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George Boehme – InstantNewsWestU.com http://www.instantnewswestu.com Constantly Updated Neighborhood News for West University, TX Wed, 18 Apr 2018 21:50:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 Heading toward the goal: Burke recall drive takes to the streets, social media http://www.instantnewswestu.com/heading-toward-the-goal-burke-recall-drive-takes-to-the-streets-social-media/ http://www.instantnewswestu.com/heading-toward-the-goal-burke-recall-drive-takes-to-the-streets-social-media/#respond Wed, 18 Apr 2018 20:50:52 +0000 http://www.instantnewswestu.com/?p=52118 They claim to have more than a third of their goal achieved in one weekend. And organizers of the campaign to recall West University City Councilmember Kellye Burke have scheduled another round of circulating petitions and have set up a Facebook page to help in their effort.

“We will not stop collecting signatures until we reach our goal,” said Jay Cohen, spokesman for the group — and City Secretary Thelma Gilliam said they have until July 20 to submit petitions to put the matter on the Nov. 6 general election ballot. Cohen said more than 600 residents have signed, toward a requirement of 1,600-plus signatures — 15 percent of qualified West U voters.

The recall campaign is in response to Burke’s behavior during and after an incident on March 31 where the 50-year-old councilmember verbally used offensive language to a teenage girl wearing a Trump Make America Great Again T-shirt while the girl bought cookies with friends in a business on Edloe Street. Burke was charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct for her behavior, which reportedly included yelling, “Grab her by the p&$$y, girls!” a reference to a quote attributed to Trump.

As the story spread to national and international news and social media, Burke issued three apologies through attorneys, the last one at the April 9 council meeting, which she missed, claiming to have “fled” the city with her family because of safety concerns.

In event of a successful November recall (at a West U taxpayer cost of about $10K), the seat would remain vacant until the next regular West U municipal election on May 4, 2019 — meaning the city would function with a mayor and three councilmembers for six months.

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West U petition drive to recall Councilwoman Burke enters second day http://www.instantnewswestu.com/west-u-petition-drive-to-recall-councilwoman-burke-enters-second-day/ http://www.instantnewswestu.com/west-u-petition-drive-to-recall-councilwoman-burke-enters-second-day/#respond Sun, 15 Apr 2018 12:56:33 +0000 http://www.instantnewswestu.com/?p=52094 After what they termed “a very successful first day,” a group of West University residents will be outside the Municipal Building again today (Sunday, April 15) seeking

A group of West U residents launched a petition drive Saturday to recall Councilwoman Kellye Burke over an incident when she confronted a teen girl wearing a Trump T-shirt, drawing a disorderly conduct charge. (Photo by Carlos Aguilar)

signatures to recall Councilwoman Kellye Burke.

To qualify, signers must be registered voters and live within West U city limits. Hours for the drive, at 3801 University Blvd., will be from 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

“Residents supporting the recall petition feel Councilwoman Burke has lost her right to lead,” said Jay Cohen, one of the organizers of the drive. “The community had a positive reaction to the petition.”

To trigger a recall election, organizers must collect signatures of 15 percent of West U’s qualified voters — 1,656 of 11,040, according to the city secretary. “The goal is to collect around 1,700

signatures,” Cohen said. “We will continue until we achieve that number.”

Burke, 50, was charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct for a March 31 incident in which she verbally attacked a middle school-age girl who was wearing a “Trump Make America Great Again” T-shirt and a group of her friends buying cookies at Tiny’s Milk & Cookies on Edloe Street. A parent of the targeted teen said Burke used language associated with Trump, including “grab her by the p&$$y!”\

The councilwoman issued three apologies through attorneys, the third one last Monday night at the first council meeting since the incident. She missed the meeting claiming she had “fled” West U because of concerns for her family’s safety after the story of the incident was reported widely by Houston, national and international news outlets and social media.

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West University Republicans: More Lincoln than Trump-Abbott http://www.instantnewswestu.com/west-university-republicans-more-lincoln-than-trump-abbott/ http://www.instantnewswestu.com/west-university-republicans-more-lincoln-than-trump-abbott/#respond Tue, 10 Apr 2018 18:07:12 +0000 http://www.instantnewswestu.com/?p=52089 In an explosive and divisive era when Donald Trump leads the national party and Greg Abbott the Texas branch, West University Republicans stubbornly defy that new norm.

They are highly educated, measured and conciliatory. They are fiscally conservative but loathe to have too much government involvement in personal matters. They supported Mitt Romney over Barack Obama 64-34 percent in 2012 — but voted for Hillary Clinton over Trump 49.5-42 percent in 2016.

Take the matter of abortion. Proposition 7 — among 11 gut-check issues placed on the party primary ballot last month by the Texas Republican Executive Committee — posed this statement for a yes/no response: “I believe abortion should be abolished in Texas.”

Statewide, it received a resounding “yes” from 67 percent of Republicans, with a third saying “no.” The results weren’t much different in Harris County — 63 percent “yes,” 37 percent “no.” In West U, though, the responses flipped: Only 36 percent took the so-called right-to-life stance, with 64 percent saying “no.”

Sarah Davis has become the prototype West University Republican, and her victory in the GOP primary in a quest for a fifth term as a state representative was as much a win over Abbott as her contender, Susanna Dokupil.

Confronted with anti-vaccine, climate change-disbelieving rhetoric, Davis staunchly defended representing her district, which includes the scientific genius of the Texas Medical Center and Rice University, and which has been battered almost annually by devastating, “once-in-a-lifetime” storms.  

Questioning her conservative credentials because of her stands, the governor had hand-picked and help fund Davis’ opponent and vigorously campaigned against Davis. The race, Abbott proclaimed, epitomized a “fight for the very future of both the Republican Party and the state of Texas.”

He lost that fight, bigly. Davis trounced Dokupil 56-44 percent throughout District 134, and 62-38 percent among West U voters.

“I represent so many Republicans that are just like me and feel that I give them a voice and a home in the party, and without someone like me, they are starting to wonder: What does it even mean to be a Republican?” Davis told the Texas Tribune when the race became big news state-wide. “We have to be a big-tent party.” 

Her fellow West U Republican, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, called the Davis vs. Abbott showdown “perhaps the most important race in the state of Texas because it will answer that question of, ‘Who is the Republican Party?’”

A former state legislator himself from 1979-87, Emmett became Harris County judge in 2007 and is arguably the most popular elected official in Harris County, respected by Republicans and Democrats alike.

“Does the Republican Party have to toe the line of statewide elected officials, or is the Republican Party able to represent its constituents?” Emmett wondered to the Texas Tribune, concluding, “…In this case, Sarah Davis has done that very well.”

As has Emmett, who as chief operating officer of the third most populous county in the U.S., deftly steers clear of partisan hyperbole and focuses instead on accomplishments and government efficiency — on “hunkering down” instead of lashing out.

West University Place Mayor Susan Sample is a Republican in a nonpartisan position, which suits her fine. “As mayor, I am not elected to be a partisan but to get things done,” she explains. “Our city councilmembers have a wide range of political pedigrees, but we all work together to accomplish our common goals for West U. We were elected to get things done, not fight.”

She says Republicans here represent the kinder, gentler version of the party: “West University Republicans are center-right, but not far right. We want fiscal conservatism but also believe in social tolerance. Democrats are not always wrong, and Republicans are not always right. We support ideas, not personalities.”

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TONIGHT: West U City Council meeting http://www.instantnewswestu.com/tonight-west-u-city-council-meeting/ http://www.instantnewswestu.com/tonight-west-u-city-council-meeting/#respond Mon, 09 Apr 2018 18:29:50 +0000 http://www.instantnewswestu.com/?p=52075 Tonight, Monday, April 9, beginning at 6:15 p.m., there will be a meeting of the West University Place City Council. It will be held in the Municipal Building Council Chambers located at 3800 University Blvd.

Virtual gated city

The first order of business will be a closed briefing discussing West U’s planned city-circling surveillance camera system.

Why the secrecy?

Because West U Police Chief Ken Walker and  IT guru Gary McFarland will be discussing the plan’s effect on city-wide security. A closed briefing for security issues is permitted under Section 551.076 of the Texas Government Code.

Public comments

This is an opportunity for citizens to speak. Public comments must be kept relevant to the subject before the City Council. Mayor Susan Sample will rule on the relevance of comments. People making irrelevant, personal, impertinent, or slanderous remarks may be barred by the Mayor from further comment. Speakers are required to register in advance and must limit their presentations to three minutes each.

Tightening the rules for Townhouse Zoning and Fence-Like Hedges

Discussion with Zoning and Planning Commission Matters related to providing direction to the Zoning and Planning Commission on townhouse zoning and fence-like hedges. Recommended Action: Discuss and take any desired action. Mayor Susan Sample

City Charter Review Committee

The City Charter requires the City Council appoint a Charter Review Committee of seven residents every six years.

Thier purpose is to propose changes to the City Charter that would be ballot items in November.

The City Charter requires these appointments to be made by the first meeting in June. So this agenda item gives the City Council the ability to discuss the appointments.

If you have more questions,  please contact City Secretary Thelma Gilliam at 713.662.5813

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West University councilwoman claims she ‘misjudged’ teens’ ages in disorderly conduct case as recall talk grows http://www.instantnewswestu.com/west-university-councilwoman-claims-she-misjudged-teens-ages-in-disorderly-conduct-case-as-recall-talk-grows/ http://www.instantnewswestu.com/west-university-councilwoman-claims-she-misjudged-teens-ages-in-disorderly-conduct-case-as-recall-talk-grows/#respond Fri, 06 Apr 2018 19:18:51 +0000 http://www.instantnewswestu.com/?p=52072 Embattled West University City Councilwoman Kellye Burke is standing firm Friday that she “did not commit any type of crime” in an incident involving her confronting a young female supporter of President Trump and other teens whose age she now says she “misjudged.” Meantime, the story has gone viral in headlines around the world — from Fox News to the New York Daily News to the London-based Daily Mail, while talk of a recall grows in West U.

“As I expressed to the parents who agreed to meet with me, it was not my intent to upset the teens,” Burke said in a statement to Instant News Friday afternoon. “I regret the choice of words I used and that I misjudged their age. I have, and will continue to, apologize to them for that.”

News and partisan websites across the U.S. and the globe are carrying accounts of the incident last Saturday outside Tiny’s Milk & Cookies, 3636 Rice Blvd. Burke, 50, has been charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly launching a verbal attack on the four girls buying cookies, apparently triggered by one of the girls wearing a Trump T-shirt.

Despite the offense being a Class C misdemeanor and her repeated claims that she was not guilty of any crime, Burke has retained high-profile criminal defense attorney Rusty Hardin.

She reportedly yelled, “grab her by the p#$$y, girls!” (referring to an audio recording of Trump, made by the TV show Access Hollywood in 2005) and “MAGA, MAGA!” (Make America Great Again, Trump’s campaign slogan).

Parents told authorities and Channel 2 News that the girls felt threatened by Burke’s behavior. If convicted, she could draw a $500 fine.

Politically, Burke is facing the ire of West U residents — with some exploring options for and demanding a recall — while attracting support from anti-Trump factions, including gun control advocates, based on her visible involvement with the group, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

City Manager Chris Peifer told InstantNewsWestU.com  Friday afternoon that four residents had requested information about options to remove Burke from office.

Section 4.07 of the West U city code stipulates that a petition containing the signatures of 15 percent of all qualified voters in West U — currently 1,656 of 11,040 — “demanding the removal of the elected officer” would direct the City Council to hold a recall election. The rest of the code describes that a majority of votes would be enough to recall the officeholder, and would trigger a special election to fill the vacancy.

Burke’s earlier statement, issued Thursday through Hardin, fanned the flames. “…I do not believe repeating the words of the president of the United States is a crime,” it read in part. Saying she had “repeatedly apologized for the bad judgment I used and making the statement I did,” Burke concluded, “…I will apologize again on behalf of myself, the president of the united states (sic) and all the media outlets who repeated his words both electronically and in print.”

A 12-year resident of West U, the business consultant was elected to council in 2017. She drew 1,264 votes, the second-highest total in a field of eight candidates.

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UPDATED: Statement from Kellye Burke http://www.instantnewswestu.com/west-u-councilwoman-draws-disorderly-conduct-charge-for-incident-with-teen-girls/ http://www.instantnewswestu.com/west-u-councilwoman-draws-disorderly-conduct-charge-for-incident-with-teen-girls/#respond Thu, 05 Apr 2018 19:45:45 +0000 http://www.instantnewswestu.com/?p=52063

STATEMENT FOM KELLYE BURKE:  “I have repeatedly apologized for the bad judgment I used and making the statement I did, but I do not believe repeating the words of the president of the United States is a crime.

However, I will apologize again on behalf of myself, the president of the united states and all the media outlets who repeated his words both electronically and in print.”

UPDATED: Statement from West University Place Mayor Susan Sample. “Thank you for reaching out about the city’s position on one of its councilmember’s actions last Saturday. The reported comments definitely do not speak for the City of West University Place’s government or employees. My position as Mayor, however, does not afford me any official authority with respect to matters such as this. Neither the city council nor the Mayor has any authority to remove fellow councilmembers.

“I am glad to know that this councilmember, who was independently elected by our city voters, is taking responsibility for her own actions and has reached out to the affected families to apologize for her remarks.

“This incident is a reminder that part of our responsibility, as elected officials, is to set a good example of civil discourse for those we represent, particularly our young people. I hope that my Council colleagues and I will move forward in that spirit in doing the work we were elected to do.”

Original story 

West University City Councilmember Kellye Burke has been charged with disorderly conduct for an incident Saturday night when she reportedly launched a verbal attack on a group of teenage girls, one of whom was wearing a “Trump Make America Great Again” T-shirt.

The offense is a Class C misdemeanor which carries a potential $500 fine if she is convicted.

The incident happened outside Milk & Cookies, the outdoor dessert window service at Tiny’s No. 5, 3636 Rice Blvd., where the girls said they were buying cookies to take to youngsters at their church. According to a report on Channel 2 news, based on an interview with the father of one of the girls, Burke, who is 50, shook her fist at them and yelled, “grab her by the p#$$y girls!” and “MAGA, MAGA!”

One of the girls’ mothers took to social media to try to find the woman and later indicated that video of the incident had been located which led to Burke.

While West University Police took the first complaint, the case was transferred to the Harris County Precinct 1 Constable’s Office and filed in the Justice of the Peace Court to avoid the appearance of a conflict since City Council hires West U municipal court judges and prosecutors.

Burke was reportedly issued the citation Thursday morning. A 12-year resident of West U, the business consultant and Texas chapter leader of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America was elected to council in 2017.

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The West U Piranhas are coming http://www.instantnewswestu.com/the-west-u-piranhas-are-coming/ http://www.instantnewswestu.com/the-west-u-piranhas-are-coming/#respond Wed, 04 Apr 2018 17:54:40 +0000 http://www.instantnewswestu.com/?p=52042 The West University Place Piranhas Swim Team officially starts the 2018 season this week!  Dates impacted begin on April 7 and run through June 28.  During this time, the team will hold tryouts, practices and meets at the West University Place Recreation Center pool. Recreation Center members & customers should be prepared for limited pool availability and potential increased traffic in the parking lot during this time.

Listed below are the dates and times that swim team usage will impact lane and/or pool availability as well as parking at the Recreation Center:

Sat, April 7                         10-11: 30 am Tryouts, minimum of one lap lane available

Fri, April 13                         6-7pm                   Tryouts, minimum of one lap lane available

Mon-Thu, May 14-31          4-7pm                    Practices, lap lanes most likely unavailable

Mon-Thu, June 4-28           7-9am                    Practices, lap lanes unavailable

June 4, 18, 25                    4-11pm                   Meets, pool CLOSED 4-11pm

Lane availability will be very limited May 14-31 from 4-7pm. Staff will attempt to make one lane available during this time, but most likely all lanes will be unavailable.  It is recommended to schedule your swim workout before or after these times. Please call ahead to check availability, 713-662-7420. Lanes will be unavailable June 4-28 from 7-9am. Again, it is recommended to schedule your swim workout before or after these times.

Please call 713-662-7420 for the most up-to-date information, as schedules are subject to change. Thank you in advance for your patience, understanding, and support as our swim team ramps up for another great season.

Good luck West U Piranhas!

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Parks program sign-up http://www.instantnewswestu.com/parks-program-sign-up/ http://www.instantnewswestu.com/parks-program-sign-up/#respond Mon, 02 Apr 2018 18:49:14 +0000 http://www.instantnewswestu.com/?p=52044 2018 Summer Class Registration

Priority Registration

Begins Tuesday, April 3, participants may register in advance for the same classes that they are currently enrolled in or have been enrolled in within the past 30 days.  Registration stars at 5:00am in person at the West University Place Recreation Center, 4210 Bellaire Blvd.

Resident Registration

Begins on Tuesday, April 10 at 5:00am.  You can register in person at the West University Place Recreation Center or online at westutx.gov.

Non-Resident Registration

Begins on Thursday, April 12 at 5:00am.  Register in person at the West University Place Recreation Center or online.

For more information please call the Recreation Center at 713-662-7420.

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Houston ISD chief leaving the financial crisis behind to head New York City schools http://www.instantnewswestu.com/houston-isd-chief-leaving-the-financial-crisis-behind-to-head-new-york-city-schools/ Mon, 05 Mar 2018 21:36:07 +0000 http://www.instantnewswestu.com/?p=52039 UPDATED WITH BOARD REACTION

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio introduces HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza as his new school chancellor Monday. (Image from WABC-TV livestream)

Less than two years after taking the reins of Houston ISD — and in the midst of what is arguably the district’s most serious financial crisis — Superintendent Richard Carranza is leaving to head the New York City school system.

Carranza appeared Monday (March 5) along with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio for the announcement that he would become the chancellor of the diverse 1.1 million-student system.

He is the second choice, with the mayor’s first pick, Miami-Dade chief Alberto Carvalho, rejecting the job on live television last week when his school board implored him to stay.

Carranza came to Houston in August 2016 from leading the San Francisco schools, after a long career in teaching and as an administrator. DeBlasio praised his record in San Francisco and became a bit of an apologist for Carranza’s time in Houston, describing the impact of Hurricane Harvey and what he described as a state-inflicted funding crisis.

DeBlasio said he was impressed by Carranza’s “passion,” and described him as an “educator’s educator.”

UPDATE: The HISD board has its regular monthly meeting Thursday, and in a statement, the media office said the “next step” would be discussed by trustees.

“We the board wish Carranza the best in his endeavors and appreciate the leadership he brought to this district,” said President Rhonda Skillern-Jones in the release. “We are committed to continuing the work he began and moving the district forward.”

West U polling locations for tomorrow http://www.instantnewswestu.com/west-u-polling-locations-for-tomorrow/ Mon, 05 Mar 2018 21:12:43 +0000 http://www.instantnewswestu.com/?p=52033 Political ads have flooded mailboxes and television programming, and now West University Place residents will vote Tuesday (March 6) to select party nominees for important county, state and federal posts.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at four West U precinct locations — and you must vote at your assigned precinct. Voters will be asked to choose a Democratic or Republican ballot, and for any positions which will require a runoff May 2 to decide the nominee, will have to vote in that same party.

Up for election are a number of judicial posts at state and county levels, state jobs including West U’s state representative and senator up to attorney-general and governor; county judge and who will represent Bellaire in the U.S. Congress and Senate.

To learn I.D. requirements or see a sample ballot for each party, visit harrisvotes.com.

Precinct 15
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church
5308 Buffalo Speedway

Precinct 87
West U Scout House
6108 Edloe Street

Precinct 133
West University Elementary School
3756 University Blvd. @ Edloe

Precinct 183
West University Community Center
6104 Auden

Fear of drug cartel motivates West U arrestee http://www.instantnewswestu.com/fear-of-drug-cartel-motivates-west-u-arrestee/ Wed, 15 Nov 2017 22:05:20 +0000 http://www.instantnewswestu.com/?p=52024 The man thought the drug cartels were after him. The man’s solution?  He thought he would be safer in jail than on the street. The chase began just before 2 a.m. when police attempted to pull over a driver for failing to use his blinker properly in the 2900 block of Duke on November 15th.

But the driver fled. He led the  WUPD, the Southside Police Department, and the Houston Police Department on a slow-paced 16-mile chase on some of Houston’s best freeways, but he never drove more than 45 MPH. A Houston cop put spike strips in the 12200 block of I-10 east that destroyed the suspect’s front tires – then the suspect was taken into custody.

The suspect’s explanation? He said the drug cartels were hunting him down. He appeared disheveled and without his mental faculties.

He was transferred to the largest mental health facility in Texas – the Harris County Jail.

TONIGHT: Police cameras, Little League and more… http://www.instantnewswestu.com/tonight-police-cameras-little-league-and-more/ Mon, 13 Nov 2017 20:16:57 +0000 http://www.instantnewswestu.com/?p=52020 Tonight’s meeting of the West University Place City Council begins at 6 pm in the Municipal Building Council at 3800 University Blvd.

On tonight’s agenda:

Virtual Gated City

The first order of business will be a closed briefing discussing West U’s planned city-circling surveillance camera system.

Why the secrecy? Because West U Police Chief Ken Walker and  IT guru Gary McFarland will be discussing the plan’s effect on city-wide security. A closed briefing for security issues is permitted under Section 551.076 of the Texas Government Code.

Youth sports field sharing agreement and $125K annual payment to Tri-Sports Association

The Tri-Sports Association is an umbrella group that provides and maintains playing fields for youth baseball, softball, and soccer leagues. More than 1K West U youths take part in these youth sports leagues, but the leagues are also open to non-residents.

Facility sharing agreement with West University Baptist Church

Since 1998, The city and West University Baptist Church have had an arrangement where the city gets to use the WUBC parking lots on the 3800 block of Milton for its Community Building/Senior Center program participants, and WUBC uses the Community Building on Sunday mornings for classroom space to conduct some of their Sunday School programs. No rental fees exchange hands but West U charges the church market rate for janitorial services.

West U Piranhas Swim Club agreement to use our pools

About 290 West U kids swim for the Piranhas every year, non-residents can also join the team. Under the agreement, West U gets no cash for the West U participants but receives $25 for each non-resident.

If you have more questions, please call West U City Secretary Thelma Gilliam at 713.662.5813.

CAMERAS EVERYWHERE: The plan is for West U to be a virtual gated community http://www.instantnewswestu.com/cameras-everywhere-the-plan-is-for-west-u-to-be-a-virtual-gated-community/ Fri, 20 Oct 2017 21:08:28 +0000 http://www.instantnewswestu.com/?p=52014 West University Place will press the prism in term of modern technology in crime deterrence and detection with its budgeted $4.2 million spending on cameras at every entrance and exit to West U – The police will get you coming and going. We will have a feature about this in the November issue of West University Essentials.

Intersection surveillance camera

HARVEY: West U employees step up to help one other, we can help also http://www.instantnewswestu.com/west-university-employees-step-up-to-help-each-other-we-can-help-also/ Fri, 20 Oct 2017 19:42:04 +0000 http://www.instantnewswestu.com/?p=52007 West University Place has about 130 employees. And they want to help each other in times of need.

That is why the West University Place Employees’ Association voted to amend the by-laws to give cash to their fellow employees that were devastated by Hurricane Harvey.

The Employees’ Association is funded by participating employees who give $2 per month into the fund, which typically goes towards gifts or floral offerings for life events (births, funerals, hospitalizations, etc.) for fellow employees and family members. The association does not receive any funding from the taxpayers.

The head-honcho of the employee group is Susan White, who is also the popular Director of Parks and Recreation. and also a 23-year West U employee. White started as a clerk in the water department and is now a department chief.

“After the hurricane, several residents contacted West U to find out how they might be able to help West U Employees. As a result, the membership unanimously approved a by-law amendment, which now allows the Employees’ Association to serve as a conduit for outside donations.” All donations received will be earmarked for disaster relief and will be dispersed to employees who were heavily affected by Hurricane Harvey after an application and needs evaluation process. For more information or to make a donation, please contact Treasurer Josie Hayes at jhayes@westutx.gov or phone 713.662.5843.

West U cops catch crooks http://www.instantnewswestu.com/west-u-cops-catch-crooks/ Thu, 19 Oct 2017 23:35:11 +0000 http://www.instantnewswestu.com/?p=52003 On Thursday, October 19 a West University Place Police Department officer in an unmarked car saw a car stopped next to a landscaping truck in the 5800 block of Westchester. The West U cop saw a backseat passenger leave the care and steal some items from a backyard. The car then sped off. Before the unmarked police car lost the vehicle, they got the license number. A few minutes later, the suspects were arrested at Bissonnet and Weslayan They were both hauled to the West University Place jail.

NEW: Terrifying details on Weir Park attack, police report another robbery attempt http://www.instantnewswestu.com/new-terrifying-details-on-weir-park-attack-police-report-another-robbery-attempt/ Tue, 17 Oct 2017 22:01:30 +0000 http://www.instantnewswestu.com/?p=51997 New details have emerged about a bold robbery Saturday in West University involving a mother and her children — including the possibility it could have been averted — and on a separate robbery attempt in a West U neighborhood Monday night.

It turns out that first case, which InstantNewsWestU.com reported earlier today when police released information and a surveillance photo, happened at Weir Park, was witnessed by horrified park goers and children — including the victim’s own youngsters.

Police at first said simply that the woman had her purse grabbed from her shoulder by a black man at about 6:30 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 14) and sustained minor injuries, with the suspect returning to a white Pontiac Grand Prix where two other suspects awaited.

Now West U police have added that the park was the location of the robbery, that the Grand Prix in question was an older model with no license plates, and that the woman was dragged to the getaway vehicle, suffering injuries to her arm and foot. According to other details from police, the robbers used her credit card, charging $151 at Champs Sports Bar in the Galleria area.

That corroborates a frenzied report posted on social media report right after the incident Saturday by a West U resident who saw the robbery and said the victim was walking to her car with her children and appeared to be targeted by robbers waiting for someone to leave the park.

“One of the mom’s (sic) there was walking to her car with her 2 toddlers and a car with 3 guys inside stopped and snatched her purse,” the account read. “Everyone was screaming we thought they tried to kidnap her child it was horrible and traumatizing.”

Frustrating to police is the possibility that the crime may have been prevented.

Shortly before the robbery, a resident in the 2800 block of Nottingham saw suspects in a vehicle fitting the same description running into an open garage. He said because he saw a police car passing by, traveling northbound on Wakeforest so he didn’t think to call 911 — and waited to report the suspicious behavior until after the Weir Park robbery had occurred.

Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspects — and are reminding residents to call 911 immediately when they see any suspicious behavior.

In another incident, a resident walking up his driveway at Riley and College streets at about 10:15 p.m. Monday was able to avoid a robbery attempt.

West U police said the man was approached by a black man who got out of a parked, dark-colored sedan and asked for directions. He attempted to steal the resident’s phone, but the man was able to get to safety, and the suspect fled.

Anyone with information on either crime should contact West U police at 713-668-0330.


FEMA fraud in West U http://www.instantnewswestu.com/fema-fraud-in-west-u/ Wed, 04 Oct 2017 19:25:45 +0000 http://www.instantnewswestu.com/?p=51985 If you know about fraud, waste, abuse, or allegations of mismanagement involving the disaster relief operations, you can report this by emailing the FEMA Fraud Branch tip line at FEMA-OCSO-Tipline@fema.dhs.gov or calling the FEMA Fraud Branch tip line: (866) 223-0814

Give them as much information as possible such as Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?

You may register your complaint anonymously.

7th Annual West U Halloween Dash will be on October 28 http://www.instantnewswestu.com/7th-annual-west-u-halloween-dash-will-be-on-october-28/ Wed, 04 Oct 2017 19:18:52 +0000 http://www.instantnewswestu.com/?p=51982 The 7th Annual West U Halloween Dash 5k and Kids’ Fun Run will be on Saturday, October 28 at 8:00 AM.

Register now at http://www.westutx.gov/funrun. Proceeds benefit the West University Parks and Recreation Department, along with a donation to West U first responders will be made for the purchase of equipment.

The 5K race consists of a competitive, chip-timed race through the tree-lined streets of West University Place. The Kids’ Fun Run is a 1 mile, non-timed run/walk. All Fun Run finishers will receive a medal.

While costumes are optional – they have traditionally been a big part of the “fun” in the fun run. Judges will award prizes for Best Female, Best Male, Best Couple and Best Child. In addition, prizes will be awarded for the top three male and female finishers in the following age groups: 10 and under, 11-14, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60+.

Speak Tonight: First West U public hearing on 2018 budget http://www.instantnewswestu.com/speak-tonight-first-west-u-public-hearing-on-2018-budget/ Mon, 02 Oct 2017 21:31:39 +0000 http://www.instantnewswestu.com/?p=51977 West University Place residents will have the first of two chances tonight (Monday, Oct. 2) to speak up on City Manager Chris Peifer’s proposed budget that would increase the average West U tax bill by $5.08 a month, or $60.60 annually.

The City Council of West University Place will meet tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the Municipal Building at 3800 University Boulevard.

Tonight’s meeting is a legally required public hearing to hear citizen comments on the proposed 2018 municipal budget.  

The City Council must approve the final budget, and they may make some changes to Peifer’s proposal. Normally, though, those changes are minor because the city manager’s budget is crafted to incorporate the wish lists of the various councilmembers.

Highlights of the Peifer budget include beginning construction on making West University Place a virtual-gated community, no water bill increase,  and hiring a communications manager to improve the city’s communication with residents.

One last pick-up for storm junk http://www.instantnewswestu.com/51967-2/ Fri, 22 Sep 2017 19:17:27 +0000 http://www.instantnewswestu.com/?p=51967 One last sweep for all storm-related stuff will start on Monday, September 25. The items must be placed at the curb by 7:00 AM on Monday, September 25. The sweep may take a week or more, but they will only pass your house once.

Here are the rules:

  • All debris is to be placed curbside within the right-of-way, which is between the property line and the street.
  • Any debris placed on private property will not be picked up. Please keep the roadway and sidewalks as clear as possible.
  • Do not mix storm-related debris with household garbage, recycling or yard waste. Please keep them separated.
  • Do not park vehicles in front of debris piles and/or avoid parking in the street on dead-end streets during collection.
  • All construction and demolition debris should be placed separately from your regular household trash.
  • Construction and demolition debris – wood, metal, drywall, shingles, as well as building contents and personal property – furnishings, clothing, etc.

For more information, please visit www.westutx.gov/stormdebris

For more questions or concerns, please contact the General Services Superintendent Gerardo Barrera at (713) 662-5845 or email gbarrera@westutx.gov