Creature Feature #2: Amelia Stowers' Menagerie by Michael Graves

The Stowers family lives on Highland Street. Their daughter, Amelia, loves animals and has seven pets, including her new basset hound puppy, “Spots” and her bearded dragon, “Sunset”. “Spots has long ears that drag the ground”, Amelia explained. And her father Greg said, “And Sunset will ride on Amelia’s shoulder and not jump off.” These are some cool pets!

Amelia Stowers, Spots & Sunset.

A holiday Brontosaurus.

This editor, while out walking our dogs, recently observed the unveiling of their latest addition, a very bright Brontosaurus, just for the holidays.

Adopt a Drain, Name a Drain, Prevent Flooding! by Michael Graves

Houston's Adopt-A-Drain program launched April 2018 and upgrades have been unveiled recently, including the naming feature. The program allows the community to help prevent future flooding and keeps neighborhood storm drains clean. As Adopt-A-Drain partners, program participants are asked to keep their drain clear by cleaning it at least 4x/year (especially before it rains). Click here for info.

Lights in the Heights® has teamed up with Lyft, because we care. by Michael Graves


We care about your safety.

Don't risk drinking and driving, even a short distance. Take Lyft to the Light up the Night Holiday Bash at 1111 Studewood on November 3 for half off (up to $5) on two rides, with promo code HEIGHTSBASH. Restrictions apply. Click here for more info.

We care about your concerns.

We understand that traffic and parking is an issue the night of Lights in the Heights. To help ease the congestion, Lyft will have a dedicated Pick-up and Drop-off location for Lights in the Heights attendees on 600 Pecore at St. Mark's Methodist. Lyft will provide on-site support staff to assist passengers and direct traffic, lighting and displays, seating, and other services at this designated location. Please share this link ( your friends and party guests so they'll get half off (up to $5) on two rides during Lights in the Heights on Dec 8, with promo code HEIGHTSLIGHTS. Restrictions apply.

Lighter-in-the-Heights Update by Michael Graves


Many, many thanks to the numerous generous neighbors that donated items to be sold at our Community Sale to benefit Lights in the Heights. We had a huge variety of sale goods and there was something for every shopper.

The sale was scheduled for Saturday, September 29th and got rained out after a short time. Even though the rains came, we made over $900 that first day and another $800 the following day. The rain date was Saturday, October 6th and we publicized again and held the sale all day.

Our grand total is.......(drum roll please) $3,270.85!

In addition, we have several valuable pieces of art that we withheld from the sale. When sold at the coming bash auction we are hoping that these pieces will bring our income up to over $4,000 in support of Lights in the Heights!

In addition to the Community Sale that was graciously hosted by Sharon Greiff at her home, the following neighbors hosted garage sales and donated 20% of their proceeds to the Lights in the Heights fundraising efforts:

  • Stephanie Leachman

  • Ted Harris

  • Steve Pagan

  • Kim Lytle

  • Linda Ebaugh

  • Jenn Jacobs

  • Julie Miller

  • Debbie Markey

  • Robyn Klepper

  • and William Zakroff

Thank you for all of your hard work and perseverance through the rain storms and the humidity that followed.

Thanks again to not only the generous donors and to the hosted garage sales throughout the neighborhood that made their homes "Lighter" but to the many neighbors that came out and shopped our sale and made our load of items "Lighter".

And of course, we could not have accomplished the sale without the help of the committee persons and neighbors who came out in the early morning hours and contended with the heavy rainstorms to set up and then move everything back inside and then out again.

Special thanks to Susan Pennebaker, Melissa McKee, Beth Allen-Brock, Megan Mastal, Paul and Frances Chan, Tiffany Tyler, Cathy Courtney, Debbie Hall, Claire Getschow, Judy Hoke-Meschwitz, Jackie Cook, Janice Hoxworth, Anne Edwards, Erin Burnett, Louise Moss, and Carmen Sumrall.

I know there were others who came out and donated their valuable time in the rain, heat, and humidity. Another special shout out to Margot Dimond for providing the widespread publicity. Thanks to each and every one of you. We could not have accomplished this fundraising effort without the team of volunteers!

This is a fabulous giving neighborhood that we live in!

- Peggy Sparks
“Lighter in the Heights”

Yard-of-the-Month: 934 Euclid by Michael Graves

This month's Yard of the Month fittingly celebrates the harvest! It may not be the most beautiful (because that might be the yard three doors to the west, at 946 Euclid), but it is the most BOUNTIFUL.


According to the current resident, Jeff Shell lovingly cultivated the yard in the early 2000s, so now the massive persimmon tree dominates and fruits generously, along with pomelo and pomegranate. These juicy trees provide a buffer to the equally abundant butterfly gardens closer to the house. It's all looking a little wild and fun, yet somewhat low maintenance, and absolutely delicious.


Learn Local Charity Open presented by First Imperial Mortgage by Michael Graves

October 20, 2018

For Immediate Release:

Learn Local is hosting its third annual golf tournament on November 3, 2018 at Clear Creek Golf Club. The tournament is always a fun outing. The format is a casual, four-person, best ball scramble. All skill levels are welcome and is open to players 16 and up. $100 player fee ($350 for foursomes) includes green fees and golf cart, lunch, 4 drink tickets, 1 entry into the Putting Contest and player swag bags.

All proceeds will once again benefit Hogg Outdoors – a capital campaign to raise funds for enhancement to Hogg Middle School’s outdoor facilities. We are thrilled to share that demolition on the field & basketball court has begun. We hope the work will move quickly and we will have a new basketball court, field and track soon. The new fields will also include new outdoor seating, scoreboard, baseball and softball batting cages, and irrigation to keep the fields green. Once this phase is underway, we will start the design for Phase Two which includes acrylic surfacing on the basketball court and a playground for the students and neighborhood to enjoy.

Learn Local, Hogg families, SPARK, and Heights Community Business Partners have already raised over $140,000 toward the initiative! We still need additional donors to help achieve this vision for Hogg Middle School and for the community. We are very close to meeting our Phase One goals and a successful golf tournament will get us there.

Hogg Middle School is a STEM Magnet and an International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program in the heart of the Woodland Heights neighborhood and is a feeder school for nine local elementary schools and Heights High School. Great strides are being made including having a wait list for the first time for the 2017-2018 school enrollment period. The historic school building has undergone renovation and beautification in the last few years and now efforts are being focused on bringing the same rejuvenation to the outdoor facilities. Learn Local is a grassroots non-profit created by community-minded, Heights neighborhood parents who are committed to making Hogg a first-class middle school and the first choice for local children.

Register or donate online at

Prizes include Winning team, Closest to the Pin, Women’s and Men’s Longest Drive, Putting Contest and Honesty Award - donated by Liberty Kitchen, Buchanan’s Native Plants, 8th Wonder Distillery and Brewery, Pink’s Pizza, iPadel Houston, Pedras Wine, RIDE Indoor Cycling Studio, Arcis Golf Players Club and more.

Generous Community Sponsors include:
First Imperial Mortgage – Title Sponsor
Marianne and Kenny Terrell of Boulevard Realty – Golf Cart Sponsor
Ashley Day of Circa Realty – Swag Bag Sponsor
Lucas Craftsmanship – Putting Green Sponsor

Hole Sponsors: Caroline Schlemmer, L&B Limited, Bicycle Bungalows, Heights Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, Michalson Builders, Monarch Roofing, Nations Construction Management, Peltier Brothers Construction.

Register or donate online at

For more information contact Shea Hill, Tournament Chair.


About Learn Local: Founded on September 24, 2013, our mission is to establish a bridge for our children between our successful Heights neighborhood elementary schools and Hogg Middle School, enabling progression within our strong, unique community.

Learn Local is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

President’s Message - ‘Tis the Season by Michael Graves


The holiday season is upon us. Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, there is no getting around the fact, the holiday season is fast approaching. For the Woodland Heights, the holiday season comes with more than its annual evening of fun, Lights In The Heights.

The LITH big night is December 8th, a Saturday, as a culmination of several events coordinated by the Woodland Heights Civic Association via the LITH Committee. Lighter In The Heights, completed over two weekends (October 8 and October 15), expertly pulled off by Sharon Greiff and the LITH committee despite rain on the first weekend, gave folks in the neighborhood a chance to be free of their garage sale items without going through the hassle of staging a garage sale.

November 3 at 7 PM is Light Up The Night Bash, a casual gathering for fun and frolic, will feature unique silent auction items, food from neighborhood restaurants, wine, and beer. Friday Night Lights on December 7 (I luv the name of this casual gathering for neighbors on the Norhill Esplanade!) followed by the biggie, LITH. There are full details on the events, opportunities and merchandise posted on the WHCA website under

After months of planning and coordination, at our WHCA General Meeting and General Forum (for all Woodland Heights residents, not just those who are members of the WHCA) of September 11, Sharon Greiff presented a detailed overview of all the plans and preparation going into pulling off a fun, safe and secure LITH. Several members of the Mayor’s Office of Special Events along with Representative Cisneros and her Director of Special Operations were in attendance along with numerous WHCA members and non-member residents. The crowd showed unanimous support of all the efforts put forth to better LITH. No one who had a negative opinion of LITH or might have a criticism of the organizers and their plans attended.

That stated, we, the Board of the WHCA, know there are those in the neighborhood who long for the good old days when LITH was a tiny event almost exclusively for the neighborhood. Gone are those days. Personally, I moved into the neighborhood in 2007 and have lived on both Omar and Bayland, the guts of the LITH in years past. I personally witnessed the huge attendances and have also personally witnessed the decrease in attendance over the last few years. This decrease is the result of a concerted effort by previous WHCA Boards and LITH Committees to “localize” the event. These efforts have been hugely successful by decreasing the attendance more than 50 percent. As my wife would say, Good on ya, you beaut!

For all the gains, there is no doubt there was and will be continue to be incidents which rancor some folks in the neighborhood. To the extent possible, the LITH committee and the WHCA Board of Directors have worked diligently to limit the potential of such incidents and secure the event in such a way, should such incidents occur, a suitable response is available. The Board and LITH Committee cannot control individual behavior. We suggest, should you witness foul behavior, report it. The LITH Committee have seen to it there is plenty of security, both HPD and Constable Patrol.

Although the General Neighborhood Forum for LITH is past, we have another WHCA General Meeting scheduled for November 13th. We invite you to attend. If you are not a member of the WHCA, we also invite you to join so you too will have a chance to vote your opinion on any issue raised to a ballot.

Harry McMahon
Woodland Heights Civic Association

Greater Northside Management District (GNMD) & UH Urban Design Workshop by Michael Graves

Greater Northside Management District (GNMD) would like to invite you to our Urban Design Workshop with the University of Houston - Community Design Resource Center (CDRC) on November 9, 2018, at 12 PM at BakerRipley Leonel Castillo Community Center, 2101 South Street. The purpose of this Urban Design Workshop is to develop the strategic vision and place-based urban design strategies for opportunity areas related to connectivity, identity, and economic development for the District. We are excited to receive a design standard toolkit for the District designed by CDRC composed from stakeholder workshops.

Please RSVP to for lunch count.

Greater Northside Urban Design Workshop
Greater Northside Management District/Community Design Resource Center
November 9, 2018, at 12PM
Leonel Castillo Community Center, 2101 South Street

And the Winning Bid Goes To … by Michael Graves

This year’s Light Up the Night Holiday Bash will feature a live auction of special items:

Cooking class with Jay Francis for you and 5 friends. You'll learn to make a German chocolate cake, almond biscotti, and a surprise dessert. Date to be mutually agreed upon.

Meet with Meek – Renowned artist Bill Meek of Meek Gallery will host you and 20 friends with a wine and lite bites evening at his gallery. Bill will demonstrate his unique glass sculpturing and contouring techniques. Date to be mutually agreed upon.

Wine Lover’s Dream – Your WHCA Board has thoughtfully filled the Little Red Wagon with choice bottles of red and white.

Conroe Lakehouse Get-away for a Week– Relax in this 3-2 Walden lake house on the water. Bring your boat or rent one at the Walden Marina for a scenic cruise of this 30-mile long lake. Lounge on the large porch with a good book, or fish off your dock. Date to be mutually agreed upon.

Holiday Hayride – Celebrate the season by touring the 2018 LITH streets and neighborhood in style on Monday, December 17, from 6 – 8 pm. Departs from Buchanan’s on 11th Street at 6 pm sharp. 15 spots, shared ride. This ride normally books a year in advance, so don't miss out!

Get your ticket soon so that you can be one of the winning bidders!

Light up the Night Holiday Bash
Saturday, November 3, 2018, 7 – 11 pm
Roof-top of 1111 Studewood

Join this unique opportunity!

Holiday Bash Volunteers Needed! by Michael Graves


Hello neighbors!

We are looking for volunteers to help make our Holiday Bash a smashing success! It is going to be an awesome event with delicious food and drinks from local vendors, a cool rooftop venue, great silent auction items, and lots of fun neighbors ready to celebrate LITH 2018! We need people to help in the following time slots:

Saturday, November 3rd:

  • 3 people to help set up silent auction items from (5pm - 6:30pm at the party venue)

  • 2 people to check-in people to the silent auction (7 - 9pm)

  • 4 people to help check out guests after the silent auction is over (choose a 9pm - 10 pm or 10pm - 11 pm shift)

  • 2 people to be in charge of items that don't get picked up that night

If you’re interested signup using the following link:

For additional information about the Holiday Bash see

Thank you making this year's LITH party a great success!

Recipe: Moroccan Spice Sweet Potato Stew by Michael Graves

Jay Francis, WHCA Board Member for Membership offers the following delicious Fall recipe. And, it’s vegetarian to boot. Four servings, 360 calories each, 14g protein, 70g carbohydrate, 13g fiber


Moroccan Spice Sweet Potato Stew

  • 7 tsp olive oil

  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped

  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed

  • 1 1/2 tsp curry powder

  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin

  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice

  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes

  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) reduced sodium vegetable broth

  • 1 cup no salt added chickpeas ( I make my own by simmering chickpeas in water until tender, after soaking overnight)

  • Several sweet potatoes equalling one pound, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch pieces

  • 2 small zucchini, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch pieces (what I do is make my stew but simmer the zucchini separately, in water. I then top the stew with the zucchini. So that the zucchini doesn’t disintegrate by simmering with the stew itself)

  • 1 cup couscous reconstituted with hot water per package instructions, and fluffed with 1 tablespoon of butter

In a pan, heat the oil over medium heat, add the onion and cook until tender but no more than lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Turn off heat. Stir in garlic, curry powder, cumin, and allspice and stir until combined.

Add the tomatoes, broth, beans, and sweet potato. Return to medium heat, and cook, covered for 10 minutes or until all is tender. Separately, cook the zucchini. If time is an issue, add the zucchini to the stew to cook with it.

Serve with the couscous

Mayor Turner and HPFFA President Marty Lancton Debate on Proposition B by Michael Graves

In the coming election on November 6th there will be two propositions on the ballet in the city of Houston. While both are important, Proposition B with respect to the firefighters is an especially contentious matter.

It’s important that residents seek the best information they can find to be well-informed about both sides of the issue. To this end we commend the Harris County Democratic Party for hosting a debate on Saturday, October 6th. This is the only time you’ll see both sides of the matter presented together.

Note that the firefighters sued to ensure that (amongst other things) HTV could not televise the Mayor’s Town Halls. While those events remain ongoing around the city, they are only streamed in a limited fashion via Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Periscope account.

Coming Events at Trinity Downtown by Michael Graves

While Trinity Lutheran Church (Trinity Downtown) isn’t within Woodland Heights, it’s just across the tracks and is offering some fun upcoming events that neighbors might be interested in knowing about. 

Trunks ‘n’ Treats

Looking for a family friendly Halloween event? Trinity Downtown invites you to join the fun at Trunks ‘n’ Treats on Friday, October 26, 2018 from 5pm-7pm at Upbring School, located at 1316b Washington Ave. An entirely free event, festivities include decorated trunks, candy, bounce houses, carnival games, hot dogs, nachos and more!

Trinity Downtown Oktoberfest

Join Trinity Downtown at 800 Houston Ave. on Sunday, October 28, 2018 from 4pm-6pm for an afternoon of German tradition! Brats with all the fixings will be served. Free beer from St. Arnold’s will be poured, and festive steins will be available for purchase. Enjoy a live Oompah band, corn hole and other fun activities. Event admission is free.

Trinity Concert Series Hymn Festival

Trinity Downtown presents the Hymn Festival featuring James Marriott, Director of Musical Arts at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis who will play on Trinity’s recently renovated 50 rank Holtkamp/Reuter pipe organ. The concert will take place on Sunday, October 28, 2018 at 2:30pm, 800 Houston Ave and will feature exciting arrangements of many inspiring church hymns. The audience will be encouraged to sing along and will be joined by the voices of the Trinity Sanctuary Choir and the Houston Lutheran Chorale. Admission is free. Freewill offerings are appreciated.

WH Creature Feature #1: Duke by Michael Graves

From the Editor: You may recall (or perhaps not) that some months ago I floated the idea of a Pet-of-the-Month. After all, there are quite likely as many pets in WH as there are people. And they are often full-fledged members of the family. It took until this week for someone to offer up their pet for this first installment.

I call it the “Creature Feature.” Beyond merely being seasonally appropriate, this highlights the fact that I’d welcome pics that are not pets. Birders! I’m talking to you! See an especially great turtle in the park, grab a pic with your phone. Send it along to

Duke: A Labrador / Great Dane Mix.

We rescued Duke as a puppy around Christmas time last year. He loves to go to the dog park and play with dogs of all sizes even though he's usually the largest. When he's not playing at the park, you can find him lounging on the front porch or taking up an entire couch. Even though he's over 100 lbs, he still our big ol' lap dog!

- Stephanie Morales

Mayor's Town Hall Meetings On Upcoming City Referendum Elections by Michael Graves

Come get the facts and ask your questions at Mayor Sylvester Turner's town hall meetings about the Rebuild Houston and Fire Union salary referendum elections on the November 6, 2018 ballot.

If you missed the District H meeting on 9/10, you can find dates for upcoming town hall meetings here. The next meetings in the series are:

  • Wednesday, Oct. 3 – District D – Sunnyside Metropolitan Multi-Service Center, 9314 Cullen, 77051

  • Thursday, Oct. 4 – District I – EB Cape Center, 4501 Leeland, 77023

  • Monday, Oct. 8 – District F – Alief Community Center, 11903 Bellaire Blvd., 77072

A one-page fact sheet on the vote can be found on the District H website, along with a link to the Mayor's Town Hall PowerPoint presentation.

Yard Of The Month: 134 E 7th Street by Michael Graves

This Yard of the Month is special because, by the time you read this, the very thing that makes this yard so extraordinary may be gone. It's also special because to really appreciate this yard you will look up, and take your time in the shade to appreciate the century oak's quiet life, and now its death. The limbs reach far toward its nearly-as-old home, which it has guarded until now, and to me they look like wind, if you could see wind. To Telia Weisman, the tree wraps itself in a hug. Across the street, the mighty oaks reach out everywhere, locking arms in solidarity with their neighbors.

Telia and her husband, Mark Guzman, have tended to the tree for three years, but now after consultation with arborists, it's determined that the tree is dying inside, causing a danger to those around them as it drops its limbs. The City has marked it for removal as they search for some way to save it. Arborists have now warned that neighbors should take caution around it, and yellow tape moves admirers away.

As sad as this is for Telia and Mark, I think many in our community will miss its awesomeness, even if we did occasionally bump into its great limb that swoops over the sidewalk. Maybe as we dodged that limb we looked up and took it all in. It was there when soldiers returned from wars abroad, when all kids walked or rode their bikes to school, before freeways buzzed, and when everything was quieter and cooler. Time stands still on this corner. I hope others will have time to walk around Norhill and E 7th and enjoy the peace of the oaks all around here, find some acorns, and plant a tree. They can't be taken for granted in the Woodland Heights.

- Stephanie Riceman, VP-Beautification

Care and therapy for stressed trees by Michael Graves

Trees have been having it tough in recent months, arborist Matthew Petty told a Houston Chronicle writer. “We’ve had odd weather patterns, with Harvey, hard freezes last winter and long, hot dry spells this summer.”

In a story appearing Sept. 6, 2018, Molly Glentzer, staff writer, said some arborists have coined a term for trees that appear to be alive but, in fact, are standing on dead roots. The term is “zombie trees.” Trees, you see, can take years to die.

On the positive side, care and intervention can sustain or occasionally revive trees that have endured stressful conditions.

Here are tips for prolonging tree life:

  • Periodic pruning

  • Regular fertilizing

  • Show, deep watering during dry spells

  • Checkup by a certified arborist

The drought of 2011 killed almost half the trees in Memorial Park. Yet, hope remains for some of the survivors of the drought, specifically post oaks. The Memorial Park Conservancy is hoping to revive some of the post oaks in the park through a regimen of aerating their root systems and injecting them with biological material made from the compost of fallen trees.

- Rosie Walker, Writer and long-time WH Resident

Woodland Park 3rd Annual Scout Clean Up Day by Michael Graves


Sunday, November 4th 2-4 PM
212 Parkview St, Houston 77009

Join us as we help to clean up a local treasure. All Scouts, friends, family and neighbors are welcome.

To register your group, please email Lauren Lindsay: mail and complete the online waiver on the FWP website: All materials provided and fun patches available for purchase. We hope to see you there!

Jay’s Sugar Cookies by Michael Graves


Jay Francis, on the Board, representing Membership offers the following easy and delicious Sugar Cookie recipe this month:

Yield: 3 dozen cookies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 6-8 minutes

Total Time: 38 minutes


  • 1 cup unsalted butter (make sure that the butter has softened at room temperature)

  • 1 cup granulated white sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

  • 1 egg

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 3 cups all purpose flour


  1.  Preheat oven to 350° F.

  2. In the bowl of your mixer cream butter and sugar until smooth, at least 3 minutes.

  3. Beat in the extracts and egg.

  4. In a separate bowl combine baking powder and salt  with flour and add a little at a time to the wet ingredients. The dough will be very stiff. If it becomes too stiff for your mixer turn out the dough onto a countertop surface. Wet your hands and finish off kneading the dough by hand.

  5. There isn’t a need to chill the dough. Divide into workable batches, roll out onto a floured surface and cut. You want these cookies to be on the thicker side (closer to 1/4 inch rather than 1/8).

  6. Bake at 350 for 6-8 minutes. Let them cool on the cookie sheet until firm enough to transfer to a cooling rack.