Lake Houston - Humble - Kingwood Edition | April 2021

LAKE HOUSTON HUMBLE KINGWOOD EDITION

VOLUME 5, ISSUE 12  APRIL 23MAY 20, 2021

ONLINE AT

Countyocials takeaimat increase inviolent crime

A national trend Violent crime, including murders, is up in Harris County, but data from large U.S. cities shows similar increases.

BY SHAWN ARRAJJ & ANDY LI

Murders in 2019

A rise in violent crime in Harris County has local ocials seeking solutions to combat the trend. However, a debate over the origins of the increase—including 42% and 28% year-over-year increases inmurder in the city of Houston and unincorporated Harris County, respectively—has sparked questions of what is to blame and what should be done. Some law enforcement ocers have attributed the rise in murders to the COVID-19 pandemic and bail bond practices. At the same time, Gov. Greg Abbott has made xing what he called a “broken” bail bond system an emergency item during the 87th Texas Legislature, citing the increasing crime rates as evidence of a problem. But trend details suggest the coronavirus pandemic and economic downturn are bigger factors, said Colin Cepuran, a senior justice research policy analyst with the Harris County Justice Administration Department. The department released a study in March that Cepuran said presents evidence there is no compelling relationship between misdemeanor bail reform and the violent crime trends. “[There] is some evidence that misdemeanor bail reform may have actually contributed to public safety during this unparalleled time of economic and public health deprivation in Harris County,” he said. CONTINUED ON 15

IMPACTS

5

Murders in 2020 (preliminary)

Chicago

495

+55.35%

769

Dallas

203

+24.14%

252

TRANSPORTATION

6

Los Angeles

258

+24.81%

322

Lake Conroe lawsuit against Houstondismissed

Houston

281

+42.35%

400

Harris County (unincorporated)

97

+27.84%

124

NEWS BRIEFS LOCAL VOTER GUIDE 2021

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SOURCES: HARRIS COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE, CITY OF HOUSTON, CITY OF CHICAGO, DALLAS POLICE DEPARTMENT, LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENTCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Local projects part of $1.3B flood bond deficit

Some projects approved in Harris County’s $2.5 billion ood infrastructure bond approved in 2018 have not had match funding secured for them. Up to 45 of 181 bond projects do not have a set partnership Stalled funding

A stall in anticipated federal funding has up to 45 of 181 ood-mitigation projects in Harris County at a funding decit, including several projects in the Lake Houston area. At the March 9 Harris County Commissioners Court meeting, the Harris County Budget Management Department said projects from the $2.5 billion ood bond program in 2018 were at a $1.4 billion funding decit due to a lack of match funding BY SHAWN ARRAJJ & KELLY SCHAFLER

secured. It also showed projects in the Greens Bayou, Halls Bayou and the San Jacinto River watersheds were less than 50% funded. However, after March 9, the budget oce received more data, bringing the San Jacinto River watershed down to 26% unfunded compared to the initial 63%, according to budget ocials. Despite this, Lake Houston-area ocials are taking ood project funding into their own hands to ensure major projects are funded. CONTINUED ON 17

CANDIDATE Q&A’S

10

match—equaling about a $1.3 billion decit. 26% of bond projects in the San Jacinto River watershed are unfunded.

SOURCE: HARRIS COUNTY BUDGET MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENTCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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FROMKIM: This edition includes our Local Voter Guide, which features a sample ballot and candidate Q&A’s for the May 1 election. Early voting started April 19, and for those who have not voted yet, you have until April 27 to cast your ballot in person before election day. There are 25 candidates running for the Humble ISD board of trustees, Humble City Council and Humble mayor. Get to know the candidates by reading the Q&A’s on Pages 10 and 11 or online. Kim Giannetti, GENERALMANAGER

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FROMKELLY: One of the front-page stories this month looks at the rise of violent crimes in Harris and Montgomery counties during the coronavirus pandemic. Some Harris County law enforcement ocials have pointed to the county’s bail bond practices as a contributor to rising violent crimes. However, data shows crime also increased in counties that did not implement the reform, including Montgomery County. Kelly Schaer, EDITOR

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LAKE HOUSTON  HUMBLE  KINGWOOD EDITION • APRIL 2021

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

IMPACTS

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

COMPILED BY ANDY LI & KELLY SCHAFLER

1485

and Grand Parkway in Porter in 2021, according to a March 24 news release. The station will bring about 300 full-time jobs paying $15 as a starting hourly wage. The station is one of four that will open in the Houston area during 2021. No phone number has been released for the station. www.amazon.com 5 Imagine Early Education and Childcare Atascocita will open May 17 at 6002 Atascocita Road, Humble. The child care facility will oer services for children ages 6 weeks to 12 years old. The business was set to open last year, but the opening was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 281-623-5965. www.imaginechild.com/atascocita 6 Courtyard by Marriott Houston Northeast will open in June at 250 Assay St., Houston, in Generation Park. The ve-story hotel will feature 144 rooms; a tness center; a swimming pool; event rooms; and a bistro featuring American-style fare, signature cocktails, wine, beer and Starbucks coee, Courtyard by Marriott ocials said. www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/ houco-courtyard-houston-northeast 7 Enterprise Holdings will open a business on 4.9 acres in 2022 in the Park Air 59 development at the northeast corner of Will Clayton Parkway and Hwy. 59 in Humble. The national company will open a commercial truck rental facility and used vehicles sales lot. www.enterpriseholdings.com RELOCATIONS 8 Greater Houston Kidney Clinic is expected to relocate its Kingwood clinic in late 2022 from 23814 Hwy. 59 N. to the Park Air 59 development in Humble. The two-story building will serve as a medical oce building and dialysis clinic, oering nephrology physicians and in-house dialysis services. 281-312-5558. www.houstonkidneyclinic.com 9 Locally owned eatery Island Tingz Caribbean Grill will relocate in late April to 8790 FM 1960 Bypass Road W., Ste. 100, Humble. Owner Jackie Black said she is relocating her restaurant from 7211 FM 1960 W., Humble, because the eatery quickly gained popularity and outgrew its kitchen at the Shop N Go

99 TOLL

LAKE HOUSTON WILDERNESS PARK

494

4

1314

PORTER

Poke Yana is now open in the Centre at Northpark in Kingwood.

O R T

D R

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SORTERS MCCLELLAN RD.

KINGWOOD

KELLY SCHAFLERCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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FEATURED IMPACT NOWOPEN Poke Yana began its soft opening phase March 1 at 1414 Northpark Drive, Ste. G, Kingwood. Owned by married couple Betty Ning and William Zheng, the eatery’s menu oers a Hawaiian-Japanese fusion of poke bowls, salads and burritos as well as tapioca teas. Patrons can start by picking their protein, such as sh, shrimp, steak or chicken, as well as a rice base and unlimited mix-ins, sauces, toppings and crunchy items. Ning said she and Zheng wanted to open a poke restaurant to bring a new, healthy food option that cannot be found in the Kingwood area. Before Poke Yana, the couple owned Mencius Gourmet Hunan—a Chinese restaurant that has been in Kingwood for more than 35 years. 281-747-7265. www.pokeyana.com

LAKE HOUSTON

W. FORK OF THE SAN JACINTO RIVER

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1960

ATASCOCITA

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F I R S T S T .

RPORT

W. LAKE HOUSTON PKWY.

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HUMBLE

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7

59

WILL CLAYTON PKWY.

1

ASSAY ST.

6

MADERA RUN PKWY.

REDEMPTION SQUARE RD.

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MAP NOT TO SCALE N TM; © 2021 COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER CO. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

NOWOPEN 1 Marble Slab Creamery opened March 31 at 12230 W. Lake Houston Parkway E., Ste. 250, Houston. The business features numerous avors of ice cream, sorbet and low-fat yogurt as well as sundaes, cakes, smoothies, shakes and brownies. Cookie company Great American Cookies also serves fresh-baked cookies from the Summerwood-area ice cream shop. 281-741-7555. www.marbleslab.com 2 Hype Nutrition opened March 15 at 13176 W. Lake Houston Parkway, Ste. 11, Houston, according to owner Leesa Shanahan. The smoothie bar oers meal-replacement smoothies, protein N . L A K E H O U S T

shakes and other nutritious drinks in the Summerwood area. 281-770-7117. www.hypenutritionhumble.com 3 Sew N’ Go opened March 25 at 20131 Hwy. 59, Ste. 2184, Humble, in the Deerbrook Mall. Husband and wife Sam Altawel and Rula Chtay provide clothes alterations for men and women as well as selling men’s accessories, such as hats, wallets, cuinks, neckties and belts. The business will also soon oer embroidery services, Chtay said. 346-450-3936 COMING SOON 4 Amazon will open a delivery station southeast of the intersection of Hwy. 59

59

494

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Food Store—just months after opening Dec. 1. Island Tingz Caribbean Grill will continue serving Caribbean fare, such as jerk chicken, oxtail and beef patties; however, Black said the new spot will also sell alcohol and host reggae nights and live music. 281-446-0677. www.facebook.com/ islandtingzcaribbeangrill

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5

LAKE HOUSTON  HUMBLE  KINGWOOD EDITION • APRIL 2021

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES NorthparkDrive overpass project nears final approval

COMPILED BY KELLY SCHAFLER

UPCOMING PROJECTS

WOODLAND HILLS DR.

UNION PACIFIC CORP. RAILROAD

The Northpark Drive overpass project in Kingwood is nearing final approval, and Lake Houston Redevelopment Authority officials said they hope to break ground on the project late this year. The $52 million project will expand the road from four to six lanes between Hwy. 59 and Russell Palmer Road and add an overpass over the Union Pacific Corp. railroad. Officials with HNTB Corp., the firm hired to design and engineer the project, provided an update on the project at the March 11 LHRA board of directors meeting. Vincent Obregon, HNTB Corp. associate vice president, said the project would likely bid in May, be awarded to a contractor in June and could begin in July. Obregon reiterated this timeline at the April 8 LHRA meeting, saying the project design will soon be submitted to the city of Houston for final approval. However, LHRA Administrator Ralph De Leon said the district is still

Northpark Drive Overpass Project (Phase 1)

expanding the road from four to six lanes between Russell Palmer Road andWoodland Hills Drive. To better fund the projects, the LHRA will delay the Mills Branch Drive reconstruction project and several intersection improvements on the district’s capital improvement plan. The projects will be revisited in several years, De Leon said. “Once we get past Northpark Drive, then everything will begin to fall back into full force and go on down the road with our prior set of projects,” he said. “To make these two sections fundable, we had to push those out.” The project will expand the road from four to six lanes between Hwy. 59 and Russell Palmer Road and add an overpass over the Union Pacific Corp. railroad. Timeline: late 2021-2023 Cost: $52 million Funding source: Lake Houston Redevelopment Authority SOURCE: LAKE HOUSTON REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

N P K W Y .

UNION PACIFIC CORP. RAILROAD

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ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF APRIL 8. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT LHKNEWS@COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM. Lockwood Road expansion A project to expand Lockwood Road to be four lanes from Beltway 8 to the Union Pacific Corp. railroad has been delayed due to utility conflicts with Union Pacific Corp., according to Harris County Precinct 4 officials. Allgood Construction, the contractor, also withdrew from the contract, so Harris County will rebid the project in the second quarter of 2021. Bidding can take 90-120 days, and the project will be done in roughly nine months once construction begins. Timeline: TBD Cost: $2.32 million Funding sources: Harris County Precinct 4, McCord Development

RUSSELL PALMER RD.

494

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several steps away from bidding the overpass project. More likely, it will bid in the second or third quarter of this year, with construction expected to begin by late 2021, he said. Construction, which will take roughly 30-36 months, will be phased so that two lanes of Northpark will remain open throughout the project, LHRA officials said. Meanwhile, the design phase has begun for the Northpark Drive reconstruction project, the eastern section of the effort to expand Northpark. That $48.4 million effort, set to begin in 2023, will include

6

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

NEWS BRIEFS

Court dismisses city of Houston from lawsuit

BY KELLY SCHAFLER

Judge Kristin Bays of the 284th District Court granted the city’s plea for jurisdiction, which sought governmental immunity from the lawsuit, according to the court order. The SJRA also led a plea for jurisdiction April 12, arguing the court should dismiss the claims because it has governmental immunity. The case will be heard May 7. The court’s ruling also disputed the plaintis’ unconstitutional takings amendment claiming that by discharging water from Lake Conroe, the city of Houston was taking a property interest from the lake’s residents. The ruling dismissed this claim, stating that the residents did not own the lake’s water, according to the order. “Any potential hearing ... will not involve the city as a defendant, because the city is no longer a party to the lawsuit,” said Jessica Beemer, chief of sta for District E in Kingwood, in an email. SJRA ocials began lowering the lake’s level April 1, which will continue throughout the month. Lake Conroe will remain at 200 feet above mean sea level until May 31.

A judge has dismissed the city of Houston from a lawsuit in which a Lake Conroe nonprot sought to le a restraining order against the San Jacinto River Authority and the city. The city was dismissed from the lawsuit April 9, but all matters concerning the SJRA are still pending, according to court documents. The Lake Conroe Association, an advocacy group, led a lawsuit in Montgomery County’s 284th Judicial District Court on March 31 against the SJRA and the city of Houston to stop the seasonal lowering of Lake Conroe, which is a temporary strategy intended to mitigate ooding in areas downstream. The lawsuit claimed the lowering is unlawful and causes harm to the properties and livelihood of Lake Conroe residents. It sought an immediate temporary restraining order and a nal injunction that would prohibit discharging from the lake except in certain circumstances, Community Impact Newspaper reported.

Engineering approved for Black’s Branch

Kingwood college selects president

BY KELLY SCHAFLER

The city of Humble will soon address consistent drainage issues in the Northshire neighborhood. Humble City Council approved a $150,000 contract with Bleyl Engineering to engineer the Black’s Branch repair project at the April 8 meeting. Humble Public Works Director Mark Arnold said designs will be completed this fall, and construction will begin in January. The channel near the Deerbrook Mall has been associated with ooding in the neighborhood in April 2016, Hurricane Harvey in August 2017 and Tropical Storm Imelda in September 2019. Humble City Manager Jason

BLACK’S BRANCH

BY ANDY LI

Lone Star College- Kingwood selected

CANTERTROT DR.

59

Melissa Gonzalez to serve as its new president, according to an April 12 news release.

N

Gonzalez

Stuebe said in an email that 236 of Northshire’s 540 homes ooded during Harvey. The $2.05 million project will desilt the ditch and address issues with the channel’s slopes and retaining walls. Timeline: January 2022-April 2022 Cost: $2.05 million Funding source: Texas General Land Oce grant

Gonzalez serves as president of Houston Community College Southeast and has served as vice chancellor, chief of sta and other higher education roles. Her rst day is June 1, per the release. “I am honored and humbled to be asked to serve as the next president of Lone Star College-Kingwood,” Gonzalez said. Middle School replacement and the third comprehensive high school, the release stated. “New Caney ISD is one of the most dynamic school districts in Texas,” Calvert said. “It is a privilege to work here and the opportunity of a lifetime to serve as superintendent.” Calvert was named the lone nalist March 15, but law required the board to wait 21 days before hiring him. Calvert

NewCaney ISDhires newsuperintendent

BY ANDY LI

in helping our district grow, but it’s his responsible stewardship of our district through some dicult times that really stands out,” board President Chad Turner said in an April 6 news release. Calvert has helped NCISD’s strategic planning and improvement process, including the construction of Innity Early College High School, the natatorium, the Keefer Crossing

At an April 6 special meeting, the New Caney ISD board of trustees named Matt Calvert its superintendent. Calvert has served the district as interim superintendent since November. Previously he served as deputy superintendent and executive director of nance. “[Calvert’s] knowledge and experience have been important

7

LAKE HOUSTON  HUMBLE  KINGWOOD EDITION • APRIL 2021

BEAUTIFUL NEW HOMES from the $200s-$500s *The Balmoral crystal clear lagoon operating schedule and availability is subject to change without notice. The “Access Now” pass is only available 3/1/21 - 5/31/21 and is only available after new home purchase agreement has been signed with a home builder in Balmoral, Etteridge or Park Lakes East. Limit one “Access Now” pass per new home purchase agreement. The “Access Now” pass is void if new home purchase agreement is cancelled for any reason. The “Access Now” pass can be terminated at any time by Lagoon Funatics for not meeting Balmoral Club rules and regulations. Additional restrictions may apply. Please visit Balmoral clubhouse for full details. Balmoral is offering a limited number of free lagoon experience passes to prospective homebuyers that would like to learn more about Balmoral and the lagoon. Please visit the Balmoral Information Center between 3/1/21 - 5/31/21 for more info on this one-day pass. Some restrictions may apply. Free experience one day passes will be emailed to the free pass recipient for redemption on a date to be determined. One-time free pass tickets for the Balmoral Crystal Lagoon are nontransferable and cannot be reused or sold to a third party. The One-time free pass will expire one month from registration date at the Balmoral clubhouse. Must be at least 18 years of age to register for free lagoon experience pass. Limit one experience pass registration per individual. Please visit theBalmoral information center for more details. register for a one-day experience pass to the lagoon. This pass is for prospective homebuyers that would like to learn more about this world class amenity before purchasing a home in Balmoral. THERE ARE Two WAYS TO ENJOY — T H E — LAGOON Now! Purchase a new home in Balmoral and get access before you close! See your new home sales consultant for full details. Visit the Balmoral clubhouse to — O R —

FM 1960

59

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8

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY KELLY SCHAFLER GUIDE L O C A L V O T E R G U I D E 2021

D A T E S T O K N O W

Eligible Harris County voters can cast their ballot at any voting precinct in the county during early voting and on election day. Visit www.harrisvotes.com to nd local polling locations. W H E R E T O V O T E

April 19 First day of early voting April 20 Last day to apply for ballot by mail (received, not postmarked)

April 27 Last day of early voting May 1 Election day May 1 Last day to receive ballot by mail (unless late-arriving deadline applies)

S A M P L E B A L L O T

V O T E R T U R N O U T May 4, 2019

*Incumbent

Position 4 Marques A. Holmes Lonnie Jackson Janie Branham Ken Kirchhofer Chase Stevens Position 5 Andrea Glazebrook Martina Lemond Dixon*

Position 3 Jesse Givens Chris Parker

Place 2 Linda Greenan Charles Cunningham* HUMBLE ISD BOARD OF TRUSTEES Position 1 William A. Epperson

HUMBLE MAYOR Norman Funderburk Arliss Ann Bentley HUMBLE CITY COUNCIL Place 1 Charles “Andy” Curry* Eric Lacy

David O. Popoola Donté Washington James C. Banks Wilbert C. Baker Liz Diaz Clint D. Horn

Turnout

Registered voters

City of Humble

565

7,686

Rebecca Tribo Edgar Clayton Robert A. Sitton*

Humble ISD

3,702

125,179

SOURCES: CITY OF HUMBLE, HUMBLE ISD, HARRIS COUNTY ELECTIONS ADMINISTRATOR’S OFFICECOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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LAKE HOUSTON  HUMBLE  KINGWOOD EDITION • APRIL 2021

CANDIDATES

Get to know the candidates running in the local election

Incumbent Humblemayor

What is the most important responsibility of being mayor?

How will you contribute to downtown revitalization?

What is the biggest concern to the business community?

NORMAN FUNDERBURK

Occupation: retired vice president of Koch Specialty Plant Services Experience: served on City Council for seven years (2014-21), mayor pro tem for four years, the city’s representative to Houston-Galveston Area Council (2015-21), 42 years in the engineering/ construction industry, former trustee for Northeast Hospital Authority Board Occupation: retired Humble ISD teacher Experience: 47-year resident of Humble, has attended Humble City Council meetings twice a month since 2007, Humble Beautication Committee member for the past 15 years www.facebook.com/votearlissbentley ARLISS ANN BENTLEY

[Providing] eective leadership. The mayor provides leadership to City Council in establishing the vision, acting as a consensus builder in setting goals and policy, and ensuring that all departments are properly equipped and able to meet the needs of the city. The mayor’s leadership is essential for the city to be able [to] thrive; be successful and sustainable; and for safety, security and [the] best quality of life provided for our residents.

I fully support the eorts of the city of Humble in placing a priority on the downtown revitalization initiative. While progress was slowed last year due to COVID[-19], renewed focus and collaborative eorts are currently underway with [Partnership Lake Houston]. It’s also important the city be proactive in recognizing and addressing the aging properties that are unsightly and in decline, remedying through code enforcement or by acquisition by the city as a potential candidate for redevelopment. Major revitalization needs to begin with the creation of a master plan and the action steps to carry out the plan. It is necessary to nd a development company with experience in downtown renewal of small towns. I would also work to move forward on repurposing recently purchased properties into viable businesses and services that directly benet our citizens.

[Big-box] retailers are needing assurances that we will not experience ooding again. The smaller ... businesses need to know the city fosters a business-friendly environment and is supportive in their eorts to be successful. To best address these concerns, the city recognizes and accepts the responsibility to protect its infrastructure and mitigate for disasters, develop protocols and guidelines so that businesses can operate safely and openly, and endorse economic programs that support local businesses.

Since the mayor is elected by the people, her responsibility is to represent the people. She is responsible to react to any issues that may arise in the normal course of business concerning nances, safety, and the health and wellness of the city.

I believe the most pressing concern of local business owners is the prosperity of their business. I will work to address safety concerns, trac ow and the creation of new ordinances that will help, not hinder, the success of their businesses.

Humble City Council, Place 1

Humble City Council, Place 2

CHARLES “ANDY” CURRY

ERIC LACY

Occupation: dispatcher for a logistics company in Humble Experience: an interested 25-year Humble resident that LINDA GREENAN

CHARLES CUNNINGHAM

Occupation: True Love Childcare owner, True Love Church pastor Experience: organi- zations have worked for 10 years serving

Occupation: computer consultant; retired director of computer services for Humble ISD Experience: bachelor of business administra-

Occupation: distribution account consultant for CenterPoint Energy Experience: 38 years of business experience;

Humble through backpack and turkey giveaways as well as giving kids toys at Christmas, YMCA board member www.ericforhumble.com

tion; master of business administration; gained nancial and budgetary respon- sibility in 28 years at HISD; served on Humble City Council since 1999, except for a two-year (2011-13) absence

wants to get involved in the inner workings of the city to continue making this a safe, happy and healthy place to live

12 years as an elected school board member for Humble ISD serving at the local, regional, state and national level

www.cunninghamfor humblecouncil.com

Answers may have been edited for length. Read full Q&A’s at communityimpact.com .

Meet Angela Mosley-Nunnery, MD Primary Care Physician Near You Call 281.312.8521 to make an appointment today!

10

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

2 0 2 1 L O C A L V O T E R G U I D E

Incumbent

COMPILED BY ANDY LI, KELLY SCHAFLER & HANNAH ZEDAKER

Humble ISD trustee, Position 1

Humble ISD trustee, Position 3

CHRIS PARKER

WILLIAM A. EPPERSON

Occupation: local business owner, hairstylist, founder of Lake Houston REBECCA TRIBO

JESSE GIVENS

Occupation: licensed insurance agent Experience: volunteer for Deerwood Elementary PTA, Humble Area Assistance Ministries, Humble ISD, “Lives Over Levels’’ campaign www.facebook.com/friendsofchrisparker

Occupation: completed a fellowship as a legal researcher, currently studying for Texas Bar Exam Experience: worked

Occupation: urban planning Experience: graduate of Humble ISD, community planning and development www.gowithgivens.com

Advocacy Foundation Experience: graduate of Humble ISD, three children in HISD, served on boards in the area www.rebeccatribo.com

seven years with Humble ISD’s Advancement Via Individual Determination, or AVID, program

Occupation: owner of Pharmacy Tech Lessons Experience: minister at Refuge Temple Ministries, regularly volunteers with students www.dontewashington.com DONTÉ WASHINGTON

DAVID O. POPOOLA

Candidate did not respond to requests for comment. EDGAR CLAYTON

Occupation: nancial advisor at Edward Jones Experience: eight years as a teacher in Aldine ISD, 23 years in ROBERT A. SITTON

Candidate did not respond to requests for comment.

the nancial services industry, 10 years as a trustee on the Humble ISD board www.robertsitton.net

WILBERT C. BAKER

Occupation: executive director of technology at Texas City ISD Experience: 35 years of service in public JAMES C. BANKS

Humble ISD trustee, Position 4

Occupation: Lakeland Missionary Baptist Church pastor, Humble Police Department chaplain Experience: project management and ministry; substitute teacher for

MARQUES A. HOLMES

Occupation: special education teacher in Spring ISD Experience: special education department chair, campus admin- LONNIE JACKSON

Occupation: real estate consultant Experience: managing corporate budgets, leadership coach, former Fellowship

education as a teacher and technology director www.jbankslds.wixsite.com/my-site

special-needs students; taught theology on local, state and national platforms

istrator, business owner, youth sports coach, water district board member www.jackson4humbleisdposition4.com

of Christian Athletes member, Global Outreach Community Church member www.vote4marques.com

LIZ DIAZ

CLINT D. HORN

Occupation: training specialist at MD Anderson Cancer Center Experience: pastor, precinct chair, Humble Area Democrats member, Houston Black American Democrats chaplain, former Port Arthur ISD superintendent www.horn4trustee3.poliengine.com

Candidate did not respond to requests for comment.

Occupation: certied teacher Experience: career JANIE BRANHAM

Occupation: director of operations at KEN KIRCHHOFER

Atascocita Golf Club Experience: graduate of Professional Golf Management Program; organizing, supporting and fundraising for Humble ISD athletics and arts programs since 2011

educator with management, fundraising and teaching experience; virtual and face-to-face instruction www.facebook.com/janie.branham.5

Humble ISD trustee, Position 5

Occupation: business development executive for Corva, a tech company CHASE STEVENS

MARTINA LEMOND DIXON

Occupation: teacher at Humble ISD’s Disciplinary Alternative Education Program Experience: in education for over 26 years as a parent and teacher http://andreaglazebrook. godaddysites.com ANDREA GLAZEBROOK

Occupation: English department chair at Spring ISD

Experience: delegate for Leadership Texas Association of School Boards, National School Boards Association member, served on three Humble ISD committees www.voteformartina.com

Experience: 14 years in oil and gas industry, attended school board meetings since 2019 www.facebook.com/chasestevensfor humbleisdtrusteeposition4

Answers may have been edited for length. Read full Q&A’s at communityimpact.com .

11

LAKE HOUSTON  HUMBLE  KINGWOOD EDITION • APRIL 2021

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12

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

WE ALL SUFFER FROMTHE SAME CATASTROPHES, FROMTHE SAME PHENOMENON. I’D LOVE TO SEE US ALL COME TOGETHER AS A COMMUNITY INGENERAL, AND THERE AREWAYS WE CANDO IT. BOB ROBERTSON, OWNER OF RADIO KAIR

Mark Linabury and Bobbi Bodenhamer with the Greater East Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce sit down for an interview. (Courtesy Radio KAIR)

BUSINESS FEATURE

From left: Bob Robertson, Linda Robertson and Diana Sanders run Radio KAIR. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)

RadioKAIR Humble-based station serves community with music, local news T hrough hurricanes and pandemics, Not long after the station began broadcasting, Hurricane Harvey hit in August 2017. Although the downtown Humble station and his home did not ood, Robertson said the chaos highlighted the need for a central hub for information. BY ANDY LI

Bob Robertson opened Radio KAIR in 2017. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)

HOWTO LISTEN Radio KAIR is a radio station streamed 24/7, so listeners can tune in to the show in two ways.

Radio KAIR owner Bob Robertson said he has tried to use his radio station to uplift and bring together the Humble, Atascocita and Kingwood community. “We have all of these little angsts against each other, and really, we should be together in this. We all suer from the same catastrophes, from the same phenomenon,” he said. “I’d love to see us all come together as a community in general, and there are ways we can do it.” Robertson opened the Humble-based station in July 2017 after retiring from providing generators to the area. He said he went into radio after a lifelong interest in radio programs and music. Radio KAIR plays what Robertson calls “nostalgic music”—ranging from blues to bluegrass. Robertson also hosts several shows covering community news, such as “Meet the Merchant,” in which he allows local business owners to discuss their business. “These are for people that really don’t have an advertising budget, ... so we give them a voice,” he said.

Listen online by visiting www.radiokair.com and clicking "play live stream." Download the free Radio KAIR app from Apple or Google Play stores.

“We went basically almost 72 hours before they even mentioned us on the news because we have to rely on Houston [news networks],” Robertson said. “It was like we were the afterthought. ... I want to change that; I want to make it to where we’re kind of in our own little bubble.” Through the coronavirus pandemic, Robertson, his wife, Linda Robertson, and his sister, Diana Sanders, have had to make several adjustments to how they operate. He said they originally planned to start a new morning show livestreamed from a local cafe but were forced to abandon their plans due to the lockdown. As the Lake Houston area begins to reopen, Robertson said he hopes to gain more listeners in the area and potentially expand to attract new listeners in the Human and Splendora areas. “There’s a lot of potential here, not just in revenue, but in the ability to be here for the community,” he said.

RadioKAIR 300 E. Main St., Humble 281-990-6999 www.radiokair.com

N

13

LAKE HOUSTON  HUMBLE  KINGWOOD EDITION • APRIL 2021

        

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14

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

Murders and aggravated assaults are up in Harris County, while robberies have experienced smaller increases, according to Harris County data. Montgomery County data shows violent crime in the county increased between 2019 and 2020, but robberies dipped between 2018 and 2019. Crime in the counties

SOURCES: HARRIS COUNTY JUSTICE ADMINISTRATION DEPARTMENT, MONTGOMERY COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Harris County

Montgomery County

AGGRAVATED ASSAULT

MURDER

ROBBERY

389

2,415

2,000 3,000 4,000 5,000 6,000

200 250 300 350 400

1,800 2,000 2,200 2,400 2,600

5,166

295

2,134

276

3,314

2,048

248

1,970

2,728

2,241

0

0

0

2017

2018

2019

2020

2017

2018

2019

2020

2017

2018

2019

2020

17

10 15 20

100 120 140 160

100 110 120

143

143

15

14

109

136

106

135

11

94

91

5

90

0

0

0

2017

2018

2019

2020

2017

2018

2019

2020

2017

2018

2019

2020

unable to aord bail. After a lawsuit was settled in 2019, the county was required to start releasing most nonviolent misdemeanor arrestees on general order bonds. “The socioeconomic pressures that Harris County residents [face] and increases in COVID-19 cases are both positively associated with increases in murders the next month,” Cepuran said. “The greater use of unsecured bonds—the principal eect of bail reform—actually is associated with a decrease in murders the next month.” Montgomery County also saw up to a 5% increase in aggravated assaults and robberies from 2019 to 2020, but sexual assaults declined and murders rose by one case during that time, according to data from the Montgomery County Sheri’s Oce. However, MCSO Lt. Scott Spencer said via email that most violent crimes have declined countywide since 2017. To ensure courts did not stall last year, the county streamlined hearings and bonds with teleconferencing and videoconferencing, extended court deadlines and reduced jail admissions for low-level oenses, he said. “Our law enforcement leaders recognized the diculty and complexity in dealing with COVID-19 while maintaining the eective operation of the criminal justice system,” Spencer said. A complex problem Critics of Harris County’s bail practices say the increase in crime has less to do with the misdemeanor bail reform at the center of the justice administration department study and more to do with decisions made by felony court judges to release people on low-cost bonds.

The in-progress programs will focus on violence interruption and helping survivors of crime—methods that are intended to address the increase in violent crime at its roots, Deputy Director Ana Yáñez Correa said. department’s “If the threat of having a felony was as eective as people have instinctively thought, then we probably would not see the increase in these types of crimes,” she said. On March 30, Harris County commissioners invested $3 million into overtime pay for law enforcement to target violent criminals. “This is an opportunity to provide the sheri the resources to start bringing justice and a jailhouse to those violent oenders,” Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia said at the meeting. A violence interruption study is almost complete, Cepuron said. The program will intervene when individualsaremost likelytoexperience or perpetuate violence and just after individuals experienced violence. As more people are vaccinated, Chelsey Narvey, an assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Sam Houston State University, said the resumption of face-to-face services for oenders and survivors could help steer people away from violent acts. “As we move forward and the … rehabilitation and treatment programming starts to pick back up again, we might hopefully see that the recent uptick in crime starts to trend down,” she said.

State Human, RHouston, led Senate Bill 21, which wouldmake it more dicult for people accused of violent oenses to get out on bail. At a bill committee hearing March 18, Cepuran said he feared it would overwhelm Harris County’s jail and leave the county exposed to costly litigation. Human said she expects the bill’s language to change to comply with federal court decisions. Sen. Joan Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman, whose department serves Atascocita, also blamed judges for practices he said have led to more criminals on the street. “We’re arresting someone for [driving while intoxicated], and then three nights later we’re arresting the same person again,” Herman said. Justice administration department ocials said the county is working to determine what information judges have available to them when deciding how to set bonds. Lauren Nguyen, a digital communications strategist for Houston nonprot Restoring Justice, which serves the incarcerated community, said she believes claims that aordable bonds lead to higher crime rates are incorrect. “Data suggests that socioeconomic pressures present nationwide are responsible for increases in crime— not local policy changes like bail reform,” she said. “It is irresponsible for law enforcement to suggest otherwise and drive a narrative of fear

CONTINUED FROM 1

As state legislators look at ways to make it harder for people to be let out on bond, county ocials are pushing for a more restorative approach, including helping crime survivors heal and intervening in violent crime before it can be committed. Diving into the data Violent crimes in Harris County such asmurder and aggravated assault rose between 2019 and 2020, while robberies saw a smaller increase and sexual assaults dropped, according to the study. However, increases in crime tended to be concentrated in certain communities. In the Lake Houston area, most crimes increased, but aggravated assaults jumped almost 22%—from 216 in 2019 to 263 in 2020—according to Community Crime Map data, which compiles crime information from law enforcement agencies. Data was collected between Hwy. 59 to Atascocita and FM 1485 to Beltway 8. Cepuran said a study into the timing of the crime increase in Harris County, the coronavirus pandemic and the use of unsecured bonds further suggested the pandemic to be the main factor rather than the county’s misdemeanor bail reform. The justice administration department’s study showed similar violent crime trends taking place in Dallas, Chicago and Los Angeles— places where no bail reform has taken place. Harris County rst started to reform its misdemeanor bail bond practices in 2017 after a federal judge ruled the county was unconstitutionally holding people in jail pretrial for being

into our community.” Violence interruption

In the March report, the county’s justice administration department also presented thoughts on how the rise in crime can be addressed.

Tell us what you think. Comment at communityimpact.com .

15

LAKE HOUSTON  HUMBLE  KINGWOOD EDITION • APRIL 2021

16

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

Three watersheds in the eastern part of Harris County—the Greens Bayou, Halls Bayou and San Jacinto River watersheds—were shown to be less than 50% funded when it comes to the county’s August 2018 ood bond at a March 9 meeting. However, Harris County ocials have since said the San Jacinto River watershed is only 26% unfunded. FUNDING MATCHES NEEDED FOR FLOOD BOND PROJECTS BY WATERSHED 0% or less 0.1%-20% 40.1%-50% 20.1%-40% 50.1% or more Watersheddeficits

Harris County voters approved a bond in August 2018 that provided $2.5 billion for ood infrastructure projects. However, the county is lacking about $1.3 billion that it planned to receive in federal funds and from partnerships to match local dollars. Bond funds allocated Remaining partner funds needed San Jacinto River watershed projects Underfundedprojects

Funding for future partnership projects based on results of the San Jacinto Regional Watershed Master Drainage Plan study for land acquisition, design and construction Investigations of potential detention sites around Glendale Dredge Site near Houston Ship Channel in partnership with the city of Houston

$18.75M

$56.25M

Harris County watersheds

$50,000

$50,000

San Jacinto River: 26%

Greens Bayou: 75%

Bond funds allocated

Remaining partner funds needed

Greens Bayou watershed projects

290

Design and construction of Aldine Westeld Stormwater Detention Basin improvements

$1.51M

$10M

59

45

In total, there are 5 Greens Bayou watershed projects that are at a funding decit. The project listed is closest to the Humble area.

Halls Bayou: 74%

10

610

district was not awarded $10 million from the GLO’s 2015 grant program to build Phase 2. Despite this, HCFCD Director of Operations Alan Black said the basin could still be funded, as it was also part of a $967 million bundle of projects Harris County and the HCFCD submittedtotheHarveygrantprogram. The GLO could award funding in late April, and the second round of Harvey funding opens in September, he said. “I’m hesitant to say the applications have been rejected. We just haven’t received notication as to whether or not we will get themawarded,” he said. If Phase 2 is not awarded funds, the district will consider funding it and other unfunded bond projects through its capital improvement program or other partnerships, Black said. Commissioners have directed the HCFCD and the county’s budget department to determine how stalled funding aects projects, how to prioritize resources and what to do if state funding is not granted. The plan, due back June 30, will also include a timeline for a possible second ood-control bond election. Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis, whose precinct includes portions of Halls and Greens bayous, said he was disappointed the bayous were underfunded. “If we don’t get [federal funding], it is unacceptable,” he said at the March 9 meeting. “We will all have blood on our hands because we would have lied.”

move through projects. A $40 million project to dredge Lake Houston was mistakenly listed as lacking a match, but it has since been resolved. However, Martin said he hopes state Rep. Dan Huberty’s, RHouston, bill moving through the Texas Legislature will fund future dredging in the lake, easing the area’s reliance on state and county funding. HouseBill 2525wouldcreate theLake Houston Dredging and Maintenance District to oversee and fund long-term dredging in the lake. The entity would collect funds from taxes. “What happens in Lake Houston aects the entire southeast part of the state of Texas,” Martin said. Short endof thestick Despite Lake Houston-area projects having more funding than anticipated, the nearby Greens Bayou and Halls Bayou contain some of the county’s most socially vulnerable communities but are still 75% and 74% unfunded, respectively. During Harvey, 24,730 homes in the bayous ooded, per HCFCD data. At the March 9 meeting, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo asked why the district relied on federal money for the bayous after putting aside $1.74 billion of the bond for local use. “This is not just a budget issue; this is a strategic issue,” she said. In an April 20 release, the HCFCD announced Phase 1 of the Aldine Westeld Stormwater Detention Basin, located south of Greens Road, was completed; designs for Phase 2—north of Phase 1—are also complete. However, the HCFCD learned in March the

$56.3M needs to be secured for bond projects in the San Jacinto River watershed.

SOURCES: HARRIS COUNTY BUDGET MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT, HARRIS COUNTY FLOOD CONTROL DISTRICTCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

N

it to the Texas General Land Oce for competitive grants. Now, the county is vying for funding with the rest of the state. Some projects submitted to the GLO’s mitigation programs for the 2015 Memorial Day and 2016 Tax Day oods recently did not receive grants, Zeve said. “We have to ... gure out what type of funding sources we can pursue next,” he said. “We also have to decide how we can ... phase the projects so that we can get started but build them over a longer period of time.” Four San Jacinto River watershed projects were deemed unfunded in March, but two have since left the list. Subsequent projects from the $2.7 million San Jacinto Regional Watershed Master Drainage Plan study and a study into building a detention basin near the Houston Ship Channel, however, do not have match funding secured, according to HCFCD ocials. The preliminary study released in August outlined up to $3.3 billion in proposed projects—all located near channels leading to Lake Houston. The HCFCD has almost $18.8 million set aside from the bond for projects related to the study, but it planned $56.25million fromunknown partners. However, Zeve said he hopes the district will not have to go out for grant funding and instead gather local matches from agencies and slowly

CONTINUED FROM 1

Houston Mayor Pro Tem Dave Martin, who represents District E in the Kingwood area, spoke about the shortfall at the March 11 Lake Houston Redevelopment Authority board of directors meeting. “The projects that you saw ... when we passed the bond referendum, they’re not coming to fruition like we thought theywould,”he said. “Weneed to takemore things into our own hands ... and not rely on Harris County.” Assessing theshortfall When voters approved the $2.5 billion bond in 2018, Harris County Flood Control District ocials said the district planned for partnerships with state or federal agencies to match the bond amount, oering $2.5 billion more toward the projects. So far, the district has secured about $1.2 billion from partnership matches, leaving around $1.3 billion unsecured, HCFCDDeputyExecutiveDirectorMatt Zeve said. This results in Harris County projects being at a decit, including several Lake Houston-area projects. This can largely be tied to a shift in how the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development allocated funds to the state, HCFCDocials said. Instead of giving the county $1 billion in Hurricane Harvey relief, HUD sent

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LAKE HOUSTON  HUMBLE  KINGWOOD EDITION • APRIL 2021

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