01/17/13 11:15am

Pelicans are symbols of self-sacrifice, said to pierce their own breast with their own beak to feed their young their blood. But the birds also have real big gullets — fitting, then, as the name of this 4,000-sq.-ft. restaurant under construction at 7819 Broadway in Galveston.

But the restaurant is just one part of the Pelican Rest Marina project developed by Harry Schulz. Across Offatts Bayou from Moody Gardens, the marina’s already operating as a fuel dock and weigh station. And construction is expected to begin soon on seaside condos:


03/19/12 2:29pm

GALVESTON ELEMENTARY STILL IN AFTER-SCHOOL DETENTION Well into Burnet Elementary School’s third year of post-Ike limbo, a school district spokesman says one idea is to fix the hurricane-ravaged property’s exterior, roof, and air conditioning so it can be used as warehouse space. There’s “a good chance” FEMA would pay for repairs, but no funds have been negotiated yet. Then there’s the other option: selling the campus. But the district doesn’t think it would get a very good price in the current market, and what if they need to open up a new school a few years later? [Galveston County Daily News] Photo: Galveston ISD

11/14/11 9:40pm

What could possibly have been worse than Hurricane Ike? Super Ike, a stronger hurricane aimed 30 miles further west, causing a larger storm surge, more deaths, and significantly greater damage to Houston’s industrial infrastructure. To protect against that hypothetical $100 billion threat, a Rice University team is recommending some bolstered defenses for the region. Included among the suggestions: a “moveable gate structure” just upstream from Baytown’s Fred Hartman Bridge, to block the Ship Channel and San Jacinto River from rising waters in Galveston Bay (pictured above); elevating Hwy. 146 along the west edge of Galveston Bay so that it forms a levee protecting much of La Marque, Dickinson, League City, Clear Lake, and La Porte; a “baywall” to protect Galveston Island’s backside from sneaky storm surge waters; and preserving a 130-mile-long stretch of existing coastal wetlands between High Island and Matagorda as a recreation area and when-needed storm barrier.


11/09/11 11:17am

GEORGE MITCHELL WANTS TO BUY GALVESTON PIERS Billionaire George Mitchell’s Mitchell Historic Properties has been leasing Piers 19-22 on the dock side of Galveston since 1993. The leases don’t expire until 2065, but he now wants to buy the properties from the city. Sitting on the piers: the Harbor House Hotel and Marina and a couple of Landry’s-owned restaurants. Mitchell claims he wants to make improvements to the docks that would make more development possible. The sale would require a city charter amendment and voter approval, which the company hopes would take place next May. [Galveston County Daily News] Photo: TripAdvisor

10/27/11 10:16am

A new report from Rice University’s Shell Center for Sustainability includes a few suggestions for the future of Galveston: step all development back from the beach in anticipation of continuing erosion; use a map of the island’s cataloged geohazards to guide where development should go; or permanently abandon the west end of the island entirely. That third recommendation comes with 2 possible natural enforcement mechanisms: a projected future hurricane headed for the western tip of the island, or a combination of sea-level rise and continuing retreat of the shoreline. All 3 scenarios encourage concentrating residents and visitors in the “higher, thicker, wider” East End. A collaboration between earth scientists and the School of Architecture chock-full of charts and diagrams, the Atlas of Sustainable Strategies for Galveston Island includes a series of large-scale design proposals cooked up by Rice architecture students.


09/19/11 10:24am

DISTURBING DETAILS FROM THE FLAGSHIP HOTEL DEMO ACCIDENT A letter written by Grant MacKay Demolition owner Grant MacKay paints a harrowing picture of the circumstances surrounding the death of 65-year-old company worker Tauelangi Angilau in a collapse at the former Flagship Hotel on April 26th. In the letter, obtained from the city of Galveston by reporter Chris Paschenko, MacKay writes that he yelled for someone to retrieve 2 fuel cans he spotted in an area where a collapse appeared imminent. Two workers responded by running toward a portion of the structure a structural engineer later said “they were not supposed to be anywhere near.”: “’I immediately yelled at them to not go under the second floor slab above, but to get a shovel and reach for them from below (pier level),’ Grant MacKay wrote. ‘They either did not hear me or just ignored me.’ Workers continued to yell at the men to come out from under the slab, Grant MacKay wrote. . . . ‘At that precise moment, the north half of all the west bays began to collapse,’ Grant MacKay wrote. ‘We continued to yell that it was falling. Raphael heard us and jumped off, escaping the collapse. Tau didn’t move.’” [Galveston County Daily News; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Click2Houston

06/28/11 3:04pm

JACK JOHNSON, STILL DRAWING THE CROWDS IN GALVESTON On the agenda for the next meeting of GRACE, the homeownership organization in charge of The Oaks housing development at 4300 Broadway in Galveston: A discussion of Earl Jones’s sculpture of former world heavyweight boxing champion and Galveston native Jack Johnson, carved out of the trunk of a subdivision oak tree killed by Hurricane Ike. Homeowners association President Frank Rivera has been campaigning to have the stature moved. His complaint: That the Johnson statue was bringing a stream of tourists and other visitors to the neighborhood, creating traffic and disrupting the peace. But a canvas of residents over the weekend by 2 housing authority board members turned up only 2 who said they didn’t want the sculpture. [Galveston County Daily News; background; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Click2Houston

06/10/11 5:56pm

Yes, there’s a mini seawall wrapped around the base of this Ostermeyer Rd. winner in Baybridge Estates in Galveston — and it “protected the home” from Hurricane Ike, according to the listing. Other Galvestonian touches to this 4-bedroom, 4-bath house on a hill, constructed in 2005 by Rawlins Residential Builders: Rough-textured travertine tile at the front entrance, and a big first-floor washroom suitable for summertime sandy swimsuit removal operations. The 1.3-acre lot includes a long driveway entrance across a pond and other only occasionally submerged terrain. And then you get to this:


05/02/11 10:28am

Following up on this shocking reader-submitted photo of a TxDOT electronic sign spotted Friday morning from the northbound Gulf Freeway near the Galveston Causeway, a local investigative news team springs into action: “At last check, FOX 26 News was not able to locate any zombies on the mainland.” Keep tuned for updates.

Photo: Fox26 Viewer Amy

04/27/11 1:15pm

FLAGSHIP COLLAPSE KILLS The 65-year-old demolition worker from Utah who was trapped after a portion of the Flagship Hotel collapsed on him yesterday died from his injuries less than an hour after he was rescued. Landry’s, the owner of the hotel, is tearing it down in order to add amusement rides to the 25th St. pier it sits on. An investigation is currently underway, and Galveston’s fire chief tells reporter Laura Elder that there’s still danger of another collapse: “Ardent, the contractor of record, could have brought in subcontractors to handle the job, and the city was in the process of determining Tuesday what company employed the injured man, city of Galveston spokeswoman Alicia Cahill said. Crews demolished the hotel to the second floor slab. It rested, partially collapsed, at an angle with the westernmost edge appearing to touch the floor of the pier. The injured man was in a void of concrete, [Fire chief Jeff] Smith said. ‘Entrapment time was about 20 minutes, and he had about 1,000 pounds of weight on top of him,’ Smith said.” [Galveston County Daily News; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Click2Houston

04/26/11 6:00pm

FLAGSHIP HOTEL DEMOLITION GOES A LITTLE FASTER THAN EXPECTED A portion of the second floor of Galveston’s Flagship Hotel collapsed this afternoon, as it was being dismantled. One worker is in critical condition after he was freed from being pinned under 1,000 pounds of debris on the north end of the structure, on the 25th St. Pier. [Click2Houston; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Click2Houston

03/03/11 7:04pm

Yesterday a spokesperson for Landry’s told Galveston County Daily News Reporter Michael A. Smith that the company had already investigated claims that pieces of the Flagship Hotel it’s dismantling on Galveston’s 25th St. pier were finding their way into the water and “determined [them] to be false.” But what reports had the company actually looked into? By Wednesday, a website run by Galveston real-estate agent Bill Hill was featuring 7 separate accounts from witnesses claiming to have seen demolition workers or machinery knocking pieces of the building into the Gulf. And then there’s the video above, one of 3 assembled and posted Monday night by Flagship pier surfer Jeff Seinsheiner from a much longer weekend filming session. “The quality is shaky from shivers & cheap camera with no image stabilizer,” Seinsheiner explains in a note on Hill’s website. But: “I knew this would become a he said/she said without solid proof, so this should stop the nonsense.” As long as you look at it closely:

Watch for the bobcat on the first floor at 0:40…at 0:48 I see midair debris and at 0:49 I see splash. At 1:25 I see debris falling, at 1:26 splash, at 1:27 debris mid air, at 1:28 splash with more mid air debris above it.

Seinsheiner comments on the soundtrack of a later clip, which includes multiple OMGs: “By the way, we are non-denominational, but I needed a higher power for strength, as you’ll hear in the audio.” His camerawork appears to have had some effect.