Tuesday, November 30, 2010

2 Billion and counting

WHO pays?
YOU.

Read the Letters to the Editor in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

The cost of streetcars


"Streetcars crucial to Trinity River Vision" (Nov. 15) -- but for what reason?

Some would insist they are needed for economic development rather than transportation. So why don't the developers pay for them?

The streetcar issue will be discussed in a public hearing at the Convention Center on Thursday. On Dec. 7, the City Council may vote on a starter route costing $93 million.

The piercing question is: How much will this TRV add-on ultimately cost the public?

TRV's proposed cost was $360 million in 2004 and has ballooned to near $1 billion. The purpose of the TRV project is economic development, not flood control.

When the proposed additional streetcar routes are added, that cost will also approach $1 billion. The funding on both projects is a gamble.

Dec. 7 may be "a day that will live in infamy" for the attack on the public treasury as well as the attack on Pearl Harbor.

-- Clyde Picht, Fort Worth

Important Modern Streetcar Town Hall Meeting Thursday

CLICK IMAGE TO VIEW POSTER

YOU ARE INVITED.  BE THERE.  BE HEARD. 

Fort Worth Way Flooding

Another interesting "fact" in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram "news" article this morning...

The bypass channel will shift floodwater away from downtown, allowing the levees to come down and for development of the near north side.

Remember when the Trinity River Vision was for flood control?  Yeah, us either.  If the levees don't come down, you don't need a bypass channel.  A bypass channel on property you don't own...to be built with money that isn't yours.

What Water Shortage - Part 2

As if to prove our point, the Star-Telegram has an article about water this morning.  Is it about the concerns for our water supply?  Nope, it's a another propaganda piece from none other than Bill Hanna, telling you it's safe to swim in the river.

Even though there have been many reports that the Trinity River in Tarrant County is the most polluted portion of the river, and the article itself points out that a certain percentage of the water testing has been over its limit of pollutants, it's still safe.  It would be funny, if it weren't so serious.

Someone ask Bill Hanna how much of a kick back he gets from the Tarrant Regional Water District and the Trinity River Vision Authority.  Inquiring minds want to know.

Andrew Sansom, the guy who said it's safe also says, "The biggest issues today in water quality are what we call nonpoint sources -- those are parking lots, highways runoff and agricultural sources -- things that are not coming from a pipe," Sansom said. "When it storms, everything just washes into the river or streams and we don't have an adequate means of protecting it."  He also said it should be tested weekly.

On the Clear Fork, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's 2010 Integrated Report showed an average of 116 E. coli colonies per 100 milliliters -- just below the state standard of 126 colonies per 100 milliliters. That was based on 67 samples.


In defending water recreation in the Trinity, city leaders and the water district have said most high bacteria events are triggered by floods or heavy storm-water runoff.

Under the old federal standards, if 25 percent of the samples exceeded the 126 level, that could also trigger regulatory action, Sullivan said. A study for the TCEQ estimated eight in 1,000 swimmers would get sick at the 126 level.

Over a nine-year-period, the City of Fort Worth's monthly sampling at Beach Street found 27 samples out of 120 that exceeded the 126 standard. At its Fourth Street sampling station, 23 out of 120 exceeded it. In the water district's quarterly samples at Beach Street, four of the 34 samples exceeded the state standard, and at Fourth Street, three out of 34 samples were above the 126 threshold.

Monday, November 29, 2010

What Water Shortage?

So the FW Weekly is the only news source in town acknowledging our water woes.  We're glad they are back at it.

Funny...seems there is someone offering yet another alternative solution. Someone who knows the "pond" and the island, known as Trinity River Vision, are a waste of YOUR money and not what we should be focused on.  WHY aren't YOUR "leaders" listening?  Because their profit margin would take a hit?

WHO raised these politicians, by the way?  Their momma never told them, that you shouldn't spend money you don't have, on things you don't need, especially when you have other things to take care of ?

Check out the letter in the FW Weekly.  Then ask YOUR representative, WHY they are spending YOUR money on Trinity Uptown and streetcars, instead of YOUR future.  And WHY didn't YOU get a vote?  Ben gets our vote.

Wind-Inc. has created a system whereby we can produce fresh water from saltwater aquifers. Using pumps, wind turbines, and backup solar panels, the system can desalinate water at a cost of about 95 cents per 1,000 gallons, or about a fourth of what Tarrant County and the City of Fort Worth are pricing water at today. Our focus should be on modern systems that use renewable energy — note that there is an ocean of salt water available in Texas from 300 to 6,000 feet below the surface. It can provide the water we need for 300-plus years, if we don’t let the oil and gas companies corrupt it with pollution and poisons from their dirty hydraulic-fracturing drilling processes.

 In the past decades, town after town has simply lost population, industry, and business because of declining water sources. Fort Worth would do well to allocate energy and money to a new water supply instead of doing recreational and “pond development” to decorate downtown Fort Worth.

Ben Boothe
Fort Worth

Movie Star on Terror Watch List...

Due to arranging screenings of the Gasland documentary.

WHAT??  So, if you try to educate people, you are a threat? To WHO?  What does that make those that lie and poison them?  A politician?

Well, they say any publicity is good publicity, right?  Onward and upward Josh Fox!

Read WHO it is and WHAT they had to say about it here.

WHO's on first?

More Barnett Shale Hell in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Welcome to the Eminent Domain capital

Another local business is having another run in with a gas drilling company.  George's Speciality Foods.

WHO's got the scoop?  Durango, who else.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving Ya'll

We are thankful for all the good people out there who work every day to make a difference in the life of others. Those "rabble rousers" who spend their own time and money to ensure the safety of their homes, families and neighborhoods, those letter writers, blog writers, city council talkers, ethics complaint filers, eminent domain fighters, gas drilling watchers, water watchers, tax dollar watchers, politician watchers...you get the picture.  The average citizen that tries to hold our "leaders" accountable for their actions (or inaction).  They do so for no money, no reward, no fame, the only goal is to protect THE PEOPLE and their rights.  Seems like they are doing the politicians job for them...without the ridiculous pay and perks.  You should thank one today.

We applaud you all.

And for all you turkeys out there, well, you know what happens to turkeys.

Happy Turkey Day -
Texas Lone Star

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Politician Found Guilty in Texas

Imagine that.

Read about Tom DeLay, aka "The Hammer", being convicted on Yahoo. com.

The article calls him "one of the most powerful and feared Republicans in Congress".
WHY should anyone in congress be feared? 

"This case is a message from the citizens of the state of Texas that the public officials they elect to represent them must do so honestly and ethically, and if not, they'll be held accountable," Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg said after the verdict.

Amen.

Volunteers Needed

To save Prairie Fest!!

Read about it in the FW Weekly.

Fort Worth named a most positive city?

As in positively insane?  Who makes these "studies" up, and WHY?  How much did it cost?

Read about it on Durango.  As usual, he tells it like it is.  That is a positive....

"If this is not some sort of apocalyptic warning that the World is in trouble, I don't know what is."

"Fort Worth is the Big Doozy on this list. Fort Worth is one of the world's most positive towns? Fort Worth has a corrupt mayor, on the take to the total tune of millions of dollars to the Barnett Shale gas drillers poking holes in his town. Fort Worth's mayor fired the city's ethics board when they finally had the backbone to stand up against the city's ethics problems."

"Fort Worth positive? This is a town where the city allies with gas drillers against the people to conspire to try and put non-odorized natural gas pipelines under people's homes, using Fascist Gestapo-like raids to intimidate those who fight for their right to speak out against having a dangerous pipeline run under their home."

"Fort Worth positive? This is a town that regularly uproots citizens from their property, using eminent domain in conspiracy with big business, like what was done to get Radio Shack its now defunct corporate headquarters. And is currently being done courtesy of Fort Worth's myopic Trinity River Vision Boondoggle."

Fort Worth's "Public" Energy Hearing

What did Clyde Picht have to say about it?

Read it in the FW Weekly

The headline on Fort Worth Weekly’s Static column on Nov. 17 advised “Go Get ‘em, Watchdogs,” referring to the public’s chance to weigh in on gas issues in a hearing before the Texas House Committee on Energy Resources. Yes sir, J. Q. public could go down there and have a thing or two to tell the legislature. Except that they didn’t because they couldn’t.

We can no longer offer up our citizens’ unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness on the altar of industry profits, jobs, tax revenues, climate change, or any other supposed benefit.

The Fort Worth Way

Tarrant County style...in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Your tax dollars at work

photo by Jeff Wood
We were sent this email by concerned citizens.....

Getting Drunk on a Streetcar Named Despair....is it just us or does the Trinity River Vision Authority and friends have a lot of Happy Hours?

Come to a special Fort Worth South, Inc. Happy Hour and enjoy a tour of the Modern Streetcar. Tuesday, November 23rd, 5:00pm -7:00pm. Thank you to the Trinity River Vision Authority for the use of their lobby, 307 W. 7th Street Suite 100. 

Food provided by:
Cat City Grill
Chadra Mezza & Grill
Ellerbe Fine Foods
Lili's Bistro
Nonna Tata
Scampi's Catering & Bar Service
Spiral Dinner

Beverages by:
Rahr & Son's Brewery
Fort Worth South, Inc.

Mimi makes the paper

Kudos again to all who helped save Mimi!  And a special thanks to attorney Randy Turner for his dedication.

You can read about it in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, finally.

Monday, November 22, 2010

13,000 gallons frac fluid spill in tributary

Read about it on TXSharon.  WHO do you think reported it?

Not to worry dear reader, the industry says, on a daily basis, fracing doesn't contaminate any water. 

And if there is like here...no one pays attention to tributaries anyway, until it's too late.

Fort Worth's "Public" Energy Committee Hearing

More incoming from the "public" about the supposed "public" meeting...

I was lucky to be selected to represent one of the general members of the "public" to speak at the TX House of Representatives Energy Committee public hearing in Ft Worth today. This meeting was suppose to be targeting urban cities in the Barnett Shale so cities like Flower Mound doesn't hurt overall state efforts to "drill baby drill". It was clear from earlier dialogue of their concerns with neighboring states on board with drilling because they do not want Texas to lose any business to out of state competition. However, plenty of rural mayors showed up and was able to speak first, and much time was spent with their concerns such as that "although rural today, mudfarms and abandoned sites could be the future homes for new subdivisions".

I spoke about the SUP notification phase on this Truman/Cowboy Stadium site and how the sign was put on a road not visible to the general public (Truman Street by city ordinance is limited to commercial traffic). I presented over 275 petitions in opposition to this site from the area residents and businesses; they made copies of the petitions and are taking those back to Austin.

I told them that I have made it my full time job for the last six months putting in 8 to 10 hour days to learn about the industry since it has moved into our town. I said that it was a shame that a citizen has to do what an elected or paid public official should have been doing to do the necessary research to see how to better protect the public. I told them that the more I learned the more horrified I became.

I voiced my concerns of a one size fits all state Railroad Road Commission Ordinance because I don't trust the state to protect the public because the speaker before me representing the RRC just made a statement to Senator Davis that "produced water was just salt water". The RRC speaker was responding to a concern that Senator Davis had on the lack of oversight for pipelines that carry produced water for injection well disposal.

I said the whole industry is based on the lie that natural gas is the cleaner burning fuel. I cited a Cornell University study by Professor Howarth that accounts for the extraction, transportation, and methane leakage. This taken altogether makes natural gas as dirty as coal and that the industry & other stakeholders do not want the public to know this.

I said that there is so much room for improvement in the industry that can control emissions with vapor recovery systems. I told them that with compressor stations, they can use electric compressors, and if they have natural gas compressors in rural areas, that they can have catalysts to reduce emissions. I told them that formaldehyde was found near Lake Arlington's compressor station last May and I was able to have TCEQ retest last week, but that my friend who lived near there was buried last week. I didn't have to say cancer-everyone on the room knew or I could feel they did...I went on to say "we are getting there" because in following up on the four natural gas powered compressors on that site, I learned that they recently added three electric compressors. I cited this as a failed effort to have a TIMELY strong, local, protective ordinance that maybe could have made a difference years ago.

I ended by reminding folks that I knew that I was out of time but that I had so much to say, but what I did learn from all my research is that I will WANT to move away from all this drilling if that well goes in my neighborhood, but that I didn't know WHERE to move because drilling seems to be happening every where.

I felt some of the presentations by the industry were allowed more time than the "other-side" and Arlington Councilman Le Blanc read way past his allowed time. Some industry folks came in with a slide show showing how much money the industry has as if the energy committee was not aware.

We had representation from North Central Communities Alliance who was professional and calm as the polar opposite of my exit from the meeting as the TCEQ representative was allowed the closing speaking time (the majority of folks who came to speak were not allowed due to time constraints). The TCEQ person used the UTArlington site touting it as a training ground and a model for urban drilling.

Joe you would not have been proud of me...at that time, I then stood up and told the TCEQ speaker how that UTA site, with it's 22 wells, poisoned a lady living within 600ft of that site, that she tested positive for BTEX chemicals. I reminded them that TCEQ has fined Carrizo for that (at least that is what I recall a rep from senator Harris's office telling me). Of course I was exiting as I was setting the record straight on that "model" drilling site. I said my family has been living downwind of that site for 3 years now.

Yea today I was lucky, luck to speak, lucky to speak uninvited....and not be arrested.

Sincerely,
Kim Feil

Keller looking for a new council

The Fort Worth Way spreads like wildfire...

Read the letters in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Election frustration

Holding the Keller City Charter proposition election the same day as a statewide general election was a terribly bad idea. The council got what it wanted. All 39 propositions passed. The chaos created at the polls was exhausting and frustrating for poll workers and voters.

With turnout high because of state and national issues, the polls were more crowded because of the time required to complete a 10-page ballot. We had four different ballots to distribute, as some voters were in the city limits and some were not because some precincts are split.

A Keller Citizen article reported that the council spent an estimated $60,000 rather than the $15,000 it would have cost to hold the city election on another day. That is our tax dollars being flushed down the toilet as well as manipulation of the vote.

Next spring, each incumbent who voted for this election date should not be re-elected.

-- Michelle Wood, Keller

At least six of the propositions amounted to a power grab by our elected officials and their enablers. In a statewide election that was a total and complete repudiation of big government in all its manifestations, the residents of Keller voted to pass all 39 propositions, with the outcome an enlarged city government and its attendant enlargement of city expenditures.

The lack of fair and balanced reporting, and the ramifications of their passage on the over-burdened taxpayers in our community I lay at the door of City Hall. They provided a misleading flyer that implied the changes were made to bring us into compliance with the state of Texas. A lot of them were, but some were not. Let's take a few minutes in our next City Council election and vote them out!

-- Sara Legvold, Keller

THE PEOPLE are talking...

Read the letters in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Expensive ride

Five years ago, Mayor Moncrief and City Hall threw a party when Radio Shack destroyed the Tandy Subway that moved hundreds of people daily. Now they want streetcars because they are trendy. However, based on $88 million for three miles of tracks and electric lines, these trendy cars will cost $5,555.55 per foot or $462.96 per inch.

At a time when the city is shedding services like so much dandruff, can we afford this? The free buses and trolley downtown cruise around mainly empty while the heaviest public ridership lies on the east side, where the city has no plans at any time for a streetcar. The streetcar would only benefit a limited number of realtors and developers.

-- Catherine Clyde, Fort Worth

Streetcar costs

Seldom do I find myself in agreement with the Star-Telegram Editorial Board, but we seem to agree on streetcars. In fact, I would go one step further. I think the question should be, would having public transportation along the Main Street corridor be worth the cost?

I think the answer is no, but if the answer is yes, you ask the next question: how to best provide that service?

At this point, you evaluate streetcars versus buses. I have seen the figure of $80 million to $90 million for streetcars compared to $5 million for buses. You also have to evaluate how long it would take to get the service started -- years versus months. There also is a big rip-out expense to consider if something goes wrong on streetcars.

The part of this argument that really fries me is people who consider the $25 million of federal grant "free money." There is no tree in D.C. that grows money. That tree is in China, and it will have to be paid back by our grandkids, plus a lot of interest.

I can understand why Fort Worth has a big budget problem if it has spent $800,000 to look at this issue.

-- Dick Deatrick, Fort Worth

A picture is worth a MILLION words

Check it out on TXSharon.

Friday, November 19, 2010

What do YOU say?

Good Letters to the Editor in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram concerning the Streetcar Silliness.  Read them all here.

If Mayor Mike Moncrief and the City Council force the taxpayers to pay for a dream they have -- a streetcar that we taxpayers will not use -- we (the conservatives) will stand up and ensure they will never hold any office again.

Stop spending our money. It is not yours to spend. We put you in office to do our business; to do what we want. If you think this is such a good idea, put it up for a vote by the people.

-- Paul L. Rudisill, Keller

BS Update

We have been so busy with streetcars, tax dollars and ethics we haven't been able to update you on the Barnett Shale Hell in awhile, so in no particular order...

What is Steve on Carter Ave up to?  Well, Channel 11 caught up with him last night.  Don't miss this story.  Good information from Lon Burnam and more BS statements from Mayor Moncrief.  Something about regulators not doing their jobs so Fort Worth will do it.  WHAT?  The profiting Mayor and council are mostly to blame for getting us in to this mess and putting our citizens at risk.

Congratulations to Josh Fox!!  Word on the street is Gasland is shortlisted for Academy Awards!!  Go, Josh, Go!

Grand Prairie has announced a gas drilling moratorium on all new permits.  THE PEOPLE are listening!

Not only are property values plummeting around gas drilling locations (that would be most all of Tarrant County) now some banks won't finance properties in those areas either. Uh oh...better save your huge royalty checks, then you can pay cash.  Read about it here.  You can also read the letter from the Bartonville Mayor to Senator Nelson on their site as well. 

If you missed the 60 Minutes gas drilling story, here is a recap.

What do THE PEOPLE say about the gas drilling meeting in Fort Worth last night?  "It was another waste of time, another industry dog and pony show.  WHO did the majority of the talking?  The industry, of course". 

It's your turn!  Make some noise!

Name of the game - Eminent Domain

180 more homeowners to be ran over by TXDot and their buddies in Lewisville.  Really? 

What ever happened on the lawsuit by those citizens involved in the Trans Texas Corridor eminent domain land grab?

And where is Billy Mitchell when you need him?

What happens when you cover a county in concrete?  Stay tuned.

Read the story on NBC5.com.

Fort Worth Streetcar causing a Scene

We have to give NBC 5 credit on their streetcar story last night, they said they wanted to get BOTH sides.  What a refreshing change.  They interviewed a streetcar saleslady and Fort Worth City Councilmember, Jungas Jordan.  Did he really say he is worried about the cost?  Wait, one more surprise, Mayor Moncrief says he is undecided on the streetcar. Really?  The Fort Worth Star-Telegram said he was talking to folks about the streetcar the city hopes to get.  Why would you hope to get a streetcar if you were undecided?
Check out NBC 5's story here.

Another good article on the Fort Worth Streetcar issue "What Fort Worth’s Political Class Means by ‘Financially Viable’ on Whoplanswhom.com brings up some interesting players in the game, such as HDR Engineering and are you ready for it, the COG.  (North Central Texas Council of Governments).  Imagine that.

Granted, part of the problem with this claim is the source of the funding for the study in the first place. The consulting firm, HDR Engineering Inc., is widely known for government transit planning and has a reputation to maintain among government bodies. If HDR began releasing findings that predicted the overall unfavorable consequences of government meddling, then HDR might begin to receive fewer government contracts.

Making this even more suspect, the original source of funding for the Fort Worth study came from the Regional Transportation Council, an arm of the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG), totaling approximately $1.6 million. Nearly one million dollars went to HDR. For those who do not already know, the NCTCOG has been on a tear in recent years to push for tolled lanes on existing free highways and for an extension of existing government-managed mass transportation.

So is it any surprise that the city council of Fort Worth and the NCTCOG got exactly what they paid for?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Granger No-brainer

Do YOU believe the streetcar hype is worth the millions YOU will pay for it?  THE PEOPLE don't either.  Read about it in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  Be sure and read the comments from THE PEOPLE.

The Fort Worth Transportation Authority and two other agencies spent a combined $25,000 to ship a streetcar from Portland, Ore., to downtown Fort Worth, where the car will be displayed while city officials debate whether to commit millions of future tax dollars to electrified rail.

Officials said using public funds to bring the streetcar here is not an attempt to buy support for the proposed three-mile, $88 million streetcar system. Instead, they said, it's an effort to educate residents about what a modern streetcar looks like and how it might serve their neighborhoods.

Of course that is what THEY say.  THAT would be illegal and unethical.  And things like that never happen in Fort Worth, right?  WHO's money is it again?  Oh yes, THE PUBLIC's.

The T contributed $8,000 to the display, Ruddell said. The Trinity River Vision Authority paid the largest share, $12,000, and Fort Worth South paid $5,000, Trinity River Vision Authority Executive Director J.D. Granger said.

"It's a no-brainer," he said. "We're being asked to invest $30 million" just for the Trinity River Vision portion.

Someone ask J.D. Granger WHO WE is?

Fort Worth Streetcar Questions

Read about it in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Letters to the Editor.  Good letter on streetcar consulting as well.

Seems THE PEOPLE are listening.  WHY aren't their "leaders" and the "news"? Could it be because the "leaders" buy the "news"??

Streetcar questions


In architecture school, I was taught that no feasibility study ever finds the project to be infeasible. The client will be disappointed if the project is not feasible, and the consultant does not want to disappoint the client. Therefore, the purpose of a feasibility study is to determine the conditions necessary for the project to be feasible.

The report may say, "In order for this project to succeed, the earth will have to start spinning backward, and pigs will have to fly. Not some pigs; all pigs."

But it will not say the project is infeasible. It is up to the client to come to that conclusion. That way, he's disappointed with external circumstances, not with the consultant -- to whom he will say, "You did the best you could; the conditions just weren't right."

Keep this in mind when evaluating the streetcar study.

A consultant will never report that the project is a bad idea. He'll report the conditions necessary to make it a good idea -- and leave us to decide if the conditions are achievable. Number of riders, increased value of real estate along the route, levels of voluntary self-taxation of businesses involved -- evaluate them carefully.

-- George Michael Sherry, Fort Worth

On what planet is J.D. Granger living? Granger said that three unnamed developers will start sooner and one will build nine stories instead of three stories because of "streetcars" instead of rubber-wheeled transportation. (See: "Streetcars crucial to Trinity River Vision, advocates say," Monday)

Granger could have said 10 developers; it would sound better. He also said they expect 15,000 to 25,000 residents. Why not say 250,000? That's a number pulled out of the air, too.

Another Monday article said 40 units were sold in the past year within blocks of the Trinity Project. (See: "Rising to the challenge," Monday) How do you get from 75 people to 15,000? Oops; it's "streetcars."

Maybe it's "if they build it, they will come." Ask the developers of the Villa De Leon and the Le Bijou how well that worked. All the growth in Fort Worth has been outside the Loop 820 corridor but because of "streetcars" 25,000 people will suddenly appear in the downtown area?

I think it's a fair question to ask the unnamed developers why they think putting steel in the ground instead of rubber on the streets will attract 25,000 people. We deserve the answer before we spend $90 million instead of $5 million.

-- Marvin Chosky, Bedford


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What do THE PEOPLE say?

Check out the Letters in the FW Weekly.  Good ones on YOUR water supply and bullying in Fort Worth.

Our favorite? Check it out.

The Rest of the (Ethics) Pie


To the editor: Clyde Picht’s letter in response to “Has Fort Worth Lost Its Moral Compass?” (Sept 22, 2010) was so comprehensive in detail that it reminds us of Paul Harvey’s “The Rest of the Story.” Clyde is articulate and knows his politics, especially when it concerns the Moncrief Mafia.

Thank you, Clyde, for giving us the “rest of the pie” (not just a slice), and thanks to Fort Worth Weekly for publishing his letter.

Sharon R. Stroud

Fort Worth

This just in...

Adrian Murray has got the hang of how to read the local "news".  Read it below.  Welcome aboard!

WHAT THEY SAID AND WHAT THEY MEANT

The headline:
Fort Worth Streetcar Supporters Make Final Push
What it meant
City Elite Preparing to Cram Streetcar Down Taxpayers Throats

The opening paragraph:
Supporters of bringing streetcars back to Fort Worth are ready to take their case to the public.
What it means:
Let the lying begin.

What's in the works:
Beginning Wednesday, a streetcar on loan from a system in Oregon will be displayed through Thanksgiving at the corner of Seventh and Throckmorton streets in downtown Fort Worth.
What it means:
Someone is fixing to make so much money on this swindle that they shipped a freaking streetcar all the way to Fort Worth from Oregon.

What he said:
"We want people to touch it and feel it and ask questions," Mayor Mike Moncrief said Tuesday during a break at a council meeting."
What he meant:
"The people are so incredibly stupid we're fairly certain if we let them touch and feel a freaking electric bus they'll never notice their tax dollars being wasted on the idiotic streetcar."

What's coming next:
The mayor and several council members also directed city staff to organize a town hall-style meeting some time in the next week or two, and invite residents from all parts of the city to learn about the potential costs and benefits of a streetcar system.
What it means:
Time to ratchet up the BS.

Why the dog and pony show?
"I think it’s time for us to listen to people on this issue, whether they live on the outskirts or the inner core of the city," Moncrief told council members.
What he really means:
"When the poor suckers realize our elite friends in the Fort Worth power circle pocketed tens of millions in this deal and all they got in return was a stupid electric bus going up and down Main Street, we need to be on record as having given them the opportunity to speak beforehand.  It's not our fault they couldn't put two and two together."

What's the problem?
At issue is whether the city should accept a $25 million federal grant, and add another $58 million to $63 million in local property tax funds, to build an electrified streetcar rail system from downtown to the Trinity River Vision project on the North Side, and to the medical district on the Near South Side.
What's the answer?
Absolutely not.

Why is that?
Several council members say the city can’t afford to spend public dollars on a project that is aimed more at sparking urban development than relieving traffic, especially when the city is slashing services and laying off workers to make ends meet.
What that really means:
There is no practical economic excuse for spending $100 million or so on a stupid electric bus, tear up city streets for years while it's being constructed and generally disrupt people's lives and bust the city budget.

What he said:
"To be brutally frank about it, nobody in my area is going to benefit from it," said Councilman Carter Burdette, whose district includes west and northwest Fort Worth.
What he meant:
Don't blame my ass.

What he said:
Councilman Joel Burns, whose district includes the city’s south and downtown areas, noted that the local funds for the project can be paid for with special property tax districts. There’s a misperception, he said, that streetcars are competing for funding against a proposed commuter rail line from southwest Fort Worth to Grapevine and Dallas/Fort Worth that is being planned by 2015

What he meant:
I sincerely believe Fort Worth citizens are the stupidest lifeforms on earth, maybe even lower than Brad Watson.  Seriously, I just said that some people think an electric bus going up and down Main Street would compete against the commuter rail line between Fort Worth and Dallas.  True, they both are in contention as the greatest waste of taxpayer dollars since some genius thought up the Trinity River Vision, but we're quite capable of wasting huge amounts of taxpayer money on two projects simultaneously.  Come on, get real.  We're politicians.  That's what we're paid to do.

What he said:
"I hope we make a strong effort to inform folks about what differentiates streetcars and commuter rail," Burns said.
What he meant:
Maybe if we draw them pictures they'll be able to figure it out.

What they suggest:
A consultant, HDR Engineering, has recommended that the city form a local government corporation to run the streetcar program. The corporation would include representatives from the city, the Fort Worth Transportation Authority, the tax increment financing districts and area property owners.
What they mean:
There's plenty of money to be made here, folks.  No need for shoving.  Let's let the idiot voters smell the new leather seats in the stupid electric bus while we agree on how to divide the loot.

What they're saying:
A few members of the transportation authority, also known as the T, have spoken out against the project. The T board is scheduled to get a briefing from the consultant Wednesday during a meeting in southeast Fort Worth.
What that means:
Where's our vig?

Why she objects:
T board member Reby Cary has criticized the plan for diverting federal transportation funds away from the city’s southeast side, where there are many predominately African-American neighborhoods. Bus ridership is high in those areas, Cary said, and transit improvements are sorely needed.
What she means:
I have Al Sharpton's cell phone number.

What happens next?
The debate during the next three weeks likely will pit residents of Fort Worth’s central neighborhoods, where support for streetcars is perceived to be higher, against residents of outlying areas where residents presumably desire more room for cars.
What that means:
We'll pretend we're listening to the little folks but we'll put the damn electric bus wherever we damn well please.

Why he's for it:
Councilman Sal Espino, who represents the North Side, said the public needs to understand that Fort Worth has a long-term plan to create urban, walkable villages within the city’s older neighborhoods. The streetcar plan would tap into property taxes only in these areas.
"You have the Baby Boomers. Their nest egg is empty. They’re looking for places to live," Espino said. "Then you have Generation Y, they were born between 1977 and 1994, and they’re looking to get close to the city."
What he's saying:
Don't I sound smart?  I know the dates of Generation Y.  I'm a freaking statistician.  Of course, never mind the fact that half those people born in 1977 will have died of old age before the first condo goes up for sale in Trinity Uptown.  And please don't ask me why there are so many vacancies in downtown loft apartments now.  I'm really fairly stupid.

How it works:
On the North Side, a tax district created for the Trinity River Vision – a proposal to reroute the Trinity River and create an island of mixed-use development just north of downtown – has already pledged support for the streetcar plan. A tax district for the South Side also has expressed support for dedicating its future property taxes to the project.
What that means:
The whole city is a freaking TIF.  We've already pledged all future property tax revenues until the year 2525.  We're broke.  Did someone say $25 million in FEDERAL dollars?

What's at stake:
The $25 million federal grant, meanwhile, could be used to connect those two neighborhoods to downtown.
What that means:
Whatever, whatever, just give us the $25 million.  Gideon Toal and Freese & Nichols have been all over my ass for a year now demanding their share of the tribute and just last night Brian Eppstein threatened to cut off the end of my nose if I didn't close this deal so stop asking me questions and SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!!

For the original article, go here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2010/11/16/2637507/fort-worth-streetcar-backers-seeking.html

Thinking outside the cage

Suzette Watkins speaks up for animals everyday.  Read about her latest effort in the FW Weekly.

Kudos to Suzette for all she does for our four legged friends!

Turkey's done!

The FW Weekly's annual Turkey awards are out.  What are we thankful for this year?  The FW Weekly and most of their Turkey awards.  WHO wasn't on the list that you wanted to see?

Here are a few highlights, don't miss them all at the FW Weekly!

That’s right, folks. From mostly the same crew that’s been laying eggs in this town and around Texas for awhile now has come another year of greed, wrongheadedness, corporate butt-smooching, and just plain refusal to listen to the people. And next year, it seems, is going to be way too much like the last one, only more so. Maybe they ought to call this edition of the Weekly the Groundhog Awards instead of the Turkeys.

This year’s sweepstakes award, to Fort Worth schools superintendent Melody Johnson and her minions, should be cast in brass. What else do you call it when they send a guy out to accept complaints from the troops and then, when he discovers a laundry list of illegal and tawdry activities, fire him –– even though almost all of the charges that he brought forward proved to be true? The recent firing of that whistleblower, former Arlington Heights assistant principal Joe Palazzolo, is just part of the district’s campaign to cover up one of the most dishonorable and salacious scandals in the district’s history. What should be as embarrassing to district voters is the fact that Johnson got six board members to go along with the firing.

Take a good look at Fort Worth City Council members, city budgeters, City Manager Dale Fisseler, Mayor Mike Moncrief, and all of the other mostly middle-aged, middle-class, white bureaucrats who determine how the city spends its money. Now think back in time a few decades. Imagine them as children, ecstatic about enjoying a day at the local pool, paddling around with smiles on their little faces. It’s true — children’s favorite memories often involve swimming at a public pool on a hot summer day. (OK, Little Lord Moncrief probably had a heated pool in his bedroom.) And yet those same bureaucrats whose innocent pleasures were provided, way back when, by city taxes, are now ready, willing, and able to close down every swimming pool in town to save money. In honor of Thanksgiving, let’s fill one of those abandoned pools with boiling water, throw Moncrief, Fisseler, and all the other heartless budgeteers in it, add sliced carrots and celery, a dash of salt, and serve up some curmudgeon soup. Just be sure to wait 30 minutes after eating to go swimming –– if you can find a pool.

A floating turkey carcass goes out to Houston-based Enterprise Products Partners for laying a natural gas pipeline along one side of Mary Kelleher’s 12-acre property line on Randol Mill Road that raised the ground level several inches and turned Kelleher’s property into a lake when the remnants of Hurricane Hermine flooded the Trinity River in September. Kelleher, who has a petting zoo on the property, lost an alpaca, two rams, a lamb, and several other animals in the flooding.

The problem is that the 30-inch pipeline is not buried deeply enough, so that it blocks the path by which water formerly drained from Kelleher’s property, in the Trinity flood plain. Worse, Enterprise denies there is a problem, even though the ground elevation difference is visible to even a casual passerby.

Public Mutiny...oh wait he said, scrutiny

After the board approved the agreement, board member Hal Sparks said the water district must regularly update the board since the project will be so complex and costly.

"It's a big project, a lot of money, and it deserves a lot of scrutiny," Sparks said.

No, the Tarrant Regional Water District isn't referring to the Trinity River Vision.  Of course not.  The above is in reference to the East Texas pipeline.  Too bad the pet projects don't deserve the same sort of scrutiny.  Read about the pipeline in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

They're talking to you Bud

Seems we weren't the only ones who noticed Bud Kennedy's story concerning White Settlement was somewhat one sided.

The letter to the Editor in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram also makes an excellent point about flooding while telling Bud to get all the facts, or butt out.  Kudos to Ms. Anderson.  And don't worry, haven't you heard? The Trinity River Vision will fix all our flooding problems.  Just ask Bill Hanna.

Butt out, Bud

I am so disgusted with Bud Kennedy and what he wrote in his Friday column about White Settlement. (See: "White Settlement's upheaval, bickering are bad for business")

White Settlement pays county taxes the same as Fort Worth or any other Tarrant County town does, and we are entitled to the same services as those cities.

Until Kennedy meets with someone in our city (not just city officials) to get the details of our problems, he should butt out. He made it appear that we want Fort Worth to foot the expense for taking our problems to district court.

I remind Kennedy that White Settlement has been carrying the expense of Fort Worth's run-off water that floods us every time it rains. Maybe we should make our complaints heard about that expense caused by Fort Worth. I do not see him writing anything about that.

Until Kennedy knows what he's talking about, I suggest he stay out of this fight.

-- Jeannie Anderson,

White Settlement

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Streetcar Named Conspire

We were just forwarded this email written by Adrian Murray.  Write on, sir.

The exalted leaders of Fort Worth seemed determined to develop a streetcar line whether the city needs one or not. In fact, they are so determined to get a streetcar they're going to commit to one before they even decide where it should start, where it should end and what, exactly, they will even do with the darn thing. We just got to have it.

Was this on the horizon three or four years ago? Was anyone chomping at the bit to get an electric streetcar? Were Fort Worth citizens saying amomg themeselves over lunch, "What this city really needs is a streetcar?" Did we somehow miss the pickets outside City Hall from angry taxpayers wondering where their streetcar is? Why the sudden panting and moaning for a street car now?

Money. Lot's of it. $25 million in federal grant money, to be precise. With another $25 million in funding confiscated from the citizens of Fort Worth, that's $50 million for the old boy network downtown to divide amongst themselves. $50 million for site preparation, surveys, engineering costs, legal fees, construction. A $50 million jackpot for the legions of corrupt elites sucking the life out of the citizens of this city and a $50 million kick in the groin for those citizens struggling to get by in a city rank in corruption and greed.

Just the other day J.D. Granger, spawn of Kay and General Manager of that ill-conceived, poorly planned quasi-criminal construction project known as the Trinity River Vision, came out publicly stating that streetcars have been an essential part of the TRV plan from the very beginning. Conveniently for Granger, Star Telegram uber-stenographer Bill Hanna merely joted down J.D.'s claim without even a perfunctory follow-up like, maybe, "Hey , J.D., can you cite just one time JUST ONE TIME YOU LIVING BREATHING MOMUNMENT TO NEPOTISM that the subject of freaking STREETCARS ever came up?"

Of course, J.D. now has a bit of a sticky problem. Mama's been funding junior's pet project with earmark money stolen from the American people. But mama had to swear off earmarks when the Republican House leadership committed to ending the process. So Kay Bailey Hutchison had her back and swooped to the rescue by committing to earmarking money for the Trinity boondoggle in the Senate. Now that source is about to dry up as Mitch McConnell vows to end the practice entirely.

Gee, if only the TRV had a streetcar, we could maybe partake ourselves of that glorious $50 million in free money and steer it towards the toxic island being created north of downtown. Streetcars are important, we are told, because they increase density in development. Since people can take the streetcar wherever they want we won't need as many parking places, garages, etc., so that open up land for profitable development. Without streetcars, building can only be three stories tall. With streetcars, they can be over seven stories. All we need is a gullible reporter intellectually vacant enough to write this up in a story without questioning the obvious vacuousness of such a statement and we're off to the races. Someone get me Bill Hanna on the line!

And so on Thursday, just outside the downtown offices of the Trinity River Vision, folks will be invited to see our magnificent new streetcar. Never mind the $77 million budget shortfall. Never mind crumbling infrastructure. Never mind the closing of libraries and parks and pools. Never mind staff and pay cuts. There's $50 million in free money for the folks in River Oaks to divvy among themselves. J.D. has a brand new toy and a new lease on life. Can life get any better than this?

To keep up with all the streetcar mania going on across the country, just google "federal streetcar grants".

Trinity River Vision Insanity spills into the streets

The Modern Streetcar Comes to Fort Worth!

Yesterday U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood informed us that the President has called a special meeting in DC tomorrow that requires his attendance. Secretary LaHood was very apologetic and clearly communicated that he wants to reschedule a Fort Worth tour. But unfortunately, he cannot make it this week. However, in partnership with the Trinity River Vision Authority, we are excited to be unveiling a special surprise for the community - A real modern streetcar!


At least some council members realize the issue with yet another additional addition to the Trinity River Vision...from the Star-Telegram.com
 
At issue is whether the city should accept a $25 million grant, and add another $58 million to $63 million in local property tax funds, to build an electrified streetcar rail system from downtown to the Trinity River Vision project on the North Side, and to the medical district on the Near South Side.

Several council members say the city can’t afford to spend public dollars on a project that is aimed more at sparking urban development than relieving traffic, especially at a time when the city is slashing city services and laying off workers to make ends meet.

Breaking News from Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh has banned gas drilling.

Read about it on the post-gazette.com

Pittsburgh City Council voted unanimously today to ban natural gas production in the city, becoming the second municipality to impose a ban in as many days.

More Sewage in Fort Worth

And we're not just talking about City Hall.

The Mary's Creek Sewage Plant battle continues to rage on.  Don't miss the Fort Worth Star-Telegram article.  It brings up many good points that residents all over Fort Worth have been bringing up for years.  WHEN will someone listen?  WHEN the floods come?  Or when the Trinity River has more sewage in it than it does now?  Read along with us. 

"We do feel like it needs to be in an area that has the natural capability to handle flooding and erosion and not be in the middle of the neighborhood."

Common sense...

The city will now conduct a study, to include an environmental impact evaluation, which will cost a little more than $500,000.

Another half a million dollar study...will it ever be completed?  Will it be correct?  WHO is doing the study?  Will the cost escalate?

City officials and residents agree that flooding seems to be a problem along the creek already. Dumping recycled water from the sewage plant into the creek will only exacerbate the probability of high water, neighbors say.

When you already have a problem, and you do nothing, it gets worse.  What happens when you contribute to the problem that already exists?

Judy Williams, the chairwoman of the coalition, whose property is on the creek, said erosion from flooding over the years has already taken a toll.

She said she has lost four trees along the banks over the past seven years. That land loss, she said, makes her property and her neighbors' all the more vulnerable to flooding.

Common sense.

The city is in the midst of a storm-water study of the area that will run concurrently with the environmental impact study of the site. Reed believes that the studies will show that Mary's Creek cannot handle additional flow.

Village Creek, built in the 1950s, is the city's only wastewater treatment plant. Far north Fort Worth is served by the Trinity River Authority's Denton Creek plant.

Fort Worth's ONLY wastewater treatment plan was built in the 1950's.  That was worth repeating.  The Trinity River Vision "Authority" has time to run wastewater treatment plants?  The only thing we hear from them is TRINITY RIVER VISION...oh, and don't forget the streetcars they need.

Gugliuzza also played down concerns that bacteria or other pathogens would seep into the water. The water department's obligation -- whether it be drinking water or wastewater -- is promoting public health, she said.

Too bad the Water Department doesn't know what their obligation is.

"Discharges are highly regulated," Gugliuzza said, referring to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's oversight of standards set by the EPA. "The water we're putting into the Trinity River is better than the water that's already there."

The water being put in the Trinity River by a sewage plant is better than the water already there?  Did someone tell the Trinity River Authority?  Remember, they want you to float with them in the Trinity.  They say it's safe.  And all the "news" stations in town fell in line promoting the event, instead of asking questions about the safety.  Ask them WHY?

Monday, November 15, 2010

More PCB's in Lake Worth

Read about it in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

How safe is it, really?

Updates

Thanks to the concern of many citizens, Mimi, the Veteran's dog is being saved!  Excellent work Texas Star's!

"I just spoke with Randy Turner's paralegal assistant in Fort Worth and ALL THE MONEY needed HAS been raised and THEN some. Randy's representation was done on a Pro Bono basis with no ac...t...ual expenses incurred. Additionally, Mimi is going to be released after she is spayed AND a veterinarian has agreed to provide free medical service for life for Mimi. Steven Woods is going to be able to keep the dog and arrangements are being made for her release! THANKS to everyone who took an interest in this case! NOW, for those of you who SERIOUSLY considered donating to this effort, take that money and find ANOTHER worthwhile effort to help those of us less fortunate! God bless you all"

And for an update on the Fort Worth Monument mistake, check out the FW Weekly.

Of course they do

The Trinity River Vision says they need streetcars.

What they need is a dose of reality.

Read about it in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  As usual, Bill Hanna tells the story.

"It was always the intention to have a smart, permanent transportation system," said J.D. Granger, executive director of the Trinity River Vision Authority. "It was a recognized need that was a design concept for that area. If we have streetcars, development will start earlier; it will be built faster and will be denser."


The City Council will be briefed Tuesday about the plan, the 3-mile starter line of which would cost $83 million to $88 million, according to a draft of the business plan, released Friday. Council members could vote on the streetcar plan no earlier than Dec. 7.

Both the Southside Tax Reinvestment Zone and Tax Increment Financing District 9 (Trinity River Vision) passed resolutions last month expressing support for a streetcar system. A TIF uses tax revenue from development in its boundaries to pay for infrastructure and other improvements.

While some question whether streetcars would be the best use of the city's limited transportation dollars, the city's streetcar consultant, Portland, Ore.-based Charles Hales of HDR, told the City Council on Oct. 5 that a streetcar system "isn't a project of transportation necessity. It will not alleviate congestion or suburban growth. It will capture the housing demand that is there."

Gary Havener, a board member of the Fort Worth Transportation Authority, or the T, said a fixed streetcar system doesn't make financial sense.

But before Fort Worth makes a long-term commitment, Havener said, city officials should get more input from citizens.

"Ultimately it's a public thing. The people should decide whether they want it or not -- but they need to have more information," Havener said.

Sound familiar?

Local Veteran Needs your help!

And WHO is spreading the word for him?  A local attorney. Doing this work pro bono.  There are still good people out there, we are hoping YOU are one of them.

PLEASE help this man WHO helped protect YOUR freedom.

Dear Friends,
I posted the email below on the Animal Law Section list serve. I would like for as many people as possible to know about this. I would appreciate it if you could post this to any list serves you belong to. I have a request for assistance at the end of the email. Thanks.


I just tried a dangerous dog case for two days in Ft. Worth Municipal Court and lost. My client is a young Iraq war veteran who was permanently disabled by a roadside bomb. (He walks with a cane, has little control of his bowels, is incontinent, wears a catheter, and suffers from PTSD). His psychiatrist recommended that he get a dog as therapy, which he did. The dog is his baby—or “my little girl” as he calls her. She lives totally indoors, sleeps with him on his bed, is registered, current on all vaccinations, etc. She allegedly bit a neighbor on the finger. (We vigorously disputed that it was his dog who bit the person, hence the two-day trial with 10 witnesses).

On cross-examination when my client was shown photos of his dog that had been recently taken at the animal shelter he just stared at them and tears began streaming down his face. He was devastated to see that his once healthy dog has probably lost 20 lbs during 3weeks in captivity and appears to be starving. He looked at me from the stand and sobbed, “Mr. Turner, why did they do this to Mimi”? He was so choked up he could hardly answer any more questions. The judge declared Mimi a dangerous dog and ordered that she be euthanized unless my client complies with all of the dangerous dog requirements within 15 days. This was effectively a death sentence. My pitiful client lives on $779/mo. disability checks in a home for disabled vets and there is no way he can ever pay the $500 registration fee, $500 boarding fees (as of today), purchase $100,000 of liability insurance, put up an enclosure with 6 ft. fences, pay for spay, etc. Therefore, his beloved Mimi will be killed in two weeks.

I can’t appeal this ruling because of Loban v. City of Grapevine which held that, although the law provides for an appeal, there is no court in Tarrant County that has jurisdiction to hear the appeal. When the judgment was pronounced at 6:30 p.m. last night my plan was to file suit on Monday against Fort Worth and get a TRO to stay the execution by challenging the ordinance and state statute on the ground that they violate the equal protection clause because of Loban (citizens in some counties may appeal while citizens in others may not). However, I have been researching the law since 5:30 this morning and found several Texas and U.S. Supreme Court cases which have held that disparate treatment under the law based on geography does not violate equal protection. Territorial uniformity is not required.

As a side note, the trial was on Veteran’s Day and my client proudly wore his uniform as he has on every Veteran’s Day since he was discharged because, as he says, “I am proud that I fought for my country.” I am trying to figure out a way for someone to buy Mimi and comply with the dangerous dog requirements. (I have the maximum number of dogs allowed under the FW ordinance or I would do it). If we can do this Steven has an uncle in Arkansas who will take her from the new owner.

Randy Turner
1800 N. Norwood Dr., Suite 100
Hurst, Texas 76109
817-282-3868
 http://www.randyturner.com/

Go here to help.  And here to see the story on 33news.

UPDATE:  Thanks to all WHO saved Mimi!  Read the update here.

Buy local

Someone should tell the North Central Texas Council of Governments that.

WHO are they?  That's a good question.  Refresh your memory here.

Read about their latest in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  This brings up the question, when the Federal well runs dry on the Trinity River Vision, WHERE do you think they will get the money?  And just WHO will be employed?  What will WE pay to employ them?

Special arrangements are being made to keep a handful of foreign-born employees working on the complicated computer models used to determine whether the region qualifies for federal highway and commuter rail funding as well as to ensure that regional toll revenue is dispersed to local governments fairly.


But a recent Texas Department of Transportation audit concluded that the council of governments should not be using federal transportation funds to pay fees and legal expenses for a handful of employees related to their immigration work status. The employees are from China, India and other countries, transportation director Michael Morris said.

The council of governments disagrees with the audit findings and intends to appeal, he said.

But to ensure that planning efforts for these transportation projects continue uninterrupted, the Regional Transportation Council agreed last week to set aside local funds, in lieu of the federal funds, to cover the expenses.

Friday, November 12, 2010

YOU are invited!

There will be a public hearing for the Energy Resources Committee. Speculation is this is the beginning of an attempt to take authority away from municipalities to determine how gas drilling is done in their towns.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING

COMMITTEE: Energy Resources

TIME & DATE:

9:00 AM, Thursday, November 18, 2010

PLACE:

Fort Worth, TX City Hall - 1000 Throckmorton St.

CHAIR: Rep. Jim Keffer

The Energy Resources Committee will meet to discuss interim charge #1:

Survey current local ordinances governing surface use of property in oil

and gas development. Recommend changes, if any, to the authority of the

Railroad Commission to regulate the operation of oil and gas industries in

urban areas of the state, particularly the Barnett Shale.

The Committee will hear both invited and public testimony.

For questions regarding the hearing, please contact Bernice

Espinosa-Torres or Ky Ash at (512)463-0656.

Frickin' Frackin'


MSNBC.com has a great article (and picture!) on the Fracking problems with OUR water.  While it mostly pertains to our Northern friends, remember what happens when nothing is ever done...it just gets worse.

To supporters, it's a 21st century economic boom that will benefit millions across the Northeast. To critics, it could be this century's biggest national eco-disaster, tainting water supplies for tens of millions.

Congress exempted fracking from federal clean water regulations in 2005.

Bud Kennedy weighs in

On the White Settlement faction feud in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

While Lone Star only has information from the local paper, we wouldn't take a side based off THAT.  Seems Bud has.  He quotes things the councilman in question has recently told the paper, but failed to mention the Mayor's latest paper quote...

"Burns said that until the residency trial is held he doesn't want to have a council meeting with Giddens, Powell and Warner".

Burns is THE Mayor of White Settlement.  It's not about what HE wants.  It should be about what is best for THE PEOPLE of White Settlement. Maybe someone should remind him of that.

This land is OUR land...

Read the Arlington Letter to the Editor in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  Then ASK the Arlington City Council, WTH?

Protecting nature

The Arlington Parks and Recreation Board approved a list of recommendations Aug. 9 regarding a proposed gas well next to the Southwest Nature Preserve.

The board was concerned because the pad site violates the Arlington gas well ordinance's setback for parks.

One of the board's recommendations was to "require identification of impacts on native wildlife," but the plea didn't make the letter that city staff then sent to the City Council.

When asked at the Nov. 2 council meeting why this request was sidestepped, the council did not have an answer but still approved the well.

Who's looking out for this glorious expanse of unmarred land?

The parks board is trying to. It is disturbing to see the board's efforts ignored by our elected officials.

At some point, we have to say no more habitat destruction, no more diminishing quality of life, no more waiver of ordinances designed to protect us -- all for one more gas well.

-- John Dycus, Arlington

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Well Hell...

We missed it.

This in from the Fort Worth Watchdog.  Don't miss Sunday.

CSI tonight at 8 pm CST on CBS: 

CSI 
Tonight  (Thur, November 11th at 9 PM on CBS) The episode is  "Fracked"

The story line is that two men are murdered right before exposing a natural gas company for poisoning residents in a farming town, and the CSI's must discover who is responsible for their deaths on the next episode of CSI.

To watch a two-minute preview here: http://www.tv.com/video/10498342/csi--fracked
For those with satellite dishes that have both east and west coast broadcasts, you can also see this at midnight. If that's past you bedtime, set the VCR or DVR.
If you miss this episode, go to the CSI website for details on when there will be re-runs or posts of the episode online: http://www.cbs.com/primetime/csi/

 Also... :

60 MINUTES
This Sunday November 14th at 7:00pm on CBS

Lesley Stahl interviewed Christine and Tim Ruggiero in Texas concerning gas drilling on their land. Tim was one of the presenters in Midway, PA earlier this year, along with DISH, Texas's former mayor, Calvin Tillman. The Ruggiero's 10 acres has been ruined by drilling operations, and  their property value dropped 70-percent. Here are links to a couple of You Tube videos of the Ruggerio's situation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpHZDmS60yo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYDNusPmExc

Flooding Victims

TWO MONTHS AFTER the flood, that destroyed your home and everything you own, you can now get a loan! 

Read all about it in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

The Sept. 8 storm hit west Arlington particularly hard. At least 129 homes and 68 units at the Willows at Shady Valley condominiums were inundated.


"A lot of people are going to have to borrow money to make ends meet, particularly since a lot of money they have spent has gone into temporary housing," said Barry, a spokesman for the dozens of flood victims on Southpark, Woodland Park Boulevard, Woodridge, Valleycrest and Creekside drives.

"They have had to pay for hotels, motels. Certainly they are going to need money."

In Sansom Park, City Hall was condemned because most of the building was flooded with about 8 inches of water, affecting all but two offices. The heavy rain brought by Hermine overwhelmed the drainage system.

Another small town...

Another recall brewing.

White Settlement residents are fed up over the feuding factions that keep the city from doing city business.

We are glad to see THE PEOPLE standing up to the "leaders" and their egos.  After all, WHO does a city belong to?

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

We've said it once...

but Mark Twain says it best...

Whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting over.”

Pay attention people...YOUR future depends on it.

Read about YOUR Water in the FW Weekly.  Kudos to them for bringing OUR water up again.  Too bad other "news" sources aren't concerned.

SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY!

Do not miss 60 Minutes.

Tell your friends.  Tell your neighbors.  Tell your City Council.

Straight from the Shale, it's the Ruggiero's.  And of course, Aruba Petroleum.

Kudos to Colleyville

Bullying doesn't seem to work there either.  Read about the stand the City Council is taking, regardless of the threats here.

We salute you!

To all our Veterans, thank YOU for our freedom!

YOU make the difference.
Bless you all.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Another gas drilling study...

Another failure.

We received the following email from a Fort Worth resident. 

Well...if you can't trust a corrupt city council...who can you trust?

Citizens and City Council of Fort Worth, Texas


Air quality testing - Pre-Council Item 11/9/10

68% of the Sites tested have fugitive emissions. This is an unacceptable crisis in Fort Worth. The citizens have been mis-led by our city government, the state government and the gas drilling industry every step of the way.

On Thursday, November 4, 2010 there was a meeting held between the City of Fort Worth and their Air Quality Committee. The Air Quality Committee was formed to select a company to test the air quality in Fort Worth, Texas, as a result of the proliferation of gas drilling operations in the City and numerous complaints by citizens.

The purpose of this meeting was to inform the Air Quality Committee that the company they helped select to study the Air Quality in Fort Worth had only partially completed the air study. The City learned a short time ago, that ERG, the company that was hired to test air emissions, was going to complete testing and study of only 50% of the natural gas operations in Fort Worth and not the 75% that was agreed on, and for which a contract had been signed in the amount of $650,000.

The City Staff has known about this for several weeks, but only recently has the information been available to the public and the Air Quality Committee.

The City Staff recommendation is to accept this breech of contract, as in their opinion; it would provide enough information to make decisions. However, their opinion is not based on any facts or experience.

There was no other opinions or facts from outside experts sought or previous history to support that decision.

The previous City Environmental director, who now works for Chesapeake Energy, had told the Air Quality Committee the contract was a good contract and all of the testing would be done for the contract price. The company, ERG had also told the Air Quality Committee they could actually do 100% of the sites for the contract amount. The City Staff negotiated and settled for the 75% testing.

The Company, now claims there has been much more work needed to properly monitor and test the gas drilling operations. There bid was apparently based on information of previous tests from TCEQ, and probably the gas drilling companies along with information provided by the City that indicated emissions would be expected to be found at about 25 to 30% of the sites. After their testing began, much to their surprise, the emissions from natural gas operations turned out to be almost 70% and not 25 or 30 percent.

The City Staff recommendation is still to end the contract at 50% of the sites being tested and pay the $650,000 for the information. In my opinion this is a foolish option.

Think of it as penny wise, and pound-foolish.

The Company has stated that for less than an additional $110,000 they would complete the assignment and provide the results of the original 75% of the gas drilling operations.

The original contract negotiations were made without the input of the Air Quality Committee and were much different than what they understood. I wasn't there and I don't know what happened, but a thorough accurate study needs to be completed and not just a make do, or that’s good enough.

Assuming the 75% study will actually provide good information, it seems obvious that to pay the additional $110,000 for a test that results in 25% more of the sites being tested is a bargain.

One way, the $650,000 is spent and only 50% of the random sites are tested and not the 75%. That is a loss of 1 out every 3 sites being tested.

The alternative proposal is to pay an additional $110,000 and get 75% of the sites tested as was agreed on. That equates to an additional cost of about 12% over the current $650,00, but what you receive is 50% more well sites being tested. That would be 50% + 25% more, equals 75%. That is a lot of information.

There should be some negotiation that takes place about the amount perhaps. This can be a big bragging-rights for ERG in their future or it can be a bad mark.

The City owes its voters an explanation as to why the Air Quality Committee and citizens were shut out of the negotiation information and process. The City obviously did a bad job of communicating. As a matter of fact, the citizens have been mostly shut out of the entire process.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

He's back!

Read all about it in the Fort Worth Business Press!

Seeing Red in Texas

Think Texas is a red state?  Check this out on TXSharon.

How much was YOUR royalty check?  Save it, you'll need it to move somewhere they have clean air and water. 

Cleburne Shakes again

At 10:07 last night calls started rolling in about the Cleburne earthquake.

Read about it here.  Lots of shaking going on in Texas it seems.  WHY?

The study said there was a plausible connection between the series of earthquakes and a disposal process that's done after natural gas drilling. The study, however, didn’t include information about the seven quakes in Cleburne.

Friday, November 5, 2010

More - Revolving Door

Read about the Railroad Commissioner election in the Fort Worth Business Press.

Then read below for what THE PEOPLE have to say.

The smooth pivot from regulators and public servants to immediate positions with an active player in the drilling and piping companies is a trend, bordering on a well-conceived system, that at least has a couple of positives for the people and taxpayers: (1) no more confusion about whose best interests these public officials really work for , and (2) tax dollars are no longer used to pay their salaries while they work for interests other than the people's, and often detrimental to the people's health, safety, environment, property, and legal rights..


However, the actions of a former FW mayor, by a director of FW's Environment Dept., by this former outspoken commissioner of the TRRC, (and by several laid off Star-Telegram writers), just to name a few, show that these folks hold high ethical values and do not want to be perceived as having conflicts of interest. Nevermind that their expressions of ethical integrity occur only after the taxpayers are no longer obligated to pay their salaries.

It is also very commendable for the gas drilling and gas pipeline companies for helping to fight unemployment and for helping to preserve these folks' self-esteem and the immense knowledge gained from serving as regulators or as people who possessed the public trust.

What Tony Soprano often said is true: You help me out, and I'll take good care of you. It's nice to take care of one/s of your own.

North Central Texas Communities Alliance: Urgent Meeting

NOVEMBER 2010

Greetings Friends,

NCTCA has been a Partnering organization with Sierra Clubs throughout the State, and with all of the other advocate and environmental organizations represented in ACT statewide.  This hearing is an excellent opportunity for you to get the most current information on the upcoming Sunset Review Hearings and learn how the process works.  The two agencies that most directly impact and regulate the gas drilling and pipeline industry in Texas - the Texas Railroad Commission (RRC) and the TX Commission on Environmental  Quality (TCEQ) are going to be reevaluated for their performance, and how they are (or are not) serving the citizens of Texas!

At this Town Hall, you will be given 3 minutes for oral comments, and will also be able to submit your written statements. Also, there will be handouts with important facts that you should know about these agencies, and suggested changes and improvements.

Also, NCTCA is going to have SIGN-UP SHEETS at the Town Hall for persons who are interested in the possibility of riding a chartered bus to Austin for the Public Testimony Hearings for RRC & TCEQ that will take place on either Dec. 15th or 16th (date has not yet been finalized by Sunset Review Committee).

PLAN ON JOINING NCTCA this coming Thursday, Nov. 11th at 6:30 pm for our FIRST BIRTHDAY Celebration!

See our EBLAST this weekend!

Hats off...

To Hunter Wilder.

Don't know WHO he is?  We didn't either until the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Watchdog told us.

Kudos Mr. Wilder, we need more like you!

You're Hunter Wilder, a fellow from Azle, who showed how standing up for yourself is never a lost cause. You're no lawyer, for sure, but if you're half as good a financial planner as you are at building dioramas and defending yourself, you're all right.

Joel Burns busy speaking out

Last month Joel Burns spoke out on bullying, this week he tells that Fort Worth is running out of room for wells.   Read the comments from THE PEOPLE in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, they have some ideas for where a well or two could go.  Also, read about the latest fiasco with the Fort Worth gas drilling study.

He cited a litany of residents' concerns, including air pollution from wells and compressor stations, heavy truck traffic and resulting damage to roads, noise and dust from drilling and hydraulic fracturing operations, and the potential for explosions and water pollution.


In some areas, there are five to 17 or more wells per square mile, Burns said.

Most attendees at the conference at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center are from outside Texas, and many are from countries with little or no shale-gas drilling. Burns' audience appeared highly interested to learn that there was such robust drilling activity in the 17th largest city in the U.S., with more than 700,000 people.

In hindsight, Burns said, city officials could have done more to keep residents informed during the early stages of Barnett drilling.