Tag Archives: advice

Residents urged to submit storm damage reports

PRESS RELEASE

Brazoria County Office of Emergency Management is asking residents who suffered damage to their homes from the storm on October 31, 2015 to please register with the United Way of Brazoria County by calling 979-849-9402 or email: PIO@brazoria-county.com.

Please provide the following information when calling or emailing your damage reports: Name, address, email and damages to property.

United Way will be available to collect damage information during normal business hours Monday-Friday 8 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

This information will help to determine if Brazoria County will qualify for Individual Assistance from FEMA. Please submit your property damage information by Friday, November 6, 2015.

If residents are displaced due to the storm damage and have immediate needs contact the American Red Cross Disaster Assistance hotline at 866-526-8300.

Life Skills House Hosts Identity Matters Workshop

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 2.48.00 PMLife Skills House is hosting an “Identity Matters” workshop.

We believe that one’s success in life is largely attributed to one’s perception of self. How we think and feel about ourselves and our abilities will generally dictate our actions and eventually determine our destiny. Unfortunately, with different life encounters, our true identity tends to get somewhat distorted. We feel that if we can help people adjust their mindsets and replace faulty thought patterns with the truth, then there is no limit to their potential accomplishments.

We aim to help them tap into and unleash their God-given gifts and talents. We also want to help them understand the importance of safeguarding their identity through practicing effective safety measures on social media. Additionally, we aim to help them take a proactive approach in safeguarding their children as well. 

Bubblegum and Band-aids

By David A. Watson, Ph.D.

IMG_9314Recently, I was talking to Pediatrician Dr. Debbie Gant, a very good friend and a person who I respect in this community. Since we share we share the same concerns about parents choosing not to vaccine their kids, I decided to speak up. While I am not a clinician, I spent a good deal of my career developing vaccines; specifically, the pneumonia vaccine, in a huge study for the VA Administration here in Houston, as well as the pediatric Hib (Hemophilous influnzeae type b) vaccine.

Specifically, Dr. Gant and I are troubled that parents think that they know better than the experts regarding what is best for their children. I would like offer, with all due respect to them, my opinion on this. Make no mistake, Dr. Gant and I both are grateful to modern medicine, antibiotics (that taste good so kids will swallow them up!) and vaccines. Sure, they hurt our little ones, and okay, they need a band-aid after they get an immunization. But I, for one, (the father of four kids, by the way) am very grateful!

Certainly we both believe that you should have some choice about how you raise your children. That is, we don’t think Texas should go to lengths that California, for example, has gone to. In my opinion, however, there some things that you should consider before deciding what to do:

  1. It is a myth that mercury (themerosol), added to a vaccine as a preservative (i.e. to prevent bacterial and fungal growth, which would be bad, of course), causes autism. Here is a website that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has established to answer questions about this ingredient.The scientific paper published was showed to be a fraud. In fact, the physician who published it was barred from the practice of medicine in England;
  2. The widespread availability of antibiotics and vaccines has all but defeated serious infectious diseases of childhood, in the developed world, at least. In fact, stimulation of immunity among a large of population so as to prevent person to person spent is called “herd immunity.” No longer do we experience unacceptable mortality numbers of children to measles, diphtheria, rubella, or a host of other nasty vaccine-preventable diseases. Of course, better nutrition and clean water matter helped a great deal, but within just the past 50 years (certainly within the lifespan of many individuals still alive today), antimicrobial usage has become common and vaccination of children is nearly universal. Herd immunity is very important to those kids with weakened immune systems (i.e. cancer, HIV). Do want we really want to say to these children, “Sorry for your lack of immunity?”
  3. Is it true that vaccines cause horrible side effects on previous healthy kids? That’s why the FDA supervises large scale clinical trials to see if the vaccines are safe. This is the same as for other drugs. In my opinion, parents have to place their trust in the FDA; that they have the best interest of your child and indeed, that the vaccine will prevent your child from those dreaded diseases. Is it possible that these pharmaceutical corporations will sweep adverse efforts of their vaccines under the table? Again, I suppose so, but it would not be in their best interest to produce vaccines that were faulty or doesn’t work as advertised.

A world free from serious infections of childhood is a wonderful utopian vision; the reality, however, is that any declaration of victory over them is almost certainly premature. I say this since somewhere along the way to being eradicated from the planet, the microbes rebelled. They started becoming resistant to the miracle antibiotics discovered not so very long ago. How did this happen, and what can be done? First, some information and then, some bad and good news.

Microbes, or germs if you prefer, are actually a very heterogeneous group of living organisms, really sharing little more than small size. Viruses are generally the most common causes of infection, and while such infections may lead to considerable misery, they are often self-limited (although not always, as in the case of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus-HIV). They are usually extremely small; so tiny, in fact, that most cannot be seen using a light microscope and are parasites that carry miniscule amounts of genetic information. Viruses are very different from bacteria, the other major culprit in infectious disease processes. Bacteria are much larger, and can be visualized using most microscopes. The great majority of antibiotic compounds have been developed for use against bacteria (although a small number of antiviral drugs are now available).

Resistance to antibiotics by microbes, mostly bacteria (but also by HIV against antiviral drugs), has resulted simply because bacteria follow the dictates of nature. That is, the appearance of large concentrations of antibiotics in the environment has presented what biologists call “selection pressure.” The microbes either adapt or die.

Overwhelmingly, they die. A few survive, not because they choose to, but simply due to the randomness of mutations (changes) in their genetic information. These mutant forms proliferate and are no longer vulnerable to the drug. This is not the only mechanism of development of resistance, but it serves to illustrate the resilience of bacteria.

Where have the antibiotics come from and why has there been such an increase in resistance over the past decade? The blame is ours. Antibiotic usage has climbed steadily for two decades. Very often antibiotics are prescribed for what are in reality viral infections, against which antibiotics are not effective. The bad news is that superbugs are beginning to show up that defy treatment with almost every available antibiotic. We may see a time when we are again no better off than the pre-antibiotic era with regard to certain types of bacteria. The good news is that when antibiotics are used with greater restraint, there is apparently a return to lower levels of resistance.

So, I’m thankful for liquid antibiotics that taste like bubblegum because it made convincing our 12 year-old to take her medicine when she was small almost as easy as giving candy to a baby; that our nine year-old set up a howl that filled the doctor’s office one day over an inoculation because it means vaccination is a part of his young life that my wife and I take for granted; that our five year-old underwent surgery because it meant his inflamed ear canals could properly drain a chronic infection; and, that our two year-old had to wear band-aids on both of his chubby little thighs for a day following a round of vaccinations because it means he won’t be one of the thousands of kids who used to fall victim to acquired mental retardation resulting from complications of bacterial meningitis.

Alligator Safety!

10647202_10155352446695313_3865711289051254328_nWe received a report of an alligator sighting at Centennial Park, 3219 McLean Road. According to the Texas Parks & Wildlife, the gator could stay in this area for a few days or even a few weeks. This sighting is not unusual, as the Spring and Summer months are when alligators begin moving to breed and find new habitats.

We’d like to remind our park visitors to maintain a healthy distance AND a healthy respect for wildlife in the community.

Alligators have inhabited Texas’ marshes, swamps, rivers, ponds and lakes for years across the state and in the Pearland area. They are an important part of Texas’ natural history, as well as an integral component of freshwater ecosystems. As Texas residents expand their homes and businesses, encounters between these normally shy reptiles and people are increasing.

Pearland residents should be watchful of alligators, snakes and other wildlife along the City’s many natural waterways and at City parks and follow posted signage and abide by these alligator guidelines:

  • Leave alligators alone. State law prohibits killing, harassing or possessing alligators.
  • Never feed or entice alligators, it is dangerous and illegal.
  • Alligators are most active between dusk and dawn when they are feeding. Therefore, swim only during daylight hours.
  • Don’t allow pets to swim, exercise or drink in or near waters that may contain alligators. Dogs are more susceptible to being targeted by an alligator than people, because they resemble natural prey. Keep your pet on a leash and in control when walking around the water.
  •   If you hear an alligator hiss, it is a warning that you are too close

To report a nuisance alligators, citizens should contact their local  Texas Parks and Wildlife Division (TPWD) game warden at 281.842.8100. Citizens may also contact City of Pearland Animal Control at 281.652.1970 for alligators under 6 feet in length on private property such as swimming pools or in roadways.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Division alligator safety tips

Remember to Register to Vote

PRESS RELEASE

The deadline to register to vote is April 9, 2015, in order to be eligible to vote in the upcoming May 09, 2015, City of Pearland General Election. All registered voters should be in possession of a colored voter registration card. If you are unable to locate your card or have any questions about your voter registration status, please contact the Voter Registrar in either Brazoria, Ft. Bend or Harris County, whichever county you reside in. Postcard voter registration applications are available either in the City Secretary’s Office located at City Hall, at the library or online. You may retrieve a voter registration application or check your voter registration status using the following link http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/voter/reqvr.shtml. It is very important for voters to bring their voter registration card, ALONG WITH THE REQUIRED PHOTO ID, to the polling place when they vote.

For details on acceptable forms of identification please click http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/forms/id/acceptable-forms-of-ID.pdf.

Two Steps, One Sticker Now in Effect

Beginning March 1, Texas will stop issuing vehicle inspection stickers and change to a “Two Steps, One Sticker” inspection and registration program. Under the new system, Texas vehicle owners will need to pass inspection prior to renewing their registration. The familiar blue-bordered registration sticker will serve as proof of both inspection and registration.

The first year of the program is a transition period to allow vehicles’ inspection and registration expiration dates to align. Here is what drivers will need to do:

March 1, 2015 – February 29, 2016: You will be able renew your registration the same way as always as long as your vehicle has a current, passing inspection. However, if your inspection and registration stickers already expire in the same month, your vehicle will need to pass inspection prior to registration renewal. When you renew your annual registration online, by mail, or in-person at your county tax office, your inspection status will be verified electronically. Remember that a current, passing inspection is required for registration renewal.

March 1, 2016, and beyond: Your inspection and registration will expire at the end of the month indicated on your registration sticker. You will have a convenient 90-day window prior to your expiration date to complete two simple steps: pass vehicle inspection and renew your registration. Registration renewal will still be available online, by mail or in person at your county tax office.

Busy is a Sickness

By Scott Dannemiller

I’m busy.

I don’t know about you, but anytime I am asked, “How’s it going?”, I never just say “fine” anymore. Instead, my stock response is always some degree of frazzled. The scale ranges from “busy” to “crazy busy” to “nutballs.”

 

Read more…

Heavy Fog & Driver Inattention Contribute to Multiple Accidents

54db92c801f75.imageTwo accidents within a span of minutes led to the temporary closure of Broadway (FM 518) at Austin St. in Pearland Wednesday morning (Feb. 11).

There were a total of seven vehicles involved in the early morning crashes. Only minor injuries were reported.

According to Pearland Police Dept., heavy fog, along with driver inattention, were contributing factors.

The Dept. would like to remind drivers to slow down, increase following distance, and avoid distractions during their daily commute, especially during fog and other inclement weather.

Arctic Air Mass Bringing Sub-Freezing Weather Wednesday

An Arctic air mass entering the region Wednesday has the potential to cause up to 12 hours of sub-freezing weather through Thursday morning.

The primary danger from freezing weather is to People, Pets, Pipes, and Plants (the 4 P’s). Residents should take steps to protect their family, pets and property from the impact of freezing temperatures. Recommended actions to do so are listed here:

PROTECT PEOPLE

Keep warm, stay inside if possible.

If you need to go out, dress in layers and wear hats, gloves and an appropriate coat.

Avoid overexertion, as cold weather puts added strain on your body.

Observe heater safety:

Never place a space heater on top of furniture or near water.

Keep heat sources at least 3 feet away from furniture and drapes.

Never leave children unattended near a space heater.

PROTECT PETS

Bring pets inside, and move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas.

Keep adequate food and water available.

PROTECT PIPES

Disconnect outdoor hoses, drain and store in protected area.

Wrap exposed faucets and pipes – including those outside the house or in unheated crawl spaces, attics, garages and other areas.

PROTECT PLANTS

Bring potted plants inside or store in garage near interior wall to provide extra warmth and protection from wind.

For cold-sensitive outdoor plants, put down extra mulch and consider covering with a cloth fabric of some kind to shield the plants from wind and frost.

It is also recommended that you prepare your car for winter. Have your car serviced and add antifreeze as needed.

Protect yourself from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning by installing a battery-operated CO detector and never use generators, grills, camp stoves, or similar devices indoors.

Residents should monitor local media and the National Weather Service for updated forecast information. Local road condition updates are available from Houston TranStar and road condition information throughout the state is available from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).

Beware of Holiday Scams

Holiday Scams Texans Should Avoid
With Texans across the state preparing holiday meals and shopping for gifts, a few con artists are dusting off old scams and looking for new victims. Law enforcement can help Texans by spreading the word about how to avoid five popular holiday scams: gift card scams; online shopping schemes; phony charities; credit repair scams; and spam e-mail and other unsolicited offers.

Read more…