Pearland Man Loses Passion in Workshop Fire

Workshop1Eddie Rhodes’ work shed, located behind his home on Laurie Street near Garden Road in Pearland, became engulfed in flames Wednesday after Rhodes went to take a break from his antique car restoration work. He had left a heat gun on to dry a part, and either the heat gun fell or the extension cord he was using malfunctioned. The contents of the building were lost, though the structure itself is still standing.

“I’ve left it running a million times,” said Rhodes. “I never thought that this would happen.”

Rhodes is retired from the sprinkler installation business and has worked on classic cars on and off for over 40 years. He was active in Pearland’s unofficial antique car club until, “it just fizzled out sometime last year,” said Rhodes.

“I thought about installing a sprinkler system in here and kept putting it off. It’s ironic,” he said.

The Pearland Fire Marshal has ruled the fire an accident with no negligence.

“I had to force myself to come out here today,” Rhodes said. “I’ve had some of these tools since I was a teenager. That car,” he said, pointing to the remnants of a once-shiny antique Mercedes, “was supposed to drive out of here tomorrow.”

Rhodes said that he worked out in his workshop from morning until sometimes late at night. “When folks ask around about fixing up an old car, someone gives them my name. It’s what I love to do.”

While the building was insured, the policy will only cover 10 percent of Rhodes’ entire home value.

“It’s not going to be enough,” he said. “Most of this in here was priceless to me.”

No one was injured during the blaze, though a neighbor was taken away by EMS due to an unrelated issue.

Source: The Pearland Journal

High School Start Times Debated

Pearland Independent School District officials were recently asked by the school board to weigh the pros and cons of moving the start-times for high school classes back by 15 minutes to an hour recently. Deputy Superintendent Nan Weimer presented a report of the findings at a board meeting held Tuesday (Oct. 14).

Currently, buses pick up high school students at 6:15 a.m. and classes start at 7:30 a.m., Weimer said.

School officials considered several different alternatives including starting classes 15 to 30 minutes later and switching the start time for high school students with elementary school students, who currently start classes at 8:15 a.m.

Although moving classes forward by 15 minutes caused minimal problems, Weimer said traffic was an issue as buses might be delayed due to increased congestion on the roads. Moving classes back an additional half-hour was more problematic due to increased traffic, logistics involved with extracurricular activities and after-school jobs for high school students.

“Right now high school students have time to go home and do their homework,” she said. “But, if they get home later in the day they wouldn’t be able to have jobs is what some parents told us.”

The proposed changes were considered by a number of school administrators including assistant superintendents and principals as well as the directors of athletics, food service, transportation and special education. The focus group also included parents, students and community representatives, Weimer said.

Following the report, trustees discussed the alternatives and the reason the changes were under consideration.

Research supports starting classes at 8:30 a.m.

Trustee Lance Botkin said he had read a study published in the American Pediatric Society that said high school students shouldn’t start classes before 8:30 a.m.

“It’s not just they (students) need sleep,” Botkin said. “The problem is in our society we look at sleep as a luxury. It’s a necessity. Sleep deprivation causes a lot of behavioral issues.”

Trustee Charles Gooden Jr. said he appreciated Botkin’s enthusiasm but hadn’t had a chance to study the American Pediatric Report.

“I appreciate your passion and your preparation. I am going to speak for myself and say you are way ahead of me. All we (trustees) got was this presentation. Obviously we’re not about to make decision on this tonight,” Gooden said.

“What we got tonight was all the negative things. We didn’t hear the positive things. We did n’t see how it can help students,” Botkins said and asked if the issue could be tabled for future discussion pending more research by district officials.

Superintendent Dr. John Kelly said he supported the discussion but thought the recommendations made by administrators should be the deciding factor.

“I appreciate that this is on the agenda because I think this has been an issue for Lance first and also the research that has come out does make a case for it,” Kelly said. “But where I come down on it is that we’ve got three very good high school principals who say the status quo is what they think is better and I’m not willing to substitute my judgment there or really even the board’s. I guess every decision in the district could be subject to board approval but this is something normally the administration would decide.”

Trustee Andrew Solomon said he appreciated the common sense approach to the issue but also thought the research was worth further consideration.

“The studies are interesting. The studies are about science and the science of kids and their brain development and their sleep patterns. When I read the studies I was surprised and skeptical. But, there have been follow-up studies that seem to support the initial studies that it really does matter,” Solomon said.

“I’ve read a number of studies over the past couple of years and I certainly wouldn’t argue with the researchers in any of those studies. I think the missing piece here is that our students aren’t asking for this,” Weimer said. “Where this has changed recently in other places across the country, the students brought forth the research and fought that battle. We’re not hearing that in our schools and I think that is the missing piece for us.”

After almost an hour of passionate debate, no action was taken by the board. Board President Rusty DeBorde asked that district officials take a closer look at the issue and if they felt it was worth reconsideration, the door was open for further board discussion. Otherwise, no further action was needed.

Source: The Pearland Journal

Critical Thinking: Let’s Bring It Back

This article is part of the Editor’s Corner and was written by Stacey Glaesmann, MA. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions or attitudes of The Silvercreek Tribune.

 

I haven’t willingly watched a news program in over 15 years. I say willingly because I am occasionally trapped in a waiting room with CNN blaring. Sometimes I ask the person with the remote to change the channel. Sometimes, I put in my ear buds and listed to music or a TedTalk. And yes, I work for a newspaper. It seems counterintuitive doesn’t it?

Let me explain. I have dealt with depression and anxiety my whole life, and it occurred to be one day that the news was just sad. So I turned it off and haven’t looked back. Yes, I’ll read news articles online for research or to educate myself, but I make sure to read several pieces on the same issue. If that seems weird it’s because critical thinking is often considered strange these days.

Critical thinking is defined as, “Disciplined thinking that is clear, rational, open-minded, and informed by evidence,” according to the 2014 edition of the Random House Dictionary. It sounds simple enough; however, many times, the big news channels feed what little information they have to the public to basically shape the masses’ views, which usually stir up fear, doubt and controversy. People are easier to control en masse when they’re scared out of their minds or so busy arguing with each other that they don’t notice the big picture.

For example, have you heard of Ferguson, MO? If you have, it’s most likely because it’s the small town outside of St. Louis where a (white) police officer shot an unarmed (black) teenager in cold blood out in the street for no reason. Well, maybe because the (white) officer doesn’t like the (black) people that live where he patrols. In an astute act of protest, people looted the town. This is all that was broadcast about the actual incident for weeks.

People were mad! They were outraged! And not just people in Ferguson, either. I’m talking people in other states and even other countries! How dare anyone defend this racist guy who killed a kid in cold blood without provocation?

Thanks to the Internet and sites like Facebook and Twitter, people can influence others all around the globe into what psychology calls a “mob [or herd] mentality.” This occurs when a small group influences a person or people to do things that they may not ever do on their own. All social animals are hard-wired this way; thus the term “herd.” And many times, this can work for the greater good. One meerkat sends out the signal, the others run away from a predator. The tribe is saved! A media outlet releases potentially bad news for a company, the stock market tanks! Oh wait…that’s not so good.

What distinguishes humans from meerkats, among other things, are our higher reasoning skills. Sometimes, we forget that we have those skills when something catches our attention and then we see that everyone else is mad (or rioting or panicking or whatever). So, we join in, even though we may not actually know much about the issue at hand.

Anyway, let’s get back to Ferguson. So, the media tells people that some white cop killed a black kid for no good reason. Are you going to be the one who says, “Hey! Wait a second! Maybe there’s more to the story?” If you do, you could be receiving threats on your life from the rest of the herd! So, this is mainly why no one said it (or maybe someone did but took it back because you can do that on Facebook).

It’s now 2 months later and guess what? Forensic evidence and witness testimony has shown that there really was a reason for Officer Darren Wilson to defend himself against Michael Brown! The kid attacked Wilson in his cop car, trying to get his gun, and Wilson fired 2 shots, one striking Brown in the arm. And Brown had just burglarized a local convenience store, giving him a defensive perception even though Wilson was not aware of this at the time. No jury has acquitted Wilson at this time, but had rioters waited for all of the information about the issue, maybe they wouldn’t have been rioting.

Critical thinking requires us to be patient, yes. Investigations and reports are not produced overnight. But it is my opinion that being patient now can help me be a better person, mother, reporter and human being in the long run. I’d rather be silent then post something on Facebook that I’ll regret later (even if I can delete it). I want to be a positive role model to my daughter and to humanity in general because Michael Brown was a person, just like Darren Wilson is. Just like we all are.

For more information on the latest Ferguson information, visit CNN.com.

To send me hate mail, click HERE. :)

National Teen Driver Safety Week Oct 19 – 25

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“A quarter of teens respond to a text message once or more every time they drive. 20 percent of teens and 10 percent of parents admit that they have extended, multi-message text conversations while driving. (UMTRI)”

“Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded. (2009, VTTI)”

National Teen Driver Safety Week has begun. Stay tuned and visit pearlandtx.gov/teendriver for more safety statistics, and helpful links to educate our teens and keep our roads safe.

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Free Legal Clinic for Veterans Oct 25

Veterans who need legal advice or legal assistance can visit a free legal clinic on Saturday, October 25 at the Lake Jackson VA Outpatient Clinic, 208 Oak Drive South, Lake Jackson, TX 77566. The clinic is sponsored by the Brazoria County Bar Association in conjunction with the Houston Bar Foundation’s Veterans Legal Initiative, a coalition of local bar associations that provide pro bono legal services to U.S. veterans in 17 counties in Texas.

No appointment is necessary. Any veteran, or spouse of a deceased veteran, can receive advice and counsel from a volunteer attorney in any area of law, including family, wills and probate, consumer, real estate and tax law, as well as disability and veterans benefits. Veterans who need ongoing legal representation and who qualify for legal aid may be assigned a pro bono attorney to handle their case.

For more information on the October 25th clinic, contact the Veterans Legal Initiative at 713-759-1133.

 

Pearland Police Department Aids Crime Victims

The City of Pearland provides a victim assistance program to all residents who are victims of violent crimes. The goal of the Victims Assistance Program is to assist victims of crime, protect and advocate their rights, provide necessary information and prevent further victimization.

Crime Victim Liaisons provide emotional support and crisis intervention. Made available to the public 24 hours a day, liaisons bridge the gap between citizens, the police department and the District Attorney’s office by giving victims an outlet to seek out information and programs available in the community. Liaisons also provide an opportunity for police officers and detectives to have more time to work on cases while knowing that the needs of victims are being met.

Liaisons provide services including support at the scene, by telephone or in person, and may even transport or accompany victims to hospitals, shelters, court appearances and other service providers. The Pearland Police Department aims to protect and serve its residents and liaisons provide further support for the community.

The Victim Assistance Program receives funding from the Office of the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division ‘Victims of Crime Act’ (VOCA) and has been awarded the Other Victim Assistance Grant (OVAG) for the fiscal year 2015.

Last year alone, the Crime Victims Division assisted more than 600 victims in a number of cases, including: child sexual abuse, DUI-DWI crashes, domestic violence, adult sexual assault, survivors of homicide victims, robbery, assault, and other violent crimes. For more information on the division, please visit pearlandtx.gov/crimevictim.

Contact Information:

Gina Mendez: 281.997.4304

Velma Guadiana: 281.997.4330

 

Memorial Hermann Hosts “Superhero Day” Nov 8

Superhero

Join Topper, H-E-Buddy and others as Memorial Hermann Convenient Care Center in Pearland, H-E-B Plus and the YMCA host an enchanting and ever so adventurous Superhero Day for the little ones in your life.

November 8 from 11am – 2pm

10905 Memorial Hermann Dr. Pearland, TX 77584

Admission is FREE!

  • All attendees are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite superheroes.
  • Meet local superheroes such as firefighters, emergency medical personnel, police officers and the Memorial Hermann Life Flight team.
  • Have a fun-filled afternoon, including an entertainment stage with special performances by Precision Dance Academy led by owner/instructor Alicia McGee, music, games, prizes, food and much, much more.

 

CAP of Greater Pearland 3rd Annual “Boo-gie Nights” Bash Oct 24

CAP of Greater Pearland will be hosting their third annual Boo-gie Nights Halloween Costume Party October 24th at Golf Crest Country Club in Pearland. This is sure to be a Howling Event! All proceeds benefit CAP of Pearland.

Ghosts and witches and creatures of fright, don’t miss the call of the 3rd Annual CAP of Pearland Halloween Costume Party 2014. Come one, come all in the threads of the season! If you miss this bash, ’tis an act of treason! Be here by seven and meet your ghoulie friends! Wear your scariest, sexiest, or comic hero for the title of “Best Costume 2014″.

Casino will start promptly at 7pm to help cure your Vegas itch and use your winnings for live auction items. Don’t care for the casino? Then dance the night away! So bring your blue suede shoes to rock the night!

About CAP:

Community Assistance Program (CAP) of Greater Pearland is a project of the 2010 Leadership Pearland Class. Its mission is to meet the needs of the Pearland community while promoting leadership and business networking opportunities. The group’s focus is to raise awareness of the struggles that some residents face on a daily basis. Secondly, CAP provides funds and resources to help these individuals get back on their feet or deal with the crisis they are facing.

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To purchase tickets or sponsorships, click HERE.