In This Issue
Community Improvement Awards: 1614 Yale, 801 Studewood, 1846 Harvard, 440 & 444 Harvard, 1005 Oxford, 2310 Rutland
|Newsletter of the Houston Heights Association|
|40th Anniversary 1973-2013|
|Volume Thirty-Nine, Number Four, April 2013|
|Click here for the print-format PDF version.|
|Click here for back issues.|
|Click here to return to main HHA site.|
HHA Spring Home & Garden Tour
Then & Now, April 6 and 7
The Houston Heights Association’s 2013 Spring Home and Garden Tour is April 6-7, 12:00 Noon to 6:00 PM. Advance tickets are available for $20 online and at various Houston Heights locations. Days-of-tour tickets are $25 and will be available at the Houston Heights Fire Station (12th and Yale) and at each home on the tour. Full-tour tickets include the service of luxury shuttle buses that can be boarded at the Houston Heights Fire Station. Individual homes may be toured for $5 per home; see the list of homes here.
Accommodations will be made for tour-goers who choose to ride their bicycles from house to house. Bicycle riders can purchase day-of-tour tickets at a $5.00 discount. Bicycle racks will be available at each home, and a “bicycle valet” will be on hand to assist with parking and securing bikes while the home is being toured.
April 13 Concert In Marmion Park
Enjoy a spring afternoon HHA concert with your neighbors in Marmion Park featuring three award-winning Texas singer-songwriters. Brian Kalinec, Matt Harlan, and Don Sanders, who all call Houston Heights home, will perform a free concert from 4:00 to 6:00 PM on Saturday, April 13. Bring your blankets, lawn chairs, and beverages for an afternoon you won’t want to miss - fantastic music and a great time visiting with old and new friends in the neighborhood!
Brian Kalinec’s award-winning songwriting combines his early East Texas roots and his years of the Houston urban experience for his own particular view of the world. A native of Beaumont, Texas, Brian picked up the guitar at an early age and began to play dances, restaurants, and clubs. Thus began a life spent crafting songs and nurturing songwriters. Brian’s writing resonates with audiences, fellow songwriters, and music lovers alike, as his recognition and concert attendance attest.
Houston favorite Matt Harlan is a troubadour of the first degree. Matt has been bringing his songs of bus stops, coffee shops and lives overlooked to stages across his home state of Texas, the USA, and Europe. Born and raised in Texas, Matt is a winner of multiple songwriting accolades from outfits like American Songwriter and Billboard. Most recently, he was named Singer/Songwriter of the Year at the 2013 Texas Music Festival, won the 2011 Troubadour contest at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, and was featured alongside a stellar cast of characters (Lyle Lovett, Guy Clark) in the documentary, “For the Sake of the Song.”
A central figure in the Texas singer-songwriter milieu, Don Sanders is currently best known for his story and song performances in hundreds of schools, festivals and theaters throughout the Southwest. Don has performed at legendary venues such as the Kerrville Folk Festival, the Old Quarter, Liberty Hall, Anderson Fair, and Armadillo World Headquarters. Over the years, he has shared the stage with Lyle Lovett, Nanci Griffith, Arlo Guthrie, Janis Joplin, and Townes Van Zandt. His music is featured in the Anderson Fair documentary, “For the Sake of the Song.”
General Meeting – April 8
Fresh from the Garden: Heights Schools - A Recipe for Success
Our featured speakers on April 8 will be Gracie Cavnar of the Recipe for Success Foundation and Jen Powis of the Houston Bayou Greenways project at the Houston Parks Board. This meeting, co-chaired by the Education Committee, will also cover garden projects at Harvard Elementary, Helms Elementary, and Reagan High School.
Gracie & Bob Cavnar launched Recipe for Success Foundation in 2005 to lead the way in hands-on nutrition education aimed at preventing childhood obesity and encouraging long term health. In just a few years, it has grown to the largest outreach of its kind in the nation, empowering over 4,000 children each and every month with its signature Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™ and other initiatives to change the way they understand, appreciate and eat their food.
As early as 1912, the bayou system was envisioned as the backbone of an equitable, accessible park system. Almost 100 years later, the Bayou Greenway Initiative is a long-range project to achieve that vision. By acquiring and improving land adjacent to ten major bayous, we will establish an interconnected system of parks and trails linking people, places, and green space while enhancing air and water quality, reducing flooding, and stimulating economic development. In November 2012, the Parks By You initiative passed overwhelmingly by Houston Voters. Jen Powis will speak about the next steps to realizing Parks By You.
Target on Sawyer will provide refreshments, and a Target representative will speak about the Garden Fresh departments in their store.
The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following 2013 Platinum sponsor:
Houston Heights Urbanites
“Third Thursday with the Urbanites” at the Boom Boom Room was a great success! Over fifty people attended our March kickoff event. Our thanks to owner Jackie Harris and her crew and to Urbanite Lina Fairchild for hosting our first Happy Hour event!
Our next event will be on Thursday, April 18, 6:00-8:00 PM at Berryhill Baja Grill, 702 East 11th St. If you’re in your 20s, 30s, or 40s, please join us and enjoy complimentary appetizers on the patio!
Upcoming General Meeting Topics
We’ve got various interesting topics planned for the HHA General Meeting in the next few months. Here’s some of what is in the works:
“Expert Tips & Tricks to Protect Your Real & Virtual Identity” - Planned speakers include Neil McGlone of Legal Shield: Houston Heights on “Identity Theft: A Small Business Ticking Time Bomb,” Aly Dossa of Osha Liang LLP on “Intellectual Property,” and Steve Bass of SRB Services on “Safeguarding Data on Multiple Devices.”
“Houston’s Locavore Movement Reaches New Heights” - The local food movement from the perspective of the pioneers to the new arrivals. Our featured speakers will be Monica Pope of Beavers and Sparrow and Sarah Johnson of Fat Cat Creamery (opening soon).
Our thanks to the following donors for their generous support of the programs of the Houston Heights Association.
AIG Matching Grants Program for:
Heights Fun Run
The Heights Fun Run is coming soon! On Saturday, June 1, hundreds of runners will participate in one of Houston’s fastest and most beloved races. The 5K course runs along the beautiful and historic Heights Boulevard past 100-year-old oaks and spectacular Victorian architecture. Come enjoy the race with us! More details will follow; check our website for the latest.
If you are not a runner but are looking for an exciting way to support the neighborhood, volunteer to help with the Heights Fun Run! If you’d like to be a part of it, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!
Please welcome the following new members to the Houston Heights Association.
The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Spring 2013 Gold Sponsor:
Volunteer Appreciation & Awards Dinner
The 39th annual HHA Volunteer Appreciation and Community Improvement Awards Dinner started with a ‘BYOB Mix-N-Mingle Hour,” beginning at 5:00 PM on Sunday, February 24, at the Heights Fire Station, 107 W. 12th Street at Yale. The theme was Greet, Play, Live In The Heights, which represents our cherished volunteers and the community improvements made in recent years.
Following the social hour and dinner, 2012 President Lindsey Lee welcomed everybody. 2013 President Dave Steitz presented a special gift to Lindsey and recognized the Dinner Committee, VIPs, past award recipients, and committee chairs for 2012 and 2013. Julie Pettit led a toast to our late friend Neva Dupuis. Melvalene Cohen was recognized as the only founding member of the Houston Heights Association present. The evening continued with the recognition of volunteers, including the prestigious awards listed at right and below. Congratulations to all the recipients.
Thanks to Dinner Chair Andrea Sharp; CIA Chair Anne Culotta; CIA Judges Pam August, Donna Bennett, Jeff Cox, Anne Culotta, Diane Easley, Martin Hajovsky, and Mark Williamson; CIA slide show creator/operator Keith Crane; and Awards Dinner Committee members Diane Easley, Trudy Nelson, Sean Parks, Julie Pettit, Martin Piké, Kelly Simmons, Danae Stephenson, Carol Welter, and Buddy Welter. Thanks to Zelko Bistro for wonderful appetizers and a delicious dinner. Thanks also to our 2012 Sponsors for a successful year and to our 2012-2013 Winter Sponsors for underwriting this event.
2012 President’s Award Winner Bill Baldwin
2012 President’s honorees Lauriel Hindman [L] and Kelly Simmons [R]
2012 Citizen Of The Year: Donna Bennett
This year’s honoree moved to Houston from Pittsburgh in 1980 for a job. (Didn’t we all?) She got married in 1990, lived outside the loop for two years, couldn’t stand it, and moved to the Heights in 1992.
She retired from ExxonMobil in 2010 after 30 years and hasn’t looked back. Her current full-time job is walking Milo and Orson and attending one or two yoga classes a day.
Here are some highlights of her HHA volunteer history:
She worked on a number of Home Tours, including being a Head Docent six times, chairing Candlelight Dinner twice (Garvey lofts in 2000 and Master Car Care in 2010), chairing the entire Spring Home Tour, and had her own home on the 1999 spring tour. She also served on various other home tour committees including auction committee, volunteer coordinator, and “alternative transportation” coordinator.
She worked on the Heights Festival as a general volunteer and as the security chair for the last two years of the Festival’s existence. She was Bike Rally Chair in 2011 and 2012 with over 600 riders each year.
She is now in her fourth year on the HHA Board. She received the Marcella Perry award in 2005.
It is my honor and privilege to present the 2012 Citizen of the Year Award to Donna Bennett.
Corporate Citizen Of The Year: CenterPoint Energy
The Corporate Citizen award was created in 2003 and was first given to Buchanan’s Native Plants. Since then, many esteemed businesses and their leaders have been honored with this award.
This year’s recipient for Corporate Citizen of the Year, CenterPoint Energy, has been a loyal supporter for many years. They have been a Silver Sponsor for several years and have continually bought not one - but two - tables to our Candlelight Dinner. They fill those tables with employees, and many times, with CenterPoint volunteers who have been a tremendous help with the auction.
We would like to especially thank Janet Buchheit and Scott Rozzell for spearheading most of these contributions. Janet is 1999 Citizen of the Year and is this year’s Executive Chair for the Spring Home & Garden Tour. Scott is the Executive Vice President and General Counsel of CenterPoint and a former Navy fighter pilot. He has personally donated rides in his vintage WWII Navy Trainer to our silent auction for many years.
Also attending tonight are Bill Davis, a Houston Heights Association Board Member, and his wife, Kit Davis, also an Executive Chair to the Home & Garden Tour. Kit was also last year’s Rising Star recipient.
We would also like to thank Sharon Michael Owens and Diane Hasell Englet for attending. Sharon was VP of Community Relations from 1998 until her retirement in 2012. Diane is now Senior Director of Corporate Community Relations.
Thank you all for supporting our great little neighborhood. We are proud to present CenterPoint with the award for 2012 Corporate Citizen of the Year.
Marcella Perry Award: Kristal Kirksey/Jubilee
This award was named after our first Citizen of the Year, Marcella Perry. The Marcella Perry Award was created in 1989 and is given to individuals and businesses that support the neighborhood and the Association in a big way, mostly behind the scenes.
This year’s recipient has been supporting the neighborhood for years, with both generous donations and a lot of hard work. She not only supports the Houston Heights Association, but she gives freely to many, many other charities.
She’s a Texas girl with a Master’s degree in Art History from Rice University. She’s a talented designer and a brilliant businesswoman, having owned a successful boutique, Jubilee on 19th Street, for many years.
Her wonderful home has been on two of our home tours, she has given unique gifts from Jubilee to hundreds of guests at many of the Association’s events, and you will soon see her handiwork at the Candlelight Dinner on April 5, when she will once again turn an empty canvas into a delightful work of art.
She has a tender heart and never turns away a stray kitten or pup. She loves people as much as she does animals and sees the good in everyone she meets. She has a wardrobe that matches her bright and exuberant personality, she’s a huge Rod Stewart fan, and she married her own adorable rocker in 2006.
The 2012 Marcella Perry Award goes to our beautiful friend with an infectious laugh - Kristal Kirksey.
Rising Star Award: Leann Mueller
Given to an HHA volunteer who suddenly appears in the Heights sky like Halley’s Comet, leaving a glowing trail of light in their wake - and the promise of more to come.
This year’s Star bought a house in the Heights and renovated it in 2008. She started to volunteer for the home tours. By 2012, she was on the Spring Home Tour Committee, and her home was on the tour itself. Later that same year, she chaired the Holiday Home Tour. It broke all previous records for ticket sales, putting it ahead of even the Spring Tour!
Not one to rest on her laurels, she agreed to chair the Holiday Home Tour again in 2013! She will do this, of course, in her free time, when not attending to neighborhood business as a new HHA Board Member and the Membership Committee driving force. With all this on her plate (a fine porcelain plate, I might add), she still manages to squeeze in the tours that she gives at the Museum of 18th Century Decorative Arts!
…and did I mention that she is the mother of two, and grandmother of six?!!
Feel inadequate yet? I know I do… and I also know why I am very proud to present the Rising Star Award to…
The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Spring 2013 Silver Sponsors:
Community Improvement Awards
Every year, HHA gives these awards for Community Improvement based on nominations received from people like you, the community, who think that a home or business, either newly constructed or recently renovated, is worthy of special recognition. A panel of judges considers each nomination on the following criteria:
The boundaries of the Eligible Area are 610 on the north, Durham to the west, Washington to the south, Studewood to the east, and North Main on the northeast. The judges do not consider interiors for these awards.
This year, we had a bumper crop of nominations. And now... The Winners!
|Commercial New Construction: 1614 Yale. The Zen Center expanded their facility into the back yard through to Yale, giving a tired lot new life with green space and a beautiful fence on Yale.|
|Commercial Renovation: 801 Studewood, Sonoma. Replaced a former poorly maintained multi-retail space, frame shop etc. Added 624 square feet and nice landscaping. A gathering spot when it gets late enough to switch from coffee to wine.|
|Special Award for Civic Preservation: 1846 Harvard, Houston Heights Woman’s Club. The first woman’s club house in the Houston area, this building is a Protected Landmark and received an official Texas Historical Marker last year (its centennial).|
|Residential New Construction: 440 & 444 Harvard, the McCullaghs and the Steinheiders. These houses were built on the site of the former Heights Apartments, a scary building that may have been part of the reason why your friends bought in West U and thought you were crazy to live here.|
|Residential Renovation: 1005 Oxford, Bobbie Echard. The original 1,000-square-foot home was renovated; 1,200 square feet were added, plus a garage apartment. A porch addition was removed and the original porch restored.|
|Special Award for Adaptive Re-Use: 2310 Rutland, Karen and Bob Derr. This was a complete renovation and conversion from dilapidated washateria to urban residence.|
The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Spring 2013 Bronze Sponsors:
News from the Education Committee
Come One, Come All to the First Annual Heights International Festival!
On Saturday, April 20, the Reagan High School 2012-2013 PTO, in partnership with Hogg Middle School’s PTO and Harvard Elementary School’s PTA, will host the first annual Heights International Festival. The festival will be held on the grounds of Reagan High School from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM and is free to the public except for food and a few of the larger activities such as a cake walk.
The festival will have live music, food, games, crafts, and a student art exhibit with artwork for sale. Local food trucks, as seen often in our Heights neighborhood, have been invited to participate as well.
Each school is “sponsoring” three countries at the festival in conjunction with its International Baccalaureate (IB) program (Harvard) and IB candidacy (Hogg and Reagan). Harvard will focus on Mexico, Italy, and Spain; Hogg has chosen China, Jamaica, and El Salvador; and Reagan has selected Germany, France, and Brazil.
Please plan to bring your family to this special event, which promises to be educational and fun! If you would like to volunteer, contact Kristi Anders at or 832-217-5954.
Lemonade Day in Houston - Sunday, May 5
Lemonade Day is a free, fun, experiential learning program that teaches youth how to start, own and operate their own business - a lemonade stand. It began right here in Houston, Texas in 2007. Since then it has grown from 2,700 kids to over 50,000 kids in Houston.
The foremost objective of Lemonade Day is to empower youth to take ownership of their lives and become productive members of society - the business leaders, social advocates, volunteers, and forward thinking citizens of tomorrow.
Visit for more information.
Houston 311 App - Report Problems From Your Smartphone
Did you know that you could use your smartphone to report a pothole, traffic signal problem, missing manhole cover, dead animal on the street, or any of a number of other public problems to the City of Houston’s 311 Help & Info system, without having to wait for an operator? You can even take a picture of the problem, and your phone can supply the location by GPS.
The City of Houston has teamed up with SeeClickFix, Inc. to provide the app and the service behind it. Versions of the app, named Houston 311, are available for iPhone and Android. The iPhone version will work on cellular-equipped iPads; the Android version may work on some Android tablets.
For more information about ways to access the City’s 311 system, including phone, email, and the web, visit . Always dial 911 in case of police, fire, or medical emergency.
Candlelight Dinner’s Kick-Off Party at Sonoma
The Kick-Off Party for the 2013 Candlelight Dinner & Auction was recently held at Sonoma Retail Wine Bar & Restaurant with delicious hors d’oeuvres and (of course) fine wine. Kick-Off Party Chairs Mitzi Mickolas and Sandy Steitz assembled an exciting party to launch the event and, when the evening was said and done, 27 of the 50 Candlelight Dinner tables had been spoken for. Those who signed up for a Candlelight Dinner table that evening were treated to a raffle drawing for a weekend stay in the beautiful Santa Fe, New Mexico, home of Julie and Byron Pettit. Every guest left with a lovely gift from Buchanan’s Native Plants.
Janet Buchheit and Kit Davis, Executive Chairs of the Home & Garden Tour (right), and Chris Silkwood and Kelly Simmons, Co-Chairs (along with Anne Culotta) of the Candlelight Dinner, thanked the large crowd, including the tour’s homeowners, dedicated committee chairs, last year’s table hosts, and HHA Spring Sponsors for their continued support and invited everyone to sign up for tables to the Dinner, guaranteeing their place at the always sold-out event. Guests were also treated to a preview of the event’s live auction - works of art from several of Houston’s finest artists. (Photos below. See last month’s Candlelight Dinner article for more details.)
Once again, we want to thank Sonoma Retail Wine Bar & Restaurant for hosting and underwriting the Kick-Off Party, Buchanan’s Native Plants for the wonderful guest gifts, Julie and Byron Pettit for donating their Santa Fe Casita, and Kick-Off Party Chairs Mitzi Mickolas and Sandy Steitz for executing the great event.
Calendar of Events for April-May 2013
HHA headquarters: The Fire Station is on the corner of Yale and 12th Streets.
Every Saturday, 7:00 AM, Heights Running Club meets on the Heights Blvd jogging trail at 7th Street.
Third Tuesdays, 7:00-9:00 PM, Houston Storytellers Guild meets at St. Andrew’s House, 1811 Heights Blvd, for a monthly story swap. Anyone is welcome to come listen to or share stories. For more information, or 713-643-8478.
April 11, 8:00 PM, Mercury presents Mozart’s A Little Night Music at Gallery M Squared. For more information, please call the Mercury office at 713-533-0080 or visit .
April 19, 6:00-8:00 PM, 14 Pews at 800 Aurora St. will show the Academy Award-winning documentary Searching for Sugar Man. For more information, visit .
April 25-27 and May 2-5, Opera in the Heights presents Verdi’s Falstaff at Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Blvd. For more information, visit .
April 27, 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM, Houston Heights Rotary will hold their annual Shrimp/Crawfish Dinner & Auction at SPJST Lodge, 15th & Beall. For more information, call 713-306-6827 or email .
June 1, Heights Fun Run
October 6, Bicycle Rally
December 6-7, Holiday Home Tour
December 9-11, Holiday Food Baskets [tentative dates]
February 23, Awards Dinner
April 4-6, Spring Home Tour [tentative dates]
At The Properties
Heights Tai Chi Association meets Saturdays 9:00 AM and Wednesdays at 7:00 PM in Marmion Park, Heights at 18th.
Heavy Trash Notes
April is a “Junk Waste” month; May is a “Tree Waste Only” month. Remember that the heavy trash pickup date changed to the third Wednesday for most of the Houston Heights area. For dates in your immediate area, visit the City Solid Waste site.
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 © 2013, 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
Editor: Mark R. Williamson
Assistant Editor: Kathleen S. Williamson
Bill Baldwin, Stacey Courville, Anne Culotta, Keith Crane, Angela DeWree, Lauriel Hindman, Leann Mueller, Chris Silkwood, Kelly Simmons, Lanna von Baden, Maureen Weyel.