Tuesday, July 21, 2015

JPS Bond Alert Meetings to Attend

The District is seeking comments and input on the proposed plan from the general public. Five Town Hall Meetings are scheduled throughout the county for the convenience of interested residents.

From Commissioner Andy Nguyen...

"Tarrant County Hospital District (aka John Peter Smith Hospital Network - "JPS") would like to issue an $809 million dollar bond package. In keeping with my commitment to transparency and prior to the vote at Commissioner's Court to call for a November bond election, I would like to get your insight on this hospital bond initiative.  You can review the particulars on the bond package here 

You can also find additional information on the JPS Healthcare website.

JPS and I will be holding public hearings on Tuesday, July 21 from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. at the Arlington Subcourthouse located at 700 E. Abram St., and on Wednesday, July 22 from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. at the Mansfield City Hall in the City Council Chamber located at 1200 E. Broad St. (There are additional meetings scheduled around the county.) Translation services will be available for our Spanish- and Vietnamese-speaking constituents.

It's your turn to let us know what you think. This is your county, this is your hospital district and this is your money.  What are we doing right? What needs to be improved? Where are the gaps and how can we fix them? We need you to join us and give us your feedback!

Please share this information with your friends and family."
Warm regards,  Andy

ALERT...ALERT...ALERT
JPS BOND $809 MILLION
Two meetings left...
PLEASE ATTEND
Tuesday, July 21, 6 p.m.
Arlington Subcourthouse
700 East Abram St.
Arlington, TX 76010

Wednesday, July 22, 6 p.m.
Mansfield City Council Chambers
1200 East Broad Street
Mansfield, TX 76063

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Psst - Hey, Dallas. You're still downstream

The Dallas Observer is writing about their Trinity River project again and about the complete ineptness of the US Corp of Engineers (aka the same people who built the levees in New Orleans).

Jim Schutze is having a hard time getting the flood number for the Corp.  Maybe he should ask the NCTCOG for the Fort Worth Congresswoman's number instead.  He can ask about her son's project, Trinity Uptown, Central City, Trinity River Vision, Panther Island Pavilion, whatever they are calling it today.  He can ask what's going to happen in Dallas when the levees come down and the river is rerouted in Fort Worth.  He can ask how much experience and education her son has in hydrology.  He can also ask WHY the million dollar model of TRV (built in Vancouver) had to be redone...perhaps because the channel wasn't big enough to accommodate the water downtown?  If he's bored he can also ask what floating with alligators has to do with flood control.

Get ready Dallas, we're headed your way. And if you live on those lakes currently draining floodwaters to Dallas, YOU need to pay attention.


We need to rethink everything we thought we knew about flood control, which is everything we thought we knew about real estate development, which is everything we thought we knew about community.

If we think the flood problems we’ve seen this season have been bad, and if we don’t do anything about them, we’re in for a real nightmare in years soon to come. 

But here’s the real news. If the city of Dallas and the Army Corps of Engineers proceed with their plans for the Trinity River downtown, all of those flooding problems around the upstream lakes will get significantly worse.

How much worse? Well, we have a problem there. The impact of the Corps’ Dallas Floodway Extension Program on upstream flooding depends on a certain number. We used to know that number. Now the Corps says they can’t find the number any more. It disappeared. Even with all their engineers and scientists, they just can’t come up with that number now.

That’s completely crazy. They cannot not know. In fact they have to know with precision how much the new levees will back up the water downtown. This is speculation on my part, but the only reason I can imagine for them not to give me the number is fear. They must be afraid, during this time of flood emergency, that releasing the number will set off a grassroots rebellion in the communities around the upstream lakes.

In the current flood emergency, Mother Nature has said, “Look at the lakes, still 10 to 25 feet above flood stage weeks after the first heavy rains. Think about a 25-year-old scheme based on data and assumptions already proven by history to be materially wrong. Then think about the fact that Dallas still intends to do something to make things materially worse.” 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Alligator at Panther Island Pavilion


Apparently, Tarrant County Alligators didn't get the memo.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Speaking of Fracking

We have a new hero. 92 year old Violet Palmer was arrested in Denton this week for protesting.

WHAT was she protesting?  The fact that Denton citizens voted to ban fracking, then so called “conservative” Austin politicians took that right away with HB40.  The same politicians who take loads of money from the industry for their campaigns.

Unlike many of the Texas politicians, Violet felt motivated to actually do something.

"I did feel compelled," she said. "I feel like I must do something."

Palmer, who is blind, said the officers were courteous and she was never handcuffed. Police said it is unlikely charges will actually be pressed.

Palmer said she is outraged that a new state law from Austin essentially voids Denton's local ban on fracking, which was passed overwhelmingly by voters in November.

"Really, there is so little I can do, but I do it by protesting," she said.

You can see Palmer here

No fracking joke

WFAA.com reports on the fracking blowout in Arlington and the “unacceptable behavior” by the company who should be responsible for it.

Arlington officials report on fracking fluid blowout

Voter/buyer/citizen beware.

And if you ever want to know what goes on “behind the walls” at a drill site, see the video too.Two months ago, 100 homes in Arlington had to be evacuated as fracking fluid spilled out of a drilling site onto the city streets.

….42,800 gallons of fracking fluid — boiling up from thousands of feet underground — spewed into the streets and into Arlington storm sewers and streams.

According to the report, Vantage Energy first contacted 911 nearly two hours after fracking water first started to spill. What's more, the call to 911 came not from the site, but from corporate headquarters in Pennsylvania.

"This is unacceptable behavior," said City Council member Robert Rivera. "The citizens of Arlington do not appreciate the lack of ability to control the site."

…But this was not included in the city's report: Records uncovered by News 8 of another 1,500-gallon spill at the same site one month earlier.

What say YOU?


Friday, June 12, 2015

And Texans say Californians are soft…

At least they are trying to clean up their Water Board.  WHAT are YOU doing Tarrant County?

"The legislation, which now goes to the governor, would bar elected water board members throughout California from accepting campaign contributions of more than $250 from donors with business pending before their boards," the Los Angeles Times reported.

"Tom Calderon once worked as a consultant to the Central Basin Municipal Water District and earned $12,000 a month, according to [court testimony]. Allegations…claim his contract was paid through a $2.75 million secret slush fund created by the district," the report said.

California Lawmakers Take Aim At Water Board Corruption

Thursday, June 11, 2015

WHAT is going on in Arlington?

Another example of another woman, sacrificing her time, in her community to make a difference.  Instead of praising her or her accomplishments, they are labeling her as 'disruptive'.  Says WHO? With what proof? Don't fall for the BS, instead, Arlington residents should ask WHY a productive volunteer is being bullied.....

Last week I was called into the Asst. City Manager's office and asked to resign my position on the Arlington Animal Advisory Board for being "disruptive". I declined to resign as I feel I have not been disruptive in the least and have actually worked really hard within the system. When I first saw the state of our city's shelter back in 2012, instead of calling the news stations and picketing city hall, I joined FAAS and became a shelter volunteer so that I could help hands on. Any issues brought to us, we brought directly to shelter staff and did our best to work within the "system". It has been hard to keep our volunteers motivated and Marnie and I acted as buffers for most of them when they had issues. Below is a letter I sent today to Mayor and Council as they will be voting next week on a resolution at the City Council Meeting (ironically the meeting where they are honoring volunteer board members) to remove me for my final year. I wasn't going to post publicly, but since my removal will be in a public meeting felt that my side should also be heard. It is funny, I have never been described as disruptive in my life. The new Board Chair stated she got on the Board to support the Staff and not push a personal agenda. I don't believe asking for changes that will save lives is a personal agenda, it should be the priority of all who support or work for our shelter.

Dear Mayor Williams and Council,

I have served on the Animal Advisory board for three years. In our first two years, many great things were accomplished such as the Trap-Neuter-Return Resolution which has saved thousands of lives, drastically decreased intake into Arlington Animal Services, and saved our city a lot of money. Arlington led the way for this program in DFW and it has become standard for most of the other shelters in the area, after our success. Our volunteer group, Friends of Arlington Animal Services, rescued over 1,800 cats from AAS in the first 18 months. We raised over $150,000 to spay/neuter, rabies vaccinate, and return over 2,500 cats to their communities and opened the only low cost spay/neuter clinic in Arlington.

We were asked by staff to wait a year to see what needed to be tweaked in the current Resolution, so after the first year we came to staff with our recommendations. We were told this was an issue for the Board to discuss and make a recommendation. So as a Board member, I have made multiple presentations and I have attached them to this e-mail.

• The stray hold for “feral” cats. Only 1.3% of cats brought to the shelter are reclaimed by owners. It is a waste of tax payer money to hold these cats, in addition they are more likely to become sick as they are highly stressed. The goal of the stray hold is to help the cat find his owner, but with a Shelter-Neuter-Return program the cat is immediately returned to his home, but sterilized and vaccinated.
• Reducing intake of cats into the shelter by redefining a nuisance as a measurable behavior rather than the simple presence of a cat, which would give ACOs more authority in the field.
• Fearful Dogs, I was told this issue was out of staff’s hands and not a Board issue so I did not pursue. We will be approaching the COA Legal department to discuss. 11 dogs in May were EUed for being scared.
Video of Fearful Dog Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mhXw8m8rJU
• In the last meeting under future business I asked that we look into why the Canine Live Release Rate is still dropping and if it and the decrease in volunteer hours has anything to do with the new socialization protocols which limits how many pets volunteers can socialize. I was told this was not a board issue.

I was recently asked by Dr. Bowman to resign my position on the ASCAB due to my being “disruptive”. I have declined resigning as I feel that is not true. All the items I have brought to the Board I have discussed with staff prior to presenting, asked to be on the agenda and provided any information that was requested. At no time were there raised voices or even disagreements, so I am confused by this request. I was born in Arlington and bought my first home here to raise my son, I have volunteered thousands of hours at Arlington Animal Services as a Lead volunteer and with FAAS. I don’t feel that introducing topics of discussion, after first discussing with staff and being told to introduce, is disruptive. Dr. Bowman and I discussed that persistent might be a better word, but little action has been taken by the board this year and no votes on any issue so I have had to be persistent. After each presentation I was asked to provide more information, or less information, which I complied with every time and often given time limits. We have had a good working relationship with Staff to discuss issues pertaining to the animals at AAS which is why we do not create disturbances by going to the media, encouraging protests or petitions, or even coming to you as Council for issues that can be handled on a Staff level. I have worked through “the system” for years in Arlington because my dream for Arlington is for us to be the safest city in America for our pets and a lot of our citizens want that too. I and FAAS have kept all marketing and media about the shelter positive, whether on social media or with the press. We have been a buffer between citizens and volunteers and Staff and Council by addressing issues directly with Staff in a professional manner.

I have never understood why the Shelter Manager has a voting position on the Animal Shelter Advisory Board and now another city employee is the Chair person who controls what can be discussed. There are important issues that should be handled by staff, but they asked me to bring to the Board and with my removal none of these items will be addressed. How are we to proceed? I only missed one meeting in three years, despite feeling very disrespected this year. This Citizen Advisory Board, I believe, should be focused on the pets of Arlington and their welfare as well as representing our citizen’s concerns about how the pets of our city are treated and the efficiency of our shelter. I got on the Board initially to help with the 5 year plan that Council requested be written 8 years ago. We were told a year ago, that Staff would be writing the plan instead but have not seen anything. I would also suggest that a public comment section be added to these meetings, citizens are not allowed to speak at any time unless on the agenda. I am attaching the current statistics from AAS to show how much improvement has happened in the last few years, and areas that have the most potential to improve - 80% (176) of the cats euthanized in May were unweaned kittens. TNR is already making a huge impact on intake, but in the mean time, foster programs and good relationships with rescues are needed. Thank you for your time, please give me a call to discuss or I would be happy to meet with you.

Sincerely,
Kelli

Kelli Eaves
Friends of Arlington Animal Services
FAAS Co-Director
www.faastexas.org

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

YOU are invited


1985 - 2015

CELEBRATING 30 YEARS ADVOCATING ON BEHALF
OF ALL OF FORT WORTH'S NEIGHBORHOODS  

Please join us for the quarterly League General Membership Meeting 
Thursday, June 11, 2015 6:30 p.m. 
University Christian Church 
2720 South University Drive Room 205

Program:  "Impact of the 84th Texas Legislature on Your Neighborhood"

Speaker:  Zac Trahan, DFW Program Director of Environment Texas

He will speak specifically on HB 40, legislation providing that the state  has preemption authority over oil and gas regulations.  The new law holds that current and proposed city and other  political  subdivision ordinances that place regulations on oil and gas activities are only allowed if they are commercially reasonable.

There will also be an overview of the legislative session as a whole and its impact on cities and neighborhoods.

To learn more, go to these suggested sites:

Issues of Local Control

Guide to the 84th Texas Legislative Session

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

“Fort Worth looks at new ways to deal with flooding”

That’s the title of the WFAA.com story, about which we all know is BS.

Mayor Betsy Price says an updated plan is overdue, as showcased by the past few weeks.

Fort Worth doesn’t look at fixing flooding issues, if you’ve been following along on the blog, you know, if Nothing is ever done, it just gets worse.

Mayor Price wants to help.  Wasn’t the 10 year old Trinity River Vision supposed to help?  Oh, wait, they are now Panther Island Pavillion.  Where you can float in the contaminated river, while you listen to Free concerts that YOU are paying for.

Remember the faces of this family, all but one died in the Wimberley flood.  Remember for when it happens again in Tarrant County.  It’s just a matter of time.

And just FYI Dallas, you are downstream…

Funny, just a few short years ago in another article on WFAA.com Price had this to say about the project to “take the levees down”.

Betsy Price, chairwoman of Streams and Valleys, a nonprofit that advocates for more recreational opportunities at the Trinity River, said this project will do much to bring people closer to the water.