Page 1


Inside Today: Tips on how to anti-Scrooge your holidays • Page 1B


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Covering the Heights, Garden Oaks, Oak Forest & the neighborhoods of North Houston Saturday, December 9, 2017 • Vol. 62 • No. 48

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Santos, Himsl face off for District 1 seat By Landan Kuhlmann November’s elections were not enough to settle the race to replace the outgoing Anna Eastman on the HISD board of trustees, and residents have one last chance to make their voice heard. Candidates Elizabeth Santos and Gretchen Himsl will square off in a runoff election Dec. 9, and took some time last week to discuss a few pressing issues.

Elizabeth Santos

Gretchen Himsl

Among the hot button topics for HISD constituents has been the well-documented budget shortfall and recap-

ture obligations, which voters approved in a February special election. However,

the financial situation remains muddied despite vote of approval. Himsl said one of her first orders of business if elected would consist of urging the board to have the outside auditor come in and peruse the district’s finances – which was approved in a previously, but has not come to fruition yet. “I think it’s a very confusing situation right now, because we have the recapture payments, and our Harvey

Panthers on the prowl

Insulating Since 1979 $

expenditures can go as a credit towards that. I think in an already large and complicated budget, things have gotten even more complicated with its ins and outs,” she said. “I think it’s more important than ever [to get that auditor in], not only to get an accurate picture of the money we have, but of the money we’re obligated and the best practices we See Runoff P. 9A

Neighbors, law enforcement combat theft

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By Landan Kuhlmann

Attics • Walls • Floors Noise Reduction • Removal

Linebacker Bruno Forestieri and wide receiver Jacob Jefferson echoed their head coach after having vanquished Antonian Prep and recent nemesis Bishop Dunne before taking out the Friars last week. “We’ve been working so hard all these years, getting to the state semis year after year and getting bounced – to get to the state championship is a really big accomplishment, and everyone feels really great about it. Now we’ve just got to finish the job,” said Forestieri, who leads SPX with 68 tackles, including 12 tackles for loss. “If you said there wasn’t [any extra motivation for Bishop Dunne],

Thousands have parcels delivered from all over the country. And beyond paying online shipping and handling fees, homeowners are annually forced to deal with thieves helping themselves to the hard-earned items this holiday season; but there are some potential solutions out there. All around our local area, reports have begun pouring in over the last couple of weeks of residents finding packages either ripped open and the contents strewn about or gone in the wind as the (unfortunately) yearly epidemic has reared its ugly head again. “[I] heard UPS drop off (they rang the doorbell and yelled to identify themselves), went to door about 15 minutes later when I heard my dog bark again and package was not there,” one resident, who believes she had a package stolen off her porch on Martin Street Nov. 27, posted on Facebook. “Saw a small gray car (compact/small station wagon) speeding off west down Martin. Beware, the holiday grinches are out!” Unfortunately, the woman is far from alone, as residents in Garden Oaks, Oak Forest, Candlelight Plaza and more have become caught up in a tradition that seemingly rivals death and taxes. And with an increase in online shopping, the opportunities have become more abundant for those that steal holiday cheer. “If [these crooks] can’t afford to buy yourself or your family gifts, you steal those gifts, and it’s an unfortunate thing,” Constable Alan Rosen said. “A lot of our crooks are following these delivery vehicles, and as they see the truck unload, they’re going up to the porch and stealing it.” Among other procedures, Rosen suggested having a stay-at-home neighbor keep an eye out – for both packages and potential thieves – or

See Panthers P. 9A

See Prevention P. 9A


inside. Photo by Landan Kuhlmann St. Pius X quarterback Grant Gunnell hurls a pass towards his receivers during last week’s state championship prep. The Panthers will take on Prestonwood Christian (Plano) this Saturday at 7 p.m. in Waco aiming for the school’s first title since 2007.

Season culminates in epic title clash for SPX Set to turn 100. Local resident recalls history of newspaper typesetting as she turns 100.

Page 5B

Healthy for the holidays. Memorial Herman offers some seasonal tips.

Page 1B

Find it. MANNA – DONATIONS AND VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: Call 713-686-6440 or donate temporarily at Temple Oaks Church, 2101 W. 34th St. Thank you.

Page 7B

The INDEX. Church....................................................... 8A Classifieds.............................................. 7B Coupons. ................................................. 7A Food/Drink/Art................................... 5B Obituaries.............................................. 8A Opinion. ................................................... 4A Public Information......................... 2A Puzzles...................................................... 4A Sports. ....................................................... 6B

By Mike Tenney and Landan Kuhlmann The time is now for St. Pius X – no looking back. The Panthers will play for the school’s first TAPPS Division I 6A state championship in 10 years Saturday night when they face the Prestonwood Plano Lions at 7 p.m. at Midway Panther High Stadium in Waco. The Panthers, led by head coach Stephen Hill, advanced to Saturday’s TAPPS D-1 finals when they jolted defending state champion and previously undefeated Dallas Bishop Lynch, 34-15, in Georgetown to earn its spot in Saturday’s championship. Prestonwood survived by outlasting

Tyler All Saints, 55-48, in the other Division 1 state semifinal. “It’s just been an unbelievably special run for us. The guys I have now, they were freshmen when I came here,” head coach Stephen Hill said. “To get where we are in four years is

For in-depth coverage see pages 6A and 9A

pretty special. We had a plan, and that plan fell short a couple years, but to have the kids who have put in all that hard work and effort get the chance to play for a ring, is really special.”

Slowpokes landlord plans renovation of his center By Betsy Denson For The Leader To Momin Naushad, who goes by Sam Momin, and wife America Torres, the central issue in the dispute with their tenant involves parking. The owners of the Alba Food Mart at 1203 West 34th Street and the center where it resides showed The Leader numerous photos of a tight parking lot on more than one occasion in recent months. And while some might argue that there is no need for more parking in an 8,000 square foot structure with only two tenants, the couple said it won’t remain that way for long. Momin confirms the COH permit records which indicated that plans were

submitted in October for a “8,000 square foot retail storefront and remodel” of the property. “We have to upgrade it, for ourselves, for the neighbors, and for the community,” said Momin, who noted that the taxes on the building continue to go up. HCAD appraised the property at $369,279 in 2013. By 2016, the appraisal was at $600,000 and last year it was $796,467. Momin showed The Leader plans that had been drawn up by their architect and said they are in the bid process for a contractor to take on the job. He said they are prepared to spend up to $1 million on the remodel. With Alba Food Mart See Renovation P. 7A

The owner of the Alba Food Mart and the center that contains Slowpokes said he plans to invest $1 million into renovating the complex. Above is a rendering of plans.

wishing all a Merry ChristMas Contact our office to donate to Oak FOREST

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The public.

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The Leader • Saturday, December 9, 2017 • Page 2A

2018. And while he sympathizes with those who must encounter the work, he insisted the current work – despite the annoyances – will ultimately be best for all parties. “Over time, we simply have to repair roads, because they age,” he reiterated. “The cost that would be incurred to continually fix them would come out to so great of an amount that it just makes more sense to come in and reconstruct them so we can also extend the life of that roadway.”

Police Reports • Nov. 22-Dec. 1

Houston, TX 77092

NOV. 23

Theft 6:35 PM 300-399 W 18TH Theft 5:30 AM 1400-1499 TULANE Theft 6:15 AM 700-799 E 29TH Theft 7 AM 1000-1099 PRINCE Robbery 10:23 PM 1500-1599 N LOOP Theft 3:07 PM 2500-2599 SHEARN Burglary 4:30 AM 5200-5299 WERNER Theft 8 PM 1000-1099 PINEMONT Arrest 1:52 AM 1200-1299 MARTIN

NOV. 24

Theft 6:59 PM 800-899 USENER Theft 6:59 PM 800-899 USENER Theft 11:46 AM 600-699 E 35TH Arrest 10:38 PM 3600-3699 KATY FWY Theft 1:22 AM 1600-1699 DROXFORD Burglary 12:30 PM 3400-3499 HOUSTON Theft 3:47 AM 300-399 DURHAM

NOV. 25

Theft 7:30 AM 700-799 W 17TH Theft 9:45 AM 1000-1099 W 24TH Theft 7 AM 900-999 N SHEPHERD Theft 10 AM 900-999 N LOOP W


Buy SeLL trade

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Black Gold Guns & ammo Licensed FFL/Class III Dealer Theft 9:30 AM 1400-1499 STUDEMONT Theft 10:07 PM 2600-2699 RUTLAND Assault 7:15 PM 3600-3699 CORNELL Theft 11 PM 2700-2799 AIRLINE Theft 11:30 AM 800-899 REDAN Burglary 11:15 PM 200-299 HEIGHTS Robbery 1:15 PM 4000-4099 KOEHLER Theft 7:50 PM 400-499 OMAR

NOV. 26

Theft 7 AM 2400-2499 LAWRENCE Theft 4 PM 300-399 E 34TH Theft 11:30 AM 1000-1099 USENER Theft 2 PM 4600-4699 NETT Theft 6 PM 4700-4799 NETT Theft 9:20 PM 2800-2899 BEAUCHAMP Theft 1:30 PM 3400-3499 ELLA Theft 10 AM 1700-1799 N LOOP W Theft 11 AM 400-499 S HEIGHTS Theft 6:14 AM 600-699 E 24TH

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NOV. 28

Theft 10:45 AM 200-299 W 20TH Arrest 2:15 AM 2000-2099 N SHEPHERD Theft 5 AM 600-699 THORNTON

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NOV. 29

Assault 3 PM 5600-5699 KANSAS

NOV. 30

Theft 8 AM 1100-1199 STUDEWOOD Burglary 11:30 PM 400-499 GAMMON

DEC. 1

Burglary 10:45 PM 100-199 YALE Reports are provided by based on data from the Houston Police Department.

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Theft 11:30 AM 1900-1999 ASHLAND Theft 10:30 AM 6000-6099 CLYDE Theft 8:27 AM 100-199 E CROSSTIMBERS Theft 2:21 AM 5300-5399 WASHINGTON Theft 1:14 PM 400-499 19TH Theft 3 PM 500-599 W 19TH Theft 12:45 PM 1000-1099 W 13TH Theft 7 AM 1000-1099 E 27TH Theft 3 PM 1100-1199 STUDEWOOD Theft 10 AM 900-999 N LOOP W Burglary 6:46 PM 900-999 E 33RD Assault 8 PM 4500-4599 WERNER Theft 1 PM 2500-2599 SHEARN


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Theft 4:30 PM 900-999 W GARDNER Theft 4 PM 4500-4599 WASHINGTON Theft 1 PM 500-599 SABINE Theft 2 PM 100-199 SABINE Burglary 6 AM 1800-1899 ARLINGTON

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Motorists making their way along the Interstate 610 feeder road in recent weeks between Yale and North Shepherd have been greeted by construction crews, sparking several questions as to its end game. According to Texas Department of Transportation spokesperson Danny Perez, TxDOT has begun work on reconstructing the frontage road between North Shepherd and east of

Airline Drive. Over time, Perez said, roads simply tend to wear down, and overlaying repairs would be extremely costly. Thus, TxDOT goes in to take out the concrete and rebar and replace it with new material. “We’re not widening it, we’re not adding any capacity – we’re keeping what’s there, just putting a newer roadway in,” he said. TxDOT has paid $7.8 million for the 1.8-mile project, which Perez says is scheduled for total completion in late



By Landan Kuhlmann

y a d 1

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610 feeder road closure due to TxDOT construction project

The Leader • Saturday, December 9, 2017 • Page 3A

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The Topics. The Leader • Saturday, December 9, 2017 • Page 4A

Decorations going up with fervor this year


n the day after Thanksgiving, as I drove through our neighborhood, something struck me about all the weekend warriors untangling wires in their front yards. First, you need to know something about my neighborhood: These wonderful people would decorate a dog house to celebrate a new litter of cats. If someone created National Apple Pie Day, my neighbors would special order red lights to hang from their eaves, carve their oak trees into apple cores, and cut their grass to look like crisscross crust. What I’m trying to say is these folks have spirit – yes they do. Side note: In a desire for journalistic integrity (that oft-lacking trait), I asked my chief researcher, Mr. Yahoo van Google, to make sure there isn’t already a National Apple Pie Day. Turns out it will be celebrated on May 13, 2018. There’s also a National Orange Cat Day, held on Sept. 23. Not to be left out, there’s also National Mutt Dog Day. Technically, there are two National Mutt Dog Days: One observed on July 13 and another on Dec. 2, which I found because they have their own Facebook page. My neighbors did not decorate for any of those, so I’m only half

Jonathan McElvy Publisher

kidding about their spirit – how ‘bout you? (You know you wanted to finish that cheer.) But if you drive through Shepherd Park Plaza – as many of you do during the holidays – you know of what I speak, which leads back to that afternoon when I spotted all the families in their front yards slamming tangled lights against their mailboxes. Even though my neighbors always do it up big, something is different this year. The decorations, they’re grander. There’s more energy invested in that one extra ornament hanging from the treacherous limb just a foot too high for OSHA. A house on one corner of my neighborhood literally broadcasts a Christmas movie on the side of their house every night. Normally, it takes a couple of weeks to get our streets in tip-top shape. A few stragglers (usually me) wait until Dec. 10 or Dec. 15

to really get the lights burning. Not this year. It’s like people skipped Thanksgiving and went straight for the egg nog. And this isn’t just my neighborhood, because I’ve driven through the Heights, Garden Oaks and Oak Forest and I’ve seen the same thing. We’re all just a bit more excited about this holiday season than we’ve been in the past few years. Now, I’m no social psychologist, but I do play one in this newspaper. Let me offer my observation on what’s happening around us. No matter your creed or religion, the celebration of Christmas is about the birth Jesus. Despite what some may tell you, Jesus was (and to many, including me, is) a real person. He was not the subject of some fictional account, but rather a biologically real person who came to offer love, joy and peace. I don’t use this column to preach – always thought that was better left to the pastors – so don’t think that I’m about to beat you with my stocking-covered Bible. But bear with me, if you can. Whether you grew up Jewish, Christian, Muslim or none of the above, we all know why Jesus was sent to earth. We’ve been taught it – maybe not in our homes – since we were old enough to remember.

Lynn Ashby Columnist

Here is a microphone icon. I click on it. “I can learn to understand you much better if I can get familiar with the way you talk.” Huh? Something called Cortana is into speech recognition, but I’m not. Candy Crush Soda Saga, Bubble Witch Saga, and it’s 57 degrees in Washington. This is the PC equivalent of the cable TV bundling racket, where you have to buy 230 channels in order to get CNN. I have overbought, am over-complicated and overwhelmed by things I don’t want, can’t use and will never understand. My wrestling match with this JT-45/QQtripad is all very confusing, but I bring up the situation because many of you will be getting a new computer, printer or iPlug for Christmas, and will spend the 26th through New Year’s Day trying to figure out how to work it. So I am simply trying to save you some time. Or you could do as many do and call in an expert, when his Little League practice is over. And don’t get too condescending, Mrs. NASA rocket scientist. You just finished a three-page memo to your boss about why Saturn should not be renamed Trump, and thought you hit the backspace button when you actually deleted the entire memo. Just as well. It would have probably cost you your job anyway. In addition to buying a new computer, I had to purchase a new keyboard, monitor and printer. The printer is simple. To copy, I push the copy button. Guess what? Nothing happens. I push every button on the printer and only get changing little lights. No problem. My guru installed a printer icon on the computer, so I just click on it and up pops the owner’s guide. I look for “How to copy.” This isn’t easy because the guide has – get this – 252 pages. Honest. I can’t figure out how to copy. As I am getting used to these new machines, it occurs to me that no matter how difficult it is to teach an old dog new tricks, the alternative is worse. Having a new home computer is nothing compared to not having one. In weeks past, I called my insurance company about the flood. “We’ll email you the contract and you can see that you are not covered for fire, floods, tornadoes or any natural disaster. But if a stampede of buffalo…” I interrupt, “I don’t have email.” Long

celebrating the wonderful place we live, with the endless opportunities at our feet, we scour around in search of our next reason to riot. It’s just fine to peacefully riot when times demand; it’s not fine to riot without ceasing. Every writer in every generation will tell you things are worse than they’ve ever been. I’m not that guy, because our nation has traveled this road before. Not in my lifetime, but surely in others. I don’t know why we’ve all been more adamant about hanging decorations. Maybe they had a sale at Sears. Maybe the weather was perfect for untangling lights in our front yards on the day after Thanksgiving. But I’m not so sure. I think we’re glad to have dug out from Harvey’s soot. I think we’re excited that we have something to think about other than the constant stream of anger that seeps through the glare of our smart phones. I think a lot of us are ecstatic that we can break from that and enjoy our family, friends and faith. Go take a ride around town this weekend and look for yourself. Maybe I’m wrong. Then again, maybe we all want to see a little more Light. Email

The reader.

Out the Windows THE OFFICE – Here it is, my new toy. It’s a JT-45/ QQtripad computer. My old one was caught in Hurricane Harvey and was last reported doing the backstroke near Trinidad. So I got this new computer which seems to be much like the old one, except this sucker doesn’t have a clutch pedal, running boards and no steam engine. OK. I’m a little behind the times. My kids said I should just take the gizmo out of the box and plug it in. “Any idiot can do it, Dad.” (He’s adopted.) Not being computer literate, I hired a guy to come out and set it up. A nice fellow who spoke fluent computerese. “This backload terminal goes to the accelerated hashtag which you can easily….” In journalism we have an expression for articles that make no sense and leave the reader brain numb: MEGO, ME-go. Mine Eyes Glaze Over. I was in terminal MEGO. He tried to explain what did what and I nodded as through I understood. I felt as though this PC should have come with training wheels. Then he left, and I faced the unknown. First things first. Where’s the on-off button? There isn’t one. I finally punched something and the monitor, the size of a drive-in movie screen, lit up. Score one for Digital Daddy. Poking around I noticed the buttons on the keyboard are not the same as those on my previous model. For instance, where my old backspace button used to be is now the delete button. The letters seem to be located in the same places, which brings up the question of who exactly set up our keyboards? Why is my unused semicolon button so easy to touch, right under the right ring finger, but the @ button is way up there hidden as a capital 2? Of course, when the keyboard was first set up there was no need for an @. The z and x buttons are rightfully off the main drag, but the constantly-used a key is too far to the left. The screen is different. There was nothing wrong with my old screen, but change for the sake of change keeps Michael Dell and Bill Gates from poverty row. Every two weeks Silicone Valley introduces a new iSomething or PC. I fully expected that, when I took this baby out of the box, someone would say, “Oh, you got one of those antique models.” My screen is full of strange icons. No, I do not wish to inventory my warehouse, nor plot the DNA of my pet goldfish, which I don’t have. There are games, charts and a PowerPoint. This is for my presentation to the Joint Chiefs of Staff on how to prevent World War III. “This is the back tunnel to the Oval Office. From there…”

And if for no other reason, we associate love, joy and peace with Jesus because we’ve seen it written in cursive writing around half of our Christmas decorations. Again, you may not be a believer, but even the most skeptical among us knows that truth. Want to know why I think we’ve spent a little more energy on our Christmas, or “holiday,” decorations this year? It’s because every single one of us would nearly die for a little more love, joy and peace right now. We don’t write about national politics in this newspaper (you’re welcome), but the tone that has been set in our nation for the past two years has been nauseating, at best; treasonous, at worst. If we didn’t know any better, we’d have thought the leaders of our two major political parties were working in tandem to destroy the unity that once defined the United States. It’s not just the politics that have lost their peace. We, the people, have lost our love for one another. We seek the worst, not the best, in each other. If it’s OK to cite the Bible, we mock the specks in the eyes of others while we stand with a two-by-four in our own. And if there’s joy left around us, it’s sure hard to find. Rather than

How does Sheila Jackson Lee keep getting elected?

silence. “You don’t have email? You’ve got to be kidding.” A phone recording from my cable channel says, “Go to disable-cable@dot com and…” The bank, the stock broker, even my bail bondsman’s office, all tell me to go on-line, scan this document or tweet that one. Every TV show seems to end with, “You can follow more of this story by going to ClickClick@news.” “More of my interview with the devil is on ViewDev@” They don’t understand that I am the one person who is not plugged into the world-wide net. This button reads F-12, which I thought was a jet fighter. Here are Esc, PgDn and Fn. I’ll get to them eventually, but first I must assemble the training wheels. Ashby computes at

Dear Editor: Regarding Jeff Przybyla’s Sheila Jackson Lee letter..... Cerebral Titan Sheila Jackson Lee’s 18th Congressional District originally was established to quarantine the South Texas cohort of economics illiterates who erroneously believe government is the source of prosperity, and who are easily duped by any huckster promising their votes will yield lifestyle upgrades via punishing “the rich.” The idea was to allow them, in perpetuity, to field a like-minded Pied Piper to rant for their cause in Washington, while voters in surrounding districts thus became liberated to elect rational representatives. (A break here. I absolutely cannot tolerate this unconscionable Confederacy homage.) Sheila Sherman Grant’s Democradolescent Party requires for its survival a permanent underclass dependent upon government, constertuents (as she would say) who reflexively vote D based upon the fine promises she bellows each campaign season... in total contrast to the reality of rot that Sheila Sherman Grant and her Party have inflicted every place they govern. Until these misguided 18th District Americans look into the mirror for the power to ameliorate their lives, Clinton-class unprincipled opportunists and village idiots with “D” by their names will continue exploiting them, ad infinitum. J. Reynolds Dear Editor: In these trying times, we tried to keep our minds on thankfulness and remember all the good things for which we are all thankful and blessed each according to his/her personal ideology, theology or philosophy. It was unpleasant to pick up the Leader and see that the Reader column of the Nov. 25 edition contained yet another bilious partisan screed against

Email us your letters: Sheila Jackson Lee. I guess we all have the right to be bitter, petty, and hypercritical of people in public office if that is our opinion, but what a bitter pill to find in your mouth so soon after a lovely Thanksgiving dinner. Firstly, Ms. Lee is mocked for what the writer defined in his opinion as pronunciation errors in her speech at the World Series Parade Ceremony. Then voters and neighbors who voted for Ms. Lee were mocked by the writer because in his opinion they only voted for her because she was black. The racial insult is clear. Next, the women who voted for Ms. Lee were mocked as being so simpleminded that they could only vote for their gender. Guess that proves women shouldn’t be able to vote? Guess again. Then, the opinion that Ms. Lee is to be mocked as being incompetent since she has not singlehandedly changed all of our lives to “milk and honey” was stated. Guess we should forget the Republican domination of Texas politics for all these many years. Then, we were all mocked, and our parents and grandparents, as well, as being hapless souls who just plod ahead unable to know good from bad in the conduct of our political lives. Disagree, disagree, disagree. And finally, we come to the “cherry on the top” opinion in which Ms. Lee was called “Nancy Pelosi’s lap dog.” Opinion is opinion. Can it be voiced without implied insult and negativity? Can we differ respectfully? Can we try to see our common ground and try to hold ourselves to higher standards? Setting one group against another or one person against another is not anything that any of us are thankful for and that is an opinion that we can all share with thanks. Anonymous

More - See Reader page 7A

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



1. W. Loman’s failed son 5. Largest English dictionary (abbr.) 8. Wanes 12. Lifeless geologic period 14. No (Scottish) 15. Filled chocolate cookie 16. Circular chordophones 18. Short-term memory 19. Any small compartment 20. Poisonous gas 21. Cologne 22. Scaleless fishes 23. Ormolu 26. Well-known & respected 30. Man-made river embankment 31. Yearned after something 32. Before 33. Garlic mayonnaise 34. California white oak 39. CNN’s founder Turner 42. Removed contents 44. Frighten 46. Responded 47. ÒExtantÓ star

49. Aba ____ Honeymoon 50. Box (abbr.) 51. Reptile leather 56. Norse goddess of old age 57. Drive obliquely, as of a nail 58. Inspire with love 59. Affirm positively 60. European sea eagle 61. Congresswoman Giffords 62. Emit coherent radiation 63. Fall back time 64. Masses of fish eggs


1. Leavened rum cake 2. Moslem women’s garment 3. Quilting duo: ____ & Porter 4. S W Pacific state 5. The start of something 6. Edible 7. More coy 8. From 56 to 34 million years ago 9. Small wind 10. Disney heroine 11. Helios 13. Existing at birth

but not hereditary 17. Paris river 24. Confined condition (abbr.) 25. More than charged 26. A major division of geological time 27. Japanese apricot 28. Initial public offering 29. A quantity of no importance 35. Securities market 36. Sharp part of a tool 37. Downwind 38. Doctor of Education 40. Built up 41. Borrowers 42. Stray 43. Country singer Haggard 44. Eurasian marten pelts 45. Fashion magazine Marie ___ 47. Turkish candy 48. Regarding 49. Distribute game cards 52. Princess Anne’s daughter 53. Planned pipeline from Burgas to Vlore 54. An academic gown 55. Removes moisture


The Leader • Saturday, December 9, 2017 • Page 5A

Page 6A • Saturday, December 9, 2017 • The Leader

Season in review

By Landan Kuhlmann

St. Pius X has had what many consider a season to remember up to this juncture, but for those in that locker room, it is never enough. The Panthers have reached the first state title clash and seek the school’s first football state title since 2007. Here’s how they got here: St. Pius X 56, Sealy 13 The Panthers used a 21point second quarter to take control and pulling away in the second half as heralded signal-caller Grant Gunnell began his 2017 campaign much the way he ended 2016. The Texas A&M commit connected on 31 of his 41 throws for a staggering 579 yards and seven touchdown throws in a remarkable aerial display. Four different Panthers (Jacob Jefferson, Boobie Curry, Kaleb Ducros and Kaleb Delphin) wound up with at least 100 receiving yards, while Ducros and Delphin also both contributed 75 yards on the ground. Defensively, the Panthers held Sealy to just 292 yards of total offense as Colby Bonds (9 tackles), Bruno Forestieri (8 tackles) and Coby Roberts (5 tackles, 1 TFL, interception) stymied the Tigers all night. St. Pius X 58, College Station 41 In a game which boasts a final score not indicative of it’s competitiveness, the Panthers again blew this one open in the second quarter, scoring 21 unanswered points in the second stanza to take a commanding 31-7 halftime lead before holding off a furious second-half Cougar rally. Gunnell again sliced up an opposing defense, throwing for 494 yards and six touchdowns, with favorite targets Jefferson (215 yards, 4 TD’s) and Curry (135 yards, 1 TD) doing the brunt of the damage. On the other side, the Panthers bent but didn’t break in the second half thanks to senior safety Ricky Lester (10 tackles) and Forestieri (14 tackles). Lester, Jarvis Johnson and Coby Roberts each also tallied interceptions to stop the Cougars in their tracks. St. Pius X 69, Chavez 14 A seemingly normal September night turned into one

to remember for anyone in attendance. SPX raced out to a 35-0 lead after just one quarter of play, and essentially cruised home for their third consecutive victory to open the season. While Gunnell (503 yards with a state record-tying 10 touchdowns), Jefferson (161 yards, 5 TD’s) and Curry (171 yards, 2 touchdowns) inflicted their usual damage, on this night the defense was a story too. Colby Bonds was a monster, totaling 14 tackles and three of the team’s six sacks on the night, while Forestieri (12 tackles), junior nose tackle Thommy Good (7 tackles 2 TFL) and Lester (6 tackles, 1 INT) chipped in to steal the show on a historic night. St. Pius X 49, Rudder 0 In case the first few instances hadn’t done the trick, the Panthers continued to display their prowess as more than an offensive juggernaut as they notched their first shutout of 2017, and their third instance of holding opponents to 14 points or fewer. Forestieri (11 tackles, 5 TFL) wreaked havoc on the Rudder offensive line all night, and Lester tallied his third interception in four games as the Panthers held the Rangers to a paltry 164 yards of total offense. Offensively, they amassed 801 total yards against a helpless Ranger defense. All Saints Catholic 49, St. Pius 37 Here, the Panthers hit their first snag of 2017, as a back and forth slugfest unfortunately didn’t fall their way. All Saints Catholic scored 21 unanswered second-quarter points to take a 35-21 lead into the break. Multiple times, SPX managed to pull within a single score in the second half, but could never quite get over the hump as they suffered their first defeat of 2017. St. Pius X 53, Concordia Lutheran 42 Following their first setback of the season, some may have wondered if there would be a carryover effect – which wasn’t the case for the experienced squad in a matchup featuring another game with the momentum pendulum consistently swinging both ways all night long. While Gunnell didn’t have his typical prolific

passing night in pure yardage (361 yards), he still tossed six scoring throws (two each to three different receivers) and added 84 yards on the ground to go along with a score and a key two-point conversion. And on a night where it initially seemed as though offenses would simply run out of time, it was an interception by senior Ricky Lester (his fourth of the season) with less than three minutes to go which sealed the victory.

St. Pius X 62, Kelly Catholic 14 On Homecoming, the Panthers gave their fans a treat, rushing out to a 27-8 first quarter lead and never looking back. A swarming defense barely allowed the Bulldogs to breathe on this night, holding them to just 201 yards on the ground – including -40 yards rushing – and forced four turnovers, leading to several short fields for their prolific attack; and the offense didn’t disappoint. Gunnell completed 16 of 20 attempts for 272 yards and seven touchdowns, while Chase Lane (172 yards, 2 TDs) was his favorite target. Freshman Jace Wilson (55 yards rushing, 1 TD) and sophomore Jalen Davis (67 yards, 1 TD), provided nice balance. As a team, the Panther defense tallied 6.5 tackles for a loss (TFL) and six sacks, with Benil Johnson and Jacob Craig each amassing 2.5 sacks. St. Pius X 56, St. Thomas Catholic 14 No matter the circumstances, the annual rivalry game between the area’s two premiere programs always carries some extra weight in the season’s final game. Gunnell torched the Eagles defense for 466 total yards and seven total touchdowns, while Lane (164 yards, 2 TDs) and Curry (202 yards, 3 TDs) continuously found holes in the Eagle secondary. Defensively, Forestieri (8 tackles) and Craig (10 tackles, 1 TFL) led the front seven, and Lester anchored the secondary with a phenomenal all-around game (5 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT) as the Eagles mustered just 225 yards of total offense. And with that, it was on to the playoffs, with one goal in mind – that coveted state title. St. Pius X 56, Antonian

Prep 12 In theory, the competition gets stiffer in the postseason, and an age-old adage is that good defense will beat great offense most every time – but the Panthers didn’t get the memo. As if picking up where they left off a couple weeks earlier, SPX efficiently carved up a defense which came in surrendering just 22 points per game to the tune of 464 total yards and 56 points. Lane, Curry and Kaleb Ducros combined for 282 yards receiving and five scores on the night. Bonds and Craig led the defense with 10 stops apiece, while Goode chipped in 2 TFL to stymie the Apaches’ attack. And what was their reward? A date with recent nemesis Bishop Dunne. St. Pius X 35, Bishop Dunne 28 While the Panthers had been largely unstoppable over the last two seasons (just four total losses) two such defeats had come at the Eagles’ hands, both in postseason play. In those losses, Gunnell had combined to complete “only” 62 percent of his passes for 460 yards, with just two touchdowns and four interceptions; but SPX wasn’t having any of it in 2017, holding off the Eagles in a hotly-contested ballgame. On this night, Gunnell would complete 29 of his 36 attempts for 286 yards and a touchdown. However, it was the rushing attack which stole the show, amassing 142 yards – after just 148 total yards in the previous two matchups – and three touchdowns, providing the balance needed to grind out a tough win. St. Pius X 34, Bishop Lynch 15 The Panthers’ road didn’t get any easier, as they advanced to take on previously undefeated defending state champion Bishop Lynch out of Dallas, which came in having won its first two postseason games by a combined score of 97-21. However, the Panthers were undaunted in their quest for glory, forcing a turnover on downs and immediately responding with an 81-yard touchdown drive to go up 142. And the rest is history, as the Panthers held off a brief second-half rally to reach their first state final in 10 seasons.

SPX, Prestonwood looms as clash of titans By Landan Kuhlmann When St. Pius X and Prestonwood clash for the TAPPS Division 1 state title this weekend, fans will see two teams which are widely known for high-powered offensive attacks. However, one area coach who played both schools over the course of 2017 says there is more to each team than meets the eye, and that the two teams attack opponents in different fashions St. Pius X Any conversation about the Panthers typically begins with their heralded quarterback Grant Gunnell and his bevy of receivers such as Chase Lane, Boobie Curry and Jacob Jefferson, along with do-everything swing back Kaleb Ducros – and for good reason, as the Panthers enter Saturday’s title tilt scoring more than 51 points per contest with their spread attack. “Obviously it’s a very talented group over there with a bunch of skill players, a couple of the best offensive tackles in the state and one of the best quarterbacks in the state,” said St. Thomas Catholic head coach McGuire. “I think it’s the best offense in the state, public or private. You’d be hard pressed to find one better than [Coach Hill] has put together.” However, both sides of the football must perform to create a winning formula – especially in the postseason. And when it comes down to crunch time, McGuire has experienced the Panthers showing their squad

to be more than an offensive juggernaut. “They’re better than I think people realize [on that side of the ball]. They’ve got four to five really good players, and then a bunch of good, complimentary guys who feed off them,” he said. “[Linebacker Bruno Forestieri] is a heck of an all-around player, and [safety Ricky Lester] is just a really smart football player who always gets to the right spot on the field and is going to be a really good college football player someday – he knows how to fit anywhere. Then they’ve got a lot of guys around them who are just solid football players.” Such a revelation, he said, appears to take many aback once they strap on the pads. “Everyone thinks of them purely being around offense, but the defense is what surprises people when they actually play them,” he added. “You think you’re going to be in a shootout, but you might not be, because that defense is extremely good and makes a lot of plays – much more talented than people realize.” Prestonwood Once again, the conversation begins with a high-powered attack, which McGuire said is similar to St. Pius in that it comes from a spread formation, but operates slightly more run-oriented than St. Pius; otherwise, spectators will see two fairly similar attacks. The Lions come in averaging almost 41 points per game. And it’s operated by quarterback Wiley Green (3,360 yards, 44

TDs), with Timothy Taylor and Joshua Cunningham forming a two-headed attack at the tailback position. “[Green] is someone I’ve known about for a long time, but he’s just now coming on the scene as far as getting publicity. He’s really talented at putting the ball exactly where it needs to be – extremely good thrower who puts the ball where it needs to be, and runs that offense extremely well,” McGuire said. “He’s not going to run the ball a ton, but he can when he needs to.” With several key receivers and tight end Austin Stogner alongside Green, Taylor and Cunningham, McGuire said spectators can expect to see an attack that could go toeto-toe with the Panthers. He added that while the offensive line may not possess one true standout, the unit works well together to pave the way for coach Chris Cunningham to deploy his weapons. Defensively, the Panthers have allowed 15 points or fewer in 11 of 13 games thus far in 2017, and McGuire said while again nobody may jump off the page, it’s a cohesive unit that is sure to present a stiff test for the Panthers’ highpowered offense. “I don’t know that they’ve really got a ‘star,’ but they have a bunch of linebackers who just run to the ball and get in position to make plays,” he said. Most teams likely game plan to contain SPX’s aerial attack, but few have had the personnel to be able to execute such a plan. However, McGuire be-

lieves Prestonwood just might have what it takes to slow them down, which could be the most important battle of the night. “The strength of their defense is in the secondary – they’ve got two or three kids who could play Division I football on the back end, so that’ll be a really good test for St. Pius,” he said. “Their secondary against SPX’s receivers is one really interesting matchup to watch when it comes down to it.” Overall, McGuire said, the two teams mirror each other in several ways, and believes that with two high-octane attacks going at each other, the game could come down to simple execution. “Whoever turns the ball over first is probably in trouble, but I think both offenses will have success,” he said.

Photo by Landan Kuhlmann Head coach Stephen Hill barks out instruction during practice as Jacob Jefferson (10) and others listen. Hill said a win Saturday would be a win not just for the football team, but the SPX community at large.

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The Leader • Saturday, December 9, 2017 • Page 7A Reader from P. 4A

Renovation from P. 1A as an anchor on one side and Slowpokes on the other, there is 4,000 square feet of space between. Momin said this could be four different tenants at 1,000 square feet each, or a different configuration depending on the tenant. “We need to renovate it to attract more good tenants,” said Torres, who noted that the transformation of the area in recent years was a driving force in their decision to renovate the building. The center has been owned by the Momin family since 1992. They say in the past the center has housed a flower shop, a church, a washateria, and a hair salon, although it has been vacant in recent years. “The reason they left is because rent went up, because the taxes went up,” said Momin. “We didn’t kick anybody out.” Momin said that he has been approached by numerous developers over the years to sell the property, and that he has no intention of doing so. “We love the neighborhood,” Momin said. “We don’t want to sell it.” Momin said that when Slowpokes was first signed as a

tenant he gave them the 4,000 square feet patio for free. “We gave them the patio because we wanted them to be successful,” said Momin. “We wanted them to build their business.” Momin said he understood the patio was going to be more on the scale of a Starbucks patio, with a handful of tables and chairs. He said he was surprised at what the patio became as a driver for traffic. Momin lists the movie nights and other events, such as goat yoga, as events that would continue to fill up the parking lot. Later, Momin said that Slowpokes offered them $250 a month for the patio space after they told their tenants that parking had become an issue. “It is not about the money, it’s about the principle of the agreement,” Momin said. Momin said that Slowpokes is hosting 8 to 10 parties a month. “I feel like they got greedy,” said Momin. “When we add more tenants, there will be no room left for parking.” As for Slowpokes problems with the state of the current building, Momin contends that when the tenants signed on

they made the choice to take the building as it is. He also disputes that the lease price for any interior spaces was going to be $45 per square foot. “We never told Slowpokes about a lease price,” said Momin. Finally, he says he paid the Slowpokes owners back for the plumbing work they had done in the building. And he says that he has never approached the Slowpokes owners or their real estate agent about renegotiating the lease. What is in the contract, according to what Momin showed The Leader is a provision about who owns the patio: “Tenant shall have the right to procure and exclusively use the outdoor, green area and 4 parking spaces directly south and adjacent to the Leased Premises for patio space and children’s playground. Landlord shall have the right to recapture the outdoor space with 6 months’ notice, only if Landlord is going to make improvements or expand the retail center building or parking.” What is not in the contract is any parking stipulation about the rest of the building’s parking

Slowpokes documented the dismantling of their patio on their Facebook page during the weekend. Slowpokes co-owner JC Rubiralta said that the city arrived Monday morning and red tagged the demo site requesting the landlord contact them. Rubiralta said that their current plan is to stay in the center. “We have been approached by a few of the developments nearby who are interested in working together,” said Rubiralta. “We also met with Revive last week. They wanted to squash any rumors of them being involved in the current situation. They kindly told us that this is not the case... It was an appreciated conversation.” Revive, who is developing the property adjacent to the center, released a statement on their Facebook page regarding the matter that read in part: “We’ve also heard from more than a few neighbors concerned that our Stomping Grounds development was impacting the Slowpokes situation. We’d like to emphatically assure you that this is completely untrue. We don’t personally know, or have had any interaction with the developer who owns the Slowpokes property. There are NO plans to connect the two spaces. The only access to our development will be through 34th. Not Alba.” Rubiralta said that some neighbors are storing some of their benches and sheds. “We can’t thank the community enough for their support. We are humbled to serve it any way that we can for years to come.”

spaces and this, from the couple’s perspective, is what has caused the current impasse. “We asked them on three to four separate occasions not to block the gas station parking,” said Momin. “They told us that parking was not in the contract.” Momin also showed The Leader photos of what they believe is a car belonging to one of the coffee shop owners directly in front of their store. “They were purposely blocking it to harass us,” said Momin. Momin also says that Slowpokes and their lawyer told the couple that they could not put up ‘no parking’ signs at the gas station. Momin said that Slowpokes was given 48 hours notice to clear their own patio but that when it wasn’t done, he sent a crew to do so. Momin said he spent between $5,000 and $7,000 to clear the patio this weekend. He is aware of Slowpokes contention that he didn’t have proper permits, but says he called the city two weeks ago and was told that since the patio was not attached to the building, he didn’t need permits for the work. He said he wouldn’t hesitate to get the $200 permit if he had been told he needed one. As for the trees, which are adjacent to the patio, Momin said he has no plans to cut them down at present. “Those trees have been there since we owned it,” said Momin. “If we wanted to cut them down before now, we would have done it.” Momin and Torres say that they don’t use Facebook but they have heard about what is being said about them from friends and family. “We wanted people to know what our plans are,” he said.

Absence or presence of HOA does not change validity of dead restrictions Dear Editor: Just read through your piece on GOMO/HOAs and wanted to point out a few things. The Changs won primarily because the garage restriction was found to be abandoned. This was a family surrounded by houses that had more than a 2 car garage, and had just witnessed the house across the street built with GOMO approved plans with more than a 2 car garage. As far as the whether GOMO is legitimate or not, the appeals court upheld that GOMO did not wait 5 years after their first failed attempt, as required by the property code, to try again. This strikes me as a kill shot, regardless of whether they filled their bylaws correctly. Ad # 35656 Also, your title (restrictions

left in limbo) is, at best, terribly misleading . The absence or presence of GOMO or any other HOA does not change the validity of our dead restrictions. Garden Oaks has 5 sections, one of which voted down adopting GOMO ~15 years ago. Apples for apples, the section without GOMO has thrived far more than the neighboring sections, and without all the violations that the GOMO proponents promised would happen without them. The City of Houston enforces deed restrictions, and residents need only call the city if a deed restriction is being violated. It’s really that simple. Section 4, the area that did not adopt GOMO, has shown that neighbors along with the city enforcement office has worked out far better for the neighborhood than GOMO has for its sections. Edward

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Page 8A • Saturday, December 9, 2017 • The Leader

The calendar. HAPPY HOUR Rockstar Gallery Chill out after work at RockStar Gallery’s Happy Hour from 4-8 p.m. Dec. 7. There will be drinks and light bites in addition to tequila tasting and holiday sale of 15% off. Rockstar Gallery is located at 5700 NW Central Dr. (77092). Featured artists include: Vena Ashley, Angel Cole, Jonathan Dow, Debblie Franklin, Sacha Lazarre, Chris Minamyer and Sayra Vallejo. Information: 832-868-0242, events/737073769822540/

or ugliest holiday sweater for the Christmas outfit contest. Name will be entered into a drawing to win free entrance to the New Year’s Eve Salsa Social. Information: 832-896-7777, www.

BACHATA SOCIAL Dance Heights Dance Heights, 1987 West T.C. Jester, will hold a beginner workshop by Eduardo and Tami from 9-10 p.m. followed by the social from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Dec. 9. The cost for the workshop and social is $20, social only is $10. BYOB, no coolers allowed. Come dressed in your sexiest Santa or Elf outfit

SENIOR ADVANTAGE HOLIDAY PARTY St. Joseph Medical Center The Senior Advantage Program at St. Joseph Medical Center in the Heights will celebrate the holiday season from 2-4 p.m. Dec. 13. The merry event is open to all members. Light refreshments, festive holiday music, games, photos and lots of fellowship will mark the joyous occasion. The party will be held in the 4th floor Solarium of the hospital located at 1917 Ashland St. Seating is limited and reservations can be made by calling 713-969-5376 by Dec. 11. Senior Advantage membership is free and is open to adults 55 and older. Call 713-756-

From the Pews.

Game Night at Garden Oaks Baptist Garden Oaks Baptist Church, 3206 N. Shepherd Dr., will hold Christmas Game Night this weekend. The event is from 6:30-9:30 p.m. and is free and open to the community. There will be a variety of games set up to play, the gym will be open and there will also be a White Elephant Gift Exchange (please only bring silly, used gifts... nothing of monetary value). Hot dog plates will be $2 and hamburger plates will be $3. For information, visit www. or call 713-8644447.

All Saints TALC to host Christmas Party Third Age Learning Center senior program welcomes all seniors to join them in celebrating the holidays on Dec. 8 from 2-4 p.m. in the All Saints Parish Hall, 215 E. 10th St. The festivities will include cookies, punch, singing Christmas carols, door prizes and an ugly sweater contest. Attendees are also encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to be donated to the All Saints St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry. For information, call 281723-3513. Lessons and Carols at St. Matthew’s St. Matthew’s invites the

community to join the congregation for a special worship service of “Lessons and Carols” at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 10. A full choir with pipe organ accompaniment will tell the story of the Christmas child. A Children’s Worship Service is available at 9:45 a.m., giving the children an opportunity to learn about the Bible on their own level. Sunday School for all ages starts at 10:30 a.m. St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church is located at 4300 N. Shepherd Dr. Call 713-6970671 or visit the website at www.stmatthewsmethodist. org. The Virgin of Guadalupe commemorated at St. James St. James Lutheran Church, 1602 W. 43rd St., will hold a celebration worship service commemorating The Virgin of Guadalupe featuring Mariachi Perla Tapatia. The service is at 7 p.m. Dec. 12. There will be a reception following worship. Call 713-686-1577 for information. Griefshare ‘Surviving the Holidays’ at St. Stephen’s All who are grieving the loss of a loved one are welcome to attend a special Griefshare session, “Surviving the Holidays,” Dec. 12, at 6 p.m. in Room 201. Refreshments will be served. The children will present

8236 for information.

will be honored, plus tickets will be sold at the door. All band members have tickets to sell. Dinner is $10. The Winter concert is free. The band will be performing and fundraising Dec. 16, at Shipley’s Donuts from 9 p.m. to midnight. Shipley’s is graciously donating all sales for the band. Information: 713-545-0892.

BELMONT BOUTIQUE Belmont Village Senior Living Get a head start on holiday shopping and come by for a sip and shop event at the Belmont Boutique from 4-6:30 p.m. Dec. 13. Enjoy holiday music and festive treats while browsing through the remarkable collection of gifts and stocking stuffers from China Baroque Boutique. Holiday treats and cocktails will be served. RSVP at 713-781-1505. Belmont Village Senior Living is located at 7667 Woodway Dr.

COUNTRY SOCIAL Dance Heights Dance Heights, 1987 W. T.C. Jester, will hold a Country Social, Dec. 16. Intro 2 Step workshop with Linda Cook will be from 8:30 p.m., followed by the social from 9:30 p.m.-midnight. The cost for the workshop and social is $20, the social only is $10 (cash or credit). Show off your holiday attire. Liquor is BYOB. No coolers please. Information: 713-8386148,

WALTRIP BARBECUE AND CONCERT Waltrip Ram Band Due to HISD closing for the Astros parade, the barbecue dinner has been rescheduled for the same night as the winter concert, Dec. 15. The dinner is 5-9 p.m. and the concert is from 6-9 p.m. Tickets sold for the original night


a musical performance, “Out Standing in their Field,” at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 24. Christmas Eve Candlelight Communion services will be held at 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. The nursery will be available for children age 4 and under for all services. St. Stephen’s United Methodist Church is located at 2003 W. 43rd St. For information, call 713-686-8241 or visit and the church’s Facebook page.

(weather permitting). Call 713-861-3104 or visit for information. Christmas musical at Oak Forest Baptist Oak Forest Baptist, 1700 W. 43rd St., will present a Christmas musical, “Come Let Us Worship The King,” at 4:15 p.m. Dec. 17. The community is welcome. A church wide Christmas party will follow. Christmas Eve Communion and Candlelight Service will be held at 4:15 p.m. Dec. 24. Call 713-682-4942 for information.

Advent study at Hope Episcopal Hope Episcopal Church, 1613 W. 43rd St., will have Advent study of the Book of Revelation on Wednesday Dec. 13 and Dec. 20. The dinner will be at 6 p.m. followed by the 6:30 p.m. program. All in the community are welcome. Call 713-681-6422 for information.

A.B. Anderson Academy Violin Concert at First Church Heights A.B. Anderson Academy will perform their violin concert during the 10:30 a.m. worship service Dec. 17, at First Church Heights, 201 E. 9th St. Christmas in the Heights will be at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary and will feature music and sing-a-longs, an encouraging message and a short play, “That Makes Two of Us,” along with several surprises. Refreshments will be served afterwards in the fellowship hall. Call 713-861-3102 or visit for information.

St. Mark’s UMC hosts annual Christmas Pageant St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, located at 600 Pecore St., will present the Annual Christmas Pageant 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, and 11 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 17. Complimentary refreshments will be served. St. Mark’s brings dramatic life to the traditional Nativity story reenacted outdoors on the front grounds of the church for both performances

& Company, 1200 W 34th St. A funeral service will also be held at Pat H. Foley & Company at 11 a.m. Dec. 8, with burial to follow at 12:45 p.m. at Houston National Cemetery, 10410 Veterans Memorial Dr.

David Hartley Davidson,

84, born July 18, 1933, died Nov. 26. He was a professional musician and songwriter, and moved to Houston in the 1960s and enjoyed regional success with his band, the Impellas. He later worked for Tenneco Realty, from which he retired. He is survived by his daughters Toni Lassiter, Vikki Smedley, sister Ouida Coffey and brother Aaron Holland, four

7- 8 p.m. No prior dance experience needed, no partner required, older children and teenagers welcome. Classes are held at Memorial Drive Lutheran Church, in the fellowship hall, 12211 Memorial Dr. (77024). Park rear of church. Information: 713-9572762, 281-495-2397.

FREE INTRODUCTION TO MODERN SQUARE DANCING Memorial Drive Lutheran Church Healthy, social fun, square dancing is friendship set to music. Fairbees Square Dance Club welcomes the community to experience the fun and fellowship of Square Dancing at two free fun night events on Jan. 11, from 7:30-9:30 p.m., and Jan. 18, from


Vesper services will be at 6 p.m. Dec. 20, at Heights Presbyterian, 240 W. 18th St. The sanctuary will be open for meditation and prayer. Cookies with Santa is from 10 a.m.-noon, Dec. 9. There will be pictures, cookies and come meet and greet Santa. Donations of non-perishable can goods accepted. Christmas Eve candlelight service is at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 24. For information, call 713861-1907 or visit

Virginia Zepeda Trujillo,

grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and three great-greatgrandchildren.

87, born May 31, 1930 in Pasadena, Texas, died Nov. 27. Trujillo was employed at a dental lab where she met her husband Rudy. They were married 34 years. She was an active member of Holy Name Catholic Church. Her activities included prayer group, Eucharistic ministry, church bazaar, coordinating pilgrimages to San Juan Basilica, membership in the Sacred Heart Society and serving as president of the Guadalupanas. She is survived by her brother, Richard Zepeda. Memorial contributions may be made to Holy Name Catholic Church.

Rose Anne Josephine Perez, 94, born May 17, 1923 in

Tetbury, England, died Nov. 25. She was a nurse in London during World War II where she met Reynolds who was a gunner and radio operator on a B-17. They married on March 8, 1945. She is survived by her daughters Ruth Eckman, Becky Shuttlesworth, sister Dorothy Long, two grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. Memorial contributions may be made to the Susan B. or the National Stroke Foundation.

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The Obituaries.

Worley Ovid Bryan Jr., 86, born Nov. 4, 1931, died Nov. 29. He attended Reagan High School and the University of Houston. Bryan served in the United States Air Force from 1950 until 1954 and attained the rank of sergeant. After his military service, he became a Master Plumber. He was active in various fraternal organizations and served as the past Commander of American Legion Post 560, as well as the Moose Lodge. Bryan is survived by his companion of 30 years, Joanne Alford, sons James Bryan, Donald Bryan, daughter Cheryl Franke, and two grandchildren. A visitation will be held from 5-8 p.m. Dec. 7, at Pat H. Foley

SHOW Rockstar Gallery State of the Art Show’s Founder and RockStar Gallery’s Curator, Vena Ashley’s Solo Art Show will be from 5-9 p.m. Dec. 16. The theme of the show is “a plane, a train, a bus, and a boat...” Come visit Paris, Italy, Amsterdam and Luxembourg through Vena’s lens. Rockstar Gallery is located at 5700 NW Central Dr. (77092). Information: 832-868-0242, events/737073769822540/

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Each week during this month we are focusing on different characters in the Christmas story. I spent a considerable amount of time studying the wise men from Matthew 2 this past week. Some of the things that fascinated me where the distance and time that they travelled, perhaps as long as two years, following a star to visit a King that had been born. The brought enough people in their entourage that it created an uproar in the city of Jerusalem when they arrived. They brought precious, expensive gifts to give to the King and didn’t seem phased at all when they found the King in a small house with His mother. These wise men in the story are contrasted with King Herod, the king of the Jews. King Herod had been appointed to his position by the Romans and during his rule he was known for his deceit, violence, and mistrust of even his closest family members. The historian Josephus tells of Herod murdering more than one of his wives and several of his children. He also had several other close family members killed that he suspected of trying to usurp his throne. King Herod was the king of the Jews, was partially a Jew himself and lived six miles from Bethlehem but he didn’t know anything of the prophecy concerning Jesus, and had heard nothing of his miraculous birth. He had to ask the religious leaders in Jerusalem what they knew, and even they had only heard the prophecy but nothing of the angels appearing to the shepherds or to the virgin birth of Jesus. I think this story has many applications for us today. Those that have a lot of knowledge, that are privileged, as we are, to have many churches in our community, have things relatively comfortably provided for us, often miss out on the most important truth of all. These wise men were willing to travel many miles over very rough terrain for many months to worship this new King. Let us follow the example of these wise men and worship the King Jesus! Let us not miss Him this Christmas season!

The Leader • Saturday, December 9, 2017 • Page 9A

View from the other bench By Landan Kuhlmann Prestonwood Christian Head Coach Chris Cunningham has guided the Lions to 101 wins and three state championships, but as his team prepares to face St. Pius X this weekend, he said the feeling never gets old. “There’s not a team out there who hasn’t put in the time in the offseason and summer, and done everything they possibly can to get here, and the beauty of the experience is knowing that we’re risking a lot for something that’s not guaranteed and not many teams will have the chance to play for,” said the 11th-year head coach. “When that does work out and you’re able to get to this point, it’s a great feeling, and the key is to focus on the things we’ve done all season that got us here.” For the Lions, the motto has been simple: don’t play for a state championship – play for each other. And Cunningham’s squad has performed it to perfection as they stand on the precipice of a dream. “That’s what I feel has been our inspiration and our strength, really all through the season,” he said. Prestonwood’s defense has stifled opponents all season, allowing just 15.5 points per game and surrendering more than 15 points twice – in both instances to All Saints Catholic – and provided the team’s explosive offense a plethora of opportunities. “The combination to get to and win a championship, I think, is similar on almost every level. You’ve got to play good defense at different points, and this has been one of the better years for our defensive players. We gotten our stops and made teams with good offenses work,” Cunningham said. Cunningham’s offensive attack, spearheaded by senior QB Wiley Green (3,360 yards, 44 TDs) and leading receivers Jeremiah Lewis and Ricky Baker along with tailback Timothy Taylor (1,160 yards, 5 TDs) enters Saturday’s tilt having taken advantage of many such opportunities, scoring nearly 41 points per game. In the end, he said it simply comes down to execution his team has exhibited all season, in every aspect, especially against an opponent the quality of St. Pius X. who won’t give teams many chances to pounce.

“Taking advantage key plays and making the most out of them is critical. You get a turnover, you need to score. If you get in the red zone, it needs to be a touchdown and not a field goal,” he said. “Those are things that over time and over different games that make a difference. There are things that happened back in the first half, but still had a major impact on the outcome of the game.” Many Lions victories have wound up on the lopsided end of the spectrum, but Cunningham believes they may not be on the edge of history without lessons taken, oddly enough, from their only loss of the year in the season’s opening week. Then, as the Lions entered district play, Cunningham said the team came together after defeating Bishop Dunne determined to step it up despite already having a playoff spot wrapped up. “After that loss [against All Saints], we went back and made some adjustments I feel made an enormous impact on our season. If we had played lesser competition, those flaws may never have been exposed and brought about the needed changes.,” he said. “We didn’t need to wait until the playoffs to try taking our game to another level and focus on the little things that are going to pay off down the line. We thought ‘we can start this run right now,’ and start playing as though we are in the playoffs,” he said. “That week [after we had beaten Dunne], I feel our kids stepped it up a notch and had a playoff mentality weeks before we even started.” Finally, as his team approaches Saturday’s matchup, Cunningham is walking the same tightrope he’s balanced before – allowing his players to enjoy the experience, but being ever the perfectionist, not allowing the experience to overpower the need for discipline and execution to accomplish the task at hand come kickoff Dec. 9. “We have to try to be as normal and routine [in our preparation] as we’ve been all season long. The more we can do that, the better we’ll be. I think anytime the experience takes away from the focus, that’s obviously not a good thing,” he said. “We’ve told our kids this is a great experience, but don’t lose your focus in it, and that’s the biggest challenge. Don’t let it take away from what you’ve got to accomplish.”

2017 St. Pius Roster 1 2 3 4 5 7 8 9 10 11 12 14 15 17 20 21 22 23 24 27 28 30 32 34 35 37 38 40 42 43 44 45 47 50 51 52 54 55 57 60 67 69 70 72 75 77 78 79 80 81 87 88 99

Trenton Waggoner Chase Lane Seth Condit Ramon Vitulli Boobie Curry Grant Gunnell Brice Vooletich Kaleb Ducros Jacob Jefferson Coby Roberts Jace Wilson Zion Lewis Colby Bonds Connor Spiller Alex Ball Ja’Kouvis Griffin Bruno Forestieri Lucas Woods Jarvis Johnson Edward Battenfield Braeden Benys Cash Walker Ricky Lester Peyton Payne David-John Selby Matt Dillard John Titus Undra Ferrow Nigel White John Sipes Kaleb Delphin Ben Pierce Jalen Davis Miguel Serna Jacob Craig Drake Parks Wesley Benford Jeremy Garcia Benil Johnson Rodger Puga Cooper Edwards Brett Ellison Thommy Good William Hernandez Tyler Vrabel McKade Mettauer Matthew Morgan Marshall Fox Conner Landry Aaron Goodman Andrew McGuire Enrique Trejo Luciano Golden


Jr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Jr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Jr. Fr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Jr. Jr. Sr. Jr. Jr. So. Fr. Sr. Jr. Jr. Sr. Jr. Fr. Jr. Jr. Jr. So. So. Jr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Jr. So. Jr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Jr. Jr. Jr. So. Jr. Jr.

6-0 6-1 6-3 6-1 6-3 6-6 6-0 6-1 5-11 6-0 5-8 5-9 5-10 6-3 6-0 5-8 5-11 5-10 6-0 6-2 6-0 5-10 6-3 5-8 6-2 6-2 5-10 5-8 5-7 6-1 5-10 5-11 5-9 5-11 6-3 6-2 6-0 6-4 6-3 5-10 6-0 5-8 6-1 5-9 6-5 6-5 6-5 6-2 5-10 5-7 6-2 5-7 6-1

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Runoff from P. 1A can have moving forward.” For Santos, one potential budget improvement lies in hiring and (mainly) retaining the teachers and staff necessary for retaining students, which she believes has been a shortcoming in recent years. “A lot of kids are leaving HISD schools for KIPP schools, charter or private schools, because the neighborhood schools aren’t strong enough to support their needs. These are our schools and our communities. The job of a trustee is to give attention to and draw on our communities’ strengths. Every campus is the heartbeat of the community, and while they have great programs, [charter/similar schools] are not a sustainable solution for public education,” Santos said, specifically noting The Leader’s own Scarborough High School as one of the district’s hidden gems. Santos believes the community schools model she backs will bring students back into HISD and create strong neighborhood schools through a nurturing and constructive learning environment. As such, the funds necessary to the model’s key factors would be a sticking point for her when looking at the district’s convoluted budget with regards to recapture and numerous additional obligations. “Our two largest investments are our teachers and students, and until we hire and retain quality educators and pay them like the professionals they are, we’re never going to be able to have teachers who want to stay in the district,” she said. “We have to do better by our neighborhood schools in order for people to want to keep their students inside of HISD.” Himsl appeared to share similar concerns. “I want to look at the threat of the state coming in and taking over our board or our schools – we need to retain control of our schools by HISD, and the way to ensure that is make sure our schools meet those requirements set by the state,” she said. “The Vanguard system is inequitable and needs to

be improved and adjusted, and I’m worried [with the Harvey worries] that it becomes less of a priority when it needs to be front and center with the board’s attention as well as the administration.” Another hot issue both candidates addressed was the scrutiny placed on magnet schools and programs. New superintendent Richard Carranza faced a backlash earlier this year when he proposed cutting almost all of the extra funding that magnet programs receive per student. However, he backed off that statement, and said at a Nov. 8 education summit he could soon revisit the topic of changing the way magnet schools are funded and how they accept students. “[Eliminating funding for magnet schools] is not an option for me at all. We have to strengthen our magnet programs alongside our neighborhood schools, and to do that there has to be community empowerment in selecting the magnet programs of their choice,” Santos said. “We just need to be able to empower neighborhood schools to make sure the core content is quality and ensure strategic placement of the magnet programs. Strategic placement of the magnet programs that are reflective of what a community needs and wants, with a plan and a vision has to be the forefront.” Himsl believes there has been an equity shortfall there as well, from funding to programmatic access in various neighborhoods. “Are all these schools getting the same quality of teachers? If not, let’s see what we can do to fix that, and let’s look at the geographic distribution of those schools. Are there communities that would like those programs who don’t have them right now?” she postured. “One of the complaints [community members] have had is that when their school started struggling, HISD stripped all of those programs away, so the kids are going elsewhere. That’s counterintuitive – if you don’t have magnet programs or career/technical programs, students are going to go

somewhere else.” While it has been settled in 2016, both candidates agreed with the notion that the name changes to schools such as (formerly) Jefferson Davis and Reagan High School best; however, both said the process for doing so spoke volumes about a larger issue both will address if elected – how far the district’s responsiveness still must go to be up to par. “As I’ve knocked on doors, people have still been angry about that. They feel their experience was taken away, so that’s an example of how HISD can be tone deaf to the needs of the community. Yes, those names should have been changed; however, the community has told me that they weren’t listened to, and they felt their opinion and experiences weren’t valued,” Himsl said. “We really need to go about things differently – when we have largescale changes like that, we need to involve the community more in those decisions.” For Santos, qualms also came in the form of what she perceived as the process’s tone deafness to certain neighborhoods. “I think the school board did a poor job in educating our communities in the first place. You strip these people of their name, and it’s not just a name for some people. They’re discounting the fact that people have built lives around these schools, and you come in and do this on a whim without educating them as to why you’re taking it away,” she said. “I do believe the names had to be changed, but I think they went about it the wrong way – it should have been community-driven in selecting the names and beyond. Our community can think for themselves, but that’s not always how people view certain neighborhoods.” That said, Himsl believes with new Superintendent Richard Carranza, the responsiveness has improved. “I hope that continues going forward,” she said.

comfortable 28-9 advantage. After that, the teams traded touchdowns with Ducros running for his third score of the game. St. Pius X enters Saturday’s clash scoring more than 51 points per game, with Gunnell slinging it to a multitude of weapons. “Everybody knows their roles, and we play extremely well together. What I don’t have, they have, and I don’t try to get what they have,” said Jefferson, who has caught 70 passes for 1,090 yards and 17 touchdowns heading into Saturday. “I just know what I do best, and they all do the same thing. Everybody just meshes together to help get us on a roll like that.”

Lewis has pulled in 40 receptions for 919 yards and 14 scores while averaging just under 23 yards per reception. The Lions round out that offensive attack with running back Timothy Taylor, who has rushed for over 1,100 yards this season. However, while the offense continues to get the attention with their seven Division I prospects, St. Pius X’s defense played an outstanding game against Bishop Dunne – with a late interception sealing the win – in the quarterfinals, and followed up that effort by keeping Bishop Lynch to just 15 points and just over 300 yards of total offense. The Panthers’ defense has been stout all season, allowing just 22 points per game. But they’ll face perhaps their stiffest test this weekend. “It’s been all about the leadership, people doing their job and being where they’re supposed to be instead of doing other people’s jobs, and just trying to execute our game plan each week,” Forestieri said on what’s keyed the Panthers’ defensive efforts all season. St. Pius X is going for its 13th state football championship in school history, and first since 2007. “Anyone who works here will tell you St. Pius is a close-knit community, and it’s been tenfold with the alumni that have reached out and the support they’ve given,” Hill said. “It’s been a very special week to see the community come together all towards one common goal, no matter who they are. Everybody’s pulling together here, so if we win it’s not just the football team winning, it’s a championship for our school, and to accomplish that would be quite a feat.”

Panthers from P. 1A you’d be lying; but we just treated it like any other game and just did what we do best.” “It feels like we finally got that chip off our shoulder, that luggage off our back,” Jefferson added. “Now that we’ve gotten over that, we’re rolling. It feels great to get over that hump and get here onto this big stage. [Bishop Dunne] got us the last two years, and that really sparked a passion in us – that’s the one we wanted, so just getting that done, I knew it was going to be a good roll for us the rest of the season.” The Friars took a 2-0 lead before the Panthers showed the versatility they have on offense with their first two touchdowns of the game. The initial one came on a 98-yard drive after a Dunne punt backed St. Pius X up to its own 2-yard line. Junior tailback Kaleb Ducros ran for the first of his three touchdowns to complete the long march. On their next possession, they showed that always lying-in-wait big -play capability when quarterback Grant Gunnell threw a 67-yard touchdown pass to star wide receiver Jalen Curry, who now has nearly 120 catches on the season. Two extrapoint kicks made it 14-2 before the Friars closed the gap to 14-9 with a touchdown just before halftime. The Panthers put the game away in the third quarter with two more scores that built their lead to 289. First, Gunnell threw a 39-yard score to Jefferson, who has shown no ill effect from an injury that caused him to miss the latter part of the regular season. Then, Ducros completed their second drive of the second half with a nineyard scoring run that gave them a

Tough test Much like St. Pius X, Prestonwood Plano is a very explosive team offensively, averaging over 40 points a game this year. The Lions are also solid defensively, allowing just under 16 points per game. In the Lions’ win over Tyler All-Saints, senior quarterback Wiley Green threw three touchdowns passes, giving him 44 for the season. That is an outstanding number, but he is still a dozen behind St. Pius X quarterback Grant Gunnell, who threw two more against Bishop Dunne and now has an amazing 56 for the season. Prestonwood also avenged one of its two losses from this year as they fell to All Saints 61-50 in the first game of the year back in early September. Green has thrown for 3,360 yards, and Ricky Baker and Jeremiah Lewis are his go-to guys in the passing department. Baker has caught 59 passes for nearly 900 yards and 13 touchdowns while

Prevention from P. 1A potentially setting up the delivery so the package can only be dropped off if someone is there to sign for it at the specified time. “There are a lot of things you can do to potentially minimize your exposure to thefts,” he said. Rosen also noted the importance of security cameras, which have been instrumental in apprehending many a thief in such an instance; and noted his office is working on an additional proactive program that could be rolled out within the next year to help stem the tide. But his officers are not the only ones actively searching for ways to cut thieves off from any potential opportunities; some local business owners have also taken initiative to curb the epidemic in any small way they can. Neighbor helping neighbor “I would constantly see these writeups from people at how upset they were, because they had people on video and security cameras [stealing packages – and they were so bold,” said Papa Murphy and SweetFrog co-owner Judy Brown, who has joined Hartz Chicken on Pinemont and other area businesses in offer-

ing their business address for delivery and pickup if residents cannot be at home. “To hear the comments from homeowners being upset to the point of anger at trying to outwit these folks really bothered me, and I thought this was a great solution.” Brown says anyone wishing to have their parcels delivered and picked up safely can simply message her and the store(s) their address and give the postal service the 1214 W. 43rd St. address for either store, where a staff member would sign for the package provided they receive significant notice of its pending arrival. Upon pickup, all residents must do is present a valid form of identification to an employee and go on their way. The arrangement, Brown said, would allow residents to deliver and pick up their packages at their convenience from either SweetFrog or Papa Murphy’s while taking the weight of worrying about opportunistic thieves off their shoulders. It’s also a way to give back to the community which has supported them. “Why not help the neighbors out? We’re in the neighborhood and everybody’s close to come get it, so it’s not an inconvenience, and [even

better] I think we’re doing something great for the community during this horrible situation,” she said. “We love Garden Oaks/Oak Forest, and we just love our customers. Such a sentiment also resounds with Naro M., owner of Hartz Crispy Chicken at 1215 Pinemont Dr., who also decided to make his store available to area residents in need of a safe space to store their packages after hearing of several in the Garden Oaks/Oak Forest area. His staff will sign for packages and store them in the back of the store until pickup, free of charge. “That’s just messed up, and I hope guys like that get caught – so let’s do something about it. I have a lot of space at the restaurant, so you can ship your packages to Hartz Crispy Chicken,” he said in a Facebook video posted to several neighborhood groups. “You can just text me, call the store, or come by at your earliest convenience. We’ll do this as something that helps the community and hopefully keeps those folks off your porch. That’s just not right – instead of thinking about other people they’re thinking of themselves.”

Page 10A • Saturday, December 9, 2017 • The Leader


Dear Neighbor, Thank you for coming out to the polls. Winning ´UVW place in the November election with 45% of the vote proved that people are tired of politics as usual in our public schools and that our community-based, grassroots campaign is resonating. Join us as we vote one more time to bring a community voice to the HISD School Board. Tell your neighbors this runoff is critical. Together we will build up our schools so that all children in our city have access to an education that will empower them and enrich their lives.


Greater Heights Democratic Club

Senator John Whitmire

Harris County Tejano Democrats

Councilmember Robert Gallegos

Houston GLBT Political Caucus

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez

Texas Students United

Pearland ISD Trustee Mike Floyd

Community Voices for Public Education

Houston Federation of Teachers

Harris County AFL-CIO Labor Assembly




Political ad paid for by Santos for HISD. Gabriella Mindiola, Treasurer.

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December 9 Section A