2019 Best of the Bay Award Winners

March 30th, 2020

Best Asian Cuisine

Asian Fusion – League City

Runner Ups: Orient Cafe, Hunsa Thai Kitchen

Best Auto Repair

Space Center Auto

Runner Ups: Benson’s Auto, Gulf Coast Auto

Best Bank

Texas First Bank

Runner Ups: Frost -Webster, Chase – Clear Lake

Best Bartender

Corin Dickson – Ghilhooley’s

Runner Ups: Mika Smith – Chuy’s, Lauren Keef – Opus

Best BBQ

Pappas Delta Blues

Runner Ups: Rudy’s BBQ, Red River BBQ

Best Breakfast

Skipper’s Greek Café

Runner Ups: Red Oak Café, Seabrook Classic Café

Best Brunch

Marais

Runner Ups: Main Street Bistro, Lakewood Yacht Club

Best Burger

Tookie’s Burgers

Runner Ups: Stomp’s Burger Joint, Burger Nation

Best Café

Seabrook Classic Cafe

Runner Ups: Red Oak Cafe, Skipper’s

Best Cajun

Crazy Alan’s Swamp Shack

Runner Ups: BB’s Tex Orleans, Floyd’s Cajun Seafood

Best Car Dealer Domestic

Ron Carter Cadillac

Runner Ups: McRee Ford, Norman Frede Chevrolet

Best Car Dealer Foreign

Ron Carter Hyundai

Runner Ups: Advantage BMW, Lexus of Clear Lake

Best City to Live

Seabrook

Runner Ups: League City, Friendswood

Best Coffee

Art of Coffee

Runner Ups: Java Owl, Soul Freak

Best Credit Union

JSC FCU

Runner Ups: AMOCO FCU, Gulf Coast Educators FCU

Best Dentist

Dr. Noie – Unicare Dental

Runner Ups:  Dr. Tieken – Tieken Smiles

Best Entertainment Spot

Kemah Boardwalk

Runner Ups: T-Bone Tom’s, Franca’s Real Italian

Best Entertainment Venue

Jackie’s Brickhouse

Runner Ups: Franca’s Real Italian, Scout Bar

Best Family Restaurant

T-Bone Tom’s

Runner Ups: Franca’s Real Italian, Red River BBQ

Best Florist

Kemah Flowers

Runner Ups: Lary’s Florist, NASA Flowers

Best Gift Shop

Texas Artisan

Runner Ups: Belle Lee’s Boutique, The Salted Hippie

Best Gumbo

Abe’s Cajun

Runner Ups: Floyd’s Cajun Seafood, Little Daddy’s Gumbo Bar

Best Hair Salon

Heist Hair Bar

Runner Ups: Above The Waves Hair Salon, Mane Addiction

Best Hair Stylist

Sonnie Mans

Runner Ups: Maddy Petit, Bonnie Wolcott

Best Hospital

Houston Methodist Clear Lake

Runner Ups: UTMB, HCA Clear Lake

Best Hotel

San Luis Resort

Runner Ups: South Shore Harbour Resort, Hilton Houston NASA Clear Lake

Best Italian

Frenchie’s

Runner Ups: Villa Capri, Pomodoro’s NASA

Best Margarita

El Tiempo Cantina

Runner Ups: Escalante’s, Lupe Tortilla

Best Marina

South Shore Harbour

Runner Ups: Lakewood Yacht Club, Waterford Harbor

Best Mexican

Escalante’s

Runner Ups: El Tiempo Cantina, Habanero’s

Best NOLA restaurant

BB’s Tex Orleans

Runner Ups: Marais, Viola and Agnes

Best Oysters

Gilhooley’s

Runner Ups: Tookie’s Seafood, Tommy’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar

Best Pasta

Frenchie’s

Runner Ups: Pomodoro’s NASA, Angelo’s

Best Pizza

Dan’s Pizza

Runner Ups: Marco’s – South Shore, Mario’s – Seabrook

Best Po-Boy

BB’s Tex Orleans

Runner Ups: Joe Lee’s Seafood Kitchen, Abe’s Cajun Market

Best Pub/Bar

Scotty’s Pub on the Bay

Runner Ups: Nobi Public House, Boondoggle’s Pub

Best Realtor/Agent

Kirk Williams

Runner Ups: Kimberly Harding, Monica Foster

Best Resale Shop

Assistance League of Bay Area

Runner Ups: Interfaith Caring Ministries, A Lot of Panache

Most Romantic Restaurant

Opus Bistro & Steakhouse

Runner Ups: Marais, Perry’s – Baybrook

Best Seafood

Tookie’s Seafood

Runner Ups: Opus Ocean Grill, Schafer’s Coastal Bar & Grille

Best Steak

Perry’s – Baybrook

Runner Ups: Saltgrass – Kemah, Opus Bistro & Steakhouse

Best Sushi

Masa Sushi

Runner Ups: Michiru, Ocean Sushi

Best Vocalist female

Kelly Williams

Runner Ups: Glenda Lynn, Traci Cooper

Best Vocalist male

Claudio Sereni

Runner Ups: Jason Allcorn, Abel Salazar

Best Web Design

Big Splash Web Design

Runner Ups: Captiv Creative, Top Star Marketing

Best Wine Bar

Chelsea Wine Bar

Runner Ups: Friends Uncorked, Duo

Best Women’s Apparel

Belle Lee’s Boutique

Runner Ups: Brave Boutique, The Salted Hippie

Best Women’s Boutique

Brave Boutique

Runner Ups: Moxie District 31, Belle Lee’s

Best Yacht Club

Lakewood Yacht Club

Runner Ups: Houston Yacht Club, HarborWalk

Barrios Recognizes Employees with Quarterly Performance Awards

March 2nd, 2020

Barrios Technology recently presented employees with Silver BEAR (Barrios Employee Award and Recognition) awards. Each recipient was commended for their high level of expertise and outstanding performance supporting Barrios’ contracts with NASA’s International Space Station (ISS) and Orion Programs. Employees recognized included Kate Boone, Jayne Medellin, Michael Mein, Arun Saini, Debbie Sharp, and Devin Vyain.

Kate Boone was recognized with a Silver BEAR award for her exception sustained performance supporting Orion’s Flight Test Management Office (FTMO). Boone serves as the Program, Planning and Control (PP&C) lead responsible for all aspects of configuration management, risk management, and support to the annual PPBE budget process. Her contributions led to the successful completion of the Orion abort test program that consisted of a successful Pad Abort 1 (PA-1) Test and the most recent execution of the Ascent Abort 2 (AA-2) test flight that verified the Launch Abort System (LAS) capability to steer the crew module and astronauts to safety in the event of an issue with the SLS rocket during ascent. Boone has consistently demonstrated her ability to develop efficiencies in processes that significantly reduce processing time and greatly improved the process effectiveness.
Because of her in-depth knowledge and exceptional grasp on how the Orion Program managed resources, risks, schedules, and documents, these two Orion Program milestones were met on-time and within budget.

Jayne Medellin was recognized with a Silver BEAR award for her outstanding dedication and exceptional logistical support with the Building 4S renovation activities. Medellin led the charge during the 4S renovation, handling logistics, addressing concerns, and making sure that the entire team was able to adjust when they were displaced and then acclimated to their new work areas. Without her diligence and tendency to go above and beyond, Barrios employees would not be able to efficiently serve our customers. Medellin kept all 402 MAPI employees aware of each step so that they could coordinate their schedules and meetings with customers around the move. During the move, in addition to Jayne’s detailed schedule, she went through each floor and left printouts of each cubes new assigned number so MAPI employees understood their seat change. She consistently kept everyone abreast of each step of the move. Medellin took the time to personally go to each employee who expressed concern to show them how to use their furniture while explaining how each function benefited them. Cited in her nomination by NASA customer Gary Johnson, “She has done a fantastic job of getting us thru both the 3A and 3B phases. She was the first to have to relocate personnel into B20 and within 4S. Then on moving back in, she completely rearranged the Barrios workforce, which brought its own challenges. Jayne is fun to work with, she brings great ideas to the table and she works harder than most people. It is difficult to show how much I appreciate the work she has done, but I could not have gotten thru this without her”.

Michael Mein was recognized with a Silver BEAR award for his contributions to developing a strategy to mitigate an ascent oversubscription on the SpaceX18 vehicle and accommodate more hardware on HTV-8. Mein’s leadership and expertise enabled timely HTV8 bilateral trade recommendations for NASA and JAXA cargo and minimized uncertainty within the ISS hardware community as trades were being developed and finalized. Without his contributions, NASA would have been sorely challenged to effectively build and partner those trades with the multilateral hardware community. He coordinated extensively with the hardware community to determine compatibility of the hardware with the available bag sizes, including updates to the bag accommodations as the point solution from JAXA evolved. He also validated and clarified launch requirements/rationale with the hardware community in a compressed timeframe. Mein’s contributions to developing a strategy to accommodate more hardware on HTV-8, both utilizing the vehicle more fully and accommodating larger hardware items than typical, was essential. Mein paves the way for new processes and is always looking for ways to improve the work of the team. He has been instrumental in restructuring the Visiting Vehicle Engineer (VVE) team to better train new members of the team and prepare them to be flight leads.

Arun Saini was recognized with a Silver BEAR award for his expertise in providing NASA accurate metrics and support related to bringing the ISS verification campaign to successful completion for the inaugural orbital flight test of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft. Starliner is a crew capsule designed to accommodate seven passengers or a mix of crew and cargo, for Commercial Crew Program (CCP) missions to low-Earth orbit. For Starliner’s test and verification efforts, Saini worked diligently to ensure accurate metrics were developed, tracked, and provided in a timely manner to support efficient Verification Closure Notices (VCNs) for a challenging first flight of a new vehicle. Additionally, he provided expertise for the joint testing to ensure ISS requirements were met. Cited in his nomination NASA’s Transportation Integration Office commented, “Arun has contributed significantly to the development of ISS integration products required for a first flight, in addition to executing his normal responsibilities. The development of these new products requires in-depth knowledge of ISS design and ground test requirements. Despite several schedule and technical revisions since he first began working this project, Arun has remained dedicated to seeing his responsibilities through in a professional and patient manner.”

Debbie Sharp was recognized with a Silver BEAR award for her is nominated for outstanding, successful efforts to plan, lead, organize, and develop the public and education outreach, employee engagement and communications/media efforts for Orion’s Ascent Abort-2 flight test. Sharp worked the AA-2 Communications Plan for a full year, coordinating and involving participants from NASA Centers, Agencies, companies and organizations. She helped bridge Agency directorates, centers, companies and time zones to deliver an integrated plan for the Agency and the Orion Program industry partners. Sharp orchestrated an Instagram story on NASA.gov that reached 2.6 million and a YouTube video of liftoff which had 200,000 views in one day. NASA.gov Facebook live coverage reached 699,000, 19,000 engagements and there were 24,000 concurrent viewers across all streaming platforms during flight. For media there was 210 media hits in the week surrounding the test and coverage peaked on July 2nd with 71 media outlets covering the liftoff video. Sharp’s post launch news release had 22,000 views, and Orion content on NASA picked up 89,000 views as people browsed from the release. Her dedication to see the plan through and help the team and employees was inspiring. The outcome of the shared experience was a huge morale boost for the NASA team.

Devin Vyain was recognized with a Silver BEAR award for his expertise and support on The Gateway CAMMP Team. Devin is an invaluable member of the Vehicle Configuration team, having supported ISS, and now with growing work and responsibilities on Gateway, Vyain has proven himself as an instrumental asset to the CAMMP team. He consistently delivered high-quality work as a MAGIK analyst and has learned the ropes of Gateway CAMMP work swiftly. Vyain exhibited great understanding of the modeling and mass property techniques of the team early on and has been instrumental in several key deliveries to the Gateway Program, including the IAC4 configurations and mass properties, program coordinate system document, docking clearance analysis, and many more actions. Drawing from his experience with InkScape on the MAGIK team, Vyain was instrumental in drafting the Gateway Program’s coordinate system document. He took the initiative to reach out to stakeholders who would influence coordinate system definitions, and then using lessons learned from CAMMP’s ISS coordinate system document, drafted high-quality definitions and figures, even taking it upon himself to learn orbital dynamics terminology to better-understand the document he was writing. His professionalism is very evident to those that he works with, always prompt with responses and very clear in his communication.

The Barrios Employee Awards and Recognition or BEAR Award recognizes quality performance and outstanding support of customer and company goals. Up to one percent of
the current number of employees can receive the Silver Award each quarter. Silver award winners automatically qualify for the annual Gold award which is presented at an annual awards and recognition reception.

Kate Boone received a Barrios BEAR Award for her outstanding performance. Pictured from left: Mark Kirasich, Orion Program Manager; Joe Aldape, Barrios Orion Manager; Boone; Robbie McAfoos, President Barrios Technology; and Don Reed, NASA Manager Flight Test Management.

Jayne Medellin received a Barrios BEAR Award for her outstanding performance. Pictured from left: Mark Polansky, MAPI Program Manager; Sandy Johnson, Barrios CEO; Medellin; Robbie McAfoos, and President Barrios Technology.

Michael Mein received a Barrios BEAR Award for his outstanding performance. Pictured from left: Robbie McAfoos, and President Barrios Technology; Chelsey Bussey, Manager Mission Planning and Integration, Mein, Sandy Johnson, Barrios CEO; and Maria Baugh-Horstman, MAPI Supervisor, Manifest and Cargo Integration.

Arun Saini received a Barrios BEAR Award for his outstanding performance. Pictured from left: Keith Carley, MAPI Manager, Mission Analysis and Integration; Saini; Sergio Lucero, MAPI Supervisor, Visiting Vehicle Integration; and Robbie McAfoos, President Barrios Technology.

Debbie Sharp received a Barrios BEAR Award for her outstanding performance. Pictured from left: Howard Hu, Orion MPCV Deputy Program Manager; Sandy Johnson, Barrios CEO; Sharp; and Mark Kirasich, Orion MPCV.

Devin Vyain received a Barrios BEAR Award for his outstanding performance. Pictured from left: Dane Arnold / Gateway Supervisor, Sandy Johnson, Barrios CEO; Vyain; Mark Polansky, MAPI Program Manager; Robbie McAfoos, President Barrios Technology; and Bill Kennedy, award nominator.

News Club students keep up with current events

March 2nd, 2020

Extra, extra! Read all about it! News and media clubs have cropped up on CCISD elementary campuses over the past few years and they offer students a great opportunity to cover activities happening in their own schoolyard.

Fourth grade teacher Shaun Bright started the News Club at Ross Elementary during the 2017-18 school year and has seen it grow to 14 fourth and fifth graders in the past couple of years. They meet on two Tuesdays each month. “I have always had a fascination with news and when a fifth grader approached me about starting a news club, I jumped on the idea,” Bright said. She uses her iPhone and a tripod to record the club’s broadcasts in the kiva of the school’s library. Once recording is finished, she works with students to edit the video on her phone and then transfers it to a secure YouTube channel. Once uploaded, Bright sends a video link of the broadcast to the entire school.

While everyone participates on the production side, the broadcast itself only calls for two news anchors at a time so they take turns. “I use an app on my phone that randomly selects students for every segment,” Bright said. “That way, everyone has an opportunity to hone their on-air personality and the speaking skills.”

Students at McWhirter Elementary are also keeping their classmates informed by participating in the Media Club, which started in October of last year. Fifth grade teacher Lucero Muñoz Raba and resource paraprofessional Angela Cancino-Burns currently mentor eight 5th grade students on how to relay news through video and print media in both English and Spanish. They cover school events and they interview members of the McWhirter community who have a story to tell.

“The media club opens up a space for students to express themselves, improve their writing and ask questions,” Muñoz Raba said. “These are skills that students need for their academic and personal lives so this club gives them a great opportunity to practice them.” During their weekly afternoon meetings, members review what the issues are, what they should talk about in the next edition, and then assign out tasks that include coming up with story ideas, interviewing, recording and editing. Though Muñoz Raba and Cancino-Burns guide them, the students are ultimately responsible for completing all tasks themselves.

“The idea is that all students go through the different jobs and learn different skills,” Muñoz Raba said.  Some students enjoy participating in the club because it allows them to acquire new skills. Others like Sabino Banuelos like keeping their fellow students in the know. “I wanted to join the media club because I like being able to tell other people what’s going on in the news,” he said.

A fellow classmate, however, saw it as an opportunity to brush up on his public speaking skills. “I knew that it would help me with my stage fright,” said fifth grader Jimmy Rodriguez. Muñoz Raba says that they began with a broadcast version only, but then added a print component called “Bulletin Boards,” which they post in the hallway for students and staff to read as they walk by. If there is a school-wide assembly at the end of the month, the video broadcast is presented to the whole student body. If there is no assembly, all teachers receive the link via email so they can share the broadcast with their students during their morning meetings.

Though the club just started recently, Muñoz Raba enjoys working with her students on how best to cover the issues going on in their community. “All this is a learning process for them and for us too,” she said.

Bond passage big plus for a fast growing city

February 27th, 2020

League City Mayor Pat Hallisey, seated, and City Manager John Baumgartner, fourth from left, receive congratulations on their speeches for the State of the City Luncheon at the Civic Center. With them are, from left, Congressman Randy Weber, State Sen. Larry Taylor, Memorial Hermann Director of Government Relations Ashlea Quinonez, League City Regional Chamber President Dewan Clayborn and Chamber Chairman and Realtor James Brockway.

By Mary Alys Cherry

A successful year and a year to remember – that was the story for League City this past year, Mayor Pat Hallisey told the sellout crowd attending the State of the City Luncheon Jan. 31 at the Johnnie Arolfo Civic Center.

Among the successes for the fast-growing municipality was passage of the $145 million bond referendum that will improve both drainage and mobility across the city, and an agreement with the City of Houston, through the Gulf Coast Water Authority, that will secure a reliable and safe water supply for the future buildout of League City, as well as replace an aging water line that supplies 70 percent of League City’s water supply. “It’s fantastic,” he said, taking time to thank the League City Chamber and its businesses for their support of the bond.

“Money generated from the sales tax will go specifically towards drainage and traffic projects,” he explained. Already engineering design work is underway on 13 or the 21 projects in the 2019 bond, he said, going on to praise City Manager John Baumgartner for his efforts to unite cities for the Regional Drainage Study of Clear Creek and Dickinson Bayou.

Passage of the bond referendum, which called for $73 million for drainage and $72 million for mobility, was the first general obligation bond voters had OK’d in 27 years, and brought a huge sigh of relief to the mayor, as well as many residents who likely had given up on ever getting a bond passed after so many tries and failures. And it comes as the city’s population zooms past the 110,000 mark – an increase of about 80,000 since the last general obligation bond was passed.

The city manager, who also addressed the crowd, pointed out some of the city’s priorities for 2020 including various traffic and mobility projects, additions and improvements to the city’s parks and trails, and continued efforts to bring more commercial development to League City. Both talked of commercial development and their efforts to diversifying the city’s tax base and creating jobs with a sustainable income. One attention getter was the mayor’s announcement that Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is coming to the city.

“The Austin-based company has picked League City as the next spot to open its state-of-the-art movie theatre that also features award-winning cuisine, cocktails and craft beer delivered right to your seat,” he said, bringing smiles to faces around the room. The family-friendly entertainment facility will be located in the Victory Lakes Center on the northeast corner of I-45 and FM 646.

Copies of the city’s 2018 annual report were available for each luncheon guest. “This is the first printed annual report we have ever created,” Hallisey told the audience that also included City Councilors Chad Tressler, Larry Millican, Greg Gripon and Hank Dugie. “We did it so our residents and businesses can see how hard the city is working for them. League City has some of the most dedicated and committed employees you will ever meet,” he said, noting several at the luncheon – Public Works Director Jody Hooks, Budget Director Angie Steelman, Public Works Utility Manager Tommy Arredondo, Director of Engineering Chris Sims, Communications Director Sarah Greer Osborne, Economic Development Director Scott Livingston and City Manager Baumgartner.

Movers & Shakers: John Nugent

February 27th, 2020

Name:  John Nugent

Occupation:  Real estate broker/ReMax Space Center associate; 2020 chairman of Houston Association of Realtors

Hometown:  Maypearl, Texas

Current home: Nassau Bay

Family:  Wife, Madeline; children, Whitney, James, Jason and Marian; grandchildren, Briley, Mia, Brayden, Thomas and Collins

My favorite writer is: Doris Kearns Goodwin
Someone I’d like to meet:  Bill Gates

If I could switch places with someone for just one day, I’d choose:  Warren Buffett

My favorite performers are: The Beatles, Buddy Holly, The Eagles, Bob Hope

I like to spend my leisure time:  With the family

If I could travel any place, I’d go to:  Ireland
My favorite meal is:  Steak and baked potato

As a youngster, I wanted to grow up to be:  A pilot

You’ll never catch me:  Drinking brandy — again

The thing that bugs me the most is: People who are negative

My favorite movie is: Schindler’s List

Few people know:  That I was an intelligence officer in the Army

Fun Factory Performers

February 27th, 2020

By Don Armstrong

Main-stream automakers have been turning out performance vehicles since the 60’s but today’s factory racers are hotter than ever. Here are a couple examples that should get your blood pumping just looking at them.

Ford F-150 Raptor
Photo credit: NWAPA / Josh Mackey

Ford F-150 Raptor
The Baja 1000 is one example of extreme off-road racing and is where Ford’s F-150 Raptor was developed.

Power comes from a twin turbo, 450-horsepower V-6 engine. No, not a V-8. A new 10-speed automatic transmission handles the gear changes to its computer-controller 4-wheel/all-wheel drive system – when the tires are on terra firma. Controlling the Raptor’s rough and tumble suspension are Fox Racing shocks at all four corners, also adjusted electronically. Because of the extensive power and traction, tires tend to rotate on the wheels, so Ford has optional bead-lock rims available.

The interior gets special body-hugging seating, with Raptor Easter eggs throughout the cabin – in case you needed to be reminded that you are not in grampa’s old grocery getter.
The minute you climb up, strap-in, hit the ignition and put it in gear, you know you are in something like no other. The ride is solid and takes on big city potholes like they don’t exist. The power curve and transmission shifts are confidence-building adrenaline rushes.
Pricing starts at $53,205

Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack 392

Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack 392
It’s not the Hellcat, with 707 supercharged horsepower, but it does have 485-horses and it’s not nearly as expensive – $38,995. That’s $20,000 less than the Hellcat.

The naturally aspirated R/T Challenger 392 Scat pack comes with many of the same “bad boy” body cues as its more powerful Hellcat brother. And let’s face it, that’s just as important as horsepower. You know – walk-the-walk.

What really draws our attention is the options list. With no fewer than 11 colors, a Wide Body variation, choice of manual or automatic transmissions, myriad of graphics, wheels, tires, spoiler and more, so creating a Challenger 392 Scat Pack that is unique to you is a cinch.

The Uconnect Infotainment system is simply the best on the market and the “Performance Pages” within will have you selling your PlayStation.

Some may dismiss this car as an old heavy weight, but there is something to be said about feeling safe in this rocket ship. Owning a Scat Pack will not only satisfy your need for speed but will tell everyone else, “get out of my way.”

Home Office Decor

February 27th, 2020

By Kelly Groce

Whether your job allows you to work from home or you enjoy creating YouTube videos, updating your food blog or looking up new recipes to try, having a functional and inspiring work space at home is key to letting your creative juices flow.

GALLERY WALL
A gallery wall allows you to tell your story with a collection of pieces. This can include photos you’ve taken while traveling, photos of family/friends, framed certificates or degrees, etc. Include inspirational pieces as well so that you are motivated while you’re at your desk. This can include a quote, a magazine cover you love or a photo of someone you aspire to be like. Have fun with this!

ORGANIZATION
There is no doubt that an organized work space will boost your productivity. Having less clutter around you and knowing where everything belongs will decrease stress while getting tons more work done. Purchase organizational items that match the theme of your office and are visually pleasing to your esthetic. Dry erase and cork boards come in trendy shapes and sizes now and are the best way to stay on top of your work load.

LIGHTING
Lighting may be overlooked while creating your dream work space or home office, but it is very important. Harsh, overhead light can create a mean glare on your computer screen thus resulting in a headache from eye strain. Natural light is ideal for any room and will definitely increase productivity, but can also create intense glares on screens depending on the time of the day. Use desk lamps that come with a dimmer to adjust throughout the day. A tall floor lamp is a good choice and produces the right amount of ambience and will ramp up productivity.

TriFitness Gym – A Great Place To Be

February 27th, 2020

By Alisa Star

As we reach a certain age our body and metabolism change. It becomes harder to shed those unwanted pounds, and movement becomes more challenging. TriFitness will help you go through your fitness journey by creating your own personal workout program that is targeted for your needs. It is based on the mobility of your body. Their team of experts are there to help you achieve your goals in a safe and successful manner.

TriFitness gym is a functional aging specialist fitness center that specializes in small group programs that targets fifty plus years of age and older. The gym is an education based facility and provides training to increase balance, flexibility, endurance, strength and in other areas that focus on natural movement. This helps seniors live a more functional daily life. Age doesn’t define our capabilities, and everyone’s body ages differently. With the right instructor and proper health program, you can help your body slow down the rate at which we lose our functional capacity.

TriFitness is one of a kind gym that has a dynamic set of instructors that are there to cater to your personal workout needs. Jake Trione, co-owner, is a functional aging specialist. Trione loves connecting with people and inspires his clients to meet their goals through his aging fitness and health programs. Trione is dedicated to his clients and makes them feel encouraged that they are working out in a safe way according to their body’s needs. Co-owner John Adelletta, loves his community and wants all the people who enter TriFitness doors to feel comfortable.

Some of TriFitness clients were eager to share their stories. Jerrye, who has been going for two months now said, “I come twice a week, I’m here to save my life”. And Brenda who’s been going faithfully says, she feels great when she arrives, and even better when she leaves. One of their daily highlights is seeing the trainers, feeling important, working out in a safe way and reaching their daily goals.

With the right fitness and nutrition program you can live a longer healthier life. TriFitness gym specializes in caring, connecting, and coaching. They are here to give you the right information, walk you through your personal training program, and get you started to a happier, healthier, better you! “TriFitness gym is buying into you, you’re not buying into us” stated Trione.

TriFitness Gym is located at 2417 Bay Area Blvd in Clear Lake. Visit www.trifitnessgym.com or call (281) 786-1189 for more information.

Simplify your fishing for greater success

February 27th, 2020

Jason Blackwell with a healthy Galveston redfish caught on top water among some active mullet.

By Capt. Steve Soule

For many of us, fishing is possibly one of the greatest pleasures in life. That statement certainly fits me well. So many times you hear expressions about fishing like “A day of fishing is better than a day of work” or “I’m just happy to be out on the water” or “the catching is a bonus.” Those are all great and though true to some degree, but I like catching fish! One of my favorite childhood memories was on tough days of fishing my dad would always tell me “that’s why it’s called fishing not catching son.” Well, it didn’t take long to elicit a very profound thought from me; “Well dad, I like the catching part!”

Whether you’re new to fishing or if you have been at it for a lifetime already, I’m going to propose some thoughts that hopefully can make your fishing days better and more enjoyable.

We all tend to overthink and overcomplicate things in life, when in fact most of life is very simple. If you take a close look at problems and work towards solutions, things tend to work themselves out just fine. It’s not until we start trying to overthink things and complicate situations with irrelevant information that we start struggling to find solutions. Fishing is fairly simple when you break it down to its most basic components. We as anglers, target various species of fish. They have to eat so we should be able to catch them!

Let’s keep this simple! Fish cannot survive without eating! Let’s add a few important points. Fish live in the water. They need several very basic things to stay alive and thrive. They need food! They need safety! They need comfort! They need rest! When you break this down to the most basic list of survival essentials, it’s really not all that complicated. There are other inherent needs but those aren’t nearly as relevant to this discussion.

In that short list above you will notice that food is first. Without food, none of the others is important for long. I’m going to start at the other end since food will be one of the top keys to your success. Comfort for fish comes in just a few areas that are useful for us as anglers to be aware of. Temperature and barometric pressure, then the ability to rest without disturbances. The first two, tend to effect fish in very similar ways. Generally speaking if temperatures are at extremes of high or low, fish tend to move deeper. It’s important to be aware that fish are cold blooded and therefor move a great deal based on temperatures. Here’s one of the most profound things about most of the fish we commonly seek on the upper Texas coast: in the colder months if air temps are lower than the water temps, fish will move to deeper water! The reverse is true when the air is warmer than the water. Barometric pressure can have a similar effect on fish, especially trout. Very high or very low pressure will move fish to deeper water and tend to slow their feeding. Barometric pressure changes, tend to trigger feeding.

Safety for fish comes in several forms. It may have only been safety from larger predators at one time, but we have added a huge influence with boats and the advancement of boats today. Predators for speckled trout and redfish would consist of larger members of their own species, sharks, alligators, birds of prey and more. In many cases fish can live in deeper water and avoid predation by living near structures that can provide safe haven. Many species live in shallower waters, where larger predators can’t reach them. With modern boats and their ability to run in just inches of water, fish have considerably less ability to hide to find comfort or safety. When you do find areas that provide safe haven for predators and prey, that also don’t have heavy boat traffic, things can get really exciting.

Food. This is the single most important factor in finding fish. You can’t rely on finding their food sources alone, nor can you find safe spaces that don’t have food and expect to have good catches. Food is a quintessential element of survival. Finding food is the beginning of finding predators. In the summer this is way too easy; food sources are everywhere and you have to narrow it down to a particular type of bait. Predators may get very picky about what they will follow and eat when there is an abundance of food. During the cooler months, predator fish, such as trout or redfish, have considerably less on the menu and therefore finding baitfish often leads to catching. Here’s some fun things to remember; finding baitfish in periods of cold or extremes of barometric pressure isn’t always easy. Here’s where some basic knowledge of the bay or specific areas you are fishing will help. Each progressive step up the food chain needs to eat, so knowing what each step requires to live will help you locate the overall food chain.

As you grow in fishing and knowledge, these puzzle pieces become much clearer in how they fit together. Give yourself a few minutes of thought before you fish next. Take the time to look at and theorize what the conditions would do to the fish and their food sources, then be prepared to adjust your plan on the fly, as theory and practice don’t always see eye to eye.

Get out and enjoy the outdoors, but please do it in a respectful manner.

Boondoggles and Chelsea Wine Bar to host Woofstock 2020

February 27th, 2020

 

By Rick Clapp

The ever popular Boondoggles Pub and Chelsea Wine Bar will host the 8th Annual Woofstock 2020. This fun four-legged friendly community event will be held Saturday, March 28 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m at 4106 E NASA Pkwy in El Lago. Woofstock is sponsored each year by neighboring establishments, Boondoggles Pub and Chelsea Wine Bar and benefits Bay Area Pet Adoptions. This fundraising event of Boondoggles Pub and Chelsea have helped raise over $75,000 since the start of Woofstock.

Woofstock is open to the public and will feature vendors, live music, live auction, food, brews and wine. Door prizes and t-shirts will be available for sale as well.

Boondoggles and Chelsea have earned and built their award winning reputation for serving good food, desserts and quality libations, as well as a commitment to the local community.

“Our goal from the onset was to provide our customers with a very comfortable, warm and welcoming place where friends and family can come and enjoy the atmosphere and quality food and drinks. Community and customer focus is tantamount and that has earned our loyal community support,” says General Manager, James Venezia.

While Boondoggles is well known for their large variety of beers of tap and “world class” pizzas cooked in the pub’s wood-fired oven, where they combine oak and mesquite wood to produce cooking temperatures over 500 degrees. On the other hand, Chelsea’s Wine Bar features a large variety of select wines, tasty savory bites as well as decadent desserts to choose from. Both venues offer a warm and inviting ambiance and environment.

Man’s best friend is part of the culture at Boondoggles and are welcomed. The owner’s boxer and mascot has been immortalized in the 21 year history and is incorporated into the pub’s logo. You can even print an 8 ½ X 11 picture to Boondoggles and they’ll frame it and put it on their dog wall.

Boondoggles features a private upstairs event reception room for your corporate parties, meetings and special occasions.

So, whether you have a canine friend or not plan on coming to support Woofstock 2020 and the Bay Area Pet Adoptions March 28 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

For more information visit www.boondogglespub.com or www.chelseaswinebartexas.com and follow then both on Facebook. Woofstock 2020 booths still available for rent; contact boondogglespub@comcast.net for a reservation.