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Public Meeting Notice: Lower Clear Creek and Dickinson Bayou Watershed Study

February 19th, 2020

Houston Mayor Pro Tem Dave Martin would like to make residents aware the Lower Clear Creek and Dickinson Bayou Watershed Study will host a series of public meetings in February and March to encourage public participation and feedback regarding the first of three phases in the Study. Residents are encouraged to attend any one of the four public meetings below to provide input, engage in one-on-one discussion, and ask questions regarding the first of three phases of the Study.

Public meetings will be held on the following dates:

Wednesday, February 26, 2020 (Dickinson Bayou) 
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Walter Hall Park
807 State Highway 3 North
League City, Texas 77573
Tuesday, March 3, 2020 (Clear Creek)
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Bay Area Community Center
5002 Nasa Parkway
Seabrook, Texas 77586
Wednesday, March 4, 2020 (Clear Creek)
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Friendswood High School
702 Greenbriar Drive
Friendswood, Texas 77546

In August 2017, Hurricane Harvey struck the Texas coast, bringing a historic amount of rainfall to the Houston region. The storm produced never-before-seen precipitation depths to Galveston, Harris, and Brazoria Counties. As was the case with most of the watersheds in the region, Clear Creek and Dickinson Bayous experienced widespread flooding, which resulted in significant flood damages.

The purpose of the Lower Clear Creek and Dickinson Bayou Watershed Study is to develop a comprehensive flood mitigation plan for the Lower Clear Creek and Dickinson Bayou watersheds, including identification of vulnerabilities in the watersheds and development and refinement of concepts to reduce flood risks.

During each meeting, Study team representatives will present study updates, the history of the Clear Creek and Dickinson Bayou watersheds, and study information. The public is invited to participate and further discuss the impact the Study will have on them and their communities. The meeting materials and format will be the same at all four meetings. Informational displays will be available for viewing, and Study Team representatives will provide information and answer questions. No formal presentations will be made.

Comments will be accepted at the public meetings and throughout the duration of the Study. All comments regarding Phase 1 Study findings should be submitted or postmarked by March 20, 2020, to be considered in Phase 2 of the Study. Written comments may be mailed to the Lower Clear Creek and Dickinson Bayou Watershed Study Community Engagement Team at 2500 Summer Street, Suite 1130, Houston, Texas 77007 or emailed to LCCDB@Leaguecitytx.gov.

For more information about the Lower Clear Creek and Dickinson Bayou Watershed Study, please visit their website and Facebook page.

Feral hogs spotted in Seabrook

February 17th, 2020

Seabrook Animal Control has received several calls regarding packs of feral hogs at Wildlife Park just off Red Bluff Road in Seabrook. This is not unusual but may cause apprehension to residents. While utilizing the trails please be observant and aware of your surroundings. More often than not, if you leave them alone they will probably leave you alone. Most feral hogs, in particular female mothers, will only charge someone when they feel provoked or threatened, therefore if sighted, do not try to approach the hogs and do not feed them. Never discharge a firearm or attempt to kill a feral hog as this would violate city ordinance.

Residents who have sighted feral hogs in neighborhoods, alleys or yards, or have seen a hog charge at a person or attack a domestic animal should contact Animal Control by calling Police Dispatch at (281) 291-5610. If the feral hogs are of no threat to personal property or your wellbeing, there is no need to contact Animal Control.

Feral hogs are omnivorous mammals that feed primarily at night and during the twilight hours but may go out in search of food during the day in cold or wet weather. Because feral hogs are largely nocturnal, the visible signs they leave behind are often all there is to indicate their presence. These signs include wallowing, rubs and rooting. Wallows are where hogs root and roll in the mud; rubs are made when hogs scratch or rub themselves on tree trunks, telephone poles, fence posts, and rocks leaving a noticeable sign with mud and hair often left clinging; rooting looks as if the soil has been plowed and mostly takes place over a large area.

To learn more about wildlife in Seabrook visit www.seabrooktx.gov/wildlife.

Clear Lake City Elementary celebrates completed renovations

February 17th, 2020

Clear Creek ISD Superintendent Dr. Greg Smith visits with Clear Lake City Elementary students.

Clear Lake City Elementary Thunderbirds enthusiastically lined the halls of their newly-renovated campus to cheer on district leaders and community partners as they arrived for a special Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Feb. 11, 2020.

Principal Jepsey Kimble welcomed guests inside the new library and spoke to the strong community bonds the school has and the many opportunities the updated spaces will bring for students and staff.

“Although we are continually in awe of how beautiful our new spaces look, we are even more excited about the positive impact this will have on our students,” said Kimble. “The flexibility of the different areas makes it possible to work collaboratively together. This includes areas for our community partners, Nassau Bay Baptist Church and Clear Lake United Methodist Church, to continue to be a strong force in supporting the work we do.”

The 55-year-old campus received a nearly $16 million major renovation and expansion as part of the 2017 CCISD Bond program. This included a new wing and collaboration spaces, removal of portable buildings, and renovations to the library, cafeteria and restrooms. Upgrades and replacements to the roof, flooring, mechanical and electrical throughout the building were also completed.

“The administration addition and the renovation of the old gym into a new library allowed us to return the spaces vacated inside the main building into much needed instructional space,” said Paul Miller, CCISD director of facility services. “The upgrades to the campus will ensure that the staff and students at Clear Lake City Elementary can access the latest instructional technology in a secure and comfortable environment.”

The project was completed by Joiner Architects and DivisionOne Construction.

NASA to Hire More Astronauts

February 13th, 2020

NASA is hiring new astronauts to explore the Moon and Mars! If you have what it takes to be an Artemis Generation astronaut, apply online March 2-31.
Photo by NASA

As NASA prepares to launch American astronauts this year on American rockets from American soil to the International Space Station – with an eye toward the Moon and Mars – the agency is announcing it will accept applications March 2 to 31 for the next class of Artemis Generation astronauts.

Since the 1960s, NASA has selected 350 people to train as astronaut candidates for its increasingly challenging missions to explore space. With 48 astronauts in the active astronaut corps, more will be needed to crew spacecraft bound for multiple destinations and propel exploration forward as part of Artemis missions and beyond.

We’re celebrating our 20th year of continuous presence aboard the International Space Station in low-Earth orbit this year, and we’re on the verge of sending the first woman and next man to the Moon by 2024,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “For the handful of highly talented women and men we will hire to join our diverse astronaut corps, it’s an incredible time in human spaceflight to be an astronaut. We’re asking all eligible Americans if they have what it to takes to apply beginning March 2.”

The basic requirements to apply include United States citizenship and a master’s degree in a STEM field, including engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science, or mathematics, from an accredited institution. The requirement for the master’s degree can also be met by:

  • Two years (36 semester hours or 54 quarter hours) of work toward a Ph.D. program in a related science, technology, engineering or math field;
  • A completed doctor of medicine or doctor of osteopathic medicine degree;
  • Completion (or current enrollment that will result in completion by June 2021) of a nationally recognized test pilot school program.

Candidates also must have at least two years of related, progressively responsible professional experience, or at least 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft. Astronaut candidates must pass the NASA long-duration spaceflight physical.

Americans may apply to #BeAnAstronaut at: www.usajobs.gov

As part of the application process, applicants will, for the first time, be required to take an online assessment that will require up to two hours to complete.

After completing training, the new astronauts could launch on American rockets and spacecraft developed for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program to live and work aboard the International Space Station, 250 miles above Earth, where they will take part in experiments that benefit life at home and prepare us for more distant exploration.

They may also launch on NASA’s powerful new Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft, docking the spacecraft at the Gateway in lunar orbit before taking a new human landing system to the Moon’s surface. After returning humans to the Moon in 2024, NASA plans to establish sustainable lunar exploration by 2028. Gaining new experiences on and around the Moon will prepare NASA to send the first humans to Mars in the mid-2030s.

NASA expects to select the new class of astronaut candidates in mid-2021 to begin training as the next class of Artemis Generation astronauts.

For more information about a career as a NASA astronaut, and application requirements, visit: NASA Astronauts Homepage

Annual Abandoned Crab Trap Removal Feb. 21 – Mar. 1

February 12th, 2020

By-line: © Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

You’re invited to volunteer in the annual volunteer crab trap cleanup between Feb. 21 and March 1 and help remove abandoned crab traps that have been left in the bays to foul shrimpers’ nets, snag anglers’ lines, “ghost fish,” and create unsightly views.

There will be crab trap drop-off sites at locations in each major bay system along the coast from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Feb. 22, weather permitting. Additionally, at all sites, dumpsters or collection areas marked with banners will be available to receive traps for the duration of the closure. Volunteers may focus their efforts on Feb. 22 or work at their own pace anytime during the closure, but traps cannot be removed prior to Feb. 21 or after March 1.

To participate, pick up free tarps, gloves, trap hooks and additional information at your local TPWD Coastal Fisheries field station. If you remove traps, please record and submit information about the number of traps you collected and also document any diamondback terrapin sightings.

During the cleanup, any traps left in bays — including traps tied to docks — will be assumed abandoned and considered “litter” under state law. This allows volunteers to legally remove any crab traps they find. All other legal means of crabbing will not be affected during the closure period for wire crab traps.

For more information, contact your local TPWD Coastal Fisheries office or Zack Thomas at (512) 389-8448 or crabtrap@tpwd.texas.gov

Learn more by clicking here.

Watch YouTube video by clicking here.

Commissioner Garcia Gets out Into the Community

February 12th, 2020

At the beginning of the year, Commissioner Adrian Garcia laid out how he wanted his schedule to be coordinated and his vision for doing so.  He does not like to sit and work from his desk every single day – he likes to get out, meet residents where they live, and really understand what impacts them. One of his goals for this year is to do more of this on a regular basis. This means having more one-on-ones with residents, as well as attending HOA, civic club and PTA meetings, and visits with staff.

I want to visit all Precinct Camps and spend time at job sites while the crews are working. I can get a hard hat and work gloves to use. I want to get my hands dirty with the staff,” Commissioner Garcia said.

And he was serious! At the beginning of January, the commissioner rode the new Harris County Transit bus routes that were recently launched in East Harris County. The five new routes were launched to service some of the communities hardest hit by Hurricane Harvey flooding. Take a look at this clip from that day and listen from one resident who shared what this means for him.

Two weeks ago, the Commissioner visited with the Precinct 2’s Road and Bridge crew to learn more about the process of digging and ditching. And as requested, he was equipped with a hard hat, vest, and gloves. He was serious about getting his hands dirty!

 

The following are his thoughts about the visit and what he learned that day:

Precinct 2 has many important responsibilities, key among them is the work done by our Infrastructure and Public Works Departments, which includes our Parks Department.

I visited my field staff because what they do is key to improving the quality of life for constituents of Precinct 2. I witnessed their careful work as they improved the water flow of area ditches that often intertwine with gas lines and main waterlines. Their work requires skill and teamwork to get the job done and done quickly.

I also watched and helped, as my staff did the labor-intensive work of cleaning out neighborhood culverts. My team does some backbreaking work with shovels and other equipment to clear culverts so that the entire neighborhood drainage system works and prevents neighborhood flooding.

I was also proud to be in attendance as we delivered to several employees brand new trucks so that they can do their job even better. Many vehicles were in horrible condition, one employee told us about the hole in his floorboard. Others told us of the frequent breakdowns they were experiencing with vehicles that should have been taken out of service years ago.

I also learned of the great pride and commitment our Parks Department has for their work. Many were using their personal equipment to maintain our parks because the previous administration wouldn’t buy the equipment they needed. Now, they leave their personal equipment at home because we’ve purchased brand new equipment for them to use.

As I visited with these hardworking employees, I was beaming with pride because I have always strived to have Customer Service be a guiding principle of all my work and I witnessed how our Precinct 2 employees are just as committed to doing their jobs well and treating all they those come in contact with dignity and respect. And this is something my administration strives to do every day.”

IMG 1639

Be sure to check out the video and more photos from the day!

To close off January, Commissioner Garcia hosted his first “Café with Commissioner” at a grocery store located in Precinct 2 to connect and visit with residents. He will be hosting these meetups on a regular basis to gives residents an opportunity to meet him and share their concerns.  To find out when the next Café with Commissioner will take place, be sure to connect with us on social media! You will also stay up-to-date about important programs, resources, and events taking place around Precinct 2.

NASA getting $25B budget for FY 2021

February 11th, 2020

NASA photo
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine delivers the State of NASA address from NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi on Feb. 10, 2020.

“President Donald Trump’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget for NASA is worthy of 21st century exploration and discovery,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said as he delivered the State of NASA Address Feb. 10 at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. “The President’s budget invests more than $25 billion in NASA to fortify our innovative human space exploration program while maintaining strong support for our agency’s full suite of science, aeronautics, and technology work.

“The budget proposed represents a 12 percent increase and makes this one of the strongest budgets in NASA history. The reinforced support from the President comes at a critical time as we lay the foundations for landing the first woman and the next man on the South Pole of the Moon by 2024. This budget keeps us firmly on that path.

“We are preparing to achieve pivotal milestones this year in development of the Space Launch System rocket, Orion spacecraft, and the Gateway. These make up the backbone of our Artemis program and are fully supported by this budget. They constitute our ability to build a sustainable lunar presence and eventually send human missions to Mars.

“Most noteworthy, is the President’s direct funding of more than $3 billon for the development of a human landing system. This is the first time we have had direct funding for a human lander since the Apollo Program. We are serious about our 2024 goals, and the President’s budget supports our efforts to get the job done.

“We soon will launch American astronauts on American rockets from American soil for the first time in nearly a decade. This recaptured ability will not only allow us to do more science and more exploration than ever before, but will also broaden commercial activity in low-Earth orbit to support ever greater private partnerships.

“As we prepare to celebrate 20 years of continuous human presence aboard the International Space Station this year, we will continue to look for ways to partner with private enterprise and give more people access to the unique environment microgravity offers. Similarly, when we go to the Moon in the next four years, we are interested in taking the world with us. This includes those involved in our Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative and the international relationships we have forged over the decades.

“The FY 2021 budget positions NASA to spearhead a new era of human space exploration without focusing funds on one program at the expense of others. This all-of-NASA approach to the future will help us take advantage of all the exciting, new horizons emerging in science, aeronautics, and technology.

“The decadal survey priorities are strongly supported by this budget, including history’s first Mars sample return mission, the Europa Clipper, and development of a host of new trailblazing Earth observation missions. In aeronautics, the budget backs all our cutting-edge research on commercial use of supersonic aircraft, all-electric airplanes, and development of an unmanned aerial system that will make flying small drones safer and more efficient in the 21st century.

“NASA is on the cusp of embarking on era-defining exploration. The civilization-changing technology we develop will deepen humanity’s scientific knowledge of the universe and how to take care of our ever changing world.

“I am confident the FY 2021 budget’s proper investment in our agency’s priorities, coupled with your unmatched talents and expertise, will strengthen our national posture for continued space preeminence and, as President Trump said during his State of the Union speech last week, help our nation embrace the next frontier.”

To learn more about NASA’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget, visit: Budget Documents, Strategic Plans and Performance Reports

 

Record-setting NASA astronaut, crewmates return from Space Station

February 6th, 2020

NASA astronaut Christina Koch is helped out of the Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft just minutes after she, Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov, and ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano, landed their Soyuz MS-13 capsule in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020. Koch returned to Earth after logging 328 days in space — the longest spaceflight in history by a woman — as a member of Expeditions 59-60-61 on the International Space Station. Skvortsov and Parmitano returned after 201 days in space where they served as Expedition 60-61 crew members onboard the station.
Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls

After setting a record for the longest single spaceflight in history by a woman, NASA astronaut Christina Koch returned to Earth Thursday, along with Soyuz Commander Alexander Skvortsov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos and Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency).

The trio departed the International Space Station at 12:50 a.m. EST and made a safe, parachute-assisted landing at 4:12 a.m. (3:12 p.m. Kazakhstan time) southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan.

Koch’s extended mission will provide researchers the opportunity to observe effects of long-duration spaceflight on a woman as the agency plans to return humans to the Moon under the Artemis program and prepare for human exploration of Mars.

Koch launched March 14, 2019, alongside fellow NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin. Her first journey into space of 328 days is the second-longest single spaceflight by a U.S. astronaut and also places her seventh on the list of cumulative time in space for American astronauts with one or more missions.

Supporting NASA’s goals for future human landings on the Moon, Koch completed 5,248 orbits of the Earth and a journey of 139 million miles, roughly the equivalent of 291 trips to the Moon and back. She conducted six spacewalks during 11 months on orbit, including the first three all-woman spacewalks, spending 42 hours and 15 minutes outside the station. She witnessed the arrival of a dozen visiting spacecraft and the departure of another dozen.

For Parmitano and Skvortsov, this landing completed a 201-day stay in space, 3,216 orbits of Earth and a journey of 85.2 million miles. They launched last July with NASA’s Andrew Morgan. Morgan also is participating in an extended duration mission on the orbiting laboratory and will return to Earth April 17.

Completing his second mission, Parmitano now has logged 367 days in space, more than any ESA astronaut in history. During his time in space for Expeditions 60 and 61, Parmitano conducted four spacewalks, totaling 25 hours and 30 minutes. He has now conducted six spacewalks in his career, totaling 33 hours and 9 minutes. Parmitano was commander of Expedition 61.

Skvortsov completed his third mission and a total of 546 days in space, placing him 15th on the all-time spaceflight endurance list.

Following post-landing medical checks, the crew will return to the recovery staging city in Karaganda, Kazakhstan, aboard Russian helicopters. Koch and Parmitano will board a NASA plane bound for Cologne, Germany, where Parmitano will be greeted by ESA officials for his return home. Koch will continue home to Houston. Skvortsov will board a Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center aircraft to return to his home in Star City, Russia.

The Expedition 61 crew contributed to hundreds of experiments in biology, Earth science, human research, physical sciences and technology development, including improvements to the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer in an effort to extend its life and support its mission of looking for evidence of dark matter and testing 3D biological printers to print organ-like tissues in microgravity.

With the undocking of the Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft with Koch, Skvortsov, and Parmitano aboard, Expedition 62 officially began aboard the station, with NASA astronauts Jessica Meir and Morgan as flight engineers and Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos as station commander. They will remain on board as a three-person crew until early April, when NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and Russian cosmonauts Nikolai Tikhonov and Andrei Babkin will launch to the station.

 

Coastal Texas Study Open House planned

February 6th, 2020

Houston Mayor Pro Tem Dave Martin would like to make residents aware The Coastal Texas Protection and Restoration Feasibility Study (Coastal Texas Study) will host a series of public open houses this month to provide the public with updated information about study progress made since previously held public meetings in fall 2018.

The purpose of the Coastal Texas Study is to identify coastal storm risk management and ecosystem restoration measures that would protect the health and safety of Texas coastal communities, reduce the risk of storm damage to industries and businesses critical to the Nation’s economy, and address critical coastal ecosystems in need of restoration. The Study Team is comprised of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Texas General Land Office and their engineering, environmental and public outreach consultants.To learn more about the study, please visit this link.

Public open houses will be held on the following dates and locations:

Saturday, February 8, 2020
1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
High Island High School
2113 6th Street
High Island, Texas 77623

Wednesday, February 12, 2020
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Galveston Island Convention Center
5600 Seawall Boulevard
Galveston, Texas 77551

Thursday, February 13, 2020
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Bay Area Community Center
5002 E NASA Parkway
Seabrook, Texas 77586

Materials, presentations, and format will be the same at all three meetings. Informational displays will be available for public viewing, and study team representatives will be available to provide information and answer questions. No formal presentation will be made. Informational materials will be available in English and Spanish.

Public feedback and participation are encouraged. Written comments will be accepted during the public open houses and may be mailed to the Coastal Texas Study at 2500 Summer Street, Suite 1130, Houston, Texas 77007 or emailed to coastaltexasstudy@glo.texas.gov.

Comments received during this time will be taken into consideration by the Coastal Texas Study but will not be documented as a part of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)-required public comment period anticipated to be held in fall 2020. These public open houses are intended to inform and provide opportunities for the public to participate in the Coastal Texas Study. Please note, these public open houses are not part of the formal NEPA process.

17th Annual Lucky Trails event revving up for March 13-15

February 5th, 2020

Sponsored by the City of Seabrook, organizer Running Alliance Sport (RAS) challenges runners with three days of races in the 17th annual Seabrook Lucky Trails Event Friday, Saturday and Sunday, March 13-15. A Seabrook tradition, there are distances for every runner, including Kids K, Quarter Marathon, two Half Marathons, a ¾ Marathon, two 5Ks, a Two-Person Half marathon Relay, and Four-Person Marathon Relay and of course the signature event, the Lucky Trails Marathon.

Affectionately known as the “Luckiest Marathon in Texas” (and arguably the easiest), the Seabrook Lucky Trails Marathon, run over scenic trails at Seabrook’s Meador Park includes opportunities for all levels of fitness and supports the community by benefiting survivors of domestic abuse through TheBridge Over Troubled Waters, a non-profit organization that assists survivors of domestic and/or sexual violence in eight area communities.

The kick-off race for the event is Friday’s 5K, and Kids K run on the Trails, starting at 5:45 p.m. with a time limit of 1 hour and 15 minutes. The Kids K will start at 5:30 p.m.

Marathon walkers have the option of an early start at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, with the official Marathon start at 7:15 a.m. Also starting at 7:15 a.m. On Saturday, the Four-Person Relay and the ¾ Marathon race. A Half Marathon starts at 7:30 a.m., and the course closes at 2 p.m.

Sunday the event wraps with the Quarter Marathon, Half Marathon and Two-Person Relay starting at 7:15 a.m., and the second 5K of the weekend starting at 7:30 a.m.

All registrants receive a gender-specific technical shirt and other items and all finishers – including relay and 5K participants – receive an event-specific, custom-designed medal. Expect friendly volunteers, a St. Patrick’s Day-themed costume contest and a wonderful after-party

All races start and end at Rex Meador Park, located in Seabrook at 2100 Meyer Road.

For online registration and detailed race, information visit www.seabrookmarathon.org.  Updates and announcements are also posted to the Running Alliance Sports Facebook page, the single social media page participants and fans can follow for all RAS event news and announcements: https://www.facebook.com/RunningAllianceSport/