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.

Bike To The Beach by Michael Graves

On September 28, my husband Cory and I will once again join hundreds of other cyclists in the 4th annual Houston to Galveston edition of Bike to the Beach. This year we will pedal 62 miles in an effort to raise funds and awareness for Autism, the most prevalent developmental disability in the world. If you’d like to support this important cause, you can make a tax deductible donation here:


My goal is to raise $1,000, while this event as a whole will raise more than $250,000 to be used both locally and throughout the state of Texas.

Bike to the Beach is not just the host of charity bike events, but a community made up of individuals, cyclists, local organizations, advocates, philanthropists, corporate companies, and national partners, on a mission together to promote bicycle riding, raise funds, and make an impact on the community affected by autism.

- Melissa McKee, Former WHCA Treasurer

Lights in the Heights 2019 Logo Unveiled by Michael Graves

As the end of August approaches, all of us are wilted. We are dreaming of cool breezes, color in the trees and the spicy aromas of Fall. The holidays are just around the corner, and the Lights in the Heights Committee is already hard at work.

Before summer vacation, the LITH Committee began working on the 2019 Lights in the Heights logo with Hogg Middle School art teacher Connie Sulewski and students in the Graphic Design Program. The Graphic Design Program at Hogg offers students comprehensive graphic design from conceptual-development through production, using digital technologies. Graphic design students address a variety of design problems while gaining confidence and proficiency working with digital media.

Ms. Sulewski brought over 100 student designs to the LITH Committee and they were all fantastic! The Committee was greatly impressed with the student submissions, and choosing just one logo design was really hard. After much deliberation, the Committee chose a beautiful logo of Holiday Bells wrapped in lights designed by Oli Bayse, who was in 6th grade when she designed the logo.

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Congratulations Oli Bayse!
Olivia’s 2019 LITH logo design will be on signs, posters, letters, T-shirts and tree ornaments. The Merchandise sub-committee is organizing pre-sale dates and online orders for all Lights in the Heights merchandise. Melissa McKee and Beth Allen-Brock will be at the WHCA September General Meeting and the November General Meeting to take pre-sale orders for LITH merchandise.

Online orders will be through the WHCA website at, and plan to start September 10th, closing at midnight, Sunday December 8th. All merchandise will be delivered at Friday Night Lights on Friday, December 13th at the Norhill Esplanade, to take advantage of tax-free savings. Alternate pick-up dates will be the week of December 16th.

Now, add an entry to your calendars to order 2019 Lights in the Heights merchandise!

Happy Fall, Y’all!!

Open House: September 7, 2019 Houston Heights Woman’s Club with the Heights Public Library by Michael Graves


The Houston Heights Woman’s Club welcomes all our Greater Heights Area neighbors to an informal Open House on Saturday, September 7 from 10 am to 12 noon.

Visit our historic clubhouse, learn about our neighborhood community service activities, social events and 119 year old Literary Club. View the latest updates to our beautiful rental venue. Take the opportunity to also learn about the many services offered by our Heights Neighborhood Library who is sponsoring a table at this open house.

What: Houston Heights Woman’s Club’s Open House

When: Saturday, September 7, 2019; 10:00 am – 12 noon

Where: HHWC Clubhouse, 1846 Harvard Street

Wear: No need to dress up - this is a come as you are event


Or visit our website

Want To Ride Into The Future? by Michael Graves

Houston METRO is bringing the autonomous shuttle to Houston for the first time! The Easy Mile autonomous shuttle is a fully automated, 12 passenger (6 seating/6 standing), all electric vehicle to transport students, faculty staff on an one-mile closed loop route along TSU’s Tiger Walk.

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Houston METRO is offering free tours to ride the autonomous shuttle! Our goal is to inform and educate the public about autonomous shuttle for future integration into our current services. If you’re interested in a FREE group tour, or would like to know more please email or call 713-615-7079.

Please keep in mind that a consent form must be signed before touring, if over 18, or a permission form for those under 18.

The following documents detail how to participate in the project, and ride the autonomous shuttle.

WHCA July General Meeting Reminder by Michael Graves

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WHCA General Meetings are usually held at one of the public schools in the neighborhood. However, when school is not in session these locations are not available. Happily, our newly minted bylaws give us the flexibility of holding the meeting at a nearby establishment. So, for the very first time, we are pleased to announce that the next WHCA General Meeting will be held:

Tuesday, July 9th at 7pm
in the back meeting room at
A 2nd Cup, 1111 E 11th St

The agenda:
TXDOT have hosted a number of public meetings recently, trying to sell their I-45 Expansion plan and collect Public feedback. You very likely received a TXDOT flier in the mail his past week.

Jim Weston, President of the I-45 Coalition, a WH resident with a long history of tracking the project, will present an independent summary of the state of the current plans.

Leann Mueller will present about a local effort to promote slower, more careful driving in the Greater Heights. She leads a local instance of a larger, national effort promoting adoption of 25 MPH as a speed limit in residential neighborhoods.

As usual, there will also be updates from the WHCA board of directors.

This meeting is your bi-monthly chance to have your voice heard. Like something that we've done? Come say so! Don't like something? Well, we need to know. Have suggestions for something that should be done? Most definitely let it be known.

We hope to see you there!

WHCA 4th of July Parade Cancelled by Michael Graves


The shuffling of the WHCA schedule, moving the Annual General Meeting from March to May and restructuring the board of directors, has had a number of knock-on effects, some unanticipated. In this case, a shortage of time and volunteers has forced the cancellation of the 4th of July Parade.

In the past, organizing the event had been the responsibility the President-Elect, a position that has been eliminated on the new WHCA board of directors. Harry McMahon, President, says that going forward, the event will be organized by the Director of Membership, so we can expect its triumphant return in 2020.

The Young Entrepreneurs of Lemonade Day 2019 by Michael Graves

Back in may, in the run-up to Lemonade Day, we tried to promote the event by offering to promote pop-up lemonade stands using the WHCA web site, Facebook page, Twitter account and mailing list. We had four families take us up on the offer. Some sent pictures, which we offer here.

We received quite a number of comments about this activity. All but one were supportive of the idea. On that basis, it will continue. And it need not be confined to April & May. If your crew have a lemonade stand or similar exercise planned, let us know and we'll help spread the word.

Trash Bash 2019 - March 30, 2019 by Michael Graves

The YMCA and Greater Northside Management District are teaming up to support Trash Bash 2019 at Little White Oak Bayou on Saturday, March 30, 2019, from 8 am -12 pm.

Volunteers should register at Raven Tower, 310 North Street, or online in advance at and select Little White Oak Bayou. Cleanup sites include Woodland Park, Moody Park and White Oak Music Hall. All volunteers are required to sign a liability release form. It is recommended that you wear and/or bring the following items: pants, sunscreen, hats, insect repellent, rubber boots, and raingear. No sandals or flip-flops.

All volunteers must register or check in at Raven Tower beginning at 8 AM. Do not go to the cleanup site. You will receive gloves, trash bags, a ticket for lunch, and a ticket for door prizes. At 9 AM volunteers will board shuttles for transport to the cleanup site. Participants will return to Raven Tower at 11 AM for a free lunch, entertainment, door prizes, and fun environmental activities.

Fundraising walk set for April 27, 2019 by Michael Graves

In Stude Park: benefits Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance


The Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance has announced that its “Step Forward for the Cure” walk, a fundraising event, will take place in Stude Park on Saturday, April 27, 2019. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. outside the Community Center at 1031 Stude. The walk will start at 9:30.

The event supports raising awareness and funds for tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) research, education and other services.

Tuberous sclerosis complex is a genetic disorder that causes non-cancerous tumors to form in many different organs, primarily in the brain, eyes, heart, kidney, skin and lungs. TSC is also the leading known genetic cause of both epilepsy and autism.

For more information, including how to form a team for the walk, visit

Cigna Sunday Streets by Michael Graves

Cigna Sunday Streets Houston is an initiative to promote and improve the health of Houstonians. Cigna Sunday Streets Houston opens a stretch of streets normally reserved for cars and other vehicles to allow cycling, walking, dancing, socializing and provides a family-friendly opportunity to be physically active. Come out and enjoy Houston! Be sure to tag us in your pictures and videos #SSHTX!!!.

Date: March 24, 12:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Location: West 19th Street between North Shepherd Dr. & Yale St.

Thank you to Cigna for their support and promotion of a healthy lifestyle.

H-E-B Opens Long-Awaited Heights Store by Michael Graves

HOUSTON, TEXAS – H-E-B made good on its promise to build a store for Houston’s Heights community by opening its newest multi-level location at 2300 N. Shepherd Drive (at 24th St.) on Wednesday, January 30th. The brand new, 92,000 sq.-ft. store features expansive shopping options, covered parking, and is equipped with elevators and escalators to easily navigate the double-story structure.

“We appreciate all of the support and effort by The Heights community that made it possible for HEB to build here”, said Scott McClelland, H-E-B President Food & Drug. Creating a store that captures the spirit of The Heights was our number one goal. I think we’ve been able to add to the character of the community with this store. It’s as good as we know how to build.”

In 2016, residents who lived within the boundaries that once defined a 104-year-old “dry” area of The Houston Heights voted to repeal the ban on the legal sale of beer and wine for off-premise consumption paving the way for H-E-B to build.

Tammy Hager, H-E-B Heights Top Store Leader, will lead a team of more than 388 Partners (employees), many of whom were recruited from three local high schools. “We wanted to give students an opportunity to connect with H-E-B and grow with us,” said Hager.

Hager, a 37-year grocery industry veteran and 15-year H-E-B Partner, has strong ties to the Heights area. She previously lived off 18th Street and regularly enjoyed the T.C. Jester and Buffalo Bayou bike trails while training for longer rides to raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Members of her extended family were raised in in Cottage Grove, shopping the store previously located on the H-E-B Heights site and the H-E-B on T.C. Jester.

“In many ways for my family, it’s coming full circle, and we are excited to be a part of the new store,” added Hager. “This neighborhood is very special, it’s like no other in Houston. There is so much history and culture, much like the spirit of H-E-B.”

Continues at the HEB web site.

MextroNext Public Meeting Monday, January 28th by Michael Graves


METRO’s Board of Directors, led by Chair Carrin Patman, is developing a new plan for transit services in the Houston/Harris County region. It will be a forward-looking plan focused on providing more transportation choices to more people.

The planning process has been underway since 2017. The current phase in the process includes a series of public meetings to expose the draft plan for comment. The public meeting nearest to Woodland Heights is as follows:

Monday, January 28 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Fulbright Tower
1301 McKinney
Houston, Texas 77010

For more information about MetroNext see their website.

LITH 2018 Merchandise by Michael Graves

Whew, 2018 Lights in the Heights is just a memory, now. And it still has us smiling — fun times, great folks, huge success! This year’s LITH has been a true labor-of-love, for the 2018 LITH Committee. On behalf of the entire LITH Committee, we want to extend our warmest thanks to everyone who supported LITH, in every way. In particular, Melissa McKee and Beth Allen-Brock send our special thanks to those who purchased LITH and WH branded merchandise. This year, merchandise sales topped $10,800, which generated profits of approximately $4400. Every penny of merchandise sales’ profit goes toward the expenses of 2018 Lights in the Heights.

Thank you, neighbors!!

LITH 2018 Acknowledgements by Michael Graves

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Lights in the Heights is the result of a massive amount of work by a volunteer team of neighbors. With the event now well in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to extend a big thank you to the entire team of LITH 2018 Chairs and Volunteers!

Lights in the Heights Co-Chairs

  • Sharon Greiff

  • Susan Pennebaker

Lighter in the Heights Chair

  • Peggy Sparks

Holiday Bash Co-Chairs

  • Gabe Vick

  • Bridget Vick

  • Jason Williams

  • Kristi Williams

Silent Auction Chair

  • Lauren Snead

LITH Budget Chair

  • Melissa McKee

LITH Merchandise Co-Chairs

  • Beth Allen-Brock

  • Robyn Klepper

  • Melissa McKee

Friday Night Lights Chair

  • Katie McCafferty

LITH Volunteer Coordinator

  • Claire Getschow

Vendor Contracts, City Permits, Insurance Rider

  • Melissa Sternfels

  • Sharon Greiff

Communications Publisher and WHCA Web

  • Michael Graves

Distribution of Newsletters

  • Andrea Gorney

Art Direction and Graphic Design

  • Stella Espinosa

Luminaria Chair

  • Caroline Johnston

Printing Coordinator, Cookie Chair

  • Robyn Klepper

Block/Porch Generals

  • Meagan Mastal

  • Melissa Sternfels

Band/Porch Coordinators

  • Meredith Burke

  • Ward Pennebaker

  • Kent Brock

Awards Judging Chair

  • Stephanie Riceman

Luminaria Chair

  • Caroline Johnston

LITH Web Portal

  • Mark Sternfels

Thanks also to all volunteers who supported the above chairs with their time, ideas and do-nations.

Houston NFLer Brings 5k to Houston Heights to raise $50,000 for Sickle Cell Charity in Honor of Late Twin Brother by Michael Graves

Click above for the PDF flier.

Click above for the PDF flier.

HOUSTON (November 5, 2018) – As One Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded by retired NFL star Devard Darling, will host its 9th Annual Darling Dash 5k sponsored by UT Physicians Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center. The event will take place at 8 a.m. on Feb. 24 at Stude Park in the Houston (1031 Stude Street, Houston, TX 77007.) A growing list of pro athletes, including former Houston Texans’ Chester Pitts, FSU Seminole’s Myron Rolle and Pittsburgh Steelers’ Darrius Heyward-Bey have been invited to be on hand for photos and autographs. This year, the team with the largest number of participants will have VIP access and a tent outfitted with special prizes.

A former wide receiver for the NFL, Darling founded As One Foundation in memory of his identical twin brother, Devaughn, whose death was related to sickle cell disease. The dash will fund As One Foundation’s Operation Hydration. The training program educates student athletes, coaches and staff about the correlation between sickle cell attacks and poor hydration. Proceeds will also go to the foundation’s scholarship program. “I know how terrible it feels to lose someone you love,” said Darling. “It pains me my brother’s death could’ve easily been prevented if we were more informed about sickle cell. Our goal is to prevent tragedies like this from happening through awareness and support.”

Online registration is open at through race day from $25 to $40 and the first 1,000 finishers will receive medals. The goal is to raise $50,000 and exceed past prior fundraising efforts.

The 2019 Darling Dash marks the 18th anniversary of Devaughn Darling’s death at 18 due to exhaustion and dehydration during football practice. Both Darling brothers carry the sickle cell trait, which can be fatal when paired with physical rigor and lack of hydration.

According to the American Football Coaches Association, sickle cell trait-related deaths lead the causes of death of collegiate football players. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 100,000 Americans have sickle cell disease. The CDC states people with sickle cell disease have less access to comprehensive care than people with genetic disorders such as hemophilia and cystic fibrosis.

The mission of As One Foundation is to educate and increase awareness of sickle cell trait while encouraging youth to achieve their dreams in the face of life’s challenges. On Feb. 26, 2001, Devaughn Darling lost his life due to sickle cell disease coupled with exhaustion during spring football practice at Florida State University. His identical twin brother, Devard Darling, persevered after the tragedy. He became an NFL star, but his most noteworthy accomplishment was founding As One Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to honoring Devaughn’s life while elevating awareness of sickle cell trait. For more information on As One Foundation visit, and @AsOneFoundation on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.


Friday Night Lights - on Sunday! by Michael Graves


A portion of the family fun originally planned for the FNL event last week has been rescheduled for the afternoon of Sunday, December 16th.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be visiting Woodland Heights at the Norhill Esplanade on Sunday afternoon, December 16 from 3:30-5:30. Neighbors wishing to participate in Operation: Stocking Stuffer can bring an unwrapped, unopened new toy to the event where the donation boxes will be set up. There will be s’mores and the final sale of LITH merchandise for 2018.

Lights in the Heights 2018 Winning Homes by Michael Graves

The LITH judging committee toured the route Thursday evening with the help of Jeff Trevino and his open-air art-mobile. The following are this year’s award winning homes:

  • MOST COLORFUL – 514 Euclid

  • MOST FESTIVE – 412 Euclid

  • MOST CREATIVE – 529 Highland

  • MOST WATTAGE – 419 Euclid

  • MOST RELIGIOUS – 402 Byrne

  • BEST THEME – 309 Euclid

  • BEST SINGLE COLOR: 530 Byrne

  • MOST TRADITIONAL – 418 Byrne

  • PICK OF THE NIGHT – 501 Euclid

  • HO-HO-HO – 406 Byrne

  • BEST PORCH – 711 Euclid

  • BEST BLOCK – 400 Byrne

  • BEST NOT-QUITE-A-BLOCK – 1000 Euclid / condo complex

  • MOST MYSTICAL – 713 Byrne

  • BEST FOSSIL – 428 Byrne

  • “THE MOST” – 1020 East 7th

  • MOST HISTORICAL – 518 Byrne

  • BEST BLOW-UPS – 313 Byrne

  • BEST ON-4-WHEELS – Decorated vintage truck on 1000 block of 7th