Saturday, December 31, 2011

People in 2011

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram put out it's 2011 DFW Newsmakers.

We'd like to salute the citizens that ended up on the list.  THE PEOPLE who ended up there by standing up for what they believe in and protecting their neighbors.  A firefighter, a veteran, an urban gas drilling opponent and a man teaching our youth a better way of life.  These real people make a difference in our world.  Kudos to them all.  As for the rest of the list...we applaud Wendy Davis for again, standing up for THE PEOPLE.  Too bad there aren't more like her.

The meteorologist in charge at the National Weather Service, Bill Bunting, also made the list.  His "standard line" on North Texas weather - 

"Episodes of drought punctuated by periods of catastrophic flooding."

Wonder WHO and what 2012 will bring...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Coming soon to a sewer near YOU

If you didn't see the History Channel show, America's Crumbling Infrastructure, you should.

You should also read the article on Yahoo.com, US Cities struggle to control sewer overflows.  

And remember it next time appointed and elected officials want you to Tube the Trinity River.  Thousands of these overflows happen yearly.  When you neglect the infrastructure that is at least a century old and was built for the population of that time, WHAT did you think would happen?

At least some of the rubbish had drifted across Lake Michigan from Milwaukee, a vivid reminder that many cities still flush nasty stuff into streams and lakes during heavy storms, fouling the waters with bacteria and viruses that can make people seriously ill.

Costs are reaching hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars.

She was shocked to learn that federal law lets cities discharge untreated sewage when their plants and storage facilities are flooded.

"It was maddening that they had permission to do this and we had to live with the consequences," Rodwell said.


The ultimate goal is zero overflows, but officials don't expect to get there until about 2035 because it will require being able to handle the kind of flooding that previously happened rarely but is becoming more common.

One partial solution gaining popularity with cities is "green infrastructure" — natural and man-made features that enable more water to soak into the ground instead of washing into storm drains and creeks. Stoner and Giles of EPA instructed field staff last year to incorporate green features into storm water and sewer permits as much as possible.

"Cities have had decades to deal with this problem," Welch said. "We need firm deadlines and we need strong enforcement so it can finally be solved."

Good Question

Possibly the best question we have ever seen in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  We're still waiting on the answer.

It's in a column about the Fort Worth retirees and their pension, but it applies to all things Fort Worth and the Fort Worth Way. The sheep have been asking this question for years, if the fox is guarding the hen house...

If most retirement fund board members are beneficiaries of the fund and the fund's executive director is writing guest columns defending their lucrative packages, who the heck is watching out for the taxpayers?

Again, we've been waiting on that answer for years.


With the recent article about the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, this partial comment on the retiree article seems both relevant and timely.

The biggest opponent to Fort Worth city employees is the FW Chamber of Commerce. The city can't give away tax breaks to lure businesses when they have to pay retirees and future retirees a decent retirement.  

The problem isn't the pension. The problem is upper-crust individuals who are "looking out for the taxpayer" want to spend taxpayer money on pork, at the expense of the city employee. 

Speaking of living outside of Tarrant County....  Look at Dallas TAD website and you'll find one of the great opponents of the pension, Mitch Schnurman, lives in Coppell in a $340k house.

Another Tarrant County "Study"

Funny thing about "studies", they usually produce the outcome those hired to produce it are looking for.  It's what you call a win/win.  Unless, of course, you're the one paying for it.

This one was done by the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce. Read about it in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

It claims property taxes are part of the benefit to all the abatement's Fort Worth handed out this year.  How can that be when the TIF's in the area are struggling to meet their promises due to declining property taxes?  Remember, there were studies for those TIF's too. What are they basing these numbers on?  Apparently, whatever they could.

The overall economic impact includes company investments, salaries and what workers will spend.

It also considers salaries created or supported in new or existing firms, such as maintenance companies and service firms, and spending at stores and restaurants.

 There were a couple of key sentences in the article:

In its efforts, the chamber's economic development division received and spent about $1 million from private and public sources in 2011.

The chamber's economic development division works closely with the city's economic development department.


As usual the best part were the comments from THE PEOPLE:

It's a great place to do business if you're looking for a tax handout, but Fort Sprawl is not a great place to live anymore.  

Roads are in terrible condition, crime is up and police response times are lousy.  City services are poor and getting worse.  Those that still exist, anyway.  Price lives in her shielded world and is not in touch with the average citizen.

The only ones who are happy with all this are the stinking corporations and developers and corrupt politicians (current and past mayors & council included) who are benefiting at citizens' expense. If you've got enough money to buy a politician or two, you can pretty much get whatever you want. That's exactly what happened with the Trinity Drainage Ditch Vision and many other pet projects... reward the developers/politicians... screw the citizens.

3 LLC's and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

Earlier this year, the Fort Worth Weekly had an article on the dealings of the Haltom City Economic Development Corporation and the LLC it created.  It was smartly titled, A High Priced Can of Worms

Today, on Reuters.com there is another telling article about an LLC, this one a Chesapeake affair.  
Seems when the folks in Michigan wanted to collect their signing bonuses they were promised, they couldn't find out WHO to collect from.  WHY?

In fact, the company issuing the rejections wasn't much of a business at all. It was a shell company - a paper-only firm with no real operations - called Northern Michigan Exploration LLC.
Northern has voided hundreds of land deals, and was indeed a facade - a shell company created so that one of America's largest energy companies could conceal its role in the leasing spree, a Reuters investigation has found. Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. (CHK.N), the nation's second-largest gas driller, was behind the entire operation.

Chesapeake had created one shell company that set up another, Northern Michigan Exploration.

So, WHO will step up to the plate and protect the taxpayers from the newly formed Trinity Vision Partners LLC that just purchased the Fort Worth Cats?  Wouldn't you love to know WHO all is involved in that shell game?

Ask.

Monday, December 26, 2011

WHY is that?

The last sentence in on an ABCNEWS.com article caught our attention.


Perry is the only candidate, other than President Obama, whose security is funded by taxpayers.

Rick Perry’s security costs have risen since he entered the presidential campaign in August, costing Texas taxpayers as much as $400,000 a month, according to a report by the Texas Tribune.

So our Senator spends more on travel than any others and our Governor is the only other man in America that we're paying for his security...

WHY is that?

ASK.

WTH is going on in Trophy Club?!

Good thing for the citizens that THE PEOPLE are following the trail.  Too bad the "news" isn't.  As with most things in Tarrant County, it leads back to water and money.

Here's the latest incoming from Trophy Club concerning their water, MUD, SLAPP, corruption and lack of "news" coverage.

We know we've asked this before, but is there a reporter in the county?  Anyone?  Hello...

Trophy Club's Wastewater Woes Worsen

Trophy Club Municipal Utility District(MUD) officials showed little Christmas cheer on Tuesday December 20th as they reviewed  the findings of a local wastewater treatment consultant hired to review MUD 1 operations after repeated violations of the plant's permitted limits for Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD).  The MUD District Manager and newly hired wastewater treatment superintendent briefed the 5 directors on the report and detailed the problems that contributed to the previous superintendent's resignation just last month.

The report addressing chronic violations of BOD limits was a 180 degree deviation from the previous administration's handling of the matter.  As late as 2010, MUD director Jim Budarf had claimed in writing that the wastewater treatment plant had, “...never been in noncompliance.”

According to the report, the MUD wastewater treatment equipment was designed to meet a BOD permit limit of 10 parts per million (ppm) by  the engineering firm CDM when it was installed.  The current MUD permit limit however is 5 ppm(one half the equipment's capability).

The MUD was required to install approximately 3 million dollars in equipment in 2003 as a part of an agreed enforcement order by the Environmental Protection Agency.  The enforcement order came after multiple permit limit violations of BOD and other pollutants.

Details about the wastewater treatment equipment had been requested repeatedly by the group Citizens for MUD Accountability.  Ironically, MUD attorney Pam Liston, who had stated that there were no records responsive to those requests in 2009, presided over    Tuesday's discussion.

Kevin Carr, who was the subject of a formal ethics complaint by Citizens for MUD Accountability in 2009 over the environmental violations, was also present.  Mr. Carr, who had  been quoted in 2009 as saying that he was “insulted” by the ethics complaint, stated for the record that the report was not related to drinking water.  He did not clarify why he thought the discharge into Grapevine Lake (a source of drinking water for millions) had no impact on drinking water.

The Title of this article pays homage to the editorial travesty published by the Star-Telegram Times Register on Nov. 18, 2009 titled “Water Woes Wrapped Up” .  According to that article,“Trophy Club resolved its wastewater violations months ago and no longer has issues needing correction...”

Unfortunately for the Trophy Club MUD, the Star Telegram holds little sway with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality who issued the permit this year with the 5 ppm limit.  According to Trophy Club's most recent notice from that agency penalties can be subject to fines of $32,500 per violation per day with the possibility of imprisonment for knowing violations.

How's that TIF workin out for ya? NRH

This one in North Richland Hills.  WHY is the TIF not working out?  Declining property values.

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

The city must scale back a project that is part of redevelopment efforts along Boulevard 26 south of Northeast Loop 820 because revenues from a special tax district have fallen short.

With a $9 million drop in property values in the area since 2008, the city wouldn't have enough revenue to meet the debt service for the $3.5 million project plan. Instead, city officials estimate that $2.5 million in funding is available.

The city has sold $1 million in bonds and, based on revenue projections, says that $1.5 million in additional debt could be issued.

The issue is focused on a Tax Increment Financing district, created in 2008 to use property tax revenues for redevelopment. The city had an existing TIF zone, created in 1999, but expanded it to include all commercial properties in the Boulevard 26 corridor south of Loop 820, except North Hills Hospital and the Calloway Creek area.

"Staff has had several meetings with TxDOT trying to reach a compromise, but has not had a great deal of success. TxDOT has made it very clear that only TxDOT approved roadway striping and colors can be used in the corridor within their rights-of-way," Curtis wrote in Nov. 14 memo to the North Richland Hills City Council.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Everything is right,

The Lone Star's shining bright,
It's a Texas Christmas tonight.

Merry Christmas to all our friends, supporters, and contributors.
A special Merry Christmas to our troops serving both near and far.

YOU are all stars.

May the New Year bring you all many blessings and an end to the Culture of Corruption.

Anything is possible, if YOU believe.

Peace,
Texas Lone Star

Friday, December 23, 2011

WHO's involved?

WHO bought the Fort Worth Cats?

WHO do you think?

Trinity Vision Partners Llc.  

WHO are THEY??

Read the article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. And check out what the Dallas Observer had to say.  Yeah, Dallas is watching too.

We 'll hold off on saying, we told you so.

Owner Carl Bell has agreed to sell the baseball team to a group led by John Bryant and Byron Pierce, co-founders of United League Baseball. 

The Cats will be the fifth independent team owned by Bryant and Pierce.  Former Texas Rangers President Mike Stone is also part of the ownership group, Trinity Vision Partners Llc., and will be the team's chairman.

Financial terms were not disclosed, although Bell said he did not profit from the sale. The costs of independent teams vary depending on financial conditions, attendance and other factors.LaGrave Reconstruction Co., which Bell runs, still owns LaGrave Field and the surrounding 131/2 acres.

Bell felt that the proper business decision was to split the two entities. Most professional teams are tenants of the stadiums they play in, and the Cats have a 20-year lease at LaGrave.

Observer:

That said, "I really don't care who our landlord is," Stone says. "We have a 20-year lease. We bought the Cats, the property, the right to do business as the Cats, and that's what crucial to us." When it comes to the land, he explains, "It's a complicated process, a complicated transaction. The Tarrant Regional Water District is involved. Carl is involved. Amegy Bank is involved. We're involved. The bottom line is we end up owning the Cats and the right to play ball as the Cats."
Owner rl Bell has agreed to sell the baseball team to a group led by John Bryant and Byron Pierce, co-founders of United League Baseball. The Cats will be the fifth independent team owned by Bryant and Pierce.Former Texas Rangers President Mike Stone is also part of the ownership group, Trinity Vision Partners Llc., and will be the team's chairman.Financial terms were not disclosed, although Bell said he did not profit from the sale. The costs of independent teams vary depending on financial conditions, attendance and other factors.LaGrave Reconstruction Co., which Bell runs, still owns LaGrave Field and the surrounding 131/2 acres.Bell felt that the proper business decision was to split the two entities. Most professional teams are tenants of the stadiums they play in, and the Cats have a 20-year lease at LaGrave.

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/12/21/3611839/fort-worth-cats-sold-will-play.html#storylink=omni_popular#storylink=cpy

Thursday, December 22, 2011

WHO controls YOUR water?

It's a tricky question.  For a reason.  There are many water districts in Texas.  Nine times out of ten, they are above the law, as in they don't have to follow any.

There's been a lot of talk about the Tarrant Regional Water District lately, but it hasn't been due to water.  It's all been about the J.D. Granger and Tim Love Woodshed restaurant sweetheart deal on the Trinity River. A million dollar (give or take a few, again, it's just YOUR money) deal.  Don't you wish YOU could go into business for with no start up cost and if it bombs, you lose nothing?  YOU bet you do, cause you've already lost another million.  And counting.  It's a small price to pay for the billion dollar boondoggle known as the Trinity River Vision. 

The TRWD and the Trinity River Vision Authority, under the leadership of JD Granger, Congresswoman Kay Granger's son, heavily promoted Tubing on Trinity or Rocking on the River this summer to the citizens and taxpayers of Tarrant County.  WHY didn't they test the water?  WHY did the citizens have to pay to have it tested?

The project was touted as flood control, so it would receive federal money.  YOU hear that rest of the country?  YOU'RE paying for this too, so there.  We have to ask again, what does a BBQ shack on the river, a wakeboard park and bridges over dry land do for flood control?  YOU should ask.  After all YOU paid for it.

The TRWD should be reaching out to real water planners of the world and getting their act together before Fort Worth runs out of water.  Instead their reaching out and suing our neighbor, Oklahoma for their water.  The same state those gas drillers using all our water hail from. The same fellas that made our water district rich. Hey, here's a thought, why don't you make them bring their own water and take their waste back with them?  Ever wondered why many drill sites are close to the river and the tributaries? Remember, it flows both ways. Water, too.

If all that weren't enough, then there's fracing.  Even if you don't believe it could ever possibly happen, let's just say, what IF just ONE time it does? Remember the coast? What IF the Trinity aquifer is contaminated?  How do YOU fix it?  What happens then?  WHO is responsible?

If all that isn't enough, we came across the article below.  Which brings us back to the original question, WHO controls YOUR water?

I am in Parker County at a hearing where Range Resources has filed a plea to jurisdiction in the water contamination case where EPA had to step in. If the judge grants this motion, it means the Texas Railroad Commission is the final authority in fracking water contamination cases. It means you can’t sue for damages if the Big Gas Mafia fracks up your water. It would be a disaster for all Texas water drinkers. 

Read the rest here. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Pulitzers and Pickets

Incoming from a local taxpayer concerning the JD Granger, Tim Love, Trinity River Vision, Tarrant Regional Water District, Woodshed Boondoggle...

I'm boycotting....I hope it fails HUGE...The Business Press should get a Pulitzer for this cover up....
Not only am I boycotting, I'm looking forward to picketing, too.  Every restaurant owner in town should be out there in force. Businesses in Fort Worth need to get a clue.  Don't they know they are next?

The Quiet Advocate


A message from one of our readers....

Dear Active Activist,

We hope you are enjoying a Happy Holiday season. We have written before thanking you for your efforts to expose the real workings of our North Texas political-monetary system of cronyism. Our belief and support remain unabated. We remain loyal readers even though at times your reports leave us somewhat depressed. 

When it comes to the giant money machines overrunning your hometown values, we would prefer to turn a blind-eye, even knowing full well doing so will only cause things to get worse. We hope that our kids will be as apathetic as we are and therefore not lay the blame directly ( and rightfully so ) at our feet. Your efforts, and those of your like minded activist, painfully remind us of our failure to protect our own real interest in favor of comfortable voyeurism . 

Having once been on the front lines of activism we know full well the oft felt frustration of trying to inform the ignorant, motivate the listless and bring the freedom of self empowerment to slaves of the almighty dollar. We know too, how the giddy rush of the occasional victory wipes away the painful memories of failed campaigns. It is those victories, no matter how small, that ignite the flame of progress. Few can be activist leaders, fewer still last beyond a single issue or two. However, all of us in this country are blessed to participate as quite activist for a better world. We owe that participation not just to our children, but to our species.

Thank you again for all you do. 

The Quiet Advocate 

Remember when

We said Place your bets on WHO will end up with LaGrave field?

According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, your bet is about to pay off.  Notice there is always a "but".  The taxpayers will then own a restaurant and a ball field.

J.D. Granger, executive director of the Trinity River Vision Authority, reiterated that the authority and the water district have no interest in running a team or owning a stadium. But he said the agencies might consider buying the property if it is auctioned on the courthouse steps.

That wasn't even in the article about the Cats and LaGrave field.  That was in the article about the contaminated site clean up.

The environmental director for the TRWD talks about long term health risks.  Is this the same one WHO forgot to test the water in the Trinity River before promoting to the citizens to float with filth?

How much was budgeted for environmental clean up, again?

As part of a "dig and haul" project, crews are loading heavy metals buried years ago at the site of the former American Cyanamid chemical plant and trucking them to a landfill in the Hill County town of Itasca.

For the Tarrant Regional Water District and its political subdivision, the Trinity River Vision Authority, this is the first of at least 15 environmental projects that are expected to be completed within five years to make room for the $909 million flood control and economic development project.

"If you want to have residential use, then you need to clean it up to higher level so that long-term risk at the site is minimized," said Woody Frossard, the water district's environmental director.


J.D. Granger, executive director of the Trinity River Vision Authority, reiterated that the authority and the water district have no interest in running a team or owning a stadium. But he said the agencies might consider buying the property if it is auctioned on the courthouse steps.

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/12/05/3573053/contaminated-soil-being-removed.html#storylink=cpy

Don't worry

If you missed the presentation on the NCTCOG this week.  It's coming soon to everywhere near YOU.

Apparently many people are interested in WHO they are and WHAT they do.  For a stormy night, less than a week before Santa arrives, the house was packed!  And more people were visiting that post than you could shake a stick at.

We'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The RINO's are coming

This past Saturday, the Republican Precinct chairs voted for the Interim Party Chair for Tarrant County.  The vote was somewhat of a cluster.  It came down to Bob McGrath, Jen Hall and Adrian Murray.

McGrath insulted Mr. Murray while he still had the floor, so Mr. Murray asked his supporters to vote for Jen Hall. 

They did.  Jen Hall won.  Congratulations to a local grassroots community activist!  And to THE PEOPLE for being people, not sheep. (Well, there were sheep there but they were outnumbered).

Word on the street is that McGrath has Charlie Geren and Byran Eppstien on speed dial.  Watch out, you know what the old guard gets you in Cowtown.

Another day, another NTTA...

According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram it seems the NTTA doesn't want to conduct a national search to find a director.

WHY would they?  They run off those WHO don't believe in giving contracts to the same firms for as far back as anyone can remember.  And when you have those that will tow the line, no further search needed apparently.  Only "Yes" men need apply.

Carrigan arrived at the tollway authority in 2008. As assistant executive director of project delivery, he has guided the authority's engineering efforts on several major projects and has dealt with contractors and vendors. Before working at the authority, he worked briefly at HNTB Corp., the consultant that does much of the authority's engineering work.
Carrigan said he would be interested in serving as executive director."Basically, I'm there to serve the board in whatever way the board wants," he said after a recent board meeting in Plano.

Monday, December 19, 2011

"Egomaniacs running amok"

In Tarrant County...well, duh.  Where have you been, under a rock?!

While it's a quote a local columnist used to describe our Constables, (which he refers to as "tin-horn sheriffs") we say if the shoe fits...

Ego continues throughout the 60+ comment string on Facebook, as well as insults.

Maybe YOU should check out some of the local boys running for Constable.  Several of them have served in one way or another and have spent much of their time protecting THE PEOPLE.  What is it that columnist do for THE PEOPLE?

WHO were THEY talking about today?

Glen Bucy.

WTH?

The gas drilling industry swears fracking and drilling doesn't cause earthquakes.

Seismic definition:

pertaining to, of the nature of, or caused by an earthquake or vibration of the earth, whether due to natural or artificial causes.


If the "artificial causes" such as gas drilling doesn't cause earthquakes, WHY is the city of North Richland Hills covered in seismic detecting equipment by the gas drilling industry?  

WHO's responsible if your home is damaged by it?

WHO pays WHO?

Alex Mills is the President of the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers.  We're not really sure what that is, but if we had to guess we'd say that was an organization similar to those like the Trinity River Vision Authority, NTTA, the NCTCOG...you get the picture.  Created, appointed and paid for by local politicians and the Tarrant Regional Water District, or in this case, the gas drilling industry.   

He also writes frequently in the Business Press about gas drilling.  Not so much writing, as defending.  In small print at the bottom it tells you his title, and that "the opinions expressed are solely of the author".

So, if the gas drillers pay him to defend them and he writes his "Opinion" for the Business Press, WHO is paying WHO?  Are the drillers paying for a half a page in the paper or is the paper paying Mr. Mills to write for THEM too? 

What's it costing YOU?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

WHO do you Love?

The Fort Worth Business Press has a follow up article on the Tim Love Woodshed on the Trinity River.  We've added our own questions.  YOU should too. 

Calls to David Hall and Randal Harwood at the Fort Worth planning and development department requesting information about the code compliance issues were not returned. Love also did not return calls.

WHY is that?  Hello...?  Anyone there?

The Woodshed was scheduled to open on Labor Day, then in October, and then last week, but Love told questioners on Twitter that the opening is several weeks away and that the outdoor deck “might” be opened in mid-January to attract visitors to the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo.



“He’s a world-class chef; he’s famous,” Lane said. “This was a business proposition, trying to stimulate interest in the river and in Fort Worth. Sit and watch, there’ll be money made for the regional water district.”


Was Lane elected to promote famous people or protect those WHO elected him?  WHEN did the Tarrant Regional Water District change its mission to "make money"?

That might answer a few questions about why a water district – without competitive bidding or a vote by its board of directors – would spend nearly $1 million to build a restaurant and sign a 10-year contract with Tim Love to manage it.

Information about the deal was made public after Texas Public Information Act requests by the Fort Worth Business Press and was featured in a story in the Dec. 5 edition.


WHY would that be?  Wonder WHAT else could be learned from more requests?  Ask YOUR local media. 

The Woodshed restaurant is located at 3201 Riverfront Drive, near the Fort Worth Zoo and University Park Village shopping center, on land the water district owns. Instead of paying rent on the building, Love will pay a percentage of the restaurant’s total sales to the Trinity River Vision, a subsidiary of the TRWD. Love also is responsible for utilities, maintenance and upkeep of the building.


A taxpayer purchased, risk free restaurant in a floodplain, next to the contaminated Trinity River, on land owned by the Tarrant Regional Water District...WHAT could possibly go wrong with that?

He was recruited for the deal by J.D. Granger, executive director of the Trinity River Vision Authority and the son of U.S. Rep. Kay Granger (R-Fort Worth), a proponent for the TRV development and flood-control project along the river.


Proponent made us laugh.  The following says it all:

“Whether it’s an abatement, TIF, public/private partnership, getting favorable changes in the law to reduce private risk – it never stops,” Picht said. “TRV is in a class by itself for getting so much public money from so many sources while having no transparency, no hope of keeping within budget, no competent management, and no hope of producing the product that was advertised in the original concept plan.” he said.

Water district officials say the criticism is unwarranted. The idea behind the TRV always has been to reintegrate the Trinity River back into the city and make it a centerpiece of economic development, they say.


Funny, we thought the plan was always "flood control".  Oops. 

Taxpayers aren’t footing the bill for the restaurant, Oliver said. “The project was paid for with oil and gas revenues so it didn’t impact the portion of our budget funded by taxpayers,” he said.

Those revenues, however, come from gas wells located on public land owned by the water district.
 

Duh.  

Article or comments...

Read them both in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  As usual, YOU can't afford not to.

The new Precinct 4 Northwest Subcourthouse, which opened in March and includes the office of longtime Commissioner J.D. Johnson, is a monument to government. At 57,000 square feet and a $16.9 million cost, it's an example of government grandeur built by a Republican administration when governments everywhere are trying to cut back.  

Tarrant County, which has frozen employee salaries in the past and reduced services, isn't done building. The county is in the midst of a massive construction spree, with some of the projects not needing voter approval.

County officials brag that with some projects they are using a pay-as-you-go formula in which money is taken out of annual operating budgets without causing a tax increase. But one former commissioner said that philosophy appears to be borrowed from Tarrant County College officials who embarked on a similar construction spree that didn't require voter approval, either.

Either way, officials emphasize that the county tax rate stays the same. They don't mention that the rate could fall if the county spent less.

Hampton, who served as a commissioner for 12 years until 1996, told me that without direct voter approval on construction projects, "the only way you know this is happening is to see a building go up or go to every working budget session that the Commissioners Court has and watch the court approve the details.

"Somebody like the media or whomever is interested would have to be there, and who could spend that much time? So it behooves our fearless leaders to put that out in some form or fashion and say, 'Look what we're doing.'"


Don't miss the comments from THE PEOPLE.

The public can't know what the Star-Telegram can't afford to cover.
This started ten years ago as a healthy local newspaper became a journalistic skeleton. If the descending spiral of local government coverage continues; building like this will last as long as contractors kickbacks (read legit "fundraisers") keep coming.

Earlier this year at the Northwest Sub-Courthouse, I asked one of the clerks, "If smoking is prohibited, why does the building reek of cigarette smoke?"

The reply and ensuing conversation:

 "Commissioner Johnson smokes a lot in his office."
"How is that?  There are no-smoking signs all over the place."
"Well, it's his building, so I guess he can smoke if he wants to."
"Well, it's not his building, is it?"
"Oh, yes, it is."

That attitude explains a lot. It's J.D. Johnson's domain, and woe betide anyone who fails to recognize that fact.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Fort Worth has a new owner

"Time to get to Fort Worth. Tim Love owns this town. It’s a great honky-tonk town."

So. In the world of celebrity chefs, apparently, it is known that Tim Love owns Fort Worth.

This is the best explanation yet as to how it was Tim Love got his sweetheart restaurant deal for his new Woodshed restaurant, courtesy of the generosity of his drinking buddy. J.D. Granger, the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle and the Tarrant Regional Water District.

Read all about it on Durango.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Well?

Read the Letter in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Campaign contract

What we need is a law that says elected officials are legally bound by their campaign promises, and if they break them, they can be sued for breach of contract. If they are found guilty, they would be immediately removed from office and never eligible to run for elected office again. I don't want to be "governed," I want to be "represented," but how can I vote for the right candidate if they are all allowed to lie with impunity during the election and then do whatever they want to once they're elected?

-- Ben Bruce, Arlington

What do THEY do, again?

WHO appoints them?  WHO pays their salary? (YOU guessed it).

Want to know more about THE COG? (The North Central Texas Council of Governments)

Then don't miss this meeting.  YOU can't afford to miss it. Neither can your local "news".

Monday, December 19, 2011
 6:00 pm Social Hour
7:00 General Meeting FW 9-12
Elks Lodge
3233 White Settlement Road
Fort Worth, TX

Come join us and meet our Speaker, ZACK MAXWELL....you will be amazed at the information he has to share....

 "I will draw back the curtains on the biggest scheme our country has seen since the Federal Reserve. This system has been in the making for over 40 years and has spread rapidly across our nation like a cancer. You will be amazed at the how the majority of your locally elected officials are working day after day to radically alter the American Dream and your future.

This network is so intricately woven into the fabric of our government's operations that if America was to collapse tomorrow, I'm convinced there would be a fully-functional system ready to replace our current government."

NORTH CENTRAL TEXAS COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS [NCTCOG]

Thursday, December 15, 2011

THE People want more

Many were looking forward to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram becoming YOUR paper

Some still are.

Read the following Letter to the Editor.

More letters, please

Has anyone besides me noticed that, since the Star-Telegram implemented its latest reformatting of the paper, the letters section has been dramatically reduced in size? Editorials and guest columnists seem to get more space than all the letters combined. Several times since the reformatting, I have totally missed the letters section when going through the paper and had to thumb back through to find it.

This seems a shame for what I once looked forward to as a good cross-section of views and commentary from readers.

We need more space for letters from readers and less space devoted to editorials and guest columnists, in my opinion.

-- Michael A. Jones, Fort Worth

Hush Money?


More than a few readers have noted the glaring differences in the news coverage of the Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) in Trophy Club. This follow-up article should provide some clarity on how two news sources can publish such radically different stories about the same event.

By way of history, this story was broken by the Star Telegraph on November 12th and 27th of this year. The Star Telegram article was not published until weeks later on Dec. 13th.

The Star Telegraph Article cites the relevant court case and provides details about all the participants.  The Star Telegram article only provides details about former Town Councilwoman Kathleen Wilson's defamation claims and her Pyrrhic judgment obtained against former citizen of the year Steven Kohs.

Most importantly, the Star Telegraph article identifies the lawsuit by definition as a SLAPP action.  As previously noted, the Star Telegram article focuses solely on the former Town Councilwoman's claims and completely omits that the actions instigating this lawsuit occurred on a political website during a local election campaign.

The reason for these glaring differences can be summed up in one word. That word is money.

The Star Telegraph receives no income from the Town of Trophy Club.  By contrast, the Town's online check register indicates that Trophy Club paid the Star Telegram $1,363.76 in the last 30 days alone.

Shame on Trophy Club's elected officials for suing the people they represent and covering it up with newspaper hush money.  But above all, shame on the Star Telegram for taking the money and pretending to be an unbiased source of news.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

THEY bought Santa!


We received the following from a local Cowtown resident....

Dear Lone Star,

I haven’t written before but I couldn’t pass this up.

Last night I was listening to 95.9 The Ranch on my way home from work.  They had a commercial about Chesapeake and the Cowtown Santa program.  Knowing what we know about Chesapeake, I had to shake my head – they are slick with their PR, I mean what bad things can you say about people giving a toy drive?  Then when I heard it was on their campus, I shook my head again, distract the people from the truth with shiny light displays, parades and fireworks.

Here’s where it really gets interesting…the very next commercial was another one for Cowboy Santa in Fort Worth with Chesapeake.  This one done by a male radio announcer.  The first by a female.  Back to back commercials for the same thing, really?

There’s more.  The following commercial was to drive tanker trucks for another gas drilling company.  

On the heels of that there was a commercial about the long history of the Fort Worth Cowboy Santa’s.   

Thankfully, it didn’t mention their new sponsor or their distractions.  

I realize radio stations sell ads to make money but seriously, did these guys not learn anything with the long rambling TRV Rocking the River (contaminated with feces) commercials??  Apparently everything is for sale, and as Lone Star says – WHO ultimately pays??  

We do. 

Merry Christmas y’all!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Leading by example


How much of that $46,000 per child is due to Texas projects asked for by the same Texas Senator asking about fairness?

Remember this?

In a year when U.S. House Republicans have taken a pledge against earmarks, Senator John Cornyn is stepping forward to request $10 million in federal money for Fort Worth's Trinity Vision plan.

The Trinity Vision project is funded entirely with public money and most government bodies are struggling. 

The same Senator WHO has the highest travel expenditures.   

Sound fair to YOU?  Ironic, even?

Cornyn Asks: Are Trillions In Debt “Fair” For Future Generations?

“What’s not fair is that because of his reckless spend-now, pay-later agenda, every child born in America today comes into this world owing $46,000.”

Dec 06 2011

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, today issued the following statement in advance of President Obama’s speech in Osawatomie, Kansas on economic fairness:


"It's ironic the President would give a major lecture to the American people today on ‘economic fairness.’ What’s not fair is that because of his reckless spend-now, pay-later agenda, every child born in America today comes into this world owing $46,000.

“Rather than give us a lecture on fairness, the President should lead by example and start working with us to create a stronger, better America that lives up to its commitments and doesn’t pass the buck to the next generation.”

Senator Cornyn serves on the Finance, Judiciary, Armed Services and Budget Committees.  He serves as the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee’s Immigration, Refugees and Border Security subcommittee. He served previously as Texas Attorney General, Texas Supreme Court Justice, and Bexar County District Judge.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Kids vs. Industry

We've said it before, if your kids can't get an education...they won't learn to stop buying the BS. 

WHO should get YOUR taxes?  Schools or refineries?

"With Texas schools already facing cuts of more than $5 billion over the next two years, we cannot afford to allow political maneuvering to bleed even more resources from our children's classrooms," state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, said last week. "Favors to political cronies should never be allowed, particularly where they trump the interests of Texas' schoolchildren."

Read the article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  YOUR children will thank you. 

"We understand what is at stake for the school districts and our children's education," Valero Chairman and CEO Bill Klesse said in September. "Our children's education is extremely important, but it is also important to have a fair property appraisal. Even after our exemption is granted, Valero will remain one of the largest taxpayers -- if not the largest taxpayer -- in all the areas where we have refineries."

Valero's exemption request was initially rejected by the commission's staff, which reported that hydrotreaters don't reduce pollution at the refinery, but rather when consumers use fuel from refineries.

"The environmental benefit of these projects occurs when the consumer uses the low sulfur content fuels," commission staffer Ronald Hatlett wrote in 2007. "These projects do not provide an environmental benefit at the site."

WHO's news??

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram recently claimed they were YOUR paper.

Funny, we received an email from an active Fort Worth citizen that tells a much different story.  What happens when the officials and industry are your only customers?

The Fort Worth Startlegram has blocked me from making online comments on their stories because of my prolific responses to stories about bad air quality and the negative impacts of gas drilling on ground water sources. Also, I would imagine their censorship is because I will not back down from the real jerks who post on the ST site! Sad...truly sad that if it were not for the Associated Press and the New York Times, the ST would not even report on any of this crap we are having to deal with because of corrupt elected officials and an industry that cares not for any of us. I guess advertising dollars are more important to the ST than we are!

HE has a way with words

THEY have a way with your money.

A Letter to the Editor of the Fort Worth Business Press....

The Woodshed

News flash! Earmarks are back! Alive and well! No matter that our country is in financial rigor mortis with Chinese undertakers feeling our pulse while tenderly asking what more can we do for their country.

According to the winter propaganda screed put out by the Trinity River Vision Authority, the boast is made that Congresswoman Kay Granger has secured another $23 million of Federal funds for two Trinity Uptown bridges. Bulletin! Neither of the bridges is Uptown. Both are bridges to nowhere to be built over a yet to be dug channel. Which comes first? The chicken or the egg?

In addition, the screed bragged that the North Central Texas Council of Governments, led by Michael Morris and the Regional Transportation Commission chaired by Jungus Jordan, was able to secure an additional $15 million through “another Federal source.”

When it comes to picking Federal pockets, these three deft-fingered artists make Dickens’ Artful Dodger look like a ham-handed bumbling amateur. After the bridges are built, will they then find another obscure Federal pocket to pick in order to dig the ditch underneath the bridges to nowhere?

Step by stealthy step the beat goes on. Now comes to light another soft-shoe step made under cover of darkness – $970,000 of local taxpayer money has been spent by J.D. Granger, executive director of the Trinity River Vision, on a sweetheart deal with a restaurateur to build a hamburger eatery called The Woodshed on the north bank of the Clear Fork near Colonial Country Club. What has this surreptitious money laundering to do with flood control and water supply, the primary duties of the Tarrant Regional Water District?

Looks like the taxpayers have been taken to the woodshed. Again. Saints preserve us!

Don Woodard, 
Fort Worth

Free parking

Yeah, right.  This is Fort Worth.

Those being affected by the parking fees have come up with alternate plans.  We love when the citizens work together.

Now, if the City will listen.

Read about it in the Fort Worth Business Press.

Some Fort Worth merchants have proposed their own parking strategy as city officials contemplate raising rates in one of Cowtown’s busiest tourist districts.

“What we’ve noticed is our patronage has dropped considerably,” said Carlo Capua, general manager of Z’s Cafe, one of several tenants at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center who are alarmed by declining numbers of customers and determined to do something about it.

And that could mean maximum parking rates as high as $8, a prospect that several businesses say would scare away customers who are already reluctant to park in the vicinity due to parking fees. Parking was free in and around the Will Rogers complex until the Western Center parking garage opened. Parking fees were implemented to help pay its debt service.

But at least one private exhibitor remains skeptical.

“The city will see an even further drop in cars dropping into the district for $8, so the plan to pay for the garage will never work,” said Jan Orr-Harter, show director with the Dolly Johnson Antique & Art Show.

WHO's talking - Part 2

Josh Fox that's WHO.

Read about the EPA and fracking on the Guardian.

The EPA's findings about fracking's contamination of ground water have sent a shockwave through a gas industry in denial

Having investigated fracking myself for three years, I have heard the same story hundreds of times, from residents in gas-drilling areas from Wyoming to Arkansas, from Pennsylvania to Texas. It goes like this: the frackers move in - and all of a sudden your water turns color, or can be lit on fire, or smells like turpentine or leaves burn marks on you after you take a shower. It doesn't take a genius to connect the dots.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

WHO's talking

About Texas air quality?

WHO isn't?

Read the New York Times article.  YOU can't afford to miss it.

Don't miss the connections...

Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston are the only Texas cities currently considered in "nonattainment" for ozone, meaning they do not meet Environmental Protection Agency standards. Nonattainment can cause a loss of federal highway money, though this has never happened in Texas.

On Friday the E.P.A., citing emissions from drilling activities among other factors, wrote to Gov. Rick Perry to propose including Hood and Wise Counties in the Dallas-Fort Worth non-attainment area.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

New "News"



From Arlington.  THEY get it.

Good luck to the Arlington Voice! Coming soon, to everywhere near YOU!

Here's hoping Fort Worth gets a Voice, too.

Old Tickets?

Seems lots of folks in Fort Worth are getting notices due to unpaid tickets from, get this, 10 years ago!

Fort Worth doesn't have records on some of it, but their hired guns do.  We noticed a couple of things in the Fort Worth Weekly article, like how many people in Fort Worth want to remain "unnamed" (We get it) and someone please tell us WHERE we have heard this law firm's name before? 

Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson

Gorman isn’t so sure. He went to the municipal court and asked for a record of the ticket he received, the same ticket that he said was later dismissed by a judge. A clerk told him she couldn’t find it.

“This citation is not in the city’s computer system,” Gorman said. “Fort Worth has no record of any of this. They can’t look me up and say I owe money. Only the law firm collecting for the city of Fort Worth says I owe money.”

Catching on

The Fort Worth Weekly makes note of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram recent changes. Is it new?  Or old?  Are they targeting the young? Or old?  We can't tell anymore.

Though we like the fact the Fort Worth Star-Telegram is going to expand Cheers and Jeers over many days, since it's the "most popular feature".  That says a lot.  And as we've always said, if you want to know what's going on in Fort Worth, you go to THE PEOPLE, not the paper.  Now, let's hope they quit arguing with the Cheers and Jeers writers and print the darn things.

Editorial Director J.R. Labbe chimed in with her own column, saying the editorial section would run “Cheers & Jeers” four days a week instead of one. After all, it’s one of the paper’s “most popular features.” 

(Actually, the “Jeers” are a popular feature. Static’s never met anybody who reads the “Cheers.”)

So: The paper is changing by running more cheers, jeers, and columns written by you, the “readers.” Actually, that makes sense. A newspaper that’s bought out, laid off, fired, or otherwise gotten rid of much of its staff would do well to rely more on guest writers to fill space. Witt nailed it when he ended his column by saying, “This is your newspaper!”

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Another Earthquake?

Another earthquake has been reported.  This one in Johnson County.  People in Burleson and Venus felt the earthquake right before 6:00 p.m.

We can't find any mention of it anywhere yet.  Just from THE PEOPLE so far.

Well said -

A letter in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram tells you how to fix this mess our politicians have made.

Voting strength

It seems to be the common belief among most citizens that this country is gradually sinking into nothingness. It also seems to be common knowledge that the main reason behind our decline is the arguing and bickering among elected members of our do-nothing Congress.

It seems that the only way to get this country moving again is for all voters to, for once, forget party loyalty and vote out the slackers, regardless of party affiliation, who do nothing but draw their pay check and sign ridiculous pledges.

The way I see it, for us to thrive again and rebuild our recognition as the number-one economy in the world is try our best to rid Washington of all the greed and self-preservation of our selfish representatives. Yes, it can be accomplished at polling places!

-- Ed Huddleston, Fort Worth

Remember...

Pearl Harbor. Remember our Veterans. Honor them.

Dec 10: NETTP to Particpate in Wreaths Across America

The NE Tarrant Tea Party will join in the efforts of Wreaths Across America to lay wreaths on the grave sites of our veterans.  Wreaths Across America’s mission, Remember, Honor, Teach, is carried out by coordinating wreath laying ceremonies on the second Saturday of December at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as veterans’ cemeteries in all 50 states and beyond.  We will be participating in the ceremony at Azleland Memorial Park.

When:  December 10th, 2011 at 11:00a.m.

Where:  Azleland Memorial Park Azle; 850 N. Cardinal Rd; Azle, Texas 76020

The theme for 2011 is “Giving The Christmas They Never Had”.  Please watch:


On the morning of the event, there will be a short ceremony, then everyone present is invited to take wreaths and place them on veterans’ graves until each wreath has been placed.  The entire event lasts about an hour.

There are over 400 service markers in the Azleland Cemetery.  Each location only receives as many wreaths as the community donates, so donations for wreaths are greatly appreciated.  The wreaths cost $15 a piece and can be ordered for this specific location online here.  Please consider donating a wreath today and pass this information on to neighbors and friends.  And invite them to the ceremony.  This is a public observance.

For generations, they stood and continue to stand for us!  Will You Take One Day To Stand For Them?

How's that TIF workin out for ya?

The Fort Worth Business Press tells you what another one cost YOU.

TIF board agrees to pay hotel developer full reimbursement

Trinity Bluff Development Ltd. will receive a complete $206,864.08 reimbursement related to developing the Marriott TownePlace Suites hotel on East Belknap Street just west of downtown.


According to information compiled by the downtown TIF, Western International sold the hotel to Apple REIT Nine for $18.4 million on July 19, 2010. The value of hotel improvements since construction was completed totaled $15.4 million, the difference between the land sale price and the hotel sale price.

At the Nov. 28 meeting, the TIF board had four options: find Trinity Bluff Development in default in its TIF development agreement and pay it nothing; find that while Trinity failed to meet its commitments, it may be paid a prorated amount on the reimbursement under one of two scenarios; or find that Trinity “met the spirit of the development agreement” and be paid the entire reimbursement amount.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Did that just happen?

We hear the Fort Worth City Council unanimously voted down the Cheseapeake Compressor Station command center on Randol Mill Road near Mallard Cove.

We also heard talk of letters sent to the residents saying the request for the 15 compressor station site had been pulled, and there was no need to attend the meeting.  If the request was pulled, why would the council vote?  WHO knows, it's the Wild West.

Kudos to the citizens involved in protecting their neighborhoods.  The rest of you could learn a thing or two from these folks.

Haltom City explodes

Earlier this week a family in Fort Worth was taken to the hospital due to a gas leak in their home.  Tonight a gas leak caused an explosion in Haltom City.

Read about it in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

An explosion apparently caused by a gas leak rocked a neighborhood Tuesday night, setting a house on fire and injuring one of the occupants, fire officials said.

Neighboring houses in the 4900 block of Orien Street were evacuated, Fire Chief Steve Ross said. Gas had not been restored to those homes as of 9 p.m. while Atmos crews worked to cut off the gas that fueled flames.

Fire Marshal Fred Napp said the explosion blew the front door of the wooden, one-story house almost to the street. One wall of the house blew out and that side of the house was destroyed by fire. The rest of the house was extensively damaged.

Firefighters found that the explosion had sheared off the gas meter at ground level at the home on fire.

Neighbors said they saw flames shoot into the sky. "We heard a loud boom around 7 p.m. It shook our house," Judy Reyes said.

Behind closed doors...

Is the Fort Worth Way.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram tells you how murky that can be at City Hall.

Today, the council is scheduled to receive a closed-session briefing from city attorneys about how to fill vacancies. The process, as outlined in the charter, is not all that complicated: Except under limited circumstances that don't apply right now, new members must be chosen through elections held in those districts where there are vacancies, either on the next scheduled election day (next May) or on a special date approved by the governor.

But the game of politics is never simple.

Take today's meeting, for example. The council can hold closed meetings only under certain circumstances specified in the Texas Open Meetings Act.

Today's agenda calls for an executive session to get the advice of attorneys about "pending or contemplated litigation or other matters that are exempt from public disclosure" under state bar rules or the open meetings act. There is no such pending or contemplated litigation about council vacancies, and no other reason seems to apply but bar rules that call for unfettered, privileged communication between attorneys and their clients.

Monday, December 5, 2011

All the newspapers...

Are finally talking about the Tim Love Woodshed deal, part of the Trinity River Vision.  (Which means more finger pointing and story changing).

The other restaurant owners in town are wishing the "news" would have done so sooner. (Kind of like the tubers of the Trinity Rockin the River events wish the "news" would have tested the water sooner).  What will all the businesses in Fort Worth say when the Trinity River Vision promotes their own over the current, established ones?

Check out the Fort Worth Business Press article.  Is it just us or do some of the answers given by J.D. Granger and Jim Lane sound different than the ones they gave in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram just a little over a week ago? Last week, neither J.D. or Love could remember WHO asked whom.  Read the latest below.  Jim Lane told the S-T that the Tarrant Regional Water District board voted on it...now it's clear, no one voted on it.

Lane compares the Trinity River Vision to Lockheed Martin and Alliance Airport.  Apples and oranges.

The Trinity River Vision is all taxpayer funded (that's YOU) and has nothing to do with defense (aside from "news" articles) or planes. Nice try though.

And someone please tell these boys, this ain't San Antonio. 

After behind-the-scenes negotiations, without public input or competitive bidding, the Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) has spent $970,000 of public money to build a restaurant near a popular trail head along the Trinity River. Along the way, the Water District signed a 10-year lease with celebrity chef Tim Love to run it, without a competitive bidding process.

The lease was drafted and approved by Ken Brummett, the water district’s general counsel, but not voted on by the district’s board.

TRVA Executive Director J.D. Granger, who helped search for a tenant for the restaurant, said Love proposed the profit-sharing lease rather than a standard rent agreement because fixed rents often cause problems for open-air, climate-sensitive venues.

The behind-the-scenes negotiations with Love and the terms of the lease, not to mention the lack of competitive bidding, aren’t doing much to change critics’ views that the water district is more interested in creating an economic windfall for downtown developers via the TRV than it is in doing its real job of finding new sources of water for a rapidly growing population, preserving current resources and managing flood control projects, says Clyde Picht, a former city councilman who ran for the water board opposing the Trinity River Vision plan.
___________________________________________

The Fort Worth Business Journal  "Water District takes heat over no-bid lease deal"article  also makes note of the Trinity River Improvement Partnership (TRIP) award winning documentary, Up a Creek

Sunday, December 4, 2011

WHO's your daddy?

As previously mentioned, we keep it in the family in Fort Worth.  Literally.

Read about the court connections on PoliTex.  And keep in mind, that ain't nothin.

This is Texas, we do it up big.

They’re the latest in a long line of notable offspring to be hired by the Tarrant County district attorney’s office.

Others who have branched out on the district attorney’s family tree include:

--J.D. Granger, son of U.S. Rep. (and former Fort Worth mayor) Kay Granger. J.D. Granger is now executive director of the Trinity River Vision Authority.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Watchdogs everywhere

The Texas Watchdog is sniffing around the Woodshed too.  Wonder what they'll turn up? 

More dirt on the dealings of the Tarrant Regional Water District or the Trinity River Vision Authority? 

Step right up and place your bets.

Taxpayers foot $970K bill for celebrity chef's smokehouse on Trinity River

Love has competed in Iron Chef and Top Chef Masters. The latter was exposed last month as being part of a pay-to-play scheme, extracting fees from cities in exchange for being used as a Top Chef location.

 

Earlier this month, Granger was derided for failing to show up at a forum at which he promised to explain the $900 million Trinity River Vision project.

 

Granger is the son of U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, who has been a supporter of the Trinity River development but has also been subject to nepotism accusations.
 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Where do you think you're going?

Kathleen Hicks, the same Fort Worth council person who had Judge license plates on her Porsche, even though she's not one, is now running for District 33. (Does she still have the plates? WHO knows, we couldn't find a follow up in the "news").  Sal Espino, who has had his own share of misjudgements, may run too.

Remember what happened last time this race was ran?  Brimer sued Wendy Davis to try and keep her from running. He lost the lawsuit, and the race.

Here we go again.


City staffers have remained tight-lipped about how the council process will work, possibly because the last time it happened there was a lawsuit.

Ah, the Fort Worth Way. 

Read the latest in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

It's coming...

December 6th.  Be there.

Dear Sirs:
 
Thank you for you article dated October 16,2011.  In a recent zoning committee meeting, the committee unanimously voted to deny Texas Midstream Gas Services application (ZC-11-098) at 7429 Randol Mill Road.  This was a huge victory for the neighborhoods who surround this area – Lakes of River Trails South (LORTS) , River Trails, and Mallard Cove.
 
With a small group of volunteers, we have canvassed our neighborhoods, and between LORTS and River Trails, we submitted a petition that consisted of over 1,000 signed petitions of opposition.  According to Jim Bradbury, a consulting attorney in this matter, such a petition against a gas compression station was unheard of in his history in environmental law.
 
But the fact remains that a gas compression station comprised of 15 gas compression stations at one location is unheard of in this country, according to Chesapeake’s gas representative at a recent meeting at River Trails Elementary School.
 
What remains to be seen is how the City Council of Fort Worth determines the outcome should be December 6, 2011.  Will they listen to the staff report that say this application is “inconsistent” with the already existing comprehensive plan and that it is “incompatible” with land use.  What concerns me most, however, are comments made during the November 9th Zoning meeting by Bill Dolstrom, the attorney who filed the application, , there are “no other sites available” and that “according to the information we’ve receive, and the studies we’ve done, there is no other site available.”  Mr. Dolstrom continues, “As far as the inconsistency with the comp plan, the comp plan calls this as agricultural district.  This (ZC-11-098) use is permitted by right in an agricultural district, so I submit to you there is consistency with the comp plan.”
 
Will City Hall agree with its staff and Zoning Committee and deny the application, and if so – will Texas Midstream Gas Services and Chesapeake just build anyway???
 
Thank you for hearing me – please keep informed of the upcoming December 6th meeting.