Houston News

(Houston, Texas) – The Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (HCOHSEM) hosted a county-wide exercise at NRG Center on Tuesday, July 25, to test and train on Point of Distribution (POD) operations.

This full-scale exercise focused on the recovery phase following the landfall of a category 4 hurricane. The exercise helped assess coordination and communication between local partners, operational areas and the Harris County Emergency Operations Center.

“The exercise was developed for staff and partners to learn about the POD plan in place following a disaster,” said Harris County Judge Ed Emmett. “Drills and exercises help work out any kinks, so that during an actual event operations run more smoothly.”

PODs are established post-incident for distributing life-sustaining commodities. The need for a POD is based on lack of infrastructure to support normal distribution of food, water, ice and other supplies.

After a disaster, HCOHSEM in coordination with local cities determine the need for a POD, the location, and the commodities to be distributed there. When recovery has reached a point where the local community can sustain itself, the POD closes.

“This POD exercise provides an excellent opportunity for participants to become familiar with their roles and responsibilities,” added Emmett. “Lessons learned from the exercise will help improve our plans to better serve the residents of Harris County.”

Training and exercises are integral parts of community readiness and preparedness. Last year, HCOHSEM hosted 69 training opportunities and participated in more than 25 partner exercises throughout the region.

 

Volunteers practice distributing food and water during POD exercise at NRG Center.

AUSTIN) — Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar reminds shoppers they can save money on certain items during the state’s annual sales tax holiday. This year, the sales tax holiday is scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 11-13.

The law exempts most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks priced below $100 from sales tax, saving shoppers about $8 on every $100 they spend during the weekend.

“Most folks won’t hear the back-to-school bell for another month, but it’s never too early to take advantage of the opportunity to save money on everything from ball caps to ballpoint pens,” Hegar said. “As the father of three young children, I know how these expenses can add up.”

Lists of apparel and school supplies that may be purchased tax-free can be found on the Comptroller’s website at TexasTaxHoliday.org.

This year, shoppers will save an estimated $87 million in state and local sales taxes during the sales tax holiday.

Texas’ tax holiday weekend has been an annual event since 1999.

Featuring Black Widow as special guest

Friday, July 28, beginning at 11 a.m. 

WHAT:

Our spidey senses are tingling! The Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center will get tangled in a web of excitement during a Spider-Man Day fan celebration.  Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man will spin into gear for a special appearance.  This time, he will be joined by no other than the Black Widow 

SPECIAL EVENTS:

Spideyverse Workshop:  Join an illustration workshop of Spidey heroes and villains.

Event Time: 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at OcuSOFT® Art Academy. (Onsite signup begins at 10:30 a.m.)

Spider-Man and Black Widow Meet-and-Greet:  Swing by for your favorite crime-fighting “arachnids.”

Event Time: 1 to 4 p.m. at various locations.

ON-GOING ACTIVITIES

  • Out Of This World Masks: Transform into a sci-fi alien at Junktion.
  • Galactic Agamograph: Construct 3-D optical illusion art work at Junktion.
  • Sci-Fi Orbs:  Produce orbs and watch them vanish right before your eyes at Science Station. 

WHEN:

Spider-Man Day, July 28, 2017, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

***Activities, events, and times subject to change.

WHERE: Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center

198 Kemper St., Sugar Land, TX,  77498

HOURS/COST:

  • MUSEUM HOURS: – Sat.:  10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • General Museum admission: $12 per person and $11 for seniors 65+.  Children under one and Museum Members receive free admission.
  • For more information, visit childrensdiscoveryfb.org or call (832) 742-2800.

(Houston, Texas) — The Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (HCOHSEM) has released its 2016 Annual Report. The report summarizes HCOHSEM’s challenges, operations and key accomplishments during the past year.

“Harris County faced a variety of challenges during 2016, including the extreme rainfall events that affected our county for a second year in a row,” said Harris County Judge Ed Emmett. “Disasters like these remind us of our area’s vulnerability to natural disasters.”

The historic flooding of 2016 claimed several lives and caused extensive property damage. Hand in hand with volunteer and non-profit organizations from across the region, HCOHSEM is working with local, state and federal partners to expedite the recovery process and get assistance to the affected communities.

The Harris County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated 10 times in 2016 for various incidents, eight of which were for severe weather. HCOHSEM also played an active role during the Zika virus outbreak, the NCAA Final Four Championship and preparing for Super Bowl 51.

In addition, HCOHSEM continues to provide numerous training opportunities for staff and partners to help them develop essential emergency management skills, reinforce EOC responsibilities and introduce new technology.

“I am truly proud of HCOHSEM’s accomplishments and the partner organizations that are instrumental to our success,” added Emmett. “While we cannot eradicate disasters, we will work with our local jurisdictions, emergency preparedness partners and the public to be ready for the next emergency.”

Click here to view HCOHSEM’s 2016 Annual Report. To learn more about HCOHSEM, go to ReadyHarris.org.

Katy, TX, June 6th, 2017– Mothers and daughters from the National Charity League, Inc., Lady Bird Chapter (NCL, Inc.) hosted a Philanthropy Bus Tour for new members to learn more about the Philanthropies in Katy and how to get involved.

Mothers and daughters from the chapter visited St. Bartholomew Catholic Church to learn how Friday
night Bingo supports Keep Kids Connected. Keep Kids Connected is a local charity that provides
tablets to children in hospitals. Other charities visited were Katy Christian Ministries and Meals on
Wheels. In addition to visiting several charities the Mother and Daughter teams heard presentations
on Willow River Farms and Kidz Club.

About National Charity League, Inc., Lady Bird Chapter National Charity League, Inc., Lady Bird Chapter currently has 275 members and provides hands-on volunteer service for 22 philanthropic organizations in the community. Members are women and their daughters in grades 7-12. Through this community service, NCL, Inc. develops socially responsible community leaders and strengthens the mother-daughter relationship. The traditional six-year core program also includes leadership development and cultural activities. Mother-daughter teams nationwide are responsible, dedicated, skilled volunteers actively engaged in local community work in 26 states across the country. To date, there are over 200 Chapters. For more information about the NCL, Inc., Lady Bird Chapter, please visit https://ladybird.nationalcharityleague.org/

About National Charity League, Inc. Established in Los Angeles, California in 1925, and incorporated in 1958, National Charity League, Inc. is the premier mother-daughter organization of women and their daughters in grades 7-12. For more information, visit the website at www.nationalcharityleague.org to find a chapter in your area.

Houston, TX – Bayou Land Conservancy (BLC), a local land trust focused on conserving land and protecting Houston’s primary water source, Lake Houston, announced that Gary and Kathy Adams Clark will be guest emcees for the August 17th Wild & Scenic Film Festival on Tour to be held at the Star Cinema Grill-Vintage location at 6 pm.

Mr. Clark is the weekly nature columnist for the Houston Chronicle. He publishes features in state and national magazines and has received numerous honors for his writing on the natural world. He has been active in the birding community for over 30 years, serves on a number of non-profit boards, and is a professor at Lone Star College-North Harris.

Kathy Adams Clark, Photographer, by Jeff Rose

Ms. Adams Clark has been a professional nature photographer since 1995. Her work has been featured in publications including Texas Highways and Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine. She is past President of the North American Nature Photography Association and teaches photography at local and national events. She leads photo workshops around the world and runs her own stock photo agency that represents the work of fifteen outstanding nature photographers.

Wild & Scenic Film is a production of the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL). It began in 2003 to promote community building within the Yuba Watershed in California, as well as a way to explore environmental issues through an exciting and influential medium – film. Bayou Land Conservancy has worked with SYRCL for three years as a tour partner and will show selected, independently-produced, environmental films from around the globe, including a newly produced film on Texas Rivers from the Texas Living Waters project, www.texaslivingwaters.org.

Says BLC Executive Director Jill Boullion, “We are excited to bring these inspirational films to a local audience and raise the level of awareness around different environmental topics. We are also delighted to have Gary and Kathy Adams Clark involved as our celebrity emcees. The Clarks are well-known and respected in the local community and are international experts in getting people outside to learn about nature. And, finally, August in Houston is hot so it’s nice to stay connected to nature while enjoying air conditioning, food and drinks!”

Tickets for the event are on sale and are discounted when purchased before August 17th through BLC’s web site: http://www.bayoulandconservancy.org/wild-scenic-film-festival. The event will also serve as the official public kick-off of the new, monthly, recurring membership program called “Land Lover” which will provide members with a suite of exciting benefits, including a paddling excursion on Spring Creek.

About Bayou Land Conservancy: Bayou Land Conservancy is a community-sponsored land preservation organization working to permanently protect land in the Houston region since 1996. Bayou Land Conservancy preserves land along streams for flood control, clean water and wildlife. We envision a protected network of green spaces that connect people to nature.

About Wild & Scenic Film Festival on Tour: https://www.wildandscenicfilmfestival.org/about/mission/

About Gary & Cathy Adams Clark: http://www.texasbirder.net/

The HPRA lunch speaker this Friday is consultant Wayne Dolcefinoformer investigative reporter for ABC Houston, Channel 13. Wayne will discuss the decision of Mayor Turner to throw out a recycling contract that had been negotiated by his predecessor, and strike a 15 year deal with another firm, FCC Environmental, a Spanish company. The debate grows out of the contract’s length, its higher cost, and the fact that the city will be reverting to a single bin system. Dolcefino Consulting represents EcoHub, the firm that lost the contract. Wayne has brought his special investigator’s style to his new career, and it shows up in videos he is posting on his Facebook page. Enjoy …

https://www.google.com/#q=dolcefino+consulting+facebook

MORE:

https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/news/2017/06/28/206596/city-announces-new-recycling-program-partnership/

Mr. Dolcefino was recently injured in an auto accident which is discussed here:

http://sanangelolive.com/news/crashes/2017-04-25/tv-reporter-wayne-dolcefino-badly-injured-crash-west-texas-highway

Houston Property Rights Association

PUBLIC INVITED: $11.49 plus 10% gratuity – buffet self-serve – all you can eat.

Coffee and tea are extra.

The Lam Bo Restaurant (Chinese and American food), is at

6159 Westheimer Road, about a mile west of Chimney Rock on the south side.

(look for us in the back room)

July 21, 2017

Buffet lunch – 12:00 to 2:00 – Program starts at 12:30

Please tell your friends and neighbors about our meetings.

RESERVATIONS NOT NEEDED

Upcoming Speakers and Topics

July 28: South Texas Law School Professor and blogger Josh Blackman – who will discuss his two books on Obamacare, which he will sign for folks who bring copies.

  1. Unprecedented: The Constitutional Challenge to Obamacare (2013)
  2. Unraveled: Obamacare, Religious Liberty, and Executive Power(2016)

http://joshblackman.com/blog/

Aug. 4; TBD

Aug. 11: Retired HPD officer Larry Watts and his wife Carolyn -.who will discuss their book, Dishonored and Forgotten, a novel based on the death of an HPD detective in his office in the Houston police department, and officially explained as a suicide.

http://larrywattsauthor.blogspot.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

HPRA wants to thank Computer Services of Texas

for its donated work keeping the HPRA Macintosh computer running smoothly.

(computerservicesoftexas.com

Texas Gulf Coast smoke alarm installation events part of nationwide effort to install 100,000 free smoke alarms in 100 cities in just three weeks

 The American Red Cross is calling for 35,000 volunteers to Sound the Alarm this fall to install 100,000 free smoke alarms in more than 100 major cities across the country, helping to save lives and lessen the number of tragedies attributed to home fires.

Sound the Alarm is part of a nationwide series of home fire safety and smoke alarm installation events to be held between September 23 and October 15, culminating in the Red Cross’ installation of the one-millionth free smoke alarm since its Home Fire Campaign launched in 2014. Volunteers and partners canvass high-risk neighborhoods to install free smoke alarms, replace batteries in existing alarms and help families create escape plans.

“Every day home fires are responsible for as many as seven deaths and 36 injuries in this country. We want that number reduced and so far our Home Fire Campaign is responsible for saving 258 lives across the U.S.,” said David Brady, Regional Chief Executive Officer, American Red Cross of the Texas Gulf Coast. “We are grateful to have made such an impact but there is more to be done.”

To that end, the Red Cross of Greater Houston will be participating in Sound the Alarm and seeks volunteers to help install smoke alarms on September 30 and October 14 in Southwest Houston and North Houston, respectively.

Since 2014, Red Cross volunteers and members of more than 4,200 partner organizations have installed 886,823 smoke alarms in 10,664 cities and towns in all 50 states, serving more than 998,500 people. In the past 12 months alone, the American Red Cross of the Texas Gulf Coast has responded to 1,266 home fires and installed more than 6,000 free home smoke alarms.

“No one should have to experience the tragedy of a home fire,” said Brady. “We hope community members will join us to Sound the Alarm throughout the Texas Gulf Coast and help save lives.”

Volunteer to help Sound the Alarm. Save a Life.

  • Visit org to find events in your local community and join neighbors in going door-to-door to install free smoke alarms, replace batteries in existing alarms and help families create escape plans.
  • Make this life-saving campaign a group activity. Invite friends and family to register.

Donate to help Sound the Alarm. Save a Life.

  • Visit org to help families prepare for, respond to and recover from home fires.
  • Your donation will: help educate families on fire safety; help fund the installation of free smoke alarms in high-risk neighborhoods nationwide; and provide food, comfort and aid to those who have been affected by a home fire.

This work is made possible thanks to generous financial donations from national partners Almost Family and Delta Air Lines. In addition, the Red Cross has received funding from FEMA through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. We are also grateful for the generous donations of Texas Gulf Coast partners Sysco Corporation and Palais Royal, part of the Stage Family.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross, a United Way agency, shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

Washington, DC –Rep. Pete Olson (TX-22) today testified before the House Natural Resources Committee at a hearing on a series of bills that address the Endangered Species Act (ESA). One of the bills was Olson’s bill, H.R. 717, the Listing Reform Act, which allows for the consideration of significant economic effects that may occur as a result of an ESA threatened listing or designation of critical habitat.

“We Texans value our open spaces,” Rep. Olson said. “We value the land and the animals large and small we have on it. Texas is defined by that heritage, and it is a legacy I intend to leave to my children. We need to protect our endangered species, but we need to do it in a smart way. 

“The Endangered Species Act was enacted to protect truly endangered species, not be used as a political weapon for extreme environmentalists. Protecting endangered species can and should be done in a common sense way. The government should have the flexibility to act quickly and intelligently on listing and delisting petitions. A triage system much like a hospital emergency room will ensure that the most endangered species get to the front of the line. I look forward to working with President Trump to provide protections for truly endangered species,” Olson concluded.

Olson testifies on H.R. 717 at the Natural Resources Hearing

Under ESA, any organization can petition that a species can be listed (or delisted) as “endangered” or “threatened” and thus eligible for special protections. The current process does not allow federal agencies to prioritize these listings by targeting the most endangered species first and instead focuses on inflexible and often unreasonable deadlines. Reforms will streamline the federal process and reduce burdens on our communities.

Laser Prostate Centers of America (LPCA) is a team of expert urologists and interventional radiologists moving prostate cancer detection and treatment into the twenty-first century with the introduction of the latest in diagnostics and image-guidance technology.

It is a fact that most Americans aren’t aware of, but need to know – other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men and represents 10.7% of all new cancer cases in the United States. With these kind of statistics, it is surprising that the technology for detection and treatment of prostate cancer has not been similar to that of other organ cancers like breast cancer. With recent breakthroughs in technology, prostate cancer can now be better detected with high resolution multi-parametric MRI (mpMRI), and treated with image-guided focal laser ablation (FLA). These new approaches allow patients to better understand prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment options to make more educated and informed decisions regarding their care, and to help them maintain quality of life.

Focal therapies like FLA for low grade or early stage prostate cancer has advantages over traditional treatment. With this cutting-edge procedure, cancers can be detected and treated without sacrificing the whole prostate gland, which leads to significantly lower risk of side effects like incontinence and impotence.

Xavier Garcia-Rojas, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., a partner in the multi-specialty team at LPCA who offers MRI-guided biopsies and focal therapies including focal laser ablation (FLA), noted that, “the use of advanced image-guidance and focal therapies has opened the door for superior diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer. LPCA wants to educate the public about these new breakthroughs that can help detect and treat men with prostate cancer while retaining their quality of life.”

Founded earlier this year, LPCA’s goal is to help educate, diagnose, and treat men suffering from prostate cancer. Low grade (early stage) prostate cancer treatment has long included active surveillance and more aggressive treatments such as radical prostatectomy (whole gland removal) and radiation. The newer FLA technology is not only a quick, minimally-invasive procedure with a quicker recovery time, it offers several benefits that traditional whole gland therapies do not, such as: real-time MR imaging, real-time visualization of ablation, immediate confirmation of treatment success, it is repeatable and does not hamper other treatments in the future like surgery and radiation, and it preserves urinary and erectile function.

The older transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) method of detection, which dates back to the 1980s is commonly accepted by healthcare professionals, but misses 50% of cancers, detects non-significant cancers in the prostate and can lead to under grading the cancer, overaggressive treatment, or missing the clinically significant tumor. The TRUS method has been referred to as a “blind biopsy” due to the way in which the samples are collected.

Focal treatments have also become widely accepted for many other types of cancer treatment. For breast cancer patients routinely subjected to a mastectomy (surgical removal of the entire breast), focal therapy allowed for a lumpectomy (removal of the tumor only), which was less invasive and equally as effective for most patients. The same FLA technology used for prostate was first used by neurologists to successfully remove brain tumors and help children with epileptic seizures.

The bottom line is prostate cancer management can now be elevated to the level seen in other cancer treatments through detection with high resolution imaging and focal treatment. The team at LPCA, with offices in Houston, is available to help men from across the country and the globe with minimally-invasive alternatives for prostate cancer that have fewer side effects and hope to educate the public about these advances in that technology.

About Laser Prostate Centers of America (LPCA)

Laser Prostate Centers of America is a group of expert physicians that offer cutting-edge technologies to determine detection and treatment options for prostate cancer. The team of highly-skilled physicians and staff bring many years of knowledge in urology and interventional radiology to their patients in helping determine the best strategy and treatment plans using the new technologies that were not available to men in the past. In using these approaches for minimally-invasive treatment and detection, men have a quicker recovery time and can better maintain their quality of life with fewer side effects such as incontinence and impotence. With offices located in Houston, Texas, LPCA works with patients from across the country and the globe to help determine their best path for prostate cancer treatment. www.laserprostate.com