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VOL 4 No 14
FORT BEND FAIR. BALANCED. INFORMATIVE. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 6, 2011
P. O.BOX 623, SUGAR LAND, TX 77487-0623
Official newspaper of Fort Bend County, Missouri City & Sugar Land
FBISD’s Cindy Cormier is H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards finalist
Quail Valley Garden Club Yard of the Month. Gardeners love to grow and Peter and Lourdes De La Mora of 3527 East Creek Club have a stunning array of annual and perennial flowers that are bursting with bloom. The family raised 3 sons and now have six granddaughters who all live in the area. They are as pretty as the flowers. The De La Moras received an award as well as a plant from Flowers by Adela as well as a flat of annuals and consultation by The Garden Guy. Their home is across Villa from a Quail Valley Backyard Tour Home that will be open to the public April 30 from 10 to 3. Visit http://traction.typepad.com/QVTour to learn more about the tour.
Candidates make tempered comments on apartments By SESHADRI KUMAR Term limits and striking a balance between the competing demand of community members who oppose apartments and developers who have a right to develop the property to meet market demand and make profit were among the topics of discussion at a candidates forum for Sugar Land City Council, hosted by the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce last week. While most of the candidates agreed that the current term limit in place in Sugar Land is good, some of them wished to see the duration of the term change from two to three year, while keeping a three-term limit instead of the current four, two-years terms. The hot button issue in this year’s Sugar Land City Council elections is apartments. Though the issue is germane to District 1 where developers of Imperial Sugar Mill site and the adjoining area are proposing apartments, adjacent to the baseball field, the debate is spreading all over the city. District 1 Councilman Don Smithers is seeking re-election. His opponent is Diana Miller who is passionate about stopping high-density apartments in the Imperial project. In Dist. 1, one can see campaign signs for Smithers, but Miller has chosen to display her website www.StopImperialSugarMillApartments.com, instead of her own name on her campaign signs. During the candidates forum, Miller broke ranks with every other candidate on the apartments issue. She believed that the high density apartments are not required and they would adversely affect the neighborhood both in terms of property values and heavy traffic. Miller blamed the city council for being “out of touch with the community.” Miller denied that she was a single-issue candidate. She also opposed the location of the ball park which was originally proposed in the University site. Miller objected to describing Sugar Land Skeeters as Minor
Leauge Baseball because they are not affiliated with MLB, but the independent Atlantic League. Smithers categorically denied the suggestion that he was supporting the development of 1,600 apartments. Smithers said he will not vote for 1,600 apartments and will not support anything other than what is in the comprehensive plan. The city has a comprehensive plan for a reason and that needs to be followed, Smithers said. If the plan requires revision that should be studied. The city does not face just one issue, but there are other issues like water supply, public safety and maintaining the tax rate, he said. Bridget Yeung, who is unopposed for the Dist.2 council seat, said the city’s comprehensive plan is under review. The city has to provide “multi-family” housing including duplexes, patio homes and town homes, not necessarily apartments, Yeung said. More people want to rent, but the city does not have a product to attract high-quality renters, Yeung said. In her earlier remarks, Yeung said the city council would lose three knowledgeable and experienced council members and the upcoming election is important. The city needs experienced candidates and not those running for office on one issue, she said. For Dist. 3, Amy Mitchell, Jim Hoelker and Howard Paul are running. Mitchell said, “We have a comprehensive plan. It is appropriate to follow that plan. The city works hard to protect the community.” There is a need for Class apartments, like those in Sugar Land Town Square, Hoelker said. They need to be sprinkled around, he said. Hoelker said Fortune 500 companies looked for highend apartments to house their young professionals and Sugar Land would lose them in the absence of such high quality housing.
City Council needs to listen to the community and strike a balance between the developer and the community, Paul said. Dist. 4 has three candidates, Farah Ahmed, Harish Jajoo and Frank Yonish. Ahmed said she was concerned about apartments and their impact on the community. She agreed that the city has to have some apartments, but she was not for high density. Jajoo said everybody wants to place a number on apartments and he does not know what that number is. “There is a due process and let the system work,” Jajoo said alluding to the staff review, planning and zoning review and finally the city council action following a series of public hearings. Jajoo said there needs to be a balance between quality of life and high-end apartments and he would oppose apartments if they added to crime and traffic and affected mobility. Yonish said Sugar Land has done an excellent job in balancing the needs of the community and the developers. Yonish said high quality housing will bring quality people. Unlike Houston Sugar Land has zoning and some good, high quality apartments may be needed in the city, he said. In closing remarks, Miller said she knew her position was not popular. She felt there were enough apartments in Sugar Land to attract young professionals. Smithers said the city needs “someone who listens,” and council’s decision affects the whole city and he was ready to grapple with many issues facing the city, “not just one issue.” Smithers said he also got the endorsement of Houston Area Realtors. Mitchell said she had the experience, knowledge and work ethic to be on the city council. A broad range of people have endorsed her, Mitchell said. Hoelker said this race was clearly about vision, leadership and execution. His role in organizing and executing the Impact A Hero weekend for the
Cindy Cormier, a fifth-grade teacher at Schiff Elementary School, is one of seven Houston-area teachers recognized as the “Best in Texas Education” with her selection as a finalist in the 2011 H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards. The announcement was made during a surprise visit to her school from H-E-B representatives, who presented Cormier with a $1,000 check, flowers, balloons, and a cake. Her school also received a $1,000 check. H-E-B launched the awards program in cooperation with the Texas Association of
School Administrators in 2002 as a positive way to support public education in Texas. This year, the awards program is celebrating its 10th anniversary of recognizing and rewarding outstanding educators, schools and school districts. As a finalist for the 2011 HE-B Excellence in Education Award, Cormier will now be invited to compete on a statewide level for greater recognition and cash prizes. A celebration weekend will be held for all finalists on May 13-15 in Austin. The weekend will include a public health and fitness event
featuring Jillian Michaels of NBC’s Biggest Loser and General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.) will deliver a keynote address at the awards’ celebration dinner on May 15. Cormier is competing for the awards’ Leadership Elementary category. Pictured with some of the fifthgrade students and the H-E-B Buddy are: Mary Brewster, principal at Schiff Elementary School; Cindy Cormier, H-E-B Excellence in Education award finalist; and Lacey Dalcoun-Salas, H-E-B representative.
FBISD eliminates 483 positions By SESHADRI KUMAR Fort Bend ISD has eliminated 483 teaching positions to make an estimated $30 million saving in next year’s budget. At a special meeting on Monday, the board approved the recommendation of the administration not to renew the contracts of 54 term contract teachers and 14 probationers and accepted the voluntary resignation of 342 others who had taken advantage of the incentive offered by the district for voluntary resignation. Based on the best case scenario that the district might be in the hole for $30 million after the state budget is finally adopted, the administration identified the positions to be eliminated. Both attrition and incentive for voluntary resignation have been used instead of firing the teachers, according to the administration. Even those 54 teachers whose contracts were terminated on Monday, would be eligible to receive the incentive bonus like others who had exercised the option earlier. The board had to act on Monday because of a 45-day notice rule that applied to teachers with term contracts. If notice
of non-renewal is not given 45 days ahead of the last working day of the school year, the employee cannot be terminated. Reduction in force in administrative positions do not fall under that category. Superintendent Tim Jenney said the administration would propose a 7 percent cut in the administrative staff in the next couple of months. The current elimination of positions involved 138 elementary school teachers, 117 in middle schools and 130 in high schools. Other eliminated positions included eight librarians, 30 curriculum specialists, 22 special ed teachers, 17 instructional technology specialists and 21 career and technol-
benefit of wounded war veterans is an example, he said. Paul said the city needs to maintain a good quality of life and his experience would help in preserving the quality of help. He said he would also help Sugar Land remain a safer and better community. Ahmed said she had the support of key people in her district. Ahmed said she is “open minded, easy to talk to and willing to listen.” She de-
scribed herself as a problem solver who is willing to think outside the box. Jajoo said incumbent Councilman Michael Schiff has endorsed him. Jajoo said his long career as a professional engineer with the city of Houston would help in Sugar Land’s execution of upcoming multi-million dollar projects. He has the time and energy to spare and focus on the city.
ogy specialists. The positions were eliminated after looking at the projected student enrollment and course requirement in each campus. Finally, the individual evaluation of the teachers were factored in to identify the list of teachers to be laid off. Board President Sonal Bhuchar said it was a sad and difficult day and the district had to cut the teaching positions because of the state budget constraints. “We still do not know the extent of the impact,” Bhuchar said. In the worst case scenario, FBISD may be short $74 million. In the end, the shortage may be somewhere in between $30 million and $74 million.
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. Jajoo described himself as “the best prepared and the most qualified,” candidate. Yonish said he had demonstrated leadership qualities as a former Missouri City councilman and as a banker. He could work with various entities and get things done and he could build a coalition. “Many community leaders have endorsed me,” Yonish said.
Page 2 • INDEPENDENT • APRIL 6, 2011
Doctor’s Day at Methodist Hospital
John Boon, M.D., Urologist; Ali Mahmood, M.D., Colorectal Surgeon and Nitesh Vachhani, M.D., Gastroenterologist.
Janet Leatherwood, CNO; Sue Chiang, Board Member and Margaret Condit, M.D., OB/GYN
At its fifth annual Doctor’s Day awards ceremony, Methodist Sugar Land Hospital literally rolled out the red carpet for their physicians including seven leading physicians, nominated and voted on by over 650 hospital employees. Physicians in leading roles for 2011 were announced in seven categories: Female Physician of Excellence, Hospitalist, Dr. Swati Joglekar; Male Physician of Excellence, Hospitalist, Dr. Samir Joglekar; Best Team Player, Emergency Medicine, Dr. Scott Rivenes; Most Respectful, Cardiac Electrophysiologist, Dr. Gregory Pepper; Most Supportive, Pulmonologist, Dr. Bhadresh Shah; Best Bedside Manner, OB/GYN, Dr. Carlos Herrera; and Most Technologically Innovative, Podiatrist, Dr. Nicholas Desai. “Our physicians bring a great deal of knowledge, skill and compassion to the residents in the Fort Bend community,” said Chris Siebenaler, CEO of Methodist Sugar
Land Hospital. “These awards are just one way for us to recognize the incredible work they do.” The seven physicians were recognized at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s Doctor’s Day celebration and medical staff meeting. At the Oscarsstyle event in appreciation of physicians, secret envelopes revealed the winners. The physician winners then gave a small speech to recognize and thank those in attendance. “Thank you. It is a delight to come and work here. Methodist Sugar Land Hospital has the best staff and physicians to work with,” said Dr. Herrera. Dr. Pepper, the next winner to the stage said, “I am very honored to receive the award and it is truly a privilege to be practicing here. I really appreciate all the staff, nurses, fellow physicians and administration. I look forward to continuing to work with you all.” It was a day and evening
Swarna Balasubramaniam, M.D., Colorectal Surgeon; Tayma Shaya, M.D., Family Medicine; Kelly Dempsey, M.D., Breast Surgeon. of celebration to truly express Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s gratitude and support to their doctors. “Thank you to everyone who is here. To the colleagues and staff, it’s been a pleasure and privilege to be a part of the Methodist Family,” said Dr. Swati Joglekar, winner for the female physician of excellence award. The win-
ner of the male physician of excellence agreed stating, “I believe the staff at Methodist makes our lives easier and that is why we are here today,” said Dr. Samir Joglekar. Doctor’s Day is a nationally recognized day of celebration held in March every year to honor the healing and lifesaving work of America’s physicians.
Missouri City District C Constituents: I would like to thank you for the opportunity to serve you for another two years. I am very grateful for your support since I was elected in May, 2009. I look forward to an even better second-term with more excellent accomplishments for our District and City.
Gregory Pepper, M.D., Cardiac Electrophysiologist and Physician in the Leading Role: Most Respectful; Scott Rivenes, M.D., Emergency Medicine and Physician in the Leading Role: Best Team Player; Swati Joglekar, M.D., Hospitalist and Female Physician of Excellence 2011; Samir Joglekar, M.D., Hospitalist and Male Physician of Excellence 2011; Nicholas Desai, M.D., Podiatrist and Physician in the Leading Role: Most Technologically Innovative and Carlos Herrera, M.D.,OB/GYN and Physician in the Leading Role: Best Bedside Manner.
Robin Elackatt, Missouri City District C Council Member
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APRIL 6, 2011 • INDEPENDENT • Page 3
Ragus Lakes Neighborhood Garage Sale
Six area Memorial Hermann Hospitals named among the nation’s 100 top hospitals
Ragus Lakes Spring Annual Neighborhood Garage Sale April 9th, 8 a.m.- 12 p.m. Burney Rd & Vinehill; Just follow the signs and find that bargain item on one of our 8 streets.
First time recognition for Memorial Hermann Sugar Land
Glen Laurel Community Garage Sale
Six Memorial Hermann hospitals have been named among the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals® by Thomson Reuters, a leading provider of information and solutions to improve the cost and quality of healthcare. Memorial Hermann’s hospitals were the only ones in the Houston-area to earn the recognition. The Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals® study evaluates performance in 10 areas: mortality; medical complications; patient safety; average patient stay; expenses; profitability; patient satisfaction; adherence to clinical standards of care; post-discharge mortality; and readmission rates for acute myocardial infarction (heart attack), heart failure, and pneumonia. The study has been conducted annually since 1993. Collectively, Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital, Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital, Memorial Hermann Northwest Hospital and Me-
morial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital were awarded in the teaching hospitals category. For the second year in a row, Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital was recognized in the medium community hospitals category. And, for the first time, Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital was awarded in the small community hospitals category. “Memorial Hermann is gratified that six of our hospitals were rated by Thomson Reuters to be among the Top 100 U.S. hospitals in 2011,” said Michael Shabot, M.D., chief medical officer for Memorial Hermann. “Thomson Reuters provides an objective evaluation based on calculations made on publicly reported quality, safety and patient satisfaction measurements from all hospitals in the country. “The result of those calculations is that six Memorial Hermann hospitals were
ranked in the upper 1 percent of all hospitals in the country. We want only the best for our patients and this recognition indicates we are delivering it.” To conduct the 100 Top Hospitals study, Thomson Reuters researchers evaluated 2,914 short-term, acute care, non-federal hospitals. They used public information — Medicare cost reports, Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MedPAR) data, and core measures and patient satisfaction data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Compare website. Hospitals do not apply, and winners do not pay to market this honor. The winning hospitals were announced in the March 28 edition of Modern Healthcare magazine. “This year’s 100 Top Hospitals award winners have delivered exemplary results, despite volatility from healthcare reform,” said Jean Chenoweth, senior vice president
at Thomson Reuters. “The leadership teams at these organizations have dealt with enormous ambiguity, yet remained focused on mission and excellence, which drove national benchmarks to new highs.” If all Medicare inpatients received the same level of care as those treated in the award-winning facilities: •Nearly 116,000 additional patients would survive each year. •More than 197,000 patient complications would be avoided annually. •Expense per adjusted discharge would drop by $462. •The average patient stay would decrease by half a day. If the same standards were applied to all inpatients, the impact would be even greater. More information on this study and other 100 Top Hospitals research is available at www.100tophospitals.com. For more information on Memorial Hermann, visit www. memorialhermann.org.
Glen Laurel Community Garage Sale Saturday, April 9th, 2011 starting at 8 a.m. West Airport between Eldridge & Burney Road. Rain date is April 16th, 2011.
Water district holds bond election By BARBARA FULENWIDER The Fort Bend County Water Control and Improvement District (WCID) No. 2 will have an election on May 14 asking voters to approve a $31.9 million bond referendum to finance state mandates, repairs and upgrades. Last year the water district went to voters with an almost identical bond package that was $37.9 million and failed. A press release from the district says that “subject to voter approval this May, the district proposes to fund the projects with bonds payable from property taxes instead of from water and sewer rates. If the bond election fails again, the district plans to issue revenue bonds payable from water and sewer rates instead of from property taxes.” Water district officials are delaying several projects that were in the first bond package in order to reduce the amount of this one, according to the press release. Eighteen projects are included in the upcoming May bond referendum. Sewer rehabilitation is scheduled for Stafford Run Creek and Murphy Road. Water and sewer rehabilitation are planned for Missouri City Estates, Woodland West, Kingsway and Lakeview Business Park Phase 1. The wastewater treatment plant and portable lift station will each get a new generator. Bond referendum money is proposed to pay for Brand Lane’s waterline improve-
ments and water plant connection easements. If approved by voters the $31.9 million in bonds will also pay for the second phase of surface water transmission lines and sludge processing addition and tertiary filtration system at wastewater treatment plant No. 1. Lift stations five, nine and 27 will each get improvements and the Phase I waterline easements on Cravens Road will be paid for. Contingencies and engineering costs total $6,071,539. Insurance costs are estimated at $2,925,461. Matt Breazeale, WCID No. 2 engineer, said while it’s not in the proposed bond package, water and sewer upgrades and repairs will also be made in Vacarro Manor and Crestmont subdivisions and paid for out of operating funds. In response to the concerns of Stafford officials about the district not having sufficient water capacity in the future, WCID No. 2 District Manager Owen Matherne said, “Today we’ve got three times more water than we are using, even after peak demand.” He pointed out that the district “acquired its future water needs at 1994 rates, which are approximately 300 percent lower than today’s rates, and this equates to a substantial savings for our customers.” The district’s press release goes on to say that Stafford, in which the district is headquartered, “is regarded as a state leader and an exceptional example of how to run a city ef-
ficiently with a zero property tax. We feel that we have been part of that success,” Matherne said. “We’ve been a partner working alongside Stafford and other cities in our regional water service effort and we will continue to fulfill its state authorized responsibilities.” Stafford comprises the majority of the district so as Stafford votes so goes the election, and last November’s $37.9 million proposed referendum went south. Stafford Mayor Leonard Scarcella and city council members led the charge against it and again, Scarcella is asking, “Why do all these things at once? Are they all needed immediately? “The city has been doing projects one at a time and paying for them with cash out of our revenues. We didn’t feel we needed to burden our citizens more than they already are by taxes (county, water district, school district),” the mayor said. “It’s my understanding that WCID No. 2 has $17 million in the bank now. Why do they need $50 million? Why do they need all of this money upfront in the bank? “The city council of Stafford and the people have serious reservations about higher property taxes and an abundance of more debt. Council will be studying this proposed referendum carefully,” Scarcella said. He also said he’s sorry that WCID’s board took this ac-
tion “before they talked to us about it. They cancelled out on the scheduled Feb. 17 meeting where we were going to discuss it. Our questions will be what do they need and when and do they need all this money for it upfront?” The WCID No. 2 serves all of Stafford and parts of Missouri City, Sugar Land and Houston and some unincorporated areas of Fort Bend and Harris counties. While 64 percent of Stafford is in WCID No. 2 the total taxable value Stafford adds to the district’s taxable value is 81 percent. What that means is every Stafford resident pays the district $8 in taxes while Missouri City residents living in the district each pay $1, Scarcella said. Missouri City Mayor Allen Owen said, “The WCID No. 2 has been very cooperative and instrumental in helping Missouri City with the needs of our commercial developments in Gessner Road Commerce Park (Ben E. Keith and others) as well as the Lakeview Business Park. “Part of this bond package is to insure that Missouri City, Stafford, and all areas served by WCID #2, have water and sewer needs for now and the future. Even though it serves all of Stafford, it also serves part of Missouri City and we support their efforts to improve the district. We will continue to work very closely with Stafford to make sure both cities’ interests are protected.”
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Sustainable buildings and communities The Sugar Land Democrats Club held their third 2011 educational forum series with a discussion on how to create Sustainable Buildings and Communities. Lora-Marie Bernard, Executive Director of the US Green Building Council Houston Chapter, was the keynote speaker. Bernard gave an overview of the highly successful USGBC LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) programs. Bernard complimented the City of Sugar Land officials for their strong interest to learn more about the LEED programs. The newly built Sugar Land Fire Station on Brooks Street is a LEED Certified building. Over 1 billion square feet of commercial real estate is now
LEED Certified or higher and in year 2010 the “green” construction market value surpassed $54 billion. LEED has four levels that a developer can seek to achieve i.e. Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. It is a ratings based system with points assigned for achieving certain prerequisites and goals. For example, for the Sugar Land Baseball Park stadium to achieve a LEED Silver status it would need to acquire 50 points minimum out of a possible 110 points. These points come from five areas: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy Efficiency, Materials and Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality. “Q” Imam, Co-Chair, reminded the audience “One of the en-
(281)277-7800 Texans Insurance & Financial Group, Inc 101 Southwestern Blvd, Ste 230 Sugar Land, TX 77478-3535 email@example.com Deron Patterson, left, Lora-Marie Bernard and “Q” Imam. vironmental goals of the Sugar Land Democrats Club is to persuade the city officials of Sugar Land to require all commercial buildings in Sugar Land to reach a USGBC LEED Silver level or higher.” To learn more about the USGBC LEED programs visit www. usgbc.org
On Saturday, April 16, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sugar Land Democrats Club will have a forum on Education and will invite all FBISD school board candidates at Sugar Land Branch Library located at 550 Eldridge, Sugar Land. Steve Brown, Chairman of the Fort Bend County Democratic Party will moderate.
Page 4 • INDEPENDENT • APRIL 6, 2011
The View from Sugar Land Leadership is abandoned By RUSSELL C. JONES In an amazing example of revisionist history, Obama last week went before the television cameras and read his speech writer’s version of America’s role in Libya over the past month. He began by praising his own leadership in the operation, claiming to have put together an international coalition in only 31 days. Although he had actually dithered for over two weeks prior to taking any action at all, Obama claimed, “At my direction, America led an effort” which resulted in “a no-fly zone . . . to protect the Libyan people.” In fact, no American action actually occurred until the Arab League invited Western countries to intervene in Libya. The French and British told Obama that they would begin bombing, whether or not America followed. The initial bombing runs were conducted by the French. The most telling aspect of the speech was Obama’s insistence that the U.S. would hand off “leadership” of the intervention within a few days. Of course, at the time of the speech, it was not clear to whom leadership would be handed. When the handoff finally did occur, leadership was transferred from an American general leading American forces to NATO, which is, of course, headed by an American general. The President failed to distinguish the limited mission approved by the United Nations to protect human lives from his earlier stated goal that Gaddafi must go. The result is confusion about the policy. The public is confused; our military is confused; our allies are confused. In all probability, Obama and his advisors are confused as well. The result is that American troops have
The results are in
Jones intervened in a foreign civil war, with no clear purpose to achieve. If the goal is to “save lives,” how do we know when we have succeeded and can withdraw? As long as Gaddafi is in power, he will be a threat to all involved in the rebellion of the last few weeks. America cannot withdraw, because the lives of the rebels would definitely be in danger, a violation of the UN mandate. But America cannot “take out” Gaddafi without also being in violation of the UN mandate. The worst possible result may well be in the offing. Even though there have been several key defections within his inner circle, Gaddafi may stay in power. At the time of this writing, Obama still has offered no strategy to bring about the Libyan dictator’s removal. Earlier this month, White House NSC spokesman Rhodes announced what has since been dubbed as the Obama Doctrine: “This is the Obama conception of the U.S. role in the world—to work through multilateral organizations and bilateral relationships to make sure that the steps we are taking are amplified.” Is that the strategy of the supposed leader of the free
Last week this column discussed the bill currently working its way through the State Legislature which would transfer the University of Houston – Victoria – Sugar Land to the Texas A&M system. This column also spoke of problems which community leaders in Sugar Land have experienced with UH because of its failure to follow through with promised academic improvements to the Sugar Land campus. Readers were asked to email their thoughts on the legislation, and the results are in. In the unscientific poll, twothirds of those who responded said that they would like to see the legislation succeed, and move the Sugar Land campus to A&M. Those results will be passed on to the City Council and to others involved in guiding the campus’s future. As an alumnus of the UH law school, this councilmember is naturally sympathetic to keeping the campus within the system. But, as suggested in the column, there is no alternative but to be dissatisfied with the University’s failure to follow through with its promises made year after year. Is A&M the answer? One reader’s e-mail was particularly vicious, accusing this writer of publishing a “diatribe” and “rant” against the University, and of advocating the transfer to the A&M system in an alleged “screed” last week. Yes, this column offered criticism, but it did not endorse taking the campus away from the University of Houston. Whether it is time to give up on the U of H system is the question. 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
Musings: Carrying rocks By JANICE SCANLAN If you’re a basketball or golf fan, your weekend likely revolved around the Final Four or Shell Open—talk about a double banger for the Houston area. However, I’ve now taken several weekends (and still have one more) to indulge in a favorite pastime, carrying rocks. Well, it’s not the carrying I like so well, but I have been collecting and admiring rocks for a long time. John and I have been married for 42 years. One of our first vacations was camping in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. If you saw the movie Little Miss Sunshine, we had an orange VW micro bus just like the one in the movie. As in the movie, we didn’t have trouble starting the bus, but there were a few occasions I thought we might have to push to get up the mountainside! Rocky Mountain National Park and much of the state of Colorado is one heck of a pile of rocks courtesy of the ice age and Mother Nature. John could not believe I was adding to the weight in the already belabored micro bus, collecting rocks. I’ve even carried smaller ones home on planes from various vacation locations. This weekend was spent converting a smaller pond
Scanlan that had become a leaf collection center into a disappearing fountain and dry creek bed . . . so that meant a new puzzle of how to lay the rocks. As I said, it’s really about carrying them as little as possible. So imaging where a rock fits becomes a nice skill to develop . . . It’s a lot of standing staring and then “checking out the inventory.” It’s still backbreaking, and I’ve had a couple of two Advil days. Most of the rock I laid was Hackett Rust. If you know anything about rocks, it’s a quarried, very thick stone that is stackable, but is great for paths as well because it is so hard to break. It’s a beautiful rust color mottled with pale shades of pink, ochre and gray. It keeps its color dry fairly well. It’s the mainstay of the big rock. For the disappearing foun-
Seshadri Kumar Publisher & Editor
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tain I used beach pebbles of multi-colors that I have collected, and yes, carried home on planes from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. My, those stones are beautiful from the spray from the disappearing fountain. The purples, greens, aquas, and blues are very striking. Now I have four other types of utility rocks for various purposes, but if you’ve continued to read thus far you obviously like to garden or like nature. And nature has been a big part of this. I’ve also had to catch and relocate frogs to my bigger pond in the back yard as well as have some very puzzled birds . . . that are starting to discover the spray from the disappearing fountain. We have a pair of doves nesting in this courtyard. They just raised 3 fledglings and are back on the nest despite all of the commotion below. They adjusted to the pond being gone because they seem to like the new grit source as well as the warmth of sunning on the rocks. So with another weekend of work, I’ll have this area totally put back together. I already have a new source of enjoyment. 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) freebibleliterature @comcast.com
Legislating safety in youth sports By THOMAS J. PARR, M.D. Sometimes government tries to fix real problems, but comes up with solutions which create more problems. Take the Arkansas Legislature for example. Earlier this year, a bill was proposed to make it illegal for organized youth sports for children under the age of 11 to hold practices or games any time the heat index was 85 degrees or greater. That effectively would have outlawed outdoor sports for about 6 months out of the year. Another proposed law would have made it illegal for anyone in the State of Arkansas to possess any soccer goal that was not manufactured by a company with a logo and contact number on the goal frame. This was done after a child hanging onto a goal died when the goal tipped over. It was a homemade frame that was not anchored to the ground. Again, the purpose was to protect children, but the end result would have essentially outlawed soccer in the state. These are two examples of how government tries to do something we should be doing for ourselves. Keeping kids safe is important, and is best done by the adults in charge of their athletic education. Because each youth sport has its own unique safety needs, it is the responsibility of the coaches, clubs and leagues to set appropriate safety standards for their respective youth sports. No matter what the outdoor activity is, good hydration is always important. Dehydration is really an excessive loss of water in the body. Always drink plenty of water before going out, and take extra water with you. Drink regularly throughout the outdoor activity, often at about 20 minute
Parr intervals, even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid caffeinated drinks (especially avoid “energy drinks”) before and during practices and games. If you develop dark yellow urine, become fatigued or thirsty, have a headache or dizziness, or experience tachycardia (an extra fast heart rate), get into a cool place to rest for a few minutes and start drinking more water. If you do not feel better soon, call 9-1-1 for help. Severe cases of dehydration can require IV treatment by a medical professional. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, “familiarity with first aid, including recognizing and treating the most common injuries, is especially important for coaches. Be able to administer basic first aid for minor injuries, such as cuts, bruises, strains, sprains, and tendonitis.” Every coach should maintain a first aid kit and be prepared to provide first aid for these injuries. Emergencies will happen from time to time, and therefore, it would be reasonable for each coach to designate one or two parents to serve as a Team Safety Officer, especially since the coach is also busy tending to the numerous aspects of the practices and of the games. A team safety officer and/or the coach could be trained to
know how to handle serious injuries until appropriate medical help can be reached. This would include concussions, breathing problems (such as wheezing), heat injuries, and orthopedic injuries (including fractures and dislocations). In addition to verifying that you have reliable cell phone coverage at the fields, coaches and safety officers probably should know CPR, including what is appropriate for the age of the group they are coaching. Perhaps, they also should know where the automatic cardiac defibrillator is located at each field and how to use it. It would be a good idea to encourage other parents to take a CPR course as well. After all, CPR also might be needed for fellow parents/ spectators who would be in the stands -- or for the coach, if it is a really close game. Lightning is another safety consideration, especially in Texas. An average stroke of lightning can be 6 miles long, but bolts can strike up to 20 miles away from the center of a storm. Thus counting the seconds between when you see a lightning bolt and when you hear the thunder is not helpful. When you hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck. If fields you commonly play on do not have lightning detectors, personal lightning detectors can be purchased for under $100. When it comes to sports and safety, we don’t need more laws full of unintended consequences. As coaches and parents, we need to be proactive and safety conscious so our kids can keep playing the sports they love. Dr. Thomas Parr, an orthopedic surgeon in Sugar Land, can be reached at 281-4917111.Visit www.tomparrmd. net for more information.
Texas Straight Talk The Fed undermines foreign policy By RON PAUL Last week I was both surprised and pleased when the Supreme Court upheld lower court decisions requiring the Federal Reserve Bank to comply with requests for information made by Bloomberg under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”). Bloomberg simply wanted to know who received loans from the Fed’s discount window in the aftermath of the 2008 financial market crisis, and how much each entity received. Surely this is basic information that should be available to every American taxpayer. But the Fed fought tooth and nail all the way to the Supreme Court to preserve their privileged secrecy. However, transparency and openness won the day. There are some 29,000 pages to decipher, but a few points stand out initially. The Fed lent huge sums of our money to foreign banks. This in itself was not surprising, but the actual amount is staggering! In one week at the height of the crisis, about 70% of the money doled out went to foreign banks. We were told that bailing out banks was going to stave off a massive depression. Depression for whom? We now know that the Fed’s bailout had nothing to do with helping the American people, who have gotten their depression anyway with continued job losses and foreclosures. But now we learn that a good deal of the money did not even help American banks! In light of recent world
Paul events, perhaps the most staggering revelation is that quite a bit of money went to the Arab Banking Corp., in which the Libyan Central Bank owned about a third of its stock. This occurred while Libya, a declared state sponsor of terrorism, was under strict economic sanctions! How erratic the U.S. must appear when we shower a dictator alternately with dollars and bombs! Also, we must consider the possibility that those loans are inadvertently financing weapons Gaddaffi is using against his own people and western militaries. This would not be the first time the covert activities of the Fed have undermined not only our economy and the value of the dollar, but our foreign policy as well. Of course I can’t say I’m surprised by the poor quality of the data provided by the Fed. The category of each loan made, whether from the “Primary Discount Window”, the “Secondary Discount Window,” or “Other Extensions of
Credit,” is redacted. Thus, we don’t know with certainty how much discount window lending was provided to foreign banks and how much was merely “other extensions of credit”. Also, some of the numbers simply do not seem to add up. We are of course still wading through the massive document dump, but it does seem as though several billions of dollars are unaccounted for. As the world economy continues to falter in spite of - or rather because of - cheap money doled out by the Federal Reserve, its ability to deceive financial markets and American taxpayers is coming to an end. People are beginning to realize that when the fed in effect doubles the worldwide supply of U.S. dollars in a relatively short time, it has the effect of stealing half your money through reduced purchasing power. Rapid inflation will continue as trillions in new money and credit recently created by the Fed flood into the commodity markets. It is becoming more and more obvious that the Fed operates for the benefit of a few privileged banks, banks that never suffer for bad decisions they make. Quite the opposite - as we have seen since October 2008, under our current monetary system politically-connected banks are paid to make bad decisions. (Ron Paul represents the 14th Congressional District in Texas.)
APRIL 6, 2011 • INDEPENDENT • Page 5
News Volunteer Fort Bend names top five volunteers After a county-wide search for the top volunteers in Fort Bend County, five have been selected by a panel of judges from 24 nominations received. These five individuals— Dave Kiger, Carol Manby, Susan Papa, Christine Smith, and Nolan Stilwell—have exhibited exemplary service to the organizations for which they volunteer and have made a significant impact in the lives they touch. The five honorees will be recognized for their accomplishments by Fort Bend County Judge Bob Hebert at a celebratory breakfast on Thursday, April 28, beginning at 7:30 a.m. at Safari Texas Ranch, 11627 FM 1464 in Richmond. The panel of judges included Stafford pharmacist Gene Woo; community volunteer Shirley Clark; Suzanne Hinds with United Way of Greater Houston; Fred Arnold with Minute Maid; Kelly Matte with H-E-B at Sienna Market; and Linda Cahue with Hyatt Sugar Land. Minute Maid is the presenting sponsor of the awards ceremony, for the third year in a row. The first honoree, Dave Kiger, comes from a family of volunteers who instilled the importance of volunteerism in him at a very young age. In the Exchange Club of Sugar Land, Kiger found an organization that supported his own goals – helping the underprivileged youth and elderly and supporting the American spirit of patriotism and ideals. As a retired colonel in the United States Army, Kiger takes his patriotism very seriously. A member of the club’s Americanization Committee, Kiger has volunteered on the “Give a Kid a Flag to Wave” program, the Freedom Shrine program, and currently chairs the “Give a Vet a Flag to Wave” program, which coordinates visits to hospitalized veterans to show appreciation for their service. His hope is that the young people with whom he interacts will come to share in his love and appreciation for America. Kiger participates in the Exchange Club’s “Walk with Pride” program year after year, taking children to local shoe stores to select a new
pair of shoes that they can be proud to wear. Kiger says that the excitement he sees reflected in the eyes of those children provides “goose bump” moments for him. Every month, Kiger serves as Master of Ceremonies for the Meals on Wheels birthday party for senior citizens. He takes the time to talk to and play Bingo with individuals who might not otherwise have an opportunity to celebrate their birthdays. His gift to them is to ensure that each and every person knows how important and valued they are on their special day. In addition to his work with the Exchange Club, Kiger is also a very active volunteer at his church, St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Sugar Land. He serves as Director of the church’s St. Vincent de Paul Society, which provides food and money for rent and utilities to people who have been hit by hard times. When Kiger took on this responsibility, the program was all but defunct, but through his perseverance and faith, it has grown to become a strong and effective program making a great impact in the lives of many underprivileged families in Fort Bend. “Dave has the ability to turn even the most heart-breaking volunteer assignment into a joyous occasion,” says Celeste Ryan, who nominated Kiger for the award. “His enthusiasm is contagious!” The second honoree is Carol Manby, who volunteered at the Fort Bend Women’s Shelter for more than 10 years until very recently, when two very painful and debilitating illnesses forced her to step down from her work. Before that, Manby could be found at the Women’s Center three days a week, inspiring staff and clients alike with her selfless determination to help improve the lives of the women and children who were trying to survive the ravages of domestic violence and sexual assault. Her perseverance in helping them achieve safety and self-sufficiency continued, even as she fought her own illness and watched her infant granddaughter’s heart-rending battle with cancer. Sometimes Manby would hear of a client’s need that the shelter was unable to meet,
such as extra diapers or an infant’s car-seat. Before anyone realized it, Manby had provided the needed items. According to Patty Holt, who nominated her for the award, Manby finds her source of strength in the wonderful life she has been fortunate to have, complete with loving husband and children. “She wants to help give our clients hope for that same life in the future.” Holt says that the women helped by Manby are often incredulous that this quiet, unassuming woman would work so hard for them without being paid a penny. “It means more than anyone can truly know for these ladies to see that someone who doesn’t even know them thinks they are worthwhile individuals, deserving of time and friendship,” says Holt. “She listened without judgment and had a way of being encouraging even in the worst of circumstances.” Manby has been truly missed at the Women’s Shelter, according to Holt, but the legacy of hope for a brighter future -- despite life’s adversity -- that Manby inspired lingers on at the shelter, and continues to motivate others to follow in her footsteps. Susan Papa, the third honoree, volunteers her time and talents for Casa de Esperanza de los Niños, an organization devoted to providing a safe place for children from newborn to 6 years of age who are in crisis because of abuse, neglect, or the effects of HIV. About 10 years ago, this organization caught Papa’s attention and then it caught her heart. Since then, she has devoted her photographic skills, her pets, her financial resources, her time, and her home to ensuring that Casa de Esperanza has the assets it needs to succeed – both now and in the future. For more than three years, Papa has used her exceptional photographic skills to provide professional-quality portraits for the families. Candid moments captured by her now grace the walls of the Program Center and the homes of the adoptive families. Papa understands that life is made up of moments -- not all of which are happy – so she preserves the special times in photographs so that the families can remember and treasure them during the
times when life is not so perfect. Papa also realizes that those images can convey in a heartbeat the entire purpose of Casa de Esperanza, and perhaps inspire others to join her in supporting its cause. Papa also shares her love of animals with the children of Casa de Esperanza. She and her rescue collies joined Faithful Paws, and Papa began a monthly pet therapy program for the center, where the children very quickly accepted and returned the dogs’ unconditional affection. “The visits help the children build feelings of trust, empathy, and respect,” says Mary Scalise, who nominated Papa for the award. “She brings her dogs to visit the children because she understands the dogs’ role in healing the children’s emotions. On another occasion, she invited our foster and adoptive children to observe the goats on her property.” Papa’s ability to understand the Casa de Esperanza program in its entirety has led her to become a member of the newly-formed Advisory Board, where she can use her influence to encourage others to join her in this worthy cause for the children. She has worked on the program’s capital campaign and on the gala committee for the program’s annual fundraiser, “Wish Upon a Season,” where she was named “The Diaper Queen” two years in a row! Whether she is considering the program’s longterm needs for the future or its more immediate needs of today, Papa brings a sometimes-rare commodity to the children and families of Casa de Esperanza – hope. The fourth honoree is Christine Smith, a retired home-economics teacher who has devoted more than 25 years of her life to the children and families at the William Smith, Sr., Tri-County Child Development Council, Inc., Head Start/Early Head Start program in Fort Bend County. Because of her dedication to the people of Fort Bend County, the First Years, First Steps Early Head Start Center in Richmond was named after her. Volunteerism runs in her family – the William Smith, Sr., Tri-County Child Development Council is named after her brother. Some of Smith’s many re-
sponsibilities over the years have included teaching cooking classes and budgeting classes for families, purchasing groceries and cooking for the center, and teaching children how to count by using a pretend grocery store so that they incorporate fun into reallife lessons. Not only has she has taught Head-Start parents how to cook, she has also taught them to read so that they are better able to become active participants in their children’s lives. Smith is determined that disadvantaged children will have the tools they need to lift themselves out of poverty and have a chance to achieve their dreams as reputable citizens and productive professionals. She believes that people should earn their way and work for what they want, and she models these ideals for the families in the Head-Start program. According to Linda Newsome Johnson, who nominated Smith for the award, Smith refuses to accept excuses. “She doesn’t make any, nor does she accept any.” Upon learning that former Head-Start students were not able to continue their education after high school because of limited finances, Smith began enlisting the support of friends in the community to help her raise money to give to students to help them get started. Since 1992, Smith has presented 96 $1,000-scholarships to former Head-Start students, with money raised from community partners who believed in Smith, in her determination to help these students, and in the potential that they themselves saw in these students. The example she has set for children, their families, and the Head-Start community is one of “never giving up” in pursuing your dreams. The final honoree is a student at Katy High School – Nolan Stilwell. At 21 years of age, Stilwell is already making a name for himself in the Fort Bend ARTreach community as a gifted culinary artist and budding entrepreneur. ARTreach is a non-profit organization that uses the arts to make a difference in the lives of atrisk children, special-needs groups, the elderly, and neglected populations. Stilwell has been involved with the organization for the
past two years. Through his participation in ARTreach, Stilwell discovered a passion for gardening and cooking, and now he is realizing his dream of becoming a culinary artist with a business. The jalapeno jelly that Stilwell has become known for is sold at ARTreach events to help raise money for the organization’s outreach programs. The fact that Stilwell has Down’s syndrome has not slowed him down or deterred him from pursuing his goals. Through his own example, he is paving the way for other students with special needs who want to transition from high school into “real life” and working in the Fort Bend community. In a way, Stilwell is acting as an ambassador representing young adults with special needs. He is helping to build awareness in mainstream society that people with Down’s syndrome are real people with hopes for a happy and meaningful life, just like everyone else. “Nolan’s optimism is contagious,” says Terri Bieber, who nominated Stilwell for the award. “When parents of other special-needs children see him at our events, talking about raising peppers, and making and selling his jalapeno jelly, they see hope for their own children’s future.” According to Bieber, Stilwell’s creativity, initiatives and abilities have enabled ARTreach to find new ways of helping at-risk and special-needs students achieve success. “As a child with Down’s syndrome, Nolan was always described as ‘different,’” says Bieber, “but today I am nominating him for the difference he is creating for the future of other students like him.” Join in applauding the amazing accomplishments of these five individuals at the 2011 County Judge’s Volunteer Fort Bend Awards Ceremony on April 28. Individual tickets and corporate sponsorships are still available. For information, call Kathy Renfrow, Director of Volunteer Fort Bend, at 281-3401919, or email her at kathyr@ VolunteerHouston.org. The deadline for corporate sponsorships is April 12.
Assistant Secretary of the Navy visits Clement High School community. The program is gaining strength and momentum with enrollment doubling in the last 2-years. The NJROTC program is focused around building stronger leadership, and citizenship; presently there are CHS graduates at West Point Academy, Coast Guard Academy, VMI and members of Texas A & M Corps of Cadets. LCDR Ken Minnard, the
Senior Naval Science Instructor stated,” the unit can compete with the best; and it will be a grave decision if the Navy continues with its plans to disestablish the unit.” After the meeting, the Assistant Secretary had the opportunity to observe the unit perform a Pass in Review Marching Exercise. The ASN took time after the exercise to speak to the cadets and over
50 parents present. The cadets in the unit are hoping that the ASN, after seeing the unit face-to-face can convince the U.S. Navy to reverse their decision to disestablish the unit. One cadet stated, “We may be the smallest unit, but we have the biggest heart, “and it would be heartbreaking to the see the program bust apart.”
Sugar Land Rotary honors local teachers
Juan Garcia, Assistant Secretary of the Navy inspects Clements High School NJROTC. Clements High School NJROTC announced that on March 24, Congressman Pete Olson, Dr. Timothy Jenney, (FBISD Superintendent), Sugar Land Mayor James Thompson, and Principal Lee Crews met with Juan Garcia, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs to discuss preventing the CHS NJROTC unit from being disestablished.
Thanks to the determination of its leadership and strategic intervention by Congressman Pete Olson, Assistant Secretary of the Navy (ASN), Juan Garcia visited the CHS NJROTC unit to see firsthand the dedication and commitment of the program. This visit was an important step in the process of ensuring that this ROTC unit can continue to thrive and play a vital
role in training future military leaders. The U.S. Navy recently announced a decision to disestablish 19 NJROTC units that were on enrollment probation. Even though the unit had 95 cadets on October 01, 2010, they were short the 100 cadet requirement. This unit has been a viable part of CHS for 26 years, and is extremely active in the
Sugar Land Rotary honored exceptional first-year teachers during a special recognition program held at a recent Rotary meeting. Sugar Land Rotarians Craig DeSerf, General Manager of David Taylor Cadillac, and Dr. Timothy Jenney, FBISD Superintendent, welcomed the teachers and campus administrators and expressed appreciation to them from the entire community. The teachers that were honored are the 2011 District Rookies of the Year: Elizabeth Carney, art teacher, Seguin Elementary, Meg Pickert, English Language Arts teacher, Schiff Elementary, Rachel Schwind, art teacher, Heritage Rose Elementary,
Chrissie Hutton, special education teacher, Travis High School, Chelsea Larsen, ninth-grade English teacher, Elkins High School, and Michael Tufariello, sixth-grade math teacher, Hodges Bend
Middle School. Sugar Land Rotary President Bouche Mickey, left, Meg Pickert, Elizabeth Carney, Rachel Schwind, Michael Tufariello, Chelsea Larsen, Chrissie Hutton, Dr. Jenney and Craig DeSerf.
Page 6 • INDEPENDENT • APRIL 6, 2011
Fort Bend Chamber hosts candidates forum The Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce will host a candidate’s forum for Missouri City on Tuesday, April 19th just in time for the May 14th elections. All City Council candidates will be invited and currently include: • District A – Rodney Griffin and Bobby Marshall • District B – Don Smith • District C – Robin J. Elackatt • District D – Floyd Emery and Noel Pinnock The forum will be held at the Missouri City Community Center, 1522 Texas Parkway, Missouri City 77459, from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Each of the candidates will have an opportunity to discuss why they deserve your vote. This event will be open to the public. We hope the voting public can leave this forum feeling educated about their voting decision. For the past 39 years, the Fort Bend Chamber has diligently fulfilled its mission to create, enhance, and promote a thriving economic environment. Driven to expanding employment opportunities and being an advocate and partner to our members, we create solutions for business and community issues. The unique diversity of our community and ability to merge cultures, ideas, and values represents our strength. Please come and join us today. Your involvement will pay big dividends in many different ways as we work together making OUR Fort Bend County the best place to live, work, and play. Call on us, we’re here to help. For more information on this event, please contact Farrah Gandhi at 281-566-2152 or Farrah@fortbendcc.org.
Spirit of Freedom Republican Women PAC holds candidates forum The Spirit of Freedom Republican Women PAC will hold a candidate forum on Friday, April 15th. Candidates from Fort Bend ISD School Board, City Council for Missouri City and Sugar Land City Council will be speaking at the meeting. Precinct 4 Constable Troy Nehls is sponsoring the meeting. A light lunch will be served. An RSVP is requested for those who plan to eat. Meet and greet at 11:00 a.m and the meeting will begin promptly at 11:30 a.m. Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees candidates that have accepted the invitation to speak are for Position 4: Bruce Albright, Rodrigo Carreon, Kevin Daniels, and Daniel Menendez; for Position 5: Jonita Reynolds. Candidates for City Council for Missouri City who have accepted are for District A: Bobby Marshall; for District C: Robin Elackatt, who is unopposed. For District D: Floyd Emery and Noel Pinnock. The largest pool of candidates at the forum will come from positions in Sugar Land City Council. Candidates that accepted our invitation are for District 1: Donald Smithers; for District 2: Bridgett Yeung, who is unopposed. For District 3: Jim Hoelker, Amy Mitchell and Howard Paul. For position 4: Farah Ahmed, Harish Jajoo, and Frank Yonish. Elections will be held Saturday, May 14, 2011. The last day to register to vote for these elections is April 14, 2011 by 5 p.m. For more information on how to become a registered voter call Fort Bend County Elections Administration at 281-341-8670 or visit http://www.votexas.org/ For more information about the club visit http://www.spiritoffreedomwomen.com. To RSVP contact President Cindy Bond at 281-980-5719 (home), 281-435-3547 (cell), or firstname.lastname@example.org. Spirit of Freedom Republican Women PAC meets on the third Friday of the month at Sugar Creek Baptist Church Chapel at13213 SW Freeway, Sugar Land, TX 77478.
Rosenberg Railroad Museum hosts Rail Fest Rosenberg Railroad Museum is proud to announce the upcoming Rail Fest 2011 in Historic Downtown Rosenberg. The Festival will be held in Rosenberg on Saturday April 16 and Sunday, April 17. Saturday’s event will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday will be from 12 noon to 4 p.m. Rail Fest 2011 is a celebration of the Railroad in Fort Bend County. The events will showcase the Heritage of Rosenberg and the life on the railroad. The Theme will be 1939-1940. There will be a delicious Bar-B-Que Cook Off with a Children’s Carnival, Classic Car display, Historic Hobo re-enactors, live bands, a DJ, street vendor, and a Hobo Costume Contest for Adults and Children. The Downtown Merchants of Rosenberg invites you to visit the special shops located in Historic Downtown. Contact Rae Taylor at the RRM for further information. 281-723-5559 or email rae@rosenbergRRmuseum.org Check out the website at www.rosenbergRRmuseum.org.
Clements Stars Dance
FBJSL awards $5,000 grant to The Rose The Fort Bend Junior Service League (FBJSL) was pleased to present a $5,000 Community Assistance Fund (CAF) grant to The Rose, a breast cancer organization. Since 1986, The Rose’s mission has been to reduce deaths from breast cancer by providing screening, diagnostics and access to treatment for all, regardless of their ability to pay. FBJSL is honored to partner with The Rose through the donation of funds to support The Rose’s Empower Her Sponsorship Program. Through the Empower Her Sponsorship Program, The Rose “sponsors” working-poor, uninsured women by providing screening, diagnostic services and access to treatment. One of the most important aspects of the Empower Her Sponsorship Program is the process in place when cancer is detected. If an uninsured woman at The Rose receives a diagnosis of breast cancer, she is guided into treatment by a paid Patient Navigator through the Physician Network, a community-based organization of more than 500 physicians and clinics who donate their time and services to help the uninsured, an amount valued at more than $5 million last year. In addition, The Rose’s Patient Navigation Program provides comprehensive, one-on-one advocacy and mentoring support to help uninsured women overcome potential barriers to successful breast cancer treatment such as language, transportation, and childcare. Each uninsured patient sponsored through the Empower Her Sponsorship Program is accompanied by a Patient Navigator to her first appointment with each physician/ clinic throughout the often frightening process of physician referral and treatment. Support and follow-up continue through 5 years post-treatment providing an additional level of care and caring to the uninsured. FBJSL accepts CAF applications throughout the year for grant funding up to $5,000 per year. Applicants must be nonprofit organizations serving Fort Bend County with requests to fund a critical need, pilot a program and/or expand a significant service to the community. For additional eligibility requirements or to download an application, visit www.fbjsl.com. Top right, FBJSL members present a check in the amount of $5,000 to The Rose. Pictured left to right: Catherine Kubala (FBJSL President-Elect), Sharon Dimicelli (FBJSL Beneficiary Review Committee Member), Dorothy Gibbons (Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, The Rose), Rebecca Klatt and Susan Bakus (FBJSL Beneficiary Review Committee Members).
Dance planned for seniors A free dance for senior citizens will be held April 15, from 1-4 p.m., at the Sugar Land Community Center, 226 Matlage Way. DJ Michael Mireles will play a variety of musical styles, and light refreshments, including punch and cookies, will be served. The event is intended for citizens who are at least 50 years old. While admission is free, guests are encouraged to bring a donation for the City’s Fit to Fight Food Drive to support U.S. Marines deployed in Afghanistan and other remote areas. Citizens are asked to join City employees and contribute small, individual packets or cans of nutritional items intended to supplement combat marines’ standard daily issue of two Meals, Ready-to-Eat (MRE) and bottled water. Donations will also be accepted through Memorial Day at Sugar Land Parks and Recreation, 200 Matlage Way, and City Hall, 2700 Town Center Blvd. North. For more information, contact the Sugar Land Senior Center at 281-275-2893.
THE STATE OF TEXAS CITATION BY PUBLICATION TO: ALL UNKNOWN HEIRS OF SISSIERETTA J WOOTEN DECEASED AND ANY AND ALL UNKNOWN PERSONS CLAIMING AN INTEREST IN THIS LAND NOTICE: You have been sued. You may employ an attorney. If you or your attorney do not file a written answer with the clerk who issued this citation by 10:00 a.m. on Monday next following the expiration of forty-two days from the date of issuance of this citation, same being April 25, 2011 a default judgment may be taken against you. Said answer may be filed by mailing same to: District Clerk’s Office, 301 Jackson, Richmond, Texas 77469, or by bringing it to the office. Our street address is 401 Jackson Street. We are located on the first floor of the courthouse building. The case is presently pending before the 268TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT of Fort Bend County sitting in Richmond, Texas, and was filed on March 08, 2011. It bears cause number 11-DCV-188250 and is styled: Jose Serrano and Rosa M. Serrano vs All Unknown Heirs of Sissieretta J Wooten, Deceased and any and all Unknown Persons Claiming an Interest in this Land. The name and address of the attorney for PLAINTIFF OR PETITIONER is: BRENT A LANE BEARD & LANE PC 12841 JONES ROAD SUITE 100 HOUSTON TX 77070 281-897-8848 The nature of the demands of said PLAINTIFF OR PETITIONER; PLAINTIFF OR PETITIONER is as follows to-wit: 1. A BRIEF STATEMENT OF THE NATURE OF THE SUIT - TRCP 114 “THIS IS A SUIT BY PLAINTIFF TO ESTABLISH OWNERSHIP TO THE PROPERTY BY ADVERSE POSSESSION.” 2. A DESCRIPTION OF ANY PROPERTY INVOLVED - TRCP 114 & 115” LOT TWENTY (20), BLOCK THIRTY-ONE (31) OF RIDGEWOOD ESTATES, SOUTHWEST SECTION, STREET ADDRESS: 519 DOGWOOD AVE, FRESNO, TEXAS 77545.” 3. 42 DAYS TO ANSWER LAWSUIT INSTEAD OF THE NORMAL 20 DAYS -TRCP 114 If this Citation is not served, it shall be returned unserved. Issued under my hand and seal of said Court, at Richmond, Texas on this the 10th day of March, 2011. DISTRICT CLERK ANNIE REBECCA ELLIOTT Fort Bend County, Texas Deputy District Clerk Kimberly Coker Telephone: 281-633-7617
CITY OF MISSOURI CITY Notice of Public Hearing On Monday, April 18, 2011 there will be held during the regularly scheduled City Council meetings beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber, City of Missouri City, City Hall, 1522 Texas Parkway, Missouri City, Texas, public hearings relating to amending Reinvestment Zone No. 6 for tax abatement purposes. The proposed Reinvestment Zone No. 6 is located in the Lakeview Business Park, a recorded subdivision in Fort Bend County, Texas Reserves 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14, in the vicinity of Fondren Road and Buffalo Run. Any interested person is entitled to speak and present evidence for or against the designation of Reinvestment Zone No. 6.
Stars, The Musical, will be performed by Clements Stars Dance Team on May 6 and May 7 at 7 p.m. in the CHS Auditorium. This marks the pinnacle performance for the year, highlighting the Stars Dance Team, class level dances, and the entertaining senior boys, known at “The Studs.” Not to be out done, the dance team dads will get out there and rock the crowd like only dance fathers can. All Star members will have their tickets ready to sell on Monday April 25th for $5 each. Pre-sale tickets will also be available in the CHS Commons during lunch times beginning Monday, May 2nd-Friday May 6th also for $5. Tickets at the door will be $10. All proceeds from this event go toward competition expenses next season. If you have any further questions please contact Susan Fortenberry at texas410@ gmail.com, Lisa Key at email@example.com, or by calling 281-634-2204. Above Star Officers scan the Playbills looking for their favorite show stopping numbers for the May 6-7 Spring Show.
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, APRIL 14, 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 11-054 – TRAFFIC SIGNALIZATION PROJECTS: MASON ROAD AT NORTHMOOR DR., HIGHLAND KNOLLS AT GREENWAY VILLAGE DR., AND CINCO RANCH BLVD AT GASTON ROAD A pre-bid conference will be conducted on Thursday, March 31, 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
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, APRIL 21, 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 11-060 – GENERAL CONTRACTOR SERVICES-FORT BEND COUNTY PAVING, WATER AND GRADING IMPROVEMENT FOR FORT BEND COUNTY PARK AND RIDE ON HIGHWAY 36 IN THE CITY OF ROSENBERG, TEXAS A Pre-RFP conference with site visits will be conducted on Thursday, April 7, 2011 at 9:00 AM (CST). The Pre-RFP 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. 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
REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS Sealed submittals (1) one original and (3) three copies, addressed to the City Secretary Office of the City of Sugar Land, Texas, will be received until 11:00 o’clock a.m., Thursday, April 28, 2011, for: REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS 2011-12 INVESTMENT BROKER DEALER SERVICES Submissions shall be appropriately marked in the upper left hand corner as follows: REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS 2011-12 INVESTMENT BROKER DEALER SERVICES Signed and sealed submittals shall be delivered to the City Secretary Office, on or before 11:00 o’clock a.m., Thursday, April 28, 2011, 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 submitter 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 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 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 documents, amendments, and other information relating to the submittal will be posted on this site. For questions regarding this request for qualification, please contact Jason Poscovsky, Contract Administrator, Telephone (281) 275-2302 or Email jposcovsky@ sugarlandtx.gov. Glenda Gundermann, TRMC, CMC, AAE City Secretary
CITY OF SUGAR LAND NOTICE OF INDUSTRIAL PRETREATMENT NON-COMPLIANCE The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established guidelines, which require the City of Sugar Land to provide annual Public Notice regarding industrial users that have significantly violated the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) approved Industrial Pretreatment Program for the City of Sugar Land wastewater treatment system. There was no evidence of adverse impact to the environment as a result of the noncompliance. The annual reporting period includes the last quarter of 2009 and the four quarters of 2010. Due to historical reasons the City is still operated under the 1995 TCEQ-approved program and is currently working with the TCEQ on a major modification to the existing pretreatment program. A compliance schedule for selenium, molybdenum, and fluoride issued Oct. 1, 2008, is in effect for all industrial users until completion of the major modification. It is anticipated that program enhancements will help reduce the incidence of significant noncompliance. The following industries have met the EPA criteria for Significant Noncompliance: Nalco, 7705 U.S. Highway 90A, Sugar Land, Texas, 77478, became significantly noncompliant with their permit in 2010 due to the following violations in their wastewater discharge: 1. Chronic violation of daily maximum and monthly average for molybdenum during the 1st quarter of 2010, and Technical Review Criteria violations for daily and monthly molybdenum limits for 1st , 2nd , and 4th quarters of 2010. Nalco self-reported violations and no further action was required due to the low levels of molybdenum in the discharge and the pending Compliance Schedule with TCEQ. Schlumberger IPC, 555 Industrial Boulevard, Sugar Land, Texas, 77478, became significantly noncompliant with their permit in 2010 due to the following violations in their wastewater discharge: 1. Technical Review Criteria violation of daily maximum and monthly average for fluoride during all 4 quarters of 2010 and for chronic daily maximum and monthly average fluoride violations 1st and 4th quarter of 2010. Corrective action was only required by the City for 4th quarter of 2009 because levels were significantly above background. This was completed by Schlumberger January 15, 2010. 2. Technical Review Criteria violation of daily maximum and monthly average limits for molybdenum for 4th quarter 2010. The City of Sugar Land issued a letter of violation to Schlumberger on January 11, 2011 because the levels in the sample of December 16, 2010 were significantly higher than historical levels. Schlumberger sent a cause and corrective action letter on January 28, 2011 and has made internal changes that have caused resample results to fall within limits. For any questions or concerns, please contact the City of Sugar Land Utilities Department at 281-275-2450.
April 6, 2011 • INDEPENDENT • Page 7
FILM REVIEW: Win Win
I saw this movie on a Tuesday night at a special screening at The Edwards in Houston. Monique H. was my date; we are celebrating 30 years of marriage - hooray for Monique and Larry H.! Going to movies is good for a marriage. I didn’t always think that, but now that I’m a mature young man, I see the light and all things good at the cinema. Paul Giamatti is the star of “Win Win” and is truly on a roll of hugely successful and critically acclaimed films: Sideways (2004), TV series “John Adams,” “The Last Station,” and the very recent “Barney’s Version.” Giamatti is in big demand and his paycheck must be skyrocketing. He kills in this movie. Giamatti, age 43, plays a small-town lawyer, Mike Flaherty, in New Jersey who is not successful in his legal practice and takes on the job of Head Coach of wrestling at the local high school to make ends meet and feed his family. And pay the bills at his office that has a broken down copying ma-
chine and a boiler that makes loud noises during client interviews. This movie cooks so well that the full-capacity audience at The Edwards laughed with gusto every time the boiler made its distinctive grumbling noise that echoed throughout Flaherty’s law office. Getting a laugh from a simple burp of a boiler is the mark of an extremely wellwritten screenplay, outstanding direction, and great timing by the actors. The audience laughed often and throughout the movie even
though much of the story involves sad and complicated issues of abandonment, dishonesty, dementia, drug addition, and desperation. Not to worry; you can handle this movie and will enjoy it as much and Monique and I did. This is the best movie of the year so far. Here are my criticisms: none. Ok, there was one: Flaherty the lawyer is depicted as perhaps not being fully honest (shady in his dealings as a guardian of an elderly client) but I can’t believe an attorney would do anything
unethical. This is where I would insert “LOL” if I was texting you. The cast was amazing. Amy “The Office Ryan play Mrs. Flaherty and she was funny, charming, and motherly with just the right amount of stubbornness. Jeffrey Tambor plays Giamatti’s curmudgeon partner and assistant wrestling coach; Tambor never misses and he scores a take down on this one. My favorite surprise was Flaherty’s best friend and also an assistant wrestling coach Bobby Cannavale. For a pretty boy, he was shockingly hilarious. These three wrestling coaches were an absolute scream. All the trailers and movie posters show Paul Giamatti sitting next to a blond teenage boy named Kyle (Alex Shaffer) wearing a wrestling outfit. This is Shaffer’s first movie but it won’t be his last. The kid can act and he was exceedingly convincing and fascinating as the wayward kid with tremendous talent who needs a loving coach to point him in the right
ing experience with minimal noise, vibration and harshness. The acceleration is seamless. The CT’s continuously variable transmission is controlled by shift-by-wire technology. A parking switch is just below the shift lever and automatically deactivates when the motors are on and re-engaged when the motors are switched off. Because the hybrid system has no starter motor, the generator starts the gasoline engine. Under normal driving conditions, the engine output is divided according to system requirements to both drive the wheels and power the generator. Engine speed is also controlled by the generator. When the engine operation is not required by the hybrid drive system, the generator stops it. If the CT 200h runs under electric motor power alone to the extent that it requires bat-
Facebook entry plays part in sentencing Tiffany Nicole Pettis was convicted of Driving While Intoxicated by a jury on April 1, 2011. The 25-year old Sugar Land woman was charged with the crime stemming from a traffic stop in July 2008. According to Assistant District Attorney Laurel Ellisor, Officer Jose Soto pulled Pettis over for weaving inside and outside of her lane and also for a defective taillight. During the investigation, Officer Soto evaluated the defendant’s sobriety using the standardized field sobriety tests. Not only did Pettis perform poorly on the evaluation, she refused to take a breath test. At one point, Pettis admitted to the officer that she didn’t realize she was “obviously this intoxicated.” She was subsequently arrested. After the jury returned the guilty verdict, punishment evidence was presented to the court. The State presented evidence, including the defendant’s Facebook page, in which Pettis lists “beer, ice cold beer, and beer pong” as some of her interests and activities.
Presiding Judge Jeffrey A. McMeans assessed punishment at a $500 fine, 12 months probation, 100 hours of community service, DWI Education Classes, a Victim Impact Panel, and a $50 donation to the Fort Bend County Women’s Center. Assistant District Attorneys Laurel Ellisor and Andrew Herreth prosecuted the case. Attorneys Kasey Doggett and Stephen Doggett represented the defendant.
he didn’t need this movie, but it certainly will not hurt when the big box office numbers start rolling in. Rock ‘n Roll. Grade 92. Larry H. firstname.lastname@example.org
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AUTOMOBILE: Lexus CT 200 Hybrid By BARBARA FULENWIDER The Lexus CT 200 hybrid is a huge breakaway vehicle for Lexus. It’s Lexus’ first entry into the premium compact segment. While the CT 200 is still luxurious it’s also sporty because it’s built and designed to attract a younger buyer than today’s typical Lexus owner. The CT 200h is also aimed at greenies so it’s powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder, 16-valve, DOHC gas engine, which makes 98 horsepower. The gas engine works in tandem with the electric motor, which makes 80 horsepower. The two produce a total of 134 horsepower. When totally in the electric mode the Lexus CT generates zero NOx and particulate emissions at speeds up to 28 mph. The new CT gets an estimated 43 miles to the gallon in city driving and 40 on the highway. The Lexus hybrid system’s environmental credentials of 10 years of experience are enhanced even more with the CT 200h design, which incorporates LED lighting, a lightweight, energyefficient audio system amplifier and bamboo charcoal speakers and uses bio-sourced materials. Engine control and throttle responses deliver a fun driv-
direction. This is Thomas McCarthy’s movie; he wrote the screenplay and directed. He has arrived. But the three that will get the biggest bump from this movie are: Ryan, Cannavale, and Shaffer. Giamatti is now a huge star and
We understand athletes.
tery charging, the generator will start the gasoline engine, which provides power for the generator to charge the battery. The CT 200h looks like a small station wagon and with the second row 60/40 seats in place there’s 14.3 cubic feet of cargo space. With the seats folded flat the cargo area increases thanks to locating the hybrid battery under the loadspace floor and the adoption of a fully independent double wishbone rear suspension system. The exterior of the CT 200h has a steeply raked windscreen and a distinctive silhouette. The long roof and character lines of the door form a tapered cabin shape, which curves in at the rear where
there are sweeping tail lamps in a L-shaped motif. The CT 200h rides on 17-inch alloy wheels. Inside there’s extensive metallic finishes and dark, soft touch materials to reinforce the upscale quality of the CT 200h. High tech features include Lexus optional navigation system, with its remote multi-function control device, a rear view monitor and either the standard or premium Lexus audio system. The CT 200h rides well but with more road feel than is normally allowed in a Lexus. Remember, this sporty model is targeted to the young. The CT 200h retails for $30,900. The test drive came in at $37,364 with the optional 10-speaker Lexus premium audio system, LED headlamps with auto leveling and washers, the leather package and the coolest illuminated in blue Lexus door sills. The CT 200h is a luxurious ride and drive in a proud to be green vehicle that delivers more miles to the gallon and doesn’t trade in all the fun to do it.
to Soccer Elites, World Cup Players, & International Professionals
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Physician Assistant, Ashley Donnell (#25), played defense for the University of Denver on an athletic scholarship.
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Page 8 • INDEPENDENT • APRIL 6, 2011
Volunteer Fort Bend is pleased to announce the top five volunteers in Fort Bend County
Dave Kiger Exchange Club of Sugar Land
Carol Manby Fort Bend Women’s Shelter
Susan Papa Casa de Esperenza
Christine Smith Head Start Program
Nolan Stilwell Fort Bend ArtReach
The five honorees will be recognized for their accomplishments by Fort Bend County Judge Bob Hebert at a celebratory breakfast on Thursday, April 28, beginning at 7:30 a.m. at Safari Texas Ranch, 11627 FM 1464 in Richmond. Presenting Sponsor
Panel of judges: Stafford pharmacist Gene Woo; community volunteer Shirley Clark; Suzanne Hinds with United Way of Greater Houston; Fred Arnold with Minute Maid; Kelly Matte with H-E-B at Sienna Market; and Linda Cahue with Hyatt Sugar Land. Join the celebration. Individual tickets and corporate sponsorships are still available. For information, call Kathy Renfrow, Director of Volunteer Fort Bend, at 281-340-1919, or email her at kathyr@VolunteerHouston.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.
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siennaplantation.com facebook.com/siennaplantation Sienna Parkway at Hwy. 6 . 281-778-7777
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