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.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

In Memoriam: Remembering Selena

April 16, 1971 – March 31, 1995
It's been 15 years since we lost Selena Quintanilla Perez on this day in 1995. Many of us can still remember where we were and how we felt when we heard the news that she'd been shot and her life lost. Selena was and continues to be an icon to mujeres- and in particular- Tejanas today. She was talented, strong, and lovely & it was beautiful to watch her star rise while she was among us. She left behind the ideas of entrepreneurship, style, and to never stop working towards your goals.
We remember you, Selena. Rest in Peace.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

An Opening Day to Remember

Saturday was Opening Day for the Denver Harbor Little League and the people were out in full force to support the new teams of the season! After a morning parade that went from Sol Supermarket, down Lyons and crossed over to Denver Harbor/Selena Park, President of the DHLL board, Hector Bazaldua, gave opening remarks. He touched on the pride he felt seeing so many more people involved than last year and reminded the community that they are what make things happen by working together. He said "You bring a little bit, you bring a little bit" and together, we are successful.
Decorated cars, trucks, trailers, and low-riders carried loads of kids throwing candy, waving, and smiling to onlookers as they passed. 11 year old Nathan Garcia got to ride on a float as a supporter and said that "it was fun and that all the kids were smiling and having a good time" cruising through the streets.

Each team and it's coaches were introduced and the families and friends that crowded around the middle field has the chance to clap and cheer as the kids in uniform beamed happily.

Melissa Gomez, mother of Jason Gomez on the Braves team, shared that her son is an only child and that this is his second year playing for the DHLL. She said that last year he had so much fun and made so many friends that when the chance came around this year, Jason was the one who told her he wanted to play again!
The sun was out, the people were together, the kids were learning & meeting friends, and the strength of DH could be felt throughout the park. We have a truly beautiful community.

The rest of the day commenced with each team playing at different times throughout the day, while the snack bar provided food and drinks to beat the heat.

We would like to congratulate the Little League and Denver Harbor residents for making Saturday, March 27th, a day to remember for a long time here in our neighborhood!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Denver Harbor Little League OPENING DAY!!! Parade & Games

Saturday, March 27, 2010
9:15am - 9:00pm
DH PARK 6200 Market St. 77020

Opening Day Parade and Games!!!! Parade Starts 9am on Lyons (near Palmers) to Lathrop to Market to circle the park and end at DH Gym...parking will be crazy so get there early...we expect over a thousand people...ball games will begin at 11am...guest speakers include Hon. Constable Trevino, Hon. Congressman Gene Green, and others...bring the kids, grandparents everyone...we willl have Turkey legs, Sausage on a Stick plus many other goodies...come join the fun and celebration!!!!!

Celebrating the 11th Annual Cesar E. Chavez Parade

from Facebook Event page-


Lorenzo de Zavala Chapter and Other Participating Organizations present the
11th Annual CESAR E. CHAVEZ PARADE in Houston, Texas deep in the heart of the East End

The 11th Annual Cesar E. Chavez Parade will be held March 27, 2010, Saturday, at 10:00 a.m. in Houston, Texas. The parade line up will begin at 9am at 601 North Cesar Chavez Boulevard and end at Hidalgo Park 7000 Ave. Q Houston, TX 77011. Elected officials will be participating as well as veteran groups and students. Festivities will follow at Hidalgo Park and elected officials will be delivering speeches at the gazebo in Hidalgo Park.

Come and show your support for the Cesar E. Chavez Parade. There is no charge for non-profit organizations to participate.

For more info. regarding the Cesar Chavez Parade please contact TAHP President, Loretta Martinez Williams at 713-673-1418 or email at latejana@comcast.net

Thursday, March 25, 2010

OurDHStreets Spotlights: Amber Vela

Little League baseball has once again begun in Denver Harbor. Selena Park is serving as the epicenter for young and old alike looking to shake off the freezing winter, take in the Sun, and get involved in community events for another year. We were able to speak to Amber Vela; One of the mothers who stepped up to the plate and decided to help coach the Tiny Tee team. Amber is a single mother of three who has lived in Denver Harbor for most of her life. She spoke to us about how she got involved, the skills she feels baseball provides for children, and what changes she’s noticed in our neighborhood.
1. You are coaching Tiny Tee for the Denver Harbor Little League. Is this your first time coaching a team?
Yes, this is my first time coaching. I've been trying to get my daughter to play with no luck for the last 2 years. Now, my middle son is finally old enough.

2. What made you decide to coach this year?
The coaching job came along at the last minute. I volunteered to assist with the draft, but they still needed another coach and assistant coach. I thought it would be a great experience for my son and I to go through together, so I just went with it.

3. Tiny Tee is for 4 year olds. What kinds of things do you practice with them?
Since they're still so young, you have to take advantage of the 45 minutes to an hour long span off attention that they are going to give you. Every practice consists of the basics, like running bases, proper stance for hitting the ball, and trying to throw the ball to each other’s general area without having to run after it or get hit with it.

4. Can you tell us about a memorable experience so far?
When we first started practicing, I had a player who I would tell to run as soon as they'd hit the ball...and he took off running around the whole field instead of the bases. It was cute!

5. Many people know that being involved in different sports has the potential to build skills in kids. What skills & experiences do you think stand out most about kids involved in baseball?
[I think] what will stand out the most about these kids is their ability to show how great of a team player they are. Also, as they get older they tend to show much more determination and integrity in different situations that they are faced with in their daily lives. Although I'm no expert, I've seen these traits in relatives and friends who played growing up, versus those who did not.

5. What has been the hardest part of being involved with the Little League for you?
There are too many politics involved. It ends up putting stress on everyone. The focus should be on the kids; giving them something constructive to spend their time on that they can also enjoy.

6. When is practice? Where can we find a game schedule?
Although we don't have an official game schedule yet, Tiny Tee games will be on Saturday mornings. Our practices are Sundays at noon, Tuesday & Wednesday at 6pm, and Saturdays at 10am.

7. You have children of your own. Are they involved with the DH Little League as well? Have you gotten them involved in other events at the Park or around the City?
This will be the first extracurricular activity outside of school that my kids are involved in.

8. Lastly, you grew up in this neighborhood. What things that have changed or are changing stand out to you? What can you say about these changes?
Yes, I've pretty much lived here my whole life, and although my parents tried to shelter me from the reality of what went on in this neighborhood, they even sent me to schools across town, but they weren't able to keep it all from me. I've got to say that from what I see now, there has been a dramatic improvement from my school age years. I clearly remember being awakened regularly to the sound of gun shots in the middle of the night; seeing fights breaking out at the parks were treated as no big deal. I drive around here quite a bit, as much of my family resides here, and I see nothing more than kids walking home from school. I'm relieved cause my own kids are attending school in the neighborhood.
Seeing so many people out working together to benefit our children is a very encouraging site to see. It caused me to recall that communities that are made up of Raza carry with them the ancient things passed down by our ancestors- Communal working, communication, and knowing that at the end of the day, the work we do has to be work that impacts our kids positively- even maybe on a subconscious level. I learned that the key to the Tiny Tee strategy is to teach the babies the fundamentals of the game and build from there. Can’t go wrong building from the ground up!
We at ourDHstreets wish Amber all the luck for this season & look forward to bringing you more stories from the Little League, the people involved, and about the streets in general- of course!

Upcoming Event:
Denver Harbor Little League OPENING DAY!
Opening Day Parade and Games!!!! Parade Starts 9am on Lyons (near Palmers) to Lathrop to Market to circle the park and end at DH Gym...parking will be crazy so get there early...we expect alot of people...ball games will begin at 11am...guest speakers include Hon. Congressman Gene Green, and others...bring the kids, grandparents everyone. We willl have Turkey legs, Sausage on a Stick plus many other goodies...come join the fun and celebration!
To RSVP on Facebook, Click here.

Monday, March 15, 2010

All That Glitters: Commentary on McDonalds in Our Community

There’s a new McDonalds at the corner of Navigation Blvd. & Lockwood Dr. on the East End of Houston. When I saw the sign and the beginning of the building structure actually taking shape, I got queasy. I have a few things that caused this less than desirable reaction. And this article is my attempt at exploring why.

1. I thought about the fact that the food sold at McDonalds is some of the most unhealthy, yet affordable available. It’s a fast food chain. Sure, they’d like you to think they are health conscious (They have salad, right?) and they’d like you to trust they wouldn’t be feeding you harmful things (Not Roland McDonald! He couldn’t!) – Yet still- They are a fast food chain. Their food is over-processed, made up of several different cows, chickens, and what nots, from all parts of the animal from several factories, soaked in Chlorine, and salty. It’s not going to be healthier than going to a sit down restaurant, or better yet, eating homemade food. Yet, in a neighborhood that bridges the thin line between old and new age, where 3rd and 4th generation Mexican Americans are now the key holders of the fate of the neighborhood, and while we are going through a recession silently becoming a depression, it will become one of the most convenient and affordable places to eat. So, what will it do to the people living in that community? We are already battling obesity*, cancer, and other maladies that can be linked to this type of food – these things are sold to us as Original people. Why?

2. Along those lines, I also wonder how this will affect the locally owned restaurants that line both of these major streets. Will places like Dona Marias or La Silla see a drop in customers? Can they compete with a fast food dollar menu? McDonalds is an international company and will only benefit the community by offering low wage jobs. Where is the self determination, personalization, and community building -that local eateries provide- in that? Is it coincidental that this fast food chain has taken shop here as gentrification also moves in to 2nd Ward? Which brings me to…

3. Location. Location. Location. Navigation Blvd. and Lockwood Drive are two of the oldest streets that make up 2nd Ward – the Historically Hispanic Neighborhood- and the entire East End for that matter. Navigation Blvd begins closer to downtown Houston at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church- the first Hispanic Church (Ethnicity in the Sunbelt), from which the entire neighborhood grew. At the other end you find a bridge leading towards Manchester- the Ship Channel community where many newly migrated Mexicanos settled for work close to the inception of the City of Houston. Lockwood Drive runs parallel and connects the UH community, 2nd Ward, and causes a median between 5th Ward and my/our neighborhood Denver Harbor- All Black and Brown Communities. In mere passing to many of us with the knowledge of our history, it has causes remembrance and silent pride in what we built as a gente. Now, when people pass it they will awe at the fact that yet another Micky D’s/ Gas station has taken over a corner in Houston.

With all of this going on in my head, at the end of it all- whatever the answers to these inquiries & assessments are- I write so that we can understand it as something that has been steadily happing to our communities**. Is this okay? Do we not have the means or the want to use land we grew up on for our own use, businesses, and well-being? I'll miss the old Navigation and Lockwood once it's gone.. if it's to be gone.
McDonalds brings a whole lot more to us than just a Dollar Menu. The changes that come with the glitz of modernization are not always as glamorous as they seem at face value. In other words, not all that glitters is gold.


**An example in 3rd Ward- When the people (community, artist, activists) realized gentrification was taking over their neighborhoods, they moved to create programs and centers that would help the community continue to provide a bridge connecting young and old. Places like Project Row House, Our Park, and the SHAPE Community Centers, still stand around the incoming gentrification, although they are suffering in many ways by the incoming mindsets, focused on Materialism/ Capitalism/ and Individualism, that- while taking over land- are also taking over the psyches of our youth.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Happy International Women's Day

All around the world today, people are taking note, celebrating, and demonstrating in observation of International Women's Day. March 8th has marked this occasion since the early 1900s and has taken on many forms. According to Wikipedia (one of my favorite research tools- don't believe the school hype), "In different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women's economic, political and social achievements."
This day shows that we have come a long way in showing love to the women of the world, but also shows that we have much work to do. In this country, there are still many hurdles to overcome and viewpoints to change when it comes to women- from the home to the office building and to the street. In history, rules and regulations have been mostly decided by men, and only in recent decades, have women begun to exhibit their rights as human beings to make decisions and show and prove that they are capable of so much more than has been taught to be our glass ceiling in the past- on every front. We are sisters, wives, mothers, daughters, the Earth that life springs from- and without us, existence would not be. Can we all reflect and recognize that?!?
So, men and women, please take the time today to acknowledge the women that have impacted your life & our community - and if you are a woman, take the time to show some love for yourself!
OurDHStreets supports and loves the women of Denver Harbor, Houston, Tejas, and the World.

Happy International Women's Day!!!!

Events going on today for IWD 2010:

Join other Houston area women in celebrating International Women's Day. We will share food and stories of the women who have inspired us.

There will be an open mic for anyone wanting to share poetry, music or stories with the group beginning at 8pm. Drinks will be available through Avant Garden - alcoholic and non-alcoholic.