The Guidry News
© 2003, Guidry News Service
Galveston Chamber of Commerce announced today that interim
president Gina M. Spagnola has been promoted to president.
Chair Marshall Stein cited Spagnola’s integrity, knowledge
of the community, interpersonal skills, and experience with
volunteers as primary reasons for the Search Committee’s
unanimous recommendation of Spagnola’s appointment.
of the deciding factors in favor of Spagnola’s appointment
was her outstanding communication skills," said Jerry
Mohn, chair-elect and search committee member.
"Additionally, her proven leadership and
organizational abilities will be key elements in taking the
Galveston Chamber to the next level.”
on the search committee included Carole Griffin, Richard
Moore, V. J. Tramonte, and committee chair Betty Massey.
search and selection process was very important," Massey
said. "We wanted to be inclusive of and sensitive
to our members.”
to joining the Chamber fourteen months ago, Spagnola worked
for nine years for Galveston Historical Foundation in a
variety of positions, including events director, development
director, and interim executive director in her last two years
with the organization.
has worked for the Chamber of Commerce since October of 2003
serving as interim president since July 2004.
Langley, the former president and CEO of the Galveston Park
Board of Trustees appeared before the board at its regular
meeting this afternoon. Photos
I resigned, there was a lot of misinformation spread
around," Langley said, denying reports of mismanagement,
dismissals from previous jobs for misappropriation of funds,
"which is absolutely false."
said that his management would have resulted in a reversal of
the park board's losses, and offered to help the park board
achieve a profit in the future.
of the park board did not respond to Langley.
Betty Massey, chair of the Tourism Development Committee/Industry Cruise Roundtable Ad Hoc Committee, reported on a meeting of the group on December 8.
Massey said the group discussed transportation for passengers and ways to educate cruise vessel crews about Galveston's attractions and other amenities, including the potential of providing shopping services for crew members, "being sensitive to already existing services such as Crew Care".
A subcommittee of hoteliers will meet separately to discuss ways to improve procedures.
"There may be ways to check in guests while they are still at island hotels and thereby expedite their arrival at the ships," Massey said.
subcommittee will discuss
the port’s need for revenue and "develop potential
sources of revenue other than the permit tariff being
has been a disagreement among organizers of the petition drive
to call a tax rollback election in Jefferson County.
Allen Lee told KFDM Television that he no longer is
cooperating in the effort by Mike McGill and Rhonda Dugas.
in an interview with Guidry News Service about the controversy
over funds owed Pritchard Sports And Entertainment Group in a
cleaning contract at Ford Park, said that Lee's action put the
petition drive in jeopardy. Listen
The Beaumont City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to award a contract totaling $344,560.40 to SBC Communications for the purchase of a networked voice communications system to replace the City’s main telephone communication system, which, according to City Manager Kyle Hayes, has become unreliable and replacement is recommended. The contract cost includes a five-year warranty.
"Three separate failures
since October have resulted in the loss of phone service to
the police station, City Hall and the health department,"
Hayes said in his recommendation to the city council.
"The system is outdated and new replacement circuit
boards are no longer manufactured or available.
"SBC’s proposed system
will provide substantial growth flexibility, a centralized
voice mail system, detailed call accounting, internal
programming and failsafe redundancy," Hayes added.
"Programming changes can be made remotely by
communication personnel using a standard personal computer and
The city council also approved a one-year renewal contract totaling $56,317.80 with Carolyn C. Chaney & Associates, Inc. to act as the City of Beaumont's Washington assistant. "The contract is six percent higher than the amount approved in the 2004 contract," said Hayes, "however, it will be the first increase since 1999."
The city council authorized Hayes to execute a customer support agreement for the 800 MHz Trunked Communication System, which is the infrastructure supporting the city's communication network and more than 400 mobile and portable radios for the police department.
All other agenda items were unanimously approved.
After joining the Hitchcock Planning and Zoning board in a public hearing on the items, the Hitchcock City Commission approved three zoning changes at a Monday special meeting.
The city commission voted to change the zoning from Agricultural Residential to Single Family Residential for property located west of the Highland Bayou diversionary canal and north of Schiro Road, residue of Lots 9, 12 and a part of Lot 13 of the L. M. (West) Hitchcock subdivision. Robert Hunter and Elizabeth Cole requested the change.
The city commission voted to change the zoning from Agricultural Residential to Single Family Residential for property located west of the Highland Bayou diversionay canal and north of Schiro Road, tract of land out of Lot 82 of a subdivision of Lot 2, Share "A" of the Lemuel Crawford Survey. Charles and Virginia Houston requested the change.
city commission voted to change the zoning from
Single Family Residential to General Industrial for property
located on the north side of Highway 6 at Gulf Street, Lots
59-62 in Block 1 of Sunnyside Subdivision. Luis F.
Cavasoz requested the change.
The changes were approved on 3-0 votes with Commissioner Sharon Enge and Commissioner William A. Harris, Sr. absent.
Planning and Zoning Board members John Braunsdors, Randy Wev and Calvin McNeal also were absent.
The La Marque City Council voted 4-0, with Council Member William Hank Wrenn absent, to designate an area of land owned by Dienst Distributing Company as a reinvestment zone, to facilitate a planned tax abatement on the property.
The city council also voted to amend the ordinance related to water and sewer tap charges to reflect the current economy. "The existing tap charges are 13 years old and are outdated," said Interim Utilities Director Michael Morgan. "The (current) cost was calculated from materials and construction practices utilized in 1991. The last amendment was September, 1991."
The city council voted 1-3, with only Keith Bell in favor, to defeat his motion to donate public funds to La Marque Aid and Guidance to help certain citizens pay their city water bills.
"The Texas Constitution prohibits gifts or donations unless the city council determines that such expenditures serve a public purpose," City Attorney Ellis Ortego told city council in a memo.
Assuming they do serve a public interest, Ortego added, the city would then need a formal control to ensure the public purpose is being accomplished.
"If the city council determines that the donations fulfill a public purpose, I recommend that a contract be executed to provide the necessary control," Ortego said.
The city council voted to not approve a concession agreement for Highland Bayou Park.
All other items were approved on 4-0 votes.
The Nassau Bay City Council on Monday voted 6-0 to amend the Code of Ordinances to regulate parking on Vinland Drive by specifying additional No Parking areas and providing a penalty for parking violations in those areas. Mayor Don Matter was absent; Mayor Pro Tem John Haugen presided.
The city council reappointed Terry McCormick, Catherine Johnson, John Nugent and Kirk Walker to the Nassau Bay Planning Commission.
The city council denied a request from Nassau Bay Police Chief Ron Wrobleski for $48,256 to purchase 800 MHz radio equipment for the police department, citing lack of funds.
All other agenda items were approved. All votes were 6-0.
The El Lago City Council on Monday voted to establish a committee to research plans for the city's commercial zone. Committee members will be named at a later date.
The city council also voted to appoint Jeannie Grinnell to the Parks Board, approved the quarterly investment report for the period ending September 30, 2004 and set a $5,000 limit on assets to be capitalized in regard to the city's financial audit.
All other items were approved. All votes were unanimous.
The Port of Houston Authority Commission on Monday approved recommendations to authorize the PHA to issue two requests for qualifications for professional engineering services for Bayport Phase 1 container yard design as well as design services for an additional container wharf. Qualified and interested consultants will be invited to submit their qualifications for consideration of a potential contract award involving the design and preparation of plans and specifications for the construction of the Phase 1 container yard areas as well as an additional container wharf in 2005-2006.
The commission also evaluated and ranked competitive sealed proposals for consideration of a potential contract award for the installation of a sound monitoring system for the Bayport project in adherence to the requirements of the permit granted to the PHA earlier this year by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. HFP Acoustical Consultants received the commission's top ranking followed by SDRG Controls, Inc. The PHA is expected to negotiate a contract award with an estimated cost ranging between $250,000 and $300,000.
The commission approved a recommendation to authorize the PHA to advertise and receive CSPs for consideration of a potential contract award for water system improvements at the Barbours Cut Container Terminal. The City of Morgan's Point has requested the PHA to replace the existing turbo water meters with compound water meters in order to help the city better account for water usage. Accordingly, the PHA staff has prepared plans and specifications to replace six meters and install two new meters. Some additional piping modifications also are included to separate cruise terminal water usage from tenant usage at Terminal 6. The estimated cost of the potential contract award is expected to range between $140,000 and $170,000.
The commission evaluated and ranked the qualifications for professional environmental consulting services pertaining to port operations and the maritime industry. Gresham, Smith & Partners received the commission's top ranking followed by Ecology & Environment. The estimated cost of the two-year contract award is expected to range between $250,000 and $300,000.
The commission approved a recommendation to execute an inter-governmental agreement with the City of LaPorte for ambulance services at the Barbours Cut Terminal. The one-year agreement takes effect January 1, 2005 at a cost of $27,996 payable in monthly installments of $2,333.
The commission also approved a recommendation to execute an inter-governmental agreement with the City of LaPorte for fire suppression services at Barbours Cut Terminal. The one-year agreement takes effect January 1, 2005 at a cost of $32,699 payable in monthly installments of $2,724.
The commission approved a recommendation to enter into a one-year, $165,000 service agreement contract with the Greater Houston Port Bureau, Inc. The Port Bureau is expected to provide services related to new business development, operational efficiency refinement, educational outreach, and regulatory and security requirement assistance.
The commission evaluated and ranked qualifications for professional services to assist in complying with the cultural resource regulations at the Beltway 8 Dredge Placement Area. Specifically, the PHA sought professional archaeological services to assist PHA in conducting a complete phased investigation involving an on-site cemetery, coordinating permits, authorizations, and approvals with the Texas Historical Commission, preparing a report of technical findings, and overseeing grave relocation. PBS&J received the commission's top ranking followed by Ecological Communications Corporation. The PHA will negotiate a contract with a cost ranging between $100,000 and $150,000.
The Board of Trustees of the Galveston Wharves will hold a public hearing to consider the proposed FY2005 Operating, Renewal & Replacement and Capital Expenditures Budgets at 8:30 a.m., Friday, December 17, 2004, in the board room of the Galveston Wharves’ Main Offices on the 8th Floor of the Shearn Moody Plaza, 123 Rosenberg Avenue, Galveston, Texas.
Copies of the Proposed FY2005 Budgets will be available to the public at the above location.
George W. Bush was officially elected President of the United States for a second term on Monday when the Electoral College cast its votes in the various state capitols.
Presidential Electors on Monday officially delivered the
state's 34 electoral votes to Bush and Vice President Dick
The Texas Education Agency recently notified the Galveston Independent School District that two of the district’s schools received a 2004 Gold Performance Acknowledgement.
Oppe Elementary School received a “Commended” GPA on math and writing. Parker Elementary School received a “Commended” GPA on reading.
“We would like to congratulate these campuses for this achievement,” said GISD Superintendent Lynn Hale.
In 2001, the Texas Legislature enacted the GPA system to acknowledge districts and campuses for high performance on indicators of performance other than those used to assign accountability ratings.
Fifteen students at Ball High School have earned the designation of AP Scholar by the College Board in recognition of their exceptional achievement on the college-level Advanced Placement Program® Exams.
Students took AP Exams in May 2004 after completing college-level courses at their high schools.
Three students qualified for the AP Scholar with Distinction Award by earning an average grade of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken and grades of three or higher on five or more of these exams. These students are Elizabeth Goodwin, Akanksha Sharma and Teddy Truong.
Seven students qualified for the AP Scholar with Honor Award by earning an average grade of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken and grades of three or higher on four or more of these exams. These students include Colin Campbell, Alexander Genauck, Jessica Koenig, Bo Qui, Claire Randall, Craig Thomas, and Christopher Vineski.
Five students qualified for the AP Scholar Award by completing three or more AP Exams with grades of three or higher. The AP Scholars are Gan Cao, James Dearman, Tue Nguyen, Carly Stanton and Hannah Wilson.
Of this year’s award recipients at Ball High School , six are sophomores or juniors.
The Clear Creek Independent School District has scheduled a public hearing on a proposal to seek a waiver from the Texas Education Agency to start the 2005-2006 school year earlier than August 22, 2005. The proposal is to start school on August 15.
The public hearing will be held at the February 22 meeting of the school board.
For more information, call (281) 338-5803.
Jan Brick was elected president of the Ronald McDonald House of Galveston at the annual meeting of the board of directors on Monday. Listen
"I want to thank you for the rewards that the Ronald House of Galveston reap because you are committed to the philosophy that the purpose of life is to live a life of purpose," Brick said to the board members and volunteers.
Brick had praise for the past year under the leadership of outgoing president Dave Newman, and gave special thanks to University of Texas Medical Branch President Dr. John Stobo for his support for the Ronald McDonald House. Listen
"I end this year with a keen appreciation for the importance of our mission and with a great deal of appreciation to all of you for your support, your encouragement and your kindness," Newman said.
"You all are special to Galveston and to UTMB," said Stobo, who sponsored the luncheon. "Certainly what you do for the Ronald McDonald House is very important for this community and certainly very important for UTMB." Listen
recruiting grant is part of a $21.6 million donation to 86
colleges and universities. ExxonMobil
awards departmental grants to educational institutions
offering degrees in disciplines from which the company
program contributions support a broad spectrum of Lamar
programs, said Janice Trammell, director of development.
Among the beneficiaries are the Cardinal Connection
Mentor Reading Programs in the Department of Athletics; the
Dynamic Simulation/Advanced Process Control and Engineering
Student Ambassador programs in the
Among the beneficiaries are the Cardinal Connection
Mentor Reading Programs in the Department of Athletics; the
Dynamic Simulation/Advanced Process Control and Engineering
Student Ambassador programs in the
many, many years, ExxonMobil has
supported and enhanced this university as a partner, neighbor
and friend,” said Lamar President James Simmons. “By
contributing to so many aspects of Lamar, the corporation
amplifies our strength in a number of areas, from engineering
to fine art."
Simmons said the support benefits not only the level of academic excellence on our campus, but also our stature in the world of higher education and impact on the quality of life in our region.
programs directly benefit the youth of
Gold and Blue Collars,” the master’s thesis exhibition of
Laura Lee Burchfield Scott of
A concert by Conspirare has been scheduled for 7 tonight at Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
"Conspirare is a professional chamber choir based in Austin," said a news release. "Under the leadership of Artistic Director Craig Hella Johnson, Conspirare has received critical acclaim nationally for its adventurous programming and innovative concerts. Made up of outstanding singers from throughout the United States, the ensemble toured the San Francisco Bay Area in 2002 and 2004, and appeared at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York in 2003."
In December 2003, Conspirare appeared in Galveston for the 40th anniversary celebration of the William Temple Episcopal Center at The Grand 1894 Opera House.
Tickets are available by contacting the Conspirare office at (512) 476-5775 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets for the concert will also be available at the door.
The Houston Bar Association has sponsored a clothing drive to provide Houston's needy with business clothing "for their transition back into the workforce". Pilgrim Cleaners cleaned the donated clothing which is being distributed today to various charities by the Houston Coalition of the Homeless.
"Everyone needs to feel confident when they apply for a job", said County Judge Robert Eckels, who is participating in the program. "With the generosity of the members of the Houston Bar Association and Pilgrim Cleaners, thousands of Houstonians who need assistance will have the right business clothes for their job interviews."
"Pilgrim believes that our 'Suits for Santa' campaign is the very best way we can give back to the communities that support our business," said Pilgrim Cleaners President and CEO Hugh Morrison. "We are humbled and thrilled to be part of the process that will present these people with clean clothes that they can use for interviews and on the job."
This is the sixth annual "Suits for Santa" clothing drive.
Texas Wildcatters, an affiliate of the Florida Panthers (NHL)
and San Antonio Rampage (AHL), announced today
For more information about the Wildcatters, log on to www.wildcattershockey.com or call (409) 951-5500.
Several items of interest to Southeast Texas residents are posted on The Online News Station.
The Board of Directors of Galveston Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone 13 met at Galveston City Hall to discuss the Beachtown Galveston development on East Beach. Photos and Audio
Astros pitcher Roger Clemens traded his baseball uniform for a
cap and gown to receive an honorary associate of arts degree
from San Jacinto College North earlier this month. Photos
published by Guidry News Service, provides comprehensive
coverage of posted public meetings in Galveston, Harris and
Jefferson Counties as well as regional news impacting the
Upper Texas Gulf Coast.
Jim and Lynda Guidry are publishers of Gulf Coast E-news and The Online News Station.
Jim Young is senior editor of Gulf Coast E-news.
Chuck Lawrence is Galveston City Correspondent. Carl Guidry covers events in Jefferson County. Anita Donatto covers the education beat in Galveston.
Robert John Mihovil is a special photographic correspondent for Guidry News Service
are seeking to hire reporters & marketing agents to
expand our coverage in Jefferson & Harris Counties.
on the left side of the Gulf Coast E-news page, is
made up of "bookmarks" to the
stories in the newsletter. Click on the link
to go directly to the article.
On The Online News Station, if you click on an audio link and the photos stop loading, click on Refresh or Reload and they will resume.