General Meeting There's No Place Like Home… - Houston Heights by chenleihor


									Newsletter of the Houston Heights Association                                  Volume 37, Number Four, April 2011

 There’s No Place Like Home…                                                   General Meeting
 Houston Heights Home & Garden Tour                                            The Ins and Outs of Heights
 April 2 & 3, 2011                                                             Alleys
     Spring is in the air, and it is                                               A panel of City personnel
 time to visit some magnificent                                                will be attending the April 11
 Houston Heights gardens (as all                                               meeting to inform and educate
 of ours are recovering from the                                               homeowners in the Heights
 winter blahs) and homes to get                                                community about their alleys, the
 some fresh and creative ideas                                                 history of their usage, and the
 for our own abodes. This year’s                                               alley ordinance as it applies to
 line-up of homes and gardens is                                               Heights alleys.
 diverse and unforgettable.                                                        Heights residents have asked
     The Cohen Home at 726 E.                                                  questions and sent concerns to
 8th Street is a three-story modern                                            Council Member Ed Gonzalez,
 design with two view-inspiring                                                City Council District H office
 balconies, an international                                                   concerning alley issues. The panel
 collection of arts, crafts, and                                               will discuss the following topics:
 furnishings, and stunning                                                         • Proper procedure to obtain
 xeriscape gardens complete with outdoor fireplace, steel water feature,       alley access to a residential garage
 bamboos, vines, and native grasses.                                               • Education on how to get
     The Bohnn/Green Home at 945 Columbia is a perfect example                 required approval
 of a small Heights bungalow transformed to accommodate all of the                 • What type of plan is
 luxuries of current-day life. The beautiful home is filled with modern        required to be submitted by
 and mid-century furnishings and eclectic art, and the gardens are             an Engineer and when this is
 meticulously designed with relaxation and wildlife habitat in mind.           required
                                                      ...continues on page 2                   ...continues on page 3
         The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of our 2011 Platinum Sponsor:
    Spring Home Tour from page 1
         The Willis Home at 711 East 19th Street will be our home tour’s first LEED green building certified
    house, and the design reflects the homeowners’ desire for clean lines and functional open spaces,
    including a generous backyard oasis — all perfect for entertaining. This home is filled with an amazing
    collection of Russian artwork and one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture and décor.
         The Vaughn Home at 1802 Cortlandt Street is a gardener’s paradise. In addition to the luscious and
    colorful landscape design, the homeowners cultivate vegetables for their table in special raised gardens.
    The interior of the home is delightfully filled with vibrant colors, vintage furnishings, and beautiful
         The Sitton Home at 247 West 21st Street reflects the homeowners’ own creative style and years of
    collecting. It is named “The Bunny Bungalow,” so expect to see antique and vintage bunnies of every
    imaginable stripe among the couple’s collection of local art and mid-century and Stickley furnishings.
         The Eronko/Perez Home at 1401 Herkimer Street is a 1914 Pomona-style bungalow that has been
    meticulously restored by Bungalow Revival using reclaimed and handpicked materials and antique, period-
    style fixtures. The old-world-style interior design and artwork are indicative of the homeowners’ own
    design business.
         The Immanuel Lutheran Church at 15th and Cortlandt Streets — saved from demolition by the
    congregation and a group of community leaders — will open its doors for a sneak peak at the “before”
    version of this 1930s German architectural jewel, prior to being transformed into a community center,
    expected to host art exhibits, receptions, theatre performances, and youth services. Drawings and 3-D
    renditions by the project’s architects will be on hand.
         Tickets on the days of the tour will be $25 each, $20 for bicycle riders, and $5 for a single
    home. You may purchase your tickets during tour hours at each of the homes, by check or cash
    only, and at the Heights Fire Station, which will also accept credit cards. For more information,
    please visit, call 713-861-4002 extension 3, or e-mail

                                                                                      The Heights is published monthly by
                                                                                  the Houston Heights Association, Inc. Its
                                                                                  purpose is to acknowledge achievements and
     The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the   to inform HHA members of events.
                     following Spring Silver 2011 Sponsors:                            Copyright © 2011, the Houston Heights
                                                                                  Association and/or the authors unless
                                                                                  otherwise noted.
                                                                                       Newsletter inquiries, suggestions, or
                                                                                  submissions should be directed to:
                                                                                  Editor, The Heights, P.O. Box 70735, Hous-
                                                                                  ton, TX 77270-0735,
                                                                                  or leave a message on 713-861-4002.
                                                                                  Editor ............................Mark R. Williamson
                                                          John Palmer Art
                                                                                  Assistant Editor ....... Kathleen S. Williamson
                                                                                  April contributors:
                                                                                    Jim Bennett, Paul Carr, John Henry Childs,
                                                                                                     Anne Culotta, Angela DeWree,
                                                                                   Diane Easley, Linda Eyles, Lauriel Hindman,
                                                                                                     John Ridgway, Chris Silkwood,
                                                                                  Kelly Simmons, Anne Sloan, Robin Swinney,
                                                                                                    Laura Thorp, Lanna vonBaden.
General Meeting from page 1           Fun Run June 4
    • Who is responsible for               Lace up your running shoes!
maintaining the alley                 The Houston Heights Association
    • What to do when access is       Fun Run is coming up on June 4.
blocked, either for years or by a     It’s a fast and exciting race along
new fence, etc.                       our famous boulevard, and you
    • What is legal to do in          won’t want to miss it. Check the
an alley, and who enforces            HHA website for more details
encroachment violations               about how you can register as we
    • Examples of alleys that         get closer to the date.
have been developed correctly.                                                     Not a runner? Looking for
    You may submit additional                                                 an exciting way to support the
questions prior to the meeting                                                Houston Heights Association?
to Laura Thorp, Community                                                     Volunteer to help with the
Liaison for the Greater Heights,                                              Fun Run! If you would like to
District H: laura.thorp@                                                      be a part of it, please e-mail or 832-393-3231.                                       or
    Come prepared to be                                                       call 713-861-4002 and leave a
informed. That’s Monday, April                                                message on extension 4. We’d
11, 7:00 PM at the Houston                                                    love to have you!
Heights City Hall and Fire
Station, at the corner of Yale and
12th Streets. See you there!

 The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Spring Bronze 2011 Sponsors:

    2011 Kick Off Party
        The 2011 Kick Off Party for the Houston Heights Spring Home
    & Garden Tour and Candlelight Dinner & Auction was held at
    Phil’s Texas Barbecue recently. A record 30 tables for the Candlelight
    Dinner were presold at the packed event, which included 2011
    sponsors, the home tour executive committee, homeowners, head
    docents, and last year’s Candlelight Dinner table hosts.
        The red-cowboy-boot-wearing guests snacked on delicious hors
    d’oeuvres provided by Phil’s Texas Barbecue and sipped beers donated
    by Twisted Pine Brewing Company. Beautiful floral decorations and
    attendee gifts were generously given by Buchanan’s Native Plants.
        Chris Silkwood, Kelly Simmons, and Denise Martin — co-chairs
    of the 2011 Home & Garden Tour — thanked their hard-working
    committee and showed off some of the exciting auction items that will
    be up for grabs at the Candlelight Dinner & Auction to be held on
    April 1. The crowd mingled late into the evening, a sure sign that the
    Candlelight Dinner & Auction are off to a great start!

    Awards Dinner
                                   The 37th Annual HHA Volunteer Appreciation and Awards Dinner
                               was held on Sunday, February 27 at the Heights Fire Station. The upstairs
                               meeting room became a glittering silver and gold dining room courtesy of
                               Angela DeWree of Design and Inspiration. Anne Culotta acted as both
                               emcee and past President, amusing everybody with her opening and closing
                               remarks, handing out some awards herself, and introducing other presenters:
                               Bill Baldwin, Diane Easley, Chris Silkwood, Paul Carr, Kelly Simmons, Jim
                               Bennett, and Anne Sloan. Many of their presentations appear on the following
                                   Anne Culotta also headed the committee
                               that arranged the event: Diane Easley,
    Community Improvement Awards Chair; Angela DeWree, event décor and
    programs; Keith Crane, CIA PowerPoint presentation; Donna Bennett, Jeff
    Cox, Anne Culotta, and Amber Lewis, CIA judges; Anne Sloan, volunteer
    election and awards coordinator; and Bill Baldwin, 2011 President.
    Massoud’s Catering provided the culinary delights for the evening.
        That’s a wrap!
Citizen Of The Year Award:
Linda & Simon Eyles, Danae Stephenson & Martin Piké
Presentation speech by Anne Sloan, 2009 Citizen of the Year
    Good evening! Gold and Silver — The Old and
the New. And isn’t that our mantra in Houston
Heights? The combination of our old and our new
homes, our old-timers like Paul, Melvalene, Bart,
and the Thorps, the Dupuis, and so many others
who welcome the newcomers. That is what Houston
Heights is all about.
    I am proud to be here this evening to tell you
once again how honored I am to have been selected
Citizen of the Year for 2009. But now, it is time to
reveal the Citizen of the Year for 2010!
    For almost fifteen years, the recipients have made a serious commitment to serving the Houston
Heights. Their volunteer efforts include: serving as Head Docent every year, featuring their own home
on the home tours, twice chairing the Candlelight Dinner, working on the Fun Run and the Bike Rally,
working with Jim Bennett and Paul Carr on Boulevard and Park Maintenance, and supporting the
Candlelight Dinner Auction with significant donations and purchases.
    This year’s recipients have demonstrated again and again a commitment to HHA and to our
neighborhood with hours of behind-the-scenes work as well as their leadership roles.
    I give you the Citizen of the Year for 2010 — In a total break with tradition, the committee selected two
couples who have again and again pooled their talents and resources to work as a team to accomplish all of
the important achievements listed above: Linda & Simon Eyles and Danae Stephenson & Martin Piké.
Marcella Perry Award: Lanna vonBaden
                                        Annually, the Marcella Perry Award is presented to a recipient who
                                    supports the Heights Association and its causes in a behind-the-scenes
                                    fashion. This year’s recipient is Lanna vonBaden.
                                        Lanna just finished a three-year term on the HHA Board, but
                                    her contributions extend way beyond that. She has been a tireless
                                    volunteer for all of the fund-raising events and helped plan the
                                    Volunteer Appreciation Dinner for many years. She went above
                                    and beyond this year when she took the reins of the Constable
                                    Patrol Program and continues to work tirelessly to develop that very
                                    important security project. Her business, Grogan’s Building Supply,
was a Bronze Sponsor for all four seasons in 2009, and a Bronze Sponsor for two seasons in 2010.
    The annual award was established to honor Heightsites who work quietly and consistently in the
background for the betterment of the Heights. Former Citizen of the Year recipients select the Marcella
Perry winner each year. Paul Carr, who established the award, announced the honoree at the Volunteer
Appreciation and Awards Dinner.
    The name of the award honors Marcella Donovan Perry (1907-1999), a founder, Director, and long-
time supporter of the Houston Heights Association who worked quietly in the background making things
happen for the neighborhood. Her father, James G. Donovan, was City Attorney for Houston Heights
when it merged with the city of Houston in 1918. Donovan Park on Heights Boulevard, home of the
Heights Playground, was named for him.
    Corporate Citizen Award: Republic Services
    Presentation Speech by Chris Silkwood
        The Corporate Citizen Award is given to an organization that has repeatedly given through financial
    donations or in-kind services to the Houston Heights Association.
        This year’s recipient is Republic Services, who has been a Platinum Sponsor of HHA for four years,
    which began first with Allied Waste.
        Republic Services has not only provided the HHA with huge financial support but also with their
    “What would we do without these?” luxury restrooms for Candlelight Dinners, trash containers and port-
    o-cans for Fun Runs and numerous other events. And for those contributions, by God, we are immensely
        So now, I’m going to stray from the political correctness of thanking
    the corporation to, with heartfelt gratitude, thanking the man behind all
    of that generosity. The man is Chris Synek. Chris has been the captain all
    along, which also includes incredible sports packages to the Candlelight
    Dinner auction, fantastic wine-tasting dinners hosted by Chris and his
    glorious wife, Kristi, that have raised over $12,000. For those of us who
    can actually remember those evenings, the wine was damn good.
        Chris has recently received a major promotion with Republic
    Services, and the family will be moving to their corporate headquarters in
    Scottsdale, Arizona. Through Chris’s never-ending generosity and love of
    the Heights, he has pledged to be a Platinum Sponsor again for the year
                                             Let’s stand together to toast this
                                         very special man, our neighbor, our
                                         dear friend, a husband and devoted father. To his wife Kristi, a brilliant
                                         woman, major volunteer, wife and mother. And to their children, Luke
                                         and Olivia. They will all be sorely missed.

    President’s Award: Lauriel Hindman
    Presentation by Anne Culotta, 2010 President
         The President’s Award is given by the outgoing President of the
    Association to an individual without whom said President could not
    have managed. It is a personal acknowledgment of a deep debt of
    gratitude for constant support and guidance. At least in my case it
    is, because without Lauriel Hindman I would have floundered in my
    ignorance, absent-mindedness, and miserable typing skills. And, even
    more importantly, I wouldn’t have had half as much fun!
         Lauriel, please accept this award from me to you as Business
    Manager extraordinaire, she-who-knows-all, the ever diligent, always
    discreet, best friend in the bunker. Thanks for always having my back!

In Memoriam: Bob Pearson
Presentation by Anne Culotta, 2010 President
    No awards show would be complete without a tribute to those we
lost over the past year. Bill has already mentioned Mrs. Worthington;
I would like to remember Bob Pearson. Bob was a friend to many
of us here tonight, and he was a character in his own right. He
volunteered for the Houston Heights Association for many, many
years, performing thankless tasks like locking and unlocking the
playground at Donovan Park and overseeing the maintenance and
upkeep of the Fire Station.
                                           His memory is so tied to this
                                       fine old building, I hope Bob
                                       would be pleased to see the plaque
                                       that has been placed downstairs in
                                       honor of his many years of service
                                       to the community. May he rest in
                                           [For more information about Bob, please see our July 2010 issue. For more
                                       information about Mrs. Worthington, please see our February 2011 issue.]

Boulevard Volunteer Award: Christy Stewart
Presentation speech by Jim Bennett, Boulevard Chair
    The Boulevard Volunteer Award is given out in those years
when someone has gone way beyond the call of duty. This year,
Christy Stewart had done just that, and we want to recognize her
hard work. As many of you know, Christy has taken care of the
Rose Garden on Heights Boulevard since late 2009. Anyone who
has worked in a volunteer organization will appreciate these things
about Christy’s efforts:
    • Christy is a volunteer, not a recruit. When she heard that help
was needed, Christy stepped forward and said, “I can do that.”
    • Christy took charge and got the job done – she did the
planning, she acquired all needed materials, she recruited the help she needed.
    • Christy followed through with continuous maintenance - not just the upfront splash, but also the
continued week-in and week-out effort required to keep things looking great.
    Right now, Christy is taking time out from the Rose Garden, since she and her husband Matt just
became the proud parents of Elliott Townes Stewart in December. Pat Hall, Stacey Courville, and Shawn
Michael are taking up the slack, so you’ll see that the Rose Garden has been stripped back and fresh
plantings are about to be put in place.
    Christy, please come up and accept this award for your many months of hard work at the Rose Garden!
    New Generation Award: Andrea Sharp and Elizabeth Poirrier
    Presentation by Kelly Simmons
        The New Generation Award is given to individuals who have come onto the scene relatively recently
    and who have risen through the volunteer ranks to leadership positions very quickly. We have seen in
    these individuals the promise of a long-term relationship with the Houston Heights Association and a
    valuable asset to the community.
        This year, we decided to present two individuals with the New Generation Award.

    Andrea Sharp
        This person served on the Auction Committee in 2008 and
    Chaired the Auction in 2009. She helped on the Auction again the
    following year by managing the massive spreadsheet of donors and
    auction items. She chaired the Heights Fun Run in 2010, which
    broke all previous income records. She is co-chairing – along with
    Christine Spin – this year’s Holiday Home Tour Patron Party. She
    has continually stepped up to the plate when asked to volunteer and
    has demonstrated time after time that she has the leadership skills to
    guide these very important fundraising events. She is currently serving
    on HHA’s Board of Directors. Don’t let her size fool ya – she manages
    around 300 personnel – mostly men — for a downtown security firm.
        I am proud to present Andrea Sharp with the 2010 New
    Generation Award. [Andrea was not present. Her husband accepted for her. —Editor]

    Elizabeth Poirrier
                                              As a lot of us do, this person started out by allowing the HHA
                                          to show her home on the Holiday Home Tour in 2009. That same
                                          year, she jumped right in and – working mostly behind the scenes
                                          — was instrumental in the success of the Holiday Home Tour. The
                                          following year – last year — she Chaired the Holiday Home Tour to
                                          a record-breaking success. There are a couple of interesting common
                                          denominators among all of the present and past New Generation
                                          Award Recipients: They’re all adorable and all have impressive shoe
                                              I am honored to award Elizabeth Poirrier with the 2010 New
                                          Generation Award.

    Heights Family Serving As Ambassadors For March For Babies
        For Heights residents Loriana Morris and Jake Decker, having twin boys was twice the joy but also
    double the worry and fear when Loriana was diagnosed with Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome at 24
    weeks and started an arduous journey to keep her babies medically safe. At 33 weeks, Wesley and Gabriel
    were born but faced weeks in the NICU. The family now enjoys every moment with their bright, active
    twin boys and daughter Jocelyn. They are serving as Houston’s 2011 March for Babies Ambassador Family
    to help raise awareness about the lifesaving research and support of the March of Dimes. To join or start a
    walk team, visit March for Babies will be held May 1, with opening ceremonies at
    8:00 AM, and the five-mile walk at 9:00 AM at the University of Houston’s Robertson Stadium.
Community Improvement Awards
by Diane Easley, CIA Chair
    The Houston Heights Association 2011 Community Improvement Awards were presented Sunday,
February 27, for residential and commercial projects contributing to the improvement of the Heights.

    For Commercial New Construction projects, the two nominees were
Advanta Health Professionals at 1302 North Shepherd and Allegiance Bank
at 2222 North Durham. The winning improvement is Allegiance Bank at
2222 North Durham, managed by President Scott Lester. This project was
nominated by Mike Easley, designed by McCleary German Architects, and
built by U. S. Builders. Thanks to Allegiance Bank for being an HHA sponsor
as well.

                                For Commercial Restoration projects, the two nominees were Zelko Bistro
                            at 705 East 11th Street, owned by Jamie Zelko, and Jenni’s Noodles at 602
                            East 20th Street, owned by Jenni and Scott Tranweaver. We are lucky to have
                            these two new restaurants in the Heights. The winning improvement is Zelko
                            Bistro at 705 East 11th Street. This project was nominated by Anne Culotta,
                            designed by James and Jamie Zelko, and built by Zelko Brothers Cabinet &
                            Fixture Company.

    In the Residential New Construction category, the two nominees were
Trinh and Eugene Kuo’s home at 1222 Allston and Michael and Laura
Czapski’s home at 2020 Arlington. The winning improvement is Trinh and
Eugene Kuo’s home at 1222 Allston. This project was nominated by Ralph and
Mary Ellis, designed by Greg Swedberg with 2Scale Architects, and built by
Allegro Builders.

                                  In the Residential Restoration category, the two nominees were Patrice
                              and Jason Childress’ home at 730 Columbia and Danae Stephenson and
                              Martin Piké’s home at 1233 Tulane. The winning improvement is Patrice
                              and Jason Childress’ home at 730 Columbia, nominated by Gail Schorre,
                              designed by Morningside Architects, and built by Lucas Craftsmanship.

    A special “Heights Gateway Award” was presented to Phil’s Texas
Barbecue for their transformation of the former muffler shop into
a restaurant at 110 South Heights Boulevard, leading into Houston
Heights. Thanks to Phil’s for being an HHA sponsor, as well.

    Congratulations to all nominees and thank you for improving the Heights. Special thanks to our CIA
committee: Judges Donna Bennett, Jeff Cox, Anne Culotta, and Amber Lewis; PowerPoint presentation
by Keith Crane; AV Team Keith Crane, Ken Culotta, and Mike Easley. Thanks also to Anne Culotta and
Donna Bennett for donating seats for the nominees, and thanks to Laura Pineda for help with set-up.
[Finally, thanks to Diane for coordinating them all again this year. —Editor]
    Be on the lookout for next year’s nominees!
 Historic District Reconsideration Update
     On October 13, Houston City Council passed amendments to the Historic Preservation Ordinance
 and a transition process to the new ordinance. From October 18 through November 17, property owners
 in an existing or pending historic district could request reconsideration of their district.
     In seven historic districts, the owners of 10% or more of the tracts asked for their districts to be
 reconsidered. The City mailed to all property owners in those districts an announcement of a public
 meeting and forms to be mailed back by any owners wanting to repeal their districts.
     At the February 23 City Council meeting, the Director of Planning & Development formally
 presented reports with survey results and recommendations on the six existing historic districts that
 underwent reconsideration, including Houston Heights East and West and Norhill. Her reports indicated
 that no district had reached the threshold for dissolution and that surveys requesting repeal of district
 designation were dispersed throughout each district. Her recommendation was that Council take no
 action with regard to the designation of five of the six districts (that is, leave them intact) and that Council
 amend the boundaries of First Montrose Commons to exclude one tract at a corner of the district, which
 had been included unintentionally.
     At the March 2 meeting, Director Gafrick presented reports on the three pending districts (Houston
 Heights South, Woodland Heights, and Glenbrook Valley). She recommended designation of all three as
 historic districts, with changes to the boundaries of the first two.
     The recommendations on the six existing districts were on the agenda for the March 9 Council
 meeting, but the item was tagged (deferred until the next meeting). Council was not scheduled to meet the
 following week. At press time, the earliest Council could take up the issue again is March 23.
     Copies of the formal reports on the six existing districts and the three pending districts (with maps of
 survey results and the Director’s recommendations for City Council action) are now available on the City
 Planning Department site at along
 with the amended Historic Preservation Ordinance and the transition ordinance. We hope that further
                                                           ...continues with update for electronic editions on page 14

 Donations                                                     New Members
    Our thanks to the following donors for their                   Please welcome the following new members to
 generous support of the programs of the Houston               the Houston Heights Association.
 Heights Association.                                              A-OK Mini Storage, Tracey Freezia
    Jennifer Barringer & Derrick Vallance —                        Joyce Ballenger
        Boulevard                                                  Jacquelyn Barish
    Chris & Christine Campbell                                     Josh & Steven Brockman-Weber
    Charles & Vicki Cunningham — Parks,                            Chris & Christine Campbell
        Boulevard, Flower Gardens, and Fire Station                Chris & Amy Cole
        Endowment Fund                                             Catherine Coon & Nicholas Purday
    GDF Suez Energy North America, Inc. (matching                  Greenleaf Gardening Services
        gift of Keith Crane & Kelly Simmons)                       Lori Hudgins
    Charles Krenzler — Boulevard                                   Jennifer Junger
    Debbie Mueller & Bob Singleton — Parks                         Heide Leighty
    Nicole & Raul Quiros                                           Linda Eyles Design
    Gail Rosenthal — Fire Station Endowment Fund                   Gianni Mallarino
    Texas State Optical, Aurea Rivera, O.D. —                      Jennifer Naae & Matt Albanese
        Boulevard                                                  Nicole & Raul Quiros
                                                                   Susie Rosmarin
HHA Urban Forestry Committee
Living in Tandem with Trees
     Since 2005, the HHA Urban Forestry Committee has been
celebrating our neighborhood’s unique Urban Forest of mature trees
and native plant gardens — habitat for migratory birds, native wildlife,
and neighbors! Over the past two years, on the first Tuesday of the
month, Heights neighbors with wonderful gardens and/or great trees
have opened their garden gates for special garden tours.
     On Tuesday, April 5, at 6:30 PM, you are invited to a tour of the
Great Tree at 538 Arlington and to learn about the new home that has
been designed on the site. Meet the owners, the architect, and the tree consultant. Everyone is invited!
     For about three years Gary Rodriguez and Mike Ball drove by an empty lot at 538 Arlington in the
Heights, and they were amazed at the size of the majestic live oak (Quercus virginiana) that was the focal
point on the south side of the lot. They had many discussions over the three-year period about purchasing
the lot and building a house that would showcase the tree. In January 2010, Mike and Gary decided to
investigate building a house on the lot. During their investigation, they found that the tree is listed on the
Harris County Tree Registry and was recorded to be 68 feet tall with a 192-foot circumference and a crown
spread of 106 feet.
     Mike and Gary had seen several homes built by Solution Builders, LLC in the surrounding Heights
area and were enticed to meet with them because they were a green homes builder. Mike says, “We
assumed a green homebuilder would share in our vision to protect the tree and create a home that made
the tree the central focus. Dara Childs and Wolfgang Pfirrmann, the Solution Builders team, worked with
us to design our home to minimize any impact to the tree.
     “In February 2010 we consulted with Embark Tree and Landscape Services about the potential impact
of building a home on the lot. Matt Hancock met with us at the lot, and we discussed our plans to build a
pier and beam home. We expressed to Matt that our principal concern was not to damage the tree with our
proposed plan.” Gary and Mike had already decided that if a home could not be built without damage to
the tree, they would scrap their plans and not purchase the lot. Matt said that a pier and beam foundation
was better than a slab, and he suggested that any digging on the lot should be confined as much as possible
to the north side of the lot.
     In June 2010, Gary and Mike closed on their lot and construction loan. Shortly before construction
started, Embark trimmed the tree of any dead limbs and aerated the lot.
     Solution Builders started construction on January 4. The first phase of construction included drilling
seven 300-foot vertical holes for geothermal heating/cooling. The drilling team was very conscientious
about not disturbing any of the tree roots. They actually moved one of the drill sites to avoid a root. They
also hand dug (rather than machine dug) a trench to collate the geothermal loops from the alley to the
front of the lot. Whenever they encountered a tree root, they carefully dug around it so as not to cut it.
     Once the geothermal drilling completed, Solution Builders installed a retaining fence around the tree
to keep debris and traffic off of the roots. The foundation crew was also very cognizant of the tree roots.
They had to move a couple of piers to avoid the roots.
     Since this project started, every contractor has been extremely diligent about the tree. Gary and Mike
have been very happy with the extra effort Solution Builders have gone to ensure protection for the tree.
     For more information about the Urban Forestry Committee, please visit http://www.houstonheights.
org/urbanforestry.htm. For the Harris County Tree Registry, view
files/TFHMaster.pdf. For Solution Builders, LLC, visit For Embark Tree and Landscape
Services, visit
 May General Meeting Woman’s Club News
 Heights Kidstuff: After School            The Houston Heights Woman’s Club (HHWC) has started 2011
 & Vacation Programs                   off with a new slate of officers:
     Get great information for             • President: Hillary Parr Cobb
 summer or after-school programs           • First Vice President: Shea Sandefer Hill
 for families and kids of all ages         • Second Vice President: Amydell Beardshall
 (young, elementary, middle                • Treasurer: Linda Cannon
 school, pre-teens, or teens)! Great       • Recording Secretary: Sharon Balke
 opportunities for learning and            • Corresponding Secretary: Robin Swinney
 play abound in and near our               • Historian: Ann Gay
 neighborhood. Meet the folks              • Parliamentarian: Gail Rosenthal
 from HITS, Stages, the Heights            • At-Large Board Members: Melvaline Cohen, Debbie Cranford,
 Library, Scouts, Outdoor Nature                and Laura Potter
 programs, and more.                   Upcoming events:
     Doors open at 6:30 PM                 The evening group of HHWC kicks off April with their General
 on May 9 at the HHA Fire              Meeting on Tuesday, April 5 at 7:00 PM at the HHWC Clubhouse,
 Station at 12th & Yale. The           located at 1846 Harvard. Members, please plan to attend.
 program commences with HHA                The next event will be the Literary Club meeting at the HHWC
 President Bill Baldwin at 7:00        Clubhouse, on Thursday, April 14 at 7:00 PM. The book selection is
 PM. Everyone is invited for           The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court by Jeffery Toobin.
 refreshments and to mix and           Jere Pfister will lead discussion of the book.
 mingle.                                   The final scheduled event in April will be the quarterly Cork and
                                       Fork, which will be held at the HHWC Clubhouse on Saturday, April
                                       16, from 7:00 PM until 10:00 PM. The theme will be Cinco de Mayo;
                                       Debbie Cranford and Robin Swinney will host. The Cork and Fork is
                                       open to members, their guests, and prospective members. There is no
                                       cost to attend, aside from a dish to pass and a bottle of wine to share.
                                       Besides good food, good wine, and good conversation, the Cork and
                                       Fork introduces the host(s), HHWC members, and guests (spouses
                                       and potential members) to new wine and food based on a theme or
                                       region in a casual atmosphere.

 Constable Notes                                                             February Statistics
     Constable yard signs are available. If you are a constable                 Total Arrests           0
 subscriber, then you can pick up signs at the next Houston Heights             Citizen Assists         2
 Association general meeting or email heightspatrol@houstonheights.             Citizen Contacts      124
 org for other pickup options. If you are not a subscriber and would            Vacation Watches      145
 like to sign up, we are now offering a nine-month subscription that            Court Citations        34
 runs from April through December for $230.                                     Alarm Responses        13
     If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a                     Suspicious Vehicles    47
 subscriber, then go to to subscribe           Park Checks           122
 by credit card or send a check with your address and telephone                 Disturbances            7
 number to HHA Constable Patrol, P.O Box 70735, Houston, TX                     Major Accidents         0
 77270-0735.                                                                    Criminal Offenses       1
                                                                                Miles patrolled     2,581
Calendar (continued from back cover)
Sunday         Monday          Tuesday           Wednesday         Thursday            Friday          Saturday
May 1          2               3                 4                 5 - garbage         6               7
               HHA Land Use
               6:30 PM                                             Cinco de Mayo;
               Fire Station                                        Deadline for
                                                                   next newsletter
8              9               10                11                12 - garbage        13              14
               HHA General                                         and recycling
Mother’s Day   “Kidstuff”
               7:00 PM
               Fire Station
15             16              17                18                19 - garbage        20              21
               HHA Board       Greater Heights
               6:30 PM         SNC (SN15)
               Fire Station    6:30 PM
                               Fire Station
22             23              24                25                26 - garbage        27              28
               HHA Education                     PIP Meeting       and recycling
               6:30 PM                           7:00 PM
               Fire Station                      1602 State Street

29             30              31                June 1            2 - garbage         3               4
                                                                                                       Heights Fun
               Memorial Day                                                                            Run

Community Calendar                                                                 Future History
Events planned by other community organizations.                                   October 2, Bicycle Rally
    Historic Houston’s Salvage Warehouse will be closing soon. See                 December 2-3, Holiday Home for details.                                                  Tour
    Every Monday, 7:30 to 10:00 PM, Houston International Folk                     December 5-7, Holiday Basket
Dancers introductory lessons at Oddfellows Hall, 115 E. 14th.                         Preparation and Delivery
    March 31 through April 2, Opera in the Heights presents                        2012:
Bizet’s Pearl Fishers at Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Blvd. For more                 February 26, Awards Dinner
information, visit                               April 5-7, Spring Home Tour
    April 2, 7:30 PM, Health Care for All Texas presents Jim Post in               June 2, Heights Fun Run
his one-man show “Mark Twain and the Laughing River” at Live Oak
Friends Meeting Hall, 1318 W. 26th St. For information or to buy                   At The Fire Station
tickets, please visit                 Events at the Houston Heights City
    April 7-9 and 14-16, 8:00 PM, HITS Theatre presents “Hairspray”                Hall and Fire Station, 12th and Yale
at Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park. For more details, call                      The second Monday, 5:00 to
the Miller box office at 281-FREE-FUN.                                             7:00 PM, and the last Monday
    April 16 through May 1, 2:00 PM, UpStage Theatre presents “Too                 of the month, 8:00 AM to noon,
Many Beagles” at Miller Outdoor Theater, saluting and benefitting                  the City Council District H
rescue organizations. For more information or tickets, call 713-838-               Satellite Office is open at the east
9171 or visit                                              (office) door.
Heavy Trash Notes
    April is a “Junk Waste” month; May is a “Tree Waste Only” month. For dates in your area and more
information, see
Historic District Reconsideration Update from page 10
information on the reconsideration process will be posted there as it becomes available.
Changes Since The Print Edition
    At its March 23 meeting, City Council accepted the Planning Director’s report on Avondale West,
Boulevard Oaks, First Montrose Commons, and Norhill; these districts were confirmed with only the
previously mentioned minor change to the boundaries of First Montrose Commons. Council voted 8-7
against accepting the Director’s report on Houston Heights East and Houston Heights West. These two
districts were referred back to the administration.
    The three pending historic districts have not yet come before City Council as of the time this was
written. Until they do, they remain covered by the Historic Protection Ordinance, as do Houston Heights
East amd West.

Calendar of Events for April 2011
 Sunday             Monday             Tuesday            Wednesday             Thursday         Friday            Saturday
                                                                                                 1                2
                                                                                                 Candlelight Din- Spring Home &
                                                                                                 ner and Auction Garden Tour
                                                                                                                  12:00 - 6:00 PM

 3                  4                  5 - Deadline for   6                     7 - garbage      8                 9
 Spring Home &      HHA Land Use       next newsletter
 Garden Tour        6:30 PM            Urban Forestry
 12:00 - 6:00 PM    Fire Station       6:30 PM
                                       538 Arlington                                                               KBD

 10                 11                 12                 13                    14 - garbage     15                16
                    HHA General        Greater Heights                          and recycling
                    “Alley Issues”     SNC (SN15)
                    7:00 PM            6:30 PM
                    Fire Station       Fire Station
 17                 18                 19                 20                21 - garbage    22                     23
                    HHA Board                             PIP meeting
                    6:30 PM                               7:00 PM           San Jacinto Day Earth Day
                    Fire Station                          1602 State Street

 24                 25                 26                 27                    28 - garbage     29                30
                    HHA Education                                               and recycling
 Easter Sunday      7:00 PM
                    Fire Station
                                                                                                                   continued within
HHA headquarters: The Fire Station is on the corner of Yale and 12th Streets.          HHA web site: <>

To top