Heights - River Oaks - Montrose Edition | June 2021

HEIGHTS RIVER OAKS MONTROSE EDITION

2021 H E A L T H C A R E E D I T I O N

ONLINE AT

VOLUME 3, ISSUE 3  JUNE 5JULY 1, 2021

BY SHAWN ARRAJJ & HUNTER MARROW As coronavirus vaccination rates increase, several lingering questions remain as to how the Houston area faces COVID-19 moving forward. The longght

IMPACTS

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TODO LIST

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METRO seeks local feedback on rapid bus route

Food incentives are one of several ways health care systems and local governments are trying to get more people vaccinated. Stawith the nonprot Lucille’s 1913 hand out preparedmeals to people who attended a vaccine drive targeting the Independence Heights community inMay. INSIDE 20

Police reformbrings progress, unmet needs, advocates say

HPD PROGRESS REPORT Of the 94 reforms that the mayor’s task force recommended be completed by October 2021, 40 have been implemented.

TRANSPORTATION 2021 HEALTHCARE EDITION

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BY EMMA WHALEN

RECOMMENDATIONS COMPLETED NOT COMPLETED

Mayor Sylvester Turner issued a slew of police reform measures in late April, but it may be too soon to say whether the measures will result in fewer incidents of police brutal- ity, advocacy groups said. Turner and Houston Police Department Chief Troy Finner announced the changes April 29, whichwere proposed by the mayor’s task force on policing reform. The reforms include a range of initiatives from mental health interventions to CONTINUED ON 22

Community policing 6 out of 16

Crisis response 4 out of 5

Independent oversight 17 out of 25

Field readiness 1 out of 18

SPONSORED BY • Belmont Village Senior Living

Power dynamics 10 out of 20

Clear expectations 0 out of 5

LOCAL SNAPSHOT HOSPITAL LISTINGS

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HEIGHTS - RIVER OAKS - MONTROSE EDITION • JUNE 2021

People said Lindsay’s recovery would slowher down. Apparently not.

Even before we meet one another, we know we have something in common. Because if you’re facing a neurological issue — you not only want compassion and technology, you want expert physicians with a never-give-in, never-give-up attitude. The kind of attitude that put Lindsay, and her recovery, in the fast lane.

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THIS ISSUE

ABOUT US

Owners John and Jennifer Garrett launched the rst edition of Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 with three full-time employees covering Round Rock and Pugerville, Texas. We have expanded our operations to include hundreds of employees, our own printing operation and over 30 hyperlocal editions across three states. Our circulation is over 2 million residential mailboxes, and it grows each month with new residents and developments.

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FROM JIM: I am pleased to introduce myself as the new general manager for this edition of Community Impact Newspaper . I’ve had the pleasure of being a Houston resident since 1976. I am most excited about being part of such a vibrant and diverse community and look forward to hearing your feedback on this month’s issue. Please feel free to reach out to us with any comments and suggestions. Jim Ficalora, GENERALMANAGER

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FROMSHAWN: I would like to join Jim and introduce myself to our readers as the new editor covering the Heights, River Oaks and Montrose areas. I previously worked for Community Impact Newspaper ’s Cy-Fair edition, but I’m happy to join the paper that covers an area where I have lived, eaten and shopped for more than four years. If you see me at local meetings or events, feel free to say hi and share your story ideas. Shawn Arrajj, SENIOR EDITOR

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HEIGHTS  RIVER OAKS  MONTROSE EDITION • JUNE 2021

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon, relocating or expanding

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for a new location in the Galleria area at A 5018 San Felipe, St., Houston. Mean- while, a second location is slated to open in early September in the River Oaks area at B 3021 Kirby Drive, Houston. Existing locations of the chain—which specializes in health-focused bowls, sandwiches, protein shakes and fresh juices—are spread out across Arizona and North Texas. www.originalchopshop.com 10 Signage posted at the future location of Southern Yankee Crafthouse indicates a planned summer opening at the former Good Dog location at 1312 W. Alabama St., Houston. The concept, which is being launched by the North Houston-area brewery Southern Yankee Beer Co., will serve wood-red dishes along with Southern Yankee beers and other drinks. Matt Baum was brought on as executive chef in April. Baum previous- ly worked as executive chef at Grace’s; Common Bond; and Crisp Wine, Beer, and Eatery. www.southernyankeebeer.com 11 The craft brewery Ovinnik Brewing is looking to open in late summer in the Timbergrove area at 7201 Wynnpark Drive, Houston. The brewery is being launched by Janine Weber and partners Chris and Jen Mathis. The owners said they will oer a lineup of Belgian-style beers—including tripels, witbiers and sours—but other beer oerings will likely be driven by customer suggestions. www.ovinnikbrewing.com 12 Specializing in craft cocktails, The Rabbit Hole is slated to open next January within a 1920s bungalow at 1317 E. 29th St., Houston, near the Airline Boulevard intersection. The venue, which will be run by managing partners Ian Frascati and William Daniel, will oer cocktails, wine and locally brewed beers in an intimate setting. An in-house kitchen will also serve up pub fare, while a dog-friendly outdoor patio will provide

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NOWOPEN 1 A grand opening for the new “rustic American” eatery The Studewood Grill took place May 22 at 1111 Studewood St., Houston, within a high-rise recently con- structed at the 11th Street intersection. The restaurant and bar have been operat- ing in a soft opening stage since January with a limited menu and weekend-only service. The menu focuses on prime beef dishes and fresh seafood. A full bar oers classic cocktails and an extensive array of bourbon, whiskey and scotch oerings. 713-864-1100. www.thestudewoodgrill.com 2 Father-son duo Stephen and Carter Buttram opened Brightway, The Buttram Family Agency on May 10 at 5023 Wash- ington Ave., Ste. 201, Houston. The new oce oers insurance for homes, vehi- cles, condominiums and other vehicles as well as ood insurance, renters insurance and other umbrella insurance policies. The Buttrams together bring more than 35 years of experience in real estate and insurance. 346-355-5355. www.brightwaybuttram.com 3 The 16th Greater Houston-area loca- tion of Allergy & ENT Associates opened May 11 in the Heights at 518 W. 11th St.,

Houston. The group provides individu- alized care for individuals with allergies and asthma as well as audiology and ear, nose and throat services. Services include skin and blood testing, allergen immuno- therapy and peanut allergy evaluations. 281-914-4762. www.aentassociates.com 4 Fat Boots Trailer Park opened May 5 in the space formerly occupied by the Pink Elephant Room at 4218 Washington Ave., Houston. The 2,000-square-foot, trailer park-themed bar oers drinks and food in an environment decorated with lawn chairs and pink amingo yard orna- ments. 713-239-2695. www.fatboots.com 5 The Law Harrington Senior Living Center opened in Montrose in late April at 2222 Cleburn St., Houston. Opened as a partnership between nonprot The Montrose Center and Legacy Community Health, the LGBTQ-arming senior living center oers 112 one- and two-bedroom independent-living apartments for people on limited income and age 62 and older. A grand opening will take place June 24. 713-527-0037. www.montrosecenter.org 6 Rakkan Ramen opened in early May in the M-K-T Heights development at 600 N. Shepherd Drive, Houston. The eatery specializes in authentic Japanese

soul food, including umami ramen and a broth that is 100% plant based. 346-867-2078. www.rakkanramen.com 7 The opening of new Montrose restau- rant The Seafood Connection took place in March at 507 Westheimer Road, Houston. The eatery brings a Savannah-style avor to its seafood dishes, which range from oysters to crawsh to lobster and ounder. 713-528-8077. www.facebook.com/ 8 Upscale Persian eatery Rumi’s Place will make its Houston debut next fall in Post Oak Place, a new mixed-use development in Uptown Houston just outside of Loop 610. With locations in Atlanta and Washington, D.C., Rumi’s Place is known for its contemporary take on Persian staples, including kebabs, atbreads, stews and specialty rice. The 5,200-square-foot restaurant is slated to open in fall 2022, according to a May 6 announcement from the Zadok family, the developers behind Post Oak Place. www.rumiskitchen.com seafoodconnectionhtx COMING SOON 9 Ocials with The Original ChopShop said they are targeting an August opening

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY SHAWN ARRAJJ

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Ovinnik Brewing

The Rabbit Hole

COURTESY OVINNIK BREWING

COURTESY THE RABBIT HOLE

additional space for seating and to host food trucks. www.rabbithole-htx.com 13 A new location of Mendocino Farms will open in late fall in the M-K-T Heights development at 600 N. Shepherd Drive, Ste. 495, Houston. The business special- izes in sandwiches and salads, and the new Heights location will also have beer and wine, company ocials conrmed. The Heights location will also oer a robust catering menu. Online and mobile ordering will both be available. www.mendocinofarms.com 14 The Mind Spot will open Aug. 16 at 3000 Weslayan St., Ste. 140, Houston. The counseling center will oer services related to mental health and will specif- ically cater to the pre-teen and young adult populations. The Mind Spot will also oer group sessions. www.themindspothouston.com 15 The rst Texas location of Menswear retailer State & Liberty will open this fall in a 1,100-square-foot location within the Montrose Collective, a mixed-use de- velopment coming to lower Westheimer Road. The store bills itself as a technical fabric menswear line that bridges the gap between tailored dress shirts and perfor- mance apparel. www.stateandliberty.com 16 A new seven-story senior living facil- ity will go up at 1245 W. 18th Street in the Heights as a joint project between Water- mark Retirement Communities and Hines, the Houston-based real estate manage- ment company. The 169,000-square-foot Watermark at Houston Heights will be composed of 222 residences, including 201 independent or assisted living resi- dences and 21 memory care units. Ameni-

ties will include a sixth-oor terrace and lounge, tness center, art gallery, movie theater, library, heated outdoor swimming pool, salon and spa, and four restaurants. 346-341-0002. www.watermarkcommunities.com 17 An unnamed Italian restaurant concept from brothers Alex and Eric Smith—the founders of Ouzo Bay and Loch Bar in River Oaks—will be coming to the Montrose Collective this spring. The 5,500-square-foot restaurant will seat 225 people and will specialize in hand-made pastas, charcuterie and prime steak. EXPANSIONS 18 Tex-Mex restaurant Candente opened a newly renovated 4,000-square- foot patio space in early May at 4306 Yaokum Blvd., Houston. The covered patio features fans, heaters, greenery and an almost 100-square-foot fountain. Move- able planters can also be used to create semiprivate tables. 346-867-1156. www.candentehtx.com ANNIVERSARIES 19 Heights Thai food restaurant Kin Dee will celebrate its one-year anniver- sary June 10 at 1533 North Shepherd Drive, Ste. 160, Houston. The festivities will begin at 6 p.m. and will include a ribbon cutting, food and drink samples, and live entertainment from traditional Thai dancers, Muay Thai athletes and a classical Thai symphony. 281-826-2655. www.kindeethaicuisine.com

SERCAWines opened on Heights Boulevard in May. (Courtesy SERCAWines)

COURTESY SERCA WINES

FEATURED IMPACT NOWOPEN A historic home on Heights Boulevard reopened in May as SERCA Wines , a private events venue for wine classes, tastings and other events. The house at 447 Heights Blvd., Houston, was purchased by Houstonians and vineyard owners Sergio and Carolina Weitzman. A dining area with a bar and brick pizza oven can be found on the rst oor along with a wraparound porch, a tasting room with a replace and a spirit tasting room found under the stairs. The third oor features a rooftop terrace and an events area where wine classes and other events can take place. The second oor is where Carolina’s architecture rm is based and also includes space for a future tenant to lease. 20 Donnette Hansen, owner of the wild game and seafood restaurant Rainbow Lodge , celebrated the restau- rant’s 15-year anniversary at its White Oak Bayou location in May at 2011 Ella Blvd., Houston. The eatery was founded in a 115-year-old log cabin by Hansen’s uncle on Bualo Bayou in 1977 before she relocated it to White Oak Bayou in 2006. 713-861-8666. www.rainbow-lodge.com

The Weitzmans—who have run their vineyard out of Mendoza, Argentina, for 10 years—will stock wines from their own vineyard along with other boutique and up-and-coming wineries. The name of the vineyard comes from combining the rst few letters from the owners’ names. Among the wines produced at the SERCA Wines vineyard are malbec rose, corte blanc, merlot, gran corte, malbec reserva and cabernet franc. 713-405-0082. www.sercawines.com

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CLOSINGS 21 Neighborhood restaurant BCK closed April 30 at 933 Studewood St., Houston. In an Instagram video, CEO John Reed said he and the landlord could not agree on an extension to a lease, but both parties helped locate a new tenant. Reed said he is planning to open a new concept this summer and will look for opportunities to eventually revive BCK.

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HEIGHTS  RIVER OAKS  MONTROSE EDITION • JUNE 2021

TODO LIST

June events

COMPILED BY SHAWN ARRAJJ

JUNE 09 THEWOMEN’S FUNDWINE DINNER The Women’s Fund for Health Education and Resiliency hosts its sixth annual wine dinner to raise money for adolescent girls and women. The event will include a dinner catered by the Italian restaurant Tony’s as well as live entertainment and a jewelry rae. 6:30 p.m. $500. Tony’s, 3755 Richmond Ave., Houston. St. Arnold Brewing Company partners with the University of St. Thomas on the 10th annual event featuring a taco tasting competition with entrants from restaurants across Houston. The event aims to raise $100,000 for the university’s Alumni Association scholarship fund. The Grammy-nominated Hamilton Loomis, who is a St. Thomas alumnus, will perform at the event. 6:30-9:30 p.m. $50. University of St. Thomas, 3800 Montrose Blvd., Houston. 713-525-3100. www.saintarnold.com 11 AND 20 CANDLELIGHT OPENAIR: HISTORIC BLACK COMPOSERS 713-623-6543. www.thewomensfund.org 11 TWO SAINTS ANDA TACO TASTING An intimate night under the stars includes classical music performances courtesy of local musicians The Listeso String Quartet. The event will showcase the works of iconic Black composers in honor of Juneteenth. Food and drink options will be available for additional purchase. 6 p.m. (June 11), 8:30 p.m. (June 20). $100 (table for two), $200 (table for four). AvantGarden, 411 Westheimer Road, Houston. www.feverup.com

JUNE 26

THE CADILLAC THREE LIVE GOODE COMPANY ARMADILLO PALACE

JUNE 8

FISHHOUSE PUNCH COMPETITION BE MORE PACIFIC

The iconic honky-tonk music venue presents the Nashville trio The Cadillac Three for an evening performance. The band’s music is a mix of country and hard rock with elements of funk and soul. 8 p.m. (doors open), 10 p.m. (concert starts). $25 (online), $30 (day of show). 5015 Kirby Drive, Houston. 713-526-9700. www.thearmadilloapalace.com

Four bartenders compete to create the best version of the classic American cocktail, Fish House Punch. Attendees can cheer on the competitors while sampling dishes, cocktails and wines from area chefs. Proceeds from the event benet the Texas Food and Wine Alliance. 5-7:30 p.m. $50. 506 Yale St., Ste. E, Houston. www.texasfoodandwinealliance.org

COURTESY TEXAS FOOD AND WINE ALLIANCE

COURTESY THE CADILLAC THREE

17 CINEMATIC THROWBACKAT REGENT SQUARE Pedestrian-friendly mixed-use development Regent Square hosts moonlit movie screenings throughout the summer, including a June 17 showing of “Wigstock,” a documentary lm focusing on an annual drag music festival hosted in New York City in the 1980s. Guests must bring their own chairs, and Bovine & Barley’s adult ice cream truck will be on-site selling concessions. 8 p.m. Free. Regent Square, 1203 Dunlavy St., Houston. 713-524-2800. www.regentsquare.com

25 THROUGH 27

CHRISTOPHER TITUS The comedian—known both for his stand-up and his roles as writer and actor on the TV series “Titus”—comes to Houston as a part of his Carrying Monsters tour. Titus will perform ve shows over the course of the weekend for ages 18 and older. 7:30 p.m., 9:45 p.m. (June 25), 7 p.m., 9:30 p.m. (June 26), 7:30 p.m. (June 27). $50 (admission for two). Houston Improv Comedy Club, 7620 I-10 W., Ste. 455, Houston. 713-333-8800. www.improvtx.com

Find more or submit Heights-River Oaks-Montrose events at communityimpact.com/event-calendar. Event organizers can submit local events online to be considered for the print edition. Submitting details for consideration does not guarantee publication.



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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES Heights-area residents give feedback on rapid bus route

UPCOMING PROJECTS

COMPILED BY SHAWN ARRAJJ

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Residents in neighborhoods around the Heights, Lazybrook and Timbergrove areas got a chance to weigh in on a bus rapid transit route in the early planning stages that will run along a segment of I-10 in Houston’s inner loop. A virtual presentation was given April 27 by the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, which is implementing the project. The initial phase of the project—known as the METRORapid Inner Katy Project— involves developing a high-capacity bus line between uptown and down- town Houston. The corridor will be reserved for buses to make trips with fewer stops and bus-friendly trac lights. Stations have been proposed along I-10 at Shepherd Drive/Durham Drive and at Studemont Street. A general alignment has been set, but it is still unclear exactly what properties may be aected and how

The bus rapid transit route will connect uptown and downtown Houston along I-10.

Inner Katy project

Avalon Place paving and drainage improvements Houston Public Works is working with Houston City Council District G to coordinate details of the project. Timeline: TBD Cost: $26 million Funding sources: Dedicated Drainage and Street Renewal Fund, Houston Public Works

Proposed station TxDOT I-10 study area

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a station at TC Jester would provide more of an opportunity to reach resi- dents who are within walking distance and could safely access the station. “Shepherd and Studemont are both busy, hazardous streets, and there aren’t many residents within walking distance,” Fortney said. The project is being funded through a $3.5 billion bond referendum passed by Harris County voters in 2019. Questions and comments on the project can be sent to METRO at innerkaty@ridemetro.org.

close the project could get to homes, ocials said. Several residents at the meeting expressed concerns about noise levels and the eect the project could have on air quality, to which METRO ocials said they would be paying close attention. Ian Fortney, who attended the meet- ing on behalf of the Cottage Grove Civic Association, said the association is supportive of the proposal but would rather see a station placed at TC Jester Boulevard. He said he believes

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West Alabama paving and drainage improvements The project was advertised for bids May 13, and the city of Houston ex- pects construction to start in the fall. Timeline: fall 2021-winter 2022 Cost: $15.87 million Funding sources: Dedicated Drainage and Street Renewal Fund, Houston Public Works

ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF MAY 6. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT HRMNEWSCOMMUNITYIMPACT.COM.

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HEIGHTS  RIVER OAKS  MONTROSE EDITION • JUNE 2021

EDUCATION BRIEFS

News from Houston ISD

COMPILED BY SHAWN ARRAJJ

SCHOOL HIGHLIGHTS Houston ISD employees saw a boost in their paychecks May 26 after the board of trustees approved a one-time stipend of $750 as an appreciation for their work during the coronavirus pandemic. At its May 13 meeting, the HISD board approved the district to negotiate an interlocal agreement with Texas A&M University- Commerce designed to increase the number of graduating seniors and employees that earn undergraduate and graduate degrees at the university. The agreement would apply to three main programs: the President’s Promise program would provide a last-dollar tuition scholarship; the Rising Lion program would provide an academic experience for incoming freshmen; and the Quick Start Grant would provide nancial support to certain HISD employees who choose to pursue a graduate degree at Texas A&M-Commerce. The HISD board approved $750,000 to spend on In/After-School Community Outreach Programs over a three-year period at its May 14 meeting. The programs are intended to improve academic and social- emotional learning by addressing and preventing early aggression, academic failure, and school dropout. HISD ended its community food distribution program June 2. The program was implemented during the coronavirus pandemic to ensure student meals, food and supplies were available to students. More than 44 million pounds of food were distributed through the program. Houston ISD board of education will meet at 5 p.m. on June 10. Meetings are streamed at www.houstonisd.org. MEETINGSWE COVER QUOTEOFNOTE “THOUGHMASKS WILL NOT BE REQUIRED ... HISD ENCOURAGES THEIR USE ANDRECOGNIZES THAT THE DECISION TO CONTINUE WEARINGAMASK IS APERSONAL ONE.” GRENITA LATHAN, HOUSTON ISD SUPERINTENDENT

Houston ISDprepares application for pandemic relief grant funds

TENTATIVE TIMELINE

Houston ISD sta mapped out a timeline in May for the grant application process.

Administrators with Houston ISD will put the nishing touches on a grant application in June and July for $536 million in pandemic relief funding. The district is set to receive a little over $804 million in total through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief III Grant, or ESSER grant. The remaining funds will be released amid negotiations between the state and federal governments and could become available this sum- mer, said Glenn Reed, the district’s chief nancial ocer. The plan will be formed with feed- back gathered during the second half of May, when HISD released surveys to parents, students and other stake- holder groups. As of press time, the surveys were slated to be discussed at a June 3 board workshop. The deadline to submit an applica- tion to the Texas Education Agency is

July 27, but HISD is aiming to submit its application by July 15, Reed said. Funding must go toward helping students recover from learning losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic and helping the district with its pan- demic response, according to federal guidelines. The funding is meant to be used throughout the 2023-24 school year. “We have to spend a minimum of 20% of those funds on learning loss,” Reed said. “It’s got to be evidence-based items like interven- tion, summer learning, extended-day after-school programs or extend- ed-year programs.” Other areas of the plan may include providing mental health services, addressing sta retention, bolstering professional development, reducing class sizes and needs related to facilities or technology, such as purchasing devices and cleaning.

MAY 1421

Survey available to parents, students and stakeholders

JUNE 3 Survey results presented to HISD board of trustees at workshop JUNE 10 Cost estimates for specic plan elements presented to board at regular meeting JULY 15 Board to submit grant application JULY AND BEYOND Board responds to questions from Texas Education Agency before grant funding is rewarded

SOURCE: HOUSTON ISD COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

State order endsmaskmandate for HISD, other schools

A Houston ISD mandate ended June 4 requiring all students, sta and visitors to wear face coverings while inside district schools and facilities. The man- date ended following an executive order from Gov. Greg Abbott prohibiting mask mandates from being

enforced by public schools and local governments. “Though masks will not be required ... HISD encourages their use and recognizes that the deci- sion to continue wearing a mask is a personal one,” HISD Superintendent Grenita Lathan said in a

June 1 statement. The U.S. Centers for Dis- ease Control and Preven- tion issued new guidance May 13 that ended all mask requirements for fully vaccinated people. Prior to Abbott’s order HISD released a statement saying mask mandates would President Pat Allen said at a May 21 press conference. Clarksville-Montgomery School System serves roughly 36,000 students and employs 5,100 employ- ees across 41 schools. As of October, HISD served more than 196,000 students across 280 schools while employing around 27,000 people. House was selected as the HISD board faces a potential takeover by the Texas

remain in place for the time being for facilities and campuses. All other health and safety protocols adopted by HISD in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic will remain in place through the end of summer school on July 13, Lathan said.

HISDnames lone nalist for superintendent position

Education Agency. The TEA has announced intentions

The Houston ISD board of education announced Millard House II as the lone nalist in its search for a new superintendent May 21. House serves as director of schools for the Clarks- ville-Montgomery School System in Tennessee, a role similar to superintendent.

He will replace Grenita Lathan, who has served as interim superintendent for HISD since March 2018. “We are condent that [House] brings the leadership and innovation that we need to continue improving our outcomes for the children of HISD,” Board

to have a board of managers take over

MillardHouse II

control of the district citing accountability standards, among other concerns. As of press time, the case had been appealed to the Texas Supreme Court.

10

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

CITY& COUNTY

News from Houston & Harris County

QUOTEOFNOTE “OUR COMMUNITY IS DOINGWHAT IT NEEDS TODO TOMOVE THE NEEDLE IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION, MOVING BACKWARDS REMAINS VERYREAL.” LINA HIDALGO, HARRIS COUNTY JUDGE, SPEAKING ON THE BUT THE THREAT OF STALLINGOR LOWERING OF THE COUNTY’S CORONAVIRUS THREAT LEVEL NUMBER TOKNOW The newly doubled fine approved by Houston City Council on May 26 for illegal dumping $4,000 OTHERHIGHLIGHTS MAY5 After lengthy debate, Houston City Council voted 10-7 to approve a proposal for the installation of up to 125 digital kiosks in areas of Houston with high pedestrian activity. The first kiosks could be installed by 2024. MAY20 New philanthropic fund The Houston Fund for Social Justice and Economic Equity was announced with an initial fundraising goal of $25 million. It was established in memory of George Floyd. The fund will contribute to nonprofit efforts and also have a venture capital arm focused on minority entrepreneurs. MAY20 Houston City Council voted unanimously to approve a $1.1 million contract with HDR Engineering Inc. to design the $131 million North Canal Project. The project aims to reduce flood risk downtown and along parts of White Oak and Buffalo Bayous. MAY28 Harris County officials announced another lowering of the county’s coronavirus threat level, which stood at yellow—or “moderate”—as of press time. The threat level was dropped from “severe” to “significant” on May 18, at which point officials said it also no longer applied to vaccinated individuals. Houston City Council will meet at 1:30 p.m. June 8 for public comment and 9 a.m. June 9 for regular business at 901 Bagby St., Houston. Meetings are streamed at www.houstontx.gov/htv. Harris County Commissioners Court will meet at 10 a.m. June 8. Live meeting video is available at www.harriscountytx.gov. MEETINGSWE COVER

Mayor Turner offers 18%raise to firefighters using stimulus funds

BY EMMA WHALEN

in a contract to knowwhere you’re supposed to be, the law states what the firefighters’ rights are,” he said. “The mayor apparently believes he doesn’t have to follow the law.” The raises, which will bring firefighters’ pay to $21.35 per hour, are based on comparisons between Houston and other major Texas cities including Dallas, Fort Worth and San Antonio, Turner said. In 2017, the city and the union failed to reach a collective bargain- ing agreement, which is the legal process for determining a labor contract for the fire department’s employees. As a result, firefighters have gone without raises for over five years. The collective bargaining process would also set other provi- sions in the contract, such as health and retirement benefits. Houston Fire Department Chief Sam Peña defended the decision, saying in the absence of an agree- ment, the raises put more money into the pockets of firefighters sooner than waiting on both parties to reach an agreement.

HOUSTON Mayor Sylvester Turner on May 19 offered an 18% raise over the next three years for Houston firefighters, representing another development in years of legal battles between the city and the firefighters union. Union President Marty Lancton, however, said the proposal is “not even close” to resolving the issues between the Houston Professional Firefighters Association and the mayor. He also claimed he was not consulted by the mayor prior to the announcement, which he referred to as a bonus rather than a raise. “When you don’t have specifics Terms of the raises When: 6% per year until 2023 How much: Starting hourly rate: $21.35 July 1

SOURCE: CITY OF HOUSTON/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Lawsuit alleges Harris County Precinct 1 superiors harassed, assaulted deputies

BY EMMA WHALEN

The stings, described as “booze- filled playgrounds,” were often fruit- less, the suit alleged, and resulted in a small number of minor arrests while degrading trust between the agency and informants. One plaintiff was fired after reporting concerns internally, the lawsuit said. In response, Rosen put out a statement condemning the suit as “an effort to impugn the good reputation” of the constable’s office. It also stated the matter was already investigated despite the office never receiving a formal complaint. “I have a zero-tolerance stance against sexual assault and sexual harassment and would never allow a hostile work environment as alleged,” Rosen said in a statement released the afternoon of May 24.

HARRIS COUNTY A lawsuit filed May 24 alleged Harris County Pre- cinct 1 Constable’s Office superiors routinely harassed and endangered young female deputies during sting operations that the women were untrained for but hand-selected to participate in. Four women, currently and for- merly employed by the constable’s office, filed the suit against Con- stable Alan Rosen, two of Rosen’s assistants and Harris County. They allege young female deputies were picked for undercover prostitution sting operations guised as “bachelor parties.” They were “continuously subjected to sexual harassment, unwarranted touching, unwanted kissing, molestation, and sexual ridicule,” the lawsuit stated.

11

HEIGHTS - RIVER OAKS - MONTROSE EDITION • JUNE 2021

H E A L T H C A R E E D I T I O N 2021 COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER IS PROUD TO SAY THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

HEALTH CARE SNAPSHOT

COMPILED BY SHAWN ARRAJJ

COMPARING COUNTY HEALTH

COMBATING COVID19

These rankings are updated annually but include data from previous years. There are other factors included that are not listed.

Just under 55% of Harris County residents age 12 and older have had at least one vaccine dose as of June 1, while more than 4 in 10 have been fully vaccinated.

HARRIS COUNTY

HEALTH OUTCOMES INCLUDE:

VACCINATION DEMOGRAPHICS 8.71% 10.9% Asian Black

COUNTYVACCINATIONS

4.11% 4.1%

51.15% 2.89% 26.23% 16.48% 3.23% 0.02% 22.11% 13.83% 18.79% 26.99% 11.98% 6.3%

• LENGTHOF LIFE • QUALITYOF LIFE , such as the number of poor mental and physical health days reported

MONTGOMERY COUNTY FORT BEND COUNTY

PEOPLE AGE 12+ WITH AT LEAST ONE DOSE

21.47% 54.07% 9.71% 6.54% 45.11% 1.83% 27.33% 20.73% 4.98% 0.02%

33.78% 29.27% 10.21% 7.13%

White Hispanic

54.9% 67.24% 49.43%

HEALTH FACTORS INCLUDE:

2021 STATEWIDE HEALTH CARE RANKINGS OUT OF 243 COUNTIES

• HEALTHBEHAVIORS , such as smoking, obesity, physical activity, excessive drinking, alcohol-impaired driving deaths, sexually transmitted infections and teen births • CLINICAL CARE , including health insurance coverage; number of physicians, dentists and mental health providers; preventable hospital stays; and u vaccinations • SOCIOECONOMIC FACTORS , such as educational attainment levels, children in poverty, income inequality and violent crimes • PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT FACTORS , such as air pollution, drinking water violations, housing problems and long commutes

Other

HEALTH OUTCOMES

Unknown

53.15%

2 3

18 9

30 30 69

Length of life Overall Quality of life

AGE BREAKDOWN

State average

52.04% 1.87% 26.17% 16.1% 3.8% 0.02%

16-49 12-15 50-64 80+ 65-79

4

8

PEOPLE AGE 12+ WHO ARE FULLY VACCINATED

HEALTH FACTORS

43.44% 54.62% 37.9%

2 3 8 8

13 24 35 28

15 90

Overall

Health behaviors Socioeconomic Physical environment Clinical care

Unknown

61

42.88%

SOURCES: ROBERT WOOD JOHNSON FOUNDATION, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN POPULATION HEALTH INSTITUTE, COUNTYHEALTHRANKINGS.ORG, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

160 241

State average

177

238

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HEIGHTS  RIVER OAKS  MONTROSE EDITION • JUNE 2021

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14

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

NEWS BRIEFS

COMPILED BY SHAWN ARRAJJ 2 0 2 1 H E A L T H C A R E E D I T I O N

COMPILED BY SHAWN ARRAJJ

Heights hospital remains closedmonths after lockout

610

N

the owners of record—1917 Ashland Ventures LLC—that they would only receive the keys after they paid more than $461,000 in overdue rent and fees, according to previous reporting by Com- munity Impact Newspaper . The note was signed by attorneys representing Arbitra Capital Partners, a creditor based in Las Vegas. Requests for comment sent to both the attorneys represent- ing Arbitra and AMD Global, the parent company of 1917 Ashland Ventures, were not returned as of press time.

Several months after its abrupt closure in January over unpaid rent, the Heights Hospital on Ashland Street remains closed with no indication it may reopen. Several tenants continue to operate out of the Ashland Street building, including RoweDocs, which is providing COVID-19 tests on a walk-in basis and oers telemedicine services. Cobalt Rehabilita- tion is also open on the build- ing’s fourth oor, oering a variety of inpatient services including internal medicine, physical and occupational therapy, and radiology. Prior to its closure, the hospital staed roughly 120 employees and oered 50 beds. Doctors Jan. 18 were locked out of the building, where they found a note from

comprehensive primary care for adults and will have room for up to 10 health care providers. The clinic will include an on-site pharmacy, a laboratory, and X-ray and diagnostic testing services. Patients will also have access to Kelsey-Seybold’s referral network, which can connect them to specialists at other clinics, including a 125,000-square-foot clinic that will open in the Memorial Villages in 2022. The new clinic will occupy the entire fourth oor of an existing building. The clinic was designed by Powers Brown Architecture, and Gamma Construction has been selected as the general contractor.

Kelsey-Seybold to open new Greater Heights clinic this fall The clinic will occupy the entire fourth oor of a building at 1900 North Loop W. in Houston. (Courtesy Aaron Dougherty Photo)

A new 22,000-square-foot Kelsey-Seybold clinic will open in November at 1900 North LoopW., Houston, near the Loop 610 and Hwy. 290 intersection, ocials announced May 25. It will be the sixth new clinic by Kelsey-Seybold slated to open this year, joining other new clinics planned at Memorial City and River Oaks. The location

of the Heights clinic will allow it to serve 150,000 potential patients in nearby communities, said Nicholas Ro, Kelsey-Seybold’s chief legal and strategic planning ocer. “Providing convenient services in more established residential neighborhoods is a priority for our growth strategy,” Ro said. The clinic will oer

W. 20TH ST.

N

15

HEIGHTS  RIVER OAKS  MONTROSE EDITION • JUNE 2021

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