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November 19, 2009

Contents


THE HOUSTON FIRE DEPARTMENT ANNUAL TOY DRIVE

Toy DrivePlease help the Houston Fire Department (HFD) provide holiday joy this year to hundreds of children in need by donating a new, unwrapped toy to the annual HFD Operation Outreach Stocking Stuffer Toy Drive. Working with local nonprofit agencies, HFD will be collecting toys from December 2 - 18, 2009. You can drop off your toy donations at any HFD Fire Station. A complete list of stations and maps to their locations is available at www.houstonfire.org. Please contact the HFD Public Affairs Office at 713-495-7900 for more information.

If your business would like to participate and would like some promotional materials for the toy drive (posters, flyers etc.), please contact Paul Box at 713-495-7916 or paul.box@cityofhouston.net.

Due to the demand for toys, we cannot accept clothing donations. However, there are many local agencies who will gladly accept your donation of clothing items.

Toy Drive Kick-Off:
HFD and our friends at KPRC Local 2 will be hosting a toy drive kick-off Wednesday, December 2 at Fire Station 8. Channel 2 will be doing a remote broadcast from Station 8 so please stop by on your way to work downtown and be a part of our biggest toy drive ever. Station 8 is at 1919 Louisiana at the corner of St. Joseph Parkway.

Great Toy Giveaway:
The toys collected by HFD will be distributed at the Annual Community Outreach Inc. Great Toy Giveaway, Wednesday, December 23, 2009. The Great Toy Giveaway will be held at 1305 Benson on the corner of Lyons Ave. (at the former Pleasant Elementary School), from 11 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Toys will be distributed on a first-come/first-served basis. You must bring a valid Texas identification card and your children’s Social Security cards or birth certificates. For more information on the Great Toy Giveaway, please call 281-454-4840. The toys will be distributed based on a limit of 5 children per family.


HOLIDAY FIRE SAFETY TIPS

Fire Dept. LogoAs the holidays approach, the Houston Fire Department reminds you of steps to make the season safe and joyous for your family and friends.

Visit www.houstonfire.org for the latest in fire safety information on everything from cooking to heating and decorating your home.

REMEMBER: Working smoke detectors save lives! Have you tested yours lately? Test them today!


NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARINGS ON 2010 CONSOLIDATED PLAN AND ACTION PLAN

The City of Houston Housing and Community Development Department (HCDD) has initiated work on the 2010 Consolidated Plan and Action Plan. The Consolidated Plan is a comprehensive assessment of community development needs for the long and short term, and outlines strategies for addressing the identified needs.

HCDD has scheduled the first of two public hearings to get public input for this Plan. The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, December 2, 2009, at 7 p.m. in the former Council Chambers at City Hall Annex (900 Bagby, Public Level). The second hearing will be in the spring of 2010.

At the public hearing, HCDD will publicize the schedule for development of the Consolidated Plan as well as provide information about the Project Review and Application processes. To see the 2009 Consolidated Plan, visit http://www.houstontx.gov/housing/consolidated.html.

For more information on the public hearing, or if special arrangements are needed, contact Andrea Roberts at andrea.roberts@cityofhouston.net or 713-865-9314.


HOUSTON INTERCONTINENTAL AIRPORT FRESH CARGO CENTER

Fresh CargoOn Thursday, December 3, 2009, the inaugural “fresh-flight” will land at George Bush Intercontinental Airport’s (IAH) brand new IAH Fresh Cargo Center.

Houston's largest airport partnered with Trammell Crow to develop the 61,484-square-foot facility, which opens Houston as a major gateway for temperature-and time-sensitive air cargo. This new cargo operation is the first of its kind in Houston, in size and scope and allows airlines and logistics managers to better serve their customers. It adds a needed dynamic to international and Houston-based importers and distributors of perishable products.

IAH is the eighth largest airport in the United States and is managed by the Houston Airport System, which is the fourth largest airport system in the U.S. To learn more, go to www.fly2houston.com.


MAYOR'S HOLIDAY CELEBRATION

Christmas Tree and FireworksThe City of Houston and KHOU-TV are producing the annual Mayor’s Holiday Celebration on Friday, December 4, 2009. The show will be on the upper plaza at City Hall, 901 Bagby from 6 - 7:30 p.m.

The Mayor’s Holiday Celebration is a long-standing tradition with music, festivities, fireworks and the lighting of the official holiday tree.

Reliant Energy is returning as the Official Tree Sponsor and Reliant is responsible for supplying an energy-efficient tree by using LED (light emitting diode) lights.

Thanks to the Houston Downtown District which helps to support the event. New partners for this year include Jaguar Houston Central as Presenting Fireworks Sponsor and Capital One Bank as the Official Photo Sponsor. The event is free and open to the public. Come watch our famous skyline come to life with music, lights and fireworks!


7th ANNUAL HOLIDAY CURBSIDE FOOD DRIVE TO BENEFIT FAMILIES IN NEED

The City of Houston Solid Waste Management Department (SWMD) and the City Wide Club are co-sponsoring the 7th Annual Trash and Treasure Curbside Food Drive to benefit the 31st Annual Christmas Eve Big Feast held at the George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas, on December 24. By placing canned goods, non-perishable food items or toys in a grocery bag at the curb on your SWMD garbage collection day during the week of December 7 - 11, 2009, Houstonians will help contribute to needy Houston families.

Throughout December Houstonians not on the City's garbage collection service may bring food and toys to one of the following Solid Waste Management facilities:

SERVICE CENTERS
(Weekdays, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)
11500 S. Post Oak
5614 Neches
1245 Judiway
1502 Central
.
NEIGHBORHOOD DEPOSITORIES
(Open Seven Days A Week 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.)

Westpark Recycling Center is open Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
5900 Westpark, Houston, TX 77057

HOLIDAY COLLECTION SCHEDULE: http://www.houstontx.gov/solidwaste/holiday.html


CHANGE IN HOURS FOR NEIGHBORHOOD DEPOSITORY AND RECYCLING CENTERS

Reminder, the City of Houston Solid Waste Management Department (SWMD) has changed the hours of operation at the four neighborhood depositories (heavy trash and recycling drop-off sites). For the safety of our customers and staff as a result of the end of daylight savings, the locations listed below will be open 7 days per week, except holidays, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Citizens are encouraged to arrive at least 30 minutes before closing to allow adequate time to unload.

Houston residents may utilize these SWMD neighborhood depository facilities to dispose of their heavy trash:

Northeast
5565 Kirkpatrick
713.675.3208
Northwest
6023 Windfern
713.895.1003
Southeast
2240 Central
713.847.1188
South
5100 Sunbeam
713.738.1936

Each user must provide proof of residency, including a Texas driver’s license or other Texas identification card, a current utility bill or city property tax receipt. The neighborhood depositories accept furniture, tree limbs, stoves and other large appliances. Appliances using refrigerant must have a tag attached to them certifying that a qualified technician has removed the refrigerant. Depositories will also accept up to 10 automobile tires per trip per residential unit. A maximum of four cubic yards of building material (not to include roofing shingles, brick, plaster or concrete) will be accepted.


THE AFRICAN AMERICAN LIBRARY AT THE GREGORY SCHOOL OPENS

Gregory SchoolThe Houston Public Library (HPL) recently celebrated the Grand Opening of The African American Library at the Gregory School, 1300 Victor Street, Houston, Texas 77019, in Freedmen’s Town, Fourth Ward. The library is housed in the first public school for African-Americans in Houston. This historic building was reconditioned to serve as a repository for use by historians, researchers, and the general public.

Through the Gregory School, the HPL provides an incomparable collection of multitype resources including reference books, rare books, archival materials, exhibits, artifacts, oral histories, and innovative programs to document the history of the African-American experience in Houston and its surrounding areas.

Hours of operation are Monday 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Tuesday 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Wednesday 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Thursday 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Friday by appointment only, Saturday 9 a.m.-6 p.m., and closed on Sunday.

For more information on The African American Library at the Gregory School, visit www.thegregoryschool.org or call 832-393-1440.


THE CITY OF HOUSTON AND RELIANT ENERGY LAUNCH ELECTRIC VEHICLE PILOT PROJECT
Plug-in cars, charging stations point toward lower emissions, cleaner air

Power of the PlugIn CarThe City of Houston and Reliant Energy launched a pilot program bringing plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to the streets of Houston in efforts to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This program converts 10 city-owned Toyota Prius cars into plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and installs 15 vehicle charging stations throughout Houston.

The converted plug-in hybrid vehicles can deliver up to 100 miles per gallon and are less expensive to operate because electricity costs less on a per-mile basis than gasoline. Plug-in hybrids can reduce vehicle carbon dioxide.

The 15 Reliant-provided charging stations will be located around Houston, with public stations at City Hall, The Health Department office at 8000 Stadium Drive and at the Mayor’s Citizens Assistance Office at 9615 Rustic Wood, Kingwood. To learn more about this and other sustainability efforts by the City of Houston, visit www.poweroftheplugin.org or www.greenhoustontx.gov.