Inside Today: Part II of a series on small business marketing • Page 2B
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Saturday, April 3, 2021 • Vol. 66 • No. 14
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METRO overhauling Studewood bus stops By Adam Zuvanich firstname.lastname@example.org
Good Dog Houston coowner Amalia Pferd said she and her business partner support the expansion of public transportation in the region and “love” having a bus stop close to their restaurant in the Heights. They just don’t want one directly in front of their patio. Pferd said METRO, the public transit authority for Harris County, began con-
struction on a new stop in front of her business on March 25. The plan, according to METRO, is to install a lighted shelter for riders along with a digital sign displaying bus arrival information. The new stop will replace the existing one on the opposite side of Good Dog’s parking lot, at the northwest corner of Studewood and 9th Street. “It’s going to be an eyesore,” Pferd said of the shelter. “That’s what we’re going
to be staring at. I’m also worried about its height, if it will obstruct the view of our restaurant.” Pferd said the popular hot dog restaurant at 903 Studewood St. has been in contact with representatives from METRO and hopes they will amend the plan to include only a bench and trash can and not the shelter, which provides riders a reprieve from the sun and rain. But See METRO P. 5A
Photo from METRO Construction workers pour concrete for a METRO bus stop on Studewood Street in the Heights, where the public transit authority is upgrading several bus stops this year.
By Betsy Denson email@example.com
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Pitching in. A standout hitter and pitcher helped St. Pius X have a good week in softball.
Boulevard beauties. Mitch Cohen provides a rundown of this year’s True North sculptures.
Photo by Joshua Rosales of Tycoon Films Young local residents Emmylou, left, and Gray examine a golden egg they found during a 2019 Easter egg hunt at Marmion Park.
Holiday egg hunts back on this Easter By Zarah Parker firstname.lastname@example.org
Pinspiration. A new business in the area offers a splatter room for painting.
Photo by Joshua Rosales of Tycoon Films Village Heights Church pastors Bill and Hannah White are hosting an Easter egg hunt on Saturday at Marmion Park.
Contributed photo Shepherd Park Plaza resident Kiera Gorman stands outside a home her family is recycling through Habitat for Humanity.
Students at St. Rose enjoy new educational building By Betsy Denson email@example.com
THE INDEX. Church....................................................... 4A Classifieds.............................................. 5A Coupons. ................................................. 3B Food/Drink/Art................................... 7A Obituaries.............................................. 4A Opinion. ................................................... 3A Public Information......................... 4B Puzzles...................................................... 3A Sports. ....................................................... 4A
When Christine Gorman and her husband, John, bought the house next door to them in Shepherd Park Plaza, they initially thought they would renovate it. However, the home’s condition made that option unfeasible. But Gorman did not want to just raze it. “We heard about someone who had done a deconstruction project with Habitat for Humanity, so we looked into it,” Gorman said. “After a lot of research, we decided to sign on.” The Habitat for Humanity Northwest Harris County Deconstruction program allows for homeowners to recycle their house and get a tax deduction on the reclaimed items that can be used for other homes. But the process is complex. The Gormans first hired an appraiser and walked through the house with him and a Habitat representative to get an idea of the expenses they would incur as well as the value of the recycled items. Their agreement was one of the 50/50 options that Habitat offers. The one they selected gave them more responsibility on the front end to maximize their return on the back end. The Gormans took care of the perimeter fence and rented a portable toilet for the workers. They also paid CenterPoint to cap the gas but went through Habitat to cap the water and sewer lines, because it was more affordable than through a plumber or builder. A $10,000 tax-deductible payment to See Habitat P. 5A
Village Heights Church is seeking to bring a little normalcy to the neighborhood after a trying year due to the pandemic. Unable to host an Easter egg hunt last year, the church at 311 W. 18th St. is excited to be able to bring the holiday tradition back this year, with safety precautions. The event is scheduled for 10:30 a.m.-noon Saturday at Marmion Park, 1810 Heights Blvd. “Now that parks and outdoor spaces are opening back up, it feels like we’re starting to see the light at the end of the quarantine tunnel,” said Hannah White, a pastor at Village Heights. “So, both as a mom and a pastor, I wanted my kids and their friends to enjoy this annual event once again.” See Easter P. 5A
Alien evasion. Police say a man tried to steal an alien mannequin from a Heights store.
Local residents recycle homes with Habitat for Humanity
Photo by Betsy Denson Monica Molina, left, a Spanish teacher at St. Rose of Lima Catholic School, instructs students in one of the campus’ new classrooms.
St. Rose of Lima Catholic School Principal Bernadette Drabek said their new twostory, 44,736 square foot educational building came just in time. “We were out of space,” she said. “All the ancillaries were traveling on a cart.” That will not be an issue anymore. After Spring Break – during which a donor-funded, herculean three-day move occurred – kindergarten through eighth grade students came back to a building that is much
different from the 1947 area classrooms they used. The main entry of the new space opens to an elementary school library, with a STEMoriented middle school library on the second floor. There is a specially designed science lab, which Drabek describes as “the most beautiful room in the building,” as well as a soundproof music room, language lab, computer lab and 19 large classrooms outfitted with smartboard technology. And the ancillary teachers all have a designated space. The wings of the building are organized into pods – each
with its own bathroom – which was planned pre-COVID but has come in handy during the pandemic. “I’m happy to learn in a more modern space,” middle school student Jackson Schultea said. “It is a lot more comfortable.” The building, planned since 2015, cost approximately $10 million, with $4 million of it funded by St. Rose’s Faith in Action Campaign. The school took out a loan for the remainder. “Donors have been very See St. Rose P. 4A
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Page 2A • Saturday, April 3, 2021 • The Leader
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THE TOPICS. The Leader • Saturday, April 3, 2021 • Page 3A
Crises created to breed anger, fear
n case you haven’t heard, we have a crisis on our hands. And if every single person in this country doesn’t starting worrying about it, well… just know you should. You certainly don’t need me to tell you this. If you’re one of those citizens who wakes up each morning, takes a breath and picks up a phone, you know about the crisis. Don’t take my word for it. Just go to your preferred news search engine and type the word “crisis.” Here’s what I found in about 15 seconds. “The Suez crisis is over. Now time to add up the damages.” “City’s affordable housing crisis needs big new ideas.” “Canada’s oil crisis could hurt U.S. consumers.” “We must treat gun violence as a public health crisis.” “Border crisis due to decades of bad U.S. behavior.” “Long COVID is a looming health crisis.” “Racism and the crisis facing the royal family.” We could do this all day. If that’s not enough evidence, I can do you one better. At the time of this writing, the highest elected officials in all the land are literally arguing over whether the word “crisis” should be used to describe our southern border.
Jonathan McElvy Publisher
I’m sorry, but the moment we create a crisis over using the word “crisis,” haven’t we just about lost our collective minds? What are we doing? What has happened to us? Those are rhetorical questions. Every single one of us should know the answer. It starts with your political party’s favorite website (there’s a hint-filled paradox). Type in whatever news source you want, but I’ll save you the time. If you visit MSNBC.com and search the entire site, you’ll find the word “crisis” appears in 47,100 different posts. Slide over to FoxNews.com and perform the same exercise and your eyes will pop out. A grand total of 190,000 results found. Now, before all my left-leaning friends start pointing the blame at FoxNews, those numbers are not apples-to-apples. In the Fox
search, results included all posts back to 2002. In the MSNBC search, the results ended on Feb. 17, 2021. That’s like a month and a cup of coffee. For further transparency, I’m quite certain both of those search results also included every paid advertisement that included the word “crisis,” and we all know that any good advertisement must first make you feel like you’re in the midst of a crisis before you buy a specific product. If you want the answer to my rhetorical questions – What are we doing? What has happened to us? – there could be no greater segue: Just as advertisements need a crisis to make you buy, the modern day medium of news must always have a crisis to make you read, and they’re creating them by the bucket-load. Here’s evidence: If you visit the Washington Post’s website (Democracy Dies without Crisis), they have a wonderful full-site search tool. You guessed it, I searched to see how many times the word “crisis” has appeared and was given a few options. First, I was allowed to search for everything back to 2005 and discovered the word had appeared in the Post’s virtual pages 91,498 times. So in about 15.25 years, the Post has averaged using the word
6,000 times a year. Then I was given an option to do the same search over the past 12 months. Since April 1, 2020 – one year – the word “crisis” has appeared 12,559 times. OK, fair enough. We did have a pandemic and most people (news organizations included) couldn’t spell COVID without it being followed with that word we’ve already used too much. So answer me this: The Post allows a user to search for the past seven days – one week. Turns out, as the COVID crisis moves a page back in the national dialogue, the Post has published that word 332 times in one week. Multiply that over 52 weeks, and they’re on pace to use the word more than 17,000 times in the next year – 9,000 more times a year than the average; 25 more times a day. It doesn’t matter if you watch TV, browse social media, click your favorite book mark, or (how dare you) pick up a newspaper, you are now told that everything is a crisis. Gone are words like “issue,” or “disagreement,” or “dispute,” or “problem,” or “topic.” No, everything is now a crisis, and it has happened because the only way the national news makes a living is by inciting emotion in its readers. And the only way to
incite emotion is to create fear and anger. And the best path to fear and anger is through a crisis. The more the national news media can get you to their pages, the more they can place a monetary value on your visit. They lure you in by making you scared and angry. They force you to feel despair. They beg of you to come back tomorrow to read more about the latest crisis. We are all consumers of news. In order to be informed, we must be consumers of news. We must be vigilant to issues of importance; debate topics of dispute. We must solve our problems and resolve our disagreements. In times of crisis, we tend to lose rationale. We dart one way and then another. We make decisions we later regret. Few of us are ever calm, and anxiety rules the day. If you’re exhausted by society, by politics, by the endless rush of wrongs, it’s because our national sources of information can only exist by creating fear in you first. They are not honest – not one of them. They are playing by a financial formula, and it’s about time we consider ruining the equation. Email jonathan@mcelvypartners. com
When IRS eyes are blinking THE READER. THE DINING ROOM TABLE – Papers and more papers. Receipts, scrawled reminders and crumpled Post-it Notes. This debris is because, like 165,624,000 (in 2019) other Americans, I am wrestling with my federal income taxes. Actually, my wife, the daughter of a CPA, is doing most of the work, undeterred by my expert advice: “Can’t we still deduct our kids even though they’re gone?” “I’m a military veteran. Do we have to say on which side?” No, I’m not going to cheat on my federal income taxes, but a lot do. For about every 30 taxpayers who file their tax returns each year, there’s one business or household that doesn’t. Unreported income is the single largest reason that unpaid federal income taxes may amount to more than $600 billion this year and more than $7.5 trillion over the next decade. That would cover more than half the projected federal deficit over that time. And, of course, for every dollar they don’t pay, you and I have to make up the difference. The number of tax deadbeats has skyrocketed. Since 2002, Americans who owed unpaid money to the IRS has tripled, and so has the amount of unpaid taxes. How do they get away with it? Because Congress continues to cut the IRS’s budget. Today the IRS employs fewer people to track down tax evaders than any time since the 1950s. So, while the amount of unpaid taxes is going up, tax crime investigations have been falling. The share of all tax returns that were audited declined by almost half, 46 percent, from 2010 to 2018. Want to avoid an audit? Make a lot money. Really. The risk of audits for people earning more than $1 million per year plunged by 61 percent from 2011 to 2019. The really rich have it even better. In 2018, the IRS audited only 0.03 percent of those making more than $10 million. By one estimate, the failure of wealthy Americans to pay their fair share forces everyone else to pay an extra 15 percent in taxes. One reason Congress keeps cutting the tax inspectors’ budgets is because no one likes a tax collector. Even in the Bible, tax collectors were evil, greedy, and corrupt, deceitful and unpopular, who charged far more than what was owed and pocketed the rest. One of my favorite IRS stories: several years ago a businessman testified before a Congressional committee. Between sobs he told about a friend who was so harassed by the IRS that he committed suicide. The Congressional committee voted to cut the tax collectors’ budget. Turns out there was no dead friend and the testifier owed $30 million in back taxes. Here’s the dumb part about this: Each additional dollar spent on enforcement brings in about $24.
Lynn Ashby Columnist
Still, before we start cheating on Uncle Sam, let’s consider some high profile cases who were caught. “I’m from Texas, and one of the reasons I like Texas is because there’s no one in control.” -- Willie Nelson. Alas, Willie found out that others control what he owes in taxes. In 1990, Nelson was forced to pay $16 million in fines and back taxes for using an illegal tax shelter. It turns out that his accountant was also to blame, using Nelson’s money for taxes to invest in other areas. Who can forget Leona Helmsley’s famous quote: “We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes.” Helmsley, nicknamed the “Queen of Mean” by employees, became a little person. In 1989, Helmsley began a 16year prison sentence for tax evasion. Al Capone got away with murder and mayhem. An army of law enforcement agencies couldn’t nail him, but the tax man did, ultimately convicting Capone of tax evasion, tossing him in Alcatraz for 11 months and fining him $50,000 (the harshest tax fraud sentence in history to that point). The biggest tax evader in recent times seems to be none other than former President Donald Trump. Example: He may have illegitimately claimed a $72.9 million refund that the IRS is now trying to recover. He had claimed $70,000 in highly dubious tax deductions for hair styling for his television show. Hair styling is not a deductible expense and, in any case, Trump’s hair expenses for his “Apprentice” TV shows should have been reimbursed by NBC -- in which case Trump may have committed criminal tax fraud. Trump paid no income taxes in 10 of the last 17 years while raking in as much as $153 million in a single year. The year he ran for president he paid just $750. He paid the same sum during his first year in the Oval Office. An undocumented immigrant housekeeper who had worked for the Trump Organization posted tax statements on Twitter showing that she had paid more federal income taxes than Trump himself had in many years. No wonder he doesn’t want us to see his tax returns. Now let’s pop the bubble that “half of Americans don’t pay taxes.” You hear that a lot on right-wing radio. Everyone pays taxes – sales tax (8.25 percent in Texas), gas tax (38.4 cents a gallon), school taxes, property taxes, etc. The State of Texas has no income tax, but will spend $216.8 bil-
lion over the next two years. That’s $7,781 for every Texas resident. Call it what you will, those are taxes and everyone pays them. We end with some good news. Make big bucks being a snitch. Tell the IRS Whistleblower Office that your boss or spouse or maybe the discount dentist who’s driving a Lamborghini is cheating on his or her taxes. The feds can award a snitch between 15 percent and 30 percent of the total proceeds that the IRS collects in a case, up to $5 million. As we have seen from the above figures, there are bunches of Americans not paying their taxes. It’s your patriotic duty to turn them in. Now back to my taxes. Under “losses” can I list 2020?
Background on back-to-front drainage
Dear Editor: In regards to Katie McDonald’s letter to the reader. In 1946, when Oak Forest was founded, the original home drainage was set up with the front yards draining to the street and backyards draining to the 10 foot back utility easement running down the back of the homes. Every block had one spot where the utility easement drained to the street. Tens years ago, new construction blocked the original drainage of my and my neighbors backyards. When I brought this up with public works, I was told the subdivision was built with back-to-front drainage. A (darn) lie. I have a letter from Houston’s legal department stating the City has no proof of back-to-front drainage. After six years fighting Public Works and speaking at numerous City Council meetings I finally found the original County drainage plans but it was too late, new construction had totally illegally blocked the original drainage of my and my neighbors. The city is using a 1970 ordinance to illegally block the original drainage in Oak Forest. The 1970 ordinance does not give the city the right to change the original drainage of Oak Forest. John J. Cieslewicz
Don’t cook a steak past medium
Dear Editor: Regarding “Don’t cook a steak past medium” (Mar. 17): Contemporary USA meat processing standards are such that it is safe to eat a cut of beef as rare as you wish, as long as the entire outside has been singed sufficiently to kill microorganisms on its surface -- which could mean a single slow-rolling pass through the flames. This does not apply to ground meat, hamburger, because bacteria on the outside has been minced up with the inside; ground meat accordingly must be cooked thoroughly. As for the “puddle of blood” on Zarah Parker’s plate, the “red” in red meat is not blood. It is a harmless water-soluble protein named myoglobin. Thus when you eat steak rare, it is not bloody -- it is juicy. P.S. Believe it or not, all this is also true for pork. But, however -- that said -- people of a certain level of experience will never believe that, and will demand that all pork be thoroughly cooked. P.P.S. It was absolutely wonderful late February when, in the wake of the big freeze, President Joe Biden the Great visited Houston and expressed his recognition for, among others, our very own “Shirley” Jackson Lee. J. Reynolds
Email us your letters: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ashby is taxed at email@example.com
the leader Puzzlers. Answers found in this week’s Classified section
aCrOss 1. Teletype (Computers) 4. Loose-fitting sleeveless garment 7. They __ 8. Extinct Turkish caucasian language 10. Tall N Zealand timber tree 12. Piedmont city on the River Gesso 13. Burl __, storyteller 14. Made up of 50 states 16. Not or 17. Given a monetary penalty 19. Unnilpentium 20. ISU town 21. Equality for everyone 25. A lyric poem with complex stanza forms 26. Actress Farrow 27. Scottish caps 29. Gobblers 30. __ Lilly, drug company
31. Process an animal hide 32. Describe in perfect detail 39. 1000 calories 41. American National Bank (abbr.) 42. MN 55121 43. Everyone 44. Substitute 45. Rubber, marching or head 46. Dance Latin rhythm 48. Inside of 49. A way to let know 50. Morning moisture 51. Point midway between S and SE 52. Sales messages
dOwn 1. Duty 2. Whatchamacallit 3. A citizen of Yemen 4. __ Dhabi, Arabian capital 5. Nickname 6. One seeded fruit (alt. sp.) 8. Fiddler crabs 9. Troughs of bricks 11. Exploiter
14. Atomic #104 15. Italian ice-cream 18. Algerian dinar 19. Consume 20. Macaws 22. Insignificantly small 23. Tooth caregiver 24. Direct toward 27. Bluish green 28. Caliph 29. Faucet 31. The bill in a restaurant 32. Capital of Tocantins, Brazil 33. Explosive 34. The most abundant of the rare-earth group 35. Japanese sock 36. Kampala is the capital 37. Raged 38. Provides with property 39. Miniature racing vehicle 40. Signs 44. Express pleasure 47. Bridge-building degree
Page 4A • Saturday, April 3, 2021 • The Leader
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Heights’ Alvarez earns all-state honors By Landan Kuhlmann firstname.lastname@example.org
Following a standout season on the court, one of the area’s brightest high school basketball stars was recently rewarded with a statewide honor. Heights senior guard Gracelynn Alvarez was named to the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches’ Class 6A girls all-state team last week.
Alvarez, who is committed to UTEP, averaged 15.8 points, 4 assists and 4 rebounds this season for the Lady Bulldogs, who finished 24-5 overall and reached their second consecutive regional quarterfinal before falling to Cypress Creek. She also was a first-team alldistrict selection and one of 10 finalists for the inaugural Anthony Fields Award, given to the Houston region’s top girls basketball player.
Photos by Landan Kuhlmann Heights’ Gracelynn Alvarez is shown during a Feb. 20 area-round playoff game against Fort Bend Ridge Point at Delmar Fieldhouse. Alvarez was recently named to the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches’ Class 6A girls all-state team.
Dear’s all-around play paces SPX softball in strong week By Landan Kuhlmann email@example.com
The St. Pius X High School softball team got off to a strong start in district play last week, due in large part to a complete performance from one of its brightest stars. Senior Emily Dear, a University of Texas at San Antonio commitment, was a force both at the plate and in the pitching circle as the Lady Panthers won three district games en route to a 4-1 week. Dear batted .722 (13 for 18) with 13 RBIs last week, including a four-hit, five-RBI performance in a 20-12 win over Houston Christian on March 24. She also had three hits and four RBIs in an 18-0 victory over Beaumont Kelly on March 29, raising her average to .700 this season with 29 RBIs. But she wasn’t done. Dear
also had three pitching wins while allowing just four hits in 15 innings of work, including a five-inning perfect game against Beaumont Kelly. She has struck out 78 hitters so far this season in 67.2 innings, and opponents are batting .148 against her. Sophomore Victoria Hunter also had a strong week for the Lady Panthers (11-9), going 13 for 17 in five games while homering three times and driving in 14 runs. Hunter is hitting .673 with a team-leading 38 RBIs on the season. The Lutheran High North Lady Lions, meanwhile, began their season with a 13-6 win over Covenant Christian on March 26. Waltrip’s Lady Rams had a perfect week as well, with a 16-3 win over Austin on March 24 and an 11-4 victory against Northside on March 27. The Heights Lady Bulldogs
Photo by Wayne Donnelly St. Pius X’s Emily Dear pitches during a 2019 game against St. John XXIII. Dear helped lead the Lady Panthers to a 4-1 record last week.
dropped an 8-0 decision to Bellaire on March 26 before beating Westside 10-2 on Tuesday, improving to 10-4 overall and 7-1 in District 18-
6A competition. Leticia Flores, Alexandra Hill, Sarah Peyrani and Kennedy Hill had two RBIs apiece against Westside.
Baseball St. Thomas was strong again last week with a pair of run-rule victories, dropping Beaumont Kelly 11-0 in five innings on March 25 before taking down rival St. Pius X 12-1 in five innings on March 27. Grant Springer, Eddie Villegas and Sam Mahlberg each had two RBIs against SPX, while Braydan Salinas and Adam Desroches had three RBIs apiece as the Eagles are 12-7-1 on the season. SPX didn’t have much success before the aforementioned loss to St. Thomas, as the Panthers also lost to Concordia Lutheran on March 23 and March 25. However, SPX (11-8) rebounded with a 5-3 win over the Eagles in Tuesday’s rematch. Lutheran High North dropped two games against Tomball Rosehill Christian by scores of 13-0 and 20-1 last
week, falling to 2-2 on the season. In Houston ISD action, Scarborough bounced back from an 18-0 loss to Mickey Leland College Prep on March 24 by defeating the Knights 8-0 in a March 27 rematch. The Spartans were 6-7 overall and 5-1 in District 23-4A entering Wednesday night’s game against North Forest. Heights also went undefeated last week, beating Carnegie twice by identical 16-0 scores on March 23 and March 26. The Bulldogs have won five consecutive games. The Booker T. Washington Eagles split a pair of games last week, taking down Yates 13-9 on March 24 before falling 15-0 in a March 27 rematch, leading the Eagles with a 1-4 record. Waltrip lost 5-2 to Manvel in its only game last week, dropping to 6-6-2 overall.
St. Rose from P. 1A generous,” Drabek said. One giver donated $300,000 and another gave $25,000 for the middle school library, which will have 3D printers. The classrooms and libraries have not been completely outfitted yet, and that is purposeful, according to Drabek. “We want teachers to get a feel for what they need, and we can add to it,” she said. The school is now at 435 students with two classes per grade, through fifth grade. The plan over the next three years is to grow gradually to a little more than 500 students, adding two classes for sixth, seventh and eighth grades. The pre-kindergarten 3 and 4 students are still in the two north wings opposite the new buildings. One of these wings was renovated 12 years ago and the other was added. These sections house seven classrooms with space for an art room and a resource room. The old classrooms on the south side of campus will be demolished next year and a new drop-off area will alleviate traffic congestion on Brinkman Street. New awnings will be added as well. Drabek has been at the school for 12 years, first as a teacher, then as assistant principal and now principal. “(The building) has been a long time coming,” she said. “I’m just so happy with it.”
Photo from Twitter Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, left, speaks to volunteers administering the COVID-19 vaccinations at Booker T. Washington High School on Monday.
COVID-19 vaccines administered at Independence Heights school
Photo by Betsy Denson St. Rose of Lima Catholic School student Jacob Garcia, foreground, works on an assignment while sitting in a desk in the school’s new building.
By Landan Kuhlmann firstname.lastname@example.org
Houstonians wanting to get a COVID-19 vaccination were able to do so at a local high school earlier this week. With the March 23 announcement from the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) that all adults in the state would be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations beginning Monday, Houston residents lined up outside Booker T. Washington High School at 4204 Yale St. during the pop-up community vaccination event in Independence Heights.
Photo by Betsy Denson Students play outside at St. Rose of Lima Catholic School, which recently opened a new educational building on its campus.
CHURCH D I R E CTO RY
In light of theSunday COVID-19 outbreak, please check with church below for updated St.each James Lutheran Church, ELCA Bible Studies For All Ages ... 9:30am Morning Worship ............... 10:45am • Worship (English) ..... 10:00 am - 11:00am information Wednesday about services and events. In-person services are temporarily restricted. Bible Studies For Youth, Children • Learning Hour........... 11:00am - 12:00pm MANNA
A report from KPRC said 1,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine were administered at Washington. The event was a partnership between Houston ISD, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and other local and elected officials. At the community site, residents were able to register onsite to receive the vaccine. “What we need to do is
WARRIOR NOTES HOME FELLOWSHIP Tuesday 6:30pm, Garden Oaks/Heights email@example.com Learning to walk in the Spirit & Power of Jesus
GET He is Risen! OVER IT!
t goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: “we have all made mistakes.” As Alexander Pope so aptly put it: “To err is human, to forgive, divine.” We should remember this the next time we make a mistake. Most certainly, we must learn from our mistakes, and hopefully not continue to repeat them, but we should also forgive ourselves. While it can be hard enough to forgive others for their mistakes, it can sometimes feel almost impossible to forgive ourselves. We sometimes cannot bring ourselves to forgive something we’ve done, and we may punish and harangue ourselves for years, or even decades, over youthful indiscretions. In addition, some of us may not be able to forget the sins of our past. And although that may prevent us from repeating them, we must be charitable and forgive ourselves, just as we should forgive others. So, we should make a real effort in the coming days and weeks to forgive the offenses of others as well as our own. Sometimes, it helps to just forget about them; that is, to try to put them out of our mind and stop repeatedly mulling over them. One of the reasons we use the phrase “forgive and forget” is because sometimes that is the only way to forgive, i.e., by forgetting. But far better, and more divine, is to be able to forgive even while remembering the offense. So, we should let go of those unforgiving, vindictive, shameful feelings about the past, and get over it! Corrie ten Boom, who survived incarceration in a Nazi prison camp said, “Forgiveness is to set a prisoner free, and to realize that the prisoner was you.”
By Pastor Will Cover
Arise Baptist Church 803 Curtin St. Houston TX 77018 713-659-9697 • www.arisebaptistchurch.org
erplexed and afraid; these two words are used First Church St. James Lutheran Church, ELCA Weekly to describe the feelings Sunday Services Gethsemane Lutheran Church • Bible Study: 9:15 a.m. of the women who came to t8PSTIJQ &OHMJTI BNBN • Morning:10:30 a.m. We invite you to worship withus! • Evening: 4:15 p.m. visit Jesus’ grave on Sunday 1700 Sunday West 43 at Rosslyn School ........9:15 am MANNA t-FBSOJOH)PVS BNQN 713-682-4942 t8PSTIJQ 4QBOJTI QNQN Pastor – Dr. Richard Walters Sunday Worship......10:30am morning after his crucifixion. 4QPOTPS Ad # 32285 Wednesday Bible Study They found the stone had been 8FTUSE4Ut)PVTUPO 5Yt & Prayer 6:00pm Candlelight Church ofService Christ rolled away and the tomb was Join us for Services FC Heights Family and Staff empty. I enjoy thinking about in English or Spanish Sunday Morning Worship 8:30 and 11:00 201 E. 9th St. • 713-861-3102 Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn Sunday Worship 10am & 5pm Sunday School for Children, Youth and Adults 9:40 what must haveforgive, felt like to not, and you will it not be condemned; Please website at: Sund visitforour Sunday Bible Classes 9am www.fbcheights.org Ministries All Ages and you will be forgiven... Wednesday Bible Study 7pm Home of Johnson Memorial School for Little Children experience the events recorded www.lazybrookbaptistchurch.org for the following: Rev. Nathan Lonsdale Bledsoe, Pastor 4215 Watonga Blvd. • 713-681-9365 R.S.V. Luke 6:37 Sunday Services: @ 9 AM and 2003 W. 43rd St.Wed 713-686-8241 s t s u m cIn-person .org Houston, TX 77092 in the Bible. Here in Luke 24 11 AM (Live stream during 11 AM service) Say a the Bible tells us exactly how Bible Studies: From Homepage, click on these ladies were feeling. As Prayer 1822 W. 18th • 713-864-1470 Connect/Small Groups you look around you at the Today struggles in this world and try to reconcile that with the Gethsemane Lutheran Church goodness and promises of Pastor Jerry McNamara God, it is easy to doubt God’s 4040 Watonga • 713-688-5227 plan. In the moment of finding We invite you to worship with us! Jesus’ tomb empty, the women Weekly Worship Services 9:00a.m. forgot the words of Jesus Christ himself when he said Online services can be reached through the website below at 9:00 am. that he would die and would and Adults............................ 6:15pm
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get out in neighborhoods and make sure we are able to reach our elderly … and we’ve got to have partners who are willing to join us,” Jackson Lee said during a Monday news conference. “… I’m here excited and concerned, and challenging our community. Let’s work together to get into nooks and crannies in our community.”
rise again. They needed to be reminded of Jesus’ words. They went from being perplexed and afraid to going and telling the apostles all that they had seen and heard. Even the apostles doubted the message of the women and had to go and see for themselves. They thought the women were just telling “idle tales.” What you see may not make sense. You may feel perplexed or afraid. In the moment it is easy to forget the words of God. You can take great hope in God’s plan and the fact that when things look impossible, God is still working. If Jesus could rise again just as he promised, then God can and will accomplish his plan for you if you will trust him. This weekend we will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ! He is risen just as he said. His resurrection gives us hope for eternal life! Live in that reality today.
The Leader • Saturday, April 3, 2021 • Page 5A
METRO, from P. 1A
Easter, from P. 1A
she said it may be too late, with METRO having already removed the patch of grass between the patio and the street and replaced it with a large slab of concrete in anticipation of installing a shelter. The work is part of a much more extensive plan for METRO, which is rolling ahead with improvements to its transit network after Harris County voters approved a $3.5 billion bond package for the METRONext initiative in November 2019. A METRO spokesperson said it is spending more than $1.18 million to improve a 1.5-mile stretch of Studewood between White Oak Drive to the south and Cavalcade Street to the north, which is part of the broader 56 Airline/ Montrose route. As part of a construction project that began March 1 and is expected to last about nine months, 14 bus stops along Studewood are being augmented with features such as the lighted shelters, digital signage and expanded loading and unloading pads. METRO also is improving pedestrian crossings and sidewalks along that stretch – adding sidewalks that connect bus stops to Heights High School, Hogg Middle School and Proctor Plaza Park – and adjusting traffic signals in an attempt to improve bus speed and reliability by reducing the time they spend at red lights. “With less than a month of work completed, some METRO riders will soon enjoy the benefits of the BOOST improvements,” a METRO spokesperson said, using the organization’s tagline for the initiative. “On some portions of the route, new sidewalks and ramps are near completion as well as digital arrival signage.” The METRO spokesperson said the entirety of the 56 Airline/Montrose route, which has an average weekday ridership of 3,587, according to METRO’s January ridership report, is slated to be upgraded and will remain operational throughout construction. No street closures are anticipated, the spokesperson said. Six of the 14 bus stops on
Studewood are being relocated, such as the one in front of Good Dog. “We are working closely with the contractor to advance the timeline as quickly as possible and in some cases the contractor is working on segments in multiple locations at the same time to minimize the length and scope of the impact to area business and property owners,” the METRO spokesperson said. Pferd said Good Dog’s landlord received about three weeks’ notice from METRO before the start of construction, although they initially were under the impression that the existing bus stop at the corner of the property would be improved and not relocated to be directly in front of the restaurant. She said there are more suitable locations for the new bus stop, such as in front of buildings that are larger than Good Dog, which operates out of a former house. Pferd said the restaurant has not seen a negative impact on business since construction began, however, and she understands METRO’s desire to expand and improve its services. “They’re trying to encourage the use of METRO, which is great,” she said. “I think that would be wonderful.” Pferd is not as enamored with the idea of having a bus stop shelter within a few feet of her front patio, but she said Good Dog plans to stay put and will make do. She’s even considering ways the restaurant could capitalize on the upcoming bus stop, such as possibly adding a METRO-themed item to its menu or offering some sort of special to bus riders. Maybe Good Dog, which started out as a food truck, could park a hot dog cart next to the shelter. “We always want to see the silver lining of any situation that happens, whether it’s COVID or a freeze or anything,” Pferd said. “We’re always trying to figure out what we can do to make it the best situation. If (METRO) can work with us, it would be great. If they can’t, we’re going to move forward.”
The Heights Egg Hunt is one of several family-friendly Easter egg hunts scheduled throughout the area this weekend. It kicks off with pictures with the Easter Bunny, which will be taken with visitors’ own cameras or electronic devices. The egg hunt itself will be spaced out with rotating areas. “We will section off the park into four zones where groups will be invited to walk through and collect eggs as they make their way out of the park,” White said. For the first 100 kids to get their picture taken with the Easter Bunny, the bunny will give the kids a special golden egg. “It’s in the Village Heights DNA to be community crafted,” White said. “We love any opportunity to creatively invest in our neighborhood.” Liberty Hoepfl Garage, 4610 N. Shepherd Dr., will be hosting its inaugural Easter egg hunt at 9:45 a.m. Saturday. From 10-10:30 a.m., kids 1-3 years old will get to hunt, and from 10:30-11 a.m., kids 4-10 will have their chance. To register for Liberty Hoepfl’s egg hunt, email firstname.lastname@example.org. A family Easter egg hunt hosted by The Story Church, 8200 Washington Ave., also takes place on Saturday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Along with the hunt, there will be arts and crafts and a balloon artist. Kona and Good Dog food trucks will be on-site. An RSVP is required, which can be done online at https://thestoryhouston.formstack.com/forms/timbergrove_easter_egg_hunt.
File photo by Adam Zuvanich Teddy Kownslar, left, and Tessa Burmaster participate in an Easter egg hunt in Shepherd Forest Park in 2019.
Henderson Heights, 908 Henderson St., is celebrating with an egg hunt just for adults. At 1 p.m. Saturday, guests can come with their baskets and get ready to hunt for some eggs. The hunt is free with a bar tab. There will also be live music and crawfish available all day. For a little something for the dogs in your family, head over to Holler Brewing Co., 2206 Edwards St., at noon Sunday. A Dog’s Life HTX is hosting a doggie egg hunt where the pups can eat as many treats as they can find. There will also be food, beer, music and raffles.
Habitat, from P. 1A Habitat helped fund the laborers who then went to work deconstructing the house. Gorman said she was amazed at how much the crew was able to recover. “There was something happening every day once they got started,” she said. “They took the kitchen sink, the stove, the cabinets and the furnace in the attic as well as the garage door, the windows and all the copper wire. They took the brick and wrapped it in pallets and even recycled the concrete from the driveway and the freon from the air conditioner and the fridge. I had no idea that you could divert that much stuff from a landfill.” While the initial estimate of their tax benefit will decrease a bit because of the rotting wood in the house, the appraiser estimated between $80,000$120,000 in tax deductions based on the initial look. Deconstruction details Habitat ReStore Development Director Kenneth Kinard said the bulk of their deconstruction inquires come
from “word of mouth” advertising from their 500-plus previous deconstruction clients. “Our deconstruction program successfully completes between 65-95 projects per year in the Greater Houston area, including Houston, Cypress, Conroe, Katy and Sugar Land,” he said. “Deconstruction offers a wonderful opportunity to help families in need of decent housing while also protecting the local environment. An additional benefit is that the reclaimed materials are tax deductible to the property owner as allowed by law.” Depending on the deconstruction option the property owner selects, there is a checklist of deconstruction prerequisites. “A number of these items are required even if the property owner went the route of traditional demolition,” Kinard said. The materials from deconstruction projects can be found at Habitat’s ReStore located at 13350 Jones Rd. Additionally, beginning in 2016, deconstruction projects started supplying Habitat homes with the bricks needed
for construction. Kinard said to date, their deconstruction program has kept 150,000 tons out of the landfill. This includes recycled concrete and brick reclamation. That kind of environmental benefit, along with the financial one, was a draw to Gorman. “It was time-consuming, but we had the luxury of time,” she said. Chris Gerace, who along with his wife, Kelley, also deconstructed their home in Candlelight Place before building a new one on the same lot, said they did not regret the decision. “It was our first house and we loved it,” he said. “We wanted more space and rebuilding was about the same cost as remodeling. We wanted to make sure other people could benefit from it.” Added Gorman: “It is not a one size fits all. You have to decide how much it is worth to you.” For more information, email email@example.com or call 281-477-9064.
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Art Valet: Take a sculpture stroll down Heights Boulevard Mitch Cohen Art Columnist
As reported in The Leader just a few weeks ago, True North, the annual sculpture project that runs the length of Heights Boulevard from the 400 to 1800 block, launched in March. What makes a place a destination? Heights Boulevard has been the focal point of the neighborhood since the late 19th century when it was founded. Today, the tree-lined street still is the focal point for residents and visitors. Bike paths, multiple parks, seating areas and a walking trail always seem to invite the traveler to slow down, enjoy nature. The True North sculpture project really makes Heights Boulevard a destination.
However you choose to traverse the boulevard, to view these eight sculptures, take your time. The curators for True North have a knack for bringing in the most imaginative sculptures. Some are head-scratchers, but all will definitely bring out the photographer in everyone. Here are some highlights and the most likely sculptures you’ll find me gazing at slackjawed. At 400 Heights Blvd. is Heights resident Cary Reeder’s “Treeodesic Dome.” It’s a brightly colored, triangularly hand-cut translucent vinyl on vinyl panels attached to a galvanized steel, geodesic structure. It is inspired by the tree-filled Heights and an ode to the crepe myrtle. Natural daylight casts the sculpture’s colorful shadows upon the interior and surrounding terrain, and the work is illuminated at night by solar lighting. “I love this media because it mimics stained glass, interacting with light and creating
Contributed photo Houston artist David Adickes has a sculpture at 1800 Heights Blvd.
spontaneous color mixtures,” Reeder said. “My work offers the viewer a moment into a fragile, jarring, changing and hopeful space filled with color and light.” Moseying along to the 600 block is San Antonio artist Danville Chadbourne’s anthropological triptych installation of stoneware and stone based upon his interpretation of cultural artifacts. Next, find Austin artist Jamie Spi-
nello’s enchanting aluminum sculpture “Allochory,” which is a representation of the triadic seed pod of the red yucca. It sits among other existing native Texas species in the 800 block. Then you get to the surreal, towering, steel and paint sculpture “Stacked Pillows,” created by Lubbock’s William Cannings in the 900 block. The news release described them as evoking images of
glorious slumber. That may be, but I see lines of people waiting to snap a selfie in front of the three highstacked pillows. Defying the laws of nature, too, I might add. Next up in the 1200 block, from the man who brought us a giant head of cabbage in the last edition of True North, Houston’s Bill Peck, is a bright, timely themed steel and paint sculpture titled “Searching for Balance.” A snapshot of the complexity of a family’s daily life is depicted through the medium of a beloved childhood playground apparatus, the seesaw. The 1300 block features a work by Houston’s Anthony Suber that is a mathematically designed steel frame and patinaed wood sculpture. “Ancestor,” a cardinal mask and human form, is the artist’s vision of an ancestor seeing him through the lens of this beautiful, colorful bird. This piece is amazing. Julia Ousley of Dallas has
the 1600 block. Her sculpture depicts a cityscape and multitudes of human forms. The thought-provoking “Onward and Upward” is made of CorTen steel. The human forms are at the top of this piece. It is mesmerizing. Last and certainly not least in the 1800 block is “Three Colorful Friendly Trees,” a cast concrete sculpture from 94-year-old Texas art icon David Adickes. By the way, you can purchase these sculptures! The Houston Heights Association is the nonprofit sponsor for True North. More information about True North and the 2021 lineup of artists can be found at houstonheights.org. True North is on Facebook and Instagram @TrueNorthHeightsBlvd. Cohen is an artist and founder of the First Saturday Arts Market and the Market at Sawyer Yards. Find him at ArtValet.com for additional highlights and artist’s stories.
Bake these Easter treats this weekend Zarah Parker Managing Editor
Another holiday might be the candy-loving front man, but come this Easter, sugary treats will be featured heavily in colored plastic eggs and on the table. As I’ve been searching for cool treats to make this weekend I discovered a common factor in Easter-themed goodies: marshmallows. Considering Peeps, the duck- and bunny-shaped marshmallows, start dominating the shelves around this time of year, I really shouldn’t have been surprised that it was a popular ingredient. Before deciding what I wanted to make, I tried two recipes this past week to see if they would be good enough to share during the holiday. The first was Easter egg popcorn bars. If you’ve ever made Rice Krispy Treats at
home, the process is almost the same. I melted a bag of mini marshmallows with ¼ cup of butter, mixed it smooth and added about 5 cups of kettle corn. You can pop your own popcorn, but I bought a bag of the prepopped kind. Once the popcorn was completely covered in the marshmallow, I folded in some peanut M&M’s. The recipe I was looking at used Cadbury eggs, but it’s just as good using whatever candy you prefer. The mix then goes into a cake pan. After half an hour it’s ready to cut. There’s also the option of drizzling white chocolate over the top, but I skipped that. Next time I make these I might drizzle milk chocolate. All in all this is a pretty great treat. The marshmallow provided the sweet, the popcorn provided the salty and the candy provided the chocolate, which I love with popcorn anyway. The recipe I used can be
Photo by Zarah Parker Pictured an Easter-themed take on Rice Krispy Treats.
found at http://www.keatseats.com/2017/03/easteregg-popcorn-bars.html. I couldn’t try desserts for Easter without finding one that uses Peeps. I ended up baking s’mores brownies topped with Peeps. The bottom of the brownies feature a graham cracker crust. I discovered while making these that the scent of graham cracker crumbs mixed with melted butter is my new favorite smell. The brownie mix I made from scratch using a recipe. At the end it calls for folding in chocolate chips, but my batter was still warm from melt-
Photo by Zarah Parker S’mores brownies made with Peeps are colorful Easter treats.
ing the sugar, butter and cocoas, so it melted the chips, which I wasn’t sure was the point or not. Half of the batter went on top of the graham cracker crust. I added a few dollops of marshmallow fluff, covered it with the rest of the batter and then added some more fluff. In cooking it I realized I may have added too much of the fluff and it seemed to slow the baking process, so I left
the batter in the oven longer than the recipe indicated. Once down, I added rows of Peeps on top and baked another 5 minutes so the Peeps would brown and get stuck to one another. Find the recipe at https://www.delish. com/cooking/recipe-ideas/ recipes/a46231/peepssmores-brownies-recipe/. Both treats would make worthy additions to the Easter festivities.
I have a few other treats on my radar that look like they would not only taste great, but be fun to make. This recipe, https://www. countr yliving.com/fooddrinks/a30876020/carrotpatch-cupcakes-recipe/, is for carrot patch cupcakes. The way they are presented is like the cupcake is the soil and the carrots and popping out of the top, ready to be picked. I’ve been craving carrot cake lately, so I was extra excited to stumble across this recipe for spiced carrot cake cookies: https://www. averiecooks.com/soft-andchewy-spiced-carrot-cakecookies/. Though I will probably skip adding the raisins. The recipe I’m most curious to try is for an Easter birds nest. The eggs are your preferred candy, like Jelly Beans, M&M’s or Robin’s Eggs, but the nest is made with chow mein noodles. It can be found at http://gratefulprayerthankfulheart.com/ easter-springtime-bird-nests.
Review: Field & Tides serves up a great catch By Zarah Parker firstname.lastname@example.org
There’s a charming little house on 11th Street that serves up coastal flavors. It’s Field & Tides, which doesn’t just have a pleasant atmosphere, but pleasing seafood as well. Field & Tides has three parts to its property. There is indoor dining inside the original Field & Tides space, then there’s a building next door that works as a cocktail lounge, plus a patio that curves from the front to the back of the property. During my recent visit to Field & Tides, I dined inside and was met with my favorite decorative feature. The space in general is not really nautical or overly ocean-centric, which I think keeps it classy, but the ceiling is covered in what looks like sea sponge. This ceiling added a great bal-
ance of interesting decoration without going overboard. I started my dinner with the Fresh Shucked Oysters. They are usually sold by the dozen and you have the choice between Gulf Coast or market, which were from the East Coast. The server said the difference between the two are that the former tend to be a little bigger and less pricey. The oysters came out on ice along with lemon slices, small cups of cane vinegar mignonette, horseradish and a cocktail blend, along with crackers. Everyone eats oysters their own way. I mostly used the crackers and cocktail blend. The other two toppings were a little too strong and sour for me. Alone, the oyster tasted like salt water, but not in a bad way. Just a saltiness that was natural to the oyster and were it came from.
Photo by Zarah Parker The Redfish was the star of the show during a recent visit to Field and Tides in the Heights.
For the main course I ordered the redfish, which was lightly crusted on top of a bed of anson mills farro, a type of rice, and topped by small chunks of tasso ham and green onion, along with okra.
What I liked most about the redfish is it didn’t have that off-putting fishy taste. It came apart easily with my fork and had a mild, sweet taste. The texture of the fish wasn’t too flaky or firm, but it was in a
Food Briefs: Ritual being redeveloped for Korean BBQ By Zarah Parker email@example.com
Delicious Concepts Restaurant Group recently announced its plans to redevelop the Ritual space in the Heights, 602 Studewood St., into the Korean BBQ concept Mapojeong Galbijib. “The pandemic was such a difficult time for most of us and I decided about halfway through it that once able, we would emerge as Mapojeong Galbijib and offer guests a new (Korean BBQ) experience in a fun and vibrant environment that they have never seen before,” Delicious Concepts CEO Ken Bridge in a news release. Mapojeong Galbijib will serve up prime-graded protein and in-house, dry-aged beef and pork. It will also feature a selection of
infused Soju and Asian-inspired house-crafted cocktails. “We wanted to create a guest experience that blends the best of my travels to Seoul and my time growing up in L.A.’s Koreatown with a modern attitude and approach,” Bridge said. Ritual’s last day of service will be April 4. Mapojeong Galbijib is expected to open in mid- to late May.
Inaugural food and beverage series
Second Servings, a Houstonbased nonprofit that fights hunger and seeks to end food waste, is hosting its inaugural “Fight Hunger, End Waste. Food & Beverage Series” during the month of April. Throughout April, 15 Houston
restaurants will showcase a zero-waste cocktail or dish to help raise awareness for Second Servings’ mission. “We created this program to not only drive awareness to two very pressing needs - food insecurity and food waste - but to also support the food and beverage industry,” Second Servings spokesperson Kristen Torrez said in a news release. Of the participating restaurants, local efforts will come from Hando and Kanpai Club, 518 W. 11th St., with a dish and cocktail called Chickpea Harumaku and Gin-za Fizz, respectively; Local Foods, 714 Yale St., with the dish Zero-Waste Shrimp Caesar Salad; Sticky’s Chicken, 2311 Edwards St., with the dish Spicy Chicken Nuggets & Rice; and Tacos A Go
Go, 3401 W. T.C. Jester Blvd., with its dish Taco De Lengua. For every dish or cocktail sold, the restaurants and bars will donate $1, and for every $1 donated, $50 worth of food can be delivered to a local charity through Second Servings’ food rescue efforts.
The 915 temporarily closes
The 915, 2914 White Oak Dr., recently opened in the Heights and is now temporarily closed due to owner Vanessa Lomeli undergoing treatment for a medical emergency, according to Eater Houston. The restaurant, which specializes in El Paso-inspired cuisine, is expected to being operations again when Lomeli is able.
nice middle ground. The light crust on the outside gave the fish an additional texture, though I wouldn’t say it was crunchy, just a bit crispy. The anson mills farro was interesting, kind of like round rice. It didn’t provide much in terms of flavor, but that was OK because it offset the flavor of the redfish and the butter sauce underneath it, as well as the rich okra. Field & Tides is upscale in price, and there’s lower-priced options, too, but you could drop by in shorts. It still has a welcoming vibe.
I look forward to diving into its other seafood options in the future. Field & Tides Address: 705 E. 11th St. Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday Pricing: $12-$35 Kid-friendly: No Alcohol: Yes Healthy options: Yes Star of the show: Redfish
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LHN began the year strong, in-person with COVID precautions in place.
20-21 TAPPS 3A District Champs!
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The Leader • Saturday, April 3, 2021 • Page 1B
New craft spot on Yale aims to inspire By Betsy Denson firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathleen Goerner was previously a science coordinator in Humble ISD, but an opportunity to own a franchise that was a match for her passion and abilities was just too good to pass up. This week she opens Pinspiration Houston Heights at 3004 Yale St., Suite #900 in the same center that houses Whole Foods Market. It is a studio where customers can create crafts and artwork, including paintings. “I was a teacher for 20 years,” Goerner said. “I love people and I love teaching.” She also loves to craft. “People can come here, and we have all the supplies and people to help them,” Goerner said. “We call them muses.” The brainchild of Phoenix, Arizona, resident Brooke Roe, Pinspiration was the solution to a real-life problem, according to the company’s website. People wanted to do the things they saw on Pinterest, but they lacked space, tools and supplies. They also were afraid to mess up and didn’t want to clean up. There are now more than 50 franchise locations around the U.S. “People pay by the craft,” Goerner said. “There is everything from candle making to string art to splatter painting. The splatter room is what people seem to think is the most fun.” Individuals are welcome as well as parties, corporate groups and bridal showers. A VIP room is available by reservation. “I want people to feel inspired and relaxed,” Goerner said. “It’s an escape from stress. Working on something makes your heart happy.” Goerner said the new business is a big career change but that she was ready for it. “I know I will enjoy spending all of my time here,” she said. Her adult daughter is her business manager, and Goerner also looks forward to help from her teen daughter, too. The location, just off North Loop 610 in Independence Heights, was ideal for a franchise location, according to Goerner. “It is nestled in a high-growth area,” she said. “I like the artist vibe and the community there. You can see the shop from 610.” There is a parking lot behind her corner, which Goerner hopes will be a spot for outdoor events and food truck parking. “I want to be a part of whatever is happening,” she said. For more information, visit Pinspiration Houston Heights on Facebook or www.pinspiration.com.
Photos from Facebook Pictured above, a couple kisses during a date in a splatter room, which is a feature at the new Pinspiration Houston Heights location at 3004 Yale St., Suite #900. Pictured at right, kids can create artwork at Pinspiration Houston Heights, which opens this week in Independence Heights.
If you have a living trust, read this now For The Leader If you have already taken the step to establish a living trust – congratulations! You’ve done one of the best things to make it easier for your heirs to administer your estate. Trusts are great choices for those who want to avoid probate, for blended families, for people who own property in more than one state, for those with privacy concerns, and for those with incapacity issues. For the trust to work properly, however, you must ensure that your assets are retitled in the name of the trust or properly coordinated with your trust. This retitling process is generally referred to as “funding” the trust. Below are a few frequently owned items that should be addressed in the funding process: 1. Real Estate You need to make sure that the deed to your property has been titled in the name of your trust. Without this key step, your signature will be required to transfer title, and if you’re not here to provide that signature, your family will end up in probate court. 2. Bank and Investment Accounts You need to ensure that your accounts are retitled in the name of your trust. If you would rather not take the step of renaming your account or opening a new trust-owned account, you can also name the Trust as the Payable on Death Beneficiary to ensure that account funds flow to the Trust without the probate court’s intervention.
WEBINAR DETAILS: Title: Estate Planning 101 Cost - Free Date - Wednesday, April 21 Time - 4:30 p.m. Can’t make it? - All registrants receive a replay To Register - Email Jennifer@solaklegal.com
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If you’ve opened up any new accounts since you first established your trust, be sure to update these as necessary to achieve the goals of your trust. 3. Retirement Accounts Your trust should not own these types of accounts during your life, but you can update the beneficiary designations on these accounts to coordinate with your trust and achieve your overall distribution plan, without the necessity of probate. 4. Life Insurance Policies Like retirement accounts, you most likely will not transfer ownership of these policies to your trust, but you should coordinate the beneficiary designations to name the trust. 5. Business Interests Generally speaking, you
can assign your interest in companies to your trust, but this request must be customized based upon the instructions that exist in the By-Laws or Operating Agreement of the company. A review of company documents is necessary to determine what steps to take. Regardless of the type of asset, a review of each of all of your assets must be part of the estate planning conversation so that you can decide how to address each one to meet your goals. To learn more about trusts, wills, powers of attorney, health-care directives and other considerations when planning your estate, please join Solak Legal’s next FREE online event, “Estate Planning 101,” on Wednesday, April 21st at 4:30. A replay will be provided to all registered participants. Email Jennifer@solaklegal.com to register. The information in this column, which was sponsored by Solak Legal as part of The Leader Expert Series, is intended to provide a general understanding of the law and not legal advice. Readers with legal questions should consult attorneys for advice on their particular circumstances. Jen-
nifer Solak provides legal advice for families and businesses and may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 713588-5744.
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Page 2B • Saturday, April 3, 2021 • The Leader
Small business marketing costs more than ever By Jonathan McElvy email@example.com
Editor’s note: This is Part II of a three-part series on marketing for small businesses. In Part I of this series on small business marketing, we laid out the evidence that easy marketing tools on digital and social media do not mean digital and social media marketing is easy. It’s not. Don’t believe a single person who tells you otherwise. Even when that 20-something down the street tells you social media is way easy, that person is way wrong. Look at any survey of small business owners – national all the way down to our own company’s recent Small Business Sentiment Survey – and you’ll find more and more companies begrudging the difficulty of this new era in marketing. Why is that? Three reasons. A new language of small business marketing Let’s be honest for a moment and at least admit most small business owners do not understand the language of digital and social media marketing. You may think you understand SEO, or Ad Words, or Boosted Posts or a dynamic website, but the reality is you don’t. And small business owners shouldn’t feel bad about that,
Photo by Patric Schneider Jonathan McElvy is the CEO of McElvy Partners, which serves small businesses.
because there are too many so-called digital marketing companies that don’t understand, either. Well, it’s either that or they outright lie to the customers, which is why they churn so many on and back off the client roll. SEO – appearing organically at the top of search engines (Google) – is an easy acronym but it’s one most small businesses do not really understand. Case-in-point: Our company had a small business that told us they wanted to be at the top of Google search in their business category. That business owner allocated $2,000 a month to be at the top, and it needed to happen within a week. If you don’t see the problem, then it’s more evidence for a lack of understanding.
Stock photo Search engine optimization (SEO) is an investment that takes time.
If your business starts an SEO campaign, you can certainly appear within the Top 4 listings on the first page of Google over time. If you want to be absolutely first, in virtually any category, it’s going to take a higher investment and more time. SEO is not about writing a check, appearing in search and raking in profits. Even after you start a campaign, it takes time. And once you appear, and people start clicking your link, you still are guaranteed nothing. The idea that you just easily buy your way to the top of search is a misnomer, and it has forced a lot of businesses to flush thousands of dollars away on nothing. SEO is an investment. It takes time to just show up at the top of the page. You can’t afford it
Another approach to getting on page one quickly is Google AdWords. According to an analysis, most effective small businesses spend between $9,000-10,000 per MONTH on pay-per-click advertising. Is that in your marketing budget? It’s not to say small businesses have to spend that much, but that’s an average. Why the enormous price tag? Well, it starts with competition. The more competitors you have, and the more they realize they, too, need to be at the top of a search engine, companies like Google start the bidding war. Let’s say you’re a plumber and you want to appear at the top of Google. And let’s say you choose your keywords (the words consumers type into Google) as “Plumber near me.” To get one person to just click on your website will cost
$25. If 10 people click your ad, it costs you $250. If you have an enormous marketing budget, making the investment is a sure-fire way to success. If you get 100 people to click on your ad, and you get 10 plumbing jobs for the $2,500 you spent, you’ll make a lot more than $2,500 in profit from those 10 jobs. The problem for most businesses is they don’t have that sort of marketing cash. And that leads to the next problem: You can’t spend that $25 per click for one month and walk away. Once the PPC starts, it needs to be managed and updated regularly to get the best return on investment. Most small business owners don’t have the time or the understanding to do that. The final piece A lot of good companies spend money showing up in digital searches and they cancel before they even get started. The response (and we hear this from our clients all the time) is that they have spent money on PPC for two months and they’ve only gotten a few calls. Any idea why? It’s because a click does not guarantee anything. If a potential customer comes to your site and you have a poor-performing site, you don’t have recent reviews, you don’t have fresh content, you don’t have original photos, you don’t blog
about anything, you don’t show competitive pricing – all of those things send your would-be customers packing. You see, spending money on search advertising does not make your phone ring. Paying for any sort of digital advertising simply gets people to find you. Once they find you, have you invested enough to actually close them as customers? The answer is usually no, because most businesses can’t afford it. If they’re going to spend a ton on having a perfect website (our suggestion), then the budget for SEO or social advertising is diminished. And if they dump all their money into digital marketing, but they don’t have a good website, they may as well have taken a nice vacation with the funds. Small business marketing is not easy, it’s not cheap and, most importantly, it is not easily understood. The next time you’re thinking about a digital campaign for your business, you’re much better off calling a marketing company and having a nice, long discussion. That’s something we do with our clients all the time, and we’ve learned our lesson about making sure clients understand the level of commitment digital marketing really takes. Any company that tells you otherwise just wants your money; they care little about your results.
Business Briefs: Hello-Lucky in Heights closing April 11 By Betsy Denson firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello-Lucky owner Teresa O’Connor, who has been in business at 1025 Studewood St for the past 13 years, announces that the store is closing. “We have absolutely loved being your go-to little brick and mortar for thoughtfully curated authentic finds and gifts and we would like you to celebrate our 13 years together in joy as we announce we are closing our brick and mortar and possibly our website too but before we go,” read a statement on the site. The closing date is April 11. Items in the store and online are 50 percent off. The brick and
mortar store is open Friday and Saturday 1 to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 4 p.m. See https://www.helloluckylife. com/.
It is Mattress for Less, not Ross on 11th closing
A huge going out of business notice on the signage in front of 1400 block of 11th has had some people thinking that Ross would close March 31. It is actually the next door Mattress for Less that confirmed it was closing. A representative at Ross said that there has been some confusion this week but confirmed that Ross is staying open.
Member promotion at Tanoholics Anonymous
Jenni Ferrell who owns Tanoholics Anonymous at 2107 W 43rd St. has announced memberships with unlimited services for $95 a month for the next six months. The store is also offering $50 Visa gift cards to anyone who refers a new membership. Tanoholics Anonymous is a sunless airbrushing service located inside a retail shop, offering a variety of complimentary wine, soda, and water. The shop is also offering 10 percent off all retail items including custom jewelry created by Ferrell.
Tecama Architects buys
firm headquarters in Heights
The architecture firm has purchased a building at 447 Heights Boulevard to serve as its headquarters, according to the Houston Chronicle. The address was previously the headquarters of Houstonia Magazine. A Houstonia representative confirms that they sold the property and moved to 7026 Old Katy Road.
CVS launches mental health counseling
To help with Houstonians struggling with the many effects of COVID-19, CVS Health is launching mental health counseling and care services at five Houston-area
MinuteClinics inside CVS HealthHUB store locations. Through these expanded MinuteClinic services, individuals can receive mental health assessments, referrals, counseling, and personalized care plans in-person or via telehealth, with appointments available days, evenings, and weekends. Ongoing counseling sessions with a LCSW are available to help address each individual’s areas of concern, including stress, anxiety, and depression. Currently, the nearest physical locations for this service are at 3850 FM 2920 Rd. and 24802 Aldine Westfield Rd. in Spring. To learn more and schedule an in-store or telehealth appoint-
ment, call 1-855-417-2486 or visit cvs.com/mentalhealth. The company plans to expand the new mental health counseling services to additional markets this year. Learn more at cvs.com/healthhub. If you have something for business briefs, please e-mail betsy@ theleadernews.com.
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The Leader • Saturday, April 3, 2021 • Page 3B
Why does your Houston Junior Forum holding 75-day fundraising campaign dog lick you? By Adam Zuvanich
Dear Tabby, Why does our dog lick us? He especially seems to like to lick us after we’ve showered and applied lotion to our legs. Gross! Tired of Licking in Timbergrove Dear Tired of Licking, While dogs lick for a variety of reasons, the most common reason is to show affection. Yes, I know that it’s gross when your dog licks you as soon as you’ve showered, but he’s likely trying to show you his love (and probably also enjoys the flavor of your lotion). But, there are other reasons why dogs lick, so we’ll cover those as well as how to get your dog to stop. It’s instinctual Licking comes naturally to dogs. As puppies, they explore their worlds with their mouths
(remember that “mouthy” puppy stage where they chewed on everything...you included?). Those instincts don’t necessarily go away when they get older, so many dogs continue to explore their world with their tongues and mouths well into old age. It gets your attention Licking is also a sneaky way for your dog to get your attention. Even when you say “no” to your dog’s licking, that is still attention and, for some dogs, any attention is good attention. Some dogs just like the flavor of human skin. They taste the salt from our sweat and your dog isn’t alone in liking the flavor of your lotion. Many dogs do this, as gross as it is. How to make it stop The best way to get your dog to stop licking you is to ignore the behavior. Stop touching and even looking at your dog when he begins licking you. The absence of your attention should be enough to teach him over time that licking isn’t the way to your heart.
If this doesn’t work, reach out to a dog trainer who might be able to create a custom training plan catered to your dog to nip the licking in the bud. Did you know? Citizens For Animal Protection (CAP) is teaming up with North Shore Animal League America for the 2021 Tour For Life – the world’s largest national cooperative life-saving pet adoption event – sponsored by Purina. From April 5-11, adopters may adopt any pet at CAP for 50 percent off regular adoption fees, sponsored by West Houston Subaru. Adoption package includes all medical services (vaccinations, spay/ neuter, microchipping, HW/ FeLV testing, deworming, ID tag) as well as a take-away bag of goodies for your new furry companion. Adoptions are by appointment only, so visit www.cap4pets.org/pet-adoptions to submit an application and schedule an appointment.
To celebrate its 75th anniversary as a service organization, the Heights-based Houston Junior Forum (HJF) has launched a 75-day fundraising campaign in which it is asking community members for donations. The organization said in a news release that its goal for the “Invest with Heart” fundraising campaign is $100,000, which will help HJF and its 375-plus members continue to provide charitable service for children, women and seniors in the Houston area. HJF said it has had a total impact of more than $10 million in sup-
port of local nonprofits since its inception in 1946. Along with providing college scholarships and community grants, HJF also delivers meals to seniors, teaches workplace skills to women and provides backpacks, school supplies and glasses to children. The organization also operates the Houston Junior Forum Resale Shop, which
sells reasonably priced used merchandise, at 1815 Rutland St. in the Heights. Store hours are 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with sales contributing to HJF’s scholarship and grants programs. To donate to HJF, visit betterunite.com/hjf-investwithheart. For more information about the organization, visit houstonjuniorforum.org or call Sharon Cook at 713-927-5272.
Do you have a question for Tabby? Email her at deartabby firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pet of the Week Meet Bunny Just in time for Easter, this sweet, 4-year-old Bunny would love to hop right into your heart. Bunny, who is a Staffordshire Terrier, was likely a bait dog in a former life and she has the scars to prove it. Somehow, though, Bunny escaped from that horrible existence with the sweetest disposition. Bunny loves humans, food and naps and is long overdue for her new beginning. Please consider this angel and give her the fresh start that she deserves! To learn more, to go www.animaljusticeleague.org.
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The Leader • Saturday, April 3, 2021 • Page 4B
Theft of alien mannequin thwarted by clothing store owner in Heights By Adam Zuvanich
he got into the car, according to Smith. Sparkman attempted to stop the man by getting in front of the vehicle and was subsequently struck by the passenger’s side mirror, causing minor bleeding to Sparkman’s elbow, Smith said. “(Sparkman) then took the mannequin back to the business and called the Precinct 1 Constable’s Office,” Smith said. “He did state that the mannequin sustained some damage that he estimated to be about $250 worth of damage.” Smith said the man who tried to steal the alien mannequin is white, approximately 20-25 years old and stands between 5-foot-11 and 6-0 with a thin to medium build. Smith described the Mercedes driven by the man as gray or silver in color. According to a crime alert emailed by the constable’s office, there was no video surveillance of the incident and no witnesses.
A Heights business owner sustained minor injuries last week while preventing the theft of an alien mannequin used to advertise his store, according to police. Houston Police Department spokesperson Kese Smith, citing a report provided by the Harris County Precinct 1 Constable’s Office, said the attempted theft occurred at about 5:30 p.m. March 23 at 1802 Yale St., the location of vintage clothing store Area 52. Smith said owner Cameron Sparkman chased after a man who picked up the gray-colored mannequin with green alien eyes from outside the store and started running with it toward West 19th Street. Sparkman told the responding constable’s deputy that the man threw the alien mannequin over a fence where his Mercedes-Benz was parked but ended up leaving the mannequin behind when
Image from Instagram Police say a man tried to steal a gray alien mannequin from the entryway of Area 52, a vintage clothing store in the Heights.
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Constable: Students skipping school arrested in connection with car break-in By Landan Kuhlmann email@example.com
The Harris County Precinct 1 Constable’s Office said three male students who were found to be skipping school were arrested last week in connection with a vehicle break-in in the Heights. Two other males who were at the scene escaped authorities, according to the constable’s office.
The constable’s office said deputies responded to the 200 block of West 28th Street just after 10:30 a.m. March 26 in response to a caller describing suspicious activity. According to the constable’s office, the witness said five males were walking around looking into homes under construction as well as checking to see if cars in the area were unlocked. The witness then followed them
and told police that one of them broke into a white BMW parked on the street, according to police. The constable’s office said the suspects fled the scene on foot heading east on West 28th Street, and three of them were apprehended in the 500 block of Aurora Street. Two of the suspects who were caught are juveniles, according to the constable’s
Police searching for 34th Street shooting suspect By Landan Kuhlmann firstname.lastname@example.org
Police are looking for the person involved in a shooting near the intersection of West 34th Street and U.S. 290 that hospitalized a man last weekend. The victim, 26-year-old Keddron Bailey, was taken to the hospital in stable condition, according to the Houston Police Department. HPD said Bailey was sitting in his car talk-
ing to two women around 12:10 a.m. last Sunday, March 28 when an unknown person approached his car. The suspect, described only as a Black male by HPD, then shot Bailey in the chest before fleeing the scene in a black Kia, according to police. Anyone with information about the incident is urged to contact HPD’s Major Assaults & Family Violence division at 713-308-8800 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.
office, which said one of the apprehended juveniles was charged with burglary of a motor vehicle and evading on foot. The other two males who were arrested are facing charges of evading on foot, according to police.
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Man hospitalized in Tidwell shooting By Landan Kuhlmann email@example.com
Houston authorities are searching for the people responsible for a shooting last weekend near Greater Inwood. Police said the victim, 30-year-old Rene Garza, was taken to an area hospital in an unknown condition. According to the Houston
Police Department, Garza was seen crawling in the roadway and charging at vehicles near 8000 W. Tidwell Rd. around 9 p.m. last Sunday, March 28. Police said that as Garza approached a dark sedan near the intersection of West Tidwell and Wyandott Street, the passenger door opened and an unknown person inside
fired at Garza, striking him in the legs. The car then fled the scene in an unknown direction, according to HPD. Anyone with information in the case is asked to contact HPD’s major Assaults & Family Violence division at 713308-8800 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-8477.
Self-defense cited in shopping-center shooting By Landan Kuhlmann firstname.lastname@example.org
A local store employee claims he shot another man last week in self-defense and because he feared for his safety, according to police. The Houston Police Department said the victim of the shooting, a 30-year-old man, was taken to an area hospital in stable condition.
HPD said officers responded to a shooting call at a shopping center at 6440 W. 43rd St. just after 11 p.m. March 24. According to police, a male employee told investigators he was taking out the trash when the victim rushed toward him. The employee told police he then took out his gun and shot the man in fear for his own safety, according to
HPD. HPD spokesperson Jodi Silva said earlier this week that no charges had been filed in the incident, which she said will likely be referred to a grand jury. Anyone with information in this case is urged to contact HPD’s Major Assaults & Family Violence division at 713-308-8800.
Police Reports • March 23 - 28 MARCH 23
Vandalism 5 PM 1800 BLOCK YALE Theft 12 PM 1000 BLOCK W 31ST Theft 5 PM 1400 BLOCK W 23RD Theft 6 PM 600 BLOCK STUDEWOOD Theft 11 AM 00 BLOCK E CROSSTIMBERS Assault 5 PM 5000 BLOCK E CROSSTIMBERS Theft 3 PM 4300 BLOCK AIRLINE Theft 6 PM 1400 BLOCK W 23RD
Theft 10 PM 6400 BLOCK LINDYANN LN Theft 9 PM 100 BLOCK W 20TH Theft 10 PM 200 BLOCK W 20TH Theft 8 AM 400 BLOCK S HEIGHTS BLVD Burglary 10 AM 4800 BLOCK LARKIN Theft 12 PM 1000 BLOCK E 36TH
Theft 9 PM 1000 BLOCK NADINE Theft 3 PM 1600 BLOCK AIRLINE Theft 4 PM 1400 BLOCK NORTHWOOD Arrest 11 PM 3200 BLOCK AIRLINE Theft 9 AM 1000 BLOCK OMAR Theft 11 AM 900 BLOCK REDAN
Theft 11 AM 300 BLOCK CROSSTIMBERS Theft 3 PM 900 BLOCK W 19TH
Theft 12 PM 1200 BLOCK W 20TH Other 8 PM 4500 BLOCK E CROSSTIMBERS Burglary 11 PM 3800 BLOCK YALE Theft 12 AM 1400 BLOCK W 24TH Theft 9 AM 2200 BLOCK STUDEWOOD Theft 12 AM 900 BLOCK PECORE Assault 3 PM 2200 BLOCK ELLA
Theft 11 PM 1900 BLOCK BEALL Theft 4 PM 1700 BLOCK YALE Theft 4 PM 200 BLOCK W 20TH Theft 5 PM 700 BLOCK W 27TH Assault 11 AM 1700 BLOCK REDWING HAVEN Vandalism 5 PM 900 BLOCK E 37TH Assault 12 AM 1200 BLOCK RUTLAND Assault 12 AM 5000 BLOCK E CROSSTIMBERS
Vandalism 5 AM 800 BLOCK ALGREGG Theft 12 AM 700 BLOCK HARVARD Theft 3 AM 200 BLOCK ORIOLE
Vandalism 4 PM 4000 BLOCK N SHEPHERD Assault 2 AM 1200 BLOCK W 20TH
INVITES YOU TO HELP CREATE OUR
CROSS Come by 4040 Watonga Blvd. anytime between Good Friday evening and all day Easter Sunday to add flowers to the Cross.
And join us April 4th at 9:00am for Easter worship!
Reports are provided by SpotCrime.com based on data from the Houston Police Department.
You may bring your own flowers or use flowers provided by the church.
DON’T BE A VICTIM!
This socially-distanced event is a beautiful and meaningful part of our community’s Easter celebration.
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