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Newsletter of the Houston Heights Association
Volume Thirty-Four, Number Four, April 2008
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Awards Dinner Walks the Walk

by roving reporter Kelly Simmons

Hundreds (okay…150) came out in their black and white tuxes and designer gowns (okay…some in stylish jeans and t-shirts) for the 34th Annual Volunteer Appreciation and Dinner. The festivities were kicked off with a Walk Down Memory Lane. Out of a collection of hundreds of news articles about the Heights going back to the turn of the century-collected for decades by Heights resident historian Alice Butts. Paul Carr, 1979 Citizen of the Year (COY), sorted through and organized approximately 5% of the collection into a fun and fascinating journey through time.

Pomegranate martinis (or “Volun-tinis”) — underwritten by 2003 COYs Julie and Byron Pettit — fueled the social hour until dinner was served. Pierre and Candy Massoud whipped up a crowd favorite of lasagna and salad, followed by lemon squares and the best brownies in the Heights, which were donated by The Boom Boom Room. Our bartending team consisted of the multi-talented Genie Mims, Susan Venus, 2004 COY John Hennessey, Kevin Tate, Keith Crane, Kendall McCarley, and Nick Zamora.

The dining room was beautifully decorated by the design team of Angela DeWree, Taylor Moore, Julie Pettit, Ellen Newcaster, 2004 COY Viki Hennessey, 2002 COY Diane Easley, 2004 Marcella Perry Award recipient (MPA) Mary Carr, Kristal Kirksey, and Margarete Sanchez-Ripps. Taylor Moore’s own Newton Nursery designed and donated beautiful and aromatic centerpiece baskets filled with paperwhites, tulips, and grapevine. As always, Angela and her Design and Inspiration team took a blank room and turned it into an elegant and magical showstopper. Kristal Kirksey’s Jubilee very generously donated beautiful gifts for every guest at the event.

Billy Crystal has nothing on us with the beautiful and witty 1998 COY Anne Culotta emceeing the ceremonies. John Blass — our very own version of Cary Grant — was brilliant as emcee for the Community Improvement Awards and the “lively” Live Auction, which raised $3,000 for the Education Committee, chaired by the lovelies Sheila Tybor and Karen Derr. Beautiful and funky pieces of artwork were generously donated to this cause by Heights artists Arturo Rodriguez, Sandra York, Keith Crane, and Chris Silkwood, and were generously purchased, respectively, by Ken Culotta, Kelly Simmons, Bill Baldwin, and Kathleen and Mark Williamson. The Community Improvement Awards (CIA) presentation, chaired by Diane Easley, was one of the best ever, with 16 nominees for the various award categories. Our thanks go out to this year’s CIA judges, John Blass, Bob Robinowitz, Lanna von Baden, and Brett Zamore. Also to 2003 MPA John Childs for the “after” photography, and to Keith Crane for producing the CIA power point presentation. To read more about the CIA awards, please see the separate article in this Newsletter.

We were honored with the attendance of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, who expressed her gratitude for the years of service to the community by members of the HHA. We were also honored with the presence of many past award recipients: 1976 COY Melvalene Cohen, 1985 COY Laura and Charlie Thorp, 1989 COY Terry Burge, 1992 MPA Libby Lee, 1996 COY John Moraida and Joe Baugh, 1994 COY Debbie Markey, 1999 MPAs Laura and Dennis Virgadamo, 2000 MPA Anne Sloan, 2000 COY Jim Bennett, 2001 MPA William Salario, 2003 MPAs Katy Bomar and John Childs, 2005 MPA Donna Bennett, 2006 MPA Lanna and Greg von Baden, and 2006 Corporate Citizen of the Year (CCOY) Lambert Arceneaux. We missed 1981 COY Neva Dupuis who couldn’t attend due to a WWF wrestling injury (reported Anne Culotta).

The April General Meeting

A presentation by Jay Wall about the innovative CompStat or Crime Control policing system.

This program addresses a great concern in Houston about the level of crime and violence in our neighborhoods. Three Houstonians; Alan Helfman, Jay Wall and William A. Wolff, have been writing op-ed pieces in the Houston Chronicle and presenting information this program. It has been implemented in New York City and Los Angeles, among other cities, resulting in some dramatic reductions in the crime rate.

Karen Derr will also explain the possibilities of implementing a Constable or Crime on Watch program in the Heights.

The HHA’s 2008 President and 2005 COY Mark Williamson, welcomed the crowd and presented a commemorative gift for brave and outstanding service to our outgoing 2007 President, Jim Potter. The next award up was the President’s Award for a recipient-chosen by the outgoing President-who has stood out in the crowd during that President’s term. That special person, for Jim, was Angela DeWree. Angela is currently serving her second term on the HHA Board and founded and chairs the HHA’s Urban Forestry Committee, which focuses on preserving and enhancing the neighborhood’s tree canopy. She additionally donates her time and resources designing most of the print material and the venue décor for our many fundraising events.

2001 COY Chris Silkwood then presented the Community Service Award to Immanuel Lutheran School’s eighth grade class for its dedicated work on the Boulevard esplanade each month. The Award was accepted by ILS’s Principal, Cheryl Burmeister, and will be displayed in the trophy case at the school. 2003 CCOY Donna Buchanan was up next to present the Corporate Citizenship Award to long-time business owner, Glen Putnam, of Malone Printing. Mr. Putnam is a third generation Heights business owner and has provided services to the HHA for many years.

Paul Carr presented the Marcella Perry Award to this year’s worthy recipient, Paul Luccia. Also known as the “graffiti guy,” Paul has almost single-handedly wiped out the graffiti scourge in our neighborhood with his anti-graffiti truck, trailer, and mighty paint gun. The final award of the evening for Citizen of the Year — presented by 2006 recipients and this year’s Dinner Chairs, Kelly Simmons and Keith Crane — was awarded to Taylor Moore. Taylor struck out to increase membership during his tenure on the Board and was instrumental in gathering the signatures needed to win approval for a designated Historic District on the southeast quadrant of the neighborhood. He has donated over 75 trees — through his business, Newton Nursery — to be planted on the Boulevard and hundreds of trees, plants, and flowers to Urban Forestry Committee and other fundraisers and projects.

We are proud and fortunate to have all of these wonderful volunteers in the ‘hood, and we hope see you next year at the Awards Dinner.

President’s Award Recipient, Angela DeWree

Marcella Perry Award Recipient, Paul Luccia

Citizen of the Year Award Recipient, Taylor Moore

Platinum Sponsors

The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following 2008-2009 Platinum sponsors:

Allied Waste San Jacinto Stone

2007 Community Improvement Awards

By: Diane Easley

The Houston Heights Association 2007 Community Improvement Awards were presented Sunday, February 24, 2008 for residential and commercial projects contributing to the improvement of the Heights.

In the Residential New Construction category the three nominees include: Tom and Lisa Gladney’s home at 408 East 7th Street, Harry James’ Boulevard Brownstones at 1341 Heights Boulevard and Sullivan Interests’ house at 504 West 23rd Street. The winning improvement is John Sullivan of Sullivan Interests for the new two-story home located at 504 W. 23rd Street. This project was designed by Sam Gianukos of Creole Design and built on a former warehouse site. Mature trees were salvaged from a Town and Country area demolition and are now thriving at this Sullivan Interests project.

For the Commercial New Construction category, the three nominees include: Allegro Builders/Glass Wall at 933 Studewood, Ken Keeling Law Firm at 3310 Katy Freeway and Regions Bank at 301 West 11th Street. The winning improvement is Allegro Builders for their multi-use space located at 933 Studewood. This building was built on the former vacant run-down space long vacated by Zocolo. Designed by Sam Gianukos and Jeremy McFarland and built by Allegro Builders, the building is a two story structure housing Allegro Builders’ office on the second floor and the Glass Wall restaurant on the first floor. Co-owner and Chef Lance Fegen (formerly of Zula and Trevisio) built the restaurant around his love of surfing. Decorated in neutral shades, a centerpiece glass wall separates the open kitchen from the main dining room. The uncomplicated bistro-style menu is constantly changing and reflects in-season items and fresh flavors.
In the Residential Restoration category, the six nominees include: Anhorn home at 1219 Cortlandt. Broman cottage at 712 West 15th Street, Noon multi-family residential project at 1447 Heights, Rodgers home at 629 Heights, Schooley home at 807 Rutland, and Stapp home at 1130 Cortlandt. The winning improvement is the Broman cottage located at 712 West 15th Street. This is a small bungalow that once served as Steve Waters’ office. The bungalow was restored by Broman Design and Construction. Landscaping was completed by Pam August. This home was recently featured on the Heights Holiday Home tour last December.
In the Commercial Restoration category the four nominees include: Suzanne Anderson Properties at 743 East 11th Street, Boom Boom Room at 2518 Yale, 19th Street Market at 249 West 19th Street, and 3601 White Oak owned by Louis Comilla. The winning improvement is 19th Street Market owned by Greg Lewis. This is located in the heart of the old downtown Heights and houses eclectic shops such as 18 Hands Gallery, Bliss, Buffalo Exchange, Contents, Elegant Notions Bead Shop, and Casa Rameriz.
Two special ‘innovative’ awards, including Residential Innovative Restoration and Commercial Innovative Restoration were presented. The Residential Innovative Restoration award went to Merry and Palmer Schooley for their bungalow renovation and addition at 807 Rutland. The new addition connects to the original bungalow via a glass-walled passage that is now the site of their light-filled dining room. Designed around two shady sycamores and lots of outdoor living and garden spaces, the home manages to incorporate basic passive solar, natural ventilation, and sustainable design principles while respecting the original scale and fabric of the Heights. This home is featured on the Spring Home and Garden tour April 5-6.
The Commercial Restoration Innovation award went to Jackie Harris for the Boom Boom Room located at 2518 Yale. This run down cinder block structure was re-vamped and energized with fresh bright paint and unique décor. In the evening, couples scatter about candlelit tables for conversation and live music. Cozy couches and stools at the long bar provide for additional seating.

Diamond Sponsor

The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Spring 2008 Diamond Sponsor:

Celebrate Spring at HHA Camp-Out & Musicfest Saturday, April 19th

HHA home tour volunteers and HHA members and their families will have a chance to chill out at the first HHA Camp-Out and Musicfest in Marmion Park on April 19th starting at 5:00pm and going all night. Bring your tent for all night or a lawn chair for the evening.

A variety of music will be provided by area musicians. There will be two campfire circles, one for the adults and one for children. The children’s campfire circle will have marshmellow roasting, and members of the Houston Story Tellers Guild will entertain.

Free popcorn will be available and you can roast wieners for hot dogs. Adult beverages (wine & beer) are permitted. Berryhill’s will serve breakfast tacos to the campers Sunday morning. There will be a camp sink with running water and a porta-can. If you are a musician or entertainer and would like to perform, contact Paul Carr at 713-869-0505 or TortureT@aol.com.

Campout-Musicfest will start at 5:00pm Saturday and will be over at 10:00am Sunday morning. Marmion Park is located at Heights Blvd. & 18th.

HOME TOUR’S CANDLELIGHT DINNER & AUCTION

TO BE HELD AT SPJST LODGE ON FRIDAY, APRIL 4

CHAIRS-LAUREN DUNLAP & CHRISTI GUERRINI

On Friday, April 4, 2008, the HHA event of the year will be held in the SPJST Lodge at 1435 Beall. Following a private preview of the 2008 Home Tour homes and gardens, the “Fresh Perspectives” Candlelight Dinner & Auction will feature a gourmet dinner by Melange.

Holiday Tour Homes Sought

The Heights Holiday Home Tour Committee is still looking for beautiful homes dressed for the holidays to include in the tour, which is scheduled for the first weekend in December. If you are interested in volunteering your home for this fundraiser or if you know your neighbor is (but is simply too shy!), please contact Trudy at 713-802-0773 or email holidaytour@houstonheights.org

Silver Sponsors

The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Spring 2008 Silver Sponsors:

HEIGHTS FUN RUN

Looking for a Few Good…Door Prizes!

The Fun Run Committee is asking for donations to serve as “Door Prizes” at the event on Saturday, June 7. The prizes are very popular and help keep our registrants coming back, year after year, to this important neighborhood fundraiser.

Please consider donating an item either personally or from your business, or from a business or two that you patronize on a regular basis. We are interested in gift certificates of every kind and in garden and home decor, jewelry, sports equipment, and antiques, etc.

Please call our Door Prize coordinator, Mary Ellis, at 713-880-4466 to arrange pick up or delivery of your donation. The HHA is a 501(c)(3) organization and you will receive a tax exempt receipt for your gift.

Calling All Volunteers!

This is a “fun” Saturday morning volunteer opportunity, being held this year on June 7. The Heights Fun Run attracts more than 1,000 runners from all over the state, and we need your help with this important HHA fundraiser.

Sign up to help with:

  • Brochure Distribution
  • Set Up
  • Registration
  • Food & Refreshment Service
  • Finish Line Monitors
  • And…My All-Time Favorite-After Race Clean Up!!!

It really is a great way to get involved, help your community, and meet your neighbors.

To volunteer or for more information, please call our hotline and leave a message @ 713.861.4002, option 4, or e-mail us at funrun@houstonheights.org. We are looking forward to hearing from you!

Hey Kids! The Fun Run is For You Too!

Put June 7th on your calendar and plan to come do what kids love to do - RUN! The 23nd Annual Heights Fun Run is scheduled for Saturday, June 7, 2008 and kids even get their own start time at 8:30 AM. Join other Heights children for this special 1K event which begins at Heights Blvd. @ 18th Street. Stopping point for all participants is Marmion Park where you will enjoy a great family friendly party celebrating fun and fitness. There will be food, juice and music while awards are announced and door prizes are given!

This event promotes several of the 40 Developmental Assets determined necessary for youth to succeed in a community including:

  • Planning and decision making by giving the youth the opportunity to plan ahead and make decisions.
  • Constructive use of time in sports, clubs and community organizations.
  • Empowerment by showing that our community values youth.

Entry fee for kids is only $10 before June 1 or $15 thereafter.

To register online go to www.signmeupsports.com (available shortly) or send checks payable to: Houston Heights Association along with an Entry Form to: (No refunds will be made.)

Mail to:
Heights Fun Run
P.O. Box 70735
Houston, TX 77270

Credit cards accepted at packet pick-up and registration. For more about the 40 Developmental Asset go to www.search-institute.org/assets.

Bronze Sponsors

The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Spring 2008 Bronze Sponsors:

Realty Professionals Workshop Planned

The Houston Heights Association Land Use Committee and Historic District Task Force are inviting Heights area realty professionals to come to a workshop on the new historic districts on April 28, 2008, 6:30 p.m. at the Historic Heights fire station at 12th and Yale. There is much research available both locally and nationally that documents the very positive impact historic districts have on property values. In addition, there are tax incentives available from the City of Houston for appropriate improvements to historic structures within the new districts.

Come get answers to your questions and learn what the historic districts mean for Houston Heights real estate. You will be very surprised at the data! For more information please call 713-802-0337.

New Members

  • David Bruce
  • Richard & Catherine Cottarel
  • Tracey Freezia
  • Linda Hanlon
  • Eleanor & Robert Lane
  • Lewis Property Co., Gregory G. Lewis
  • Sarah Mason
  • Donna White
  • Cindy Wingo Realtors

Donations

  • Sara Summer Bonario
  • Robert Burress & Tom Seymour-Flower Gardens
  • Tracey Freezia--Flower Gardens
  • Charles Krenzler-Beautification
  • Andy MacPhillimy & Lois Sutton-Flower Gardens & Boulevard Maintenance
  • David & Diane Stotz-Boulevard Maintenance
  • Bill Lehnert & Walter Stowell, Boulevard in memory of Doug Grissom
  • Charles & Anne Smith--Beautification

Recycling at the Houston Arboretum

Just wanted to spread the word that the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center has teamed up with Gulf Coast Recycling and Avantgarde Innovators (plastic recyclers), in celebration of Earth Day.

Bring your plastic plant pots and trays to the Arboretum during the month of April and they will be recycled!

Please make sure that the pots are as dirt-free as possible and stacked.

The Arboretum is located at the west end of Memorial Park, 4501 Woodway Drive, near 610 Loop. Gate hours are sun up to sun down, 7 days/week.

Please spread the word! If all goes well and there is enough material, there is a possibility of offering this important recycling service to the public through the Arboretum in future months.

Email me if you have any questions or thoughts. Sorry, but plastic plant pots and trays are the only items that can be accepted.

Thank you for your help.

Debbie Markey
Executive Director
Houston Arboretum & Nature Center

Heights Association Restoration/Historical Meeting

The May Houston Heights Association Restoration/Historical Committee meeting will be held at 921 Heights Blvd. on Thursday, May 22nd from 7:30 to 9:30 PM. This transition Queen Anne Victorian style home, listed as the “J. L. Durham Home” on the National Register of Historic Properties, was built in 1903. Built by J. L. Durham as a direct result of his family’s experience with the Galveston “Great Storm” in 1900, this beautiful historic property was restored in 1985 as the first a bed and breakfast in the Houston Heights and placed on the National Register a few years later. It was also on the Houston Heights Home Tour during that period. Today, it is one of three original Queen Ann Victorian homes remaining in the Houston Heights on Heights Blvd.

Current owners, Linda and Neal Cannon, are in the process of remodeling to preserve the integrity and architecture of the original home as much as possible, while making it more compatible with modern living and entertaining needs. Their plan is to use the entire downstairs as entertaining area/kitchen/library, and, since they do not have children, they plan to use the entire upstairs as a “master suite” to include a “Victorian closet/dressing room.” The heart-of-pine hardwood floors are original to the home, however some floor areas from later additions required replacement so all floors would be consistent. Future plans include, keeping all of bathrooms with claw foot tubs, including the unusual elevated tank and pull chain commodes. Much of the wallpaper throughout the house will be removed and the walls painted.

Other remodeling plans include dividing the living room/dining room into two distinct rooms, a small Victorian parlor in the front with the remaining space and potential room extension as the dining room. In the 1930’s two additional rooms and a bath were added to what was originally the back porch and used as a private apartment. The two rooms are currently the library, and in remodeling will become one large room. While a bed and breakfast, the rear deck was enclosed to conduct murder mystery dinner parties and weddings. Under restoration this area will become additional kitchen and breakfast area with room to create an open concept of kitchen/breakfast room/butler’s pantry/wet bar/den, overlooking the backyard pool area.

This meeting will be valuable, as one including historic Houston Heights history from days past with discussion of the updates for current living. Overall the original beauty and character of this historic property will be kept intact. For those interested in history or how a historic property can be tastefully modified, this meeting will be a must. Also, for those wanting to meet some neighbors and have an enjoyable evening, do attend.

The Houston Heights Restoration/Historical Committee meetings are open to the public quarterly to learn about history and restoration in keeping with the appreciation of the historic nature of the Houston Heights. Please let Committee Chairman, Dean Swanson, know if you have a restoration project, historical structure under restoration or historical information or photos pertaining to the Heights to share at future meetings. Contact Dean at restoration@houstonheights.org or telephone him at (713) 880-2832.

Calendar of Events for April-May 2008

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

1

HHA Urban Forestry Group 6:30 PM Fire Station

2

3

4 Candlelight Tour, Dinner & Auction (Dinner tickets required to tour this day)

5 Heights 1st Sat

Spring Home & Garden Tour

6

Spring Home & Garden Tour;

7-

Land Use Meeting, 6:30 PM, Fire Station

8

9

10

11

12

13

14 recycling

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

15 Deadline for next newsletter

16

17

18

19

HHA Campout and Musicfest, Marmion Park

20

21

HHA Board Meeting, 6:30 PM, Fire Station

22 -

Crime and Security Meeting 6:30 PM Fire Station

23

PIP Meeting, 7:00 PM, 1602 State Street

24

25

26

27

28 recycling

Education Committee, 1545 Heights Blvd.. 7:00 PM

29

30

May 1

2

3

Heights 1st Sat.

4

5

Cinco de Mayo

Land Use Meeting, 6:30 PM, Fire Station

6

HHA Urban Forestry Group, 6:30 PM, Fire Station

7

8

9

10

11

Mother’s Day

12 recycling

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

13

14

15

Deadline for next newsletter

16

17

18

19

HHA Board Meeting, 6:30 PM, Fire Station

20

21

22

23

24

25

26 recycling

Memorial Day

Education Comm ittee, 1545 Heights Blvd., 7:00 PM

27

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 Wednesday and Saturday, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Historic Houston’s salvage warehouse is open. Call 713-522-0542 or visit their web site www.historichouston.org.

April 12 - 27, UpStage Theatre Young Audience Series presents Pinocchio, based on the story by Carlo Collodi. Saturday and Sunday afternoons, 2:00 PM, Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Blvd. For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.upstagetheatre.org or call 713-838-7191.

May 9 - 24, UpStage Theatre Evening Series presents Rumors, a comedy/farce by Neil Simon. Friday and Saturday evenings, 8:00 PM, Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Blvd. For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.upstagetheatre.org or call 713-838-7191.

Future History

June 7, Fun Run

October 5, Bicycle Rally

December 5-7, Holiday Home Tour

February 22, 2009, Awards Dinner

April 3-5, 2009, Spring Home Tour

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

Copyright 2008, 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 editor@houstonheights.org; or leave a message on 713-861-4002.

Staff and Contributors

Editor: Gerald Melancon

Editor Emeritus: Mark R. Williamson

April contributors:

Paul Carr, Karen Derr, Angela DeWree, Mary Ellis, Janice Evans, Diane Easley, Lauriel Hindman, Debby Markey, Trudy Nelson, Christine Spin, Dean Swanson, Kelly Simmons, Laura Thorp