Friday, July 29, 2011

Fort Worth Bullies

Fort Worth Weekly does a good job reporting on the bullies in the Fort Worth School District.  It doesn't stop there either, Fort Worth is full of bullies from the classroom, to the ISD, from City Hall to Capitol Hill.

Is there a law against that?

Read the article here.  Don't miss the comments, those in the know tell you many things if you listen.

Kudos to the Weekly for racking up awards in Houston and New Orleans!  Keep up the good work!

Government and Kids...

Two letters to the Editor in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram make some very interesting points.

About government...we'll have more to say on that soon.  YOU won't want to miss it, YOU can't afford to.  And we have to assume the Fort Worth swimming pool letter writer is 14.  Wouldn't it be great if all 14 year olds paid attention?  They are our future after all.

Bloated government

In these times of industry cutbacks, layoffs and "clearing out the deadwood," it is interesting to note that the largest employer in the U.S. has more than 500,000 employees whose base salary exceeds $100,000 per year and who enjoy a job security rate of more than 99 percent (per a recent CNN release).

That largest employer is the federal government. Our national leadership continues to tell us we need to tighten our belts and expect our households and our industries to do more with less and contribute more of our "fair share" to the general welfare of all citizens. If the federal government were to implement the same 15 percent reduction in force that Lockheed Martin is, it would reduce base salaries in the $100K club by $7.5 billion a year. Eliminate just a few of the anachronistic, useless agencies and the lifetime-benefit packages to former legislators and we could make some real strides in deficit reduction.

Seems like a good place to start reducing cost of government to me.

-- Drex Rutledge, Burleson

Fort Worth pools

It has come to my attention that the public pools of Fort Worth have closed because of a lack of maintenance and money to fix them. This is both shocking and disappointing, especially to a 14-year-old.

In some places in the city, there are no other places to swim except public pools. Kids in these parts of town need them, not only because this heat wave we are going through is brutal but to keep them out of trouble as well. Also, kids need to learn to swim for safety. This is not a skill that they can go through life without. Swimming is even a great source of summer exercise. The YMCAs are great for swimming. They have great facilities, and it only costs around a dollar to get in. But they are not placed conveniently around the city. They are only built in key places.

The public pools need to be restored and put back into business.

-- Trey S. Hille, Fort Worth

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Feil giving them Hell

Another North Texas Watchdog, watching out for YOU. 

Read about Kim in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Among her goals is to have Arlington, which has more than 380 active gas wells, and other cities require vapor recovery systems aimed at reducing the amount of smog-causing volatile organic compounds being emitted from drilling sites.

Feil criticizes the city leaders as too dependent on statistics and studies provided by the gas industry.

Trinity Turnaround

Don't get too excited yet, this one is in Dallas.  Though the truth is finally coming out about the Dallas Trinity River project/toll road, the FBI has arrived in Big D, and Erin Brochovich is almost to Texas (Oklahoma) - there's still hope for Cowtown.

Read about it in the Observer.  There are some good links on the page to other articles where pushers of the project are bailing off the bandwagon. 

 After a good 14 years of Trinity toll road rah-rahing and questioning the integrity of anyone who suggested that putting a road between the Trinity River levees was a bad idea, D Magazine has apparently (and quietly) changed its mind.

D, remember, mailed out a special section before the first Trinity bond election in 1998, tantalizing readers with pictures of boats sailing on downtown lakes.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

There's a reason

They call him the Watchdog.

See Don Young watching out for YOU concerning seismic testing  in Fort Worth here and concerning the Trinity Trees here.

Lone Star sends thanks to DY and all the other Watchdogs out there!!  Keep up the good work!

Not all sheep

The letters to the editor in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram prove that while the majority may be blind as a bat, not all citizens are sheep.

Letters about fuzzy math, one sided reporting, education, skewed priorities, groups that claim to represent all are just a few topics today.  Read them all.  Be sheep free.

Energy savings?

Arlington is spending $2.3 million to replace windows in a 30-year-old building. (See: "Arlington replacing single-pane window panels on City Tower," Monday)

The $78,000 a year potential savings in energy costs sounds great until you do the math. It will take more than 29 years just to break even on this investment. Is this really a wise use of funds in a time when government is supposedly looking for expenditures that can be cut?

-- Suzanne Hencken, Chico

I noticed the reporter only reported one side of the story and did not talk to Montgomery. Is this the current way to report? Is an article only the information that fits the story the reporter wants to write? What is the rest of the story?

-- Dan Moore, Fort Worth

Skewed priorities

How can Fort Worth be designated an All-American City when its priorities are so skewed? There is no money to open even one swimming pool for Fort Worth residents, and libraries are short of funds. However, $68,695 can be spent to put lights on a radio tower near Interstate 20 and Campus Drive. How much will the electric bill be for that tower and the ones in the Lancaster Avenue median?

Almost $25,000 is expected to be spent to help landscape and irrigate the median on a back road at the Fort Worth boundary with Saginaw. I know city funds are budgeted for specific purposes but it's time to reallocate funds to do what will accomplish the most good for the most people. I don't even live in Fort Worth, but I find this situation hard to ignore. Fort Worth residents need to speak up!

-- Pat Friar, Saginaw

WHO does Fort Worth belong to?

YOU decide.

Click here to see how many gas wells have been drilled in North Texas. 

Don't worry, the industry and their political friends say it's safe and everyone is going to make money...

20 years ago...

(Per Haliburton stopped burning fuel on their land in Duncan, OK. Now, the water is contaminated.

If it takes twenty years, what do YOU think Fort Worth will look like then?

THE PEOPLE of Duncan, Oklahoma were smart enough to call in Erin Brochovich.  She attended the meeting last night and her team is getting water samples.  Talk about a hero.  Hinkley, Duncan, WHO's next?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

WHO is looking out for YOU?

NAT GAS Act Profiteers
What about YOUR kids? 
WHO is looking out for them?

    Get caught up on TXSharon.

Putting 2 and 2 together

That's what we were doing yesterday when we discussed Erin Brockovich and Duncan, Oklahoma.

Guess WHO will be in Duncan tonight? 

Many locals have had contact with Erin over the past couple of years.  We can't wait till she makes it to Texas.  Literally.

Erin - When you're done in Duncan, come on down to Fort Worth.  The Welcome Wagon is ready!  So are THE PEOPLE.

Breath of Fresh Air (in Texas!)

A hero at TCEQ?  Someone standing up for the citizens?  Doing what they were designed to do?

We didn't believe it either, but a letter in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says it's so.

Kudos, sir.  If there were more like you, Texans could breathe easier.

Speak for yourself

As an employee of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and a servant on behalf of the residents of Texas and the environment, I am appalled and embarrassed by the recent commentary by fellow public servant and alleged environmental caretaker Bryan Shaw, chairman of the TCEQ. (See: "Time for science in Fort Worth air discussion," June 13) Let me be clear in saying Shaw does not speak for everyone at the agency. His words and the tone in which he expresses his thoughts and opinions are divisive, irresponsible and counterproductive and do not in any way reflect where I stand on environmental issues affecting this state.

If I speak on behalf of the agency or use my official position as a sounding board to push or endorse a personal opinion, I stand a good chance of losing my job. This is an official rule -- a rule that obviously does not apply to Shaw.

-- Derek Snyder, North Richland Hills

Abominable Politicians

Letter in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram speaks volumes. Let's get some people like this in office and get rid of the career politicians. 

Remember, if nothing is ever done, it just gets worse.  Yes, worse...

It is both sad and abominable that the people we send to Washington to run our government can't seem to focus on anything but the next election. If they can't put politics and personal gain aside and work together to get our country out of the mess it's in, they don't need to be there.

In addition, if they proved their worth by concentrating on and actually working to solve the problems facing this great country of ours, they wouldn't have to worry about being re-elected. That would be an entirely new concept.

We are sorely tired of constant electioneering.

-- Viola Smith, North Richland Hills

PAYING Attention

Not all are sheep asleep.  At least a few are standing up for YOU.  Too bad a forced pool is the only kind of pool Fort Worth has.

Read the letters in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Gas leases

"Protecting property owners' mineral rights," my foot. (See: Wednesday commentary)

The Railroad Commission's Rule 37 is confiscatory and antithetical to the principles under which this nation was founded. The separate Mineral Interest Pooling Act, if twisted in the way Glenn Johnson and Chesapeake Energy are trying to distort it, will be even worse.

What about the mineral rights of the victims of these predators? A Rule 37 exception just takes their minerals with no compensation whatever.

And in the present economy, is failure to sign a lease going to prevent production of someone's minerals? No!

Why? Because the sales price of gas is too low to recover drilling costs now, and nobody wants to sell their gas in a glutted market anyway. All the investor publications say so.

Chesapeake is filing cases with the Railroad Commission not to facilitate production but to consolidate all the land in a unit cheaply and hold it for speculation.

They are not completing wells and gathering pipelines now. They are posturing on the drilling pads and drilling a few hundred feet and calling that a good-faith effort to produce in order to hold their existing leases.

When the market once again supports profitable drilling and production, perhaps those unleased mineral owners will see a reason to lease.

-- Jerry J. Lobdill, Fort Worth

Anyone who believes Chesapeake Energy is just a benevolent organization that wants everyone to participate in the production of this wonderful Barnett Shale is what I call a fool.

Chesapeake is neither a benevolent nor a philanthropic organization bent on giving money away without any strings attached.

The fact is that the precedent for "force pooling" unleased mineral interests is already outlined in what is commonly referred to as the "Finley Resources" decision from the Railroad Commission (Oil and Gas Docket No. 09-0252373).

Within that decision the Railroad Commission has ruled that if Chesapeake wants to force pool unleased mineral owners it may do so in this way: (1) the owners of unleased tracts within the unit are pooled as owners of a one-fifth royalty and four-fifths working interest, proportionately reduced; (2) the mineral owner's share of expenses, subject to a zero risk penalty, are payable only from the four-fifths of production rather than from their entire mineral interest.

This latest attempt by Chesapeake is to simply reverse the Finley decision with one that is -- again -- in its interest only.

Fools do seem to abound these days.

-- Louis McBee, Fort Worth

Monday, July 25, 2011

Speaking of Water...

While we are being told to conserve water by the full page, full color ads in the local papers, the Tarrant Regional Water District has been busy adding their new updated logo and sculpture(?) to their gated offices on the  banks of the Trinity River.

Thank goodness, there were some that worried the District wasn't really focused.

Got Water?

Duncan, Oklahoma does.  Because Haliburton is supplying it. 

In a country where the industry repeatedly claims, "there has never been a case of water contamination", there sure seems to be a lot of water buying going on.  And if YOU didn't pollute someone's water, WHY would you offer to pay any healthcare costs associated?  Read about it on TXSharon's new website.

Does anyone not remember Erin Brockovich??

Erin’s exhaustive investigation uncovered that Pacific Gas & Electric had been poisoning the small town of Hinkley’s Water for over 30 years. It was because of Erin’s unwavering tenacity that PG & E had been exposed for leaking toxic Chromium 6 into the ground water. This poison affected the health of the population of Hinkley. In 1996, as a result of the largest direct action lawsuit of its kind, spear-headed by Erin and Ed Masry, the utility giant was forced to pay out the largest toxic tort injury settlement in US history: $333 million in damages to more than 600 Hinkley residents.

For the latest, go here.

Toll Roads - from Texas to Indiana

Earlier we mentioned your kids having to pay Spain to drive on the freeways in Texas (you'll get to explain to them HOW that happened). 

Then we read a recent article from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (via the TURF website) in which this Spanish company may default on the toll roads being built in Indiana.  WHAT happens then?  WHO pays?  YOU guessed it.  YOU do.  Tolls not included. 

So, let's see, if the toll roads have "lower toll revenue than originally forecast" (or projected by those trying to sell the project), the taxpayers end up paying for it twice?  Did anyone else just hear the words Trinity River Vision? 

Cintra, the Spain-based company that leads a team operating the Indiana Toll Road, has used up most of its rainy-day fun and is running out of money to pay debt. The shortfall is the result of lower traffic -- and lower toll revenue -- than originally forecast, according to financial news reports.

Cintra and its partners are also building the $2.1 billion North Tarrant Express, which involves the reconstruction of Loop 820 and Texas 121/183 in Northeast Tarrant County. Cintra is also the lead partner in the LBJ Express, which includes the expansion of Interstate 635 in Dallas.

With a default, the project could return to the state, which means that taxpayers and motorists could be left with an unfinished road, according to a Star-Telegram review of the state's contract with the North Tarrant Express developer. If no other developer could be found, public money would be needed to complete whatever portion of the 52-year project wasn't finished.

What does a Texas Hero look like?

Like her.

Teri Hall. 

A mother of 8 who travels all over the state speaking up for taxpayers.  That calls these un-elected (appointed) non- government boards out for what they really are.  (They have ARMA, we have the COG).   One of these ARMA non-elected (appointed) board members insults Mrs. Hall by claiming she doesn't even live in the county she is speaking in.  Mrs.Hall reminds the childish board member 281 is a state highway, running from one end of Texas to another. 

Watch the video below, it's worth a few minutes of your time.  Unless of course, you and your kids want to pay Spain to drive on every road in Texas.  Notice WHO is in the audience, not average citizens (which should be) but those WHO (more than likely) helped get the board members appointed and who have a financial stake in the game.  We can assure you there would be more looks and comments if it weren't for the cameras rolling and, some of the good ol' boys have met Mrs. Hall before.  On occasion, you can teach old dogs new tricks.

It's 8 minutes long, but remember it's only the beginning.

Want to learn more?  Check out Truth Be Tolled.  YOU can't afford not to.

Oh say can YOU see?

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram Editorial board has jumped on the Fort Worth City Councilman Sal Espino story.

Problem is, there are MANY Tarrant County politicians with MANY stories to be told.  YOU'd be amazed what you can find, if you just look.  So, WHY is no one looking?

Kudos again to WFAA for bringing the story to light.  Wonder what else they can find? 

In a May 25 e-mail, Espino didn't just complain that the judge had treated his wife "quite rudely and contrary to the normal judicial demeanor standards." He said he would put on the next council meeting agenda the subject of a sunset review for the municipal courts and "other inefficient departments." He also hinted that he might ask for an internal audit of the courts. He apologized the next day.

WFAA/Channel 8 brought Espino's huffing to light in a Thursday night report, during which he said that as a council member he has "a right to make sure departments operate at optimal efficiency."

Right? Probably not. Duty? Certainly. But griping at city employees over his spouse's poor treatment? Not the best form -- or the most objective way of exercising an elected representative's authority.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Fort Worth Lost a Hero

RIP, sir.

Joe Don Brandon, 57, was Fort Worth's most well known homeless person.

Every year Joe Don would put on his Santa Claus outfit and stand on overpasses on I-35, waving at passing vehicles.

Joe Don frequently showed up at Fort Worth City Council meetings, chastising the city for not righting the wrongs he saw on the streets of Fort Worth.

Joe Don's body was found Thursday inside the non air-conditioned rental locker storage shed he called home.

Fort Worth's former mayor, Mike Moncrief said, "Joe Don did make a difference with his weekly messages of criticism. And on occasion, rare occasion, compliments."

Fort Worth homeless people gathered under the shade of a Lancaster Avenue tree Friday to share memories of Joe Don Brandon.

For more about Joe Don Brandon watch the video below...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Saltwater Disposal Hell

Oops, Well.  The word is well.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports on the city council meeting about extending the moratorium for Saltwater disposal wells in Fort Worth for gas drilling. 

Since 2002, urban gas drilling has seeped into almost every corner of Fort Worth, Tarrant County and surrounding counties to the north, south and west. But we still don't have a good way to deal with the 3.5 million gallons or so of wastewater from hydraulic fracturing at each of those wells or the "produced water" that comes up out of the hole afterward.

The standard way is to inject it back into another hole dug into a formation even deeper than the mile-deep, gas-rich Barnett Shale. But some people call that pollution -- gas well wastewater has a salt content about three times that of seawater. Some scientists have even blamed deep injection wells for minor earthquakes in North Texas.

Our favorite part of the report?  A comment from a citizen living near a drill site.  

I married a Texan, moved here a few years ago. I have a BS degree in zoology and a certificate in Environmental Engineering Technology. I come from Alberta, known for natural gas drilling as well as oil patch drilling. What I have seen here is a joke, an environmental disaster.

They put a well in right at the edge of our property, 5 1/2 acres south of Fort Worth. I have been watching the construction, drilling and operation. Of course we get money from the company, very little actually. It is not even worth the smell, noise and damage they have done to our land. After everyone from Mansfield ISD to Tarrant County take their cuts, we get pocket change. Now we have bottom feeding lawyers and ambulance chasers sending us collection notices on taxes from every Tom, Dick and Harry out there that wants a cut.

I watched the construction and they took about every big shortcut they could. There is NO Environmental oversight what so ever. During the injection, they built a large Tailing Pond at the edge of our property. They did not use a liner, not bentonite nor plastic, in it's construction. The water was dumped in there to soak into the soil and evaporate. Afterwards it has been filled in, to hide the evidence I would guess. We have lost over 25 old growth oak trees in the space of 1 1/2 years. They have poisoned our ground water.

The fracing does occur too deep to affect the trees, that part is true. But when you do not line a tailing pond you will taint the ground water available to the plant life.

It would cost thousands to prove it, so why worry for the companies.

They are not paying the $$ to the little guys when they disrupt your life, destroy your peace and quiet and kill your trees. Where is the money going? I would look in government. Crooked bunch do nothing reprobates. Oh wait here comes another tax notice.

More Fort Worth Water Woes

The water main breaks in Fort Worth are increasing by the day.

WHAT causes water main breaks?  Cold weather, hot weather, soil shifting, inadequate infrastructure, aging infrastructure...

So if it's hotter than Hell in July and you bring in equipment that shakes entire houses on their foundation (i.e., moves the ground) wouldn't it stand to reason that seismic testing could in fact be the cause of a water main break? 

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has some numbers on the water main breaks.  Seems in a town concerned about running out of water, we'd spend more money on avoiding water main breaks than taking out full color, full page ads for the "Lawn Whisperer" telling residents to conserve water.

With the high temperatures, the ground starts to bake and the soil begins to move. Just as a house's foundation can suddenly develop cracks, so can the pipes carrying water to homes and businesses.

With 3,200 miles of waterlines and 3,100 miles of sewer lines, Fort Worth has a lot of opportunity for pipe breaks.

This month, Fort Worth has had 169 water main breaks, the most for a July since 2006. Part of the problem is that some cast-iron pipes are about a century old.

This summer's problems pale in comparison with July 1998, when a 36-inch water main broke, leaving most of downtown and the Medical District without water. At the time, one Water Department official ranked it as the city's third- or fourth-worst water-related problem in modern history, behind the 1949 flood and the drought of the mid-1950s.

Fort Worth Response

Oh wait, there wasn't one.  Not to the residents (taxpayers) anyway.  Reminds of us Carter Avenue...

We've been receiving copies of letters to Fort Worth council members from citizens with questions concerning seismic testing in their neighborhoods.  We posted those letters here and here.

Here's a portion of another one we received this week.

I share many of the same concerns expressed by the neighborhoods who were recently invaded by the rumbling of seismic trucks.  We live in the Wedgwood NA and had no prior notification let alone gave permission for the testing.  My 3 year old son was terrified that the house was suddenly shaking and I was hard pressed to explain it to him when I didn't even know what was going on myself.  I also noticed that the "police" escort with the convoy did not appear to be an officer, but a private vehicle labeled police complete with flashing reds and blues.  It had no city markings or vehicle numbers.  I wrote to Councilman Jungus Jordan, but over a week later have received no response.  Our neighborhood is only about 10% leased so I have no idea why they are testing over here.

We saw a blurb in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram recently that quoted a council member somewhat skirting the issues.

After seismic testing on July 4 in some Fort Worth neighborhoods led to complaints from residents, officials said they will prohibit those tests on city holidays.

"There has been a lot of confusion, even e-mails suggesting the water main break in east Fort Worth [last week] was due to this," District 8 Councilwoman Kathleen Hicks said. "That's not the case, but we need to do more education."

Some residents have said that the city hasn't been monitoring seismic testing and that the companies may be getting information about what's below the properties of homeowners who haven't signed leases, then using it against them in lease negotiations.

City officials said that drilling companies have a right to do the testing and that it is done all over the country. To educate the public, city officials said, they plan to place more information on the city's website.

Then we received the follow up letter below to the Fort Worth City Attorney.  If you live in Fort Worth, or know someone who does, YOU can't afford to miss it.  Don't forget, YOU voted for these council members, oh wait, some of YOU didn't bother to vote at all....

Remember, if YOU want to keep YOUR rights, YOU have to stand up for them.  YOUR politicians sure as hell aren't.

Dear Ms. Fullenwider-

You may have seen my message of two weeks ago to, Council Rep. Kathleen Hicks, seeking information about seismic testing or mapping being performed by Dawson Geophysical in Fort Worth. Because Ms. Hicks has not yet responded to my questions, I'm now asking you, the Fort Worth City Attorney, to please provide the information requested below.

Our key concerns are these:

> Unauthorized gathering of seismic data from un-leased properties

> Lack of warning from City or Dawson to perform baseline documentation of building foundations before they tested

> Possible damage to underground, public-owned infrastructure such as water, gas and sewer lines, fiber-optic cables, etc., short and long-term

> Potential harm to all life forms including people, pets, livestock and wildlife including, birds, pollinating insects and all subsurface animals

> Possible damage to public roadways, especially long-term

To help ease our concerns we request the following information from you:

1. Third-party documentation demonstrating it is safe to all life-forms, including, people, pets, wildlife and livestock.

2. Third-party documentation addressing impact to public roadways and utilities near and long-term.

3. Documentation showing that private pipeline, telephone, cable TV, electric companies, etc. have OK'd the testing without caveats.

4. Minutes from all FW Water, Sewer and Street Dept. meetings where seismic mapping was discussed and approved.

5. Documentation from the City identifying the responsible party in case of ANY damage at ANY time and explanation of how the City determines such responsibility

6. An explanation of public statement by Ms. Hicks that, "properties are protected from damage."

7. City plan for compensation in cases where damage occurs in the near and long term

8. Documentation that homeowners' insurance will not be impacted by seismic mapping

9. Copy of the bond or insurance document from Dawson Geophysical

10. List of comparable US cities where seismic mapping has taken place

The key words in our request are, "Third party, peer-reviewed documentation." Industry-supplied "education" documents are inherently, biased. If requested third-party studies have not been performed and observed to be safe over a long-term, then we strongly urge the City to halt seismic mapping immediately.

Why is this important? For one example: There were two recent water main breaks that came to my attention. Both are in areas where seismic mapping has occurred and may be linked to that activity. But the City seems to be confused or in denial about these events, unwilling to consider that possibility. Who knows how many other, similar events have occurred?

A recent Star-Telegram article quoted Ms. Hicks stating, unequivocally, that, "There has been a lot of confusion, even e-mails suggesting the water main break (last week near Sycamore Park) was due to this (seismic testing). That's not the case but we need to do more education."

However, her statement conflicts with an email I received from City of Fort Worth Water Director, Frank Crumb, who wrote, "The main break at Eastside Pump station last Thursday was most likely the result of the soil drying out and high pressures of summer pumping." Similarly, Water Dept. spokesperson, Mary Gugliuzza, when asked about same main break, told the Star-Telegram, "... the exact reason for this one? We don't know yet."

Neither statement from the Water Dept. is unequivocal yet, Ms. Hicks spoke with certainty. This sends a mixed message to the public who has growing concerns about this and other intrusions by the drilling industry. Apparently no one knows for certain if seismic mapping was a direct or secondary cause. One thing IS certain: Thumper trucks send out powerful vibrations underground.

Another water line break occurred in the Westcliff West neighborhood in May shortly after thumper trucks were in the area. In both cases, the public was temporarily deprived of water and taxpayers were billed for the breaks. It's important that we know with certainty what caused the breaks. The same is true of all impacted public and private infrastructure and the environment. Unbiased answers must come from independent sources with no ties to Dawson or the drilling industry.

Of equal concern is the unauthorized taking of data from un-leased property by Dawson who will sell the data to drilling companies. There are many un-leased property owners who are opposed to this and others who are simply unaware that Dawson will profit from their private property. This appears to be unethical if not illegal but the City did not divulge this fact to property owners.

Finally, we question if City staffers obtained their own information about seismic mapping from third-party, peer-reviewed sources or relied too heavily on the drilling industry for that info. Simply stating, as the City has done that, "drilling companies have a right to do the testing and that it is done all over the country", is not sufficient for our education. It sounds more like industry rhetoric. We need hard facts not reprints from industry pamphlets.

Our concerns are growing. My own research has turned up numerous real and potential impacts from seismic mapping, not to mention the legal and ethical concerns. These concerns cannot be resolved simply by prohibiting testing on city holidays, as the City has determined. By supplying the requested documents listed above those questions may be answered.

Sarah, we feel a responsibility to our families, friends and neighbors to know that this activity has been proven safe and that our property has not been used for private gain without consent. We can't abide by faith and industry promises, alone. As a Fort Worth resident and City Attorney, I'm sure you share our concerns.

Thanks for your prompt attention to this urgent matter.

Don Young

Fort Worth Double Standard

During the elections, you might remember a candidate (running against an incumbent) had a run in with some Fort Worth Bike Cops.  The local paper told you all about it, the incumbent even commented on it.  WHY didn't we see the incumbent's run in with the Fort Worth police/courts in the local paper?  Seems Sal Espino's wife was pulled over in 2009, she was then late to court in 2010, it caused some waves in Cowtown, but you never heard any of that.  WHY?  Did you hear Sal sent a letter saying he was going to get an audit and a sunset review for the department involved?  Yeah, us either.  Wonder WHY the "news" didn't mention any of that.

Watch the report on 

Let's see - she was speeding, she was late to court, she may or may not, depending on WHO you believe, have said, "Do you know who my husband is?"  And the court needs to be audited??

WHY would the media not tell you this last year?  Prior to the election?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

RIP Trinity Trees

I recently reported how gas drilling companies such as, Chesapeake and XTO have industrialized much of the Trinity River greenbelt in Fort Worth, including sections of the highly prized, Trinity Trails System. One of the first shots fired across the bow of the greenbelt was at a magical little place called, Trinity Trees.

Backstory---In 2007, Chesapeake Energy bought one of Fort Worth's most treasured green spaces known as Trinity Trees. The heavily-wooded 8.33-acre grove sits along the banks of the Trinity River near a popular hike-bike trail that has been used for generations. It contains some of the oldest and largest trees in Fort Worth.

Read the rest of the Trinity Trees story by Don Young on FWCANDO.

Hey, Media!

Enough with the fluff already - WHERE YOU at?

If you live in Texas, read the letter from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  YOU can't afford not to. 

Brutal tactics

Mike Norman's Thursday column speaks mildly of the gangster-like tactics of the oil and gas operators in Fort Worth and other communities in the Barnett Shale. (See: "Don't understand oil and gas? What's wrong?")

The industry many times ceased negotiations after the July 2008 crash of the gas boon. Industry representatives, now with partial but not fully developable lease tracts, are back in neighborhoods offering not only paltry bonuses, but leases with reduced royalty shares, unfair charge-backs against royalties, pre-waiver of all activities they deem necessary to operate, and pre-agreement to support variances to city and other governmental rules or laws, including setbacks and pipeline easements. Want that on your property?

The landmen have been bold and say if you do not sign this one-sided, inequitably paid lease then they will file a Rule 37 against your property and will take your gas minerals anyway. Envision a gun held to a property owner's head.

These are brutal tactics supported by the Texas Railroad Commission. The fact that a Chesapeake spokesperson used the word "generosity" is nothing but a perverse statement. Chesapeake and the others need to be exposed by the media for what they really are.

-- Gary Hogan, Fort Worth

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Divided they fail

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram's recent article concerning the Fort Worth School Board was so divided it was laughable.  Leave it to the Fort Worth Weekly to turn the lights on. What happens when you turn on the lights?  They scurry, quick.  Notice WHO didn't respond for the article.  The very same ones that "failed to show up" for a recent meeting.  Failed to show up?  For something they have been elected to do? Concerning our kids?  And these are the ones the S-T claims are above board?  The same ones that sent emails attacking the others by namecalling?  Elections can't come soon enough. 

No wonder the recent speaker at City Hall pointed out the difference of the "news" papers to Mayor Price.

Betsy Price ran this week’s city council meetings in the same manner she handles herself — she was pleasant, efficient, and confident. She remained calm after a resident took his turn to speak, lectured the council on how to vote, and told them not to believe anything in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram while urging them to take Fort Worth Weekly stories to the bank. Price smiled and joked with the guy about using her big gavel to keep the council in line. Former Mayor Mike Moncrief would have smiled in that situation too — but only after saying, “Release the dogs” and watching a pack of Dobermans maul the dissenter.

Back to the school board, be sure and read the article, otherwise, YOU don't know what you're missing.

After Johnson’s resignation, Vasquez, Sims, Sutherland, and Rangel asked board president Ray Dickerson to call a special meeting to name an interim superintendent; Dansby’s name had already been raised as the likeliest candidate. He had strong support from the local educational employees union and from a coalition of activists and ministers representing the city’s minority communities.

Needham, Norm Robbins, Christene Moss, and Jackson — all failed to show up. With no quorum, the meeting was cancelled even though the auditorium was full of Dansby supporters. A week later, on June 7, Dickerson called another special meeting, and Dansby was appointed.

Since May 2010, the daily has written 30 editorials implying dirty dealings and collusion by Sutherland, Rangel, and Vasquez, in particular in the awarding of a lucrative tax collection contract to the Austin-based law firm of Linebarger, Goggan, Blair & Sampson rather than to the local joint venture of Perdue, Brackett, Flores, Utt and Burns. Perdue had the contract for 17 years but lost it after the election of Sutherland and Jackson, both of whom voted with Rangel and Vasquez to hire Linebarger. Sims and Needham voted for Linebarger as well but faced no criticism from the daily paper.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mary's Creek

The Fort Worth Business Press gives you the heads up about the Fort Worth Water Department meeting concerning Mary's Creek. 

From the article it doesn't sound like much has changed, no matter how much the residents protest.  YOU should pay attention.  YOU could be next.

And speaking of water and sewage...check out Durango's question for the day. 

The Fort Worth Water Department will host an open house on July 21 to discuss plans to purchase a site for the future Mary’s Creek Water Reclamation Facility. The open house will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. at Western Hills Baptist Church at 8500 Chapin Road.

The event will feature no special presentation, but citizens with questions about the project can ask water department officials about the plans.

Work on the Mary’s Creek Water Reclamation Facility began in 2009 with a Site Selection Study that included a Community Advisory Committee. The committee recommended criteria for selecting the site.

Cease and Desist

30" water line breach in FW near Sycamore Park. July 14, 2011 and a follow up letter to Kathleen Hicks, since the first one went unanswered.

Dear Councilwoman Kathleen Hicks-

It has been more than a week since I requested that Seismic Testing be halted in Fort Worth until the public has proof that it is safe, legal and cost-free to all residents. However, testing is still underway and many of your District 8 constituents are concerned.

Our primary concern is that the City of Fort Worth relied too heavily on information provided by the drilling industry or one of its partners when issuing a testing permit to Dawson Geophysical. We are also concerned that because the City is in business with Chesapeake, XTO, etc. and depends on them for City revenue, that an appearance of conflict of interest exists that may affect prudent decision making.

The concerns I spelled out in my message dated July 9 are very real. For example, the huge water main break near Sycamore Park that occurred last week may have been at least partially caused by seismic testing that occurred in that area. That leak affected thousands of homeowners and wasted a lot of public water during drought conditions. A water department spokesperson could not say for certain the cause of the breach.

There was a similar report back in May, 2011 of a water line break in the Westcliff West neighborhood while thumper trucks were in the area. How many other events such as this have been caused by seismic testing? Is the City keeping tabs and connecting dots?

I have also received the following reports from concerned residents as a result of my email from last week:

- Seismic testing is going on in Wedgwood where neighborhoods remain un-leased. There is no protection in place for homeowners should damage occur to their property. Also, companies can use information gathered against the mineral owners in future negotiations. TT

- This (Seismic testing) has the markings of potential disaster for existing utilities. Exhibit A is that Atmos has a number of older gas service lines that need immediate replacement in North Texas, due to parts that weaken with age. How well would those weak gas service lines respond to nearby seismic testing? I'm afraid to find out the hard way, and those in

Government should be, too! There's estimated to be 500,000 of such weak gas lines around North Texas, so it's a gamble to do seismic testing around them. MH

- I would therefore request an explanation as to what authority they (Dawson) are using to explore the property that I paid for and own outright. The testing creates massive vibration of the area and would appear to possibly damage roads, foundations and any other structure within proximity to the source of vibrations. It is not a risk I wish to see if it damages anything, like my property. It is likely damage may not appear immediately or be apparent until sometime in the future. It would then become my burden to prove what the source of the damage actually was. As we have seen repeatedly, any damage would be denied by any and all parties involved. JA

- From what I remember, Texas homeowners policies exempt payments for damages from seismic activity. Check out your policy. Bad stuff, that seismic crap. LM

- They (Dawson) have also recently been in the Westcliff West neighborhood. In the process, they broke a water line on Encanto Drive, depriving residents of water for hours. GA

- They went through our neighborhood in Arlington in May, the noise was horrendous, some neighbors complained that their houses were shaking, cracks appeared , and one person told me that their toddler found the shaking of their house very distressing and cried inconsolably. RB

- This (seismic testing) felt like collective rape on Winifred Drive Friday afternoon. The dishes in my cabinets were rattling; the dogs were freaking out. I thought it was Armageddon, as did my neighbors. I was livid and expressed it to the police escort and the lady in the Lexus following them who the police told me would "tell me what it was all about." I emailed Jungus that afternoon as well as the lawyers at Riddle and Williams. KE

- Thanks for the support. I have not signed a lease and I do not want someone taking picture under my property. A friend told them not to take any picture under his property that he is not signed a lease agreement. They had already taken a couple of pictures before he stopped them. So he asked them if he can get the pictures from there company. They said NO. This is invasion of our property and I will get in contact with the company and request my pictures. JL

- On the morning of July 4, 2011, I was alarmed by a sound I'd not heard before. Looking out my front window, I saw at least three huge trucks, with the sign DAWSON on them. Their loudness, and their presence, stunned me - the ground shook!! I went out my front door and was further surprised to see a man kneeling over paperwork at the end of my walkway (25 feet from my door, 35 feet from the street). I asked him what he was doing, and I told him he was within the easement of the property. He said I could talk his boss, and he nodded toward a tall young man, who then came from the street to where I was, and he asked me if there was a problem. I asked him what they were doing, and he said they were "x-raying" the ground. (He said they were "x-raying" downtown also.) I asked him who he worked for, and he replied, "Chesapeake."

I told him I had not given permission for them to be on my property, and I asked if he could show me anything that gave him permission to do so? He said that if I didn't want them on my property, they could go across the street and get the information they needed. The two of them left my property. ( I don't know, but they may already have gotten a "reading," or whatever they wanted, from my location.)

If I had been given notice of their coming, and/or had received a request that they come onto my property, I could have checked on my rights in such an instance. I think perhaps that is exactly why we were NOT given advance notice--so Chesapeake could have access, without permission. Such permission, from some citizens such as myself, had they asked, they are not likely to have been given. SR

- I asked an attorney. They have NO right to conduct seismic testing if you have not leased. Further, they have no right to conduct seismic testing even if you have leased unless it is covered in the lease or an agreement has been made. He said that usually the language in the leases is vague enough that it confers them the right but they definitely do NOT have the right if you are not leased. DD

Specifically, we request that that Seismic Testing be halted immediately unless and until you provide the following:

1. Third-party documentation proving it is safe to all life-forms, including people, pets, wildlife and livestock.

2. Third-party documentation addressing impact to public roadways and utilities .

3. Property owner compensation for data already accessed from their land without consent.

4. Documentation showing that private pipeline, telephone, cable TV and electric companies, etc. have OK'd the testing without caveats.

5. Minutes from all FW Water and Street Dept. meetings where seismic testing was discussed.

6. Documentation from the City legal department identifying the responsible party in case of any reported damage.

7. An explanation of your statement that "properties are protected from damage."

8. The City plan for compensation in cases where damage occurs in the near and long term.

9. Proof that homeowners' insurance will not be impacted by seismic testing.

Thanks for your attention to this urgent matter.

Don Young

Monday, July 18, 2011

Night & Day

Difference between two opinion articles about fracking and natural gas drilling, published on the same day in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Can you tell who is pro-drilling and who wants to protect our water?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Crooked crooked does

Just when you think the laws concerning YOUR property can't get any more stupid, they do. WHY? Arrogance and greed.

Read about the latest gas drilling move in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. We're just glad this one wasn't written by Smith.

Arguing before the three-member Texas Railroad Commission on behalf of Chesapeake Energy on Monday, Johnson said, "The commission has had problems because people in the Tarrant County area don't understand oil and gas and unfairly criticize the commission."

So, whatever is wrong is our fault? Maybe some of us just look at natural gas drilling differently.

Chesapeake wants to "force pool" properties for drilling in the Glen Garden neighborhood of southeast Fort Worth, south of Cobb Park and west of the Glen Garden Golf and Country Club. It would require property owners to take part in urban natural gas drilling, whether they like it or not.

Regardless of what happens in this case, he told the commission, the well will be drilled. And, "our well will drain all the gas."

To do that, the company wants to pursue a second route to forced pooling, the Mineral Interest Pooling Act, or MIPA. Chesapeake would force unleased property owners to take, and pay for, ownership shares (what's called a working interest) in the well.

Time for another Trinity River Rhyme

And unlike most things associated with the river, this didn't cost you a dime!

Keep 'em coming!

The river is fetid and warm,

So to tube you must fill in a form,

To forgive the promoters,

Who won't even be boaters,

On the waters that you all will swarm.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Not Rocking on the River

Would you get in the Trinity River?  We asked an average, lifelong Tarrant county citizen this question last week.  After they quit laughing hysterically, they told us in no uncertain terms, they would NEVER get in the Trinity River and the reasons why.  However, we can't repeat all that here.

Durango has some reasons why.  Between him and TRIP, we think they've got it covered.

Anyone seen the release form you have to sign to Tube the Trinity with the Trinity River Vision and the Tarrant Regional Water District?  There's a reason for the form, there are many of them.

Could you repeat the question?

A letter to the editor in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram brings up the question that continues to come up at least once a week from citizens.  WHO's listening?

Water woes

According to news reports, we are experiencing a severe drought. Water supplies in our lakes and reservoirs are getting lower and lower and, unless we get some much-needed rain, the situation will only continue to get worse.

Many cities in our area have imposed water restrictions and others are talking about doing the same. We have even explored the possibility of piping in water from East Texas or Oklahoma.

If we started building these supply lines today, it would still be years before they are completed.

In light of our current, or soon-to-be, water shortage, why are we allowing the natural gas drillers such as Chesapeake and Devon to continue using hundreds of millions of gallons of this precious resource to frack their gas wells? I have read nothing to indicate that there is a shortage of natural gas.

My suggestion is to let these drillers go ahead and drill all the wells they want, cap them off and, when the water shortage is definitely over, then frack the wells.

-- Larry McGuire, Crowley

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

FBI Warning

Special Agent in Charge Robert Casey told NBC 5 that federal agents are pushing to curb public corruption and that "there should be some nervous people if they're doing something wrong."

This was after they showed up at the Dallas County District Attorney's office this morning. 

Wonder WHO's next? 

Read more about it on

Texas is broke...

In more ways than one.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has an interesting column on our debt growing faster than Washington's.  Still think sending Perry to DC is a good idea?

Yet, we can't fund education...does anyone see the connection here?

Notice the creation in new government bodies (how much did that cost?) to oversee the transportation projects, rather the Tollways that foreign companies want.

While Texas lawmakers have refused to raise taxes -- and often criticize Washington for borrowing and spending -- the state has been paying for much of its expansion with borrowed money.

That increase was largely due to the North Texas Tollway Authority's issuance of $6.5 billion in debt.

Two government bodies, created to oversee transportation projects, sold $2.5 billion in bonds last year, including funds for the North Tarrant Express project.

"Maybe you're not paying for it now, but your children or grandchildren will."

Some would argue that long-term investments, such as highways and university buildings, will be serving future generations, too.

Let's hope so, because everyone is on the hook for them.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Condos in Limbo

The Montgomery Wards condos are still in legal limbo, more importantly they are still sitting empty.

They say "Build it and they will come".  WHO says?  WHO is coming?  WHERE are they?

The Trinity River Vision should take a lesson from the Montgomery Wards condo fiasco.  Not more of the how do you switch money around and take people's stuff for less lesson, a don't put your cart before the horse lesson.

Read about it in the Fort Worth Business Press.  Notice the Fort Worth Way at play.  Also, notice the word Vision and tax abatement...and there's that name again, the North Central Texas Council of Governments.  Yeah, they are everywhere.  WHO are they again?  WHAT is their purpose?

Be sure and read the article, YOU can't afford not to.

That group is owed millions by some of the project’s developers.
In all, the contractors were left holding the bag for about $6.5 million, he said.

A grand vision

Despite protests from historic preservationists, and with the help of a city tax abatement, the eight-story behemoth was gutted and a six-story hole carved out of the facade’s center, opening up a brick-paved plaza with space for outdoor dining, parking and shoppers. Stores and restaurants opened at street level and pricy condos were laid out on the upper floors.

“An example of preservation in the context of urban redevelopment,” the North Central Texas Council of Governments gushed when it awarded developers of the 46.19-acre Montgomery Plaza, Weber & Co., one of its 2007 Celebrating Leadership in Development Excellence Awards.
“The bottom line is the majority of the money owed is from a insurance incident: Pipe busts, floods multiple floors, insurance company pays, owner takes the money, doesn’t pay the bills, allows bank to foreclose on property voiding all liens, then buys the property back under a different name, lien free,” owner Kip Wadleigh wrote in a message posted on the website of Hardwood Floors Magazine.
“That company declared bankruptcy and bought it back,” “Bought a $50 million property for $18 million and did away with all the liens all the subcontractors had taken out. Hard to believe that’s legal in the state of Texas, but I’m told it is.”

Mayor Moncrief rides away in new Rolls????

Today, Betsy Price will be sworn in as the new Mayor of Fort Worth. 

We wonder if Mayor Moncrief and Rosie will be rolling in their new ride to the ceremony.  Seems they drove their 2011 Rolls Royce to Betsy's campaign gathering on election night.  We hear it was quite a sight to see, with no tags, plates, etc. 

We also hear the price tag was close to $500,000.  Pretty good change for a Mayor.  Then again, it could have been a gift from some of his "friends". 

Let's hope this Price brings some change.  We're gonna need it.

We're told the City Council meeting tonight will be moved to the Convention Center.  We were then asked, "Aren't most circuses held at the Convention Center?"

Forecast - Foggy with a chance of BS

In the Fort Worth Business Press, Alex Mills, President of a pro drilling group in Texas takes shots at New Jersey lawmakers for voting to protect their water supply from fracing.

He claims:  

How many times has there been a circumstance where groundwater has been contaminated by hydraulic fracturing? In 60 years and hundreds of thousand wells being fracked, not one case of pollution has occurred.

Back in the day, fracing was vertical, not horizontal.  And when he says not one case has occured, well, we're betting those families all over the country that can no longer use their water would have a different opinion.  Speaking of opinions, read the fine print under Mr. Mills column.  "The opinions expressed are soley of the author". 

What do they say about opinions, again??

Monday, July 11, 2011

Whole lotta shakin

Going on in Tarrant County.

When the seismic trucks roll through your neighborhood, what's the cost to YOU?  To YOUR home's foundation?  Anyone??

Why do seismic testing crews hire police officers to escort them through city neighborhoods?

District 8 Councilwoman Kathleen Hicks has said "properties are protected against damage".   Those being tested want to know how Ms. Hicks is protecting them.

Read about it on FWCANDO.

Additionally, we request documentation that proves seismic testing will not harm slab foundations, public streets, sidewalks, plumbing, sprinkler systems, utilities, septic systems, water wells, electronic devices and other public and private property in any way including, causing subsidence, cracks, wear and tear or any other negative impacts.

We also request proof that our homeowners' insurance will not be impacted in any way by seismic testing including, increased rates or reduced liability coverage.

It is essential that this documentation come from an independent, third-party source and not from the gas drilling industry, City of FW or any other party who benefits financially from drilling or seismic testing. It is important that the document demonstrate that such testing is safe in an urban environment and has been monitored for a period of at least five years. It is imperative that this proof be provided in a timely manner since the City has already issued permits and testing is underway.

What NOT to do this week

Read the latest Trinity River Vision scheme courtesy of Durango.  Good questions, anyone from the Trinity River Vision, Trinity River Vision Authority, Tarrant Regional Water District, District of Columbia, City of Fort Worth, or Tarrant County want to answer?

What is the reason the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle has added Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats to its vision? How much do the Happy Hours cost? Is the cost being covered completely by the sponsors?

Are J.D. Granger and his mom, Kay, going to be in the Trinity River on Thursday? If not, why not?

Then read about the Trinity River Improvement Partnership.  Get involved, if not for you, for YOUR kids.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Due West - Part 2

The new Irving Mayor would like a city ethics overhaul concerning campaign contributions.  Seems she learned a thing or two on the campaign trail.

One being while it may be "legal", it's unethical for a candidate to accept half a million dollars from a contractor that has many contracts and lots of business with same city.  (Sound familiar, Fort Worth?  North Richland Hills?)

Yes, said contractor is one in the same that was investigating the money trail for the Las Colinas project.

"You don't accept money from people who are accepting city dollars or who you are going to have a vote to accept city dollars,” said Van Duyne. “You don't take money from them."

Irving's new mayor says she will also call for a more careful review of the entire entertainment center project.

She says this doesn't mean she's not in favor of moving forward with the project; she just doesn't believe it is feasible or sustainable.

Wonder if Van Duyne would consider moving to Fort Worth?  We take campaign contributions from big business and have a project that the citizens believe isn't feasible or sustainable, even if that is the latest buzzword.

Due West

Seems John Wiley Price isn't the only one the FBI is looking at in Dallas.

The list continues to grow- Politicians, Businesses and their representatives, longtime political consultants, Senators, exes, the list goes on and on of "associates" being investigated.

Read about the search warrant details on

Some claim the investigation is about race -  over in Cowtown, corruption comes in all colors. 

As for the Feds, turn around, look West. 

Y'all come back now, ya hear?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

That's all, folks!

Seems we aren't the only ones with questions about OUR water.

What happens when it's gone?  Or contaminated?

Check out the letter in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on water conservation.

Meaningful conservation

Use rain barrels: check. Put in drip irrigation system: check. Turn off water while washing hands and brushing teeth: check. While every little bit helps, how much water is saved with these individual efforts?

Meanwhile, we sign leases and approve governmental policies allowing hydraulic fracturing to recover natural gas. A typical drilling site will use 50,000 to 4 million gallons of water; a larger site uses as much as 13 million gallons. The Texas Water Development Board estimates that the total water used statewide for fracking in 2010 was 13.5 billion gallons. Only 20 to 25 percent of this water is recovered, and it is contaminated with chemicals.

When companies ask why I will not sign a mineral rights lease, I respond that it is their waste of the scarce, essential, natural resource of water that concerns me. Some tell me they respect me. Some tell me they admire me. Not one has told me I am wrong.

Yes, individuals need to conserve water, but the degree of conservation Texas needs will come only when industry also makes conservation of water a priority -- even if that means new city and state regulations.

Agua es vida. Water is life.

-- Risa Payne, Fort Worth

Durango wanted to know how much water is used on fracing gas wells in the BS.  Chesapeake representatives have said 3-5 million gallons per well (which can be fraced multiple times).  Seems those numbers might be off.  Check out the number on Earthblog.  And remember that doesn't count unmetered sources.  Think that doesn't happen?  Take a drive around town, check out the wells along the creeks and river, it won't take you long.   

We don’t know exactly how much water they use because most of the estimates come from industry. We do have the little dab of information from the Upper Trinity Groundwater Conservation District that revealed industry used 1,146,598,272.73 gallons of groundwater in 2009. But that only considers the metered sources. There were many cases where industry took water from unmetered sources with no enforcement action or fines.

Another estimate on frack water usage comes from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). recently reported in their article, Gas fracturing trades one scarce resource for another, that EPA “estimates water use for fracking nationwide was 70 billion to 140 billion gallons in 2010.”

What happens when it's all gone?

That's all, folks!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mayors Everywhere - Part 2

In our previous post, we asked what kind of mayor YOU wanted?

We like this kind.

We cut the town's debt by over 50%, built a very nice municipal park and library which provides computers with internet access to the community, as well as wii fit systems to area residents. We also have won the Governor's challenge on fitness four of the six years I was involved and two of the four years I served as mayor. Another proud moment was when we installed solar panels on our municipal building. We did all of this without raising taxes or putting undue burden on the taxpayers. Another thing that I am very proud of, is that we partnered with area churches to develop programs to help our area youth. This was very successful and well attended by our area youth. However, the thing that I am most proud of, is that we came together as a community and stood shoulder to shoulder to protect our turf.

I would like to thank the citizens of DISH, and others around the United States as well as the World who have supported me and my family through all of this. Please know to all of you that have adopted me as your mayor, that I am still your mayor and will support you however you need me too. Thanks again.

A Mayor that stood WITH his citizens and stood up for them.  One that cut debt and made progress without shouldering his citizens with the burden of higher taxes.  One that made great strides not only in his town, but all over the U.S. 
We salute Calvin Tillman, former Mayor of DISH, Texas.  Current Mayor of many.  Carry on, sir!

Mayors Everywhere

Are YOU listening?

Read the recent article for the Dallas Monthly on what Libertarians want from the new mayor.

Change "Libertarians" to citizens and change "Dallas" to Fort Worth.  Remember, it's all interchangable. 
So are the Mayors.

What do YOU want from YOUR Mayor?

I was asked by the Dallas Monthly News to write a short article on what I might like to see from the new Mayor, many people like me have sat on the side lines with their investment money because we can never be sure what our government is going to do, for instance, I have seen a recent resurgence in the Deep Ellum area and think now is the time to invest, so I bought a restaurant and bar there called The Free Man Cajun Cafe & Lounge, but if at the same time the city works with its influential friends to prop up another area, that could actually harm me. Meaning I would have been better off staying on the side lines, not creating 30 jobs and not giving people another great place to eat.

This is what is so important for people to understand, government needs to stay out of business, it makes for a shaky, unfair playing field, and though many might say "but look how great The House of Blues is doing!" they don't understand that in order for the House of Blues to make it with government subsidies, places like Trees, and The Granada suffer. By what right does the city have to pick winners and losers in business? I can only hope that they don't play favorites, and let Deep Ellum revive as it as has been doing on its own lately.

That being said, I wanted to include a reaction from my great friend Jordan Wagnon, who has his masters in City Politics:

"What would Libertarians want from him? First we would want an end to the sweetheart deals at City Hall. "Public-private partnerships" and "bringing business and jobs to Dallas" sound great, but in practice the Council just funnels the city's resources away from the many into the pockets of a few. We hope Mayor Rawlings understands that every tax deal makes the rest of us shoulder a heavier burden, and every subsidy or TIF project forces businesses that already create jobs and earn their own way to go up against government backed competitors. The best thing the new mayor could do for the economy would be to fight against the rigged system so the people of Dallas can decide for themselves where resources are needed most.

In addition, we hope he shares our commitment to the personal freedoms that Americans cherish but the City Council seems to hate. The smoking ban, teen curfew, and window sign restrictions are recent ordinances that have no place in a free country. These measures do not make anyone safer, except for incumbents, who can say they did something about violence and theft by making criminals out of peaceful property owners or juveniles who dare to venture into public during the daytime. So Mayor Rawlings has a simple choice - he can embrace the idea that Dallas government exists to serve and protect freedom, or he can embrace the coercion and favoritism now imposed on us by City Hall. We will support him whenever he chooses freedom."

John Jay Myers & Jordan Wagnon of the Libertarian Party of Dallas County.

Save OUR water

The gas drillers need it.

The Tarrant Regional Water District (same district that just put on the fireworks display in Fort Worth with Chesapeake, how much did that cost YOU?) says they will have to place restrictions on water soon.

You can read about it in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  And what did Durango have to say?

Yesterday, in the short distance I drove by the Trinity River, I saw 3 instances of multiple pipelines sucking water out of the Trinity River by Barnett Shale Natural Gas Drillers.

In June Fort Worth broke its water use record, using an all-time high of 8 billion gallons.

How many of those gallons were injected into natural gas wells, I could not help but wonder?

No mention was made, in the article, about the drought, in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, regarding the fact that a new heavy user of water has moved into town in recent years. One would think mention of this would be made in an article about the local water woes.

Here's a thought, tell the drillers to bring their own water. And take their flow back, back with them. 

Remember in the good ol' days when our slogan was "don't mess with Texas".  Unfortunately these days, that cowboy is all hat.