Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Looking for work(ers)?

We love that the residents of Fort Worth are always able to come up with alternative solutions to the city's problems. We received the following today, one from Fort Worth and one from its people.

Fort Worth E-News:

Fort Worth residents will no longer be able to rely on the Day Labor Center as a source of workers. Following recommendations from the City Council, the Day Labor Center, located at 2016 W. 15th Ave., will permanently close at 2:30 p.m. Sept. 30.

The center, which opened in December 2001, served as a safe and organized location where day laborers could connect with contractors and individuals in a supervised environment.

The City Council has recommended that city departments assess a restructuring and relocation of the center for possible funding in the future.

Fort Worth Citizens:





Sunday, September 27, 2009

What's the rush?

Last night the local news said a gas drilling company is trying to rush the City of Flower Mound to make a decision about seismic testing in the area. The company wants to put in 100 wells.

Some are against it due to damaging the roads. And building foundations. (Not to mention things like air and water). Maybe the mayor in Flower Mound should call the mayor in Dish before making a decision.

We wondered what kind of testing they would actually do. Something about an egg and a light bulb four inches underground were unscathed . Yeah, we don't buy that either.

The gas company says this mineral value could be lost forever.

Friday, September 25, 2009


Someone help Dish, TX already!

We've told you about them before, and their mayor that will stop at nothing to try and protect his residents. Too bad there aren't more like him.

TXSharon has a couple of posts and several comments about the independent air quality study done in Dish, TX that you can't afford to miss, no matter where you live.

“Air analysis in the Town of DISH confirmed the presence in high concentrations of carcinogenic and neurotoxin compounds in ambient air near and/or on residential properties.” The report further indicated that many of the compounds in the air exceeded the Short-term and Long-term Effects Screening Levels (ESLs) according to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) regulations.

Mayor Tillman tried every avenue available with state agencies--TCEQ and TRC--but they continually found no problem with DISH air quality.

It's time for the EPA to intervene in Texas!

Calvin Tillman
Mayor, DISH, TX
(940) 453-3640

Please note: DISH, TX is in the middle of the D/FW Metroplex. It's windy here.

And the question is - WHO's next?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dallas vs. Fort Worth

An anonymous donor gave $10 million dollars to the Trinity Trust Foundation and the City of Dallas for the Trinity River project.

Perhaps Fort Worth should start taking donations for their Trinity River Vision.
In a way they are, how much have YOU donated?

Coming Through

The North Tarrant Express is starting to remind us more and more of the Trinity River Vision. It is another example of citizens being ran over by agencies. This time in Bedford, as TXDot wants to take half of residents yards for the freeway. What is someone going to do with half a yard, under an overpass? In one case the planned roadway goes through the middle of a swimming pool, TXDot has said they will buy the entire pool. How generous of them.

If you didn't see the story, watch it on CBS11 here.
You won't believe it, unless you live in the way of TRV or a gas well.

Define Leadership

If you haven't seen the FW Weekly's take on the city budget vote, see below.

There's leadership, then there's bullying. You decide.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Free Toilets in Fort Worth

While we support all efforts to conserve water, we wonder how those laid off and impacted by community service cuts in Fort Worth feel about the city giving away free toilets. Check out the story in the Fort Worth Business Press.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

WHO's Paying?

All of us.

We are all paying a board of elected officials (that some of YOU can't vote for) to NOT do their job.

Why are the citizens the ones that have to keep pointing this out? Why is nothing ever done, and it just gets worse? Where are our "leaders"? Where is the media?
Oh right, they are all at the bank. Laughing.

You can't afford to miss Clyde's take on the Water Board. None of us can afford to.

Tarrant Regional Water District is raising wholesale water rates for its customers. Its number one customer is Fort Worth and Fort Worth, in turn, sells water to other communities. So other cities that might not even be in the taxing jurisdiction of TRWD must pay higher rates and don't have the where-with-all to vote for district board members and approve or disapprove of water board policies.

True, the district is not raising taxes for the 13th consecutive year, but they can make more by raising rates than by increasing taxes in that the water users far outnumber the tax payers.

They have a responsibility for maintaining the cleanliness and flood control of the Trinity River and for providing raw water for Fort Worth and other communities within their district.

Except - TRWD is helping finance the Trinity Uptown project, that 17 acre town lake with other amenities that altogether have escalated from $360 million in 2004 to $920 million today, and has a 100% likelihood of increasing by much more.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


What would cause the gas industry to move a water stealing pipeline? People. Lots of people. Check out the photos on Durango's site today.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Another day

Another sewer line break in Fort Worth. Only 20,000 gallons of sewage and 200 fish dead so far. We'd give you more information, but there isn't any. Maybe the Trinity River Vision leaders can answer your questions.

Where are they?

Don't miss the articles in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram daily newspaper concerning Sister Cities.

The decisions by Joel Burns, Kathleen Hicks and Frank Moss to participate in Fort Worth Sister Cities exchanges this summer reflect a disconnect between their world and the real one where taxpayers live.

When Fort Worth residents are coping with their own difficult finances triggered by the same sluggish economy that pinched city coffers, it borders on arrogance for elected officials to think that spending public money on unnecessary travel is appropriate.

Two days before Hicks embarked on her trip, she was the lone "no" vote on the fiscal 2010 budget because it was, she said, "balanced on the backs" of laid-off workers and the city’s vulnerable residents.

"We say we don’t have any money, yet we find money for pet projects all around the city," she said. She wondered what kind of message that sends to the taxpayers.

Hicks’ actions, in such a contradiction to her words, sent a message she probably didn’t intend.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

More Water Rising

Thanks to one of our contributors for forwarding this email. Notice public comment is allowed through September 21st...that's Monday.

Fort Worth Report on proposed water & wastewater rate changes available

A report detailing proposed changes to the City of Fort Worth's water and wastewater rates is available for public review and comment through Sept. 21. The report can be viewed via the city's Water Department Web site at or, starting Wednesday, at each of the Fort Worth libraries.
The City Council may act as soon as Sept. 22 on the rate recommendations. If approved by council members, the rate increases take effect Jan. 1.

Bought and Paid For

The Fort Worth Public Library has had a name change. It is now the Fort Worth Library.

Just another way the public has been removed. From the pics Don Young shared, maybe they should have named it the Chesapeake Library.

(the photo shows one of the Chesapeake Energy exhibits in the former Fort Worth Public Library, extolling their Barnett Shale drilling operations)

Don't miss Don's essay in the Fort Worth Weekly. Trust us, you can't afford to miss it.

In his Aug. 26 Fort Worth Weekly report, "The Big Takeover," Peter Gorman wrote about all the bad publicity that natural gas extractors have been getting lately. But the industry isn't worried: It has found other ways to generate good PR. Consider the following Fort Worth institutions and organizations that have recently partnered with or received funding from Big Gas:

The Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau (Chesapeake Energy), the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History (XTO Energy, Devon Energy, Enron Oil & Gas, Exxon Mobil, Encana Oil & Gas, etc.), the Fort Worth Independent School District (Quicksilver, Chesapeake, etc.) Texas Christian University (Chesapeake), the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (Chesapeake), Mayfest (Chesapeake), United Way of Tarrant County (Chesapeake), and the Fort Worth Zoo (Chesapeake).

The complete list is a lot longer, and I think it would surprise a lot of people.
Many of these organizations violate their own mission statements by accepting such money.

You need look no further than city hall to see how much silence can be bought with dirty dollars.

Just because you build it...

Doesn't mean they will come.

Maybe Fort Worth should think about that before spending a billion dollars to build a city in the river in a recession.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Weekly Praise

They've done it again, real reporting. Looks like reporters from other organizations cooperated this time. Good work team! Read the Weekly's latest scoop here.

But in at least one area, the city staff recommended expanding services - a recommendation that might surprise many of the activists, reporters, and ordinary citizens who have asked for access to the city's public records through the years.

"I believe the [city's] legal department is violating the intent of the open-records law by constantly asking for AG opinions for the same type of documents which they know, or should know, are public records," wrote a local TV news reporter.

A Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporter wrote, "I am forced to file way too many open-records requests ... then consider myself blessed if I actually get what I've requested by the 10th day [as required by law]. More often, [the] city legal [department] is asking for an AG opinion, coming up with all kinds of excuses why the information shouldn't be released ... . This is the only city where I feel like I'm constantly fighting this battle."

Keith Elkins, executive director of FOIFT, said it's not clear whether such increased delays and bureaucracy are happening in other states. "But it is clear this overuse of the attorney general's office is costing taxpayers a lot of money," he said. "Cities like Fort Worth are adding to the workload of the AG's office. When you see how the number of ruling the AG's office has to make has spiked, the abuse here is clear."

The increasing insistence on formal treatment of open-records requests has been a major factor in Fort Worth's workload in the past decade. But more requests are also coming from private citizens.

Priorities Pattern

While 12,000 gallons per hour of waste spill into the Trinity River, the Tarrant Regional Water Board increases its rates and prepares to go to court to take land by eminent domain for Trinity Uptown.

Read the Fort Worth Star-Telegram article here.

We've given you a couple of incentives to do so below.

For the 13th consecutive year the district’s tax rate of 2 cents per $100 valuation remained unchanged, but it will provide about $8.2 million for the general fund budget, which includes $10.4 million for the massive Trinity Uptown, the remaining portion of the $64 million it committed for the project.

The board will determine any increase in the salary of Executive Director Jim Oliver, who earns $286,000.

The board tabled using eminent domain on 0.565 of an acre at 841 N. Houston St. owned by Texas Refinery Corp. because of "a technical error," said Steve Christian, the water district’s property director.

The water district’s eminent domain powers were preserved in 2005 when Gov. Rick Perry signed a bill hailed as preventing government from seizing property to generate more revenue. But Senate Bill 7 has many loopholes, including allowing the water district to use eminent domain to acquire property along the Trinity River.

We hear you

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has many interesting Letters to the Editor today. From the poor state of media coverage (including disdain with the Editorial Board) to your elected officials being sold to the highest bidder.

We are glad the citizens are using their voice.

As usual, our question is - WHO's listening?

Below is our favorite one posted today, though you should read all of them here.
Thank you Ms. Anderson!

We will not be quiet

I am frustrated with the mainstream media and their coverage of the current turmoil within our country. I did not appreciate watching the Sunday morning news shows only to be told people should be more civil. We should quietly listen to our president and be more like children — seen but not heard.

The media need to reclaim their role of nonbiased reporting of the facts. When was the last time that many marched on Washington? Why does that receive barely a mention on the evening news? In the past, the media could bring light to the plight and concerns of the people of this country; they were the champions of the people. Now it seems they are working to keep us quiet and are purposely ignoring our outcry for attention.

The American people feel betrayed by those they elected to represent them and this needs to be acknowledged by the media. We will not be quiet or civil no matter how much you ignore us. Mainstream media, come back to nonbiased coverage of the facts or we will not watch your programs or buy the products your sponsors advertise.

— Laura Anderson, Weatherford

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Save a River Update

By 10:00 the sewer line collapse in Fort Worth was news again.

The city had supposedly been taking bids to replace the 50 year old line. The city also says the waste water dumped into the Trinity River will not harm drinking water. We can only hope that is true.

Which is more important to YOU? Safe drinking water and adequate sewer lines or the Trinity River Vision?

Which is more important to Fort Worth?

Save a River, Save a Job

Earlier we received several phone calls telling us that a sewer line had busted and was spilling gallons of sewage into the Trinity River in East Fort Worth. We then watched the 6:00 news to learn more info. Well, at 6:00 on the same channel, there was NO info.

The news did discuss the 183 job cuts in Fort Worth. Along with the same questions about HOW you can continue to give money to frivolous projects when over fifty people will receive their pink slip in the morning.

Kathleen Hicks is the only council member that voted against the budget. Did getting ousted as Mayor Pro Tem cause an awakening?

More Whoa's

From Mr. Woodard in the Fort Worth Business Press.

Whoa to taxpayer woes

The last time I saw the confluence from now shuttered, bare, ruined Heritage Park, I visualized camp fires of American Indians and cavalry dragoons, the roaming buffalo and the deer and the antelope at play.

When my eyes shall be turned to behold for the last time the sun in heaven, may I not see the confluence shining on a constipated and contaminated mercury and chemical laden 33-acre, silted-in pond awash with dross, flotsam and floating dead fish where once there joined in glorious confluence two free-flowing rivers that hailed from out of the west. The Clear Fork and the West Fork! Union! Both now and forever!

$909 million! Whoa! Taxpayers! Pull up the drawbridge!

– Don Woodard, Fort Worth

Common Sense

The letters to the editor in today's Fort Worth Star-Telegram daily newspaper speak volumes. How is it citizens can see the issues and the City Council cannot?

Baffling priorities

Thursday’s Star-Telegram had two articles next to each other that kinda puzzled me. One was about the budget cuts for city services, and the other was about the city paying $250,000 to locate a statue of JFK in a downtown park.

Now, I’m not the brightest guy in the world and I’ve got many dear friends who would testify to that in front of the pope and Billy Graham, but why in holy bronzed baby shoes are we paying $250,000 to put a statue in a park when we can’t even afford to mow the grass?

— Bill Gentry, Fort Worth

I attended the Sept. 8 Fort Worth City Council meeting and was extremely disappointed in the actions of the council and Mayor Moncrief.

We are in a tough economic climate, but in addition to the $1.04 billion budgeted for 2010, the city received $504.3 million in federal stimulus funds, so the issue is priorities.

What good is it to develop a small area of our city through the Trinity River Vision at the expense of the rest of the community? This is what happens when we reduce maintenance dollars for medians, graffiti abatement, illegal dumping and street and traffic operations. How much quality of life do we give up when we close the Day Labor Center, eliminate community service programs, close city pools, reduce after-school programs, eliminate summer youth programs and reduce funding for social services, arts and other nonprofits? How about some "community vision"?

Moncrief told residents pleading for their small community programs to go get the funds from charitable organizations or the business sector, yet who benefits the most from the Trinity River Vision and the $29 million in culture and tourism dollars but the business sector. Let the city get this money from it. Shame!

— Irene Kjornes, Fort Worth

Shame is right. Thanks to Bill and Irene for stating the obvious, now if only the oblivious would listen.

Heads up kids!

Mansfield is letting XTO place 20 wells on a sports complex/park.

WHO thought that was a good idea?

You can read the entire article at Fort Worth Star-Telegram daily newspaper.

Don't worry, it's just gas leaking

And the industry says it's ok. You can read the blurb in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram daily newspaper here.

Remember back in July when Joe Rogers asked for help on Tiger Trail?

Nothing was ever done.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Another view

Check out the Whited Sepulchre for some good Fort Worth 9-12 rally pics.

He gets it. It's not about him, Glenn Beck or any political party. It's all about the greater good.

WHO is watching?

We are glad somebody is.

Check out this youtube video of the 9-12 Fort Worth Rally. Be sure and read the comments below the video, from real people. Not the media.


There was very little coverage of the 9-12 rally in downtown Fort Worth yesterday. What coverage there was is being disputed by many that were present.

News outlets say hundreds or a thousand people went. Attendees know there were more than that.

It's a shame that news can't be news anymore. Unbiased information.

We read the Fort Worth Star-Telegram daily newspaper article about the rally. As usual, it's not the article, it's the comments from the readers that we enjoyed (40+ so far). Especially those that explained how the rally was a peaceful way for all, regardless of personal politics, to come together.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Save a River, Save a Billion

We were sent some great pictures from the 9-12 rally in downtown Fort Worth today. Lots of creative signs and T-shirts out there.

They had a huge turnout. People as far as you could see. We wonder how much bigger it might have been if it hadn't rained all day?

Though even with the rains, they came. Not as Republicans or Democrats, as Americans. Concerned citizens. People banding together to have a voice.

Where were YOU?

Below is I-35 South earlier today, under water. We wonder if Trinity Uptown will fix that? (Notice the gas drill directly in front of the car.)

Highways are shut down all over the county due to flooding. We are currently under a Flood Warning. We are sure it's part of the Trinity River Vision to "fix flooding".

How can it not be?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Rain or Shine

We'll see you downtown Saturday.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Hold your breath

We may finally get some relief, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram daily newspaper has an EPA article you don't want to miss!

The air-pollution permitting process in the nation's largest greenhouse-gas producing state does not adhere to the Clean Air Act and portions of it should be thrown out, federal regulators said Tuesday in an announcement applauded by Texas environmentalists.

We too, applaud!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Where will YOU be?

Some of us here are Republicans. Some, Democrats.
Some wouldn't claim either party...

All of us will be downtown Saturday.

Will you?

Buffer Zone

Another concerned citizen looking out for his neighbors in today's Fort Worth Star-Telegram daily newspaper. Timing is everything, as the Trinity River Vision Authority says the Trinity Trails at University will be under construction starting today.

People of Fort Worth - start looking for an "alternate" route.

Enforce gas ordinance

The city of Fort Worth has a gas drilling ordinance. Unfortunately, the council seems to disregard it, especially when it comes to our city parks and the Trinity Trails.
An unfortunate precedent was set when the council voted unanimously to allow drilling in Greenwood Memorial Park and the use of a park road by drillers. Now pad sites are within a few feet of the trails at Old University Drive, and as of Sept. 1, council is allowing up to eight wells as close as 225 feet from Trinity Park. The ordinance, put in place to protect and enhance our city, designated a 600-foot buffer.

Gateway Park
, one of the supposed jewels in the crown of the Trinity River Vision, is ringed by pad sites, including two at or near its main entrance.

Some mitigation is occasionally proposed, as it was on Sept. 1. We all understand, though, that mitigation is a euphemism for damage control.

I call upon the council to adhere to the gas drilling ordinance and not make a mockery of it by granting variances as a matter of course. Most cities consider their parks to be treasures to be protected. I expect elected representatives to do likewise and protect us and our parks by upholding the ordinance.

— Paul John Roach, senior minister, Unity Church of Fort Worth


Monday, September 7, 2009

Free Water

Durango has some great info (and pictures) today about the gas drillers taking more water out of the Trinity River. He also asks some tough questions such as:

How does a private business get the permission to do something like this on public land? What would happen if a private citizen, for some random reason, built a road on public land, to put a diesel pump near the river, to run a pipeline so he could get water for free?

This is the third instance we have seen photo documentation of recently.

WHO else is watching?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

You are invited

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead

If a small group can change the world, imagine what a large group can do for a country...

The 9-12 Project

This is a non-partisan movement. The 9-12 Project is designed to bring us all back to the place we were on September 12, 2001. The day after America was attacked we were not obsessed with Red States, Blue States or political parties. We were united as Americans, standing together to protect the greatest nation ever created. That same feeling - that commitment to country is what we are hoping to foster with this idea. We want to get everyone thinking like it is September 12th, 2001 again.

So next Saturday 9-12, you are invited to the march and rally in downtown Fort Worth. Bring your signs, bring your friends - make a difference.

Visit 912ftw.org for more info.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

"Boundaries don't protect rivers, people do"

If you haven't checked out
Citizens Who Care
on our link list, you should.
We don't know WHO they are, but we like them.


Earlier we mentioned you might want to check out TXSharon to learn about the gas well pad fire that caused $8 million dollars in damage and burned eight tractor trailers to the ground. She later posted video. So far, it's the only video we've seen.

Over on FW Weekly, Peter Gorman talks about the night of the fire, and how the armed guard posted at the site now won't let anyone, anywhere near it.

Read it all here, read Peter's warning below.

This is the fourth fairly major near-catastrophe here in our neck of the woods in the last couple of years. There was the head blown off a separator tank in Lillian; a couple of lightning proof water separator tanks that were blown to kingdom come by lightning in Godley, and now this.
Fortunately, we live out in the country, where wells are not generally dug right next to homes. Fort Worth is a different story. You’re not always going to be able to get aid from 11 different fire companies on some of those narrow streets. And that’s when near-catastrophe becomes catastrophe.
I’ll cross my fingers; I’ll think good thoughts, but I’m watching the incidents pile up.

If it ain't one thing, it's another.

Anything else you're interested in is not going to happen if you can't breathe the air and drink the water.
Don't sit this one out. Do something. You are by accident of fate alive at an absolutely critical moment in the history of our planet.
— (Dr. Carl Sagan)

Thanks to Don Young for sending us the latest Texas Observer article, Boom Town. It is a must read for anyone living on the Barnett Shale.

And check out TXSharon today. Lots of info you need to know, including Don's Letter to the Editor and the information on the eight tractor trailer rigs that burned in a fracing accident.

Trinity Gang

The Water Board's responsibilities are to provide clean, adequate water and reduce flooding.

What are they up to these days?

They are seizing land from business owners that are "in the way" of Trinity Uptown.

Today's Fort Worth Star-Telegram daily newspaper has an article that you can't afford to miss.

"As far as I know, the offer they gave us really was not open for negotiation," said Mike Page, 53, whose family built the building at 1035 N.Henderson St. in 1967. "It was take it or leave it," he said.

"What we’ll be left with is a piece of property that is not worth anything," Page said.

At Wednesday’s meeting the Trinity River Authority also adopted a resolution saying it favors lengthening its tax increment finance district to 40 years to cover $320 million of the project’s $909 million cost. The board heard two consultants’ reports stating that a 40-year TIF could generate $448 million to $840 million.

The project’s official cost has climbed from $880 million in July since board members indicated they wanted $29 million in so-called "betterments" added that will pay for trees, pedestrian walkways and other amenities designed to lure foot traffic to the bypass channel. For now, the Trinity River Vision board is holding off on adding more projects to the tab.

What Mark Twain said about the Mississippi River holds true for the Trinity as well,

The Mississippi River will always have its own way; no engineering skill can persuade it to do otherwise...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tell it like it is

And as usual, he does it with style.

Thanks to Don for another gem of a letter in today's Fort Worth Star-Telegram daily newspaper.

Cut, cut, no cut

The Fort Worth city budget is $59 million in the red. Council members are probing into every nook and cranny in an effort to stanch the hemorrhaging.

Sister Cities? Stay home. See you later!

City employees? No pay raises, but your health premiums will be raised.

City jobs? Cut 200. Your income tax will be lower.

Swimming pools? Water is money. Cool off in 100-degree summer breezes.

Nonmowing of street medians? Green is in.

Parks and the Botanic Garden? We never promised you a rose garden.

Graffiti abatement? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Closing the city day labor center? Get a job.

Raise taxes? No way. Heaven forbid! I want to be re-elected!

But all is not lost. There seems to be one area that no council member is willing to touch — no, not one: the billion-dollar Trinity Uptown boondoggle to which they cling like a drunk to a lamp post.

I am reminded of Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem about the brook:

For men may come and men may go

But I go on forever.

— Don Woodard Sr., Fort Worth