Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Not a drop to drink Part 2

Whisper the two words “Barnett Shale” and before you know it, a crowd will gather to listen as if you are about to deliver the Sermon on the Mount.

The largest natural gas play in the country, right here in Tarrant County, has made a number of local residents millionaires and created much more than a cottage industry. It’s the equivalent of a large, gated housing community or even a small city.

Numerous opportunities abound with the Barnett Shale exploration and success, as do numerous challenges. Municipalities such as the city of Fort Worth, for instance, are watching their coffers bulge from gas-well royalties and leases on city-owned property. Many observers correctly worry that the city will increase spending at a rate commensurate with its newfound source of revenue, only to leave taxpayers holding the bag – an empty bag – when the flow of gas and money either drops off substantially or dries up completely.

Most wells do not produce forever. Revenue almost certainly will decline – and the decline could be both drastic and rapid.

Other questions revolve around environmental impact, both in the wide-open spaces and ranchland areas of Tarrant County and in neighborhoods where associations of homeowners, once focused on planning their Fourth of July parades, now spend time listening to lectures on gas leases and drilling regulations.

Last fall, the Fort Worth Business Press launched a series of seminars to discuss various aspects of the Barnett Shale. We offer explanations and what amount to mini-lectures by experts, many of whom are lawyers who make presentations as panelists.

For our most recent Barnett Shale Symposium, a standing-room-only crowd gathered at the Fort Worth Hilton to hear several speakers discuss Barnett Shale-related issues, including the growing impact of gas-well drilling on the area’s water supply. Bill Meadows, a former Fort Worth city councilman and a member of the Texas Water Development Board, served as moderator; the featured speaker was Robert Mace, the Water Development Board’s division director of groundwater resources.

Mace is among the state’s most noted authorities on water – particularly the Trinity Aquifer, which is the primary source of groundwater for our region.

Mace warned that over time the aquifer will face serious depletion issues. It will become more and more difficult to supply all the water we need as Tarrant County continues to grow, both industrially and residentially. Exploration in the Barnett Shale also puts pressure on the availability of water.

While the general public apparently found such issues compelling enough to spend several hours pondering them and asking questions about them in a packed hotel ballroom, members of the board that governs the Tarrant Regional Water District were conspicuous by their absence.

You might think that a group of public officials whose primary mission is to manage the area’s water resources and ensure an ample supply of clean, safe water for homes and businesses would want front-row seats for a program dealing in such depth with their area of responsibility. But of course the water board’s attention in recent years has been focused less and less on its real job – water management and preservation – and more and more on its latest plaything, the $435 million extravagance known as the Trinity River Vision.

Perhaps if we had devoted part of our symposium to a discussion of town lakes, riverwalks and the economic development benefits of eminent domain, water board members would have found time to attend. Maybe next time.

While the water board fiddles with the river, North Texas is desperately in need of inspired and dedicated leadership to preserve our precious water reserves for ourselves and for future generations.

Elected officials, including water board members, city council representatives, county commissioners and state legislators, need to step forward and confront the looming water crisis. If the people’s leaders don’t care enough to learn all they can about this crucial issue, then the people need to find some new leaders. And, based on the burgeoning level of public interest in this subject, the people may be gearing up to do just that.

Meanwhile, we’re struck with a regional water board that is clearly more interested in economic development than in water preservation, so the public needs to put some pressure on board members. One way to do it would be to attend the board’s meetings, which are held at 9:30 a.m. on the third Tuesday of every month. The meetings are conducted at the water district’s administrative offices, 800 E. Northside Drive in Fort Worth.

Maybe some of the board’s constituents who attended our symposium could pass along some of what they learned about water to the water board. The water board could certainly use the information.

For the record

We were perusing some FW Weekly articles and came across some interesting notes, most of these come from the "Best Of" Editions. We hope they are working on an election edition.

In 2002:

Best Elected Official -
Clyde Picht

In 2006:

Waste Of Taxpayer Money -
Readers' choice: Trinity River Project

In 2007 :

Example of Gumption or Grit
Critic's choice: Gary Hogan
You can almost hear city officials, sounding eerily similar to Col. Klink, saying, "Hooogaaaan ....." No wonder - one of the strongest and most rational voices representing neighborhood interests in the natural gas boom has been that of this mustachioed Westsider. Despite finding himself outgunned while serving on a 2005 gas drilling ordinance task force that was heavily stacked in favor of the industry, Hogan never lost focus or alienated himself. He fought for 1,000-foot buffer zones between homes and wells (the task force raised the buffer from 300 to 600 feet only after a fatal Forest Hill blowup), and he predicted widespread devaluations of property. Two years later, he remains a viable voice of the people as the scope of drilling intensifies. The city could use more folks like him.

(While Steve isn't currently running for anything that we know of, he is always involved on behalf of the citizens)


Critic's choice: Steve Hollern
Hollern is the former chair of the Tarrant County Republican Party, but has stayed active in the community even after moving out of the job. His latest mission is getting signatures to put a referendum on the ballot that would cap spending on the Trinity River Vision project. He's working hard against the so-called flood-control project that keeps getting more and more expensive. This goes against the city's party line, but Hollern is doing his best to keep this boondoggle from becoming an even more massive waste of taxpayer dollars.

Public Debate
Public officials are supposed to be, for lack of a better word, public. That means our elected officials need to be responsive to the voters, both in terms of being available to answer concerns and being able to articulate a vision for the community. Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief has decided he needs to do none of these. He rarely attends neighborhood community meetings, doesn't talk much to the media, and, quite frankly, acts as if he is above all that. Some might think this criticism of Mike has to do with his refusal to talk to the Weekly and telling the other council members to stonewall us as well. Sure, we'd prefer he talk to us, but in some respects he has dropped a present in our lap. Many neighborhood leaders are now rallying around this newspaper, working more closely with us on big-city issues. But that's not enough, in the bigger picture of what's good for the city. Cowtowners need to ditch the back-room Fort Worth Way and embrace vigorous debate in the public arena. Just because Dallas can't do it without a lot of red faces and bitterness shouldn't stop us - we do other things better, we can do this better as well.

In 2008:
Thing Tarrant County Needs
Critic's choice: A revolutionary with moxie
Lots of folks are whining about how the gas drilling companies are taking over Fort Worth, stepping on its citizens, and controlling city hall. Whine, whine, whine. This city needs somebody to go all Pancho Villa on somebody's ass - in a nonviolent way - and really kick up some resistance against city officials and corporate robber barons who treat residents like floor mats and rely on unfair laws put in place by co-opted legislators.

Politician Most Likely to Sell Grandma to the Highest Bidder
Readers' choice: Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief

Bloggers busy this week

With the election upon us, lots of talk going around. Remember - don't sell your vote, be informed!

West and Clear discussions still going...

And Durango's been busy too.

Monday, April 27, 2009

People want to know

More details on the TRV, please

City leaders say there is no money to renovate our existing but neglected Heritage Park, touted for its grand view of the historic confluence of the West and Clear forks of our Trinity River. At the same time they eagerly continue to support a nonexistent vision.

The Trinity River Vision proposes to destroy the natural confluence of the Trinity to develop commercial property in its place where canals, bridges and a lake will require massive earth moving by the Army Corps of Engineers to prevent flooding just below the bluff where the Tarrant County Courthouse stands.

Descriptions have been vague, but recently a brochure produced for TRV explained that the canals and bridges are modeled after a project designed in Vancouver, B.C., a part of the hemisphere that has almost nothing in common with Fort Worth in the way of climate, culture and water supply.

The TRV brochure reports two trips by TRV advisors to Vancouver to visit the football field-sized model of the Trinity River Vision Central City project. The bypass channel and flood gates of the model demonstrate protection of more than 2,400 acres of neighborhoods possibly subject to flooding in uptown Fort Worth as a result of the channel and associated levees.

J.D. Granger, executive director of the TRV Authority and son of U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, was quoted in part as saying, “We’ve been able to make minor modifications in the design that will save us millions in erosion maintenance costs.”

Let us please learn more about projected maintenance costs and possible flooding. In times threatening depression and drought, when our president asks us to eliminate earmarks, we must know the facts to act wisely and responsibly.

How much taxpayer money is being spent to fund the Trinity River Vision, and how many millions do we guess it will take to finish and maintain it? Residents of Fort Worth deserve a full and open accounting.

— Betty W. Fay, Fort Worth

(This letter was in the daily paper last month, we've not seen an answer yet, have you?)

Where were you?

Candidate forum tonight, all District 6 candidates attended, as well as Clyde Picht and Louis McBee. No mayor, no surprise.

Liked what we heard from the candidates. Again, we were impressed with Glen Bucy. If you are a voter in District 6, look him up.

Shame that the location could hold 2000 people, maybe 50 showed. So, where were YOU?

Who does the city belong to?

We found this comment online (it was in response to the City pulling the candidate interviews last week).

What is it with the city leaders? If a person appears at a City Council meeting to speak, they are not allowed to criticize the City staff or the City Council under any circumstance.

The City Council and others are given all the time they wish to slap each other on the back and shower praises for the great things they are doing.


There has been recent criticism of the City Council and mayor for censorship when truthful facts were being presented, at which time the mayor would 'warn them about the rules'. (his rules) Those facts may include names or the wrongdoing of the City staff or City Council who were acting inappropriately. Why is that wrong?

The City manager the Mayor and City Council does not want the criticism being aired on the City's television station. They do not want the citizens to know of the poor performance that has taken place.

Why do you think there are so many people running for offices? The citizens are tired of all of the back door deals, the censorship, being told about the balanced government when the Mayor and Council have dictated who is on Task Force and what they are allowed to talk about. The task Force then would feed back what the industry wants.

We now have a public access television station that is being monitored and censored by the City manager. So much for transparency and open government. Don't we criticize China and Iran for exactly the same thing.

The Mayor, City Council and City staff think the citizens are at the mercy of their wishes. It is time to tell them with our votes, they work for us. We need public Officials who understand they are in their position at the will of the people.


Posted by: jimsplace

Saturday, April 25, 2009

FTW Survivor

We like the way Durango explains things.
Early voting starts Monday.

Friday, April 24, 2009


Prairie Fest is Saturday!

Just in time

The candidates are back on! Good job all! Now - go watch them!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Candidates censored by City

Now the question is WHY?

Stimulus = Bailout in advance

Who owns what?

Last night the local news reported local residents "felt forced" to let a gas drilling company put a pipeline in their front yard. How would you feel if someone comes to your door and states they are going to dig up your front yard and lay a 16 inch (think tire size) natural gas pipeline just steps from your house...where your kids play, where you go at the end of your day, where you lay your head each night... your HOME? You might say, "Now wait a minute buddy, I own this place". To which they say, "So you give it to us, or we take it". Then you contact your city (and if they take your calls), they say we can't help you.

If they can't, who can???

Here's an interesting letter we received that sheds some light on why an "alternative route" was needed. (Aug 08)


I would like to provide you an update you on where we stand on reviewing the options for the Thomas well site.

I met with Chesapeake more than a week ago to discuss the various pipeline routes. They owe me an exhibit of all of the routes they considered and an itemization of the impediments to each option. I expect to get that document this week. We discussed extensively the property north of I-30 that is controlled by the Tarrant Regional Water District. There is an existing pipeline in that area that is scheduled to be moved with the Trinity River Vision project. It appears that the remaining area will not be sufficient to accomodate an additional line. However, I am awaiting written confirmation about this from Woody Frossard at the Tarrant Regional Water District who is also the project liaison with the Corp of Engineers. We also discussed the option of the pipeline under Carter Avenue ; however, with the staging/boring of the pipeline, there is an entire house that would have to be condemned/removed to accomodate this path which is undesirable. This leaves the various perimeter routes on which I am awaiting the engineer's evaluations.

As far as the truck route goes, we have discussed the construction of a service road to allow access from the North. TxDOT is supportive of this. However, Chesapeake is unable to wait the 36 months or so that it would require to design and construct and still honor their leases in the area to produce minerals. We have provided information on the cost of complete reconstruction of Scott Avenue to City standards and continue to negotiate this point. I hope to have this discussion resolved late next week.

The suggestion was made that the City purchase the property and add it to Tandy Hills Park . I have been in contact with the property owner and the realtor. Regardless of the sales prices, their surface lease obligations would likely follow any sale transaction so it is unlikely to be a solution.

As far as the soil sampling that took place out there last week, Chesapeake 's contractor was in violation of the City's tree ordinance and is being cited accordingly.

Again, all of these items are still under discussion until we have definitive answers from the various parties involved. In the meantime, no permits will be issued. Please allow us to complete our discussions and we will update you as possible.


Susan Alanis

Planning and Development

Monday, April 20, 2009


Dish, Texas. If you have not ever read something the Mayor of Dish, TX has written, you might want to start. He is concerned with the safety of his residents due to what gas drilling has done to their town. Again, you might want to listen, someday it could be us.

We got the latest dish on Dish from TXsharon. If you don't know WHO she is, read all about her in FW Weekly here.

Thanks to Calvin and TXsharon for looking out for Texans. Both of you should be RR commissioners, you'd have our vote.

Austin Responds...?

Hello all:

I would like to start by stating that I understand your frustration with the current situation on Carter Avenue . I would like to commend you on your hard work and continued interested in this very important matter. Please be aware that I am currently working with Representative Burnam on his bills. Unfortunately, none of the members of the Texas House of Representatives are able to meet outside of Austin during session (January 13, 2009 - June 1, 2009) due to other committee and house obligations. The members of the Energy Committee understand that these issues are very important to the citizens of Tarrant County and the entire state. . All members are required to be in Austin when the House meets in session, they will be unable to be in Fort Worth to meet in a committee hearing. All committee hearings during April and May will have to be in Austin . If there are citizens who are unable to attend those hearings in person, I recommend that they contact the committee members by letter or e-mail to express their interest and concerns about oil and gas drilling or any other issue. You can look up the committee members contact information on this website. Once again thank you for interest in this very serious matter.


Jim Keffer

Saturday, April 18, 2009


That's such a good question, we are going to start asking it more.

Who is Bryan Eppstien?

(And where is Richard Conner when you need him?! Looks like tried to warn us too. Read all of this one.

There's more...Check out Texas Watchdog.

Says Who? Part 2

Back when we shared the Ethics complaint filed by a current candidate against the mayor pro-tem we got a comment that got us to thinking. WHO is David Yett?

Seems he is the City of Fort Worth's attorney and he finds the claim "defective and insufficient". We wonder if this response from the city attorney is the reason there has been no mention of this complaint in media?


Just when we thought we were done for the day we received this...

Back in the days of the Sierra Vista project getting off the ground, a question was raised about the propriety of Mayor Moncrief’s son doing the title work for Sendera Title and his old man voting on the project at council meetings. Apparently it was no big deal. Well maybe it is. Son is President of Sendera Title and had a nice picture in the Business Press. If he is doing all the title work for Chesapeake Gas and old dad is still voting on everything Chesapeake, and beyond, at city council, isn’t there a teeny- weeny conflict of interest in all that? Like Chesapeake wants to drill next to my grandma’s backyard and Mikey says “okay,” and he’s the only one that needs to say okay, because all the other council flacks do what the mayor says; well because Mikey says okay and Troy gets some extra change for whatever title work Chesapeake needs doing, isn’t that a conflict of some sort?

So before posting we took a look, seems FW Weekly brought this to light years ago, before the gas drillers bought the city.

And then we found these T. Moncrief quotes online.

As evidence of success accomplished by its commitment to its customers, Sendera Title was recently listed as the fourth ranked title company in Tarrant County, after three large, publicly traded companies, according to the Fort Worth Business Press’s 2006 Book of Lists. “In just a short amount of time, we’ve increased our customers and transaction volume by providing great service and building new relationships,” Moncrief says.

“My daily focus is to ‘connect’ various contacts that I know, but who do not know one another and to encourage them to develop new relationships,” Moncrief says. “I have built numerous relationships over the years, and continue to develop new relationships through our team at Sendera Title. I am always mindful of networking my contacts.” Moncrief laughs as he relates how a colleague describes him by way of introduction as “the company electrician — because he is always plugging people in.” To this description, Moncrief proudly says, “I am a person of my word, and I am willing to do whatever needs to be done to help our customers succeed.”

Austin bound

So when the 3 Lone Citizens returned from Austin they asked for letters to be written to help gain support. We received this letter that was sent South. This person never received a response but one letter writer did and shared it. The letter writer then responded. Interesting reading.

Rep Jim Keffer, Chair Energy Resources Committee and Hon. Members,

Please come to Fort Worth and meet with the resident's concerning their safety and future quality of life. Being one of the largest metropolitian areas in the United States we stand a lot to lose if the drilling in this densely populated area is not done responsibly. While understanding there is a need for drilling, public safety should be first and foremost on everyone's agenda.

I would ask that you work with the resident's contacting you to schedule the meeting so there is assurance the venue will be large enough in size and there is adequate parking to handle a large turnout. The last meeting for the citizens was packed with drilling employees from all over the metroplex. When the residents arrived there were no parking spaces and they were not allowed in due to the fire code. What was intended to be a resident meeting was turned into more mockery by the industry. City leaders did not attend this meeting. The media coverage was slanted to favor the drillers. Those in the public that are aware of what is taking place are horrified and trying to get help though no one will listen or respond.

We are asking that you and your team, along with the Attorney General help our beloved city and the residents that love it enough to call it home. We are gravely concerned as to what its future holds.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


All session hearings will occur in Austin . Our legislative session started in January and will end at the end of May. The month of April will be extremely busy for the members of the committee, and they will have to be in Austin at that time. Unfortunately, anyone who wants to testify at an Energy Committee hearing during the session will have to make arrangements to come to Austin .

Also, I don't believe that we have heard from Representative Burnam's office about the request for an Attorney General's opinion. Will you let me know the status of that?


Tori Regas

General Counsel


All, Since I did not receive any response, though through the grapevine of involved citizens received Tori's note stating that all of you are too busy to attend, I ask that you provide an option of a way to communicate with the citizens of Fort Worth and Tarrant County. Again, this matter is a grave situation that places thousands of lives at risk and will set a precedent for our future and other cities as well. As mentioned in the Fort Worth Star Telegram yesterday, Mr. Burnam (and the citizens) cannot carry this burden alone. Neither have received any support from any of those elected to help protect our safety or our rights. Those that would love to speak to you are not too busy to come to you, they are hard working, taxpaying voters that in this time of economic uncertainty cannot all afford to take time off to travel to Austin. Some that are directly affected on Carter Avenue are elderly and some disabled therefore, unable to travel.

The blatant maneuvers by the gas drillers and those in power take advantage and place at risk those that are being ignored. It is taking place weekly in cities throughout Tarrant County. Yesterday the news showed yet another neighborhood the drillers are trying to bully into compliance. As the resident asked, "What is a fair price for where you live?" If no consensus is reached the matter will go to Fort Worth City Council, which doesn't look good for the residents as 56 out of 57 high impact wells have been approved to date. Speaks volumes as to who is being heard.

I am positive that you have asked the question of why the "indirect route" is needed on Carter Avenue. Why a direct route couldn't be taken that would not run a pipeline under people's homes, although since you represent Texas, I suspect you are aware of the answer. It is due to the Water Board owning the property and saving it for the Trinity River earmark. Another project in which real citizens are ignored and will be placed in danger for the sake of economic development.

I ask again that you help us resolve this issue before it's too late, there is too much at stake to not exhaust every alternative to hear the people you represent. Unfortunately we the people do not have the funds or the freedom to travel the way the industry and our elected officials do.

Thank you.

Not a drop to drink

Last night on the local news they featured yet another Texan taking things into his own hands and bringing to light issues with the favoritism and protectionism of the gas drillers and those meant to oversee them.

His purpose is trying to protect one of our most valuable resources - water. He claims State regulators are too cozy with the industry. Others interviewed claim the laws are too biased and pro-industry. (Seems we've heard this somewhere before....)

He's concerned with the stealing, lowering and polluting of the water table and of all those downstream. All should be concerned. Not only about our water but about mineral rights taking precedent over surface rights.

Of course campaign donations from the industry were mentioned, thousands of dollars to those who make the decisions for you. You may want to look into that. Who would you want voting on your behalf if they want to run a pipeline under your house? Someone that benefits greatly from the industry or someone that wants to protect the citizens? As of last month Fort Worth had approved 56 out of 57 high impact wells in the city. That number seems alarmingly high in such a densely populated area (also concerned with future water supply).

Not surprisingly those being called out are "critical" of the Texan making the noise. They usually are. When we started this blog, we mentioned you might want to listen to those others label as "troublemakers" they seem to know what the real story is.

Go visit Durango to find a link to the video and more info...

Perfect Timing

Mentioning Mr.Woodard got someone's attention. They shared this lovely gem written by the lovely gentleman himself. They didn't include any info so we don't know where it hails from. Looks like it was written for the last election though its message is timely and relevant now. Seems like he too, tried to warn us. As we said before, no one says it better...

Oligarchy In Fort Worth

In 1831, Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville toured the United States and wrote Democracy in America.

Democracy is defined as government by the people, especially rule of the majority. In a democracy, the people vote.

In the May 10 Fort Worth bond election that provided $10 million to build bridges over a Trinity Uptown nonexistent ditch, 95 percent of people didn't vote. Ergo, we don't have a democracy in Fort Worth; we have an oligarchy.

Webster's defines oligarchy as government by the few. A modern-day de Tocqueville would surely write that Fort Worth is ruled by a big-money oligarchy using a tried-and-proven winning game plan:

No campaign office, volunteers, billboards or newspaper ads needed. Just collect wads of cash from willing and avid woodchoppers with axes to grind. Prepare a pretty, four-color postcard for an issue or candidate chosen by an arcane club or chamber clique. Adorn the card with power names of respected, influential endorsers. Address cards using a computerized, manicured list of faithful and presumtive voters. Transport postcards to the post office for delivery on election eve.

Viola! Another campaign triumph of the few, by the few and for the few!

Sadly, 95 percent of Fort Worthers are sunshine soliders, couldn't-care-less hedonists. Anything but involved, informed voters.

What happens some day if the 5 percent throw in the towel and join the ranks of the carefree 95 percent and, like Rhett Butler, say, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn"?

Rule totalitarianisim!

Don Woodard

Friday, April 17, 2009

Good Intentions

We didn't start this blog with the intention of covering the elections, however since we did want to cover the important issues in our area that weren't getting any we are. And the elections are VERY important right now as the major issues facing the metroplex seem to be gas drilling, eminent domain, lack of clean water/air, storm water run off, and a lack of transparency and ethics. And of course corruption, all while our tax dollars are spent on more frivolous things. Those chosen next month will be the ones making the decisions for us. Who do you want making that call? That is why we will continue sharing what we learn and what we are sent. Learn all you can. And for your own sake VOTE! Only 5-6% vote in Ft Worth. How sad. We should change that, not just for our own (and childrens) benefit but also as a thank you to all the servicemen and women who protect our rights to do so. There are elections taking place all over the county, some in the same district as FTW, tell us about your candidates, these cities need voices too.

Time of day

These guys don't get much airtime, you have to be mayor or have lots of money to get that. They are at neighborhood meetings and various gatherings daily. Fort Worth voters just might want to give them the time of day...Be educated. Don't let your vote be bought.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Lone Citizens

Earlier we told you about the 3 lone citizens that traveled to Austin to try and stop pipelines from being laid in front yards.

We learned one on that trip was Gary Hogan, he is also a Fort Worth city council candidate. He's running for the seat Mr. Silcox sadly left empty. Seems to us Gary is off to a great start.

Which is good - it looks like Lon Burnam can use all the help he can get. Below is the entire article from the Fort Worth Star Telegram newspaper.

No position

State Rep. Lon Burnam, D-Fort Worth, is pressing ahead with legislation to toughen controls on natural gas drilling in the Barnett Shale but says he’s not getting any help from Fort Worth, which is also pushing for stronger controls over drillers and pipeline companies. Three of Burnam’s Barnett bills confronted industry opposition at a hearing before the House Energy Resources Committee. Two others, dealing with eminent domain issues, are to be heard before another committee soon.

"The city of Fort Worth has been useless in trying to address these issues in the Legislature," Burnam told PoliTex. "They say it’s a major concern, but they’re not doing anything. They should have testified for my bills."

City spokesman Jason Lamers said the city "is heavily engaged" in the issue and has taken an active role in helping draft other bills that, among other things, would strengthen environmental controls and restrict the location of transmission lines. But the city has not engaged in the Burnam measures, he said, because it does not take a stance on proposals without approval from the City Council.

Calling Tyler Texas

Ok, we just have to know who our #1 fan in Tyler is. You must have a story to tell, come on tell us, we're listening...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tea anyone?

Lots of folks with lots of signs...beautiful night at beautiful LaGrave field. We especially loved the kids with signs stating "10 years old and already in debt".

We met Glen Bucy running for District 6 in Fort Worth. Nice guy (spending his own money going up against Jungas).

Louis McBee and Clyde Picht were both present as well, it was nice to see the candidates out and about with the people.

Clyde on YouTube

C.A.V.E. men accomplishments have long lasting affects on city

We were a Don Woodard fan before we saw this, we are even more so now. Due to his determination and common sense, Fort Worth has saved millions over the years, too bad the City has stopped listening. Read below some of his accomplishments that have benefited the citizens/taxpayers. As for the letter, well no one says it better...

Fort Worth Business Press
June 4, 2007

C.A.V.E. Man-in-Chief

In his May 21 letter, Eric Fox asked if the opponents of the Trinity Uptown believe the recent City Council election was a referendum. Judging with the alacrity with which people are signing the Steve Hollern petition mandating a vote on capping the project at the promised figure, the people are answering: No!

Fox calls opponents of the Trinity Uptown C.A.V.E. men (Citizens Against Virtually Everything). Since I am undoubtedly the chief letter writer against the boondoggle, I suppose he considers me, who he has never met, C.A.V.E. Man-in-Chief.

It ill behooves one new to the scene to label with cute ridicule those who question the wisdom of this Trinity Project, those who years ago caught the torch from failing hands and have held it high so that Fort Worth today ranks as the 19th most glittering jewel in the diadem of America.

In the words of Abraham Lincoln, the world will little note nor long remember what we do here, so for those who don't recall or never even knew, let the record show that I have been for, and I have been against.

Having in the late 1950s thought building a downtown overhead was a mistake, I, at the request of Bob Bass appeared before the City Council in the 1980s and argued for the demolition of the monstrosity.

In the 1960s I campaigned for the creation of the downtown convention center. In 2003 my wife and I circulated the Steve Hollern petition that prevented the building of a city-owned convention center hotel. Today private money is building the hotel.

In the 1960s I campaigned for the creation of a no-frills Tarrant County Junior College to benefit students unable to attend a distant, expensive four-year university. Today I oppose squandering $300 million on a megalomaniacal, Trinity-straddling Taj mahal campus.

Decades ago I campaigned for the creation of Cedar Creek and Richland Chambers reservoirs when the Tarrant Water District was focused on ensuring a plentiful water supply rather than misusing eminent domain and spending hundreds of millions to build Fantasy Island on the Trinity.

In 1981 I was appointed by Mayor Woodie Woods to chair a city street bond campaign. People all over town now rush to and fro over streets built from that bond money.

In 1990 I opposed spending $20 million of the taxpayers' money on converting Will Rogers Auditiorium to a music hall. Today Bass Hall stands as a tribute to private funding.

And what shall I more say? For time and space would fail me to tell of all the campaigns, drives, letters and speeches over half a century. Call me a C.A.V.E. man if you will, Mr. Fox, but let it be an acronym for Citizens Against Vast Expenditures.

Don Woodard

Fox in Silcox seat?

With yesterday's mention of Eric Fox we were forwarded a letter he penned to the Fort Worth Business Press dated May 21, 2007. One would hope if he wins he won't be name calling or mocking...We sure miss Chuck Silcox.

Now what, C.A.V.E. men?

Those in the community whom I call C.A.V.E. men (Citizens Against Virtually Everything) were crowing before the recent local elections that these elections were a referendum on the Trinity River Vision Project. They wanted the voters to throw out all incumbents who favored the Trinity River Vision Project because civilzation as we know it will cease if this project goes forward.

I would point out to the C.A.V.E. men the following results: 80 percent, 55 percent, 56 percent, 73 percent, and 77 percent were the winning margins of victory by those candidates who support the Trinity River Vision Project. Even Jungas Jordan, who avoided a runoff by 69 votes, beat his closest opponent, Clyde Picht, by 708 votes - which is worse than "a thumpin"! The election results were a complete and total domination over the C.A.V.E. men-endorsed candidates.

So my question is this: What now, C.A.V.E. men? Do you still believe it was a referendum?

Eric Fox

Stay tuned to see a wonderful response from the C.A.V.E. men printed in a later Fort Worth Business Press, their definition of C.A.V.E. is much different from above...Citizens Against Vast Expenditures, how appropriate on Tax Day.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Show me the money...

Or at least where it came from. Click to see who's got what and where they got it.

Is that a Moncrief we spy in Clyde Picht's column?

Why are some candidates able to miss the deadline?

Eric Fox seems to be doing quite well.

And go here and scroll down to read great comments. Lots of info about candidates and from candidates.

These were a couple of our favorites, both from a Mike Phipps:

If you truly are looking to vote for someone who is running for the people, look at who has the most money at hand, and RUN, don’t walk, RUN to the other candidate!!!! If you do so; great chances are, you voted for someone who is actually going to work for the PEOPLE and a vote for the candidate who is running “For the RIGHT REASONS” Take a look for yourself, you’ll see what I mean.

“If Dreams Come True”

Wouldn’t it be great if on May 10th, 2009 we learned that Fort Worth spoke out LOUD and we would FINALLY have a Mayor and Council working and working together for the right reason?

“The People”


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Citizens travel to Austin, FTW leaders and media silent on sidelines

Last month 3 concerned citizens traveled to Austin to address the Energy Committee concerning the gas drilling in one of the largest densely populated areas of the country, Fort Worth, TX.

Below are some of the emails that concerned citizens shared. Their statements speak volumes, residents might want to listen. Gas drilling here is becoming like the Texas weather, if you aren't affected yet, give it a minute, that will change.

"One of the committee members said in the open hearing that FW should have zoned away this problem, and said they had all the power necessary to do that. (This is what Louis McBee has been saying.) They asked where were the city representatives? Why didn't they come to tell their side of the story. Concerned Citizen told them that the mayor, the council and the staff were all content to let it all happen because of the money.

There was considerable surprise among the committee members at what is going on here (as hard as that is to believe.) "

"My thoughts?

1) That Lon Burnam and Craig Adair are doing excellent work by introducing three bills (H.B. 1533, 1535, 1537) that will hopefully give protection to streets like Carter Avenue.

2) The time for action is NOW! We have a window of opportunity before the May elections to put pressure on the current Mayor and Council. If they remain seated after the election, the Carter Avenue pipeline will most likely become a hideous reality.

3) We must DELUGE the TX House Committee on Energy Resources with calls, emails and petitions to let them know how distressed we are with the proposed Carter Avenue pipeline. They wondered why more of us didn't show up... Encourage them to come up to Fort Worth for a public hearing here:

Their email contact list:,,,,,,,

Jim Keffer is the Committee Chairman. Give his office a call at 512-463-0656 TODAY!

4) That people outside of Fort Worth are TOTALLY UNAWARE of the eminent domain abuse by TX Midstream/Chesapeake and the failure of the City of Fort Worth to protect its residents from arbitrary and capricious gas gathering pipelines.

5) That residents all over DFW must RALLY to the defense of Carter Avenue as this is the FIRST TIME time a dangerous gas gathering line has been run under residential lots down entire residential blocks and this practice will spread out over the Metroplex if we don't stop it on Carter."

"Wouldn't the media avenues be the best way to get the TRUTH and the needs out in front of the public eye? We have a great tool if it is done truthfully. The problem comes from people not having the full facts and truth put before them by all the media. With one paper telling it as if it were written by the Mayor and others distributing truth and facts having done nothing but confuse everyone. With such extreme differences in story telling has and is putting Fort Worth. at danger's edge. The media needs to understand it is not about doing a story for today, what they say today will have a huge affect on what the stories are going to be decades down the road. Thanks to you three for going to Austin."

Not a word mentioned by the media that we saw. We salute those three who traveled to Austin. There are some more everyday people concerned with the direction our current leadership is taking and willing to stand up and do something about it. As in info, Louis McBee mentioned above, is running for Fort Worth mayor. If you would like more info on Carter Ave. use our link list and visit Meadowbrooktoday.

Stay tuned, more on this issue to be posted soon.

Friday, April 10, 2009


Why would our media not consider an ethics complaint on a council member during the campaign worthy of reporting? We think the voters of Fort Worth would disagree. You decide.

Formal Code of Ethics Complaint filed on Ft. Worth's City Council incumbent, Kathleen Hicks

Section 2-236 of Ft. Worth's City Code states "public office and public employment are positions of public trust imposing the duty of a fiduciary upon all employees and officeholders, who are not to use their public position for personal gain."
Section 2-238 (5) states, "No city officer, employee or advisory board member, or their spouses, shall knowingly use one's position or office of employment, or city facilities, personnel, equipment or supplies for the private gain of the city officer..."

(Click on images below to view
the Ethics Complaint)

Here's an article on meeting in question, it has some very interesting information:

Star Telegraph doesn't know either party - if you would like to learn more this info came from:

Why a Blog?

Well for starters, a smart friend of ours told us to...

However, the real purpose is to educate more people about what is happening around them. When you learn more from bloggers and informed citizens than you do from your elected officials and news outlets, there seems to be a problem. A lack of truthful communication.

Until you get involved you think whatever is happening at your city hall doesn't concern you. And that if it does, you will be informed by your city leadership or the local media. That couldn't be farther from the truth. Ask anyone involved (not bred) in politics how or why they became involved. More than likely there answer will sound something like this, "Well, when so and so happened, I went to city hall and then I learned this or that and knew something had to be done." If their answer doesn't fall into that line of thinking, be careful, some are in it for themselves. These are people you should be weary of. There are some that pay attention and speak out, they are usually labeled/dismissed by politicians and media as "troublemakers" - if we were you, we would listen to what these troublemakers have to say. They are usually the ones that know what the issues are and are brave enough to step up and say so. We know most of us think we are too busy to get involved - jobs, kids, minivans in suburbia, but we have to pay more attention. There are too many issues taking place and decisions being made that will affect your kids futures in suburbia.

As for the media, the days of unbiased news reporting are over. Media is a business. A big profitable one. Therefore they will report on what they are told with the spin they know that will keep them in the loop. The spin cycle is not always in the best interest of the citizens. (This is not true for ALL media mind you, we are fans of the FW Weekly and their truthful reporting. Obviously others are fans as well since they just won another award). Need an example? Stay tuned, there will be some posted soon. Have an example? Send it in, remember knowledge is power.