Newsmakers June 1: Hurricane season starts; major changes at METRO

By Khambrel Marshall - Meteorologist, 'Newsmakers' Host

HOUSTON - The 2014 Hurricane season starts June 1. When will you be ready? KPRC Hurricane Expert Bill Read says it only takes one storm to make it a bad hurricane season. His advice is to pay no attention to preseason forecasts of the number of storms.

"If you recall last year, everyone was forecasting a Godzilla hurricane season and it was a dud," he said. "So there's still uncertainty and there's still science that we don't understand in forecasting the seasonal storms so I really don't think people should pay much attention to it. "Just expect to get hit this year and that should help you prepare correctly.

METRO is working on a re-design of its entire bus system, something that has not been done for almost decades. METRO board Chair Gilbert Garcia and Board Member Christof Spieler join Khambrel to talk about the "reimagine" campaign that will drastically change bus travel in Houston.

"Ultimately our bus system has the same routes we've generally been using since the 1920s,"said Garcia. Spieler is an engineer and says the focus has been to make changes that will better cater to the needs of the ridership.

"If you're not going downtown, we don't need to send you there." Christof said. "So we're setting up a grid of routes that cross each other. And it's about frequency, about having buses that run every 15 minutes, and it's about all week service to have buses there when riders need it."

Garcia also talks about the METRO decision to build an overpass in the East End instead of an underpass as the community wanted.

Also this week the TX-Vet program and the GI Forum that has put hundreds of thousands of dollars to work to help veterans find employment. Paul Bosin was a 10 year U.S. Army veteran and not able to find work until the GI Forum helped out in a big way.

"They gave me hope and it was a nice support system to have because I knew that there were people on my side who were pushing for me to get a job as much as I was pushing for myself to get a job." he said. Bosin is now employed at Shell Oil Company and has a bright future. Walmart has played a big role by donating almost two million dollars to the TX-Vet program that focuse on Vets aged 18-34. Find out more about how this program works on this week's Houston Newsmakers.

Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall airs every Sunday at 10 a.m.

More Information:
• Bill Read, KPRC Hurricane Expert, 713-222-2222,

• Gilbert Garcia , METRO Board Chair, 713-739-4834,
• Christof Spieler , METRO Board Member, 713-739-4834,
• Jose Meras, Case Manager TX-VET Program, 1-877-562-4858

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