Lake Houston - Humble - Kingwood | February 2020

LAKE HOUSTON HUMBLE KINGWOOD EDITION

VOLUME 4, ISSUE 10  FEB. 3MARCH 1, 2020

ONLINE AT

PROJECTS Six Humble, Kingwood and Atascocita roads ranked in the top 25% of the state’s most congested roads per the Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s 2019 report. There are mobility projects on the books aimed at alleviating congestion. However, Harris County is also in the midst of revamping the way it allocates mobility funding, which could aect funding and build-outs of local road projects. COMPILED BY KELLY SCHAFLER PLANNED

1

Congestion rank scope Planned projects

NORTHPARK DR.

3

WOODLAND HILLS DR.

SORTERS MCCLELLAN RD.

KINGWOOD DR.

2120

Intersection improvements

1960

2

5

45

Annual delay per mile

Daily trac volume

2019 state congestion rank out of 1,800 roads

4A

4B

LAKE HOUSTON

W. LAKE HOUSTON PKWY.

1

NORTHPARK DRIVE

59

FM 1960 WEST OF HWY. 59 96,562 hours 49,537 vehicles No. 228 An access management study is being conducted between Hwy. 59 and I-45 in Spring. Raised medians will likely be added along segments of the corridor. 2

6

111,980 hours

34,941 vehicles

No. 182

The road will be expanded to six lanes from Hwy. 59 to Woodland Hills Drive. Phase 1 spans to Russell Palmer Road; Phase 2 includes Russell Palmer to Woodland Hills.

N

Ocials said there are no projects scheduled for these corridors at this time.

Phase 1: December 2020-2023 Phase 2: TBD

Cost: $86.2 million

Cost: TBD

TBD

3

4

KINGWOOD DRIVE 96,310 hours

FM 1960 EAST OF HWY. 59

5

BUSINESS FM 1960

28,511 vehicles

No. 229

85,795 hours

39,842 vehicles

No. 294

72,787 hours

16,949 vehicles

No. 381

There are no plans to expand Kingwood Drive, but pedestrian and mobility improvements are budgeted through 2024.

Two projects to address congestion will expand the corridor from four to six lanes and add a raised median.

WEST LAKE HOUSTON PARKWAY

6

mid to late 2020- mid to late 2023 mid- to late 2020- mid- to late 2024

70,327 hours

30,938 vehicles

No. 409

A

Cost: $64 million

Cost: $6.75 million

2020-24

SOURCES: HARRIS COUNTY PRECINCT 2, LAKE HOUSTON REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, TEXAS A&M TRANSPORTATION INSTITUTE, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATIONCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

B

INSIDE

17

Cost: $70 million

LakeHouston residents ght to continue lowering Lake Conroe

Elizabeth Bolt said. “We had over 3 feet of water in our home that came in the middle of the night [during Hur- ricane Harvey] with no warning.” Local residents are imploring the SJRA to continue lowering Lake Con- roe until permanent ood-preven- tion strategies, such as dredging the West Fork of the San Jacinto River and

groups of Lake Houston and Lake Con- roe residents have voiced their opin- ions on the strategy’s eectiveness. Lake Houston-area ocials said sea- sonally lowering Lake Conroe leads to fewer releases from the dam, which can reduce ooding downstream. “We’re just asking for a stop-gap measure; we just want some level of reassurance,” Kingwood resident

BY KELLY SCHAFLER AND EVA VIGH

A temporary and controversial ood-mitigation strategy to lower Lake Conroe and reduce ooding downstream of the dam and in the Lake Houston area is in jeopardy. With the San Jacinto River Authority board of directors set to vote Feb. 20onwhether tocontinue lowering the lake in the spring and fall, opposing

More than 1,000 people went to a special meeting Jan. 21 about lowering Lake Conroe.

CONTINUED ON 19

ELECTION GUIDE Primary 2020

VOTER GUIDE

11

IMPACTS

4 TODO LIST

BUSINESS FEATURE

7

14

kelsey-seybold.com/kingwood

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

THIS ISSUE

CONTENTS

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

IMPACTS

4

Now Open, Coming Soon &more TODO LIST Local events and things to do

PUBLISHERS AND FOUNDERS John and Jennifer Garrett PUBLISHERHOUSTONMETRO Jason Culpepper GENERAL MANAGER Emily Heineman, eheineman@communityimpact.com EDITORIAL

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FROMEMILY: In this issue, you will nd information on the March primary elections on Pages 11-13. Check out our sample ballot and info on our local candidates, which will help you stay informed during the elections. Additional candidate information can be found online at communityimpact.com. EMILY HEINEMAN, GENERAL MANAGER

EXECUTIVE EDITOR Joe Lanane MANAGING EDITOR Matt Stephens EDITOR Kelly Schaer COPY CHIEF Andy Comer COPY EDITORS Ben Dickerson, Kasey Salisbury STAFFWRITERS Shawn Arrajj, Andrew Christman, Vanessa Holt, Andy Li, Jake Magee, Beth Marshall, Kara McIntyre, Jen Para, Ben Thompson, Eva Vigh, Hannah Zedaker ADVERTISING ART PRODUCTIONMANAGER Tessa Hoee STAFF DESIGNERS Anya Gallant, Evelia Gramajo, Justin Howell, Kaitlin Schmidt, CaitlinWhittington, RonaldWinters BUSINESS GROUP PUBLISHER Traci Rodriguez CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER Claire Love ABOUT US John and Jennifer Garrett began Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 in Pugerville, Texas. The company’s mission is to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. CONTACT US 8400 N. Sam Houston Parkway W., Ste. 220 Houston, TX 77064 • 2814696181 communityimpact.com PRESS RELEASES lhknews@communityimpact.com SUBSCRIPTIONS communityimpact.com/subscriptions © 2020 Community Impact Newspaper Co. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction of any portion of this issue is allowed without written permission from the publisher. SALES DIRECTOR Tess Coverman ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Lagala Doran DESIGN CREATIVE DIRECTOR Derek Sullivan

FROMKELLY: The San Jacinto River Authority will vote in February on a temporary strategy that seasonally lowers Lake Conroe. The issue has divided residents in Lake Conroe, who want the strategy to end, and Lake Houston, who want it to continue until gates are added to the Lake Houston dam. KELLY SCHAFLER, EDITOR

PrimaryElectionGuide2020 TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES 8 METRO board of directors deem free fare ‘not feasible’ CITY& COUNTY 9 The latest local news

THIS ISSUE BY THE NUMBERS

community events 5

local sources 53

new businesses 8

place to curb your crawsh craving 1

VOTER GUIDE

11

Sample ballot, candidate Q&A’s BUSINESS FEATURE

14

Aquatic Care Programs

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DINING FEATURE

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Fish Tales REAL ESTATE

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Residential market data IMPACT DEALS Great local coupons

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LAKE HOUSTON  HUMBLE  KINGWOOD EDITION • FEBRUARY 2020

IMPACTS

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

NOWOPEN 1 Di Maria Fresh Food opened Dec. 10 at 20669 W. Lake Houston Parkway, Ste. P, Humble. The locally owned eatery serves a mix of Mexican-, Mediterra- nean- and Italian-style foods. Menu items include enchiladas, wraps and sandwiches, pasta, seafood and burgers. 832-777-1585. www.dimariafood.com 2 Chicken Salad Chick opened Jan. 21 at 30129 Rock Creek Drive, Kingwood, in Kingwood Place. The Southern-inspired eatery offers a variety of chicken salad options, such as traditional, savory, spicy, fruity and nutty flavors. It also serves salads, soups and sides. 281-557-6342. www.facebook.com/chickensalad chickkingwood 3 Spec’s Wine, Spirits & Finer Foods opened a new store Dec. 21 at 23611 Hwy. 59, Ste. 500, Porter, accord- ing to the East Montgomery County Improvement District. The Texas-based beverage store sells beer, wine and spirits as well as specialty foods. 281-354-0733. www.specsonline.com 4 Family Vision Center , a locally owned business, opened its second loca- tion Dec. 26 at 18700 W. Lake Houston Parkway, Ste. B101, Atascocita. The local eye care facility offers comprehensive eye exams, vision therapy and myopia control for children as well as treat- ing eye infections, injuries, dry-eyes, 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00

10

1

99 TOLL

1314

3

PORTER

ROCK CREEK DR.

8 5

K D R

N

7 2

494

KINGWOOD

Courtesy Di Maria Fresh Food

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cataracts and glaucoma. The business has a second location in Kingwood. 832-551-2020. www.bestisight.com 5 Wingstop opened a new eatery Dec. 18 at 300 Northpark Drive, Ste. 400, Kingwood. The fast-food eatery serves chicken wings and tenders with various dipping sauces and side items, such as french fries, veggie sticks, desserts and rolls. 346-398-9464. www.wingstop.com 6 Fitzgerald Family Dental Practice opened a new office Jan. 7 at 18700 W. Lake Houston Parkway, Ste. A107, Atascocita. Dr. Sean E. Fitz- gerald offers general dentistry services, such as teeth cleaning, fillings and implants at his office. 281-852-2150. www.drfitzdds.com 7 Texas-based wine and spirits retailer Twin Liquors opened Jan. 24 at 20045 Northpark Drive, Ste. 100, King-

1

1960

TIMBER FOREST DR.

RT

HUMBLE

6 4

L

P

9

ATASCOCITA

LAKE HOUSTON

MADERA RUN PKWY.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY KELLY SCHAFLER

2

10

Courtesy Chicken Salad Chick

Courtesy Airi Poke & Ramen

wood, in the Kingwood Place develop- ment. The shop features a wide selection of wine, beer and spirits. 281-688-4213. www.twinliquors.com 8 Rush Cycle began hosting classes Jan. 13 for its soft opening at 300 Northpark Drive, Ste. 500, Kingwood. Rush Cycle studios offer 45-minute indoor full-body workouts through energet- ic, choreographed rides, which feature dimmed lights and music. Franchise owners Christina Hernandez and Mon- ica Perez said the studio’s grand open- ing is set for Feb. 8. 281-749-1079. www.rushcycle.com/kingwood COMING SOON 9 Los Hermanos Taquerias will open mid-February at 5006 Atascocita Road, Ste. A, Atascocita. Owned by Humble brothers Robert Quezada and Marcus

Delgado, the counter-serve eatery will serve breakfast and lunch tacos made with fresh ingredients daily, including from- scratch flour and corn tortillas. The eatery will also serve some authentic Mexican dishes, such as menudo, Quezada said. www.facebook.com/los-hermanos-

The restaurant celebrates 40 years in February. (Courtesy J. Christopher’s Pizza & Pasta)

FEATURED IMPACT ANNIVERSARIES J. Christopher’s Pizza & Pasta , located at 2245 Northpark Drive, Kingwood, celebrates its 40-year anniversary Feb. 5. Owners Mike and Adrianna Swift bought the Italian restaurant from its original owners, the Brennan family, in 2013. Mike said the eatery will oer food and drink specials throughout February. “We want to thank Kingwood for the past 40 years, and we look forward to the next 40,” Mike said. J. Christopher’s menu features Chicago-

style pizza as well as pasta, salads and hamburgers. 281-358-6601. www.jchristopherspizzapasta.com

taquerias-100430448121877 ANNIVERSARIES

10 Airi Poke & Ramen celebrated its one-year anniversary Dec. 6 at 21372 Hwy. 59, Ste. 300, New Caney, in Valley Ranch Town Center. The restau- rant serves poke, which is a Hawaiian dish consisting of raw fish served in a bowl with vegetables and rice, as well as ramen, which is a Japanese soup dish served with broth, noodles, veg- etables and meat. 281-354-8901. www.facebook.com/airipokeramen

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LAKE HOUSTON - HUMBLE - KINGWOOD EDITION • FEBRUARY 2020

FM 1960

59

8

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TODO LIST

February events

COMPILED BY KELLY SCHAFLER

LANCO (Courtesy Humble Rodeo)

FEB. 05

FARMERSMARKET THE PARK AT FALL CREEK

FEB. 22

GET ACTIVEWITHA COLOR RUN LAKE HOUSTON FAMILY YMCA

HUMBLE CIVIC CENTER& ARENA COMPLEX 8233 Will Clayton Parkway, Humble 281-446-4140 www.humblerodeo.com/events FEBRUARY 07 LANCO, 9 p.m. 08 HARDY, 9 p.m. GREENOAKS TAVERN 211 E. Main St., Humble 281-570-4344 www.greenoakstavern.com FEBRUARY 08 Jamie Lynn Vessels Band, 9 p.m. 14 Castaneda, 9 p.m. 15 Diunna Greenleaf Band, 9 p.m. 22 Holland K. Smith, 9 p.m. 28 Mark May Band, 9 p.m.

Local residents Jonathan and Andrea Haskin host the Buy Local Farmers’ Market every Sunday. The market sells locally sourced baked goods, seasonal produce, natural meats and homemade beauty products. 8 a.m.-noon. Free (entry). The Park at Fall Creek, 7930 Fall Creek Bend Drive, Humble. www.facebook.com/buylocalfarmersmarket

Community members of all ages can get covered in colored powder and raise money for Lake Houston Family YMCA programs at the annual Bridge Fest Color Run. There is a 1-mile Kids Race, a 5K and virtual runs. 8-11 a.m. $15-$50. Lake Houston Family YMCA, 2420 W. Lake Houston Parkway, Kingwood. 281-360-2500. www.runsignup.com

COURTESY BUY LOCAL FARMERS' MARKET

COURTESY LAKE HOUSTON FAMILY YMCA

25 LEARNABOUT THE AREA’S ECONOMIC FUTURE The Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce hosts the annual Economic Outlook Luncheon, where national and local experts will discuss economic indicators and provide forecasts on the future. Guest speakers include Craig Fehr, investment strategist principal at Edward Jones. 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. $35 (member), $50 (nonmember). The Clubs at Kingwood, 1700 Lake Kingwood Trail, Kingwood. 281-446-2128. www.lakehouston.org

28 TAKE A GAMBLE The Greater East Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce hosts the annual Casino Night, which raises funds for chamber events throughout the year. The event features roulette, craps tables, black jack, dinner, drinks and prizes. Admission gets attendees $1,000 in chips to play as well as a dinner ticket. 6-11 p.m. $95 (per person). Randall Reed Stadium, 21360 Valley Ranch Parkway, New Caney. 281-3540-0051. www.gemcchamber.com

FEBRUARY 08 SHOWLOVE FOR VALENTINE’S DAY

Koutour Events hosts a Sweetheart’s Market the weekend before Valentine’s Day to celebrate couples, friends, singles and family. The event features vendors selling clothing, crafts, artwork and home decor, and beauty products. Noon-6 p.m. Free (entry). Town Center Park, 8 N. Main St., Kingwood. 214-734-1917. www.facebook.com/koutourevent

Find more or submit Lake Houston, Humble and Kingwood events at communityimpact.com/event-calendar. Event organizers can submit local events online to be considered for the print edition. Submitting details for consideration does not guarantee publication.

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LAKE HOUSTON  HUMBLE  KINGWOOD EDITION • FEBRUARY 2020

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES METROboard of directors says free fare ‘not feasible’ for transit authority

COMPILED BY KELLY SCHAFLER

RECENT UPDATES

WOODLAND HILLS DR.

59

KELLY SCHAFLERCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

fare is $1.25 per ride, accord- ing to the entity’s website. The study also included several other scenarios, such as oering reduced or free fares for students, free fares during only o-peak or peak times, and free fare on specic transit lines. “It’s just not feasible to do free fares,” board member Jim Robinson said. “But we probably could look at reducing student fares ... [and] I wouldn’t do away with the fare on the green routes completely, but maybe drop it to $1 or some lower number.” METRO ocials will con- tinue to study other reduced- and free-fare options. JEN PARA CONTRIBUTED TO THIS REPORT.

A Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County study left METRO board members and ocials uncon- vinced of the likelihood of eliminating ride fares. Julie Fernandez, lead man- agement analyst for METRO, presented the results of the fare-free study, which launched January 2019, at the board’s nance and audit committee meeting Jan. 15. Although free fares would increase ridership by 30.4 million rides annually, it would cost the authority not only about $70 million in lost farebox revenue but also $170.6 million in operating costs. Fernandez said it would also take several years to buy vehicles and hire personnel,

resulting in an estimated launch date of 2024. METRO received $68.1 million in farebox reve- nue in scal year 2018-19, and ocials estimate it will collect $68 million in FY 2019-20, according to METRO data. Board member Troi Taylor said he believes the nega- tives of the program out- weigh the positives. “I don’t think there’s any evidence that suggests we’re losing ridership because peo- ple ... think our cost is too expensive,” Taylor said. “So making it free, I don’t think is a real practical solution, especially when it’s costing METRO so much.” A local bus or METRORail

N

N

Lockwood Road expansion A project to expand Lockwood Road between Beltway 8 and four-lane road could begin in March. The Harris County Engineering Department is set to ask commissioners to award Allgood Construction Company Inc. the project con- tract at the Feb. 11 Commis- sioners Court meeting. Timeline: rst quarter 2020- late 2020 Cost: $2.3 million Funding sources: Harris County Precinct 4, McCord Development the Union Pacic Corp. railroad from a two- to

Rankin Road expansion The city of Humble will break ground in summer 2020 on its project to expand Rankin Road from two to four lanes between the Union Pacic Corp. railroad and Houston Avenue. Engineering for the Rankin Road expansion proj- ect is 90%-95% complete, Humble City Manager Jason Stuebe said. Timeline: summer 2020- late 2021 Cost: $3.65 million Funding source: city of Humble

ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF 11620. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT LHKNEWSCOMMUNITYIMPACT.COM.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

CITY& COUNTY

News from the cities of Humble and Houston

CITY HIGHLIGHTS HUMBLE On Jan. 9, Humble City Council unanimously approved an amendment restating the city’s General Mobility Program agreement with the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County until 2040, allowing the city to continue receiving a portion of sales tax revenue collected by METRO. HARRIS COUNTY On Jan. 7, Harris County Commissioners Court unanimously supported forming an African American Cultural Heritage Commission, which will serve as an advisory board to aid in identifying, recognizing and preserving African American cultural heritage in Harris County.

First workshop to discuss revitalization of downtownHumble sparks inspiration, ideas

Martin appointed to serve asmayor pro tem

BY KELLY SCHAFLER

BY JAKE MAGEE

association or a tax increment rein- vestment zone, raising the city’s sales tax or applying for grants. Humble City Manager Jason Stuebe said while he does not believe Humble residents would support a sales tax increase, cre- ating a TIRZ, which would collect dollars from a set zone to fund projects in the zone, is an option. Stuebe said the city will soon schedule meetings with downtown business owners and residents to discuss what they would like the area to become. He said the city can then begin tackling “low-hang- ing fruits,” or projects and events that are fairly inexpensive and simple to organize. “What we can aord now, we’ll do, and what we need to budget for, we’ll budget for next year,” Stuebe said. “I think everybody saw what the potential could be, and that there’s a framework on how to do it.”

HOUSTON For his nal term repre- senting District E on the Houston City Council, Dave

HUMBLE The rst workshop to discuss revitalizing the city of Humble’s downtown attracted local residents, business owners and leaders of nearby communities to the Humble Civic Center on Jan. 9. Mike Baxter, the director of mar- keting and tourism with the city of Tomball, said the city of Tomball has grown its tourism over the last roughly 10 years by bringing more festivals and events to the area, creating a mascot with historical signicance and establishing a branding campaign. Another way to grow downtown areas is by building nearby housing that allows millennials as well as retirees to patron downtown businesses, said Shad Comeaux, the project manager at engineering rm Freese and Nichols. Baxter and Comeaux cited sev- eral options for funding projects, including creating a downtown

Martin will also serve as mayor pro tem.

Dave Martin

After a Jan. 2 inauguration cere- mony—during which Houston City Council members, the city controller and the mayor were sworn in—Mayor Sylvester Turner made a recommen- dation for Martin to serve as mayor pro tem, with council voting in favor. As mayor pro tem, Martin will serve as acting mayor when Turner is unavailable. Martin also serves on the Budget and Fiscal Aairs Committee. Martin said he looks forward to providing insight on issues such as budgets, ood risk reduction and infrastructure in his new role, according to a Jan. 2 press release fromMartin’s oce.

MEETINGSWE COVER

Humble City Council meets at 7 p.m. Feb. 13 and 27 at 114 W. Higgins St.,

Humble. 281-446-3061. www.cityoumble.com

Harris County Commissioners Court meets at 10 a.m. Feb. 11 and 25 at 1001 Preston St., Ste. 934, Houston. 713-274-1111. www.harriscountytx.gov Montgomery County Commissioners Court meets at 9:30 a.m. Feb. 11 and 25 at 501 N. Thompson St., Conroe. 936-756-0571. www.mctx.org

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

GUIDE

Important dates

Candidates and information for the March primaries

Feb. 18: rst day of early voting Feb. 21: last day to apply for early voting by mail Feb. 28: last day of early voting March 3: primary election day Voters can vote in the Republican or Democratic primary, but not both.

ELECTION Primary

2020

GUIDE

COMPILED BY BETH MARSHALL AND KELLY SCHAFLER

SAMPLE BALLOT

R: Republican D: Democrat *Incumbent

District 141 D: Willie Roaches Franklyn D: Senfronia Thompson* District 142 D: Richard Bonton D: Jerry Davis D: Harold V. Dutton Jr.* D: Natasha Ruiz U.S. representatives District 2 D: Elisa Cardnell D: Sima Ladjevardian D: Travis Olsen District 8 R: Kevin Brady* R: Melissa Esparza-Mathis R: Kirk Osborn D: Elizabeth Hernandez D: Laura Jones

Harris County sheri R: Joe Danna R: Paul Day R: Randy Rush D: Ed Gonzalez* D: Jerome Moore D: Harry Zamora Harris County commissioner, Precinct 1 D: Rodney Ellis* D: Maria T. Jackson Harris County constable, Precinct 4

D: Amy Klobuchar D: Deval Patrick D: Bernie Sanders D: Tom Steyer D: Elizabeth Warren D: Robby Wells D: Marianne Williamson D: Andrew Yang STATEWIDE U.S. senator R: Virgil Bierschwale R: John Anthony Castro R: John Cornyn* R: Dwayne Stovall R: Mark Yancey D: Chris Bell D: Michael Cooper D: Amanda K. Edwards D: Jack Daniel Foster Jr. D: Annie “Mama” Garcia

D: Victor Hugo Harris D: Mary “MJ” Hegar D: Sema Hernandez D: D.R. Hunter D: Adrian Ocegueda D: Cristina Tzintzun Ramirez D: Royce West Railroad commissioner R: Ryan Sitton* R: James “Jim” Wright D: Roberto Alonzo D: Chrysta Castañeda D: Kelly Stone D: Mark Watson LOCAL State representatives District 127

FEDERAL U.S. president R: Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente Guerra** R: Bob Ely R: Zoltan G. Istvan R: Matthew John Matern R: Donald J. Trump* D: Michael Bennet D: Joseph R. Biden D: Michael R. Bloomberg D: Cory Booker D: Pete Buttigieg D: Julián Castro D: Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente** D: John K. Delaney D: Tulsi Gabbard R: Joe Walsh R: Bill Weld

R: Chris Bounds R: Mark Herman*

Montgomery County constable, Precinct 4 R: Kenneth “Rowdy” Hayden*

R: Dwight Ford R: Dan Huberty*

R: King Merritt R: Bryan Skero

REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES WHO ARE UNCONTESTED WITHIN THEIR PARTY ARE NOT FEATURED. SOME CANDIDATES MAY HAVE DROPPED OUT, BUT THEY WILL STILL BE ON THE BALLOT. **ROQUE “ROCKY” DE LA FUENTE RUNNING IN THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY IS THE SON OF ROQUE “ROCKY” DE LA FUENTE GUERRA RUNNING IN THE REPUBLICAN PRIMARY.

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LAKE HOUSTON  HUMBLE  KINGWOOD EDITION • FEBRUARY 2020

EDUCATION BRIEFS CANDIDATE Q&A

Get to know candidates for U.S. and state representative, Harris and Montgomery counties

Incumbent

State representative, District 127, Republican primary

State representative, District 142, Democratic primary

DAN HUBERTY

DWIGHT FORD

Years in district: 5 If elected, I would: change the focus of our state government from special interest groups to protecting the taxpayer. www.dwightford.com

Years in district: 20 If elected, I would: address the tough issues facing the state, just as I have in each of my previous ve legislative sessions. www.danhuberty.com

Years in district: 36 If elected, I would: change term limits. No person should serve more than 20 years. RICHARD BONTON

JERRY DAVIS

Years in district: 9 If elected, I would: be more active and engaged during the 18 months away from Austin. www.jerryvdavis.com

www.richard bonton.com

State representative, District 141, Democratic primary

HAROLD V. DUTTON JR.

NATASHA RUIZ

WILLIE ROACHES FRANKLYN

SENFRONIA THOMPSON

The candidate did not respond before press time.

The candidate did not respond before press time.

Years in district: 11 If elected, I would: change the level of accessibility residents ... have to talk with their elected representative. www.roaches4texas.com Years in district: 16 If elected, I would: work to end big money in politics and bring congress back to the people. www.elisacardnell.com ELISA CARDNELL

Years in district: 55 If elected, I would: continue ghting for equality, justice and opportunity for all.

www.senfronia thompson.com

U.S. representative, District 8, Democratic primary

U.S. representative, District 2, Democratic primary

Years in district: 31 If elected, I would: [ensure] people ... have representation on the things that matter most to them. www.simafortx.com SIMA LADJEVARDIAN

TRAVIS OLSEN

ELIZABETH HERNANDEZ

Years in district: 20 If elected, I would: bring civility, dignity and humanity to our government. www.olsen2020.com

Years in district: 4 If elected, I would: use my accounting background to reduce the national debt. www.lizfortx8.com

U.S. representative, District 8, Republican primary

LAURA JONES

Years in district: 35 If elected, I would: KEVIN BRADY

Years in district: 40 If elected, I would: change accountability, accessibility and transparency of [the] oce. www.melissaesparzamathis2020.com MELISSA ESPARZAMATHIS

KIRK OSBORN

Years in district: 1.5 If elected, I would: change the way the constituents ... are represented ... so that the voices in all communities are heard. www.laurajonesforcongress.com

Years in district: 11 If elected, I would: repeal Obamacare, fund the wall, cut debt and drain the swamp. www.kirkosbornfor congress.com

keep working with the president to pass the Make America Great Again agenda. www.bradyforcongress.com

Some responses have been edited for length. Read the full Q&A's with the candidates on our website, communityimpact.com.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

Primary Election Guide 2020

Harris County constable, Precinct 4, Republican primary COMPILED BY COMMUNITY IMPACT STAFF

Harris County sheri, Republican primary

RANDY RUSH

PAUL DAY

JOE DANNA

CHRIS BOUNDS

The candidate did not respond before press time.

Years in district: 67 If elected, I would: change morale, respect and the organization chart. This will earn the respect within the department and from the community. www.dannaforsheri.com

Years in district: 44 If elected, I would: [do a] complete reorganization of

Years in district: 17.5 If elected, I would: expand the investigative ability of the constable’s oce. www.votechrisbounds forpct4constable.com Years in district: 31 If elected, I would: [ensure we] continue to ... work by our MARK HERMAN

Harris County Sheri’s Oce and how HCSO coordinates law enforcement response with the other ... agencies in Harris County.

www.facebook.com/ pauldayforsheri2020

Harris County sheri, Democratic primary

Years in district: 40 If elected, I would: focus on the personnel within the department HARRY ZAMORA

JEROME MOORE

ED GONZALEZ

core values of honor, integrity, compassion and respect. www.constablemarkherman.com

Years in district: 36 If elected, I would: stop or signicantly reduce the deaths in the Harris County jail, signicantly reduce the violent crimes and senseless killings on the streets of Harris County. www.jeromemooreforsheri.com

Years in district: 50 If elected, I would: [continue] using research-based approaches that lead to more safety, lower costs and more just outcomes. ww.edgonzalez.com

to ensure we get better new hires. www.harryzamoraforsheri.com

Harris County commissioner, Precinct 1, Democratic primary

RODNEY ELLIS

Years in district: 25 If elected, I would: continue advocating for economic opportunity, improved quality of life and greater investments. www.rodneyellis.com

Montgomery County constable, Precinct 4, Republican primary

KENNETH “ROWDY” HAYDEN

KING MERRITT

BRYAN SKERO

Years in district: almost a year If elected, I would: change the “good old boy” philosophy and implement a foreign

Years in district: 48 If elected, I would: continue to run an

Years in district: 2 If elected, I would: restore integrity, transparency and ethical leadership back into Montgomery

Years in district: 11 If elected, I would: bring mature leader- ship to the position and thoughtfully and unbiasedly tackle problems. www.mariatjacksonforcommissioner.com MARIA T. JACKSON

oce that makes East Montgomery County a safer place to live, work and raise a family. www.constablerowdyhayden.com

concept known as “customer service.” www.kingmerritt4constable4. weebly.com

County Precinct 4 Constable’s Oce. www.skeroforconstable.com

Some responses have been edited for length. Read the full Q&A's with the candidates on our website, communityimpact.com.

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LAKE HOUSTON  HUMBLE  KINGWOOD EDITION • FEBRUARY 2020

BUSINESS FEATURE Aquatic Care Programs Water therapy works to alleviate patients’ pain BY ANDY LI

F or almost 24 years, Aquatic Care Programs has been oer- ing aquatic and land physical therapy for people in pain. Owner Peter George inherited the business in 2012 from his late brother, Jerry, who opened it in 1996 with his then-wife Pam. George said he came in for treatment about 20 years ago after a water skiing accident and was able to alleviate the pain of a broken back and later for herniated discs. “I know rsthand that the water is very helpful,” George said. “Something about the water is just fun too.” Since opening in Humble, the program has expanded to a second facility in southeast Houston. Patients come in for various issues, including back and neck pain, shoulder injuries and neurological injuries. Operations Director Sam Coco said aquatic therapy also oers unique opportunities for pediatricians work- ing with children as well as patients

who struggle with weight. “As soon as you get in the pool, that [pain or weight on joints] just alleviates so they can do the exercises to get themselves stronger that they wouldn’t be able to do on the land,” he said. Coco said the buoyancy of the water also helps patients who struggle with balance and fear falling. Additionally, House Bill 29, which passed in the 86th Texas legislative session, allows patients to come directly to a therapist for up to 10 busi- ness days while working on getting a physician referral for therapy. Marketing Manager Chris Smith said as the company heads into its 24th year, the most important thing is seeing how patients’ lives change when they get out of the pool. “They’re getting their life back to be able to function,” she said. “We’ve seen people come in in wheelchairs and leave walking.”

From left: Sam Coco, Peter George and Chris Smith run Aquatic Care Programs. (Photos by Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)

Aquatic CarePrograms 1901 1st St. E., Humble 713-454-6000 www.aquaticcare.net Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-7 p.m., closed Sat.-Sun.

Therapists, such as Eric Hanson, help personalize aquatic exercises for patients.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

DINING FEATURE

Diana Harpring owns two Fish Tales locations with her husband, Scott. (Photos by Kelly Schaer/ Community Impact Newspaper)

Fish Tales Owners focus on serving seafood in small-town communities F ish Tales co-owners Diana and Scott Har- pring specialize in serving fresh seafood dishes in small towns. The fast-casual atmosphere and Louisiana-inspired food are what set their restaurants apart, Diana said. Saturdays that sells pounds of crawsh, potatoes, corn and sausage that is “politely spicy,” Scott said. “It will remind you of your days in New Orleans,” he said. “The guy who’s cooking them is from that area, so we denitely have a New Orleans air to everything we do.” BY KELLY SCHAFLER

The Fish Tales concept emerged as a business venture between the Harprings and the Holmes family—who owns the Houston seafood trailer Bayou City Catsh, which opened in 1999. The fam- ilies opened the rst Fish Tales food trailer in 2009 before launching the rst storefront in Cleveland in August 2010. “We just wanted to grow the business, [and] we had visions of having more than one, so that was just a natural progression from the food truck to the restaurant,” Diana said. Now, there are three operating restaurants, including one on Loop 494 in New Caney that opened in February 2014. A business partner of the Harprings will open a fourth location in Plum Grove in May, Scott said. The New Caney restaurant serves a variety of fresh grilled and battered seafood dishes, including catsh, shrimp, oysters and crab. Until early July, the eatery also has a food truck on the property on Fridays and

Another thing that sets the business apart is the Harprings’ presence in the community. In the last 10 years, Scott estimates the restaurant has given back about $40,000 in the community through hosting fundraising campaigns to support local schools and causes. Diana said being part of the community as well as getting to know her customers has been the most rewarding part of owning Fish Tales. “[The community has] been good to us,” she said. “So we give back as much as we can.”

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

Ocials target the busiest roads in LakeHouston area Future of Harris County mobility projects rocky as county commissioners debate funding split

A mobility study in Harris County is aimed at making the process of allocating mobility funds more data-driven. The study, ongoing through July 2020, involves using high-tech vans to analyze every street in the county. ROAD SCIENCE

of Harris County were split up across the county’s four precincts using a formula that took several factors into consideration, including population as well as total county-maintained lane miles and thoroughfare miles, according to county documents. Heading into the 2019 budget year, precincts 3 and 4 combined to make up 52% of the population, 65% of the lanemiles and 62%of the thoroughfare miles, resulting in those two precincts getting about 59% of mobility funds. Harris County launched the study in July to determine the condition and life expectancy of every county-main- tained road before deciding how mobility funds should be distributed among its four precincts. The preliminary study will be pre- sented to commissioners in February, and then recommendations will be made based on the data being com- piled and policy priorities from com- missioners, Harris County Engineer John Blount said. “We’ll have all the data at our dis- posal, but we need direction from commissioners on how they want projects prioritized so we can put that data to use,” he said. While Cagle and Radack opposed the study, Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis was a driving force behind launching it. Ellis said he wants to improve upon the previous system, which he believes was arbi- trary and unfair to precincts 1 and 2. He said evenly splitting METRO funds, which took more than $4 million in funding away from pre- cincts 3 and 4, was a temporary solu- tion until the system can be xed. Precinct 4’s master mobility plan includes Atascocita Road and Will Clayton Parkway, which experienced 43,488 hours and 48,593 hours of delay annually, respectively, per TTI’s report. Pamela Rocchi, director of capital improvement projects for Precinct 4, said receiving less funding would likely not have an immediate eect on the roads, as both are still in the planning stage. However, she said shifting fund- ing from the precinct could cause a cas- cading eect on future projects. “Shifting funding away from Pre- cinct 4 can impact the scheduling of currently active projects and push uninitiated projects further into the future,” she said. KARA MCINTYRE CONTRIBUTED TO THIS REPORT.

Estimated cost: $3M-$3.5M Contractor: Data Transfer Solutions LLC

Several Kingwood, Humble and Atascocita corridors were ranked in the Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s annual list of the most congested roads inthe state. Six local roads ranked inthe top quartile of more than 1,800 roads studied in TTI’s report, including Northpark and Kingwood drives, West Lake Houston Parkway and FM 1960. David Schrank, a senior research sci- entist at the institute, said the report— released inDecember—measures trac volume, travel speed and vehicle occu- pancy to determine the rankings. “It looks like things got a lot better in a lot of areas, and that is not neces- sarily tied to what we’re seeing on the ground,” he said. While projects are underway on some of these congested roads, the future of others ranked lower on the list, such as Atascocita Road and Will Clayton Parkway, could be tested due to Harris County’s ongoing debate on precincts’ mobility funding. A countywide road study that launched in July was opposed by Pre- cinct 4 Commissioner Jack Cagle, who represents Kingwood and Humble, and Precinct 3 Commissioner Steve Radack. Cagle said he fears the study could be used as a “power play” to divert funds from precincts 3 and 4 under the guise of improving eciency. However, which and how individual projects might be aected will not be known until the dollars are allocated this year, he said. “If the raw grab of money occurs, then we’re going to have problems in terms of how we take care of the responsibilities that we need to take care of,” Cagle said. Addressing roadcongestion Local entities tasked with main- taining these busy roads have pro- posed transportation projects in their respective long-termmobility plans. Per the TTI’s report, Northpark Drive is the most congested road in the Lake Houston area, ranking at No. 182 statewide with 111,980 hours of annual delay per mile. The Lake Houston Redevelopment BY SHAWN ARRAJJ AND KELLY SCHAFLER

Authority, which oversees taxes col- lected in Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone 10 in Kingwood, plans to begin expanding part of Northpark Drive to six lanes in late 2020. Phase 1 will be nished in 2023. “The project will save lives, and that is the priority of the community,” LHRA ocials stated in an email. Ocials said they do not have plans to expand Kingwood Drive, which is the Lake Houston area’s third most congested road. However, intersec- tion improvements and preliminary ood remediation improvements are proposed for the corridor. Additionally, FM 1960 between I-45 in Spring and Crosby Human Road in Crosby took three spots in TTI’s report. The Texas Department of Transpor- tation has two projects planned to expand FM 1960 from four to six lanes with raised medians from Business FM 1960 to the Lake Houston bridge. TxDOT Public Information Ocer Danny Perez said the projects will cost $134 million, will bid this summer and are estimated to be done in 2024. Perez also said the department is perform- ing an access management study for FM1960 fromI-45 toHwy. 59 that could add raised medians to the corridor. Meanwhile, West Lake Houston Parkway from FM 1960 in Atascocita to Sam Houston Tollway North was ranked No. 409 in the study with an annual delay per mile of 70,327 hours. Precinct 2 Communications Director Frida Villalobos said her oce does not have a proposed project to improve congestion on the road, but she expects the FM 1960 expansion will improve trac along the parkway as well. “We understand the importance of this corridor and continue to eval- uate any needed improvements,” Villalobos said. Additionally, Villalobos said the precinct is waiting on feedback from the countywide mobility study to plan future projects. Mobility fundingconcerns In previous Harris County budgets, mobility funds from toll roads and the Metropolitan Transit Authority

Projected timeline: July 2019-July 2020

The formulas for how Harris County allocates mobility funds and funds from the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County take several factors into account, including population as well as total county-maintained lane miles and thoroughfare miles. EVALUATING THE FORMULA

Precinct 1 Precinct 3

Precinct 2 Precinct 4

249

99 TOLL

290

59

10

610

45

59

288

Total population*

24.2% 24.1% 25.8% 25.9%

*PER JUNE 2014 ESTIMATE

Total lane miles 12.8% 21.8% 26.7% 38.7%

Funds from toll roads

18% 25% 27% 30%

roughly $120 million per year

TOTAL FUNDING:

Funds from METRO*

20.2% 14.3% 32.5% 33%

*FUNDS WERE REALLOCATED TO 25% FOR EACH PRECINCT IN JULY

roughly $30 million per year

TOTAL FUNDING:

SOURCES: HARRIS COUNTY COMMISSIONERS COURT, HARRIS COUNTY ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT, DATA TRANSFER SOLUTIONS LLC COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

For more information, visit communityimpact.com .

17

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