Posts Tagged ‘Houston’

Houston Heights Tower in High Opportunity Area Affordable Senior Living Facility Reaches New Heights with $12-Million Renovation

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

Release at Will
Contact: Susan Farb Morris
susan@farbulous.com
(713) 805-2608 (cell)

Houston, TX – March 23, 2017 . . . Houston Heights Towers, a 223-unit midrise residence serving low- to moderate-income senior adults, has reached new heights thanks to a $12-million renovation funded by the City of Houston Housing and Community Development Department and Community Bank of Texas. The independent senior living facility, which opened in April 1975 at 330 West 19th Street, will have a rededication ceremony Thursday, March 23, 10:30 a.m. in the heart of The Heights. Mayor Sylvester Turner and The Honorable U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, will be keynote speakers.

“When we built Houston Heights Towers 42 years ago, The Heights was somewhat of a sleepy historic Houston neighborhood. Today, this is a truly vibrant high opportunity area that’s abuzz with retail, banks, restaurants, and medical facilities,” said Tom Forrester Lord, president, The Housing Corporation of Greater Houston, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to improving housing conditions and conserving neighborhoods. The Houston Housing Management Corporation, a management subsidiary of The Housing Corporation, has managed the property since its inception.

According to Tom McCasland, Director of the City of Houston Housing and Community Development Department, the City contributed a $10-million Community Development Block Grant to renovate Houston Heights Towers in 2013. Community Bank provided a $2-million loan to complete the project. The refurbishment included installing all new plumbing, transforming the former cafeteria into a 2,000-square-foot Community Room for social activities, adding a computer room, resurfacing and painting the exterior, adding heavy (four-foot thick) insulation for energy efficiency, new landscaping and refreshing apartments with all-new flooring, kitchen appliances and bathroom fixtures. The facility remained open throughout the three-year renovation.

Situated on a prime ¾-acre property in the downtown Heights, the eight-story building houses 167 studios, 56 one-bedroom apartments and one two-bedroom apartment. Rents range from $435 to $566 per month, including utilities, estimated at 40 percent below market rate. Residents must be age 62 or older, active/independent and earn not more than 60 percent of the Houston area’s median income, which, for a two-person household is $33,240 annually and one-person household, $29,100 annually. The community is open to seniors regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability and familial status.

Houston Heights Towers was developed by a consortium led by four Heights churches: Heights Presbyterian, St. Andrew’s Episcopal, Heights Christian Church and All Saints Catholic. The idea was to provide a place for neighborhood seniors to retire and stay in The Heights.

Frances Smerinsky, 87, a Houston Heights Towers resident since February 8, 1999, lived on the city’s north side most of her life. After moving to Houston Heights Towers, she sold her car because “I don’t need a car here. I’m close to everything you have to have – a grocery store, drug store, cleaners, bank and doctor are either in walking distance or I take the bus.” Frances has enjoyed her retirement years at Houston Heights Towers, describing her fellow residents as being ‘like one big family.’

Residents enjoy a library stocked with books and videos, exercise equipment, coin-operated laundry facilities, free on-site parking and an emergency call system. Activities include low-impact exercise classes, planned outings and shopping trips, arts and crafts, Bingo, sing-alongs, video club and coffee club.

Property Manager Hope Aguirre, who grew up in The Heights (Travis Elementary, Hogg Jr. High and Regan High School), has worked at Houston Heights Towers since 1980. She started as a housekeeper and was promoted to receptionist, assistant manager and ultimately to manager in 1990.

The renovation was designed by Jim Gwin Architects, Inc. and built by Comanche Contractors. It is one of 30 projects managed by The Housing Corporation in and around Houston since its establishment in 1968. The organization has assisted in the promotion, construction, rehabilitation and management of more than 4,000 residences serving more than 20,000 lower-income citizens by providing critical technical expertise and guidance to access seed money capital.

For further information on Houston Heights Towers, call The Housing Corporation, (713) 526-9470 or (713) 862-8058. # # #

Houston Heights Towers Reaches New Heights with $12-Million Renovation

Houston Heights Towers Reaches New Heights with $12-Million Renovation

Zen Master Launches Newest Book in Contemporary Zen Studies Series September 14 – 17 in Houston

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Master Miao Tsan Living Truth CoverHiResHouston – Sept. 3, 2014 . . . . Zen Master Miao Tsan, Abbot of Vairocana Zen Monastery and international lecturer and author, returns to Houston September 14 – 17 to launch Living Truth: The Path of Light (Bright Sky Press, Sept. 2014), his newest book in a series of contemporary Zen studies. In it, the Venerable Master explains the essential wisdom of Zen as it applies to one’s daily life, including how Truth is the universal principle that underlies the full range of human experiences.

Master Miao Tsan will join such preeminent leaders and educators as Alejandro Chaoul, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Integrative Medicine Program, Department of General Oncology at UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Deacon Robert Hesse, Ph.D, Co-Founder and President of Contemplative Network, Vice Chairman of the board of directors of The Institute for Spirituality and Health and adjunct professor at University of St. Thomas, Bill Kerley, Ph.D., psychologist and spiritual teacher who utilizes Jungian insights in his work, and Ken Jones, Associate Director of the UH Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship, to engage and lead public dialogues, dharma talks and programs at Rothko Chapel, The Women’s Institute of Houston, University of Texas Medical School at Houston, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church and C.T. Bauer College of Business University of Houston (UH), among the Houston-area venues.

“Thoughts, emotions and feelings are simply tools. It is up to us to use them or be used by them. Every single thought can affect our physical body, life and relationships. Therefore we must examine our own lives as our sole creation, and learn to cultivate the right thought to have the right result,” he says.

Master Miao Tsan’s multidisciplinary programs, open to the public, will include signings of Living Truth: The Path of Light. Events are free with RSVPs e-mailed to events@miaotsan.com, unless designated otherwise.

The week will begin Sunday, September 14, 9:30 – 11 a.m. with Master Miao Tsan returning as a guest lecturer on the topic of “Mysticism” at Bill Kerley’s weekly “Ordinary Life” class at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 5501 South Main – Fondren Hall. That afternoon, from 4-6 p.m., in his first-ever program at The Women’s Institute of Houston (WIH), the Master will share the ultimate truth as expressed in Zen Buddhist teachings, bringing peace, harmony and oneness to our lives. He will provide advice on how to incorporate the practice of meditation into daily life. There will be an opportunity for open dialogue and a short guided meditation at WIH, 2202 Avalon Place. Registration fee is $35; go to http://wih.org/lectures/living-truth-the-path-of-light/
Master Miao Tsan will offer two public presentations in the Texas Medical Center facilitated by Alejandro Chaoul. In “Meditation As A Tool to Manage Stress and Remain Compassionate for Healthcare Professionals,” Monday, September 15, Noon – 1 p.m. at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, (6431 Fannin Street, MSB B. 100), he will discuss key takeaways when it comes to meditation and managing stress, as well as techniques to remain compassionate in the ever-shifting healthcare landscape with physicians, nurses, therapists, technicians and hospital support staff, as well as students in the healthcare field. That evening from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m., Master Miao Tsan will meet with the Friends of Integrated Medicine (FIM) at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, 7435 Fannin Street, Houston, TX 77054, South Campus Research Building 2, Conference Room 5-6, to discuss “Meditation Tips and Practice from a Zen Master.”

Friends of Integrative Medicine works to raise awareness within MD Anderson Cancer Center and the larger Houston community of the important role complementary and integrative medicine can play in cancer prevention and in helping those with cancer live better and longer.

On Tuesday, September 16, 11 a.m. –12:30 p.m., Master Miao Tsan will join Deacon Hesse for “Zen Spirit, Christian Spirit – Can a person be a Zen Christian?,” an interfaith dialogue at University of St. Thomas (UST), Crooker Center, First Floor – Ahern Room, 3909 Graustark. Space is limited; lunch will be provided for those who RSVP to events @miaotsan.com or call 281-589-0810, ext. 8921 by Tuesday, September 2. That Tuesday, September 16 evening at 6 p.m., Master Miao Tsan will lead a Zen Buddhist Dharma Talk and Twilight Meditation” at Rothko Chapel, 1409 Sul Ross Street. A $10 donation to Rothko Chapel is suggested.

UH Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship Associate Director Ken Jones will welcome Master Miao Tsan to discuss ““Mindful Leadership: Practical Methods for Calming and Focusing Your Mind for Successful Leaders” Wednesday, September 17, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the University of Houston, UCBB Building, 4744 Calhoun Road, Student Training Center Room 328 on the 3rd floor. The Master will explore insights into how mindful leadership allows for improved decision-making and adaptability that drives innovation and embraces diversity in the workplace and in the world.

Master Miao Tsan is the author of Just Use This Mind, The Origin Is Pure, Intrinsic Awakened Nature, and Directly Actualize Buddhahood. The founder and abbot of Vairocana Zen Monastery in Garden Grove, California, he possesses profound insight into the essence of Zen and has dedicated himself to its propagation and practice. He conducts meditation courses, Zen-Seven and Zen-Three retreats and teaches at universities and medical centers in China, Taiwan, Mexico and the United States. His goal is to open a universal path of wisdom and light by leading people from every tradition toward an understanding of the Truth that transcends time, race and religion and is without exception.
For additional information go to www.miaotsan.com/events/ or to register for any of the programs, please contact Adrianne Poyet-Smith, (281) 589-0810 x8921 or e-mail events@miaotsan.com.

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(Updated 9/3/14)
Master Miao Tsan Living Truth Calendar of Events/Houston – Sept., 14 – 17, 2014
Events are free with RSVPs e-mailed to events@miaotsan.com, unless designated otherwise.

When: Sunday, September 14, 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Where: St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 5501 South Main, Fondren Hall (2nd Floor – Jones Building

Program: Zen Master Miao Tsan will speak on “Mysticism” to Bill Kerley’s weekly “Ordinary Life” class

When: Sunday, September 14, 4 – 6 p.m.
Where: The Women’s Institute of Houston, 2202 Avalon Place – Houston 77019
Program: “Living Truth: The Path of Light” – Lecture and Guided Meditation by Venerable Master Miao Tsan, who will share the ultimate truth as expressed in Zen Buddhist teachings, bringing peace, harmony and oneness to our lives. He will provide advice on how to incorporate the practice of meditation into daily life Sunday, September 14, 4-6 p.m., 2202 Avalon Place. There will be an opportunity for open dialogue, as well as a short, guided meditation. Registration fee is $35.
Registration: http://wih.org/lectures/living-truth-the-path-of-light/

When: Monday, September 15, Noon – 1 p.m.
Where: University of Texas Medical School at Houston – Texas Medical Center, 6431 Fannin Street, MSB B. 100, Houston, Texas 77030, for additional details, visit www.miaotsan.com/events/
Program: “Meditation As A Tool to Manage Stress and Remain Compassionate for Healthcare Professionals” – Presentation by Venerable Master Miao Tsan, who will share practical applications with those involved in healthcare–physicians, nurses, therapists, technicians, hospital support staff and students –with regard to key takeaways when it comes to meditation and managing stress, as well as techniques to remain compassionate in the ever-shifting healthcare landscape.
Facilitator: Alejandro Chaoul, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at the Integrative Medicine Program in the Department of General Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Associate faculty at the McGovern Center for the Humanities and Ethics.

When: Monday, September 15, 6 – 7:30 p.m.
Where: 7435 Fannin Street, Houston, TX 77054, South Campus Research Building 2, Conference Rm. 5-6
Program: “Meditation Tips and Practice from a Zen Master” – Master Miao Tsan will meet with the Friends of Integrated Medicine (FIM) at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, to discuss Meditation and Health. Friends of Integrative Medicine work to raise awareness within MD Anderson Cancer Center and the larger Houston community of the important role complementary and integrative medicine can play in cancer prevention and in helping those with cancer live better and longer.
Facilitator: Alejandro Chaoul, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at the Integrative Medicine Program in the Department of General Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Associate faculty at the McGovern Center for the Humanities and Ethics.
Reservations: Suggested donation to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Friends of Integrated Medicine

When: Tuesday, September 16, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Where: University of St. Thomas, Crooker Center, First Floor – Ahern Rm., 3909 Graustark
Program: “Zen Spirit, Christian Spirit – Can a person be a Zen Christian?” an interfaith dialogue with Master Miao Tsan and Deacon Robert Hesse, Ph.D, Co-Founder and President of Contemplative Network, Vice Chairman of the board of directors of The Institute for Spirituality and Health and adjunct professor at University of St. Thomas
Reservations: FREE; lunch provided via RSVP to events@miaotsan.com or call 281-589-0810, ext. 8921.

When: Tuesday, September 16, 6 p.m.
Where: Rothko Chapel, 1409 Sul Ross Street
Program: “Zen Buddhist Dharma Talk and Twilight Meditation” with Venerable Master Miao Tsan
Reservations: www.rothkochapel.org
Suggested $10 donation to Rothko Chapel

When: Wednesday, September 17, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Where: University of Houston, UCBB Building, 4744 Calhoun Road,
Student Training Center Room 328 on the 3rd floor
Program: “Mindful Leadership: Practical Methods for Calming and Focusing Your Mind for Successful Leaders” – UH Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship Associate Director Ken Jones will welcome Venerable Master Miao Tsan to explore insights into how mindful leadership allows for improved decision-making and adaptability that drives innovation and embraces diversity in the work place and in the world

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PR Fairy Seeks Woman “In the Know” about San Antonio

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

The PR Fairy knows the ins and outs of Houston, but San Antonio is an entirely different story. Writer Charlene Santos of GalTime.com, is looking for women ‘in the know’ in San Antonio. That is to say, a woman blogger who knows the hot spots, places to go, people to see? If you’re a blogger/writer and know San Antonio inside and out….she wants to hear from you. Please contact Charlene at: ambassadors@galtime.com or at: query-xnd@helpareporter.com

Deadline: February 1, 6 p.m. C.S.T. — TODAY!

Good Luck!
Susan Farb Morris
Susan Farb Public Relations/The PR Fairy

Debra Winger and Shirley MacLaine appear at MFAH Brown Auditorium, On Screen and Off

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

In June, 2008 actress Debra Winger was coming to Houston to promote her memoir, “Undiscovered.” Marilyn Hassid, Arts & Culture program director of the Jewish Community Center of Houston, inked her for a talk and book signing n the Brown Auditorium at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Marilyn asked me and the chair of the JCC Jewish Book & Arts Fair if we would like to accompany Debra in her limousine from the airport to her hotel and “schmooze” with her backstage at the MFAH.

I encouraged my daughter to come to Debra’s talk. She recently reminded me that I insisted we watch “Terms of Endearment” ahead of time so that she would have more of an appreciation of Debra Winger and her work.

Chatting with Debra Winger during the limo ride and in the Green Room was like talking to an old college friend I hadn’t seen in years. “Where do you live?” “How many children do you have?” “Where does your son go to college?” Debra’s shoes were a hot topic of our cordial backstage exchange. She wore a black dress, if I remember, and a fabulous pair of azure blue gray patent leather sling-back heals. They were killer shoes that perfectly matched the steel blue-gray silk pant suit I was wearing. “I love your shoes,” I adoringly said to her. “I love your suit,” she quickly fired back. “But I must have the shoes — where did you get them?” I queried. Debra generously replied that they were Cole-Haan Nike Air shoes that were the most comfortable shoes ever. She bought them at Nordstrom, she said. In the next couple of weeks I looked for the shoes at Nordstrom and Cole Haan stores in Houston and online, to no avail. The shoes were available in black and a maroon color, but no steel gray. A few weeks later, as fate would have it, I went to the Prime Outlet Mall only to discover a Cole Haan outlet store there. And guess what? They had the shoes — in my size and color. I’ve dubbed them my “Debra Winger” shoes.

I should have worn the shoes last Saturday night to the Brown Auditorium for the Cinema Arts Festival Houston showing of “Terms of Endearment.” I had to see the Oscar-winning film in the theater where I met Debra Winger, and where Academy Award-winning actress Shirley MacLaine was receiving the Texas Film Award after the movie that night. Film critic Joe Leydon conducted a Q&A with Shirley, followed by audience questions.

Among the many behind-the-scenes nuggets Shirley shared, she said she and Debra Winger didn’t quite see eye to eye when making the film. I guess it’s for the best that their appearances at the Brown Auditorium were totally separate and on their terms.

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PR Fairy Asks: Are You a Small Biz Promoting Social Good Via Social Media?

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Are you a Houston small business that promotes social good via social media?

If so, the PR Fairy has a publicity opportunity that could spotlight your small business and the nonprofit organization you support via blogging, Facebook and Twitter. Mashable.com is working on a story and wants to talk to small businesses that are using social media to raise money for a charity through a Facebook page or utilizing Twitter to promote a cause. Or perhaps you’re using another tool in a way no one has before. Whatever the case, mashable would like to hear about it.

Please comment on my PR Fairy blog ASAP if you’re interested and leave your contact info. PR Fairy will respond with the name of the reporter and their e-mail.

The early to apply the better — deadline for the PR Fairy is 4 p.m. CST tomorrow, October 1.

Good Luck!

Susan Farb Morris, PR Fairy
www.farbulous.com

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