District K Newsletter, Dec. 2018

Briargate Elementary Spark Park Dedication

Monday, December 17, 2018
1:30pm – 2:30pm

Please join Council Member Castex-Tatum, HISD, and the Spark Park Community Partners for the dedication of Briargate Elementary.

This park will add to the safe spaces in Fort Bend for children and their families to gather, connect, and play.


Hurricane Harvey Neighborhood Restoration Center

City of Houston Neighborhood Restoration Centers and community partners continue to reach out to people affected by Hurricane Harvey through an ongoing series of Harvey Recovery Fairs. The events are sponsored in partnership with community agencies and are designed to connect people to the services, resources and guidance they need toward full recovery.
The remaining fair this year will be:
Sat., Dec. 15, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Deluxe Theatre
3303 Lyons Ave., Houston, TX 77020
Pre-registration is not required. Most agencies require a photo ID, proof of income, and a utility bill for current address and address during Harvey.
For more information, call the Department of Neighborhoods at 832-393-0832.

About the Neighborhood Restoration Centers
The City of Houston and community partners BakerRipley and Memorial Assistance Ministries operate 14 Neighborhood Restoration Centers (NRCs) at locations throughout Houston to offer guidance and support to residents in need of Harvey recovery assistance. The centers are staffed by case managers who consult with residents to assess their needs, help them prepare a recovery plan, and connect them to needed services and resources.

For NRC locations and weekday hours of operation, click on link: houstonrecovers.org/neighborhood-restoration-center/.


Holiday Walking Tour: Willow Waterhole Greenway

In the spirit of the Holidays, bundle up & meet your neighbors for coffee & cocoa. Then proceed on a 1.7 mile guided tour along established trails, across bridges to islands, and through wetlands, prairies, & forests. Stop at scenic vistas and walk the Arboretum Trail and Bayou Trail to view Scout Projects & flood control structures.

Meeting Place:
Saturday, December 15th @ 10am
Rafferty Memorial Oak Tree
11350 Ricecrest 77035

Sponsored by:
Willow Waterhole Greenspace Conservancy


What’s on the Agenda?

Department of Neighborhoods Abatement Contract

On Wednesday November 28th City Council approved the first of five abatement contracts that will be used to complete services managed by the Department of Neighborhoods. City of Houston abatement services are critical to maintaining both environmental and public safety, and the character of our communities.

Have you ever wondered what topics are covered during the weekly City Council meetings? Houstonians can view the agenda for the various committee meetings, as well as the City Council meeting each week by accessing this link. Be sure to tune in to HTV on Tuesdays at 2:00 p.m. for public session, and Wednesdays at 9:00 a.m. for the weekly city council meetings.


Sims Bayou Greenway Community Improvement Meeting

On Thursday, November 15 Council Member Castex-Tatum and the Houston parks Board hosted a community meeting on the upcoming Sims Bayou Greenway Improvements. The event was well attended and allowed the community to learn more and ask questions of Lisa Kasianowitz, Outreach Manager with the Houston Parks Board regarding the plan.

View the Sims Bayou Improvements Community Meeting Presentation Here.

If you have any questions about the meeting, please contact:
Lisa Kasianowitz, Outreach Manager with the Houston Parks Board,
713-942-8500, ext. 14,
lisa@houstonparksboard.org


Environmental Justice For District K Residents

In a momentous decision, the Railroad Commission of Texas (TRC) has indefinitely suspended a permit on a massive brine pit that was slated for construction in South Houston, in Houston’s District K. The Railroad Commission’s order, which became final on November 24th, was handed down after a contested case hearing resulted in a Proposal for Decision to terminate the permit by the presiding Administrative Law Judge. The final order suspending the permit indefinitely is celebrated by members of the South Houston Concerned Citizens Coalition (SHCCC), who successfully engaged in a legal battle to fend off the massive pit. Lone Star Legal Aid’s Environmental Justice Attorneys Bryan French and Amy Dinn represented the SHCCC in its fight.

During the contested case hearing in July, SHCCC witnesses testified that the permit applicants, Fairway Energy Partners LLC, failed to provide timely and proper notice to the City of Houston and residents on their application; therefore, denying due process and public participation in the permitting process and keeping the company’s intents to build the brine pit largely hidden from public view. At least half a dozen community members and others made the 3-hour trek from South Houston to Austin in support of the SHCCC and LSLA’s efforts.

Required for operations to begin at the site, the permit for the brine pit was initially approved by the Railroad Commission in January 2017, unbeknownst to many community members. After concerned resident Garrett Leeftink discovered the brine pit was already approved for construction to begin just west of the Wildcat Golf Course on Buffalo Speedway, SHCCC community members engaged with LSLA’s Dinn and French to challenge the permit on the 27.2-acre open pit with the important support of two City Council Members for District K, Larry Green and Martha Castex-Tatum.

Reflecting on the outcome of this case, EJ Attorney Amy Dinn commented: “This victory was possible because of the partnership between SHCCC and the District K Office of the City of Houston, including Council Member Larry Green, Donald Perkins, and newly-elected Council Member Martha Castex-Tatum, who all worked in this case to protect the current and future investments planned for the area. We were glad LSLA was able to help the SHCCC reverse this permit, which was issued without the benefit of public participation or the City’s input.”

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