Heights - River Oaks - Montrose Edition | December 2020

HEIGHTS RIVER OAKS MONTROSE EDITION

VOLUME 2, ISSUE 8  DEC. 5, 2020JAN. 8, 2021

ONLINE AT

Advocates hopeoodof feedback steers Army Corps plans for bayou Proposal for Bualo Bayou: 22miles of modications, including concrete bottoms and widening $660million in costs for modications 3,093 acres of environmental mitigation

out of 5,400 ocers had 10 or more complaints from 2015-19. is the average yearly number of misconduct complaints resulting in discipline in 2015-19. Ocer infractions Houston Police Dept. 33 1,354

External complaints Internal complaints

Sustained complaints by source since 2015

1,343 5,426

No. 1 complaint: Improper police procedure

SOURCE: HOUSTON POLICE DEPARTMENTCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Police oversight board seen as target for reform

BY EMMA WHALEN

Editor’s note: This article is the second in a series exploring Houston’s police reform task force report. Formed amid calls for reform in 2011, Houston’s Police Oversight Board is facing new scrutiny in the aftermath of Houstonian George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody this spring. The volunteer board serves as an independent checkonHoustonPoliceDepartment’s Internal Aairs Division, which investigates ocer misconduct. In recent years criticism of the board has grown, even from some of its own members. “There are a lot of great police ocers, and I would’ve thought they would want to get rid of these CONTINUED ON 18

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is studying modications to Bualo Bayou. (Matt Dulin/Community Impact Newspaper)

BY MATT DULIN

Flood Prevention Advocacy Group. “However, they are the absolute most dicult from a political perspective.” The Oct. 2 interim report considered nine approaches, but its cost-benet analysis favored continued study of three: constructing a Cypress Creek reservoir, deepening and widening Bualo Bayou, and acquiring more properties around the Barker and Addicks reservoirs—as well as a fourth alternative that includes a combination of eorts.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers received over 2,000 public comments by the Nov. 20 deadline and signaled it would revisit the concept of a ood tunnel as area stakeholders pushed back on the agency’s interim report on improving the region’s 70-year-old reservoir system. “I think the very-big-picture view of this is that the Corps has chosen what seems to be the sim- plest options from an engineering perspective,” said Wendy Duncan, co-founder of the Barker

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HEIGHTS - RIVER OAKS - MONTROSE EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

Kindness is a gift that each of us is born with. And when we share it, the goodness that’s released is amazing. Our human connection is important to our well-being, but it’s essential when we’re sick and hurting. For decades, we’ve been proud to bring world-class medical and academic excellence to our communities. But we also know that treating every patient with kindness, empathy, and respect is key to healing. Humankindness is what we call this strength. It has stood the trials of life and the test of time, and it leads us forward every day. Learn more at stlukeshealth.org . thepower of human connection. Never underestimate

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THIS ISSUE

CONTENTS IMPACTS

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

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Now Open, Coming Soon &more

FROMKRISTINA: With COVID-19 still upon us, it might be a little harder to get in the holiday spirit, but we have several socially distant and virtual events to try on our To-Do List (see Page 8). Also, whether you’re thinking about a midyear change or preparing for the 2021-22 school year, don’t miss out on our Private School Guide (see Page 14). I wish the best for you and your family as we turn the corner into 2021. Kristina Shackelford, ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER

MARKET TEAM SENIOR EDITOR Matt Dulin CITY HALL REPORTER Emma Whalen SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Anya Gallant 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, TX. 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

FROMMATT: In 2011, then-Mayor Annise Parker created the Independent Police Oversight Board. Almost a decade later, ocials are considering making changes to make the board more powerful and assertive. This month, Reporter Emma Whalen helps unpack the work of the board, the calls for reform and the resistance from police supporters. Matt Dulin, SENIOR EDITOR

TODO LIST

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Local events and things to do TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES 9 South Shepherd overhaul coming CITY& COUNTY 10 Latest local news NEIGHBORHOODNOTES 11

THIS ISSUE BY THE NUMBERS

Historic district proposed BUSINESS FEATURE Christmas Rocks PRIVATE SCHOOL GUIDE Information on local schools

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New businesses

Holiday events

Local private schools

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HEIGHTS  RIVER OAKS  MONTROSE EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

IMPACTS

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

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T. C. JESTER BLVD.

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W. 19TH ST.

Twisted Grilled Cheese

W. 11TH ST.

COURTESY TWISTED GRILLED CHEESE

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WHITE OAK PARK

WHITE OAK DR.

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STUDEMONT ST.

MEMORIAL PARK

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The Bearded Baker

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rates Asian and Indian influences as well as traditional Tex-Mex flavors. It has two other Houston locations, and another will open in the Galleria area in 2021. A Rice Village location is also being explored, a company spokesperson said. www.velvettaco.com 11 Premier Martial Arts , will open a River Oaks location in January at 2055 Westheimer Road, Ste. 160, Houston. Children’s classes include karate, tae- kwondo and kickboxing. Adult classes include Krav Maga and kickboxing. 713-581-8075. www.premiermartial arts.com/riveroaks 12 Acme Oyster House is moving for- ward with build-out of its new Houston location at 1201 Westheimer Road, based on November permit filings with the city. The 110-year-old New Orleans-based sea- food restaurant is taking over the former El Real Tex-Mex restaurant that closed in October 2019. An opening date has not been announced. www.acmeoyster.com RELOCATIONS 13 Body & Brain Yoga and Tai Chi relocated to Upper Kirby at 3311 Rich- mond Avenue, Ste. 217, Houston, from its previous location at 3321 Westpark Drive, Houston, in September. The studio specializes in flexibility, breathing tech- niques, meditation and tai chi. Clients can participate in group classes, workshops and individual instruction. 713-487-5735. www.bodynbrain.com CLOSINGS 14 The Montrose location of Good Dog at 1312 W. Alabama St., Houston, closed Nov. 22. The Heights location at 903 Studewood St., Houston, remains open, and all Montrose employees were offered employment there, according to owners Amalia Pferd and Danny Caballero. Guests who can show proof of a Montrose

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

NOWOPEN 1 After just over a year of building a loy- al food-truck following, Twisted Grilled Cheese opened its first brick-and-mortar restaurant Nov. 21 at 5555 Washington Ave., Houston. Offerings include an expanded selection of sandwiches along with new vegetarian options, gluten-free bread, loaded fries and desserts. Bar service includes custom cocktails with a twist and boozy “adults-only” milkshakes. www.twistedgrilledcheese.com 2 Allan Hursig, a Houston baker known for intricately decorated sugar cookies and for winning runner-up on the Food Network’s “Christmas Cookie Challenge,” opened his first brick-and-mortar shop, The Bearded Baker , on Nov. 20. The Heights shop at 518 W. 11th St., Houston, serves as the hub for his personalized cookie and cake business, which was previously run from his home kitchen. 832-775-8616. www.thebeardedbakertx.com 3 The Union Kitchen , located at 6011 Washington Ave., Houston, reopened Nov. 19 on an adjusted schedule. The restaurant is open Wednesday through Sunday. 713-242-8151. www.theunionkitchen.com

4 The Mediterranean fine-dining restaurant March opened its lounge space Nov. 19, offering diners the first opportunity to try the latest concept from Goodnight Hospitality at 1624 Westheimer Road. The 700-square-foot lounge has seating for no more than 16 people. Reservations are secured with a $48 ticket, which includes champagne, a cocktail and light bites; after that, guests can choose from a sampling of cuisines or caviar service, explore an 11,000-bottle wine cellar or order another round of cocktails. 832-380-2481. www.marchrestaurant.com 5 Anvil Bar & Refuge reopened in mid-November with restaurant service and a new patio at 1424 Westheimer Road, Houston. Anvil’s sister cocktail bar, Tongue-Cut Sparrow, temporarily opened in the former space of Penny Quarter at 1424 Westheimer Road, Houston. It is running by reservation starting the week- end after Thanksgiving. 713-523-1622. www.anvilhouston.com 6 Dumpling restaurant Pling , 223 Westheimer Road, Houston, held its grand opening Nov. 3. The restaurant of- fers house-made dumplings with chicken, pork, shrimp and vegetable fillings with Korean barbecue influences. 713-360-7255. www.plingusa.com

7 A new locally owned coffee shop, Roast N Brew , opened Oct. 30 at 931 W. 19th St., Houston. Managed by a father-daughter team, the shop has Eu- ropean-inspired coffee-based beverages and a menu that includes flatbreads and salads. www.roastnbrewhouse.com 8 XO Juice opened Oct. 3 at 3407 Montrose Blvd., Houston. The vegan juice bar sells bottled juices, nut milks and smoothies as well as nutritional “shots” and power bowls, which feature organic, plant-based ingredients. 713-492-0854. www.xojuice.com 9 Originally expected to open this spring, Xin Chao opened in late Septem- ber at 2310 Decatur St., Houston. Chris- tine Ha, a Houstonian and winner of the “Masterchef” TV competition and owner of The Blind Goat, partnered with chef Tony J. Nguyen to launch the restaurant. “Xin Chao” means “hello” in Vietnamese, and its menu focuses on small plates that blend traditions with new flavors. www.xinchaohtx.com COMING SOON 10 Velvet Taco will open its new Heights location at 2001 S. Shepherd Drive, Houston, on Dec. 14. The restau- rant offers a take on tacos that incorpo-

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY MATT DULIN & EMMA WHALEN

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COURTESY JULIE SOEFER PHOTOGRAPHY/GOODNIGHT HOSPITALITY

address in ZIP codes 77006, 77098, and 77019 can receive a 15% discount for the

rest of 2020. 832-800-3647. www.gooddoghouston.com

Developers unveiled plans Nov. 19 for Autry Park, a 14-acre, mixed-use project along Buffalo Bayou.

15 The independently owned River Oaks Bookstore at 3270 Westheimer Road, Houston, is closing by the end of the year after almost 50 years in business. Known for its book signings, its book clubs, its red door and its multigen- erational reach, the store was one of the last remaining locally owned bookstores in the city. 713-520-0061. www.riveroaksbookstore.com 16 The Kroger Fresh Fare store at 3300 Montrose Blvd., Houston, will close in January. Store employees will be offered positions at one of the 100 Houston-area Kroger locations. Pharmacy records will be transferred to the West Gray location. 713-526-7865. www.kroger.com

RENDERING COURTESY AUTRY PARK

FEATURED IMPACT COMING SOON Lionstone Investments and Hanover Company unveiled plans Nov. 19 for an “urban village” development called Autry Park that will eventually include ve towers, almost 1,500 residences and hundreds of thousands of square feet for oces and retail. The 14-acre site, nestled along Allen Parkway, South Shepherd Drive, will have access to Bualo Bayou Park but

will also boast its own interior green spaces, according to the plans. “Sustainable and healthier spaces can result in more productive people, and Autry Park combines best-in-class real estate in a walkable environment with access to the relaxation and outdoor activities aorded by the park,” Lionstone CEO Jane Page said in a news release. The rst phase of construction is

underway and is expected to be ready for tenant build-out in 2021. This phase will oer 750 residential units across two buildings as well as 50,000 square feet for retail. Over the next two phases, developers plan to build a total of 350,000 square feet of Class A oce space, 100,000 square feet of retail and 1,450 residential units. www.autrypark.com

at

“Easy to spend hours in my favorite store.”

“There i s nothing l ike i t in town. . . maybe in the whole country.”

“This is Houston’s best boutique. . . blown up to Texas-size proportions.”

Kuhl -Linscomb . com | 2418 Wes t Al abama | Hous ton , Texas | 713-526-6000

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HEIGHTS - RIVER OAKS - MONTROSE EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

TODO LIST

Holiday events around Houston

COMPILED BY MATT DULIN

DECEMBER IN PERSON THROUGHDEC. 19 FLEA BY NIGHT Hosted at Discovery Green, this market will feature local artisans and small-business owners selling vintage, handmade, recycled, repurposed and local goods every Saturday through Dec. 19. 4-8 p.m. Free. 1500 McKinney St., Houston. www.discoverygreen.com 12 OUTDOORMOVIE NIGHT Family Houston is hosting an outdoor movie night fundraiser with a screening of “Elf” at its central oce. Social distancing and other health precautions will be in place. $20 for “sleigh seating” (up to ve family members or three adults). 4625 Lillian St., Houston. www.familyhouston.org/outdoormovie 12 HEIGHTSMERCANTILE HOLIDAYMARKET Browse for gifts and artwork by local vendors at an outdoor market along the Heights Mercantile promenade. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. 714 Yale St., Houston. 713-783-4444. www.heightsmercantile.com VIRTUAL THROUGHDEC. 11 HOUSTON BALLET NUTCRACKERMARKET The Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market has pivoted to oer an online shopping event, with holiday items, home decor, gourmet food, apparel, jewelry, toys, accessories,

candles and more from over 150 vendors. The virtual market is open 24/7, though booth hours are generally 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Free (access). 713-535-3231. www.houstonballet.org/about/nutcracker-market THROUGHDEC. 13 ‘HOLIDAY AT THE HOPES’ Stages presents a virtual radio play, “Holiday at the Hopes: A Christmas Mixtape,” starring husband-wife duo Ben Hope and Katie Barton, who will share holiday stories and sing songs. Performances are streamed on demand. $25. www.stagestheatre.com THROUGHDEC. 19 HOLIDAY STORY TIME Every Saturday, Brazos Bookstore is oering holiday- themed versions of its weekly story time. By tuning in to the bookstore’s Facebook page, children can listen in as stories are read to them. 10:30 a.m. Free. 713-523-0701. www.brazosbookstore.com THROUGHDEC. 27 ‘A CHRISTMAS CAROL’ Alley Theatre is oering a free virtual production of “A Christmas Carol” as a gift to the entire Houston area. The digital adaptation of the Dickens tale is pared down to the essentials as the company of actors assembles online to perform a new production of the classic Christmas story. Free (registration required). www.alleytheatre.org 19 HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS Bayou City Performing Arts will host a virtual concert featuring the Bayou City Women’s Chorus and the Gay Men’s Chorus of Houston. The concert will be streamed on YouTube. 7 p.m. Donations are encouraged. www.bcpahouston.org

THROUGH JAN. 10

ZOO LIGHTS HOUSTON ZOO

The Houston Zoo brings out the holiday cheer with Zoo Lights, which features large-scale light installations, including a 100-foot-long tunnel. Visitors age 10 years and older are required to wear facial coverings over the nose and mouth. 5:30-10:30 p.m. $12.90-$24.65. 6200 Hermann Park Drive, Houston. 713-533-6550. www.houstonzoo.org (Courtesy Houston Zoo)

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

Move in by December 31 and lock in your rate to 2022!

(346) 800-5131 www.villageofriveroaks.com *Limited time only. Some exclusions may apply. Please contact for more details.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES

COMPILED BY MATT DULIN

PROPOSEDPROJECTS

COMPLETED PROJECTS

Proposed speed bump

R RD.

MKT TRAIL

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W. ALABAMA ST.

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Shepherd Drive reconstruction The Upper Kirby Redevelopment Authority is overseeing improvements to Shepherd Drive from Westheimer Road to Hwy. 59. The project had a bid deadline of Nov. 20, and a contractor should be selected by the end of the year. Improvements include new con- crete pavement, underground utilities and updated drainage. The project will also bring other Upper Kirby features to the roadway, including brick paver crosswalks, wider sidewalks, lighting and landscaping. Timeline: early 2021-2023 Cost: $20 million Funding sources: Upper Kirby Redevel- opment Authority, city of Houston

MONTROSE BLVD.

First Ward neighborhood trac management

BUFFALO BAYOU PARK

Houston Public Works completed a trac calming project in First Ward in September after a citizen-led process and assistance from Houston City Council Member Karla Cisneros’ oce. Speed bumps were installed at six locations in the neighbor- hood. The project was an initiative of the Neighborhood Trac Management Pro- gram, in which residents can request mea- sures to improve safety. Public comments on the project were gathered in April. Timeline: April-September 2020 Cost: $40,000 Funding source: Houston City Council District H service funds

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Memorial-Heights bike, trail projects The Memorial-Heights Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone is combining three trail projects into one bid to improve cost eciencies. The design process is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The three projects are A1 bicy- cle and pedestrian path improvements at the intersection of Heights Boulevard and the MKT Trail, and A2 at Washington

Avenue and Heights Boulevard, B a new trail to help connect White Oak Bayou to Memorial Park, and C new bike lanes on West Dallas Street between Dunlavy Street and Waugh Drive. Timeline: TBD Cost: $1.27 million Funding source: Memorial-Heights TIRZ

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

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HEIGHTS  RIVER OAKS  MONTROSE EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

CITY& COUNTY

HIGHLIGHTS HOUSTON The Houston Police Department opened a $10 million training facility Nov. 19 funded by billionaire owner of Landry’s Inc. and Houston Rockets owner Tillman Fertita. HARRIS COUNTY Isabel Longoria was sworn in Nov. 18 as Harris County’s rst-ever elections administrator. The new role takes over the election- related duties from the county clerk and the tax assessor- collector. However, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is arguing that the county violated state procedure in creating the oce. HARRIS COUNTY Harris County Public Health Director Umair Shah announced his departure from the role Nov. 17. Shah took on a new public health role in Washington state. His last day serving Harris County is Dec. 18. HOUSTON Mayor Sylvester Turner announced Nov. 16 the cancellation of the city’s annual H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade. The event was replaced with a meal distribution event held Nov. 21. HARRIS COUNTY Harris County Public Health began a monthlong coronavirus antibody study of randomly selected residents Nov. 10. The goal is to detect hot spots and understand trends in community spread. Increase in hospitalizations reported by the Texas Medical Center between Nov. 3 and Nov. 17 COVID19 STATS TOKNOW 44%

News from Houston & Harris County

Houston oers $1,200 in direct relief program

BY EMMA WHALEN

or below the area median income and provide evidence of nancial hardship related to the coronavirus pandemic. Any resident who received funding fromHarris County’s direct assistance programmay not apply. BakerRipley, which also facilitates the city’s rent relief program, will oversee the direct assistance program. Applications will be accepted through Dec. 31.

million more to the program in the coming weeks. “We decided to allow them to use it based on their needs,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said. “We didn’t want it to be so restrictive that it becomes frustrating.” Applications are evaluated based on need rather than a rst-come, rst-served basis. Applicants must be city of Houston residents, earn 80%

HOUSTON Houstonians can apply to receive a $1,200 check from a new allocation of the city’s federal coronavirus relief funding. Houston City Council approved setting aside an initial $10 million Dec. 2 for the payments, which will not be restricted to use for rent or utility bills, unlike previous relief funds. The city will be able to allocate up to $20

$3M

for day care operators $3M

relief fund $10M

for music venues and musicians

boost to the city’s small business

Other relief fund investments

SOURCE: CITY OF HOUSTONCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

To bolster downtown restaurants, city ready to closeMain Street to trac

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BY EMMA WHALEN

Houston City Council voted to give restaurant owners the permis- sion Nov. 18 as an extension of the planning department’s More Spaces program, which allows restaurants to convert parking spaces to outdoor dining patios. Approved in August, the More Spaces program has had nine restaurants notify the city of their participation. “With car trac closed over these few blocks is a great continuation of the program goals and will transform Main Street into an interesting, vibrant destination,” wrote Al Flores, chapter president of the Greater

HOUSTON Some restaurants along Main Street downtown will soon be able to expand their outdoor dining areas into the street. If enough restaurant owners sign onto a new city program, ocials may close down the street between Rusk and Commerce streets to vehic- ular trac until as late as March 31, 2022, allowing restaurants to use the roadway for more outdoor seating. Restaurants along the stretch also have permission to use sidewalks for additional outdoor seating under the new city ordinance.

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Houston Restaurant Association, in a letter of support. The Houston Downtown Manage- ment District in October approved a program to allow business owners to apply for up to $2,500 to oset costs to expand their patios.

8.8% 3,013

The 14-day test positivity rate in

Harris County as of Dec. 1

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. Harris County Commissioners Court will next meet at 10 a.m. Dec. 15. MEETINGSWE COVER Total deaths in Harris County as of Dec. 1 The 14-day average intensive care unit population in Harris County as of Dec. 1 Total tests administered in Harris County as of Dec. 1 17.4% 2.06M SOURCES: TEXAS MEDICAL CENTER, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Harris Countymoves forward on immigrant support services

BY SHAWN ARRAJJ

Radack and Jack Cagle dissenting. The motion that passed at the Nov. 10 meeting ocially approved the implementation of the program and was passed along the same margin. Under the program, the county would work with nonprots that provide legal aid. The county would inject $2 million to fund services for the rst two years and would also look to draw down matching funds from the New York-based Vera Institute of Justice, a research organization that works to secure equal justice for immigrants and other groups.

Another measure passed the court unanimously at the Nov. 10 meeting, directing the county’s Justice Admin- istration Department to draft a plan for how law enforcement agencies in the county interact with immigrant crime victims who are requesting certain visas. In a separate motion, the court directed the CSD to draft a request for proposals for services to help immigrant crime victims obtain visas that allow them to seek legal repre- sentation without fear of deporta- tion. The county put $500,000 into the program.

HARRIS COUNTY Several new initiatives are moving forward that will put $2.5 million into programs meant to help immigrants in the county obtain legal services and for immigrant crime victims to obtain visas that allow them to interact with law enforcement without fear of deportation. The county’s Community Services Department was directed to look into setting up an Immigrant Legal Services Fund by the Harris County Commissioners Court in February in a 3-2 vote, with commissioners Steve

Live video is available at www.harriscountytx.gov.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

NEIGHBORHOODNOTES

COMPILED BY MATT DULIN & EMMA WHALEN

Find recent community news, events and updates

3 WASHINGTONAVENUE CORRIDOR Neighborhood is No. 1 source of bar complaints Between June 1, 2019 and Sept. 30, 2020, the Houston Police Department fielded more than 2,700 calls for service for various issues, such as noise complaints, theft of motor vehicles and assault, on Washington Avenue, Midtown, Upper Kirby and Richmond Avenue, with Washington topping the list, Assistant HPD Chief Wendy Bainbridge told a City Council committee Nov. 2. “It’s because of the numerous bars along that strip but also the proximity to residential communities,” she said. Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the Houston Fire Marshal’s Office, which is responsible for enforcing occupancy limits, has seen a dramatic increase in the number of calls for service. Prior to the pandemic, occupancy complaints were much less common. In 2019, there were just six occupancy complaints reported across the entire city. But since March 18, the Fire Marshall’s Office has fielded over 20,000 occupancy complaints, officials said. Over 70 businesses have been referred to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission for violations of state coronavirus-related restrictions.

in October. The Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission is expected to consider the item at its Dec. 16 meeting, McAllen said. If a recommendation is supported, it will go to City Council for approval. 2 OLD SIXTHWARD TIRZ launches mobility study Over the next several months, officials from the Old Sixth Ward Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone will be developing a comprehensive mobility plan for the neighborhood. The mobility plan effort was launched in October, and as of press time, the first public meeting was slated to be held Dec. 3, according to consulting firm Asakura Robinson, which is facilitating the plan’s development with Traffic Engineers Inc. The plan will focus on safety and accessibility, with an eye toward creating connections for pedestrians and bicyclists. The plan will also include new design options for Silver, Sawyer and Center streets as well as for Washington Avenue. After the plan is finalized around May 2021, the TIRZ can develop short- and long-term capital improvement project proposals funded by taxes collected on property value increases in the zone. Residents can learn more, offer input and find future public meeting information at http://bit.ly/tirz13mobilityplan.

W. 11TH ST.

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SAWYER ST.

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WESTCOTT ST.

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1 MAGNOLIA GROVE Proposed historic district is a work of art An enclave of six homes across 10 lots in the Magnolia Grove neighborhood dating back to the early 1900s could become Houston’s newest historic district. The homes are owned by Houston- based artist Salle Werner Vaughn, who has turned the collection of early 20th century properties along the 4600 block of Blossom Street into an art installation called “Harmonium,” which would also be the name of the proposed district. The homes’ original exteriors are largely intact, while the interiors have been

reimagined by Vaughn, who originally acquired the homes in the late 1980s, according to county records. ”It’s a sublime combination of preservation and art,” said Roman McAllen, the city of Houston’s historic preservation officer. Two lots in the proposed district have been turned into wildlife habitats with lush native greenery. According to the district application, the bungalows are representative of the Brunner addition, a community that was annexed into the city of Houston in 1913 after being unable to incorporate on its own. A public hearing on the district was held

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HEIGHTS - RIVER OAKS - MONTROSE EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

BUSINESS FEATURE Christmas Rocks! Shop owners keep traditions alive year-round W hen Dalia Browning Stokes and Bobby G. Bayless decided to start a Christ-

BY EMMA WHALEN

part of a German tradition during which a family member hides the ornament on the tree and whoever nds it gets to open the rst present. Alongside the pickles, other unique ornaments such as a “new driver” license plate or a 5K ribbon, celebrate accomplishments. “A lot of grandparents buy their grandchildren ornaments to celebrate something in their life that year,” she said. “So we have one for just about anything.” Much like Houston’s residents, the products come from all over the world, such as Latin American beaded decorations, Polish blown glass

mas shop in the rst oor of their business litigation law oce, they assumed they would only stay open during the holiday season, Browning Stokes said. But to their surprise, it drew customers throughout the year. “A lot of people who come to stay here for treatment at M.D. Anderson are looking for anything to celebrate or decorate with,” Browning Stokes said. “They will come here any time of year.” Others come

Christmas Rocks owners Dalia Browning Stokes (left) and Bobby G. Bayless run the shop on the rst oor of their Upper Kirby law rm.

3 INTERNATIONAL FINDS

1 PICKLE ORNAMENTS: A German tradition involves hiding a pickle ornament on a Christmas tree for children to nd. 2 HUICHOL BEADED FIGURES: Beaded gurines come from Indigenous art traditions in Mexico. 3 ASIANINSPIRED ORNAMENTS: Colorful ornaments depict Lunar New Year traditions with lanterns and dragon dancers.

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“WE CAME TO FINDOUT THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A LITTLE CHRISTMAS SHOP. IT KINDOF GOT OUT OF HAND. ... BUT IT HAS SOMEHOW MAGICALLYWORKED OVER THE YEARS.” DALIA BROWNING STOKES, COOWNER, CHRISTMAS ROCKS!

while visiting fam- ily or on vacation, especially as the number of other Christmas retail- ers in the area, such as Hallmark stores, began to dwindle. Brown- ing Stokes and Bayless, who have been together for over 40 years,

ornaments and German pewter angels. “We keep learning about new cities that are known for their Christmas tradi- tions,” Browning Stokes said.

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began the store without much knowl- edge of collectable Christmas decor. “We came to nd out there is no such thing as a little Christmas shop,” she said, laughing. “It kind of got out of hand. ... But it has somehow magically worked over the years.” As their knowledge of traditions grew, they found more suppliers to ll store shelves, which are bursting with ornaments, snow globes, nativ- ity scenes and other decor. There is a selection of pickle ornaments,

Browning Stokes said her favorite part about running the store is being a part of new traditions, such as one started by a man and his daughters 15 years ago. “He came in with his daughters who were junior high age, and they had just lost their mother,” Browning Stokes said. “They decided to buy an angel to commemorate her, and they’ve been coming back every year for 15 years. ... I hear so many great stories like that, and I just love them.”

Christmas Rocks! 2931 Ferndale St., Houston 713-522-9441 www.christmasrocks.us Hours: Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

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www.riveroaksdancing.com | 713-529-0959 | 2621 S. Shepherd Dr.

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HEIGHTS  RIVER OAKS  MONTROSE EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

Private school guide 2020

EDUCATION BRIEFS GUIDE

Information on local school options

News fromRound Rock, Pugerville & Hutto ISDs

Guide 2020 PrivateSchool

The Houston Inner Loop and near-Loop communities oer parents myriad options to nd a school that aligns with their preferences and their children’s instructional needs.

Annunciation Orthodox School

COURTESY ANNUNCIATION ORTHODOX SCHOOL

Special programs: Extended Day, early birds, summer camps, afternoon adven- tures, and after-school academy St. Anne Catholic School 2120 Westheimer Road, Houston 7135263279 www.stannecs.org Ages/grades: pre-K from 3 years old through eighth grade Type: Catholic Application deadline: Feb. 1, 2021 Enrollment: 500 Tuition (per academic year): $10,735- $11,250 Special programs: cheerleading, track, cross-country, basketball and soccer for sixth to eighth grade St. Nicholas School 3511A Linkwood Drive, Houston 7137919977 www.saintnicholas.school Ages/grades: Pre-K through eighth grade Type: Anglican Application deadline: Year-round Enrollment: 100 Tuition per academic year: $15,540 Special programs: Classical curriculum: Latin, French, and Spanish; Singapore Mathematics and Science; soccer, tennis, basketball St. Stephen’s Episcopal School 1800 Sul Ross St., Houston 7138219100 http://school.ststephenshouston.org Ages/grades: 15 months through eighth grade Type: Episcopal Application deadline: Rolling Enrollment: 150 Tuition: $12,500-$23,400 Special programs: The da Vinci Lab for Creative Arts and Sciences, visual art, music, lm, theater St. Theresa Catholic School 6500 Durford St., Houston 3463351700 www.sttheresaschool.cc Ages/grades: pre-K from 3 years old through eighth grade Type: Catholic

COMPILED BY HUNTER MARROW

Application deadline: Jan. 29, 2021 for rst-round decisions Enrollment: 317 Tuition: $9,900-$10,700 Special programs: sports, theater, speech/debate, mock trial, liturgical ministry Saint Thomas’ Episcopal School 4900 Jackwood St., Houston 7136663111 www.stes.org Ages/grades: Pre-K through 12th grade Application deadline: Jan. 15, 2021 (prior- ity application deadline) Type: Episcopal Enrollment: 535 Tuition per academic year: $16,715- $21,060 Special programs: Scottish Arts program, swimming, cross country, orchestra, choir and yearbook St. Thomas High School 4500 Memorial Drive, Houston 7138646348 www.ehshouston.org Ages/grades: ninth-12th grade Type: Catholic Application deadline: Jan. 15, 2021 Special programs: Campus Ministry/faith formation, STEAM, Model United Na- tions, National Honor Society, instrumen- tal music, chess, speech/debate St. Thomas More Parish School 5927 Wigton Drive, Houston 7137293434 www.stthomasmore-school.org Ages/grades: Pre-K through 8th grade Type: Catholic Application deadline: Nov. 1Jan. 29, 2021 Enrollment: 330 Tuition (per academic year): $7,860- $11,035 Special programs: academic compe- titions, Jr. Beta Club, speech teams, robotics club, band, cheerleading St. Vincent De Paul 6802 Bualo Speedway, Houston 7136662345 www.saintvincentschool.org Enrollment: 620 Tuition: $19,720

Ages/grades: Pre-K from 4 years old through eighth grade Type: Catholic Application deadline: Jan. 14, 2021 Enrollment: 505 Tuition: $9,800-$10,970 Special programs: advanced academics, religion, service, athletics, ne arts Veritas Christian Academy 7000 Ferris St., Bellaire 7137739605 www.veritasca.org Ages/grades: Pre-K from 3 years old through eighth grade Type: Christian Application deadline: Jan. 15, 2021; Special Programs: STEAM, Cultural Expe- ditions program, sports, ne arts, Great Books program Westbury Christian 10420 Hillcroft St., Houston 7135518100 www.westburychristian.org Ages/grades: Pre-K from 3 years old through 12th grade Type: Christian Application deadline: Oct. 15; rst-round decisions Feb. 28, 2021; second-round decisions March 27, 2021 Enrollment: 350 Tuition: Varies by grade Special programs: middle/high school athletics, comprehensive ne arts rolling basis after Enrollment: 206 Tuition: $8,900-$13,900 programs/courses, Advanced Placement programwith 15+ AP courses, robotics and STEM, clubs, and competitions, social-emotional learning program Montessori St. Catherine’s Montessori 9821 Timberside Drive, Houston 7136652195 www.stcathmont.org Ages/grades: 14 months through 12th grade Application deadline: Jan. 15, 2021; roll- ing after that date Enrollment: 245

Religion based Annunciation Orthodox School 3600 Yoakum Blvd., Houston 7134705600 www.aoshouston.org Ages/grades: pre-K through eighth grade Type: Orthodox Christian Application deadline: Dec. 18 Enrollment: 705 Tuition: $19,450-$27,110 Special programs: athletics, ne arts, chapel, social-emotional curriculum, www.emanuelhouston.org/beckerschool Ages/grades: toddlers through kinder- garten Type: Jewish Application deadline: applications accepted year round; enrollment begins February 2021 Enrollment: 100 Tuition: varies per days and hours attend- ing Special programs: music, library, arts, public speaking Becker School 1500 Sunset Blvd., Houston 7135356400 7136661884 www.byds.org Ages/grades: infant-5 years old Type: Jewish Application deadline: January 2021 Enrollment: 328 Tuition: $7,040-$14,765 Special programs: JSTEAM, art, Spanish, music Shlenker School 5600 N. Braeswood Blvd., Houston 7132706127 www.theshlenkerschool.org Ages/grades: 15 months-fth grade Type: Jewish Application deadline: Feb. 26, 2021 Enrollment: 300 Tuition: $8,000-$21,000 outdoor play and gardening Beth Yeshurun Day School 4525 Beechnut St., Houston

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

St. Nicholas School

Veritas Christian Academy

St. Thomas High School

The Post Oak School

COURTESY ST. NICHOLAS SCHOOL

COURTESY ST. THOMAS HIGH SCHOOL

COURTESY VERITAS CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

COURTESY THE POST OAK SCHOOL

rolling admission available after Enrollment: 260 Tuition (per academic year): $21,900- $26,900 Special programs: outdoor education, leadership development, extended day, makerspace/engineering Montessori Learning Institute 5701 Beechnut St., Houston 7137715600 www.montessorilearninginstitute.com Ages/grades: 3 months through eighth grade Application deadline: March 31, 2021 Enrollment: 110 Tuition: Nursery (3 months-1 year):

$1,285 monthly; Toddlers (13): $1,065 monthly; Primary (36):$1,075 monthly; Elementary (rst to fth grade):$ 1,105 monthly; Middle class: (sixth to eighth grade): $1,315 monthly Special programs: Spanish, music, computer, physical education, ne arts to ages 614 The Post Oak School Early childhood through elementary cam- pus: 4600 Bissonnet St., Bellaire 7136616688 Middle and high school campus: 1010 Autrey St., Houston 8325381988 www.postoakschool.org

Ages/grades: 14 months through 12th grade Application deadline: Jan. 8, 2021 (prior- ity admission) Enrollment: 479 Tuition: $18,445-$33,292 Special programs: volleyball, basketball, Mad about Hoops, ag football, Montes- sori Model United Nations

Tuition: $14,191 Special programs: AMI Montessori; environmental focus; 2020 inaugural high school class awarded $1.1 M in scholarships and accepted to 17 applied colleges; K12 LEEDS certied building, Catechesis of the Good Shepherd reli- gious curriculum The Fay School 105 N. Post Oak Lane, Houston 7136818300 www.thefayschool.org Ages/grades: Pre-K from 3 years old through fth grade Application deadline: Jan. 20, 2021 for rst-round application consideration;

Find more listings online at communityimpact.com . This listing is not comprehensive.

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HEIGHTS  RIVER OAKS  MONTROSE EDITION • DECEMBER 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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8580 Woodway Drive Houston, TX 77063

16

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

Reassessing the reservoirs

The percentage of each watershed’s ground cover that cannot absorb storm water is projected to increase. Change inaverage imperviousarea

CYPRESS CREEK WATERSHED

99 TOLL

2016: 27.1% 2085: 38.3%

WHITE OAK BAYOU WATERSHED 2016: 55.3% 2085: 57.2%

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is exploring ways to improve how the Addicks and Barker reservoirs handle heavy rain events, such as Hurricane Harvey. Of nine proposed strategies, the interim report identied three for further study.

ADDICKS RESERVOIR WATERSHED

2016: 25% 2085: 36.8%

610

Up for reconsideration

Will be studied

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BARKER RESERVOIR WATERSHED

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evaluate the pub-

lic’s contributions,” he said. “If the general public

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is able to articulate and technically show the opportunities that could be involved, … then that has to be considered.” The Corps has not been charged with developing a comprehensive ood strategy, he said; instead, it is focused on the reservoir dams and how theywill handle future overows. “If I were to simplify it, they are say- ing that the dams themselves are ne, but they need to be able tomove water more quickly through the bayou,” he said. Even that conclusion was ques- tioned by Chadwick, who suggested that a fast-draining bayou could back up during storm surges. “All that water won’t go where they want it to go,” she said. “We will need more creative ways of holding that water and slowly releasing it.” However, Abraham said, whether to channelize Bualo Bayou or to adopt a nature-based approach is not an all-or- nothing proposition. “It can be both and be a more sus- tainable approach,” he said. “But you do have to go in andmanage it because it can’t function naturally in an urban environment.” To get to a sustainable answer, advo- cates said, the public and the Corps will have to nd a middle ground. “It would be a big win for the Corps to develop a plan that gets more cre- ative and collaborative with local landowners and entities who will ulti- mately be partners in this project,” Campbell said. Shawn Arrajj contributed to this report.

Cypress Creek reservoir anddam

Addicks Reservoir

BUFFALO BAYOU

610

Cost: $2.1 billion- $2.9 billion Annual damage

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Barker Reservoir

prevented: $37 million • located upstream of the Addicks Reservoir • capacity of roughly 190,000 acre-feet of water

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Bualo Bayou modications Cost: $946 million- $1.2 billion Annual damage prevented: $56 million • Deepening and widening • 22 miles from Hwy. 6 to Studemont Street

Property acquisition Cost: $6.8 billion-$13 billion Annual damage prevented: more analysis needed • 9,700-11,700 properties in Barker Reservoir • 5,000-13,100 properties in Addicks Reservoir

Flood tunnel

Cost: $6 billion Annual damage

prevented: not available • 40-foot-diameter tunnel • Would convey up to 20,000 cubic feet of water per second

SOURCES: U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS BUFFALO BAYOU AND TRIBUTARIES RESILIENCY STUDY COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

nancial investment, but local advo- cates argued the environmental costs are not yet accounted for. “Bualo Bayou is teeming with life, but this would kill everything in it,” said Susan Chadwick, executive direc- tor of Save Bualo Bayou. “Nowadays, they have to mitigate for that—the environmental impacts. I can’t imag- ine how they’d do it.” The Bualo Bayou Partnership also voiced concerns in an Oct. 27 letter to the Corps in which they argued the modications would be “damaging” to Bualo Bayou Park and that the pro- posed 3,093 acres of estimated mitiga- tion would be “unattainable.” Duncan, of the Barker ood group, and Campbell, of Houston Stronger, added that modifying the bayou and building a third reservoir would also involve a dicult acquisition process and some of the most expensive real estate in the region. “Those two ideas would be very unpopular and would require a lot of environmental investigation and mit- igation and, in all probability, a lot of litigation,” Campbell said.

However, Col. Timothy Vail, com- mander of the Corps’ Galveston Dis- trict, emphasized that the overall study is a work in progress and that public support will be a factor. “The way ahead has to be a joint solution between the public and the Army,” Vail said at the Nov. 15 town hall. He added that any project plan must also include the backing and nancial commitment of its local sponsor, the ood control district. Further review David Abraham, a community resil- iency researcher at Rice University, said the response to the report should help the Corps craft a more sustain- able, responsive plan. Army Corps ocials said its next report, which will look at feasibility and environmental impacts, could be ready for public review in early 2021. “The project sponsor does their best to hire their experts—which are going to be engineers, for the most part—to develop the alternatives. But then, equally should be the opportunity to

CONTINUED FROM 1

“We would like to see more data on how they came to these conclusions,” said Auggie Campbell with Houston Stronger, an advocacy group that formed after Hurricane Harvey. “Exca- vating Addicks and Barker is some- thing that could happen very soon, and every shovelful of dirt is a shovel- ful of water out of someone’s house.” In a Nov. 15 town hall hosted by U.S. Rep. Lizzie Fletcher, Corps ocials acknowledged that because of pub- lic feedback, they would give further study to a proposed underground ood drainage tunnel, a project that the Harris County Flood Control Dis- trict is also evaluating. Interimideas One of the plans identied for fur- ther study proposes 22 miles of chan- nel modications to Bualo Bayou, deepening and widening its banks and lining the bottom with concrete. The Corps found that this approach might be almost as eective at reducing ood damages as a tunnel at a lower

For more information, visit communityimpact.com .

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HEIGHTS  RIVER OAKS  MONTROSE EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

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