City Seal
From the Office of Council Member Mike Laster 

District Journal

Official Newsletter of Houston City Council District J

Friday, July 13, 2012 

Mike Laster - Flipped

City Hall Annex
900 Bagby

Houston, TX  77002

PO Box 1562
Houston, TX 77251-1562

Leah Olive-Nishioka
Communications Director

Matt Brollier
Constituent Servi
ces Director

Jeremy Brown
Agenda & Policy Director

Sharon Shanahan
Administrative Services Director

Community Links

Hurricane Season Resources

Hurricane Symbol

District J Parks 

City Contacts 

HPD (non-emergency) 



Anti-Gang Office 



Mayor’s Citizens’ Assistance 832.393.0955


Department of Neighborhoods 832.393.1038


Health & Human Services  



Parks Department 



Public Works & Engineering 832.395.2511


Solid Waste Management 713.956.6589

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Message from Mike   


RamadanJuly 19 marks the start of the Muslim Holy Month of Ramadan.  Ramadan is the 9th month of the Lunar Calendar and lasts 29 to 30 days.  During this month, participants will abstain from food, drink, and other needs from dawn until dusk, with a fast-breaking meal known as Iftar at night.  This is a time of prayer and reflection to purify the soul, refocus on God, strengthen important relationships with family and friends, make sacrifices, and make peace.   


The month ends on August 19 with Eid ul-Fitr, a celebration with prayer and feasting and the start of the month Shawwal.     


The District J office wishes our Muslim friends an easy fast during this important month. Ramadan Kareem.   


Mike Laster - signature 

– Mike Laster, Council Member – District J   

Bellaire Boulevard Construction Project


Road ConstructionThis week’s meetings on the Bellaire Boulevard Reconstruction Project were a great success.  Daniel Menendez, Deputy Director of Construction and Engineering at PWE, gave thorough presentations on the scope of the project and what to expect during construction.  Also present at the meetings were engineers on the project from the City of Houston’s Public Works and Engineering department (PWE), HNTB, Total Contracting, and Cobb Fendley; Bill Calderon and other representatives from the Southwest Houston Redevelopment Authority; the Greater Sharpstown Management District; and Council Members Mike Laster and Al Hoang along with their staff members.    

The construction project, set to start before the end of 2012, will include roadway and capacity improvements, reconstruction of underground utilities (including water mains, storm drains, and sanitary sewers), new landscaping and hardscaping, and improved traffic management through the addition of a 4th westbound lane and additional turning lanes.   Pedestrian access will also be improved.   


The project is estimated to last approximately 730 days and construction will typically take place Monday through Saturday from 7am to 7pm.   All major intersections will remain open and driveway access to homes and businesses will be maintained.  If a driveway needs to be temporarily closed or a utility cut off, the property owner will receive at least 7 days advance notice from the contractor.   


To minimize the disruption of the project to the area and surrounding homes and businesses, construction will stop and clean up the work zones for the winter holiday seasons on the following dates:

  • December 15, 2012 – February 18, 2013
  • December 15, 2013 – February 10, 2014

In addition, the contractor, Total Contracting, will be in communication with all property owners and tenants who will be affected by the project.  Representatives from Total Contracting will be bringing information packets on the project to collect important contact information for future communication, notices, and updates.  These packets will be printed in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Mandarin.    


To learn more about this project, please visit  and sign up to receive regular updates.  PWE is also encouraging everyone to register with CitizensNet to receive updates as well.  


If you have additional questions about the project, please contact the District J office at 832-393-3015 or the Greater Sharpstown Management District office at 713-271-2119.    


Once construction begins, if you need to report any problems, please contact 311.   

Thank you to Brother Mike Jeter of Sharpstown Baptist Church 


CM Laster and Pastor Jeter
Council Member Laster and Brother Jeter

Brother Mike Jeter, Pastor of Sharpstown Baptist Church, delivered the opening prayer at the July 3rd session of City Council. 

Brother Jeter has been pastoring for 25 years and has been the pastor of Sharpstown Baptist Church for 3 years.  He and his wife, Alaine, have been married for 28 years and have a daughter, a son, and a daughter in law

Sharpstown Baptist got its start in 1956 as the Sharpstown Baptist Chapel.  In March 1959, construction began on its current home.  Today, Sharpstown Baptist Church is a thriving multicultural community in the heart of Sharpstown. 

Preparing Your Home and Property for a Hurricane 


Hurricane Symbol Advance planning for your home and property before a hurricane can go a long way in preventing and minimizing costly property damage and loss. 

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when making your plans and preparations.





  • Know the elevation of your home.  Are you in a surge, flood, or evacuation area?  

Mobile Homes: 

  • If you have a mobile home, camper, or RV, check tie-downs for rust or breakage.
  • Residents of mobile homes must evacuate when told to do so.


  • Trim trees, shrubbery, and dead limbs, especially ones close to your home.  Call a professional or CenterPoint for trimming near power lines.
  • Repair or replace broken or damaged fencing.
  • Shredded bark mulch is preferred instead of small gravel or stone bedding.   


  • Inspect your roof for loose tiles, shingles, or debris.  Consider replacing old or damaged shingles with new ones rated for hurricane force winds.   
  • Check for and/or install hurricane clips to secure roof trusses to side walls.
  • Clear clogged rain gutters and downspouts.


  • Reinforce garage doors and tracks or replace with a hurricane tested door.
  • Reinforce double entry doors with heavy duty foot and head bolts.  
  • Use a security dead bolt with a one inch minimum length.
  • Doors may be shuttered, but one entry must be left easily accessible.


  • If possible, install tested/manufactured hurricane shutters.
  • Inspect existing shutters to ensure they are in good working order.
  • Alternative:  use 5/8″ or greater exterior grade plywood secured by 2 1/2′ screws and/or special clips.  Obtain wood and fasteners, cut wood to size, pre-drill and place anchors on homes.
  • Store shutters or plywood lying flat to avoid warping when not in use.

Other Tips:

  • Identify and protect vital documents.    
  • Protect electronic equipment from possible water damage or electrical outages.  
  • Turn off your electricity at the circuit breaker if you evacuate or expect flood water to approach your home.
  • If your home uses natural gas, do NOT turn off gas at the meter. The gas meter should be left on to maintain proper pressure in the gas piping within the house and to prevent water from entering the lines should flooding occur.  Gas can be turned off at each appliance if desired.   

For more home preparation tips and advice, please visit the 2012 Hurricane Workshop Ready or Not website or   


Next District J Journal edition:  Emergency Kits. 

July is UV Safety Month 


SunIt’s beach season, and that means lots of time in the sun.  Protect your skin and eyes from the harmful effects of too much sun.  According to the Center for Disease Control, nearly 60,000 people were diagnosed with melanomas of the skin, and over 8,000 people died from it in 2008.

Before heading to the beach, back yard, neighborhood park, or any outdoor activity, take a few minutes to protect yourself with these tips from the CDC:

  • Wear clothing to protect exposed skin.
  • Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade the face, head, ears, and neck.
  • Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block as close to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays as possible.
  • Use sunscreen with sun protective factor (SPF) 15 or higher, and both UVA and UVB protection.
  • Avoid indoor tanning.
  • Seek shade, especially during midday hours.

And don’t forget that cloudy weather and shade aren’t a guarantee that you won’t be exposed to UV rays.  Always wear sunscreen, even if you don’t plan on being outside for very long.  


The Skin Cancer Foundation also recommends monthly self-examinations of your skin from head to toe.  Early detection of skin cancer can save lives.  Evaluate any pre-existing or new moles using the ABDE’s of Melanoma.  

Regular skin exams with your primary care physician or dermatologist are also recommended.  And if you notice any warning signs, do not hesitate to contact your doctor.   


For more information on sun protection and skin cancer prevention, please visit the CDC’s Skin Cancer Prevention website and the Skin Cancer Foundation website.      

Want to become a Police Officer?  


HPD sealThe Houston Police Department is now accepting online police officer applications at for an October 2012 Academy class.  Please pass this information on to people you know that may be interested in a law enforcement career with the Houston Police Department. 

More specific information about the application process can be found at or by contacting HPD Recruiting at 713-308-1300. 

Primary Run Off – Early Voting Starts Soon 


Vote Early voting for the Texas Primary Election Run-Off begins Monday, July 23 and ends Saturday, July 28.  Election day is Tuesday, July 31. 

For more information on election hours, dates, locations and ballots, please visit

Upcoming Events

Calendar2Please refer to the Community Events Calendar on our website for time, location and other event details

New events are added every week.  Be sure to check in often!

July 13   

  • “Alice In Wonderland” at HBU

July 14

  • “Alice In Wonderland” at HBU  

July 16

  • Brays Bayou Association Meeting 
  • METRO General Fund Meeting  

July 17

  • Sharpstown Rotary Club   

July 19

  • Alief Community Association – Honor a Hero In Alief
  • Free Legal Advice Clinics for People with Disabilities 

July 21

  • Houston Area Wood Carvers

July 23

  • IMD Long Range Strategic Planning Committee Meeting
  • Primary Election Run Off – Early Voting  

July 24

  • Alief Super Neighborhood Meeting
  • Primary Election Run Off – Early Voting
  • Sharpstown Rotary Club   

July 25

  • Primary Election Run Off – Early Voting 

July 26   

  • Free Children’s Immunizations hosted by County Commissioner Steve Radack  
  • Primary Election Run Off – Early Voting
  • Sharpstown Civic Association meeting

July 27

  • Primary Election Run Off – Early Voting