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Fort Bend athletes showcase skills in Tokyo - Page 5

Stafford's Chunk's Burger spiced up a recent meal. Read the review inside today's edition on Page 8. (Photo by Stefan Modrich)

WEDNESDAY • AUGUST 4, 2021 Check out

our Daily specials

Planned gas station frustrating county residents By Matt deGrood MDEGROOD@FORTBENDSTAR.COM

online ordering & Curbside pick-up!

9920 Hwy 90A Suite #D-120 Sugar Land, TX 77478 832-532-7816

Area parents worry amid variant spike By Matt deGrood MDEGROOD@FORTBENDSTAR.COM

Sumita Chowdhury Ghosh sees the daily updates about the rise in cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19, and worries about what it will mean for her two children who are about to go back to Fort Bend ISD schools. More than just being worried about the unknown, Ghosh is concerned that both parents and even local school districts are relatively powerless to do anything about it, she said. “We’re stuck between a rock and hard place,” she said. “I have serious concerns.” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott last week signed a new executive order that, among other things, reiterates that no public school district, governmental entity or entity that receives government funding can institute a mask mandate. The order changes little about public policy in the state, instead mostly reiterating executive orders and guidance Abbott has already given. “The new executive order emphasizes that the path forward relies on personal responsibility rather than government mandates,” Abbott wrote. Abbott’s decision comes as a growing number of residents have checked themselves into Fort Bend County hospitals in recent weeks and have been diagnosed with the Delta variant of COVID-19. As of early June, Fort Bend County was seeing daily case increases in only the double digits, a sharp decline from thousand-case increase days in early 2021, according to the county’s coronavirus dashboard. But those daily cases increases have gone up to about 400 per day as of the latest count, according to the dashboard. COVID-related hospitalizations are also on the rise. Coronavirus patients now account for about 10.3 percent of all operational hospital beds in Fort Bend County facilities, up from about 7.9

Yetzirah Urthaler Basaran and her husband thought they had purchased the perfect home – a beautiful residence they’d get to help design themselves in a brand-new development called the Haven at Seven Lakes. And the Katy ISD schools are some of the best in the region, she said.

Abbott

It wasn’t until the Richmond couple was driving to a preconstruction meeting in June that they noticed a sign advertising a gas station, and began to have concerns, she said. “If we’d known this was going to be so close, I don’t think we would have purchased this home,” Basaran said. “In terms of priorities, health comes first before schools.” Basaran’s mother, for instance, is battling breast

For t Bend residents have some apprehension about the planned Pit Stop Express gas station in Katy. (Photo by Matt deGrood)

cancer and Basaran worries about living so close to a facility that produces benzene, she said. As the couple set out

SEE GAS STATION PAGE 7

Soaking up sunshine

Pictured above is Acciona's solar plant in Portugal. The Spain-based renewable energy company is building a solar plant in Fort Bend County, which could look similar to the one shown here. (Contributed photo)

Solar booming in Fort Bend County, state By Matt deGrood MDEGROOD@FORTBENDSTAR.COM

Fort Bend County for years has drawn major companies looking to invest in solar projects because of its proximity to Houston’s energy market, its comparative abundance of land and an eager county government seeking to benefit from the growing market. It’s those factors, along with several others, that led Fort Bend County resident Stephen K. Brown II to help an Australia-based group launch a solar farm project in his home county after first looking at sev-

Work has begun on a Fort Bend County solar farm, which will be located in the southwest portion of the county. (Contributed photo)

eral other places, he said. Brown is the interim CEO of Clean Energy Fund of Texas and former president of another renewable

energy company called Capital Assets Energy. He helped Lendlease buy county land several years ago that is now being de-

veloped into a solar farm by Acciona, a Spain-based renewable energy company that is taking advantage of tax abatements offered by the county. “Compared to those counties south of Houston – Brazoria and Galveston – there’s less flooding,” Brown said. “So, Fort Bend is more attractive.” The county has been part of an almost quiet revolution in Texas, the rapid and dramatic expansion of the solar industry – a trend that looks set to continue even after some elected leaders lambasted the industry without evidence for causing the near-catastrophic failure

of the state’s power grid during February’s winter storm. Officials with the county did not respond to requests for comment by Monday afternoon about why they’ve decided to invest in solar projects. “Solar is booming in Texas, and even more so since the storm,” said Nick Liberati, a spokesperson for EnergySage, a company that allows customers to compare prices from different solar companies. In the week of the storm, searches on the company’s website increased about

SEE SOLAR PAGE 7

H-GAC to start exploring public transportation options By Matt deGrood MDEGROOD@FORTBENDSTAR.COM

SEE VARIANT PAGE 7

Visit www.FortBendStar.com

Fort Bend / Southwest • Volume 45 • No. 50

Leaders with the Houston-Galveston Area Council are soliciting input on the state of public transportation in Fort Bend County and the Houston region. Public transportation across the region had been steadily growing and expanding before the pandemic begin in

March 2020, according to Jamila Owens, the council’s travel demand program manager. At its height, Fort Bend County residents were making more than 14,000 trips per day on the county’s commuter route. But the pandemic has cut those numbers in half, and while they’ve recovered slightly in recent months, regional travel experts are

working to see what needs residents have for public transportation, Owens said. “I think we’re in an interesting spot right now,” Owens said. “The newer generation is more open to public transportation than maybe we were previously.” Fort Bend County commuters currently have two options for public trans-

portation, Owens said. The first is a commuter bus service that makes regular trips to the Galleria area, Gre-

enway Plaza and the Texas Medical Center, with service to downtown set to begin in 2022, she said. There’s also a demand-response service, which residents could use to arrange a trip within Fort Bend County, say from Sugar land to Missouri City, Owens said.

SEE OPTIONS PAGE 7

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THE STAR

PAGE 2 • Wednesday, August 4, 2021

See us online www.FortBendStar.com

Man arrested in County aiming to improve public connection with local fatal shooting engagement ability

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14700 Almeda Rd. Houston, TX 77053 www.HoustonHumane.org

By Landan Kuhlmann

By Landan Kuhlmann

LKUHLMANN@FORTBENDSTAR.COM

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Clooney, 5 years old, I'm a big but gentle boy. I get excited to go on walks and do pretty good on a leash. I enjoy open spaces and exploring on my walks. If there's a kiddie pool around, I'm likely going to lay in it! I'm easygoing and easy to please. All I need is a comfy bed, daily treats, and someone to love.

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Fort Bend County authorities say they have arrested a man accused of fatally shooting another man during an argument in Rosenberg last month. The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office said Dustin Arguijo, 35, has been charged with criminal negligent homicide in connection to the shooting death of 32-year-old Alfred Garcia. Arguijo surrendered at the Fort Bend Criminal Justice Center on July 27, according to police. Investigators received a call about 7:30 p.m. July 16 about a possible shooting victim, who had checked

Arguijo

into the OakBend Medical Center with severe injuries. Garcia died on July 20, according to police. Arguijo had bonded out of jail as of Monday afternoon, according to police spokesperson Jacqueline Preston.

LKUHLMANN@FORTBENDSTAR.COM

A man sought on multiple felony warrants in Fort Bend County has been arrested, according to the sheriff’s office. Carlos Barrera, 27, was arrested last week at a home in the 2900 block of Misty Park Drive in Houston by a sheriff’s office investigator and several other members of the Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Task Force, according to the sher-

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iff’s office. Jacqueline Preston, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office, declined to comment on

the arrest, or elaborate on what, exactly, Barrera is accused of. Barrera is charged with burglary of a habitation, robbery, attempted arson and burglary of a habitation with intent to commit felony in connection to incidents dating back to October 2020, according to Fort Bend County court records. His bond was set at a combined $182,000, according to court records. As of Thursday afternoon, he had bonded out of jail, according to

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Preston. FBCSO said deputies initially responded to a family violence assault call on June 10 in the 17000 block of Pastoria Drive in the Mission West subdivision, later learning that the victim was also allegedly robbed. Police said they had already been searching for Barrera after responding to the same residence in March for additional alleged family violencerelated charges, and issued warrants for his arrest following the latter incident.

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a streamlined improvement. On the mobile app, the release said residents can access county services and resources, voting information, jury and court information, pay property taxes, receive active emergency notifications and more in over 100 different languages. The mobile app can be downloaded from the Apple Store and Google Play Store.

Area man arrested on multiple felony charges By Landan Kuhlmann

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Fort Bend County has launched a new website and mobile application for those seeking information about county government and function, according to County Judge KP George’s office. A news release from the county said the web address (FBCTX. gov) and the “MyFBC” are the results of ongoing conversations about web options to help better communicate with its residents. Officials said fortbendcountytx.gov will still be the active home website for the county, but that the shortened address is

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THE IMPOSSIBLE MADE POSSIBLE Mike Lyons’ left leg was crushed in a construction accident back in 1994. “I was told it was a useless mass of flesh and that I should amputate. I didn’t want to amputate and had to fight to keep my leg. Many surgeries later I endured a great deal of pain. A few years later I was in an auto accident that hyperextended my thumbs. My pastor recommended I go see Dr. Harris at Sugar Land Health Center. Dr. Harris and Dr. Brazzell are different doctors. They wanted to know everything that was wrong and prescribed a plan to treat my whole body, even my left leg that other doctors said was impossible to help. I began to gain feeling back and an increase in my range of motion in my thumbs and leg. Today I don’t walk with a limp and I can even do a real squat! I’m a forensic scientist, I never take for granted what I cannot prove. What Dr. Harris and Dr. Brazzell do is really quite incredible!” - Mike Lyons

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Wednesday, August 4, 2021 • PAGE

3

Renewable energy is not the enemy As temperatures plunged during February’s winter storm, my mother braved sleet and icy roads and drove from Amarillo to Odessa to pick up my niece, fearing she might freeze to death if she didn’t act. The two West Texas cities were facing similar temperatures and the same winter weather. So, what difference would it make to drive a little more than 260 miles as city leaders warned residents to stay off bad roads to ferry her granddaughter back to Amarillo? Odessa, like all of us in Fort Bend County and the Houston region, receives power from the state’s grid, governed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), whereas Amarillo does not. Odessa lost power for days during the storm. Amarillo did not. February’s winter storm

Matt deGrood MANAGING EDITOR

was a uniquely Texan catastrophe, spurred in large part by an irrational absolute faith in the state’s exceptionalism and bad public policy. But more confounding than the initial failure itself has been the adamant refusal by state leaders in the months since to conduct an honest and soul-searching assessment of what went wrong, and how the state might prevent such failures in the future. To hear Gov. Greg Abbott tell the tale, it’s nothing state officials did wrong, so much as the insipid meddling of liber-

als in Washington and renewable energy that were most at fault for the catastrophic failure of the state’s power grid. Such accounts of the matter fail to provide an explanation for how liberals managed to successfully steer energy policy in a state that has effectively had one-party Republican rule since I was but a child. No matter. The sad irony of it all is that, for all the state’s failings in February, Texas for years has actually been a national leader in investing in new and renewable energy technology while also encouraging the oil, gas and nuclear industries. As we told you in today’s front-page story, some places, such as Fort Bend County, have not forgotten this fact, choosing to invest in solar and renewable energy projects that come searching and keeping one eye on the future. One need not drive West

Fort Bend ISD to offer free student meals during upcoming school year By Landan Kuhlmann LKUHLMANN@FORTBENDSTAR.COM

All Fort Bend ISD students will once again have access to free meals during the upcoming academic year. A July 29 news release from Fort Bend ISD said the district will offer free breakfast and lunch to all students for the entire

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2021-22 school year thanks to an extended waiver by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). FBISD said all of the district’s students will have access to the free

meals, but that families are still encouraged to complete the Free & Reduced Meals application at www. schoolcafe.com/fbisd. The applications opened on Monday. To see menus, learn more about meal nutrition and other benefits available to families, community members can visit FBISD’s Child Nutrition website at fortbendisd.com/Page/218.

A Helping Hand

Texas roads for long to see how quickly the state’s renewable energy industry has expanded, with wind turbines dotting the landscape in some places. And such a trend was hardly a partisan battleground until relatively recently, when solar panels and wind turbines became a convenient whipping boy for elected leaders that would rather not point the finger at themselves for the state’s worst disaster of recent memory. “You can be proud that Texas produces more energy from wind turbines than all but five countries,” then-Gov. Rick Perry said in a 2015 farewell speech. And, no less than George W. Bush helped initiate the state’s wind energy growth with a 1999 bill that included a renewable-energy requirement, according to a Texas Tribune article. I think it was a charac-

ter in the Texas-based film "No Country for Old Men" who said, “You can’t stop what’s coming.” Whether we like it or not, renewable energy sources like wind and solar power are here to stay. Even Ford has released its own electric vehicle. The train has left the station. Critics of renewable energy point out the federal subsidies it receives. But what industry is more heavily-subsidized than the oil and gas industry? Direct and indirect tax subsidies for the fossil fuel industry total some $20 billion per year in the United States, according to a 2017 federal budget analysis by the Donald J. Trump administration. During the storm, some 46,000 megawatts dropped off the state’s grid via multiple sources, according to ERCOT. More than 60 percent of what failed, or some 28,000, was

via thermal generators – coal, gas and nuclear. Castigating renewable energy won’t keep the lights on in Texas the next time cold polar weather comes knocking. The only purpose such efforts serve might could be to someone’s reelection campaign. But it certainly doesn’t benefit the millions of us who lost power during the February winter storm, or the hundreds that froze to death or died of carbon monoxide poisoning. Perhaps the rest of the state can learn something from Fort Bend County, in this regard. County leaders have shown it is possible to both invest in the renewable future, while still supporting our state’s oil and gas industry. Such efforts are hardly partisan, but rather good-faith attempts to keep the region positioned as an innovative leader for generations to come.

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Worship Directory FORT BEND COUNT Y

BAPTIST CHURCH

HERITAGE BAPTIST CHURCH • 281-403-4994 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

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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

Formerly known as the Fort Bend Newcomers Guide, the Fort Bend Star Guide is a twice a year product that serves as a guide to everyday living in our unique community. Where to go, places to see, things to do and services that are available in Sugar Land, Missouri City, Richmond, Rosenberg, Stafford, and Fort Bend County.

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THE STAR

PAGE 4 • Wednesday, August 4, 2021

See us online www.FortBendStar.com

Skeeters Spotlight: Hunter Brown Hunter Brown prepares to release a pitch for the Corpus Christi Hooks earlier this season. The Astros' No. 4 prospect made his Sugar Land debut Sunday. (Photo from Twitter)

LAST WEEK’S SCORES

Landan Kuhlmann

July 26: Oklahoma City 3, Sugar Land 2 July 27: Sugar Land 8, Oklahoma City 3 July 29: Sugar Land 4, El Paso 3 July 30: El Paso 6, Sugar Land 3 July 31 (DH): Sugar Land 6, El Paso 4 (7 innings) July 31: El Paso 2, Sugar Land 1 (7 innings) August 1: Sugar Land 3, El Paso 2

SPORTS REPORTER

as they have made their way into being yearly World Series contenders. And it’s no different this week as we spotlight one of the organization’s most highly-touted prospects. Right-handed pitcher Hunter Brown – the Astros’ third-ranked prospect -- was promoted to the Skeeters on Saturday, less than two weeks after second-ranked prospect Pedro Leon’s promotion. During his Sugar Land

For those who follow their favorite Major League Baseball team’s minor league system, there is little more exciting than the development and/or promotion of a top prospect that has fans buzzing. I can certainly speak to it from experience, having been an avid follower of the Houston Astros’ system for years

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debut Sunday night, Brown allowed one run over six innings, scattering two hits and striking out seven hitters against a lone walk. This one is especially exciting for me, because I had the chance to see Brown in person back in June during a vacation to Corpus Christi. I came away from that outing believing the hype is very much warranted. The fast-rising Brown will be the focus of this week’s Skeeters Spotlight installment. General overview Brown has faced high expectations from the jump of his professional career. The Astros selected him in the fifth round of the 2019 draft after three seasons at Wayne State University, during which he posted a 3.33 ERA and struck out 170 batters in 159.2 innings. Right off the bat, Brown showed why the Astros were so high on him. Despite posting a 4.56 ERA in 23.2 innings at short-season Tri City in 2019, his electric arm came to life almost instantly, striking out 33 batters – or a rate of 12.5 strikeouts per nine innings – in his debut pro season. The fact Brown and the

rest of minor league baseball had their 2020 season wiped out by the COVID-19 pandemic did not appear to faze the Astros’ front office, which promoted him to Double-A Corpus Christi to begin the 2021 season. He posted a 4.20 ERA in 49.1 innings for Corpus Christi prior to the promotion, but struck out 76 hitters – good for 13.9 K/9 – in that span So the 22-year-old Brown has had a lot of faith placed in him by the Astros’ organization. What does the future hold for the prized hurler? Let’s dig a little deeper. Landan’s lowdown First things first – arms like Hunter Brown’s absolutely do not grow on trees. That being said, this has been a focus of the Astros’ scouting department in the last decade or so – find big arms who couple high-velocity fastballs with swing-and-miss off-speed arsenals, and mold them into key cogs in their pitching machine. Whether it’s Lance McCullers, Jr., Enoli Paredes, Josh James or someone else, that’s the MO. And Brown certainly fits the bill. As soon as I saw he would be the starting pitcher on June 18, I instantly perked up. Because it’s one thing to hear the hype, but everyone who follows prospects relishes the chance to see it in person. And let me tell you – the hype is very real and warranted. He threw 86 pitches that night in Corpus over 5.1 innings, with a live fastball that was still sitting around 95-96 miles per hour as he neared the conclusion of his outing. Brown struck out 10 hitters in the game. Including that outing, he had a 2.79 ERA in his last nine appearances with the Hooks prior to the promotion, striking out 62 batters in

just 38.2 IP while allowing a .201 batting average against him. All that said, the issue with Brown now and moving forward will continue to be what has been a common issue with Astros arms in recent years – command of his secondary pitches. He struggled to command his off-speed pitches that night, and issued 29 walks in his 49.1 innings as a Hook. But having the ability to miss bats at the elite level that Brown has shown during his brief time at the professional level is typically a precursor to success, provided the trend continues as he grows into his pitching arsenal. Prediction: Brown is one of those rare arms the Astros have specialized in finding during recent drafts. His delivery mechanics combined with his young age shows incredible potential for even more growth as he ages. I’d say his ceiling is as high as a top-of-rotation starter, while my worst-case scenario is bullpen dynamo. Either way, look for this guy to be on the mound at Minute Maid Park sooner rather than later. Quick hits Meyers on the move: Outfielder Jake Meyers was promoted to the Astros on Friday afternoon. He made his major league debut on Sunday against the San Francisco Giants, striking out in a pinch-hit plate appearance. Meyers was hitting .343 with a 1.006 OPS with Sugar Land this season prior to his callup. Jones-ing for hits: Infielder/outfielder Taylor Jones went 6 for 20 last week, with two homers and five RBIs. Jones, who has appeared in 21 MLB games this season, is hitting .330 with a .939 OPS for Sugar Land. Siri shines: Outfield prospect Jose Siri had one of his stronger weeks in recent memory, going 7 for 22 with a homer and a triple last week, reaching base in 10 of his 25 plate appearances.

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Wednesday, August 4, 2021 • PAGE

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Fort Bend graduates showing out in Tokyo Olympics Baseball America, and is taking part in his first Olympic games. The 20-year-old

By Landan Kuhlmann LKUHLMANN@FORTBENDSTAR.COM

Multiple Fort Bend ISD graduates are among the select crowd competing in Tokyo this week at the 2020 Olympic games. Former FBISD athletes Simone Manuel (Austin High School), Bryce Deadmon (Ridge Point) and Simeon Woods-Richardson (Kempner) are among athletes representing the United States in the Tokyo Olympics, which began July 23 and ends this Sunday, Aug. 8. The games were initially slated for 2020, but were postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The swimmer Manuel is the most recognizable name of the bunch, competing in her second Olympic Games since graduating from Austin in 2014. In Tokyo, she anchored the 400-meter freestyle relay team that took home a bronze medal. She also qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympics in

Manuel

Rio de Janeiro, taking home four medals. Manuel won an individual gold medal in the 100 freestyle and helped the United States to a 400 medley team gold, while also helping the Americans take the silver in the 400 freestyle relay and winning an individual silver in the 50 freestyle. Deadmon is participating in his first Olympic Games. The former Ridge Point and Texas A&M track standout ran the third leg for the United States’ 1,600 mixed relay last Saturday, helping the Americans win the bronze medal in an event that made its debut in Tokyo. Woods-Richardson was

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Woods-Richardson

originally taken in the second round of the 2018 MLB Draft by the New York Mets, and is currently in the Minnesota Twins’ organization. The Kemper product was ranked as MLB’s No. 69 prospect entering 2021, according to

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AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF MISSOURI CITY GRANTING TO SIENERGY, L.P., THE RIGHT, PRIVILEGE AND FRANCHISE TO CONSTRUCT, INSTALL, EXTEND, REMOVE, REPLACE, ABANDON, OPERATE AND MAINTAIN ITS FACILITIES WITHIN THE PUBLIC RIGHTS-OF-WAY OF THE CITY OF MISSOURI CITY, TEXAS FOR THE TRANSPORTATION, DELIVERY, SALE AND DISTRIBUTION OF NATURAL GAS; CONTAINING OTHER PROVISIONS RELATING TO THE FOREGOING SUBJECT; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. The aforementioned meetings will be open to the public. 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 24 hours prior to the subject meeting. Please contact Michael Tubbs, Facilities and Fleet Manager at 281-403-8500.

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City of Missouri City Attn: Purchasing Office – RFP No. 21-108 PID AND TIRZ ADMINISTRATION SERVICES 1522 Texas Parkway Missouri City, Texas 77489

Pursuant to Section 10.03 of the City of Missouri City Charter, notice is hereby given that the City Council of the City of Missouri City will consider an ordinance granting a franchise (authority to use public rights-of-way) for a gas utility, SiEnergy, L.P., on first reading on Monday, August, 2, 2021; on second reading on Monday, August 16, 2021; and on third reading on Tuesday, September 7, 2021, at 7:00 p.m. in the Missouri City Community Center, 1522, Texas Parkway, Missouri City, Texas. The caption for the proposed ordinance is as follows:

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Responses must be sealed, marked on the outside of the delivery envelope with the RFP name and number as listed above, and the due date. Responses must be delivered to the attention of:

CITY OF MISSOURI CITY

TRANE ON SALE!

cannot be combined with any offer

Stafford near Kirkwood & Southwest Fwy

Prior to the acceptance deadline. Responses marked improperly and therefore misdirected may be disqualified. Until final award of the contract, the City reserves the right to reject any or all responses, to waive irregularities or technicalities, to re-advertise, or proceed to do the work otherwise when in the best interests of the City. No proposal may be withdrawn during the 120 days following the RFP due date.

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O N PA G E 6

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS NO. 21-108 - PID AND TIRZ ADMINISTRATION SERVICES Commodity Code: 946-10, 946-16, 946-20, 946-49, 946-56, 946-60, 946-85

(281)

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IMPROVEMENT

The ARB is a citizen board of Fort Bend County residents. ARB members serve on panels of three and preside over property disputes between property owners and the Fort Bend Central Appraisal District (FBCAD). The ARB serves as a neutral body who listens to testimony and reviews evidence from both sides to resolve the protests. Members are compensated for hearings, meetings, and training, serve up to 3, 2-year terms, and must be available each term year May - July.

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City Secretary City of Missouri City, Texas

in any of the United States’ three games in Tokyo as of Monday afternoon.

Deadmon

C LASSIFIED

HIRE

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THE FOLLOWING ADS HAVE NOT BEEN SCREENED BY THE SOUTHEASTERN ADVERTISING PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION (SAPA); Therefore, any discrepancies thereof shall not be the responsibility of the aforementioned association. Your publisher has agreed to participate in this program and run these ads as a service to the Southeastern Advertising Publishers Association.

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THE STAR

PAGE 6 • Wednesday, August 4, 2021

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See us online www.FortBendStar.com

A DS

Local Event? C LASSIFIED

LEGALS

Let the community know in our Community Calendar! jsazma@fortbendstar.com

A DS

SERVICES

LEGALS

The District was created to finance public infrastructure improvements to the Enclave at RiverPark subdivision, an approximately 54-acre single family residential development located along US59 adjacent to and accessed through the RiverPark subdivision. The developer has been reimbursed for improvements already constructed in the development- including roads and public utilities totaling $2.125 million in January 2019.

TAROT CARD & CRYSTAL READINGS

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The proposed assessment for 2021 is $460 per lot which is a $100 decrease from the 2020 assessment of $560 per lot. This assessment has decreased annually since first assessed at $1,107 per lot 2015 and is anticipated to continue to decrease through the life of the PID. Oral or written objections or input will be considered at the public hearing or you may visit www.sugarlandtx.gov/ PublicHearingComment for feedback or information.

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING SPECIAL EXCEPTION TO THE REQUIRED REAR YARD SETBACK IN THE STANDARD SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENTIAL R-1 ZONING DISTRICT FOR THE PROPERTY LOCATED AT 3003 BUCKNELL COURT Zoning Board of Adjustment Public Hearing 5:00 p.m., August 18, 2021, City of Sugar Land City Council Chamber, 2700 Town Center Boulevard North, hosted via live stream at http://www.sugarlandtx. gov/1238/SLTV-16-Live-Video or https:// www.youtube.com/sugarlandtxgov/live, and Sugar Land Comcast Subscribers can also tune-in on Channel 16 to hear all persons interested in proposed Special Exception to the Rear Yard Setback for 3003 Bucknell Court, Lot 18, Block 6, Sugar Creek Section Three, in the Standard SingleFamily Residential (R-1) District.

VICINITY MAP:

The agenda item for this meeting will be placed on the City of Sugar Land website at www.sugarlandtx.gov under “Meeting Agendas” Zoning Board of Adjustment no later than Friday, August 13, 2021. Request details or provide feedback on the proposed special exception online at www. sugarlandtx.gov/PublicHearingComment or contact City of Sugar Land Planning & Development Services Department at (281) 275-2218.

Career and Technical Education Methods of Administration (MOA) Career and Technical Education

The post office address to which claims may be presented and which is preferred by the personal representative is: DAVID R. DOEHRING Attorney for JULIO E. ESCOBAR, INDEPENDENT EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE OF LUIS F. ESCOBAR A.K.A. LUIS FELIPE ESCOBAR, Deceased 2000 South Dairy Ashford, Ste 298 Houston, Texas 77077

VICINITY MAP:

The agenda item for this meeting will be placed on the City of Sugar Land website at www.sugarlandtx.gov under “Meeting Agendas” Zoning Board of Adjustment no later than Friday, August 13, 2021. Request details or provide feedback on the proposed special exception online at www. sugarlandtx.gov/PublicHearingComment or contact City of Sugar Land Planning & Development Services Department at (281) 275-2218.

LEGALS NOTICE TO CREDITORS Notice is hereby given that original Letters Testamentary in the Estate of LUIS F. ESCOBAR A.K.A. LUIS FELIPE ESCOBAR, Deceased, were issued to JULIO E. ESCOBAR, INDEPENDENT EXECUTOR on July 13, 2021, in Docket No. 21CPR-035941, pending in the County Court-at-Law No. 4 of Fort Bend County, Texas, to: JULIO E. ESCOBAR.

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING CLASSIFIED ADS THAT GET RESULTS CALL US SPECIAL EXCEPTION TO THE REQUIRED REAR YARD SETBACK IN THE AT 281-690-4200 STANDARD SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENTIAL (INTERIM) R-1-I ZONING DISTRICT FOR THE PROPERTY LOCATED AT 7930 CHIANTI COURT

Zoning Board of Adjustment Public Hearing 5:00 p.m., August 18, 2021, City of Sugar Land City Council Chamber, 2700 Town Center Boulevard North, hosted via live stream at http://www.sugarlandtx. gov/1238/SLTV-16-Live-Video or https:// www.youtube.com/sugarlandtxgov/live, and Sugar Land Comcast Subscribers can also tune-in on Channel 16 to hear all persons interested in proposed Special Exception to the Rear Yard Setback for 7930 Chianti Court, Lot 29, Block 1, Greatwood Tuscany Place Section Three, in the Standard Single-Family Residential (Interim) (R-1-I) District.

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ENCLAVE AT RIVERPARK PUBLIC IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT ASSESSMENT The City of Sugar Land will hold a public hearing on the proposed 2021 assessment for properties located in the Enclave at RiverPark Public Improvement District at 5:30 p.m. during the City Council Meeting August 17, 2021, City of Sugar Land City Council Chamber, 2700 Town Center Boulevard North.

CLASSIFIED ADS THAT GET RESULTS CALL US AT 281-690-4200

CITY OF MISSOURI CITY NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING FOR THE PROPOSED ENLARGEMENT OF REINVESTMENT ZONE NUMBER TWO, CITY OF MISSOURI CITY, TEXAS (THE “ZONE”) PURSUANT TO CHAPTER 311, TEXAS TAX CODE. Notice is hereby given that the City Council of the City of Missouri City will hold a public hearing on Monday, August 16, 2021, at 7:00 p.m. in the Missouri City Community Center, 1522, Texas Parkway, Missouri City, Texas, concerning the proposed enlargement of Reinvestment Zone Number Two, City of Missouri City, Texas, to: (1) add an additional 2.0883 acres of land to the Zone. The area is located along the proposed Watts Plantation Road, north of the Sienna residential subdivision, south of State Highway 6, east of Knight Road and west of Shipmans Cove Boulevard. The location of the additional area is depicted as follows:

All persons having claims against this Estate which is currently being administered are required to present them within the time and in the manner prescribed by law. DATED the 26th day of July, 2021.

David R. Doehring DAVID R. DOEHRING 2000 South Dairy Ashford Rd., Ste. 298 Houston, Texas 77077 TEL: (281) 497-0093 FAX: (281) 497-8630 ATTORNEYS FOR THE INDEPENDENT EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE OF LUIS F. ESCOBAR A.K.A. LUIS FELIPE ESCOBAR

All persons are invited to attend the hearing and speak for or against the proposed enlargement of the Zone. 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 24 hours prior to this meeting. Please contact Michael Tubbs, Facilities and Fleet Manager at 281-403-8500. City Secretary City of Missouri City, Texas

Methods of Administration (MOA)

Public Notification of Nondiscrimination in Career and Technical Education Programs

TEXAS COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY

Public Notification of Nondiscrimination in Career and Technical Education Programs

Fort Bend ISD offers career and technical education programs in Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, Architecture and Construction, Arts and Audio Video, Business Marketing and Fort Bend ISD offers career and technical educationHospitality programs inand Agriculture, and Natural Finance, Education and Training, Health Science, Tourism,Food Human Services, Resources, Architecture Law and and Construction, Arts and Audio Video, Business and Information Technology, Public Services, Manufacturing, STEM,Marketing Transportation, Finance, Education and Training, Health Science, Hospitality and Tourism, Human Services, Distribution and Logistics. Admission to these programs is based on student course selection Information Technology, Law and Public Services, Manufacturing, STEM, Transportation, and appropriate completion of pre-requisite coursework. Distribution and Logistics. Admission to these programs is based on student course selection and appropriate completion of pre-requisite coursework.

It is the policy of Fort Bend ISD not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sexItor servicesonorthe activities required Title VI of the is handicap the policy in of its Fortvocational Bend ISD programs, not to discriminate basis ofas race, color, by national origin, Civil Rights Act of in1964, as amended; Titleservices IX of the Education of VI 1972; sex or handicap its vocational programs, or activities as Amendments required by Title of theand Section 504 of Act the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Civil Rights of 1964, as amended; Title as IX amended. of the Education Amendments of 1972; and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

It is the policy of Fort Bend ISD not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, is the policyorofage FortinBend ISD not to discriminate the basis race, origin,Act sex,It handicap, its employment practices asonrequired byofTitle VIcolor, of thenational Civil Rights sex, handicap, or ageTitle in itsIX employment practices as required by VI of Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; of the Education Amendments ofTitle 1972; thethe Age Discrimination of the Education of Act 1972; the Age Actofof1964, 1975,as asamended; amended;Title andIXSection 504 of theAmendments Rehabilitation of 1973, asDiscrimination amended. Act of 1975, as amended; and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

Fort Bend ISD will take steps to assure that lack of English language skills will not be a barrier Fort Bend ISD will take steps to assure that lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation vocationalprograms. programs. to admission and participationininall alleducational educational and and vocational ForFor information about your contactthe theCTE CTETitle Title Coordinator information about yourrights rightsororgrievance grievance procedures, procedures, contact IXIX Coordinator at Meredith.Watassek@fortbendisd.com, and/orthe theSection Section504 504 Coordinator at Meredith.Watassek@fortbendisd.com, 281-634-5446, 281-634-5446, and/or Coordinator at at Ronje.Gonzales@fortbendisd.com, Ronje.Gonzales@fortbendisd.com,281-634-1242. 281-634-1242. Methodsof ofAdministration Administration (MOA) Methods (MOA) Divisionof of Review Review and and Support Division Support OfficeofofSpecial Special Populations Populations Monitoring Office Monitoring (512) 463-9414 463-9414 (512)

Career and Technical Education Methods of Administration (MOA) Career and Technical Education Methods of Administration (MOA)

Notificación Pública de No Discriminación en Programas de Educación Técnica y Vocacional El Notificación Distrito Escolar Independiente de Fort Bend ofrece programas de educación técnica y Pública de No Discriminación en Programas de Educación Técnica y Vocacional vocacional en Agricultura, Alimento y los Recursos Naturales, Arquitectura y Construcción, El Distrito Escolar Independiente de Fort Bend ofrece programas de educación técnica y de Artes en Tecnología y las Comunicaciones de Audio/Visual, Educación y Entrenamiento vocacional en Agricultura, Alimento y los Recursos Naturales, Arquitectura y Construcción, Negocios, Finanzas, Ciencias de la Salud, Hospitalidad y Turismo, Servicios Humanos, Artes en Tecnología las Comunicaciones de Audio/Visual, Educación y Entrenamiento de Tecnología Informática,y Ley y Seguridad Pública, Producción en Fábricas, Mercadotécnia, Negocios, Finanzas, Ciencias de la Salud, Hospitalidad Turismo, Humanos, Ciencias-Tecnología-Ingeniería-Matemáticas (STEM pory sus siglasServicios en inglés), Tecnología Informática, LeyyyLogísticas. Seguridad Pública, Producción en programas Fábricas, Mercadotécnia, Transportación, Distribución La admisión a estos está basada en la Ciencias-Tecnología-Ingeniería-Matemáticas (STEM por sus siglas en inglés), selección de cursos del alumno y previamente haber completado satisfactoriamente los Transportación, Distribución y Logísticas. La admisión a estos programas está basada en la cursos requeridos. selección de cursos del alumno y previamente haber completado satisfactoriamente los cursos requeridos.

Es norma del Distrito Escolar Independiente de Fort Bend no discriminar en sus programas, servicios o actividades por motivos de Bend raza,no color, origen en nacional, sexo o Es norma del Distrito vocacionales Escolar Independiente de Fort discriminar sus programas, impedimento, tal como lovocacionales requieren elpor Título VI dedelaraza, Ley color, de Derechos Civiles sexo de 1964, servicios o actividades motivos origen nacional, o según enmienda;talTítulo de las Enmiendas de 1972, y la Sección impedimento, como IX lo requieren el Título VIen delalaEducación Ley de Derechos Civiles de 1964, 504 de la Ley de Rehabilitación de 1973, según enmienda. según enmienda; Título IX de las Enmiendas en la Educación de 1972, y la Sección 504 de la Ley de Rehabilitación de 1973, según enmienda.

Es norma del Distrito Escolar Independiente de Fort Bend no discriminar en sus Es norma del de Distrito Escolar de Fort Bend no discriminar en susimpedimento o procedimientos empleo por Independiente motivos de raza, color, origen nacional, sexo, procedimientos empleo el porTítulo motivos de raza, origen nacional, impedimento edad, tal como lo de requieren VI de la Leycolor, de Derechos Civilessexo, de 1964, según o edad, talTítulo como IX lo requieren el Título VIendelalaEducación, Ley de Derechos Civiles según enmienda; de las Enmiendas de 1972, la leydede1964, Discriminación de las Enmiendas de 1972, ley de porenmienda; Edad, deTítulo 1975,IX según enmienda; en y la la Educación, Sección 504 de lalaLey de Discriminación Rehabilitación de por según Edad, de 1975, según enmienda; y la Sección 504 de la Ley de Rehabilitación de 1973, enmienda.

Notice of Draft Federal Operating Permit Draft Permit No.: O4283 Application and Draft Permit. ChampionX LLC, 7701 Highway 90A, Sugar Land, TX 77478-2121, has applied to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) for an initial issuance of Federal Operating Permit (herein referred to as Permit) No. O4283, Application No. 31278, to authorize operation of the Sugar Land Plant, an All Other Miscellaneous Chemical Product Manufacturing facility. The area addressed by the application is located at 7701 Highway 90A in Sugar Land, Fort Bend County, Texas 77478-2121. This link to an electronic map of the site or facility’s general location is provided as a public courtesy and not part of the application or notice. For exact location, refer to the application. You can find an electronic map of the facility at: http://www.tceq.texas.gov/assets/public/hb610/index.html?lat=29.619166&lng=95.640833&zoom=13&type=r. This application was received by the TCEQ on October 5, 2020. The purpose of a federal operating permit is to improve overall compliance with the rules governing air pollution control by clearly listing all applicable requirements, as defined in Title 30 Texas Administrative Code § 122.10 (30 TAC § 122.10). The draft permit, if approved, will codify the conditions under which the area must operate. The permit will not authorize new construction. The executive director has completed the technical review of the application and has made a preliminary decision to prepare a draft permit for public comment and review. The executive director recommends issuance of this draft permit. The permit application, statement of basis, and draft permit will be available for viewing and copying at the TCEQ Central Office, 12100 Park 35 Circle, Building E, First Floor, Austin, Texas 78753; the TCEQ Houston Regional Office, 5425 Polk St Ste H, Houston, Texas 77023-1452; and the Fort Bend County Library - First Colony Branch, 2121 Austin Pkwy, Sugar Land, Texas 77479-1219, beginning the first day of publication of this notice. The draft permit and statement of basis are available at the TCEQ Website: www.tceq.texas.gov/goto/tvnotice At the TCEQ central and regional offices, relevant supporting materials for the draft permit, as well as the New Source Review permits which have been incorporated by reference, may be reviewed and copied. Any person with difficulties obtaining these materials due to travel constraints may contact the TCEQ central office file room at (512) 239-2900. Public Comment/Notice and Comment Hearing. Any person may submit written comments on the draft permit. Comments relating to the accuracy, completeness, and appropriateness of the permit conditions may result in changes to the draft permit. A person who may be affected by the emission of air pollutants from the permitted area may request a notice and comment hearing. The purpose of the notice and comment hearing is to provide an additional opportunity to submit comments on the draft permit. The permit may be changed based on comments pertaining to whether the permit provides for compliance with 30 TAC Chapter 122 (examples may include that the permit does not contain all applicable requirements or the public notice procedures were not satisfied). The TCEQ may grant a notice and comment hearing on the application if a written hearing request is received within 30 days after publication of the newspaper notice. The hearing request must include the basis for the request, including a description of how the person may be affected by the emission of air pollutants from the application area. The request should also specify the conditions of the draft permit that are inappropriate or specify how the preliminary decision to issue or deny the permit is inappropriate. All reasonably ascertainable issues must be raised and all reasonably available arguments must be submitted by the end of the public comment period. If a notice and comment hearing is granted, all individuals that submitted written comments or a hearing request will receive written notice of the hearing. This notice will identify the date, time, and location for the hearing. Written public comments and/or requests for a notice and comment hearing should be submitted to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Office of the Chief Clerk, MC-105, P.O. Box 13087, Austin, Texas 78711-3087, or electronically at www14. tceq.texas.gov/epic/eComment/ and be received within 30 days after the date of newspaper publication of this notice. Please be aware that any contact information you provide, including your name, phone number, email address and physical address will become part of the agency’s public record. A notice of proposed final action that includes a response to comments and identification of any changes to the draft permit will be mailed to everyone who submitted public comments, a hearing request, or requested to be on the mailing list for this application. This mailing will also provide instructions for public petitions to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to request that the EPA object to the issuance of the proposed permit. After receiving a petition, the EPA may only object to the issuance of a permit which is not in compliance with the applicable requirements or the requirements of 30 TAC Chapter 122. Mailing List. In addition to submitting public comments, a person may ask to be placed on a mailing list for this application by sending a request to the Office of the Chief Clerk at the address above. Those on the mailing list will receive copies of future public notices (if any) mailed by the Chief Clerk for this application. Information. For additional information about this permit application or the permitting process, please contact the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Public Education Program, MC-108, P.O. Box 13087, Austin, Texas 78711-3087 or toll free at 1-800-6874040. Si desea información en Español, puede llamar al 1-800-687-4040. Further information may also be obtained for ChampionX LLC by calling Mrs. Theresa Craig at (281) 263- 7845. Notice Issuance Date: July 13, 2021

1973, según enmienda.

El Distrito Escolar Independiente de Fort Bend tomará las medidas necesarias para El Distrito Escolar Independiente de Fort Bend tomará las medidas necesarias para asegurar que la la falta inglés no nosea seaun unobstáculo obstáculopara para asegurar que faltadedehabilidad habilidaden en el el uso uso del del inglés la la admisión y participación educativosyy vocacionales. vocacionales. admisión y participaciónenentodos todoslos losprogramas programas educativos Para información sobre de quejas, quejas,comuníquese comuníquese con Para información sobresus susderechos derechos oo procedimientos procedimientos de con la la Coordinadora deldelTítulo técnicayyvocacional, vocacional, Coordinadora TítuloIXIXdel delprograma programa de de educación educación técnica Meredith.Watassek@fortbendisd.com, y/o lalaCoordinadora Coordinadoradedela laSección Sección Meredith.Watassek@fortbendisd.com,281-634-5446, 281-634-5446, y/o 504504 Ronje.Gonzales@fortbendisd.com, Ronje.Gonzales@fortbendisd.com,281-634-1242 281-634-1242 Methodsof ofAdministration Administration (MOA) Methods (MOA) Divisionof of Review Review and and Support Division Support OfficeofofSpecial Special Populations Populations Monitoring Office Monitoring (512) 463-9414 463-9414 (512)

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Wednesday, August 4, 2021 • PAGE

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Stafford theater makes for low-key matinee Stefan Modrich See Fortbendstar.com for related video

REPORTER

I have only been to a movie theater twice in the last two years, with my second visit coming last Friday at Stafford’s AMC Fountains 18, 11225 Fountain Lake Drive. Before that, my brother and I went to see "Tenet" in December in Houston, when masks were still required. We and most other moviegoers adhered to the guidelines, though they were not strictly enforced once you were actually in your seat with a drink and a bucket of popcorn. This time, however, I was fully vaccinated and curious to see how many others would be joining me for my matinee screening of "Space Jam: A New Legacy." I counted 15 other people during the coming attractions, not including a few stragglers who came in and out during the beginning of the film.

Last weekend, Stefan Modrich saw "Space Jam: A New Legacy" at Stafford’s AMC Fountains 18, 11225 Fountain Lake Drive. The movie-going experience hasn't changed much since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Stefan Modrich)

If you have been to a movie theater at any time in the last 12 months, you won’t find too much that has changed from the movie-going experience during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. But if you haven’t

seen a movie on the big screen since 2019 or earlier, you’re in for a bit of a shock. Theaters are essentially using skeleton crews now, with fewer employees taking tickets and manning the concession

★ VARIANT FROM PAGE 1

★ SOLAR FROM PAGE 1

percent in late July, according to data provided by the SouthEast Texas Regional Advisory Council, or SETRAC. Hospitals in Fort Bend County’s hospital district, which includes Harris and other suburban counties are seeing daily coronavirus admissions of about 270 per day, according to SETRAC. Despite the rise, Fort Bend County has fared comparatively better than many similarly-sized counties in Texas, having vaccinated more than 64 percent of its population older than 12 and 83 percent of its population older than 65, according to the most recent data. That information isn’t helpful for all the students younger than 12, who aren’t eligible for the vaccine and will soon pack school hallways when the year begins later this month, Ghosh said. “I was talking with a principal the other day, and she reminded me that it’s not just elementary school kids, but typically all of sixth grade wouldn’t be eligible,” Ghosh said. “So, that’s a significant portion of the middle schools, too.” Reacting to the surge of Delta variant cases in July, County Judge KP George urged residents to wear masks, but emphasized that he could not institute a mask mandate and was only recommending that they do so. “Many are not protected by the vaccine and the entire community is in jeopardy if we don’t take action now to slow the rapid spread of the Delta variant,” George said. Leaders at local school districts last week said they were aware of the rise in Delta variant cases, and are taking what steps they can to address the situation. “It is of the utmost importance to us to keep

226 percent from what they were before, Liberati said. The company saw a similar spike during a June heat wave in Texas, Liberati said. The trend isn’t limited to only small-scale solar projects and individual consumers, however. Acciona in June began construction on a $258 million solar farm in Fort Bend County that, once complete, will have a generating capacity of 317 megawatts, according to the company. The farm, in far southwest Fort Bend County, is roughly between Rosenberg and East Bernard. The company, echoing many of Brown’s claims, chose Fort Bend County because of its ample sun radiation, its vibrant, skilled and entrepreneurial community, a well-connected infrastructure and because of its proximity to the energy industry, said Mark Raventos, director of business development for Acciona Energy USA Global. The state’s deregulated energy market also played a role, Raventos said. Power from the solar farm will feed into the grid governed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). Acciona officials said they hope the plant will be operational in 2022, according to the news release.

★ OPTIONS FROM PAGE 1 County leaders have taken steps in recent years to improve public transportation. Commissioners, for instance, recently accepted a federal grant of about $4.5 million that will go toward purchasing 28 buses, according to an award letter. The buses will be used for the county’s new commuter service to downtown Houston, according to the agreement. At the same time, the Houston-Galveston Area Council is working to update its five-year public transportation plan, Owens said. The goal is to see what areas have gaps in coverage that

our classrooms and work spaces as safe as possible so that students can learn, teachers can teach and staff members can perform the work of supporting the district,” said Sherry Williams, spokesperson for FBISD. Fort Bend ISD staff will work to make sure students stay at least 3 feet apart and avoid physical contact, while regularly cleaning and disinfecting facilities and holding outdoor activities when possible, Williams said. There’s only so much local districts can do, given Abbott’s bevy of executive orders limiting local control, Ghosh said. “We are following the governor’s mandate and masks will be optional on campus, but we are strongly encouraging all staff and students to wear masks when indoors and in close proximity,” said Gracie Martinez, spokesperson for Stafford MSD. The district is also working with local health authorities to respond to the evolving COVID-19 situation, Martinez said. Ultimately, despite her reservations and concerns, Ghosh plans to send her children back to school when classes resume, she said. But there’s still so much about the Delta variant people don’t know, and she’s concerned state leaders aren’t taking it seriously enough, she said. “Any sort of wiggle room, the governor comes down with a new mandate,” she said. Follow us on social media @FortBendStar

need addressing, she said. Ridership is important and bringing back people who were using public transportation before the pandemic is as well, but there’s also some inherent goods to better public transportation infrastructure, Owens said. “You’re looking at resiliency – can people travel where they need to during f loods?” she said. “You’re also seeing a lot more public support through voting and that sort of thing for public infrastructure projects.” Visit engage.h-gac. com/rctp to learn more about the council’s efforts and register for public meetings.

★ GAS STATION FROM PAGE 1 to stop the station’s development, they soon learned they, like several other neighborhoods in the Houston region, were facing an uphill, if not impossible battle. “Unfortunately, there is no state (regulation) that prevents this,” said Matthew Tresaugue, spokesperson for Environmental Defense Fund, a Houston-based nonprofit. “Gas stations are permitted by the TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) on a ‘permit by rule’ basis that doesn’t include much regulatory oversight related to sitting requirements as long as the facility isn’t in conflict with any of the Texas Health and Safety Code.” The Texas Health and Safety Code provides some requirements for gas stations, such as limits on how big storage tanks can be and ensuring they are at least 100 feet away from a school, hospital, nursing home, day-care center or nursery, among other requirements. Essentially, Basaran is especially concerned that the gas station would eventually sit less than 200 feet from some homes, and less than 400 feet from a playground, she said. “We are very concerned with the health implications associated with inhaling benzene – cancer, respiratory problems, etc. – and the risk of fire or an explo-

stand. I felt a strange feeling of emptiness and quiet that I hadn’t felt in public since before the state’s capacity restrictions were lifted in March. Local theaters have cited CDC guidance in their COVID mitigation Before February’s winter storm, officials with ERCOT estimated the state’s solar capacity would increase about 150 percent in 2020, up to 5,777 megawatts, according to a Texas Observer article. They also estimated the solar capacity would grow more than 130 percent in 2021, up to 13,449 megawatts. The reason for the sudden boom is that solar panels and other technology are becoming at once cheaper and more efficient, said Brown. Texas’ abundance of sunlight also made the region attractive for solar development, Brown said. State leaders were for years either silent or praiseworthy of the industry’s development, that is until Gov. Greg Abbott went on Fox News in February and blamed wind turbines, solar power and the Green New Deal – a piece of proposed legislation not yet passed or implemented – for the failure of the state’s power grid. That was despite the fact that the state’s energy overseers said renewable energy didn’t account for most of the issue. During the storm, about 46,000 megawatts dropped off the grid via multiple sources, according to ERCOT. About 60 percent of what failed, or some 28,000 megawatts, was via thermal generators – goal, gas and nuclear. About 18,000 was lost via renewable resources. sion,” she said. Basaran is also worried about the possibility that such a facility might catch fire, she said. Benzene is a normally colorless chemical commonly found in crude oil and other petrochemicals. It is considered a carcinogen. Basaran and her family have set out to spread the word among neighbors, but they face a somewhat unique situation, she said. Because it’s a new neighborhood, there aren’t many people living in it right now. In fact, Basaran and her family won’t officially move there until October or so, whenever the home is finished, she said. This means it’s been somewhat difficult tracking down people who might have a vested interest in the matter, she said. Thus far, they’ve found about 18 neighbors that have signed on to express concern, she said. Even putting aside that complication, the couple has found jurisdictional issues tracking down who might be responsible for fixing the problem, she said. Carol Ruiz, a spokesper-

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policies. At AMC, masks are optional for fully-vaccinated customers, subject to change according to state and local mandates. The theater chain has another location in Sugar Land. Star Cinema Grill in Missouri City, Cinemark in Rosenberg and Regal in Richmond all have similar policies on their websites. At the Stafford AMC location, there were several safety measures in place, including hand sanitizer stations and disinfecting wipes in the hallways. When you make your way over to the concession stand, butter and other condiments for popcorn or other snacks are offered in plastic togo containers and even the soda fountain has a contact-free option. The Coca-Cola touch screen soda dispenser has a QR code that can be scanned with a smartphone and allows users to avoid

touching a shared surface. At the end of the day, there’s something wholesome and comforting about a trip to your local cinema. It felt great to be in a respectful, diverse crowd of all ages who were mindful of observing basic movie-going courtesies like limiting noise and cell phone use, who also showed enthusiasm and cheered during the movie’s high points and laughed at some of its sillier ones. Whether you’re going to see LeBron James and Bugs Bunny dunk on a video-game character version of Damian Lillard or Anthony Davis, Scarlett Johansson as "Black Widow," or "F9: The Fast Saga," the latest installment of the Fast and Furious franchise, the casual moviegoer or the cinephile will be sure to find something they can enjoy.

Shown from an aerial view is Mountview Academy, which uses solar panels. (Contributed photo)

Even before Abbott’s February interview, however, the bipartisan appeal of solar development had soured somewhat in recent years, Brown said. “If you dug deep enough, I think you’ll find that a lot of the folks behind these projects were probably Republicans,” Brown said. “That’s why the state took such a laissez-faire attitude with solar and wind, and weren’t averse to it outwardly.” The tenor began to change after the 2016 election, Brown said. By the time Brown was helping solar companies search for potential sites in Texas in 2017 and 2018, there was a marked difference in how counties received the idea, based on their political ideology, he said.

issues in the Clear Lake area of Houston, he said. The city of Katy, which is listed on the neighborhood’s address, did not respond to a request for comment as of Monday afternoon. Shortly after speaking with the Fort Bend Star, Basaran wrote in an email that she’s learned there’s little she can do to stop the gas station. But she’s planning to work with county commissioners to pass legislation that might force cities to annex areas that currently fall under extra territorial jurisdiction, she said. The county doesn’t have stringent requirements for those areas, but cities might, she said. “This will be more of a long-term thing, as legislation can only be passed at the next session in 2023,” she said.

son for Tri Pointe Homes, the developer behind the neighborhood, referred questions to Fort Bend County and Houston. Calls to businesses listed on the gas station sign went unreturned as of Monday afternoon. If the business is in the county, but not in city limits, there are no zoning requirements, but businesses must meet certain ordinances, including drainage, fire marshal, utility, water and sewer, said Tami Frazier, spokesperson for County Judge KP George. The city of Houston, likewise, does not have zoning requirements. That fact has led to a similar issues in a neighborhood in Houston’s Heights neighborhood, Tresaugue said. And Tresaugue had also heard of several other

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“A lot of the major projects would have been a big deal for hardening the grid and providing tax revenue, but conservative counties wanted to squash it,” he said. “They’d deter you looking at them as a spot.” A county like Wharton, for instance, might reject all outreach, while Fort Bend County has offered tax incentives to solar companies looking to invest, Brown said. In addition to Acciona’s work on the $258 million solar farm, Cypress Creek Renewables also operates a smaller project in Fort Bend County, Brown said. But the future might sit with smaller-scale, community-based solar development in Fort Bend County, Brown said.

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THE STAR

PAGE 8 • Wednesday, August 4, 2021

See us online www.FortBendStar.com

Review: Chunk’s Burger spices things up in Stafford Nibbles sake Chunk’s Burger ($10.95) has bacon, ham and a hot dog piled atop a beef patty and is dressed with lettuce, tomato, mustard and mayonnaise. The Clucker Samich ($7.95) is a fried chicken breast with mayonnaise and pickles, and I’m curious about how it stacks up as the only sandwich on the menu that isn’t a burger. Next time, I’d like to give the Chili Cheese Fries with pickled jalapeños ($4.50) a try. Chunk’s added them to its menu on July 15. Have you had a chance to order them yet? What other types of restaurants are on your radar that should also be on ours? Reach out to me at smodrich@fortbendstar. com.

By Stefan Modrich SMODRICH@FORTBENDSTAR.COM

If you’ve been to enough burger joints in your life, you probably have picked up on an informal yet usually reliable indicator that can help you predetermine the quality of the place you’re walking into. I’m talking, of course, about rolls of paper towels. When a napkin isn’t enough, sometimes you need to go the extra mile to prevent people from making a mess of the deliciousness you’re about to serve them. And so it was at Chunk’s Burger in Stafford, which opened in April. An oldschool, funky exterior gives way to contemporary, radiant dining space with an industrial-chic vibe. Chunk’s feels like a place where you can hang out for awhile without overstaying your welcome. The Nelly’s Burger ($10.95) is stuffed with a mixture of mozzarella, feta and garlic and topped with mayonnaise, mustard, grilled onions and jalapeños. You can add fries and a soda for $4 to your burger of choice. I was more than happy with the texture of the grilled onions and the zip of the jalapeños. The lightly toasted bun was a perfect vessel for the thick and juicy beef patty, which delivered an incredibly satisfying and soft melted mozzarella and feta cush-

The Nelly’s Burger from Chunk’s Burger in Stafford is stuffed with a mixture of mozzarella, feta and garlic and topped with grilled onions and jalapeños. (Photos by Stefan Modrich)

Our New

RATING SYSTEM:

In order to give you, dear reader, a more clear explanation of how we evaluate the restaurants we review, we will use a rating system on a scale from one to five stars, with one being the lowest score. From time to time, we may rate a place with 4.5 or 3.5 stars, for example, if we feel a place doesn’t fit neatly in one of these five categories. An elite, special experience, among the best meals we’ve ever had. High-quality, a can’t-miss destination. Slightly above average, but not memorable. Middling. You can skip out on this place, and you won’t be missing anything. One star: Poor, low quality. A disappointment.

ion to accompany each bite. The fries were of the softer variety, so much so that they nearly melted in your mouth. They were, however, heavily seasoned and packed a spicy punch of their own. I felt they were improved further by adding a splash of hot sauce. Including the Veggie Burger ($8.95) there are six other burger options for you to try at Chunk’s. The Bam Burger ($8.95) includes bacon, lettuce and tomatoes and swaps out jalapeños for pickles. You can make it a double for $2 more. The restaurant’s name-

COMMUNITY

CALENDAR

Chunk’s Burger

Address: 411 Dulles Ave., Stafford Dining Options: Dinein, takeout, delivery Hours: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday Entrée prices: $5.95$10.95 Kid-friendly: Yes Senior discount: No Alcohol: No Healthy options: Veggie Burger ($8.95) Star of the show: Nelly’s Burger Rating:

& Sips: Torchy’s expands to Richmond By Stefan Modrich SMODRICH@FORTBENDSTAR.COM

The fourth Torchy’s Tacos location in Fort Bend County opened July 21. It is the Austin taco chain’s first location in Richmond, 4818 Waterview Town Center Drive, Ste. 500. Takara Sushi expands to Sugar Land An upscale sushi restaurant outside Austin opened its first Fort Bend County location earlier this summer. Takara Sushi and Asian Bistro held its soft opening June 22 at its new location in Lake Pointe Village, 15830 Southwest Fwy. Ste. 100, in Sugar Land.

Pictured are the chips and queso from Torchy’s Tacos, which opened July 21 in Richmond at 4818 Waterview Town Center Drive, Ste. 500. (Photo from Facebook)

Deadline is noon every Friday. Limit entries to 40 words and answer the “5 Ws” Who, What, When, Where, and Why. Email to jsazma@fortbendstar.com or mail to: Fort Bend Star, 3944 Bluebonnet Drive, Stafford, Texas 77477.

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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. AUGUST 7 REFRESH YOUR SOUL LADIES RETREAT St. Catherine of Sienna Episcopal Church 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. AUGUST 12 FORT BEND-HARRIS RETIRED EDUCATORS TO MEET IN-PERSON Meeting Thursday, August 12th @ 1 p.m.- 3 p.m. Sugar Land First United Methodist Church, 431 Eldridge Rd. ATTENTION: ROOM CHANGE for Aug. and Sept. We will meet in the VENUE ROOM -- Park back of the church near Kids World Education Bldg. Enter at the double glass doors under covered drive. See FBHRE banner. Someone will direct you to room. Come celebrate our "20th Anniversary" by having a "Family Reunion" with camaraderie, festivities, door prizes and the Sugar Sisters entertaining. Come earlier to socialize, sign in and pay dues if you haven't. All Fort Bend and Harris County I.S.D. retired public educators are invited. More information, call 713-206-2733.

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AUGUST 19 LAMBDA SIGMA CHAPTER OF DKG MEETING IN-PERSON Thursday, August 19th, the local chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, an international professional society of leading women educators, will meet in person back at All Saints Episcopal Church, 605 Dulles Ave., Missouri City 77459 (entrance at back of parking lot). Social 4:30 p.m.; Meeting 5:00 p.m.; Theme: "Get Ready to Journey"; Programs: "Self Care--Stop and Smell the Roses" presented by members; "Safety Awareness" presented by Sugar Land Officer, Lauren Stockholm; Special Chapter Acknowledgement to be given: 20202021 Lambda Sigma Achievement Award. Educators interested in learning about DKG , contact dkglsnews2020@gmail.com SEPTEMBER 4-12 WALK, RUN, STROLL, OR ROLL FOR AUTISM! ANYTIME, ANYWHERE! Hope For Three Autism Advocates is holding their 2nd Annual Walk, Run, Stroll, or Roll. In this nineday affair, they offer family fun, race challenges, seasoned strollers, or wheelchair rollers to lace up and step out, anytime, anywhere during these dates. The nonprofit group encourages fun-raising for families but is not required. $25 adults / $15 kids donation required to participate. Great for families, neighbors, team-building and more. To register now, visit www.hopeforthree.org/events 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. Show off your pet & make a difference! Exclusive Furniture 21000 Gulf Fwy 6p-8p

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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 Year-End 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 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 281-240-3195 EXCHANGE EXCHANGE, America’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, 281-575-1145 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 281-4993345. 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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