In This Issue
|Newsletter of the Houston Heights Association|
|Volume Thirty-Eight, Number Eleven, November 2012|
|Click here for the print-format PDF version.|
|Click here for back issues.|
|Click here to return to main HHA site.|
Carols by Candlelight
Holiday Home Tour
“Carols by Candlelight,” the 2012 Houston Heights Association Holiday Home Tour, is set for Friday, November 30, and Saturday, December 1. Six Houston Heights families will welcome visitors into their homes that will be all decorated for the holidays. The experience will be complete with the joyous sounds of carolers at each home and at the Heights Fire Station, where local food trucks will be available for visitors to enjoy.
On Friday, November 30, the tour will run from 6:00 PM to 9:30 PM. On Saturday, December 1, the hours will be from 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM.
Free shuttle buses will operate during the tour on both Friday and Saturday. Patrons may board the shuttle buses at the Holiday Home Tour Headquarters, where parking is available, and at each home.
Please see the for photos and descriptions of the homes featured on this tour.
Holiday Home Tour Headquarters will again be the Houston Heights City Hall & Fire Station, 107 W. 12th Street at Yale. Ticket sales, parking, the shuttle stop, and food trucks will be located there, in addition to entertainment by neighborhood carolers.
Advance tickets are available online now and at Buchanan’s Nursery, Davis Hardware, Jubilee, and Another Place In Time later this month. Tickets will also be available during tour hours at the Holiday Home Tour Headquarters and at each Holiday Home Tour home. Tickets are $20 in advance for all six homes or $25 on tour days. $5 per-home tickets can also be purchased during tour hours at those particular homes. Bundles of 10 tickets will be available online for $175 through November 28.
For more information, visit the , call 713-861-4002 and select option 7, or e-mail .
Before The Holiday Home Tour: The Patron Party
The Patron Party is an annual festivity that will take place this year on Thursday, November 29, 7:00-10:00 PM at 941 Cortlandt, the beautifully redesigned and renovated 1920s bungalow home of Leann Mueller, this year’s Holiday Home Tour Executive Chair. Classical music group WindSync, Ensemble in Residence with the Da Camera of Houston Young Artist Program, will provide entertainment.
Tickets are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Individual tickets are $125 and include an exclusive preview of the Homes on Tour from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. To purchase tickets, visit the page.
Business Member Showcase
At our November 12 meeting, Business Members of the Houston Heights Association will be on hand to showcase their services and wares. It’s a great way to familiarize yourself with the grand variety of local businesses and retail shops in our Heights neighborhood. Bring your wallet to pick up some great holiday items from our local Heights merchants, and preview what they are featuring in their Heights locations.
The results of the Director election will be announced during the meeting. See article below.
Doors of the Houston Heights Fire Station (W 12th at Yale) open at 6:30 PM for Mix & Mingle; general meeting commences at 7:00 PM. Everyone is invited to attend!
Holiday Story Contest
O Come All Ye Holiday Writers!!
It is time again for the Holiday Story Contest. Entries are welcome from Heights-area writers and storytellers ages Middle School to Adult - and now fourth- and fifth-graders as well! Write a holiday-themed story and submit it for a chance to win cash and share your story at a special reading.
• The story (which may be fiction or nonfiction) can be no longer than four double-spaced pages and must be submitted for judging by November 28.
• The first-prize winner will receive $75 from the HHA Education Committee and will read his/her story at the HHA General Meeting on December 10 at the Fire Station. Second- and third-place prizes will also be awarded.
• Submit your entries to . Remember, the deadline is November 28, so get into the holiday spirit and start writing your story now!
The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following 2012 Platinum sponsor:
Director Election This Month
Seven of the fifteen positions on the HHA Board of Directors will be filled by election this month. Five positions are opening due to normal expiration of terms; members elected to these five positions will have three-year terms. Two positions are for the remaining final year of terms ended prematurely.
The five nominees receiving the highest numbers of votes will fill the three-year terms; the nominees receiving the sixth and seventh highest vote counts will fill the one-year vacancies.
The remaining schedule for the election of Directors to serve terms starting in 2013 will be as follows, in accordance with the By-Laws and Policies of the Association.
• Ballots must be received by November 10, at the close of the U.S. Post Office, with control numbers intact.
• November 12, 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.
Heights Bicycle Rally & Scavenger Hunt Wrap-Up
The cool weather was perfect for the 7th Annual Heights Bicycle Rally & Scavenger Hunt held on Sunday, October 7. Over 600 riders came out to enjoy the event - another terrific year!
Once again, our 20-mile Scavenger Hunt resulted in a tie, and there were some agonizing moments while the tie-breaker clues were deciphered. Congratulations to our winners [right]: 1st Place - Kelley & Susan Bell, 2nd Place - Mark Lear, and 3rd Place - Joan Llaneza.
The kids had a grand time on the 5-Mile Family Ride. Stops at Menchies, the Fire Station, Write Now, Harvard Elementary, Donovan Park, and the Heights Library provided the clues to complete the 5-mile Scavenger Hunt crossword puzzle.
If you didn’t get a chance to see the answers to either scavenger hunt, they are posted on our website; links for both are on the .
Special thanks go out to Allison Jones & Associates, P.C. for providing the logo string backpacks used as this year’s rider packets and Blue Line Bike Lab for underwriting our logo water bottles for the Rally. Grogan Building Supply provided the pens for recording the answers to the scavenger hunts and Gail Sabanosh of SmartID generously donated Smart ID Emergency ID Tags for the riders. REI set up a tent at Marmion Park and spent the better part of the day checking bicycle tires and performing minor repairs.
The sun came out for the after party. It was humming with people enjoying the music and delicious refreshments, and the kids were rocking those bounce houses. Special thanks go out to Air & Tent Party Rentals, Berryhill in the Heights, Carter & Cooley, Happy Fatz, Martin Piké Custom Clothier, Pink’s Pizza, and Saint Arnold Brewing Company for their contributions.
And people flocked to the information tables set up by Bike Houston, Heritage Oaks School, Select Physical Therapy, Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry, and Studio Fitness (in absentia).
The ride would not have been possible without our Platinum Sponsor, Republic Services, and our Bronze Sponsors, Boulevard Realty and Design & Inspiration (and kudos to Angela DeWree who designed the wonderful logo for the posters, postcard and brochure).
We would also like to thank our generous contributors for their door prize donations and rider packet coupons: Academy Sports + Outdoors, Alley Theatre, Becks Prime, Bike Barn, Bubbles Express, Dacapos, Houston Ballet, Houston Dairymaids, Houston Museum of Natural Science, Java Java Café, Jubilee, Kaboom Books, Landmark Theater, Menchies, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. REI, Shade, Smashburger, Sun & Ski Sports, Whole Earth Provision Co, and Ziggy’s Bar and Grill.
Last but not least I want to thank the Committee and all the volunteers who worked so hard to make this Rally happen. From stuffing rider packets, course set-up, day-of registrations, organizing the after party, finding the scavenger hunt clues, riding the routes, planning the 5-mile ride and activities through to cleaning up after a long day at Marmion Park - none of this could have happened without you. You are the reason the Heights is a special place to live!
[And thanks to you, Donna, for mobilizing the troops and making it happen! -Editor]
Spread Some Cheer: Help With Holiday Food Baskets
The Heights Rotary Club 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 11 and 12. 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 11, starting at 5:00 PM. Volunteers will be sorting bulk groceries among the baskets for about two 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 12. 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 three 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 make the meaning of this holiday season truly memorable.
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 .
Once again, it is time to look around the neighborhood and see who has been improving it. The nomination form and rule sheet for the 2012 Community Improvement Awards is available online . Nominees and winners will be announced at the annual Volunteer Appreciation and Awards Dinner on February 24.
Please welcome the following new members to the Houston Heights Association.
Kevin & Nancy Clausey
Sebastien Dreyfus & Elise Ishigami
Amanda & Hunter Forestier
Four Square Design Studio, Stacey Bock
Michelle & Hector Longoria
Susan Love & Joe Naccache
Mercury - The Orchestra, Deborah Lugo
Seth & Brandi Payne
Greg Purser & Albert Montalvo
Laura & Charlie Sartwelle
Charles & Laura Scavone
Tammy & Simon Seaton
Shaun & Marianna Simmons
Smashburger on Yale
Ellen & Jacob Young
Our thanks to the following donors for their generous support of the programs of the Houston Heights Association.
Paul & Stephanie Babb - Flower Gardens, Fire Station Restoration
Wanda & Mark Cohen - Fire Station Restoration
Mary & Ralph Ellis - Fire Station Restoration in memory of Bob Pearson
ExxonMobil Volunteer Grant on behalf of Jim Bennett
Marc Cutler & Gordon Hagendorf - Flower Gardens, Boulevard
Janet & Edward Hess - Boulevard
Clementina & Juan Lopez - Parks, Boulevard, Flower Gardens, Fire Station Restoration
Stephen & Joyce Miles - Fire Station Restoration
Allen & Maria Pike - Boulevard
Stacey & Shayne Stinson - Flower Gardens
Troy Troxell - Parks, Boulevard, Flower Gardens, Fire Station Restoration
Mark & Melissa White - Parks, Boulevard, Flower Gardens, Fire Station Restoration
The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Fall 2012 Bronze Sponsors:
Spotlight on Heights Education
Field Elementary: A Great School For A Great Neighborhood.
Eugene Field Elementary School was built in 1929 and is located in the Heights on 703 E. 17th Street. Presently, the school serves a diverse population of 464 students, prekindergarten through fifth grade. Over the past year, we have made many improvements to our campus by updating the appearance inside and outside, yet preserving the integrity of the era in which the school was built.
We have received help from Newberry Campa Architects in making the appropriate choices in paint and décor. Well-known local artist Chris Silkwood created a new piece for the school. Paula Hawkins, also a local artist, created four canvases, one representing each season of the year. All these pieces can be admired in our main hall.
This year in addition to our regular program, we are enhancing the learning experience on our campus by providing areas of interest to our students:
• Writers in the Schools (WITS) engages children in the pleasure and power of reading and writing. WITS writers work in yearlong programs in over 350 classrooms in order to help students develop their creative and analytical thinking skills. The Houston Heights Association sponsored this program.
• Project Fit America (PFA) is a national public charity dedicated to getting kids fit since 1990. The mission at PFA is to help create, and provide American schools and their children more quality opportunities to be active, healthy, and fit. We work directly with the school’s PE Teacher to whom the children report everyday and provide grant funding for indoor and outdoor equipment, support material as well as measurement and accountability. PFA celebrates their 21st year of donating highly innovative PE programs to more than 800 schools in over 300 cities and 40 states. Hundreds of hospitals have collectively given millions of dollars to PFA so that this initiative could help their area schools. PFA also has programs in partnership with state Health Departments and healthcare foundations.
• Recipe for Success is a program dedicated to combatting childhood obesity. It changes the way our children understand, appreciate, and eat their food, and it educates and mobilizes the community to provide healthier diets for children. This program is now in place at our school for Kindergarten and 4th grade bilingual.
• Artbound consists of visual arts activities that have students creating art under the direction of a professional teaching artist. Sponsored by Target, this program is designed to make a connection to the classroom teacher’s curriculum. Our students are already working with artist Angela Cook for a period of eight weeks. At the end of the semester all students’ work will be on display at the school.
* This school year, Field Elementary continues offering Choir and African Drums classes to all of our students.
We need community volunteers to work with our Parents Teacher Organization. If you are interested contact the school at 713-867-5194 and talk to Ms. Vera.
At Field Elementary School, faculty and staff are dedicated to promoting academic success, fine arts, and investigative learning. We invite you all to come and see by yourselves.
Houston Heights Woman’s Club presents “Cork and Couture”
The HHWC is thrilled to offer members and friends an evening with Ruth Chow-Kneese of The Woman’s Institute of Houston. Join the Club on Thursday, November 8, 7:00-9:00 PM for wine and refreshments while Ruth discusses fashion for different ages and body types. There will be roughly an hour of general dressing, plus tips on dressing for the holiday season. Attendees are also invited to bring items from their own wardrobe for Q&A session.
Ruth currently offers a four-week program at the Woman’s Institute, “Modern or Matronly.” Her degree is from Tobe-Coburn School of Fashion in New York. She was a member of the Executive Training Program at what was formerly Joske’s of Houston and has been has been a private clothing stylist for many years. She focuses on organizing her clients’ closets as well as dressing them for their every day lives. The ability to pack for a trip with one piece of carry-on luggage is her specialty.
The cost of the evening is $10 for HHWC members, $15 for guests. Please RSVP to Ginnie McConn at .
Comings and Goings in Music in the Heights
Even as one Heights classical musical institution mourns the death of a major influence, another musical group has started a series of concerts on 19th Street. William M Weibel, long-time Artistic Director of Opera in the Heights, passed away on October 1 after a long illness. Less than two weeks later, chamber orchestra Mercury (formerly Mercury Baroque) performed the first of three concerts planned this season at Gallery M Squared on 19th Street.
Maestro William Weibel
William M. Weibel led a colorful life as an opera conductor culminating in a twelve-year tenure as Artistic Director at Opera in the Heights. He passed away on October 1, 2012 after a long illness.
He attended both the Juilliard School and Mannes College of Music in Manhattan where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in conducting and piano. Bill’s professional life began at the Cincinnati Summer Opera, which led to a job offer from the Metropolitan Opera, where he worked for eleven years, serving as assistant to Leonard Bernstein, Claudio Abbado, Sir Georg Solti, and many more. He was Herbert von Karajan’s assistant for seven years at the Salzburg Festival, then served as Leonard Bernstein’s assistant at the New York Philharmonic for one year.
Maestro Weibel coached and conducted some of the most illustrious singers of the 20th century including Joan Sutherland, Luciano Pavarotti (who was godfather to his two sons), and Renata Tebaldi.
After being retired briefly, he was lured back into the world of opera in 1998 by a small “start-up” opera company in Houston Heights. Opera in the Heights became Maestro Weibel’s new professional home; he soon was named its Artistic Director and held this position until 2010.
Mercury - The Orchestra Redefined
Twelve years ago, Antoine Plante, Jonathan Godfrey, Ana Treviño-Godfrey and Lori Muratta aspired to enchant and educate Houston audiences with a broad repertoire of music on period instruments. Gathered over pizza in Montrose, the four established Mercury Baroque, an intimate chamber ensemble. Today, that ensemble has blossomed into a chamber orchestra playing music from the Baroque era and beyond, reaching thousands across Houston and garnering critical acclaim around the world.
Mercury performs over fifty concerts each year, including its flagship series at the Wortham Center, Cullen Theater, performances in neighborhood venues across the city, and chamber music concerts in more intimate settings. Mercury is also dedicated to educating future audiences and training the city’s future musicians; their educational outreach programs have reached more than 10,000 children in the past five years alone.
Mercury is now performing three concerts at the Gallery M Squared in The Heights this season! The inaugural concert was Vivaldi’s Harmonic Inspirations on October 18. The remaining Heights concerts for this season are Bach’s Double Concerto on January 24 and Mozart’s A Little Night Music on April 11.
Calendar of Events for November–December 2012
HHA headquarters: The Fire Station is on the corner of Yale and 12th Streets.
Every Saturday, 7:00 AM, Heights Running Club meets on the Heights Blvd jogging trail at 7th Street.
November 27-29, Opera in the Heights presents Bellini’s I Capuleti e I Montecchi at Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Blvd. For more information, visit
January 24, 8:00 PM, Mercury presents Bach’s Double Concerto at Gallery M Squared. For more information, please call the Mercury office at 713-533-0080 or visit .
January 31 and February 1-10, Opera in the Heights presents Verdi’s Macbeth at Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Blvd. For more information, visit .
April 11, 8:00 PM, Mercury presents Mozart’s A Little Night Music at Gallery M Squared. For more information, please call the Mercury office at 713-533-0080 or visit .
April 25-27 and May 2-5, Opera in the Heights presents Verdi’s Falstaff at Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Blvd. For more information, visit .
February 24, Awards Dinner
April 5-7, Spring Home Tour
June 1, Heights Fun Run
October 6, Bicycle Rally
December 6-7, Holiday Home Tour
December 9-11, Holiday Food Baskets [tentative dates]
At The Properties
Heights Tai Chi Association meets Saturdays 9:00 AM and Wednesdays at 7:00 PM in Marmion Park, Heights at 18th.
Heavy Trash Notes
November is a “Tree Waste Only” month; December is a “Junk Waste” month. For dates in your immediate area, visit the City Solid Waste site.
Reminder: Heavy Trash Pick-Up Schedules Are Changing
Effective Thursday, November 1, the monthly heavy trash (tree waste/junk waste) pickup date for our area changes. Tree waste and junk waste collection will still occur in alternating months, odd-numbered months for tree waste and even-numbered months for junk waste, but on the new heavy trash (tree waste/junk waste) pickup day designated for our neighborhood. Please note that collection day schedules for other Solid Waste services such as garbage, yard trimmings, and recycling collection will not change. [For most residents in the HHA service area, the new day will be the third Wednesday if we read the map correctly. -Editor]
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 © 2012, the Houston Heights Association and/or the authors unless otherwise noted.
Newsletter inquiries, suggestions, or submissions should be directed to:
Editor, The Heights, 107 W. 12th Street, Houston, TX 77008-6907;
email ; or leave a message on 713-861-4002.
Staff and Contributors
Editor: Mark R. Williamson
Assistant Editor: Kathleen S. Williamson
Stephanie Babb, Donna Bennett, Laurie Hewett, Lauriel Hindman, Scott Lester, Leann Mueller, Becky Standridge, Viula Torgerson, Lanna von Baden, Maureen Weyel.