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Days of Christmas

A Star is Born

Julian Brashears What’s Inside

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Minimizing Pain and Maximizing Function Pain is a very complex condition that requires good medical diagnosis and treatment. At The Pearland Back and Neck Pain Clinic, we specialize in tackling the problem in a logical medical manner. Treatments range from: • Simple Exercise • Diet Changes • Physical Therapy • Traction • Medical Management to Nerve Blocks • Joint Blocks • Epidural Injections • Spinal Cord Stimulators • Pain Pumps

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N o ve m b e r

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features 18 Decorated Army Veteran Receives Medals Vietnam War veteran and former Pearland resident Bud Toll receives long overdue honors: seven medals he earned while serving his country over 40 years ago.

19 Major League Baseball Executive Jimmie Solomon Takes Notice of Pearland’s Baseball Pride


Solomon, an avid supporter of youth enrichment, stresses the importance of education to young athletes.

27 Holiday Entertaining & Dining

From decorating to preparing your menu, get ready for your holiday parties, dinners and celebrations with this helpful section.


33 Focus on Worship

Embrace the Spirit this season as you celebrate the miracle of His birth with us.

36 Pearland’s 12 Days of Christmas


From Pearland’s Hometown Christmas Festival to Breakfast with Santa, this special feature is filled with activities everyone in the family will be sure to enjoy.

39 Edgewater Pops the Cork

Johnston Development Corporation’s newest Bay Area gem, Edgewater, celebrates the start of construction on it’s focal point: the Edgewater Marina.


42 Wayne Slaten Debuts Locally Shot Film Slaten, a Houston native and former Pearland resident, debuts his most recent project.

46 Holiday Gift Guide


Your Guide to Shopping Pearland for the holidays.


magazine • November/December 2010



.com • November/December 2010


COVER STORY 8 Pearland Teen Julian Brashears: Reaching for the Stars


At only fourteen, this teen phenom and actor delights audiences across the Houston area as he continues to carve out his spot in the entertainment industry.

12 Focus on Development 13 Pearland Headliners 14 Focus on Finance 16 Caring for the Community 20 High School Hot Shot 22 Living the Sweet Life 24 Pearland Chamber News - NEW 32 Community Calendar 38 Seen on the Scene 42 Focus Film Review 44 Focus Scrapbook 47 Focus Favorites - NEW 48 Historically Pearland

Photo by Alisa Murray Photography pearland

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ublisher’s Preview www.pearlandfocus.com

Nov/Dec 2010 Vol. 1 No. 6

Dear Pearland Friends, As we head into the holiday season, let us be thankful for our family, friends and all of the blessings that have been bestowed upon us. During this busy time of year, let us also remember the true meaning of the season by sharing with and caring for each other. Our cover story features Julian Brashears, a multi-talented, multi-faceted 14 year old. Not only does he act, but he also sings, plays guitar, composes music and has written both a screenplay and a play to be produced next year. He recently helped launch a new theater company in which he also acts. Julian is truly an accomplished young man. We can only imagine what lies ahead for him! Yes, we are still talking about those golden boys of summer, Pearland’s Little League All Stars. Jimmie Lee Solomon, Major League Baseball’s Executive Vice President, Baseball Development, took special interest in the team as he is from a small Fort Bend County town. Solomon is a testament to the power of education and how it can propel you to great heights. He encourages youth sports and emphasizes the importance of education in tandem with sports. Let us not forget our valuable veterans this November. They give us many reasons to be thankful, especially for their service and for all that they sacrifice to keep us free.

April Lambert, Jessica Kij & Mimi Quinn The Faces of Pearland Focus

We are gearing up for our January/February wedding issue. A wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event meant to be shared with others. Share yours with our readers by going online to www. pearlandfocus.com, completing the forms and sending us your favorite pictures. We all love a good wedding! We have been busy out in the community covering local events. Be sure to see our “party pics” and let us know about future events. As always, please send us your article ideas as well as your feedback. We are excited that we are completing our first year of publishing Pearland Focus. Our commitment to be Pearland’s community magazine is unwavering. We look forward to your continued and growing support. Please contact us at editor@pearlandfocus.com, 281-690-4242 or www.pearlandfocus.com. Stay Focused!

Jessica Kij

Associate Publisher Email: editor@pearlandfocus.com

Real Weddings Coming January/February Issue

Deadline for submission: December 15th

Submit your wedding for consideration in our upcoming wedding section “Real Weddings” to be published in our January 2011 issue. If you or your children have recently married and you would like to submit your wedding, all you need is at least eight photos of the ceremony and/or reception. It doesn’t matter where the wedding took place as long as it was in the last year. You or your parents must reside in Pearland or Manvel. Fill out the “wedding form” at www.PearlandFocus. com and email photos to grace@ fortbendfocus.com. Photographers are welcome to submit photos.


magazine • November/December 2010


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PUB LISHE RS Michael Fredrickson Lisa Fredrickson MANAGING EDITOR Patti Parish-Kaminski ASSOCIATE PUB LISHE R Jessica Kij ACCOUNT EXE CUTIVE S April Lambert Mimi Quinn OFFICE MANAGE R Norma Loredo CONTRIB UTORS Linda Eaves Don Maines Nick Nicholson Jenny Brannon John D. “Mickey” Mark Brent Moon ART DIRE CTOR Grace Belleza ASSOCIATE ART DIRE CTOR Joey Belleza GRAP HIC DE SIGNE R Elizabeth Pace WE B DE SIGNE R Joey Belleza (JOBpagegraphics.com) ON THE COVE R JULIAN BRASHE ARS PHOTO B Y ALISA MURRAY PHOTOGRAP HY The views and opinions expressed by our advertisers and columnists do not necessarily reflect those of the publishers and their staff. c 2010

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ulian Brashears’ parents enrolled him in acting classes at age 5 to help him overcome shyness. “I really latched on to the stage,” he remembers. Now at 14, he is a busy actor on Houston-area stages, and the Pearland teen has many accomplishments: he has appeared in a film, he composes music, he sings and plays guitar, and he’s penned a screenplay and a play that will be produced next year. Brashears’ first acting classes were at Houston’s Main Street Theater, which was also the venue for his favorite theater experience so far, playing Noah in the musical, Caroline, or Change. Houston Chronicle theater critic Everett Evans praised the performance, writing, “Julian Brashears’ Noah comes across as a real kid, natural and inquisitive.” That seems to sum up Brashears the person, too. On each project, he watches, listens and learns, then moves ahead with a new skill under his belt. For two years, Brashears played two characters – an urchin and a schoolboy – in the annual production of A Christmas Carol at the Alley Theatre. “That was a lot of fun,” he says. “I got to meet a lot of outstanding actors.” One of them was actor/director Paul Hope, who tapped Brashears to play Colin in Bayou City Concert Musicals’ The Secret Garden. “BCCM is a really nice group to work with,” he says. They are some of Houston’s top musical theater talents who get together once a year to perform the complete book of a seldom-produced musical but without all the scenery required of an expensive production. They also perform several cabaret concerts each year of songs by vintage composers. Brashears performed in presentations of the music of Irving Berlin and the songbook of Vincent Herbert, and that suited him well. “Most of the music I like is retro,” he explains, “from the 1900s. It’s probably because that’s the

Julian Brashears as the son with Tamara Siler as the mother in Cleanin’ Out My Closet from The Great Storm by Thunderclap Productions, September 2010. Photo courtesy of www.leeray.com.



Julian Brashears:

Reaching for – and Grabbing – the Stars

Julian Brashears as Thor Waldgrave in The Nerd at Company OnStage, November 2009. Photo by Jay Brashears.

style of music my parents raised me on.” His father, Jay Brashears, was a touring musician for about ten years, and is now an office manager for a transportation company. His mother, Kristine Brashears, majored in art and operates a graphic design business called West of the World. She also “kinda manages my career,” he says, including the development and maintenance of his website, www.justinbrashears. com. His site includes news, bio, resume, press, photos, videos, interests, contact information and how to join the site’s mailing list. Brashears takes some ninth-grade and tenth-grade classes online as a student of Texas Virtual Academy at Southwest. “The last brick and mortar school I went to was Rogers Middle School,” he says. Online schooling “gives me more flexibility. I would recommend it, especially for performers.” Brashears also studies with a vocal coach, especially to learn how to properly care for his voice. In 2008, he won Pearland’s “Let Freedom Sing” contest, which awarded him the honor of singing “God Bless America” at the city’s Fourth of July celebration. He’s sung six times at the Houston Polo Club, but counts the crowd at Sam Houston Race Park as perhaps his biggest audience, with several thousand in attendance. However, he admits, “I don’t like hearing myself sing.” He adds that he didn’t watch himself in the movie he made, The Caretaker, when he saw it on the big screen. “I covered my eyes and looked at my lap during my scenes.” Otherwise, he says, “I liked the rest of the movie and thought it was put together well.” The Caretaker was shown several times in September at Eye Candy Inc., the production facility headed by the film’s director/producer William Collins. It’s located at Houston Design Center on Old Katy Road in Houston, and its screening room boasts more than 35 seats, a 20-foot Cinemascope projection screen, 18K-watt of THX surround sound, and triple-lighting faders. The Caretaker is billed as the first film made from start to finish exclusively with Houston talent. Continued on page 11


.com • November/December 2010


Julian Brashears stars opposite Brad Zimmerman as Howard in Inherit the Wind at Playhouse 1960.

Julian Brashears, playing the mandolin in the center, starred as Peter in A Little House Christmas at Main Street Theater in November of 2008.

Photo by Jay Brashears.

Photo by Art Ornelas Photo courtesy of www.RicOrnelProductions.com

Continued from page 10

To land the part of Young Roland in The Caretaker, Brashears said all he did was send the director his resume, a head shot and a current photograph, and within two hours, he was cast to play a character who appears at three different ages in the movie. Mainly, he says, he got the part because he looked like the younger actor and the older actor who were played the same character. Acting on film “was not that different of a transition” from acting on stage, but one scene was particularly uncomfortable to film. “I had to jump into a freezing cold pool with a cement block tied to me. That’s how it’s supposed to look, anyway,” he says. Most recently, Brashears helped launch a new theater company, Thunderclap Productions, which was cocreated by Aaron Alon of Pearland. In Thunderclap’s inaugural production, The Great Storm, Brashears played the son in Cleanin’ Out My Closet, an amusing short segment written by

Alon. One of a eight 10-minute plays that commemorated the second anniversary of Hurricane Ike, Cleanin’ Out My Closet reunited Brashears with his Caroline, or Change co-star, Tamara Siler, as a black woman who seizes a moment during the hurricane, when she and her white son (Brashears) are trapped in a closet, to tell him he was adopted. In early November, a Houston Community College campus hosted an encore production of the two-person play. A voracious reader, especially of science fiction, Brashears wrote a screenplay adaptation of the book Fahrenheit 451, a dystopian novel by his favorite author, Ray Bradbury. When Bradbury was contacted and approved Brashears’ version, he said, “It was the coolest feeling ever.” Next, he tried his hand at playwriting after coming across a haunting Turkish folk tale about a peasant and a princess who fall in love with each other. “I thought it would translate well to the stage,” he explains. In late June, Company OnStage announced that it will produce the play,

Julian Brashears featured as Young Roland in February of 2010 in the film The CareTaker by Eye Candy Films. Brashears starred opposite Sara Gaston as the mother and George Manley as the priest. Photo by Joe Grisaffi.

Zeki and the Sultan’s Challenge, May 7th through June 11th, 2011. About the same time, Brashears was performing the role of Howard in Playhouse 1960’s production of Inherit the Wind, a fictionalized account of the 1925 Scopes “Monkey” Trial. Brashears played a student in the high school science class in which John T. Scopes taught Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, contrary to a Tennessee state law. Brashears’ next role will be as Gregory the Warlock in Company OnStage’s upcoming world premiere production of A Remarkable Princess, by Andy Huggins of Houston. It will run January 15th through Feb. 19, 2011, with performances at 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Saturdays. Tickets are $8, and will be available online at www.companyonstage.org. Whether it’s acting on stage or screen or writing, Julian Brashears is one accomplished young man at the tender age of fourteen. He’s certainly proven himself as an up and coming talent, and for Brashears, the sky is truly the limit. PFM

Casting Call for Julian Brashears’ Playwrighting Debut: Zeki and the Sultan’s Challenge In December, Julian Brashears will take off his “actor” cap and put on his playwright’s cap when he helps director Stacy Bakri audition hopefuls to play roles in next year’s production of his first play, Zeki and the Sultan’s Challenge. One thing’s for sure: Brashears wants to work behind the scenes this time rather than perform in Zeki. Eight to ten adults are needed for the production that will run May 7th through June 11th, 2011, with performances at 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Saturdays. Tryouts for Brashears’ stage adaptation of a Turkish folk tale will be at 7 p.m. December 12th through 13th at Company OnStage located at 536 Westbury Square in Houston. For further information, visit http://www.companyonstage.org/getinvolved.html. pearland

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By Jenny Brannon, Pearland Economic Development Corporation

Delta Rigging & Tools Chooses Pearland for Headquarters Relocation


elta Rigging & Tools recently announced their decision to locate their new headquarters and shared services center to the Shadow Creek Business Center. Taking advantage of its excellent location and top quality amenities, Delta hopes to begin operations in Pearland December 2010. The company will occupy approximately 7,800 square feet of the Class A office building at 11233 Shadow Creek Parkway. “Our primary reason for moving to Pearland is to be closer to more of our large customers and operations in the Houston area. We now have 14 locations around the country and it is important for us to be closer to the major transportation hubs, including Interstate 10, Hobby Airport and the Port of Houston”, said Eric Johnson, Vice President of Marketing for Delta Rigging & Tools. He added, “Pearland is centrally located to meet all of our needs and has a very attrac-

tive business climate.” Delta Rigging and Tools is one of the largest one-stop providers of lifting products and services within the large and fragmented domestic lifting equipment and rigging industry. Delta offers a complete portfolio of lifting solutions, including hoists, winches, wire rope, synthetic slings, accessory parts, and hardware as well as testing, inspection, and field services. Delta serves a national footprint of customers and end markets with particular strength in various energy applications throughout the Gulf Coast of Texas, Louisiana and the Rocky Mountain states. Delta has experienced significant growth over the last three years both organically and through acquisitions and recently identified a need for Class A office space for their twenty-five employees currently located in Lake Jackson. The Pearland Economic Development Corporation has been

working to bring Delta to Pearland since early this year. Executive Director of Pearland Economic Development Corporation Matt Buchanan said, “Delta Rigging and Tools is an excellent addition to our business community. We are excited they chose Pearland and wish them the best in their new facility.” Delta Rigging & Tools was represented by Robert Gulley and the landlord by Moody Rambin Interests. About PEDC: Established in 1995, the Pearland Economic Development Corporation promotes, assists and enhances the economic development activities and qualities of life within Pearland, Texas. In bringing new and existing businesses to the area, the organization attracts capital investment to add to the city’s tax base and helps to increase the number of better-paying jobs for residents. For more information, visit www.pearlandedc.com. ★

Pearland Economic Development Corporation helps local businesses thrive by nurturing existing business relationships and continually recruiting and cultivating new and innovative opportunities to Pearland, Texas. Whether you are considering expansion, relocation, or are about to embark upon your journey as an entrepreneur, let us light your path.



magazine • November/December 2010




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Send your “Pearland Headliners” via e-mail to Editor@PearlandFocus.com. Be sure to send only “high resolution” digital pictures as an “attached” jpg. Articles are subject for editing and space availability.

Curbside Recycling Reminder The City of Pearland wishes to remind everyone that new recycling options were made available for the citizens of Pearland this past April. For all residents living in single family homes and residing inside the city limits of Pearland, more paper products can now be recycled curbside: • Magazines • Catalogs • Telephone books • Printer and copier paper • Cereal boxes • Mail (i.e., ‘junk mail’) Please do not include wax lined paper items such as milk cartons in the curbside bin. These paper products are in addition to clear/colored glass beverage containers, aluminum beverage cans, bi-metal (food) cans, and plastics #1 and #2 (as noted on the bottom of container). Please rinse all recyclables before placing in bin. If the recycling bin is turned upside down, then all materials were recyclable; otherwise, any contaminants or non-recyclables will be left in the recycling bin at the curb. To obtain a curbside bin, those within the city limits can call the Utility Billing Department at 281-652-1603 for pick up at City Hall located at 3519 Liberty Dr., Pearland, Tx 77581. Those who reside outside the city limits, such as portions of Silverlake, can contact Waste Management at 713686-6666 to request a bin. Additional residential bins are available at a cost of $8.00 per bin.

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Provided by Texas First Bank and “Practical Money Matters for Life”, Visa Inc. By Jason Alderman

Be Careful When Choosing 2011 Benefits


n the coming weeks, millions of Americans will receive 2011 employee benefit open enrollment materials. Yes, it’s a pain to wade through all that information, but simply opting for your current coverage could prove to be a costly mistake. Here’s why: Plan changes. Many benefit plans – especially medical – change coverage details from year to year. If you have more than one option to choose from, compare plan features side by side to ensure you’re choosing the best plan for your current situation. Common changes include: • Increased monthly premiums for employee and/or dependent coverage. • Increased deductible and/or copayment amounts for doctor visits, prescriptions, preventive care, hospitalization, dental or vision benefits, etc. • Revised drug formularies (the list of covered medications, including copayment levels for different drug classifications). • Preferred doctors or hospitals may withdraw from the plan’s preferred provider network, boosting the cost to use them or even eliminating them as an option. • Raising maximum yearly out-ofpocket expense limits. In addition, the Affordable Care Act states that group medical plans offering dependent coverage now must extend that

coverage to adult children under 26 in most cases, even if they no longer live with you or are claimed as your dependent. Ask your Benefits Department if this provision applies and how much you would pay in additional premiums. (To learn more about provisions under the Act, visit www. healthcare.gov.) Compare with spouse’s coverage. Compare your employer’s plans with those offered by your spouse’s employer, particularly when deciding where to insure your children. Just make sure it’s apples-to-apples. For example, one plan may charge lower premiums but have higher deductibles and copayments; or it may limit needed coverage – say your kid takes an asthma medication that one plan doesn’t cover. Review flexible spending account (FSA) contributions. If offered by your employer, health care and dependent care FSAs are a great way to offset the financial impact of medical and dependent care expenses. With FSAs, you pay eligible out-of-pocket medical and dependent care expenses on a pre-tax basis; that is, before federal, state and Social Security taxes are deducted from your paycheck. This reduces your taxable income and therefore, your taxes. You must re-enroll in FSAs each year – amounts don’t carry over year to year. If your health insurance deductibles and copayments are increasing, consider increasing your FSA contributions

accordingly. To learn more about how FSAs work, visit Practical Money Skills for Life (www.practicalmoneyskills.com/ benefits), Visa Inc.’s free personal financial management site. Consider family status changes. If you marry, divorce, or gain or lose dependents, it could impact the type – and cost – of your coverage options. For example: • Compare maternity and pediatric benefits offered by the various medical plan options. Slightly lower monthly premiums might not be worth more restrictive coverage. • If you use a dependent care FSA, carefully estimate how much childcare (or day care for eligible adult dependents) you’ll need next year to maximize your tax advantage. • Similarly, consider family status changes when estimating eligible expenses for your health care FSA. • Recalibrate life insurance and disability coverage. It’s worth spending a few minutes reviewing your benefit coverage options for next year, especially when you consider the potential financial consequences of not doing so.

This article is intended to provide general information and should not be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It’s always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation. This article is brought to you by a partnership between Visa and Texas First Bank and was authored by Jason Alderman, who directs Visa’s financial education programs. For more information, follow Texas First Bank on Facebook, Twitter and You Tube or visit us at www.texasfirstbank.com. ★



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Getting to the heart through the wrist


ardiac catheterization is a common procedure in which cardiologists inject dye into the coronary arteries to diagnose and treat certain heart conditions. Traditionally, the catheter is inserted into the femoral artery located in the groin, but surgical breakthroughs now allow the catheter to be inserted into the radial artery of the wrist. Rajan Kadakia, M.D., a boardcertified interventional cardiologist affiliated with Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital, said transradial catheterization is a much Rajan Kadakia, M.D. safer procedure. “When a heart catheterization is performed through the groin, there is an increased risk of uncontrolled bleeding and other complications which can entail more risks,” explains Dr. Kadakia. “When the same procedure is performed through the wrist, these complications are virtually eliminated, so it’s safer for patients. With a reduction in complications, the hospital stay is usually shorter.” A 2008 report in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology Cardiovascular Interventions reported similar outcomes for patients regardless of groin or wrist catheterizations, but significantly lower complications among the group that had the wrist procedure. Radial artery catheterizations have been performed in Canada, Europe, India and Japan for more than a decade. Over the last three to five years the newer radial techAdvertorial


nique has seen growing use in the United States. Dr. Kadakia attributes this to increased awareness in the cardiovascular community and the downsizing of catheters, making it easier to enter the smaller radial arteries. Still, relatively few cardiologists perform the more complicated transradial catheterizations. Dr. Kadakia, who has performed an estimated 500 or more transradial catheterizations, admits the newer procedure requires more skill to navigate the twists and turns that lead to the heart. In contrast, entering via the femoral artery provides a straight path to the heart. Linda Easter, a patient of Dr. Kadakia’s, has undergone three heart catheterizations to insert stents, once through the groin and twice through the wrist. “I would take the wrist procedure any day,” she said of the technique that allowed her to return to magazine • November/December 2010


work in less than a week. “With the groin procedure I had to lie still for eight hours after the surgery. With the wrist procedure, I was walking right away.” Eighty to 90 percent of the time in a transradial catherization, if the diagnosis calls for heart repairs, balloon angioplasty and stenting can be performed through the catheter in the wrist while the patient is under sedation, according to Dr. Kadakia. The procedure can be more difficult for patients with small arteries - a group which generally includes elderly women and for those with an abundance of loops in the brachial arteries of the arms or those with arterial spasms. Memorial Hermann Southeast is pleased to be one of the first hospitals in the region to offer the transradial catheterization to its patients. For more information about the procedure, or for a cardiologist referral, please visit memorialhermann.org or call 713.222.CARE (2273). Additionally, Memorial Hermann Southeast has partnered with Life Line Screenings to conduct vascular screenings that can detect heart disease, as well as other important health screenings. These convenient and affordable screenings will take place in the Southeast area on December 14 and 15 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. To register, please call 1.800.690.0289. For additional information, please contact Kim Hadaway at KHadaway@ llsa.com. ★

First Christian Academy & Child Development Center Registration is currently in progress for the 2010-2011 school year, as well as Summertime Fun for grades PK3 through High School. FCA is accredited by the US Immigration to issue I-20s for foreign students. First Christian Academy is a Community Christian School. FCA offers a Christian, college preparatory curriculum for all students. Each student receives a diagnostic test to determine their academic performance level in each of the core subjects. After testing, each student receives an individualized curriculum to meet each student’s academic needs. Our classroom offers low student to teacher ratio, giving the teachers the ability to give “one on one” teaching. Maximum classroom size is 14 students per teacher for all grades. First Christian Academy is located in the Sagemont area, south of Beltway 8 and west of Interstate 45, two streets north of the Beamer/Scarsdale intersection; less than a mile from Memorial Hermann Hospital Southeast and San Jacinto College South Campus. Established in 1989, First Christian Academy offers non-denominational full facility Christian education in: Early Childhood • Infants/Toddlers – 6 weeks thru potty trained. • PK through Kindergarten – Monday-Friday; part time or full time. • Mother’s Day Out Program -- ages 2 and 3yrs, M/W/F or Tues/Thurs. • Private School – 1st grade thru 12th grade. • After School Care—private or area public school students through 12 years old. Our students will have the opportunity to engage in competitive sports through T-Cal: • Elementary: Volleyball, Soccer, Basketball, Track & Field. • Jr./Sr. High : Volleyball, Soccer, Basketball, Track & Field. First Christian Academy also gives back to the community each year by setting aside limited Scholarships monies to be used to assist with private school (K12th) tuition. Toddlers and small children can enjoy playing outdoors in their age appropriate playground areas. FCA has also recently received a grant from Collaborative for Children which is being used to furnish the newly remodeled Infant and Toddler building.

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Veteran’s Day

More Special Than Ever to Decorated Fort Bend Veteran Bud Toll By Don Maines


hen Pearland soldier Walter “Bud” Toll came home from Vietnam in November 1970, he knew he was missing something. He hadn’t received his medal for good conduct. Forty years later, the slight was made right – and it turned out there were actually seven honors Toll had earned but hadn’t received. This Veteran’s Day on November 11th, Toll will be blessed seven-fold. For the first time in 40 years, he’ll be fully dressed, with the good conduct medal as well as three bronze stars, the Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with Palm, an expert badge with auto rifle and the Vietnam Civil Actions Honor Medal, First Class. Now residing in Rosenberg, Toll will celebrate Veteran’s Day at Needville Elementary, where his granddaughter, Samantha “Sam” Preuss, is in second grade. “I’ll see some of the same kids I saw last year, and they’ll say, ‘I remember you,’” said Toll. “It’s stuck with them. That’s what’s amazing. That warms your heart. Sam gets the biggest kick out of it all,” Toll said. Last February, Toll contacted a veterans’ case worker from the office of U.S. Congressman Pete Olson, after she had told a meeting of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) of Tri-County Chapter 233 that she could check into such matters. It was her research that revealed the additional honors. Olson’s office arranged a ceremony and reception last June in which Toll was presented the overdue honors. Many of his family and friends attended the event at the National Guard Armory in Rosenberg. The medal ceremony gave the Toll family – including their adult children, Stacey Teague, Miranda Preuss and Dustin Toll -- a perfect opportunity to open a discussion about Toll’s military service. The recognition helped Toll cope with some of the sting he’s felt about how pearland

Glenda Toll, Walter “Bud” Toll and Brittney Harbison.

civilians have treated Vietnam vets compared to American soldiers who fought in other conflicts. “It was an unpopular war, and to me, they treated us bad,” said Toll, 58, who joined the U.S. Army at 17. He volunteered to serve his country at a time when many his age were protesting the war and trying to avoid the draft. Seven years ago, Toll joined the local DAV chapter as a support group. His wife, Glenda, belongs to the group’s auxiliary, along with three grandchildren who live with them: Brittney Harbison, 16; Cody Harbison, 15; and Tylar Harbison, 14. Glenda Toll said, “We explained to (the grandchildren) that we were doing this as a family to really support Dad. They enjoy it. They’re always eager to participate” in DAV activities, which range from decorating bags that are auctioned off at conferences to dressing up like reindeer at the annual Christmas party at the Veteran’s Administration hospital and nursing home in Houston. Toll’s disability is post-traumatic stress disorder from his tour of duty in Vietnam. He often shot a machine gun as a door gunner on helicopters trying to take supplies to the infantry and pick up wounded soldiers in jungle combat zones. The lingering disorder affects his magazine • November/December 2010


marriage and home life, said Toll. “My wife has been to Vietnam as many times as I have,” he said. “You fight every day with your memories. You fight to maintain your sanity.” Glenda Toll said, “It’s a shame what happens. The previous generation -- many of them live with anger – but they suffer in silence. It makes me want to break down and cry because there’s help out there. Then, there is the new generation, I call it. At the V.A., we see some of them coming back without their limbs.” Like her husband, Glenda looks forward to Veterans Day each year. “I feel like it’s a day to put it all aside. It brings all veterans together, and all branches of the service. It is a good day to see Bud happy and be proud.” Toll attended Pearland High School before joining the Army. After coming home, he worked for the city water department where his stepmother, the late Lois Toll, was a secretary for many years. Among Toll’s relatives who remain in Pearland are his father, Walter Toll Jr., brother Jack Toll and many cousins, he said. ★

Pearland Little League All Stars’ Get Major League Fan: Jimmie Lee Solomon


By Don Maines

top executive at Major League Baseball watched this summer’s 64th Little League Baseball World Series with special interest, not only because baseball is his business, but because he hails from a small town in Fort Bend County much like Pearland. Watching Pearland Little League All Stars advance in the playoffs, Jimmie Lee Solomon swelled with pride. Major League Baseball’s Executive Vice President, Baseball Development, said, “I thought Pearland was a good team. I was pleased with their performance and think they represented Texas well.” MLB supports Little League International, both financially and with two program executives serving on its board of directors, said Solomon, a former football and track star at Lamar Consolidated High School in Rosenberg. While Solomon believes in the importance of youth sports, he also understands the importance of education, and he encourages young athletes and other students to dream big. Solomon told seniors at last spring’s Career Day at Lamar Consolidated how he grew up “in the country, a little black boy in Thompsons Bottom” off the Brazos River. “I wanted to make them understand that I had sat in the same rooms and walked the same halls as they do,” said Solomon. “It doesn’t matter how much they’ve got, they’ve got a shot. If you apply yourself, you might make it.” “My origins are the most important in the world to me,” Solomon said. His father

was a laborer, and his mother a domestic in people’s homes. He went to a segregated school until the fifth grade. It would be two years later before his family home got indoor plumbing. “Those are the things that molded me.” In sixth grade at Deaf Smith Elementary School, a white student told Solomon about the summer vacation her family had taken. I remember thinking “Wow!” He asked his mother why they didn’t take vacations. He laughed, “She said, ‘Are you out of your mind?’” Solomon’s mother brought home a set of encyclopedias and told her son, “Read every day and take a trip every day.” The books opened up whole new worlds for Solomon. When Dartmouth College tried to recruit him because of his football prowess at Lamar, Solomon knew a lot about the prestigious Ivy League University. Dartmouth’s interest in him “made me feel special,” he said. Solomon dug deep and studied hard at Dartmouth to earn a bachelor of arts with history as his major. Then with a degree from Harvard Law School, he became a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of the Baker & Hostetler law firm. For 10 years, he represented and provided counsel to a combination of corporate and sports industry clients. Solomon joined Major League Baseball in 1991 as director of minor league operations. In April 2010, Solomon helped open the Houston Astros MLB Urban Youth Academy at Sylvester Turner Park in north Houston. He calls it “a bricks and


.com • November/December 2010


Photo courtesy of Lamar Consolidated High School.

mortar extension” of a project of which he’s particularly proud, Reviving Baseball in Inner-cities (RBI). It’s a program that MLB developed to provide disadvantaged youth in urban areas an opportunity to learn and enjoy the game of baseball. Houston’s RBI program began in 1997. However, until Sylvester Turner Park opened four years ago, the community didn’t even have a baseball field. Now, it boasts a field; permanent seating for 500 fans, with space for an additional 1,800 fans; dugouts and lights; one auxiliary field; two little league/softball fields; and 1,500 square feet of office space and other facilities. In June, Solomon was named the head of baseball development, a position he described as “overseeing America’s pastime.” In August, about the same time that the Pearland Little League All Stars were advancing to South Williamsport, the RBI team from Houston defeated Los Angeles to claim the Senior Division (ages 16-18) title at the 18th RBI World Series in Jupiter, Florida. “I believe the more baseball our kids play, the better our society will be,” said Solomon. ★

High School HOT SHOT

By Linda K. Eaves

A Triple Threat

Mackenzie Mackenzie Menter starred as Belle in Beauty and the Beast.


talented actor, singer, and dancer, senior Mackenzie Menter has earned numerous awards and honors during her years at Dawson High School. Under the direction of Ms. Roxan Silva, she placed in all-region choir every year, and last year, she was an alternate to the prestigious Texas All-State Choir. She also earned top ratings for her solos at the UIL state level and especially enjoyed singing “Les Berceaux” by Fauré. In addition, Mackenzie won first place at the National Association of Teachers competition in the musical theatre division and played the title role in the flapper-era musical Thoroughly Modern Millie and starred as Belle in Beauty and the Beast. Her most memorable moment was last year when the Theatre/Choir Department held their banquet. “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi became their department song. She explained, “When the new Dawson campus opened, we only had sophomores and freshman, so we weren’t expected to make it in competition.

We actually made it to area which surprised everyone. Attending the banquet were five officers and the five original cast members of the first show Dawson High School ever did. Everyone screamed the song at the top of their lungs. We were crying and holding hands. It was a final goodbye and very special to me.” In her freshman year, Mackenzie started taking individual voice lessons with David Float during Dawson’s first musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie. To prepare for the role of Millie, she watched videos of the original Broadway cast members including Sutton Foster who starred in the musical. “I saw that she was down-to-earth and exuded confidence in herself,” said Mackenzie. “She’s extremely talented and has been the lead in tons of Broadway shows. She’s definitely my role model.” Dawson High School theatre director Tim Unroe said, “It has been great to see Mackenzie grow. On stage, she has always ‘had it.’ She has always been able to play comedy as well as drama and has gone from a great actor/singer/dancer to an out-of-thisworld performer. I truly believe that she will be successful in anything and everything she decides to do. Mackenzie is one of the kindest, smartest, and most talented kids I have ever met.” Ranking in the top ten percent of her class, Mackenzie is currently taking five AP classes out of seven. With a major in musical theatre, she plans on attending either the University of Michigan or Oklahoma City University. After college, she wants to move to New York, audition for shows and teach life skills to special needs children using her musical talent. “Mr. Unroe and Ms. Silva have boosted me and helped me realize I can actually pursue musical theatre as a career,” she said. “Be true to who you are. Don’t worry about what anybody else thinks or wants you to do,” said Mackenzie. “Do what you love.” ★

“Be true to who you are. Don’t worry about what anybody else thinks or wants you to do,” said Mackenzie. “Do what you love.” pearland

magazine • November/December 2010


Headliners continued from page 13

Is your Pre-Schooler getting ready for the NEXT level? OURS ARE! The 2010 Mastermind Class of Bright Learners Academy took the scholastic Readiness test and excelled! The Bright learners Academy will continue to prepare our students by working with academically challenging material presented in an environment designed to build self esteem and engage our students in fun filled days and activities!

Learning to Love Literacy at Bright Learners Academy Literacy is a major part of what is offered at Bright Learners Academy, and in that light, we present authors and illustrators to our children regularly. Recently, a book written by one of the owners of BLA has been published. For years, people have valued and treasured the love of Mom. Mother’s love has always been the pinnacle of affection and the base broth of a wonderful stew. Quite often when one reviews the recipe of what is special, a prime ingredient may be overlooked. Something that, for the want of it, makes the meal not the same. “Don’t forget the salt.” “Don’t forget the pepper.” “Don’t forget the …,” well, whatever makes the meal special. For the last generation, it seems we have “forgotten the salt.” Fathers make the meal special. Whether you had one, or you strive to be one, I hope at sometime in your life, you can say “Dad makes it special”. Dad’s Birthday Present, written by H. Ferebee Shephard and published by Xlibris publications, is a short family story that will make you smile, hopefully warm your heart, and perhaps give you something to remember or even more importantly, something to aim for. Please enjoy Dad’s Birthday Present and pass the sentiment if not the book on to someone for whom Dad can be special too. Everyone should have a copy of their own to read and remember with Dad. Contact Bright Learners Academy at 713436-8500 for your autographed copy in time for Christmas. Headliners continued on page 23

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By Alisa Murray www.AlisaMurray.com Nationally recognized portrait artist and award-winning columnist.

Living the Sweet Life:

Like Father like Daughter


n the way to New York City, I watched the movie, “How to Train Your Dragon.” I highly recommend it. It is a story about a boy who desperately wants to be like his father, in this case, a warrior Viking, and cannot kill a dragon. Despite this, he creates a devise to trap one and actually does trap the most feared dragon in all the land. However, when he tries to kill it he cannot and so, he discovers how to train it. He finds that everything he believed he wanted to be is false and in finding himself, he also gains the respect of his father in his own way. I’ll not spoil the details more than that but you should see it. Appropriately, I remember being a little girl, and my own father was a surgeon. He would go to the hospital and see patients. He would deliver babies and everywhere we went in our small town, be it school, church or shopping, we never left without seeing someone he knew. I was very proud to be his daughter, and when the time came to go to school and learn stuff, I was pretty disappointed to discover that I really did not do well in math and science, and further, would get very sick and light-headed at the sight of blood. Despite this, I pursued other things and as all children do, sought his unwavering approval. The year my father died, I was pregnant with James Edward, and although I had started the studio, I had not gained the success in my photography that I enjoy today. I had not been featured on television nor had I created the Art and Medicine projects for breast cancer and childhood cancers. I had pretty much just begun, and he never saw these things with me. Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital named a Labor and Delivery room after me recently. I cut blue and pink ribbons draping over a doorway to the largest room on the floor. They handed me surgical scissors just like the ones my Daddy had used to cut umbilical cords with. It was a joyous moment, and a very pearland

Alisa, along with her children Victoria Ann and James Edward, cuts the ribbon on the Alisa Murray Labor and Delivery Room at Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital.

enlightening one as well. I had finally “made it” in my own mind. The approval of those at that hospital of my work as an artist to name something after me that after I die will still be named after me was a very big deal. Bigger still the fact that I have made it my own life’s work to create and capture newborns and pregnant women, and I was being honored in such a way that was poignant and touching and meant a lot to me. I was reminded of two things. How I had tried to gain my daddy’s approval all those years, and after making the choice to do what I love and not what I could do to make the most money had paid off. I had found a way to do almost the same thing. Who I am is legitimate and similar to him except I did not have to get into medical school or see blood (ick) or have to pay malpractice insurance (I’m laughing)! Many people who have interviewed me over the years have drawn similarities to my choices of my subjects in my work and to the fact that my father was an OBGYN. I saw the similarities mostly as coincidental, but now, I am not so sure.... it pays to turn 40! Lot’s of reflection..... blah blah blah..... It is cool though, I must admit and yes, of course Daddy had influence. What parent cannot have influence on their children? magazine • November/December 2010


The second, and probably most telling, was while I was at the reception, I began referencing a special plaque that hangs in the lobby at Carolina Medical Center in Monroe, North Carolina. There, in the small hallway, is a tribute to a man who gave his entire life to delivering babies in Union County. It is small, and unless you are passing down that hall, you would never even know it is there. It was not given until after he died and only his children could attend the ceremony. Want to guess who was honored on that plaque? Yep, my Daddy. It goes without saying that I know he’s proud of me, and while I am still here, I wanted to let you know how blessed I am to be honored by such a lovely hospital and how proud I am of a sweet little OBGYN now looking down on me from heaven. Take Care of You!

Headliners continued from page 21

Rite Passage

New City Facility Receives Architectural Award The City of Pearland has been notified by architecture firm PBK that the City’s recently opened Recreation Center and Natatorium is Texas Construction magazine’s “Best of 2010” category winner for ‘Best Sports/Recreation Facilities’ in Texas and Oklahoma. Out of a field of 180 applicants, the facility was one of 65 to receive an award. The Recreation Center and Natatorium is a 107,000 square-foot facility that opened August 7 of this year, and is located at 4141 Bailey Road. For additional information regarding the facility and/or for membership details, please contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 281-4128900.

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Headliners continued from page 23

Tweenage Dream While Katy Perry is singing Teenage Dream, Houston Texas author Kerry Sparks is writing her tweenage dream. “I’ve been writing stories since I was eight years old. This is what I do,” said Sparks. “The people of Pearland have really been accepting to what I do, and I’m enjoying what I do and encouraging tween girls in Pearland to not only read but follow their dreams.” Kerry Sparks hosts book signings at the Pearland Farmer’s Market every second and fourth Saturday of the month. This month, she will be signing copies of her tween series Get Frosted November 13th from 9 am to 1 pm at the Pearland Farmer’s Market and also November 6th at the Pearland Community Garage Sale/Arts and Crafts sale from 8 am to 2 pm on Bailey Rd. in Pearland. Kerry Sparks, 31, quit sending her manuscripts out to mainstream publishers after her 200th rejection letter. She self-published her first tween novel, Dimples, a collection of short stories for girls in 2002. Her second tween novel, Frost Bites, is receiving rave reviews from young girls across America. “I’ve gotten some really positive feedback from tween girls. I would have giv-


en up if it hadn’t been for all the compliments from the girls and their parents,” said Sparks, a former substitute teacher and professional nanny for the hotels on the Las Vegas strip.

magazine • November/December 2010


The response was so overwhelmingly positive that Kerry Sparks just released the sequel to Frost Bites entitled Jen and the Frosted Friends. Sparks plans on releasing the third book of her Get Frosted series sometime next year. The series starts with Frost Bites and the teacher is a mean, old woman named Mrs. Frost who has her eye on fourth grader Jennifer Logan. Will she make it to the fifth grade? Well, she does because enter the sequel Jen and the Frosted Friends. In this book, Mrs. Frost comes back as the evil substitute for Jen’s nice fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Fern. Jen and her friends have all kinds of new adventures and troubles with Mrs. Frost. “I’m having fun with it. So maybe I didn’t go to Yale. So I’m not a big time celebrity. But I know that I can write a good, fun and positive book for girls to enjoy, and I’m living my dream. I want girls to have positive role models. I don’t want young girls to think they have to do drugs or go to jail to get attention.” said Sparks. Books by Kerry Sparks can be found on most major bookstore websites, and readers can become a fan on Facebook. com by searching Kerry Sparks Fans.


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Edible Arrangements, the leading purveyor of artistically designed fresh fruit arrangements, announces delectable additions to their beloved fruit bouquets, perfect for holiday entertaining, gift giving and those guilt-free self indulgences: Delicious Fruit Design in a snowman keepsake, Delicious Party with Edible Numbers and the Star of David Celebration. Delicious Fruit Design in a snowman keepsake: A delicious fruit bouquet filled with pineapple daisies, strawberries, grapes, cantaloupe, and honeydew in a keepsake snowman container. Delicious Party with Edible Numbers: A beautiful display of festive fruits including pineapple daisies, strawberries, grapes, cantaloupe and honeydew. For a festive touch, add Edible Numbers which can be purchased by individual numbers or year banners and can be added to a variety of fresh fruit bouquets. Star of David Celebration: A delicious design filled with pineapples sculpted into the Star of David, strawberries, grapes, cantaloupe and honeydew. Overflowing with fresh fruit, this bouquet is a delicious addition to holiday festivities. For more great gift an entertaining ideas and seasonal tips, be sure to pick up the Edible Arrangements holiday guide at 8401 Broadway, Pearland or online at EdibleArrangements.com/holiday. Each Edible Arrangements’ artistic fruit arrangement is made to order to assure freshness; no sweeteners or preservatives are ever used. The unique fruit bouquets are a beautiful, delicious and health-conscious way to say you care about family, friends and colleagues. Edible Arrangements’ bouquets can be ordered in-store at 8401 Broadway, online at www.ediblearrangements.com or by phone at 281-997-1414.

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magazine • November/December 2010


…Got Beef’s? Family friendly restaurant offers food, fun and sports here in Pearland

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s is a place where families and friends can get together to enjoy a great meal, comfortable atmosphere and catch the game on one of the restaurant’s 27 televisions. Beef’s, as the regulars come to call it, offers an ample menu selection varying from wraps, burgers and specialty sandwiches to ribs and entrée style salads. The kid’s menu offers 9 different options and their wings are always a favorite! Inside the restaurant, guests will find a game room, a party room and televisions in individual booths. The friendly staff is ready to make each visit a memorable experience. At Beef’s, parents can relax while watching their favorite sporting events, enjoy a beer or glass of wine and feel secure that their children are safe and having as much fun as they are! Beef ‘O’ Brady’s is involved with many different academic and athletic programs in the area and supports the growth of our local youth through a variety of sponsorships and fundraising efforts. Action shots of kid’s in the community dot the walls and new photos from guests of their children’s sports endeavors are always welcome. Beef ‘O’ Brady’s is located at 6200 W. Broadway (FM 518) near the Harkey/ O’ Day Rd. intersection. The restaurant is open 7 days a week 11 am – 11 pm. Call for directions or to place a to-go order at (281) 485-8877. See ya at Beef’s!


Pearland Florist

Pearland Florist Nothing makes your house a home for the holidays like beautiful, fresh flowers. Forget the turkey or bringing another dessert. Delight your family and friends with a magnificent centerpiece or floral arrangement by Pearland Florist. Offering both traditional and modern arrangements and plants, Pearland Florist provides a way to show appreciation for others that’s sure to put a smile on anyone’s face. Can’t visit loved ones in person? Pearland Florist can deliver fresh flowers locally and nationwide! Established in 1972 by certified Texas Master Florist Jan Hall, Pearland Florist has continued to grow with the city and remains “The Friendly Florist” in town, providing specialty services that can’t be accommodated by other florists. These specialty services and products include tropical plants and flowers, silk arrangements, dried floral arrangements, gourmet and fruit baskets, greeting cards and candles. Pearland Florist is truly Pearland’s one-stop-shop florist! As a member of FTD, Telaflora and 1-800-Flowers, Pearland Florist allows customers to quickly and easily view bouquets and arrangements online or call a toll-free number to speak to a friendly, helpful staff member that will answer questions and help make the perfect choice for any need. From suprising that special someone to delighting a holiday host, Pearland Florist can craft an arrangement that will create an inviting atmosphere for any home. Visit Pearland Florist at their new location, 2411 South Grand Street from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday or 9:00 am to 12 pm on Saturdays. For more information or to order your holiday arrangement, call 281485-2766 or 1-800-828-1976 or visit www.pearlandflorist.com.

Your Friendly Florist • One stop shop for all of your holiday arrangement & centerpiece needs • Local & nationwide delivery • Hundreds of arrangements to choose from • Easy orderingonline or over the phone


www.pearlandflorist.com 2411 South Grand Pearland, TX 77581

Family Sports Restaurant Tuesdays

Kids Eat FREE*

Party Room • Game Room Catering • Carryout Happy Hour

Buy One Entree, Get One FREE with purchase of 2 drinks

Second entree of equal or lesser value. Maximum value of $7, tax and gratuity not included. Not valid with any other offer. Expires 12/31/2010


6002 W. Broadway, Pearland www.pearland

.com • November/December 2010




Four Friends

Sakura Japanese Steak House Offers Fun Filled Entertainment and the Freshest Sushi

TEA ROOM & Gift Shop

Lunch • Afternoon Tea • Private Parties Murder Mystery Dinner Parties • Gifts Monday - Saturday 11 am - 3 pm


3816 E. Broadway, Pearland, TX www.fourfriendstearoom.com fourfriendstea@aol.com

Enjoy a high-energy, unique dining experience at Sakura Japanese Steak House. Featuring healthy, authentic Japanese dishes and a wide variety of brilliantly decorated sushi platters, Sakura is the perfect place for a memorable dining experience for both your eyes and taste buds. The ambiance and intimate feel of the restaurant is evident the minute you walk into the doors. Whether you are looking for a high-energy family friendly hibachi adventure or a more intimate dining feel, Sakura will deliver quality and freshness. Expert chefs greet guests with a cart of the finest and freshest steak, chicken and seafood to be prepared at your table right before your eyes! This is truly a oneof-a-kind experience as the chef provides unforgettable entertainment and ensures that everyone’s meal is served hot and fresh. If a quainter sushi experience is more of what you are looking for, you can sample a wide variety of the freshest sushi and sashimi, traditional udon noodles, tempura and much more from the elegant table and bar area. A competitively priced menu, with complete meals starting under $10 for lunch makes Sakura the perfect place for your next dining adventure. Enjoy lunch specials from 11 am to 3 pm and happy hour from 3 pm to 7 pm on weekdays. Sakura is open 7 days a week for both lunch and dinner. For more information, visit www.sakurapearland.com, call 713-340-1882 or just stop in at 2810 Business Center Drive, Suite 124, Pearland.

Traditional Japanese dishes prepared at your table by an expert chef

Happy Hour

$1 Sushi & $2 Domestic Beer Monday - Friday 3 - 7 pm

Lunch Special

Lunch Hibachi or Bento Starting at $7.95 11 am - 3 pm

Party Room Available

$5 OFF

any purchase of $25 or more

Excludes alcohol. One coupon per group per visit. Expires 02/28/2011

Hibachi Lunch and Dinner

2810 Business Center Drive, Suite 124 • 713.340.1882 • www.sakurapearland.com Advertorial


magazine • November/December 2010


Holiday Lighting Kick your feet up this holiday season and avoid the hassle of decorating your home with Christmas lights by calling Holiday Lighting! Family owned and operated, Holiday Lighting has been providing the Pearland area, including Shadow Creek Ranch, Silver Lake and Pearland Town Square, with both installation and removal of holiday lights for over 15 years. For custom lighting, call Sean at 281-903-6090. If you like to get your decorations done early, ask Holiday Lighting about their special early bird discount. Need more than lights? Holiday Lighting also provides customers with custom bows and wreaths handmade by Charli. Call Charli at 832-443-9556. And after Christmas, remember us for all of your landscaping needs including custom flowerbeds and cold weather tolerant palm trees. After January, call Palms Plus at 281-903-6090.

We specialize in cold weather tolerant Palms. Don’t be fooled into buying the same Palms. Do it right the first time. For all your landscaping needs, custom creations of flowerbeds as well as flag stone borders, patios & patio covers. Feel free to check out our work at Gringo’s in Pearland Town Center and stop in for the best Fajita’s in town...

See Holiday Lighting Ad on page 27



Special Features Women In Business Rejuvenation/Wellness Private Schools/Day Cares Wedding

Guadalupe Riverfront

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide TO ADVERTISE, CALL: 281-690-4242 www.pearlandfocus.com

DUPLEX for the Holidays

Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Years off-season rates $595 / 7 nights or less More pictures at www.RioRatonDuplex.com 832-788-2294 www.pearland

.com • November/December 2010




ri Fridge F



Community Calendar

November/December 2010

✩ ✩ NOVEMBER ✩ ✩ 2nd & 4th TUESDAY & THURSDAY, 8 AM-4 PM LIFE LINE SCREENINGS Life Line Screenings will be preforming preventative health screenings at Memorial Hermann Southeast. Patients can register by calling 1-800-690-0289. Contact Kim at KHadaway@llsa.com 6th SATURDAY, 8 AM - 2 PM COMMUNITY GARAGE AND ARTS & CRAFT SALE It’s time to clean out your garage, attic, and closets or gather your homemade arts and crafts projects and join Pearland’s Community Garage Sale/ Arts & Crafts Sale! Come to sell or come to shop! The event will be held at the Bailey Campus Parking Lot (4717 Bailey Road). Come shop ‘til you drop! Visit www.pearlandparks.com. 12th & 13th FRIDAY, 10 AM - 8 PM SATURDAY, 10 AM - 3 PM 37TH ANNUAL GIFT ALLEY Gift Alley will feature over 100 vendors with various and unique merchandise. Patrons can enjoy a silent auction, children’s activities, music and entertainment. First United Methodist Church Pearland is located at 2314 Grand Blvd. in Pearland. Visit www.fumcpearland.org. 13th SATURDAY, 9 AM - 1 PM BOOK SIGNING AT PEARLAND FARMERS MARKET Local author Kerry Sparks will be signing copies of her tween series, Get Frosted, at the Pearland Farmers Market held at Zylinski Park, 2243 Grand Blvd in Pearland. PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Events, schedules and information may change without notice. Please refer to the event’s contact person or check the event’s website for more information.

10th-12th & 16th-23rd WEEKENDS, 6:30 PM-10 PM CHRISTMAS TRAIN Take an old-fashioned train ride through a winter wonderland. Enjoy Christmas displays, nativity scene and hundreds of thousands of lights. Visit www.thechristmastrain.org Bring your kids and participate in the Kid Fish Fest at Bass Pro Shops on Saturday, November 13th. 13th SATURDAY, 9 AM - 1 PM KID FISH FEST The City of Pearland’s Parks and Recreation Department is sponsoring the annual Kid Fish Fest at Bass Pro Shops, 1000 Bass Pro Drive in Pearland. Bring your children ages 3 to 16 and enjoy fishing activities. Fishing poles will be provided while supplies last, or you can bring your own. Visit www.pearlandparks.com. 13th SATURDAY, 10 AM - 2 PM PRIMROSE SCHOOL OF PEARLAND PARKWAY OPEN HOUSE Located at 2240 Pearland Pkwy. Call 281-997-8855.

14th & 15th TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY, 8 AM - 4 PM LIFE LINE SCREENINGS Life Line Screenings will be preforming preventative health screenings at Memorial Hermann Southeast. Patients can register by calling 1-800-690-0289. Contact Kim at KHadaway@llsa.com. 25th SATURDAY MERRY CHRISTMAS





For more events, see Pearland’s 12 Days of Christmas on pages 36 and 37. Check our website, www.pearlandfocus.com, for additional events and updates. pearland

magazine • November/December 2010


Focus on Worship Living Stones Church Each Christmas season, Living Stones Church features their extremely popular Christmas Train. Starting December 10th and spanning over two weekends, this unique train ride is an experience fit for the whole family. Patrons can take the twelve-minute, oldfashioned train ride through a winter wonderland adorned with hundreds of thousands of lights and a nativity scene. Tickets for the train ride are sold the day of the ride and are not available for presale or reservation. Children under the age of 2 ride for free and those aged 3 to 11 cost only $2. Adults may purchase tickets for $4 each. Apart from their Christmas celebrations, which include Christmas Eve services, Living Stones Church offers a sanctuary for people of all walks of life. Beyond the traditional Sunday services, Living Stones’ ministries, bible studies and events are open to anyone who would like to join. They have something for every age and walk of life. Their ministries, ranging from early childhood through fifties plus, provide sanctuary for everyone in the community. It is the church’s mission for all ages to “feel the love and grace of God through the hard work and dedication of [their] heart-filled outreaches.” Join Living Stones Church every Sunday and Wednesday for service at their home, 1407 Victory Lane, Alvin, TX 77511. For more information on the train ride, visit www. thechristmastrain.com or call 281388-2267. For general questions about the church or its services, call 281-331-9517. www.pearland

Embrace the Spirit this season as you celebrate the miracle of His birth with us!

.com • November/December 2010


Focus on Worship Eagle Heights Christian Academy Faith In Action outreach program is designed by Eagle Heights Christian Academy (EHCA) to provide students with a hands-on opportunity. Their mission is to share God’s love and blessings with those around them. This year’s Faith In Action is excited to announce the “Blessings Beyond Borders” project. EHCA students are preparing 150 Christmas boxes for orphans and staff at the First Baptist Church, Pearland Orphanage in Kenya, located in a village outside of Homa Bay, Kenya. They are proud to continue to build on the foundation instilled in the students and allow them the opportunity to share God’s love across the world. Eagle Heights Christian Academy, a ministry of First Baptist Church, Pearland, seeks to provide a quality educational experience from Biblical worldview through a comprehensive academic curriculum that stresses both spiritual and academic growth.

Eagle Heights embraces a mission to guide each student toward a deeper relationship with our Lord, to radiate His compassion toward others, and to develop servant-lead qualities in their future vocations. As partners with parents, Eagle Heights takes seriously their responsibility to mold and equip each student with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for them to reach their highest potential. First Baptist Church, Pearland is a church with a desire to see people become fully devoted followers of Christ and offers: • Relevant messages • Dynamic worship • Programs for all ages Dr. Sonny Foraker, Senior Pastor has been with FBCP since April 2000 and welcomes everyone to one of their gatherings, Sundays at 10:30 am and Wednesdays at 6:30 pm.

Eagle Heights Christian Academy A Ministry of First Baptist Church Pearland

MDO through High School

281-485-6330 www.eagle-heights.org 3005 Pearland Parkway • Pearland, TX 77581 pearland

magazine • November/December 2010


Focus on Worship New Life Church

Heritage Baptist Church a place to call home Schedule of Services SUNDAY Sunday School................. 9:30am Sunday AM Worship ..... 10:45am Bible Classes ................... 6:05 pm Sunday PM Worship ..... 7:00 pm

NO FAIRY TALE HERE! Not too cold. Not too hot. Just right! You know the story - “Goldilocks and The Three Bears.” Life gets messy. Sometimes there is even a happy ending. Sometimes not. Lions and tigers and bears, wicked old witches and scarecrows and tin men and a girl who got lost and wanted to go home. You know the story. Life can become all twisted and we find ourselves in places we do not want to be. Someone might even want to help and their help is not enough. Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall because he was indecisive and it caused him a certain kind of brokenness. And all the king’s men and their horses couldn’t do what Humpty could do all by himself. At New Life Church, we believe that life is full of choices and the quality of our lives is not determined by the things that happen to us but, rather, by our response to those things and our faith in Jesus as Lord. This is no fairy tale. We are a church with real people who often have real problems and trust in a real God who walks with us while we walk with one another. New Life! Not too big. Not too small. Just right. Come and see. You decide... as Jesus gives new life. The doors of our church are open to you each Sunday @ 8:00 am and 10:30 am and especially at Christmas. Join us on December 24th at 4:00 PM, 7:00 PM or 11:00 PM. Open doors to you and to all. What else would you expect from a religion that was born in a barn!


WEDNESDAY Bible Study...................... 7:00pm Awana Bible Clubs .......... 7:00pm

www.newlifelutheran.com Dr. Charles A. Murphy, Sr. Pastor


281-403-4994 www.hbctx.org


2223 FM 1092 Missouri City, Texas 77459 www.pearland

.com • November/December 2010





Pearland’s 12 Days of Christmas On the first day of Christmas, come one, come all to drop off your letter to Santa at one of three area locations. These special mailboxes require no postage and Santa’s helpers will pick up letters each day to deliver them straight to the North Pole! Make sure, of course, that you include your return address. Letters will be picked up from the Pearland Community Center, Westside Event Center and Pearland Public Library from December 1st through the 17th. If you prefer, Santa can be reached via e-mail at santaclaus@ci.pearland.tx.us.


On the second day of Christmas, feel the Christmas spirit come alive as Pearland Parks and Recreation and Pearland Town Center host the Annual Hometown Christmas Festival and Tree Lighting Ceremony. On Friday, December 3, Mayor Reid and Santa Claus will light up the sky as they plug in the City’s Christmas Tree at the annual Tree Lighting ceremony. A live band will perform and many activities will be on hand for the whole family including 30,000 pounds of snow and a sledding hill! Enjoy this exciting festival from December 3rd through 5th which features live music, great food and more! For information, visit www.pearlandtowncenter.com.

On the third day of Christmas, join the excitement as the City of Pearland hosts the 29th Annual Lighted Christmas Parade themed “A Hawaiian Christmas.” Held on December 4th, the parade will begin at 5:30 pm and feature dozens of floats decked out in lights and holiday decorations. This parade boasts performances by drill teams, classic cars, company floats and community folks! The parade will travel west on FM 518 from Pearland Parkway to Old Alvin Road. For more information, call 281-412-8900. pearland



On the fourth day of Christmas, bring the family and join the Pearland Reindeer Run 5K Fun Run and Walk hosted by the Pearland Town Center Gift Market. Meet at the Pearland Town Center Mall for the start of the race at 9 am. After the race, age group awards, a costume contest and prize drawings will take place! The fee to race prior to December 4th is only $15 (plus one new, unwrapped toy) and increases to $20 thereafter. To register for the race or for more information, visit www.pearlandtowncenter.com and click on the “Sales and Events” tab.

On the fifth day of Christmas, bring your friends and neighbors to the Old Town Christmas On Broadway Shopping Event presented by The Lunch-n-Learn Ladies. Held December 5th from 1 pm to 5 pm, this event features local vendors with a variety of gift items, a tea sampling and more. Come to the Four Friends Tea Room and Gift Shop located at 3816 E. Broadway in Pearland and get ready to shop!

On the sixth day of Christmas, cheer on the City of Pearland’s Police and Fire Departments as they compete on Sunday, December 7th in the 16th Annual Toys for Tots Basketball Tournament at Pearland High School, 3775 S Main Street. Get in to the game by bringing one new, unwrapped toy and watch the Pearland Police and Fire, Baytown Police and League City Police departments play in a four team, three game tournament. Attendees will also have a chance to win up to $500 if they are selected for a 3-point shooting contest. Toys collected from the event will be distributed to needy families in the area.

magazine • November/December 2010


Pearland’s 12 Days of Christmas




On the seventh day of Christmas, join the Pearland Chamber of Commerce on Sunday, December 7th from 5:30 to 7pm for the Soup Kitchen at Pearland Neighborhood Center, 2335 Texas Avenue. Contact the Pearland Neighborhood Center for more information at 281-485-1987 or by visiting www.pnctexas.com.

On the eighth day of Christmas, view over hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights while riding an old-fashioned train! Held at Victory Camp, 1407 Victory Lane in Alvin, the Christmas Train also features a nativity scene and other holiday festivities including photos with Santa. The train runs in 15 minutes intervals and tickets are available 10 minutes prior to the first train departure (at 6 pm) and are not available for reservation or pre-sale. The train will run until 10 pm nightly from December 10th-12th and 16th-23rd. The cost is $2 for children ages 3 -11. $4 for adults 12 and up and children under 2 ride for free. Visit www.thechristmastrain.org or call 281-388-2267 for information.

On the ninth day of Christmas, bring your children ages 3 to 6 to spend the morning eating breakfast with Santa! Enjoy juice and treats while making crafts and listening to holiday music. It’s an event your child will not want to miss. This event will be held at the Melvin Knapp Senior Center, 2424 South Park Dr., from 9 am to 10:30 am on Saturday, December 11th. Parent participation and preregistration is required. Don’t forget to bring your camera. For more information, call 281-652-1807.




On the tenth day of Christmas, join Keep Pearland Beautiful as they host the 17th Annual Tour de Lites Bike Ride at Independence Park, 3919 Liberty Drive. Held Saturday, December 11th, this casual 1.5 hour recreational ride to view the Christmas lights of Green Tee Subdivision is fit for the whole family. There will be a “Bike Decorating Contest” at 6:30 pm before the ride begins at 7 pm. Tickets are $15, which includes a t-shirt. Additional family members can ride for $5 each. Tickets purchased on site the evening of will be $25. For more details, call 281-652-1659 or visit www. keeppearlandbeautiful.org.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, put on your bathing suit and come to the Pearland Recreation Center and Natatorium for a Christmas “Dive-In” Movie from 6 to 9 pm. Held on Saturday, December 18th, this is a festive and fun night out for the family! A Christmas Story will be showing and you can watch the movie from the comfort of your seat or from Pearland’s incredible new indoor swimming pool! Preregistration is required. For information or to register, call 281-412-8999. The Recreation Center & Natatorium is located at 4141 Bailey Rd. in Pearland.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, join in fellowship the First Baptist Church of Pearland for their annual Christmas Eve Candle Light Service and Lord’s Supper. At 6:30 pm on Christmas Eve, December 24th, First Baptist Church of Pearland will begin the festivities with Christmas songs and conclude with the lighting of Christmas candles and a prayer. Invite your friends and bring your loved ones for an evening to rejoice and celebrate the birth of Jesus. First Baptist Church of Pearland is located at 3005 Pearland Parkway. For more information, call 281-412-9292.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Events, schedules and information may change without notice. Please refer to the event’s contact person or check the event’s website for more information.


on the


Go to www.PearlandFocus.com Pictures are available online for this month only, download now. Compliments of PEARLAND FOCUS.

Pearland Chamber of Commerce’s

2010 Golf Classic Thursday, September 16 • Golfcrest Country Club

Lindsey Vicini, Carly New & Terri Divine

Amy Mallett & Marla Schultz

Noel Pugh, Mimi Gutierrez & Karen Lowery

Arthur Guzman, Cody Presswood & Chris Gonzalez

Julianne Levine & Donna Coneley

Donna Rizzo, Bill Sloan & Sarah Ferguson

Michael Goodnight, Daniel Bustos, Travis Tully & Amanda Winson

Lindsey Vicini, Donna Behanna, Terri Divine & Steve Friedman

Todd Harvey & Charles Kozel

Stan Ludwick & Dave Robins

Amanda Winson & Daniel Bustos

Chris Wallace & William Kankel

Mona Chavarria & K’Nicole Ogg

April Lambert & Johanna McWilliams

Rushi Patel & Felicia Kyle

Woody Owens, Glen Houston & Bill Staples

Adriane Croft, Blaire Pancake & Erin Cureton

Johnson Development Corporation’s new water-oriented community in Webster – Edgewater – features a marina designed to accommodate powerboats as large as 50 feet. Amenities planned for the marina include a restaurant, a ship’s store, an open space park with a covered pavilion and a promenade along the shoreline.



he cork was popped on the focal point of Johnson Development Corporation’s newest Bay Area community – the Edgewater marina. The official popping, along with a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the completion of the basin, was held on Wednesday, September 29th hosted by the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce and Edgewater. The Chamber issued a proclamation declaring September 29th, 2010 Edgewater Day, and community leaders, Realtors, and representatives from Johnson Development Corporation were on hand to celebrate the filling of the basin and to pop the cork on the remaining marina project. “Today marks the first step to bringing the Edgewater marina to life,” said Bob Douglas, Edgewater’s General Manager of the year-long project of building and filling the marina basin. “The marina will be home to up to 50 boat slips, a restaurant accessible by water, ship store, splash center and promenade making Edgewater the perfect community for boating and water enthusiasts to live and dock their boats.” The marina, designed to accommodate powerboats as large as 50 feet, offers convenient access to Clear Lake, Galveston Bay, and the Gulf of Mexico, and serves as a gateway to daylong or extended cruises thus reducing boat owners commute on every trip to their boat – a commute that can be reduced even further by owning a home in the water-oriented community. “Boat owners are intrigued by Edgewater’s location,” said Douglas, who met with several area boat owners to provide important feedback on the community and marina. “Many boaters come down from Houston to their boats on Friday night, spend the weekend in the cabin and leave on Monday morning having never moved

their boat. So, having a slip that is located 15 to 20 minutes closer to Houston is an important factor.” Edgewater is conveniently located off of Interstate 45 South and the NASA Parkway Bypass. The Bypass provides residents and boat owners with direct, uninterrupted access to and from the Master-Planned Community. Edgewater General Manager Bob Douglas pops the cork on the focal point With prices from the of Johnson Development Corporation’s newest Bay Area community – the $250,000’s, models are now Edgewater marina – at a ceremony on September 29th. open by Coventry Homes and Newmark Homes in Edgewater, and venience,” said Rick Wade, RE/MAX Asearly sales are a success. Both builders sociates in League City. “Much of the Bay offer a dozen design options in EdgewaArea is built out with nothing new. Edgeter to complement the unique setting of water is a new community by Johnson the waterfront community, and the City Development, and they have a reputation of Webster is excited about new residenfor excellence in Master-Planned Commutial opportunities in their city. “We are nities. This is a big day for the Bay Area.” extremely excited about Edgewater,” said Because of its water features, EdgewaBeverly Gaines, Webster City Council ter is a unique community that Realtor Member and Mayor Pro-Tem. “This deBeverly Smith, Keller Williams Realty, velopment offers affordable, high-quality feels will be especially appealing to boatresidential opportunities that will provide ing enthusiasts. “Boating enthusiasts a substantial residential base for Webster will love this small, boutique community by bringing in more people to our area.” focused on a water lifestyle. The commuWebster Mayor Floyd Myers apprenity is so upscale with high-end homes at ciates the partnership with Edgewater extremely attractive price points.” and the City of Webster. “We’re glad to Edgewater, is a mixed-use, Masterhave Edgewater here. The progress they Planned Community along Clear Creek have made in just one short year has been on 538 acres in Webster, Texas. The comamazing. Working together, we can both munity will feature upscale single-family achieve success for Webster and its resihomes, private canals and a town center dents.” with retail, commercial and residential Area Realtors share the City’s enthucomponents. Located on the NASA Parksiasm for Edgewater citing the easy acway Bypass, the community is a short cess and convenience as a major selling drive from metropolitan services and point to potential homeowners. “Whether employment, shopping, dining and recyou’re accessing the community by land reational centers. For more information, or by water, Edgewater is all about convisit www.edgewaterwebster.com.


.com • November/December 2010



on the


Go to www.PearlandFocus.com Pictures are available online for this month only, download now. Compliments of PEARLAND FOCUS.

Keep Pearland Beautiful

Plant Thyme Fall Luncheon Friday, October 8 • Pearland Community Center The citizens of Pearland again showed their support of environmental programs by attending the 6th Annual Plant Thyme Fall Luncheon on October 8, 2010. Keep Pearland Beautiful is very grateful to the 165 folks who attended. Board member Laura Austin was in charge of the silent auction and did a fabulous job of acquiring 67 auction items that sold for $3,500. JoAnne Knodel-Miller served as the Fund Development Chair, and she and her committee worked tirelessly to make the luncheon a great success. The sixteen celebrity waiters helped the professional staff at Casa Ole` serve a delicious meal. For five years, Casa Ole` owner Corkey Turner has underwritten the cost of the meal for the luncheon. Thank you Corky and

Casa Ole` staff for being a generous corporate sponsor to all in the Pearland community. A special thanks to all of the corporate and individual donors whose cash contributions totaled over $8,000, the silent auction donors, the celebrity waiters and guests who attended and purchased tickets, auction items, raffle tickets and plants. The Plant Thyme Fall Luncheon and plant sale raised $15,000 for the future Nature Center and Keep Pearland Beautiful programs. For more information about KPB, please contact Linda Cowles at cowles@mykpb.org or 281-652-1659.

Pam Hokanson, Barbara Mercer & Sally Mercer

Celebrity Waiters

Denise Camp, Richard Stamper & Buck Stevens

Corkey Turner & Delores Fenwick

Virgil Gant & David Watson

Jennifer Shaffer, Amanda Winson & Lisa Burke Johnson

Lucile Galey & Susan Newton

Judge Gordon & Linda Starkenburg

Linda Cowles, Fay Watson & Alisa Carter

Marylee Olson & Rita Kirkpatrick

Janet Eastburn & Helen Beckman

Mike Cashiola, Almeda Barube, Patsy Ramirez, Anna Bryant & Delores Fenwick pearland

Estelle Utsey & June Jackson

magazine • November/December 2010


Andrew & Kelly Miller

Cool Season Gardening By Brent Moon, Horticulturist

Radishes Cabbage


s I was sitting out on my patio this morning enjoying a nice cup of coffee, several crows were out flying around the neighborhood, cawing as if to announce fall’s arrival, and it was cool enough to see the steam rising off of my coffee. I was thinking about how much I enjoy this time of year. We’re over the hump as far has the heat goes. Oh sure, we’ll still have some warm days but nothing unbearable. As the heat of summer gives way to cool, crisp nights and moderately warm days, it is time to slow down and enjoy your time outdoors a bit more. If you’re a gardener, this is a great time of year to spend some time in your vegetable garden without sweating profusely and swatting mosquitoes every other second! Here along the Gulf Coast of Texas, we are blessed with a moderate winter, and now is the prime time to get your winter garden growing. You can grow a plethora of cool season vegetables here in our area. Some to consider are lettuce, cabbage, radish, beets, carrots, Swiss chards, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, bok choi, kohlrabi, mustard greens, kale, collard greens, and spinach to name a few. The ideal time to get your winter garden started is the last few days of September to early October; however, anytime the weather is cool will work for the aforementioned vegetables, so November is still a good time to get your cool season garden going. Add some compost to you garden, till it in lightly and get to planting. You’ll have an amazing harvest a few weeks down the road!

Osteospermum If flowers are your thing, now is a great time to add some color to your landscape or containers. Flowers that enjoy the cooler weather include snapdragons, dianthus, calendulas, stock, violas, pansies, ornamental kale, ornamental cabbage, and alyssum. If you can protect them somewhat, begonias, petunias, Osteospermum, and lobelia can also take some cool weather. Plant some of these easy annuals in your landscape, give them a little fertilizer, and they’ll reward you with blooms all winter long! Fall is also the ideal time to establish new trees and shrubs. There are multiple reasons why this is so. Woody ornamentals go dormant as the weather cools; however, here in Southeast Texas, the weather still stays warm enough for root growth throughout winter. Why is this important? Trees or shrubs planted now will be able to spend the rest of the fall and winter establishing a good root system before the heat of summer arrives next year and puts a huge demand on the plant for water. Trees and shrubs planted now will be much better prepared to deal with the onslaught of summer heat and drought than their spring-planted counterparts. That being said, adequate water for the


.com • November/December 2010


first couple of years of your new tree or shrub’s life is still very important. You should always be sure to water deeply in times of drought for the first two years after planting your new tree. Notice I mentioned watering deeply. Infrequent, deep waterings are much more beneficial than light, frequent watering. Watering deeply and infrequently forces the plants to develop a deep, extensive root system as the roots search for water; whereas frequent, shallow watering will cause the plant’s root system will be shallow and weak. A plant with an extensive root system will be much better prepared to survive during times of drought. It will also be less prone to failure during windy conditions. While we’re discussing cool season topics, be prepared to protect your tender plants later this winter. When freezing or near-freezing weather threatens, one of the best things you can do if you can’t move your plants in for the night is to wrap them with some type of breathable fabric. Many nurseries sell a product called freeze or frost cloth. It is white, lightweight and will protect your plants from a light frost. Simply drape it over your plants and secure it with a few bricks, clothes pins, or sod staples to keep it from blowing away with the wind that often accompanies cold fronts. Old bed sheets or burlap will also work. It is very important not to use plastic or, if you do, that you remove it before the sun hits it in the morning. The plastic will act like a greenhouse and, if left on too long, can actually cook your plants when the sun’s rays penetrate the plastic and overheat the air inside. A few cold nights are inevitable here in Pearland so get prepared now, and you’ll be good to go when those nights arrive.

Brent Moon has a Bachelor’s Degree in Horticulture from Murray State University. He has over 15 years of experience in the field of horticulture and is available for private horticultural consultations. Contact him at hortconsultant1@yahoo.com. H

By Nick Nicholson

Matthew Carter stars as Jasper Hawkins.

Irma Mae and Reverend Bell.

Local Filmmaker’s Debut Showcases Suburbs of Southeast Texas … Including Pearland lives in a world with only one set of rules: his own. When Jasper hitches a ride with Joseph Iblis, a salesman offering “the future,” he will be forced to face his darkest demons and discover that evil can sometimes take a different route. With a talented cast that includes Matthew Carter, Greg Dean and Liz na McCain, Slaten stacked the or Lu Photo by Hect . deck in terms of his creation aten ctor Wayne Sl Backroad dire of an award-winning product. I recently had the opportunity to discuss the motivation for Backroad with Slaten and where he plans to go next. Slaten commented that “the idea for Backroad actually stemmed from a short ayne Slaten is a man of many play that was written by Matt Carter, the talents, not the least of which young man who plays Jasper Hawkins.” is his ability to create brilliant He went on to remark, “The story focused pictures for the silver screen. Slaten’s on two men, one a regular guy and the most recent project, Backroad, is the other a serial killer. You just don’t know story of Jasper Hawkins. Jasper has all which is which. They are on a road trip the privileges that come with a prominent with one a hitchhiker and the other the family living in a small southern town driver of the car. This was the seed of a and its secrets, too. The son of Backroad’s story for Backroad.” recently deceased judge, Jasper walks on It was critical to develop the story the other side of his father’s ideals. He



magazine • November/December 2010


from a short play into a feature film and keep the writing interesting. Part of Slaten’s responsibility was to transform the script into something that would keep the interest of the audience. There is no question he was successful. Not only is Backroad a brilliantly engaging film, but it showcases some of the natural beauty and ambiance of the suburbs of Houston. If you look closely, you can see numerous historical landmarks from around the greater Houston area including Friendswood, Pearland, Manvel, Alvin and Richmond, Texas. It was critical for the story that Slaten locate the perfect back road, if you will, that would be the focal point of the story. What he found was the perfect setting smack dab in the middle of Manvel, Texas. “The community was so supportive of our efforts to make this movie,” Slaten commented. “The shooting locations and local town folk were just so accommodating. We could not have had a better experience,” stated Slaten. Parts of Backroad were shot in Pearland, a town that Slaten is quite familiar with. He honed his craft while



he synopsis of the film says it all. Supernatural forces hover over the small Texas town of Backroad in this devilishly intriguing thriller. While his mother and the town’s church pay tribute to his recently deceased father, Jasper Hawkins (Matthew Carter) recovers from the previous night in a sleazy motel room. The long walk back home along desolate country roads gives him time to reflect on the disturbing last memory of his dying father and the previous night’s events. A likeable yet unnerving traveling salesman (Greg Dean) offers Jasper a ride leading him on a bloody road trip culminating in the revelation of a dark family secret. It isn’t often that a diamond in the rough is discovered. Wayne Slaten, the chef behind Backroad, has mixed together a masterpiece that represents

the best in independent film I have seen in years. The performances are strong from all corners of the film, particularly that of Greg Dean who portrays Joseph Iblis, the traveling salesman who provides the fulcrum to the story. When Joseph utters the catch phrase that defines this film, “Are you ready to go, Jasper Hawkins?” it made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Matthew Carter’s performance as the eerily guarded Jasper Hawkins leaves the viewer unnerved and feeling somewhat confused - which is actually perfect for this role. The chemistry and interaction between both Dean and Carter took this film to the next level with their brilliant timing and performance cadence. The soul-wrenching scenes with Jasper’s mother (Julia P. Oliver-Touchstone) dealing with her internal issues, provides the soul to the film - literally.

Of course, these performances would not have come together so well without the watchful eye and vision of the director, Wayne Slaten, who also served numerous positions throughout the project. His direction of the film aside, it’s my opinion the cinematography of the film (also Slaten) was some of the most impressive behind the scenes work. This film is anything but predictable and is without question worth checking out. Don’t be a stiff - get out and see this film! Backroad Starring: Matthew Carter, Greg Dean and Elizabeth McCain Director: Wayne Slaten Company: Moonlite Filmwerks Now Showing: Local Area Theaters and on DVD through Amazon MPAA Rating: NR Grade: A

working and living in Pearland for many years. He now resides in Houston, and admits that he began his career in film somewhat by accident. “About five years ago, I happened upon the very first meeting of the now defunct Houston Film Organization at Fitzgerald’s in the Heights. I was there with a friend, and we wanted to see what the twenty or so people in the back were doing. Local filmmaker Mel House was discussing behind the scenes stuff about his then latest film project, Closet Space. I also met Stacy Davidson there, and we talked about the upcoming screening of his first feature film Domain of the Damned. Mel suggested I read Rebel Without a Crew by Robert Rodriguez. Three reads later, I was purchasing gear and taking editing classes. It was all about being in the right place at the right time.”

Slaten went on to remark that even though Backroad is his first feature film, he had completed numerous other test projects prior that helped him prepare for the feature film experience. “I was working a forty-hour a week job, as well as most of the cast and crew. I realized that this film would have to be shot over several weekends and several months. That was part of the pre-production process. The idea was to shoot a scene one weekend, and edit that scene in the evenings before the next weekend’s shoot. This process allowed me to begin putting the film together as we shot. The advantage was that I was able to get a feel for the finished film while still shooting it. Ultimately it all worked out,” said Slaten. Slaten takes a practical approach to his film-making regardless of the hat he wears. His work as a writer, director or

even producer is an emotional process. “I approach the process like an artist. It is an outlet for creativity. Being able to unleash your mind and create stories, characters and worlds is so much fun. Part of the process is cathartic and gives me a great sense of balance,” he said. “Emotionally and physically, it can be draining at times, particularly during post-production. That is where the support of my wife and business partner, Marisol, my family and the incredibly talented producers, actors and crew members come into the picture. You have to have a strong support network.” The next project for Slaten and his team is already in pre-production. The film, titled Patriot Act, has been described as Blade Runner meets District 9 and is a sci-fi thriller set in a future communist America. It is scheduled release in 2012.

Nick Nicholson is the Film and Entertainment Critic for CNN Radio, the Fort Bend Star, Focus Magazine, Pearland Focus as well as Focus on Women. In addition, his reviews can be seen and heard in numerous other print/media outlets in Texas and Oklahoma. Mr. Nicholson is in great demand as a speaker to both public and civic organizations on the subject of film and the entertainment industry. He is the co-founder of the Houston Film Critics Society and is currently the President of the organization. www.pearland

.com • November/December 2010


Eye Styles Day In France ~ JF Rey & Boz Frame Show

Candice Cabral & Kathy Duncan.

Tina, Yazmeen & Joshua Hari.

Mayor Tom Reid, Dr Melanie Melancon & Andy-Boz.

Jackie Lorina, Kathy Duncan, Andy-Boz & Dr. Melanie Melancon & Robert.

Liberty Mutual Invitational ~ Forgotten Angels Golf Tournament

Kathy Duncan, Honni & Nick Garcia.

National Night Out Celebration in Silverlake’s Weatherford Subdivision

Holly McDonald, Monica Perez & Connie Foley.

Cherita Andrews & Hannah Harger.

Neighbors in the Weatherford subdivision in Silverlake gathered for their 4th Annual National Night Out celebration. Along with approximately fifty friends and neighbors, the Brazoria County Sheriff’s Department was present to help heighten crime and drug prevention and awareness and strengthen community relationships with local law enforcement. NNO Neighborhood Hosts Paul & Marylee Olson with Sheriff Charles Wagner. pearland

magazine • November/December 2010


Maurice “Termite” Watkins, Dr. Don Brown, James Ware & Booker T.

Goe Harley Davidson Ladies Garage Party

Chery Sutton, Meghan Pond, Michelle Barber & Velicia Horn.

Lucy Trotta & Eileen Phillips.

Memorial Hermann Southeast’s Heart Walk

Todd Ginapp, Erin Asprec & Kyle Price.

Memorial Hermann Southeast Team.

Dana Read, Michelle Manja, Natalie Yackel & Meghan Pond.

Todd Ginapp presents an award to one of the Heart Walk winners.

Primrose of Pearland Parkway Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting

Sotirios & Estela Papadopulos, Mayor Tom Reid & K’Nicole Ogg.

Heart Walk participants on the Kemah Boardwalk.

Memorial Hermann Southeast’s Community Advisory Luncheon

Prime Urgent Care Ribbon Cutting

Stephanie Tudon, Pamela Hill, Maneesh Erin Asprec, Kyle Price & Dr. Alex Lechin. Mehra, Dr. Niharika Mehra & Niti Gupta. www.pearland

.com • November/December 2010


The staff of Prime Urgent Care and Pearland Chamber of Commerce members.

Shop Pearland for the Holidays!







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magazine • November/December 2010



Interior Design Makeovers! Dina Holleron 281-323-3630 www.thedesignersniche.com


FREE Vivite Skin Care Gift for all surgeries in November & December 1327 Lake Pointe Pkwy, Ste. 300 281-242-8463 • TimelessPlasticSurgery.com


Fashion and Home Accessories 1130 Broadway Ste. 122, Pearland 281-993-4649 www.msqueenbling.com

FOCUS FAVORITES Your Community Resource Guide Advertising

EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS More fun than a holiday sweater! 8401 Broadway, Ste 141 Pearland, TX 281-997-1414 www.ediblearrangements.com

Horseback Riding

Focus On Women Magazine 281-640-4242 www.fowmag.com lisa@fortbendfocus.com Finally, the magazine that you have been waiting for. A new publication showcasing one of the best and brightest resources – our women. Full of interesting, thought-provoking stories. Focus on Women is a celebration of today’s women – their lives, their passions and their spirit. Subscribe today. (10/2010)

Childcare Centers All About Kids Daycare 281-692-9492 www.allaboutkids3806.com allaboutkids3806@att.net All About Kids Daycare is a family owned and operated center, that opened in October of 2010. The owner has 15 years of previous child care experience and has raised four children of her own, as well as a granddaughter. Lots of love and hugs are ready to be share with your little ones. All About Kids Day Care has their own curriculum for infants through school age and all will learn and grow. Drop off and pick up is offered for most Pearland Elementary schools. (11/2010)

Estate Planning and Probate


Mark Roberts Collection Available Please call 281-844-4623 Pearland, TX 77584


Treating Lifestyles with Eye Styles On Pearland Pkwy at Beltway 8 713-991-5522 www.pearlandeyestyles.com

Andreason Law Firm 281-265-1561 www.andreasonlawfirm.com kurtandreason@andreasonlawfirm.com With over 25 years experience in Texas, Kurt M. Andreason can meet your estate planning needs with everything from basic wills and disability planning documents to sophisticated estate planning strategies, including family limited partnerships, life insurance trusts and other recognized methods of estate tax reduction. Convenient Sugar Land location and handicap accessible. Board Certified in Estate Planning, Probate Law and Commercial Real Estate. Listed over 10 years in Best Lawyers in America. (11/2010) Do you have an area business service such as health, dental, finance, legal, insurance, remodeling, air conditioning, plumbing or auto that you would like to reach readers in the Pearland/Manvel areas and increase the growth of your business?

Call 281-690-4242

www.pearlandfocus.com www.pearland

.com • November/December 2010


Sienna Stables 281-778-7433 www.siennastables.com The premier Southwest Houston area equestrian facility offers horseback riding lessons for youth and adults in both English or Western styles. Other activities include kids’ camps, birthday parties, special events and therapeutic riding. For the horse owner, horses can be boarded and/ or trained by professionals. Sienna Stables also hosts many styles of horse shows. Nestled among centuries-old shade trees in Sienna Plantation, this little slice of heaven is conveniently located in Fort Bend. (11/2010)

Remodeling and Restoration Absolute Restoration and Remodeling, LCC 281-485-5919 www.absoluterr.com ARR provides services for catastrophic claims and all facets of remodeling. Our restoration team is ready for any circumstance, no job is too small. Our 24-hour emergency service allows you to speak to a live person to assist your family in a time of need. We have qualified superintendents who are experienced in catastrophic claims. As a Christian based company, our mission is to be an advocate between the customer and insurance agent for a smooth claim process. ARR follows Luke 6:31 (11/2010)

Roofing Ameristar Roofing 281-238-4230 www.ameristarroofing.com ameristarroofing@gmail.com Ameristar Roofing is your full-service roofing company, No job is too small or too big. We are a certified “Shingle Master Co” with Certainteed which authorizes us to offer 3, 4 & 5 star extended warranties. We are fully insured and bonded for your safety. At the end of every job, we perform a QUALITY CONTROL INSPECTION. Our company belief is, THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT. We want your recommendation because of our reputation! THANKS, JOE RANGEL, REUBEN STAFFORD & JOHN YATES, MANAGING PARTNERS. (10/2010)

Video Production Star Video Digital Production Services 281-690-4280 Full-service video taping, editing and special effects for your business. Professional writing for commercials, training DVD’s, and corporate videos. (10/2010)

Historically Pearland

By John D. “Mickey” Mark, President – Pearland Historical Society

And You Thought “Ike” Was Bad!!

The school was rebuilt after the 1915 storm destroyed the 2nd floor. For the next 22 years, Pearland students rode a bus to Webster to attend high school.

Pearland High School built in 1912. Cost: $6,000.


ne of the risks associated with living on the Gulf Coast of Texas is the possibility of our having a hurricane blow in from the Gulf and causing havoc to residents. All of us who were living in Pearland two years ago when hurricane “Ike” blew through certainly are aware of that possibility. When you drive around Pearland, you will still see a building here and there with the blue tarp on the roof - reminder of the inconveniences “Ike” caused blowing down trees, blowing away roofs and leaving some without electricity for as long as two weeks. Hurricane season is from mid June to around the first of November. Predictions were that the 2010 season would see an unusually high number of storms coming through the Gulf of Mexico. Thank goodness, as this article is being written, we have been fortunate that not one hurricane has hit the Texas Gulf Coast. As bad as “Ike” was, the damage done to Pearland pales in comparison to two storms which were totally devastating to those early Pearland pioneers. After Witold von Zychlinski platted the town of Pearland in 1894, for the next few years, the little community of Pearland, which had previously been known as “Mark Belt,” prospered. Many people came from the mid-west states to purchase the land and for the pearland

first several years, the area was quite prosperous. A wooden frame school was built, and by 1900, the community of Pearland had three teachers and around 100 students. Then, disaster struck. The terrible hurricane of 1900 virtually demolished the small community of Pearland. This storm (in those days hurricanes were not given names) is still listed as the greatest natural disaster to ever hit the United States. Approximately 8,000 people in Galveston lost their lives. Fortunately, no lives in Pearland were lost, but the town was devastated. Houses and crops were destroyed. Many residents decided to give up their properties and return back to the mid-west. In fact, so many people were in such need that the Santa Fe Railroad offered free passage to anyone wishing to leave Pearland. After the 1900 storm, Pearland had only about 30 students in school and only one school teacher. The 1900 storm was a terrible blow to Pearland. The next one was worse. Around 1910, Pearland experienced another boom when the Allison Richey Land Company began another advertising campaign touting the area as a garden area for growing oranges commercially. The area soon became dotted with orange groves and vegetable truck farms. Then, around 1912, the growing of figs became the “money” magazine • November/December 2010


crop and a fig packing plant was built in Pearland. Again, Pearland was prospering, and in 1912, the citizens sold 40 year bonds and for $6,000, built a two-story brick school on Grand Blvd. where the Pearland Community Center College now sits. This was Pearland’s first high school. Then, in 1915, disaster hit again. Another fierce hurricane blew through Pearland. Old-time Pearland citizens who wrote about the storm said the 1915 storm was actually more damaging to Pearland than the famous storm of 1900. The three-year-old brick two-story school that the residents were so proud of had the roof and 2nd story blown completely off. For the next 22 years, Pearland high school students had to ride the bus to Webster to attend high school. Then, in 1937, Pearland built a new high school on Grand Blvd. This building is now marked with a Texas Historical Marker is used as the administration building for the Community College Center. We all remember Hurricane Ike and surely there will be other storms blow through our town, but it is unlikely there will be another hurricane that will go down in the history of Pearland as did the storms of 1900 and 1915. For more Pearland history, visit the Pearland Historical Society website @ www.pearlandhistoricalsociety.org H

in Pearland

Jeff Barley

Director & Head Instructor



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Profile for Pearland Focus

November/December 2010 - Pearland Focus Magazine  

Pearland Focus Magazine

November/December 2010 - Pearland Focus Magazine  

Pearland Focus Magazine