Bay Area Edition | November 2020

BAY AREA EDITION

VOLUME 3, ISSUE 4  NOV. 20DEC. 22, 2020

ONLINE AT

Flooding fixes?

IMPACTS

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40 potential regional drainage projects are proposed along Clear Creek and Dickinson Bayou.

TODO LIST

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COURTESY CITY OF LEAGUE CITY

Experts consider dozens of potential drainage projects along Clear Creek, Dickinson Bayou

XXXXXXX VOLUNTEER GUIDE LISTINGS 2020

League City CityManager JohnBaumgartner said. A few times, ocials have tried to push for projects along these waterways to address ooding issues, but due to conicting objectives or a lack of consensus, nothing ever happened—until now. Since November 2019, consulting rm Freese and Nichols and League City ocials have been studying both the lower portion of the Clear Creek watershed and all of the Dickinson Bayouwatershed. Thegoal of the study—whichhas buy in from several cities in the area, including Pearland, Friendswood,

BY JAKE MAGEE

Consultants and city ocials are in the middle of a study that could result in major ood mitigation eorts in League City, Clear Lake, Pearland, Friendswood and beyond, but this is not the rst time Bay Area communities have tried to address regional ooding. Clear Creek and Dickinson Bayou, twomajor bodies of water in the area, have been studied several times over the decades by various groups, including the Army Corps of Engineers,

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CONTINUED ON 30

BayArea oyster industry makes strides in sustainability

“OYSTERGARDENING IS VERY COMMUNITY FOCUSED, AND… PEOPLE GET HANDS ON EXPERIENCE BRINGINGNATURE BACK TOAREAS THAT

DINING FEATURE

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BY COLLEEN FERGUSON

ARE INDANGER.” MAUREEN NOLANWADE, LEAD OYSTER GARDENER XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Eorts to ensure the longevityof theBayArea oyster indus- try start shell by shell: Individual- and volunteer-driven recycling programs play as vital a role in population sustain- ability as the eorts of local shermen and state agencies. The overall health of the industry has uctuated in the last decade, experts involved with commercial harvesting and habitat restoration said. With any of the world’s oyster popu- lations, human-made eects have an impact on the industry CONTINUED ON 32

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The Galveston Bay Foundation partners with area restaurants to recycle oyster shells back to the bay.

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BAY AREA EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

THIS ISSUE

CONTENTS

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

IMPACTS

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Now Open, Coming Soon &more

FROMPAPAR: This year has been hard on many, and most nonprot organizations have had a shortage of volunteers due to COVID-19. This month, we present a local volunteer guide to help community nonprots (see Page 20). Papar Faircloth, GENERALMANAGER

MARKET TEAM GENERAL MANAGER Papar Faircloth, pfaircloth@communityimpact.com EDITOR Jake Magee REPORTER Colleen Ferguson GRAPHIC DESIGNER Justin Howell ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Lara Estephan

METRO LEADERSHIP PUBLISHER Jason Culpepper ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Kristina Shackelford MANAGING EDITOR Marie Leonard ART PRODUCTIONMANAGER Kaitlin Schmidt CORPORATE LEADERSHIP PUBLISHERS AND FOUNDERS John and Jennifer Garrett GROUP PUBLISHER Traci Rodriguez EXECUTIVE EDITOR Joe Warner John and Jennifer Garrett began Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 in Pugerville, Texas. The company’s mission is to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. Today we operate across ve metropolitan areas providing hyperlocal, nonpartisan news produced by our full-time journalists in each community we serve. BECOMEA#COMMUNITYPATRON CREATIVE DIRECTOR Derek Sullivan SALES DIRECTOR Tess Coverman WHOWE ARE

FROM JAKE: Flooding is an issue that seems to be impossible to eradicate in the Bay Area, but that doesn’t mean ocials aren’t trying. Read our front-page story to learn about a regional study that will result in drainage projects that will benet the entire area. Jake Magee, EDITOR

TODO LIST December events

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TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES 11 GOVERNMENT 13 League City capital projects GUIDE 20 Volunteer opportunities VOTER GUIDE 23 Election results BUSINESS FEATURE 25 Adelaide’s Boutique

THIS ISSUE BY THE NUMBERS

Local sources 31

New businesses 6

Community events 8

Drainage projects 40

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DINING FEATURE

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We follow CDC guidelines, screen staff frequently, monitor assisted living residents constantly and rely on national labs for testing. Meanwhile, we keep the fun and fulfillment dialed in – and look forward to scheduling your visit. Call 281-672-8481 today to learn more or to get a copy of The Complete Guide to Senior Health and Wellness.

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BAY AREA EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020

IMPACTS

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

$1.4 million worth of drainage fixes to the surrounding historic district. The work includes new pavers, lighting and a large lawn which will be used to host events. 281-554-1180. www.leaguecity.com COMING SOON 8 Floor & Decor will open a Webster location Nov. 23 at the Clear Lake Center at 20740 Gulf Freeway, Ste. 90, Webster. Floor & Decor sells tile, stone, wood, laminate and vinyl flooring and deco- rative sinks, vanities, countertops and more. www.flooranddecor.com ANNIVERSARIES 9 Kolache Factory celebrated its first anniversary Nov. 14. The shop, located at 306 N. Gulf Freeway, League City, sells a variety of sweet and savory kolaches, including a rotating monthly kolache. 281-784-0010. www.kolachefactory.com NEWOWNERSHIP 10 Red Oak Cafe , located at 6011 W. Main St., Ste. 106A, League City, under- went a change in ownership June 15. Bob and Judy Tabuena assumed ownership of the eatery, which they said will continue to serve its traditional breakfast and lunch menus. Red Oak offers curbside takeout and online ordering for its cus- 11 League City City Council approved a construction contract Oct. 13 for the remodeling of the League City City Council Chambers at 200 W. Walker St., League City. The $1.1 million project will upgrade the Municipal Court building, which includes the council chambers, with a new IT equipment room, which will increase the footprint of the building to 3,400 square feet. 281-554-1000. www.leaguecity.com tomers. 832-905-3150. www.redoakcafe.com IN THE NEWS

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

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NOWOPEN 1 Art, Movement & Life Skills Academy opened June 17 at 1701 Hwy. 3 S., League City. The academy fosters creativity, physical and mental health and social and emotional learning for ages 9-17, Co-Director Rachael Maly said. 832-849-8934. www.amlsacademy.com 2 Mister Car Wash opened its 32nd lo- cation in late September at 1380 FM 528, Webster. In addition to car washes, the business provides 11 vacuum stalls, and members of the business’s wash club can access more than 30 Mister Car Wash locations around the Houston area. 281-661-6315. www.mistercarwash.com 3 Fairfield Inn & Suites at 1144 Pin- nacle Park Drive, League City, opened

in August. Officials originally expected the hotel, which broke ground in August 2018, to open in April 2020, but permit- ting and weather delayed construction. The 64,000-square-foot, five-story hotel has 112 rooms, a full-service bar, a fitness room and an outdoor pool with a swim-up bar. 281-967-8490. www.marriott.com 4 Ohayo Sushi opened Oct. 27 at 1027 W. Bay Area Blvd., Webster. The seafood and Japanese fusion restaurant serves su- shi, sashimi, hibachi and more. The eatery offers all-you-can-eat lunch and dinner menus. 281-525-6299. www.ohayosushirestaurant.com 5 Bravo Party Shop opened in October at 2951 Marina Bay Drive, Ste. 216,

League City, while its permanent space at the same address is being built. The business sells celebration items and party items, including balloons, candy, cos- tumes and decorations. 832-864-2616. www.bravopartyshop.com 6 Airrosti Rehab Centers opened a location at 6021 Fairmont Parkway, Ste. 210, Pasadena, on Sept. 21. The business helps patients recover from injuries and pain. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the center is offering telehealth and remote recovery solutions. 800-404-6050. www.airrosti.com 7 League Park , located at 512 Second St., League City, opened to the public in early November after having been closed for months for park improvements and

THIS INFORMATION WAS ACCURATE AS OF NOV. 10. FOLLOW COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM FOR THE LATEST BUSINESS AND RESTAURANT NEWS UPDATES.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY COLLEEN FERGUSON & JAKE MAGEE

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COURTESY CITY OF WEBSTER Ohayo Sushi

Bravo Party Shop

The Toasted Yolk will open in League City where Olympia Grill once was.

COURTESY BRAVO PARTY SHOP

COURTESY THE TOASTED YOLK

FEATURED IMPACT COMINGSOON The Toasted Yolk Cafe plans to open in December in League City’s Pinnacle Park at 2535 S. Gulf Freeway, League City— the former site of Olympia Grill, which closed in March 2019. The Toasted Yolk is a franchise with 14 Houston-area locations. The restaurant specializes in breakfast, brunch and lunch items and serves coee, mimosas, beer and more. According to Brockway Commercial’s James Brockway, who brokered the deal,

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Toasted Yolk will take over about 6,100 square feet of the 10,000-square-foot building, which was vacated following Olympia Grill’s closure after only four months of operations. www.thetoastedyolk.com

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COURTESY CITY OF LEAGUE CITY League Park

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BAY AREA EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020

Leading Medicine IN CLEAR LAKE

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TODO LIST

December events

COMPILED BY BEN DICKERSON

04 THROUGH 20 JINGLEONTHEBOARDWALK Attendees can ring in the holidays at this Kemah Boardwalk event with holiday music, movies, a toy drive, appearances from Santa Claus and the Grinch, stiltwalking, balloon artists and more. Free (entry); prices and times vary. Kemah Boardwalk, 215 Kipp Ave., Kemah. 281-535-8100. www.facebook.com/kemahboardwalk 05 GALAXY LIGHTS OVERNIGHT FAMILY CAMPOUT AT SPACE CENTER HOUSTON At this overnight camping event, families can take part in a variety of hands-on STEM activities for guests age 5 and up, including building a bottle rocket, touring a gallery of spacecraft and more, all before camping out underneath real rockets and planes. The campout also features Galaxy Lights, an interactive light display. 6 p.m.-9 a.m. $69.95 per person (includes breakfast and second-day visit to the Space Center). 1601 NASA Parkway, Houston. 281-244-2100. www.spacecenter.org/education-programs/ overnight-experiences/family-camp-out 12 BATTLE ON THE BOARDWALK FISHING TOURNAMENT At this Elite Redsh Series shing event at the Kemah Boardwalk, up to 100 teams will compete in a one-day shootout for the chance to win the $60,000 rst prize.

DECEMBER 01 INPERSON STORY TIME FOR CHILDRENAT HELENHALL LIBRARY Children ages 0-5 can enjoy this in-person story time at Helen Hall Library’s Susan Mathews Theater. Families will be seated in marked locations; all participants age 10 and older must wear masks; and 6 feet of social distancing will be maintained. 10:15-10:45 a.m., 11:15-11:45 a.m. Free (registration required). Helen Hall Library, 100 W. Walker St., League City. 281-554-1112. www.leaguecity.com/3146/Helen-Hall- Library 04 THROUGH 6, 11 THROUGH 13 BAYAREAHOUSTONBALLET& THEATRE’S ‘THENUTCRACKER’ Take part in a holiday tradition with the Bay Area Houston Ballet & Theatre’s production of Tchaikovsky’s classic Christmas ballet, “The Nutcracker,” at the University of Houston-Clear Lake’s Bayou Theater. The venue will be operating at 25% capacity due to COVID-19 precautions. Ticket prices and showtimes vary. Bayou Theater, University of Houston-Clear Lake, 2700 Bay Area Blvd., Houston. 281-480-1617. www.bahbt.org/thenutcracker

Nonparticipants can enjoy the boardwalk, and featured vendors will be present. 6 a.m.-4 p.m. Free (boardwalk entry), $600 (team entry fee). Kemah Boardwalk, 215 Kipp Ave., Kemah. 281-535-8100. www.facebook.com/events/ 831330431031070 12 WINTER PADDLING EVENT The Brazoria Paddlers Club is holding its rst of several paddling events on a Brazoria County waterway. Participants can bring their own boats or borrow one from the club. 9 a.m.-noon. Free. Location will be announced at a later date. Call Mike Mullenweg at 979-864-1152 for reservations and more information. www.brazoriacountytx.gov/departments/ parks-department/special-events 19 BALLET LESSONS AND SWORD BUILDINGWITH ‘NUTCRACKER’ CHARACTERS Practice your ballet or build a sword at the “Nutcracker in the Park” event, held in partnership with Bay Area Houston Ballet & Theatre. Cast members from “The Nutcracker” will be in costume, and photo opportunities will be available. Guests must sign up in advance. 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. $10 (League City residents), $12 (nonresidents). League Park, 512 Second St., League City. 281-554-1000. www.leaguecity.com

CHRISTMAS BOAT LANE PARADE SOUTH SHORE HARBOR

DEC. 12

The 59th annual Christmas Boat Lane Parade, hosted by the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, will feature 60-plus decorated boats, which can be viewed from land or from the lake. The parade will run from the South Shore Harbor Marina out to Galveston Bay. Viewers can gather at the Kemah Boardwalk, The Point at Seabrook or one of many other locations to watch the parade. 6-9 p.m. Free. Various locations. 281-488-7676. www.clearlakearea.com/events/ annual-events/christmas-boat-parade

Find more or submit 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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•Pick up your League City Shop Small Holiday Guide at City facilities and the League City Chamber of Commerce or download at leaguecity.com/holidayguide. •Download the Discover League City app on your mobile phone for daily holiday deals and coupons. •Shop the Mouse King Market across from League Park on Nov. 28 for “shop small” Saturday.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES League City aims to beautifyMain Street

ONGOING PROJECTS

CONSIDERINGMEDIANS

League City ocials want to install medians along Main Street between I-45 and FM 270 to beautify the strip and make it safer. Meanwhile, owners of Main Street businesses have expressed concerns that medians would hurt their businesses by inconveniencing customers.

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Despite concerns from local business owners, League City ocials hope in the coming months to revital- ize Main Street by overlaying it with new asphalt and installing landscaped medians in place of its shared center turn lanes. About six months ago, the Texas Department of Transportation told the city it would be overlaying Main Street with new asphalt from just east of I-45 to just west of FM 270 around March 2021. That is when League City ocials proposed installing medians, which could be the beginning of other improvements for the road. “The median is to draw attention to we’re doing something; we’re making improvements here,” said David Hoover, director of planning and development. Ocials believe Main Street needs a breath of fresh air to make it attractive to residents and visitors. By installing medians and landscaping themwith grass and trees, the area will become more desirable and safer, Hoover said. Most of Main Street between I-45 and FM 270 includes a shared center turn lane. Generally, more vehicle crashes happen on roads with such lanes, though they do allow easier access to businesses because residents can turn at any point from either direction, Hoover said. Over 10 years ago, the city proposed installing medians, and Main Street business owners shot it down, saying it would lead to closures because motorists would not be willing to make U-turns or navigate Main Street dierently to reach their businesses.

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League City Parkway and Hobbs Road intersection improvements Work at League City Parkway and Hobbs Road is almost complete. Workers are constructing an east- bound right turn lane from League City Parkway onto Hobbs Road, which continues south to the Bauerschlag Elementary School. Timeline: July-November Cost: $519,200 Funding source: 2019 League City bonds

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“The primary concerns are people are fearful that if we do something to cause people to alter their routines, they won’t do it,” Hoover said. “That’s just unrealistic.” In the decade since League City did not install medians, Main Street and its businesses have still suered, Hoover said. Businesses have closed; no new businesses have opened; residents do not walk Main Street; and the road is deteriorating. Meanwhile, areas of the city with medians are seeing new businesses because they “look successful,” he said. While owners of businesses along Main Street do not oppose beautifying the city, they have concerns medians would hurt their businesses. Lynn Davis of Clear Creek Ortho- dontics, which is just oMain Street, spoke at an Oct. 27 League City City Council meeting. Representing eight other business owners along Main Street, Davis expressed concerns with the medians being installed. “To us, it is a main project [that

aects] our businesses that has had an eect on these people who run these businesses,” he said. “It’s very concerning to us.” League City ocials believe medi- ans will attract, not deter, potential customers. Ocials do not want businesses to fail at the expense of installing medians, Hoover said. “That’s like throwing money away,” he said. “We really do understand the fear and the concern that the people do have, … especially on the heels of all this COVID[-19] stu.” As a bonus, the $6 million worth of work would be free. TxDOT has enough money to do the asphalt overlay and install medians along Main Street and landscape existing medians on several other roads with- out charging League City anything, Hoover said. “The best thing about is it’s free,” he said. League City City Council voted Nov. 10 to establish an ad hoc committee of Main Street business owners to involve them in the decision-making process.

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Dickinson Avenue reconstruction This project was delayed from Decem- ber 2019 to this fall, but the southern three-quarters of the road have been complete for months. Excavation on the nal section started in October with new concrete pouring in early November. Timeline: January 2019-fall 2020 Cost: $7 million Funding sources: Galveston County ($6 million), League City ($1 million)

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

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BAY AREA EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

GOVERNMENT

INVESTING IN

CAPITAL PROJECTS

League City’s project management department had a goal to spend $50 million a year in capital projects, which was reached by the end of scal year 2019-20.

As of Nov. 10, the city had spent $59.3 million on capital projects in FY 2019-20, much of which went toward water work.

CAPITAL PROJECTS

*AS OF NOV. 10

Reinvestment 25.3%

Water 29.2% Police 2.5% Fire 3% Parks 3.6%

Fiscal year 2017-18

$26.2 MILLION

15.9% Streets/trac

Fiscal year 2018-19

$24.6 MILLION

Fiscal year 2019-20

$59.3 MILLION*

Downtown 6.5% 6.1% Drainage

Wastewater 7.9%

$0

$20 MILLION

$40 MILLION

$60 MILLION

SOURCE: CITY OF LEAGUE CITYCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

League City reaches capital improvement projectmilestone With drainage projects, road work, new facilities and numerous other League City projects in the works, the growing project management depart- ment has a lot to juggle. Knowing residents wanted League City to x roads and alleviate ood- ing citywide, the city in FY 2017-18 established the project management department of employees concentrat- ing solely on getting capital projects approved, designed and constructed. BY JAKE MAGEE

Capital projects take years to get approved, designed and ultimately built, and it is not until projects are under construction that the dollars start owing. In FY 2019-20, the oce saw the fruits of its labor over the previous years, and now it wants to do more, Steelman said. “They like challenges,” she said. “They’re a competitive group.” The city is still receiving invoices for capital project work done through Sept. 30. As of Nov. 10, the total spent on capital improvement projects in FY 2019-20 was $59.3 million, and that could grow to closer to $60 million by the time all invoices are received, Baumgartner and Steelman said. Baumgartner said it is due to the work of the growing program the city was able to invest so much in capital projects last scal year. “We put more people resources toward the program,” he said, noting the annual budget includes money

to add new employees to the about 15-person department each year. Additionally, FY 2019-20 included the construction of Fire Station No. 6 and the new animal shelter, which contributed to the $59.3 million gure. “Facilities are kinda something that comes and goes. They’re not a ton of money, but they’re not cheap, either,” Steelman said. FY 2019-20 also included work on bond-funded projects related to drainage and roads and a payment on the newwater line fromHouston for which League City will ultimately pay over $60 million. With the $50 million milestone achieved, the next goal is $70 million, Baumgartner said. With numerous drainage and road projects under design, there is plenty to work on. “We get measured by what we get done,” Baumgartner said. “The only thing we care about is what we get done.”

The teamwas up to the task. In scal year 2019-20, which ended Sept. 30, the department met its goal of spending $50 million on capital improvement projects in a single year, which is a good sign, ocials said. “It’s an indicator that things are … getting completed,” said Project Management Director Angie Steelman, who oversees the department. Through FY 2016-17, the city’s engi- neering department oversaw capital improvement projects. However, accommodating developers who want to build in League City is a priority, meaning capital projects were not necessarily given the attention they needed, City Manager John Baumgart- ner said.

There is overlap in work with the engineering department, but having a separate oce focused on capital projects allows that work to progress faster, Steelman said. “They’re excited to rev up even more,” she said. Since it was established, the oce had a goal to hit $50 million in capital project expenditures in a single year. At rst, the oce thought it would have the goal hit by FY 2018-19, Steelman said. That was not the case. In FY 2017-18, the oce spent about $26 million on capital projects. The amount was virtually the same the following year, Steelman said.

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BAY AREA EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020

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14

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COVID19 AND THE FLU While caused by separate viruses, the u and COVID-19 can both cause serious disease or death, and they share some symptoms.

HEALTH CARE Experts advise planning for winter u seasonduringCOVID19

SHARED SYMPTOMS

BY BEN THOMPSON

Shuford said the state department will monitor Texas hospital capacity over the coming months. She said while COVID-19 hospitalizations throughout Texas decreased in September, increases during the fall and winter may again lead to capacity issues throughout the state. “We don’t feel like we’re out of the woods,” Shuford said. “We feel like our health care system is safe at this moment in time, but that any addition of u in our communities or even COVID-19 in our communities could start to impact and stress our healthcare system.” In Harris County, general hospital bed usage has remained below the county’s operational capacity of

Health ocials are preparing for a seasonal wave of inuenza they said could compound public health and health care system capacity concerns this year. Dr. Jennifer Shuford, infectious disease medical ocer for the Texas Department of State Health Services, said that while u season typically peaks between December and March, the timing and severity of the u’s spread every year is uncertain. “Getting the u shot is the single most important thing that a person can do to prevent themselves from getting the u or from severe u and its complications,” she said. Shuford said that while DSHS

Fever

Cough Muscle aches and pains

Sore throat

Runny nose

Headache Shortness of breath

COVID19ONLY

FLUONLY

Symptoms typically appear ve days after infection, although symptoms may appear two to 14 days after infection.

Symptoms typically appear one to four days after infection.

Loss of smell or taste

Chills

SOURCES: CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICESCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER HOSPITAL CAPACITY Hospital bed use in Harris County remains in the 7,000 range as of late October.

CAPACITY: 14,869

General beds in use General beds in use for COVID-19 patients

works every year to share messaging about u preparedness and preven- tion, eorts to inform Texans about u shots and recommended precautions have ramped up ahead of this fall. And

14,869 beds and surge capacity of 17,847 since late September—at or below 7,841 beds, according to data from the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council. According to Dr. Anne Barnes, Harris Health System Executive Vice President and Chief Medical

“GETTING THE FLU SHOT IS THE SINGLEMOST IMPORTANT THING THAT APERSON CANDO TO PREVENT THEMSELVES FROMGETTING THE FLU OR FROMSEVERE FLUAND ITS COMPLICATIONS.” DR. JENNIFER SHUFORD, INFECTIOUS DISEASE MEDICAL OFFICER FOR THE TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES

7,731

7,679

7,688

7,701

7,625

7,118

6,838

6,608

7,959

7,841

7,421

7,389 7,347

7,014 7,431

6,516

409 374 376 340 315 308 316 359 340 360 365 412 421 350 442 424

22 24 26 28 30 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 SEPTEMBER OCTOBER

SOURCE: SOUTHEAST TEXAS REGIONAL ADVISORY COUNCILCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

COVID-19 infections will be present in the late fall and early winter,” Barnes said in an email. “If Houstonians wear their masks, physically dis- tance, wash their hands, and get a u shot, we would anticipate a manage- able rate of infection and a modest

rate of illness requiring hospitaliza- tion. If community members don’t maintain vigilance, we are at risk for surge level hospital demands for both COVID-19 and u.” Adriana Rezal contributed to this report.

in addition to communications from the state organization, she also said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is providing u vaccines for residents of all ages this year in addition to the department’s ongoing Texas Vaccines for Children Program.

Ocer, the ability of local hospitals to handle patients with other conditions amid the coronavirus pandemic will depend on how county residents adhere to guidelines on mitigating the spread of COVID-19. “We believe that both u and

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BAY AREA EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020

Orthopedics

Back in the saddle again Joint Replacement. Close to Home.

The UTMB Health League City Campus offers comprehensive joint replacement services for the Bay Area’s rapidly growing communities. Hip and knee pain caused by arthritis, injury or another condition can be debilitating and life-altering, preventing you from doing many of the things you most enjoy, such as riding bicycles with your loved ones or simply taking a walk through the neighborhood. At UTMB, our team of joint replacement specialists combine breakthrough clinical care with the advanced technology and rehabilitative services you need to get back to living—and enjoying—your life. We offer total joint replacement services for the hip, knee and shoulder—as well as a host of other orthopedic services—that are personalized for you, from diagnosis through to your complete recovery.

To schedule your appointment, call (832) 505-1200 or visit us at utmbhealth.com/joint-replacement .

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16

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

EDUCATION BRIEFS

News from Clear Creek ISD & San Jacinto College

EricWilliams named Clear Creek ISD’s superintendent nalist

BY COLLEEN FERGUSON

and cohesion around the process, DuPont said. From there, nearly 1,700 people participated in a survey, giving feedback about the ideal successor to current Superintendent Greg Smith. Between Sept. 9-12, indi-

about half came from Texas, DuPont said. “Everyone we interviewed was just a fantastic candidate,” trustee Scott Bowen said, adding Williams stood out based on his passion for new learning strategies. Other trustees pointed to Williams’ interview preparedness and prefer- ence for data-driven decision-making as selling points. Williams uses an approach grounded in listening and transparency, which falls in line with CCISD’s culture of establishing high expectations, DuPont said. “Dr. Williams is uniquely suited to take us through and beyond our 2020-25 strategic plan,” trustee Jennifer Broddle said.

will vote for Williams’ approval, board President Laura DuPont said. A start date has not been determined. The board narrowed its candidate pool rst down to 80 people, then down to six, DuPont said. Those six

CLEAR CREEK ISD Eric Wil- liams was named the lone superin- tendent nalist for Clear Creek ISD at a board of trustees work- shop Nov. 9.

vidual interviews were conducted by national search rm Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates with Smith, all board members and focus groups of stakeholders. Of the original 80 candidates, about

candidates were interviewed and evaluated based on a leadership prole, which was put together based on a variety of feedback from community stakeholders and district leaders. The search

“DR. WILLIAMS IS UNIQUELY SUITED TO TAKEUSTHROUGHAND BEYONDOUR 202025

Eric Williams

Williams would come to the district from Loudoun County Public Schools in Virginia, roughly an hour west of the Washington, D.C., area. Per Texas law, the board is now required to wait a minimum of 21 days before voting to appoint its lone nalist; a board meeting is scheduled for Dec. 1, at which time the board

STRATEGIC PLAN.” JENNIFER BRODDLE, CLEAR CREEK ISD BOARD MEMBER

three-quarters of them were cur- rently sitting superintendents, and

started in July with board workshops focused on building understanding

San Jacinto College chancellor gives fall update

Clear Creek ISD COVID-19 cases

Students

COVID-19 active cases spiked in late October, then again in mid-November.

Sta Total

BY COLLEEN FERGUSON

Clear Creek ISD board of trustees meets at 6 p.m. the fourth Monday of each month at 1955 W. NASA Blvd., Webster. Watch online at www.ccisd.net/boardmeeting. MEETINGSWE COVER said. Of the funds, $4.5 million went directly to the students, she said; another portion went toward technology for remote learning, and some funds were used for additional supports related to the pandemic. Moreover, the college launched a support program. Through San Jac Cares, hundreds of staers worked together to call and check on 51,000 students to date, she said. “San Jacinto College is helping to meet the workforce needs of our health care partners [amid COVID- 19],” she said. In less than a year’s time, a new facility at the Pasadena central campus will open. The campus will be home to an additional building with 20 interactive classrooms, and the building will be the largest instructional building of its kind in the country, Hellyer said. Aside from the resources being invested in instruction, San Jac has also been distributing its $9.6 million in CARES Act funding, Hellyer

NUMBER TOKNOW is how much CARES Act funding San Jacinto College has received and distributed. $9.6MILLION Also new this fall: San Jac wel- comed its rst registered nurse to Bachelor of Science nursing students, and Hellyer said all 30 RN-to-BSN spots were lled. SAN JACINTO COLLEGE The col- lege is looking forward to populating its Generation Park campus this year and opening a new building on the central campus in fall 2021, Chancel- lor Brenda Hellyer said during a State of the College address. Hellyer’s remarks were delivered via livestream Nov. 5. She also discussed the college’s response to COVID-19 and how ocials con- nected with students in need as the pandemic unfolded. The Generation Park project remained on schedule and under budget, Hellyer said; the campus opened Aug. 1. Students in Associate of Arts or Associate of Science pro- grams—located at 13455 Lockwood Road, Houston—began taking classes at the campus this fall.

56 35 33 35 36 41 46 47 47

35 35

12 12

NOV. 16 NOV. 13 NOV. 12 NOV. 10 NOV. 9 NOV. 4 NOV. 3 NOV. 2 OCT. 30

33

13

30

11

25

11

23

12

23

10

24

11

41

15

0

20

40

60

SOURCE: CLEAR CREEK ISDCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Ocials discuss district’s COVID19 response

BY COLLEEN FERGUSON

for after-school activities, district ocials said. The process of identifying and responding to cases is not linear, said Holly Hughes, assistant superintendent of elementary edu- cation. For example, a third-grade classroom at Ferguson Elementary School moved to the district’s School-to-Home model in October as cases began presenting, but the cases did not present all at once. “... I know that it can always be seen that we could have acted faster, but we do feel like the swift actions that we’ve taken [have] reduced the spread within the campus,” Hughes said.

CLEAR CREEK ISD Super- intendent Greg Smith pointed to homecoming festivities and o-campus gatherings as likely coronavirus spreader events at a meeting Oct. 27. CCISD’s high schools held home- coming events in mid-October; on Oct. 30, a total of 47 COVID-19 cases were considered active in CCISD, and a total of 56 cases were active as of mid-November. Active cases among virtual students are monitored and put into a tracking app, but they do not appear on the dashboard unless the student is coming to campus

17

BAY AREA EDITION • NOVEMBER 2020

CITY NOTES

News from Clear Lake, Houston & League City

Houston City Council approves $14M in CARES Act spending HOUSTON City Council approved an additional $14 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Eco- nomic Recovery Act spending Nov. 4, but questions were raised over some on any purchases that were already budgeted; however, the definition of “coronavirus-related” has come into question at times over the past several months. BY EMMA WHALEN

The Nov. 4 vote came a week after Council Member Amy Peck raised questions about the city’s inclusion of $300,000 of trash bins for the solid waste department in an earlier round of spending. Mayor Sylvester Turner and other city officials justified the expense because the solid waste department reported higher demand during coronavirus lockdowns. Here are some of the biggest-ticket items from this round of spending: About $5 million will be spent for radios for the Houston Police Department. Having new radios will reduce the number of officers who share individ- ual radios, city documents stated. About $3 million will be spent for a relief fund for local music venues. Musicians and music venues facing financial trouble from

coronavirus-related shutdowns will soon have an opportunity to apply for aid from the city of Houston. Another $3 million will be spent for a relief fund for child care centers. As more residents return to work, they are finding fewer child care options available, city documents stated. This measure is intended to increase access to child care. Almost $863,000 will be spent for cloth masks. This purchase includes 1.3 million masks in child and adult sizes for the Houston Office of Special Events and for Complete Communities. About $730,000 will be spent for a flood monitor system. The system will monitor flood threats to hospitals, fire stations, wastewater plants and nursing homes.

of the proposed expenditures. The funding comes from $404 million allocated to the city by the federal government in April, which must be expended by Dec. 31. The city is required to spend them on coronavirus-related expenses and not Greg Travis, who voted against the measure. “We get more of these each week that have less to do with COVID emergency spending.” HOUSTON CARES ACT SPENDING BREAKDOWN “When you take some of [the purchases] out [of the overall proposal], would they stand alone?” said District G Council Member

$5M: Police radios

$863,000: Cloth masks $3M: Child care centers relief

$3M: Music venues and musicians relief

$1.4M: Other

$730,000: Flood monitoring system

League City City Council approves two municipal utility districts onwest side

First drainage bond project underway

BY JAKE MAGEE

wrap up in early 2022. Around the time of the bond election, the project was expected to cost $3.86 million, but COVID-19 has increased costs, Director of Engineering Chris Sims said. Phases 1, 2 and 4, which have yet to be approved for construction, include levee improvements and protection from drainage flows across Hwy. 96, adding capacity to the existing detention pond and adding a dedicated pump station, and widening Gum Bayou from Hwy. 96 to the southern city limits, respectively. Of all 21 drainage projects, the city opted to start with the Bay Ridge project because of how badly it was hit by Hurricane Harvey.

LEAGUE CITY With City Council’s unanimous approval Oct. 13, the first of 21 neighborhood drainage proj- ects voters approved in a May 2019 bond election is officially underway. The council voted in approval of entering a construction contract with Conrad Construction Co. for Phase 3 of the Bay Ridge neighbor- hood flood reduction project. The work will not exceed $4.82 million. Despite being the third phase, Phase 3 will be the first under construction for the four-phase project. Phase 3 work will improve drainage and stormwater capacity within the neighborhood adjacent to Gum Bayou. Construction is expected to last 470 days, meaning the work would

BY JAKE MAGEE

city’s west side, and the city is in talks with them to come up with development agreements, which is something Hoover has been working on for at least a couple years, he said. Mayor Pat Hallisey said while some have the perception that MUDs are “the devil,” the quality of League City’s MUDs speaks for itself. Nick Long and Andy Mann were the only council members to vote against the MUDs. Mann said these developments would increase the traffic problem in League City, which is of high concern to those who live on the west side. Council Member Larry Millican said while both MUDs are in League City, the residents living in them will be closer to Friendswood gro- cery stores than League City ones. The developments will likely not negatively affect League City traffic, unlike some other developments the city has seen, he said. The votes to approve both MUDs on first and final readings failed to earn a supermajority Oct. 27, so the items returned to council Nov. 10 for final approval.

LEAGUE CITY With City Council’s approval Nov. 10, the underutilized west side of League City will likely soon see some development. Council voted 6-2 in favor of establishing two new municipal utility districts. Pending approval of a second reading, Galveston County Municipal Utility District Nos. 81 and 82 will be created at the southeast quadrant of FM 517 and Dickinson Bayou and northwest League City, respectively. The MUDs are being “created for the purpose of furnishing water, sanitary sewer, drainage, park and recreational, and road facilities and services to the area within [their] boundaries,” city memos read. MUD No. 81 will be 260 acres, and MUD No. 82 will be 621 acres, 100 acres of which will be parkland for the city. David Hoover, League City’s director of planning and develop- ment, said the MUDs are the first two pieces of the puzzle in figuring out how the west side of League City will be developed. Five or six property owners control about 80% of the undeveloped land on the

WORK SCOPE PHASE I

Levee improvements and protection from drainage ows across Hwy. 96 Expand existing detention pond and add a dedicated pump station

PHASE II

Bay Ridge subdivision

PHASE III Improve drainage and capacity within the neighborhood adjacent to Gum Bayou PHASE IV Widen Gum Bayou from Hwy. 96 to southern city limits

N

. S

H O

18

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