Chit-Chat-Summer07

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					                           T he S e n io r

CHITHCHAT
 A Publication for East Harris County Senior Citizens from Commissioner Sylvia R. Garcia


Summer 2007
                               F    riendly faces and a lot of fun activities are at the heart of Precinct
                                    Two’s North East Center. Since July 1999, this Center, which is
                               located near U.S. Highway 59 and Little York, has been a gathering place
Things to Know                 for seniors in this area of the county.
                                 “Our team is always looking out for new programs that our seniors will
Start Your Holiday
                               be interested in,” explained Lisa May, acting director of the North East
Shopping Early
                               Center. “Every month, we try to bring in entertainers, health speakers,
  If you want to get a
                               a gardening program and a cooking class. We also have several ongoing
jumpstart on the Christmas
                               classes in art, ceramics, scrapbooking and line dancing. Evening aerobic
season, stop by the Bay
                               classes just started being offered this May. Our seniors also enjoy playing
Area Community Center on
                               games and visiting with each other but I would venture to say that the
July 13-14 for the annual
                               weekly lunch and social hour is our most popular activity.”
Christmas in July arts,
                                 A favorite class for many seniors at the North East Center is computers.
crafts and antiques market.
                               “Our computer instructor is bilingual and we always have a waiting list
  There will be a host of
                               for this class,” said May. “Our computer lab is open during the day in case
gifts and decorations
                               any seniors want to use the computers for research or hobbies. One of our
available for sale including
                               seniors who still is in the workforce recently took her test to renew her
jewelry and accessories,
                               cosmetology license in our Center’s computer lab. I’m just thrilled that
quilts, candles, clothing,
                               our seniors can access the Internet via our Center.”
toys, yard ornaments and
much more.
  There is no charge for
entry to the market.
For more information,
call 281-326-2955.
        continued on page 6




                                                 Seniors staying active
                                                 at the North East Center
                                                                                      continued on page 7
           Mark Your Calendar

    The following are some major events for seniors               Monthly dances – These dances are fund raisers
    taking place at Harris County Precinct Two community          for the East Harris County Senior Citizens:
    centers during June, July and August. The community/
    activity center which is hosting the event follows the        Second Monday:          North East
    name of each activity:                                        Second Thursday:        Grayson
    junE                          julY                            Third Tuesday:          Bay Area (ballroom dancing)
    june 6 Garden photo           july 3 Patriotic Picnic:
                                                                  Third Thursday:         East Harris County
    contest entry deadline:       North East
                                                                                          (country-and-western dancing)
    North Channel Office          july 3 4th of July Party:
                                  San Jacinto                     Fourth Friday:          San Jacinto
    june 7 Nursing Home
                                                                                          (Pick ‘N Grin Band)
    Party: Grayson                july 9 Nursing Home
                                  Party: Walker
    june 13 Hot Dog
                                  july 9-12 EHCSC               july 27 Breakfast               aug. 17 Ice Cream
    Social: EHCAC
                                  Summer Celebration            with the Guys: Barrett          Social: North East
    june 15 Father’s Day          Food Baskets                                                  aug. 24 Summer
    Breakfast: North East                                       auguST
                                  july 11 Grayson &                                             Social: Grayson
    june 15 Father’s Day          Flukinger’s Uncle             aug. 3 Bingo Party:
                                                                                                aug. 31 Nursing Home
    Breakfast: San Jacinto        Sam Party: Flukinger          Grayson
                                                                                                Party: Flukinger
    june 16 McNair                july 13-14 Christmas          aug. 7 National Night
                                  in July Craft Show:
    Juneteenth                                                  Out: Barrett, Grayson,          SEaSonal dancES
                                  Bay Area
    Celebration: Walker                                         Flukinger, North East,
                                  july 21 Health Fair                                           june 8, aug. 10
    june 22 Garden                                              San Jacinto and Walker          Tejano Dance: North East
                                  & Barrett Station
    Party: Grayson                Homecoming: Barrett           aug. 15 Pasadena                june 28, july 26,
    june 29 Ladies Lunch          july 25 Murder Mystery        Health Fair: Pasadena           aug. 30 Latin Rhythm
    & Movie: Grayson              Party: Grayson                Convention Center               Dance: EHCAC


    Chit-Chat info:                                   Congratulations
     The Senior Chit-Chat is a publication            Ms. Pasadena Senior!
    of the East Harris County Senior Citizens,        Mar y Arceneaux-Wyche
    a non-profit corporation, chartered under         recently represented the J.D.
    Texas law and granted exemption from              Walker Community Center in
    federal income tax under section 501              the 2007 Ms. Pasadena Senior
                                                      Pageant and was crowned as
    (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
                                                      the winner. Arceneaux-Wyche
    This publication may not be reproduced
                                                      is described by J.D. Walker
    without written permission from EHCSC.
                                                      Center director John Kennedy
    Questions about the Chit-Chat should be           as part of his group’s “Super
    directed to Sylvia Medina, director of            Seniors” for her support of their
    senior programming, at 713-455-4869               program. Her next pageant will            Mary Arceneaux-Wyche
    or send her a letter at 13828 Corpus              be in Dallas competing for the            and John Kennedy
    Christi, Houston, TX 77015.                       Ms. Senior of Texas title.                celebrate her crowning.
2
                                Harris County Precinct Two Commissioner Sylvia R. Garcia
                                       East Harris County Senior Citizens President
                           I have finally seen our “Destiny” – literally. This     As you can imagine, getting the art on the
Commissioner’s Message




                         is the name of the first piece of EpicArt to go up      side of a petroleum storage tank was a bit more
                         on Highway 225 as a key element of Project              complicated than hanging wallpaper in the dining
                         Stars. This exciting program is the centerpiece         room! Monumental sized scaffolding was erected,
                         of the newly created San Jacinto Historic District      complete with wind barrier, so each piece of the
                         that will allow our area to capitalize on our pivotal   giant jigsaw puzzle could be precisely applied
                         role in Texas history.                                  using space-age materials and solvents.
                           Our vision is to transform the experience of            And, it’s not cheap. My thanks go to the good
                         traveling modern highways to San Jacinto in that        folks at Lyondell for allowing us to “go to school”
                         motorists will feel they are approaching a truly        with the first installation. Other installations
                         important place where Texas’ destiny was fulfilled.     won’t happen overnight, but I hope to see many
                         The giant oil tanks that line the road will host        more tanks become art soon,
                         enormous digital “canvasses” that create a              thus transforming a rather stark
                         Museum without Walls to tell our story.                 driving experience into one which
                           The first of these massive art works was              will attract visitors as they expe-
                         unveiled in April on the side of a Lyondell tank on     rience the way to Texas’ destiny.
                         Highway 225 at Scarborough. It was fascinating            EpicArt is just one element of
                         to see this project come to life. It started with       Project Stars. You’ll be hearing
                         the actors in authentic period piece in the field       a lot more about new parks,
                         being photographed. The photos then were                visually enhanced roadways and,
                         transformed into a 40x70’ piece of original art         of course, the monumental stars
                         of stunning clarity.                                    themselves yet to come.




         Helpful Resources on the Internet
        The World Wide Web makes it easier for everyone to get information                         > Houston TranStar
        without having to leave the computer. Following are some organizations                       http://www.houstontranstar.org/
        that provide information or services which may be useful to you:                             This site includes real time traffic
                                                                                                     maps, Galveston ferry wait times,
         > Energy Savers: Tips on Saving                      Includes information on creating       lane closures and traffic cameras
           Energy & Money at Home                             a family disaster plan, establishing   from the region.
           http://www1.eere.energy.gov/                       a personal support network and
           consumer/tips/                                     what to do in different types of     > growing Stronger - Strength
           Find tips that can make your                       emergencies.                           Training for older adults
           home more comfortable and                                                                 http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/
                                                            > Handbook of Texas online               dnpa/physical/growing_
           easier to cool this summer
                                                              http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/            stronger/index.htm
           while saving money.
                                                              handbook/online/                       Learn more about strength-
         > disaster Preparedness for                          This site is a collection of more      training from the Centers for
           Seniors by Seniors                                 than 23,000 articles on the his-       Disease Control and Prevention
           http://www.redcross.org/                           tory of the state that gives users     and Tufts University.
           services/disaster/beprepared/                      factual accounts of Texas’ history.
           seniors.html
                                                                                                                                            3
               felix rodriguez
                           An Artist in Our Midst
      Decades ago, Felix Rodriguez’s       “The 20 different churches I’ve    come to know Rodriguez through
    sister-in-law wondered if he could   created are non-denominational       his volunteer activities at the
    make an art project out of tooth-    so everyone will feel included,”     North East Center.
    picks. That long-ago challenge       explained Rodriguez. “I’m hop-         “A group of us moved over to
    has evolved into hundreds of         ing to eventually display all the    the North East Center about
    amazing artistic creations made      churches together under a ban-       three years ago and we really
    out of matchsticks.                  ner saying, ‘Peace on Earth.’”       enjoy it,” said Rodriguez who
      “After I made my first bird cage     His artistic craftsmanship is      serves on the Center’s advisory
    out of toothpicks, I realized I      just one of the ways this active     board. “This is our center and we
    really liked doing it and moved      72-year-old spends his days. He      all need to get in, be active and
    on to matchsticks,” said Rodri-      has been an ardent collector of      recruit more members so it will
    guez, a regular at Precinct Two’s    Coca-Cola memorabilia since his      be here for our children in the
    North East Center. “I moved on       days as a supervisor in Coke’s       future.”
    to designing western towns,          fleet division. In addition to his     A source of pride for Rodriguez
    some of which I still have. Over     wide assortment of Coca-Cola         is his family. He and his wife,
    the years, I’ve created hundreds     collectibles, Rodriguez also         Ora, have six children, 23 grand-
    of projects.”                        has amassed more than 4,000          children, 10 great-grandchildren
      Rodriguez’s designs have been      unopened bottles of Coca-Cola!       and another two great-grandchil-
    used by various organizations in       Over the years, Rodriguez has      dren on the way.
    fund-raisers and often are thank     been active in many service posi-      “I enjoy my life because of
    you gifts to his family, friends     tions with the Cub Scouts, Boy       Ora and because of God,” said
    and colleagues. Recently, he has     Scouts and the Juvenile Court        Rodriguez. “God has been good
    been designing churches with a       of Volunteers of Harris County.      to our family as we have been so
    special goal.                        These days, many seniors have        blessed by His abundance.”


4
 Enjoy a Precinct Two Park this Summer
  Whether you want to bring your grandchildren to someplace         Parks that residents
new, meet with friends or take a romantic stroll, you don’t         can visit include:
need to look any further than Precinct Two’s parks.
                                                                    East:
  Currently, there are 39 properties managed by the Precinct
                                                                    •	 Baytown
Two Parks Department that cover approximately 4,000 acres.
                                                                    •	 Cedar Bayou
Parks in this region have numerous amenities including 14
miles of walking trails, playground equipment, picnic facilities,   •	 Cedar Grove
boat ramps, fishing piers, tennis courts, and baseball and          •	 David Burnet
soccer fields.                                                      •	 Edna Mae Washington
  “Precinct Two is committed to maintaining our park system         •	 Highlands
and adding amenities that interest our families, youth and          •	 Highlands Sports Complex
seniors,” explained Gilbert Smith, superintendent of the Precinct   •	 Riley Chambers
Two Parks Department. “For seniors who may be looking for           •	 Stratford
something different to do with their grandchildren, Precinct
Two has two skate parks and two waterspray parks that have          central:
been developed under Commissioner Garcia’s leadership. Or if        •	 Carpenter's Bayou Trail
you want some light exercise while you visit, enjoy a walk on       •	 Channelview Sports Complex
one of our nature or jogging trails.”                               •	 Channelwood
  Residents can learn more about the nature of southeast Texas      •	 Cloverleaf
with a visit to Armand Bayou Nature Center. Precinct Two owns       •	 Halls Bayou Jogging Trail
the 2,500 acres of land and has leased it to the Center. Three
                                                                    •	 James Bute
ecosystems can be experienced at Armand Bayou: grasslands,
                                                                    •	 James Driver
hardwoods and wetlands. Visitors can venture out onto the
                                                                    •	 Jim & JoAnn Fonteno
boardwalk through the forest and marshes, view the live animal
displays and butterfly garden, or visit the 1800s farm site.        •	 Meadowbrook
   Because Precinct Two covers a vast area, the park                •	 Moncrief
properties have been broken down into three divisions:              •	 Northshore
East, Central and South.                                            •	 North Shore Rotary Park
  Maps of the majority of the parks as well as a listing of         •	 Rio Villa Nature Trail
current amenities can be viewed on Precinct Two’s Web               •	 River Terrace
site at http://www.co.harris.tx.us/comm_garcia.
                                                                    South:
                                                                    •	 Armand Bayou Nature Center
                                                                    •	 Bay Area Hike and Bike Trail
                                                                    •	 Bay Area Park
                                                                    •	 Clear Lake
                                                                    •	 Dads Club Sports Park
                                                                    •	 Kipper Mease Sports Complex
                                                                    •	 Seabrook Sports Complex
                                                                    •	 Sylvan Beach




                                                                                                      5
    Things to Know           continued from the cover

    Seasonal dances Set for Summer
      In addition to EHCSC regularly-scheduled monthly dances, two
    Centers will be hosting special fund-raising dances over the next
    few months.
      The East Harris County Activity Center is hosting Inner City’s
    Latin Rhythm Dances this summer on June 28, July 26 and Aug. 30
    from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Music will be provided by Los Versatiles de
    Hector Javier. Tickets are $5 per person and can be purchased
    at the door. Each dance will be a fund-raiser for the East Harris
    County Senior Citizens. For more information, call 713-514-0185.
      If you enjoy Tejano music and dancing, make plans to dance the
    night away at the North East Community Center on June 8, Aug.
    10 and Oct. 12. Tickets are $5 apiece and music will be provided
    by disc jockey Jesse Rojas. For more information, call 281-442-7950.




     A truly generous spirit in Precinct Two
               The Chit-Chat’s Featured Employee: Myrian Espitia

      “Having the opportunity to inter-    museum trips, for seniors.              on the job. “I’m
    act with so many people, especially      “There are close to 180 groups        really thankful
    the seniors, is a wonderful part of    under the South Channel umbrella        to the Precinct
    my job,” said Myrian Espitia, acting   and each month, I meet with the         for supporting
    South Channel senior coordinator.      groups’ trip directors to discuss       me during this time and to all the
    “It’s an honor to get to work with     what I’ve been able to book so they     seniors who have been so wonder-
    the seniors and help them stay         can take the information back to        ful,” said Espitia. “Everyone has
    active.”                               their group and decide if they’d like   made me feel so good to be back.”
      Espitia has been a part of the       to attend,” explained Espitia.             Espitia’s husband of 20 years
    Harris County Precinct Two team          All who know Espitia certainly        and three children also made her
    for the past seven years. She          would describe her as both kind and     recovery period easier. “They not
    started off as a receptionist at the   generous. Her giving spirit recently    only were very supportive about my
    East Harris County Activity Center     was seen in a brave and truly loving    decision to give my Dad a kidney
    and has been working in her current    decision to give one of her kidneys     but they also just stepped in and
    role for two years.                    to her father. “My Dad had been on      took over everything at home while
      Espitia focuses on both finding      dialysis for several months and my      I recovered,” said Espitia. “My
    activities and events that Pre-        brothers and I were tested to see if    mother also was such a blessing to
    cinct Two seniors will enjoy as        we were a match,” said Espitia. “It     me during my recovery.”
    well as coordinating programs for      turns out that all three of us could       When she’s not planning excur-
    the South Channel area including       have donated but I really felt it       sions for seniors or spending time
    Senior Olympics, Hot Dog Social        should be me.”                          with her family, you find Espitia
    and monthly movie days. Every day,       Espitia’s father is doing extraor-    working out at the gym or running
    Espitia is researching recurring       dinarily well since the surgery and     the women’s ministry at Adulam
    and special events, such as Astros     after an eight-week recovery, Espi-     Christian Church.
    game, theater performances and         tia feels much better and is back
6
Have You Re-registered
                                                                         Items to include in a basic
With the 2-1-1 System?                                                   emergency supply kit are:
Don’t Put Off Preparing for Hurricane Season                               W
                                                                         •		 ater: at least one gallon per person
  Hurricane season is upon Harris County once again. Past                  per day for a minimum of three days.
experience has taught residents that preparation is an important           F
                                                                         •		 ood: a minimum of three days worth
element in surviving a hurricane, especially when an evacuation            of food per person (non-perishable) –
is ordered.                                                                include a can opener for canned meals.
  In fall 2006, the Texas 2-1-1 Information Referral Service               R
                                                                         •		 adio: battery-operated or hand crank
began taking information from seniors and other residents with             (plus extra batteries if needed)
special needs to develop a list of those who will need assistance          F
                                                                         •		 lashlight (and extra batteries)
in evacuating if an evacuation is ordered.                               •	Whistle to signal for help
  Residents without any means of transportation or who know they
                                                                         •	Personal sanitation supplies
will require special assistance during an evacuation are strongly
                                                                         •	Local maps
encouraged to register with the 2-1-1 system as soon as possible.
All operators on this system have received extensive training and        •	Cash or travelers checks
are ready to register those who will need transportation should a          I
                                                                         •		 mportant documents: keep a water-
hurricane or other natural disaster mandate an evacuation.                 proof container or watertight, reseal-
  The registry program does not provide the actual transportation          able bag in close proximity to the
in the event of an emergency but forwards the registry list to local       permanent location of your important
emergency management personnel to coordinate the evacuation.               documents (such as medical and home
                                                                           owners insurance, medical records, bank
  Recently, changes were made to the information being asked
                                                                           account information, Social Security
for in the registration form. Seniors who already registered need
                                                                           card, list of family phone numbers)
to call 2-1-1 to re-register their listing. The system is available
24 hours a day, 7 days a week and information can be provided in           F
                                                                         •		 irst aid kit: include items such as
                                                                           antihistamines, decongestants, fever
more than 90 different languages.
                                                                           reducing agents, anti-diarrhea prod-
creating a Basic Emergency Supply Kit                                      ucts, anti-constipation medication,
  Having an emergency supply kit is important for every resident           antacids, antiseptic cleaners, and
of Harris County. Waiting until the last moment to prepare a supply        band-aids and antibiotic creams.
kit to bring during an evacuation can lead to unnecessary panic.           Make sure to have any prescription
  When it appears that a hurricane is headed toward the Texas              medicines you take on a regular basis
Gulf Coast, don’t wait until the last minute to ensure that your           with you as well as the phone number
car has a full tank of gasoline.                                           of your primary care physician.



Seniors staying active at the North East Center
continued from cover
  In addition to the East Harris County Senior Citi-         The North East Center is available for rental for spe-
zens, several groups, including the Girl Scouts, Harris    cial events for up to 300 people. The Center has many
County Public Health, Aldine Quilters and a weight         professional kitchen appliances, 60 rectangular 8-foot-
loss support group, regularly meet at the North East       long tables, more than 300 chairs and other amenities
Center. “The face of the North East monthly calendar       that make it a perfect spot for special occasions.
reflects that we are openly seeking civic association        If you haven’t been by to see the North East Center,
groups and social and service groups in this area to       stop by any weekday or call 281- 442-7950 for more
meet at our center,” said May.                             information.
                                                                                                                      7
                                                 EHCSC                                         Non-Profit
                                                 13828 Corpus Christi                          PRST STD
                                                 Houston, TX 77015                         U.S. Postage PAID
                                                                                             Deer Park, TX
                                                                                            Permit No. 182




    The East Harris county
    Senior citizens welcomes
    all new participants!
    EHCSC serves Harris County
    Precinct Two seniors in Barrett
    Station, Baytown, Channelview,
    Clear Lake, Crosby, Deer Park,
    El Lago, Galena Park, Highlands,
    Houston, Jacinto City, LaPorte,
    McNair, Morgan’s Point, Nassau
    Bay, North Shore, Pasadena,
    Seabrook, Sheldon, Shore Acres,
    South Houston, Taylor Lake
    Village and Webster.
    East Harris County Senior Citizens
    is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization.




                                               H DIRECTORY H

                        Department of Community Centers & Senior Programming
       Department of Community                  Barrett Station &          Ramsey & Flukinger
       Centers & Senior                         Riley Chambers             Community Center
       Programming                              Community Centers          281-457-1810
       713-455-4869                             281-328-4713
                                                                           San Jacinto & Highlands
       Inner City Program                       Bay Area                   Community Centers
       713-514-0185                             Community Center           281-426-7561
                                                281-326-2955
       North Channel Program                                               Walker Community Center
       281-452-7598                             East Harris County         281-426-3551
                                                Activity Center
       Nursing Home Program
                                                281-479-4232
       281-479-4232                                                        Harris county Precinct Two
                                                Grayson Community Center   Transportation department
       South Channel Program
                                                713-455-3660               281-452-6071
       281-479-4232

       Transportation                           North East                 Veterans Services
       Voucher Program                          Community Center           281-426-2832 or
       281-326-2955                             281-442-7950               281-843-2019
8

				
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