About those campaign signs.... by Michael Graves

Election seasons is upon us, as you can tell from the campaign signs appearing in yards around the neighborhood. David Scott recently started a thread on NextDoor with some good information about the legalities of these signs.

If you place a sign in your yard, be sure that it's actually in your yard. It should be located on the near* side of the sidewalk, closer to the home. The far* side of the sidewalk, closer to the street, is the public right-of-way, where placement of such signs is actually illegal.

It's also illegal to place campaign signs on any public property or telephone poles. If you see such signs, you can report them to 311. To file such a report requires that you have a street address as a point of reference.

*Should you have any questions about near vs far, I refer you to this classic 1975 routine from Sesame Street. Grover handles the subject monsterfully.

The new WHCA newsletter is on its way! by Michael Graves

The current edition of the WHCA newsletter is one of our special printed issues! The finished goods were returned from the printer on Tuesday. A few lucky households might have received theirs before we were beset by rain on Wednesday.

Our brave team of volunteer block captains are currently working to distribute them door-to-door. I would hope that everyone will get their copy in the coming few days.

If you’re in a hurry, you can download a PDF copy right here.

Pseudo Creature Feature: Dinosaur Spotting in WH by Michael Graves

T-Rex and friends on a field of volcanic ash.

There are folks here in Woodland Heights who, for whatever reason, just don’t live their lives online. the internet is simply not an important thing in their lives. Nonetheless, they are important to us as neighbors. That’s why we continue to print newsletters a few times a year, when it’s important to get critical information widely distributed. It’s also why we use things like door hangers, just recently distributed, to promote the Constable Patrol Program. A hat tip to the Home Tour committee for pointing out that strategy.

The door hangers present a certain problem as well. When we take delivery they have been die cut to hang on the door, but there’s a paper circle that has to be popped out of every one. Since we print 2000 copies that’s 2000 little paper circles that might very possibly litter up the neighborhood.

However, block captain coordinator Andrea Gorney doesn’t let that happen. She broke down the box, counting out how many are needed for each block. In the process she popped out all those dastardly circles! They would not have a chance to litter the ‘hood.

Further, her kids took to playing with them. According to Andrea, “At the time they claimed it was make believe volcanic ash. I’ve since recycled said “ash”. It’s a valid concern - much better my living room than our neighborhood streets.”

WHCA March General Meeting Rescheduled by Michael Graves

The next WHCA General Meeting would normally be the second Tuesday of March. However, that happens to fall during HISD Spring Break, which means that many neighbors are unable to attend. Further, none of the locations where we would hold the meeting are available. As a result, the board last week voted to move the March General Meeting to:

Tuesday, March 19th at 7pm
at Travis Elementary School
3311 Beauchamp St
in the library.

As detailed in the last newsletter, we will not be electing a new board at the March General Meeting. The provisional agenda is as follows:

Deputy VestHarris County Precinct 1 Constable's office, will speak about the Constable Patrol Program. He'll highlight trends in activity observed around the neighborhood.

Staff from COH Public Works and the Planning and Development Department will deliver an overview of plans to reconfigure 11th Street, Pecore and Studewood, including the possibility of adding bike lanes.

The usual suspects will be on-hand to present the state of WHCA activities.

We hope to see you there!

Volunteer Opportunities - Mas Minion, Por Favor! by Michael Graves


Over the course of the past couple of quarters that WHCA board has concluded that the board members alone simply can't do everything that needs to be done. If we are ambitious in our goals, we need the help of volunteers to accelerate our progress. We joke that what we need are some Minion!

One of the things I have learned is that the VP-Comms needs to more directly support the activities of the committees. While I've reached out, seeking submissions, I've not always been able to craft them myself. Nor do the committees necessarily have resources required to adequately promote or document their various activities.

Remington typewriter 200px.png

So it is that I am seeking volunteers to join Team Comms for the coming year;

Writer - We would benefit tremendously from someone to help with some writing. We need to be more proactive about generating stories for the web site and newsletter. Also, to assist the committees in creating compelling copy for their various projects.


Photographer - Words without pictures can be lifeless. We could surely use someone who would take photographs at WHCA events like the Home Tour or Lights-in-the-Heights. Between events there are opportunities to photograph the Yard-Of-The-Month or Creature Feature. I'm sure that we can dream up dozens of fun and interesting things to photograph in WH.

If you are interested in either of these volunteer opportunities, please get in touch! You can email

Saluting Volunteers: Andrea Gorney, Block Captain Coordinator by Michael Graves

This item is excerpted from the February issue of the WHCA eNewsletter.

It’s only fitting that we acknowledge the behind-the-scenes efforts of those help make Woodland Heights such a great community in which to live. Those of us who serve on the WHCA board are perhaps most visible, but there are dozens of other volunteers who bring critical skills, time and attention to enhancing the neighborhood.

I'd like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the largely unseen efforts of Andrea Gorney. Andrea is the WH neighbor who has overseen our block captain program for the past two years. Andrea coordinates the ever-changing team of volunteers who ensure that our printed newsletters and door hangers actually make it to your door in a timely fashion. She's been integral to how the WHCA reaches out to neighbors who are not necessarily active online. And I am tremendously grateful for her assistance.

Michael Graves
VP Communications, WHCA

P.S. - WHCA is an all-volunteer organization. If you would like to help us in our mission to “bring about civic betterment and social improvements in the Heights area of Houston…,” please get in touch.

Saluting Volunteers: Mark Sternfels by Michael Graves

In January of this year I completed my second year on the WHCA Board of Directors. At the end of 2016, I was recruited into the post of VP of Communications, filling the void left by the departure of the very capable Mark Sternfels

Mark not only preceded me in this post, he has continued to provide assistance as needed. Last fall he stepped in to help the Lights in the Heights committee make various changes to the WHCA web site at a time when I was busy with preparing printed goods. He's consistently willing, helpful, skilled and patient.

It’s only appropriate that we recognize the efforts of people like Mark, who help make WH a vibrant and exciting community.

Michael Graves
VP Communications, WHCA

P.S. - WHCA is an all-volunteer organization. If you would like to help us in our mission to “bring about civic betterment and social improvements in the Heights area of Houston…,” please get in touch.

Seeking Volunteers for a Nominating Committee by Michael Graves

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The WHCA general meeting on March 12th is the final meeting of our year. That meeting centers around electing a new Board of Directors. On April 1st that new board takes over for the 2019 - 20 year.

To facilitate that election, the WHCA President is tasked with appointing a nominating committee who are charged with finding candidates to run for the various open directorships. According to the bylaws that committee must be two (2) current directors and three (3) homeowner members.

So it is that we are seeking volunteers to sit on the nominating committee. To sit on this committee you must be a WHCA member and not yourself running for a directorship.

If you are interested in volunteering please contact Harry McMahon at

The WHCA newsletter for November 2018 is here! by Michael Graves

The WHCA newsletter for November 2018 has been printed and is now finding its way to your door. Our cadre of volunteer block captains are busy distributing this last printed edition of the year, which includes everything you need to know about Lights in the Heights.

Want to get a little ahead of thing ni planning for the big weekend? You can download a PDF copy right now.

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.

WHCA August Newsletter Is Almost At Your Doorstep by Michael Graves

As we pass the anniversary of Hurricane Harvey with a blissfully quiet week in WH, I'm pleased to announce that the next printed WHCA newsletter is on its way. Our squadron of volunteer block captains, under the direction of Andrea Gorney, begins distribution today.

This issue highlights various facets of the planning for the 31st annual Lights in the Heights and related events. This year LITH events start in September, with a LITH Neighborhood Forum at the WHCA General Meeting on Sept 11th.

Beyond LITH, this issue also includes an article about Bike Share Houston and Jay Francis' take on the chile con queso recipe from Felix Mexican Restaurant on Westheimer.

While the printed version will be at your door shortly, you can download an electronic version right now by clicking on the image above.

WHCA September General Meeting & LITH Neighborhood Forum by Michael Graves

The Woodland Heights Civic Association has bi-monthly General Meetings. The upcoming meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 11, 2018 at 7:00 PM in the Hogg Middle School cafeteria.

This meeting will have the added dimension of offering a Neighborhood Forum to discuss the plans for the 31st annual Lights in the Heights festival. The upcoming Meeting and Forum, like most of our General Meetings, is open to all who wish to attend, whether or not they are Members of the Association.

The Association’s Board of Directors and related committee members will be on hand to entertain all discussion points as they pertain to the LITH festival. The goal is to provide a platform for all those wishing to express comments or concerns about the LITH events as outlined in this newsletter.

We understand in such a diverse neighborhood as ours, perceptions and expectations can vary, but it is our hope this forum will foster a constructive dialogue amongst neighbors. The Board will listen to those varied opinions, learn from our neighbors and, if appropriate, act on comments or criticisms from the stakeholders in the neighborhood.

Of course, the LITH Neighborhood Forum will be part of our regularly scheduled General Meeting and subject to the Association Bylaws. If you are curious about those Bylaws, they are all on the Association website at

To be heard you must attend. Please plan to attend.

Harry McMahon, President
Woodland Heights Civic Association

More NTMP Poll Results by Michael Graves


On July 26th the NTC members received the following update on the NTMP project:

Dear NTC members,

As previously indicated, we sent out a survey to the 52 residents and subsequently received 26 responses back. 23 of the 52 support the current plan and 3 do not.  Based on the updated results, the test cushions will remain and we’ll move forward with the final Council approval and close out the project. Thank you for your patience and input throughout the project.

Thank you,

Khang Nguyen, P.E., PTOE | Assistant Director
City of Houston | Houston Public Works | Transportation & Drainage Operations

Introducing WHCA Lemonade Stand Alerts! by Michael Graves


While summer is not officially upon us, school is out and the kids are looking for things to do. It's warm enough that we've already encountered a couple of lemonade stands. I confess that I'm drawn to a lemonade stand like a moth-to-a-flame. I'm always happy to part with a few dollars in return for lemony refreshment, and the hope that I've helped some young entrepreneur in-the-making. 

The trouble is that it's not easy to know when a new lemonade stand pops-up. They can be unpredictable. They can turn-up, run a while, then disappear quickly. Many folks don't even know that they were there. I'd like to help in this regard.

If you're planning a lemonade stand, let us know. Send an email to with the time and location. We'll quickly post it to the various WHCA channels, including our Facebook page, mailing list and Twitter account.

Hopefully we can drive traffic to all the neighborhood lemonade stands. That way the kids have a great time, and see good return on their effort.

As for the rest of watching those channels for your opportunity to help our bright, young business folks get a good start. Think of it as a kind of citrus-powered Y-Combinator.

- Michael Graves
WHCA VP-Communications

The WHCA Block Captain Program Needs Volunteers by Michael Graves


It's been said that golf is "a good walk ruined." Wouldn't it be nice to turn that on it's head? Do some good by the simple act of taking a walk around our wonderful Woodland Heights Here's your chance! The WHCA Block Captain program is seeking volunteers to assist in the distribution of printed materials throughout the neighborhood. 

While typically this involves our printed newsletters, this week we're seeking help to distribute a one-page flyer about the Constable Patrol program. We expect this one-page document to be printed by Friday and likely available for pick-up and distribution over the weekend. Volunteers will be notified via email when the flyer is available for pick-up. If you are able to help distribute to the neighborhood, please sign up for your preferred blocks at the link below.

If you have any questions, or would like to be included on the Block Captains email list for future distribution efforts, please contact Andrea at


Fins, Feathers & Fur: Wild life In WH by Michael Graves

Animals are everywhere in Woodland Heights! Some are local wildlife, while others are pets of various sorts. Each has a story. Did you know that we have a hoard of colorful wild Parakeets that live hereabouts?

Even as Hurricane Harvey was battering Houston the hummingbirds found our feeder. Shot on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 using a Canon 70D.

I'd like to start a regular newsletter item called "Fins, Feathers & Fur" that tells a brief tale of one critter each month. It could be that time you encountered a great hawk in Stude Park, the fish you caught in the bayou, or the charming way your dog greets all the neighbors while out walking. Could be fact or fictional. Needs a photo. If you're felling!

If you have anything to submit for consideration please send it to

WHCA February Newsletter En Route To Your Doorstep by Michael Graves

Hello again - the latest WHCA newsletter is currently being distributed by our block captains. Normally, our February newsletter would be in email form, but this year is a little different. The return of the biannual Home Tour on the weekend of March 23-25 prompted a decision to print this edition, which is chock full of details about eight fabulous homes on this year's home tour, and how you can get to see them.

This issue also includes an article by Matt Johnson about the status of the Neighborhood Traffic Management Program. As WHCA VP of Infrastructure, Matt has been  the WHCA's liaison to the Public Works Department, who are responsible for the traffic calming program.

While the printed version will be at your door shortly, you can download an electronic version right now by clicking on the image to the right.

This weary editor would like to thank everyone who contributed to this issue. 

2018-2019 WHCA Board Candidates Needed - Get Involved! by Michael Graves

Hi Woodland Heights -

  1. Do you want to get more involved in the issues that face our wonderful neighborhood?
  2. Do you have a strong opinion about the future of the Woodland Heights or the WHCA and its mission?
  3. Do you want to get to know better some of the wonderful and talented people in this great neighborhood?
  4. Do you have talents in accounting, legal, social media, public relations, technology, fundraising or just a love of the history of the neighborhood you'd like to volunteer to our great neighborhood?

If so - then you should think about joining the Woodland Heights Civic Association Board for the 2018 - 2019 term, which starts April 1, 2018 and runs through March 31, 2019.

At present - we only have one candidate per position and would love to have multiple candidates per position to allow the WHCA membership to cast their votes accordingly at the Annual General Meeting on March 20th. I have attached a short description of the roles.

If you (or someone you know) are interested in a WHCA board position for the March 2018 to March 2019 term then please send an email to the nominating committee at All candidates that wish to run for office (including those current board members running for re-election) must return a nomination form into the nomination committee one day prior to the election on March 20th.

Download the form here.  

Feel free to speak directly with a member of the nomination committee or an existing board member about these positions. The nominating committee members are:

  • Tyson Greer (Board Member)
  • Carla Reed (Board Member)
  • Marian Wright (Non-Board Member)
  • Kelly Hare (Non-Board Member)
  • Roy Johnston (Non-Board Member)

All WHCA Board members must be current homeowner members of the WHCA, and the VP of Deed Restrictions must be a licensed attorney.

Nominations Committee Seeking Candidates for the WHCA Board by Michael Graves

The WHCA Nominating Committee is now accepting nominations for seats on the Woodland Heights Civic Association Board for the 2018 - 2019 term, which starts April 1, 2018 and runs through March 31, 2019. The following Woodland Heights neighbors have agreed to be on the nominating committee:

  • Tyson Greer (Board Member)
  • Carla Reed (Board Member)
  • Marian Wright (Non-Board Member)
  • Kelly Hare (Non-Board Member)
  • Roy Johnston (Non-Board Member)

If you are interested in a WHCA board position for the April 2018 to March 2019 term then please send an email to the nominating committee ( with the completed nomination form.  

All WHCA board members must be current homeowner members of the WHCA and the VP of deed restrictions must be a licensed attorney.

Heights-Norhill Little League Spring Registration Runs Until Feb. 12 by Michael Graves

hnll logo.png

Registration for the Spring 2018 the youth baseball league for the neighborhood is open until Feb. 12, 2018. Cost for registration is $75.00 per player, with a discount for siblings residing in the same household. Late registration fee is $100.00.

To determine the proper division for your child, a chart is available online at Mandatory skills assessments will take place on Feb. 16 and Feb. 17. Registration forms and details regarding league regulations are also available at, as information on how to be a volunteer.

For more information, please contact the League as follows:

Heights-Norhill Little League
PO Box 70712, Houston, Texas 77270

Heights-Norhill Little League is operated by adult volunteers. Games take place at Stude Park.