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VOL 4 No 10
FORT BEND FAIR. BALANCED. INFORMATIVE. WEDNESDAY, MARCH 9, 2011
P. O.BOX 623, SUGAR LAND, TX 77487-0623
Official newspaper of Fort Bend County, Missouri City & Sugar Land
Empty Bowls benefit dinner
Pictured holding “empty bowls” in front of the giant portrait of Elvis eating a fish taco are Brooks family members - (back row) Leah, Drake, Jeff & Wendy Brooks, Berryhill owners; (front row) Jessica Brooks, Vickie Coates, Executive Director, EFBHNM, and Cole Brooks. East Fort Bend Human Needs Ministry, Inc. will be hosting the second Annual Empty Bowls Benefit Dinner on Sunday, April 3, from 6-8 p.m. at Sugar Land Baptist Church (formerly Williams Trace Baptist Church). Empty Bowls 2011 is a way for the community to come together to help Fort Bend County families who are struggling to provide basic necessities of life – food and shelter. Guests will be served a simple meal of soup and bread as a reminder of families in Fort Bend County who are living with hunger and poverty. Although the meal may be “simple” the soup will be delicious! Local restaurants will be providing the tasty soups - Berryhill Baja Grill, Fish City Grill, Black-eyed Pea, Sweet Tomatoes and Carino’s Italian are just a few of the participating restaurants. All proceeds from Empty Bowls 2011 will benefit East Fort Bend Human Needs Ministry, Inc. Tickets for the event are $25 per person and may be purchased at EFBHNM, 435 Stafford Run Rd. in Stafford. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Auction items are appreciated. For more information contact Connie Esposito at 281-261-4902 or Connie@HumanNeeds.org.
10701 Corporate Drive, #282, Stafford, TX 77477 Mailing Address: P.O. Box 623, Sugar Land, TX 77487 Seshadri Kumar Publisher & Editor
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.
FBISD approves zoning plans after heated debate By SESHADRI KUMAR Fort Bend ISD board of trustees Monday night approved the partial re-zoning of elementary, middle and high school attendance zones as presented by the administration at various public hearings, with one minor change. The efforts of Riverstone, Lake Colony and Heritage Colony residents to remain in the Clements High School zone instead of moving to Elkins failed. The votes were not unanimous and board members offered several amendments to each zoning proposal, which compounded the confusion. Trustee Daniel Menendez offered an amendment to adopt the high school rezoning as presented, with the only change affecting 33 students in Quail Green South. His amendment was carried which, effectively killed Trustee Laurie Caldwell’s new proposal to retain Lake Colony and Heritage Colony in Clements’ zone and shift some
students North of Cartwright Road in Quail Valley area from Elkins to Marshall and Willowridge High Schools. Menendez then sought to grandfather the rising 9th, 10th and 11th graders in their existing campuses which would have delayed the re-zoning by a year or more, thus defeating the whole purpose of re-zoning. Consequently, his amendment did not win a majority support. Similarly, his amendment and Trustee Jim Rice’s amendment to grandfather rasing third and fourth graders at their elementary campuses also failed. In the middle school re-zoning, the proposal allows current seventh graders the option of staying in their current campus or moving to the new campus. The board approved a motion to allow the same option to the current sixth graders as well. During the discussion, Trustee Marilyn Glover took exception to some e-mails she received with racial overtones
suggesting that those parents would not want their children to go to Elkins with black kids. Glover described it as bullying and offensive. She did not name the subdivision, but was apparently alluding to some in a section of Riverstone. Trustee Jim Babb also said he received similar e-mails, and did not approve of it, but he believed the whole district needs to be re-zoned. He also said the zoning process was flawed and it did not allow for proper public input. He questioned the current practice where people at a town meeting are required to give their comments in writing. “People can’t put their passion in paper,” Babb said. He said the meetings could have been video taped or the trustees should have been present at the public hearings. At this point, as trustees cross talked over each other, Babb went into an outburst against defending the current zoning process and said that
an election is coming and there will be change. Superintendent Tim Jenney asked if he was threatening the administration and before the verbal exchange went further, the school board counsel intervened and advised members to speak only when they are recognized by the president. Earlier, during public comments, speaker after speaker, urged the board not to carry out the re-zoning in a piecemeal fashion. Speakers also pointed out how the proposed plan violated every criterion established by the board. A couple of speakers, however, supported the district’s proposal to rezone a section of Riverstone from Clements to Elkins High School. Board President Sonal Bhuchar agreed that there is a need to review the zoning process and the consensus is to establish a new system that would allow for active community input.
School board prepares for layoffs, offers incentive for voluntary retirement
By SESHADRI KUMAR Fort Bend ISD board of trustees on Monday adopted resolution declaring financial exigency and the need for program change and reduction in force, affecting employment. Trustees Daniel Menendez and Jim Babb opposed the move to declare a financial exigency. Board President Sonal Bhuchar gave the background for the proposed resolution declaring financial exigency. The board is adopting this step early so that the reduction in force can take place at the appropriate time and the affected people will have adequate notice. The State Comptroller has released a state revenue estimate for the upcoming bien-
nium which shows that the state could face a shortfall of $22 to $27 billion during the upcoming biennium. The initial budget recommendations from the Texas House of Representatives and Texas Senate include reductions in state funding for public education up to $9.9 billion during the biennium. The district has been working with school finance experts and is developing budget scenarios for shortfalls of $29.6 to $73.9 million in the upcoming budget year. The district is attempting to address the potential shortfall by reducing expenditures in all areas and reducing personnel through attrition. However, the failure of the state to act and to provide the
district with a firm budgetary number has resulted in the need for a Board resolution declaring financial exigency and the need for program change and reorganization, which is required by Board Policy prior to a reduction in force. This will allow the district to meet upcoming notice deadlines for the non renewal and termination of contracts and to restructure its programs to allow the district to remain fiscally sound. Declaration of financial exigency paves the way for the administration to prepare its layoff list. According to one estimate, 1,000 employees may be laid off by FBISD. But, a final number will emerge after the
administration conducts an evaluation by mid-April. In another related action, the board approved a plan for resignation incentive for librarians and classroom teachers not teaching in the acute shortage areas of high school science, high school mathematics, foreign language, and deaf education. It is believed that offering a resignation incentive will prompt employees planning to resign effective the end of the school year to submit their resignations earlier. This will assist the District with staffing plans for 2011-12. The resignation incentive is 10 percent base pay for announcing resignation during the period of March 8 through April 25, 2011.
WCJC’s Stripling unearths Roman bath house in Jordan Wharton County Junior College’s winter break proved to be a treasure trove for Dr. Scott Stripling, WCJC professor of English and humanities. In addition to serving as a visiting professor of archaeology at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, he helped prove the existence of a Roman bath house at Jordan’s Tall el-Hammam Excavation Project. Always fascinated by ancient near East and Biblical history, the Sugar Land resident began participating in excavation projects in 1994 after copious reading was unable to fulfill his appetite for understanding. “When we read a text, whether it’s from the Bible or ancient Egypt, it’s important
to know the real life context behind it,” said Stripling, who holds a doctorate degree with an emphasis in ancient near eastern archaeology. He is currently writing his Ph.D. dissertation for another doctorate degree, this time from Trinity Southwest University. For the past seven years, Stripling has participated in winter and summer archeological digs and now serves as senior field staff at Tall elHammam. Last summer he met Shimon Gibson, a Senior Associate Fellow at the W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeo- WCJC instructor Scott Stripling helped prove the existence of logical Research, who invited a Roman bath house at the Tall el-Hammam Excavation Projhim to lecture at Hebrew Uni- ect in Jordan during the college’s winter break. versity. honored to be a guest lecturer internationally-known arche“I was very humbled and because the other lecturers are ology scholars,” said Strip-
ling. His lecture at Hebrew University, entitled “Daily Life at Tall el-Hammam,” was based on his forthcoming article on the same topic in Levant, a major archeological journal. Joining Stripling in his journeys were volunteer excavators and fellow WCJC employees Katherine Shoppa and Tracy Stripling. While Stripling never tires of seeing the transformation of his helpers, his recent discovery of the Roman bathhouse certainly is the pinnacle of his six seasons at Tall el-Hammam. “We’ve always suspected it was a bath house, but we were able to prove it this last time,” said a joyous Stripling. “We have a beautiful Roman bath house that’s probably 40
by 35 meters. It will probably take another 10 years to finish unearthing it.” During the WCJC holiday break, Stripling also supervised the excavation of a Byzantine church and monastery at Khirbet el-Maqatir in Israel. Tall el-Hammam is located in the southern Jordan River Valley, about 14 kilometers northeast of the Dead Sea. Surveys and excavations thus far have revealed a long occupational history at Tall el-Hammam, including the Neolithic and Chalcolithic Periods, the Early, Intermediate, and Middle Bronze Ages, and Iron Age 2 and 3. Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and Islamic occupations are also in evidence.
Page 2 • INDEPENDENT • MARCH 9, 2011
It’s kick off time for Fort Bend GridIron Football League by former Texas A&M and Houston Oiler quarterback Bucky Richardson. “We are excited to kick off our second year in operation with the help and support of Methodist Sugar Land Hospital and Methodist Orthopaedic Specialists of Texas,” Richardson said. “The Methodist organization really believed in our vision for a new community league and our players ben-
Registration is under way for the second season of Fort Bend GridIron Football, sponsored by Methodist Sugar Land Hospital (MSLH) and Methodist Orthopaedic Specialists of Texas (MOST). All students between the ages of 7 and 12 and zoned to the Fort Bend or Lamar Consolidated school districts are eligible to play in the Fort Bend GridIron Football League, which was founded
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efited tremendously from the partnership – from VIP treatment at the Methodist Sugar Land Hospital Emergency Department to the skill and knowledge of the sports medicine experts at MOST.” Richardson said the Fort Bend GridIron Football League will likely triple its membership this year. The league is designed to teach proper football fundamentals in a positive, community-based environment and is affiliated with USA Football, the official youth football organization for the NFL and the NFL Players Association. Methodist Sugar Land Hospital and MOST have a long history of supporting youth sports and keeping young athletes healthy. The partnership with Fort Bend GridIron is just one of the many ways that Methodist Sugar Land Hospital and MOST support youth sports throughout the community. Through its sponsorship of Fort Bend GridIron Football, MOST provides the league with a medical advisory team of physicians, athletic trainers and physical therapists that offer information and assistance to players and their families. During the football season, MOST staffs weekly walk-in sports medicine clinics for the
Top Row L-R: Lowell Stanton, CFO at MSLH; Bucky Richardson, founder for the league; Gary Remy, board member and coach; Alex O’Saw, coach; Sean Croft, Director of Rehab Services at MSLH. Middle Row L-R: Angela Byrd, athletic trainer at MOST, Vincent C. Phan, M.D.; Kenneth M. Renney, M.D.; Christopher K. Smith, M.D.; Carl A. Hicks, M.D. and Jerry Meins, athletic trainer at MOST. Bottom Row L-R: John Paul Richardson, Bryson Stewart, Grant Remy and Talyn O’Saw. league. administrators and coaches emergency, imaging and In addition, Fort Bend Grid- receive VIP services at Meth- surgical departments via the Iron Football athletes, parents, odist Sugar Land Hospital’s MSLH Sports VIP Platinum Card. Players receive same-day appointments at Methodist Orthopaedic Specialists of Texas and Methodist Family Medicine Group by scheduling through an assigned outreach coordinator. To register for the upcoming season, visit www.FortBendGridIronFootball.com. For an appointment with a MOST physician, call 281-494-MOST (6678) or for more information about Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, visit MethodistSugarLand.com.
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MARCH 9, 2011 • INDEPENDENT • Page 3
News FCCA cancels splash park project By BARBARA FULENWIDER Prior to the First Colony Community Association’s Feb. 24 board meeting there was some discrepancy about the splash park proposed in the Lakes of Edgewater. Minutes of the January board meeting said the board discussed it but took no action and would take it up again at their February meeting. With the Feb. 24 meeting now come and gone, so is the water park. “We cancelled the Edgewater contract and agreed to take it back up again sometime in the second quarter of this year to resolve what the residents want with what was planned,” said Myatt Hancock, FCCA board president. “The cancellation was “a done deal,” he said, after board members met for a midmonth workshop between board meetings “so we could discuss it on a more casual level. At the workshop we decid-
ed we would cancel the contract at the next board meeting.” The newly elected board member who was also elected board president said there wasn’t any contention at the meeting, which some 40 people attended. “I think this is the best thing concerning the feedback we’ve been getting. “The feedback we’ve been getting from the Edgewater folks reflect the community at large,” Hancock said. The board president said, “I think everyone on the board understood how important it is to engage the people in the neighborhood who will be affected before any amenities will be changed.” Board members voted unanimously to cancel the contract. “Board members are on the same page as far as redesigning the original proposed splash park and making sure it has the backing of the neigh-
borhood,” Hancock said. “The feeling on the board now is that we won’t go forward with something that does not have the support of the neighborhood.” It took a fight that began this past summer between the board and FCCA residents of Edgewater and other nearby neighbors along with the election of three new board members to get the building of the splash park in Edgewater stopped. Residents objected to the design of the splash park and preferred instead to keep their existing park. Residents in other nearby neighbors objected to the planned closing of their neighborhood swimming pool. The building of the splash park and closing of various neighborhood swimming pools are part of an FCCA master park plan that the previous board members appeared as committed to as residents were opposed to.
Even with new board members in place, it initially appears evident that residents will be paying closer attention to what the board does or does not do since 40 people turned out for the February meeting. While at that meeting they saw board members vote to cancel the contract to build the Edgewater splash park and approve building a leisure swimming pool at First Colony’s aquatic center. Hancock said, “We have neighborhood pools in the different areas but this is a larger more centralized facility.” It went forward, according to the board president, because board members “thought it would be desirable to have a marquee pool centralized in First Colony” and that it would enhance the aquatic center park. The cost to add the leisure pool “is close to $4 million,” Hancock said, and added that the price tag includes enlarging the parking area.
Stafford attempts to dilute water district’s powers By BARBARA FULENWIDER Stafford has taken its water dispute with the local water district to the state legislature as it did with the Stafford Municipal School District in 2003. The objective is assuring that now and every year for the next 50 years and beyond Stafford citizens and commercial interests have all the water and sewer capacity needed and more. Stafford Attorney Art Pertile, who is with Olson & Olson, said House Bill 1798, filed by Rep. Ron Reynolds, would allow Stafford to have a say in the Fort Bend County Water Control & Improvement District No. 2 operations when board members take such major actions as taking on more long-term debt, annexing territory, increasing any tax rate or reimbursing any commercial property owner. Also, “increasing water/ sewer rates or selling or leasing water that commits more than 10 percent or more of the district’s surface or ground water.” Any such actions, the bill says, would have to be approved by Stafford City Council as well as the water district board. Mayor Leonard Scarcella, at the Stafford City Council meeting on March 2, ex-
plained that “while the city has about $1 million in debt we have overlapping debt too for being in other entities, such as Harris County, the Houston Port Authority, Fort Bend County, etc. “All of that comes into play any time you look at Stafford’s financial statement,” the mayor said, “because a percentage of their debt is charged against the city.” In other words, if the county passes a bond issue, residents of Stafford, which make up 10 percent of the electorate of the county, would be obligated to pay 10 percent of the principal and interest and that debt has to be on Stafford’s financial statement. Scarcella said that “when the water district has $140 million in debt, which is what they are hoping to have after May, that would mean $112 million would be the obligation of the city of Stafford’s taxpayers. “This is something now that we have no voice in, no seat at the table, and what is most important and a critical factor for the city, is to look at the long term and be able to provide water and serve citizens and future development.” Scarcella pointed out that the total acres in WCID No. 2 are 7,207 and 4,610 of that total or 64 percent are in Stafford.
Also, Stafford’s taxable value is $2.09 billion and WCID’s taxable value is $2.57 billion thanks to all of the city of Stafford being in its boundaries. Sugar Land has 254 acres in WCID No. 2 and Missouri City, 1,801 acres. He said what particularly concerns him is that Missouri City has looked at a plan that would put that city in control of all of the areas within its city limits, and Sugar Land is being “even more aggressive regarding water. They are looking to lease water or water rights from WCID No. 2. “What rights does Stafford have to make sure we have the water and sewer capacity we need for now and to attract the kind of development we want to attract. We have grave concerns about the considerable debt that’s been built up. It becomes incumbent upon this city to see how we can protect our viability and make sure the city has a plan and can grow in a manner that is most beneficial in the long term with water being a critical asset and becoming more scarce.” The mayor continued by saying, “The future of Stafford is on our table tonight.” The filing of HB 1798 “has not made everybody happy but it’s gotten everyone’s attention. We have this strong obligation. WCID No. 2
keeps saying they have a plan but they don’t have a plan in terms of how Stafford is to be protected.” Councilman Cecil Willis noted that in 2004 Stafford citizens adopted the home rule charter, which “talks about (city council) looking at and regulating utilities. We’ve had numerous conversations with all these providers (gas, electric, cable) with the exception of water. Somewhere in the oath of office we each take it states that we have the authority to do what we’re doing.” Mayor Pro Tem Wen Guerra pushed for council having talks with Sugar Land, Missouri City and Meadows Place and WCID No. 2 officials “to try to find out what happy medium the four cities on this end of the county can achieve without hurting each other.” He also said Stafford needs to continue to attract businesses, especially to the island, in order to maintain Stafford’s zero property tax rate. “The bottom line is water and Stafford’s needs.” When all had had their say, Willis made the motion to adopt the resolution supporting HB 1798. It was seconded by Council Member Felecia Evans-Smith and the motion was unanimously approved.
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Sugar Land approves baseball stadium construction contract Sugar Land City Council awarded a $27.9 million contract on March 1 to Barton Malow/Linbeck as the preferred Design/Build contractor for the construction of a minor league baseball stadium northeast of State Highway 6 and U.S. Highway 90A. The stadium is expected to be ready for opening day in April 2012. Fourteen companies submitted proposals for the Design/ Build contract, and Sugar Land selected five finalists in September 2010. A panel that included representatives from City Council, staff and Opening Day Partners conducted interviews leading to the selection of a preferred Design/Build contractor. Design-build is a construction project delivery system where design and construction are contracted through a design-builder who is the general contractor and also the design professional (architect or engi-
neer). This system is used to minimize the project risk for an owner by establishing a guaranteed maximum cost and reduce the delivery schedule by overlapping the design phase and construction phase of a project. Barton Malow Company provides construction management, design-build, program management, general contracting, technology and rigging services throughout North America. With their first sports project – Navin Field in the 1930s, Barton Malow has a rich history of completing some of the most complex sports facilities in the country totaling more than $6 billion in construction. Recent baseball projects include Coolray Field, Medlar Field at Lubrano Park and Goodyear Ballpark. Barton Malow has a staff of more than 1,200 in 13 offices and is headquartered in South-
field, Mich., with annual firm revenues exceeding $1 billion. Linbeck is a Houston-based construction management company offering construction management at-risk, design/ build and related construction services. Since inception in 1938, the company culture is based upon integrity and trust. Using a collaborative TeamBuild® approach and Lean Construction principles, Linbeck helps clients minimize risk and waste to achieve optimal results. Most recently, Linbeck served as the Project Manager/ Tenant’s Representative for the design and construction of Reliant Stadium, a world-class, state-of-the-art multipurpose sports and entertainment facility. Linbeck is ranked among the Top 10 Construction Managers by Building Design & Construction Magazine and among the Top 150 Building Contractors in the USA by En-
gineering News Record. Linbeck operates offices in Texas (Houston and Fort Worth) with operations in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, South Carolina and Utah. The stadium will be funded with a portion of sales tax revenues that may only be used for economic development purposes. No general fund tax dollars will be spent on the stadium. In addition to the stadium serving as a community amenity, a conservative costbenefit analysis performed by Conventions, Sports & Leisure International conservatively estimates the project will generate economic activity annually of approximately $7.7 million or a net return of $169 million over 30 years on the investment of the City and ODP. Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2011 to have the stadium ready for opening day in April 2012.
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Page 4 • INDEPENDENT • MARCH 9, 2011
City and school board elections The View from Sugar Land attract a few contestants Declining dollar causes concern By RUSSELL C. JONES Two weeks after this column raised the question of the ability of the dollar to maintain its global position as the world’s premier reserve currency, the Wall Street Journal last Wednesday picked up the theme and echoed its concern. Although the Journal had previously reported questions of the continuing vitality of the dollar in terms of pricing oil and competing for international trade against the euro, it had not earlier editorialized on the prospects for the ultimate decline of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. Writing for the Journal, Barry Eichengreen, a professor of economics and political science at Berkeley, noted the current dominance of the dollar in international commerce. 85% of foreign exchange transactions world-wide involve dollars. OPEC sets the price of oil in dollars. Half of all international debt securities are denominated in dollars. The majority of foreign reserves held by central banks and governments are dollars. According to Eichengreen, the dollar’s reign as the reserve currency of the world is coming to an end.
Why will it happen? Eichengreen lists several reasons, including increasing liquidity of the euro and Chinese yuan in international markets. But not to be ignored is concern internationally about the federal debt, which is approaching 75% of U.S. gross domestic product. With trillion dollar deficits extending indefinitely into the future and the ever increasing growth of the debt service burden, the likelihood of a decision to repay the debt with inflated dollars cannot be ignored. Dollar securities will become ever less desirable as investments. So why should we care? For starters, the U.S. govern-
Jones ment will not be able to finance its budget deficits so cheaply, requiring U.S. goods to become more competitive on foreign markets. The result will be that the dollar will fall on foreignexchange markets, and foreign products will become more expensive in the U.S. Eichengreen forecasts a decline in the value of the dollar by about 20% resulting simply from the shift away from the dollar as a reserve currency. And that ignores the fact that the inflated dollar will mean reduced value in real terms of Americans’ life savings. While other economists are not so sure of the dollar’s ultimate decline, they tend to base their doubts on the relative illiquidity of the euro, the yuan and other candidates for replacing the dollar. But then, that is what was said about the British pound prior to the end of World War II.
Demonstrations in Saudi Arabia Over the weekend, reports arrived that Shiites were demonstrating in the streets of Qatif, a small city in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia. Qatif was the leading city on the Persian Gulf coast until it was eclipsed in modern times by Dammam and al-Khobar, cities which
service Dhahran, the American capital of Saudi oil. Claiming not to get its due from the Kingdom’s monarchy, Qatif lacks the modernity and urban bustle of its neighbors. The city and its more rural environs contain the largest concentration of Shiites in Saudi Arabia. It is located near the Saudi end of the causeway connecting the Kingdom with Bahrain, the scene of demonstrations last week by the Shiite majority against the Sunni monarchy on that island nation. The bulk of the Kingdom’s population consists of Wahhabis, an extremist form of Sunni Islam. They condemn all Shiites as non-Muslim and are not much more generous even with other Sunnis. Sugar Landers who have spent time in Saudi Arabia are undoubtedly familiar with Qatif. A small scenic port on the Persian Gulf with ancient wooden dhows, Qatif’s relative poverty is on display for all to see. Protests have spread to another ancient town, Hofuf, 50 miles inland. Hofuf is most famous for its fort built by the Ottomans and for having the largest camel market in the eastern province. (A most memorable site is a hobbled camel at the Hofuf market being lifted by a makeshift crane and swung into the bed of a Toyota pickup before being driven across the infinite dunes of the desert.) The demonstrations are more likely demands for the release of political prisoners by the monarchy, rather than an attempt to actually overthrow the government. Don’t expect a Shiite takeover of Saudi Arabia. Jones is a member of the Sugar Land City Council, having been first elected in 2003. He owns a law firm and a title insurance company in Sugar Land.
Musings: Old Guy By JANICE SCANLAN My neighbor, Phil Kraus, is deeply involved in the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on the Carnival Committee, as are many other Fort Bend residents in various capacities and committees. It’s a vast entertainment and fund raising “machine” and many students have attended college because of the work of these numerous volunteers— including my cousin’s son. Phil not only sells his tickets, but he helps out members who, for whatever personal reason, can’t get their job done. Phil sells their tickets as well. And he will go way out of his way to follow through. For example, a group and busload of kids are going to the rodeo. It’s a pretty big order, but the sponsor missed picking the tickets up at Cavender’s where Phil goes every evening from 5 to 7 to deliver and sell tickets. So Phil gets up before dawn (way before) so he can meet the sponsor over on the Gulf Freeway at 7:30 in the morning so the group can leave at 9:30 . . . those are the kind of things volunteers do for the causes they support. In fact, Phil has been doing this do long, that people will come in Cavender’s and ask, “Where’s the old guy?” if Phil’s not there on a certain evening.
Scanlan Well, it’s these old guys and gals, and young ones too, who keep showing up. And there are many needs now. However, there is one need that is shameful for a rich country like America. It’s happening at the largest level since the Great Depression. Hungry people and especially hungry children. And the amount of time people are staying hungry and sometimes homeless is increasing. It’s hitting families. Shelters aren’t set up for families. What families do to stay together is indeed touching. What it does to children makes the heart ache, and truthfully, hard for me to think and write about this morning. More working people, for the first time ever, are in financial crisis. And homelessness has hit the middle class. In East Fort
Seshadri Kumar Publisher & Editor
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Bend we are largely a middle class community with pockets of poverty. The East Fort Bend Human Needs Ministry has been providing food and financial assistance to our Fort Bend neighbors who are in temporary need and have no place to turn. They’ve been doing this service since 1990. It’s a broad based coalition of churches and civic groups that runs the Tri-Cities Resale Shop in Stafford and grants financial assistance to help people get back on their feet. On April 3, they have their annual Empty Bowls 2011 benefit, and need your help to make this benefit a success. Dig into your pocket to give. You may have neighbors in need too proud to tell anyone, but an organization like TriCities. Contact the East Fort Bend Human Needs Ministry at 281 261-4902 or visit Ministry@ HumanNeeds.org. You’ll be glad you helped just like “the old guy” who made sure that a busload of kids, and the scholarship money it brought, enjoyed the rodeo and carnival. Let’s make sure we are helping our neighbors by providing basic human needs and full bowls for our hungry neighbors! Write to janicescanlan@ earthlink.net
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
Less than a week remains before the closing of filings for local city and school board elections. Filings end on March 14 for the May 14 elections. Quite a few new faces are likely to be elected, at least in open seats where the incumbents are term-limited or not seeking re-election. For Sugar Land City Council, the only incumbent seeking re-election is Dist. 1 Councilman Don Smithers. Diana Miller, a Realtor , has filed for Dist. 1. Miller says, “The redevelopment of the Imperial Sugar Mill site is a crucial project to this district and the surrounding neighborhoods. As construction opportunities for developers diminish, they are increasingly seeking higher density projects, as now proposed for this site. I will work for the community to ensure this development remains true to its original presentation to the city in 2007, one that was developed in partnership with District 1 citizens.” She serves on the Texas Association of REALTORS® Land Use Sub-Committee, is a member of the University of Houston Fort Bend Alumni, and served on the UH Sugar Land Building Fund Committee. Dist.2 Councilman Don Olson is not running and for this seat so far only Bridgette Yeung has filed. Dist. 3 Councilman Russell Jones is term-limited. Jim Hoelker and Amy Mitchell have filed for this position. Dist. 4 Councilman Michael Schiff is also term-limited. For this seat, Frank Yonish, Harish Jajoo and Farah Ahmed have filed. Schiff has publicly endorsed Jajoo. In Missouri City, three incumbents Dist. A Councilman Bobby Marshall, Dist.B
Inside Track By Seshadri Kumar Councilman Don Smith and Dist. C Councilman Robin Elackatt have filed for reelection., Dist. D Councilman Brett Kolaja is not seeking re-election. Floyd Emery and Noel Pinnock have filed for this open seat. Kolaja has endorsed Emery. In Fort Bend ISD, election will be held for three seats. There will be at least one new trustee because East side position 5 incumbent Laurie Caldwell is not seeking reelection. Ironically, Jonita Reynolds of Missouri City, who lost to Caldwell in the last election, has now filed for this open seat. Jonita is the wife of State Rep. Ron Reynolds. Patsy Taylor of Fresno has also filed for this position. At large position Trustee Daniel Menendez has filed for re-election. He faces Bruce Albright of Sugar Land and Kevin P. Daniels of Missouri City on the ballot. Westside Position 1 Incumbent Trustee Susan Hohnbaum is seeking re-election and so far no one has filed against her. In the school board, Caldwell made some farreaching proposals during the school re-zoning debate on Monday night. She recommended mov-
ing students in Quail Valley area from Elkins High School to the under-populated Marshall and Willowridge High Schools. She also recommended keeping Heritage Colony and Lake Colony at Clements High School. Since this was a totally new proposal, it did not elicit support from the rest of the board. Also, it would have scuttled the plans to re-purpose Willowridge and Marshall High Schools and Christa McAuliffe Middle Schools. Any of this would have no impact on the election because Caldwell is not running. However, Menendez is the only candidate likely to feel the impact of the current rezoning plans. Though he may have incurred the displeasure of Riverstone, Lake Colony and Heritage Colony residents, for not supporting their demand, he tried to blunt the effect of re-zoning for sometime to come by proposing grandfathering of the 9th graders. But, his proposal did not succeed. It is hard to tell if the current re-zoning will cost the incumbent his seat like some re-zoning battles in the past resulting in the election of new faces. Looking at the complex position taken by various neighborhoods, if you alienate one group, you would become a friend of another, irrespective of the way one voted on the rezoning proposal. Trustee Jim Babb has been very vocal in his criticism of the current administration and fellow board members. Obviously, he is looking for a fellow traveler to win the next election. Will he get one, two or none will be known on May 14. (Send your comments to email@example.com)
Guest Commentary Jumping on a trampoline risky By THOMAS J. PARR, M.D. From time to time, friends and patients will ask me for advice about buying a trampoline for their children to play on in the back yard. My answer has always been to strongly discourage such a purchase. The potential for a devastating injury has always seemed to not be worth the fun of play. But when a nurse’s family asked me about trampolines this past week, I realized I probably ought to provide a better understanding about trampoline hazards. The short answer is neither the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) nor the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) believes a home trampoline is safe. Both professional organizations have formal position papers recommending their physician members discourage such use. The number of children who have ended up in the emergency room because of trampoline injuries has more than doubled in the past decade, with almost all trampoline injuries occurring on home trampolines. Trampoline injuries include fractures or sprains; however, severe spinal cord injuries also occur. Unless you want to risk the possibility that your child or a neighbor’s child could become paralyzed, you should regard a trampoline as being as dangerous as diving into shallow water. According to the U. S. Consumer Product Safety Com-
Parr mission, trampoline injuries and deaths are caused by two persons colliding into each other, by landing improperly while jumping or doing stunts, by falling or jumping off of a trampoline, and by falling on the springs or frame of the trampoline. Businesses which sell trampolines may try to give prospective buyers the impression that having an enclosure around the trampoline will help prevent serious injuries because the jumper cannot bounce off and land on hard ground. Unfortunately, this is not correct. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) says “Safety net enclosures may give a false sense of security. Most injuries occur on the trampoline surface.” The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) strongly believes that a trampoline should never be regarded as play equipment, either in the private home or on a public play ground. Furthermore, the AAP has said “The trampoline should
not be part of routine physical education classes in schools.” According to the AAP and AAOS policies, “even in supervised [gymnastics] training programs, the use of trampolines for children younger than 6 years of age should be prohibited.” If your child really has an interest in learning to use a trampoline, your best option is to enroll him or her in a certified gymnastics training program. Trained instructors will introduce the basics of tumbling and gymnastics skills to your child first, and use the trampoline as part of more advanced gymnastics development when your child is physically ready. Furthermore, your child would always be carefully supervised while on the trampoline as part of his or her gymnastics development. Interestingly, one of the first web sites I found on this subject was a law firm saying they would be happy to help clients who have been injured on trampolines sue the trampoline owners for damages. So, if you currently have a trampoline or are going to buy one, you and your insurance agent need to discuss what is covered in your home owners liability policy. Many policies today have a ‘trampoline exclusion.’ Dr. Thomas Parr, an orthopedic surgeon in Sugar Land, can be reached at 281-4917111.Visit www.tomparrmd. net for more information.
MARCH 9, 2011 • INDEPENDENT • Page 5
NEWS State Bar of Texas honors David Chaumette Sugar Land resident and Houston attorney David A. Chaumette was honored this month by the State Bar of Texas for his exceptional contributions in 2010 to the State Bar’s continuing legal education efforts. Mr. Chaumette received an award from TexasBarCLE, the Bar’s division for providing continuing legal education and one of the premier providers in the nation. Patrick Nester, Director of TexasBarCLE, explained the significance of the award. “All of our volunteers deserve our gratitude for contributing to the continuing education of their peers. Nevertheless, some stand out each year for extraordinary dedication and commitment. We look forward to singling out individuals that not only gave enormously to our efforts, but also were gracious, easy to work with and—oftentimes—helped us out in a real
Chaumette pinch.” A member of the State Bar’s Continuing Legal Education committee, Mr. Chaumette consistently advocated for the importance of fostering diversity in the State Bar’s pool of volunteer speakers. As one of the course directors for last year’s Advanced Civil Trial Course, he also presented at five courses in 2010.
A creative and gifted speaker, Mr. Chaumette is known for his clear and wellorganized delivery of difficult and technically complex material. This comment by an attendee may sum it up the best: “David is an outstanding speaker/communicator on an extremely relevant topic. Thank you for including him in the program.” “Without volunteers,” Nester continued, “CLE from the State Bar couldn’t be nearly as high quality, as abundant, or as affordable. Attorney volunteers are the reason TexasBarCLE can claim the slogan, ‘Education by the Bar, for the Bar.’” The award, a handsome cobalt blue obelisk, is inscribed with “A Standing Ovation for an Outstanding Volunteer of 2010.” It also bears Mr. Chaumette’s name, the logo for the TexasBarCLE, and the seal of the State Bar of Texas.
Marshall seeks re-election Bobby Marshall, Missouri City Councilmember representing District A, has announced he will seek reelection to the Missouri City Council. “I want to thank the residents of District A for the opportunity to serve them and the citizens of Missouri City. It has been an extreme pleasure and rewarding experience representing the District on the Missouri City Council for the past 2 years. I have enjoyed working hard, serving the citizens, fighting for our neighborhoods and the fundamental principles of fiscal responsibility and open governance.” Marshall states “Missouri City is not unlike the rest of the country and is faced with many challenges, especially economic challenges. Fortunately the city has been fiscally conservative with its tax dollars and has maintained a high bond rating. This accountability of all tax dollars is a continued goal of mine. “Missouri City has been my home for 19 years and is a wonderful city to live and work in. There are great opportunities ahead for this city to thrive and prosper. I want to continue to contribute to that future when I am re-elected
Marshall to City Council. I believe my experience and record of service to this community will be invaluable to my continued service to the citizens of Missouri City.” Marshall was appointed to the Missouri City Planning and Zoning Commission in August 2005 and served until his election to Council in 2009. While on Council, Marshall has served on the Missouri City Development Authority Board, the Missouri City Recreation and Leisure Corporation Board and is the Missouri City representative on the Houston-Galveston Area Council (HGAC) Board of Directors. Marshall serves on various committees including: Developer Relations, Eth-
ics, Sidewalks, Solid Waste, Trash Disposal, StaMo, and the Community Development Block Grant Advisory Committee. Marshall also regularly attends the monthly and Annual meetings of the HOA’s in his District, as well as the Fort Bend Mayors and Council Association, and TML District and State meetings and education seminars. “My primary goal is to learn and listen to my constituents and try my best to remedy their concerns. Some of my continued overall goals mirror those of the city: Maintain existing property values and do as much as we can to increase commercial development. This will not only spread the citizen’s tax burden to more entities, but it will give our citizens more opportunity to do business here and keep our tax dollars within the City. I want to improve the development process to make the move to Missouri City a pleasant one for prospective businesses.” Marshall also wants to make sure city services are providing the proper level of service to its citizens. This especially includes full support for our Police and Fire Departments.
Floyd Emery files for Missouri City City Council District D Floyd Emery, a Missouri City retired businessman and homeowner for more than 35 years, filed Friday March 4 for the Missouri City District D City Council seat held for a dozen years by current Mayor Pro-Tem Brett Kolaja. Kolaja is not running for city council this year. “The decision by Council Member Kolaja, my neighbor and friend, not to seek re-election prompted many of our neighbors, friends and family from throughout the district to come to me asking me to seek this seat to continue the respected representation and effective service Council Member Kolaja provided so many years to the citizens of District D,” Emery said. “For decades with my wife and children I have been active in community service in this district including the Missouri City Police Officers Association, Quail Valley Exchange Club, Quail Valley Proud and our Church,” said Emery who is most proud of his recent service as President of Citizens for Missouri City’s Future. Through Citizens for Missouri City’s Future Emery carried a positive message for Missouri City which supported the Texas Parkway/Cart-
Emery wright Corridor initiatives, the positive impact on property values in Missouri City and particularly Quail Valley which the Quail Valley Golf Course has brought while expanding the city’s green space and the growth for the Fort Bend Toll Road/Sienna Town Center Area. As Quail Valley Proud President, Emery directs the neighborhood’s effective Crime Watch program, education awareness programs in local schools, a hotline call center and youth and neighborhood beautification programs. As a lifetime golfer he has served as Tournament Chair for the Missouri City Police Officers Association Annual
Golf Tournament which provides funding for scholarships for deserving youth and other outreach programs and has led other golf tournaments that support local charities and community organizations. Most important to Emery is his wife Linda who he has been best friends with since high school and married to for more than 51 years and their children that grew up in District D attending local Fort Bend schools. “It is with this commitment to family and community and my more than 45 years in business management and marketing with the same successful private company where I excelled in finance, IT and HR areas that are critical for the future of our city that I file for Missouri City Council District D to protect the property and family values that have made Missouri City special for all of us for so long,” Emery said. “I’m gratified to have energetic backing from Council Member Kolaja and from friends and neighbors Mayor Owen and at large Council Members Wyatt and Nguyen especially since while they represent the entire city they do live and vote right here in District D.
County libraries host book fair with Barnes & Noble Fort Bend County Libraries is partnering with Barnes & Noble Booksellers to host a book fair, March 17-24. Proceeds from the book fair will help to enhance the library system’s teen book collections. Fort Bend County Libraries will benefit from purchases made online through the Barnes & Noble Bookfairs webpage throughout the week, or from sales made in person at the Barnes & Noble book store located at First Colony Mall on March 17, 18, and 19. When making a purchase in the store, simply present a Fort Bend County Libraries Bookfair voucher -- with the library’s bookfair identification number on it – to the cashier upon checkout. Vouchers will be available online at the library website, www.fortbend.lib.tx.us, and at all of the library locations. If you forget your voucher, just tell the cashier that you
wish your purchase to benefit the Fort Bend County Libraries Book Fair. You can also shop online at the Barnes & Noble Bookfairs website. From March 17-24, just go to www.bn.com/bookfairs and click on “Start Shopping Now.” Once your selections have been made, proceed to checkout and enter the library’s bookfair identification number from the voucher in the designated area. Refreshments purchased at the bookstore’s café can also benefit the library. Other eligible purchases include NOOK eReaders and their accessories. The book fair will help Fort Bend County Libraries in two ways. First, a percentage of book-fair sales of any item from the book store will benefit the library’s teen book budget. Second, the library will create a wish list of titles to enhance the library’s teen col-
lection. Book-fair supporters may prefer to choose from this wish list books to purchase for the library system. Whether you are choosing a book for yourself or for the library, your purchase will benefit Fort Bend County Libraries. Staff from the library’s Youth Services department will appear at the Barnes & Noble Store at First Colony Mall to facilitate “Teens, Books, and Games” – an afternoon of teen activities -- on Thursday, March 17, beginning at 2 p.m. Teens can compete in a Connect-4 boardgame competition. The grand prize is an autographed copy of the book Mockingjay: The Final Book of The Hunger Games, written by Suzanne Collins. For more information, call the library’s Public Information Office at 281-341-2677, or ask at any of the branch libraries in the Fort Bend County library system.
Skeeters launch online store The Sugar Land Skeeters today announced the launch of the team’s official online merchandise store, with a variety of men’s, women’s and children’s apparel available at the Skeeters’ website, www. SugarLandSkeeters.com. The Houston area’s minor league baseball team will begin play in Spring 2012. The online store currently features a commemorative “St. Patrick’s Day” t-shirt featuring the Sugar Land Skeeter wearing an Irish top hat with a Shamrock background on a green shirt. This commemorative tshirt comes fresh on the heels of the wildly popular “Valentine’s Day” shirt released earlier in the month. The cost of the “St. Patrick’s Day” shirt is $15 with tax included.
The online store has a userfriendly interface, allowing fans to navigate through items by name, price and category. Basic and advanced search options also are available to assist fans in finding particular items. SugarLandSkeeters.com accepts all major credit cards, and returning customers have the option of creating their own personal account to allow for quicker and easier future purchases. Each item has a feedback section, providing
fans the opportunity to comment on their transactions. The Skeeters Pro Shop is located at 16160 City Walk in the Sugar Land Town Square across from the City Hall courtyard, and the organization expects feature items, such as jerseys, to debut this summer. Season tickets for the Sugar Land Skeeters inaugural season are $575 per seat for 70 home games… a bargain at around eight dollars a seat! Sign up for your season ticket priority number today by logging on to www.SugarLandSkeeters.com or call 281.240. HITS (4487). Groundbreaking on StarTex Power Field is set for early April with completion set for April 2012 in time for opening day.
Page 6 • INDEPENDENT • MARCH 9, 2011
Forum on “Green buildings” Lora-Marie Bernard, Executive Director of USGBC Houston Chapter, will be the keynote speaker at the Sugar land Democrats Club at First Colony Library / 2121 Austin Parkway / Sugar Land on Saturday, March 12, 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon. The forum will be “Building Energy Efficient and Sustainable “green” Buildings/ Homes and Communities.” It is a very timely discussion now that the Imperial Redevelopment project is beginning to hold community meetings, says Deron Patterson, co-chair of SLDC. According to Patterson, some environmental issues the City of Sugar Land could implement include: 1) all commercial projects USGBC LEED Silver or higher 2) Baseball stadium and Imperial Redevelopment USGBC LEED Gold or Platinum 3) all residential projects Energy Star highest goal 4) purchase all electricity from renewable energy source pro-
vider i.e. wind and solar. 5) work with all neighboring communities in Fort Bend County and Harris County to give incentives for NRG Energy plant in Thompsons and help the county move the coal fired generators to natural gas. NRG Energy Thompsons plant is the sixth largest polluter of Mercury in the entire nation. To have Thompsons plant move from coal fired to natural gas fired would eliminate the Mercury problem and drastically reduce the SOX and NOX pollutants and earth warming CO2. Moving the plant to gas fired would also eliminate two trains per day moving in and out of Fort Bend County. 6) give economic incentives for energy efficient upgrades and solar panel installations. Lora-Marie Bernard is the Executive Director of the U.S. Green Building CouncilTexas Gulf Coast Chapter. She is a national awardwinning investigative re-
AUTOMOBILE: Jaguar XF
By BARBARA FULENWIDER If you are in the market for a high performing luxury sedan then test drive the Jaguar XF. The XF model came out in 2008 and for 2011 got a 5.0-liter V8 engine that makes 385 horsepower. The naturally aspirated V8 engine has 29 percent more power and 25 percent more torque than in the 2010 XF. Zero to 60 mph acceleration time is 5.5 seconds. Estimated fuel economy is 16 miles to the gallon in city driving and 23 mpg on the highway. The four-door Jaguar XF has the visual excitement of a coupe with room inside for five adults in the wholly contemporary interior. The first impressive element the driver sees is the JaguarDrive Selector transmission interface, which is a transmission shifter that in this case is a large round knob. The cast alloy knob offers a welcoming handshake that starts with the illuminated stop/start button pulsating like a heartbeat until pressed. That’s when the transmission knob rises into the driver’s hand and the rotating facis over the vents silently open. The combination of the aluminum dashboard, satin or gloss wood veneers, tailored instrument panel and door panels with twin-needle stitching, plus the blue halo illumination and interior mood lighting set the XF’s cabin apart. Since the Jaguar XF was first launched it has collected more than 60 global accolades including car of the year in the U.K., “Popular Mechanics” best luxury vehicle and “Car and Driver’s” 10 best cars for 2009 in the U.S. These honors recognize the XF as a sedan that combines innovation with well thought out design. Contemporary, individual and beautifully crafted, with excellent performance, refined powertrains and fine driving dynamics, the XF pushes the boundaries of Jaguar’s new designs. It is a totally modern car that includes advanced technology. Such user friendly technology includes shift-by-wire six speed transmission; cruise control with an automatic speed limiter that you’ll thank the gods Jaguar engineers included; an optional radar-based blind spot monitor that warns the driver when another vehicle is nearby in a different lane, and the XF’s optional rear camera parking aid that while in reverse gives the driver a view of the area behind the car on the color touchscreen. The transmission has a fully-adaptive shift system, which delivers smooth gear changes with optimized performance and economy. The sequential shift has no torque interrupt, which results in an almost instantaneous shift from the time the driver touches the shift paddle to completion of the shift. It also continually adapts to suit the driving style. The mechatronic control module inside the transmission includes the software for the semi-automatic Jaguar sequential shift function, which the driver can select and then use the two steering-wheel paddles. For 2011 there’s also a new navigation system, which includes turn-by-turn instructions in the message center, an acoustic laminated windscreen and multi-way adjustable power seats that are standard on all models and have optional ventilated heated and cooled seats and heated steering wheel. The test drive Jaguar XF came loaded with 320 watt sound system with portable audio interface connections for iPod and MP3 players. With all standard equipment the Jaguar XF Premium retails for $56,500. Standard equipment includes four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock brake system, six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, dynamic stability control, 19-inch wheels, electric park brake, Jaguar drive winter and dynamic modes, anti-theft engine immobilizer, tire pressure monitor system, remote security system, smart key keyless entry and start, xenon headlamps and Sirius satellite service. The Jaguar XF is a marvelous, luxurious ride and a sporty, fun drive.
porter whose environmental/ public affairs articles led to increased air monitoring along the Houston/Galveston Ship Channels and whose crime articles led to the conviction of felony criminals. She is a former communications director of an at-risk school district where her duties included acting as its emergency management spokesperson during major petro-chemical industry explosions. She is also an experienced non-profit community organizer, executive director and fundraising professional. LEGAL 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, Rosenberg Annex, 4520 Reading Road, Suite A, Rosenberg, TX 77471 for the following until THURSDAY, MARCH 31, 2011 at 1:30 P.M. CST). All proposals will then be opened in the Office of the Purchasing Agent, Rosenberg Annex, 4520 Reading Road, Suite A, Rosenberg, TX 77471 and the names of the proposers made public. Proposals received after the specified time will be returned unopened. RFP 11-056– SECURITY SYSTEM FOR MISSOURI CITY ANNEX A Pre-RFP conference with site visits will be conducted on Thursday, March 17, 2011 at 1:30 PM (CST). The preRFP conference will be held at the Fort Bend County Missouri City Annex located at 307 Texas Parkway, Missouri City, Texas. All vendors are encouraged to attend. No additional site visits will be permitted. 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 proposals. Signed: Gilbert D. Jalomo, Jr., Purchasing Agent Fort Bend County, Richmond, Texas LEGAL 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, Rosenberg Annex, 4520 Reading Road, Suite A, Rosenberg, TX 77471 for the following until THURSDAY, MARCH 17, 2011 at 1:30 P.M. CST). All proposals will then be opened in the Office of the Purchasing Agent, Rosenberg Annex, 4520 Reading Road, Suite A, Rosenberg, TX 77471 and the names of the proposers made public. Proposals received after the specified time will be returned unopened. RFP 11-050 – JANITORIAL SERVICE AT JUSTICE CENTER A mandatory pre-RFP conference with site visit will be conducted on Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 3:30 PM (CST). The conference will be held on the first floor of the Parking Garage located next to the Justice Center at 1422 Eugene Heimann Circle, Richmond, TX. All qualified vendors are encouraged to attend. Unit pricing is required; payment will be by check after products/services are rendered. Bonds are not 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 LEGAL NOTICE INVITATION TO BIDDERS Sealed Bids will be received in the Office of Gilbert D. Jalomo, Jr., County Purchasing Agent, Fort Bend County, Rosenberg Annex, 4520 Reading Road, Suite A, Rosenberg, TX 77471 for the following until THURSDAY, MARCH 31, 2011 at 1:30 P.M. (CST). All bids will then be publicly opened and read in the Office of the Purchasing Agent, Rosenberg Annex, 4520 Reading Road, Rosenberg, TX 77471. Bids received after the specified time will be returned unopened. BID 11-052 – CONSTRUCTION OF OLD RICHMOND ROAD FROM VOSS TO WEST AIRPORT A pre-bid conference will be conducted on Thursday, March 17, 2011 at 9:00 AM (CST). The pre-bid conference will be held at the Fort Bend County Purchasing Department located in the Rosenberg Annex at 4520 Reading Road, Rosenberg Texas 77471. 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
She believes LEED buildings are more than just high-performance buildings. They are essential quality of life indicators that can spur cultural transformation and raise the standard of living for every segment of a community. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism at the University 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, Rosenberg Annex, 4520 Reading Road, Suite A, Rosenberg TX 77471 for the following until THURSDAY, MARCH 31, 2011 AT 1:30 P.M. (CST). Q11-057 – DESIGN BUILD EMPLOYEE HEALTH CLINIC A Pre-SOQ conference with site visit will be conducted on Thursday, March 17, 2011 at 11:00AM (CST). The conference will be held at the Fort Bend County Clerk, 301 Jackson, Richmond Texas. All vendors are encouraged to attend. No additional site visits will be permitted. 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 LEGAL 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, Rosenberg Annex, 4520 Reading Road, Suite A, Rosenberg, TX 77471 for the following until THURSDAY, MARCH 31, 2011 at 1:30 P.M. CST). All proposals will then be opened in the Office of the Purchasing Agent, Rosenberg Annex, 4520 Reading Road, Suite A, Rosenberg, TX 77471 and the names of the proposers made public. Proposals received after the specified time will be returned unopened. RFP 11-055 – ROOF REPLACEMENT PROJECT #2: ROSENBERG ANNEX AND SUGAR LAND ANNEX A Pre-RFP conference with site visits will be conducted on Thursday, March 17, 2011 at 10:00 AM (CST). The preRFP conference will be held at the Fort Bend County Purchasing Department located in the Rosenberg Annex at 4520 Reading Road, Rosenberg, Texas 77471. Site visits for both locations will commence upon the conclusion of the pre-RFP meeting. All vendors are encouraged to attend. No additional site visits will be permitted. Lump sum 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 proposals. Signed: Gilbert D. Jalomo, Jr., Purchasing Agent Fort Bend County, Richmond, Texas CITATION BY PUBLICATION STATE OF TEXAS TO: UNKNOWN FATHER ADDRESS UNKNOWN and to all whom it may concern, Respondent(s), You have been sued. You may employ an attorney. If you or your attorney do (does) not file a written answer with the clerk who issued this citation by 10:00 a.m. on the Monday next following the expiration of 20 days after you were served this citation and petition, a default judgment may be taken against you. The petition of FARROW, BENNIE V., Petitioner, was filed in the 387TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT of Fort Bend County, Texas on the February 28, 2011 against UNKNOWN FATHER, Respondent(s), numbered 11-DCV-188016, and entitled In the Interest of Michael D’Angelo Jones, a Child. The suit request TO TERMINATE THE PARENT- CHILD RELATIONSHIP as is more fully shown by Petition on file in this suit. The date and place of birth of the child(ren) who is/are the sUbject of the suit: BIRTH DATE: September 10, 2009 The Court has authority in this suit to render an order in the child(ren)’s interest which will be binding on you, including the termination of the parentchild relationship, the determination of paternity and the appointment of a conservator with authority to consent to the child(ren)’s adoption. Issued and given under my hand and seal of said Court at Richmond, Texas, on this the 3rd day of March, 2011. ATTORNEY FOR PETITIONER OR RESPONDENT: JETTY ABRAHAM 14090 SOUTHWEST FREEWAY SUITE 300 SUGAR LAND TX 77478 281-340-2066 DISTRICT CLERK ANNIE REBECCA ELLIOTT Fort Bend County, Texas By: Deputy District Clerk Herlinda Nanez Telephone: 281-633-7626
of North Texas and a certification in non-profit management from Duke. She is earning a master’s degree in non-profit and trade association management from the University of Maryland-University College. PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE The Commissioners Court of Fort Bend County, Texas has set a public hearing on Tuesday, April 5, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. on request for vacation of plat titled Aliana Binion Lane Cloudy Mills Road to West Airport STD located in Precinct 4. 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
LEGAL NOTICE The City of Missouri City, Texas is now issuing a Request for Statements of Qualification for the following: Engineering Services – Pavement Evaluation RSQ # 168-11 The City of Missouri City is requesting statements of qualifications from a registered professional engineer or engineering firm for pavement inspection and evaluation. Statements will be accepted until 2:00 p.m. local time March 28, 2011 and then opened. The statements will be evaluated with the intent of negotiating an agreement with one of the responding firms. Interested parties must obtain an RSQ package and provide the required information to the City in order to be considered. The RSQ packages may be obtained beginning March 10th by requesting the document name and number listed above by: •contacting the City Purchasing Office at 1522 Texas Parkway (281) 403-8612 •email to firstname.lastname@example.org Statements must be sealed, marked with the RSQ name and number as listed above and the date of opening. Statements must be delivered to the attention of the Missouri City Purchasing Manager, 1522 Texas Parkway, Missouri City, Texas, 77489, prior to the acceptance deadline. Statements marked improperly and therefore misdirected may be disqualified. Statements are opened in public in the City Hall Council Chambers. Charles Oberrender, CPPB Purchasing Manager City of Missouri City, Texas
NOTICE TO BIDDERS LIFT STATIONS REHABILITATION The City of Sugar Land seeks bids for furnishing all labor, material, and equipment, and performing all work required for the following project in the City: CIP PROJECT NAME:
Rehabilitation of St. Michaels Lift Station No. 127 Meadow Lakes Lift Station No. 40 Horseshoe Lift Station No. 13 Whimbrel Lift Station No. 14
CIP PROJECT NUMBER:
LOCATION OF WORK:
St. Michaels Lift Station: 3744 St. Michaels Court Meadow Lakes Lift Station: 1822 First Colony Boulevard Horseshoe Lift Station: 498 W. Alkire Lake Drive Whimbrel Lift Station: 925 Oyster Creek Drive
Plans, specifications, and bidding documents may be obtained from Sander Engineering Corporation, 10555 Richmond Avenue, Suite 100, Houston, Texas 77042, with payment of $75.00: Sealed bids shall be delivered to the City of Sugar Land City Secretary Office, 2700 Town Center Boulevard North, Suite 122, Sugar Land, Texas, 77479, on or before 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 31, 2011, 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 10:00 a.m., Thursday, March 17, 2011, City of Sugar Land City Hall, Brazos Room, 2700 Town Center Boulevard North, Sugar Land, Texas, 77479. 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. Glenda Gundermann, TRMC, CMC, AAE City Secretary
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING SHORT FORM FINAL REPLAT 0.2938 ACRES NEW TERRITORY ROBINSON LANDING SECTION 1 REPLAT PROPOSED SHORT FORM FINAL REPLAT OF 0.2938 ACRES OF ROBINSON LANDING SECTION ONE REPLAT, INTO TWO (2) RESIDENTIAL LOTS, LOCATED IN NEW TERRITORY IN THE SUGAR LAND EXTRATERRITORIAL JURISDICTION, M.M. BATTLE LEAGUE, ABSTRACT NO. 9, FORT BEND COUNTY, TEXAS PURPOSE: WHERE:
LEGAL NOTICE The City of Missouri City, Texas is now issuing a Request for Proposals for the following: RFP #180-11
Administration of Storm Water Management Program
Scope: The City of Missouri City requests proposals from interested parties to assist the City in administering its storm water management program. Proposal responses will be accepted until 2:00 p.m. local time March 28, 2011 and then opened. The RFP packages may be obtained beginning March 9th by requesting the document name and number listed above by: •contacting the City Purchasing Office at 1522 Texas Parkway (281) 403-8612 •email email@example.com Proposal responses must be sealed, marked on the outside of the delivery envelope with the RFP name and number as listed above, and the date of opening. Responses 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. Responses marked improperly and therefore misdirected may be disqualified. Responses are opened in public in the City Hall Council Chambers. Charles Oberrender, CPPB Purchasing Manager City of Missouri City, 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, Rosenberg Annex, 4520 Reading Road, Suite A, Rosenberg, TX 77471 for the following until THURSDAY, MARCH 17, 2011 at 1:30 P.M. (CST). All bids will then be publicly opened and read in the Office of the Purchasing Agent, Rosenberg Annex, 4520 Reading Road, Rosenberg, TX 77471. Bids received after the specified time will be returned unopened. BID 11-053 – ROAD MATERIAL – EARTHEN TYPE Unit pricing is required; payment will be by check after products/services are rendered. Bonds are not 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
ONE (1) PUBLIC HEARING SHALL BE HELD AT WHICH ALL PERSONS INTERESTED IN THE PROPOSED FINAL REPLAT SHALL BE GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD. CITY OF SUGAR LAND CITY COUNCIL CHAMBER 2700 TOWN CENTER BOULEVARD NORTH PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION MEETING 6:30 P.M., MARCH 24, 2011
DETAILS OF THE PROPOSED FINAL REPLAT MAY BE OBTAINED BY CONTACTING THE CITY OF SUGAR LAND PLANNING OFFICE (281) 275-2218 OR EMAIL PLANNING@ 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. PLEASE CONTACT US IF YOU WISH TO SET UP AN APPOINTMENT TO GO OVER ADDITIONAL DETAILS IN PERSON. Vicinity Map:
MARCH 9, 2011 • INDEPENDENT • Page 7
FILM REVIEW: The Ajustment Bureau This is a Matt Damon Movie. What do you mean, Larry H.? Damon has become such a big star that he can completely carry a movie by his mere presence especially when he can marshal his still youthful good looks and play a guy that the audience understands and can root for him to succeed. And in this case, success is the possible love of his life. This will be a box office smash. I know these things because I saw it on opening day at 1:10 p.m. and when I checked in at the ticket counter, Melissa told me that 70 people attended the first showing that started at 10:20 a.m. I think we can all agree that
Melissa’s calculations are as good as any Hollywood scientific statistical poll.
Here’s how the AMC Melissa Semi-Scientific Poll works: determine the total
number of attendees on opening day (Friday) first showing; divide that number by two and multiply it by one million and that equals the weekend gross. Let’s break it down like this: 70 divided by 2 = 35 X $1,000,000.00 = $35,000,000.00 opening weekend gross! Damon, Damon, Damon! Along with the star power of Damon, this movie had an interesting (not crisp) plot and the universal theme of all themes: will love conquer all? Writer, Director and Producer George Nolfi proved that he can artfully direct as well as write. We’ve known that he can turn in a winning screenplay (The Bourne Ultimatum - 2007 and Ocean’s Twelve - 2007.) Common denominator Matt Damon. But Nolfi has
to take the responsibility for this movie because Matt Damon played Matt Damon as the mysterious, conflicted guy who was being chased by bad guys, so we know the blemishes of this film were not the fault of Matt. What blemishes? I thought you said this was going to be a box office hit. It will make a ton of money (see previous poll results), but that is in spite of it being a mediocre movie. Damon plays a New York politician (David Norris) that just lost a US Senate race and passionately kisses Elise (Emily “The Young Victoria” Blunt) in the men’s room while he is practicing his concession speech. He had never met Elise before this “chance” meeting and she slipped out of his life before David even knew her name. Is this fate? Unfortunately for David and Elise, there are some extremely mystifying men, dressed in drab suits and hats from the 1950’s, who seem to be track-
ing David’s every move in an attempt to keep him from hooking up with the elusive Elise. The setting is present day Manhattan and the action gives new meaning to doors, tunnels and subways. Is this an action film? Not exactly, it is a hybrid of action, mystery, sci-fi, and love. Nice combination, but even this seemingly clever plot and syrupy story appeared to take breaks and then try to play catch-up in an attempt to win the audience. Nolfi allowed too many of those “breaks” for me. I did not hate this film but I was disappointed. Here’s some good news: Emily Blunt is spectacular and her career will get a boost. But much of this movie needed a slight adjustment by the bureau. Rock ‘n Roll. Grade 86. Larry H. firstname.lastname@example.org or www.larryhmoviereviews. com
504 FM 1092 Stafford, Texas 77477
Nancy Olson to Keynote 7th Annual Banquet & Silent Auction
Not just oil, Pennzoil
Thomas J. Parr, M.D. We understand athletes. Orthopedic Surgeon
to Soccer Elites, World Cup Players, & International Professionals
281-491-7111 Dr. Tom Parr plays on a recreational, over 30, co-ed soccer team.
Call us first directly from the field! You may be able to save both time & money.
Physician Assistant, Ashley Donnell (#25), played defense for the University of Denver on an athletic scholarship.
www.tomparrmd.net www.FtBendSportsMedicine.com 14090 Southwest Fwy, #130, Sugar Land, TX 77478
PROUDLY SERVING FORT BEND SINCE 1981
Nancy Olson is the guest speaker for Second Mile Mission Center’s 7th annual fundraising banquet to be held on Friday, April 1st at Safari Texas Ranch in Richmond. Wife of US Congressman Pete Olson, Ms. Olson is a seasoned journalist, gifted public speaker and passionate champion for the neediest citizens in Fort Bend County. Before motherhood and politics, Olson was an award winning television news anchor and health reporter. She has hosted a number of national television shows on both Lifetime Medical Television and PBS. “We are thrilled to have Nancy as our speaker this year,” said Sarah White, Second Mile’s Executive Director. “Her commitment to helping needy families is evident and inspiring. This is the Mission’s largest fundraiser of the year. The more successful this event, the more familiesin-need we can serve throughout the year. It’s a banquet for those families most of all.” The reception and silent auction begin at 6 p.m. followed by dinner and program at 7 p.m. Businesses, organizations and individuals from throughout Fort Bend County support this event through sponsorships and donations to the silent auction. Corporate and table sponsorships are available, as well as individual tickets. To register or learn more visit www.secondmile.org or call Second Mile Mission Center at 281-261-9199, ext. 231. To donate a silent auction item, please call Carol at 281-261-9199, ext. 232 Second Mile Mission Center is a non-profit benevolence organization providing crisis care needs for families and individuals in Fort Bend County. The Mission served more than 100,000 individuals representing 22,000 families-in-need last year, with food, clothing, household items, medical and dental care, and direct financial assistance. Second Mile is completely funded by donations from individuals, churches and organizations in the community.
RUSSELL C. JONES THELMA HOLOWAY JONES LEWIS W. “CHIP” SMITH IV JANICE W. SUCHYTA ● Real Estate ● Health Care Law ● ● Banking ● Creditors' Rights ● Collections ● ● Business and Corporate Law ● Immigration ● ● Business Litigation ● Mergers and Acquisitions ● ● Estate Planning ● Probate ● ● Property Owners' Associations ● In the Sugar Land Industrial Park 407 Julie Rivers Drive, Sugar Land, Tx. 77478 281-242-8100 email@example.com www.jonesattorneys.com AV Rated by Martindale Hubbell Not certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization
Dining & Entertainment
Page 8 • INDEPENDENT • MARCH 9, 2011
TLC for Trees
Alumnae Panhellenic holds recruiting workshop The Fort Bend County Alumnae Panhellenic is preparing for its annual Sorority Recruitment Workshop for girls who are high school seniors or collegiates and their parents. It will be held at Christ United Methodist Church, Gathering Hall, 3300 Austin Parkway, Sugar Land on Saturday, March 26 from 10 a.m. till noon.
More than 100 young live oak trees received some “TLC” (tender loving care) during the City’s first ever “Tree L. C.” event on Feb. 19. Volunteers from local high schools, the Mayors Youth Advisory Council and Serve Sugar Land spent the day at Lost Creek Park clearing vegetation, pruning and mulching around the young trees. Volunteers planted the live oak trees in 2009 during Trees Across Sugar Land. The oaks were donated by Keep Sugar Land Beautiful through a Half Price Books/Keep Texas Beautiful Replant Texas Grant. They were planted among existing natural creek vegetation along the trail near Oyster Creek to supplement the tree canopy along the creek and replace trees lost as a result of Hurricane Ike. Pruning competing vegetation away from the trees and adding mulch at their bases will help prepare the trees for spring. Additional “Tree L. C.” projects will take place throughout the year at several City parks. For more information on volunteering for Serve Sugar Land, visit www.sugarlandtx.gov or call the Volunteer Program Office at (281) 275-2329. Pictured at Lost Creek Park during the TLC are (L-R) Dana Layne and Chris Sabbagh (Photo credit: Ken Ellington).
Sales associates needed Fort Bend Independent immediately needs motivated advertising sales personnel with a passion for success. Call 281-980-6745 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For those who are unable to attend the March 26th Workshop, a smaller Workshop will be held on Saturday, April 9, at Christ United Methodist Church, Room 302 from 10 a.m. till noon. Fort Bend County Alumnae Panhellenic, is a non-profit, community-based organization, affiliated with the 26 sorority member National Pan-
hellenic Conference (NPC). Membership is open to all alumnae of NPC sororities who reside in the Fort Bend County area. To learn more about the Workshop, scholarship program and Fort Bend Panhellenic visit www.fortbendpanhellenic.org, or Facebook group, Fort Bend Alumnae Panhellenic.
Fort Bend area collegiates who have benefited from information received at the workshop are (L to R) Lexi Melhorn, University of Oklahoma, Delta Gamma; Paula Musa, University of Houston, Alpha Chi Omega; Sarah Taylor, University of North Texas, Chi Omega; Allison Seward, Texas Christian University, Pi Beta Phi; Lara Hoover, University of Texas, Zeta Tau Alpha; Kelsey Wingert, Louisiana State University, Delta Zeta
Helen Cordes award for Thomas Randle Fort Bend Regional Council on Substance Abuse (FBRC) will hold the Second Annual Helen Cordes Award Luncheon at Safari Texas on Thursday, March 24, 11:30 a.m. This year’s honoree is Dr. Thomas Randle, Superintendent of Lamar Consolidated ISD. Dr. Randle has embraced the ideals and mission of FBRC at all levels of educa-
tion in Lamar Consolidated ISD. His commitment to education and community has set him apart as a leader and visionary in Texas education. FBRC is proud to designate Dr. Randle as the recipient of the 2011 award. This year’s event is expected to draw 400 supporters of Fort Bend Regional Council’s fight against the debilitating effects of substance abuse in our schools and community.
All FBRC services including substance abuse prevention, education, and treatment services are provided by qualified personnel on a sliding scale fee basis. Individual tickets for the luncheon are $80. Sponsorships are still available. For more information about this event or about the services of FBRC, contact Kimberli at 281-207-2400 or visit www. fortbendcouncil.org.
ENTER TO WIN A DAY IN DESIGN INSPIRATION at the Houston Design Center. go to siennaplantation.com for more information and to buy tickets on line. 20 American Society of Interior Designers have come together to create a one-of-a-kind show home in Sienna Plantation. Fully furnished and loaded with new ideas, design and state-of-the-art appliances and technology features. Tickets are $15 at the door or www.siennaplantation.com Open Tuesday thru Saturday from 10 am to 4pm and Sunday from noon to 4pm. Private group tours and mini seminars featuring the ASID designer team are available. Check the website for details. When you are in Sienna to see the ASID show home—stay and tour 11 more beautifully furnished model homes. Maps will be available.
Galleria Med Center
siennaplantation.com facebook.com/siennaplantation Sienna Parkway at Hwy. 6 . 281-778-7777
from the $170s-Millions
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Fort Bend Parkway