Houston Pays It Forward Donations Drive

Runs: 2:21

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner

Rick Smaile/Volunteer

The Houston Pays It Forward Donations Drive to help South Carolina recover from Hurricane Florence is underway this weekend.  It continues on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at George R Brown Convention Center where a year ago, thousands of Hurricane Harvey flooded families and individuals were sheltered after Hurricane Harvey.

On Saturday, Mayor Sylvester Turner, Houston Strong volunteers and others gathered at GRB to repay the kindness and generosity shown to Houston and Harris County during its time of need.  Donations of bottled water, pet supplies, blankets, canned and non-perishable food, cleaning supplies, bleach, hygiene items and other things came from as far away as the Cypress area today and from Houston area businesses and individuals. .

To donate  to the Houston Pays It Forward Donations Drive, head to George R. Brown Convention Center and go behind GRB to Chartres Street.  Turn left onto the ramp just before Texas Street.  GRB Security will open the gates for you to deliver your donations to the receiving area.

More donations are needed, small and big.  Mayor Turner says the donated supplies will go to a staging area in Columbia, South Carolina for distribution.  He expects the trucks and filled trailers will leave Houston for Columbia on Tuesday or Wednesday this week.

—Carol Lim



Posted in Asian Community, Asian Community Houston, Community Events, Harris County News, Houston News, Hurricane Florence, Hurricane Recovery, Hurricane Relief, National News, Texas News | Tagged , , , ,

Beto O’Rourke and Ted Cruz Debate in Dallas

Congressman Beto O’Rourke and Senator Ted Cruz faced off under the Friday Night Lights in Dallas, Texas last night. The first of three debates was live-streamed and re-broadcast on FOX 26 at 8 p.m. in Houston.  The Dallas debate was an invitation-only event at Southern Methodist University.  The Texas Senate race has attracted national attention.  Various political polls show the candidates leading each other, making the Texas U.S. Senate race too close to call for the November 6th election.

During their first debate, Beto and Cruz clashed on issues including immigration, the NFL players protests, legalizing narcotics, gun control, the Santa Fe High School shootings, the Affordable Health Care Act, their attendance records in Congress and the Senate and who stood up and did more for Texas and Texans.

Here’s their exchange on immigration.

Photos/Video Courtesy: FOX 26 Houston, NBCDFW5, click2houston.com

Beto said prayers and thoughts are not enough for school safety. Cruz said he believes in prayer and acted to get more armed officers into schools.

When the candidates were asked what they admire in their opponent, Beto and Cruz acknowledged both had wives and children missing them and the family sacrifices while on the campaign trail.

For more on the first debate, click on this article in the El Paso Times.


Congressman O’Rourke, a Democrat, has represented El Paso since 2013 and co-founded Stanton Street Technology, an internet sites and software company.

Cruz, an attorney, was raised in Houston. Cruz, the junior senator, has served in the U.S. Senate since 2013 and is seeking re-election.

The next 2 debates will be one hour long on September 30th in Houston and October 16th in San Antonio, Texas.

Posted in Elections and Politics | Tagged , ,

Houston Galveston Weather


Live-Stream Galveston, Texas Seawall Camera. Courtesy: Galveston.com

Cloudy skies, maybe some peaks of sunshine and rain chances in the forecast over the next 4 days in Houston, Texas.  The National Weather Service (Hobby Airport) forecasts daytime temperatures in the upper 80’s and 70-20% chance of thunderstorms Saturday through Tuesday. On Wednesday, rain chances increase from 20-60% with forecast daytime temperature of 88 degrees.   

 Happy Fall!


For a look at current NWS Houston-Galveston radar, click on link below:


Click on National Hurricane Center below for updates:


For updates, stay tuned to local television weather broadcasts, the NWS, National Hurricane Center, local city and county office of emergency management social media.

Hurricane Season runs through the end of November.

Prepare and have a plan  for your family and pets in case of evacuation or shelter-in-place in the highest level of your home in case of rushing water and flooding. Move vehicles to higher levels in garages. Have important phone numbers ready. Store  important documents in water-proof bags or containers. Stock up on non-perishable food, water, medicine, batteries, flashlights, gas, cash and other supplies for your family and pets to last at least 3 days or longer.  You will need them during long power outages in your community, if you do not have a good generator that is above ground. Stay with friends, relatives offering safe shelter during the storm or go to a Red Cross shelter in your area.





Posted in Asian Community Alert, Galveston Weather, Harris County News, Houston News, Houston Weather, Hurricane Season, Weather | Tagged , , ,

Hurricane Florence Relief from Houston

Here is a list of Houston, Texas  churches and groups collecting donated supplies and paying it forward to help in people recover from Hurricane Florence in North Carolina and South Carolina.

University of Houston —UH Athletics Department Florence Supply Drive was Sept. 17-18 to fill UH-H Town Trailer headed to North Carolina. For updates, contact David Bassity on Twitter.

Pilgrim Lutheran Church, 8601 Chimney Rock  Houston, TX 77096 (Meyerland, Westbury area) —Sept. 17 – 19th until 6:30 p.m. Click on link for acceptable donated items for delivery to North Carolina.  Financial donations also accepted.


Houston First Baptist Church will be sending teams to coastal areas of North Carolina over the next several weeks.  On Sept. 21, a church team headed to Wilmington, NC to help Mercy Chefs serve meals. Cost is $350 (airfare) for the Thursday to Monday mission trips. Will need to pack a sleeping bag. Register and volunteer at HoustonsFirst.org or text FLORENCE to 41411 for a link.  More than 100 volunteers have signed up.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has asked the Houston Relief Hub to coordinate Houston’s Paying It Forward Hurricane Relief Response to Hurricane Florence.

The relief effort will accept donations from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. on Saturday, September 22 and Sunday, September 23 at the George R Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas Dr., Hall B-3 off Chartres St. (located 3rd level Ramp GRB)

The Mayor’s Office has made contact with relief groups in the region that are requesting donations of:

  • Cleaning supplies (with bleach)
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Nonperishable food
  • Bottled water
  • Pet food and supplies

Mayor Turner will personally hand off the donated items in Columbia, South Carolina next week, where relief efforts for coastal communities in both states are being concentrated.

“The rest of the country was incredibly generous when Harvey floodwaters invaded parts of our City more than a year ago.  People opened their hearts and their wallets to us.” Mayor Turner said. “While our City’s recovery efforts continue, I know Houstonians want to help people who are suffering as a result of Hurricane Florence. That’s why I am encouraging Houstonians, who can, to pay it forward and assist with recovery efforts on the east coast.”

The Hub also needs volunteers to coordinate, sort and load donations. If you can volunteer please  email help@houstonreliefhub.org with the day and time you can help.

Volunteer shifts are Saturday and Sunday during the following hours:
9 a.m.-noon
Noon – 3 p.m.
3 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Make financial contributions directly to the OneSC Fund: https://www.yourfoundation.org/community-impact/one-sc-fund-sc-flood-relief

Posted in Asian Community, Asian Community Houston, Church News, Hurricane Relief | Tagged , , , , ,

Small Plane Crash in Sugarland

Photos Courtesy: FBCSO Major Chad Norvell

 Updated Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018

Fort Bend County Sheriff Office tweeted a small Drug Enforcement Agency plane crashed around 3:39 p.m. Wednesday.  FBCSO says the plane crashed near Voss Road and Highway 6.  It affected traffic and downed power lines in the area.  One person was taken to the hospital.  Three DEA pilots were reported aboard the DEA plane.  The plane’s pilot reported engine trouble before crashing on the road and median, hitting some vehicles and avoiding nearby homes.  The Texas Department of Public Safety in Brazoria County also is investigating.

A second small plane crashed at the Arcola Airport late this afternoon. The FBSO tweeted the plane crashed into a ditch. The pilot was not hurt.

Both small plane crashes will be  investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board.


West University Water Leak

Photo Courtesy: Nextdoor.com

West University residents and drivers on Weslayen can’t help but notice water along the curb.  Over the past week, water has been spewing onto Weslayen not far from the corner of Bissonnet and Weslayan.  It’s unknown how many thousands of gallons of water has gone into the street near the Randall’s Grocery Store since the leak began.

Posted in Houston News, National News, Texas News | Tagged , ,

Florence Recovery in North Carolina

Hurricane, Tropical Storm, Tropical Depression Florence- Photos Courtesy: ABC News, UK Express, NC DOT, NOAA/NWS/NHC —Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018

Monday, Sept. 17th –I-40 in Pender County, NC.  Courtesy: NC DOT







Updated Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018 at 8 p.m. CDT

As the cleanup and lifting evacuation orders continues, North Carolina officials remind residents about many rivers still flooding across the state.  WPVI-TV reports 37 deaths are related to Hurricane Florence. As of tonight, 27 deaths in North Carolina.

As of 6 p.m. Eastern Time,  160,558 power outages in North Carolina, according to the North Carolina Office of Emergency Management.

“People in flood prone areas or near waterways need to remain alert as rivers crest and stay above their banks in coming days,” NC Governor Roy Cooper said. “Stay alert and stay safe.”

“Neighbors are helping neighbors. Communities of faith are stepping up. I talked to one woman whose house has been destroyed–she was out serving meals to other people. That is the spirit of North Carolina. And that is the spirit that I am witnessing across this state,” Governor Cooper said.

Around 7,800 residents are in shelters in 80 locations.  First responders have rescued and evacuated more than 3,000 people and more than 900 pets in flooded areas.  The rescues continue, state officials say.

People and business owners in 18 North Carolina counties can start applying to http://www.FEMA.gov for assistance and the Small Business Administration for disaster loans.

President Donald Trump also visited North Carolina on Wednesday.

“Incredible job being done by FEMA, first responders, law enforcement and all. Thank you!,”  President Trump tweeted.

For more information and help, visit ncdps.gov/Florence or dial 211 or 888-892-1162. People also can text Florence to 898211.

For federal assistance, register and apply to FEMA at www.disasterassistance.gov

To help and donate to North Carolina’s response to Hurricane Florence,  visit governor.nc.gov or text FLORENCE to 20222.



Posted in Hurricane Florence | Tagged , , ,

Rice University Free Tuition to Eligible Students


Rice University is making a college education more affordable to students from low-income and middle-income families. Under a new financial plan called The Rice Investment, full tuition and scholarships and grants will be offered to these students.

Full tuition scholarships will be awarded to degree-seeking undergraduates with family incomes between $65,000 and $130,000  and who are eligible to receive financial aid based on need.

Students with family incomes between $130,000 and $200,000 also can receive scholarships covering at least half of their tuition.  Students with family incomes below $65,000 can receive grants to cover their full tuition,  mandatory fees and room and board.

“Talent deserves opportunity,” Rice President David Leebron said. “We’ve built on our already generous financial aid to provide more support to lower-income and middle-class families and ensure that these students have access to the best in private higher education.”

The free tuition and scholarship grant program starts in the Fall of 2019.  Rice University says The Rice Investment will reduce the burden of student debt and not require students to take out loans for their Rice education. College loans will be replaced by scholarships and grants. However, students will be expected to pay toward the cost of their Rice education by working summer and other jobs.

“The Rice Investment will give more students from middle-income families an extraordinary opportunity at an extraordinary university,” said Bobby Tudor, the chairman of the university’s board.

The new plan affects all degree-seeking undergraduates – including continuing students.

The average price of attending a private research university is just under $60,000, according to College Board data. The median income in the U.S. for families  with college-age students was $90,120, according to 2016 U.S. Census data.

“This bold step reflects our founding principles,” Leebron said. “When Rice opened its doors in 1912, we didn’t charge tuition. Rice changed its charter in 1965 to begin charging tuition, but immediately began offering scholarships to eligible students. This significantly builds on that legacy and on our commitment to make a Rice education accessible and affordable for students from all backgrounds.”

Rice is often ranked as one of the nation’s best values among private schools because of its generous student aid programs. Rice’s annual tuition, currently at $46,600, is thousands of dollars lower than other private research universities.

“The Rice Investment is just that – an investment in the limitless promise of all students who demonstrate talent, initiative and drive regardless of their background or their ability to pay for college,” Leebron said. “We are determined to continue to reflect our roots and make our education affordable for all admitted students, whatever their financial background.”

The university has a $150 million fundraising campaign to support the program.

For more information on Rice, visit www.rice.edu

Posted in Asian Community, Asian Community Houston, Education | Tagged , ,

Farmers Market in Downtown Houston Returns

The City Hall Farmers Market starts Wednesday, September 19th from 11 a.m. -1:30 p.m. in Hermann Square.  Every Wednesday through December 19th,  more than 40 local farmers, food trucks and other vendors will be outside City Hall with fresh produce, breads, roasted coffees, a variety of prepared meals and packaged to-go foods for purchase.

The Farmers Market also will have live music or DJs  every Wednesday.

Downtown employees and residents can walk or take the Greenlink (the downtown shuttle) or use Houston Bike Share to the Farmers Market. Garage parking at Rusk Street and metered street parking also are available.

Posted in Asian Community Houston, Community Events, Dining, Food, Houston Lifestyle, Houston News | Tagged ,

Houston helps North Carolina after Hurricane Florence

Updated  9:55 p.m. CDT, Sept. 18, 2018

The University of Houston Hurricane Florence Supplies Drive has ended after extending the donations collection Tuesday.

“Awesome to see. Thank you Houston for helping fill the truck and help our friends on the East Coast!,”  tweeted David Bassity, University of Houston Athletics Department Communications

Posted Monday, September 17. 2018

Help is on the way from the University of Houston and Houstonians to North Carolina after Hurricane Florence devastated much of the state.  Today UH Cougar nation and Houstonians started with donations of essential supplies after remembering what it was like for them after Hurricane Harvey last year.  The Hurricane Florence Supply drive ended at 6 p.m. Monday at TDECU Stadium at the University of Houston.

All donated supplies will be delivered to North Carolina as soon as North Carolina  road and weather conditions improve, when the truck is filled and when the UH Athletics department gets the word to leave for the long drive to North Carolina.

Video runs: 1:27

0:10  David Bassity, University of Houston Athletics Department Senior Associate Director of Communications

—-Carol Lim


Posted in Asian Community Houston, Community Events, Harris County News, Houston News, Hurricane Florence, Hurricane Recovery, National News | Tagged , ,

Community Events


For cheapest gas prices, visit http://www.gasbuddy.com

For Metro Houston’s Park and Ride fares:


For things to do and free activities in Houston, http://www.visithoustontexas.com.

Visit local churches, faith-based groups for services, mission trips and fun things to do with the family.

During their Fall tour, the Hawaiian Baptist Academy Soldiers of Light (Middle School) Choir performs at Chinese Baptist Church in Houston, Texas on Sunday, September 30th at 5 p.m.

For Harvey relief agencies, bring photo ID, proof of income, utility bill from current address and address during Harvey, mortgage documents, lease agreements, photos/proof of Harvey damage, FEMA letter and insurance documents. Visit https://houstonrecovers.org/neighborhood-restoration-center

September 22 –First Day of Autumn

October 9 –Last Day to Register to Vote in the November 6, 2018 General and Special Elections.   http://www.harrisvotes.com

Oct. 22-29th  –Early Voting for Nov. 6th Election, http://www.harrisvotes.com

For organic gardening classes and events, visit http://www.urbanharvest.org

Places to visit and dine in Houston

On the right, Texas’s favorite place to fuel up your vehicle and yourself. Buc-ees has food, gifts and gas at its Pearland, Katy, Houston area and Texas locations.  The Galleria in Houston offers high-end retail stores, Macys, Nordstroms, restaurants, food court and a cool ice skating rink. Memorial City in west Houston also a popular shopping and restaurant area for families and visitors.  Closer to the Texas Medical Center are Rice University Village and Highland Village for shopping and places to eat. Outside Houston city limits, take I-10 West for Designer Outlets at Katy Mills in Katy, Texas. Take Highway 290 in northwest Houston to the Houston Premium Outlets in Cypress, Texas.

For Texas Barbeque, foodies head to Killen’s in Pearland and Rudy’s in the outer suburbs of metro Houston. Pappas BBQ, Roegel’s on S. Voss, Spring Creek BBQ in Pearland and Katy and Brisket BBQ in Bellaire also are family favorites.

Houston families also dine at Cleburne’s Cafeteria in West University and Luby’s Cafeterias.

For Mexican food, locals and visitors head to Lopez Mexican Restaurant on S. Wilcrest off Highway 59 in southwest Houston.  The original Ninfa’s Mexican Restaurant on Navigation Street in east Houston also is a popular destination. There are many Mexican restaurants and taquerias throughout Houston. Fajita Pete’s café in West University also good for close-to-home takeout or dining.

For Mediterranean food, Nikos Restaurant and Fadi’s Mediterranean Grill offer salads, humus, vegetarian and grilled entrees from gyros to lamb shanks.

Houston’s Chinatown, Vietnamese Town, Asian Town —Head to southwest Houston and  Bellaire Boulevard for  Asian restaurants (Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Indian, Japanese, Filipino, Thai, Malaysian) and shopping.  For Chinese and Vietnamese food, there’s Fung’s Kitchen, Ocean Palace, Confucious, Crown Seafood, East Wall, Fu-Fu’s Café, Golden Dim Sum, Sinh-Sinh, Tan-Tan, Kim Son, and more on Bellaire Boulevard or along the SW Hwy 59 service road toward Sam Houston Parkway.

There’s also Kim Bo Chinese Restaurant in Sugarland, Texas which has an “A” in city health department restaurant inspections. 

Large Asian grocery stores like Ranch 99, Viet Hoa, Hong Kong Market, Welcome, Super H Market also offer box lunches and some have food courts. For Boba Tea, visit Star Snow Ice, Tapioca House in the Welcome shopping Center on Bellaire Boulevard and Tea House locations in Chinatown.  Tapioca House also serves combo bento box meals with Boba Tea for $7-$8.  Tapioca House has locations in Austin and Dallas.  For Thai food, Thai Gourmet Restaurant at 6324 Richmond Avenue west of the Galleria area.

Visit national, state, local parks, beaches and indoor attractions. Visit http://www.nps.gov or http://www.tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks

Yosemite National Park                   Galveston, Texas

Space Center Houston

Mondays through Saturdays – Harris County Community Centers in the Houston area offer free classes with volunteer teachers.  Learn Spanish, English, French, Mandarin Chinese, yoga, exercise, self defense, knitting, CPR and other things that interest you. Students may be required to pay for materials in the free classes.  For monthly class schedules at Trini Mendenhall Community Center, 1414 Wirt Road, call 713- 956-0881 or at the county community center near you, visit http://www.pct3.com


Posted in Asian Community Houston, Community Events, Harris County News, Health News, Houston News, Houston Restaurants, Houston Texas Dining, Texas Tourism, Things to Do, Travel and Recreation | Tagged , , , ,