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VOL 4 No. 50

Phone: 281-980-6745 ww


P. O.BOX 623, SUGAR LAND, TX 77487-0623

Official newspaper of Fort Bend County, Missouri City & Sugar Land

AHS Thespians win big

Party primary elections in limbo; Court stays redistricting maps By SESHADRI KUMAR Uncertainty hangs over the new precinct boundaries and the district maps for various elective offices in Texas throwing the party primary elections into disarray. Last Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court granted Texas’ request for a stay of the interim redistricting plans imposed by a federal district court for the Texas Senate, Texas House of Representatives and U.S. House of Representatives. The Supreme Court’s decision means that, for now, elections will not take place using the district court’s interim redistricting plans pending a more thorough review by the High Court. The district court’s interim redistricting plans wholly disregard the will of the Texas Legislature despite the fact that no court has found that the maps drawn by the Legislature violate any law. This left many questions on details not clarified in the order issued by the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, the San Antonio panel has set a status conference for 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 13, to discuss election deadlines in light of the Supreme Court ruling.

In its order, the court directed that the parties be “prepared to address issues related to the filing deadline and other administrative deadlines and other necessary considerations as they relate to conducting the 2012 Primary Election.” The court also ordered that the parties confer in advance with representatives of the Democratic and Republican parties and with state election officials “in an effort to reach agreement on relevant deadlines and issues.” “Hopefully, there will be a resolution to delay the primary and have one primary that will be used for all election positions. This will be the least confusing and most cost effective way to handle the matter. Stay tuned for more information,” said Sharon Roberts chair of the Republican party of Fort Bend County. At least 14 candidates filed in the first week to run in the Republican Primary, Roberts said. The first round of 2012 GOP Primary Candidates (in order of filing) are: •Sharon Roberts running for re-election as Fort Bend Republican Party Chairman •Patsy Schultz, Candidate for

Fort Bend County Tax Assessor Collector •Wayne K. Thompson, Candidate for Constable •W. A. “Andy” Meyers, Candidate for County Commissioner Precinct 3 •Roy L. Cordes, Jr., Candidate for County Attorney, Fort Bend County •Manuel E. “Manny” Reyes, Candidate for Fort Bend County Commissioner, Precinct 1 •John Zerwas, Candidate for State Representative, District 28 •Gary D. Janssen, Candidate for Justice of the Peace, Precinct 1, Place 1 •Cliff Vacek, Candidate for Judge 400th Judicial District •Daryl Segura, Candidate for Fort Bend County Constable, Precinct 1 •Kenneth Craig Brady, Candidate for Fort Bend County Sheriff •James H. “Jim” Shoemake, Candidate for 434th District Court Judge •Tom Aitchison, Candidate for County Commissioner, Precinct 1 •Jacqueline Chaumette, Candidate for State Representative, HD 26 Last week, three more Republican candidates filed:

Missouri City lures big business By BARBARA FULENWIDER In an end of the year push to get a big chunk of city business wrapped up, the Missouri City Council at their Dec. 5 meeting approved two new planned developments, continued the city’s curfew hours for three more years and will allow citizens to build piers over water in city owned lake property. After making a few more

changes, councilmen approved the tweaked sidewalk policy and also increased the size of their city by extending the city limits to include parts of Newpoint Estates. One of the first agenda items council attended to was good news from Bob Graf, economic development coordinator. He announced that the city has reeled in a big fish that will add

sales and property taxes to city coffers Council authorized Mayor Allen Owen to execute a tax abatement agreement between the city and CookieBaker LLC and Carson—VA Industrial LP pertaining to 20 acres in Reinvestment Zone No. 9 at South Gessner and Cravens. The See CITY, Page 3

Empty Bowls event to benefit East Fort Bend Human Needs Ministry East Fort Bend Human Needs Ministry will be hosting the third annual Fort Bend Empty Bowls event on Friday, March 23, 2012 from 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. at Safari Texas Ranch. Guests will be served a meal of soup and bread as a reminder of families in Fort Bend County who don’t have enough food to eat. The soups will be provided by some of the best restaurants in the area. Hand-designed soup bowls which have been donated by local professional and amateur artists will be on display. The evening will also include live entertainment, silent and live auctions, along with a special style show featuring fashions from Tri-City Churches Resale Shop. You’ll want to attend just to see who the models will be! All proceeds from the Fort Bend Empty Bowls event will benefit East Fort Bend Human Needs Ministry. Tickets to the event are $25 per person. Sponsorship opportunities are available. To purchase tickets contact Connie Esposito at or 281261-4902.

•Sonal Bhuchar, Candidate for House District 26 •Mike Gibson, Candidate for Fort Bend Republican Party Chairman •Diana Miller, Candidate for House District 26 Roberts said,” We have had a lot of response on the precinct chair filings, and they continue pouring into the office. The county is fortunate to have so many fine candidates. The filing period for precinct chairs began on Sept. 12, 2011 and ends on Dec. 15, 2011 at 6 p.m. Due to the Supreme Court Ruling this past Friday. Texas County Chairs will not be accepting applications for Texas State Reps, Texas State Senators, or Congressional candidate positions until there is clarification on the Redistricting maps.

Hightower Hurricanes play for state championship The Hightower High School (HHS) Hurricanes football team will play the Southlake Carroll Dragons on Saturday, Dec. 17, in the 5A Division 1 state championship game at Cowboys Stadium. After beating the Madison Mavericks with a 54-35 win last Saturday, the Hurricanes will travel to Arlington for a 4:00 p.m. game this weekend to play for the state title. Hightower will be the Home team. Starting today, tickets can be purchased at the District athletic office from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Wheeler Field House (16403 Lexington Blvd., Sugar Land), or at HHS (3333 Hurricane Lane, Missouri City). Tickets will be sold through 1:00 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 16. Presale tickets are $8 for students, $12 for adults, and $15 for all tickets sold at Cowboy Stadium on Saturday.

AHS Thespians – in The Fantasticks!

Austin High School performers made a name for themselves as they snagged several spots at the Texas Thespian State Festival and will go on to compete at nationals this summer. The Texas Thespian Festival 2011 allows students to audition for scholarships, attend main stage and play marathon productions, attend workshops, and compete in individual events. The event was held Dec. 1- 3 at George R. Brown Convention Center. These students qualified for Nationals from this event: Ben Rauls -Duet Acting, Courtney Russell-Duet Acting, Kara Crawford -Duet Musical, David Herrera -Duet Musical, and Erin Lavespere -Costume Design. One AHS student received the highest honor of being cast in the All-State Show, Coram Boy, directed by Luis Munos: Bradley Smith. In pursuit of a career beyond high school, Rachel Kossar and Nora Hunt auditioned and received call backs and scholarship offers from more than 20 colleges, which is well above average. Mrs. Jennifer J. Minor, theater teacher at AHS said. “The Thespians at Austin High School flexed their talent at the state festival. We are so proud of each and every one of them and we’d like you to know who to congratulate for rising above and continuing the tradition of excellence in our department.”

10701 Corporate Drive, #282, Stafford, TX 77477 Mailing Address: P.O. Box 623, Sugar Land, TX 77487 Seshadri Kumar Publisher & Editor 281-980-6745

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.

Gold & Silver Refinery 3599 Highway 6, Sugar Land

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Page 2 • INDEPENDENT • DECEMBER 14, 2011

News Six members to be commended for outstanding service in 2011 For 101 years, the Central Fort Bend Chamber Alliance has been the voice of business and growth in Fort Bend County. In 2011, that voice remained strong in large part because of the volunteer efforts and commitments made by many of its almost 800 members. The Chamber will proudly recognize six of those members – our Champions – at its 2011 Annual Awards Luncheon. The event, which is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 13, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Safari Texas Ranch, will also thank the Chamber’s outgoing Board Directors for their dedication and service. Categories honored include: Business Person of the Year (Won in 2010 by Kevin Pictured, back row, from left: Committee Member of the Year Janice Suchyta, Holoway Jones Law Firm, Board Member of the Year, Rocky Lane, Lane Real Estate, Ambassador of the Year Lisa Matthews, Servpro of West Fort Bend County, Volunteer of the Year, Raymond Saage Award, Lois Gremminger, Elge, Inc., and Billy Teague, Richmond Police Department. Front row, from left: Business Person of the Year, Kevin Patton, Kevin Patton State Farm, Public-Private Community Service Award, Stanley Kucherka, Retired Fort Bend County Engineer, Fort Bend Distinguished Leader Award, Becky Covell and Ann Council on behalf of the late Orin Covell, Corporate Partner of the Year, Barb Nuckles and JR Reddish, on behalf of S&B Infrastructure.

Patton, Kevin Patton State Farm), Corporate Sponsor of the Year (Won in 2010 by S&B Infrastructure), Volunteer of the Year, Raymond Saage Award (Won in 2010 by Lois Gremminger, Elge, Inc., and Billy Teague, Richmond Police Department), Ambassador of the Year (Won in 2010 by Lisa Matthews, Servpro of West Fort Bend County), Public-Private Community Service Award (Won in 2010 by Stanley Kucherka, retired Fort Bend County Engineer), Board Member of the Year (Won in 2010 by Rocky Lane, Lane Real Estate), and Committee Member of the Year (Won in 2010 by Janice Suchyta, Holoway Jones Law Firm). The luncheon is sponsored in part by AT&T and Legacy

Ford. Corporate support is provided by Amegy Bank, Cobb Fendley & Associates, JE Dunn and SouthWest Water Co. As of this printing, Presenting Sponsor, Sponsor Tables and Corporate Tables are available. To sponsor this event, contact Angie SandersWierzbicki at 281-342-5464 or Reservations for the luncheon are $30 for Chamber members and $40 for prospective members and guests. After Jan. 9 at 5 p.m., a $10 late fee will be added. Cancellations less than 72 hours in advance and “no shows� will be charged. For reservations or more information call the Chamber at 281-342-5464 or email

Methodist Sugar Land Hospital achieves exceptional compliance in patient care standards

Republican Primary March 6, 2012

Methodist Sugar Land Hospital (MSLH) has been recognized for outstanding performance in achieving 100 percent compliance in all of its 26 core measures for third quarter, 2011. Core measures are national standards that compare the quality of care that hospitals give patients. MSLH is committed to consistently delivering quality health care using proven therapies. It follows core measures developed by The Joint Commission, the country’s primary accrediting body in health care. These measures have been shown to improve outcomes of patient care in four categories: heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical

Core measures team care improvement. Its 100 percent compliance rate means all 294 patients within these categories received 100 percent of the recommended treatments known to get the best results for patients with certain medical conditions, or surgical procedures. Chief Nursing Officer Janet Leatherwood said it’s rare for a large hospital like MSLH to achieve 100 percent compliance in core measures. However, MSLH’s Quality Management Department identifies patients early in their hospital stay, and continuously monitors their progress to ensure they are receiving the best care with its Daily Quality Rounds program. “We work diligently with

nurses, case managers, therapists and other care providers to review every patient, every day,� Leatherwood said. “This daily review helps us quickly address any issues and reinforce overall compliance. It’s a significant time and resource commitment, but it’s a model that is successful for us.� MSLH is already recognized as a health care leader, and with this latest achievement of 100 percent compliance in all of its core measures raises its composite performance to 97.5 percent for the most recent 12 months, and reinforces MSLH’s continued commitment to innovate, improve and provide every patient with the highest quality of care.



This year marks the 30th anniversary of Colony Bend Elementary School, and students and staff have taken part in various celebratory events to mark the occasion. Among the events was a 30th anniversary parade that welcomed parents and former students to the school. Students marched along the school hallways carrying birthday posters and banners. After the parade, guests took part in an assembly in the school’s cafeteria. Sue Sierra, principal, wel- Pictured (from left to right) are CBE elementary students comed guests to the event and Meera Borle, Rucha Patil, Rachel Fuentes, Kate Hamilton, introduced students (Muhib Rachel Foux, Arvin Sharma. Methani, Nicole Haas, Steven Silva and Daisy and Sophie Muddimer) who designed many changes that have taken slideshow of school highlights place since the school opened over the past 30 years, and special birthday wagons. enjoyed performances by the School counselor, Sarah in 1981. Guests also viewed a photo school’s choir. Guffey, shared the history of the school and spoke of the

DECEMBER 14, 2011 • INDEPENDENT • Page 3

News Troy Nehls to run for sheriff Constable Troy Nehls has announced he is entering the race to become the next Fort Bend County Sheriff. Nehls, a 19-year law enforcement veteran, has served two terms as the elected Constable in Fort Bend County, Precinct 4. The election to replace the retiring current Sheriff is set for March 6, 2012. “While several factors are motivating me to run for Sheriff, the most pressing are the lack of adequate customer service provided to crime victims, the lack of sufficient focus on residential burglaries, and the improper use of the resources currently allocated to the Sheriff’s Office,” Nehls says. Nehls believes these deficiencies are due to a failure

Troy Nehls of leadership, a lack of vision, and apathy of the current upper management at the Sheriff’s Office. “I know that the street-level employees of the Sheriff’s Office exemplify the best in law enforcement,” clarifies Nehls, “but the senior staff is

not performing up to expectations.” “Residents should always believe they can contact the Sheriff’s Office and receive courteous and professional service,” states Nehls. “Anyone who has been a victim of crime in Fort Bend knows they rarely received even a courtesy call from the sheriff’s office after their case is filed,” adds Nehls. Over the past 10 years the Sheriff’s office has never solved over 5 percent of the burglaries, and this statistic is unacceptable. Nehls plans to create a culture focused on serving residents by solving property crimes. “It is unacceptable that Fort Bend County has the worst burglary crime solve rate in

the State of Texas among counties populations over 100,000 people,” said Nehls. Nehls stresses that upper management has failed to properly allocate resources within the Sheriff’s Office. “Detectives must be available when residents are available, and we all know that is not just 8a-5p, Monday-Thursday,” states Nehls. Nehls believes upper management has taken advantage of the use of “take home” vehicles. “These vehicle deployments will be reviewed to ensure that vehicles only go home with personnel who are subject to being called out to serve residents in emergency situations,” states Nehls. For example, jail and training academy personnel are

seldom subject to being called out, yet there are several takehome vehicles assigned to these divisions. Nehls believes elected officials have a responsibility to ensure employees are “fiscally responsible” with assets entrusted to them. Troy lives with his wife Jill and two children outside of Richmond. In addition to his law enforcement experi-

ence, Troy served 21 years in the Army Reserve with overseas combat assignments in Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, earning several awards including two Bronze Medal Stars. Nehls received a BA from Liberty University and is scheduled to receive a Masters in Criminal Justice from the University of HoustonDowntown next month.

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Missouri City takes proactive steps to curb crime during the holidays Taking proactive steps to curb crime in Missouri City, the Police Department will be utilizing the newly-formed Burglary and Auto Theft or “BAT” Team during the holiday season. The group, which was formed in September, specifically focuses on those crimes. “Since the formation of the BAT Team, auto thefts have decreased 20 percent over the previous year, and auto breakins have declined 20 percent,” Asst. Police Chief Mike Ber-

ezin said. “Eleven stolen vehicles have been recovered, ten auto theft suspects have been arrested and over $113,000 in stolen property has been recovered.” Missouri City Police officers are partnering with their law-enforcement counterparts in nearby cities to ensure holiday shoppers enjoy the festive season safely. Officers in Missouri City, Sugar Land and Stafford aim to reduce car burglaries through the use of targeted patrols, surveillance

operations and educational opportunities. Shopping areas and health club parking lots are common spots for these types of crimes. Officers will make the areas a priority as they patrol the cities during the holiday season. To make sure your holiday shopping experience is memorable, here are some safety tips: *Stay alert to your surroundings and the people around you. *If you must carry a purse,

do not wrap the straps around your arms or shoulders. Instead, carry a clutch purse under your arm. *If you return to your vehicle to unload packages and continue shopping, place your purchases in the trunk. *Have your car keys ready and in your hand before leaving the store. *Watch purchases while eating in mall food courts; bags as well as purses can be easily switched or taken.

40 years’ sentence in bank robbery case Stephen Jay Sandbloom pled guilty to aggravated robbery and was sentenced to 40 years in prison by Judge Clifford J. “Cliff” Vacek on December 7. The 56 year-old Rosenberg man was indicted for robbing the Capital One Bank on 1st Street in Rosenberg in January 2010. According to Assistant District Attorney John Hawkins, Sandbloom used a loaded .22 revolver to rob the Capital One Bank located at 2810 1st Street (Highway 36) in Rosenberg on January 15, 2010. The defendant was arrested at gunpoint by Officer Jonathan White of the Rosenberg Police Department as he exited the bank after tellers and customers called 911. He had over $15,000 in his possession. Further evidence showed that Sandbloom had previously robbed the same bank on October 29, 2009, using the same gun but with a different mask. Before pronouncing Sandbloom’s sentence, Judge Vacek stated, “bank robbers have always been treated

City From Page 1 acreage will have a new 267,000 square foot building on it occupied by CookieBaker LLC. The CookieBaker, a dessert maker, will be Carson-VA Industrial’s first tenant. Initially, cookies will be baked at the facility and distributed nationally through a major grocery chain. As business grows, the dessert company will add cakes and more bakery goods. The brand will be announced at a later date and the company will also do a private label as well. The total project with the equipment inventory and building will mean more than a $40 million investment in Missouri City, Graf told council. Background information to council says Carson-VA estimated the cost of the new improvements to be approximately $22 million with the

Assistant District Attorneys John Hawkins and Thomas Pfeiffer prosecuted the case.

Attorneys Ira Perz and Tom Zakes represented the defendant.

Arson lands man 8 years in prison

harshly and there is good reason for that. People expect to go about their business without being in danger or being in fear for their life. It is very important that we send a message that they will be dealt with harshly.” Sandbloom was prosecuted in the 400th District Court. Aggravated robbery is a firstdegree felony punishable by 5-99 years or life in prison and a fine up to $10,000. The defendant was not probation eligible and will serve at least one-half of his sentence before being considered for parole.

Judge James Shoemake sentenced Keith Schupp to 8 years in prison on Dec. 2 for arson. The 39-year-old Houston man pled guilty to setting fire to the house he was leasing and had asked for probation. According to Assistant District Attorney Chris DeLozier, Schupp started a fire inside his rent house in an attempt to kill himself and destroy his ex-girlfriend’s property in October 2009. After pouring gasoline on her belongings and setting fire to them, Schupp remained upstairs in the home. As the fire spread and the defendant suffered burns, he jumped through a window and broke his arm. The arson was committed in the populous Sienna Plantation subdivision, endangering neighborhood homes. Fortunately, Sugar Land and other responding fire departments were able to quell the flames before spreading to other houses. No fire fighters were injured. “With the extreme damage recent wildfires have caused across the state, it’s hard to feel sorry for a defendant who sets a fire in a crowded neighborhood with complete disregard for the safety of those people and their property,” said DeLozier. “The serious nature of this crime demands a prison sentence to keep the rest of us safe.” Judge Shoemake agreed and sentenced Schupp to 8 years in prison. Schupp was prosecuted in the 434th District Court. Arson in this case is a first-degree felony with a punishment range of 5 to 99 years, or life, in prison. Assistant District Attorney Chris DeLozier prosecuted the case. Attorney Steven “Rocket” Rosen represented the defendant.

land cost at $3.5 million and the overall value of the site to exceed $46 million when their tenant is fully operational. The 60 percent tax abatement is over 10 years on the eligible property. The facility is expected to provide 100 jobs initially and increase to 300 more as the company grows. After that sweet deal was taken care of, council went on to final approval of changes to the city’s sidewalk repair policy. Yes, property owners still need to mitigate the roots of trees but if a root problem is not mitigated within 30 days of the owner being notified, the sidewalk will eventually be repaired or replaced. The timeliness of the repair being made will depend on the severity of the problem in regard to public safety. The repair will either be edge grinding, slab lifting or a crushed granite or similar material fill. Council will not pursue ci-

tations or liens against property owners to force them to mitigate damaging tree roots prior to the city repairing the sidewalks. On the first of two readings, councilmen also approved annexing the part of Newpoint Estates subdivision that is west of the extension of Teal Bend Boulevard right of way and is not currently in the Arcola city limits. They also approved a service plan for the area that includes police and fire protection, emergency medical services, solid waste collection, water and sewer facilities and road and drainage maintenance. Clinton Wong with Skymark Development Company, Inc. on behalf of Sunlake Ltd. asked council to rezone some 38 acres from retail to planned development so he could build a mixed use development that the market wants. The mixed use would likely include town-


homes, warehouses and light industry uses. Wong said, “The market will tell us what they want. What this PD does is give us an opportunity to have a range of buildings that can accommodate the market demand and that is all it is doing. With this approval we can then go to the market and reach out and say what do you really want and we’ll build it. Our intention is to build a market and jobs for this area.” He also told council, “We don’t expect any heavy industry to occur on this sight. It will be light industry” and will be inside the two 150,000 square foot buildings he proposes to build. The rezoning is on land that is southeast of the intersection of Lexington Boulevard at Independent Boulevard and Murphy Road, east of the Walgreen’s store and west of Armstrong Elementary School.

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Page 4 • INDEPENDENT • DECEMBER 14, 2011

Opinion The View from Sugar Land OSL’s Phony Raison d’être By RUSSELL JONES Last week this column focused on something called Occupy Sugar Land. That confused group had held its initial public demonstration under the Starbucks umbrellas in Town Square. A grand total of nine individuals, other than reporters covering the event, seemed to have participated. Two local newspapers and an Internet “news blog” have published stories about the “demonstration.” Each of those reports took the protest seriously. On the other hand, this column recognized the event for what it was: a few isolated individuals attempting to attract attention but having no real idea of what they were doing. This column offered a little amusing perspective instead. Occupy Sugar Land certainly takes itself seriously, starting a “yahoo group” in mid-November to announce its views and to allow its members to communicate among themselves. Its “group home page” sets out OSL’s purpose for the public. In its self-description, OSL says that it is a growing group of taxpayers and citizens. So far, an insignificant number of individuals showed up at the lone public demonstration and six have signed up as members of the yahoo group. Obviously, growth has stagnated. In its manifesto, OSL complains about “deep inequities” resulting from tax abatements for corporations that burden individuals. Huh? Sugar Land has used tax abatements sparingly, solely for the purpose of increasing business activity in the city. The city’s leadership carefully considers the ultimate payback from inducements to companies to relocate to the city. Newly arriving companies are required to make large capital

grams are complicated. It is not surprising that the leadership of OSL has failed to do its homework and attempted to understand them. Its goal is to somehow embarrass local elected officials, but its silly complaints show that it simply does not know what it is talking about. According to the OSL website, Sugar Land “has an Economic Development Council that seems to have complete control of our local elections.” Hmm! The last time anyone looked at the issue, Sugar Land was still using secret ballots, and only individuals had the vote. The county conducts elections for the city, and no report has ever suggested that a city election was controlled by the EDC or any other private entity. Perhaps some hyperbole is buried in the OSL web statement, but suggesting that Sugar Land’s elections are somehow rigged by an economic development organization funded by both public and private sources is irresponsible. The sole example given by the OSL website to support its accusations is the “extravagant farm league baseball stadium.” Anyone paying attention knows that the stadium was put before the voters several years ago, and that it passed with a 65% favorable vote. The question was put on the ballot by the City Council, and the EDC had nothing to do with the election. Occupy Sugar Land’s manifesto is based entirely on false accusations. Its leadership and members owe Sugar Land an apology.

Jones commitments, employ specified numbers of employees at specified wages, and retain their business in Sugar Land for a specified minimum number of years. These agreements assure that the businesses do not benefit unless they first satisfy their obligations, and contain “clawback” provisions requiring repayment to the city if they default after receiving benefits. Sugar Land regularly reviews the results of its abatement program, and generally finds that the companies more than satisfy their commitments. In the meantime, these programs cost taxpayers not a dime, create local employment opportunities, ultimately result in greater tax revenues benefitting residents than if the agreement had not been made, and usually result in new long-term corporate citizens. OSL’s complaint that “unsustainable tax demands, diminished living wages, unsustainable growth and income disparities” result from these programs is progressive propaganda and simply false. This column hereby challenges OSL to come forward with evidence to support those ridiculous claims. Admittedly tax incentive pro-

Jones served as a member of the Sugar Land City Council from 2003 through June, 2011. He owns a law firm and a title insurance company in Sugar Land.

Musings: Holiday fun . . . By JANICE SCANLAN Whether you’re a football fan or just love the holidays . . . there was plenty to enjoy this past weekend. For John and I, it kicked off with the first Snowfest evening event. It was wellplanned as well as attended. Tree lighting with fireworks, toboggan and camel rides, lots of fun venues like running bungee cords, rock walls, and a very interesting catapult swing. And, of course, Santa. The tree is just beautiful along with the color-changing snowflakes on MC buildings. John remarked how well laid out and organized . . .and event people-watching is always the best. Congratulations to MC Parks and Recreation as well as all the other MC departments that help make this event fun and smooth going. Followed by the parade the next day, even Scrooge would have trouble not being in the holiday spirit. So many groups participate in the Parade, and I think the floats are getting fancier . . . but when you’re in the parade, you only see what’s near you in the parade, staging or at the windup. The kids groups are always amazing as are the adults and parents who see that all this comes together whether it was Girl Scout Troops, Martial Arts, dance and cheerleading troops, Sta-Mo Pony Baseball, Glover Eaglettes, MC Soccer or MC Dolphin swim team. There were many very large groups of kids. There was a terrific marching

Scanlan band, but I was too far away to see which school, the Elkins ROTC Color Guard, Stafford and Dulles ROTCs. And everyone wanted their picture with the Chick-fil-A cow dressed in a Santa suit . . . I got a high five, but anyone with a 3 foot Poinsettia hat as Queen of the Poinsettias, along with the wonderful elves and garden fairies from Quail Valley Garden Club, deserves one. With wind gusts to 20 mph (and it was a cold wind), I didn’t know whether I was a weather vane . . . or about to be a Sally Field Flying Nun, but the 3 foot Poinsettia held together and I stayed earthbound. So to the churches, civic groups and businesses that put together entries, thanks for helping make our community fun. I was happy to see Kyle Jones have a lead disc jockey role with the large MC Dolphin float. Music throughout the lineup makes the parade fun, and this guy is one of the parents who spend at least two hours before every home event, setting up tents, food, etc to keep

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people comfortable during the swim meets. There are so many stories about such volunteers in our community, but that’s one I know. And you see these same people supporting the community whether it’s in-season for them or not. And the MC Library! Extra, Extra . . . the concrete is poured on the MC section of Oyster Creek Trail from the Y to Dulles Ave! Now for the fans . . . it’s been since 1993, and with a third string QB and we’re going to the playoffs! Wow, Texans. The heart in all of this is so much like the Luv Ya Blue of the Oilers in ’93 for you transplants that may not remember that time. Literally some of the players were walk-ons, but you had some greats like Dan Pastorini, Earl Campbell, Billy White Shoes Johnson, a killer defense with an all-star bunch as well as Bum Phillips (hmmmm, we have another Phillips as in Wade today). And we can’t forget then Defensive Coach Ed Biles who lives in MC to this day. The nice piece of justice is the play-off was clinched by a loss by the Tennessee Titans. Now where did those guys used to play? Hats off to Gary Kubiak. So experience the holiday fun with family and friends. To see some pictures of Snowfest, go to musings

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

Letter In defense of sidewalk bond issue To the Editor: With Christmas and the New Year approaching, we all look toward positive changes and virtues we could adopt. A virtue that is not often practiced is being magnanimous. Clearly, we would all benefit if it were practiced more often in Missouri City civic affairs. In part, magnanimity is being charitable even when your side has won. Consider the effect if the chronology of our present political situation in Missouri City was reversed. Imagine if a Sidewalk Bond Issue had passed years ago and that we were presently considering a Parks (or Golf Course) Bond Issue. In our present economy, would this new Bond Issue pass? Possibly not. Quite obviously, recreational pursuits such as golf,

tennis and a golf club house/ community center would not rate as essential as basic maintenance of the infrastructure in our community. Examining this imaginary scenario today, residents would contend that the Quail Valley amenities in place or being built signify more in actual contribution to the community than just the opportunity for pure recreational pursuit. Actually, that is right. The Quail Valley amenities are important because they show in part, City Council and City Government committment to their community. In like manner, most residents feel that sidewalks and streets and their appearance are important for their neighborhood. Prospective homebuyers interested in First Colony (or some other area of the City

with sidewalk issues) should look at a subdivision’s sidewalks and streets, see that they’re in good repair and recognize that the City Government cares about the subdivision. Accordingly, each area of Missouri City should be given equal consideration, equal funding, and City Council support. I would very much like to see the City Council take this stance. They should pursue a Bond Issue for sidewalk repair with the same enthusiasm, expediency, and gusto that they pursued the Quail Valley amenities. Will it happen? I honestly don’t know, but I think it should because it is the magnanimous thing to do. Howard Moline Missouri City

Holiday leftovers: Smart tips to control overeating Holiday weight gain doesn’t result from overeating one or two meals. It’s usually from feasting on leftovers for days or even weeks, which can pack on hundreds of extra calories. Adults can avoid holiday weight gain by following advice shared by experts from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. “Unfortunately, most people don’t shed extra holiday weight and just keep adding pounds year after year,” said Mary Ellen Herndon, wellness dietitian at MD Anderson. “And, unhealthy weight gain can put you at greater risk for diseases like cancer.” Herndon offers these suggestions. Make a game plan for leftovers “Right after a holiday meal, divide all leftovers into onehalf cup servings,” Herndon said. “Refrigerate enough for a day or two and freeze the rest.” Leftovers aren’t just for reheating. Turn holiday leftovers into new healthy dishes by reusing the following foods: White turkey meat •Whip up your favorite chili recipe, but use turkey instead of ground beef. •Wrap turkey, spinach leaves and two tablespoons of cranberry sauce in a whole wheat tortilla. Mashed potatoes •Mix in a healthy helping of

cooked vegetables for a new twist on this side. Try cauliflower, broccoli, green beans and/or carrots. Sweet potatoes •Make a protein-packed sandwich spread or veggie dip by pureeing one-half cup sweet potatoes with one-half cup chickpeas. Eat only one or two tablespoons at a time. Keep servings small Whether eating a holiday meal, snacking on appetizers at a party or indulging in leftovers, keeping off the extra pounds starts with portion control. To figure out what a healthy portion is, visualize a similar size item. For instance: •Gravy or cranberry sauce: golf ball (one-fourth cup) •Turkey (white meat): deck of cards (3 ounces) •Stuffing: ice cream scoop (one-half cup) •Pie: light bulb (one-eighth of a 9-inch pie) Women should try to keep each meal to around 500 calories; men should strive for 700. Find the calorie counts and serving sizes for favorite holiday foods by using MD Anderson’s Serving Size Cheat Sheet or the USDA’s MyFood-a-Pedia. Share the bounty One way to avoid overindulging is to get leftovers out of sight. Here’s how: •Give guests “doggie bags.”

Have containers ready to speed up the process. •Give leftovers to relatives or friends who don’t cook or join the festivities. •Donate canned or boxed foods, as well as unopened store-bought baked goods to a food bank or homeless shelter. Pick and choose foods carefully “At every meal, choose one dish from each category of food,” Herndon said. For example, eat one side item, one main dish and one dessert. Keep each serving to around one-half cup, and make fruits and vegetables the biggest part of your meal. “You’ll thank yourself for the gift of trimmer holiday meals in January — and quite possibly for years to come,” Herndon said. For additional healthy holiday tips, visit www.mdanderson. org/focused. The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston ranks as one of the world’s most respected centers focused on cancer patient care, research, education and prevention. MD Anderson is one of only 40 comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute. For seven of the past nine years, including 2010, MD Anderson has ranked No. 1 in cancer care in “America’s Best Hospitals,” a survey published annually in U.S. News & World Report.

See Winnie-the-Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and friends assist their old pal while donating to Stafford’s underprivileged population as Fort Bend Theatre presents A Winnie-the-Pooh Christmas Tail December 3rd-18th Saturdays and Sundays at 3 p.m at 2815 North Main Street in Stafford. “We are pleased to once again raise awareness and offer assistance to Second Mile Mission,” states Executive Artistic Director Tarra McCain. Patrons are asked to bring nonperishable food items when attending shows. Tickets are available online at the FBT website for $8 per person. Group rates are available. For more information, please call 281-208-3333.

DECEMBER 14, 2011 • INDEPENDENT • Page 5

Community News “See the USA in Your Classic Chevrolet” at Boogie 2012

Boogie Co-Chairs Betsy Lewis and Nancy Colmenares and Title Sponsor Don Kerstetter of Classic Chevrolet at the Boogie 2012 Kick-Off Reception.

The Sheriff’s Association of Texas has awarded scholarships to two college students in Fort Bend County. The association, founded on Aug. 14, 1847, is one of the oldest law enforcement associations in the nation. Recipients were presented $500 scholarships by Fort Bend County Sheriff Milton Wright. Recipients are Blake Chaffin, son of Mark and Renee Chaffin of Wallis, and Joshua N. Costly, son of Roy Costly and Glenda Costly of Missouri City. Chaffin attends Texas A&M University and Costly attends the University of Houston-Downtown. For more information on the association’s scholarship program, visit its website at Above, left, The Sheriff’s Association of Texas has awarded a $500 scholarship for the 2011 fall semester to Blake T. Chaffin, son of Mark and Renee Chaffin of Wallis. Renee Chaffin is the administrative assistant at the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office. Blake is a graduate of Brazos High School in Wallis-Orchard, and he is majoring in electrical engineering at Texas A&M University. Participating in the presentation of the scholarship were, from left, Fort Bend County Sheriff Milton Wright, Blake Chaffin and Renee Chaffin. This award is the Sheriff Joe G. Goodson Memorial Award and the sponsor is Mrs. Robyn Goodson. Right, The Sheriff’s Association of Texas has awarded a $500 scholarship for the 2011 fall semester to Joshua N. Costly, son of Roy Costly and Glenda Costly of Missouri City. Glenda Costly works for TDCJ-Houston. Joshua attended Willowridge High School in Fort Bend ISD and has an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Houston Community College-Southwest. He currently is a student at the University of Houston-Downtown and plans to pursue a law degree. He graduated from HCCSouthwest with honors and holds a 4.0 average at UH-Downtown. On hand for the presentation were Fort Bend County Sheriff Milton Wright, left, and Joshua Costly, right.

Expert panel gives career advice to G/T mentorship students Cee Cee Parker, Crissy olen and Joy Dowell enjoy Boogie 2012 Kick-Off. Classic Chevrolet Sugar Land and the Fort Bend County Women’s Center invite you to “See the USA in Your Classic Chevrolet” at the Women’s Center’s annual 50’s and 60’s bash, Boogie 2012! Get your engines revving because this year is guaranteed to be the best yet. This year’s event will be held at the Stafford Centre on Saturday, March 31, from 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. Join us for the night and take a road trip back in time to the days of poodle skirts, leather jackets, classic Chevys and white picket fences. Attendees will enjoy: •Getting down to the sounds of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s with Rotel and the Hot Tomatoes •Delicious catered dinner •Live and silent auctions •Dance and costume contests •Sundae station by Rosenberg’s own Another Time Soda Fountain Get in on the action by becoming a sponsor, donating to the auctions and/or placing an advertisement in the program guide. Individual tickets are also available for $75 each. For more information on any of these opportunities, please visit www. , email or contact Annette Howe at 281-344-5757. All proceeds raised from Boogie are used to provide free and confidential emergency shelter, counseling, crisis intervention, and other supportive services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault and their children. In more than 30 years of serving the community, the Fort Bend County Women’s Center has helped more than 35,000 women and children achieve violence-free lifestyles. Our mission is to assist survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault and their children while striving to prevent violence against women. For more information about the Center or the services it offers, call 281-344-5750. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault, please call the Center’s 24-hour Hotline at 281-342-4357 (HELP).

Fort Bend ISD’s High School Gifted and Talented (G/T) Mentorship Program hosted a professional panel in November to give G/T Mentorship students an opportunity to hone their communication skills and receive expert advice from area professionals regarding continuing education, preparing for the workforce and other topics. The 2011-2012 G/T Mentorship Class includes high school students Shibly Abughazaleh, Neerja Aggarwal, Felicia Chiao, Stephanie Hamborsky, Meghan Kamath, Christopher Jordan, Arjun Merchant, Avani Patel, Jay Shah, Mosum Shah, and Aditya Srivatsan. Among the panel guests were: Dr. Agusto Rodriguez, Rice University’s Department of Kinesiology Sports Medicine; Dr. John Novak, Curtice Commercial Real Estate; Pat Pollicoff, City of Sugar Land Public Communications Director; Robert Janssen, Jr., Vice President, Planned Community Developers, Sugar Land; John Healey, Fort Bend County District Attorney; Carlos Camacho, Vice President, Jacobs Consultancy; and Jim Beck Brown, Chief Executive Officer, Memorial Hermann Hospital-Sugar Land. The professionals spoke about their educational backgrounds, career paths and current professions. They also offered students advice on preparing resumes, college courses and advanced degrees, pursuing career paths, and seeking mentors. John Healey, Fort Bend County District Attorney, advised students to consider close relatives as mentors. “ As you go through life, you’ll

Family movie time

Dr. Agusto Rodriguez, Rice University’s Department of Kinesiology Sports Medicine, chats with G/T Mentorship student, Jay Shah prior to the panel discussion.

Sales associates needed Fort Bend Independent immediately needs motivated advertising sales personnel with a passion for success. Call 281-980-6745 or email

After the hustle and bustle of the holiday rush, enjoy some family down-time at an afternoon movie at the Sugar Land Branch Library on Thursday, December 29, beginning at 2:00 p.m, in the Meeting Room of the library, located at 550 Eldridge. The library will show an animated feature film from the Don Bluth series that the entire family is sure to enjoy. In this movie, a dinosaur and his friends find themselves caught in a wintry snowstorm, which hinders their latest adventure. The movie is free and open to the public. For more information, call the branch library at 281-238-2140.

The 2011-2012 G/T Mentorship Class pictured (front row, from left) Naomi Brown, G/T Mentorship Program Instructor; Stephanie Hamborsky, Mosum Shah; (second row) Avani Patel, Felicia Chiao, Meghan Kamath, Neerja Aggarwal; and (back row) Shibly Abughazaleh, Jay Shah, Christopher Jordan, Arjun Merchant, Aditya Srivatsan. realize that parents and close family members have been the closest thing to being a mentor in teaching you life lessons,” he said. “It’s not unwise to think of relatives as mentors.” Jim Beck Brown, Chief Executive Officer at Memorial Hermann Hospital-Sugar Land, commended the G/T

Mentorship Program facilitators on hosting the panel and spoke highly of the students’ knowledge and skills. “I am amazed at the focus and degree of ability presented among the students here,” said Brown. “You are blessed to be a part of this program and I’m sure you’ll go far in school

and in your chosen careers.” FBISD’s High School G/T Mentorship Program is headed by Jeannette Spain, Director of Gifted/Talented and Academy Programs; Crystal Wilson, G/T Coordinator; and Naomi Brown, GT Mentorship Instructor.

Nina Schaefer appointed to Texana board Nina Schaefer was elected to the Texana Board of Trustees in October, 2011 and will represent Fort Bend County. She is the proud sister of a client of Texana who has intellectual disabilities. She has served on the board of Richmond State Supported Living Center Volunteer Services Council for a number of years. Additionally, she has served on boards for many non-profit organizations, in her church, and has been ac-


tive in community service organizations for many years. Schaefer graduated from Houston Baptist University with honors in two majors, English and Political Science. She then graduated from South Texas College of Law and has been practicing law in Ft. Bend County for over 25 years. Dianne Wilson, Texana Board of Trustees Chair said “Nina will be a great addition to the board and we are all looking forward to having her insight and working with her.”

Page 6 • INDEPENDENT • DECEMBER 14, 2011

NOTICE OF SOLID WASTE ORDINANCE AMENDMENT The City of Sugar Land City Council on November 15, 2011 adopted on second consideration City of Sugar Land Ordinance No. 1838: AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF SUGAR LAND, TEXAS, AMENDING CHAPTER THREE OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES REGARDING SOLID WASTE Said ordinance amends Section 3-148 Definitions, Section 3-155 Solid Waste Containers, and Section 3-156 Requirements for Collection. A review copy of the ordinance is available in the office of the City Secretary, City of Sugar Land, 2700 Town Center Boulevard North, Suite 122, Sugar Land, Texas, (281) 275-2730, and may be examined between the hours of 8:00 o’clock a.m. and 5:00 o’clock p.m., Monday through Friday. Glenda Gundermann, TRMC, CMC City Secretary

PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE The Commissioners Court of Fort Bend County, Texas has set a public hearing at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 10, 2012 for LaCenterra Central, being a replat of restricted Reserve “A” of Cinco Village Center, Section 1, Precinct 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 Robert Terry with AECOM Technical Services Inc. at 713-780-4123 for information prior to the hearing. Submitted by, Dianne Wilson Fort Bend County Clerk

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, DECEMBER 29, 2011 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. RFP 12-019 – BULK FUEL Unit pricing is required. Fort Bend County reserves the right to reject any or all proposals.

City of Missouri City ORDINANCE NO. O-11-43 AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF MISSOURI CITY, TEXAS, CONTINUING THE RULES AND REGULATIONS PERTAINING TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A CURFEW FOR MINORS AS SET FORTH IN CHAPTER 70 OF THE CITY OF MISSOURI CITY CODE OF ORDINANCES; MAKING CERTAIN FINDINGS; 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-11-43 approved on second and final reading by the City Council at its regular meeting held on December 5, 2011, as the same appears in the records of my office. /s/ Maria Gonzalez City Secretary

Signed: Gilbert D. Jalomo, Jr., Purchasing Agent Fort Bend County, Richmond, Texas


PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE The Commissioners Court of Fort Bend County, Texas has set a public hearing on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. for acceptance of the traffic control plan for Cinco Ranch Southwest, Section 43, Precinct 3. The hearing will be held in the Commissioners Courtroom, 309 South Fourth St., Suite 700, William B. Travis Bldg., Richmond, Texas. You are invited to attend and state your approval or objection on this matter. Submitted by, Dianne Wilson Fort Bend County Clerk PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE The Commissioners Court of Fort Bend County, Texas has set a public hearing on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. for acceptance of the traffic control plan for Bonbrook Plantation North, Section 3, Precinct 1. The hearing will be held in the Commissioners Courtroom, 309 South Fourth St., Suite 700, William B. Travis Bldg., Richmond, Texas. You are invited to attend and state your approval or objection on this matter. 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, January 3, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. for acceptance of the traffic control plan for Fieldstone, Section 2 and Section 4, Precinct 3. The hearing will be held in the Commissioners Courtroom, 309 South Fourth St., Suite 700, William B. Travis Bldg., Richmond, Texas. You are invited to attend and state your approval or objection on this matter. Submitted by, Dianne Wilson Fort Bend County Clerk PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE The Commissioners Court of Fort Bend County, Texas has set a public hearing on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. for acceptance of the traffic control plan for Firethorne Section 7, Section 8, Section 9 and Section 11, Precinct 3. The hearing will be held in the Commissioners Courtroom, 309 South Fourth St., Suite 700, William B. Travis Bldg., Richmond, Texas. You are invited to attend and state your approval or objection on this matter. Submitted by, Dianne Wilson Fort Bend County Clerk PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE The Commissioners Court of Fort Bend County, Texas has set a public hearing on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. for acceptance of the traffic control plan for King Lakes, Section 7, Precinct 3. Precinct 3. The hearing will be held in the Commissioners Courtroom, 309 South Fourth St., Suite 700, William B. Travis Bldg., Richmond, Texas. You are invited to attend and state your approval or objection on this matter. Submitted by, Dianne Wilson Fort Bend County Clerk

PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE The Commissioners Court of Fort Bend County, Texas has set a public hearing at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 for replat of Fulbrook, Section 2C, Replat of Lots 3 and 4 of Block 2, Precinct 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 Albert Syzdek with Taplin Engineering Inc. at 281-496-5896 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, Travis Annex, 301 Jackson, Suite 201, Richmond, TX 77469 for the following until THURSDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2011 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. BID 12-015 – KNIGHT ROAD BRIDGE AT GULF COAST WATER AUTHORITY CANAL A pre-bid conference will be conducted on Thursday, December 15, 2011 at 9:00 AM (CST) with site visit to follow. The pre-bid conference will be held at Fort Bend County Purchasing Department located in the Rosenberg Annex at 4520 Reading Road, Suite A, Rosenberg, TX. All bidders are encouraged to attend. Unit pricing is required; payment will be by check after products/services are rendered. Bonds are required. Fort Bend County reserves the right to reject any or all bids. Signed: Gilbert D. Jalomo, Jr., Purchasing Agent Fort Bend County, Richmond, Texas

The City of Missouri City, Texas is now issuing an Invitation for Bids for the following: IFB #081-11 Term Contract for Water Treatment Chemicals The City of Missouri City is soliciting bids for a term contract for the supply of chemicals used by the Missouri City Surface Water Treatment Plant. All prices bid are to be FOB Missouri City. All costs associated shall be included in the prices bid on the enclosed bid sheet. The City will not pay any other invoiced fees that are not specified by the contractor on the enclosed bid sheet. The City may award to one or more bidders. Vendors are reminded to submit a bid that meets all specifications contained herein. Bids will be accepted until 2:00 p.m. local time December 19, 2011 and then opened. The bid packages may be obtained beginning November 30th by requesting the document from the Purchasing Office at (281) 403-8612. Bids must be sealed, marked on the outside of the delivery envelope with the IFB name and number as listed above, and the date of opening. Bids must be delivered to the attention of the Sealed Bid Box, City of Missouri City Purchasing Office, 1522 Texas Parkway, Missouri City, Texas, 77489, prior to the acceptance deadline. Bids marked improperly and therefore misdirected may be disqualified. Bids are opened in public in the City Hall Council Chambers. Charles Oberrender, CPPB Purchasing Manager City of Missouri City, Texas

NOTICE TO BIDDERS SURFACE WATER TREATMENT PLANT PHASE I EFFLUENT DISCHARGE FORCE MAIN The City of Sugar Land seeks bids, in triplicate, for furnishing all labor, material, and equipment, and performing all work required for the following project in the City: CIP PROJECT NAME: SWTP Phase I Effluent Discharge Force Main CIP PROJECT NUMBER: WW1102 LOCATION OF WORK: Voss Road Along Burney Road, Sugar Land, TX Plans, specifications, and bidding documents may be obtained in an electronic format (CD) at the following office and location with payment of $50.00: Carollo Engineers, Inc. Attn: Meera Victor, P.E. 450 Gears Road, #205B Houston, Texas 77067 (281) 872-4512 Sealed bids, one original and two copies, with the Project Name and Project Number shown on the envelope shall be delivered to the City of Sugar Land City Secretary Office, 2700 Town Center Boulevard North, Suite 122, Sugar Land, Texas, 77479, on or before 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 5, 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 11:00 a.m., Thursday, December 15, 2011, Brazos Rooms, City of Sugar Land City Hall, 2700 Town Center Boulevard North, Sugar Land, Texas 77479. The City reserves the right to revise or amend the specifications prior to the date set for opening of bids. Such revisions or amendments, if any, will be announced by addenda or addendum to the specifications. Copies of such addenda so issued will be furnished to all prospective bidders and may or may not affect the bid opening date. The City of Sugar Land reserves the right to reject any and all bids and to waive informalities in bids received. Questions and/or interpretation relating to the bid must be submitted in writing to the Project Manager and Engineer at least 48 hours prior to bid opening. The City Council will award the bid to the lowest responsible bidder that complies with all requirements of the Request for Bids. The City of Sugar Land will give notice of the contract award within sixty (60) calendar days after the bid opening date and time. Glenda Gundermann, TRMC, CMC, AAE City Secretary

NOTICE TO PROPOSERS Six (6) sealed proposals, one (1) original and five (5) copies, addressed to the City of Sugar Land, Texas, will be received until 11:00 o’clock a.m., Thursday, December 22, 2011, for: ON-CALL DRAINAGE AND PAVEMENT REHABILITATION Sealed bids shall be appropriately marked as follows: RFP NO. 2012-14 ON-CALL DRAINAGE AND PAVEMENT REHABILITATION BIDDER’S NAME, ADDRESS, AND DUE DATE. Respondent shall sign and date the proposal. Proposals that are not signed and dated will be rejected. Signed and sealed proposals shall be delivered to the Office of the City Secretary, on or before 11:00 o’clock a.m., Thursday, December 22, 2011, City of Sugar Land, City Hall, 2700 Town Center Boulevard North, Suite 122, Sugar Land, Texas, 77479. All proposals received after the appointed time shall be returned to bidder unopened. Notice of the award of contract shall be given by the City within ninety (90) days following the date for the opening of bids. The City reserves the right to revise or amend the specifications prior to the date set for opening of proposals. Such revisions or amendments, if any, will be announced by addenda or addendum to the specifications. Copies of such addenda so issued will be furnished to all prospective bidders and may or may not affect the bid opening date. The City of Sugar Land reserves the right to reject any and all proposals and to waive informalities in bids received. The award will be made to the lowest responsible bidder based on the evaluation criteria provided in the Request for Proposal. Proposal documents may be secured from City of Sugar Land; Office of the City Secretary, 2700 Town Center Boulevard North, Suite 122, Sugar Land, Texas, 77479, or by registering at Registration is free. All bid documents, amendments and other information relating to the bid will be posted on this site. For questions regarding this request for proposal, please contact Jason Poscovsky, Contract Administrator at telephone number (281) 275-2302 or email at . Glenda Gundermann, TRMC, CMC, AAE City Secretary

DECEMBER 14, 2011 • INDEPENDENT • Page 7

FILM REVIEW: Tinker, Tailor Soldier Spy The film is an adaptation from a John le Carre novel about the investigation by retired British agent George Smiley to determine the identity of a Russian mole during the Cold War. The codes names of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy are used for ease in communication among the key spies involved in this extremely complicated plot that jumps from scene to scene and country to country through a series of flashbacks. One could benefit from a program to keep up with all the players. Here is a short list of the spies and suspects (not real names): Percy Alleline, Bill Haydon, Roy Bland, Tony Esterhase, Jim Prideaux, and Control who is the head of the Circus. Oh yeah, “Circus” is the upper echelon also known as MI 6 (Secret Intelligence Service) which was tasked to collect foreign intelligence. During the Cold War of the 1950’s and 1960’s, these guys were some genuine spooks and they are accurately portrayed in this movie as pretty skilled spies. The lead is su-

perbly played by Gary Oldham (George Smiley) who methodically gathers clues and tightens the net in his quest to find the Russian mole. This movie is not for everyone, but those of you who love a good whodunit and are willing to be patient and follow small clues and tidbits in a very confusing and convoluted story, then this movie is for you. I got a little confused, but please don’t tell anyone as I’m supposed to be a professional moviegoer. Oops. Major footnote and mild newsflash: I’ve made a terrible mistake by missing “Drive” which debuted in September starring Ryan Gos-

Top ten movies by Houston Film Critics Society The Houston Film Critics Society has announced their top ten movies for 2011. Our own Larry H. is a member of HFCS and he says “this year has had mixed reviews for movies, but the public will be very happy when they see “War Horse” which debuts on Christmas Day.” Here are the top ten movies by the Houston Film Critics Society listed alphabetically: Drive Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close Midnight in Paris Take Shelter The Artist The Descendants The Help The Tree of Life War Horse Win Win Larry H. also highly recommends “Drive” and “The Descendants.”

ling. The trailers were seemingly dull to me and I didn’t bother seeing this movie until I obtained a DVD via the Houston Film Critics Society. “Drive” is an absolutely fantastic movie and should be on your mustsee list. I will be sorely disappointed if Gosling is not nominated for Best Actor. Let me put it in plain terms, Gosling plays a two-bit Hollywood stuntman who moonlights as a wheelman and gets involved in a heist that goes deadly wrong and the bad guys come after him. Ok, here’s the plain part: Gosling’s character is so stoic

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and cool at the same time that he reminded me of a combo of a young Steve McQueen and Clint Eastwood. Does that make him a god? Just kidding because I’ve already told you people that I don’t blaspheme, but Ryan G. accomplished this feat without packing a pistol or showing his internationally known six pack. And there are other outstanding performances by the great Carey Mulligan (see “Shame” also) and Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman as heavies. Bryan Cranston as Shannon is memorable even though he gets slightly lost because there are so many great performances. “Drive” is worthy of a nomination. Rock ‘n Roll. “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” Grade 85. Larry H. sugarlaw@larryharrison. com

livers EPA fuel economy estimates of up to 19 mpg/city and 26 mpg/highway. The Grand Vitara’s engine can be teamed to a standard five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic transmission. The Grand Vitara’s 4-Mode full time four-wheel drive offers off-road vehicle capability yet remains civilized on the asphalt. There, drivers can leave the dash-mounted transfer case switch in 4H and the electronically controlled on-demand fourwheel-drive system will apply traction to the front wheels (only as needed), optimizing economy while maximizing traction. When traveling off-road, or for low-speed power and trac-

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Editor’s Note: Larry H’s Sugar Awards will be announced soon. See archived reviews at

United States Marines “Toys For Tots” The United States Marine Corps has its annual “Toys For Tots” fundraiser currently underway. Toys or Check donations can be dropped off until December 13 at Fort Bend Toyota, 20465 Southwest Freeway (Hwy 59 @ 99), Richmond, Texas. Please help the Marines give a child a Merry Christmas. If you have any questions, call Nick Landoski @ 281.341.5900.

Audition for “The Music Man” Award-winning Fort Bend Theatre will hold auditions for the critically acclaimed musical The Music Man, January 22-23 at 6 p.m - 9 p.m at North Main St in Stafford, Texas. Singers and dancers from age 6-65 are needed, along with 6-10 year old boys for the role of Winthrop Paroo. Auditioners should bring their music or their accompaniment cd (with no vocal please) and be prepared to sing. Dance auditions will be on Tuesday at 7 p.m (please dress dance appropriate). Please bring your headshot or a recent photo and resume. For more information, visit the FBT website at and click the upcoming auditions tab or call 281-208-3333.

AUTOMOBILE: Suzuki Grand Vitara By BARBARA FULENWIDER The 2012 Suzuki Grand Vitara has an integrated navigation system as standard equipment and makes this SUV the most affordable one with this convenience. The navigation system now includes real-time traffic, weather forecast, movie time search, flight arrival/departure, lowest gas price and Google search. It also has the most off-road capablities of any SUV that starts under $20,000. The Suzuki Grand Vitara is also available with all-wheel drive for on-road, on-demand four-wheel traction and low-range four-wheel drive gearing with differential lock. The Suzuki Grand Vitara offroad performance is enabled by a reinforced rear-wheel drive unibody chassis. The chassis incorporates a unit body and integral ladder frame, four-wheel independent suspension and fourwheel disc brakes. Like all Suzuki automobiles and light trucks, the Grand Vitara is backed by a 100,000-mile/ seven-year, fully transferable, zero-deductible powertrain limited warranty. Suzuki’s 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine produces 166 horsepower and 162 lb.-ft. of torque and de-

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tion, drivers can turn the switch to high-range 4H Lock or low-range 4L Lock to engage the center differential lock. The Grand Vitara’s available four-mode full-time four-wheeldrive system with two-speed transfer case also separates it from the tall wagons in the segment. This hardware, combined with its body construction, steep approach and departure angles, and 7.9 inches of ground clearance (4WD models) enables the Grand Vitara to keep going when the pavement turns to trail. In addition, the Grand Vitara’s 3,000lb. towing capacity is double that of many car-based models. Active safety technology in every Grand Vitara includes an

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281-261-8066 anti-lock braking system with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and stability control with traction control. The Grand Vitara’s compact exterior footprint belies a roomy, comfortable and versatile cabin which offers 68.9 cu.-ft. of cargo space with the 60/40 split-folding seatbacks folded. The Grand Vitara is offered in Base, Premium and Limited models. The Base model is RWD only and standard equipment includes an integrated pop-up navigation system; air conditioning with automatic climate control and micron air filtration system; trip computer; power windows, mirrors and door locks; remote keyless entry; tilt steering wheel; automatic on/off headlamps; fourspeaker AM/FM/CD/MP3/XM Satellite Radio and 16-inch steel wheels. The Premium and Limited models add more and include a four-speed automatic transmission, cruise control, leather seating and a leather wrapped steering wheel with illuminated audio and cruise control switches, privacy glass, a full-size spare tire and cover; cargo cover, hands-free calling and Bluetooth hands-free communication.

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,QFUHDVH&RQÀGHQFHLQ <RXU3RUWIROLRDQG+HOS 5HGXFH5LVN Fixed income products can help you to balance your portfolio,1 accommodate your unique risk tolerance, and potentially help you achieve your financial objectives. To see how Morgan Stanley Smith Barney may help you cushion your portfolio from equity market fluctuations, please call us today. Ramesh P. Shah First Vice President Financial Advisor 1600 Highway 6 South Suite 100 Sugar Land, TX 77478 281-263-1612

A Morgan Stanley Company


Diversification does not assure a profit or protect against loss in a declining financial market. The value of fixed income securities will fluctuate and, upon a sale, may be worth more or less than their original cost or maturity value. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only and is not an offer to buy or sell or a solicitation of any offer to buy or sell any security/instrument or to participate in any trading strategy. The securities/instruments discussed in this material may not be suitable for all investors. The appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor’s individual circumstances and objectives. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney does not render advice on tax and tax accounting matters to clients. This material was not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer under U.S. federal tax laws. You should always consult your own legal or tax advisor for information concerning your individual situation. © 2011 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC.

NY CS 6316303 FIX004 06/10 GP09-01247P-N04/09


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Page 8 • INDEPENDENT • DECEMBER 14, 2011

Community news Founders’ ball to benefit SLCAF Sugar Land multicultural outreach gets national recognition The International City/ County Management Association (ICMA) recently presented Sugar Land with the 2011 Community Sustainability Award for the City’s multi-cultural outreach and education efforts. Community Sustainability Awards recognize the innovative local government programs or processes that demonstrate innovation, excellence and success in balancing that community’s social, economic, environmental and cultural needs. Sugar Land’s multi-cultural program: ●enhances the ability for the City to meet the needs of residents of all cultures and ethnic backgrounds; ●promotes an understanding of all cultures among all of our residents; and ●builds opportunities for residents of all backgrounds to share in and be a part of Sugar Land and American traditions. As part of Sugar Land’s commitment to diversity, the city manager works with the City Manager’s MultiCultural Advisory Team and an Employee Multi-Cultural Task Force to implement city-wide initiatives and programs ensuring employees are able to communicate with and serve Sugar Land’s diverse population. These efforts have included “101” sessions for key staff to learn more about the Chinese, Asian Indian and South Asian/Pakistani communities. As a result, there has been more diverse participation on City task forces, boards and commissions and in community education programs such as the Police Department’s Community

Front to back gala committee members - Neyda Barillas, Bridget Yeung, Sherrie Schmidt, Tanya Sterling, Farrah Gandhi, Himesh Gandhi and Aaron Clark. Gala planning is active and under way for the ever popular Founder’s Ball, benefitting the Sugar Land Cultural Arts Foundation (SLCAF), on January 7, 2012 at Safari Texas Ranch at 6:30 p.m. The theme is “Taking the Stage!” SLCAF is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that exists to promote the cultural, performing, and visual arts in Sugar Land while preserving, renovating and restoring the historic Sugar Land Auditorium to the thriving cultural arts center it once was in the community. “The SLCAF has enthusiastically hosted the Founder’s Ball since 2003. The sole purpose of this amazing gala is to fund renovations on the historic Sugar Land Auditorium,” says long-time board member and Sugar Land Councilwoman Bridget Yeung. “We get dressed up, eat, drink, connect with friends, bid on a host of auction items while solidly supporting this historic landmark, the Sugar Land Auditorium.” Founded in 1999, the SLCAF formalized a community grassroots effort to restore his-

toric Sugar Land Auditorium. Built in 1918 by the Imperial Sugar Company, Sugar Land Auditorium is the oldest public building in Sugar Land. It once served as the site for all important community events, including graduations, plays, church services, dances, recitals, band concerts, and silent movies. The historic building is located adjacent to Lakeview Elementary School, 314 Lakeview Drive, at the intersection of Lakeview Drive and Wood Street. The Founders’ Ball is the organizations largest fundraiser and the proceeds will go towards the final phase of the Sugar Land Auditorium construction project; patron restrooms created as the historical classroom A building and a covered walkway leading from the auditorium to the restroom. Donna Hine, SLCAF Executive Director, said “we have a fantastic gala committee this year and I’m excited to see a lot of new faces involved with our fundraising event.” Gala committee members include Himesh and Farrah Gandhi as Gala Co-chairs, Aaron Clark

and Namita Asthana as Live Auction Co-chairs, Neyda Barillas and Sherrie Schmidt as Silent Auction Co-chairs, Bridget Yeung and Carl Favre as Sponsorship Co-chairs and event night special guests; Nancy Olson as emcee and Commissioner James Patterson as auctioneer. Sponsorships for the Founder’s Ball are available at three levels – Benefactor ($5000), Patron of the Arts ($2500), and Colleague ($1000) – which includes a table for 10 with priority seating at the event. Tickets are also available for $100 each, or $1000 for a reserved table of 10. For sponsorship or ticket information, contact Donna Hine at, 281.898.4518 or “We are pleased with the momentum and the enthusiasm that has been generated over the Founder’s Ball,” says Gala Chair, Himesh Gandhi. “Our committee is working hard to ensure that the Founder’s Ball is a fun and fulfilling event. We hope to see you there.”

Pictured during a recent City Council recognition are Sugar Land City Manager Allen Bogard, ICMA member and Texas City Management Association Region 6 President Brant Gary and Sugar Land Mayor James A. Thompson. Assistance Support Team and the Fire Department’s Community Emergency Response Team. Other examples of the City’s focus on diversity include: ●City sponsorship of events such as the Fort Bend Education Foundation’s International Festival; ●staff participation in the Texas Dragon Boat Association’s Regatta; ●the Sugar Land Cultural Kite Festival; ●the Police Department’s Chinese Hotline; ●Arab/Muslim Police Cultural training for police officers; ●safety brochures printed in Asian languages; and ●expanded publications and other communication tools, including emergency communications and a translation tool for the City’s website. “The City is very proud of the recognition this program has received from ICMA, as well as the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which also recognized the program with

an award in 2011,” said City Manager Allen Bogard. The International City/ County Management Association develops and advances professional local government management to create sustainable communities that improve lives worldwide. The association provides member support; publications; data and information; peer and results-oriented assistance; and training and professional development to nearly 9,000 city, town and county experts and other individuals and organizations throughout the world.

For free listing of community events, send email to editor@


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2,200 - 2,900 sq. ft. 2,900 - 3,300 sq. ft. 2,900 - 3,700 sq. ft.





90 59




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6 5

1,900 - 4,000 sq. ft. 2,600 - 4,400 sq. ft.



7 6



Plans, prices and availability are subject to change without notice. (11/10)



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2,100 - 3,300 sq. ft.

6 Telfair

(281) 277-1800 (281) 265-4555

3,400 - 7,000 sq. ft. 1,900 - 3,500 sq. ft.

10 (281) 778-0050

(281) 778-7800

9 Creekmont

(832) 222-2804

7 Riverstone 2,200 - 2,900 sq. ft. 2,600 - 4,100 sq. ft.

8 Sienna Plantation

(281) 633-9366

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3 Old Orchard


4 The Oaks of Rosenberg 2,200 - 3,300 sq. ft.

2 Westheimer Lakes



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