Monthly Archives: April 2013

SHUTTING DOWN MASSAGE PARLORS ALSO PUTS A DENT IN HUMAN SEX TRAFFICKING!

image

The Harris County Attorney is aggressive when it comes to shutting down questionable spas and massage parlors in our community.

County Attorney Vince Ryan has filed six civil lawsuits against businesses he calls public nuisances. 

Those businesses are all massage parlors and spas that were also raided by the Harris County Sheriff’s office earlier this year.

Ryan says not only do the parlors cause crime and hurt communities but they promote human trafficking.

He says many of the women who work in the sexually oriented businesses are victims and closing down shop will ultimately help them.

Ryan has already been successful at forcing change or the closing of 51 businesses in Harris County.

HFD WARNING THE PUBLIC ABOUT UNATTENDED COOKING!

image

Yesterday, April 29, 2013, the Houston Fire Department responded to an apartment fire in the 9200 block of Nathaniel which was caused by unattended cooking. The resident had unintentionally left the stove on.  Firefighters arrived on scene at about 4 p.m. and found heavy smoke coming from the downstairs apartment. The fire was contained to the kitchen of the unit and one citizen was treated on scene for a minor injury.

HFD reminds residents that cooking is the number one cause of residential fires and is preventable by following these safety tips:

• Always, have a working smoke detector!
• Over half the people attempting to extinguish a kitchen fire are injured. Often the best advice is to get everyone out of the house and call the fire department (911) from a neighbor’s house.
• Use a moderate cooking temperature
• Don’t overfill the container
• If you must leave the kitchen, turn the burner off (Unattended cooking is the primary cause of kitchen fires. Over half of these are grease/oil fires.)
• Turn pot handles away from the front of the stove. Curious children may reach up and grab the handle, pulling the hot contents down on themselves.
• Don’t position handles over another burner, it may catch on fire or burn someone who touches it.
• Wear short sleeves or tight fitting long sleeves when cooking to reduce a clothing fire hazard.
• Shield yourself from scalding steam when lifting lids from hot pans.
• Make sure pot holders are not too close to the stove. They could catch fire!
• Keep ovens, broilers, stove tops, and exhaust ducts free from grease.
• If there is a fire in the oven – Turn off the oven and keep the oven door closed.
• Never try to move the pan, don’t throw water on it, and don’t put flour on it.
• If you attempt to extinguish the fire, it is best to use a class ABC multipurpose fire extinguisher. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions – stay back 6 to 8 feet and be careful not to spray the grease out of the pan. Baking soda can also smother the fire. Fires can double in size every 30 seconds

THE HOUSTON POLICE DEPARTMENT TEAMS UP WITH BARC!

image

image

A German Shepherd shot by a high-powered pellet gun on Friday, April 26 did not win the fight against severe and unnecessary animal cruelty, but Houston has an important opportunity to come together to make sure no animal ever has to go through this kind of mistreatment again. BARC Animal Shelter and Adoptions and the Houston Police Department ask that Houstonians help reduce the number of animal cruelty cases by reporting any and all cases in their area to the police.

This canine’s story is an extreme case, but unfortunately, not an uncommon one. BARC Animal Control received an alert on Friday, April 26 about an injured German Shepherd in a ditch at 7004 Banyan, 77028. After a BARC Animal Control Officer picked up the canine, she was transferred from BARC by a foster/rescue partner to a private vet for intensive care and evaluation. The veterinarian discovered the dog’s back legs had been paralyzed from a wound caused by the bullet of a high-powered pellet gun. The pellet went through the dog’s right side and severed 90 percent of her spinal cord. After several days under intensive care, the veterinarian had not seen any improvement in her health. In fact, her condition continued to worsen. Ultimately, the German Shepherd was humanely put to sleep due to such severe and irreversible injuries. 

BARC and HPD ask that citizens with any information that could lead to the shooter’s recovery, please call Houston Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS or call the police to report the offender. Now, Houston has a chance to save other animals suffering from cruelty across Houston. BARC and HPD need help to make sure this doesn’t happen to another innocent animal like this German Shepherd.

“No dog, no animal deserves this kind of cruel and unfathomable treatment,” said Chris Newport, BARC spokesman. “We fully intend to work with HPD to make sure that person never, ever does anything like that again. Animal cruelty is a problem in Houston and we’re going to have to come together as a community to put a stop to it.”

BARC and HPD receive frequent calls from citizens all over the city reporting animal cruelty of various types. Unfortunately, city authorities are not able to witness every animal cruelty case across Houston and are counting on the community to help bring offenders to justice.

“Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States and animal cruelty could run rampant if we don’t take control of the situation,” said Newport. “But we can’t do it alone. We need Houston to be our eyes and ears. If you see someone mistreating an animal in any way, please call the police. Every animal we save from animal cruelty is one more life saved and one more animal that may get a second chance at having the life he or she deserves.” 

“Animal cruelty is a serious offense and will not be taken lightly,” said Sergeant Virginia Brasher of the Houston Police Department. “This sort of crime happens too often in Houston, and in fact we’ve seen an increase specifically in gunshot wounds lately. We’re doing everything we can to put a stop to it. Anyone that chooses to be cruel to animals needs to understand that there are consequences and they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

Anyone with information about who may have shot the German Shepherd with a pellet gun, or has witnessed any other animal cruelty in their area, is strongly encouraged to immediately call Houston Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS or call the police to report the offender. 

Below are photos of the German Shepherd taken at BARC and her X-rays taken by a private veterinarian where she was provided intensive care and treatment for several days.

WHY YOU MAY WANT TO AVOID AT&T’S SAMSUNG GALAXY S4: IT’S UNLOCKABLE!

image

Android Police

If you bought/plan on buying AT&T’s variant of the Galaxy S4, we have some bad news for those of you who like to flash custom ROMs, kernels, and the like: it’s locked down tight.

Historically, Samsung devices – up to and including the SIII – have been bootloader-unlocked on AT&T. The Galaxy S4 brings a major change in that respect, as Steve Kondik (Cyanogen) has confirmed that it is indeed locked, in that it “authenticates the recovery and boot images before executing them.” In layman’s terms, that essentially means that it won’t allow any sort of custom recovery or boot image to be flashed and/or run. Ouch.

Steve goes on to say that he “would not recommend buying this device on AT&T if you want to run CyanogenMod or another custom ROM, or if you are a developer and need to work or debug the lower layers.” We know that a lot of you are big fans of CM, so this is a pretty substantial statement coming from Cyanogen himself.

Yep, it’s confirmed. The AT&T S4 authenticates the recovery and boot images before executing them.

I can’t see what AT&T has to possibly gain from this. GSM and LTE aren’t magical, tethering is controllable on the server side, and theft-of-services is not possible from the application processor side (or even from the modem side as far as I know). The same device is available on every carrier, so it’s not an exclusivity issue either. The modem processor has always been locked, and the casual user doesn’t want to mess with that part anyway. Samsung has always been developer-friendly, so I am guessing their hand was forced.

The only outcome I see here is stacks of bricked devices being sent back for warranty replacement due to the ease of causing a permanent boot failure, especially since the device is trivially rootable.

The arms race continues. News flash: MILLIONS of people run custom firmware (and I have the STATS to prove it). This is just a stupid move that will cost you customers and money.

I would not recommend buying this device on AT&T if you want to run CyanogenMod or another custom ROM, or if you are a developer and need to work with or debug the lower layers.

While we can’t say for sure, it’s probably a safe bet that Verizon’s variant of the device will be the same way. Unlike AT&T, Verizon has a reputation of locking down all devices, which includes its versions of the Galaxy S III and Note II. No reason to think that the GS4 will be any different.

Unfortunately, it looks like this may become the new norm for carrier-branded devices in the US.

[Steve Kondik (Google+)]

THE PRESSURE OF PROM IS A THING OF THE PAST FOR SOME HOUSTON STUDENTS!

image

Press Release: Prom Season is one of the most important milestones in a young ladies life! The average expenditures can cost up to $5,000 or more. Including the purchase of prom tickets, the prom dress, accessories, shoes, hair and makeup, this auspicious occasion can put a hefty dent in any high school student’s wallet! Which for a few, the cost can be too much resulting in a young lady not being able to attend her Senior Prom. 
 
image

Barbara Jordon High School Student Bria Riggs will be going to Prom thanks to The Boutique!
However, this year for three special  young ladies,  the concern of how to pay for prom is no longer an issue for them thanks to The Boutique, Jazzy Girls Hair Salon and LAMIK Beauty who have all partnered together  to make Prom a Night to Remember for the 5th Ward area High School Seniors. “We grew up in the 5th Ward community and as successful business women, we wanted to go back to our neighborhood and give back”, stated sisters Sakhara and Lauren Carmon, Co-owners of The Boutique and both of whom attended Kashmere and Barbara Jordan High Schools. “This also gives us an opportunity to uplift and build their confidence by treating them like Princesses for the day!”  
 
The Boutique will style and provide Prom Dresses, shoes and accessories for the girls, Jazzy Girls of Texas Salon will style their hair and LAMIK Beauty will provide makeup! This is all at NO COST to these High School Seniors who would have otherwise been unable to attend their perspective proms; which are all on May 3rd.
 
 
“We cannot thank these young ladies enough for choosing to come back to their communities and do such a wonderful thing,” stated Kashmere High School Counselor Karol McNary with tears in her eyes. “This could not have come at a better time; the student receiving the dress had just left my office saying she had to get her money back because she could not afford to go to prom.”  

Kashmere High School Senior Alendria Bage w/Co-Owners of The Boutique Sakhara and Lauren Carmon.
 

HOUSTON BASED HOMELAND SECURITY AGENTS GO AFTER COUNTERFEITERS!

image

Press Release: Special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) on Friday seized 10 Internet domain names that were illegally selling trademarked cycling equipment and apparel globally.

The 10 seized domain names are a continuation of “Operation In Our Sites” (IOS), an HSI sustained law enforcement initiative that began in 2010. The seized domain names are now in the custody of the U.S. government. Visitors typing those domain names into their web browsers will now find a banner that notifies them of the seizure and educates them about the federal crime of willful copyright infringement.

Houston HSI special agents worked closely with companies that manufacture cycling products to include Specialized, INVISTA (owners of the COOLMAX® and LYCRA® brands), along with PayPal and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.  This enforcement action was planned against a number of websites that were selling counterfeit high-end carbon bike frames, apparel and cycling shoes.  These counterfeit items were targeted towards cyclists of all levels who shop online. During the latter part of the investigation, other cycling manufacturers including SRAM, Cervelo and Pinarello, also provided assistance in identifying counterfeit vendors targeting their brands.

“The seizure of these domain names is an important tool in HSI’s continuing efforts to protect the consumer from sub-par and dangerous goods,” said Brian M. Moskowitz, special agent in charge of HSI Houston.  “HSI special agents are also committed to protecting the rights of businesses that play by the rules so that they can remain competitive and support our economy.”

The seized domains infringed upon the trademark owners’ rights, by providing access to counterfeit merchandise that could potentially damage a company’s reputation.  Bike enthusiasts purchasing what they think is brand-name merchandise may experience problems such as badly fitting apparel or counterfeit bike carbon frames that could cause serious injury since they are unsafe to ride.  Sales of counterfeit items threaten American jobs nationwide, especially in the bike shop network.

“Our engineers have tested counterfeit frames in our lab and frankly they don’t hold up. They failed our impact and fatigue tests and the aluminum head tube cups de-bonded, making steering vague and loose — that is simply not safe,” says Andrew Love, head of brand security at Specialized. “The counterfeiters just want to make a sale; they have zero interest in the customer.  Our product integrity and rider safety are very personal for us.”

In addition to the domain name seizures, officials identified PayPal accounts used by the infringing websites. Proceeds received through the identified PayPal accounts, in excess of $90,000, is currently being targeted for seizure by Houston HSI.

“In an effort to provide safe and trusted payments and commerce platforms for our customers, PayPal is proud to partner with law enforcement and rights owners globally in the fight against the illegal online trafficking of counterfeit goods,” said Tod Cohen, vice president of government relations, eBay Inc.

This operation was spearheaded by the National IPR Center in coordination with Houston HSI. The IPR Center is one of the U.S. government’s key weapons in the fight against counterfeiting and piracy. Working in close coordination with the Department of Justice Task Force on Intellectual Property, the IPR Center uses the expertise of its 21-member agencies to share information, develop initiatives, coordinate enforcement actions and conduct investigations related to intellectual property theft. Through this strategic interagency partnership, the IPR Center protects the public’s health and safety, the U.S. economy and the war fighters.

PREGNANT 15 YEAR OLD FIGHTING ON METRO BUS!

According to the person who sent this video the incident took place on a Houston Metro bus.

My concern is why did the driver allow the confrontation to go on so long before stopping it.

Also this is a sad state of affairs when it comes to our young people in general!

FORMER DRUG DEALER AND PROSTITUTE TALK ABOUT TURNING THEIR LIVES AROUND!

MARY JANE AND ERICA: THE PATH TO REDEMPTION!

This is an interview with Mary Jane Wyatt and Erica Wilson…Two women who lived their lives on the streets. Mary Jane admits selling drugs and counterfeiting products while Erica says she sold her body, did drugs, and worked as a stripper. Mary Jane is also struggling with another issue. She says she’s been a lesbian since her teens but she wants to be with a man as God demands. This is their story from the streets of Houston. By the way, both are turning their lives around!

HPD OFFICERS ARE GIVING BACK TO THE COMMUNITY!

image

Beginning at 8 a.m. TOMORROW (Saturday, April 27), members of HPD’s command staff, numerous Houston police officers and volunteers from HPD, along with “Rebuilding Together Houston” (a non-profit organization), will put the finishing touches on a southeast Houston home they have worked throughout the week to repair and rebuild for the Spring 2013 Project.

HPD volunteers have worked at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Harrison, Jr. at 602 East 42nd.

Among the improvements on the Harrison’s home were the construction of a new wheelchair ramp and replacement of all siding, doors and windows.  Tomorrow, the finishing touches will include a new coat of paint and landscaping around the home. 

A photo of the house prior to the repairs is attached to this media alert.

“Rebuilding Together Houston” has provided home repair services for low-income, elderly, and/or disabled Houston homeowners for more than 25 years. This program assists those physically or financially unable to do the repair themselves.

The on-scene contact for media interviews is HPD Assistant Chief Mark Curran.

 

WHAT:       HPD Volunteers Help “Rebuild Together Houston”

DATE:        TOMORROW (Saturday, April 27)

TIME:        Beginning at 8 a.m.

WHERE:     602 East 42nd (Key Map 453-J)

EDUCATING THE PUBLIC ABOUT THE BUDGET PROCESS AT HISD!

image

In an effort to provide taxpayers a guide to understanding the district’s budget, the Houston Independent School District is hosting a series of community meetings across the city that will outline the budgeting process from planning, to adoption and implementation. 

            “We want our constituents to understand how HISD’s budget process works, how much money does each school get and even how they can get involved,” said HISD Chief Financial Officer Kenneth Huewitt.  “Our goal is to ensure HISD’s budget and financial information is readily available and user friendly so that taxpayers know exactly how their tax dollars are allocated and spent.”

            The meetings will cover key aspects of HISD’s budgeting process such as where the money comes from, how much is designated to each of the 276 campuses, who decides how the money is spent at each campus and who monitors the budget, among other topics. 

            HISD’s General Manager of Budget and Financial Planning Sharon Eaves will be leading the budget presentations at the community meetings.     

 

Upcoming Community Budget Meetings:

·         April 30 – 6 p.m. at Madison High School (13719 Whiteheather)

·         May 1 – 6 p.m. at Oak Forest Elementary School (1401 West 43rd)

·         May 2 – 6 p.m. at Key Middle School (4000 Kelly)

·         May 7 – 6 p.m. at Jones High School (7414 Saint Lo)

·         May 8 – 6 p.m. at Bellaire High School (5100 Maple)

·         May 13 – 6 p.m. at Lamar High School (3325 Westheimer)

·         May 14 – 6 p.m. at Revere Middle School (10502 Briar Forest)

·         May 15 – 6 p.m. at Reagan High School (413 East 13th)

·         May 16 – 6 p.m. at Milby High