Minutes for Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Minutes for Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Alief Super Neighborhood # 25 held its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, April 26, 7:00 P.M at the CenterPoint Energy Building, 12330 Bellaire Blvd.

Chairman, Barbara Quattro, called the meeting to order at 7:04 P.M. Roll Call of council members was done by sign-in sheet. A quorum was met (see attached).

Hospitality: Hospitality was provided by the ASNC.

GUESTS: Veronica Hernandez (COH Mayor’s office); Catherine Le (Congressman Al Green’s office); Shen Gao (COH); HPD Officers Barber, Jones, & Posadas; Karen North (Keep Houston Beautiful); H. D. Chambers (new AISD Superintendent); Gretchen Larsen (IMD); and representatives from Urban Harvest, including speaker, Howard Scott; Blas Ramirez (CERT Team Leader). Several residents stated that they were attending to learn about Urban Harvest

1. Mike Kreinsen motioned to approve the minutes for March. Seconded by Karen Loper. Council voted. Motion Passed.
2. Susan Castro motioned to adjourn the meeting. Seconded by Marie Lee. Council voted. Motion passed.

 Barbara introduced Karen Loper who showed a potential redistricting map for District F. The final decision on how District F will be divided will not be made until the second week in May. It is possible that Alief will end up with four State district representatives due to this State redistricting. If the current bill is passed, Vo’s and Hochberg’s districts (149 and 137) will be combined. After approval in the State House, there are additional Department of Justice approvals required.
 Barbara introduced HPD Officers Barber, Jones and Posadas. Lt Barber announced there has been a noticeable decrease in both violent and non-violent crimes since October 2010. There also has been a large decrease in violent crime since last month in the Westside Command area. He encouraged residents to lock doors and be vigilant about what is going on in their neighborhoods. Barbara noted that the increase in Constable patrols (sponsored by the IMD) in the area has helped decrease crime.
 Barbara introduced Gretchen Larsen with the International Management District (IMD) who briefly explained her role with the IMD.
 She also introduced Anthony Le, Council member and owner of Thai Spice Bistro which is changing its name and menu along with a new Chef from Perry’s. The new restaurant will be called Just Eat and will feature steak, seafood and barbeque. Anthony is hiring wait staff and handed out gift certificates to the floor.
 Barbara again lamented the lack of City Council support for the Hennington Library upgrades/expansion.
 Barbara also introduced Mr. H. D. Chambers, new AISD Superintendent who has been in office three weeks. Mr. Chambers stated he wants an open and viable office. Mr. Chambers came up through the ranks from a teaching position. He is going to be reviewing the budget. It is anticipated that there will be no layoffs of teaching staff except by attrition. Susan Castro added that there will be no new hires in the near future.
TREASURER’S REPORT –Monique Pham, Treasurer, stated the current balance to be $3000.11.


 As stated before, the IMD has partnered with AISD to create a tree farm and urban garden on a piece of land located at Dairy Ashford and Beechnut which the IMD has leased from the Alief Independent School District for $1/yr. At this time, the IMD does not anticipate needing a fence in the garden area, but will fence the tree farm. The space will also feature a citrus grove in time. Gretchen Larsen responded to questions regarding the community garden, explaining there were issues that have not been finalized such as who will police the area, and what rules will apply. Barbara; passed out a sign in sheet for those people interested in participating.
 Construction/beautification has started in the International Management District along Bellaire and Dairy Ashford south of Bellaire. Irrigation is being installed along major medians, balls with the IMD logo are being installed on the end caps, and soon colorful signs and banners will be added. The current cost for these improvements is $400,000.
 The IMD hosted a successful recycling event at Crump Stadium April 16th and another one is planned for October.16th
ALIEF COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION Marie Lee reminded people that the ACA is sponsoring a Veteran’s Luncheon July 26th from 10:00am to 2:00pm at the Chapel of Eternal Peace on Dairy Ashford. The luncheon will include music and entertainment. She encouraged residents to invite a veteran

PROJECTS/SNAP COMMITTEE .See Chair’s Report, above

Scott Howard, Master Gardener, and Vice President of Board of Urban Harvest-Houston Mr. Howard is deeply involved in the Urban Harvest/community garden movement. He noted many reasons for encouraging the effort including feeding people healthful, locally grown food at a reasonable cost, bringing communities together, education, beautification, and “getting back to the land”. The number of community gardens has increased since 1994. There are about 18,000 community gardens in the US and green farmers markets have moved into cities. There are four farmers markets in Houston. There are also various types of gardens including donation, therapy, school and small backyard gardens. Another common type in the US but not in Houston, is the allotment garden where people pay to grow on a given plot of land. He recommended that bylaws be established by a community garden council to make decisions such as type of garden, organic or fertilized, who will do the work of building and maintaining it, where water comes from, etc. The council will set up the rules for the garden. There are also caveats associated with the gardens such as vandalism and theft. Mr. Howard noted that public pride in these gardens often minimizes crime associated with them. Urban Harvest offers over 100 classes and Mr. Howard recommends all participants take “How to Start a Community Garden”. He pointed out helpful links on the Internet including www.Urbanharvet.org and the American Community Gardeners Association (www.Communitygardens.org). Mr. Howard distributed literature, answered questions, and noted a need for a Houston Food Policy to police food quality. Urban Harvest can also be reached at 713-880-5540 for information on classes.
UPCOMING May’s meeting will be a repeat of the very successful 2010 Public Safety Program at the Hastings 9th Grade Center off Cook Road and Dashwood. Flyers will be posted in area businesses. The June meeting will feature the State Representatives Jim Murphy (District 133) and Hubert Vo (District 149). In July, the meeting will feature HPD instructing residents how to protect their homes and property.

Public Session and Announcements.
 The Chinese Community Center is SPONSORING a Health Fair April 30th at their Town Park location hosted by Congressman Al Green’s office. Location is 9800 Town Park Drive and hours are 9:30 til 1:00 pm. For further information contact Bessie Swindle at 713-383-9234 or 281-438-3141
 The Houston boy scouts are looking for members and projects to pursue. Contact Mr. Kenny Terrell at 713-259-9982 or Kenny.Terrerll@shac.org
 Trees for Houston is potting seedlings at the LaPorte Tree Farm Saturday, May 14th. Volunteers are needed.
 A Farmers Market Fruit Tree sale will take place Saturday, May 7th at the Richmond and Eastside location at 8:00am til noon
 Veronica Hernandez announced a Summer Day Camp for Youth running June 13th through August 17th from 7am-6:00pm for kids aged 5 to 18 at the Baker-Ripley Neighborhood Center, 6500 Rookin. Enrollment began March 14th. The program includes field trips, arts and crafts, educational games, summer lunch program and fitness and nutrition. For further information call 713-273-3701
 A planning meeting to discuss the Community Garden will be upcoming at a later date to be announced
 A Community Design Workshop is planned for Monday, May 2nd at the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture at the Gallery at the University of Houston 5-8pm. This involves students’ designs for Alief and Michael Mauer, principal at M2L, will be attending

The next ASNC meeting will be held at 7:00 P.M. on the fourth Tuesday, May 24th, 2011, at the Hastings 9th Grade Center off Cook Road and Dashwood

The meeting adjourned at 8:20 PM.

Minutes approved on: June 28,2011 ___
Compiled, Written and Submitted by V. M. Sugar, Secretary