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  April 23, 2013

City of Houston E-Newsletter

Table of Contents

LightsOut Houston
Thursday, April 25 - Sunday, April 28

The "Energy Capital of the World" will continue its sustained commitment to becoming the "Energy Conservation Capital" by turning off the lights the nights of Thursday, April 25 - Sunday, April 28, 2013. LightsOut Houston started in 2008 as a citywide commitment to energy efficiency by commercial building owners and their tenants, and has evolved into a partnership among the City of Houston, Harris County and Houston Independent School District.

The goal of the program has expanded to establish a sustained reduction in the use of non-essential electricity by all buildings throughout the greater Houston area. Participants are asked to sign a pledge now, making your commitment to energy conservation. Visit www.lightsout
for more information about the challenge.

To learn more about the City of Houston's sustainability efforts, visit and or contact Lisa Lin at

LightsOut Banner

National Prescription Take-Back Day
Saturday, April 27

Drug FlyerTo help the public properly dispose of unused or expired medication, the City of Houston is partnering with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to host the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, Saturday, April 27, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. All tablets, capsules and solid dosage forms will be collected, however intravenous solutions, injectables and syringes will not be accepted. This service is free, anonymous and open to all.

Citizens may drop off prescription drugs at the following nine locations:

  • Clear Lake Police Station, 2855 Bay Area Boulevard, Houston 77058
  • Eastside Police Station, 7525 Sherman, Houston 77012
  • Kingwood (Library), 4400 Bens View Lane, Kingwood 77339
  • North Police Station, 9455 West Montgomery, Houston 77088
  • Northeast Police Station, 8301 Ley Road, Houston 77028
  • South Central Police Station, 2202 St. Emanuel, Houston 77003
  • South Gessner Police Station, 8605 Westplace Drive, Houston 77071
  • Southeast Police Station, 8300 Mykawa Road, Houston 77048
  • Westside Police Station, 3203 South Dairy Ashford Road, Houston 77082

For more information contact Sergeant Kenneth Herndon at or 713.308.3200 or the DEA at 1.800.882.9539.

To find the location nearest to you, visit and click on the "got drugs" link. To learn more about the Houston Police Department, visit

Sponsored Pet Adoption Weekend at BARC
Saturday, April 27 - Sunday, April 28

Barc LogoBARC Animal Shelter and Adoptions is holding a sponsored adoption event at its adoption facility located at 3200 Carr Street, Houston 77026, Saturday, April 27 - Sunday, April 28, 2013, noon - 6 p.m.

Proler Southwest/Sims Metal Management is generously sponsoring ALL pet adoptions throughout the weekend. Please note that a new pet is a huge responsibility and must be taken very seriously. Though adoptions will be available at no cost to you, only adopt if your family can commit to the time and financial obligations that come with having a pet. Limit one sponsored adoption per household. Allow at least one hour for adoptions.

Adoptions include spay/neuter surgery, a one year City of Houston license, a pre-registered microchip with lifetime registration and age-appropriate vaccinations. All donations are welcome. For information about BARC's adoption requirements, visit

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.

Visit or for more information. Contact Taran Hutchins at with any questions.

May Day Houston Celebrates Preparedness
Wednesday, May 1- A Day of Action

May Day Houston, sponsored by the City of Houston Community Preparedness Collaborative, is a citywide event designed to bring together Houston businesses, families, nonprofits, government agencies, large faith-based groups and individuals to focus on the things that can be done to prepare ourselves and others for disasters.

The possibilities are almost limitless, and even the smallest action makes a difference. Here are just a few suggestions:

  • Families can start building their emergency supply kit
  • Schedule a neighborhood community meeting on disaster preparedness
  • Faith-based groups can volunteer with a local nonprofit that works in disaster services or include preparedness messages in their newsletters and bulletins
  • Businesses can provide training to their employees on preparedness or offer specials on preparedness items
  • Stop by your neighborhood fire station between 5 and 8 p.m. to meet Houston Fire Department personnel and pick up preparedness information. Visit for fire station locations

To learn how you can participate and make a Pledge to Prepare, visit As a community, Houstonians can work together and be ready for anything!

For questions, email

May Day Houston Logo

The Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) Hosts Preparedness Events

On Saturday, April 27, 2013, MOPD will host an emergency preparedness booth at the 11th MHMRA Picnic in the Park at George Bush Park, 16756 Westheimer Parkway, Houston 77082. MHMRA is a Harris County organization that provides services to persons with mental health, autism and intellectual and developmental disabilities.

From noon - 4 p.m., MOPD will assist people in registering for emergency transportation assistance and at 3 p.m., MOPD will host a performance by the City of Houston Super Heroes. For more information about the picnic, email or call 713.970.3824.

On Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m., MOPD, the Houston Fire Department and the Greater Harris County 9-1-1 Emergency Network will provide training for individuals who cannot make a voice call to 9-1-1, assist people in registering for the text service and provide free visual fire alarms to qualified participants who are deaf or hard of hearing at the Metropolitan Multi-Service Center (MMSC) at 1475 West Gray Street, Houston 77019. Prizes and refreshments are available. Contact June Eaton to RSVP and/or to request accommodation before Monday, April 29, 2013, at or 832.394.0814.

Additionally, at the MMSC on Wednesday, May 1, persons who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and who work or reside in Harris and Ft. Bend County are eligible to participate in Text 9-1-1 if they cannot make a voice call to 9-1-1. Training and registration is 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.

For more information about all May Day activities, visit To learn more about other MOPD programs, visit or email

Houston History Conference
Saturday, May 4, 2013

The City of Houston and The Houston History Association are co-hosting the annual Houston History Conference-"Rogues, Rascals, and Role Models: Famous and Infamous Residents of the Bayou City," on Saturday, May 4, 2013, 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., in the Julia Ideson Building - Houston Public Library, 550 McKinney, Houston 77002.

The daylong conference will include talks, interactive question and answer sessions as well as break-out panels, all presented by historians and scholars who have specific knowledge about the individuals who have shaped Houston's history. The keynote speaker is Rick Casey, award-winning journalist and host of Texas Week. Morning speakers include James L. Haley, author and historian; Melissa Kean, Ph.D., Rice University; and Joseph A. Pratt, Ph.D., University of Houston.

Papers and exhibits from local historical groups will also be on view.

The cost of the conference ranges from $45 to $65 and includes the entire conference and lunch. For more information visit or email info@houstonhistory
. Space is limited; if space allows, on-site registration will be available Saturday, May 4.

For more information about Historic Preservation in the City of Houston, visit, contact Diana DuCroz at or 713.837.7924.

Happenings at the Houston Public Library

Houston Public Library Children's Book Celebration, Saturday, May 4

Children of all ages are invited to enjoy the fun and exciting activities scheduled for the Houston Public Library's (HPL) Books Alive! 4th Annual Children's Book Celebration, Saturday, May 4, 2013, noon - 4:30 p.m., Central Library, 500 McKinney, Houston 77002. It's going to be a full day of exciting performances and hands-on arts and crafts activities, featuring a special appearance by author and illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Goody bags will be distributed while supplies last. This event is free and open to the public. Books Alive Logo

Special Appearances:

  • 12:15 - 1:45 p.m. (Program Place - 4th Floor): Headlining act, appearance and book signing by Jarrett Krosoczka
  • 2 - 3 p.m. (Program Place - 4th Floor): Closing act, musical performance by Secret Agent 23 Skidoo - find out why he's called the "King of Kid-Hop!"

Other Exciting Programs:

  • 12:30 - 4:30 p.m. (Concourse Meeting Room): Mad Science of Houston, Anchor Entertainment Mobile Flipbook Studio, Chocolate Fountain and Arts and Crafts
  • 12:30 - 4:30 p.m. (Library Plaza); Petting Zoo, Velcro Wall and Trackless Train

For more information about HPL, visit or call 832.393.1313.

Houston Public Library Summer Reading Program June 1 - August 1

Go Under Cover by reading your favorite books during the 2013 John P. McGovern Foundation Summer Reading Program. This is a free program held June 1 - August 1 that rewards reading with a free book for the home.

To participate, read or listen to books, enter book titles or time read on your online reading log either at home or with the help of your librarian. Upon completion, go to your local Houston Public Library (HPL) location to pick up your prize at the 5, 10, 20 and 30 book levels.

Through August 1, visit any HPL location or register from your computer. Early registration begins Wednesday, May 1, 2013, at

If you are a Houston Independent School District (HISD) student, you can also participate in the HISD Summer Reading Club by joining the Houston Public Library's Summer Reading Program. By reading 10 books you are eligible to receive incentives from Houston Public Library's Summer Reading Program AND incentives from the HISD Summer Reading Club. One program, two ways to win. For more details on the HISD Summer Reading Club visit

For more details on the program and prizes call 832.393.1313, or beginning Wednesday, May 1, visit For more information about HPL visit or call 832.393.1313.

HobbyFest Celebrates William P. Hobby Airport
Saturday, May 4

Join hundreds of people gathering for a family-friendly day at HobbyFest, Saturday, May 4, 2013, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. at William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) on the East Ramp near the tarmac. Admission is free with non-perishable food items, which will benefit the Interfaith Chapel at Hobby as well as the chapel's scholarship fund.

Hobby FestActivities include the Nintendo video game bus, live music, moonwalks, face painting, a Mad Science Exhibit and more. Additionally, there are special drawings for local charities. To participate in the drawing, simply make a donation and you could win one of the many prizes, including JetBlue and Southwest roundtrip airline tickets, Houston Symphony tickets, a certificate to stay at The Houstonian Resort Hotel, Alley Theatre tickets, Pappas Restaurants gift cards and more.

A Bar-B-Que Cook-Off allows individuals or teams to participate with entry fees that begin at $25.

To locate the event as you arrive at Hobby Airport, follow the "Special Events" signs to the site for HobbyFest.

For more information about HobbyFest, visit To learn more about the Houston Airport System, visit

Construction around Houston Permitting Center
Begins Monday, May 6

Beginning Monday, May 6, 2013, and scheduled to continue through September 30, 2013, CenterPoint Energy will begin construction of a floodwall at the Franklin Street Substation. During this period, several temporary lane closures will impact vehicle and pedestrian movement in the area. Getting to the Houston Permitting Center at 1002 Washington Avenue, Houston 77002, and Houston Amtrak will be particularly affected for the duration of the project. The Houston Permitting Center is located next to the Amtrak Station. A map with the scheduled lane closures is available at

Swimming Pool and Water Safety

Last year in the greater Houston area, 24 children drowned. This year, at least three children have perished to this preventable tragedy. The Houston Fire Department (HFD) offers the following safety tips to help make water fun a happy memory and not a tragic one. Water Safety Photo


  • NEVER leave a child alone near water and always watch your children around swimming pools
  • Use approved flotation devices
  • If your apartment has a pool, inspect the fence and gate. If the gate does not lock or you find any other defects with the fence, report it to the apartment management immediately
  • Bring a cell phone to the pool in case of emergency
  • Make sure there is no standing water on the pool deck. Standing water is the #1 cause of slips and falls around a pool. NO RUNNING on the pool deck!
  • Enroll children over the age of three in swimming lessons taught by qualified instructors and REMEMBER swimming lessons do not make your child drown-proof!
  • Always have a first-aid kit and emergency contacts handy
  • Watch for dangerous "TOOs" - too tired, too cold, too far from safety, too much sun, too much strenuous activity
  • Pay attention to local weather conditions and forecasts. If lightning and thunder are nearby, get out until the storm has passed

Teach Your Children these Safety Tips

  • Always swim with a buddy
  • Don't dive into unknown bodies of water. Jump in feet first to avoid hitting your head on the shallow bottom
  • Don't push or jump on others in or around water and obey all rules and posted signs
  • Swim in supervised areas only

For more information about HFD, visit

City of Houston Municipal Courts Mini Clinics
May 14, 15 and 17

Municipal Court LogoThe City of Houston Municipal Courts will host three mini court clinics for citizens to obtain answers to court questions, court case status, public safety information and warrant information. One does NOT have to have any pending matters before the court to attend a clinic. Note there will be no police officers or judges at any of the clinics.

The first clinic will be Tuesday, May 14, 2013, noon - 3 p.m. at Stanaker Neighborhood Library, 611 S-Sgt Macario Garcia, Houston 77011.

The second clinic will be Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Denver Harbor Multi-Service Center, 6402 Market Street, Houston 77020.

The third clinic will be Friday, May 17, 2103, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Southwest Multi-Service Center, 6400 High Star, Houston 77074.

To request an accommodation due to a disability, at least 48 hours prior to the clinic, email or call 713.247.5464.

For more information about the clinics, visit
. To learn more about Municipal Courts, visit

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Mailing Address:  City of Houston | P.O. Box 1562 | Houston, Texas 77251
City Hall Address:  City of Houston | 901 Bagby | Houston, Texas 77002

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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