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Harris Co. Engineering plans subdivision drainage meetings

February 19th, 2019

The Harris County Engineering Department – Recovery and Resiliency Division will host the following community engagement meetings to provide preliminary study information about stormwater drainage improvements. Subdivision residents are invited to attend and provide feedback on the proposed studies.

Any improvements will be funded with the bonds approved by Harris County voters on Aug. 25, 2018. Community engagement meetings are led by Harris County Engineering with support from the Flood Control District.

  • Roland Road & Related Infrastructure
    Feb. 19, 2019, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
    Katy High School
    6331 Highway Blvd.
    Katy, Texas 77494
  • Ravensway, Ravensway South and Westgate
    Feb. 26, 2019, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
    Cypress Exhibit Center
    11206 Telge Road
    Cypress, Texas 77429
  • Parkway Forest
    Feb. 26, 2019, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
    Sheldon ISD Network Operations Center
    11411- B C.E. King Parkway
    Houston, Texas 77044
  • Baybrook and Seascape subdivisions and Todville Road Bridge
    Feb. 27, 2019, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
    Bay Area Community Center
    5002 E. NASA Parkway
    Seabrook, Texas 77586
  • Forest Shadows and Sandpiper/ Sandpiper Village
    March 4, 2019, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
    Dueitt Middle School
    1 Eagle Crossing
    Spring, Texas 77373
  • Evergreen Villas and Hidden Meadow
    March 4, 2019, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
    Sheldon ISD Network Operations Center
    11411- B C.E. King Parkway
    Houston, Texas 77044
  • Barrett Station
    March 5, 2019, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
    Barrett Station Community Center
    808 1⁄2 Magnolia Drive
    Crosby, Texas 77532
  • Cypress Creek Estates, Cypress Crossing Mobile Home Park, Dowdell Woods and Tower Oaks Plaza
    March 5, 2019, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
    Cypress Exhibit Center
    11206 Telge Road
    Cypress, Texas 77429
  • Houmont Park
    March 18, 2019, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
    Sheldon ISD Network Operations Center
    11411-B C.E. King Parkway
    Houston, Texas 77044
  • Williamsburg Colony, Williamsburg Hamlet, Williamsburg Parish and Williamsburg Settlement
    March 20, 2019, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
    Morton Ranch High School
    21000 Franz Road
    Katy, Texas 77449
  • Pine Trails
    March 21, 2019, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
  • Pine Trails Community Improvement Association
    6003 Wood Bend
    Houston, Texas 77049
  • Northlake Forest and Coles Crossing
    March 28, 2019, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
    Juergen’s Hall Community Center
    26026 Hempstead Road
    Cypress, Texas 77429
  • Hearthstone Sec 1/ Avila Cr. Estates and Fairway West Sec 1
    April 3, 2019, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
    Cypress Ridge High School
    7900 N. Eldridge Parkway
    Houston, Texas 77041
  • Memorial Parkway and Cimarron Secs 2, 3, 4, 5
    April 9, 2019, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
    Taylor High School
    20700 Kingsland Blvd.
    Katy, Texas 77450
  • Fountainhead Sec 2
    April 10, 2019, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
    Bleyl Middle School
    10800 Mills Road
    Houston, Texas 77070
  • Foxwood
    April 16, 2019, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
    Humble Civic Center
    8233 Will Clayton Parkway
    Humble, Texas 77338
  • Norchester and Prestonwood
    April 17, 2019, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
    Norchester Clubhouse
    13439 Jones Road
    Houston, Texas 77070
  • Sawmill Ranch
    April 18, 2019, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
    Klein Multipurpose Center
    7500 FM 2920
    Spring, Texas 77379

For more information, visit

About the Harris County Engineering Department – Recovery and Resiliency Division The Harris County Engineering Department, with direction from the Commissioners Court, established the Recovery and Resiliency Division in 2018 to oversee engineering projects dedicated to the reduction of flood risk following Hurricane Harvey. The Division is one of eight within the Harris County Engineering Department, which executes the planning, study, design and construction of various infrastructure, parks and other architectural and maintenance projects in accordance with engineering design standards and specifications. For more information about the Harris County Engineering Department, visit

CCISD boundary panel changes some final recommendations

February 13th, 2019

Based on public input and further review, the Clear Creek ISD School Boundary Advisory Committee pulled back on several original boundary change recommendations for the 2019-2020 school year, moved forward with all high school boundary proposals and made some revisions for the elementary school recommendations.

Intermediate Schools

The Committee withdrew all of the original intermediate school changes, with one exception. The Coronado Apartments will still move to Clear Creek Intermediate to maintain a clean feeder from Ferguson Elementary, Clear Creek Intermediate and Clear Creek High School. There will be no other changes to the CCISD intermediate school boundaries.

Elementary Schools

The Committee withdrew its recommendation to move students from Parr Elementary to League City Elementary. The students who reside in Pecan Grove will remain at Parr Elementary. The Committee revised its recommendation to move students from North Pointe Elementary to Ward Elementary. Under the revised recommendation, College Park will stay at North Pointe Elementary and Stillwater Cove will move to Ward Elementary.

High School Changes

The Committee maintained all of its original boundary change recommendations. The District will implement high school boundary changes with the incoming 9th grade class. Students will stay at their current high school through graduation. Transportation will be provided for both the current high school students as well as the incoming 9th graders to the new high school campus. Click here for more information.

WAVE Magnet Alignment

WAVE attendance zones are determined by a student’s high school feeder pattern. If an incoming 6th grade WAVE student and/or current WAVE student has had a change in his/her high school feeder pattern, he/she may now have a change in their WAVE campus for the 2019-2020 school year. For example, if you reside in the Kirby Woods Subdivision and attend WAVE, you will move to WAVE North (Westbrook) next year versus staying at WAVE South (League City Intermediate). Similarly, all of Greene Elementary will be moved to Clear Brook High School under this proposal, meaning any WAVE students who live in the Greene Elementary zone will now move to WAVE North (Westbrook Intermediate). If an existing WAVE student would like to stay at his/her current WAVE campus versus moving to the new WAVE campus, an intradistrict transfer request should be made. The intradistrict transfer process does not open until March 1, 2019. Click here for intradistrict transfer information. Transfer requests must be filed annually.

WAVE North (Westbrook Intermediate)
Clear Brook High School
Clear Lake High School
WAVE South (League City Intermediate)
Clear Creek High School
Clear Falls High School
Clear Springs High School

Visit to see the full list of maps for the final recommendations, which were considered for approval by the school board at its Feb.25 meeting. All approved boundary recommendations will go into effect for the 2019-2020 school year.

Bill King kicks off mayoral campaign

February 12th, 2019

By Mary Alys Cherry

Houston businessman Bill King formally launched his mayoral campaign with a series of town hall meetings in various neighborhoods across the city Feb. 9-15.

The former mayor of Kemah, who narrowly lost by less than 4,000 votes to Mayor Sylvester Turner in the 2016 Houston mayoral runoff, reportedly the closest race in Houston mayoral history, said he was using these town halls “to begin the conversation about cleaning up City Hall and getting the city back to delivering the basic municipal services every resident is entitled to expect — trash pick-up, good roads and neighborhood policing.”

“It’s time to imagine a city where the streets are paved, the trash is picked up on time, homes don’t flood, there are more police officers patrolling our neighborhoods and where the politicians work for the people and not special interests,” King said. “Houston is the city that put a man on the moon. Don’t tell me we can’t have decent streets, good drainage, and a balanced budget. We do not have to settle for what we are currently getting from city government today.

The campaign will center on cleaning up the pay-to-play system at City Hall, which will allow city government to refocus its efforts back on delivering the basic services all Houstonians expect and deserve for the tax dollars they pay, he said.


As part of his kickoff, he hosted nine town hall meetings in every corner of Houston — in Sunnyside, East End/5th Ward, Spring Branch, Kingwood and Clear Lake. Meetings are also scheduled in Meyerland, Memorial and Timbergrove.

“Houstonians are hard-working, generous and resilient and the people are what make Houston the greatest city in the country,” King added. “But we have a city government that has failed to live up to what residents deserve, and it’s time for a change. Let’s clean  up City Hall and get back to basics.

Nothing has gotten better in the last four years, he said at one town hall.

“The truth is we have a city government that doesn’t live up to the people that live in it. I’m telling you right now, we’re going to change that once and for all,” he said at another.

King joins the incumbent Turner and Houston attorney Tony Buzbee in the race for mayor. Buzbee announced his candidacy a week before King. Election day is Nov. 5, 2019.


Bill is a life-long resident of the Houston area. He was born and raised in the Clear Lake area, attending Clear Creek High School before going on to the University of Houston to earn an undergraduate degree in political science and his law degree.

In 1996, he was elected to the Kemah City Council and later served as mayor of Kemah from 2001-2005.

He has enjoyed a varied career as a businessman and a lawyer. He began his career with a turbulent, and ultimately unsuccessful, foray in the savings & loan industry in the 1980s. His experience in that industry is retold in his 2009 book, Saving Face. Later in his career, he served as the national managing partner for Linebarger, Goggan, Blair & Sampson, as president of Southwest Airport Services, Inc. and of counsel to Bracewell & Giuliani. He also was an editorial page columnist for 10 years for the Houston Chronicle.

Bay Cup 1 to kick off Regatta race series

February 11th, 2019

Photo from the 2018 Bay Cup I by Elizabeth Morrell.

Lakewood Yacht Club will host the 2019 Bay Cup I Regatta March 2, kicking off the annual Bay Cup race series.

Registration is $75 and includes entry into the March 1 Skipper’s Meeting at Lakewood and one meal and two drink tickets for the Saturday night post-race party. A $5 discount is available for U.S. Sailing members. Entry fees are payable by credit card or by yacht club reciprocal charge.

Register by 2100, Wednesday, Feb. 27 by visiting and then clicking on Racing & Regattas.

Trophies will be awarded at a party on Saturday night. Overall series trophies will be presented after Bay Cup II in August. Boats that compete in the same class during both Bay Cup I and II, and that are sailed by the same skipper, will be eligible for an overall trophy.

The regatta is open to all boats with enough entries to form a class. Potential classes include PHRF Spinnaker, PHRF non-Spin, PHRF under 30 feet LOA, Cruising Spinnaker, Cruising Non-Spin Classic Canvas (using only Dacron sails), Multihull and One Design class(es).

The City of Seabrook and other local areas offer up plenty of options for sailors and spectators. Visitor and guest accommodations can be found at, along with shopping venues, eateries, educational outings and other entertainment choices.

In addition to Seabrook, this year’s sponsors include Faron Daigle, Realtor , Little Yacht Sales, Texas Coast Yachts, Davis Marine Electronics, Sea Lake Yacht Sales, Pelican Insurance, Kevin Severance Insurance, True North Marine, Blackburn Marine, Upstream Brokers, Southwest Distilleries, Bay Area Houston Magazine, KO Sailing and Alliant Insurance.

Regatta proceeds benefit the Bay Access Foundation, a not for profit charitable organization fostering amateur racing and sailing on Galveston Bay.

Contact Bay Cup I Regatta Chair David Comeaux at davidcomeaux@live.comor 832-993-5933 for more information.


About Lakewood Yacht Club

Lakewood Yacht Club is a private, member-owned club with great amenities to enjoy with friends and family. The Club is located on 38 beautifully landscaped acres in the NE corner of Clear Lake, about halfway between Houston and Galveston. Members enjoy an exceptional environment for boating, socializing and participating in family activities.

Clear Lake Chatter – ALBA to celebrate 30 years

February 1st, 2019

Circle Saturday, Feb. 9 on your calendar. That’s when Assistance League of the Bay Area will celebrate its 25th anniversary as a chapter and 30th year of service to the community.

And, the community is invited to attend this year’s Superhero Birthday Bash, which will be held at Lakewood Yacht Club in Seabrook from 6 to 11 p.m. Feb. 9, in memory of Stuart Wing Williams and to celebrate all the Assistance League Superheroes – past, present and future.

Chairman Jill Williams and Vice Chairman Peggy Heinrich are heading up the team of volunteers putting on the Bay Area’s Superhero Birthday Bash with attendees encouraged to dress as their favorite superhero.

Other ALBA members assisting them with arrangements for the evening include Mavis Irvan, Gail Ashby, Sarah Foulds, Badiha Nassar, Jill Smitherman, Sandra Sellers, Katy Bastedo, Roseann Carothers, Kim Barker, Cindy Senger-Lewis, Georgia Piwonka and Kathleen Courville.

Music for dancing will be provided by Password.

One of the highlights of the evening will come during the Reverse Raffle when the third to last ticket wins a $500 gift card from Frank’s & Son Jewelers, the second to last wins a $1,000 gift card from Lewis Jewelers and the final ticket drawn wins a Superhero Golf Cart, partially sponsored by Texas Golf Carts.

Can’t wait to see that? Better get a raffle ticket, which are $100 each. But hurry. Only 300 will be sold.

All proceeds benefit the six philanthropic programs including Operation School Bell, Operation Cinderella, Operation Support Our Schools, Assault Survivor Kits, Ready for Work and Community Outreach.

Tickets to the event are $125 and may be purchased online at the website www.

Bay Oaks Women elect new officers

SUSAN McCOY has been re-elected president of the Bay Oaks Country Club Women’s Association for 2019. Other new officers who’ll serve with her are Vice Presidents Cheri Burke and Sue Laabs, Secretary Chris Howland and Treasurer Amy Roppolo with Past President Jodi Schnabel as advisor to the president.

Pam Clary will return as special events chairman, Sue Broughton as historian, Jordan Quillen as communications chairman, Mary Alys Cherry as public relations chairman, and Cassandra Brown as Bay Oaks liaison.

Other board members include Holiday Market Chairman Allyson Jackson, Hospitality Co-Chairmen Terri Steinkamp and Suzanne Leatherman, Membership Co-Chairmen Darla McKitrick and Susan Franklin, Registration Co-Chairmen Cindy Zook and Sharon Dillard, and Publicity Co-Chairmen Eileen Hult and Jodi Schnabel.

Pasadena mayor keynotes January BayTran luncheon

NEWLY ELECTED Pasadena Mayor Jeff Wagner was off to a good start after his election in July 2017, learning his new job and enjoying it when, about a month later, along came Hurricane Harvey.

But rather than wring their hands, he and other Pasadena officials got right to work trying to help people, he explained during his keynote address at the Bay Area Houston Transportation Partnership’s Jan. 17 luncheon.

“We accepted Harvey with open arms, and by that I mean all the emergency rooms in the area were shut down. All the airports were shut down. And, we said to one another, ‘how can we help people?’”

The answer was obvious, he told BayTran members at the luncheon at the Hobby Marriott on the Gulf Freeway – open an emergency room, which they did. It was believed to be the only working ER in Harris County, he said, and besides helping some 150 people, they even delivered a baby.

When life returned somewhat to normal, Mayor Wagner turned his thoughts to giving Pasadena a new face – even having the city buy a dilapidated building that had been vacant for 30 years and was giving the city an ugly look and needed to be torn down.

Most recently he has been working to upgrade Rickey Road, Pasadena Boulevard and Red Bluff Road – working with Harris County on sharing some of the costs. And, best of all, his city applied to FEMA for a $105 million grant to rebuild some of the city streets, and it was approved.

“Now who can say they got money from FEMA?” he smiled as he continued his overview of life in Pasadena.

BayTran President Theresa Rodriguez, and Chairman David Hamilton joined Treasurer Karen Coglianese in welcoming the crowd that also included BayTran Vice Chairman Bob Robinson, who brought his grandson, Anthony Robinson.

Several elected officials were in the audience including State Rep. Dennis Paul, Mayors Thom Kolpulski of Seabrook, Tom Reid of Pearland and Michel Bechetl of Morgan’s Point, along with Seabrook Mayor Pro-tem Natalie Picha.

Welcome Neighbors elect new officers

SOME OF THE busiest club officers these days are those who head the Bay Area Welcome Neighbors Club, which meets each month at Bay Oaks Country Club with nearly overflow crowds.

Becky Rickey is president of the group this year with Suzanne Lamminen and Catherine Jennische serving as vice presidents, Alice Swift as secretary and Madeline Rogers as treasurer.

This month they will welcome Lt. Col. Don Houk from the Living History Museum providing a first person presentation of one of the most famous World War II generals, James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle, and his famous raid on Tokyo at their Feb. 21 luncheon meeting. To attend, email Nancy Guthrie at

90 years old and still golfing

A ROOMFUL of old friends were on hand to help Charles Smitherman celebrate his 90th birthday in late December, and all were no doubt surprised to learn how he keeps a busy schedule and is out playing golf every chance he gets.

Besides his birthday celebration, it was also a chance for him and his wife, Joy, to get together with all their kids – Carol Smitherman Anglin, John and Jill Smitherman and Paul and Valerie Riddle — and grandkids and long-time friends.

Makeup tips and tricks for Valentine’s Day!

February 1st, 2019

Love Conquers All!

By Blaine Ochoa 

February is the month we celebrate Valentine’s Day, relationships, and love. I want to encourage you to reflect on the relationships in your life. Be thankful for your family, friends, and significant other. All year long we should try to love and uplift one another, and cherish the moments spent together.

If you are spending the evening with someone special or spending it by yourself, I hope you make it a magical evening. I want to share with you some of my favorite makeup tips and tricks to give you a fabulous, perfect “date night” look – just in time for Valentine’s Day! (Even if your date night is with yourself and a bottle of wine).

Eye Makeup

* After you cleanse and moisturize your face and apply the proper primer and foundation, I would suggest doing a smoky eye look for date night. In order to achieve this look you would start with a light color eyeshadow in the inner part of your eye lid. Then add a light brown or black and blend into the outer corner of your eyelid. Next I would add a personal favorite, Marc Harvey’s gold and silver glitter eyeshadow lightly on top of your lid and on the arch of your eye, to give a glam pop of shimmer.


* I love fake lashes! They will make your eyes pop and look bigger and voluptuous. Gently apply eyelash clue to your fake lashes and apply just above your real lashes on your eyes. Then let dry and voila. My favorite lash line is Lucky Cat Beauty Faux Lashes.


* I would also recommend adding a subtle bronzer right under your check bones and adding a light blush gently on top of your check bones. NARS cosmetics has a great line of blushes and Makeup By Sheila I would recommend for a bronzer.


* To complete your date night look, I would add a fun, vibrant lip color! You could do a nude, light pink, or red. Start with a matching lip liner and finish with a gloss on top of your lipstick. I tend to use MAC cosmetics for lipsticks.

Fun fact: Lucky Cat Beauty in Houston has a fabulous new line of lipsticks that were named after influential women in Houston. There is actually a gorgeous red color named after me – called “Blaine.” I will definitely be wearing it this Valentine’s Day!

I hope you use these makeup tips and recommendations to help you look extra special, and have a wonderful date night to remember. You can also use these suggestions all year round! If you have any questions or would like to contact me please visit Beauty with Blaine or email me at

~Love is the greatest thing on earth. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Remembering Simone M. Clapp

February 1st, 2019

By Rick Clapp

My dear mother Simone Clapp passed away this holiday season. She lived a good, long life of 89 years. Her early teen years were not so easy as she and her family survived World War II in Europe.

My mother, my grandmother and aunt were great story tellers. They told many tales of sadness, happiness and joy just to have something to eat and a meal to share was so appreciated. Even during the most difficult times and horrendous conditions of war they found joy because of their faith in God. No doubt that carried them and continued to comfort my mother up until her recent death.

Simone Clapp was a part of the “Greatest Generation” that lived and survived through World War II. The experience made my mother and others strong, stubborn, emotional, caring and loving, but most of all giving.

She would say many times that her mother learned the real gift of giving. She passed it on to all her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Was Simone perfect? Close. She was good – real good and taught all of us the importance of being full of grace and helping your fellow man. We were taught to treat our neighbors and friends as family.

She shared her secrets on how to survive. The importance of never giving up and always being thankful and grateful for the large and small things in life. The best gift she gave us was the gift of giving and doing that unconditionally.

Simone taught us to pack our own parachute, not to rely on others. My mother was married to our loving father, Rodger Clapp, for over 35 years, she is survived by my brother Arthur, my sister Diane, and myself. Two grandchildren, Alisa and Mollie and four great grandchildren Niko, Neely, Alexa and her sister Marlene Leddick.

Mom, you were the perfect mother for all of us. We thank you and praise you for all you did on this earth. Rest in peace Simone. Shalom.

Midnite Slice in Seabrook delivers until 3 a.m.

February 1st, 2019

By Xander Thomas

For those sick of the typical 24-hour diner or open late taco joints for those nighttime munchies, Seabrook is home to its very own pizza place that can satisfy any hunger, from the need for comfort food to those looking for something a little out of the ordinary.

“We like to do alot of weird pizzas, we do creative pizzas, we really encourage that,” said Midnite Slice owner Sibbian Roe.

From the typical pizzeria staples like pepperoni pizza, chicken wings and bread sticks, to the not uncommon, but hard to tackle taco pizza – The Hombre Wood, a more adventurous teriyaki chicken pie – named Big Trouble in Little China, and even the one you just know will be a hit with Beavis and Butthead fans, The Great Cornholio – with a chili base and topped with Fritos – this is a restaurant that can cater to the most indecisive of eaters.

“Pizza never goes out of style,” said Sibbian, “Plus we really like to make things different, and pizza you can put anything as the base, put whatever you want on top of it, like you can really get crazy with that.”

While she tries to reach to the height of creativity in her menu, Sibbian makes a point of letting doubters know that this place is more than just a gimmick of new and different ideas to get tourists in.  She wants everyone to know that they use high-quality and in store made ingredients.

“We try and do a higher quality pizza, we make our own dough every day, we use 100% real mozzarella cheese, we use real sausage and not that dogfood kibble stuff,” Sibbian said with a laugh.

Even with the made-for-greatness ingredients, and blank-slate mentality on a commonplace social food that’s been reproduced the same way over and over again, what really is the best part about Midnite Slice? That when you have friends over at 2 a.m., you don’t all need to pile into a car or send someone on a taco run for late snacks; Midnite Slice will deliver within a good range from their location on 2nd Street in Seabrook.

Yes, they are open that late, staying open till midnight Sunday-Thursday and 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday, they have your post-bar hunger covered!

While the restaurant itself turn seven this year, Sibbian says that the building actually has a lot of history.

“This building is the original post-office in Seabrook,” she said, “it was built in 1904 and it was the post office until 1964 when Carla hit.”

They even have a picture on the wall of when it actually was a post office.  She says that most of the building is solid wood, and most of the electricity is still run on conduit.

So next time you’re with your friends, or even hanging out alone, and find yourself hungry late, don’t hurry to jump in the car for a food run, just let Midnite Slice bring something interesting to your door.

“A lot of people who are ordering that late, maybe shouldn’t be driving,” Sibbian said, “So we kind of consider it a public service.”

Midnite Slice is located at 1605 2nd St., Seabrook, TX 77586. Visit them online at

Veganism – Fad or Future?

February 1st, 2019

By Sumer Dene

When I was 10 years old, my mom let me make a fundamental life decision. I was a vegetarian from birth and was given the choice to eat meat. Around the same time, my step dad offered me $100 to eat a piece of steak. I didn’t take his offer. My taste buds never acquired the need for meat at a young age, which made it easy for me to turn it down and find other nutrient-dense foods to nourish my body. A child doesn’t make the connection where meat and dairy comes from, they simply correlate savory tastes and flavors to perfectly packaged and marketed animal products. As adults they are programmed to disconnect from the food on their plate. After not eating animals for the last 24 years of my life, the most difficult part is finding options in a meat-centered society. Fortunately, the market is changing due to high demand, especially among millennials.

Favorably, people are becoming inspired to eat plant-based foods. They are learning it’s a lot easier than they thought and that plant-based foods can have a similar delectable taste that sends the same signals to the brain as would a ribeye steak. Plant-based foods are becoming more popular and convenient. For most of us, eating meat is a choice and not a necessity. Because of issues such as world hunger, global warming, and animal suffering, eating animals has become an ethical issue. According to Psychology Today, environmentalists encourage us to cut down on meat consumption in favor of vegetable foods that are better for the environment. The Food and Agriculture organization states that raising livestock takes about 80% of all agricultural land and produces just 18% of the world’s calories.       

Since prehistoric times, humans have been hunters and gatherers. However, it is different in modern society. Many systems put in place are outdated, and need to be reassessed as a whole. Animals are treated as commodities in a society dominated by large-scale animal agriculture corporations. People pay industries to mass produce and slaughter animals for them. This is unnatural in many ways compared to how our ancestors derived food. Agriculture has become an industry concerned with profit, and not about sustaining life. Meat was a necessity for our ancestors who hunted to survive; now it has become something you order off the dollar menu. Corporations genetically modify, chemically alter, and artificially inseminate animals confined in small cages at concentrated animal feeding operations. These animals aren’t here by God’s choice, they were bred into existence unnaturally to be slaughtered at a young age. Plants also are genetically altered and doused in harmful chemicals. The message society is sending to consumers is in order to be healthy; you must be wealthy. Is this the message that will continue?

The word “meat” became indirectly marketed with masculinity. However, many top athletes, including Tom Brady, Aaron Rogers, Serena Williams, and Lewis Hamilton, are adding plant-based protein to their diet, and winning as a result. Kendrick Farris is the only U.S. weightlifter qualified for the Olympics. Aside from breaking records, a plant based diet has helped him decrease recovery time, and improve mood, sleep and energy levels. Meat is a dense tissue and takes massive amounts of energy to break down. The same energy resources could be spent for regeneration, detoxification, and recovery after exercise. “We shouldn’t get so caught up with ‘protein’ because you can get an excess of protein, and most of it just gets passed through the body.” States Farris. All plants have varied amounts of protein that add up throughout the day. Foods such as beans, nuts, seeds, and algae match the protein density found in animal products.

The point of a whole-foods plant-based diet is to be conscious of what you put in your body. Cultures that enjoy health and longevity consume the least amount of animal products. Okinawa, Japan has the highest life expectancy. They believe in mindful eating; they take the time to think about what and how they’re consuming food. Okinawans eat less seafood than most Japanese, and instead of rice, sweet potatoes are the staple food in the traditional cuisine. Their diet is abundant in green and yellow vegetables, fruit, and various soy products. According to BBC, Okinawa’s oldest residents also have far lower rates of cancer, diabetes and dementia than other aging populations. A plant-based lifestyle is for anyone who wants to look and feel their best. It is not a fad or a trend, it’s a way of life and it is here to stay.

The Economist declares 2019 will be the “Year of the Vegan,” while Forbes predicts more people will “embrace a plant-based lifestyle.” According to The Economist, a quarter of millenial Americans identify as vegan or vegetarian. Forget fad diets, short term goals, and depriving yourself of foods. A lifestyle and mindset change is all you need to maintain health and wellness. A whole-foods plant-based lifestyle is about adding nutritious, delicious plant-based foods to your life for a lifetime. Instead of trying to follow a strict regimen, add plant-based diversity to your diet and find a balanced lifestyle suitable to your unique nutritional needs.

More people are developing a vegetable friendly palate. Social media is helping people learn new recipes, join support groups, and swap animal for plant-based protein. There are many reasons to choose nutritious food that loves you back. This movement is expanding every day. It could be for health and athletic endurance, the animals, your taste buds, ethics, or for the environment. Animals are good to us. They give us companionship, unconditional love, and forgiveness. Yet they become slaves to us for food, clothing, experiments, and entertainment which causes them great suffering. We separate each other by class, race, sex, and species. Rather than observing each other as a part of a greater whole, we build imaginary boundaries. As long as humans see other living beings as subservient to them, we will never achieve world peace.

Chocolate Banana Nut Muffin

  • 1 pasture-raised egg
  • 3 bananas
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • ½ cup walnuts or almonds (or a mix of both)
  • ½ cup enjoy life semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 ½ cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp distilled white vinegar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup pure cane sugar

Grease muffin pan or use silicone muffin tray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut bananas in thin slices, add vanilla extract and mash. Mix almond butter, nuts, egg, and sugar together then stir. Add flour, baking soda, distilled white vinegar, chocolate chips, and salt. Stir thoroughly.  Bake for 20 minutes.

Blueberry Açaí smoothie

  • 1 Sambazon açaí superfruit pack
  • 1 cup Blueberries
  • 1 Banana
  • ½ cup Goodbelly Blueberry Acai Probiotic juice or Organic Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup Almond milk

Thousand Island salad

  • Your choice of leafy greens
  • 2 tsp flaxseed meal
  • 4 Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • Sunflower seeds 


  • ½ cup Vegenaise
  • 1 tbsp Sweet Pickle Relish
  • 1 tsp Ketchup
  • A dash of salt

Retired CEO of Orbital ATK named Space Trophy recipient

February 1st, 2019

David W. Thompson will receive the 2019 National Space Trophy.

The Rotary National Award for Space Achievement Foundation has selected David W. Thompson, retired president and CEO of Orbital ATK, to receive the 2019 National Space Trophy. The banquet honoring him will be held Friday, April 26, at the Houston Hyatt Regency in downtown Houston.

“The RNASA Foundation is extremely excited about recognizing Mr. Thompson as the guest of honor at the 2019 RNASA Space Award Gala,” Foundation President Rodolfo Gonzalez said, going on to invited the public and the aerospace community to attend the black-tie event.

Thompson was nominated for the award by Northrop Grumman Corp. Space Systems Group President Frank Culbertson. In recommending Thompson, Culbertson cited his “four decades of outstanding leadership and pioneering innovations in the development and operation of launch vehicles and satellite systems, which have transformed scientific, exploratory, commercial and defense applications of space.”

Thompson said, “It is with great enthusiasm, and even greater humility, that I accept the 2019 National Space Trophy! My heart-felt thanks to the RNASA Board of Advisors for selecting me for this highly-regarded honor.” Thompson began his four-decade long career in space technology as a young engineer at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in 1978, following summer internships during college and graduate school at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Johnson Space Center and Langley Research Center.

His career as a space entrepreneur and business leader accelerated in the early 1980s when he and two Harvard Business School classmates founded Orbital Sciences Corp., a startup that focused on the development of space systems for commercial, military and scientific customers. Over the subsequent 35 years, Thompson led his company from its infancy to Fortune 500 status, reaching more than $5 billion in annual revenue and employing nearly 15,000 people in 2018.

As one of the world’s first commercial space enterprises, Orbital pioneered the investment of private capital for space systems development and manufacturing in the 1980s and 1990s. During this time, the company created a family of six new launch vehicles, including the Pegasus rocket and several missile defense vehicles, as well as an array of lower-cost satellites for both low-Earth orbit (LEO) and geosynchronous (GEO) applications. Thompson’s vision was that diverse customers – from traditional government agencies to new privately-owned satellite operators – would use these products, and that commercial-style business practices would reduce their costs and delivery times. The success of this strategy is reflected in the more than 1,000 rockets and satellites delivered by the company to over 50 customers since the 1980s.

Under Thompson’s leadership, Orbital expanded beyond its original business of research and manufacturing into providing space-based services in the 1990s and 2000s. More recently, the company partnered with NASA to develop the Antares rocket and Cygnus spacecraft commercial cargo system for the International Space Station, which has conducted 12 supply missions to ISS over the past six years. And later this year the company plans to inaugurate the world’s first in-space robotic servicing and repair of GEO communications satellites, launching an exciting new form of commercial space logistics operations.

In 2014, Orbital and its long-standing industry partner, Alliant Techsystems, merged to form Orbital ATK, a larger, more diversified space and defense systems company with a broader product line, including rocket propulsion for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift vehicle as well as motors for tactical and strategic missiles. Finally, last year Northrop Grumman purchased Orbital ATK for over $9 billion, forming Northrop’s Innovation Systems business sector. The merger with Northrop is expected to generate faster growth and new products, as well as creating greater opportunities for thousands of the company’s space engineers and scientists.

Thompson earned his B.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a M.S. in Aeronautics from Caltech, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

He is an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), a Fellow of the American Astronautical Society and the Royal Aeronautical Society, and a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and the International Academy of Astronautics.

He was AIAA’s president for the 2009-2010 year, and today serves as a member of the Boards of Trustees of Caltech, the Aerospace Corp., the Carnegie Institution for Science, the Hertz Foundation, and the Princeton University Astronomy Council. He was recently appointed to the National Space Council Users’ Advisory Group and has been honored with numerous awards including the National Medal of Technology by President George H.W. Bush, as well as Virginia’s Industrialist of the Year and High-Technology Entrepreneur of the Year by Inc. Magazine.

Visit to reserve a table for the RNASA Banquet and find information about sponsorships and tickets. To reserve a room at the Houston Hyatt Regency, visit or call 713-654-1234 and request the RNASA group rate.