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Saturday, July 11, 2015 • Vol. 60 • No. 36

Local church embraces marrying local LGBT couples By Kim Hogstrom For The Leader

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

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On June 26, the US Supreme Court passed down a historic ruling in favor of marriage equality, paving the way for many in the LGBT community to tie the knot with their life partners. For two Houstonians marrying at a local church, the news couldn’t have come sooner. For Billy Sullivan, 65, and Vern Johnson, 47, it was a long, eight-year wait to walk the aisle. After the ruling was announced, the two men quickly made their way to the North Shepherd Court House, and applied for a marriage license. On July 4, the two were married in 90-year-old Bethel United Church of Christ, located at 1107 Shepherd Dr., with their dog Duchess acting as the ring bearer and with many friends in attendance.

“We were overjoyed with the Supreme Court ruling,” Sullivan said. “We were very surprised and did not want to wait. We got married as soon as we could because we didn’t want to risk the possibility of appeals or amendments. We didn’t trust Texas. Neither of us ever thought we would see this in our lifetime.” Bethel United Church of Christ has functioned as a welcoming house of worship for members of the LGBT community for years, which isn’t the case in all the United Church of Christ congregations. “There are 14 UCC affiliates in Houston, and the beauty of our denomination is that we are locally governed,” Teddy Kissell, acting interim pastor, said. “We reflect the community. There are four of us in Houston performing same sex weddings. We four are See Marriage, P. 2A

Contributed Photo Billy Sullivan (right) and Vern Johnson (center) joined the growing number of men and women tying the knot with their partners across the nation.

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Three arrested after drive-by in Heights area Three men ended up behind bars Wednesday morning after they allegedly led police on a chase after opening fire on a home on Cortlandt and West 37th Street. The Leader news partner KHOU was at the scene early Wednesday morning with photos and video of the aftermath. According to the report, two people were inside of the home while about 30 bullets were fired into the residence from a dark sedan just after 2:30 a.m. A Houston Police Department representative said officers in the area were conducting patrols when they spotted the vehicle turn on 37th Street from North Main. The officers then saw the vehicle slow down and heard multiple gunshots from the direction of the vehicle. The vehicle then allegedly sped from the location toward Yale Street. Officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop, however the driver allegedly refused to stop and continued to flee at a high rate of speed. The driver attempted to cross the median on Yale near Tidwell where the vehicle crashed and the three occupants took off on foot. Officers immediately captured the driver, identified as Joseph Davis, 26, and he currently has pending charges of deadly conduct, felony evading and felon in possession of a firearm. The two other suspects were arrested a short time later with help from the

St. Joseph puts confusion to rest As part of this week’s contributed content in Our Health, officials with St. Joseph Medical Center in the Heights are reaching out to members of the community with a simple message - although the Select Specialty Hospital has closed, St. Joseph remains committed to serving area residents.

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Houston reaching out to cyclists for overhaul of city-wide Bike Plan By Jonathan Garris jgarris@theleadernews.com

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Red, White & Proud The Waltrip High School Ram Band returned from Washington D.C. this week after its performance at the National Independence Day Parade. While exhausting, students and parents alike say they have a new sense of pride in their accomplishments thanks to the eye-opening experience.

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While cyclists and motorists appear to forever be at odds with one another across Houston, city officials are hoping the region’s first comprehensive bike plan in more than 20 years will help modernize safe passageways for cyclists for safer, happier commutes. The Houston Bike Plan, a year-long effort to update the city’s Comprehensive Bikeway Plan adopted in 1993, kicked off this year and officials have been reaching out to everyone from hardcore cyclists, to morning commuters and families for input. Cathy Halka, a planner leader within the Planning & Development Department for the City of Houston, said the program just wrapped up its public meetings throughout June and online surveys will be available until July 20. While Halka says an inventory of public comments hasn’t been completed, many living around The Leader area have taken to the Bicycle Advisory Committee’s interactive map where users can pin comments and suggestions for officials. Among some of the ideas put forward by cyclists online include connecting the Heights bike trail to the Buffalo Bayou bike trails, adding a dedicated bike lane on Sawyer between Buffalo Bayou and the Heights bike trails and a desire to utilize Montrose Boulevard as a north-south connector for

Photo by Jonathan Garris (Top) Cyclists are enjoying improvements to the White Oak Bayou and other areas, but more improvements are coming to trails across the city. (Bottom) Some cyclists and motorists are hoping the city will also clarify what parts of the roadways should be occupied by bicycles and cars specifically.

the Heights, Montrose and Rice areas. “Some of the things we have heard is that people have a clear need for a better connection between Montrose and the Heights as well as a desire to connect the bayou trails,” Halka said. “We’ve also seen comments related to creating better clarity on streets where people on bikes and those driving cars should be specifically.” Changes like these represent an exhaustive effort to collect as much data as possible to update the aging bikeway system. For most people, Houston is a far different beast See Bike, P. 2A

See Arrest, P. 2A

Contributed Photo by KHOU Police investigate the vehicle belonging to three suspects believed to have participated in the drive-by shooting at a home in the Heights area. All three men were arrested and the driver currently faces multiple pending charges.

Leader-area sculptor goes down the rabbit hole By Betsy Denson betsy@theleadernews.com In July of 1865, Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) published a tale he first told to the three daughters of Henry Liddell during a boat ride down the River Thames in London. One hundred and fifty years later, Leader-area sculptor Bridgette Mongeon is bringing renewed attention to Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland through a bronze monumental sculpture of the Mad Hatter Tea Party. Lucky for Houstonians, the permanent site of the sculpture, once finished, will be in Bellaire’s Evelyn Park, itself still a work in progress. The Jerry and Maury Rubenstein Foundation is the sculpture’s patron in honor of their mother Evelyn. Now, with the sculpture’s home secured, Mongeon See Sculpture, P. 8A

Contributed Photo from www.creativesculpture.com Bridgette Mongeon’s 3D renderings of her sculpture show an attention to detail indicative of three years of hard work.

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Marriage from P. 1A â&#x20AC;&#x153;I said, well, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m gay,â&#x20AC;? Sullivan said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Then Vern said â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I am too,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; and we have been together ever since. Today, we own a house and five wonderful dogs we call our children.â&#x20AC;? As the founding congregation of 90-year-old Bethel United Church of Christ were devout German immigrants, did the two men feel like trailblazers in this house of worship? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Not at all,â&#x20AC;? said Sullivan. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The man who married us was Pastor Robert Blake. He was very pleasant and comfortable with us. He made us feel completely at home.â&#x20AC;? Johnson and Sullivan clearly felt welcomed at Bethel, and

continue basking in the joy of their special day. How much has changed for the pair since they tied the knot? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Everything has changed,â&#x20AC;? Sullivan says with a smile. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our legal status has changed, our taxes, our health, house and car insurance coverage, our deed as homeowners, our rights as people - many legal matters have changed. And itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all for the better.â&#x20AC;?

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what we call â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;open and affirmingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; congregations. We try to personalize each wedding - a wedding should be personal - but keep the worship in it too.â&#x20AC;? Johnson said the two had planned all along to marry but never expected to have the opportunity to marry here. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was a celebration for us and we are very happy,â&#x20AC;? Johnson said. The two man met eight years ago and became friends while neither knew the other was gay. One afternoon, they were in a gym working out together when Johnson asked Sullivan what he thought of gay people.

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Bike from P. 1A from the early 90s â&#x20AC;&#x201C; something cyclists, who have had to endure new developments and new traffic patterns, are all too familiar with. However, not all developments have been without favor to the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s large cycling population. The Bayou Greenways program plans for an additional 150 miles of trails along the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bayous and Mayor Annise Parker also entered in an agreement to use powerline corridors for trails, Halka said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;[The powerline corridors] present a nice grid across the city with a lot of opportunities to provide connectivity in the bicycle system,â&#x20AC;? Halka said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you align the powerline corridors against the Bayou Greenways, you start to identify some key links where you can fill in the gaps and make a connected system.â&#x20AC;? The city currently has about 500 miles of bikeway facilities available to citizens, but when examined by comfort levels, the system has a number of gaps between those designated as â&#x20AC;&#x153;high

comfort systems.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Design standards for bicycle trails were very different in the 90s,â&#x20AC;? Halka said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking at areas that are completely different and many need access to higher density areas and to new destinations that people would prefer to get on their bike and ride to. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not just about recreational riding â&#x20AC;&#x201C; some want to gain access to parks near where they live and others want to be able to get on their bike and take a trip instead of [using] a car and be able to do it safely.â&#x20AC;? Halka said residents wanting to be heard should visit BACâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website at www.houstonbikeplan.org and complete the survey and also leave comments on the interactive map. Presentations from public meetings are also available on the website as well. Officials will be drafting an initial plan following the closure of the public comment period and Halka said BAC will be reaching out to the public again closer to the end of 2015 for final touches.

Arrest from P. 1A HPD canine unit, according to officials. The KHOU report says one man was found hiding in trash while another tried to hide in a nearby apartment complex. A police dog bit one of the men and he was treated at the scene. Police currently believe the drive-by was drug related but the case remains under investigation. Photos of the incident can be found online at www.khou.com.

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The Topics. Saturday, July 11, 2015 • Page 3A

What if we had this energy year-around? E ver wonder what makes a newspaper publisher’s toes tingle? Ever wonder what makes a job like this exciting every once in a while? Get a raging group of readers together and have them threaten to remove a public official. That may sound like hyperbole, but it’s not. Every once in a while, people who run newspapers and other forms of media need to be reminded of why we have wonderful jobs, and today is one of those days. Take a look at the letters that have poured in concerning the proposed beheading of the name “Reagan” from our Heights high school, and that’s all the evidence we need. First, let me offer some background. I did not attend John H. Reagan High School. I am not a Bulldog or a Red Coat. The only facility I’ve ever used at Reagan High School was the tennis courts across the street, back before I figured out that tennis makes me tired. Here’s what I do know: I have met more people in the past three years who are as proud today as they were 40, 50 and 60 years ago that they attended that high school.

Jonathan McElvy Publisher

Many of them love the name Reagan; all of them love their classmates and their memories. Today, I’m not going to be as brief as possible, because the people who have taken the time to write and comment on our story deserve the right to air their grievances and threaten (politically, not violently) any and every public official they choose. However, in what little space I have to write today, I would like to offer some perspective that may inspire some and anger others. Every week that I write a column, there’s a picture of me in the second column. I am a white guy who grew up in the heart of the Confederacy – Alabama, to be exact. By default, most people would

The size of Texas is upon us AUSTIN – The traffic on I-35 is stopped dead both ways, and it’s not even rush hour. Our state capital tried to solve this problem by double decking the freeway, but no luck (never play Texas Hold ‘Em with two decks). The road is the main north-south Interstate through the town, so to bypass this roadblock, they built a toll road looping from north of Austin, east of the city south to I-10 at Seguin. That bypass is so lightly used the project is facing bond foreclosure. The road has an 85-mph speed limit which adds excitement to the frequent collision with feral hogs. Incidentally, if you are wondering why there is no major east-west road through Austin, as Bob Lanier, then-chairman of the Texas Highway Commission, told me, “Not many people drive to Fredericksburg.” Too many cars is another example of Texas’s growing pains. Take Austin, for example. In 1840 – before Texas was counted in the U.S. Census – the town’s population was 553. Today it is estimated at 912,791 and has a net growth of 110 new souls each day. This is occurring in an area of 319 square miles for a density of 2,619 people per square mile. In contrast, Dallas has a population of 1,257,000 in an area of 393 square miles for a population density of 3,575. Houston has a population of 2,571,090 (but it’s early in the day) and has a density of 3,071. The Bayou City is the biggest in area, covering 655 square miles. Geographically, within the city limits of Houston you could put New York City, Washington D.C., Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, Minneapolis and Miami. Now here’s an interesting point. Dallas is totally surrounded by suburbs and can’t grow in area, while Houston has Extraterritorial Jurisdiction, a state edict that lets the city annex almost any non-incorporated areas it wishes. Austin is the fastest growing big city in the country, and is also the second largest state capital in the U.S. after Phoenix, Ariz. Yep, bigger than other state capitals such as Boston, Denver and Atlanta. According to U.S. Census figures, Austin’s population grew 2.9 percent during the 12 months that ended in July of 2014. Among the 50 largest American cities, next was Denver with 2.4 percent growth. No other major city even came close. Austin is now Texas’ fourth largest city and has already passed up Fort Worth, El Paso, Arlington and all the rest in population. Little D, keep looking over your shoulder. Austin is getting closer. We all know that newcomers are streaming into Texas from the other 49 states and from Central America -- the number of illegal immigrant children from there has soared from around 7,000 to 8,000 a year earlier in this decade, to 24,668 last fiscal year. As of September of 2014 more than 52,000 had arrived in the U.S. The number has fallen quite a bit, perhaps because there aren’t any of them left down there. By far the largest group stay in Texas, and go to our schools. Thanks goodness we don’t have a problem with public education in Texas. As for others from the U.S. arriving in the Lone Star State, well, in light of the brouhaha over the Confederate flag and UT statues, the Yankees invaded Texas in 1865 and it’s clear they’re still coming. Today Texas is

Lynn Ashby

proclaim that I’m a card-carrying member of the Sons of the Confederate Soldiers (if there is such a group). Others would probably label me as a bigot simply because of my association with a state that still has buildings named after Jefferson Davis. I’ve never quite understood the infatuation with the Civil War, even though I count many of my close friends as proud supporters of their Southern heritage. My father was from Connecticut; my mother from Virginia. My grandparents were from England and Sweden and Armenia. None of my blood relatives fought in the Civil War, and maybe that’s why I just don’t care as much about these issues as others. I do believe both sides of this discussion have valid and worthwhile points, and nothing makes me happier than to see readers and Reagan alumni carry on a public conversation for everyone to read. Because I don’t have a dog in this fight (and we should probably ban that pun because dog fighting is bad), I’d like to add one more angle

to this discussion, as it is sure to rage on in the weeks and months to come. If you attended Reagan and you are proud of that name, I think you should scream from the rooftops to protect the legacy of the school’s name. That’s why we still have the remnants of a Constitution in this country. If you attended Reagan and you are not proud of that name, gather your friends and supporters and see if you can shout louder. If you’re successful in convincing HISD to change the name, very few will be surprised – including me. But here’s what I find so sad about this entire debate, besides just the general touchiness of our society today (which is a different discussion altogether): In a few months from now, the Reagan football team will take the field and very few alumni will even consider going to a football game to support the young men playing. In a couple of months from now, young ladies will play basketball and volleyball, others will play in the band, others will perform in

The reader.

plays and recitals, and you won’t find a Red Coat within a mile. In another few months, students will begin preparing for state-mandated tests and the school will be hard-pressed to find volunteers interested in tutoring or, generally, being involved in the future of the young men and women who desperately want to graduate, find a college and make something special of their lives. Having a public discussion about the letters above the schoolhouse door is important – and I’ll never criticize any person exercising the right to free speech. Meanwhile, wouldn’t it be incredible if the folks who care so much about the tradition of that school helped establish a new one? What if as many people who wrote letters about the name of the school showed up at the principal’s office to volunteer at the school, become mentors to students, become coaches to athletes. Yesterday is important. Tomorrow matters most. Email jonathan@theleadernews.com

Email us your letters: news@theleadernews.com

Recent debates of the usage of symbols and names of the Confederate States of America have rekindled talks among HISD officials to rename several Houston-area schools including our area’s own Reagan High School, named after John H. Reagan.

Columnist

the only state with three cities in the top 10 in population, but even among the three, the order keeps changing. Awhile back I noted that Mike Cox, in his syndicated column, “Texas Tales,” determined in the first U.S. Census of Texans, in 1850, the enumerators found 212,592 people in the state, including slaves but not Indians. The top 10 looked like this: Galveston (4,177), San Antonio (3,488), Houston (2,396), New Braunfels (1,723), Marshall (1,180), Gonzales (1,072), Victoria (802), Fredericksburg (754), Austin (629), Corpus Christi (533). Four different cities have been Number 1 in the state: Galveston, San Antonio and Dallas once (1890). Houston took over in 1930 and has been there ever since. Dallas finally broke in as ninth biggest in Texas in 1860, right behind Sulphur Springs. By 1880 Big D was still smaller than Austin, yet within 10 years, 1890, Dallas was briefly the biggest city in Texas. Today it has been surpassed by San Antonio, and as noted earlier, Austin is gaining. Incidentally, Houston’s population is about 600,000 less than Chicago’s. Houston is gaining, and since 2000 Chicago has actually lost population. In five years we shall have the 2020 U.S. Census, which means a lot of changes, such as an increase in the number of U.S. Representatives from Texas. This will also mean more gerrymandering – Tom DeLay figured how to divide Travis County into five different Congressional districts to dilute the People’s Republic’s vote. Need a government job? Start running for Congress, as there will be several openings. Texas will also have more votes in the Electoral College. Speaking of colleges, UT-Austin has been holding its enrollment at about 50,000 for decades while the number of the state’s college-bound students has exploded. Make sure your kid is in the top 0.01 percent of her class, or, as we have seen, you can give generously to the UT endowment. Texas A&M, however, continues to grow its enrollment, in one case by simply buying a small law school in Fort Worth, lock, stock and gavel. You think we have floods now? As rapidly as developers are pouring concrete in our suburbs, there won’t be an acre left to absorb Tropical Storm Bonnie Sue. West of Austin in Bee Cave and other areas, bulldozers are scrapping off entire mountainsides to build new neighborhoods, Starbucks and Wal-Marts, plus huge parking lots for all the additional cars that can’t get there. Finally, the average American generates more than 5 pounds of garbage a day. Where we will get new landfills for all these extra Neiman’s catalogues? I have always recommended Arkansas. Ashby is growing at ashby@ 2comcast.net

HISD’s consideration of removing Reagan’s name from High School, sparks outcry Dear Editor: So this “initiative” will be carried out through the school board and not the community? This is what our school tax is providing? Is the school board going to erase history as well? Reagan was a leader in every sense of the word.  He was a patriot, a soldier and a statesman...all attributes that any school would be proud to bear his name.  Are all the southern heroes going to be relegated to shame and obscurity because they fought for what they believed? Do any of us know what life was like 150 years ago? Times have changed and it’s hard to understand any ideology from history.  Why not change William and Mary or Georgetown Universities. After all, these names are British monarchs and didn’t they try to oppress and murder any American citizens because they wanted to be free from this tyranny?  History can not be changed.  It should not be changed.  We should learn from history. Reagan, Davis, Lee and Jackson were brave patriots of the South, leaders who fought for what was a flawed cause, but still great men who honorably and fearlessly did what they believed was right for the time. The South lost. This is what we knew when the schools were originally named. The war is over. Must we continue with political correctness that only divides our society. These heroes of the South were no different than Thomas Jefferson, or is he next?  HISD....what will your history be in 150 years?  I am a senior citizen who resents the fact that you are using my tax dollars, a large amount for me, for this initiative. Jackie Kujawa Dear Editor: Thank you for writing the article about the potential name change for Reagan High School. As a taxpayer in this district and as a Reagan graduate, I’m against this change and would like to see Ms. Rhonda Skillern-Jones, Mr. Terry Grier, and all of the board members decide to leave the names

as they are. There is, however, a bigger picture, and I would really like to see another article that addresses it, as well. In the letter from Sen. Rodney Ellis to Rhonda Skillern-Jones that started this rename effort (http://blog.chron. com/k12zone/2015/06/poll-shouldschool-named-after-confederate-loyalists-get-new-titles/), Sen. Ellis requested name changes for six schools that were named for ‘Confederate loyalists.’ These schools included Dowling Middle School, Jackson Middle School, Johnston Middle School, Davis High School, Lee High School, and Reagan High School. There are actually two other HISD schools named for ‘Confederate loyalists’ that were not mentioned in Sen. Ellis’ letter: David G. Burnet Elementary School and Sidney Lanier Middle School. I’ve sent emails to the board members, Ms. Skillern-Jones, and Mr. Grier to point out the exclusion of these schools, but have had no response yet. After reading your article, it appears that the original list of six schools has been reduced to four: Jackson, Johnston, Lee, and Reagan. If the objective is actually what Sen. Ellis stated--renaming schools that were named for ‘Confederate loyalists’--then how did these two schools (Davis and Dowling) get eliminated from the list and why are Burnet and Lanier not being added. Two and two are coming up to be five here: I wasn’t a math major, but I know that there’s something wrong with that. If it’s not right to rename one of these schools that was named for a ‘Confederate loyalist’, then it isn’t right to rename any of them. Another piece of this bigger picture is that changing the name of a school is an expensive process. All of the signage, stationery, and uniforms have to be changed, and the estimated cost per school that I’ve seen is $250K per school. The cost of changing the names of all eight schools would be approximately two million dollars, which is a great deal of money for a district to spend that continues to have student performance issues and

whines that it doesn’t have money. If the district has an additional two million dollars that it doesn’t need, I think that it would make much more sense to use these funds to fund additional teaching positions, buy computer hardware and software for school computer labs, and/or buy books for the school libraries. To spend two million dollars to rename schools (that don’t actually need to be renamed) seems to be an irresponsible waste of tax money and it’s insulting to the taxpayers. Another piece of this bigger picture is the degree of historical ignorance that underlies the ‘Let’s-erase-TheConfederacy’ movement. At first, we heard about how we need to get rid of ‘The Confederate Flag’--but the flag that they were talking about was never the official Confederate flag. And now, I’m hearing that the Civil War was about slavery. That’s a completely different perspective than what was taught in my history classes. It’s been a long time since I took history, but back then the causes included banking issues, commerce, trade, and an overarching issue of states rights. The US Constitution included provisions for any potential state to join the United States, but evidently no provisions for secession. Mr. Lincoln’s focus, as per his famous letter to Horace Greeley (http://www.abrahamlincolnonline. org/lincoln/speeches/greeley.htm) was to save the Union, and he made it clear that the abolition of slavery was not his primary focus. Now, however, the causes of the Civil War seems to have been reduced to only one cause: slavery. That, I suppose, makes the war easier to ‘understand’--even if the understanding is not accurate. I think that you may be able to get several articles out of this situation and all of the goofy pieces of it, and I hope that you’ll consider following up on it. Debra Ferguson

See Reader, P. 4A


Page 4A • Saturday, July 11, 2015

Reader, from P. 3A Dear Editor: Regarding the global trauma and distress, the widespread whining and moaning, the rampant mental illnesses and broad-spectrum subcutaneous ailments that have erupted due to the Confederaterelated name of that great old institution of learning at 413 East 13th Street -- well, hey, let’s everybody relax and take a deep breath:  Just change it to Ronald Reagan High School.  Solved. J. Reynolds Dear Editor: As the article shows there was much more to Reagan’s life as a public servant than just his service in the Confederacy. If we are going to attempt to rewrite history to keep from offending people then there are many others just as deserving. Slavery was a part of this country’s history long before the Civil War. The only thing renaming the schools can possibly accomplish is to make the politicians who make up the HISD feel important. Perhaps we should rename Texas since the name is a corruption of it’s Native-American source and thus may be offensive to them, reminding them of our theft of their land. We also need to quit using the name America to refer to the U.S. exclusively. It may be offensive to the rest of the countries that form North and South America. In fact, let’s just quit using names at all, since they are such a source of problems. Bill Cockrell Dear Editor: The Confederacy is a part of our past, and we have learned from it. We no longer live in that world. Question – are we going to change the names of our streets, change the faces on our US dollar bills, change the faces on Mount Rushmore, and remove all the statues of those men. We cannot change our past history. These men did do some honorable things. They change the mascots of some of the schools, to give respect to the Indian culture. These are two different issues. These people need to leave the names of the schools alone. The alumni and current students are proud that they went to these schools. I’m a graduate of John H. Reagan High School – Class of 1976!!! and proud of it. Nancy A. Abrego Dear Editor: Why would ya’ll change the name? I think it’s crazy. To me that would mean my Diploma is useless and I didn’t graduate. It’s been John H. Reagan High School for way too many years. If it gets change then I have not graduated and I think that’s sorry on y’all’s part. Way too many people graduated from there you can’t change the name just because ya’ll are scared. So please leave it John H. Reagan PLEASE! Cheryl Dear Editor: Changing the names of these Houston schools is insane! The cost would be mind blowing and besides, it’s unnecessary! Americans are NOT offended by the Confederate Flag, nor are they offended by Southern Heritage. Changing the school mascots last year was just as insane. Leave our history alone. Focus on getting children educated and graduated. Ann Pavalock Dear Editor: First they demolished my elementary school, Alamo. Then they changed the mascot for my junior high, Hamilton. Now, if they change the name of my senior high, Reagan, it will be like the complete history of my, along with many others, first 12 years of school have been totally erased. I do not associate John H. Reagan with the Confederacy. I associate him with TEXAS. Most people have no idea who he was and many think the school was named for Ronald Reagan (these folks apparently have no concept of time and less knowledge of history). I think most of the people who claim to be offended by the name of this school are just trying to be politically correct and make themselves look like they are “doing something.” Well, it offends me that they are attempting to erase history. Christine Doerr Dear Editor: According to the TSHA article, I very emphatically believe that John H Reagan should stay on the Reagan High School building and forever be named John H. Reagan High School. I hope any and all who are considering changing the name will take note of his history in Texas and know without a doubt that this school deserves the honor of his name. The political correctness attitude that has become rampant in this country needs to slow down and not hop on every bandwagon that comes along. I thoroughly believe that Reagan has a place in Texas history and that the school should continue with his name. I hope and pray the HISD board will listen to the many graduates (me in 1956) who are proud to be Reaganites and know that this is the correct thing to do. Jean Sampson Dear Editor: Like one other person who commented on this article, first my junior high mascot was

changed (Hamilton Indians) and now because of more political correctness, my high school’s name may be changed. I strongly object to any change that would destroy the history of our schools. As a graduate of 1963, I strongly feel the names of all our schools should be left alone, including Reagan! Darla Stevens Dear Editor: These inconsiderate people need to leave the school names alone. These schools have had these names for centuries! You need to worry about the crime happening to our kids and not to the schools they attend. Try to help better our schools with learning materials, equipment, etc. #Reaganpride #classof 94 #Bulldogs! Rosie Dear Editor: Changing the name does not change history. Ignoring it does not make it go away. Everything America has gone through has made it the magnificent country that it is today. I belong to the class of 1986 and am extremely proud to be a Reagan alumni. It has given a sense of belonging and made me a stronger person. Don’t take that away from us. Delia Johnson Dear Editor: HISD has no business trying to change names of the schools and spending money that could be used for students! HISD, students need to be learning and that’s the most important job you should do. Karen Dear Editor: I am totally against the renaming of Reagan High School and all of the other schools. First, it is estimated that the cost to rename these schools will be 1.5 million dollars. Second, Reagan has been around for 100 years. Eleven as Heights High and 89 years as Reagan. Why now is it so important to change the name. My mother went to Reagan, my wife and I went to Reagan. Almost a million young people have graduated from Reagan. As the bricks in Freedman’s town in the 4th Ward are important to those of the 4th ward, Reagan is important to those of us who have attended this great school. Reagan is the bricks that has held the Heights area together for 100 years. Years of tradition, honor, and integrity will be lost if these names are changed. To change this name would be a travesty and create a division that will never heal. Leave the school names alone… Refer to the Chronicle blog poll … as of right now the results are 85% no, don’t change names and 13% yes and 2% to just change a few names. Jim White Dear Editor: As a ’68 graduate of John H. Reagan I am against the proposed name change currently being discussed. If we are going to rename the mascots as was done at Hamilton Jr. High, and we are going to ban the Confederate Flag and change the names of schools; where do we end this madness? Do we remove the name of Martin Luther King off of street signs because someone finds it offensive? Do we ban Rainbow flags at the same time we ban Confederate Flags? Do we ban the Black Panthers from flying their flag at protest rallies? If we are going to go down this road I want all buildings named after a former or current congressman/senator or president of the United States removed. We all know Bill Clinton lied under oath. I find it offensive that any public building (including the Presidential Library) would be named after someone who broke the law. Did Martin Luther King break the law when he preached civil disobedience? Did President Obama or Nancy Pelosi lie when they said we could keep our healthcare plans and doctors? Let’s not name any buildings, streets etc. after these law breakers. We must apply the same standard of political correctness to any fringe group that takes exception with the naming of streets, buildings, etc. Proud John H. Reagan graduate Dear Editor: The fact this is even being considered is ridiculous beyond sensible belief. Leave our history alone…it’s mine, not yours to toy with as the winds blow. Check out the percentage of votes against this…listen to the voice of the people, not the few whose job it is to think up this kind of hatred…hate mongers for sure. If this does happen, we’ll see the sitting school board will not be long for their positions. We need conservators who we can trust and, who preside with consent of the majority. Get serious, move on to serious issues like EDUCATION maybe. Of course, if you are all Liberals, this is a moot point. You will feel the sting of the ballot boxes soon. Stephen “PeeWee” Warren Dear Editor: Leave Reagan’s name alone! I am a ‘67 graduate and proud of my alma mater. You cannot change history by rewriting it. Linda Tompkins Dear Editor: Insane and scary. I read Orwell’s 1984 in the 60’s or 70’s.

Scared me to death. Then 1984 came and went and nothing happened. Now it’s happening. Read that book and compare to today. Joyce Bell Dear Editor: Well I quest if we just name all the schools after someone that’s black that would be OK. Now is that what everyone wants? I just don’t understand all the baby junk that’s going on. What’s next – let’s start renaming all the bridges that are named after someone. Tuna Dear Editor: This has gotten so out of hand. I was a John H Reagan red coat And graduate from 1967. How many thousands of others would have to wrap their minds around a name change. The man did much more than what he did for the Confederacy. He was a man of his time period. He responded to events with the mind set of that time like everyone who was ever born. We can’t condemn everyone from the past because of actions that were going along with the mind set of that time. When Texas seceded from the Union he did what most other Texans did. When it was over he did the right thing. It was wrong but was considered OK for that place and time. We should celebrate more the people that started the change of that mind set. Carolyn Marshall

St. Rose of Lima School announces appointment of new interim principal The St. Rose of Lima Catholic School Total Board of Education announced the appointment of Bernadette Lombardo Drabek to the position of Interim Principal effective July, 1, 2015, succeeding Cathy Stephen, who served with distinction during the last seven years. Cathy Stephen has been promoted to serve as an Associate Superintendent for the Catholic Schools Office of the Archdiocese of Galveston- Houston. A graduate of the University of St. Thomas, Drabek holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English/Communication with a minor in Theology and a Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership also from the University of St. Thomas in 2013. Drabek calls St. Rose of Lima Catholic School her home. She attended St. Rose of Lima as a child and returned to the school in 2009 to teach Pre-Kindergarten. She served as Lead Teacher for three years before taking her role as Assistant Principal for the school this last year. She is known for engaging students with hands-on discovery and understanding the value of fun to ensure a

lifelong love of learning. Fr. Rafael Becerra, well known and loved for his energy and passion, joined St. Rose of Lima Catholic Community as Pastor on July 1, 2015, and, together with Drabek, will usher in more than 285 students for the 2015-2016 school year. The outstanding growth that St. Rose has seen over the past seven years is highlighted by incredible enrollment at the school, waiting lists for admission into the early elementary and elementary programs and plans in the works to build a brand new state-of-the-art school building. Progress and development will continue with renewed fervor and focus for this next year and into the future. St. Rose of Lima Catholic School has been educating children as part of the community since 1948, providing students with a Christ-centered atmosphere of love and learning combined with a strong core curriculum. To learn more about St. Rose of Lima Catholic School, visit online at www. stroselima.org/school or call today for a tour at 713-691-0104.

Dear Editor: And I thought Texans were smarter than the average folks…but this ridiculously farfetched idea to rename Reagan High School makes me re-think that. This absurd movement to remove all traces of our history that could in any way offend anyone is going too far. When will reasonable minded people prevail and stop this trend? We as a nation have always learned from our history. If we erase it, how do we learn from it? Robin Trimble Haney Dear Editor: The comments expressed by everyone are on target and I hope our voices reach the HISD board. These men are part of our history and instead of teaching our children history so they could learn from the past and understand, we retreat behind “political correctness” (which should be taken out of our vocabulary) and of one man’s horrible and senseless act of violence in SC. It’s a shame our young people today are only going to associate the meaning and understanding behind the confederate flag and the history of the men of the Civil War to this young, sad, troubled soul who took the lives of 9 innocent victims. There are many articles on line from around the country where African-American’s support the confederate flag and what it stands for…Freedom not racism. Just look it up. Our politicians and leaders are missing the point and are turning a teachable moment into their own political gain. But a more interesting question to ask HISD, is how much is it going to cost tax payers to rename these schools? Why isn’t there a meeting? Oh that’s right, HISD Board Trustee Rhonda SkillernJones was quoted as saying, “It will ultimately come down to what the majority of the board wants to do.” I guess tax payers don’t have a say. D. Springer Dear Editor: My question now is what will happen to the group of Red Coats that meet every spring at the Junior League. There must be 400 who meet there for talk and to connect with friends. The oldest I think graduated in the late 30s. Hell, the board must have no heart or soul for Heights History to destroy what we all remember. Are they just picking and choosing schools that they want renamed.. I know of one that they have completely left off. Is it to take the schools that have predominantly anglo american history and re write it to fit their specifications? Look at Lanier Middle school… Its not on the list. I think we are being targeted. There is a difference in being prejudice and being racist.. We are all prejudice,, and if we say we arent we are lying. Racism comes from the broken heart… where does the board fall within these 2 categories.. Ill let you choose. Jim white Dear Editor: During the Civil War Reagan actually wrote an open letter to his fellow Texans urging cooperation with the Union, encouraging the renunciation of the secession convention, the abolition of slavery, and letting freed slaves vote. Wouldn’t he be someone you’d WANT your school named after?? -

Contributed Photos by David Scarbrough Members of the Waltrip Ram Band marched down Constitution Avenue with pride last weekend.

Waltrip Ram Band brings heart of Texas to D.C. By Jonathan Garris jgarris@theleadernews. com Students like James Elam, a junior with the Waltrip High School Ram Band, said the group’s trip to perform in the National Independence Day Parade was a bit surreal at times. “I thought it was really cool we got to see all of the monuments at the capitol,” Elam said. “You always see pictures of them in history books but when you’re finally there, it looks completely different.” Elam and his fellow bandmates arrived back in town at Frank Black Middle School from their holiday performance late Monday night. Band Director Jesse

Espinosa said the students and the parents who had come along for the ride were tired but more than pleased with the performance and the reception they received from attendees at the national parade. Espinosa said the group received a warm welcome with a performance by a jazz band and marching band at the National World War II Memorial the Friday before the big march. “A lot of people from Texas were there, visiting and celebrating for their Fourth of July,” Espinosa said. “The band marched down Constitution Avenue the next afternoon and they represented Texas very well. We had probably the largest band participating

in the parade and we had a lot of crowd participation when we played Deep in the Heart of Texas.” Beyond the fanfare and celebrations, the band toured many landmarks and monuments around the nation’s capitol and even visited the site of President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination at Ford’s Theater. Elam said he was somewhat nervous playing in a much different, and much larger crowd, than in front of community members and schoolmates. “It was a little nerve-racking to see rows of people standing behind one another watching the parade,” Elam said. See Band, P. 5A

Aside from performing in the National Independence Day Parade, students also had the opportunity to explore the nation’s capitol and visit popular landmarks, museums and memorials. The group also performed the day before the July 4th celebrations at the National World War II Memorial, where band director Jesse Espinosa said they were warmly received.

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Saturday, July 11, 2015 â&#x20AC;˘ Page 5A

Band from P. 4A Patricia Quiroz, a color guard member, said she and others felt a great sense of pride in being able to represent their school and their state at the national event. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It just felt really nice knowing that we had finally made it there,â&#x20AC;? Quiroz said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Now Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m just thinking about what could happen to us next year.â&#x20AC;? David Scarbrough traveled with his son, Rodney Scarbrough, to the parade as well. He emphasized that the successes of the band fell squarely on the dedication of the band members and their

positive attitude, hard work and dedication. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A lot of parents put in work to make this happen, but the kids did a lot of the heavy lifting,â&#x20AC;? Scarbrough said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They never moaned about going to a car wash on a Saturday or going door to door to ask neighbors with help in getting them to Washington D.C.â&#x20AC;? Scarbrough said he spent much of the Fourth of July taking photos and said the band started at about 6:30 in the morning, preparing for the big event. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The kids had a lot of fun

with it, too, as itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not their first rodeo,â&#x20AC;? Scarbrough said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They knew how to blow off steam once everything was done and they took a lot of responsibility for themselves when it came to behaving and ensuring everyone stayed together and were on time.â&#x20AC;? Rodney Scarbrough said he was surprised so many were interested in where the Ram Band hailed from. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A lot of people asked us where were from and what were doing there,â&#x20AC;? Rodney Scarbrough said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was even more shocked to see crowds of people watching us, cheer-

ing and clapping along to Deep in the Heart of Texas. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s great how dedicated everyone in the band was. No one slacked off and everyone did what they needed to do.â&#x20AC;? For more photos from the event, visit The Leaderâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website at www.theleadernews. com. Other pictures from the parade and the groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s visit to Washington D.C. can be found on the Waltrip Ram Band Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ waltripramband?fref=ts. Contributed Photos by David Scarbrough

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Page 6A â&#x20AC;˘ Saturday, July 11, 2015

The calendar.

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;HOUSTON LEGENDSâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; BY HANK MOORE Adolf Hoepfl Garage Hank Moore, author of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Houston Legends,â&#x20AC;? will come to Adolf Hoepfl Garage, 4610 N. Shepherd, at 10 a.m. July 11. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Houston Legendsâ&#x20AC;? is the first Houston history book to be written from the business perspective, where the stories behind the successes are told. Recurring themes include entrepreneurial spirit, business survival, strategies, growth and vision. Information: 713-6955071, www.adolfhoepfl.com. SUMMER CHILLS Houston Heights Association The Houston Heights Association will host members and guests for â&#x20AC;&#x153;Summer Chillsâ&#x20AC;? Thrillers, Mysteries and Detective Stories, July 13. The event will be held at the Historic Heights

Fire Station, 107 W. 12th St. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., followed by the 7 p.m. meeting. Kaboom Books, Heights Library, and Preservation Houston will be featured. The eveningâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s MC is Dewayne Ross. Information: houstonheights.org, 713-8614002. PARENT INFORMATION SESSION Lone Star College-CyFair Gain first-hand knowledge about LSC-CyFair facilities, programs and resources with attendance at one of multiple summer information sessions. Sessions are available at 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. July 21, Aug. 11-12, Aug. 1819; and 9 a.m. Aug. 15 and Aug. 22 in the Center for Academic and Student Affairs Building, 9191 Barker Cypress. To register, email name and date of session. Information: CFOutreach@Lonestar. edu, 281-290-3420. CALL FOR PERFORMERS Houston Family Arts Center The Houston Family Arts Center, 10760 Grant Road, is looking for talented performers to audition for the H-FACtor competition and fundraiser. Proceeds will go towards a new sign. The top act will win $350. Auditions will be from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. July 18, at the Houston Family Arts Centerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Garza Mainstage. Acts selected

From the Pews. Summer Gospel meeting at Norhill CoC Norhill Church of Christ, 634 W. Cottage, will host a summer Gospel meeting at 7:30 p.m. July 10 and July 11. Bible Study will be at 9:30 a.m. July 12. Morning worship is 10:15 a.m. and evening worship is 6 p.m. with Ruben C. Amador of the Fry Road Church of Christ. Call 713-861-7235 or visit www.norhillcoc.org for information. The Gathering Place ministry at St. Stephenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s The Gathering Place, a ministry for persons with memory loss and their caregivers, will be from 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. July 13, in the fellowship hall. Volunteers lead the carepartners in fun, memory-stimulating activities. Lunch will be served. There is no charge to attend. For information, contact Monica with InterFaith CarePartners at 713-682-5995. There is still time to sign up for Vacation Bible School, being held from 8:30 a.m.-noon, July 27-31. Registration forms are available through the office and at www.stsumc.org. St. Stephenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s United Methodist Church is located at 2003 W. 43rd St. Call 713-686-8241 or visit www.stsumc.org for information. Vacation Bible School at Garden Oaks Baptist Garden Oaks Baptist Church,

3206 N. Shepherd, will be offering Vacation Bible School the week of July 13-July 17, from 9 a.m.â&#x20AC;&#x201C;noon. Children ages 5â&#x20AC;&#x201C;12 are welcome to attend. Bible stories, crafts, and snacks will be provided. For information, call 713864-4447. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Saints of Our Timesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; icon tour at All Saints All Saints Catholic Church, 215 E. 10th St., will feature icon artwork which shows â&#x20AC;&#x153;Saints of Our Times,â&#x20AC;? saints canonized by St. John Paul II and St. John XXIII as well as portrayals of the Holy Trinity and the Annunciation. The icon tour will be at 2:30 p.m. July 19, in the sanctuary. Call 832-428-4104 for information. St. Rose of Lima offering Vacation Bible School St. Rose of Lima Catholic Community, 3600 Brinkman, is offering Vacation Bible School, from 8:30 a.m.-noon, July 27-July 31, for PreK4 through fifth grade. The cost is $25 per child. Registration deadline is July 20. Call 713-692-9123 or email jmotzko@yahoo.com or lsaldana@stroselima.org for information. Vacation Bible School at First Baptist Church Heights Vacation Bible School will be held from 9:30 a.m.-noon,

to perform in the event will pay a $50 performance fee for single-person pieces, or $85 for multi-person acts. Information: 281-587-6100, www.houstonfac. com. ULTIMATE LOUISIANA PARTY AND CULTURAL FESTIVAL Dan Electroâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Guitar Bar Join headliner Henry Turner Jr. and Flavor, founder of the Ultimate Louisiana Party concept, for two fun filled days of live music, visual artists, vendors, artisans and food. The event will be at Dan Electroâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Guitar Bar, 1031 E. 24th St., from noon-2 a.m. Saturday, July 18; and 2 p.m.-midnight Sunday, July 19. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under, and children under 2 are free. Information: www.ulparty.com, 225-802-9681. 1776 Houston Family Arts Center Sherman Edwards and Peter Stoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Tony Award-winning musical about the birth of the United States of America is coming to the Houston Family Arts Center, 10760 Grant Road, on the Garza Mainstage, July 24 through August 16. Performances are Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m., with Sunday matinees at 3 p.m. Call or visit website to purchase tickets. Information:

www.houstonfac.com, 281-5876100. DIABETES SUPPORT GROUP Memorial Hermann Northwest The next meeting will be held July 28, at 4:30 p.m. in the South Tower Classrooms at 1635 North Loop West. The event is free to attend and open to anyone interested in learning more about healthy eating, foot care, stress management, heart health, blood sugar control and exercise. Information: 713-222-CARE (2273). READY, SET, ENROLL Lone Star College-CyFair Incoming students can take advantage of multiple opportunities to enroll at Lone Star College-CyFair through a simplified college admissions process. Attend one of several Enrollment Information Sessions to receive hands-on assistance with enrollment steps and financial aid. In addition, students will be able to complete their Bacterial Meningitis Vaccination Shot for $20. Sessions are set from 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. July 23 and Aug. 13 at the LSC-Fairbanks Center, 14955 Northwest Frwy. Call or email for other locations. Information: 281-290-3420, cfoutreach@lonestar.edu. Ad # 36774

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Religious formation registration at All Saints Registration will be held all summer for faith formation classes being held in September. Classes at the church will be held Wednesdays at 6:45 p.m. and Sunday at 9:15 a.m. (English) and 11:15 a.m. (Spanish). Programs begin September 27 and 30. Call the church office or visit www.allsaintsheights.com with a link for religious formation to register. All Saints Catholic Church is located at 215 E. 10th St. Call 713-864-2653 for information.

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Hear The Gospel - Mark 16:15; Roman 10: 14-17 Believe The Gospel - John 8:24; Hebrews 11:6 Repent - Luke 17:3-5; Acts 17:30 Confess - Mathew 10:32; Romans 10:9-10 Be Baptized - Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Col 2:11-13 Live Faithfully Till Death - John 8:31; Revelation 2:10; Hebrew 10:23 The Norhill Church of Christ is a non-denominational church located in the near north side of Houston in the inner loop 77009 area. It has operated as a church of Christ since 1927, it is located at 634 West Cottage on the corner of West Cottage and Reagan streets. The Norhill Church of Christ teaches only the Bible, without reference to any man-originated creed. Bible study services for all ages are held at 9:30am Sunday mornings. Sunday morning Worship begins at 10:15am. Sunday evening worship is at 6:00pm Wednesday evening worship and Bible study is held at 7:30pm. Norhill welcomes everyone to attend worship or Bible study to learn more about the truth of the Bible.

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Food, drink & Art Saturday, July 11, 2015 • Page 7A

Art Valet

Yoga and Hops make their way to Karbach

Going coastal, an interview with artist Melinda Patrick By Mitch Cohen

Arts Columnist

I always joke that the Heights is the center of the universe. It seems that way for the art scene, at least, especially in the case of artist Melinda Patrick. Now residing in Magnolia with her husband and business partner Bryan, Melinda Patrick was born and raised in Houston and graduated from Bellaire High School. She and her husband own Double Dog Publishing, a company that specializes in website, graphic and design illustration. Patrick did the website for Affaire d’ Art Gallery in Galveston, and will now be the featured artist this weekend at a reception Friday evening and as part of ArtWalk Saturday night. Affaire d’ Art Gallery owners A scene of a road to the Gulf of Mexico by Melinda Patrick. Nikki Thompson and Alicia Boles, met Patrick through the Heights’ First Saturday Arts Market. This was too good of an opportunity to pass up, these artists live two hours apart, but all know each other because of … The Heights! I asked Melinda to tell us about herself. How did you get your start in painting? Everything came from my grandfather. He was a graphic artist for the Chronicle as far back as 1920. He was also a photographer and painter. It was he who put the paintbrush in my hand before I started school. Did you study art in school? I took art all through public school and attended the Houston Museum of Fine Art Scholarship class for several years (way before Glassell). I went to San Francisco Art Institute for my BFA and at the time it was one of only three strictly fine art schools in the country. (Note: Glassell School of Art is part of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston) What other outdoor shows have you done? My first was many years ago in Old Market Square; also at Westbury Square. More recently, I’ve only shown at Produced by Mitch Cohen shows with one exception of the spring show in Friendswood. (Why, thank you!) Where do you sell your art now? I’ve been in some commercial galleries, most, if not all, are now defunct. I tend to sell over the Internet from my own website - melindapatrick.com, and on other online gallery sites. I create vector illustrations and have clients from the corporate world and sell some for royalty on a stock illustration site. Is Double Dog Publishing your main job? Yes. It’s the umbrella for web design/development as well as commercial illustration and fine art paintings. What do you love most about being an artist? I love that it runs my life and everything I do is borne out of my creative side, whether it’s paint or pixels. I also love that I don’t have to leave the house to drive to work. What’s your connection to the Heights? My first connection to the Heights was my grandmother. It’s the only place in Houston she would live. Her daughter (my mother) and son were the first twins born in Sunset Heights. At this point in time I consider it the epicenter of art in Houston. A scene of Hotel Galvez in Galveston, Texas by Melinda Patrick.

What wild crazy story about yourself can you tell me? I danced on stage with Tommy Tune, the famous dancer on Broadway. Marianne Williamson (author) was there too. We were squirrels in the forest and he was the hero of the story.

Melinda Patrick and her art will be at Affaire d’Art Fine Art Gallery, 2227 Postoffice, Suite B, Galveston, TX 77550. July 10 and 11 and remain on view through August 3. Friday 6 - 9 p.m. and Saturday 5 - 10 p.m. Cohen is the founder and manager of First Saturday Arts Market. Contact him at ArtValet@gmail.com or visit him on the web at ArtValet.com.

and $27 at the door. Visit www.stubwire.com/event/paulwall/ fitzgeralds/houston/9780/?referral=fitzlivemusic.com to purchase tickets.

@ThirstyExplorer The yoga duo that started out at 8th Wonder Brewery is taking their yoga class over to Karbach this weekend at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, July 12. The morning consists of an hour long class at the brewery and immediately following is when the beer will be poured. For $20 you can buy a nine ounce glass and fill it three times and for $25 you can buy a pint glass, also for three pours, and the best part is, you can keep the commemorative glasses. Start your Sunday Funday off right with a little yoga and a lot of hops. Karbach is located at 2032 Karbach St. 77092. Happy Hour at MFAH If you want to switch up your happy hour, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is free on Thursdays until 9 p.m. Hours for the museum are usually until 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. on the weekends, but the museum stays open until 9 p.m. for extended hours and happy hour goers. You can browse the new exhibits and grab a cocktail from the cash bar and food truck on site. Happy hour is open from 6 – 8 p.m. The MFAH is located at 1001 Bissonnet St. 77005.

Beats + BBQ + Brews at Lincoln Bar On Saturday, July 11 you can dive into ribs, brisket, sausage and more from Blood Bros. BBQ at Lincoln Bar and Kitchen at 5110 Washington Ave. You can enjoy beats from DJ Seek and cash in on all of the drink specials. On the brew side, Buffalo Bayou 1836 and Great White Buffalo, along with Karbach are on sale for $4. On the spirit side, enjoy $5 Fireball and Jameson shots and $5 Deep Eddy Vodka Cranberry Lemonade.

Have a tip for Thirsty Explorer? Email christina@theleadernews. com and follow on Twitter @ThirstyExplorer

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i ta l i a n r e s ta u r a n t

Coming soon - in about a month, to be exact - Ka Sushi will be opening their doors at 1901 N. Shepherd Dr. Ste. 1. The Heights sushi eatery has just hung their sign and commented that a set date isn’t in place yet, but they are looking at opening in about a month’s time. The owner of Ka Sushi, is also the owner of Fat Bao off of Kirby. The Kirby location menu offers fusion bites and some noodles, but sushi will be at the front of the house on Shepherd Dr. The Chicken Ranch shutters Just in this week, The Chicken Ranch on Main St. announced to their Facebook followers that they closed their doors after their inability to come to terms with their landlord. “The safety of our staff and patrons have always been our biggest concern and that was compromised,” The Facebook post reads. “We had to pull the plug in a very rapid manner and it was not ever our intention for this to be in the cards.” The shuttered fried chicken eatery goes on to say that their food truck will still be in business and they are currently on the search for new venue spaces and plan on keeping everyone informed. The Chicken Ranch was located at 6500 N. Main St. 77007.

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Heights Asian Cafe closed on Tuesdays If you have driven over to the Heights Asian Cafe on a Tuesday and the “closed” sign turned you away with confusion and worry, you aren’t the only one. Concerned followers took to Facebook to ask fellow Heights Asian Cafe fans if the closing on Tuesday was permanent and what the root cause was for the closing. After a phone call to the Yale St. eatery, the manager commented saying they are closed on Tuesdays to catch up on bringing vendors in, routine cleaning and all maintenance required tasks. The Heights Asian Manager also commented that being open seven days a week can leave little time to catch up on those tasks, and so the owner has decided to permanently close on Tuesdays. All other hours will remain the same and you can catch them at 2201 Yale St. 77008.

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Mytiburger adds new menu items New to the Oak Forest burger joint menu, you’ll find the addition of Turkey, Buffalo and Veggie Burgers at MytiBurger. You can still find classics, like the Mytiburger, Chili Dog, and of course the shakes! Check out their coupon on the coupon page and see what’s new at 2211 W. 43rd St. 77018. Woodrow’s Heights closes for renovations If you’ve been wondering what’s the scoop on Woodrow’s Heights and if they have shuttered, the answer is no. Last month the Heights Cajun eatery closed their doors for a nine-week renovation. “In the interim we will be breaking down the kitchen and rebuilding it from scratch, replacing the bar and kitchen floor, installing misting fans and TV’s on the patio, refinishing the dining room floors, installing a new three zone audio system, putting in nitro beer taps and cocktails on tap for the bar, and increasing the size of the beer cellar,” Woodrow’s Heights announced in June. Woodrow’s Heights will reopen on August 21, 2015 at 1200 Durham Dr.

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Page 8A • Saturday, July 11, 2015

Sculpture from P. 1A needs to finish it. “I’ve been working on the project for three years,” said Mongeon, who lives and works in Kentwood Manor just north of Garden Oaks. Originally from western New York, Mongeon has been in Houston for over 30 years – more than enough time for it to have become her home. “My kids and grandkids are here,” she said. Inspiration for the Mad Hatter Tea Party came from the famous Alice in Wonderland sculpture in New York’s Central Park. But the interpretation is all Mongeon’s own. While the Central Park sculpture certainly gets climbed on, Mongeon has designed her piece to specifically invite children to do so. The 4-by-10 foot table will seat 6 to 8 people who will get have to have tea with Alice, the March Hare, Cheshire Cat, Dormouse and of course, the Mad Hatter. Families can picnic at the table and interact with the characters.

“I call it ‘Move One Place On’,” said Mongeon. “It’s something that the Hatter says when Alice joins the tea party. I’m hoping that someone will bellow that when they sit down and everyone will scoot over.” Her public art will also have the touch of the personal as Mongeon has modeled the characters on friends and loved ones. “The hidden White Queen has the face of my mother,” she said. To further mark Alice’s 150 years, Mongeon is embedding 150 elements in the sculpture for onlookers to find. That could be Humpty Dumpty, the Dodo bird, or the Cry-Baby. “It will start with a stump sculpted to look like wood that is also a dedication plaque to Evelyn Rubenstein,” said Mongeon. “There is also a mouse sitting on it who will be reading a storybook.” Coincidentally, or maybe

not so much, Mongeon is working on two companion books. The field guide will be written in “riddle and rhyme” to help the public with the hidden elements in the sculpture. The other will be a book about her process. A third book coming out in September, called 3D Technology in Fine Art and Craft: Exploring 3D printing, Scanning, Sculpting and Milling will also help to explain how she is using both traditional and digital means to create ‘Move One Place On’. “I work traditionally using clay similar to the old masters, but I also sculpt digitally in the computer,” she said. “Sometimes I go back and forth.” She sends the 3D scanned image of the sculpture to a vendor who will enlarge it to the appropriate height in foam – in this case 8 feet for the figures – and send it back to Mongeon. Then, she and her interns will carve more detail on the foam, and then add a layer of clay for further

definition. Once the sculpting is complete and is approved by the client, Mongeon will prepare it to go to the Shidoni Foundry in New Mexico. She said that she’s entertaining the idea of having a 3D scanning company come in and scan the entire scene before it goes to the foundry because she also has the rights to create table top versions of this sculpture. “3D scanning of art for documentation and preservation is a rather new endeavor by artists,” she said. The Alice project is just one of a series of high profile projects for the sculptor, who got her start by doing a statue of the late B.B. King. How did she get that gig? “I just asked and he said

yes,” said Mongeon. “I went to the Allen Park Inn to take his measurements and finished [the sculpture] in one night.” She has sculpted Bill Monroe and Willie Nelson as well as the 15 foot Grambling State Tiger in Louisiana. Mongeon also sculpts the images of deceased loved ones, for prayer gardens and cemeteries. “I love doing those pieces,” she said. “It helps with the healing process.” Mongeon expects to complete and install ‘Move One Place On’ in late 2016. For updates, visit www.creativesculpture.com or follow the process at http://www.facebook.com/FindingAliceSculpture

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COSMETICS & BOUTIQUE 4216 B-Ella Blvd. @ W. 43rd • 713-686-5993 Diane Morish, Owner

IMPROVE HERE. TRAIN HERE.

Saturday, July 18th Big Blue Whale’s 1st Birthday Party

Faber Castell Crafts with Tracy

2:00-400 pm

Hey You Guys! Come celebrate Big Blue Whale’s 1st birthday! There will be story time, music, KONA ICE, face painting by RAWR, free outdoor activities, GIVEWAYS and a HUGE SALE! Time has just flown by and we could not be more grateful for our awesome customers! So bring your party hat for a whale of a time!

RAWR Face Painting

237 W. 19th. St. Houston, TX 77008

832.623.6990 www.bigbluewhaletoys.com

Let us help you with all of your real estate needs.

Congratulating our top agents for June Janet schmidt

top sales

REGISTER FALL CLASSES BEGIN AUGUST 24 NOW

flor lomax

top lister

Programs available: • Automotive Technology

• Fire Technology

• Accounting

• Petroleum Engineering Technology

• Business Technology • Commercial Truck Driving • Computer Science • Cosmetology • Drafting & Design • Electronics Engineering Technology

• Process Technology • Logistics and Global Supply Chain Management • International Business • Business Administration

• Sunday College of Business • Academic Transfer Courses

Karen Vicknair

top produCer

• Law Enforcement • Emergency Medical Services

Automotive Technology Training Center 4638 Airline Northeast Campus 555 Community College Dr. North Forest Campus 6010 Little York Rd. Northline Campus 8001 Fulton Rd. Pinemont Center 1265 Pinemont

Premier PrOPerTies For more information call

Please call us or stop by our Oak Forest office as we are conveniently located at:

713.718.8300

1803 W. 43rd • Houston, TX 77018 • 713-686-5454

northeast.hccs.edu

www.preproperties.com

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July 11 Section A

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