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February 12, 2009

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JOIN MAYOR BILL WHITE AT THE 5TH ANNUAL GUARANTY BANK TOUR DE HOUSTON

Guaranty Bank Tour de HoustonThe fifth annual Guaranty Bank Tour de Houston takes place Sunday, March 22, 2009.

This year’s ride will begin and end downtown at Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney Street. This BP MS 150 Recommended Ride offers a 20 mile, 40 mile and 70 mile route. Registration is $25 in advance ($15 in advance for ages 12 and under) and $35 on the day of the ride.


$1 LOT PROGRAM FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT
Exciting Opportunity to Build in the Houston Hope area

The Land Assemblage Redevelopment Authority (LARA), with the support of the City of Houston, is acquiring certain tax delinquent properties to be developed as truly affordable home ownership units. LARA and the City of Houston are offering Solicitation of Offers for Affordable Housing Development.

The City is excited to announce a new pilot program for 100 lots, 60 in Trinity Houston Gardens and 40 in any other Houston Hope area that will be made available on a first come, first serve basis for $1 apiece. Guidelines require applicants to have built at least 10 homes in the past. They also must be able to deliver a bona fide construction loan commitment within 30 day of executing the agreement and must begin construction within 30 days after closing. This program is designed to get 100 affordable homes under construction immediately and not to add lots to land banks.

Please visit the website at www.houstontx.gov/lara/rfp.html for more information. All respondents to the new Solicitation of Offers must complete the forms on the website and email to LARA@cityofhouston.net.


HAVE YOUR WORKSITE RECOGNIZED!
Apply for the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility

Sloan AwardThe Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility recognizes exemplary employers of all sizes and types for effective and flexible work practices that benefit both the business and employees.

The awards are an essential component of the When Work Works initiative (www.whenworkworks.org), a nationwide initiative started in 2003 to bring research on workplace effectiveness and flexibility into community and business practice.

Who can apply?

Organizations of all types and sizes can apply. To be eligible, employers must have:

  • A worksite in the Houston area that has been in operation for at least one year, and
  • Ten or more employees currently working from or reporting to the eligible worksite.

Employers apply by completing an online application at www.whenworkworks.org about their workplace flexibility programs, policies and culture (applying typically only takes about 20 minutes). The deadline is Monday, April 6, 2009.

For more information contact the Flexible Workplace Initiative office at 713-837-7875 or visit www.houstontx.gov/flexworks.


IS YOUR HOME READY FOR DIGITAL-TV CONVERSION?

Digital TV Converter BoxIf not, you should be aware of an important change in broadcasting coming in June 2009. Congress voted to push back the original Feb. 17th date to give Americans more time to prepare for the change.

On Friday, June 12, 2009, television stations in Houston will stop broadcasting in Analog airwaves and broadcast exclusively in Digital. Consumers who use rooftop antennas or “rabbit ears” on their sets to view free, over-the-air television programming have two choices to be ready for this transition:


SAFETY TIPS FROM THE HOUSTON FIRE DEPARTMENT

Have your heating unit inspected every year by a licensed professional inspector and give space heaters their space by keeping them on the floor with at least three feet of clearance around the unit.

FIRE DRILLS ARE NOT JUST FOR SCHOOL!

Create a fire escape plan for your family and practice it often. Designate a meeting place outside your home where all of your family members can meet so you will know everyone got out safely.

ARSON: KNOW THE SIGNS. STOP THE CRIMES.

Be aware of any vacant homes or apartment units in your neighborhood. Know the signs of someone inhabiting vacant units like broken windows or doors that have been pried open or trash around the property. Report any suspicious activity to the Houston Police Department at 713-884-3131.

If you have any information regarding a fire that has been deliberately set or any criminal behavior, contact Crimestoppers at 713-222-TIPS (8477).

If you suspect a fire has been deliberately set contact Houston Fire Department’s Arson division at 713-865-9000.

For a complete list of heating and other fire safety tips, please visit www.houstonfire.org.

Remember: Working Smoke Detectors Save Lives! Have You Tested Yours Lately? If you need a smoke detector, contact the Houston Fire Department Public Affairs Office at 713-495-7900 or email alicia.white@cityofhouston.net.


2009 MAYOR'S VOLUNTEER HOUSTON AWARDS
Nominate an Outstanding Volunteer!

Volunteer Initiatives LogoDo you know an outstanding volunteer serving our community? We encourage you to nominate an outstanding volunteer serving small or large organizations, or neighborhoods. The deadline to submit nominations is midnight on Thursday, February 19, 2009. The Mayor’s Volunteer Houston Awards were first presented in 1984 and continue to honor individuals who do remarkable volunteer work that make Houston a better place to live. The awards will be presented by Mayor Bill White at a ceremony held in May 2009.

Nomination forms and more information can be found at http://www.houstontx.gov/volunteer/2009awards.html.


HOUSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY SELECTED AS A JOHN COTTON DANA LIBRARY PUBLIC RELATIONS AWARD WINNER!

Houston Public LibraryThe Houston Public Library has been selected as one of six winners of the John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award, which recognizes and honors outstanding achievement in library public relations. The John Cotton Dana honor has been awarded continuously since 1946 and is sponsored by the H.W. Wilson Company, the H.W. Wilson Foundation, and the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). It is considered to be the most prestigious of all library awards in the field of public relations.

To read the entire article, visit http://www.hwwilson.com/jcdawards/nw_jcd.htm.

Visit the Houston Public Library http://www.houstonlibrary.org.


CITY OF HOUSTON ENERGY EFFICIENCY BUILDING RETROFIT PROGRAM

Mayor Bill White and the Houston City Council have approved a program to reduce energy consumption in City buildings by at least 20 percent. The City anticipates this reduction in annual utility and operating costs by committing 271 City facilities, totaling approximately 11 million square feet, to the Clinton Climate Initiative’s (CCI) Energy Efficiency Building Retrofit Program. This program consists of a multi-year contract that is expected to result in millions of dollars in savings over several years and eliminate 68,000 tons of CO2 from our air annually.

For more information, please visit http://www.houstontx.gov/mayor/press/20081203.html.