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  February 21, 2013

City of Houston E-Newsletter

Table of Contents

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Parade and
ConocoPhillips Rodeo Run
New Routes in Downtown So Plan Ahead for Saturday, February 23, 2013

rodeo logo

Join Mayor Annise Parker and the City of Houston at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Parade and ConocoPhillips Rodeo Run - A Celebration of Western Heritage, on Saturday, February 23, 2013. Note that due to METRORail expansion, the parade and ConocoPhillips Rodeo Run routes have changed as described below.

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Parade
The parade begins at 10 a.m. on Walker at Bagby and concludes on Lamar at Bagby. View a map of the new parade route (.pdf). There will be decorative floats intermingled with thousands of men and women on horseback filling the streets with hoof beats and marching bands. Spectators are encouraged to join in the fun.

rodeo run logoConocoPhillips Rodeo Run
Online registration is closed and there is no race day registration of packet pick-up, but one can still register in person at Luke's Locker. Visit for more information.

All of the races start on Walker at Bagby. The wheelchair division begins at 9:10 a.m., the 10K run begins at 9:20 a.m. View a map of the 10K run (.pdf) and the 5K run begins at 9:45 a.m. View a map of the 5K run (.pdf).

Special Note: The McKinney exit ramp from the North Freeway (I-45) and both the Allen Parkway exit ramps from the Gulf and North Freeways (I-45) will be closed on Saturday, February 23, 2013, from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. View additional street closures.

Last year, a record 15,001 participants took part in the Rodeo Run, generating a record $400,000 for college scholarships. Runners and walkers of all levels are invited to participate in the 10K race or 5K fun run/walk. Staying true to the Rodeo Run tradition, the family-friendly event will feature a costume contest, entertainment along the course and a Texas-sized post-race party.

For more information contact the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo at, 832.667.1000 or visit

The City of Houston Urges Residents to Sign Up for
Emergency Notifications

oem logoThe City of Houston, in partnership with the Greater Harris County 9-1-1 Emergency Network, is now offering emergency notifications to mobile phones through the Emergency Notification System (ENS). These emergency alerts will help residents get more information about emergencies in their neighborhoods, such as hazardous chemical spills, floods and large fires.

Staying informed is an important way of keeping yourself and your family safe when emergencies occur. Landline home or work telephones are already a part of the ENS system, and now residents can register their cell or internet phone numbers so they can be alerted about an emergency in their community. It's simple and easy; sign-up at the City of Houston Office of Emergency Management website or and register up to four telephone numbers.

Houstonians can also register for AlertHouston, the City of Houston's Email Notification System, which sends emails to residents when emergencies afftecting a large portion of the city occur, such as severe weather and hurricanes.

Find out more about both AlertHouston and ENS by visiting

Tour de Houston Presented by Apache Corporation
Sunday, March 17, 2013

tour de houston logoMayor Annise Parker and Texas State Senator Rodney Ellis will ride along with participants in the 2013 Tour de Houston Presented by Apache Corporation. Cyclists will line up at Houston City Hall, 901 Bagby, Houston 77002, on Sunday, March 17, 2013. The bike ride benefits the city's reforestation efforts, which are managed by the Houston Parks and Recreation Department (HPARD).

With three distance options, the Tour de Houston Presented by Apache Corporation is the perfect outdoor event for all cyclist levels, from the leisure rider to cycling competitors, and it is a recommended BP MS150 training ride. The distance options include a 70-mile route starting at 7:30 a.m., a 45-mile route at 8 a.m. and a 20-mile route at 8:30 a.m.

For more details on the bike ride, including registration and packet pick-up locations, visit For more information about HPARD, visit

Mayor Annise Parker Celebrates the For Good Movement
Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at Urban Harvest City Hall Farmers Market

Join Mayor Annise Parker and Neighborhood Centers President and Chief Executive Officer Angela Blanchard on Wednesday, February 27, 2013, at the Urban Harvest City Hall Farmers Market, 901 Bagby, Houston 70002, for a celebration of the For Good Movement, an effort to inspire people everywhere to make a commitment to work today for a stronger, healthier and happier tomorrow. At 12:15 p.m., the Mayor and Ms. Blanchard will discuss how volunteerism, community building and concern for others can impact Houston and beyond.

The event is free and open to the public. Consider how you might be able to improve our community by making a personal commitment through participating in an interactive art display showcased in front of Houston City Hall available Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - Wednesday, March 20, 2013.

For specific event details, visit, or contact Minnette Boesel at or 832.393.1097. For more information on the For Good Movement, visit

The Urban Harvest City Hall Farmers Market will be open every Wednesday, February 27 - June 26, 2013, 11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. To learn more visit

News from the Houston Airport System
Hobby Expansion and New Global Entry Satellite Location

Hobby Airport Expansion Approved

airport expansion photoHouston City Council has approved plans to make international travel a reality at William P. Hobby Airport, Houston's second largest airport. Construction on the project is expected to break ground in May 2013, and will be completed in September 2015.

Plans include construction of a new parking garage with more than 2,500 spaces, a new concourse, roadway modifications, a new ticket counter, six additional security checkpoint lanes, five new international capable arrival/departure gates and a new Federal Inspections Services (FIS) facility for international travelers to go through Customs and Border Protection. The FIS facility itself will have its own baggage claim, 16 passport inspection stations and allow for 400 to 800 passengers to travel through it during peak hours.

To view details of the expansion, visit

New Global Entry Satellite Office at Houston City Hall
Tuesdays and Wednesdays

global entry photoThe new satellite enrollment center for the Global Entry program is now open on the mezzanine level of the City Hall Visitors Center. Global Entry is a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon their arrival in the United States.

After submitting an online Global Entry application, interested applicants can now make appointments to conduct their scheduled interview and program review downtown. This new location provides potential enrollees to the Global Entry program a third location to complete the enrollment process in Houston; the two other centers are at George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

The entrance to the new Global Entry satellite enrollment center is through the Visitors Center at 901 Bagby Street, Houston 77002. Free parking, with a two hour maximum, is available on the street level at the north side entrance of the Visitors Center on Walker. Those with scheduled appointments can use the elevator to access the mezzanine floor. The center will be staffed by CBP on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

For more information about Global Entry, visit For more information about the satellite office, visit

To learn more about the Houston Airport System, visit

News from the Houston Police Department
"March on Crime" and Citizens Police Academy

"March on Crime"

HPD logo"March on Crime" is a month to focus on proactively implementing crime prevention efforts, rather than have officers respond to criminal incidents after they have occurred. Such initiatives are routinely held throughout the year; however, the month of March is time to pay special attention to making Houston safer.

Since 1984, the Houston Police Department's (HPD) annual "March on Crime" program has educated the public about steps citizens can take to keep from becoming crime victims. This year, throughout the month of March, HPD officers will hold a number of initiatives throughout the city focusing on robbery prevention, gun safety and child safety. As part of these efforts, officers from all of the patrol divisions will reach out to local businesses, schools and communities.

Working together, Houston police officers and the public can help keep Houston safe. For more crime prevention and safety information, visit
, or contact the HPD Public Affairs Office at or 713.308.3200.

HPD Seeks Participants for Houston Citizens Police Academy
Application Deadline is March 4, 2013

The Houston Police Department (HPD) encourages citizens to enroll in the Houston Citizens Police Academy to provide citizens with sound and accurate information about HPD and the criminal justice process to prepare them to make informed decisions when issues or matters involve the police department or police activity. The 10-week program is free to the public and begins Thursday, March 7, 2013, with an orientation and ends May 9, 2013, with graduation. The classes meet once a week on Thursdays from 6 - 9 p.m., and most classes take place at the HPD Academy, 17000 Aldine Westfield Road, Houston 77070. Applicants must be 17 years of age by the application deadline, Monday, March 4, 2013.

For more information about the Citizens Police Academy, visit or call 713.308.3200. To learn more about HPD, visit

News from the Houston Public Library
Poet Laureate, Reel Teen Film Festival and Bargain Book Sale

Houston Seeks First Poet Laureate
Application Deadline is Friday, March 8, 2013

houston public library logoHouston is seeking its first Poet Laureate. The Houston Poet Laureate Program (HPLP) celebrates Houston's rich culture and diversity through the work of a poet who will represent the city by creating excitement about poetry through outreach, programs, teaching and written work. The Houston Poet Laureate will receive an annual honorarium of $5,000 through Houston's Initiative Grant Program of the Houston Arts Alliance (HAA), and serve a term of two years April 2013 through April 2015.

Individual poets may seek the position of Houston Poet Laureate or he/she may be nominated for the position. The deadline is March 8, 2013. For more information about how to apply, visit

The HPLP is provided in partnership between the City of Houston, Houston Public Library, Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs and the HAA.

Film Entries Call for Houston Public Library's 2013 Reel Teen Film Festival
Application Deadline is Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Teens interested in the art of filmmaking are encouraged to submit their films now to the Houston Public Library and participate in the 2013 Reel Teen Film Festival, on Saturday, May 18, 2013 at the Central Library. This project hopes to motivate teens to use their creativity and technology skills to express their views and ideas. This program is free and open to the public.

To be eligible for the Reel Teen Film Festival screening, teens in grades six through 12 must submit one DVD copy of the original film work by Wednesday, March 20, 2013. Submitted films must be produced on or after January 1, 2012. Entry is free.

For a submission application or to get more information about the Reel Teen Film Festival, visit or email

35th Annual Bargain Book Sale
Friday, March 22 - Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Friends of the Houston Public Library (HPL) invite the community to its 35th Annual Bargain Book Sale, Houston's largest community book sale, on Friday, March 22 - Sunday, March 24, 2013, at the George R. Brown Convention Center, Exhibit Hall E, 1001 Avenida de las Americas, Houston 77010. More than 60,000 books will be available to the public at bargain prices, most books are $2 or less, and some books will be individually priced.

Members Preview
Friday, March 22, 4:30 - 9 p.m.
Memberships, starting at $25, are available in advance online at or at the door.

Open and free to the public
Saturday, March 23, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sunday, March 24, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

All proceeds from the sale will benefit the HPL. For more details about the book sale, visit, email or call Friends of HPL at 832.393.1387.

For further information visit or call 832.393.1313.

Spring Cleaning Tips
Do Your Part to Keep Houston Green

The City of Houston's Solid Waste Management Department (SWMD) and Green Building Resource Center (GBRC) offer some spring maintenance tips to prepare for the summer months ahead.

If your spring cleaning involves getting rid of junk waste or tree waste, SWMD reminds you about ODDS and EVENS. Only tree waste is collected in the odd numbered months of January, March, May, July, September and November. Junk waste is collected in the EVEN numbered months of February, April, June, August, October and December.

Are you cleaning out the garage but don't know what to do with all those cans of paint, half-used household cleaners or old batteries? Bring them to one of two conveniently located Environmental Service Centers (ESC). Visit for more information about what is accepted as well as to learn about our Free Fridays, where residents can shop at the ESC South location to pick up these same items at no charge for their own use.

Unload building materials, old fixtures, tile, wood or odd ball items at the Reuse Warehouse, so they can be given free of charge to a nonprofit, places of worship or school for reuse in their projects. Visit for more information.

What about old appliances, fax machines, printers, TVs and other electronics? The SWMD partners with CompuCycle to provide monthly Saturday e-waste events at neighborhood recycling drop-off sites in Kingwood, Clear Lake and near downtown. For details, visit

SWMD is also expanding recycling to a whole new market and is now servicing small businesses in select areas of Houston. For details visit

SWM mascotVote For Solid Wate Management Waste Mascot
Deadline is Midnight, Monday, February 25, 2102
SWMD waste mascots ReUseIt and Captain Clean-Up have been selected for the national Mascot Madness tournament and they need your vote to win! Visit and click "Vote Now!" Vote often to take Houston's clean and green superheroes to the top! Deadline is midnight Monday, February 25, 2013.

Growing Up Recycling

Mark your calendar to celebrate the joy of recycling as the SWMD presents the "Growing Up Recycling" cart decorating contest. Twelve local high school teams have been recruited to decorate the 96-gallon green recycling carts in a recycling or environmental theme. We'll be "cart"-ing them around town for display at the following locations:

To learn more about recycling all year round, visit, or contact through Facebook at and on Twitter at

Home Tune-Up Ideas from the Green Building Resource Center

  • If you don't have a garden, consider starting a small one. Find a small patch of sunny ground and try growing a vegetable you like.
  • Considering last year's drought, as we endure the rainy season, you might consider installing a rain barrel. It's the gift that keeps on giving rainwater to your plants year-round. The GBRC has five different types on display, including a Do-It-Yourself model with construction instructions. If you have an irrigation system, get an audit performed by a licensed irrigator. No need to over water, or be unaware of a leak!
  • From download our Do-It-Yourself Home Energy Audit to investigate ways to save energy at your house. Take a good look at your air conditioning unit and ductwork, and contact a maintenance check-up provider before the heavy cooling is needed this summer. Don't forget to change out air or water filters that need changing.

For more information about these and many other tips on saving the earth's resources and money, visit or come to the Green Building Resource Center at 1002 Washington Avenue, Houston 77002.

green building resource center

News from BARC Animal Shelter and Adoptions
Mega Pet Adoption Event and New and Improved Lost Pets Initiative

Mega Pet Adoption Stampede
Saturday, March 2, 2013

BARC Animal Shelter and Adoptions is hosting the Adoption Stampede on Saturday, March 2, 2013, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Houston's CITYCENTRE 822 Town and Country Boulevard, Houston 77024 directly under Studio Movie Grill. Many animals will be available for adoption. BARC is working to make this its most successful adoption event ever. Choose the adoption option and adopt at BARC.

Visit to get more information about BARC's adoption fees and requirements. If you are unable to permanently adopt a pet but would like to help animals in need, BARC encourages you to consider becoming a volunteer or foster pet parent.

Contact Taran Hutchins, BARC's Adoptions Coordinator, at with any questions.

BARC's New and Improved Lost Pets Initiative
If Your Pet is Lost, Take A.C.T.I.O.N.

lost petBARC Animal Shelter and Adoptions has instituted a new and improved citywide Lost Pets Initiative that provides a simple checklist to help organize a pet owner's search for his or her lost pet during an emotional and scary time. The six steps are designed to help pet owners regain control and strategically search for their pet.

BARC reunites about 100 animals with their families monthly, so pet owners are encouraged to come to BARC in the event their pet is lost.

In the event your pet is lost, take A.C.T.I.O.N. with BARC by following these steps:

  1. Anticipate. Take important preventive measures before your pet is lost. Microchip your pet (pre-registered microchips are available at BARC for $25) and get a pet license. Spay or neuter your pet to suppress the instinct to roam and reduce their chances of leaving home. Also ensure that all fences, gates and patios are secure to keep your pet from escaping.
  2. Contact BARC. Call Houston's 311, email, search BARC's website and post a photo on BARC's Facebook page. As Houston's animal control authority, BARC is required to accept any animal taken to the shelter. Other local shelters are not required to do this and typically refer all lost and stray animals to BARC first.
  3. Take Control. Stay calm. Get organized. Have a photo and description of your pet, its last known location and their microchip number at hand.
  4. Investigate like a Detective. Create flyers, ask neighbors and search within a two-mile radius day and night. Remember, cats will not generally venture far from home and dogs generally travel into the oncoming wind.
  5. Online Pet Harbor Registration. Visit to search for your pet, register to get daily emails with photos of found pets in the area or send "lost pet" postcards to neighbors and surrounding areas. Pet Harbor is updated hourly with new animals that enter BARC.
  6. Never Give Up. This is a big one. Your pet wants to come home so keep looking and don't lose hope. You never know when you or one of your neighbors will spot your pet.

Additional tips for finding a lost pet can be found on the "Lost or Found a Pet" page at BARC encourages Houstonians to bookmark the Lost Pets page for quick access to BARC in case their pet is lost. Visit or for more information.

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Mailing Address:  City of Houston | P.O. Box 1562 | Houston, Texas 77251
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Council Members: Helena Brown • Jerry Davis • Ellen R. Cohen • Wanda Adams • Dave Martin • Al Hoang • Oliver Pennington • Edward Gonzalez • James G. Rodriguez • Mike Laster • Larry V. Green • Stephen C. Costello • Andrew C. Burks, Jr. • Melissa Noriega • C.O. “Brad” Bradford • Jack Christie
Controller: Ronald C. Green