In This Issue
|Newsletter of the Houston Heights Association|
|Volume Thirty-Five, Number Two, February 2009|
|Click here for the print-format PDF version.|
|Click here for back issues.|
|Click here to return to main HHA site.|
Volunteer Appreciation & Awards Dinner
Please plan to attend our upcoming HHA Volunteer Appreciation & Community Improvement Awards Dinner to be held Sunday, February 22, from 5:00 to 8:00 PM at the Heights Fire Station (12th and Yale). In honor of our wonderful Heights community, the theme will be “Welcome, Neighbors,” and you can plan on having fun right here in the ’hood.
We’ll have adult beverages and comfort food prepared by Massoud’s Catering. Citizen of the Year, Marcella Perry Award winner, and the Corporate Citizen of the Year will be crowned, and the nominees and winners of the Community Improvement Awards will be announced. Please visit the HHA website for more information.
Tickets at $20 per person or $175 for a reserved table of 8 are available here. Seating is limited, so please secure your tickets soon.
We will have two speakers at the February General Meeting. Learn more about our unique inner city neighborhood at this special meeting.
We are honored to have Houston Vice Mayor Pro Tem and City Council Member (At-Large Position 2) Sue Lovell speak. Her topic will be “The State of The Inner City Neighborhood.”
Former HHA Board member and Co-Chair of the HHA Land Use Committee Jonathan Smulian will present the “Design Guide for the Heights Historic Districts.” This beautiful document, which he recently prepared for the City of Houston. was described in more length in last month’s edition of this newsletter.
Everyone is invited to attend. Refreshments will be served. Please join us at the Fire Station (12th & Yale) at 7:00 PM on Monday, February 9.
The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following 2008-2009 Platinum sponsors:
Spring Home & Garden Tour
Mark your calendars for the 2009 Spring Home & Garden Tour! This year’s tour will take place on Saturday and Sunday, April 4 and 5, from noon until 6:00 PM at six unique and beautiful homes throughout our neighborhood. Every home on the tour is a true reflection of both the homeowners’ vision and the treasured character of Houston Heights. You will surely enjoy a walk through these new and renovated charming bungalows and cottages.
Advance tickets will cost $17; tickets purchased on the days of the tour will be $20. For more information, call 713-861-4002 and select option 3 then option 1, or visit .
Candlelight Dinner & Auction
The Candlelight Dinner & Auction will be held on Friday, April 3 at Winter Street Studios. Great new surprises abound for our guests as we return to Winter Street Studios to celebrate the Home & Garden Tour and raise money for our esteemed neighborhood. Gather your friends for a private tour of the homes, delicious dinner, cocktails, and the silent auction. And get your hands ready to bid on the always-energized Live Auction!
Table price is $1,000; individual seats are $100. Contact Lauren Dunlap to reserve your spot now! Email her at or call 713-861-4002 and select option 3, then option 2.
Volunteers Needed For Home Tour
We still need volunteers to help with the Spring Home & Garden Tour! If you are interested in serving on a committee, or would like to docent at a home, help out at the Candlelight Dinner & Auction, or guide our guests through the neighborhood on the shuttles, please contact Eleanor Lane at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Urban Forestry Committee
The February Garden Tour will be on Saturday, February 7, at 10:00 AM at “Miz Magnolia” - the home of Tom & Lisa Gladney - 408 E. 7th Street.
The Gladneys could not resist the temptation to build on this exceptional property with its mature magnolia and oak trees. Exterior highlights include a spa/pool and outdoor fireplace in the back courtyard, and in front of the house, a fountain flanked by Confederate roses. Live oak trees and a classic brick and iron fence add to the property’s timeless character and classic appeal.
The Gladneys’ home was featured on the 2008 Holiday Home Tour and on the Poster for the event! Tom Gladney, the homeowner, is pleased to talk about what he did during construction for tree preservation.
Don’t miss this wonderful example of new construction that “Lives in Tandem with Trees.”
The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Winter 2008-2009 Diamond sponsor:
HHA Awards Classroom Teacher Grants for Spring Semester
The HHA Education Committee is co-chaired by Karen Derr of Karen Derr & Associates and Emily Cole, retired principal of Davis HS, and mentored by Sheila Tybor, previous chairperson. This standing committee is made up of educators, school administrators, business partners, and community members and meets every fourth Monday from 7:00 to 8:00 PM.
The goal of the committee is to improve Heights schools, both public and private. Over the past 12 years, the Classroom Teacher Grant program has provided our schools with some valuable resources for effectively teaching students. The Education Committee coordinates several projects throughout the year and is also involved with local educators on many levels of strategic planning and implementation. (For more information, please visit the HHA website.)
The grant program encourages teachers to apply for funding an innovative project that will reach one or more classes. Many of this year’s grants will affect an entire grade level or school. The 2008 Classroom Teachers Grant program was co-chaired by Jesse Gonzalez and Lindy Meador, both highly experienced teachers and former recipients.
A reception was held on January 8 at the Karen Derr offices to honor the teachers who won 12 grants for a total of $9,790. Listed below are the grants and winners:
1. “Rube Goldberg Competition”, Ann Margaret Ellis & John Schaff, Harvard ES. Fifth grade students will work in teams to research the origins of this annual competition then create multimedia presentations of their findings and of their simple machines.
2. “The Proof is in the Pudding” submitted by Michael Shea, Reagan HS. A class of Media Literacy students will be able to film video news-style reports that will be broadcast throughout the school on common area monitors using the mini DV cameras purchased with this grant.
3. “Early Reading, Primary Reader, and Strategies for Older Students (SOS)” submitted by Ida McCoy & Cheryl Wolfe, Helms CLC. This school-wide grant will fund a web-based reading program for student readers at three different levels of abilities to supplement and support the grade-level reading curriculum already taking place in the classrooms.
4. “School-wide Recycling Project” submitted by Major Emilio Rodriguez as a ROTC student initiative, Reagan HS. This grant will fund recycling collection bins allowing for the expansion of the paper-recycling program on this 1,700+ student campus.
5. “Gaining ‘Vision 7’ in Robotics” submitted by Stephanie “Spoony” Witherspoon, Hamilton MS. Robotics students will be exposed to a new software program which allows the teacher to selectively demonstrate instruction on student computer monitors in the classroom.
6. “School-wide Recycling Project” submitted by Tamara Taylor and others, Hamilton MS. Educating students and staff will play a large component in this school-wide paper recycling initiative that will actively involve students from Habitat, Peer Leaders, Special Education, and Art classes.
7. “Butterfly Garden” submitted by Maria Vazquez, Angela Oporto, and Brenda Muñoz, Love Elementary. This grant will enable students, staff, and parents to build a butterfly garden on a prominent corner of the school campus as a place to observe the beauty of nature.
8. “Monitoring Sound and Noise Pollution” submitted by Timothy Daponte, Reagan HS. This project will monitor sound and noise pollution by mounting sound level meters around campus to teach students about normal sound levels, as well as levels that will promote hearing loss.
9. “Life Cycle of the Butterfly” submitted by Caroline Elholm, Debra Hall, Jaime Narvaez, and Marissa Ward, Helms CLC. Elementary students will study the life cycle of the butterfly on paper, through actual observations of butterfly larvae in their classrooms, and finally through a field trip to the Cockrell Butterfly House at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
10. “Adding Living Creatures to Classrooms” submitted by Martha Rangel, Geneva Coates, Elsi Sinclair, and Ana Lerma, Helms CLC. In addition to adding a live animal habitat to each of the grant winners’ classrooms, students will be given an opportunity to see fossils and dinosaurs in simulated habitats at the HMNS as well as view an IMAX dinosaur movie.
11. “Sally Ride Science Festival” submitted by William Menjivar, Helms CLC. Fifth grade girls will be introduced to the idea of pursuing math and science careers throughout their education by attending this annual Houston event held on the Rice University campus.
12. “Digital Presentations” submitted by Julia Hernandez, Helms CLC. Technology, reading, writing, and science concepts will be taught to students during computer lab classes through the use of digital cameras to produce personalized portfolios.
Congratulations to all the grant recipients!
The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Winter 2008-2009 Silver sponsor:
Historic Commission Considers Amendments To Ordinance
After a five-month process of negotiations mediated by City representatives, there is agreement by builders and preservationists on several proposed amendments to the city’s historic preservation ordinance. As of this writing, the proposed changes were to be considered by the Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission on January 15. If approved, they will then proceed to the Houston Planning Commission and on to the Houston City Council. There will be public hearings at every step along the way.
Here are the proposed amendments:
• The size of the HAHC will increase from 11 to 13 members.
• One member of the HAHC will be a registered remodeler or builder.
• Two members of the HAHC will be historic district homestead residents.
• The City planning director will become a non-voting member of the HAHC for the purposes of making a quorum.
• HAHC will adopt a schedule of meeting and submittal deadlines.
• A sign of 4 feet by 8 feet shall be posted for ten days in the front yard of any historic property for which a demolition or relocation application has been submitted.
• Applications for demolition and new construction may not be submitted at the same time. The result is that an application for new construction on the site of a historic property cannot be submitted until the 90-day wait is up on the demolition or relocation of the existing property. If the new construction is deemed compatible by the HAHC, construction may begin immediately after the 90-day wait for the demolition or relocation is over. However, if the new construction is found to be inappropriate by the HAHC, there will be another 90-day wait, for a total of 180 days instead of the longer 360-day wait proposed by preservationists last spring. This 180-day wait will apply only in the event of a demolition followed by incompatible new construction.
These proposed amendments have been agreed to by the Greater Houston Builders Association, and they are supported by Mayor White, whose desire it is to inform the public on the importance of preservation of Houston’s historic assets and who instructed last summer that preservationists and builders were to find a basis of collaboration. Both the GHBA and preservationists view the proposal as a compromise, meaning neither group got everything it wanted.
More information is available at .
Last minute update: At the January 15 meeting, the HAHC voted to recommend adoption of the proposed amendments as described above. The amendments were approved at the January 22 meeting of the Planning Commission and passed on to City Council for consideration.
2009 HHA Board And Officers
Please welcome and take notice of the new board members and officers serving the Houston Heights Association. Each one of these individuals has a great passion for our unique and wonderful community. They serve as volunteers, while balancing work, family and often numerous other commitments. A sincere “thank you” to each and every member.
Name - Office(s)
The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Winter 2008-2009 Bronze Sponsor:
Little League in Stude Park
Heights-Norhill Little League is one of Houston’s oldest little leagues and has continuously served children for over 50 years, and they are right here in our neighborhood at Stude Park at 1000 Usener. Boys and Girls ages 5 - 15 (as of April 30) are welcome to join in the fun!
Final registration dates are Saturday, January 31 and February 7, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Registration costs $100 per child; sibling discounts are available. Bring birth certificate and proof of residence to registration. Tryouts are scheduled for February 21.
If you have any questions, please call or e-mail President Gabriela Diaz at 281-851-0255 or , Vice President Eddie Elizondo at 832-489-0109 or , or Treasurer and Information Officer Todd Guerra at 713-410-7065 or . Sponsorship opportunities are available; call Terri Guerra at 713-598-3043 or for more information.
6th Annual Crawfish Invasion
The Greater Heights Area will be invaded by crawfish on March 7. This annual migration of crawfish to our lunch plates serves as an excellent opportunity for the Greater Heights Area Chamber of Commerce to reach out and get to know our Heights residents. The Chamber would like to thank Joanne Staley of Graphic Arts Credit union for agreeing to chair this event for the second straight year. Her involvement helps guarantee the event will be a success.
If you love crawfish, plan to attend. If you operate a local business, don’t miss this opportunity to place it in front of hundreds of members of the Heights Community. If you would like to serve on the committee, please notify the Chamber at 713-861-6735 ASAP.
For more information about the Greater Heights Area Chamber of Commerce, call the number above or visit .
Celtic Festival Set for February 15
The 2009 St. Andrew’s Episcopal Celtic Festival will be held with The Gathering of the Celts on Sunday, February 15, from noon to 5:30 PM at 19th Street and Heights Boulevard.
The Festival will begin immediately after the 10:30, service with the “Kirking of the Tartans” and the opening musical performance. Scheduled performers include the St. Thomas Episcopal School Pipe Band, Jed Marum, Hugh Morrison, Constant Billy, Kristen Jensen, Ghost of a Rose, Celtic Chorus of Houston, Good Time Scottish Dancers, and Kilderkin International Dancers.
In addition to musical entertainment, the afternoon will feature a wide range of artisans and craft vendors, great food and drink, plus games, crafts, and activities for children of all ages.
Admission is $5.00 per family, $3.00 per person, and free for children under 10. Call 713-861-5596 or visit for more details.
Our thanks to the following for their support of the programs of the Houston Heights Association.
Jason Bailey - Flower Gardens
John & Katy Childs - in honor of Paul Carr and his fabulous hayrides
Keith Crane & Kelly Simmons - Parks, Boulevard & Flower Gardens
Mike & Monica Dupre - Hayrides
Sue Cox - Parks Maintenance
Linda & Simon Eyles - Boulevard
Cynthia Felde & David McLean - Parks, Boulevard, & Flower Gardens
Beth Gallagher - Flower Gardens
Joan Robins - Flower Gardens
Anne Rodgers - Boulevard
Sybil Scott - Boulevard
Earl Smith & Janice Wensveen - Jogging Trail
Universal Wiring, Ed Valot - Parks Maintenance
Please welcome the following new or returning members to the Houston Heights Association.
Bedford by Robert Gadsby
Calendar of Events for February-March 2009
HHA headquarters: The Fire Station is on the corner of Yale and 12th Streets.
Every Wednesday and Saturday, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Historic Houston’s salvage warehouse is open. Call 713-522-0542 or visit their web site .
Every Monday, 7:30 to 10:00 PM, Houston International Folk Dancers introductory lessons at Oddfellows Hall, 115 E. 14th.
January 29, 30, 31, February 5, 6, 7, 13, 14 - Opera in the Heights presents Giuseppe Verdi’s Macbeth at 7:30 PM in Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Blvd. For tickets or more information, call 713-861-5303 or visit .
February 7, Heights-Norhill Little League registration from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM in Stude Park. See above.
February 15, Celtic Festival from noon to 5:30 PM at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 19th & Heights. See above.
February 21, Heights-Norhill Little League tryouts at 10:00 AM in Stude Park. See above.
March 7, Greater Heights Area Chamber of Commerce Crawfish Boil, time and location to be announced. See above.
March 26, 27, 28, April 2, 3, 4, 10, 11 - Opera in the Heights presents Giuseppe Verdi’s Falstaff at 7:30 PM in Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Blvd. For tickets or more information, call 713-861-5303 or visit .
April 3-5, Spring Home Tour
April 18, HHA Camp-Out & Music Fest
June 6, Heights Fun Run
October 4, Bicycle Rally
December 4-5, Holiday Home Tour
February 28, 2010, Awards Dinner
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 2009, 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
Angela DeWree, Janice Evans-Davis, Lauriel Hindman, Irene Nava, Christine Spin.