Harris County Clerk’s Office lists dates for runoff voting

November 11th, 2019

Harris County Clerk Dr. Diane Trautman has released a list of important dates pertaining to the 2019 joint runoff election for Houston mayor and several City Council seats.

IMPORTANT DATES — Harris County Joint Runoff Election 

 

  • Last day to register to vote Nov. 14
  • Last day to apply for ballot by mail Dec. 3
  • Early Voting Nov. 27 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 2 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Dec.8 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 9 and 10, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Last day of Early Voting Dec. 10, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Election Day Dec.14, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

 

Movers & Shakers: Jordan P. Davlin

November 1st, 2019

Name: Jordan P. Davlin

Occupation: Professional MotoSurf Racer and owner of JetSurf Academy Houston

Hometown: Clear Lake City

Current home: Seabrook

Family: Lives in the Clear Lake area and North Houston

Someone I’d like to meet: Travis Pastrana or Joe Rogan

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

My favorite performers are: Nitro Circus

I like to spend my leisure time: JetSurf Racing and traveling

If I could travel any place, I’d go to: Italy

My favorite meal is: Bone-In Filet

As a youngster, I wanted to grow up to be: Lawyer

You’ll never catch me: On the MotoSurf World Cup track

2 UHCL alumni named among magazine’s Most Admired CEOs

September 11th, 2019

Two University of Houston-Clear Lake alumni were among 59 area leaders as Houston Business Journal’s Most Admired CEOs of 2019. Both lead divisions of HCA Houston Healthcare.

Honorees were Megan Marietta, CEO of HCA Houston Healthcare West, and Jeanna Bamburg, CEO of HCA Houston Healthcare Southeast. Bamburg received a bachelor’s in marketing in 1999 and an MBA in 2002. Marietta received a MBA with a concentration in health care in 2004.

Marietta is a member of Houston West Chamber of Commerce; Greater East Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce; Greater Lake Houston YMCA and Montgomery County United Way.

Bamburg belongs to the American College of Healthcare Executive’s Southeast Texas chapter; Pasadena Chamber of Commerce; San Jacinto Community College Foundation; Economic Alliance Houston Port Region; Texas Healthcare Trustees Board of Directors and Pasadena Rotary Club.

In profiling the honorees, the magazine asked each awardee the same set of questions. Asked about leadership philosophy, Marietta responded, “People and patients come first. The team is paramount and must be developed to execute successfully. Treat people with respect and listen to others when they share their feedback.”

To the same question, Bamburg replied, “I feel it’s my job to influence and inspire everyone in my organization to do better for our patients. Consistency and leading by example are two mantras I focus on.”

In selecting honorees, the magazine’s judges looked for characteristics such as contribution to company success, civic involvement, career achievement and other factors. Judges selected 17 nonprofit leaders and 42 for-profit leaders for awards.

Houston Spaceport slowly turning dream into reality

August 1st, 2019

Taking part in the Spaceport groundbreaking were, from left, Houston City Councilman Mike Knox, Intuitive Machines President Steve Altemus, Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership President Bob Mitchell, San Jacinto College Chancellor Dr. Brenda Hellyer, Houston Airport System Executive Director Mario Diaz, Ellington Airport General Manager Arturo Machuca and FAA Deputy Regional Administrator Rob Lowe.

By Mary Alys Cherry

The Houston Spaceport has been a dream for the past four years. Now it is moving toward reality after a groundbreaking ceremony June 28 for the first phase of the project at Ellington Field.

“When complete, Phase 1 will provide the ground work to support the companies that produce the cutting-edge innovations needed to take commercial space travel and aviation into the sub-sonic, super-sonic and hyper-sonic realm,” Diaz said, no doubt remembering a day four years ago on June 30, 2015, when Houston received its license from the FAA and became the nation’s ninth spaceport.

Phase 1 of the project required an $18.8 million investment to provide the ground level infrastructure – streets, electrical power, water, wastewater, fiber optic and communication facilities — to attract commercial space travel and aviation companies to Houston. That came in May when Houston City Council approved the funds.

Joining Diaz in turning the first shovels of dirt were Ellington Airport Director Arturo Machuca, Houston City Councilman Mike Knox, San Jacinto College Chancellor Dr. Brenda Hellyer, Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership President Bob Mitchell, Intuitive Machines CEO Steve Altemus and FAA Deputy Regional Administrator Rob Lowe.

Altemus’ Intuitive Machines, is the first company to sign on as a Spaceport tenant. Back in May, the company received a $77.2 million contract from NASA to create, launch and land its Nova-C lunar lander spacecraft to the surface of the moon with a payload of experiments from both NASA and private companies.

And then there is the need for training, for which the Spaceport has partnered with San Jacinto College. To help train that workforce, San Jacinto Chancellor Dr. Brenda Hellyer, says the Spaceport’s Edge Center for Advanced Manufacturing Training will serve as a workforce training center, providing a talent pipeline for new businesses.

“When you’re bringing in and trying to recruit new companies to the area, they need to know you have partners like that at the table to meet their needs,” Hellyer said.

Meanwhile, BAHEP President Bob Mitchell could hardly conceal his excitement as he spoke to the group.

“We are currently working with six companies which are looking to expand operations at the Houston Spaceport,” he said. “The Houston Spaceport’s certification is already acting as a catalyst to spur new interest and development at Ellington Airport.

“Over the last several years, more than $200 million worth of new projects have been  completed, or announced, at Ellington Airport, including the Lone Star Flight Museum,  the new Army Innovation Command … and its battle command center. New public hangars are under construction … and the new 117,000 square foot U.S. Coast Guard regional campus, a $57 million investment, has been completed and further expanded. Today marks a great day for Houston, for Ellington Airport and for the Houston Spaceport!

Washburn Tunnel to close nightly Aug. 5-9

July 29th, 2019

The Washburn Tunnel will be closed from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. daily, beginning Monday, Aug. 5 to Friday, Aug. 9. During that time, Texas Department of Transportation will conduct its biennial inspection, which is required by the Federal Highway Administration for all tunnels within the United States.

Drivers are reminded to use alternate routes during the closure. Alternate routes include I-610 East Loop Freeway, Sam Houston Parkway, and Highway 146.

The Washburn Tunnel is a two-lane underwater roadway connecting Galena Park and Pasadena. Named after Harris County Auditor Harry L. Washburn, the tunnel opened in 1950. It is the south’s largest and first toll-free vehicular tunnel. The site was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 2008.

For more information and updates on the Precinct, visit www.hcp2.com

She will not only climb mountains, she will move them too

June 1st, 2019

Miss Houston Teen 2019, Rita Goebel and Miss Houston 2019, Blaine Ochoa.

By Blaine Ochoa 

Everything starts with a dream, a thought, a goal, a wish. When you want something in life, go for it, give it everything you’ve got, and when you believe in something, believe in it with your whole heart.

On Easter weekend April 20, I won the title of Miss Houston 2019. Becoming Miss Houston has been a dream of mine for the past 10 years.  It’s a very surreal feeling to see your dream come to life and daily live in your dream.

I’ve always believed “all things are possible with God” Matthew 19:26 and my mom has always called,  Philippians 4:13 – For I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” my life verse.

Chasing after this dream for three and a half years has been a long journey. I’ve previously placed first runner up, and second runner up, and I’ve even fallen on stage. I’ve had a variety of ups and downs, setbacks and comebacks. It has been a challenging, emotional, exciting, and beautiful journey – the comeback is always stronger than the setback.
I’ve learned that we have to trust God’s perfect timing, even when we don’t understand. His ways are higher than our ways. I realize now that without those years of preparation, learning, changing, and growing, I wouldn’t have been ready to take on this great responsibility that I’ve been given. I am ready now, and I’ve never been more ready for this opportunity.

I’ve also learned that you have to believe in yourself and never give up. You have to know that you are good enough, strong enough, deserving, worthy, and capable of achieving your goals and dreams. Start where you are and give it your all each and every day. It takes a lot of courage, sometimes believing in yourself when no one else does. It takes stepping out in faith, when sometimes there is no clarity. The journey is not always easy, and life gets tough, but learn to persevere. Success requires discipline and resilience.

Ultimately, I’ve realized that this journey is not about me. Its about something bigger than myself. It’s about loving, helping, and encouraging others. It’s about the love of God that shines from the inside out. It’s about grace, faith, and overcoming.

I hope my story can inspire others to passionately pursue their dreams. I’m a girl from a little beach town, with humble beginnings, who believed in her self, never gave up, and believed that God could do incredible things in her life and use her in ways that only God could.

I am truly thankful for all that God has done in my life and what He is going to do. I’m honored, humbled, and beyond excited to represent the great city of Houston at Miss Texas USA 2020. I am very thankful to work with an incredible team to help me prepare for Miss Texas USA and train under the direction of the wonderful Crystle Stewart, Miss USA 2008.

I encourage everyone to be present in your life daily. Now is your time. Now is your moment. Dreams do come true, and the only way to make the impossible, possible, is to have faith.

Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton speaks of Texans’ Opportunity to Lead

June 1st, 2019

Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership President Bob Mitchell, right, congratulates Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton for an outstanding speech at the BAHEP meeting.

By Kathryn Paradis

Without the aid of PowerPoint or notes of any kind, not even a few words scribbled on his hands, Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton delivered a dynamic, passionate speech to members of the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership during its General Membership Meeting at the Clear Lake Hilton.

He spoke about The Opportunity to Lead, but his speech was about much more than leadership. First, however, it would be good to know a little of Sitton’s background. He is a mechanical engineering graduate of Texas A&M University. Elected Texas Railroad Commissioner on Nov. 4, 2014, to a six-year term, Sitton is the first engineer to serve as Railroad Commissioner in more than 50 years. In 2015, he was named one of the 40 most influential leaders under 40 in the Houston area. With nearly 20 years of experience in the oil, gas, and petrochemical industries, Sitton is considered a leader in his field. He, no doubt, knows a little something about leadership.

He began by speaking of the tradition of the Aggie Muster, which he had attended the previous evening. He said that Aggies learn from the first day on campus about the importance of believing in something more important than themselves.

“The thing that makes Aggie Muster such a special tradition for us is that it is one of those examples that show how we as a society recognize service,” Sitton said. He later spoke of his own three children who are 10, 13 and 15 years old. He asked, “In the world that we live in today, at what point in our kids’ lives do they begin to learn the lesson that if you want to be successful in this world, you’ve got to make it about people other than yourself? What is it about your life that will echo beyond yourself?”

“When I talk about the opportunity to lead, it always starts with the opportunity to serve.” He explained that this is an historical point in time for Texas saying, “This state produces nearly 5 million barrels of crude oil per day, which is 5 percent of the world’s crude. Texas produces about 24 or 25 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas. That’s close to 5 percent of the world’s natural gas. We refine along the Gulf Coast a little over 6 million barrels per day of crude oil. That’s 6 percent of the world’s refining capacity. Out of the Port of Corpus Christi, we export more crude oil than all of the other U.S. ports combined. We have over 30,000 miles of pipeline in the state. In the last five years, Texas has gone from a strong energy player to arguably the most dominant force on the planet. Energy requires massive industries to produce it effectively, and the State of Texas does it better than any other place on Earth.”

Sitton went on to ask, “Now, what do we do with that? We talk about the opportunity to lead, and opportunities come in a lot of different ways. We in Texas have the opportunity to leverage this position in energy like we haven’t done in a generation. We are changing the landscape in the world. The question is what do we do with that? How do we capitalize on that opportunity?”He said that the world is hungry for affordable, reliable energy that is produced safely, and Texas can provide that better than anyone else.

SHARE INPUT ON HOUSTON’S 2019 WATER CONSERVATION PLAN

May 28th, 2019

Houston Public Works is seeking public input on the proposed 2019 Water Conservation Plan. The Water Conservation Plan is a strategy to reduce water consumption in Houston. Water Conservation is important to ensure we have enough water for our growing population.

Houston’s population is projected to increase by 50% in the next 40-50 years. In addition, surrounding counties that have wholesale water accounts with Houston Water are also projected to double their population.

Houston Water is committed to provide safe and reliable water supplies to all customers. To do this, the city must work to conserve water.

Feedback will help make sure the proposed Water Conservation Plan is right for our community and guide future investments in water conservation programs. Public input can be made through an online survey: www.surveymonkey.com/r/waterconservationplan or by emailing waterconservation@houstontx.gov

The online survey closes Friday, May 31st @ 5PM and should take no more than 2 minutes to complete.

 

ABOUT HOUSTON PUBLIC WORKS

Houston Public Works (www.HoustonPublicWorks.org) is the largest and most diverse public works organization in the country, responsible for creating a strong foundation for Houston to thrive. Houston Public Works is responsible for streets and drainage, production and distribution of water, collection, and treatment of wastewater, and permitting and regulation of public and private construction covering a 627-square mile service area. Houston Public Works is accredited by the American Public Works Association.

Facebook & Twitter: @HouPublicWorks

New Hobby Airport Display Encapsulates Spacesuit Evolution

May 2nd, 2019

The Exhibits team stands with the new EVA Suit Evolution exhibit that will educate and inspire visitors at Hobby Airport. Image Credit: NASA/James Blair

Travelers passing through Hobby Airport will enjoy new eye candy showcasing why Houston is affectionately dubbed “Space City.” The  recent installation of a new exhibit comparing two generations of spacesuit design will help connect NASA’s iconic past to Johnson Space Center’s next giant leap.

On the left of the Hobby Airport display, visitors will see a high-fidelity replica of a shuttle-era spacesuit, right down to the NASA “worm” logo. On the right is an identical counterpart to the suit used today on the International Space Station. For passing visitors, the exhibit serves as a bold welcome to Space City USA, symbolizing Houston’s leadership role in human space exploration. For curious travelers with a few moments to spare between flights, they will discover an evolution of engineering.

“The two spacesuits are the superstars of this display,” said Exhibits Program Manager Jack Moore of Johnson’s External Relations Office (ERO). “Using scrap materials and replica parts slated for disposal, David Hughes in the EVA [Extravehicular Activity] Office meticulously assembled the suits. He handcrafted each suit to look as though it was pulled right out of an official NASA photo from the era. No detail was overlooked—the color of the visors, glove configurations and period-specific patches—all lend credence to its authenticity.”

Assembling the display required a close working relationship between ERO and the EVA Office to get the details just right. While the ERO provided creative direction and craftsmanship to build the exhibit and safeguard the priceless artifacts within, the EVA Office was invested in ensuring the accuracy of the spacesuits and content, as well as finding the perfect home for the display.

“The case’s contemporary design was drafted by the late Larry Friend, an amazing talent and wonderful man on the COMIT [Communications, Outreach, Multimedia, and Information Technology Contract] Exhibits team,” Moore said. “The COMIT team completed his work by integrating elements to support the preservation of the suits, such as vented fans and museum-grade Lexan. Cindy Bush, our graphic designer on the project, also worked closely with the EVA Office to draft beautiful designs to convey the story. Using a visual timeline across a sloped face of the display, she highlighted major component modifications through the decades.”

The EVA Office was over the Moon about the finished display and recognized the entire Exhibits group in the weeks leading up to installation at Hobby Airport.

“We’ve worked over the last year or so with the [COMIT] team on designing displays that tell the story of EVA,” said Chris Hansen, manager of the EVA Office. “Their creativity and passion for the work they do is very evident in the products they produce. They understand that these displays are inspirational, and you can tell that they put their hearts into the work they’ve done for us. It’s great to have such a talented resource available to us—a resource that cares as much about the products they create for us as we do.”

While travelers taking to the friendly skies will be swept into a 3D visualization of explorers who have donned these types of spacesuits to explore even higher trajectories, there are still other stories to be told. The Moon is center stage once more, and generations young and old are waiting to be a part of NASA’s next big adventure.

The Hobby Airport exhibit is only one example of how we can highlight the important work done every day to support humans in space. As Moore explained, the team works with many organizations throughout the year to create exhibits that share the many facets of the center with the public.

“We have an incredibly talented pool of designers, craftsmen, project managers and writers waiting to start the next exciting project,” Moore said.

HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake launches innovative alternative to open heart surgery

May 2nd, 2019

The HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake cardiology team celebrates after the hospital’s first TAVR procedures.

This April, Houston’s Bay Area marked a major cardiology milestone as HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake launched its transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) service, successfully completing three procedures on its first day.

A relatively new procedure, TAVR replaces damaged aortic valves through a catheter in contrast to open-heart surgery in which surgeons cut open the chest to expose the heart. Typically, candidates for TAVR suffer from aortic stenosis, a common but serious valve problem in which the aortic valve opening narrows, dangerously restricting blood flow and affecting pressure in the heart.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved TAVR in 2012 for patients who are considered at high risk for open-heart surgery. In 2016, the FDA approved the procedure for patients at intermediate risk. Later this year, experts expect the agency to expand its approval to low-risk patients, which will dramatically increase the number of patients who qualify for TAVR.

Just this April, Rolling Stones rocker Mick Jagger underwent TAVR for his heart valve disease, raising awareness of the procedure’s benefits, including not needing to rely on a bypass machine and a faster recovery – one to two days instead of three to five.

The FDA imposes strict requirements for hospitals wishing to practice TAVR, including successfully completing a certain number of open heart, surgical aortic valve, catheter, and percutaneous coronary interventions per year. The heart hospital at HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake, the only dedicated heart hospital in the Bay Area, performs more than 1,000 heart procedures annually.

Surgeons Pranav Loyalka and Hannan Chaugle worked with a team of cardiologists to successfully perform HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake’s first TAVR procedures. Patients interested in learning more about TAVR and other cardiology services should call (888) 842-3627 for more information.