By Elsa Maxey
This is leap year. And, Monday, Feb. 29, is when the extra day, recorded every four years, is back on the calendar. The last leap year was 2012, and scientists say we need it to help synchronize our calendar with Earth’s orbit around the sun and with the actual passing of the seasons every four years.
Apparently, without the adjustment our reality would be off by five hours, 48 minutes, 45 seconds each year. And, after 100 years, the seasons would be off by 25 days. The extra day every four years takes care of the complication.
There’s popular folklore about leap year, like the weather always changes on Friday during a leap year, and there’s the one about how on that day, women are free to propose to men. As if?
Some say that being born on what is called Leap Day is a sign of good luck for the “leaplings.” As for events, in past leap years the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts (1620), Benjamin Franklin proved that lightning is electricity (1752), and gold was discovered in California (1848). On the supernatural scene, it is documented that on February 29, 1692, the first warrants were issued in the Salem witchcraft trials in Massachusetts.
Here in Fort Bend during the last leap year, there were some exceptional times and some of them in the making are near completion as we revel on the anticipation of exciting times to come. During the last leap year here, we celebrated the inaugural season of the Sugar Land Skeeters, and seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens was on the pitching mound for the Skeeters thrusting them and Sugar Land in the national limelight. On his debut with the Skeeters in a sold out game, Clements pitched for over three innings resulting in an exhilarating win. In a second game, Clemens pitched to his son, Koby Clemens.
2012 saw more growth for the county and its cities. Highlights include the announcement of the Children’s Museum of Houston, the Discovery Center project as a 10,000-square-foot, year-round facility at the historic Imperial Development. Interestingly, on this year’s leap day, Monday, Feb. 29, there will be a Hard Hat Salute to the Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center at Char House at Imperial. Public Relations & Promotions Director Henry Yau with the Children’s Museum of Houston said this is a sneak peak of the progress inside the Children’s Discovery Center still undergoing construction “as we draw closer to our Grand Opening date in May.”
Also during the previous leap year, CNN/Money magazine ranked Fort Bend County #2 on its national list of “Where the Jobs Are” (August 2012); Missouri City was named the most diverse city in the Houston region (Rice University, March 2012); and it was in 2012’s leap year that Missouri City’s Lakeview Business Park was selected as the site for the Niagara Bottling Company, the largest family-owned, private label manufacturer of bottled water in the U.S.
For newcomers to the area, during the 2012 leap year, FBISD began its search for a new superintendent after Dr. Timothy Jenney’s departure, and on the political scene, Sugar Land Mayor James Thompson was re-elected; Himesh Gandhi won a seat after defeating two competitors in an at-large city council race; and Joe Zimmerman ran unopposed for the council member at-large position, vacated by former council member Jacqueline Baly. Zimmerman is now running for mayor against District 4 City Council Member Harish Jajoo, Sarwar Kahn, Kyle Stanley and Lloyd Myatt Hancock.
Baly was in a run-off election against Rick Miller for the Republican nomination for state representative District 26, which was no longer sought after by Charlie Howard, who served since 1995. Miller, who is currently the State Representative defeated Democratic nominee Vy Nguyen in 2012.
Back then former Constable Pct. 4 Troy Nehls became Fort Bend’s Sheriff after winning against Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Craig Brady. This year, Nehls faces career law-enforcement officer Frank Cempa Sr. in the race for Sheriff. Nehls’ twin brother Trever replaced brother Troy as constable. That year, a Republican candidate for Fort Bend County commissioner, Bruce Fleming, was called out for voting in two states, Texas and Pennsylvania, the same year. Precinct 1 Fort Bend County Commissioner and Democrat, Richard Morrison, won that race, which is back on the books. Morrison is facing Former Rosenberg Mayor Vincent Morales, a Republican.
2012’s leap year can also boast the $84 million performing arts venue in Sugar Land announcement as the 21-acre site near U.S.59 and University Boulevard. A groundbreaking followed in 2014, when it was announced that its opening is expected this leap year, Fall 2016.
2012’s events were an exciting time of growth and change in Fort Bend. We’re in the second month of 2016’s leap year, and counting on more positive things.
We invite leapings born on Feb. 29 to contact us as we would love to hear from you and the experiences you may feel may be tied into your birth occurrence.