We Want to Hear From You!

This is a blog for the community, by the community! Submit writings, opinion columns, and/or pics of anything you think is important to share with fellow Denver Harbor residents! All submitted things will be given the credit of the person who wrote or sent in the work. Email us @ ourdhstreets@gmail.com.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Flooded Ditches

DH is notorious for having big, deep ditches that are easy to get stuck in. Amid all the complaining about how treacherous the ditches were from out of neighborhood visitors, I usually just smiled and said "Yeah. They may not be the nicest to look at, but at least it never floods here." So, I was pretty surprised to find that, although it was only about 2 hours of heavy steady rain last Friday, my ditches were flooded & much of the sidewalk leading to my house too. I wonder if it could have anything to do with the street expansions. Were new flood areas the trade off for wider streets, or is there another culprit I am missing?
For the record, I had to travel down Westhiemer to get home from work that day and it is NOT ready for any real raining to take place. I saw manholes fly up from flooding at intersections and San Jacinto Street looked more like San Jacinto River!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Tomorrow, our seeds will grow...

...All we need is dedication. ~ Lauryn Hill

To continue on with the Eco-Friendly mindset that this past Earth Day set, OurDHStreets is taking this opportunity to introduce you to our Original Jardin series.
A small group of local activists have joined knowledge, time, and efforts to create a garden that features foods that are/were indigenous to the Mexica People (The 7 Warriors) and have opened the gates to us in an effort to share & trade information that they are learning and to promote backyard organic gardening to all gente.
In conjunction, OurDHStreets will be giving you updates through interviews, vids, and pictures on the progress of the garden & connect it to bigger eco/political-conscious efforts in Houston. Enjoy!

Please feel free to ask questions, leave comments, &/or advice for our learning gardeners.
Several reasons. We've all seen what is happening in the grocery stores due to the current economy. Prices are going up and the quality of the produce available is going down. We are paying more for less and with many people now living under the constant pressure that they might lose their jobs..Well, it just adds more anxiety to our daily lives. We have land that is good to plant on and the reasons why not to ran out. The time has come to start planting. Not relying on 'the man' for our basic needs will get us to a more secure place. Having knowledge about the land and how plants grow will ensure that if/when prices inflate even more, we will still have access to foods we use regularly and conveniently out of our yards. Health-wise, if you are part of the process of creating it, you know what is inside of it. No additives, chemicals, non-pronounceables.
The 7 Warrior plants were the major crops of the Mexica (Pre-Spanish Inhabitants of Aztlan). The incredible thing about these foods is that they grow well together; Meaning, the environment created by each one directly and healthily affects the other. This makes them easy to grow with proper care. The 3 sister crops (corn, beans, squash) provide the necessary vitamins and nutrients to sustain the human body and the remaining 4 crops add in any missing elements. This makes for a healthy and more eco-friendly environment all in all- for yourself and the Earth.
The jardin came to be in a volunteered backyard that was not being used and was covered in high sprays of grass - seriously, the shortest activist was about a foot away from not being able to see anything back there! On March 7th, the yard was mowed and the top layer of grass was removed. Since then, the grass was mowed and the top layer removed, the soil was flipped and roots taken out, rows created, and maize planted. Last week marked about a month & a half since the project began and small developing maize leaves have begun to sprout in all but one row- that has been reserved for beans.
For now, we are watering and watching the maize take root & develop strong stems and as that develops we will be moving into the bean & squash phase of the project. Right now the jardin is semi-private, but as the crops and food manifest, so will our ability to reach out to the community to partake in the care and the amazing food that the jardin will provide.

Check back to watch the progress on the Original Jardin in DH- Houston & to find knowledge for starting your own organic garden.

Friday, April 3, 2009

No More Tire Tracks on the Grass

In January, the Houston City Council responded to an outcry they say they've received from neighborhood activists, making it illegal to park cars in your yard. However, the City did not budget what it would cost to implement this ban and it seems it will fall into the hands of the neighborhoods & their Civic Clubs to handle.
If Denver Harbor residents want to be part of this crackdown on parked cars, they must "opt in" to the ban by applying to the Department of Planning & Development. The current application requires civic clubs to pay for first-class mailings to every property owner that would fall under the parking ban. This issue concerns me.
First, as has already been the commentary of many politicos, is that it is unfair to less wealthy neighborhoods to have to pay for postage, envelopes, and signs to notify the neighborhood of the changes. For example, Sharpstown, has more than 6,800 homes. Informing all the owners through a first-class mailing would cost at least $3,000. But, to take it further, my thought is that Denver Harbor falls under the 'less wealthy' neighborhood category, and the little money our Civic Club is able to muster with the little representation we get from the City Council*, should be fused to focus on things that are more troubling in our area. How about putting that money toward after sc
hool programs or into our area schools? It is disturbing to myself to think that thousands of dollars worth of neighborhood dues could be spent to eliminate cars being parked on our private yard property, when things like the dropout rate, teenage pregnancy stats, continued black/brown violence, and poor education standards remain the same or grow here.
I am all for keeping our streets, yards, and homes clean, but I'm not for investing money into a problem that is mediocre in comparison to other issues that we could face and fix for the future betterment of our gente and our barrio. |
In truth, I have yet to hear what the Denver Harbor Civic Club is saying about their status on this ban, but as I am concerned & if you would also like to know, our Civic Club meets
the first Tuesday of every month at 6:45pm in the Senior's Center at Denver Harbor Selena Quintanilla-Perez Park (6402 Market Street Houston, TX 77020). Meetings are open to the public to come listen & to voice your opinions.
Also, If you have any questions regarding neighborhood streets, roads, policing, trash pickup, traffic enforcement, the fire station, the library, the parks, or other concerns, please feel free to e-mail the President of the Denver Harbor Civic Club - Mrs. Anna Gonzales - president@dhcc.ws.

Sites of Interest/Data for blog from:
Denver Harbor Civic Club
Chron.com article- Nabbing Houston Yard Parkers will be Neighborhood Matter
City of Houston eGovernment Center

*due to Adrian Garcia being elected Sheriff, we currently have no City Council representative for Denver Harbor.