VOL 4 No. 31
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FORT BEND FAIR. BALANCED. INFORMATIVE. WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 3, 2011
P. O.BOX 623, SUGAR LAND, TX 77487-0623
Official newspaper of Fort Bend County, Missouri City & Sugar Land
FBISD gets “Academically Acceptable” rating In the 2011 district and campus accountability ratings, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) has designated 65 percent, or 45 of the 69 Fort Bend ISD campuses that receive the ratings, as Exemplary (19) or Recognized (26). Because four campuses are rated Unacceptable due to their performance in math or science, the district is limited to a rating of Academically Acceptable. If not for these four campuses, the district would have been rated Recognized. In many areas FBISD campuses increased or maintained the percentage of students meeting the standard on the state’s test, the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS).
Although the scores required for students to meet passing standards did not increase on this year’s test, the overall scores for FBISD students were up. Of the 25 academic indicators measured by the tests, students maintained a high level of achievement on 18 of the 25, and increased scores in the remaining seven when compared to 2010. Additionally, this year the state introduced five more measures which are included in the rating assignment— Commended Performance in Math and Reading for All Students and Economically Disadvantaged Students, and the English Language Learner Progress Indicator. The district rated Exemplary
on four of the new measures and Recognized on the fifth. “I am extremely proud of our students’ overall achievement gains, and we applaud our teachers and students for their hard work that is reflected in the continued progress made on TAKS this year,” said Dr. Timothy Jenney, superintendent. “Of course we have additional and immediate challenges which require us to focus our efforts on preparing students for a more rigorous state accountability test administered for the first time next spring. At the same time the district has lost $50 million in State education funding in the last two years,” he added. Dr. Olwen Herron, the district’s Chief Academic Officer,
Olson votes “to cut spending” By SESHADRI KUMAR U.S. Rep. Pete Olson (RSugar Land) voted with the party leadership on Monday “to cut spending and avoid U.S. default.” The amended Budget Control Act cuts spending by more than the debt ceiling increase, as well as capping future spending without raising taxes, Olson said. The bill also requires Congress to vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment, consistent with the principles in the Cut, Cap and Balance (CCB) Act previously approved by the House, he said. The Budget Control Act passed the House by a vote of 269-161. Olson said: “This historic victory ensures that we cut federal spending as a condition of increasing the debt limit. The debate has shifted from how much to increase spending to Sugar Land Rotarians are selling raffle tickets, and are pictured with the raffle Grand Prize choice of 2011 Buick Regal (courtesy of David Taylor Cadillac) or a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro (courtesy of Classic Chevrolet). Sugar Land Rotarians pictured from left to right are: Jeff Tallas (Shrimpfest Co-Chair), Craig DeSerf (General Manager David Taylor Cadillac), Bob Bilski, Jared Jameson, Dennis McAfee, Sugar Land Rotary President Greg Pendley, Brian Barnes (Classic Chevrolet Sugar Land), Ward Pendleton, Mitch Rahim (Shrimpfest Co-Chair) and Bouche Mickey. Sugar Land Rotary ShrimpFest 2011 is set for Saturday, Sept. 10 at the Fluor Building complex in Sugar Land on Highway 6. “ShrimpFest is a popular community gathering for the entire family and much more. The food and fellowship are the best, but the impact you can make by giving back to our wonderful community is even greater,” says Greg Pendley, President Sugar Land Rotary. By participating in ShrimpFest, you will enjoy more than a popular feast, you will also find an opportu-
Olson how much to cut. While both sides have spent too much, Democrats in Congress increased the debt limit six times by almost 60% in less than four years. We simply cannot afford this any longer. “This plan maintains 99% of the principles in the Cut, Cap and Balance Act and moves
our nation toward fiscal discipline. This bill cuts spending, imposes caps on future spending, requires a vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment and does not include job-crushing tax hikes. This is an important step in the right direction in getting our spending under control, and is what I promised the people who elected me that I would do.” The amended Budget Control Act of 2011 includes: •The $917 billion in spending cuts over 10 years exceeds the $900 billion debt hike; • There are no job-crushing tax hikes in this bill. And Republicans will not raise taxes going forward; •There are more than $21 billion in spending cuts next year alone, and the bill continues to reduce the deficit in the years ahead (by $42 billion in 2013, $59 billion in 2014, $75 billion in 2015, $87 billion in
nity to give back to the community and especially those in need. All proceeds from the event will benefit Sugar Land Rotary charities. ShrimpFest starts at 5 p.m. and the food will be served until 7:30 p.m. The live auction will begin at 7 p.m
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.
is also pleased with the gains made by students but said there is a lot of work to be done this coming school year. “We plan to continue with our focus on data-informed instruction and high-yield instructional strategies to prepare our students for the rigors of the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test.” FBISD will be celebrating the gains made on TAKS and recognizing those campuses that achieved Exemplary and Recognized status at its annual Leadership Institute for administrators on August 3. Some of the test score highlights that the superintendent will review include the following: Meeting the Standard: •FBISD students took a
combination of 27 different state TAKS tests in spring 2011. Of these 27 tests, 10 showed an increase, six remained the same as last year and 11 decreased. •The subject with the highest increase in students meeting the standard was third-grade math with a three percent increase overall. •Math scores for third-grade African American students increased by six percent. Meeting the Commended Standard (scores above and beyond the passing standard): •Of the 27 tests, 19 showed an increase, two remained the same and six decreased slightly. •The subject with the highest percent increase in commended scores was 11th grade
Political sign issue heads to AG By SESHADRI KUMAR The controversy over campaign signs by Chief Deputy Craig Brady who wants to run for Fort Bend County Sheriff has reached the office of the Texas Attorney-General. A Texas Department of Transportation official has found some of the political signs by Brady as illegal and sought their removal. Brady disagreed with the TXDOT official and sent a response through his attorney. Since Brady did not remove the signs as stipulated, “The 2016, and so on); and •The bill creates a joint House-Senate committee with a goal of enacting at least $1.5 trillion in additional spending cuts over 10 years. The Congress must adopt these cuts by the end of the year or send a Balanced Budget Amendment to the states before the president can request another debt limit increase. If the joint committee does not come up with $1.5 trillion in cuts then corresponding cuts will be made through automatic sequestration. Even if a balanced budget amendment is sent to the states, spending must still be cut.
violations have been referred to the Office of the Attorney General for enforcement of the statutes,” said Gus Cannon, Director of Resource Management Section in TxDOT’s Right of Way division. While TxDOT stuck to its interpretation of the law, Brady has covered at least four of the signs which were cited by TxDOT as a gesture of good will, as he put it. Brady is confident that his right to keep the signs will prevail based on established law and precedent. The Texas Department of Transportation sent a series of letters to Craig Brady. These letters state that certain signs advertising “Vote Brady for Sheriff” erected in Fort Bend County (“the Signs”) are in violation of the Texas Highway Beautification Act, as codified in Chapter 391 of the Texas Transportation Code . The first letter dated June 22, 2011 states that the Signs are in violation because Brady erected them more than 90 days before the election. Brady responded to both letters on July 7, 2011 and demonstrated See SIGNS, Page 3
science with an 11 percent increase. •Eleventh grade science showed an increase of 17 percent for the White sub-population. Fort Bend ISD, along with other districts in the state, is focusing on the transition from the TAKS test to the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness, or the STAAR test, which debuts in spring, 2012. With the new test comes measurement by a new Accountability System which is still in development. For a complete listing of the 2011 FBISD District and Campus Accountability Ratings, go to www.fortbendisd.com and click on “2011 TEA Accountability Ratings.”
Region 4 Elementary Teacher of the Year finalist
Danielle Moss, a fifth-grade English Language Arts teacher at Fleming Elementary School, was recently named as a finalist for Region 4 Elementary Teacher of the Year. She has been teaching for 10 years, with five of those at Fleming. She is an exceptional teacher and acknowledges that teaching is not always glamorous; however, it does provide some amazing opportunities to watch dreams unfold and to inspire students to believe that anything is possible with a good education. The name of the Region 4 Elementary Teacher of the Year will be announced in August.
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Page 2 • INDEPENDENT • AUGUST 3, 2011
News Get the facts on radiation exposure and mammograms When you think of radiation exposure, does a nuclear power plant disaster come to mind? How about airport scanners? Or medical imaging such as CT scans and mammograms? There have been media reports questioning dangerous levels of radiation exposure from these sources and as a result, there’s growing concern about the safety of mammograms and other imaging routinely used for detecting diseases like breast cancer. The fact is, the health benefits of getting a mammogram that may help diagnose breast cancer in its early stages far outweighs any risk of radiation associated with the test.
Templeton, Phillips and Dempsey outweighs the risk,” says Stephen Phillips, M.D., boardcertified breast radiologist and medical director of the Breast Center at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. In fact, the amount of radiation exposure in one mammogram is the equivalent of the same radiation exposure you get from natural sources alone in seven weeks. Natural background sources of radiation occur in the atmosphere, such as radon gas found in homes, minerals in the ground and cosmic rays from outer space. “For women age 40 and older, regular mammograms read by a breast radiologist and clinical breast exams with a health care provider are powerful screening tools in detecting cancer early,” emphasizes Sandra Templeton, M.D., board-certified surgeon specializing in breast surgery. “Mammograms help physicians detect small tumors in the early stages of cancer, when there are more treatment options and greater chance of survival.”
MAMMOGRAMS SAVE LIVES “It’s important for women to know that mammograms are considered safe, and it’s proven that they can save lives,” says Kelly Dempsey, M.D., board-certified surgeon specializing in breast surgery. The National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society recommend that women age 40 and older get mammograms every one to two years. “Women with above-average risk for breast cancer should talk with their doctor about when to start screening and how often to get mammograms,” Dr. Dempsey adds. Risks associated with radiation exposure from mammograms and other X-rays are minimal. “There is a slightly elevated risk of cancer from excessive exposure to radiation, but the amount of radiation from a mammogram is very low, and the benefit of early detection of cancer far
WAYS WE PROTECT YOU The Breast Center at Meth-
odist Sugar Land Hospital limits unnecessary exposure to radiation by using the lowest dose possible for all kinds of screening tests, including mammograms. Digital mammography equipment provides higher-quality images and a lower radiation dose compared to film mammography. “In addition, our Breast Center is reviewed by national and international radiology protection councils to make sure we are meeting certain safety standards,” Dr. Phillips says. To schedule a mammogram at the Breast Center, please call 281-242-PINK (7465). Free Seminar: Join a multi-disciplinary panel of physicians to discuss Updates on Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment and have your questions answered. October 19 at 6:00 p.m., located at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital main pavilion conference center. Seating is limited, call today to make reservations. 281274-7500.
2011-2012 Clements Stars Officers on winning track The Clements Stars Dance Team is has begun the new school year on a winning track. The girls have already competed at Dance Camp this summer bringing home 4 major awards including Home Routines, Camp Dance, Choreography & Dynamics, and Chosen Routines. Teams from all over the region were represented, and participated in
the Crowd Pleasers Event downtown Houston at the Hyatt Regency. The competing officers for Clements High School were: Anna Busier, Lauren Castiglioni, Morgan Davis, Tori Fortenberry, Nasim Heydari, Isabella Hwang, Kelsey Key, Brea Moffett, Kaylen Parker, Claire Perry, Katherine Saunders, Michelle Shutter, Raquel Roulin, and Chris-
tina Triggs. Director Michelle Barth looks forward to a busy, and successful year. Front row: Lauren Castiglioni, Morgan Davis, Tori Fortenberry, Anna Busier, Katherine Saunders, Kaylen Parker, Michelle Barth. Top row: Brea Moffett, Michelle Shutter, Kelsey Key, Christina Triggs, Raquel Roulin, Nasim Heydair, Isabella Hwang, Claire Perry.
Job Search Survival - Free Job Search Training With unemployment rates at record levels, finding a new job is not easy. With more candidates competing for fewer jobs, you need all the advantages you can get. Job Search Survival’s Job Search Training can help. This 3 night training is FREE, and all are welcome. No reservations are needed. Dress is casual. This 3 night event will be held at the Cinco Ranch Library, Fort Bend County, Katy Texas from 5:30
p.m. until 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 8, 9 and 10, 2011. “I thought my resume was in pretty good shape, but after I attended the Job Search Survival Classes, I knew I needed to revise it. I added keywords, and changed my contact information, as well as updating my previous job titles,” reports one recent class participant. Job Search Survival is an outreach ministry of Sugar Creek Baptist Church of Sug-
ar Land Texas. Twelve dedicated men in the church, teach skills vital to your success in getting a new job. Ministry coordinator Mickey Mixon said “If you have not been to a job skills training class in the last year, your resume, as well as your interview techniques are already out of date. Join us to learn the latest skill set that will land you that new job!” For more information, visit www. JobSearchSurvival.com.
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AUGUST 3, 2011 • INDEPENDENT • Page 3
News Jacquie Chaumette enters State Rep. Dist. 26 race Sugar Land Councilwoman Jacquie Chaumette has announced her intention to run for Texas House of Representatives in the Republican Party primary next March. “After spending months meeting with several business and community leaders and other leaders within the Republican Party, I have decided to run for the Texas House of Representatives, District 26,” Chaumette said in a statement on Monday. Charlie Howard currently holds the seat. At the City of Sugar Land’s July 19th city council meet-
Chaumette ing, Chaumette was unanimously elected as the new
Mayor Pro Tem. She is a senior member of the City Council, currently serving her second term. “Our representatives in Austin must be leaders as we advance those principles and make our community (and our state) a better place for all citizens. Like you, I want accountable and strong leadership for the citizens of District 26,” she said. “I am not new to Republican causes. In fact, I have been active for many years. I am a former Republican precinct chair, have served on several Republican Boards
including as Candidates Committee Chair for the R Club and as Vice President of the Fort Bend Republican Women’s PAC. “I have worked on several campaigns for Republican candidates. Through this work, I have demonstrated my belief in the fundamental Republican principles that unite us as a community and as a party. It is those principles that will guide my work as your next State Representative for District 26,” Chaumette said. “I have also represented Fort Bend, Harris and sur-
Travis High School graduate takes part in White House summer internship program Riju Agrawal, a 2009 graduate of Travis High School and former G/T Mentorship student, is among nearly 150 young leaders across the nation to be selected as a participant in the 2011 White House Summer Internship Program. He is currently a sophomore at Harvard University. The program’s mission is to make the White House accessible to future leaders all around the nation and cultivate and prepare those devoted to public service for future leadership opportunities. To be selected, participants must be a U.S. citizen, at
least 18 years old, currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at a college, community college or university or graduated in the past two years from an undergraduate or graduate program at a college, community college or university. Participants can also be a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces who has obtained a high school diploma or equivalent and has served in active duty over the past two years. The select group of interns dedicates its time, talents, energy and service to better the White House, the community
Agrawal and the nation. Interns work in
rounding counties as a gubernatorial appointee to the Brazos River Authority. In those roles, I have been helping with our legislative and policy issues affecting our District for some time. District 26 is our home, and I feel a deep desire and responsibility to help make this District the best place for my family, and yours, to live. “Furthermore, I understand how government works. Even before I became an elected of-
ficial, I was the regional planner for the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC), Director of Planning for Sugar Land and a Vice President at the Greater Houston Partnership. These positions focused on the key policy issues affecting our region: infrastructure, transportation and development. “I am the right candidate at the right time. I am excited about the campaign ahead,” Chaumette said.
Texas history program Gregg Dimmick of Wharton, author of “Sea of Mud,” will cover the topic of the Mexican Army’s retreat from Texas in 1836 at a presentation to the Fort Bend County Historical Commission (CHC). The CHC meeting and program will take place at the George Memorial Library, 1001 Golfview in Richmond, on Tuesday, Aug. 16 beginning at 3 p.m. The event is open to the public and free of charge. (281)341-8635
several White House departments, including the Office of Presidential Correspondence, the Office of Cabinet Affairs, the Office of Chief of Staff, the Office of Legislative Affairs, and more. Their assignments may include conducting research, managing incoming inquiries, attending meetings and writing memos. Each week, interns come together for a speaker series with senior White House staff members and participate in off-site fieldtrips around the Washington, D.C. area.
South Post Oak project complete Fort Bend County’s Precinct 1 Commissioner Richard Morrison last week announced the extension of South Post Oak Boulevard and reconstruction of McKeever Road. The roads were open to traffic at a cost of $2.75 million. The project included constructing four lanes of South Post Oak Boulevard from SH 6 south to McKeever Road, including the construction of a four-lane bridge over the Gulf Coast Water Authority Canal. The project also included the reconstruction of the existing two-lane asphalt section of McKeever Road and reconstructing the road into a three-lane concrete section from West Plantation Oaks Drive to 500 feet east of the newly constructed South Post Oak Boulevard. The Contractor for the project was Durwood Greene Construction Company and the Engineer of record for the project was Clay Forister, P.E., with LJA Engineering. This project lies wholly within the City of Arcola. This was a cooperative effort of the City of Arcola, Southwest Houston Aviation, Gulf Coast Water Authority, Texas Department of Transportation, and Fort Bend County.
Signs From Page 1 that the Signs were on industrial or commercial property, and, therefore, not in violation of the Act . Todd W. Mensing, attorney with the lawfirm Ahmad,, Zavitsanos & Anaipakos, P.C., representing Brady, sent an elaborate response to the office of Texas Attorney General on July 26 on “outdoor signs.” On July 12, 2011 TxDOT sent another letter to Brady citing the Texas Administrative Code and Texas Transportation Code. TxDOT no longer argued that the signs are out of compliance because they were campaign signs, Mensing “Apparently conceding that the signs are exempt because they are on industrial or commercial property, TxDOT now alleges that, despite this exemption, the signs are subject to regulation. This is a contradiction in terms. Because the Signs are exempt under the Act, it makes little sense to say TxDOT may regulate them under the Act. If the Signs are exempt under the Act, TxDOT cannot nevertheless use the Act to regulate them. Despite this, TxDOT maintains now that the Signs are illegal because they are not licensed and permitted pursuant to these regulations. (TxDOT cites the statutes and regulations cited by TxDOT that require a permit and license for signs along “Primary Highways and Interstates. “As we demonstrated in our first letter to TxDOT,
the signs are not in violation because they are all located on commercial or industrial property. Section 391.031(b) of the TTC states, in relevant part: (b) A person does not commit an offense if the person erects or maintains in an area outdoor advertising located within 660 feet of the nearest edge of a right-of-way in an area in which the land use: (A) is designated industrial or commercial under authority of the law; or (B) is not designated industrial or commercial under authority of law but the land use is consistent with an area designated industrial or commercial. “TxDOT’s allegation that Brady is committing an offense under §391 by erecting signs on commercial or industrial property directly contradicts the Act, which explicitly states that it is not an offense of the Act to erect a sign in an industrial or commercial area. Because the Signs are exempt under the Act, it follows that TxDOT’s attempt to criminalize the Signs unless they are permitted is unauthorized. “This is well-established law in Texas. An agency can adopt only such rules as are authorized by and consistent with its statutory authority. “The law prohibits agencies from exercising what is effectively a new power, or a power contradictory to the statute. “The Texas Supreme Court directly addressed these specific issues in a 2003 decision. In Texas Dept. of Transp. v. Barber, the Court held that
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Steve Maynard, left, Durwood Greene Construction, Len FranklinHouston Southwest Airport, Clay Forister-LJA Engineering-Project Engineer, Commissioner Richard Morrison, County Judge Bob Hebert, Jeff Collins-LJA Engineering, Commissioner Andy Meyers, Tom Hilton-City Of Arcola and Matt Downing-Durwood Greene Construction. “the Act allows any type of noncommercial speech (including political and ideological speech) in industrial and commercial areas. The Act simply limits noncommercial speech in non-industrial and noncommercial areas to that which relates to an on-premise activity or to an upcoming public election.” “The Court in Barber also held that TxDOT’s rules attempting to implement this section of the Act through its regulations, and specifically the regulation TxDOT relies upon here (TAC § 21 ), are “constitutionally suspect and do not comport with the Act’s language.” “Simply put, the Court refused to enforce these “rules.” It criticized the TAC for purporting to limit the commercial and industrial property exception to “on-premise” signs, and held further that the TAC fails to comport with the Act by not exempting all commercial and noncommercial speech for advertising on commercial and industrial property. “Indeed, the Attorney General’s past interpretations of the Act take this very position. “The Attorney General stated in its brief to the Texas Supreme Court in Barber that the Act exempts the very type of speech at issue here from regulation. “Of course, this is what TxDOT is attempting to do now: regulate this speech. Further, the Attorney General’s brief discusses the narrow tailoring of the Act, stating that “[the Act] restricts advertising only in a limited area along feder-
ally funded highways. It does not address advertising outside this protected area and expressly allows advertising along this federal corridor in areas designated commercial or industrial...” “According to the Attorney General’s own brief, the Signs are all located in commercial and industrial areas where the Act does not apply. “More fundamentally, it appears that TxDOT has focused solely on Mr. Brady’s signs. But these Signs are surrounded by a multitude of other signs that have apparently drawn no attention from TxDOT. Further, similar signs are abundant among Fort Bend County’s highways and interstates. “TxDOT’s sporadic application of its interpretation of the Act reinforces questions about its validity. Indeed, this apparent unequal enforcement itself violates the law. “Additionally, the Act only applies to primary highways and interstates. Yet all of TxDOT’s letters fail to give the specific location(s) of the Sign(s), and fail to give the designation of the location(s) as a primary highway or a rural road. “Mr. Brady’s signs are primarily on farm-to-market roads, where it is not clear that the Act applies at all. Simply put,TxDOT has failed to establish that the Act even applies in the first place. We have repeatedly requested the location(s) and designation(s) of the Sign(s) at issue from TxDOT, but TxDOT has failed to provide this information.”
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Page 4 • INDEPENDENT • AUGUST 3, 2011
Opinion The View from Sugar Land Resolution of the debt crisis–maybe By RUSSELL JONES Something of an agreement was finally achieved Sunday evening when Boehner, Reid and Obama, each separately and without much regard for the others, announced a deal on the so-called debt crisis. By one standard, it must be a great compromise: apparently nobody likes it. As of this writing there is still no guarantee that the entire Congress will adopt the agreement. For that matter there is no guarantee that a majority of either house or a majority of either party will support it. With one party in control of each house of Congress, there is some chance that both will reject the deal, but for exactly the opposite reasons. Democrats hate that the deal does not include any new taxes for the rich. By rich, they mean, of course, anyone who is already paying income taxes– only about half the population. The additional requirement that a balanced budget amendment must be voted on by November only makes their blood boil. Republicans hate the hard fact that the debt ceiling increase will occur immediately, but the spending cuts will occur, if at all, over the next ten years. By one calculation, that means that the debt limit will increase by ten times more than the amount of spending reductions over the next year. In typical Washington fashion, the key decisions on the real problem–excessive government spending–are kicked down the road a few months. Everyone involved will claim that Sunday’s agreement represents a historic achievement. Everyone who really understands what happened will recognize the debate over the past few months to have been much Sturm und Drang, generating heat but re-
Jones solving nothing. Only about $1 trillion in both debt limit increase and spending cuts are reasonably certain in the deal. In phase two of the plan, the remaining $2 trillion or so will be dealt with by a six member “bipartisan, bicameral” commission before November. It is doubtful that anyone involved in negotiating the deal really thinks that will happen, or if it does, that it will produce any results. The point is, neither Obama nor Congressional leaders need to worry about it now. Much of the political posturing has been couched in terms of avoiding a downgrade of US securities by major rating agencies. A default on August 2, so it has been said, would result in a reduction in the government’s historic AAA bond rating. In theory a downgrade would be so shocking to world financial markets that treasury bill buyers would quit buying, resulting in higher interest rates What is really shocking is that America’s bond ratings have remained at their current high level, despite the government’s massive debt buildup. The rating agencies’ threats of downgrades have only recently become part of the public de-
bate. The elements of government default have been building for years. The current debate over hiking the debt limit has only raised public consciousness of the problem. On Friday Moody’s, the most prominent of the rating agencies, said that the “limited magnitude” of both debt limit plans then being discussed would be insufficient to maintain the AAA government rating. Sunday’s plan was, if anything, smaller than the plans being considered two days earlier. Moody’s announced that such a small reduction in spending would likely lead to the adoption of a negative outlook on the AAA rating. Despite all the uncertainty remaining in this deal that was intended to end the uncertainty of the debt limit debate, Republicans were already claiming victory late Sunday. To their credit, there are no tax increases specifically approved in the agreement, an absolute requirement for any deal according to Obama just two weeks ago. But never worry. By Monday morning, liberals were calling for America’s wealthier one-half to “share the sacrifice” likely to be caused by phase two of the plan. No one was calling on the one-half who currently pay no taxes and who are the recipients of government checks to also sacrifice. Any victory is hard to see. Even with Sunday’s agreement, and assuming that it really does what the negotiators say it does, the national debt is still on track to grow by about $7 trillion over the next 10 years. Jones served as a member of the Sugar Land City Council from 2003 through June, 2011. He owns a law firm and a title insurance company in Sugar Land.
Musings: That’s entertainment By JANICE SCANLAN For me as a child, the municipal swimming pool and the movie theater were two sure ways for cool entertainment. With the record heat, we all seem to be looking for ways to beat the heat . . . and a movie has always been a great way. We’re fortunate in Fort Bend to have a number of very nice theaters, and pools for that matter. Frankly, I had wondered if the Star Cinema Grill would live up to its billing or just be a slicked up movie house, but with food and spirits . . . Would the food be any good and/or would it be a distraction to the movie? I’m happy to say John and I were impressed. Not only did we thoroughly enjoy Cowboys and Aliens . . . we also enjoyed the theater itself. The food was a notch above the normal burgers and appetizers. Our orders were fresh and well-prepared. Ordering is easy . . . and the service is not overbearing and designed not to detract from the movie. I wish our turkey burgers had been cut in half, but that’s an extremely minor criticism with order sheets set up where you can write exactly what you want—press your button and your order is picked up, then delivered to you. In fact, drinks came before our main course. Drinks are reasonably priced and served in high
Scanlan quality Lucite drink glasses and beer mugs. There’s a dessert list and salads as well. We found it a little hard to eat in the dark, but both managed. I wouldn’t hesitate to eat there again as there is much variety. And the menu didn’t seem to be the drowned-in- cheese nachos. Of course, there’s popcorn. And there’s a nice discount for movies before 6 p.m. I had been rather intrigued by this theater when I saw a news clip on a special event at the Conroe location to watch and celebrate the final game of the Women’s World Cup. Those people were having fun! The staff is well-trained and strives to ensure you have “a great movie experience.” And you don’t have to stand out in the heat to buy tickets! Good variety of movies and kids under 18 must
Seshadri Kumar Publisher & Editor
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come with adult supervision. The Missouri City/Sugar Land location is 4811 Highway 6 at Dulles/Austin Parkway. You can call 832-5392675 or visit their website at http://starcinemagrill.net Fort Bend Amateur Photo Contest for photographers aged 5 to well there’s no limit on the top end. The DeWalt Heritage Center is sponsoring a photo contest that will provide some of the photos in their 2012 calendar, so they are limiting photos to pictures taken in Fort Bend. You can enter up to 3 photos. Deadline for photos is September 16 so start finding or taking those Fort Bend photos. Now the fun part is the photography will be on display as well as for sale October 9 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m at the Dew House at DeWalt Heritage Center in Kitty Hollow Park at 9555 Highway 6 South. Proceeds benefit the Museum, which is now open every Sunday afternoon from 1 to 4 p.m. Rules and entry form is available on my website. Pass the word to your friends! Visit http://traction.typepad.com/musings or write email@example.com to get an entry form.
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) www. freebibleliterature. com
Texas Straight Talk When a cut is not a cut By RON PAUL One might think that the recent drama over the debt ceiling involves one side wanting to increase or maintain spending with the other side wanting to drastically cut spending, but that is far from the truth. In spite of the rhetoric being thrown around, the real debate is over how much government spending will increase. No plan under serious consideration cuts spending in the way you and I think about it. Instead, the “cuts” being discussed are illusory, and are not cuts from current amounts being spent, but cuts in projected spending increases. This is akin to a family “saving” $100,000 in expenses by deciding not to buy a Lamborghini, and instead getting a fully loaded Mercedes, when really their budget dictates that they need to stick with their perfectly serviceable Honda. But this is the type of math Washington uses to mask the incriminating truth about their unrepentant plundering of the American people. The truth is that frightening rhetoric about default and full faith and credit of the United States is being carelessly thrown around to ram through a bigger budget than ever, in spite of stagnant revenues. If your family’s income did not change year over year, would it be wise financial management to accelerate spending so you would feel richer? That is what our government is doing, with one
Paul side merely suggesting a different list of purchases than the other. In reality, bringing our fiscal house into order is not that complicated or excruciatingly painful at all. If we simply kept spending at current levels, by their definition of “cuts” that would save nearly $400 billion in the next few years, versus the $25 billion the Budget Control Act claims to “cut”. It would only take us 5 years to “cut” $1 trillion, in Washington math, just by holding the line on spending. That is hardly austere or catastrophic. A balanced budget is similarly simple and within reach if Washington had just a tiny amount of fiscal common sense. Our revenues currently stand at approximately $2.2 trillion a year and are likely to remain stagnant as the reces-
sion continues. Our outlays are $3.7 trillion and projected to grow every year. Yet we only have to go back to 2004 for federal outlays of $2.2 trillion, and the government was far from small that year. If we simply returned to that year’s spending levels, which would hardly be austere, we would have a balanced budget right now. If we held the line on spending, and the economy actually did grow as estimated, the budget would balance on its own by 2015 with no cuts whatsoever. We pay 35 percent more for our military today than we did 10 years ago, for the exact same capabilities. The same could be said for the rest of the government. Why has our budget doubled in 10 years? This country doesn’t have double the population, or double the land area, or double anything that would require the federal government to grow by such an obscene amount. In Washington terms, a simple freeze in spending would be a much bigger “cut” than any plan being discussed. If politicians simply cannot bear to implement actual cuts to actual spending, just freezing the budget would give the economy the best chance to catch its breath, recover and grow. (Ron Paul represents the 14th Congressional District in Texas.)
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Finance & Investment What is the Federal Reserve? By JARED & BILL JAMESON The Federal Reserve, or Fed, was created in 1913 when the Federal Reserve Act was signed by President Woodrow Wilson. The law was in response to the financial panic of 1907, which caused a run on the banks, similar to what was seen in the Great Depression. During the crisis, financiers like JP Morgan and John Rockefeller banded together to provide cash to struggling banks, keeping them from going bankrupt. In essence, they formalized this relationship in1913 by creating a system that could provide liquidity (cash) if needed. The name “Federal Reserve” is actually a misnomer, as the Fed is not part of the federal government. It is an independent banking system made up of twelve regional banks. These banks are strategically positioned around the US to represent a diverse mix of various industries, sectors and localities. Each regional bank is owned by the largest private banks located in its area. The board of the Fed is made up of seven members, with no more than one coming from any regional bank. They are appointed to14-year terms by the president, and are confirmed by the Senate. The chairman of the board is appointed to a four-year term and is also confirmed by the Senate. Well-known economist Alan Greenspan served as chairman from 1987 to 2006, working under four different presidents. Current chairman Ben Bernanke took over from Greenspan and is famous for his research on the Great Depression. The Fed has a dual mandate, meaning its goals are to
Bill and Jared Jameson control inflation and reinforce positive economic activity. Often, these two forces are in opposition to each other, making the job of the Fed very difficult. For example, in the early 1980s, inflation was running in the teens. In order to bring down the inflation rate, the Fed raised interest rates, which increased the cost of borrowing and decreased economic activity. However, this restrictive policy resulted in a recession, leading to the highest unemployment rate seen in 30 years. One other job of the Federal Reserve is to print and maintain our currency, the dollar. If you look at a dollar bill, written across the top is Federal Reserve Note. The Fed took over this responsibility from Congress and the Treasury when it was created in 1913. The ability to add or subtract money from the market is one
of the primary methods the Fed uses to control interest rates. The Fed is a central bank, which means it sets the monetary policy for the entire nation. This is in contrast to a free-market approach, which would allow lenders and borrows to set interest rates, capital restrictions, etc. The common thought is that central economic planning (central banking) leads to less dramatic booms and busts than a more free-market system would, but because the task of managing the economy is very complex, mistakes have and will be made, making it an imperfect system. WJ Interests is a fee-only financial planning and investment management firm in Sugar Land. For more information, please contact us at email@example.com or 281634-9400.
AUGUST 3, 2011 â€˘ INDEPENDENT â€˘ Page 5
News Cholesterol revisited: The last word, for now By BRENT W. GALLOWAY, M.D. Last time the different types of cholesterol were discussed. If you read the last installment about cholesterol and are now reading this article, then congratulations! Your cholesterol must not be off the charts. If you have not had a previous heart attack, stroke, or have been diagnosed with peripheral vascular disease, then your level of bad cholesterol (LDL) should be below 130. However, if you have had one or more of the above named conditions then your LDL goal should be below 100. Some associations recommend a level below 70 and this depends on various factors that would take too long to explain in this article. Someone once called me stupid and to keep it simple, can you believe it? Another condition where you want LDL levels below 100 would be diabetes. This is because that just by having diabetes you have the same
Galloway risk of having a heart attack as someone who has already had one! Sometimes you may have a borderline-high level of cholesterol but your good (HDL) cholesterol is high as well. You and your physician may decide that because your protective cholesterol (HDL) is at such a high level then maybe cholesterol-lowering medi-
cines may or may not be necessary for you. You may be asking yourself what can be done to lower your cholesterol, is it what I eat, or is just it my genetics? The answer is yes! Your liver produces the majority of the cholesterol in your body and your cholesterol level is mainly determined by your genetics. You have your grandma and grandpa to thank for that one. However, you still have control. Often, people with borderline cholesterol levels can bring it down to normal levels through proper dieting and exercise. Still, others will benefit greatly by starting medicines to reduce your risk of major diseases in the future. Please feel free to make an appointment with Dr. Brent Galloway at Family Practice of Fort Bend to discuss this or other issues. Call 281-2653456 to make your appointment or log on to www.familypracticefortbend.com.
City Council approves key upgrades to architectural design standards Maintaining strong development principles set in Missouri Cityâ€™s 2009 Comprehensive Plan Missouri City council members have approved amendments to the Cityâ€™s Architectural Design Standards in the Zoning Ordinance. After receiving feedback from business partners and holding several public hearings on the issues, City Council gave final approval at its July 18 meeting for the following improvements that will provide additional creative options to businesses: *Expansion of the list of primary materials allowed on structuresâ€”brick and stoneâ€” to include architectural masonry units, which are concrete products. *Use of business identity colors for exterior designs; and the incorporation of business identity colors on aw-
nings and bollards. *Requirement for uniformity of awnings within an integrated business development or shopping center; all awnings will need to be uniform in shape, material, color and design. Architectural design proposals for new construction and redevelopment will continue to be reviewed within the Cityâ€™s 10-business day building permit review period. The â€œShow Meâ€? City is respected state- and nationwide for its adherence to superior codes and maintaining ordinances and regulations aimed at premium development requirements. For this commitment to public spaces such as roadways, parks and open expanses, the City earned a bronze designation from the Scenic City Certification Program. Scenic City, a project started in 2010 to combine a
comprehensive set of model standards into one program, awarded inaugural certificates to 14 cities, including Missouri City. â€œThe visual appearance of our community is a priority with residents, City officials and local businesses,â€? said Director of Development Services Gary Smith. â€œIn keeping with our high standards, we regularly examine our development requirements to assure they produce the aesthetics our citizens and businesses expect.â€? For more details on the Cityâ€™s Architectural Design Standards, call City Planner Jennifer Thomas at 281-4038547. For updates on businesses in Missouri City, view the Cityâ€™s website, www.missouricitytx.gov, and watch Missouri City Television (Channel 16 on Comcast and Channel 99 on AT&T U-verse).
Girl Scout holds dance camp to earn Gold Award Girl Scout Ambassador Tiana Griffin held a dance camp at the Fort Bend Womenâ€™s Center to earn the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can achieve. Less than five percent of girls who join Girl Scouts earn this recognition. â€œI was more patient than I originally thought from doing this project,â€? says Tiana, a 2011 home school graduate. â€œMy patience sometimes is not the best because I get frustrated quickly if things are not working to my advantage. I also did not think I had the patience to teach younger children because sometimes they do not listen well.â€? Earning the Gold Award is a significant honor that requires recipients to demonstrate outstanding leadership skills, career planning, community involvement and personal development. It takes more than 100 service hours and two to three years of intensive work to complete the award requirements, which include planning and completing a project that is a service to the community. â€œI chose this project because I really love the art of dance, and I would like to share my talent with other children and have them exposed to something different,â€? explains Tiana. During her dance clinic,
Griffin Tiana taught underprivileged children different genres of dance, arts and crafts and how to stay physically fit. The childrenâ€™s activities included making bracelets and necklaces, decorating foam hangers and watching a video about healthy eating and exercise. The clinic lasted six hours each day for two days and eight to 11 children attended. â€œI feel Tiana has learned patience and persistence,â€? says Techonia Griffin, Tianaâ€™s mother. â€œShe made an enormous amount of phone calls, typed emails and sent faxes, which she never had to do before to this extent. She has learned one has to be patient while waiting on the responses of others via phone
and email. She has learned when you donâ€™t get the answer youâ€™re seeking, you have to continue to plod until you do.â€? As an active member of Girl Scouts for more than 10 years, Tiana has sold cookies, participated in interest projects, attended troop camping trips, volunteered and earned various patches and her Bronze Award. Her extracurricular activities include ballet, modern and praise dancing as well as track. She has performed at the Wortham and Hobby Centers and has earned numerous awards in track. In the fall, she plans to attend University of Houston to study dance, education and psychology. Girl Scouts of the USA is the worldâ€™s preeminent organization for girls, with a membership of more than 3.7 million girls and adults. Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Chartered by GSUSA to provide Girl Scouting locally, Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council is one of the largest Girl Scout councils in the country serving more than 76,000 girl members and 18,000 adults in 26 southeast Texas counties. For more information call 1-800-392-4340 or visit www.gssjc.org.
Child Advocates of Fort Bend expands its voices for children Child Advocates of Fort Bend is expanding its Voices for Children under the leadership of Patty Green, its new Development Director. Voices for Children is a public awareness program launched in 2010 to let people know how the growing epidemic of child abuse is impacting our children, families and community. In 2010, Child Advocates of Fort Bend served 1,391 children and the number is growing every year. The first step in breaking the cycle of abuse is for the community to be aware of the problem and get involved. Nationally, 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be victims of abuse by the time they reach 18. The Voices for Children program is designed to change those outcomes so that Fort Bend County can bring an
Legislative issues that impact Children The George Foundation, The Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce along with Children at Risk is hosting the fourth session of The Future of Fort Bendâ€™s Childrenâ€™s seminars on â€œLegislative Issues that Impact the Future of Our Childrenâ€? on Friday, Aug. 12, from 7:30 a.m â€“ 9:00 a.m at the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce, 445 Commerce Green Blvd., Sugar Land.. Children at Risk has put together a great program to share insights into critical issues impacting children. The featured guests included Pricilla Aquina Garza â€“ Deputy Director for Stand for Children, Freddy Warner â€“ System Executive, Public Policy & Government Relations for Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, and a panel discussion with Superintendents â€“ Lance Hindt (Stafford Municipal School District), Dr. Timothy Jenney (Fort Bend ISD) and Dr. Thomas Randle (Lamar CISD). The Community Resources Division is an advocate for excellence under leadership of Vice Chair Dee Koch, Grant Officer - The George Foundation that focuses on forming effective partnerships and collaborations to offer a positive impact in Fort Bend. You can register online at www.FortBendChamber. com or call Shauna at 281491-0277 or email Shauna@ FortBendcc.org.
Green end to this tragedy. Since they started the program, Child Advocates of Fort Bend has held more than 43 tours and spoken to more than 390 people. The public is invited to be a part of this special program. Contact Patty Green at 281344-5106 or pgreen@cafb. org for a 45-minute interactive presentation to hear sto-
ries of the children and learn how you can make a difference in our community. Patty Green is a fundraising professional with over 11 years of development experience. She is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and the Leadership Institute for Nonprofit Executives at Rice University and has achieved her CFRE designation. Prior to joining Child Advocates of Fort Bend, Patty worked for The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston as a Major Gifts Officer. Her fundraising background includes four years as Executive Director at Brazosport Health Foundation where she founded The Mermaid Project, a comprehensive breast cancer program for low-income and uninsured patients in Southern Brazoria County.
Local Democrats host health fair Looking for a low-cost, family-friendly event as the weather cools down? The Sienna and East Fort Bend Democrats Club invites everyone to its 2011 Family Fun Health Fair, which will take place at Kitty Hollow Park on Highway 6 in Missouri City on Saturday, September 24, from 11a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public. In addition to health information, the Fair will include kid-friendly activities, food vendors, merchandise, a blood drive, and information on this fallâ€™s election. The Fair will take place rain or shine.
Introduction to yoga Fort Bend County Librariesâ€™ First Colony Branch Library, 2121 Austin Parkway in Sugar Land, will present an â€œIntroduction to Yogaâ€? on Saturday, August 20, beginning at 10 a.m. in the Meeting Room of the library. Yoga instructor Laurey Boenig will present a basic introduction and demonstration of this low-impact form of physical exercise and meditation. Learn the benefits of yoga, the various yoga postures, and the correct way to breathe to receive maximum benefit. Participants are encouraged to wear loosefitting clothing and comfortable shoes; a yoga mat is optional. Boenig is a certified fitness instructor in yoga, water aerobics and pilates. She conducts classes at the T.W. Davis YMCA in Richmond. The program is free and open to the public. Seating is limited, however, and reservations are required. To register online at the libraryâ€™s website (www.fortbend.lib.tx.us), click on â€œCalendar,â€? select â€œFirst Colony Branch Library,â€? and find the program. Participants may also register by calling the library at 281-238-2800, or by visiting the library.
Finale of Sugar Land Super Star set for Aug. 13 The finale of Sugar Land Superstar â€“ Sugar Landâ€™s American Idol-like competition â€“ will take place on Saturday, August 13 at 7 p.m. in the Plaza of Sugar Land Town Square. One lucky winner will be named the 2011 Sugar Land Superstar. Come out for performances by last yearâ€™s Superstar winner Chase Nease and 2011 Junior Superstar winner Lexi Stavinoh. This event is free and open to the public. Sugar Land Town Square is located at the intersection of U.S. Highway 59 and State Highway 6. For additional information about the competition visit SugarLandTownSquare.com. Sugar Land Superstar is sponsored by David Taylor Cadillac.
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Page 6 • INDEPENDENT • AUGUST 3, 2011
Chick-fil-A Restaurants host Stuff-the-Bus event Four Chick-fil-A® restaurants in the Houston, Texas area will host Stuff-the-Bus events on Aug. 11, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. in partnership with the Fort Bend Family Health Center. Customers who donate a gently-used or new backpack or other new school supplies will receive a coupon for a free Chick-fil-A® Chicken Sandwich with the purchase of a beverage and Chick-fil-A Waffle Potato Fries®. Local police and fire departments will provide Backto-School safety demonstrations throughout the day at each store, including fingerprinting and photo IDs, as well as tours of fire trucks and ambulances. Safety activities will vary by store. “The Stuff-the-Bus event is a great way to get motivated for the new school year,” said franchise Operator Milton Kubala.
“The collected school supplies will be distributed at a health fair hosted by the Fort Bend Family Center, so the impact of our donation will be seen right here in the community.” There is no cost to attend the events. Limit one coupon per person. Offer is valid in store only.
Updating your home with color
Texas history program
The Women’s Association of Sugar Creek Country Club will kick off its new season with a luncheon and presentation by Leslie Austin. Leslie will have helpful suggestions on “Updating Your Home with Color and Accessories.” She has 15 years of design experience and has worked with internationally recognized Homestead Inc. of Fredericksburg, Texas which has been showcased in dozens of magazines including Southern Living and Better Homes and Gardens. The luncheon will be held on Thursday, September 1, beginning at 11 a.m. at the Sugar Creek Country Club in the main ballroom. Sugar Creek Country Club is located at 420 Sugar Creek Blvd. in Sugar Land. Reservations for members and guests are necessary and may be made by calling 281-494-5065 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Members are reminded to bring non-perishable items which will be donated to Fort Bend Human Needs Ministries.
PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE The Commissioners Court of Fort Bend County, Texas has set a public hearing on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. for acceptance of the traffic control plan for Dannhaus Road, Precinct 1. The hearing will be held in the Commissioners Courtroom, 309 South Fourth St., Suite 700, William B. Travis Bldg., Richmond, Texas. You are invited to attend and state your approval or objection on this matter.
Chick-fil-A in Missouri City 6124 Highway 6 South Missouri City, TX 77459 (281) 261-7100 Chick-fil-A in Rosenberg 24734 Southwest Freeway Rosenberg, TX 77471 (281) 342-9898 Chick-fil-A at 59 & West Airport 12161 Southwest Freeway Stafford, TX 77477 (281) 564-0062 Chick-fil-A at Greatwood 20010 Southwest Freeway Sugar Land, TX 77479 (281) 342-7800
Gregg Dimmick of Wharton, author of “Sea of Mud,” will cover the topic of the Mexican Army’s retreat from Texas in 1836 at a presentation to the Fort Bend County Historical Commission (CHC). The CHC meeting and program will take place at the George Memorial Library, 1001 Golfview in Richmond, on Tuesday, Aug. 16 beginning at 3 p.m. The event is open to the public and free of charge. 281-341-8635.
Elected officials reception The Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce and the Central Fort Bend Chamber Alliance invite you to attend an Elected Officials Reception on Thursday, August 4 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at Safari Texas Ranch, 11627 FM 1464, Richmond. This reception is a great opportunity to meet the newly elected officials in Fort Bend County. Sponsorship for this event has been generously provided by Hrbacek & Associates, PC, Republic Services, Inc., and Safari Texas Ranch. Keep informed and engaged by attending this important and relevant reception. This complimentary event is open to the public. For more information contact The Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce at 281-491-0800 or www.fortbendchamber.com 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, AUGUST 18, 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 12-009 – ONLINE HOMEWORK TUTOR 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
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING FISCAL YEAR 2012 PROPOSED BUDGET PURPOSE: ONE (1) PUBLIC HEARING SHALL BE HELD AT WHICH ALL PERSONS INTERESTED IN THE PROPOSED BUDGET WILL BE GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD. WHERE:
CITY OF SUGAR LAND CITY COUNCIL CHAMBER 2700 TOWN CENTER BOULEVARD NORTH
CITY OF SUGAR LAND CITY COUNCIL MEETING 6:00 O’CLOCK P.M., AUGUST 16, 2011
THIS BUDGET WILL RAISE MORE TOTAL PROPERTY TAXES THAN LAST YEAR’S BUDGET BY $1,425,542 OR 5.2%, AND OF THAT AMOUNT, $555,567.00 IS TAX REVENUE TO BE RAISED FROM NEW PROPERTY ADDED TO THE TAX ROLL THIS YEAR. THE PROPOSED BUDGET MAY BE INSPECTED IN THE OFFICE OF THE CITY SECRETARY, CITY OF SUGAR LAND CITY HALL, 2700 TOWN CENTER BOULEVARD NORTH, SUGAR LAND, TEXAS, BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 8:00 O’CLOCK A.M. AND 5:00 O’CLOCK P.M. MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY OR YOU MAY CALL 281275-2236 FOR INFORMATION. THE SUGAR LAND CITY COUNCIL ENCOURAGES ALL CITY OF SUGAR LAND TAXPAYERS TO REVIEW THE PROPOSED BUDGET AND TO BE PRESENT AND PARTICIPATE IN THE PUBLIC HEARING.
Submitted by, Dianne Wilson Fort Bend County Clerk
Sugar Land Democrats feature Jim Hightower The Sugar Land Democrats Club will host a fundraising event on Saturday, Aug. 6, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Sugar Land Social Club located at 16305 Kensington Drive in Sugar Land ( behind the Target). The keynote speaker will be Jim Hightower, National Radio Commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of the book Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow. Also speaking will be Gilbert Hinojosa, candidate for Chairperson of the Texas Democratic Party. Cost of event $20/person includes appetizer foods and tea. Cash bar available. Host sponsorships are available. For more information contact Deron Patterson 281 841 0829 and “Q” Imam 281 467 9545 - Co-founders Sugar Land Democrats Club.
Fort Bend Community Revitalization Projects (Fort Bend CORPS), a non-profit organization, has applied to the USDA Rural Development Department for a housing preservation grant to help rehabilitate and repair 27 owner occupied dwellings for very low and low-income residents in Fort Bend County. This grant will benefit the elderly, disabled and low-income residents. For information on the “Statement of Activities” document please call 281617-7416 to schedule an appointment for review.
PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE The Commissioners Court of Fort Bend County, Texas has set a public hearing on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. for acceptance of the traffic control plan for Cinco Ranch Southwest Section 29, Precinct 3. The hearing will be held in the Commissioners Courtroom, 309 South Fourth St., Suite 700, William B. Travis Bldg., Richmond, Texas. You are invited to attend and state your approval or objection on this matter. Submitted by, Dianne Wilson Fort Bend County Clerk PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE The Commissioners Court of Fort Bend County, Texas has set a public hearing on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. for acceptance of the traffic control plan for King Lakes Section 4, Precinct 3. 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
PURPOSE: ONE (1) PUBLIC HEARING SHALL BE HELD AT WHICH ALL PERSONS INTERESTED IN THE PROPOSED SPECIAL EXCEPTION SHALL BE GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD. WHERE:
SUGAR LAND CITY COUNCIL CHAMBER 2700 TOWN CENTER BOULEVARD NORTH
ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT 5:00 P.M., AUGUST 17, 2011
DETAILS OF THE PROPOSED SPECIAL EXCEPTION MAY BE OBTAINED BY CONTACTING THE CITY OF SUGAR LAND PLANNING OFFICE, TELEPHONE (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.
SPECIAL EXCEPTION 101 NORTH KESWICK COURT NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON A REQUEST FOR SPECIAL EXCEPTION TO THE REAR YARD SETBACK REQUIREMENT, 101 NORTH KESWICK COURT, LOT 70, BLOCK 1, SUGAR CREEK SECTION NINETEEN REPLAT, IN THE STANDARD SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENTIAL (R-1) DISTRICT PURPOSE: ONE (1) PUBLIC HEARING SHALL BE HELD AT WHICH ALL PERSONS INTERESTED IN THE PROPOSED SPECIAL EXCEPTION SHALL BE GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD. WHERE:
SUGAR LAND CITY COUNCIL CHAMBER 2700 TOWN CENTER BOULEVARD NORTH
ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT 5:00 P.M., AUGUST 17, 2011
DETAILS OF THE PROPOSED SPECIAL EXCEPTION MAY BE OBTAINED BY CONTACTING THE CITY OF SUGAR LAND PLANNING OFFICE, TELEPHONE (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:
NOTICE TO BIDDERS NORTH WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT IMPROVEMENTS The City of Sugar Land seeks bids for furnishing all labor, material, equipment, and performing all work required for the following project in the City:
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, SEPTEMBER 8, 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 11-079 – TRANSPORTATION BUS SERVICES A pre-RFP conference will be conducted on Thursday, August 18, 2011 at 9:00 AM (CST). The pre-RFP conference will be held at the Public Transportation Conference Room at the Fort Bend County Emily Court Annex located at 12550 Emily Court, Sugar Land, Texas. All contractors 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 proposals. Signed: Gilbert D. Jalomo, Jr., Purchasing Agent Fort Bend County, Richmond, Texas
CIP PROJECT NAME: CIP PROJECT NUMBER: LOCATION OF WORK:
North Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvements WW1001 16450 Southwest Freeway, Sugar Land, Texas 77479
Plans, specifications, and bidding documents may be obtained from the following location with payment of $200.00. An electronic PDF copy on compact disc (CD) may be obtained for $100.00: Alan Plummer Associates, Incorporated 311 Wilcrest Drive, Suite 270 Houston, Texas 77042 (713) 343-4902 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., Thursday, August 18, 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 11:00 a.m., Thursday, August 4, 2011, City of Sugar Land North Wastewater Treatment Plant, 16450 Southwest Freeway, 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
REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS RFP# 2010-872
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON A REQUEST FOR SPECIAL EXCEPTION TO THE REAR YARD SETBACK REQUIREMENT, 10 AYLESBURY COURT, LOT 12, BLOCK 1, SWEETWATER SECTION TWELVE, IN THE RESTICTED SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENTIAL (R-1R) DISTRICT
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
SPECIAL EXCEPTION 10 AYLESBURY COURT PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE The Commissioners Court of Fort Bend County, Texas has set a public hearing on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. for acceptance of the traffic control plan for Westheimer Lakes North Section 1, Westheimer Lakes North Section 2, Westheimer Lakes North Section 3 and Westheimer Lakes North Drive STD, Precinct 3. 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
RESIDENTIAL HOUSING STRUCTURES CONSTRUCTION NEIGHBORHOOD STABILIZATION PROGRAM (NSP) The Fort Bend CORPS, a local non-profit, is requesting proposals from insured contractors for the complete construction of eight (8) residential single-family house structures located throughout Fort Bend County. The specifics of the construction will be available during the pre-RFP conference scheduled for Tuesday, August 9th at 10:00AM. What: Date: Time: Location:
Pre-RFP Conference for Residential Construction Tues. August 9th, 2011 10:00am Fort Bend CORPS Office 13330 S. Gessner Missouri City, TX 77489 (281) 617-7416
City Kendleton,TX 77451 Kendleton,TX 77451 Fresno,TX77545
Stafford,TX 774777 Rosenberg,TX 77471
AUGUST 3, 2011 • INDEPENDENT • Page 7
Film Review: Friends with Benefits Friends with benefits and guess what the benefit is; that’s right-it’s sex. A lot of sex. This movie is as close to porn as you will see without a Triple X rating. The premise is simple and the story is exceedingly predictable. Two “friends” that look like Justin Timberlake (Dylan) and Mila Kunis (Jamie) make a deal to remain friends while they have unemotional, uncommitted sex. Can’t be done and we all know it. Jerry and Elaine proved it in the early 90’s so that mystery is solved. But I don’t blame Hollywood for attempting the impossible when they have Timberlake and Kunis as the stars. Timberlake was under a cloud of suspicion until his surprisingly effective performance as Sean Parker in “The Social Network” and Kunis soared as Lily in “Black Swan.” The script was crisp, clever, and at times very funny, but there’s only so much Director Will Gluck could do with this silly story. The cast that included Woody Harrelson, Jenna Elfman, Patricia Clarkson, and Richard Jenkins was rock-solid and proficient, but they, too, could not carry a film based on a mindless fairy-tale.
Pass/Fail Does your plan for funding college make the grade? In the last decade, the cost of a college education has increased signiﬁcantly — and it continues to rise at more than twice the rate of inﬂation. In fact, parents are projected to meet only 16 percent of the total cost of their children’s college education.* Investing in a 529 college savings plan can help you meet rising college costs and you may also reap signiﬁcant tax beneﬁts. With so many 529 plans available today, a Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Financial Advisor can help you choose the plan that’s right for you. Call today to learn more about 529 college savings plans, including how to incorporate them into your overall education planning strategy. Ramesh P. Shah First Vice President Financial Advisor 1600 Highway 6 South Suite 100 Sugar Land, TX 77478 281-263-1612 email@example.com
Timberlake and Kunis will come out of this unscathed; they were beautiful, witty and consistently naked. Monique H. and I went to our first movie at Star Cinema Grill in Missouri City. The place is beautiful and the food was great. We had a brownie ala mode with caramel. I didn’t lick the bowl but I considered it. The leather seats were com-
in the eye. And more importantly, it has inspired me to arrange for a Flash Mob so I can be in one. We’ll see. Rock ‘n Roll. Grade 81. Larry H. PS: if you have ideas for organizing a Flash Mob in the Town Square of Sugar Land, please email me and we’ll see if we can get some traction. Lwh firstname.lastname@example.org
fortable and the waiters were nice and prompt without getting in the way of the movie. The audience is served at their seats. Theatre manager John Walsh was a pleasant host and helped by ensuring that we had a good time and were properly taken care of; thanks, John. This film will not win any awards and not make a lot of money, but it’s better than a poke
A Morgan Stanley Company
*Sources: InﬂationData.com, 2009; Fidelity Investments Fourth Annual College Savings Indicator, June 2010 Before investing, consider whether tax or other beneﬁts are only available for investments in your home state 529 college savings plan. Investors should carefully read the Program Disclosure Statement which contains more information on investment options, risk factors, fees and expenses, and possible tax consequences, before purchasing a 529 Plan. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, its Financial Advisors and afﬁliates do not provide tax or legal advice. Any such taxpayer should seek advice based on the taxpayer’s particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor. © 2011 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC.
NY CS 6617388 02/11 2011-PS-300
AUTOMOBILE: Toyota Tundra For the 2011 model year, Toyota has streamlined the Tundra full-size pickup line for 2011 by focusing on the 28 most in-demand configurations. In addition, the Tundra’s base 4.0-liter V6 engine gains Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) for 2011 so has more power and performance, and the 310 horsepower 4.6-liter and 381-horsepower 5.7-liter V8’s continue across the Tundra line. Also, Tundra’s suite of towing equipment gets standard trailer sway control on all 2011 models. The 2011 Tundra is offered in two grades -- Tundra and Tundra Limited -- three cab styles (Regular, Double Cab and CrewMax): three wheelbase lengths (126.8, 145.7 and 164.6 inches, depending on model and configuration): three bed lengths (78.7, 97.6 and for CrewMax only, 66.7-inches): and with three engine choices (one V6 and two V8’s). The 4.0-liter Dual Overhead Cam (DOHC) V6 that’s standard in Tundra Regular and Double Cab models gets a performance boost for 2011 from VVT-i. Horsepower increases to 270 from 236, and peak torque is now 278 lb.ft. up from 266 lb-ft. The V6 is teamed with a five-speed automatic transmission with uphill/downhill shift logic. The DOHC 4.6 V8 features VVT-i. With 310 horsepower, 327 lb.-ft. of torque, the 4.6-liter V8 delivers power and efficiency. The 5.7-liter V8 makes 381 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 401 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 3,600 rpm. Both the i-Force 5.7-liter and 4.6-liter V8 engines are teamed with a six-speed automatic transmission. The 5.7-liter engine gets an estimated 13 miles to the gallon in city driving and 17 on the highway. Tundra’s frame uses wide, full-boxed frame rails for the front portion, a reinforced C-channel under the cab and an open C-channel underneath the bed. The double A-arm front suspension uses coil-over spring shock units. The rear suspension uses staggered shocks mounted outboard of the springs to improve the shocks’ dampening efficiency. Spring rates are tuned to provide a flat vehicle stance when fully loaded. The Tundra is equipped with standard 18 x 8 inch steel wheels with 255/70 R18 tires. An optional TRD Off-Road Package combines off-road tuned suspension featuring
Bilstein gas-charged monotube shock absorbers, 285/70 R17 B.F. Goodrich off-road tires on 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps and special graphics. The standard four-wheel disc brakes use ventilated rotors with four-piston calipers in front and two-piston calipers in the rear. Anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA) are standard on all Tundra models. The standard Automatic Limited-Slip Differential (Auto-LSD) helps provide better acceleration in deep sand or mud and on mixed-friction surfaces. The Tundra’s VSC system integrates traction control (TRAC) and enhances traction on or off-road by helping to keep the vehicle going on its intended course. VSC detects front-wheel slide and rear-wheel slide during cornering and attempts to help control either condition with throttle intervention and/or by braking individual wheels. An available Tow Package on all Tundra i-Force V8 models increases towing capacity up to 10,400 pounds. The Tow Package also upgrades Tundra’s cooling and electrical systems. Tundra offers three cab styles: two-door Regular Cab, four-door Double Cab, and the super-sized four-door CrewMax with the segment’s leading rear-seat legroom. Tundra Regular Cab and Double Cab models are offered in standard bed (78.7-inch) or long bed (97.6-inch) configurations while the CrewMax comes with a 66.7-inch bed;
Tundra’s lockable all-steel tailgate eases down slowly with no slam and can be removed. The Tundra 4x4 Crewmax with the 5.7-liter engine retails for $33,540. The Crewmax is a huge, high-off-theground working truck that is comfortable, spacious, provides a good ride, packs lots of power and is good looking.
all beds are 22.2-in. deep. The
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Page 8 • INDEPENDENT • AUGUST 3, 2011
Sugar Land Town Square recently hosted Blues & Brews, a public event to kick off Red Hot Block Party Weekend. A large crowd came out and enjoyed a free concert by local Blues favorite The Mighty Orq, as well as food and drink by Town Square restaurant Fish City Grill.
The Gallien Family enjoyed Red Hot Block Party Weekend
At the Red Hot Block Party Weekend, The Bugg Family is pictured here.
Bank of Fort Bend is changing its name to
Texan Bank. Same friendly folks, but now locally owned, with even more capital, higher lending limit, and a Friendswood location opening soon. Open your CD today!
Open your CD today! 281.276.1800 Minimum deposit $5,000. Maximum $99,000.
Cameron Burrell of Ridge Point High competes in 2011 USA World Youth Championship Team Following a win in the World Youth Track & Field Trials, held June 28-29 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Cameron Burrell of Ridge Point High School was selected to compete on the USA World Youth Championship Team. Burrell won the long jump competition at the World Youth Track & Field Trials by jumping 24 feet/2 inches. He joined 40 other USA Track & Field athletes on the USA World team that competed at the seventh IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) World Youth Championships in Lille France on July 6-10. Burrell finished fifth in his group and 14th overall in the Boys’ Long Jump division of the World competition. Cameron Burrell is pictured at the World Youth Track & Field Trails in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
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Local Blues favorite, The Mighty Orq, performed a free concert at the recent Blues & Brews event at Sugar Land Town Square. The night kicked off Red Hot Block Party Weekend, and also featured a variety of food and beer by Town Square restaurant Fish City Grill. For a complete listing of events, visit www.SugarLandTownSquare.com.
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