Monday, February 28, 2011

YOU are invited!

Join the Trinity River Improvement Parntership (TRIP)
for our inaugural event:

Save a River... Save a Billion!

Saturday, March 5, 2011 at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens

6:00 PM., Oak Hall & Lecture Hall.

Please RSVP at your earliest opportunity!
 Seating is limited so reserve now!

Hors d’oeuvres will be served.

You and a guest are cordially invited to join us at our Premier Event for film, food and fun! We'll have some great speakers: State Representatives; Community Leaders and more!

All are welcome to attend. Our WATER is nonpartisan. Learn how current plans to change the course of the Trinity River will:
  • Dramatically change the historic character of our city.
  • Cause property owners to be stripped of their property for private gain.
  • Potentially increase flooding in downstream communities – resulting in BILLIONS in property loss and ultimately, human lives.
  • Do NOTHING to improve our water quality or supply.
  • Cost a BILLION or more of the taxpayers’ dollars.

Seating is limited so reserve now!

Don’t move the river…improve the river!

Future Events/Getting Involved

Go to our Save The Trinity River Website to find out how to get involved or join us for future events. RSVP

Let us know if you are coming and if you have guests.

Friday, February 25, 2011

What say YOU?

Don't miss the comments on the Fort Worth Star-Telegram article from THE PEOPLE about the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle.  Oh yeah, there is one commenter on there that is a Trinity River Vision Authority employee.  Their comments are straight out of the playbook.  Wonder WHO wrote it?  Oh, yes...we know WHO.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Show us the money!

Read about the Trinity River Vision and their shortfall of earmark funds (again), in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Tell us again, WHO pays?  Be sure and read the comments from THE PEOPLE.  The ones the politicians and developers want to foot the bill.

With the current congressional moratorium on earmarks, Trinity River Vision Authority officials have been told not to expect any federal funding in the current fiscal year for the flood control and economic development project.

"Do I hope we can get some money this year? Yes," said J.D. Granger, Trinity River Vision's executive director. "Do I know if we can get some money? No. I do know we've been told that earmarks are not being accepted for the Fiscal Year 2011 continuing resolution."

"As a board member, we have always known the only hard stop on this project is if federal funding is not available," Maenius said. "Is it a concern if the federal dollars stop? Obviously it is."

"I'm curious when we reach the tipping point where we don't have to be worried," said Maenius, who added that he has been unable to receive a clear-cut answer. U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, who has secured earmarks for the project since its inception, cannot seek funding for the project since Congress has instituted a moratorium on earmarks. Her son is J.D. Granger.

Since the Senate joined the earmark moratorium, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison also can no longer seek an earmark for Central City, the Army Corps of Engineers portion of the project.

The Fort Worth project is not in President Barack Obama's budget -- nor was it in President George W. Bush's budgets -- but has been funded through earmarks championed by Rep. Granger.

"Obviously, when the question of funding arises, we are dependent on what happens in Washington," Moncrief said. "But I'm confident that Kay Granger, in her leadership role, and her colleagues and both of our senators in their leadership roles will prioritize this project and continue to focus their energies on completing the task."

Although both Granger and Hutchison are on the appropriations committees in their chambers, the earmark moratorium is intended to keep members from using their influence to target funding.

Hey Hey ~ Goodbye

Read what Mayor Moncrief has to say about the state of the city in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  If growth hasn't paid for itself, WHY would we expect the Trinity River Vision to?  How is the Vision different from the streetcar?  On that subject, the mayor said he couldn't commit the citizens to something he didn't know how much it would cost.  So, why has he committed you to a billion dollar boondoggle?  What's the difference?  Does that mean he knew when it was presented as $360 million it would be a billion?

With the expansion come challenges that the city can no longer meet on its own, Moncrief said. To date, the growth has not paid for itself.

Sales tax collections, though rising dramatically the past year, suffered for two straight years. Property values, too, dropped significantly.

Increasing budget deficits that peaked at $77 million last year were the result.

An aging infrastructure in need of upgrades has been among the casualties. While the city has grown by hundreds of thousands, its leaders have not increased spending on infrastructure in 10 years.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

BS in Education

If you have $195 and a day to waste, take a trip down to Austin tomorrow.  Unlike most things we invite you to, we aren't sure if you're welcome or not (see WHO should attend), but we are betting they'll take your money.

Fort Worth Trustee Way

What an embarrassment. The Fort Worth school trustees agreed to take findings (take, not fund) from a study the League of Neighborhoods had done on gas drilling around Fort Worth schools. 

Then they were then arrogant and disrespectful to those presenting the study, accusing them of  a "power grab".  What power?  Shouldn't their be concern be our kids?  Not WHO is in the paper. 

Kudos to the League for doing their job for them.  Perhaps we need some League reps as trustees instead.  And Kudos to Trustee Ann Sutherland for stating the obvious.

Read the latest in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  Don't miss the comments from THE PEOPLE.

Trustee Ann Sutherland took exception to Needham's comments and apologized to the group. Sutherland said she appreciated the group's work and added that some trustees "have a habit when things don't go the way they want of being personal and blaming the people involved."

But Moss said that because the board did not get the report in advance it didn't have time to determine where the information came from and how credible it is. Moss said she was waiting for the city's study on gas drilling.

"It's not feasible to look through this report and actually know what you're talking about and really believe the information that you're presenting," Moss said.

League President Libby Willis said the group's data came from private testing, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and an industry-funded study. She said that data was not available for all school sites and that gas companies did not provide some information the league requested.

Willis said the league does not oppose gas drilling but wants it done safely. "While we understand that gas drilling can be a significant economic benefit to many, including this district, drilling brings with it an increased safety risk to all of us who live in Fort Worth, including our schoolchildren," Willis said.

Mark Southlake off the list...

XTO will be drilling there next.

It was a good thing while it lasted.  Read about it in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Some of you property owners might want to check the pipeline route, "outside deisignated utility corridors" sometimes means your front yard.  Someone email us when your water rates increase again. 

"I would like us to consider continuous monitoring for at least a year," Muller said. "I want to be assured that it's tested on a continuous basis."

Dueease said safeguards at the drill site mean the 24-hour testing would "literally serve no purpose."

But that didn’t persuade the council.

"This would prove to all the residents that what you’re saying is true," Zito said.

Bringing thousands of gallons of water to the drill site posed another problem, as city leaders don't want hundreds of tanker trucks traveling to the drill site but they are reluctant to sell city water when there's peak demand in the summer.

Instead, a compromise was reached where XTO Energy will be allowed to purchase city water from Oct. 15 to May 1 and then use trucks for the rest of the year.

The permit also included a proposed pipeline route that will carry the natural gas from the drill site to market. The route runs parallel to Texas 114.

Two variances to the city’s pipeline ordinance were approved 6-1 with Zito voting no. The variances allow the pipeline company, Energy Transfer, to work on the pipeline 24 hours a day and place the pipeline in areas outside designated utility corridors.

Good question

In the Fort Worth Star-Telegram letters today.

All this while our infrastructure crumbles around us.

Questioning growth

Fort Worth brags about population growth like a parent who simply has generated more kids than anyone else.

However, if a corporate CEO announced to the board and stockholders, "We have increased our customer base by 25 percent, but we're losing money at all levels," there would be a lot more questions than applause.

If unqualified population growth is so wonderful, why do so many retailers and restaurants -- especially the unique ones -- still fail? Why do so many failed business buildings remain vacant? Why aren't houses selling to all these newcomers? With all this growth, why do newspaper and book sales decline?

The next time you're sitting in stalled traffic ask yourself, "What really meaningful new amenities has Fort Worth gained since 1980, when population was just half of today's?"

Then ask yourself, "Who profits from this growth, and who loses?"

-- Jim Atkinson, Fort Worth

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

There goes our hero...

Mayor Tillman moving on.

Read about it in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Dish sits near several large compressor stations that process natural gas from the Barnett Shale. Tillman said he included in the sale contract that the buyer had to watch Gasland before the deal closed. The film, nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary, takes a critical eye on the impact of natural gas drilling and devotes about 10 minutes to the Barnett Shale, including some time on Tillman and Dish.

Tillman plans to remain involved in drilling issues partly via ShaleTest, a nonprofit organization he helped launch last year to fund air and water tests in communities affected by drilling. He also confirmed that Dish is preparing to sue some or all of the companies operating gas compressors near the town.

Monday, February 21, 2011

There is a reporter in the house!

The FW Weekly house that is.  Read the Paradise Center update here.

Thanks FWW!!!

Trinity River Tubing

We know, we know, we have been sending you to Durango for news all day.  We can't help it, he's on top of his game this week.

The next time "someone" wants you to tube the Trinity River, remember this.

Streetcars and alligators...

Read all about it.  Where else?  Durango.

Is there a reporter in the house?

Aside from Durango?

We saw one short, hard to understand blip on the local news recently, other than that nothing about the Paradise Center, which provides services for mentally ill patients, being shut down in a questionable manner.

WHY is that?


Trinity River Border Fiasco

Don't miss Don Woodard's letter in the Fort Worth Business Press today.  Texas, tell your friends in other states - they too are paying for it.

Fencing Fiasco

A recent headline read, “Border Fence Scrapped, Called a Fiasco.”

Several members of Congress, among them Sen. Joe Lieberman, have said that the “virtual fence” project along 53 miles of the Arizona – Mexican border, costing at least $15 million per mile, was a waste of taxpayers’ money and should have been stopped sooner.

The fence, initiated in 2005, was to be a network of cameras, ground sensors and radars that would be used to spot incursions. It was supposed to have been operational this year. At a cost of $15 million a mile, the 53 mile abandoned project cost us $795 million.

It is difficult to understand why Congress have their ruffles up over the waste of $795,000 for this 53 mile border security project and yet have remained silent regarding the waste rampant in Fort Worth’s nepotistic one mile long economic development, pseudo-flood control project called Trinity Uptown. At last count, the eminent domain land grab earmark was pegged to cost nearly a billion dollars.

When the Tea Party people newly-arrived on scene in the nation’s capital get wind of the Fort Worth boondoggle that, in the pungent description of John Randolph, “shines and stinks like rotten mackerel by moonlight,” I foresee a reprise banner headline proclaiming, Trinity Uptown Project Scrapped, Called a Fiasco.”

Don Woodard, Fort Worth

Billion Dollar Boondoggle

The Fort Worth Business Press reports on the status of the funding for the Trinity River Vision.

Since it's YOUR money, YOU can't afford to miss it...

Federal funds expected for the massive Trinity River Vision project are on hold for 2011 as lawmakers – stung by a voter rebellion at the polls – re-evaluate programs supported by federal earmarks.

Not to worry, says J.D. Granger, executive director of the Trinity River Vision Authority – at least not for now.

“We’re not getting anything in the way of appropriations for FY 2011,” he said. “Every bit of that went on a moratorium for this year as they redefine the process. Luckily we’re ahead of schedule on our appropriations so we can carry through this year and most of next year without it impacting the project, but within a couple of years we’ve got to have that process redefined to actually maintain our completion date.”

The Trinity River Vision project so far has received $43.6 million in federal funding, most of it in the form of earmarks by Rep. Kay Granger (R-Fort Worth)

But Sandy Newby, the chief financial officer for the Tarrant Regional Water District and the Trinity River Vision Authority, said the project has not given up on obtaining federal funding this year.

J.D. Granger said he is confident that when the appropriations process shakes out in Washington, funding for the project will be protected.

Kay Granger is a key member of the House Appropriations Committee and was focusing most recently on a massive catch-all spending bill funding the government through Sept. 30. But she has said that while the earmarks process in general needs to be reformed, there needs to be a clear path forward to provide federal funding for worthwhile projects such as Trinity River Vision. Kay Granger is J.D. Granger’s mother.
The project needs a lot more federal funding, most of it from the Army Corps of Engineers, over the next 10-12 years to be completed.
For instance, while the water district says it has received $20.6 million from the Corps of Engineers so far, most in the form of earmarks, it estimates that the project requires an additional $425.4 million in funding from that federal agency.
So while the project has gotten $43.6 million so far in federal funding, that still leaves it far from the total of $487.8 million in federal funding needed for completion, according to water district estimates.

Arlington Update

Read the Arlington Citizen Journal to get an update on the flooding in Arlington.

What would YOU do?

"There is no fix for the creek," Allen said.

Louis Marroquin says the buyout can't come soon enough. Marroquin and his friend Evan Salituro have been staying with other friends since their Valleycrest Drive home flooded with 19 inches of storm water.

"We're frustrated that it's taken so long. We thought we would be back or have some kind of solution by now," Marroquin said. "It would be a good thing to just move on and be able to start fresh somewhere else."

Marroquin, who said he is still making monthly mortgage payments on his vacant home, was denied a permit to repair his house because the city said the flood damage was more than 25 percent of his home value. At least 16 other homes were denied repair permits because of their extensive damage, officials have said.

Residents from the heavily damaged Willows at Shady Valley condominiums are also seeking relief.

Jennifer Fowler, her husband and their three children have been living with her parents for the past five months. The family, which had spent about $16,000 renovating their condo just before the flood, doesn't have money to move, she said.

"Now we are a burden on our parents," Fowler said. "We can't do anything until we get the buyout."

Write on

All good Letters to the Editor in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram today.  We'll post one below, but you should check them all out - one about the flawed Fort Worth gas drilling study and WHY it is delayed, one about the liars tax for politicians, and one about voting in Tarrant county, don't miss the quote.

Here's a letter on the mayor's race in Fort Worth between Cathy Hirt, Betsy Price and Jim Lane.  YOU can't afford to miss it. 

Mayor's race

Cathy Hirt, Jim Lane and Betsy Price have filed for mayor.

Price and Lane only filed after Mike Moncrief announced retirement. Both indicated they supported business as usual, a sentiment supported by Councilman Jungus Jordan. I take that as an endorsement of accounting problems, budget and infrastructure deficits, a Titanic pension fund outlook, abounding ethics issues and too many questions regarding gas-drilling issues to enumerate.

Price has a solid record for taking your money, but will she give any of it back? Lane has supported every TIF, tax abatement and public/private development scheme that has come down the pike, and most have cost the city millions of dollars.

I know them all -- worked with Lane and Hirt on the City Council; know Price from political circles. Only one has the vision and determination to lead this city, and that's Cathy Hirt. She will fix our problems, not perpetuate them.

-- Clyde Picht, Fort Worth

Sunday, February 20, 2011


That's our advice if you are going to Tube the Trinity with the Trinity River Vision Authority or the Tarrant Regional Water District.

If not, you might just get bit.

Check out the alligator in the Trinity River in Fort Worth.  Pictures and all.  What do YOU think is in the river? Guess who has it?  Yep, Durango.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Fort Worth Schools and drilling

Read about the air quality around Fort Worth schools and their good neighbors, the gas industry, in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

What are your kids breathing?

Thank the Fort Worth League of Neighborhoods for trying to protect your kids.  Maybe the City Council is listening...don't hold your breath.

Josh Fox goes to Washington

Read about it and the request for a national moratorium of fracing on

Go, Josh, Go!

Fox spoke at a news conference with actor Mark Ruffalo, another Oscar nominee, and three Democratic House lawmakers who support legislation that would apply the Safe Water Drinking Act to hydraulic fracturing because it injects a mixture of water, sand and chemicals deep into the ground.

"My experience is that anyone who isn't an ideologue and has a family, they don't want to be living next to a poison well," said Ruffalo, who moved to Sullivan County two years ago. "They don't want to have poison water. And that crosses all political spectrums. That's partially why I am here. I feel like we are divided enough. And I don't want to divide people. This is a subject that I think is a uniting subject."

The overwhelming vote by the New York State Senate in December supporting a statewide drilling moratorium shows that the issue can be bipartisan, Ruffalo said.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

No way...

We could say it better, so we'll let Durango do all the talking about the Trinity River Vision Billion Dollar Boondoggle.

We do have a question, does the flyer mention flooding?  Anywhere??  And someone please explain how the wakeboard park (we hear someone has been taking lessons) will keep us from flooding?

DO not miss this post.  YOU are paying for it, so YOU can't afford to miss it.

Birds of a feather...

Letters to the Editor in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  YOU can make a difference.  VOTE in May.

Why Texas stands out

Gov. Rick Perry recently said that Texas is "still the envy of our nation" on a multitude of fronts despite a withering budget crunch that is threatening deep cuts in state services.

Yep, Texas is first in the number of uninsured, in the number of executions, in the number of teen pregnancies, in the amount of carbon dioxide emissions, in the amount of toxic chemicals released into our water and in the percentage of high school dropouts.

Texas sure is the envy of the nation all right; that is, the rest of the nation is extremely glad they are not like Texas.

-- Edward Lindsay, Fort Worth

A road to nowhere

Mayoral candidate Jim Lane's plans to solve Fort Worth's problems by appointing 12 task forces to study the issues is a familiar delaying tactic on the grandest scale. (See: "3 file on 1st day to run for Fort Worth mayor," Tuesday)

His shotgun approach is a smokescreen to let him avoid taking a stand on anything that might alienate voters.

The urgent issues that he would relegate to disparate committees beg for answers now. Passing the buck to faceless task forces gives Lane a free ride during the elections to defer questions about any original ideas he might possibly have.

The long history of these so-called blue-ribbon studies regularly commissioned by Washington, Austin and Fort Worth is clear -- read 'em, debate 'em, shelve 'em, forget 'em.

He hopes to lead us down 12 lanes of navel contemplation and procrastination that lead to nowhere.

-- Jim Pitts, Fort Worth

Ethics Update

This town still doesn't seem to have any.

Read an update on the Fort Worth Ethics hearing in the FW Weekly.

What's the Catch, Part 2

We recently told you about Senate Bill 18 and the twist. Now the FW Weekly tells you about it. And they talked to some of our favorite people to do so.

If you own property (or ever will) in Texas, YOU can't afford to miss it.

In recent years, government agencies and private companies have used eminent domain powers to force North Texas property owners like Mitchell to sell their land for what amounts to private development — natural gas pipelines, gas rigs, privately owned toll roads, Trinity River Vision-type projects, or just the expansion of a shopping mall.

FORCE...there's that word again.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wanna Trade?

In an earlier post concerning the North Tarrant Expressway, we noted it stated the decision was made "behind-the-scenes".  Here's another one for you, "series of closed sessions".   Remember, it's the Fort Worth Way.  Isn't it time for a new way in Fort Worth?  Even Mayor Moncrief stated we need new leadership...if you want new leadership, don't vote for the same old crowd in May.

Read the latest Trinity River Vision boondoggle update in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  Unless you have an extra billion or two laying around, YOU can't afford not to.

The Tarrant Regional Water District board approved a land swap Tuesday with Tarrant County College that will give the water district access to 33 acres, most of which will be used for the Trinity River Vision project.

The water district gets the exclusive right to buy 18 acres near the confluence of the Trinity's Clear and West forks where the abandoned TXU power plant is, said Steve Christian, the water district’s real property director. The water district is negotiating with Luminant Energy on the purchase.

The Luminant property will require extensive environmental cleanup. Since the levee is part of the barrier keeping the contaminants from reaching the river, any cleanup cannot take place until the levees are decommissioned as part of the Trinity River Vision.

That isn’t expected to happen for 10 years, said J.D. Granger, executive director of the Trinity River Vision Authority, a political subdivision of the water district.

Gaining control of these properties will give the Trinity River Vision all the land needed for a town lake, one of the centerpieces of the project.

The Trinity River Vision is the $909 million flood control and economic development project that will run from the near north side to Gateway Park.

Until TCC releases that parking right, the water district cannot build anything on that site, where plans call for a Trinity River Vision floodgate.

The land exchange also clears ownership issues for some of the land where the Trinity River East Campus was built. Both TCC and the water district always planned to swap some properties along the river.

"We started this process about four years ago," said Christian, the water district's real property director. "It was always understood that this would be one of the tracts in the land included. That's why we gave them this easement for that campus."

The swap also cleared up ownership titles for the two entities, he said.

"It's beneficial to both of us," Carter said.
Question - HOW does this benefit the citizens??

Keller denies XTO permit

Impressive.  "Leaders" that listen? And put safety above profit?  Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. And he hasn't been bought by the industry.

Read about it in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

You can read some of the Fort Worth air quality study results too

Is there a well near YOU?

Texas backward?

Read about it in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  If YOU live here, YOU can't afford to miss it.

Entitled "Texas on the Brink," the pamphlet-sized report -- also available on the Internet -- countered Gov. Rick Perry's upbeat depiction of Texas as one of the nation's leading success stories by showing that the state performs poorly in categories such as education, healthcare, per capita income and quality of life.

In some cases, Texas ranks at or near the bottom: 50th in the percentage of the population 25 and older with a high school diploma, for example (76.9 percent). In other categories, it ranked at the top: first in the percentage of the population (28 percent) that is uninsured. And fourth in the percentage of Texans living below the poverty level (17.3 percent)

"We're not in the bottom in every category," said Rep. Lon Burnam, D-Fort Worth. "We're first in the amount of carbon dioxide emissions and first in carcinogens released in the air. If we don't do something to reverse course, the health of Texans will be jeopardized by merely breathing our state's air."

Pie in the Sky

Oh wait, no that's not right.

Read the Fort Worth Star-Telegram article,  Elevated lanes no longer part of Airport Freeway expansion plan.

We have a question, if you cover more ground in an area that floods with concrete, what do YOU think will happen when it rains?

The behind-the-scenes decision has been months in the making.

North Tarrant Express is a massive project that will rebuild the existing lanes of Northeast Loop 820 in Haltom City and North Richland Hills, as well as Texas 121/183 -- aka Airport Freeway -- in Bedford, Euless and Hurst. New ramps and frontage roads will also be built.

The developer arranges much of the financing for the project and also retains the right to collect tolls on the managed lanes for 52 years.

The expanded highway will fit within the existing right of way, NTE spokesman Robert Hinkle said. A recent decision to remove dozens of trees in nearby neighborhoods had nothing to do with the change, he said.

Elevated lanes also are a safety concern during the winter, she noted.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Timing is everything...

Last week Fort Worth Mayor Moncrief said he would not seek reelection. 
This week the air quality tests are in. 

And as expected, it ain't all sunshine and roses as the industry and their benefactors would like you to beleive.

Read about it on

The story seems backwards doesn't it?  Testing AFTER allowing thousands of wells in densely populated areas.  Thank your city "leaders" today.

Monday, February 14, 2011


For all you nuts out there...

Thinking that the Texas Railroad Commission or TCEQ, or whoever the hell else, is watching out for you, here's more proof they ain't.

Read about the latest in DISH, TX on TXSharon

Where's Tommy Lee now?

Pipelines...and water mains

Exploding everywhere.  How old are the pipelines? The water mains? 

A picture is worth a thousand words...and a whole lot of money.  Check them out in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram blurb on Saturday's water main break and rescue in Fort Worth.

The water main break was the largest of four that occurred Saturday.

Mayor Tillman calls BS

on the BS in the BS concerning the industry and it's latest attack on Josh Fox and his Gasland nomination for the Academy Award. 

Go, Josh, Go!!

Read it here.

Friday, February 11, 2011

YOU are invited!

ETHICS HEARING involving two Fort Worth City Council members. There has been a long history of City Council members voting on matters which they should not. This matter revolves around their voting on gas drilling issues they have a substantial interest in, and that violates Texas State law as well as the Fort worth Code of Ethics.

I would encourage you look at the article in the Fort Worth Weekly "HAS FORT WORTH LOST ITS MORAL COMPASS?"

The date of the hearing is (Tuesday) February 15, 2011 at 2:00 pm in the Pre-Council chambers. There are two other charges that will also be heard in addition to this one.

Another day, another explosion

This one in Ohio.

The flames could be seen for miles and no one returned calls about the age of pipeline.

Read about it on

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Forcing the Fort Worth Way

In Arlington.

JD Granger will be speaking at UTA tonight. 

Read about it on

He said the authority is focusing on making Fort Worth a town that is more community-oriented, and hopes to create a riverside attraction similar to the River Walk in San Antonio.

I’m forcing a more walk-able community by design in an area of less than 800 acres and designed for 15,000 to 25,000 people,” he said.

Is forcing another way of saying, no one gets a say?

Notice he didn't say WHO pays. 

The kids at UTA are pretty smart, maybe they'll ask, WHAT will happen downstream?


Mike Moncrief says he won't run for reelection as Fort Worth's mayor.  Some say he wants out before everything blows up...literally.

That sound you hear are champagne corks popping all over town.  33% of people voting in the online poll are "thrilled".

Read about it on

Additionally, Moncrief says he is exiting public life. "I will work to pave the path of success for my successor. That's how we roll in Fort Worth, thank God."

Paving the Fort Worth surprise.  Be careful WHO you vote for in May.  Earlier this week Jim Lane said he wants to be Mayor.  In the article when told Moncrief wasn't running, he said, "That's interesting".  We thought so too.

We received this comment in an email supporting Cathy Hirt this week:
TCU winning the Rose Bowl was great. Super Bowl XVL coming to Arlington was great. Our current mayor revels in both of those accomplishments, but the city’s long term accounting problems, budget deficits, pension fund liabilities, infrastructure deficits, and failed public/private development projects will haunt us long after the glow of athletic achievements has faded. We need a mayor who will attack the problems that affect all residents of Fort Worth.
(Don't forget ethics issues).

Do you want what you've been getting?  Or a mayor that will listen to THE people?

Go Buffalo!

Buffalo voted No Frac! Score 9-0.

Read it on

TxDOT admits to violating Texas Constitution

More news from

At the Senate Transportation Hearing on PPPs...

TxDOT actually admitted it violated the Texas Constitution when it became the guarantor for a North Texas Tollway Authority loan. The Constitution prohibits the highway fund from being used to guarantee loans, but it did so anyway. ALL Texas taxpayers are on the hook to the tune of $8 billion in gas taxes over the next 36 years!

Lawmakers didn't bat an eyelash and called it a "letter of credit" and "contingent liability" (terms lawmakers feel are more palatable when a state agency breaks the law) and ultimately expressed that the ends justified the means since it allowed toll projects (one to benefit the Dallas Cowboys) to move forward.

SB 18 sails through Sentate

What does that mean to YOU?

If they want YOUR property, YOU could be next.


Does NOT protect landowners from eminent domain for private gain

(Austin, TX - February 9, 2011) Today, the Texas Senate passed Governor Rick Perry's fast-tracked 'emergency' eminent domain bill, SB 18. The grassroots don't think the bill goes far enough because it still fails to protect landowners from Kelo abuses (ie - blight, economic development, foreign-owned toll roads). It looks great in parts of subsection "b" only to undo it with all the exceptions under subsection "c." The bill continues the authority of private entities to benefit from eminent domain in the name of a laundry list of various "public uses." (See the bill's loophole-laden language below)

Sen. Leticia Van De Putte questioned some of the vague language in the bill and asked, "Doesn't this open it up to lawsuits?" to which she got no assurances that it wouldn't.

Another day, another blast

Gas line explosion in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Reported - 1 dead, 5 missing. Hundreds evacuated.

Read about it on

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Dallas better hurry and fix their levees. Water, among other things, flows downhill.

Read the latest about the tests and studies for the Trinity River in the Dallas Morning

$25 million for testing for a $100 million worth of repairs.  Levees in Fort Worth could supposedly be fixed for $9 million.  Sounds like a bargain, ask why it's now a billion.

“From our perspective and the team’s perspective, it is very achievable,” said Col. Richard J. Muraski Jr., commander of the corps’ Fort Worth district.

That should come as good news to property owners along the river, who have grown increasingly concerned about the effect of the uncertainty on their property values.

Getting drawn into a flood plain would lead to increased insurance rates and make it difficult or impossible to obtain building permits and certificates of occupancy.

The race to restore the levees began in February 2009, when the corps rated them unacceptable for basic flood protection. The city spent more than $25 million to test the levees and devise a plan to upgrade them.

In April, with the plan still unfinished, city officials briefed the City Council on a preliminary plan to go forward with $100 million to $150 million worth of fixes.

But by August, when the city presented the plan to the corps, officials there had updated their criteria. To the frustration of city officials, the corps decided some of the methods used to test the soil samples had been inadequate. They wanted more tests.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Houston, we have a problem

And we aren't talking about the stock dropping like a rock.

Read about the explosion and fire at the natural gas plant in Houston, Texas on TXSharon.

Josh Fox wants to talk...

WHO's listening?
Any real journalists out there?

Seems the industry wants to talk, to anyone but Josh.

Last week we told you about Josh Fox and Gasland being nominated for an Academy Award and the industry trying to discredit all.  How can you discredit the truth?  We all watched as Josh drove across the country interviewing people and testing water samples.  How much more real can you get? WHY would anybody make that up? There are no benefits to your water being ruined.  NONE.  Was the prestigious Academy appalled that their selection was attacked?  One can only hope.  Read Josh's Open Letter to Journalists on TXSharon. YOU can't afford to miss it.

GASLAND exposes the disaster being caused across the U.S. by the largest domestic natural gas drilling campaign history and how the contentious Halliburton-developed drilling technology called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking threatens the water supply of millions.

There are major watershed areas providing water to millions of Americans that are at risk here, including the watershed areas for New York City and Philadelphia. The catastrophe has been widely covered not only in GASLAND, but also by hundreds of news stories, films and TV segments. This is a moment of crisis that cannot be understated.

In addition to Josh's letter, below we have a copy of an email exchange between a small town Mayor, a big city Council Member, local activists and a Victim of the Shale.  The exchange brings up some interesting questions.  We thought it'd be more fun for you to guess WHO said WHAT, so we removed the names.  Have fun kids!

We invited Ed to debate Josh since he's been going out of his way to bash Gasland, taking out full page ads and talking to every reporter who'd give him 2 minutes of time. Ed declined after 'thinking about it' for 3 days. Then a  local Councilman decided to chime in. Below is some excerpts from the emails, purely for your entertainment.

I already challenged Josh twice to come down here to debate. He hasn't responded.


Councilman XXXX,

I appreciate your message regarding a debate with Josh. We have requested Mr. Ireland debate with Josh, and he has declined. Mr. Ireland runs an industry funded organization, and frequently speaks in public regarding the Barnett Shale, and has been critical of the Oscar Nominated "Gasland". Therefore, it would be only fitting for him and Josh to have an fair and open debate about the merits of the movie. It is likely that many people would come to see the Fox/Ireland debate. However, in your case I am not sure what gives a councilman from Arlington the idea that he has some qualifications to debate with Josh or anyone else for that matter on natural gas exploration; or why anyone would want to see it. I have heard your name a few times, and do get cc'd in on hundreds of emails daily, some of which are to you, but we have never met,and therefore I know nothing about you. So naturally I am curious as to what background you would have that would make this something that people would want to see? The proposed debate with Mr. Ireland was going to be sponsored by; however, it simply would not be worth it for us to sponsor a debate with you. However, I do not speak for Josh, and am sure that he would debate with you whenever he is back in TX if he has time, that is between you and him, but you might want to careful what you wish for. The industry propaganda is nothing more than a smear campaign, and Josh has responded in depth to each of their claims. There have been several industry reps who have taken a run at debating Josh, and have looked more like paid liars, than a legitimate source of information. I would not wish to see another public official look foolish in front of his citizens, but as Shakespeare said, "The school of ignorance is the most expensive, but some will learn in no other".


Gosh, X. You are correct. I'm probably just not smart enough. Pardon me for even thinking I could be in the same room with ya'll.


you have mentioned to me that you have spent the last three years researching this and have honestly not found drilling to be a detriment to public health. You also said you paid a professional in the business.

While I've been reading Txsharon's blog for years now, I've been digging hard and fast on my own and have saved over 375 pages of research, dialog and links that I have emailed folks on to "spread the love" (info acquired which is exactly the opposite of what you claim to have found).

So I ask you to swap data with me. I will forward you my "book" if you forward me your emails and links that have lead you to believe we all are safe being so near to drilling.




We have most likely read the same stuff, followed the same links, listened to the same gurus, naysayers, and prognosticaters. Our differences reside in our weltanschauung: we simply see the world differently. Therein lies the beauty of the forum/debate we are considering. Take out all the empiricism and facts and "irrefutable proof" on both sides of this argument, and you distill down to you and me, et al. THAT's what we need to get to if progress is to be made beyond stalemate.



I find it difficult to believe you have read all the same stuff, followed all the same links, listened to all the same people, and have simply come to a different conclusion. If you have, then it only makes it that much more confusing to understand how you're drawing different conclusions. I also know for a fact that you have not seen all of the videos, pictures, and other documentation that I have about natural gas well development. If you have, then you would know that there are dozens upon dozens of affected families and homeowners out there, some of which have the actual documentation of ground water contamination, polluted air, and contaminated soil. Some of them I know personally, as do you, because they reside in Arlington.

You would also be aware of the fact that my property and house (no longer our home) once appraised as high as $340,000 is now officially on the county tax rolls with a value less than $78,000. This is not my opinion, but rather the result of a county tax appraisal hearing during which the 5 member board (voting 5-0) was provided with hundreds of pages, pictures, videos, aerial photos, environmental testing results from more than 3 separate labs. Not sure how you missed it, as it was front page news, and covered by the local news stations. You would also know that this is not an isolated incident, as many of the provided pieces of documentation are of and related to other properties and other operators. The provided documentation clearly shows there are many risks involved with natural gas well development. I would say, and many agree, including many in the Industry, that the closer these operations are to people and their schools, homes, churches and other places where people congregate that risks are greater with every foot. I suppose it's debatable as to what those risks are, but to say that there absolutely no risks is untrue.

You should also be well aware of the fact that the TCEQ has taken enforcement actions against this particular operator 4 times, and are now under investigation by the Attorney General.

All that said, have you ever noticed that the ONLY people who are claiming natural gas well development is safe or disputing anything in 'Gasland' are the very same people causing the damage and/or benefiting financially from this process?

I would point out to you that Ed Ireland was asked to participate in a debate with Josh Fox because Mr. Ireland has been going well out of his way trying to discredit 'Gasland', but having nothing more than Industry created propaganda to rely on. He's taken out full page ads bashing 'Gasland', and has been quite accommodating to every reporter, but only regurgitating the false and distorted 'facts' fed to him by Industry-the very same people who fully fund his 'non-profit' and pay his salary. Mr. X and I were simply looking to provide Mr. Ireland an opportunity to put his money where his mouth is, and he has declined. I would have thought Mr. Ireland would have relished the opportunity to debate Josh, if everything that Josh has done and said can be so easily disproved and having quite a lot of evidence proving his own claims. Interestingly enough, Mr. Ireland needed a few days to check with his handlers, ultimately concluding that the debate would only serve to further promote 'Gasland' and bring that much more attention to it. I would have thought the debate would have been a wonderful opportunity for Mr. Ireland to promote the Barnett Shale Energy Education Council.

I have been to the Arlington City Council a few times, so I'm well aware of what your position is on natural gas well development. I have made the invitation a number of times, but will extend the same invitation to you and Mr. Ireland as well; My family and I reside at XXXXXXX. You are more than welcome to come out and see the place yourself at any time. I will be happy to show you around. I'll show you the well heads that are 300 feet outside our backdoor that have had Bradenhead pressure issues that the operator knew about but did nothing to correct until threatened with a seal order by the TRRC. I show you where there's a methane leak, not 50 away from the well heads where some unknown bright red fluid emits and the bubbles ignite. I'll show you the leaking tank battery, where more than 9,000 gallons of produced water was spilled and covered up as opposed to cleaning it up. I'll point out which of the four tanks overflowed and gushed condensate for more than 12 hours before the operator found the time to come out and fix it. I'll show you the 30 foot high flare that was incorrectly installed, that belched out fire and smoke for weeks before the operator was embarrassed into fixing it. I'll show you around the work pad, our former horse pasture that has yet to produce so much as weeds after three separate grass seedings. I'll show you the more than 700 foot long and 20 foot wide swath of land the operator tore up to install their pipeline-and not much grows there, either. Lastly, I'll take you over to the mineral right owner's place, who exempted 50 acres out of more than 300 around his own home from pipelines and drilling-but 200 feet for the rest of us. Any time that's convenient for you, please let me know.

Monday, February 7, 2011

What's the catch?

We wondered this very thing as we read the Fort Worth Star-Telegram article concerning SB 18 touting Rick Perry and Charlie Geren as supporters fast-tracking the bill.  Aren't Rick Perry and Charlie Geren the ones who helped create the eminent domain capital of the United States? 

Charlie Geren got House Bill 2639 passed without many knowing what it was. In an article we came across recently, he stated Kay Granger had asked for it.  In the same article, her people promptly denied that. Remember what Kelo does the same thing-eminent domain for economic development.  Think Trinity River Vision.

Rick Perry tried to force the biggest land grab in history (things are bigger in Texas), for the Trans Texas Corridor.

We received a couple of emails this afternoon explaining the catch...One simply said, Perry is trying to look more conservative for 2012.  (Again, Lord help us).

The other is asking for your help.  So, please help!  Property owners in Texas thank you in advance.

YOU could be next.
Texas Senate to Vote on Eminent Domain bill 
Calls Needed
The Texas Senate will vote on the fast-tracked eminent domain bill, SB 18, tomorrow. It's a railroad job. This bill does NOTHING to fix Kelo. This bill still allows eminent domain for "blight" and "economic development." Your Texas Senators need to hear from YOU! Texans need to say ANY eminent domain bill that fails to provide protection from Kelo is UNACCEPTABLE and a ruse!

In the meantime, ask your members of the House to put some language in the House version that will give landowners genuine protection from Kelo abuses as well as protection from stealing Texans' land in the name of a road project and handing it to a private, for-profit, foreign toll operator for 50 years using...

Rumor Control

Last month some residents in Fort Worth received a robo call survey asking them to rank people in Fort Worth (no, we aren't kidding).  From what we understand the call asked about different people such as Clyde Picht and Dee Kelly, Jr.

Last week we heard a rumor Jim Lane was planning on running for Mayor.  The best response we saw to that was, Lord help us all.

Today the Fort Worth Star-Telegram confirms the rumor.  Let's hope the residents have learned something over the years.  Lane said he would focus on business.  WHEN will we have a mayor that focuses on citizens?  WHY would Lane not have to give up his seat on the Tarrant Regional Water District BoardIs that a conflict?  Haven't there been others?  Sounds like some of the council doesn't want the "old guard" to change. 

And so does District 6 Councilman Jungus Jordan, who said he probably would have an interest in the job, but his chief concern is that the "same type of leadership stays intact" if Moncrief doesn't run.

What kind of leadership is that?

Saturday, February 5, 2011


to Southlake Planning and Zoning Commission for looking out for their residents.  Not just the residents with gas leases.  Maybe you could teach some other P & Z Boards a thing or two.

Read about it in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. 

Pleas from residents who don't want a 16-inch natural gas pipeline near their Southlake homes paid off early Friday.

Heavy snow was falling just after midnight when the Planning and Zoning Commission voted 4-1 to deny XTO Energy's request to drill on Texas 26 near Brumlow Avenue.

Southlake resident Molly Bullard said the line would devalue "million-dollar homes" and would kill the trees that define Johnson Road.

John McFadden said he's concerned because his son's bedroom "would literally be within putting distance from this pipeline."

Commissioner Joe Lancor said he was concerned that XTO didn't have waivers from one of the Southlake homes within 1,000 feet of the drill site.

And it all comes crashing down...

Ice fell from the "Super" Bowl at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas today.  Or "Dallas, Texas" depending on which station you are watching. ESPN is broadcasting from Fort Worth, too bad that's been a ghost town.  Due to the cold weather, the reporters packed up and moved inside. 

Unfortunately some people were hurt in the ice and gravity incident.  You can read about that here.  We hope they all recover quickly and no one else is injured.

WHO PAYS for the Super Bowl? 

Some in Fort Worth wonder if the taxpayers will end up on the hook for the ice storm clean up and the short fall in revenues expected with the big game. The best response we saw to that was, "Well, there's Mike's plan and then there's God's plan".  Words of wisdom.  (Those of you in Arlington, feel free to insert "Jerry" in Mike's place).

Who paid to clear the roads from the hotels to the stadium? 

It's reported a fly over is costing the taxpayers $450,000.   Now we love the fly overs.  But don't we have jets up the road? Why are we flying them across the country for a football game?  Oh come on, we know, it's the "SUPER" BOWL.  It's still a football game, is it worth half a million dollars? Of YOUR money? has been on a roll with chasing the money down.  You might want to read it.  In some way, you might be paying for it.

Aren't we broke??

The NFL receives all of this tax-free, at a savings of at least $7 million, according to the contract.   The tax bill goes to the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee.

But that's not all the NFL and related events are getting for nothing.

The NFL Experience pays no rent for its use of the Dallas Convention Center. The league keeps all income from tickets and food sold inside.

On Saturday night, the Taste of the NFL will pay just $1 in rent for the Fort Worth Convention Center.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Fracing in...

Texas and the New York Times.

Oil and gas service companies injected tens of millions of gallons of diesel fuel into onshore wells in more than a dozen states from 2005 to 2009, Congressional investigators have charged. Those injections appear to have violated the Safe Water Drinking Act, the investigators said in a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency on Monday. 

...concerns have been growing over the potential for fracking chemicals — particularly those found in diesel fuel — to contaminate underground sources of drinking water.

“Whether the E.P.A. has the chutzpah to try to impose retroactive liability for use of diesel in fracking, well, everyone is in a wait-and-see mode. I suspect it will have a significant fight on its hands if it tried it do that.”  

The above was a quote in the article by an attorney for the oil and gas industry.  No, we ain't kidding. Why does it sound more like a threat than a quote?  And chutzpah, really?  Is that how they say it up north?

Two years later, when Congress amended the Safe Water Drinking Act to exclude regulation of hydraulic fracturing, it made an express exception that allowed regulation of diesel fuel used in fracking.


The diesel-laced fluids were used in a total of 19 states. Approximately half the total volume was deployed in Texas, but at least a million gallons of diesel-containing fluids were also used in Oklahoma (3.3 million gallons); North Dakota (3.1 million); Louisiana (2.9 million); Wyoming (2.9 million); and Colorado (1.3 million).

Everything's bigger in Texas...

No permits for diesel-based fracking have been sought or granted since the Safe Drinking Water Act was amended in 2005.

WHO Pays?

For the Texas Rolling electricity blackouts?

You guessed it, YOU do.  Read about it of

But during the rolling blackouts on Wednesday morning, the price of wholesale electricity skyrocketed. Power plants charged providers the maximum:  $3,000 a megawatt hour.

That's 66 times higher than usual.

Customers without contracts are billed based on the fluctuating market prices. That means next month's bill could be big.

Don't forget about the "Smart" meters that you are being switched to as well. also did a story on those recently.  Same question, WHO pays?  Same answer. 

Had enough yet? 

Some Dallas residents who already have "smart" meters monitoring their power echo claims of higher electric bills. They believe the new meters are to blame, and they're fighting back.

On Sunday afternoon, dozens of Oak Cliff homeowners gathered at Norma's Diner to discuss the issue.

"It's really good to know that I'm not alone," said Oak Cliff resident Ree Wattner. "They're not just doing that to me — they're doing that to all of us."

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Any publicity

is good publicity.

The industry is apparently worried Josh Fox and Gasland might win the Academy Award and more people would be aware of what really goes on during gas drilling, and what the consequences might be. 

Read about it here. 

Go, Josh, Go!

All roads lead to...

The Superbowl.  Many complaints from many folks that while their roads are iced over, there is no ice around Jerry's dome. 

We wonder, with all the rolling blackouts in Texas today, will Cowboys Stadium go without power?