top photo montage

In This Issue

General Meeting: Spokes, Soccer, and Stadiums, September 12

Bicycle Rally & Scavenger Hunt, October 2

Restoration Update: "Too Hot"

Director Election Schedule

Directors & Officers

Fire Station Exterior Renovation Begins: Photos

Constable Statistics

Volunteer at the Holiday Home Tour

Special Thank-You

Drought Stresses Trees — Water Judiciously


National Night Out, October 4

Back-to-School Bike Safety Reminders

New Members



Staff and Contributors


logo for The Heights
Newsletter of the Houston Heights Association
Volume Thirty-Seven, Number Nine, September 2011
Click here for the print-format PDF version.
Click here for back issues.
Click here to return to main HHA site.

2011 Bicycle Rally & Scavenger Hunt

Is your bicycle ready to ride? It’s only a few weeks before the 6th Annual Bicycle Rally & Scavenger Hunt on Sunday, October 2!

This is not a race. Open to riders of all ages, the Rally is designed as a casual self-paced ride. Choose between a 20-mile course through the Heights and nearby neighborhoods, or a shorter 5-mile ride designed for kids and their adult companions - or do both!

There are fabulous prizes for the riders who correctly identify the most mystery sites along the route.

The Rally will start and end at Marmion Park. After you finish the ride, stay and enjoy the After Party beginning at 3:30 PM and Awards Ceremony at 4:30 PM. There will be entertainment and great refreshments.

Register early - the first 300 entrants receive a commemorative logo water bottle!

Full details are on our website: Bicycle Rally page

Not a bicyclist? Want to help? Volunteers are needed to staff registration, work at the rally checkpoint, and score the clue sheets at the end of the day. If you are interested, please email or call 713-861-4002 and leave a message on extension 6.

So, get in gear! Whether riding or volunteering, we’d love to have you!

General Meeting

Our September 12 program will be “Spokes, Soccer, and Stadiums here and near the Heights.” Join us at the Fire Station at 7:00 PM.

We will have speakers from Bikes for Houston and the 2011 Heights Association Bike Rally (to be held October 2).

Chris Cannetti CEO of the Houston Dynamo will kick an autographed soccer ball into the audience.

Janet Schmees, Executive Director of the Houston Harris County Sports Authority - Houston’s Stadiums & Arenas, will also join us.

The floor will be open for nominations to the HHA Board. Please see the article below left for a complete election schedule.

Restoration Update

Restoration/Historical Committee Chair Dean Swanson says, “It is too hot for Restoration meetings!”

Platinum Sponsors

The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following 2011 Platinum sponsor:

Republic Services

Director Election Schedule

Eight of the fifteen positions on the HHA Board of Directors will be filled by election over the next few months. Five positions are opening due to normal expiration of terms; members elected to these five positions will have three-year terms. One position is for the remaining two years of a term ended by resignation. Two positions are for the remaining final year of terms ended by resignations.

The five nominees receiving the highest numbers of votes will fill the three-year terms; the nominee receiving the sixth highest vote count will fill the two-year vacancy; and the nominees receiving the seventh and eighth highest vote counts will fill the one-year vacancies. See the right column on this page for a list of current Directors.

Time Is Of The Essence

The schedule for the election of Directors to serve terms starting in 2012 will be as follows, in accordance with the By-Laws and Policies of the Association (as amended at the August 15 Board meeting):

• September 12 at the General Meeting, the floor will be opened for nominations to the Board of Directors. Nominators and nominees must be current members of the Association. Nominators may speak for two minutes. Please be sure before you nominate someone that your nominee will commit to serve. Individuals may not nominate themselves, nor may nominees speak on their own behalf at this meeting. Seconding speeches are no longer necessary.

• By September 14, the Election Committee will distribute to nominees election packets containing bylaws, policies, articles of incorporation, committee responsibility list, detailed election schedule, and a statement confirming that the nominee has read the bylaws and policies and agrees to serve in accordance with them if elected.

• By 5:00 PM on the Friday following the General Meeting (September 16), signed statements from nominees are due, as well as a 50-word (maximum) statement from each nominee for publication in the October newsletter and on the website. Statements longer than 50 words (as counted by Microsoft Word) will be truncated after the fiftieth word when published.

• October 10 at the General Meeting, nominees or their representatives may speak on their qualifications for 3 minutes. They will also draw for ballot positions at the beginning of the meeting.

• On or before the Friday following the General Meeting (October 14), the Election Committee will mail a ballot with a control number to each member in good standing whose dues are currently paid as of October 1. (Members invoiced by August 15 and not paid by October 1 are deemed not in good standing.)

• By November 12 at the close of the post office, ballots returned by mail must be received with control numbers intact.

• November 14 before the General Meeting, polls will be open for secret balloting in person from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM sharp. The Election Committee will tabulate ballots and announce the results during the meeting. The results will also be published in the December newsletter.

2011 HHA Directors and Officers

Bill Baldwin (2012), President

Matt Bedingfield (2011*)

Donna Bennett (2013)

Keith Crane (2013), VP Finance

Anne Culotta (2011), VP Community Outreach

Mike Easley (2013)

Simon Eyles (2011), VP Historic Preservation

Lindsey Lee (2012), President-Elect and Treasurer

Ellen Newcastle (ND), Secretary

Gilbert Perez (2013)

Martin Piké (2011), VP Property Management

Elizabeth Poirrier (2011*)

Andrea Sharp (2011)

Chris Silkwood (2011*)

Kelly Simmons (ND), VP Sponsorship & Fundraising, VP Information & Communications

Marianne Sulser (2011)

Bart Truxillo (2012)

(Number in parentheses is last year of term or ND for non-Director Officers; * marks interim appointees.)

Fire Station Exterior Renovation Begins

The long-missing initial “H” in “HHFD” for “Houston Heights Fire Department” has been restored and awaits a coat of paint.

HHA members disassemble the southwest bay door in preparation for restoration of the opening to its original 1914 appearance. (It was originally the same width as the others and symmetrical.)

Scaffolding is going up to provide access to the entire brick and mortar surface for restoration.


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

  • Sarah Adams - Donovan Park Playground
  • Bill Green & Brett Bohnn - Firestation Endowment & Boulevard
  • Stacey & Mark Courville - Parks, Boulevard, Flower Gardens, & Firestation Endowment
  • Anne & Ken Culotta - Firestation Endowment Fund
  • ExxonMobil Foundation Volunteer Grant in honor of Jim & Donna Bennett
  • Kirk D. Hood - Boulevard Maintenance
  • Rebecca & Matt Marcontell - Donovan Park Playground & Flower Gardens
  • Charles & Cordelia Martin - Firestation Endowment Fund
  • Jason & Tanya Miller - Boulevard
  • Maria & Mike Onufrow - Parks
  • Randalls Good Neighbor Program - Parks
  • Troy Troxell - Parks, Boulevard, & Flower Gardens
  • Terry Trang - Donovan Park Playground
  • Jim Ward - Donovan Park Playground
  • Mark Ziegler - Donovan Park Playground & Boulevard

Constable Statistics

June July
Total Arrests 0 3
Citizen Assists 0 1
Citizen Contacts 108 93
Vacation Watches 652 729
Court Citations 83 53
Alarm Responses 3 2
Suspicious Vehicles 32 38
Park Checks 111 80
Disturbances 5 4
Major Accidents 0 0
Criminal Offenses 5 2
Miles patrolled 3,137 3,000

Volunteer at the 2011 Holiday Home Tour!

The annual Houston Heights “Deck the Heights” Holiday Home Tour will feature six fantastic bungalows this year. On Friday and Saturday, December 2-3, each home will be “decked out” with everything from mid-century vintage to classic Christmas decor. Come be a part of this wonderful neighborhood tradition by volunteering at a home or helping with the big Patron Party shindig the Thursday before the tour. To volunteer, email us at We look forward to hearing from you!

New Members

Please welcome these new members to the Houston Heights Association.

Sidney J. Braquet & Lee Mullennex

Robert & Jill Chouffot

Guy Crucian

Phillip Jefferis

Jennifer Klein Physical Therapy

Rebecca & John Paul Otieno

Ranelle Randles

Mary & Todd Santee

Holly & Scott Simmons

Smotherman & Assoc. QuickBooks Accounting, Lynne Smotherman

Joyce & David Worthington

Special Thank You

A big “shout out” goes to Gilbert Tree Services. Yet again, Pedro and his wonderful crew are helping out with the appearance of Heights Boulevard.

Pedro has agreed to trim the four large palm trees in Palm Court at the entry to Heights Boulevard at I10 and the feeder road at no cost to the HHA. The trees have been in great need of a grooming and will definitely spruce up the appearance of our wonderful entryway. In addition, they will be removing the tall, dead palm on the same block, which has been an eyesore for quite some time.

Gilbert Tree Services has been a special friend to the HHA for a number of years now, and we are immensely grateful. Pedro can be reached at his business number, 832-814-3332, should you wish to thank him directly.

Drought Stresses Trees - Water Judiciously

A reminder from the Urban Forestry Committee

The hot, dry weather is placing extra stress on our tree canopy. It also has led the City of Houston and other municipalities to impose watering restrictions. Confused about what to do?

Trees for Houston has some suggestions and useful links on their website:

Bronze Sponsors

The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Autumn 2011 Bronze Sponsors:

Boulevard Realty Design & Inspiration


Do you think you know the Houston Heights Woman’s Club? You might be surprised! The HHWC will host an open house on Sunday, October 2, 4:00-7:00 PM at their historic clubhouse, 1846 Harvard. Meet members and find out about more information on Club history, current community service projects, and the many fun social events hosted by the Club. This is a great opportunity to learn more about one of Houston’s oldest social clubs in an open, casual environment. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, contact Debbie Cranford,

There will also be invitations available for the October Cork’n’Fork, with a Day of The Dead theme. Cork’n’Fork is a spouse-friendly, potluck-style dinner open to members and non-members! For October’s theme, attendees are asked to bring a traditional Mexican-style food dish and a coordinating beverage (alcohol definitely permitted). Your dish is the price of admission, and food is always plentiful! If you can’t attend the Open House, or even if you can, this is another fun event to find out more about being a part of this group! For more information on the October C’n’F, please contact Sylvia Villarreal,

National Night Out

Texas observes National Night Out on Tuesday, October 4, from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. Grab a snack, put on a smile, lock your doors, and go outside to meet your neighbors! Join America in a United Stand Against Crime.

It’s time to start planning your block party. Find a handy front yard or driveway, start or update a contact list for your block, divide the shopping list for snacks and drinks, and plan to have a fun evening. Maybe the heat and the drought will have abated by then.

Neighborhood non-profit organizations may be making plans for NNO. We’ll publish any we hear about in time.

Back-to-School Bike Safety Reminders

Many students ride their bicycles to school. Unfortunately, a majority of kids are not familiar with the rules of the road or the guidelines they should follow to keep safe. If your child is riding a bicycle to school or around the neighborhood, please review these guidelines and create a safe route for the child.

When riding a bicycle:

  1. You are considered a driver by law.
  2. You are subject to the rules of traffic signs and signals just as motorists.
  3. You should be alert to traffic signs and know what they mean.
  4. You should know the rules of the road.
  5. You should stay to the far right of the roadway or stay in bicycle paths.
  6. You should have a high-flying flag on your bike so motorists can see you.

Bicycle Safety Tips

  • Instruct your child to always Take A Friend when walking or riding a bike to and from school. It is safer and more fun to be with your friends. Walk and ride in well-lit areas and never take shortcuts.
  • Bike helmets should have a sticker that says it meets standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Bike helmets should fit properly and the straps should always be fastened.
  • Wear brightly colored clothes and place reflectors on your bike to help other people see you. Also, wear the right clothes and shoes that fit so that nothing gets caught in the bike chain.
  • Avoid wearing headphones because the music can distract you and cause you not to notice potential hazards around you.

Bike Maintenance

  • Make sure your seat, handlebars, and wheels fit tightly.
  • Check and oil the chain regularly.
  • Check the brakes to be sure that they are working and not sticking.
  • Check the tires for the right tire pressure.

To learn more about laws dealing with bicycle riding, please visit

Calendar of Events for September–October 2011








1 - garbage and recycling




5 - Labor Day

Deadline for next newsletter

HHA Land Use, 6:30 PM, Fire Station



8 - garbage





HHA General Meeting, “Spokes, Soccer & Stadiums,” 7:00 PM, Fire Station



15 - garbage and recycling


HHA Board candidate statements due by 5:00 PM




HHA Board Meeting, 6:30 PM, Fire Station


GHSNC Candidate Forum, 6:30 PM, West End MSC


22 - garbage

GHSNC Candidate Forum, 6:30 PM, West End MSC





HHA Education Committee, 7:00 PM, Fire Station



PIP meeting, 7:00 PM, 1602 State Street

29 - garbage and recycling


October 1


Bike Rally, all day, Marmion Park and elsewhere


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


National Night Out (in Texas)


Deadline for next newsletter

6 - garbage





HHA General Meeting, “Safety & Security,” 7:00 PM, Fire Station



13 - garbage and recycling





HHA Board Meeting, 6:30 PM, Fire Station


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


20 - garbage





HHA Education Committee, 6:30 PM, Fire Station



PIP Meeting, 7:00 PM, 1602 State Street

27 - garbage and recycling











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

Community Calendar

Events planned by other community organizations.

Through September 18, exhibition “Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination” at The Health Museum, 1515 Hermann Drive. More information is available on the museum’s website at

August 30 is the official 175th birthday of the City of Houston. Visit for information about events and exhibits planned for August through November.

September 10, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, St. Mark’s United Methodist Church on Patterson and on Pecore, West End Civic Club, and various governmental agencies and service providers will present the Heights-West End Community Health Fair at 1615 Patterson, two blocks south of I-10, near West End Park. Free, open to the public. For more information, visit or or email

September 20 and 22, 6:30-8:30 PM, GHSNC and SN22 candidate forum for City Council At-Large seats at West End Multi-Service Center, 170 Heights Blvd.

September 22-24, 29-30, October 1-2, Opera in the Heights presents Donizetti’s Daughter of the Regiment in Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Blvd. For more information, visit

October 4, 6:00-9:00 PM, 14 Pews will be hosting a potluck for Neighbors Night Out (National Night Out, Texas Edition) at 800 Aurora. For more information, visit

Heavy Trash Notes

September is a “Tree Waste Only” month; October is a “Junk Waste” month. For dates in your area and more information, visit the City Solid Waste site

Future History

December 2-3, Holiday Home Tour

December 13-14, Holiday Basket Preparation and Delivery [note new dates]


February 26, Awards Dinner

April 13-15, Spring Home Tour

June 2, Heights Fun Run

October 7, Bicycle Rally

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.

November 16, White Oak Bayou Association Annual Meeting. Social gathering starts at 6:00 PM. program at 7:00 PM.

The Heights is published monthly by the Houston Heights Association. Its purpose is to acknowledge achievements and to inform HHA members of events.

Copyright © 2011, 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

September contributors:

Donna Bennett, Lauriel Hindman, Chris Silkwood, Christine Spin, Dean Swanson, Viula Torgerson, Lanna vonBaden.

bottom photo montage - same as the top