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Saturday, April 7, 2018 • Vol. 63 • No. 12

About Us 3500 East T.C. Jester Blvd Suite A (713) 686-8494 Facebook/THE LEADER.

HISD Update:

New interim superintendent, PUA funding to remain for year By Betsy Denson For The Leader





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The HISD board had their latest budget workshop and agenda review this week with new interim superintendent Grenita Lathan at the helm. The former chief academic officer was selected unanimously to serve as the interim leader of HISD while trustees search for a permanent replacement for former Superintendent Richard Carranza, who left HISD after 18 months. “I am grateful for the opportunity to

help our schools achieve educational excellence,” Lathan said. “We are on the right path toward educational excellence in all of our schools, and I want to ensure all our students have quality educational opportunities that will prepare them for college or career. I’m fully prepared to lead the district in this season of swift transition.” Lathan was hired by former Superintendent Terry Grier in 2015. She served as the chief academic officer and previously was the chief school officer in the HISD Office See HISD P. 6A

Photo courtesy of HISD (Twitter) Board member Elizabeth Santos speaks with a member of the media in advance of the latest budget workshop. During the workshop Santos asked for more detail on the salaries and functions of central HISD staff.

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Photo by Landan Kuhlman Alana Ross carefully glues gems onto the side of Heights High School’s creation that will be entered in this year’s Houston Art Car Parade. This will be Heights’ fourth entry, and students have been hard at work since January.

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By Landan Kuhlmann Time may not be On Their Side, but Heights High School’s art car creation is nearly locked and loaded – and they like it. Houston’s Art Car Parade is one of the hottest tickets in town the second weekend of every April, and students are hard at work putting the finishing touches on this year’s entry. For a newbie peeking down outside Heights High School’s parking structure, the sight of an old junker suddenly ablaze with jewels, gems, and sculptures from bumper to bumper would strike them as odd. But anyone walking the halls the last few years would glance and move on; this is the fourth year Heights has entered the Houston Art Car show under the guidance of longtime educator Rebecca Bass. Students control the unique project from beginning to end; from brainstorming an outside-the-box idea to its execution. Music has been a common theme for Bass and her students over the years, from Lizard King

and Electric Ladyland to Atomic Dog, Bohemian Rhapsody and last year’s ‘Purple Reign,’ a tribute to Prince. This year’s creation? A rolling, four-wheeled tribute to the infamous Rolling Stones entitled “It’s Just Rock See Art Car P. 16A

Photo by Landan Kuhlman Heights High’s 2018 Art Car entry pays tribute to the infamous rock ‘n roll group..

Randalls out, El Rancho in

2401 Yale Street 832-856-1416

By Betsy Denson For The Leader


339 W 19th St, Houston, TX 77008

Big news for 34th Street. Braun Enterprises has purchased the former Aztec Rental Center at 2001 W. 34th St. The site is approximately 5.5 acres. The current plans are to develop one tract of land into 20,100 square feet of retail space, with a secondary tract available for future development. In 2014, Braun Enterprises purchased Ella Plaza which was a struggling shopping center and reinvigorated it with the redevelopment that continues to boom on the corner of 34th and Ella. The aquisition adds to “Ella Plaza Braun’s tremendous prescontinues to ence along 34th Street. thrive as does our redevelopment of 3401 W TC Jester where we leased to Tacos A Go Go,” said Zach Wolf. “We’ve been looking for additional opportunities in Garden Oaks / Oak Forest for some time. We are very excited to find a new opportunity in this rapidly growing neighborhood.” Wolf said that they intend on catering to the many young families in the neighborhood by developing a “family-oriented retail project.” The property was owned by the Eldon Sorsby Family Trust and appraised by HCAD in 2018 for $924,773. Aztec Rental company officially closed the doors there last April and opened for business at 7721 Pinemont, citing a need for growth and more space.

Photo by Betsy Denson There are still plenty of deals to be had at the 34th Street Randalls, which will close its doors in a few weeks.

If you missed the February announcement — or the giant ‘Store Closing! Liquidation Sale’ sign that has replaced the Randalls marquee at 5264 W 34th St — the grocery store’s last day will be on or about April 14, according to Public Affairs and Communications Manager Dawne Proffitt. Proffitt said that the decision to shutter the store was a result of “careful consideration and evaluation” and that upon closing Randalls will have 27 Houston-area locations. The nearest Randalls for Leader residents will now be at

5161 San Felipe and Sage, which is about seven miles away from the current store. The store location won’t remain empty for long. According to Proffitt, the company has entered an agreement to lease the 34th Street location to El Rancho, Inc., a grocery chain with 18 locations in North and West Texas. The El Rancho website says that their first supermarket opened in 1988, and “since then has been dedicated to making the Hispanics living in the United States feel at home.” The website also touts the quality and variety of their products as well as the freshness of their See Randalls P. 6A

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The public. The Leader • Saturday, April 7, 2018 • Page 2A

Police Reports • March 23-28 MARCH 23

Theft 8:01 PM 5300-5399 WASHINGTON Assault 5:09 PM 600-699 HEIGHTS BL Arrest 4:58 PM 1300-1399 E 33RD Burglary 2 PM 2500-2599 SUMMER Burglary 5 PM 2500-2599 SUMMER Arrest 8:37 PM 300-399 W 19TH


Theft 8:01 PM 000-099 E 15TH/HEIGHTS Theft 11:45 AM 1900-1999 WALTON Theft 8 AM 200-299 E 32ND Burglary 10:45 PM 1100-1199 PEDDIE Theft 4 PM 600-699 E 11TH Assault 6:32 AM 900-999 N DURHAM Theft 8:01 PM 700-799 W 39TH Theft 4:35 PM 200-299 W CAVALCADE Theft 6 PM 4500-4599 NETT Theft 8:01 PM 000-099 E 15TH/HEIGHTS Theft 5:30 PM 1100-1199 THOMPSON


Theft 6:59 AM 1500-1599 N LOOP W Theft 11:49 AM 100-199 YALE Arrest 2:51 AM 4000-4099 N SHEPHERD Burglary 7:05 AM 500-599 CORTLANDT Burglary 8:35 PM 1100-1199 STUDEWOOD Robbery 1:40 PM 600-699 W

CAVALCADE Theft 9:22 AM 4000-4099 N SHEPHERD

Theft 1:16 PM 2800-2899 AIRLINE Other 6:45 PM 900-999 STUDEWOOD Theft 5:45 PM 3200-3299 WHITE OAK Robbery 7:50 PM 400-499 E WHITNEY Theft 3:30 PM 1600-1699 W 25TH Theft 9:45 AM 100-199 YALE Theft 6:30 AM 800-899 PINEMONT Theft 10:15 AM 1800-1899 YALE Theft 9 AM 600-699 E 11TH Theft 9:50 AM 1200-1299 W 11TH Assault 5:30 AM 1000-1099 E 33RD



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Theft 7 PM 1900-1999 YALE Theft 5 PM 300-399 W 19TH Theft 3 PM 300-399 W 19TH Theft 3:45 PM 1700-1799 HEIGHTS Theft 5 PM 1400-1499 HEIGHTS Theft 8 AM 900-999 N LOOP W Theft 3:45 PM 3500-3599 WHITE OAK Burglary 5:40 AM 5600-5699 MAXIE Theft 8 AM 1400-1499 WALTON Theft 7 PM 2400-2499 WASHINGTON


Theft 10 AM 500-599 W 19TH Burglary 10:37 PM 300-399 N LOOP W Theft 9:29 AM 700-799 11TH Theft 6:40 PM 1100-1199 W 16TH

Theft 12 AM 1200-1299 NEYLAND Theft 1:50 PM 1800-1899 YALE Theft 7:59 PM 700-799 E 16TH Theft 7:46 PM 900-999 W 11TH Theft 3:50 PM 1800-1899 AIRLINE Theft 4:04 PM 1100-1199 E 11TH Burglary 11:18 PM 1500-1599 N LOOP W Theft 4:15 PM 1600-1699 SHEPHERD Theft 3 PM 1500-1599 DURHAM Theft 3:45 PM 100-199 YALE Theft 1:13 PM 100-199 YALE Reports are provided by based on data from the Houston Police Department.

Additional crime round-up For The Leader On March 28 Harris County Precinct 1 deputies began investigating a crime that was committed on March 26 in the 1100 block of Studewood. Security footage showed a male suspect exit a silver SUV, jump the fence, go inside of the parking garage and break out the windows on two vehicles and took items without permission. During the investigation, the deputy learned the identity of the suspect to be Humberto Saenz. The suspect

confessed to the burglaries that were committed in the 1100 block of Studewood. Mr. Saenz was also questioned about several other burglary of motor vehicle calls that occurred in the area due to the description of the suspect and the vehicle involved in the crimes. The suspect did not respond to the deputy when questioned about other incidents. The suspect was arrested by HPD for an open burglary warrant on March 31; Precinct 1 filed charges for burglary of a building, and multiple burglary of motor

vehicles. Then , on April 1, deputies were dispatched to the 5000 block of Alba Street in reference to a stolen vehicle call. The victim said he left keys in vehicle, with the vehicle running and unlocked, with a firearm in the center console (unknown serial number) and a dog in the rear of the vehicle. Suspect is described as a black male, 14-18 years of age, 5’05” to 5’08”, wearing a blue shirt with a neon green Nike check logo. The Houston Police Department is following up on the investigation.

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The Topics. The Leader • Saturday, April 7, 2018 • Page 3A

Our Media Camp teaches students about real news


f you’ve read my weekly column with any regularity, you know how I feel about social media platforms like Facebook. Like the post office and a smart phone, these tech giants serve a purpose in our lives. And like licking too many envelopes or refusing to put down the phone, social media is as dangerous as any drug today. If you’ve followed the news of the past few weeks, maybe you know Facebook has found itself on the receiving end of an international barrage of fury. The short version is Facebook takes your personal data – things you like, clothes you buy, dishes you cook, politicians you hate – and they’ve sold that information for billions of dollars. Last year, the company made a profit of more than $16 billion. To put that in perspective, Facebook makes so much money they could buy Fiji, Barbados and St. Lucia. Not once. Every single year they could write a check and buy each of those countries. How did they get so wealthy? You know the answer. Every time you recommend a perfect recipe, your information is sold to advertisers that market food products. When you ask about the best pediatrician in town, Facebook sells your data to medical companies looking to buy an advertising campaign. If you want to buy a house, every Realtor in the country can easily access

Jonathan McElvy Publisher

your information and target you for advertising. And if you hate a politician, sharing a negative article about that politician, you end up on a list of people who support the other side. You can’t blame Facebook for being so shrewd, even if they say their only mission is to connect people. You’re the ones who share that information for all the world to see, and if Facebook sells that information – up until now, because Donald Trump’s campaign was the beneficiary – then there’s nothing wrong with it. While I could list a mile’s worth of faults of Facebook, I don’t blame them for being innovative in their business model. They con you into handing over your information, and then they sell it for a gigantic profit. No, where I find the most fault in Facebook – and the public’s relentless addiction to it and other social media platforms – is that calling Facebook “media” has become part of our modern lexicon.

I don’t want to sound like your middle school grammar teacher, but think about those two words: “social” and “media.” Before partisan cable networks and national newspapers threw out all regard for fairness, the news media used to be something you could trust. I never fawned over Dan Rather or Tom Brokaw or Peter Jennings, but if I turned on their broadcasts a generation ago, at least I thought I’d get some semblance of truth. Today’s generation has replaced “news media” with “social media,” and the ramifications have been devastating. If you think about those two descriptors, what we’ve done is replaced trained journalists (news) with society (everybody that has a Facebook page). It’s quite amazing, if you think about it. The people we rely upon to get our information are our friends (social). And when our friends pick which stories to share, they do it hell-bent on convincing you their opinions are right. The pity of it all is that former “news” media, like our once-proud networks and national newspapers, have been forced to follow the money trail and instead of holding fast to the ideal of reliable information, you get what’s happened to vaunted publications like the Houston Chronicle. I just went to the free edition of and these are

Lynn Ashby Columnist

Who or what exactly is the Electoral College? It consists of 538 electors – Washington D.C. gets three. A majority of 270 votes is required to elect the President. The winner is sworn into office at high noon on Jan. 20 before the largest crowd ever gathered anywhere. Four presidents have been elected by the Electoral College after losing the popular vote. As we have seen, two of them won in recent years. Forty-eight states have the winner-take-all system. Maine and Nebraska have a variation of “proportional representation” that can result in a split of their electors between the candidates, which seems a lot fairer than what we have now. As for Texans: “Everyone in Texas is being ignored, because Texas just doesn’t matter to the presidential election,” said Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard University law professor who was a leading organizer of the legal effort. Almost 3.88 million Texans voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. Not a single vote counted. Most black and Latino voters, who make up more than 40 percent of the Texas electorate, have not had one electoral vote cast for their preferred candidate in the past four decades. (In the 1932 election, Franklin D. Roosevelt gathered all of Texas’ electoral votes with 88 percent of the popular vote. In 1992, George H.W. Bush did the same with only 40.5 percent in a three-way race against Democrat Bill Clinton and independent Ross Perot.) Being a solidly red state means presidential candidates don’t bother to campaign in Texas, although they come here for money. Indeed, GOP candidates consider Texas their ATM. If we give a lot of money, maybe one of us will get appointed to a top position – like Secretary of State. The candidates spend their time and funds in battleground states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin where there are a lot of Electoral College votes, as I was telling President Hillary. The only time any money came back to Texas was in 2008 when Hillary and Barack Obama were both seeking the Democratic nomination for President. The Texas campaign was tough and mystifying to outsiders. It’s hard for missionaries to grasp the difficulties of running a state-wide campaign here. We are expensive. Texas is separated into 20 media markets, the most of any state. Former Texas Land Commissioner Garry Mauro, who was state direc-

During this camp, we taught the basics of writing and how to report what is told to us, not what we think people want to hear. We spent an entire day learning how to take great pictures, and the students got hands-on instruction from a guy who has taken pictures for media like the Associated Press and Sports Illustrated. Another day was spent teaching young people how to use social media – we even brought in a police officer who talked about the dangers that lurk behind every post. And to cap it off, we spent almost two days learning about television, bringing in a camera crew to video students giving a real news cast. We’re holding the camp again this year, from July 23-27 at Lutheran High North on 34th Street. We have 50 spots available, and we sold them out last year. If you’re a parent or a grandparent who would like our youth to understand the real purpose of media, or if you want your children to explore the world of photography or broadcast or print journalism, I can promise there’s no better place than our annual Media Camp. If you’d like more information, feel free to send me an email at the address below. And we’ll tell you more about it in the week to come right here in The Leader. Email

The reader.

College Dropout Like you, I stay awake at night worrying about the Electoral College. It doesn’t have much of a football team, but it does choose our presidents, no matter which candidate the American voters prefer. As we all know, Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by 2.9 million votes, even counting Trump’s write-in ballots from Russia. Al Gore got 540,000 more votes than George W. “Hanging Chad” Bush. In each case, it was not the popular vote, but it was the Electoral College vote that counted. And Texas may start counting, too, finally. Federal lawsuits filed in Texas and three other states are seeking to end the winner-take-all system that awards every electoral vote from that state to the winning presidential candidate. The lawsuits argue that the winner-take-all system violates voting rights by discarding ballots cast for losing candidates. This is a two-party argument: Democrat voters in the GOP strongholds of Texas and South Carolina, and Republicans in Democratic California and Massachusetts have no say in picking their president. So if you voted for Hillary in Texas, your vote didn’t count, thus the lawsuit. In Texas’ case, it wasn’t state officials who filed the suits. They are perfectly happy with the current system. Indeed, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton will defend the state’s electoral-vote system, which was filed in San Antonio federal court in late February. Your tax dollars at work. A bit of background: In 1787, the Founding Fathers drafted the U.S. Constitution, and stuck in the Electoral College (Article II, section 1.) as a compromise between election of the President by a vote in Congress and election of the President by a popular vote. Another version is they decided the average citizen wasn’t erudite enough to elect a president without a filtering process. Each state receives a number of electors equal to the number of its U.S. senators (two in each state) plus the number of its U.S. representatives, which varies according to the state’s population. In the 2016 presidential election, California had the most with 55 electoral votes; other less populated states, such as Vermont, had three. Texas had 38 votes, and the 2020 census should give us two or three more. You just thought we choose our President on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. No, on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December, (still with me?) the electors meet in their respective state capitals to officially cast their votes for President and Vice President. These votes are then sealed and sent to the president of the Senate, who on Jan. 6 opens and reads the votes before both houses of Congress.

the headlines on the front page: “Houston’s best places for ooey, gooey mac’n’cheese.” Now tell me that headline isn’t the step-child of Facebook posts all over the land. It’s the biggest headline on the home page. Another headline: “Springer, Correa and Altuve talk coffee in H-E-B ad.” What? That’s the top story on the left-hand side of the page. Wonder if H-E-B paid for that plug? And here’s the best (worst), also on the front page: “Man shot during Facebook Live video on life support.” This happened in Beaumont, so obviously it’s one of the most important stories in Houston. You can do this exercise with newspapers and TV stations all over America. Go to their websites and look at the stories they promote as the most important. Social media has ravaged news media, and in the process, we’ve ruined the product that the U.S. Constitution protected with its very First Amendment. Except media hasn’t been completely ruined, and while it may sound arrogant, newspapers like The Leader still focus on local news and understand the value of news media. Last year, for the first time ever, we hosted The Leader’s Media Camp, where young people the age of 11-14 attended a week of handson learning about real media.

Garden Oaks has chance to fix itself now

tor for Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2008, told The New York Times, “It’s like running a national campaign. There are no similarities between Amarillo and Brownsville and Beaumont and Texarkana and El Paso and Austin and Houston and Dallas. These are very separate demographic groups with very diverse interests.” The primary election led to the Texas Two-Step with voting, caucuses, and late-night confusion. If Texas went to a proportional vote, like Maine and Nebraska, presidential candidates would be forced to come here to campaign, hoping to get a slice of our big-delegate pie. That means renting hotel ballrooms and suites, cars, cops, caterers, lots of ads on TV, radio and newspapers. More importantly, everyone’s vote would count. We would no longer be spectators in the sport of government. This would mean amending the Constitution, but if Americans can change the charter to prohibit alcohol and give 18-to 21-year- olds the right to vote (they still don’t), we can drop out of college. So I can get some sleep. Ashby is electable at

Dear Editor: What I know of the GOMO mess I’ve read in your paper -- thanks for the reporting. I read your take on the issue. Once it was determined that that this was an illegitimate organization, there was no reason to continue. These “technicalities”, like “paperwork” and “filing deadlines”, are the sorts of huddles that stop “three or four homeowners” from running roughshod over an entire community; it’s what stops them from seizing $4,000 from the proceeds on the sale of your home. As I understand it, this board sought damages for every day the Chang’s garage stood. That doesn’t seem very neighborly; it’s seems quite dickish actually. We have to keep an eye on these little tyrants. These are the same sort of people who tried to tax businesses in The Montrose from Midtown; are spending $200 million of local real estate taxes on a ridiculous bus lane down the middle of Post Oak Boulevard; are pushing a bullet train boondoggle to Dallas; and, committed $100 million in taxes to retrofit the useless Astrodome. Phil Williams Dear Editor: When you collect $600K of the public’s/your homeowner’s money but spend <$75K/year, bad things happen to the public trust in your organization. Look how happy U.S. citizens are! We’re managing to spend way more than we collect every year! Thank you GOP! C.L.

$600,000 returned before the lawyers siphon it all off – maybe they should be inquiring. Trish Mehrkam Dear Editor: I am grateful to McElvy for this. So very true. Kim

GO suit ends with bankruptcy, questions

Dear Editor: I would like to make a clarification for my statements mentioned in the article. I do believe a deed restriction enforcement entity serves an important function for the community. It is equally important, if not more, for the same enforcement entity to treat its neighbors with upmost dignity and respect instead of boasts of its “war chest” and threats of lawsuits. I am cautiously optimistic that the board will do what’s right for the neighborhood and return the neighborhood’s money. GOMO has the right to exist, but with that it also means GOMO carries the sacred obligation to treat its members with reverence and to enforce the deed restriction equally and fairly. Peter Chang

Remembering the Heights lady who famed bundt cake

Dear Editor: Thank you for honoring such a remarkable woman. I just read the article in the paper truly an inspiration. Josephine Martinez

Dear Editor: A lot of money and time spent on this issue and still no decision. GOMO is not speaking publicly, so no one knows what has happened, what will happen, or what should happen. Thank you for this article and hopefully The Leader will continue to cover and report on this issue. The neighbors that have paid the fee to GOMO at closings should be aware of what is happening – maybe they will be getting some of that

Dear Editor: I had the pleasure of meeting and working with this sweet lady at the Third Age Learning Center got several years. She was, indeed, a delight! L. Knapp

Email us your letters:

the leader Puzzlers. Answers found in this week’s Classified section



1. Printing speed measurement 4. Fed 7. A domed or vaulted recess 11. Macaws 12. Neck garment 14. A billionth of an ohm 15. Local area network 16. Cleve. basketball hero 18. Wounded & disfigured 20. Civil Rights group 21. Master of ceremonies 22. Smallest artery branches 26. Ref 27. Exist 28. Diagram of earth’s surface 29. SE Asian sarsaparilla soft drink 31. Fire remains 35. 3rd tone 36. Before 37. It breaks down lactose 39. A waterproof raincoat 40. Atomic #18 41. NW Canadian territory 42. Hindquarters 44. Follows sigma 46. Rural delivery 47. Point that is one

point N of due E 48. Excels 53. Berkus and Silver 56. Famous for fables 57. Philippine capital 58. Meg Ryan’s exhusband 62. Doleful 63. Arugula genus 64. Nursery verse 65. The 7th Greek letter 66. Container for shipping 67. Charge for services 68. Immature onion plant


1. Swedish statesman Olaf 2. Baltic flat-bottomed boat (alt. sp.) 3. Fingernail treatment 4. Breezed through 5. Check 6. Stray 7. Ancient computing devices 8. Something cheerleaders wave 9. The woman 10. Ambulance rescue initials 12. In a drowsy manner 13. A set of type of one style 14. Not completely closed

17. No (Scottish) 19. Microelectromechanical system 22. Having the wind against the forward side 23. Reestablish 24. Khloe K’s former husband 25.Verse forms 29. Places to sit 30. Chilean pianist Claudio 32. Rounds of poker 33. Spanish be 34. Sing and play for somebody 38. Chemical symbol for gold 39. Praying insects 43. Israeli politician Abba 45. 7th planet from the sun 49. Br. plural of a penny 50. Largest continent 51. Distress signal 52. Senate and People of Rome 54. Fill with high spirits 55. Egyptian statesman Anwar 57. Non-verbal entertainer 58. 12th calendar month (abbr.) 59. A major division of geological time 60. Ultrahigh frequency 61. Yes vote


Page 4A • Saturday, April 7, 2018 • The Leader

The Leader • Saturday, April 7, 2018 • Page 5A

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Frederickson provides opthamology care For The Leader Becky J. Fredrickson, M.D., Ph.D., is originally from Council Bluffs, Iowa, and received a B.S. degree in chemical engineering with highest distinction from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Prior to entering medical school, Dr. Fredrickson conducted biomedical research as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of London in England. Dr. Fredrickson received her medical degree from Bay-

lor College of Medicine and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering (Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering) from Rice University. She completed her ophthalmology residency training at the Baylor College of Medicine Cullen Eye Institute following an internship at Christus St. Joseph Hospital in Houston. During residency, she received the Everett L. Goar Award for ophthalmic research. She is also a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Texas

Ophthalmologic Association, the Harris County Medical Society, and the Texas Medical Association. Dr. Fredrickson is a boardcertified ophthalmologist practicing comprehensive ophthalmology including cataract surgery, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetes, ocular infections and dry eye. She also performs cosmetic ophthalmology including Botox, Juvederm and blepharoplasty surgery (eyelid surgery).

Art Car from P. 1A and Roll…but I like it!” From start to finish, Bass is a just a helping hand, and she lets students’ imaginations take off; every member plays the part of a cog in the Heights art car machine. “I love the decorating portion, because it’s the one thing I’m good at – I’m not so good with the construction portion of everything, so [design] where I really get to have fun with it,” said senior Noelle Riall, by now an art car veteran in her fourth year, as she took a brief respite from jeweling up any empty space on the car. “Being with the kids, watching them grow and become adults and watching this go from ‘just a car’ and an idea into this beautiful sculpture, is invaluable to me,” said Bass, a 35-year educator. Riall and fellow senior Avery Meppelink, who could be found Tuesday afternoon bedazzling a guitar string, are both examples of Bass’s sentiments. Meppelink says the project has allowed him to embrace a passion for design that he will pursue upon leaving Heights’ walls. “I’ve always wanted to do something design-related for college, and I thought this would come in handy there,” he said. “We get to learn a lot about how to work on a team and putting something together – so I figured I’d give it a shot and see how it goes, and I’ve loved it.” Riall has long been a fan of the abstract arts – making the art car a perfect outlet for that passion. “Whatever patterns we want, whatever colors it doesn’t really matter. It doesn’t really have to be anything – not any one color or pattern, and it winds up looking amazing together,” she said. That’s right – the ever-socoveted break from homework and studying many crave? Not for these students. Bass and the crew order some pizza, dance to some music, and even have some Bass’s artist friends stop by the school to encourage students as they bedazzle the vehicle from top-to-bottom and bumper to bumper. The club is a completely afterschool, weekend and spring break club that dedicates all their spare time to creating the stunning sculptural entry for the parade from January

Photo by Landan Kuhlmann Students have bedazzled and spruced what was once “just a car” from bumper to bumper to make the creation come alive. Readers can see it at the Houston Art Car Parade on April 14.

up until the big moment each year. “It’s become more than just showing up for school every day, because it’s not really school back here, it’s a little different – it’s kind of how adults do things,” Bass said. “They’re getting prepped and primed to be out in the adult world where you’ve got to make your projects fun, but you still have to work. It’s a way to learn how to begin and end a project with people you might not be around otherwise, and so much fun.” “You don’t get to put together an art car every day,” Meppelink added. “I learned how to weld here, which I wouldn’t have done otherwise, and there’s so much knowledge here you wouldn’t learn anywhere else.” Senior Wesley Haigwood is back for his second verse of the art car chorus in 2018, and echoed Bass’s sentiment. “Last year, I learned what it really meant to [Noelle and Ms. Bass] to get this finished, so this year I decided to hop on and help them out however I can,” he said, lamenting how he failed to take full advantage of the opportunity presented to him. “You get to enjoy working on the car – it’s all about the little things. You’re laying jewelry or working on the side of the car, and all of a sudden, a piece hits you in the head – then you look over, and you’re laughing with your friends as you’re putting this together. It becomes a family experience.” Born in 1988 with 40 cars and viewed by about 2,000 spectators, the Houston Art Car Parade now draws 250+ entries from 23 states as well

as Canada and Mexico and tens of thousands of spectators – quite the platform for high school students’ creation “It’s so incredible just being able to say that we got it done, because there’s always that crunch time where we think we’re not going to finish,” Riall said with a laugh. “Seeing everything get finished and people in awe of what we’ve done is so rewarding.” Riall’s best friend, junior Isabl King, who could be found on top of the car meticulously placing jewels in just the right spot as she worked on her third art car project, shared the same feeling. “I just fell in love with it,” she said. “The whole process has been my favorite part, but I really love when the car is done, you can take a step back and just reflect on what it is you’ve done. I just look at this beautiful masterpiece and can’t believe it.”

HISD from P. 1B of School Support for the district’s north area. During the 2015-2016 school year, she served as the chief school officer over elementary transformation schools. HISD touted her role in leading more than 20 schools of out an “improvement required” state rating to a “met standard” rating. “Dr. Lathan has a track record of turning schools around,” said Board of Education President Rhonda Skillern-Jones. “We are fortunate to have someone of her caliber on our leadership team, and we hope this will be a seamless transition as we continue to move the district forward.” PUA to stay, for now The biggest news from the budget review was the recommendation of the administration to keep the PUA, or Per Unit Allocation model of funding, for the coming school year. In the PUA, a school’s budget is derived from allocations of money attached to different student categorizations. Former Superintendent Richard Carranza was a proponent of a FTE, or full-time equivalent model, which is more centralized. Budget Manager Glenn Reed said more study was needed before a change in the funding model was made and recommended the formation of a resource allocation committee which he said has not existed since 2002. “I think this is long overdue,” Deigaard told the Houston Chronicle. “As someone watching this process every year, and every single year we get to this point where we ask what can we cut instead of being proactive and answering how should we be allocating our resources to benefit our students.” Some trustees also said that with the PUA, clearer policies and greater oversight were still needed to ensure principals are best serving their schools. In her online recap of the meeting, HISD Parent Advocates Sarah Becker applauded this intent but also said

that HISD was sending mixed messages to principals by making a school’s test scores a significant percentage of their evaluation. “Put it into policy but also look at what the current policy is incentivizing principals to do,” Becker said. A performance audit was not on the agenda review. More than 2,600 people have signed an online petition at to ask for one. “There really needs to be an audit performed,” said a member of the Supporters of HISD Magnets and Budget Accountability group. “The issues are on-going and the solutions are just temporary.” The district’s anticipated budget deficit is at $115 million, down from the $208 million originally projected. Under the current draft of the 2018-2019 budget, the amount schools get per student through the PUA will fall by $90, resulting in a $45 million dent to the deficit. The basic per-student funds for an elementary school student drops from $3,522 to $3,432, middle school student drops from $3,558 to $3,468 and the amount for high school students goes from $3,522 to $3,432. Magnet allocations are still being discussed. The current proposal also trims $70 million from central administration. HISD proposed increasing the subsidies given to smaller schools by $11 million across the district. Under the PUA model, board members said that smaller schools would be more severely impacted because of the per-student funding. The proposed criteria was that high schools that serve fewer than 1,000 students, middle schools with less than 750 students and elementary schools under 500 students would get extra funds. Another charter closes In other news, Victory Prep South, a Houston indistrict charter, told HISD officials before the Spring Holiday that it did not have the funds to finish out the school year, leaving more than 230

students – including graduating seniors – in a bind. Two months ago, its counterpart Victory Prep North also closed after running out of money. The board had an emergency vote, 7 to 0, with two trustees absent, to spend $300,000 so the school could stay open through June. Trustees had questions about why district officials did not investigate the financial affairs of Victory Prep South sooner, after the closure of the north campus. Mark Smith, chief student support officer for HISD, said that HISD did not have a routine monitoring system in place for charters because they are expected to monitor themselves. In 2016, the Texas Education Agency was going to close all Victory Prep schools because of poor academic performance. However, the HISD board voted to make the school an in-district charter, and the campuses stayed open - until now. Teacher retention Other items of interest included teacher vacancies at ACHIEVE 180 schools, including three at Yates High School in the last month. ACHIEVE 180, according to HISD is “a research-based action plan to support, strengthen, and empower underserved and underperforming HISD feeder pattern communities to increase student achievement. Best practices from successful school turnaround initiatives, including effective teachers, strong principal leadership, and an environment of high expectations for both students and staff, are incorporated into the plan.” Trustee Elizabeth Santos talked about the 13 percent teacher turnover rate at HISD and of the ongoing expense of hiring and retaining new teachers. She asked for a list of personnel at the main office who make more than $74,000, which is what the highest paid HISD teacher makes, along with a list of their responsibilities.

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Randalls from P. 1A produce. The 34th spot would be the first Houston location for their chain. A March 2014 Reuters report detailed the changes Randalls has gone through in recent years. That year, Cerberus Capital Management purchased Randalls’ parent, Safeway, and merged it with its Albertsons chain. The 44 Randalls stores were re-aligned with the southern Louisiana and Florida Albertsons stores as the new ‘Houston’ division of the company. In January 2017 the Houston Chronicle reported that the South Katy store which served Cinco Ranch was closing. Deli Market News reported at the same time that Albertsons was closing its Randalls distribution center and office in Houston. “The supermarket business is very competitive, particularly in the Houston area,” Wulfe told the Chronicle,” and Randalls is consolidating their operations and their costs to be able to compete in this market.” The pharmacy at the 34th street location closed on March 9 and any prescription records were transferred to the Walgreens at 3403 Mangum Rd. A liquidation sale has been ongoing at the store with discounts as deep as 70 percent on some items. On a recent visit, some aisles were bare and store employees told The Leader that they have been very busy.

Leader readers said that they would miss the grocery store. “It was a great option when we needed a few things,” said Jennifer Rodriguez. “My kids will really miss their chicken noodle soup. That got us through a lot of busy weeknight dinners.” “I liked their floral department,” said Mindy Vance. “It was very reasonable, and I was always able to find something I liked.” “Just shopped there for the first, and apparently last, time right after Harvey,” said Kimberly Spaeth. “Great service.” Some in development think that the new H-E-B and the Whole Foods 365 may have played a part in the company’s decision and also that the new arrivals are going to put the squeeze on existing grocery stores in the area. “Grocery wars are getting more intense daily and we are becoming more and more grateful that we are not involved,” said Bryan Danna of Revive. “Rooftops are key in the grocery world and that location is not in the center of the rooftops of their target market. It’s on the perimeter. Their target market is not driving by that site. The Shepherd and Westheimer Randalls, for example, is in the dead center of the rooftops of their target market. In addition it is ‘on the route’ of the normal traffic pattern of their target market.”

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The Leader • Saturday, April 7, 2018 • Page 7A

The calendar. WILLIAM ARCHER GUEST SPEAKER Heritage Republican Women William Archer will be speaking on Estate Planning and Probate. The presentation will include: overview of the probate system, what to do when a loved one passes, what to consider in your estate plan, requirements to probate a will, and avoiding probate. The meeting will be held at Candlelight Church of Christ, 4215 Watonga, at 7 p.m. April 5. Light refreshments will be served. Men are also welcome to attend. Information: 713-682-0496. MONTHLY HAPPY HOUR Heights Young Professionals Hop into Spring with Hyp! This month’s happy hour will be from 5-8 p.m. April 5, at Platypus Brewing, 1902 Washington Ave. Platypus Brewing will provide lite bites for all attendees. Wear pastel color to be entered to win a prize. The cost is $10 in advance through April 5, at 2 p.m. and $15 at the door. Information:, 713861-6735. DISTINGUISHED SPEAKER SERIES Houston Assembly of Delphians Houston Assembly of Delphians’ fourth season of Distinguished Speakers features Mary Covington, Program Director for the STAR (Success Through Addiction Recovery) Drug Court Program. The event will be from 5-7 p.m. April 7, at the West University Community Center,

6104 Auden St. Information: 713468-3749. SPRING FLING Durham Elementary Mark your calendars for some family fun! Come enjoy bounce houses, a vide game truck, a rock wall, face painting, a balloon artist and more. There will be two food trucks, Mingo’s Latin Kitchen and Uncle Louie G’s Italian Ices. The event will be April 7. Buy presale tickets at www.DurhamPTA. org/shop. 8TH GRADE BARBECUE Frank Black Middle School The Frank Black Middle School eighth-graders will hold their third annual barbecue from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. April 7. Proceeds benefit the class for their end of year activities. Eat in (cafeteria) or drive thru is available. The cost $10 for a barbecue plate (includes BBQ chicken leg quarter, rice, BBQ beans, bread, condiments). $2 raffle tickets will be sold for a 40” flat screen TV. The school is located at 1575 Chantilly Ln. Information: 713-613-2505. THE WIZARD OF OZ St. Pius X High School Theatre SPX and the SPX Fine Arts Department presents “The Wizard of Oz” April 12, 13 and 14 at 7 p.m., and at 2:30 p.m. April 15. General admission is $5 for students and $10 for adults. St. Pius X High School is located at 811 W. Donovan St. Information:

UNIFY STROKE DISCUSSION GROUP Memorial Hermann Greater Heights Hospital UNIFY Stroke Discussion Group is open to all stroke patients, stroke survivors and caregivers. The meeting will be held from 3-4 p.m., April 12 (the 2nd Thursday of every month), in the South Tower, First Floor, Classroom C at Memorial Hermann Greater Heights Hospital, 1635 North Loop West. Please register to attend this free event by calling 713-222-2273. THE TWILIGHT OF THE GOLDS Theatre Suburbia A family, a pregnancy, and a revealing pre-natal test. If your parents knew everything about you before you were born, would you be here? That is the question posed in Jonathan Tollin’s controversial dramedy, “The Twilight of the Golds.” The show opens April 13, and runs through May 12, with Friday and Saturday performances at 8:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. (April 29 and May 6, only) at Theatre Suburbia, 4106 Way Out West. Reservations are strongly encouraged. Tickets are $16 for adults, $13 for students and seniors, and $13 for Sunday Matinees. Information:, 713682-3525. RUMMAGE SALE Waltrip Band Do some spring cleaning and help the Waltrip Ram Band too! The Roaring RamBand is hosting

a rummage sale, Saturday from 7 a.m.-noon, April 14, at the school located at 1900 W. 34th St. Donated items can be dropped off at 7 a.m. If interested in renting a space, the cost is $25. Contact waltriprambandbooster@gamil. com for information. Band students will also be having a car wash and selling concessions. If you have a musical instrument collecting dust, there will be an instrument drive. RUN THE GROVE 5K West 11th Street Park The Run the Grove 5K will begin and end at West 11th Street Park, located at 2400 West 11th St. in the heart of Timbergrove Manor. This year’s event will honor the memory of Dr. Lorraine Cherry and it is suggested to dress up as woodland creatures (both children and adults) as part of a tribute to her. The run will be April 14, and begins with registration at 7 a.m., followed by the 8 a.m. run. The kids fun run begins at 9 a.m. Information: www. AARP TAX AIDE Mangum-Howell Center AARP tax-aide volunteers will provide free income tax assistance for low- and middle-income individuals at Mangum-Howell Center, Doss Park at 2500 Frick Road, 77038. Each appointment lasts approximately 45 minutes. Participants must bring their 2016 tax returns and 2017 tax documents to the Center. Please remove documents from

envelopes and organize them prior to the appointment. Tax Aide is available through April 17 Tuesdays 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Wednesdays noon-4 p.m. Information: 281-591-7830,

questions about Harvey. Neighboring communities of Norill are welcome. Information: facebook. com/pg/

HOUSTON AIRPORT TURNS 90 Heritage Society Museum The Heritage Society Museum, 1100 Bagby St., will hold their Noon Lecture Series, The Houston Airport Turns 90 by Michael Bludworth. Incensed by being passed over for an Air Mail route, by Dallas of all places, the Houston business community worked together to produce a facility that could accommodate the mail. The discussion will take place from noon-1 p.m. April 19, in The Heritage Society Tea Room. The cost is free for members, and $5 for non-members. Guests may bring a lunch or purchase one for $10. Call 713-655-1912, ext. 103 for reservations or to reserve a box lunch.

All Saints TALC features Movie Night All Saints Third Age Learning Center will have a movie day April 6, and will feature the WWII drama, “The Darkest Hour” starring academy award winner Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill. The movie begins at 10 a.m. and lemonade and popcorn will be furnished. TALC will host a Spring

Party at 10:30 a.m. April 13, featuring a spring hat contest, refreshments, door prizes and music by the Strummin’ Saints Ukulele Band. All Saints Catholic Community is located at 215 E. 10th St. For information and lunch reservations, call 713-2481277. Bravura Concert Series at All Saints Join us for an evening filled with the enriching music of Bach, Handel, Scarlatti, and Frescobaldi. Dr. Jeong-Suk Bae and Louis-Marie Fardet provide an illuminating program into the Baroque. The concert

will be at 5 p.m. April 15. Free will offering admission. All Saints Catholic Church is located at 215 E. 10th St. Call 713-864-2653 or visit for information. Women’s Bible Study Group meets at the YMCA The Women’s Bible Study meets at 6:30 p.m. every Monday at the Harriet and Joe Foster YMCA, 1234 W. 34th St. The new Bible study begins on the Book of Daniel. There will be Bible study, prayer, and fellowship. Guests and new members are welcome to attend this non-de-

The Obituaries. 22, 1939 in Hershey, Pa., died March 28.

Julian Clifford Britt, 97, born May 12,

1920 in Perquimans County, NC, died March 29. Britt served in the U.S. Army during World War II in the 4th Armored Division. After he was discharged from active duty, he joined the newly formed U.S. Air Force and served stateside. In 1950, he went to work for his brother, James Britt, in the utility construction industry. Julian married Colzie Mae Watts on April 11, 1952 and soon after moved to Timbergrove Manor. Britt retired from construction in 1972 and went to work for Hughes Tool Company where he worked for another 15 years. He was a member of Grace United Methodist Church in the Heights for 70 years. He is survived by numerous nieces and nephews. Memorial contributions may be made to Houston Hospice, 1905 Holcombe, Houston 77030.

May McCasland Engelhardt, 85, born Oct. 18, 1932, died March 21. She graduated from Reagan High School. Engelhardt was employed in the insurance industry for

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Dennis William Barbini, 79, born Jan.

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HARVEY AFTERMATH UPDATE Norhill Neighborhood Association Join your neighbors to hear guest speaker Mark Collette, investigative reporter for the Houston Chronicle and co-writer of the seven–part series “Developing Storm”, at 6:30 p.m. April 24, at Proctor Plaza Community Center, 803 W. Temple. Collette will address the Norhill Neighborhood Association monthly general meeting and some of the big

From the Pews. VBS registration now at St. Stephen’s Get amped for VBS this summer! Registration is now open for Vacation Bible School, to be held June 18-22, from 8:30 a.m.-noon. Children age 3 (and potty-trained) through those who will enter the fifth grade next school year are welcome to attend. The cost is $15 for the first child, and $10 for each sibling. Register online at For information, email vbs@ Registration is also open for additional summer camps for students in the third through 12th grades. For information visit

EYE WITNESS TO WAR Heritage Society Museum The new exhibition in The Heritage Society Museum is A View from the Trenches: The Oberwetter World War I Collection will run through April 28. Images of war are powerful. Buildings crumbling, bridges blown to pieces, roads destroyed, and the men in uniform marching through it. These are the images photographed by a Texas man fighting in France during World War I. The museum is located at 1100 Bagby St. Museum hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Admission to the museum gallery is free. Information:, 713-655-1912.

nominational Bible study. Email scripturesharing@ for information or call 713-516-4282. Men’s Scripture Sharing Group meets at the YMCA The Men’s Scripture Sharing Group meets at 7 a.m. every Thursday at the Harriet and Joe Foster YMCA, 1234 W. 34th St. There will be music, Bible study and fellowship. Guests and new members are welcome to attend this nondenominational Bible study. Email scripturesharing@ for information.

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many years. She also worked part-time for Foley’s Department Store, and as an usher in the downtown Theatre District. She retired from Trans American Occidental Life Insurance as an Office Manager. She served in many capacities at the Garden Oaks Church of Christ. She was actively involved with the Wise Owls at Garden Oaks since its inception more than 20 years ago. She is survived by her neices and nephews.

Thomas Joe Fowle, 67, born July 2,

1950, died March 27. Fowle had a career as a general contractor/carpenter, and was a longtime parishioner at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church. He is survived by his son Branson Fowle, sister Carol Adams, and brothers Harold and Jim Fowle.

Ruth Evelyn Mansfield, 92, born July 22, 1925 in Crockett, Texas, died March 16. She is survived by her son Michael Ray Mansfield, grandson Jeremy Michael Mansfield and great-granddaughter Kinsley Lynn Mansfield. Joyce Winnell Mayes, 89, born Jan.

2, 1929 in Mildred, Texas, died March 26. Mayes was a member of Lazybrook, and Oak Forest Baptist Church. She became a successful professional, retiring from NASA (JSC) in 1990. She is survived by her children Doug Howard, Joycelyn Webster, Steve Howard, and Cheryl Howard, five grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.

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1930, died March 26.

Nancy Laverne Roberts, 88, born Aug. 4, 1929 in Alief, died March 29. She was employed at American General Insurance Co. She and her husband Earl, owned and managed House of Steaks restaurant, and enjoyed a long retirement together until his death in 2008. She was a longtime resident of the Timbergrove area and a member of Lazybrook Baptist Church for over 55 years. She is survived by sister Juanita Wallace, daughter Terri Luneau, son Randy Roberts, four grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. Memorial contributions may be made to Lazybrook Baptist Church, 1822 W. 18th St., Houston 77008.

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ohn 3:13 is a record of a statement that Jesus made to Nicodemus during his late night conversation with this religious leader. Jesus told Nicodemus that “ no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” What did Jesus mean by this statement. He makes the point that there is no person that can get to (ascend) heaven on their own. The only person that will ascend to heaven on his own is Jesus Christ the “Son of man” who first “descended” or came down from heaven to earth was born to Mary, laid in a manger, grew up, performed miracles, was crucified, rose again three days later, and then 40 days after His resurrection ascended up to heaven. It is through Jesus Christ and his death, burial, and resurrection that we can have eternal life and someday go to heaven. Many religions teach that you can get to heaven if you do enough good or fulfill the things your church requires of you. The truth that Jesus points out so clearly to Nicodemus, who himself was a very religious man who tried to do everything right, was that there was no way any human could do enough to reach heaven but that heaven is a gift from God to those who trust in Jesus Christ. We don’t get to heaven by doing! The work has already been done! What a wonderful truth to consider at this Easter season!

Page 8A • Saturday, April 7, 2018 • The Leader

April Showers can bring thunderstorm anxiety Dear Tabby, Our dog suffers from thunderstorm anxiety and it is becoming increasingly difficult to deal with. Any advice of how to ease thunderstorm anxiety in pets? Thunder Troubles in Timbergrove Dear Thunder Troubles, It’s very common for pets to have a reaction to thunderstorms--some more severe a reaction than others. Veterinarians don’t know all the triggers but suspect that dogs are set off

by some combination of wind, thunder, lightning, barometric pressure changes, static electricity, and the low-frequency rumbles preceding a storm that humans can’t hear. According to one theory, dogs even experience painful shocks from static buildup before the storm. What can you do to ease your pet’s thunderstorm anxiety? Experts recommend rewarding calm behavior year round. This means practicing getting your dog to settle down on command. Barbara L. Sherman, PhD, DVM, associate professor of veterinary behavior at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine and a past president of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, recommends putting a special “inside” leash on

the dog and practice having the pet lie at your feet while praising the calm behavior. “They should practice when there is no storm, so the dog learns the routine,” she says. “When the storm comes up, then they put on the leash and say, ‘Come on and lie down here,’ and the dog still knows what to do.” It’s also important to give your pet a safe place to go and hide during the storm, if that’s what she wants. Notice where she goes during a storm, and if possible, allow access to it. Be sure your pet can come and go freely, since some animals become more anxious if confined. You might also consider purchasing a Thundershirt-type of garment for your dog. These snug-fitting shirts for pets

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have a calming effect similar to swaddling a baby. Providing a gentle “hug” for your pet, these compression garments have been shown to lessen anxiety for some animals. If all else fails, consult your veterinarian. In extreme cases of thunderstorm anxiety, vets can prescribe medications to address the issue. Dr. Sherman adds, “We have our best luck with a management plan that includes changing some features in the environment, applying some behavior modification techniques, and often some anti-anxiety medication,” Sherman says.

Meet Turnip This sweet girl is a black mouth cur/lab mix who was rescued from a shelter in East Texas, so she’s a southern lady through and through. Turnip loves other dogs and kids, so a family would be the ideal fit for this lovely girl. She is potty and crate trained and is working hard on her leash skills so that she can go on as many walks as possible in her new home. To learn more about Turnip, go to

Do you have a question for Tabby? If so, email her at: dear

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The Leader â&#x20AC;˘ Saturday, April 7, 2018 â&#x20AC;˘ Page 9A

Garden Oaks neighbors set sail on next chapter, adventure Christina Martinez Managing Editor

It seems like just yesterday that I came back from the Caribbean with a fantastic tan and even better travel memories. Last summer, I ventured down to the islands with friends and Garden Oaks neighbors, Jason, Kim and Benjamin Ellis, plus the Wells family. I spent nine days with our adventure crew exploring St. Thomas, the U.S. Virgin Islands â&#x20AC;&#x201C; places like Maho Bay, Waterlemon Cay, Caneel Bay, Buckeye Bay - Culebra and San Juan, Puerto Rico. What an adventure we had. To bring you up to speed with the Ellis family, they arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t your typical neighbor. In their spare time, the family is traveling the back roads in their 1987 Westfalia Vanagon, but these days theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been preparing for their latest adventure: quitting their corporate gigs, selling the house and most of their be belongings and moving onto their 44-foot catamaran this summer for the foreseeable future. They arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t your typical neighbor, but theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got good flavor. Since our arrival back on Houston turf last year, the Ellises have made trips back down to prep the boat, liquidated assets, suffered through final days at the corporate gig until putting in final notice, prepared their son with expec-

ENTERTAINMENT CALENDAR Scoutâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Honor adoption event 10 a.m. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 3 p.m. Saturday, April 7 Scoutâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Honor Rescue, Inc. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 1128 Heights Blvd. Come out this Saturday for the Scoutâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Honor adoption event in the Heights! If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking for a pet or thinking about getting one, this is a great opportunity to meet some wonderful animals. Maybe youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll even decide to foster one of the animals until they find they their forever home. And if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not looking for a new pet, come support Scoutâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Honor and scratch a few ears. From hound dogs to little scruffy dogs, they will have all types of adorable dogs there!

Farm babies petting zoo 11 a.m. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 1 p.m. Saturday, April 7 Wabash Feed â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 4537 N. Shepherd Dr. Wabash Feed will be hosting a baby animal petting zoo this Saturday! The petting zoo will include bunnies, chicks, ducklings, goats, and mini horses. Children of all ages are welcome to come out and get up close and personal with all the farm babies. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the perfect way to spend a late morning when you want a little country mixed in with city living!

Houston ARTFLOW 7 p.m. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 11 p.m. Saturday, April 7 Visionary Heights â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 1331 Nicholson St. ARTFLOW is back and running version 2.0. There is a new roster of amazing artists featuring their best work in the gallery. Each artist has a different style and medium! The show doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a specific theme, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s whatever the artist felt was best to showcase. Entry is free, along with free drinks and food! Come out and join the fun, listen to chill music and chat with the artist. You may learn something new!

Labyrinth at Petrol 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 7 The Petrol Station â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 985 Wakefield Dr. Get nostalgic this Saturday night by watching a 1986 classic film. The Petrol Station is showing Labyrinth in the backyard. Sit back and relax with good food and drink while you watch the movie you forgot was a little creepy. Dogs are welcome!

tations, and have been getting their ducks in a row to sell just about everything and put a few things in storage. So whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s next for this flavorful family? For starters, both Jason and Kim have quit their jobs and left with well wishes from co-workers and bosses. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I put in my notice and the HR lady said it was the coolest notice sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d ever have to process,â&#x20AC;? Jason Ellis said. Jason quit his job on Monday, April 2; Kim quit her job about a month ago to start preparing their house to get on the market. Kimâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s notice was a little earlier than they planned, but it came at the right time, too. The first date on the calendar is April 15. The family will be meeting Kimâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s parents, Sherry and Robert Hallbrook, in Disney World so the grandparents can spoil their boy with one big hoorah before they send the loves of their lives off on their adventure. Disney departure day will be sometime next week; the family wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be boarding a flight, but instead road tripping down in their 80 square foot Vanagon. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The last day we can leave is Thursday,â&#x20AC;? Kim Ellis said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We want to stop through the pan handle on the way and Benji was born in Pensacola, so we want to take our time getting down there.â&#x20AC;? After their trip to Disney, the adventure continues. The next date the family has on their calendars is July 15, when they fly down to St. Thomas. Before July and after

for the Ellises to spend the summer, meet new people, learn about home schooling and just start with a low key environment. After hurricane season ends Nov. 1, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll sail north and island hop in the U.S. Virgin Islands and after traveling north theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll sail where the wind takes them next. Their midterm plan is coming up with a solution to keep the boat safe during hurricane season. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Most will sail south and stay put,â&#x20AC;? Jason said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You can also dock the boat and go north or go to Europe. We will sail south.â&#x20AC;? The tentative long-term plan is exploring the places theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always dreamed of visiting by boat, like Cortez, Baja, Europe, the Panama Canal and more. But thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really only one certain plan. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We want to share all of this with our family and friends,â&#x20AC;? Kim said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have told all of our family and friends that we will see them on the boat and we hope to share this with them all.â&#x20AC;? If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking for a unique vacation, the Ellis family will open their boat for charter trips - just email them at The love and friendship that this family has shown me, coupled with the memories and laughs weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve shared brings me to tear as we send them off. I think a true wonder in this life is seeing your friends chase their dreams - it brings me pure joy to share their next chapter. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be seeing you, friends.

At the top, The Leaderâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Christina Martinez, Benjamin, Kim and Jason Ellis in the blue waters of Playa Punta Soldado beach in Culebra, Puerto Rico in summer 2017. To the left, the Ellises soon to be home, SV Mimzy (Mimzy photo by captain Darrin Jackson).

Disney, the family will be road tripping up the East coast and seeing friends all along the way. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think what Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m most excited about is getting to slow down and travel through these places that we havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t

seen without a time schedule,â&#x20AC;? Kim said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll get to take in history, nature, the cooler temperatures will be a plus. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s kind of like weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be chasing spring.â&#x20AC;? For whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s on the road trip agenda? There is no agenda.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;We need to make it up to Maine, but we could go as far north into Canada,â&#x20AC;? Jason said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m excited for taking the back roads and getting off the interstate and just enjoying the drive.â&#x20AC;? Once the family gets down to the Caribbean, plans do start to kick in. For the first year, the plan is to get the boat ready to sail south to Grenada and spend summer there. The area is filled with families and it will be a great place

Art Valet: Artist with international background settles in Heights Mitch Cohen Art Columnist

Still on the lookout for unusual backgrounds, hobbies or jobs of artists, this week we meet Heights artist Abiola Wabara. Before arriving in the Heights, Wabara lived in Italy, Spain, Israel, England, played professional basketball and currently works as a business consultant for a multinational consulting firm. Wabara paints on canvas and like many artists, canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t remember when art wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t important in her life. Probably more so now than ever. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Art has been in my life ever since I can remember. Painting is my way to vent and free myself from any disappointments, broken heart or bad feelings I may have,â&#x20AC;? Wabara says in her bio. â&#x20AC;&#x153;My art represents what I see as beautiful or subjects in which eyes I see a different story.â&#x20AC;? As I said, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more to Wabara than she lets on in her expressive paintings of women and sometimes iconic figures of the past. Wabara is Italian by birth to Nigerian parents, attended Baylor University on a full basketball scholarship then played professionally in Israel for three seasons before moving to Spain, back to Italy and finally settled in England to

Join us for Happy Hour! G&F WinGs pursue a master degree in International Business Management. Wabara likes to focus her work on the diverse aspects of Black culture and tries to capture the beauty of her people and her culture in the works of art she creates. Her artwork is exciting, bold and expressive. Not only is she fascinated by the human form, but emotions, body language and especially eye expressions. Her style, sense of color is eye-catching. Wabara is quoted as saying, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am vulnerableâ&#x20AC;Ś I hide behind my canvasâ&#x20AC;Ś I escape without ever having to leaveâ&#x20AC;Śeach paint stroke strips off a part of meâ&#x20AC;ŚI show you all of me without showing any of meâ&#x20AC;Śâ&#x20AC;? Meet Wabara and view her art in person at First Saturday Arts Market this Saturday. The show is open 11 a.m. - 6 p.m., at 530 W. 19th Street, right between Penzeys Spices and YogaOne Studios. 1stSatArtMarket.


enjoy Happy Hour priCed bites, beers, wines and HigH ball spirits.

Contributed photos At the top, an original by artist Abiola Wabara. Above, featured artist Abiola Wabara with her paintings.

com. Wabara can be found online at Cohen is an artist and founder of First Saturday Arts Market and the new Market at Sawyer Yards, find him at


    Make your reservations at the Leader Readersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; voted

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w w w. g i n g e r a n d f o r k r e s t au r a n t . c o m

23rd Annual

Czech SpringFest Sunday, April 8, 2018 - 11 am - 6 pm SPJST Lodge #88, 1435 Beall St. (15th Street in the Heights)

Vitame vas 

Happy Hour 2:30 - 7 p.m. tues. - Friday at tHe bar!

AdMISSIon - $8.00 CHILdREn UndER 11 FREE

GUEST ARTIST Marcela Hrabovska from the Czech Republic will demonstrate her art of decorating eggs with straw and other materials. She will have many items for sale.

KovAndAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S Czech Band (11 am - 2 pm) Texas Legacy - Czech Band for your dancing pleasure (3 pm - 6 pm)

Traditional Czech Sunday dinner - 11 am - 2 pm Adults $10.00, Children under 11 - $7.00 Soup & Sausage with Sauerkraut served at 1 pm Kolache Eating Contest, Cultural Exhibits, Silent Auction, Country Store & Vendors Sponsor: Czech Heritage Society of Texas, Harris County Chapter, A Texas 501Š3 Non-Profit organization Benefiting the CHSHCC Library & Archives

ou Dobr â&#x20AC;&#x2122; For More Info, Call 713-349-0500 or Chut e-mail

Page 10A • Saturday, April 7, 2018 • The Leader

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April 7, 2018 Section A


April 7, 2018 Section A