Wednesday, November 30, 2011

And the Winner is...

Ms. Hopkins.  Again.

The Loser?  YOU.

Read Ms. Hopkins latest letter in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  It's got everything from tragedy to comedy, from the Trinity River to Santa Claus.

Bravo, ma'am.

TRV lease

"I'm shocked, shocked!" that anyone is shocked that J.D. Granger granted a no-bid lease on the might-as-well-be-a-million-dollar Woodshed Smokehouse restaurant that his "fiefdom," the Trinity River Vision, has built. (See: "Eatery deal is debated," Sunday) Remember that's how "Mama's Boy" Granger got his own "no-bid" job? Granger, the Trinity River Vision's executive director, is nepotism's biggest beneficiary since the Borgias.

What does the Tarrant Regional Water District get in this $970,000 sweetheart deal? A mention of the proposed restaurant on a television cooking demonstration. Plus -- in lieu of paying rent -- the Woodshed will "ensure ... a specified number of beers ... on tap" and a promise that cyclists and joggers can use the restroom. Plus, if the Woodshed closes before the end of its lease, "the district would get some $400,000 of restaurant equipment."

Used restaurant equipment should come in handy; water board members can become short-order cooks when our 50-year drought dries up the river. Meanwhile, who's minding the store? It took a Star-Telegram Texas Public Information Act request to find out anything about this boondoggle. There's more going around in the dark than Santa Claus.
-- Guelma B. Hopkins, Fort Worth

Tired of Turkey yet?


THE People are.

Thanks to the Fort Worth Weekly for looking out for THE People.

Last month, the Trinity River Improvement Partnership (TRIP) sponsored a forum at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden to discuss the merits of the Trinity River Vision project. (You know, that project that’s going to cost $900 million to prevent flooding even though the last big flood around these parts was back around 19-and-49.) TRV Executive Director J.D. Granger promised to show up for the panel discussion and take questions from the crowd weeks in advance, but he cancelled at the last minute. The crowd booed heartily at the mere mention of his name. “He’s a gutless wonder,” shouted one.

He might lack guts, but he’s got gall. The latest issue of the TRV’s quarterly newspaper includes an article entitled “Need a Speaker?” The TRV promises to provide one to any group free of charge for a 40-minute narration. Unless of course they hear that the crowd might include people who want to question flood control disguised as economic development or question the no-bid sweetheart deal the TRV gave local chef Tim Love for his Woodshed restaurant on the Trinity River or question the … well, you get the idea.

How we roll in Texas...



Courtesy of TURF -

More I-35 shenanigans...

One of our supporters who manned a table outside the I-35 workshop the week before Thanksgiving, was present the entire time and saw all of 4 ordinary citizens enter the meeting. When he asked one of the consultants how many people had attended, they said close to 30. When he inquired how that could be when he only saw 4 people enter, they said some folks had come around 4 PM to leave comments and go. He asked how that happened since the posted start time given to the general public wasn't until 5:30 PM, he was given double talk.

When it became clear that members of the San Antonio Mobility Coalition or SAMCo (made up of over 70 private contractors that do business with TxDOT) had been welcomed prior to the posted hours given to the general public, we submitted an Open Records request asking for the sign-in sheets and any correspondence sent to SAMCo about the I-35 meeting.

Records show a litany of government officials and road contractors attended and only a handful of ordinary citizens. Records also show that SAMCo members got a personal invitation in writing from TxDOT and the RMA on November 3, more than two weeks prior to the meetings, when the general public only received notice two days prior to the workshops. It explains why the road lobby showed up and the general public did not.

This is how TxDOT and toll entities rig the process by keeping the public in the dark and getting the road lobby to do their bidding -- show-up while they're still on the clock when they don't have to rub shoulders with those stingy taxpayers to leave pro-toll comments and get home at their regular time. The general public, by contrast, funds this whole operation with our hard-earned tax money, and we have to leave work early or come after hours on our OWN TIME and DIME taking time AWAY from our families to give input to corrupt public agencies that deliberately stack the deck against us.      

State law now requires those who do business with TxDOT or who work for firms that could profit from the road project are supposed to disclose this on their comment forms. From what we have pieced together from the public records of the meeting, they did NOT comply with the law.  

Fort Worth League of Neighborhoods hears Star-Telegram Watchdog Thursday, December 1


Fort Worth League of Neighborhoods
Update -- November 29, 2011

Please join us for our

GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2011

6:30 p.m.

Fort Worth Firefighters Hall

3855 Tulsa Way, Fort Worth 76107

PLEASE RSVP to Melissa at 817.927-5732

Important Neighborhood Updates on proposed City neighborhood policies, redistricting, the latest on gas drilling and more

Dave Lieber, the Star-Telegram's Watchdog Columnist, will present his program on how to be your own watchdog

Celebrate the start of the holidays with a reception after the meeting and a drawing for holiday door prizes!

Join us!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

That's weird...

FW Weekly wonders why the Fort didn't make the weird list.  Yeah, us too.

City leaders took such pride in Fort Worth being named one of the country’s most livable large cities of the 2000s, and then invited gas drillers to invade neighborhoods. That’s pretty weird.

Or how about those Trinity River Vision players inviting residents to come swim in the Trinity River near downtown and watch concerts? That’s odd seeing as how the water has long been considered feces infested and filthy and was untested at the time of the invitations.

WHO’s next


Durango tells you about American Airlines filing bankruptcy and the boondoggle/bankruptcy connection in Fort Worth.

That ain’t the only connection in Fort Worth…stay tuned.

It is interesting how Fort Worth's scandals and boondoggles intersect.

Fort Worth abused eminent domain to take away a public housing project so the land could be given to Radio Shack. Radio Shack then took away Fort Worth's free parking lots and subway which made visiting downtown Fort Worth pleasantly easy.

Meanwhile Tarrant County College began building a very expensive new downtown campus that eventually turned into a boondoogle that was costing too much. So, that construction was scaled back with the majority of the new downtown campus moved over to the then mostly abandoned Radio Shack corporate headquarters.
 

A Persistent Cadre of Letter to the Editor Writers


Today’s letters to the Editor in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram tell you what THE PEOPLE really think about local government, spending and “news”.

You should read them all.  One below is from one of those “persistent cadre of Trinity River Vision detractors”.  The same one that served his country for many years and has served his community ever since.  Oh yeah, he also helped save YOU from paying for a downtown hotel.  He asks for no thanks in return, just smarter politicians and more transparency for the citizens of Tarrant County.  After all, it’s THEIR money.

Carry on, Clyde.

Riverbank cronyism

The Sunday headline read "Eatery deal is debated."

There's no debate; it's a done deal.

Those silly restaurant businessmen protest too much. Fort Worth recently won the award for "All-America City." It should have been for leading the way in crony capitalism. No bids, no information, no transparency and no accountability, that's really the "Fort Worth Way."

While the average citizen laments lousy roads, drainage problems and gas well and pipeline issues, the downtown lobby is working on a new 10-year plan; Tarrant County College builds high-cost buildings for low-cost education; and the Trinity River Vision squanders tax dollars on wakeboard parks, restaurants and bridges to nowhere.

Water district board member Jim Lane thinks Tim Love will hit a home run with his moderate prices and "specified number of beers on tap."

Perhaps, but for taxpayers, it's strike three. A real home run would be a solid future water proposal.

-- Clyde Picht, Fort Worth

Expensive appeal

I thought this state was broke. After all, we can't afford to educate our kids, pay our teachers or provide healthcare for those who can't afford it.

But we evidently can afford to hire expensive outside attorneys to fight interim redistricting plans drawn by a three-judge federal panel in San Antonio.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott appealed the court-approved lines to the Supreme Court and hired a lawyer from an elite Washington law firm, a former solicitor general in the George W. Bush administration, to help. Surely Abbott doesn't think the panel's maps are partisan. The panel is made up of two judges appointed by Republican presidents (Reagan and George W. Bush) and one appointed by a Democratic president (Clinton).

Please, Mr. Attorney General, don't waste our money.

-- Jo-Ann Zimmerman, Euless

Superintendent search

I have been following the Star-Telegram's editorials and opinion pieces regarding the selection of Walter Dansby as interim superintendent of the Fort Worth school district after the resignation of Melody Johnson and the call for a nationwide search for a new superintendent.

I find the tone of these articles biased and unfair to Dansby.

As a person who has known him for many years and someone who pays school taxes, I am offended by the tone of these articles.

If I did not know the man, these articles would give me the impression that Dansby was somehow in collusion with some school trustees who may or may not have an ulterior motive. I cannot fathom the reason the paper would advocate this theory, but I feel it does Dansby a disservice. I expected better of you.

I don't know if Dansby can turn this school district around, but I believe he certainly deserves a chance to try. He can't possibly do any worse than some of the previous superintendents, doctorates notwithstanding, Johnson included. She was never my choice.

-- Barbara Thomas, Fort Worth

Finally…Real “News”?

Not really, but about as close as you can get around here.  The Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s latest Trinity River Vision editorial makes the point; they should be asking more questions.  And they should have started years ago.

The paper talks about how disappointing the Tim Love Woodshed dealings are as well as suspicions and backroom deals and how the TRVA has a short attention span and spends our money like water, gives good ol’ boys such as JD Granger and Bryan Eppstein all the jobs and contracts they want, then mentions the TRV detractors and basically says (as usual) “On with the show”.  What is the kickback rate for blind support of TRV?

Has the paper read the 70+ comments from THE PEOPLE? The citizens and taxpayers of Tarrant County, otherwise known as “the persistent cadre of TRV detractors”, on their own site?

Some of that persistent cadre helped save Fort Worth taxpayers from buying a hotel.  What did the paper call them then?

If the paper asked more questions, and helped THE PEOPLE of Tarrant County have a say in the TRV process (we’re not talking about the BS meetings from years gone by) maybe they would come out smelling like a rose and be the champion of THE PEOPLE.  Wouldn’t sharing real information increase their sales and reputation?  Or they could simply plod along “reporting” what they are told to and hope they don’t end up like the Dallas paper, having to admit they were misled by their “leaders” and therefore mislead THE PEOPLE on their Trinity River Vision project.  How many readers does that cost YOU?

Fort Worth restaurant deal has folks talking

A hip gathering spot where cyclists, joggers and hikers can grab a tasty meal at a popular Trinity River trailhead sounds like the kind of amenity Fort Worth residents could embrace with enthusiasm.

It's unfortunate that revelations about who owns the Woodshed Smokehouse and how it came into being have some people scratching their heads and murmuring suspicions about "another good ol' boy deal."

It seems that either memories are short at the Trinity River Vision Authority -- or that officials do recall the public backlash over a proposed city-owned hotel and decided to keep the specifics of the Waggoner Trailhead restaurant deal quiet until they were completed.

In late 2002, large crowds showed up to protest at City Hall when Fort Worth proposed financing a convention center hotel by issuing $160 million in debt without getting voter approval. Eventually, more than 15,000 people joined a petition effort spearheaded by downtown hoteliers -- who weren't keen on the notion of competing with a government-owned hotel for convention business -- to force the project to a public vote.

Ultimately, the city's newest downtown hotel was built by a private company, although considerable public dollars were spent on a parking garage to serve both the hotel and the convention center.

The big-picture lesson was that when taxpayer money is to be used for commercial enterprises, the public wants a transparent process and a say in the endeavor.

The public money used to build the $970,000 structure that the Tarrant Regional Water District is leasing to chef/restaurateur Tim Love is a fraction of the amount that triggered the hotel outrage. But it's understandable that other restaurant operators were chafed over the process of setting up a riverfront eatery: the decision on who would receive the lease was made solely by Trinity River Vision Authority Executive Director J.D. Granger.

What's so disappointing is that had this process been handled with more transparency, folks might be cheering the project. Love's "global taqueria" on Riverfront Drive near Rogers Road has been the subject of numerous news reports and blog posts since early summer. The building is architecturally interesting, and the extended craft brew menu should be a draw for athletic types who don't mind a little carb-loading after a run or ride on the adjacent trail.

The persistent cadre of Trinity River Vision detractors probably still would pounce on the idea as conniving. But one would think after the various criticisms of the authority through the years, its officials and water board members would have learned to appreciate the value of being aboveboard with everything connected to this project.

The district hired Granger to manage the agency without advertising the opening or conducting an executive search. Granger selected political consultant Bryan Eppstein to handle PR and minority contracting (not a posted opening), and the water district gave Eppstein's firm a separate contract -- with no competitive bidding -- to represent the agency in Austin during the legislative session.

Under state law, the water district is not required to take competitive bids on professional services. But each time the board chooses to follow the letter of that law, instead of trying openness, it gets slammed in the court of public opinion.

Board member Jim Lane told the Star-Telegram reporter Barry Shlachter that the water board approved the lease. Not exactly, records show.

The board approved the concept of having concessions at the trailhead, according to board minutes. Granger took it from there, giving Land Committee members Hal Sparks and Lane project updates. The final lease was drafted and approved by the board's general counsel.

Trail-side concessions make sense for a community that is working to develop vibrant riverfront amenities. Love has a track record of operating quality eating establishments.

Could have been a win-win. Might still be. But the Trinity River Vision takes another hit.

Redistricting in Texas

How Sausage Gets Made:  Congressman Marchant asks for Hockaday School to be added to his district because “my grand babies” go there. (Source: unsealed emails)

We were sent this email to show how redistricting lines are drawn.  It's all about keeping it in the family.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Front page "news"?

By the time the Fort Worth Star-Telegram article about the Trinity River Tim Love Woodshed restaurant appeared on the front page, it already had 50+ comments online.

So what are THE PEOPLE saying about YOUR elected officials allowing their unelected friends and family to gamble with YOUR money?

We received a couple of questions such as, How do you agree "in principle" to make a building smaller than it is?  And how much did Granger and Love drink that neither of them know WHO asked WHO?  WHY did it take the paper till now to start asking questions? 

Landslide left a comment here.

And the comments keep pouring in on the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, when it rains it pours.

So I suppose we have to assume this is a sweetheart deal courtesy of Kay Granger by way of Granger Junior? Business as usual for those two and for Fort Worth insiders.

I think the celebrity title may have been added by the S-T writers as window dressing- designed to put lip stick on a pig and sell it to us as a great idea.

It kind of shows who really pull the strings at the S-T.

Kay Granger decries crony capitalism and the evil and dangers of the government helping citizens with anything including healthcare for children (She has voted against it everytime). But then she appoints her son to a 6 figure job for which he has no qualifications and then her son decides to appropriate $1 million dollars of taxpayer dollars to a very wealthy businessman just because. If that isn't corporate welfare for the very rich and crony capitalism than somebody tell me what it is. Who elected Kay Granger's son JD to hand out my tax dollars to his buddies. (other than his mother)

This is just the beginning of the Trinity River flood control project turned private development boondoggle.  After the by-pass channel is cut and the people of Fort Worth are all assured of being flood-free, the leeves along the river are scheduled to be leveled.  What's the Tarrant Regional Water District going to do with all that nice new river edge real estate they own or control?!  Figure it out.

This is an outrage to every person that pays taxes. It is bad enough that Granger was given this job by his mother despite the fact that he had absolutely no experience. He makes a huge 6 figure salary, (your taxes) to transfer your hard earned tax payer money to his mothers political cronies. This whole "Vision" is nothing more than very rich people appropriating the working mans tax dollars for their own gain. They support corrupt politicians like Kay Granger that will do anything to keep her job and get one for her unqualified son. We have the highest taxes in Texas right here in Fort Worth and as long as every "chosen" one can dip their hand in for a scoop of tax payer money it is going to stay that way.

This is the first of many shady transactions involving the Trinity boondoogle.

Citizens have already seen that this sweetheart deal short changes the tax system that was supposed to help the city.

I, like an earlier commenter, smell a rat in the kitchen

SLAPP Happy In Trophy Club


On June 17, 2011 Rick Perry signed into law the Texas Citizens Participation Act which went into effect immediately.  The law is meant to protect citizens from Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP). Unfortunately, this law comes to late for some Trophy Club citizens.

Denton County Defamation Case No. 2009-60142-393 (Town Councilwoman Kathleen Wilson v. Gregg Lamont, Steven Kohs) is a SLAPP action taken against Mr. Lamont and Kohs for participating in the election in 2009. Mayor Connie White, the Trophy Club Town Attorney and Municipal Utility District (MUD) Director Gary Carr are all participating in this lawsuit.

Mr. Lamont and Mr. Kohs were sued in retaliation for posting information on a political website exposing corruption, waste and violations of the Clean Water Act by the Trophy Club MUD.

Former Town Councilwoman Wilson, Mayor White, Director Carr and the Town Attorney all seem to have forgotten how governments work.  Apparently these officials believe the Citizens of Trophy Club have no right to petition their local government when faced with corruption, waste and unlawful behavior.

So while the rest of the population of Texas benefits from this new law against SLAPP actions, it is the same unethical business as usual in Trophy Club. Perhaps something will change in the future to end this climate of fear and return basic rights to the citizens of Trophy Club. Until then, it would be wise to avoid publicly disagreeing with the Mayor.

UPDATE: For the latest on Trophy Club click here.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

WHO runs this town?

On I-35, TXDOT doesn't want to move Chesapeake drilling operations, so due to their poor planning, a church, private property owners and the Oakhurst neighborhood will have to pay.

On 820, due to Iron Horse Golf course, there are some frontage road concerns.  There doesn't seem to be many across the freeway where part of the part was taken for the freeway and a pipeline.

Coincidence?

Is it also a coincidence that this park and golf course are submerged under water during heavy rains?  What will come of our new freeway then?

Rumor has it....

Since May, we've been posting about the long rumored Tim Love Woodshed restaurant on the banks of the Trinity River.  As we told you recently, nine times out of ten, rumors in Cowtown usually turn out to be true.  Lots of people have been asking questions about the Woodshed for awhile now, seems our "news" finally decided to play too.

Read the article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, don't miss the comments from THE PEOPLE.  Seems we aren't the only ones who suspect WHO's next. 

I suspect one day we'll turn on the news and see the video of the FBI raid on their offices, carting out box after box after box of documents not unlike what has been happening in Dallas with their crooked South Dallas politicians.

If the head of the Trinity River Vision Authority was hired without a proper job search, and the contractors and PR firms are too, what makes local restaurant owners think the River Shack would be any different?  Wake up, people.  No wonder Love didn't know how much it costs now to open a restaurant.  And don't forget, the former Gideon Toal who received many no bid TRV and Tarrant County contracts gave the Woodshed an award.  How cozy. 

Remember, this is the same water district that can't figure out how to supply us water for the future.  But they serve one hell of a barbeque, with a side of BS at no charge.

Without open bidding, the Trinity River Vision Authority signed a 10-year lease with Tim Love and spent $970,000 building a restaurant structure at the most popular riverbank trailhead, hoping that the celebrity chef's Woodshed Smokehouse will generate hundreds of thousands of dollars annually in a profit-sharing rent arrangement.

Unlike municipal lease deals, those offered by water districts do not require competitive bidding under Texas law, said Anthony Magee, a Dallas attorney with Gruber Hurst Johansen Hail Shank who is familiar with such issues.

"Gosh, I wish we had an opportunity to bid on this," said Shannon Wynne, CEO of Dallas-based 8.0 Management, which operates three Fort Worth restaurants, Flying Saucer, Flying Fish and the downtown open-air 8.0. "I had been looking up and down the river for a location like that for 18 months.

"I don't know how Tim got the call, but he's a lucky guy to get it," Wynne said. "We weren't asked and so I was upset. I asked J.D., 'Who did you all ask?'"

"I think there would be other people interested if they had known about it," said Shaw, who is on the board of the state restaurant owners association. "I just can't believe Tim was the only one interested. Who did [Granger] approach? Did he send out letters? Did he just sit in a bar and talk about that?"

Neither Love nor Granger recalls who approached whom first about the site.

Because of its location, on the bank of a narrow section of the Trinity River's Clear Fork, the site was extremely difficult to develop, and the Army Corps of Engineers made clear that it could only be rented, not sold, Granger said.

In the end, Granger said, he reviewed two proposals and selected Love's. One thing that the high-profile chef -- who owns Lonesome Dove, White Elephant Saloon and Love Shack -- could bring to the table is an ability to generate interest in North Texas and beyond, he said, noting that Love had mentioned the Woodshed on national television.

Last week, Love agreed in principle to cut back slightly on interior space so that the structure is small enough not to require ceiling sprinklers, said David Hall, the city's assistant director of planning and development. Originally, the leased premises measured 10,295 square feet of enclosed and unenclosed areas.

The lease agreement, made available to the Star-Telegram after a Texas Public Information Act request, has the Woodshed paying 6 percent on the first $500,000 of sales, 5 percent on the next $500,000, and then 4 percent on sales over $1,000,001.

"If it goes south, the tenant is in a better situation than the water district," he added. "It was stupid on the water district's part not to bid it out because I think they could have gotten a lot more favorable lease.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Being Thankful

For our readers, our contributors, and Durango.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

TRV speakers needed


For WHAT?

Disclaimer- by contacting this number you will receive the standard dog and pony show only. Also, please be advised the 'head' of this project has been known to cancel the day of, advertising and citizens be damned.

Durango gives you the scoop on the TRVA and their Slow Motion Bridges to Nowhere.  WHERE did they find the money again? Oh yes, YOU

Where YOU from?


This is Texas----

You always shut the gate.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pot or Kettle?

Read the latest Rick Perry rambling in the Fort Worth Weekly.

In trying to pull his presidential campaign out of a nosedive, Gov. Rick Perry is escalating his attack on all things Washington. His latest proposals include making serving in Congress a part-time job, for half the current $174,000 salary, with members spending more time earning a living in their districts.


“It is time to create a part-time Congress where their pay is cut in half, their office budgets are cut in half, and their time in Washington is cut in half,” Perry said in Iowa.

RickPerry also wants to put term limits on Congress, which seems a little strange coming from Texas’ longest-serving governor, ever — who is paid $150,000 a year.

More "so-called" Visions

For Downtown Fort Worth.  Does downtown know there is an entire city out there?  How does a non-profit "oversee" downtown?

We can't wait to hear WHO will be donating their time to head the committee, receiving nothing in return.

Read the article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, be sure and read the comments from THE PEOPLE.  Some made us laugh, this being one of them:

The "vision" is the continued looting of the taxpayers for the financial benefit of a few fat cats and politicians.  How about a vision of I-35W that doesn't look like a two lane parking lot?

In January, hundreds of "visionaries" will begin the yearlong process of designing the fourth, 10-year master plan for downtown Fort Worth.

Downtown residents, business and property owners, civic and government leaders and representatives from surrounding neighborhoods will be asked to participate in so-called visioning sessions conducted by Downtown Fort Worth Inc.

The process has worked well in the past, so Andy Taft, president of Downtown Fort Worth Inc., a nonprofit advocacy group that oversees downtown, decided to continue it.

Monday, November 21, 2011

What's the world coming to?

The top words of 2011:
  1. Occupy – ‘Occupy’ has risen to pre-eminence through Occupy Movement, the occupation of Iraq, and the so-called ‘Occupied Territories’.
  2. Deficit – Growing and possibly intractable problem for the economies of the developed world.
  3. Fracking – Hydraulic fracturing is a controversial method for extracting fossil fuels from hitherto unreachable deposits.

Good Question

 In the Fort Worth Star-Telegram letters. 

Whose city?

I was proud to present an overhead slide at the City Council meeting where Mayor Betsy Price said the city is "our Fort Worth" and requested that we "take ownership" of the city and make it better.

During the discussion on whether to let voters decide whether or not to increase the size of the council, we listened to a litany of excuses about why members thought we should stay at nine instead of increasing to 11.

The City Council is powerless to decide the size of the council if we, the people, decide to change it.

How can the mayor tell neighborhoods "it's your Fort Worth," then tell them their vote and opinion won't count?

How does an elected official tell the people to "make our great city even better by taking ownership," then attempt to deny them that ownership?

-- Louis McBee, Fort Worth

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Latest Arlington Flood

But the game is still the same.  Everyone involved pointing fingers and blame at each other.  And the homeowners left holding the bag.

It's nice of Arlington to offer them a place to stay for at least a week.  What happens when "the City" floods YOU?

Read about it in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Two homes on Hillside Drive and a home on Woodside Drive were damaged Oct. 26 when a 12-inch waterline at the Pierce Burch Water Treatment Plant ruptured during a $400,000 waterline renewal project.

The city is still investigating the cause of the break, but officials have said Ark Contracting Services would cover property damage claims. But this week, Travelers Insurance notified affected homeowners that it does not believe that Ark Contracting is responsible for their damage.

"Travelers' review of the contract between Ark and the City reveals the contract does not obligate Ark to be responsible for damages occurring outside the scope of the contracted work," the letter to residents stated. "Further, we do not believe Ark was negligent in their actions giving rise to the flooding. Therefore, we will be unable to assist you with your renovations and suggest you look to the City."

The news of the insurance denial came as a surprise to resident Carol Cash, who said city officials have referred her complaints to Travelers for three weeks.

Cash, who has asthma, said the city denied her request for temporary housing Nov. 11 after a doctor recommended that she move out of the home until the mold is removed.

Cash said that she isn't thrilled about spending the Thanksgiving holiday at a hotel but that her home has become unlivable.

The water treatment plant has nearly flooded Cash's home twice before, she said. She wants the city to buy her home, which she feels has been drastically devalued.

"I don't want to be their neighbor anymore," Cash said. "It's not fair to us homeowners. We didn't ask for this. They destroyed our property."

What property rights?

Read the letter from Calvin Tillman concerning State Representative Bonnen and Texas property rights.

...You can own and peacefully enjoy your property, as long as someone with more money doesn't want it.

Jack of all trades...

Master of None.

That's what the Wall Street Journal blog said about Chesapeake while downgrading their status to sell.

Let the spin begin.

“In short, management’s approach reminds us of a children’s book entitled ‘But I Wannntt It!,’ aimed at getting kids to realize they can’t have everything they want,” he writes.” We think it would be better if management would show greater discipline and reduce its asset appetite.”

After telling investors that it expected to spend $2 billion on leasing new drilling properties this year, Chesapeake, he notes, has already spent about $3.8 billion through three quarters, and recently said it continues to gobble up land in Ohio’s Utica Shale at a clip of about 1,000 acres a day.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, before the note was published, McClendon said he believes the window is fast closing for companies to cheaply acquire drilling rights in oil-producing shale formations and that the companies that lay claims to these deeply buried rocks will be those that thrive five to 10 years from now.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Abatements and Lawsuits

The latest Fort Worth company set to get an abatement just settled a lawsuit for $450,000.  How much was the abatement for again?

Read the latest in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

A lawsuit against Fort Worth-based Frac Tech was dismissed in a Parker County district court Tuesday by the plaintiff as a result of the settlement, according to court documents.

The worker, Joyce Burton of Jackson, La., was working for L&B Transport in February 2008 when she was unloading hydrochloric acid and a hose fitting came loose, spraying the acid onto her face and body, according to a news release from her attorney.

When Burton attempted to wash away the acid using one of the two safety showers available to her at the Aledo facility, she discovered that one was not working properly and the other was locked and inaccessible, the release said.

“Ultimately she was taken to a hospital in Weatherford,” Hart said. “I think for anyone in that business, safety has to be a No. 1 priority.”

Are you smarter than a 5th grader?

Too bad they are buying your 5th graders too.  Read the letter in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Fracking mistrust

Really? We're supposed to believe U.S. Rep. Joe Barton when he says gas drilling isn't dangerous after he's taken more than $500,000 from the gas and oil lobby? (See: "Fracking lobby donations detailed," Friday)

We're to believe the "experts" who say fracking wasn't responsible for recent earthquakes in Oklahoma even though the number and their intensity have increased dramatically?

We're to believe Fort Worth City Council members when they say current gas drilling regulations are adequate while rejecting their own air quality study's recommendations?

Most fifth-graders would be smart enough to see the correlation between fracking and the increase in earthquakes, gas leaks, noise pollution, dirty air, contaminated water, sickened people or dead wildlife.

Why not our elected officials?

Sadly, it appears that the money has rendered them all deaf, dumb and blind.

-- Sharon Austry, Fort Worth

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Texas Freeway Problems

WHY do the Texas Highway problems sound about the same as the Texas Water problems?

No money to fix the freeways but money to build toll roads.

No money to fix flooding, but millions to build bridges over air.

We're quickly running out of water, but the gas industry doesn't seem to mind.

We can't fund our schools, but we can build toll roads from here to Kingdom Come...

TXDOT gave two whole days notice for the public meeting concerning the San Antonio toll roads.  That is after they reneged of funding in Denton County.  Keep up, or try to, with the many headed snake that used to be called the Trans Texas Corridor on TURF.

Remember, it's YOUR TURF and YOUR money.  Do something.  Anything.

Texas Water Problems

This is just the tip of the iceberg...

Last night WFAA did a story on another Texas town that is on the verge of running out of water. Grosebeck is one of seventeen towns the TCEQ says will be out of water by the end of the year.  Maybe even this month.  It's 90 miles outside of Dallas.  In a state the size of Texas, that's too close for comfort.

WFAA also has a story on the water main break in Denton forcing the hospital to stop admitting patients in the Emergency Room.  How do you run a hospital with no water?  How do you run a city with no water?  Heaven forbid, a state?

The NPR sheds some light on some of the Texas water problems, they run deep.  From soon drinking our own waste, to how much water energy companies really use (no one knows), to how long it will be before a "barrel of water is worth more than a barrel of oil."

And check out the Stockyards Cesspool and the Free spirit trying to save it in the Fort Worth Weeky.

Does anyone else see a pattern here?

Turkey's Ready

Fort Worth Weekly serves up another round of Turkey's.  While Chesapeake takes the cake, there were others we couldn't help but applaud.  Check out the list of WHO made the cut here

Virtual Turkey

Last month, the Trinity River Improvement Partnership (TRIP) sponsored a forum at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden to discuss the merits of the $900 million Trinity River Vision project and ask questions about where that money will come from, what the justification for the project is, and what it has to do with flooding and water quality issues. About 125 people showed up, but it was one person missing that stirred the ire of the citizens. J. D. Granger, executive director of TRV, had promised to sit on the panel and give direct answers to those important questions. But at the last minute, he cancelled. The only one to show up on the “pro-TRV” side was a gutsy Jim Lane, a board member of the Tarrant Regional Water District. Lane did his best to answer some of the questions, but the water district is handling only part of the project. The reason given for Granger’s backpedaling was that he realized the event would involve discussing policy, and, shucks, he’s just the hired hand (although he’d known about the format of the event for weeks). But the fact is that Granger is in charge and is one of the few people who can sort out where this multi-agency project is going. Canceling at the last minute just doesn’t cut it. Maybe voters should drop him from their holiday invitation list. Oh, wait. That’s right. He’s not an elected official.

Eww, Don’t Talk About That at Dinner

This past summer, the Trinity River Vision produced several concerts on the river, with the audience floating on inner tubes while listening to the music. TRV also promoted a wakeboard park, where boarders would be pulled around a retention pond on the river by a whirling cable. It was all part of an effort to get Cowtowners more comfortable using the river, which many thought of as a big ditch full of debris and bacteria. But did TRV test the water to see if it was safe? No, they said they were relying on state-provided data. Journalists at WFAA-TV/Channel 8 decided to do the testing themselves. They found that several sections of the river –– including the concert area for the tubers –– had double to triple the amount of harmful bacteria that the EPA considered a safe level.

Most notable was the presence of E. coli, which comes from, um, human waste.

TRV officials never really explained why they didn’t test before they urged people to jump in but indicated they would get to it at a later date. Warning: Don’t eat any turkey served up by these folks.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mo Money

For the Trinity River Vision.  Check out the Fort Worth City council Agenda for the November 15, 10:00 a.m council meeting, lots of interesting stuff.  Several maps and lots of talk of expediting and increasing costs...

It is recommended that the City Council authorize the execution of Amendment No. 1 in the amount of $1,580,000.00 to City Secretary Contract No. 37013 with Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc., for water and sanitary sewer main relocations for the Trinity River Vision-Central City Project and the Trinity Uptown City Project and the Trinity Uptown Service Area, Phase 2A on Main Street, Commerce Street, Channel Segment B, White Settlement Road, Beach Street and Gateway Site E, thereby increasing the contract amount to $4,113,113.00.

In order to expedite design and construction of the water and sanitary sewer improvements ahead of the construction of the TRV projects, the proposed water and sanitary sewer relocation project was divided into the following phases,


There is also a partnership for a voluntary clean up at the Police and Fire Training Academy between the TCEQ and the Tarrant Regional Water District.  

That has to be relocated for the Trinity River Vision too.  What's that going to cost? And what will it increase to?  WHO pays?

More Connections

Today the Fort Worth Star-Telegram tells you about a large land purchase.  Land that's being drilled on, lots of it.  Of course only the surface rights were for sale.

WHO would buy that much land?  Michael Mallick.  110 drilling sites, thousands of acres, millions of dollars.  Apple REIT Nine.  Coming soon to a neighborhood near you.

We looked for some Mallick info, not surprisingly, the Fort Worth Weekly had some. 

Project developer Michael Mallick is Anglo, with offices on the west side of town. Those opposing Hicks and Mallick on the project are a few black business leaders, led by controversial real estate developer Leonard Briscoe, Sr., who went to prison in the 90s for illegal kickbacks. He contends that black developers like him are being aced out of projects in favor of white, politically connected developers like Mallick.

She points to the two Mallick Group developments on the map. The Sierra Vista development will provide about 230 new single-family homes on the site of the old Riverside Village apartment complex, plus retail sites nearby. About a mile to the east. the Masonic Home property will be transformed into about 500 homes plus 63 acres of commercial development. There will also be 16 acres set aside for natural gas drilling. Hicks helped broker a deal earlier this year that created a tax increment financing district to include both Mallick Group properties. As tax income to the city increases because of the development, the extra dollars will pay for infrastructure improvements — perhaps one of the few instances when Fort Worth has used the TIF device in the kind of blighted area it was intended for. The East Berry TIF could produce as much as $10 million for things like streets and sewers in what will be known as Masonic Heights, bounded by Wichita and East Berry streets and Mitchell Boulevard. Homes likely will sell for $140,000 to $200,000.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

"Breaking" News

Incoming from Trophy Club....

WHO owns your "news"?

As you are probably aware, the Star-Telegram Times Register is the official paper of the Town of Trophy Club via a Town Council resolution.  Unfortunately, this has resulted in an improper relationship between the current administration and the Times Register reporters and editors.

As a result of this improper relationship, no information which could possibly be construed as a negative reflection on the current administration is ever printed in the Times Register.  

Your coverage of the 26 acre proposed development is a good example of this.  While the Star-Telegram has published factually inaccurate articles claiming that only a few Trophy Club citizens have concerns over this development, you are willing to publish a much less biased article detailing the issues.

This highlights a much larger issue with this improper relationship between the Times Register and the current administration.  The Mayor and MUD board members are currently engaged in a 2 year long SLAPP(Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation) lawsuit against a Trophy Club citizen. The Time register refuses to publish anything about this SLAPP action and Trophy Club citizens are blissfully unaware of the risk they take when they petition corrupt officials in their local government for redress.

The SLAPP litigation against this citizen was initiated because he revealed that the MUD was placed under an agreed order by the EPA for violations of the clean water act and as a result forced to spend 3 million on wastewater treatment upgrades(see attached). Of course the Times Register glossed this issue over when Lee Graham published a wildly inaccurate and biased article entitled "MUD Water Woes Wrapped Up".

Feel free to review Denton County Court case No. 2009-60142-393 for more details and keep up the good work reporting the facts.

Texas Women

Have been kicking butt and taking names this week, literally.

The League of Women Voters in Tarrant County have been asking questions.

Teri Hall's TURF helped defeat Proposition 4.  (Too bad THE PEOPLE didn't read the other Props).

WHO issued a warning about Prop 2?  (Not just Texas Lone Star)  Debra Medina.

"Rather than providing solutions to the water needs facing Texas, the additional debt imposed on Texans by Prop 2 compounds the problem," warned Debra Medina, Founder, We Texans. "InfrastructureTexas.org put out information playing on voters' fears about the drought and wildfires. Many Texans believed this money was going to fund needed water projects with no cost to them. H204Texas PAC put out an email saying Prop 2 would cost the taxpayers NOTHING. But we know better and we'll be watching TWDB's every move to ensure taxpayers and Texans' water rights are protected."

And TXSharon's tapes from the gas drilling conference made CNBC.  She has "16 hours of tape".

Texas Women, you gotta love them.

Water is priceless

WHAT will it cost YOU?

A letter from a Fort Worth resident to the City Council.

We're on the edge of our seat, awaiting their response.

For years the Gas Drilling Industry has  assured you and me that drilling is perfectly safe and the aquifers are 100% protected from the industry contaminating them.

What if they are wrong?  


Fort Worth Mayor and City Council

There are very few aquifers in this area and if one or more is contaminated where do we get water to drink?  There is not an answer for that.  We don't have extra water sources and even the ones we have now are depleted to a dangerous low.  If an aquifer is contaminated, will the drilling company supply us with water to drink, bath and wash our cars?  That is not very likely, in fact they will stall and remind everyone that the gas drilling industry is protected by the U.S. Government, because they (the gas drilling industry) are exempt from the clean air and water act.  Right now our political leaders are taking risks with our water supply without a back-up plan with absolutely no alternate plan for the residents.

Back to my original question, what if the Industry is wrong?  It seems they are wrong more and more often and this isn't something that can be fixed.   Of course their response is always the same, well, there isn't any documented proof.  The industry says it wont happen.

The EPA has proof it has already happened. 

Human error occurs, mechanical things wear out and break, earthquakes happen, lightening and tornadoes happen, companies take short-cuts.  Things happen.

Once an aquifer is contaminated with drilling chemicals that contain cancer causing compounds the aquifer is destroyed.  There is no fix, there is no re-do and, I am sorry from politicians will not be acceptable.

There are three things that are absolute needs for humans, one is air, then water along with food, which also requires water and air.

There is only one water and there is no replacement..  We must protect it at all cost, because Water is priceless.

Friday, November 11, 2011

WHO controls the media????

Most of the time



Rumors in Fort Worth turn out to be true.

Read about Bud Kennedy and the Trinity River on Durango's blog, where else?

Remember Colorado?

We were forwarded a link to an article on Oilprice.com today, U.S. Government Confirms link between Earthquakes and Hydraulic Fracturing.

Mind you, they confirmed it in the 60s...

So what happens when the government says it is and the industry says it ain't?  WHO wins?

It ain't YOU.

We'll keep the readers comment attached, it was a pretty creative way of putting it.

(Oilprice) seems like an unlikely web site to be delivering the truth – but there it is – how ironic  … it takes a “quake” to send the message to Washington – that would have been the last thing I would have guessed a few years ago.  God help us if Rick “Secede” Perry gets anywhere near the White HouseHe will blame “Mother Earth” for not doing its patriotic duty and having the nerve to “burp” while being “water boarded”.
 
While polluting a local community’s water supply is a local tragedy barely heard inside the Beltway, an earthquake ranging from Oklahoma to Illinois, Kansas, Arkansas, Tennessee and Texas is an issue that might yet shake voters out of their torpor, and national elections are slightly less than a year away

Don't miss the article.  What do they say about history repeating itself? 

Today

Thank a Veteran.

That is all.

Bless them all.

Texas Lone Star

THE Women want to know

Y'all better answer them.  Don't they publish a voter's guide every election?  You go, girls.

Read the letter in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Ordinance revisions

The League of Women Voters of Tarrant County applauds the Fort Worth City Council for commissioning a comprehensive, independent study of air quality in the Fort Worth area, and for charging city staff to make recommendations for additions to the gas drilling ordinance in response to the study findings.

However, we are disappointed that the City Council chose not to adopt any of the proposed revisions.

The health issues raised by the study remain, so we ask: When will changes be made to the ordinance to address these vital issues?

-- Judy Wood, president, LWV
 Tarrant County, Fort Worth

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Standing Ovation

For the residents of Mallard Cove.

See what a community can do, if they do something.

Bravo.

Read about the Mallard Cove Compressor Stations being unanimously denied by the Fort Worth Zoning Commission in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  Bravo to the Fort Worth Planning and Zoning Commission.  Good to know not everything goes the Fort Worth Way.

Where will YOU be December 6?  Trust us, it's better than must see TV and who knows, you might even save your neighborhood.

Read the comments from THE PEOPLE too.

The site at 7429 Randol Mill Road covers more than 40 acres near the Trinity River in a semirural area east of East Loop 820 and north of Interstate 30.

The vote was met with a standing ovation from residents of the Mallard Cove and River Trails neighborhoods, who had packed the city's council chambers.

The zoning request will now go before the City Council on Dec. 6.

Texas Midstream asked for a continuance, but the commission voted against it and then denied the zoning request.

Commission member Ann Zadeh expressed frustration with the company's stall tactics and suggested that it was trying to "wear down" the opposition.

Commission member Charles Edmonds, whose district includes the proposed site, said he received 137 pages of e-mails in opposition to the zoning request. He told Texas Midstream officials that a delay would do little good.

"You have a high barrier. It's not compatible and not consistent with the comprehensive plan," Edmonds said. "In this case, you have the additional barrier that you have a very well-organized, very articulate group that is opposed to this specific site. I don't think extending this conversation any further is going to do any good."

Now WHY would that be?

The Lone Star International Film Festival is currently taking place in downtown Fort Worth.

We checked everywhere and couldn't find a listing for Up A Creek, the locally made, award winning film about downtown Fort Worth.

Ironic?

Is YOUR aquifer next?


Fracking chemicals found in Wyoming aquifer. 

Once you destroy an aquifer, how do you fix it?

Once you're out of water, what's next?

What's the plan?

Oh that's right, there ain't one.

Where's the water?  THEY don't know.

WHO is they? YOUR water planners. 

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

An Austin judge's opinion is the latest wrinkle in the Metroplex's quest for a long-term water source.

State District Judge Gisela D. Triana issued a preliminary ruling last week signaling that a state agency will have to resolve a dispute between two regional water planning groups over whether to build the Marvin Nichols reservoir in Northeast Texas.

The Dallas-Fort Worth planning group has the reservoir in its long-term plans; the Northeast Texas group does not.

Siding with landowners, Triana said the Texas Water Development Board should mediate or resolve which plan is used in the state's master plan for meeting water needs for 50 years.

The Northeast Texas property owners want the Metroplex to explore other options for water. But the area has had setbacks in other initiatives.

Notably, last month the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a request from the Tarrant Regional Water District to rehear its lawsuit to obtain water from Oklahoma. That leaves the district to decide whether to appeal to the Supreme Court. It has until Jan 19 to decide.

"We want to know with far greater clarity what our options are by 2015," said Wayne Owen, Tarrant Regional's planning director.

Area water providers say they are open to the idea, but it will require an Army Corps of Engineers study that has not been fully funded.

In due time...

Betty Brink may be writing another story about buildings on the Trinity River in Fort Worth that will sound hauntingly familiar to the one in the Fort Worth Weekly this week.

This one is about the Tarrant County College Trinity River campus and its cost overruns and backroom dealings.  Change the names, though the game remains the same.

We can't wait to read all about it.

Officially known as the Trinity River East Campus, it cost taxpayers a staggering $1,476 per square foot to build — more than three times what experienced real estate executives say such a facility should have cost. 

However, troubling questions remain about the hiring and performance of the members of that team. Some TCC critics — including some of the same citizen watchdogs who ferreted out problems with the downtown project in the past — are worried by what they see as more layers of expensive oversight being added without clear delineation of duties. One consultant, who has been paid more than $800,000, was hired without the college board signing off on his contract and despite the fact that his firm had been created only a month earlier with Tarrant County College District his only client.

Those ranged from disregard of historical preservation concerns to huge cost overruns, delays, lack of key permits, opposition from downtown leaders, and questions about the design of the northern section of the project that would have been built in part on the river levees.

In a March memo to Petty, Sewell concluded that the cost overruns and long delays were caused by a “culture of complacency … established years ago” coupled with an “attitude of just ‘rubber-stamping’ cost-related items.”

”The campus is very impressive,” Poulson said. “But I guess that’s easy to do when you have unlimited funds, no budget, and no one asking questions.”

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

He's back...

Read about Moncrief's new gig in the Fort Worth Business Press.  Be sure to note WHO else is in this group.  We use the word "group" loosely.

It's business as usual with representation from Chesapeake, Tarrant Regional Water District, Devon Energy, Freese and Nichols, the Fort Worth Mayor, Linda Christie....the beat goes on.

The North Texas Commission, a regional non-profit consortium of businesses, municipalities, chambers of commerce, economic development entities and higher education institutions, has appointed its leadership for 2012.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

WHAT did he say??

Thanks to Texas Sharon, YOU can hear for yourself.

Seems local citizens with concerns about their towns, the air their kids breathe and the water that sustains them are actually "insurgents" and to deal with them, you need to download the Army and Marine Corp psy ops info.

Don't believe it?  Listen on CNBC.
Now that it's out, they say it was just a joke. 

It might be funny, if it weren't true.

Another told attendees that his company has several former military psychological operations, or “psy ops” specialists on staff, applying their skills in Pennsylvania.

In a session entitled “Designing a Media Relations Strategy To Overcome Concerns Surrounding Hydraulic Fracturing,” Range Resources communications director Matt Pitzarella spoke about “overcoming stakeholder concerns” about the fracking process.
“This was crossing a line — they considered it was on the American people, sort of like they are going in and occupying our land — which is what they are doing,” Wilson said.

We don't need no water


YOU know the rest.

Saltwater...really?

Fire at Saltwater Disposal Well Near Boyd.

YOU pay

Over and over again.

Teri Hall and TURF spell it out for you, the Dallas Observer lays it out for you.

WHO's involved?  Oh yes, the North Central Texas Council of Governments, the Army Corp of Engineers, TXDOT and the Trinity River.  No, not Fort Worth, this time in Dallas.  YOU get the drift...and the shaft.

Notice how the cost escalates, as usual.

It's a total OUTRAGE to build this road 100% with federal and state tax money and then charge drivers a toll, a second tax, to use it! This is a tax grab, plain & simple.

But he didn't need to make much of a case; as Michael Morris, the head of transportation for the North Central Texas Council of Governments, and TxDOT and city officials explained earlier this week, the Horseshoe Project is a slam-dunk. The $700 million is there, courtesy the state Legislature and myriad other funding sources that will pay for the bridges -- the other two Calatravas the city so desperately wants running over the Trinity River, for which there's $92 million in federal funds. (Pensock did say, at one point, that the project will more than likely cost closer to $800 million when it's wrapped in five years, fingers crossed.)

There are, of course, a few issues to deal with before the traffic jam, including finishing a design and getting a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, since, as Pensock said, the bridges go over the levees, which presents "a particularly sticky issue due to flooding.

"I don't know if we'll ever be able to truly solve congestion in Dallas." 

How much does fuzzy math cost YOU?

Same story, different state.

An industry "study" includes made up job numbers.  Shocking!  Not.  What is shocking is a reporter actually got to the bottom of it.

Read about the Washington Post Keystone Pipeline bust here.

What is shocking is that we can somehow figure out how to run a dangerous pipeline across our great nation, but we can't figure out how to pipe water from the states that are flooding to those in a drought...huh.  How many jobs would that create?

In an explosive story posted online in the Washington Post this afternoon, pipeline company TransCanada admitted that it has grossly misrepresented the number of jobs the controversial Keystone XL project would create.

The 20,000 jobs involved in pipeline construction? A fabrication supported by misleading mathematics. The 250,000 indirect jobs? A number based on one oil-industry funded study that counted jobs for “dancers, choreographers and speech therapists,” according to the Post.

“Thank heavens some reporter actually questioned this jobs number, instead of just repeating it,” said Bill McKibben, who is leading a major protest against Keystone XL this Sunday at the White House


In fact, in the only jobs study not funded by TransCanada, the Cornell Global Labor Institute concluded that any jobs stemming from the pipeline’s construction were likely be outweighed by the environmental damage it caused, along with a possible rise in Midwest gasoline prices because a new pipeline would divert that region’s current oversupply of oil to the Gulf Coast.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Environment Texas Briefing on State and Federal Actions Impacting the Trinity River


Luke Metzger with the Austin-based watchdog agency Environment Texas will detail the pluses and minuses from the last legislative session and offer an update on the impacts of the drought and state and federal actions on the Trinity River, gas-well fracking and more. Meet the speaker at 6:30 p.m.; program starts at 7. Admission is free. Metzger's talk is the 2011 Julia Burgen Lecture, named for the longtime ACC supporter and former Arlington City Council member.

Wednesday, November 9, 6:30 pm 
Arlington Central Library Community Room
101 East Abram Street Arlington, TX 76010


Who will come to their rescue?

We have a couple of guesses.

Another piece of Fort Worth history is in danger of ending up like Heritage Park. 

Will anyone save Carl Bell and the beloved Fort Worth Cats?

How many of you from the "old school" have black and white photos of you or family members entering the Cats game? 

Priceless.

Check it out on the Fort Worth Weekly.

The city’s oldest and most popular sports team is in danger of folding. If the Cats get skinned, that’s a lot of history down the drain, seeing as how they played their first game here in 1888.

Death or taxes?

Jeers in the Fort Worth Star Telegram:

To U.S. Reps. Joe Barton and Kay Granger, who are fighting the EPA on regulations that would curb mercury and other toxic pollutants being emitted from power plants and cement kilns. They profess that any increased regulation would kill jobs, apparently not caring that those same toxins can kill people.

-- Sharon Austry, Fort Worth


Have you guessed

WHO will be bailing out the Fort Worth Cats yet?

YOU will.

Read Bud Kennedy's take about the Cats and the election...

Under Pressure


Dear Neighbor,

At the risk of being repetitive, Cheaspeake Energy Corporation wants to bring unreliable noise control, uncertain air borne emissions systems, a track-record of inconsistent maintenance and event-response systems, and likely real estate value losses, to our backyard.  They want us to let them trade our former equestrian center for north Texas' (and maybe the nation's) largest, loudest, smelliest and ugliest "enclosed gas compressor station."  Imagine 15 of these massive engines sitting side by side and running 24/7/365 and you've got it!

Your neighborhood committee and many others are fighting this proposal with all of the resources at our disposal.

WITH SINCERE THANKS FOR ALL YOU HAVE DONE, A BIT MORE OF YOUR HELP IS URGENTLY NEEDED RIGHT NOW! So, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE...

CALL 817-392-8028 Monday or Tuesday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm..  TELL the Zoning Department you DO NOT WANT Chesapeake's request for a continuance approved and you do not want case #ZC-11-098 approved.

E-MAIL zoninglanduse@fortworthtexas.org no later than noon this Tuesday. TELL the Zoning Department you DO NOT want Chesapeake's request for a continuance approved and you DO NOT want case #ZC-11-098 approved (mention a COUPLE of reasons including finding a more appropriate location).

ATTEND the Wednesday, November 9th, Zoning Commission meeting at 10am at City Hall. (Be there early as parking can be difficult.)

The more we put the pressure on the City, the less likely it is that Chesapeake will succeed in their unreasonable, inappropriate request.  But, just remember...

YOU Are The Pressure! 
No One else Can Be The Pressure FOR YOU! 
Call!   -  E-mail!   -  Attend!