Cilantro Dip Recipe!

Many of you requested the recipe for the cilantro dip shared by Jim Sampson at the neighborhood block party.  By popular demand, here it is.  Enjoy!

Cilantro Dip

2             *Bunches cilantro (3 if they are small)
1             Cup corn oil
1             Slice onion
1 or 2     Garlic pods
1             Egg (raw)
8             Teaspoons vinegar
1 ½         **Knorr chicken bouillon cubes
1             Pinch sugar

Just put it all in a blender and mixed at high speed

*Break off the long ends of the stalks just below the leaves and put the rest in (too much stalk will make it bitter)

**The Knorr product comes in a little yellow box and can be found at Fiesta.  The original recipe called for 2 cubes, but this was too salty for my taste.

General Meeting Minutes – January 11, 2011

Richwood Place Civic Association General Meeting

January 11, 2011 7 p.m.
Zoe’s Kitchen


  1. 2011 Dues
  2. 2011 Officers, Committee Chairs, Committee Members and Counselors
    • President
    • Vice President
    • Treasurer
    • Secretary
    • Deed Restriction Committee
    • Safety/Security Commmittee
    • Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) Committee
    • 2 Counselors
  3. Street  Sign Toppers
  4. Deed Restriction Update
  5. Security/Neighborhood Protection Update
  6. Treasurer’s Report
  7. Next RPCA Meeting Date


Daniel Baker, Vice President, called the meeting to order

Officers present:

Vice President: Daniel Baker
Treasurer: Larry Wood

Regrets given from Laura Mullen who was unable to attend due to a family illness

Discussion Item  1: 2011 Dues

All members requested to pay dues.  Click here for information.

Discussion Item 2: 2011 Officers Committee Chairs, Committee Members and Counselors

The following individuals were nominated:

    • President – Laura Mullen and Rebekah El-Hakam
    • Vice President – Daniel Baker
    • Treasurer – Sue Bailey
    • Secretary – Andy Stefaniak
    • Deed Restriction Committee Chair – Brian Kilpatrick
    • Safety/Security Committee Chair – Larry Wood
    • CIP Committee Chair – Daniel Baker
    • Counselors (2 available) – John Geiss and Brian Trudeau

All uncontested positions were unanimously approved.  An election was required for President, however, there was concern the current President was not in attendance due to family illness.  The Vice President held a vote to determine whether or not to proceed and the majority (9 to 6) was in favor of continuing the vote for President as scheduled.  The vote was held and Rebekah held the majority (10 to 5).

New committee volunteers included:

    • Deed Restriction Committee – Raymond Eich
    • Safety/Security Committee – Sue Bailey
    • CIP Committee – Brian Kilpatrick, Cliff Helmcamp, Moustapha El-Hakam and Judy Clark

Discussion Item 3: Street Sign Toppers

Cliff Helmcamp presented the proposed design created by Jerry Jeanmard.  Detailed information and cost break down will be presented at the next meeting for final vote.  Sponsors are requested to help cover the cost.

Discussion Item 4: Deed Restriction Update

Rebekah El-Hakam stated there were no updates since the last meeting.

Discussion Item 5: Security/Neighborhood Protection Update

Larry Wood will forward an email recently received from Officer Pate.

Concern was raised over two recent incidents of people ringing doorbells asking for money. Residents are reminded to call the police regarding any suspicious activity.  It was noted a home was entered by a stranger recently at the corner of Hazard and Norfolk  while the homeowner was in the front yard.

Concerns were raised about the apartment complex on Richmond.  The Security Committee agreed to an action item to try to improve the situation.  It was suggested the Security Committee request help from the City Inspector or City Council.

Discussion Item 6: Treasurer’s Report

Larry Wood provided an update at the meeting and will be happy to provide further information to members if requested.

Larry will send a reminder to members to pay their 2011 dues.

Discussion Item 7: Next RPCA Meeting Date

The next meeting date is scheduled for Tuesday, April 12, 2011 at 7p.m.

Tomorrow’s Neartown Development Forum III (H-E-B design vote)

Upcoming Oct 30 Neartown Development Forum III
Saturday, October 30th, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Neartown Development Forum III will take place tomorrow, Saturday, October 30th, 9 a.m – 1 p.m. at St. Stephen’s church Pecore Hall. St. Stephen’s Church is located at 1805 W. Alabama. Please participate!
We will reconvene with Metro and HEB for a public meeting intended to update the community on the status of the University Line and the grocery store development at West Alabama and Dunlavy.

Neartown/Montrose Association Meeting – September 2010

I attended the August Neartown Association meeting tonight at the Cherryhurst Park Community Center.  Minutes from the meeting will be posted at the Neartown website, but I took a few notes from the discussions:

Whole Foods (Waugh at Dallas)

Whole Foods representatives Scott Simons and Mark Dixon presented renderings of the new Whole Foods store planned for the corner of Waugh and W Dallas.  The store is currently epxected to open in March or April of 2011.  The 40,000 square foot store will be slightly larger than the Kirby location.  Whole Foods is planning to add solar panels and rainwater collection, as well as pedestrian and bike friendly spaces.  Concerns over parking, bicycle access, layout and the loading dock were adressed at the meeting. 

Whole Foods is also searching for local artists for wall and sculptural art.  More information can be found at the Whole Foods Houston facebook site.

Renew Houston

Renew Houston reviewed the benefits of Proposition 1 (on this November’s ballot).  Proposition 1 creates a dedicated fund to repar aging streets and drainage systems in Houston.  The Neartown Association passed a motion to support the proposition.  More information can be found at

HISD Choices in Education

The second annual community forum will be held at the First Methodist Church at the corner of Main and Clay downtown Wednesday, October 27th, at 6:30pm.  The forum will explain the various HISD programs (Magnet, Vanguard, etc).  Contact Gwen Syzdek at or Brenda Kenney for more information.

 Peter Schwethelm for HISD Board of Education, District VIII

Peter Schwethelm requested your vote.

Dispute Resolution Center of Harris County

The Dispute Resolution Center (DRC) provides free mediation services conducted by trained professionals to help people resolve their disputes.

Neartown meeting – August 2010

I attended the August Neartown Association meeting tonight at the Cherryhurst Park Community Center.  Minutes from the meeting will be posted at the Neartown website, but I took a few notes from the discussions:

METRO University Line update

Speaker David Couch, Managing Director for Metro Solutions, provided an update on the University Line on Richmond Avenue. Metro recently received a Record of Decision from the FTA.  The alignment of the rail is also set.  Metro will now focus on planning the rail line, including reviewing traffic signals/flow and lane/sidewalk widths.   Metro expects planning to continue through the remainder of the year, with detailed design beginning early next year.  Metro assured the group community input and agreement would be sought before detailed design began.  I specifically asked about left turns out of Richwood Place and David answered that our community input would be requested in this planning phase.  It looks like planning and design will continue in parallel with property acquisition and further requests for funding over the next several years.  That means construction may not begin for two or three more years.  

HEB update

Scott McClelland, HEB Houston Division President, has assured the Neartown Association that HEB wants community involvement in the selection of the store design.  He will use as a means of communicaiton, including creating a voting mechanism for final design preference.  He now believes the cost delta for the park is around $700,000 , and he hopes he can work with the community to raise the money for the project.  Some of you may have heard the delta was closer to 2 or 3 million, however, creating a two story structure with the store on the second level would provide retail opportunities on the first level that would help close the gap.  HEB has also confirmed the City of Houston would maintain a park if one is built.  There is at least one store plan created (by a HEB architect) and several more are expected soon. 

New High-Rise Construction

A new 13-story building is planned for the corner of Montrose and 59.  I searched swamplot and found two links about the project here and here.

Concerns over neighborhood bars

The home at 2310 Converse, just North of Fairview, has recently become a new bar, the Muffin Man.  The hours for the bar are listed from 11pm until 5am.  This bar has opened in a residence in the middle of a neighborhood street and is raising serious concerns in the Montrose community.  The group is working to understand how to prevent this from ocurring.

Next month’s meeting will include discussions from representatives of the new Whole Foods market planned on Waugh and an update on the 13-story building mentioned above.

There are several other activities this week you may be interesting in participating in:


The next Positive Interaction Program (PIP) meeting for with the Houston Police Department (neighborhood crime for the Central District #1) is scheduled for tomorrow at 7pm at 1602 State Street.

Heights Wal-Mart

Mayor Parker will host a public meeting regarding the Koehler Street Development proposals (simply put, the Washington Corridor WalMart) at the George R. Brown Convention Center, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday.  Click here for the Houston Chronicle article detailing the meeting.