It’s all about the money. It always has been. When the Garden Oaks Maintenance Organization (GOMO) filed for bankruptcy last April, it did so because it expected many of the neighborhood’s homeowners to ask for their money back. And hundreds of them did, filing claims to recoup the transfer fees they paid upon purchasing their homes. Those transfer fees – 0.75 percent of every sale – were the primary revenue source for GOMO, which has enforced deed restrictions in the affluent northwest Houston subdivision since the early 2000s. But a 2016 state district court ruling in favor of resident Peter Chang, who was sued by GOMO, revealed the homeowners association had no authority to collect transfer fees because it violated the Texas Property Code while petitioning residents to include … [Read more...] about Who comes out ahead in GOMO bankruptcy case? Lawyers
Families are worried about the enrollment numbers at Houston ISD campuses in the area, and so are residential developers that want to bring even more families to this part of the city. Both have heard that some schools are at or near capacity, which means their public classrooms could be closed to taxpaying families even if they live within walking distance. It’s an important issue for people in places like Oak Forest and the Heights, which means it’s an important issue for The Leader. It’s our duty as a community newspaper to provide answers to your questions, ease your concerns and alert you to potential problems. The problem is, the school district charged with serving you doesn’t seem to care. Or maybe it doesn’t want you to know the truth of the matter. HISD received our … [Read more...] about You’ve got questions HISD refuses to answer
Twenty years in the newspaper business provides plenty of noteworthy experiences, along with lots of hastily scribbled, barely legible notes. I’ve got more of both than I care to count. And if that doesn’t make me sound old, let me tell you about the time I filed a story by taking the phone jack out of an ATM machine and plugging it into my laptop. That was back in the days of dial-up internet, well before WiFi, but at least I was using a computer and not a typewriter. Fast forward to Dec. 18, the second day of my sixth week as editor of The Leader, and I received a call on my new iPhone. Boy, have I come a long way. Anyway, I soon felt a little like a giddy little boy and a lot like a cub reporter all over again. I had been tipped off about a fire at Houston Heights Towers and, … [Read more...] about Zuvanich: Old newshound learning new tricks
There are roughly 4,500 members of SPJST Lodge 88. But according to Brian Vanicek, president of the statewide group that oversees the 108-year-old fraternal organization in the Heights, nearly half of those members do not even have Houston addresses. If there ever was a time for a homecoming at 1435 Beall St., that time is 1 p.m. Sunday, when the lodge’s annual meeting will be held and members will vote to adopt or deny several new rules and regulations that were temporarily approved in June. Most of the changes relate to a swimming pool being built on the lodge’s spacious property, which we’ll dive into a little later. If you love the lodge – for its charitable contributions to the community, for its preservation of Czech heritage, for its dances, for its popular Thursday night … [Read more...] about Calling all lodge members: Should pool proposal sink or swim?
The games always got me going. Perhaps it was the crowds and the energy they produced or the big and bright places where they gathered. Maybe it was the awe-inspiring ability and competitiveness of the players on the field or court, who I admired from an early age and tried to emulate. Sports were my first love and what I wanted to do with my life. So when it became clear I did not possess the physical capability to play at a professional level, I pursued a career that would keep me just as close to the games I adored watching in the Astrodome, Summit or at home on the TV. Sportswriting seemed like the next-best thing, and it turned out I was better at observing, critiquing and capturing the spirit of the games than I was at playing them. I approached reporting and writing with … [Read more...] about Longtime sports scribe pumped to be editor