Tuesday, July 31, 2012

As if

The story in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, of the TRE leaving folks stranded in downtown Fort Worth wasn't enough, the comment left  by meganr1975, took the cake. Bravo.

Well, if the T apologized, that's all Gordon needs to be satisfied.   No need in digging any deeper into the story to see exactly what happened and what the T did to assure it doesn't happen again.  If it has to do with public transportation, Gordon, Bud, Labbe and Norman lead the charge to defend the Keystone Cops who manage the T and TRE. 

Who holds the T accountable for how they operate public transportation?  Certainly not the Star Telley.  Certainly not the Fort Worth City Council, even though they spend millions in citizen tax dollars to fund the T and TRE.  No...if its the sacred "Public Transportation Cow", our fearless elected officials and our crack team of ST reporters stick their heads back where they generally keep them.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Media MIA

If thousands of people gather at the Capitol and no one reports it, did it happen?

You bet your sweet behind it did.

Thanks to people like TXSharon, Calvin Tillman, Josh Fox and the like.

Average folks willing to protect YOUR air, water and money. 

YOU might want to pay attention.  YOU are already paying.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

That boat won't float

People have asked us before why the Stockyards would be so interested in supporting the Trinity River Vision when it's very existence is supposed to bring people from all over the country to a small, polluted lake in Fort Worth?

The only answer we could ever come up with is because some of the players down there want a boat.  You know, the gambling kind.

Word on the street is the Fort Worth Star-Telegram will have an editorial tomorrow telling you how great it will be.  We're sure everyone else will be "green with envy" and the streets leading to the boat will be paved with gold.

As for the gambling, here we go again, how many years has this debate been taking place in Fort Worth?  What do you think the work around will be?  Taking bets now.

As for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Editorial board, J.R. Labbe will no longer be at the helm.  We'd say we're going to miss her, but ...  And we shouldn't count our chickens before they hatch, that would make us like the TRVA.  WHO knows who the next Editor will be?  For once, we'd like it if the new one wasn't from Cowtown, we'd like to see how an outsider takes to all the Fort Worth "news".

Friday, July 27, 2012

Same Players...same game

We'll give you one guess WHO is being played?

In our most recent posts, the names TXDot and the U.S. Department of Transportation keep coming up.  In our posts over the years so does the Corp of Engineers, North Central Texas Council of Governments and a certain congresswoman from Texas. 

WHO do you think had a meeting and "found" some more money for what THEY wanted?  Yes, all of the above.  And WHERE do you think that money comes from?  YOU guessed it.

Somewhere in this project, flood control became an afterthought.  So did private property rights.  If you have business to do on White Settlement Road, we hear you better get it done.

All the while, the local "news" tries to sell you and cheers them on.  Anyone know the going rate for a kick back these days?

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram calls it "amazing news".  They also think you are a bunch of idiots.  Someone should prove them wrong.  Notice, they "pledged to back the project".  With YOUR money.  But the "funding sources haven't been publicly identified".  Say WHAT? 

And when did flood control become a footnote?  Wasn't that the whole reason for the Trinity River Vision? 

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Texas Department of Transportation Commissioner Bill Meadows, Maribel Chavez, Fort Worth district engineer for the state transportation department, and Michael Morris, transportation director of the North Central Texas Council of Governments, met late last week with U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, in Washington where they pledged to back the project, bumping its construction from 2016 to next summer.

The new funding sources for the White Settlement Road bridge have not been publicly identified.

To add insult to injury, they wrote an editorial telling you how good the Trinity River Vision and bikes are for you.  WHY would such programs increase so drastically worldwide?  It's called an agenda.  We're just sayin.

Just five years ago there were 60 such programs worldwide, according to CNNMoney.com. Today there are almost 450, including one in San Antonio.

There is no one solution to transportation problems, and urban planners must be creative and nonconventional when addressing those issues.

As federal dollars -- our dollars -- become available for some of these innovative projects, local and state officials must be in a position to apply for them and, when granted, put them to good use.

They don't read

Apparently the only thing those in Washington, D.C. read is this blog.

Therefore, we thought we'd share what some are saying about the latest Trinity River Vision Boondoogle funding scheme.

Read the comments in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  Some people are paying attention. 

Where's that "Tea Party" when you need them?

That's codespeak for "we'll keep Kay and Son, along with others who will benefit from eminent domain, nepotism, and sweetheart deals in the loop"

Great project for Fort Worth, funded by state and FEDERAL money.  Gee, deep in the heart of Tea Party land where "no more federal spending" is the cry, comes the federal government to help the good folks in Cowtown improve our infrastructure.  Anyone care to complain?

More pork for the Trinity Drainage Ditch Vision and Kay and her boy.

The reasons will be many but the prime responsibility will lie at the feet of Kay Granger.

Comment from gmsherry1953...

The only time we seem to get bipartisanship any more -- in this case, an almost nauseating unanimity, among politicians and the press -- is in support of conspiracies to abuse the public.  Mommy Granger, Republican, gets the money from Ray LaHood, Republican serving for a Democratic administration, for Sonny Granger to spend in his nepotism job that should be illegal, or at least should create a conflict of interest that would bar his Mommy from even voting on bills that appropriate money for the Trinity Mud Puddle, much less taking the lead role in fetching the cash.   Money we do NOT HAVE, money that will increase deficit spending.  We are borrowing money from the Communist Chinese to build a bridge.  Not a NEEDED bridge, but a bridge that is part of a completely unnecessary boondoggle of an "economic development" program whose faulty premise is that downtown Fort Worth NEEDS to be twice as big as it is, with further faulty sub-premises that the confluence of the Trinity can be improved, and that anyone will want to be near the newly expanded waterfront of stinky green water.  All of this siphons money away from infrastructure additions and improvements that we actually NEED, for the sake of a pie in the sky scheme that, even if it succeeds, will enrich only developers.  I am still so mad about this whole deal that I could spit.  And the Star-T remains out front, cheerleading this travesty all the way.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

What do ya know?

You are next.

Blue Mound is having to boil their water.

Wasn't Blue Mound the same town that feared losing businesses due to the water rate increases last year? 

Pay attention.  YOU can't afford not to, and YOU could be next.

Are YOU next?

What happens when it's YOUR water?

WHO owns YOUR water? 

In a-round-about way (some of you will get that) the Tarrant Regional Water District owns your water.  What have they been up to lately?

All things TRV. 

Read about those in Fort Worth with no water.  And "no recourse". 

Made us laugh

A Jeer in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Bait and switch is right on the money, ma'am.

Jeers: To the city of Fort Worth and the Trinity River "Vision" Project for taking what is normally an extraordinary fireworks show and turning it into whatever that was July 4. Thirty tickets purchased for the Cats game = bait and switch. Won't make that mistake again.

-- Alicia C. Miller, Arlington

Corrupt Money and politics...

In Tarrant County?  You don't say.

The letter in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says it all.

Reading Linda Campbell's column on Bill Bradley took me back to my 2000 race for Congress against Kay Granger. (See: "Can't Obama and Romney talk solutions?" Thursday) Young and idealistic then, I was all about political campaign reform and envisioned myself viable in a year featuring mavericky reformer John McCain (R) against fellow reformer and policy wonk Bradley (D).

Clearly, I wasn't adept at reading political tea leaves, but I still believe this is the most serious issue facing the nation, particularly following the dreadful Citizens United Supreme Court decision.

Respect for Congress and government in general are at all-time lows, and much of this well-earned disdain is attributable to the public perception that our governmental and political processes are rotten to the core, corrupted perhaps irreparably by vast sums of money injected by wealthy individuals and corporate interests.

I am particularly discouraged that the Democratic Party, which claims to represent America's working families, has not made this a paramount issue of this election cycle. I can only believe that money corrupts, and massive money corrupts massively.

Please join me in letting candidates from all parties know that we will no longer tolerate this unacceptable state of affairs.

-- Mark Greene, Fort Worth

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/07/20/4114551/money-corrupts-the-us-political.html#storylink=cpy

Monday, July 23, 2012

Pay attention

They are all playing the same game.  Guess WHO pays?

TTC eminent domain abuse continues

And the eminent domain abuse doesn't stop with pipeline companies
. TxDOT just released a
Request for Information, June 22, seeking assistance from developers to build ancillary facilities inside the SH 130 tollway in Travis County, including a gas station, garage, store, hotel, restaurant, railroad tracks, utilities, and telecommunications facilities and equipment.

In fact, the deadline for interested developers is this Wednesday, July 23. Though the Legislature thought it took care of this by removing the Trans Texas Corridor from statute last year, Section 228.053 lives on and grants TxDOT the same ability to lease out the public's right-of-way for a private, commercial use.
The naturally occurring economic development alongside our interstate freeways will disappear if the state gets away with picking the winners and losers and monopolizes all the economic development by containing it within public rights-of-way on tollways rather than among private landowners. This also has impacts to local governments who will lose their potential commercial tax base alongside our highways.

Read more on TURF.  You better protect yours.

What's wrong with Tarrant County?


When a young man who happens to be a Wedgewood Church shooting survivor, an Afghan veteran, a current police officer, a TCU graduate, a devoted husband and father, that wants to serve his county as constable can be sued by a sore loser. 

Read about the lawsuit against Glen Bucy below. Then please go vote.  And tell your friends.  Don't let another Tarrant County election be bought.  Remember, it's YOU who pays.  Early voting is taking place NOW!

Frivolous Lawsuit Filed by Former Constable Candidate Tim Hotchkin Against Glen Bucy For the amount of $322,000

             Glen Bucy, survivor of the Wedgwood Baptist Church Shooting, U.S. Army - Afghanistan Combat Veteran , and Candidate for Constable Precinct 6 was served paperwork pertaining to a lawsuit filed by Tim Hotchkin (former Candidate for Constable). The lawsuit stated "During the campaign, Glen Bucy distributed by hand and U.S. mail a push card flyer comparing himself to his opponents." The suit alleges that the Push card included a number of false statements and omissions. The lawsuit also falsely alleges that Bucy created a fictitious FaceBook account in order to post the aforementioned "Push Card" material.

           Bucy said "Look at the timing of this Lawsuit, it is nothing more than a direct attack on my character. Early voting will start in less than a week and I believe this is a coordinated attack in order to demean my moral and ethical character to win an election to political office. Mr. Hotchkin is a known supporter of Jon Siegel and has given his full support and endorsement to him as well. I did in-fact distribute a comparative mailer before the primary election, however, all information pertaining to that mailer derived directly from the appropriate sources which include: Voting history provided by Tarrant County Elections, Hours of Police Training provided by TCLEOSE,  and Employment history directly from the Constable that fired Mr. Hotchkin." The fact that the card states  Mr. Hotchkin is a Private Security Officer Vs. Private Security Investigator is irrelevant and to my knowledge there isn't a difference between the two. However, in the same paragraph on the mailer I mention that he is a Reserve Officer with 8 years experience. "

          In the race for Constable of Precinct 6, Glen Bucy is the only candidate who is actually a full-time Police Officer. The fact that the lawsuit calls for damages exceeding $322,000 is based on the assumption that Mr. Hotchkins would have won the election if this mailer would not have been distributed. That fact is that the mailer in question was actually delivered the day after the election due to unseen delays having the piece mailed. There is no basis for damages as all information was factual and voters received the piece after Mr. Hotchkin had already lost the election having received only 17.38% of the vote. The lawsuit therefore is nothing more than a smear tactic used late in the election in an attempt to discredit Mr. Bucy.

Tubing in Tarrant County

Is that the Love Shack flooding?  What's next, the Woodshed?

Maybe next year instead of Tubing the Trinity, you can Tube the Stockyards.  Hopefully someone will test that water.  This tubing location is courtesy of a broken water main in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards.  The picture is courtesy of one of the many folks on the ground around town reporting real news.

Durango asked about the Tarrant Regional Water District testing the water in the Trinity River, as they said they would last year.  Anyone seen the results of that test?  We're told one of our contributors asked WFAA about a follow up story.  No response.  No surprise.

How's that flood control working out for ya, Fort Worth?  No worries, the Trinity River Vision will save you.

Fort Worth gets "modern" transportation

That's what the Fort Worth Star-Telegram calls the $787 million in grants Fort Worth is getting from the U.S. Transportation Department.  WHERE do you think they get that money?  WHO's do you think it is?

Maybe they could give that money to TXDot, we hear they need more land.  In the meantime, could we get a freeway that works around here?  Any of them.  Any one?

WHY are the getting it?  That may be the kicker.

It was one of 255 projects that the U.S. Transportation Department announced funding for Monday as part of $787 million in grants that were distributed nationwide, all aimed at modernizing and repairing transit systems throughout the nation.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Feces, Alligators and Zebra Mussels

Oh my!

The dreaded Zebra mussels have made their way to the Trinity River basin.

It's quoted as being a very bad thing for the environment and the economy.

What will they find in the river system next?

Hopefully they find it before the next Trinity River Vision Rocking on the River / Floating with Feces event.

Read more on NBC5, not about the feces float, you'llnever read about that in the local 'news'. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Daughter of Texas Fights For Her Land Against TransCanada

A daughter of Texas is standing up to a foreign corporation that has come to take her land by force.

Julia Trigg Crawford manages the farm her grandfather bought in 1948 near Direct, TX south of the Red River. Last year a Canadian pipeline company called TransCanada told Julia Trigg and her family that a portion of their land would be taken by eminent domain so that the Keystone XL pipeline could be built across it.

Join us at a hearing in Austin on Monday July 23rd and demand that Texas legislators protect private property. (For more details email contact@wetexans.com)

You have the power to stand with Julia Trigg and to tell elected officials that private foreign corporations should NOT be able to take private property from its rightful owner.

Julia Trigg will face off with TransCanada in court next month. But right now the Land & Resource Management Committee of the Texas House of Representatives is getting ready to meet and discuss what steps our legislature should take to protect landowners.

While this is a positive step, the pipeline industry will be working to convince members of the committee and other legislators they should be given broad powers to take land from private citizens.

Legislators need to hear from you – let them know that pipeline companies have been abusing eminent domain for far too long and Texans aren’t going to stand for it any longer.

Did you know that until last year pipeline companies in Texas could take private property without ANY oversight whatsoever? If a pipeline company claimed it had the right to use eminent domain there was nothing a landowner could do except wait for the land to be taken and then file a lawsuit. Very few property owners have the resources to fight a legal battle with major pipeline companies, so the pipelines almost always won out-of-court settlements that allowed them to take the land.

But in 2011 the Texas Supreme Court struck down this abusive practice in the landmark Texas Rice Land Partners v. Denbury Green Pipelines decision. The court seemed appalled that this was going on, saying “Private property cannot be imperiled with such nonchalance, via an irrefutable presumption created by checking a certain box on a one-page government form. Our Constitution demands far more.”

Join us in Austin, make your voices heard, and let’s give power back to property owners! (Again, for more details email contact@wetexans.com)

As always, thank you for your support!
Calvin Tillman
Former Mayor, DISH, TX
(940) 453-3640

"Those who say it can not be done, should get out of the way of those that are doing it"

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Another Tarrant County Example

Or more Montgomery Plaza drama...

Not only could they not sell all the condos (as they stated they could), some were foreclosed on. 

Now, the tenants have found out how much the developers are making off the tax assessment alone.  They're pretty pissed.  Wonder how pissed they'll be when they figure out the rest of the story?

Montgomery Plaza has a long history with the Trinity River Vision. Someone should look into that. Especially if they live in the sights of Trinity River Vision.  Or in the heart of its TIF boundary. 

Wake up.  You're next.

Read about the TAD fiasco in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  YOU can't afford to miss it. 

The fight erupted after condo owners learned a secret: Similar-size condos are getting much different tax appraisals.

In Tarrant County??!  You don't say. 

Condos owned by the project's developer, 2600 Montgomery Llc., are assessed at much lower values than homeowners' units -- sometimes half as much. It's a sweetheart deal, some condo owners say, and it means a hit of thousands of dollars in property taxes for those shut out of it.

There's those 3 letters again, "Llc".  The "developers" own almost half of the condos.  Some would say those boys should be taken behind the Woodshed.  In Tarrant County, that has a whole different meaning.

"How that comes across as equitable and fair or uniform is frankly a mystery to me," husband David Ekstrom said.

You'll see why this important line is buried down later in the story in the paper.

TAD not only had the values wrong, Ekstrom told the appraisal review board, but also had the sizes of some homes wrong. Some condo owners, for example, bought two condos but are being appraised for one, she said.

Another governmental agency had their "values" wrong?  And it took another average citizen taxpayer to point it out.  Kudos, ma'am.

Under state law, TAD is required to set assessed values that are fair, equitable and uniform.

See above statement from Mr. Citizen Taxpayer.

The tax dispute is another example of injustice, Slattery said. "It was grossly unfair," he said.

And don't miss this from the comment section, lookthisway knows what's up and WHO pays. 

You live in Texas the home of the big business give away. How do you think Ft. Worth can continue to give away tax money if they can't get it...not from business but from the middle class. Texas is in for a financial meltdown within the next 5 years. Too much borrowing and spending by the Republicans in Austin, Ft. Worth and Tarrant county. Someone is going to have to pay and it won't be the wealthy or business.

Trust us...

We "protect" YOUR water.

We don't know which is worse, that Fort Worth said it, the paper quoted it, or that some people buy it.

Fort Worth says water might be stinky, but it's safe

"Customers should notice some improvement by Saturday, but taste and odor issues may persist for another couple of months," the department said.

Customers may improve their water's taste by refrigerating it in an open container and adding a slice of lemon or lime, the department said.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Faux Flood Control in Fort Worth

It appears the latest Trinity River Vision Update has shown Durango a few new things, like the Trinity River Vision's Interior Water Feature.

Below is part of a long Durango post about the Trinity River Vision Update:

When the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle was first hoisted on Fort Worth, about the biggest element touted, before the much needed flood control was added, was that there would be this big Town Lake, covering over 30 acres, giving downtown Fort Worth a water feature that would make other towns in America green with envy.

As the TRV Vision began its slow fade into Boondoggle land, the Town Lake started to shrink. Eventually it became a fraction of its original size, with the locals now referring to it as Pond Granger. Or the Kay Puddle.

Well, this graphic in this latest TRV Boondoggle Update does not refer to the former Town Lake, there is now no mention of a lake, pond or puddle.

The Town Lake Pond Puddle is now called the "Interior Water Feature."

George Orwell would be proud.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Speaking of roads...

People come here every day looking for information on Texas Toll Roads.  If you want information and want to know WHO is behind the Texas Toll Road fiasco, look no further.

Texas Turf has it all.

Educate yourself.  Your children will thank you.

Ain't all it's cracked up to be...

Not only does the drilling industry no longer own the 4th of July, they rolled through here and tore up the roads.

We think we heard that at a meeting (or a hundred), citizens asking WHO was going to pay for it, all the while knowing the answer.

Guess WHO rolled out of town?  Now what?

Read the article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

The Texas Department of Transportation told industry representatives and elected officials Monday that repairing roads damaged by drilling activity to bring them up to standard would "conservatively" cost $1 billion for farm-to-market roads and another $1 billion for local roads. And that doesn't include the costs of maintaining interstate and state highways.

The task force -- made up of county judges, state legislators, state highway and public safety officials, and industry representatives -- plans to forge legislative recommendations this fall to address what has become a statewide infrastructure problem caused by five big energy plays, he said.

Now that drilling activity has slowed significantly, the big operators are gone and small subcontractors are hauling salt water and drilling mud, often making it difficult to get anyone to cover road maintenance costs, said Rick Bailey, Johnson County Precinct 1 commissioner.

"We'd be better off if they hauled the legal limit," Bailey said of truckers who often carry 10 to 35 percent over their legal capacity.