This Week at City Hall

Nov. 15, 2013Office of Council Member Ellen Cohen

Kiosks to Streamline Houston Airport System

Council approved a proposal to utilize automated passport control kiosks within the Houston Airport System. To reduce wait-time and streamline the arrival process of international passengers, the automated kiosks will collect routine data while passengers are waiting in line to be processed by a U.S. Customs & Border Patrol officer. In other major U.S. airports, such as Chicago-ORD, New York-JFK, and Dallas-DFW, this system has increased the number of passengers processed by up to 400% per officer. The program will initially be available to U.S. citizens returning from abroad to the George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

On the Agenda

A home in District C was designated by Council and by the Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission as an official Historic Landmark. The property, known as the Randolph and Virginia West House, was designed in 1937 by famed Rice-trained architect Claude E. Hooton, and was featured in Architectural Digest and the Houston Post. Randolph and Virginia West were a prominent building contractor and interior designer, respectively, in Houston in the early 20th century. Their former home is considered historically significant for its architectural style, its architect, and its first owners.

What’s Happening in the Annex

Council Member Cohen met with Dawn and Roger Kenneavy, co-founders of Dan’s House of Hope, a non-profit organization that provides services to adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer patients. The Kenneavy’s lost their teenage son, Dan, to osteosarcoma in 2009 and, throughout his years of treatment, they recognized a need for support services that are specifically tailored to the AYA population of cancer patients and their families. After Dan’s passing, the Kenneavy’s uprooted their lives, moving to Houston to pursue their goal of increasing AYA-oriented services for patients being treated in the Texas Medical Center (TMC). Dan’s House of Hope is currently poised to open a hospitality home/activity center near the TMC that can serve up to seven guest families with short-term stay needs.