Terri Alani, DDS

February 8, 2018 by  
Filed under Alani, Terri, DDS, Top Dentists

Terri Alani, DDS
Cosmetic, Implant & General Dentistry

Dr. Terri Alani and her team of smile experts make each and every one of her patients a priority. Her experience in esthetic dentistry has created thousands of naturally beautiful smiles. “The lab used in fabricating these natural looking crowns and veneers plays a key role in achieving the desired result and our boutique lab is amazing!” Our office focuses on metal-free dentistry ranging from nautral looking fillings to all porcelain crowns. Invisalign and Zoom whitening are also offered. Veneers are done with minimal prepping so the patient usuallly does not need to be numbed. Each patient has unique needs and Dr. Alani and her staff can relate well to their concerns. She strives to educate the community through her Channel 11 Great Day Houston segments as well her interviews on Channel 2, Fox and Channel 13. She co-hosts What’s up Doc?, a new medical show featured on Houston Live TV.

“We know how important aesthetics are to our patients and our attention to detail is one of our strengths.” Routine blood pressure readings as well as oral cancer exams are part of a very comprehensive evaluation that focuses on the overall health of each patient. Dr. Alani states, “The mouth is the window to the rest of the body. We understand the intimate connection between oral health and overall health and what you can do to protect yourself.” 

Dr. Terri Alani, DDS
5636 Westheimer Rd.
Houston, TX 77056
713-621-5141
www.texastoothlady.com

Daniel Lee

February 7, 2018 by  
Filed under Lee, Daniel, Top Family Lawyers

Daniel Lee
Family Law

It’s all about the client’s best interest for Daniel Lee. With more than nine years of trial experience in commercial litigation, personal injury and family law, Lee is strategically positioned to create a vantage point for his every case. He strives to lower his client’s stress level not only with competent representation, but also with a compassionate approach to a highly emotional situation.

Not your typical family law attorney, Lee is also a real estate investor and a successful restauranteur. He utilizes his business acumen in applying a successful formula to all his cases and to anticipate issues business owners face in a divorce. No matter how complex or contentious your divorce, child custody or child support case, Lee always works hard to obtain the best results in negotiations and in the courtroom.

Daniel Lee
C.Y. Lee Legal Group, PLLC
1305 Prairie St., Ste. 300
Houston, TX 77002
832-632-4639
www.leelegalgroup.com

Cathy Herrington Hale

Cathy Herrington Hale
Family Law and Civil/Probate Litigation

Cathy is the founder of The Herrington Law Firm and has represented hundreds of clients since 1998 in family law and civil/probate disputes. She is committed, along with her team of associates and paralegals, to providing quality legal representation to her clients and obtaining the best outcome through mediation, arbitration or trial. Clients often note her passion for the law, respect in the legal community and accessibility of her firm. At The Herrington Law Firm, you will receive personal service and experienced advocates in the courtroom.

Catherine Herrington Hale
The Herrington Law Firm, PC
10190 Katy Freeway, Ste. 440
Houston, TX 77043
713-227-0050
www.herringtonlawfirm.com

Larry Chamberlin

February 7, 2018 by  
Filed under Chamberlin, Larry, Top Family Lawyers

Larry Chamberlin
Family Law & Mediation

The art of Mediation is to find the things most important to each party, help them to achieve it and to dissuade each from harmful mistakes. Having over 25 years of experience in litigation helps Larry Chamberlin expose wishful thinking that simply would not hold up in a court of law. Fair and equitable results is always the aim.

In addition to being a stellar mediator, Chamberlin is a respected litigator, known for advocating his client’s position by use of numerous repertoires; he knows that some cases require finesse while other require forcefulness. He is well-known among his peers for effective skills, handling contested cases since 1988. Board Certified in Family Law, he is also well seasoned in providing estate planning, probate, criminal defense, and civil litigation.

Larry Chamberlin knows the law, is highly articulate, and can make all the difference in the world.

“I explain my clients’ legal options and their consequences. I listen to understand their needs and desires. If they are unrealistic, I help formulate a reasonable alternative. I help articulate their experience.”

Before earning his Juris Doctor from Tulane Law School, where he was elected to the National Order of Barristers in 1988, Mr. Chamberlin received a Masters of Arts in International Business Management at the University of Texas at Dallas. He is also a member of Mensa and in 2006 while in the Juvenile Forensic Psychology Masters program, he was elected to Psi Chi, the prestigious psychology honor society.

Chamberlin Law & Mediation
3724 FM 1960 Road W., Ste. 222
Houston, TX 77068
281-580-2222
www.larrychamberlin.net
Larry@Chamberlin.com

Mary E. Ramos

February 7, 2018 by  
Filed under Ramos, Mary E., Top Family Lawyers

Mary E. Ramos
Family Law

At the helm of the Ramos Law Group, PLLC, which specializes in all aspects of family law, Mary E. Ramos is known as the gladiator of family law. From adoptions, divorce litigation and child custody to high-asset property division and more, the firm provides exceptional service and insight to each and every client. “From the first time I stepped into a family courtroom, my role as a family law attorney was clarified. I couldn’t see myself doing anything else with my life. Few people get the opportunity to do what they love every day, and I am blessed in being able to pursue my dreams as an advocate,” says Ramos, who’s Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization with more than 12 years of experience.

Together with her seasoned associates, Julie Rosete and Lindsey Lewis, Ramos is a firm believer in continuing education. To that end, the team is active in various legal organizations, with Ramos maintaining membership in the Texas Bar College, which warrants four times the education requirement for all attorneys. Membership is an honor bestowed to less than 10 percent of Texas attorneys.

Mary E. Ramos
Ramos Law Group PLLC
1214 Miramar St.
Houston, TX 77006
713-225-6200
www.ramosfamilylaw.com

Travers & Travers

February 7, 2018 by  
Filed under Top Family Lawyers, Travers & Travers

Travers & Travers | Family Law, Appellate Law, Mediation

Clockwise from left: Sherrie Haussner Travers, Allison Travers Hamilton and Annilee Travers Reed.

Providing superior legal representation in divorce and family law matters, Travers & Travers is a family of family lawyers.

These dynamic lawyers are family law leaders throughout Harris and Fort Bend Counties. From divorce, complex property cases, and custody disputes to mediation and appellate practice, Travers & Travers is experienced in all aspects of family law.

Travers & Travers is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell. Both Mack and Sherrie are Martindale-Hubbell Preeminent Lawyers. Sherrie is board certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Mack & Sherrie Travers
Travers & Travers
20501 I-10 West, Ste. 124
Katy, TX 77450
281-492-2166
www.katylawyer.com

Marcela Halmagean

February 7, 2018 by  
Filed under Halmagean, Marcela, Top Family Lawyers

Marcela Halmagean
M Halmagean PLLC
Attorney at Law

Marcela Halmagean is distinguished as one of the most aggressive attorneys in Houston. “I’m innovative, creative, daring, and I do my homework,” she says. Her success is attributed to her long term professional relationship with Stephanie Clarke Davis, of Counsel, as well as her close client communication, full availability, and aggressive representation.

Her practice is focused on family, business, and commercial litigation. She is committed to bringing high-quality legal services to each sector. During her professional tenure, Halmagean worked for large corporations representing corporate entities in legal matters including white-collar crime cases, breach of contract, and partnership disputes. However, her passion lies with family law cases, especially representing fathers in custody modifications and divisions of complex estates. For example, Halmagean tried and won jury trials where she successfully represented fathers in their pursuit for modification of custody. In one case, her client was awarded sole managing conservatorship of his child; in the other, the father won custody of his three children.

Halmagean has practiced law for 19 years during which she has built a bond with each and every one of her clients. “I work with them directly as opposed to assigning them to an associate attorney or a legal assistant,” she says. “Especially in family law, clients need a whole lot of emotional support and a periodic reality check to complement the legal advice they’re paying for. When you combine that with full access and availability, it makes for long-lasting relationships.”

 

Marcela Halmagean
M Halmagean PLLC
1800 Bering Dr., Ste. 280
Houston, TX 77057
713-975-1202
www.halmagean.com

Terrence C. O’Keefe DDS, PC

Terrence C. O’Keefe DDS, PC
Cosmetics, Implants & General Dentist

For more than 30 years Dr. O’Keefe’s West Houston practice has been helping his patients achieve beautiful smiles through dedication to quality and detail. With expertise in Cosmetic Dentistry and Implant Restoration as well as all phases of General Dentistry, Dr. O’Keefe maintains his place on the cutting edge of dental technology. With a reputation of excellence, Dr. O’Keefe provides knowledgeable care and excellent customer service. An avid golfer and sports fan, Dr. O’Keefe also enjoys helping in the community by donating his time to Boys and Girls Country.

Terrence C. O’Keefe, DDS, PC
11757 Katy Freeway Ste. 200
Houston, TX 77079
281-496-6878
www.drokeefe.com

Satvi Pinnamaneni, DDS

February 7, 2018 by  
Filed under Pinnamaneni, Satvi, DDS, Top Dentists

Satvi Pinnamaneni, DDS
Family & Cosmetic Dentistry

Oral health is a crucial component of overall health and well-being, says Dr. Satvi Pinnamaneni. Known by her patients as Dr. P, she’s an advocate of comprehensive dentistry, focusing on not just the cosmetic aspect of the restorations, but the functional longevity. “My staff and I treat patients in a calm and anxiety-free environment. We strongly believe that allows us to achieve the highest success rate for the procedures we perform. We offer multiple sedation options, as well as ample time to listen and address patients’ questions and concerns,” says Dr. P, a strong proponent of continuing education. Dr. P’s dedication to providing high-quality care with the latest advances in dentistry, combined with her compassionate chair-side manner, are just two of the many reasons patients trust her and travel to Houston to see her.

Satvi Pinnamaneni, DDS
26281 Northwest Freeway, Ste. 700
Cypress, TX 77429
281-758-0060
www.cypresslakesdental.com

Bill K. So DDS, PA

Bill K. So DDS, PA
Westway Park Dental

One of Houston’s top dentists, Bill So, DDS, PA, knows a little something about service. Dr. So proudly served his country for 12 years, serving in the United States Army during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 and Operation Enduring Freedom in 2008 and 2010. Back in Houston now, Dr. So is dedicated to ensuring the best dental care for his patients. Having stepped away from his patients for long periods of time for army duty deployments, he felt leaving the army was necessary in order to make his patients top priority—what he strives for since he began his career—although he will always be honored to have served the country for the time he did.

By successfully completing continuing-education classes, Dr. So remains at the forefront of advancements in dental healthcare. He specializes in cosmetic and general dentistry, including Zoom Whitening, Invisible Braces, veneers, crowns, fillings and dental checkups. His office is equipped with the latest in dental technology, such as digital x-rays, which are beneficial in educating his patients. In addition, Dr. So is certified in intravenous sedation to allow patients further relaxation during procedures.

“My primary concern is for the health and well-being of my patients. I want them to feel relaxed and comfortable from the beginning of their treatment and into recovery,” says Dr. So. “Our team works hard to build relationships with our patients so that they feel comfortable, not only in the dental chair, but also with the decisions they make regarding their dental healthcare.”

Dr. So received his undergraduate degree from Texas A&M and his Doctorate of Dental Science from the University of Texas Dental Branch in Houston. He is currently a director on the Board of Houston Academy of General Dentistry and is a member of a number of national and local dental organizations.

Bill K. So, DDS,PA
Westway Park Dental
4410 Westway Park Blvd., Ste. 600
Houston, TX 77041
www.westwayparkdental.com
info@westwayparkdental.com
713-690-1900

Basil Moukarim, DDS & George Saliba, DDS

Basil Moukarim, DDS & George Saliba, DDS

For over a decade, both Dr. George Saliba and Dr. Basil Moukarim have been nominated as Houston’s Top dentists. The goal at Dental Illusions is to educate and inform the patient, giving them options and empowering them to make the right treatment choice for their needs. Dr. Saliba and Dr. Moukarim, as well as their professional staff, use the latest in dental materials, high tech equipment and modern techniques. They strive to consistently deliver high-quality dentistry with integrity and great customer service, in a friendly, compassionate and inviting atmosphere. Even with expertise in minimally invasive laser procedures and advanced aesthetic techniques, loyalty has come from relationships built with families and individuals through the years.

“No matter how impressive credentials may be, what matters most to patients is compassion and quality,” says Dr. Saliba. “When it comes down to it, we’re a family dental practice providing a warm and welcoming environment,” Dr. Moukarim adds.

While they enjoy creating complete smile make-overs, which have amazing outcomes, they focus just as much attention on the fundamentals of dental health. The doctors are skilled in procedures such as implant dentistry, Invisalign, sedation dentistry, laser dentistry, cosmetic smile make-overs and full-mouth reconstruction.

In addition, Drs. Saliba and Moukarim regularly see people that have not had treatment in many years, have problems getting numb, have severe phobias of the dentist and those with advanced dental problems. No matter what the procedure, Drs. Moukarim, Saliba and their staff at Dental Illusions are committed to banishing dental phobias and creating an outstanding, relationship-centered practice.

The doctors also do not believe that you should have to pay to find out what’s wrong. They offer free consultations.

Dental Illusions
13303 Champion Forest Dr., Bldg. 5
Houston, TX 77069
281-444-1755

4101 Greenbriar, Ste. 220
Houston, TX 77098
713-528-3362

www.dentalillusions.com

 

Retreat at the Ranch

October 5, 2017 by  
Filed under Features

Rancho la Puerta, a luxury wellness resort in the Baja region of Mexico, revives and reboots the mind, body and spirit, making for an unforgettable getaway with memories that will last a lifetime.

by Nicholas Nguyen

After months of back-to-back deadlines, you could say that I needed a vacation. Badly. So when I got an invitation to visit Rancho La Puerta, a resort nestled in the hills and valleys in Tecate, Mexico, it was just the ticket I was hoping for.

Little did I know just how different Rancho La Puerta was from the average Mexican getaway. Instead of the usual crowded pools and long buffet lines, the intimate resort is dedicated to wellness, to helping guests relax and recharge through a variety of classes and workshops (that of course, includes plenty of spa time and delicious cuisine). Lovingly dubbed by guests as “the Ranch,” Rancho La Puerta attracts visitors from all across the country, and from Houston, it’s a short flight to San Diego and a quick bus ride across the border.

I would never have known that the city existed around the Ranch unless I hadn’t passed through on the drive in. The lush, green grounds house hacienda-style villas, which are newly renovated and complete with gorgeous views of the hills or one of the resort’s four pools. Immediately, I was truly able to unplug from the rest of the world, especially since the resort only offers Wi-Fi and television in a few select lounges and the lobby.

On that first day, I received a folder that detailed the week’s activities and events; I had chosen to visit during a special Pilates Week. Every single day, there were activities from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.; there were so many options that often I wished I had a time machine so I could try them all. Since science hasn’t made my Back to the Future dreams a reality yet, I took a deep breath and reminded myself that I was also supposed to take this time to slow down. Here’s how I reinvigorated my mind, body and spirit in just one week.

MIND

Spend the early morning relaxing in your room before taking off for some exercise.

It’s always hard for me to shut my mind off, but at the Ranch I only had myself to focus on—and no smartphone in sight—so it felt a little easier to let go. Being an artist by nature, I loved the creative outlets at the ranch, which complemented all of the physical activity.

MEDITATION AND HEALING At Rancho La Puerta, there’s no shortage of activities for decompressing and clearing your head. Guided meditation and yoga are obvious choices, but for a unique and tranquil experience, try Sound Healing. A guide plays sounds from large, resonant crystal bowls to help you completely relax and lull you into a stress-free state. At least half of the class participants dozed off midway through the session (which is fine as long as you have a friend who will poke you if you start snoring), but everyone came out of it feeling rejuvenated.

ARTISTIC ENDEAVORS The ranch invites artists and writers to help guests flex their creative muscles. Take a watercolor, sketch, jewelry-making or sculpture class to create your own custom souvenir, which is a nice break from physical activities midday or a good way to unwind after dinner. While I visited, memoirist Larry Grobel (known for his books Conversations with Capote, Al Pacino and The Art of the Interview), led writing workshops that helped attendees dig deep and jot down short, but poignant pieces about their lives.

LIFESTYLE LECTURES During my stay, a few other special guests gave talks on a variety of health-related subjects. Dr. Rubin Naiman, a clinical assistant professor of medicine at the University of Arizona, lectured on how to overcome sleep problems and opened our minds on the science and psychology of dreams. Professor Emerita Beverly Whipple spoke about sexual health and intimacy in a really relatable way.

BODY

On the trail for the breakfast hike, which leads to the ranch’s organic farm and breakfast to boot.

In 2016, I started a fitness journey that included learning Pilates to stay healthy and prevent any issues that may come up as I age. Choosing to visit during Rancho La Puerta’s Pilates Week—offered several times throughout the year—was a no-brainer. In addition to the numerous Pilates classes offered, there were so many other workout options—some of which I’d never even heard before! To fuel my active schedule, I ate delicious food, and didn’t skip breakfast once (like I’m guilty of doing at home).

SWEAT SESSIONS There are too many cardio-centered classes to name, but if you want to get your heart rate pumping, Zumba, Cycling or Cardio Drum Dance—where you work your entire body while banging on giant barrels to energizing music—are some great options. After all of that action, cool off in the pools for a few laps, or take it further with a challenging water aerobics class. Even though I had trouble staying afloat and splashed around quite a bit, it was fun because I had taken it with a new friend, Ann Eshabarr, a dance teacher from San Francisco. She summed the exercise program up at the Ranch quite nicely: “The Ranch is like a well-oiled machine. They have made it very easy to navigate the classes even though the property is huge. I learned to take off in the morning with clothing for hiking, swimming, dance and Pilates so I was prepared for everything. I would be walking around and see a class I liked and drop right in!”

MIND/BODY BLISS Jennifer Lee Ho, a teacher trained in many different movement modalities from the Bay Area, led Pilates Week. I took two mat classes from her every morning—she, like many of the instructors at the Ranch, exuded a motivating, warm energy—and learned a lot about pelvic stability. (The Pilates studio at the Ranch also offers classes on the Pilates Reformer and other equipment.) A lot of my fellow Ranch-goers attended classes dedicated to stretching and tried Feldenkrais, which, similar to Pilates reinforces the mind-body connection.

ON THE MENU The Ranch’s all-inclusive program provides breakfast, lunch and dinner, all made with fresh, local ingredients; they even offer cooking classes. Like me, Jennifer has a love for food: “Though fitness is a priority in my life, eating properly (most of the time) is my other joy,” she told me. “It was fantastic to sit down for three organic and tasty meals a day with other interesting guests from all over the world.” Breakfast and lunch are buffet style, while dinner has service. At dinner, Ranch veterans let us in on a secret—you can sample both of the entrée options instead of choosing just one. I’m still dreaming about the fresh fish tacos we had for lunch one day and an amazing eggplant parmesan that was served for dinner.

SPA SERVICES There are separate spas for both women and men, along with two other treatment centers, so there’s no excuse not to treat yourself after a couple days of working out. The spa offers a wide range of massages and facials; I tried the classic Ranch massage with some aromatherapy one late afternoon, a perfect prelude to dinner. The women’s and men’s centers also have lockers for reservation so you can stash your belongings instead of lugging things around or having to return to your room.

SPIRIT

Dinner time is a joyous occasion every night.

I think the reason the Ranch has been thriving for so long is because of its lingering effect on you, even long after you’ve left. I met so many people who make it a tradition to visit every few years, and even make it a spot for special occasions like weddings, anniversaries and reunions. Mothers who visited the Ranch decades ago return with their daughters to relive the magic all over again. Here’s why.

THE SENSE OF COMMUNITY I think all the classes, from creative to fitness, help people open up. There isn’t a feeling like you’re being judged or a reason to feel self-conscious, like the way you might feel at a large gym, for example. Everyone is there to learn and share. Ann agrees: “I loved the sense of community with my fellow Ranchers. This took place mostly at mealtime, and I found it very interesting and humorous how most guests would tell you how many years they’ve been coming. It was a source of pride. Just for the record, five was a low number. Since I was a rookie, everybody was happy to help me acclimate.”

BONDS THAT LAST I traveled alone, but it was easy to make fast friends like I did with Ann and Jennifer. Many visitors travel with a friend or spouse, but I also met some larger groups, like 13 women who came together to celebrate a friend’s 50th. What was most surprising to me at first was meeting people who first met at the Ranch and now make it their tradition to come back together. Now that I’ve experienced what Rancho la Puerta offers, I understand it better—it’s an experience unlike any other that can tie you to strangers, and together, you forge something new. I will never forget all the laughter with Ann and trying so many new classes with her, nor will I forget the wisdom Jennifer generously imparted. See you soon at the Ranch, Ann and Jennifer! H

Houston: The Melting Pot

October 5, 2017 by  
Filed under Features

 

Not to mention the humidity.

by Lynn Ashby

Tan Tan, Dynasty Plaza, Fu Fu, lots of signs in Chinese that I can’t read. No, this is not downtown Hong Kong or Shanghai. It’s that wild and exotic bastion of mystery, noted for its international intrigue, crossroads of the world and multi-dialects: Bellaire Boulevard. In other neighborhoods you can see signs and hear languages in Vietnamese, Spanish, Arabic and even English. Austin may host the University of Texas. Houston hosts the Diversity of Texas, and the world. We have heard so much about our city’s diversity, maybe it’s getting to be old hat—or sombrero, yarmulke, Stetson. We have almost 12,000 Indians and Eskimos. Okay, to be PC, they’re Native-Americans and Alaska Natives, plus 304 Hispanic Hawaiians and Hispanic Pacific Islanders. Eleven of our 32 skyscrapers are fully or partially owned, or financed by foreign investors. We have more Muslims than Jews; at home 5,895 of us speak Tagalog (Filipinos).

Not to get bogged down by statistics, but Houston leads the Southwest with 19 foreign banks from nine nations. In addition, 14 foreign nations maintain trade and commercial offices here. We have 32 active foreign chambers of commerce and trade associations. Almost a quarter (24 percent) of Harris County residents were born not in a different Texas county, not in a different state, but in a different country. In this eight-county region, almost half of the foreign residents are relative newcomers, having entered the U.S. in the 1990s.

They have to live somewhere, so our new arrivals can search the Houston Assn. of Realtors’ properties database (har.com) in English, Spanish, Chinese, French, German, Italian and Vietnamese. The association’s more than 5,600 multilingual members can even tell you that if the house is dry, it’s underwater, a fixer-upper or on a fault line, and tell you that in 99 different languages. Students in the Houston school district speak 124 native languages at home, and at Bellaire High School, a language magnet school, the students can be taught any of 11 languages from Arabic to Hebrew, from Japanese to Mandarin Chinese. The main campus of UH last fall had 3,995 temporary foreign students. Of the total enrollment, 25 percent were white and 31 percent were Hispanic, and although Houston is 6 percent Asian-American, they make up 20 percent of the UH student body. Another good example of Houston’s role in the international scene is the Texas Medical Center. People come from all over the world to die in Houston. And most of them need translators to say, “Yes, I have health insurance.”

One reason for so many foreigners coming to Houston is that refugees like it here, and have for a long time. They arrive from everywhere: Syria, Nigeria, Brooklyn, Buffalo. Some 75,000 refugees have come to Houston in the past 35 years, which makes Houston the number-one city in the nation for these newcomers. Among the States, Texas leads the nation in refugee resettlement. It is home to 2,677 refugees who have been settled in the state since October 2015. Of these, a third were settled in Houston. Indeed, Houston is the U.N. General Assembly South. During a visit here in early June, Kelly T. Clements, of the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, called Houston’s open-arms approach, “a testament to the diversity and progressive nature of Houston.”

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, Harris County received refugees from 40 different countries in the fiscal year of 2014. We don’t have any current data, since Texas ended its participation in the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program in 2016 due to Gov. Greg Abbott’s fear that the feds couldn’t adequately guarantee that none of the newcomers would pose a security threat. To our surprise, the number of terrorist suicide bombings, lethal truck drivers and nightclub shootings within the Loop has been held to a relative minimum. Gov. Abbott released his statement withdrawing from the refugee program with a financial plea: “Will you support my campaign with a contribution to help fight the attacks on me coming from Washington?” So much for the state motto: friendship. One aspect of all this internationalism that’s especially appealing is the restaurant scene. It used to be the closest we could get to foreign food was the International House of Pancakes. Now in the Houston area there are 10,286 eating and drinking establishments, with 70 national categories. Houston is not so much a melting pot as a cafeteria.

LICENSED TO PARK FREE                                   

What with the Port of Houston, NASA, the Texas Medical Center and the awl bidness, Houston hosts the nation’s third-largest consular corps—behind New York City and Los Angeles—with 94 nations represented. The diplomats deal with their worried fellow citizens, more so now that the Trump Immigration Doctrine is in play. Some nations have full-time, career diplomats, and 43 are represented by noncareer, or honorary, diplomats. This brings us to all those consular license plates we see on cars around town. If the owner of the vehicle is a career diplomat then he or she files the proper papers with the U.S. State Dept., which authorizes the plate. Honorary consuls go through the Texas Dept. of Transportation. In either case, they pay what our diplomats pay in the country the consul represents. It’s called reciprocity. Sporting theses license plates does not give the consuls immunity from traffic tickets, but one benefit is they can park free at the short-term airport parking lots.

Over the years foreign counsels have said that Houston is considered good duty, although the job is mostly commercial work. There had long been a rumor that the British government considered Houston to be a hardship post because the city’s temperatures were similar to those of Bombay (now Mumbai), India, and Accra, Ghana. Actually, the diplomats here did not get hardship pay, but three years in Houston counted as four toward retirement. I broached this matter some time ago with the British consul general who said, “That’s true until I called Whitehall and said, ‘My, God. Haven’t you people ever heard of air conditioning?’” Incidentally, the British consulate here would put up a little sign in late June each year, “Due to circumstances beyond our control, we will be closed on the Fourth of July.” 

Finally on this international matter, adopt a consul. You may need the protection. When Houston was the capital of the Republic of Texas, across from where the Rice Lofts now stands was the U.S. Embassy. On Christmas Eve 1837, the town received a bulletin: 1,500 Mexican soldiers had retaken Bexar. Invasion was imminent. Mrs. Mary Austin Holly wrote: “We were at the house of Mr. Labranche (the U.S. minister), a good cabin—he promised us the protection of the flag if necessary.” The invaders never appeared, but you never know when you’ll need to flee to the safety of a foreign consulate, as I was telling Julian Assange.

Closer to home, it’s estimated that 250,000 Katrinians fled to Texas, mostly to the Houston area. Today, 40,000 of them are still here. Meanwhile, immigrants from south of the border have always come—and stayed. But Texas holds a particularly warm spot for youngsters from ravaged lands. They have fled the gangs, the drug lords, extortion, the midnight shootings and kidnappings, to ford the river and arrive in Texas. I wouldn’t want to live in Chicago, either. Youngsters also poured in from Central America, and of the estimated 58,000 who came to the U.S. in recent years, 40 percent arrived in Texas.

COWBOYS AND INDIANS

We like to call this sleepy fishing village on the bayou a “World Class City,” but maybe a “World City with Class” is better. Where else does the mayor’s office rent out flags for another country’s national day, or the birthday of your spouse from Croatia or maybe a visiting Saudi sheik? Daily fee rental is $10 per flag, or you can rent all of them for $500. “Please treat the flags with respect and courtesy,” the mayor warns, otherwise you will be hunted down by the French Foreign Legion, Scotland Yard or Canadian Mounties, depending on which nation you offend. When you drive along Will Clayton Parkway to the George H.W. Bush Intercontinental Airport and Trans-Galactic Star Terminal, can you spot the speed limit signs: “50 mph,” and below that, “80 km.” A nice touch for that visiting sheik anxious to make the last Emirate flight to Dubai.

WHO WAS THAT MOSQUE MAN?

An interesting sideshow of our changing population is our religions. Stephen L. Klineberg, founding director of The Kinder Institute for Urban Research, reports in his latest survey: “In all of the 35 consecutive surveys, the percentage of Protestants in the Harris County population has dropped from almost two thirds (63 percent) in 1982 to less than half (46 percent) in the most recent years.” Our Catholic percentage—bolstered by the influx of Hispanics, Filipinos and Vietnamese—has grown from 25 percent in the early 1980s to 31 percent. In recent years, Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus have also grown. Despite these many different sounds, smells and religions, we tend to get along. Sometime after World War I Houston Post columnist Hubert Mewhinney wrote, “Houston is a whiskey and trombone town.” Today Houston is more like a full bar and a multiethnic orchestra, all playing the same song. H

Sources: Kinder Houston Area Survey, U.S. Census, Houston Facts and my own ethnic restaurant hopping.

Ashby is 100 percent at ashby2@comcast.net.    

Alvin L. Zimmerman & Gary J. Zimmerman

Alvin L. Zimmerman & Gary J. Zimmerman
Family Law

Dealing in divorce, custody modifications, traditional and collaborative divorce, and premarital agreements.

Alvin L. Zimmerman

(J.D. – University of Houston Law Center)

Former district judge: 269th (Civil), 309th (Family). Past Chair Houston Bar Association: Family Law, ADR Sections. Board Certified Family Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Fellow, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

Gary J. Zimmerman

(Fluent Spanish, J.D. – University of Texas Law School)

Volunteer for Child Advocates, Inc. Honors graduate: St. John’s School and Claremont McKenna College.

Zimmerman, Axelrad, Meyer, Stern & Wise, PC
3040 Post Oak Boulevard, Ste. 1300
Houston, TX 77056
713-552-1234
www.zimmerlaw.com

Ike Eni, MD

May 23, 2017 by  
Filed under Eni, Ike, MD, Top Docs

IKE ENI, MD
Internal Medicine

Finding the right Internal Medicine/ Primary Care Physician who’s equally experienced and compassionate isn’t always easy. That’s why Dr. Ike Eni and his team at Eni HealthCare are renowned for consistently providing excellent, individualized, comprehensive, whole patient care—something patient reviews continually emphasize. From preventative screenings, hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol, weight management, allergies, acid reflux and anxiety disorders, their goal is to help you achieve optimal health.

It is no surprise that Dr. Eni is a recipient of numerous coveted awards including Physician of the year nominee by CHI St. Luke’s The Woodlands, Houston’s Top Professional 2016, Houston’s Top Doc 2015-2016. Dr. Eni is Board Certified and has more than 26 years of experience making patients enjoy a healthy life. Let us be your primary care physician.

IKE ENI, MD
9319 Pinecroft Dr., Ste. 120
The Woodlands, TX 77380
936-321-1946
www.doctoreni.com

Bill K. So, DDS, PA

May 23, 2017 by  
Filed under So, Bill K., DDS, PA, Top Docs

Westway Park Dental

One of Houston’s top dentists, Bill So, DDS, PA, knows a little something about service. Dr. So proudly served his country for 12 years, serving in the United States Army during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 and Operation Enduring Freedom in 2008 and 2010. Back in Houston now, Dr. So is dedicated to ensuring the best dental care for his patients. Having stepped away from his patients for long periods of time for army duty deployments, he felt leaving the army was necessary in order to make his patients top priority—what he strives for since he began his career—although he will always be honored to have served the country for the time he did.

By successfully completing continuing-education classes, Dr. So remains at the forefront of advancements in dental healthcare. He specializes in cosmetic and general dentistry, including Zoom Whitening, Invisible Braces, veneers, crowns, fillings and dental checkups. His office is equipped with the latest in dental technology, such as digital x-rays, which are beneficial in educating his patients. In addition, Dr. So is certified in intravenous sedation to allow patients further relaxation during procedures.

“My primary concern is for the health and well-being of my patients. I want them to feel relaxed and comfortable from the beginning of their treatment and into recovery,” says Dr. So. “Our team works hard to build relationships with our patients so that they feel comfortable, not only in the dental chair, but also with the decisions they make regarding their dental healthcare.”

Dr. So received his undergraduate degree from Texas A&M and his Doctorate of Dental Science from the University of Texas Dental Branch in Houston. He is currently a director on the Board of Houston Academy of General Dentistry and is a member of a number of national and local dental organizations.

Bill K. So, DDS,PA
Westway Park Dental
4410 Westway Park Blvd., Ste. 600
Houston, TX 77041
www.westwayparkdental.com
info@westwayparkdental.com
713-690-1900

Charles Campbell, DDS, MAGD

Charles Campbell, DDS, MAGD
General Dentistry

When you pay a visit to the warm offices of Charles Campbell, DDS, MAGD, you immediately feel at ease. The industry veteran, with more than 26 years of experience in general dentistry, leads a small staff and together, they have treated generations of families, specializing in complete patient care.

Dr. Campbell attended the University of Texas at Austin and is a graduate of the University of Texas Dental Branch, Houston, as well as a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry and Master of the Academy of General Dentistry.

“I love keeping my patients healthy and making lives better one smile at a time,” says Dr. Campbell.

CHARLES CAMPBELL, DDS, MAGD
2426 Center St.
Deer Park, TX 77536
281-479-0852
www.charlesecampbelldds.com

David Dennison DDS, MS, PhD

David Dennison DDS, MS, PhD
Periodontist

Dr. Dennison welcomes patients to a practice where caring and compassion combine with education and experience to provide the best in dental care. With the support of his hand–picked, knowledgeable team, Dr. Dennison creates excellence in both patient care and clinical results. Building a relationship of trust with each patient, he realizes that every individual has unique needs and concerns. If you are not happy with your smile, are missing teeth, or are concerned about health matters, Dr. Dennison will educate you so that you have a complete understanding of your condition and are informed about options for treatment.

Life Changing! Fifty percent of the adult population is missing at least one tooth. Dr. Dennison was one of the first to offer solutions for replacing missing teeth in hours. He says, “New implants therapies such as the All-On-4 technique can change your life.” This technique uses strategically placed implants to support a prosthesis which replaces your teeth. Dr. Dennison provides periodontal therapy to give you healthy teeth and gums and state-of-the-art implant therapies to restore your smile utilizing in-office sedation to control anxiety during treatment. Dr. Dennison’s treatment can help you change your life, rejuvenate your smile or just be healthy.

Dr. Dennison remains dedicated to advancing his own expertise as well as educating others about the latest technologies and techniques in order to provide optimal patient care. He works closely with dentists throughout the Houston area to provide the most comprehensive care possible. He is the founder of the University Dental Study Club of Houston, a branch of the nationally recognized Seattle Study Club. Dr. Dennison says, “The ultimate goal of University Dental Study Club is to provide an innovative venue for continued learning that will enhance the excellent care we currently provide our patients.”

Dr. Dennison is a Board Certified Periodontist and a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology. He is a graduate and former faculty member of the University of Texas Dental Branch at Houston, and he received his Ph.D. at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Dr. David K. Dennison
3100 Richmond, Ste. 509
Houston, TX 77098
Office 713-523-9040
www.gums-houston.com

Frances M. Jones DDS, MAGD

Frances M. Jones DDS, MAGD
General & Cosmetic Dentist

A beautiful smile radiates confidence. Let Dr. Frances Jones give you an awesome smile. Dr. Jones is one of the foremost dentists in the country as a “MASTER IN THE ACADEMY OF GENERAL DENTISTRY,” having completed more than 2,500 hours of advanced continuing education. Recently she was recognized with the AGD’s prestigious Lifelong Learning and Service Recognition symbolizing her dedication to dentistry and the fulfillment of her responsibility to give back to the dental profession and her community through volunteer efforts. Less than 400 dentists hold this distinction. Dr. Jones holds degrees from the University of Virginia and the West Virginia School of Dentistry.

Dr. Jones has been featured as a “TOP DENTIST” and “TOP DOC” in H Texas magazine, and as a “SUPER DENTIST” in Texas Monthly. She was voted the “Reader’s Choice Winner as Best Dentist” in the Rivers Oaks, West University and Bellaire Examiners. Dr. Jones has been recognized in the Guide to America’s Top Dentists. She has appeared on CBS-TV‘s American Health Front and on CBS radio. In her downtown Houston office, Dr. Jones has provided over 20 years of quality cosmetic and reconstructive dentistry.

Dr. Jones has completed thousands of cosmetic makeovers consisting of Porcelain Veneers, Bonding, Whitening, INVISALIGN, Implant and Full Mouth Restorations. She offers SEDATION DENTISTRY for those who experience dental anxiety.

Dr. Jones’ goal is to provide high quality dentistry in a comfortable and caring environment while restoring the teeth to their ideal form and function, thus giving the patient a confident smile. Dr. Jones is committed to changing lives by changing smiles! Call 713-655-1633 and make your appointment today!

FRANCES M. JONES, DDS, MAGD
919 Milam, Ste. 110
Houston, TX 77002
713-655-1633
www.drfrancesjones.com

Terry K. Scarborough, MD | Sherman C. Yu, MD

Terry K. Scarborough, MD
Sherman C. Yu, MD
Texas Laparoscopic Consultants

scarborough_yuWhen looking for the top physicians in the field of weight-loss surgery, Drs. Terry Scarborough and Sherman Yu bring excellence and expertise. They are both board-certified general surgeons with fellowship training in minimally invasive and bariatric surgery.

Drs. Yu and Scarborough offer the entire spectrum of weight-loss procedures. They have been recognized as Houston’s top doctors for weight-loss surgery. Drs. Yu and Scarborough’s top priorities are safety, satisfaction and excellence in patient outcomes. And, First Surgical Hospital is TLC’s leading choice in a surgical care facility, where patients will find outstanding services in the most comfortable of settings.

In addition to patient care, both doctors are champions for local charities, Kids Meals and Cycle Kids. Kids Meals goal is to end childhood hunger, and Cycle Kids aims to strengthen healthy lifestyle habits.

At TLC Surgery, we have an entire practice dedicated to helping patients succeed with your weight-loss goals via surgical and non-surgical techniques. What sets TLC Surgery apart from other practices is their dedication to helping patients live longer, healthier and happier lives.

Texas Laparoscopic Consultants offer: Medically Supervised Weight-loss Program • Single Incision Surgery • Gastric Balloon • Weight-loss Surgery Revision • Adjustable Gastric Band • Anti-Reflux Procedures • Gastric Sleeve • General Laparoscopic Surgery • Gastric Bypass • Duodenal Switch

TEXAS LAPAROSCOPIC CONSULTANTS
1200 Binz, Ste. 950
Houston, TX 77004
713-493-7700

www.tlcsurgery.com

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