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In This Issue

General Meeting: "It's a Wonderful Life" in the Heights - December 12

Holiday Home Tour - December 2 & 3

Photos With Santa - December 3

Spread Some Cheer: Holiday Food Baskets - December 13 & 14

Outgoing President's Letter: It Was A Great Year To Be A Part Of The HHA

HHA Board Election Results

Heights Constable Patrol 2012 Subscription Drive

Constable Patrol Area and Statistics

Yale Repaving Postponed Again

Boulevard Planning Meeting - December 6

Education Committee Activities - December 10 & January 21

Nominate Your Favorite Change on the Heights Landscape for a 2011 Community Improvement Award

Volunteer Appreciation and Awards Dinner - February 26

HHA Chili Cook-Off Team Wins Big for Fire Station Project

Worthington Plaza Dedicated

Houston Marathon Committee Volunteer Opportunities

New Members



Staff and Contributors


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

Holiday Home Tour

Be sure to check out the 2011 Houston Heights Association Holiday Home Tour on Friday and Saturday, December 2 and 3. Six fabulous homes, each with its own flair for style and holiday decorations, are featured in this year’s tour. From the east side to the west side, this year’s homes present a fantastic range: a Queen Anne built over 100 years ago at a high elevation to prevent the kind of flooding that affected the owner in the Great Storm in Galveston, a spectacular teal-green 1920s bungalow that has been seriously “funkified” to every tour-goer’s delight, and an 1895 cottage with gorgeous furnishings and 1800s chandeliers. You may not want to leave the welcoming Craftsman with a stone-decked backyard that invites you to stay and join the party. A 1915 Queen Anne Victorian had been ignored for years until the homeowners fell in love and felt the call to bring this home back to its original glory. And a 1927 bungalow that doesn’t look a day older than yesterday will give every tour-goer pause over which part is new and which is original.

Many of these vintage homes have been lovingly restored and renovated to preserve the historical value of the homes, while still adding modern elements of comfort to the needs of today’s homeowners.

Docents will be available in every home to point out special details and answer questions. Luxury bus shuttles to all of the homes, included in the price of your ticket, will be standing by at the Heights Fire Station at Yale & 12th Streets where parking is available. Buy your tickets at the Fire Station or any tour home during the tour for $25 for all six homes. You may pay by credit card at the Heights Fire Station on the days of the tour. All other locations (including the homes on tour) will only accept cash or checks. Tickets purchased online may be picked up at the Heights Fire Station - Yale & 12th Streets - during the hours of the tour.

We know you’ll enjoy this year’s holiday tour homes, and we look forward to seeing you on December 2 and 3!

Photos With Santa

The Houston Heights Association, John Daugherty Realtors, Marc Ziegler, and Mark Holland invite you to hop on board the sleigh with Santa at Donovan Park on Saturday, December 3 between the hours of 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM to have your family photo taken. Photos and Santa are sponsored by Marc Ziegler and Mark Holland! Registration tables will be available at the front of the park with download information provided to access your picture. Photos are perfect for Christmas cards or holiday ornaments! Bring the family down to groove to the tunes of holiday carols and join in the fun! Looking forward to seeing you there!

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 13 and 14. 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 13, starting at 5:00 PM. Volunteers will be sorting bulk groceries into 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 11:30-12:00 noon) on Wednesday, December 14. 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 smiles (and sometimes joyous tears) on the recipients’ faces makes the true meaning of this holiday season truly 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!

General Meeting

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

Celebrate a wonderful year in the Heights at the December 12 General Meeting.

Chief “Santa” James Mosier of Constable Jack Abercia’s office will be on hand with our neighborhood Constables for the 2011 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.

Please join us to enjoy musical guests, refreshments, and revelry. Everyone is invited at 7:00 PM (doors open at 6:30) in the Heights Fire Station at 12th and Yale Streets.

January 9: Update/Renovate

Learn about everything from floors to doors to update and renovate your Heights home from local experts and guest speakers, including Rob Hellyer of Premier Remodeling & Construction and Paul Luccia of Cabot & Rowe.

February 13: Reaching New Heights - Chefs de Cuisine

Meet Heights Star Chefs with special guest Teresa Byrne Dodge of “My Table Magazine.” Teresa will enlighten everyone about the food scene of the Heights.

“Texas’ premiere food writer,” as a restaurant critic for Esquire described her, Teresa Byrne-Dodge has been writing about Houston restaurants for more than 20 years, first as restaurant critic for the Sunday magazine of The Houston Post, then as restaurant critic for Houston Metropolitan magazine and Houston Life until it folded in 1995. Since 1984, she has written hundreds of freelance articles for such publications as Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Texas Highways, Southern Living, and many others, and from 1995 to 1996, she was the on-air restaurant critic for KHOU-Channel 11’s morning news show in Houston. She was also the Houston-based editor or coordinator for all editions of the Zagat Houston Restaurant Survey 1988 through 2002.

In June 1994, Byrne-Dodge launched a bimonthly 12-page newsletter called My Table: A Critical Guide to Dining in Houston. Response to My Table was immediate and enthusiastic. Today it is a 64-page magazine read by some 22,000 food-loving Houstonians. In August of 2008, My Table magazine capitalized on its 14 years of experience covering food in Houston to produce The Ultimate Food Lover’s Guide To Houston. This 352-page book features more than 750 bakeries, ethnic markets, farmers’ markets, butchers, seafood counters, chocolate shops, coffeehouses, tea rooms, wine bars, wine and spirits retailers, icehouses, brewpubs and, of course, restaurants and cafes. It is the most complete foodie guidebook ever published in Houston.

Platinum Sponsors

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

Republic Services

Outgoing President's Letter: It Was A Great Year To Be A Part Of The HHA

by Bill Baldwin, 2011 HHA President

It has been a great year! Serving as HHA President was fulfilling, exciting, and at times exhausting, but because of the dedication of many of you, the HHA continues to become a bigger and better organization - year after year - and this year was no exception

It was an honor to serve with the fine men and women who make up the 2011 Board of Directors - whose dedication, professionalism, and sacrifices of time are inspiring. Special thanks to Matt Bedingfield, Donna Bennett, Keith Crane, Anne Culotta, Mike Easley, Simon Eyles, Lindsey Lee, Gilbert Joseph Perez, Martin Piké, Elizabeth Poirrier, Andrea Sharp, Chris Silkwood, Marianne Sulser, and Bart Truxillo, and to Business Manager Lauriel Hindman and Secretary Ellen Newcaster.

We just dedicated the beautiful Worthington Plaza on the Heights Boulevard esplanade - alongside the Hike & Bike Trail. This endeavor and its design were initiated soon after the tragic fire in January which took the lives of Mrs. Patti Worthington and Lisa Sanders, and the Worthington family generously provided the funds for the construction of the park. A special thanks to Carvel Glen, Jim Bennett, and Chris Silkwood for their efforts in helping with the Worthington Plaza Park.

The historic Heights Fire Station has undergone over $100,000 in improvements since we purchased it in late 2009. Using old records and photographs, the HHA has already restored the exterior brick and mortar, limestone, and lighting, and replaced newer metal doors with stunning versions of its original wooden doors. Stay tuned for the further improvements, along with a capital campaign to benefit this historic building, which serves as the heartbeat of the Association and neighborhood activities.

Under the stewardship of our Property Manager, Paul Carr, graffiti and vandalism scarcely saw the light of day, and our HHA properties have been restored to tip-top condition and maintained on a daily basis. He has also supervised the Heights Fire Station restoration project and actually performs much of the work himself. Hardly a time goes by when you don’t see Paul on a ladder or with a paintbrush at one of the Heights properties or on the Boulevard.

We delivered three (soon to be four) major fundraising events this year all fun and successful: The Home & Garden Tour and Candlelight Dinner & Auction, the Fun Run, the Bicycle Rally & Scavenger Hunt, and this Thursday night’s Patron Party and the Holiday Home Tour on Friday and Saturday evenings. These events enjoyed record proceeds, which will be invested back into the community.

I continue to be amazed at the closeness of the people who make up this great neighborhood. There is no mold or stereotype to describe those of us who make up its demographic - you are all unique and exceptional human beings. If I were to name a couple of common threads among all of us, it may be our sense of giving back to the community and pride in our own homes and in this extraordinary neighborhood in general.

Thank you for giving this opportunity to me to serve as 2011 President of the Houston Heights Association.

Bill Baldwin

HHA Board Election Results

The results of the Director election were announced at the General Meeting of the Houston Heights Association. The following eight candidates were elected to serve on the HHA Board starting in 2012 for three-year terms except as noted.

  • Matt Bedingfield
  • Rob Hellyer
  • Bill Pellerin (1 year)
  • Alan Ratliff
  • Andrea Sharp
  • Becky Standridge (1 year)
  • Dave Steitz
  • Paula Swain (2 years)

Heights Constable Patrol

2012 Subscription Drive

Have you subscribed to the Heights Constable Patrol program for 2012? Our neighborhood’s goal is to have 750 subscribers by December 16, 2011. If you subscribe prior to the December 16th deadline, you will be entered into a drawing for a refund of your subscription. Two subscribers will have their subscription payments refunded. Before the busy holidays are upon us, sign up now and cross this off of your list.

The Heights Constable program is a supplemental police force that is made possible by residents like you. The patrol is comprised of three deputies that patrol the greater Heights area (shaded area on map). Each officer works 5 days a week on staggered shifts to give as much coverage as possible. They patrol in marked cars for high visibility to help deter criminals, but they also answer alarms calls, respond to HPD dispatch, do vacation watches, and perform free home security inspections. They are full officers of the law and can write tickets and make arrests.

In the first 9 months of this year, the constables patrolled over 26,000 miles, made over 50 alarm responses, made over 100 arrests, and did over 3,500 vacation watches. They caught parole violators, metal thieves, graffiti creators, and burglars. You can see the stats here.

The 2012 annual subscriptions are $310. This is good news; this is the same annual rate we had last year. There was no rate increase.

Subscriber benefits:

  • Contact number for Constable dispatch
  • Ability to do vacation watches by phone or fax.
  • Free home security inspections
  • Yard sign

If you wish to pay by credit card, you can do so at the Houston Heights website here. There is an additional $10 charge for using credit cards. If you want to pay by check, send a check for $310 and the form on page 7 of the PDF edition of this newsletter to Houston Heights Association - Constable Patrol, P.O.Box 70735, Houston, TX 77270-0735.

Questions? Send them to HeightsPatrol@

Constable Patrol Area

map of constable patrol area

Constable Statistics

Sept Oct
Total Arrests 9 5
Citizen Assists 0 0
Citizen Contacts 102 106
Vacation Watches 518 305
Court Citations 50 41
Alarm Responses 12 10
Suspicious Vehicles 76 47
Park Checks 102 93
Disturbances 2 12
Major Accidents 1 1
Criminal Offenses 4 7
Miles Patrolled 3,105 3,307


Yale Repaving

Repaving of Yale from I-10 to 610 has been postponed again, this time to early January. It is still expected to take 90 days.

Silver Sponsors

The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Winter 2011-2012 Silver sponsor:


Boulevard Planning Meeting

You are invited to a Boulevard Committee meeting, December 6, 6:30 PM, at the Fire Station to discuss objectives and priorities for HHA’s efforts on the Heights Boulevard esplanade in 2012.

With this summer’s heat and the ongoing draught, the Boulevard has been hit hard this year. Between replacing and adding trees, repairing irrigation, rejuvenating flower gardens, painting gazebos, topping the jogging trail, and tree trimming, there are more opportunities than time and budgets will likely allow. We’d like to hear your ideas on what needs to be done, what are the highest priorities, and suggestions for how to get it done.

Send questions to Boulevard Committee Chair Jim Bennett at

HHA Education Committee Activities

Calling all Heights children…and children-at-heart!

Come and hear the winners of the Houston Heights Association Holiday Story Contest read their stories for you! Light refreshments will be served.

Please join us at 10:00 AM on Saturday, December 10, at the Reagan High School Library, 413 E. 13th Street.

“A is for the Arts” is off to a great start!

Helms Elementary School hosted an African-themed workshop for pre-K through fifth graders on October 22. Over 70 students from Helms, Love, and Field Elementary Schools participated in African arts/crafts, music, dance, and storytelling activities.

On November 12, Love Elementary hosted two workshops with a local ceramics artist to equally enthusiastic student attendance. Each student crafted and painted from one to three objects, which were later kiln-fired offsite and returned to the students with the assistance of the Love Elementary PTO.

The next “A is for the Arts” workshop will be held at Field Elementary on January 21, 2012, with a focus on painting and music.

Nominate Your Favorite Change on the Heights Landscape for a 2011 Community Improvement Award!

by Anne Culotta, Chair, 2011 Community Improvement Awards

“The Heights is such a great neighborhood!” If I’ve heard that once lately, I’ve heard it a hundred times. More and more often, I run into friends from other parts of town who have come into the Heights to go to a restaurant, a gallery, a shop, a nursery, the jogging trail, the playground, or the Opera! Sometimes they’re checking out houses with the idea of moving here themselves. That’s because living in the Heights just keeps getting better and better!

The 2011 Community Improvement Awards is a wonderful opportunity to recognize some recent examples of positive changes and additions to our neighborhood. Next time you pass that renovation, restoration, or new construction that you just love, whether residential or commercial, consider giving credit where credit is due. Nominate the project for a CIA! Submissions are due by January 15, 2012, and the Guidelines and Nomination Form are available online here and in the print edition of this issue.

The nominations will be presented at the HHA Awards Dinner on February 26 at the Fire Station, and the winners in each category will be announced at that time. It’s a small way in which we can thank our neighbors who have given us one more reason to say, “The Heights is such a great neighborhood!”

Volunteer Appreciation And Awards Dinner

Save the date for the 38th Annual HHA Volunteer Appreciation and Community Improvement Awards Dinner to be held on February 26, 2012, from 5:00 to 8:00 PM. The theme this year is “Heart of the Heights”; red, black, and gold will be the event colors. This event is held each year at the Heights Fire Station, 107 E. 12th (at Yale).

Tickets are $25 per person and will be available around January 15. Seating is limited, so you will want to get your tickets soon after they go on sale. Details will be forthcoming in the January Newsletter, or you can check the website here at any time for the most current information.

New Members

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

BabbHouston Public Relations, Paul Babb

Back Office Executives, Connie Cole

Troy Baker

Jamie Biggers

Matt & Edith Campbell

Cathy Steward, Realtor

Sandra & Stephen Davis

Karen Desanta & David Waldmann

Heights Cigar Lounge, Paul Carroll

Ken Hogan & Michelle Beard

Stephanie & Randall Holcombe

Michael Kriticos

Lauren & Lee Lindsay

Mauro LoCascio

Ken Manfredi

Mike & Brenda McIntyre

Robert & Bonnie Moss

OurBlok Heights, Becky & Mark Standridge

Pro Printing, Linda Whittington

Steve Reilley

Monica & Christopher Richart

Christian Rodriguez

Jose Solis & John Truax

Poldi Tschirch

Bronze Sponsors

The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Winter 2011-2012 Bronze Sponsors:

Boulevard Realty Bob Alban Design & Ideas
Jubilee Linda Eyles Design Inc. St. Andrew's Episcopal Church

HHA Chili Cook-Off Team Wins Big for Fire Station Project

The Houston Heights Association’s Fire Station restoration project was the big winner this last weekend when it received the proceeds from the 5th Annual Shady Tavern Chili Cook-Off.

The HHA also benefited when a cook-off team of its members won the cash prize associated with being judged as the “Fan Favorite.” Between the two, the fire station project will receive a check for $1,000.00.

The “Holy Cowboys” chili cooking team won the prize for the best tasting chili. Shady Tavern owner Dennis Whitworth plans to hold a similar event in February or March, but this time the contest will be a Cajun Gumbo cook-off.

Members of HHA’s “Fans Favorite” Fire House Chili Cook-Off Team. [L to R] Ellen Newcaster, Mary Carr, Keith Crane, Simon Eyles, Martin Pike, Paul Carr, and Jim Bennett. Team member Mark Cohen was behind the camera.

Worthington Plaza Dedicated

HHA Officers and members, Worthington family members, friends, and neighbors gathered on November 5 to dedicate the new Worthington Plaza on the Heights Boulevard esplanade at the MKT Bicycle Trail.

Houston Marathon Committee Volunteer Opportunities

The 2012 Houston Marathon, Aramco Houston Half Marathon, and El Paso Corporation 5K are right around the corner - January 15. The Houston Marathon Committee is looking for volunteers. Not only will this year mark their 40th anniversary, they will host the US Olympic Team Trials - Marathon on January 14!

Be a part of Houston’s largest single-day sporting event!

The Chevron Houston Marathon is recognized as the nation’s premier volunteer-supported marathon. Each year, 7,500 dedicated volunteers join the Houston Marathon’s Race Crew and help make Houston’s largest single-day sporting event a success! Race Crew volunteers work hard to create the best race weekend experience and atmosphere for all runners and fans.

Visit the Marathon site to join the volunteer team and become a Race Crew member today!

Join the U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Marathon Race Crew!

Volunteer and be a part of U.S. Olympic Trials history by joining the 2012 Race Crew! Volunteers will receive a U.S. Olympic Team Trials Marathon T-shirt by Nike and souvenir credential.

Visit the Olympic Trials site to register as a Race Crew member for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials Marathon today!


If you have questions on any of these volunteer opportunities, please send email to or visit their site at


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

Paul & Stephanie Babb - Heights Playground, Flower Gardens, Fire Station Restoration

Ruth Davis - Boulevard and Fire Station Restoration

Simon & Linda Eyles - Fire Station Door

Edgar Gutierrez - Donovan Playground

Rita Johnson & Jennifer Smart - Boulevard

Eric & Noelle Reed - Boulevard

Monica & Christopher Richart - Donovan Playground & Fire Station Restoration

Anne Hulme Sloan - Fire Station Restoration

The HHA Vision

Written and adopted in 1993


a diverse, small-town community

in the heart of Houston where

neighbors and businesses thrive,

children learn and play,

and history lives

Calendar of Events for December 2011 – January 2012











1 - garbage

Patron Preview Party


HHA Holiday Home Tour, 6:00-9:00 PM


Photos With Santa, 10:00-1:00, Donovan Park

HHA Holiday Home Tour, 3:00-9:00 PM



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

Deadline for next newsletter


Boulevard Planning Meeting, 6:30, Fire Station

no PIP meeting this month


8 - garbage and recycling



Holiday Story Readings, 10:00 AM, Reagan HS Library



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


Food Basket Assembly, 5:00 PM, Fire Station


Food Basket Distribution, 11:30 AM, Fire Station

15 - garbage


Last day for Constable Program renewal drawing

17 - electronics recycling



No HHA Board meeting this month


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


22 - garbage and recycling



Christmas Eve


Christmas Day


No HHA Education Committee meeting this month



29 - garbage



New Year’s Eve

January 1, 2012

New Year’s Day


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


PIP Meeting, 7:00 PM, 1602 State Street


5 - garbage and recycling

Deadline for next newsletter





HHA General Meeting. “Update/ Renovate,” 7:00 PM, Fire Station



12 - garbage




CIA nomination deadline



HHA Board Meeting, 6:30 PM, Fire Station


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


19 - garbage and recycling


21 - electronics recycling



HHA Education Committee, 6:30 PM, Fire Station



26 - garbage










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

Community Calendar

Events planned by other community organizations.

December 10, 5:00-11:00 PM, 14 Pews Holiday Party, 800 Aurora. Classic Holiday film A Christmas Story followed by drinks, gumbo, and s’mores; Zydeco dancing starting at 8:30 PM. $20, $10 for members, children under 12 free. Visit for more information or tickets.

January 26-28, February 2-5, Opera in the Heights presents Donizetti’s Anna Bolena in Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Blvd. For more information, visit

March 15-17, 22-25, Opera in the Heights presents Verdi’s Il Trovatore in Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Blvd. For more information, visit

Heavy Trash Notes

December is a “Junk Waste” month; January is a “Tree Waste Only” month. For dates in your area and more information, visit the City Solid Waste site (click here).

Future History

February 26, Awards Dinner

April 13-15, Spring Home Tour

June 2, Heights Fun Run

October 7, Bicycle Rally

November 30 and December 1, Holiday Home Tour

December 11-12, Holiday Food Baskets [tentative dates]

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, the City Council District H Satellite Office is open at the east (office) door.

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

December contributors:

Bill Baldwin, Jim Bennett, Paul Carr, Mark Cohen, Anne Culotta, Mike Easley, Lauriel Hindman, John Ridgway, Kelly Simmons, Christine Spin, Laura Thorp, Lanna von Baden, Maureen Weyel.

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