Friday, December 31, 2010

EPA and Texas Politicians

Read about the BS in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  
We know folks that don't want the EPA involved, however they still want air and water.  Someone has to step up to the plate.  We don't care WHO, as long as they can help.

Both sides and conservation groups agree the battle has put the health of Texas residents and the environment at risk.

"Emissions are too high, the emissions are too toxic and Texas water is being harmed," said EPA regional director, Al Armendariz.

The EPA is "putting politics ahead of the environmental issues," said Bryan Shaw, chairman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

All are taking steps in the meantime to comply. Except Texas.

And someone please explain to us why the EPA's focus should be job creation?  That's like calling an economic development project flood control...

"The administration's focus should be job creation and economic recovery, not unnecessary and burdensome regulations that will threaten jobs and create a drag on business efforts to invest, expand and put people back to work," Howard Felman, API's director of regulatory and scientific affairs, said in a statement.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

WHO's watching Fort Worth?

The presents just keep rolling in.

This piece from Fort Worth Watchdog, Don Young is inspiring.  And funny.  Hats off to DY and all the Shale Heroes big and small.  We salute you, each and every one.

We can't wait to add some of our favorites to the list.  Send us yours.  Then, send them all to everyone you know in Fort Worth, and beyond. 

It's going to be a great New Year!

When you get the billboard sign near the bottom, hold your right hand over the right side of the image.
Tell us what YOU see.

Calling Fort Worth

A Christmas present from Durango.

Trinity Trails Unsafe

Read about it on TXSharon.

What trees?

Read about the Kimball Museum trees (past tense) in the FW Weekly.

“I don’t think [the Kimbell] will be able to replace those trees in a way that replicates the originals,” Birnbaum said. “It will take out the character of a defining feature. I think it was a mistake to build this expansion on the lawn in the first place, but it is very surprising for me to learn that they have taken all of them out, especially when they originally stated they were going to preserve those trees.”

Dirty Rotten Scoundrel

And this time we aren't talking about a politician.  We are talking about the local "veteran" that needed help to save his dog, Mimi.  Turns out he isn't a veteran at all.  The group that helped raise money, will give it back.

We think Mimi's owner should be put in a room with real veterans.  Or maybe the pound.

Monday, December 27, 2010

City Business

Forest Hill, just keeps getting deeper.  Now the Mayor is suing.  Read about it in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Ride off in to the Sunset

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

Sunset RR Commission

At last, someone finally woke up to the fact that our state has been paying the Railroad Commission to work for the oil and gas industry.

I would like a job like that: lots of power, lots of money and not a lot of work.

This commission is outdated. Texas is looking for a way to save money. We've found a good one.

Let them find real jobs.

-- Bonnie J. Ghio, Fort Worth

Friday, December 24, 2010

"Someone is going to drown"

Have you ever not been able to be in your home for the holidays?  Our thoughts are with the Arlington flood victims during this holiday season. 

Read about their struggle in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  This is happening in many areas, remember what happens when nothing is ever done, it just gets worse.

More than 200 homes and condominium units citywide were damaged during the Sept. 8 storm. More than half the affected properties were along Rush Creek, where flooding has worsened over the years because of development upstream.

Fort Worth Councilman won't seek reelection

Carter Burdette feels three terms is enough.  Too bad other politicians don't feel that way.  Luckily the people do.

Read about it in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Burdette has become an outspoken critic of the council's approach to fixing the system.

Texas Senators all about giving...

A letter to the Editor in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram makes some interesting points about our Texas Senators.  Let us not forget when Kay Granger said she'd not ask for earmarks, our senators hands shot up in her place for the Trinity River Vision.  WHAT do you think is more important?

Shameful vote

On Sept. 11, 2003, on the floor of the Senate, Sen. John Cornyn said, "I know that many of my friends and colleagues who were here on that horrific day feel a very deep and personal debt to the heroes of Sept. 11."

And yet he voted against the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which calls for providing $3.2 billion over the next eight years to monitor and treat injuries stemming from exposure to toxic dust and debris at ground zero. In other words, he voted against helping the heroes of Sept. 11.

On Sept. 11, 2002, also on the floor of the Senate, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison said, "We marveled at heroism and bravery of the first responders."

And yet she too voted against helping the heroes of Sept. 11.

This is incredibly shameful. But they don't care; they would rather give tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans than help the heroes of 9-11.

-- Richard LaChance, Fort Worth

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Another day, another eminent domain case.

The Trinity River Vision and the Tarrant Regional Water District are taking more land by eminent domain.  Read about it in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

WHO gave the Tarrant Regional Water District authority to eminent domain YOUR land?  You newbies, stay tuned, we'll fill you in soon.

The property is owned by the estate of J.L. Daniel. The estate's Fort Worth attorney, Jim Bradbury, said Tuesday that his client is frustrated by the water district's low-ball tactics.

Bradbury, who wouldn't reveal the amount his client is seeking, said the estate wants a price comparable to what the water district has paid for adjacent parcels.

It's the fifth time that the water district has voted to use eminent domain powers for Trinity River Vision, the $909 million flood control and economic development project that will stretch from the near-north side to Gateway Park.

Once the water district files a case, a county court at law judge appoints three special commissioners to hear the matter. In two previous eminent domain cases, the water district settled with the property owners after hearings in which the commissioners determined the property's market value.

This month, a hearing was held for a third eminent domain case, in which 2.6 acres in the 800 block of North Henderson Street is being condemned for the Henderson Street bridge. The property is the site of Allied Fence of Fort Worth, owned by the Arvin William Turner Jr. Testamentary Trust.

In that hearing, the commissioners put the fair market value of the property at $1.4 million. The Turner trust has until Monday to appeal that finding to a county court at law for trial.

Houston, we have a problem

With OUR Water.

Read about it on TXSharon.  Think it couldn't happen here?  It is.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

And the difference is...

Watching the Fort Worth City Council video from 12/7/2010, we started playing a game.  Start watching the video at 1:49:00.  Listen to the citizens speak and then the Mayor and council.  Insert the words Trinity River Vision for each time the word streetcar is used.  Then, tell us the difference.

Norman Oklahoma leads the way

In dirty water.

Read about it at the Huffington Post

WHO's looking out for YOUR water?

More Conflict of Interest in Fort Worth

We aren't surprised.  Though we are surprised it's being reported.

Read about it in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Fort Worth Visionary Needed

See Durango to apply.

Top qualification, be ready to spend your own money on boondoggle's...not OURS.

Friday, December 17, 2010

WHO's looking out for YOUR water?

Flower Mound.  They are protecting Lake Grapevine.

Read about it in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Take note of WHO isn't.

A town panel has denied a request to drill for natural gas near Lake Grapevine's north shore because of concerns about potential contamination to a source of drinking water for area cities.

Concerns include the chemicals that drilling fluids contain that energy companies have resisted publicly disclosing

Keystone officials said many of the concerns are unsubstantiated. No contamination has occurred at drilling sites near several area lakes, including the Tarrant Regional Water District reservoirs Eagle Mountain Lake, Lake Bridgeport and Lake Arlington, they said.

"There have been too many incidents nationwide for us to take this lightly," Hunt told the Flower Mound panel. "The risk is too great to our water supply."

However, the Army Corps of Engineers, which owns the lake and several surrounding properties, said in a July 2 letter to Flower Mound environmental officials that drilling on the site would pose little or no risk.

Well said

Great letter in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram today.  We agree.

Fort Worth face-off

Mitchell Schnurman's Wednesday column describes some streetcar advocates as acting like big babies -- since I didn't get my way, I'm going to move out of town. (See: "Streetcar lines now looking like fault lines")

Perhaps that is best because folks like that will not help the city grow. Many of the people I know were against streetcars right now because of finances. The city cannot afford to incur more debt without the ability to pay unless taxes are raised. Continual growth will come with a strong financial base, and that is what Fort Worth has to have.

It is most discouraging that Schnurman's column reads like an attempt to pit one part of the city against another.

-- Carol Graves, Fort Worth

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Texas Railroad Commission Railroading

The Railroad Commission wrote a letter to the paper?  To try and spin their image?  Is it any coincidence this was done during the week of their Sunset Review in Austin? Or the same week two more federal lawsuits were announced concerning water contamination due to gas drilling in the Barnett Shale?

Many of our fellow neighbors and friends made the trip to Austin yesterday to testify about the Railroad Commission.  Many that did the reviewing were not pleased with the agency and its performance, or lack thereof.

The letter says "Our investigation will not be distracted by press releases or politics".  What about campaign contributions and cash gifts?  That question was raised yesterday.  Do YOU want an answer?  Demand it.

Remember Palo Pinto

By Don Young...

The explosion at Palo Pinto gave the City of Fort Worth and environs a suitable warning. It went unheeded. Locally elected officials, following the lead of gas & oil man, Mayor Mike Moncrief, chose to ignore the warning. Five years later, they are STILL ignoring it. We STILL have an inadequate drilling ordinance. We STILL don't have an proper environmental study. But we DO have the same elected officials

And they are STILL accountable. Remember their names.

Read all about it on FWCANDO.

Gas drilling chemicals teen

Gas drilling chemicals found in the blood  of a teenager in Flower Mound.  Read about it (and the comments) on TXSharon

TXSharon asks a good question...WHAT'S it going to take?  ASK the media.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Southlake does it right

Gas well inspector needed.  More info here.

Got Water?

Great letter to the Editor in Fort Worth Star-Telegram today.  YOU can't afford to miss it.

What's in the water?

Anyone attending the EPA hearings wouldn't be surprised to read that Range Resources has denied contaminating wells. (See: "Range Resources denies EPA allegation that it contaminated water wells," Thursday) We heard gas company representatives spend more than three hours denying exactly the same thing: "There's no credible evidence that gas fracturing causes groundwater contamination."

Of course there's no evidence because the gas industry refuses to identify the three tanker trucks full of chemicals along with the 3 million gallons of fresh water that are injected into every well. They contend there's no correlation between their drilling activities and well water turning brackish and flammable overnight, wildlife deaths, gas explosions or reports of increased childhood leukemia cases.

I wonder what'll happen when the gas companies have finished drilling their 14,000 leases, left our water undrinkable and our air unbreatheable. I guess they'll just pack up their money and move on to the Marcellus Shale, leaving North Texas one big "fracking" mess.

-- Sharon Austry, Fort Worth

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Whole lotta shaking...

Arkansas has had nearly 500 earthquakes in less than 2 months.  Don't worry, the industry says it has nothing to do with drilling.  Question is, what about those salt water disposal wells all around Guy, Arkansas?

Read about it on

Monday, December 13, 2010

Thank YOU!

To PFC Austin Staggs for making the ultimate sacrafice for our freedom.  And for those who rode and stood guard over his family and service Saturday.

Texas Lonestar salutes you all.

Austin Bound

This Wednesday, December 15th will be the Sunset Review on TXDot and the Texas Railroad Commission.

Load up.  It's time to get on the road.

Be in Austin.  Tell them what you think!

Gas pipeline leak in Fort Worth

Read about it in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

A "vapor cloud" called attention to the leak.  We have a question, what is the "cloud" that blows from east to west every night in front of the Fort Worth skyline?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

What do Fort Worth and Seattle have in common?

No, not expensive, fancy streetcars.

Flooding issues.

Yahoo News is reporting record rainfall and mudslides.

Still, the National Weather Service says flooding was reported on more than 20 Washington rivers at times on Sunday.

WHO thinks it's a good idea to take the levees down?

Cowtown Christmas

From Don Young.  Cheers....

Have Yourself a Merry....

Judy Garland first sang this classic Christmas tune in the 1944 MGM musical, Meet Me in St. Louis. The original lyrics are especially bittersweet for a holiday song, ("... we'll just have to muddle through somehow... ") But the song warms the heart, nonetheless.

It is in that spirit that I have re-imagined the lyrics to reflect the feelings many of us share. I don't think Judy had gas wells in her backyard in 1944 but if she had, the lyrics might have been something like the ones below. Happy caroling to all you denizens of the shale!

(Sing, slowly, to the tune of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. I like the James Taylor version that was released right after the September 11, 2001 tragedy.)

Have yourself a merry little Christmas
It could be your last
From now on your water well will be a blast.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas
There's benzene in the breeze
Hold your breath or be prepared to wheeze.

Here we are in a toxic haze
Not the clear blue days of yore
Landscapes that were dear to us
Now appear to us no more.

Through the years we all can make a difference
Don't give in to fright
Our best hope is doing what we know is right
So after Christmas get your ass in gear and fight.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Mayor Suspended

More local politics as usual.  Read about it in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

The Forest Hill Mayor was suspended for four months, a council member resigned, and the remaining council voted to fire the City Secretary.  That vote didn't fly as now there weren't enough council members.

Think it's only in Forest Hill?  Then maybe you should attend YOUR local council meeting.

Before the vote, Councilman Andrew Sanders resigned. "I cannot stand the bickering and infighting," he said.

During the meeting, he said the accusations were politically motivated. Thomas and Joubert want to run for mayor, he said.

"This is just a tragedy," he said. "This is a terrible situation for the city."

After Sanders left and the vote on Gosey, the remaining council members went into closed session to discuss a motion to fire Edwards. When they returned to public session, they voted 3-2 to fire her.

However, Masimini, the mayor pro tem, said the motion could not pass unless four members voted for it. Then he adjourned the meeting.

Good vs. Bad

In a Letter to the Editor in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram today, a writer states the following...

I'm for streetcars, but finally someone had the courage to state financial stability and responsibility. Mayor Mike Moncrief said, "Try as I might, I cannot in good conscience support a project when I am uncertain of the future cost to our taxpayers."

So, is it in bad conscience that he supports the Trinity River Vision?  ASK.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Where does YOUR water come from?

If you live around here, the Trinity Aquifer.  What happens if that gets contaminated? 

You can bet the first thing that will happen is "someone" will deny any involvement.

Read the latest on the Parker County water contamination EPA dealings in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

How much was YOUR royalty check this month?

In the next two months, the order says, Range must identify any "gas flow pathways to the Trinity Aquifer," eliminate those flows if possible and conduct remediation if the aquifer has been harmed.

Downtown Fort Worth Inc. Speaks out

Read their Letter to the Editor in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  While we don't always agree with them, we enjoyed their letter to Mitch.

Being responsible

Downtown Fort Worth Inc. was characterized in Mitch Schnurmann's Sunday column as throwing "roadblocks" in front of the streetcar initiative. (See: "City should trust its vision on streetcars.")

If the definition of "roadblock" is asking questions, bothering to actually look at the numbers behind the conclusions, pointing out shortcomings and sharing with advocates and policymakers that not everyone is ready to jump on board and roll down the tracks just yet, then that characterization was correct. DFWI representatives and members shared concerns with advocates clearly and openly. We supported moving to study phase three.

But we also were representing downtown property owners who had the streetcar plan in hand for all of two weeks and only last week received the recently minted update. The facts were still wet on the printed page.

If asking questions and speaking out are defined as raising roadblocks, then we need another definition for the word "responsible."

-- Andy Taft, president,
Downtown Fort Worth Inc.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Texas Gas Well Explosion

TXSharon has the scoop.  YOU can't afford to miss it.

Write on

Good letters to the Editor in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Who's stifling whom?

To sum up Arlington City Councilman Mel LeBlanc's Friday opinion piece, he considers the Texas Open Meetings Act vague and confusing and thus open to misinterpretation. (See: "Texas open meetings law is overly vague and confusing") LeBlanc states that the real issue behind his opposition to TOMA is its use by some to attain personal objectives. He says some elected officials have used TOMA to stifle the behavior, thoughts and speech of other elected officials and that he has personal knowledge of such bullies. In order to clarify without a doubt the real issue, what elected officials have used the Texas Open Meetings Act to stifle LeBlanc, and what behavior, thoughts and/or speech did they stifle? Who stifled whom, and why?

-- Lina McClintock, Arlington

Key to transparency

According to Fort Worth Councilman Joel Burns' column last week, (See: "Streetcar discussion highlights need for improved public process") we are led to believe he wants to enhance the transparency of the often-too-private process of decision-making in Fort Worth. He should be lauded for his intent. However, I believe he left out one crucial step in the process of increasing transparency at City Hall: throwing out the council members responsible for making the place so secretive in the first place.

-- James Russell, Fort Worth

No streetcar for Trinity River Vision

Read about last night's council meeting in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Seems there is one item that can't be shoved down ALL the taxpayers throats for the benefit of a few. 

Kathleen Hicks was not at the meeting, she was in Europe on city business.  WHAT city?  WHO paid?

Got Water? Thanks to EPA Parker County does

EPA Issues an Imminent and Substantial Endangerment Order to Protect Drinking Water in Southern Parker County

Agency orders Range Natural Gas Company to stop the contamination of Methane and Other Contaminants into drinking water near multiple residences

(Dallas - TX) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ordered a natural gas company in Forth Worth Texas to take immediate action to protect homeowners living near one of their drilling operations who have complained about flammable and bubbling drinking water coming out of their tap. EPA testing has confirmed that extremely high levels of methane in their water pose an imminent and substantial risk of explosion or fire. EPA has also found other contaminants including benzene, which can cause cancer, in their drinking water.

EPA has determined that natural gas drilling near the homes by Range Resources in Parker County, Texas has caused or contributed to the contamination of at least two residential drinking water wells. Therefore, today, EPA has ordered the company to step in immediately to stop the contamination, provide drinking water and provide methane gas monitors to the homeowners. EPA has issued an imminent and substantial endangerment order under Section 1431 of the Safe Drinking Water Act. Parker County is located west of Fort Worth, Texas.

In late August, EPA received a citizen's complaint regarding concerns with a private drinking water well. During the inspector's follow-up inquiry, EPA learned that the homeowner had previously complained to the Texas Railroad Commission as well as the company, but their concerns were not adequately addressed by the State or the company. EPA then conducted an on-site inspection of the private drinking water well with the homeowner and a neighboring residence, and returned to collect both water and gas samples. These samples were sent to an EPA certified laboratory for analysis. The data was received in late November 2010 and was carefully reviewed by EPA scientists. The EPA scientists have conducted isotopic fingerprint analysis and concluded the source of the drinking water well contamination to closely match that from Range Resources' natural gas production well.

EPA has asked the company to conduct a full scale investigation. EPA is requiring Range Resources under this order to:

· Immediately deliver potable water to the two residences;

· Immediately sample soil gas around the residences;

· Immediately sample all nearby drinking water wells to determine the extent of aquifer contamination; and

· Provide methane gas monitors to alert homeowners of dangerous conditions in their houses.

· Develop a plan to remediate areas of the aquifer that have been contaminated.

· And, to investigate the structural integrity of its nearby natural gas well to determine if it is the source of contamination.

EPA has data showing the presence of natural gas at two wells. EPA is ordering Range to investigate other nearby properties to determine if their drinking water is at risk. EPA has been in contact with a rural water system operator approximately 1 mile away, and they are taking steps to test their water for natural gas constituents. Residents of other homes are advised to contact EPA immediately if their wells seize up or if their water begins to effervesce. EPA will contact nearby private well home owners to advise them of our actions and to let them know that we've required the company to test their wells.

The uncontrolled release of natural gas can be dangerous since it is odorless and flammable and it escapes facilities. Uncontrolled release of natural gas inside a building or home can cause a fire or explosion. Drinking water contaminated with natural gas impurities such as benzene is unhealthy.

EPA believes that natural gas plays a key role in our nation's clean energy future and the process known as hydraulic fracturing is one way of accessing that vital resource. However, we want to make sure natural gas development is safe. As we announced earlier this year, we are in the process of conducting a comprehensive study on the potential impact of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water.

In the meantime, EPA has made energy extraction sector compliance with environmental laws one of EPA's National Enforcement Initiatives for 2011 to 2013. The initiative focuses on areas of the country where energy extraction activities such as hydraulic fracturing are concentrated, and EPA's enforcement activities will vary with the type of activity and pollution problem presented.

To read a copy of order to the company, visit:

To learn more about EPA's National Enforcement Initiatives, visit:

To learn more about EPA hydraulic fracturing study, visit:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fort Worth City Council Meeting TONIGHT

YOU are invited.  Be there.

Word on the street is there will be some very interesting speakers. 
We can't wait!  See you tonight!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Grand Prairie Gas Drilling

Residents beware.  Not only do they try to pit residents against each other, we received an email about the Haltom City meeting held prior to the elections this year. 

Residents were told the council is the reason you weren't getting royalty checks and to vote them all out.  It was like a big pep rally or something...mind you, it was in the church where they are currently laying a HUGE pipeline, right next to our high school. 

Remember, buyer beware.

If your property values fall, your can't breathe the air, or drink the water, is it worth it?  Ask those being "drilled" in Fort Worth that receive $35 a month.  They'll tell you the answer.

Read about it all on TXSharon.

Fort Worth and the Almighty Dollar

A couple of great letters to the Editor in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Not enough viewing spots

Attending the Parade of Lights has to be one of the most delightful traditions our family looks forward to each year. Every year, we have been taken aback by the decreasing number of spaces where a family can throw down a blanket and some lawn chairs to enjoy the festivities.

The organizer, out of its desire to make a buck, has covered the entire downtown parade watching area with fold-up chairs that can be had at a price to view the parade. It's almost come to the point that if the powers-that-be see an open spot where a family has its blanket set up, there will be a row of fold-up chairs in its place the following year.

Fort Worth parade officials, please keep the rented folding chairs to a minimum. We were able to find a spot to throw down our blankets and set up our lawn chairs, but I'm disturbed that next year, it, too, will be invaded with those white folding chairs.

-- Aaron Lopez Sr., Fort Worth

No streetcars

Although Fort Worth has a $30 million shortfall as we start our next budget year, it seems the city needs a shiny streetcar to attract tourists. Our world-class museums and cowboy culture are not sufficient.

With the three-mile starter route costing only $86 million and the entire system $700 million, what is the concern? We can always close our libraries and swimming pools. The council never saw a TIF or a tax it didn't like. The latter can easily be included in the water bill.

In this economy especially, a project of this magnitude is out of the question. Let's tell our City Council members it's time to be Scrooge.

-- Nina Speairs, Fort Worth

Gas Drilling and the Dallas Cowboys

Read about it on

What does Fort Worth and Russia have in common?

Read Durango to find out.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Tarrant County Culture of Corruption Continues

Read about the latest Melody Johnson, Fort Worth School Superintendent scandal.  WHY is it in Fort Worth there is always more than one scandal with the same folks? 

The story is from the FW Weekly, but we enjoyed reading Durango's introduction.  They are always entertaining.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Observant Observer

Hats off to the Texas Observer!  Best article we've seen on the gas drilling in Fort Worth.  You thought drilling was bad, welcome to Pipeline Hell. Maybe Forrest Wilder will do one on our water next.  

Read it, read it all.  If you live in Tarrant and surrounding counties, YOU can't afford not to. Read about those you have read about on Star Telegraph before, Mary Kelleher and Steve on Carter. Kudos to you both!  We need more like them!  

Read it.  Then share it with THE PEOPLE.  And ask your "leaders" WHAT they are doing to protect YOU and YOUR family.

Fort Worth Streetcar Continued...

Here is an excellent letter to the Editor's at the newspaper.  Since you won't see it in the "news", you'll see it here. 

Reporters should exercise some intelligence instead of just reporting information.

Today's story on the streetcar meeting said that 2,000 riders per day could be expected on the route from LaGrave Field to Harris Hospital .

Did the reporter ever study math?

2000 riders x 365 days = 730,000 riders a year.

Suppose the fare is $1 a person. That comes to $730,000 a year income from fares. Does that compute as a good business deal?

The reporter should have asked...How will that amount pay for the multi-million dollar investment? If it will not, where will the extra funds come from? The obvious answer is perpetual taxpayer subsidy for the benefit of some "unknown developers" who "may" do developments along the route "IF it is built". Drive the route. There is no room for development except 8 blocks along North Main . Studies have shown that people will walk no more than 2 or 3 blocks to ride public transit (streetcar OR bus). How much development can occur in a 32 block area (both sides of North Main) that makes such a subsidy practical? Will lack of streetcars HALT development? With their greater flexibility, why can't buses serve the area much better? I know the public relations business. Have you asked who is the p.r. agent for this project?It has the signs of being a well-orchestrated PR presentation.

PS. I have a friend who is close to City Hall. He says it is a "done deal" and the rest is just "window dressing". A good investigation would "follow the money."

PPS. I would run a test. For one year run FREE buses along the proposed route. (Free, to offset the inconvenience of not having trolleys) Same schedule and stops as the proposed streetcar route. See if the free buses attract 730,000 riders.  Fair test?

PPPS. Public transit depends on HIGH DENSITY POPULATION.
Fort Worth has NO high density population.

USS Fort Worth

Or should it be SOS Fort Worth?

Now WHY would gas drillers be attending the christening of the USS Fort Worth with Mayor Moncrief and Congresswoman Granger?


And read about it on FWCANDO.

Fort Worth Streetcar Meeting Update

Over 300 people and guess what, they all have an opinion.  Sounds like the majority say no way.  Funny, that's what they say about most of the things that are done the Fort Worth Way. 

Lots of great speakers last night!  Kudos to you all!

There was information in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about the pre-meeting meeting and the meeting as well as on  Too bad we weren't invited to the behind the scenes meeting, sounds like it was a good one.  We'll give you some highlights below.  Consider it your incentive to be informed!  We noticed neither news source said the consulting company HDR is where a lot of the story information came from.  Does the price tag jump from the original plan, remind anyone else of the Trinity River Vision scheme?  We did notice, the majority of Fort Worth is left out of the loop...

Question to you WHO support and want to spend the Trinity River Vision TIF on the streetcar, WHERE do you think that money comes from? 

Fort Worth takes pride in resolving disagreements behind the scenes and presenting a united front. So nobody is talking publicly about the clashes that played out Monday, when about 15 heavy-hitters met in two sessions, for almost six hours, to try to hash out their differences.

Skeptics, including leaders from Downtown Fort Worth Inc. and the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, insisted that they were just asking questions and vetting the numbers. Streetcar supporters, including the Trinity River Vision Authority and Fort Worth South, said that they felt ambushed and that the challenges were a pretense for killing the project.

Tempers flared, and some cautioned that the attacks were getting too personal.

We're talking about three miles of track at $85 (million) to $86 million," said Paul Rudisill, a business owner opposed to the project. "When it was first proposed, it was about $53 million. So 22 percent have access to it, while 78 percent will be paying for operational costs of it. That's ridiculous."

"Expensive? Yes. It's an investment for the future. A lot of the things that we do today hopefully will pay for themselves in the future. But we've got to start."

A good number of people Thursday at the Fort Worth Convention Center were skeptical of the $88 million estimate presented for the total cost of the project and the notion of adding expenses during a slow economic period.

One speaker pointed out that the estimates of the Trinity River Vision, which started out at $320 million in 2003, have soared to near $1 billion today. Many others said the project would benefit too few people.

Cleveland Harris said he believed that to be true but objected to the proposal because his neighborhood is not part of the plans.

"If it leaves us out of the loop, we're against it," said Harris, the director of government affairs for the Morningside Neighborhood Association. "They need to promote the whole city, not just a portion of the city."

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Be there tonight

Got something to say about the streetcar?  Seems everyone does.

Read the Letter to the Editor in today's Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Then come tonight and be heard.

Remember as you're reading the letter that not all letters get published in the paper.  Ask WHY?

Ignoring the little guy

Mitch McConnell says the main Republican goal for the next two years is to make sure President Barack Obama isn't re-elected. Isn't that what they've been doing for the last two years?

Now they want to allow tax cuts for the top 2 percent of wage earners while voting against extending unemployment benefits. What is being done about unemployment, Wall Street reform etc.? It is clear the ordinary citizen is a low priority for Republicans and pacifying the rich is a high one. Of course, rich people are the ones who get them elected.

Meanwhile, the Fort Worth City Council is considering spending $88 million on a 3-mile streetcar system. Why isn't that money being spent on roads, infrastructure, paying off debt etc.? Once again, it appears the benefits go to the rich and the ordinary citizens are left in the cold.

-- Maria A. Gibson, Fort Worth

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The difference between Fort Worth and New York

New York is protecting their residents and THEIR water.  Fort Worth "leaders", on the other hand, stick their heads in the sand.  If you stick your head in the sand, what does that leave exposed for all the world to see?  You guessed it.

We were sent this email from one of our concerned citizen contributors.  Kudos to NY!

The New York State Assembly voted 93-43 to pass a temporary moratorium on gas drilling using high volume hydraulic fracturing until May 15, 2011. This bill (A11443B/S08129B) was previously approved by the Senate last summer. It is expected to be signed into law by Governor Paterson. Last week the Governor said in a radio interview in reference to fracking that "even with the tremendous revenues it would bring in, we're not going to risk public safety or water quality".

New Mayor in Fort Worth

Rumors have been swirling for months now about the candidates lining up for the Mayor's race in Fort Worth.

The FW Weekly Static on this is excellent.  Read it all!  Be sure and read to the bottom about Fort Worth's animal control, Oprah and the Fort Worth Cheerleader. 

We love when the citizens (even if it's "one woman") exposes the Fort Worth Way for what it really is. 

You good ol' boys better pay attention, the women are on their way.  You ever pissed off a Texas woman?  Not recommended.  Our advice?  Run, Forrest, Run.

Thinking about Hirt’s candidacy reminds Static of a time in 2003 when Hirt and Mike Moncrief battled each other for the mayor’s job. Moncrief quit the Texas Senate and came home to Fort Worth seeking a job. Coincidentally, every gas driller in Texas was also honing in on Cowtown, angling to exploit lax regulation to suck the most money possible from the Barnett Shale.

“Government must be a partnership between the people and their elected,” he told Fort Worth Weekly seven years ago (he stopped talking to the Weekly once he got elected).

He’s become the least inclusive mayor in living memory.

When people disagree with him, he tries to remove them from the conversation.