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WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2012

P. O.BOX 623, SUGAR LAND, TX 77487-0623

Official newspaper of Fort Bend County, Missouri City & Sugar Land

Fort Bend Chamber celebrates 40th anniversary

Stafford mayor upbeat despite TI closure By BARBARA FULENWIDER There was good news and bad news in Mayor Leonard Scarcella’s annual state of the city report that he delivered last Wednesday. It’s rare that any bad news he includes trumps good news but the fact that Texas Instruments (TI) will be gone from Stafford by the end of this year did. It wasn’t the first or last thing that the mayor announced in his speech but it will have a huge impact on the city that has suffered

financially thanks to the national economic downturn. Scarcella’s good news was that in spite of “a near catastrophic national recession” last year Stafford made multi-million dollar infrastructure improvements, maintained services, retained adequate cash balances and completely extinguished its general obligation debt and did all of that with operating funds. This year, the mayor said, the city has some “prominent chal-

Council candidate drops out

Tommy Philips of Sugar Land who recently announced his intention to run for Sugar Land City Council at-large position No. 1, has dropped out of the race. The incumbent Tom Abraham is term-limited. Himesh Gandhi, a Planning and Zoning Commission member, has announced his candidacy for the same seat. Philips said in a statement: “After months of preparation and campaigning, I was recently faced with a very difficult decision regarding the upcoming City Council election. “Due to an unexpected career promotion I am no longer able to pursue the office of Sugar Land

Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce 2012 Executive Committee: Chris Breaux, left, immediate past chairman, Keri Schmidt, President & CEO, Bruce Mercer, 2012 Chairman, Stewart Jacobson, incoming chairman and Carl Favre, Legal Counsel. Right, Chris Breaux, Glenn Smith, recipient of the Ursula Coates Award and Bruce Mercer. Photo by LARRY PULLEN. The Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce kicked off the New Year with its annual Chairman’s Gala on Saturday, January 28th at the Texas Safari Ranch. The Fort Bend Chamber celebrated its 40th anniversary and honored the leaders and volunteers of the chamber. Immediate Past Chairman Chris Breaux of Null-Lairson recognized the board members retiring in 2011 for their outstanding service and commitment. Special awards were presented to three retiring leaders of chamber divisions. They included Mary Gayle Brindley – Member Services Vice Chair, Josie Morgan – Chamber Young Professional Vice Chair, and Toni Nelson – Programs and Special Events Vice Chair. Breaux thanked Himesh Gandhi who served as the 2011 Legal Counsel. The 2011 Secretary/Treasurer Namita Asthana is retiring from her role as treasurer but continues to serve on the board. Breaux also paid tribute to the Immediate Past Chairman who is retiring from the board this year. Bridget Yeung has served the chamber with great distinction and was honored with a special award. In the last 40 years, the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce and Fort Bend County have been truly fortunate and blessed with devoted, energetic and generous volunteers. Each year, at this

City Council. My duties as a husband and father come first. The new assignment does not allow me the time to focus on winning an election at this time. I will

lenges” that include enhancing the economy; developing primary corridors; continuing the zero property tax rate and commitment to fiscal prudence; strengthening emergency services; continuing to elevate Stafford Centre. Also, securing long-range water availability, strongly fight U.S. 90A double tracking, which will diminish Stafford’s quality of life; “truly transSee STAFFORD,Page 3 continue to be involved in giving back to the City I call home but in other capacities. “In the future, when the time is right and the decision will not affect my career, I will revisit running for office.”

10701 Corporate Drive, #282, Stafford, TX 77477 Mailing Address: P.O. Box 623, Sugar Land, TX 77487 Seshadri Kumar Publisher & Editor

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Fort Bend Independent, (USPS 025-572) is published every Wednesday (for a subscription rate of $20 per year) by Fort Bend Independent, LLC., 10701 Corporate Dr., #282, Stafford, Texas 77477. Periodicals Postage Paid at Stafford, Texas. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Fort Bend Independent, P.O. Box 623, Sugar Land, Tx 77487.

Yoga grips Sugar Land Town Square By SESHADRI KUMAR Nearly 300 people joined the Health for Humanity-Yogathon on Saturday, Jan. 28 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m at the Sugar Land Town Square Plaza in front of the city hall. Unfettered by the cold breeze and aided by the glowing sunshine, participants in all age groups from the greater Houston area demonstrated “Sun Salutations,” involving a dozen simple body movements, with controlled breathing. Sugar Land joined the rest of the nation in bringing yoga exercises to the public square, involving people from all parts of the country regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, faith, or nationality to achieve personal goals of a healthy life style. The Sugar Land event be-

came a part of the national campaign launched by Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (Organization of Hindu Volunteers) to create awareness about yoga and its advantages in achieving a healthy body, mind, and spirit. Sugar Land Mayor James A. Thompson issued a proclamation acknowledging the benefit of the Health for Humanity Yoga campaign. In the absence of Mayor Thompson, Sugar Land City Councilman Harish Jajoo read the proclamation and presented it to Ramesh Bhutada, vicePresident of HSS, USA. Similar proclamations were issued by mayors from 22 different cities across the USA which includes cities of Austin, Pearland, Flower Mound

and San Antonio in Texas, and by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Governor of Colorado John Hickenlooper also proclaimed Jan. 14 thru Jan. 29 as “Health for Humanity Week.” Sugar Land City Manager Alan Bogard , impressed by the enthusiasm of the participants, greeted them and wished the yoga session every success. The Surya Namaskar (Sun salutation) yoga routine integrates simple postures of wellbalanced movements in dozen steps with an easy breathing technique to provide health benefits for everyone from beginners to yoga enthusiasts, said Dr. Bobby Kapur, M.D., Director of the Center for Globalization and Associate Chief See YOGA, Page 3

Ramesh Bhutada, second from left, receives the Sugar Land Mayor’s proclamation from Councilman Harish Jajoo. At left is Alan Bogard, Sugar Land’s City Manager and at right is Manoj Rathi, coordinator of the Yogathon.

Participants perform the yoga technique of Sun Salutation at the Sugar Land Town Square as a part of the Health for Humanity campaign. Photos by Bijay Dixit.


Page 2 • INDEPENDENT • FEBRUARY 1, 2012

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FEBRUARY 1, 2012 â&#x20AC;˘ INDEPENDENT â&#x20AC;˘ Page 3

News Yoga From Page 1 for Emergency Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. Kapur gave a brief introduction to the yoga technique and its health benefits. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As a yoga instructor, I highly recommend that those who are able, try to learn the sequence and discover for themselves the wealth of improved health from a regular practice,â&#x20AC;? says Roslyn Earle of Yoga For Peace, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to promoting Yogic Principles, Philosophy and Practice. Earle conducted the Sugar Land event, with fellow Yoga instructors 75-year-old Mallikarjun B. Shintri and Daksha Shah. Children who learned yoga from HSS classes demonstrated the technique on stage for the participants to follow. People need to understand the value of Sun Salutations and more people need to learn this flexible technique, Earle said. The technique is very relevant to school children, who face the problem of obesity and Sun Salutations can help combat this problem, Earle said. Manoj Rathi, a Sugar Land resident and coordinator of the Town Square Yogathon, said he was immensely pleased with the turn out as it exceeded expectations and HSS accomplished its goal of spreading the awareness about yoga. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When I attended the Health for Humanity Yogathon today I felt a sense of inner peace and hope. Seeing all the participants joining together with a positive unified purpose was truly inspirational,â&#x20AC;? said Alan Simberg. Ratanlal Jaju, 90, Yoga In-

Stafford From Page 1 formâ&#x20AC;? Stafford Municipal School District (SMSD) into a district of excellence; continue infrastructure program, and begin process to redevelop the TI site. As for enhancing the economy, commercial expansion has already begun with Tycoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s announced $15-million expansion and the new facility planned by OMB Valves. Both companies are oil field valve manufacturers and their expansions in Stafford are expected to add 70 more jobs to the workforce and may add many more. The mayor noted that three council seats, two SMSD board seats and two Charter propositions may be on the May election ballot. The two propositions citizens may be asked to vote on would allow an elected officer to take the oath of office and be immediately seated at the meeting, and the other appoints a fourmember commission every five years to review the city charter. The mayor closed by saying that â&#x20AC;&#x153;in spite of fallout from the Texas Instruments closing, our economy seems to be regaining some of its former vigor. It can come none too soon. Stafford has a proud history and a very bright future, which will only be attained with the continued persistence of doing it our way, irrespective of the non believers and critics, especially those who are most flustered because we refuse to be like all the others.â&#x20AC;? Karen Austin, Stafford finance director, presented a Power Point that showed as of 2011 the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s general fund fiscal year ending balance at $8,118,000 compared to $7,388,000 in 2010 and $10,116,000 in 2007. Total sales tax receipts for Stafford in 2011 were $13,524,146 compared to 2010 receipts of $12,981,536, and the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest total yet

structor, from Patanjali Yog Peeth, Haridwar, India, was among the participants. Jaju said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The program was highly impressive. It appears that the people have not forgotten Surya Namaskar, Pranayam and Yogasan, the age old Indian culture of keeping body and mind healthy and active. The gallant festival of Yoga-Thon and the enormous gathering of yoga fans show that people have great attraction towards Surya Namaskar, Pranayam and Exercise. Yoga is a simple Indian art of living and leading a healthy and peaceful life. The effort of this Organization in promoting and spreading Yoga awareness is highly commendable.â&#x20AC;? Heather Smith from Houston, who is training to become a yoga teacher, said yoga helped change the way one eats, lives and thinks, in a positive manner. Yoga is not a religious ritual, but it is a life style, Smith said to persuade those who suspected yoga as a tool of Hindu religious indoctrination. Neza Ramos of Houston, who has been practicing yoga for seven years, took to the exercise like a fish to water and enjoyed the regimen. Boy Scouts under the leadership of Scout Master Glenn Bear helped by guiding the cars to the parking area. They were stationed at various areas around the main street of Sugar Land Town Square. Several organizations, which promoted Yoga, Patanjali Yog Peeth of USA, VYASA, Isha Foundation, Texas Yoga Association, One Yoga, Art of Living and Natures Meditation/Yoga for Peace, participated. There were 16 booths distributing information on yoga. The Vegan Sociat $14,422,677 in 2008. Major sales tax categories are retail trade, which make up 40.30 percent of the total sales taxes collected; wholesale trade, 15.13 percent; hotel and food services, 9.08 percent; manufacturing, 7.96 percent, and others, 27.53 percent. Excess sales tax receipts over debt service requirements were $3,180,000 in 2011 compared to $3,094,000 in 2010 and $3,225,000 in 2009. Franchise tax receipts also rose a bit in 2011 over 2010. They totaled $1,721,000 last year compared to $1,677,000 in 2010 and $1,551,000 in 2009. Currently Stafford has an $18,460,799 cash balance and the Staffod EDC, $6,511,129 for a total of $24,971,928. The cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s total outstanding general obligation debt is $635,000 with the city being debt free in 2014.

Bargain Book Sale Friends of First Colony Branch Library, 2121 Austin Parkway at Grants Lake, Sugar Land, will hold its monthly bargain book sale Sat. Feb. 4, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Hardbacks $1, paperbacks $.50 (some upcharged). Books, CDs, DVDs may be donated during regular library hours or at the sale and are tax deductible. 281 416-0936.

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Boy Scouts under the leadership of Scout Master Glenn Bear helped with traffic control for the Yogathon. The HSS team with the scouts included Manoj Rathi, left, Roslyn Earle, rear, Vijay Pallod, rear right and Raman Dhar, right. This fifteen day Yogathon ety of PEACE, which promotes vegetarian diet for healthy liv- that began on January 14, 2012 ing, had a booth and distributed ended on January 29, 2012. Participants continued the sun informational literature. HSS initiated this health salutation yoga individually at awareness project in 2006. home or collectively at comSince its inception, various munity centers or other public Yoga Centers, community or- gathering places all across the ganizations, schools and col- United States. For 2012, SNY leges regardless, of individual has set a goal of one million faiths and beliefs, have par- Surya Namaskar through the ticipated all across the United contribution of at least 12,000 individuals. States.

Chamber From Page 1 the Chairman has the honor of recognizing someone who has been a special friend, resource and asset to the Chamber. The award, formerly the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Chairmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Awardâ&#x20AC;? was established many years ago and past recipients have represented outstanding service to the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce. This award is especially meaningful, subsequent to its being re-named in honor of Ursula Coates, who passed away in 2008. She believed so strongly for many years in the value of membership, and was always an ardent and visible supporter of the Fort Bend Police Chief Bonny Krahn also provided a Power Point presentation, which showed annual figures for nationally tracked crimes were down considerably in Stafford â&#x20AC;&#x201C; from 950 in 2010 to 843 in 2011. Homicides dropped from two in 2010 to one in 2011; sexual assaults went from six in 2010 to two last year and aggravated assaults dropped by five -from 41 in 2010 to 36 in 2011. The only increase in the violent crimes category was robbery with 33 in 2010 and 34 in 2011. Property crimes include burglary, theft and vehicle theft and two of the three dropped last year. Burglaries went from 163 in 2010 to 161 last year while thefts showed the largest decrease with 643 in 2010 and 537 in 2011. Vehicle thefts increased by 10 last year with 62 in 2010 and 72 in 2011.

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Chamber. Following that level of excellence, Glenn Smith of The Growth Coach is this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s recipient of the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ursula Coates Chairmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Award.â&#x20AC;? He has been an invaluable friend and resource to the Fort Bend Chamber. Smith is a community leader with 25 years of training and coaching business professionals. He is a coach, motivational speaker, and avid blogger. Following the presentation of the Ursula Coates Award, guests were escorted to the Vegas style Copa Club for great live music from Sound Advice, dancing, gaming, and flaming crepes. Incoming Chairman Bruce Mercer belted out a few tunes to the delight of the audience. Stafford PD clearance rate for the total 843 nationally tracked crimes that occurred last year was 203 or 24 percent compared to a state average clearance rate of 18 percent. Calls for police service also dropped last year when they totaled 14,862 compared to 15,471 in 2010. Misdemeanor crime investigations dropped from 2,522 in 2010 to 2,403 in 2011; non-criminal investigations totaled 10,427 in 2010 and 9,977 in 2011; accident investigations came in at 510 in 2010 and 525 this past year and other agency assists were 1,101 in 2010 and 1,092 in 2011. Stafford police made 18,055 traffic contacts in 2010 and 15,967 in 2011. They also made 199 felony arrests in 2010 and 186 last year and made a total of 1,352 misdemeanor arrests in 2010 and 1,198 in 2011.

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Page 4 • INDEPENDENT • FEBRUARY 1, 2012

Opinion The View from Sugar Land The state of Sugar Land By RUSSELL JONES On Friday Sugar Land’s mayor Jimmy Thompson delivered his fourth state of the city program to the largest crowd ever assembled at the Sugar Land Marriott Hotel. Representatives of many organizations involved with the city gathered to review the successes of 2011 and plans for 2012. Special guests were representatives of Sugar Land’s various artistic and cultural groups, ranging from the Sugar Land Skeeters to the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation. Mayors of nearby cities came to learn what makes a great city. County commissioners came to pick up tips on how to keep up. No doubt 2011 was a positive year for the city. Once again, Sugar Land was recognized for its efforts in public safety, including downward trends in violent and property crimes. Despite the continuing downturn of the national economy, the city has fared relatively well, with home sales high and even more expected in the future. Telfair and Riverstone continue to lead the way as two of the most successful communities in the nation. Using funds dedicated to economic development, the city began a new tourism office, intended to encourage visitors to experience the new baseball park, the highly successful Houston Museum of Natural Science, excellent hotels and fine restaurants located in Sugar Land. The city’s seventh fire station opened during the year. Located in Telfair and serving both that community and nearby New Territory, the station will significantly improve emergency response times to both of those areas. A new county library was completed on the grounds of

Jones the University of Houston and is open to the public. Additionally, the city’s first recreation center opened, with usage exceeding expectations. Other capital projects begun last year include Constellation Field. Opening in April, it will be the premier minor league stadium in the country. With 7500 seats, the new ballpark will be family friendly and easily accessed, allowing for frequent visits. It will have a playground in the outfield, and children in sports uniforms will be admitted free. Of particular success in 2011 was the city’s legislative program. The state’s oldest prison unit is being closed and sold to the city, which will use the land in a public/private partnership to develop a new business park. In another key piece of legislation, the city overcame opposition of Galveston County to add representatives from Fort Bend and Brazoria Counties to the Board of of the Gulf Coast Water Authority. The city modernized its solid waste collection program, reducing its cost to residents. One side benefit has been the substantial increase in material set aside for recycling from 340 tons per month to 840 tons in the first month of the

new program. The pride of its citizens showed in 2011, as more than 700 volunteers contributed 24,000 hours of time in providing services of various kinds to the city. In 2011, the city adopted a long-term mobility plan following input from both citizens and experts. In 2012, the city’s comprehensive plan will be revised, incorporating input from citizens and officials alike. Significant improvements to the city’s roadways were begun in 2011 and will open in 2012. University Blvd. will connect Commonwealth Blvd. to Riverstone. From there, the developer of Riverstone will complete the project to Hwy. 6, with the result that westbound traffic from Missouri City and Sienna Plantation can reach US 59 by a southern route to avoid the more congested portion of Hwy. 6. Dulles Avenue will soon open to Lexington. For years, little more than a cow path leading to the school campus, and improved in the 1970s by a county project with few resources other than excess asphalt, Dulles will finally become the well-planned thoroughfare it should have been 35 years ago. The city’s new surface water plant, mandated by the state and costing almost $100,000,000, including new transmission lines and upgrades to the city’s existing ground water treatment plants, will approach completion in 2012. It is expected to finish under budget and ahead of schedule. Congratulations to the city council and particularly the city’s staff for another great year! Jones served as a member of the Sugar Land City Council from 2003 through June, 2011. He owns a law firm and a title insurance company in Sugar Land.

Musings: More novel events By JANICE SCANLAN A couple of weeks ago my column was about novel events happening during this Fort Bend winter bird season. This has really been a fun couple of weeks hearing about your novel events and learning how serious birders approach them. Texas is constantly competing with California for the most species of birds so birds not only draw local attention, but also have become a tourist opportunity—kind of like seeing the wildflowers in the spring Hill Country. We’re blessed in Fort Bend to be beneficiary of winter visitors as well as spring and fall migrants. This year we’ve been getting more new winter visitors and are having more species of hummingbirds actually winter here. Cornell’s Project Feeder Watch confirms this . . . more and more hummingbirds are becoming “winter Texans” and actually winter all along the southeast US. Those that once chose New Mexico, Arizona and West Texas may have come this way due to severe drought. Many of the hummingbird winter vagrants look like one another . . . so it’s easy to mistakenly indentify them. So Birder Margaret Sloan called the Hummingbird bander. She actually had five species of Hummingbirds at one feeder. She’s always has some Rufous and Ruby-throated winter in her garden. This year in

Scanlan addition to them, she had Allen’s, Broad-tailed and Blackchinned Hummingbirds at the same feeder. Now I could get into all the differences and that male Allen’s resemble male Rufous or female Ruby throated resemble female Allen’s and Rufous. Then, male Broad-tailed resemble male Ruby-throats. If you’re confused, so are my notes. I now understand what keeps the Hummingbird bander busy! The big story was the sighting of a Flamingo at the number-four tee box on the El Dorado course in Quail Valley in late December. Tony Estus thought his wife had mistakenly identified a Roseate Spoonbill for a Flamingo, but then the Flamingo flew over him at a closer distance than his wife’s sighting. While their coloring is the same, the bills are very different, the Roseate fly with their necks straight while the longer-legged Flamingos fly with a curved neck like herons and egrets.

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I thought I saw a Flamingo in MacNaughton Park near Thunderbird Lake in late December, but it flew toward the El Dorado Golf Course before I could get a closer look and was flying with its back to me so I could not confirm the neck curved or was straight in flight. I’m having a cataract removed in February, so my distance vision isn’t too good so I didn’t bother Margaret with it. Seems she would have liked me to bother her. The whole story of the serious birding community and Flamingoes is quite a saga of tracking two birds that are making their way along the Gulf Coast. One is an escapee from a zoo in Wichita, Kansas—a Greater Flamingo. The other is an American Flamingo that was banded as a young bird in Honduras. All Flamingoes in the US are considered escapees and even banded are very hard to track as they leave an area quickly. Late December is old news the third week of January. As our tale shows, when they are seen by novice birders, we don’t think about what to do. Well, write to me at janicescanlan@clear.net or Google Birds of Fort Bend to contact our website. If Margaret is in town, she’ll do her best to photograph the bird, especially a Flamingo.

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Flood control levees: Protection with risk By BASIL HOUSEWRIGHT Fort Bend County has hundreds of miles of flood control levees consisting of earthen embankments, designed and constructed in accordance with sound engineering practices to contain, control, or divert the flow of water so as to provide protection from temporary flooding. The levees have been designed to protect urban residential areas, which are located in high-risk flood zones. Some of these areas are Greatwood, Pecan Grove, New Territory, Sienna Plantation, Colony Lakes, Riverpark and many more. The Brazos River and drainage leading to it are the primary source of potential flooding in these areas. The need to create these levees around these subdivisions is to allow residential development with affordable insurance available to the homeowners and business owners. However, no levee provides full protection from flooding. All levees are designed to provide a specific level of protection, and can be overtopped in larger flood events. Levees require regular maintenance to retain their level of protection. The fact is, levees can and do decay over time, and maintenance can become a serious challenge. When levees do fail, or are overtopped, they fail catastrophically and the flood damage may be more significant than if the levee was not there. For these reasons, the thousands of Fort Bend County residents affected by levees need to understand the flood risks they face and take steps to address them by considering purchasing flood insurance. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) man-

Housewright ages the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the cornerstone of the Nation’s strategy for preparing communities for flood disasters. The NFIP was created to reduce flood damages by identifying flood risks, encouraging sound community floodplain management practices, and providing flood insurance. FEMA is updating the Nation’s flood hazard data and maps through an effort called Flood Map Modernization. Accurately identifying the flood risk behind levees is an important element of Flood Map Modernization. Levees are present in over one quarter of the counties being remapped. Flood hazard maps, also known as Flood Insurance Rate Maps, or FIRM’s show the highrisk areas where there is a 1% chance of flooding in any given year. They also indicate the lowto-moderate risk areas with a less than l% annual chance of flooding. This does not mean it is not going to flood rather it means it is a lower probability. Assessing flood risk for areas behind levees is complex. Among the many factors the assessment must take into account are the actual elevations that

an l% annual chance flood will reach and the ability of the levee to contain such floodwaters. FEMA has criteria for recognizing levees as protecting against the l% annual chance of flooding. The levee owner is responsible for providing documentation to show that the levee meets these criteria. FEMA does not examine structures or systems to determine how they will perform in a flood event. If a levee meets FEMA criteria, the flood hazard map will show the area behind the levee as a moderate risk zone. If the levee does not meet FEMA criteria, the flood hazard map will show the area as a high-risk area, or Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). The SFHA is the area subject to probability of the 1% annual chance of flooding and all residents located in this area would be subject to mandatory purchase of flood insurance if their property were financed. There is always the potential of a levee previously meeting FEMA criteria but with new criteria limits set by FEMA the levee is no longer in compliance. This would mean all residents located in this area would be subject to mandatory purchase of flood insurance if their property were financed. Spring is upon us and brings torrential downpours so it is best to know your particular situation. Talk to a local Insurance Agent for advice. Basil Housewright is manager of Texans Insurance & Financial Group, Inc a local Independent Insurance Agency operating in Sugar Land since 1991. He can be reached at (281) 277-7800, Fax (281) 277-7801, E-Mail – basil@texansinsure.com. Visit www.texansinsure.com.

FINANCE 101: Inflation Inflation is a common subject on talk radio and gold commercials. Many are concerned that current debt levels, combined with massive government spending, will lead to higher inflation and a corresponding decrease in the standard of living for Americans. Below is a summary of inflation to help you understand how it affects the economy and you directly.

Definition Investopedia.com defines inflation as “the rate at which the general level of prices for goods and services is rising, and, subsequently, purchasing power is falling.” For practical purposes, inflation means the things you buy will cost more in the future than they do today. The change in the cost of stamps demonstrates the impact of inflation. In 1982, a stamp cost 20 cents. Today, it costs 45 cents, or a 120 percent increase in price through the last 30 years. Over the same period, the price of a gallon of milk rose from $2.24 to $3.50, a 56 percent increase. In both cases, the value of your dollar fell in relation to milk and stamps, which means you had to use more dollars to buy those goods. This is inflation.

Causes Many things can cause prices to rise. Demand inflation comes when consumers purchase goods that are limited in availability. The increased price is a signal to producers to make more, thereby increasing supply and moderating the price increases. Think of a new hot electronic gadget: the more people want it, the higher the price will rise. Another type of inflation is based on the supply of dollars in an economy. If the supply of dollars is increased, the value of existing dollars in the economy is diluted. This causes the price of goods and services to rise to offset the dilution impact of increased dollars in circulation.

Measures and Statistics There are many inflation measures. The most commonly cited by the media and government is the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is published monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The CPI is the measure of prices

Bill & Jared Jameson of more than 200 goods and services in metropolitan areas. It does not include prices in rural areas. The Social Security Administration uses the CPI to determine benefit increases to its eligible recipients. The core CPI includes all the items in CPI minus food and energy. Food and energy prices can fluctuate significantly, which may distort actual trends in broad prices. The Federal Reserve follows the core CPI closely in determining monetary policy. Ultimately, the only rate of inflation that matters is your own. Look at the goods you purchase or services you use on a regular basis, such as movie tickets, milk, electricity or rent, and see how their prices have changed over time. Inflation predictions are notoriously difficult; thus, you should work with your financial advisor to protect your portfolio no matter what the future inflation rate turns out to be. WJ Interests is a fee-only financial planning and investment management firm in Sugar Land. For more information, please contact us at wj@wjinterests.com or 281-634-9400.

Letter To the Editor: This is regarding the story on Texas straw poll that ran in your Jan. 25 edition, which you ended with the phrase “So, now you know the whole story of two headlines”; I beg to differ. In this second article, you included 1) a not so subtle and unsubstantiated charge of vote buying against both Pete Olson and Sonal Bhuchar, and 2) allowed that charge by an unidentified source. Based on this, I would be led to view your newspaper, not as serious objective journalism, but as yet one more Fort Bend blog that spews out hit pieces where the anonymous author provides not one shred of proof for their accusations. We clearly have way too much of that already. Finally, I notice that your mast head proclaims that you provide “fair & balanced” information. You should try harder to live up to that claim. Steve Porter Sugar Land


FEBRUARY 1 , 2012 • INDEPENDENT • Page 5

Opinion Quail Valley Golf Course: Boon or bane? By SESHADRI KUMAR A debate is raging in Missouri City over the Quail Valley Golf Course. Ever since the city acquired the golf course, a section of the citizens has been critical of the decision, saying it is a drain on city tax payers. The latest round of controversy is about the accounting method which minimized the loss incurred by the golf course as the city paid for telephone and utility bills of the golf course from the general fund. Resident Howard Moline writes: I recently confirmed with Wes Vela, the City of Missouri City financial officer that $316,871 of telephone and utility expense for the years ending June 30, 2010 and 2011 were paid for by the City instead of being properly allocated to the Quail Valley Golf Course (QVGC). Incorporating these new expenses, the Golf Course actually suffered a total loss of ($484,424.29) instead of a reported loss of ($165,553.29) for the two years (2010 and 2011), a pretty dramatic difference. Another resident, Bill McGrady says: The Quail Valley Golf Course is not a park, it clearly is a business. It has its own profit/loss balance sheet which tracks revenue and expenses. Further proof that it is not a park is on the City’s website where 19 parks are listed, not 22, and the Golf Course is not one of the 19 parks. Finally, if this were indeed a Park then why doesn’t this fall under the Missouri City Parks Board. Instead, the Golf Course has its own board called the LGC? We all supported the bond issue and yes the Quail Valley Golf course management has done a great job trying to keep it afloat but many residents are concerned about how this business has been operating in the red since it

opened. Parks do attract people and yes the QV Golf Course is an amenity but it is also a business and it is time to accept that and figure out a way to stop the bleeding. Another section of residents, who support the city’s acquisition of the golf course see it as an amenity like the other city parks. On March 3, 2008, following positive input from a 100-person citizen committee, City Council authorized eminent domain proceedings for the then-Quail Valley Country Club property. By a 72 percent vote, citizens citywide approved a $17.5 million bond referendum in November 2008, for use in property acquisition and redevelopment. After making significant improvements to the course since it was acquired, the city is looking forward to the new Community Center & Golf Pro Shop, which is now under construction. Critics may continue to watch the situation, but can’t blame the golf course for the other ills of the city or ignore many positive developments taking place elsewhere in the city. The glass is half-full or half-empty. Depends on how you look at it.

The city’s response: As part of Missouri City’s financial process, each year an independent auditor reviews all books and records and our internal controls. No exceptions to procedures have been noted. Through sound leadership and fiscal policies, we have continuously managed a downward trend in operational losses in the three years since we assumed control of the Quail Valley Golf Course property through eminent domain. In FY 2009, we saw a $442,835 loss; in FY 2010, that figure dropped to $364,898 and in FY 2011, losses

were down to $106,512. We are pleased with this progress and each year come closer to breaking even. This spring, we are looking forward to even more success when our new Community Center and Golf Pro Shop opens, offering another option for Fort Bend County residents and businesses to host their special occasions. The largest operational loss in FY09 can be attributed to a number of factors: The annual City Council-approved General Fund Budget did not reflect expenses for the property; acquisition was made in late June 2008, after budget approval for FY09; only one of the two courses, La Quinta, was open at the time limiting business and play and the El Dorado Course required signifi-

cant improvements, which took a little over one year; less than two months after we acquired the property, Hurricane Ike hit our community and destroyed the banquet facility making it less marketable and limiting our ability to book and host large tournaments and special events that would have immediately increased revenues Additionally, utilities for all City facilities are in one line item—Building Utilities—in the General Fund Budget. Due to those expenditures being more integrated to the City’s electric provider and telephone accounts, we decided to account for those expenses through our Building Maintenance Internal Service Fund in 2010 and 2011. We are preparing the 2013 budget with these expenditures within the LGC budget.

LEGAL NOTICE The City of Missouri City, Texas is now issuing an Invitation for Bids for the following: IFB #081-11A Term Contract for Water Treatment Chemicals The City of Missouri City is soliciting bids for a term contract for the supply of certain chemicals used by the Missouri City Surface Water Treatment Plant. All prices bid are to be FOB Missouri City. All costs associated shall be included in the prices bid on the enclosed bid sheet. The City will not pay any other invoiced fees that are not specified by the contractor on the enclosed bid sheet. The City may award to one or more bidders. Vendors are reminded to submit a bid that meets all specifications contained herein.

PURPOSE:

ONE (1) PUBLIC HEARING SHALL BE HELD AT WHICH ALL PERSONS INTERESTED IN THE 2012 COMPREHENSIVE PLAN UPDATE SHALL BE GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD.

WHERE:

CITY OF SUGAR LAND CITY COUNCIL CHAMBER 2700 TOWN CENTER BOULEVARD NORTH

WHEN:

PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION 6:30 P.M., FEBRUARY 23, 2012

DETAILS OF THE PROPOSED 2012 COMPREHENSIVE PLAN UPDATE MAY BE OBTAINED ONLINE AT WWW.SUGARLANDTX.GOV/PLAN OR BY CONTACTING THE CITY OF SUGAR LAND PLANNING OFFICE AT (281) 275-2218 OR BY EMAIL AT LONGRANGEPLANNING@SUGARLANDTX.GOV. THE PLANNING OFFICE IS OPEN MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY FROM 8:00 O’CLOCK A.M. TO 5:00 O’CLOCK P.M., AND IS LOCATED IN CITY HALL, 2700 TOWN CENTER BOULEVARD NORTH, SUGAR LAND, TEXAS. INTERESTED PERSONS MAY CONTACT THE CITY OF SUGAR LAND PLANNING OFFICE TO SET UP AN APPOINTMENT TO REVIEW ADDITIONAL DETAILS IN PERSON.

STADIUM SIGNAGE Sealed bids shall be appropriately marked as follows: RFP NO. 2012-19 STADIUM SIGNAGE BIDDER’S NAME, ADDRESS, AND DUE DATE. Bidder shall sign and date the bid. Bids that are not signed and dated will be rejected. Signed and sealed proposals shall be delivered to the Office of the City Secretary, on or before 11:00 o’clock a.m., Thursday, February 9, 2012, City of Sugar Land, City Hall, Suite 122, 2700 Town Center Boulevard North, Sugar Land, Texas, 77479. All proposals received after the appointed time shall be returned to bidder unopened. Notice of the award of contract shall be given by the City within ninety (90) days following the date for the opening of bids. The City reserves the right to revise or amend the specifications prior to the date set for opening of proposals. Such revisions or amendments, if any, will be announced by addenda or addendum to the specifications. Copies of such addenda so issued will be furnished to all prospective bidders and may or may not affect the bid opening date. The City of Sugar Land reserves the right to reject any and all proposal and to waive informalities in bids received. The award will be made to the lowest responsible bidder based on the evaluation criteria provided in the RFP. Proposal documents may be secured from City of Sugar Land, Office of the City Secretary, 2700 Town Center Boulevard North, Suite 122, Sugar Land, Texas, 77479, or by registering at https://www.bidsync.com. Registration is free. All bid documents, amendments and other information relating to the bid will be posted at this site. Questions regarding the request for proposal must be received by 3:00 p.m., Thursday, February 2, 2012. Please contact Jason Poscovsky, Contract Administrator at telephone number (281) 275-2302 or email jposcovsky@sugarlandtx.gov. Glenda Gundermann, TRMC, CMC, AAE City Secretary

The bid packages may be obtained beginning February 1st by requesting the document from the Purchasing Office at (281) 403-8626 or email charles@ missouricitytx.gov Bids must be sealed, marked on the outside of the delivery envelope with the IFB name and number as listed above, and the date of opening. Bids must be delivered to the attention of the Sealed Bid Box, City of Missouri City Purchasing Office, 1522 Texas Parkway, Missouri City, Texas, 77489, prior to the acceptance deadline. Bids marked improperly and therefore misdirected may be disqualified. Bids are opened in public in the City Hall Council Chambers.

REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS Sealed submittals (1) one original and (5) five copies, addressed to the City Secretary Office of the City of Sugar Land, Texas, will be received until 2:00 o’clock p.m., Thursday, February 9, 2012 for: TELFAIR PARK DEVELOPMENT

Charles Oberrender, CPPB Purchasing Manager City of Missouri City, Texas

Submissions shall be appropriately marked in the upper left hand corner as follows: REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS 2012-18 TELFAIR PARK DEVELOPMENT LEGAL NOTICE

IFB #132-12

THE CITY OF SUGAR LAND PROPOSES TO UPDATE THE CITY OF SUGAR LAND COMPREHENSIVE PLAN CHAPTERS 1 THROUGH 5 BASED ON THE CITY VISION 2025 AND GUIDING PRINCIPLES, 2010 CENSUS, AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY DATA, AND EXPANDED CONDITIONS INFORMATION.

Four (4) sealed proposals, one (1) original and three (3) copies and one (1) electronic media copy, addressed to the City of Sugar Land, Texas, will be received until 11:00 o’clock a.m., Thursday, February 9, 2012, for:

Bids will be accepted until 2:00 p.m. local time February 20, 2012 and then opened.

The City of Missouri City, Texas is now issuing an Invitation for Bids for the following:

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING 2012 COMPREHENSIVE PLAN UPDATE

NOTICE TO PROPOSERS

Construction of Lighting Improvements to Community Center/Pro Shop Parking Lot

Scope: The project consists of the necessary labor, materials, equipment, supervision and plan to construct the project. The project is located at 2880 La Quinta in Missouri City. The work includes, but is not limited to, construction of electrical underground and installation of lighting poles and fixtures at the parking lot to be constructed adjacent to the new Community Center and Pro Shop at the Quail Valley Golf Course. This is a turnkey project bid as a lump sum for project work performed in phases during the course of the parking lot construction and paving. The bid shall include the days to completion. A mandatory pre bid meeting will be held at 10 AM, Thursday, February 9th, 2012 at the Quail Valley Pro Shop Lobby located at 2880 La Quinta in Missouri City. Bids will be accepted until 2 PM local time February 20, 2012 and then publicly opened. The bid packages may be obtained beginning February 1st from Missouri City Purchasing Office at (281) 403-8626 or by email charles@missouricitytx.gov . There is no charge for the bid package. Bids must be sealed, marked on the outside of the delivery envelope with the IFB name and number as listed above, and the date of opening. Bids must be delivered to the attention of the Sealed Bid Box, City of Missouri City Purchasing Office, 1522 Texas Parkway, Missouri City, Texas, 77489, prior to the acceptance deadline. Bids marked improperly and therefore misdirected may be disqualified. Bids are opened in public in the City Hall Council Chambers. Charles Oberrender, CPPB Purchasing Manager City of Missouri City, Texas

Signed and sealed submittals shall be delivered to the Office of the City Secretary, on or before 2:00 o’clock p.m., Thursday, February 9, 2012, City of Sugar Land, City Hall, 2700 Town Center Boulevard North, Sugar Land, Texas, 77479. All submissions received after the appointed time shall be returned to bidder unopened. Notice of the award of contract shall be given by the City within one hundred and twenty (120) days following the date for the opening of submittals. The City reserves the right to revise or amend the specifications prior to the date set for opening of the submittals. Such revisions or amendments, if any, will be announced by addenda or addendum to the specifications. Copies of such addenda so issued will be furnished to all prospective submitters and may or may not affect the submission opening date. The City of Sugar Land reserves the right to reject any and all submissions and to waive informalities in submittals received. The award will be made based on a panel evaluation of submittals received. RFQ documents may be secured from City of Sugar Land; Office of the City Secretary, 2700 Town Center Boulevard North, Suite 122, Sugar Land, Texas, 77479, or by registering at https://www.bidsync.com . Registration is free. All documents, amendments and other information relating to the submittal will be posted at this site. Questions regarding the request for qualification must be received by 2:00 p.m., Thursday, February 2, 2012. Please contact Jason Poscovsky, Contract Administrator, at telephone number (281) 275-2302 or via email at jposcovsky@ sugarlandtx.gov. Glenda Gundermann, TRMC, CMC, AAE City Secretary

NOTICE TO PROPOSERS Six (6) sealed proposals, one (1) original and five (5) copies, addressed to the City of Sugar Land, Texas, will be received until 2:00 o’clock p.m., Thursday, February 16, 2012, for: DEVELOPMENT OF A CULTURAL ARTS STRATEGIC PLAN AND IMPLEMENTATION GUIDE

NOTICE TO BIDDERS HIGHWAY 6 MEDIAN ENHANCEMENTS The City of Sugar Land seeks bids, in triplicate, for furnishing all labor, material, and equipment, and performing all work required for the following project in the City: CIP PROJECT NAME: CIP PROJECT NUMBER: LOCATION OF WORK:

Highway 6 Median Enhancements PK1203 Highway 6, between Settlers Way Boulevard and Brooks Street.

Plans, specifications, and bidding documents may be obtained from the following office and location with payment of $60.00 (non-refundable): Kudela & Weinheimer Landscape Architects 7155 Old Katy Road, Suite 270 Houston, TX 77024 713-869-6987 Questions regarding the request for qualification must be received by 5:00 p.m., Friday, February 10, 2012. Please contact Kudela & Weinheimer, telephone number (713) 869-6987.

NOTICE TO BIDDERS TERMINAL BUILDING PARKING LOT EXPANSION Sugar Land seeks bids, in triplicate, for The City of furnishing all labor, material, and equipment, and performing all work required for the following project in the City: CIP PROJECT NAME: Terminal Building Parking Lot Expansion CIP PROJECT NUMBER: AP1204 LOCATION OF WORK: Sugar Land Regional Airport Plans, specifications, and bidding documents may be obtained at the following office and location with payment of $50.00: KSA Engineers, Inc. 816 Park Two Drive Sugar Land, TX 77478 (281) 494-3252 Fax: (281) 494 - 3234

Sealed bids shall be appropriately marked as follows: RFP NO. 2012-20 DEVELOPMENT OF A CULTURAL ARTS STRATEGIC PLAN AND IMPLEMENTATION GUIDE BIDDER’S NAME, ADDRESS, AND DUE DATE. Respondent shall sign and date the proposal. Proposals that are not signed and dated will be rejected. Signed and sealed proposals (one original and 5 copies) shall be delivered to the City Secretary Office, on or before 2:00 o’clock p.m., Thursday, February 16, 2012, City of Sugar Land, City Hall, Suite 122, 2700 Town Center Boulevard North, Sugar Land, Texas, 77479. All proposals received after the appointed time shall be returned to bidder unopened. Notice of the award of contract shall be given by the City within ninety (90) days following the date for the opening of bids. The City reserves the right to revise or amend the specifications prior to the date set for opening of proposals. Such revisions or amendments, if any, will be announced by addenda or addendum to the specifications. Copies of such addenda so issued will be furnished to all prospective bidders and may or may not affect the bid opening date.

Sealed bids in triplicate, one (1) original and two (2) copies, shall be delivered to the City of Sugar Land, Office of the City Secretary, 2700 Town Center Boulevard North, Suite 122, Sugar Land, Texas, 77479, on or before 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 16, 2012, at which time bids will be publicly opened and read. Bids received after the opening date and time will not be considered.

Sealed bids, one (1) original and two (2) copies, shall be delivered to the City of Sugar Land; Office of the City Secretary, 2700 Town Center Boulevard North, Suite 122, Sugar Land, Texas, 77479, on or before 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 23, 2012, at which time bids will be publicly opened and read. Bids received after the opening date and time will not be considered.

A non-mandatory pre-bid meeting for all interested parties will be held 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, February 8, 2012, City of Sugar Land City Hall, Brazos Room Suite 154, 2700 Town Center Boulevard North, Sugar Land, TX 77479.

A non-mandatory pre-bid meeting for all interested parties will be held 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, February 8, 2012, Sugar Land Regional Airport, 12888-B Highway 6 South, Sugar Land, TX 77498.

The City Council will award the bid to the lowest responsible bidder that complies with all requirements of the Request for Bids. The City of Sugar Land will give notice of the contract award within sixty (60) calendar days after the bid opening date and time.

The City Council will award the bid to the lowest responsible bidder that complies with all requirements of the Request for Bids. The City of Sugar Land will give notice of the contract award within sixty (60) calendar days after the bid opening date and time.

Questions regarding the request for proposal must be received by 3:00 p.m., Thursday, February 9, 2012. Please contact Jason Poscovsky, Contract Administrator at telephone number (281) 275-2302 or email jposcovsky@sugarlandtx.gov .

Glenda Gundermann, TRMC, CMC, AAE City Secretary

Glenda Gundermann, TRMC, CMC, AAE City Secretary

Glenda Gundermann, TRMC, CMC, AAE City Secretary

The City of Sugar Land reserves the right to reject any and all proposal and to waive informalities in bids received. The award will be made to the lowest responsible bidder based on the evaluation criteria provided in the RFP. Proposal documents may be secured from City of Sugar Land City Secretary Office, 2700 Town Center Boulevard North, Suite 122, Sugar Land, Texas, 77479, or by registering at https://www.bidsync.com. Registration is free. All bid documents, amendments and other information relating to the bid will be posted at this site.


Page 6 • INDEPENDENT • FEBRUARY 1, 2012

FBISD has 4 U.S. Presidential Scholars Four Fort Bend ISD students have been selected by the United States Department of Education as candidates for the United States Presidential Scholars Program. Each year, up to 141 students are named as Presidential Scholars, one of the Nation’s highest honors for high school students. The following Fort Bend ISD students have been selected: Aditya Srivatsan, Austin High School; David Zhao, Austin High School; Andy Dao, Bush High School; Kristen Pownell, Clements High School. Approximately 3,000 candidates for the Presidential Scholars program are selected each year for the academic component of the program, based on having scored exceptionally well on the College Board SAT or the ACT assessment. Candidates must submit required application materials as well.

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by Executive Order of the President, to recognize and honor some of our nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exLEGAL NOTICE REQUEST FOR SEALED COMPETITIVE PROPOSALS Sealed Competitive Proposals will be received in the Office of Gilbert D. Jalomo, Jr., County Purchasing Agent, Fort Bend County, Travis Annex, 301 Jackson, Suite 201, Richmond, TX 77469 for the following until THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2012 at 1:30 P.M. CST). All proposals will then be opened in the Office of the Purchasing Agent, Travis Annex, 301 Jackson, Suite 201, Richmond, TX 77469 and the names of the proposers made public. Proposals received after the specified time will be returned unopened. RFP 12-028 – CONTINGENCY MEDICAL STAFFING FOR PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY RESPONSE Unit pricing is required. Fort Bend County reserves the right to reject any or all proposals. Signed: Gilbert D. Jalomo, Jr., Purchasing Agent Fort Bend County, Richmond, Texas

PUBLIC NOTICE FORT BEND COUNTY COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT FY 2008 NEIGHBORHOOD STABILIZATION PROGRAM AMENDMENT Fort Bend County proposes to amend its approved FY 2008 Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) Substantial Amendment. The County’s Consolidated Plan regulations at 24 CFR 91.505 state that a jurisdiction shall amend its approved plan whenever it makes one of the following decisions: (1) To make a change in its allocation priorities or a change in the method of distribution of funds; (2) To carry out an activity, using funds from any program covered by the consolidated plan (including program income), not previously described in the action plan; or (3) To change the purpose, scope, location, or beneficiaries of an activity. In addition, Fort Bend County has identified in its citizen participation plan the criteria it uses for determining what constitutes substantial amendments that are subject to a citizen participation process, in accordance with the County’s citizen participation plan. The definitions and/or criteria for what constitutes a substantial change for the purpose of amending the consolidated plan are as follows: (1) Purpose: The purpose is substantially changed if the overall purpose for which a project is funded changes. Changing a specific objective without changing the overall purpose of the project will not be considered a substantial change. (2) Scope: The scope is substantially changed if the original estimated cost of the project is increased by twenty percent or more. (3) Location: The location is substantially changed if the service area of a project changes from the original service area. (4) Beneficiaries: The beneficiaries are substantially changed if there is a change in type or the number is increased by twenty percent or more. The Fort Bend County FY 2008 Neighborhood Stabilization Program Amendment is available for public review and comment. The public is encouraged to submit written comments by Monday, March 5, 2012 to Marilynn Kindell, Community Development Director, at 301 Jackson, Richmond, Texas 77469. Comments will be incorporated into the Consolidated Plan Amendments, as appropriate. FORT BEND COUNTY, TEXAS FY 2008 NEIGHBORHOOD STABILIZATION PROGRAM AMENDMENT Funds are available to be reprogrammed from: #1 Financing Mechanisms: Homebuyer Program #3 Demolish Blighted Structures Total Available to be Reprogrammed

$470,965.00 $249,888.00 $720,853.00

Projects to be funded are: #2 Purchase and Rehabilitation of Homes and Residential Properties #4 Redevelop demolished or vacant properties Contingency Total Reprogrammed Amount

$309,076.00 $398,262.00 $13,515.00 $720,853.00

PUBLIC NOTICE FORT BEND COUNTY COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT FYs 2003, 2009, 2010 and 2011 CONSOLIDATED ACTION PLAN AMENDMENTS Fort Bend County proposes to amend its approved FYs 2003, 2009, 2010, and 2011 Consolidated Action Plans. The Consolidated Plan regulations at 24 CFR 91.505 state that a jurisdiction shall amend its approved plan whenever it makes one of the following decisions: (1) To make a change in its allocation priorities or a change in the method of distribution of funds; (2) To carry out an activity, using funds from any program covered by the consolidated plan (including program income), not previously described in the action plan; or (3) To change the purpose, scope, location, or beneficiaries of an activity. In addition, Fort Bend County has identified in its citizen participation plan the criteria it uses for determining what constitutes substantial amendments that are subject to a citizen participation process, in accordance with the County’s citizen participation plan. The definitions and/or criteria for what constitutes a substantial change for the purpose of amending the consolidated plan are as follows: (1) Purpose: The purpose is substantially changed if the overall purpose for which a project is funded changes. Changing a specific objective without changing the overall purpose of the project will not be considered a substantial change. (2) Scope: The scope is substantially changed if the original estimated cost of the project is increased by twenty percent or more. (3) Location: The location is substantially changed if the service area of a project changes from the original service area. (4) Beneficiaries: The beneficiaries are substantially changed if there is a change in type or the number is increased by twenty percent or more. The Fort Bend County FYs 2003, 2009, 2010 and 2011 Consolidated Plan Amendments are available for public review and comment. The public is encouraged to submit written comments by Monday, March 5, 2012 to Marilynn Kindell, Community Development Director, at 301 Jackson, Richmond, Texas 77469. Comments will be incorporated into the Consolidated Plan Amendments, as appropriate. FORT BEND COUNTY, TEXAS FY 2003, 2009, 2010 and 2011 CONSOLIDATED PLAN AMENDMENTS COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT (CDBG) Funds are available to be reprogrammed from: FY 2003 FWSD No.1 Water and Sewer Improvements FY 2009 Housing Rehabilitation Administration FY 2009 CDBG Program Administration FY 2009 CDBG Contingency FY 2010 Housing Rehabilitation Administration FY 2010 CDBG Program Administration FY 2011 CDBG Contingency Total Available To Be Reprogrammed

$200,000.00 $11,093.99 $38,544.68 $15,000.00 $44,943.22 $33,861.15 $26,962.00 $370,405.04

Projects to be funded are: FY 2010 Arcola Sanitary Sewer Improvements FY 2010 MUD 19 Sanitary Sewer Improvements FY 2011 Arcola Community Center FY 2011 Kendleton Sanitary Sewer Improvements Total Reprogrammed Amount

$100,000.00 $56,000.00 $14,405.04 $200,000.00 $370,405.04

ceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts.

Legal Notices Qualified companies are invited to submit proposals to Stafford Municipal School District for Bilingual/ESL Supplies, RFP# 2012-0015, at the Stafford MSD administration building conference room in Stafford, Texas before 10:00 a.m. local standard time on the 9th day of February, 2012. Bid document can be found on the District’s website. PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE The Commissioners Court of Fort Bend County, Texas has set a public hearing at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 for replat of Cinco Village Center, Section 3, Partial Replat No. 6, Precinct 3. The hearing will be held in the Commissioners Courtroom, William B. Travis Bldg., 309 S. Fourth St., Rm. 700, Richmond, Texas. Under state law, you the owner, have certain rights with respect to the proposed replat. Should you wish to exercise your right, you may be heard at the planned public hearing. You may contact Robert Terry with AECOM at 713-780-4123 for information prior to the hearing. Submitted by, Dianne Wilson Fort Bend County Clerk LEGAL NOTICE INVITATION TO BIDDERS Sealed Bids will be received in the Office of Gilbert D. Jalomo, Jr., County Purchasing Agent, Fort Bend County, Travis Annex, 301 Jackson, Suite 201, Richmond, TX 77469 for the following until THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2012 at 1:30 P.M. (CST). All bids will then be publicly opened and read in the Office of the Purchasing Agent, Travis Annex, 301 Jackson, Suite 201, Richmond, TX 77469. Bids received after the specified time will be returned unopened. 1. BID 12-030 – TRAFFIC SIGNALIZATION: BAY HILL BLVD AT FALCON LANDING BLVD. A pre-bid conference will be conducted on Thursday, February 9, 2012 at 10:00 AM (CST). The prebid conference will be held at Fort Bend County Purchasing Department located in the Travis Annex at 301 Jackson, Suite 201, Richmond, TX. All bidders are encouraged to attend. 2. BID 12-031 – TRAFFIC SIGNALIZATION: WEST AIRPORT AT OLD RICHMOND RD. A pre-bid conference will be conducted on Thursday, February 9, 2012 at 10:30 AM (CST). The prebid conference will be held at Fort Bend County Purchasing Department located in the Travis Annex at 301 Jackson, Suite 201, Richmond, TX. All bidders are encouraged to attend. Unit pricing is required; payment will be by check after products/services are rendered. Bonds are required. Fort Bend County reserves the right to reject any or all bids. Signed: Gilbert D. Jalomo, Jr., Purchasing Agent Fort Bend County, Richmond, Texas LEGAL NOTICE INVITATION TO BIDDERS Sealed Bids will be received in the Office of Gilbert D. Jalomo, Jr., County Purchasing Agent, Fort Bend County, Travis Annex, 301 Jackson, Suite 201, Richmond, TX 77469 for the following until THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2012 at 1:30 P.M. (CST). All bids will then be publicly opened and read in the Office of the Purchasing Agent, Travis Annex, 301 Jackson, Suite 201, Richmond, TX 77469. Bids received after the specified time will be returned unopened. BID 12-018 – WIDENING OF HARLEM ROAD AT HIGHWAY 90A A pre-bid conference will be conducted on Thursday, February 9, 2012 at 9:00 AM (CST). The pre-bid conference will be held at Fort Bend County Purchasing Department located in the Travis Annex at 301 Jackson, Suite 201, Richmond, TX. All bidders are encouraged to attend. Unit pricing is required; payment will be by check after products/services are rendered. Bonds are required. Fort Bend County reserves the right to reject any or all bids. Signed: Gilbert D. Jalomo, Jr., Purchasing Agent Fort Bend County, Richmond, Texas PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE The Commissioners Court of Fort Bend County, Texas has set a public hearing on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. for acceptance of the traffic study for Five Oaks Lane at Five Oaks Drive within Sienna Village of Shipman’s Landing, Section 11, Precinct 1. The hearing will be held in the Commissioners Courtroom, 309 South Fourth St., Suite 700, William B. Travis Bldg., Richmond, Texas. You are invited to attend and state your approval or objection on this matter. Submitted by, Dianne Wilson Fort Bend County Clerk PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE The Commissioners Court of Fort Bend County, Texas has set a public hearing at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 for replat of Fulbrook, Section 4A, Replat of Lots 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 of Block 1, Precinct 3. The hearing will be held in the Commissioners Courtroom, William B. Travis Bldg., 309 S. Fourth St., Rm. 700, Richmond, Texas. Under state law, you the owner, have certain rights with respect to the proposed replat. Should you wish to exercise your right, you may be heard at the planned public hearing. You may contact David Leyendecker with Clay & Leyendecker at 281-391-0173 for information prior to the hearing. Submitted by, Dianne Wilson Fort Bend County Clerk

Qualified companies are invited to submit proposals to Stafford Municipal School District for General Supplies, RFP# 20120017, at the Stafford MSD administration building conference room in Stafford, Texas before 10:00 a.m. local standard time on the 9th day of February, 2012. Bid document can be found on the District’s website.

LEGAL NOTICE REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS OF QUALIFICATIONS Sealed Qualification Statements will be received in the Office of Gilbert D. Jalomo, Jr., County Purchasing Agent, Fort Bend County, Travis Annex, 301 Jackson, Suite 201, Richmond, TX 77469 for the following until THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2012 AT 1:30 P.M. (CST). Q12-022 – PROFESSIONAL LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT SERVICES FOR US 59 BEAUTIFICATION PROJECT Payment will be by check after products/services are rendered. Fort Bend County reserves the right to reject any or all qualification statements received Signed: Gilbert D. Jalomo, Jr., Purchasing Agent Fort Bend County, Richmond, Texas PUBLIC MEETING NOTICE Fort Bend County, in cooperation with the Texas Water Development Board, is performing a Flood Protection Planning Study on Gapps Slough in Precinct 1 and is seeking public input for the study. A “Public Meeting” to receive input, will be held at the George Memorial Library 1st floor meeting room at 6:30 pm on Monday, February 6, 2012. Residents of Royal Lakes Estates, Bridlewood Estates, Summer Lakes, Rivers Mist, Rivers Run and Bonbrook Plantation subdivisions are encouraged to attend, along with representatives of businesses, churches etc. in the vicinity of these subdivisions. For additional information contact Mark Vogler with the Fort Bend County Drainage District at 281-342- 2863. Submitted by, Dianne Wilson Fort Bend County Clerk PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE The Commissioners Court of Fort Bend County, Texas has set a public hearing at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 for replat of Long Meadow Farms Commercial Reserve, Section 4, Partial Replat No. 2, Precinct 3. The hearing will be held in the Commissioners Courtroom, William B. Travis Bldg., 309 S. Fourth St., Rm. 700, Richmond, Texas. Under state law, you the owner, have certain rights with respect to the proposed replat. Should you wish to exercise your right, you may be heard at the planned public hearing. You may contact Jorge DeLaRosa with Costello Inc. at 713-783-7788 for information prior to the hearing. Submitted by, Dianne Wilson Fort Bend County Clerk LEGAL NOTICE INVITATION TO BIDDERS Sealed Bids will be received in the Office of Gilbert D. Jalomo, Jr., County Purchasing Agent, Fort Bend County, Travis Annex, 301 Jackson, Suite 201, Richmond, TX 77469 for the following until THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2012 at 1:30 P.M. (CST). All bids will then be publicly opened and read in the Office of the Purchasing Agent, Travis Annex, 301 Jackson, Suite 201, Richmond, TX 77469. Bids received after the specified time will be returned unopened. BID 12-029 – TRAFFIC SIGNALIZATION PROJECT: WESTHEIMER PARKWAY AT SADDLE SPUR A pre-bid conference will be conducted on Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 10:00 AM (CST). The pre-bid conference will be held at Fort Bend County Purchasing Department located in the Travis Annex at 301 Jackson, Suite 201, Richmond, TX. All bidders are encouraged to attend. Unit pricing is required; payment will be by check after products/services are rendered. Bonds are required. Fort Bend County reserves the right to reject any or all bids. Signed: Gilbert D. Jalomo, Jr., Purchasing Agent Fort Bend County, Richmond, Texas

Qualified companies are invited to submit proposals to Stafford Municipal School District for Special Education Supplies, RFP# 2012-0013, at the Stafford MSD administration building conference room in Stafford, Texas before 10:00 a.m. local standard time on the 9th day of February, 2012. Bid document can be found on the District’s website.

Qualified companies are invited to submit proposals to Stafford Municipal School District for Band Instrument Repair and Services, RFP# 2012-0016, at the Stafford MSD administration building conference room in Stafford, Texas before 10:00 a.m. local standard time on the 9th day of February, 2012. Bid document can be found on the District’s website.

Qualified companies are invited to submit proposals to Stafford Municipal School District for Fundraising Supplies and Services, RFP# 2012-0014, at the Stafford MSD administration building conference room in Stafford, Texas before 10:00 a.m. local standard time on the 9th day of February, 2012. Bid document can be found on the District’s website. PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE The Commissioners Court of Fort Bend County, Texas has set a public hearing at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 for Long Meadow Farms Commercial Reserve Sec. 2 Replat No. 3, Precinct 3. The hearing will be held in the Commissioners Courtroom, William B. Travis Bldg., 309 S. Fourth St., Rm. 700, Richmond, Texas. Under state law, you the owner, have certain rights with respect to the proposed replat. Should you wish to exercise your right, you may be heard at the planned public hearing. You may contact Olivia Estrada with Momentum Engineering Co. at 281-741-1998 for information prior to the hearing. Submitted by, Dianne Wilson Fort Bend County Clerk

CONSTABLE’S NOTICE OF SALE Notice is hereby given, that by virtue of a certain WRIT OF EXECUTION issued by the clerk of the COUNTY COURT AT LAW # 1 of Fort Bend County, Texas on DEC 9, 2011 in cause numbered 08CCV037997 styled DODEKA L.L.C. vs. FLOYD N. CARNEY., in which a judgment was rendered on JUNE 23, 2009 in favor of DODEKA L.L.C. for the sum of SEVENTEEN THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED ELEVEN DOLLARS AND ELEVEN CENTS ($17511.11); plus fees for posting notice of sale, publishing, costs of suit rendered by the court, legal fees, and all costs of executing this Writ. I have levied upon the below listed property on DEC 27 , 2011 and will on FEB 7, 2012 Tuesday, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. proceed to sell for cash to the highest bidder, all the Right, Title, and Interest FLOYD N. CARNEY to and in the following described Real Property: QUAIL VALLEY EAST SEC 3, BLOCK 14 ,LOT 66 MORE COMMONLY KNOWN AS 2835 QUIET BEND DR MISSOURI CITY, TEXAS 77489 The above sale to be made by me to satisfy the above described judgment in favor of DODEKA L.L.C, Inc Plaintiff, and the proceeds applied to the satisfaction thereof. LOCATION: FORT BEND COUNTY COURTHOUSE RICHMOND, TX 77469 DATE: FEB 7, 2012 TIME: APPROX. 10:00 am BY: Sergeant M. Kutach TROY E. NEHLS Constable Pct. 4 Fort Bend County, Texas

CAUSE NO. 11-CCV-046701 FORT BEND COUNTY WATER CONTROL AND IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT NO. 2

CONSTABLE SALE Under and by virtue of a Writ of Execution and/or Order of Sale issued on DECEMBER 8, 2011 by the COUNTY COURT AT LAW 1 of Fort Bend County, Texas in Cause #10CCV-043213 in favor of the plaintiff-QUAIL GLEN HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, Inc., plaintiff, for the sum of $2,627.38++++ costs as taxed on said execution and/ or order of sale and further the sum of executing the same. I have levied on DECEMBER 20, 2011 and will offer for sale on the 7TH day of FEBRUARY, 2012 at the County Courthouse steps of Fort Bend County, Texas in the city of Richmond, Texas between the hours of Ten O’clock A.M. and Four O’clock P.M., and all rights, title, interests, and claims which the said Defendant (s) -NATHAN CAMPBELL had of, in or to the following described Real Property situated in Fort Bend County, Texas; viz: Legal Description: LOT NO. TWENTY (20), BLOCK SIX (6), OF QUAIL GLEN SUBDIVISION, SECTION ONE (1), AN ADDITION IN FORT BEND COUNTY TEXAS, ACCORDING TO THE MAP OR PLAT THEREOF RECORDED IN VOLUME 21, PAGE 16 OF THE MAP RECORDS OF FORT BEND COUNTY, TEXAS, COMMONLY KNOWN AS 17103 QUAIL PARK DRIVE, MISSOURI CITY, TEXAS, 77489. (“THE PROPERTY”) TERMS: CASH TIME: Sale to be held at or about 11:00 A.M. Ruben Davis, Constable Fort Bend County Precinct Two By: Lieutenant G. Majors Deputy Constable CONSTABLE SALE Under and by virtue of a Writ of Execution and/or Order of Sale issued on DECEMBER 8, 2011 by the COUNTY COURT AT LAW 1 of Fort Bend County, Texas in Cause #10CCV-043214 in favor of the plaintiff-QUAIL GLEN HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, Inc., plaintiff, for the sum of $2,913.96++++ costs as taxed on said execution and/ or order of sale and further the sum of executing the same. I have levied on DECEMBER 20, 2011 and will offer for sale on the 7TH day of FEBRUARY, 2012 at the County Courthouse steps of Fort Bend County, Texas in the city of Richmond, Texas between the hours of Ten O’clock A.M. and Four O’clock P.M., and all rights, title, interests, and claims which the said Defendant (s) -GLEN JACKSON AND DONNA JACKSON had of, in or to the following described Real Property situated in Fort Bend County, Texas; viz: Legal Description: LOT NO. THIRTY(30), BLOCK SIX (6), OF QUAIL GLEN SUBDIVISION, SECTION TWO (2), AN ADDITION IN FORT BEND COUNTY TEXAS, ACCORDING TO THE MAP OR PLAT THEREOF RECORDED IN VOLUME 25, PAGE 8 OF THE MAP RECORDS OF FORT BEND COUNTY, TEXAS, COMMONLY KNOWN AS 17311 ARTWOOD DRIVE, MISSOURI CITY, TEXAS, 77489. (“THE PROPERTY”) TERMS: CASH TIME: Sale to be held at or about 11:00 A.M. Ruben Davis, Constable Fort Bend County Precinct Two By: Lieutenant G. Majors Deputy Constable

CONSTABLE SALE Under and by virtue of a Writ of Execution and/or Order of Sale issued on NOVEMBER 4, 2011 by the 434TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT of Fort Bend County, Texas in Cause #10-DCV-182855 in favor of the plaintiff-DOVE COUNTRY HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, Inc., plaintiff, for the sum of $3,966.63++++ costs as taxed on said execution and/or order of sale and further the sum of executing the same. I have levied on NOVEMBER 22, 2011 and will offer for sale on the 7TH day of FEBRUARY, 2012 at the County Courthouse steps of Fort Bend County, Texas in the city of Richmond, Texas between the hours of Ten O’clock A.M. and Four O’clock P.M., and all rights, title, interests, and claims which the said Defendant (s) -MUSA GAURBA had of, in or to the following described Real Property situated in Fort Bend County, Texas; viz: Legal Description: LOT NO. THIRTEEN (13), BLOCK SIX (6), REPLAT OF DOVE COUNTRY, A SUBDIVISION, IN FORT BEND COUNTY TEXAS, ACCORDING TO THE MAP OR PLAT THEREOF RECORDED IN VOLUME 22, PAGE 49 OF THE PLAT RECORDS OF FORT BEND COUNTY, TEXAS, THE COMMON ADDRESS OF WHICH IS 607 OAK DALE DRIVE, STAFFORD, TEXAS 77477. TERMS: CASH TIME: Sale to be held at or about 11:00 A.M. Ruben Davis, Constable Fort Bend County Precinct Two By: Lieutenant G. Majors Deputy Constable

COUNTY COURT AT LAW NUMBER TWO OF

VS.

FORT BEND COUNTY, TEXAS UNKNWON HERIS OF JOHN NANEZ, DECEASED, ET UX., ET AL. BRIEF ON PRECEPT BY PUBLICATION In the name and by the authority of the State of Texas Notice is hereby given to the following Defendants: TO: The Unknown Heirs of John Nanez and Martina Castillo Nanez You are commanded to appear before the Special Commissioners appointed by the Judge of the Fort Bend County Court at Law No. 2, on Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at 9:30 a.m., at the George Memorial Library, 1001 Golfview Road, Richmond, Texas 77469, who shall then and there assess the value of the property belonging to Defendants which are sought to be condemned by Plaintiff, in Fort Bend County Water Control and Improvement District No. 2 vs. Unknown Heirs of John Nanez, Deceased, et ux., et al; Cause No. 11-DCV-046701, wherein Fort Bend County Water Control and Improvement District No. 2 is the Plaintiff, and the Unknown Heirs of John Nanez, Deceased, the Unknown Heirs of Martina Castillo Nanez, Deceased, and Fort Bend County Tax Assessor-Collector are Defendants. Plaintiff ’s Original Statement and Petition for Condemnation, filed on November 29, 2011, discloses that the nature of the suit is a condemnation case. Plaintiff seeks to acquire fee simple title to the real property situated in Fort Bend County, Texas in the William Neal Survey, Abstract 64 in Fort Bend County, Texas, more particularly described in the Warranty Deed attached Exhibit A to Plaintiff ’s Original Statement and Petition for Condemnation. Attorney for Plaintiff are Joyce, McFarland+McFarland LLP, Elly D. Austin, 712 Main Street, Suite 1500, Houston, Texas 77002. Issued and given under my hand and seal of said Court in the City of Richmond, Fort Bend County, Texas on this the 6th day of January 2012. Hon. Dianne Wlison, Clerk of Fort Bend County, Texas, Christina A. Martinez, Deputy, 301 Jackson Street, Suite 101 Richmond, Texas 77469-3108.

CONSTABLE’S NOTICE OF SALE Notice is hereby given, that by virtue of a certain Order of Sale issued by the clerk of the 434th District Court of Fort Bend County, Texas on November 9th, 2011 in cause numbered 11DCV189810 styled Summerfield Estates Homeowners Assoc vs. Flavia L. Thomas, in which a judgment was rendered on September 30th, 2011 in favor of Summerfield Estates Homeowners Assoc for the sum of Nine Hundred Three Dollars and Twenty Six Cents ($903.26); plus fees for posting notice of sale, publishing, costs of suit rendered by the court, legal fees, and all costs of executing this Writ. I have levied upon the below listed property on December 14, 2011 and will on February 7th, 2012 Tuesday, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. proceed to sell for cash to the highest bidder, all the Right, Title, and Interest of Flavia L. Thomas to and in the following described Real Property LOT Three (3), BLOCK Four (4) OF Summerfield, Section 1, an Addition IN FORT BEND COUNTY, TEXAS, ACCORDING TO THE MAP OR PLAT THEREOF RECORDED IN SLIDE NO. 1294/A OF THE PLAT RECORDS OF FORT BEND COUNTY, TEXAS, (THE PROPERTY) ALSO KNOWN AS : 3127 Pheasant Trail Drive, SUGAR LAND, FORT BEND COUNTY, TEXAS 77478 The above sale to be made by me to satisfy the above described judgment in favor of Summerfield Estates Homeowners Assoc, Plaintiff, and the proceeds applied to the satisfaction thereof. LOCATION: FORT BEND COUNTY COURTHOUSE RICHMOND, TX 77469 DATE: February 7, 2012 TIME: APPROX. 10:00 am BY: SHANE STEELE Troy Nehls, Precinct 4 CONSTABLE Fort Bend County


Invited: Older Cancer Survivors to Participate in a Nursing Research About Telephone Counseling and Physical Activity

The purpose of this research is to see if telephone counseling will improve older adult cancer survivorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; physical activity. Most cancer survivors do not get enough physical activity, especially if they are older. The researcher is a geriatric nurse practitioner at a major cancer center and a current PhD student at The University of Texas at Tyler. Persons eligible to participate: Current or Former Military Nurses x Age 60 and over x Completed treatment for cancer x Willing to talk with a nurse on the phone about their physical activity

Completing surveys at the beginning and end of the study will take about 10-15 minutes. Phone calls, for those assigned to receive telephone counseling, will take about 10 minutes each week for four weeks. If you would like more information about this study, please contact: Ellen C. Mullen, PhD(c), RN emullen@patriots.uttyler.edu or ellenmullen111@yahoo.com

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Participants will receive an appreciation gift and a chance to win a $150 gift card.


FEBRUARY 1, 2012 • INDEPENDENT • Page 7

MEDICINE: Surgical Robotics at Methodist Hospital

In 2010 Methodist Sugar Land Hospital (MSLH) was the first to bring robotic surgery to Fort Bend County and recently MSLH expanded on that technology with an upgrade to the da Vinci® SI Surgical Robot which includes fluorescence imaging technology. The da Vinci SI Surgical Robot allows surgeons to see and assess anatomy better than the naked eye, further enhancing the unmatched vision, precision and control of surgical robotics. The robotic system is guided by a surgeon and uses a minimally invasive technique, which entails smaller incisions and less damage to surrounding tissue compared to traditional surgery. Surgeons are able to perform major surgeries through dime-sized incisions, which require only one or two stitches to close. As a result, patients can return to their normal activities in one to two weeks and are at much lower risk of developing infection. This new upgrade is instrumental in the treatment of renal tumors which may spare kidney cancer patients an increased risk of life-long dialysis. Using the recently acquired da Vinci SI Surgical System, Dr. John Boon and Dr. Henry Pham, board certified urologists on

John Boon, M.D. and Henry Pham, M.D. staff at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, can remove the tumor affecting the kidney and leave the healthy tissue. Patients can then often avoid the increased risk of organ failure that results from having a single healthy kidney. “We are pleased to be the first in the region to offer this ground-breaking technology to our patients and the community we serve,” said Dr. Boon. “Not only will it further enhance our established surgical robotics program, but it will also result in improved outcomes for our patients.”

“Precision is the word that best summarizes surgical robotics,” said Dr. Pham. “With increased visibility, better instruments and a highly-trained team, we can do the best job with the bonus of minimal disturbance to the rest of the body.” Using sophisticated techniques and specialized tools such as fluorescence imaging and high definition monitors, surgeons in many specialties can perform major surgeries with the most accuracy possible. The surgeon’s skill, complemented by the robot’s preci-

sion, offers benefits to patients undergoing surgery in a growing number of specialties. “This new acquisition complements our goal of extending minimally invasive surgery to the broadest possible base of patients,” said Becky Chalupa, Associate Chief Nursing Officer. “It can be used for a multitude of procedures, including, but not limited to: prostatectomy (removal of the prostate), nephrectomy (removal of the kidney), hysterectomy (removal of the uterus), myomectomy (removal of uterine fibroids), coronary artery bypass, mitral valve repair and colorectal surgery.” “The robotics program is a continuation of Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s commitment to bringing the medical center home to Fort Bend County, as well as finding and applying the most precise, most beneficial surgical techniques to put patients on a quicker road to recovery with better outcomes,” said Dr. Pham. To make an appointment with Dr. Boon, Dr. Pham or other specialists using robotics technology, call Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s physician referral line 281-274-7500 or visit MethodistSugarLand. com.

AUTOMOBILE: Chevrolet Equinox

ular unleaded fuel, E85 ethanol or a combination of both. The optional and larger 3.0-liter V-6 engine is available on LT and LTZ models and delivers 25 mpg on the highway. This engine, which makes 264 horsepower, is also FlexFuel-capable. Both engines are paired with a sixspeed automatic transmission. The exterior of the Equinox features Chevy’s signature two-tier grille and gold bowtie insignia, strong fender shapes, distinctive roofline, wraparound headlamps and dual round taillamps. There’s also wraparound rear side glass and wheels at each corner for a more aggressive appearing stance. Inside the Chevy Equinox

has a remote starting system that also activates the climate control system. There are also optional heated seats and ice-blue ambient lighting accentuates key areas of the cabin and provides an upscale look. Standard MultiFlex rear seat capability allows the seat to be moved fore or aft nearly eight inches. With the 60/40 split-back rear seat moved all the way forward, the cargo area measures 31.4 cubic feet. A segment-exclusive is the rear programmable power liftgate. A range of standard and optional audio systems are available including a premium Pioneer system with up to eight speakers and 250 watts of output.

The Chevrolet Equinox comes with four-wheel independent suspension and rackmounted electronic power steering on 2.4L-equipped models and hydraulic power rack-and-pinion steering on 3.0-liter V-6-equipped models. Standard electronic stability control and rollover mitigation technology help keep the Equinox in its intended path during an emergency maneuver and trailering anti-sway control and hill hold assist are also included safety features. More standard equipment on the Equinox includes fourwheel anti-lock brakes with traction control and electronic brake force distribution and a 2.4-liter engine. The optional 3.0-liter V-6 adds $1,500 to the price. Both engines feature fuel-saving direct injection and continuously variable valve timing technology. The retail sticker price on the 2012 Chevrolet Equinox is $29,140. Options on the test drive added $3,590 and included the V6 engine, a color touch navigation radio with seven-inch screen CD/ MP3 player, auxiliary input and USB port, lane departure warning and 18-inch wheels.

The first ever baseball game to be played at Constellation Field will feature two Sugar Land High School teams, Fort Bend Independent School District’s William P. Clements High School and John Foster Dulles High School, on Saturday, April 21. “It is only appropriate that the community’s stadium open with two Sugar Land high schools playing a baseball game,” said Matt O’Brien, President of the Sugar Land Skeeters. “This event is the first of many community events that will take place at the stadium.” The Dulles Vikings have advanced to the State playoffs the last five years. The Vikings are looking to avenge two losses from Clements last year. “The opening of the new ballpark for the Skeeters is an important event for the city of Sugar Land and the surrounding communities,” said Clinton Welch, Head Baseball Coach for Dulles High School. “The Dulles baseball program is excited to be taking part. Our players will be able to take their own kids to this ballpark someday and share that they played the first game in the stadium’s history.” Last season the Clements Rangers advanced to the State playoffs for the fifth consecutive year and tenth time in the last 14 years. The school is the two-time defending District 23-5A Champions. “Having the opportunity to play Dulles at Constellation Field will be a memory these kids will never forget,” said Israel De Los Santos, Head Baseball Coach for Clements High School. “I think it’s great that Clements and Dulles, two of the original Sugar Land high schools, are going to be able to open up the new stadium. That is a tremendous honor for me and all the other coaches before me who helped build the Clements Rangers’ program.” Tickets for the event will be available at each of the participating schools and the Skeeters Ticket Office in mid-March. Parking for the event will be free. The Skeeters will donate a percentage of the ticket proceeds back to the Fort Bend ISD Athletic Department. Capacity of the event will be limited to 5,000 people. The Skeeters will throw their first pitch Opening Day, April 26, at 7:05 p.m. as minor league baseball makes its professional debut in Houston. The Skeeters will open its Inaugural Season by playing host to the two-time defending Atlantic League champion York (Pa.) Revolution in a four-game series April 26-29. If you would like to book your sporting event, banquet or other non-game day event with the Skeeters, call 281-240-4487.

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By BARBARA FULENWIDER The Chevrolet Equinox crossover was designed and built for customers who want the versatility of an SUV and the efficiency and maneuverability of a smaller vehicle. The Equinox seats five and is available in LS, LT and LTZ models with available allwheel drive. New on the 2012 Chevrolet Equinox crossover vehicle is a rear-view camera; seveninch color touch screen radio with USB port; Bluetooth for phone (via OnStar) including steering wheel with redundant controls; 18-inch chromeclad aluminum wheels; blind spot mirrors standard on all models; lane departure warning and forward collision alert available on LTZ when equipped with the optional V-6 engine, and FlexFuel capability available on the 2.4-liter engine. When equipped with the standard Ecotec 2.4-liter direct-injected engine, the front wheel drive Equinox gets an EPA-estimated 32 mpg on the highway, which means the driver can travel up to 600 miles on a single tank of gas. The 2.4-liter engine makes 182 horsepower. For 2012, this engine adds FlexFuel so it can run on reg-

Skeeters host Clements, Dulles

$349,500. Crown Jewel – 3/4 Bedrooms/4.5 Bathrooms. Executive Series. 1 1/2 story with upstairs gameroom on wooded lot. Huge master closet. Gorgeous 3/4 acre lot backing wooded reserve. Covered Patio. Hardwd floors. Gourmet Kitchen w/granite

$900,000. 47 Commanders Cove 5 Bedrooms/5 Full & 2 Half Bathrooms. Quality abounds in this most magnificent Tuscany Stucco! Designed to provide amazing views from every room!

$450,000. 8615 Halls Retreat, Missouri City - 4 bedroom/4 bathroom. HUGE STORY 2 STUDY. MASTER RETREAT WITH HIS/HER CLOSETS. MASTER BATH FEATURES JACUZZI TUB & HIS/HER SINKS W/ PREMIER GALAXY GRANITE. LARGE OPEN ISLAND KITCHEN W/ 6 GAS BURNERS. STAINLESS STEEL APPLIANCES, CUSTOM CABINETS & WALK-IN PANTRY.

$162,900. 5819 La Crema – 3 Bedroo2ms/2 Bathrooms. This impeccably maintained home features a great open floor plan w/ an extended tile entry, central kitchen w/ Corian counter tops, breakfast bar, large breakfast nook, and a charming front porch. Home has 2’’ blinds throughout.

$209,500.3006 Lake Estates – 4 Bedrooms/2.5 Bathrooms. Beautiful David Weekley. Travertine throughout. Crown Molding. Hi ceilings. Gourmet Island Kitchen updated w/ rare granite, stainless appliances., double ovens, bow-bay window .& built-in microwave. Breakfast area w/oversized windows

$549,900. 6806 Peatwood Way – 5 Bedrooms/3.5 Baths. Home sits on a large corner lot. Great floor plan at an amazing price. Home is in great condition and has been updated with wood flooring, stainless appliances, granite countertops, island kitchen.

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Page 8 â&#x20AC;˘ INDEPENDENT â&#x20AC;˘ FEBRUARY 1, 2012

News

FBCORPS presents new home to Kendleton resident

Kendleton Mayor Humphries and Commissioner Richard Morrison assist Ms. Jones with the ribbon cutting. Photo by: Keely Aust On Thursday, Jan. 26 the Fort Bend CORPS hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony for the completion of its third Neighborhood Stabilization Program home in Fort Bend County. The third of seven homes being built by Fort Bend CORPS is being funded through a cooperative HUD grant program administered by Fort Bend County Community Development. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The CORPS is the only non-profit in the nation using NSP funds to effectively cleanup blighted properties and re-construct them into new homes,â&#x20AC;? said Ron Castillo, Executive Director. The home was constructed using green building materials and energy star rated appliances. It is a total of 1,118 square feet with central heat and air, solar powered attic ventilation system, two bedrooms with a study, including an ADA accessible bathroom and a large front porch complete with energy star ceiling fans. In attendance during this event was the homeowner Ms. Cora Jones, friends and family, County Commissioner Precinct 1, Richard Morrison and City of Kendleton Mayor, Daryl Humphries and members of City Council.

Riverstone ranks 15th among nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s MPCs

Riverstone was just ranked among the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 15 top-selling master-planned communities for 2011, on a list compiled by John Burns Real Estate Consulting. Well-known production and custom builders have completed well over 1,000 homes in the development. Record-breaking 2011 sales The Fort Bend community September of that year. Just have resulted in Riverstone posted 302 sales last year, a over a decade later, builders being listed among the na- 35 percent increase over 2010 have started more than 1,760 tionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 15 top-selling master- sales of 225 homes. homes and closed more than planned communities for â&#x20AC;&#x153;Last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sales were fu- 1,640. More than 5,000 resi2011, as compiled by John eled by historically low inter- dents now call Riverstone Burns Real Estate Consulting. est rates and increased devel- home. â&#x20AC;&#x153;What a decade it was,â&#x20AC;? opment activity in Riverstone, as builders built more homes Wilcox said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen this in more neighborhoods and community grow and prosper saw a return on their invest- and we anticipate continued ment,â&#x20AC;? said Tom Wilcox, gen- success.â&#x20AC;? Riverstone already has aneral manager of Riverstone. Riverstone ranked 16th nounced the opening of a new on a list of top-selling U.S. neighborhood this year, Avamaster-planned communities lon at Riverstone, as well as compiled by Metrostudy last plans for a third recreation year. Riverstone has consis- center, to be built on a new tently ranked among the top section of University Bou10 master-planned communi- levard slated for completion this summer. ties in Houston. For more details on RiverA project of The Johnson Development Corp., stone, located on Highway 6 Riverstone opened in 2001 just three miles south of U.S. and recorded its first sale in 59, visit www.riverstone.com.

The house, before renovation, left; after renovation, right.

Republican Primary April 3, 2012

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Fort Bend County Grand Old Party

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Fort Bend Independent