Thursday, July 29, 2010

Believe it

Or not...
The TCEQ is proposing new rules and regulations for the Barnett Shale.

The EPA is talking new rules too. Attend the meeting in Arlington!

The EPA has scheduled two public meetings, one in Texas and one in Colorado, to gather public comment before it writes its new rules. The Texas meeting will be two sessions: noon-4 p.m. and 6-10 p.m. Monday at Arlington City Hall, 101 W. Abram St.

Read about the changes in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram here.

WHY the changes?  Cause THE PEOPLE keep making noise.  Keep up the good work, we hear ya!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fort Worth Agenda

Where will YOU be August 3rd?  At the Fort Worth City Council meeting.  Something on the agenda for everyone. 

Want to hold a meeting or event in your neighborhood?  Well, Fort Worth doesn't want you to so they are setting up their own roadblocks.   WHO was on the committee?  You would think neighborhood associations?  Nope, just one of those.  Oh and those Fort Worth events?  Yeah, they don't have to comply to the new plan.

Read about it in the FW Weekly here (Special-ly Peeved).  Kudos to Libby Willis for continuing to bring these issues to light.

Willis also complained about how the ordinance was crafted: Only one of 10 members of the council-appointed committee that drew it up represented neighborhood associations; the rest were downtown business and chamber of commerce types.

The ordinance sets up lots of hurdles for those kinds of events: sizable security deposits to be paid, appearances before two city-appointed committees for approval, heightened security, and a requirement for petitions signed by anyone who lives nearby. Of course, events that cause truly major hassles, like the Main Street Arts Festival, the stock show, and anything at the Texas Motor Speedway, would be exempt.

Also, on the agenda - the contract for the Air Quality Study and the vote on taking land by eminent domain for the Trinity River Vision.  Of course, it is not worded that way, it is called the Riverside Park Expansion. Sounds friendlier and less costly/politically connected, doesn't it?
That's the Fort Worth Way!

Saving Fort Worth

Kudos to Jim Ashford and  Louis McBee for sounding the alarm - again.  Read about the Ethics (or lack thereof) at Fort Worth City Hall in the FW Weekly.  Kudos to the Weekly for telling you what others don't!

Keep making noise boys! We hear ya!

The committee was created 20 years ago to review complaints, issue opinions, and advise city officials on ethical and moral quandaries. But in the past decade the panel has met only a handful of times, despite a city ordinance that calls for quarterly sessions. Two members dropped out of the committee years ago. Nobody replaced them.

For years residents have criticized Mayor Mike Moncrief and the Fort Worth City Council for allowing gas company employees to dominate task forces, committees, and conversations on drilling oversight. City officials have shrugged off the complaints.

Scarth votes on issues involving Chesapeake even though he has leased his property’s mineral rights to the company. Several other council members earn money from gas leases, and Moncrief earns hundreds of thousands of dollars a year from the energy industry, including Barnett Shale drillers.

The ethics ordinance prohibits officials from taking part in issues involving companies in which they hold a substantial interest. However, defining “substantial interest” can be subjective. To determine whether the mayor or council members should recuse themselves from voting on gas issues, City Attorney David Yett applies an income test to see if their gas revenues exceed 10 percent of their gross incomes.

“When your only business is oil and gas like the mayor, everything you do that benefits that industry is going to benefit you,” he said.

Residents aren’t exactly comforted by promises. Moncrief refused to breathe new life into the ethics panel after he was elected as mayor in 2003, despite pressure from former council members Clyde Picht and Chuck Silcox. Three years later, Moncrief finally sent a one-page memo to neighborhood groups seeking nominations for the committee. Moncrief ended the letter by thanking everyone for helping in “this important process.”

Four years later, no appointments have been made.

WHO is

Wilma Subra?  A superhero.  Read about her in the FW Weekly.

Then come out and hear her in August.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

YOU are invited!

Mark your calendars for August 5th.  TXSharon has the details.  Don't miss it!

Monday, July 26, 2010

More than meets the eye...

In Combine, Texas the majority of the police department has been let go by the council.  Watch the report at

Reasons stated - to save money and to bring in new blood...and then there was this:

But some officers also blame small-town politics. Some of the officers said they were investigating two Council members for minor crimes. They feel that the force was wiped out in retaliation.

Ratcliff denies that assertion. "There was an attempt made to intimidate the Council," he said. "I think they'll be smart not to say anything else about that, and I'll be smart enough, too."

Come to find out, Mr.Ratcliff's wife is Mayor Pro Tem.  Wonder WHO they were investigating? 

It ain't just small town, actually it sounds like the a big city we know of.


Is the United Way losing donations in Tarrant County?  Maybe because of WHO they put on their board.  Read about the latest money can buy on FWCANDO.

Speaking of...

Another great Letter to the Editor in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Fort Worth deserves better

Rep. Joe Barton wanted us to apologize to British Petroleum for causing perhaps the biggest man-made environmental catastrophe in the history of the world.

Our other representative, Kay Granger, votes against almost everything good for ordinary middle-class Americans, like health and financial reform or extending unemployment benefits. I think she is only in favor of keeping her job, which is pretty secure, because it would probably take a couple of million dollars to successfully run against her.

I am truly ashamed of these representatives. I know we in the Fort Worth area deserve better.

-- Herman I Morris, Fort Worth

Friday, July 23, 2010

Appropriate Appropriations?

When the earmark moratorium came out this spring, Kay Granger said she would participate and not ask for any more cash.  Immediately Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn's hands shot up asking for more Trinity River Vision funds.

On John Cornyn's website it shows the Tarrant Regional Water District is asking for $10,000,000 in appropriations for 2011 for the Trinity River Vision (Boondoggle).

A couple of questions - Isn't Kay Granger on the Appropriations committee that approves the requests?

If the Trinity River Vision project was a true flood control project, wouldn't it be listed under Interior, where all the other flooding projects are listed? 

And what was it said the "aging" levees could be repaired for?  9 million?  Sounds like a hell of a deal.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Picture is worth a thousand words...and Billions of dollars

TCEQ didn't admit to their Fort Worth air quality testing being flawed until a fraud complaint was filed. 

Now BP has been called out for digitally altering photos.  Wonder how many photos they altered before someone noticed this one?

Read about it on MSNBC here.

How much time and money does the Water District spend in court?

Ask.  After all, it's YOUR money.

And WHAT does eminent domain and the Trinity River Vision have to do with providing YOU with a water supply?  We already know it has less than 1% to do with flooding.

Read about the latest taking in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

For the fourth time, the Tarrant Regional Water District board voted Tuesday to use its eminent domain powers to acquire property needed for the Trinity River Vision project.

Once the water district files a case, a judge appoints three special commissioners to hear it. In two of the three eminent domain cases, the water district settled with the property owners once those hearings took place.    (WHO are the special Commissioners?)

In the other case involving the former American Auto Salvage yard, the owner's attorney, Glenn Sodd, chose not to attend the hearing and said he would take the case to trial in a county court-at-law. No trial date has been set.

Senator Davis sets the record straight

What happens when you make stuff up about what Senator Wendy Davis said?  She'll set you straight one point at a time and she'll even make you a timeline for the bungled TCEQ air quality testing.  Maybe Arlington Councilman Mel LeBlanc should have seen that coming.  WHEN is he up for reelection? Ask him.

Below are some clarifying points from Senator Davis.  Read her entire statement at TXSharon.

•Even though TCEQ became aware of data that made their initial statement to the Fort Worth City Council inaccurate, the agency failed to correct their earlier inaccurate statement – both to the public and me – for four months.

Anthony Spangler, a member of my Senate staff, did not introduce himself at a recent TCEQ air quality meeting as my Chief of Staff; rather, he introduced himself as the Communications Director for my office. (See the video starting at the 4:52 mark:)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Another letter to the Fort Worth City Council

We receive copies of letters that are sent to the Mayor and Council on a regular basis, have YOU ever seen a response? 

The latest is from Deborah Rogers concerning the most recent BS air quality testing in Fort Worth.  (BS - Barnett Shale...and yet it's original meaning still fits).  You can read the letter in its entirety at TXSharon.

Firstly, TITAN Engineering is a firm with no in-house testing capabilities. Such a study is not typical of the work in which TITAN is usually engaged. They do, however, have close economic ties to Chesapeake Energy.

Secondly, the times, dates and duration of the tests were known beforehand by each operator. Nothing was random. Nothing was done without the full knowledge of those being tested. In addition, the City of Ft. Worth was involved in the site selection process.

Thirdly, ten sites were chosen as representative of over 2,000 total sites within the city. This is not a large enough comparison sampling and yet the information contained is most enlightening.

No analysis of drilling, fracking or flaring were included by TITAN. It is curious that the industry and the City of Ft. Worth would omit such obvious candidates for testing given that flaring in particular is known to be one of the most egregious polluters and contributors of benzene emissions in the entire drilling process.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Bigger in Texas

Imagine that...Fort Worth's budget is worse than the other major Texas cities.  Says the Star-Telegram.

WHY is that?  Could it be THEY are spending too much of OUR money on other things?  While they continue to cut services to the community and ignore their constituents (those who are listening and voting).

Instead, Fort Worth vows to spend millions on things like keeping Radio Shack here and the Trinity River BoondoggleDid YOU get a vote on either of those things? What about the millions of breaks they give to certain downtown companies?

And did the Federal government just give Fort Worth millions of dollars to do a study?  This is the same city that still can't find money they lost years ago.  They weren't looking until the citizens kept making noise.

So, keep making noise.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Water Wars Continue

Tarrant Regional Water District continuing their fight to take Oklahoma's water.  What would happen if Oklahoma tried to take water from Texas? 

Maybe Oklahoma City could give us their water, since they need so much of it here in the BS.  (Barnett Shale)

Read about it in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

WHO's Listening?

The Fort Worth City employees, that's WHO.  You know, the ones who do the work.

Read what they, and the Mayor had to say in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  WHO do you think the Mayor means by "WE"?  If the PEOPLE get laid off, how much money do you think they'll spend at Trinity Uptown?

City officials have predicted that they'll have to come up with a combination of $77 million in spending cuts and tax increases to balance next year's budget, possibly requiring up to 260 layoffs -- mostly of general employees. Also, officials have discussed outsourcing entire departments, such as equipment services or information technology.

Lundvall and other leaders have been meeting with council members and the city financial staff to push for spending cuts that would preserve jobs, like cutting back on the Trinity River Vision project, tax abatements, take-home vehicles and arts funding.

However, he added, "I'm not going to sit here and promise you what will or won't happen with retirement and pensions. But every one of y'all know we have dug ourselves a mighty deep hole."

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Another BS air quality study

The latest BS (Barnett Shale) air quality study results are in.  WHO believes someone who is paid by the industry to say the industry is safe?  If you were going to do a real study, wouldn't you hire an independent contractor? Not one who has been bought by the industry?

And WHY would you inform the locations (hand picked, mind you) in advance?  Notice at the sites that found something, it was blamed on nearby ponds and cars on Rosedale.  WHAT?

Read about it in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  YOU can't afford not to.

Natural gas drilling in Fort Worth and Arlington isn't a major cause of air pollution, according to a study funded by a local industry group.

The Barnett Shale Energy Education Council hired environmental consultant Titan Engineering to test the air quality around natural gas drilling sites.

Ireland said the drill sites were carefully selected. Researchers tested the leftover fracturing water at different drilling sites and used the results to predict which ones were likely to produce high benzene emissions, said Douglas Canter of Titan Engineering.

At a drill site operated by EnCana Oil and Gas north of Tiger Trail in far southwest Fort Worth, the 24-hour sample recorded a benzene level of 1.96 parts per billion by volume. That's above the long-term screening level of 1.4 parts per billion used by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, but that standard is intended for at least a year of exposure.

At the same site, an elevated sample of hydrogen sulfide, a corrosive gas that can be lethal at high concentrations, was found. Further testing led researchers to the conclusion that the source was likely a nearby pond producing the chemical via "bacterial activity in the water," according to the report.

Several other elevated samples of toxic chemicals found at other sites were attributed by researchers to sources other than drilling. For example, elevated levels of formaldehyde recorded at a Fort Worth compressor station near Lake Arlington operated by Quicksilver were attributed to emissions from vehicles on nearby Rosedale Street.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


The City of Fort Worth is being fined for a sewage spill that killed fish in Little Fossil Creek last year. WHO is fining them? The TCEQ.

Read about it on NBCDFW here.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sad, but true

Mayor Tillman asks what happened to our values?

In Texas, our "conservative" politicians have taken away both from the average Texan. You are allowed to enjoy your property, as long a corporation or someone with more money doesn't want it. This used to be a state where you could move out in the rural areas, buy a piece of land, and live in peace. Now if you move to the country to have some property, you are an immediate target for a corporation to take your land, or make it unlivable.

The prime example of this is the oil and gas industry. The State of Texas has taken away most of the rights that pertain to land ownership from the citizens and given it to these large corporations. One glaring example is the natural gas pipeline midstream companies, which have been given the tremendous power of eminent domain. These are private, for profit companies that have been awarded all the power of government to condemn property. This not only takes away property rights, but it destroys the free market system that allows for a property owner to negotiate in good faith for the use of their property. Instead the private property owners are immediately subjected to threats and intimidations. Due to these companies being for profit, it is in their best interest to obtain the easement and install the pipeline as cheap as possible, and they use whatever tactic necessary to achieve this.

Read the entire letter at TXSharon.

Who do YOU believe?

Do you believe what you see (breathe, taste, hear...) or what the industry says?

Guess that depends on which office you hold and how bad you want to keep it.

Josh Fox answers to the industry critics who try to discredit the Gasland movie.  Seeing is believing.  If you haven't seen it yet, do so.

And read about it on TXSharon.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Perry Vs. the EPA

Read about it in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

WHO do you want in charge of your air and water?  And WHY weren't these questions addressed sooner?

Oh, that's right, GREED.

The scope of the EPA study is a bit unnerving, given the amount of fracking that's already occurred. Plus, it won't be completed for 21/2 years.

Some questions listed by the EPA: How are well casings constructed? How is dirty fracking fluid managed? What are the gaps in current knowledge?

Sounds like basic stuff -- facts that really should have been settled long ago.

The Barnett Shale has about 14,000 gas wells, and we're now asking what we don't know about the environmental impact?
Parker County Judge Mark Riley, one of dozens of speakers at the hearing, blamed the states and the gas industry for the current crisis in confidence.

"The states just haven't been responsive to citizens," Riley said.

Durango knows...

We couldn't pass up sharing this post about the billion dollar boondoggle, aka the Trinity River Scam, we meant Vision.

Another example...

Of nothing was ever done, it just got worse...

This time with the Fort Worth SEC office.  WHY are there so many issues in Tarrant County?  Ask.

Read the sordid story in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Was nothing ever done because of the infighting at the SEC or because of WHO the culprit knows?

Some staff members, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said they have no confidence in senior leadership. In Fort Worth, the office's strength had historically been in people like Preuitt, who were impolitic, willing to speak their minds and push co-workers and the D.C. bureaucracy to get things done. Management instead wants "tools to do away with people who have a dissenting opinion," one employee said.

Preuitt felt she was being asked to go to battle with enforcement. She received a chain of e-mails showing enforcement wasn't interested in a Ponzi scheme that wasn't collapsing. "I love this stuff," Preuitt wrote in an e-mail. "We all are confident that there is illegal activity but no easy way to prove [it]. Before I retire, the Commission will be trying to explain why it did nothing. Until it falls apart all we can do is flag it every few years."

On the matter of the Kansas stay, the inspector general found Garber had violated the code of federal regulations by "using her public office for her family members' private gain," according to government documents obtained by the Star-Telegram.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Fort Worth Way under fire

Again.  Another fired whistle blower.  This one is filing a law suit.  THE PEOPLE are tired of the Fort Worth Way and are ready to take back OUR town.

Read part of the story in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Catherine Davidson contends that city workers didn't deposit at least 17 checks from developers, totaling about $500,000, and that they didn't collect about $2.4 million in fees "in order to provide special treatment for certain developers such as Hillwood Development Company," according to the lawsuit, filed Thursday afternoon in Wise County's 271st District Court.

"I was fired by the city of Fort Worth for reporting illegal activity that was costing the city hundreds of thousands of dollars and maybe more," Davidson said in a statement. "I was a very good employee for the city and no one deserves to be treated like this for doing the right thing."


What happened at the EPA meeting in Fort Worth last night?

600 people showed up. (One "news" station said "dozens", that's lots of dozens).   While the industry sent many shills as usual, seems the majority were real folks, concerned with real air and water.

To read more about the meeting read TXSharon and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  Excerpts below that YOU can't afford to miss.

"I'm sending out an SOS to the EPA," said fervent fracking critic Sharon Wilson, a local representative of the Texas Oil and Gas Accountability Project, which favors strong federal regulation of the energy industry and full disclosure of chemicals used in fracturing.

"We need you here. We need you on the ground. We need you now," Wilson told EPA officials, as supporters applauded enthusiastically.

"We don't know if it is actually contaminating the water or not" said Candice Brewer, President of the Texas chapter of the National Association of Royalty Owners, "There haven't been scientific studies."

Many representatives for the industry and for mineral owners came from Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas to underscore that hydraulic fracturing has been in use for more than 60 years and has safely stimulated more than 1 million wells around the country.

As one petroleum engineer made clear, horizontal hydraulic fracturing is VERY new. It's only been used for about 15 years. He said that industry should make an effort to be more honest.


Thursday, July 8, 2010


The media is asking about OUR water and hydraulic fracturing.  (We give the FW Weekly props as they have been asking for years).  Question is WHO's listening?  Over the past several days - lots of folks.  Tell your friends, they need water too.

Read the article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram here.

Be sure and read the comments, they are better than article.  Except the obligatory one from the gas drilling shill of course.

Down in flames...

Water in Bowie, Texas now catching fire.  DO NOT miss the video on

This family complained to the Railroad Commission TWO YEARS AGO about their water.  Remember how the industry and the agencies say there is nothing wrong with the water?  Watch the video and decide for yourself.

How important is YOUR water?  Tell the EPA tonight!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Taking back OUR town...

One board at a time.  Read about the Tarrant County College Board elections and the shake up (or down) in the FW Weekly

What a difference an election makes.Less than an hour after Bill Greenhill and O. K. Carter were sworn in as new trustees on the Tarrant County College District board last week, the majority voting bloc that board president Louise Appleman had led for two years was turned on its collective head.

Trustee Robyn Winnett, who often butted heads with Appleman on critical policy issues and at least once called for her resignation, nominated board member Joe Hudson for president that night. Greenhill and Carter voted with them in what Carter calls “a power shift on the board.” Winnett and Hudson, who had previously found themselves on the losing end of most votes, were suddenly part of a new and very different four-member majority.

Under Hudson’s leadership, Greenhill said, the board will be “more inclusive, transparent, and will engage the community” in its decision-making process. Long-time critics of Appleman say she failed to do that, running the board as if she oversaw a private corporation rather than a public institution.

Don't eat the fish!

Or drink the water...or breathe the air...

The noon news reporting not to eat fish caught from the Trinity River as the levels of contaminates are high in Tarrant and Dallas County.

Now WHY would the levels be higher here than elsewhere?

Not in YOUR backyard?

Unless you live in Fort Worth.

Read the letter from Jim Ashford to the Fort Worth City Council, Mayor and staff. YOU can't afford not to.

Fort Worth City Council

It is my opinion the proposed Salt Water Disposal Facility is a terrible idea. I fail to understand why this item is allowed to continue being drug through the permitting system primarily by one Council person. It was a bad idea when it was proposed, and the more that is known about the chemicals in produced water, the worse it gets.

The thought of 1200 barrels* of produced water being evaporated into the atmosphere every day for the residents of Fort worth to breath is a scary thought. The chemicals which will be heated and evaporated include some the deadliest elements in the produced water, that being the benzines, toluenes, lead, mercury, uranium, radium 226 and 228 along with other deadly chemicals. These chemicals can not be filtered out of the water completely or satisfactorily. A more complete list of some of the chemicals that are in produced water is attached.

I have also attached a paper describing what produced water is from the Department of U.S. Energy. You will note the difference from the description of produced water in the attached information than presented by Chesapeake Energy. It is not just saltwater. I have highlighted some of the important sections in yellow relating to Natural gas, specifically, pages 4, 6, 7, 8, 9,15, 16, 18, 67.

Council person Danny Scarth (District 4), who has promoted this item like it was his own and often refers to "WE" when talking about Chesapeake, has suggested it will reduce Nox in the air by reducing truck traffic used to dispose of the water. What he is neglecting to mention in promoting this project, is the gas compressors needed to evaporate the 50,400 barrels of water every day into nearby neighborhoods include four massive 1400 horsepower engines. These industrial motors and their emissions are regulated very little in any form. The large trucks which haul the water, on the other hand, have a great deal of regulation in their emissions control and the type and quality of fuel they must use.

This site in East Fort Worth has even been promoted as a recycling facility of produced water by the City and Chesapeake, even though there is no water being reused. It is not a recycling facility but it is a cheap method for Chesapeake alone, to dispose of toxic waste.

Why would the city promote a site such as this that recycles no water, when other local companies recycle up to 80-90 percent of the water at their sites. There are even other companies that report a near 100 percent recycle ability.

The City has already proposed allocating funds to study the air quality at this experimental project for hydrocarbons. There is no money, however, to study the air for the radium 226 or 228 or the natural occurring uranium, lead or mercury.

Why is anyone promoting this experimental project so adamantly when its impact on District 4 is not good for the people? Only Chesapeake benefits from this, not other companies or the citizens and the people who live nearby.

*(1 barrel = 42 gallons)

Jim Ashford

YOU are invited!

To meet the EPA folks on Thursday.

Excellent Letter to the Editor in Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Sound off to EPA

If our politicians had ever read the children's story about the king who turned everything to gold only to discover that clean water, fresh air and healthy children were inherently more precious:

Maybe Gov. Rick Perry would've fought for cleaner air for all Texans instead of fighting to exempt his corporate donors from costly pollution controls;

Maybe Rep. Joe Barton would've apologized to his constituents for his incestuous relationship with the oil industry instead of to BP, who's caused the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history;

Maybe Mayor Mike Moncrief and the Fort Worth City Council would've considered the health effects of urban gas drilling before approving thousands of gas leases.

Fort Worth residents should show up at the Hilton on Thursday to tell the EPA what Perry, Barton and Moncrief apparently won't: There isn't enough money in the world to justify destroying our oceans, fouling our air, contaminating our groundwater or making us all sick.

-- Sharon Austry, Fort Worth

In the news...

The Tarrant Regional Water District popped up in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram twice today.  We are betting we see it more in the near future.

The low-water dam is one of three in Trinity Park that feature chutes or channels. The dams are maintained by the Tarrant Regional Water District.

Water district officials are gathering facts surrounding Monday's drowning.

"As we do with all tragedies of this nature, we will gather facts and evaluate how the public accesses this low-water dam," spokesman Chad Lorance said.

The district maintains 16 low-water dams throughout the Fort Worth floodway, which covers the Trinity River from downtown to near Camp Carter on the West Fork, and to Southwest Boulevard on the Clear Fork. The three low-water dams in Trinity Park are the only ones to feature chutes.

The chutes are used by kayakers, but the district said they weren't built for recreation.

"The low-water dams are built to slow the flow of the river and to serve as a sediment retention area," Lorance said.

The water moving through the chutes appears to move more quickly than other areas of the river, but whether the chutes played a part in Monday's drowning is unknown.

"We are still gathering the facts of this tragedy," Lorance said. "We don't know what if any part the chutes may have played in this incident."

Adelaide Leavens, executive director of Streams and Valleys Inc., a nonprofit that helps fund recreational development along the Trinity, said the river varies from wading depth to as deep as 10 feet. Storm runoff can increase flows greatly.

Water district officials said that on Monday the flow was minimal through the section of the river in question.

And again when the Fort Worth Cats are mentioned, the Water District isn't far behind.

The move comes after the bank was paid from Bell's $17.5 million sale last month of 38 acres south of the stadium to the Tarrant Regional Water District. Amegy had posted the property for the March foreclosure auction in the wake of the default.

The water district said it will use some of the land for rights of way, canals, easements, parkland and levee work as part of the Trinity River Vision flood control and economic development project.

The water district also bought 4 acres from Michael Balloun of Arlington. Bell sold that tract to Balloun in March and used the proceeds to begin paying tens of thousands of dollars he owed to vendors and others.

Bell also has a 10-year lease with the water district on some land to be used for stadium parking.

"We have put things in place going forward that ensure LaGrave Field and the Cats will be a part of the development and part of Trinity Uptown for decades to come," Bell said.

Bell bought the greater LaGrave tract in 2007 from the city of Fort Worth. He once planned a multimillion-dollar residential and retail development, but the recession and other factors halted that development.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010




YOU HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY in the DFW area to make your voice heard on a critically important issue on Thursday, JULY 8th.

Those of us in the Barnett Shale are accutely aware of the hazards posed by hydraulic fracturing, and many are already experiencing problems with their well water and water resources.

We must DEMAND accountability from the gas drilling industry, and this is YOUR opportunity to let the EPA know that you support their efforts to thoroughly study the effects on our water supplies. We must also DEMAND full disclosure of the chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process, as well as supporting the use of RECYCLING  the water used in the fracing process. 

Please email us at NCTCA if you have any questions: or and go
to our website  for further information on our efforts in working towards positive solutions related to gas drilling, pipelines, and property rights.

Come exercise your right of freedom of speech on July 8th!  See you there!

Esther McElfish - NCTCA President
and our NCTCA Advisory Board

WHO: Citizens concerned with the safety of our drinking water and air quality.
WHAT: EPA Public Informaiton meeting on Hydraulic Fracturing.
WHEN: Thursday, July 8th, 6-10 pm CST
WHERE: Hilton Fort Worth, 815 Main Street, Fort Worth, Texas.

Fort Worth has an abundance of natural gas deep in the shale formation beneith our city that companies are eager to get thier hand on.  We need to tell the EPA at Thursday's meeting that they should regulate this process from beginning to end.

It's important for you to attend even if you choose not to personally address the EPA.  Just your presence will let the EPA know that you expect them to protect our families when the Texas Railroad Commission and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality....will not!

Good Question

Mr. Woodard has a about it in the Fort Worth Business Press.

Blow out preventers

In 2007 when the estimated cost of Trinity Uptown had risen from $360 million to $435 million,
Steve Hollern, Clyde Picht, and the late Councilman Chuck Silcox mounted a valiant effort for a petition for a vote by the people to limit Fort Worth’s participation to $26.6 million, being 6.11 percent of the then $435 million estimated cost of the Boondoggle. Much like Arlington wisely did vis a vis Cowboy Stadium.

Because they wanted to keep taxpayer money flowing no matter what the final cost would be, this petition was vigorously and successfully opposed by the city’s leadership - Congresswoman Kay Granger, Mayor and City Council, Commissioners Court, Tarrant Regional Water Board and the real rulers of the city, the Chamber of Commerce.

Since then the estimated cost has spiraled to $909 million. No doubt the next estimate will be at least $1 billion. The question arises: Will Fort Worth’s participation still be 6.11 percent of $435 million ($26.6 million) or will it be 6.11 percent of $1 billion ($61.6 million)? Ask the mayor or your city council member.

Following in conservative Chuck Silcox’s steps, new District 3 City Councilman Zim Zimmerman says that the city does not deal in percentages – it deals with hard dollars and $26.6 is the limit –not one dollar more.

That sounds like the petition to me. With a Zim-minded Council, we wouldn’t need a petition. But that raises another very interesting question. If our participation is limited to $26.6 million, who or what makes up the gaping shortfall? Like the King of Siam said to Anna, “It’s a puzzlement.”

Taxpayers of Fort Worth! Today you grimace at a few cents tax raise that would balance the budget and keep the city swimming pools open in 100 degree weather. Wait until the bills start coming in for the boondoggle! Talk about an out-of-control oil well in the Gulf of Mexico! That Hollern-Picht-Silcox petition that was opposed by and defeated by the leadership was our blow out preventer. It failed.

Know what happens when blow out preventers fail?

– Don Woodard, Fort Worth


Letters to the Editor in Fort Worth Star-Telegram. People paying attention.

Inspecting inside the pipes

Several articles have been written recently regarding underground gas pipelines.

As a retired engineer who designed emergency shutdown systems and operators for gas pipelines, including the 56-inch pipeline from Siberia to Europe, I would like to let local residents know that gas companies do not inspect the interior of their pipes. However, the British Gas Corp. regularly inspects all the gas lines throughout the United Kingdom.

U.S. lines are pigged and scraped to remove condensation and rust on a regular schedule, but operators have no idea how thin the steel pipe has become due to corrosion.

The UK uses a "smart pig" that electronically measures the pipe wall thickness and the position along the pipeline where that thickness occurs.

Why is it that the U.S. gas companies don't swallow their pride and use a tool someone else developed?

Gas pressure can vary from 600 to 900 to 1,500 psi according to the line requirements, and pipes can be designed with automatic pressure control valves and operators to shut down the line when a leak is detected.

Laws should be in force for all gas pipelines within a mile of buildings, roads and railways.

-- Derek Sidwell, Keller

Unconscionable law

Unless oil companies have the technology to quickly address and control a worst-case scenario when drilling offshore (which clearly they do not), they should not be given permits to drill offshore -- period.

It is unconscionable that companies making billions of dollars should have limited liability if or when they destroy the environment and ruin so many lives.

Shame on everyone who has voted to give these monster corporations such limitless power and such limited accountability.

-- Wendy Stoecker, Arlington

Friday, July 2, 2010

He did it again...

The man has a point.  Read about OUR water on Durango's blog

Question for you, how much do those billboards cost and WHO's paying?

Answered the call...

Sort of.   Earlier this week we asked the local media to help get the word out about OUR water.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram answered, sort of.  They interviewed those who are paid to say gas drilling doesn't have anything to do with the water contamination.  WHO do you believe?

Fort Worth Way

Interesting stuff in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram today...

If you don't have the money to keep a pool open, WHY would you spend money to redo the parking lot for it? 

And a citizen can complain and be ignored for years...what did it finally take?  A call to the Watchdog.  THE PEOPLE need more Watchdogs.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

What's that smell? Part 2

EPA rules Texas has to follow the same rules as everyone else when it comes to air quality.  Rick Perry and John Cornyn are pissed.  Pissed that their state has to follow the rules in order to protect their residents?  Isn't that what they are suppose to do?

Read about it in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

In a much anticipated decision, the Environmental Protection Agency's Dallas regional office announced that it has rejected a clean-air implementation plan by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, ruling that the state's flexible permitting system violates portions of the U.S. Clean Air Act and effectively relaxes federally mandated emissions requirements.

EPA Regional Administrator Al Armendariz defended the decision, saying his primary focus will be to bring the plants into federal compliance rather than engage in "a back and forth with elected officials" in Texas. The action, he said, "improves our ability to provide the citizens of Texas with the same healthy-air protections that are provided for citizens in all other states under the Clean Air Act."

"Texans deserve the same clean air protection as citizens of every other state, and TCEQ's flexible permitting program has been denying all of us that right for nearly 20 years," said Luke Metzger of Environment Texas. "The Clean Air Act is the same law that polluters in all other 49 states have to follow, and it's time that polluters in Texas follow it, too."

What's that smell?

Fort Worth has selected a company out of Massachusetts to conduct the air quality tests.  Read about it in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

The city's Ethics Review Commission ruled last week that the gas company representatives have a conflict of interest because they would be voting on matters that could benefit their employers.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality knew as early as 2007 about emissions coming from gas sites in the Barnett Shale. A helicopter equipped with an infrared camera spotted plumes of hydrocarbons during a flyover in North Texas.

The state environmental agency didn't conduct follow-up tests until 2009 and didn't test inside Fort Worth until December. Agency officials initially told city officials that the December tests showed no problems at sites in the city.

Since then, the agency has said it retested the same samples and found toxic chemicals at two sites in Fort Worth. One site had a level of p-diethylbenzene high enough to cause nausea and headaches, and two sites had levels of benzene, a known carcinogen, that were above the state's long-term screening level. Another round of tests in April found benzene near two of the same sites.