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VOL 3 No. 31

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FORT BEND FAIR. BALANCED. INFORMATIVE. WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 4, 2010

Fort Bend gets $3 million for transportation enhancement Three Fort Bend cities will directly benefit from $3 million distributed when the Texas Transportation Commission Thursday approved $76 million in funding for 54 transportation-related enhancement projects. Selected from over 200 applications statewide the East region of the state which includes Beaumont, Bryan, Houston, and Lufkin received $19 million with Sugar Land receiving $1.87 million for the U.S. 59 Pedestrian and Bike Improvement Project and Richmond / Rosenberg $1.28 million for the U.S. 59 / FM 762 Landscaping project. The north region of the state which includes Dallas and Fort Worth received the largest portion of the funding with $35.5 million. The federally-funded program supports transportationrelated activities that promote the quality of the environment through aesthetic enhancements associated with transportation. The program provides funding for projects that contribute to the livelihood of communities, promote the

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The International Festival of Fort Bend

quality of our environment, and enhance the aesthetics of our roadways. “These projects will provide opportunities for enhancements that will compliment the transportation system by supporting hike & bike trails, visitor centers, and beautification and restoration efforts,” said Ted Houghton, Texas Transportation Commissioner. “Local communities’ transportation experience will be enhanced through this program’s funding.” Projects were selected on a competitive basis. TxDOT issued a program call for project nominations in October 2009. Fort Bend County Commissioners Richard Morrison and Andy Myers were in Austin Thursday in support of the local projects and to thank TxDOT commissioners when the announcement was made. The awarding of $1.3 million for the improvements at the intersection of US 59 and FM 762 will cover 44 acres of land within the TxDOT right-of-way and the West Fort

The International Festival of Fort Bend featuring “The World of Sports,” a free festival, an annual event celebrating ethnic culture and community in Fort Bend County, will be held on Sunday, Oct. 17 from noon to 6 p.m., at the Stafford Performing Arts Centre, 10505 Cash Rd. It will include electrifying indoor and outdoor performances and exhibitions. “The idea is to bring all ethnic groups together under one roof,” said founder and past president Neeta Sane. This year’s theme, “The World of Sports,” will include See TXDOT, Page 5 the Houston Cricket League demonstrating how the game, which started in England around the 1300s, is played and recognized throughout the world. Two teams from the HCL will compete against one another while teaching others how this fast-paced, thrilling competition is played. Rugby football will also be on display, thanks to the Houston Athletic Rugby Club. “In keeping with the mission of the IFFB festival, attendees will experience the rich cultural heritage of Fort Bend County,” said 2010 President Pretta VanDible Stallworth. Missouri City is a sponsor of the popular festival along with Stafford, Sugar Land and numerous businesses and organizations. For more information about the International Festival of Fort Bend, log on to www.if-fb.org.

Sugar Land seeks proposals to build baseball stadium The City of Sugar Land has released a Request for Qualifications for DesignBuild Services for a new professional minor league baseball stadium. The RFQ is posted at www.sugarlandtx.gov/sugarland/cultural_district/index. asp. The deadline to submit completed RFQs is Sept. 2, 2010 at 11 a.m. Design-build is a construction project delivery system where design and construction are contracted through a design-builder who is the general contractor and also the design professional (architect or engineer). This system is used to minimize the project risk for an owner by establishing a guaranteed maximum cost and reduce the delivery schedule by overlapping the design phase and construction phase of a project. The firm selected through the RFQ process will design

and construct a new professional minor league baseball stadium. Submissions will be evaluated on the following weighted criteria: ● overall responsiveness of the respective submittal; ● evaluation of completed questionnaire; ● qualifications and experience of design firms or others proposed as members of the design-build contractor team; ● qualifications and experience of key personnel proposed to be assigned to the project; ● demonstrated previous technical experience and competence of the designbuild firm with projects of similar size using the designbuild construction delivery method; ● demonstrated project experience on professional

FBISD’s 55 campuses rated exemplary or recognized The Texas Education Agency has designated 55 of the 67 Fort Bend ISD campuses as either Exemplary or Recognized in the 2010 district and campus accountability ratings. That is 82 percent, up from 67 percent of campuses last year. “Once again, we’ve seen exceptional growth in many of our scores, and we congratulate our teachers and students for their continued hard work that is reflected in the significant gains made on TAKS this year,” said Dr. Timothy Jenney, superintendent. The combined scores from across the district met the

standard for all required academic indicators to qualify the district for a Recognized designation. This level of achievement was earned without the use of the Texas Projection Measure (TPM). However, due to a dropout rate of 2.2 percent in one group of students at Christa McAuliffe Middle School (and the rate cannot exceed 1.8 percent — which is 2 students in this case), the campus will be rated as Academically Unacceptable, thus preventing FBISD from becoming a Recognized district. McAuliffe’s TAKS scores qualified the campus for an

Fort Bend Friends and Neighbors Luncheon

See STADIUM, Page 5

Acceptable rating, but the campus automatically received the unacceptable rating due to the dropout rate within the one student group. The district is appealing McAuliffe’s rating to the Texas Education Agency because former students labeled as dropouts have since been located and are enrolled in another school district. Meanwhile FBISD will be celebrating the significant gains made on TAKS and recognizing those campuses that achieved Exemplary and Recognized status at its annual Leadership Institute for administrators on Aug. 4.

Some of the test score highlights that the superintendent will review include the following: Of the 25 TAKS academic indicators (reading/ELA, math, science, social studies and writing for the 5 student subgroups) used in the state accountability system, 24 showed an increase between 2009 and 2010. The one indicator that did not show an increase remained the same at 99%. Of the 25 TAKS academic indicators, 21 were at the Exemplary level and 4 were at

The Fort Bend Friends and Neighbors 30th Anniversary luncheon takes place Sept. 16 at Safari Texas Ranch. Pictured are: Front, left to right: Nancy Frank, VP, Luncheons; Gail Grace, President; Erika Fernandez, Safari Texas event coordinator; Sandra Boyd, Past President; Back, left to right: Mary Willis, speaker; Debbie Fancher, entertainer. It will be a day filled with inspiring speakers, delightful entertainment, celebrated special guests, including former presidents of the club, commemorative club cookbook release and much, much more. Special guest speakers will include Mary Willis, founder of Merry Ministries, an interdenominational Bible study group in Fort Bend County. Email vpluncheons@fbfn.org or see www.fbfn.org for more information.

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

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Page 2 • INDEPENDENT • AUGUST 4, 2010

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AUGUST 4, 2010 • INDEPENDENT • Page 3

Community news

Suzette Peoples Broker /Owner 21 years of experience!

Methodist Sugar Land Neurology Associates the American Society of Neuroimaging and established an independent MRI center that served the Texas Medical Center. After building one of the largest private neurology practices in the Texas Medical Center, Dr. Jackson opened an office in Fort Bend County and later moved his entire practice to Sugar Land. He has been on the medical staff at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital since its inception and Chief of Staff since 2006. “I specialize in tertiarylevel neurologic care and neurophysiology services, with an emphasis on providing personal attention to my patients,” said Dr. Jackson. “I’m proud to be a part of the Fort Bend community and pleased that Dr. Khan has joined me to enhance the level of care available to local patients.” Dr. Khan specializes in a wide range of neurological disorders, including epilepsy, stroke, headaches/migraines, sleep apnea and insomnia, movement disorders, carpal tunnel and dementia. He is certified by the Amer-

Direct: 281-980-3322 www.peoplesproperties.com

FIRST COLONY

Jeffrey A. Jackson, M.D. and M. Faisal Khan, M.D. ican Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and is a member of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. He has recently completed a sleep medicine fellowship at the prestigious Duke University. Dr. Khan has been published in several peerreviewed national journals and collaborated in research studies with colleagues from Harvard and Duke. Most recently, he was Director of the Neurodiagnostic and Sleep Center at Gulf Coast Medical Center in Wharton.

“Neurology is a specialty that is known for constantly advancing technology and I am vigilant in staying at the forefront of advances,” he says. “By staying up-to-date on the latest techniques and treatment options, I can help patients achieve the highest possible quality of life.” Methodist Sugar Land Neurology Associates is located at 16659 Southwest Freeway, Suite 131 in Medical Office Building II. To schedule an appointment with either Dr. Jackson or Dr. Khan, call 281494-6387.

SMSD gets ‘Recognized’ rating For the first time in eight years, Stafford Municipal School District has earned an overall district rating of “Recognized” in the 2010 Texas Education Accountability Ratings. The ratings brought great news as Stafford Intermediate and Stafford High School campuses improved their ratings from “Acceptable” to “Recognized,” while the Primary and Elementary campuses sustained their “Recognized” rating. In order for a campus to be rated “Recognized,” student scores must be at least 80%

on all exams (reading, writing, social studies, math and science). In 2010, the percentage of SMSD students passing (meeting standards) in each content area exam increased anywhere from 1% to 18%. Student scores and the improvements demonstrated are based on students meeting and exceeding the Texas standards for each content area. Improvements are also based on students meeting specific standards determined by performance growth and projections from one year to the next (TPM). Even when

FIRST COLONY/ SUGAR LAND! Almost 2400sqft. 4 bedrooms 2.5 bath. Study and sitting/gameroom up. Owner spent over $62K on upgrades/improvements. Gourmet kitchen, tile/pergo thru-out no carpet. Priced in $200’s.

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Methodist Sugar Land Hospital recently announced a new affiliation with Jeffrey A. Jackson, M.D. and M. Faisal Khan, M.D., who have joined Methodist Sugar Land Neurology Associates. “We are very pleased to have these physicians join The Methodist Physician Organization as Methodist Sugar Land Neurology Associates,” said Ayse McCracken, Senior Vice President of The Methodist Hospital System and COO of The Methodist Hospital Physician Organization. “They share the valuesbased, personal approach to quality patient care that makes Methodist unique and this relationship such a great fit. Their patients will benefit from Methodist’s state-ofthe-art diagnostic and therapeutic technology, all right here in Fort Bend County.” Dr. Jackson, who has been in practice in Sugar Land since 1995, has a long history of involvement in neuroimaging. Early in his career, he was selected by Baylor College of Medicine to help lead the installation of the first MRI machine in Texas. He also served on the board of

factoring out the TPM standards, SMSD students demonstrated improvement in every subject area ranging from 2% to 6%. Another area students across the district demonstrated significant increases was in the number of students receiving Commended Performance on one or more of the exams. Depending on the content area exam, SMSD increased the number of commended students by 23%. Commended Performance is the highest performance level set by the State of Texas for TAKS.

“We are pleased and encouraged, but also recognize we must work extremely hard, as with all districts, to prepare all students for the much higher standards and expectations coming in the future accountability system and the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR). “The stakes continue to be raised, as they should, and campuses and districts will have to continue improving to sustain the ratings they are currently earning” says HD Chambers, SMSD Superintendent of Schools.

Suzette Peoples

ABR, GRI , E-Pro, 21 years Professional Realtor; Owner of Peoples Properties, a Real Estate & Property Management Co.; American Business Women’s Association.

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SUGAR CREEK Great 1 story on huge corner lot. 3 bedPOOL/SPA & WATERFALL! 2 story 4 bedrooms! rooms & study. Seller has updated carpet, tile paint Master down. All tile/real wood thru-out, no in and out and roof replaced. Shows great and price carpet. All located on cul de sac street. Clements already reduced to go fast in the low $200’s. high school! Priced to go fast! Reduced.

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Built in 2006. Popular Perry 1 story home. 4 bedrooms and both formals or study. 16’ tile and hardwood floors. Garage/game room. Covered CUSTOM SHOW CASE HOME! Over 4300sqft 5 bedover size patio. Playground & shed stays. Private rooms 4 baths & 1/2 bath. Study and gameroom. Private Levee lot. Priced to go at $200,000. culdesac lot. Thousands in upgrades! Designer Decor thru out the home. Gourmet island kitchen & more! Rare find! Hurry priced to go fast under $500K.

NEW LISTING FIRST COLONY/SUGAR LAND! Adorable 1-story home on cul de sac street. No neighbors behind you! 3 bedrooms & study or formal living. Open floor plan. Detached garage! Priced below market at $220,000.

Mortgage Banker can do loans in less than 30 days! Call Suzette or email: Speoplesrealtor@aol.com

How about a worry-free insurance plan especially for people age 45 and over?* State Auto’s new Prime of LifeSM Plan provides expanded insurance coverages and substantial premium discounts on auto and homeowners insurance for qualifying customers age 45 and over*! As part of the Prime of Life Plan, you’ll enjoy enhanced coverages for when you travel, anywhere in the U.S.A. or Canada. Call your State Auto agent today for more information. Texans Insurance &enhancements/discounts Financial Group, *Qualifying age and coverage vary byInc state. 101 Southwestern Blvd, Ste 230 Sugar Land, TX 77478-3535 PH (281)277-7800 FAX (281)277-7801 basil@texansinsure.com Your best insurance is a good agent. “Friends you can depend on”

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Quail Valley Quails is celebrating 40 years of friendship on Sept. 2 at 10 a.m. at the Quail Valley Grill for a social hour & silent auction. The program “One Woman Broadway Show” with Barbara Jennings will be at 11a.m. followed by lunch. Quail Valley Quails is a social organization for women who were former members of the Quails&/or presently residing in Quail Valley. For luncheon reservations contact Terry Colley via phone or email: 281-4386234; t.colley@sbcglobal.net. Pictured at left are the Quails officers. From left to right, Linda Walker, treasurer, Judy Pasadyn, Parliamentarian, Inge-Lise Braswell, President, Sara Cornett, first Vice President, & Terry Colley, second Vice President.

FALL 2010 REGISTRATION Web and Walk-In Registration Now through September 1

FBISD From Page 1 the Recognized level. 55 of the 67 campuses that are rated earned the rating of Exemplary or Recognized —82 percent of total campuses. The percentage of AfricanAmerican students meeting standard in math increased 4 percent from 2009-10, and economically disadvantaged students meeting standard in math increased 3 percent.

The percentage of Hispanic students meeting standard in math also increased 3 percent. The percentage of AfricanAmerican students meeting the standard in science increased 7 percent from 2009 to 2010 while the percentage of Hispanic students meeting standard increased 8 percent, and the percentage of economically disadvantaged students meeting standard increased 8 percent. Achievement gaps between African-American, Hispanic, and White students continued

to shrink in 2010, with the largest improvements coming in math and science. For example, the gap between African-American students and White students in math decreased 3 percent (a total of 13 percent since 2006) while the gap between Hispanic and White students in math decreased 3 percent (a total of 10 percent since 2006). For a complete listing of the 2010 FBISD District and Campus Accountability Ratings, go to www.fortbendisd. com and click on “2010 TEA Accountability Ratings.”

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Page 4 • INDEPENDENT • AUGUST 4, 2010

Opinion The View from Sugar Land Texas Straight Talk Deferring to the Supremacy Clause Bloated intelligence bureaucracy By RUSSELL C. JONES The recent lawsuit filed by the administration against Arizona’s new immigration enforcement law and the decision of a federal judge have spawned renewed questions about the viability of the tenth amendment to the Constitution. While other administration actions may have contributed to the demise of state powers, concerns about events in Arizona appear to be misplaced. The tenth amendment’s purpose was to allow the states to make and enforce all legal authority which the constitution had not otherwise delegated to the federal government. Its simple text is not subject to misinterpretation: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Contrary to the hue and cry raised immediately following the adoption of the Arizona law, S.B. 1070 did not authorize racial profiling. Nor did the administration even make that argument in its lawsuit against Arizona. Instead it focused on the supremacy clause of Article IV, which provides that the “Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof . . . shall be the supreme Law of the Land . . . any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.” Tenth amendment issues were not raised by Arizona in its response to the administration’s case, nor by Texas or nine other states which filed amicus curiae briefs. The tenth amendment was not even mentioned in the court’s opinion. There is no serious argument that federal immigration law is not “made in pursuance” of the Constitution, nor can it

Jones be argued that immigration is not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution. More to the point, the court found that the power to regulate immigration is vested exclusively in the federal government. The court took the next logical step, concluding that the supremacy clause required prohibition of the enforcement of those portions of the Arizona law “preempted” by federal law. Although requested by the justice department to throw out the entire statute, the court does seem to have made a serious effort to separate out the provisions of S.B. 1070 which are preempted by U.S. immigration law and those which are not. It recognized “Arizona’s interests in controlling illegal immigration and addressing the concurrent problems with crime including the trafficking of humans, drugs, guns, and money.” Even though federal law authorizes local law enforcement officials to arrest illegal aliens who have previously been convicted of a felony and deported, the Arizona law authorizes a broader role, including arrest without a showing of a prior felony. The state’s interests may be consistent with those of the federal government, but the court found that “it is not in the public interest for Arizona to enforce

preempted laws.” Significantly, the court did not find other portions of S.B. 1070 to be preempted. It did not enjoin those clauses which prohibit sanctuary cities or require state officers to cooperate with federal agencies in the enforcement of immigration laws. Also preserved was a prohibition on transporting illegal aliens. The court upheld other provisions relating to restrictions on employment of illegal aliens, which amended an earlier law upheld last year by the Ninth Circuit against a preemption challenge. That act allows Arizona courts to revoke or suspend business licenses of employers who knowingly or intentionally hire illegal aliens. Federal law contains a specific clause that exempts state sanctions related to licensing from the broader preemption of state enforcement. The federal preemption analysis has been long established in constitutional law. Whether or not the court’s analysis is perfect, it does seem to be principled. The fact that the federal government is arguably not enforcing its own laws does not change that conclusion or result in a transfer of that right back to the states. The court’s ruling in the Arizona lawsuit has done no harm to the tenth amendment. If anything, it has shown other states the way to acceptable methods of dealing with at least some immigration issues. In coming months it is likely that numerous states, including Texas, will be considering comparable laws which can avoid the preemption hurdles that currently face Arizona. Jones is a member of the Sugar Land City Council, having been first elected in 2003. He owns a law firm and a title insurance company in Sugar Land.

Minor league baseball is coming to Sugar Land

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Grand Prize: Two Lifetime Season Tickets If more than one person enters the winning name, a drawing will be held to determine the winner.

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State:

I’D LIKE TO NAME THE TEAM “ THE SUGAR LAND

By RON PAUL I have often spoken about the excessive size of government, and most recently how waste and inefficiency needs to be eliminated from our military budget. Our foreign policy is not only bankrupting us, but actively creating and antagonizing enemies of the United States, and compromising our national security. Spending more and adding more programs and initiatives does not improve things for us; it makes them much much worse. This applies to more than just the military budget. Recently the Washington Post ran an extensive report by Dana Priest and William M. Arkin on the bloated intelligence community. They found that an estimated 854,000 people hold top-secret security clearances. Just what are all these people up to? By my calculation this is about 11,000 intelligence workers per Al Qaeda member in Afghanistan. This also begs the question - if close to 1 million people are authorized to know top secrets, how closely guarded are these secrets? They also found that since the September 11 attacks, some 17 million square feet of building space has been built or is being built to accommodate the 250 percent expansion of intelligence organizations. Intelligence work is now done by some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private contracting companies in about 10,000 locations in the

Paul United States. The former Director of National Intelligence, Adm. Dennis Blair, has asserted that U.S. intelligence now has the authority to target American citizens for assassination without charge or trial. How many of these resources are being devoted to spying on American citizens for nefarious reasons at home rather than targeting foreign enemies abroad? It has been pointed out how much information we had about the impending attacks on 9/11, but because of layers upon layers of bureaucratic inefficiencies, our intelligence community was unable to act meaningfully on that information. Obviously we needed drastic change. But it was pretty clear that we did not need more bureaucracy, more confusion, more expenditures and more government.

Musings: Challenging questions By JANICE SCANLAN Be careful, you may get what you asked for . . . and asking challenging questions about Missouri City’s priorities has raised many comments. And they are as mixed as our community. So what are people saying and thinking about where our community is going? None of the comments are edited and come to you as I got them. One reader said: “I personally think that the City Council has lost its direction and purpose by focusing so much on the golf course. Everything seems to be focused on how many rounds are played but in the end, we need to look at our community as more than just another golf destination. I’m sure that there are a great many homeowners in Quail Valley who would like to now see the City’s emphasis placed back on pedestrian mobility and family recreation. In reality, the golf course is a good place for nonMissouri City residents to spend a few bucks but how else does it benefit the families in our community? We have sidewalk issues, we have park development that needs to get accomplished, and we have many families who are still looking for places to take their kids and not have to spend a fortune. Missouri City families very much need a place to take their kids for recreation and enjoyment and teenagers need a place to spend a few hours with friends. I encourage the City to make use of the Rec Center and to allow our young men and women to have it as a place to go for constructive activities. This is important.” Another reader said, “We need a place for community, business, social, civic and church events.

Someplace we’re proud to have an event.” Conversely, “Let me see if I have this right? Missouri City taxpayers need to pay for a place we aren’t welcomed. Furthermore, we need to come there and spend our money on activities we have no interest?” And then . . . “Quit throwing cold water on the Missouri City standing in the Money magazine article. Just because we don’t have the trails system of Eden Prairie, MN does not mean that our municipal programs are not “tightly managed”. One of the benefits of suburban living is that people can enjoy the benefits of both big city and suburb attributes. Do you think we should invest in professional sports stadiums, museums and other big city amenities when we are just 30 minutes away from ones that already exist? What a duplication of effort that would be.” “And quit attempting to derail community centers and parking lots, that horse is dead. Just because you cannot recognize the need does not mean it will not be beneficial.” So I asked Mayor Allen Owen what are the priorities and estimated timetable for parks projects as well as how are these decisions being made—since council debate about these issues often seems to be in a black box? This comes from a background conversation. Mayor Owen is justifiably proud that property values are stabilizing and rising in Quail Valley. “Dedicated Park Bond Funds cannot be spent on anything other than Parks. It cannot be funneled anywhere else. That is State Law. If you pass a bond issue for a particular fund, then that is what

Seshadri Kumar Publisher & Editor

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It is even claimed by some leaders that the intelligence community has grown this way by design; that it is advantageous to have more than one set of eyes looking at the same information. With this logic, is there any number of intelligence employees at which we achieve diminishing returns? Can there ever be too many cooks in the kitchen, in their view? Are there any problems at all that the government wouldn’t attempt to solve by throwing more money at them? Even now, the government is trying to solve our economic problems related to too much government spending and debt, with more government spending and debt. The problem with our intelligence community before 9/11 was not an inability to collect information. Therefore, the post-September 11 build-up of the surveillance state does nothing to enhance safety. Instead what Americans have gotten in return for the billions of tax dollars spent on security is a surveillance state that reads our e-mails, wiretaps us without warrants, and strip searches grandmothers at airports. This is yet another instance in which Americans would be safer, richer and freer if our government would simply look to the Constitution and respect the boundaries it has set. (Ron Paul represents the 14th Congressional District in Texas.)

www.fbindependent.com Email: Editor@fbindependent.com

it has to be used for unless an election is held to change those uses. So, as we are in a position to sell bonds (which have to be paid back with tax dollars) we do and then use those funds to do the project. “The $17.5 bond issue was specifically for the golf course acquisition (sp) and improvements, as well as other improvements related to the total 400 acres. That includes the old Executive. “There is separate bond money and grant money from Texas Parks & Wildlife Fund for the Tennis Center/Rec Center project. We will sell those bonds as we move into the construction phases of these projects. There is no need to sell more bonds than we have to and just have the money sit while we pay interest on it. We will be bidding out these projects once final plans are developed and will then sell more of the approved bonds to pay for them. “As far as a black box, everything we are doing, plan on doing, or even have talked about is on our website for anyone to look at. They can also see a lot of it on MCTV. Public hearings were conducted on all of these projects and were well attended. People actually told us what they wanted and that is what we are working with now. Those ideas have been taken back and are being put into projected plans and will be presented to Council for approval very soon. Once that is done, then it goes out for bid, those bids approved, and then construction begins. It will be phased I can assure you. We cannot afford to do everything that these groups wanted all at once. They did prioritize them though and that is what we will work with. So to answer your question about how decisions were made, the citizen groups decided.” You have to read between the lines to see what the priorities and timetables are. Write to earthlink.net

janicescanlan@


AUGUST 4, 2010 • INDEPENDENT • Page 5

Community news “A (second) chance of a lifetime” for one special fan of Crystal Gayle… By BARBARA DAVIS Timothy Edward Levine had a rough early beginning. A diaphragmatic hernia, a birth defect, caused his lungs to be underdeveloped. Soon after his birth on December 11, 1983, Timmy was LifeFlighted for emergency surgery from a hospital near Spring, Texas, to Texas Children’s Hospital located in the middle of Houston’s Medical Center. The surgery was a success. However, for the next several years, Timmy would wake up in the middle of the night screaming. His parents thought that he was having nightmares from memories of his traumatic early beginnings. They would hold Timmy and rub his back, but the only thing that would soothe him was when they played the music of Crystal Gayle. When Timmy’s mother, Margaret, was pregnant with him, she frequently listened to Crystal Gayle’s music. Apparently Timmy listened to her music, too, “in utero.” Until he was born, nothing traumatic had happened to him; perhaps hearing Crystal’s music innately transported him back to a time where he felt the most safe and secure. About 1987, Timmy was diagnosed with autism and it became very clear why Crystal Gayle’s music was very much an important part of Timmy’s life. Timmy’s father, Steve, explained, “Autistics depend on rituals, routines and schedules to make sense of their life and Crystal Gayle’s music was part of Timmy’s daily routine and ritual.” Once Steve and Margaret understood how important Crystal Gayle’s music was to Timmy, they made sure that he always had new CD’s, tapes, and videos of her.

Sometimes Timmy would turn off the sound of the video and turn up the volume of a CD and listen to a completely different song than what was on the video. Steve believes that in Timmy’s mind, he has “two for one” because he knows exactly what she is singing in the video and he’s hearing her voice on the CD. Steve says, “I guess he thinks it’s like Crystal in Stereo!” Also, in 1987, the Levines heard that Crystal Gayle would be performing at a conference that they were going to attend for the National Apartment Association. Steve wrote a long letter to the booking agent of the Association to give to Crystal’s manager about what a big “little” fan four year old Timmy was. Steve wrote, “I’m sure she has a lot of fans who love her music, but for one in particular, my son Timmy, it’s part of his daily life and has a calming effect on him when he is upset. He listens to it every single day.” In the letter, Steve asked if he and his wife could visit with Crystal after her performance. Request granted! At the end of the performance, the Levines were ushered to the end of a very long line of National Apartment Association dignitaries. A gentleman by the name of Bill Gatzimos was asking for them. He said that if they would wait for everyone to leave, Crystal and he would sit and talk with them about Timmy. It turned out that not only was Mr. Gatzimos Crystal’s manager, but her husband too! They spent at least 45 minutes talking with each other about children, autism, and Timmy. It was a lovely experience that Timmy and his parents would never forget. At that concert, Steve

performing near Houston at The Stafford Centre the first Saturday night in January and I think the tickets go on sale tomorrow?” The next morning, Steve “flew” to the Stafford Centre and was the first person there. He was able to purchase six front row center tickets so that he could take his new wife, Barbara, and Timmy to see Crystal. The night arrived and Steve worried that Timmy would not want to sit for an entire concert. Those fears were laid to rest as soon as Crystal came out on the stage. Timmy was mesmerized by Crystal. It was an amazing experience to watch Timmy’s reaction when he first saw her in person. Being autistic, he could not express it in words, but the look on his face said everything. Timmy was sitting between Steve and Barbara. He would

repeatedly look up at Crystal who was on stage just a few feet in front of him, and then look back at Steve and Barbara as if to say, “Look, that’s Crystal in real life, right in front of me, and she’s singing just to me!!!” All through the concert he would clap his hands and stomp his feet with the music as he gazed at Crystal, never once trying to get out of his seat. Crystal, who had been told where Timmy would be sitting and had received a picture of him from Steve, kept winking at Timmy and smiling at him throughout the evening. Indeed, it did look like it was a concert just for Tim. At the end, Timmy handed a single rose up to Crystal that had been purchased by his Aunt Tracey for the occasion. The gesture truly impacted Crystal. The impact could be seen in her eyes, the expression on her face, and how she put her hand to her heart. After the concert, Timmy and his family were escorted to a cordoned off area where they waited for Crystal to come out. She autographed Timmy’s shirt and CD’s and took pictures with him. Steve later had a special picture enlarged with Crystal and Tim and called Bill Gatzimos to see if he were to send this picture to Crystal, would she autograph it and send it back. Bill put Steve on hold for a moment. He came back and said, “Only if Tim will autograph a picture for her!” Now, each has an autographed photo of the other. Steve had all of the autographed memorabilia including the tickets, the tour shirt, and the photograph matted and framed. It now hangs prominently on Timmy’s bedroom wall in his group home.

Fast forward, again, to July, 2010. Three years have passed since this “chance of a lifetime” for one ‘special’ fan of Crystal Gayle. Recently, Steve and Barbara Levine received a phone call from their good friends Steve and Ann Magoon. Steve Magoon is a member of the Rotary Club of Fort Bend County, part of Rotary International, the largest community service organization in the world. Magoon recalled a story that the Levines had shared at a dinner party the year before about how Timmy loved Crystal Gayle. He then elaborated that his Rotary Club always supports Wharton Junior College events and that there was going to be a fundraiser for the college on Aug. 6, 2010 and Crystal Gayle will be performing. He continued and said his Rotary Club had a table and he and Ann wanted to give their tickets to Timmy and Steve so they could go see Crystal in person once again. Steve and Barbara were thrilled by this magnanimous gesture considering that the tickets are eighty-five dollars each for the dinner and concert. Mr. and Mrs. Magoon are also active with the Special Olympics so they recognized that the concert would be a “Second in a Lifetime” event for Timmy. Steve Levine sums it up, “I told this to Tim and he is so excited. Thanks to the Magoons and Rotary Club of Fort Bend County, I will be able to give my son a second ‘chance of a lifetime’ gift!” With few words, Tim expressed how he felt when he found out, “Crystal, Yes!” (Courtesy of Rotary Club of Fort Bend, County, USA, Rotary International.)

driver’s seat to raise her head above the water’s surface. Brad Murff and another man followed Coyl’e-Larner into the ditch and unsuccessfully attempted to turn the vehicle back over before all three focused their efforts on removing the trapped driver from her car.

They stayed with the driver until the arrival of firefighters and paramedics. “I was on my way to work that day,” said Christina Thomas. “Within a few minutes (of landing in the ditch), my car started filling up with water. There was no way I would

have been saved if it weren’t for Debbie and the others. I want to thank them.” Mayor James Thompson, Fire Chief Juan Adame and several SLFD firefighters recognized Coyl’e-Larner and Murff during a regularly scheduled City Council meeting on July 20.

Timothy Levine, center, with Crystal Gayle. bought Timmy a Crystal tour shirt and he wore it as a nightshirt for many years until he eventually outgrew it. Fastforward twenty years later to December, 2007. Steve (now divorced and remarried) phoned Margaret to ask her what she thought would be a good birthday present for Timmy. Margaret replied that Timmy would probably enjoy a new Crystal tour-shirt. Steve went online to order a tour-shirt, but the website had a glitch and wouldn’t process a payment. Out of desperation, Steve contacted Crystal’s office in Nashville and asked to speak to Bill Gatzimos because Timmy’s birthday was rapidly approaching. Bill was very accommodating and said he would be happy to help with the shirt. He added, “By the way, did you know that Crystal will be

Local heroes honored for saving woman from drowning

Pictured (Front Row, L-R) are Adame, Coyl’e-Larner, Thomas, Thompson and Murff. The Sugar Land Fire Department recognized two citizens for rescuing a motorist trapped in a vehicle submerged in water. A young woman lost control of her vehicle at Avenue

E and Dulles Avenue on June 3 at 2 p.m., left the roadway and landed upside down in a drainage ditch filled with water. As people gathered along the banks of the waterway,

Debbie Coyl’e-Larner jumped into the water without hesitation to help the young woman whose head was already submerged. Coyl’e-Larner forced open the door and adjusted the

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Page 6 • INDEPENDENT • AUGUST 4, 2010

Charity dog walk

BEST CHAMBER WEBSITE. The Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives, a branch of the Texas Association of Business, awarded the Central Fort Bend Chamber Alliance’s Web site (www.CFBCA.org) with its highest honor. The TCCE recently held its annual conference in Nacogdoches, and during the conference announced its 2010 TCCE Awards. The Chamber’s Web site, which is maintained by Chamber Communications Director Brian Lee, was awarded first place for Web design. Since October of 2009, the site has averaged more than 10,000 unique visits per month. “In less than a year on the job, Brian has turned our very good Web site into a great Web site,” said Gail Parker, President/CEO of the Chamber. Above, Dan McDonald, left, Gail Parker and Brian Lee, with the award.

First Colony Community Association will hold its annual Paws for a cause charity dog walk benefiting the Sugar Land Animal Shelter on Oct. 9, Saturday at the Sugar Land Memorial Park,15300 University Blvd.,Sugar Land, The shelter, located at 101 Gillingham, cares for strays, abandoned and orphaned cats and dogs found in Sugar Land. Registration is now open for the public. Forms are available on www.firstcolony.org under the Parks and Recreation and then Special Events links or at the FCCA office, 4350 Austin Parkway. The $20 registration fee includes a goodie bag and t-shirt for the first 100 participants. Prizes will be awarded to the winners of the Best Dog Trick and Best Costume contests. For more information visit www.firstcolony.org or call 281-634-9555.

Swimming in Sienna Sienna Plantation Aquatics (SPA) a USA Swimming year round swim team is holding open registration. SPA has programs for swimmers of all levels from pre-k thru adult including a competitive swim team, a home school group, adult masters, and swim lessons. The team has programs at the pools in Sienna Plantation and at the FBISD Don Cook Natatorium in Sugar Land. Registration is on Aug. 14 from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Sienna Plantation Branch of the Fort Bend County Library or on Aug. 23 from 6-8 p.m. at the FBISD Don Cook Natatorium in Sugar Land. Registration for the School of Fish swim lesson program can be completed online at anytime. For more information, visit www.swimsienna.com

AUTOMOBILE: Nissan Maxima By BARBARA FULENWIDER Even though Nissan folks call their popular Nissan Maxima a four-door sports car to me it’s a sedan to love and I do favor sedans. The roomy interior is so comfortable, it handles great, got many compliments on its looks and blew down freeways like the wind. It’s also utilitarian compared to sedans of yesteryear thanks to 60/40 split and fold down rear seat backs and the trunk to backseat passageway for longer objects. Doors are also opening wider these days so cargo that might melt in the trunk can now go inside on these blistering hot August days. In 2009, the Nissan Maxima got new dramatic styling, great performance and more high tech features. For 2010 it got revisions: Revisions to the 2010 Maxima include new wheel finishes for 18-inch (Fine Silver) and 19inch (Hyper Silver) wheels; Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System is now standard on all models; a 7-inch color monitor, RearView Monitor, auxiliary audio/video input jack, iPod® net and 2GB Music Server are added to the new optional Monitor Package (USB connectivity also included); DVD playback capability, streaming audio via Bluetooth® technology and XM NavWeather® are added to Technology Package; XM® Satellite Radio becomes standard on Maxima 3.5 SV; and the previous iPod® connec-

Stadium From Page 1 minor league or other baseball stadium projects; ● approach to the project, including compliance with the project schedule and project budget; ● proximity of key personnel and major subcontractors to project site; ● an interview; and ● proposed project cost. The initial vision for minor league baseball was developed by citizens serving on the Visioning Task Force, a group that established a goal to enhance entertainment and family-oriented opportunities within the community. The stadium is expected to result in nearby commercial development, so the City considered several locations to ensure the greatest quality of life and economic benefit to the community. On June 22, the City Council identified a preferred site located near the northeast corner of State Highway 6 and U.S. Highway 90A, and staff is currently performing the necessary due diligence on the site. The City remains commit-

tivity is changed to USB connectivity. The Maxima comes in two models: the 3.5 S and 3.5 SV. Each is equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 290 horsepower and 261 lb.-ft. of torque. Estimated miles to the gallon for the Maxima 3.5 SV are 19 in city driving and 26 on the highway. The SV is powered by a 24-valve V-6 engine that is mated with a continuously variable automatic transmission with a manual mode. On the road or standing still, Maxima offers a dynamic presence that clearly distinguishes it from other mid-size sedans on the market today. Maxima’s exterior is highlighted by the flow of its surfaces, like the undulation of a wave. The look starts with Maxima’s aggressive deeply sculpted body/fender treatment seldom used for mass market vehicles. Maxima’s stance is created by a careful balance between wheelbase and overall length, along with

a wide front and rear track. Maxima’s performance is accented by standard 18-inch wheels and optional 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with low-profile performance tires. Another unique styling feature is the available dual panel moonroof, which combines a front section that moves like a normal moonroof (positioned farther forward than typical) and a fixed translucent rear section that provides light to rear seat passengers. The overall design gives the appearance that the entire roof is composed of black glass. Along with its looks and interior creature comforts this is a fun to drive sedan. It feels nimble and there’s almost no torque steer during acceleration. This was achieved by increasing body rigidity and adjusting the wheelbase and track dimensions. The Maxima rides extremely well thanks to multilink independent rear suspension and rear shock absorbers and springs that are separated

ted to selecting a final stadium site that does not negatively impact residents with respect to traffic, noise, lighting and public safety. The $30 million stadium will be funded with a portion of sales tax revenues that may only be used for economic development purposes. No general fund tax dollars will be spent on the stadium, which is expected to be ready for the 2012 baseball season. In addition to the stadium serving as a community amenity, a conservative and pragmatic cost-benefit analysis performed by Conventions, Sports & Leisure International shows the project will provide an annual benefit to the community of conservatively $7.7 million, or a return of $169 million over 30 years. On May 18, the Sugar Land City Council approved an historic agreement with Opening Day Partners, LLC to bring professional minor league baseball to Sugar Land. ODP - a community-focused operator that emphasizes yearround community events and activities at their stadiums will own and operate Sugar Land’s baseball team.

TxDOT From Page 1 Management District. The property lies within Richmond’s ETJ. The landscaping project includes the planting of 170 live oaks along the access ramps with mixtures of 1,200 Red Oaks, Nuttall Oaks, Red Maples and Montezuma Cypress with solar drip / bubbler irrigation system with a rainwater retrieval tank. About 63,000 white oleanders planted in center spacing will compliment the project as row crops that wrap the two existing park and ride pads. “The program provides funding for projects that contribute to the livelihood of communities, promote the quality of our environment, and enhance the aesthetics of our roadways,” said Morrison. “This project will beautify the main entrance to Richmond and Rosenberg. It is a good deal for the County because the local match will all be non-cash labor performed by Fort Bend County Road and Bridge employees as well as probationers through Community Service.” “The submittal of the Transportation Enhancement Project by the County was in coopera-

and the shocks are in line with the center of the rear wheels to provide improved damping with minimal harshness. Front and rear stabilizer bars are standard. Braking is provided by standard four-wheel vented disc brakes with a four-channel, four-sensor, four-wheel anti-lock braking system with electronic brake force distribution and brake assist. I also liked the speed sensitive power steering, which has a sporty feel. The retail price for the Nissan Maxima 3.5 SV is $33,180. Standard equipment included tire pressure monitoring system, eight-way power driver’s seat with lumbar support and manual thigh support extension, leather seats with piano dot trim, satin chrome finishes, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, manual tilt/telescopic steering column, steering wheel controls, Bose audio system with in dash six-CD changer & MP3/WMA CD playback and nine speakers including two subwoofers, speed sensitive volume control, push button start, power windows, door locks, sliding moonroof and fog lights. The sport package with sport tuning and the larger wheels, added $2,030 to the total of $36,810. The Nissan Maxima is a wonderful vehicle. If you like to drive sedans and are in the market for one, definitely put the Maxima on your test drive list. tion with the West Fort Bend Management District,” said Vincent Morales, WFBMD President. “Across the country, highway corridors are continually expanded and enhanced. This project will bring destination designation and provide connection for economic growth for both cities and the county. It will visually enhance our region which is the WFBMD’s goal.” “The project was one of 31 Houston area projects submitted to the state for final review and selection. It was the efforts of numerous people that made the awarding of this project possible,” said Morales. The WFBMD was created in 2005 to address the issues associated with accelerating development within western Fort Bend County. “The district is transected by a number of transportation corridors that could potentially divide rather than unite the area,” added Morales. The firm of Asakura Robinson, specialist land planners for suburban areas, was selected among finalists for the development of a landscape plan in 2007 and the details and drawings were presented at focus group and public meetings for additional input.

Cash 4 trash phone drive

Texana Center launches Cash 4 Trash Phone Drive. Get rid of those old, unwanted cell phones in a safe, secure way that helps our environment and helps individuals with an intellectual and developmental disability. Drop off your old cell phones at any Texana location or the Fort Bend County Libraries – George, Mamie George, First Colony, Eldridge, Missouri City, and Sienna. For more information, go to www.texanacenter.com or contact Andi Wallis at 281239-1427.

La Leche League La Leche League of Fort Bend Family Night & Fundraiser will be held at Skeeter’s Mesquite Grill, 16535 Lexington Boulevard, Sugar Land, on Tuesday, Aug. 10, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. to raise money to help LLL support breastfeeding mothers and babies.

Grass roots ‘Green Effort’ in Missouri City A new grass-roots group for promoting environmental benefits and beautification in Missouri City has started. Join Missouri City Green at its introductory meeting on Wednesday, August 18th at 5:30 p.m. at Candelari’s restaurant, 7425 Hwy 6, Missouri City. Missouri City residents who are interested in recycling, green spaces and parks, trees and native plants or hiking and biking trails are encouraged to attend. For questions or more information, join the Missouri Green group on Meetup.com or contact the organizer, Angie Sanders, at 832-274-9246 or angiec.sanders@gmail.com PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE The Commissioners Court of Fort Bend County, Texas has set a public hearing at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 7, 2010 for Lakemont Commercial Reserve, Replat No. 1, Pct. 3. The hearing will be held in the Commissioners Courtroom, William B. Travis Bldg., 309 S. Fourth St., Rm. 700, Richmond, Texas. Under state law, you the owner, have certain rights with respect to the proposed replat. Should you wish to exercise your right, you may be heard at the planned public hearing. You may contact Warren Escovy with LJA Engineering & Surveying Inc. at 713-953-5200 for information prior to the hearing. Submitted by, Dianne Wilson Fort Bend County Clerk LEGAL NOTICE INVITATION TO BIDDERS Sealed Bids will be received in the Office of Gilbert D. Jalomo, Jr., County Purchasing Agent, Fort Bend County, Rosenberg Annex, 4520 Reading Road, Suite A, Rosenberg, TX 77471 for the following until THURSDAY, AUGUST 19, 2010 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 10-117 – CHIP SEAL EMULSION CHEMICAL ROAD MATERIAL 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 bids. Signed: Gilbert D. Jalomo, Jr., Purchasing Agent Fort Bend County, Richmond, Texas LEGAL NOTICE INVITATION TO BIDDERS Sealed Bids will be received in the Office of Gilbert D. Jalomo, Jr., County Purchasing Agent, Fort Bend County, Rosenberg Annex, 4520 Reading Road, Suite A, Rosenberg, TX 77471 for the following until THURSDAY, AUGUST 12, 2010 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 10-115 – CARPET REPLACEMENT AT GEORGE MEMORIAL LIBRARY 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 bids. Signed: Gilbert D. Jalomo, Jr., Purchasing Agent Fort Bend County, Richmond, Texas LEGAL NOTICE INVITATION TO BIDDERS Sealed Bids will be received in the Office of Gilbert D. Jalomo, Jr., County Purchasing Agent, Fort Bend County, Rosenberg Annex, 4520 Reading Road, Suite A, Rosenberg, TX 77471 for the following until THURSDAY, AUGUST 26, 2010 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 10-116 – CITY OF KENDLETON WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT A pre-bid conference will be conducted on Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 10:00AM (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 vendors 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 bids. Signed: Gilbert D. Jalomo, Jr., Purchasing Agent Fort Bend County, Richmond, Texas

Legal Notices

Notice Public Hearing Stafford Municipal School District will hold a public hearing on the proposed application for Optional Flexible School Day Program at the August 9, 2010 School Board meeting beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Stafford Municipal School District Administration Building in the boardroom, 1625 Staffordshire, Stafford, Texas, 77477. Fort Bend County DBE Goal Fort Bend County has completed their review of the federally funded contracting opportunities for Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) for fiscal year 2011. Pursuant to US DOT regulations 49 CFR PART 26, the County is required to establish a Race Neutral / Race Conscious Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) goal program. This goal is based upon projected contracting / procurement opportunities, the availability of eligible ready, willing and able to work Disadvantaged Business Enterprises, and past contracting achievement. An overall agency goal of 3% is proposed for contracting / procurement opportunities for the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program. Comments on the proposed overall goals are encouraged and will be used for informational purposes to develop the final established goals. The methodology used to determine the goal will be available for public inspection during normal working hours, Monday through Friday at the Fort Bend County Purchasing Department until September 20, 2010. The address for the Purchasing Department is Rosenberg Annex, 4520 Reading Road, Suite A, Rosenberg TX 77471. Fort Bend County will accept comments on the goals until 4:00 p.m. on September 20, 2010. Comments must be submitted in writing to the following address: County Purchasing Agent Fort Bend County Purchasing Department 4520 Reading Road, Suite A Rosenberg TX 77471 If the County receives any comments from individuals or organizations a response to each will be prepared. PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE The Commissioners Court of Fort Bend County, Texas has set a public hearing on Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 1:00 p.m. for acceptance of the traffic control plan for Silver Ranch Section 2, Pct. 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 24, 2010 at 1:00 p.m. for acceptance of the traffic control plan for Cinco Ranch Southwest Section 32 and Cinco Terrace Drive and Fiona Sky Lane Extension and Reserves, Pct. 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 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, AUGUST 12, 2010 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 10-113 – CONSTRUCTION OF DITCH H EXTENSION TO OYSTER CREEK A pre-bid conference will be conducted on Thursday, July 29, 2010 at 10:00AM (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 vendors 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 bids. Signed: Gilbert D. Jalomo, Jr., Purchasing Agent Fort Bend County, Richmond, Texas CITATION BY PUBLICATION DIVORCE The State of Texas TO: Raza Ali aka Raza Ahsan, Address Unknown, and to all whom it may concern, Respondent GREETINGS: 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 AM on the Monday next following the expiration of twenty (20) days after you were served this citation and petition, a default judgment may be taken against you. The Original Petition for Divorce of Sandra Porto-Ali, Petitioners, was filed in the 387th Judicial District Court of Fort Bend County, Texas on the July 16, 2010 against Raza Ahsan, Respondent, being numbered 10-DCV-182451, and entitled In the Matter of the Marriage of Sandra Porto-Ali and Raza Ali aka Raza Ahsan The suit requests Divorce. The court has authority in this suit to enter any judgment or decree dissolving the marriage and providing for the division of property which will be binding on you. Issued and given under my hand and seal of the said Court at Richmond, Texas, on this the 23rd day of July, 2010. Petitioner’s Attorney: Michael D Tracton ATTORNEY AT LAW 12920 DAIRY ASHFORD SUITE 140 SUGAR LAND TX 77478 (281) 242-7111 District Clerk Annnie Rebecca Elliott Fort Bend County, Texas By: Deputy District Clerk Rachel R. Gonzalez, 281-633-7627


AUGUST 4, 2010 • INDEPENDENT • Page 7

FILM REVIEW: Dinner for Schmucks If you go to this movie, you’re a schmuck. I saw this movie in Austin at the AMC Barton Creek Square. My AMC in Sugar Land is quite familiar with Larry H. and they readily allow me free entrance when I flash my Houston Film Critics membership card. Not so much at Barton Creek. I flashed my card as usual, but the young lass at the ticket booth said that she would have to call the manager. “But I’m Larry H. from Sugar Land.” She replied “... the manager will be here in a moment.” I explained again that I was Larry H. from SUGAR LAND!” She said “Sugarwater?” “No, Sugar Land, two words.” “Oh, Sugarfoot?” “No, that’s an old TV western (1957) starring Tom Brewster.” “Sorry, but I don’t want a brewski.” Austin is weird. Steve Carell stars as the dimwitted IRS employee, Barry, who is chosen by Tim the rising financial executive to attend a dinner with him hosted by his boss (Bruce Greenwood). The theme of the dinner is to invite a bunch of “idiots” to the dinner and then make fun of them and choose the “winner.” As in the biggest buffoon. Before they actually at-

tend the dinner, Barry and Tim bond through one silly mishap and misunderstanding after another. There are the usual car wrecks, cell phone accidental switches, and girlfriend/stalker misdirection. All of this done in the name of painful character development. Steve Carell is one of the top comedic actors of the de-

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cade but he is in danger of becoming a Jerry Lewis knockoff unless he is a little more discreet in his choice of roles and screenplays. Carell’s acting was adequate and his facial expressions are still priceless, but the screenplay by David Guion and Michael Handelman should be sent to bed without dinner. Who am I to criticized Steve Carell who is also currently starring as a voice in “Despicable Me” and the hugely successful “Date Night” earlier this year; not to mention his dominance as Michael Scott in “The Office?” I’m a huge fan and known throughout most of my hometown as Larry H. and parts of Austin; that’s who I am. Rock ‘n Roll. Grade 73. Larry H. sugarlaw@larryharrison.com

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THOMAS J. PARR, M.D. ORTHOPEDIC SURGEON

Not just oil, Pennzoil

Bargain Book Sale Friends of First Colony Branch Library, 2121 Austin Parkway at Grants Lake, Sugar Land, will hold their monthly bargain book sale Sat. Aug. 7, 9 a.m to 2 p.m. GOOD CONDITION ONLY books, CD’s, DVD’s may be donated during regular library hours or at the sale and are tax deductible. Children’s items are especially needed. Call 281-416-0936.

14090 Southwest Fwy, #130 Sugar Land, TX 77478 Phone: (281) 491-7111 www.tomparrmd.net www.FtBendSportsMedicine.com

THE TIME IS NOW, THE WAIT IS OVER www.RemaxFine.com 281-265-5533 281-2655533 Highway 6 & Austin Parkway We Can Show You ANY House Listed!


Page 8 • INDEPENDENT • AUGUST 4, 2010


Fort Bend Independent