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In This Issue

General Meeting: "It's a Wonderful Life" in the Heights

Donovan Park Re-Opening Celebration

Spread Some Cheer: Help With Holiday Food Baskets

Holiday Home Tour

Constable Patrol Program: Sign Up Or Renew

Community Improvement Awards

Awards Dinner

Election Results

Constable Statistics

Urban Animals October General Meeting Was Tail-Waggin' Fun

Urban Forestry Day Stars

Going Up! (wheelchair lift installation, part 2)

Hamilton Middle School Needs Instruments

Heights Woman's Club News

National Night Out Report

Recycling News

John Palmer Art Third Annual HHA Fundraiser


New Members


Staff and Contributors


logo for The Heights
Newsletter of the Houston Heights Association
Volume Thirty-Six, Number Twelve, December 2010
Click here for the print-format PDF version.
Click here for back issues.
Click here to return to main HHA site.

Donovan Park Re-Opening Celebration

December 4 - Kids, Clowns, Puppies - Even Santa Will Be There!

Donovan Park during constructionTo Johnny and little Susie it probably seems like a very long time since the gates were locked at Donovan Park and men started hammering and sawing on their favorite playground. No doubt it seems like an eternity to their parents, who have had to find somewhere else for them to play.

Well, the wait will soon be over, and the playground will be safer, more fun, and nearly new again! Thanks to a generous gift from the Donovan and Saunders family and a contribution from the Houston Heights Association, Donovan Park playground is being revitalized and improved.

The play structures are being rebuilt with low maintenance, non-splintering Trex. Swings, tables, benches, and a new water fountain are being added. New lighting has been installed, new mulch is on the way, and everything has a fresh coat of paint!

Join us on Saturday, December 4, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at Donovan Park. At 10:00 AM, there will be a ribbon-cutting and re-dedication ceremony. Then the gates will be thrown open for a fun-filled celebration including activities, treats, music, and even a visit from Santa! Your child can have a picture taken with the jolly old elf, and for those who really want puppies for Christmas, Shaggy Dog Rescue will also be there with some sweet pals that need homes!

We’ll have a table to sign up memberships in HHA and in the Constable Patrol Program. For anyone who helps support the park with a donation, we also have a special offer from Evin Thayer Photography: with a $50.00 donation, Evin Thayer will send a gift certificate for a studio photo session; with a $100.00 donation, you will also get a free 5x7 photograph from your session. Thank you, Evin!

Don’t miss out on the fun! Make a play date for December 4, 10:00 AM at Donovan Park. Come see what our neighborhood kids are getting for Christmas!

2010 Holiday Home Tour

“Holiday Greetings! From the Houston Heights”

by Elizabeth Poirrier, Chair, 2010 Holiday Home Tour

Holiday Home Tour posterThe Heights Holiday Home Tour is a great way to experience all the Heights has to offer! We’ll have six unique homes decked out for the Holidays, three historic and three of newer construction. Come to the 2010 Holiday Tour on Friday, December 3, from 6:00 to 9:00 PM and Saturday, December 4, from 3:00 to 9:00 PM!


There are shuttles available both Friday and Saturday, with the main pick-up at the Heights Fire Station on the corner of 12th Street and Yale. If you choose to drive, three home are in close proximity to one another, so just park your car and enjoy the walk among them!


This year tickets are available at The Artful Corner, Bliss on 19th, Buchanan’s Native Plants, Heights Antiques on Yale, Phil’s Texas Barbecue, and Waldo’s Coffee House. Tickets are $20 in advance for all 6 houses or $25 on the days of the tour. $5 per house tickets can also be purchased the days of the tour. Bundles of 10 tickets are available online for $175, at the Holiday Home Tour page. The shuttles are included in the ticket price.

Constable Patrol Program

The Constable Patrol Program is accepting new subscribers and renewals for January through June 2011. The price for six months is $155. Please visit the constable program page for more information or to sign up or renew.

General Meeting

“It’s a Wonderful Life” in the Heights!

Celebrate a wonderful year in the Heights at the December 13 General Meeting.

Chief “Santa” James Mosier of Constable Jack Abercia’s office will be on hand with our neighborhood Constables for the 2010 Annual “Cruise for Smiles” Christmas Toy Drive. Bring a new toy to go under the tree for the Constable’s Toy Drive. Show how generous we are with an unwrapped toy or gift to make a child’s holiday happy and bright.

Join HHA’s Holiday Home Tour Committee and volunteers to toast the wonderful homeowners and volunteers of the 2010 Tour.

Music, refreshments, and revelry. Everyone is invited at 7:00 PM in the Heights Fire Station at 12th and Yale Streets.

Spread Some Cheer: Help With Holiday Food Baskets

The Heights Rotary and the Houston Heights Association annually underwrite, prepare, and distribute food baskets to local families in need. These families are chosen by area charities. You can help assemble and distribute the goodies on December 7 and 8.

One hundred baskets (actually sets of six bags) will be assembled on the first floor of the Fire Station on the evening of Tuesday, December 7, starting at 5:00 PM. Volunteers will be sorting bulk groceries among the baskets for two or three hours; come by whenever you can. This is a great opportunity for the entire family to give back to the community.

Delivery starts after lunch (approximately 12:00 noon) on Wednesday, December 8. Come by the Fire Station to pick up a set of bags and the name and address of a family to receive them; if you have a large car or van, pick up several! Delivery should be completed that afternoon. If you are interested in lunch, BBQ plates are available for $10 (cash only) beginning at 11:00 AM. Typically, delivering 3 baskets takes an hour to an hour and a half.

This is a great way for the whole family to volunteer some time to a very worthy cause. Previous participants can assure you, the smile and sometimes joyous tears on the recipients’ faces makes the true meaning of this holiday season apparent.

Please help us make the holidays brighter for local families in need. If you are interested in volunteering a couple of hours of time or would like to learn more about this project, contact Scott Lester at 281-894-3270 or email him at

Happy Holidays!

Platinum Sponsors

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

Republic Services KBR San Jacinto Stone

Community Improvement Award

Please help us select and honor deserving property owners for their hard work and vision in our neighborhood by nominating them for Community Improvement Awards. The winners will be announced at the Volunteer Appreciation & Awards Dinner on February 27 and in the Newsletter.

Nominations must be submitted by Saturday, January 15. A copy of the nominations form and instruction sheet is included in the print edition of this issue. It is also available on the HHA web site; click here.

Election Results

Congratulations to the following members who were elected to serve on the Houston Heights Association Board of Directors during the years 2011- 2013 (listed alphabetically):

  • Donna Bennett
  • Paul Carr
  • Keith Crane
  • Mike Easley
  • Gilbert Perez

Congratulations also to Marianne Sulser and Brian Thigpen, who were elected to serve one-year terms. Thanks to all seven of them and the other candidates for their willingness to serve the Association and the neighborhood.

Thanks also to Angela DeWree, Chris Silkwood, and Lanna vonBaden, who are leaving the Board after serving three-year terms (Angela’s second in a row), Paul Cottage for filling in this year, and everyone else who served on the Board during 2010 and will continue in 2011.

Awards Dinner

Mark your calendars for the Volunteer Appreciation and Awards Dinner to be held on Sunday, February 27 at the Fire Station. Watch for more information in future issues.

Constable Statistics for October

Total Arrests 12 1 0
Citizen Assists 2 0 1
Citizen Contacts 58 48 24
Vacation Watches 32 43 78
Court Citations 13 29 15
Alarm Responses 3 1 3
Suspicious Vehicles 23 39 10
Park Checks 30 38 13
Disturbances 3 5 0
Major Accidents 0 0 2
Criminal Offenses 0 1 2
Miles Patrolled 1059 1160 906

Silver Sponsors

The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Winter 2010-2011 Silver Sponsor:


Urban Animals October General Meeting Was Tail-Waggin’ Fun

Thanks to all who participated in and attended the Urban Animals in the Heights HHA General Meeting on October 11. Speakers were Corridor Rescue (, Scout’s Honor Rescue (, and Dr. Duncan of Heights Hospital for Animals. Also participating in the fun were Kermit Eisenhut Art, The Artful Corner, Heights Urban Dog, Natural Pawz, PetPals Pet Sitting, TruTech Wildlife Specialists, and C&D Hardware, who brought information on their goods and services, fun giveaways, and great door prizes.

We had a record turnout, which included around ten very well-behaved, furry, four-legged friends. Attendees also heard from nominees on their qualifications for the 2011 HHA Board.

Thanks to Urban Animals coordinators Jon Helmer, Ellen Newcaster, Kristal Kirksey, and Kelly Simmons. Thanks to the above groups and vendors for their participation, their fun giveaways, and the many door prizes (expertly coordinated by Ellen, Jon and Kristal).

Urban Forestry Day Stars

Urban Forestry Day participants

HHA Urban Forestry Committee members and guests pause during cleanup after Heights Urban Forestry Day, October 24.

Going Up!

The walls of the shaft for the new wheelchair lift in the Fire Station were installed in early November after a delay in shipping some of the parts. Below, installers are completing the section on the first floor (left) and on the second floor (right). The blue areas are temporary plastic sheets protecting the plexiglass during shipping and installation.

elevator shaft downstairs elevator shaft upstairs


Thanks to the following for their generous support of the programs of the Houston heights Association.

Paul & Stephanie Babb - Parks, Boulevard, Flower Gardens & Fire Station Endowment

ExxonMobil Foundation Matching Gift Programs in honor of volunteers Jim Bennett and Christy Stewart

Tom & Lisa Gladney - Parks

John Palmer Art on behalf of Ryan Fugate and Kelley Devine

Taylor Moore - Boulevard Beautification

Eric & Noelle Reed - Beautification and Flower Gardens

John & Nicole Ridgway - Beautification

Ben & Ulrike Turner

New Members

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

Rhonda Barron

Christian Clark

Down House, Chris Cusack

Paul Herrera

Main Street Speech Therapy, Ann Eagan

Colin Shelton

Urban Therapy, Joel Garza

Write Now Greetings, Shanna Barnstone

Bronze Sponsors

The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Winter 2010-2011 Bronze Sponsors:

Boulevard Realty Jubilee Grogan Building Supply Co.

Hamilton Middle School Needs Instruments!

The Hamilton community welcomes new Band Director and alumnus, Eric Jimenez; he grew up in our Heights neighborhood and attended Travis Elementary, Hamilton Middle School, and Lamar High School. Mr. Jimenez is busy preparing 200 band students for a number of performances this school year and has plans for both jazz and Latin bands. His enthusiasm has lured so many students to the music program that there are barely enough instruments to go around - and many of these are in need of repair!

Please check your closets, attic, and garage for that old flute, trumpet, sax, clarinet, or whatever else you may have. Share this with neighbors, friends, and family, too! Your donation will be much appreciated and is tax-deductible.

Look forward to hearing great sounds from Hamilton during the coming year! Contact Mr. Jimenez at with your donations, and learn more about the band program here.

Heights Woman’s Club News

Members of the Houston Heights Woman’s Club are preparing for two of their largest activities of the year in December: the Victorian Market and the Victorian Tea.

The market will be held on Saturday, December 4, at the Houston Heights Fire Station on Yale. Members have spent many months making handmade gift items for sale which include tea cozies, aprons, throw pillows, gift baskets, tote bags, sachet bags, and much more. The club will also offer light refreshments from noon to 9:00 PM at the Fire Station. This will be a good time to purchase raffle tickets for the crazy quilt that members have been working on for more than six months. Contact Linda Rogers at to purchase tickets. Tickets are $5 each or three for $10.

The annual Victorian Tea will be held at the clubhouse at 1846 Harvard beginning at 3:00 PM on Sunday, December 12. A beautiful and bountiful buffet of tea sandwiches, fruits, and sweets will accompany delicious tea. The highlight has always been the gorgeous tables decorated by the members. Each has a different theme, whether it’s traditional, whimsical, or contemporary. Tickets are $25 each. Contact Rosina Chevalier at for details and tickets.

Recycling News

The City of Houston Solid Waste Management Department recently opened a new Neighborhood Depository/Recycling Center at 9003 N. Main at Crosstimbers. The center is open 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM seven days a week except holidays and accepts paper, cardboard, #1 - 5 and #7 plastic, glass containers, and aluminum and tin cans.

National Night Out Report

by Officer S. Duffy‚ Heights Police Storefront

Hello Neighbors!

YEAHHHH National Night Out has been officially declared a success! Thank you very much to you and your teams for organizing your events and bring out your community to gain control of your neighborhood!

I am very happy to announce that not only did we become a more closely bonded neighborhood, but we managed to collect 1,098 pounds of food for those who are much more needy than ourselves.

Thank you for your giving hearts; knowing that you are feeding several families should put a smile on your face. But, please do not stop here; get another food drive going for the holidays, and certainly after the holidays when the Food Bank will surely be emptied from the holidays. If you continue to give, you feel better about your community.

Thank you very much, and remember to contact me at the end of the summer to notify me of your plans for next year’s National Night Out event, which will be held on Tuesday October 4, 2011.

See you next year,

S. Duffy

John Palmer Art Third Annual HHA Fundraiser

by Kelly Simmons, VP Fundraising

Escapism Series No. 2The Houston Heights Association is extremely grateful for the recent fundraiser and major donation made by artist John Ross Palmer when he held his third annual gala event - titled An Evening of Escapism - at the John Palmer Art Gallery on Heights Boulevard. John again donated a portion of the sales proceeds from that evening to the Houston Heights Association, becoming a Silver Spring Sponsor in 2011 for the third year in a row.

The popular event, attended by many of John’s Heights collectors, is always an affair to remember, with plenty of two of my favorite things flowing - art and champagne.

In addition to this generous cash donation, John frequently donates his beautiful artwork to the Candlelight Dinner and Auction and other HHA events, raising thousands more dollars for the neighborhood. To the delight of many, his stunning home/studio/gallery has also been featured in the HHA’s Spring Home & Garden Tour. You can learn more about John Palmer Art at

If you would like to become a 2011 HHA Sponsor, you can review the Sponsorship Plan on our website or e-mail us at

John Palmer Art StudioJohn Palmer Art Studio, Heights Boulevard

Calendar of Events for December 2010 – January 2011











first night of Chanukah

2 - garbage

HHA Holiday Tour Preview; see article in November issue.


HHA Holiday Home Tour, 6:00-9:00 PM; see article above.


Donovan Park Re-Opening, 10:00 AM; see article.

HHA Holiday Home Tour, 3:00-9:00 PM; see article.


Deadline for next newsletter


no Land Use Committee meeting in December


Holiday Food Basket assembly, 5:00 PM, Fire Station; see article.


Holiday Food Basket delivery, 12:00 noon, Fire Station; see article.

9 - garbage and recycling





HHA General Meeting, “It's a Wonderful Life in the Heights,” 7:00 PM, Fire Station



16 - garbage





no HHA Board meeting in December


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


PIP meeting, 7:00 PM, 1602 State Street

23 - garbage and recycling


Christmas Eve


Christmas Day


start of Kwanzaa


no Education Committee meeting in December



30 - garbage


New Year’s Eve

January 1, 2011

New Year’s Day



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



Deadline for next newsletter

6 - garbage and recycling





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



13 - garbage





HHA Board Meeting, 6:30 PM, Fire Station


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


20 - garbage and recycling





HHA Education Committee, 6:30 PM, Fire Station



PIP Meeting, 7:00 PM, 1602 State Street

27 - garbage





February 1


3 - 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.

December 3, 7:30 PM, and December 4, 2:00 PM and 7:30 PM, UH School of Theatre & Dance presents Synesthesia: Emerging Choreographers Showcase at Quintero Lab, 133 Wortham. For more information, visit

December 11, Woodland Heights Civic Association presents their 24th annual Lights in the Heights street festival. This year’s route includes Bayland, Highland, and Omar. For more information, visit

December 18, 11:30 AM, dedication ceremony for Official Texas Historical Marker at Reagan Masonic Lodge No. 1037 A.F.&A.M., 1601 Heights Blvd.

January 3, 7:00-9:30 PM, and January 4, 2:00-4:30 PM, Urban Harvest presents information about growing fruit trees in Houston at United Way of Greater Houston, 50 Waugh Drive. For more information, visit

January 15, 9:00 Am to 1:00 PM or until sold out, Urban Harvest holds their annual Fruit Tree Sale at Robertson Football Stadium at Scott Street at Holman Street on the UH campus. For more information, visit

Future History

[All dates are in 2011.]

February 27, Awards Dinner

April 1-3, Spring Home Tour

June 4, Heights Fun Run

October 2, Bicycle Rally

December 2-3, Holiday Home Tour

December 5-7, Holiday Basket Preparation and Delivery

At The Fire Station

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

The second Monday, 5:00 to 7:00 PM, and the last Monday of the month, 8:00 AM to noon, the City Council District H Satellite Office is open at the east (office) door.

Heavy Trash Notes

December is a “Junk Waste” month; January is a “Tree Waste Only” month. See City Solid Waste page for dates in your area and more information.

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

December contributors:

Sharon Balke, Sharie Beale, Steven Duffy, Simon Eyles, Lauriel Hindman, Scott Lester, Elizabeth Poirrier, Kelly Simmons, Anne Sloan, Maureen Weyel.

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