Judge Mallia attended Catholic schools on the island from kindergarten through
high school. He attended one year of college at St. Edward’s University and
graduated from The University of Texas in Austin. He then graduated from St.
Mary’s School of Law.
After law school Judge Mallia thought he wouldn’t be returning to Galveston
but fate wouldn’t allow it. Judge Pete Urbani cajoled him to interview with the
Galveston County Criminal District Attorney’s Office. Judge Mallia yielded
and went for an interview the next morning. By the following morning he was
hired.
Judge Mallia quickly worked his way through the ranks of the D.A.’s Office. He
started in the misdemeanor section and was promoted first
to chief of misdemeanors and then promoted to the felony
section. Within a little over four years Judge Mallia was
appointed as the First Assistant Criminal District Attorney.
He has prosecuted a wide variety of felony criminal cases
including possession of controlled substances, aggravated
robbery, aggravated sexual assault of a child, murder and
capital murder helping take some of the most dangerous
criminals off of our streets.
Judge Mallia was elected as the first judge of the 405th
District Court in November of 2000. He’s presided over
thousands of felony criminal cases and thousands of civil
cases.
Judge Mallia also brought the STEP program to Galveston
County; a program whose purpose is to persuade nonviolent
probationers to successfully complete their
probation through different levels of sanctions and become
productive citizens. This helps prevent non-violent
offenders from becoming a drain on the limited resources
in our criminal justice system and pushing the violent and
repeat offenders out of jail.
When asked to what he attributes his success, Judge
Mallia says that first it is his beautiful, intelligent and
talented wife, Sherry. Then it would be his loving, but firm
upbringing by his mother and father, Barbara and Eddie.
He also attributes it to his 17 out of 20 years of Catholic
education.
This is one of the many reasons Judge Mallia is now the president of the
O’Connell school board of which he has been a member since 2007.
Judge Mallia is a firm believer in Catholic education. His son, Corey, goes
to O’Connell College Preparatory School and will be a senior next year. His
daughter, Maddie, will attend O’Connell next year as a freshman. This will
make Corey and Maddie fourth generation Buccaneers.
Now the final question. The question that is asked of all who live on the island.
Is he a BOI? “Most people think I am. But, when I’m asked, I grudgingly tell
them the truth. No, I’m not,” he says. “I was born in Houston because my father
was going to dental school there when I was born.”

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Along with family entertainment and fine dining, Kemah Aquarium offers a variety of innovative, educational programs to teach visitors about aquatic life and conservation. The highly trained education staff offers guided tours through the Aquarium Exhibit, classroom programs, sleepovers, Boy Scout and Girl Scout programs and summer camps.

“We believe that the Aquarium should be about more than just tanks with fish,” said Joshua Hairgrove, Kemah Aquarium’s General Manager. “This is a place where children can learn while being immersed in an underwater setting with strong messages about conservation and awareness.”

As part of its educational programs, Kemah Aquarium has tailored its curriculum to cater to the needs of schools and teachers. At the beginning of the school year Kemah Aquarium offers free open houses to introduce its educational resources to local teachers. Aquarium also provides lesson plans and worksheets to help teachers prepare their students before their educational tour. This year, the Kemah Aquarium’s education staff introduces its new Middle School Math and Science workbook that allows teachers to review the material with their students in advance to prepare before their tour. Teachers can print this free workbook by visiting Kemah Boardwalk’s Fun Page (www.kemahboardwalk.com/field-trip-fun.asp).

During field trips, school groups can participate in one of many new classroom programs, that include 30-minute, classroom-style lessons taught by the education staff. Lessons are taught based on the grade level of the group, and topics focus on endangered species, aquatic animal adaptations, food webs and biodiversity, aquatic habitats and locomotion. All school programs and educational materials are aligned with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills that are currently used in classrooms around the state
One of the newest programs offered at Kemah Aquarium is The Sea Safari Camp that breaks away from the underwater adventure and allows groups to explore amazing animals and habitats from across the globe while participating in fun games and activities. Another unique program to the Kemah Aquarium is the Culinary Education Program offering up-and-coming student chefs a chance to visit the restaurant’s kitchen and learn day-to-day operations of a professional chef. Other great programs offered at The Kemah Aquarium include the Marine Biologist for a Day where kids can get behind the scenes with all the scientific action as well as the Stingray Overnight Sleepovers that let kits stay up late and sleep amongst the stingrays, fish, sharks and more.

Tours of the facility feature more than 400 species of fish in 500,000-gallon tanks. Scout troops can also schedule an Adventure in Scouting tour at Kemah Aquarium where boys and girls can earn merit badges.

“We want to promote hands-on, minds-on learning,” said Aimy Thorsen, educational coordinator at the Kemah Aquarium. “Our programs support and expand on classroom curriculum and hopefully encourage students to study science.”

Kemah Aquarium’s staff is committed to environmental conservation and educating visitors on the importance of being respectful of the world around us. Kemah Aquarium’s mission is to partner with and support the goals of local wildlife agencies, cutting-edge programs and other like-minded organizations that are focused on saving and protecting the planet’s wildlife. Kemah Aquarium is located at the Kemah Boardwalk in Kemah, Texas. For reservations or more information, call Aquarium Restaurant at 281-334-9010 or visit www.kemahaquarium.com.

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Victory Lakes To Galveston

Island Connect, a commuter program administered by The Gulf Coast Center, has announced plans to expand park and ride services to Galveston from Victory Lakes, League City, beginning April 30. The first month’s shuttle service will be provided free of charge. Beginning Tuesday, May 29, a one-way fare of $3, $6 round trip will be charged.

A partnership between The Gulf Coast Center and UTMB, funding for the shuttle service is provided by the Federal Transit Administration and Texas Department of Transportation “Transportation Development Credits” through the Houston –Galveston Area Council’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Transit Pilot Program. The actual service is provided by Island Transit through an Interlocal Agreement between Gulf Coast Center’s Connect Transit and the City of Galveston.

Local support, in addition to commuter fares collected, is being provided by UTMB and the City of League City.

The first park and ride was started by The Gulf Coast Center’s Island Connect in Galveston County in 2009, and has been successfully transporting employees from a park and ride lot currently located at Mall of the Mainland to the Island since. The month of March, 2012, the Mall of the Mainland Park and Ride reported 4,204 boardings which is an increase of 1,022 boarding over the same period last year. The expanded service from Victoria Lakes will provide commuters with an inexpensive alternative to the increasing price of gas, a way to avoid morning and evening traffic congestion, and the opportunity to read, work or rest on the commute to and from Galveston.

A convenient morning and evening schedule, utilizing four new buses, begins at 5 a.m. daily, each way, and include stops at UTMB Victory Lakes Town Center, UTMB Clear Lake Center, UTMB Victory Lakes Park & Ride, 25th & Strand, UTMB Galveston, 20th & Market St., and 47th & Broadway.
Passengers may park in designated areas at lots located on the scheduled stops. Tickets may be purchase on the bus for $3 each way, and UTMB employees may purchase discounted books of tickets at the UTMB Bookstore. There is no charge to park. For detailed schedules, parking and stop locations go towww.gulfcoastcenter.org/connect_transportation or call 800-266-2320 or 409-945-0820.

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It’s that time of year again when seaweed starts washing up on Galveston’s beaches and the Park Board of Trustees is reminding the public about proper seaweed maintenance processes. The Park Board, which oversees tourism development and beach maintenance in Galveston, is reminding beachgoers and beachfront property owners of following facts:

The Park Board does not remove seaweed from the beach, as it is helps nourish the beachfront and prevents erosion. Guidelines set by the City of Galveston and the Beach Maintenance Advisory Committee require that seaweed – also known as sargassum – remain on the beach in order to facilitate the materials re-integration into the ecosystem.

Some beach areas are left ‘natural’ or untouched, allowing Mother Nature to run her full cycle. In other areas, such as the beach parks, beach access points or beaches bordering residential areas where the homeowner association has complied with the necessary process, the Park Board grooms or cleans the beach.

The Park Board crews use front-end loaders to gently collect and deposit mounds of seaweed along dunes located near the Seawall or ‘toe’ of existing dunes. This practice occurs daily, sometimes as early as 2 a.m., and helps to build up dunes, preserve sand and ensure a pristine environment for beach users. Once summer has passed, the piles along the Seawall are pulled back onto the beach to help nourish the sands.

Maintenance efforts regarding sargassum require permitting. Both private individuals and governmental agencies, such as the Park Board, are required to submit permit applications to the City of Galveston to be processed by the city’s planning department and Texas General Land Office. It is important to submit applications as early as possible due to a processing period that can take more than four weeks.

Organizations or persons with permits to maintain sargassum are allowed to hire private contractors or formally request the Galveston Park Board to maintain sargassum at a permitted site. Because the Park Board maintains most of the island’s beaches, seaweed maintenance outside of the island’s beach parks and Seawall occurs only when equipment and manpower is available.

Subdivisions requesting the Park Board to maintain seaweed are required to submit a copy of their City of Galveston issued Beachfront Construction Permit to the Park Board. They must also sign the Park Board issued Limited Temporary Easement Agreement. This form can be picked up at the Park Board administrative office located at 601 Tremont Street, Galveston, Texas 77550 or downloaded from www.galvestonparkboard.org.

Park Board equipment operators have been trained by federal, state and other agencies to recognize and report sea turtle sightings. All of the Park Board’s beach maintenance equipment has a magnetic sign in the cab with the 866-TURTLE-5 number to remind the operator of the proper procedure for reporting sea turtle sightings.

This spring the Galveston Park Board of Trustees will also send the message that “seaweed saves Galveston’s beaches” by educating the public about the environmental benefits of sargassum. Community outreach efforts will include the launch of a new seaweed brochure to be available on the Park Board’s website and at island hotels and rental properties. Galveston Beach Patrol tourism ambassadors will also pass out informational trinkets – such as wrist bands and stickers – at the island’s beaches throughout peak tourism season.

“Seaweed is a gift to our beaches from Mother Nature, but we also understand it coincides with peak tourism season and there may be a lack of education on why the seaweed remains on the beach,” said Park Board Executive Director Kelly de Schaun. “We have the tough job of balancing the need for providing aesthetically pleasing beaches while encouraging environmental conservation. I’m hoping these public outreach efforts will assist us in providing that balance.”

For more information about the Park Board, visit http://galvestonparkboard.org.

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Professor William Calhoun of the University of Texas Medical Branch – Galveston definitely had the legacy of partnerships between UTMB and Galveston College in mind when he proposed the Clinical Trail Coordinator program to Galveston College President Myles Shelton and Dean Vera Lewis-Jasper. A $50,000 grant from UTMB’s President’s Cabinet Awards under Dr. David Callender helped make this partnership real like so many others that the two institutions have enjoyed.

The Board of Regents of the Galveston Community College District approved programs Wednesday night to deliver training and education for an Advanced Technical Certificate in Clinical Trials Coordinator and a full two year Associate of Applied Science degree for Clinical Trails Coordinator.

The Clinical Trials Coordinator program prepares students for careers managing research studies conducted in the development of new drugs and medical devices. Graduates will have the knowledge, skills and abilities to coordinate clinical trial activities and will understand applicable laws and standards inherent in Good Clinical Practice . The training emphasizes an understanding of the interactions and relationships between key members of the clinical research industry. The program is designed to prepare for entry-level employment in a variety of venues such as: research sites in medical centers, hospitals, pharmaceutical and biotech companies or contract research organizations.

Successful graduates of the Clinical Trial Coordinator programs will find beginning salaries of $36,000 and above throughout the regional hospitals and research labs in the Houston metroplex.The program that starts this fall 2012 semester at Galveston College has the advantage of offering 10 one thousand dollar scholarships to students that enroll in the Clinical Trials Coordinator courses.

For more information interested persons may call 409-944-1286.

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Michael Hammes Joins Award-Winning Staff

GALVESTON, TEXAS — The San Luis Resort announces the addition of Michael Hammes as Director of Food and Beverage for The San Luis Hotel, Spa & Conference Center. With more than 20 years in the food service industry, Hammes brings an array of experience and successes to the The San Luis.
“We are thrilled to add Michael to the San Luis team,” said Paul Schultz, Paul Schultz, Vice President of Hospitality for Landry’s Hotel Division. “He brings a wealth of leadership qualities and extensive results-oriented experience that we wholeheartedly welcome and will enjoy. His true passion for great food and great service will definitely complement our offerings.”
Hammes began his career in the hotel industry as the food and beverage director for Mount Snow Ski Resort in Vermont in 2002 and later transferred to The Canyons in Park City, UT, a AAA 4- Diamond 700+ room Resort. In 2008 Hammes joined Vail Resorts and became F&B Director of Keystone, the third busiest ski resort in the world. By 1990, he was general manager of Bigg’s in Chicago eventually heading overseas as GM and and corporate training consultant for Planet Hollywood Asia including locations in Australia, South Africa and Southeast Asia.
Upon his return to the states, Hammes worked at famed gourmet retailer Dean & Deluca in Kansas City, KS and Charlotte, NC and later Wolfgang Puck Grand Café in Orlando, FL.
During his tenure at these properties Hammes dramatically improved the food and beverage departments, service scores, overall quality and profitability for the resorts.
“The San Luis Resort is a legendary property with immense potential and I am excited to join the team,” said Hammes. “My family and I look forward to becoming a part of Galveston’s dynamic community and calling this area home.”

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The Board of Regents of the Galveston Community College District approved a new field of study Wednesday night that will offer students an opportunity to earn their first two years of an Engineering degree or an Associate of Science in Engineering at Galveston College. The program is recruiting students now for classes beginning in the fall of 2012.

The transfer curriculum provided in the program is designed for students who plan to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering at a senior college or university after completing their studies at Galveston College. Upon successful completion of a prescribed 67 credit hours in four semesters the students will be eligible to graduate from Galveston College with an Associates of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Galveston College President Dr. W. Myles Shelton commented that “the development of this program coincides with our receipt of a major STEM grant and our continued development of viable workforce options at our main campus and at the Charlie Thomas Family Vocational Technical Training Center. We look forward to accepting student applications for this program.”

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