February 2019

Our region’s criminal justice system took a major step forward last month with the opening of the Joint Processing Center, a combined effort of Harris County and the City of Houston. Not only does the inmate processing facility save taxpayer dollars, it also diverts low-level offenders with mental health issues to the appropriate facility, frees more officers from jail duty, and improves efficiency. Kudos to the team of forward-thinking individuals who began this process more than a decade ago! 

On another note, I want to recognize the C-SPAN Bus program for providing mobile educational resources to students throughout the country. I recently had the pleasure of climbing aboard the C-SPAN Bus to share my perspective on American government with students at Spring ISD’s Twin Creeks Middle School. I appreciate the opportunity to speak with such a great group of students! I also want to thank the teachers and administrators at Spring ISD for making this opportunity possible. Thank you for everything you do! 

With spring approaching, I encourage you to explore some of the fun, free events your Precinct 4 staff has planned this season. Find information about spring break activities at Jones Park and Mercer Botanic Gardens, along with festivals happening throughout March and April, including NatureFest at Jones Park, the March Mart Plant Sale at Mercer Botanic Gardens, and the Shakespeare Festival at Burroughs Park. I hope to see you there!

As a reminder, you can access past issues of  Commissioner's E-Corner on the  Precinct 4 website. Visit Precinct 4 online to learn more about our road projects and upcoming events available through our community centers, parks department, and Senior Adult Program.
Featured Articles
Top Spring Break Activities Across Precinct 4

Looking for activities to keep your child or grandchild entertained over spring break? Precinct 4 has you covered. 

From March 11 through March 16, children can participate in a new activity every day, from vegetable gardening to canoeing and fishing. In the evening, families are invited to watch a movie under the stars.

Click here for a sampling of some of the many activities available during spring break.
Billboards to Find the Missing

Next time you pass a billboard, pay attention. You may just change someone’s life.

The Texas Center for the Missing and Clear Channel Outdoor launched a new billboard campaign in February to generate leads in the cases of missing Texans.

Every month, billboards across the state will feature the photo and information of a different missing person. 

This month’s campaign will focus on Alexandria (Ali) Lowitzer, who disappeared in 2010 at the age of 16.

Lowitzer’s photo will be broadcast on digital billboards throughout the state more than 1,200 times per day for a month. 

C-SPAN Bus at Spring ISD

How do you communicate the American political process to the next generation? From aboard a 45-foot bus!

The C-SPAN Bus recently visited Spring ISD’s Twin Creeks Middle School as part of its eight-state Southern Swing tour to connect students with online educational resources, local speakers, and digital technology.

“I was asked to come here not to talk about what a good government group I am a part of, but to talk about what it is to be an American,” Cagle told students during his two-hour visit to Twin Creeks.

Cagle has served as county commissioner for Harris County Precinct 4 since 2011 and was re-elected in 2014 and 2018. 

Joint Processing Center Serves City, County

Harris County and the City of Houston recently opened the Harris County/City of Houston Joint Processing Center (JPC), a facility that combines four different jail operations under one roof.

The new facility will expedite inmate booking and allow officers with the Houston Police Department and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office to share resources.

Previously, Houston police booked suspects at two city jails and then transferred them within 48 hours to the Harris County Jail.

The new facility frees up to 100 officers from jail duty and is projected to save more than $4 million in operating costs, according to a 2013 report on the JPC by Harris County and the City of Houston. 

“This streamlined, expedited booking process is a true game-changer for Harris County law enforcement families,” said Sheriff Ed Gonzalez.

March Mart Plant Sale 2019

March Mart at Mercer Botanic Gardens is back with extended shopping hours and more plants than ever! Spend your weekend discovering a huge selection of premium plants rarely found in major retail centers.

This premier two-day event offers tax-free shopping with no admission charge on Friday, March 15, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday, March 16, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.! 

Early shopping is available for The Mercer Society (TMS) members Friday, March 15, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and for TMS members with VIP Early Access Thursday, March 14, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

Shoppers will discover more than 40 varieties of ungrafted roses; native and tropical milkweed; tropical gingers; special selections of Mercer-grown plants; heirloom vegetables, and Gulf Coast natives. Featured plants include the Purple Ghost Japanese Maple, Fuzzy Bolivian Sage, and the Sunsation Magnolia. 

Traveling Day Camp Brings the Fun to the Young at Heart

Have bus – will travel!

That’s the mantra of Precinct 4’s Traveling Day Camp, a group of Precinct 4 staff and volunteers who bring musical bingo, prizes, and crafts to assisted living facilities in Precinct 4.

Kicking off camp activities is Big Stone Lodge’s 4-Star Stampede, a group of 20 to 30 women who lead line-dancing performances for senior adults.

“These women are the heart and soul of the Traveling Day Camp,” said Gema Barrera, Precinct 4’s Senior Adult Program volunteer coordinator. “When we begin on a high note, it sets the tone for the rest of the day.”

NatureFest Nurtures Outdoor Awareness

If the only wildlife you've encountered lately is the squirrels in the park, then it's time to visit Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center! 

Meet a python named Lucky, and come face-to-face with hawks, owls, and other native wildlife during Jones Park’s NatureFest, Saturday, March 2, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 

More than 25 nature organizations, exhibitors, and speakers will offer family-friendly activities, including guided nature walks, pontoon boat tours, live animal exhibits, a children’s catch-and-release fishing tank, crafts, and other interactive demonstrations.

Upcoming Events
Paws on the Preserve at Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve

Discover your new shelter pet during this walk-and-adopt event Saturday, March 16, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m . at Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve. Visitors are welcome to walk and interact with adoptable pets provided by the Harris County Animal Shelter. Adoptions are available on site. Click here to find out more about adopting a pet through Harris County.
Senior Adult Spring Fling at Humble Civic Center
Everyone 50 years of age and better is invited to travel to the Humble Civic Center for live music, carnival games, crafts, and a petting zoo Wednesday, March 27, at noon . Bring a dessert to enter the baking contest. James Coney Island will provide chili and cheese hot dogs, chips, a drink, and dessert. No alcohol is permitted. Transportation is available. Fee: $7. To register, click here .
Shakespeare Festival at Burroughs Park

Join Harris County Precinct 4 for a free festival featuring performances of Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen of Verona along with crafts, entertainers, face painting, games, and food trucks Friday, April 12, and Sunday, April 14, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Performances begin Friday, April 12, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, April 13, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, April 14, at 2 p.m.