Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Royalty Rip Off?

So far cities have sued Chesapeake.  The airport sued Chesapeake.  School Districts have sued them.  The Tarrant Regional Water District (of all people!) has sued Chesapeake.  Even the Bass family.

Now, it's YOUR turn. If you feel you were screwed, show up.

  • 6 p.m. Tuesday, September 16 at Brewer High School, 1025 West Loop 820 North
  • 6 p.m. Wednesday, September 17 at River Oaks Community Center, 5300 Blackstone Drive

You can read the entire article @ WFAA.com
Tension grows between driller and royalty owners.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Join them

You could be next.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Blackland Tollway meeting on 9/11

Is that a sign?

We hear there is another meeting on the Blackland Tollway, though many out that way haven't heard about it yet.

Ask WHY.

Thursday, September 11, 2014
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Garland Central Library (Downtown)
North Program Room
625 Austin St
Garland, TX 75040

Blackland Tollway meeting - Take 2

The new date, time and place has been set for the Blackland Tollway meeting.

Maybe the public will get to speak at this one.

The COG and those other groups may want to pack their lunch.

Monday, September 22nd - 6:30
Rockwall Performing Arts Center
1201 T.L. Townsend Drive
Rockwall, Texas 75087

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

YOU are invited!

The Trinity River Vision will be appointing people to the Economic Development Board (read - Slush Fund) on Wednesday at 2:00 at the Tarrant Regional Water District.

Come one, come all!  Learn WHO spends YOUR money on WHAT!!

Come early, we know how they pack the room with their supporters & staff (read - Contractors/Donors) before the scheduled "door opens" time.

We'll see you there!  Fun times!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Calling Collin County

Fire marshal shuts down Blacklands toll road hearing

500 people showed up & just as it was getting hot, they shut it down!

The Northeast Gateway Turnpike would run on the east side of Lake Lavon.

Wow! There's just something about these private toll road scams that get under the skin of Texans.

Last night was the public hearing on this mysterious private Blacklands toll road through Greenville to Rockwall in Dallas and Collin counties. It's been re-routed and re-named the Northeast Gateway Turnpike. The tollway is being done through a completely for-profit private corporation, the Texas Turnpike Corporation, whose parent company is named Public Werks, although the environmental study is being conducted by the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG).

The statute that allowed this company to build private toll roads using EMINENT DOMAIN has since been repealed. Texans changed the Texas Constitution to protect them from eminent domain for private gain, and yet this company was grandfathered in (this is why we opposed the bill, SB 18, because it was chalk full of LOOPHOLES like this!).

The meeting facility only held 250 people and 500 people showed up! But no one said a thing about the capacity crowd until the meeting started to get hot. Conveniently, BEFORE the public comment began, the Fire Marshal shut it down and said they'd have to get another venue that can hold more people and reschedule the meeting in 10-14 days. This is a classic method by bureaucrats and planners to quell public opposition.

Of course, they put it off in hopes of demoralizing the opposition and to thin out the crowd. Remember, the MOST important way to oppose a toll project is to get your opposition ON THE OFFICIAL RECORD through oral or written public comment. You can submit comment orally at the microphone during the hearing or sometimes to a stenographer/court reporter off to the side at the hearings or in writing via email (usually within 10-30 days AFTER the hearing).


We need folks to turnout in even BIGGER numbers when this meeting gets rescheduled. We plan to have volunteers staff tables with clipboards to collect contact information of those opposed to the toll road so we can stay in touch and organize.

If you can help, please contact Terri Hall at terri@texasturf.org

Friday, September 5, 2014

Residents say NO WAY to Tollway

Well, they would have, if they weren't kicked out before getting an opportunity to speak.  The meeting was shut down by the Fire Marshall due to too many people showing up.  Did you hear that?  TOO MANY PEOPLE SHOWED UP!  Collin County, we are very impressed.  It's estimated 500-700 people were in attendance.

We've talked to some of those organizing the fight against the plunder for the Blackland Tollway and we've put them in touch with some others that can help.

Good luck to all!  We have a feeling the elected officials & the COG are going to need it.

If you haven't heard - Don't mess with Texas.  Texans don't like it.

You can get the scoop on WFAA.com.  And stay tuned, we'll have more to come.

Fire marshal shuts down overcrowded toll road meeting

Too many people showed up. Police told News 8 that they counted 360 inside NeSmith's cafeteria, which only holds 200. The fire marshal said it was unsafe and the meeting had to end.

"In my 35 years, we've never had a shutdown meeting because of an overflow crowd. But that's good. They're interested," Morris told News 8.

NCTCOG immediately began looking for new larger venues that could accommodate all the interested residents.

Morris said this public meeting would be rescheduled in the next 10-to-14 days.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Story remains the same, only the names have changed

According to the preliminary maps for the Blackland Tollway /Northeast Gateway Corridor Project, this project will run very close if not through my family’s home and property. While we are not huge acreage holders, we do have a home on two acres and have paid taxes to Rockwall County for over 25 years. Therefore I believe we should have a voice in the approval or dismissal of this project. My wife and I have worked too hard to make our home a beautiful place filled with memories to be cherished for years to come, for it to be torn down and turned into a profit center for a private corporation. I implore you all to fight against this project as there is no need for another “for profit tollway” to be built in this area.  The only private tollway in Texas failed and went bankrupt. The new tollway outside of Tyler is now being subsidized by millions of tax dollars because of low usage and to lower the cost to truck traffic.  All this is doing is allowing TxDot off the hook to use the tax dollars you and I already pay to the State of Texas for improving the infrastructure already in place.  Please help those of us in the direct path of this abomination. It is time to say No More Tollways!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

No more Downtown Parking means..

No more downtown.

We received an email concerning the Bass Hall Parking issue.  It made us think about the Cultural District parking issue.  We noticed we go there much less frequently since we have to pay to park and the garage is always so crowded and/or malfunctioning when you are trying to escape.

They do the same to downtown and we'll go there less frequently than we already do, too.

Tell them what YOU think.

We wanted to bring to your attention a recent story in the Star-Telegram regarding possible parking changes to two large downtown garages near Bass Performance Hall.

If a new lease agreement isn't reached between the Downtown Tax Increment Finance District Board and the garage owners, the 777 Main parking garage located directly behind Bass Hall at the corner of 5th Street and Commerce (which provides free parking to patrons attending Bass Hall performances) and the Sundance Square City Center garages could become paid parking garages.

Please read Downtown board considers less funding for free downtown parking | Business | Star-Telegram.com for further details about the on-going negotiations.

If you would like to express your concerns and provide feedback, there is a Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone Number Three Board of Directors Meeting tomorrow at 9 am. Below are the meeting details.

Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone Number Three
Board of Directors Meeting
Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 9 am
City of Fort Worth Annex Building, Third Floor Conference Room
908 Monroe Street, Fort Worth, TX 76102

Citizen presentations will take place towards the end of the meeting. There is a 3-minute limit per presentation.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Seen this??

Get ready for your toll roads, DFW.

TxDOT bails out toll roads

SH 130 & Loop 49 just for starters

Transportation Commission votes to 'forgive' $55 million loan to Tyler toll authority (for Loop 49) and gives $32 million to subsidize lower truck toll rates on SH 130 (again!). Meanwhile, the toll authority in Tyler is bragging that Loop 49 is enjoying better than expected traffic and higher toll revenues. 

But don't be fooled, just because they say they're getting more traffic than expected does NOT mean they're operating in the black. In fact, the only reason Loop 49 has more toll revenues is a toll rate hike. The reason they needed their TxDOT debt forgiven was their debt load was impeding their ability to issue more debt to extend the tollway to Lindale (another boondoggle). It's also seeking local property taxes to bailout their loser toll project.

On SH 130, TxDOT used some of Cintra's concession money last year to buy down the truck toll rates - so trucks were using the road for the same price as autos. When the subsidies ceased, so did the uptick in truckers using the tollway. So even though Cintra is on the verge of bankruptcy (despite all of TxDOT's help) and in technical default, TxDOT chose to kick them another $32 million in YOUR tax money to, once again, subsidize truck toll rates. So autos are paying to give truckers a discount. Meanwhile, TxDOT is seeking to block us from getting information about these bailouts by asking the Attorney General to keep these records SECRET!

That's just for starters.

Our research has revealed over $10 billion in YOUR tax dollars will subsidize or otherwise prop-up loser toll projects in Texas over the next 10 years. 

This double tax theft of our taxes for toll roads will not stop until we get new leadership at this broken agency.  Thankfully, two new Transportation Commissioners (out of the 5-member commission appointed by the governor that oversees TxDOT) will be appointed early in the next governor's administration. 

We have our eyes on two fabulous, pro-taxpayer potential picks. So stay tuned...

Diversions of road funds to rail

The running total is now up to $700 million in road dollars diverted to rail & trolley cars. In addition to that, TxDOT in concert with local MPOs will spend $48 million on hike & bike trails in San Antonio in next 4 years and another $28 million in DFW. Much more when you include every region. All the while TxDOT whines there's no money to fix our roads without tolls!
While many of these hearings are mundane and purposely set-up in a way to keep the public in the dark, opposition to tolls MUST get on the official record. Creating controversy helps with legal options down the road. Be sure to attend and get your comments on the official record!

DFW - 

Community Workshops on Proposed Toll Managed Lanes in Dallas

Here's their 'sales' job...
"Priced facilities such as toll roads, public-private partnerships and new TEXpress Lanes help expand transportation options when traditional funding falls short of meeting transportation needs. Investing tolls in the transportation system improves safety, reduces congestion, enhances quality of life, spurs economic development and benefits the region.

"TEXpress Lanes and the proposed transition of HOV lanes to Express lanes are two types of facilities that help address transportation demand, air quality concerns and expand mobility options. At the community workshops, transportation partners will review development of these plans, outline how to use the facilities and discuss next steps for transportation in the region."

Don't buy it

You're smart enough to know 'managed' toll lanes do NOT solve congestion they displace it to the free lanes that will remain in gridlock for our lifetimes. Say 'No' to tolls and the waste, fraud, and abuse of our tax dollars. 

Monday, August 25
6:00 PM 
Texas A&M AgriLife Extensions Center
Building E Auditorium
17360 Coit Road
Dallas, TX 75252

Tuesday, August 26
6:00 PM
Euless Library
201 N. Ector Drive
Euless, TX 76039