A few days ago Jay Roussel went on Amazon and ordered a copy of Why Did the Chicken Cross the World?: The Epic Saga of the Bird that Powers Civilization for his friends Christian and Lisa Seger at Blue Heron Farm in Field Store, TX, about 45 miles northwest of Houston. When Lisa Seger opened the slapped-together-looking and poorly-taped package, she found no poultry tome, but rather a mysterious and heavy green cylinder. A mini-monolith of sorts.
As reported on the Blue Heron Facebook page, Christian Seger said, “This appears to be part of Amazon. Like, literally, part of Amazon. Part of the belt from the warehouse.”
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Will a mod-minded buyer be willing to commute from Brookshire? What if it means calling this “ultra-swank one-owner mid-century rancho deluxe time capsule” — priced at $275,000 — home? Located up the road a spell from the Energy Corridor, the long-and-lean 1954 custom property comes with “Mad Men” finishes, vintage tiles in the bathrooms, and mod-era fixtures and hardware. Intrigued? Grab yourself a high ball, why don’t you, and take this tour . . .
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A SLIGHT TRAFFIC DELAY ON THE PATH TO BUILDING HOUSTON’S FIFTH RING ROAD There’s the 610 Loop, Beltway 8, Highway 6 and FM 1960, and the Grand Parkway. What will come next in the grand sequence of giant highways encircling Houston? Why that might be Highway 36A, also dubbed the Prairie Parkway, possibly because the segment of the Grand Parkway opened just a few months ago through similar natural landscape is now already too urbanized to hold onto a prairie-styled name. But the apparent eagerness of Waller County commissioners to have additional tolled segments added to link Highway 36 to State Hwy. 6 (the Waller one, not the West Houston road of the same name) to form what would likely become Houston’s fifth ring-road orbit path hit a slight bump yesterday, possibly because of opposition led by the Katy Prairie Conservancy, whose lands stand in the path. A scheduled vote on a proposed resolution in support of a highway-boosting support group called the Highway 36A Coalition and its request for TxDOT funds to study the proposed 107-mile corridor was withdrawn before it could be discussed, according to a report on Facebook posted by someone who attended the court session. “Instead, a ‘workshop’ has been scheduled for next Wednesday, May 7, immediately after the Court’s regular session,” reads the report. In public comments, according to the attendee, all 11 people who spoke about the proposed highway “seemed skeptical of the project in general.” [Citizens Against the Landfill in Hempstead; previously on Swamplot] Map showing path of proposed Prairie Parkway: Highway 36A Coalition
COUNTING DOWN TO GARBAGE TIME IN WALLER COUNTY
The fight over the dumping ground proposed for Highway 6 seems to be coming to a head, now that a draft of a state permit has been issued — despite, reports the Houston Chronicle’s Cindy Horswell, “a near record 6,000 emails and letters [sent] to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, urging the agency to deny the permit.” Waller County residents, reports Horswell, have until March 12 to respond to the draft that would allow the proposed 223-acre Pintail landfill north of Hempstead to go ahead; GreenGroup Holdings, which bought the property in 2011, doesn’t seem to have been moved by the residents’ opposition so far: “President Ernest Kaufmann contends the protest typifies the ‘not in my backyard’ syndrome that happens whenever his company tries to put in a new landfill. ‘Unfortunately, it’s the same argument that you hear wherever you go. It’s always about the groundwater and the smell,’ he said. ‘But our landfills are engineered to be very safe.'” [Houston Chronicle ($); previously on Swamplot] Image: GreenGroup Holdings
WALLER COUNTY’S LOOMING WALL OF GARBAGE From a group opposed to the Pintail Landfill just proposed for the 723-acre Rainey Ranch property, a mile north of Hempstead: “The company’s plan for the property is to build an industrial park fronting on Highway 6 for approximately ¾ of a mile. Behind the industrial park, a system [of] 20 foot high berms will be constructed to hide the 215 acres of landfill behind. Neither [GreenFirst, LLC’s Oscar L.] Allen nor [Thad] Owings could or would say how many cubic yards of garbage is being planned for the life of the site or how high the solid waste will be piled up on the site. Some individuals have opined that the plan is to have the solid waste site rising to an elevation of over 130 feet. When challenged on his comment that ‘property values will not be affected,’ Allen would only shrug his shoulders in response. Neighbors believe that the mere rumor of such a development has damaged property values for up to 10 miles around the planned project, which would include Hempstead and the surrounding area. Allen praised GreenFirst’s existing Turkey Run Landfill, 45 miles south of Atlanta, Georgia, and claimed certain landowners have been offered all expense paid trips to visit the landfill in Georgia.” [Stop Highway 6 Landfill; more info] Landfill illustration: GreenGroup Holdings
Many of the buildings on the campus were completed last August, but this weekend marked the official grand opening of “one of the largest Buddhist developments in the nation,” just northeast of Hempstead. The American Bodhi Center, a new retreat on 515 acres off FM 2979 in Waller County, was created by the Texas Buddhist Association — in part to relieve crowding at the 1,500-family-strong Jade Buddha Temple in Alief.
Among the new buildings: the Memorial Hall pictured above. There’s also a new Meditation Hall:
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