Bay Area Edition | March 2021

BAY AREA EDITION

VOLUME 3, ISSUE 8  MARCH 26APRIL 22, 2021

ONLINE AT

Electric shock: Winter event sends shivers through Texas grid

XXXXXXX LOCAL VOTER GUIDE GUIDE 2021 TRANSPORTATION CAMP GUIDE 2021 I45, Holland intersection ipping IMPACTS GUIDE

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13°

hours of power outages occurred statewide. 70.5

Houstonians experienced water leaks as a result of the freeze. 1 in4

SOURCES: NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE, FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY, ELECTRIC

was the lowest temperature reached in Houston during the storm.

RELIABILITY COUNCIL OF TEXAS, CITY OF HOUSTONCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

9

The week of Feb. 15, the Bay Area, including this League City neighborhood, was covered with snow.

COURTESY RICO DANIELS

BY JAKE MAGEE Responding to Winter Storm Uri the week of Feb. 15 came in waves, League City ocials said. First it was a messaging campaign to let people know how to prepare for what ended up being a historic storm for Texas. League City prepared by purchasing salt, making sure

vehicles worked and readying road barricades for potential closures. At this point, the city did not know what it was in for, City Manager John Baumgartner said. The second wave was keeping people warm and buildings CONTINUED ON 20

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COVID19magnies gaps in resources, access for area communities of color

FIGHTING FOR FUNDING

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minority-owned businesses in the Clear Lake, League City and Nassau Bay areas received Paycheck Protection Program funding through August 2020.

Local teacher and politician Adri- enne Bell received a call in August from a woman of color on Galveston Island. The woman and her mother were in nancial trouble brought on by the end of federal unemployment assistance programs; without the extra benets, the two were forced to live on a combined $80 a week. “She’s like, ‘Ms. Bell, what are we supposed to do?’ And I don’t have BY COLLEEN FERGUSON & HALEY MORRISON

an answer for that,” said Bell, who was the Democratic nominee for the U.S. District 14 representative seat in November. “We’re going backwards in the areas of being able to take care of our families and ... ourselves.” Bell is among several local commu- nity leaders of color who said Black and Hispanic people in Houston have been disproportionately aected as the COVID-19 pandemic stretches on. CONTINUED ON 22

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3 in 4 2,212

area businesses were PPP recipients.

PPP loan applicants did not specify race on their applications. SOURCES: SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, U.S. CENSUS BUREAUCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

DINING

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and trust use.

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ABOUT US

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.

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

FROMPAPAR: When I moved to Texas, I thought hurricanes would be most concerning, but Winter Storm Uri had other plans for us. Our front-page story this month addresses what we have learned from Uri and its eects on our region. Papar Faircloth, GENERALMANAGER

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FROM JAKE: It seems like we just had elections for local bodies, and that’s because we did! May 2020’s local elections were pushed to November 2020 due to COVID-19, but May 2021’s elections are unaected. Read our Q&As to learn about the candidates running for Clear Creek ISD (see Page 15). Jake Magee, EDITOR

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BAY AREA EDITION • MARCH 2021

IMPACTS

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

NOWOPEN 1 Mt. Zion Barbershop opened at 3138 E. NASA Parkway, Ste. C, Seabrook, in January. The business provides haircuts and beard trims on a first-come, first- served basis. The barbershop, which is the first one in Seabrook in years, does not take appointments to help those in a hurry. According to owner Scott Nakamoto, the shop “celebrates our freedom and love for America.” 281-957-9320 2 Eggcellence Cafe & Bakery opened its eighth location in early February at 20971 Gulf Freeway, Webster. The restaurant serves breakfast items, such as waffles, pancakes, bacon and eggs, along with a lunch menu of burgers, soups, salads and more. Eggcellence also has a location at 1507 W. Bay Area Blvd., Ste. A, Webster. 832-240-4541. www.eggcellencecafe.com 3 Texas Huddle Grille and Sports Bar opened in January at 803 E. NASA Parkway, Webster. The restaurant serves burgers, wings, tacos, drinks and more while streaming major sporting events, such as NASCAR races and UFC fights. The business also allows for private parties and group reservations. 832-240-4694. www.texashuddle.com 4 Family Dollar opened Jan. 15 at 915 E. NASA Parkway, Webster. The business features 40 aisles of items ranging from party supplies to cleaning items to toys to clothes. The average price per item is less

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ARMAND BAYOU NATURE CENTER

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SEABROOK

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CLEAR LAKE

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FORGE RIVER RD

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GALVESTON BAY

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NASSAU BAY

WEBSTER

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518

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LEAGUE CITY

EMMETT F. LOWRY EXPRESSWAY

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

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Life is more fun by the Bay! The Shores at Clear Lake Senior Living offers resort-style accommodations with exceptional and innovative care in the Houston area. We specialize in assisted living and memory care services, combining the highest quality of attention and support to provide you with the care you deserve. We are providing all of the services you or your loved one could need while continuing to ensure that our residents live healthy, vibrant lives. Call to schedule a tour 281-823-8088 FIRST-CLASS SENIOR LIVING COME SEE FOR YOURSELF!

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY COLLEEN FERGUSON & JAKE MAGEE

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Eggcellence Cafe & Bakery

Family Dollar

COURTESY CITY OF WEBSTER

COURTESY CITY OF WEBSTER

than $15. 281-204-1181. www.familydollar.com

3, Ste. 1, Webster. The business sells hookahs; vapes; and CBD products, including gummy snacks, sodas, teas and more. CBD is a byproduct of hemp that offers medical benefits without the psychoactive effects of THC and marijuana. 832-932-5986. www.facebook.com/cbdnmorewebster COMING SOON 10 Despite Alamo Drafthouse Cinema filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the incoming League City location is unaffected. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema filed for bankruptcy March 3 and announced the closure of two Texas theaters: Alamo Drafthouse Marketplace in New Braunfels and The Ritz in downtown Austin. Other locations are unaffected because they are franchises. Alamo Drafthouse is still set to open in League City by the end of the year at Victory Lakes Town Center at the northeast corner of I-45 and FM 646. www.drafthouse.com/houston 11 A new dog park will be coming to Hometown Heroes Park, 1001 E. League City Parkway, League City. The park is being called Eastside Dog Park for now, according to League City officials, and the project will break ground this summer. 281-554-1180. www.leaguecity. com/3245/parks-and-facilities 12 Big Phil’s Soul and Creole Cafe will open Easter weekend at 10000 Emmett F. Lowry Expressway, Ste. 1136, Texas City. The eatery will be the largest Black-owned restaurant in Galveston County, according to its Facebook page, with a 4,700-square- foot dining room and 40 outdoor patio seats able to accommodate more than 130

Sweet Paris Creperie and Cafe

COURTESY SWEET PARIS CREPERIE & CAFE

5 M Spa Face and Body opened in late 2020 at 1400 FM 528, Ste. A, Webster. The medical spa specializes in “natural rejuvenation with minimal downtime” that uses “balanced, state-of-the-art” techniques to reinvigorate clients. 281-886-7006. www.mspatexas.com 6 The Lost Cajun opened its League City location at 3010 Gulf Freeway S., Ste. 1, on Feb. 24. The eatery serves Cajun favorites from fried seafood and beignets to gumbo and jambalaya. The location is the seventh in Texas and the third in the Houston area with other franchises in Cypress and Humble. 832-820-8781. www.thelostcajun.com 7 Floor and Decor opened a location at 20740 Gulf Freeway, Webster, in late 2020. The Atlanta-based retailer offers a selection of tile, wood and stone flooring accessories as well as related tools sourced directly from manufacturers or quarries worldwide, according to the 8 Bird’s Eye View Optometry opened its third Houston-area location Jan. 15 at 1355 E. League City Parkway, Ste. 200, League City. The new location offers routine and comprehensive eye exams, contact lens and glasses evaluations, and surgical co-management, per the business’s website. The other two offices are in the Katy and Tanglewood neighborhoods. 713-944-4182. www.birdseyeviewoptometry.com. 9 CBD & More Shop opened within the past few months at 17054 Hwy. website. 281-724-6187. www.flooranddecor.com

FEATURED IMPACT ANNIVERSARY Sweet Paris Creperie and Cafe is celebrating one year at 700 Baybrook Mall, Friendswood, with a reopening. “When COVID[-19] hit, we did not have the same opportunity as previous locations to ocially celebrate our ninth Creperie,” co-founder Allison Chavez said. “We are excited for the Sweet Paris in Baybrook Mall to reopen, share the concept and revive the art of eating crepes with the Friendswood community. We want guests to know they can still visit us in a healthy and customers at full capacity. The menu will be a soul and Creole fusion. www.facebook.com/bpsoulcreolecafe EXPANSIONS 13 By September, it is expected a nearly 35,000-square-foot expansion to Houston Physicians Hospital at 333 N. Texas Ave., Webster, will be complete. The expansion includes a kitchen, dining facility, staff meeting room and more on the first floor; four new operating rooms on the second floor; and a dedication of the third floor to post-acute recovery. The expansion will result in the creation of 20 jobs. 281-957-6058. www.houstonphysicianshospital.com

safe environment.” The restaurant is reopening with COVID-19 guidelines and safety protocols in place. The menu for the restaurant includes sweet and savory crepes as well as sandwiches and salads. 346-230-8090. www.sweetparis.com

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IN THE NEWS 14 Aerospace company Nanoracks , which is located at 503 Forge River Road, Webster, announced in late December the private firm had been sold to investors. According to its website, Nanoracks builds tools to allow for the repurpose of in-space hardware into space stations called Outposts, which Nanoracks and its customers will use to research and manufacture. 281-984-4040. www.nanoraocks.com

THIS INFORMATION WAS ACCURATE AS OF MARCH 18. FOLLOW COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM FOR THE LATEST BUSINESS AND RESTAURANT NEWS UPDATES.

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BAY AREA EDITION • MARCH 2021

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES I45, HollandRoad undergoing yearslong intersection ip

COMPLETED PROJECT

ROAD FLIP While the Texas Department of Transportation is ipping the intersection of I-45 and Holland Road so I-45 passes over Holland, motorists will have to use detours to avoid construction.

E. WALKER ST.

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BY JAKE MAGEE

During the months of work, motor- ists may have to detour. Eastbound Holland motorists who want to go north on I-45 will have to turn south, enter I-45, take the exit to FM 1764, continue east and take the Century Boulevard exit, make a U-turn, drive west on FM 1764 and merge onto I-45. Those who want to go west on Holland from I-45’s northbound lanes will have to exit onto the I-45 frontage road, turn around at Hughes Road and continue south along the I-45 front- age road before reaching Holland. It is expected Holland and Lago Mar will be open to east-west trac by late next year. The intersection ip is part of TxDOT’s $230 million project to widen I-45 from north of FM 517 to south of FM 1764. The widening is expected to wrap up by late 2023. “The I-45 expansion project between FM 517 to FM 1764 will improve mobility for motorists while reducing congestion and improving safety along this heavily traveled corridor,” a TxDOT press release said. “The corridor changes will also aid in facilitating the growth and devel- opment of Galveston County and will provide the capacity to support the anticipated future growth of the surrounding communities.” The widening of I-45 between NASA Parkway and FM 518 costs $99.7 million and will nish by the end of the year, and the widening of I-45 from FM 518 to FM 517 costs $121.7 million and is expected to nish in early 2022.

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Similar to the work at the inter- section of I-45 and FM 646 that nished in summer 2019, the Texas Department of Transportation in early February began ipping the intersec- tion of I-45 and Holland Road. By the end of 2022, I-45 will pass over Holland in Dickinson, according to an email from Danny Perez, a Texas Department of Transportation public information ocer. Prior to construc- tion, Holland passed over I-45. Additionally, a new intersection at I-45 and Lago Mar Boulevard will be constructed, with I-45 passing over Lago Mar. The work will be done in three phases. First, the Holland overpass will be demolished; the construction of new frontage roads will be completed; and TxDOT will temporarily widen the existing I-45 southbound main lanes, according to Perez. The Holland overpass was demolished beginning Feb. 5. Then, all trac will shift to the southbound half of I-45, and TxDOT will construct the new I-45 north- bound main lanes, including the I-45 northbound lanes over Holland and Lago Mar. Finally, all trac will shift to the northbound side of I-45, and TxDOT will construct the new southbound main lane overpasses at both inter- sections and complete the east-west roadways below I-45. TxDOT will also build dedicated U-turns at the intersections, according to Perez.

Dickinson Avenue reconstruction About 2.2 miles of Dickinson Avenue between Walker Street and FM 646 have been reconstructed into a two- lane concrete street with curb and gutter. The project was supposed to nish in early 2020, but delays pushed it into late 2020. Timeline: January 2019-late 2020 Cost: $7 million Funding sources: Galveston County, city of League City

HUGHES RD.

Eastbound Westbound KEY:

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ONGOING PROJECT

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Closure

CALDER RD.

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LAGO MAR BLVD.

Turner Street and Butler Road reconstruction Turner Street between Butler and Calder roads, and Butler up to League City Parkway, will be converted to concrete with a continuous left turn lane and a roundabout. With COVID-19 and Winter Storm Uri, the projected completion was pushed from Decem- ber 2020 to April 2021. Timeline: November 2019-April 2021 Cost: $4.04 million Funding source: city of League City

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ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF MARCH 8. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT BAYNEWSCOMMUNITYIMPACT.COM.

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SOURCE: TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

CITY&SCHOOLS

News from League City, Houston & Clear Creek ISD

Council approves rezoning for controversial apartment development

Houston police chief announces departure

Approved apartments A majority of the public comments for this development were opposed to rezoning.

BY EMMA WHALEN

BY JAKE MAGEE

HOUSTON Police Chief Art Acev- edo is leaving Houston to become Miami’s police chief, according to a late-night March 14 email con- rmed by the ocers’ union. Troy Finner, executive assistant chief of the Houston Police Depart- ment, will serve as the city’s next chief of police. “My goal was to nd someone who was fully capable of leading this department from day one who knows the city, its neighborhoods

the district, said Superintendent Eric Williams and Casey O’Pry, CCISD assistant superintendent of human resources. March is when the district gets the most applicants for the upcoming school year, O’Pry said; trustee Page Rander concurred and said for this reason, there is a sense of urgency around providing the payments. “If we don’t do it now, later is going to be too late,” she said. “We’re coming up on contract renewals and the time when teach- ers start shopping around for other options.” The money for the payments will come from a reserve fund that was initially set up for capital purchases but can be used for other circum- stances, said Paul McLarty, CCISD deputy superintendent of business and support services. The pandemic response fund began at $10.9 million, and $7.4 million of that money went toward purchasing laptops to complete CCISD’s one-to-one device program, McLarty said. While it is possible some of the laptop costs could be reimbursed, McLarty said he does not anticipate they will. McLarty said providing these payments nowwill not hinder the district from giving salary increases required to be commercial proper- ties, such as restaurants and retail shops. The rezoning allows the entire complex to be residential, which residents voiced opposition to. Dozens, if not hundreds, of residents spoke at the Feb. 9 meeting or wrote the council to voice almost unanimous opposition to rezoning the land, citing increased trac, property values and quality of life as major concerns. However, city sta supported the rezoning, noting retail shops would be built near the apartment building. Council members hardly discussed the itemMarch 9 before voting, having debated the topic at length Feb. 9. Council Members Nick Long—who originally proposed the motion to

Pinnacle Park Apartments 339 units

District to provide stawith COVID19- related bonuses LEAGUE CITY After hours of debate at a Feb. 9 meeting, City Council on March 9 narrowly approved rezoning land to make way for an apartment development near Big League Dreams Parkway and Brookport Drive. As a result of the council’s vote, the parcel will be rezoned from mixed-use commercial to multi- family residential on the condition one of the development’s corner buildings be developed into a retail property within 18 months. Devel- oper CityStreet Residential Partners plans to build a 339-unit apartment complex known as Pinnacle Park Apartments on the land. Had the land remained mixed-use commercial, the ground oor of the development would have been

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SOURCE: CITY OF LEAGUE CITY COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

NUMBERS TOKNOW is the amount full-time Clear Creek ISD employees received as a bonus Feb. 26 to recognize their work during the pandemic. is how much half- time employees will receive as a bonus April 16. $500 $250 approve the rezoning—Justin Hicks and Andy Mann voted against the motion. Council Member Chad Tressler abstained from the vote as he recused himself from the pro- cess because he accepted campaign donations from someone related to the deal. next year because the payments are being funded through a dierent part of the budget. Still, Bowen and Davis said the district could face an uphill battle with funding in the coming months, which led both to say they felt the measure’s timing was poor. Davis said it is unclear howmuch it will cost to repair storm damage at nearly 40 of the district’s 45 cam- puses and added CCISD is already a preferred district for both sta and families. “I’m not sure that we need to keep up with the Joneses just because other districts are doing this,” Davis said. “These other districts might not be ... competition for future employ- ees that we may be trying to recruit.” Bowen agreed. “At the end of the day, no single drop thinks it’s responsible for a ood,” he said.

and its people and someone

who would work every single day to gain and maintain

Clear Creek ISD board of trustees meets at 6 p.m. the fourth Monday of each month at 1955 W. NASA Blvd., Webster. Watch online at www.ccisd.net/ boardmeeting. Houston City Council meets weekly at 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays for public comment and 9 a.m. Wednesdays for regular business at 901 Bagby St., Houston. Meetings are streamed at www.houstontx.gov/htv. League City City Council meets at 6 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 400 W. Walker St., League City. Watch at www.facebook.com/ leaguecitytexas. MEETINGSWECOVER the trust of our diverse community,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said of Finner. Acevedo, who was born in Cuba, is Houston’s rst Hispanic police chief. Over his tenure, Acevedo led the department through natural disasters, including Hurricane Harvey and anti-police brutality protests in the wake of Houston native George Floyd’s death. “From natural disasters to citywide celebration, he has never hesitated to stand with the city of Houston in times of celebration and crisis,” Turner said of Acevedo. Troy Finner

BY COLLEEN FERGUSON

CLEARCREEK ISD All district employees—except for the superin- tendent and the superintendent’s cabinet members—will be receiving one-time payments of up to $500 to recognize the extra risks and eorts associated with doing their jobs during the pandemic. The board of trustees voted to approve the payments at its Feb. 22 meeting, though trustees Michelle Davis and Scott Bowen opposed the measure due to its timing amid budgetary uncertainty. The district will spend $2.8 million to provide its 5,480 employees, approximately 2,800 of whom are teachers, with payments of either $250 or $500, according to district leaders and board meeting documents. Staers working more than half time received $500 payments Feb. 26, and those working less than half-time will receive $250 payments April 16. The move is intended to express gratitude to current CCISD staers and to attract prospective ones to

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BAY AREA EDITION • MARCH 2021

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

2021

C A M P G U I D E

GUIDE

A noncomprehensive list of camps in the area

COMPILED BY COLLEEN FERGUSON

Bricks and MiniFigs will host Lego-build- ing summer camps. The themes of the camps will be Jedi Engineering, Trans- portation Engineering and Pokemon En- gineering. Camps will be geared toward children ages 5-7 from 9 a.m.-noon and ages 7-12 from 1-4 p.m. Camps will run for ve days with children either in the afternoon or morning session. A+ DAY Dates: June 7-11 and July 19-23 Cost: $150 11200 Broadway St., Ste. 710, Pearland 281-741-0279 www.bricksandminigs.com/pearland-tx Summer Dance Camp at Amy Blake’s Academy of Dance allow young dancers to take classes in ballet, tap, jazz and modern dance as well as doing crafts and specialty classes, such as dance history and theater makeup. Dancers rehearse during the week for a show, which is presented to the parents on the last day of class. Camps are for ages 3-5 or 6-12. ART DAY Dates: June 7-11, June 21-25, July 12-16, July 26-30 Cost: $180-$200 410 E. Edgewood Drive, Friendswood 281-482-0600 www.amyblakedance.com/parties-camps/ dance-camp Summer Academy short camps oer courses grouped according to grade levels with small classes for maximum gain. Elementary and junior high students choose from a wide range of math and communications courses designed for fun as well as improvement. Courses are for students ages 8-16. A+ DAY Dates: weekly June 7-July 16 Cost: $259-$395 Location varies by class 713-231-8032 www.compucamp2021.com VIRTUAL CAMPS Language Kids World camps give children interested in learning Span- ish, French, Italian, Mandarin Chinese, German, English and American Sign Language the opportunity to engage in hands-on activities, games, art projects, music and more via Zoom. The virtu- al-only classes are for ages 3-5 and 5-11, as well as some intermediate classes for students ages 5-12 based on prociency. A+ DAY Dates: weekly June 1-Aug. 27 Cost: $35-$75 per week 281-565-1388 www.languagekids.com/virtual- classes-and-camps

pand on their STEM skills and make new friends. Camps are for ages 6-15. A+ DAY Dates: weekly half- and full-day camps from June 7-Aug. 6 Cost: $199-$350 per week 3725 E. League City Parkway, Ste. 140, League City 281-339-7482 www.codeninjas.com/tx-league-city/ camps YMCA Youth Wonder Day Camp and Teen Camp places special emphasis on youth choice, achievement and a sense of be- longing. Activities may include sports and outdoor games, creative and performing arts, archery, engineering and nature exploration. Camps are for ages 5-15. DAY Dates: weekly June 1-Aug. 13 Cost: starts at $155 1700 W. League City Parkway, League City 281-338-9622 www.ymcahouston.org/summer-camp WEBSTER Absolute Volleyball Academy oers vol- leyball camps for all skill levels. Camps are curated to allow players the opportu- nity to improve their volleyball knowl- edge and abilities through skills training in a competitive practice atmosphere. DAY SP Dates: weekly June 1-Aug. 12 Cost: $120-$225 380 Green Wing St., Webster 901-734-0159 www.avatexas.com/summercamps Sport Divers will have a scuba camp this year where students ages 10 and up will receive their scuba certication. The camp includes academics and information, a lunch break, and scuba-diving practice in both pools and open water. Students must provide their own mask, ns and snorkel. Those interested can email info@sportdiv- ers.com for more information. DAY SP Dates: TBA Cost: $550 per week 20814 Gulf Freeway, Ste. 60, Webster 281-338-1611 www.sportdivers.com OTHER LOCATIONS Bailey Oaks Farms is oering horseback riding camps for children ages 6-12. Campers will ride, groom, tack and care for their horses at the business’s 40-acre

Whether campers are interested in furthering their studies, expanding their creativity, playing sports or going for outdoor adventures, the Bay Area has numerous options for all ages. This list is not comprehensive.

A+ Academics ART Arts DAY Day NIGHT Overnight SP Sports

Dorado Blvd., Houston 832-425-2329 www.bayareayouthsingers.org/ music-camp GALVESTON

SUMMER CAMPS CLEAR LAKE

Space Center U is Space Center Houston’s multiday educational experience, taking science, technology, engineering and math learning to a new level for inter- mediate- and high school-age students through immersive and rigorous chal- lenges. Activities include rocket launch- es, habitat design and heat shield testing as well as exploring all that Space Center Houston has to oer. Registration opens March 31. Camps are for ages 11-18. A+ DAY Dates: May 29-31, June 21-23 or weekly May 31-Aug. 27 Cost: $375-$675 per session 1601 NASA Parkway, Houston 281-283-4755 www.spacecenter.org/camps Explorer Camps at Space Center Houston give campers ages 6-11 the chance to spend four or ve days exploring science, technology, engineering and math, com- pleting engaging activities that develop and encourage STEM skills and interest. Camps take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Registration will open March 31. A+ DAY Dates: June 1-Aug. 6 Bay Area Youth Singers oers a morning session camp in which students ages 6-14 will sing and partake in beginning instru- mental music instruction on keyboard, ukelele, percussion instruments, violin, hand bells and chimes. A concert takes place at the end of the week. Registration will open April 1. ART DAY Dates: July 12-16 Cost: $170 Clear Lake Presbyterian Church, 1511 El Dorado Blvd., Houston 832-425-2329 www.bayareayouthsingers.org/ music-camp Bay Area Youth Singers also oers an option for young thespians ages 6-14 to sing, dance and act during an afternoon session camp, culminating in a perfor- mance at the end of the week. Registra- tion opens April 1. A+ ART DAY NIGHT SP Dates: July 12-16 Cost: $170 Clear Lake Presbyterian Church, 1511 El Cost: $229-$350 per session 1601 NASA Parkway, Houston 281-283-4755 www.spacecenter.org/camps

Moody Gardens invites young wildlife engineers to explore their zoological interests at the Wild Marvels day camps . Young learners can attend to discover more about the nitty-gritty jobs neces- sary to take care of animals. Campers will explore Moody Gardens attractions, participate in design challenges, conduct experiments and create art inspired by nature. Camps are for ages 5-14. A+ DAY Dates: June 14-18, July 12-16, Aug. 2-6 Cost: $200-$250 per week 1 Hope Blvd., Galveston 409-683-4211 www.moodygardens.com/plan_event/ education/pyramidcamps Sea Star Base Galveston campers will get to experience arts and crafts, sailing, shing, kayaking, snorkeling, swimming, oceanography, marine biology and sports—including the new addition of archery—this summer. Day camps are for ages 10-12, and campers ages 8-17 can participate in overnight camps. DAY NIGHT Dates: weekly starting May 30 Cost: $250 a week for day camp, $500 a week for overnight camp 7509 Broadway St., Galveston 409-572-2560 www.ssbgalveston.org/camps LEAGUE CITY Bay Area Arts Conservatory campers audition, rehearse and then perform one of three shows depending on the session: “School House Rock,” “Peter Pan” or “Singin’ in the Rain.” The schedule is Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. with early drop-o and late pickup available. Camps are for ages 6-18. ART DAY Dates: June 7-18, June 28-July 16, July 19-Aug. 6 Cost: $425-$649 400 Hobbs Road, Ste. 202, League City 281-938-1444 www.baactx.com/summer-program Code Ninja’s weeklong camps through- out the summer cover a variety of topics related to science, technology, math and engineering. Whether campers are in- terested in 3D printing, vlogging, coding or building a website, they can gain new knowledge from the “code senseis” to ex-

facility. DAY SP Dates: May 31-July 9 Cost: $415-$515 7220 CR 128, Alvin 281-756-7254 www.baileyoaksfarms.com

13

BAY AREA EDITION • MARCH 2021

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

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

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D A T E S T O K N O W

Voters in Harris and Galveston counties can vote at any voting location within their respective counties. 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)

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SOURCE: TEXAS SECRETARY OF STATE COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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

V O T E R T U R N O U T

Harris County Galveston County

Voter turnout for elections over time

*Incumbent

60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%

Don Matter* Position 3 Ashley Graves Position 5 Sandra Mossman*

Christine Parizo At-Large Position A Jonathan Cottrell Michael Creedon Marlene Montesinos NASSAU BAY CITY COUNCIL Position 1 Don Hollowell

CLEAR CREEK ISD BOARD OF TRUSTEES District 4 Jerey Larson Page Rander* District 5 Jay Cunningham* Keith Esthay

54%

59.8%

41.5% 58.9%

59.3% 33.6%

58.4%

52%

40.7%

32.9%

2010

2012

2014

2016

2018

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BAY AREA EDITION • MARCH 2021

CANDIDATE Q&A

Get to know the candidates running in the local election

Clear Creek ISD board of trustees At-Large Position A

Occupation: Realtor and broker with Cottrell Realty Relevant experience: Member of various PTAs and education-re- lated boards cottrellforccisd@gmail.com JONATHAN COTTRELL

MICHAEL CREEDON

MARLENE MONTESINOS

KEVIN ODITT

Occupation: Retired conict resolution specialist Relevant experience: CEO of various orga- nizations, assistant director of legal clinics,

Occupation: Senior vice president for terminal company

Occupation: Exxon- Mobile maintenance manager Relevant experience:

Relevant experience: Veteran, U.S. delegate to International Mari- time Organization kevinodittforccisd@gmail.com

Former U.S. Army Reserves colonel, professionally oversees 500 employees and 2,000 contractors michaelcreedon87@gmail.com

past president of Hispanic chambers montesinosbdoftrustees@gmail.com

What should be done, if anything, to improve the remote learning experience at CCISD?

In speaking with parents and my personal experience, the district has done a good job of developing and constantly improving the remote learning experience. We need to continue to improve by listening to the voice of the teachers, students and parents. As a trustee, I will continue to monitor the prog- ress and hope this is a diminishing concern as more students return to class.

I believe that CCISD is on the right road in lling out the needs of students learning re- motely. The one thing I would improve would be in reference to those lacking the culture and the language that makes it impossible to “help students stay accountable.” Most of these parents are in frontline jobs, which keeps them from being at home, as well as not having the skills to help their kids. I would suggest a rotating, hands-on, in-home school worker. We also need to plan ahead for the time when we return to school, with appropriate protocols in place, including perhaps a lower student-teacher ratio...

The district learned a great deal about remote learning in a short period of time in 2020. To further improve, we will need to close the gaps in student access to the in- ternet, technology [such as] computers and WiFi connectivity, and helping parents create distraction-free spaces within the home to enable learning. Also, we will need to con- tinue to train our teaching sta how to best utilize remote learning tools and techniques within their lesson plans that challenge our students to be more eective independent learners across both an entire school day and a multi-week course cycle.

Our priority must be to get kids in the class- room. Remote learning, while necessary for some kids with high-risk family members, has proven much less eective than in-person education. Regardless, schools need the ability to provide eective remote learning for those kids who cannot return to the classroom. CCISD should build o the lessons it has learned over the past year to ensure it can meet these needs.

What should the district prioritize in its budgets to ensure the same quality of education?

I believe that, as a trustee, scal responsi- bility is one of my key duties. I will work to continue to ensure the children have the needed resources to succeed [and] the district operates eciently and [is] held ac- countable for every dollar spent. Regardless of what the state does, as a trustee, I want to make sure the district is always looking to be more ecient and continues to provide an excellent education to our students.

There are four focus areas that I believe the board will need to prioritize and protect if there are signicant funding cuts. First, the safety and health of our students and sta must always be our highest priority. Sec- ond, the quality and associated compen- sation of the sta is critical for the district to fulll its mission. Third, we must protect our special services so that all of our district students can excel. And fourth, we need to continue to close the gap on student access to technology especially given the recent need to accelerate remote learning.

CCISD is very fortunate that it has been able to fund the program thus far. Now we need to go to the next step, which is to concen- trate funds in engaging that 32.3% of His- panics in the CCISD system and others who are struggling to keep up with school work; otherwise we will be facing a lower skilled competitive student and a high dropout rate of the most vulnerable. We also need to be mindful of our teachers and require a love for teaching but also [pay] themwell and allow them to teach rather than be [bogged] down with administrative tasks. Finally, we must not forget about the power of volunteers.

The top priority is ensuring teachers get the right resources in the classroom to provide quality hands-on education. We must make sure CCISD attracts the best and most talented teachers and administrators. Irrespective of the pandemic, the board should always scrutinize the budget to en- sure CCISD is always a good steward of the taxpayer dollars, and the board must hold them accountable. We should rst consider delaying or deferring capital investment projects that are not essential, identifying and ensuring CCISD administration is not bloated but slim and eective, [and] look for redundant services.

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

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16

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

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

COMPILED BY JAKE MAGEE

Clear Creek ISD board of trustees District 4

Incumbent

Occupation: Consultant Relevant experience: Republican precinct chair for Heritage Park for 35 years, NASA ight controller eljefe3126@netscape. net JEFFREY LARSON

What should the district prioritize in its budgets to ensure the same quality of education?

Improve course availability for remote learning; we shouldn’t punish remote students by limiting what classes they can take. Move from synchronized remote classes to allow students to work at their own pace, with guidelines to ensure they complete the class objectives. Re- mote learning for quarantined students is more challenging than either Clear Connections or brick-and-mortar classes, so rene quarantine guidelines to eliminate false positives to allowmore students to remain in brick-and-mortar classes. Make Clear Connections a standalone school to foster a sense of identity and to cut needless overhead. I look forward to further discussion and the upcoming vote on Clear Creek ISD’s future plans for remote learning. This will involve ded- icated magnet programs for elementary and secondary students. This evolved out of lessons learned from last spring’s need to move school-to-home and this school year’s Clear Connections oerings. Clear Creek ISD is listening to Thought Exchange feedback from students, sta and parents on Clear Connections so that the district can continue to oer remote learning, with or without pandemic requirements. What should be done, if anything, to improve the remote learning experience at CCISD?

Money needs to stay in the classroom. That means focusing on compet- itive salaries for our excellent teachers and less emphasis on administra- tive overhead. We should consider reducing support for coordinators and instructional coaches. We need to keep and prioritize our excellent programs, such as our Career and Technical Education program, WAVE ... and the Science Magnet program.

As has been done in the past with possible funding cuts, Clear Creek ISD needs to focus on minimal programming—[or] class—losses, acknowledging the faculty and sta’s hard work with competitive salary plans; manage ever-evolving students needs, such as social-emotional learning; and manage school safety initiatives.

Occupation: Human resources supervisor Relevant experience: Incumbent candidate; PAGE RANDER

member of various education-related organizations pagerander4ccisd@swbell.net

Clear Creek ISD board of trustees District 5

Occupation: District manager Relevant experience: Various PTAs and education-related organizations, ve-year volunteer at Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo jay4district5@gmail.com JAY CUNNINGHAM Occupation: Recent graduate Relevant experience: Intern teacher at Texas City High School and KEITH ESTHAY

What should be done, if anything, to improve the remote learning experience at CCISD?

What should the district prioritize in its budgets to ensure the same quality of education?

In order to improve our Clear Connections piece we need to focus on the SEL piece. School is not just about the classroom learning aspect— there is the social [and] emotional piece of it where the students need to have that positive interaction among their peer group as well as that positive connection with the teacher. So more focus needs to be put on oering virtual lunch period and more interaction or group activities among the students where they have to collaborate with each other. Regarding the remote learning, as I do not have a child in the district at the moment, this is something I am currently doing my own research on. Though server and IT upgrades on the district level to handle the uptick in trac is always a good starting point.

The district should continue to focus on classroom spending and ensuring that our teachers have all of the resources that our children need and to eectively perform their jobs. Most of our constituents do not know that out of our $380 [million] budget, close to 86% is already tied up into operating expenses and salaries for our 5,000 employees. We also need to ensure that [House Bill] 3 is fully funded for the man- dates that the state has introduced.

Ensure that all of the available capital the district has is being spent appropriately and restructure contracts if needed. Essentially trimming down spending on non-necessary items. And use the resulting funds in hiring more qualied ... educators and supporting sta.

multiple-year volunteer with the Houston Safe Boating Council for the WADE program esthay.keith@outlook.com

Today, most CCISD educators teach both brick-and-mortar and Clear Connections classes. Having dedicated Clear Connections teachers would alleviate workloads and foster more focused instruction. Additionally, if students choose Clear Connections, they should be re- quired to commit to a full semester. I would push for more one-on-one interaction, so students can overcome distance learning challenges and feel more connected; this could be aided by employing qualied college teaching students as internship tutors. Finally, we need a top-down review of our technology and replace applications that consistently inhibit successful learning.

CCISD must improve planning to accommodate population growth and aggressively seek cost savings in contracts and expenses. I am against cutting funding for any student-facing position, particularly in special education. I will advocate for far better transparency in budgeting and spending; there is no reason CCISD cannot share its spending data online for review by taxpayers. Few realize that the board has voted on a rm to scope out the next massive bond package. We must be vigilant on all spending to mitigate the impact on taxpayers.

CHRISTINE PARIZO

Occupation: B2B technology content marketing writer

Relevant experience: Member of PTAs and an education-related committee contact@christineforccisd.com

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

17

BAY AREA EDITION • MARCH 2021

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