Saturday, November 21, 2009

Irving Berlin's White Christmas at The Woodlands High School

The "White Christmas" by Class Act Productions will be presented with the traditionally loved music of Irving Berlin at  The Woodlands High School Theatre (The Woodlands High School) on
Thursday, December 17 @ 7:30 pm
Friday, December 18 @ 7:30 pm,
Saturday, December 19 @ 2:30 pm & 7:30 pm,
Sunday, December 20 @ 2:30 pm & 7:30 pm.
We do dream of a white Christmas . Irving Berlin became known for many songs, but White Christmas really sticks to the hearts of many people. Although many of us were contemporary with him, all of us connect to his music! It is heartwarming to see our youth and budding actors connect to such a tradition!    

Tickets are available at

The Woodlands Repertory Theatre is a pre-professional theater located in The Woodlands, Texas. It is a part of the Class Act Productions family, a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to providing professional-quality musical theatre performance opportunities for all ages. Its mission is to culturally enrich, educate, and entertain through the art of musical theater and theatrical performance and to encourage community participation in all aspects thereof.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Lighting of The Doves 2009 in The Woodlands - Saturday!!

Two Christmas holiday events are scheduled for Saturday, November 21, 2009 - the traditional Lighting of the Doves and IWOW, an acronym for Winter on the Waterway.

These two events are scheduled from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Town Green Park to kick-off the holidays in The Woodlands. Featured will be the arrival of Santa Claus, two snow play areas, fireworks, inflatables holiday crafts, food and entertainment.

Needfire will provide the spotlight entertainment. This musical group consists of Scottish-American lads who play traditional Celtic instruments with an American flavor. Their electric guitars will give a boost of high energy to the festival with their famous "flaming fiddle".

“The entertainment lineup is amazing this year. We will have terrific groups from The Woodlands area and the Greater Houston area,” said Peg Welbes, the entertainment consultant for iWOW and Lighting of the Doves.

Other notable acts include: Houston Choral Showcase, features a unique holiday concert mix of choral presentation, showy costumes and fun choreography; The McTeggart Irish Dancers, a lively group of Celtic dancers; Boni’s Dance and Performing Arts Studio, featuring the Sugar Plum Fairy, Clara and the Toys; and Cuadro La Tempestad Flamenco, a group with the sound of rhythmic clapping, castanets and classical guitar.

With a little something for everyone, the entire family is sure to enjoy the variety offered by the Lighting of the Doves and iWOW festival.

More information availabe at

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

2010 Woodlands Idol Contest

Competition for The Woodlands Idol is underway. It is not officially an American Idol event, but it is a forerunner of the 2011 season and is solely a Woodlands contest. The first session of three has already been completed. There remains an opportunity to enter the contest! If you have some singing talent that you believe might have a chance to win, you should enter the contest. It is a fun event. Maybe you can be another Will Makar! The first 2009 session at Crescent Moon Wine Bar had rave reviews by those attending.

This is the 3rd Annual Woodlands Idol competition sponsored by Hodges Collision Center and Outback Western Wear in search of the area’s best singing talent! Show The Woodlands your singing talent and win cash prizes!

There are 3 preliminary competitions. The first one was held on Friday, November 6, 2009 at Crescent Moon Wine Bar. Nine winners and a People’s Choice from that night have secured their place in the semi-finals which will be held on Friday, January 22, 2010 at Papa’s Ice House.

There are still two more chances for contestants to compete at the following preliminary events: 
  • Friday, December 4, 2009 at Papa’s Ice House 
  • Friday, January 8, 2010 at Dosey Doe
The top 9 winners and a People’s Choice from the semi-finals will advance to the finals at Taste of the Town on Thursday, January 28, 2010 at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center.

Prizes for the top 3 winners from the finals are as follows:
  • 1st Place - $1000 Cash
  • 2nd Place - $500 Cash
  • 3rd Place - $250 Cash

Contestants must be 18 years of age or older to participate. Registration to enter each preliminary event will begin at 6:30pm and the competition will begin at 7:00pm. Registration entry fee is $10. Competition is limited to the first 30 contestants to sign up at each preliminary event.

For more information, contact Teresa Starr at or 281-363-8110 or visit

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Christmas in the air of The Woodlands - Nov 21st Lighting of The Doves

27th Annual Lighting of the Doves, International Winter On The Waterway, The Ice Rink at The Woodlands Town Center and Donoho’s Jewellers Winter Wonderland are all back!

The Woodlands once again has much to offer for the holidays as the 27th Annual Lighting of the Doves, International Winter On The Waterway (iWOW), The Ice Rink at The Woodlands Town Center and Donoho’s Jewellers Winter Wonderland returns on Saturday, November 21.

27th Annual Lighting of the Doves

Saturday, November 21 officially kicks off the 2009 holiday season. This year’s festival will  feature  interactive booths and games, ice carving competition, snow play area, amazing fireworks, balloon artists, face painters, inflatables and so much more. Enjoy an evening filled with live music and entertainment for the entire family by Needfire, Houston Coral Showcase and other entertainers. Don’t forget to find Santa, as he makes his grand traditional entrance in a dazzling, decorated boat from along The Woodlands Waterway® at 6:30 pm.

Presented by the Community Associations of The Woodlands, the 27th Annual Lighting of the Doves will take place at Town Green Park, 2099 Lake Robbins Drive, from 2 pm – 7 pm.

Admission to the festivities is free.

International Winter On The Waterway (iWOW)

In conjunction with the 27th Annual Lighting of the Doves, International Winter On The Waterway (iWOW) will also take place at Town Green Park on Saturday, November 21 from 2 pm – 7 pm.

With a “street fair” atmosphere, iWOW showcases the holiday traditions from Japan, Panama, the United States and a myriad of other countries at exhibits along the banks of The Woodlands Waterway.

From foods, arts & crafts, to music and entertainment, iWOW is certain to enhance The Woodlands holiday celebrations. Entertainment will include the Cass Irish Dancers, Yosakoi, La Tempestad, among others. Admission is free.

Donoho’s Jewellers Winter Wonderland

Donoho’s Jewellers Winter Wonderland features illuminated holiday scenes and storybook displays surrounding The Ice Rink. Visitors can wander through the fantasyland of magical, lighted toy soldiers, elves, doves, musical angels and snowmen from dusk until 11 pm beginning November 21 through January 4, 2010.

Free parking is available at the Green, Yellow and Orange lots on Timberloch Place.

The holiday events in The Woodlands are made possible because of the following sponsors: Donoho’s Jewellers, Community Associations of The Woodlands, Jaguar Land Rover Houston North, Coca-Cola, Silver Eagle Distributors, Waste Management, Hubbell and Hudson Market & Bistro, Which Wich Superior Sandwiches, Fidelity Investments, The Strong Law Firm, Planet Ford, CenterPoint Energy, Collision Collections, Wright’s Printing, Spectrum Events, St. Luke’s The Woodlands Hospital, University of Phoenix, Hodges Collision Center, Woodforest National Bank, Mellisa Ray Insurance Agency, The Woodlands Young Learners Academy, CB&I, The Woodlands Development Company, Cinemark, Texas Home & Theaters, Ridgway Printing, Sunny 99.1, The Courier, The Villager, Houston Community Newspapers, reviewit Magazine, Woodlands Family Magazine, Woodlands Lifestyles & Homes, and The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center.

For complete information on all holiday events, please visit or call 281-363-2447.

Christmas Ice Skating opens in The Woodlands

2009 brings another holiday skating season for adults as well the youth in our area. A temporary rink is installed each year to facilitate a festive holiday season. With the traditional decorations of Christmas, the Town atmosphere has more entertainment and amenities at the end of the year for our residents as well as anyone who wants to come out to The Woodlands to enjoy Christmas. This year, a relatively new food store across the street form the rink is offering a free $2 admission coupon with any purchase to reduce the skating cost for those who patron their store. There are eleven other businesses also offering the coupon. Which Wich Sandwiches is directly across Lake Robins Drive from the skating rink. There just is no way to miss the rink when you enter Town Center heading north on Six Pines.   

The Ice Rink at The Woodlands Town Center, presented by Jaguar Land Rover Houston North, is the largest seasonal outdoor ice rink in the southwest United States and will be open daily beginning Saturday, November 21, 2009 through Monday, January 18, 2010 at its new location—northeast corner of Lake Robbins and Six Pines Drive.

Be one of the first to skate at The Ice Rink this weekend—Saturday, November 14 and Sunday, November 15—for a Preview Opening at the rink. There will be special celebrations for the opening.

Merry Christmas, George Baily - a live play by professional artists

Are you aware of the performing arts offerings right here in The Woodlands? Town Center Theatre is a professional group again offering a unique program from December 17th through December 20th. Their play is designed to bring the audience in close to the actors, so that the real people doing the acting seem like real people! In the fine arts, there is always a passion to be shared. This one is shared by people whose life is and has been in the theater for quite some time.

Performances will take place in the Loblolly Pine Room at the Shenandoah Municipal Center on I-45.

This work should be very entertaining, reenacting radio broadcasts of the 1940's.

“Town Center Theatre, along with the City of Shenandoah, is pleased to be bringing this heartwarming holiday story to the South Montgomery County area,” said Town Center Theatre Artistic Director Chris Tennison.

Based on the holiday classic "It’s A Wonderful Life" starring James Stewart and Donna Reed, Merry Christmas, George Bailey tells the story of a man whose imminent suicide on Christmas Eve gains the attention of his guardian angel, Clarence, who proceeds to show him what life would have been like if he had never been born. Adapted for the stage by TCT Artistic Directors Joseph Milillo and Chris Tennison, Merry Christmas, George Bailey will be presented as a 1940s-era radio program, with talented voice actors playing multiple roles and a foley artist providing sound effects live on stage. David Dow Bentley of The People’s Critic called last year’s show “a cheerful recreation…(that is) remarkably well cast,”  D.L. Groover of the Houston Press praised actor Santry Rush’s portrayal of George Bailey as “quite amazing.” Mr. Rush will be reprising his role as George Bailey in this year’s production.

“The play proved to be very popular with families and theatre patrons who were familiar with the story of It’s A Wonderful Life and enjoyed seeing it told from a unique, fresh theatrical perspective,” Tennison said. “Now that we’re performing the production in a more intimate setting, where the audience will be closer to the action than ever before, I’m positive that our patrons will get a theatre experience unlike anything they’ve seen before in the area!”

Merry Christmas, George Bailey runs Dec. 17-20, with performances Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m. and two performances each on Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m and 7 p.m. Tickets are available at $18 for regular patrons, $12 for seniors age 55 and over; and $10 for students. For groups of 10 or more, all tickets are $10. Seating is limited. Make your reservation by calling (832) 592-9697, Ext. 2.

Merry Christmas George Bailey

December 17 – 20, Thursday- Friday 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., Sunday at 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Ticket Prices: $10 - $18

Location: Loblolly Pine Room at the Shenandoah Municipal Center, 29955 I-45, Shenandoah, TX, 77381

For Reservations: 832-592-9697
Recommended for all audiences

Town Center Theatre is a professional, non-profit performing arts organization dedicated to providing quality theatre.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

At Market Street - Walk a Mile in Her Shoes!

Today we gathered at The Woodlands Market street in a symbolic walk in the shoes of the victims of battered women. Hosted by the Women's Center of Montgomery County, the Hogs of Cut and Shoot loaded up their Harleys and headed south to support this important cause. Although not a beautiful day for a daydream, the symbolic nature of this is certainly emphasized for all to see and enjoy. The dream of this day is when people stop being abused, and for some, the dream is just to have a normal peaceful life. People started gathering in the rain to see what was rumbling on the streets as the Hogs came to town.

After dismounting and joining the others already in the square, those participating in the walk put on some high heel shoes from the Women's Center and shirts provided by Verizon Wireless. Then everyone gathered behind the Women's Center banner and walked to demonstrate their support for those who walk such a difficult street as battered victims. In this symbolism is also the celebration of breaking away from being battered and walking the tough path back to normalcy. So this spirit is not so solemn, it is one of laughter and high spirit,  like the hope it incites for the future.  Although a dismal day, there was plenty of excitement as this third annual walk is always something to look forward to each year. It is also a significant activity for celebrating Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Montgomery County.

As one spectator contemplating buying a new home here said, "I am from out of state but I have heard of the town of Cut and Shoot". She also noted how she would like to live close by these type of activities.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

National Night out -2009 Northshore Park family event

Even though it was springling rain on arrival, there were automobiles lined up on Lake Woodlands for quite a way. In the park, I found plenty of people enjoying the displays of the crime fighting forces and emergency units we have locally. Vehicles of all sorts were on display, along with other equipment used for fighting crime, fire and response units for various emergencies.

Dignitaries present included House Representative Kevin Brady and Sheriff Guage, Mr Brady delivered the speech.

Firefighting and rescue vehicles lined the street in the park for families to see.

Young lady tries on some equipment used by the special forces.

 Young man does the same.

Young man takes a tour of the Homeland Security response vehicle.

Life Flight Helicopter tour

Painting contest for the children by association staff. Some interesting and innovative creations.

Demonstration of the K-9 unit. On attack.

On apprehension.

Children usually like to pet the horses and ask questions. They sometimes are surprised and frightened by the size of the animal. These mounted security personnel mostly work in the Town Center.

CISD police were there to explain their role and jurisdiction. They also provided the cook and BBQ grill for the hamburgers and hot dogs. This is CISD's "hot car".

A 500+ horsepower air boat. a serous crime fighting or rescue vehicle. 

No Garage sales allowed in The Woodlands? We have Flea Market instead!

Twice a year The Woodlands Texas has a "Flea market" where residents can rent a booth and sell their unneeded stuff. People outside of The Woodlands are also allowed to participate in selling their goods. This market is sponsored and run by residents of Panther Creek Village. Each year there is a new batch of volunteer recruits to add to those residents who enthusiastically volunteer their time to make the event successful. Success is determined by the customer, the shopper and the volunteers. All should go home happy after one of these events.

It all begins months before the event when the committee convenes and starts planning for the next event. By the time the event comes, new recruits are trained in preparation for their first job working among those seasoned dedicated volunteers who come year after year to socialize and put this amazing event into action. On the day of the sale, some folks get to the location at 2:30AM to set up! At 4:30AM volunteers arrive and get their job duties from the administrative team. Among those pictured is Rich Jakovac, feeling those heavy eyelids from getting up so darn early! Each village has a chief to coordinate the activities of the teams. The village chief may have responsibility for a floor in the parking garage. Team leads might have the responsibility for a ramp on the floor assigned to the village chief.

Larry Faith (right) is the master mind of the event. He has led this event for as along as I can remember.  He has a strong and energetic leadership team to help. Our community is thankful for his continuing efforts to help make The Woodlands a nice place to live.

At about 5:30 AM, shoppers have lined up outside, anticipating the bargains they will find when the "gates" are opened. Many have wagons or carts where they can store their discoveries after they have bought them. Some vendors will hold larger items for people who cannot carry them, especially furniture. Vendors will rent two parking spaces as one unit or four parking spaces as two units. Some families chip in together and rent one or two units as a group and have a "street sale" together. Typically one will find a car in one space and tables covered with good in the other parking spot. Sometimes, both parking spaces will be full of goods. The car can be parked elsewhere during the sale.

Interact students help unload the vendors cars or trucks. They will get credit hours for community work by their participation. They work hard and fast to help get the cars unloaded quickly and enable the automobiles to leave so that space is made available for other automobiles and vendors. One person asked, "how do I tip these kids?" One young lady answered, "we do this voluntarily. No tip is necessary."  The lady told me, "I love these kids. I got to know several on a first name basis." This is The Woodlands folks! We have many fine young people here.

Eventually, 7AM rolls around. 9,8,7,6,5,

.ZERO!!!!! Who let the dawgs out? As the wagons rumble on the concrete , some things are sold within the first 3 minutes! I saw a guitar and a night stand go right before my eyes, before I could put my camera away.

Compressors, cars, trucks, vans, furniture, telescopes, toys, .... there was everything for sale at very reasonable prices. 

Bicycles, tricycles, boats, jewelry, .....

How cool is this?! "I want this spider for Halloween! Look what it can do!!"

Clothes, sports equipment including racket ball rackets, tennis rackets, baseball gloves, golf clubs. Fishing equipment  - cane pole, spinning reel, fishing poles, ... on and on. It was all there.

Participate next time. Empty your garage here. Buy some cool stuff here. It is fun at both ends of the sale, as well as producing the event.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

2009 Junior League Holiday Market

With the holiday gift giving season approaching, the Junior League of North Harris and South Montgomery Counties, Inc. is proud to present its seventh annual Junior League Holiday Market to the greater Houston community. The Junior League Holiday Market will be held November 6 – 8, 2009 at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center in The Woodlands Town Center. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-888-SHOP4JL (1-888-746-7455) or visiting their website at Pictured are Junior League volunteers waiting for shoppers to arrive at the 2008 Junior League Holiday Market.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

New YMCA at the Village of Creekside Park moving forward

Tentative agreement was reached this week to start moving dirt about October 1st at the new YMCA Lodge site in the Village of Creekside Park. This site is across the street from the water park. A formal ground breaking ceremony is expected to be conducted on October 3rd, 2009. This development project will be in two phases. First, the lodge will be constructed. It will be one of two buildings constructed on six acres of above-flood-plane ground. An additional thirteen acres lower than the flood plane behind the lodge will be used as natural forest with an amphitheater and day camp area especially designed for outdoor activities. A 65-foot climbing tower will be constructed as well as other recreational facilities for outdoor family recreation.

This village  YMCA will be part of the South Montgomery YMCA, so membership for one includes membership in the other two. There are plans to have interpretive nature education here among many other programs. Our youth will be able to learn how to use the amphitheater to produce plays and have the opportunity for Friday night movies  among other activities. There is a plan to partner with the Tomball School District to provide outdoor education programs as part of extracurricular or even class education programs.

We can expect it to open in late May or early June of 2010. The facility should be completed for operation in May, 2010.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Dosey Doe and Town Center Theatre - Sunday Evening

This coming Sunday, September 13th, there will be a local dinner performance here in The Woodlands at Dosey Doe Coffee House (Restaurant). They call their show simply the "Second Sunday Showcase" for apparent reasons. It occurs each second Sunday of the month. This dinner show in a venue started this year through a partnership of Dosey Doe and Town Center Theatre. Here is a chance to enjoy the local arts. These folks are professionals, and I understand they know how to put on a show. Cast is Travis Bryant, Kim Bryant, and Andrew Ruthven, among others. Pianist accompaniment is performed by David McKenery.

Dosey Doe Coffee House is at 25911 I-45 North (Southbound), The Woodlands, Texas, 77380. The doors will open at 4:30pm for dinner. Show starts at 6:00pm.

Tickets van be purchased by calling 281-367-3774. Floor seats include dinner and can be purchased for $40 each. Alternatively, balcony seats are available at $15 without dinner included. Children's tickets are $15 each, which includes dinner.

Town Center Theatre and the Dosey Doe together bring audiences some of the best in musical theatre entertainment every second Sunday evening of the month. Each show features a group of versatile, charming musical theatre artists performing favorite Broadway show tunes, ranging from classic standards to the latest hits. For more information, their website is

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Chococlate Passion Summer Entertainment

My Woodlands friends at Chocolate Passion in Conroe are having a summer entertainment festival. They have a wide variety of events on selected days and evenings. I find these interesting and enjoyable, Have a cappuccino, sandwich, cake, chocolate, or any of their drinks or foods while you enjoy the entertainment. You'll like the cozy atmosphere.

Saturday Night
August 8, 2009
Showtime 8:00 pm 'till....... featuring Teddy Gipson, Bobbie Jones and friends singing your old favorites, doo wop, jazz and R/B.
$7 Admission
Call for reservations: 936-539-6585

Also coming:

Kathleen Thomas - Prose & Story Telling & A Little Song (now on CD) - Aug. 12, 11:00 am

Gordon Smith - Meet the Artist (YTBD)

Florencia Rossini - Cooking Classes (YTBD)

Chocolate Passion Newsletter

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

July 4th Parade In The Woodlands - Images tell the story

If you have never desired to venture out in the heat to see the parade, you are invited to view the photographs from this year's parade. Otherwise, if you did not go, you should have been there. It was definitely scorching hot, but in the shade, it was at least tolerable. I was at the judges stand and want to say to that storekeeper who opened her doors for us to feel her air conditioning - THANK YOU VERY MUCH! Most of the time I was out in the sun taking these photographs and when I got a break, I would go to her door! Ahhhhhhh!

If you took your children there, you may find a photograph of one or more or yourself. Now that I am thinking about it, I don't remember seeing that 40 something guy with his balloons. OK guy, maybe I was a little rude in saying you looked a bit old for them, but I was only kidding .... I think. They sure were colorful and trying to give them to the kids just didn't work. I clicked that button on the camera.

The beautiful faces that I sought to put inside of that camera! There were many. I got a few as you will see when you go to the link at the end of all these words. This is America and our children know it! I like to go just to see them enjoy this holiday. It lifts my faith in the future of our nation. I hope you take your children out to it next year. You will enjoy it, as well as the kids. Some people come on their bicycles, some in their cars and a few on motorcycles. If you arrive early enough, there is plenty of nearby parking. Some folks enjoyed the shade on Lake Woodlands and others in Market Street. Take an umbrella, chairs and a blanket for the little ones and don't forget the water.

The sergeant traditionally leads the parade. He moves his motorcycle in figure 8's. I always get a kick out of his enthusiastic participation. There are another traditions I like, notably the fire department and their sirens, the high school bands, the patriotic music by the orchestra before the parade starts, the cleaning guys in tuxes, the limos, the antique cars, the Volkswagon Club ... you will see all of this in the photos.
This year had a special tribute to the soldiers about to leave for duty in the middle east and the emotional farewell of their loved ones in the VIP section. The parade stopped for quite a while for this activity. I enjoyed every second of it. Hats off to the organizers and countless hours of volunteers along the parade route and administratively who made this such an excellent event.
We had several special persons in the parade this year. There was a World War II veteran, several pageant winners and one very special pageant winner who we are all routing for - Bonnie Hubert preparing to compete in the Mrs International Pageant in just a few days.

Now comes the song and dance! Indian Springs Guy is pleased to announce that Indian Springs won the best float prize this year. Yep, we beat the other villages out this year. If I gloat too much longer, I think I will get a call from Sterling Ridge ... so enough be said, but let me slip in a photo of the winning float ... just in case yo have not seen the work of our friend and neighbor in Indian Springs - Mr. Richard Stromatt.
So what village will try to outclass Indian Springs in 2010? We shall see. Hometown challenge!

See many photos of the event at:
The Woodlands July 4th 2009 Parade

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

New Fire Department Service

Another service has been added to our fire department. This comes as a result of emergency planning, a training grant and a new truck called "Attack 101".

The Woodlands Fire Department recently purchased this new mini-pumper with funds provided by The Woodlands Township. It is equipped with economical apparatus to give firefighters about everything they need for almost any small emergency, all in one compact package. Whether answering a first response call or combating smaller incidents such as car fires, Attack 101 will be contributing to the safety and rescue of residents and visitors to The Woodlands.

“Attack 101 allows us to effectively handle emergency incidents in limited access areas, such as along The Woodlands Waterway,” said Fire Chief Alan B. Benson. “The new mini-pumper has put a great deal of capability and flexibility in our hands.”

Built on a Ford Super Duty F-550, Attack 101 has a certified 500-gpm pump, four-wheel drive and storage space for vital equipment including medical supplies. The custom designed mini-pumper was built with a special air ride suspension feature, enabling the vehicle to be lowered for entry into low-clearance areas such as parking garages, or raised to effectively clear rough terrain.

“Funding of the new Attack 101 was necessary for the urban growth we’re experiencing in The Woodlands,” said The Woodlands Township Chairman Nelda Blair. “We always have to be prepared in emergency situations and we’re very fortunate to have such a proactive fire department serving The Woodlands Township. This is a great example of why The Woodlands is such a special place for residents and businesses.”

Attack 101 will operate out of Central Fire Station, 9951 Grogan's Mill Road, serving the villages of Grogan’s Mill and Panther Creek and The Woodlands Town Center. For more information, please visit The Woodlands Fire Department business line is 281.367.3444. For emergencies, please call 911.

Photo: Attack 101 is the newest addition to The Woodlands Fire Department. (Standing, l to r) Fire Chief Alan Benson, The Woodlands Township Chairman Nelda Blair, The Woodlands Association President Joel Deretchin and Deputy Chief Wayne Walker. (Kneeling l to r) Lt. Scott Windisch, Firefighter Josh Thomas and Captain David Parker.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What Would it Take for You to Start Over?

A local agency is asking for groups, clubs, or businesses to sponsor a family fleeing violent homes. Their plight is serious. They need your support. Can you help?

"Most often the question people ask most about victims and issues of domestic violence is: 'Why don't they leave?' referring to the number of times a victim may go back to their battering environment," Donna Wick said, director of outreach and communication for the Women's Center. "The question really needs to be: How do they leave?"

The emergency shelter provided by the Montgomery County Women's Center provides emergency shelter, counseling support and case management for some who never thought they would be in a shelter environment. For those wanting to move beyond the pain of their past, there are many obstacles to overcome.

"When women come into our shelter, they are provided a basic program with resources to assist them in getting a job, childcare, a place to live and so much more," Jill Evans said, residential program manager for the agency. "But for many of these women, they are in dire need of the basic needs to just set up their home and family."

The Montgomery County Women's Center needs items for women that have made the life-changing decision to leave their batterer. They now need to set up their home and family. The needs are specific to "starting over" and beginning their life again, free from abuse.

Items needed

  • Full-size and twin-size mattresses and box springs,
  • Bed frames for full and twin beds, clock radios,
  • Blankets, pillows, mattress covers, sheets, towels, shower curtains with liners and rings,
  • Baking-ware (cake pans/cookie sheets), hand mixers, mixing bowls, pot holders, toasters, coffee pots,dish sets for 4 and 8, flatware, dish towel sets, and drinking glasses.

"We know the list of needs is extensive, but we are counting on the generous spirit of local community organizations and area businesses that could take this on as an internal project to set up just one family coming out of shelter to live a life free from abuse and suffering," Wick said. "Inch-by-inch it's a cinch and if groups gather together then we can accommodate these survivors and turn them into "thrivers". As a community, as an organization, or as a civic club - you can make a dramatic difference in a family's life needs to live in a safe, secure, and violence-free home. We here at the center are hoping to rally groups together so that these families can 'help them help themselves'."

The agency does ask that any donated item be in like-new condition and the agency cannot take items that are ripped, torn, stained, or broken. For more information or to coordinate your assisting gift for a family in true need, call Donna Wick at (281) 292-4155 ext. 228.

The MCWC serves victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault through crisis intervention, counseling, emergency shelter, support services and legal advocacy. All services are offered free of charge. The 24-hour crisis hotline is (936) 441-7273.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Images of an Evening when The Woodlands had a TEA Party in Creekside Park Village

Tonight, residents in the Creekside Park Village are justifiably upset that the parking plan for so many people attending the Woodlands TEA Party in Rob Fleming Park flunked. People were even parking on Gosling. People parked on the grass, in development areas, everywhere one could physically park. People poured in continuously at the same time as others left to put the kids to bed or whatever.

My very rough estimate was about 1200 had attended, however the sponsors of the event estimated that 7000 attended.3 Residents could not hardly get from one place to another to shop, to get home, to do what they needed to do in the evening. It was a serious village traffic jam! I could tell in advance that this would attract many people to the park. Everyone and their brother were seeking directions to the park today.

The message was clear and loud, as it was broadcast from the beautiful park pavilion. "Enough taxes", "Stop spending my grandchild's money", "I am not a communist",... It was a clear-cut attack on Obama and socialism. Over and over the staff there played their cards with questions like "do you think that was extremism?"

The speech writers made somewhat of an attempt to deliver a message that was non-partisan but that was not achieved from what I heard. There was no doubt in my mind that the message was anti-Obama and pro-Republican. There was also significant heckling of congressman Kevin Brady from the back of the crowd when Mr Brady was delivering his message.

Overall, with the music, speeches, banners, flags, signs and attendees, I enjoyed seeing and hearing "America speaking".

Families were there in their entirety, with babies and children. Dogs were there and I suspect some families from the village were doing their normal dog walks amidst all of the hoopla. While the theme has basic merit, the delivery was simply like a typical political rally, lots of rhetoric without much substance. There was a march of signs that would pass by the video camera which was streaming live images to the internet.

I was glad to see this band playing. That gave us an occasional break from the speeches.

"I'm not a communist" on the dog's shirt.

The people came in droves, which indicated a high interest in taxation/spending issues now facing our country. There were no rebel flags and nothing to indicate a tie with any other change or circumstance of "today". Instead, the gathering while I was there was tame, with only the heckling while Mr Brady spoke, to interfere with the event.
This helicopter was probably the news media, but I could not see any emblems. It stayed for about 10-15 minutes, obviously filming the event.

This was certainly a peaceful protest, but it was also a call for voters to begin taking an active role in the elections, of course through the organizations affiliated with those sponsoring the TEA party.
People were putting tea bags into a large bucket near the back. I understand they later made tea with it.

Related links

1Woodlands Tea Party - history in the making?

2Woodlands Tea Party website
3Woodlands North Houston Tea Party Society