Dr. Eric McLaughlin, right, was encouraged by Kingwood High Principal Dr. Ted Landry, left, and Dr. Roger Brown, deputy superintendent, to “rub the hoof,” a Kingwood High School tradition. All three spoke at Kingwood BizCom which was held at the newly refurbished Kingwood High School. McLaughlin is physician partner and manager of the newly opened Kingwood Emergency Center at Highway 59 and Kingwood Drive. Kingwood High students “rub the hoof” in the school’s atrium entry for good luck. Photo by Tom Broad
‘Harvey couldn’t wash away our spirit,’ Landry says
 
Hurricane Harvey – and its aftermath – continue to dominate the Lake Houston Area Chamber’s BizComs.
The April 5 business and community meeting was homecoming for Kingwood BizCom, which alternates between Kingwood Park and Kingwood high schools, but has been at Kingwood Park since Harvey.
“Kingwood High is not the building. We – the students and the faculty – we are the school,” Principal Dr. Ted Landry said as he welcomed the BizCom group. “Our journey has been a tremendous challenge: 2,700 students, 200 faculty, moving 13 miles down the road – and we put it all together in a week.”
Landry talked about the community of students who wouldn’t let the “… flood wash away our spirit. It’s been our best year. Every area has been excellent. Frankly, we’ve overachieved in every area.” 
Mark Micheletti echoed Landry’s enthusiasm and spirit.
“Mustang pride runs strong in the Micheletti family,” he said. “Two sons and two daughters-in-law are all Kingwood High grads, but we must make sure this never happens again.”
By day, Micheletti is CEO of Berkeley Eye Center in Kingwood, but he admits he’s been putting in 20 to 30 hours a week at his other “job” since Gov. Greg Abbot appointed him to the board of the San Jacinto River Authority.
“We must be persistent to prevent this flooding from ever happening again,” Micheletti said.
Micheletti praised Jenna Armstrong and the Lake Houston Area Chamber, which got state and federal officials to tour. He also applauded a number of elected officials, including U.S. Congressman Ted Poe, Texas State Sen. Brandon Creighton, and Texas State Rep. Dan Huberty, but he saved special kudos for the efforts of Houston City Council Member Dave Martin.
“We need to look at the creeks and streams that feed into the San Jacinto, and dredging or detention to prevent flooding will require us to go to the bond market,” Micheletti said. “It’s going to be a long, long battle. This is just beginning.”
Because there is an overabundance of misinformation about what is being done and what needs to be done, Micheletti encouraged residents to turn to the Lake Houston Chamber website, Twitter and Facebook pages to find out what is really going on.
“That’s where you’ll find accurate information,” Micheletti said. “This is the way we can control all the crazy rumors.”
TIRZ No. 10 Chair Stan Sarsman showed a video simulating a drive down an improved, six-lane Northpark Drive from Highway 59 over Loop 494 to Russell Palmer Road. This first phase would be funded by TIRZ (the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone) and City of Houston while the second phase, from Russell Palmer to Woodland Hills, would require federal funding.
The TIRZ directors are waiting for the county appraisal board to re-appraise Kingwood after Harvey in order to go to the bond market to fund the first phase.
The simulation video can be viewed at the Martin's website: houstontx.gov/council/e.
Sarman also discussed improvements to two Kingwood intersections, at W. Lake Houston Pkwy. and Northpark and at W. Lake Houston Pkwy. and Kings Crossing. The board is studying other intersections for improvement when funds are available.
Humble ISD Deputy Superintendent Dr. Roger Brown showed a video describing the May 5 bond referendum. The $575 million proposal would build new schools, rebuild, renovate and repair existing facilities, and update the district’s technology and safety without requiring a tax increase. 
The video and more information are available at humbleisd.net/bondelection2018.        
The next Kingwood BizCom will be Aug. 2 at Kingwood Park High School. There is no charge but registration is required. To register for BizComs, visit lakehouston.org.
Tom Broad
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Columnist
Besides being a proud graduate of The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and, therefore, a Cornhusker, I am retired from Memorial Hermann. I am a correspondent and columnist for Lake Houston's hometown paper, The Tribune, as well as a director of the Lake Houston Redevelopment Corporation, a member of the board of the Humble Area Assistance Ministries, and Volunteer Extraordinaire for the Lake Houston Area Chamber.