Around The Bend March 2017
SAFER STREETS FOR VULNERABLE USERS IN FORT BEND COUNTY
Shape up Fort Bend and Fort Bend Cycling Coalition members hosted a community breakfast Jan. 9 to discuss safer streets for vulnerable road users in Fort Bend County. The Master of Ceremony for the event was Honorable Jacquie Baly, former Sugar Land Council Member and advocate for improving safety and transportation. The two Keynote speakers were Preston Tyree and Police Officer Rheannon Cunningham, both from Austin.
The purpose of the meeting was twofold: to start a dialogue about increased vulnerable road user’s accidents and the need for an ordinance to decrease accidents. Vulnerable road users are defined as cyclist, motorcycles, and pedestrians.
Tyree is a former multi-national marketing executive who has devoted the last 20 years to study the application of engineering principles and safety and is a nationally recognized expert in bicycle safety. Cunningham has been an avid cyclist for over 12 years and enjoys commuting, road racing, mountain biking and BMXing. Cunningham has combined her passion for riding a bike with her job as an Austin Police Officer. She created APD’s first “Safe Biking Program” and was instrumental in the implementation of the undercover operations that enforce Austin’s “Safe Passing” Ordinance.
The program highlighted the need for a three-foot safe passing distance between vehicles and vulnerable road users, thus a “Vulnerable Road Users” ordinance. This ordinance would go a long way to protect the rights of vulnerable road users from being intimidated, threatened or harassed by maneuvers of a motor vehicle. Operators of motor vehicles will need to exercise due care to avoid colliding with any vulnerable road users on a roadway or intersection.
Although all types of road users are at risk of being injured or killed in a road traffic crash, there are notable differences in fatality rates between different road user groups. In particular, the “vulnerable road users” are at greater risk than vehicle occupants and usually bear the greatest burden of injury. Children, elderly, and disabled people are particularly vulnerable as their physical and mental skills are either not fully developed or are especially fragile. Children and older people are often over represented in traffic fatalities, especially as vulnerable road users.
Sadly, approximately 50 cyclists, 400 pedestrians and 500 motorcyclists are killed every year in Texas. Many of those fatalities could be prevented if this law were enacted.
For more information, contact Shape Up Fort Bend at 832-520-8212
YOUTH IN PHILANTHROPY MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR CHILD ADVOCATES OF FORT BEND
On Jan. 14, 17 students from The George Foundation’s Youth In Philanthropy (YIP) Program helped Child Advocates of Fort Bend (CAFB) with several critical projects. The YIP “Dream Team” painted canvases for the interview rooms in the Children’s Advocacy Center at CAFB; sorted, catalogued and organized donations for the agency’s children’s care room; organized toys and games in the children’s play area; labeled envelopes for their upcoming Gala mailing; and participated in interviews and PSAs for the agency’s social media efforts.
“We love participating in the YIP Program. Not only do the projects that they do for us help us and save us money, I think we learn as much from the students as they do from us,” stated Child Advocates of Fort Bend CEO Ruthanne Mefford. “The canvases they painted will not only brighten the space, but the colors and shapes they painted will be used by the agency’s forensic interviewers in assessing young children who are being interviewed to determine their cognitive level. Organizing and cataloguing donations and toys is such a huge help toward helping us to identify what we have for the children and what our needs are. Their help with the labeling will enable us to get our mailing out on schedule and on budget as we would otherwise have to find volunteers or have paid staff get the project done.”
She added, “Furthermore, their help with the social media piece is invaluable. We anticipate that not only will it help us get our message about child abuse and internet safety out to and heard by youth but it will greatly assist in extending our social media reach.”
For more information on CAFB, go to cafb.org or call 281-344-9955. For information on YIP,
SSLW DELIVERS “THANK YOU” GIFT BAGS TO DEBAKEY VETERANS HOSPITAL
Suburban Sugar Land Women (SSLW) and Partners recently hand delivered appreciation bags to the military and veterans at DeBakey Veterans Hospital Houston 4B Wing to thank them for their service to the country. The recipients’ appreciation was evident in their hearts, on their faces and in their words.
Each bag contained spiritual readings, personal care items and other supplies.
SSLW extends special thanks to Dr. Joanna Fields-Gilmore and Charles Gilmore, Seniors Enrichment Program co-chairs for their exemplary leadership.
NEWS FROM FORT BEND PETS ALIVE!
Fort Bend Pets Alive! awarded $500 to the Friends of Missouri City Animal Shelter Pets for its perfect attendance at FBPA! adoption events. With a first goal of reaching 80 percent save rate, the Friends organization brings supplies, equipment and volunteers to assist adopters.
FBPA! also credits Friends of Missouri City Animal Shelter Pets for its persistence in the fight to save lives of pets, resulting in an increase in save rates of both cats and dogs in the last two years at this small city shelter. When the volunteer program began in May 2014, the euthanasia rate for dogs was decreased close to 50 percent and 30 percent for cats in the second quarter of 2014.
Some of the differences that Friends of Missouri City Animal Shelter Pets have brought about in the last two years include an increase in attendance at offsite adoption events and improvements in health treatments and spaying/neutering numbers.
Claudine Vass, FBPA! president, recently gave donors an overview of other recent efforts.
- In the last two years, it has hosted 50+community events in Fort Bend County to promote compassion and local shelter adoption.
- At the annual Fort Bend Shelter Pets Expo Adoption Event in May, 28 volunteers dedicated 110 hours to help animals find homes.
- At a free adoption event at Fort Bend Kia last summer, a record 27 dogs and cats found homes in four hours.
- FBPA! has raised awareness of community cats in Fort Bend County and successfully stopped proposed inhumane changes to local animal ordinances from passing.
The nonprofit is run by volunteers and depends solely on donations to continue its mission of making Fort Bend County a no kill community. For more information, visit fortbendpetsalive.org
ALIANA RESIDENTS WIN GRAND PRIZE IN COMMUNITY CONTEST
Life truly is a joy for new Aliana residents, Christian and Marilyn Bruderer, winners of the 2016 “Life’s a Joy in Aliana” winter promotion.
Ironically, a family emergency forced Christian to cancel an earlier scheduled surprise trip to New York for the couple’s 25th wedding anniversary, but thanks to the community’s “Life’s a Joy in Aliana” contest, they’ll soon celebrate in the Big Apple after all.
The couple’s contest entry was drawn from among those who registered for the grand prize trip while visiting Aliana’s 12 model homes in the community’s award-winning model home village and its five “Lifestyle Models.”
“We were visiting the Highland model to check on the progress of our new home,” recalls Christian. “I saw the promotion and said to my wife, ‘go ahead and register, what do we have to lose?’”
Weeks later, Mark Armistead, sales representative for Highland Homes’ 70-foot Aliana homesites, along with his sales assistant Cindy Thompson, broke the good news to the Bruderers while visiting their new home in Aliana’s Lamplight neighborhood.
“We’re walking around the house, taking Mark and Cindy around to show our home’s amazing views when suddenly we hear the Frank Sinatra song, ‘New York, New York,’” said Christian. “That’s when Mark announced we won the trip. We were shocked and ecstatic – I suppose it’s a belated anniversary trip.”
The Bruderers will take their trip this summer. Until then, Christian and Marilyn say they are enjoying their new, downsized, single-story home. “No other community offered the view we have,” Christian says. “Plus, Aliana’s location gives me more options to get to work.”
Aliana recently ranked #19 among the nation’s top selling master-planned communities in 2016 according to RCLCO Real Estate Advisors.
The 2,000-acre, west Houston master-planned community near Sugar Land is conveniently located on the Grand Parkway at West Airport Boulevard between U.S. 59 and Interstate 10.
FORT BEND EDUCATION FOUNDATION CELEBRATES 25 YEARS OF SUPPORT TO TEACHERS AND SCHOOLS
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Fort Bend Education Foundation, which has served as a powerful catalyst for extraordinary academic achievement. Since its inception in 1992, the Foundation has provided educators with opportunities to enrich and enhance the quality of education for all students in Fort Bend ISD through its Grants to Teachers and Schools programs, professional development grants, corporate pass-thru programs and grants to assist new teachers who are beginning their educational careers by outfitting their classrooms.
Thanks to generous corporate and individual donors, the Fort Bend Education Foundation has awarded more than $32 million to FBISD teachers and schools over the years.
The Foundation receives hundreds of grant applications each year from educators representing every school in FBISD. The Foundation’s Board of Directors completes an extensive review of each proposal to ensure that strict criteria are met.
“We have received really amazing grant proposals over the years that inspire and equip students for successful futures,” said Jim Brown, FBEF president. “The Foundation has funded literacy and math programs at the elementary level, agricultural and science projects at the middle school level, and fashion design and technical education projects for high schools. The list goes on and on.”
In 1992, the Foundation funded $42,137 in grants compared to last year when the Foundation funded $477,000 in grants.
Three districtwide programs recently funded by the FBEF include a Programming and Robotics Club in partnership with Schlumberger on 45 FBISD campuses; a Mobile Digital Film School, which teaches students advanced film-making techniques with a film showcase during the Annual FBISD Film Fest in the spring, and “Robots for Homebound Education,” which enables home and hospital bound students to virtually attend class.
These programs are just a few of the thousands of grants that have been funded by the Fort Bend Education Foundation. The number of grants funded each year is limited only by the amount of money raised by the Foundation.
“The demands on school districts today are enormous, and budgets can’t always keep pace with the individual requests of classroom teachers who want to make education come alive for their students,” said Brenna Cosby, executive director. “Delivering this exceptional level of learning is neither easy nor inexpensive.”
“Each grant is the result of the generosity of our local community – including businesses, corporations and individuals – who support the Foundation.” As we begin our 25th year of service, we are asking the community to be a part of enriching Fort Bend Future by donating to our 25th anniversary campaign. “We touch every school in Fort Bend ISD.”
For more information or to donate today online, visit fortbendisd.com/foundation
ELDRIDGE PARK POND STOCKED WITH RAINBOW TROUT
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department stocked the pond at Eldridge Park with 750 rainbow trout on Jan. 25, adding to the bass, catfish and perch that have been stocked in the past.
Each winter from November through early March, Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Inland Fisheries Division, in cooperation with participating cities and agencies, stock more than 300,000 catchable-size rainbow trout in more than 100 locations across Texas. This trout stocking program is designed to provide increased wintertime fishing opportunities for Texas anglers.
Sugar Land residents are welcome to fish the lake; however, all state fishing regulations include licenses for those 17 and older and a daily bag limit of five fish per angler apply. Check tpwd.texas.gov for up-to-date information.
The lake is part of Eldridge Park, a 43-acre community park located on Eldridge Road near the West Airport intersection. The park facilities include a community meeting room for 65 people, picnic pavilion, restrooms, grills, benches, picnic tables, 1.2 miles of trails, fishing pier, concession stand, playground, 10 soccer fields and a 500-car parking lot.
For more information, contact the City’s Parks and Recreation Department at 281-275-2825 or visit Facebook.com/sugarlandparks