You're Invited to the Ribbon Cutting at White Oak Drive & Houston Ave. by Michael Graves

Houston Ave Mini-Park Ribbon Cutting.jpg

The Friends of Woodland Park (FWP) are proud to report that the traffic intersection improvements at Houston Ave. and White Oak Dr., including the new community park, have been fully completed, and a dedication celebration has scheduled.

Please join us on Saturday October 26th from 2-3 PM for refreshments and community fellowship.

FWP’s original master plan (envisioned and drawn by Scott McCready and others from SWA Landscape Architects) showed a streamlined, safer, more beautiful intersection at this busy and confused juncture. It has been an FWP goal to implement this vision as the Houston Ave./White Oak Dr. intersection is the southern entrance to Woodland Park and our Woodland Heights neighborhood.

But it was the hard work and 100% funding from Memorial Heights Redevelopment Authority/TIRZ-5 and the City of Houston that made it a reality. Additional thanks are due to our District H City Council Member Karla Cisneros for her significant involvement and financial contributions for the extension of the bike lanes to Spring St. and the Bayou Greenway hike and bike trail.

Our community is fortunate to have and enjoy this new neighborhood amenity. So please come to the dedication and help us show our appreciation.

Woodland Park's Replica Trolly is Moving On by Michael Graves

Dear Woodland Park and FWP supporters/volunteers,

We are disappointed to report that our remarkable trolley replica has deteriorated beyond repair and will be scheduled for demolition in the next four - six weeks. Even though it was built with pressure treated wood and thoroughly primed and painted, the elements have not been kind. It has also experienced heavy use since its installation (which we have been delighted to see), and this has accelerated its deterioration.

Pat Rutledge (Friends of Woodland Park) and Paul Carr, who made the trolly, when it was installed in 2016.  Photo courtesy of The Houston Chronicle.

Pat Rutledge (Friends of Woodland Park) and Paul Carr, who made the trolly, when it was installed in 2016.
Photo courtesy of The Houston Chronicle.

So if you and your children want to enjoy it one more time be sure to do so before the end of November. We plan to save and display the trolley sign along with an early picture of it in an FWP display case that we are in the process of creating. Details will follow.

The good news is we are in discussions with Firefly Field sculptor Dylan Conner to create a woodland-creature playscape that will permanently reside in the playground space that is being vacated with the removal of the trolley. We will keep you informed!

We may need the community’s financial support to make the new addition a reality. As the details of the trolley replacement come into focus we may see a need to launch a fundraising program to cover the cost of the creation and installation of the new structure. So stay tuned.

We are eternally grateful to each and every one of you for your longstanding and ongoing support of our efforts to make the park more enjoyable. We couldn’t have achieved what we have without all of you helping us.

With gratitude,

The Friends of Woodland Park Board of Directors

Super Neighborhood Candidate Forums this Week! by Michael Graves

This just in!

Dear SN22 Colleagues and Friends,

Super Neighborhood 22 (along with several other Super Neighborhoods) will host three forums this week—At-Large (Positions 1, 3, and 5), and Districts C and H. Please see the Eventbrite invitations below for more details including schedule breakdown, and candidate information for each forum. 

Questions were developed around the following topics of interest—Civic Engagement and Transparency, Super Neighborhood Initiative and Planning, Infrastructure, Quality of Life, and Budgeting and Economic Development. 

All three forums will be held in MECA's Auditorium. Food and drinks will be provided at each event. Free on-street parking is available.

Monday, October 14At-Large (Positions 1, 3, and 5) Eventbrite  

Food provided by the Orlando Sanchez Campaign for Houston City Controller from Shandy's Cafe on Memorial Drive; food available at 6:00 PM. 

Forum will begin at 6:30 PM.

Tuesday, October 15: District H Eventbrite

Food will be available at 6:30 PM; graciously donated by Chatter's Cafe & Bistro, and Southwell's Hamburger Grill.

Forum will begin at 7:00 PM.

Thursday, October 17: District C Eventbrite

Food will be available at 6:30 PM.

Forum will begin at 7:00 PM.

Location:

MECA Auditorium
1900 Kane Street
Houston, Texas 77007

Free on-street parking is available. 

Creature Feature: Great Horned Owl by Michael Graves

Who’s Awake? Me Too! If you’ve heard this loudly hooted call, you’re among those who have been close to a Great Horned Owl. Since the end of September, a pair have been heard prior to sunrise and again at sunset at locations across the Woodland Heights. Chances are good that they are re-establishing their territory, telling potential competitors that they have a strong pair bond and that no others need apply.

The calls of Great Horned Owls carry for a couple of blocks against the backdrop of freeway noise and up to a mile in the wild. Pairs perform duets, with the male having a rich baritone voice and with the female hooting at a slightly higher pitch. When alarmed, they will bark and make scratchy growls.

It’s best to be content with just hearing these owls, since they are masters of disguise and defy the onlooker and photographer. It’s also strongly advised that you do nothing to annoy them – such as trying to catch them in the beam of a flashlight – since their lives are already hard enough and because they have occasionally been known to use their powerful talons on those they see as a threat, particularly during nesting season in late winter and spring.

Great Horned Owls are stealthy predators, swooping down on wings that produce virtually no sound. They play an important role in helping keep populations of squirrels, rats, mice, and snakes in balance. And though they weigh no more than three pounds, they can take on prey as large as swamp rabbits, raccoons, and possums. As always, it’s best to keep cats and other small pets inside at night when owls, stray dogs, coyotes and cars are on the prowl. The songbirds and other critters on which cats prey will thank you too!

Btw – Great Horned Owls are named for the tufts of feathers they can raise on their heads to look bigger and scarier. The photos show owlets and adult birds (probably the same pair) at spots in the Woodland Heights, Woodland Park and White Oak Park. All photos were taken at a substantial distance with a “superzoom” camera at an equivalent of 1200 mm and then cropped. Please keep your distance and honor the choice that Great Horned Owls make as they share their lives with us, since they are doing their best to fulfill their role as important apex predators in the rapidly diminishing habitat available to them. We are very lucky to have them here, since there are only a few neighborhoods inside of the Beltway where Great Horned Owls raise their young.

- Wendy Wright

Editors note: I’ve routinely seen a pair Great Horned Owls in 11th Street Park, on 11th Street just past TC Jester. I typically see and hear them just as the sun starts to set, toward the southwest corner of the park.

Woodland Heights Stats from Crime Reports.com (September 2019) by Michael Graves

The following is the monthly report issued by CrimeReports.com for Woodland Heights, for the period of September 1 to 31st, 2019.


Your CrimeReports alert for the period: Sep 01, 2019 — Sep 30, 2019. This update includes all incidents added to the map since the last update you received.

Note: Alert areas are calculated using a standard-sized monitor. Depending on the size of your browser window, you may see a different number of incidents when you click the "map incidents" link.

Location: Woodland Heights

Sep 01, 2019 — Sep 30, 2019

23 Incidents

18

5
1
10
2

5

3
2

Property Crimes

Breaking & Entering
Property Crime
Theft from Vehicle
Theft of Vehicle

Violent Crimes

Assault
Assault with a Deadly Weapon


Are you a member of the WHCA Constable Patrol Program? The presence of the Harris County Precinct One Constables on patrol in the neighborhood reduces response times dramatically when an incident is reported.

National Night Out in Woodland Heights by Michael Graves

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National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community.

Woodland Park Community Center

212 Parkview, Houston TX, 77009

Tuesday, October 1st

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Members of the WHCA board will be on-hand to answers questions about the civic association and discuss matters facing the neighborhood.

Yard-of-the-Month: 509 Woodland by Michael Graves

The yard of Marci DeBock, Mike Conner, and Dylan Conner captures a lot of what I like about the Woodland Heights: it's practical with its herbs and vegetables front and center in the right of way to take advantage of the least shady spot in the yard, and simultaneously whimsical with the art that they have both made and procured in their more than quarter century at 509 Woodland. Their yard is lived in, played in, and loved, hosting insects and wildlife that feed their creativity and nurture their plantings.

They have two iconic pieces that make their yard unmistakable. Their dramatic night-blooming cereus cactus, planted about ten years ago, stands tall at the east end of the yard. During the day the blossoms droop, but at night they are on full display. Its base is surrounded by bamboo muhly grass, bat face cuphea, and red firecracker fern for the hummingbirds and bees. And the shark, of course! Why not a shark? It was a gift from a good friend of theirs when the opera was clearing out their warehouse.

Around the yard you can find Dylan's early metalwork art on display in monkeys and bottle trees, and functionally in their chairs, gates, and hedges. One of his more recent works is on display in Woodland Park: Firefly Field. As with the cactus, it comes alive when the sun goes down.

And more throughout the yard: herbs of basil, rosemary, and oregano are always plentiful, and the mint has returned with the rain. Fall plantings are going in now, or soon, with parsley, fennel, and thyme, along with vegetables (kale, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, neon chard) in purples and greens to complement their home. Sugar snaps will come along later. One year their sweet potato patch gave them 75 lbs of the root vegetable!

And still more: dewberries along the front fence, dwarf Meyer lemon tree, pink angel's trumpet, Indian Hawthorn, yesterday today and tomorrow, vincas border with their neighbor, and sweet olive with a sweetly scented and understated fragrance.

Finally, an evergreen wisteria arches welcomingly at the front gate, with a mango tree planted by their son many years ago.

Thanks for sharing your yard with us!

Seeking Silent Auction Items by Michael Graves

Silent Auction Items.png

Every year the Woodland Heights comes together to throw an amazing Lights in the Heights and that would not be possible without YOU! The annual party, this year the LITH Holiday Masquerade Bash (Formerly Lights in the Height Gala) hosts a Silent Auction that helps fund Lights in the Heights. We are currently seeking silent auction items. No contribution is too small.

Do you have Texan tickets you can't use? Astros Tickets? Ballet Tickets? Can’t get a babysitter? Already have plans that night? Instead of having those tickets go to waste, consider donating them to our Silent Auction in October. Do you own a local business? This is a great opportunity to not only support Lights in the Heights, but to advertise.

Thank you to everyone that has already graciously made donations in support of Lights in the Heights. It's because of you that we can have an amazing event.

If you have any questions, please contact Silent Auction Co-chairs Lauren (lauren.o.snead@gmail.com) and Shani (archiesparents@hotmail.com).

About the Joint & General Special Elections on November 5th by Michael Graves

This will be the first time that Harris County residents can vote at any Harris County Election Day polling location. Registered voters can find a sample ballot to research State of Texas propositions for constitutional amendments and City of Houston officials.

The following links should prove useful:

Holiday Masquerade Bash Seeking Sponsors by Michael Graves

Individual Sponsor Opportunities 

There are several ways for local businesses and residents to sponsor the Holiday Masquerade Bash. Each includes visibility in WHCA publications, social media channels and at LITH events throughout the holiday season.

Lights in the Heights® Masquerading Pumpkins  – $1,000 

  • Listed as a sponsor in Holiday Bash invitation

  • Name in program at Holiday Bash

  • Name on WHCA LITH website

  • Name in LITH newsletter

  • 2 tickets to the Holiday Bash


Lights in the Heights® Scary Cats – $600

  • Listed as sponsor in Holiday Bash invitation

  • Name in program at Holiday Bash 

  • Name on WHCA LITH website

  • Name in LITH newsletter 

  • 2 tickets to the Holiday Bash 


Lights in the Heights® Black Bats – $300 

  • Listed as sponsor in Holiday Bash invitation

  • Name in program at Holiday Bash 

  • Name on WHCA LITH website

  • Name in LITH newsletter 

  • 1 ticket to the Holiday Bash

Click on any of the images to visit the WHCA web store.

FWP Partners with Houston Audubon Society in the First Ever Houston Bird Week by Michael Graves

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This just in from the Friends of Woodland Park:

We’re excited to be an official partner with the Houston Audubon in the first-ever Houston Bird Week, in honor of their 50th anniversary. Equal parts fun, education, and celebration, experience firsthand the important role Houston plays in the journey of billions of migratory birds, and the everyday life of our urban-dwelling birds. Led by Houston Audubon’s Young Professionals Advisory Council in collaboration with local conservation partners, we have a flock of fun planned for all.

Don’t miss the kick-off party, where an official Bird Beer will be unveiled! From pop-up birding stations to park clean-ups and bioblitzes, your participation and excitement will help us continue to be a welcoming home for Houston’s birds.

We hope you can join us Saturday, September 28th for Woodland Park Clean-Up from 9 am - 12 pm

Let’s get chirping on social media. Use #HoustonBirdWeek to share your excitement! Check out the jam-packed list of events at www.houstonaudubon.org/birdweek

Meeting Notes: WHCA September General Meeting & Candidates Forum by Michael Graves

The WHCA September General Meeting was held Tuesday, September 10th at 7 pm in the auditorium of Hogg Middle School. This article is a recap of the events of that evening.

Lights In The Heights Merchandise

Members filtered into the auditorium past a table with an array of Lights in the Heights merchandise. Beth Allen-Brock and Melissa McKee explained that these items are available for order now. Some items are made to order, so it’s important that you place your order via the WHCA website asap. In those cases, items will only be available people who order in advance.

The ladies further indicated that people who order LITH merchandise will be able to pickup their goods at the Friday Night Lights event on Friday, December 13th.

(L-to-R) WHCA President, Harry McMahon, former Treasurer Melissa McKee and former Secretary Beth Allen-Brock.

Call To Order

WHCA President Harry McMahon opened the meeting, calling for a show of hands from the members present to determine that there was a quorum. With around 40 people in the auditorium, it was determined that we did have quorum, although this was not critical since there were no agenda items requiring a vote by the membership.

Lights In The Heights Date & Route

Next, Harry introduced Ashley Allison, Co-chair of the 2019 Lights in the Heights committee. Ashley announced that Lights in the Heights would be Saturday, December 14th. The proposed route is Highland and Omar Streets, from Studewood to Florence.

The proposed route is subject to approval of our permit application. LITH has been on these streets in the past, but not for a number of years. As such, we have every reason to expect that the permit will be issued. When the details are finalized a reference map will be published.

Everything you need to know about Lights in the Heights will be in the November WHCA newsletter, which will be printed and hand-delivered throughout Woodland Heights.

Volunteer Your Porch!

The LITH committee is looking for folks along the route (Highland & Omar) who would like to host an entertainer on their front porch. Interested residents can contact Kent Brock at entertainmentlith@gmail.com

LITH Masquerade Bash

There will be a LITH Holiday Masquerade Bash on Friday, October 25th at Studewood Place, 1111 Studewood. This is fun, casual event with all funds going to support Lights in the Heights. Tickets are now available in the online store at the WHCA website.

District H Candidates Forum

With the WHCA housekeeping out-of-the-way, Harry turned the meeting over to Charles Kuffner, the moderator of the District H Candidates Forum.

We were pleased to have all four of the candidates running to represent District H on Houston City Council participating in the event. We recorded the proceeding for the benefit of those who could not attend.

Many thanks to WH resident Estella Espinosa for her work preparing this video. It was our first time using this venue, which was surprising for the amount of reverberation it presents. The presentation has been substantially tidied up, but not edited for content. The recording contains the exchange in its entirety.

TXDOT Survey On The I45 Project by Michael Graves

A few days ago this arrived from TXDOT:

We Want Your Feedback: Take the North Houston Highway Improvement Project Survey

Hello Interested Stakeholders,

Please click on the link below to take this short survey about the I-45/North Houston Highway Improvement Project (NHHIP).* This survey is intended to gather feedback on potential actions TxDOT could take in order to lessen impacts on the communities affected by the proposed highway project.

https://arcg.is/0qqPKz

The survey is intentionally short, only seven questions long and should only take a few minutes to complete. Although the survey is brief the information it provides is critical to helping TxDOT improve the NHHIP. Thank you in advance for your feedback. We look forward to hearing from you. Please complete the survey by Sept. 20, 2019.

*More details about the survey...

TxDOT's NHHIP environmental studies identify and quantify potential natural, human and social environmental effects of the proposed transportation improvements. Adverse impacts that cannot be avoided must be adequately mitigated. Accordingly, TxDOT is required to compensate for or replace lost resources. This survey will help us evaluate currently considered mitigation strategies and potentially identify additional options.

For details about the I-45/North Houston Highway Improvement Project, please visit our website at www.ih45northandmore.com.


Announcing the WHCA September General Meeting & Candidates Forum! by Michael Graves

WHCA General Meeting Hogg Banner.jpg

Tuesday, September 10th at 7pm
in the auditorium at Hogg Middle School
1100 Merrill St

This month the highlight of the agenda is a Candidates Forum including; Karla Cisneros, Cynthia Reyes-Revilla, Isabel Longoria, and Gaby Salcedo. All four are running for the Houston City Council seat representing District H, which includes Woodland Heights.

Residents attending the meeting will be able to submit written questions, to be asked by the moderator, and answered by each of the candidates.

Charles Kuffner (Moderator)

Charles Kuffner (Moderator)

The Candidates Forum will be moderated by WH resident Charles Kuffner. He is the author of Off The Kuff, a Houston-based political blog covering state and local affairs. Founded in 2001, it is the oldest continuously running political blog in Texas. It has gained tremendous support throughout the state for its detailed political reporting and commentary. Kuffner’s work has been syndicated by the Houston Chronicle and has been featured in Texas Monthly and the Houston Press.


Also:
As usual, there will also be updates from the WHCA board of directors and committees.

WHCA Secretary Alaina Hebert is leading a new effort to encourage the proper recycling of batteries and consumer electronics items with batteries inside. Following the guidelines offered at Call2Recycle.org, items will be collected at WHCA General Meetings, like one planned for September 10th.
 

Woodland Heights Stats from Crime Reports.com (August 2019) by Michael Graves

The following is the monthly report issued by CrimeReports.com for Woodland Heights, for the period of August 1 to 31st, 2019.


Your CrimeReports alert for the period: Aug 01, 2019 — Aug 31, 2019. This update includes all incidents added to the map since the last update you received.

Note: Alert areas are calculated using a standard-sized monitor. Depending on the size of your browser window, you may see a different number of incidents when you click the "map incidents" link.

Location: Woodland Heights

Aug 01, 2019 — Aug 31, 2019

33 Incidents

29

1
5
2
20
1

2

1
1

2

2

Property Crimes

Breaking & Entering
Property Crime
Theft
Theft from Vehicle
Theft of Vehicle

Quality of Life Crimes

Drugs
Liquor

Violent Crimes

Assault


Are you a member of the WHCA Constable Patrol Program? The presence of the Harris County Precinct One Constables on patrol in the neighborhood reduces response times dramatically when an incident is reported.

New WHCA Battery Recycling Effort by Michael Graves

WHCA Secretary Alaina Hebert is leading a new effort to encourage the proper recycling of batteries and consumer electronics items with batteries inside. Following the guidelines offered at Call2Recycle.org, items will be collected at WHCA General Meetings, like one planned for September 10th. The General Meetings are not only an opportunity to engage in the WH community, they’re also your chance to safely dispose of the old batteries & mobile phones cluttering up your junk drawer.

Announcing the WHCA September General Meeting & Candidate Forum! by Michael Graves

The next WHCA General Meeting of members will be Tuesday, September 10th at 7pm at a location yet to be determined.

The highlight of the agenda is a Candidate Forum moderated by WH resident and long-time political writer Charles Kuffner. Confirmed forum participants include; Karla Cisneros, Cynthia Reyes-Revilla, Isabel Longoria, and Gaby Salcedo. All four are running for Houston City Council representing District H, which includes Woodland Heights.

Residents attending the Candidate Forum will be able to submit written questions, to be asked by the moderator, and answered by each of the candidates.

Also on the agenda:

The usual suspects will be on-hand to present the current state of WHCA activities. We may also have some news from the Lights in the Heights Committee.

Be watching your inbox for further details about this most interesting and timely event.