In This Issue

General Meetings: Health Care in July, Fire Station History in August

Fun Run Thanks

HHA Loses Longtime Volunteer Bob Pearson

Houston's New Temporary Historic Preservation Ordinance

HHA Officers and Directors

Constable Patrol Program News

Reagan Teacher Honored


Local Business Notes

Heights Resident Founds Camp for Girl Survivors of Sexual Abuse

New Members



Staff and Contributors


logo for The Heights
Newsletter of the Houston Heights Association
Volume Thirty-Six, Number Seven, July 2010
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Fun Run Thanks

by Andrea Sharp, Fun Run Chair

Fun Run startI would like to give a BIG round of applause to all of the volunteers who helped with the Fun Run! The 2010 5K Fun Run was a great success, but none of it could have been done without the hard work and dedication of the volunteers. We are lucky to be part of a community where people understand the importance of giving back.

Fun Run kids' startThank you, thank you, thank you!

[Thank you, Andrea, for putting it all together! We’ll have more information in next month’s issue, including results and more thanks. Links to standings for those wearing timing chips and to a company offering runner photographs are available through the Fun Run web page now. -Editor]

HHA Loses Longtime Volunteer Bob Pearson

Bob PearsonBob Pearson, an HHA volunteer for over twenty years, died on Saturday, June 5. Bob has been the only manager of the Fire Station for the Association. As a volunteer, he kept up the maintenance of the facility and managed its rental. As the editor of the “Heights Highlights” column in the Leader newspaper, Bob wrote about the activities of the Heights community. He will be missed.

In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to the Heights Fire Station Endowment Fund, P.O. Box 70735, Houston, TX 77270.

General Meetings

Our Healthy Houston Heights: Right In The Neighborhood!

Get healthy and stay healthy at the July 10 HHA General Meeting. The Heights is home to great physician practices that can take care of the young and old alike in your family. Enjoy interacting with a group of these physicians and learn about all the health information they provide within walking distance of your home.

Next Month: History And Pie

Enjoy an evening of history & lore about the Association’s newest property, the historic Houston Heights City Hall & Fire Station. Author, retired Heights fireman, and favorite son Paul Carr is our featured speaker at the General Meeting on Monday August 9. Learn about the eccentricities and history of the building from the beginning to today. Marlene Stubler, the owner of Pie In The Sky Pie Co., is graciously providing the goodies in August.

Everyone is invited!

Got December Plans?

Yes, we know it’s a bit early, but if you think you might be interested in volunteering as a Docent or in some other capacity for the 2010 Holiday Home Tour, please email your name and email address to Elizabeth Poirrier at so that we may contact you.

Happy Holidays!

Platinum Sponsors

The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following 2010 Platinum sponsors:

Republic Services KBR San Jacinto Stone

Houston’s New Temporary Historic Preservation Ordinance

The following is a message from the City of Houston regarding the temporary historic preservation ordinance. If you have further questions, and especially if you have questions about a certain property or address, please call the City’s Historic Preservation Department at 713-837-7963.

The City is developing amendments to the Historic Preservation Ordinance in an effort to strengthen the ordinance.

City Council approved an ordinance Wednesday, June 9, 2010, temporarily discontinuing the issuance of a 90-day waiver certificate for demolitions, relocations, and new construction in City of Houston Historic Districts when a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) is denied by the Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission (HAHC). The ordinance included language that allows the issuance of a 90-day waiver certificate for new construction where the applicant has demonstrated the expenditure of funds in preparation of construction by entering into a contract with and paying money to an architect or builder, or otherwise expending funds on such items as a survey, soils test, clearing, or other related improvement to the property prior to the passage of the ordinance. The property owner may appeal a denial of a COA to the Houston Planning Commission. If the HAHC approves a COA for demolition, relocation or new construction, the project may move forward.

During this period, applications for the designation of historic districts will not be accepted. The discontinuation applies until the historic preservation ordinance is amended or December 31, 2010, whichever is earlier. The discontinuance does not affect existing provisions for applications for a COA for the alteration, rehabilitation, or restoration related to existing buildings within designated Historic Districts and for individual landmarks and protected landmarks outside the boundaries of designated Historic Districts.

Community meetings are planned this summer for comments on amendments to the Historic Preservation Ordinance. In addition, public hearings will be held by the Houston Archeological and Historical Commission, Houston Planning Commission, and City Council Committee on Development and Regulatory Affairs before consideration by City Council.

At its June 21 meeting, the Board of the Houston Heights Association voted to take no position at this time on the temporary discontinuance or any of the changes that have been informally proposed. The Board continues to gather information on the various proposed changes and to follow the process carefully.

Constable Patrol Program News

Officers Muñoz and Le have reported that they have stepped up patrols in our area parks. They have focused on enforcing the “no alcohol and no loitering” laws so that our parks are a safe place for our neighborhood to enjoy. Thanks, Officers!

May statistics for the east side: 2 arrests, 50 citizen contacts, 3 criminal offenses, 3 disturbances, 46 vacation watches, 30 park checks, 22 suspicious vehicles, 879 miles patrolled. On the west side in May: 6 arrests, 82 citizen contacts, 2 criminal offenses, 5 disturbances, 46 park checks, 16 suspicious vehicles, 26 vacation watches, 1022 miles patrolled.

North Side Update

The Houston Heights Association, in conjunction with the Sunset Heights Civic Association and the East Sunset Heights Association, decided to implement the constable patrol in the new North Side area even though there are not yet enough subscribers to fully support the cost of the contract for the rest of the year. A constable patrol officer was being hired to begin patrolling the North Side in July. We do not know the days or hours as we went to press, but we will send an email to subscribers when we receive the information.

If you have been waiting to see if this would actually happen, it is. Please go ahead and make a payment via credit card here or mail a check today!

If you are already a subscriber, please talk to your neighbors about joining. We really need your help! We also need people to help contact businesses on 20th, Shepherd, Durham, Main, and 610. Please contact to find out how you can help.

For more information, please see the flyer on the Sunset Heights web site.

HHA Officers and Directors As Of June 2010

Year in parentheses indicates Director term expiration. Officer terms all expire at the end of this year.

Bill Baldwin, President-Elect, Director (2012)

Donna Bennett, Director (2010)

Amy Brooks, Secretary (not a Director)

Paul Carr, V.P. Property Management, Director (2010)

Paul Cottage, Director (2010)

Anne Culotta, President, Director (2011)

Angela DeWree, V.P. Meetings & Membership, Director (2010)

Mike Easley, V.P. Financial Affairs, Director (2010)

Simon Eyles, Director (2011)

Lindsey Lee, Treasurer, Director (2012)

Trudy Nelson, V.P. Information & Communications, Director (2012)

Martin Piké, Director (2011)

Chris Silkwood, Director (2010)

Kelly Simmons, V.P. Sponsorship & Fundraising (not a Director)

Christine Spin, Director (2012)

Bart Truxillo, V.P. Historic Preservation & Maintenance, Director (2012)

Lanna vonBaden, V.P. Community Outreach, Director (2010)

New Members

Please welcome the following new members to the Houston Heights Association.

  • Sarah Gabbart
  • Fiona Johnson
  • Yvonne Meyer
  • Keith Morgan Company
  • Renovo Homes, LLC, Elbert Johnson
  • Studio Fitness, Jose Madrigal


Our thanks to the following donors for their generous support of the programs of the Houston Heights Association.

  • Rex & Karen Adams - Fire Station Endowment Fund
  • Cheryl & Don Barker - Flower Gardens
  • Jane Bryant - Parks, Boulevard, Flower Gardens, Fire Station Endowment Fund
  • Jeff & Caroline Gardner - Flower Gardens
  • David & Shawn Gray - Parks Maintenance
  • Christi & Keith Guerrini - Flower Gardens
  • Lori Madsen
  • Leah & Fon Stonum - Boulevard Maintenance
  • Nancy & Phil Wedemeyer - Boulevard Reforestation

Bronze Sponsors

The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Summer 2010 Bronze Sponsors:

Rampart Builders Boulevard Realty
Phil's Texas Barbecue Bank of Texas

Reagan Teacher Honored with H-E-B Excellence in Education and Houston Chronicle Crystal Apple Awards

Daponte and big checkAt the H-E-B Excellence in Education awards banquet in early May, Dr. Timothy Daponte, a physics teacher at John H. Reagan HS received a Lifetime Achievement award - a prize of $25,000 for both himself and his campus. Daponte, a Fulbright Scholar who has been with HISD since 1982, has built a reputation for using unusual teaching methods to capture the attention of his students and to help them understand physics principles.

Earlier in the year, Daponte was awarded a Crystal Apple Award by the Houston Chronicle Education Department. This award honors teachers who “stand out from the crowd” through their outstanding teaching techniques - and for going far beyond the norm in their classroom. Along with the prize money, Daponte received a beautiful crystal apple paperweight for his desk.

During his Fulbright semester in New Delhi, India, Daponte was able to successfully use his hands-on teaching methods. He taught at the central government school, the largest school system in the world with over a million students and 10,000 schools.

“Most of the teaching there is based on rote memorization so even though students could recite every physics formula, they couldn’t even explain gravity,” he recalls. In the end, his students had a 95% passing rate on the national tests because, for the first time in their lives, they actually understood the physics concepts they had been memorizing.

Now in his third year back at Reagan, Daponte’s physics classes include the magic tricks he used in India to demonstrate gravity and momentum, propelling watermelons off the three-story school roof to measure the height of the school, building water-powered rockets to demonstrate Newton’s laws of motion, and his most famous, “bed of nails” class, to demonstrate conservation of energy.

Daponte on bed of nails[left] Reagan senior Nick Rogers takes careful aim at the cinder block placed on Dr. Daponte’s chest while he lies on a bed of nails during physics class.

“The bottom line is, I enjoy what I do and I think how you enjoy your job comes out in the quality of your work,” Daponte said. His plans for the upcoming school year include teaching an AP physics class that may give Reagan students college credit.

Daponte’s attitude has made a memorable impact on students over the years and resulted in a student and fellow teacher nominating Daponte for the H-E-B award. Reagan’s Life Skills teacher, Cynthia Stang nominated Daponte for including her special needs students when the physics classes have labs.

While details are still being worked out, Daponte and Reagan administrators would like to use the school prize to set up a scholarship fund for one or more deserving Reagan students based on financial need.

Daponte and 7 other Houston area teachers were among 40 educators who were finalists for Texas’ largest monetary recognition program for educators and one of the largest in the nation. The awards celebrate and recognize the contributions of public school professionals whose leadership and dedication inspire a love of learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities. H-E-B seeks to pay tribute to those educators who go the extra mile each and every day to serve their students and their communities and who inspire others to do the same.


The Houston Heights Woman’s Club Literary Group will discuss Hakawati by Rabin Alameddire on July 7. Member Jere Pfister will lead the discussion.

The popular Cork and Fork Group meets on July 17. This free event, which features wines and appetizers from different parts of the world, is open to members and their guests. Call Shea Sanderfer-Hill at 713-864-3466 for details.

On July 29, the club will host its second Bunko Night for the summer. Members and their guests are invited to bring wine and other beverages and snacks for this fun event. Contact Leah Braden by email (click here) to reserve a space at a table.

All activities are held at the clubhouse at 1846 Harvard, and all begin at 7:00 PM.

Local Business Notes

Keystone Resources, a Houston Heights-based, certified woman-owned small business specializing in marketing and graphic design was named the 2009 WBE Supplier of the Year (under $1 million in Annual Sales) by the Women’s Business Enterprise Association (WBEA), a regional certifying partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Counsel (WBENC). This award recognizes Keystone Resources for supplying marketing and design services to more Women Business Enterprises (WBE) and affiliated Large Corporations in 2009 than any other WBE in the Under $1 Million in Annual Sales Category. The award was presented at the WBEA’s 2010 Expo Connections Tradeshow.

Through its Azrock brand, which is manufactured in Houston near Interstate 10 and Studemont, Tarkett recently partnered with Houston-based Academy Sports + Outdoors, Dobbins Floor Covering, and Texan Floor Service to recycle over 300,000 pounds of flooring material into future tile. The material reclaimed included both used and unused flooring from Academy retail locations. Tarkett reported recycling nearly one million pounds of material in 2008 and over 20 million pounds in 2009. By the end of 2010, Tarkett anticipates the possibility of recycling up to 65 million pounds of installed tiles.

Support Local Business

A reminder from the HHA Business Committee

Please support our local business community. Shopping local saves time and gas, and it keeps your money within the neighborhood.

A good starting point would be to consider our business members and sponsors. Our current sponsors are featured in every newsletter and on our web site. Our business members are also listed on our web site through the “Area Businesses” tab or directly here and in our semi-annual printed Business Directory.

Thank you for supporting Heights businesses.

Heights Resident Founds Camp for Girl Survivors of Sexual Abuse

Did you know that at least 1 in 4 females is sexually assaulted before she reaches 18? And that 30% of survivors of sexual assault never tell ANYONE?

Katrina at the mikeYou may recognize the name as the immediate past Chair of HHA’s Holiday Home Tour or know her as the overall female winner of this year’s Fun Run, but Katrina Price Stilwell is also the Founder and President of the 501(c)(3) charitable organization called Camp Victory Texas, Inc., a non-profit organization founded to make a genuine difference in young survivors’ lives.

Thousands of girls are sexually abused every year in the United States. It is, unfortunately, all around us and profoundly changes the lives of those girls and future-women and their loved and loving ones. The goal is unique: create a safe environment in the form of a three-day camp where survivors can play and sing, know that they are neither alone nor responsible for what happened to them, and develop self-affirming behavior along with appropriate and effective social coping skills.

Like so many other of the best things we do in life, dedicated volunteers make up the heart of Camp Victory. Simply participating in Camp Victory activities helps educate the community about the issues related to child sexual abuse. Training is provided yearly to all adult volunteers and we have quite a bit of fun in the process. (Honestly, when was the last time YOU got together with a group of amazing women - especially when s’mores and singing were involved - and didn’t have fun?!)

At Camp Victory, adults are known as Big Buddies and girls are Little Buddies. Adults who successfully complete the training (and a thorough background security check) and participate in a camp are thereafter known as Mama Lions. Hear them ROAR! If you’d like to come sing with them and be a part of the re-opening of a little girl’s heart, please get in touch. They’re also happy for you to give what you can, whether it be funds, your time, advance preparation for craft projects at camp, or planning and oversight of the camp kitchen.

The group will have quarterly gatherings at one of their homes in addition to the ongoing bi-weekly Advisory Board meetings. The gatherings will help get to know each other, identify roles each person can best serve, and be a place to learn the songs in advance of camp. Camp will be held May 13-15, 2011.

Interested? Questions? Want to write them into your will? Write to

Calendar of Events for July-August 2010











1 - garbage




Independence Day


HHA Land Use, 6:30 PM, Fire Station

Deadline for next newsletter



8 - garbage and recycling





HHA General Meeting, “Health Care,” 7:00 PM, Fire Station



15 - garbage





HHA Board Meeting 6:30 PM, Fire Station


Greater Heights SNC (SN15), 6:30 PM, Fire Station


22 - garbage and recycling





HHA Education Committee, 7:00 PM, Fire Station



PIP meeting, 7:00 PM, 1602 State Street

29 - garbage



August 1


HHA Land Use Committee, 6:30 PM, Fire Station



5 - garbage and recycling

Deadline for next newsletter





HHA General Meeting, “Fire Station History,” 7:00 PM, Fire Station



12 - garbage





HHA Board Meeting, 6:30 PM, Fire Station


Greater Heights SNC (SN15), 6:30 PM, Fire Station


19 - garbage and recycling





HHA Education Committee, 6:30 PM, Fire Station



PIP Meeting, 7:00 PM, 1602 State Street

26 - garbage






HHA headquarters: The Fire Station is on the corner of Yale and 12th Streets.

Community Calendar

Events planned by other community organizations.

Every Wednesday to Saturday, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Historic Houston’s salvage warehouse is open. See

Every Monday, 7:30 to 10:00 PM, Houston International Folk Dancers introductory lessons at Oddfellows Hall, 115 E. 14th.

At The Fire Station

Events at the Historic Houston Heights Fire Station, 12th and Yale

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 at the east door.

Future History

October 3, Bicycle Rally

December 3-4, Holiday Home Tour

February 27, 2011, Awards Dinner

April 1-3, 2011, Spring Home Tour

June 4, 2011, Heights Fun Run

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

July contributors:

Sharon Balke, Paul Carr, Angela DeWree, Lauriel Hindman, Irene Nava, Elizabeth Poirrier, Andrea Sharp, Lanna vonBaden.