New Beginnings

November 17, 2020

Dear RAF Supporters,

After 11 years as Chair of Residents Against Flooding, Ed Browne is stepping down. 

There are over 70 million reasons Ed and Residents Against Flooding have been successful

While our lawsuit to force local community funds earmarked for flooding and transportation to actually go to flooding projects for our community did not “win” in court, it caused major positive changes. 

It was not until our lawsuit demonstrated that our community was not willing to back down and be flooded that a $19+ million drainage project was secured for neighborhoods north of I-10 and a $50+ million capital improvement plan project was passed providing for a much needed drainage basin in neighborhoods south of I-10. 

The $19 million drainage project is in the ground. 

The detention basin for folks south of I-10 will still need to be fought for. 

However, City Hall has submitted a press release for a $54.3 million dollar underground drainage basin in the TIRZ 17 area. This is the drainage basin that we fought for and the city has secured federal funds from FEMA to support the project. 

RAF has long advocated for underground water detention basins in crowded city neighborhoods as a way to conserve surface space while addressing flooding. So this is very exciting that our input has been heard and the plans are for an underground basin. 

It is true that the TIRZ and city of Houston have held out false promises in the past to placate homeowners and these funds could still be switched to benefit developers. But, a basin to store water in this area would be a major victory. And, FEMA funds are involved and those are much harder to abuse than city of Houston funds and there are clear procedures to report abuse to non-political government watchdogs.  

Residents south of I-10 must be vigilant in monitoring the details and advocating for their homes before TIRZ 17   

Ed Browne worked tirelessly for over a decade and was instrumental to obtaining these major infrastructure projects. Ed deserves the thanks and gratitude of every single current and future homeowner in the TIRZ 17 Memorial / Spring Branch area. 

Ed showed us that a community can be united and achieve great things together. He worked tirelessly to unite the different neighborhoods of West Houston and achieved great things.

Retiring to the Texas Hill Country

There have been many victories. But, the most recent for Ed is becoming a grandparent and making plans to retire to the Texas hill country. 

With so much accomplished, most of our board members have decided it is time in their lives to move on from the RAF board. We thank Don Ray and Virginia Gregory for their many, many hours of dedicated service and friendship. Don is still living here while Virginia has moved to the Katy area. Both will be missed from the board.  

Don writes:

I am leaving the RAF board because I think it’s time for some new blood to guide the organization. I have been a board member for several years and want others to have the opportunity to serve. I have enjoyed our time with the board and others who have tried to get our flooding issues addressed.

Thank you Don and Virginia.

A new purpose

The new officers of RAF are Roger Gingell, Cynthia Neely and Kay Haslam. 

Our lawsuit is over and has been for some time.

The new purpose of the organization will be to inform and educate ALL Houstonians – everyone in the greater Houston area – about flooding issues. We have new by-laws to go with the new scope of the organization and they are available if you would like to read them. 

Please direct any contact to the new board to HouResidentsAgainstFlooding@gmail.com.  

RAF will create a new website – to be announced – to be a hub of information and news for flooding issues. Please be patient. Changes take time.   

DrainageCoalition.com will go with Ed who plans to store the voluminous information he has saved and to publish new articles from time to time. The old “drainage coalition” will live on but will not be a part of the organization’s name going forward. 

The old email of Drainage.Coalition@gmail.com will also be going to the Texas Hill Country with Ed. Please send Ed a note of thanks and wish him well. He definitely deserves it!     

Many kind thanks for the years of support. 

Sincerely,

Residents Against Flooding

HouResidentsAgainstFlooding@gmail.com

Ed’s comments:

Since this website predates the organization and I’ve been responsible for its costs and most of the content, I decided to keep it as a public resource about flooding. In addition, I’ll be posting educational information about climate change – a scientific topic that has entirely too much political controversy.

It’s my hope that logical explanations of the science will diffuse some of the myths and misconceptions about climate. It is an existential threat to civilization that requires immediate action.

The first myth to dispel is that changing the climate will take thousands of years. It doesn’t. With positive feedback, it can happen quite fast.

It should be clear to those of you who have lived as long as I have that the climate is getting more volatile. Currently, there are numerous positive feedback mechanisms that will cause the rapidity of the change to accelerate.

In one way, increased warming is good. According to Milankovitch cycles, we should be entering a new ice age. Increased greenhouse gases have counteracted this natural cyclical cooling; however, we have overcompensated and are warming too fast. I intend to explore some of the reasons why and what we can do about it.

Climate change has been an interest for me for many years, yet wasn’t something that I felt would be welcomed by very many residents of conservative West Houston, the people whose donations made possible our fight against man-made flooding. Now unencumbered by political correctness, I am free to express my concerns for spaceship Earth.

I look forward to the new journey.

Ed Browne

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