Friday, April 30, 2010

Breaking News from Carter Avenue

Seems there was some sort of announcement on the "news" concerning Carter Avenue, residents emailing asking what it is.  Supposedly, TXDOT signed to run the pipeline down I30, AKA the "alternative route".

What happens to the easements already obtained?  What happens to the lawsuits in progress?  Is this in writing? 

Stay tuned...

Tarrant County Early Voting Continues Low Turnout for Races Including TRWD



Murray & Basham Ask Hard Questions

Culture of Corruption at TRWD ?

Fort Worth, Texas - April 29, 2010 - After last weeks revelation in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that board members routinely hold discussions, debate, receive briefings, and make decisions in committee well before their vote in an "open meeting". Adrian Murray and John Basham have question the legal issues regarding these board members ignoring the Texas Open Meetings Laws. Further, Murray and Basham fear these directors have opened the district to serious legal challenge of all decision made while this process has been in place over the last four years.

The Texas Attorney General's guide to open meetings shows this is an even more significant issue with this board as it acts as a "RUBBER STAMP" for all decisions coming before the board over the last fours years. This board has voted unanimously to approve all actions recommended from committees 100% of the time during this period.

Signs Disappear & Owners Intimidated

Over the last few days the Murray and Basham campaign have been getting a number of reports from property owners that they have been called by one of their opponents and bullied into having their campaign signs removed.

Mr. Basham said, "Imagine getting a call from an elected official who has the power of eminent domain, taxing, and your water rates at their control." He went on to say,"I expect that is one tense phone call. When your asked why our signs are on your property. Clearly it's bullying and it's wrong!"

While the complaints from property owners and campaign supporters continue to arrive. The Murray and Basham campaign is reminding everyone, "Signs don't win elections votes do. If our opponents want to spend their days tracking down owners names and numbers where our signs reside to spread around a little intimidation and bullying, so be it." They have also said, "We'll spend our time talking to the voters and spreading the truth about the out of control 'Culture of Corruption' at the Tarrant Regional Water District."

Culture of Corruption? You Bet!

Adrian Murray and John Basham have spent the last few months talking to organizations and voters about the out of control "Culture of Corruption" at the Tarrant Regional Water District.

They have explained how the management, not the board, is setting the agenda and how that same management is living high on-the-hog using your tax dollars as their very own personal piggy bank.

In a mailer set to arrive in homes across the district early this next week. The campaign spells out just a small sampling of the ways this District and this Board continue to operate under this "Culture of Corruption"

About Adrian and John
Find out more about Adrian and John and their plan to put Tarrant Regional Water District back in the business of Water Supply and Flood Control and out of the Overspend "Culture of Corruption" that currently resides in that districts leadership.

Behind closed doors...

Want to know what goes on behind closed doors with YOUR money at the Tarrant Regional Water District? Then take five minutes out of your day and VOTE for Adrian Murray and John Basham!

Millions of dollars and our water supply depend on it.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It's time to Vote for the Tarrant Water Board

A couple good letters to the editor in this morning's Fort Worth Star-Telegram in support of a couple good candidates to become members of the Tarrant Regional Water District....

Tarrant water board

Does rich get in the way of lowering property taxes when the water board says it has more money than it needs? Are water district property taxes so high because of the rich history of public service enjoyed by respected water board folks mentioned in the Thursday editorial?

Are unused gas bonuses diverted to entertainment and dining? Or should that money be used to investigate desalination of the Red River if the water district loses its drinking water lawsuit?

Adrian Murray and John Basham are not afraid to ask questions. They read schedules and understand them. Tell them to plan for drinking water and flood control instead of raising fees for water delivered to your town. Voters in Fort Worth, Azle, Edgecliff Village, Westworth Village, Westover Hills and River Oaks, elect Murray and Basham to the Tarrant Regional Water Board. Find out about unexplained uses of too much tax money.

-- Beverly Branham, Fort Worth

My question is, why does the Star-Telegram Editorial Board continue to support only current Tarrant Regional Water District board members?

The Washington earmarks will not materialize, nor should they. Why should all Americans be asked to pay for commercial development in Fort Worth?

Tarrant County property owners should fear the current board's eminent domain proposal for a commercial development.

It is time for the Star-Telegram to dispense with the good ol' boy system. Support the voters for a change.

-- Jihada Gilcrease, Fort Worth

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

North Central Texas Communities Alliance April Meeting in Southlake

Those who say it cannot be done should get out of the way of those doing it.


Together we Bargain, Divided we Beg 


When:  Thursday, April 29, 2010 - 7pm
Where: Southlake Town Hall, Rooms C & D

1400 South Main Street - Southlake
YOU asked for it...... we listened! We'll have a panel of knowledgable, experienced, Community Leaders who have been involved in promoting measures to protect our HEALTH, SAFETY AND PROPERTY RIGHTS!

Whether you're a real novice at this subject of gas drilling or have had your fair share of public meetings about it, get ready to learn the most current information & the TRUTH WITHOUT the industry "slant!"

As the time honored saying goes, you can be a part of the solution or continue to be a part of the problem.  Only by working together for the common good can we even begin to protect our communities from unwanted and/or unneeded industrial activities that continue to harm the air we breathe or the water needed to sustain our quality of life.

North Central Texas Communities Alliance
Esther McElfish, Pres.
Gary Hogan, V.P.
Louis McBee, Treas.

The most at risk for even low to moderate levels of Benzene are children and pregnant mothers.  If we continue to "drill baby drill" without fully knowing and understanding the risks involved, the drillers will be long gone before our citizens begin to show symptoms of exposure to Benzene and other harmful byproducts of gas drilling.

What are the health risks?
  • Cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Neurological disorders
  • Birth defects
  • Emphysema 
  • Citizens for a Responsible Drilling Ordinance
Look for your face!

North Central Texas Communities Alliance
2320 Oakland Blvd., Ste 11 | Fort Worth | TX | 76103

Monday, April 26, 2010

Set your TIVO!

Living with the Trinity will air one last time at 3:00 a.m. Monday night/Tuesday morning April 27 on KERA-TV.

DO NOT miss it!  Read about it here.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Do you fix an aquifer?  A resident wants to know, let's see if the Fort Worth City Council knows.

Fort Worth City Council

The air is contaminated at my house already. What next?

Louisiana well blowout forces hundreds from homes.

It was only a matter of time. How do you repair an aquifer?

What happens when it does happens in The Fort Worth area? Where does the water come from. You can't drink it, you can't bath in it and you can't wash your clothes in it.

You have a city that is inhabitable.

That is a pretty high price for your glory.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


EVERYONE is invited!

Friday, April 23, 2010

"Billion Dollar Ditch"

Photo By Luther Smith

If you missed, KERA's "Living with the Trinity" this week you missed a lot.  This was a history lesson which shows history repeating itself, unless YOU DO SOMETHING.

The story starts in the 1960's when those in power (business leaders, elected politicians, etc.) decided we couldn't survive or profit without turning the Trinity in to a canal that ran from Dallas/Fort Worth to the Gulf of Mexico.  It discusses the legacy of support for projects like this, how they "inherited support of the canal from their fathers...".  The JD Granger of that era was Ben Carpenter.  The Kay Granger of that time was Jim Wright.  It didn't hurt Texas any that Lyndon Baines Johnson was President at the time, hailing from the Lone Star State.

So Mr. Wright goes to Washington and gets the billion dollars approved for the MUST HAVE project.  (Is any of this sounding familiar yet?)  In 1955 the Trinity River Vision Authority was created and to no one's surprise Ben Carpenter was named President (now it's starting to ring some bells?). 

In 1957, while a flood ravaged the Trinity and its people, with 5500 left homeless, 4000 evacuated and the river still rising, the TRA unveiled their Master Plan for the river.

This sadly reminded us of the 2007 flood that killed four year old Ally Collins, the very next morning, when the Tarrant Regional Water District met, their minutes reflect they approved another portion of the Trinity River Vision. No mention of flooding or death. 

Carpenter hand picked a prominent water attorney as the General Manager of the TRA.  This reminds us of the Tarrant Regional Water District hiring JC Watts to lobby against Oklahoma to take their water. 
And same as now, the Corp of Engineers was involved in it all. 

So along comes Ned Fritz, a prominent attorney, who also got involved in environmental affairs.  He began asking questions, writing letters and pointing out that the figures just didn't add up.  People assumed he was standing in the way of progress, until they heard the facts. 

In 1971 the Sierra Club sued to stop construction, claiming the Corp did not disclose the environmental costs.  The dams were deserted, and so began the "waiting on the study phase". (Hear that Haltom City?)  TRA responded immediately, through the media, claiming "Ecology won't halt dam job".  (Again, familiar, reminds us of the recent PR spin when the federal funding moratorium came to light.)

Next on the scene is Alan Steelman, an unknown running against Cabell, who had won his seat four times with 60%. Steelman wasn't given a chance in hell to win, he was the first to give the opposition to the Trinity Project a voice.  When he started talking about "Government being too costly, too big, too ineffective and  interferring," people started to listen.  He made a statement that still applies to Tarrant County, all these years later, "The consumer and environment take a backseat to this growth at any cost syndrome".  Sad, isn't it?  In all these years, has no one learned anything? 

So TRA throws together a bond election to try and pass it anyway. The opposition forms a group, made up of working class Democrats, fiscal Republicans and environmentalists.  The TRA blames the group for creating fear among the people.  The group points out the fact that it is a tremendous waste of taxpayer money, made to look beneficial. Then the threats and name calling started.

The question asked was WHO will benefit?  The wealthiest people in town, that's WHO.  Industries, businesses, government, land owners.  And, as with the Trinity River Vision - WHO pays?  YOU!

In 1973, the bond was rejected by 20,000 votes, in the 17 counties that were allowed to vote.  The pushers of the project were shocked and angered.  You know what?  THE PEOPLE spoke.  They got to vote and they did so.  And Dallas/Fort Worth thrives today, without a project the "leaders" said was needed to survive.  And those without a chance in hell, won. When David fought Goliath, WHO won?


Thursday, April 22, 2010



April 22, 2010

For Immediate Release

Tarrant Regional Water District Board Members Spark Serious Legal Question After Interview

FORT WORTH, TEXAS - April 22, 2010 - In a stunning revelation, two members of the Tarrant Regional Water District's board of directors seem to have admitted the board routinely violates the state's Open Meetings Statute.

The Texas Open Meetings Act clearly states that committee meetings are not exempt from the statute. The Open Meetings 2010 Handbook provided by Attorney General Greg Abbott says,

"(I)f a government body that has established an advisory committee routinely adopts or 'rubber stamps' the advisory committee's recommendations, the committee will be considered to be a governmental body subject to the Act."

Violators of the Act are subject to fine and/or imprisonment.

"I can't say I'm surprised," said Adrian Murray, one of two candidates vying for a board seat in the May 8 municipal election. "Trying to find out what goes on behind closed doors at this ultra-secretive body is more difficult than prying secrets from the old KGB. To learn that the public board meetings are nothing more than dog and pony shows to adopt policies and plans concocted out of public view should outrage the general public. The fact that they openly admit it to the editorial board of the Star Telegram shows an appalling arrogance. Rather than endorsing them for reelection, the paper should be calling for them to be brought up on charges."

John Basham, who is running a joint campaign with Murray for the two seats coming up for election, is equally troubled by the admission. "Just who is on these committees? Do they keep minutes? Is the public notified when these committees meet? There really needs to be an investigation into this matter as it is a clear violation of the public trust."

The Tarrant Regional Water District is a public utility mandated with ensuring sufficient supplies of clean water and flood control in its area of jurisdiction. In recent years, charge Murray and Basham, the District has wandered from its stated mission and is spending hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars in an economic development scheme known as the Trinity River Vision.

Contact Information:
Adrian Murray

John Basham

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

No Surprise

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram Editorial Board endorses the incumbents in the Tarrant Regional Water District election.  Trivia question for those playing along at home, when haven't they? We do have to give them credit, they gave the challengers and their points credit.  Even though we strongly disagree with their endorsement and some of their claims, we encourage you to read it can't AFFORD not to.  Lots of good questions, ASK.

Although one of the most important public bodies in the area, the Tarrant Regional Water District is probably the least understood of the county's taxing authorities.

voters in the six cities within the district (Fort Worth, Azle, Edgecliff Village, Westworth Village, Westover Hills and most of River Oaks) elect its five-member board. 

Challengers Murray and Basham no doubt are competent individuals who are eager to give back to their community. They have credible ideas and questions that deserve to be asked and answered.

But Leonard and Lane, with their long and rich history of public service, have demonstrated the skills, commitment and vision needed to be excellent board members on this most important public body.

The top two vote-getters on May 8 will be elected.

Texas Lone Star Telegraph proudly endorses
Adrian Murray and John Basham. Early voting starts Monday.  VOTE! 

Billy and Bud

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram's article on Billy Mitchell...finally.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

WHO's to blame?

Another aquifer bites the dust...these folks realize you can't buy a new one, right?

Read about the residents of Caddo and the aquifer and private well contamination on TXSharon.

As the #1 Watchdog says, "You can't drink natural gas".


What's the plan?

Sounds like the Tarrant Regional Water District's plan for our water shortage is...pray for rain. But not too much, or it will show all the areas in need of flood control that don't receive it.  Due to all the rain, the District plans on saving millions, wonder if the savings will be passed on to THE People?

Read about it in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Your plan for the Water District? VOTE!!!

Monday, April 19, 2010


From the Watchdog!  See you Saturday!  EVERYONE is invited!

Like everything at Prairie Fest, we aim for the lowest possible impact to the planet and the people living on it. That includes the Prairie Fest t-shirts. We could have saved money by going with conventional cotton t-shirts but that's not our style. (A single t-shirt made from conventional cotton represents about 2700 liters of water and 1/3 pound of agricultural chemicals.)

Our t-shirts are 100% Texas-grown, sweat shop free, organic cotton produced by SOS From Texas. The beautiful, full-color PF logo is silk-screened on the front with our proud Sponsors listed the back.

For 2010, Prairie Fest t-shirts are available in Peace Green, Panhandle Sky Blue and White (bleach-free). Find them at the FOTHNA headquarters booth in all sizes. Price: $16. each. (All profits go to FOTHNA a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit corporation)

Go here to see a video on how SOS From Texas grows a shirt from start to finish:


PS: VOLUNTEERS are still needed to help set-up the fest on Friday, April 23. Please contact Debora Young.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Living with the Trinity on KERA

Photo By Luther Smith

DALLAS/FORT WORTH – In connection with the 40th anniversary of the nation’s first Earth Day celebration in April of 1970, a documentary about an important environmental battle in Texas will be broadcast on Texas public television stations statewide. KERA-TV’s Living with the Trinity explores the conflict that developed in the early 1970s over plans to transform the entire length of the Trinity River into a barge canal linking Dallas and Fort Worth to the Gulf of Mexico. The controversy placed Texas in the national spotlight and spawned a lawsuit against a proposed dam at the mouth of the river near Houston that signaled a new era in environmental politics. The fate of the Trinity River was ultimately decided by a vote.

Living with the Trinity explores this fascinating chapter in the river’s political history. The one-hour program airs on public television stations statewide in April and May. Please check local listings. Living with the Trinity airs Tuesday, April 20, 2010, at 8:00 p.m. on KERA-TV and rebroadcasts Wednesday, April 21 at 10:00 p.m. 

Living with the Trinity is featured on a related Web site at In conjunction with the statewide broadcast of the documentary, new videos, photographs and archival film footage will be added to the Web site to update three major multimedia stories focusing on the river’s history, flood prevention efforts and the latest developments regarding the environmental quality of the river. Visitors can access educational materials, explore the geography, ecology and cultural history of the river, and find new opportunities to participate in the public discussions regarding Trinity River redevelopment projects planned for Fort Worth and Dallas. Additionally, KERA will update its ongoing radio series Banking on the Trinity. The reports will air Tuesday, April 13 to Thursday, April 15 during Morning Edition and All Things Considered on KERA-FM.

The television documentary, Living with the Trinity, revisits the period from 1965 to 1973 when U.S. Congressman Jim Wright of Fort Worth, working with the Johnson Administration, was able to win Congressional approval of nearly $1 billion for what would become a highly controversial project. Seventeen counties in the river basin voted on a bond issue to supplement the federal funding. The bond issue failed by just 20,000 votes and the barge canal was never built.

“The most powerful people in Texas wanted the project to succeed,” says KERA’s Executive Producer and Project Director Rob Tranchin. “Why they wanted the canal and how they were defeated constitute an amazing chapter in Texas environmental history.”

Living with the Trinity includes interviews with former Fort Worth Congressman, U.S. Speaker of the House and canal proponent, Jim Wright, and Dallas businessman and former U.S. Congressman, Alan Steelman, who unseated four-term Congressman Earle Cabell in the 1972 election and rallied opposition to the project. Fort Worth Star-Telegram Columnist Bob Ray Sanders and Lee Cullum, host of KERA’s business program CEO, offer insight from their perspectives as reporters who covered these issues for KERA-TV.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

She's still got it...

Ms. Betty Fay is back in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Letters.  We're glad, we've missed her!

Helping troubled youth 

Suicides by children and teenagers, even assaults and murders in Fort Worth and nearby areas, are heartbreaking warning signals that beg many questions. As a community, are we doing all we can to support and care for our children?

Schools will soon be out for the summer. What will teenagers who have not the income for club memberships or money for other things do for entertainment? How many will turn to crime or making babies?

A caring society would find summer jobs for young people and spaces for wholesome outdoor recreation. In Fort Worth, our City Council is closing municipal swimming pools. How shortsighted is this? Before it's too late, let's spend the money to repair the pools, patrol them and give free swimming lessons. That would in itself make more job opportunities.

City leadership claims we can't afford to save swimming pools, but they, along with Water Board members, find millions of dollars to divert our already polluted Trinity River to build a useless lake downtown over contaminated land. The lake would be no good to our neglected children or adults who could not even fish in it.

It is time to wake up. Everyone must pay attention to individual children and, where possible, come together to show our youth they are important to us.

-- Betty W. Fay, Fort Worth

Friday, April 16, 2010

Another day...

Another town...and another and another...

Last night on a "news" broadcast there were 3 stories of 3 towns here having issues with gas drilling companies.  Of course the hot topic now is the buying of elections by the industry.  Back scratching at its finest.

Pay attention to your City Council races.  YOUR future depends on it.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

BANKING on the Trinity

That's the title of the latest KERA article.  Good choice of words.  WHY would the Tarrant Regional Water District loan- interest free, $230 million dollars to the Trinity River Vision project? 

WHO's money is it?  Oh yes, YOURS.  The taxpayers.  $909 million.  Chump change...

Here are a few incinitives to read the article, but trust us, YOU can't AFFORD to miss it.

In a year when U.S. House Republicans have taken a pledge against earmarks, Senator John Cornyn is stepping forward to request $10 million in federal money for Fort Worth's Trinity Vision plan.

The Trinity Vision project is funded entirely with public money and most government bodies are struggling.

And what does Jim Oliver say?  The head of the Tarrant Regional Water District that makes almost $300,000 a year?

Despite what the critics say the Army Corp of Engineers who are flood control experts throughout the United States has certified this as a flood control project.

In that case, maybe the experts should focus on the flooding we have now, you know those projects that have no funding...

If you are tired of elected leaders spending your money, VOTE!!

Durango and Dale

If you didn't see Dale Hansen talk about Jerry Jones bar video, check it out on Durango

We like what he had to say about the "news" these days. 

Mayor Where?

Governor Rick Perry and Mayor Mike Moncrief will be in Sundance Square today at 3.

For important state and city business? Nope, a PR appearance for NASCAR.

Got important city questions? Come out and ask them.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What does Billy say?

What he wants.
And the FW Weekly fills us in again.

WHO is Billy Mitchell? Until recently, he was just like the rest of us, living his life, minding his own business and then...

Until a few years ago, Mitchell was just a businessman and small-town rancher tending to cattle on 70 acres of land that’s been in his family for more than 40 years. The Trinity River snakes through his pastures, and a 130-year-old farmhouse provides shelter. Then a natural gas company used eminent domain laws to cut a 25-foot swath across the middle of his property to bury a pipeline. Mitchell spent more than $100,000 in legal fees in a two-year battle to protect his land, but the gas company prevailed.
Mitchell, whose travails were reported in the Weekly (“Fighting Back,” Sept. 5, 2007), has been on a mission ever since to reform property laws in Texas, and he sees Perry as Public Enemy No. 1. Perry’s desire for a mega-toll road stretching across Texas would have required rampant use of eminent domain, and the governor raised the ire of many Texans in 2007 when he vetoed a bill intended to provide landowners with more protection.
Standing up for what he believes is Mitchell’s MO. That’s why he fought the gas company instead of taking their initial offer for his land. That’s why he paid for a huge billboard along I-30 with the message: “Eminent Domain — Stealing What Others Work For.” That’s why he bought ads in local newspapers. And that’s why he sent the ethics commission a waiver request last month, telling them he would not pay the $1,300 fine.
Don't miss the article, read all of it here.

Say it ain't so...

Corruption in Politics? Just another day in the neighborhood. We're not sure where this story came from, it was emailed to us, keep 'em coming.

Incumbent uses Code Enforcement to Remove Challenger’s Campaign Signs

In Grapevine, no challenger has won an election against an incumbent in at least 35 years. We are beginning to discover why.

Michael Robbins (the challenger) is running against Mike Lease (the incumbent) for Grapevine City Council Place 3. When Robbins filed for candidacy, he was provided a booklet which stated campaign signs could be put out 30 days before Election Day, or April 8. This was consistent with the city ordinance that states 17 days before elections, or April 9. We put up Robbins’ signs on April 10. On the evening of April 11 we received an anonymous tip from an inside source at City Hall warning us that the council had met privately and decided to specifically target Robbins in order to protect Lease. They re-interpreted the city ordinance so that now signs could only be put on PRIVATE property 17 days before early voting (April 9), and signs could only be put in the right of way once early voting started (April 26).

Just as we’d been warned, Robbins received a call from Linda Huff, City Secretary, on April 12 telling him he had to remove his signs immediately or the city would throw them in the trash. Robbins mentioned that Lease’s signs were side-by-side with his and asked if Lease would be instructed to remove his signs too. The response was “We’re not worried about his signs.”

Robbins had no choice but to remove all his signs, as it would be a significant financial loss if the city threw them away. But he did not remove the signs before taking photographs of his signs right next to Lease’s. As of 3pm today (April 13), Lease’s signs are still in the right of way, and in fact he continues to place more signs out on public property, without penalty. In addition, signs for other candidates (for GCISD school board) also remain in place.

It is clear that Robbins is being attacked by the city in order to protect Lease. Lease and all other candidates are not being required to follow an ordinance that Robbins is.


That's what the industry must say when they bulldoze in to the next town.

Incoming email from a new Watchdog...


Dear Friends',

While my Home town is under attack by Chesapeake we now know why.
If they haven't gotten to your Hometown yet, they will.

I have spent many hours assembling the attached documents which has collected information from very credible sources. ABC, Forbes and Fortune and alike.

I hope that you will use this information publicly and often. It is time America knows what is going on.

I find the very recent information about Chesapeake's changes in drilling stategy interesting. Basically, they wish to secure mineral rights while at the lowest rates.They also then plan to hold the gas in the ground until the price goes up. They do not expect that soon so they have moved to oil exploration. They promote gas as a clean energy, then drill for oil.
They are offering pennys to the public for an asset ( minerals) that they know are worth millions.

As we see from these articles Chesapeake's CEO McClenden as wrecked havoc on small towns and major cities alike. Citizen recreation areas only represent a chance to fill his pockets with even more money. How many BIllions does one man need? Chesapeake is trying to keep it's own stock holders from knowing how much they are paying this man

Our city leaders across this country need to know what they up against. So do the citizens.

Let's try to take this information to our friends and city leaders to let them know the other side of the story of this "great company".

There are 17 pages on one document and a review of the Company's Annual Financial statement on the other document. I am no an accountant, but I did make observations.

I ask that you forward this information without my email address in an effort to keep from swamping my email inbox.

Thank you friends

In hopes of a better tomorrow


Fortune Magazine May 2008

The following were excerpted from the Fortune article by David Whitford, editor at large...


Chesapeake’s CEO Attacks Michican Citizens over recreation area

Saugatuck Township leaders vow to fight billionaire's lawsuit seeking development of dune land

Excerpted from THE SEATTLIST

Excerpted from Forbes Magazine

Excepted from ABC NEWS

Excepted from

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

What's on the inside that matters...

Read the SOS on TXSharon. You can't AFFORD not to.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Dallas can hear...

Why can't Fort Worth?

See the Dallas Morning News for more.


do THE PEOPLE say?

Durango knows - read all about Boondoggle's and Bully's here.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to us! Texas Lone Star Telegraph began on April 10th, 2009. It's been a busy year!

Thank you to our readers and our contributors! YOU are appreciated!

A special thank you to Dear Durango. He rocks!

Texas Lone Star

Friday, April 9, 2010

Imagine that

Last night on same story, different day. Federal dollars missing to do NEEDED projects. Where have we heard that before?

"We've got projects that have been on the books since 2004 where the city's part of the funding is there, but the state and federal dollars that were supposed to go into those projects just doesn't exist," said City Council member Danny Scarth.

The Southwest Parkway project is a perfect example of funding delays. In the planning stages since 1960, construction just got under way.

This week, Mayor Mike Moncrief appointed a citizen panel to look into the possibility of paying for pavement with new property taxes, user fees or a transportation utility surcharge on Fort Worth water bills.

Former council member Clyde Picht said some sort of transportation tax is just about a guarantee, calling it a bailout for bad decisions and government waste.

History Lesson

Durango keeps us up to date on Trinity River/KERA news.

Don't miss it.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Fort Worth's #1 Watchdog has sent us some good emails as of late, but we have been running much corruption, so little time. TXSharon has the info here.


Be there.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Fort Worth Way

And WHO is ratting this time? Kathleen Hicks. Surprised? Yes, we were too. She seems to have the Fort Worth Way down, could this be a change of heart? We'll wait to hear what her constituents on Carter Avenue say about that.

Read Cart before the Vote in the FW Weekly. They've done it again, we salute them!

Well, in that case, why did the same agenda list Mayor Mike Moncrief as president already, and “Zim” Zimmerman as vice-president? Not pro tem, not acting, but actual. Of course, when the board did hold its first public vote that morning, you guessed it, Moncrief and Zimmerman were duly elected, just as the agenda had prophesied. There were no other nominees.

“I was horrified,” Hicks said, when she saw the agenda and realized the whole deal had been arranged somewhere out of her sight and, more importantly, the public’s. “This was so blatant,” she said. It only confirmed her fears that the public’s business is being conducted behind closed doors. And that ain’t legal, folks.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

More Pants on Fire...

This time, Mayor Moncrief...again.

Obviously two years ago he made a PR appearance on the side of the road and promised voters if they approved a $150 million bond, the road would get fixed. Is it? No, it's not. And the city says it could be years, or they could add yet another fee to the water bill to pay for it. Sound familiar?

An article about broken promises and broken roads includes those three little words that we keep hearing - Trinity River Vision. If you can't fix your roads, you can't fix your infrastructure, you can't hold City Council meetings because you can't pay your employees, and you can't keep your promises - why would you ask your constituents to pay for a billion dollar boondoggle? Oh, that's right, so your friends will profit while the taxpayers foot the bill.

Read the article from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. You can't AFFORD to miss it.

Far north Fort Worth residents aren't so sure. They point out that downtown projects have already gotten their share of funding, while roads for their area have languished.

"I pretty much guarantee it went to the Trinity River Vision bridges, which is exactly what we said would happen," said Shirley Gansser, who analyzed the city's financial data for the North Fort Worth Alliance.

Residents' concerns about the Trinity River project prompted Moncrief to make his appeal in 2008.

The alliance wanted the city to split the bond election into two propositions, one for roads and one for the Trinity River bridges. Moncrief appealed to voters to support the whole package, and it passed with 68 percent of the vote.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Water Boys

We need some new keep voting the same way, you keep getting the same thing.

Do you want to spend $909 million of YOUR money to build something someone else will profit from? Did you get a vote? No? You do now.

It's time to make a difference. Spread the word.

Read the entire article in the Fort Worth Business Press.

Eminent domain, the Trinity River Vision project and a lawsuit to acquire water from Oklahoma are shaping up to be the top issues for the candidates running for two open seats on the Tarrant Regional Water District Board of Directors.

In working on the Trinity River Vision, the Tarrant Regional Water District Board has taken its focus away from its core mission to focus on flood control and water supply, Basham said.

“I don’t think the Trinity River Vision has really been given a true public airing,” he said. “I’m very concerned about the funding mechanism for it, and where [the funding] is going to come from. You know, the mission of the water district is to provide water and flood control, and it seems to me that its focus for the last number of years has been elsewhere, on economic development, and I don’t feel that’s a proper use of taxpayer money.”

Friday, April 2, 2010


The Fort Worth Star-Telegram weighs in on the recent Fort Worth Air Quality meeting with the article - No pressure: Only lives and millions of dollars are at stake in Fort Worth.

Natural gas companies have always said there's no danger to the air around their wells. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality recently did some studies that raise questions. Residents (voters) want to know for sure, and they're putting enormous pressure on City Hall to find out.

The local officials did what politicians frequently do when they're in a bad spot: They named a committee. The 10-member Air Quality Study Committee, designed by Mayor Mike Moncrief and approved by the City Council, has five members from Fort Worth to represent local residents; one member each from Chesapeake Energy, Devon Energy and XTO Energy to represent the gas drillers; a member from the Environmental Defense Fund and one from the North Central Texas Council of Governments.

Be sure and read the comments from the citizens of the shale as well.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Fort Worth City Meetings

We had someone tell us today they watched a Fort Worth City Council meeting online recently and were shocked at how abrasive and arrogant the council and Mayor were to the citizens. We guess if we were witnessing for the first time we would be too.

Here are some meeting notes from last night's first Fort Worth Air Quality Study meeting. Sounds like another typical Fort Worth meeting, done the Fort Worth Way. Reminded us of last week's Riverside Park (aka Trinity River Vision) meeting. Sad, ain't it?

All, yesterday afternoon and evening the first meeting of the Air Quality Study Group was convened by City Staff. There was a surprise right at the beginning. There was a non-voting, non-member, non-resident of Fort Worth, as meeting facilitator, and he guided the discussion. His dubious and only qualification for being a part of the proceedings was that he was Region 6 EPA Administrator during George Bush's reign. His name--Richard Greene.

See!OpenDocument .

It was clear from the beginning that this is another distracting phony group set up by the Mayor to give an appearance of propriety while giving the drilling industry and their shills a grand opportunity to pontificate and create doubts and distract the public. This study group is being financed by our taxes. The group was not given a clear charge at the beginning of the meeting and though it lasted from 4 PM to 7 PM nothing of real value was accomplished.

Alisa Rich was the only scheduled presenter who had a grasp of what needs to be done. She was scheduled for 5 minutes while the TCEQ presenter (who had delivered, in February, the obscenely flawed report on a deceptive air quality study they did in FW in December) was given 20 minutes. The facilitator permitted Ed Ireland, Ph. D., (in economics from an obscure institution) and director of the Barnett Shale Energy Education Council (a propaganda mill) to speak--he wasn't on the agenda--and permitted his contractor, hired by the 4 largest drilling operators in the B. S., to describe the tests they are doing in Fort Worth.

Several other air quality measurement contractors were also allowed to describe their work. One of these was a contractor to CHK or XTO and was the one the City had originally proposed hiring before the public demanded an independent study.Then Alisa Rich was introduced.It was clear, as soon as we all began to hear what Alisa's message was about, that the city staff became extremely agitated, with Susan Alanis (Planning Dept Director) and Sarah Fullenwider (Asst City Attorney) whispering frantically to each other. Then Susan walked over to the facilitator and whispered in his ear, then there was more whispering between her and Fullenwider, and a high sign to Brian Boehner (City Environmental Dept Director) which resulted in his rising and interrupting Ms. Rich rudely.They do not want any of this kind of information discussed at any public meeting.The TCEQ presenter who made the long droning unintelligible speech after Alisa had nothing new to say at all. He is the man who gave the first set of results to the FW City Council at a pre-council meeting in January.

The entire meeting yesterday was an insult to the citizens of the city, who expected this working group to be charged with writing a proper statement of work and a statement of required qualifications for bidders. None of that was accomplished, and when both Ramon Alvarez of EDF and Jim Bradbury, study group members, expressed concern about this, Susan Alanis gave the most amazing speech, describing her idea of how the contractor would be selected and the tests defined. It was clear that she has absolutely no training in procurement procedures and practice. She used the term RFQ as an abbreviation for "request for qualifications" when anyone familiar with procurement terminology knows that RFQ means "request for quote". Her idea of the process the city will follow is that the group will solicit qualifications and a narrative of how the contractor proposes to do the work, and I suppose, some estimate of the cost. Then they will review this information and narrow the field down to two contractors and call them in to discuss their plans in more detail. Then one contractor will be recommended to the Council. The scope of the work was not mentioned as a topic for the study group to address. This is ludicrous in the extreme and a harbinger of yet another faux advisory process (We've already had two others.) that will precede the selection of the contractor who will give the Council and mayor the results they want to hear.Please review the prediction I made regarding this meeting two days ago (below), and note that I sent a copy to Susan Alanis and Zim Zimmerman. I never got a response from either of them. They're getting a copy of this message too.

Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2010 11:13:34 -
Let's back up a minute and see why we object to Susan's "DRAFT QUESTIONS" sheet.

1. The attempt by Moncrief and TCEQ to whitewash the December test results was transparently a continuation of an incestuous relationship between the city, the TCEQ, and industry.

2. This ludicrous attempt at fraud was exposed, and the mayor proposed an "independent study" at the request of aggrieved citizens.

3. His "independent study" turned out to be a plan to use one of the contractors who does business with industry here.

4. Again, this was exposed, and the response was to set up a committee whose job was to be to ensure that the study is independent and hire a contractor selected by a bid process. The proper tasks of such a committee are as follows:

a. Prepare a statement of work for bidders qualified to do air quality studies, including the task of plume geometry measurement sufficient to localize the source of pollutants.
b. Ensure that measurements are taken with potential sources fully operational. This means no telegraphing of the schedule of measurements and ensuring that the facility of interest in each measurement operation is operating at full capacity.
c. Specify the compounds to be tested for and the desired accuracy of measurements.
d. Ensure chain of custody integrity for all samples delivered to the analysis laboratory.
e. Ensure that the contractor has no major O&G producer clients and no present or scheduled future business with the industry or city.
f. Oversee the proposal evaluation effort to ensure that the process is unbiased and compliant with competition rules.
g. Oversee the work to be sure that proper data is collected and analyzed.
h. Oversee the city's response process upon delivery of the final report.5. Instead of preparing for the job outlined above, the city has produced a list of "Brainstorming" questions (See attachment) quite obviously designed by the gas industry for the purpose of allowing the industry representatives and their shills on the committee to take up all the time of this first meeting pontificating on the point of view of industry--(There really is no substantial problem. We are expert at this and wouldn't put people at risk. All this is just hysteria, and wholly unwarranted.)Now, folks, you can see how the charge of this committee has been morphed by industry and their friends even though we have called them out on this issue three times before.If they get away with this at tomorrow's meeting the credibility of the city will have been completely, finally, and forever destroyed. If this happens, the tests and everything associated with them are a waste of taxpayers' money.

Pants on fire...

Kay Bailey Hutchison breaks her promise to resign. Surprised? Us either.

Read the article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Hutchison, who serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee, has also pledged vigorous support for Trinity River Vision, Fort Worth's $909 million economic development and flood control project, which has been characterized as an earmark, Washington-speak for targeted federal spending projects.