Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The pollution next door


"A mother wonders if hazardous chemicals in the air in her neighborhood contributed to her son's contracting leukemia.

A Rice University study released in 2006 showed that Houston has a higher concentration of benzene and 1-3 butadiene than anywhere else in the United States. The annual average of 1-3 butadiene, a carcinogen, was at least 20 times higher than any other city in America.

Tom McGarity, a professor of environmental law at the University of Texas, believes such conditions are allowed to persist because 90 percent of the people who call the ship channel home are Hispanic and many of them are poor."

***Watch Video***

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Next meeting: Wednesday, October 24

Growing Cooler-The evidence on urban development and climate change
Speaker: David Goldberg, Communications Director, Smart Growth America

In "Growing Cooler: The Evidence on Urban Development and Climate Change," a comprehensive review of dozens of studies, published by the Urban Land Institute, the researchers conclude that urban development is both a key contributor to climate change and an essential factor in combating it. The researchers document how key changes in land development patterns could help reduce vehicle greenhouse gas emissions. They warn that if sprawling development continues to fuel growth in driving, the projected 59 percent increase in the total miles driven between 2005 and 2030 will overwhelm expected gains from vehicle efficiency and low-carbon fuels. Even with projected efficiency improvements, vehicle emissions of carbon dioxide would be 41 percent above today’s levels, rather than well below 1990 levels as required for climate stabilization by 2050, according to Growing Cooler. “The research shows that one of the best ways to reduce vehicle travel is to build places where people can accomplish more with less driving,” says lead author Reid Ewing.

The report is available at

The meeting is at noon on Wednesday, October 24, at the Houston-Galveston Area Council, 3555 Timmons, second floor. Bring your lunch. For more information call 713-523-5757. The Gulf Coast Institute and the Houston-Galveston Area Council host Livable Houston/Smart Growth bring-your-own-lunch meetings that are open to the public on the fourth Wednesday of every month.

Please RSVP to

Monday, October 15, 2007

ABC news featuring UH green roof

Click on video to Play

ABC news reported on green roofs and global warming and how UH's Green roof is the first slanted green roof....Just like residential roofs.

"I think this is a new system, particularly for residential use," said Mashburn. "I think it will become more popular as people realize the enormous cost of utilities."

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

VOTE NO! to change of Zoning

click on images to enlarge
This online petition is in regard to the Galveston City Council's vote to change the Zoning of approximately 1,100 acres of Beach to Bay property, potentially, the largest developed tract on the Texas Gulf Coast from single family to recreational.

If the change of zoning is approved for the Marquette development, ironically called "The Preserve", it will mean the developers will circumvent the process of the city's planning department and have an open ticket to do what they want with the property without the City's oversight.

A bevy of attorneys are working on a development agreement that should 'iron out' all the inconviences for the city and 'hold the developer's feet to the fire', but the truth is the City of Galveston is giving up a huge chunk of their little remaining opening space to a group that has
never developed south of Chicago and thinks the planning process is too contentious and will drag things out.

Please sign the online petition and forward to others that are opposed to changing from single-family zoning to recreational zoning by going online:


Reasons for Voting “No” to Recreational Zoning regarding Marquette Dev.

* If city council allows re-zoning, citizens of Galveston will NOT have the ability to preserve and maintain the quality of life within their single-family neighborhoods

* Family residences could be living next door to retail businesses of unknown origin

* The island and the type of lifestyle we have become accustomed to could be completely controlled by developers with no way for citizens to have a choice in the type of community in which they want to live – except to move to the mainland

* Recreational zoning does NOT require the city’s approval regarding future development projects

* A very dangerous precedent will be in place that could affect the whole island if recreational zoning is allowed

* If the largest parcel of land to be developed on the island can be zoned for recreational use, it is a strong possibility that city council could approve recreational zoning for other parts of the island as well

That is why VOTING NO for Recreational Zoning by our City Council is Crucial!!!

Our government is based on citizens’ input. We elect leaders to protect and serve with our best interests in mind. Constituents’ welfare is being denied if City Council votes for changing a single-family zoning area to recreational zoning in order to accommodate Marquette Development.

* Beach to bay preserve

* See who's signed the Petition