In This Issue
|Newsletter of the Houston Heights Association|
|Volume Thirty-Six, Number Ten, October 2010|
|Click here for the print-format PDF version.|
|Click here for the print-format PDF Business Directory.|
|Click here for back issues.|
|Click here to return to main HHA site.|
Heights Bike Rally
The 5th Heights Bicycle Rally & Scavenger Hunt will be held on Sunday, October 3. Entrants will bicycle a 20-mile course through the Heights, Montrose, River Oaks, South Hampton, Mid Town, Downtown, and Sixth Ward. The entire route is on City of Houston bike trails. Each entrant will be issued a rally card, a rally map, and a scavenger hunt clue list. There is no rain date for this event. Rain or shine, the event goes on.
The rally route starts and ends at Marmion Park at 18th and Heights Blvd. Participants may start at any time after 7:30 AM. (This is not a race.) Children under 12 must wear required safety gear. Riders must obey all traffic laws.
To be eligible for prizes, an entrant must complete the rally by 4:00 PM and deposit the validated rally card in the prize entry box at Marmion Park. The rally card must be validated at the checkpoint, which is also the rest stop.
Each entrant will be provided a list of clues each of which describes a sight or an object that can be seen along the rally course. The person who finds the most mystery objects will be judged the winner. The clue list will have a place to write the address or near-by intersection where the mystery object is located. Scavenger hunt entries must be turned in by 4:00 PM.
Rally participants who have pre-registered may pick up their packets at Marmion Park on the day of the event. Participants may also register at Marmion Park on the day of the event. Registration then will be $20 for an adult, $10.00 for a child.
Director Election Schedule
Seven of the fifteen positions on the HHA Board of Directors will be filled by election over the next few months. 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 last year of terms ended by resignations.
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. See our August issue for a list of current Directors.
The remaining portion of the schedule for the election of Directors to serve terms starting in 2011 will be as follows, in accordance with the By-Laws and Policies of the Association:
• October 11, nominees or their representatives may speak on their qualifications at the General Meeting for 3 minutes. They will also draw for ballot positions.
• On or before October 15, the Election Committee will mail a ballot with a control number to each member whose dues are current as of October 1.
• By November 6 at the close of the post office, ballots returned by mail must be received with control numbers intact.
• November 8, polls will be open for secret balloting in person from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM sharp before the General Meeting. The Election Committee will tabulate ballots and announce the results during the meeting. The results will also be published in the December newsletter.
HHA Director Candidate Statements
The following ten candidates were nominated and seconded at the September General Meeting of the Houston Heights Association. An eleventh candidate was nominated and seconded but failed to file the proper paperwork by the deadline specified in the Election Policy and was ruled ineligible.
Andrea Sharp: Chaired the 2009 Spring Home Tour auction committee and the 2010 Heights 5K Fun Run. Forward-thinker, eternal optimist, realist, and proud to be a Heights homeowner since 2006. Maintaining the character and integrity while encouraging growth and prosperity is key to our community’s success. Heights small business supporter and patron.
Brian Thigpen: Brian and his family have lived in the Heights for 13 years in homes originally owned by his Great Grandparents. Brian is an Engineer and has been active in the Houston community through organizations as Fundraising Director and for the Memorial Park’s trails. He looks forward to applying the same enthusiasm [Statement ran beyond allowed length.]
Donna Bennett: Since moving to the neighborhood in 1992, I have actively volunteered my time and energy to support many of the HHA activities and events. I look forward to serving on the HHA Board and contributing to the future of our neighborhood through my involvement. I would appreciate your vote.
Gilbert Joseph Perez: As a 14-year Heights resident and owner of two Heights-based businesses, I have a great interest in supporting and improving our community. I am a dedicated volunteer very interested in preserving the historic significance of our neighborhood. If elected, I will ensure that all of our voices are represented on the [Statement ran beyond allowed length.]
Kathleen S. Williamson: I have been active in HHA throughout the 20 years Mark and I have lived here. I love the neighborly feel of our community and enjoy our vivid Heights history. I will use my tenure on the HHA Board to strengthen the Association and promote preservation of our historic resources.
Keith Crane: HHA-Member since 1989; homes on tours in 1997 and 2003; Co-chaired art show fundraisers in 2005 and 2006; 2006 Citizen of the Year; Board Finance Committee 2009-10. Professional-Finance/Treasury, Business Development; Texas A&M grad; dedicated to improvement and success of the Houston Heights. Personal-Metal Artist; Married, Dogs.
Marianne Sulser: 2007 Holiday Home Tour Chair; 2008 Holiday Home Tour Co-chair; 2009 and 2010 Patron Party Chair; Recipient of the New Generation Award 2010. I cherish the uniqueness of the Heights, and as a Board Member, I will strive to maintain its’ character, safety, and prosperity, even as it grows and changes.
Mike Easley: 30-year Houston Heights resident, restored-own multiple award winning Heights bungalows, former HHA-president, board member, co-citizen of the year. HHA should serve many roles helping all residents of our community make it the best it can be. There’s more to a community & its people than the houses they live in.
Paul Carr: I have been an active member of the HHA for over 35 years, serving as president 4 times. If I am elected to serve on the board for 2011, I would hope that I could use my experience to bring together the factions that have developed in our organization.
Terry Mahaffey: I moved to the Heights nearly eight years ago because of its rich architectural heritage, its feeling of stability and permanence, and its strong sense of community. I wish to see our unique neighborhood preserved for the next generation who choose to make the Heights their home as I have.
Remember, if you are not current on your HHA dues on Oct.1, you will not be able to vote in the upcoming Board election! You can pay your dues online at ; use the “Join/Renew” link in the left column.
Urban Animals In The Heights
Come! Sit! Stay! Calling on all fellow urban animal lovers! Jon Helmer, Kristal Kirksey, Ellen Newcaster, and Kelly Simmons invite you to the October 11 General Meeting, 7:00 PM at the Heights Fire Station, to hear about several interesting and informative topics, such as fostering programs and adoption, feral cat populations, dog and cat overpopulation, parks and boulevard etiquette, common poisonous yard plants, and much more.
After our experts touch on these important topics, meet owners of some of our local dog- and cat-related businesses - a mobile dog groomer, organic pet food boutique, veterinary clinic, rescue organizations, famed custom pet portrait artist, pet sitting and walking service, scooper services, as well as fun and eclectic boutiques with great gifts and ideas. Did you know there is even a service that cleans dogs’ teeth at home without putting them under anesthesia? Have you ever needed a service to remove a wild animal from your property - even large snakes - and humanely relocate them? What should you do when you find a lost or abandoned dog or cat? They will all be there to answer your questions.
Lots of fun door prizes will be awarded during the course of the evening. Some local businesses will bring their wares for purchase, and many will have giveaways for you and your furry friends.
Dogs are welcome (socialized, vaccinated, on short leashes). Cats should be secured in carriers for their own safety.
Adult beverages, refreshments, and snacks will be served. Water and treats will be available for our four-legged friends as well.
We hope to see you there! Woof!
Heights Urban Forestry Day
Did you know that the Heights has the oldest and largest trees in Houston, and those magnificent trees are habitat for active Heights neighbors - wildlife and migratory birds?
Did you know that birds are nature’s insect control patrol? Did you know that mature trees perform as nature’s flood control? Did you know that you could plant a garden to attract butterflies?
Learn more about your urban forest and have a lot of fun at Heights Urban Forestry Day on Sunday, October 24, from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM at the Houston Heights City Hall and Fire Station, 12th & Yale Streets. Complimentary trees courtesy of NEW-ton Nursery. Everyone is invited for this HHA free family fun day.
For details, please email .
National Night Out (Texas Edition)
“Give Neighborhood Crime and Drugs a Going-Away Party”
Texas observes National Night Out on Tuesday, October 5, from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. Grab a snack, put on a smile, lock your doors, and go outside to meet your neighbors! Join America in a United Stand Against Crime.
Lights On = Lights Out for Crime
Please leave your porch lights on that evening. Consider planning a get-together on your block. The City of Houston NNO Coordinator suggests collecting non-perishable food for the Houston Food Bank.
For more information or to register your street, call 713-308-3200.
The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following 2010 Platinum sponsors:
The next Houston Heights Association Restoration/Historical Committee meeting will be held at 616 Harvard St. on Thursday, October 14, from 7:30 to 9:30 PM.
If you travel North on Harvard from White Oak in the first block, on your right you cannot miss the beautiful garden in front of a 1920’s cottage home set back from the street. The “enchanting” exterior of this home and garden invite the curious to learn more about it.
This 1920s-era home was built by W.G. Steele, who had it built next to 618 Harvard, a home he gave his daughter. This house was most likely set back off the street because in the early days Harvard was a dirt-filled street with lots of mud when it rained. Since 1991, the present owner has transformed the front yard by designing and building a garden filled with many exotic and beautiful flowers and sitting areas. The garden is especially beautiful when everything is blooming, and it has been the site of 3 garden tours including the prestigious National Conservancy Gardens of America tour. This garden was one of only seven chosen in Houston and the only one not in River Oaks.
The home was on the Houston Heights Spring Home Tour in 2001. Inside this cozy 2-bedroom, 2-bath home with country kitchen and attractively furnished living area, one finds many special interest collections. Bunny rabbits, angels, and family memorabilia all unite to complete the warm, cozy cottage feeling. This is a must-see home.
Of special interest to meeting attendees will be what one woman has done almost single handedly from removing wall-to-wall carpet to stripping ceiling tiles, removing milk-based paint from ship-lap walls and ceiling and installing old cypress doors to using a pick-axe in the back yard to remove asphalt. All these experiences were accomplished in stages by a self-reliant, energetic woman who is a member of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and is characterized by her “can do” attitude.
The Houston Heights Restoration/Historical Committee meetings are open to the public bimonthly to learn about history and restoration in keeping with an appreciation of the historic nature of the Houston Heights. Membership in the Houston Heights Association is encouraged but not mandatory to attend these events.
Please let Committee Chair 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. Dean also conducts historical tours of the Houston Heights for groups and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 713-880-2832.
Help Wanted! Tickets Offered!
Join the fun and add to the holiday spirit by volunteering for the 2010 Houston Heights Holiday Home Tour, “Holiday Greetings from the Houston Heights.”
We need docents for each of our six magical Houston Heights tour homes. (Each docent guides tour guests through 1-2 rooms.) We also need ticket takers and ticket sellers seated outside each home (a great option for anyone who cannot stand for long periods but would still like to volunteer).
Three Shifts Available - (choose one)
Each volunteer receives a complimentary ticket to the 2010 Holiday Home Tour. To volunteer or for more information, call 713-861-4002, extension 3, or e-mail .
Join your friends and neighbors for the Heights’ newest Holiday Celebration: the holiday home tour Patron Party! Preview all the Home Tour homes, then join us as we sample delights from area restaurants at the incomparable Baldwin-Gonzalez home at 205 Bayland. Mark your calendars for Thursday, December 2, from 7:00 to 10:00 PM. Tickets are $100 per person. More details to come!
Constables Catch Thieves in Donovan Park
One evening in September, a neighbor to Donovan Park called HHA VP of Property Management Paul Carr and told him that there were people in the park removing building materials being used to rebuild the play structures. Paul called the neighborhood constable patrol.
Two Harris County deputy constables responded and arrested two men who were charged with criminal trespass. Their SUV was impounded.
While the park is being renovated, it is locked day and night. It is believed the thieves climbed over the fence.
HHA members are requested to help keep an eye on the park during reconstruction. Some of the building materials that are being used are very expensive. If you see anything suspicious, please call the constables at 713-755-7628.
The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Fall 2010 Bronze Sponsor:
Update: Proposed Retail Development
The Houston Heights Association Board and the Greater Heights Super Neighborhood Council (GHSNC) continue to follow the proposal for a large retail development at Yale and Koehler Streets (south of I-10). Both bodies have adopted neutral positions on the development as a whole, focusing rather on mitigation of potential negative impacts on the neighborhood.
At its September 22 meeting, City Council approved a 380 Agreement with the developer.
Please visit for the latest information, the 380 agreement, and other links. Community opposition is being organized by Responsible Urban Development for Houston (RUD): .
Historic Preservation Ordinance Amendment Status
The final public comment draft of the proposed amendments to the City of Houston Historic Preservation Ordinance was released on September 15. The Development and Regulatory Affairs Committee of City Council reviewed the amendments on September 20. The Houston Planning Commission held its public hearing about the amendments on September 23.
If Planning Commission made its recommendations the following week as expected, the amendments could go to City Council as early as October 6. If the proposal is not changed materially from the second draft, there will be a short transition period following Council’s adoption of the amendments, which may include a reconsideration of some districts.
Please see the City of Houston Planning and Development Department site for any updates on the status of the proposed amendments and dates of City Council consideration.
Contrasting views on the proposed amendments are available on the following web sites:
The Houston Heights Association is remaining neutral on the proposed amendments.
District H City Council Member Ed Gonzalez Contact Information
If you wish to contact CM Gonzalez about the Koehler Street development, the Historic Preservation Ordinance, or any other matter, you can reach his office at 832-393-3003 or .
Calling All Houston Heights Educators!
Apply Now For HHA Classroom Grants
The Houston Heights Association is committed to helping area educators provide the assets needed for our youth to succeed. Applications are now being taken for the Houston Heights Association Classroom Grant Program. Deadline to submit is October 31. Any educator or team of educators teaching within our services area is eligible to submit a grant proposal.
Visit for rules and more information on the grant program. See for more information about developmental assets.
Please welcome the following new members to the Houston Heights Association.
Our thanks to the following donors for their generous support of the programs of the Houston Heights Association.
Firestation Endowment in Memory of Bob Pearson
Back-to-School Walking Safety Reminders
Young pedestrians face a wide variety of decisions while walking to and from school. If your child walks to or from school, please review the following safety tips and discuss them with your child.
• Plan a walking route to school or the bus stop. Choose the most direct way with the fewest street crossings and, if possible, with intersections that have crossing guards.
• Walk the route with your child beforehand. Tell him or her to stay away from parks, vacant lots, fields, and other places where there aren’t many people around.
• Teach your child to cross at designated crosswalks at intersections.
• Mind all traffic signals and/or the crossing guard - never cross the street against a light, even if you don’t see any traffic coming.
• Wear reflective material - it makes you more visible to street traffic.
• Be sure your child walks to and from school with a sibling, friend, or neighbor.
• Teach your child never to talk to strangers or accept rides or gifts from strangers. Remember, a stranger is anyone you or your children don’t know well or don’t trust.
• Teach your child that if a stranger tries to take them away, they should quickly get away and yell, “This person is trying to take me away,” or “This person is not my father/mother/guardian.”
• Teach your child that if a stranger tries to grab them, they must make a scene and make every effort to get away by kicking, punching, screaming, and resisting.
• Children should be taught to never leave school with anyone they do not know. They must always CHECK FIRST with you or another trusted adult. If anyone tells them there is an emergency and they want your child to go with them, your child must always CHECK FIRST with you or another trusted adult before doing anything.
• Make sure to teach your child to tell their teacher or another trusted adult if they notice a stranger hanging around the school.
Support Local Business
Please support our local business community. Shopping local saves time and gas, and it keeps your money within the neighborhood.
A good starting point would be to consider our business members and sponsors. Our current sponsors are featured in every newsletter and on our web site, . Our business members are also listed on our web site through the “Area Businesses” tab or directly and in our semi-annual printed Business Directory (PDF here).
Thank you for supporting Heights businesses.
Calendar of Events for October-November 2010
HHA headquarters: The Fire Station is on the corner of Yale and 12th Streets.
Every Wednesday to Saturday, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Historic Houston’s salvage warehouse is open. See .
Every Monday, 7:30 to 10:00 PM, Houston International Folk Dancers introductory lessons at Oddfellows Hall, 115 E. 14th.
October 5, National Night Out (Texas Edition). Please see article above.
October 16, 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Woodland Heights Civic Association presents “Lighter in the Heights” at 2822 Florence (at the corner of Byrne). This is a community garage sale to benefit WHCA’s Lights in the Heights event in December. For more information, visit .
October 23, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM, Project GRAD Houston’s “Walk for Success” to tell 9th graders “You CAN go to college.” Starts from five high schools including Reagan. To volunteer or for more information, visit or call 832-325-0360.
October 30, 7:30 to 9:00 PM, Houston Storytellers Guild presents Skyline Screamers (scary stories for all ages) in Marmion Park, Heights Boulevard at 18th Street. For more information, visit the Guild’s website at or check our September issue.
November 6, 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM, Out of the Darkness Community Walk at Stude Park (1030 Stude) to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. For more information, visit or email .
December 3-4, Holiday Home Tour
December 6-8, Holiday Basket Preparation and Delivery
February 27, 2011, Awards Dinner
April 1-3, 2011, Spring Home Tour
June 4, 2011, Heights Fun Run
October 2, 2011, Bicycle Rally
At The Fire Station
The second Monday, 5:00 to 7:00 PM, and the last Monday of the month, 8:00 AM to noon, the City Council District H Satellite Office is open at the east (office) door.
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 2010, 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 ; or leave a message on 713-861-4002.
Staff and Contributors
Editor: Mark R. Williamson
Assistant Editor: Kathleen S. Williamson
Sharon Balke, Paul Carr, Karen Derr, Angela DeWree, Lauriel Hindman, Elizabeth Poirrier, Kelly Simmons, Marianne Sulser, Dean Swanson, Lanna vonBaden.