In This Issue
|Newsletter of the Houston Heights Association|
|Volume Thirty-Six, Number Eleven, November 2010|
|Click here for the print-format PDF version.|
|Click here for the print-format PDF constable program flyer.|
|Click here for back issues.|
|Click here to return to main HHA site.|
2010 Holiday Home Tour
“Holiday Greetings! From the Houston Heights”
Planning your holiday festivities yet? Houston Heights is the fabulous and festive destination of the season! National Geographic Traveler recently said that Houston Heights “flourishes as a destination for foodies, architecture buffs, and creative types (the neighborhood is said to be home to the highest concentration of professional artists in the state),” and the Heights Holiday Home Tour is a great way to experience all the Heights has to offer! This festive annual event consists of six unique homes decked out for the Holidays, three historic and three of newer construction, that you won’t want to miss! So be sure to include time to attend the 2010 Heights Holiday Home Tour on Friday, December 3, from 6:00 to 9:00 PM and Saturday, December 4, from 3:00 to 9:00 PM!
There are shuttles available both Friday and Saturday of the Tour, with the main pick up at the Heights Fire Station located on the corner of 12th Street and Yale. The shuttles are included in the ticket price. If you do choose to drive, three home are in close proximity to one another, so just park your car and enjoy the walk (and hopefully crisp festive weather) between them! The shuttle map is included on our special supplement page, so you can start planning now!
This year tickets are available at The Artful Corner, Bliss on 19th, Buchanan’s Native Plants, Heights Antiques on Yale, Phil’s Texas Barbecue, and Waldo’s Coffee House. Tickets are $20 in advance for all 6 houses or $25 on the days of the tour. $5 per house tickets can also be purchased the days of the tour. Bundles of 10 tickets will be available online for $175 here.
With several Heights holiday events going on that weekend, be sure to make the Heights and the Home Tour a part of your Holiday plans! Plan to have lunch or dinner, take a stroll down 19th Street, and last but certainly not least, tour six magically decorated homes!
For more the descriptions and pictures of the homes on tour and a map, see our special supplement page.
2010 Holiday Tour Patron Party
Join your friends and neighbors Thursday, December 2 from 7:00 to 10:00 PM for the Heights’ newest Holiday celebration: The Holiday Home Tour Patron Party. Our “Patrons” will enjoy a no-lines, no-fuss, private Thursday evening preview of all the homes on the Holiday Home Tour, each decked out in holiday splendor. The preview is followed by an exclusive Patron Party at one of the Heights’ most prestigious addresses: the Baldwin-Gonzalez home at 205 Bayland Street. Featured in many local and regional publications, the incomparable, 100+ year-old renovated home has never been open to the pubic for the holidays. Amazing food will be provided by local restaurants, including Ibiza, Pizzatola’s, Rainbow Lodge, and Tony Mandola’s. Each guest will receive a fabulous gift from Jubilee in the Heights.
Limited sponsorships are available, so become a Patron today! For more information or to buy your tickets, see www.houstonheights.org. Tickets are $100 per individual, and space is limited to 150, so BUY YOUR TICKETS ONLINE NOW!
Jingle Bells: $100 - 1 ticket to Patron Party, 1 ticket to Holiday Home Tour, and a patron gift from Jubilee.
Sleigh Bells: $260 - 2 tickets to Patron Party, 4 tickets to the Holiday Home Tour, 2 patron gifts from Jubilee and an additional special gift!
Silver Bells: $520 - 4 tickets to Patron Party, 8 tickets to the Holiday Home Tour, 4 patron party gifts from Jubilee, an additional special gift, and special recognition at the Patron Party.
Donovan Park Re-Opening Celebration
December 4 - Kids, Clowns, Puppies - Even Santa Will Be There!
To Johnny and little Susie it probably seems like a very long time since the gates were locked at Donovan Park and men started hammering and sawing on their favorite playground. No doubt it seems like an eternity to their parents, who have had to find someplace else for them to play.
Well, the wait will soon be over, and the playground will be safer, more fun, and nearly new again! Thanks to a generous gift from the Donovan and Saunders family and a contribution from the Houston Heights Association, Donovan Park playground is being revitalized and improved.
The play structures are being rebuilt with low maintenance, non-splintering Trex. Swings, tables, benches, and a new water fountain are being added. New lighting has been installed, new mulch is on the way, and everything has a fresh coat of paint!
Mark your calendars for Saturday, December 4, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at Donovan Park. At 10:00 AM, there will be a ribbon cutting and re-dedication ceremony. Then the gates will be thrown open for a fun-filled celebration including activities, treats, music, and even a visit from Santa! Your child can have a picture taken with the jolly old elf, and for those who really want puppies for Christmas, Shaggy Dog Rescue will also be there with some sweet pals that need homes!
We’ll have a table to sign up memberships in HHA and in the Constable Patrol Program. For anyone who helps support the park with a donation, we also have a special offer from Evin Thayer Photography: with a $50.00 donation, Evin Thayer will send a gift certificate for a studio photo session; withy a $100.00 donation, you will also get a free 5x7 photograph from your session. Thank you, Evin!
Don’t miss out on the fun! Make a play date for December 4, 10:00 AM at Donovan Park. Come see what our neighborhood kids are getting for Christmas!
Meet and greet members of HHA’s Business Community at an Open House during the HHA General Meeting on November 8. HHA Business Committee Co-Chairs Cynthia Hill and Tony Reidel have put together a great program highlighting our local business community right in the neighborhood.
Discover the services and shops right around the corner, so you can keep it local! Everyone is invited!
We’ll also be hearing a report from the Election Committee on the results of the HHA Director election. The meeting starts at 7:00 PM after final acceptance of ballots submitted in person (6:00-7:00). See the election schedule below for more information.
December: “It’s a Wonderful Life” in the Heights!
Come celebrate a wonderful year in the Heights at the December 13 General Meeting.
Chief “Santa” James Mosier of Constable Jack Abercia’s office will be on hand with our neighborhood Constables for the 2010 “Annual Cruise for Smiles - Christmas Toy Drive.” Bring a new toy to be placed under the tree for the Constable’s Toy Drive. Show how generous we are with an unwrapped toy or gift to make a child’s holiday happy and bright.
Join HHA’s Holiday Home Tour Committee and volunteers to toast the wonderful homeowners and volunteers of the 2010 Tour.
Music, refreshments, and revelry. Everyone is invited!
As usual, both meetings start at 7:00 PM in the Heights Fire Station at 12th and Yale Streets.
Director Election Schedule
Seven of the fifteen positions on the HHA Board of Directors will be filled by election by this month’s General Meeting. 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 and our October issue for candidate statements.
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:
• 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.
Spread Some Cheer:
Help With Holiday Food Baskets
The Heights Rotary and the Houston Heights Association annually underwrite, prepare, and distribute food baskets to local families in need. These families are chosen by area charities. You can help assemble and distribute the goodies on December 7 and 8.
One hundred baskets (actually sets of six bags) will be assembled on the first floor of the Fire Station on the evening of Tuesday, December 7, starting at 5:00 PM. Volunteers will be sorting bulk groceries among the baskets for two or three hours; come by whenever you can. This is a great opportunity for the entire family to give back to the community.
Delivery starts after lunch (approximately 12:00 noon) on Wednesday, December 8. Come by the Fire Station to pick up a set of bags and the name and address of a family to receive them; if you have a large car or van, pick up several! Delivery should be completed that afternoon. If you are interested in lunch, BBQ plates are available for $10 (cash only) beginning at 11:00 AM. Typically, delivering 3 baskets takes an hour to an hour and a half.
This is a great way for the whole family to volunteer some time to a very worthy cause. Previous participants can assure you, the smile and sometimes joyous tears on the recipients’ faces makes the true meaning of this holiday season truly apparent.
Please help us make the holidays brighter for local families in need. If you are interested in volunteering a couple of hours of time or would like to learn more about this project, contact Scott Lester at 281-894-3270 or email him at .
The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following 2010 Platinum sponsors:
Bicycle Rally Wrap-Up
The 2010 Heights Bicycle Rally was blessed with the best weather of its five-year history. The event raised $3,600.00 for the HHA Boulevard Beautification Fund.
Two hundred and thirty riders took advantage of the cool sunny day and completed the 20-mile rally course. HHA board member Donna Bennett and Greg Kolanowski created a very challenging scavenger hunt with 56 mystery sites for riders to find by deciphering rhyming clues.
One person took 1st Place in the scavenger hunt by solving 52 of the 56 clues. But the surprise of the day was that 11 riders shared 2nd Place by finding 51 of the mystery sites.
Eight of the 12 riders who found 51 or 52 of the mystery sites received great prizes or gift certificates. (You had to be present at 4:00 PM to win.) All the children (12 or under) who finished the rally received prizes.
Over 50 participants received prizes and gift certificates as door prizes that were made possible by the following area merchants and individuals: David Weekley Homes, Smart ID (Gail Sabanosh), Berryhill’s Baja Grill, Hickory Hollow, Onion Creek, Phil’s Texas Barbecue, Wal-Mart, Heights Hospital for Animals, Anytime Fitness, Beth Bittson - Artist (House Sketch), Barnes & Noble, Shade Restaurant, Chatter’s Restaurant, I Cycle Bike Shop, West End Bicycles, Blue Line Bicycle Lab, Urban Bicycle Gallery, and Houston Bicycle Company.
These HHA volunteers are responsible for the success of the Bicycle Rally: Paul & Mary Carr, Ken & Ann Culotta, Jim & Donna Bennett, Lauriel Hindman, Greg Kolanowski, David Cassidy, Lanna Von Baden, and Mark Williamson.
[Special thanks to Paul Carr for organizing the original Bicycle Rally and all four sequels. Paul is now looking for somebody to take over starting next year. —Editor]
Education Committee News
The Fall Semester Seems to be Flying By!
The HHA Education Committee is very busy with many exciting activities in support of our schools in the Heights area. If you are an educator, community member, or PTA/PTO parent who wants to be involved but hasn’t attended one of our monthly meetings, please join us on Monday, November 22 at 6:30 PM at the Fire Station. We will be discussing home schooling in the Heights.
Our Annual Principals’ Welcome Back to School reception, which provides an opportunity for the committee to recognize all Heights principals, administrators, and PTA/PTO leaders for their dedication and hard work, was held on September 30 with great response. Many thanks to The Artful Corner and Margarete Sanchez-Ripps for providing a wonderful venue for us!
The HHA Classroom Grant Program application deadline is November 26. Visit the Education Committee web page for rules and more information on the grant program. See the Search Institute website for more information about the 40 developmental assets.
All Heights area writers and storytellers ages Middle School to Adult! Here’s your opportunity to tell your favorite holiday story to children and win a nice cash prize for your effort! All you have to do is write a holiday-themed story and submit it for a chance to win cash and the opportunity to read your story to children at the Heights Library.
• The story (which may be fiction or nonfiction) can be no longer than four double-spaced pages and must be submitted for judging by December 1.
• The first prize winner will receive $75 from the HHA Education Committee and will read his/her story at a special event at the Heights Library on December 18. Second and third place prizes will also be awarded.
• Submit your entries to . Remember, the deadline is December 1, so start writing your story now!
Join In The Fun!
The 2011 Houston Heights Candlelight Dinner’s Auction Committee (to be held on Friday, April 1 - no foolin’) is about to kick off, and we are looking for fun, organized, and adventurous individuals to become members of the committee. This is a great way to get involved, meet other terrific volunteers, and be a part of all of the excitement going on in the neighborhood. Chaired this year by Janet Buchheit, Kit Davis, and Beth Martin (aka “These Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”), this group works AND plays hard to get ready for the HHA’s biggest fundraiser of the year.
They need your help! To be a part of this committee, please contact them at . They look forward to hearing from you.
All three deputies have reported an increase in “breaking in and burglary of motor vehicles” in our area. They are asking that we report every instance of a vehicle break-in. Please be aware, and call in any suspicious vehicles that you see in the neighborhood. Do not leave any items in your car. These criminals are especially fond of iPods, phones, and laptops.
See the insert in this issue for details about upcoming changes in the Constable Patrol Program. Changes in the program include combining all three programs into one overlapping patrol area and 6-month contracts.
September Constable Statistics
Restoration Takes A Holiday
The HHA Restoration/Historical Committee will be taking a well-deserved vacation during November and December. They have locations lined up for February, March, and April of 2011 meetings but are still working on January. Watch for more information in future issues.
Community Improvement Nominations
Once again, it is time to look around the neighborhood and see who has been improving it. The nomination form and rule sheet for the 2010 Community Improvement Awards will be on the HHA web site soon. Nominees and winners will be announced at the annual Volunteer Appreciation and Awards Dinner on February 27.
Please welcome the following new members to the Houston Heights Association.
Ruth & Scott Calabrese
Carol & Buddy Welter
Our thanks to the following donors for their generous support of the programs of the Houston Heights Association.
Shirley Andries & Greg Yokell - Firestation Endowment in memory of Bob Pearson
Bill Baldwin - Firestation Endowment Fund
Cathy M. Bauguss - Firestation Endowment Fund
Anne & Ken Culotta - Firestation Endowment Fund in memory of Bob Pearson
Mary & Ralph Ellis - Firestation Endowment Fund in memory of Bob Pearson
Clementina Lopez - Firestation Endowment Fund
Mike Mahlstedt - Donovan Park in honor of Janice & Alan Carle
Jim & Doris Murdock - Firestation Endowment Fund in memory of Bob Pearson
Irene Sasaki - Firestation Endowment Fund & Flower Gardens
Al & Karen Selmo - Parks Maintenance
Gottfried & Anne Schiller - Parks Maintenance
Brian Stephens - Firestation Endowment Fund
The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Fall 2010 Bronze Sponsor:
Historic Preservation Ordinance Amendments Passed
Houston City Council passed amendments to the Historic Preservation Ordinance (HPO) on October 13 by a 12-3 vote. A number of amendments were proposed at the October 6 and October 13 meetings, and some were adopted. The final version of the HPO as passed was not available at press time. [It was posted between press time and web publication time; see below.]
At the same meeting, City Council also passed a separate ordinance providing for the transition process from the old ordinance to the new ordinance. The transition ordinance established a 30-day period during which property owners in an existing historic district may request reconsideration of their district. That period started on October 18 when the forms to file for reconsideration were posted and ends at 5:00 PM on Wednesday, November 17.
If the owners of 10% or more of the tracts in a given district ask for their district to be reconsidered, the City will mail to all property owners in the district an announcement of a public meeting and cards to be mailed back indicating support for or opposition to that district. Ultimately, City Council will use the information on the returned cards to decide whether to affirm, modify, or abolish that district.
Pending district Houston Heights South, which had almost completed its adoption process and lacked only City Council approval, will be treated similarly to the existing districts. Two other pending districts in Woodland Heights and Glenbrook Valley had completed the application process but had not yet been before Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission; they will be handled under different rules.
Please see the City of Houston Planning and Development Department site here for a summary of the changes and transition process, the full text of the transition ordinance passed and the ordinance as amended, and the application, petition, and model spreadsheet for filing for reconsideration.
Contrasting views on the new ordinance and the transition process should be available on the following web sites:
The Houston Heights Association is remaining neutral on the new ordinance and the transition process.
Christmas Hayride Time
It’s nearly time again to bundle up, put some cocoa in the thermos, grab your best gal or guy, and take a hayride! In case you are a newcomer to the Heights or haven’t heard of this tradition, let us explain. Each year at Christmas time, Heights resident Paul Carr loads his utility trailer with hay bales and decorates it with lights powered by a generator mounted on the front of the tractor that tows it.
Each night between December 4 and December 24, he takes groups of up to 30 persons on a hayride through Houston Heights and Woodland Heights. (Caroling is optional.) This he does for free, but he does accept donations to defer the cost of hay and fuel.
Paul tells us that many dates have already been reserved for this year. The following dates were available at the time this article was written: December 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 20, 22, 23, and 24. For more information or to schedule a ride, contact Paul at 713-869-0505 or .
Woman’s Club News
Two great events end the year for the Houston Heights Woman’s Club. The first is the Victorian Holiday Market held at the historic Heights Fire Station on Saturday, December 4, beginning at noon. The annual affair is held in conjunction with the Holiday Home Tour. There will be a large selection of handmade items perfect for Christmas gifts and also refreshments.
Plans are already underway for the Victorian Tea on Sunday, December 12, from 3:00 to 5:00 PM at the clubhouse at 1846 Harvard. As in the past, beautifully decorated tables will be filled with china, crystal and silver, all with different themes. Delicious tea cuisine will be prepared by members. All club members look forward to this lovely occasion.
Houston Heights In The Media: American Bungalow Article
“Homing in on Houston Heights,” an article by Anne Sloan, will appear in the Winter 2010 issue of American Bungalow, a national magazine. This article will feature about 15 Heights bungalows in a 10-page article that will describe our community as well as discussing the current preservation issues. The magazine will be on sale starting November 1 at Barnes & Nobles and on the magazine’s online store (“bookstore” tab on ).
Calendar of Events for November-December 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 30, 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Rotary Club of Houston Heights and Heights Library are holding their annual Book Sale. This year it moves across the street to Heights Funeral Home, 1317 Heights Blvd. For information call Gary Meyer at 713-680-0583 or Heights Library at 832-393-1810.
October 30, 4:00 to 9:00 PM, Brooke Smith Heights Art Coalition presents “Day of the Dead in the Heights” in Montie Beach Park, 915 Northwood Street. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/dayofthedeadintheheights.
November 6, 10:00 AM, Garden Oaks American Legion Post 560 presents a free showing of the first half of the Spielberg/Hanks HBO movie The Pacific at the Post, 3720 Alba Road. There will be a display of weapons used during that conflict, and veterans who fought in the various campaigns depicted in the movie will be attending. A showing of the second half will be scheduled later. For more information, contact Jim Acker firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 .
November 6, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church will host an Autumn Shopping Bazaar at the church, 1819 Heights Boulevard. Admission is free. For more information, visit .
November 13, 9:00 AM to noon, Garden Oaks American Legion Post 560 (3720 Alba Road) hosts volunteer attorneys providing free legal advice to any veteran or spouse of a deceased veteran in Harris County. Eligible veterans may be assigned a pro bon attorney for further legal representation. For more information, contact Jim Acker email@example.com.
November 13, all day during and after the legal clinic, Sons of the American Legion hosts a chili cook-off at Garden Oaks American Legion Post 560 (3720 Alba Road). A taster's cup is $3. For more information, contact Jim Acker firstname.lastname@example.org.
November 13, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Houston Arts & Media and Story Sloan’s Gallery present the Houston History Book Fair & Symposium at Heights Church of Christ, 1548 Heights Boulevard. A different author will speak about their book every half hour, plus a panel discussion at midday on researching and publishing a book on area history. Visit for more information.
December 11, Woodland Heights Civic Association presents their 24th annual Lights in the Heights street festival. This year’s route includes Bayland, Highland, and Omar. For more information, visit .
[All dates are in 2011.]
February 27, Awards Dinner
April 1-3, Spring Home Tour
June 4, Heights Fun Run
October 2, Bicycle Rally
December 2-3, Holiday Home Tour
December 5-7, Holiday Basket Preparation and Delivery
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.
Heavy Trash Notes
November is a “Tree Waste Only” month; December is a “Junk Waste” month. See for dates in your area and more information.
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, Anne Culotta, Karen Derr, Angela DeWree, Lauriel Hindman, Scott Lester, Elizabeth Poirrier, Kelly Simmons, Anne Sloan, Dean Swanson, Lanna vonBaden.