Sunday, September 30, 2012

Stupid is as stupid does...

This guy gets it.  You better.  It's here.

We've witnessed it in Fort Worth and the surrounding cities.

- As a side note, Texas Lone Star does not agree with all points below and we are not endorsing a national candidate.  This email was forwarded and posted due to it's content concerning what is happening locally and the need for you to be paying attention, no matter your political affiliation.

If you don't think Agenda 21 is real, or it's a "theory", you might want to think again. (Here's another crash course for you, called the U.N. Conquers Texas)

By the way, WHO is telling you that?  The media?  Really??  Have we taught you nothing?

 Stupid Ideas Require Lots of Money
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The love of money, the Bible says, is the root of all evil, and we say the coming lack of money may be our salvation when applied to an environmentally delusional government.
The soothsayers of “sustainability,” the gurus of “green,” and the sages of “smart growth,” the Chicken Littles of global warming, all claim the way we live our lives isn’t “sustainable.”
So what, according to them, is not sustainable?

•Cars (need to switch to foot power and bicycles)
•Fossil fuel use (convert to renewable)
•Air conditioning (wastes too much energy and unfair to nations that lack it)
•Homes with lawns (replace with lower carbon-footprint apartments)
•Golf courses (use too much water and are elitist)
•Eating beef (cow flatulence adds to global warming, etc.)
•Urban living (we need to be concentrated in hive cities and return the land to nature)
•The ownership of private property (government can manage the land better than you or I)
•Pets (have no place in government-run apartment cities envisioned by 2050)
What’s to prevent government, including our own city government, from pushing these silly notions?  The answer is lack of money—national bankruptcy.  It takes money to fund good plans.  It takes a lot more money to get people to do stupid stuff—in this case more money than there is in the world.
But reality never slows down those who never bother to think. The federal government, Austin, AND our own city government, have been dumping money into environmental-driven insanity for some years now.
We’ve all seen examples. Locally, Arlington’s $61 million bike plan, curb side recycling, and the aborted effort to needlessly abridge citizen rights with permanent water restrictions, all are elements of what comes under the catch phrase Agenda 21.  And Arlington just happens to have possibly the most restrictive pet ordinance in the nation.
Agenda 21 is not only real, it is real stupid.
It doesn’t take much reading (plenty of information on the internet) to see how impossible and unnecessary hysterical environmentalism is, but people who believe these absurdities can be sold the Brooklyn Bridge.
In approving the $61 million bike plan, Mayor Cluck and his cronies—none of whom bothered to read the bike plan—did indeed buy the Brooklyn Bridge.
Why on God’s green earth would Mayor Cluck want to line every street in Arlington with bicycle lanes?  After the $61 million plan passed, he complained that it still wasn’t big enough!
Two answers suggest themselves, one based on stupidity, the other on greed.
The answer is stupidity if our City Council really believes we’ll soon be walking or riding bicycles instead of driving cars.
But if Mayor Cluck and his cronies don’t believe that nonsense, then why are they spending $61 million on bicycle lanes when street lane repair is $426 million behind schedule?
Greed is the answer.  We attended a City Council meeting where Mayor Cluck talked about going to a meeting of mayors where he learned that other cities were raking in big federal grants for bike lanes. “So I came back and said, why aren’t we getting any of that money?”  And so the bike plan was born, not out of stupidity—at least not entirely—but mainly out of raw lust for federal funding.
In Gastonia, Georgia, we have a friend and fellow opponent of bad governance. I recently told that friend that the wasteful insanity at large in every level of government would be brought to heel by a thing called reality.  In the end, it simply isn’t possible to keep spending money that doesn’t exist and expect no consequences.
We here at Opinion Arlington are not smart enough to predict how and when the crash will come, but we’re not dumb enough to think it won’t happen.  And when the crash comes, no level of government will have a dime left for foolishness.
In response to my comments, Cheryl said, “I'm not so sure about money drying up....the feds have the printing press and just keep borrowing and printing, so they will keep coming at us.  I wish I thought it would eventually dry up, but thinking we are way past that point with $16 Trillion debt.  Plus, the more broke the cities and counties get...the easier it is to bribe them with Fed money.  Just drives me crazy.
“Here in Gastonia, the city manager, county manager, and full time planners + MPO + UDO...all of them spend every waking moment looking for grant money from the state and the feds to implement all of this that we do NOT want. 
Maybe Romney and Ryan can pull off a miracle and get some of this out of our lives.  Fingers crossed....but not counting chickens.  We'll see.”
Yes, we’ll see, but our money is on the people of this nation, in Arlington, in Gastonia, everywhere.  We have the vote and with it we can take out the idiots wherever we find them, and put in their place men and women of sound and sober judgment.
Buddy Saunders
Publisher - Opinion Arlington

912 Project Fort Worth

Monday, October 1, 2012
 6:00 pm Social Hour
[hamburgers and beverages available for purchase] 
7:00 General Meeting
Elks Lodge
3233 White Settlement Road
Fort Worth, TX

Please welcome...
Speaker, Trainer, Activist

Terri founded the San Antonio TOLL Party, in 2005, when she discovered that TX DOT was converting her only access to San Antonio (Hwy 281) into a tollway. She also founded the 
Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom [TURF]
which defends property rights and our freedom to travel.
Terri has organized marches and rallies in Washington DC and Austin, appeared on the Lou Dobbs Show, CNN's American Morning, MSNBC and Fox News
Terri will share information on..... 
* Will the Toll Roads bust our budgets?
*Can the International Trade Corrider [known as Trans Texas Corrider] be stopped?

* Are we selling our highways to the highest bidder
 by privatizing themand handing them over to foreign companies? 
* Eminent domain...what happens to our private property?

Find out how you can help stop runaway taxation without representation
and abuse of private property rights. 
Q & A to follow.
Co-Sponsors hosting this meeting include:
Texas Patriots TEA Party [Johnson County]
Northwest Republican Club
Parker County TEA Party 

See you Monday, October 1, 2012
 God Bless America!
God Bless Texas!

Who's on first?

What happens when government agencies sell land back and forth to each other because they want the first piece of land for their pet projects?

YOU get a $97 million dollar bill (so far). 

How's that Trinity River Vision working out for you so far?
We marked some of the items you won't want to miss in bold.

DATE: 8/21/2012

SUBJECT: Authorize Execution of a Design-Build Contract with The Cornell FW Company, LLC, at a Guaranteed Maximum Price in the Amount of $97,522,957.00 to Design and Build the New Public Safety Training Center at a Site Near the Intersection of Hemphill Street and Felix Street, Authorize Non-Interest Bearing Inter-Fund Loan Between the Solid Waste Fund and the Public Safety Training Facility Fund in the Amount of $20,522,957.00 and Adopt Appropriation Ordinance (COUNCIL DISTRICT 9)



It is recommended that the City Council:

1. Authorize a non-interest bearing inter-fund loan from the Solid Waste Fund to the Public Safety Training Facility Fund in the amount of $20,522,957.00 for interim financing of the new Public Safety Training Center;
2. Adopt attached appropriation ordinance increasing estimated receipts and appropriations in the Public Safety Training Facility Fund in the amount of $20,522,957.00; and
3. Authorize execution of a Design-Build Contract at a guaranteed maximum price in the amount of $97,522,957.00 with The Cornell FW Company, LLC, to design and build the new Public Safety Training Center.

DISCUSSION: The purpose of this Mayor and Council Communication is to award a Design-Build (D-B) Contract with The Cornell FW Company, LLC, at a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) amount of $97,522,957.00 for the design and construction of the new Public Safety Training Center on the property purchased last year from the federal government through General Services Administration (GSA). It is also necessary to authorize a non-interest bearing inter-fund loan in the amount of $20,522,957.00 between the Solid Waste Fund and the Public Safety Training Facility Fund in order to provide interim financing for the project. This is necessary due to the timing of funds being available from the Crime Control Police District (CCPD) and from the sale of the Police Department's headquarters located at 350 Belknap to Tarrant County. The remaining $77,000,000.00 will come from the sale of Certificates of Obligation expected to occur on or around August 14, 2012.

The current public safety training center located at 1000 Calvert Street was developed over the past 50 years to train the City's police and fire personnel. Due to its age, limited capacity and functionality, and the impacts of the bypass channel associated with the Trinity River Vision project, it has become necessary to replace the current facility. After an in-depth analysis of potential locations, Staff has determined that the most appropriate location is the Federal Depot property located at 501 West Felix Street in south central Fort Worth. This location has numerous benefits including good freeway access, central location, proximity to current City facilities and existing zoning and infrastructure.

Last year, the City acquired the 75 acres of property through GSA at a cost of $6,425,000.00. On July 26, 2012, the Crime Control Police District (CCPD) was presented with the option of using $10,000,000.00 in CCPD funding to help pay for the cost of the new training center. Before being able to commit any funding, however, two public hearings must be held. At its July 26, 2012 meeting, the CCPD Board of Directors recommended moving forward with the public hearing process. The first hearing is scheduled for the next CCPD Board meeting on August 30, 2012, followed by the second public hearing at the September 18, 2012 City Council meeting. The $10,000,000.00 in funding from CCPD will not be available until after the public hearing process has been completed and the City Council has approved the use of CCPD funding.

Similarly, the sale of 350 West Belknap requires a formal advertisement process before the sale of 350 West Belknap can be considered by the City Council, which is expected to occur by the end of September 2012. In order to get the Public Safety Training Center project initiated without further delay, Staff recommends moving forward with the inter-fund loan approach between the Solid Waste Fund and The Public Safety Training Facility Fund. Timing is critical as the City is expected to have some its new facilities in place, including the new Firing Range, by the end of December 2013 per the lease Agreement signed with the Tarrant Regional Water District (M&C L-15268) when the current police/fire training facility was sold last year.

Regarding the sale of 350 West Belknap, the County has agreed to purchase the City's share of the building by the end of this fiscal year and has agreed in principle to the price of $13,500,000.00 which is in line with the City's appraisal. Staff will use $10,522,957.00 of the sale proceeds to reimburse the Solid Waste Fund while an additional $335,520.00 will be used to pay TPW-Facilities Management for Construction Administration Services. Because the County wants to begin using some office space and parking shortly after they purchase the City's share of 350 West Belknap, it will be necessary to temporarily move some Police staff out of their headquarters. This move will entail some additional costs to make replacement space ready including IT, parking, and possibly some minor remodeling. It is also expected that the County will charge a commercial lease rate for the space the City continues to use at 350 West Belknap. All of these costs will be identified and brought forward as part of the upcoming Mayor and Council Communication in September that will involve the sale of 350 West Belknap to the County. Lastly, the Solid Waste Fund will also be reimbursed with the $10,000,000.00 in CCPD funding that is expected to be approved by the City Council in September.

Due to the ambitious construction schedule, Staff determined that the only viable procurement option was Design-Build (D-B), which is one of several contracting and delivery procedures for construction projects authorized by Chapter 2267 of the Texas Government Code. Under a D-B model, the government entity contracts with a single entity that provides both design and construction services. For projects on a tight timeline, the D-B procurement method generally results in a quicker, more seamless delivery with fewer change orders and delays than those typically associated with a traditional design-bid-build method.

The Request for Statements of Qualification (RFQ) from D-B firms opened on January 13, 2012, and was advertised in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. A total of 15 teams responded. The selection panel shortlisted four teams and issued a Request for Proposals to each that included a more detailed scope of services. Upon receiving their proposals, interviews were held with each of the four teams on April 11, 2012. The selection committee assigned points for each proposer based on experience and qualifications of the D-B team members, project scheduling, M/WBE participation, understanding of public safety training centers in terms of their planning and functionality, and ability to finance and costing methodology. Based on evaluation of the listed performance-based factors, The Cornell FW Company, LLC, received the most points and was selected as the top ranked D-B firm based on the demonstrated ability to design and build the Public Safety Training Center.

The Cornell FW Company, LLC, is in compliance with the City's M/WBE Ordinance by committing to 25 percent M/WBE participation on the design phase and 30 percent M/WBE participation on the construction phase of this D-B Project. This is achieved through the use of a joint venture for design between Komatsu Architects, a certified M/WBE firm, and Brinkley-Sargent Architects and a second joint venture for construction between Thos. S. Byrne, Ltd., a certified M/WBE firm, and Ridgemont Commercial Construction. In addition to the M/WBE joint venture participation, The Cornell FW Company, LLC, has committed to realize substantive M/WBE participation through the use of additional M/WBE subconsultants and subcontractors. The City's M/WBE goal on the design phase is 25 percent and on the construction phase is 30 percent.

This property is located in COUNCIL DISTRICT 9, Mapsco 91N.


The Financial Management Services Director certifies that upon approval of the above recommendations and adoption of the attached appropriation ordinance, funds will be available in the current capital budget, as appropriated, of the Public Safety Training Facility Fund.

TO Fund/Account/Centers
1) C236 222064 000000198700


2) C236 444100 061070198783


2) C236 472079 061090198783


2) C236 541200 061070198783


2) C236 541200 061090198783


FROM Fund/Account/Centers

1) PE64 137236 0000000


3) C236 541200 061070198783


3) C236 541200 061090198783

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

Originating Department Head:
 Randle Harwood (6101)

Additional Information Contact:
 Mark Rauscher (2446)

What nimrod

loses a radioactive rod?

Haliburton did just that.  Don't worry though, they say it's ok.  And what does TXDot have to do with it?

Here's hoping they find it before some kids do. 

Well now we know

WHO controls NBC 5. 

We were sent a council agenda snip it from Fort Worth.  It's all about WHO you know, or WHO you owe.

M&C C-25548 - Amend M&C C-24973 Authorizing Tax Abatement and
Economic Development Program Agreements with
KXAS/NBC-5 for Construction of a New Production Facility
at the Southwest Corner of Amon Carter Boulevard and
FAA Boulevard to Extend Various Completion Deadlines

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Where do you think you're going?

We're getting reports all over town of road closures due to flooding.  If you're still naive enough to travel on 820 or 183, and you can get off, don't.  The roads are under water.  Here's hoping the finished freeways (and toll lanes) are flood proof.

Good thing they are doing all that work on the creeks. Oh, wait...

Monday, September 24, 2012

You Are Cordially Invited

Joint GWO/AG Zoning Strategy Meeting
League of Neighborhoods,
North Central Texas Communities Alliance, 
The Historic Randol Mill Valley Alliance
Tuesday, September 25th, 6:30
NEW! Temple Christian School
We will meet in a classroom very near the auditorium which is 
located at the EAST end of the campus on Randol Mill.
6824 Randol Mill Road Fort Worth, TX 76120
(817) 457-0770

I propose for our agenda:

·       For us to all air our concerns and share understandings.
·       For us to agreed upon a consensus strategy for bringing about needed changes in the language of the City of Fort Worth’s Gas Well Ordinance.
·       I personally have a priority on blocking the construction of gas compressor facilities on the AG zoned property in our area.
·       I have a collateral need to recruit other neighborhoods with AG zoning in or near their respective areas and have collected the maps and the data base needed to make reaching out to them as easy as possible.
·       I am sure you all have your own concerns as well and look forward to hearing them with all of us present to listen, ask questions and better understand “the big picture.”

Please feel free to bring any colleagues that you like as there is plenty of meeting room.  I think that if we can agree on priorities, on central players, on recruiting strategies and on persistence under fire, we will surely prevail!

THRMVA will arrange to bring a laptop with lengthy power cord, a data projector, a screen and some nibbles and drinks.

I look forward to seeing you next Tuesday…have a grand, green weekend!

Bob Horton, MS

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Abram's Street Woes - Part 2

First Abram Street study cost $580. Second unnecessary study inflates to $55,000.

Monday, September 17, 2012
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Before moving on to other issues, we want to make these further comments on the Mayor’s plan to reduce the number of traffic lanes on Abram Street to make room for bicycle lanes.

To that end the City Council voted unanimously on August 21stto pay an out-of-state consultant $55,000 to study the feasibility of reducing Abram between Cooper and Collins to fewer lanes. Yes, we know the Mayor and Jimmy Bennett were absent, but had they been there, they would have voted yes.

There are plenty of problems with paying a consultant $55,000 to do work that a competent city staff (some of these folks have $100,000 range annual salaries) could do.

A bit of history. On 06/14/2011 the City Council approved a Thoroughfare Development Plan (consultant cost $100,000). On 06/28/2011 they approved a $61 million Hike and Bike Plan (consultant cost $250,000).

Arlington has 3,000 lane miles. So for a total of $350,000 (the cost of both plans), Arlington got a traffic pattern flow study and a whole lot more (including a 400 page bike plan) at a cost of $116.00 per mile.

Now consider Abram from Collins to Cooper—a single mile of roadway—with just five lane miles. The new Abram Street study at $55,000 will cost the citizens of Arlington $11,000 per lane mile. That is simply incredible! And remember, this is just a“study.” What if the consultant has more integrity than we think he has and reports that Abram should remain as is? If so, our City Council has squandered $55,000 of our tax dollars.

But now let’s add insult to injury. This new $11,000 per lane mile Abram Street study is just a retread of the original study of Abram Street (again Cooper to Collins) that was part of the original Hike and Bike Plan. That original study said taking Abram down to two lanes, despite a 19,000 daily traffic count, made great sense. Wrongheaded as its conclusion might be, that first study was at least cheap, at $580 for the five lane miles.

What on God’s green earth is at work here?

Creeping cronyism, that’s what.

Arlington risks becoming a city of crony capitalism where the well-connected gain advantage at citizen expense.

Abram Street is a glaring example. There are those who would like to turn Abram Street into a downtown open air mall where cars are no longer welcome. Like the cattle barons of old, these folks want to fence off Abram for their benefit. And if you have the temerity to think the streets belong to you, the citizen, and that you should be free to use Abram to get from west Arlington to 360, then, bub, these folks have got news for you. You’re not welcome to pass through.

Intentionally congesting a street and thereby diverting traffic to other streets that then congest as well, all to benefit special interests, is not good for Arlington, and it is not just.

Abram's Street Woes - Part 1

Two incoming emails about Abram's in Arlington.  What's it going to cost YOU?  And WHO is trying to take over all Texas roads?  Ponder that.

Avoiding the Road Less Traveled?

Show of hands: how many of you avoid going to Abram Street in downtown Arlington because the sidewalks are too narrow? Anybody? Anybody? Didn’t think so. Let’s try this again: how many of you avoid Abram Street because of the lack of quality landscaping? Anybody at all? Finally, how many of you avoid driving down Abram Street because there are just too dang many lanes (five including the center turn lane!), but that if it were reduced to three, or better yet two, you’d mosey on down there this very instant to grab a Shipley Donut bear claw?

Susan Schrock reports (“Arlington considers future of Abram St.,” Star-Telegram, Sept. 10, 2012) that the Arlington City Council and various public officials believe that these are some of the things that are keeping customers away from downtown businesses.

Which of course begs the question: how dumb do they think we are?

Apparently at least $55,000 dumb, since that is the money that will be spent to study the effects of reducing the lanes (along with wider sidewalks, additional landscaping, adding bike lanes, etc.). The thinking seems to be:

1) Fewer lanes will cause traffic congestion.
2) People love traffic congestion.
3) Therefore: more people will flock to downtown Arlington businesses.

Such stunning logic is supplemented by Public Works and Transportation director Keith Melton, who is quoted as saying, “Everybody agrees it’s not the most aesthetically pleasing roadway.” Well duh. The road itself needs to be repaved. How about we start with that? Old and poorly-kept buildings line much of the street. Refurbishing those would have a huge impact. Abram is a major Arlington street, and its appearance and viability undoubtedly affect the city’s image and quality of life. But replacing automobile lanes with bike lanes and planting a few trees ignore the real issues.

City Hall offers bizarre plans that are disconnected from reality. The current sidewalks could use some repair here and there but are perfectly wide enough unless the city is anticipating an influx of sumo wrestler pedestrians who insist on walking three abreast on their way from eating those Shipley bear claws to catching a concert at the Levitt Pavilion. The city planners talk about the need for additional on-street parking, yet there’s always plenty of parking around. Even during major LevittPavilion concerts, it’s rare to have to walk more than two or three blocks (on those oh-so-narrow-sidewalks!) to get to the event. My guess is that even a convention of sumo wrestlers could manage.

According to Ms. Schrock’s article, the Downtown Arlington Management Corporation “is pushing for Abram to become more pedestrian-friendly.” The group’s executive vice president Tony Rutigliano says people need to feel safer walking around downtown, and he’s not talking about muggings. Apparently those narrow sidewalks are frightening the women and children–a veritable plethora of Bridges of Khazad-Dum, surrounded by Balrogs, with Mr. Rutiglianooffering to be our Gandalf shepherding us to safety.

I can’t believe he’s serious, and that is what’s disconcerting about all this. A debate about the future of Abram Street is needed, but it has to be based on reality, not on some mythical fantasy about an imaginary city. What’s next? How about a place to park landspeeders? What if I want to ride my tauntaunto the library?

The way to get more customers to businesses is to make it easier, not more difficult, to get to these businesses. Clogging up the roads so that we have to park six blocks away and walk or bicycle the rest of the distance just to grab a donut or taco is absurd. We might as well plan for that convention of sumo wrestlers to parachute in by helicopter for some Babe’s chicken.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Want to get out of dodge?

It will cost YOU.

Did you hear the latest joke?  HOV lanes will be converted to toll lanes. 

Don't think it's funny?  Then you better speak up now, or forever pay the price.

Read about it here. 

Calling Arlington

Opinion Arlington, a True Voice for the Citizens of Arlington
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Ladies and Gentlemen,
After one false and disappointing web site start, we are moving forward with Opinion Arlington, a web site dedicated to providing the citizens of Arlington with a greater voice in city government.  Such a voice has long been needed. 

We predict that the number of citizens voting in city elections will increase substantially. As that happens, Arlington can and will move beyond the crony crowd that has in the past determined election outcomes and a consequent city policy that too often works to serve glad-handing special interests rather than the citizen.
That has to change and Opinion Arlington wants to join with you, our fellow citizens, in making that change happen.
Opinion Arlington is not fancy, but it is inexpensive. We can operate indefinitely without asking anyone for financial support.
What we do ask for is that you know what your city government is doing and why.  Are the Mayor and City Council working in your interests, or are other interests the priority?  Opinion Arlington ’s goal is to keep you informed so that come election time, you’ll know who has worked for you and who is helping the crony capitalists pick your taxpayer pocket.
We really do believe positive change is coming.  Our job here at Opinion Arlington—and we’ll need your help to do it—is to get the following balls rolling:
1) Encourage citizen-friendly candidates to run for Mayor and Council seats.
2)  Spread the word about Opinion Arlington. Let friends, neighbors, and business associates know that Opinion Arlington offers invaluable insights into how city government is limiting our freedom and needlessly increasing the cost of government.
3)  Increase the number of voters in Arlington to a point where the crony crowd can no longer deliver re-election to incumbents who put the cronies ahead of the ordinary citizen and taxpayer.
We are looking for opinion writers. If you have something to say, we’ll be glad to publish your opinion piece.  Although we make no bones about being a conservative publisher, we nonetheless welcome all views.
If you wish to comment on any column, your thoughts are likewise welcome.
Opinion Arlington is not a news site.  Our forte is opinion and to that end we hope to be the place to go for lively interchanges on issues that matter to the citizens of Arlington .
To get the word out, we are printing thousands of Opinion Arlington business cards.  We’ll be getting these out in various ways. You can help by picking up a stack of cards when you see us at a meeting or by coming by 511 East Abram Street (across from Fuzzy’s Tacos).  Cards will be available next Thursday (Sept. 27th).
Opinion Arlington has a link whereby you can email the Mayor and City Council with your comments on an issue.  Don’t be disappointed if you don’t get a reply. That is common. But you can be sure they read each email.
We are in the process of setting up a “How the Council Voted” page.  For the first time, the citizens of Arlington will be able to review the voting report of incumbents.  We predict that many voters will not like what they see.
We’ll be adding a non-partisan community calendar featuring upcoming events that address public issues and concerns.
Opinion Arlington remains a work in progress, but we are pleased with the progress thus far.
With our nation $16 trillion dollars in debt, and literally creating new debt faster than new dollars can be printed, something very unpleasant is about to hit the fan at every level of government, something that is going to radically alter our way of life. We citizens must get more involved in civic life and find new leaders far better than those we have.  We need to assert ourselves at every level of government, including city.
Let’s roll up our sleeves and get started!
Buddy Saunders
Publisher - Opinion Arlington 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Pipeline Hell

How'd you think they were going to get to those wells?

Read the incoming from Don Young.

Then do something before they come to your hood.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

It has to be true.

You saw it on the news...

Keeping Cowtown in the dark

The Fort Worth Weekly article, Bass Master, about cutting funding for the arts in Fort Worth, brings up the most interesting points we've seen to date. 

Residents of Fort Worth might want to start paying attention, after all, you are paying for it.  Though you don't know what "it" is and Fort Worth's budget falls farther behind each year.  Does this remind anyone of the Trinity River Vision and all it's hidden costs?

The new arena will be located near the Cultural District site of the existing arena, the architecturally significant but badly outdated Will Rogers Coliseum (built in 1936). But no one outside of Bass and his minions knows anything about the proposed project, including its funding source. (In May 2011, Bass, via Fort Worth State Rep. Charlie Geren, tried to get his hands on some taxpayer money by changing state law to allow one certain, unnamed city –– that could have been only Fort Worth –– to raise its hotel tax from the state limit of 15 percent to 18 percent. The plan was scrapped after the Hotel Association of Tarrant County raised holy hell.)

In a long letter sent a few days ago to the city council, Douglas Harman, former head of the Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau, lays out a series of concerns, especially about the prospective new arena in relation to the Culture and Tourism Fund.

“The planned new arena appears to fit into [city council members’] budget decisions,” he writes, noting that a Cultural District street, Harley, is being relocated in anticipation of breaking ground on the new arena on nearby Montgomery Street. “Although city council members claim that they have not seen the plans for the new arena, the city council is spending millions of dollars to prepare the area for the new arena through the Harley relocation and stormwater work. It is difficult to believe that city council would spend millions of dollars relocating Harley and doing all of this site improvement work without full knowledge about the planned arena. So much for transparency of government decision making!”

Keeping Texas dumb

In Texas if you are a career politician who gets run out of town on rail by the voters, you get appointed to a position by the governor.

Michael Williams, who was appointed by George W. to run the Railroad mafia, um Commission (Which by the way only deals with gas industry, not railroads), then tried to run for office, lost in a landslide, has now been appointed to head up Texas Education by Rick Perry...what could possibly go wrong with that?

We're already at the bottom of the list when it comes to education.  Have YOU ever wondered why that is? 

Read about it in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

What "news"?

Apparently WFAA "reported" on the protest they caused. 

Here is John Jay Myers response to the report.

Garry Reed reported on the protest yesterday. When WFAA reported on it, they said we had a "handful" of people. Here was my response to WFAA's coverage.

Your latest article about our protest wasn't posted on your facebook page. Could have been oversight. Doubtful.

 Also the original link didn't link to your home page.

You said we had a handful of people, yet at one point we had 22 people (pictures to prove it).

 You added a bullet point to your "standard" bullet points that you use "every time". Which is funny cause your 5 solid criteria are now 6.

 Again, you failed to mention, or actually lied to say that Ted Cruz meets all of your bullet points.

 You also said that I don't meet any of your bullet points. I would argue that is not true.

Are you guys really going to dump journalistic integrity down the toilet to stop a small third party candidate?

This is your career, you would think you would take it seriously.

Do you realize Rand Paul wouldn't have met most of your criteria?

Have a nice day.
John Jay Myers

Friday, September 7, 2012

It’s all about who you know

As in no bid.  Anyone else get a shot at this?  From the sounds of it, no.

Fort Worth, you gotta LOVE it.

Catering company, Tim Love sign food deal for TCU stadium.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

All roads lead to Texas

And YOU will pay for it.

Checking email today we noticed two in a row from different ends of the state with eerily similar subjects.

Same $#$# different city.  Always the same story.

The first one was forwarded from  Whoever they are. They are apparently the genius's who think it's a good idea to go ahead and tear 35 out when 820 and every surrounding street is currently a parking lot due to their current construction.  Don't miss WHO the other email was from below.

Dear 35W Coalition members: We have good news to share!

Federal officials have given environmental clearance to the proposed improvements to Interstate 35W between I-30 and I-820 (also known as Segment 3A of the North Tarrant Express). In issuing its Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) statement, the Federal Highway Administration reviewed the environmental assessment documents, environmental studies and a summary and analysis of the public hearing that was held in June, which many of you attended in support of the project.

You may have read the recent news reports that a section of I-35W north of downtown Fort Worth is now the most congested road in the state of Texas, causing up to 1.2 million hours in annual delays. This underscores the importance of our work and the need for continued advocacy in moving this project forward. In terms of next steps, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) hopes to get expansion of the highway under contract by the end of the year so that construction can begin in 2013. 

Thank you for your support and commitment to improving mobility in our region. We look forward to keeping you updated on the project's status in the coming months.

The next email was from some of our favorite Texans down south.  TURF.  YOU might want to pay attention, seeing how the new 35 is going to cost YOU.

Here it is in ink, finally. Vindication that what we've been saying for years is indeed true. TxDOT is manipulating speed limits for profit, slowing down the free alternatives alongside a privately-run tollway for which the Department gets a greater share of the toll revenues if it increases speeds on the tollway. Even worse, a Spanish company, Cintra, chose the slower speed limit for its competing route, not a TxDOT engineering study. Smells a whole lot like collusion and conflicts of interest than serving the public interest. This is what public private partnerships reap upon the freedom of travel of Texans.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Lions and Tigers and Bears...

Or rather,

Pipelines and Dams and Blackouts...

Coming soon to a city near you.

Read it in Newsweek Magazine

And if that doesn't freak you out a little, watch the History Channel's America's Crumbling Infrastructure.  That'll do it.

This guy gets it. 

Corporate monopolies that own railroad bridges, hydroelectric dams, and high-pressure pipelines have skimped on taking care of this infrastructure, putting lives and property across America at unnecessary risk from blackouts, collisions, and explosions, even the threat of entire towns being washed away by bursting dams.

“The industry deluges rule-making processes with their public relations people and lawyers, and most regulators have either come from the industry they now regulate or plan to go to work for that industry once they leave government service.”

Not taking care of equipment may seem like a dumb strategy. It would, for sure, doom any competitive business. But for a monopoly utility, diverting money from inspecting, repairing, and replacing equipment can make economic sense. When lots of poles fall, interrupting the flow of electricity that defines modern life, or a pipeline ruptures, blocking the passage of fuel to heat our homes, the utility company can get an emergency rate increase that the public is sure to back as long as they don’t know about the past diversions from infrastructure repair to executive pay. Best of all for the utility, unless consumers bird-dog a case, any “temporary” rate hike will likely be permanent.

There’s also this irony: utility prices are set by the government, which lets the companies include in their rates the cost of insurance to pay damages from, say, a pipeline explosion.

As legal monopolies, they get to add the higher insurance costs to the rates they charge. That means we are forced to pay more even as we are put in greater danger.

Adapted from The Fine Print by David Cay Johnston.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Got Water?

Can you afford it?

Read about it in the FW Weekly