Houston Woman Wire

EVENT Free Immunizations offered May 1 at Children's Museum

The Houston Department of Health and Human Services and the Children’s Museum of Houston will offer free immunizations to children on Thursday, May 1 from 5 to 7 p.m. in observance of National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW).

The Houston Care Van program will provide the vaccines during the museum’s Free Family Night Thursday on a first-come, first serve basis (while supplies last) to children who receive Medicaid, CHIP or are uninsured. Children with private insurance do not qualify. There is no need to pre-register. To qualify, parents and guardians will need their child’s immunization records. 

Vaccines include hepatitis A and B, meningitis, PCV 13, Dtap, Tdap, HPV, polio and rotavirus. 

NIIW is an annual observance highlighting the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases. NIIW is takes place April 26 through May 3.

After the vaccinations, children and families are invited to stay and enjoy the many hands-on exhibits the museum has to offer. 

The museum is located at 1500 Binz. For more information, visit www.cmhouston.org or call 713- 522-1138.

NEWS Mayor Parker proposing Human Rights Ordinance

Houston Mayor Annise Parker used her annual State of the City Address before the Greater Houston Partnership today to announce she will present a proposed Human Rights Ordinance to Houston City Council for approval in mid-May.

“The Houston I know is accepting, tolerant, diverse, inclusive,” said Parker. “We simply don’t care where you come from, the color of your skin, your age, gender, what physical limitations you may have or who you choose to love. Yet, Houston is the only major city in the nation without civil rights protections for its residents.  It’s time to change that.”

The mayor’s timeline envisions presentation of the draft ordinance to public stakeholders and City Council committee on April 30 and placement on the council agenda for May. Although the exact language is still being finalized, the ordinance will prohibit discrimination in city employment and contracting, housing and public accommodations. This would include bars, restaurants, retail stores and businesses that provide services to the public.  Complaints about violations of the ordinance would be reviewed by the City’s Office of Inspector General and a new seven member board known as the Human Rights Commission. 

“A young African American should not be turned away from a club on Washington Avenue,” said Parker. “A returning veteran with a service dog should not be denied service at a local restaurant. An elderly woman should not be denied a job with the city. And, yes, a gay or transgendered individual should not be denied the same rights enjoyed by all other Houstonians. It’s long past time that we ensure equal protection for all of our residents.”

At least 185 cities and counties have some sort of non-discrimination laws in place. Parker called on attendees at the State of the City event to join her in support of this landmark legislation.

The rest of the mayor’s annual address to Houston business leaders was built around the refrain of “we are doing it” and included a recap of accomplishments over the last four years and her plans for continued progress during her final term. The mayor noted her tenure in office has included creation of an independent crime lab, major steps toward rebuilding infrastructure, growing the economy, creating a firm financial foundation, maintaining the lowest per capita crime rate in the city’s history, improving parks and cleaning up our neighborhoods.

She reiterated that she has no plans to slow down in the final two years. Besides the Human Rights Ordinance, she will continue work to solidify Houston’s reputation as a “green” city and finalize plans and a location for a botanical garden; put in place a cultural arts plan, general development plan and parks master plan; new regulations to ensure a fair market and user safety for new transportation operators, new regulations for food trucks and an end to chronic homelessness.

“It would be easy to coast in these last two years – to rest on our laurels,” said Parker. “But that’s not how I’m wired. We will not stop. We will not slow down. We will not rest because there is too much left to accomplish before my time as your mayor is finished.”

NEWS Korean Air to launch non-stop service between Houston and Seoul

Korean Air, America’s largest Asian airline, is launching nonstop service between Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and Incheon International Airport (ICN) in Seoul, beginning in May 2014.

The inaugural flight will take place on May 2, with service aboard a B777-200 aircraft.  Nonstop flights connecting the two destinations will depart from the Terminal D facility at Bush Intercontinental Airport every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

“We’re very bullish on the Americas,” says John Jackson, the airline’s vice president of marketing for North and South America.  “Houston is the fifth largest metro area in the U.S. with a very strong travel market to Asia.  We’ve decided to earn our fair share of the market with a highly competitive product and service that’s hard to beat.”

Houston Mayor Annise Parker agrees with Jackson’s assessment and says that the route represents an exceptional business opportunity for the Korean Air team.

"Houston's dynamic economy and diverse population continue to strengthen its position on the world stage," says Houston Mayor Annise Parker.  "This new nonstop flight to Seoul is an excellent example of Houston's enhanced status as a gateway city and key player in the global marketplace."

Once the new flight is in service, Korean Air will be offering nonstop air service to two Texas destinations.

“We see continued opportunities in the Americas through our own efforts and through our membership in the SkyTeam alliance.  And we’ll add more capacity in a variety of other U.S. markets during the upcoming spring and summer seasons,” Jackson said.

Houston represents Korean Air’s 14th gateway in the Americas.  Others include Atlanta,Chicago, Dallas, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver and Washington, D.C.

"The economic and cultural ties that exist between the city of Houston and Korea continue to grow stronger in the 21st century," says Houston Aviation Director, Mario Diaz.  "Korean Air recognizes the potential that lies within this growing relationship and the Houston Airport System looks forward to a long and mutually beneficial partnership."

Korean Air is known for its elegant inflight service and cutting edge entertainment systems.   The airline’s Prestige (Business) and First class both feature full flat sleeper seats and award-winning cuisine.  Wine lists include premium vintages from the U.S. and Europe.

Korean Air, established in 1969, is one of the world's top 20 airlines and carried more than 24 million passengers in 2012. Korean Air operates in excess of 200 flights per day to 126 cities in 45 countries on six continents with a fleet of 156 aircraft including eight A380s.

More on Korean Air's programs, routes, frequencies and partners is available at www.koreanair.com.


NEWS Houston Airport System reports recording-setting passenger traffic

According to a 2013 year-end traffic report, released by the Houston Airport System, passenger traffic has risen to record-setting levels in two key areas: overall passenger traffic reached an all-time high at William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) and international traffic at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) reached levels never before seen in its 45-year history.  The combined passenger totals from both airport facilities is up 1.2 percent over 2012 — from 50.3 million passengers to 50.9 million passengers in 2013.

The record-setting passenger total recorded at Hobby Airport in 2013 represents the fourth consecutive year that a new passenger record has been set.  Passenger traffic increased by 6.4 percent — from 10.4 million in 2012 to 11.1 million in 2013. Demand for travel from Hobby Airport is growing at a steady pace and has increased 34 percent in 10 years —an increase of almost 3 million passengers since 2004.

“We are entering a very exciting period in the rich history of Hobby Airport,” says Houston Mayor Annise Parker.  “Passengers are enjoying the results of a $350 million renovation program, international air service will be in place by 2016 and the facility is seeing more passengers than ever before.  It’s a very exciting time.”

New passenger records were also set at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, where growth in international passenger totals from 2013 fell just short of the 9 million mark.  The 8.9 million international passengers from last year represented an increase of 2.5 percent — up from 8.7 million passengers in 2012.

“George Bush Intercontinental Airport plays a key role in making sure that Houston is connected on a global scale,” says Houston Aviation Director Mario C. Diaz.  “That level of connectivity is important to our city, both from an economic standpoint as well as culturally.  The record-setting passenger totals tell us that we’re doing a good job in making sure that connection is as strong as possible.”

The increase in international travel can be attributed to a number of factors, one of which is the arrival of new international air carriers.  Air China and Turkish Airlines both launched nonstop service in Houston in 2013, flying to Beijing and Istanbul respectively.  Air China recently expanded their Beijing route, moving from four flights per week to daily service.

Bush Airport serves as a global gateway to 68 international destinations and offers service to more Mexican destinations than any other U.S. airport.

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