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Hand Washing GraphicH1N1 is a new influenza virus causing illness in people. Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing by people with influenza. Below are every day actions people can take to stay healthy.

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) Keep away from others as much as possible to keep from making others sick.
  • Be prepared in case you get sick and need to stay home for a week or so; a supply of over-the-counter medicines, alcohol-based hand rubs, tissues and other related items might could be useful and help avoid the need to make trips out in public while you are sick and contagious.

A novel H1N1 vaccine is currently in production and may be ready for the public by mid-October. As always, a vaccine is available to protect against seasonal influenza. For more information, visit Houston Department of Health and Human Services websites and


BARC LogoThe Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care (BARC) has organized 11 pet adoption events throughout Houston during the month of September. Visit an adoption site and encourage friends to stop by to adopt a pet. Participants can choose to adopt a cat or a dog at the events. Adoptions are $27.50 and include spaying or neutering, vaccinations and a microchip implant. For more information, and for a schedule of adoption events throughout the fall, visit or call BARC at 713-229-7300.

Firefest Saturday, October 10, 2009

Have you done all you can around your home or apartment to make sure your family is protected from fire? Are your smoke detectors working? Do you have an escape plan? Of course, fire prevention is the best safety plan of all. Please visit for fire and safety tips to help you prepare and protect your loved ones from a possible fatal fire.

FIREFEST 2009, Saturday, October 10, from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. is a great opportunity to receive valuable fire and life safety information, meet your local firefighters, witness live fire and rescue demonstrations, see antique cars and fire trucks, shop, eat, hear music and experience the Kid's Zone. Please come to the Houston Fire Department's Val Jahnke Training Facility at 8030 Braniff just south of Hobby Airport. All proceeds go toward the education and outreach programs of the Houston Fire Museum. Admission is FREE as is the parking/shuttle service at the corner of Monroe and Meldrum. For more information on Firefest 2009

Fire Fest 2009


Solar Tour GraphicThe Houston Solar Tour features local residences and commercial buildings with solar and other renewable energy systems. The main purpose of the tour is to raise awareness, and provide an opportunity for the public to see working systems in place.

On Saturday, October 3, get a firsthand look at Real Solutions for Real People. With their solar arrays the City's George R. Brown Convention Center is the second stop and The Green Building Resource Center is the third stop on the Tour!

Pre-Start Solar Social at Discovery Green Park 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. Self-Guided Solar Tours of the Greater Houston Area from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

The event is FREE for all ages and is sponsored by the City of Houston, American Solar Society, Houston Renewable Energy Group and Houston Advanced Research Center. For more information visit


Cool Globe GraphicHouston's newest urban park, Discovery Green, will be home to "Cool Globes: Hot Ideas for a Cooler Planet" from October 8 - December 31, 2009.

The public art exhibit being presented by Reliant Energy in partnership with the City of Houston will feature 50 supersized Cool Globes that each convey a different message about what ordinary citizens can do to combat global warming.

The five-foot diameter, seven-foot-tall globes will be decorated by local, national and international artists.

Discovery Green Park is located at 1500 McKinney Street, Houston, Texas 77010. For more information


Books on the BayouThe Houston Public Library invites you to participate in Books on the Bayou, a citywide project focusing on readings held throughout the month of October. The idea of the project is that the entire city will read the same book at the same time, provoking discussion among co-workers, friends, families and classrooms.

This year's selection is Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. The kick-off celebration will take place on Saturday, October 3, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Central Library, 500 McKinney, with special guest, Lucy Anne Hurston, Zora's Neale Hurston's niece, who will speak at 1 p.m.

For more information on this and other events at the Houston Public Library, visit or call 832-393-1313.


Gravestone GraphicFor your use, there is now an extensive new burial list in spreadsheet form available online for the historic African American College Memorial Park Cemetery located at 3500 West Dallas near South Shepherd. You may discover you have family at the cemetery or find clues in the data to lead you to your own research discoveries. To access the database click
then scroll down to "College Memorial Park Cemetery Lot Owner & Burial Database (draft)".

Additionally, Genealogy and College Memorial Park Cemetery: History Found contains a hard copy of the database of thousands of burials and over 400 death certificates of people buried at the cemetery. The book can be accessed at the Clayton Library for Genealogical Research, 5300 Caroline, Houston, Texas 77004, 832-393-2600.

If you would like to be trained in genealogy research and historic preservation techniques, the site directs you to many free opportunities.