THE CLEAR LAKE Area Chamber’s Government Affairs Division drew quite a crowd when members held their quarterly meeting at Bay Oaks Country Club.
Little wonder they did. They had Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner as their speaker and invited Miss Texas USA Nancy Gonzalez to introduce the mayor.
Early arrivals included State Rep. Dennis Paul, League City Mayor Pat Hallisey, Kemah Mayor Carl Joiner, who is also the chamber chairman, Houston City Councilman Dave Martin, Chamber President Cindy DeWease and Vice Chairman Brian Freedman.
The mayor discussed a variety of subjects, initially letting the crowd know how lucky this area is to be represented by Councilman Martin and Representative Paul and how he has enjoyed working with them in the past and how he looks forward to working with them in the future.
Especially so on the Coastal Spine – commonly referred to as the Ike Dike – which he said “is at the top of my to do list.”
After praising San Jacinto College for its workforce readiness programs and all it has been doing to put students in jobs and help industry fill jobs, he noted that there are six million jobs in the U.S. that cannot be filled because applicants do not have the proper training.
That led into a hot topic for Clear Lake City, where a woman wants to put a homeless shelter on El Camino Real in the heart of its downtown area and only two blocks from homes. The mayor, who first heard about it from TV, wanted his audience to know that the city had nothing to do with it, that no permits had been obtained and it is not a simple process.
“It is not a city deal,” he said, adding the he did not think shelters were the answer. “The best way to respond to homelessness is to put people in housing, not shelters. Please, please know that is not something that is on the drawing board, and there is no funding for it,” he cautioned.
Turning to the national infrastructure program proposed by President Trump, the mayor thought the Coastal Spine project should be included. Meanwhile he said, he had learned that Washington is toying with ideas on how to pay for all the proposed projects.
Among a number of thoughts he shared with the crowd, he said he thinks we need a theme park that is uniquely us — a fun and amusing park but unique to our region.
Splashdown Party draws happy crowd
BACK IN THE SIXTIES, a coveted invitation got one into a Splashdown Party when friends and neighbors welcomed astronauts back from journeys into space.
Fifty years later, the tradition goes on. Except this time it was, well, a little different. Co-Chairmen Kristy Tankersley, Renee Ditta and Linda DeMasie wanted this Lunar Rendezvous Splashdown Party to be a night of fun – a night to remember. And, that it was. It also kicked off the Festival’s string of July activities, which include a 5K fun run and walk, fashion show, religious service and the Coronation Ball.
Most dressed in 60s attire and flashed peace signs as they danced to the music of Phil Pampolina with the co-chairmen and their husbands – Jon Tankersley, Judge Louie Ditta and Michael DeMasie — leading the way as Mercedes-Benz dealer Jerry Foyt and his wife, Kate, hosted the event at the dealership in League City.
Both Festival Chairman Dinah Matthews and Vice Chairman Tisa Foster were there to welcome Michael and Ann Wismer Landolt, Tom and Gloria Wong, Ann and Dr. Jim O’Malley, Ron and Pat Biddle Karl, Angie and Matthew Weinman, Gene Hollier, Phil and Ginger Pampolina, Alice and Lou Marinos, Mary Ann Shallberg and Mitzi and Dr. Mike Romanko, to name a few.
Special guests were Ch. 13 ABC News Anchor Tom Koch and his wife, Brenda.
Great way to kick off the string of festival events.