In This Issue
|Newsletter of the Houston Heights Association|
|Volume Thirty-Six, Number Two, February 2010|
|Click here for the print-format PDF version.|
|Click here for back issues.|
|Click here to return to main HHA site.|
Celebrate “The Art of Volunteering”
HHA Volunteer and Community Improvement Awards Dinner, Sunday, February 28, 5:00-8:00 PM
The Annual HHA Volunteer Appreciation and Community Improvement Awards Dinner will start things off this year at 5:00 PM with a cocktail hour on the first floor of the Heights Fire Station, Yale and 12th Street. The theme and attire this year are “The Art of Volunteering” with “smArtfully Casual“ attire.
At 6:00 PM, the dining experience will be presented artistically, and the table and venue décor will be by Design and Inspiration and Grogan Building Supply.
The evening will continue with the recognition of past and present volunteers, including prestigious awards for the 2009 Citizen of the Year, Corporate Citizen of the Year, and Marcella Perry Award. Results will also be announced for Community Improvement Awards, consisting of Residential Renovation, Commercial Renovation, Residential New Construction, and Commercial New Construction.
(Sorry, sold out!) Tickets at $20 per person or $175 for a reserved table of 8 were available through our website. Seating is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, so please act fast!
We look forward to seeing YOU - the heART of the Heights - there!
Come Meet Mayor Annise Parker
Please join us at the February 8 General Meeting of the Houston Heights Association, when our very special guest will be Annise Parker, Houston’s new Mayor. She will speak briefly, answer a few questions prepared by the HHA Board, and take open questions from the floor.
Mayor Parker was sworn in to her first term as mayor of Houston on January 4. She is Houston’s 61st Mayor, one of only two women to hold the City’s highest elected office. She is the only person in Houston history to hold the offices of council member, controller and mayor.
See you at 7:00 PM on Monday, February 8, at the Historic Houston Heights Fire Station, 12th and Yale Streets!
The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following 2010 Platinum sponsors:
Brave New Event Chairs 2010
We would like to announce and thank this year’s all-star line-up of event chairs. For anyone who has chaired, volunteered, or attended these events, you know that these individuals sacrifice a huge amount of time, energy, and expertise to make them fun for all of us and successful for the Houston Heights Association.
Volunteer Appreciation and Community Improvement Awards Dinner, February 28:
Dinner Chair Trudy Nelson, CIA Chair Diane Easley.
Houston Heights Home & Garden Tour and Candlelight Dinner & Auction, April 9, 10, and 11:
Event Co-Chairs Linda Eyles and Danae Stephenson, Dinner Co-Chairs Donna Bennett and Kristi Synek, Auction Co-Chairs Pamela Kunkemoeller and Kit Davis.
Houston Heights Fun Run, June 5:
Chair Andrea Sharp.
Houston Heights Bicycle Rally and Scavenger Hunt, October 3:
Chair Paul Carr.
Houston Heights Holiday Home Tour, December 3 and 4:
Chair Elizabeth Poirrier.
Holiday Home Tour Patron Party, December 2:
Co-Chairs Trudy Nelson and Marianne Sulser.
Our hats off to these Brave New Event Chairs!
These events take hundreds of volunteers to produce. They are well organized, fun, and a great way to get involved and meet members of the community. If you would like to volunteer for one or more of the above events, please send us an email at or leave a message at 713-861-4002.
Spring Home & Garden Tour
Mark your calendars for the 2010 Spring Home & Garden Tour! The tour will take place the second weekend in April on Saturday, April 10, and Sunday, April 11, from noon until 6:00 PM. Each home on the tour is unique and wonderful, and there is something to please everyone - old and new, small and large, family style and formal. It is a delightful group of houses that will surely inspire!
Advance tickets are $17, and tickets purchased on the days of the tour will be $20.00. For more information please call 713-861-4002 and select option 3 then option 1 or click .
Candlelight Dinner and Auction
The Candlelight Dinner and Auction will be held Friday, April 9. Begin your evening with a private tour of six wonderful homes from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. At 7 o’clock, be at Master Car Care at 2305 Yale Street for an exciting party in an amazing new venue! There are a number of surprises awaiting you and lots of ways to have fun and support the Houston Heights Association. Come ready to bid in the live and silent auctions. You won’t want to miss it. Plan to buy tickets now or gather a group of friends and buy a table - this will be a sell-out event!
Table price is $1,000; individual seats are $100. Call 713-861-4002 and select option 3 then option 2 to reserve your spot.
Volunteers Needed For Home Tour
We still need volunteers to help with the Spring Home and Garden Tour. If you are interested in serving on a committee, working as a docent in a home, or finding out about other volunteer opportunities, please contact or for more information. It’s a great way to spend time with your neighbors and get involved!
HHA Going Green in 2010
Beginning January 1, we began sending membership renewal invoices and statement reminders via email to all our members for whom we have an email address. If it is time for your membership renewal, you will receive an email stating that your renewal invoice is attached. The address to mail your check is shown on the invoice, or if you choose, you may renew online at our website; click .
If you do not receive the newsletter notices and other HHA announcements by email, we probably do not have your current valid email address. Similarly, if you do not receive the newsletter and other HHA messages on paper, we may not have your current postal address. Please notify us of changes in your email or postal address.
In addition to saving paper, we will be saving significant money each year on postage to use on our other many projects. Thank you for your assistance.
Please welcome these new members to the Houston Heights Association.
Thanks to the following for their generous support of the programs of the Houston Heights Association.
Shirley A. Brown - Parks Maintenance & Boulevard Beautification
John & Katy Childs - Boulevard Beautification
Andrea L. Farr
Beth Gallagher - Boulevard Beautification
Gary Gehbauer - Parks Maintenance & Boulevard Beautification
Robert W. & Pearl Wallis Knox Foundation - Education
Joan Robins - Boulevard Beautification
Anne Rodgers - Boulevard Beautification
Loring P. White & Susan Guidry - Boulevard Beautification
The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Winter 2009-2010 Silver Sponsor:
Classroom Grants Awarded
The Houston Heights Association, through its Education Committee, supports excellence in schools and provides resources directly to teachers. The Classroom and School Grant Program funds teacher-designed learning experiences to increase and enhance student learning. Individual schools may also apply for a grant that impacts their total curriculum and/or environment.
This year’s grant recipients were recognized at the January 11 HHA General Meeting. Checks were sent directly to the schools. The grant recipients, amounts, and project titles are listed below.
Jose Ibarra and Sue Tate, $970.66, Trip to Cockrell Butterfly Center.
Amanda Makin, $1,000.00, One School One Book
Eva Felder, $750.00, Minds without Boundaries, Building the Future One Block at a Time. Lindy Meador, $750.00, Digital Pictures with Science. Leslie Hancock and Gerardo Chapa, $816.00, Music Equipment and Instruction at Helms. Carla Corona, Pat Silva-Flores and James Newman (Fourth Grade Team), $1,000.00, 4th Grade State Capitol Tour.
Reagan High School
Byronica Pickney, $738.00, Blood Pressure Simulator. Katy Kessler $740.75, Vale la Pena. Anthony Day and Joel Cook, $1,000.00, Web Gallery.
Christine Cole and Second & Third Grade Teams, $359.92, Robotics for All. Sarah Gonzales, $750.00, Home Science Kits. Stephanie Friedman and Lauren Allen, $1,000.00, Reader’s Theater Wireless Microphones.
Winning Student Authors
Elizabeth Hartzell, a 6th grader at Hamilton Middle School, was the First Place winner of the Education Committee’s Holiday Story Writing Contest. Elizabeth won $150 and read her story “A Different Christmas” to friends and family at the Heights Branch Library on December 19. The second place winner was Brandon Clements from Reagan High School. Brandon received $50 and read his story “Turduckenstein” at the Library on December 19 as well.
Congratulations to Elizabeth and Brandon!
Constable Patrol Statistics
Officer Aaron Muñoz, our East Side constable deputy, reported the following results from his patrol during December:
Thank you, Officer Muñoz, for helping keep our neighborhood safe.
The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Winter 2009-2010 Bronze Sponsors:
The next Houston Heights Association Restoration/Historical Committee meeting will be held at 1317 Arlington on Thursday, February 4, from 7:30 to 9:30 PM. Note that this meeting is on the first Thursday instead of the third Thursday; this is a permanent change in the committee’s schedule.
What do you do with a 1950’s gameroom/laundromat/washateria building across the street from Reagan High School to make it into a nostalgic home and artist studio for an engineer husband and an artist of national and world renown? Do you want to see what the Home and Garden TV Channel (HGTV) found so interesting when they filmed a property transformation in Houston Heights? Did you miss going on the Houston Heights Home Tour to visit this home in 1988? If these thoughts pique your interest to see a multi-year renovation from a one-story commercial building to a 1950’s modern “Santa Fe funky box retro style two-story home,” then this meeting is for you.
Meeting attendees will see first-hand the results of tearing up asbestos flooring then raising floors 6 inches to eliminate flooding and excavating a giant hackberry tree filled yard from tropical rain damage. Also punching holes thru asphalt to plant plants, drilling holes in concrete ceilings and walls to hang art works, using stucco in a Victorian neighborhood, and battling ferocious termites all were some of the challenges in this work of love. Then hear how nervous the couple were when they moved from a country club suburban home to a washateria building in a questionable neighborhood in the 1980’s and how the captivating building with beauty and character unlike any other, demanded preservation.
This meeting will highlight a most unusual example of a one-of-a-kind home in the Houston Heights. Overall, meeting attendees will see what beauty and character can be maintained in the Heights historic neighborhood using modern construction techniques. Also, for those wanting to talk with a couple who recall their neighborhood and school memories, this will be a most enjoyable evening activity.
The Houston Heights Restoration/Historical Committee meetings are open to the public bimonthly to learn about history and restoration in keeping with an appreciation of the historic nature of the Houston Heights. Membership in the Houston Heights Association is encouraged, but not mandatory to attend these events.
Please let Dean Swanson know if you have a restoration project, historical structure under restoration, or historical information or photos pertaining to the Heights to share at future meetings. Dean can be contacted at or 713-880-2832.
Woman’s Club News
The Houston Heights Woman’s Club will hold its Valentine potluck on February 11. Contact Anne Sloan at 713-869-8281 or for tickets or further information. To buy raffle tickets for the beautiful handmade quilt, contact Barbara Potter at 713-863-0179 or .
The Club made more than $2000 at their arts and crafts sale at the Heights Fire Station on December 5, which was held in conjunction with the Heights Holiday Home Tour.
The Woman’s Club invites you to visit their new website.
White Oak Pub Crawl
Texans Together Education Fund presents “Two Steppin’ in the Heights” - a White Oak Pub Crawl, with proceeds to benefit their programs.
The pub-crawl will begin at 1:00 PM on Saturday, February 20, with participants “crawling” from bar to bar on White Oak. At 5:00 PM, Spain Colored Orange (2009 Houston Press Music Award winner for Best Indie band) will perform at Beer Island. All participants will receive a swag bag and be entered to win a one-week stay at a Port Aransas condo.
Teams will consist of six people, but individuals are welcome to join the crawl. Entry fees may be purchased online here.
Texans Together Education Fund is a non-partisan 501(C)(3) nonprofit that facilitates the opportunity for civic engagement in underserved neighborhoods by working alongside residents to help them develop essential civic skills and build upon their own strengths to achieve the improvements their community wants and needs. Visit for more information.
Yard Waste Changes Postponed Again
The City of Houston Solid Waste Department has again postponed the requirement that yard waste be placed in special “compostable” bags before they are placed by the curb for pick-up. The requirement, approved by City Council last September, was to have gone into effect 90 days later, but has been postponed twice. It is now scheduled to start on Monday, April 5.
You can find a current list of retailers and more information regarding the compostable bag program at the Solid Waste website.
Calendar of Events for February-March 2010
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.
Through April 15, Neighborhood Tax Centers provide Houston area residents and families earning less than $50,000 with free, fast, and accurate tax preparation by IRS-certified volunteer tax preparers. Convenient day, evening, and weekend hours at 21 locations throughout the Greater Houston area. Call 2-1-1 or visit web site for more information.
January 28 through February 6, Opera in the Heights presents Giuseppe Verdi’s Un Ballo In Maschera at Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Blvd. “Ballo in Maschera - love and politics - they cannot mix. Despite good intentions, this ill-fated combination can only spell a bad ending.” Visit for more information.
February 19 through March 6, UpStage Theatre presents Neil Simon’s The Sunshine Boys at Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Blvd. Visit for more information.
March 26 through April 10, Opera in the Heights presents Giacomo Puccini’s La Boheme at Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Blvd. “Who doesn’t love opera’s most famous lovers? Mimi and Rodolfo, the most popular work ever… at the end, Puccini doesn’t leave a dry eye in the house.“ Visit for more information.
April 9-11, Spring Home Tour
June 5, Heights Fun Run
October 3, Bicycle Rally
December 3-4, Holiday Home Tour
February 27, 2011, Awards Dinner
At The Fire Station
Every second Monday, 5:00 to 7:00 PM, and every fourth Monday, 8:00 AM to noon, the City Council District H Satellite Office is open.
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 2010, 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
Stephanie Babb, Sharon Balke, Linda Eyles, Jesse Gonzalez, Lauriel Hindman, Irene Nava, Trudy Nelson, Kelly Simmons, Dean Swanson.