Bellaire - Meyerland - West University Edition | Sept. 2022

BELLAIRE MEYERLAND WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION

VOLUME 4, ISSUE 5  SEPT. 130, 2022

ONLINE AT

Hitting a dry spell

10th-driest year to date since 1985

Third-driest June on record

Hottest June and July on record

Houston rainfall in inches, 200222

IMPACTS

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A severe drought in Harris County was eased somewhat by rain that fell over the month of August.

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27.62*

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SOURCE: THE NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATIONCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

*THROUGH AUG. 25

Electric vehicle stations get funding

Paul Shinneman, farmer education manager with the nonprot Plant It Forward, inspects crops at one of the group’s urban farms in August.

SHAWN ARRAJJCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Drought eases, but eects could linger

BY SHAWN ARRAJJ & GEORGE WIEBE

health, among other areas. “The seasonal outlook calls for the enhanced probability of above normal temperatures and below normal rainfall for at least now through the end of the

remained in severe drought as of Aug. 22, according to the Texas Water Development Board, and experts said the eects of the dryness statewide are still being felt, including eects on agriculture, water supply and public

The month of August brought some much-needed rain to the Houston area after June and July were both excep- tionally warm and exceptionally dry. However, portions of Harris County

TRANSPORTATION

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Bellaire hires new city manager following 2-year vacancy BY GEORGE WIEBE

From the mayor The hunt for a city manager

MUSEUM GUIDE

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Bellaire City Council unanimously approved the appoint- ment of Sharon Citino as the new city manager July 11, mark- ing an end to a two-year search to ll the role. Citino previously worked as the water planning director in the Houston Public Works Department beginning in 2018. “When this opportunity came up I thought ‘Wow, I have to put my hat in the ring’,” she said. “I had to see if this [was] something that I had a chance to do. I love the idea of being able to serve as a city manager.” CONTINUED ON 18

Sharon is the right person at the right time for this [city]. ... We have a lot of condence that she’s the right person to come in and reinvigorate things.

ANDREW FRIEDBERG, MAYOR OF BELLAIRE

BUSINESS FEATURE

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BELLAIRE - MEYERLAND - WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • SEPTEMBER 2022

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

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. Now in 2022, CI is still locally owned. We have expanded to include hundreds of employees, our own software platform and printing facility, and over 30 hyperlocal editions across the state with a circulation to more than 2.4 million residential mailboxes.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THIS MONTH

FROM JAY: September is here, which means school is in full swing, and cooler temperatures are hopefully in our near future. Following record-breaking temperatures in June and July combined with some of the lowest rainfall totals in over 10 years, our area would appreciate the cooler days. Our front- page story details these weather developments and their eects on the water supply. Jay McMahon, GENERAL MANAGER

Community Impact Newspaper teams include general managers, editors, reporters, graphic designers, sales account executives and sales support, all immersed and invested in the communities they serve. Our mission is to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. Our core values are Faith, Passion, Quality, Innovation and Integrity.

FROM SHAWN: Each of our papers features a mix of news items, local business spotlights and guides to your community. This month, we compiled information on what museums can be found around Houston, including well-known museums within the Museum District as well as lesser-known hubs for history, culture and art. Shawn Arrajj, SENIOR EDITOR

Our purpose is to be a light for our readers, customers, partners and each other.

WHAT WE COVER

Sign up for our daily newsletter to receive the latest headlines direct to your inbox. communityimpact.com/ newsletter DAILY INBOX Visit our website for free access to the latest news, photos and infographics about your community and nearby cities. communityimpact.com LIVE UPDATES

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BUSINESS & DINING Local business development news that aects you

TRANSPORTATION & DEVELOPMENT Regular updates on area projects to keep you in the know

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WE’VE TEAMED UP TO BRING YOU MORE OF THE STORIES YOU CARE ABOUT

WOMACK TRIAL LAWYERS Sydney M. Womack • Attorney • Meyerland Resident 2022 Super Lawyer Rising Star • 2021 Top Lawyer Car Accidents • Trucking Accident • Work Injury Wills & Estate • Probate www.WomackTrialLawyers.com Se Habla Español (713) 322-9993

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BELLAIRE  MEYERLAND  WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • SEPTEMBER 2022

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon or have changed ownership

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opened in mid-July at 3331 Westpark Drive, Houston. The celebrity-inspired, full-body workout comes in four dierent classes, including dance, working with overhead bands, a strength-focused tone workout and a timed full-body power class. 713-869-1240. www.theakt.com 6 Porsche River Oaks hosted a grand opening Aug. 4 at 4007 Greenbriar Drive, Houston. The multimillion-dollar facility, among the country’s largest Porsche dealerships, oers guests an opportunity to buy used and new cars. Other services include repairs, genuine Porsche parts and auto nancing. According to its web- site, patrons also have the option to build a custom Porsche in the tting lounge, an area where customers can feel leather nishes, see paint swatches, and select the design of the steering wheel and shift knob. 888-892-5442. www.momentumporsche.com COMING SOON 7 Mandito’s , a Tex-Mex restaurant based in Round Top, will open a second location in early 2023 at 5101 Bellaire Blvd., Bellaire. The original location opened in 2017 with a menu featuring classic Tex-Mex dishes and modern items such as burrito bowls. 979-249-5181. www.manditos.com 8 Ocials with St. Luke’s United Meth- odist Church hosted a groundbreaking Aug. 11 on a new $23.5 million community center being planned in the Gulfton and Sharpstown area that will connect resi- dents to nonprots specializing in youth programs, health care, workforce training and mentorship. The new 55,000-square-

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MAP NOT TO SCALE

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2 Animal food and amenities chain Pet Supplies Plus launched with a grand opening Aug. 12. Located at 3851 Bellaire Blvd., Houston, the retailer provides pet care to dogs, cats, birds, sh, reptiles and other small animals. Services include grooming, an animal pharmacy, periodic adoptions and other resources to help 3 Parachute , the Los Angeles home shopping and lifestyle brand, opened in Rice Village on Aug. 5. The store at 2414 University Blvd., Houston, features high-quality furniture, loungewear, towels pet owners. 832-699-5335. www.petsuppliesplus.com

WILLOWBEND BLVD. NOW OPEN 1 A new location of Urban Bird Hot Chicken opened in late July north of Rice Village at 5404 Kirby Drive, Houston. The venue has two other locations in the Hous- ton area: one in Katy and one in Cy-Fair. The eatery specializes in Nashville-style hot chicken dishes that are cooked to order. Food can be served at dierent heat levels ranging from Country—or no heat—to Fire in the Hole. The business was founded in Katy in 2020. 346-428-1010. www.urbanbirdhotchicken.com

and sheets. The opening marks the store’s rst Houston-area location and 19th over-

all in the U.S. 832-637-8410. www.parachutehome.com

4 Zalat Pizza , a Dallas-based chain restaurant, opened Aug. 9 west of the Texas Medical Center at 2303 W. Hol- combe Blvd., Houston. The pizzeria fea- tures in-house, from-scratch recipes with its own take on New York-style pizza. The opening is the chain’s sixth Houston-area location and the 24th overall in Texas. 346-610-9420. www.zalatpizza.com 5 The West University Place location of tness studio Anna Kaiser Technique

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY SHAWN ARRAJJ & GEORGE WIEBE

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Mandito’s

St. Luke’s United Methodist Church

Houston Methodist Hospital will open an innovation hub at The Ion building in Midtown.

COURTESY PALACIOS MURPHY HOSPITALITY GROUP

RENDERING COURTESY JACKSON & RYAN ARCHITECTS

SHAWN ARRAJJCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

FEATURED IMPACT COMING SOON Ocials with Houston Methodist Hospital announced plans Aug. 11 to partner with The Ion tech hub on a new health care innovation space to be modeled after Methodist’s Center for Innovation Technology Hub in the Texas Medical Center. The announcement marks the rst health care partnership forged by the Ion, which opened in May. The tech hub will occupy a 1,200-square-foot space at the Ion’s Midtown campus at 4201 Main St., Houston. It will initially be used for informational and educational programming while also serving as

foot, two-story center will also provide space for recreation and community events, including a full-court gymnasium, a dedicated youth hall, classrooms and oces. The center is being built on the St. Luke’s Gethsemane church campus at 6865 Bellaire Blvd., Houston. As of Aug. 11, the church had raised about 77% of its fundraising goal, or $18 million. The center is slated to open in November 2023. www.stlukesmethodist.org NEW OWNERSHIP 9 Sylvan Learning of Bellaire , a K-12 tutoring company, is celebrating its new owners, Yvette and Jesse Johnson. A rib- bon-cutting was held Aug. 6 at 5316 Bis- sonnet St., Bellaire. Sylvan Learning oers special lessons for SAT, ACT and State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness

prep as well as lessons in science, technol- ogy, engineering and math elds, such as coding and robotics. 713-280-3343. www.sylvanlearning.com IN THE NEWS 10 Ocials with Legacy Community Health , a network of health care clinics across Southeast Texas, said the Jordan Family Healthcare clinic at 10021 S. Main St., Ste. B3, Houston, joined the network July 13. Legacy oers primary and specialty care services as well as pharmacy services with options to pay on a sliding scale for the uninsured. It will continue to accept most health insurance plans, including Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. 832-834-3800. www.drjordanmd.com

a place where other Ion tenants can network and receive mentoring. The new space will help expand on the work related to patient-centered health care, notably on remote monitoring, ambient intelligence and virtual reality. It is expected to open later this year. www.houstonmethodist.org

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Here. THERE IS A PLACE FOR YOU

Pam Keever and Kathleen Wiesenthal Keever Law PLLC dba Keever & Wiesenthal 6910 Chetwood, Houston, TX 77081 T: (713) 995-8200 | F: (713) 995-8894 kwiesenthal@keeverlaw.com www.keeverlaw.com PROBATE • WILLS • GUARDIANSHIP • REAL ESTATE • ESTATE PLANNING

Join us on Sunday, September 11 for breakfast, fellowship, and connection to the many ministries kicking off this fall at First Presbyterian Church.

With a focus on real estate, will and estate planning preparation, and probate, Keever & Wiesenthal are unique in our ability to reconcile real estate issues within the context of a probate hearing or in the course of will and estate planning preparation. You live in a very unique state from the rest of the nation in terms of real estate law. When you need to purchase, sell or refinance your real property, one-size-fits-all legal forms may not be adequate to achieve the results you need and neither should your estate plan.

You need to consult with a Texas Real Estate Attorney who has experience and knows how to reach the result you desire. When you have taken the time to find a law firm to help you plan your end of life decisions and to guide you through Texas Real Estate transactions, make sure it’s a firm who can handle your case with the utmost care and professionalism. Make sure it’s Keever & Wiesenthal.

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BELLAIRE  MEYERLAND  WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • SEPTEMBER 2022

TODO LIST

September & October events

COMPILED BY OLIVER CAPITO

Chefs for Houston partners chefs with local farmers to create dishes for the festival. (Courtesy Chefs for Farmers) WORTH THE TRIP Oct. 2: Try dishes from Houston’s top chefs Chefs For Farmers, a Texas-based food and wine festival, will be held in Houston for the rst time, featuring ingredients produced by local farmers in the Houston area, and brewers will also serve alcoholic beverages. General admission covers freshly made food and beverages. VIP access is $150 per ticket and includes early entry at 1 p.m., during which time guests can try exclusive dishes and explore the oerings of each chef, winemaker and farmer up close. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Houston Food Bank. an all-star lineup of chefs. Over 20 chefs will cook with

SUPPORT LOCAL ORCHESTRA’S NEW SEASON MILLER OUTDOOR THEATRE

SEPT. 25

REPRESENT SCHOOLS IN UNIVERSITY RACE RICE UNIVERSITY

SEPT. 23

Guests can enjoy the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra led by Mei-Ann Chen, which will play music honoring Houston’s cultural diversity, including works by Juan Pablo Contreras, Beethoven and a Vietnamese folk ballad. 8 p.m. Free. Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park Drive, Houston. 713-665-2700. www.roco.org

Runners compete with Rice University or the University of Houston in the Karbach Brewing Bayou Bucket in 5K or 10K races. The event includes a Kids K race for families. Registration includes a ticket to the Rice football game. 7:30 a.m. (5K and 10K), 9:30 a.m. (Kids K). $20+. Rice University, 6100 Main St., Houston. www.houstonrunningco.com

COURTESY RIVER OAKS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA

COURTESY HOUSTON RUNNING COMPANY

SEPTEMBER 16 GRAB A BREW AT THE ZOO Guests can try over 30 dierent types of beer at the Brew at the Zoo event, which also features live music, animals, games and a pool where attendees can relax with their drinks. 6-10 pm. $35. Houston Zoo, 6200 Hermann Park Drive, Houston. 713-533-6500. www.houstonzoo.org 16 STOP BY AN ARTIST RECEPTION Guests are welcomed to the opening of “Urban Impressions: Experiencing the Global Contemporary Metropolis.” Art from painter Rick Lowe, sculptor Rana Begum and contemporary visual artist Julie Mehretu focus on the overarching aspects of urban life. 6-8 p.m. Free. Moody Center for the Arts, 6100 Main St., Houston. 713-348-2787. www.moody.rice.edu 16 HIKE WITH NIGHTLIFE Attendees age 4 and older can learn about animals that thrive at night at the Park After Dark Night Hike. Adults are welcome to participate, but space is limited. Registration is required,

and live animals, all in celebration of bats. The event also features a blood drive with the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. Houston Arboretum, 4501 Woodway Drive, Houston. 713-681-8433. www.houstonarboretum.org 24 ENJOY DJS, RUNNING AND PARTIES The Night Nation Fun Run mixes music and running in the city’s rst running music festival. Participants can run both in and out of Minute Maid Park and experience an after-party with DJs, lights and bubble zones. Registration comes with gear, access to concerts and free giveaways. 5 p.m. $34.99+. Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford St., Houston. www.nightnationrun.com/houston 24 LISTEN TO WORLDCLASS CHOIR Watch the Houston Chamber Choir perform its rst concert of the 2022-23 season. “Let All The World in Every Corner Sing” is a tribute to English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams’ 150th birthday. 7:30 p.m. $33.50. South Main Baptist Church, 4100 Main St., Houston. 713-224- 5566. www.houstonchamberchoir.org

and a ashlight and bug spray are recommended. 8-9 p.m. $10. Hana and Arthur Ginzbarg Nature Discovery Center, 7112 Newcastle Drive, Bellaire. 713-667- 6550. www.naturediscoverycenter.org 17 JAM OUT TO JAZZ MUSIC The Houston Jazz Festival comes to Miller Outdoor Theatre with performances from The Cookers and Nellie McKay. The works of artist Jack Whitten will also be on display. 8 p.m. Free. Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park Drive, Houston. 281-373-3386. www.milleroutdoortheatre.com 17 THROUGH OCT. 09 WATCH REGIONAL PREMIERE OF TONYNOMINATED PLAY Set in 1957, “Trouble in Mind” follows Black actress Willeta Mayer, who can be the lead role in a Broadway play if she gives up her principles. 7:30 p.m. (Thu.- Sat.), 3 p.m. (Sun.). $10+. Main Street Theater, 2540 Times Blvd., Houston. 713- 524-6706. www.mainstreettheater.com 17 LEARN ABOUT BATS AT THE HOUSTON ARBORETUM The rst-ever “Bat Fest” features educational booths, crafts for children

2-5 p.m. $115. Autry Park, 3737 Cogdell St., Houston. www.chefsforfarmers.com

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Find more or submit Bellaire-Meyerland-West University 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

TRANSPORTATION UPDATES

COMPILED BY GEORGE WIEBE & ILANA WILLIAMS

TxDOT plans for more electric vehicle charging stations To support the growth of electric

ONGOING PROJECTS

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CHARGING HOUSTON

Charging station

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vehicles, Houston is addressing air quality concerns and long-term funding strategies for electric vehi- cles and charging stations. Texas has also been allocated $400 million of federal money, which will be distrib- uted over the next five years, to fund electric vehicle infrastructure. As of Aug. 22, there were over 19,700 electric vehicles registered in Harris County, according to data from Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities and the North Central Texas Council of Governments. However, electric vehicles account for 0.55% of all registered vehicles in Harris County. While electric cars are becoming more accessible, the issue lies with making charging stations more available, said Harry Tenenbaum, director of commercialization and infrastructure at Evolve Houston. The nonprofit works with entities to facilitate installing and developing electric vehicle infrastructure. “The first step is learning more and finding out how many people don’t have access to charge at home,” Tenenbaum said. The federal government and the state have invested in infrastructure to meet the growing demand and improve accessibility. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas estimates Houston will have 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2028, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. Ebrahim Eslami, a research scientist at the Houston Advanced Research Center, said there are between 7 million-10 million cars in Houston, but even if there is a small

Electric vehicle charging stations can be found at more than 20 location s throughout the local area.

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Paseo Park sidewalk addition Bellaire City Council heard recommen- dations from Public Works Director Michael Leech on Aug. 1 regarding a resident’s request to install a new sidewalk path along the south side of Paseo Park. Paseo Park is a small three-block trail within city limits between north and south Bellaire Boulevard, just east of Rice Avenue. It is home to the Bellaire Streetcar Line landmark. The park has sidewalks running along the north, west and east sides of the park with a gap on the park’s south side. Public works brought two proposals for council to mull over: The first plan, nicknamed the “Straight Shot,” is a 275-foot addition along the park’s southern border, costing an estimated $20,000-$30,000. The second option, nicknamed the “Short Side,” would add an attaching line of sidewalk between the park’s south- west corner and the sidewalk along the streetcar, costing an estimated $15,000-$25,000. Council members also have a third option of leaving the park as it is. No decision has been made as city staff plans a more concrete presen- tation for council. Construction could begin within 90 days of approval. Timeline: TBD Cost: estimated at $15,000-$30,000 Funding source: city of Bellaire

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52% increase in alternative-fuel vehicle ownership over the past five fiscal years statewide President Joe Biden’s administration aims to have 50% of new car sales be electric vehicles by 2030 .

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19,700+ electric vehicles registered in Harris County

SOURCES: RELIANT, DALLAS-FORT WORTH CLEAN CITIES, THE NORTH CENTRAL TEXAS COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS, WHITE HOUSE, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

said Thomas Pommier, senior staff analyst at Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Office of Resilience and Sustain- ability. This is part of President Joe Biden’s administration’s goal for 50% of new car sales to be electric vehicles by 2030, according to a June White House news release. Beginning in 2023, an estimated $42 million-$43 million is expected to flow through the Houston-Galveston Area Council to deploy more electric vehicle chargers in the region. “Fortunately, there are a lot of people and a lot of organizations that are not only interested in this, but passionate as well and provide whichever resources they can ... to investigate the impacts of the human health and environmental impacts of transportation,” Tenenbaum said.

amount of electrification, there can be an improvement in air quality. “Assuming 100% of [vehicles] are going to be electric by 2040, we need electricity,” he said. “We need the infrastructure for [electric cars] to emerge as the main source of electric production sources.” Electric infrastructure Electric vehicle infrastructure requires generating enough power, transmitting energy across the grid and bringing energy through electric chargers, Tenenbaum said. Under the federal Bipartisan Infra- structure Law passed in November, Texas is expected to receive more than $400 million from the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program over the next five years,

ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF AUG. 15. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT BMWNEWS@COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM.

TWU Houston Open House Sept. 17, 10 a.m.-noon Texas Medical Center

MBA • Health Care Administration • Nursing • Nutrition & Food Science • Occupational Therapy • Physical Therapy

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BELLAIRE - MEYERLAND - WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • SEPTEMBER 2022

PARKS & RECREATION Proposed trail improvements advance along Brays Bayou

TAKING THE TRAIL

Trails run alongside Brays Bayou, but upgrades are coming to a stretch between Hermann Park and Chimney Rock Road.

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SECTION 1 Status: design phase nished, awaiting approval from Army Corps of Engineers

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because the trail is not continuous, Rondot said, including at Bualo Speedway, just past Stella Link Road, and at Chimney Rock Road. In some instances, the only means of crossing are two-foot-wide paths that do not accommodate cyclists well, he said. Once work is completed, many of those forced crossing points will be eliminated, Rondot said. Work on the portion of the trail between Hermann Park and South Rice Avenue is moving ahead rst, Rondot said. Design work has been completed, and the project is awaiting approval by the Army Corps of Engineers, which has invested funding into Brays Bayou, followed by Houston’s permitting department. Rondot said he hopes to go out for construction bids by the end of the year, but it is hard to project how long the review process will take. Design work is expected to begin

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Trail improvements are being planned along a stretch of Brays Bayou through the Braeswood and Meyerland areas. Pending reviews by the Army Corp of Engineers and the city of Houston, some elements of the project could be sent out for construction bids by the end of 2022. Ultimately, the goal is to replace existing 8-foot asphalt trails with 10-foot concrete trails on both sides of the bayou where possible, said Trent Rondot, conservation and maintenance director with the Houston Parks Board. “Part of our overall look at the system is wanting to upgrade all of the older trail systems to this new 10-foot-wide standard,” he said. There are multiple points along the trail where trail users are forced to cross from the north side of the bayou to the south side, or vice versa,

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The Houston Parks Board is working with the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County on a connection from the transit center to Brays Bayou trails. Status: about 50% through design phase

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soon on the trail between South Rice and Chimney Rock roads, Rondot said. The parks board opted to hold o on design work on that portion until after the Harris County Flood Control District nished its own project in the area, which included redesigning bridges over Chimney Rock and South Rice. From there, trails can connect to existing con- crete trails that were recently built by the HCFCD as part of Project Brays,

Rondot said. The HCFCD’s bridge work included building 10-foot concrete shelves at intersections with major streets. HPB plans to use those shelves as connec- tion points for lower-level trails that will allow trail-users to travel beneath streets as opposed to having to cross them at grade, Rondot said. “Our project is basically trying to build o of what [HCFCD] have kind of created,” Rondot said.

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10

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

CITY & COUNTY

News from West University Place & Houston

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS WEST UNIVERSITY PLACE Construction could start in January on an east side drainage project in the city of West University Place. The project is bring split up into two separate packages. The first package involves paving and drainage upgrades along University Boulevard between Buffalo Speedway and Kirby Drive. The second package involves paving and drainage upgrades along portions of Wakeforest Avenue, Rice Avenue and Duke Street. Bellaire City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Sept. 12 at 7008 S. Rice Ave., Bellaire. Meetings are streamed at www.bellairetx.gov. West University Place City Council will meet at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 12 at 3800 University Blvd., Houston. Meetings are available via teleconference. Find details at www.westutx.gov. Houston City Council will meet for a consolidated meeting for public comment and regular business at 9 a.m. Sept. 7 at 901 Bagby St., Houston. Meetings are streamed at www.houstontx.gov/htv. MEETINGS WE COVER

West U takes steps to issue $61.1M in bonds

Bond elections placed on ballot

Project priorities

Wastewater treatment plant improvements: The city of West University Place will pay for a number of projects through certificates of obligation.

BY SOFIA GONZALEZ

HOUSTON In a 16-1 vote, Houston City Council approved an ordinance during its Aug. 17 meeting that orders an election to be held Nov. 8 for Houstonians to vote on $478 million in public improvement bonds. Voters will be asked to weigh in on seven separate propositions, including a $270 million public safety bond, a $60 million parks bond, a $47 million bond for animal care services, a $33 million bond for public health, a $29 million bond for general improve- ments, a $26 million library bond and a $6 million bond for the solid waste department. The 2023-27 capital improve- ment plans identified the projects as “future bond elections.” Funds would also pay for $194 million in already-planned projects that have no funding.

$17.34M

BY GEORGE WIEBE

Street drainage improvements:

WEST UNIVERSITY PLACE The city of West University Place during its July 25 council meeting directed city staff to publish a notice of intention to issue certificates of obligation, a required step by the city prior to the issuance of new debt. The $61.12 million in new debt is to be paid down over the next 25 years, and portions of it will be used to fund projects in the city’s fiscal year 2022-23 budget. Certificates of obligation—also called COs—are a form of bonds issued to pay for large nonroutine expenses. Unlike general obliga- tion bonds, COs do not require voter approval, providing more flexible spending to cities. A notice for COs must be given

$15.8M

Public works maintenance facility:

$12.4M

Wastewater reuse:

$8.18M

Water line replacement:

$3.7M

Buffalo Speedway rehab:

$2.3M

Wakeforest painting:

$1.11M

Law Street water line:

at least 45 days prior to issuance. While no vote is required to issue COs, if 5% of eligible voters sign a city petition, the bonds become subject to an election. $290,000 SOURCE: CITY OF WEST UNIVERSITY PLACE/ COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

11

BELLAIRE - MEYERLAND - WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • SEPTEMBER 2022

GUIDE

A guide to local museums in 2022

HOUSTONAREA MUSEUM

2022

GUIDE COMPILED BY SHAWN ARRAJJ & RENEE FARMER DESIGNED BY ANYA GALLANT

(nonmember children), $9 (nonmember adults) 3 Museum of Southern History 7502 Fondren Road, Houston 281-649-3287 www.hbu.edu/museums/ museum-of-southern-history Cost: $4 (children), $5 (group tours), $6 (adults) 4 Museum of American Archi- tecture and Decorative Arts 7502 Fondren Road, Houston 281-649-3287 www.hbu.edu/museums/ museum-of-american- architecture-and-decorative-arts Cost: $4 (children), $5 (group tours), $6 (adults) 5 Dunham Bible Museum 7502 Fondren Road, Houston 281-649-3287 www.hbu.edu/museums/ dunham-bible-museum Cost: free

Worth the trip National Museum of Funeral History COURTESY NATIONAL MUSEUM OF FUNERAL HISTORY

The Houston area is home to a number of museums, whether they revolve around history, art or science.

National Museum of Funeral History

1 DeBakey Library and Museum 6450 E. Cullen St., Houston 713-798-4710 www.bcm.edu/about-us/our- campus/debakey-museum Cost: free 2 Burke Baker Planetarium 5555 Hermann Park Drive, Houston 713-639-4629 www.hmns.org/planetarium Cost: $4 (members), $8 The Bellaire, Meyerland and West University features some of the city’s most well-known museums, including those found in the ocial Museum District. The local area

2

The museum oers exhibits of historical funeral service items, including memorabilia across a variety of cultures and time periods. 415 Barren Springs Drive, Houston 281-876-3063 www.nm.org Cost: $7 (ages 6-11), $9 (ages 55 and up), $10 (adults)

59

HERMANN PARK

HINTON DR.

288

HOUSTON BAPTIST UNIVERSITY

4

HERMANN PARK DR.

SHARPCREST ST.

E. CULLEN ST.

5

1

3

MORSUND ST.

U T S

T

N

N

3

Houston Baptist University museums The Houston Baptist University campus in Sharpstown is home to several of its own museums, including the Museum of Southern History, which captures the history of the South in the mid-1800s.

BARREN SPRINGS DR.

45

N

Museum of Southern History

COURTESY HOUSTON BAPTIST UNIVERSITY

Museum Guide 2022

3

Houston Museum District The Houston Museum District comprises 19 museums in an area north of Hermann Park and east of Rice University. Highlights include The Museum of Fine Arts, the Houston Museum of Natural Science and the Houston Zoo.

The garden showcases works by 20th- and 21st-century sculptors. Sculptor Isamu Noguchi created the garden, which is framed by concrete walls and dotted with native trees, bamboo and crepe myrtle. Montrose Boulevard and Bissonnet Street, Houston 713-639-7300. www.mfah.org Cost: free Cullen Sculpture Garden Science museums 16 Children’s Museum Houston 17 Houston Museum of Natural Science 18 Houston Zoo 19 The Health Museum Historical museums 12 Bualo Soldiers National History Museum 13 Czech Center Museum 14 Holocaust Museum Houston 15 Houston Museum of African American Culture

W. ALABAMA ST.

A

527

RICHMOND AVE.

12

59

4

69

Art museums

6

13

1 Asia Society Texas Center 2 Contemporary Arts Museum Houston 3 DiverseWorks 4 Houston Center for Contemporary Craft 5 Houston Center for Photography

6 Lawndale Art Center 7 Moody Center for the Arts

15

1

B

14

8 Rothko Chapel 9 The Jung Center

17 16

19

10 The Menil Collection 11 The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

HERMANN PARK

BRAYS BAYOU

18

HERMANN PARK DR.

7

11

288

BERTHEA ST.

A

B

2

90

5

9

8

11

BISSONNET ST.

10

BRANARD ST.

HERMANN DR.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston's Cullen Sculpture Garden

N

COURTESY ALLYSON HUNTSMAN

STELLA LINK 8622 Stella Link • 713-667-7277 BUFFALO SPEEDWAY 9733 Buffalo Speedway • 713-838-7486 HOLCOMBE 2314 W Holcombe Blvd • 713-669-1722 WESLAYAN 3902 Bissonnet • 713-218-8144

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14

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

BUSINESS FEATURE Planetary Cycles 2 friends bring passion project to Bayou City H ouston’s cycling community has seen the city evolve over the years from a

BY GEORGE WIEBE

1 Recumbent bike: Three- wheel bikes designed for riders with disabilities or those seeking a more relaxed ride Planetary Cycles in Meyerland oers bikes for sale for a variety of purposes. A bike for all occasions

and eventually got into the business of manufacturing these. This keeps you active without having to be on a two-wheel bike; it gives you a chance to continue your cycling.” The store also sells biking acces- sories and clothing, such as helmets, shoes, bike racks and spare tires. The oor of the shop is staed by 10 employees, four of whom are dedicated to the service and repair aspects of the business. “I’d say everybody that works here has some anity and love for bikes,” Potter said. “Some are very active cyclists; some just love bikes and love the technology and mechanical aspect.” Suspended on display above the regular stock of bikes for sale are pieces of Savitzky’s antique bike collection. Little red tricycles hang across from an old

place known for its poor pedestrian infrastructure to one with a growing reputation for biking. Friends and business partners Adam Potter and Danny Savitzky were able to see much of that evolu- tion rsthand as owners of bicycle retail and repair shop Planetary Cycles, which they opened together in 1994. Originally located along North Braeswood Boulevard, the store has moved twice to accommodate an increase in business, eventually settling at its current location across from the Meyerland Plaza in 2013, along the Loop 610 feeder road. “The rst location was 1,000 square feet, then we went to 3,000.

Planetary Cycles owner Adam Potter sits on a recumbent bike.

PHOTOS BY GEORGE WIEBECOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

3 Mountain bike: Can travel easily on a variety of terrains

2 Urban track bike: Lighter and more agile bikes designed for speed

This current one is about 9,000,” Potter said. “We tripled our size, so the next one will have to be 27,000 square feet.” The store covers a wide net of cyclist needs from all-terrain mountain

Flying Pigeon, a bike Potter said is synonymous with the Chinese cycling boom in the mid- 20th century. Savitzky died in 2018, but his pas- sion for the industry

“I’D SAY EVERYBODY THAT WORKS HERE HAS SOME AFFINITY AND LOVE FOR BIKES.” ADAM POTTER, COFOUNDER OF PLANETARY CYCLES

riding to urban and race biking to the unique three-wheel recumbent bikes, which Potter said provide support for riders with disabilities or those looking for a more relaxed ride. “Recumbent bikes are something that my partner Danny and I were very interested in as youngsters,” Potter said. “We kind of built a few

is imprinted in the store he pushed to start and grow almost 28 years ago. Now, Potter said he is looking to keep that passion alive. “I can do something I actually love for a living and at the same time give something back to the community because something like riding is about physical and mental health,” Potter said.

Employee Marco Contreras tinkers in the store’s workshop.

An antique red tricycle is on display.

Planetary Cycles 8715 West Loop 610 S., Ste. B, Houston 713-668-2300 • www.planetarycycles.com

BEECHNUT ST.

610

Hours: Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., closed Sun.

N

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15

BELLAIRE  MEYERLAND  WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • SEPTEMBER 2022

Hot

&

August brought more than six inches of rain to the Houston area, a cause for some relief after a historically hot and dry June and July. However, drought conditions still exist in the area and are expected to linger throughout the rest of the year.

*AS OF AUG. 26

SOURCES: NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, NATIONAL INTEGRATED DROUGHT INFORMATION SYSTEMCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

dry

Average temperature in Houston

Total inches of rain in Houston

2022

30-year average

2022

30-year average

95.1

100

10

88

86.7

June had the lowest rainfall total since 2001 (0.08).

80.9

9.42

80

8

6.34

72.8

60

6

62

52.8 51.9

40

4

4.3

N

1.99

2.87

20

2

1.35

1.23

HARRIS COUNTY

0.13

0

0

JAN.

FEB. MARCH APRIL MAY JUNE JULY AUG.*

JAN.

FEB. MARCH APRIL MAY JUNE JULY AUG.*

typical amount, according to the NOAA. August saw more rainfall than it typically does, though temperatures were still hotter than usual. As of press time Aug. 26, about 6.34 inches of rain had fallen in August, and high temperatures were clocking in at 95.1 degrees on average. Over the past 30 years, each August has yielded 4.84 total inches of rainfall over the course of the month on average and sees average high temperatures of 94.5 degrees. In an August interview, Paul Shinneman, farmer educa- tion manager with the Hous- ton-based nonprot Plant It Forward, said the extreme heat and dryness have caused challenges during summer months, particularly over the past two years. Plant it Forward helps refugees run urban farms to earn a living, and Shinneman said recent conditions have made it increasingly dicult to work during the day while also rais- ing water bills. “It’s been a while since I’ve remembered this many tri- ple-digit weather days,” he said. “There used to be a little more time before ‘summer’ started.” The Houston area histor- ically gets more rain than other parts of the state, which has somewhat alleviated the severity of the ongoing

drought, Nielsen-Gammon said. September and October tend to be wetter months, which could bring more relief, though he said the odds favor dry conditions. This year’s drought cannot be directly tied to climate change, Nielsen-Gammon said. However, it is likely the explanation behind the grad- ual increase in average tem- peratures over time, he said. Temperatures in Texas this year have been up roughly 2 degrees in all seasons when compared to the 20-year aver- age, he said. “Climate change may be making the dierence between 101 and 103 [degrees] on a particular day,” he said. Heating up Shinneman said Plant it Forward works with eight farmers across its four farm plots, including ones in the Westbury and Braeswood areas. In June and July, the extreme heat led ocials to limit how much time farm- ers were spending outdoors during midday, he said. “It’s nearly impossible to work after 11 a.m.,” he said. The scheduling imple- mented at Plant It Forward is exactly what bosses and supervisors should be doing for anyone who works outside during the summer, said Dr. David Persse, Houston’s chief medical ocer. Although

There has been 6.14 fewer inches of rainfall so far in 2022 than in a typical year.

CONTINUED FROM 1

5 levels of drought Drought severity is measured on a ve-level system.

year,” said John Nielsen-Gam- mon, Texas State Climatolo- gist and professor with Texas A&M University. “That could easily change with a well- aimed tropical cyclone, but that’s a dangerous way of end- ing a drought.” The 2022 summer has been one of broken records in Houston. June averaged a daily high temperature of 86.7 degrees, setting a new record since the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administra- tion began tracking tempera- tures in 1889. A new record was also set for July with an average high of 88 degrees. Temperatures and rainfall data are measured by the NOAA at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport. With the drought expected to linger, the city of Houston is asking residents to voluntarily conserve water. Under a con- tingency plan ocials mon- itor surface water levels to determine when voluntary or mandatory restrictions should The rainfall total in June made it the third driest June on record at 0.13 inches in the Houston region, according to the NOAA. Typically, 6 inches of rain falls in June. July’s rainfall total of 1.35 inches was about 2.5 inches less than the be put into place. Breaking records

NOTE: MAP DATA AS OF AUG. 22

many people hospitalized for heat illness are elderly, a good deal of them are outdoor laborers working on roofs or roads, he said. “If you’re the boss, … early in the summer, you need to adjust your work schedule,” Persse said. “If you’re a jogger, you need to adjust your jog- ging schedule.” Heat illnesses tend to show up in three dierent ways, Persse said: heat cramps, which often present as pain in one muscle; heat exhaus- tion, which is a fatigue that aects the entire body; and heat stroke, a life-threatening illness in which the body’s ability to cool itself is over- whelmed and the brain shuts down. On average, around 70 Texans died of heat-related illness per year between 1999 and 2018, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Con- trol and Prevention. Between 2018 and 2021, a total of 378 Texans died from heat-related illnesses, according to prelim- inary data. On top of the danger droughts pose to people, they also have detrimental eects on agriculture, increase water use, enhance the chemistry that leads to air pollution and

Abnormally dry • Producers begin supplemental feeding for livestock. • Planting is postponed. • Grass res increase. • Surface water levels decline. Moderate drought • Dryland crops are stunted. • Wildre frequency increases. • Stock tanks, creeks and streams are low. • Voluntary water restrictions are requested. Severe drought • Pasture conditions are very poor. • Crop yields decrease. • Wildlife moves into populated areas. • Wildre danger is severe. • Burn bans are implemented. • Mandatory water restrictions are implemented.

Extreme drought

• Soil has large cracks; soil moisture is very low. • Crops fail to germinate; yields decrease for irrigated crops. • Supplemental feeding for livestock and herds are sold.

Exceptional drought

• Exceptional and widespread crop loss is reported. • Seafood, tourism and agricultural sectors report nancial losses. • Sensitivity to re danger increases.

16

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