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Houston City Scope Sept 2013


(L-R) Ellen and Steve Susman of Houston with Bob and Deborah Sharpe at an event for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in Aspen.

(L-R) Ellen and Steve Susman of Houston with Bob and Deborah Sharpe at an event for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in Aspen.

HOUSTONIANS ATTEND EVENT FOR WASHINGTON INSTITUTE FOR NEAR EAST POLICY

Ellen and Steve Susman of Houston attended an event in Aspen, Colo., with Ambassador Dennis Ross, counselor at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

A veteran diplomat who has advised presidents and secretaries of state, Ambassador Ross shared his in-depth perspective on threats to U.S. and Israeli interests in the region in light of the upheaval in Egypt, civil war in Syria, and Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons. As Washington sought to resume Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, he shared his experience as one of the principal architects of previous peace agreements.

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Joel Cowley has been named president and chief executive officer of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

Joel Cowley has been named president and chief executive officer of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

HLSR NAMES NEW PRESIDENT

Joel Cowley will lead the 81-year-old Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo as president and chief executive officer.  Cowley begins his new duties after joining the Show in 2005 as the executive director of agricultural competitions and exhibits. He will continue to work with the Show’s volunteer base and staff to carry on the success of the world’s largest livestock show and rodeo.

“Joel’s strong ties to the organization’s agricultural roots, coupled with his leadership abilities, make for an excellent president of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo,” said Leroy Shafer, who has been serving as the interim president and chief executive officer since former president Skip Wagner’s departure in April. Shafer will return to his role as vice president and chief operating officer.

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HERMANN PARK CONSERVANCY BEGINS RENOVATION PROJECT

Hermann Park Conservancy broke ground on the $5 million Grand Gateway renovation project with shovels and celebrations on Aug. 20. Joe Turner, director of the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, was present along with other distinguished guests, including Hermann Park Conservancy executive director Doreen Stoller, Hermann Park Conservancy board chair Ann Kennedy, and HPARD’s Assistant Park director Rick Dewees.

The Grand Gateway, the historic main entrance to Hermann Park, includes the area from Mecom Fountain to the Sam Houston Monument and the stretch of parkland on the esplanade between Fannin and Main known as Cravens Parkway. The project consists of several renovations including extensive landscaping and seasonal plantings between the Sam Houston Monument and Mecom Fountain; improved walkways along Cravens Parkway to increase connectivity to neighborhoods and METRORail; pedestrian-scale lighting, benches, and bike racks to provide convenience for walkers and bicyclists; and new drainage and irrigation to preserve the live oaks along Main Street.

The $5 million budget includes a $1 million maintenance fund for future care. The Conservancy was awarded nearly $3 million for the project through the TxDOT-administered federally-funded Transportation Enhancement Program; Hermann Park Conservancy raised the remaining funds through private donations. The landscape architect is SWA Group. The project will be managed by TxDOT, the city of Houston, and Hermann Park Conservancy. The project is set to be completed in March 2014 during the Park’s centennial year.

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At the check presentation are (back row) Emily Gesing, Gladys Martinez, Armando Silva, Ed Gonzalez, Art DeLeon, Liz Salinas, Rochelle Kornas, Angie Moreno, Loida Casares, Alice Valdez; (front row) MECA Summer Arts Day Camp and After School Arts Program students.

At the check presentation are (back row) Emily Gesing, Gladys Martinez, Armando Silva, Ed Gonzalez, Art DeLeon, Liz Salinas, Rochelle Kornas, Angie Moreno, Loida Casares, Alice Valdez; (front row) MECA Summer Arts Day Camp and After School Arts Program students.

MECA RECEIVES $20,000 IN P&G ORGULLOSA PROJECT

Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts has been selected as one of five organizations in the U.S. to receive a donation from Procter & Gamble’s The Orgullosa Project. MECA placed third in the project, winning $20,000.

The P&G Orgullosa Project is an initiative to highlight organizations that are positively impacting the Hispanic community across the country and inspire Latinas to give back via a donation on the Orgullosa Facebook page.  Orgullosa donated $100,000 among these five nonprofit organizations but the amount each received was determined by the community.

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Tammie Kahn.

Tammie Kahn.

WHITE HOUSE APPOINTS CHILDREN’S MUSEUM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Children’s Museum of Houston Executive Director Tammie Kahn was appointed by the White House to the National Museum and Library Services Board. The Board advises the Institute of Museums and Library Services (IMLS) director on general policy and practices and on selections for the National Medals for Museum and Library Service. Kahn was one of five individuals administered the oath of office by Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Stephen Breyer and appointed by President Barack Obama last May.  Members were selected based on their expertise and commitment to libraries or museums.

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UT MD ANDERSON REPEATS AS NATION’S TOP HOSPITAL FOR CANCER

According to the U.S. News & World Report’s annual “Best Hospitals” survey, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is the nation’s top hospital for cancer care, a ranking it has held for seven straight years.

In the last 12 years, the institution has ranked No. 1 in cancer care 10 times. Since 1990, when the survey began, it has been listed as one of the top two cancer hospitals in the nation.

Also nationally ranked are three MD Anderson specialties, including ear, nose and throat, No. 3; gynecology, No. 6; and urology, No. 43. Its orthopedic, neurosurgery, nephrology, psychiatry and geriatrics services were named as “High Performing” specialties.

MD Anderson’s Children’s Cancer Hospital was ranked No. 21 in the nation in a separate survey conducted by U.S. News & World Report earlier this year.

“MD Anderson is honored and humbled to be named the top hospital for cancer care in the nation by U.S. News & World Report’s annual survey,” said Ronald A. DePinho, M.D., president of the institution. “This is a recognition that MD Anderson will never take for granted. We will earn — and represent — this honor every day through our extraordinary care, compassion, innovation and service and most of all, by putting patients first.”

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MEMORIAL HERMANN HOSPITALS ACHIEVE RECOGNITION AS TOP HOSPITALS IN WOMEN’S HEALTH SERVICES

Memorial Hermann announced that several of its hospitals have again been recognized for superior care in Women’s Health Services as measured by Healthgrades, the leading online resource that helps consumers search, compare and connect with physicians and hospitals.

“We couldn’t be more pleased that our hospitals have again been recognized for providing the highest quality of gynecologic surgery and maternity care,” said M. Michael Shabot, chief medical officer for Memorial Hermann. “Our goal is perfect care for our patients and these HealthGrades awards are continued evidence we are succeeding.”

Collectively, Memorial Hermann Northwest Hospital, Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital, Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital and Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital, as well as Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital and Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center received the 2013 Gynecologic Surgery Excellence Award.

Gynecologic surgery includes surgery on the female reproductive system to treat benign tumors, cancer, infertility, incontinence, and various other conditions. Hysterectomy accounted for the majority (75.4 percent) of all procedures evaluated. To help consumers evaluate and compare hospital performance in gynecologic surgery, Healthgrades analyzed patient outcome data provided by 18 individual states for years 2009 through 2011.

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Nicole-fernanadez

NICOLE FERNANDEZ CROWNED NATIONAL AMERICAN MISS TEXAS PRE-TEEN COVER GIRL

Nicole Fernandez, a fifth-grader at St. Francis Episcopal Day School, was crowned 2013 National American Miss Texas Pre-Teen Cover Girl at the state pageant held in Dallas. She received her official state crown, banner and trophy. She also received a special invitation to compete at the National Pageants held during Thanksgiving week in California. At the pageant she also received the Ambassador award, Spirit of America award, outstanding program participation, and the photogenic portfolio award.

Nicole’s activities include USA Club swimming, playing the clarinet, singing in the school choir, and participating in her church youth group.

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AUDREY-DROUGHT-VILLA-DE-LUXE

SPLENDOR IN SHADYSIDE

The lovely cover photo on the August edition of Houston Lifestyles & Homes was taken by photographer Joe Aker. The photo credit was misidentified in the print edition. The photograph shows the Conservatory at Villa de Luxe, an historic Houston estate in Shadyside that was transformed into a designer show home tour benefiting Preservation Houston.

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(L-R, front row) Katie Lewis, Regina Ochoa, Emma Carlson, Madison McGrath; (middle row) Ariana Caranto, Rachel Plaskett, Dominique Angibeau, Caroline Mallon, Emily Ann Torres: (back row) Sarah Staerker, Brenna McKay, Sakura Gray and  Kaitlin Karcher.

(L-R, front row) Katie Lewis, Regina Ochoa, Emma Carlson, Madison McGrath; (middle row) Ariana Caranto, Rachel Plaskett, Dominique Angibeau, Caroline Mallon, Emily Ann Torres: (back row) Sarah Staerker, Brenna McKay, Sakura Gray and Kaitlin Karcher.

ST. AGNES DANCE TEAM’S PERFECT SCORE EARNS BID TO NATIONALS

The St. Agnes elite Remix Dance Team participated in the National Dance Alliance Summer Camp, honing their skills as well as striving for a bid to Nationals. Remix received a technical excellence award and a spirit stick on the first night and their success continued in the “Top Gun” competitions where participants from all the schools attending showed off their skills in a particular area of dance.

Remix had finalists in all four categories including Leaps – Emma Carlson, Kaitlin Karcher, Brenna McKay, Rachel Plaskett, and Sarah Staerker; Turns – Dominique Angibeau, Sakura Gray, Kaitlin Karcher, Caroline Mallon, Brenna McKay and Rachel Plaskett with Kaitlin Karcher taking home the overall winner award; Kicks – Emma Carlson, Sakura Gray, Kaitlin Karcher, Caroline Mallon, Brenna McKay, Regina Ochoa, Rachel Plaskett and Sarah Staerker, with Caroline Mallon taking home the overall winner award; and Hip Hop – Katie Lewis.

All 13 members were nominated for the All-American Dance team with four of the dancers, Emma Carlson, Kaitlin Karcher, Katie Lewis and Regina Ochoa, receiving the coveted All-American Dancer title. In the Team Circle of Winners, Remix won Silver and in the Leaders Circle of Winners, Remix senior officers took home the Gold. In the end, Remix received a perfect score for their team evaluation, the overall technical excellence award, and earned a bid to Nationals in March 2014.

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FRESH MARKET STORES OPEN IN HOUSTON

The Fresh Market Inc. has expanded its presence as it entered the state of Texas with four new stores in the Houston area. All four stores are located in sites formerly occupied by Houston-based Rice Epicurean Markets in the West University, Memorial, River Oaks and Tanglewood neighborhoods of Houston. The new locations, which opened in July and August, are: 2617 West Holcombe Blvd.; 12516 Memorial Drive; 3745 Westheimer Road; and 5016 San Felipe Street.

The specialty grocer’s full-service philosophy incorporate unparalleled product selection and expert customer service in an inviting atmosphere. The Fresh Market employs a team of friendly, well-trained professionals who pride themselves on providing the highest level of customer service to shoppers. Employees can be found offering cooking advice or sharing tips to help customers create the perfect meal.

Grand opening activities included chef demonstrations, food sampling throughout the store, and drawings for The Fresh Market gift cards.


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