Bellaire - Meyerland - West University | Nov. 2020

BELLAIRE MEYERLAND WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION

VOLUME 2, ISSUE 7  OCT. 29DEC. 2, 2020

ONLINE AT

Collaboration: Past, present and future

Fort Bend toll road extension halted IMPACTS

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Born amid an epidemic, the Texas Medical Center comes full circle in 75th year

TRANSPORTATION

7

INSIDE

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After the energy industry, Houston’s second crown jewel may bemedicine. TexasMedical Center was chartered 75 years ago.

SALTILLO

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PHOTOS COURTESY TEXAS MEDICAL CENTER LIBRARY

Editor’s note: This article is the rst in a series explor- ing police reform eorts in Houston. Police contract a focal point for reformahead of deadline BY EMMA WHALEN

Tracking Houston police reform On Sept. 30, Mayor Sylvester Turner’s police reform task force released recommendations in six categories. Community Impact Newspaper is tracking the progress in a multipart series.

Crisis intervention: mental health initiatives Field readiness: training, ocer wellness Accountability: clear ocer expectations 49% view HPD positively or very positively. 30% view HPD negatively or very negatively.

Community policing: engagement and recruitment Independent oversight: misconduct investigations Power dynamics: transparency with the public

JOANNE BRODSKY

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XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX After Houstonian George Floyd’s death inMinneap- olis police custody and the nationwide protests that followed, public scrutiny of law enforcement policies reached a new level.

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“People are watching in a way that they haven’t before,” said Carla Brailey, the co-chair of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s police reform task force. “Being a part of this committee, we knew the results could be a matter of life or death.” CONTINUED ON 18

Citywide survey

83% of 7,302 total respondents support changes to the Houston Police Department.

SOURCE: MAYOR SYLVESTER TURNER’S TASK FORCE ON POLICING REFORM COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

COMMUNITYIMPACT.COMCIPATRON . Complete 2020 by joining your neighbors with a contribution of any amount to CI Patron. Funds support Community Impact Newspaper ’s hyperlocal, unbiased journalism and help build informed communities. Choose IMPACT . Make a CONTRIBUTION . Strengthen JOURNALISMFORALL . Contribute today! Snap or visit

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

THIS ISSUE

FROMKRISTINA: A 75-year anniversary is a big one to celebrate and even bigger when it is the Texas Medical Center, which was ocially formed in 1945. While we all ght COVID-19, it is important to continue supporting local businesses. Kristina Shackelford, ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER

MARKET TEAM SENIOR EDITOR Matt Dulin CITY HALL REPORTER Emma Whalen REPORTER Hunter Marrow SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Anya Gallant ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Sherry Cousins METRO LEADERSHIP PUBLISHER Jason Culpepper ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Kristina Shackelford MANAGING EDITOR Marie Leonard ART PRODUCTIONMANAGER Tessa Hoee CORPORATE LEADERSHIP PUBLISHERS AND FOUNDERS John and Jennifer Garrett GROUP PUBLISHER Traci Rodriguez EXECUTIVE EDITOR Joe Warner

BECOMEA#COMMUNITYPATRON Please join your friends and neighbors in support of Community Impact Newspaper’s legacy of local, reliable reporting by making a contribution. Together, we can continue to ensure citizens stay informed and keep businesses thriving. COMMUNITYIMPACT.COMCIPATRON CONTACT US

FROMMATT: We return to matters of police reform, a ashpoint this summer that we will spend the next few months unpacking, as 83% of Houstonians have signaled support for some changes. Matt Dulin, SENIOR EDITOR

CORRECTION: Volume 2, Issue 6 The sample ballot has been republished to correct errors in the previous version.

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BELLAIRE  MEYERLAND  WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020

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above it all WE’RE HERE FOR ONE ANOTHER. We’re united in a collective pursuit to keep the people we care for healthy, happy and connected through uncertain times. Even if at a distance, we stand together — inspired by a renewed sense of community and common ground. Because above it all, we here at The Buckingham hope to be a resource for you in ways that reach beyond the search for a senior living community. If you’d like to open up a dialogue, call 713-364-0202. We’re eager to learn how The Buckingham can support you now and in the future.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

IMPACTS

COMPILED BY MATT DULIN & HUNTER MARROW

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

3, 2000, by Sara and Rob Cromie, who are also the creators and owners of The Raven Grill, La Grange, and Cottonwood. 713-524-0201. www.picnicboxlunches.com RENOVATIONS 7 HCA Houston Healthcare Medical Center , 1313 Hermann Drive, Houston, has announced it will begin a comprehensive renovation project by the end of 2020. Improvements at the 400,000 square-foot specialty care hospital include an addition- al cardiovascular operating room, robotic operating rooms, operat- ing suites and pre/post-surgery areas; an expansion of digestive disease care areas; and the reno- vation and expansion of nursing units, surgery waiting rooms and the hospital’s front entrance. 713-527-5000. www.hcahoustonhealthcare.com 8 The Raven Grill , 1916 Bissonnet St., Houston, has ex- panded its outside patio seating by 60%, adding another 36 patio seats, with tables inside and out spaced at least 6 feet apart to follow social distanc- ing guidelines. The restaurant serves regional food cooked over a wood re grill and served in a casual atmosphere as well as a wine list and full bar, according to the restaurant’s 9 The Bellaire Planning and Zoning Commission on Oct. 8 refused a request by Evelyn’s Park to allow a parking lot constructed at 4300 Bellaire Blvd. to remain in place, putting it one step closer to a potential demolition. Bellaire City Council will have the nal say on how to proceed. City ocials have recommended against approval and said the building permit was originally approved in error. webpage. 713-521-2027. www.theravengrill.com IN THE NEWS

WESTHEIMER RD.

HEIMER RD.

R I C

3

6 8

7

HERMANN PARK

2

59

9

D.

W. HOLCOMBE BLVD.

90

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COURTESY THE PALACE SOCIAL

610

FEATURED IMPACT COMING SOON The Palace Social, a bowling alley, arcade, event space, bar and restaurant that will anchor the Southside Commons development at 4191 Bellaire Blvd., Houston, announced new details ahead of its spring 2021 opening. The 30,000-square-foot space, built on the former location of the longtime Palace Bowling Lanes, will also feature other entertainment options, such as sport simulators, karaoke and an e-sports lounge. “We are excited with the team assembled to bring this project to life, one that will make a positive impact on the community as a gathering space for all ages,” said Billy Forney, Palace Social’s managing partner, in a news release. “Palace Social will draw on elements from the past while rmly establishing itself as a new concept sure to create memories for new generations to come.” www.southside-commons.com

288

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BEECHNUT ST.

BRAYS BAYOU

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MAP NOT TO SCALE N TM; © 2020 COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER CO. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

NOWOPEN& REOPENINGS 1 A new Sprouts Farmers Mar- ket , at 1212 Old Spanish Trail, Houston, opened Oct. 14. The 26,000-square-foot grocery store, located within two miles of the Texas Medical Center at a former Toys ‘R’ Us location, brings 110 jobs to the area, ac- cording to a news release. The Phoenix-based national grocery chain focuses on providing healthy products, and over 90% of its more than 19,000 items are natural or organic. 346-326-7639. www.sprouts.com 2 Hu’s Cooking , located at 2502 W. Holcombe Blvd., Houston, reopened to dine-in customers Oct. 12. The Chinese fusion restaurant, which orig- inally opened in March 2019, oers a contemporary dining atmosphere with Szechuan cuisine that draws on other Chinese cultures as well. The restaurant also oers delivery and carryout. 713-660-0020. www.huscooking.com

ANNIVERSARIES 5 The Bagel Shop Bakery , located at 9720 Hillcroft Ave., Houston, marked its 45th year on Oct. 14. The bakery opened in 1975 and shares space with New York Deli and Coee Shop, which opened later in 1981. The restaurant continues to oer an array of bagel choices, as well as omelets, home fries and other deli food along with traditional breakfast oerings. Delivery and curbside pickup are available for customers as well as dine-in. 713-723-8650. www.nybagelsandcoee.com 6 The bakery and box-lunch restaurant Picnic , 1928 Bisson- net St., Houston, celebrated its 20th anniversary Oct. 3. It serves sandwiches, salads, soups, and baked goods and bread, with vol- ume orders going to organiza- tions such as the Texas Medical Center, downtown and the Gal- leria. The dining room at Picnic remains closed but is operating drive-thru service Monday-Sat- urday 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and catering service. Picnic was opened Oct.

3 The new Target store in the Shepherd Square Shopping Center, 2075 Westheimer Road, opened Oct. 25. The store re- places a former Randalls grocery store footprint with 63,000 square feet and the chain’s rst “small format” store in Houston. The store includes typical Target oerings, including grab-and-go grocery items, a Starbucks and a CVS Pharmacy. The location also supports curbside and in-store pickup options. 346-398-5902. www.target.com COMING SOON 4 Toasted Yolk Cafe will bring its 16th location to 5107 Bellaire Blvd., in Bellaire Town Center in March, according to a news release from commercial real estate rm Henry S. Miller, which represented the company when it signed the new lease. The Houston-area restaurant chain, known for oering break- fast, lunch, and brunch items as well as cocktails, beer and wine, leased 4,100 square feet. www.thetoastedyolk.com

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BELLAIRE - MEYERLAND - WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020

Partners in Primary Care offers a unique approach to wellness after 65, with a dedicated Care Team trained to meet the unique health care needs of seniors. Become a patient today and enjoy convenient, one-stop primary care designed to proactively address both physical and mental health, as well as a deep commitment to personal safety at every location. Your Partner in Good Health Call 713-581-6798 to schedule an in-person VIP tour or visit SeniorFocusedHouston.com for a virtual tour. Monday - Friday, 8am - 5pm

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GCHKS5DEN Partners in Primary Care does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability or sex. ATENCIÓN: Si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-877-320-2188 (TTY: 711). 注意:如果您 使用繁體中文,您可以免費獲得語言援助服務。請致電 1-877-320-2188 (TTY: 711). Partners in Primary Care is Medicare Advantage friendly! We accept Aetna, Cigna, Humana, Memorial Hermann, TexanPlus and WellCare of Texas Medicare Advantage plans.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES

COMPILED BY HUNTER MARROW

Fort BendParkway extension put on hold Plans for an extension of the Fort Bend Parkway to the southwest corner of Loop 610 will not come to fruition, at least not without future approval from the Harris County Commission- ers Court. The commissioners voted unani- mously Sept. 29 to halt further study of a toll road along South Post Oak Road under a motion proposed by Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis. The motion was seconded by Precinct 3 Commissioner Steve Radack, whose district would have been affected. “In my humble opinion, there is absolutely no reason for that project to proceed,” Radack said. The extension, which could potentially have brought the tollway across the WillowWaterhole, drew concern fromWestbury neighborhood residents and the park conservancy.

PROPOSED PROJECT

ONGOING PROJECT

WILLOWBEND BLVD.

CREEKBEND DR.

W. BELLFORT AVE.

BRAYS BAYOU

610

90

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Fondren Road paving and drainage Houston Public Works will begin work in 2021 on a segment of Fondren Road to expand it from four to six lanes along with new curbs, sidewalks, driveways, street lighting, traffic control, under- ground utilities and drainage. The project includes 2.2 miles of pavement, 24,000 feet of sidewalk, 2,200 feet of sanitary sewer lines, 15,800 feet of storm sewer lines, 14,600 feet of water lines and seven traffic signals. Timeline: summer 2021-summer 2023 Cost: $32 million Funding source: city of Houston

Brays Bayou bridges update The Hillcroft Avenue bridge over Brays Bayou has hit some delays but is ex- pected to be completed soon, officials with the Harris County Flood Control District said Oct. 12. The $3.3 million bridge-raising project also experi- enced delays in starting construction because of COVID-19-related issues. Two other bridge projects at South Rice Avenue and Chimney Rock Road are slated to go out for bid by Thanksgiving, said Russell P. Lannin, the project manager for the bridge replacements. The bridges will be de- molished after longer, wider bridges

are constructed between the existing bridges. Construction for each new bridge is estimated to cost $11 million. Construction on the Buffalo Speed- way bridge is scheduled to begin this winter and be completed within a year at a cost of $9.5 million. The bridges are among the final com- ponents of Project Brays, a federally funded effort. Timeline: July 2020-2022 Cost: $34.8 million Funding sources: Army Corps of En- gineers, Harris County Flood Control District

ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF OCT. 30. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT BMWNEWS@COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM.

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BELLAIRE - MEYERLAND - WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020

CITY& COUNTY

News from Bellaire, West University Place & Houston

COMPILED BY HUNTER MARROW

Bellaire City Council meets the rst and third Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. at 7008 S. Rice Ave., Bellaire. Meetings are streamed at www.bellairetx.gov. West University Place City Council meets the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 6:30 p.m. at 3800 University Blvd., Houston. Meetings are available via teleconference. Find details at www.westutx.gov. Houston City Council meets weekly at 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays for public comment and 9 a.m. Wednesdays for regular business at 901 Bagby St., Houston. Meetings are streamed at www.houstontx.gov/htv. MEETINGSWE COVER CITY HIGHLIGHTS Houston The city adopted a tax rate Oct. 21 of $0.56184 per $100 valuation for scal year 2020-21, a 1.07% reduction from the previous year’s rate. West University Place Kevin Davenport was hired Sept. 28 to serve as the city’s new information technology director. He previously managed IT for the city of Texarkana and Bowie County.

Council reluctant to fund business relief

Bellaire seeks grant for wastewater plan BELLAIRE Bellaire City Council unanimously approved an appli- cation Oct. 5 seeking federal grant funding that may help the city decommission its wastewater treat- ment plant and tie into Houston’s system. However, approval by the council does not mean approval of the decommission but rather an openness to explore wastewater service options, according to agenda documents. The cost to decommission the city’s wastewater treatment plant at 4436 Edith St. would be about $65 million, according to interim City Manager Brant Gary, and would include the cost of infrastructure needed to tie into Houston’s Almeda Sims wastewater treatment system, as well as additions and upgrades to that plant to take on additional capacity over ve to seven years. The grant would only require Bellaire to match 1% of the project cost.

fund wouldmean using the money to oset city expenses incurred between March 1 to Dec. 30 to deal with COVID- 19 or were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27. Besides small-business grants, other eligible expenses for the money include public safety and public health payroll expenses, personal protective equipment/supplies for COVID-19 prevention and precautions, and possible grant programs for individuals to prevent evictions. In total, Bellaire is eligible to receive over $1 million fromHarris County’s $28.5 million Small City Assistance Pro- gram, funded through the $150 billion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

BELLAIRE A recovery fund for Bellaire small businesses looking to mitigate the economic fallout of COVID-19 will not be created, at least not how it was presented to Bellaire City Council Oct. 19. None of the council members opted to put forward a motion to establish the program, which could have allocated up to $150,000 of federal COVID-19 relief funding for qualied small businesses in the city of Bellaire, according to the proposed item on the council’s agenda. Key to the decision was a simple policy question fromMayor Andrew Friedberg: “Do we keep that money in the general fund or distribute that into the community?” Keeping the money in the general

Which expenses are eligible?

Public safety and public health payroll expenses

Personal protective equipment/supplies for COVID-19 prevention and precautions

Grant programs for individuals to prevent evictions

Besides small-business grants, other eligible

expenses for the money include:

SOURCE: CITY OF BELLAIRECOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

GUIDE

Candidates and information for November elections

VOTER GUIDE 2020

COMPILED BY MATT DULIN

WHERE TOVOTE

For more election information, visit communityimpact.com/vote .

Harris County residents can cast a vote at any voting center in the county.

SAMPLE BALLOT

*Incumbent

D Democrat G Green I Independent L Libertarian R Republican

Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 3 R Bert Richardson* D Elizabeth Davis Frizell Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 4 R Kevin Patrick Yeary* D Tina Clinton Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 9 R David Newell* D Brandon Birmingham LOCAL U.S. House District 2 R Daniel Crenshaw* D Sima Ladjevardian L Elliott Scheirman U.S. House District 7 D Lizzie Fletcher* R Wesley Hunt L Shawn Kelly U.S. House District 9 R Johnny Teague D Al Green* L J ose Sosa Texas House District 134 R Sarah Davis* D Ann Johnson Texas House District 137 D Gene Wu* L Lee Sharp Texas House District 146 D Shawn Thierry* L J.J. Campbell Senate District 13 R Milinda Morris D Borris Miles*

Texas State Board of Education District 6 R Will Hickman D Michelle Palmer L Whitney Bilyeu HARRIS COUNTY District attorney R Mary Nan Human D Kim Ogg* County attorney R John Nation D Christian Dashaun Menefee Sheri R Joe Danna D Ed Gonzalez* Precinct 3 commissioner R Tom Ramsey D Michael Moore Constable Precinct 5 R Ted Heap* D Mark Alan Harrison County tax assessor- collector R Chris Daniel D Ann Harris Bennett* L Billy Pierce Harris County Department of Education, At-Large Place 5

NATIONAL

President R Donald J. Trump* D Joseph R. Biden L Jo Jorgensen G Howie Hawkins U.S. Senate R John Cornyn* D Mary “MJ” Hegar L Kerry Douglas McKennon G David B. Collins STATEWIDE Texas Railroad Commission R James “Jim” Wright D Chrysta Castañeda L Matt Sterett G Katija “Kat” Gruene Supreme Court, chief justice R Nathan Hecht* D Amy Clark Meachum L Mark Ash Supreme Court, Place 6

R Jane Bland* D Kathy Cheng Supreme Court, Place 7 R Je Boyd* D Staci Williams L WilliamBryan Strange III Supreme Court, Place 8 R Brett Busby* D Gisela D. Triana L Tom Oxford

R Bob Wolfe D Erica Davis

Harris County Department of Education, At-Large Place 7

R Don Sumners* D Andrea Duhon

9

BELLAIRE  MEYERLAND  WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020

WHERE DO YOU GO WHEN HEARTBURN COULD BE SOMETHING MORE THAN HEARTBURN?

Our ERs are ready for whatever, whenever. With convenient locations across the Greater Houston area, trusted emergency care, and a safe environment, our ERs are ready 24/7, every day of the year. Because when an emergency happens, your health is too important to wait.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

INSIDE INFORMATION Houston &Harris County Taking the pulse of COVID19 After the July surge, hospitalizations dropped signicantly but began to creep up in late October. Virus outbreak trends since July

COMPILED BY MATT DULIN

Cases by ZIP code

Cases by race/ethnicity in Harris County Case counts align with population demographics, however over half of cases were not identied by race.

The Bellaire-Meyerland-West University area has seen a concentration of cases below the county average of 33.7 per 1,000 people.

Percentage of Harris County population

Percentage of known COVID-19 cases

Cumulative cases as of Oct. 26

Total cases Cases per 1,000 people

American Indian/ Alaskan Native

0.1% 0.08%

59

77005 291 10

7.3% 3.4%

Asian

77401 243 13

610

20% 21.5% 43.7% 47.4% 2% 0.76% 28.7% 26.9%

Black

77030 439 41

Hospitalizations/intensive care unit patients in the Greater Houston region

Hispanic

77025 570 20

Multiracial

77096 894 25

The number of COVID-19 patients being hospitalized across the Houston Trauma Service Area, which includes multiple counties, fell by 81.5% from its peak.

COVID19 PATIENTS IN GENERAL BEDS COVID-19 ICU PATIENTS

White (not Hispanic)

90

288

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Cases vs. deaths by age in Harris County

Total Harris County COVID-19 deaths 2,103

2,500

People over the age of 50 account for 90% of COVID-19 deaths in Harris County.

2,000

Deaths

Age

Conrmed cases

17% of cases

40-49

6%of deaths

1,500

4% of cases

0-9

0%of deaths

14% of cases

50-59

14%of deaths

9% of cases

10-19

0.27%of deaths

9% of cases

60-69

22%of deaths

1,000

21% of cases

20-29

0.73%of deaths

4% of cases

70-79

26%of deaths

500

20% of cases

30-39

2.47%of deaths

2% of cases

80+

28.4%of deaths

0

JULY

AUG.

SEPT.

OCT.

SOURCES: HARRIS COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICESCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

11

BELLAIRE  MEYERLAND  WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

DINING FEATURE SaltilloMexicanKitchen Local restaurant serves up wood-grilled avors with touch of cultural outreach B efore Carlos Abedrop brought his steakhouse to the Bellaire area, he rst opened La Casa

BY HUNTER MARROW

“Customers wouldn’t forget my name, but they would forget the name of the restaurant,” Abedrop said. But the name of the restaurant needed cultural and personal signicance, he said, and so Saltillo Mexican Kitchen was born. The concept of the restaurant is simple: “We do what we do in Mexico,” Abedrop said. That includes cooking steaks and other proteins over real wood-ember grills. Ribeyes, including Saltillo’s signature Tapa de Lomo—the cap of the whole ribeye—as well as ten- derloins, enchiladas and tacos, are served family-style unless otherwise requested. “Really, I would consider ourselves a steakhouse,” Abedrop said. And then there is the homemade salsa, which comes in four varieties, including a spicy habanero and a red onion salsa. When Saltillo Mexican Kitchen opened, it served salsa on the table without chips. “Salsa is part of our cuisine, but not with chips,” Abedrop said. However, customers asked for chips and salsa, so the restaurant obliged. Despite these adaptations, Saltillo continues focusing on north- ern Mexican cuisine. “It has been a big deal to be suc- cessful and to deliver my message to my customers,” Abedrop said. “While you adapt, you have to keep to your principles.”

del Caballo—”the house of the horse” in Spanish—in Montrose in February 2013. At the time, Abedrop had already been running a restaurant by the same name in his hometown of Saltillo in northeast Mexico, a name that came from Abedrop himself. “‘Caballo’ is my nickname in my hometown,” Abedrop said. “I don’t know why. Maybe because of my big nose?” When he opened La Casa del Caballo, Abedrop brought not only the name, but also traditional northern Mexican cuisine, wood- grilled steaks, pork and seafood, and specialty cocktails to the Houston area. Still, the Montrose location was not a perfect t for Abedrop and the restaurant. First and foremost, the building was too big. Second was the customer base. “We had very few customers coming from the Montrose area,” Abedrop said. Many of the customers who frequented La Casa del Caballo did come from the West University Place and Bellaire area, however, and so when Abedrop was presented with an opportunity to move to a new location closer to both communities, he jumped on it in 2015. With the move came a name change for the restaurant as well.

Carlos Abedrop has owned Saltillo Mexican Kitchen for the last ve years. (Photos by Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)

SERVING UP SALSA

The spiciest salsa served by Saltillo, this features gold habanero.

The onion salsa uses minced red onion, habanero, lime and olive oil.

The red salsa mixes tomatoes, jalapenos, garlic and chicken broth.

This salsa uses green tomatoes, serranos avocado, and cilantro.

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Tacos en mole: three cheese- or chicken-lled corn tortillas topped with sweet and spicy homemade mole sauce

Tres leches: two layers of white cake with creamy icing dripped with a three- milk combination

$15

$8

SaltilloMexicanKitchen 5427 Bissonnet St., Ste. 200, Houston 832- 623-6467 www.saltillomexicankitchen.com Hours: Mon.-Sat. 4 p.m.-9 p.m., closed Sun.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

PEOPLE Joanne Brodsky

BY HUNTER MARROW

Resident’s Old Braeswood garage serves as election polling place for nearly 40 years J oanne Brodsky began her

Joanne Brodsky has continued to open up her two-car garage as a polling place for nearly 40 years. (Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)

to the Texas election code, residences can serve as polling locations as long as it is not occupied by a candidate or a relative of one. Periodically, Harris County reviews the voting pattern in each precinct to determine who will serve as presiding judge; the other judge becomes the alternate election judge. In the upcoming election, Brodsky will be presiding, while Garnett will serve as the alternate. “We have a lovely working relation- ship,” Brodsky said. A similar warm and inviting atmo- sphere can be felt in Old Braeswood during election season and on election day, Brodsky said. Though COVID-19 health guide- lines prevent her from doing so this election cycle, Brodsky has, in the past, set up a playpen in her front yard for children while their parents wait in line to vote. Connecting and participating in the elective process with her neighbors has always been a pull for Brodsky in continuing her duties as a precinct chair and election judge. “You get to see your neighbors,” she said. “You get to check in, hear about what’s going on. It’s lovely.” For someone with a passion for vot- ing and the elective process, it helps that, politically, the neighborhood has always been rather active. “This neighborhood has a real core group who is concerned about everyone voting, both Republican and Democrat,” Brodsky said.

duties as an election precinct chair for Precinct 472 in Hous- ton’s Old Braeswood neighborhood in 1982. And she has served in that position ever since. “I really believe in our election process,” Brodsky said. “I think everybody should vote.” Brodsky took that attitude a step further, however. Not content with just performing her duties as Democratic precinct chair — identifying members of her party living in the precinct and encouraging them to vote — she opened up her own two-car garage as a polling place. Brodsky has been retired for the past several years from her position as a nurse at Texas Medical Center’s Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, though even when she was working a full-time job, Brodsky was serving in the position. She registered her address at 2347 Underwood St., Houston, as an ocial polling place—one of over 800 voting centers in Harris County open on Election Day Nov. 3—and will be helping set up voting machines on Election Day alongside her Republican counterpart, Ann Garnett, who also opens up her own garage when voting oversight shifts to her party. This is possible because Brodsky and Garnett serve not only as election precinct chairs, but also as election judges, Brodsky said. And according

PANDEMIC POLL PREP Harris County is requiring extensive personal protective equipment to be used at all polling locations, including in and around Brodsky’s garage, to help protect against infectious diseases such as the u and COVID-19. Equipment is split for use by voters and by election workers.

PPE for voters

PPE for election workers

Hand sanitizing station: one per location placed near the entryway of the voting room Alcohol wipes: Voters will be asked to use a wipe to clean the voting machine before voting. Finger cots: Voters will use a nger cot to sign their name and to vote. Floor decals: Decals encouraging 6-foot social distancing will be placed throughout the voting room entrance and beyond. Surgical masks: will be provided for voters who do not have one and would like to wear one

KN95 masks: One per election worker is required at all times while working. Face shields: Though not required, election workers are encouraged to wear them. Hand sanitizer: One to two bottles will be provided on tables near election workers on Election Day. Disinfecting wipes: Workers will wipe shared surfaces every one to two hours. Medical infrared thermometer: Each election worker will have their temperature checked before each shift. Tabletop sneeze guards: two per voter qualication table

SOURCE: HARRIS COUNTY ELECTION REFERENCE MANUALCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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BELLAIRE  MEYERLAND  WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020

Breaking Ocially founded in 1945, the Texas Medical Center began to form nearly a century ago with the help of some

The Texas Legislature commits $500,000 to a cancer research hospital under The University of Texas. The M.D. Anderson Foundation matches the investment. June 1941

Dec. 1943

Houston voters agree to cede 134 acres of city park land to the M.D. Anderson Foundation for $400,000 for the creation of a medical center.

ground June 1925

key philanthropists, Houston voters and local visionaries. SOURCE: TEXAS MEDICAL CENTERCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Nov. 1945

June 1936

Baylor University agrees to relocate its medical college to Houston from Dallas after the M.D. Anderson Foundation gives $1 million for a building and $1 million for research. May 1943

The Hermann Hospital opens, funded by philanthropist George H. Hermann, who hoped it would rival Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland.

Monroe D. Anderson establishes a foundation for establishing hospitals and the promotion of health, science and education. After his death, he left it a $19 million endowment.

The TMC is ocially chartered as a nonprot corporation, overseeing the distribution of land toward nonprot medical and research uses.

PHOTOS COURTESY TEXAS MEDICAL CENTER LIBRARY

For 75 years, Houston has grownmedical, economic ‘powerhouse’

BY HUNTER MARROW

pave the way for the medical center’s future success. “Michael DeBakey brought a lot of inuence,” Boutwell said. “He was not only a great surgeon, but he had been decorated in World War II. He also had a lot of respect in Washing- ton and could go there and walk the walls and could generate funding and support.” In addition, DeBakey recruited another renowned surgeon, Dr. Den- ton Cooley, in 1951. The duo collaborated on a number of innovations in surgery, including a new method of removing aortic aneu- rysms, the weak spots that can some- times develop along artery walls. But individually, alongside their teams, the two were pioneers. DeBakey performed the rst suc- cessful carotid endarterectomy— removing blockages in an artery—in 1953, and in 1958 he performed the rst successful patch-graft angioplasty. Cooley, who founded the Texas Heart Institute in 1962, went on to set multiple medical milestones, includ- ing one of the rst heart transplants in the U.S. in 1967 and the world’s rst total articial heart implant in 1969. Dr. Lee Clark was yet another leader, who put the medical center on the map for cancer care beginning in 1946 when he was named MD Anderson’s rst full-time director and surgeon in chief. During Clark’s career, the cancer center opened in 1954, and he oversaw threemajor expansions to the complex during his 34-year tenure.

hospitals did not have the capacity for multiple iron lungs, Wooten said. Opening the Southwestern Polio- myelitis Respiratory Center—the rst respiratory center in the country and what would be later known as the Texas Institute for Rehabilitation and Research—at Jeerson Davis Hospi- tal was intended to remedy this with a focus on trained personnel and a room full of iron lungs, Wooten said. Work on polio at the respiratory center and at the newly opened Texas Children’s Hospital, along with the Baylor College of Medicine being selected in 1961 as a site for trials of what would become the go-to polio vaccine, helped cement the TMC’s reputation. “By doing that, it underscored the mounting prestige of the Texas Med- ical Center,” Wooten said. Building and leaving legacies The Southwestern Poliomyelitis Respiratory Center saw success in treating polio patients, but the direc- tor of the center, Dr. William Spencer, was a real driving force, Wooten said. The TMC showed the world its prominence with the quality of the physicians it was employing, said Bry- ant Boutwell, longtime professor and former administrator for UTHealth. “What happened was that Texas Medical Center became like a magnet for some of the greatest physicians in the country,” Boutwell said. Recruiting world-renowned heart surgeon Michael DeBakey in 1947 was one such example that helped

So when polio hit, it hit Texas, Houston and Harris County hard, Wooten said. Ever since, the medical center has confronted challenges with pioneer- ingmedical practitioners and an eye to future collaboration and innovation. Rising to the challenge During the late 1940s to the early 1950s, a dangerous form of the dis- ease, bulbar polio, which attacks nerve centers that control swallowing and talking and could lead to suo- cation, had been on the rise, Wooten said. “Most Americans thought polio was the most frightening thing, save for the atomic bomb, at the time because it aected children, the idea of Amer- ica’s future,” said Wooten, the author of polio-focused book “The Polio Years in Texas: Battling a Terrifying Unknown.”Though the tank mechan- ical respirator, also known as the iron lung, had been developed years prior to provide breathing support, most

Thousands of infections from the viral disease were sweeping across the United States, inundating doctors’ oces across the Greater Houston area. The best and brightest physicians were working on treatments while researchers searched for a vaccine. Many patients were asymptomatic, but some suered from a wide vari- ety of symptoms: fever, sore throat, headache and fatigue. As eorts to combat the disease grew, public fears grew because of the disease’s uncertain future and its devastating eects on vulnerable populations. This is not 2020, and the disease is not COVID-19. This was the 1940s and 1950s, and it was the polio epidemic, the rst public health crisis to test the budding Texas Medical Center, which was ocially chartered 75 years ago as of Nov. 1. The polio epidemic, in fact, contin- ued to penetrate the United States in greater numbers than had ever before been seen, said Dr. Heather Wooten, an adjunct assistant professor for the Institute for the Medical Humanities, located at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Texas saw fewer than 1,000 polio cases in 1945, but by 1950, those num- bers had increased to nearly 2,800 and then to almost 4,000 at its peak in 1952, according to medical statistics from 1945-58 kept by the nonprot March of Dimes. In Harris County in 1952, there were 700 cases reported.

Texas Medical Center

stats to know

106,000+ total employees

8 million 180,000+ 750,000 patient visits per year

annual surgeries

ER visits per year

16

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

Oct. 2018

Nov. 1964 Drs. Michael DeBakey and Edward Garret

Jim Allison, the chair of immunology and executive director of the immunotherapy platform at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, receives the Nobel Prize for his work on using T cells to ght cancer.

May 1968

Aug. 1991

become some of the rst doctors in the world to successfully perform a coronary artery bypass.

Dr. Denton Cooley, who later founds the Texas Heart Institute, performs one of the rst heart transplants in the U.S.

The Texas Heart Institute successfully implants the rst portable, battery- powered heart pump.

10

May 1959

The inaugural class of the UTHealth McGovern Medical School begins. Sept. 1970

Sept. 1976 Dr. Red Duke at Hermann Hospital helps lead the launch of Life Flight, the rst private hospital air ambulance service.

Oct. 2014

The TMC Innovation Institute develops and launches TMCx, a startup accelerator program. Since then it has helped raise $4.71 billion for over 300 new life science rms.

The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research is formally dedicated, continuing the work that started under the Southwestern Poliomyelitis Respiratory Center. It is among the nation’s leading rehab hospitals.

New developments 2020 & beyond

Like Clark, DeBakey and Cooley stayed on at the medical center for decades, a common thread among early TMC leadership that was key to its continued success, Boutwell said. “I think the early leaders set an example that you don’t plan for next year or the next after that, but you plan for the next decade or two,” Boutwell said. The same applies to the TMC’s programmatic changes, according to Boutwell. The TMC leadership has and continues to take the approach of learning from the past and applying it to the future. And with that has come a storied reputation that continues to build talent. Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi, co-direc- tor alongside her colleague Dr. Peter Hotez, and the team at Texas Chil- dren’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development are one such example. The team, which worked on a COVID- 19 vaccine that was licensed in August by India-based biopharmaceutical company Biological E. Limited for use in that country, came to Houston in 2011 after spending 10 years in Wash- ington, D.C. “The attraction for us to come to Houston was the fact that we were being recruited with this notion that we were coming to a very large eco- system in health with the medical center,” Bottazzi said. “The recruit- ment was a joint venture amongst various institutions, including Texas Children’s and Baylor.” Meeting needs If there are some positives that have come out of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is how the TMC has increased

collaboration among institutions more than ever before, said Dr. Marc Boom, the president and CEO of Houston Methodist Hospital System. “What denitely continues to accel- erate during COVID has really been more cross-institutional collabora- tion,” Boom said. That includes taking a top-down approach to that collaboration, where seven days a week at 7 a.m., the CEOs of Texas Medical Center institutions touch base on needs and resources. “And then there’s operational teams and supply chain teams and HR teams and ethics teams and others that have been functioning across the TMC,” Boom said. This collaboration has taken the form of data sharing when the TMC releases daily updates on COVID-19 metrics, as well as equipment early on during the pandemic that was shared with institutions when needed. “I think this experience has been a real-time dramatic episode where it further reinforced to us the value of collaboration,” Boom said. And that collaboration extends to current and future eorts by the TMC as it seeks to continue to move health care forward for member institutions, said Dr. Bernard Harris, the vice chair of the medical center’s board of direc- tors, which provides support for the TMC leadership team and approves all major decisions about the medical center. To pursue that goal, the TMC has created institutions such as the Clini- cal Research Institute, which debuted in 2018. “That is to help the institutions stay ahead of the latest and greatest tech- nology that enables us to advance

health care,” Harris said. In addition, the institute has allowed a more seamless, unied interface for TMC institutions by allowing them to sign one set of doc- uments that could, for example, allow them to have access to a new medical device or therapy. The TMC is also increasing the work coming out of TMCx, an inno- vation center connecting entrepre- neurs with TMC resources to create medical devices and digital health solutions. The TMC does this through its Venture Fund, which invests in innovative products from promising entrepreneurs, Harris said. Investments include Alleviant Med- ical, which developed a minimally invasive device to treat congestive heart failure, and Corlnnova, which developed a soft robotic device that gently squeezes the heart in sync with the heartbeat to increase output. These areas will continue to remain focuses as the TMC looks to expand its campus through TMC3, which is slated to open in 2022 and serve as a center between the TMC’s clinical and research campuses. For Wooten, such innovation and presence in Houston paint the medi- cal center in a central role. “The Texas Medical Center is such an economic powerhouse,” Wooten said. “Not only the cancer research, but the biomedical portion of it is what keeps Houston what it is and evolved it from an oil town to this bio- medical tech town.”

TMC3:

Planned completion: 2022

A 37-acre campus oering 138,000 square feet of commercial and retail space and 112,000 square feet of shared research facilities for new bioscience eorts

The Texas A&M Innovation Plaza:

Planned completion: 2024

A 5-acre, $540 million campus with three oce towers housing an engineering medicine program, student housing, research facilities, oce and retail space, and parking

Levit Green:

Planned completion: TBD

A 52-acre development planned to oer research facilities, oce space, residential, retail, dining and green space

For more information, visit communityimpact.com .

17

BELLAIRE  MEYERLAND  WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020

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