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The Sharpener writes about all kinds of things as long as they're hyperlocal—closely connected to the Sharpstown area. You won't notice many editorials or opinion columns—we try to focus on pavement-pounding, fact-based reporting.

Here are some of the main topics we cover (scroll down for more details and sample articles):

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The Sharpener has covered everything from how the HISD takeover is affecting Sharpstown schools to whether K-12 education is effectively preparing students for college. Here are a couple of highlights:

Inside Sharpstown’s Sugar Grove Academy: How HISD’s New Education System Works in a Middle School
The timer on the SMART Board screen clocks down to zero as nineteen sixth graders jot examples of figurative language in their notebooks. They’re searching for them in a poem on screen that begins, “The sun smiled like a friend.” The timer chimes. “Marco,” says Ms. Evans. “Polo,” reply
Do K-12 Schools Prepare Students for College? Not Enough, Say Professors and Students at Houston Christian University
Dr. Marian Zaki remembers being shocked when her 4th grader in Fort Bend ISD came home with worksheets and no textbook. Where was she supposed to find information to help her daughter understand the problems? “The internet,” said her daughter’s teacher. It was difficult to find solid, relevant, age-appropriate

Read more articles about education.

Civics/Local Government

Your local government officials are accountable to you—but not if you don't know what they're up to. In addition to covering local elections, the Sharpener keeps you posted on what local officials are doing with your tax dollars after they land their seats. We also publish explainers about how different local government branches work and what they do.

The Sharpener also keeps you updated on the Sharpstown Civic Association, the nonprofit that controls what you can and can't do to your house. The SCA uses voluntary membership dues and safety contributions to enforce deed restrictions, fund security patrols, and more for the approximately 6,800 homes in Sharpstown. Here are a few highlights:

Two Ways to Get a New Community Center: Alief vs. Sharpstown
For Alief to get a new, $58 million community center last January, it took decades of advocacy from the Alief Super Neighborhood community, according to District F Council Member Tiffany Thomas. By many accounts, it had a lot to do with the Alief Super Neighborhood Council (SNC). Houston is split
Bye-Bye to Bylaw Changes (for Now): 65 Ballots Decide the Sharpstown Civic Association’s Future
Approximately one hundred people filled the blue chairs or stood along the walls in the Bayland Community Center on August 24, 2023. Sixty-six of them held purple ballots with three options: yes, no, or abstain. Soon, all but one of those ballots would be cast. Outside the door to the
Demystifying SW Houston’s Government: How TIRZ #20 Spends Local Property Taxes
If you’re like me, you probably read the eight-foot-wide sign at Club Creek Park and think, “Okay, so what?” It says that something called TIRZ #20 contributed $1.3 million to the new Houston Vietnam Veterans Memorial. At this point, your eyes are probably glazing over—or you’re

Read more about civics.

Community Events

Plenty of things happen in Sharpstown—many of them free and open to the community. The Sharpener strives to let you know about important—and fun—events ahead of time. Or, if you skip out and wonder what you missed, we've got that covered too. Here are a couple of highlights from 2023:

A Little Rain Couldn’t Stop the Fireworks at Liberty Fest
On Sunday, July 2, the east PlazAmericas parking lot turned into bustling festival grounds for the second weekend in a row. This time, it was for Liberty Fest—the Southwest Management District’s signature annual event. Vendors sold everything from Mexican street corn to Korean BBQ to handcrafted earrings. An
Taiwan Yes Festival Invites Community to HCU for Food, Games, and Entertainment
Hungry for some special Taiwanese food that you might not find in restaurants? Want a fun place to bring your kids or friends on the weekend? Or just feel like exploring another culture? If yes, check out Taiwan Yes, a festival that’s hitting Houston Christian University Parking Lot 5

Read about more community events.


Wondering about local street, trail, and bus line projects? We write about those too. And boy, can they be controversial. Houston is a highly drive-able city, but not very walkable, bike-able, or bus-able (if that's a word). Some people want it to stay that way; others want it to change.

You deserve to know what changes your local government is batting around and why. Here are some highlights:

Houston and Harris County Break Ground on Sharpstown Park Trail
One day, you may be able to bike or walk your dog all the way from the Sharpstown Park Golf Course to the far side of downtown Houston. Theoretically, you’re able to do that now (if you don’t mind walking on broken sidewalks and constantly crossing parking lot
METRO Approves Hillcroft Route for Controversial Gulfton Corridor Bus Line
Leer en Español On Thursday, 8/24/23, METRO’s board voted unanimously to approve what METRO calls the “locally preferred alternative” route (LPA) for the Gulfton Corridor Project. The route would extend the METRORapid Silver Line, a special bus service that runs through the Galleria area in its own

Read more about transportation.


The Sharpener's series "Climbing off the Streets" chronicles the quest of two local homeless men to make it off the streets of southwest Houston and into housing. It's harder than you think.

One little-known but massive barrier? Many homeless people—even though they are U.S. citizens—don't have a photo ID.

Climbing off the Streets, Part 1: What an ID Really Means
To American teenagers, a driver’s license is the gateway to independence, quick transportation, bills. But for America’s homeless population, a driver’s license can mean the difference between getting housing or being stuck on the streets. But most homeless Houstonians I know—and I’ve talked
Climbing off the Streets, Part 4: How Hard Can It Be to Get an ID?
“I’m never gonna get a license. I knew it.” Dale Malone bends forward in the plastic chair, hands flat on the edge of the DPS desk. The black-haired woman behind it has just told him that management wouldn’t accept his METRO disability ID card as proof of identity, even

Read more about homelessness.

Social Issues (Human Trafficking and More)

For years, Southwest Houston has been internationally known a hotspot for human trafficking—especially in an area called the Bissonnet Track, just a short drive down 59 from Sharpstown.

For years, city and county officials and law enforcement have been fighting to get sex trafficking off the streets, but in May 2023, they started getting creative. Over the past year, the Sharpener has reported multiple times on their efforts.

We also report on other social issues, from crisis pregnancies to refugee stories.

“Bissonnet Track” Now “Bissonnet Corridor”? Former Open-Air Trafficking Hub Getting a Makeover
Close to sunset, teens played soccer and kids romped on the playground in Forum Park next to Best Elementary, in a neighborhood where open-air sex trafficking used to happen in broad daylight. District J Council Member Edward Pollard said a Best third grader wrote a letter to him about seeing
One Year after TX Trigger Law, Where Can Sharpstown Women with Crisis Pregnancies Go?
Leer en Español Google Maps says that the Women’s Center of Houston on 8200 Wednesbury is still open. It’s not. The OB/GYN clinic operated in Suite 230 of the squat, four-story Southwest Professional Plaza since 2013. The former owner, Dr. Yury Nosaville, said that he delivered 11,

Read more about social issues.

Culture & Food

How well do you know your neighborhood? Learn more about the many places to eat and things to do in the Sharpstown area.

El Barquito Seafood & Oyster Bar Opens in Sharpstown: Review by Kace’ Conaway
El Barquito, opened about six weeks ago, has shot to the top of my “places to go” list. The atmosphere was friendly and welcoming, the prices ranged from $12 to $25, and the location is near my school and the Southwest Freeway. Walking up to the family-owned restaurant, I was
Tours of Independence Hall Offered Right Here in Sharpstown
By Kirsten Passmore, HCU student I rolled up the ramp in my wheelchair toward the grand white doors of Independence Hall, where America’s founders signed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. But I wasn’t in one of the original thirteen colonies. This was Texas. The real Independence Hall (originally

Read more about culture and food.

Human Interest

Folks from all over the nation—and the world—come to Sharpstown, so there are thousands of living storybooks walking or driving around our neighborhood every day. Sometimes, we get to read them. Here are some highlights:

Finding Refuge in Sharpstown: A Young Woman’s Journey from Thailand to Texas
Martha Mathew knocks at the yellow door of an apartment near Ranchester and Bellaire. As I wait behind her, we slip off our shoes and place them next to the others lining the concrete step. A young woman with a shy smile opens the door and welcomes us in. War
From War to America: Vietnamese Americans Share Stories at the New Houston Vietnam Veterans Memorial
During his seven-year term in a communist “re-education camp,” the only food Dong Nguyen received was one small bowl of rice per day. That’s the story he told on a quiet, 82-degree Memorial Day morning at the new Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Club Creek Park. Dong and his wife,

Read more human interest stories.


Obituaries are a way to reflect on the stories of people who have made an impact—whether big or small—on our neighborhood.

Dr. Stewart Morris, Sr., Houston Christian University Founder, Dies at 104
Dr. Stewart Morris, Sr., a Houston real estate giant and Christian education pioneer, died on Monday, March 11, 2024, at the age of 104. He helped found Houston Christian University in Sharpstown and led his small family company, Stewart Title, to become one of the largest title companies in the

Read obituaries.