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.

Residents Encouraged to Take Steps Now to Prepare for Future Flooding Events

May 22nd, 2018

City providing tips and resources as part of Flood Awareness Week

It’s Flood Awareness Week in the State of Texas, and the City of League City wants residents to take steps now to prepare for any future flooding events. Most homes in League City are in or near a flood hazard area and, as such, can be at an increased risk of flooding. In addition, League City is susceptible to riverine and coastal flooding.

“One of the things we are encouraging residents to do now, before a future flooding event, is to register for SwiftReach, the city’s new emergency notification system,” said Director of Communications Sarah Greer Osborne. “Even if you have received emergency notifications from the city in the past, we need everyone to register at www.leaguecity.com/swiftreach or download the SwiftReach Public 911 mobile app. Registration is quick, free of charge, and will ensure everyone in our city is notified via text or voice message when there is extreme weather, an extended utility outage, street closure, or other significant issue of public concern.

In addition, as part of Flood Awareness Week, the city’s website and social media channels will be providing tips as well as highlighting city resources and services that can mitigate flooding. They include:

  • Get a flood insurance policy. Basic homeowner’s insurance does not cover damage from floods. Ask your agent for details. Don’t delay – there is a 30-day waiting period before a policy takes effects.
  • Keep debris and trash out of the streams and ditches. It is illegal in League City to dump any type of debris into a stream or drainage ditch. Debris can become entangled in culverts and streambeds and impede drainage that can cause the flow of water to back up. Call the city’s Street and Storm Water Department at 281-554-1086 to report any dumping.
  • Don’t dump in the storm drains, as they drain to Galveston Bay. The city’s storm drains help maintain the natural functions of the floodplains by providing storage for flood waters and keeping water out of urbanized areas. Floodplains also improve water quality by filtering out impurities from runoff. These areas need to be kept clean to do their job.
  • City staff can provide advice on how to correct drainage issues and can provide you with information on grant opportunities to elevate your home. Call 281-554-1428 for more information or to request one-on-one site visits with the Floodplain Administrator.
  • Visit the city’s Engineering Department at 500 W. Walker to get flood-related information such as a Flood Insurance Rate Map, flood zone and floodway locations, past flooding data, and information on local drainage problems. Permit information and copies of elevation certificates can be requested from the Planning and Development Department, also located at 500 W. Walker

 

 

The A List

April 1st, 2018

Ange Mertens

By Ange Mertens

Sometimes we take for granted the things that surround us in our hometown. We fall victim to the proverbial “the grass is always greener”school of thought. With the allure of Houston nightlife, restaurants and style within reach some may be enticed to pursue those entertainment options from our neighbor to the north. In this new column I will be exploring the Bay Area for The Best of The Best in entertainment, food, and fashion.

Fashions from Dress Galaxy

Tis the season for prom dress shopping!  2018 prom trends have a lot of dresses representing the past with bold patterns and romantic blush tones. Off the shoulder designs are in, even better if there’s a ruffle. And two piece designs are once again hitting the runways. Mothers and daughters make the yearly trek to outstanding Houston stores like Muzzies. But did you know that right here in League City we have the designer of one of the most popular brands of prom dresses, Precious Formals? Ruby Ashraf has had her design studio and buyer show room on The Landing Boulevard for over 26 years. Just over a year ago she opened the new show room, named Dress Galaxy, to the public. You are not going to believe this store when you walk in , with the  New York style runway and the shear size and inventory of this place! The savvy prom shopper, pageant queen or socialite can find thousands of designer dresses in stock from size 00 to 30!

We may not attract Ozzy Osbourne or Rage Against the Machine at our local venues,  but in March you can see some great tribute bands at The Scout Bar on Egret Bay, that honor them. Bands like Damn the Torpedoes – a tribute to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and Green for a Day- a tribute to Green Day, play to sold out crowds almost weekly. The 80s experience band The Spazmatics, which will have you jumping up-and-down and singing at the top of your lungs by the end of the first set. This place is certainly worth a try.

The Spazmatics – Texas – The Ultimate New Wave 80s Show

Tucked away in a little strip center on Bay Area Boulevard is a local gem. This area is rich in history and history is what makes the Red Oak Café so special. After the loss of her beloved son Justin, Kim Oravetz and her family planted a red oak tree in  honor of Justin’s strength in size and of character.. Kim and her son Ian opened the Red Oak Café with their love for Justin and his larger than life personality and endearing quality at the

Heart. Everyone is family once they walk through the door and love is definitely served in their food. The Texas themed menu is more something you would find in a trendy restaurant in the hill country than in a strip center in League City. You can start your day off with The Big Breakfast, Kitchen Sink Quesadillas, Homemade Biscuits and Gravy or you can be adventurous and choose from close to 20 fresh toppings like raspberries, pumpkin, white chocolate chips, or Nutella to top your mouth watering stack of pancakes. Lunch is an Adventure of tasty dishes like Rio Grande Grilled Cheese made with three different cheeses, Granny Smith apple slices and crisp bacon that will make any grown up rethink grilled cheese. Chisholm Trail Chicken Pot Pie and Cow Poke Beef Stew are their twist on stick to your ribs favorites, but their Rustic Tarts are a surprising concoction of sweet and savory with a flaky crust filled with creamy egg custard, fresh poblano peppers, onions and zesty salsa Verde that will make your week!

Well the saying that was actually made famous in our South of Houston suburbs, “Houston We Have A Problem” is still true today because we are giving Houston a run for their money with the Best of The Best of the Bay Area!

League City trash pilot program ending

February 2nd, 2018

League City administrators have announced that the Republic Services-sponsored Cart Service Pilot program, in which residents of Centerpointe, Pecan Forest, and Nottingham Village subdivisions have been participating, is ending effective Monday, Feb. 19. The program, initiated in August 2017, provided approximately 1,050 residences with 96-gallon trash and recycling carts.

On Feb. 19, sub-contractors will begin collecting the wheeled, topped carts that were provided by Republic Services for the pilot program. Residents are asked to please place the empty carts on the curbside for easy pickup. This process is expected to take several weeks to complete.

Republic will continue to provide trash service utilizing rear loading vehicles, as it does throughout the other areas of the city. The program was originally scheduled to be terminated and carts collected by the end of January 2018, which coincides with the expiration of the initial term of Republic’s contract with the city.

However, the city requested, and Republic agreed, to delay the cart collection until the week of Feb. 19, so that residents may obtain other receptacles for continuing trash collection services. “We appreciate your cooperation throughout this process,” a city official said. Residents with questions should contact 832-386-2370, 281-554-1411 or 281-554-1007.

League City, Kroger team up to establish Donation Center

September 4th, 2017

The City of League City, led by Mayor Pat Hallisey and a group of volunteers, has teamed up with Kroger to establish a League City Kroger Donation Center to support recovery efforts related to Hurricane Harvey.

It will be located in the empty store front at 176 Gulf Freeway South (at the intersection with FM 518 and I-45) in the League City Plaza.

“We all know we are here because Chad Davidson sitting up in Mustang, Okla., saw somewhere on the news that his hometown had flooded. We have some 6,000 homes that have water in them. Most of our people are out there trying to recover right now,” Mayor Hallisey said.

The mayor also highlighted the efforts of the Kroger team from Cincinnati, all the way down to the local store, jumping through hoops to make this happen. “Their generosity is something special. We made one call and within three hours we had the store keys and the beginning on the donation center,” he added.

The empty store front had originally been set aside for Galveston County and the Red Cross to provide support, but Galveston County Commissioner Mark Henry said that facility was moved to Texas Agrilife Center in La Marque, opening the door for League City to begin establishing a single League City Kroger Donation Center, which will eventually consolidate facilities from Hometown Heroes and Walter Hall parks.

“One thing that has jumped out at me throughout this catastrophic event, is the generosity in the City of League City and Galveston County. It has just been unbelievable. Neighbors helping neighbors and people like Libby Johnson chasing me around and teaming with my wife and daughter to get this set-up,” Hallisey said.

“Our problem was that storm supplies and donations were starting to come quickly, and we needed a facility to be able to get them out to the community. Ryan Smith, the City of League City’s IT director has put in a lot of effort to coordinate the use of the Kroger storefront, forklifts and logistics coordination to help make this facility a reality. Ryan is our Radar O’Riley…he can do anything.”

On Sunday, two tractor trailers from Mustang, Okla., arrived at 7 a.m. and numerous local and area residents have stopped by to drop off supplies. The donation center is anticipating as many as six to eight additional truckloads coming in from Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, Indiana and Colorado. The center also received some welcome support from a four person Summerdale, Ala. team that drove through the storm with a goose-neck trailer to get much needed supplies into the Galveston County area.

On Sunday our donation center will become a donation and distribution center. The donation and distribution center is taking all donations except clothing. Initially the center will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. with volunteer check in beginning at 10 a.m. and continuing through the day.

Volunteers, donors and those seeking assistance are asked to report to the appropriate entrances. People looking for volunteer information or bringing large donations for drop-off should contact Johnnie Waid or Carl Wankowicz at lctxharveyrelief@gmail.com

“We are grateful for all the support for those in need,” the mayor added. “It really shows the heart of our community.”

Movers & Shakers: Mayor Pat Hallisey

April 1st, 2017

Name: Pat Hallisey

Occupation: Mayor of League City

Hometown: Houston

Current home: League City

Family: Wife of 33 years, Janice; daughter, Ashley; daughter and son-in-law, Kristi and Chad Martin; grandson, Christopher

My favorite writer is: Steven Long

Someone I’d like to meet: John Kennedy

If I could switch places with someone for just one day, I’d choose: Gov. Greg Abbott

My favorite performers is: Eric Clapton

I like to spend my leisure time: With family and friends camping and cooking.

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

My favorite meal is: Steak

As a youngster, I wanted to grow up to be: An Olympic swimmer

You’ll never catch me: Taking a nap

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

My favorite movie is: The Right Stuff

Few people know: I am a cut up

Mayor updates League City Chamber

April 1st, 2017

League City Regional Chamber President Steve Paterson, right, prepares to introduce Mayor Pat Hallisey to the crowd at the State of the City Luncheon.

By Mary Alys Cherry

League City is growing like wildfire, and city officials are working just as hard to tackle any issues that might accompany that growth, while maintaining a high quality of life and preserving its small town charm, Mayor Pat Hallisey says.

His words came in a update for the League City Regional Chamber’s State of the City Luncheon in South Shore Harbour Resort’s Marina Plaza Ballroom before a crowd that included Councilmen Larry Millican, Todd Kinsey, Greg Gripon, Keith Gross and Nick Long. New City Manager John Baumgartner, who the mayor called “óne of the city’s hardest working guys” also joined him in the update, explaining that he was trying to build a strong financial foundation for the city.

“The fabric of any community is its people,” Hallisey said, “…and I am always amazed by the spirit of our great city. While we may have our challenges from time to time, our resiliency and ability to come together as a community is stronger than ever,” he said before showing a video of some of the city’s accomplishments.

Evidence of the city’s growth:

  • 181 new businesses such as Kroger, HEB, Memorial Herman, MD Anderson, Cabela’s, Jason’s Deli, etc.
  • 10,942 building permits
  • About 1,000 new homes each year

The city’s biggest challenges in the coming years, he told the crowd, “is mobility and securing water resources to meet the needs of our growing community.”

News Nuggets

March 1st, 2017

Public comment gets council OK
League City’s boards and commissions meetings will now include a public comment section on agendas after a recent ordinance change by a unanimous City Council vote.

“I think good government is accessible to the people and if a citizen comes in and wants to speak at any one of our meetings and functions they should have the ability to do so,” said Councilman Hank Dugie.

“Some of our boards and commissions have already implemented something like this and have seen success in having a comments section for citizens – similar to City Council meetings – on their agendas.”

“This change will provide us with another avenue for us to connect with and receive direct feedback from the public,” City Manager John Baumgartner said.  “We look forward to working with our citizens, boards and commissions to implement this immediately.”

Woman burned in League City fire
A woman was hospitalized with burns when the home at 205 W. Saunders St. in League City caught fire early Friday morning, Jan. 27.

League City Volunteer Fire Department crews responded shortly before 7 a.m., arriving on-scene to find the house engulfed in flames. The fire was under control within 30 minutes; however, the house was a total loss.

“Firefighters were on-scene within a matter of moments and their actions helped minimize the impact to surrounding houses,” League City Fire Marshal Tommy Cones said.

The victim, who reportedly was burned while trying to save her dogs, was transported to UTMB – Galveston for treatment of injuries sustained in the fire. Three of her dogs survived.

Hospital is designated Level II Trauma Center
Clear Lake Regional Medical Center in Webster has been designated a Level II Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons.
It is one of two hospitals in the Houston area to be given the designation. The other is the Conroe Regional Medical Center.

To attain the Level II designation, hospital emergency rooms must be staffed 24 hours a day by in-house trauma surgeons and especially trained trauma nurses.

Surgeons must participate in major therapeutic decisions, be present at operative procedures and be actively involved in the critical care of all seriously injured patients.

League city recognizes its recreation specialist
The City of League City recognized Katrina Beecher for receiving the 2017 Recreation Professional of the Year for the Texas Recreation & Park Society East Region Award during City Council meeting on Jan. 26.

The award was originally presented to Beecher, who is a recreation specialist for the city, during the East Region TRAP’s annual conference Jan. 12.

“Katrina is a model public servant who tirelessly serves our community,” said Interim City Manager John Baumgartner.  “Our goal is to provide outstanding customer service while enhancing the lives of our residents and its programs and initiatives like this that enables us to meet those goals.  We are very fortunate to have Katrina on our team and appreciate everything she does for our community.”

CCISD spelling bee champion crowned
Clear Creek ISD has a named the 2017 District Spelling Bee champion. Fourth grader Amelia Young of Goforth Elementary won the first place trophy on Feb. 4 during the District Spelling Bee at Mossman Elementary School with participants representing all 36 elementary and intermediate schools in CCISD in attendance.

She was crowned in the 15th round of the competition. The runner-up, fourth grader Fadhil Mohammed of Weber Elementary, was then named in the 16th and final round.

The next competition is the Houston Public Media Spelling Bee, which will be televised live on April 1. The Houston event is the second largest in the country, with more than 1,000 schools from 42 Texas counties competing to be one of the top two spellers to advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee, and win an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C.

Recycle event slated March 25
Houston Councilman Dave Martin and the City of Houston’s Solid Waste Management Department are holding their spring Batteries, Oil, Paint (latex only) and Antifreeze (B.O.P.A.) recycling collection event Saturday, March 25, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., rain or shine, at the Ellington Airport Neighborhood Recycling Center, Highway 3 at Brantly Avenue for City of Houston residents. A valid Texas driver’s license or other proof of residency, such as a water bill, will be required.

Residents may drop off scrap metal and large appliances –  stoves, refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners.

Items not accepted include: Alkaline batteries, electronic waste, oil-based paint, paint without labels, household hazardous waste/chemicals, business waste, medical waste, radioactive waste, PCB’s, Dioxins, ammunition, explosives, compressed gas cylinders, smoke detectors, household trash or tires.

Empty latex paint cans or those that have hardened can be discarded with household garbage.

Kemah OKs plans for new development
Kemah’s City Council took steps in recent days that will bring in a new retail development that is expected to revitalize its downtown.

More than a year of work and preparation led to the substantial decisions made by the City Council at its Feb. 15 meeting, when members voted to acquire more than one mile of right of way for future road development while also agreeing to terms with Nashville-based GBT Realty for the construction of a new retail center to be located just west of the Kemah Walmart on FM 518.

The council also took action to move forward with construction projects to enhance the downtown area and open it up for greater access and development.

Estimated value of the donated Right of Way, which spans three different commercially valuable private properties and connects FM 518 to SH 96, can be estimated at approximately $2.5 million in land value, Mayor Carl Joiner said.

“If we had to go out and purchase that, it would have taken years,” he explained. “It is fantastic for our city. It opens our city up and allows growth to happen. Our TEAM Kemah approach has been instrumental in making good things happen for our citizens and community.”

One of the properties involved in this project is under contract to GBT Realty for the construction of a new retail center, he said. Construction on this approximately 80,000 square foot facility is slated to begin in May and be open for business sometime in early 2018. Negotiations for other projects on the adjacent properties are on-going and progress on those is expected to be announced in the coming months.

Council also approved a design contract with Houston-based SWA Design Group to remodel the city’s existing downtown parking lot at the Visitor Center creating a new park area, pedestrian promenade and flex space for parking. Another is a pedestrian walkway and 6th Street plaza/event area. The completed plan for all phases of the project will be presented in a community meeting at a future date.

John Baumgartner appointed League City city manager

February 16th, 2017

John Baumgartner was appointed city manager for League City during a City Council meeting on Feb. 14.

Council approved the appointment by a vote of 6-0- 0 with two absent.

“I am honored to be selected by City Council to serve our excellent community in this capacity,” Baumgartner said. “I am humbled by the support City Council, the community and city staff have shown to me throughout the interim period. We will continue to provide support to City Council and further develop an organization that provides outstanding services focusing on the development of infrastructure and building a community the citizens desire.”

Baumgartner has been serving as the interim city manager since his appointment on Dec. 20, 2016. Prior to this appointment, he served as League City’s deputy city manager since 2012 and has more than 29 years of public sector experience with emphasis on operations, engineering, capital improvement programming, land and economic development, and strategic planning and staff development.

PROVEN LEADER

“John is a proven leader who has earned the respect and confidence of City Council and staff,” Mayor Pat Hallisey said. “I could not be prouder of him. One of the hardest transitions in life is to come from the rank and file to leader, and he has done so in a first-class manner. He is a knowledgeable and effective public servant and is the right choice to move the city forward.”

The city’s initiatives and helping City Council to define the vision for the future is one of the main priorities Baumgartner will focus on as he assumes the role of city manager.

“My priorities are to assist the City Council in defining their vision for the community, work to provide the community with world class customer service, and to bring forward the strategic initiatives to meet the goals of the citizens.” Baumgartner said.

ENGINEERING GRADUATE

He earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Idaho and attended the Public Executive Institute at the University of Texas Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. He is also a Texas Registered Professional Engineer.

A City Council subcommittee consisting of Councilmen Keith Gross, Hank Dugie, Larry Millican, and Todd Kinsey will work out the terms of Baumgartner’s contract by the next regularly scheduled meeting.