In This Issue

Heights Fun Run

June General Meeting

Don't Forget To Vote!

Calling All June Santas

Spotlight on Heights Business Member: Dan Long

Dry Area Clarification

Restoration/ Historical Committee

Music Fest- Camp Out, Fun for Few

Restoration Chair Swanson Receives Award

Education Committee Grant Report: "Monitoring Sound and Noise Pollution"

New Members

Donations

Calendars

Staff and Contributors

Copyright

logo for The Heights
Newsletter of the Houston Heights Association
Volume Thirty-Five, Number Six, June 2009
Click here for the print-format PDF version.
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Heights Fun Run

Fun Run logoYou still have time to participate in the Heights Fun Run! Registration will be held the morning of the run (Saturday, June 6) at Marmion Park (Heights Boulevard and 18th Street) between 6:15 and 7:15 AM.

The 5K course on scenic Heights Boulevard starts and finishes at Marmion Park. Then, celebrate your victory by joining us at the Post-Race Party and Awards Ceremony, with entertainment, fabulous door prizes, and great refreshments, including tacos, fresh fruit, bagels, water, sports drinks, coffee, and more!

Each registrant gets an official 2009 Fun Run t-shirt. The 5K Fun Run starts at 7:30 AM, the 5K Walk starts at 7:35 AM, and the After Race Party festivities begin at 8:00 AM. There is also a fun Kids 1K that starts at 8:30 AM.

For more information, call the Houston Heights Association at 713-861-4002, extension 4, or visit the Fun Run page elsewhere on the HHA website.

June General Meeting

Join us for “Open House in the Heights” on Monday, June 8, at 7:00 PM for fresh ideas and fabulous resources for your home and garden.

Hear Pamela O’Brien discuss quick and easy ways to upgrade your home this summer! Pamela is the owner and lead design consultant at Room Redo. She works with a variety of residential and commercial clients and provides a fast, fun and fabulously professional approach to decorating your home or office.

Room Redo makes the most of your style, budget, and schedule.

Meet Tim Beeson of Houston House & Home Magazine. Hear about this wonder-filled resource headquartered in the Heights. Learn about the transformation of the H&H Magazine Property on Yale from a former photography studio to a wonderful re-purposed building and gardens.

Other Heights area designers will be on hand to answer questions.

Don’t Forget To Vote!

The runoff for the District H City Council special election is coming up soon. Early voting runs from Monday, June 1 through Tuesday, June 9. Poll hours are 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM on June 1-5, 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM on June 6, 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM on June 7, and 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM on June 8-9.

Early voting locations are as follows:

  • the Harris County Administration Building at 1001 Preston (first floor)
  • Moody Park Recreation Center at 3725 Fulton
  • Ripley House Neighborhood Center at 4410 Navigation Blvd

Election Day will be Saturday, June 13; precinct polling places will be open 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM. For more information, visit www.harrisvotes.com.

Calling All June Santas

by Katrina Price Stilwell, Holiday Home Tour Chair

Okay, I recognize that this is even earlier than “Christmas in July” and that we’ve just recently witnessed yet another amazing Spring Tour, but some of you are already making holiday plans. (You know who you are.) If that’s the case - or you’re an enabler or beneficiary of someone who meets this profile - please let us know! We don’t pledge to reform anybody, but we can promise that we will put that addiction (ahem, skill set) to altruistic use.

Within the next month the HHT committee plans to finalize the list of homes that will be on tour the first Friday and Saturday in December. Give back to the Heights in a way that is fun, social, and gets you ready early for your own holiday parties by letting us know about your and/or your home’s festive potential!

For information on the HHT or to pledge now to volunteer, please e-mail me and/or Amy Brooks at holidaytour@houstonheights.org. We look forward to hearing from you!!

Platinum Sponsors

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

Republic Services KBR San Jacinto Stone

Spotlight on Heights Business Member: Dan Long

Dan Long, owner of Bliss on 19th, is a native of eastern North Carolina. Growing up the grandson of two tobacco farmers, Dan always kept busy working on the farm and finding odd jobs in the community. Upon graduating for North Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Science in Textile & Apparel Management with a minor in Industrial Engineering, Dan was recruited by Collins & Aikman, a North Carolina textile firm, as an Industrial Engineer. Two years later, Dan joined a Management Trainee Program with Amoco Chemicals. The move to Amoco Chemicals offered Dan several opportunities in Training, Organizational Design, IT, and Human Resources in Georgia, Illinois, and Houston.

In the late 1990s, after being outsourced with the merger of Amoco Chemicals and BP, Dan started Visible Impressions, a successful Landscape and Interior Design Consulting business. Within two years in the design business, Dan was contacted by Tosco Marketing with an offer to join their Learning and Development Group in Phoenix. Dan left Houston only to find his way back after Tosco was acquired by Phillips Petroleum and later merged with Conoco. A year after being transferred to Houston with ConocoPhillips, Dan was laid off and at that point was ready for a non-corporate environment challenge.

In June 2005, Dan, along with his late friend and then business partner, embarked on his current venture, retail. Following their business plan to provide not just another retail store, but a “blissful experience,” Bliss on 19th was opened. Here shoppers, designers, and lookers would find an ever-changing collection of distinctive gifts, home décor, and more. The shopping experience would be defined as the “more,” a peaceful, relaxed shopping environment, engaging to the senses and stirring the creative energy of those who entered. This experience would once again offer Dan the chance to chase his passion in design and business.

Dan’s favorite way to spend time away from Bliss on 19th is at the beach. He enjoys being outside, landscaping, home remodeling projects, and running. Dan counts Heights Boulevard as one of his new favorite places to get a run in at the end of the day. “It’s a friendly, clean, less crowded path to escape for a relaxing run.”

Last year Dan re-joined the Houston Heights Association after being recruited by Board Member Margarete Sanchez, with The Artful Corner. He appreciates the contacts and networking opportunities he continues to make through the association and realizes the marketing benefits of the HHA’s website.

Dan was an organizing committee member for the first White Linen Night in the Heights. Bliss on 19th continues as a sponsor of White Linen Night in hopes to continually expose Houston and the surrounding communities to the artful and unique place we call “The Heights.”

For almost four years, Bliss on 19th continues to please returning customers and lure new shoppers to the Heights. Earlier this year, it won 3rd place for Best Gift Shop among Houston businesses as part of Click2Houston’s Best of 2009. Bliss on 19th will celebrate its fourth year in business on Friday, June 19. The celebration starts with an official Greater Heights Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting at 1:00 PM. There will be extended hours of shopping as part of “19th On The 19th.” Come join Dan at Bliss on 19th for birthday cake and refreshing beverages. While there, tell him Happy Birthday and thank him for all he does to make the Heights a better place to visit and shop!

Dry Area Clarification

A recent mix-up involving a requested liquor license for the property at 3202 White Oak Drive points to the need for clarification regarding the Houston Heights “dry” area. Houston Heights was voted “dry” on September 15, 1912 and remains so to this day. The only way to repeal this prohibition is by vote of the residents within the boundaries of the original Houston Heights.

In a 1937 decision cited repeatedly in subsequent legal cases across the nation, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that the Houston Heights remained dry despite the end of prohibition and the 1918 annexation by the City of Houston, which was a “wet” area. Today, the City of Houston continues to enforce the dry area based on this court ruling.

The map displayed below shows the boundaries of the “dry” zone. (Click map to zoom in.)

In the most recent mix-up, the City of Houston mistakenly gave its approval for a liquor license at 3202 White Oak. The approval was later rescinded after it was pointed out to the City and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission that the location is within the boundaries of the dry zone.

If you are interested in reading more, a copy of the 1937 Texas Supreme Court decision can be viewed or downloaded here.

Bronze Sponsors

The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Summer 2009 Bronze Sponsors:

Grogan Building Supply Bedford by Robert Gadsby

Restoration/Historical Committee

The next Houston Heights Association Restoration/Historical Committee meeting will be held at 901 Harvard St. on Thursday, June 18, from 7:30 to 9:30 PM.

901 HarvardHave you noticed the unusual building at the corner of Harvard and East 9th Streets, which many of you have speculated as to what the original building was used for? City of Houston Public Library Services notes it as being a commercial and residential property over the 89+ years it has been there. From the Acme Pharmacy constructed in 1920 owned by Peter A. and Minnie Culotta through 1954, then a dentist owner named Everett W. Rentz in 1955, then an Accordian Shop and Studio owned by Everett W. Mrnustik in 1965, then on to the First Baptist Church, a Graphics shop, a specialty woodworking shop, a stage set painter and designer shop, and to its present day Premier Remodeling & Construction shop and owner home next door facing East 9th Street.

What a transition this property has endured over the years, yet it still has most of its original exterior and maintains the dignity of its day. Over the years while a Pharmacy, rumor has it that the children from Harvard Elementary School often visited for ice cream because the owner then gave a heaping serving to the kids for about a nickel. (Yes $0.05 - FIVE CENTS!) Other rumors about its use include a jazz band location and another pharmacy named Clover Pharmacy, but those details have not been substantiated yet.

Exterior features of the corner building include the shiplap construction and double-door entrance placed diagonally across the building corner, which was fashionable in those days on commercial properties. Inside, what looked like a hardwood floor stage was there and an unusual configuration of rooms that were transitioned to other uses over the years. Next door, a small bungalow was moved in from another Houston Heights lot early in the 1990’s to become the family home of Dean Arnold, who ran the small specialty wood working and trim shop next door. At this meeting we briefly see the interior of the commercial building and the home interior, noting the specialty trim and features from the previous owner. The small home is a work-in-progress for those attending to ask questions about planning and executing changes to make a small home functionally livable and quite comfortable. It is hoped that more Heights neighbors may attend to tell what they know about the former building history and functions over the years.

For those interested in adding what they know about these buildings, this meeting will be definitely one to attend. And for meeting attendees who want to see first hand what beauty and character can be gently restored and left intact in a Heights bungalow for residential use today, do attend. This meeting has something for long time neighbors in the Heights and everyone!

The Houston Heights Restoration/Historical Committee meetings are open to the public quarterly or more frequently to learn about history and restoration in keeping with the appreciation of the historic nature of the Houston Heights. It is not mandatory to belong to the Houston Heights Association to attend meetings, but it is encouraged.

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 swansonad@sbcglobal.net or telephone him at 713-880-2832.

Restoration Chair Swanson Receives Award

Dean Swanson, Chair of the HHA Restoration/Historical Committee, was presented the 2009 Community Builder Award by Reagan Masonic Lodge 1037 at a recent ceremony. The award was given for his “exceptional service” to the community and particularly his efforts for HHA. [Right to left: Dean Swanson, his wife Marguerite, and David Parker, Master of Reagan Lodge]

Donations

Thanks to the following for their generous support of the programs of the Houston Heights Association.

John Cianca, M.D. - Boulevard

John & Arianna Difilippo - Historic Preservation

William & Deborah Schroeter - Boulevard

David & Diane Stotz - Boulevard

Music Fest-Camp Out, Fun for Few

The Music Fest that had been rescheduled because of heavy rain in April still had rain problems when it was held on Saturday, May 16. A small group of HHA members enjoyed a rainy evening of great music.

tents in the park

The Don Broman Band’s performance from 6:00 to 8:00 was interrupted by rain that sent the audience scurrying for refuge under canopies and umbrellas. Big Al Bettis’ Band gave a great two-hour performance from 8:00 to 10:00 without any rain, but the previous rain had caused the audience to shrink.

Don Broman and friends before the gig

A group of Masons from Reagan Lodge, led by Secretary Kenneth Sparks, grilled and served over 75 hot dogs to the band members and audience at no charge. There was also free popcorn.

Big Al Bettis and friends during the gig

Special thanks to HHA member Matt Bedingfield for helping Paul & Mary Carr prepare Marmion Park for the event. Only two tents were occupied overnight for the camp-out.

members dancing

New Members

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

Absolute Pilates, Eugenia Leal

Chrystal Broughton

Donna Theadora Brown

Christine Tremoulet Photography

Mary Collins

Miguel & Jessica Colon

Dr. Stacey Delgado

John & Arianna Difilippo

William & Nicole Dijak

Betty N. Lawson

Tiffany Mariacher

Neal Cannon & Assoc., P.C.

Jana Palfy & Lawrence Wesson

Robert & Mireille Patman

Rodney Merwin, Attorney at Law

Howard & Johanna Sweed

Sweetlake Chcmical, Ltd., Paul Montealegre

Wyndham Wallace

George & Susan Whalen

Education Committee Grant Report:
“Monitoring Sound and Noise Pollution”

from the project report submitted by Tim Daponte of Reagan High School

The physics students at John H. Reagan High School were awarded a grant of $250 by the Houston Heights Association to purchase sound level meters. The meters and batteries were purchased at Radio Shack, located at 11th and Shepherd in the Heights.

During the spring semester, students participated in lab exercises that used the sound level meters to monitor noise pollution around the school. Students also used the meters to measure the sound levels of their personal listening devices, such as iPods.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the currently accepted noise levels should not exceed 90 decibels for a period of 8 hours per day. Noise levels of 90 and 110 decibels were recorded, but only for a short duration. These locations were the loading dock area or a car horn in an enclosed area. The cafeteria kitchen never exceeded 75 decibels even at the busiest time of the day.

The greatest exposure to noise and sound pollution was found in the personal listening devices that the students possess. The students will typically listen to these devices at settings in excess of 100 decibels.

The grant that the Houston Heights Association provided Reagan High School has helped to increase the students’ awareness of noise and sound pollution. These monitors are used by science students in both physics and environmental sciences. They are a long-term asset to the school. This would not be possible without the generous support that the Houston Heights Association has shown to Reagan High School.

Calendar of Events for June-July 2009

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

1

HHA Land Use, 6:30 PM, Fire Station

2

3

4

5

6

Heights 1st Sat.

Heights Fun Run

7

8 - recycling

HHA General Meeting, “Heights Design,” 7:00 PM, Fire Station

9

10

Deadline for next newsletter

11

12

13

District H Special Election Runoff Date

14

Flag Day

15

HHA Board, 6:30 PM, Fire Station

16

17

18

Restoration/ Historical, 7:30 - 9:30 PM, 901 Harvard

19

20

21

Father’s Day

22 - recycling

HHA Education, 7:00 PM, 1545 Heights

23

HHA Crime & Security, 6:30 PM, Fire Station

24

PIP meeting, 6:30 PM, 1602 State Street

25

26

27

28

29

30

July 1

2

3

4

Independence Day

Heights 1st Sat

5

6 - recycling

HHA Land Use, 6:30 PM, Fire Station

7

8

Deadline for next newsletter

9

10

11

12

13

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

14

15

16

17

18

19

20 - recycling

HHA Board, 6:30 PM, Fire Station

21

22

PIP Meeting, 7:00 PM, 1602 State Street

23

24

25

26

27

HHA Education, 6:30 PM, 1545 Heights

28

HHA Crime & Security, 6:30 PM, Fire Station

29

30

31

August 1

White Linen Night

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

Community Calendar

Events planned by other community organizations.

Every Wednesday through 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.

Every Monday, 7:30 to 10:00 PM, Houston International Folk Dancers introductory lessons at Oddfellows Hall, 115 E. 14th.

June 1-9, early voting for District H Special Election runoff.

June 13, Election Day for District H Special Election.

July 4, 10:00 AM, Lindale Park Civic Club’s 4th of July Parade on Irvington Blvd. starting at Eleanor Street and looping around the esplanade at Canadian Street. For more information, please email lindalepark@comcast.net or call Ed Reyes at 713-697-0088.

Future History

October 4, Bicycle Rally

December 4-5, Holiday Home Tour

February 28, 2010, Awards Dinner

April 9-11, Spring Home Tour

April 17, HHA Camp-Out & Music Fest

June 5, Heights Fun Run

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

Copyright 2009, 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: Mark R. Williamson

Assistant Editor Kathleen S. Williamson

June contributors:

Paul Carr, Diane Easley, Janice Evans-Davis, Lauriel Hindman, Kelly Simmons, Katrina Stilwell, Dean Swanson.