top photo montage

In This Issue

Monthly Mixer & Meeting – "Showcase HHA Committees" – February 10

Time To Celebrate – Awards Dinner – February 23

2014 Board Goals – part 2 of Matt's introductory article

Committee Chairs for 2014

2014 Spring Home & Garden Tour – April 4–6

Heights Garden Club – February 8 – Rose Garden at 20th

Heights Urbanites – February 20 – 2518 Yale

Passing of Randy Cypret

A Message from President Matt Bedingfield

Constable Statistics

Donations

New Members

Calendars

Staff and Contributors

Copyright

logo for The Heights
Newsletter of the Houston Heights Association
Volume Thirty-Nine, Number Two, February 2014
Click here for the print-format PDF version.
Click here for the print-format Business Directory.
Click here for back issues.
Click here to return to main HHA site.

Time To Celebrate

Awards Dinner - February 23

It’s time to celebrate volunteers and recognize community improvements! Get ready for the Houston Heights Association’s annual Volunteer Appreciation & Awards Dinner on Sunday, February 23, at the Fire Station. The theme this year is Living with Soul.

(Pictured here: 2012 Citizen of the Year Donna Bennett (left) received her award from 2011 Citizen Bill Baldwin at last year’s Awards Dinner.)

The evening will start with a “BYOB Mix-N-Mingle Hour” beginning at 5:00 PM. Dinner, which will again be catered by local favorite Zelko Bistro, will be served at 6:00 PM, and the evening will continue with the recognition of volunteers. The prestigious awards for 2013 Citizen of the Year, Corporate Citizen of the Year, and the Marcella Perry Award, among a few other surprises, will be announced. Also on the program are announcements of the 2013 Community Improvement Awards, consisting of Residential Renovation, Commercial Renovation, Residential New Construction, and Commercial New Construction.

Co-chairs Bill Baldwin and Andrea Sharp recommend that you purchase tickets for this fun event as soon possible, as seating is limited. Tickets, at $30 per person or $250 for a reserved table of eight, are available online. (Click here.)

See you at the dinner!

HHA Monthly Mixer & Meeting

The Houston Heights Association loves its members and our neighborhood! We will “Showcase HHA Committees” at the February 10 General Meeting at the Houston Heights City Hall & Fire Station, 107 W. 12th Street (at Yale). The meeting begins at 7:00 PM; doors open at 6:30 PM. Refreshments will be served. Plus, you might be the winner of a lovely door prize!

Learn more about 2014 committee plans and Association events. Tour the Fire Station and learn about the loving renovations completed in 2013 and the 2014 renovation plans. Visit with Committee Chairs who will share their love and enthusiasm about their projects in our neighborhood and maybe find something that you’d love to get involved in - Home Tours, Constable Patrol, Boulevard Beautification, Bike Rally, Land Use, and more! Plus, you’ll hear more about this year’s fantastic Spring Home & Garden Tour and Candlelight Dinner & Auction plans. We look forward to seeing you on February 10 and sharing the love of our neighborhood.

Platinum Sponsors

The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following 2013–2014 Platinum sponsor:

Boulevard Realty

2014 Board Goals

by Matt Bedingfield, 2014 HHA President

As we begin our term for 2014, the Board reaffirms its commitment to Houston Heights, one of Houston’s most vibrant neighborhoods. We are busy, and below are some of our objectives for 2014.

People

Your neighborhood has a group of steadfast volunteers - many who have given tremendous amounts of time and energy over the years purely for the benefit of others. We need more of these volunteers and to find them, we will:

• Involve more people in our fun and enthusiastic events. We thrive when you and your family join us for a bike ride on a cloudless day or help plant a new tree on the Boulevard.

• Challenge our neighbors to learn more about the mission of the Association and, ultimately, make it their own. We think the rewards of community involvement are tangible and long-lasting.

• Explore new ways for us to gather and discuss issues.

• Continue to focus on the growth of our membership through a very successful membership committee. We have grown 25% over the past few years!

• Help our local businesses thrive. Their owners are our neighbors, too.

• Create… ideas; hard work and pride; smiles; a great neighborhood.

Gathering Places

We are responsible for the stewardship of some of the neighborhood’s most popular landscapes. Our fundraising efforts and many of our committees and policies were created to ensure these facilities are well maintained and available to everyone for a very long time. We will:

• Complete the final phase of the renovation of the historic Houston Heights City Hall & Fire Station. We have completely redone the interior with overwhelming praise of the end result, including the restoration and preservation of the original hardwoods, tin ceiling tiles, brickwork, gas fixtures, wood windows, and the jail cell. We will finish 2014 with a brand new parking area and landscaping in anticipation of our celebration of the centennial of the completion of the Fire Station in 1915.

• Care for Donovan Park and Marmion Park. We hope to find new ways to engage the kids who play in Donovan Park, regardless of where they may live.

• Beautify the Boulevard with new trees, greenery, and the participation of as many of our residents as possible. The Boulevard takes a great deal of work to maintain the automatic sprinklers, jogging trail, and mulch beds as well as keeping the foliage healthy and trimmed. We can always use extra muscle to keep the focal point of the neighborhood up and running.

Purpose

The Association was formed to encourage and promote the enhancement of the Houston Heights community. To that end, we will:

• Lead the neighborhood through difficult issues with conviction, fairness, and openness.

• Fight for new and safer hike and bike trails. We have raised awareness and won some battles, but we still have a ways to go before our streets and trail crossings are safe.

• Stay at the forefront of neighborhood issues such as land use, security, development, and urban forestry to name a few.

• Grow the constable patrol program to add more deputies and greater coverage.

• Find opportunities to improve our mission and our place in the community.

— Matt

[If you missed Matt's introduction last month, click here.]

Committee Chairs

President Matt Bedingfield has appointed or reappointed the following people to chair committees of the Houston Heights Association in 2014:

Awards Dinner: Bill Baldwin, Andrea Sharp

Boulevard Beautification: Jim Bennett

Citizen of the Year/Marcella Perry Awards: Donna Bennett

Community Improvement Awards: Anne Culotta

Constable Patrol Project: Lanna vonBaden, John Ridgway

Finance: Lindsey Lee

Firestation Restoration: Bill Baldwin

Heights Bicycle Rally: Addie Ann Spicer

Land Use: Bill Pellerin

Membership: Stacey Courville

Newsletter: Mark Williamson

Programs: Angela DeWree

Property Management: John Baldwin

Property Scheduling: Lauriel Hindman

Sponsorships: Chris Silkwood, Kelly Simmons

Spring Home & Garden Tour: Sandy Steitz, Donna Bennett, Stacey Courville, Julie Pettit

The Executive Committee consists of the President (Matt Bedingfield), the President-Elect (yet to be elected), the Secretary (Carol Welter), the Treasurer (Lindsey Lee) and two Directors (Bill Baldwin and Dave Steitz).

Gold Sponsors

The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Winter 2013–2014 Gold Sponsors:

2014 Spring Home & Garden Tour

“The Art of Colorful Living”

Plans are underway for the Houston Heights Association’s largest annual fundraising event - the Spring Home & Garden Tour. As has been the case for the past 20 years, the Candlelight Dinner & Auction will kick off the weekend of activities on Friday, April 4. The weekend will continue on Saturday, April 5 and Sunday, April 6 with a variety of traditional and contemporary homes showcased during the home and garden tour.

Home & Garden Tour
Saturday and Sunday, April 5 and 6
Noon to 6:00 PM

Six Houston Heights homes will go on tour, displaying a diverse mix of architectural styles and inviting gardens. The 2014 homes are located at:

  • 401 W. 9th Street
  • 409 W. 8th Street
  • 718 E. 9th Street
  • 1005 Oxford
  • 1448 Heights Blvd.
  • 1648 Columbia

To see photos of the homes, attend the February General Meeting, which will be held on Monday, February 10, beginning at 6:30 PM.

Tour Tickets

Beginning March 1, advance tickets, which are $20 each, will be available at Another Place in Time, Buchanan’s Native Plants, and Jubilee, plus online at our website. On the day of the tour, tickets will be $25 each and available at the advance ticket locations, plus the Fire Station.

Tickets will NOT be sold at the individual homes. Additionally, single home tickets will NOT be available this year.

Volunteers Needed

Volunteers are needed to serve as docents on the home and garden tour. Shifts from 11:45 AM to 3:00 PM and 2:45-6:00 PM are available on both Saturday and Sunday. This is a really fun way to meet your Houston Heights neighbors, as well as people who travel from throughout the city and beyond to tour the homes and stroll through the gardens. To volunteer, email springtour@houstonheights.org.

Volunteers are also needed on the auction committee. The next meeting of this fun and important committee is February 5, 2014, beginning 6:30 PM at the Fire Station. To get involved, simply show up for the meeting or email auction@houstonheights.org.

Candlelight Dinner & Auction
Friday, April 4
5:00-7:00 PM - Tour of Homes
7:00-11:00 PM - Dinner & Auction

Guests are offered an exclusive tour of the homes on Friday evening from 5:00 to 7:00 PM before the homes are opened to the public, followed by the highly anticipated Candlelight Dinner & Auction from 7:00 to 11:00 PM.

The Silent Auction will be filled with everything from A-Z, including donations of contemporary artwork, as well as items for family, pets, food, entertainment, getaways, health, beauty, home, garden, and more.

The Live Auction will include an original painting that Heights resident John Pavelick has created for the 2014 Spring Home & Garden Tour.

Stay Tuned

More information about the 2014 Spring Home & Garden Tour will be available on the HHA website, on the Association’s Facebook page, through e-blasts, and in upcoming newsletters.

Silver Sponsors

The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Winter 2013–2014 Silver Sponsors:

Heights Garden Club

by Dee Melancon, club member

Well, the New Year is here, and we are looking forward to a full calendar of fun events.

A question recently proposed to our fellow gardeners is “what would you like to see the garden club do this year?” Things like field trips, visiting beautiful, interesting gardens, and starting a community garden are a few that come to mind.

The garden club normally meets on the second Saturday of each month at 10:00 AM for a garden tour or an informative meeting with a guest speaker on garden topics. We may from time to time want to change the normal meeting time to accommodate an event, so an email will go out to that effect, and we will post this on the website. (Make sure we have your email in order to receive these messages.)

Current projects are the entrance bed at I-10 and Heights Boulevard and the Rose Garden at Heights and 20th Street. Join us for work parties to replant these areas or to pull those nasty weeds on designated days. An email blast will go out to inform you of these events.

The February 8 garden meeting at 10:00 AM will be in the Rose Garden at 20th Street (below). Join us to learn more about rose care from an expert, Conrad Tips.

The March 8 meeting has not been confirmed, but we do have the April 12 garden tour arranged. That will be at the beautiful home of Robert Lyke and Douglas Killinger at 1648 Columbia, which is not to be missed. Our May 10 garden tour was not finalized at press time, but stay in touch; you won’t want to miss this one, I promise.

So for now, like us on Facebook and check in with us by email and the website. Have a great spring!

www.heightsgardenclub.com

info@heightsgardenclub.com

gardenclub@houstonheights.org

Heights Urbanites

One year ago, we held our first Third Thursday Happy Hour at The Boom Boom Room! Now we’re headed back for our first anniversary on February 20. Please join us as we celebrate one year of good friends and good times from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at 2518 Yale Street.

Passing of Randy Cypret

Just as we were preparing this issue for the website, we learned of the passing of former HHA President Randy Cypret over the weekend of February 1–2. Look for an obituary in the Thursday, February 6 issue of The Houston Chronicle.

Constable Statistics

Nov Dec
Total Arrests 9 12
Citizen Assists 24 94
Citizen Contacts 21 35
Vacation Watches 226 259
Court Citations 122 107
Alarm Responses 11 10
Suspicious Vehicles 16 40
Park Checks 47 43
Disturbances 13 10
Major Accidents 6 3
Criminal Offenses 14 10
Miles Patrolled 5,655 3,820

Bronze Sponsors

The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Winter 2013–2014 Bronze Sponsors:

Donations

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

John & Terri Arnold - Flower Gardens

Stephen & Judith Beck - Parks, Boulevard, Flower Gardens, Fire Station Restoration

Annie & David Colquitt - Boulevard, Flower Gardens

Andrea Farr

Beth Gallagher - Boulevard

Heights Tai Chi Association - Parks

Alex Loddoch & Maisha Amaru - Donovan Playground

Brendan & Kelly Matthews

E. Drew Mehlhaff - Fire Station Restoration

Elizabeth Covalla & Arturo Meza - Parks

Ken Newberry - Parks, Boulevard, Flower Gardens, Fire Station Restoration

Jordan & Aimee Pearce - Donovan Playground

Nicole & John Ridgway - Boulevard

Daniel & Susan Sessions - Flower Gardens

Clyde & Candi Stearns - Parks

Greg Utterback - Boulevard

New Members

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

  • 2125 Yale, Margo Moreno
  • Brian & Ashley Bagwell
  • Barefoot in the Glass, Lisa Anderson
  • Nicole & Paul Caver
  • Philip Christy
  • Thomas Collins & Sonja Vodehnal
  • Amanda Connors
  • Declaris Associates, Rita Declaris
  • Amy Hargis
  • Jay-R Dimacali, Escrow Officer
  • Law Office of Walter C. Martin
  • Leigh Litteer
  • Michael & Debbie Loreman
  • David Martin & Kristy Godwin
  • Brendan & Kelly Matthews
  • Nick’s Plumbing, Richard Saad
  • Nicole & Paul Caver
  • Norma Piecznski
  • Monica & Christopher Richart
  • Alice Savage & Masoud Shafiei
  • Lytch Tornow & Adam Gurman

A Message from President Matt Bedingfield

Statement Regarding the Termination of Paul Carr by the Houston Heights Association

Throughout its history, the Houston Heights Association (HHA) has adopted policies for the oversight of the spaces we provide to the public. We work hard to maintain these spaces for all to enjoy, and we believe caution and discussion should be the expectation of our Board when considering what is best for these properties and the people who enjoy them.

Paul Carr has served as a valued volunteer of this Association since its inception, including serving as President. As a past president of the Board and along-time volunteer and, beginning in 2011, as a paid contractor in the maintenance of our parks, Paul is fully aware of the HHA’s established policies and procedures with regard to its properties.

Unfortunately, it became evident that Paul’s views on the management of the parks grew apart from the Board’s, and he often disregarded the Board’s instructions. Paul’s increasing lack of respect of the Board’s decisions in these matters include several attempts to restrict access to Donovan Park and, most recently, the purposeful concealment of the construction and installation of the train.

As President of HHA, I consulted with past presidents on the issues. After careful thought and consideration, I made the difficult decision to end the maintenance agreement with Paul. I do believe Paul’s heart is in the right place, but no one may do whatever he or she pleases with someone else’s private property – regardless of his or her long-term tenure or affiliation with this organization.

The HHA never asked Paul to remove the train, but instead left the decision up to him. He was asked to let the Board of Directors know within three weeks if he wanted to remove the train from the park or leave his donation in place. We believe the train is a great addition to Donovan Park, but if Paul decides to leave it in place, the Board will consider certain alternations to ensure the train is as safe as possible for all to enjoy.

I am saddened by the circumstances that have led to this outcome and sincerely hope Paul and Mary Carr remain an active part of the Association. We appreciate the concern many have expressed, and we welcome their attendance at the next regularly scheduled HHA Board meeting on February 17, 2014.

Calendar of Events for February–March 2014

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

1

2

3

NO HHA Land Use Committee meeting this month

4

PIP meeting, 7:00 PM, 1602 State Street

5

Deadline for next newsletter

6 - garbage

7

8

Heights Garden Club, 10:00 AM, Rose Garden

9

10

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

11

NO Greater Heights SNC meeting

12

13 - garbage and recycling

14

Valentine’s Day

15

16

17

Presidents’ Day

HHA Board Meeting. 6:30 PM, Fire Station

18

19 - heavy trash (junk waste)

20 - garbage

Houston Heights Urbanites, 6:00-8:00 PM, 2518 Yale Street

21

22

23

Volunteer Appreciation & Awards Dinner, 5:00 PM, Fire Station

24

25

26

27 - garbage and recycling

28

March 1

2

3

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

4

Primary Election

PIP Meeting, 7:00 PM, 1602 State Street

5

Deadline for next newsletter

6 - garbage

7

8

Heights Garden Club, 10:00 AM, location TBA

9

Daylight Saving Time begins

10

HHA General Meeting, Topic TBA, 7:00 PM, Fire Station

11

12

13 - garbage and recycling

14

15

16

17

St. Patrick’s Day

HHA Board Meeting, 6:30 PM, Fire Station

18

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

19 - heavy trash (tree waste)

20 - garbage

21

22

23

24

25

26

27 - garbage and recycling

28

29

30 31

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

Community Calendar

Events planned by other community organizations

Every Saturday, 8:00 AM, Heights Running Club meets on the Heights Boulevard jogging trail at 7th Street. Contact Meghan.olds@gmail.com to be added to the weekly distribution list.

First and third Thursdays, 7:30 PM, English Country Dancing in the Heights, dances taught and called. For more information, email jnjbloom@gmail.com or visit www.hatds.org/ecd.html.

Third Tuesdays, 7:00-9:00 PM, Houston Storytellers Guild meets at St. Andrew’s House, 1811 Heights Boulevard, for a story swap. For more information, www.houstonstorytellers.org or 713-643-8478.

January 31-February 9, Opera in the Heights presents Mozart’s Don Giovanni at Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Boulevard. For more information, visit www.operaintheheights.org.

February 1 and 8, 10:00-2:00, regular registration for Heights-Norhill Little League at Stude Park, 1000 Usener. Tryouts February 15, 10:00 AM at Stude Park. For more information, call Veronica at 713-408-0672 or Maty at 832-370-8296.

February 27 - March 22, 8:00 PM, Obsidian Art Space presents the Texas premiere of Ruined by Lynn Nottage, 3522 White Oak Drive. Dates, info, & tickets at www.obsidianartspace.org.

March 28-April 6, Opera in the Heights presents Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor at Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Boulevard. For more information, visit www.operaintheheights.org.

Heavy Trash Notes

February is a “Junk Waste” month; March is a “Tree Waste Only” month. The heavy trash pickup date is the third Wednesday for most of the Houston Heights Association coverage area.

For dates in your immediate area, visit the City Solid Waste site. (Click here.)

Future History

April 4-6, Spring Home Tour

June 7, Heights Fun Run [tentative date]

October 5, Bicycle Rally & Scavenger Hunt [tentative date]

December 5-6, Holiday Home Tour [tentative dates]

December 9-10, Holiday Food Baskets [tentative dates]

February 22, 2015, Awards Dinner [tentative date]

At The Properties

Events at the Houston Heights City Hall & Fire Station, Donovan Park, and Marmion Park

Heights Tai Chi Association meets Saturdays at 9:00 AM and Wednesdays at 7:00 PM in Marmion Park, Heights Boulevard at 18th Street.

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

Copyright © 2014, 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 editor@houstonheights.org; or leave a message on 713-861-4002.

Staff and Contributors

VP Communications: Julie Pettit

Editor: Mark R. Williamson

Assistant Editor: Kathleen S. Williamson

February contributors:

Matt Bedingfield, Stacey Courville. Lauriel Hindman, Dee Melancon, Leann Mueller, Julie Pettit, Lanna von Baden.

bottom photo montage - same as the top