Friday, April 29, 2011

Pay attention

YOU can't afford not to.

Voters need to pay attention to their local elections.  Everything decided at the local level impacts YOU.

WHY would anyone run for office?  It takes up all of your free time, family time, costs money, causes people to do and say stupid things, there is little to no pay... So it comes down to one of two reasons - they have higher political ambitions (we know how dangerous that is...) or they are trying to protect their PEOPLE and their town.  Take a look at your candidates.  The ones with all the money and flashy signs and fliers may not be all they are cracked up to be.

Read Mike Norman in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

I count 202 names on ballots for 41 municipal and school board elections to be supervised by the Tarrant County Elections Division next month.

Bless them all for having the courage and dedication to run.

We've been asked about our other picks for council races since our contributors are from all over the metroplex.  So the following are the ones we know our people are voting for in local elections.  If yours isn't listed here, we don't know them or we are undecided in that race.  Don't forget - VOTE Monday.  If not for YOU, for YOUR kids!

Here's what we have for you so far:
Fort Worth Mayor - Cathy Hirt 
Fort Worth District 2 - Paul Rudisill
Fort Worth District 4 - Lupe Ariolla
Fort Worth District 6 - Tolli Thomas
Haltom City Mayor - Bob Watkins
Watauga City Council - Gary Johnson
Watauga City Council - James Wright
Watauga City Council - Russell Clements
Arlington City Council - Zack Maxwell
North Richland Hills City Council - Tim Welch
Richland Hills - Martha Strain

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The man has a point

District 2 Candidate has something to say about us requesting a new way in Fort Worth.

THE PEOPLE need to pay attention. YOU can't afford not to.

“Fort Worth, we need a new way in a bad way” , I agree, but if candidates like myself cannot get the word out because: 1 we do not have the cash coming in like my opponent and Jim Lane getting public employee association (union) contributions, 2. Can’t get coverage by any media…… and 3. Conservatives in this city are plagued with apathy, we will never have a new way.

People in Ft Worth are more worried about changing who sits in DC than they are with who sits in City Hall. It will take an act of Tens of Millions to save our Federal Tax Dollars, but only a few thousand to save your City Tax Dollars. The Rocks we throw at Washington are the stones falling off City Hall.

Paul Rudisill

Another day, another local Hero

Raymond Crawford of Dallas is just another example of THE PEOPLE protecting THE PEOPLE. 

We salute you, sir!

Read about it in the Dallas Observer.  Make note of the difference in Dallas and Fort Worth.

Drilling 911

Call YOUR Rep today.


HB 3105.

Learn more on TXSharon.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

We ask

The FW Weekly answers...

People all over town were wondering how Jim Lane is able to use Molly on his campaign signs.  The answer from the city sounds like the Fort Worth Way. 

Fort Worth, we need a new way in a bad way.

Haltom City Recall

Seems the recall is where everything can be traced back to in Haltom City...WHY is that?  And WHO was responsible?  Stay tuned, we'll have a history lesson for you soon.  Pay attention to WHO all is involved.

The Fort Worth Weekly  has the story about the EDC fiasco and the secretive dealings that cost taxpayers money.  YOU can't afford to miss it. 

WHO was asking about the EDC prior to the audit?  Bob Watkins, write-in candidate for Mayor.  What does that tell you?  VOTE.

That full accounting may be a long time coming. Of the four people who constituted the EDC board in 2004 when key arrangements regarding Flynn were changed, one is dead and one says he can’t remember most of what happened. A third member, who was then the board president, defended the Flynn deal — and she said she can’t remember who the fourth member was. City officials say they’re not sure exactly how many properties the EDC and Flynn bought for the city.

“That’s just unbelievable,” Carlton Schwab, president and CEO of the Texas Economic Development Council, said. “EDCs are supposed to be all about helping create jobs. “Where is the job creation? … Where is the economic development?”

Another key question: Where are the records and the public accountability for the EDC, which is funded with a half-cent hike in the sales tax, approved by Haltom City voters in two stages? And how was so much of what was done allowed to happen in secrecy?

Current council member Gary Nunn said he’s been asking for that kind of information for two years and has never gotten any answers.

With Flynn as director and new Mayor Calvin White as board president, Haltom City EDC business moved almost exclusively behind closed doors, in executive sessions.

“We had an interim city manager named Pat Efrink,” said Harper, “and one day at a meeting he simply told me I was no longer allowed at the meetings. Neither was anyone else. Which meant no one knew what was going on with the EDC.”

But in January 2008, when the EDC took on Chesapeake Energy in a condemnation case over land the EDC wanted for a ball field, the EDC lost. Ironically, Chesapeake, which through its Texas Midstream pipeline company routinely condemns land, responded with a public relations blitz, asking Haltom City residents if they knew what an EDC was, why a consultant for the EDC was preventing those citizens from having their mineral rights developed, and touting the millions of dollars that would come to Haltom City if the EDC would allow them to develop land and mineral leases they already owned. The campaign worked. The EDC backed off.
Told that the Haltom City EDC currently owns 40 undeveloped properties, Schwab said he’d never heard of that happening either.
The real issue, he said, is that for all the land transactions and all the money paid to Flynn, there has been little business development produced.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

More news you won't see on the "news"

The question is when it comes to your safety, WHY is that?  Ask your local media.

WHO has the news about the gas drilling site spewing gas during the Texas storms?

YOU know WHO.  Durango.

So sleep tight kiddos, the storms are rolling in daily and there are gas wells on every corner.  How safe do YOU feel?

911 Update

Last week we were contacted by residents in North Fort Worth asking for ambulance help.  Tomorrow there is a meeting.  YOU should be there.  If YOU think it's not YOUR problem, think about this.  What if you had a wreck way out there in Fort Worth.  WHO would come?  WHEN???

There is a public meeting at the Ambulatory Board at 551 E Berry St. Fort Worth tomorrow morning at 10 am. They are supposed to discuss some kind of "pilot" program for our area but to my understanding it only consist of an ambulance North of 820 during "peak" times and rush hours. So I guess the rest of the time we are still on our own and one ambulance North of 820 does us no good, that's till 20 miles away.

Take a TRIP

to RAHR brewery Friday night to support the Trinity River Improvement Partnership!
PEOPLE looking out for YOU!!!  Come show your support and have some dinner and fun!  Meet some candidates, bring some friends, or come make some new ones!

Civility in Fort Worth?

Now that's a new one.

The FW Weekly has the scoop on the new group forming to hold the FWISD trustees accountable.   Put Our Kids First. Unlike the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Weekly tells it as it is.

And there is that name again.  Judy Needham.  Read what some of her emails to her fellow board members say.  Are these the people YOU want looking out for YOUR kids? 

Adding to the controversy is the fact that trustee Judy Needham sits on the Lena Pope board of directors along with her close friend Marty Leonard, daughter and niece of the late Leonard Brothers retailers.

Both point out that no group formed to call for civility when Needham began sending ugly emails to Sutherland last year, with copies to all board members and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

In one she called Sutherland a “crazy old fool of a woman,” and the “worst” elected trustee in Texas, because Sutherland took it upon herself to stop Chesapeake drilling company from using a loophole in the law that would have allowed it to drill within 200 feet of a school in spite of the fact that the district has a 1,200 foot setback from all schools. (Needham’s hands are hardly clean on the Chesapeake drilling issues. She and trustee Tobi Jackson were recently caught sending identical letters to the state legislature opposing a bill by Fort Worth representative Lon Burnam that would have made it a state law that no gas drilling could occur within 1,200 feet of a school or any school properties. Both rescinded the letters after they were caught and exposed on Facebook, the Star-Telegram and this paper.)

We have a question about one of the comments.  WHO knows the truth? 

 In the guise of this “civility grassroots effort” is Ed Lasater and former mayor Ken Barr who was not named in this article. Ken Barr is both a Chesapeake consultant and treasurer to Jim Lane who is running for Mayor. Barr is behind the scenes with Ed Lasater. Sal Espino is supporting Jim Lane. Do you see the picture? Vote for change in the Mayoral and City wide elections. Politicians cater to special interests. Gas drilling is big as demonstrated in this article by Tobie Jackson and Judy Needham .

Coming Soon!

Hello Kitty tricycle lanes in Fort Worth.

Not really, but it may be the best comment we have seen in a while.

The comment is on an article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram concerning the Fort Worth Mayoral forum and gas drilling being a number one priority.  It will air tonight at 7 on Channel 21.  Watch it, educate yourself.  And read the comments.  Good stuff.

Fort Worth Mayor

Some great letters to the editor in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram today.  Some made us laugh out loud.  Like the one from Bolen's son-in-law for Lane. 

Though the funniest one had to be the one from former city council member Becky Haskin, stating that Price "does not represent special interest groups who will ruin the city's budget if left unchallenged."  WHAT?  Special interest groups asked her to run, to keep their budget runining boondoogle, the Trinity River Vision flowing. 

Again, will someone please answer the question - WHO will make up Betsy Price's $100,000 pay cut she would take for going from Tax Collector to (heaven forbid) Mayor?

We enjoyed the letter from the retired Navy SEAL.  We salute you, sir!

My life has been devoted to protecting our citizens and preserving our freedom from those who would do us harm. So, I must warn you of a mayoral candidate:

His vote as city councilman in 2002 provided exorbitant pensions that place Cowtown in peril with the 10th-shortest timeline to becoming insolvent.

He has accepted $154,000 in direct campaign contributions from the police and firefighter associations, the majority of whose members do not even live in or pay taxes to Fort Worth.

He helped put us on the hook for unfunded liabilities somewhere between $700 million and $2 billion in pension funds and healthcare.

This lawyer routinely sues Fort Worth on behalf of disgruntled city employees.

Jim Lane, please define your constituency! You are certainly no representative of Fort Worth's residents and fatigued taxpayers!

-- Mark Waddell, commander, USN, SEAL (ret.), Fort Worth

Please educate yourself before voting. Best place for information on the Mayor race?  FW Weekly, of course.  Be sure and read about Cathy Hirt, YOU can't afford not to!

Monday, April 25, 2011

More Haltom City letters

In the Fort Worth Star-Telegram today.

You should read them, they clear up some of the so called "facts" they printed last week.  We'll have more on that subject too.  Stay tuned.

Haltom City mayor

Contrary to what April 19 letter writer Jack O. Lewis said, taxpayers are not spending $30,000 for the May 14 election. According to the Haltom City secretary, the cost is $14,704. The actual amount is a drop in the bucket for the price of freedom; this from someone who proudly served our country.

Richard Hutchison has no knowledge of running the city. Bob Watkins has more business experience and integrity.

Please write-in Bob Watkins for mayor of Haltom City and vote for prosperity and integrity.

-- Sam Souimaniphanh,

I was humored to read Lewis' letter. He failed to point out the recall petition that he and his cronies presented to the city that caused a special election in 2004. That election not only cost taxpayers money and city staff time, it shut down council meetings for three months. Jack always has a spin to put on the politics in his hometown. Could that be why he is dizzy and has fuzzy math? Why not Bob Watkins for mayor?

-- John Williams


To Don Young and team for another successful Prairie Fest!

Think a few people can't make a difference? 
Then get out of our way.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Why you should vote

1) Men and women have given their lives so you could.
2) Otherwise you will get the SOS you've been getting.  (so yes it is somewhat of a distress call).

WHO is the letter writer to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram?  A Haltom City councilman. 

Haltom City mayor

The news is filled with throngs of humanity risking their lives in unarmed protest to secure the opportunity to have a voice in their leadership. Several generations of U.S. soldiers and their families have faced the ultimate sacrifice to maintain the basic right of free elections.

Jack O. Lewis' Tuesday letter to the editor was an insult to all who have served this country or lost a loved one in the service of this country. Unlike Lewis, I think the few dollars spent to administer an election for mayor once every two years is the best investment Haltom City residents will ever make; Haltom City is fortunate to have a choice on May 14.

Please join me in writing in Bob Watkins, a true man of integrity, for mayor of Haltom City.

-- Gary Nunn, Haltom City

A new one...

A Fort Worth Star-Telegram Letter to the Editor has a new name for the Trinity River Vision.  We like it.

Stay tuned for more Star-Telegram letter writing info coming soon.  YOU won't want to miss it.

Fort Worth's mayoral candidates are running against Mike Moncrief's record and all sound alike. Fiscal responsibility, gas drilling precautions, yada yada. I want two things from a candidate:

(1) Oppose the police and firefighters, most of whom live outside Fort Worth, in their attempt to bankrupt us taxpayers with their overtime-inflated retirement pay.

(2) Believe that the Trinity Mud Puddle is a stupid idea or, at the very least, that we cannot afford it.

It's not easy to tell, but as far as I can discern, Cathy Hirt comes closest to meeting my requirements, so she will get my vote.

-- George Michael Sherry, Fort Worth

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Another day, another Conflict of Interest in Texas

WHO does she work for?  THE PEOPLE she was elected to serve?  Or the industry that writes her checks?  Find out WHO is buying YOUR politician...before it's too late.

NCTCA Press Release

Freshman Member of Energy Oversight Committee Received $59,000 in Campaign Contributions from Oil and Gas Interests

Questions regarding conflict of interest remain unresolved

(Austin, Texas) – State Rep. Stephani Carter received $58,850 in contributions from oil and gas interests for her successful campaign to win a seat in the Texas House of Representatives last year. A remarkable amount for a new member, the contributions came from an array of individuals employed by energy companies, political action committees affiliated with oil and gas interests, and energy industry groups.

Fortunately for the oil and gas industry, Representative Carter was appointed to serve on the House Energy Resources Committee -- the committee with oversight over the $186 billion oil and gas industry in Texas.

Rep. Carter received more campaign contributions from oil and gas interests than any other member of the Energy Resources Committee. Rep. Carter's campaign contributions place her in the top tier of beneficiaries of oil and gas largesse, having received the 8th highest amount of any member of the Texas House of Representatives.

According to data compiled by Texans for Public Justice, the contributions include:

• $27,000 from the President of Chief Oil and Gas, LLC

• $5,000 from the Texas Oil and Gas Association

• $5,000 from the Chair of the Belmont Oil and Gas Corporation

• $5,000 from the Chairman of the Mewbourne Oil Company

• $1,000 from an employee of Five Star Energy Co. LLC

• $500 from the Occidental Petroleum PAC

It is important to note that Chief Oil and Gas, the top and very large contributor to Rep. Carter’s campaign, is positioning their company to enter the Dallas County area for natural/ shale gas drilling.

The donation from the Texas Oil and Gas Association came less than one month before the election on November 2, 2010.

The Energy Resources Committee has considered 57 pieces of legislation this session dealing with various aspects of the regulation of the energy industry in Texas, including bills to:

• expand renewable energy production in the state,

• increase pipeline safety standards,

• increase public awareness of oil and gas drilling,

• expand municipal regulation of natural gas pipelines,

• require disclosure of hydraulic fracturing fluids,

• incentivize solar energy production at public schools, and

• limit regulation of harmful emissions from oil and gas facilities

Rep. Carter has not voted for a single bill opposed by The Texas Oil and Gas Association or the Texas Pipeline Association, both major oil and gas trade associations and contributors to her campaign. Such a voting record raises serious questions about conflicts of interest in decisions regarding legislation addressing these issues of such importance to Texans.

WHY did Fort Worth

not send firefighters to PK?   (That's Possum Kingdom for you Northerners).

Clyde tells you why.  Don't miss it.

Texas Lone Star proudly salutes all the firefighters from Texas and beyond that are working around the clock to protect us all!!


Earlier this week we told you about the lack of emergency help in the far reaching annexed portion of Fort Worth.

Later that same day we received the following email.  WHO can help these folks in Fort Worth before it's literally too late?  Anyone in downtown maybe?  City Hall?  Incumbents running for council?  Outgoing mayor?  Anyone involved in the Trinity River Vision?  Anyone???

Point proven again. My neighbor's father in law thought he was having a stroke this evening around 7pm. From the time the 911 call was put in, it was almost 40 minutes later before Medstar showed up. They said they were the closest to us here across from the Northwest School and West of TMS. They were at Northside drive and Interstate 35. They also informed us if it had been 4:30 or so the wait time would have been longer.

Someone has to help.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

No Gas Drilling Money

No, we ain't talking about the royalty money you ain't getting, we're talking about the largest event in TARRANT county that isn't sponsored by gas drillers....

The 2011 Prairie Fest.

Taking place Saturday, April 23 on the Tandy Hills.

The Tandy Hills are considered, by many, to be the "Best place to stand in North Texas."

And the Prairie Fest is considered, by many, to be this area's "Best Outdoor Cultural Event."

It is FREE. It is FUN. It is FABULOUS.

We will see you there!

Who Should the New Mayor of Fort Worth be?

This week's FW Weekly gives us a very good overview of the current state of the various candidate's campaigns to become the next mayor of Fort Worth in an article titled "Leading Molly: For the first time in years, the Fort Worth Mayor's Race is wide open."

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

We hear you North Fort Worth!

Hey City Hall -

We have a message for you from your constituents way out there where you annexed Fort Worth to get more royalties...the residents would like the roads they were promised, as well as adequate fire, police and EMT protection.  Hook them up already!  Wasn't it just yesterday the "news" paper was tooting Sal's horn?

This is one of many letters sent to the council, mayor, and Mr. Espino on numerous occasions. This has been going on for over a year now and still get the same spiel. We are looking into it. I was interviewed on 33 news as well as Mr. Zimmerman who is the head of the Ambulatory Board. He states this is a matter of "life and death" and it is all transportation problems on camera, yet a year later we are worse off than we were then. Justin will not respond and neither will Roanoke because we are the city of Fort Worth.

To whom it may concern,

I am writing this letter to bring more attention to the problems we are having in the Far North Fort Worth area. The areas west of Texas Motor Speedway that is supposed to be part of this great city. For almost a year now I, along with others, have been actively voicing concerns for ourselves and our families. The concerns are we have very poor EMS care and very little police protection. We are stuck in this area between being residents of Fort Worth and also part of Denton County. For that is seems we are pushed to the side and no one wants to deal with us. We have no city parks, no libraries, no public things of any kind that I am aware of, yet we pay our taxes just like the rest of the city and also pay Denton County taxes as well.

Our problem is Medstar used to station an ambulance at Westport Parkway part of the time to cover our area. Most the time it was not there due to calls closer to the city. Which left us with little EMS care. Justin is only 4 miles away but no inter local agreement can be reached so they will not respond to our communities. We have approximately 2000 homes in this area as well as the Northwest School District schools here and numerous businesses. Then Medstar introduces it's new deployment system which somehow "predicts" where they will be needed at any given time. The problem for us is, it took the only ambulance that will respond to our area and moved it closer to the city. Which raised our response time tremendously. They have a goal response time of 9 minutes or less and according to all the reports they provide they reach that goal 98% of the time. Our area has a response time of 20 minutes or more. And seems to be acceptable to Medstar as well as the City. Channel 33 news interviewed myself and Councilman Zimmerman about the situation last May. He claimed this was a "life and death" situation and blamed most of it on transportation. I strongly disagree with the transportation issue. We will never get a 9 minute or less response time, which we deserve also, if the nearest ambulance if over 20 miles away. It's not possible. Yet no one seems willing to find a solution. The only one Medstar will talk about is maybe stationing one in the area during "peak" times. And with that they offer taxing us more to pay for this service. I cannot see how that is fair to all the citizens that moved here to be part of a great city as Fort Worth. That was one of the main reasons we move here from Sunset,Tx. But it seems we had far better care in that very rural area. Our only saving hope is the Fire Station 11 here and they do a great job. I have even suggested posting one of the cities EMS trucks here to take up the slack but the City cannot even come to agreements there to protect us.

As for police, we have one and sometimes two police officers for 27 square miles. Most of the time the responses are the same as the ambulance. It must come from deeper in the City which takes a lot more time.

I do understand we are in great shortages financially. Surely the city can figure out a way to support all it's residents. Seems for the money they pay Medstar, they could afford their own EMS vehicles and staff.

Something must be done to protect these student and citizens. I do not want to think a city this great would turn the blind eye on it's own. It annexed all this area to be part of the city, shouldn't they then provide the same services as the rest of the city? And for how long will they leave all these residents and students at risk?

I will continue to advocate for these problems and try to find solutions and will do whatever it takes to solve them. I am up for any suggestion to fix it.

Thank you.

Monday, April 18, 2011

District 2 LOL

We told you the local paper would start shilling for the incumbents, imagine that.  First up, District 2.  Which is funny if you know the real story behind the claims the incumbent is making. 

Clyde knows.  Read his picks. Like him or not, you'll get the truth.  Makes you wonder WHY the "news" doesn't know (or report) the whole story.

And all you Fort Worth District 2 voters - Check out Paul Rudisill

YOU can't afford not to.

There's some land in District 2 that they are trying to eminent domain.  Remember that when you vote.  YOURS could be next.

WHO owns the road?

Incoming news from our friends at  If YOU don't know WHO they are, YOU need to.  YOU can't afford not to.  Hurry, before there's no Texas Turf left.

Sell-out: Committees pass bills to allow foreign-owned toll roads & the sale of other infrastructure to private corporations-- including WATER supply facilities, ports, public buildings, & hospitals, using public private partnerships (PPPs)

House passes eminent domain bill, SB 18, with few changes
-- Doesn't prevent eminent domain for private gain in the name of a "public use," like foreign-owned toll roads.

HB 2255 & HB 2432 UNLEASH public private partnerships (PPPs) across Texas

PPPs are kept SECRET from the public, eliminate competitive bidding, put the taxpayers on the hook for losses, grant monopolies over public infrastructure & charge user fees for public access. In the case of roads, they contain non-competes that prohibit or penalize the expansion of free roads & the published toll rates are 75-80 cents per mile, like adding $15 to EVERY gallon of gas you buy!

HB 2255 (Phillips) - Passed out of Committee Wednesday, despite substantial public opposition and objections by Rep. Yvonne Davis about the lack of competitive bidding, read about the drama here. This bill would sell-off portions of SEVEN Texas highways (Grand Pkwy around Houston, I-35E in DFW, two segments of 183 in DFW, I-35W & I-820 in DFW, and SH 249 in Harris and Montgomery counties) to foreign corporations in SWEETHEART DEALS.

HB 2432 (J. Davis) - Passed out of Committee, also in spite of public opposition by 7 different groups. This bill is being pushed by Balfour Beatty, a British infrastructure firm, and it applies to virtually EVERY other kind of infrastructure aside from roads like: WATER supply facilities, hospitals, mass transit, ports, public bldgs for up to 100 YEARS! Who does this bill benefit? Lobbyists from foreign countries seeking to takeover our infrastructure, not Texans!

Go here to learn more and to help!

To Kill a Boondoogle

Click for enlarged view...

Excellent flier.  In 2009, four Fort Worth Mayors let YOU know they "can't" be wrong.  Funny, the voters said otherwise. 

The top line of the "Friends of Betsy Price" is a perfect example of what we blogged earlier.

Kay Granger, the lead of the Trinity River Vision boondoggle, Charlie Geren, the House Bill 2636 pusher, and Judy Needham the FWISD trustee that backpeddled on her gas drilling letter. (The same trustee that was in the news concerning gas drilling about a month ago.) 

So, what do YOU think?  And again, WHO will make up Betsy's $100,000 a year pay cut to be Mayor?

WHO should control WHO YOUR Mayor is?

Elected officials?  Or YOU?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Write On - Write In

We can only think of a few reasons someone would wait to file as a write-in candidate.  This could be a good one why it happened in Haltom City.

Read the letter to the Editor in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about voting for Bob Watkins in Haltom City.  If we were you, we'd vote for the new.  The old guard seems to be wearing on the citizens and their checkbooks. 

WHO is the letter writer?  Sources say the head of the Planning and Zoning board.  What does that tell YOU? 

Write-in candidate

It is time to vote for a new mayor in Haltom City. Our council has done a decent job over the last few years, and, as can be expected, one of the council members is running for the office of mayor.

I encourage all of my fellow residents to get out and vote for Bob Watkins as a write-in candidate. Watkins has been an active part of our city's politics for years. I feel he has the best qualifications and interest for Haltom City.

All early voting will be at the old library. Please join me in voting for Bob Watkins as mayor as a write-in candidate.

-- Juanita Adam, Haltom City

Friday, April 15, 2011

The wind's blowing in Texas...

The wind in Texas is kinda like the water...
NOBODY controls it.

Toal Roads...

We found an amusing letter to the editor in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram today. 

James Toal, a long time leader of Gideon Toal, had something to say.  Seems he wants more of YOUR money.  For those of you who don't know Gideon Toal, here are some tidbits found online at Gideon Toal and various sites. 

Gideon Toal has been retained by Tarrant Regional Water District, in conjunction with Streams and Valleys, City of Fort Worth, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Tarrant County to guide the planning and implementation of “Trinity Uptown™”. Our firm is hired to do phasing, implementation and funding strategies, including establishing a TIF District.

The plan aims to revitalize an 800-acre area north of downtown Fort Worth with a combination of public improvements and private development. Its goal is to provide a vibrant, stimulating environment in which families can live, work, shop, play and learn.
Some other Gideon Toal projects:
Trinity River Master Plan
Trinity River Vision Authority Office
Tarrant Regional Water District Annex
Tarrant County College complex
Tarrant County Jail 

 See a pattern yet?

In today's paper James Toal says he'll spend the money if YOU will for transit...he wants to do justice for the next generation.  Does he mean that generation that will be broke since they will be paying for the Trinity River Vision for the next 40 years?  The project and its projects that he has made a fortune from?  Talk about throwing our pennies away.   If we're paying for all the "private development" maybe Toal should  foot the bill for the transportation.  Or better yet, hit the road.

Funding transit

Good transportation includes buses, commuter rail, light rail, highways and regional systems.

People try to compare Tarrant County and Fort Worth with the Dallas region, Denver, Portland, etc. Why do Denver and these other regions have light rail, commuter rail and buses?

Answer: The Dallas Area Rapid Transit system receives one penny in sales tax revenue.

Fort Worth's T is mostly a city system that has a half-cent in sales tax. That is the difference between regional systems vs. a mostly local bus system.

If Fort Worth, Tarrant County and adjoining counties to the west, north and south desire better transportation, I suggest that instead of throwing those pennies away, they bond together on a regional system and spend them on transit and transportation.

We do not have a lack of good regional planning; we have some of the best planners and government administrators in the world. We do have a lack of financing.

So spend the extra half-cent. I will if you will. If you don't, we will not do justice to the next generation.

-- James Toal, Fort Worth

No #$@%

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has an article titled, Lane, Price lead in fundraising for Fort Worth mayoral election. 

Duh.  Of course they do.  The career politicians of Tarrant County are all trying to outspend each other.  Their campaign and donation rosters read like the WHO's WHO of the Fort Worth Way (that's not a good thing).  Congresswoman Kay Granger asking Besty Price to run. (Again, WHO is going to make up her $100,000 a year pay cut?).  Former Mayor, current Chesapeake employee, Ken Barr on Jim Lane's campaign staff. We noticed Marty Leonard, a fellow Tarrant Regional Water District Board with Lane, donated to Price.  What does that tell you?  

Do YOU want a mayor who is bought and is beholden to those WHO paid?  Or do YOU want a real person WHO cares about THE PEOPLE, not the players?

If you want someone not bought and paid for by special interests, wise up.  We've noticed a pattern, those running with less money are running for a reason - YOU.

While city council races are supposed to be nonpartisan, many people keep ending up on the blog searching for Jim Lane's political party, you can learn that here.

Unless they say something new, we won't post the Fort Worth Star-Telegram editorial board picks here, as they usually always say "Vote for the incumbent".  It will be interesting to see what they say since there isn't one for Mayor.

We've been asked WHO gets our vote for Mayor?  While we usually don't agree on things, we all agree on this one.  Cathy Hirt.  Hands down. If you were at the forum last night, you know why.  Do yourself a favor, get someone in office that cares about saving you money, not about status with the players.  The cost of the "status" is too expensive.  Fort Worth can't afford it.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Law of Domain

See Sal Espino's response to a Northeast Tarrant Tea Party questionnaire concerning eminent domain.

Bet those 90 businesses and property owners in the path of Trinity River Vision are glad to hear about the law...too bad the Tarrant Regional Water District is above the law.  WHY is that? 

ASK your "leaders".

Heck, even ask Sal.

Which of the following items are acceptable uses of the power of eminent domain by the city?

___Economic development
___Transportation projects
___Community projects

I strongly support private property rights. Eminent domain is dictated by state and federal law. Our U.S. Constitution in the 5th Amendment has the following language: “…nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation…” Eminent domain under state and federal law can be used to address infrastructure whether it be road, water, sewer, etc. It does include right of way acquisition through eminent domain for transportation projects. Under state law, one CANNOT use eminent domain for economic development. It is allowed for urban blight and parks. Obviously, if a property is substandard and there is a threat to the public health, safety, or welfare of the public, the governmental entity after due process to the property owner , can demolish the structure. In conclusion, I favor following federal and state law on eminent domain.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Fort Worth ISD Interests

Yesterday we told you we hoped the kids in Keller grew up to be a trustee on the FWISD board.  Today, the Fort Worth Weekly tells you WHY we need them. 

Read it all here.

WHO's watching out for YOUR kids?

A small storm has broken out in the Fort Worth school district over nearly identical letters sent by two school board trustees to the Texas House Energy Resources Committee regarding a bill that would put gas wells farther away from local school kids. Oh, and both trustees took ’em back, after word spread of what the letters said.

... from Fort Worth trustees Tobi Jackson and Judy Needham.

Both letters, in their next paragraphs, noted that “The FWISD has already executed many leases that would be negatively impacted by HB1556. In several cases this proposal would make the production of leased minerals physically impossible to produce, thus stranding not only our own minerals but also our neighbors’, resulting in lost tax revenue that is desperately needed right now.”

The similar wording of the letters and the timing of the backpedaling are, um, interesting coincidences to ponder. But the real question is, what do the letters reveal about how much school trustees are really thinking about the safety of students when they make gas well decisions?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Kudos to Keller

The kids in Keller, that is.

Yesterday 500 of them spoke out about canning their teachers. Several held signs that said, "Save our teachers, save our future".  Some walked four miles to be heard.  That's more than some adults will ever do.  Bravo, Keller kids, bravo.

Maybe the kids in Keller will grow up to become the next Governor, or Fort Worth school board trustee.  One can only hope.

Read about the Keller kids, in the Keller Citizen and what the FWISD Trustees are mixed up in this time in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

The day before the House Energy Resources Committee held a hearing on the bill, a Facebook posting by local attorney Jason Smith, who testified in favor of the bill, said an energy company lobbyist was "bragging" that he had letters in his pocket from some Fort Worth school trustees who opposed the bill.

The e-mails show that Jackson and Needham provided written testimony March 15 that opposed Burnam's bill, which is endorsed by the Texas Association of School Boards. Jackson and Needham rescinded their testimony hours after the Facebook posting by Smith.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Your Invitation!

TRIP invites you to join us for a viewing of the locally made film “Up a Creek” exploring various impacts of the Trinity River Vision project.
Citizens Who Care will present the
Alternative Trinity River Vision plan after the film.
Wednesday April 13th, 2011
6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Elks Lodge
3233 White Settlement Road
Fort Worth

This is an important viewing that will enlighten neighborhood leaders, political candidates, and every taxpayer.
If you pay Federal taxes, Tarrant County taxes, Fort Worth taxes or
Tarrant Regional Water District taxes – YOU need to see this film!

TRIP is a non-partisan, non-profit organization which advocates cleaning the river and supporting development that doesn’t despoil the natural aesthetics and historic nature of the river.

Truth Hurts...

Betty Fay is back!  How we have missed her! 

Read her latest in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram today. 

Our Texas?
Texas, our Texas,

Ignorance is respected,
education neglected
and the uninformed elected,
leaving children unprotected .

-- Betty W. Fay, Fort Worth

Friday, April 8, 2011

"Texas math" and water

Incoming from Parker County...Alpha Particles in YOUR water.  The map above shows the water source, which is now surrounded by gas drilling.  (Multiple wells per red dot).

People come here daily searching Parker County water.  That should be the first sign.  The second is when the agency supposed to be regulating it uses "Texas Math" to determine the danger.

Several Parker County residents received the TCEQ form letter this week telling them their water contains radiation.  They say it's not dangerous.  If the math is fuzzy, and with their history, do YOU believe them? 

By the way, those mailers don't go to everyone. At the bottom of the TCEQ form letter it states -

"Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools and businesses).

Feel better?

KHOU did a story on this last year.  

KHOU: “Do you think the ‘Average Joe’ knows there's radiation in the water?”
GOODALL: “Well I can't speak for the ‘Average Joe’ but I know that we sent out mailers.”

Texas officials charged with protecting the environment and public health have for years made arbitrary subtractions to the measured levels of radiation delivered by water utilities across the state, according to a series of investigative reports out of Houston.

Those subtractions, based on the test results' margin of error, made all the difference for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ): without the reduction, demonstrated levels of dangerous radiation would have been in excess of federal limits for years.

This was being done in direct contravention of an order by the US Environmental Protection Agency, which told state regulators in 2000 to stop subtracting the margin of error.

Wonder what the margin of error is in Parker County water?

Thursday, April 7, 2011


We've noticed that recently, on the "news", it's the same story in city after city.

Each city has had to cut services to the citizens, cutting jobs, closing pools, shortening library hours, cutting teachers in the school districts, no funding for infrastructure or police, fire, etc.

However, several of these cities (all?) want to raise taxes, or obligate the taxpayers to pay for new development. What is wrong with this picture? Did their parents not teach them any better?  You don't spend money you don't have on things you don't need.  Even if it's someone else's.

Then, last night on WFAA, we heard some in Dallas say they should give the earmark Trinity River bridge money back.  That's the best thing we've heard since Don Woodard said the same about the Trinity River Vision earmark money in Fort Worth, he said it might encourage every city across America to do the same.  That man may just be on to something.

What's downstream of the Fort Worth Trinity River Vision earmark?  Oh, the Dallas Trinity River bridge earmark...

What would not change is the $92 million in federal earmarks to pay for the remaining arches — and for anything else beyond the cost of a basic bridge over the Trinity.

Suhm said Dallas still deserves the earmarks.

But with the Washington debate about debt and cutting spending, Phillip Dennis — who is on the steering committee for the Dallas Tea Party — said earmarks for a designer bridge can't be justified.

In a written statement to News 8 on Tuesday, Hutchison wouldn’t say whether the earmark is still appropriate or should still be spent — only that the federal share “has been met.”

The Tea Party's Dennis accused Sessions of talking out of both sides of his mouth on the earmarks issue. “If he's against them now, then he should be against this $92 million," Dennis said. "Let's use it toward paying off our record $1.65 trillion deficit this year.”

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Down the Road

Imagine, a TIF (tax increment financing district) that didn't live up to its expectations or projections.  No, not the Trinity River Vision, everyone but the project "leaders" know that won't happen.  We're talking down the road from there, in Keller.   Read about it in the the Keller Citizen.  Then ask the TRV project "leaders" to read about it too.  Someone should ask the Fort Worth Star-Telegram what the difference is too.

So, WHO pays?  And WHO benefits?  Be sure and read the comments on the article, if you live in Tarrant County, YOU can't afford not to.

The tax increment financing district was created in 1998, and the city borrowed about $33 million to fund construction of Town Hall, a natatorium, streets, a lake and other infrastructure in it. Officials anticipated that tax revenues within the district would pay off the debt. Projections were that the district would attract development that would generate $29.7 million in tax revenue by last Sept. 30. Instead, the district brought in only $17.8 million, O’Leary told the council.

“You’ll see how substantial these numbers are, in terms of what the community has to subsidize to keep things afloat,” he said.

Compounding the financial problems, overall property values in the district fell for the first time this year, dropping 9 percent, O’Leary reported. "The value now is about $12 million less than it was a year ago," he said.

Making Waves

The Trinity River Improvement Partnership (TRIP) has been making waves, and it ain't in the wakeboard park.  They also aren't using your tax dollars to do so.

They have held meetings and movie screenings recently and today they are in the FW Weekly.  YOU can't afford to miss it.  Be sure and note their next free event next week!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Taxpayers Say - Enough Already!

Like it's not bad enough that the Trinity River Vision and its "Authority" already spends YOUR money to advertise to YOU, for YOU to pay for their development, they want YOU to pay to come listen to them.  You can't make this stuff up.  And apparently all YOUR money doesn't buy any creativity, we recently noticed some around town "borrowing" tag lines from some of our friends.  You know what they say about imitation.

BBN Fort Worth


Laura Mayberry Bacigalupo

Public Information Officer

Trinity River Vision Authority

Laura Bacigalupo has worked with the Trinity River Vision Authority since March of 2008. She manages the outreach efforts related to the Trinity River Vision project which includes the project’s website, newsletter, education center, media inquiries, presentations to community groups and other communication initiatives.

With project construction in full swing and tons of events planned up and down the river – this year is shaping up to be the most exciting year yet for The Trinity River Vision! You will not want to miss this opportunity to hear Ms. Bacigalupo discuss the many challenges the TRV faces and what the current and future projects holds for YOUR community.

The Fort Worth Way...

Good letter to the editor from Don Woodard in today's Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Brings up some other questions we have received concerning the race for Fort Worth Mayor.

How is Jim Lane able to use Molly the Longhorn on his campaign signs?  Doesn't that belong to Fort Worth?  How is he able to put his signs on Tarrant Regional Water District property?  Is anyone else able to advertise on property owned by the taxpayers?

WHY would Kay Granger ask Betsy Price to run when Jim Lane is a champion of the Trinity River Vision / Mirage?  Because Lane is a democrat?  WHY would Betsy Price take a $100,000 a year pay cut to be Mayor?  WHO will make up that difference?  WHAT will it really cost? WHO will she answer to? 

Below is Mr.Woodard's latest -

Hawaii's state motto is "The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness."

Is it right for Kay Granger to practice nepotism with a $140,000 job for her son?

Is it right for Tax Assessor Betsy Price to run for mayor while collecting a $140,000 salary?

Dan Barrett says, "It does not pass the smell test."

Here is how Shakespeare would say it: "There's something rotten in the State of Denmark."

Elect Cathy Hirt mayor -- our last best hope to kill the Trinity River Vision boondoggle.

-- Don Woodard Sr., Fort Worth

Roundabout alright...

The Trinity River Vision is still going in circles...

Read the Fort Worth Star-Telegram article about the bridge delay and the roundabout.  We'll share Howie's comments with you below.  They might just make your day. 

And we have a question, WHY is the wakeboard park the first part of this project?  How many lives will be protected from flooding by a wakeboard park?  WHO asked for a wakeboard park?  THE PEOPLE?  THE VOTERS?  Yeah, that's what we thought.  Talk about going in circles...

Here's a good quote from the article, what's wrong with this picture?

The new Henderson Street bridge will not replace the one over the Trinity River. It will span a bypass channel that will be completed after the bridges are built.

"Howie's comment" -
From a future Startle-Gram newspaper:


Fort Worth, TX --- The long awaited Trinity River Vision development was unveiled at a ceremony on Tuesday, April 5th, 2057, at the Kay Granger Memorial Roundabout, Mayor Mikey Moncrief, great grandson of former mayor Mike Moncrief, presented a key to the city to Granger's own great grandson, Grady Granger, Jr., who is president of the TRV project's board of directors. The project's final cost was $536 billion dollars. Cost to taxpayers was $500 billion. "It was well spent tax payer money," Granger gushed as he used a big fake pair of scissors to cut the ceremonial ribbon that stretched from one side of the roundabout to the other. Protesters, who were kept inside a pig pen one mile away as required by state law, demanded transparency and a federal investigation into waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer money. "We're positive the taxpayers are getting their money's worth," Granger quipped while getting a high five from Moncrief III.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Trinity River Vision Shell Game Continues

WHO pays?  YOU do.

What now?  The bridge at Henderson....yes, again. 

Here is one of the emails we were forwarded about this.  YOU should be there Tuesday.  It could save YOU some money.

See the attached M & C which the Council is being asked to ratify Tuesday night. Staff applied for a state grant to reimburse some costs for the TRV Henderson Street Bridge and now they are asking Council to ratify the application.

Note that if the grant is approved, the state would reimburse the funds over a 10-15 year period and that just 80 to 90 percent of the money is actually reimbursed. See if you can figure out from the vague descriptions in the M & C exactly what is to be reimbursed. This one calls for a detailed explanation at pre-council about how much more the City may be out because everything won't be reimbursed even if they do get the grant.

The shell game continues. City Council candidates need to make an issue of this -- our city is strapped for funds, but we continue to front funds or not be reimbursed fully for expenses on the TRV project. Citizens probably won't like this and they need to know about it.

Award of Contract

1. M&C C-24837

- Ratify the Application for and Authorize Acceptance of a Grant, if Awarded, of Pass Through Financing Project Funds in an Amount Up to $10,510,000.00 for the Construction of the New Henderson Street Bridge with the Texas Department of Transportation and Adopt Appropriation Ordinance (COUNCIL DISTRICT 9)

M & C 24837

DATE: 4/5/2011 REFERENCE NO.: C-24837 LOG NAME: 06HENDERSON STREET BRIDGE CODE: C TYPE: NON-CONSENT PUBLIC HEARING: NO SUBJECT: Ratify the Application for and Authorize Acceptance of a Grant, if Awarded, of Pass Through Financing Project Funds in an Amount Up to $10,510,000.00 for the Construction of the New Henderson Street Bridge with the Texas Department of Transportation and Adopt Appropriation Ordinance (COUNCIL DISTRICT 9)


It is recommended that the City Council:

1. Authorize the City Manager, if selected, to execute a contract with the Texas Department of Transportation for the reimbursement;

2. Ratify the application for and authorize the City Manager to accept, if awarded, a grant in an amount up to $10,510,000.00 in Pass Through Financing Project Funds from the Texas Department of Transportation for construction of the Henderson Street Bridge Project; and

3. Adopt the attached appropriation ordinance increasing estimated receipts and appropriations in the Grant Fund by $10,510,000.00.


The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has allocated $250 million in funding for the 2011 Pass Through Financing Program. Applications were dueMarch 1, 2011, and qualifying projects had to be part of TxDOT's highway system ("on-system") in order to be eligible for selection. Reimbursement is only for local dollars that were contributed for construction by a local agency, and full reimbursement occurs over a 10-15 year period. On average, 80-90% of local costs are reimbursed with respect to selected projects. However, the actual reimbursement rate is negotiated after project selection and is primarily based upon the amount of traffic annually "passing through" the transportation improvement.

After staff reviewed multiple city projects, the only project meeting TxDOT's criteria for the Pass Through Financing Program was the new Henderson Street Bridge. This Bridge is located on State Highway 199 and it is being constructed in order to span the new bypass channel that is part of the Trinity River Vision – Central City Project. The new bridge is expected to begin construction in mid-2012 with an estimated construction cost of $20.26 million, including an additional $3.05 million in construction contingencies. Of this amount, $12.8 million is already funded by the federal government with the remaining $10.51 million coming from local funds. The City's portion comes from funding that was previously set aside by voters in the 2004 and 2008 Capital Improvement Programs.

The purpose of the application that has already been submitted to TxDOT for Pass Through Financing is to request reimbursement for the local dollars already budgeted for the Henderson Street Bridge Project. Because of the short turnaround with respect to the grant program submittal deadline, and because this program does not require any additional local matching funds beyond those already budgeted, the application was submitted prior to the March 1 deadline. Therefore, the City Council is being asked to ratify the application process. A letter of support from the Regional Transportation Council (RTC) that was approved at their February 10, 2011 meeting was also included in the application.

This project is located in COUNCIL DISTRICTS 2 and 9, Mapsco 62U, 62Y and 62Q and will benefit the entire City. FISCAL INFORMATION/CERTIFICATION:

The Financial Management Services Director certifies that upon approval of the above recommendations, receipt of the grant, and adoption of the attached appropriation ordinance funds will be available in the current operating budget, as appropriated, of the Grants Fund. Funds will be reimbursed by grantor after expenditures are made.

TO Fund/Account/Centers

GR74 451942 006302459000 $10,510,000.00

GR74 5 (VARIOUS) 006302459300 $10,510,000.00

FROM Fund/Account/Centers

Submitted for City Manager's Office by: Fernando Costa (6122)

Originating Department Head: Randle Harwood (6101)

Additional Information Contact: Mark Rauscher (2446)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

"News" Flash

You can miss a lot around here in a day or two.  Apparently all kinds of video... stuff YOU can't afford to miss. 

We learned more about the Trinity River Vision, flooding, TIFs, earmarks, eminent domain, etc. than all the "news" we've seen combined.  Ever.  Bravo.

And guess who has it?  The "news"? Hell no. Durango, who else?


Watch both links.  YOU can't afford not to.