Greatwood FEBRUARY 2021
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Contents & Staff February 2021
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FEATURE | Colleagues and friends Anita Kruse and Ray Younkin stress the importance of fostering creativity, and hope, through their “Purple Lovables.” IN THE SPOTLIGHT | Hope For Three reflects on a decade of promoting and supporting youth diagnosed on the autism spectrum.
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TALK OF THE TOWN | Army veteran Dillon Cannon receives a new wheelchair ramp thanks to community members. ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT | Free online programs will highlight the Chinese Lunar New Year. H E A LT H | H o u s t o n Methodist Sugar Land Hospital is recognized for hig h-q uality b ariatric surgery.
TO ADVERTISE To advertise in Greatwood Monthly please call Lee Hartman, Stefanie Bartlett, or Ruby Polichino, our advertising representatives, at 281-342-4474 for rates, information and deadlines. PHOTO & ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS We are looking for fresh story ideas and enjoy publishing your articles in the Greatwood Monthly. If you have an story idea or photo to publish please send your information to email@example.com with “Greatwood Monthly” in the subject line. ©2021 Greatwood Monthly All Rights Reserved. Greatwood Monthly is a sister publication of Fulshear Living Monthly, Pecan Grove Monthly, West Fort Bend Living and is a publication of the Fort Bend Herald. Our publishing headquarters is 1902 S. Fourth Street, Rosenberg Texas 77471.
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GET YOUR HEART BACK TO WHAT MAKES IT REALLY BEAT
HEART ISSUES SHOULDN’T WAIT. SEE YOUR DOCTOR. Staying on top of your heart health has never been more important. If you are at high risk for heart disease or are experiencing new or worsening symptoms, it’s time to see your doctor. At Memorial Hermann, our network of affiliated cardiologists offer proactive assessments and personalized plans to help keep risk factors in check. And with enhanced safety measures in place at all of our facilities, you can get the care you need with peace of mind.
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Feature Story inger and songwriter Ray Younkin said the journey he is on with friend and fellow musician Anita Kruse, “has cloaked [his] world in purple,” and he finds that notion satisfying. “Anita is an idea machine,” he said, sharing the two have known each other for around 25 years.“Being able to bring life to her works is really fulfilling.” Younkin, who lives in Greatwood, has known Kruse since he was 16 or 17 years old, back when he just started to break into the live music scene in Houston. After being introduced to Kruse through his producer, Younkin said they became bandmates, and eventually “family by proxy.” Their recent collaboration, however, isn’t a musical one. In October 2020 the two launched Purple Lovables, LLC, a website that showcases an array of products from clothing and coffee mugs to pillows and facemasks that feature cutesy purple characters (called “Purple Lovables”) created by Kruse. “Anita’s drawings embody happiness, joy, and instill feelings of kindness at a time when people need an uplifting reminder that good in the world does exist,” said Younkin. “The timing was right to transfer these whimsical lovables to something tangible people could wear or use in their home as a constant reminder of better and brighter days.”
JUST ‘SO LOVABLE’ When the coronavirus crisis hit locally in March, Kruse, a Houston area pianist, and songwriter braced for the onslaught of hardships along with her 86-year-old mother. “I moved her to Houston after my father passed,” Kruse said, explaining her parents had lived in Washington state for two decades. “It was a big move for my mother and we had this big trip planned in April,” she continued.“When it became clear that we couldn’t go anywhere, that we were going to be on lockdown, and all the news ... I needed to do something.” Something lighter, stimulating to the heart and mind. With a purple pen in hand, Kruse began to sketch cutesy, child-like art as a distraction from the surrounding chaos and uncertainty. “I started drawing these little doodles,” Kruse said. “I was just trying to make something as cute as possible. It really was just for my mom.You know, to make her smile.” Her mother did smile, and called Kruse’s drawing “so lovable.” “She’s a Purple Lovable,” Kruse cleverly added.
Not long after, purple, round, sweet-faced drawings began popping up on Facebook. To date Kruse has drawn more than 40 Purple Lovable characters, each one individually named and characterized. Kruse said she posted one sketch every night on social media “just to bring a smile, a feeling of hope or simply a moment of relief to anyone who might need it. “I started this because I needed something uplifting for me and my mom. But as it turns out, when I shared it, other people were uplifted, too.” The reaction was so favorable that Kruse was persuaded to take her drawings to the next level.“Friends wanted me to print the characters, but they were just doodles,” Kruse said. “For that to work, they needed to be graphics.” Wanting to know if her doodles would translate well to a digital form, Kruse deferred to Younkin’s expertise in graphic design. Younkin has more than 24 years of experience in print and digital media, creating products from websites and brochures to “whatever the client wants.” “I try to be a jack-of-all-trades,” he added with a laugh. “Especially with all these Purple Lovables.” Kruse said after asking Younkin to create the logo, she knew he was the right one to help her share her sketches with the masses — “I loved the logo he made; he totally got it. Ray is so talented at capturing the feeling of them.” That logo, Younkin said in a public social media post, “has blossomed into something much greater than the sum of its origins.”
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PURPLE-INFUSED PHILANTHROPY As more sketches of Purple Lovables were released online, people began asking if the cutesy characters were connected to Kruse’s nonprofit Purple Songs Can Fly, which provides a creative musical outlet for children at Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers. The nonprofit — a recording studio on the pediatric cancer floor of the cancer center — launched in 2006, and inside its walls songwriters work with the children and their siblings to write and record their own songs. “Children diagnosed with cancer face great obstacles but do so with grace and a spirit of resiliency,” said Kruse.“It is these children and their siblings that inspire me, even in the darkest of days, and remind me that hope always exists.” Younkin, who once served as the Executive Producer for Music Doing Good, a nonprofit that provided underserved children and communities with musical opportunities and education, is a frequent guest artist at Purple Songs Can Fly. Seeing the nonprofit in action, he said, will leave “anyone humbled and inspired.” “If you sit in on a songwriting session, I promise, you’ll love it.” To the question, if Purple Lovables and Purple Songs Can Fly are connected, Kruse answered affirmatively — 20 percent of the proceeds from Purple Lovables benefit the nonprofit music studio. The connection formed between Kruse’s purplethemed efforts to bring joy to others is fortuitous, Younkin said. “It has been a thrill to create,” he said before adding that through creation, other opportunities could arise. “Hopefully these Purple Lovables will create a revenue stream for Purple Songs Can Fly.”
DIGITAL, PURPLE TAI CHI Considering the journey they are on, Kruse and Younkin emphasize the importance of fostering creativity. Imagination, they said, is beneficial to the creator and those viewing or experiencing the creation. “Your creativity is one of the most important things you can tap into,” Kruse said. “Through it, you gain a sense of yourself. You dig, and something new will emerge. “I wanted to try something creative that wasn’t songwriting, or writing,” she said.“And as I drew the lovables each day, I started looking forward to it. “Like any creative endeavor, it can activate your spirit.” Considering his works as a musician, songwriter, and graphic designer, Younkin agreed, saying: “Through creation, you get to know yourself and your heart.” “I like to call this experience my digital, purple Tai chi,” he added with a laugh.
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In The Spotlight
The 2016 members of Hope For Three’s Teen Huddle group. This auxiliary group of about 20 teen volunteers strive to increase autism awareness and acceptance among teens.
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Talk of the Town
Greatwood residents to pay more for water, trash pick-up in 2021
reatwood residents can expect to see their water and trash collection bills increase slightly in 2021. The Sugar Land City Council approved increases in the utility fees in September, and the increases took effect on Jan. 1. The utility rates will result in an approximately $10 monthly increase to utility bills for residential customers. Residents who use 5,000 gallons of water and 3,000 gallons winter average will pay about $6 more a month, while those who use 10,000 gallons of water and 6,000 gallons winter average will pay about $10 more a month. This increase is a part of the Integrated Water Resource Plan, adopted by the council in 2019, which identified a need for the rates to increase to meet the 60% groundwater reduction mandate set by the Fort Bend Subsidence District Regulatory Plan and secure long-term water supplies. Residential solid waste will cost $19.76 per month — a 38-cent increase. This change is based on a 1.95 percent CPI increase included in the city’s contract with Republic Services, which picks up trash from residences and businesses in Greatwood. During the fiscal year 2020, the city determined that less than 5% of households used the Household Hazardous Waste Program. As a result, the city chose to eliminate the program to lessen the changes in the new monthly residential rate. “As Sugar Land’s population has increased, so has the burden on our utility system,” said Director of Finance Jennifer Brown. “The increase will allow us to make necessary improvements and meet mandates that will benefit residents for years to come.” In November, Sugar Land City Council approved a contract with NewGen Strategies and Solutions, LLC. for phases two and three of a utility rate study.The water utility is managed like a business — customers of the system pay charges based on usage and demands placed on the system which supports operating and capital costs with no support from property taxes. Phase one of the study was completed in 2020 and established the rates City Council approved for the fiscal year 2021 to fund the improvements recommended by the IWRP. Phase two will develop policy direction based on discussions with the city council in phase one to guide implementation of the IWRP and rates which will then be updated in phase three with any updates to the rate structure that may be recommended. The last full utility rate study was in conducted 2007 and resulted in the current rate structure, which prior to 2020 had not been increased since 2011 except for surface water rates in 2014. More information can be found at http://www.sugarlandtx.gov /1879/2021-Utility-Rate-Changes.
A DEBT OF GRATITUDE
Disabled Army veteran ‘at a loss for words’ over community members’ construction of wheelchair ramp by SCOTT REESE WILLEY | email@example.com
here was a time when Dillon Cannon would gladly join others in the community who helped veterans with projects around their homes. But those days ended when a sniper shot Dillon in the throat while he was serving in the Army in Iraq. Now some members of the community are repaying Dillon for
Veterans help out a disabled Army veteran Dillon Canon by building him a wheelchair ramp behind his Richmond home. From left are Lonnie Hoffmann, Bernie Brezina, Cannon, Bonita Shumake with Home Depot, Stan Hruska, Bunky Ward, Wayne Jakubik Marcus Schulte and John Guidroz.
his service to the nation by helping him get in and out of his Fort Bend home. They’re building a sturdy ramp to his home, and are planning to install an automatic door to help Dillon, who lost all use of his legs and limited use of his arms on Dec. 29, 2006. “I’m at a loss for words,” Dillon, 34, said as he watched the carpenters cutting and nailing planks to the ramp outside his home in the Bella Vista Subdivision off FM 359. “I’m very thankful we have such people who take care of veterans like me. I used to help veterans myself at one time. “I would still do it today if I could.” Dillon joined the Army in April 2005. “I was in high school when I saw the Twin Towers fall, and I made a promise to myself right then and there that I would enlist and defend my country against terrorists,” he said, referring to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. He was serving with the military police in December 2006 when he was shot. “I was helping to guard a roadside bomb — waiting for the bomb disposal crew to arrive — and I was sitting in an armored truck with just my head outside the turret.Then I stood up and a sniper shot me right in the neck.” Long afterward, Dillon and his fellow soldiers reconstructed the attack and realized that standing up may well have saved his life. “Had I remained sitting, the sniper would have shot me right between the eyes,” Dillon surmises.“He was aiming at my head, and had fired the shot, the second I stood up.” The bullet fractured his vertebrate, and sent bone shards into his spine, crippling him. Declared a paraplegic, Dillon’s hopes of serving his country in uniform were ended. He misses the Army, the camaraderie of his fellow soldiers, and serving and protecting his country. “I really miss the brotherhood — and it was truly a brotherhood. We were like brothers,” he said. “I’d still be there with them if I could.” A storm knocked down a giant oak tree behind his home in July. It fell on his wheelchair ramp and destroyed it. His mom knew a friend with carpenter skills. Bernie Brezina had no problem convincing other members of the Knights of Columbus Hall 2801 to donate some time and energy to the project. Home Depot donated all the supplies — wood and nails, etc.
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Bunky Ward of Richmond, a woodworker well known to the KCs, agreed to turn the remaining tree stump into a table. The group would like to install an automated door to help Dillon enter his home. “He doesn’t have full use of his hands or arms so he has a problem going in and out,” Bernie said. The door would cost about $5,000. Anyone who would like to contribute funds to the worthwhile project is encouraged to contact Bernie by phone at 713-826-2528 or via email at BernieB@brezinaclaims.com. “I appreciate what all these people are doing for me,” Dillon said. “They didn’t even know me.They only knew I was a veteran in need and they could help me.”
Two Million Pounds and Counting:
Catholic Charities food distribution underscores need for food assistance
he Mamie George Community Center in Fort Bend County recently surpassed the two million-pound mark in food distribution since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The community center, located in Richmond, is the hub for services provided by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, which includes food and financial assistance, plus a robust program for seniors. “During the pandemic, Catholic Charities is distributing four times as much food as usual to families in need,” said Gladys Brumfield-James, the Mamie George Community Center executive director. “The lines are long for help from our food pantry because COVID-19 drained resources for families all across Fort Bend County.” Brumfield-James notes that the center is seeing many families who were financially stable before the pandemic, but lost jobs and wages reduced their savings, and plunged them into crisis. “We’ve had people coming in who never thought they would be struggling to feed their families,” said Brumfield-James. The community mobilized to distribute 2,110,400 pounds of food over nine months from the center in Richmond. The Houston Food Bank provided food. Scores of volunteers reported week after week to help load cases of fresh produce, protein items, and non-perishables into long lines of vehicles. The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Department provided officers to untangle traffic, and the center’s neighbors opened their parking lots as staging areas. In all, the effort fed 154,341 Fort Bend families in need. For seniors and other clients unable to leave their homes during the pandemic, the center is working with DoorDash to make deliveries of food to homebound clients through a program funded by the United Way of Greater Houston. Additionally, center staff and volunteers have been checking in with senior clients regularly since the pandemic began. The Mamie George Community Center will continue to distribute food as the pandemic wears on. Early last month, the center transition from a first-come, first-served approach to allow families to make appointments to receive nutritious food. Families will still be served in the safety of their vehicles via drive-through distribution, receiving food that will be reserved for each family. Appointments can be made for Tuesday through Thursday mornings by visiting CatholicCharities.org/food. For additional information, call 281-202-6289.
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Graeber named 2021 County Fair president
orty years after he first volunteered to cook and sell food for the Jaycees at the Fort Bend County Fair, Brian Graeber has been elected to lead the county’s biggest event of 2021. The 2020 Fort Bend County Fair president Sean Gutierrez and the fair board made it official in December by electing Graeber to serve as the 85th president of the Fort Bend County Fair Association. “Brian is a tremendous force at the Fort Bend County Fair, from overseeing large events such as the barbecue cook-off during Fair days to the crawfish boil held in the spring,” Gutierrez said.“He has put in the time, muscle, and sweat to our Fair over the years.” For 40 years, Brian has been involved with the Fort Bend County Fair. In 1980, the year of Urban Cowboy and Gilley’s fame, Brian Graeber was busy giving back as a Needville Jaycee. He volunteered in the Jaycees’ food booth in the original livestock barn during fair time. He participated in the barbecue cook-off for several years and joined the committee in 2005. He then went on to become the cochairperson, overseeing one of the largest barbecue cook-offs in the region. It was 2014 when Graeber became a member for the board of directors for the Fort Bend County Fair Association. As a director, he has been involved with the parking committee, barbecue committee, the advanced tickets sales committee, Boots and Buckles on the Bay Fishing Tournament, and the crawfish boil fundraiser. Graeber also has served several times as an emcee and has assisted in several media interviews on behalf of the Fair. He has been serving on the executive committee for several years and enjoys many fair activities such as rodeo action, the exceptional rodeo, livestock shows, live concerts and the parade. Graeber and his wife Patty have supported the junior livestock auction and the school art auction either as sole buyers or through a buyers’ group. Fair days for the Graebers is family time. From barbecue culinary competition to the corn dog eating contest, Graeber’s family is well represented with his children and grandchildren. He and Patty continue to support the fair, the community and their church. The 2021 Fair is set to run from Sept. 24 to Oct. 3, 2021.
Hike into the new year at Brazos Bend State Park
story & photo by AVERIL GLEASON | firstname.lastname@example.org
he community was invited to start 2021 with a walk on the wild side by participating in a guided stroll through a Texas state park as part of the national First Day Hikes initiative. Brazos Bend State Park, 21901 FM 762 near Needville, was among many parks that participated in First Day Hikes last month. The first hike of the new year began at 9 a.m., and ended with the last hike departing at 11 a.m. The 1.2-mile hike featured events that ranged from brisk strolls on scenic trails, bike rides, short treks with adoptable pups and meditation walks to more strenuous hikes for more experienced visitors. The hikes also featured guides who educated guests about local plants and animals along the trail.
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The hikes had their limitations, though. A sign-up sheet was required, and volunteers led groups of 10 in staggered times to adhere to social distance regulations. Masks were strongly advised, and having sanitizer was encouraged. State parks and natural areas across Texas host First Day Hikes to help visitors commit to their New Year’s resolution to become healthy. These events are part of America’s State Parks First Day Hikes initiative which took place in every state in the nation. For more information about the Brazos Bend State Park visit tpwd. texas.gov/state-parks/brazos-bend or 979-553-5101.
Using her hiking sticks, Jessica Loflin shows plants to her son Liam at Brazos Bend State Parks’s First Day Hike on Jan. 1, 2020. Behind them, naturalist David Heinicke leads the guided hike.
Livestreamed program will highlight how to grow fruit trees
ort Bend County Libraries will present an online program, “Success with Growing Fruit in Fort Bend County,” on Saturday, Feb. 6, beginning at 10 am.This program will be live-streamed via Webex; it will not be in person. Fort Bend County Master Gardener Deborah Birge will talk about varieties of fruit trees that can thrive in the Gulf Coast climate. Hear about proper planting techniques and recDeborah Birge ommended maintenance tips to encourage fruit production, including pruning, feeding, and watering. Birge has been a master gardener for nearly 20 years and holds specialist certifications in Citrus Culture, Home Fruit Production, and FirstDetector Plant Disease. The program is free and open to the public. Registration is required. A link to view the presentation online will be emailed to all participants who register. To register online at the library’s website (www.fortbend.lib. tx.us), click on “Classes & Events,” select “Virtual Programs,” and find the program. Participants may also register by calling the library system’s Communications Office at 281-633-4734.
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Pruning young trees
by ANITA MADDOX | Fort Bend County Master Gardener
aybe you planted trees in your landscape in recent years, or you moved into a home with new landscaping, and you want to make sure to take good care of these plants. Usually, pruning young trees improves their health and appearance if done correctly. Proper pruning can also supply additional energy to develop the flowers, fruit, and limbs that remain on the plant. Pruning early in the life of the tree to train it will also avoid problems later on. Late winter, before spring growth begins, is the best time to prune your young trees. The exception to this rule is when pruning spring-blooming trees, whose flowers come from the growth of the prior year. Examples include Redbud and the deciduous varieties of Magnolias. These you can prune, if needed, after they bloom in the spring. (For fruit tree pruning information visit aggie-horticulture.tamu. edu/extension/fruit.) Some of the most important procedures for pruning your young trees are: • First, prune any dead limbs. This can be done at any time of the year. • When pruning diseased limbs, clean your tools with alcohol or TSP between cuts. • Try to keep the natural shape of the tree if possible. • Remove limbs that cross over or rub each other. • Remove suckers that occur low on the trunk or in the ground near the trunk. • Remove excessive vertical sprouts. These sprouts grow straight up from horizontal branches. • Remove main limbs that compete. • Don’t prune the single main trunk or “leader.” (There are exceptions to this found in the reference links below.)
Image Courtesy of Texas A&M Forest Service
• Don’t leave stubs after cutting limbs. Cut up to the “collar” at the base of the branch. The collar is the raised area around the branch where it meets a larger branch or the trunk. If this collar is cut off or severely damaged, the tree’s natural healing cannot occur. And, once this area is damaged, it is damaged for good.
Image Credit: nyrp.org
Photo Credit: hort.ifas.ufl.edu
• When cutting branches that are more than 1-1/2 inches in diameter, use a three-part cut to prevent the bark from peeling from the weight of the cut limb. The first step is to saw an undercut from the bottom of the branch about 6 to 12 inches out from the trunk and about one-third of the way through the branch. Make a second cut from the top, about 3 inches further from the undercut, until the branch falls away.The resulting stub can then be cut back to the collar of the branch.
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• Never top a tree. • Painting the cut ends of branches is generally not recommended in our area. • For limbs that grow upward, cut them on a slant to prevent water from collecting in the cut. • Leave the pruning of large trees involving climbing to the arborists who have experience, knowledge, the correct tools, and insurance. The main reason for pruning large trees is for safety when people could be injured or buildings could be damaged, for sanitation, or to restrict size. • For much more info about pruning and maintenance of trees see texastreeplanting.tamu.edu/PruneYoungTree and aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/earthkind/landscape/proper-pruning-techniques/ Fort Bend County Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who assist Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in educating the community using research-based horticultural information.
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Arts & Entertainment
CHINESE LUNAR NEW YEAR SPOTLIGHTED WITH SPECIAL ONLINE PROGRAMS
ort Bend County Libraries will have special programs in recognition of the Chinese Lunar New Year in February. These virtual events will be online; they will not be in person. Journey Through China | Feb. 6 (pre-recorded video) This dance performance is presented by Dance of Asian America, in conjunction with Young Audiences of Houston. Discover the rich cultural heritage of China through authentic Chinese dances. The vast land of China consists of the mainland and 56 ethnic subregions, each with its own dance forms that directly reflect each group’s lifestyle and customs. Classical and folk dances are a precious part of China’s cultural heritage and serve as a wonderful tool for learning about its various traditions, history, and culture. This performance is recommended for families with children of all ages. Celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year| Friday, Feb. 12 (pre-recorded video) The Lunar New Year marks the start of China’s Spring Festival. Each day of the Spring Festival has special meanings and traditions. In this video, library staff welcome in the Year of the Ox while sharing interesting facts about how the days are celebrated. To view the programs, go to the Fort Bend County Libraries website (www.fortbend.lib.tx.us), click on“Classes & Events,”select“Virtual Programs,” and find the programs on the scheduled dates. For more information, call FBCL’s Communications Office at 281633-4734.
LIBRARIES HOST ONLINE GAME HOURS FOR TEENS, ADULTS
he Adult Services Department at Fort Bend County Libraries will have several virtual game-day activities for adults and teens in February. These virtual events will be online; they will not be in person. “Virtual Board-Game Day: Love Letter” | Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 3 p.m. In this virtual event, players will participate online in a game of Love Letter — a card game in which one attempts to deliver a love letter to the princess by knocking opponents out of each round. The rules of the game are explained here: www.ultraboardgames. com/love-letter/game-rules.php.This event will be livestreamed via Webex; registration is required. “Black History Month Digital Scavenger Hunt”| Thursday, Feb. 11 (all day)
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History sleuths must use their knowledge of African-American history and their research skills to complete this scavenger hunt. This online activity can be accessed through FBCL’s website on the day of the event; registration is not required. These events are free and open to the public. Registration is required for two of the programs; a link to the Webex meeting will be emailed to all who register.To register online at the library’s website (www.fortbend.lib.tx.us), click on “Classes & Events,” select “Virtual Programs,” and find the programs. For more information call 281-633-4734.
ONLINE ACTIVITIES FOR YOUNG ADULTS, TEENS
his winter, Fort Bend County Libraries (FBCL) will offer fun, online programs specifically designed for high school-age teens in grades 9 through 12. The programs will be either livestreamed via Webex or pre-recorded videos. Registration is required for the livestreamed programs only. An email with the link for the Webex meeting will be sent to all who register on FBCL’s online virtual calendar. To register for a livestreamed program or to view the how-to videos, go to the Fort Bend County Libraries website – www.fortbend. lib.tx.us – click on the “Classes and Events” tab, select “Virtual Programs,” and find the virtual program on the dates listed. YOUNG ADULT ADVISORY COUNCILS YA Advisory Council | Tuesday, Feb. 9, 4-4:40 p.m.; Wednesday, Feb. 17, 4-5 p.m.; or Wednesday, Feb. 24, 4-5 p.m.. This event will be livestreamed via Webex at the designated time. Teens can earn volunteer-service hours by expressing ideas, organizing upcoming activities, and suggesting new programs and books that would be of interest to young adults at the library. Registration is required. YOUNG ADULT BOOK CLUBS YA Book Club| Wednesday, February 10, 4-5 p.m This event will be livestreamed via Webex at the designated time. This month, readers are invited to talk about the genre of their choice. Registration is required. YA Book Talk| Thursday, Feb. 18 (pre-recorded video) FBCL library staff share news & views on some captivating Young Adult lit for teens. YA Book Club | Wednesday, Feb. 24, 4-5 p.m. This event will be livestreamed via Webex at the designated time. This month, readers may discuss To Kill a Kingdom, written by Alexandria Christo.This book selection is available on OverDrive and in print. Registration is required. YOUNG ADULT ONLINE GAMING YA Game Hour: Ultimate Disney Trivia | Thursday, Feb. 18, 4 p.m. This event will be livestreamed via Webex at the designated time. Teens aged 13 and up who enjoy the challenge and excitement of a trivia competition are invited to join in this virtual event, putting their knowledge of Disney to the test. Registration is required. YOUNG ADULT CRAFTS AND ACTIVITIES YA: Coffee-Filter Valentine Craft | Friday, Feb. 5 (pre-recorded video) In this video tutorial, learn how to make personalized Valentines with coffee filters. YA Craft: Making a Valentine Wreath | Tuesday, Feb. 9 (pre-recorded video). Learn how to use Deco Mesh to make a stunning wreath that is
weather-proof and sturdy enough to use outdoors, yet delicate and beautiful enough to use indoors as well. The materials that will be used include: 2 rolls of Deco Mesh of any color (21 inches x 10 yards), matching pipe-cleaners, ribbons and other decorative accessories, floral wire, and a 16-inch wire wreath frame. YA Basic Embroidery | Friday, Feb. 12, 2 p.m. In recognition of National Embroidery Month, FBCL will host a livestreamed class for teens who would like to learn the basics of embroidery. Learn about the tools needed and the different stitches that can be used for a variety of purposes. Meet other teens who also share an interest in embroidery! Registration is required. YA Craft: Origami Valentine | Friday, Feb. 12 (pre-recorded video) Discover how these delicate art forms are made by twisting and folding paper into unique shapes. In this episode, learn how to fold a 3-D heart that can hold a small gift. YA: Update Your Wardrobe with Embroidery | Wednesday, Feb. 17 (pre-recorded video). In recognition of National Embroidery Month, library staff will demonstrate how simple embroidery can transform ordinary garments into extraordinary wearable art. YA Craft: Glitter Shoes |Thursday, Feb. 18 (pre-recorded video) Learn how to use Mod-Podge® and glitter to dress up an old pair of shoes. YA: DIY No-Bake Dog Biscuits | Tuesday, Feb. 23 (pre-recorded video) Learn how to make dog-treat biscuits from scratch. YA: Popcorn Cupcakes | Thursday, Feb. 25 (pre-recorded video)
The activities are free and open to the public. Registration is required for the live Webex sessions only; a link to the Webex session will be emailed to participants who register.To register online at the library’s website (www.fortbend.lib.tx.us), click on “Classes & Events,” select “Virtual Programs,” and find the program on the date indicated. For more information, call the Fort Bend County Libraries’ Communications Office (281-633-4734).
ONLINE COOKBOOK CLUBS FOR CULINARY ENTHUSIASTS
ooking enthusiasts of all ages and experience levels – from beginners to advanced –find Fort Bend County Libraries’monthly Cookbook Book Clubs a great way to share ideas and discover new culinary tips. Different cooking genres are explored each month. In February, the Cookbook Clubs will take place virtually, so that cooking enthusiasts around the area can enjoy and participate online from the comfort and safety of home. Here is the schedule of Cookbook Clubs, as well as some other how-to videos for food lovers, courtesy of FBCL’s librarians. Easy Ramen |Thursday, Feb. 4 (pre-recorded video) Learn how Ramen noodles can be used in a variety of ways, from soup to salad. A link to the video will be posted on FBCL’s online calendar on the designated date, and it can be viewed at any time. •University Branch Library’s Culinary Book Club |Wednesday, Feb. 17, 1:30 p.m. (livestreamed) The theme for this month’s online meeting is “Fish & Shellfish.” Share
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tips, get ideas, and enjoy the camaraderie of other individuals who have an interest in cooking and good cuisine! This activity will be live-streamed in real time via Webex. Registration is required; an email with a link for the Webex session will be sent to all who register. Mission Bend Branch Library’s Food for Thought Cookbook Club |Thursday, Feb. 18. (pre-recorded video) The theme for this month is “Cake Pops.” A link to the video will be posted on FBCL’s online calendar on the designated date, and it can be viewed at any time. How to Make Arabic/Turkish Coffee | Monday, Feb. 22 (pre-recorded video) Learn how to brew and serve coffee in the traditional Arabic or Turkish way. Discover coffee’s meaningful role in hospitality. Grain-Free, Nut-Free Cookies |Wednesday, Feb. 24 (pre-recorded
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video) Baking delicious cookies while needing to avoid certain ingredients is possible! Library staff will demonstrate how to make chocolate-chip cookies without using any grain or nut products. A link to the video will be posted on FBCL’s online calendar on the designated date, and it can be viewed at any time. The video episodes and meetings are free and open to the public. Registration is required for the Culinary Book Club so that a link to the Webex session can be emailed to participants who register. To view the videos or to register online, go to the library’s website (www.fortbend.lib.tx.us), click on “Classes & Events,” select “Virtual Programs,” and find the program on the date indicated. Participants may also register by calling the library system’s Communications Office (281633-4734).
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ort Bend County Commissioners Court appointed Judge Juli A. Mathew, County Court at Law No. 3, the necessary approval to begin a new specialty court, the Juvenile Intervention and Mental Health Court. During the public comments, Shariq Abdul Ghani, representing the Minaret Foundation, Fort Bend Transformation Church, and the Fort Bend Interfaith Community spoke in support of this court. The JIMH Court began servicing the qualified youths of Fort Bend County last month. Judge Juli A. Mathews
The program has the support of all of the County Court at Law Judges, Juvenile Probation,Texana as well as other professional and treatment providers. “The program is set to help the most vulnerable in our community, to help rehabilitate and reduce recidivism,” Mathew said. Mathew was elected to County Court at Law 3 in November 2018 after having been an associate municipal judge in Arcola and a practicing attorney for 15 years with experience in mass tort, civil litigation, probate, and criminal matters in Fort Bend and surrounding counties including Harris, Montgomery, Galveston, and Brazoria.
County commissioners create Juvenile Intervention and Mental Health Court
Sustache and Ahmeduddin welcomed to Houston Methodist Primary Care Group
ouston Methodist Primary Care Group welcomed Gilberto Sustache, M.D., and Naureen Ahmeduddin, D.O., in January. Sustache and Ahmeduddin join Asisat Ope, M.D. and Ali Sawal, D.O., at the Brooks Street practice in Sugar Land. Sustache is a board-certified family medicine physician providing preventive care and wellness maintenance. His clinical expertise includes health screenings, minor procedures, men’s health, as well as thyroid concerns. Sustache received his medical degree from the University of Massachusetts in Worcester, Massachusetts, then completed his residency at Memorial Family Medicine Residency Program in
Your Community Healthcare Leader
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Naureen Ahmeduddin, D.O., Gilberto Sustache, M.D.
Sugar Land. “Having served in this community for 20 years, I look forward to joining Houston Methodist and partnering with my patients in their plan of care,” said Sustache. As a board-certified family medicine physician, Ahmeduddin specializes in acute and chronic care, including men’s health, complete physicals, preventive care, and women’s health. Ahmeduddin earned her medical degree from Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Henderson, Nevada, and finished her internship at Memorial Family Medicine Residency Program in Sugar Land. She completed her residency at Memorial Family Medicine Residency Program in Sugar Land, where she also served as a chief medical resident. “My goal is to provide personalized care to all my patients,” said Ahmeduddin. “I prioritize open communication and patient education so that my patients can take ownership of their health. Houston Methodist Primary Care Group at Brooks Street is located at 1201 Brooks St., Suite 100 in Sugar Land. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Sustache or Dr. Ahmeduddin, or to find a Houston Methodist Primary Care physician in the Fort Bend County area, visit houstonmethodist.org/pcg/southwest or call 281-930-6639. Visit houstonmethodist.org/sugarland to learn more about Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital.
Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital recognized for higher quality in bariatric surgery
ouston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital is proud to be recognized by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas with a Blue Distinction ® Centers for Bariatric Surgery designation, as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated health care facilities that show a commitment to delivering high quality, patient safety and better health outcomes, based on objective measures that were developed with input from the medical community and leading accreditation and quality organizations. Houston Methodist Sugar Land provides a full range of bariatric surgery care, including surgical care, post-operative care, outpatient follow-up care, and patient education. Bariatric surgeries are among the most common elective surgeries in the U.S. — with more than 252,000 bariatric surgeries
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performed in 2018 based on a report from the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that nearly 42.7 percent of U.S. adults and 18.5 percent of youth are obese and are impacted by obesity-related health conditions. With obesity reaching epidemic levels among U.S. adults, a significant opportunity exists to improve quality care for bariatric surgeries within the national health care system. Houston Methodist Sugar Land is proud to be recognized by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas for meeting the rigorous quality selection criteria for bariatric surgery set by the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. “Our commitment to unparalleled safety and quality begins with appropriately trained staff and surgical experts who participate in the development of our program by continuously seeking opportunities to enhance the structure, process and outcomes of the center. I am very proud of the team we have assembled. We are dedicated to delivering superior care for bariatric patients in Fort Bend County and surrounding areas,” said Nabil Tariq, M.D., board-certified bariatric surgeon and medical director of bariatric surgery at Houston Methodist Sugar Land. The annual health care spent on obesity and obesity-related conditions is expected to rise by 2030 if the rate of obesity in the U.S. continues to climb. Bariatric surgery is the most effective treatment for severely obese patients because it allows for substantial, sustained weight loss, which leads to improved or resolved obesity-related co-morbidities like type 2 diabetes. On average, health care costs were reduced by 29 percent within five years following bariatric surgery, due to the reduction or elimination of obesity-related conditions, based on findNabil Tariq, MD ings by ASMBS. To receive a Blue Distinction Centers for Bariatric Surgery designation, a health care facility must demonstrate success in meeting patient safety measures as well as bariatric-specific quality measures, including complication and readmission rate for laparoscopic procedures in sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass. All designated facilities must also be nationally accredited at both the facility and bariatric program-specific levels. For more information about the program and for a complete listing of designated facilities, visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction. TAKE THE NEXT STEP WITH WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY You can start now from the comfort and safety of your own home. We are committed to you, even during these challenging times. Our bariatric surgeon now offers online orientations and virtual visits. Watch the online orientation at houstonmethodist. org/surgicalweightloss or call 832.667.5673 for more information.
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HEART & VASCULAR CARE in Sugar Land
Through specialized programs, clinical trials and a commitment to challenging conventional thinking, our comprehensive team of cardiovascular specialists is improving outcomes and providing better options for heart and vascular care in your community.
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And, you can be confident that we are taking every necessary precaution to keep you safe throughout your visit.
• Heart rhythm disorders • Valve disease • Vein and artery disorders
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• Adult congenital heart disease • Coronary artery disease • Heart failure
Our doctors specialize in treating a wide spectrum of cardiovascular diseases and disorders, including:
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To find a doctor or schedule an appointment, visit houstonmethodist.org/debakey/sugar-land or call 713.DEBAKEY.