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County health services seeking state grant - Page 2

TJ Birria Y Mas showed why it's quickly becoming a Stafford staple. Read the review inside on Page 8. (Photo by Stefan Modrich)

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Superintendent: SMSD financial outlook improving By Matt deGrood MDEGROOD@FORTBENDSTAR.COM

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Fort Bend / Southwest • Volume 45 • No. 48

Despite the fact the Stafford MSD Board of Trustees voted in May to shrink the district’s staff amid talk of budget concerns, Superintendent Robert Bostic says the district is in a better fiscal position now and hasn’t actually reduced the number of full-time staff. The district did, however, eliminate some administra-

Bostic tive positions, Bostic said. District leaders in May

had been concerned because they received projections that the student enrollment might decline by more than 300 because of the coronavirus pandemic, and moved to reduce staff in order to fix a possible future budget crunch, Bostic explained last week. Even at the time, the district had a healthy fund balance of about $14 million, but wanted to make a longterm fix, Bostic said. “If you’re pulling money

out of a savings account, it isn’t regenerated,” Bostic said. “Normally you might use that for one-time costs, such as a capital outlay. But if you’re trying to pay salaries, that’s every year.” But now, those worst fears don’t seem likely to come to pass, and the district has received some outstanding federal money that should cover the difference and state law should force students back into classrooms for the upcoming school year,

Bostic said. Essentially, school districts’ funding in Texas is, in most years, determined by its average daily attendance, which is a calculation for the attendance of an average school day and separate from the total number of students enrolled in a school district, according to the Texas Education Agency (TEA). Because the coronavirus

SEE SMSD PAGE 7

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County vaccine program stokes controversy By Matt deGrood MDEGROOD@FORTBENDSTAR.COM

Fort Bend County commissioners last week signed a $345,000 contract with a Houston-based firm to provide coronavirus vaccine outreach, a move that didn’t pass without controversy. The measure passed in a divided 3-2 vote, and a divided group of residents took more than 30 minutes early in the meeting to speak against or in favor of the decision. “I question why we need to spend $345,000 on this particular effort, since we’re already doing an outstanding job,” said Precinct 3 Commissioner Andy Meyers, before voting in opposition. “And it’s my personal policy not to vote to give money to a firm that is a political operative.”

Attendees at Horizon Baptist Church hold signs to attract community members to the organization. The church’s leaders say they have gone to great lengths to see what younger people want out of a faith community. (Contributed photo)

Faith organizations adapt to pandemic, changing ideals By Matt deGrood MDEGROOD@FORTBENDSTAR.COM

Horizon Baptist Church has a long history in Fort Bend County. First founded as Bellaire West Baptist Church, it became Heritage Baptist Church when leaders bought land and moved it to Missouri City about 20 years ago, according to Cindy Reaves, the church’s communications director. At its height, the church drew more than 300 congregants to a Sunday service, said John Strader, the church’s senior pastor. But in recent years, those numbers have been closer to 100 people.

David P. King, a professor of philanthropic studies and the director of the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. “Why do faith communities need to gather in-person if they haven’t for a year or more?” King asked. “Those that are thinking about that personal relational connection, or how they minister or engage their local communities may have a leg up in succeeding over others.” Only 47 percent of Americans reported belonging to a church, synagogue or mosque

SEE FAITH PAGE 7

Eviction moratorium’s end worries some in Fort Bend By Matt deGrood MDEGROOD@FORTBENDSTAR.COM

SEE VACCINE PAGE 7

Having attended the church during its heyday, Strader took over as senior pastor in 2019 and got to work trying to understand what had happened. “We slowly realized the message we have to share with the community wasn’t necessarily hitting home with those we were trying to reach,” Strader said. Churches and other faith organizations across Fort Attendees gather at Gurdwara Sahib of Southwest Bend County and the coun- Houston for a Sunday service. (Photo by Matt deGrood) try are emerging from the pandemic in a fairly unprec- the faithful in the 21st century. Christian churches, were seeedented position. Lockdowns But the pandemic also ing before 2020. and other restrictions forced has exacerbated many of “Post-pandemic, questions many of them to bring their the trends of declining atten- of engagement (online or in services online and adapt to dance numbers that religious person) are key issues for conthe technology demands of organizations, particularly gregations to consider,” said

Business is booming and crowds are beginning to gather as more and more people are receiving the coronavirus vaccine, but those Fort Bend County organizations and advocates for the most vulnerable residents are still waiting for the storm to arrive. An onslaught of disasters in recent years, including

the COVID-19 pandemic, February’s winter storm and tropical weather has left many county residents still living on the edge, according to several local organizations dedicated to housing and rental assistance. And soon, the federal eviction moratorium will elapse – a move that could lead to a sizeable uptick in people without homes or apartments in Fort Bend County, said Vera Johnson, the executive director of Fort

Bend Family Promise, a nonprofit organization meant to provide temporary housing and assistance for families in need. “Yes, absolutely, I’m concerned,” Johnson said. “There are subsets of homeless. Some are because of domestic violence, but then you have others that are because of evictions. A lot of these people are dealing with

SEE EVICTION PAGE 7

Vera Johnson, who leads Fort Bend Family Promise, is worried about a possible rise in evictions after the federal moratorium lapses. (Photo by Matt deGrood)

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PAGE 2 • Wednesday, July 21, 2021

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Fort Bend Health and Human Services seeks $2 million By Matt deGrood MDEGROOD@FORTBENDSTAR.COM

Fort Bend County Health and Human Services has submitted a $2 million grant proposal to the Texas Department of State Health Services, seeking to add staff and create infrastructure needed to serve a county of almost 900,000, according to the department’s proposal. Even before the pan-

demic, the county’s health services hadn’t kept pace with the population growth, and hasn’t completed a community health needs assessment since 2007 because of a lack of

personnel, according to the grant proposal. Health department spokesperson Rita Obey said July 14 that no one who works for Fort Bend County Health and Human Services, including herself, was available to be interviewed for this story. She said they were too busy. But Jennifer Smith, the interim executive director of Texas Association of City & County Health Officials, said a Spring review of all 45 members of

the association found local counties typically dedicated around 4 to 9 percent of the budget to health departments, compared to 20 percent for fire and police. Local health departments do, however, receive at least some federal funding through the state health department to fund some local programs, Smith said. Fort Bend County has allocated about $29.5 million on 295 full-time

employees categorized as health and welfare-related on its 2021 budget, according to county budget documents. Departments under that grouping include the county’s indigent health care, animal services, emergency response and clinical health services. A Public Health National Center for Innovations report in 2021 found the governmental public health workforce, which had already been operat-

ing with minimum staffing, has declined about 20 percent since 2008, according to the survey. If Fort Bend County receives the money, health and human services would add about five professional or clinical staff and three disease investigators, according to the application. Leaders would also use the money to establish a health equity team, address county mental health and establish a chronic disease division.

Food briefs: Wingology coming to Sugar Land By Stefan Modrich SMODRICH@FORTBENDSTAR.COM

Wingology, the Fulshearbased chicken wing purveyor, is headed to Sugar Land in the fall, a spokesperson for the restaurant said Monday. The second Wingology loca-

RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS DRASTICALLY IMPROVED “I was on three medications and experiencing a lot of side effects because the rheumatoid arthritis drugs are immunosuppressants. I’ve had back to back sinus infections, vision problems, shingles in my eye and I underwent a tonsillectomy. I also had a lot of aches and pains/ I couldn’t turn my head while driving. I had insomnia and occasional brain fogs. To get me through, I was using pain relievers, muscle relaxers and getting injections in my back. But worst of all, I had no life. I couldn’t go outside with my grandchildren. I couldn’t sit on the floor and play a game with them. My husband couldn’t understand why I couldn’t hold a paintbrush or open a jar of peanut butter. A friend invited me to an event called ‘Dinner With The Doc’ hosted by Dr. Harris at Sugar Land Health Center. My friend is a patient of his and so as a favor to her, I went. I have a background in healthcare so initially I was skeptical. But what Dr. Harris covered and explained about the body during the event made sense and it gave me hope. I scheduled an appointment on the spot! During my treatment plan I was able to downsize my medications from three to one. I can now drive with ease, I spend lots of time playing with my grandchildren and my success has even impressed my other health physicians. Dr. Harris was very clear that rheumatoid arthritis isn’t curable but that my quality of life can improve and it sure did. I did everything SLHC offers from the nutritional program to spinal disc decompression and laser therapy. I’m so grateful to have my life back! -Joni Glen

tion will be at 18732 University Blvd. The restaurant features chicken wings, tenders and Buffalo shrimp served along with 17 dipping sauces. Gelato Picks opens in Sugar Land Gelato Picks, an artisan gelato shop owned by Dietmar Neidhardt, opened June 25 at 16525 Lexington Blvd., Ste. 130. On offer at Gelato Picks are flavors like Tiramisu, Pistachio, Lemon Sorbet and Chocolate Primo. Gelato Picks also serves crepes, paninis and coffee. The restaurant is open from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. WednesdaySaturday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Bonchon closes Fort Bend location Bonchon, the Korean fried chicken chain, on July 1 closed its location at 1525 Lake Pointe

Shown are the buffalo wings and fries from Wingology, which is coming to Sugar Land. (Photo from Facebook)

Parkway, Ste. 100. The restaurant served Asian favorites like potstickers, takoyaki (octopus dumplings), Udon noodle soup and more. Karachi Ice Cream serving up scoops in Sugar Land The owners of Karachi Restaurant in Sugar Land have opened an ice cream shop to go with their Pakistani cuisine. Karachi Ice Cream Parlor, 11315

State Highway 6, is adjacent to the flagship Karachi Restaurant. The parlor held its grand opening July 1. Ice cream flavors like rose, rabri (made with condensed milk and nuts) and peshwari (made with pistachios and Kewra, an essential oil derived from the fragrant Screwpine plant native to southeast Asia) are among available flavors.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2021 • PAGE

3

How would you spend $94.7 million? How often do you get the chance to decide how to spend someone else’s money? Fort Bend ISD has launched a fascinating new initiative in local governance, asking students, parents and staff how it should spend some $94.7 million in federal funding it received through the American Rescue Plan. Federal guidelines stipulate districts must use 20 percent of the funding on measures to address instructional time lost during the pandemic, but otherwise gives districts broad leeway in how to best use the money. Rules also require districts to involve the public in deciding how to use the funds, such as soliciting opinions through surveys and public meetings, which means other districts in Fort Bend County will likely follow FBISD’s lead in coming weeks. Districts must, however, spend the funds by September 2024, according to the Texas

Matt deGrood

Education Agency. Before readers and stakeholders begin that dialogue with Fort Bend County school districts, however, it’s worth considering the “broad leeway” part of the funding equation. For as much grief as those in the federal government rightly receive these days, since the beginning of the pandemic, really, their approach toward stimulus funding has been quite inventive, at least as compared to how it’s traditionally been done. Typically, when a local municipality receives money from the federal government,

that city can only use it under a strict set of parameters. One need not look much further than funding for disaster mitigation after Hurricane Harvey for the perfect example. Rosenberg was the only municipality in Fort Bend County to receive funding during a recent $1.2 billion dispersal, in large part because most county projects didn’t meet requirements that they benefit residents in low-tomoderate income areas that have faced repetitive storm damage, according to a Texas General Land Office (GLO) news release. Compare that to the relative freedom of the current stimulus funding. This is important to note, in my mind, because it’s hard to wrap one’s head around how different that is. We’ve already seen state governments use coronavirus funding in innovative and intriguing ways. Republican Ohio Gov.

Mike DeWine, for instance, used federal funds to start a $1 million lottery for those who received the coronavirus vaccine. The state’s second winner, a 40-year-old Toledo resident, said he’d been convinced to get the vaccine because of the lottery, according to a MarketWatch article. And the state’s vaccination rate increased some 28 percent in the days after the governor announced the lottery, according to the article. If you’re a county or a city in receipt of federal funding, the world is your oyster, so to speak. There’s nothing, in theory, stopping you from giving all of your residents a portion of the money directly. So, as our local leaders consider what to do with once-in-a-lifetime money, I think it’s worth getting the Fort Bend County brain trust going. The pandemic changed life as we know it, but it also

battered school districts in particular, causing almost across-the-board test score declines. It’s not yet clear how quickly, or when this generation of students might recover academically. “The COVID-19 pandemic significantly disrupted traditional education, and the effects may take years to rectify,” said Sherry Williams, a spokesperson for FBISD. But this is where you, dear reader, come in. Fort Bend County is, of course, one of the most diverse, educated and business-savvy counties in all of Texas. Let’s use that to our advantage. FBISD recently put out a survey asking residents

to rank possible uses of the funding, such as learning interventions, planning time for teachers, contract tracing, mental health services, technology needs and others. Don’t stop there, though. I have no doubt that someone in this county has an innovative solution to help our districts and students overcome struggles brought on by the pandemic. The fact that the district is listening is important. But so, too, is an informed and attentive group of stakeholders. So, pay attention and don’t be afraid to speak out in coming weeks. The future of education in Fort Bend County may well depend on an idea you have.

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Top prospect Leon added to Skeeters' roster By Landan Kuhlmann

LAST WEEK’S SCORES

LKUHLMANN@FORTBENDSTAR.COM

July 12: Tacoma 6, Sugar Land 4 July 13: Sugar Land 3, Tacoma 1 July 15: Albuquerque 8, Sugar Land 5 July 16: Sugar Land 5, Albuquerque 2 July 17: Albuquerque 10, Sugar Land 7 July 18: Sugar Land 9, Albuquerque 7 (11 innings)

Pedro Leon, the Houston Astros' No. 2 prospect as rated by MLB Pipeline, was promoted to the Sugar Land Skeeters earlier this week, the team announced. Leon hit .249 with an .803 OPS in 52 games this season for Double-A Corpus Christi while playing primarily shortstop and some center field. He sports a .962 OPS since the start of June. The 23-year-old native of Cuba, signed by the Astros in January, recently played in the All-Star Futures Game. Week in review The Skeeters couldn't quite find a winning rhythm last week, alternating wins and losses during a 3-3 week in which they averaged six runs per game. Despite the split, the Skeeters (36-27) remained in first place in Triple-A West’s East division entering play this week, while boasting the league’s best run differential

Michael Papierski (33) flips the ball to first base during a July 11 game while Alex De Goti looks on. (Photo by Landan Kuhlmann)

(+63). They were slated to finish a series at Albuquerque on Tuesday. Infielder C.J. Hinojosa was once again Sugar Land’s hottest bat. He went 12 for 26 with a team-leading four homers and eight RBIs, including a multi-homer effort in Sunday’s 9-7, extra-inning victory over Albuquerque. Fellow infielder Taylor

Jones made his return to the lineup with a bang, going 7 for 15 with three doubles. Outfielder Jake Meyers was also on fire again, going 7 for 19 with his team-leading 16th home run while driving in four runs. Peter Solomon was the standout of the week for Sugar Land on the mound, tossing seven innings of onerun baseball in the Skeeters’ win over Tacoma on July 13. Solomon (3-0) allowed just one hit and struck out eight while walking just one batter, taking a no-hitter into his seventh and final inning. Ronel Blanco had a busy week out of the bullpen, allowing one hit across four innings of work while al-

lowing one unearned run. He struck out five against just two walks, picking up saves against Tacoma on July 13 and July 16 against Albuquerque and a win on Sunday against the Isotopes. Blanco’s 10 saves are third in Triple-A West, while his .188 batting average against is eighth-best among pitchers with at least 20 innings. Following the conclusion of their series against Albuquerque on Tuesday, the Skeeters will play at Oklahoma City on July 22-27 before returning to Constellation Field July 29-Aug. 3 against El Paso.

Coco is better known as Coco Chanel at HHS. This basset hound mix is a classy girl with a penchant for cuddling and kisses. This shorty loves to sit on your lap and receive attention. She’s good with her manners on the leash and with other dogs.

Stafford grad selected in MLB draft drafted in the 18th round of the 2018 draft out of Stafford before opting to play at Alabama. Smith declined to comment for this story, explaining his agents told him not to talk to the media before finalizing his contract.

By Landan Kuhlmann LKUHLMANN@FORTBENDSTAR.COM

Another graduate from a local high school has taken a significant step toward a Major League Baseball mound. Alabama right-handed pitcher Dylan Smith, who graduated from Stafford High School in 2018, was taken in the third round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft on July 12. Smith was taken 75th overall by the Detroit Tigers after a breakout season in which he had a 3.84 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in 16 starts for the Crimson Tide, striking out 113 hitters against just 20 walks in 98.1 innings. This is the second time Smith has been drafted. He was initially

Smith was one of two former local players selected in the third round, along with Sugar Land native and George Ranch High School graduate Kevin Kopps, who was taken 99th overall by the San Diego Padres.

GO SKEETERS!

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LAN

MON

1

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21

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1 RROCK 7:05 8 TCMA 7:35 15 ALB 7:05 22 OKC 7:05 29 ELPA 7:05

7

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HOME • AWAY

Worship Directory

28

FIREWORKS

ALB - ALBUQUERQUE ISOTOPES OKC - OCKLAHOMA CITY DODGERS RROCK - ROUND ROCK EXPRES TCMA - TACOMA RAINIERS ELPA - EL PASO CHIHUAHUAS LAVE - LAS VEGAS AVIATORS

FRI

SAT

2 RROCK 7:05 9 TCMA 7:35 16 ALB 7:05 23 OKC 7:05 30 ELPA

3 RROCK 6:05 10 TCMA 7:35 17 ALB 6:05 24 OKC 6:05 31 ELPA

7:05

All Game Are Subject To Change

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2223 FM1092 • Missouri City, TX 77459 John Strader , Senior Pastor Sunday Bible Study 9:30 am Sunday Worship 10:45 am 6:00 pm Wednesday 7:00 pm AWANA/Youth www.hbctx.org METHODIST CHURCH

CHURCH OF CHRIST

STAFFORD CHURCH OF CHRIST • 281-499-2507 402 Stafford Run Rd. -Stafford, 77477 SUNDAY: Worship: 10:30 a.m. www.staffordchurchofchrist.org

PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

CHRIST CHURCH SUGAR LAND • 281-980-6888

FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH • 281-240-3195

A United Methodist Community 3300 Austin Parkway • Sugar Land, TX 77479 Sunday Worship in the Sanctuary Simple Service / Prayer & Communion: 8 am Contemporary: 9:15 am / Traditional: 10:30 am Modern: 10:30 am Sunday School for all ages available at 9:15 www.christchurchsl.org

502 Eldridge Road, Sugar Land, TX 77478 Reverend Dr. Fred Seay, Pastor Sunday Worship In Person 11:00 am / Nursery Available Worship Online on YouTube www.fpcsl.org

EPISCOPAL

ALL SAINTS EPISCOPAL CHURCH • 281-499-9602 605 Dulles Avenue, Stafford, TX 77477 SUNDAY: 10:30 am Worship Holy Eucharist www.allsaints-stafford.org

Scripture of the week

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” - Ephesians 2:8-9


PAGE 4 • Wednesday, July 21, 2021

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NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ESTABLISHING FORT BEND COUNTY EMERGENCY SERVICES DISTRICT NO. 9 NOTICE IS GIVEN that the Commissioners Court of Fort Bend County, Texas, will conduct a hearing on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. in Commissioners Courtroom, 401 Jackson St., 2nd Floor, Richmond, Texas, on the PETITION FOR AN EMERGENCY SERVICES DISTRICT seeking to create FORT BEND COUNTY EMERGENCY SERVICES DISTRICT 9, in Precinct 1. The District is to be created and to operate under Article III, Section 48-e of the Texas Constitution, as proposed by S.J.R. No. 27, Acts of the 70th Legislature, Regular Session, 1987, and adopted by the Voters at an election held November 3, 1987. The designated boundaries of the proposed District are described in Exhibit “A” attached hereto and incorporated herein for all purposes. Each person who has an interest in the creation of the FORT BEND COUNTY EMERGENCY SERVICES DISTRICT NO. 9 may attend the public hearing and present grounds for or against the creation of the District. Beginning at the point of intersection of the Fort Bend-Wharton County line with the southernmost corner of the boundary of Fort Bend County Emergency Services District No. 8, thence north and easterly along the boundary of Fort Bend County Emergency Services District No. 8 to the point of intersection with the boundary of Fort Bend County Emergency Services District No. 6, thence south and easterly along the boundary of Fort Bend County Emergency Services District No. 6 to the point of intersection with eastern right-of-way line of State Highway 36, thence southerly along the eastern right-of-way line of State Highway 36 to the point of intersection with the northeast right-of-way line of Jeske Road, thence south and easterly along the northeast right-of-way line of Jeske Road to the point of intersection with the northwest right-of-way line of Roesler Road, thence north and easterly along the northwest right-of-way line of Roesler Road to the point of intersection with the northeast right-of-way line of Oberrender/Zamanek Road, thence south and easterly along the northeast right-of-way line of Zamanek Road to the point of intersection with the northwestern right-of-way line of FM 1994; then north and easterly along the northwest right-of-way line of FM 1994 to the point of intersection with the northeast right-of-way line of Davis Estate Road extended across FM 1994; thence easterly along the north right-of-way line of Davis Estate Road to the point of intersection with the west right-of-way line of Tadpole Road/County Road 762; thence northerly along the west right-of-way line of Tadpole Road/County Road 762 to the point of intersection with the north right-of-way line of Sawmill Road extended across Tadpole Road/County Road 762, thence easterly along the north right-ofway line of Sawmill Road to the point of intersection with the north property line of that certain 2188.48 acre tract owned by the State of Texas in the Barrett & Harris Survey and known as Brazos Bend State Park, thence easterly along the north boundary line of Brazos Bend State Park to the Fort Bend-Brazoria County Line, thence southerly and westerly along the Fort Bend-Brazoria County Line to the point of intersection of the Fort-Bend Brazoria County Line with the Fort Bend-Wharton County Line; thence north and westerly along the Fort Bend-Wharton County Line to the point of beginning.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021 • PAGE

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Aviso de audiencia pública y Período de comentario público para Financiamiento de subvenciones en bloque para el desarrollo comunitario

Notice of Public Hearing & Public Comment Period for Community Development Block Grant Funding On Friday, July 16, 2021, the City of Missouri City will release a draft of its PY 2021 Annual Action Plan for the HUD Community Development Block Grant Program. Residents will have 30 days to review and submit comments before the Plans are submitted to HUD for approval. In addition, the City will hold a public hearing to explain the Community Development Block Grant Program and give all Missouri City residents an opportunity to voice opinions on the City’s Annual Action Plan. The Action Plan outlines how we plan to spend our PY 2021 funds. We would like to hear your comments on the CDBG program. All interested parties are invited to speak on the subject of CDBG and the PY 202 Annual Action Plan at the public hearing on:

El viernes 16 de Julio de 2021, la ciudad de Missouri City publicará un borrador de su Enmienda al Plan de Acción Anual PY 2021 para el Programa de Subvenciones de Bloque para el Desarrollo Comunitario de HUD. Los residentes tendrán 30 días para revisar y enviar comentarios antes de que los planes se envíen a HUD para su aprobación. Además, la Ciudad celebrará una audiencia pública para explicar las actividades financiadas por CDBG y dar a todos los residentes de la Ciudad de Missouri la oportunidad de expresar sus opiniones sobre la Enmienda del Plan de Acción Anual PY 2021 de la Ciudad. La Enmienda describe cómo planeamos gastar nuestros fondos CDBG PY 2021. Se invita a todas las partes interesadas a hablar sobre el tema de las actividades de financiación de la Ley CDBG, tal como se incluye en la Enmienda del Plan de Acción Anual de la MCTX PY 2021 en la audiencia pública sobre: All interested parties are invited to speak on the subject of CDBG and the PY 202 Annual Action Plan at the public hearing on: Lunes, Julio 19, 2021 7:00 PM (primera audiencia) Lunes, Agosto 2, 2021 7:00 PM (segunda audiencia/ acción final) Community Center 1522 Texas Parkway Missouri City, Texas

Monday, July 19, 2021 (1st Public Hearing) Monday, August 2, 2021 (2nd Public Hearing/Final Action) 7:00 PM Community Center 1522 Texas Parkway Missouri City, Texas Residents may also send comments on or before August 13, 2021 to the City of Missouri City’s Development Services Department at 1522 Texas Parkway, Missouri City, TX 77489 (Attention: CDBG). Residents may fax their comments to the City at (281) 403-8962, or email comments to CDBG@missouricitytx.gov. CDBG Program Background The national objective of the CDBG program is to develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing, a suitable living environment and expanding economic opportunities principally for low and moderate-income persons. At least 71% of CDBG funds must be used for activities that benefit low and moderate-income persons. CDBG goals include: 1. Improving the urban environment in low and moderate income areas; 2. Eliminating blighting influences and the deterioration of property, neighborhoods and public facilities in low and moderate-income areas; and 3. Ensuring decent, safe, sanitary housing for low and moderate-income residents. Eligible activities include but are not limited to: public facility construction and improvements; handicapped accessibility; operational funding for non-profit agencies servicing primarily low income persons; rehabilitation of owner-occupied housing; housing development assistance, enforcement of City codes; clearance and demolition; infrastructure improvements; business development and job creation activities. Note: In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, this facility is wheelchair accessible and accessible parking spaces are available. Requests for special accommodations or interpretive services must be made at least 48 hours prior to this meeting. Please contact the Development Services Department at 281-403-8541 or by Fax 281-208-8962. Specific information is available at City Hall, 1522 Texas Pkwy., Missouri City, Texas, Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, by appointment or you may call 281-403-8541, or you may visit the website at: http://www.missouricitytx.gov/251/CDBG

Los residentes también pueden enviar comentarios a más tardar el 13 de Agosto de 2021 al Departamento de Servicios de Desarrollo de la Ciudad de Missouri City en 1522 Texas Parkway, Missouri City, TX 77489 (Atención: CDBG). Los residentes pueden enviar sus comentarios por fax a la Ciudad al (281) 403-8962, o los comentarios pueden enviarse por correo electrónico a Ami Moore, Coordinadora del Programa a: CDBG@missouricitytx.gov. CDBG Fondo del programa El objetivo nacional del programa CDBG es desarrollar comunidades urbanas viables proporcionando viviendas decentes, un entorno de vida adecuado y ampliando las oportunidades económicas principalmente para personas de ingresos bajos y moderados. Los objetivos de CDBG incluyen: 1. Mejorar del entorno urbano en áreas de ingresos bajos y moderados; 2. Eliminar las influencias devastadoras y el deterioro de la propiedad, vecindarios e instalaciones públicas en áreas de ingresos bajos y moderados; y 3. Garantizar una vivienda digna, segura e higiénica para los residentes de ingresos bajos y moderados. Las actividades elegibles incluyen, pero no se limitan a: construcción y mejoras de instalaciones públicas; accesibilidad para discapacitados; financiamiento operativo para agencias sin fines de lucro que prestan servicios principalmente a personas de bajos ingresos; rehabilitación de viviendas ocupadas por sus propietarios; asistencia para el desarrollo de viviendas, cumplimiento de los códigos de la ciudad; limpieza y demolición; mejoras de infraestructura; actividades de desarrollo empresarial y creación de empleo. Nota: De conformidad con la Ley de Estadounidenses con Discapacidades, esta instalación es accesible para sillas de ruedas y hay espacios de estacionamiento accesibles disponibles. Las solicitudes de adaptaciones especiales o servicios de interpretación deben realizarse al menos 48 horas antes de esta reunión. Comuníquese con el Departamento de Servicios de Desarrollo al 281-403-8541 o por fax al 281-208-8962. Hay información específica disponible en City Hall, 1522 Texas Pkwy., Missouri City, Texas, de lunes a viernes de 8:00 a.m. a 4:00 p.m., con cita previa o puede llamar al 281-403-8541, o puede visitar el sitio web en: http://www.missouricitytx.gov/251/CDBG

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THE STAR

PAGE 6 • Wednesday, July 21, 2021

See us online www.FortBendStar.com

Local org gets grant to help FBISD school

Houston Methodist Sugar Land named to national patient care list By Landan Kuhlmann LKUHLMANN@FORTBENDSTAR.COM

WITH A WCJC SCHOLARSHIP All first-time-in-college WCJC students taking 6 or more credit hours for Fall 2021 will receive a $500 to $1000 Scholarship. Visit wcjc.edu for a list of other resources.

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Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital has been named to the Fortune/IBM Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals list, according to a news release from the hospital. Published annually by Fortune Magazine, the list evaluated nearly 2,700 short-term, acute care, non-federal hospitals throughout the

country to recognize “excellence in clinical outcomes, operational efficiency, patient experience and financial health.” Selected hospitals had better results on specific performance indicators such as survival rates, patient complications, health care associated infections, 30-day mortality and 30-day hospital-wide re-admission rates, length of stay, inpatient expenses, prof-

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From Staff Reports

A local chapter of The Delta Kappa Gamma (DKG) Society International recently received a $500 stipend from the Alpha State Texas Educational Foundation. A news release from the organization said the grant will help buy staff at Fort Bend ISD's Goodman Elementary healthy snack bags. Visit dkg.com for more information on the organization.

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NOTICE TO BIDDERS WAYFINDING SIGNS PHASE III The City of Sugar Land seeks bids for furnishing all labor, material, and equipment, and performing all work required for the following project in the City: CIP PROJECT NAME: Wayfinding Signs Phase III CIP PROJECT NUMBER: CST1802 LOCATION OF WORK:

City of Sugar Land, TX 77478

Plans, specifications, and bidding documents may be obtained from www.CivCastUSA.com or documents may be purchased for $100 in the office of the Project Engineer: Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. 11700 Katy Freeway, Suite 800, Houston, TX 77079 Sealed bids one (1) original and two (2) copies, shall be delivered to the City of Sugar Land, Office of the City Secretary, 2700 Town Center Boulevard North, Suite 122, Sugar Land, Texas, 77479, on or before 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 29, 2021, at which time bids will be publicly opened and read. Bids received after the opening date and time will not be considered. A non-mandatory pre-bid meeting for all interested parties will be held at Sugar Land City Hall Brazos Room, 2700 Town Center Boulevard North, Sugar Land, Texas 77479 on Thursday, July 22, 2021 at 9 AM. Questions regarding this bid must be received by Manu Isaac, P.E on or before Friday, July 23, 2021 at 5:00 PM. Please contact Manu Isaac at 281-920-6306 or at manu.isaac@kimley-horn.com.

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The City Council will award the contract as provided in the Invitation to Bid. The City of Sugar Land will give notice of the contract award within sixty (60) calendar days after the opening date and time.

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2010 Austin Parkway, Sugar Land, Texas 77479. Key Map 608 C 5975 Summit Creek, Sugar Land, Texas 77479. Key Map 607 F 6631 Greatwood Parkway, Sugar Land, Texas 77479. Key Map 607 J

Plans, specifications, and bidding documents may be obtained from www.CivCast USA.com, search project name “Austin Parkway East, River Park South and Greatwood West Ground Storage Tank Rehab”, or document may be viewed in the office of the Design Engineer at the following location: IDS Engineering Group, 13430 Northwest Freeway, Suite 700, Houston, TX 77040. (713) 462-3178 Sealed bids one (1) original and two (2) copies, shall be delivered to the City of Sugar Land, Office of the City Secretary, 2700 Town Center Boulevard North, Suite 122, Sugar Land, Texas, 77479, on or before 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 12, 2021, at which time bids will be publicly opened and read. Bids received after the opening date and time will not be considered. A non-mandatory pre-bid meeting for all interested parties will be held at 2:00 p.m., Monday, August 2, 2021 via virtual meeting. Details for attending the pre-bid meeting will be posted on CivCast www.CivCastUSA.com Questions regarding this bid must be submitted online to the www.CivCastUsa.com system or contact Marcel Khouw, P.E., at (713) 462-3178 or by email mkhouw@dseg.com by Thursday, August 5, 2021 on or before 5:00 P.M. The City Council will award the contract as provided in the Invitation to Bid. The City of Sugar Land will give notice of the contract award within sixty (60) calendar days after the opening date and time.

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See us online www.FortBendStar.com

Wednesday, July 21, 2021 • PAGE

7

Enjoy retro gaming at EinStein's Pub & Arcade in Richmond Stefan Modrich

Throughout the last year, finding a good arcade bar was not exactly top of mind during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. But I was glad to have found EinStein's Pub & Arcade at 16733 W. Airport Blvd. #290 in Richmond, where I had the opportunity to take on classic games like Pac-Man, NBA GameTime, and Mario Kart. Bring cash to change out your bills into quarters, and settle in for a night of retro gaming. While I was in the midst of an older crowd during my visit last Friday night, you are able to bring your kids to play at the arcade until 9 p.m. I ordered some tacos and enjoyed a peach mango margarita before I made my way over to the arcade, as people began to fill up the seats around the bar. Several couples were already busy playing pinball, foosball, or air hockey, and another guy was in the zone, absolutely crushing the StepManiaX dancing video game. It seemed like there was a healthy amount of nostalgic

★ FAITH FROM PAGE 1 in 2020, the first time that number dropped below 50 percent and a sizeable decline from 70 percent that did in 1999, according to a March 2021 Gallup poll. Those numbers do not appear to be uniform among all houses of worship, however. For instance, a June study by Ihsan Bagby in the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding found mosques in the United States increased about 31 percent from the 2010 count of 2,106, up to 2,769 mosques. Similarly, attendance at Sikh temple Gurdwara Sahib of Southwest Houston has remained strong in recent years, with about 300-350 attendees, according to Bhupinder Singh, an active member. But part of that is because so many of the Houston region’s Sikh community immigrated to the area in the 1960s and 1970s and many attendees are still near the first generation with strong roots in the community, Singh said. “You’re starting to see that snowball effect in the second generation, but with the first there’s still that community feeling,” Singh said.

★ EVICTION FROM PAGE 1 a specific episode, and just need shelter.” As job losses and financial woes mounted in the early months of the pandemic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) instituted a federal eviction moratorium, under which landlords can’t evict tenants not making rental payments. But, after several extensions, the moratorium is set to lapse on July 31. Further complicating the matter is that, in Texas, the state’s Supreme Court has left it up to individual courts as to whether or not to continue to enforce that moratorium, according to Tariq Gladney, the managing attorney for Lone Star Legal Aid’s Richmond office. “In April, we saw a surge of cases,” Gladney said. “Most of those cases had already been on the docket when the moratorium stayed the proceedings.” Gladney isn’t yet sure if the county has seen the worst of it, or if landlords are still waiting for the federal moratorium to lapse before filing, he said. The county has provided more than 13,000 homes and businesses rental and utility assistance during the pandemic, including some $40 million in rental and utility assistance, according to Tami Frazier, spokesperson for County Judge KP George. Applicants for rental assistance experienced a delay in services between February and May because the county was implementing a new portal, Frazier said. But officials are working to reduce eligibility determinations to within two or three weeks, she said. A rise in evictions in Fort Bend County can cause a snowball effect that hurts

A row of pinball machines is shown at EinStein’s Pub & Arcade in Richmond. Guests can play a variety of games, from video games to air hockey and foosball. (Photo from Facebook)

EinStein's Pub & Arcade at 16733 W. Airport Blvd. #290 in Richmond has a game room with video games, pinball, and classic favorites like air hockey and SkeeBall. (Photo from Facebook)

See Fortbendstar.com for related video appeal to the games at EinStein’s. I began my gaming session at the NBA GameTime popa-shot station, where I spent several rounds clanking shots off of the rim until I success-

fully managed to shake off the rust and clear the 50-point threshold in 45 seconds and recorded a high score of 66 with the 12-second bonus round. The rim does move slightly

Next generation Efforts to draw younger members appears to dominate the conversation across faiths in Fort Bend County. “We’re also struggling with young people,” said Vijay Pallod, the media and publicity director for Hindus of Greater Houston. “I’ve talked with my friends, and the same thing is happening across faiths.” Many young people consider themselves spiritual, but not religious, Pallod said. But if faiths are struggling to draw the younger generation, are young people less religious? Or what do they look for in a faith community? “I think especially the talk among younger people is that they want activity, being out in the community,” Strader said. “It’s not that they’re against what’s happening inside. But I think a lot of the culture wars happening in churches – what type of music to sing, the style of service – that causes a lot of harm among the younger generation.” Shortly after taking over, Strader and the congregation at then-Heritage Baptist Church conducted surveys, spoke with members and creative agencies, and eventually changed the church’s name to Horizon Baptist Church in ef-

fort to better reflect what the congregation aspired to be, he said. “We’re trying to move from being an event-driven, programmatic church to a more missional-driven church,” he said. “We want to do life with one another, walk through life together, so we’re not just meeting once a week.” Other faith organizations agreed with Strader, arguing their presence in the community, donating to the needy and working for change, served as the best introduction to the younger generation. The traditional method of identifying a church’s success was in how many people attended services, and how many donations came in, Strader said. But leaders at Horizon Baptist are now trying to factor things like how many join small groups or participate in different events, he said. There’s some early evidence that the work leaders at Horizon Baptist Church have done is working, Strader said. The organization has welcomed about 14 people into it this year, he said. “By speaking on behalf of those who are struggling, we hope people see that before they ever come in person,” he said.

everyone, said Pastor David Sincere of the Fort Bend Transformation Church, who has been active in rental advocacy work since the start of the pandemic. “If people get evicted, it brings a rise in homelessness,” he said. “Then landlords won’t be able to pay their debt service, but also they’ll have trouble paying county taxes.” The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s definition for who is homeless limits it largely to those experiencing chronic homelessness, Johnson said. By that definition, there are only about 12 homeless people in Fort Bend County, by the latest count. But that definition also neglects all the people that most keenly feel the pressures over the end of the eviction moratorium, Johnson said. Beyond just providing resources for those in need, the key for organizations moving forward will be communicating what is available to those in need, according to Sarah Saadian, the vice president of public policy for the National Low Income Housing Coalition. “The focus needs to be on the visibility of the programs, their accessibility – making sure the barriers are low – and prevention – working with the court systems to set up diversion programs,” Saadian said. Census data shows some 6 million Americans are in danger of eviction once the moratorium ends, Saadian said. And, even though the moratorium prevented actual evictions, landlords could still file cases in court, which can hurt renters’ records, Saadian said. Different Fort Bend County organizations are working to compile better data on

how many residents might be in danger of eviction soon, Johnson said. But the number is already bigger than 12, she said. For instance, Fort Bend County Social Services receives between 35 and 50 calls per day from residents in need of rent and mortgage assistance or help paying for a hotel, Johnson said. Sincere said it is important to get volunteers on the ground and out to some of the areas most in danger, to spread awareness and tell them what resources are available to them. “We’ve targeted 20 apartment complexes, where we’ve called the managers and sent information about rental assistance,” he said. Older residents especially sometimes don’t have access to the computers and technology that younger people do, and thus might not know what help there is, Sincere said. “I understand in a personal way how this can impact someone,” Sincere said. “If we can show we can invest in other people in their time of need, it will make us a better America, a better Texas and a better Fort Bend County.”

from side to side, but not as much as I’ve seen at some outdoor pop-a-shot carnival games. My next adventure at the Star Wars pinball machine was short-lived, as the novelty of the sound effects from the iconic movies and the voice of Yoda bellowing “do or do not, there is no try” wore off rather quickly. I shifted over just a few feet to set up shop at the Pac-Man game. There was something strangely soothing and cathartic about devouring coins and

★ SMSD FROM PAGE 1 pandemic forced school districts to teach students from home, the TEA opted to provide funding at the same level as before the pandemic for the entire school year, even if they saw enrollment declines, said Jake Kobersky, a spokesperson for the agency. That agreement wouldn’t have been in place for the upcoming school year, however, and the Texas Legislature for a time mulled a piece of legislation that would have provided for some virtual attendance – a move that could have hurt the district’s funding if all 300 students opted to stay home, Bostic said. The district had also invested $2.3 million to provide iPads to each of its students, and applied for federal money to recoup some of that cost, but hadn’t heard back in May, Bostic said.

★ VACCINE FROM PAGE 1 The July  13 vote and the controversy surrounding it, in many ways, speaks to the bitterly divided politics that have emerged, both in Fort Bend County and across the country, during the pandemic. The firm in question, NextWave Strategies, is a Houston-based consulting firm that has worked with Harris County on vaccine outreach, but also has a history of consulting on political campaigns, according to the company’s social media pages. The measure passed on party lines, with  Democratic  County Judge KP George and commissioners Ken DeMerchant and Grady Prestage voting in favor of it, with commissioners Meyers and Vincent Morales opposed. The county’s health  department made  the recommendation to hire the firm, arguing it has a history of success reaching out to communities and people that might have a lack of information about the vaccine. While Fort Bend County has a high vaccination rate, it’s important to keep pushing those numbers up, George argued. The $345,000 contract will cover a 12-month project with NextWave Strategies, under which the firm will conduct market research and data analysis

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endary Nintendo game, and for me, playing with a steering wheel and pedals was definitely preferable to a controller. I have always liked playing as the Luigi character, but you can choose from any of your Nintendo favorites. You can also race against your friends, or go solo. I won four of the five races I played in, leveling up in difficulty and choosing a new driving course each time. And in a parallel to the theme from last week of rediscovering one’s childhood, it left me with a good feeling to see others getting lost in the thrill of their favorite games and paying homage to a more carefree, innocent period of their lives.

It was in light of those concerns that trustees on May 17 voted 4-2 to terminate the employment of Early Childhood Center assistant principal Ciji Lange and Chief Innovations Officer Marva Rasberry. But after that meeting, the district received more than $775,000 as part of a prior purchase reimbursement program, Kobersky said. And the legislature ultimately didn’t pass the bill that would have allowed for virtual learning to continue. Both Rasberry and Lange were ultimately offered other positions with Stafford MSD, Bostic said. Rasberry opted to retire, and Lange moved over to a new position at Stafford Elementary School, Bostic said. The Fort Bend Star after the meeting in May filed an open records request with the district seeking information about what positions were terminated, and learned a third, unmentioned person was the

only one. Jakayla Brantley’s contract was terminated, according to Gracie Martinez, spokesperson for the district. She was earning about $55,000 per year. Those administrative positions that Rasberry and Lange held have been eliminated, but the actual number of fulltime positions in the district has increased, Bostic said. “Most of the new positions are grant-funded, given to us by the federal government to provide additional tutoring and mental health counselors,” Bostic said. The district plans to hold several drives before the next school year to get students back in classrooms, and the opening of a new STEM school should help pad enrollment, Bostic said. “Conservatively, the budget should be about the same as it was last year,” Bostic said. “Now, we’ve just got to get kids here.”

on vaccinations and oversee a communication and outreach campaign to provide information about the vaccine, using everything from direct mail and flyer distribution to in-person outreach, according to the proposal. The firm will also monitor why people are hesitant to receive the vaccine, according to the proposal. The county already leads most counties in Texas in the percent of its population that has received the coronavirus vaccine. Even though some 65 percent of the county’s population is fully vaccinated, about 35 percent is not, George argued. That translates to about 200,000 people. “Life is precious,” George said. “We’ve lost far too many lives.” Five Fort Bend County residents, however, spoke before the vote against the measure, citing statistics of unknown origin about the vaccine’s alleged issues, and questioning whether this was a case of government overreach. Some also questioned

the specific firm, NextWave Strategies. Calls to NextWave Strategies seeking comment about the controversy went unreturned as of Monday afternoon. “I’m not anti-vax at all,” said Rebecca Clark, one of the people to speak against the contract. “I’ve had all the others. But I’m hesitant. I trust the evidence and science.” Residents in particular seemed to take issue with the idea that someone might go door-to-door asking them if they’ve had the vaccine. But there were also those supportive of the county’s efforts to provide extra access for residents that might not be as well-informed about how to receive a vaccine. “Every person in this room has the right to refuse a vaccine,” said Will Starkweather, the senior pastor at St. Martin’s Lutheran Church in Sugar Land. “But we also have a responsibility to our neighbors, and those who do not have the same access and information.” Rights mean nothing without social responsibility, Starkweather said.

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ghosts and playing a timeless classic that requires almost no preparation or insider knowledge. Next, I decided to give Golden Tee Golf a spin. The virtual golf game was the only $1 game I played, the rest were all either 25 or 50 cents each. I played nine holes of closestto-the-pin, and once I got the hang of my backswing, managed to land on the green on the final two holes. Unlike in real golf, I’m glad I don’t have to find the balls I lost in the rough. Because I always like to end on a high note, I went with a childhood favorite, Mario Kart, to wrap things up. This was the first time I had played an arcade version of the leg-

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Tachycardia is a medical term that describes a heart condition in which the heart beats much faster than normal. A normal heart can beat anywhere from 60 – 100 times per minute. Heart abnormalities, excessive alcohol, excessive caffeine use, smoking, a fever, or an overactive thyroid gland are just a few things that can lead to tachycardia. To help reduce the effects of tachycardia, most people take an antiarrhythmic medication. While there are four classes of antiarrhythmic medications, most will either take a calcium channel blocker such as diltiazem (Cardizem) or a beta blocker such as metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol). These help reduce the heart rate by causing the body to release chemicals to slow or lower the heart rate. Since the risk of a blood clot is very high in people with certain types of tachycardia, many people may also be on a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin) or dabigatran (Pradaxa). If the heart rate is severe, a pacemaker is sometimes surgically implanted under the skin, to help the heart beat at a normal speed.


THE STAR

PAGE 8 • Wednesday, July 21, 2021

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Review: TJ Birria Y Mas quickly becoming Stafford favorite By Stefan Modrich SMODRICH@FORTBENDSTAR.COM

One of the best birria spots in Fort Bend County is only a year old, and it only recently reopened in June after about a month of renovations. TJ Birria Y Mas has quickly become a Stafford favorite, serving up the traditional goat or beef meat stew from Jalisco, Mexico inside greasy, fried tortillas with melted Oaxaca cheese and a cup of mouthwatering consomme broth for dipping the tacos in. The space is bright, sleek and modern, and features a wall that is Instagram-ready, complete with yellow neon lights with the restaurant’s unofficial mantra: “Wake up, work hard, eat tacos” along with a neon version of its most famous taco. The Birriadillas Con Consome ($10.99) consists of four corn tortillas with shredded beef and melted cheese. The customary cilantro, diced onions, and green and red salsas are served on the side for you to dress up your tacos to your

TJ Birria Y Mas has plenty of options for the adventurous palate. (Photo by Stefan Modrich)

The Birriadillas Con Consome at TJ Birria Y Mas in Stafford consists of four fried corn tortillas with shredded beef and melted cheese. (Photos by Stefan Modrich)

liking. The tortillas were fried to a savory golden and orange hue in the fat of the beef, and were both soft to the touch but satisfyingly crispy in texture. I have found that dipping the tacos in the consomme

broth after stuffing them with cilantro and onions and a liberal squeeze of lime juice is the best way to go. Of course, you can consume your birria in many different forms. The Quesabirria Con Consome ($12.49) uses flour tortillas instead of

corn. Birria Ramen ($7.49), the invention of worldrenowned chef Momofuku Ando in 1971, combines the famous instant noodles with broth and birria meat, and Papa Rellena de Birria ($11.99) puts a spin on another wellknown comfort food, adding mashed potatoes and sour cream to the usual birria es-

sentials. Aguas frescas, including my go-to horchata, are $3.99 each. The Michelada, a mixed drink with beer, tomato juice, lime juice and more, can be ordered to-go, or a non-alcoholic version can be made with Topo Chico. If you’re in the mood for a dessert, the Tres Leches Cupcake, Chocoflan, and churros are sold in quantities of four or six.

TJ Birria Y Mas

Address: 716 Murphy Rd., Stafford Dining Options: Dine-in, takeout, delivery Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. daily Entrée prices: $7.49-$12.99 Kid-friendly: Yes Senior discount: No Alcohol: Yes Healthy options: None Star of the show: Birriadillas Con Consome Rating:

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In light of the COVID-19 outbreak and the cancellation of several community gatherings, please check with each organization for updated information about the status of their events. JULY 19 - 22 ROCKY RAILWAY VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL All children K through 5th Grade are invited to Rocky Railway Vacation Bible School at St. Catherine of Sienna Episcopal Church Ð 4747 Sienna Parkway, Missouri City 77459. Times are 6 p.m. Ð 8:30 p.m. and registration forms can be found online www.siennachurch.org or contact the office 281-778-2046. For more information email children@siennachurch.org AUGUST 7 REFRESH YOUR SOUL LADIES RETREAT St. Catherine of Sienna Episcopal Church

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will host the retreat at the church, 4747 Sienna Parkway in Missouri City from 8:30 a.m. Ð 3 p.m. Jan Bethancourt will be speaking on the topic Ò How Your Light ShinesÓ from Matthew 5:16. Registration is $10. For registration information contact the office 281-778-2046 or email melinda@ siennachurch.org. ONGOING SUGAR LAND AMERICAN LEGION American Legion Freeman Post 942 meets the fourth Thursday of every month at the Post facility, 311 Ulrich, Sugar Land, Texas, at 7:00 PM. All veterans are welcome. Post hall is available for rental for events. Call 713-553-5370 if interested. GIVE A GIFT OF HOPE Give a Gift of Hope one-time or monthly. Your help provides access to therapies and services children with autism might otherwise go without. Please consider Hope For Three in your Estate, Planned, or YearEnd Giving. Register now, or learn more about exciting events: www.hopeforthree. org/events DVD-BASED ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS WITH NO HOMEWORK REQUIRED Weekly class designed to help you EXPERIENCE COUNTS! 35+ YEARS SERVING FORT BEND COUNTY 281-243-2344 281.243.2300

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understand and appreciate the Bible by giving you a better sense of the land and culture from which it sprang. The class meets at 9:30 am every Sunday at First Presbyterian of Sugar Land (502 Eldridge Rd.). For more information call 281-2403195 EXCHANGE EXCHANGE, AmericaÕ s Service Club, always welcomes guests and is in search of new members! Various Fort Bend clubs exist and can accommodate early morning (7 a.m.), noon and evening meeting time desires. For more info, contact Mike Reichek, Regional Vice President, 281575-1145 or mike@reichekfinancial.com We would love to have you join us and see what we are all about! MISSOURI CITY AARP CHAPTER 3801 Meets the second Monday of every month at 11:30 a.m., at 2701 Cypress Point Dr., Missouri City Rec Center. Lunch, education, and entertainment. All seniors over 50 invited. For more information, call 713-859-5920 or 281-499-3345. BECOME A FOSTER GRANDPARENT Volunteers are needed to be a role model, mentor and friend to children with exceptional needs in the community. Training, mileage reimbursement, tax-free monthly stipend if eligible. Call today to help change the world, one child at a time in Rosenberg. For more information, call 281-344-3515.

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