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In This Issue

Incoming President's Remarks: Happy New Year!

Community Improvement Award Nomination Deadline — January 9

Monthly Meetings:
January 12 — For the Love of Animals;
February 9 — Share the Love;
Meet the Principals

Heights Right-of-Way Tree Day — February 1

Heights Garden Club field trips:
January 10 in Conroe;
February 14 in Tomball

Volunteer Appreciation and Awards Dinner — February 22

Candlelight Dinner & Silent Auction — April 10

Spring Home & Garden Tour — April 11&12

2015 Board Organization Meeting:

Holiday Party Wrap-Up

Holiday Basket Wrap-Up

Season's Greetings Postcard Thanks

It's Rewarding - If You Sign Up


New Members


Staff and Contributors


logo for The Heights
Newsletter of the Houston Heights Association
Volume Forty, Number One, January 2015
Click here for the print-format PDF version.
Click here for back issues.
Click here to return to main HHA site.

Incoming President's Remarks:
Happy New Year!

by 2015 HHA President Mark Williamson

Happy New Year to all of you from the 2015 Board of Directors, Officers, and Committee Chairs of the Houston Heights Association. There’s a list of all of us below. You’ll see some new names there and some familiar names in new positions.

To the extent that presidents can affect the priorities of the Board and the Association, I want us to focus on improving the continuity and organization of HHA and celebrating the history of Houston Heights, while continuing to do the things we have done well in the past.

To improve continuity, I’m asking each of our Vice Presidents and Committee Chairs to start grooming one or more successors and to provide them with the information and tools to do the job someday. Meanwhile, we will continue reviewing our policies and procedures, revising them as necessary to improve our organization.

These successors won’t come out of thin air. We will need more of you, our members, to get involved with a committee or an event. Tell your neighbors about what HHA has done for the neighborhood and what we can do with their help.

My wife and I moved to Houston Heights in 1991, the year we were celebrating the centennial of the founding of the original Omaha & South Texas Land Company planned community at the far end of a streetcar line from the little city of Houston. Since then, we’ve marked a series of centennials, including the incorporation as an independent municipality in ’96. This year, we’ll be celebrating the centennial of the dedication of the City Hall & Fire Station, now HHA headquarters; I hope you’ll join us in March. The cycle culminates in 2018 with the centennial of the annexation of Houston Heights by Houston.

We’ll continue to support our schools, assist our neighbors with land use issues, maintain our parks and the esplanade for the public, recognize achievements in the neighborhood, coordinate the constable patrol program, offer a series of interesting programs at our monthly meetings, do the other good things we’ve been doing, and hold the events that pay for all of it with the help of our sponsors, donors, and members.

Speaking of continuity and succession, we have a new team ready to start producing this newsletter with our February issue. Watch for some exciting new ideas and designs as they get into full swing. I’m pleased to say that this newsletter will be in good hands. Thank you for allowing me to be your Editor for most of the last two decades.

Now let’s get out there and do it!

- Mark

CIA Deadline: A Change For The Better…

…that’s what the HHA Community Improvement Awards are all about!

NOW is the time to nominate recent residential or commercial renovations and new construction that you think stand out as improvements to our Houston Heights neighborhood. The deadline for receiving nominations is January 9. Better hurry!

A copy of the nomination form with rules can be downloaded here. It is also inserted in the print edition of this issue.

Heights ROW Tree Day

Learn about your Right-of-Way Trees, automatic sidewalk variances for tree friendly sidewalk construction, and ROW Tree adoptions.

Victor Cordoba of the City of Houston Urban Forestry is collaborating with HHA for a ROW Tree Day and tree adoption at Donovan Park and the 7th Street Bikeway at Heights Boulevard on Sunday, February 1 from 9:00 AM to noon.

Only a limited quantity of trees will be available on a first-come first-serve basis by reservation form only. To reserve your tree to plant exclusively in the right-of-way, simply email urbanforest@; include your name and the address location for your tree. You will get a form to complete with all the details. Forms will also be available at the HHA Monthly Meeting on January 12.

Monthly Meeting & Happy Hour

Join us on the second Monday of every month to meet neighbors, hear interesting programs, and learn about events. Doors open to the Fire Station at 6:30 PM for happy hour; the monthly program commences at 7:00 PM. Everyone is invited! Learn about the Houston Heights Association and your neighborhood at the HHA welcome table.

January 12: For the Love of Animals

Rescue Realities in the Heights

Six rescue organizations will be on site to share their mission of rescue, rehabilitation, and rehoming of dogs and cats in the Heights. Each organization will have two pets for you to meet and learn about adoption.

The following organizations are scheduled to participate:

Thank you to Laura Virgadamo for chairing this program.

February 9: Share the Love

Meet the committees of the Houston Heights Association and learn about their activities and your opportunities to participate at this annual valentine-themed event. There will be door prizes and “heart-felt” refreshments.

Meet Your School Principals

The HHA Education Committee invites Principals of local schools to the HHA Monthly Meetings to introduce themselves to our members and describe their schools and their programs. These Principals are scheduled in the next few months:

  • January 12: Dr. Mina Schnitta from Hogg MS
  • February 9: Robert Chavarria from Love Elementary
  • March 9: John Baker from Helms Elementary

Platinum Sponsors

The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following 2015 Platinum sponsor:

Boulevard Realty

Heights Garden Club

January’s meeting features our first field trip, which will be to our favorite compost resource: Nature’s Way Resources in Conroe. Come enjoy a tour and adventure on January 10 from 10:00 AM to noon. John Ferguson, the owner of Nature’s Way Resources, will lead the tour. John is a soil scientist, the author of the book Organic Management for the Professional, and he is one of the pioneers of the composting industry in Texas. Those on the tour will get the inside scoop on how Nature’s Way Resources makes their compost, mulches, and soils from scratch. Additionally, John and his staff will show off several demonstration gardens and a new plant nursery that specializes in useful plants such as natives, heirlooms, and edibles. Bring your gardening boots and get ready for an adventure!

Bill Baldwin has graciously offered the use of the parking lot at Boulevard Realty at the corner of Heights Boulevard and 16th Street as a staging area for carpooling. Meet us at 9:00 AM to share a ride up to Conroe - drivers and riders are welcome! Riders may leave their cars in the parking lot.

We have planned another field trip for the February 14 meeting to Arbor Gate at 15635 FM 2920 in Tomball. The Arbor Gate is way more than a garden center - it is quite literally an inspired collection that includes unusual plants, artisan-created decorative pieces, and a constantly changing array of items that bring beauty, comfort, and even flavor to the home and garden. We have tentatively scheduled a talk on butterfly gardening, but we also want to leave plenty of time to explore the nursery and shops. 10:00 AM to noon. Carpool arrangements to be announced.

All events are free. For more information check our Facebook page or our website at

The award goes to…

Attend HHA’s annual Volunteer Appreciation and Awards Dinner on Sunday, February 22, 2015. Doors will open to the Fire Station at 5:00 PM for a happy hour, followed by dinner at 6:00 PM. During the program, which will begin at approximately 7:00 PM, winners of the Community Improvement Awards, as well as Citizen of the Year, Marcella Perry Award, and Corporate Citizen, will be announced.

Tickets are $25 per person, and seating is limited. You’ll be able to purchase your tickets online beginning around February 1. In the meantime, more information about the Volunteer Appreciation and Awards Dinner will be available on the HHA website and Facebook page as details become available for this fun event.

Candlelight Dinner & Silent Auction

Plans are already underway for a spectacular 2015 Candlelight Dinner & Auction, to be held on Friday, April 10. A crew of wonderfully enthusiastic volunteers is already in high gear creating the highly anticipated Silent Auction that takes place at the Candlelight Dinner. It takes a village to pull this auction together, and we would love your help!

Proceeds from the auction are very important to fund the many HHA projects that benefit our neighborhood. You can help by donating items or gift certificates to the Silent Auction. Guests enjoy bidding on a huge variety of auction items such as getaways, sporting event tickets, dinners and all things Heights related - art, neighborhood memorabilia, products, services, restaurant certificates, performances, events, and neighborhood parties. In recognition of your kind generosity and helping hand, you will receive acknowledgment in the event’s gala program, on the bid sheets accompanying your donation, and in the wrap-up newsletter article.

You can also help by volunteering to be a part of the Silent Auction Committee. Committee members help solicit and collect donations and help organize, set up, and design the silent auction on the day of the event. Helping with the Committee is a great way to meet new friends while helping our neighborhood. As a small token of our appreciation, each Auction Committee volunteer also receives a complimentary ticket to the Spring Home Tour.

If you can help by making a donation or by volunteering to be part of the Silent Auction Committee, please email auction@ Thank you in advance for your help making this a fantastic fundraiser!

Spring Home & Garden Tour

Volunteers needed!

The annual HHA Spring Home & Garden Tour will be April 10-12, 2015. It takes about 300 volunteers to make this event go smoothly, and we need you! If you would like to volunteer or just to inquire about ways you can help, let us know at volunteer@ We would love to sign you up!

Gold Sponsors

The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Winter 2014–2015 Gold sponsors:

Harold's Restaurant Lucas Craftsmanship Inc. Trudy Waguespack Nelson

Organizational Meeting

At its organizational meeting in December, the 2015 HHA Board of Directors took the following actions:

  • elected officers as listed at right,
  • elected two non-officer Directors to the Executive Committee,
  • filled the two vacant one-year board positions,
  • appointed check signers,
  • confirmed the customary general and board meeting dates, and
  • discussed the appointment of committee chairs.

2015 Committee and Subcommittee Chairs

  • Archives - open
  • Awards Dinner - Bill Baldwin, Andrea Sharp
  • Bicycle Rally - Jessica Hughes
  • Boulevard Beautification - Jim Bennett
  • • Garden Club - Dee Melancon, Brenda Eskelson
  • Business - Laura Menefee
  • By-laws/Policies - Lauriel Hindman
  • Citizen of the Year/Marcella Perry Awards - Denise Martin
  • Community Improvement. Awards - Anne Culotta
  • Crime & Security (Constable Patrol Project) - Lanna vonBaden, John Ridgway
  • Education - Anne Sloan
  • Election - Robert Woods
  • Executive - Mark Williamson
  • Finance - Matt Bedingfield
  • Fun Run - Damian Ogier
  • Holiday Food Baskets - open
  • Holiday Home Tour - Marianne & Kenny Terrell
  • Land Use - Bill Pellerin
  • • Bike Trails - Donna Bennett
  • • Urban Forestry - Angela DeWree
  • Membership - Stacey Courville
  • Newsletter - Mark Williamson, Julie Pettit
  • Programs - Angela DeWree
  • Property Management - John Baldwin
  • Property Scheduling - Lauriel Hindman
  • Public Relations - open
  • Sponsorships - Matt Bedingfield
  • Spring Home & Garden Tour
  • • Tour - Janet Buchheit , Denise Martin
  • • Dinner - Kit Davis, Bess Yeary
  • • Auction - Stacey Courville, Carol Welter, Joan Kerr
  • Volunteer Coordination - Laura Menefee

2015 Officers

  • President © - Mark Williamson
  • President-Elect © - Stacey Courville
  • Secretary © - Robert Killian
  • Treasurer © - Matt Bedingfield
  • VP Communications - Julie Pettit
  • VP of Fundraising and Special Events - Janet Buchheit
  • VP of Community Relations - Lindsey Lee
  • VP of Community Affairs - Bill Pellerin
  • VP of Finance & Operations - Bill Baldwin

(© indicates Officers automatically on the Executive Committee.)

2015 Directors

  • Bill Baldwin (2015)
  • Matt Bedingfield (2017)
  • Donna Bennett* (2015)
  • Janet Buchheit (2016)
  • Neal Cannon* (2015)
  • Stacey Courville (2016)
  • Bill Davis (2015)
  • Laura Menefee © (2017)
  • Bill Pellerin (2016)
  • Kenny Terrell © (2017)
  • Cressandra Thibodeaux (2017)
  • Carol Welter (2017)
  • Mark Williamson (2016)
  • Robert Woods (2016)
  • Mike Yeary (2015)

(Number in parentheses is the last year of each Director’s term. Asterisk indicates one-year appointment. © indicates non-officer Directors elected to the Executive Committee.)

Silver Sponsor

The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Winter 2014–2015 Silver sponsor:


an HHA Holiday Party

by Party Co-Chairs Bill Baldwin, Linda Eyles, and Kelly Simmons

The scene was lively with the Mark Towns trio and their Latin jazz sounds and the voices of more than 100 attendees excitedly discussing their upcoming plans for the holidays. The setting was the 1910 William A. Wilson home at 205 Bayland Avenue, which was dressed up to the nines (as were all of the guests). The Glass Wall pulled out all the stops and served the best of the best from their delectable menu, and all sorts of refreshments were poured, including the evening’s signature drink - a choice of martinis. We’ll also mention, as the evening wore on, there was plenty of kissing under the mistletoe strategically placed throughout the home.

A small silent auction was offered and included generous donations by Keith Crane, Dramatika, Michael Klaybor, Denise Liebl, Manready Mercantile, Yu Cha Pak, Patrick Palmer, Chris Silkwood, Kelly Simmons, and Todd Van Duren. Santa also gave out a few dozen gifts to nice and naughty guests alike.

After a long (albeit warm and muggy) Winter’s eve, as guests made their way back to their luxury sleds, they received a very special 2014 commemorative glass ornament, courtesy of “Please Shop Local” Jubilee.

Thanks to our wonderful Winter Sponsors for their support this season: Platinum Sponsor Boulevard Realty; Gold Sponsors Harold’s Restaurant | Bar | Terrace, Lucas Craftsmanship, and Trudy Waguespack Nelson; and Bronze Sponsors Bayou City Aire, Jubilee, and The Village of the Heights.

We had some additional underwriting help for the event from Bill Baldwin, Tyri Schiek Centanni, GDF Suez, Saint Arnold Brewing Co., and Kelly Simmons and Keith Crane. We also had some welcome assists from John Baldwin, Keith Crane, Julie Pettit, and Arturo Rodriguez, and as always, Blue Ribbon Staffing did an incredible job keeping the crowd fed and hydrated.

A big thanks to all who came out and supported the HHA at this event, and to those who couldn’t make it this year, we hope to see you next December!

Happy New Year!

Season’s Greetings Postcard Thanks

The Houston Heights Association wants to thank Angela DeWree of Design & Inspiration for the beautiful work she did designing the postcard that went out during the holidays. Angela is always working behind the scenes, and most people don’t know everything she does for the Association and the neighborhood - including putting together the programs for the monthly general meetings at the Houston Heights City Hall & Fire Station (held every second Monday of the month). Thank you, Angela!

Holiday Baskets

Volunteers from the Houston Heights Association and Heights Rotary Club joined forces to assemble one hundred food “baskets” (sets of bags) on the evening of December 16.

The following day, more volunteers distributed the baskets to deserving families in the area.

Bronze Sponsors

The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Winter 2014–2015 Bronze sponsors:

Bayou City Aire The Village of The Heights


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

Irene & Tim Anderson - Donovan Playground

Rich and Amanda Anhorn - Boulevard

Matt Bedingfield - Boulevard

Tim Beeson - Flower Gardens

Ricchard & Laura Brown - Donovan Playground

Amanda Bullard - Boulevard

Jared & Rachael Cahan - Boulevard

Wanda & Mark Cohen in memory of Carol Sofianopoulos

S. Tyler Crabtree

Gregg DeJarnett & Tracy Rummel - Parks, Boulevard

Jean Dorsey - Boulevard

Josh & Lisa Ecroyd

Stella Edmondson - Parks

GDF Suez Energy N. America Matching Gift of Keith Crane & Kelly Simmons

Matt & Marybeth Gebauer - Donovan Playground, Flower Gardens

Todd & Cindy Green - Parks, Boulevard, Fire Station Restoration

Michele Haralson - Boulevard, Fire Station Restoration

Jamie Hay - Donovan Playground

Houston Heights Tai Chi Association - Flower Gardens

Houston Zen Center - Parks, Boulevard, Flower Gardens

Buddy & Stacy Marshall

Gary & Holly Martinez - Donovan Playground

Dee Ann & Kevin McLarney

David McLean & Cynthia Felde

Henry Pogorzelski & Blair Woodell - Parks, Boulevard, Flower Gardens, Fire Station Restoration

Clay & Barb Robinson - Boulevard, Fire Station Restoration

Ron Foster Properties, Inc. - Parks

Jessica & Ken Ross

Catherine Smith - Boulevard

Brian Stephens

Cara & Brian Stewart - Donovan Playground, Fire Station Restoration

Evin Thayer - Boulevard, Flower Gardens, Fire Station Restoration

Becki & Debasish Tripathy - Boulevard

Steve Weyand

New Members

Please welcome these new members to the Houston Heights Association.

  • Dean & Laura Bernshausen
  • Hilary C. Borow
  • Amanda Bullard
  • Jared & Rachael Cahan
  • Carolyn Coates
  • Kyle & Jennifer Cope
  • S. Tyler Crabtree
  • Neeraj & Urvi Dani
  • Cindy & Don Dean
  • Dennis Devlin
  • Ron & Lizzie Dovich
  • Brandon & Lauren Duke
  • Lisa Fievet
  • John Folmnsbee & Geraldine Young
  • Shawn Gallagher
  • Joel Gluskin
  • Michele Haralson
  • Heights Dermatology, Daniel Salvato
  • Annie & Anthony Higgins
  • Jordan Hill
  • Nich Hughes
  • Ana Jaime
  • Laura & Wes Johnson
  • Karen Browder, Realtor
  • Douglas & Karen Kayes
  • Chris Klawinski & Amanda Walker
  • Tracy Birkelbach Kremen
  • Lamontre & Delores Lewis
  • Buddy & Stacy Marshall
  • Kelsey McArthur
  • Melissa McEllin
  • Carissa & Pam Baldwin-McGinnis
  • Dee Ann & Kevin McLarney
  • Scott McKenzie
  • Alex & Lindsey Brooks Niebruegge
  • Andrew Noel & Mary Kennedy
  • Marian Ragland
  • Jessica Rose & Thomas Keenan
  • Jessica & Ken Ross
  • Maria & Paul Sonderfan
  • Cara & Brian Stewart
  • Jacqueline & Paul Suarez
  • Susan Thibodeaux
  • Becki & Debasish Tripathy
  • Blake Willeford

It’s Rewarding - If You Sign Up

As we noted last month, Kroger is making it easy for local non-profits, such as HHA, to receive cash through Kroger Community Rewards. A new program year started in September, and it looks like many of you forgot to sign up again this year. Here’s how you can sign up.

First, you need to have a Kroger Plus Card. If you don’t have a Plus Card, get one at a Kroger service desk. If you use your phone number at the register, call 800-576-4377 and select option 4 to get your Plus Card number.

Second, you need a registered Plus Card account online at If you are new to the Kroger online programs, you’ll need to sign up for an account.

If you already have an account, sign in to your Kroger account at the link noted above, select Account Summary in the left column, click on the “Edit” button under Kroger Community Rewards information, and enter our name or our organization number 81249.

Then, every time you shop at Kroger using your Kroger Plus Card, HHA will accumulate points toward a donation from Kroger. The amount HHA earns will depend on how much our participants spend compared to other organizations. Organizations that are supported by Kroger Plus Card shoppers will earn a percentage of the $1.5 million donated annually.

If you’re a Kroger shopper, we encourage you to sign up and increase HHA’s earning potential.

Calendar of Events for January–February 2015












New Year’s Day

2 - garbage and recycling



Deadline for next newsletter (tomorrow)


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


PIP meeting, 7:00 PM, 1602 State Street


8 - garbage



Heights Garden Club, 10:00 AM, Conroe



HHA General Meeting, “Pet Rescue,” 7:00 PM, Fire Station



16 - garbage and recycling





MLK Jr. Day

HHA Board Meeting, 6:30 PM, Fire Station


21 - heavy trash (tree waste in odd months)

22 - garbage







29 - garbage and recycling



February 1

Heights ROW Tree Day, 9:00 AM to noon, Heights Blvd at 7th Street


Groundhog Day

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


PIP Meeting, 7:00 PM, 1602 State Street


5 - garbage

Deadline for next newsletter





HHA General Meeting, “Share the Love,” 7:00 PM, Fire Station



12 - garbage and recycling



Valentines Day

Heights Garden Club, 10:00 AM, Tomball



Presidents’ Day

HHA Board Meeting, 6:30 PM, Fire Station


Mardi Gras

18 - heavy trash (junk waste in even months)

19 - garbage




Awards Dinner, 5:00-9:00 PM, Fire Station




26 - 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

Every Saturday, 8:00 AM, Heights Running Club meets on the Heights Boulevard jogging trail at 7th Street. Back to the regular time. Contact 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 or visit

January 12, 6:30-8:30 PM, Memorial Park Master Plan Update Meeting at Moody Park, 3725 Fulton Street. For more information, visit or

January 30-February 8, Opera in the Heights presents Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito in Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Blvd. For tickets, visit or call 713-861-5303.

March 20-29, Opera in the Heights presents Bizet’s Carmen in Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Blvd. For tickets, visit or call 713-861-5303.

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.

Heavy Trash Notes

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

For dates at your address, visit the City Solid Waste site.

Future History

February 22, 2015, Awards Dinner

March 8, celebration of the centennial of the Fire Station dedication [new date]

April 10-12, Candlelight Dinner and Spring Home Tour

June 6, Heights Fun Run [tentative date]

October 4, Bicycle Ride & Scavenger Hunt [tentative date]

December 4-5, Holiday Home Tour [tentative dates]

December 15-16, Holiday Food Baskets [tentative dates]

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

Copyright © 2015, 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

VP Communications: Julie Pettit

Editor: Mark R. Williamson

Assistant Editor: Kathleen S. Williamson

Bill Baldwin, Stacey Courville, Angela DeWree, Brenda Eskelson, Linda Eyles, Lauriel Hindman, Julie Pettit, Kelly Simmons.

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