Cy-Fair Edition | August 2021

CYFAIR EDITION

2021 P U B L I C E D U C A T I O N E D I T I O N Cy-Fair ISDbringsmore technology to classrooms as remote learning ends

ONLINE AT

VOLUME 12, ISSUE 12  AUG. 5 SEPT. 3, 2021

Chromebooks: the new Textbooks Cy-Fair ISD spent about $44 million last year to purchase enough Chromebooks for each student to have their own as part of the district’s 1-1 initiative.

families opted for remote learning over in-person instruction. In the upcoming school year, these devices will be incorporated into the class- room experience. District ocials said these devices will be used for day-to-day assign- ments and textbook access as all stu- dents return to the classroom Aug. 23. CFISD invested about $44 million last year to purchase these devices as well

BY EMILY JAROSZEWSKI

Although students in Cy-Fair ISD will no longer have the option to learn remotely, the district’s 1-1 learn- ing program implemented ahead of the 2020-21 school year will continue to be a tool for pre-K-12 students beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. The 1-1 program refers to the provision of one learning device for each student. Google Chromebooks were dis- tributed last school year as many

CONTINUED ON 34

COURTESY CYFAIR ISD

Distribution centers expand tomeet e-commerce demand BY DANICA LLOYD

LOGISTICS STATISTICS Companies including Amazon, UPS, FedEx and The Home Depot have contributed to development of warehouses and distribution centers in Cy-Fair over the past ve years. In that time frame: 93 new facilities opened 9.6M square feet of space was added 42% Rental rates grew by

While several new industrial facilities have been completed in Cy-Fair recently, many still sit empty. Jankowski said the Houston region’s industrial vacancy rate has been “going in the wrong direction” for the past several years because developers over- built in response to demand for e-commerce and consumer distribution. Construction has started to slow as building material prices increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, he said. As of mid-July, the industrial vacancy rate in Cy-Fair was 14.4%, more than twice what it was four years ago, yet additional industrial projects totaling 2.5 million CONTINUED ON 38

About 100 of Cy-Fair’s 500-plus industrial facilities have opened since the start of 2016, according to data from Caldwell Cos. Economy and land experts said Cy-Fair is a strong target for warehouse and distribution space because of its access tomajor thoroughfares such as Hwy. 290 and Beltway 8 as well as the availability of open acreage. “Land inside Beltway 8 is getting very expensive, and [it is] very hard to nd large tracts of land, and so the developers are moving out towards [the] Grand Parkway,” said Patrick Jankowski, senior vice president of research for the Greater Houston Partnership.

95.5% Industrial occupancy uctuated between 85.4%

SOURCE: CALDWELL COS.COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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CY-FAIR EDITION • AUGUST 2021

CY-FAIR FIRE DEPARTMENT PROVIDING FIRE AND EMS TO THE 164 SQ. MILE AREA OF HARRIS COUNTY EMERGENCY SERVICES DISTRICT NO. 9 IN NORTHWEST HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS.

2020 CALLS FOR SERVICE 30,206

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*An ISO (Insurance Services Office) fire rating is a score from 1 to 10, with 1 being the best, that indicates how well- protected a community is by the fire department. † 2020 property tax rate is .059492 per $100 valuation. The local sales and use tax rate is 1% of the combined 8.25% state and local sales and use tax rate. Learn more: www.cyfairfd.org

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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.

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

FROMEMILY: The 2021-22 school year will look much dierent than last year as students return to campuses. In our annual Public Education Edition, our team provides insight on Cy-Fair ISD’s ability to provide technology to all students (see Page 34). We wish the future leaders in our community a new school year full of support, learning, growth and new experiences. Emily Heineman, GENERALMANAGER

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.

FROMDANICA: During the pandemic, I have purchased groceries, camping gear, nail polish, light bulbs, friends’ wedding gifts and a new rug for my kitchen—all without leaving my home. Online spending in the U.S. was up 44% year over year in 2020, and distribution centers are opening closer to home to meet consumers’ needs. Read more on Page 38. Danica Lloyd, EDITOR

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BUSINESS &DINING Local business development news that aects you

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SCHOOL, CITY & COUNTY We attend area meetings to keep you informed

ART PRODUCTIONMANAGER Kaitlin Schmidt CORPORATE LEADERSHIP GROUP PUBLISHER Traci Rodriguez EXECUTIVE EDITOR Joe Warner CREATIVE DIRECTOR Derek Sullivan SALES &MARKETING DIRECTOR Tess Coverman CONTACT US 8400 N. Sam Houston Parkway W., Ste. 220, Houston, TX 77064 • 2814696181 PRESS RELEASES cyfnews@communityimpact.com SUBSCRIPTIONS communityimpact.com/subscriptions © 2021 Community Impact Newspaper Co. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any portion of this issue is allowed without written permission from the publisher.

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CYFAIR EDITION • AUGUST 2021

IMPACTS

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

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grab-and-go lunch, breakfast and snacks. Owner Nancy Mora was raised in Tomball and said she was inspired by her own fitness journey to open this restaurant. 346-236-6013. www.instagram.com/ unodosshakes 6 CyHou Realty opened for business June 18 at 13100 Wortham Center Drive, Ste. 337, Houston. The real estate firm specializes in single-family residences, listing leases and helping tenants pay their leases, according to founder and Realtor Marie Sandoval. CyHou serves clients in Cypress, Tomball, Sugar Land and other Houston areas. 281-608-3296. www.cyhourealty.com 7 Harold Smith opened On Demand Furniture & Mattress in late April at 10776 Grant Road, Houston. The family- owned business aims to offer quality products at affordable prices, including sectionals; coffee tables; bedroom sets; mattresses; dining room sets; and accent pieces, such as ottomans, chairs, lamps, rugs and wall art. 346-314-0773. www.ondemandfurn.com 8 The Howard Hughes Corp. announced a new Timewise Food Store and Exxon gas station June 17 at 21710 Tuckerton Road, Cypress. Landmark Industries designed the convenience store with “neighborhood- and residential- friendly” characteristics, according to a news release, including open ceilings and LED lamps. 346-340-6736. www.landmarkindustries.com 9 Action Behavior Center will be expected to start bringing in students by the fall at 17302 House & Hahl Road, Ste. 110, Cypress. The new location technically opened June 3, but management is still in the process

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NOWOPEN 1 Spavia Day Spa opened July 2 at Fairfield Town Center, 29040 Hwy. 290, Ste. A11, Cypress. The business offers massages, facials, body scrubs, spray tanning, waxing and other treatments for men and women. Owner Kim Gillihan said the day spa experience includes ameni- ties such as robes, sandals, warm neck wraps, wellness teas and a retreat area. 832-769-0077. www.spaviafairfield.com 2 A1 Choice Indian Cuisine opened in mid-May at 15514 FM 529, Ste. E., Houston, in The Centre at Copperfield.

The restaurant serves vegetarian and nonvegetarian Indian dishes, including appetizers, soups, lamb, chicken and sea- food with a variety of sweets. A1 offers dine-in, takeout and no-contact delivery services through Grubhub and DoorDash. 832-906-6123. www.a1choicehtx.com 3 Officials with Fairfield Town Center confirmed in a July 19 social media post that Ross Dress for Less is now open at 28830 Hwy. 290, Cypress. The national retailer specializes in offering clothing, accessories and home items at discount- ed rates compared to department store prices. This location is open Mondays

through Saturdays from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and from noon-6 p.m. on Sundays. www.rossstores.com 4 The Coffee Drip Co. opened for business July 19 at 21350 FM 529, Ste. 100, Cypress at the Westgreen Plaza. The coffee shop offers an assortment of drinks, pastries and gelato. Dine-in and drive-thru options are available. 832-674-8347. www.thecoffeedripco.com 5 Uno Dos Shakes held a grand opening July 31. The store, located at 11715 Spring Cypress Road, Ste. A, Tomball, offers nutritious, health-conscious food such as protein shakes and smoothies as well as

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of hiring board-certified behavior analysts. Action Behavior serves children on the autism spectrum with diagnosis, assessments and applied behavior analysis. 346-445-7575. www.actionbehavior.com COMING SOON 10 Bastion Martial Arts is expected to open in late August this year at 7914 Fry Road, Ste. 260, Cypress. The martial arts academy offers programs for those of all ages starting at 5 years old and helps improve flexibility, physical strength, confidence and self-discipline. 281-296-3713. www.bastionma.com 11 Elaris Med Spa will open at 12234 Queenston Blvd., Ste. 600, Houston, in early August. The med spa offers services such as injectables, laser therapy, skin therapy, tanning and wellness procedures. More information regarding procedures and booking appointments can be found online. 832-779-7721. www.elarismwc.com 12 Apara AutismCenter will open a new location this fall at 12711 Telge Road, Ste. 400, Cypress. Officials said the center will offer services such as evidence-based applied behavior analysis therapy, caregiver training and feeding therapy programs, among others. Registration can be done via phone or online. 844-272-7223. www.aparaautism.com/cypress 13 A new brewery called Misfit Outpost is opening soon at the original location of The Shack Burger Resort, 16602 Cypress Rosehill Road, Cypress. John O’Hara, owner of Fortress BeerWorks in Spring, said he is partnering with Juan

Sanchez, a local homebrewer who owns Misfit BeerWorks, on the venture. The 5-acre site will be family friendly and dog friendly and host live music on the weekends. O’Hara said staff will continue operating as The Shack until Labor Day weekend, when he plans to open Misfit Outpost. Renovations are underway in the meantime. www.fortressbeerworks.com NAME CHANGES Louetta Automotive, which had locations in Cy-Fair, Spring, Katy and other Houston-area suburbs, is now Sun Auto Service, according to a May 21 social media post. The business was purchased by Sun Auto Service in 2020 and made the official name change in May. Sun Auto Service will continue to provide the same services, including oil changes, fluid replacement, wheel alignment, brake repair, belt replacement, tires and other vehicle maintenance services. www.sunautoservice.com/louetta ANNIVERSARIES 14 The Primrose School of Barker Cypress will be celebrating its 20th anniversary Aug. 27, according to Elizabeth Stafford, Primrose School of Barker Cypress director. There will be a birthday celebration at the school, located at 16555 Dundee Road, Cypress, on Aug. 28 from 10 a.m.-noon, featuring cookie decorating, a cake walk, craft projects and a face painter. The school accepts children from 6 weeks old and provides before- and after-school care through fifth grade. 281-225-0123. www.primroseschools.com

Mia’s Table opened in early July with limited hours on Fry Road in Cypress.

PHOTOS COURTESY MIA’S TABLE

FEATURED IMPACT NOWOPEN Mia’s Table opened a location in the Cypress area July 5 at 13201 Fry Road, Ste. 160, Cypress. The casual family-friendly eatery serves a variety of burgers, tacos, sandwiches and seafood. Mia’s Table oers dine-in, pickup and delivery services. The restaurant opened with limited hours from 4-8 p.m. on weekdays and on weekends from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4-8 p.m. Mia’s Table has several additional locations throughout the Greater Houston area. 281-758-8222. www.miastable.com 15 IDEA Lab Kids celebrated its one-year anniversary July 17 with a grand reopening event at 11808 Barker Cypress Road, Ste. C, Cypress. Due to COVID-19, the business was unable to celebrate its opening day with an event last year. IDEA Lab Kids offers after-school programming, summer camps, workshops and other hands-on enrichment activities focusing on science, technology, engineering, art and math. 281-746-2008. www.idealabkids.com/ location/cypress

The eatery serves burgers, seafood and tacos, among other dishes.

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16 Beast Body Fitness Co. at 15415 Mueschke Road, Cypress, celebrat- ed its one-year anniversary Aug. 1. Beast Body provides boot camp, boxing, dance and yoga classes in person and some classes online. Additionally, it offers free trial classes and drop-in classes, which start at $10 and can be reserved online. 832-253-1175. www.beastbody.org

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CY-FAIR EDITION • AUGUST 2021

TODO LIST

August events

COMPILED BY EMILY JAROSZEWSKI & DANICA LLOYD

AUG. 21

STETSONS&STILETTOSGALA BRIDAL OAKS

AUG. 14

LOCAL BUSINESS ANNIVERSARY THE CUPPO COFFEE & TEA

Cy-Fair Helping Hands hosts its inaugural Stetsons and Stilettos gala with dinner and auctions. Proceeds benet the expansion of the organization’s programs and facilities. 6-10 p.m. $50. 18224 KZ Road, Cypress. 281-858-1222. www.cyfairhelpinghands.org (Courtesy Bridal Oaks)

The Cuppo Coee & Tea is celebrating two years in business with giveaways in addition to owers and macarons for sale from local vendors. 9 a.m.-noon. Free. 8805 Jones Road, Ste. A110, Jersey Village. 832-869-4799. www.cuppocoee.com (Courtesy The Cuppo Coee & Tea)

Kate Watson will be performing live at Creekwood Grill in August. (Courtesy Kate Watson)

09 THROUGH 12 CREATE AT COLORMEMINE Kids ages 5-14 are invited to attend Color Me Mine’s summer workshop, where they will be painting prehistoric-themed ceramics and creating their own crafts every day. Registration can be completed online. 1-4 p.m. $140. 24140 Hwy. 290, Ste. 300, Cypress. 281-758-4139. www.cypress.colormemine.com 13 ENJOY A PARENTS NIGHT OUT Preschoolers, elementary students and tweens are invited to attend a night of open gym play, games and a movie. 7-11 p.m. $18. Republic Gymnastics & Dance Center, 21227 FM 529, Cypress. 281-345-7555. www.republicgymnastics.com 13 THROUGH 14 ATTENDHOUSTON’SMINIFEST Bridging the Music will bring local music and visual artists to Cy-Fair for a festival- style atmosphere. Ten artists will be performing, and tables will be set up for visual art pieces. 6 p.m.-1 a.m. $20- $25. BFE Rock Club, 11528 Jones Road, Houston. 303-578-8486. www.bridgingthemusic.com

16 JOIN THE CYFAIR ISD BOARD Trustee positions 5, 6 and 7 will be on the Nov. 2 ballot to serve four-year terms. Candidates can le at the superintendent’s oce during regular oce hours by the Aug. 16 deadline. 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (Mon.- Thu.). Free. Instructional Support Center, 10300 Jones Road, Houston. 281-897-4000. www.csd.net 16 THROUGH 19 LEARNHOWTODIVE Cy-Fair ISD’s head dive coach will lead a high school diving camp at the CFISD natatorium for students interested in joining their high school dive team. All participants must be students of CFISD, have a physical on le and know how to swim. Students must register by Aug. 13 by emailing mandy.brush@csd.net. 10 a.m.-noon. Free. 12550 Windfern Road, Houston. www.csd.net 27 BOWLWITHTHE CHAMBER The Cy-Fair Houston Chamber of Commerce hosts the Ten Pen Challenge. Admission includes two bowling games, shoe rental and lunch for each bowler. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. $400 per team of four. Coppereld Bowl, 15615 Glen Chase Drive, Houston. www.cyfairchamber.com

AUGUST 07 CELEBRATE THE NEW LEARNING EXPERIENCE The Learning Experience preschool will celebrate its newest location coming to Cypress. The grand opening will include a food truck, snow cones and entertainment for children. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Free. The Learning Experience, 17997 Shaw Road, Cypress. 281-547-8581. www.thelearningexperience.com 07 THROUGH08 SHOP AT HEART TOMARKET The Boardwalk at Towne Lake will host a Heart to Market pop-up, featuring local makers, small shops and specialty brands. A portion of each sale will be donated to charitable organizations. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. Boardwalk at Towne Lake, 9945 Barker Cypress Road, Cypress. www.boardwalktl.com/heart-market 08 CHECKOUT THE BRIDAL OAKS SUMMER OPENHOUSE Couples interested in planning their wedding are encouraged to see what Bridal Oaks has to oer. Cocktails will be served. Noon-4 p.m. Free. Bridal Oaks, 18224 KZ Road, Cypress. 713-444-7866. www.bridaloaks.com

LIVEMUSIC

KATEWATSON The Montgomery native and former “American Idol” contestant will be stopping by Creekwood Grill for a Saturday evening performance. AUG. 07 6:30-9:30 p.m. 12710 Telge Road, Cypress 281-746-6352 www.creekwoodgrill.com MARK CHILDRES The local musician will perform covers from popular American artists at Brew:30 Taphouse.

AUG. 14 5-8 p.m. 15914 Telge Road, Cypress 281-516-9315 www.brew30taphouse.com

Find more or submit Cy-Fair 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

REGIONAL LIVEMUSIC

Live music in the Greater Houston area

COMPILED BY ANDREW CHRISTMAN & DANICA LLOYD

AUG. 22

TERRI CLARK MAIN STREET CROSSING

SEPT. 10

PITBULL PAVILION

Terri Clark is a Canadian country artist. (Courtesy Terri Clark)

Rapper Pitbull will perform as part of his I Feel Good tour. (Courtesy Pitbull)

AUG. 26

TEXAS HILL BAND DOSEY DOE BIG BARN

MAIN STREET CROSSING 111 W. Main St., Tomball 281-290-0431 www.mainstreetcrossing.com AUGUST

CYNTHIAWOODS MITCHELL PAVILION 2005 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands 281-364-3010 www.woodlandscenter.org AUGUST 15 Brad Paisley with Jimmie Allen and Kameron Marlowe, 7:30 p.m. SEPTEMBER 10 Pitbull with Iggy Azalea, 8 p.m. 11 Jason Aldean with Hardy, Lainey Wilson and John Morgan, 7:30 p.m. 18 Kings of Leon with Cold War Kids, 7:30 p.m.

TEXAS HILL BAND Focusing on harmonies, musical group Texas Hill Band consists of trio Craig Wayne Boyd, Adam Wakeeld and Casey James. The group’s website states the group mixes genres, and listeners enjoy styles of music such as modern country, classic soul, arena rock and traditional pop. 8:30 p.m. $68-$108. (Courtesy Texas Hill Band)

06 Drew Kennedy, 8 p.m. 07 Shay Domann, 8 p.m. 08 Adam Hood, 7 p.m. 1011 The Lettermen, 7:30 p.m. 13 Del Castillo Trio, 8 p.m. 14 Jim Curry, 8 p.m. 17 The Skittles Band, 7 p.m. 19 Coey Anderson, 7 p.m.

14 The Wilder Blue with Zane Williams, 8:30 p.m. 19 Radney Foster, 8:30 p.m. 20 Cannon Brand Band and Saints Eleven, 8 p.m. 21 Bad Sneakers, 8:30 p.m. 22 The Gatlin Brothers, 7 p.m. 26 Texas Hill Band, 8:30 p.m. 27 Scott Mulvahill, 8:30 p.m. 28 The Box Tops, 8:30 p.m.

DOSEY DOE BIG BARN 25911 I-45 N., The Woodlands 281-367-3774 www.doseydoetickets.com AUGUST 06 Lorrie Morgan, 8:30 p.m. 07 The Vandoliers, 8:30 p.m. 13 Kevin Galloway, 8:30 p.m.

21 The Fab 5, 7 p.m. 22 Terri Clark, 7 p.m.

Find more or submit Cy-Fair 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 Traffic congestion inHouston area remains among country’sworst

COMPLETED PROJECT

BY ANDY YANEZ

HOUSTON COMMUTERDELAYS The average commuter spent 27 fewer hours delayed in Houston-area traffic in 2020 than in 2019.

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A study released by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute showed commuters in the Houston area saw decreases to their travel time, cost and stress levels in 2020. When compared nationally, however, Houston com- muters still dealt with more traffic challenges than other U.S. cities. The TTI released its 2021 Urban Mobility Report on June 29, evaluating the 2020 traffic patterns of 494 cities across the U.S. and focusing on 101 urban areas. One of the urban areas was the Greater Houston area, which comprises parts of Harris, Fort Bend, Brazoria, Waller, Montgomery, Cham- bers, Liberty and Galveston counties, TTI Senior Research Scientist David Schrank said. According to the report, Houston ranked third in the nation in the number of hours each driver was delayed on the road, second nationally when it came to extra fuel wasted by traffic congestion and fifth nationwide in annual congestion cost per driver in 2020. All were an increase from 2019. “This was the year where you saw different cities change dramatically,” Schrank said. When comparing Houston’s traffic data to its own from 2019, the delays and congestion costs improved. Drivers traveled fewer hours in 2020 than the year before—from 76 in 2019 to 46 in 2020. Annual congestion cost—which is a value of time and fuel spent in delays—also dropped from $1,635 per commuter in 2019 to $1,097 per commuter in 2020, according to the report. “I think Houston’s very diverse economy shows up [in the rankings],”

QUEENSTON BLVD.

80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0

N

UPCOMING PROJECT Harris County Precinct 3 has com- pleted signal work, medians and permanent striping on an additional southbound left-turn lane on Barker Cypress Road at the Queenston Boule- vard intersection. Timeline: completed in July Cost: $815,748 Funding source: Harris County Precinct 3 Barker Cypress Road intersection improvement

39.5% per commuter in 2019-2020 Annual congestion cost dropped

27 HOURS

SOURCE: TEXAS A&M TRANSPORTATION INSTITUTE’S 2021 URBAN MOBILITY REPORT/ COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

he said. “You have a mix of high tech and manufacturing or all the energy sector jobs. ... So as things change across the nation, I think the Houston area isn’t as dramatically affected by any one change because of diversity.” Pandemic effects Other factors that played into Houston rising in the national rankings for traffic-related issues were stricter and longer lockdown restrictions put in place by other states that kept drivers off the road in cities, such as Los Angeles and Seattle, Schrank said. Additionally, continued transpor- tation activity in the Port of Houston as well as other industries, such as petroleum, during the pandemic were also players in keeping Houston’s roads congested with traffic. Moreover, Houston ranked fourth in the nation in both hours of delay truck drivers saw and annual truck conges- tion cost, which is not only explained

by the need to transport goods from those industries, but also the goods needed to reach private residences and businesses, he said. Despite the national rankings, Schrank said Houston has done a good job in handling traffic-reducing solutions by diversifying its trans- portation options, which includes freeways, high-occupancy vehicle lanes and public transportation such as the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County’s bus routes and METRORail. “Houston is doing some of the things we have been recommending for decades,” Schrank said. As COVID-19 restrictions continue to lift across the nation, traffic issues are expected to rise again. How long it takes to reach 2019 levels and surpass them, however, TTI officials are unsure. Factors such as the rise of teleworking, the economy and tourism will play a role, Schrank said.

NORTHPOINTE BLVD.

N

ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF JULY 15. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT CYFNEWS@COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM. Northpointe Boulevard extension Harris County Precinct 4 is in the study phase of a project proposed to extend Northpointe Boulevard from Grant Road to Shaw Road as a four- lane concrete pavement section with improved drainage accommodations and traffic signal installation or modi- fication as needed. Timeline: Study phase ongoing through mid-2022 Cost: $12.1 million Funding source : Harris County Precinct 4

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CY-FAIR EDITION • AUGUST 2021

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

ECONOMY Unemployment, strong housing salesmark 2021 Houstoneconomy

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE.

BY JISHNU NAIR

above the national and state averages of 6.1% and 6.6%, respectively. The presentation also showed, citing the TWC, that while unemployment claims in 2021 were generally down, July had over 10,000 initial claims for the first time since early May. Part of the problem facing job recov- ery in the city is several economic factors undergoing what Jankowski called “structural change.” The manufacturing, government, energy and construction industries continued to lose jobs after reopening with construction needing to recover 33,400 jobs to reach prepandemic levels, according to GHP data. The same data showed the restau- rant and entertainment industries needed to recover less than 5% of job losses to reach prepandemic levels, while transportation and finance sectors had already recovered to those levels. Jankowski said although hotels still needed to make up over 5,000 job losses, the return of conventions in the fall could help that sector recover. Jankowski cited work and demo- graphic changes as possible reasons for Houston’s strong home sales numbers, which are projected to hit 130,000 by January 2022, according to the Houston Association of Realtors. “There’s a significant number of working millennials who have switched to a hybrid work envi- ronment during the pandemic who decided that maybe they don’t need an apartment downtown anymore,” Jankowski said.

Unemployment above state and national levels, certain sectors continuing to shed jobs and strong home sales following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic are among the economic themes of Houston through mid-2021. Patrick Jankowski, senior vice president of research for the Greater Houston Partnership, pre- sented his findings about the region’s economy in a July 21 webinar. The city is also in the bottom five of major American cities when it comes to recovering job losses caused by the pandemic with 59.1% of jobs recov- ered, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Dallas, meanwhile, ranked the second highest with 87.5%. In the first six months of 2021, GHP data showed Houston added almost 50,000 jobs, and Jankowski said barring unexpected developments with COVID-19, the city could expect around 80,000 to 100,000 jobs added by the end of the year thanks to projected hiring in the fall. “In the second half of the year, Houston typically adds 30,000 to 50,000 jobs,” Jankowski said. Jankowski stressed the importance of maintaining COVID-19 protocols as a way of helping the city’s workforce get back on its feet. “We need to wear a mask; we need to get vaccinated; we need to do everything we can to get our job numbers up,” Jankowski said. Houston’s unemployment rate through June sat at 7.4%, per Texas Workforce Commission statistics,

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0

2019

2020

2021

SOURCE: TEXAS WORKFORCE COMMISSION/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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CY-FAIR EDITION • AUGUST 2021

Cy-Fair Educational Foundation

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

Program approval

HIGHER EDUCATION Lone Star College begins process to add fourthbachelor’s program

Community colleges in Texas like Lone Star College System can apply to expand baccalaureate oerings from three programs to ve after House Bill 3348 was passed during the 2021 legislative session.

Current phase: Seek approval from the LSCS board of trustees

Apply to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

1

2

BY ANDREW CHRISTMAN

ooding to hurricanes to res and pandemics.” Moving forward, LSCS will seek approval from its board of trustees, then apply to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board before applying to the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Once these steps have been completed, Jones said the college is planning to launch the program in the spring semester of 2023. As of July, Jones said the program’s host campus had not been chosen. The program would operate in cohorts, starting with 30 students in the initial class before expanding to 60 students the following fall. “What we experienced with our rst bachelor’s program was a much higher demand than we expected,” Jones said. “We are prepared for the same type of opportunity.”

Lone Star College System is in the process of adding a baccalaureate program in emergency management, its fourth bachelor’s degree option. The proposed program is possible because of House Bill 3348—passed during this year’s regular session of the Texas Legislature—which increases the total number of baccalaureate programs a community college can oer from three to ve. Valerie Jones, associate chancellor of academic aairs at LSCS, said the decision to add the emergency management degree was based on the projected need for employees over the next 10-20 years. “We want to make sure that the programs for our students are aligned with future careers for them,” she said. “We are in an area where emergency management spans into so many dierent areas, from

Apply to the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools 3

First course begins in spring 2023

4

5

New program is formed

What is a Bachelor of Applied Science? The bachelor’s programs at Lone Star College System include applied science programs, which are dierent from a standard four-year university degree.

Step 1: Begin by enrolling in an associate degree program at LSCS. Step2: Students can apply to begin the bachelor’s program at the end of their second year. Applied science degrees focus on technical training within the rst two years of schooling.

ALL OF OUR PROGRAMS ARE BUILT FOR WORKINGADULTS. VALERIE JONES, LONE STAR COLLEGE SYSTEM ASSOCIATE CHANCELLOR OF ACADEMIC AFFAIRS

SOURCE: LONE STAR COLLEGE SYSTEMCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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CYFAIR EDITION • AUGUST 2021

CITY& COUNTY

News from Harris County & Jersey Village

JerseyVillage City Council weighs cost of taking on debt for golf course convention center JERSEYVILLAGE City Council members convened July 19-20 for preliminary budget discussions in preparation to approve the proposed Jersey Village $17.1 million general fund budget Aug. 16. Capital improvement projects, said bringing more commercial change to Jersey Village would improve the image of the city. He also said Jersey Village residents should have a vote in whether the city BY EMILY JAROSZEWSKI

proceeds in building the golf course convention center or wait another two years to begin. “I think doing the right thing by the citizens is giving them their choice,” Wubbenhorst said. Council members discussed the possibility of putting a $20 million bond program on the May 2022 ballot to fund capital improvement projects. If voters approve the plan, conven- tion center construction could start before the current estimated 2023 start date, but about $8.6 million in interest would accumulate over the next 20 years through a 10% increase to the property tax rate. Warren said after years of careful budgeting, the city is on track to pay off all debt by 2027, and he would rather wait two more years before breaking ground on the project than

including the timeline and the cost of constructing a new convention center at the Jersey Meadow Golf Club, were major topics of discussion. “Every member of our City Council is a steadfast supporter of the golf course, and we all want to see a new golf course clubhouse built as soon as possible while maintaining our priorities of pursuing sustainable eco- nomic development and remaining good stewards of taxpayer dollars,” Mayor Bobby Warren said in an email to constituents. “There is, however, some significant disagreement among members of council on whether we should take on additional debt to enable to city to begin construction next year.” Council Member Gary Wubbenhorst

Jersey Village ocials are seeking to replace the clubhouse at the Jersey Meadow Golf Course with a two-story convention center. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)

take on additional debt. “I don’t want to have to go to taxpayers and tell them that they’re now going to have to pay 10%more in property taxes for the benefit of being able to have that golf course clubhouse two years earlier,” he said July 20. Council Member Michelle Mitcham said she believes the $8.6 million is worth moving the construction start date up because citizens are asking for this venue, and events such as

weddings, conventions and golf course tournaments hosted there would bring in additional revenue. “It’s going to bring so [many] people into our city that host events and give more than just the strict profit of the golf course,” Mitcham said. “I mean, City Hall’s not bringing us anything, but it’s what a lot of the people want. We overwhelmingly get emails about this [being] what the people want, and we represent the people.”

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

Jersey Village City Council Will meet at 7 p.m. Aug. 16 at Jersey Village City Hall, 16327 Lakeview Drive, Jersey Village 713-466-2100 www.jerseyvillagetx.com Harris County Commissioners Court Will meet at 10 a.m. Aug. 10 at 1001 Preston St., Ste. 934, Houston 713-274-1111 MEETINGSWE COVER AREAHIGHLIGHTS JERSEYVILLAGE One of two Federal Emergency Management Agency home elevation grants the city of Jersey Village submitted in November was identified for further review, Mayor Bobby Warren said in a July 1 social media statement. He said he expects the grant, which would fund 16 home elevations, to be approved. FEMA would cover $4.5 million, and the city would contribute $391,639, he said. Work could start by the end of 2022. HARRIS COUNTY Commissioners approved the allocation of $3.2 million in federal stimulus and general funds for the continuation of public broadband access in Harris County on July 20. This will support home connectivity for 20,000 students and 100- plus public Wi-Fi locations.

Harris Countyopposes anti-pretrial release bond resolution

Hidalgo asks residents tomask up indoors

released on a personal bond—which allows them to go free without a fee— if they were charged with a violent offense. Defendants would also be barred from a pretrial release if, while released on bail, they committed a fel- ony or any offense involving assault, deadly conduct, terroristic threat or disorderly conduct by firearm. However, these restrictions would not have affected monetary bonds, and in Harris County, there is no other way to get out of jail while awaiting trial. Ramsey said he placed the item on the agenda as felonies committed by defendants out on bond are on the rise throughout Harris County. “A discussion of a so-called bond pandemic ... does nothing to identify true causes or elevate solutions, and ... violent crimes by all offenders puts our community at risk,” said Garcia, the former Harris County sheriff. “Harris County is compelled to respond [with] both immediate solu- tions, such as carrying the backlog in criminal courts and funding smart crime approaches and long-term solu- tions, such as addressing disparities that are a root cause of crime.”

BY SHAWN ARRAJJ

The number of daily new cases confirmed in Harris County jumped “When we take our masks off right now as the situation worsens, we are normalizing not wearing masks for those who are unvaccinated,” Hidalgo said at a July 22 press conference. “We are asking everyone to wear masks.” HARRIS COUNTY As the delta variant of the coronavirus continues to drive up new cases and hospital- izations in the region, county officials have raised the coronavirus threat level from yellow to orange, a shift that indicates the viral spread is now uncontrolled in the community. Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo urged residents to be more vigilant, asking all residents to start wearing masks again in indoor settings.

BY BROOKE ONTIVEROS

HARRIS COUNTY After hours of public testimony on both sides of the issue, the Harris County Commission- ers Court denied a resolution aiming to increase restrictions on nonmon- etary pretrial release bonds July 20. An amended resolution, which was approved in a split vote, favors focusing on criminal court backlogs and funding alternative public safety solutions. The amended resolution passed with votes fromHarris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, Precinct 1 Commis- sioner Rodney Ellis and Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia. Precinct 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey and Precinct 4 Commissioner Jack Cagle voted in support of the original resolution. The original resolution backed Senate Bill 6’s measures that would prevent defendants from being

52% from

July 1-31

SOURCE: HARRIS COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH/ COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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