Bay Area Edition August 2020

BAY AREA EDITION

VOLUME 3, ISSUE 1  AUG. 7SEPT. 24, 2020 Tourismdrop Hotel revenue down in League City, Galveston

ONLINE AT

BY COLLEEN FERGUSON AND JAKE MAGEE

2019 vs. 2020

In the months since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the Bay Area tourism industry has taken a blow. In Galveston, hotel occupancy tax funds—or tax income from hotels and motels that fund the Galveston Island Park Board, which promotes tourism— decreased dramatically. In May, the board saw nearly $865,000 in hotel and motel tax funds compared to $1.11 million in May 2019. Galveston ocials expect it will take three years before the island’s tour- ism industry returns to where it was prepandemic, and the city expects to lose some businesses along the way. The problems are similar farther north, with the Bay Area and League

Galveston hotel tax revenue in May -22.4%

League City hotel tax revenue in Q2 -64.3%

SOURCES: LEAGUE CITY CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU, GALVESTON PARK BOARD COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Galveston beaches are one of many local tourist destinations negatively aected by the coronavirus pandemic.

CONTINUED ON 20

COURTESY GALVESTON PARK BOARD

GETTING S C HOO L ED

CCISD changing education model during pandemic

instruction in phases fromAug. 31 to Sept. 8. Families not yet comfortable with brick-and-mortar education can send their children to school online through the district’s new Clear Connections platform. Clear Con- nections students begin Aug. 24. District leaders, including Superintendent Greg Smith, have given weekly livestream updates regard- ing details of the upcoming year since mid-June. Smith said during a July livestream administrators are doing everything possible to provide quality, rigorous, real-time instruction to students from the teachers they love this fall. CONTINUED ON 22

Students using this remote learning platform begin Clear Connections Continue online for a minimum of one nine-week grading period

In-person learning Students begin online in the School-to- Home model Begin on campus: • Pre-K, kindergarten • 6th and 9th grade • Special education All students begin in- person learning, unless a COVID-19 outbreak forces closure

BY COLLEEN FERGUSON

Clear Creek ISD administrators are working to pro- vide in-depth education to the district’s 42,000 stu- dents while following health and safety restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic. The district’s rst ocial day of school is Aug. 24. Brick-and-mortar learners will start using the dis- trict’s School-to-Home model, switching to in-person

Students are permitted on campus only for extracurriculars

SOURCE: CLEAR CREEK ISDCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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BAY AREA EDITION • AUGUST 2020

WHERE DO YOU GO WHEN THE HAMMER MISSES THE NAIL AND FINDS YOURS?

Our ER is Open. Ready. And Safe. Emergencies are one-of-a-kind events. You don’t know when, or how, or where they’re going to happen. But you do know that when an emergency takes place, you’ll want an Emergency Room you can count on. Especially now, when our community continues to battle COVID-19, you need to know that there’s a hospital ER that’s open, ready, and safe for you and your family. And we are. For more information, visit us at StLukesHealth.org/Here-Always.

Here, always.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

THIS ISSUE

CONTENTS

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

IMPACTS

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Now Open, Coming Soon &more

MARKET TEAM GENERAL MANAGER Cathy Turner, cturner@communityimpact.com EDITOR Jake Magee REPORTER Colleen Ferguson GRAPHIC DESIGNER Justin Howell ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Lara Estephan METRO LEADERSHIP PUBLISHER Jason Culpepper ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Kristina Shackelford MANAGING EDITOR Marie Leonard ART PRODUCTIONMANAGER Tessa Hoee 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 six metropolitan areas, providing hyperlocal, nonpartisan news produced by our full-time journalists in each community we serve. BECOMEA#COMMUNITYPATRON Please join your friends and neighbors in support of Community Impact Newspaper’s legacy of local, reliable reporting by making a contribution. Together, we can continue to ensure citizens stay informed and keep businesses thriving. COMMUNITYIMPACT.COMCIPATRON CONTACT US CREATIVE DIRECTOR Derek Sullivan SALES DIRECTOR Tess Coverman WHOWE ARE SUPPORT LOCAL JOURNALISM

FROMCATHY: Beginning next month, you’ll receive our newspaper on Sept. 25. We’re moving the delivery date from the second week to the fourth week of each month starting with the September issue. Continue to utilize our up-to-date daily news coverage at communityimpact.com and subscribe to our daily newsletter at communityimpact.com/newsletter to stay informed all month long. Thank you for being a valued reader! Cathy Turner, GENERALMANAGER

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES 9 Calder Road

FROMJAKE: It’s hard to believe it’s already been two years since I moved from Wisconsin to help launch this paper. Since 2018, we’ve been faithfully bringing hyperlocal news you need to know to your mailboxes, computer screens and inboxes. We hope you’ve enjoyed our coverage of everything from businesses to government meetings to education to even aerospace. May there be several more years to come. Jake Magee, EDITOR

BUSINESS

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League City protection pledge

CITY& COUNTY

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BUSINESS FEATURE

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THIS ISSUE BY THE NUMBERS

Business openings 6

Local sources 31

Activity risk assessments 25

Our local teams tailor campaigns for all business sizes and industries wanting to reach their customer base and accomplish their nancial goals. Our products ADVERTISEWITHUS

Visit our website for free access to the latest news, photos and infographics about your community and nearby cities. communityimpact.com LIVE UPDATES

DINING FEATURE Holly Berry Tea Room

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PEOPLE 17 Zenae Campbell, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston

include newspaper ads; mailbox-targeted sticky notes, inserts and direct mail; and digital options. We also partner with Community Impact Printing for nationwide specialty orders. Our advertising clients self- report 97% satisfaction with their overall experience, and a recent third-party Readex survey proved 78% of paper recipients read three of the last four editions, and from what they read 83% "took action" of some kind. Contact us today for more info! communityimpact.com/advertising

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CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE All content in this print publication, both editorial and advertisements, was up to date as of the press deadline. Due to the fast-changing nature of this event, editorial and advertising information may have changed. Please visit communityimpact.com and advertiser websites for more information.

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BAY AREA EDITION • AUGUST 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

IMPACTS

COMPILED BY COLLEEN FERGUSON AND JAKE MAGEE

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

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Crystal Lagoon

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FEATURED IMPACT NOWOPEN Crystal Lagoon, located at 3240 Lago Mar Blvd. in Texas City, is open to the public Wednesdays through Sundays through Sept. 13. While the lagoon was initially reserved for residents of the Lago Mar community, the 12-acre lagoon’s blue waters and white sand beaches will now be open to all after increasing demand. An inatable obstacle course, kayaks, sailboats, stand-up paddleboards, food trucks and more will also be available for day-pass visitors. Summer Lagoonfest tickets start at $10 for children under age 13 and $15 for those age 13 and older. www.summerlagoonfest.com

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NOWOPEN 1 Originally expected to open in spring 2019 and facing several delays, Damn Fine Coee and Fried Pies ocially opened July 3. The business at 910 Hall Ave., Seabrook, sells coee at local farmers markets but has now expanded its oerings with a storefront that sells coee, nitro cold brew, craft sodas and desserts, such as fried pies and handmade gelato. 281-942-0954. www.itsdamnne.com 2 Family-run business iTile opened at Baybrook Gateway at the intersection of I-45 and Bay Area Boulevard in Webster on July 10. The business—which sells a variety of tile, natural stone, vinyl and more—leased 26,584 square feet at the shopping center. iTile was founded in 2019 in Houston. www.itiletx.com 3 Children’s Lighthouse Seabrook opened June 15 at 2551 Humble Drive, Seabrook, adjacent to Ed White Elementa- ry School. The 11,200-square-foot facility sits on a 89,000-square-foot property and includes room for classroom and group setting work for about 200 students, in- door and outdoor play areas, and a kitchen that provides healthy meals and snacks. The school serves families with children ages 6 weeks to 12 years. 281-909-4008. www.childrenslighthouse.com 4 The Nutrition Fix opened in League City Plaza at 194 Gulf Freeway, Ste. D3, League City, in early July. Nutrition Fix is a healthy smoothie business that has over 70 avors, more than 20 energy-boosting drinks, snacks and nutrition coaching. www.facebook.com/thenutritionx leaguecitytx

REOPENINGS 5 Space Center Houston , 1601 E. NASA Parkway, Houston, reopened July 19 after being closed since mid-March. Originally, the museum was expected to reopen in early July, but that was delayed as coro- navirus cases continued to increase. Now, ocials have implemented ways to make a visit to the museum safer, including sched- uled entry, the elimination of queues and hands-on exhibits, the addition of touch- less turnstiles and more. 281-244-2100. www.spacecenter.org COMING SOON 6 College of the Mainland plans to complete construction of its new facility at 1411 W. Main St., League City, in time for the new school year, which begins Aug. 24. However, the college will hold only online classes for the fall semester. Workers are converting the former League City United Methodist Church at the address into an education facility to replace the college’s existing League City location at FM 518 and Parker Road. The 27,570-square-foot facility will house general education and dual-credit classes. 409-938-1211. www.com.edu EXPANSIONS 7 Bridgemoor Transitional Care , 16130 Galveston Road, Webster, added a new pulmonary program to its list of patient services in June. The short-term care facility can now provide 24/7 care to non-COVID-19 patients with complex

respiratory problems, helping free up area ventilators and hospital beds, according to a media release. Patients can receive care for hypertension, bronchiectasis, conges- tive heart failure and more. 832-426-7030.

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www.bridgemoorcare.com NEWOWNERSHIP

nalists for the national 2021 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, which recognizes institutions which achieve strong student outcomes across four key areas, on June 10. The prize honors schools with high rates of degree completion, successful transfer to four-year institu- tions, student success in the workforce and equitable outcomes for diverse student groups. The school has seen nearly a 170% increase in certicates and degrees from 2009 to 2019, according to a media release. www.sanjac.edu 11 Those who want to volunteer vir- tually to help complete the Exploration Green project in Clear Lake can learn how at a 7 p.m. Aug. 13 meeting. Opportuni- ties include helping with communication, fundraising, amenities, nancial manage- ment, outreach, environmental education and limited outdoor work. Exploration Green is a phased, yearslong project to convert an old golf course between El Camino Real, Bay Area Boulevard and Space Center Boulevard into a detention pond. To join the meeting, visit https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6549363551 or call 346-248-7799 with meeting ID

8 Moody National Bank has entered into an agreement to purchase the Clear Lake branch of Spirit of Texas Bank at 1010 Bay Area Blvd, Houston. The change will take eect in the fourth quarter of 2020, ac- cording to a media release. Moody Bank is the one of the largest community banks in the Houston area, with banking centers in Galveston, Brazoria, Fort Bend and Harris counties. www.moodybank.com IN THE NEWS 9 Ocials at Shriners Hospitals for Chil- dren in Houston and Galveston voted in June to merge specialty pediatric services to the Galveston location at 815 Market St. by early 2021, where it will be known as Shriners Hospitals for Children—Texas, according to a media release. The Houston location treats children with orthopedic and neuromusculoskeletal disorders and diseases, in addition to treating cleft lip and palate abnormalities; those medical professionals will provide their services in Galveston, where ocials said the pediat- ric burn hospital has become famous for developing worldwide burn care standards. www.shrinershospitalforchildren.org 10 San Jacinto College at 8060 Spencer Hwy., Pasadena, was named one of 10

654 936 3551. 281-317-7535. www.explorationgreen.org

THIS INFORMATION IS ACCURATE AS OF JULY 30. FOLLOW COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM FOR THE LATEST BUSINESS AND RESTAURANT NEWS UPDATES.

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BAY AREA EDITION • AUGUST 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES South half of Calder Roadwork ‘smoother’ than north portion

COMPILED BY JAKE MAGEE

ONGOING PROJECT

2004

In February 2019, League City ocials celebrated the opening of the newly reconstructed Calder Road from League City Parkway to Ervin Avenue. They invited residents to a ribbon-cut- ting ceremony and handed out coee and T-shirts that read, “I survived Calder Road construction.” In truth, the road’s work was far from over. In fall 2019, work began to recon- struct Calder Road from Ervin to Cross Colony Drive in the same way as the northern potion: The road will be wid- ened from two lanes to three, one of which will be a continuous center turn lane, and the road will be converted from asphalt with ditches on the sides to concrete with curbs and gutters. Ocials said the $8.7 million project is “smoother” than the northern portion. The northern portion was a chal- lenge because it was essentially four projects in one: Contractors installed a newwater pump station, a newwater line and a new sanitary sewer before road work could begin, ocials said. “[Calder Road] had the heart of our water system that you had to do quadruple bypass on before you got started [on the road work],” City Manager John Baumgartner said. “It was millions and millions of dollars.” Additionally, the northern portion of Calder Road was a one-way street for most of the length of the project from spring 2017 to February 2019. “That was part of the frustration with Calder Road [northern work] was

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I-45 and League City Parkway work The I-45 southbound connector to FM 1764 and the FM 1764 northbound con- nector to I-45 are both closed from July 14 through mid-November, according to a Texas Department of Transportation news release. As part of the yearslong project to widen I-45 from six to eight lanes from Houston to Galveston, both connector ramps will be demolished and rebuilt. Work in the area includes excavation for the retaining walls, drainage improve- ments, embankment building and con- crete paving, according to the release. For the next several months, motorists going from I-45 to FM 1764 or vice versa will have to use detours. Southbound motorists will exit at Cen- tury Boulevard, take a left on Century and turn right onto FM 1764. Those traveling north on FM 1764 will exit onto the frontage road to reach the I-45 main lanes, the release reads. The four-month project is one of sev- eral along I-45 in Galveston County. To learn more, visit houstontranstar.org or facebook.com/txdothouston. Timeline: July-November Cost: $238 million (I-45 work from FM 517 to FM 1764) Funding sources: federal government ($190.4 million), TxDOT ($47.6 million)

A paved surface will act as a temporary road to keep two-way trac open while contractors put in a new sewer main and drainage improvements.

COURTESY CITY OF LEAGUE CITY

it was one way,” Baumgartner said. That is not the case with the south- ern project. Contractors will keep the road open to two lanes throughout the duration of the work. Contractors have built a temporary road adjacent to Calder Road motorists can use while workers install water lines and repave the real road, ocials said. Additionally, contractors will install a newwater line along the length of the project. A few hundred feet on the south side of the road has already been paved, Baumgartner said.

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Once complete around September 2021, motorists will have access to a three-lane road from League City Parkway to Cross Colony that has better drainage and is less prone to the potholes asphalt roads receive.

ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF JULY 17. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT BAYNEWSCOMMUNITYIMPACT.COM.

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BAY AREA EDITION • AUGUST 2020

SEEING A PRIMARY CARE DOCTOR Is Still Important

For everything from annual checkups to managing chronic conditions, taking care of your health should always be a priority. Houston Methodist primary care doctors are still available to provide personalized care for you and your family — safely. We offer a variety of convenient ways to get care from us, from same-day sick visits to extended hours at select locations. And, you can be confident that we are taking every necessary precaution to keep you safe during your visit, including:

Screening all patients

Ensuring social distancing in waiting rooms

Wearing masks while providing care

Offering video visits with your doctor

Enhanced cleaning of equipment and surfaces

Adding evening and Saturday hours to space out appointments

houstonmethodist.org/pcg Call or text: 713.394.6724

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

BUSINESS

best that we provide the safest facility for our sta and clients so that we can continue to keep the business open,” she said. “Also, it’s a way to promote local businesses since us and many more are going through a rough time.” Business owners Community Impact Newspaper spoke to said they were already doing the things the pledge required before taking it. Still, taking the pledge shows residents they are treating the pandemic seriously, owners said. Not long after businesses began taking the pledge, case counts began to surge, but business owners said the pledge eort is still making a dier- ence in terms of awareness. “I think, as an owner, it just shows that [businesses] are willing to go above and beyond,” King said. The goal of the pledge is to avoid another economic shutdown, which could be devastating for local busi- nesses, Livingston said. “We can’t handle nancially going to another shutdown,” said Jula Tragni, the owner of Cakes by Jula, another business that took the pledge. “The businesses took it pretty hard the rst time around, so doing it another time is gonna wipe a few of them out.” Business owners said customers seem supportive or at least indierent to the pledge and its requirements, though some have expressed issues with being required to wear a mask before Gov. Greg Abbott made wearing one in public a statewide mandate. “A few people grumbled, but they get over it,” Tragni said. Business owners encouraged others to take the pledge. “I personally think that we all should,” Maheshwari said. “If we want to keep the city open, we need to do our part.”

League City businesses can take a pledge to promote responsibility during COVID-19.

League City businesses can take a pledge to show customers they will do the following to mitigate the spread of COVID-19: WORKPLACE PROTECT ION PLEDGE

Over 80 businesses have taken the pledge so far. Residents can see who took the pledge at leaguecity.com/ pledge.

Remain informed of recommended health and safety guidelines

Business owners said the pledge could help prevent another devastating shutdown.

Sanitize facilities frequently

Provide personal protective equipment and sanitation tools to sta Take all steps to protect employees, customers and the League City community

PHOTOS COURTESY CITY OF LEAGUE CITY

League City businesses combat COVID19with protection pledge

SOURCE: CITY OF LEAGUE CITYCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER Those who take the pledge will receive a poster and yard sign to display to show their commitment.

BY JAKE MAGEE

COVID-19,” he said. Alpine Rose Salon owner Holly King, an early adapter of the pledge, said the eort is a smart one. “League City is all about trying to help small business and keep things moving,” she said. “I think it was genius on their part to do it.” Manish Maheshwari, owner of Coco Crepes, Waes & Coee and Little Bella Mia in League City, was the rst to take the pledge. For him, it was a matter of building trust with his customers, Maheshwari said. “At the end of the day, we need to make sure the customer who walks in … feels comfortable,” he said. Cindy Tran, owner of Bay Colony Nails Spa, took the pledge June 25 for similar reasons. “With the impact COVID-19 is hav- ing on everyone, we believe that it is

can voluntarily take to show they are adopting safe practices that will ben- et their employees, their businesses and their customers,” Livingston said. “We’re trying to undergird and support and promote our local businesses—the ones that are being safe.” The pledge states those who take it will stay informed of the latest recom- mended health and safety guidelines, sanitize facilities frequently, provide personal protective equipment and sanitation tools to sta, and take any necessary steps to protect residents. Those who take the pledge are given a poster and a yard sign that can be displayed showing their commitment, Livingston said. “We want to highlight the busi- nesses that are making a commitment ... to make it a safe place for citizens so we can mitigate the spread of

While coronavirus cases continue to surge in Harris and Galveston counties, League City is taking proactive steps to encourage businesses to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and promote those that do. In May, the League City Turnaround Taskforce—a group of residents, business owners and city leaders promoting economic recovery during the coronavirus outbreak—created a workplace protection pledge local businesses can take to encourage responsibly managing what has become a global pandemic. So far, over 80 businesses have taken the pledge, and more are taking it every week, said Scott Livingston, the city’s economic development director and a task force member. “This is a pledge that businesses

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BAY AREA EDITION • AUGUST 2020

CITY&SCHOOLS

News from League City, Clear Lake and Clear Creek ISD

Health experts say COVID-19 airborne transmission is responsible for rapid spread

League City City Council reverses course, votes to giveGalveston County CARES Actmoney

BY JAKE MAGEE

BY COLLEEN FERGUSON

response, which is often part of what makes people so sick. Clinical therapies and treatments therefore involve both trying to stop the spread of the virus and trying to deal with the immunological response. “As far as what the disease looks like—well, it looks pretty awful,” she said, adding only a small group of COVID-19 patients at UTMB are over 65 years of age. “We have an assort- ment of people on ventilators who are in their 30s and 40s, and they probably didn’t think of themselves as disposable.” The virus’s first symptoms are very nonspecific, she said: People describe fatigue, aches and a sore throat, but not shortness of breath or a documented fever. It takes about a week for the patient to have difficulty breathing, at which point they often come to a hospital. Due to the various regulations around human subjects, clinical trials take months to get underway, she said, emphasizing the importance of starting the process early. “Giving humans experimental drugs—or using them in an exper- imental way, if you’re doing it for research—there are a huge amount of controls and regulations to protect human subjects,” she said.

Apffel apologized for not answering questions earlier. Apffel said the county used its own money to hire epidemiologists and contact tracers at the start of the pan- demic and was reimbursed through CARES Act funding. The remaining $2 million in CARES Act funding the county received went entirely to testing, Apffel said. Now, as testing has begun to ramp up and the pandemic shows no signs of slowing, the county needs more money, he said. “Quite frankly, we need your money,” he said. “We are in this together.” Apffel said Galveston County would invoice League City monthly for portions of the up to $1.04 million in CARES Act funding League City would provide. It is possible League City would not have to pay the full $1.04 million if the pandemic ended before the money was spent, he said. Additionally, the money will go to fund tests for uninsured League City residents only, Apffel said. “I believe that this is so important that we do this as a community,” he said. The motion to give the county the money passed 7-1 with Council Member Todd Kinsey opposed. NUMBER TOKNOW is up to how much League City will give Galveston County in CARES Act funding to combat COVID-19. $1.04MILLION

LEAGUE CITY On July 21, City Council reversed a vote made July 14, resulting in the city agreeing to give up to 18% of its CARES Act funding to Galveston County for COVID-19 testing. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security provides $55 per capita to local governments to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic. For counties with fewer than 500,000 residents, such as Galveston County, the money is given to each city rather than to the county itself. As such, Galveston County requested each city provide 18% of its CARES Act funding to the Galves- ton County Health District to help continue nasal swab and antibody testing. League City received $5.73 million in CARES Act funding, and the county’s request equaled about $1.04 million. On July 14, council voted 6-2 against the motion to give the county the money, citing several concerns. Council Member Nick Long said the move would be inequitable to League City residents because most of the money would fund testing for residents other than those residing in League City, and several council members said they had questions for the county that county officials had not yet responded to. “I think those questions ought to be answered,” Mayor Pat Hallisey said. On July 21, county officials showed up to answer those questions. Precinct 1 Commissioner Darrell final contract; he informed the board at the time of his intent to close out his 40-year career in education at CCISD, according to a district news release. His contract expires at the end of 2020. Board President Laura DuPont called Smith a leader of all leaders, thanking him for his “solid, wise, heartfelt leadership” and for leaving his handprints all over the district. “Each of us are grateful to have been on this journey with you, as students, as parents, as trustees,” she said.

CLEAR LAKE Experts on July 14 discussed research efforts as well as public health strategies that will help lead local commu- nities out of the pandemic. The infectious disease experts on the virtual call, hosted by The Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership and the Galves- ton Economic Development Partnership, emphasized social distancing alone is not effective in stopping the virus. Galveston National Laboratory Director Scott Weaver said during the webinar that new research shows COVID-19 can survive up to 16 hours in the air. Susan McLellan, the medical director of the biocontainment patient care unit at the Univer- sity of Texas Medical Branch, said clinicians were making edu- cated guesses about COVID-19 at first, mostly based on knowledge of prior coronaviruses. As new information is learned, recom- mendations for the public have to change over time, she said. “This is a situation [in] which we’re learning,” she said. “The information that we’re getting now about the persistence of these aerosols ... makes it clear that the just 6-feet-away thing doesn’t work.” McLellan is also involved with clinical COVID-19 vaccine trials. Part of the disease process with the virus, she said, involves an overactive immunological

NUMBER TOKNOW is how long the new coronavirus can survive suspended in the air. 16HOURS

Clear Creek ISDSuperintendent Greg Smith announces retirement for end of the year

QUOTEOFNOTE “THANKYOU FOR

ALLOWINGME TOWORK INAND LEADONE OF THE MOSTVISIONARY SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN THEWORLD, WHERE HOPES, DREAMS

but it is important to give the CCISD community time to find the right person to lead this exceptional school district,” Smith said. “For those who know me, I do not tire. I remain committed to the work ahead of reopening Clear Creek ISD to 42,000 boys and girls and leading us into a strong fall semester.” The decision to retire was made five years ago when Smith signed his

BY COLLEEN FERGUSON

CLEAR CREEK ISD Greg Smith, the longest-serving Clear Creek ISD superintendent in the district’s history, publicly announced his retirement, set for Dec. 31, 2020, during the June 22 regular meeting of the board of trustees. “There is never a good time to make this type of announcement,

ANDASPIRATIONS COME TRUE. I KNOW MINE HAVE.” GREG SMITH, CLEAR CREEK ISD SUPERINTENDENT

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

League City City Council approves design of 2 kayak launches, sends 1 back to drawing board

Approved kayak launch sites

because it would take land extension to get from Landing Boulevard to the tributary to launch, Wei said. “[It] seems very expensive. [Spend- ing] $1.2 million to launch kayaks is a whole lot of money,” Long said, refer- ring to the cost of the third project. Part of the large expense for the third boat ramp would be getting access to the nearby Myrtle Park. The subdivision to which it abuts does not want to give League City access, Council Member Larry Millican said. “Myrtle Park is a gem, and we need to get access to it,” he said. Wei agreed. One of the reasons the city wanted the third kayak launch was it would give the city future access to Myrtle Park, he said. Council voted 6-1 to approve fund- ing the design of the first two launches but not the third. City Manager John Baumgartner said the city will take a closer look at the cost of the third project and bring it back before council if appropriate. Council also unanimously approved applying for a Texas Parks &Wildlife Department grant that could fund up to $250,000 of the design costs.

CLEAR CREEK

BY JAKE MAGEE

Some council members thought this cost was too much. Council Member Nick Long said $440,000 to design kayak launches is “astronomical.” Council Member Hank Dugie agreed and said spending $440,000 for design sounded “outrageous” to him. Still, Dugie said he saw the value in creating new kayak launches. “I think we have sadly underused our waterways in our history, so I think it’s time we changed that,” he said. Wei explained costs include U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permits, Texas Department of Transportation permits, wetland delineation, archeo- logical studies and consulting. When pressed, Wei said the first and second launches would cost $248,000 for design and $412,000 for construc- tion. The third launch would cost $190,000 for design, $294,000 for land acquisition and $780,000 for con- struction. The third is more expensive

LEAGUE CITY With League City City Council’s approval July 14, the city will begin designing at least two new canoe and kayak launches for construction beginning in 2022. The city proposed designing three kayak launches: one at the Egret Bay Boulevard boat ramp; one at Clear Creek and North Kansas Avenue at the site of a future park; and one into a Clear Creek tributary that will be built during the construction of North Landing Boulevard near Myrtle Park. The first two would be constructed in 2022, and the last one at Landing Boulevard would be constructed in 2023, said ChienWei, the city’s direc- tor of parks and cultural services. The city asked council for approval to spend about $440,000 to design the boat ramps. The money would come from the city’s 4B funds, which is money set aside for sports facilities and related expenses.

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MEETINGSWE COVER

League City City Council Watch online at www.facebook.com/ leaguecitytexas Next meetings: Aug. 11 and 25 and Sept. 8 and 22 at 6 p.m. Clear Creek ISD board of trustees Watch online at www.facebook.com/ clearcreekisd Next meeting: Aug. 24 at 6 p.m.

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BAY AREA EDITION • AUGUST 2020

BUSINESS FEATURE

BY COLLEEN FERGUSON

Targets aremade of cottonwood, and their size is determined by theWorld Axe Throwing League.

Mark Thomas, one of the AxeMasters coaches, practices his throwing. Employee shirts are emblazonedwith “GotWood?” on the back.

Owner Richard Langseth said he rst got interested in axe- throwing about three years ago.

Thomas said when a thrower rst “sticks” the axe in the target, it is rewarding for everyone involved.

PHOTOS BY COLLEEN FERGUSONCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

AxeMasters Texas League City facility provides indoor axe-throwing experiences W hile indoor axe-throwing may not tradi- tionally be associated with weddings or family events, Richard Langseth has seen it all at Axe Masters Texas in the business’s rst full year. Langseth, who owns the business with his wife, Robin Langseth, said Axe Masters frequently hosts bachelor and bachelorette parties, which is why he is a member of the Bay Area Wedding Programs Facebook group. “They [eat] it up,” he said, adding the business also now hosts gender reveal party. “You name it, we’ve had that party.” Customers of all ages can test their skills throwing 2- to 3-pound axes of various shapes and sizes inside the League City-based business. Langseth and his wife aim to provide a space where novice and experi- enced axe-throwers alike can hone their skills. Axe Masters closed its doors due to COVID-19 for about two months, reopening in May at 50% capac- ity. Walk-ins are still permitted, but parties have been limited to a maximum of eight people, Langseth said. The space’s design is already conducive to social distancing requirements, Langseth said, so they plan

Axe Masters past 7 p.m. any given night, but they can throw for free on Sunday afternoons. Even the most hesitant or reluctant throwers begin to put down their phones and have fun within a few minutes, Langseth said. “Nobody sits in here doing this,” he said, mimicking playing with a phone, “unless they’re Instagramming.” Langseth is actively looking for additional business space, and Axe Masters already has mobile capabilities. A trailer with two targets can be set up at large events such as festivals. Axe Masters also partners with the Children’s Oasis Foundation in Dickinson. In the future, Langseth—who has two sons with autism—hopes to leverage his experience running the business into creating a transition center where young adults with autism can learn life skills after graduation. “There’s an ultimate goal other than just slinging axes,” he said. “There’s a bigger calling.”

to remain open unless state guidelines dictate other- wise. Sta cleans the facility regularly, including after each party, and coaches are required to wear masks. Axe-throwers can wear or not wear masks at their own discretion while throwing, but must wear them when in common areas such as restrooms, Langseth said. The business keeps its Facebook page up to date with current regulations amid the pandemic, he added. Amateur throwers have the option of a one- hour party, typically for two to four people, or a two-hour party, which, outside a pandemic, can accommodate up to 70 people. Langseth said he has seen throwers ages 5 to 90 since the business rst opened in March 2019. Throwers can bring their own alcohol. To start each party, coaches review rules and throwing techniques; take throwers through a war- mup; then start gameplay with a variety of original, in-house competitions that are all based around dart games. Individual games typically last about 15 minutes. At the end of the party, throwers get a photo shoot in front of the targets with various decorations and props. World Axe Throwing League standards dic- tate the size of the targets, which are made out of cottonwood, Langseth said. League City’s axe-throwing league, which is part of the WATL, is in its fourth season, and it uses the space as one of several Houston-area practice facilities, he said. Children are generally discouraged from coming to

AxeMasters Texas 400 Hobbs Road, Ste. 209, League City 281-724-1123 www.axemasterstx.com

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

DINING FEATURE

RHONDA KARIM SAID HER FAVORITE PART OF OWNING HOLLY BERRY TEA ROOM IS THE CUSTOMERS.

Holly Berry Tea Room Restaurant owner turns historical house into comforting eatery C ome for the tea, stay for the hospitality. At Holly Berry Tea Room in League City, tea is in the name, but there are other reasons customers return, owner Rhonda Karim said. One is the soup. The restaurant’s soups are made fresh, rotate daily and are often coveted, Karim said. Another is the restaurant’s unique locale. The tea room is set in a century-old house that was trans- ported from the Heights in Houston to League City about 25 years ago, Karim said. The house is lled with unusual and vintage decorations. “I feel like I belong in this house,” Karim said. Yet another reason is the sta. Karim said her business would not survive without her workers. Likewise, Karim’s favorite part of the job is the cus- tomers. Karim likes seeing strangers become friends and greeting the same people regularly, she said. While COVID-19 temporarily shut the restaurant down, Karim is happy to see familiar faces for dine in and takeout now that she has reopened, she said. Of course, it would not be a tea roomwithout tea. Karim has dozens of tea sets, many of which are donated by regular customers. When these custom- ers order tea, the sta does its best to serve them with the sets they donated, Karim said. Karim used to work at the tea room before her old boss retired, and she bought the restaurant about three years ago. Karim comes from a family of restaurant workers. “It’s in your blood,” she said. “It’s just a passion.” One nal reason customers return is they know what to expect. Karim keeps the menu consistent. “I don’t change a single recipe, and that’s why they keep coming back,” she said. BY JAKE MAGEE

MENU ITEMS TO TRY

Customers sometimes call ahead to reserve rotating cups of soup ($3.50) knowing the restaurant sometimes runs out of the popular menu item.

TheWild Rose ($11.25) is a sample of several sandwiches—including chicken salad, egg salad and cucumber dill—along with a slice of lemon cake.

Slices of fresh quiche ($10.75) are made daily in the tea room’s kitchen and served with Berry Bliss, a frozen berry- and yogurt-based treat.

Cake Bites ($1.75 each) are bite-sized cake treats that come in a variety of avors.

Holly Berry’s Tea Room serves a variety of hot and iced teas ($2 per pot) served in vintage tea sets.

PHOTOS BY JAKE MAGEECOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Holly Berry Tea Room 501 E. Main St., Ste. 4, League City 281-557-4433 www.facebook.com/holly-berry- tea-room-257709304352503 Hours: Tue.-Sat. 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Sun.-Mon. closed

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BAY AREA EDITION • AUGUST 2020

Pediatric Care. Essential Care. Your family has been staying home to stay safe. But your kids need primary care to stay healthy. As always, UTMB is here to help. Our expert pediatricians are ready to meet your family’s needs— safely, comfortably and conveniently. We offer: • Preventive care, including important annual well-child checkups and screenings • Routine vaccinations to keep your child’s immunization record up to date • Sports and participation physicals • Treatment of minor illnesses and injuries • Management of chronic conditions like asthma and allergies • Coordination with UTMB specialists when your child needs complex care As always, we at UTMB are available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call our Access Center today at (800) 917-8906 for an appointment. As always, your family’s health and well-being are our top priorities. We look forward to seeing your child soon!

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

PEOPLE

BY CLAIRE SHOOP

San Jac MY WAY

Ask an expert: Zenae Campbell How should I talk tomy children about the death of George Floyd, the coronavirus and other traumatic events in the news?

CLASSES BEGIN AUG. 24

With the coronavirus pandemic continuing to upend many families’ daily routines and the death of George Floyd and other Black Americans at the hands of police officers in the news, Commu- nity Impact Newspaper spoke to Zenae Campbell, the vice president of program services and club operations at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston, about how parents should talk about these topics with their children. Campbell said while these are difficult conversations to have, it is important that parents create a safe space for discussion and use these current events as a way to educate children. In the following Q&A, she provides tips for parents looking to start this dialogue. Responses have been edited for length and clarity. ARETHESETOPICS THINGS PARENTS SHOULDBETALKING TOTHEIRCHILDRENABOUT? Most definitely. In light of what’s happening around the coronavirus pandemic, parents definitely should be talking to their kids about it, because kids know there’s a differ- ence. Likewise for the things that are happening—that have been happening and have been heightened—around these racial and social justice move- ments, [parents should] talk to their kids about this. Kids deal with these topics with or without their parents, and so it’s always good for the parents to be able to have a really informed and guided educational conversation with their kids to kind of help them process these things. WHATTIPSWOULDYOU OFFERPARENTSWHODON’T KNOWHOWTOBEGINTHESE CONVERSATIONS? It really starts with understanding your own emotions, your own educa- tion on it and being real with yourself about where you as the adult are with your understanding, and getting really comfortable with that, because kids do look to us. So [it’s important for] us to be in a space to have our own kind of self care done around what we understand, what we know—not that we have to know everything—but that we’re not ignoring it. Then, it’s always

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good to talk with your child and find out what they know. Find out what they know because likely they’ve been hearing things either on TV, reading things online, maybe talking to friends or even just hearing parts of adult conversations about these things. DOTHE CONVERSATIONS THATNEEDTOHAPPENVARY DEPENDINGONTHERACEOR ETHNICITYOFAFAMILY? The conversation itself is needed. It's needed for all groups. This is something that impacts and affects everyone, so we need to have those conversations so we can all under- stand and check our biases and understand how to connect and relate to one another and help each other have a better and brighter future. WHATADVICEWOULDYOU OFFERPARENTSOF CHILDREN WHOARETAKINGCURRENT EVENTSPARTICULARLYHARD? [Have] a conversation—talking to your child about their feelings, talking to them about how they’re coping. Kids understand that. [Ask] what are you doing because you feel that way? That way, the parent has a good space to be able to say, ‘How can I help?’ Then, know that help does exist. Look for resources. Don’t be afraid to get professional help or assistance if needed.

A combination of online instruction and small groups for hands-on learning and practical testing.

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BAY AREA EDITION • AUGUST 2020

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