SPRING KLEIN EDITION
VOLUME 7, ISSUE 12 MARCH 20APRIL 16, 2021
TO THE SYSTEM A Throughout the week of Feb. 14-19, plummeting temperatures brought a slew of power outages, burst pipes and boil-water notices to the Spring and Klein area. SHOCK
The Spring Fire Department responded to 446 calls Feb. 14-19. The Klein Fire Department responded to 332 calls Feb. 14-18.
By 8 p.m. Feb. 15,
customers in CenterPoint Energy’s service area, which includes the Spring and Klein area, were without power; it took nearly four days for power to be restored. 1.42million
At its peak Feb. 18-20, 3.47million Harris County residents were under a boil-water notice.
As of March 1, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said at least 50 Harris County residents were conrmed to have died of either hypothermia or carbon monoxide poisoning.
The Klein Fire Department responded to a re in the 19000 block of Frederick Drive on Feb. 16. (Courtesy Klein Fire Department)
SOURCES: CENTERPOINT ENERGY, HARRIS COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH, KLEIN FIRE DEPARTMENT, SPRING FIRE DEPARTMENTCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
Winter stormsends shivers through Texas power grid
Water notices unclear for unincorporatedHarris County
BY SHAWN ARRAJJ, MATT DULIN & HANNAH ZEDAKER
BY KELLY SCHAFLER
storm was the Aerodrome Ice Skating Complex in northwest Houston, where power was lost for 38 hours and a burst pipe ooded the rink’s compressor room. Aerodrome General Manager T.C. Lewis said he borrowed a motor from a Sugar Land skating rink to get one of his compressors running.
on Feb. 21, notices remained in place for thousands of residents in unincorporated Harris County. Within the nine Spring- and Klein-area ZIP codes, 133,342 residents were under a boil-water notice at some point during the storm, according to data Community Impact Newspaper
Boil-water notices during and after Winter Storm Uri were rampant in Harris County, with 3.47 million county residents under a boil-water notice Feb. 18-20, according to Harris County Public Health. Although the city of Houston was able to lift its boil-water notice
When winter storms brought record-low temperatures to Texas in mid-February, millions of people lost power for extended periods of time, and tens of thousands of homes suered damage from frozen pipes. Among those aected by the
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CAMP GUIDE 2021
Substitute teachers hard to nd in pandemic
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SPRING - KLEIN EDITION • MARCH 2021
At Kissing Tree, You Get It All
What do you want for retirement? An 18-hole golf course? A resort-style pool? Indoor lap pool? Club-style fitness center? At Kissing Tree, we’ve got you covered, with luxurious amenities that put the active in “ active adult community ,” starting with The Mix, our 20-acre campus with a biergarten, pickleball courts, bocce ball, restaurants, live music, and more. And it’s not just the amazing activities—it’s the wonderful people who choose to make Kissing Tree their home. “We have made more friends in the last year at Kissing Tree than we’ve made in a lifetime,” resident Kathy A. said.
Ready to write your next chapter? Come see us in person or online at KissingTree.com
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Owners John and Jennifer Garrett launched the rst edition of Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 with three full-time employees covering Round Rock and Pugerville, Texas. We have expanded our operations to include hundreds of employees, our own printing operation and over 30 hyperlocal editions across three states. Our circulation is over 2 million residential mailboxes, and it grows each month with new residents and developments.
FROMKIM: The birds seem to start chirping earlier and earlier each morning to let us know spring has arrived. Spring brings bluebonnets, crawsh, festivals, and many great outdoor dining options to sit outside on a patio and enjoy the beautiful weather. Our local businesses need us, and we need them; be a brick-and-mortar supporter today. Kim Giannetti, GENERALMANAGER
Community Impact Newspaper teams include general managers, editors, reporters, graphic designers, sales account executives and sales support, all immersed and invested in the communities they serve. Our mission is to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. Our core values are Faith, Passion, Quality, Innovation and Integrity.
FROMKELLY: Our front-page stories look at the strain the winter storm put on Spring- and Klein-area energy and water systems. The Spring and Klein re departments responded to a combined 778 calls Feb. 14-19; SFD responded to 24 house res, 10 apartment res and seven commercial res. Some local communities also remained on boil-water notices from local municipal utility districts until early March. Kelly Schaer, EDITOR
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SPRING KLEIN EDITION • MARCH 2021
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COMPILED BY DANICA LLOYD, ADRIANA REZAL, BEN THOMPSON & HANNAH ZEDAKER
Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon, relocating or expanding
4 Pepperoni’s opened a location at 5200 FM 2920, Ste. 110, Spring, on Jan. 29. The casual pizzeria chain offers 15 signature New York-style pizzas, build-your-own calzone and pizza options, Buffalo wings, pastas, subs and salads. The new location offers limited indoor seating as well as takeout and delivery services. 832-702-8400. www.pepperonis.net 5 A new Shipley Do-Nuts location is now open in northern Spring following a mid-January launch. The store, located in The Shops on Gosling development at 24345 Gosling Road, Ste. 240, Spring, is now serving a range of doughnut varieties alongside kolaches and coffee. Both carryout and drive-thru ordering is 6 Style It Up Boutique , located at 9803 Spring Cypress Road, Ste. 800, Houston, celebrated its grand opening Jan. 30-31. The boutique offers children’s clothing, plus-size clothing, workout clothing and accessories. In addition to a brick-and-mortar location, Style It Up Boutique also has a mobile truck. 832-953-8457. www.styleitupboutique.com 7 The Event Space celebrated its grand opening at 22776 Cypresswood Drive, Spring, on Feb. 13. The venue is available for birthday parties, baby showers, wedding receptions and meetings, and it offers decoration packages and chair and table rentals. 346-600-8244. www.theeventspace504.com 8 Finesse BJJ celebrated the grand opening of its studio at 17711 Kuykendahl Road, Ste. A, Spring, on Jan. 16. The martial arts and fitness studio offers Brazilian jiujitsu classes for adults of all ages and anti-bully Brazilian jiujitsu self-defense classes for children age 5 and older. 281-542-8008. www.finessebjj.com 9 Next Step Financial Transitions LLC opened in early January at 118 Vintage Park Blvd., Ste. W712, available. 832-698-1542. www.shipleydonuts.com Houston. Married couple Lance and Tessa Elrod are both certified financial planners and offer personalized financial advice and investment management services. With more than 20 years of combined experience, the Elrods specialize in 45 OLD TOWN SPRING
SPRINGWOODS VILLAGE PKWY.
LAKE PLAZA DR.
W. RAYFORD RD.
CITY PLAZA DR.
helping families and individuals navigate life transitions such as starting a family, buying a first home, career changes, retirement and divorce. 832-856-2825. www.nsfinancialtransitions.com COMING SOON 10 First Tech Federal Credit Union plans to open this summer in CityPlace at Springwoods Village, located at 1701 City Plaza Drive, Spring. Based in San Jose, California, the nearly 70-year-old financial institution will offer a full range of financial services including traditional and online banking, mortgages, financial planning, various consumer loans and insurance services. 855-855-8805. www.firsttechfed.com RELOCATIONS 11 Champions School of Real Estate — formerly located at 5627 FM 1960, Ste. 100, Houston—celebrated the grand opening of its new Houston North Campus, located at 7302 N. Grand Parkway W., Spring, on Jan. 18. The newly constructed campus features six classrooms, a state-of-the-art home inspection lab and a fully equipped special events room, which is available for public use. Champions School of Real Estate first opened in 1983 and offers qualifying education and continuing education classes for real estate professionals, including those pursuing careers in real estate sales, brokerage, mortgage loan origination, home inspection or appraisal. 281-893-4484. www.championsschool.com
TIMBER TECH AVE.
VINTAGE PARK BLVD.
MAP NOT TO SCALE N TM; © 2021 COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER CO. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
NOWOPEN 1 Plane & Level opened in late 2020 in Old Town Spring at 203 Midway St., Spring. The concept specializes in wines from around the world, which are available by the glass or bottle, in a cocktail or as part of a flight. To pair with its wine, the eatery offers tapas, or Spanish appetizers, such as empanadas and deconstructed fish tacos. 346-372-5700. www.planeandlevel.com 2 Little Woodrow’s , a bar and grill franchise, opened its eighth Houston-area location in Tomball on Feb. 23. Located at 11241 Timber Tech Ave., Tomball, Little Woodrow’s offers a full bar with drinks such as cocktails and Texas craft beers. In addition to daily drink specials and food items, the
location offers an outdoor patio. 281-516-9993. www.littlewoodrows.com/ watering-holes/tomball 3 Savage Burrito , a delivery-only concept, launched Feb. 1 out of the Uncle Julio’s eatery located at 6835 N. Grand Parkway W., Spring, in the Grand Parkway Marketplace. Known as a “ghost kitchen”—a delivery-only concept that partners with and operates out of another restaurant’s kitchen—Savage Burrito’s menu differs from Uncle Julio’s, featuring burritos, burrito bowls and salads in addition to sides and desserts, beer and Savage Margarita Pops. Orders may be placed online, and delivery is available through DoorDash, Uber Eats, Grubhub and Postmates. 214-480-4070. www.savageburrito.com
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SPRING - KLEIN EDITION • MARCH 2021
TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES Harris County sues TxDOT over I-45 proposal
COMPILED BY EMMA WHALEN & HANNAH ZEDAKER
SOURCE: TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER 2021: TxDOT issues a record of decision; Harris County officials announce a lawsuit. 2015: Public meetings are held to collect input on the proposed recommended alternative design. 2017: The draft environmental impact statement is released, and more public comment is sought. 2020: The environmental impact statement is finalized. 2002: Federal, state and local agencies begin the North-Hardy Planning Studies and Environmental PROJECT TIMELINE For almost 20 years, the Texas Department of Transportation has been working to overhaul I-45. Impact Statement process. 2005: The report concludes that TxDOT should evaluate I-45 improvements using existing right of way. 2011: TxDOT issues notice to begin the environmental impact statement study for the North Houston Highway Improvement Project.
W. MOSSY OAKS RD.
W. MOSSY OAKS RD.
Turning a new page in efforts to influence the Texas Department of Transportation’s $7 billion overhaul of I-45, Harris County officials are suing the agency in federal court. On March 11, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and County Attorney Christian Menefee announced the action, which asks the court to revoke the agency’s record of decision, which was issued Feb. 4, and to address concerns with the project. The lawsuit alleges TxDOT failed to adequately consider the full environmental ramifications of the project in its final environmental impact statement—a federally required step. “We’ve been good-faith partners to TxDOT. We’ve done everything we could to move this project forward, but it has come time to pursue legal recourse,” Hidalgo said. The announcement comes after over a year of advocacy from groups such as the Make I-45 Better Coalition and Stop TxDOT I-45, which have expressed concern over the project's effect on neighborhoods in the East
End and Northside of Houston. The proposed reroute and expansion of I-45 will displace over 900 residences, 300 businesses, five places of worship and two schools, according to the agency’s final environmental impact statement. Local officials have repeatedly made attempts to influence the project. Beginning in 2019, the city of Houston led a separate public input process, which resulted in proposed alternatives to the plan, including one in which the 1960s- era highway would be upgraded for safety improvements but maintain its current footprint. After TxDOT’s final environmental impact statement was issued in September, critics of the plan noted it failed to incorporate many of the recommendations identified through the city’s public input process. Proponents of the project have said it will ease congestion, particularly for commuters; update the highway’s safety; and mitigate flooding issues.
ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF MARCH 12. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT SKLNEWS@COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM. continue those improvements along West Mossy Oaks from Fritz Lane to Mossy Oaks Road and realign a portion of the road. The studies for Segment 1 will wrap up in the fourth quarter of 2021 and for Segment 2 in the first quarter of 2022. A project timeline will be identified later. Timeline: TBD Cost: TBD Funding source: Harris County Precinct 4 West Mossy Oaks Road improvements Harris County Precinct 4 is studying a two-part project to improve West Mossy Oaks Road in north Spring. A Segment 1 will extend West Mossy Oaks from Rothwood Road to Fritz Lane as four lanes with improved drainage and traffic signals. B Segment 2 will
WORTHWHILE CONVERSATIONS REQUIRED MINIMUM DISTRIBUTIONS OR MAXIMUM CONFUSION?
“MAXIMUM CONFUSION?” – WHAT ARE WE TALKING ABOUT HERE? The IRS specifies Required Minimum Distributions, or “RMDs”, that you must withdraw from IRAs, 401(k)s, and other retirement accounts at certain ages. People seem to know these rules exist and that penalties for mistakes are hefty, but most don’t know the details. In 50 years of talking with families, we’ve observed that many people worry significantly about this area of their planning. WHAT KIND OF DETAILS? We hear many questions…I’m turning 72 (the new updated magic age); When must I take my first required minimum distribution? Should I delay my first distribution to year 2, as allowed by the rules? Do I have to wait until the day I’m actually 72 to start my distributions? Can I wait until I’m 72 to take distributions from an inherited IRA account? I’m still working past 72 and in a 401(k) plan – do I have to withdraw money from it? Can I roll over my RMD amount into a Roth IRA after paying the required taxes? WOW, THIS IS STARTING TO SOUND LIKE A “MINEFIELD”… It CAN be complicated. The key is to do the necessary homework, because these RMDs
are just one piece of the retirement puzzle, and should be part of a well-coordinated plan. Our Wealth Planning Committee is a group of attorneys, CPAs, MBAs, and other professionals who meet regularly. They discuss and analyze how to meet RMDs while maximizing a family’s after-tax cash flow. Committee Chairman, Phillip Hamman, CFA, CFP ® , likes to say, “The RMD rules ARE complicated, but they offer excellent planning opportunities.” Families unable to invest the time for homework should seek help. ANYTHING TO WATCH OUT FOR? Most important: Seek independent and unbiased advice from an advisor obligated to act as your fiduciary, rather than someone with an agenda to sell financial products. This fiduciary business model is what we follow at Linscomb & Williams. We are ready to sit down for a no-cost, no- obligation, exploratory conversation either virtually or at our office. Imagine the peace of mind from eliminating confusion about this and other important areas of your finances. For more information, or a copy of our Form ADV, Part II, with all of our disclosures, call Grant Williams at 281 841 0707, or visit www.linscomb-williams.com.
Lantz Bowman and Phillip Hamman discuss the importance of a well-coordinated retirement plan to navigate the rules of Required Minimum Distributions and maximize after-tax cash flow. (Left to right: Lantz Bowman, CFP ® ; and Phillip Hamman, CFA, CFP ® )
1400 Post Oak Boulevard, Ste. 1000 Houston, Texas 77056 713.840.1000 www.linscomb-williams.com Linscomb & Williams is not an accounting firm.
COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM
Klein ISD seeks quality substitute teachers
SWEETENING THE SUBSTITUTE DEAL Klein ISD is recruiting student teachers and community members to ll the gaps in its substitute teacher pool. Meanwhile, Cy-Fair ISD has considered raises to attract substitutes.
BY ANDY LI
availability of the vaccines, we will see them return to our campuses.” Comparatively, Cy-Fair ISD revealed at a March 8 board meeting the number of daily teacher absences but substitutes working each day decreased by 50. Trustees also considered increasing pay and bonuses for substitutes but did not vote on it at the meeting. Ruggerio said KISD is still focused increased by almost 300 from January 2020 to January 2021, on recruiting student teachers and community members. In the meantime, KISD has found creative solutions to address teacher absenteeism: The district combines classes or has instructional specialists and sta cover classes, he said. “Our goal is to ensure that every student has a qualied stamember in their classroom to support their learning each day,” he said.
Klein ISD is pushing to nd more substitute teachers as the number of qualied individuals dwindles amid the coronavirus pandemic. Chris Ruggerio, director of stang and employee relations for KISD, said in an email that the district typically relies on a pool of retired educators, individuals from universities or higher education programs, or community members for substitutes. Ruggerio said the pandemic makes it dicult to keep ll rates high, referring to the percentage of teacher absences lled by substitutes. KISD declined to answer howmany substitutes it needs, saying it varies. “We recognize that a number of our substitutes are retired and many have been cautious about returning to campuses due to the pandemic,” he said. “We hope that as COVID[-19] cases begin to decline and with the
KLEIN ISD $83 a day for substitutes with no degree
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$95 a day with a bachelor degree but without a Texas teaching certicate $100 a day with a teaching certicate SPRING ISD $90 a day without a teaching certicate $105 a day with a teaching certicate CYFAIR ISD $84 a day with no degree but must have 48 hours of college credit $92 a day with a bachelor’s degree or teaching certicate District considering a proposal to raise degreed and certied substitute’s daily rates to between $105 to $115 SOURCES: KLEIN ISD, SPRING ISD, CYFAIR ISD COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
Master plan begins atMercer
ood mitigation strategies and plans for the 40 acres to the garden’s south the precinct recently acquired. Phase 1’s construction began March 8 and will nish in late September, Ludwig said. The $4.98 million phase will
BY KELLY SCHAFLER
Harris County Precinct 4 began construction in March on the rst phase of a master plan to redesign Mercer Botanic Gardens, a roughly 400-acre park near Spring. Mercer Botanic Gardens Director Chris Ludwig said a master plan emerged after Hurricane Harvey ooded Mercer in August 2017. The preliminary redesign includes
build a retention area, three new greenhouses and use soil from the retention basin to elevate the property. Future phases and funding will be revisited next year.
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County hires new health director
Local school districts continuemask mandates for students, sta, visitors
BY ANDY LI & HANNAH ZEDAKER
BY SHAWN ARRAJJ Harris County commissioners unanimously voted
school year. It was the last school district of the three to publicly make the statement; SISD and CFISD announced their protocols March 4 and 5, respectively. “As has been our protocol all year, masks will continue to be optional outside during the school day for students and sta when social distancing is possible or when engaged in physical activity,” KISD stated in the news release. CFISD also reduced the quarantine time for students and sta following contact with someone with COVID-19. The policy now allows people to return to campus 10 days after contact.
Following the Texas Education Agency’s March 3 release of updated public health guidance allowing school districts to determine mask policies, local school districts weighed in. Gov. Greg Abbott lifted Texas’ statewide mask mandate March 10. Klein, Spring and Cy-Fair ISDs will continue to require face masks to be worn on campus, ocials at the districts announced. KISD announced March 9 that it would continue to require students, sta, teachers and visitors to wear masks on campus for the remainder of the 2020-21
March 9 to name Barbie Robinson the next executive director of Harris County Public Health. Robinson will take the reins from interimDirector Gwen Sims, who took over following the resignation of Dr. Umair Shah in December. Robinson serves as director of the Sonoma County Department of Health Services in California. A date has not yet been given for when Robinson will take over HCPH. Barbie Robinson
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SPRING KLEIN EDITION • MARCH 2021
C A M P G U I D E GUIDE
A noncomprehensive list of camps in the area
Parents looking for camps for their kids have a number of options to choose from in the Spring and Klein area, including virtual options for families looking to socially distance during the pandemic. This list is not comprehensive.
A+ Academics ART Arts DAY Day NIGHT Overnight SP Sports
Bible story. Entering kindergartners to seventh-grade students will learn through games, crafts and drama. Extended care options are available. DAY Dates: July 12-30 Cost: $100 per camp 12100 Champion Forest Drive, Houston 281-444-3127, ext. 117 www.kinsmenlutheran.org/camp Camp Kinsmen allows entering rst- through eighth-grade students to go on eld trips, play and enjoy hot lunches. Extended day care options are available. DAY Dates: June 1-July 9, Aug. 2-17 Cost: $100 per camp 12100 Champion Forest Drive, Houston 281-444-3127, ext. 117 www.kinsmenlutheran.org/summer Camp Olympia oers one- to three-week sessions for ages 6-16 featuring sports, kayaking, sailing, swimming, dance, arts and crafts, drama, horseback riding, mini-golf and yoga. ART NIGHT SP
Alodia Basketball Academy campers can choose from three camp options, including total player, shooting and competition as well as a full-day camp. Camps are open to incoming third- to ninth-graders. DAY SP Dates: June 1-Aug. 13 Cost: $150-$225 22601 Lutheran Church Road, Tomball; 25127 Gosling Road, The Woodlands 281-255-2552 www.alodiasports.com Camp Allen is the largest Episcopal summer camp in the nation. Activities for campers ages 8-18 in the weeklong sessions include hikes, movies, arts and crafts, disc golf, archery, paddleboarding, canoeing, shing, horseback riding, basketball and talent shows. ART NIGHT SP Dates: June 6-Aug. 7 Cost: $768 18800 FM 362, Navasota 936-825-7175 www.campallen.org/summercamp Camp Blessing invites those age 7 and up with physical or intellectual disabilities to attend weeklong camps. Activities include horseback riding, canoeing, archery, crafts, music, swimming, team sports, a ropes course and sensory stations. ART NIGHT SP Dates: June 8-Aug. 7 Cost: $950 7227 Camp Blessing Lane, Brenham 281-259-5789 www.campblessing.org Camp Hope is a faith-based summer camp where each day focuses on a dierent
Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts
COURTESY PEARL FINCHER MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS
COURTESY STAGEWORKS THEATRE
www.kiddieacademy.com/academies/ klein-gleannloch Carolina Creek Christian Camps oer three camp experiences based on age group. Activities include zip lines, canoeing, disc golf, a recording studio, archery, wakeboarding, art and sports. ART NIGHT SP Dates: May 30-Aug. 7 Cost: $399-$799 84 Wimberly Lane, Huntsville 936-261-8334 www.carolinacreek.org Cypress Creek FACE hosts weeklong orchestra camps for Klein ISD students entering sixth, seventh and eighth grade. Sixth-grade camp is for students who were in the fth-grade Klein Strings Program; students in seventh- and eighth-grade camp can choose two electives. Both include orchestra practice, sectionals, technique classes, recreation time and end with a concert. ART DAY Dates: June 14-18, July 12-16 Cost: $125-$200 16715 Stuebner Airline Road, Spring; 20811 Ella Blvd., Spring 281-440-4850 www.cypresscreekface.org InSPIRE Rock Climbing oers daily camps for all skill levels. Camps focus on the basics of climbing technique and safety
and also include activities and games— both on and o the climbing wall. DAY SP Dates: June 7-Aug. 13 Cost: $185-$215 per week 403 E. Louetta Road, Spring 281-288-7625 www.inspirerock.com/spring The Kangaroo Forest oers children from kindergarten through age 12 various daily activities, such as art projects and eld trips. A junior camper group for those who nished pre-K is also available. ART DAY
Dates: May 31-Aug. 6 Cost: $825 per month 7303 S. Forestgate Drive, Spring 281-465-4069 www.thekangarooforest.com
Dates: May 30-Aug. 7 Cost: $1,925-$4,750 723 Olympia Drive, Trinity 936-594-2541 www.campolympia.com
Kelly Peterson’s Dance Company hosts weekly dance camps for ages 3-5. Dance clothes and ballet shoes are required, and snacks are provided. Dancers are also encouraged to bring a water bottle labeled with their name. ART DAY Dates: June 14-18, June 28-July 2, July 12-16, July 26-30 Cost: $130 15810 Champion Forest Drive, Spring 281-851-3355 www.kpdanceco.com
CampVentures , hosted by Kiddie Academy of Klein-Gleannloch, is for ages 2-12. The camp incorporates the Life Essentials curriculum and hands-on activities, weekly themes and eld trips for campers age 5 and older. DAY Dates: May 31-Aug. 13 Cost: $230 per week 19559 Champion Forest Drive, Spring 346-298-7070
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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM
COMPILED BY VANESSA HOLT, ANDY LI, DANICA LLOYD & HANNAH ZEDAKER
Mercer Morning Club is held on Wednesdays in June and July. Campers ages 6-11 can explore nature by discovering habitats, mammals, reptiles, birds and insects as well as take hikes and do crafts. Limited space is available. DAY Dates: June 23 and 30, July 14 and 21 Cost: free 22306 Aldine Westeld Road, Humble 713-274-4160 www.hcp4.net/parks/mercer Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts summer camps focus on contemporary art and are available on a weekly basis for ages 5-12. The museum plans to hold camps in person with limited enrollment and other COVID-19 precautions in place. ART DAY Dates: June 14-Aug. 6 (no camp July 5-9) Cost: $200-$225 6823 Cypresswood Drive, Spring 281-376-6322 www.pearlmfa.org School of Rock oers weeklong camps for various ages and skill levels. The Tomball camp oers The Beatles, Green Day and ‘80s rock camps, while Spring
oers Classic Rock Rewind, Rock 101, Best of the ‘90s and a songwriting camp. ART DAY Dates: June 14-July 16; May 31-July 2 Cost: $399-$400 22424 Hwy. 249, Ste. A, Tomball; Stageworks Theatre oers summer camps for various ages, including camps for ages 6-12 and ages 13-18. Camp lengths vary, and themes include Horror Show, It Must Be Love and The Seussication of Romeo and Juliet. ART DAY Dates: June 7-Aug. 20 Cost: $150-$485 10760 Grant Road, Houston 281-587-6100 www.stageworkstx.org Trinity Klein Summer Camp is geared for students entering rst to sixth grade. Each week explores a theme, from Chef Showdown to Mad Scientists. Trinity Klein also has a camp for students ages 3-5. DAY Dates: June 7-Aug. 6 21117 I-45 N., Ste. 600, Spring 281-246-4475; 832-246-7625 www.schoolofrock.com
Cost: $165-$190; $150-$175 18926 Klein Church Road, Spring 281-376-5773 www.trinityklein.org
water days, crafts and outdoor education. Campers can also participate in science, technology, engineering and math activities, healthy eating education and physical activities. DAY Dates: June 7-Aug. 20 Cost: $175-$215 per week 19915 Hwy. 249, Houston 281-469-1481 www.ymcahouston.org/locations/d-bradley- mcwilliams-ymca-cypress-creek VIRTUAL CAMPS Language Kids World hosts virtual camps where ages 3-10 can be taught languages by native-speaking educators in a play-based setting. Languages include Spanish, French, German, Mandarin Chinese, Italian, American Sign Language and English. A+ Dates: TBD Cost: $35-$75 per week 281-565-1388 www.languagekids.com/virtual- classes-and-camps
Vicki Michelle’s Aerial Cirque Camp teaches children age 8 and older aerial skills, tumbling, contortion, exibility and conditioning. Sanitation policies are in place, and limited spaces are available. ART DAY Dates: July 12-15 Cost: $175 17315 Stuebner Airline Road, Spring 281-379-4020 www.vickimichelle.net YMCA Camp Cullen allows campers ages 5-17 to choose among activities such as water sports, horseback riding, nature exploration, science, arts and drama. Teen leadership camps are also oered. ART NIGHT SP
Dates: June 6-Aug. 7 Cost: $1,295-$2,795 460 Cullen Loop, Ste. A, Trinity 936-594-2274 www.ymcacampcullen.org
YMCA Outdoor Adventure Day Camp oers in-house and virtual eld trips,
THURSDAY, APRIL 8, 2021 Virtual Event | 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. ECONOMIC FORECASTS VIRTUAL EXHIBIT HALL INSPIRING SPEAKERS
Individual Registration, Sponsor & Exhibitor spots now available! HoustonNWChamber.org/EcoForum
Art Dash Party - Friday, April 9 Tickets on sale now. Visit www.TheWoodlandsArtsCouncil.org Fine Art, Music, Food and Fun Festival Early Access 60 +
Festival proceeds benefit the year-round community and education outreach programs. Because Art Matters Following all CDC and COVID-19 Health Guidelines.
SPRING KLEIN EDITION • MARCH 2021
BY HANNAH ZEDAKER
SUMMER CAMP Allegro Violin School will host a ve-day summer camp for students in July. Current students will play the music they have learned during private lessons, while newcomers will learn a special arrangement to join intermediate and advanced students. New students will be able to participate in the summer camp if they begin private lessons in April. Interested campers can contact Allegro Violin School for details on camp costs. Dates: July 12-16
The school only schedules one lesson at a time, sanitizes between lessons, and strongly enforces the use of facemasks.
Allegro Violin School founder Chaiwat Rodsuwan is able to teach students from a separate room with the help of technology. (Photos courtesy Allegro Violin School)
AllegroViolin School Retired music teacher of 25 years gives back through private lessons F or Chaiwat Rodsuwan,
in the U.S., and in 1986 he moved to the U.S. to get his master’s degree. Since then, Rodsuwan said he has made it his life’s mission to thank those who made his music education possible by paying it forward to the next generation. Rodsuwan taught music in Aldine ISD for 25 years, during which he also taught private lessons to students after school. “My mission during the day was just to help those students who didn’t get the chance to take private lessons,” he said. “But I felt like I could be doing more.” When he retired in 2019, he opened Allegro Violin School inside a renovated former ranch house o Spring Cypress Road. The school has nine teachers and oers violin, viola, cello, guitar and piano lessons to
musicians of all ages and skill levels. When the coronavirus pandemic hit the Greater Houston area last March, Rodsuwan switched to virtual lessons, and enrollment dropped by half. Allegro Violin School reopened in the fall with strict guidelines in place, and Rodsuwan said enrollment has since more than doubled, surpassing its pre-pandemic high. Following the mid-February winter storm, Rodsuwan said he has temporarily relocated Allegro Violin School to the vacant building next door—a former event venue—as the school is undergoing repairs for damage caused by burst pipes. “Music is a good medicine when things are stressful, so we’re not letting [COVID-19] stop us fromwhat we love to do,” he said.
Rodsuwan opened Allegro Violin School on Spring Cypress Road in 2019.
founder of Allegro Violin School in Spring, music is much more than just a pastime: It is a way of life. “As far back as I can remember, I loved to play music,” Rodsuwan said. “I just knew it was my life’s calling.” Originally from a rural village in Thailand, Rodsuwan said his love of music began at a young age. By the time he joined middle school band, Rodsuwan had taught himself to play the guitar and recorder. He then learned to read and play music by ear and play the piano and trumpet. It was not until college, however, that Rodsuwan learned to play the violin—now his primary instrument. Rodsuwan’s instructor encouraged him to continue his music education
AllegroViolin School 9834 Spring Cypress Road, Houston 832-398-6133 www.allegroviolinschool.com Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM
DINING FEATURE Abby’s Bagels &More
THE PERFECT BITE
Abby’s Bagels & More specializes in New York-style bagels, a product the Stapletons said is more labor intensive than many people realize. Form the dough. Proof the dough to allow the yeast to rise for several hours. Cool the dough to allow the yeast to develop a richer, deeper avor. Boil the bagels in a kettle to allow the steam to give bagels a crispy exterior. Add toppings to both the top and bottom of the bagel. Bake the bagels. The bagels will then develop their shiny exterior and chewy interior. 1 2 3 4 5 6
After 25 years of business, bakery nds new ownership in pandemic A lthough 2020 was a hard year for all businesses, it was an even harder year to relaunch a local business, Abby’s Bagels & More owners Erin and Mary Stapleton said. The Stapletons bought the restaurant, which originally opened in 1995 and was called Abby’s Cafe and Bakery, in December 2019 and reopened it Feb. 10, 2020—just before the coronavirus pandemic forced many businesses to shut down in March 2020. The previous owner listed the cafe as “permanently closed” in December, so Mary said she and her husband are still nding regular customers who did not know the business had reopened. “People just don’t knowwe’re here,” she said. “But once they come in and they nd us, they love us.” Throughout the pandemic, Erin said it has been incredibly dicult to stay open. He said the bakery relied heavily on event catering, and it did not qualify for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program. Despite the strain, he said getting ingrained in the community has been rewarding, from delivering bagels to local distilleries making hand sanitizer to getting to know the specic order of each customer. Abby’s Bagels specializes in New York-style bagels with crisp exteriors and chewy interiors. “We’re the best-kept secret in this area for sure,” Erin said. “So people are rediscovering us even much-needed relief, allowing them to become even more protable and integrated into the community. “We’re not looking to become rich. Nobody really is going to become rich from owning a restaurant,” Erin said. “But having that richness of community? That’s been the most rewarding part so far.” though we’re in a new phase of the bakery.” Mary and Erin said they hope 2021 brings BY ANDY LI
Erin andMary Stapleton reopened Abby’s Bagels &More—formerly Abby’s Cafe and Bakery—on FM 1960 in February 2020.
ANDY LICOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
BAGELS TO TRY
The Taylor Pork roll ($4.69) is a classic New Jersey breakfast with potato, cheese, eggs and pork. ANDY LICOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
TheLoxsandwich ($8.99) comes with smoked salmon, creamcheese, red onions, tomatoes and capers. COURTESY ABBY’S BAGELS & MORE
The classic bacon, egg and cheese ($4.69) is a popular bagel breakfast sandwich.
ANDY LICOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
Abby’s Bagels &More 4443 FM 1960, Houston 281-580-8500 www.abbysbagels.com Hours: Tue.-Fri. 7 a.m.-1 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 8 a.m.-1 p.m., closed Mon.
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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM
DOMINO EFFECT DOMINO EFFECT
Unprecedented cold weather led to widespread power and water outages in the Greater Houston area throughout the week of Feb. 14-19.
Falling water pressure
The city of Houston issues a boil-water notice Feb. 17 due to water pressure dropping below 20 pounds per square inch. This also affects regional water authorities that source water from plants in the main system.
Extreme cold increases demand for electricity, straining the state’s power grid, which is largely operated by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. To stabilize the grid, ERCOT orders rolling blackouts Feb. 14.
Outages drop temperatures inside houses, indirectly causing water in pipes to freeze and expand, damaging the pipes. To prevent damage, some Greater Houston-area residents continually drip faucets, which can lower water pressure.
Once electricity is restored and/or
Winter storms bring subfreezing temperatures to the Greater Houston area for three consecutive days.
temperatures rise, the once-frozen pipes thaw exposing damaged pipes and leading to water damage.
SOURCES: ELECTRIC RELIABILITY COUNCIL OF TEXAS, HOUSTON PUBLIC WORKS, GREATER HOUSTON BUILDERS ASSOCIATION/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
50 Harris County residents had been confirmed to have died of hypothermia or carbon monoxide poisoning. Unprecedentedcrisis On Feb. 14, every county in Texas was under a winter storm warning, according to the National Weather Service. The stormbrought record-cold temperatures: Houston beat its record for the lowest temperature high with 35 degrees, previously set in 1895. Freezing weather has only led to two other incidents in ERCOT’s history, once in December 1989 and again in February 2011. Following the 2011 incident, a federal report recommended ERCOT and other authorities make winterization efforts a top priority. Over the past decade, however, ERCOT failed to do so. Founded in 1970, ERCOT manages the power grid that covers most of the state. While it is technically a nonprofit, it is regulatedby thePublic Utility Commission of Texas, a state agency. It facilitates the wholesale and retail markets, oversees grid capacity and generation, and ensures access to transmission, although the council itself does not own plants or infrastructure. In preparation for the storm, ERCOT did alert generators and distribution
partners that the storm would bring “record-breaking demand” to the system, but some lawmakers pointed out the decisions that set up the grid for failure weremade years in advance. In a Feb. 17 statement, ERCOT said around 185 generating units were removedfromthegrid,which it initially attributed to frozen wind turbines, limited gas supply and pressure, and frozen instrumentation. Most of the lost generation was from natural gas and coal, which dropped 20% of their output Feb. 15, per federal energy data. Stormaftermath Damage estimates for the February event are not yet known, but the Insurance Council of Texas has said it expects it to be the largest claims event in the state’s history. “We are projecting into the hundreds of thousands of claims,” said Camille Garcia, the council’s director of communication. According to state officials, substantial damage occurred after the freeze as water lines broke. Due to the power outages, temperatures dropped inside homes and businesses, indirectly causing water in pipes to freeze and expand. Once electricity was restored and temperatures rose, the once-frozen pipes thawed, leading to water damage. Harris County Engineering Department officials estimated around 55,000 homes in unincorporated areas of Harris County have pipe damage. In Spring ISD, district officials reported an estimated $41,000 in damages, while Cy-Fair ISD officials estimated $5 million to $6 million in damages. While Klein ISD was still conducting its facilities audit as of March 4, district officials said the damage was “very minimal.” Energy reform In the immediate aftermath of the storm, Gov. Greg Abbott made ERCOT reform an emergency item during the 2021 Texas legislative session and the Legislature began hearings Feb. 25with ERCOT and the PUC.
Former ERCOT CEO Bill Magness— who was ousted by the board March 3—told lawmakers during the hearings that the council can make recommendations for how plants should winterize but said generators essentially follow an honor system when it comes to implementing them. Lawmakers pondered several ways to better enforcewinterization, ranging from giving ERCOT the power to issue fines for violations to mandating winterization in state law. State Rep. Sam Harless, R-Spring, sent a letter to the ERCOT board of directors Feb. 17 calling out the organization for not taking the proper precautions despite being warned about the repercussions of not winterizing facilities a decade ago in the post-2011 storm report. “My constituents demand action, and I echo their anger and frustration,” Harless said in a Feb. 17 statement. “I ... fully intend to hold leadership accountable for their failures.” Locally, several Harris County officials floated but ultimately moved away from the possibility of the county leaving the state’s power grid. At a March 1 meeting, commissioners unanimously voted to have the county attorney represent the county in ongoing state conversations about improving ties with other power grids. Commissioners also called on the entire PUC board to resign. Following Magness’ removal and the resignations of several ERCOT board members, the entire PUC board had also resigned by March 17. “The lack of adequate [storm] preparation by the ERCOT CEO and the PUC chair, their failure to plan for the worst-case scenario and ... to communicate in a timely manner dictates theyarenot theones tooversee the reforms,” Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said in a statement March 1. Hunter Marrow and Ben Thompson contributed to this report.
CONTINUED FROM 1
“It literally saved us close to half a million dollars,” Lewis said. The state’s isolated energy grid was one of several faults pointed out by critics that contributed to devastating outages and have since led to a political reckoning unlike few before it. Across the CenterPoint Energy service area, which includes the Spring and Klein area as well as Harris County, 1.42 million customers were put in the dark by 8 p.m. Feb. 15, and it took four days before almost all were restored, according to CenterPoint Energy data. During that time, the Spring Fire Department responded to 446 calls, while the Klein Fire Department responded to 332 calls. “We ran a month’s worth of calls in about five days,” SFD Chief Scott Seifert said. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas is the electricity coordinator for CenterPoint Energy and is one of several regulatory bodies under scrutiny. ERCOT officials said the company had to force outages for more than 70 hours statewide to avoid a wider energy shutdown. However, this put many people in harm’s way, as Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said March 1 that at least
More than 1 million CenterPoint Energy customers in the Greater Houston area were without power throughout the week of Feb. 14-19. WINTER COLLAPSE
For more information, visit communityimpact.com .
Feb. 15 Feb. 16 Feb. 17 Feb. 18 Feb. 19
SOURCE: CENTERPOINT ENERGY/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
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