July 2020

Happy summer! I am pleased to share some positive news. Precinct 4 recently resumed limited outdoor programs and volunteer activities, with social distancing guidelines in effect. Below, we provide information about how to safely participate in Precinct 4 activities like Summer Movie Nights, Tai Chi, birding, and more. I hope you join us!

We invite you to our online concert in July, spotlighting the music of The Beatles, with appearances from a few of your Precinct 4 Encore! friends. We hope you join us on Facebook for a fun afternoon of music and friendship. 

During the last month, your Encore! staff worked creatively to help the community in many ways. Check out an uplifting article detailing how your Encore! team partnered with the Houston Food Bank to provide food for the hungry. 

This edition also recognizes the Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Get a behind-the-scenes look at how emergency managers handle major emergencies like COVID-19 and Hurricane Harvey. Read all of this and more in Commissioner's E-Corner!

Featured Articles
A New Purpose for Mangum-Howell Center

Precinct 4 Encore! has always served the community by providing bus trips, volunteer activities, and recreational activities for adults over 50. 

So when the coronavirus outbreak began, staff had to find novel ways to help those in need.

As reports of food shortages began surfacing, Jan Sexton, Precinct 4's Encore! and community centers director, brainstormed ways to help.

Precinct 4 Encore! Presents A Unique Virtual Summer Concert Celebrating The Beatles
Summer is here, and Precinct 4 Encore! is bringing the fun to you on Facebook during an online-only concert featuring The Fab 5, a Houston-based Beatles tribute band.

Tune in on Wednesday, July 8, from noon to 3 p.m. on Precinct 4’s Facebook page, @HCPrecinct4, for some crafts, ideas for tasty summer treats, and rock ‘n’ roll hits from the ’60s and ’70s, inspired by The Beatles.
Visit www.facebook.com/HCPrecinct4 to view the virtual concert or call 713-274-4050 for more information.

Summer Movie Nights Continue

Precinct 4 is proud to offer a variety of family-friendly movies under the stars this summer.

To ensure proper social distancing, registration is required by calling 713-274-4050 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Children 12 or younger who would like to participate in crafts will need to bring markers or crayons, glue sticks, and scissors.
Check-in begins at 7 p.m. Guests should bring blankets, chairs, water, and snacks. Ice cream and snow cones will be available for purchase.  

Click here to see the lineup.
Inside Harris County's Emergency Operations Center

When disaster strikes, Harris County's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management springs into action. 

Although the public may recognize them best for pushing hurricane preparedness kits and catchy slogans like "turn around, don't drown" on ReadyHarris.com, the office does much more. 

The team of 44, led by Mark Sloan, the emergency management coordinator, plans and organizes responses for disasters like chemical spills, droughts, floods, hurricanes, and pandemics. 

"My role is to make sure the appropriate partners for the event are brought together so they can put their operational plan together to react, respond, and recover," said Sloan. "So if it's a flood, hurricane, fire, hazmat incident, terrorist incident, pandemic -- it's all the same structure. The partners just may change."

Volunteering Resumes at Mercer
If you’ve always dreamed of working in a botanic garden, now is your chance. Mercer Botanic Gardens is accepting volunteers for the first time since March.

Choose from among a variety of activities, including gardening, helping with plant sales, plant propagation, and much more. Talk to a volunteer coordinator today to volunteer.

Volunteers should practice social distancing, avoid physical contact, and use the provided hand sanitizer. Those who feel ill should stay home. Please do not volunteer if you have a health condition or recently received medical treatment.

To make the transition easier, Mercer will provide a list of guidelines for volunteering during the pandemic. Please contact Jamie Hartwell at 713-274-4160 to volunteer.
For more information about Mercer, click here .

Important Primary Election Dates 

Mark your calendars! It’s time to help your party choose its next candidates by voting in the 2020 primary runoff election. To get started, check out the important dates below:
  • Monday, June 29: In-person early voting begins.
  • Thursday, July 2: Mail-in ballot application for the 2020 primary runoff is due. (County Clerk's Office must receive the application by this date, regardless of the postmark date.)
  • Friday, July 10. Last day of in-person early voting.
  • Tuesday, July 14: 2020 Primary Runoff Election Day (Make sure to send mail-in ballots to the County Clerk's Office by July 15.)

For more election information, visit HarrisVotes.com and follow @HarrisVotes on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

COVID-19 Testing Continues in Precinct 4

Drive-thru COVID-19 testing will be available at Spring ISD’s Salyers Elementary School at 25705 W. Hardy Road from Monday, June 29, through Friday, July 3, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Testing will continue at Humble ISD's Turner Stadium, 1700 Wilson Road in Humble, from Monday, July 6, through Thursday, July 9, and on Saturday, July 11, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

No appointment or registration is necessary. Those who would like to schedule an appointment may visit www.readyharris.org/Get-Tested or call 832-927-7575.
Everyone is encouraged to get tested. Harris County Public Health mobile testing sites are available throughout the county Monday through Saturday. Those with questions may call Harris County Public Health at 832-927-7575 for more information. Monitor the Harris County Precinct 4 Facebook page for testing locations. 
If you have other health concerns, please call your healthcare provider or call the Harris Health Ask My Nurse line at 713-634-1110 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week. For more information on COVID-19, visit ReadyHarris.org , Harris County Public Health, or the Houston Health Department.
Upcoming Events
Tai Chi at Jones Park

Tai Chi is a centuries-old activity shown to reduce osteoarthritis pain and improve quality of life, reasoning ability, balance, and stability. John Spencer, a volunteer Tai Chi instructor, leads this class based on the 24-step Yang form of Tai Chi on Wednesdays, July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, at 9 a.m. The one-hour class is held in the outdoor classroom near the Nature Center.  
Junior Canoe Training at Jones Park

Children can hit the water to earn a Jones Park Paddler's card on Tuesday, July 2, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. This biannual course offers kids the opportunity to learn paddling techniques and safety precautions. The card allows participation in future park-sponsored canoe trips with an accompanying adult. Ages 10 to 15. Reservations required beginning Wednesday, June 17.
Birds Before Twilight at Mercer Botanic Gardens

Enjoy an interactive program with U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Urban Ranger Felice Yarbough on Thursday, July 9, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Learn about native wildlife in Houston and watch a locally produced video about wild birds, followed by a bird walk in the gardens. Bring binoculars and a bird identification guide. Participants should dress for the weather. Registration is required, and space is limited. To register or for more information, call 713-274-4160.
Ice Cream Parade at Mangum-Howell Center

I scream, you scream, we all scream for sweet ice cream and pops. Cool off by attending the Mangum-Howell Center drive-thru ice cream parade on Tuesday, July 21, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Registration is required. Please call 281-591-7830 to sign up. Ice cream is limited.