head up BOWA’s special event Nov. 14; historian Emmeline Dodd; and Jennifer Simmons and Courtney Atchey, who’re in charge of the annual bus trip. Other committee chairmen include Judie Ferguson, hospitality; Sharon Dillard, membership; Karen Reed, publicity; Mary Alys Cherry, public relations, Janet Greenwood, registration; and Sharon Christman, communications.

Going crazy? Sure looks like it as the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership Banquet Committee is warned by the photographer to get ready for a photo at the Quasar Banquet. BAHEP President Bob Mitchell, far left, back row, doesn’t know what to make of it all. But they survived nicely and are back planning the next banquet. They are, from left, front, Mary Alys Cherry, Pamela Archer, Pat Wilson, Chairman Marcus Havican, Pat Patton, Karen Keesler; back row, Harriet Lukee, Kimberly Fleming, Renee Reagan, Teri Southard, Eva deCardenas and Jim Sweeney. FEBRUARY 2015 | Bay Area Houston Magazine



Posterity’s View By Michael Gos La Porte, Texas


ocially, he was a flop. He had trouble getting

along with people and was basically irresponsible. Rather than face life and the everyday problems that go with it, he often just ran away, leaving others to deal with the consequences of his actions. His problems started at an early age. As a teenager, when his family expected him to pull his weight and help with the chores at home, he ran away to live with the Indians rather than engage in work he found unpleasant. As a young man he tried life in the army but quit after a short time when he couldn’t get along with his superiors. Next he tried marriage. That lasted for a mere 11 weeks and afterwards, neither he, nor his wife, would talk about what happened. (Sounds The San suspiciously like Kenny Chesney and Renee Jacinto Zellweger, doesn’t it?) Then, rather than monument.


Bay Area Houston Magazine | FEBRUARY 2015

deal with the consequences of his actions, he ran away to once again live with the Indians. This time, he became so enamored with whiskey that the Indians named him “Big Drunk.” Given yet another chance in society, he again messed up when he assaulted a prominent politician, beating him senseless with a stick. He was arrested and tried. Then he tried marriage again. While this one lasted longer, it ended with the same result—divorce. Trying the Army again, he rose to a leadership position only to have his troops come close to mutiny because of the decisions he made. He survived—barely. Given yet another chance at a responsible position, he was elected to office but decided he would vote according to his own convictions, refusing to represent his constituents’ desires. He was drummed out of office. I think we all know people like him—someone who just doesn’t fit in; someone who is socially inept; a misanthrope. It doesn’t matter how well they do their jobs, the inability to get along with others makes them social outcasts. Most tragic is the fact that people like this just don’t see that it is a problem of their own doing—and they don’t learn. We were touring the San Jacinto Battleground historic site. I had lived in Texas for 22 years and heard all the stories about the Texas Revolution. I had driven over the Fred Hartman Bridge hundreds of times on my way to and from work. I could see the monument off in the distance, several miles away but I had never found my

way to the battleground itself until today. I was surprised to learn that the memorial structure is the world’s tallest column exceeding even the Washington Monument by 12 feet. But it makes sense. After all, everything is bigger in Texas (except maybe the deer). Walking the grounds and finding the spots where various events occurred, I couldn’t help but be impressed with the thought processes that went into the selection of this site for the historic confrontation. Sam Houston had led his troops in a month-long retreat from Gonzales to this position 165 miles away. They almost didn’t make it. The rag-tag band of “soldiers” believed that Houston was showing cowardice by retreating. Even his employers, the ad interim government of the Republic of Texas, agreed. They wanted him to stay and fight. Houston, however, wanted to use the time to gather more fighters, to drill the troops and to find a more favorable spot for the confrontation. Today, we all know the result. It wasn’t so clear to his men, and frankly, he was lucky to get as far as this position and maybe even to have escaped with his life. About ten years later, as president of the Republic of Texas, Houston succeeded in his effort to get Texas to merge with the United States. Many today might think that was a huge mistake, but Houston had the support of the bulk of his constituents at the time, something rare in his life. But that support was short-lived. In 1861, as governor, he tried to stop the state’s secession from

the union in the run-up to the Civil War. The people of Texas were strongly in favor of joining the Confederacy, and as a result of Houston’s taking a position against the will of the people, he was removed from office and spent the rest of his years as an outcast. Of course, this was hardly his first time in this position. Starting with his running away from the work at home, his failed marriages, his drunkenness, his violent temper and his inability to get along with people, Houston spent his life in a state of dissonance. His accomplishments are unquestionable, but his personal behavior made him incapable of playing well with others. And to the end, he never changed. Being somewhat socially inept myself, I can relate to Houston’s difficulties. I don’t ever feel comfortable at parties, and while I am perfectly relaxed, even thrive, speaking to a group of 100 people, my knees turn to jelly if I have to approach someone for a one-on-one, or even a small group, conversation. I remember one of my professors in grad school telling me that when she first arrived on campus she asked several of my classmates about me. She got one universal answer—“I’ve been in classes with him for four years, but I don’t know

“His accomplishments are unquestionable, but his personal behavior made him incapable of playing well with others.” him.” I told her the only way to get to know me is to read my writings. She wasn’t impressed. But there is, in Sam Houston’s story, something to give me hope. In the century and a half since his life, we have come to see a very different man than his contemporaries saw. Today we don’t see the short-tempered, anti-social drunk. In fact, many people are not even aware of that side of his story. Driving up I-45 through Huntsville, you can’t help but notice the enormous statue of him at the side of the highway. That is the Sam Houston we see today. I think there is a lesson in Houston’s story. Nothing about you matters less to posterity than whether you gained social acceptance in your lifetime. I’m glad. I guess that means there is hope for us misfits after all.

FEBRUARY 2015 | Bay Area Houston Magazine




not only as a trusted guide through the various challenges, but also to help identify the myriad of opportunities that exist. We are proud to be one of those firms and to provide these services for the people of Houston,” says Summer. For more information about Summer and her firm’s services, you can reach Roberts Wealth Management at 281-549-6515 or visit their website at www.

Dana Tobeck earns SFA Honoree Award 3-Mentors honors Summer Roberts Financial Professional Summer A. Roberts of Roberts Wealth Management was honored during an exclusive “Financial Professional Training Conference and Awards Ceremony,” in Laguna Niguel, Calif., by 3- Mentors, Inc. in January. She was presented with a “2014 President’s Award” by 3-Mentors’ founding members Gary Reed, David Gaylor and Rodney Harris and was also recognized as the “Breakthrough Individual of the Year.” “The President’s Award is given to a select few Financial Professionals as recognition for demonstrated excellence within their practice and outstanding client dedication,” Gaylor said. “3-Mentors recognizes the drive and determination it takes to bring a financial practice to the next level. For that reason, we grant the “Breakthrough Award” to individual producers that reach this important step in their career. Summer was one of three individuals nationwide to receive this prestigious award.” “We chose Summer,” Reed said, for this important distinction as someone that consistently performs at a very high level within her industry and is held in the highest regard by both peers and clients alike. Harris added, “Summer exemplifies a client-centric philosophy by never failing to put her clients’needs at the forefront of everything she does. She truly embraces her responsibility to assist her clients’ in the protection, growth, and distribution of their wealth, with the most balanced approach possible.” “Today’s retirees, and those approaching retirement require more than just a financial professional. They need someone to help them navigate their retirement planning,


Bay Area Houston Magazine | FEBRUARY 2015

The Space Flight Awareness program recently recognized Barrios Technology‘s MAPI employee Dana Tobeck with the prestigious SFA Honoree Award for her dedication and commitment to the ISS Program. Tobeck, a principal project controls specialist, was recognized for her leadership in establishing work plan and management systems. Tobeck developed a measurement system along with training for MAPI management that ensures quality Annual Work Plans (AWPs) and provided management insight into work variances. Tobeck has worked in the space industry for over 15 years on various NASA programs. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Houston, as well as a graduate degree from Texas A&M University. The SFA Honoree Award is one of the highest presented to NASA and industry.

ExxonMobil to be honored The Greater Houston Port Bureau will recognize ExxonMobil’s exemplary contributions to the Port of Houston and the surrounding region at the Port Bureau’s 86th Annual Maritime Dinner Aug. 22 at the Bayou City Event Center. “The Port Bureau Board of Directors selects a person or company that has made a lasting impact on the port region to honor at our dinner,” said U.S. Coast Guard Capt. (Ret.) Bill Diehl, bureau president. “ExxonMobil contributed significantly to the port region in 2013 and 2014 through community events, educational programs and industry expansion, adding to its long history of driving economic activity along Houston’s waterfront and supporting the surrounding community. We are privileged to recognize their contributions.”






akewood Yacht Club Fleet Captain Ashley Walker has

Lakewood Ladies Association Board members take time out during their installation luncheon for a photo. They are, from left, standing, Mary Moorehead, Amy Dumphey, Marion DeHart; seated, 2014 President Roz Clayton, 2015 President Evey Leavens, Commodore Joyce Maxwell and Jan Smith.

Anna Dewald, left, and Rubye Garrett await the start of the Lakewood Ladies Association installation luncheon.


Commodore Joyce Maxwell, right, presents 2015 Lakewood Yacht Club Ladies Association President Evey Leavens with a beautiful bouquet of roses during the installation luncheon at the club.

Bay Area Houston Magazine | FEBRUARY 2015

announced that the 2015 Bay Cup I will be held on Saturday, March 7. This year marks the 14th one for the club to host the Bay Cup series. Open to the public, this is a long distance race on Galveston and Trinity Bays. Racers can register on-line at www. under the race button. “Bay Cup I is the first of a two race series with races having multiple legs totaling about 15 - 20 nautical miles,” explained Walker. Bay Cup II is slated to be held on Saturday, Aug. 1. Overall trophies will be presented for the two-race 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 on Saturday, March 7, which will be a dinner party at 6 p.m. in the ballroom followed by the awards ceremony at 7 p.m. in the lounge. Afterwards, there will be music and dancing to the tunes of Kelly McGuire. 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. 25 at 9 p.m. There will be a Skippers’ Meeting in the Lakewood Yacht Club Ballroom, 2425 NASA Parkway, Seabrook, on Friday, March 6, 7:30 p.m. All skippers are urged to attend for last minute regatta updates. Walker related that Bay Cup I is made possible through 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 supporting youth and amateur racing on Galveston Bay. For questions or further information, please e-mail Lakewood Yacht Club at


Photos courtesy of Lexus and Mini Cooper

By Don Armstrong


alentine gifts are

wide ranging, from a card to a car. We decided to take the high road and look at a couple of cars that hit the “sweet” spot of gift giving.

Mini Cooper

Lexus IS 250 The Lexus IS 250 and 350 compact sedans are now in their third iteration, and like most other re-do’s, have refinements that bring buyers back to the showroom for a look-see. At first glance, a bolder spindle grille and sculpted rocker panels will grab your attention. True IS fans will also notice a 3-inch stretch of the wheel base too, giving rear seat passengers some additional and much-needed leg room. Driving dynamics have also been massaged with a new multilink rear suspension and the addition of an 8-speed transmission in the 350 model.


The IS 250 is equipped with a small, 2.5-liter V-6 that produces 204-horsepower and delivers 21 MPGcity and 30-highway while the 3.5-liter 350 gets 100 more horses with almost the same fuel economy. The interior’s comfort level scores high marks with cushy, supportive seats, and a great Mark Levinson sound system. New this year is the Enform remote app that gives you control of certain car functions from your smart phone Pricing for the IS 250 starts at $36,550 while the 350 goes for $40,065.

Bay Area Houston Magazine | FEBRUARY 2015

Mini Cooper is the car that brings a smile to just about everyone’s face and we’re no exception. Last year’s redesign brings with it two new engines, a slightly larger overall size, and enhancements to some interior bits. Mini has scaled back on the number of models it produces. You can now shop the two and four-door base models, the larger Clubman version and its John Cooper Works hot rod model. The two-door’s base 3-cylinder engine produces 134-horespower and utilizes either a 6-speed automatic or manual transmission. For ever

more fun, give your honey a special thrill by bumping up to the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that whirs out 189-horses. Screams of delight will be heard blocks away. That big round info center in the middle of the dash now contains the radio face and optional driver interface, when equipped with the Wired package. The speedometer moves to the traditional spot behind the steering wheel. The Mini Cooper’s race car-like driving dynamics might not be for everyone since its firm ride quality can take a little getting used to. The Mini Cooper starts at a meek $20,700.

Sun Fit owner Matt Duhon, couches manager, Jacqueline Gross on how to use the equipment.

Get Fit With SunFit Whether You Want To Get Hot Or Healthy, SUNFIT Is For You!! By Patty Kane


re you thinking of making 2015 the year to get really aggressive about working out and getting a great tan? Have you, in the past, tried those corporate exercise locations and didn’t really like them? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a small, local place to exercise and tan without all the complications of a large over the top contract and obligation? Well, now there is just that….SunFit Tanning & Fitness. This is a great place to get personal attention

Owner Mindy Duhon tries out one of the new workout machines.


Bay Area Houston Magazine | FEBRUARY 2015

in a friendly home like atmosphere. It’s a one stop shop for getting fit and a glowing tan! Owners Matt and Mindy Duhon, have created a great concept to make exercising and tanning a more positive experience Customers have the option of a month to month contract, or if you want, for additional discounts, you can sign up for multiple months. Tanning packages and workout packages are available or you can combine them and have it all. Matt and Mindy will work with you on a plan that suits your needs and lifestyle. You can workout at your own pace. There is no pressure to excel beyond what you are comfortable with. Matt and Mindy can assist you with setting goals and have a reward system when you meet that goal. Guidelines are

Stand up, lay down and a state of the art spray tanning machine are all available at Sun Fit.

available or you can progress as you like. Conventional tanning beds are available or if you prefer spray tanning, SunFit has a top of the line VersaSpa spray tanning machine. VersaSpa is the new state of the art generation of automatic sunless tanning systems designed to give your skin a natural, vibrant tan. You’re going to love this alternative way to get a long lasting glow in just minutes. Everyone knows that regular exercise has many beneficial effects on the body such as improving the function of the musculoskeletal system, the cardiovascular system, respiratory system, metabolism and the brain. Engaging in regular exercise is one of the best things you can do to prevent heart disease so during the month of February, in honor of the Go Red for Women Luncheon, Matt and Mindy will donate a portion

“Matt and Mindy will work with you on a plan that suits your needs and lifestyle.” of the cost of each new membership at SunFit to the American Heart Association. Not only will you get fit but you will be helping find a cure for heart disease in women. SunFit is a great example of small business success in the Bay Area. As Matt says, “It’s not work when you have a passion for doing something you love and it’s amazing what you can accomplish if you try.” Matt and Mindy

started out buying a tanning salon which was a distressed business and turned it into a success. They recently decided to renovate the original tanning salon space, and turn it into what is now SunFit Tanning & Fitness. Matt and Mindy, along with their manager and close friend Jacqueline Gross, worked as a team updating, renovating, painting and designing the new décor. The result is an example of entrepreneurship at its best. SunFit Tanning & Fitness is located at 607 Kirby Road in Seabrook. For more information call 832-864-3459, visit www.SunFitSeabrook. com. or come by. Matt, Mindy and Jacqueline will be glad to show you the facility and answer any questions you may have. Selfies of the new you are encouraged at Sun Fit! FEBRUARY 2015 | Bay Area Houston Magazine










INSULIN RESISTANCE (higher insulin levels)






The Solution? Create a low Insulin State.

Dissecting American Obesity By Dr. Nadir Ali


n last month’s article, we discussed the large scale nutritional change in the American diet that began in the 1970s consisting of a large increase in sugar and carbohydrate consumption and labelling of fat and fat containing foods as toxic for human health. This trend continues even to this day in large measure despite protests from the likes of Gary Taubes, David Perlmutter, Peter Attia and others. These individuals who are trying to change the fundamental paradigm that is making us and the rest of the world fat, are being sidelined as practicing quackery and recommending a diet that is dangerous for our health. Two out of every three Americans is overweight or obese and is thus an overwhelming problem of our generation. If an obese person were to ask his physician for advice, the immediate automatic answer is to eat a low fat, low cholesterol diet. As an afterthought, we are sometimes told to eat less.


In this post we will try to examine why we are fat. We are told that we are fat because we take in more calories than we expend. We are told that the reason we take in more calories is because we are lazy, industrialized and have easy availability for food and that we do not exercise enough. Plain and simple as that. This appears to be sufficient reason for the physicians and expert organizations to lay the blame solely at the American public. I find it hard to believe that 2 of every 3 of my fellow countrymen lack the fortitude and mental wherewithal to not be fat. Instead, I would like to explore the alternative hypothesis of obesity, that a diet consisting largely of sugars and carbohydrates as the causal factor in the obesity epidemic. The alternate hypothesis can be stated as follows. Sugar and carbohydrate consumption has changed dramatically in the last couple of centuries and exponential increased over the last 50 odd years. The latter is due to ability of the food industry to pack calorie dense

Bay Area Houston Magazine | FEBRUARY 2015

and nutrient poor, high processed carbohydrates in to our food supply. Species tend to adapt with genetic changes to such large scale changes in quality of food supply and we may evolve to have giant pancreases and cells responsive to insulin that can deal with the overload of glucose molecules that we are asking our bodies to process via the food that we eat. However, I realize that I am getting ahead of myself and getting too technical. Such a genetic change usually takes thousands of years to occur and in the meantime, two thirds of Americans are suffering from this malady without an effective treatment or prevention strategy. So in the simplest of terms, consumption of sugar and carbohydrates leads to an increase in blood sugar levels. This results in insulin release by the pancreas to regulate the amount of sugar in blood and transport the sugar in to our cells. Insulin release is one of the most potent hunger inducing events that the human body is exposed to and leads to ingestion of more food

and a delay in satiety. This excess intake fosters a milieu for more calories in than expended, leading to weight gain. An increase in weight in most of us leads to a condition called “insulin resistance” in which our cells become less responsive to the effects of insulin. Thus the sugar and carbohydrate that we consume are not taken up by the cells and the levels of sugar in our blood increases. The pancreas in order to compensate for this increase in sugar and trying to maintain a homeostasis or equilibrium in sugar levels increases the output of insulin. Thus, most obese and overweight individuals will have an increase in Insulin levels and their cells are resistant to the effects of insulin. The actions of Insulin are worth examining at this time. We have already mentioned that insulin is one of the most hunger stimulating molecules our bodies can be subjected to. Second, Insulin increases the conversion of sugar and carbohydrate to fat. Yes, this may not be common knowledge, but our bodies are

capable of storing excess calories as fat from the sugars and carbohydrates that we consume. Third, higher insulin levels increase the levels of triglycerides and other harmful fat containing proteins in our blood called lipoproteins that increase the risk of heart disease. Fourth, high insulin levels lead to an increase in insulin derived growth factors that increases our risk of developing cancer. This milieu of higher insulin levels and resistance, increase in triglycerides and blood sugar levels are the primary causal factors in Obesity, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Cancers and Dementia.

“Insulin release is one of the most potent hunger inducing events that the human body is exposed to.” Thus, even in an 800 word article, this statement deserves to be restated for its full impact. A diet high in sugars and carbohydrates leads to insulin resistance that increases our risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and dementia. The fact that carbohydrate and starch consumption leads to obesity is not new but was articulated by William Banting in the 1850s in his letter on Corpulence. This letter is worth reviewing and is easily available through the link letteroncorpulen00bant. However, before you run off and discard all sugars and carbohydrates from you kitchen, pantry and your diet and adopt a Banting style diet (Atkins, South Beach and Grain Brain diets are modification of Banting’s original proposal) a word of caution is advisable. There are genetic and more importantly epigenetic factors that will determine your response to such a dietary change especially in view of blood lipid levels and change in substrate utilization by our brains. Then again I am getting ahead of myself. We are told and rightfully so that our brains which are about 2% of our body weight but yet consume about 20% of the calories that we ingest can only utilize sugar as fuel. This fact is largely true but

fails to take into account that our bodies are uniquely adapted to situations during which food is not immediately available. It is during these periods that the brain can switch from using sugar as fuel to using ketones which are derived from the limitless supply of fat in our body. In the next blog we will explore concepts of the limited ability of our body to store sugar. We will also review the ability of the brain, heart and muscles to use ketones from fat as fuel. The process of Keto-adaptation , that is a necessary pre-requisite to understanding and adapting to a carbohydrate restricted diet will be explored.

Dr. Nadir Ali is a practicing interventional cardiologist in the Clear Lake and Bay Area community for the last 15 years. He was a Bugher Foundation Research Fellow at Baylor College of Medicine and did his cardiology fellowship at the same institution from 1990 to 1994. He has received many awards during his training including the Best Resident Award at Wayne State University, Detroit Michigan and The Van Reet Award given to the best graduating fellow at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston. He was on academic faculty of Baylor College of Medicine from 1994 to 2000 before moving to the Clear Lake Area. He received the Faculty Award at Baylor College of Medicine for Faculty Demonstrating clinical excellence 2008 He was selected as the first Chairman, Department of Cardiology at Clear Lake Regional Hospital in 2006 and served in this position till 2012. He is a busy interventional cardiologist who introduced to the Clear Lake Area the technique of Radial Angiography and Interventions (heart procedures done from the wrist artery) and Carotid Artery Stenting along with his surgical Colleagues. He has special interest in diet, obesity and heart disease and gives a free diet seminar for his patients once a month on the last Wednesday of every month at 6 p.m. at the Searcy Auditorium in the Clear Lake Heart and Vascular Institute. His other interest include spending time with his wife and two boys, cycling and hiking and backpacking in the National Parks.

Diabetic Warnings Signs Diabetes is often dubbed the silent killer. What does that even mean?


iabetes is often times an

underdiagnosed disease due to its silent symptoms. It is essentially the inability of one’s body to use glucose effectively. Fortunately, the human body is resilient, and is able to use the excess sugar by over producing insulin, it will try to store it by creating fat, and also try to release it through the kidneys, but when supply exceeds demand, it starts to damage the body. The damage is slow and steady and can be very debilitating if left untreated. How does one realize they need to go see a specialist? Initially, patients may not have symptoms. Many times we wait for our bodies to “signal” us before we even present to our doctors. This “signal” unfortunately may not be as clear as one may think.

What types of signals would your body give you? The traditional signs and symptoms include an increase in thirst and an increase in urination. However, more often than not, the typical diabetic patient does not have such clear symptoms. Other types of signals may be an infection. Initially this may present silently as a skin infection, a urinary tract infection, or even a yeast infection. Those infections will increase in frequency, and slowly the body starts to show that its defenses are down, and diabetes is diagnosed. Even more silent than that, the body may manifest these high sugars with fatigue. Patients will attribute this fatigue to many other things-their busy life, their demanding job, and the social stresses at home. However, this fatigue is actually that “signal” that the body is fighting to try and establish some sort of homeostasis. Even though this may be your first time to be told you have diabetes, the elevated sugars may have been wreaking havoc on your body over many months or even years. Since you can feel well for a long time while sugars are mildly elevated, patients may go a long period of time before they schedule an appointment with their doctor. If they are lucky enough to avoid any other illness and/or hospitalization, diabetes may go undiagnosed.

Many patients are confused because they have felt “generally well,” but I always tell them, diabetes is a silent killer. Diabetes elevates your blood sugars, which then affects your entire body. It can also increase your risk for other health problems, such as heart disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, and problems with your eyes and skin. Studies show that every time your sugar reaches beyond 200 mg/dl, there is damage extending from your eyes to your kidneys and even down to the nerves in your feet. In fact, the risk of a diabetic having a heart attack is similar to a patient who has already suffered one. Diabetes affects about 24 million people in the United States, but the interesting statistic is that only 18 million people know they have diabetes. That leaves about 6 million people who are suffering from diabetes without any treatment. About 90% of these patients have Type 2 diabetes, the most common type. This is also the type of diabetes that can be prevented and controlled by diet. Knowing that you are at a high risk for diabetes allows you to change your lifestyle before suffering any complications of the disease. By having your weight, body mass index (BMI) and family history evaluated by your doctor, you can know what your risk is. Your fasting sugar and a hemoglobin A1C will often times be checked. The hemoglobin A1C is an average of what your sugar is during the last 3 months. Based on the these lab tests, if you are told that you have a high risk for diabetes or that you are a “borderline diabetic,” you need to start changing your diet as if you already have diabetes. This will prevent any need for those “signals” we talked about earlier. The most important reason why you need to have regular physicals with your doctor is because many types of diabetes are preventable and can be better controlled if diagnosed in its earlier stages. Prevention is key in terms of outcome and having regular follow ups with your doctor is essential. Ask your doctor about your risk for diabetes and what your fasting sugar is to assess your risk. Dr. Sonya Khan is an Endocrinologist in the Clear Lake Area and specializes in diabetes and other endocrine disorders such as thyroid disease, polycystic ovarian disease, metabolic disorder, and osteoporosis.

FEBRUARY 2015 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


The Port of Houston welcomes two cruise lines at the Bayport Cruise Terminal By Rod Evans


ith both Princess Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Lines offering voyages this year from the Bayport Cruise Terminal, the Port of Houston (POH) is embarking on a new chapter as an emerging hub for the lucrative cruise industry. According to Ricky Kunz, the Port of Houston Authority’s (POHA) managing director for trade development and marketing, the current cruise season, which began last fall, marks the first time that two cruise lines have operated out of the Bayport Cruise Terminal. Princess began sailing from the terminal during the 2013-2014 season and Norwegian joined them in November 2014. “Princess enjoyed a great first season, with 25 cruises that carried over 70,000 passengers,” Kunz said. “This season we’re anticipating a combined 48 cruises and 144,000 passengers.” Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Norwegian Jewel made its inaugural voyage from the Bayport Terminal last October after signing a three-year agreement in 2012 to join Princess Cruises’ Caribbean Princess in calling on the Pasadena terminal. Kunz says an economic impact study conducted


in 2012 by Dr. John Martin indicates the cruise industry accounts for more than 220 jobs and $2 million per ship call at the POH. The cruise season runs from late fall through late April or early May. Both ships are providing seven-day voyages and combined they are expected to deliver more than 400,000 passengers between now and 2017. “Those (economic impact) figures include what passengers spend and what the ships spend. The ships have to buy fuel and supplies and passengers need gas to get to the terminal or pay for taxis. Plus, there are hotel rooms and pre- and postcruise entertainment costs,” Kunz said. This season marks the return of Norwegian Cruise Lines to the Port of Houston. The Miami, Fla.-based company kick started the modern era of cruising at the port when it began offering cruises originating from the POH’s Barbours Cut terminal in 1997. But the company discontinued the service in 2007. On its November 2014 inaugural cruise, the Jewel became the first large cruise ship to call the Western Caribbean’s Banana Coast, the newest cruise port in the region, located in the deep-water Bay of Trujillo, Honduras. The November 2013 voyage of the Emerald Princess, which called on Bayport in the 2013-2014 season, marked the first scheduled cruise voyage from the Bayport Cruise Terminal since 2008, when damage caused by Hurricane Ike resulted in ships that had been sailing from

Bay Area Houston Magazine | FEBRUARY 2015

Galveston temporarily utilizing the terminal. The Bayport Cruise Terminal was constructed in 2007 at a cost of $81 million, but had sat mostly idle since ’08. “It is quite a coup to have both ships sailing from the Bayport Terminal and it’s great for passengers because it gives them options on the type of cruising they want to do. The ships sell a different atmosphere and cruise experience although their ports of call in the Caribbean are basically the same,” Kunz said. The Caribbean Princess, a 952-foot ship is manned by a crew of over 1,200 and has a passenger capacity of 3,082. Launched in 2004, the Princess represents the top of the line of Princess Cruises’ 18-vessel fleet. The ship features over 1,500 guest rooms, along with more than 15 dining room options and a host of showrooms and lounges and a lengthy list of activities available for children. Princess Cruises was founded in 1965 and is based in Santa, Clarita, Calif. With over 1.7-million passengers annually calling on more than 300 ports world-wide, Princess has been a pioneer in the cruise ship industry for 50 years. The company’s Pacific Princess gained worldwide recognition when it served as the venue for the iconic 1970s TV show “The Love Boat.” With a capacity for 2,470 passengers, the 965-foot Jewel, launched in 2005, is the mid-range sized ship in Norwegian Cruise Lines’ 14-vessel fleet and it underwent an extensive renovation in 2014. With a

crew of over 1,100, the Jewel offers 16 dining options and 13 bars and nightclubs. Ports of call during the voyages originating in Houston include Cozumel, Mexico, Belize City, Belize and Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras. “Both ships have basically the same ports of call,” Kunz said, “except that Norwegian alternates between two different ports in Mexico.” Founded 48 years ago, Norwegian Cruise Lines is noted for its “freestyle cruising” format that gives vacationers flexibility in creating their ideal cruise. The format features no fixed dining times, relaxed attire, several distinct dining options and numerous lounges, bars, theaters and other entertainment options. While this season marks a high point in the modern history of cruises originating in the Houston Ship Channel region, it is by no means the first time cruise ships have called on Houston. “You have to go back practically to the turn of the 19th century to mark the beginning of cruise ships calling on the Ship Channel,” Kunz said. “There are pictures going back to the 1920s and a little before then of cruise ships calling on the Ship Channel.” The Bayport Cruise Terminal is one of the most modern cruise ship terminals in the country. The 96,000-square foot terminal is located on the western shores of Galveston Bay and is close to numerous great restaurants and hotels. “With two lines now operating here, we had to add an additional parking lot, so now we can park about 1,700 cars,” Kunz says. “When the ship leaves, the gates are locked and we have 24-hour guard service. It’s really one stop shopping for passengers because they can pull into the terminal, get on the ship, take the cruise, come home and get in their car and go home. We built the new lot to the west of the existing lot, so we provide a shuttle service to and from the terminal. Many other places have off-site parking, so we’re fortunate to have everything at the terminal.” Kunz says while both Princess and Norwegian are currently offering only seven-day cruises, plans are in the works for at least one of the companies to begin offering 10-day cruises that will incorporate Eastern Mediterranean and Caribbean ports of call. He adds that the ongoing dredging work to deepen and widen the Bayport and Barbours Cut channels could potentially clear the way for the Port of Houston to welcome even larger cruise ships in the near future.


REGION Upcoming Events and Festivals in the Houston Port Region


he San Jacinto Texas Historic District, one of the largest historic districts in the state, may be best known for the series of important historic events that took place in this region during the 1830’s that ultimately led to Texas’ independence. However, it is the people that live here today, and their traditions, that lend each community within the historic district, its distinct flare and offer occasions for residents and visitors to come together in seasonal and annual celebrations. Listed here is a small sampling of the rich diversity of events the Houston Port Region has to offer over the next few months. We do hope that you will find time in your busy schedule to visit and celebrate the uniqueness of our region with us! To find out more about these and other events, please visit the San Jacinto Texas Historic District website at and see the events listed under the “Plan Your Adventure” tab.

FEBRUARY Jail Break Run – 5K and ½ Marathon Baytown The race begins in front of the Baytown Police Department on Main Street. Runners of the half marathon travel through historic portions of Baytown, to the top of the Fred Hartman Bridge, before heading back to the station. Runners sometimes even run handcuffed to each other in this unusual run. The Jailbreak Run is the only event that allows participants to travel the bridge on foot. Participants come from all over the United States and the world, to attend this event which benefits Project Blue, a non-profit organization that helps officers who face serious illness or injuries outside the line of duty. Scheduled: Feb. 14, 2015.

Mardi Gras On Main La Porte 2015 is the inaugural year for Mardi Gras on Main. Main Street will come alive with the festive spirit of Mardi Gras. Enjoy a craft beer garden, a food truck court, Mardi Gras entertainers, music, and the farmers market. This initial year will feature the Mambo Jazz Kings and possibly one other live band! There will also be a familyfriendly Mardi Gras after party! Scheduled: Feb. 21, 2015.

Senior Market Day Harris County/ Houston The community is encouraged to stop by and participate in the Annual Senior Market Day. Over 35 vendors set up inside Precinct Two’s Grayson Community Center and offer a wide variety of products. Entertainment, door prizes, raffles, and concessions are also part of this great event. Scheduled: Feb. 18 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Grayson Community Center, 13828 Corpus Christi, Houston, Texas 77015.

MARCH Lucky Trail Marathon Seabrook Every year in March, the Seabrook Lucky Trails Marathon is held on the Seabrook Trail System. This weekend event happens around St. Patrick’s Day each year. Runners may sign up for either half or full marathon plus a two-person or four-person relay. This popular event has been known for its enthusiastic volunteers, great goody bags, and awesome post-race party. Scheduled: March 14-15.

Paws in the Park Pearland Pearland Parks & Recreation is gearing up for the 21st annual Paws in the Park, coordinated by Pup Squad Animal Rescue. The event kicks off on a Saturday morning with the HEB Plus! Pet and Owner Fun Run followed by the national “Dock Diving” competition. In addition to a Dock Diving competition, Paws in the Park hosts teams from across the nation competing in the U.S. Dog Disc Nationals. Demonstrations planned throughout the weekend include: Flyball, Agility, Doggie Dancing, Obedience, and Grooming. Scheduled: March 28–29.

APRIL Country Fair Galena Park The City of Galena Park and the Galena Park/Jacinto City join forces on an annual four-day Country Fair. Residents and visitors enjoy carnival rides, vendor booths, game booths, prizes, and live music. The event is held at the Galena Park Community Building at 1302 King Street. Scheduled: April 10–12.

Pearland Crawfish Festival Pearland This festival boils up tons of delicious, spicy crawfish at a great price, a world of great food, lively music, vendors, games, and more

in the friendly, relaxed fun and community feel of a small town fair. The area’s best Zydeco bands provide the infectious rhythms where the Bayou meets the Bay; meanwhile The Houston Blues Society brings the blues. Each year there are crawfish eating contests, gift vendors, arts and crafts, a children’s area, world-class carnival rides, and plenty of activities and fun for kids. Scheduled: April 10 – 12, 2015.

San Jacinto Day Festival and Battle Reenactment La Porte A dramatic battle reenactment is the centerpiece of the admission-free San Jacinto Day Festival, held on the grounds surrounding the San Jacinto Monument. Sponsored by the San Jacinto Museum of History, Texas Parks & Wildlife and the San Jacinto Volunteers, the festival is a full day of music, entertainment, food, games and fun set amidst living history. Scheduled: April 18.

Sylvan Beach Festival La Porte April 2015 will mark the 59th annual Sylvan Beach Festival. The event opens with the parade on Main Street, followed by the annual Sylvan Beach Festival and Crawfish Jam held at the historic Sylvan Beach Park on Galveston Bay. Visitors enjoy live entertainment, food, arts and crafts booths, a cook-off, a carnival, and a pageant. Scheduled: April 24-25.

Totally Texas Deer Park This annual festival organized by the Deer Park Chamber of Commerce salutes the Battle of San Jacinto and is a fun way for area families and visitors to learn about Texas history. The event usually takes place the second weekend in April and includes an arts and crafts show, children’s entertainment and games, a talent contest, live music, and a cook-off. The event is held in conjunction with the Shell Strides for 5K Kids Fun Run.

FEBRUARY 2015 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Janiece Longoria Reappointed Chairman of Port Commission


aniece M. Longoria was unanimously reappointed chairman of the Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority Jan. 12 in a joint session of the Harris County Commissioners Court and the Houston City Council. During the meeting, which was held in the Port’s Executive Office Building boardroom, both Houston Mayor Annise D. Parker and County Judge Ed Emmett lauded the Port Authority’s performance under Longoria’s leadership. “I want to salute all of your board members and you for the great results that the Port has achieved over the past two years,” Parker said. Mayor Parker highlighted the recent centennial celebration for the Houston Ship Channel, as well as the importance of the Port and the need to continue to seek support for infrastructure improvements around the Port. Emmett, who is a recognized transportation expert, said the ship channel and Port are vital to the region, and he indicated strong leadership is crucial. “Clearly the Port of Houston is one of the great ports in the world and has great leadership,” Emmett said. “So a lot of that is attributed to you (Longoria).” Longoria noted the Port Authority achieved record results in years 2013 and 2014 and is poised as well for a solid 2015, going on to point out the ongoing importance of partnership with the city and county, as well as other stakeholders. “Thank you for your confidence in my leadership,” Chairman Longoria told the elected representatives. “It takes a team to execute a vision and through the continued support


Bay Area Houston Magazine | FEBRUARY 2015

of the Port Commission and the excellent work of Executive Director Roger Guenther and staff, we have the opportunity to make the second century of the Houston Ship Channel as remarkable as the first.” She has served on the Port Commission on behalf of the City of Houston since September 2002 and was appointed chairman in 2013. Port commissioners serve two-year terms without pay. She currently serves as chairman of both the Port Commission’s Audit Committee and Dredge Task Force and is a member of the Governance and Pension and Benefits committees. She created the Chairman’s Citizens Advisory Council to provide an open line of communication between communities in and around the Port of Houston, and the Port Commission. A Business Advisory Council was also created to obtain needed input from industry stakeholders. The chairman, an honors graduate of the University of Texas, received her J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law in 1979. She is a name partner with the firm of Ogden, Gibson, Broocks, Longoria & Hall, LLP. She has received considerable recognition for distinguished service, including the 2008 Sandra Day O’Connor Board Excellence Award. She received the Female Executive of the Year Award from the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (2010) and was recognized as a “breakthrough woman” and inducted into the Hall of Fame by the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce. She also serves as the chairman of the Board of Pilot Commissioners for Harris County Ports.

Movers &Shakers Name: Dr. Dennis Brown

Someone I’d like to meet: Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Peace Prize (2014) winner

Occupation: President, Lee College Hometown: Baytown

If I could switch places with someone for just one day, I’d choose: The President of the United States

Current home: Pasadena Family: Spouse, Darlene; 2 children: Denise (Pennsylvania) and Darren (Montana); 6 grandchildren, including twin girls My favorite writer is: Dean Koontz, because of his action oriented books

My favorite performers are: The Beatles (wow that dates me)

My favorite meal is: My mother’s homemade meatloaf As a youngster, I wanted to grow up to be: A ship’s captain You’ll never catch me: Sleeping during the daytime The thing that bugs me the most is: People who lack ambition

I like to spend my leisure time: Pretending that I know how to golf

My favorite movie is: Saving Private Ryan

If I could travel any place, I’d go to: In a heartbeat, the Hawaiian Islands

Few people know: I was a disc jockey at a radio station

Clear Lake developers work to solve neighbors concerns By Mary Alys Cherry

A Can we stay at your place for a while?


very year MILLIONS of unwanted pets get surrendered to overcrowded shelters. They are scared and confused, and rightfully so. With the lack of space and funding in shelters, many do not make it out alive. Be a scared animal’s angel this year by offering your love and home to foster a cat or dog through Second Chance Pets. By fostering one animal, you are saving TWO lives: the one you are fostering and the one that took its place at the shelter. Foster homes provide a comfortable atmosphere that every animal needs to learn what it’s like to live in a home. Shelters can be chaotic and sometimes can make fabulous pets into timid shells of what they once were. Foster homes that are able to provide temporary housing to nursing families, injured animals, and our larger animals are GREATLY needed. They are usually the first to be euthanized in animal shelters due to the time and cost it takes to care for them. Please help us make sure it’s a wonderful new year for all. Visit us at or email us at pets2adopt@yahoo


Bay Area Houston Magazine | FEBRUARY 2015

s Trendmaker Homes begins

building the Reserve at Clear Lake City, the new 375-acre development just northeast of the 50-year-old Clear Lake City community, Houston City Councilman Dave Martin has been working with the developers to find answers to local residents concerns. Among them are worries about traffic, retail signage, storm water runoff and detention and other considerations as the 700-homes – both patio homes and large estates -- and a nearby shopping center begin going up. The development will include swimming pools, parks, walking and jogging trails and a dog park, the developers said when the project was first announced. Martin sought to soothe his constituents’ angst by holding a public town hall meeting in November at Brookwood Elementary School in Clear Lake – a meeting attended by more than 300 residents of adjoining neighborhoods. During the meeting, Fidelis CEO Alan Hassenflu and Chief Marketing Officer Lynn Davis outlined plans for the commercial portion of the new community and then responded to questions and concerns voiced about the proposed development. “Topics included potential traffic impacts, the layout of the development and the signage planned by retailers in the commercial segment of the community and additional considerations,” Martin said. Many residents, for example, felt one sign proposed for a grocery story was too

large and the developers promised to ask the grocery retailer, HEB, to downsize it to fit in with the rest of the community, he explained. They did and HEB agreed to cut the size of the sign in half. In conjunction with the construction, the Houston Public Works and Engineering Department have been replacing all existing traffic signal poles with 40-foot mast arms, revising the intersection signal timing based on current traffic patterns and making improvements to intersection sidewalks and wheelchair ramps. Additionally, Martin said, the left turn bay on Clear Lake City northbound will be extended nearly 300 feet to accommodate existing traffic. The city has already had LIA Engineering make a Traffic Impact Analysis, which generated traffic flow projections for peak hours following the full build out of all sections of the residential and commercial developments at Clear Lake City and El Dorado Boulevards – addressing all major intersections within a mile of the proposed development.


Bay Area Houston Magazine | FEBRUARY 2015

FEBRUARY 2015 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


Nassau Bay city lights soon will be solar lights


assau Bay soon will replace the street lights in the city with solar lights – all 234 of them – and while the number of lights in the city will remain the same, some will be moved to different areas to create better lighting. The city estimates the change will mean a savings of around $100,000 over the course of 15 years, not including the cost of staff time. The decision came at the January meeting of the Nassau Bay City Council, “City staff spends a great deal of time repairing and replacing the current lights,” City Manager Chris Reed told the council. “We also rely on night shift police officers or residents to see and alert us when lights are out. The web-based monitoring system will be a tremendous help and time-saver for our staff,” Reed added. These lights will be purchased from ClearWorld, an alternative energy systems solution provider, whose primary function is to design and to retrofit energy-efficient systems that reduce utility operating and maintenance costs in pursuit of grid independence, Reed said. Two ClearWorld solar lights were installed in Nassau Bay approximately six months ago to test the lighting and the web-based monitoring system. “We are very impressed with the appearance, quality, and the ability to monitor faults and programming like dimming and scheduling through a web-based application,” he explained. “Not only will these lights be environmentally responsible and significantly reduce electricity and maintenance costs, they will be reliable during storms and power outages.” And besides not being impacted by flooding, the lights can withstand 150 mph wind and last up to three days without sun. City Council will vote on the funding source for the lights at its March meeting. If Council approves the funding source then, city staff will purchase and begin installing the new lights this spring.


Memories of a Nassau Bay Landmark By Barbara Ewing


n 1965, the Nassau Bay National

Bank opened its doors to the pioneers of space flight working on one of history’s most remarkable feats, a journey of humans to the moon and their return. The building took up a corner lot just south of the two-lane road specially named NASA Road 1 for the facility being built on prairie land across the street, the Manned Space Flight Center, later re-named Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. The bank stood large, nearly 12,000 square feet, and substantial with a concrete gray masonry façade, hip roof with a copper-clad covering, two stories high, eighteen feet on the first floor, nine on the second, arched windows, steps in front leading up to ten-foot- high carved oak double doors. It looked more like a church than a bank and must have been a source of local pride. In the 1960s, Texas law didn’t allow branch banking which enabled each small community to establish its own financial resource, and several small towns were springing up around the space center. Houston, 20 miles to the north, saw an opportunity for annexation. The issue divided Nassau Bay’s early residents, whether to incorporate as a city or become part of Houston. One homeowner, Ann Davidson, remembers homeowner meetings lasting past midnight, debating the important decision. Those who wanted their own city won. The bank, established by the developer, Stewart Title Co., received its charter in 1963 and opened in 1965. Nassau Bay incorporated as a city in 1970. In 1980, newly arrived in Texas, my husband and I entered through

Bay Area Houston Magazine | FEBRUARY 2015

the imposing doors with some trepidation. We needed a sizeable swing loan to cover the purchase of a new house before the sale of the house up north closed. The interior of this bank resembled a movie set. The flooring along the right side was red brick; brass posts with red velour ropes indicated where to stand while waiting your turn to approach the tellers whose stations glistened of polished oak. On the left side behind an oaken railing sat personnel at mahogany desks on burgundy carpet. A woman ushered us in. On her desk were a large thermos, cups, and a plate of chocolate chip cookies. “Please sit down and would you like coffee and some freshly baked cookies?” The first words from the loan officer who led us into his office were, “How much do you need?” We had arrived in Texas. Bob Scott, a vice president who had joined the bank from its beginning, remembers the coffee bar on the 2nd floor where, from a broad walkway with wrought iron railing, you gazed down at the activity below. The drivethru bank was located just behind the building where you could walk or bicycle through to the tellers, an aspect of Texas culture that amazed us. Pennsylvania disallowed such practice. When banking laws changed, several branch banks and then later a real estate office occupied the building. A tremendous change of purpose occurred in 1997. The Arts Alliance Center at Clear Lake (TAACCL) opened to offer artists’ exhibits; classes for painting, drama, cooking, and crafts; a summer camp for kids; a library and book store; and book signings for local authors, of which I was one. I remember my own and my friends’ gatherings, opportunities to

introduce our written work to the community. Groups of writers and poets met routinely, and musical groups, from bluegrass to symphony, performed. It served our cultural needs well. Because astronauts and others involved in the space program lived in Nassau Bay, the tragic explosion in 1985 of Space Shuttle Challenger that took the seven lives of those aboard saddened us all. The Arts Alliance built seven fountains and planted flowers along the NASA Road 1 side of the building to honor their memory. In 2008, when Hurricane Ike crashed into Nassau Bay and left many with seriously damaged homes and all of us without power for a week or more, TAACCL became the hub for telling our survival stories. And TAACCL had one of those stories of its own. Volunteers worked for hours before the storm struck to take the paintings from the walls and store them in the bank vault, which still remained at the rear of the building. The future of the Arts Alliance in this building had to change, however, because of budget constraints. In 2012, a depleted staff moved to a much smaller facility and planned fewer offerings. The empty building started to show its age and to decline without the necessary care. No cars appeared in the parking lot. Grass grew long around the perimeter. The Challenger fountains stood dry and untended, almost hidden by long weeds. Finally a sign went up “for sale.” Those of us who had been around for a long time wondered what would become of our landmark. And then we watched when the wrecker appeared, and men wearing yellow hard hats and orange vests prepared for demolition. Big, heavy equipment filled the lot. A wrecking ball knocked down a wall. A backhoe piled up the concrete rubble and then another wall came down and the rubble pile grew again, until finally only the vault and the steel construction frame remained and then they were dismantled and hauled away. A 12-foot high mountain of soil remained on the vacant lot and then it too was hauled away. The lot stood empty. What would be next, we wondered. It soon became obvious. A Valero gas station, 14 pumps and a store. During recent years, watching the slow demise and then demolition of our gray concrete building was like the sorrow felt at the slow death of an old friend while treasuring the memories of better times. Our historic landmark is now gone. We mourn its passing.

FEBRUARY 2015 | Bay Area Houston Magazine



Bay Area Houston Magazine | FEBRUARY 2015

FEBRUARY 2015 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


FEBRUARY 2015 | Bay Area Houston Magazine


The Zen of Sushi Masa Sushi’s Michael Zhou pours his heart and soul into every dish By Rod Evans


t’s hard to imagine, but not too long ago, one of the Bay Area’s premier sushi chefs didn’t know a California roll from a dinner roll. When Michael Zhou, owner and head chef of Masa Sushi, first came to the U.S. from his native China 30 years ago he was already an accomplished sushi chef, but he faced a steep learning curve in mastering how to prepare American style sushi. “A Japanese restaurant opened in my hometown in 1985 and I became a chef there,” Zhou recalls. “They made traditional Japanese food and didn’t even have California rolls. When I came to the U.S., I didn’t speak English and didn’t know anything about American style Japanese food. I didn’t even know how to make a California roll, so I had to learn quickly how to make all of the rolls.” Zhou’s on-the-job training paid dividends as he progressed quickly from being a chef to part-owner of a restaurant. Zhou came to the U.S. in 1994 and went to work at a Japanese restaurant in Tampa Bay, Fla. He moved to Houston in 1995 and went on to become head chef and part owner in the popular Mikado restaurant located on Woodway. After building a reputation as one of the area’s top sushi chefs, Zhou and his partners closed Mikado and Zhou opened Masa Sushi in Clear Lake in 2004. With the original Masa Sushi, located at 977 NASA Parkway, and the Dickinson location, which opened in 2007, Zhou continues to dazzle diners with his creativity and passion for sushi. He has earned praise for his uncanny ability to make eating sushi and sashimi, an amazing experience by blending cultures

to produce food that is a “fusion” of flavors and textures. Masa—which means “graceful” or “elegant”—is unique among sushi restaurants because it intertwines traditional Japanese recipes with dashes of French culinary flourishes. “We combine traditional Japanese sashimi with Texas style sushi, and because my wife is a French chef, we also incorporate French cooking into many items. That’s why we call ours a fusion restaurant,” Zhou says. The French influence can be experienced in several menu offerings, including the grilled lamb chops appetizer and numerous sushi and sashimi entrees featuring baked salmon. As for the “Texas style” of sushi, Zhou says the term refers to more than just the taste of the entrée. “With some traditional Japanese items, Americans cannot eat them because they are not used to those tastes, so we try to change the taste a little bit, but the big difference from traditional Japanese sushi and Texas style is the portion size,” Zhou says. “In Japan, the portions are very small. If you go to Japan and eat sushi, you could put the whole thing in your mouth. But our sushi is cut into very big pieces because Texas style uses big fish. Americans like center cut meats; big pieces of steak and big pieces of fish, so we give our customers big portions and charge reasonable prices. That’s our style.” Of course, good tasting, fresh fish is the key ingredient to making good sushi, and a family connection helps Zhou secure some of the finest tuna. His cousin owns a fish company in Honolulu, Hawaii and provides Zhou with a steady stream of yellow fin and the rarer blue fin variety. “Yellow fin tuna is very plentiful almost everywhere, but blue fin is not. The best blue fin comes from Hawaii and isn’t sold in very many restaurants in the U.S. In Japan, people pay high dollar for blue fin tuna. My cousin keeps one for me every week,” he says. (Continued on page 51)

In addition to getting fish from Hawaii, Zhou sources seafood from a variety of locations. He gets salmon, snapper, flounder and sea urchins from California. Super white tuna from Australia and eel from Korea are menu favorites, while squid, octopus and yellow tail are shipped in from Japan. Fish sometimes weighing in excess of 100 pounds are cut up fresh each day by Zhou and his team of chefs. While sushi is the restaurant’s calling card, one look at the Masa Sushi menu reveals just how skilled Zhou is in creating delectable sashimi. The thinly sliced fish is served in a variety of fashions ranging from traditional Japanese to Texas and fusion style. “We create lots of our sashimi fusion style. In the traditional Japanese style, sashimi is only fish, but an attractive presentation on the plate is very important, but I create fusion style with things like our black pepper sashimi and we add our special soy and wasabi sauce as well. We also have a Texas style jalapeno yellow tail sashimi and our Costa Rica style sashimi that’s lightly seared and includes garlic and green and white onions,” he said. Zhou has not only taken extraordinary care to produce outstanding food, but he’s also put meticulous thought into the décor of both restaurants. Both locations feature expansive bar areas that are ideal for solo diners, along with warm, intimate booths and art and lighting fixtures that combine old world Japanese themes with

modern touches. “When we opened our restaurant, we wanted it to have an atmosphere that’s warm and welcoming to everyone,” Zhou says. “We thought about every detail, including even which direction the doors face and used feng shui concepts throughout.” Zhou says he chose to open his restaurants in the Bay Area because of the diverse population that includes many people who know what good Japanese food tastes like. “Lots of our customers have been to Japan and know Japanese food. When I first came here, there weren’t too many sushi restaurants. Now, they’re everywhere, but we keep getting more busy because people try other restaurants and the ones that know what good sushi is always come back,” he says. One thing Zhou hasn’t had to be concerned about is hiring new chefs. He says many of the chefs at Masa Sushi’s original location have been there since it opened and the staff of the Dickinson restaurant has remained unchanged since it opened. Such stability, Zhou says, results in unmatched consistency in food preparation and service. Likewise, Zhou’s philosophy on the key to making great sushi hasn’t changed over the years. “You have to put your heart inside the food,” he stresses. “It doesn’t matter what kind of restaurant it is, if you want to make good food, you have to use your heart.”


Gardeners to meet Feb. 4. Gardeners By the Bay members will learn the secrets of managing and installing landscape when they meet at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 4, at University Baptist Church, 16106 Middlebrook. For information, call 281-4745051. Free. Epicurean Evening Feb. 5. The Clear Lake Area Chamber’s annual Epicurean Evening, “A Taste of Space,” will be held Thursday, Feb. 5, from 6:30 - 9 p.m. at Space Center Houston, where the crowd will enjoy tantalizing food samples from over 40 area food establishments, a silent auction and be entertained by a variety of musical treats like mariachi bands and vocalists. Free parking. UHCL Hawk Premier Feb. 7. UHCL will welcome prospective freshman and sophomore students to see all the university has to offer at the first Hawk Premier of the spring semester from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., in the Bayou Building, Atrium II, at 2700 Bay Area Blvd., where attendees will enjoy several fun activities as they speak with representatives from the Office of Admissions. An open house also will be held from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Feb. 28 for transfer students. BOWA to hear author Feb. 10. Local author and musician Andy Upchurch will present the program for the Bay Oaks Women’s Association luncheon, discussing his books and his life, at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 10, at Bay Oaks Country Club. BayTran luncheon Feb. 12. Bay Area Houston Transportation Partnership will have host its monthly luncheon Thursday, Feb. 12, at 11:30 a.m. in Cullen’s Upscale Grille, 11500 Space Center Blvd., with Brenda Mainwaring, public affairs vice president for Union Pacific Railroad, as the speaker. For reservations, email or call her at 281-474-4124 ext.121. Genealogy meeting Feb. 27. The Bay Area Genealogical Society will meet at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27, to hear Nick Cimino present an “Introduction to Researching German Records” in University Baptist Church’s Great Room on the second floor, 16106 Middlebrook Drive.


Civic club meets Feb. 5. The Clear Lake Shores Civic Club meets the first Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Clear Lake Shores Club House.


New drama opens Feb. 13. The Cat and the Canary will serve up some high drama in the Bay Area Harbour Playhouse’s Top Side Theatre Friday, Feb.


13, through Sunday, March 8, with curtains at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Sundays. For tickets, which are $17 for adults and $12 for seniors and students, call 281-337-7469 or email


Chamber luncheon Feb. 5. The Friendswood Chamber will hold its membership luncheon at 11:30 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 5, at the Green Event Center, 2000 W. Parkwood, Suite 200. Cost is $20 for members and $25 for non members. For reservations, call 281-482-3329 or visit info@


Mardi Gras Feb. 6-17. The Island’s 104th Mardi Gras celebration Feb. 6-17, 2015, is expected to draw more than 300,000 attendees for 30+ concerts, 22 parades, 20 balcony parties and five elegant masked balls. From the classic revelry found in the heart of Galveston’s historic downtown district – where the bulk of festivities take place – to parties, family friendly events and parades, Mardi Gras! Galveston offers excitement everyone can enjoy.


Yachty Gras sets sail Feb. 7. The 16th Annual Yachty Gras celebration “Chance of the Sea” will set sail on Saturday, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m. The Grand Parade will begin in the Clear Creek Channel and feature elaborately decorated yachts tossing beads and doubloons to revelers along the route which includes the Kemah Boardwalk.


Elvis in the building Feb. 12. Butler Longhorn Museum at 1220 Coryell St., will present Vince King as Elvis Presley Thursday, Feb. 12, from 6:30 p.m. to 9. Tickets are an evening of Elvis music are $30 each. For reservations, call 281-332-1393. Go Red luncheon Feb. 20. The annual Go Red for Women Luncheon, benefitting the American Heart Association, will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 20, in the South Shore Harbour Resort’s Crystal Ballroom, 2500 South Shore Blvd., with Michelle Aguilar, season 6 winner of The Biggest Loser, as the keynote speaker. For information, call the American Heart Association, 713-610-5061.


HSLBA evening meeting Feb. 17. Houston Symphony League Bay Area will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 17, at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 18220 Upper Bay Road. Guests are welcome and membership is open to those who want to support Houston Symphony music.

Bay Area Houston Magazine | FEBRUARY 2015

Symphony concert Feb. 20. The Clear Lake Symphony will appear in concert Friday, Feb. 20, at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church on Upper Bay Road, presenting music by Beethoven, Bruckner and Mozart. Tickets, which are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $7 for students, are available at Eye Trends, 515 Bay Area Blvd., Suite 300, and at the church.


State of the City Feb. 19. Pasadena Chamber will host its annual State of the City Address by Mayor Johnny Isbell and announce the Business of the Year at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 19, at the Pasadena Convention Center, 7902 Fairmont Parkway. Tickets are $45 each. For reservations, visit or call 281-4877871. Mystery at Little Theatre. Pasadena Little Theatre, 4318 Allen-Genoa Road, is presenting the Pulitzer Prize winning Driving Miss Daisy through Sunday, Feb. 8, 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. For reservations, call 713-941-1758 or reserve on line at www.


State of the City Feb. 12. Pearland Mayor Tom Reid will deliver his annual State of the City Address and outline plans for the coming year at the Thursday, Feb. 12, Pearland Chamber membership luncheon at 11 a.m. at the First Church of Pearland, 1850 Broadway. For reservations, call 281-485-3634.


Men Who Cook Feb. 10. The annual Men Who Cook event benefitting Seabrook Rotary and Seabrook Police will be held Tuesday, Feb. 10, at Lakewood Yacht Club from 6:30-10:30 p.m. with entertainment by the Mambo Jazz Kings. Tickets are $35. Valet parking available $5. Purchase tickets from Seabrook Rotary members. LYC style show Feb. 20. The Lakewood Yacht Club Ladies Association will host a style show luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 20, at the yacht club.


Patsy Cline music at COM. College of the Mainland Community Theatre’s biggest box office success is back as Patsy Cline’s No. 1 fan remembers her Jan. 29 – Feb. 15 with performances at 8 p.m. Thursday – Saturday and 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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