VOL 5 No. 45
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FORT BEND FAIR. BALANCED. INFORMATIVE. WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012
P. O.BOX 623, SUGAR LAND, TX 77487-0623
Official newspaper of Fort Bend County, Missouri City & Sugar Land
Toys for Tots
They are all smiles about helping more than 4,000 children in Fort Bend County during the holiday season this year!! Pictured at the Sugar Land Fire Department’s Fire Station No. 7 are (left to right): back row in the fire truck - Lieutenant Darryl Teague (driver), Santa, Captain Trent Herrod; and standing in the front are: Carolyn Tarver, Project SMILE; John Robson, Exchange Club of Sugar Land; Jack Molho, Toys for Tots; and Jared Jameson, Sugar Land Rotary. The Sugar Land Fire Department has always supported children who are economically disadvantaged, and Christmas time is no different. The fire department will join two new
partners, Santa’s Exchange and Toys for Tots, to ensure an even greater impact for children in need across Fort Bend County. The organizations expect to achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness by working together, and are very excited to have the Sugar Land Fire Department supporting these efforts. In the coming weeks, toy collection boxes will be available around the county including all Sugar Land Fire Stations. Donations of new, unwrapped gifts will help create a memorable Christmas for many at-risk children throughout Fort Bend County. Along with Toys for Tots, Santa’s Exchange includes members of Sugar Land Ex-
change, Fort Bend Exchange and Sugar Land Rotary Club that support Project SMILE, as well as collection boxes located at Fort Bend ISD, Lamar CISD and participating area businesses. Carolyn Tarver with Project SMILE, Stan’s Memory Includes Loving Everyone, receives toys each year from Santa’s Exchange. Tarver started by helping 12 children during the holidays when her only son, Stan, died in a tragic accident. As the need for toys grew larger each year, Santa’s Exchange helped her fulfill her dream. Last year alone, over 3,500 children received over 10,000 gifts during the holiday season through Project SMILE.
Diwali at Constellation Field Masala Radio, in association with Gujarati Samaj of Houston, India House, India Culture Center and Hindus of Greater Houston will present the glamorous second annual Diwali Carnival: Festival of Lights 2012 on Saturday, Nov. 10, from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. at Constellation Field (Sugar Land Skeeters Stadium). Diwali is the biggest festival in India, celebrating the victory of good over evil. The evening will be energized by popular comedian Sunil Thakkar of Masala Radio and will feature multi stages of a glitzy Miss Diwali Beauty Pageant, breathtaking Indian Classical and Bollywood Entertainment, exotic Fire Dancers, shimmering Fashion Show, dazzling Fireworks, Kids Rides, and a Bazaar of Clothing, Jewelry, and spicy Indian Street Food. The 80-foot wide, three-level Main Stage will feature over 13 top dance school performances. The main attraction is the mind-blowing Masala Entertainment lineup, featuring Indian Idol finalist Bhoomi Trivedi and three young singers playing the latest Bollywood Tracks and the finale Dandia-Raas (stick dance festival). DJ Zee will rock the main stage, and AD Sounds will provide a memorable American-rock-band-style stage light show. Kids will delight in an extensive playground, free carousel rides and giant inflatable slide. Youths will love the secret DJ Dance clubs. All of this is available for the low ticket price of $5. The last time Masala Radio had a grand event for Diwali was in 2007, at Sugar Land Town Square. The event became overcrowded, with guests parking in the nearby mall and outlying shopping centers that traffic came to a standstill. Now Constellation Field will serve as the perfect venue, with ample parking even for the capacity crowd of 8000, 5000 built-seats, giant 200 x 90 video screen, and a circle concourse to accommodate 60 vendors. For tickets visit HoustonDiwaliMela.com or call 281-277-6874.
Imperial Arts opens in Rosenberg Economic Development Director Matt Fielder, Rosenberg Development Corporation President Bill Knesek, Rosenberg Mayor Vincent M. Morales, Jr., Imperial Arts Founder and Executive Director Edward Crowell III, Imperial Arts Visual Arts and Education Director Robyn Miller, and Imperial Arts Board Member Kelly Ferguson recently toured the new arts center under-construction in Rosenberg. Imperial Arts will open on Nov. 16. See
story on Page 6.
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DA files no charges in alleged open meetings act violation By SESHADRI KUMAR Fort Bend County District Attorney John Healey has determined that no criminal charges will be filed with regard to a complaint brought to his office in February 2012 by William Proctor, a current Katy ISD school board trustee. Proctor’s complaint alleged a violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act, regarding the May 2011 selection of school board officers immediately following the elections occurring that month. This decision was based on careful consideration of the law regarding the Texas Open Meetings Act and factual information obtained by an investigator with the District Attorney’s Office, Healey said. Facts were derived from interviews with the following individuals: Rebecca Fox, Joe Adams, Terry Huckaby, William Proctor, Henry Dibrell, Robert Shaw, and attorney Chris Gilbert with Thompson and Horton who represents Katy ISD. All of the individuals mentioned voluntarily spoke to the District Attorney’s investigator. The fundamental purpose of the Texas Open Meetings Act is to ensure that there is an allowance for open, public discussion regarding matters considered and decided by
governmental entities, Healey said. Public discussions and votes of the entities shall occur, ensuring that deliberations by the members of governmental entities regarding their business shall not be made in private, closed-door meetings. “Under Texas law, there are a small minority of issues that a governmental entity may deliberate in a closed, also known as executive, session. The selection of school board officers is not one of them,” Healey said. Both federal and state courts have analyzed the facts of a variety of alleged Open Meetings Act violations, including those related to the actions of a school board, to determine how the language of the Texas Open Meetings Act should be interpreted and applied. Those courts have reasoned that the intent of the board members to violate the Open Meetings Act is to be taken into consideration when determining the existence of a law violation, he said. In any criminal prosecution, the District Attorney’s Office must present to the judge or jury, evidence that represents proof beyond a reasonable doubt that a law has been broken. In reference to Proctor’s complaint, the District Attor-
ney’s Office does not believe that proof beyond a reasonable doubt exists to proceed with a prosecution. Those members of the Board who were interviewed were very open as to what was talked about, and what was not talked about, in pre-meeting conversations between current Katy ISD School Board President Fox and individual members. “No rational jury could believe that these board members and members-elect intended that the Open Meetings Act would be broken. “Furthermore, following the May 2011 election, they discussed openly their members’ preferences for school board officers at the first meeting after the election.” Going forward, the District Attorney’s Office is hopeful that the current and future board members, after consultation with the District’s legal counsel, will consider revising the manner in which the issue of officer selections on the Board is first approached, and that prior to a public meeting, members will go into less detail about who might be interested in filling the roles of various offices on the Board. If this occurs, the spirit and letter of the law relating to the Open Meetings Act will be served, Healey said.
Online Town Hall on “surveillance cameras” Sugar Land’s new Online Town Hall is now focusing on feedback for the Sugar Land Police Department’s Crime Prevention Camera Program. Citizens are being asked: What are your thoughts and/or concerns regarding the implementation of the Crime Prevention Camera Program that can be considered during the creation of a policy to provide guidance for the use of the system? Please feel free to add your comments about the program. Recently approved funding for a citywide Crime Prevention Camera Project will enable police to expand a community partnership that began years ago. Cameras have long been an effective crime-fighting tool for Sugar Land neighborhoods and businesses. They have successfully served as a deterrent and also a forensic tool to solve crimes after they occur. Continued interest from business dis-
tricts and neighborhood associations to expand the reach of their cameras recently resulted in funding for a network of similar crime prevention cameras along public roadways. The license plate recognition cameras planned along entrances to Sugar Land are identical to those which have been used by the City for years in patrol cars and several stationary locations in the Town Center area and City parks. The cameras will be a passive, non-monitored system used to locate suspect vehicles after a crime occurs. Citizens are encouraged to visit the City’s Online Town Hall and share their concerns. Feedback will be used in the development of a policy for the Crime Prevention Camera Program. Recently launched on the City’s website at www.sugarlandtx.gov, Online Town Hall is easy to use and allows Sugar Land citizens to share ideas and perspectives on specific
topics impacting the community and its future. The moderated forum is conducted in a respectful, civil environment that ensures participation from everyone in our City. During the registration process, residents will be asked for their names and home addresses. This confidential information is used only to identify statements from residents in Sugar Land so that users know which statements are from local residents. Personal information will not be used or shared in any other way. Once subscribed to the forum, participants will be able to make inquiries and offer comments in a message board format. Forum participants will only need to register once to participate in this and all future forums. They may read what others are saying and post their own statements. City staff will read the statements and incorporate them into the decisionmaking process.
Page 2 • INDEPENDENT • NOVEMBER 7, 2012
NEWS Countdown continues for Arc’s Best in the West
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The clocks are ticking as committee member and volunteers continue preparations for The Arc of Fort Bend County’s Best in the West Dinner Dance and Auction Saturday, Nov. 17 at the George Ranch Historical Park Arena in Richmond. Set up begins on Friday, Nov. 16 when a small army of committee members, ROTC and FFA students, and other Arc friends begins assembling the stage and backdrop, putting golf tees in the arena dirt to mark the spots for tables, and hauling in the items up for bid in the live and silent auctions. Then tables are rolled in and chairs are positioned to welcome the more than 1,000 people who will attend. The transformation of the arena to a venue for a barbecue dinner, provided by The Swinging Door, boot-scooting and boogie music by The Triumphs, a live auction featuring the always popular trips, hunting excursions, First Colony Mall parking space and a puppy, 10 silent auction Corrals and the special Ace in the Hole Bid Board ends when the doors open at 6 p.m. Saturday. The 34th edition of the popular fundraiser is presented once again by Platinum underwriter Prosperity Bank. Also returning to support the event are Gold Buckle sponsor Waste Services, Bronze Boot sponsors Aviles Engineering and Sugar Land Rotary, Rhinestone Cowboy sponsors Aliana and Classic Chevrolet, and Silver Spur sponsors PGAL, Fort Bend County Judge Bob Hebert, Amani Engineering, Inc., JACOBS, Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP, Bud Light/Silver Eagle Distributors, Huitt-Zollars and Greg and Deena Sargent. Corral sponsors for 2012 include The Arc of Fort Bend, Big Boys Woodshed, By Design, Fort Bend ISD, Law Enforcement, Home Depot, Ray and Janet Meyers, OakBend Medical Center and Lone Star Pet Lodges. There will also be a “Buy Now” corral of Round Top-esque metal pieces for outdoor and indoor decorating. Tickets for the Best in the West are $50/individual and $500/ table. For sponsorship information or tickets, please contact Jo Ann Stevens at 713-829-1827 or Ann Smith at 281-240-1313. For up-to-date highlights about the event, join us on Facebook at Arc of Fort Bend County. The Arc of Fort Bend County provides programs and services to support individuals with intellectual and related developmental disabilities and their families. Three Amigos Mariachi Band to entertain Loving Friends Loving Friends will hold its monthly dinner meeting on Tuesday, November 20, beginning at 5:00 p.m. at Sweetwater Country Club, 4400 Palm Royale Blvd., Sugar Land. The popular, The Three Amigos,a mariachi band who perform at all area Pappasito’s will entertain Loving Friends. Mariachi is the best known form of folk music from Mexico and the Three Amigos promise a very entertaining evening. Loving Friends is open to both men and women who lost their spouses but support one another in a friendly and social environment. Reservations are necessary by calling 281-438-5224. They are required the Thursday prior to the Tuesday dinner meeting for an accurate dinner reservation count. The cost for dinner is $17; complimentary valet parking available.
Sarah Parkinson, top, with son Liam, Beverly Cushenberry and Jacque Burgess comprise the powerhouse Silent Auction Corral committee for The Arc’s annual Best in the West Dinner, Dance and Auction. The event, scheduled this year for 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17 at the George Ranch Historical Park Arena in Richmond, is a family affair for many volunteers. Sarah grew up helping her mom, Beverly, and her dad Rick Cushenberry plan, implement and clean up. And young Liam helps keep committee members smiling when he laughs during planning meetings.
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NOVEMBER 7, 2012 • INDEPENDENT • Page 3
News Anti-apartment initiative garners 1,501 signatures By SESHADRI KUMAR The Initiative Committee of Petitioners submitted 1,501 Sugar Land Registered Voter signatures to the City of Sugar Land City Secretary on Nov. 2. The petition seeks a referendum on limiting the number of apartments that the city could approve. The registered voters signing the petition represent major communities within Sugar Land including Telfair, Sweetwater, Commonwealth, Avalon, First Colony, Sugar Mill. Sugar Lakes, Venetian Estates, Belknap/Brookside, Hall Lake and more, says Diana Miller, a Realtor, who is spearheading
the signature drive. The Initiative Petition proceeded despite the city stating in a letter dated September 26 that the “City has received a legal opinion that the City is prevented from taking the proposed amendment to the voters as it conflicts with State law”. While the legality of the voter Initiative may be subject to differing “legal opinions,” the ability of the Mayor and City Council to bring forth action to restore primary zoning districts and to eliminate the subjective language contained in the Planned Development Zoning District is well within the powers of Council, as is
Miller recommending placement of the Initiative Petition ordinance on the ballot for a public vote, Miller said.
The letter represents the “City opinion.” “However, I failed to receive a Mayor’s or Council opinion of the Initiative Petition,” she said. “We do not want high density multi-family development. It is clear the City has chosen a path contrary to our primary zoning districts and the Comprehensive Plan. Chapter 6 of the Comprehensive Plan has been ignored in many respects in the recent General Plan approvals.” While the city may choose to deny “our right to vote on this issue, we will continue to expand public awareness through
Legal issues slow down the Regal Ranch deal By BARBARA FULENWIDER Fort Bend County’s sale of Regal Ranch to Stafford sounded like a quick, done deal but instead the process has slowed to a crawl. The county bought 31 acres of Regal Ranch for drainage and detention purposes and what has slowed the process is determining how much of the 31 acres is needed for those purposes, according to County Attorney Roy Cordes and Assistant County Attorney Marcus Spencer. Spencer said county engineers are currently doing an assessment along with the Fort Bend drainage district to decide how much land is needed for drainage and detention and where it needs to be. After that is finalized the county will know what acreage they want to sell to Stafford and where it’s located. “We can’t provide a more specific time line right now” for a sale, Spencer said. “The county does own the property. We have closed on it.” Fort Bend County paid $1.94 million for the 31 acres and “Commissioners Court
has directed us to recover part of the money we paid by selling it to Stafford,” for a fair market price, Spencer said. “We wouldn’t be looking to come out ahead, just sell it for fair market value. That’s our understanding of what Commissioners Court wants us to do.” There is currently a sign posted on Regal Ranch property advertising for people to begin scheduling their 2013 events at the facility now. Spencer explained that Regal Ranch “is still under a lease by the people who owned it before, so they put the sign out. Their lease will expire on Dec. 31, 2012. They do have an option to renew for five years and they have exercised that option. Their lease is not for the entire 31 acres. There will be a portion under lease. We’ll see what’s left that Stafford might be interested in buying.” Stafford Mayor Leonard Scarcella said the city is interested in purchasing some 20 acres of the property that would include the facilities on it. He also said, “Apparently at this point, as far as
delivering possession of the property to us at closing, there are some legal technicalities that puts the county in a position not to be able to do that. When you write the check (for property) the seller is supposed to hand you the keys, and the county can’t do that now.” When the technicalities get resolved, Scarcella said is when he and city council members will talk with county officials again about buying. “We aren’t doing anything now,” he said. “Our position now is ‘when you get it resolved, get in touch.’” What has occurred so far is county officials approached city of Stafford officials to see if they would negotiate for the purchase of some 20 acres of Regal Ranch on U.S. 90A. Stafford Mayor Leonard Scarcella said, “We told them we would. Council passed a resolution to negotiate and named (Councilman) Cecil (Willis), Art (Pertile, city attorney), and Charles Russell, (city engineer) to meet with the county’s representatives.”
The three men representing Stafford’s interests met with county officials about buying the property but, according to the mayor, a major hitch has developed. “Apparently, at this point, as far as delivering possession of the property to us at the closing, there are some legal technicalities that put them in a position not to be able to do that. I don’t know what they are going to do at this point.” As a long-time lawyer who has handled numerous real estate transactions for clients, the mayor said, “When you write the check for property they are to hand you the keys and at this point the county can’t do that.” The mayor also noted that there’s a sign on the Regal Ranch property urging the public to start scheduling their 2013 events there now. “Our position is the county has a problem that they need to get resolved. When that’s done then we’ll talk to you. We aren’t doing anything now. When you get it resolved, get in touch,” Scarcella said.
the upcoming May 2013 City Council elections. As Council considers the upcoming Telfair and Imperial multi-family developments, your votes will be reported back to our expanded Registered Voter data base. Action on the Comprehensive Plan ‘updates’ will also be re-
ported back to the community,” Miller said. Sustainable Sugar Land will support elected officials and candidates who will seek to enforce our Primary Zoning Districts over the ambiguous, PD (Planned Development) Zoning, Miller said.
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Confiscated drug funds distributed to Task Force agencies Force agencies, and we also are very proud of the accomplishments the Task Force members have achieved the past three years,” said Wright.
Drug funds confiscated by the Fort Bend County Narcotics Task Force, a Houston High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area initiative, were distributed to the agencies that participate in the Task Force. Each agency received a check for $160,000. Participating in the presentation were, from left, Captain Rodney Glendenning, Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office and the director of Task Force; Lt. Josh Dale, Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office and a member of the Task Force; Fort Bend County District Attorney John Healey; Fort Bend County Sheriff Milton Wright; Chief Robert Gracia, Rosenberg Police Department; and Chief Joel Fitzgerald, Missouri City Police Department. Checks totaling more than ney’s Office also shares in the Sheriff’s Office, the confiscated cash pays for the Task $600,000 were distributed to disbursement. “The Board of Governors is Force’s equipment, office the four members of the Fort Bend County Narcotics Task pleased to present these checks space, furniture, vehicles and Force, a Houston High Inten- to Task Force members,” said supplies, making the Task sity Drug Trafficking Area ini- Sheriff Milton Wright. “Under Force virtually self-funded. the direction of Captain Rod- The funds cannot be used for tiative. Funds seized by the Task ney Glendenning the past few salaries. Other than the cash confisForce totaling $640,000 were years, the Task Force Drug awarded through the Chapter Agents have produced re- cated in the past three years, 59 Statute regarding cash pro- markable results. Their track the Task Force has collected: ceeds used to facilitate illegal record has been outstanding.” •9,589 pounds of marijuana; In the past three years, Task •23,605 marijuana plants; drug operations being conducted in Fort Bend County. Force agents have seized $3.8 •8 kilos of cocaine; These funds were subsequent- million in cash. The seized •8 kilos of methamphetamine; ly awarded to the Narcotics funds go through court pro- and Task Force and participating cedures and eventually are re- •77,998 doses of pharmaceumembers, which are the Fort turned to the Task Force board ticals. During that time period, Bend County Sheriff’s Office, for distribution. Participating the Rosenberg Police Depart- law enforcement agencies Task Force Agents have arment and the Missouri City have received $1.7 million in rested 507 people. “We appreciate the continPolice Department. The Fort that time frame. For the Fort Bend County ued participation of the Task Bend County District Attor-
While some car engines rely on a timing chain to control the timing of the engine’s valves, others utilize timing belts. The latter generally consist of flat rubber belts with high-tensile fibers and integral teeth that connect the crankshaft to the camshaft. Because these belts are subject to wear unlike more durable timing chains, they should be replaced according to manufacturer recommendations. Failure to comply with this very important maintenance recommendation can result in engine breakdown at the very least and catastrophic engine failure at worst. This latter prospect occurs in “interference” engines in which the valve and piston paths may cross, resulting in bent valves and/or fragments of pistons or valves in the cylinder. With the holiday season around the corner, the last thing you’ll want to deal with is a car that won’t start. Keep your vehicle running smoothly and safely by bringing it to AUTO CENTRAL for routine maintenance checks. An ASE Certified Technician will inspect the key components of your vehicle and recommend repairs or replacements as needed so that you avoid more expensive repairs in the future. Please call us at 281499-9684 to schedule a maintenance check. We are located at 2526 5th Street, Stafford. Do you have a car care question? Visit our discussion board on Facebook-Auto Central. Autocentralautomotive.com. HINT: “Interference,” as mentioned above, may occur in dual-cam engines with two timing belts. Failure of either belt can lead to valve-on-valve damage.
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Page 4 • INDEPENDENT • NOVEMBER 7, 2012
Opinion The economics of disaster
The View from Sugar Land
Predicting the election By RUSSELL JONES As James Carville famously told Bill Clinton during the 1992 presidential campaign, “it’s the economy, stupid.” In the two intervening decades, neither Carville nor the fundamental truth of his famous advice has disappeared from the election scene. Yesterday’s election, whatever its outcome, proved that even left-wingers get it right sometimes. Due to the peculiarities of writing an opinion column for a weekly newspaper, this column, appearing on Wednesday, is being written on Monday. The talent for 20/20 foresight being nonexistent, the election outcome is unknown as this column is written. Other predictions about this election have already come true, and some are worth recalling. Whatever the outcome, the economy was the issue. Nothing else really mattered. Foreign policy failures, including the Benghazi fiasco, made little difference. Hurricane Sandy resulted in praise for Obama’s post-disaster tour of New Jersey, but criticism for abandoning the homeless victims in favor of fund-raising in Las Vegas–again. Even so, the hurricane probably made no difference in the predominately blue states most affected by the storm. No, the economy and Obama’s policies for dealing with it, were the leading factors guiding voters. The final result of the race tells the story of how Americans feel about the way Obama has dealt with it. Did they agree with Obama’s negative class warfare, or were they looking for a positive attitude promising equal opportunity for all to become a part of the one
Jones percent? In November, 2011, two former Democrat pollsters, Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen, predicted in the Wall Street Journal that the 2012 election would be the most negative in history. Having concluded that Obama could not run on his record, and with polls showing him to be tied with a generic Republican candidate, Obama would have no choice but to go negative against whomever the opponent might be. Their forecast of the character of the election was dead on. In the latest demonstration of unpresidential, unbecoming and negative behavior, Obama on Friday encouraged his supporters to vote out of revenge. Following a reference to Romney, his partisan crowd began to boo. Obama was quick to insist, “No, no, no. Don’t boo... vote! Vote! Voting’s the best revenge!” Huh? Revenge for what? Revenge for opposing this president and his failed record? Romney, himself not one to be praised for avoiding negative campaigning, did have the presence of mind to turn Obama’s gaffe around. “Vote for love of your country,” he
said. Most predictions of the election this past weekend played it safe, analysts saying the polls suggested that the race was too close to call. Others stepped out, predicting victory for one candidate or the other. Usually, though, they were partisan spokesmen, predicting that their own candidate would win. Dick Morris unsurprisingly forecast a Romney landslide. Rove, Barnes, Noonan and Krauthammer concurred with Morris’ outcome, but not the margin. Most interesting was Michael Barone’s prediction that Romney would win decisively, garnering 315 electoral votes. Senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner, Barone went out on a limb four days before the election to forecast Romney’s election. Some say Barone has never been wrong. The tone of the candidates was telling as they approached the finish line. Obama was assertive, sharp, bitter and sarcastic, projecting fear of defeat. Romney was positive, forward-looking, patriotic and clearing enjoying addressing the crowds, projecting nothing but confidence. Perhaps in the most effective endorsement Romney received at anytime during the campaign, Michelle delivered a tweet to supporters on Monday. “Imagine,” she said, “what Barack can do in 4 more years?” Please, half of the population really doesn’t want to know. 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.
AROUND THE NEIGHBORHOODS: Girl Scout memories in Quail Valley By CAROLYN V. BOWDEN “FIRST TIME” LEADER: My introduction to Girl Scouts began in second grade. My favorite part of the scouting program, from day one, was “Out-ofDoors”. Summer camp began with a 2 week session and soon expanded to a 6 week. At that time our camp was the “only” Girl Scout camp in the State. My favorite summer was when the senior scouts were allowed to build a “primitive” camp site away from the main camp. We even had a truck size water tank on wheels. Therefore, with 10 years of scouting experience in the areas of Service to Others, earning Badges and the Out-Door activities, I raised my hand and volunteered to be a leader. BROWNIES: Learning the proper way to use a knife is a skill needed in scouting. They even have knives made just for the Brownie level. I was trained by the Council and it “seemed” very simple and easy to be able to relate to the 3rd graders in my troop. They were in a circle (an arm length away from each other) and each had the soft wood stick and their knife. First we practiced with the knife closed. Everyone was excited because none of the 20 girls had ever been allowed to even hold a sharp knife, much less cut with one. Bottom line: “no one got hurt”. JUNIOR SCOUTS: All scouts are taught the Girl Scout Motto: “Be Prepared”. Our first campout was with 35 junior scouts, 3
Carolyn Bowden leaders and 4 Mothers. I had fond memories of cooking on a “tin can stove.” Each of the 4 patrols had worked hard to plan menus, go shopping, and make their tin can stoves (2 girls per stove). They planned to cook bacon and fry 2 eggs for breakfast. It always worked great when I was a girl scout so “what could go wrong?” The bacon did not have enough grease to keep the eggs from sticking. It was an AWFUL MESS! Scouts always do individual evaluations at the end of an event. One 4th grader wrote: “We should have practiced cooking on the stoves “before” the campout! (Out of the mouth
of babes) CADETTES: By now the age is middle school and at one of our Troop campouts at a local Girl Scout camp we planned a “compass hike”. Now we have been exposing the girls to the use of a compass since Brownies. We had done lots of fun “games” using the compasses. They wanted to go out in the “woods” (which was mainly small trees and lots of underbrush) just outside our camp. They wanted to get “off the trail”. We were probably onefourth of a mile (as the crow flies) from our tents so “what could go wrong?” They took compass readings, stepped off the trail and took what they thought was a “direct” route back instead of the winding trail. Rule was we all had to stay together. They disagreed and got all turned around and finally after crossing the “trail” at least 10 times we arrived back at camp. The camp evaluation (across the board) said: The compass hike was the MOST fun of the campout! What a great attitude! NEXT COLUMN: (November 21) – 1973 Houston Open @ QV Write to: CVBneighbors@ aol.com
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Seshadri Kumar Publisher & Editor
www.fbindependent.com Email: Editor@fbindependent.com
By RON PAUL Hurricane Sandy was one of the worst natural disasters the east coast has ever seen. Clean-up and recovery will take months, if not years and estimates run in the tens of billions of dollars. Parts of New York and New Jersey will never be the same. Entire seashore communities have been wiped out, but the determination to rebuild has been lauded as courageous and admirable. Yet as with all natural disasters, Sandy raises uncomfortable questions about the extent to which taxpayers should fund the cleanup and the extent to which government programs create moral hazards. For example, FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) are expected to pick up the tab for much of the flood damage caused by the hurricane. Of course this will mean more federal debt and inflation for the rest of us, since the program only has about $4 billion to work with and is already $18 billion in debt from hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Many think there is a need for the government to provide flood insurance of this kind. After all, the market would never provide insurance in flood prone areas at an affordable price. But
Paul shouldn’t that tell us something? Shouldn’t that tell us that it is a losing proposition to insure homes in coastal areas and flood plains often threatened by severe and destructive weather patterns? And if it’s a losing proposition, should taxpayers subsidize the inevitable losses arising from federal flood insurance? The NFIP disguises the real cost of flood insurance in flood prone areas, which influences homebuilding and sales in such areas. Recklessly taking unwise risks when risk is underpriced is known as moral hazard. When politicians decide that private insurance premiums are too high, as with houses built in
flood plains, the solution is to under price the risk through federal subsidies. The obvious and expected outcome is more danger to life and limb when disaster strikes. Even NFIP has been forced to raise rates significantly in coastal areas, and is now dropping second homes from coverage altogether, Many assume it is compassionate to entrust government central planners with disaster recovery. However, the greatest compassion brings results, not just good intentions. And we’ve seen how bureaucratic organizations like FEMA mismanaged recovery and relief in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Ike. Organizations such as the Red Cross and private companies like Home Depot and Duracell have already stepped in admirably to help those in need, and we can only hope FEMA has learned this time not to impede and frustrate private efforts as they have in the past. Above all, my thoughts and prayers are with the victims of Hurricane Sandy in this tremendously difficult time and hope they can get their lives put back together as quickly and seamlessly as possible. (Ron Paul represents the 14th Congressional District in Texas.)
Letter: Residents should engage in fighting crime To the Editor: Isn’t it time that Missouri City residents had a candid discussion about crime and what we can do about it? I was alerted to this issue by several burglaries and thefts in our First Colony subdivision. I am quite sure that I am not the only resident who has noticed that we have a crime problem and it isn’t decreasing. Granted, we have the hardest working police force I have ever seen and they do their absolute best and get the job done most of the time. But, what about the other 10 to 20 percent of the time? Burglaries happen and surely they are the most intrusive, invasive, unpleasant, and hard to predict crimes that exist. We as residents need to take a stand and not let our City or neighborhoods become another increasing crime statistic. Are residents serious about Missouri City being the “Show Me” City or is it just another motto? Shouldn’t an exemplary city have residents that are fully engaged and involved in
solving crime issues? I had some suggestions and you may have some too. The first step is to become informed. Go to www.raidsonline. com and input your address and check out how many burglaries and thefts there have been in your neighborhood. Each of those house-type indicators is a home and family that has been violated. We need to understand that burglaries and thefts happen to good folks and ordinary people like you and me who have let their guard down. How would you feel if your home was the subject of a burglary, or even worse, a home invasion? I am personally convinced that Missouri City residents can do much more about crime but we need to be united and do a much better job of policing our communities. A second suggestion is that to have some community meetings to enhance crime awareness. The Police Department has sponsored seminars about gang activity in the past. More of those on related topics would be helpful. Our Police are the crime fighting
experts and we need to listen and implement what they suggest. As is often taught, residents need to be the eyes and ears of police but how exactly do we do that? Reporting suspicious circumstances is what this is all about and we need to really excel at it if we’re going to beat burglars and thieves at their own game. Some residents worry that its not somehow politically correct to report suspicious characters. We need to get past trivial concerns and be aggressive about reporting persons who do not belong in our communities. Sugar Land appears to now be considering cameras to track suspicious vehicles. Should we do this? Clearly, some subdivisions have bigger and more frequent crime issues than others. I think some of these concerns could be balanced between communities. Can we share the burden? We need some genuine innovation but I am convinced if we work together as a community, we can succeed. Howard Moline Missouri City
Texas Children’s Hospital introduces new medical-legal partnership Texas Children’s Hospital and the Houston Bar Association’s Houston Volunteer Lawyers today announced the formation of a medical-legal partnership (MLP) that will provide Texas Children’s low-income patients and patientfamilies with critical legal assistance. This is the first partnership of its kind to be offered in the Houston area. Through the program, a dedicated Houston Volunteer Lawyers staff attorney will provide legal
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
advice and representation to Texas Children’s patients and their families with assistance from outside pro bono lawyers. The project is being funded in part by a donation from Walmart, which created a successful MLP with Arkansas Children’s Hospital last year with plans to expand the benefits of MLPs to other major pediatric hospitals nationwide. “It has always been our mission to help low-income children with all of their medical needs and this program is just another example of how we are doing that,” said Mark A. Wallace, president and CEO of Texas Children’s Hospital. “We appreciate the generous gift from Walmart for this beneficial medical-legal partnership that will bring muchneeded support to these children who do not have another place to turn for this type of legal assistance.” MLP is a unique health-care delivery model that brings physicians and lawyers together to tackle health issues that have legal, rather than medical solu-
tions. This could include negotiating with a landlord to address sub-standard living conditions, such as a mold infestation triggering a child’s asthma; helping a family secure Medicaid payment for a specialized wheelchair or home nursing services; or preparing legal guardianships to allow parents to continue making health care decisions for their children with special needs after they turn 18. The Texas Children’s MLP initially will provide legal aid to patients in five areas: Inpatient Rehabilitation, Fetal Center, Special Needs Primary Care Clinic, Retrovirology and Texas Children’s Pediatrics-Gulfgate. “Houston is blessed to have world class medical and legal communities,” said Brent Benoit, president of the Houston Bar Association. “Yet, we have individuals who are lost between these two groups—in need of health care, but with legal problems that prevent or frustrate their health care access.”
INDEPENDENT • NOVEMBER 7, 2012 • Page 5
City of Missouri City ORDINANCE NO. O-12-44
The Quail Valley Garden Club celebrated its 40th year of community service, awarding scholarships to local students, and caring for our neighborhood on October 11th. Members shared birthday cake and fun memories of the past years. The club’s first President, Patsy Armbruster, is still a member with wonderful pictures and stories from the early days of the Quail Valley Garden Club. The club meets the second Thursday of each month, anyone interested in gardening is welcome to join. Please email President Barbara Thompson at email@example.com for more information.
Letter: Attorney disputes story on fired sheriff’s detective
To the Editor: This in response to your front page article “Fired sheriff’s detective in political crossfire,” published in the issue dated Oct. 24, 2012. I represented both Troy Nehls and Rachel Brooks in the cases that you discussed. While there may have been some campaign finance issues, Troy Nehls did nothing illegal. The investigation of his case was led by Retired Texas Ranger David Maxwell. Troy was cleared and the allegations against him turned out to be false. Rachel Brooks also did nothing wrong and what happened is not what you printed. The facts on each were presented to a Fort Bend County Grand Jury and in each case they agreed that Troy Nehls and Rachel Brooks did nothing illegal. Period, end of story. To make allegations that John Healey or Scott Carpenter were anything but ethical and professional in these cases is totally false. John Healey recused his office on the Nehls case. That was the right thing for him to do. So are you claiming that Attorney General Gregg Abbott is involved in this too? That Retired Texas Ranger David Maxwell was also involved in this? Now on Rachel Brooks again the Texas Law, Texas Attorney General Opinions and Texas Case Law were clear that she also did nothing illegal. John Healey and Scott Carpenter again were totally professional. Scott just presented the facts to the Grand Jury and allowed them to decide. Yes the detective was there, but the Grand Jury chose not
to hear from him. That was their choice, not Scott Carpenters. To blame Scott Carpenter for the Detective not testifying is another false allegation. It appears to me that you were attempting to raise false allegations, many which have already been put to bed and leave people with a false impression of Troy Nehls, Rachel Brooks, John Healey and Scott Carpenter. Troy Nehls and Rachel Brooks were the true victims here. They had to deal with the stress and expense of being prosecuted based upon false allegations. John Healey and Scott Carpenter just did their jobs and they did them professionally. The real story here is how people should live in fear that they could be the next victim of dishonesty. If things like this happen to law enforcement officers, what happens to the general public? This is proof that it does happen. It is also proof that the Grand Jury System in Fort Bend County does work. Or is this just someone crying because they did not get their way. Again. Larry McDougal Richmond The editor responds: Nowhere did my report say either Nehls or Brooks did anything illegal. The fact is both of them appeared before the Grand Jury and they were not indicted. That the allegations are false is your characterization. Would the district attorney agree that all the no-billed cases brought by his office before the Grand Jury were based on false allegations. The cases went before the
Grand Jury because there were sufficient grounds for the prosecution to present the case to the Grand Jury. In the case of Brooks you said that what I printed did not happen. Really? Brooks herself did not want to explain what she told the Grand Jury. I reported that there was an allegation of improper voting and the sheriff’s office fired her after an internal affairs investigation. If something else happened, you tell me. I never said John Healey or Scot Carpenter were unethical or unprofessional. You used those words. You say that your clients were victims of dis-
honesty. You imply that everybody else except the sheriff, is a paragon of virtue. If your clients had lost their case, you would have cried foul and called it political vendetta. My story spotlights the politics behind these cases. It is clear as broad daylight. Brooks herself said her firing was politically motivated. I stand by my story that there is political crossfire between the sheriff’s office and the DA’s office. Period. Seshadri Kumar Editor
FORT BEND COUNTY COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT FY 2011 CONSOLIDATED ANNUAL PERFORMANCE AND EVALUATION REPORT (CAPER) Fort Bend County’s FY 2011 Draft Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER) is now available for public review and comment from Thursday, November 8, 2012 to Monday, November 26, 2012. The document is available for review at the office of the Fort Bend County Community Development Department at 301 Jackson Street, Suite 602, Richmond, Texas, 77469. The public is encouraged to review this document and submit written comments to Marilynn Kindell, Community Development Director, at 301 Jackson Street, Suite 602, Richmond, Texas, 77469 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 26, 2012. A public meeting to receive comments will be held on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. at the William B. Travis Building, 301 Jackson, First Floor Meeting Room, Richmond, Texas. Comments will be incorporated into the final document, as appropriate, prior to submission to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for review and approval. Persons with vision or hearing impairments or other individuals with disabilities requiring auxiliary aids and services may contact the department at (281) 341-4410 regarding reasonable accommodations for the meeting. For information, please contact the Fort Bend County Community Development Department 301 Jackson Street, Suite 602, Richmond, Texas, 77469, (281) 341-4410.
City of Missouri City ORDINANCE NO. O-12-47 AN ORDINANCE GRANTING TO BFI WASTE SERVICES OF TEXAS, LP, A DELAWARE LIMITED PARTNERSHIP D/B/A REPUBLIC SERVICES OF HOUSTON, THE RIGHT, PRIVILEGE, AND FRANCHISE TO USE THE PUBLIC RIGHTS-OFWAY TO CONDUCT A SOLID WASTE COLLECTION SERVICE BUSINESS FOR COMMERCIAL CUSTOMERS WITHIN THE CITY OF MISSOURI CITY, TEXAS; PROVIDING A TERM; PROVIDING FOR REPEAL; PROVIDING A PENALTY; AND PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY. I, Maria Gonzalez, City Secretary of the City of Missouri City, do hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and correct copy of the caption of said Ordinance No. O-12-47 approved on the first of three readings by the City Council at its regular meeting held on November 5, 2012, as the same appears in the records of my office. /s/ Maria Gonzalez City Secretary
Cause No. 12-CCV-048999 FORT BEND COUNTY WATER CONTROL AND IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT NO.2 COUNTY COURT AT LAW VS UNKNOWN HEIRS OF JULIAN N. CHAVEZ, DECEASED, ET UX., ET AL.
NUMBER ONE (1) OF NOTICE TO BIDDERS
FORT BEND COUNTY, TEXAS
BRIEF ON CITATION BY PUBLICATION In the name and by the authority of the State of Texas Notice is hereby given to the following Defendants: TO: The Unknown heirs of Julian N. Chavez and Trinidad G. Chavez You are commanded to appear before the Special Commissioners appointed by the Judge of the Fort Bend County Court at Law No. 1, on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 9: 30 a.m. at the Sugar Land Marriott Town Square, 16090 City Walk, Sugar Land, Texas 77479, who shall then and there assess the value of the property belonging to Defendants which is sought to be condemned by Plaintiff, in Fort Bend County Water Control and Improvement District No. 2 vs. Unknown Heirs of Julian N. Chavez, Deceased, et ux., et al.; Cause No. 12-CCV-048999, wherein Fort Bend County Water Control and IMprovement District No. 2 is the Plaintiff, and Unknown Heirs of Julian N. Chavez, Deceased, Unknown Heirs of Trinidad G. Chavez, Deceased, Dolores A. Chavez and her spouse Jose G. Chavez, Adella C. Martin and her spouse Ramon Martin, Mary C. Ortiz and her spouse Esteban Y. Oritz, Mariano Chavez, Aurora C. Katsiamakas, Julian Chavez, Jr., David Chavez, Petra C. Lopez, Gabriel Puente and his spouse Rosie Puente, and, Fort Bend County Tax AssessorCollector are Defendants. PSeptember 14, 2012, discloses that the nature of the suit is a condemnation case. Plaintiff seeks to condemn a water line easement across, along, over and upon the 0.025-acre tract of land described by mete and bounds in the attached Exhibit A and the 0.002-acre tract of land described by metes and bounds the attached Exhibit B to Plaintiff ’s First Amended Statement and Petition for Condemnation. Attorneys for Plaintiff are Joyce, McFarland+McFarland LLP, Elly D. Austin, 712 Main Street, Suite 1500, Houston, Texas 77002. Issued and given under my hand and seal of said Court in the City of Richmond, Fort Bend County, Texas, on this 19th day of October 2012. Hon. Dianne Wilson, Clerk of Fort Bend County, Texas 301 Jackson Street, Suite 101 Richmond, Texas 77469-3108 Nancy Henderson, Deputy
WATER LINE REPLACEMENT IN BARRINGTON PLACE The City of Sugar Land seeks bids for furnishing all labor, material, and equipment, and performing all work required for the following project in the City: CIP PROJECT NAME: CIP PROJECT NUMBER: LOCATION OF WORK:
Water Line Replacement in Barrington Place WA1203 Barrington Place Subdivision
Plans, specifications, and bidding documents may be obtained at the following offices and location with payment of $125: Kelly R. Kaluza & Associates, Inc. 3401 Avenue I Rosenberg, TX 77471 281-341-0808 Sealed bids in triplicate, one (1) original and two (2) copies, shall be delivered to the City of Sugar Land, Office of the City Secretary, 2700 Town Center Boulevard North, Suite 122, Sugar Land, Texas, 77479, on or before 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 29, 2012, at which time bids will be publicly opened and read. Bids received after the opening date and time will not be considered. A non-mandatory pre-bid meeting for all interested parties will be held 2:00 a.m., Thursday, November 15, 2012, Brazos Room, 2700 Town Center Boulevard North, Sugar Land, TX 77479. Questions regarding this bid must be received by Monday, November 26, 2012 on or before 11:00 A.M. Please contact Llarance Turner at Kelly R. Kaluza & Associates, Inc. (281) 341-0808. 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 City Secretary
AN ORDINANCE GRANTING TO V.F. WASTE SERVICES, INC., A TEXAS CORPORATION, THE RIGHT, PRIVILEGE, AND FRANCHISE TO USE THE PUBLIC RIGHTS-OF-WAY TO CONDUCT A SOLID WASTE COLLECTION SERVICE BUSINESS WITHIN THE CITY OF MISSOURI CITY, TEXAS; PROVIDING A TERM; PROVIDING FOR REPEAL; PROVIDING A PENALTY; AND PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY. I, Maria Gonzalez, City Secretary of the City of Missouri City, do hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and correct copy of the caption of said Ordinance No. O-12-44 approved on the first of three readings by the City Council at its regular meeting held on November 5, 2012, as the same appears in the records of my office. /s/ Maria Gonzalez City Secretary
City of Missouri City ORDINANCE NO. O-12-43 AN ORDINANCE GRANTING TO DEPENDABLE DISPOSAL SERVICE LLC, A TEXAS LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY, THE RIGHT, PRIVILEGE, AND FRANCHISE TO USE THE PUBLIC RIGHTS-OF-WAY TO CONDUCT A SOLID WASTE COLLECTION SERVICE BUSINESS WITHIN THE CITY OF MISSOURI CITY, TEXAS; PROVIDING A TERM; PROVIDING FOR REPEAL; PROVIDING A PENALTY; AND PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY. I, Maria Gonzalez, City Secretary of the City of Missouri City, do hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and correct copy of the caption of said Ordinance No. O-12-43 approved on the first of three readings by the City Council at its regular meeting held on November 5, 2012, as the same appears in the records of my office. /s/ Maria Gonzalez City Secretary
City of Missouri City ORDINANCE NO. O-12-42 AN ORDINANCE GRANTING TO BFI WASTE SERVICES OF TEXAS, LP, A DELAWARE LIMITED PARTNERSHIP D/B/A REPUBLIC SERVICES OF HOUSTON, THE RIGHT, PRIVILEGE, AND FRANCHISE TO USE THE PUBLIC RIGHTS-OF-WAY TO CONDUCT A SOLID WASTE COLLECTION SERVICE BUSINESS WITHIN THE CITY OF MISSOURI CITY, TEXAS; PROVIDING A TERM; PROVIDING FOR REPEAL; PROVIDING A PENALTY; AND PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY. I, Maria Gonzalez, City Secretary of the City of Missouri City, do hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and correct copy of the caption of said Ordinance No. O-12-42 approved on the first of three readings by the City Council at its regular meeting held on November 5, 2012, as the same appears in the records of my office. /s/ Maria Gonzalez City Secretary
City of Missouri City ORDINANCE NO. O-12-45 AN ORDINANCE GRANTING TO WASTE MANAGEMENT OF TEXAS, INC., A TEXAS CORPORATION, THE RIGHT, PRIVILEGE, AND FRANCHISE TO USE THE PUBLIC RIGHTS-OF-WAY TO CONDUCT A SOLID WASTE COLLECTION SERVICE BUSINESS WITHIN THE CITY OF MISSOURI CITY, TEXAS; PROVIDING A TERM; PROVIDING FOR REPEAL; PROVIDING A PENALTY; AND PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY. I, Maria Gonzalez, City Secretary of the City of Missouri City, do hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and correct copy of the caption of said Ordinance No. O-12-45 approved on the first of three readings by the City Council at its regular meeting held on November 5, 2012, as the same appears in the records of my office. /s/ Maria Gonzalez City Secretary
City of Missouri City ORDINANCE NO. O-12-46 AN ORDINANCE GRANTING TO WCA WASTE CORPORATION, A DELAWARE CORPORATION, THE RIGHT, PRIVILEGE, AND FRANCHISE TO USE THE PUBLIC RIGHTS-OF-WAY TO CONDUCT A SOLID WASTE COLLECTION SERVICE BUSINESS WITHIN THE CITY OF MISSOURI CITY, TEXAS; PROVIDING A TERM; PROVIDING FOR REPEAL; PROVIDING A PENALTY; AND PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY. I, Maria Gonzalez, City Secretary of the City of Missouri City, do hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and correct copy of the caption of said Ordinance No. O-12-46 approved on the first of three readings by the City Council at its regular meeting held on November 5, 2012, as the same appears in the records of my office. /s/ Maria Gonzalez City Secretary
NOTICE AFFORDING OPPORTUNITY FOR PUBLIC HEARING The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the City of Sugar Land propose to extend University Boulevard in Fort Bend County, beginning at its northern terminus south of Drainage Ditch H and extending over Drainage Ditch H to US Highway 90A, a distance of approximately 0.23 miles. Upon completion, University Boulevard would be a four-lane divided roadway with four 11-foot travel lanes, a median that varies from 18 feet to 24 feet, and an 11-foot left-turn lane at US 90A, all within an 100 foot Right-of-Way (ROW) width. The proposed project would also create dual 12-foot left-turn lanes from westbound US 90A onto University Boulevard. The proposed project would also convert much of the existing US 90A median west of University Boulevard to an auxiliary lane. Sidewalks would be provided on both sides of the roadway and would meet current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards. A shared pedestrian / bicycle trail would be located on the northbound bridge over Drainage Ditch H. When constructed, this project would allow for improved traffic flow between Highway 6 and US Highway 90A by providing an alternate route from the Highway 6 and US 90A intersection. The proposed project would not require any ROW and there would be no displacements of residences or businesses. There would be no impacts to parklands, wildlife or waterfowl refuges, recreational areas, historic or archeological sites, or waters of the U.S. (including wetlands). The proposed project would span the 100 year floodplain, as mapped by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); and, no increase to the base flood elevation level that would violate applicable floodplain regulations and ordinances is anticipated. No impacts to sensitive noise or air receptors or hazardous materials sites are anticipated. There would be no effects to federal/state threatened or endangered species or their habitats. Maps and drawings showing the proposed project location and design, environmental studies, and information regarding tentative schedules for construction of this project are available for viewing at TxDOT’s Houston District office located at 7600 Washington Avenue, Houston, Texas 77007. Maps and drawings showing the project’s location and geometric design are also on file at the City of Sugar Land, located at 2700 Town Center Boulevard North, Sugar Land, TX 77479. Please call Ms Susan Theiss at (713) 802-5249 to schedule an appointment to view the available information at TxDOT’s Houston District office. Please contact Shashi Kumar at (281)275-2700 to schedule an appointment to view the available information at the City of Sugar Land. City of Sugar Land offices are open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., excluding some State holidays. TxDOT offices are open Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., excluding State holidays. Anyone may request that a public hearing be held covering the social, economic, and environmental effects of the project by mailing a written request to the District Engineer, P.O. Box 1386, Houston, Texas 77251-1386, or e-mailing a request to Susan.Theiss@txdot.gov by 5:00 PM November 26, 2012. In the event a public hearing is requested, one would be scheduled and notices about the hearing date and location would be published in local papers and mailed to adjacent property owners.
Page 6 • INDEPENDENT • NOVEMBER 7, 2012
Nutcracker AUTOMOBILE: Honda Fit Ballet By BARBARA FULENWIDER miles per gallon. The Fit Sport The Missouri City Ballet presents “The Nutcracker Ballet” on November 24th and 25th at the Stafford Performing Arts Centre. Bring the family to enjoy this wonderful holiday classic. Show times are Sat. Nov. 24th at 7 p.m. and Sun. Nov. 25th at 2 p.m & 6 p.m. Special group discounts available! Tickets range from $15-$20. Purchase your tickets online at www.missouricityballet.org. 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, Travis Annex, 301 Jackson, Suite 201, Richmond, TX 77469 for the following until THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2012 at 1:30 P.M. CST). All proposals will then be opened in the Office of the Purchasing Agent, Travis Annex, 301 Jackson, Suite 201, Richmond, TX 77469 and the names of the proposers made public. Proposals received after the specified time will be returned unopened. Solicitation and any and all addendums will be posted on Purchasing Agent’s website located at www.co.fort-bend.tx.us. RFP 13-016 – SWITCHER RACK UPGRADE FOR OEM Bonds are required. Fort Bend County reserves the right to reject any or all proposals. Signed: Gilbert D. Jalomo, Jr., Purchasing Agent Fort Bend County, Richmond, Texas
LEGAL NOTICE REQUEST FOR SEALED COMPETITIVE PROPOSALS Sealed Competitive Proposals will be received in the Office of Gilbert D. Jalomo, Jr., County Purchasing Agent, Fort Bend County, Travis Annex, 301 Jackson, Suite 201, Richmond, TX 77469 for the following until THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2012 at 1:30 P.M. CST). All proposals will then be opened in the Office of the Purchasing Agent, Travis Annex, 301 Jackson, Suite 201, Richmond, TX 77469 and the names of the proposers made public. Proposals received after the specified time will be returned unopened. Solicitation and any and all addendums will be posted on Purchasing Agent’s website located at www.co.fort-bend.tx.us. RFP 13-013 – WATER TREATMENTSOFTENER FOR JUSTICE CENTER A pre-proposal conference will be conducted on Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 10:00AM (CST). The preproposal conference will be held at the Fort Bend County Justice Center mechanical yard located in the rear of 1422 Eugene Heimann Circle (facing Williams Way Blvd), Richmond Texas 77469. All bidders are encouraged to attend. 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
For 2013 the Honda Fit enters showrooms with a host of awards and accolades. After receiving extensive updates for 2012, the 2013 Fit gets new Midnight Plum Pearl exterior paint and a price tag that is unchanged and starts at $15,325. The Honda Fit is powered by a 1.5-liter, i-VTEC® fourcylinder engine that makes 117 horsepower at 6,600 rpm and 106 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,800 rpm, and is tuned to deliver an engaging combination of responsiveness and fuel efficiency. A five-speed manual transmission is standard and a fivespeed automatic transmission is available. Steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters on Fit Sport models equipped with the available automatic transmission allow for manual gear selection. When equipped with the available automatic transmission, the Fit has an Environmental Protection Agency city/highway/combined fuel economy rating of 28/35/31 LEGAL NOTICE INVITATION TO BIDDERS Sealed Bids will be received in the Office of Gilbert D. Jalomo, Jr., County Purchasing Agent, Fort Bend County, Travis Annex, 301 Jackson, Suite 201, Richmond, TX 77469 for the following until THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2012 at 1:30 P.M. (CST). All bids will then be publicly opened and read in the Office of the Purchasing Agent, Travis Annex, 301 Jackson, Suite 201, Richmond, TX 77469. Bids received after the specified time will be returned unopened. CDs are available in the Purchasing Agent’s Office. All addendums will be posted on Purchasing Agent’s website located at www.co.fort-bend.tx.us. 1. BID 13-014 – TRAFFIC SIGNALIZATION FOR GASTON ROAD AT FALCON LANDING BOULEVARD A pre-bid conference will be conducted on Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 11:00 AM (CST). The prebid conference will be held at Fort Bend County Purchasing Department located in the Travis Annex at 301 Jackson, Suite 201, Richmond, TX. All bidders are encouraged to attend. 2. BID 13-015 – JAMES LANE BRIDGE AT BESSIES CREEK A pre-bid conference will be conducted on Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 1:00 PM (CST). The prebid conference will be held at Fort Bend County Purchasing Department located in the Travis Annex at 301 Jackson, Suite 201, Richmond, TX. All bidders are encouraged to attend. Unit pricing is required; payment will be by check. 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
NOTICE OF ESTABLISHMENT OF ADDITIONAL OUT-OF-DISTRICT MEETING PLACE OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF FORT BEND COUNTY LEVEE IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT NO. 14 To the residents and taxpayers of Fort Bend County Levee Improvement District No. 14 (the “District”), and to all the persons interested in the meetings of the Board of Directors of such District: Notice is hereby given that the Board of Directors of the District, at a meeting held October 19, 2012, established an additional meeting place outside the boundaries of the District at the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce, 445 Commerce Green Boulevard, Sugar Land, Texas 77478. Said meeting place is hereby declared to be a public place and open to the public. All residents and taxpayers of the District and all other interested persons are herby invited to attend any meetings of the Board of Directors at such location and other locations previously established by the Board of Directors as meeting places of the District.
with the available automatic transmission has an EPA city/highway/combined fuel economy rating of 27/33/30 miles per gallon. All manual transmission-equipped models have an EPA city/highway/combined fuel economy rating of 27/33/29 miles per gallon. A windswept body design, body-color exterior mirrors and five-spoke wheel covers (Fit) or 16-inch alloy wheels (Fit Sport) give the Fit a classy appearance. The Fit’s compact size and tight turning diameter (34.4 feet, curb-tocurb) help it navigate spaceconfined urban areas and fit in small parking spaces. A sporty, refined and dynamic driving experience is provided by the front MacPherson strut suspension and an H-shaped torsion beam rear suspension. Fifteen- and 16-inch wheels (Fit and Fit Sport, respectively) feature 175/65 R15 84S (Fit) and 185/55 R16 83H (Fit Sport) tires. The standard anti-lock braking system (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) uses 10.3-inch ventilated discs in the front and 7.9-inch drums in the rear.
Though the Fit has an overall exterior length of just 161.6 inches, it is surprisingly roomy and provides 90.8 cubic feet of passenger space. There’s seating for up to five passengers, and behind the rear seats, there’s 20.6 cubic feet of storage space. For enhanced versatility, the exclusive 60/40 split rear offers multiple seating and cargo-carrying configurations. With its one-motion dive-down functionality, it can fold flat into the floor to provide a maximum 57.3 cuft. of rear cargo volume. Compared to any other vehicle in the subcompact class, the five-passenger Fit provides the lowest, flattest cargo floor
and the most cargo volume. The Fit’s interior thus can easily be converted to tallobject mode or long-object mode based on the shape of the cargo. Standard comfort and convenience features include air conditioning, cruise control, remote entry, a 160-watt AM/ FM/CD audio system with four speakers, a USB audio interface, an auxiliary audio input jack, MP3/WMA playback capability, Radio Data System (RDS), power windows, power mirrors, power door locks, and a security system. All Honda Fits are equipped with Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®), the Advanced
New Center for the Arts opens in Rosenberg
St. Laurence Ladies Guild 7th Annual Shop-till-You-Drop is on Thursday, Nov. 15, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event is open to all of the Fort Bend Community. What a great way to jump start your Christmas Shopping! There will be over 40 local and unique vendors from Fort Bend County displaying the latest trends and newest products. Some of the items to be featured are: Jewelry, Clothing, Womens accessories, and Home décor to name a few. Proceeds from the Ladies Guild will go to support a local charity. So grab and friend and head to the Parish Hall at St. Laurence Catholic Church on 3100 Sweetwater Blvd. Located at the corner of Austin Pkwy and Sweetwater. For more information contact Amy Reaser at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 832-217-9263. Above, Amy Reaser on right and Jennifer Stoelke, on left.
The new Center for the Arts in Historic Downtown Rosenberg (823 Third Street, at the corner of Third and Avenue G) will open to the public for ʻopen house-styleʼ events on Friday, Nov. 16 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and on Saturday, Nov. 17 from 12:00 noon to 2 p.m. This facility is the new home of Imperial Arts, and includes The Imperial Theatre (a 130-seat performance space), The Imperial Gallery (a visual arts gallery), space for the Imperial Arts Academy, two lobbies and restroom facilities for patrons, a green room and dressing rooms for performers, storage space, and administrative offices. The Friday event is designed for adults, and will include live music by the Marvin Gaspard Trio and classical Spanish guitarist Frank Rodriguez, complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, and announcements about the
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upcoming season. As well, The Imperial Gallery will open with a show of new work by Houston artist Matt Manalo. At 7 p.m. that night, Imperial Artsʼ Founder and Executive Director, Edward Crowell III will introduce Imperial Artsʼ Board, Staff, and artists, and other VIPs, followed by announcements about the 2012-13 Season. The Saturday event is designed for children and families, and will include live music by blues guitarist Frank Matta, free concessions, and a free art project for children in which they may create their own “Imperial mask.” No reservations or tickets are required to attend the events. The opening of this facility is one of several key components of Imperial Artsʼ performance agreement with the Rosenberg Development Corporation. The agreement also compels Imperial Arts to restore and re-open the historic Cole Theater (downtown Rosenberg) by the end of 2014. The building was built in the late 1950s by Duke & Ayers, and has since served as home to a number of different types of retail and service companies, most recently a book store. While touring the facility, Rosenberg Development Corporation President Bill Knesek remarked nostalgically about his first part-time job working in the, then new, Duke & Ayers store, and offered advice on improvements to the buildingʼs facade. Also during the tour, the gallery and performance spaces were examined and discussed The Center for the Arts will serve as Imperial Artsʼ home and performance space for the 2012-13, and 2013-14 seasons which will include visual arts gallery shows, performances of Classical and jazz music, choral music, plays, ballet, lectures, and a film series to include classic, art, and family films. Imperial Artsʼ 2012-13 season partnerships include the Houston Chamber Choir, the Houston Symphony, and CAST Theatrical of Rosenberg, all of which will complement Imperial Artsʼ own productions and roster artists. For more information on the Grand Opening events, go to www.theimperial.org or call 281-277-7444.
NOVEMBER 7, 2012 • INDEPENDENT • Page 7
Beerfest at Riverbend
FILM REVIEW: Flight
The basic plot of “Flight” is simple. An experienced commercial airline pilot (Denzel Washington) heroically lands a jet that was having major mechanical difficulties. Two problems: six people on board the jetliner were killed (96 survived) but Captain Whip Whitaker had been drinking before and during the flight. Everyone praised the pilot for skillfully avoiding a major tragedy, but the NTSB begins a routine, thorough investigation. Director Robert Zemeckis accomplishes the daunting task of developing all characters and allows Washington to showcase his immense talent. Before we begin the praise Riverbend Country Club staff members and Riverbend member Michael Garfield toast to the of Denzel, let us be reminded final plans for the 1st Annual Riverbend Beerfest. Pictured left-to-right: General Manager that Zemeckis has produced Chuck Cox, Event Coordinator Emily Jaschke, Chef Kevin King, Marketing Director Tricia and/or directed some of the Hawks, and radio host Michael Garfield, The High-Tech Texan®. greatest movies of all time: The prestigious Riverbend Fort Bend Brewery, Real Ale popular High-Tech Texan® “Back to the Future” I, II, III, Country Club is opening its Brewing Company, Buffalo radio show from the club that “Cast Away” “Forrest Gump” gates to the public for its first Bayou Brewing Company, afternoon. His long-running and “Contact.” So, we know he knows how annual Riverbend Beerfest on Karbach, Saint Arnold’s and show can be heard across Saturday, November 10, 2012. more. This is a chance to ex- southeast Texas on KPRC- to make a movie. But his diThis special event is open to pand your palate and educate AM, “The 9-5-0”.The event rection of Washington was a members and non-members to yourself on the craft. Spend begins at 1:00 p.m. and ends jewel and Denzel took an excelebrate the Fall season and your Saturday afternoon at 6:00 p.m. Tickets can be tremely flawed character with the proliferation of Houston drinking beer, eating great purchased online at http://ti- an alcohol problem and ran and Fort Bend County brew- food, playing games and lis- nyurl.com/riverbendbeerfest. with it all the way to home tening to Kevin Charles Band. Members are $20 and non- plate. eries. Did Denzel Washington do To further promote the member tickets are $25. A The staff of the 55 yearold club in the heart of Sugar event and spotlight Riverbend limited amount of tickets will enough to earn a nomination? Land invites the public to Country Club and the Sugar be sold. For more information Not sure, but he showed that sample unique, seasonal beers Land area, local resident and and ticketing please contact he’s still on top of his game. I from the best local brewer- Riverbend member Michael Tricia Hawks, Marketing Di- saw this film a day ago and I ies including the brand new Garfield will broadcast his rector, at (281)269-2526.
can still see many of the scenes of Denzel as he falls farther and farther into his “bottom.” With six deaths, a wrecked jetliner, a life destroyed by alcohol and denial, can our hero make a comeback and earn our empathy. You will have to see it for yourself, but I think the screenplay by John Gatin, who is primarily known as a second-tier actor, was superb. In addition to the excellent direction, screenplay and lead acting by Denzel, the supporting cast of Bruce Greenwood, Tamara Tunie, and Don Cheadle as a defense attorney were exceptional as supporting actors. John Goodman, who can play any character and was a goofball junkie that “helped” Captain Whitaker get through some of the tough times, stole the show every scene he ap-
peared in; he was a scream. As I said, this is a simple story told and created by some major talent and it worked. The big-time movies are coming out in the next two months, but you should put this one on your list. Rock ‘n Roll. Note: I’ve had the privilege to screen “Hitchcock” starring Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren and while the review embargo is still in effect, I can at least tell you that it is wonderful and a sure-fire nomination for Best Picture and probable numerous acting and technical awards. Grade 90. Larry H. firstname.lastname@example.org
Therapeutic Riding Returns to Richmond
Houston’s Therapeutic Riding Centers will host a Grand Opening and ribbon cutting ceremony at their newest site, the Equestrian Center on the
campus of Richmond State Supported Living Center in Richmond, TX. The festivities will start at 4:00 p.m., will offer appetiz-
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ers, guided tours, riding demonstrations, and welcoming remarks. The event will conclude by 8:00 p.m.. SIRE, a Premier Accredited Center through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International (PATH Intl), has three sites serving those with disabilities in the greater Houston area. Among the three sites in Spring, Hockley and now Richmond, they serve approximately 200 riders per week. The collaboration with Richmond State Supported Living Center represents a new level of partnership between a non-profit organization and a State-run facility. For more information on the grand opening or interest in volunteering for SIRE, contact Maryann Gerity, at email@example.com, 281-344-4308. The Equestrian Center, built in 1992 was established to keep Richmond State “at the leading edge of habilitative and rehabilitative technology and treatment,” as stated on the center’s sign.
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Page 8 • INDEPENDENT • NOVEMBER 7, 2012
Fort Bend home school students form Republican Club Fort Bend County home school students have formed a new home school chapter of the High School Republicans of Texas. The students and their parents met with Congressman Pete Olson at the Fort Bend GOP headquarters recently to learn about the political process and the importance of getting involved in elections even before they are of voting age. Congressman Olson spoke about efforts in Congress to stop the government takeover of healthcare, also known as Obamacare and other tax mandates that have wreaked havoc on our economy during the last 3 years. He also recommended specific things that teens could do to influence the political process. “Our current national debt is the greatest threat to your future,” Olson explained. “You are the future of America and we have a sacred duty to ensure that we do not pass on trillions of dollars of debt that your generation will be forced to pay back. We must balance our budget in Washington and get spending under control to protect your future. Volunteering on a political campaign not only gives you a firsthand view of the electoral process, but it gives you a voice in the process by helping to change the outcome.” Tina Gibson, State Republican Executive Committeewoman from Senate District 17, discussed how teens can formally be a political force by forming clubs like these and working as an auxiliary of the Republican Party of Texas. Congressman Olson’s campaign director gave a brief lesson on how political campaigns work and what it takes to get candidates elected. Mike Gibson, Fort Bend Republican County Chairman, stated “we have more club chapters of the High School Republicans of Texas in Fort Bend than any county in the state except Harris and will soon pass them with groups that are forming now. This is a testament to the parents engaging their children in discussions of politics and the hard work of volunteers in the Republican Party.” After the presentation, the teens held an election for interim officers to form the first home school chapter of the High School Republicans of Texas in the Sugar Land area. New interim officers include President Jacob McLaney, Vice President Justin Mason, Secretary Jamie Wheeler, Treasurer Elizabeth Sullivan, and Sergeant at Arms Joshua Hernandez. Founded in March 2012, the High School Republicans of Texas now has 14 clubs around the state located in public and private schools. For more information on how to start a high school Republican club, go to High School Republicans of Texas http:// www.hsrtx.com/.
Rice & Gardner Consultants Engineer Building’s that Lower Energy Costs! Today most people spend the majority of their day indoors at home, at school or at the office. It is important then that our homes, our schools, our office buildings, and the many other buildings we frequent provide a good indoor environment for the people who live and work in them. A good indoor environment is one that addresses the quality of the air we breathe, appropriate temperature and humidity levels, appropriate lighting levels, and in general promotes good indoor occupant comfort, health and well-being.
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Because building operations account for over half of all U.S. electricity consumption and contributes a significant portion of greenhouse gas emissions, it is important that they be engineered and designed correctly to minimize electrical consumption, reduce their carbon footprint and still provide a good indoor environment for building occupants. Designing, installing and utilizing efficient lighting and HVAC systems with properly designed building automation control systems is the first step in reducing building energy consumption, lowering utility costs and providing a good indoor environment. In today’s economy, property owners and managers must demonstrate the value of their property to their tenants, both existing and future, while finding ways to reduce costs without negatively impacting occupant comfort or owner services. It is a delicate balancing act.
Rice & Gardner Consultants provided engineering services for the Fort Bend County North Annex.
Proper engineering design and installation can provide owners with a ten to fifteen percent decrease in their energy bills and a corresponding improvement in tenant satisfaction. Rice & Gardner Consultants has a highly trained staff of Engineers, Project Managers and Commissioning Agents to assist you. To find out how you can lower your building’s electric bills and provide improved occupant comfort contact Rice & Gardner Consultants today. To learn more call us at 713-482-2300 or visit our website at www.ricegardner.com.
Rice & Gardner Consultants continues to provide engineering services for various projects at Fluor’s Lake Pointe Plaza Campus.
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