City Seal
From the Office of Council Member Mike Laster 

District Journal

Official Newsletter of Houston City Council District J

Friday, August 24, 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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District J Securing Our Families Conference   


Wednesday, August 29 

6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Southwest Multi-Service Center

6400 High Star


Perhaps the most basic service a municipality can provide to its residents is to help them secure their families and property against crime. As I meet with the civic and homeowner’s associations and other groups within District J, I am generally gratified to know that many of our communities have a solid relationship with our local policing agencies. However, introducing our residents to the availability of our police agencies and the scope of their services and programs is an ongoing task. The beginning of the new school year gives us a great opportunity to call our community together to re-introduce our families to the men and women who keep us safe.


This coming Wednesday, your District J office will be hosting the “Securing Our Families” Conference. You are invited to join us as we hear from representatives of the Houston Police Department, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, our local Constables On Patrol program, and representatives of Metro and Houston ISD Police. Representatives of the Mayor’s Anti-Gang Task Force and Citizen’s Assistance Office will also be present to answer questions and let us know the most up to date crime fighting activities in District J.


Allow me to thank Veronica Hernandez and the staff of Mayor’s Citizens Assistance Office and Alice Lee and Richard Rodriguez of the Greater Sharpstown Management District for their assistance in preparing for this meeting.


So, join us to say hello and thanks to the men and women in blue.

Mike Laster - signature 

– Mike Laster, Council Member – District J   

Street Asphalt Overlays and Resurfacing   


Repaving The City of Houston is currently overlaying and resurfacing streets in several District J neighborhoods.  The streets have been chosen for this treatment based on a condition review by the City’s Street Surface Assessment Vehicle (SSAV).  The SSAV is run by the Street Maintenance Section of the Public Works and Engineering Department, which handles several programs to keep about 16,000 lane miles of city streets in good and safe repair for drivers.


The City plans overlay projects by neighborhood – not individual streets – for maximum efficiency, which also leaves the neighborhood with a uniform appearance overall. Overlay is not designed or intended to solve drainage problems or eliminate water ponding issues. Overlay extends the life of the roadway and addresses only the riding surface. The first overlay crew is a milling crew that removes the old asphalt surface. Depending on the thickness of the existing asphalt the City will remove 2″ to 6″ of material during this process. The exposed surface may initially appear very rough and uneven, but this improves adhesion of the new asphalt. The new asphalt surface will be between 1 ½” to 2″ thick. The City expects a minimum life of five years for an overlay project and some overlays can last 20 years.


Click here for a map of streets to be overlayed. 


Click here for a map of the City’s Assessment of Streets. 


As always, remember to call 3-1-1 Service Request for pavement questions or to report a pavement or pothole problem.

Preparing for a Hurricane – Protecting Your Windows   


Windows Some hurricanes have large wind fields that can extend well away from the eye of the storm. Even if you immediate area isn’t in danger of a storm surge or flood water, wind can cause significant damage. The National Weather Service strongly recommends inspecting your home’s windows well before the threat of a storm to make sure they are in good working order.


Tape is not recommended as a way to protect windows from storm damage. If possible, install manufactured hurricane shutters. You can also use 5/8″ or thicker exterior grade plywood (cut to size) secured by 2 ½” screws or special clips. The plywood should be stored flat when not in use to prevent warping. There are also special films that can be applied to windows before a storm that can prevent shattering and hold broken glass intact until it can be replaced after a storm.  Talk with an expert at your local hardware store for more information on plywood, clips, and films. 

Heavy Trash Pick-Up Schedules Are Changing – Effective November 2012    


Solid Waste Management

Continuing its efforts to maximize cost savings, provide efficient service delivery and engage in proactive customer service, the Solid Waste Management Department has taken your feedback and is improving your heavy trash and tree waste service.

Effective November 1, 2012 you (and your immediate community area) will have a new heavy trash/tree waste service date. The change in your service date will provide for the following:

  • Less confusion with neighborhood collection schedules.
  • A single service day for major community areas.
  • Easier to read/interpret service maps for customers and 311 operators.
  • Easier management of routes.
  • Budget savings in fuel and maintenance.
  • Greater availability for department support for community-based beautification projects.

You will receive multiple direct mail pieces from the Solid Waste Management Department reminding you of this upcoming and needed improvement in your services as well as your new service day. If you want to log on and check out the much improved service maps as well as find your new service day, you may do so by going to the Solid Waste Management Department’s website at 


As a final note, we want to remind you that the alternating months for tree waste and junk waste WILL NOT CHANGE. Only your monthly service day will change. Solid Waste personnel will visit your area on the same day each month for either your regularly scheduled tree waste or junk waste collection. 

The Mayor’s Youth Council is now accepting applications   


City Seal The Mayor’s Youth Council (MYC) is an organization that allows Houston youth to discuss pertinent issues while promoting activism and community service through its role in civic engagement.


The MYC is modeled after the elected City Council with a Chair, City Secretary, At-Large and District Council Members, while the respective Senior Aide positions support the work of the council.


According to Mayor Parker, “the Mayor’s Youth Council presents an exciting and challenging opportunity for young, aspiring leaders of tomorrow to gain an understanding of how city government works and develop strong leadership skills.  They explore the issues of their communities, have a say on matters impacting youth and learn the value of civic action and community service.”  


To learn more about the Mayor’s Youth Council and how to apply, please visit the MYC website.   

August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month  


Children's Eye Health As part of your family’s back to school preparations, don’t forget about eye health.  Prevent Blindness America (PBA) has declared August as Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month. 

PBA strives to educate families about eye health, eye safety, and injury prevention.  Identifying and correcting vision problems is an important tool in ensuring a child’s success in the classroom. 

For more information, please visit the Prevent Blindness America website or visit your family’s eye-care professional. 

District J Spotlight – Love Tennis? 


Tennis District J is quite fortunate to have several tennis facilities within its borders. In particular, the Lee LeClear Tennis Center, located at 9506 S Gessner, has 26 lighted outdoor courts, a practice wall, and a pro shop. Other parks with tennis courts in District J include Anderson Park, Bonham Park, and Sharpstown Park. Each park has 2 lighted outdoor courts.


All court time is provided FREE of charge on a first come, first served basis at the neighborhood parks, but court rental fees are required at the Lee LeClear Tennis Centers. Court time may be reserved at the tennis center up to one week in advance by calling the pro shop at 713-272-3697. Tournaments, leagues, corporate outings and other events may be scheduled by calling the center. Lessons may be scheduled with the center staff.


For general tennis information or youth tennis program information, please call 713-803-1112.


Click here for more information on the other tennis courts and centers in Houston.

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!

*There will be no City Council sessions
the week of September 3*

August 24

  • City of Houston IBM Smarter Cities Challenge – Report of Findings & Reception
  • OCA Asian Leadership Forum  

August 25

  • TEDxSugarLand ‘the Age of Wonderment’

August 27

  • Alief ISD First Day of School
  • Houston ISD First Day of School 
  • IMD Long Range Strategic Planning Committee Meeting
  • President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Birthday 

August 28

  • Alief Super Neighborhood Meeting
  • Gulfton PIP Meeting 
  • Sharpstown Rotary Club 

August 29

  • Memorial Hermann Southwest – Joint Pain Seminar  
  • “Securing Our Families” Conference

August 30

  • MHSW – Healthcare Reform and the Small Business Owner     

September 3

  • Labor Day – District J office closed

September 4

  • No City Council Public Session 
  • Sharpstown Rotary Club 

September 6 

  • AARP Chapter 4418 Meeting
  • Memorial Hermann Southwest – Joint Pain Seminar
  • Mobile Eye Clinic at India House Houston 

September 8

  • Children’s Health Day 2012