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.
The Katy City Council appointed volunteer members to 10 local boards and commissions Monday night.
Mayor Chuck Brawner said these appointments are usually made within the first 60 days of a mayor taking office. He said current board and commission members who wanted to continue in their roles would do so as long as they wanted.
While most positions are filled, Brawner said, some vacancies exist.
Brawner said his goal was to select the best qualified people for the positions. The needs of the various positions are different. Some require a background in a particular discipline, such as civil engineering. Some will have more meetings than others. Not all positions require the member be a Katy city resident.
During the recent campaign, Brawner said he met a lot of people, many of them younger, who could bring some new ideas to the boards and commissions.
“There are a lot of people that have talent in this town to volunteer part of their time to serve the city,” Brawner said.
Brawner said candidates for board or commission positions must compete a specific application for that particular panel. Applications can be downloaded from the city’s web site.
The completed application is reviewed and the candidate meets with Brawner, the president or chairman of that particular board, Brawner, and a city official. In this way, officials can discuss the latest issues with the candidate and determine what makes a good fit.
Applications will be retained and considered by the city for two years when a vacancy occurs and may be subject to the Texas Public Information Act.
The city council approves applications and makes the appointments.
Heard a Keep Katy Beautiful presentation of the 2017 Don’t Mess with Texas Art Contest winner, Stacy Chin, a seventh-grade student at Beckendorff Junior High School.
Amended the city zoning ordinance changing the classification from “R-1” Single Residential District to “M” Industrial District, for approximately 30 acres in the C. Cobb Survey in Abstract 1329, in Harris County to Optimized Process Designs, LLC. This amendment was passed following a public hearing.
Reviewed the 2016-2017 third quarter investment report, bank statement and check register through June 30.
Approved meeting minutes from the June 26 council meeting.
Adopted a resolution rejecting any and all bids for contract delivery of gasoline and diesel fuel received and authorizing the re-advertisement of bid solicitation. In a memorandum to the council, Public Works Director Elaine Lutringer said that only one bid was received and the total cost per gallon in that bid was not competitive.
Adopted a resolution authorizing the use of up to $15,000 in municipal court security funds and up to $20,000 in technology funds—$35,000 total—to upgrade security and computer systems.
Adopted a resolution authorizing Mayor Chuck Brawner to sign a contract agreement with Verizon Wireless. The agreement permits the Texas Department of Information Resources to continue purchasing services under a state license for the City of Katy.
Adopted a resolution authorizing the use of $36,750 in reserve enterprise funds for the water tank mural on the 250,000-gallon elevated storage at Water Plant #2. Ward A Council Member J. Gary Jones voted against the resolution, saying he did not feel that this expenditure was needed.
Adopted a resolution authorizing Brawner to accept a water line and sanitary sewer easement from Peterson Road, Inc., for 0.4 acres, in the H&TCRR Company Survey of Abstract 169, in Waller County.
Adopted a resolution authorizing Brawner to enter into a road access agreement with Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, LLC, to use and maintain roadway, gateway and culverts within approximately 52 acres in the H&TCRR Company Survey of Abstract 170, in Waller County.
Passed an ordinance adding stop signs on Woodcreek Bend Lane at its intersection with Morgan Parkway/Rustic Woods Lane, and adding stop signs on 2nd and 3rd streets.
Beauty pageant contestants sometimes daydream of winning the pageant and wearing the tiara.
But as a practical matter, the question of what happens after winning the pageant becomes a more complicated. Just what will do you do if you win?
Shannon Dresser can relate. She is the Katy Independent School District police officer who won the Miss Texas United States pageant in May, and competed in the recent Miss United States pageant earlier this month in Orlando, Florida. She was asked that question during the interview portion of the pageant.
“My chief asked me that same question,” Dresser said. “I said, ‘I’ll let you know Saturday (when the pageant takes place).’”
As it is, Dresser did herself proud. She finished as first runner-up at the pageant.
“I did extremely well,” she said. “I had a wonderful time. I went in with the idea to have fun and leave it all on the stage, and that’s exactly what I did.”
Miss Florida United States, Rachael Todd, won the pageant.
“Bittersweet as it is, I’m able to come back and go back to work and serve my community,” Dresser said. “It’s what I needed for my life and career. I would have loved to have won, but I also understand that things happen for reason. I’m just as proud as if I had won.”
The pageant structure in the Miss Texas United States and the Miss United States pageants have a similar structure in that contestants compete in four categories: evening gown, interview, onstage questions and swimsuit.
Dresser said the state judges look at candidates and consider who would be the best representative of that state.
Gaspar Cruz designed the evening gown and helped Dresser with her hair and makeup. He also did these things when Dresser competed in the state pageant.
“When he drew the gown, I could imagine myself in it,” Dresser said. “Not only did I look beautiful, I felt beautiful. You feel fabulous and you feel proud of how you’re performing.”
Dresser has competed in other pageants, and she hopes to participate in other pageants. She said that many contestants in the Miss United States pageant were in their early 20s. Dresser turns 30 next week, and some of her fellow contestants wondered how she looked so good given her age.
“I asked them, ‘What does 30 look like?’” she said.
As an officer, Dresser participates in the Teen and Police Service Academy (TAPS), an international mentoring program that closes the gap between at-risk students and police officers. Students get an elective credit for their participation in this 13-week program, though the mentoring has greater value. Topics covered include bullying, conflict management, and avoiding drug use and gangs, among others.
She is also a K-9 officer, where she works with a Golden Labrador Retriever.
While Dresser may have been the contestant, a lot of people stepped forward with their encouragement and support to make it all happen. She said she was grateful for the community’s support.
“That’s what made this journey so memorable,” she said. “It’s not about me, but the family and the community, and that’s been fabulous. It’s been a marvelous adventure. It’s just so overwhelming, it’s a joy.”
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
July 20, 2017 – Katy ISD is pleased to welcome Dr. Doreen Martinez as the new principal for Memorial Parkway Elementary.
Dr. Martinez has worked in the field of education for 28 years. She began her educational career in 1989 as a teacher in Pasadena ISD. She has also work in Angleton ISD, Clear Creek ISD and as a grant/technology coordinator in Royal ISD.
She came to Katy ISD in 2001, where she served as an instructional technology facilitator, technology training supervisor, Parent & Patron Center Coordinator and then as an assistant principal at Morton Ranch Junior High. In 2015, Dr. Martinez returned to Angleton ISD as Principal of Angleton Junior High. However, it’s the District’s pleasure to have her back home at Katy ISD where she will lead the Memorial Parkway Elementary family.
“Coming back to Katy ISD is such a proud honor and a dream come true,” says Principal Martinez. “My goal is to work to build trust, establish relationships and create a positive environment where our Panthers can excel and achieve their dreams. Working together as a team we will be ‘the best school in the land!’”
(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.”
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.
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.
The HPRA lunch speaker this Friday is consultant Wayne Dolcefino, former 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 …
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.