League City sailor’s remains to be buried 78 years later

May 30th, 2019

Members of the public are invited to a reception on Saturday, June 1 to honor a 19-year-old League City sailor who died in the 1941 Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor and whose remains were recently identified using DNA analysis.

Navy Seaman 2nd Class Richard J. Thomson will be interred at Fairview Cemetery on North Kansas at 1 p.m. The City of League City, in conjunction with The Fairview Cemetery Group and the League City Historical Society, will host a reception at the League City Recreation Center on 400 West Walker immediately following the burial.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Thomson was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Thomson.

From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew, which were subsequently interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries. In September 1947, tasked with recovering and identifying fallen U.S. personnel in the Pacific Theater, members of the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) disinterred the remains of U.S. casualties from the two cemeteries and transferred them to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks.

The laboratory staff was only able to confirm the identifications of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma at that time. The AGRS subsequently buried the unidentified remains in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Thomson.

In 2015, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) exhumed the USS Oklahoma Unknown remains from the Punchbowl for analysis. In 2019, scientists from the DPAA collaborated with the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System to use anthropological and DNA analysis to officially identify Thomson and subsequently notify his family.

Thomson’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the Punchbowl, along with the others who are missing from WWII. A rosette has been placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

League City school history dates back to 1873

February 1st, 2019

Third-generation League City Elementary students stand on the steps of Clear Creek ISD’s oldest school building. At least one of their grandparents attended school here.

As nearly 30, third-generation students from League City Elementary stand on the steps of their current school, they might not be fully able to grasp the rich piece of history that lives within the walls of the oldest building in the Clear Creek Independent School District.

Earlier in 2018, these students were temporarily moved back into the building where one or both of their grandparents attended school so that contractors could finish a complete rebuild of the new League City Elementary more quickly. This new building will add yet another chapter in the history of League City schools since the early 1870s.

“Our students were so excited when we moved into this building last December,” said League City Elementary Principal Xan Wood. “They see this building as a nicer facility than the one that they had before. We are trying to tell the story of how far our schools have come over the last 100 years as well, while we are here.”

The first school, named the Clear Creek School House, dates back to 1873 when George Washington Butler built a one-room cabin to be used as a school for his children and those of his neighbors. In 1890, League City’s namesake, John C. League, purchased land in the original town of Clear Creek and set out to develop the city.

As the railroad brought in new families, a larger school was needed for local children. In 1894, League built a three-room building on the corner of Kansas Avenue and 2nd Street to be used as a community school. The Hurricane of 1900 would destroy this building, and the Little Green School House was built in its place in 1901. After 79 years of being used by the district, the building was torn down in 1980. A schoolhouse museum which displays local school memorabilia and educational artifacts now stands in its place.

In 1912, a $15,000 bond was passed by the citizens of League City to build a two-story brick building for a new school on the corner of South Kansas Avenue and Walker Street. The League City School served students in grades one through twelve for 26 years before being torn down during the Great Depression.

When the 1912 League City School was demolished in 1938, the new white school building was erected in its place. This is the building where the current students of League City Elementary are learning 106 years later.

Dera Cooke, who started her teaching career in the current building 37 years ago, reflects on the history of the school with fond memories. “Back to the future is what it feels like. I was so excited to actually come back here because I really like this building,” said Cooke who came out of retirement to help League City students with a variety of subjects and test prep.

The Clear Creek Consolidated School District, now known as the Clear Creek Independent School District, was formed on April 20, 1948 during a joint meeting of the boards of trustees of the League City, Seabrook and Webster area districts. Kemah, a common school district, voted to join the consolidation three months later. League City was the largest of the communities at the time with a population of about 1,000 people. The League City School was turned into an elementary and junior high at this point, with the high school students being sent to Webster High School.

“The front entrance of the school is exactly the same and I still remember the spot in the gym in there where I had to put my nose to the wall one time,” said first-generation League City Elementary student John Lothrop. He attended school in the current building for grades one through six beginning in 1957.

Through the years after consolidation, the League City School building has served multiple purposes once the most recent League City Elementary was built in 1960. As the District grew, space was needed to house different grade levels and even different schools, such as Clear View High School and Clear Path Alternative High School. Clear Creek ISD is now celebrating its 70th anniversary this year and has gone from serving nearly 1,000 students in 1948 to now more than 42,000 in 2018.

Even through the excitement of having a new building to learn in next year, Principal Wood still sees the importance of teaching her students about the history of the building they are currently in before moving into their new space.

“As the year has progressed, the history of the building and the classrooms has been shared through staff and local community members and students find it all so fascinating,” said Wood. “Having more than 30 third-generation Mustangs and many more second-generation students, the parents and grandparents have also enjoyed coming back ‘home’ to visit.”

The new League City Elementary building, which will have a capacity of 900 students, is projected to be finished in August 2019 before the beginning of school. This project was part of the May 2017 CCISD Bond program approved by voters.

“I absolutely cannot wait for our students, teachers, and families to walk into the new building next August,” said Wood. “We have had the pleasure to watch it go up beam by beam and we celebrate each week the progress being made.”

For more information on the 70th anniversary of Clear Creek ISD, visit www.ccisd.net/70years.

League City Fire Marshal’s Office seeks assistance with identification

January 22nd, 2019

An unidentified woman is being sought for questioning about the activation of a fire alarm on Friday, Jan. 4 at South Shore Harbour Resort, located at 2500 South Shore Blvd. in League City.

At approximately 10:50 p.m., the fire alarm was activated, initiating a false report of a fire and bringing out the League City Volunteer Fire Department, Fire Marshal Tommy Cones said.

After further investigation by his office, the incident was found to have been recorded by video surveillance cameras located on the property. Also, other suspicious activities were noted in the video, which cause concerns to the investigators, Cones said. Photos of the unidentified female and the vehicle she drove off in were released to the press.

The Fire Marshal’s Office is considering this person a “person of interest” and seeks the public’s assistance with identifying her. Anyone with information on the identity or location of this person, is asked to contact Fire Marshal Tommy Cones at 281-554-1291 or Deputy Fire Marshal Lee Darrow at 281-554-1292.

League City seeks feedback on proposed bond election

December 14th, 2018

League City is considering placing general obligation bond initiatives and a ¼ cent sales tax referendum on the ballot for League City voters to consider in May 2019.

Residents are encouraged to share their feedback on projects up for consideration by taking the short survey below. The survey will close on Dec. 21, 2018.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/league-city-may-2019-election

A City Council work session to discuss a possible bond election was held Dec. 11, in council chambers. Citizens were able to make comments at the end of the presentation and during the Hearing of Citizens portion of the 6 p.m. Council meeting.

Town Hall meetings have also been scheduled for Jan. 10 and Feb. 7 to gather input from residents. Both meetings are scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Johnnie Arolfo Civic Center.

In the coming weeks and months, City Council will be discussing the projects in detail as well as the overall decision of whether or not to place a general obligation bond and/or a ¼ cent sales tax on the ballot for League City voters to consider in May 2019. Statutory requirements mandate that City Council must call for the election by February 15, 2019 in order to hold the election in May.

League City seeks feedback on proposed bond election

December 12th, 2018

Citizen Survey Open till December 21

League City is considering placing general obligation bond initiatives and a ¼ cent sales tax referendum on the ballot for League City voters to consider in May 2019. Residents are encouraged to share their feedback on projects up for consideration by taking the short survey below. The survey will close on Dec. 21, 2018.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/league-city-may-2019-election

Town Hall meetings also have been scheduled for Jan. 10 and Feb. 7, to gather input from residents. Both meetings are scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Johnnie Arolfo Civic Center.

In the coming weeks and months, City Council will be discussing the projects in detail as well as the overall decision of whether or not to place a general obligation bond and/or a ¼ cent sales tax on the ballot for League City voters to consider in May 2019. Statutory requirements mandate that City Council must call for the election by Feb. 15, 2019 in order to hold the election in May.

EliteCare 24/7 ER – League City • Real Doctors • Real ER • Real Fast

December 1st, 2018

Doctors Nguyen Luu, James Vincent and Jason Gukhool

By James Vincent, MD, FACEP, FAAP
Medical Director, EliteCare 24HrER League City

I love a good origins story! (I’m trudging through the Alexander Hamilton book by Ron Chernow, and to my Marvel-loving children’s chagrin, I enjoyed the DC movie “Man of Steel”.) It seems like every ER nowadays – hospital-based or free-standing – claims to have fast service and great care; your insurance is probably advising you to avoid the ER; and what’s the difference between urgent-care and free-standing ER anyway? I hope to shed some light on the state of ER care in the area and will highlight some features of EliteCare’s origins along the way.

The short version is that EliteCare really does have great doctors – our doctors are or have been medical directors of large hospital ERs; one of our docs is board-certified in emergency and internal medicine with ultrasound fellowship; and I trained two extra years at Texas Children’s for pediatric emergency medicine certification. Like a hospital-based ER, we can treat any emergency, from a stroke using tPA to abdominal pain requiring ultrasound or CT imaging to setting broken bones using nitrous oxide or ketamine to infants with respiratory distress or fever. (This is probably the major difference between ER and urgent care, our ability to handle all conditions.) Since our only providers are physicians, you’ll never see a nurse practitioner or PA. We also don’t play games with your “arrival-to-provider-greet” time, so you’ll never be sent to a “results-wait” or “internal-hold” area like you would at a hospital ER. At EliteCare, you’ll arrive, fill out very basic paperwork, then go to a room to be seen by the nurse and doctor, usually within 10 minutes, to then immediately begin evaluation and treatment. Finally, we’ve figured out how to bill your insurance and use a patient advocate to minimize out-of-pocket expenses in order to make sure that your insurance pays for the majority of your visit. Now for our origins story, read on…

EliteCare’s Administrative and Marketing Department.

About 10 years ago, the idea for EliteCare was born. Our ER group was a physician-led group in Houston with about 100 ER doctors, and we staffed the ER’s at all of the HCA hospitals in Houston, (including Clear Lake Regional Medical Center). Delivery of care in a hospital ER was getting frustrating. We had all trained in emergency medicine at intense hospitals across the country from Detroit to UT Houston/Hermann. We began to feel, however, that caring for patients was becoming less important than meeting hospital and federal quality measures. The leaders of our ER group began to think, “What if we built our own ER? How would it look? How would we deliver care?” Texas was one of the few states that could even support a physician-created business. Thankfully, our leaders obtained approval from legislators and licensing bodies and proceeded to create the ideal ER. The “free-standing ER” was born, and EliteCare was one of the first. How would this “ideal” ER look?

EliteCare’s Front Desk Registrars.

Well, first of all, it would be nice, comfortable. Our leaders designed a beautiful waiting room, with the comfortable accommodations you might find at Pottery Barn, including vaulted ceilings, a coffee station, and a nice big television. (This was ground-breaking, since most hospital ER waiting rooms in 2008 were drab and dingy with old vinyl chairs.) Treatment rooms then would be functional, close to nursing and lab stations, but cozy and non-intimidating. Physician designers placed a central nurse’s station, encircled by the treatment rooms, but with warm wood-floor paneling. (This also was a paradigm-shift for the time.) And now ten years later? We then crafted our own formulary and medical record system, with the only requisite being ease of use and efficiency. Therefore, while ER doctors at a large hospital might be charting with Meditech or Epic, which can be time-consuming, EliteCare still has the fastest electronic medical record, giving us more time at the bedside to talk with you about your plan of care.

We would also want the best doctors. Our ER group had more than 100 ER doctors, and we had all already joined because we believed in the vision of a physician-led group. EliteCare then would only let the best of these docs, those with the greatest connections and greatest training and influence, to work at our elite facility. This unique selection pressure led to our very best docs with the most robust training and experience to staff EliteCare. Since we had all been in the Clear Lake area for many years, we already had the best connections for specialty and follow-up care.

(On my own cell-phone, I am able to immediately reach out to plastic and orthopedic surgeons, as well as GI, cardiology, neurology, and pediatric neurology specialists.) We were also able to work with local hospital administrators to make transfer to any hospital smooth and easy, to the hospital of the patient’s choice, keeping us unaffiliated.

We’d also build at the best location. After some research, our founders decided on the corner or 646 and I-45 to build our dream facility. (We consider it a great compliment and endorsement that 10 years later other large hospital groups have also invested in our “League City Medical Village” by building facilities nearby.) EliteCare League City was the first though, the founding provider of health-care in this area.

Like any good romantic comedy or Hallmark movie we’ve had our ups and downs. We’ve learned a lot about insurance companies and how to help folks with their bill. We recently underwent management changes, which has helped us in many ways, including having a well-reviewed presence on Facebook and Yelp and even sprucing up our façade with new lighting. We also just finished our refurb’ with new paint and furniture.

What is the end result? EliteCare is a local League City business, but with world-class expertise. We have drawn the best doctors, nurses, radiology technicians, and front-desk and support staff to our vision of providing the best ER care possible. We’ll spend time with you, take care of every possible emergency, and minimize the time needed for charting and regulatory hassles. We even have newly-renovated observation rooms if you need intensive overnight treatment, and we have connections with a full array of specialists who can see you same or next day for complicated conditions, all of which can keep you out of the hospital. If your condition does require hospitalization, we also have connections with every local hospital and can transfer you quickly to your hospital of choice. And then when the bill comes, we have a patient advocate ready to help fight the insurance company on your behalf.

In conclusion, EliteCare is ready 24/7 for all of your all of your emergency needs. If you have any questions, from benefit coverage to health advice, call us at 281-337-7500. Our doctor or nurse will be standing by to offer personalized advice. Schedule your tour today! elite24er.com

The Affordable Care Act treats emergency health care as an essential health care benefit and it requires insurers to do the same – that means insurance companies must provide coverage for any emergency visit as if it were an in-network visit.

The Room

November 1st, 2018

By Xander Thomas

A new poker club and lounge, opening soon in the heart of South Shore Harbour, will be catering directly to local lifestyle. A major question surrounding this – is it legal?

“We operate within accordance of Texas law,” said Keith Taylor, managing partner of The Room.

Keith says that Texas is “one of the biggest exporter of gamblers in the U.S.,” so it just makes sense to have a place in town where people can go play their card games, instead of constantly traveling across state borders.

He also explained that there are three major rules to being able to open a business like this in Texas: it must be a private place, no one can receive a profit outside of personal winnings – in other words, the house cannot take a rake from the game, and the odds of winning and losing must be equal between all players – other than luck and skill, of course.

“There is no way to lose to the house,” Keith said.

While poker is a large part of what they do, the guys at The Room would like people to know that it is more than just a place for card players. “You could be playing Tiddlywinks, Monopoly, whatever,” he said.

The Room is a private club that has more than just tables to offer its members. They have TVs, a conference room and even have a cigar lounge, which can double as a banquet hall for private tastings member events. They were conscious in the design of the area to make sure that the entire place does not fill with smoke.

“We engineered the air conditioning with negative pressure in there and positive pressure out here so that air is pushed into that room when you open that door.” Keith said, adding that they will have viewing events for game days, and members can always just come in and hang out, even if they don’t play games or use the tables at all.

They will even have a night devoted to bringing women in; every Tuesday night is ladies’ night. They offer free sangria, wine and beer, and have separate tables for regular players and beginners. “Don’t be scared to come try it,” Keith said.

They are encouraging beginners and advanced players alike to check it out and just have a good time, maybe even use it as a date night idea. They offer lessons on Friday nights, as well, so that people of all skill levels can join in the games.

The grand opening of The Room is on Saturday, Nov. 10, and they say that there will be free beer, cigars, smoked meats, an event for charity, even a prize drawing. There will be separate tables for beginners, so that new players don’t have to feel intimidated. You can follow them on Facebook or sign up on their website at www.theroomleaguecity.com for more info.

Movers & Shakers: John Baumgartner

November 1st, 2018

Name: John Baumgartner

Occupation: League City’s city manager

Hometown: Juneau, Alaska

Current home: League City

Family: Wife, Dee Dee; Children: Dallas 26, Robert 26, Emily 22, and Daci 14

What do you like about your job: The great people working together to make League City the very best!
Someone I’d like to meet: Jesus

My favorite performers are: James Taylor or anything sports

I like to spend my leisure time: Relaxing with family

If I could travel any place, I’d go to: Alaska in the summer and Hawaii in the winter

My favorite meal is: Anything my mother cooks, but a great steak and salad with her apple pie is the best

As a youngster, I wanted to grow up to be: Lawyer, but math was better than English, so I went to engineering school

You’ll never catch me: Cheating at golf

The thing that bugs me the most is: Dishonesty

My favorite movie is: Forrest Gump

Few people know: I ran the Boston Marathon when I was skinny

South Shore Harbour Resort celebrating 30th anniversary

August 1st, 2018

South Shore Harbour Resort & Conference Center is celebrating three decades of style, hospitality and memories with a special lineup of events as well as $30 dollar stays on select days this summer. From music and wine lovers to a family looking for an exciting getaway into the bay, there’s something for everyone at South Shore Harbour this season.

“Our 30th Anniversary is a special milestone for us,” said Roy Green, general manager for South Shore Harbour Resort. “With over a dozen special events ranging from our summer concert series to our Sip & Sail party boat cruises, we are excited to welcome guests to celebrate and enjoy our facilities.”

Located just 30 minutes from downtown Houston, South Shore Harbour Resort & Conference Center is the largest full-service waterside resort and conference center in Southeast Texas. With its spectacular peninsular location, the entire complex has had a definite visual impact on the Clear Lake skyline while its classical motif and post-modern design distinguishes it from typical international class hotels.

Built by the Gal-Tex Corporation of Galveston, the resort got quite a sendoff with some 200 Bay Area officials and businessmen attended the groundbreaking in 1986. Opened in September 1988, SSHR is perched on Clear Lake — the country’s third largest boating destination — moments away from Kemah Boardwalk, Space Center Houston, waterfront dining and boating galore.

The hotel features 230 redesigned guest rooms, two redesigned multilevel penthouses, 25,000 square feet of meeting and event space, a marina-side pool and deck, a restaurant and a lobby bar with panoramic views of the bay. SSHR is owned by Galveston-based American National Insurance.
Over the years the hotel’s Crystal Ballroom has become a gathering place for Bay Area events – chamber celebrations, award dinners, fashion show luncheons and galas, many drawing crowds of 600+.

Many come to just chill out and enjoy their weekend. Adding to the success of last year’s poolside movie screenings, this year guests can enjoy blockbuster hits like Disney’s Beauty and the Beast on select Fridays on a giant 120’ screen. Music lovers can relax and unwind with South Shore Harbour’s Summer Concert series featuring some of Houston’s hottest cover bands. Concerts are free and a great way to kick off the weekend.
Adventure seekers can cruise the bay on a 2.5 hour Sip & Sail experience aboard the popular Houston Party Boat. Finally, wine lovers can partake in one of South Shore’s Wine Dinners featuring a four course meal paired with five handpicked wines from around the world.

And staying at South Shore this summer is bound to be memorable when guests book the resort’s Summer Baycation Package starting at $139 on weekdays and $159 on weekends. Information regarding the $30 dollar stays will be available on the resort’s website at sshr.com.

League City Citizens’ Survey Residents encouraged to share feedback regarding City’s growth, development, and future priorities

June 19th, 2018

The League City Council, mayor, and city management are seeking feedback to ensure city government is addressing issues and developing the right priorities based on the needs and wants of citizens.

All League City residents are encouraged to take an online “Citizens’ Survey” from now until July 1, 2018. The short survey contains nine questions related to the city’s growth, development, short-term and long term-goals, and issues or initiatives of concern to residents.

Residents can take the survey by going to www.leaguecity.com/survey

A paper version of the survey will also be available at a Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, June 20, at 6 p.m. at the Johnnie Arolfo Civic Center.  As part of the meeting, city staff will present on overview of a proposed Strategic Action Plan developed over the past few months by Council, the mayor, and city management.

The plan contains a set of proposed strategic priorities and initiatives to guide the work of city staff over the next three to five years.

At the June 20 Town Hall meeting, citizens will be able to provide feedback regarding the plan during an open-microphone, public comment period and via comments cards. Council is expected to formally adopt the Strategic Action plan in July.