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Fort Bend Independent

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  • Tommy Philips of Sugar Land who recently announced his in-tention to run for Sugar Land City Council at-large position No. 1, has dropped out of the race.

    The incumbent Tom Abraham is term-limited.

    Himesh Gandhi, a Planning and Zoning Commission mem-ber, has announced his candidacy for the same seat.

    Philips said in a statement: After months of preparation and campaigning, I was recently faced with a very diffi cult deci-sion regarding the upcoming City Council election.

    Due to an unexpected career promotion I am no longer able to pursue the offi ce of Sugar Land

    Phone: 281-980-6745wwwww.fbindependent.com.fbindependent.com

    P. O.BOX 623, SUGAR LAND, TX 77487-0623WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2012

    VOL 5 No. 5

    Seshadri KumarPublisher & Editor

    10701 Corporate Drive, #282, Staff ord, TX 77477Mailing Address: P.O. Box 623, Sugar Land, TX 77487


    Fort Bend Independent, (USPS 025-572) is published every Wednesday (for a subscription rate of $20 per year) by Fort Bend Independent, LLC., 10701 Corporate Dr., #282, Stafford, Texas 77477. Periodicals Postage Paid at Stafford, Texas. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Fort Bend Independent, P.O. Box 623, Sugar Land, Tx 77487.

    Offi cial newspaper of Fort Bend County, Missouri City & Sugar Land

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    The Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce kicked off the New Year with its annual Chairmans Gala on Satur-day, January 28th at the Tex-as Safari Ranch.

    The Fort Bend Chamber celebrated its 40th anniver-sary and honored the leaders and volunteers of the cham-ber.

    Immediate Past Chairman Chris Breaux of Null-Lairson recognized the board mem-bers retiring in 2011 for their outstanding service and com-mitment.

    Special awards were pre-sented to three retiring lead-ers of chamber divisions. They included Mary Gayle Brindley Member Services Vice Chair, Josie Morgan Chamber Young Professional Vice Chair, and Toni Nel-son Programs and Special Events Vice Chair.

    Breaux thanked Himesh Gandhi who served as the 2011 Legal Counsel. The 2011 Secretary/Treasurer Na-mita Asthana is retiring from her role as treasurer but con-tinues to serve on the board. Breaux also paid tribute to the Immediate Past Chair-man who is retiring from the board this year. Bridget Yeung has served the cham-ber with great distinction and was honored with a special award.

    In the last 40 years, the Fort Bend Chamber of Com-merce and Fort Bend County have been truly fortunate and blessed with devoted, energetic and generous vol-unteers. Each year, at this

    Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce 2012 Executive Committee: Chris Breaux, left, immediate past chairman, Keri Schmidt, President & CEO, Bruce Mercer, 2012 Chairman, Stewart Jacobson, incoming chairman and Carl Favre, Legal Counsel. Right, Chris Breaux, Glenn Smith, recipient of the Ursula Coates Award and Bruce Mercer. Photo by LARRY PULLEN.

    Fort Bend Chamber celebrates 40th anniversary

    By SESHADRI KUMARNearly 300 people joined the

    Health for Humanity-Yogathon on Saturday, Jan. 28 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m at the Sugar Land Town Square Plaza in front of the city hall.

    Unfettered by the cold breeze and aided by the glowing sun-shine, participants in all age groups from the greater Hous-ton area demonstrated Sun Salutations, involving a dozen simple body movements, with controlled breathing.

    Sugar Land joined the rest of the nation in bringing yoga exercises to the public square, involving people from all parts of the country regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, faith, or nationality to achieve personal goals of a healthy life style.

    The Sugar Land event be-

    came a part of the national campaign launched by Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (Organi-zation of Hindu Volunteers) to create awareness about yoga and its advantages in achiev-ing a healthy body, mind, and spirit.

    Sugar Land Mayor James A. Thompson issued a proclama-tion acknowledging the benefi t of the Health for Humanity Yoga campaign.

    In the absence of Mayor Thompson, Sugar Land City Councilman Harish Jajoo read the proclamation and presented it to Ramesh Bhutada, vice-President of HSS, USA.

    Similar proclamations were issued by mayors from 22 dif-ferent cities across the USA which includes cities of Aus-tin, Pearland, Flower Mound

    and San Antonio in Texas, and by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

    Governor of Colorado John Hickenlooper also proclaimed Jan. 14 thru Jan. 29 as Health for Humanity Week.

    Sugar Land City Manager Alan Bogard , impressed by the enthusiasm of the participants, greeted them and wished the yoga session every success.

    The Surya Namaskar (Sun salutation) yoga routine inte-grates simple postures of well-balanced movements in dozen steps with an easy breathing technique to provide health benefi ts for everyone from beginners to yoga enthusiasts, said Dr. Bobby Kapur, M.D., Director of the Center for Glo-balization and Associate Chief

    Yoga grips Sugar Land Town Square

    Ramesh Bhutada, second from left, receives the Sugar Land Mayors proclamation from Councilman Harish Jajoo. At left is Alan Bogard, Sugar Lands City Manager and at right is Manoj Rathi, coordinator of the Yogathon.

    By BARBARA FULENWIDERThere was good news and bad

    news in Mayor Leonard Scarcel-las annual state of the city report that he delivered last Wednesday.

    Its rare that any bad news he includes trumps good news but the fact that Texas Instruments (TI) will be gone from Stafford by the end of this year did.

    It wasnt the fi rst or last thing that the mayor announced in his speech but it will have a huge im-pact on the city that has suffered

    fi nancially thanks to the national economic downturn.

    Scarcellas good news was that in spite of a near catastrophic national recession last year Staf-ford made multi-million dollar infrastructure improvements, maintained services, retained adequate cash balances and com-pletely extinguished its general obligation debt and did all of that with operating funds.

    This year, the mayor said, the city has some prominent chal-

    lenges that include enhancing the economy; developing prima-ry corridors; continuing the zero property tax rate and commitment to fi scal prudence; strengthening emergency services; continuing to elevate Stafford Centre.

    Also, securing long-range water availability, strongly fi ght U.S. 90A double tracking, which will diminish Staffords quality of life; truly trans-

    Council candidate drops out

    Stafford mayor upbeat despite TI closure

    See STAFFORD,Page 3

    See YOGA, Page 3

    Participants perform the yoga technique of Sun Salutation at the Sugar Land Town Square as a part of the Health for Humanity campaign. Photos by Bijay Dixit.

    City Council. My duties as a hus-band and father come fi rst. The new assignment does not allow me the time to focus on winning an election at this time. I will

    continue to be involved in giving back to the City I call home but in other capacities.

    In the future, when the time is right and the decision will not affect my career, I will revisit running for offi ce.



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