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Posts posted by Porchman

  1. From the HHA:

    TXDOT has informed the HHA that they will be replacing the traffic lights with temporary lights at I-10 and Heights Boulevard on Thursday, July 22nd between 9 AM and 3 PM. They will have temporary stop signs and police officers to direct traffic, but we can expect some delays. TXDOT suggests that people may want to avoid the intersection while the work is in progress.

  2. Experts say the average burglar will spend no more than four to five minutes trying to gain access to a house.

    Thwart burglary attempts before they happen

    ......Install impact-resistant glass on windows or doors within a 42-inch arm's reach of a lock.

    Good suggestions, I also would reccomend...

    -Pick up fliers from pizza services, landscape services, etc., and The Banner and The Leader from your own yard and make sure your neighbor's are tucked away in their porches.

    -Make sure you actually lock your garage and your car. Double check before bed.

    -Check out your street at convenience...on your way back from the toity in the middle of the night, for instance. (I've actually caught people checking unlocked cars this way).

    -Know your neighbors: Their habits, their cars, their people. It's not just about protecting your home. It's about looking out for your 'hood.

  3. When the New Orleans Garden District fought Walmart, they had significantly stronger protections and zoning in place then SuperNeighborhood 22 does in Houston. New Orleans lost. They did end up with a building much more suited architecturally to their area, but hey had to start by wanting to keep them out completely and the better building was the compromise. We can't start by asking for what we may actually want because Walmart will negotiate us down from whatever point that is. Never start a negotiation resigned to failure. We have to start at one extreme if we expect them to meet in the middle.

    News strory on its opening... http://www.wdsu.com/...082/detail.html

  4. ...2369 members and counting in one week on the Facebook Stop The Heights Wal-Mart page.....

    So at 2405 members (yep, still adding )...

    O-M-G! That's like TOtally way more FB friends than for Heights First Saturday in support of local businesses! Coming soon: White Remonstration Night !

    • Like 1
  5. Some of you are asking what projects have been accomplished along Buffalo Bayou recently. Please refer to the following link to Buffalo Bayou Partnership's (BBP) most recent newsletter to update you on some projects taking place along the West Sector, from Sabine Street to Shepherd Drive.


    Also, please continue to check-in on our website at buffalobayou.org (under Visionary Plans - Shepherd to Sabine Project) for updates of plans along this stretch of the bayou.

    In addition to this stretch of Buffalo Bayou, several projects in the East End are taking place - 4-miles of new hike and bike trails, 50 acres of land acquire, development of a 10-acre park - Buffalo Bend Nature Park, planning for a boat launch at North York.

    Please do feel free to contact me with any questions at tsmith@buffalobayou.org. Thank you for your interest in Buffalo Bayou, and as you know, this waterway is historic to Houston, and we strive to accomplish our mission of revitalizing and transforming Houston's most significant natural resource.

    Trudi Smith, Director of PR and Events at Buffalo Bayou Partnership

    Also, if you want to get down and dirty - really dirty - contact Trudi about opportunties to do so. (OO! That sounds really dirty:lol:) In various clean-up and landscaping projects, I have enjoyed spending the time. It's refreshing to put in the physical effort outside my own garden and it's really cool to enjoy a small piece of this natural asset.

  6. If you removed the mud from the bayou and made it run clear, wouldn't that make it less natural?

    That's what Terry Hershey thought... http://www.buffaloba...rg/history.html

    We are stuck with a muddy bayou... and no mountains (except for the scary ash pile on the ship channel).

    They are working on trash with the pink monster. I hope the pink monster was not a victim of the fire.

  7. Now that I make enough money to afford to live in the Heights (in a very small bungalow), I have the right to protect my property values and preserve the unique character of my neighborhood. Wal-Mart threatens that not because of its customer's ethnicity or economic demographic. Wal-Mart threatens the character of the Heights because the Heights is one of the few communities left in this City that doesn't follow the model of unwalkable neighborhoods with strip centers and big box stores.

    The proposed Wal*Mart, on the edge of the Heights does not challenge the walkability or uniqueness of the Heights, no more than Target and Home Depot have.

    What makes the Heights a truly special neighborhood is a sense place. Some of that sense is built on front porches and neighbors being engaged with each other. Some of that sense is built on cool, little shops and great restaurants. In all of this, place needs foundation. That foundation is built on a sense of understanding, and for those of us who live here, self-deprecation.

    We, in the Heights, are very privileged to live here. Still, we are Houstonians. We are subject to Houston’s benefits and to its issues. Our foundation becomes weak if we are ignorant of those issues.

    Kudos to those who slam people in the Heights for provincial attittudes. I think a butt-kicking is good. (Mrs. Porchman does that for me on a regular basis^_^ ). Kudos to those in this neighborhood, who object to this project on multiple levels, and who, in other forums,are trying to create more constructive conversation about this issue.

  8. After reading this entire thread, and then looking at that awful excuse for a facebook page - I can summarize this whole thread.

    1. The people who want to control everyone else's lives and tell everyone else how to live - dont want Wal Mart. They also dont want new homes, or any increase in property value. They love whole foods, and overpriced gimmick crap They want to save the earth, and bad mouth anybody who makes any money at all. Oil is evil, Wal Mart is worse, and they are here to save the world. These people are almost undoubtedly Obama supporters who are too blind to see that the media has whitewashed all his failures, and who also blame everything wrong in the world today on Bush.

    2. In the other camp, are the people who are sick of the stereotyped people above. They are from varied political ideologies (get that from the politics section here) They are protective of private property rights, and generally think that the free market will work things out..They believe that Capitalism and the free market built this country, and that the unions, and people who try to control every aspect of everyone elses lives are at fault for the continual decline.

    The point many of us are making is that this is not a black-white issue where Walmart is all-evil, and all other commercial entities have no baggage. There is also an emotional tug on this thread in that some are dismayed that the non-reactionary, middle ground is not being found among many posting here. As a whole, there is a disappointment in that. Also, I think some members are expecting more of other, specific members.while garbage is expected to flow from other posters. Thank you for weighing in. You helped frame the argument, and you did not disappoint anybody. A few hours ago, I was looking for elevation of the discussion. We received levity instead. I'll take that..

  9. I do strive to cure all those things. I do it with my pocket book and with my vote in the elections. I work on social injustices on many levels, wherever I feel I have a voice. I'm a whacked out crazy Liberal like that. But politics is another forum. Much like the other stereotypes and generalizations about individuals in this thread, I just don't think it's a fair assumption to say that people who don't want Walmart are dedicating all their time to this issue and nothing else, or that they are coming out of nowhere on the issue when many people have boycotted and fought WM's development for years. It's not a novel thing and it's not just this small number of people on HAIF talking about it.

    I wish this was a more balanced discussion as well.

    No doubt, this fight is not novel. However the arguments seem to isolate Walmart for ills for which others are gulity...and ignored while those others are celebrated. Particularly in the context of what has been posted on many threads herein, that's hypocrisy. That's what's disappointing for me. I think that disappointment is the root of derision which others are projecting.

  10. I have not weighed in on this yet, because I really don’t care. My apathy, I think, is driven by a dual sense. I don’t like Walmart. I don’t hate Walmart.

    However, I have been bothered by rampant supposition throughout this thread. My summary of the opposition to this development:

    (1) Big box stores inside the Loop are bad…except for Target on Sawyer, HEB wherever, Costco on Wesleyan, and Whole Foods on Waugh. I, too, hate Big Box for its sprawl characteristics. Yet, I have not seen a single person who has posted say anything about footprint of the above developments or say anything about the egregious concrete around the new Kroger Signature on Shepherd, for that matter. All I see posted is what great assets these other boxes are.

    (2) People being underpaid and mistreated…just like dishwashers in the locally owned restaurants, the workers who mill clothes at Target, and those who harvest our food available at the local grocery stores. May we strive to cure all such things.

    (3) The proposed Walmart is in the Heights. It’s not. It’s on an odd, ugly undeveloped brownfield, south of the Katy Freeway. I have spoken out against the redevelopment of 945 Heights, (sometimes in most distasteful ways). I have expressed concerns and even argued with Redscare about 2125 Heights. I just don’t view the proposed Walmart as the uber-threat with which it is being treated. The issues for which I have stood before were totally in the middle of our neighborhood. This is not.

    (4) Walmart ruins property values. The Dunvale example is convenient. Apparently, the Dunvale Walmart (which had been at the location for several years prior to 2001) suddenly created a huge drop in property values all the way out to Highway 6 in the past decade. However, it helped property values in 77024 a half-mile away? Certainly, 77007 may see some property value drop in the next few years. It has the advantage of being very convenient to major hubs of the City. Its disadvantage is that it is immersed by aging, stucco-box townhouses and apartment buildings, lining narrow streets, and adjacent to a bunch of flavor-of-the-month bars. If this development happens, Walmart might be the only sign of stability in the neighborhood.

    (5) Walmart sells cheap crap. Yep! For people living paycheck-to-paycheck, affordable is better. The economy has no effect on this. Many people live this way, and will continue to do so.

    (6) Walmart on Yale will create a traffic mess. Probably. Popular places do. Welcome to Houston!

    Let’s not be stupid here. Walmart does not exist in a vacuum of injustice. We, in the Heights, are not appointed as stewards of justice. Living in a World 1 Country, in a unique neighborhood, in an economically stable City can make such things difficult to realize and digest. I don’t deny a certain knee-jerk instinct that this development would be bad (mostly over the big box issue). However, looking at the proposed development – locally and globally – I cannot object to this.

    I don’t care if this Walmart flies or not. In light of the disaster in the Gulf, the two wars in which our Nation is engaged, and our struggling economy, the furor over this seems absurd. I ask that the discourse over this find a more balanced plateau in all manners.

    • Like 8
  11. The matter in Pakistan is more of politics than of religion. Pakistan is trying to grow with the rest of the World. However, provincial views are challenging that aspiration. The politicians are trying to address those views.

    Provincial views challenge the aspiration of understanding elsewhere. May we, in Houston, be more worldly, more patient, and, perhaps, more Christian to recognize and tolerate the swells of extremism. In that, may we grow what is revered about our Nation and our City.

    • Like 2
  12. First on the list for me has to be D'Amico at Waugh. Any others?

    How many office buildings and parking garages are in that AGI complex?

    And you don't think a light is needed at one of the main entrances ?

    At 7:50 on Sunday morning, it should be on blinker...or, at least, traffic trigger . It should accomodate the business traffic. It should also be there for safety of the Stages traffic.

  13. SPOT ON! http://www.heightswest.com/

    Granted, we were one of the only tables, but they have hit it. We both had the mushroom salad. I had the salmon. Mrs P. had the rabbit (poor little bunny). I sampled her dish. MMMM. The components of the meal sang and were well melded. Yeah, I'm all foodie about this meal, and for good reason.

    The environment is...interesting. The fabric on the garage doors of the former ice house is luxurious. The paint job on the walls...took effort. Not too many tops. When the place becomes more popular, there will be wait time.

    The chef and wait staff seem a bit tetched. I think that's what Southern by day, and French by night means. biggrin.gif As long as the chef stays off boogie boarding on White Oak Bayou, this place can be a real go.

    Oh, and they swear no affiliation or conspiracy with SJL, and recognize they are not in Heights proper...just in case you have issues around that kind of thing rolleyes.gif (or other issues).

  14. The market that they're trying to reach is fairly transient, so the neighborhood could be thought of as having a short memory where these things are concerned. (The more permanent folks tend to be a bit older, relatively affluent, and gravitate to a more up-market experience, like Whole Foods.) In the end, HEB will crush Fiesta in terms of product, price, placement, and promotion...so it probably wouldn't really matter that a few of the hardcore old fogies that don't shop at Whole Foods hold a grudge...certainly not enough that they are justified in making multi-million-dollar architectural accommodations.

    If HEB is being sensitive to the neighborhood, I wouldn't be looking a gift horse in the mouth. Make realistic suggestions--politely--and express gratitude for their consideration for something that they could've gotten away with foregoing.

    As for the Heights, the demographic is older, more affluent, and mor permanent. It'd be a good idea not to overtly piss them off. But (for reasons not clear to me) they don't have the same level of clout where grassroots NIMBYism is concerned. Maybe its that beggars can't be choos

    Montrose is transient? Don't tell that to Councilwoman Lovell or, for that matter, Mayor Parker. They'll kick your butt.

    Not sure HEB can "crush" Fiesta. They actually don't have the price point, and they're product is not par. HEB is going to go the pantry-hybrid store with fluffy cheese and wine. There are still people living in Montrose for whom that might not be important: you know, the lactose intolerant, the recovering alcoholic, oh, and the non-what-White-people-like.

    Wait! The Heights is more affluent?! When did this happen? Can we stand on our hill (nub), hold our noses and say "nahhhh?" (We've been feeling this for some time, you know).

    True NIMBYism takes government. Two District Council members, most of the Council-at-large, and the Mayor all live in Montrose.

    I second that. Maybe they could hire the sculptor that's been carving think interesting things out of Galveston's dead oaks to do something with the trunks, and then incorporate them into the entrance design. It wouldn't be very contemporary, aesthetically, but it'd sure make the store a landmark and, I think, make Montrose (as) happy (as it's ever going to be).

    Just a thought...

    Very Vulcan! I'm still thinking keeping the existing trees around the perimeter and putting in a highway-sized wall on the West side may be the best mediation.

  15. I just don't like the "trust but verify" snotty attitude.

    That's great they are offering up some different renderings and site plans... but HEB owes us nothing.

    And what if at the end of the day, HEB says Screw it, and plops down a big box in a sea of concrete... What's she gonna verify then ? She's going to verify that she can't do squat about it and will have to live with whatever HEB decides.

    True, but they don't need to explain or present anything to anybody in the community in the end. However, they need to establish a market in a new neighborhood, and present themselves as good neighbors for future markets. There is a hum that they want a market in the Heights. If they piss off Montrose, can you imagine the fallout!??! Everybody is concerned about the big box. I just think we need context for concern. HEB is supposedly going to have renderings available soon.


    Service docks on Alabama sounds like a terrible idea. Hopefully they just meant delivery access. No offense to the houses that back on to the property, but you are less important than surrounding area as a whole. Anything not geared toward the pedestrian on Alabama or Dunlavy will negatively impact the surrounding neighborhood and area. Put in visual and sound buffers to help if need be, but the service side of the HEB needs to face those houses that back on to the property... not Alabama or Duvlavy.

    I think there needs to be some serious voice around this. I believe there is a way to create barrier zones for all purposes. I think a southward-facing loading notch on the Sul Ross-Branard side with an entry drive on Alabama and and an exit around the planned lot would work well with proper barrier from Sul Ross-Branard.

    Ultimately, the trees are at question. Do we want ugly, inconvenient loading docks on West Alabama or to preserve the oldest trees? If both, find $17 million to buy the lot. Personally, I would like HEB to preserve the younger trees at the perimeter. In the long run, I think it will make for a better devlopment.

    • Like 1
  16. But the Rev. Lisa Hunt, of St. Steven's, invoked a “trust but verify” approach when looking forward.

    “It's wonderful that H-E-B is at the table and that they're actively working with our community, but I also know we don't have a site plan,” Hunt said.

    Get used to disappointment. HEB doesn't owe you a site plan, Rev Hunt.

    As I mentioned in my original post, they are planning to offer three different renderings. Those should show the site plan. I think everybody at the forum felt things were a bit in the abstract without such plans.

    One thing that I failed to mention: In order to minimize impact on the surrounding neighborhood and to minimize the tree impact, they are looking at putting the service docks on West Alabama. Not sure how that will work aesthetically or with West Alabama traffic.

  17. Such a buzzkill Porchman, the one thing you contributed to this thread, and you "tattle" on us.? Nice going.

    biggrin.gif I was just stunned that the thread topic hasn't been addressed in the last couple dozen posts (and several days). The mods don't seem to care. I guess it's just "Way, Way...Way Off Topic".

    Excuse me, I'm now going over to the Heights Forum to snark about general home improvement threads being posted there.happy.gif

  18. Umm...Moderators...topic? Or do threads in this arena not get pulled in?

    This is the same topic Lockmat and The Niche posited last year...during Lent.

    Can't we get someone to gripe about how Obama is promoting stimulus projects to personally mess up his commute?

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