Local News

Business News January 2010

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Like Music to Their Ears. Houston Grand Opera (HGO) has received the 2009 Leading Lights Diversity Award in Arts and Culture from the National MultiCultural Institute (NMCI) for its Song of Houston series. The award marks the first time in NMCI’s 26-year history that this national award has been presented to an opera company.

Driving for Dollars. Approximately 300 Klein Oak High School students and families participated in Ford and Lincoln Mercury’s Drive One 4 UR School Program on Saturday, Nov. 21, raising an estimated $6,000 for the girl’s softball team. Participants showed their support for Klein Oak by participating in the Drive One 4 UR School event sponsored by Randall Reed’s Planet Ford and Ford Motor Company by test-driving a Ford vehicle.

Gold Standard. Furniture industry leader and civil rights advocate, Mitchell Gold, made a special presentation to Will Phillips, a fifth-grade student in Fayetteville, Ark., on Dec. 12. Gold recognized Phillips for his courageous stance for equality by refusing to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance in class at West Fork Elementary School until same-sex marriage is legal throughout the U.S. Gold presented Phillips with the award in conjunction with Faith in America, an organization founded by Gold committed to preventing religion-based bigotry against LGBT people.

Tax Protest. Former appraisal review board member, Kay Van Cleave, has announced the opening of U-Protest Property Protest Seminars, her new company that instructs clients how to read Harris County Appraisal District papers and a property description sheet, how to design a protest, and how to present it. Her workshop, “Property Taxes Today—How to Protest Appraisals & Win,” uses a computerized mass-appraisal system to value property. Clients, Van Cleave says, save as much as $1,000 to $3,000 each year. Jan. 13, 7–9 p.m. and March 6, 1:30–3:30 p.m. E-mail [email protected] for location and more details.

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