Archive for February, 2010

FREE Legal Advice for Veterans
February 19, 2010

The Houston Bar Association (HBA) will hold a free legal advice clinic for all Greater Houston area veterans on Saturday, February 20, 2010, from 9:00 a.m. until noon, at American Legion Post 490, located at 11702 Old Galveston Rd., Houston, TX 77034, across from the main entrance to Ellington Field Air Force Base. No appointment is necessary.

Volunteer attorneys will provide legal advice on issues including family law, wills and probate, consumer issues, landlord/tenant law, worker’s compensation, tax issues, bankruptcy, and veterans’ benefits and disability claims. Any veteran or spouse of a deceased veteran can receive legal advice and counsel. Veterans who need further legal representation and meet the eligibility requirements for the HBA’s Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program will be assigned to a pro bono attorney. The guidelines have been adjusted for veterans so that they may have income up to 300 percent above the poverty level and still qualify for services.

Saturday, Feb 20th 9am-noon; Veterans receive FREE legal advice!

American Legion Post, South Houston

Avance Gala 2010
February 16, 2010

Last Friday, I emceed the Avance 2010 Gala at the Hilton (Post Oak) – which turned out to be an evening to celebrate! A record number of tables/tickets were sold all to support a VERY IMPORTANT cause. AVANCE, which has been around 22 years in Houston…is focused on proactive work. Just take a look at their mission statement: “Unlocking America’s potential by strengthening families in at-risk communities through effective parent education and support programs….” AVANCE serves primarily Hispanic families in low-income, at-risk communities with a research-proven program model that is preventative, community-based, two-generation focused and comprehensive in scope.

Over the years, AVANCE has helped thousands of families. They’ve changed the odds for children at risk here in Houston. During my tour of their site a few weeks ago, I had the chance to hear from some of the parents. They were in the middle of crafting handmade gifts to give to their children. They were all very happy with the programs and one parent even pulled me aside and said, “really, AVANCE has helped my family a great deal.” He implied that the organization was ‘the real deal.’ Here are pictures from the night of the gala-where money was raised to help families just like the one mentioned above.

Jack Wootton, Jennifer and Gail Wootton

Jennifer and Mayor Annise Parker

Jennifer, Rick Noriega and guests

Jennifer, Michael Cordua and Thu Nguyen

Jennifer and Pete Garcia

Acceptance of appreciation; Hou Exec. Dir., Jose Villarreal.

PHOTO CREDIT FOR ” Acceptance of appreciation”: Watch Me Grow Portrait Studio Photographer: Martin Diaz

Prior to the gala:Lindsey K. creating the curls and updo...while I read my script.

In This Case…Love Stinks
February 15, 2010


MN Farmer Expresses Himself With Massive Manure Heart

Valentine’s Day has come and gone this year, but a Minnesota farmer’s expression of love is sure to keep his community talking for years to come.  “The Albert Lea Tribune” reports that Bruce Andersland decided to forego roses for his wife, Beth, this Valentine’s Day.  Instead, the farmer opted to create a half-mile wide heart made from manure on his land.  Andersland started with a vision that led to plans jotted down on paper.  Then, using his manure spreader, Andersland fashioned the heart with an arrow through it late last week.  Regarding the expression of love – which is visible from the sky as far as 12 miles southwest of the couple’s farm – Beth Andersland said, quote, “Now I’ve got my Valentine! That’s pretty cute.”

Staying Fit w/Rock Climbing
February 11, 2010

It was nine o’clock in the morning and I was done with the first half of my day…reporting traffic. It was off to a place called Outdoor Escape, a company which builds rock climbing walls. The sport is helping kids stay in shape by giving them an alternative to “regular” sports; ya know, football, basketball, baseball, etc.

JT and Jen deciding on what to shoot next.

I toured the small facility…looking at steel laid on its side, welding going on which would soon be sprayed with cement, stained, delivered to schools, private gyms or whoever wants to pay $15,000-$115,000 for a wall.

Outdoor Escape-Reese W., Steven G. and Jen

Come to find out, you can rent a wall. Use it for a fundraiser, outdoor activity, etc. After touring Outdoor Escape, my photographer and I went to Westbury High School b/c they are one of four schools in HISD to have a wall up. An ROTC class of children walked in. They started strapping on harnesses, talking to us on camera and doing what kids do in gym…watching their peers and cheering them on.

Time to let go of the rope...(Westbury High School)

After hearing about the fitness part of rock climbing, I had to give it a GO. After all, the students were wondering if I was going to join them. So, a quick change of clothes and I was ready to grab onto the first hold.

Reaching for the top! (20 foot rock climbing wall)

I can see how the kids stay fit and have fun! Pulling your own body weight up and hugging the rock takes strength. You can see the full story below:

It’s ALL about APPS
February 5, 2010

Houston TranStar introduces iPhone-optimized Website
New site provides travelers with current traffic and weather information

Houston TranStar, eager to keep drivers informed about the latest traffic delays and weather in town, now offers an enhanced version of its mobile Website that allows iPhone users to view Houston area traffic and weather conditions in an environment optimized for their iPhones.

TranStar’s new iPhone-optimized Website takes advantage of the advanced functionality of the iPhone platform, enabling users to view speed maps, weather radar, estimated travel times, roadway cameras, incidents, road and construction closures and message signs. The site provides constantly-updated notices concerning incidents and delays on the freeway system.

“Travelers can easily observe current traffic and weather conditions on roads they frequent in the region,” said Jack Whaley, Director of Houston TranStar. “They will save valuable time during peak traffic hours simply by glancing at their mobile devices before beginning their drive.”

Houston TranStar is the first traffic management center in Texas to offer this service to its iPhone users. While the Website was designed for Apple’s iPhone, Houston TranStar also offers a similar service for other web-enabled mobile devices.

To view the site on your iPhone, just use the Safari browser to visit this link: