In This Issue
|Newsletter of the Houston Heights Association|
|Volume Thirty-Two, Number Seven, July 2006|
|Click here for the print-format PDF version.|
Let’s Recycle More! Let’s Win!
The City of Houston curbside recycling has come a long way since the pilot phase kickoff in 1990 with 27,000 households. Houston Heights is proud to be one of the neighborhoods that volunteered to test the concept, and we remain part of the 152,000 households covered by the program by 2004. Unfortunately, the program seems to be losing momentum.
Many of you have recently received a letter from Mayor White about the declining percent of participation in the program. Citywide, only one in five eligible households is taking advantage of curbside recycling. The letter raises the possibility that Houston Heights may lose its recycling pick-up service in favor of neighborhoods that have been waiting for service.
Let’s not let that happen!
Most of the Houston Heights Association area is in the program now. The area served runs from Shepherd to Studewood and from North Loop 610 to I-10, but it excludes the corner south of 11th and east of Oxford.
If you live in the area served, please use the curbside pick-up service and encourage your neighbors to do so as well. If your recycling bin has disappeared or you need a second one, you should be able to get one through the City’s 311 Help Line or their web site; be sure to get a Service Request number to track your request.
As an added incentive for neighborhoods to raise their participation levels, the City is sponsoring a competition among areas currently in the curbside program. Areas will be scored based on participation rate and amount of recyclables. The area with the highest score and the most improved area will each win a $5,000 cash prize to be used on neighborhood improvements.
Curbside recycling allows residents to recycle:
• Paper, including newspaper, magazines, telephone books, corrugated cardboard, mail;
• Metal, such as aluminum and tin cans;
• Plastics #1 and #2, like soft drink, milk, and water containers (with a recycling symbol around a number to indicate the type of plastic, usually on the bottom of the item);
• Used oil with screw-on tops, placed next to the bin.
Although glass is not picked up curbside, food and beverage bottles and jars are accepted at neighborhood recycling drop-off sites, such as the one at 3603 Center Street (entrance on Harvard). Paper, plastic #1 and #2, aluminum and tin cans, and corrugated cardboard boxes are also accepted there, but do not count toward the competition.
Thanks to Heights neighbor Mary Lawton, whose note inspired this article. She says “Ask for paper bags at the market and then use them to put out your paper stuff. It’s really easy once you get into the swing of it. You will be amazed at how your trash level goes down. It’s a tiny bit more work on your part but once you get going it’s no big deal. We could do something cool with the $5,000.”
HHA volunteers recycling after the 2006 Fun Run.
Recycling resources on the web:
From the website, appears that 77007 & 77008 have the same pickup dates: July 10, 24, August 7, 21, September , 18, October 2, 16, 30, November 13, 27, December 11, , January 8, 22, February 5, 19, March 5, 19, April 2, 16, 30, May 14, , June 11, 25. (Dates in brackets are City holidays; Solid Waste services are provided the following day.) We are now noting those dates on the newsletter calendar. If you live in a different ZIP, please check the City web site noted above.
July General Meeting
Our guest speaker on Monday, July 10 at 7:00 PM will be David Proctor of the Harris County Tax Office. He will give us a legislative update and discuss tax breaks for seniors and historic homes.
Learn about what the new state legislation means for your property taxes.
Learn about exemptions available to those over 65, including tax deferral that allows you to stay in your home and not pay any property taxes until your home is sold.
Learn about the City of Houston ad valorem tax abatement (for 15 years) available to owners of City of Houston historic houses (homestead or commercial) when you have invested money for improvements (not just restoration) of your property. (This is an important issue in light of the historic districts being petitioned for by your neighbors. It applies to any “contributing” or “potentially contributing” house in a City of Houston historic district or any City of Houston individual Landmark).
August General Meeting
Will there be a train on the old MKT right of way next to the new hike & bike trail? We asked METRO for an answer and were told to speak to the Cy-Fair Chamber of Commerce. Confused? No need to be.
The August 14 General Meeting will feature a presentation by the 290 Passenger Rail Coalition, a part of the Cy-Fair Chamber. Find out how their plans for commuter rail may affect Houston Heights. More information about this important issue will be included in the August newsletter. Also, see .
Hear Ye! Hear Ye! The Holiday Home Tour Needs You!
The Heights Holiday Home Tour “A Dickens Christmas” needs you! Let us list the ways...
We need volunteers to be performers / Dickens characters in costume such as urchins (“alms, please”), Artful Dodgers, Oliver Twists, men and women in Victorian garb, ladies selling violets (in this case mistletoe) just like Eliza Doolittle (not really Dickens, but close). We need musicians - harp, violin, guitar, three piece string group, carolers, and Madrigal Singers. (If it rains, the group needs to be small enough to move into the house.)
A Dickens Christmas Market: Vendors, we have 19 booths for hire! Come in costume and join the fun! Please submit photo of your wares as intended for the holiday market for committee approval and selection. (Prices and conditions will be most reasonable for M’Lord and Lady.)
Our Beloved Heights Artists: Just one small handmade Christmas ornament (no wreaths or trees this year) donated for the Houston Heights Association booth would please us greatly!
“More, Please”: Food and drink vendors, please submit your ideas for a light repast in keeping with the times.
Docents by the Dozens needed, One and All for All Things Considered!
Merchants, Artists, and Crafters
Sign up now for the Christmas Market! Don’t be left out of this fun event. This event will take place the same time as the Holiday Home Tour. We are offering 19 booths at the Heights Fire Station, each 10x10 feet. Contact for more information and prices. This is a fundraiser for the Heights and Christmas sales for you!
The Houston Heights Association is proud to have the following 2006 Platinum sponsors:
Historic District Volunteers Needed:
Here is a partial list of recently demolished or moved mostly historic buildings:
The Houston Heights Association is proud to have the following Summer 2006 Bronze Sponsors:
2006 Fun Run
A big “thank you” to everyone who volunteered for our 2006 Fun Run! Volunteers started showing up on Heights Boulevard at 5:45 AM, and everyone and everything just seemed to fall into place. Constable Jack Abercia’s Precinct One Constables closed Heights Boulevard down. Local DJ Peter Manry, Other Brother, kicked the party atmosphere off early. Seasoned Race Manager Howie Ryan started the race at approximately 7:30 AM.
More than 912 racers and 84 kids signed up to run, and over 50 people volunteered. Because of the support of the racers and volunteers, as well as the support of our sponsors, the Houston Heights Association will be able to continue to support Donovan and Marmion Parks, the Heights Boulevard beautification project, the Heights Fire Station, and many of our other projects, including educational funding for local teachers.
Next year’s race will change to 5-year age groups instead of ten year groups. Our Fun Run Committee is working on the 2007 Run now. We had a lot of fun this year and hope to see you next year!
White Linen Night
Join your neighbors for art, culture, community. White Linen Night will be August 5 from 6:00 to 10:00 PM.
Gathering a big head of steam, White Linen volunteers are signing up more and more participants and underwriters. PediCab sponsors, White Linen Signature Drink Stations, Trolley Stops, galleries and studios, eclectic shops, boutiques, and restaurants - new and established - most featuring local and regional artists on a night to see the neighborhood as never before. Sponsors include White Oak, Studewood, 11th St., Yale, Heights Blvd., 19th St., and Heights 1st Saturday businesses.
Designed to provide a night to champion art, culture, and community, the White Linen Committee plans to familiarize patrons with more great artists and the ever-changing and growing number of art galleries and studios, shops, and restaurants in the area. Enhancements include artists’ exhibits in some businesses, live music, PediCab gallery and venue-hopping, plush trolleys, Signature Drink stations, eclectic retail, galleries, cafés, and restaurants. It’ll be an exotic, steamy evening of exposure to new and different elements and promote the artistic nature of the neighborhood.
Want to participate? Visit and click on the White Linen Night link or email .
Heights Trees Count!
by Angela DeWree, Urban Forestry Chair
Join us for a working walk through our Heights Urban Forest with the City of Houston’s Urban Forester Victor Cordoba and the San Jacinto Council Girl Scouts!
Volunteers are invited to help Victor to update our Heights Street Tree Inventory. Did you know that our street trees belong to everyone - and that these trees are the foundation of our Heights Urban Forest? The Heights has the most Champion and magnificent 100 year old trees in Houston. Enjoy an early morning walk to appreciate our rare Neighborhood Treasure.
Enjoy refreshments from our sponsors Dacapo’s, Buchanan’s, and a hot & iced coffee bar courtesy of Katz Coffee! Participants will receive C&D Hardware seed packets and a gift plant from Newton Nursery. Tree brochures & information will be available for everyone.
This family fun day in the Heights Urban Forest begins at the Fire Station from 7:30 AM to 11:00 AM on Saturday, July 29. Pick up your 4-block assignment from an area bounded by 4th, 20th, Heights, and Oxford. Return the completed form to the Fire Station by 11:00 AM.
The next “Heights Trees Count” will cover the West Side in the fall. Sign up now!
We wish to again thank Bill Salario of William Salario Landscape Design for providing the “bones” of the central bed at the Rose Garden. Years ago, Bill made suggestions for the garden that have proved to be invaluable in the restoration process. He received the 2001 Marcella Perry Award for this and other contributions to Heights Boulevard and the neighborhood.
Some of Bill’s selections have become large and beautiful colonies of Chrysanthemum, Shasta Daisies, Rudbeckias, Bulbine, and several varieties of salvias. It has been very easy to choose plants and roses to “plug” in the surrounding spaces.
Plants that have been added are Bat Face Cuphea, Celosia, Cleomes, Coreopsis, Cosmos, Dahlberg Daisy, and Mexican Butterfly Weed. New roses that have been added to the central bed are Chrysler Imperial, Clothlde Supert, Dame de Coeur, Ducher, What a Peach (gift of Newton’s Wholesale), Mrs. Oakley Fisher (gift of Barbara Skerrett), Marie Van Houtte, Mrs. Dudley Cross, and Zephirine Drouhin. Valentine and Pearls de Jardin were added to the Crepe Myrtle bed, Mrs. Joseph Swartz to the Mrs. Joseph Swartz bed, and three La Marne to the oak tree bed.
If you happen to notice empty spots in the central bed, thieves have been very busy digging them up almost as soon as we can plant them! We also have someone who seems to think the Rose Garden is their personal cutting garden. Approximately $150.00 worth of plants have been stolen. A police report has been filed.
If you would like to help in the gardens on the boulevard, contact Boulevard Beautification Chair Jim Bennett, or Rose Garden volunteer Cynthia Corn Parker at .
Donations for the gardens are always welcome.
Fun Run Results
The top runners overall and in each age class in the 21st Annual Heights Fun Run held Saturday, June 3, 2006 are listed below. Congratulations and thanks to them and to all participants.
Overall Male: David Whittman 16:11
Overall Female: Lisa Tilton-McCarthy 18:50
Master Male: Todd Gilbreath 17:03
Master Female: Heidi Mairs 19:57
Male (14 And Under)
Female (14 And Under)
Male (15 - 19)
Female (15 - 19)
Male (20 - 29)
Female (20 - 29)
Male (30 - 39)
Female (30 - 39)
Male (40 - 49)
Female (40 - 49)
Male (50 - 59)
Female (50 - 59)
Male (60 - 69)
Female (60 - 69)
Male (70 And Over)
Female (70 And Over)
Our thanks to the following for their generous support of the programs of the Houston Heights Association.
Lynn Chapieski - Beautification
Karla Holomon - Flower Gardens
Genevieve Mounger - Beautification
Marcia Pampe - Beautification
Mark & Jennifer Paulson - Beautification
Please welcome the following new or returning members to the Houston Heights Association.
Cheryl & Don Barker
Rachel M. Combs
Edward & Jennifer Nawotka
Heights Bike & Skate Rally and Scavenger Hunt
We are sponsoring a new fun event this fall. Get out the bike or skates and get ready to enjoy the first Heights Bike & Skate Rally and Scavenger Hunt on Sunday, October 15. The Rally will start and end at the Heights Fire Station on 12th and Yale Streets.
This is not a race! This self-paced event will start at 8:00 AM, when participants will receive a packet containing a rally card, map, and scavenger hunt clue list. Clues will describe a site or object located along the rally course with space to note its location.
The rally route is a 15-mile course on City of Houston bike trails going through several inner-loop neighborhoods. There will be three check points/rest stops where the rally card will be validated by a rally volunteer. In order to be eligible for prizes the rally card must have been validated at all three check points. The completed clue list and rally card must both be turned in by 5:00 PM.
The Rally will end with a party. Plan to celebrate with food, soft drinks, and music while awards are announced and door prizes given!
Please note: Children under 12 years of age must wear required safety gear. Riders and skaters must obey all traffic laws.
Entry fee schedule: $10 on or before October 12, $15 beginning October 13.
Awards and Prizes: Awards will be given in three age groups (Adult, Youth & Children) in two categories (best decorated bike and best costume). It will be almost Halloween, so use your imagination and have fun! Awards will be given to the youngest and oldest participants to finish the course. Award in the Scavenger Hunt goes to the participant who finds the most mystery objects along the course. Prize Drawings during the party!
To register online, visit . Credit cards are accepted. Send checks payable to Houston Heights Association along with an entry form to Heights Bike & Skate Rally, P.O. Box 70735, Houston, TX 77270. No refunds will be made.
Packet pick-up for pre-registered participants is at the Fire Station on the day of the event. Registrations will also be accepted at this time.
For more information, call 713-861-4002 option 6 or check our web site .
by Dean Swanson, Chair
It has been several months since our last Houston Heights Restoration /Historical Committee meeting; therefore we have a great home to see again for the July 20 meeting. You asked for it, and you have talked about it since it was last viewed in 2001, so we are returning to 828 Heights Blvd, and we have a special surprise announcement in store for the meeting. View this grand Queen Anne Victorian home and hear first hand from 30-year Houston Symphony 3rd-chair cello musician Robert Deutsch about how he and his wife Xiangwei Gong took great care restoring and adding to it in the grand scheme of things. Hear what the near future will bring for this Heights Blvd. grand dame treasure property.
The Summer Houston Heights Restoration/Historical Committee Meeting will be held on Thursday, July 20 from 7:30 to 9:30 PM at 828 Heights Blvd. This home is a 1901 Queen Anne Victorian vintage 2-story National Register home. It was originally built from Sears Roebuck plans for the Frederick G. Bonewitz family, whose succeeding generations lived in it until the 1960s. This grand home was the location for the two-hour 1991 Turner Network Television movie “The Final Verdict” starring Glenn Ford, Treat Williams, and Olivia Burnette, based on a book by Adela Rogers St. Johns. This wonderful home has had custom interior treatments and additions using historic architectural treatments to exactly follow the original style.
This very special meeting will be enjoyed by those in the city and neighborhood interested in detailed restoration with a very historic property using the most historically acceptable plans and methods to preserve it in the best way possible using the same care that Mr. Deutsch uses in restoring fine musical instruments.
Please contact Committee Chairman Dean Swanson if you have a restoration project, an historical structure, or historical information for future meeting sites or if you have photos or articles pertaining to the Houston Heights for use at meetings to communicate historical knowledge to the neighborhood. You can reach Dean at or 713-880-2832.
May Board Meeting Summary
by Janet Buchheit, Secretary
Call to order at 6:35 PM on May 15, 2006. April Minutes were amended and approved, and Jim Potter reported that the Spring Home and Garden Tour netted approximately $70,000. Money raised from this event goes to the maintenance of the esplanade of Heights Boulevard and properties owned by HHA.
The Historic Districts Task Force Committee continues to collect signatures and hand out information. The Newsletter is going on line with the July issue. The property at 1414 Ashland should close soon with final revisions to the Tree Deed Restrictions being worked out. HHA President Robin Franklin is given the authority to accept and sign any documents pertaining to the closing.
Jim DePitts and Robin Franklin are authorized by the Board to write letters of support to the Houston Area Galveston Council and to Jessica Farrar showing that HHA supports the White Oak Bayou and MKT connection trail and the purchase of the MKT Spur Acquisition.
Mark Sterling reports on Land Use Committee member Paul Luccia’s effort to abate graffiti. With the help of Janice Evans-Davis (another Land Use Committee member), Paul was able to obtain a generator from the City of Houston. Once Paul obtains a waiver from the property owner affected by graffiti, he is able to abate the graffiti with abatement paint. Paul’s project is supported by the Anti-Graffiti Committee sponsored by Scenic Houston.
Under New Business, the May General Meeting that featured a visit from Mayor Bill White was discussed. Robin Franklin has been contacted by the Houston Dynamo organization to see if HHA wants to sponsor an HHA night. Angela DeWree is coordinating a tree counting day with Victor Cordoba of the City of Houston Urban Forestry Department.
Rick Burke is given the floor to talk about a Constable Pilot Program. The program is run by Harris County and would involve Harris County Constables patrolling a specific area. Harris County contributes 20% of the cost to this program. The pilot program would include all premises located east of Heights Blvd., south of 11th Street, west of Studewood and north of White Oak/6th Street. The cost would be $60,000 per contract per year and would provide one constable working an eight hour day, five days a week. Cost to subscribers would be approximately $250 a year. Added benefits for subscribers include special watches, vacation watches, home security surveys, and direct access to the Precinct 1 dispatcher. HHA will support the project by setting up a committee to coordinate volunteer block captains and get the word out about this program.
David Beale opens up discussion on the move of a bungalow at 1612 Columbia. The realtor/owner of the property led concerned neighbors to believe that the property was being sold to a buyer that would live there. As it turns out, the house is being moved, and the property has been sold to a builder. It is one more case of the piece-meal removal of bungalows that contribute so much to the historical preservation of the Heights.
Mark Sterling tendered his resignation from the HHA Board.
The meeting adjourned at 8:30 PM.
Calendar of Events for July-August 2006
HHA headquarters: The Fire Station is on the corner of Yale and 12th Streets.
Events planned by other community organizations.
Every Wednesday, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Historic Houston’s salvage warehouse is open. Call 713-522-0542 or visit their web sitefor more information.
Saturday, July 1 and 15, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Historic Houston’s salvage warehouse is open. Call 713-522-0542 or visit their web site for more information.
Saturday, August 5 and 19, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Historic Houston’s salvage warehouse is open. Call 713-522-0542 or visit their web site for more information.
October 1, Festival cancelled
October 15, Bicycle/Skate Rally
December 1-2, Holiday Home Tour
December 11-13, Holiday Food Baskets
February 25, Awards Dinner
April 13-15, Spring Home Tour
June 3, Fun Run
Copyright and Submissions
The Heights is published monthly by the Houston Heights Association. Its purpose is to acknowledge achievements and to inform HHA members of events.
Copyright 2006, the Houston Heights Association and/or the authors unless otherwise noted.
Newsletter inquiries, suggestions, or submissions should be directed to:
Editor, The Heights, P.O. Box 70735, Houston, TX 77270-0735;
email ; or leave a message on 713-861-4002.
Staff and Contributors
Editor: Mark R. Williamson
Assistant Editor: Kathleen S. Williamson
David Beale, Sharie Beale, Janet Buchheit, Jim DePitts, Janice Evans, Angela DeWree, Robin Franklin, Lauriel Hindman, Mary Lawton, Karen Mann, Kent Marsh, Genie Mims, Cynthia Corn Parker, Howie Ryan, Dean Swanson.