The Timbergram TIMBERGROVE MANOR CIVIC CLUB ○ PO BOX 70977 ○ HOUSTON, TX 77270-0977
General Meeting Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. Sinclair Elementary
Bayou Greenways Project
Bayou Greenways is the overarching initiative that will develop connected green corridors with hike and bike trails along the bayous of the greater Houston area. Join us at Come the next TMCC meeting to learn early! more about how you can help make Pizza at this initiative to connect more than 6:30 4,000 acres of greenspace through out the city into a reality. Learn more about the project and prepare your questions by visiting houstonparksboard.org/bgi
Addressing the Stench: Plans to Improve Bryce Street Wastewater Facility by Jennifer Vickers, Timbergram Editor For more than a decade, TMCC residents have had their senses assaulted as they pass the intersection of TC Jester and West 11th Street. For some, the pervasive odor, which emanates from the City of Houston Bryce Street facility, lingers in their back yards and follows them on peaceful strolls along the bayou. The City of Houston's Wastewater Operations division, administered under the Department of Public Works, provides treatment of all wastewater generated in the community from residential, business and industrial sources. Wastewater, basically anything you flush down the toilet or send down the sink from your home, travels downstream from pipes at your residence to a sewer main that is buried underground. The sewer main can range in size from 3 to 6.6 feet in diameter and is accessible for maintenance via vertical pipes that open into the street at manhole covers.
T h e s e w e r m a i n fl o w s into progressively larger pipes, joining wastewater from other sewer mains, until reaching a wastewater treatment plant. In Houston, 40 wastewater treatment plants process an average of 277 million gallons per day. These facilities are divided into 35 satellite plants that feed into five major plants. At satellite plants wastewater is partially processed before being transferred downstream to a major plant for the final stages of treatment. B e fo re h e a d i n g d ow n s t re a m , wastewater undergoes two treatment processes: the primary treatment allows solids to settle out of the water. In the secondary treatment, the separated biological solids are broken down with pathogens to create biomass, also known as sludge. The local Bryce Street facility, located at just west of the TC Jester/W. 11th Street intersection, is at a crossroads of wastewater lines headed for final processing at the 69th Street treatment plant, one of the five major plants in the
We need your help. Research is still being done to ensure the odor at the Bryce Street Station is properly addressed. Timbergrove residents are asked to call 311 every time they smell the rotten egg smell near the facility. When you call, be sure to report the problem as a "sanitary sewer odor" (do not mention "storm water") and email TMCC Director Denny Fegan at firstname.lastname@example.org. The City of Houston has been active in working with TMCC to address this stinky problem. Please encourage them to continue to be vigilant by reporting the odor to 311 each & every time you smell it. city. Currently the Bryce Street facility, a chemical feed station, is home to two bio scrubbers which are used to reduce the amount of hydrogen sulfide gas, a byproduct of the sludge that results as pathogens break down biological materials. This hydrogen sulfide gas, also known H2S, is a colorless gas with the characteristic foul smell of rotten eggs. continued on next page
INSID E THIS
Meet Lindyann Block Captain Sandy Adzegery and learn how you can help TMCC.
Annual Easter Egg Hunt Dozens of TMCC families joined at Sinclair Elementary to gather eggs and pose for photos with the Easter Bunny.
Bryce Street (continued)
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At the TMCC general meeting in March, City of Houston Senior Assistant Director of Wastewater Operations Jason Iken addressed community concerns about permeating odor. While he assured residents that the levels of H2S emitted at the facility are not hazardous, he acknowledged that they are a nuisance and the increased stench is most likely related to the aging of facility equipment.
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Already the Wastewater Operations has begun monitoring H2S levels at the station and have recorded spikes in hydrogen sulfide that exceed 50 ppm, more than the feed station was built to handle. In response, the bio scrubber has been cleaned and the media inside it replaced. Additionally, levels of calcium nitrate, a chemical feed which decreases levels of H2S, have been increased and a previous leak at an air intake has been repaired. Residents may also have noticed the plastic sheeting that now wraps the fence surrounding the Bryce Street station. Because H2S is heavier than the ambient air, this barrier helps to trap the fetor within the boundaries of the facility.
Perhaps more impactful, upstream operational procedures have been altered to allow for discharge of sludge seven days a week, instead of the previous five, reducing the opportunity for sludge to ferment and produce higher levels of H2S. However, Iken recognizes that these steps alone will not solve the problem. Therefore a consultant specializing in odor issues has been retained by the city and has generated a report currently being incorporated into a concrete design project. While specifics are not yet available, Iken expects to add a third bio scrubber at Bryce which will allow the facility to process H2S levels of more than 75 ppm. At present there is no schedule for the design and the fee is being negotiated with the selected contractor. However, it is likely the project will exceed $250,000, a cost that Iken has committed to finding in his existing operating budget rather than financing from the City's capital fund. If the project moves forward as planned, construction should complete in 18 to 24 months.
Hoppy Families Turn Out for Easter Egg Hunt
Many of the youngsters from Timbergrove Manor came to hunt for easter eggs Saturday March 23rd at Sinclair Elementary. Luckily the rain held off in time for the over 2500 eggs hidden to be found. The Easter Bunny made a visit and posed for pictures with many of the children and 'Apple Dumplin' the clown was there to entertain and make balloons. The event was a lot of fun and a great way to connect with others in the community. The Egg Hunt was made possible by the generous contribution of Elizabeth McCormick of Heritage Texas Properties. Elizabeth is a Timbergrove resident and has sponsored the event for several years. We greatly appreciate her continued support. Special thanks to all the neighborhood volunteers who made this event possible.
photo credits: Rebecca Sasser and Jeff Wayt
Spring Growth at West 11th Street Park
Yard of the Month Congrats to the TMCC Yard of the Month winners on their inspirational, attractive and well-groomed yards! March 1519 Droxford – Michael Dziedzic & Wayne Jauer 2218 Tannehill – Dennis Wessels &Roy Hankins, Jr. 6222 Linton – Kathleen & David Ownby 6522 Lindyann – Jeanette & Shelton Voelkel April 6510 Cindy – Jason Podraza 6134 Queenswood – Karen & John Wilson 6234 Waltway – Susan & Thomas Cole 2423 Tannehill – Mr. & Mrs. J.E. Fisher
Young trees all over the park are flourishing this spring. This picture shows the vigorous growth of young oaks, elms, Sweet Gum, and Cherry Laurel along the newly refurbished trail on the south side.
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 year. Save the Date The TMCC Annual Independence Day Ice Cream Social is scheduled for July 4 at 4:00 p.m. in Jaycee Park. Mark your calendar to join friends and neighbors for this kid-friendly celebration. Shade Canopies in Jaycee Park This recently submitted photo shows the donor plaza and the greatly needed shade canopies funded by the project.
As you can see from this picture taken at the southwest corner of the park, the young trees that were planted next to the ball field in January are doing well. by Lorraine Cherry, Friends of West 11th Street Park Three new stops have been added to the Wireless Wilderness cell-phone nature tour. Maps are available at the kiosk on Shelterwood. The main butterfly gardens at the southeast corner have been replanted for spring and summer. The herb garden is also being refurbished, but in the meantime, come by and check out the beautiful Black Swallowtail caterpillars
chowing down on the fennel plants on the south side of the garden. The demonstration garden under the oak tree at the southeast corner has been cleared of invasive species, saving some of the original plants when possible. The garden will have new soil added, and then be restocked with a variety of flowering plants attractive to butterflies and native bees. We have started to spray for poison ivy alone the main trails in the park.
Community Service Opportunity in Jaycee Park
The popular splash pad at Jaycee Park needs more volunteers to help keep it clean through the summer season. by Darlene Wayt, Friends of Jaycee Park Neighborhood residents and park visitors have been so good to Jaycee Park. Most people clean up after themselves and are willing to pick up those stray pieces of trash accidentally left behind by others. Most hosts, event sponsors and businesses remove everything – including trash – that was brought into the park for the event. The one park component that seems to have gotten less attention from volunteers has been the splash pad. Well, actually the splash pad has gotten quite a bit of attention and cleanings but from only a few people. It’s time to spread around the opportunity to ensure that the splash pad remains a clean, attractive feature of our park. Parks & Recreation takes good care of our park but, hey, they’re not room service. Summer is coming. Please consider how much you enjoy the splash pad as a family or as a member of a moms’/kids’ group. If your group meets at the splash pad on a weekly basis, perhaps a few parents and kids could take 15 minutes before splash time to do a quick sweep and rinse. Wouldn’t take much time and people could alternate from week to week. There is a rinse kit. If you are willing to adopt the splash pad for the summer, contact Cristina de la Isla at firstname.lastname@example.org. The playground shade canopies are a most welcome summer addition. Check ‘em out as well as the donor plaza pavers that help fund the canopies.
Lifelong Resident Gives Back as Block Captain by Jennifer Vickers, Timbergram Editor As Sandy Adzegery has watched four young families welcome new baby boys to their homes on Lindyann, she can't help but think of her days growing up on the street. "It's turning back into a neighborhood with a lot of little kids," said Adzegery as she talked about her own childhood when a few empty lots remained on the street where kids played baseball and chase. Speaking with Adzegery one realizes that her volunteer role as TMCC Block C a p t a i n i s a n a t u r a l fi t f o r the gregarious school teacher. Not only was she raised in Timbergrove, but, with the exception of a few years abroad, has literally lived in the neighborhood her entire life. (Even her roommate in London grew up on Lindyann.) When she purchased the home next door to her parents' in 1999, she was already was friends with many who lived on the street - including a few who she watched as a babysitter while attending Waltrip High School. But with an average of one new neighbor moving in annually, Adzegery has continued to connect with neighbors not only socially, but in her official role as Block Captain. As she meets new people, she offers them the opportunity to receive emails about neighborhood happenings. "The emails we get are important," said Adzegery. "Especially about crime." She notes that her neighbors seem more aware about crime in the neighborhood,
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often following up with her on updates and keeping their eyes peeled in an effort to thwart thieves and others who would do harm to residents. She also emphasizes the ease of volunteering as a block captain. "There aren't that may emails to disseminate," stressed Adzegery. And she admits that reaching out to the resident's who don't use email is even easier with the help of her mother Mary Ann's assistance in making phone calls. Actually, pulling together is one of the hallmarks of life on Lindyann. For example, each year Adzegery hosts a
neighborhood gathering for National Night Out in her driveway. But it's her neighbors across the street who wheel over the BBQ grill and help not only with dinner for all, but lending supplies to keep beverages cold and food warm. Between annual gatherings, the high school theology teacher keeps up with neighbors as she and her 17-year-old poodle mix McCloud walk with neighbors along Timbergrove sidewalks. Asked why she thinks she can be an effective block captain, Adzegery cheerily laughs and notes that she's "never met a stranger."
Resident 1: Resident 2: Address: Phone: Email:
Payment Breakdown Dues (Member 1)
Dues (Member 2)*
Additional Contribution TOTAL
* optional for second member vote
As of press deadline, the Membership Committee is well on their way to meeting the 2013 participation goal. So far, 547 households have paid their annual membership, 66% of the goal of get two-thirds of households to support TMCC activities with their financial support. If you haven’t joined, please send in the adjacent form or log onto www.timbergrove.org.
Block captain Sandy Adzegery pictured with her poodle mix McCloud.
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, to Timbergrove Manor Civic Club PO Box 70977 Houston, TX 77270-0977
Block Captains Still Needed in TMCC 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 email@example.com • • • • • • • • • • • •
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
Timbergrove Manor Civic Club Leadership OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS President
CHAIRPERSONS - TMCC COMMITTEES Activities
by Abigail Taylor, President, Sinclair Elementary On Tuesday, March 26, Sinclair hosted Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten Round-Up. Parents learned about the structure, curriculum, and expectations of the Pre-K and Kinder programs, as well as the facets of Sinclair’s magnet program. Future Superstars got a sneak peak of what’s in store for them as they participated in workstations with teachers and students.
Deed Restrictions Enforcement
All prospective Pre-K and K students and parents are invited to Sinclair’s Celebration of the Young Child on Friday, May 31. If you have already learned about Sinclair’s programs and registration requirements, please join us from 9:30 AM-10:30 AM. For those who were unable to attend on March 26, please arrive at 9:00 AM in order to learn more about what Sinclair has to offer.
Tim Louque Gary Nordstrom
Yard of the Month
Connect with Houston
may affect you, there are many resources available.
by Jennifer Vickers, Timbergram Editor Sometimes it can seem daunting to keep up with everything going on in Timbergrove Manor, let alone the City of Houston (COH). However, if you are interested in staying on the pulse of community news and developments that
One consolidated source of info is CitizensNet, the COH eNewsletter. To see archives of important news items, gain access to a helpful list of links and sign up to have news delivered to your inbox, visit www.houstontx.gov/citizensnet. It's also easy to connect with important Houston news and alerts through social media. On
Twitter, be sure to follow the Office of Emergency Management for timely posts on dangerous weather conditions, chemical spills, etc. at @HoustonOEM. You can also find relevant posts on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HoustonOEM. For general city news, check out the COH Twitter account @houstontxdotgov or Mayor Parker's page at www.facebook.com/ MayorAnniseParker.
President’s Corner Free Legal Resources Available to the Public by Bill Morfey, TMCC President While it is true that we are a society built on laws, those laws can often be confusing and intimidating. Of course, anyone can hire an attorney for guidance, but that is often an expensive proposition. Is there any way to try and get reliable answers to common question without breaking the bank? The answer is “Yes,” and I wanted to mention a few free resources below. The Houston Bar Association (“HBA”) provides many free public services, all of which are explained at their website www.hba.org. One of the highlights is the HBA’s LegalLine outreach program that has been in service since 1986. Providing free legal advice, LegalLine is staffed by licensed volunteer attorneys. The telephone hotline is designed to help the public get answers to simple legal questions. Volunteers can also provide referrals to additional helpful resources. LegalLine is held on the first and third Wednesday of each month from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m., and can be reached at (713)759-1133. The HBA also publishes three legal handbooks, available in English, Spanish, and Chinese. Regularly updated, the handbooks are available for topics such as Consumer Law, Family Law, and Elder Law. The handbooks are 45 – 55 pages in length and cover many of the topics that arise regularly within each category.
Written for non-lawyers, they make for an informative read even if you don’t have a particular legal issue at hand. The Texas Young Lawyers Association (”TYLA”) has free public resources in the form of topical pamphlets. In addition to pamphlets covering some of the same topics as the HBA materials, TYLA covers topics such as Immigration Law, Employer Law, and a legal guide for cancer patients. Their materials can be found online at www.tyla.org, and they have videos on some of the topics. Although the handbooks and pamphlets described above are good for answering simple questions and/or illuminating the general terrain of an area of law, when the issue become complex (or the stakes are high), they are not substitutes for specific legal advice from a licensed attorney. In the event circumstances force you to hire a lawyer, it may be a good idea to take a moment and see whether or not that person has a negative disciplinary history with the State Bar of Texas, which you can do at their website: www.texasbar.com.
BOOT CAMP IN TIMBERGROVE AT JAYCEE PARK Mon, Wed, & Fri: 5:30 AM
Get in shape and have FUN! Exercise with your neighbors Open to all fitness levels Non-intimidating atmosphere Your first class is complimentary
John Neundorfer Certified Personal Trainer Timbergrove Resident
Special Feature for Timbergram readers by Pamela Efferson Properties
How To Save Money on Gas With the price of gas rising, we all need to get the most out of every gallon. If you can’t afford to buy a more fuel-efficient car, perhaps using these tips will help you to be more gas savvy. Shop for the best price. You can see current average gas p r i c e s i n t h e U. S. a n d C a n a d a at a s i t e s u ch a s www.gasbuddy.com. For your local area, type in your address at http://gasprices.mapquest.com. Look for the right station. There’s a price leader in your area. That may be a wholesale club or grocery store that wants to get you in their store to shop for other items. One example close to Timbergrove is the Kroger on Shepherd and 11th Street. They reduce the per gallon price at the pump by applying points earned for purchasing product inside the store. Buy in the morning before competitors have a chance to match each other’s price increases. Avoid gas stations near major freeway exits and stations that have an auto repair shop on site, since they can be more expensive. Modify your driving habits. Don’t drive too slow or too fast (most cars are set to achieve optimal fuel economy around 55 mph) and use cruise control on the highway. Try to combine your driving trips. Don’t carry excess weight in the trunk. Cut down on your air conditioning use. Not easy to do in August or September but this time of the year is perfect for rolling down the windows or opening the sun roof. Accelerate with care. Jack-rabbit starts are an obvious fuel-waster -- but that doesn't mean you should crawl away from every light. If you drive an automatic, accelerate moderately so the transmission can shift up into the higher gears. Stick-shifters should shift early to keep the revs down, but don't lug the engine -downshift if you need to accelerate. Keep an eye well down the road for potential slowdowns. If you accelerate to speed then have to brake right away, that's wasted fuel.
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Maintain your car. Fixing a car that’s out of tune or has failed an emissions test can improve its gas mileage by 4 percent. Replacing a clogged air filter on an older car will improve fuel economy 2-6 percent. Keep your tires inflated to the proper pressure for your car. You can improve your MPG by up to 3.3 percent. Check your owner’s manual. Get smart. Know that these are misconceptions: • Using premium gas improves fuel economy. Most cars don’t need it; again, check your owner’s manual. • It takes more fuel to start a car than it does to idle. Modern fuel-injected engines start efficiently. Idling can use a quarter to half gallon of fuel per hour. • “Gas saving” devices or additives will save you money. The Environmental Protection Agency says they may damage your engine.
E2 = Excellent Eats by Lorraine Cherry
Family Friendly Ikea Serves up Values Want to go to a well-hidden, inexpensive, European café with lots of parking and the chance to buy some assemble-it-yourself furniture? If you’re thinking Ikea, you’re right! Why eat at Ikea? Well, it’s clean, it’s cheap, and it’s extremely kidfriendly. And the food? It’s not 5-star restaurant food, not date-night food, but it’s good food, and great value for the money. Our Hungarian friend Richard says that it has a real European flavor that reminds him of home. What kind of food can you expect? Well, it’s Swedish food, of course, headlined by Swedish meatballs (15 of them!), served with lingonberries, potatoes, and cream sauce, for a very modest $3.99. Many people in countries around the world report becoming addicted to these meatballs. They always have two or three other hot entrees, with prices
ranging from $4.99 to $5.99. When my husband isn’t digging into those meatballs, his second choice is usually the salmon lasagna. They have a nice selection of cold plates, too. My personal favorite is the gravlax: salmon that is cold-cured with sugar, salt, and fresh dill. Served with a great sweetand-tangy mustard/dill sauce and plopped onto one of the little buns that they keep over near the checkout stand, this makes a fabulous light lunch. You might even have room for a piece of their decadent “chocolate overload” cake or the not quite so decadent apple cake. Ikea has gone to great lengths to be kid-friendly. Special half- size meals for the kids are available for only $2.99, including an entrée, side dish, and beverage. They have great little push carts available to slide your trays into as they get loaded, so that you don’t find yourself having to juggle two or three trays while trying to keep the kids from throwing meatballs at each other. And there is a special dining area for the youngsters, with small, bright-colored tables and chairs and a video showing
Crime in TMCC
TYPE OF CRIME
information submitted by Lillian Jolliffee, Chair, Citizens Patrol Committee Below are February and March 2013 crime statistics per the Houston Police Department. Remember, burglary of a motor vehicle is the most preventable crime. Never leave anything visible in your car and be sure to lock the doors. 6100 block Abington and 1100 block Clovis * 6400 block Lindyann &
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, May 15 and Wednesday, July 17 Junk Waste/Heavy Trash: Wednesday, June 19 and Wednesday, August 21 Recycling - every other Thursday: May 9, May 23, June 6, June 20
endless cartoons to keep them occupied. Finally, Ikea serves what has to be the cheapest breakfast in town: scrambled eggs, bacon, and potatoes for 99 cents, served from 9:30 am to 11:00 am. OMG, where am I? Did I fall asleep and wake up in 1958? Why is the food so cheap? Ikea’s main purpose here is to keep you in the store, shopping. They don’t want you to abort a trip and leave because the kiddos got hungry and started to fuss. They’d be happy if you stayed in there all day. However, you will be glad to know that you can circumvent their strategy; it is possible to go directly to the restaurant without once getting trapped in the endless labyrinth that is Ikea. Just take the escalator to the second floor and hang a left. For the 3 people out there who may not know, Ikea is located on the north side of I-10, just outside the 610 loop; you can take either the Silber or the Antoine exits. Or you can come in the back way off of Westview. Either way, believe me, you can’t miss it.
Burglary of vehicle
Published on May 1, 2013
Working with the City of Houston, TMCC is making progress to address the odor from the Bryce Street Wastewater Treatment facility. And it w...