October 28, 2013
The City of Houston and all its employees wish everyone a safe and happy Halloween. This is a time for children of all ages to enjoy the time outside in the company of family and friends. Halloween however does present its share of safety concerns that adults and children need to keep in mind. Our emergency services typically see a slight increase in emergency calls on Halloween, mostly because of falls and assaults.
Keep the following suggestions in mind when trick-or-treating:
Daylight Saving Time ends Sunday morning, November 3 at 2 a.m.. Remember to test and change your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors when you change your clock back to enjoy an extra hour of sleep. Spring forward, Fall back.
The City of Houston invites everyone to show support for our Armed Forces at the annual "Houston Salutes American Heroes" Veterans Day Celebration on Monday, November 11. The festivities begin at Houston City Hall, 901 Bagby, Houston 77002, with the AT&T Veterans Job Fair and Walgreens Veterans Health Fair, open 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
A moment of silence will be observed at 11 a.m., followed by the 11th hour ceremony in memory of the World War I signing of the Armistice. The American Heroes Parade, sponsored by H-E-B, begins at 12:30 p.m. at Dallas and Bagby, proceeding east Dallas, north on Louisiana, west on Walker, south on Smith and ending at Bagby.
Free parking is available 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. in the Theater District Parking, Tranquillity Garage, 501 Rusk, Houston 77002, entrances 2 and 5 only. (If you enter the garage prior to 12:30 p.m., parking will remain free for the rest of the day.) For more information about the celebration, visit www.houstontx.gov/nov11.
To learn more about the City's Office of Veterans' Affairs (HCOVA) and its services, visit www.houstontx.gov/vetaffairs.
The 64th Annual Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, November 28 at 9 a.m., is being presented by H-E-B and the City of Houston Mayor's Office of Special Events (MOSE). The parade is free and open to the public and will pay tribute to Houston by showcasing the city's finest - from fashion, food and heroes to culture, sports and talent. To make it a memorable parade, volunteers are needed!
Sign up to help with the parade at www.houstontx.gov/thanksgivingparade/volunteer.html. For more parade specifics and information about MOSE, visit www.houstontx.gov/specialevents.
The Mayor's Mow-Down Program is a new pilot program created to address the problem of overgrown abandoned lots in Houston neighborhoods. Sponsored by the Department of Neighborhoods (DON), in partnership with Keep Houston Beautiful (KHB), the program aims to encourage civic groups and nonprofit organizations to make a commitment to maintain abandoned lots in their own neighborhoods. Through such efforts, neighborhood groups can help address public safety concerns often associated with overgrown lots, preserve properties values and instill community pride.
The program offers participating groups a modest fee of $75 for each approved cut after the work has been completed and verified. The first mowing will be done by City of Houston (COH) crews. Thereafter, the community groups take over maintenance of the lots. Each cut must be approved in advance. KHB will assist by providing groups with access to supplies and tools for the projects.
Any civic group or nonprofit organization interested in maintaining a COH approved abandoned property may apply by visiting www.houstontx.gov/neighborhoods/mowdown.html. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 832.394.0654.
Mayor Annise Parker and the Citizenship Month Steering Committee invite you to take part in the City of Houston's Fifth Annual Citizenship Month (formerly Citizenship Week), Celebrating the Many Faces of Houston, November 1 - 30. The citywide celebration will feature a series of events to promote what it means to be a citizen of Houston as well as to encourage Houstonians to be active in the community.
The Office of International Communities (OIC), a division of the Department of Neighborhoods, is a proud sponsor of Citizenship Month, in partnership with community organizations. To learn more about OIC, call 832.393.1080 or visit www.houstontx.gov/oic.
The City of Houston has begun to de-clutter and simplify Houston's downtown parking system. The project will improve signage, meters, mobility lanes, commercial zones and parking communications to make parking easier for the 20,000 to 30,000 people who park downtown each day as well as the many Houstonians and visitors who come downtown for entertainment, sports etc. The Downtown Parking Signage Project completion is targeted for summer 2014.
Additionally, Mayor Annise Parker recently introduced the very first art meter sculptures in the nation. Four local artists were chosen to design the sculptures: Car and Meter History by Devon Moore (1300 Nance, Houston 77002), Found Art designed by David Medina (1300 Sterrett, Houston 77002), Gumball Machine designed by Ketria Scott (1400 Nance, Houston 77002) and Wind Blown Meters designed by Anthony Shumate (3 meters on 1200 Sterrett, Houston 77002).
Visit the six art parking meter sculptures designed by these local artists, in partnership with Houston Arts Alliance, in the heart of the Warehouse District area of downtown.
Need to Get Information or Report Something in Houston?
The City of Houston hotline, 311, has undergone a complete transformation making it even more convenient, customer-focused, efficient and flexible. 311 empowers citizens to join the City's effort to improve the community by making it easy to report issues that need to be resolved. If you see something that needs fixing, let us know!!
The most recent update to the system is the 311 smartphone application (app) that provides an easy-to-use and efficient vehicle for Houstonians to submit requests when it is most convenient for them. Citizens can now upload photos or videos and attach them to a service request type within the app.
311 Help & Info users are able to submit service requests by calling 311, the 24/7 call center, through the redesigned website www.Houston311.org, by email email@example.com or via the free smartphone apps, available for Android and iPhone.
The City of Houston (COH) and the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR) have collaborated on Houston Living, a new free mobile application (app) designed to give Houstonians instant access to information about city government, local amenities and events, real estate and more.
Houston Living provides GPS (global positioning system) location-based government information, including:
Houston Living is available for free download at the Apple App Store/iTunes and will soon be available on the Android Market.
Trees located in the City of Houston (COH) right-of-way (along neighborhood streets, typically the area from the curb to the sidewalk) are public property and developers do not have the right to remove these trees without express permission from the COH.
Unfortunately, there have been a number of situations lately where developers have removed and destroyed large, irreplaceable trees without permission, thereby violating the law and harming both the environment and beauty of our surroundings. Such removal and destruction can subject developers to both criminal and civil sanctions, but once the damage has been done, neither sanction is really adequate. Rather, developers who would seek to violate the law must be deterred by realizing that their actions will result in serious sanctions, including shutting down their projects for some period of time.
The COH has embarked upon an aggressive course of seeking sanctions against developers who remove and destroy public trees without permission. Any resident observing such potentially illegal removal or destruction of public trees is asked to immediately call 311, the COH helpline.
Note: Permission to remove a tree may only be granted following a permitting process that requires justification and some type of mitigation, either by planting other trees or contributing to a tree fund. In many instances, justification does not exist to remove a particular tree and permission would be denied.
Join the Mayor's Office of Sustainability for the fourth annual half-price compost bin and rain barrel sale on Saturday, November 9, 2013, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., at the Houston Permitting Center, 1002 Washington Street, Houston 77002.
Compost bins will be sold for $45 (normally $100) and/or rain barrels will be sold for $55 (normally $120). These prices will only be available while supplies last and the bins and barrels will be sold on a first come, first served basis. This event happens only once a year and when they are gone they are gone until next year.
Compost bins and rain barrels are great ways to live more sustainably and save money. Compost bins keep organic material out of landfills and produce rich compost you can use as a soil additive or fertilizer. Rain barrels eliminate the need to use treated drinking water to water your plants, wash your car or clean your driveway.
Start living greener this fall! For questions, contact Baker Goldsmith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The City of Houston Municipal Courts is pleased to announce that wedding ceremonies can now be scheduled at the Herbert W. Gee Municipal Courthouse, 1400 Lubbock Street, Houston 77002. The ceremonies are performed by appointment only, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Wedding ceremonies are offered in both English and Spanish with a limited number of guests welcome to attend. To have a wedding ceremony performed at the Houston Municipal Court, there are three simple steps to follow:
For more information about Houston Municipal Courts, visit www.houstontx.gov/courts, call the City's Helpline 311 or if outside of Houston, call 713.837.0311.
Harris County locations to obtain a marriage license:
Our Great Region 2040 is a high-level plan that aims for Our Region to be one of the world's greatest places to live, work and succeed, as defined by measurable goals, by the year 2040. It is the result of the efforts of hundreds of organizations and thousands of people from across the Houston-Galveston Area Council's 13-county service area. Plan to attend the following meeting as public input is a very important part of the process.
Saturday, November 9
To review the draft plan and/or submit comments until Friday, November 15, visit www.ourregion.org. For questions, email email@example.com or call Anna Sedillo, Planning and Development Department (P&D) at 713.837.7701.
To learn more about P&D, visit www.houstontx.gov/planning.
The Houston Police Department (HPD) auctions abandoned vehicles Monday through Thursday at vehicle storage facilities throughout the city. All vehicles are sold as-is, for cash, to the highest bidder and most have some type of damage.
If five or more vehicles are purchased by one person during a calendar year, a motor vehicle dealer's license is required. Salvage vehicles will only be sold to state licensed salvage dealers.
For more information, auction times and locations, visit www.houstontx.gov/police/auto_dealers_detail/vehicle_auction.htm or contact the HPD Auto Dealer's Detail at 713.247.5812.
To learn more about HPD, visit www.houstonpolice.org.
Houston Public Library (HPL) offers educational and entertaining events all year at its locations in Houston. The free events are open to the public and will include author presentations for the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy (November 22) and a presentation from the Digital Public Library of America. For a full list of featured events, visit www.houstonlibrary.org/events.
"Dallas 1963": Authors Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis
Digital Public Library of America Presentation and Discussion
Conspiracy at the Library!
For more information, visit www.houstonlibrary.org or call 832.393.1313.
The City of Houston Information Technology Services (HITS) recommends the following ways to protect yourself on the internet.
For more information about HITS, visit www.houstontx.gov/hits.