Monday, April 30, 2012

Way to go, Texas, you can kiss YOUR air goodbye

Just like they did to Josh Fox for making Gasland (by the way, the gas industry will be putting out a film the day Gasland 2 opens) and the same way they did Calvin Tillman for speaking out, the gas industry has attacked Al Armendariz from the EPA.  We wondered why all the searches for Al last week.  Read about his resignation here. We wonder WHO his replacement is, in reality, we already know...

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Trinity River Ruins

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram article says it all.  Foreclosed on before it's even built.  Are they trend setters?  What happens if you foreclose on something the taxpayers are buying?

Bank forecloses on never-built luxury condo tower

The Ruins was a planned downtown luxury condo tower with a heliport that never materialized.

Schaumburg was behind several proposed condo projects at that time.

The Ruins was going to be a $48 million, 23-story tower overlooking the Trinity River on downtown's western edge. Planned were 49 units, averaging about 3,500 square feet. Prices were going to run about $250 a square foot.

The Ruins was based on postmodern architecture influenced by ancient Roman ruins and was a sister project to the Summit Ruins, a project Schaumburg had planned at Seventh Street and Summit Avenue years before.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Two way road...

TXDot has done it again.  They found more money.  YOUR money.  Due to correcting their budget.  Wouldn't you like to see their books?

Isn't TXDot the same group that "found" $15 million dollars for the Trinity River Vision bridges to nowhere?  Or was that the NCTCOG? 

Read about the "debt tsunami" being created.  Can you afford to drive on tollroads?  WHERE do you think that money is coming from? 

YOU guessed it.

Two words

Why was the power out at Fort Worth City Hall today?

Per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram article, the answer is - Storm water.  (Did it rain??)

HOW much does that cost YOU in the long run?

Spokesman Bill Begley said the outage was caused by storm water flooding a storm drain and tripping circuit breakers. The flooding required that the water be drained before power could be turned back on.

Begley said the storm drainage pump at Texas and Monroe southwest of City Hall malfunctioned, causing the water buildup.

See you at Prairie Fest x3 this Saturday April 28

Will we be seeing you at Fort Worth's best little outdoor festival this Saturday at Part 2 of Prairie Fest x3?

The music starts on the solar powered stage in the Tandy Hills Park off View Street, at 4 PM on Saturday April 28.

There will also be kites flying and painters painting.

For more details visit the Friends of Tandy Hills website.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Arlington Water

Talking about Tarrant County water restrictions has raised some comments and push back. 

Read the comment here and read what happened at the Arlington Council meeting on the FW Weekly.

Again, we are about conserving water, but still take issue with the word - permanent.

And the thought that any variation from that schedule (ever) is a $2,000 fine is disturbing. 

Also, should we conserve water to bring new people to the area?  Shouldn't the reason be to provide it for our kids and their kids?

Trinity River Bridge

The best thing about this article, in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, is the comments....

Wow. three million for a bridge to downtown that does not really dump into downtown. I guess the bridge at Henderson that connects to the old Tandy parking lot (downtown) was not pretty enough. Oh wait, I forgot, that bridge is being torn down for lake kay

3 million?  Ridiculous.  Where's Mayor what's-her-name who was going to stop all this unnecessary spending and get the budget in line?  That's right, she's busy spending the $3 million the federal government just gave her to strip 200 houses of lead paint.

If someone wants a bridge across the river let them pay for it.  If someone wants lead paint removed from their home let them pay for it.  Whether it's city, state, or fed money it's still taxpayer money.  Quit spending it frivulously.

HOW much is it?  And WHO pays?  You already know the answer.

Federal grants administered by the Texas Department of Transportation provided $2.3 million while the city kicked in $459,000 and Streams and Valleys raised $200,000 from private donors, said David Creek

WHO's reporting?

The Texas Watchdog, that's WHO.

They answer Vicki Truitt's letter in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  Answers.  What a novel concept.

WHO will they report on next??

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Again with Haltom City

Apparently the Haltom City Police Department was shut down yesterday due to a resident bringing an old grenade for disposal.

And, two candidates for City council face off again.  A local business owner and board member and a longtime, return council/EDC member.  Read about it in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. 

In Place 5, Councilman Jim Sutton will face off against frequent candidate Bob Watkins, who previously ran against Sutton.

Sutton and Watkins are similar candidates in some respects. Both men are conservatives. Both have committed to public service in the city for years. And they agree that policy matters aren't at the heart of their differences.

The last race was close.  A handful of votes difference.  Let's hope Haltom City shows up to vote this time. 

They say doing the same thing and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Speaking of parks...

You mention Haltom City around here and let the emails begin.  Comments and more. 

In the post concerning "White's Branch Park" (named after White's Branch creek) the cost was listed in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram as $1.25 million.  Though the picture we were sent shows a different amount. 

Something doesn't add up.  WHAT is it?


And if you missed the post on things not adding up in Tarrant County, read it.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


One definition of permanent is: Lasting or intended to last or remain unchanged indefinitely.

What do your mayor's want to make permanent now?  Without your say?  Water restrictions. 

Not only are you giving up YOUR rights, you're giving up those for your children too.  While we're all about conserving water, we've been getting emails from those concerned about the permanent ramifications. 

Some even addressed the Fort Worth City Council last week.  Some encourage you to address Arlington's City Council this week

Let's get this straight, your current city leaders (water experts?) want to ration your water usage forever.  While same restrictions (read What restrictions?) do not apply to those who finance their campaign.  In return they give your tax money to the contractors said leaders kids work for (or made up organization they are then hired to run). 

These contractors join with the NCTCOG (that your leaders use your money to be apart of) to secure grants - most of which are either agenda 21 items or economic development or both.  The purpose of economic development is to being new people (insert money) to the area. 

These grants are money from the governments, local to federal, again, your tax money.

So if you do the math, you're screwed. It's all your money. 

And what good does it do to bring more people to an area that now needs more water?  Don't get us started on the air, the roads or the flooding.  It's a vicious cycle.  Stop it now.  Before YOUR kids ask you, WHY?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ron Paul and Water...

A former Tarrant Regional Water District board candidate, Adrian Murray, wrote a post that went viral.  So viral in fact, it ended up on the Ron Paul website.

We didn't see that one coming.  Neither did Adrian.

You learn something new every day.  Well, you should.

"Maybe these kids just don't know any better"

That was part of the Fort Worth Weekly's review of the new Oui Lounge which is now owned by WHO else? 

Tim Love.

While the review was well done, the comment made us laugh. And it made a point...

Tim Love's vision for Fort Worth is to turn it into Dallas, where everything is overpriced

On the road again

Now that Durango has a new set of wheels, he's been checking out the Trinity River Vision flood control project.

We'll let him tell you.  Sometimes you gotta see it to believe it. 

Well before the Woodshed opened, the visionary J.D. Granger foresaw the need for the more than 700,000 citizens of Fort Worth to have the opportunity to participate in the water sport of wakeboarding in dirty, polluted water.

This coming summer the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle will see the opening of the first new drive-in movie theater in America in decades.

Truly visionary.

Cowtown Wakepark's landscaping appeared to be designed to look totally natural, like most of Fort Worth's freeway exits. Tall grass and weeds. A smattering of litter, for color. A general unkemptness to the look.

It is this weird mentality, in my opinion, that gives rise, in this town, to strange aberrations from the way a normal town operates, giving rise to abominations like the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle. A plan hatched by the Good Ol' Boy Network, in cahoots with the local corrupt congresswoman, who got her ne-er do well, unqualified son, the job of running the almost billion dollar project.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Speaking of creeks...

And Haltom City...

A Letter to the Editor in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram asks a good question about a recent article on parks in Tarrant County.

High-water mark

The Monday front page shows builders working on a "low-water crossing" along Whites Creek in "Haltom City's new park." (See: "Splendor in our backyard is increasingly accessible")

Please help me understand why they would not build a high-water crossing. It seems like that is the more dangerous condition. Just how low is the crossing going to be? And how will they close the crossing when the water gets high?

-- Howard M. Cornell III, Arlington

That's a good question, sir.  Especially since just yards away from the park, is where the child drowned in one of the Haltom City floods.  We didn't see any mention of that in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram park article. 

We did see every city around has their hand out for park grants.  Why do we have a feeling the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) is involved in them all?  The paper didn't mention that either.

The 20-acre site, whose working name is Whites Branch Park, will have a 20-by-30-foot picnic pavilion and separate playground structures for children 5 and younger and for 5- to 12-year-olds, all surrounded by a hike/bike trail system. Perhaps most important, given the North Texas climate, the park will feature the city's biggest splash pad.

The $1.25 million park project will be partly funded by $700,000 in grants from Texas Parks and Wildlife, Henry said. The city is making up the difference.

The city also plans to join the new park to Buffalo Ridge Park by acquiring 120 flood-prone properties. When the project is completed, park visitors will have access to the Buffalo Ridge hike-and-bike trail, eventually linking to a 15-mile trail system through Watauga and Fort Worth.

Read more here:

Danger Zone!

The mess of 820 from I35 to 183 is a disaster waiting to happen. 

Drive I35, east on 820. If you're feeling really brave, enter 35 at Meacham.  Travel the narrow, winding lane, with no shoulder, and bad striping, next to concrete barriers you could reach out and touch.  Pay attention to all the signs, there's a ton of them telling you the exits are closed, or lanes are, or more are about to be. 

When there is a wreck, how do you think the emergency responders get to you?  Yeah, it ain't easy.  Where do all those people in the two lane holding cell behind you go?  Nowhere.

Which is exactly what happened today in Haltom City.  Luckily there were no fatalities when a truck went off a bridge into the creek bed below.  Traffic was shut down all day.  People were stuck for hours.  (pictures at FWST)

They're going to be stuck for years.  

Guess it's a good thing it wasn't raining.  We've seen what happens to that creek when it rains.  Sometimes, it too, shuts down the freeway.

A picture is worth a thousand words?

A recent editorial in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has us asking again, WHAT?  We were reading along, agreeing and wondered, what's the catch? 

While we agree with some of the content and are glad the paper realizes there are more neighborhoods than just downtown, we noticed this was the second article without a mention of their beloved Trinity River Vision.  The article says if Fort Worth can't fix its mangled budget, it should stick to the basics.  You know, those things your tax money is supposed to pay for - infrastructure, police, fire...

And then, there it was, the picture for the article shows the failed, costly streetcar that the Trinity River Vision had brought to Fort Worth and put on display like a pig at the county fair.  We have to ask, is it really a basic? 

Or is this just another commercial?

The meaning of quality of life in Fort Worth depends on where you live.

Unfortunately, we still have areas in Fort Worth where even the essentials are lacking. A good quality of life in these neighborhoods would mean curbs, sidewalks and access to a grocery store that doesn't take two bus transfers and three hours to reach.

The city is faced once again with a massive budget shortfall in the fiscal 2013 budget, in the neighborhood of $45 million. That is about twice the size of the hole the council had to fill last year. Closing that $23.1 million gap required $5.8 million in cuts and money transfers from the enterprise and capital budget funds.

This just may be the new normal, folks. Wishing for the good ol' days of sizable increases in property and sales tax revenues is not a sustainable solution.

Sure, it would be great if urban villages were blossoming like springtime irises, with wide tree-lined boulevards sporting sidewalk cafes, free Wi-Fi and a streetcar to whisk patrons hither and yon. It would be great if every council district had a family aquatic center and a modern library and a dog park.

But it'd also be great if local government would focus on making sure the essentials -- safe neighborhoods, drivable streets, functioning waste and storm water systems -- were part of everyone's quality of life.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Fort Worth Mud Run Participant dies...

In the Trinity River. No explanation as to how yet, just unanswered questions.

Our thoughts go out to the family.

We were surprised more people were getting in the Trinity River.

Are these people from here?

Did they not see the one newscast where someone finally tested the water? If the Fire Department spokesperson questions the decision to get in the river,  what does that tell you?   "'s murky, there's a lot of stuff in this river and... I don't beliveve that I would take a swim in it."

Voters still have no say...

Is what the Fort Worth Star-Telegram could have called their article, "Voters had no say as DFW cities took on debt". 

Read what your "leaders" say about YOU.  Does it sound like they called you stupid?  Or they just know you're not paying attention?  What's it going to take before you do?  They aren't going to stop on their own.

While we commend the "news" paper on writing a "news" story, we noticed one tiny, billion dollar item was missing from the list.  The Trinity River Vision, which is completely taxpayer funded, was not listed as another one of these projects where voters have no say. 

If you are a citizen and taxpayer of the metroplex, it is YOUR duty to send this to every citizen and taxpayer in the metroplex you know.  Your kids are counting on YOU.  Then, you should read their article , "Congressional mailing privilege favors incumbents at taxpayer expense".  Duh.  They use your money to tell YOU to vote for them, to keep them in office, so they can keep spending your money.  WHO didn't know that? WHY do YOU continue to do it?  Tell us, inquiring minds want to know.

If we haven't convinced you yet, maybe some of what they said will...

In fact, none of them got to vote at all.

However, taxpayers are on the hook should funding fall short.

$52.7 million -- wasn't presented to voters.

A Haltom City official cautioned that greater disclosure would confuse people and make them more inclined to oppose something because "it's just a bunch of big numbers."

And they aren't foolproof.

One critic testified before the Legislature that such financing can result in "vampire indebtedness" -- debt that never dies.

"I think we're smart enough to know when we're in their wallets," Combs said.

And the moral to the story?  Do something.

Keller voters forced an election in 2006 and crushed the proposal while also voting out three council members who had supported it.

Please. Do something!

In Tarrant, 18 cities, including Fort Worth, borrowed at least 40 percent of their tax-supported debt from 2005 to 2011 without voter approval, according to an analysis of Texas Bond Review Board data.

Fort Worth City Treasurer James Mauldin said certificates are used in many cases to avoid the time it would take to bring a bond to voters. Such measures also save on election costs, officials said. "Usually, it's we need it before we can put another [bond] program out on the streets," he said.

"It seems some local governments are making every effort to [not put] things before voters," Venable said. But with so much focus on the national debt, she said, "few people realize that local debt is growing exponentially as well."

But official statements about the debt, on file with the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, show that in recent years the borrowing funded projects such as new libraries that some see as amenities or computers and software that may be outdated before the debt is scheduled to be paid off.

North Richland Hills' 2010 official statement for a $23.7 million certificate fails to mention that uses for the money included the recreation center that opened Saturday. Yet the city says that's where they got $18.8 million for the complex.

A spokeswoman said that the information was omitted in error, that it wasn't a legal problem, and that voters were informed through a council resolution and legal notices.

Or cities may say that revenue from special tax districts or sales taxes will pay off new debt, but they don't make clear that if that revenue falls short, taxpayers may bear the burden. That's because to obtain more favorable terms, cities usually back the certificates with property taxes.

Keller serves as a cautionary tale. The city borrowed $33 million using certificates to finance a town hall and other projects, with revenue from a special tax district to pay for it. But revenue couldn't keep up, and the city, despite refinancing the debt, had to use other funds to make payments.

Taxpayers could turn to the Texas Bond Review Board for information on borrowing, but it may be unreliable. In spot-checks, the Star-Telegram found errors in the board's information. For instance, Richland Hills' per capita debt was skewed by a reported population of 338 -- the figure should have been 23 times that: 7,801 residents. The board reported the assessed property values of Weatherford at $329 million, a number off by more than $1.4 billion. Arlington's tax-supported debt was listed incorrectly as $432 million. The city says it owes $659 million.

In Fort Worth, where debt and interest top $1 billion, Mayor Betsy Price said she believes that elected officials' job is to provide full disclosure. Price said the city communicates through town hall meetings, through social media sites such as Facebook and at council meetings.

"But it's also the citizens' responsibility to read the details," she said. "Voters need to study and get engaged on those issues and ask their elected officials tough questions."

Cities aren't required to tell voters that they can block the certificates. Voters can force an election if 5 percent of them sign a petition and submit it before the certificates are approved.

One of the few instances of that took place in Keller, where voters had rejected a bond issue for a library in 1999. Nevertheless, the City Council approved plans in 2005 to borrow about $8.5 million for a library without an election.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

WHO's land is it?

Find out in the FW Weekly

What will YOU do when they want yours?

But TransCanada wouldn’t do that. The firm, hired to move tar sands bitumen — a mix of sand, clay, and water saturated with an extremely dense petroleum — from Alberta, Canada, to the Houston refineries along what’s been dubbed the Keystone Pipeline XL, upped its offer on the easement a couple of times between 2008 and 2011 from $7,000 to $21,000. When the Crawfords continued to say they weren’t interested, TransCanada went ahead and condemned the land it wanted in September 2011.

Since then, the two parties have been in a legal wrestling match pitting the Crawfords — farm manager Julia Trigg Crawford, her younger brother and sister, and their dad — against a multinational billion-dollar corporation that claims the right to take, by eminent domain if necessary, any land they want to lay pipe on.

It’s the latest version of the David and Goliath story that has already affected thousands of Texans who’ve been steamrolled by the natural gas industry. But this version goes beyond the usual pipeline land-grabs, because it involves a company taking property years before it will obtain a permit to lay the pipe — a company that may not be in compliance with Texas law and therefore may not have the legal right to take anything.

Despite those questions, TransCanada has been involved in at least 89 eminent domain land seizures in Texas alone. The fight involves the issue of which government agency, if any, oversees pipeline companies and their use of eminent domain. Landowners are asking why there is nothing in state law to make a company show the need for a new pipeline before it is allowed to seize private lands — and why individual landowners are having to go to court to thrash out issues that they believe should be covered by state law and public policy.

It’s an issue that seems designed to make Texans, with their love of the land, stand up and shout for answers. But few have. Oil and gas companies, as well as the pipeline companies, generally get to do pretty much as they like here, and even the people who know they can fight also realize they have little chance against companies that can hire lawyers by the carload and drag out lawsuits for years.

In this state, pipeline companies have been turned down only once in more than a hundred years, in taking land by eminent domain. And perhaps the most difficult part of fighting the pipeline companies is that the moment they file to condemn your property through eminent domain, they are considered to own the easement that’s been condemned and have the right to begin laying pipe. That’s a tough hurdle even for a landowner with deep pockets.

The Crawfords are one of a handful of families trying to fight back. They simply don’t want any of their land used for an easement for a pipeline that could rupture and ruin Bois d’Arc Creek, one of their farm’s primary water sources. They don’t want the Caddo Indian artifacts that lie just beneath the surface disturbed. They don’t want to say “How high?” just because a company demands they jump for private profit. For the Crawfords, it’s not about getting a better financial settlement from TransCanada in exchange for allowing them to lay their pipe: It’s about principle.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hello, McFly...

Something stood out while reading the Fort Worth Weekly this week. 

Why would the FBI be looking at people like this college student in Denton, instead of looking at things like this?  


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Live from Fort Worth

It's Ron Paul!

Tonight at Will Rogers Memorial Center auditorium.

7:00  pm.

Event is free.

Fort Worth says no.


The vote to allow disposal wells was a unanimous no. 

WHO will they go after next?

That crap has got to go somewhere.

Here's a thought - bring your own water and take your trash back with you.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Happy Birthday

WHO'd have thought? 

Three years ago, when we started Star Telegraph Blog, we had no idea where it would lead.

Thanks to YOU, it's led to many places and many friends.

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank YOU all for your support.

Keep sending the info, we'll keep sharing it with YOUR neighbors.

Remember, friends don't let friends be sheep.

Happy birthday to us, and Cheers to YOU!

Texas Lone Star

Monday, April 9, 2012

Let the shakedown begin.

Taking bets on if the USGS stands up for itself.  Hopefully they stand their ground, for YOU.

Read about it on Yahoo.

According to the Associated Press, a study from the U.S. Geological Survey has found a link between oil and natural gas production and a recent spike in small earthquakes in the country. The study looked at an increase in tectonic activity in the U.S. just west of Ohio and east of Utah. It found that starting in 2001 between the state lines of Colorado and New Mexico, an increase that occurred as methane production in the area occurred. Earthquake frequency spiked again since 2009, which was around the same time and in the same area as natural gas production increased.

Constable Candidate

If you don't know WHO Glen Bucy is, you should.  He's a Fort Worth resident that has been involved in local politics for the past several years.  He's a TCU Political Science graduate, he survived the Wedgewood Church shooting in Fort Worth, and a combat tour in Afghanistan, he is also an Arlington Police Officer.  He's running for constable in precinct 6 and we have a question for those of you "in the know" out there...

WTH could Bud Kennedy have against an all American guy like Glen Bucy?? 

Seems at a recent forum, one of Glen's opponent's stood and made the claim that he was endorsed by Congresswoman, Kay Granger.  Bucy went on to explain why he did not want such an endorsement.  Once again, on Facebook, Bud Kennedy weighed in on Bucy -  about the congresswoman being "criticized--by a constable candidate?"

WHO else is supposed to call them out?  The "news"??

Since when can constituents not comment on their elected officials and their spending?  If we left that to the "news" paper, no one ever would. 

Here's what Glen had to say earlier in the week about the endorsements. 

And pork is pork, no matter how they serve it in Fort Worth. 

While at the Southwest Republican Club, one of my opponents stated that he was the only... candidate in the room that was unequivocally endorsed by Congresswoman Kay Granger,(the most powerful endorsement you could possibly have in Tarrant county according to my opponent.) to which I responded in my final two minute closing statement "The only reason I do not have Kay Grangers endorsement, is because I did not seek it out. I have spoken publicly in the past about several issues that I had with Congresswoman Granger, most importantly, that she is a Pro-Choice Republican, and I am a Pro-Life."

While I agree that Kay Granger has done some good things for Fort Worth, I cannot condone her pro-choice stance on abortion. On matters of fiscal responsibility, Granger fails the test again being one of the largest pork barrel spenders in congress. With projects like the Trinity River Vision and its $909 million dollar price tag, Kay doesn't do our party any favors when we talk about cutting back in Washington spending. As Republicans, we need to be taking the lead in matters of fiscal responsibility/accountability and that is exactly what I plan to do in Constable's office.

Fort Worth showdown – Tuesday. Be There.

Don’t miss the Fort Worth City Council meeting tomorrow.  YOU can’t afford to miss it.

Read the letter in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram concerning the meeting.  

You can cross your fingers, but we wouldn’t hold your breath.

Injection wells

I wonder what the Fort Worth City Council will decide Tuesday about salt-water injection wells. I hope it's not the same decision made 12 years ago, when the council, without any research, voted to make Fort Worth the first city in America allowing urban gas drilling while requiring almost no safety regulations of well sites or restrictions on water usage or pollution controls.

Today, fracking is suspected in increasing ozone levels, contaminating ground water and causing earthquakes. Some scientists believe that injecting 3 million to 5 million gallons of water and chemicals into one well can, in some cases, crack a home's foundation. What kind of seismic activity can we expect if tens of millions of gallons of wastewater are continually pumped into these proposed wells?

That's the question Fort Worth residents should be asking the council. Maybe then this council will finally put the health and welfare of residents first and, after 12 years, have the courage to stand up to the gas industry.

-- Sharon Austry, Fort Worth

Elections are coming…

Funny how earmarks are a bad thing, unless they are yours.  Remember that come election day.

Read the letters in today’s Fort Worth Star-Telegram. 

Reviews on movies and earmarks.  Neither receives a passing grade.

Restore earmarks?

I see where U.S. Rep. Kay Granger along with fellow House Republican deficit hawks Mike Rogers and Louis Gohmert want to reinstate Republican Party federal earmarking. I guess Granger feels it's worth the risk of ignoring her Tea Party constituents if she can ensure the endless continuation of her son's Trinity River Vision dole.

-- Preston Matthiesen, Fort Worth

Movie critic

We should know if our sacrosanct Trinity River visionaries will limit the films to be broadcast at their drive-in theater. "Visionaries" must protect children and those of us with vestiges of taste and modesty from whatever Hollywood is peddling as it, in the words of the late Daniel Patrick Monyihan, relentlessly continues "defining deviancy down."

Who will these movies attract? What will they term a 40-foot-tall, full-color, gangland killing seen by families driving on North Main Street or a steamy seduction scene displayed to children in the apartments on Samuels Avenue? What will the night-class students see from the windows up above in our expensive junior college lecture halls?

-- Joy Douglass, Edgecliff Village

It's only lobbying if someone else does it...

We found the most interesting pieces of Bud's column to be quotes.  One of those being his own.

On the group's website, he posted a statement saying that the group's contact with lawmakers is not lobbying and that the Texas Ethics Commission enforces what is "probably an unconstitutional law."'

He also took a rhetorical swipe at Truitt's Republican political consultant, Bryan Eppstein of Fort Worth, saying Eppstein "promotes higher taxes and burdensome government."

In a rarity, Eppstein did not return a call.

Don't miss the reader comment below.  Did Connor say such a thing?  What does he say now? 

I like what former Star-Telegram publisher Richard Connor said about Bryan Eppstein:

This man is a pig at the trough, and Fort Worth is his barnyard.

From the Fort Worth Weekly to the NY Times to the AP...

Gas drilling is the talk of the towns.  One of the biggest differences is the letter from those protecting the Watershed's in New York.  You'd think Texans would protect their water...and a State would know WHO its constituents are... 

 Two hundred fifty medical professionals petitioned New York State last year for a health assessment and received no response.

From false advertising and lawsuits, the beat goes on.

For a split second, injection wells in Venus made the news.  WHO's taking bets on what happened out there after the Easter storms?

Tuesday's storms have stirred up more questions about an injection well in Venus. Land owners are worried about chemicals mixing with rainwater, and possibly spilling into a creek that empties into Joe Pool Lake.

Property manager Tim McCloskey scans the creek bed in his pasture everyday. Two days after the storm, he can still spot a slick sheen coating the surface. It's floating less than a half-mile down stream from where fracking trucks drop saltwater into an injection well.

And while they party every chance they get, they are busy bursting their own bubble.  WHO pays for that?

The glut has benefited businesses and homeowners that use natural gas. But with natural gas prices at a 10-year low — and falling — companies that produce the fuel are becoming victims of their drilling successes. Their stock prices are falling in anticipation of declining profits and scaled-back growth plans.              

Sunday, April 8, 2012


A letter writer in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram makes some interesting points. 

What it all really boils down to is, they can't add.  Well, they can, they are just betting on YOU not doing the math.  WHAT would happen if YOU started adding it up?  WHO would the city councils and "news" answer to then?

Ask where YOUR money is going.  Then ask, WHY?

In addition to the letter, here are more examples of questionable math -  having to be pointed out by THE PEOPLE.    Isn't that what a newspaper should do?

From Durango and a letter writer concerning streetcars -

The TRV Boondoggle Drive-In propaganda promoters are saying they anticipate around 300,000 TRVBDIT (Trinity River Vision Boondoggle Drive-In Theater) movie goers a year.

That works out to about 822 paying customers a day.

That sounds believable. Sort of like how the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and its propaganda co-horts claimed 7 to 8 million visitors a year to the Fort Worth Cabela's sporting goods store would make Cabela's the top tourist attraction in Texas. With apparently no one doing the math to see how unlikely was a daily average of around 22,000 visitors to a sporting goods store.


Granger could have said 10 developers; it would sound better. He also said they expect 15,000 to 25,000 residents. Why not say 250,000? That's a number pulled out of the air, too.

Another Monday article said 40 units were sold in the past year within blocks of the Trinity Project. (See: "Rising to the challenge," Monday) How do you get from 75 people to 15,000? Oops; it's "streetcars."


Z Boaz costs

The Wednesday story by Bill Hanna had some frightening money facts. (See: "Council votes 6-1 to close Z Boaz")

The bonehead move by the Fort Worth City Council will cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

How? Follow the money. The current annual loss for Z Boaz is $250,000 per year. The capital cost to convert Z Boaz to some kind of park is at least $6 million.

The cost to run the park will be $150,000 annually. Amortize all that over 30 years, and here is what they have done to you: The 30-year cost for a park will be $10.5 million. The 30-year cost for Z Boaz as a golf course would be $7.5 million. The increase is $3 million.

Spread that cost increase over the same 30 years and note that your City Council just saddled you with $100,000 per year in extra costs.

Well done, politicians. And they wonder why we voters say, "Throw the bums out!"

Maybe the Fort Worth voters should let their council member hear their voices.

-- Ken DuBoise, North Richland Hills

Rain, rain, go away

Everyone knows that never works. 
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram continues to write about the emergency warning sirens.  Thanks to Clyde Picht and Mother Nature, they exist. 

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram also talks about record rainfall today.
Flooding problems were reported in low-crossing areas in Fort Worth, Arlington, Irving Euless and Colleyville, area police reported.

Let's see, a tornado and record rainfall in April.  History repeats?


Thursday, April 5, 2012

One month before the Fort Worth tornado -

In 2000, Councilman Clyde Picht wrote a letter to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  At the time he was the only one in town advocating for emergency sirens.  The mayor, city council and Fort Worth Star-Telegram Editorial Board all were against spending money on sirens that protect people.

What was he basing his position on?  History. It tends to repeat itself. 

A month after Clyde wrote the letter, the tornado hit.  Lives were lost, just like he said. 

Currently, this mayor, council and paper disagree with what Clyde says about the Trinity River Vision.  What's the next Editorial Board going to say? 

Clyde's comment after rereading the commentary he wrote in 2000 - 

It’s too bad we had to wait for the disaster we knew was coming before we made a decision to upgrade our warning system.

Sounds familiar.  The following will too, read about Fort Worth, twelve years ago, before the tornado.

Two million for warning sirens?  A bargain at twice the price!
            When German bombers attacked London during the Second World War they lacked the precision guidance of today's weapons. On the other hand, the British radar showed only the general direction the bombers traveled so throughout the city air raid sirens wailed to warn the people of impending attack.

                Now, sixty years later, the National Weather Service has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in high tech equipment that can tell with a degree of precision the path a tornado will follow. The detection of severe weather is in the 21st century but the Fort Worth warning sirens are more suitable for the Battle of Britain. Our sirens will blare throughout our 250 square mile city, if they blare at all. Because of their age replacement parts are not readily available. Ten to fifteen percent of the system fails when tested, and on occasion, the whole system has been known to fail. With the rapid growth of our city some areas on the developing fringe are totally without warning sirens.

                Some things are fact. We live at the Southwest end of what weather experts call "Tornado Ally." Tornadoes have caused massive destruction and loss of life to the West, South, and East of Fort Worth. Severe weather caused major destruction in Fort Worth, pelting us with hail the size of baseballs in 1980 and 1995. Weather experts say that we will be struck by a killer tornado similar to the one that raised havoc in Moore, Oklahoma, last year. It's not a matter of whether, but when.

                In a recent commentary (2/21/00), Star-Telegram writer Jack Z. Smith reported that as a consequence of the Moore disaster that city is going to double the number of sirens. In my own conversation with Emergency Management Director, Gayland Kitch, he told me that even though the tornado occurred during rush hour, with plenty of radio and TV coverage, some residents didn't take cover until they heard the warning sirens. Smith reports Kitch said he feels that sirens help save lives and that Fort Worth would be wise to invest in them.

                Some things are fiction. According to Smith, the Mayor and some Council members feel that warnings sirens are not worth the $2-$3 million cost. They think radio, television, Internet, cell phones, E-mail and weather radios will substitute for sirens. It is not uncommon to have power outages during severe weather. With the power outages go your radio, television, Internet, and E-mail. Few computer owners are foolish enough to operate them during thunderstorms without UPS. A battery-powered radio will still work, provided the batteries are good and you have it with you. Cell phones might work if you've got them, but they don't always perform well even in good weather. First-hand reports from Oklahoma demonstrate that cell phones fail when tornadoes are near. Weather radios, like cell phones, are fine if everybody has one. Not everyone can afford or will want to buy a weather radio for $40-$80 (cost according to Smith). Most people probably wouldn't have one nearby during severe weather, in any case. Twenty-two people lost their lives when tornadoes hit Georgia in mid February. They came at night when folks were tucked safely in their beds. Or so they thought. Computers, cell phones, radios - all off. 

                A state of the art warning system has advantages that all the aforementioned devices don't have. The per capita cost is very nominal. A system will last many years and perform with high reliability. It can be used to warn residents in the path of severe weather without alarming those in safer areas. It can be localized to warn of hazardous spills on freeways and rail lines. It has a voice capability to describe circumstances that may require residents to take cover or remain in their homes and can warn children playing outside. With correct placement they are likely to be heard inside the home as well as outside.

                Lives will be lost in the event of a major tornado transiting Tarrant County. Adequate warning will save many lives, which might otherwise be lost. Ironically, the City Council was presented a proposal by the Fire Chief for the 1998 Capital Improvement Program that would have replaced the current warning system. The council turned it down and chose to use some of that money for park improvement. Pity the poor folks in the park who might be whisked away to Oz because they don't own a cell phone or weather radio, and live in a city where they are expected to take more "personal responsibility" for their safety.

                Like the unfortunate homeowner who installs a burglar alarm after the family heirlooms have been stolen, the City of Fort Worth will some day upgrade its woefully deficient disaster warning system after a major storm wreaks death and destruction. It willstill be cheap at twice the monetary price but what's the value of a life?

Republicans Sustainable?

Apparently the State Republican Committee has arrived to the party.  They finally read Agenda 21.  We can hear it now, the whole party will be called conspiracy theorists.  Those who speak the truth are usually called something...

Check it out on Arlington  Again, it doesn't matter what "party" you belong to, YOUR kids will be the ones who suffer.  Educate yourself, if nothing else, for them. 

On March 31, 2012, the State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) adopted, as part of the Texas Republican Party platform, a resolution in “opposition to United Nations Sustainable Development and all entities involved in the implementation of such programs.” In the two-page document, the SREC outlines the threat posed to our fundamental American rights by Sustainable Development and Smart Growth programs, most notably, the right to the ownership of private property.

The resolution states that Sustainable Development is intended to “abrogate and overthrow the natural individual rights and liberties of the people,” and describes it as a “European style of socialism.” In the European model, privately held property is not viewed as an absolute right, but rather as a privilege granted by the government. The resolution further explains that the United States was conceived, and has sense prospered as a nation, due to its dedication to individual rights, including the right to own and enjoy property. It affirms that the people of Texas “subscribe entirely to the vision of freedom and property and self-government under Nature and Nature’s God.”

In the resolution, the SREC takes aim at many organizations that are coming under growing public scrutiny, including the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), the Council of Governments, and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that work with local municipalities to implement the goals of a United Nations program titled “Agenda 21.

Come again?

Did the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Editorial Board just criticize the former Fort Worth Star-Telegram Editorial Board?

Did they say the lone voice that spoke out was right?

Today that lone voice is still speaking out putting the citizens safety above the popular vote.

WHAT will the next Editorial Board say about the current one?  WHAT will they say about that same voice continues to speak out?   Maybe YOU should listen.

No one cares, until the next storm comes.  History repeats.

An Oct. 21, 1997, Star-Telegram editorial decrying Fort Worth's sporadic storm-warning system as not worth modernizing because it was "redundant" with other modes of communication made Editorial Board members cringe Wednesday when they read it.

Did the collective "we" really say, "The sirens [that] blare out the warning of an approaching tornado or hailstorm are about as useful today as fenders on a compact car"?

If anecdotal evidence is any indicator, the warning provided by sirens was remarkably useful Tuesday in keeping North Texas residents safe as tornadoes bore down on the region. Facebook posts and online comments credited Arlington's warning system in particular for alerting residents to the nasty weather headed their way.

Images of the damage leave one amazed that no one was killed and only injuries that weren't life-threatening were reported.

The Editorial Board's 1997 skepticism about updating Fort Worth's siren system was shared by then-Mayor Kenneth Barr and other members of the City Council who thought money would be better spent on a traffic light system that expedited firetrucks getting through intersections.

Then-Councilman Clyde Picht was the lone voice calling for additional and more reliable sirens.

Talk about the storm-warning system quieted down -- until the March 28, 2000, tornado upended lives and businesses in downtown Fort Worth before flattening homes in southeast Arlington and southwest Grand Prairie. Five people died and more than $450 million in damage was reported.

By 2003, the Fort Worth council had approved $3 million to upgrade and expand the city's sirens.

Read more here: Broad-based storm-warning systems proved their value during North Texas tornadoes

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

'News' gets it wrong...again

Dear friends,

If you were at last night's city council hearing on the fate of Fort Worth's current moratorium on "salt water" disposal wells, you might have noticed that the Star-Telegram headline today missed the point.

You can read the article here: Fort Worth council urged to allow pilot well

Contrary to that headline, the testimony was overwhelming against ending the moratorium. The city staff recommendation to lift the moratorium was supported by three industry representatives, and all of the rest of the testimony was against ending the moratorium. Over twenty people including representatives from the League of Women Voters, League of Neighborhoods, and North Central Texas Communities Alliance spoke.

Please join me again next Tuesday, April 10, 2012, when the Council will vote on the ban and could decide either to extend the moratorium, prohibit wastewater wells altogether in the city limits, allow the wells certain land-use restrictions, or to take some other action. Unless the council votes to extend it, the current moratorium against saltwater disposal wells will expire on April 30, 2012.

Because of the importance of the outcome I encourage you to attend next Tuesday's meeting at City Hall, 1000 Throckmorton Street, at 7 pm.  City council members need to hear from you on this important topic that could impact our health, safety, and environment. If you would like to speak at the hearing, keep in mind that the usual rules regarding signing up before the meeting and speaking limits will apply.

For more information about the hearings, please see the City News page.  You can find general information about disposal wells here. You may also call my district office at 817-924-1997 if you have any questions.

Best regards,


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Take Cover!

Tornado sirens currently sounding in South and West Fort Worth, Tarrant County. 

There has been a tornado sighted on the ground in Johnson County.

Be safe, neighbors!

Monday, April 2, 2012

No matter which party you're in

This will affect YOUR kids.  Show up. 

Dear Friends,

I hope you will join me tomorrow, April 3rd for a very important city council meeting.  The council will receive public comment on whether to lift the current ban on "salt water disposal" wells inside the City of Fort Worth.  The Council will vote on the ban next Tuesday, April 10, and could decide either to extend the moratorium, prohibit wastewater wells altogether in the city limits, allow the wells certain land-use restrictions, or to take some other action. Unless the council votes to extend it, the current moratorium against saltwater disposal wells will expire on April 30, 2012. 

Because of the importance of the outcome of the April 10th meeting, I encourage you to attend the hearing tomorrow, Tuesday, April 3, 2012, at City Hall, 1000 Throckmorton Street, at 7 pm.  City council members need to hear from you on this important topic that could impact our health, safety, and environment. If you would like to speak at the hearing, keep in mind that the usual rules regarding signing up before the meeting and speaking limits will apply. 

For more information about the hearings, please see the City News page.  You can find general information about disposal wells here. You may also call my district office at 817-924-1997 if you have any questions.

Best regards,


Sunday, April 1, 2012

"Irrelevant column devoid of any understanding...

...of how an improvement district works."

That is one of the comments on the latest column in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram by Mitch Schnurman.  Apparently he's on a roll.  And apparently doesn't realize the city he doesn't live in is made up of 300 miles, all of them in need of something, not just downtown, "central city", Seventh Street or his favorite boondoggle, the Trinity River Vision. 

As usual, the comments are more telling than the column.

The folks that "run" downtown and have the most to lose financially by taking downtown business over to 7th Street or the Southside don't want any part of it. They happen to be very influential and have spent many years making sure they control the political establishment in the city of Fort Worth. Don't think they are going to allow any changes until they buy up these new areas as well. And of course long term they don't want anything to impact their beloved Trinity River Vision the taxpayers are buying for them.

In case you missed it

Durango had lots of fun with the Woodshed blabbering in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  "Like shooting fish in a barrel."

Don't miss his Alice in Wonderland explanation either.  YOU can't afford to.