The Timbergram MARCH 2013
TIMBERGROVE MANOR CIVIC CLUB ○ PO BOX 70977 ○ HOUSTON, TX 77270-0977
General Meeting Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. Lazybrook Baptist Church
City of Houston Public Works Department update on 11th Street Chemical Feed Station Odor Problem
After years of working with the COH Public Works Department to identify the cause of the noxious smell emanating from the chemical treatment plant located at Bryce and West 11th Street, TMCC and the Super Neighborhood 14 board of directors have some Come enlightening updates. Join us at the early! March general meeting to learn Pizza at more about what’s causing the odor, 6:30 how the City is addressing the problem and what you can do to advocate for a better smelling tomorrow.
Hop On Over to the Easter Egg Hunt On Saturday, March 23, Sinclair Elementary School will be abuzz with activity as families gather for the TMCC Annual Easter Egg Hunt. The funfilled event, sponsored for the third year in a row by Elizabeth McCormick, Realtor Heritage Texas Properties, features pictures with Easter Bunny Mackenzie Hengst. Photos with the Easter Bunny, taken by Houston-based portrait photographer Rebecca Sasser, and creative sculptures from a local balloon artist will be available beginning at 8:30 a.m. and will continue after the hunt. Children should bring their baskets to begin gathering eggs at 9:00 a.m. Additionally, visitors will have the chance to win giveaways and learn more about West 11th Street Park amenities including the nature trail, butterfly garden and wilderness wireless tour, according to Event Coordinator Jessica Nute.
INSID E THIS
Meet Tim Louque, a TMCC Block Captain who loves helping the neighborhood.
Timbergrove residents hunt for Easter eggs and pose with bunny Mackenzie Hengst at last year’s event. Membership Update 2013 TMCC Membership is off to a strong start, but your support is still needed to help us meet our goal.
New Trees Make West 11th Street Park Even Cooler
Security Update information submitted by Lillian Jolliffee, Chair, Citizens Patrol Committee Criminal activity is picking up in various stores, so be certain no one is following you when you go shopping. Drive around the block or use another street before going home. Park in the garage before removing items from your vehicle. Below are January 2013 crime statistics per the Houston Police Department. TYPE OF CRIME
Volunteers at West 11th Street Park planted 100 new trees on Arbor Day.
Burglary of vehicle
by Lorraine Cherry, Friends of West 11th Street Park After a lot of hard work by a dedicated group of volunteers, we now have 110 new trees planted around the ball field at the southwest corner of West 11th Street Park! This successful project proceeded in 3 phases:
trees includes Sweetgum, Green Ash, Overcup Oak, Cedar Elm, and Swamp Chestnut Oak. Trees for Houston has also volunteered to water the trees over the next 2 years. By planting some larger trees in strategic areas, our hope is to provide some immediate shade to the benches along the first-base line.
• On December 15, over 40 volunteers, including boy scouts and scout leaders from troop 604, came out to spread “a mountain of mulch” into 3 beds surrounding the field. The mulch was contributed by the Houston Parks and Recreation Department. It served to kill the grass underneath and drive moisture down into the soil to make it easier to dig during the planting. (If you were out there planting trees with us, you may think this last is open to question—it was still a lot of hard work!) The mulch will also moderate the temperature of the soil, keep moisture from evaporating, and supply nutrients to the trees as it decomposes.
• On Arbor Day, January 26, 20 volunteers, including members of the eco team from Accenture and neighbors from Timbergrove Manor and other surrounding neighborhoods, planted 100 smaller trees provided by the Houston Parks and Recreation Department. These trees include Loblolly Pine, Bur Oak, Sweetgum, Cedar Elm, Black Gum, and Cypress.
6500 Block Lindyann, * 6300 Block Grovewood, & 6200 Block Abington #
Yard of the Month Congrats to the TMCC Yard of the Month winners on their inspirational, attractive and well-groomed yards! January 6223 Lindyann – Leonard Hardgrave & Thomas Martin 2211 Tannehill – Richard Kasischke 6134 Queenswood – Karen and John Wilson February 6403 Waltway – Marilyn Thompson 2507 Droxford – Susan and Steve Antley 6714 Kury – Mary Dennard 6141 Queenswood – Paul Downes To win Yard of the Month you must be a current dues-paying TMCC member and cannot have won a YOTM award within the past two years.
• On January 23, Trees for Houston planted 15 large trees in the beds on the west side of the ball field. These larger trees were purchased by Friends of West 11th Street Park with d o n a t i o n s r e c e i ve d f ro m p a rk supporters. The selection of larger
The trees that used to shade this area were lost during the historic drought of 2011. Over the next four to five years, with a little rain, a little luck, and a little judicious care, the perimeter of the ball field will once again be surrounded by an attractive forest. Many, many thanks to all the folks who came out to help with the mulching and the planting, as well as to all of those who generously donated to help underwrite the cost of the trees that were purchased from Trees for Houston.
President’s Corner The Call To Be A Good Neighbor by Bill Morfey, TMCC President Anyone who has spent much time in Timbergrove Manor knows what a special place it is. Every time I hear a story about a person who spent part of their childhood here and then came back as an adult to purchase a home, I am reminded that Timbergrove Manor has been a special place for a long time. I believe one thing that makes our neighborhood so special is that we have a Goldilocks system of neighborhood governance. That is, we have a “just right” combination of rules (through deed restrictions and City ordinances), without also having a homeowner’s association breathing down our necks and watching our every move. But our collective decision not to have Big Brother looking over our shoulder comes with an obligation to be good neighbors to one another. The Timbergrove Manor Civic Club regularly receives inquiries about whether or not certain activities are permitted in our neighborhood. Unfortunately, we are sometimes confronted with situations where no rule or restriction prohibits a given activity, even though it is the type of thing that some (perhaps many) people would rather not see occurring on their block (some of the more frequent complaints include the tidiness of yards and the storing of large vehicles or trailers in driveways). In those
situations, the civic club is no more able to force a change than could any individual neighbor. Thus, it is incumbent upon each of us to act as a good neighbor, both in what we do on our own properties and in tempering the criticisms we may have of what others are doing on theirs. There will never be a day when all 1200+ households in our neighborhood are perfectly content with one another. Such is the nature of society. But that does not mean that we shouldn’t do our collective best to get as close to contentment as possible. Please take a moment every now and then to ask yourself what more you could do to be a good neighbor and then follow through on implementing any necessary changes. It will help make Timbergrove Manor all the more special. Sincerely,
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Block Captain Brings Cheer to Grovewood by Jennifer Vickers, Timbergram Editor Tim Louque is a familiar face on the 6200 and 6300 blocks of Grovewood Lane where he has served as the TMCC Block Captain for the past six years - only a year after moving into a beautiful four bedroom home built, like many of the surrounding abodes, in the mid-1950s. Louque’s volunteer role as the street’s official liaison with the Timbergrove Manor Civic Club puts him at the heart of of neighborhood happenings on the stretch of Grovewood between West TC Jester Blvd and Manville St. And soon, Louque will add the stretch of Grovewood between Manville and Clovis to his region. “The most important job of a block captain is also the easiest,” reports Louque. “It just takes minutes to forward on updates to neighbors about what’s happening in the community.” In addition to keeping in touch with fellow Grovewood residents via electronic communications, Louque regularly prints out flyers or updates and leaves them at the homes of neighbors who don’t use email. “Honestly, being a block captain is a piece of cake,” said Louque. “And it’s really rewarding. I’ve met so many amazing people that I wouldn’t have gotten to know otherwise.” Louque can often be seen chatting with neighbors who don’t just wave as they drive by him while he tends to the front yard. Instead people stop and take a few minutes to catch up. “I truly love Houston and Timbergrove Manor, and getting to know my neighbors makes this a great place to call home,” Louque shared. Originally hailing from Hester, LA, Louque is celebrated by friends for his authentic Cajun cooking. Along with his partner of 16 years, Gary Nordstrom, Louque enjoys entertaining and guests relish the opportunity to dig into a bowl of his signature red bean gumbo - a unique family recipe that melds the Louisiana bayou staple legume with poached eggs with scrumptious results.
Block Captain Tim Louque (right) pictured with his partner and Membership Committee co-chair Gary Nordstrom Louque’s passion for entertaining has evolved into bi-annual neighborhood gatherings hosted in the couple’s front yard. While these get togethers aren’t part o f t h e o f fi c i a l B l o c k C a p t a i n responsibilities, they are a fun addition for Louque. With the tone set by creative invitations hand crafted by Louque, such as the miniature gourds with event details on an attached scroll summoning neighbors to November’s National Night Out gathering, Grovewood residents turn up in droves. The casual soirees include pot luck contributions from attendees, festive decor under the couple’s shaded carport, vibrant games played by kids running under one of the many oaks on the property, and are marked by lively socialization. “The neighborhood parties are a great chance to meet each other and get to know one another better,” said Louque. “People especially love visiting with the neighbors who have been here the longest. They have such a deep knowledge of the history of the neighborhood.” Grovewood residents and Alton Behrend, both lived in Timbergrove for years, are frequent guests
Josephine Lem of whom have more than 50 at Louque and
Nordstrom’s neighborhood gatherings. Other neighbors flock to them to hear tales of how the street has changed over time and learn more about the history of their own homes. “Coming together regularly gives everyone a chance to know each other better which translates into better security for our street,” shared Louque. “It means people are comfortable giving neighbors a heads up when they will be out of town and asking them to grab the mail. We watch out for each other. If something seems off - a strange car in the driveway, an escaped dog - we speak up or help out.” However, in Louque’s case, his contributions to the community don’t just stop on Grovewood. Along with Nordstrom, he serves as the 2013 Membership Committee Chair, a vital job that strives to increase participation in TMCC. He also makes time to post signs throughout Timbergrove before the semimonthly general membership meetings. Louque, a visual artist whose oil paintings and pencil color landscapes and still-lifes are evocative of the Impressionism movement, has even lent his talents to the TMCC community. In 2006, Louque completed a breathtaking painting depicting West 11th Street Park that was
auctioned as part of a fundraiser to acquire the property from HISD and ensure its future as a n at u r a l p re s e r ve. The painting fetched more than $5,000 a n d p o s t e r s i ze d prints continue to be available for purchase with the $20 fee benefiting Friends of West 11th Street Park, a nonprofit organization that assists in the l o n g - t e r m Posters featuring Tim Louque’s original management of the painting of West 11th Street Park are available for $20. Proceeds benefit Friends of park. West 11th Street Park. To purchase, contact “I’m grateful for the Tim Louque at email@example.com chance to help out and how much I get back from it,” remarked Louque who has already begun planning a spring gathering for Grovewood residents. Volunteers Needed Block Captains are still needed for the following streets. The time commitment is minimal, but the impact is huge! To pitch in, please contact Carolyn Bryant at 281-723-9810 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org • • • • • • • • • • • •
1103 – 1255 Clovis 1302 – 1506 Foxwood 2202 -– 2331 Haverhill 1302 – 1318 Jeannine 6003 – 6031 Pineshade 1302 – 1338 Seaspray 2202 – 2230 Willowby 2302 – 2334 Willowby 6302 – 6436 Woodbrook 1510 - 1526 Foxwood 6714 - 6750 Lindyann 1302 - 1326 Valleta
Special Feature for Timbergram readers by Pamela Efferson Properties
How To Be “Emergency Ready” What would your family do if your area had a devastating emergency like the Japanese earthquake, snow storm in the North or other natural disaster? Would you be prepared? This week, before anything happens that will threaten your safety, take time to build adequate supplies of things you will need for an emergency situation. Specify a place in your home where everything you need can be easily gathered by anyone in the family. Here are a few things you will need: ✓ Water is essential. It is almost free too. You can purchase and store the recommended one gallon of water per person per day. Or you can also fill bottles yourself. Recycle used 2liter soda bottles or inexpensive pitchers or other containers. Refill the containers every few months and keep a record on your calendar so you don’t forget. ✓ Non-perishable cans that are stacked easily are the best way to store food. All types of foods come as canned goods but be sure your emergency kit includes what you enjoy eating. It’s no fun to force yourself to eat something you don’t like. Also, choose a balanced variety of beans, soups, fruits and vegetables. Replenish your stocks by rotating with your pantry at the same time you refill your water supplies. Manual can opener. ✓ Keep flashlights and extra batteries on hand. Candles and oil lamps are also good to have in case the batteries run low on the flashlights. ✓ Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
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✓ Stash some cash because you will not be able to use the debit card if the power is out. Make sure the money supply includes coins and small bills. ✓Basic first aid supplies should be stored with the rest of the emergency kit. Include an anti-diarrheal product, prescription medications, pain medication, bandages, antibiotic cream, hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol, tweezers and cotton balls. Fun things to do like playing cards and board games are not essential but will be welcomed in an emergency too. Find out more ways to be emergency prepared by visiting www.ready.gov.
Membership Campaign Crosses Halfway Mark information contributed by Gary Nordstrom, Membership Committee The 2013 Membership campaign is off to a strong start thanks to Timbergrove Manor West residents who have generously opened their check books. The annual dues, a low $30 fee, help to support TMCC’s activities including special events, beautification of the median areas throughout the neighborhood and important business such as deed restriction e n f o rc e m e n t . This volunteerdriven organization cannot continue to operate and thrive without your support a n d , wh i l e we are already more than halfway to our goal to gain participation from 68 percent of Timbergrove households, Resident 1: Resident 2: Address: Phone: Email:
While a total of 445 households (53%) have paid their 2013 dues, participation rates vary by section with Sections 9 and 12 claiming bragging rights for the largest proportion of TMCC members.
the rate of membership renewal has been trailing off in the past few weeks. If you have not already done so, please help us ensure Timbergrove Manor West continues as a safe, vital and highly desirable neighborhood by joining the TMCC. Mail your check, payable to TMCC, with the form below to PO Box 70977; Houston, TX 77270. Or, log onto
www.timbergrove.org, sign in (or register), and click ‘Pay Dues Online or Donate’ on the right end of the banner below the photo.
Payment Breakdown Dues (Member 1)
Dues (Member 2)*
Additional Contribution TOTAL * optional for second member vote
Jaycee Park: New Installations & Future Improvements by Darlene Wayt, Friends of Jaycee Park and Jennifer Vickers, Timbergram Editor Jaycee Park continues to improve thanks to private donations, funds raised by special events in the park, the Jaycee Park Maintenance Fund and, soon, the City of Houston’s Capital Improvement Project funds. The Playground Shade Canopies and the Brick Pavers were installed midFebruary thanks to private donations to the Jaycee Park Maintenance Fund, managed by the Houston Parks Board, from residents, surrounding businesses and Movie Night. Now park visitors will be able to enjoy the playground amenities, even on the sunniest of Texas days.
Civic Club. To contribute, go to www.houstonparksboard.org, click on Projects/Donate Now, choose Jaycee Park from drop down menu. Please be sure to note “Jaycee Park Maintenance Fund” in the instruction box.
The Jaycee Park Maintenance Fund is a private fund is for maintenance and projects not performed by the Houston Parks and Recreation Department (HPARD). For example, January pruning and care of the crepe myrtles along Grovewood and Seamist, ensured their health and look of the most prominent corner of the park. The crepe myrtles need pruning every year, the expense for which is paid for through the Park Maintenance Fund.
While the Maintenance Fund is vital to sustain Jaycee Park, the City of Houston’s Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) registry is the mechanism that allows for substantial improvements and new facilities in public parks. Jaycee Park is included on the CIP list and should see sought after changes thanks to the voterapproved bond allocation (Proposition B) which passed in November. The planning process to determine how the $250,000 allotted for Jaycee Park will be used is set to begin later this year.
This critical fund is entirely dependent upon donations like the one recently made by our neighbors in the the Lazybrook
“About a year before the project dollars are to be spent, a review of the Park is undertaken along with comments from our Citizens and Council member about improvements needed in the Park. Those comments are compared with those of our Facility Maintenance Team and a review of the overall Park is discussed.,” said Joe Turner, Director of HPARD in an email. The message continued, “we would then arrange for a meeting with community to receive additional input and then provide a sketch with those items and an estimated budget at a follow up. Once the plan is agreed upon, the actual design would start and the project would be permitted and bid for construction.”
Jaycee Park was last renovated from 2009 - 2012 largely through private funding managed by the Houston Parks Board. However, big ticket items including a renovated Ball Field & Lighting and a Covered Basketball Court or an open Pavilion are still outstanding. At the September 2012 TMCC general meeting, Council Member Ellen Cohen (District C) expressed her support for Jaycee Park.
Friends of Jaycee Park, the TMCC and Super Neighborhood Council 14 look forward to working with HPARD and Council Member Cohen’s office as 2013 progresses and we approach 2014 regarding this important allocation for Jaycee Park. We will inform the neighborhoods when HPARD begins soliciting community input.
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Waste Not, Want Not by Jennifer Vickers, Timbergram Editor Big. Green. Bins. I’m obsessed with them. As I drive through surrounding neighborhoods on their respective recycling days, I am green with envy as I imagine the ease of including glass bottles and jars with the rest of our household recyclable waste. However, until my (admittedly somewhat pathetic) dream of really lazy recycling comes true, I continue to take advantage of the numerous surrounding drop-off sites and pick-up programs that truly do make it simple to responsibly dispose of all types of household waste. Paper, Plastic & Metal TMCC does have bi-weekly curb side pick up for plastics coded 1 - 5 and 7, tin and aluminum cans - and clean tin foil for that matter - as well as all types of paper and cardboard. Break down your boxes and rinse containers. Greasy pizza boxes and other paper products contaminated with food are a no-no, but don’t hesitate to rip off the lid to recycle it. Missing your green bin or just need an extra? Dial 311 and the City will deliver. Electronic Waste Old computers, printers, TVs, fax machines and other electronics (working or not) tend to pile up around our overly connected household. Ditch the out-ofdate responsibly: CompuCycle, a company contracted by the City to not only recycle the goods, but ensure your data is permanently erased, hosts a dropoff on the third Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. at the Center Street Recycling Center, 3602 Center Street. Glass Bottles and Jars While at the Center Street Recycling Center, be sure to bring your glass bottles and jars. You can deposit items here including all of the waste you can put in your curbside bin - seven days a week from 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. The only downside: sorting required, including glass by color. Yard Trimmings So you don’t have a back yard compost bin? No biggie. The City collects yard trimmings separate from waste headed to the landfill. Just gather in a COH
Timbergrove Manor Civic Club Leadership OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS President
CHAIRPERSONS - TMCC COMMITTEES Activities
Idalia Valdez Jessica Nute
Deed Restrictions Enforcement
Tim Louque Gary Nordstrom
Yard of the Month
approved compostable bag or bundle small branches and put them on the curb. (Bundles must be less than 4 feet in length, 18 inches in diameter and weigh less than 50 lbs.) Hazardous Materials Need to clean out your garage? Then you are probably going to need to make a run to the Environmental Service Center (ESC) to
get rid of that stash of old paint, motor oil, antifreeze, herbicides and more. Located at 5614 Neches Street, the ESC North will basically take anything you know shouldn’t go into the ground except explosives, ammo, packing peanuts and medical waste. Get more details on the City of Houston’s waste management program at www.houstontx.gov/ solidwaste
E2 = Excellent Eats by Lorraine Cherry
Diners Mediterranean Café: a Hidden Gem with ‘Greek’ Prices It’s always fun to tell people about a relatively unknown place to eat that you think they will really enjoy. Sitting right on bustling Washington Avenue like Edgar Allen Poe’s “Purloined Letter” is a small, elegant, and amazingly inexpensive new restaurant that you have probably driven by and never noticed. It’s called Diner’s Mediterranean Café, and if you have a taste for well-cooked, fresh food in pleasant surroundings with excellent service, this is the place for you. We had lunch there a few weeks ago, returned for dinner a few days later, and again for lunch today. On all three occasions, we were delighted with the quality and quantity of the food. Meals start out with a complimentary basket of warm flat bread served with a salad/salsa of chopped tomato, onion, feta cheese, and herbs. The lunch menu has a selection of kabobs and wraps with char-
grilled meat or seafood served with grilled fresh vegetables and rice (with the kabobs). The portions are large enough to also supply me with a light dinner from the leftovers, and they are priced at a very reasonable $8 to $9. When we went for dinner, I had charcoal grilled lamb chops, served with basmati rice, grilled tomatoes, and grilled vegetables. My husband had the shrimp shish kebob—very large shrimp, cooked well. The dinner entrées range in price from around $9 to $15 (for the lamb chops). They have a small but pleasant wine list, with wines by the glass priced between $6 and $8. The décor inside is more elegant than you would expect from driving by, with upholstered chairs and an attractive wooden bar. Diner’s is located at 4520 Washington on the north side of the street, about 2 blocks east of Shepherd. When you go, you will have the fun of helping to “discover” a nice little addition to the local dining scene.
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Sinclair Elementary News Sinclair Partners with Rice University Fourth grade students at Sinclair Elementary traveled to Rice University in late January. The students were given a tour of the campus and learned about the variety of programs available at Rice. “It is important to get our students thinking about college at a young age,” said principal Abigail Taylor. “By creating a
culture of high expectations and exposing students to a collegiate atmosphere, we show our students that the sky is the limit.” On March 2, Sinclair families will have the opportunity to attend a Rice Basketball game. Through their partnership with the university, Sinclair is able to offer these tickets at a discounted rate. Before the game, students on
Solid Waste Collection
Mark your calendar for the new City of Houston waste pick up dates. Now all TMCC residents will have heavy trash service on the third Wednesday of each month.: Tree Waste: Wednesday, March 20 and Wednesday, May 15 Junk Waste/Heavy Trash: Wednesday, April 17 and Wednesday, June 19 Recycling - every other Thursday: Mar 14, Mar 28, Apr 11, Apr 25
Business ads also available : $ ted rates for resi dents
ry Submit your sto ram to the Timberg
od g bit of neighborho in st re te in an w no K civic speak out about a histor y? Want to l ant to you? Emai issue that’s import bergrovemanor.org timbergram@tim Sinclair’s newspaper staff participate in a pre-game “chalk talk”. At this time they will have the opportunity to talk to Rice’s sports media department and receive a sample press release. The school’s ballet folklorico group will perform at half time, teachers will be recognized during a game time out, and the school’s basketball team will talk with a player following the game.