Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Week Off to a Rumbling Start in North Texas


Two more earthquakes struck near the town of Azle outside of Fort Worth over the weekend, both measuring 3.3 on the Richter scale. One struck late Sunday morning, the other Monday morning. The area, in Parker and Tarrant counties, has seen a swarm of over twenty quakes since the beginning of November, troubling residents and causing minor damage to some homes.

The Dallas-Fort Worth area is not known as a seismically active area. Before 2007, there was no recorded earthquakes in the area. Since that time, there have been hundreds.

The quakes are thought to be linked to the disposal of wastewater, a byproduct of oil and gas drilling. Peer-reviewed scientific studies of other swarms of quakes to the south in Johnson County and around the Dallas-Fort Worth airport have pointed the finger directly at disposal wells, where that wastewater is sent deep underground. Quakes in other states like Oklahoma, Ohio and Arkansas also have been scientifically linked to oil and gas wastewater disposal wells. The science behind the phenomenon has been known since the 1960s.

Now, the manmade quakes finally appear to have gotten the attention of Texas’ oil and gas regulator, the Railroad Commission of Texas.

While the commission has consistently responded to quakes in North Texas and other parts of the state by saying links to oil and gas wastewater disposal are hypothetical, next week a Railroad Commissioner will host a town hall meeting in Azle to talk about the most recent swarm.

A release from RRC commissioner David Porter’s office says at the meeting “he will listen to residents’ concerns and outline what he plans to do as Texas Railroad Commissioner” at a town hall meeting at Azle High School on January 2. Other regional officials are expected to participate as well. This is the first time that we know of where an official from the commission has acknowledged that the agency can do something to respond to the quakes.

The city of Azle is working to coordinate a response as well. From their website:

“City Staff have been in contact with geologists and state and federal officials to see if a determination can be made as to why this sudden appearance of earthquakes in the Azle area. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) officials are working with researchers at Southern Methodist University to position digital seismographs in the Azle area to help pinpoint more accurate locations for the epicenters of the quakes since the closest monitoring instrument is about 60 miles away.”

In a few other cases in Texas where disposal wells have been linked to manmade quakes, operators have voluntarily ceased or reduced disposal in response. In the map above, you can see where the quakes have struck during the latest swarm, as well as the location of disposal wells in the area.

The town hall meeting will be held Tuesday, January 2:
Date: Thursday, January 2, 2014
Time: 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Location: Azle High School Auditorium, 1200 Boyd Rd, Azle, TX 76020

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Welcome to Texas

Government land heist for private developer.

Surprisingly, they aren't talking about Tarrant County. This one is in the Hill Country.

Starting to smell like Tarrant County though.

What about when government steals private property for its own gain, outside any perceptible public use? Apparently, there is no such protection for Texans.

All of this sewage will be flowing downhill a few hundred feet from an elementary school.

Read all about it in Government land heist for private developers in Texas Hill Country.

And the largest water boondoggle in the U.S. is...

What else? The Trinity River Vision.

We didn't read the article (you can here on the FW Biz Press) we read Clyde's take on it and the title.

That's all we needed to know.

Jack Z Smith got it part right. The IPL project is BIG, EXPENSIVE, and pumps a lot of water to Dallas and Tarrant counties in the distant future - or does it? Maybe Mr. Smith should go to Washington (DC) as he seems to like big everything and a lot of spending, your money of course. Apparently Mr Smith hasn't read TRWD's own documents. A couple of salient quotes therefrom would seem to say that Dallas would indeed get a lot of water at our expense but that the $2.3B pipeline would only provide water to Fort Worth in emergencies, and then only if Dallas didn't need the water. From the TRWD IPL study:" Therefore, the study recommended that TRWD tap into Lake Palestine only for maintenance activities when part of TWRD’s (sic) supply is off line or under emergency conditions (such as a pump station failure), when Dallas does not have a need for that water." Somehow that doesn't sound like water flowing from Fort Worth taps.

And then there's this quote from the IPL study: "It was not deemed practical for TRWD to use Lake Palestine except for in extreme emergencies or to compensate for the unavailability of water due to infrastructure failure or maintenance. Lake Palestine is further away than Cedar Creek and Richland-Chambers and is more expensive to pump. Under severe drought conditions which would warrant TRWD needing that water, it is almost certain that Dallas would need it too, and likely at full capacity (this was confirmed with modeling). Hence, TRWD utilizing the water would increase the risk of shortages for Dallas. Therefore, it is recommended that TRWD not plan to use Lake Palestine unless one of its own sources is cut off or restricted."

Golly, Mr Smith, that almost sounds like we'll help foot a billion plus dollar pipeline and get nary a drop of water for our very, very, big financial investment. Not to worry though, for every cloud there's a silver lining. Maybe ours is that at least while we finance water for Dallas we'll get the Trinity River Vision for about the same price! Can you say Restaurant, Ice Rink, Drive in movie, Wake-board park, and Kay and JD Granger's pipe dream?

Write this on your bathroom wall: When it's yellow, let it mellow; when it's brown, flush it down.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

WHO is taking the water? And WHAT are they doing with it?

Despite the devastating drought, the river authority is pursuing an application to allow it to take even more water out of the Brazos –– in fact two-thirds again as much as it currently takes. The application to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality doesn’t explain to whom the water would be sold.

Concerned residents from Possum Kingdom to Lake Granbury have banded together to contest the application, which many people fear would result in further shrinkage of those lakes. The authority also sells water (from Lake Granbury) to Luminant for Squaw Creek Reservoir near Glen Rose, which provides cooling water for the Comanche Peak plant. Water levels at Squaw Creek cannot be reduced because of the need to provide consistent cooling to the plant.

Water wars in Texas are only going to get worse, as the combination of population growth and climate change puts more and more pressure on resources that are fast running out. River authorities are fighting with one another. Small towns are losing both surface water and groundwater to cities, and in some parts of the state, oil and gas drilling is taking significant amounts of water permanently out of the water cycle.
Across the state, activists, officials, industries, waterside residents, and other stakeholders are watching the Brazos case closely. Its outcome could set a precedent for whether other river authorities can claim and sell even more water from their respective rivers.

Read "Drying Up" in Fort Worth Weekly.

Tired of paying for Hike and Bike Trails where streets used to be?

YOU aren't alone.

Ask YOUR Congressman WHY YOU are being double taxed.

Hike & bike trails
Blumenauer chairs the Congressional Bicycle Caucus and is a huge advocate of Agenda 21-style ‘complete streets’ policies designed to restrict auto mobility and elevate other more politically correct modes of travel -- biking and walking. Many Americans have had their streets ripped up and reconfigured to make way for dedicated bike lanes with five foot buffers, shrinking auto capacity and using scarce road dollars for exclusive bike lanes that are seldom used. Other methods include taking out already limited street parking to make way for bicycle lanes and/or expanding sidewalks. Blumenauer's tax hike will most assuredly, at least in part, be siphoned off for bike lanes and transit.

One of the chief tenants of Agenda 21 is to restrict mobility. Complete streets policy are a big step in restricting mobility and so are toll roads. Not only do toll taxes limit the number of travelers who can use toll roads thereby restricting mobility, but in some cases, like in Texas, gas taxes are used to actually build, subsidize, or provide loan guarantees for toll projects. This misuse of gas tax double taxes motorists and makes all taxpayers foot the bill for roads they may never use or afford to drive. It’s also not truth in taxation. When people take a toll road, they think that toll pays for the road they’re driving on. That’s no longer the case.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Need legal help to get your Chesapeake royalities?

To All,

In  case you missed it The McDonald Law Firm might just be the first to come out seeking clients who feel that Chesapeake Energy has underpaid  them on their gas royalty interests. An Ad on page 5B of Sundays Fort Worth  Section advertise  a Free Analysis and Consultation ( If no recovery there is no fee )

Contact us Today 817-717-5081 http://www.dwmlawfirm.com/
address: 3100 West 7th St. Suite 230 Fort Worth, Texas76107.

After Chesapeake had the extreme nerve to attempt to underpay not only the most prominent  family in Fort Worth, the city of Arlington, and recently even the City of Fort Worth has contemplated or actually also filed a lawsuit.

Years ago even in best of times, on my speaking engagements I warned citizens that by themselves they would never know without much research and knowledge be able to tell if they were ever paid correctly for their royalty. Operators have the ability in many ways to unfairly pay royalties.

I predicted when  first reports came to light with the DFW  airport lawsuit that one day would come when law firms would be  willing to take on these cases for the masses most probably as a class action lawsuit. I believe this is  what is about to occur. My concern is 1) How much after settlement an individual residential property owner might be able to recover ( after legal fees and the attorney / law firm fees are taken from the settlement.) I was actually approached as lead of NCTCA  to do leg  work for one  law firm out of Dallas. I recommended then that they take out ads in newspapers to seek clients as I did not have the personal time to commit to their profit.

However having  said that the PLUS  is taking the likes of Chesapeake publicly to task for cheating citizens  what is rightfully owed to them.

Therefore in that spirit I am sending this information out to all I know  and ask them to make that decision for themselves if they choose to look into this offer.

Gary Hogan

How many earthquakes does it take to wake North Texas up?

20 and counting...

Since November 1....

Area earthquakes
Earthquakes (and aftershocks) that have recently been felt in North Texas:
Dec. 10 — 2.7 magnitude, east of Azle
Dec. 9 — 3.7 magnitude, north-northeast of Mineral Wells
Dec. 8 — 3.6 magnitude, north of Azle
Dec. 3 — 2.7 magnitude, north of Azle
Nov. 29 — 3.1 magnitude, near Reno
Nov. 28 — 3.6 magnitude, north of Mineral Wells
Nov. 28 — 2.8 magnitude, southwest of Jacksboro
Nov. 26 — 3.0 magnitude, Azle
Nov. 25 — 3.3 magnitude, near Azle
Nov. 23 — 2.9 magnitude, southwest of Reno
Nov. 19 — 3.6 magnitude, northwest of Azle
Nov. 19 — 2.5 magnitude, south-southwest of Reno
Nov. 19 — 2.8 magnitude, west of Azle
Nov. 13 — 2.6 magnitude, near Eagle Mountain Lake
Nov. 11 — 2.8 magnitude, near Briar
Nov. 9 — 3.0 magnitude, near Springtown
Nov. 8 — 2.4 magnitude, northwest of Azle
Nov. 7 — 2.9 magnitude, southwest of Springtown
Nov. 6 — 2.7 magnitude, south-southwest of Springtown
Nov. 5 — 2.6 magnitude, east of Reno; aftershock about 10 p.m.
Nov. 1 — 2.1 magnitude, near Richland Hills
Source: United States Geological Survey

Living in Well Hell?

Check with this guy on Facebook.

Tex Wells

Tex Wells updated his status: "I will be out sampling this Thursday-Sunday in Weatherford, Aledo, and Granbury if anyone would like to get their well tested for free. In addition to basic water quality analyses, we also collect samples for measurements of chemical used in unconventional drilling, minerals and metals, and total carbon and nitrogen analysis. Please message me if you are interested."

How many times do we have to tell you?



Don't mess with Texas Women.

Read more here...

"Oh well"

That's literally what he says as crap is sprayed into the air.

Be sure and read the comments about the meeting on the well blowout in Denton.  Sounds like a Fort Worth meeting...

New video surfaces of EagleRidge blowout in Denton, Texas.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Imagine that...


A pipeline safety expert says he wouldn't live near one---

"Just the Reality:" Pipeline Safety Official Admits He’d Avoid Buying A Home Near Pipelines Like Keystone XL

Was there a bid for that?

Tim Love made the news for not having to bid on The Woodshed restaurant.  Now that he has secured the TCU stadium gig AND the Colonial Golf Tournament, one has to ask - were those jobs posted for others to bid on?

And does Fort Worth not have a Restaurant Association?  Or a conscience?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Welcome to Texas


Where Azle schools have earthquake drills...

After the 20th earthquake.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Got Ethics?

The Fort Worth Weekly and Mary Kelleher do a good job at putting the new Water District employee in perspective.

“If what the TRWD is hiring him to do is to help it be more transparent and accountable to the taxpayers, I think that would be great,” she said. “I’m hopeful he will be helpful in convincing the administration that they work for the taxpayers and [that] the taxpayers are entitled to know what is going on.”

Kelleher sees some positive changes. Water district staff have begun posting online videos of board meetings and publicizing some committee meetings. The staff is considering testing the Trinity’s water quality  once a week, rather than once a month, and publishing the results. And more seating has been made available for visitors at board meetings.

However, Kelleher’s hope dimmed when she realized that she’d run across Fischer’s name a few days before. On Nov. 5 she had submitted a public information request seeking what she considered basic information on district records. She received a response from Fischer 10 days later, on his Austin law firm’s letterhead.

The response was similar to many of those that residents have received when soliciting public information: in the eyes of Kelleher and others, the runaround.

“At such time as you are able to provide us with your written reply to this letter, for purposes of clarifying or narrowing your request, we will attempt to respond to your clarified request at that time,” he wrote.

Kelleher had anticipated such a reply when she submitted the request –– she included a note to Oliver that said, in part, that the water district “has expended extraordinary efforts to deny information to the general public” and used “technicalities to wiggle out of your duties and legal requirements.”

Kelleher now wonders whether Fischer is here to provide transparency or just to act as another obstacle.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

WHO? WHAT? WHY?

So we've been hearing about this voluntary(?) traffic stop/ DNA swab deal that took place on the border of Fort Worth and Haltom City. 

Watch the video from NBC5, then ask these questions.

If this was all voluntary and on the up and up, WHY would Haltom City nor Fort Worth know about it? 

WHY would Fort Worth have no record of it? (A later update on that in their article).

WHY would the NHTSA block a major arterial road during lunch hour on a weekday?

WHY are they paying for your DNA and blood?  WHAT are they going to do with that? 

WHY hasn't the agency answered the "news" questions?

We saw Bud jumped on this story too---

star-telegram.com/2013/11/19/5352309/fort-worth-police-stopped-motorists.html

We also talked to the one lady who did not stop. She said she didn't have time for "silly stuff".  We couldn't agree more.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Earthquake!!!

So there were several more earthquakes in North Texas today.

One of our readers left a comment -

Anonymous said...

Felt a strong one in my apt. building, tonite at ~6:40pm, Nov. 19, 2013. Shook whole building several times, after the initial one, which nearly knocked my laptop off my lap. Strongest one I've felt here in the 6yrs I have live here. Live in 76107 zip code, close to town.

Did we miss something?

Since we are nearing a dozen quakes, this month, have "news" outlets said how far these quakes are taking place from the injection well?

Have any of them told you what happens to gas pipelines in earthquakes?

No ethics?

Buy some.

The new water district hire may be the best money spent yet.

Ethics and openness have been the subject of great debate at the water district since the spring, when three political newcomers challenged long-time board members. The campaign was laced with allegations that water district board members and staff were personally benefiting from the district’s assets, and conducting business in secret.

Only one of the challengers, Mary Kelleher, won a seat — but the criticism of the water district hasn’t waned. Kelleher, for example, has abstained from voting on many issues involving major water district projects, saying she is concerned that some work may have been done in violation of open meetings laws and is therefore illegal.

Read more in the FWST

Monday, November 18, 2013

There's something happening here...

Lots of going's on lately in Haltom City.

They just elected (finally!) their first Vietnamese councilman and now a nice, quiet meeting about compensation.

If you live there, be there.  YOU can't afford not to.
Here's to Haltom City moving forward------

NO, it's waaaay past "high time" sumpin' is done A-bout the compensation package for OUR PO-leece Officers and Firefighters!!!!  For the uninformed, said "PO-leece Officer's" startin' pay is more or less in line with most other Cities of OUR size BUT, somewhere A-round the end of the third year, aka when they are well trained at OUR expense, their pay scale falls waaaay behind said "most other Cities"; THIS IS A CRIME (pun intended, but it ain't funny).  Is it any wonder A number of OUR Officers deem it necessary to seek well-deserved compensation in other municipalities every year?  Let me help you out here……..NO, IT IS NOT "ANY WONDER"‼‼  As far as I can tell, OUR Firefighters have much the same problem, but I believe Monday’s meetin’ will mostly deal with OUR PO-leece; I have no way of knowin’ what/who will be discussed as the postin’ of same is so non-descript.   

Anyhoo………what are OUR City head potatoes, and potato heads doin' A-bout said "CRIME"????  Not much as far as I can tell L   Monday night, November 18th, there's to be A waaaay under advertised "Work Session" held in OUR waaaay cramped, non-televised "Pre Council Room"; I guess if one purposefully under advertises such A "Session" A lot of seatin' is unneeded L   I say what's needed is for A few hundred of US to show up at 5:45pm and force the "potatoes" to move the meetin' into the what could/would become OUR waaaay cramped City Council chamber.

If this, what to me is A VERY BIG issue, is unimportant to you, delete this email and stay home Monday watchin' some inane TV show; if you think this even MIGHT be important to you, and/or yours, forward this email to every concerned Citizen you know AND come on out to show OUR support for Haltom City's finest.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thank You


Sinkholes and Earthquakes...

Welcome to Texas.

Springtown continued to have earthquakes this weekend, making lots of folks there extremely nervous.

They can't help wonder, what's coming next after almost a tremor a day for a week.

One resident can tell you...sinkholes.

The most telling sentence from the NBCnews.com article - The family has reached out to the Parker County Commission, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the Texas Department of Agriculture and other government agencies, but has gotten no explanation, Napier said.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Get in line!

Remember just a few short years ago when the cities and thier "leaders" were lining up to support Chesapeake?

Now they are lining up to sue them.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram gives you the bare bones on the latest group to join the fight.

If they are jacking with city, school and billionaires royalties, what do YOU think they are doing to yours?

How do you like them now?
 
Joining a line of other governments and individuals in North Texas, the Arlington school board voted Thursday night to sue Chesapeake Exploration, claiming the company has underpaid royalties for natural gas.

The companies have oil and gas lease agreements that cover more than 1,000 acres owned by the school district involving 40 producing wells, according to the suit.

The school board’s vote to join the suit was unanimous.

In October, the city of Fort Worth also sued the energy companies. Other suits have been filed by financier Ed Bass, Trinity Valley School and several Fort Worth landowners.

WHAT is going on in Haltom City?

First Wendy Davis, now Erik Estrada?

"Ponch" will be at the Birdville Baptist Church Saturday night. The Birdville Baptist Church has also recently made news with their 160th anniversary celebration.

This time they are helping Mr. Estrada promote a new film to help keep kids safe.

Read about it in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

“This is the real deal, the real world, and we need to make our children aware of the dangers of the Internet,” said Erik Estrada whose TV character Ponch isn’t unlike the sheriff he portrays in a film called Finding Faith.

The film is based on the true story of a teenage girl who was lured away and kidnapped by someone she encountered online. Estrada will be at Haltom City’s Birdville Baptist Church Saturday evening to introduce the film. The point of the film is to let children know about the dangers lurking on the world wide web.

“The point of the movie is to teach kids to avoid this situation,” said Tom Howe, the pastor of Birdville Baptist.

Beware of "Outsiders" at YOUR paper

If you move a portion of the paper to Dallas, even though it was founded in and named after, Fort Worth, does that make YOU an outsider?

Sounds like it.  Wonder what's going to show up in the actual print when FW starts making fun of Dallas again?

Maybe this will help with all the terrible typo's as of late.   Maybe they'll move the whole "news"paper there and we'll get real news.  And reporters instead of columnists.

We can dream can't we?

(By the way, will Dallas be hiring for the 275 jobs the FWST cut?)

A quake a day...

Won't keep the drillers away.

Five earthquakes have been reported in Tarrant and Wise counties this week.

Makes you wonder what's next?

Read about the earthquakes here.

Earthquakes were detected near the Mid-Cities, Reno, and Springtown from Nov. 1 - 7, 2013.

Dispatchers in Richland Hills, North Richland Hills, Haltom City and Hurst say they received calls asking about an earthquake on Nov. 1.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

If early voting tells us anything...

It tells us they bought YOU.  Hook, line and sinker. 

Did you go anywhere that you didn't see a politician or Nolan Ryan (!) spouting off about Prop 6?

If it was truly about water, would they really need to go that far?  Spend that much?  Wouldn't EVERYONE vote for a water bill about water?

We hope the politicians who just profited from buying you are good stewards of the funds and the water supply.  They've all done such good work with that in the past...

Hey, it worked for the Tarrant Regional Water District...

Sunday, November 3, 2013

WHO is meddling?

That's what a local columnist is asking.

In case you didn't know, though we don't know anyone here who doesn't, it's OK to ignore food critics.

What's the world coming to?


Apparently the former Speaker of the House can't vote around here.  If it's this difficult for him, what's it like for normal folks?

Read about Jim Wright and the voter ID mess in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Monday, October 28, 2013

"...too important to be influenced by an editorial with such glaring mischaracterizations."

It must be eye opening to be part of the downtown crowd and have the local "news"paper twist the message.  The masses in FW are used to it, that's why they beg for a new "news"paper to come to town.

Apparently the Fort Worth Star-Telegram editorial board wrote another one of their annoying editorials and this time it annoyed someone enough to write back.  That someone is Fort Worth Councilman, Danny Scarth.  We aren't a Scarth fan due to his record, so we couldn't really tell you WHO is yanking WHO on this deal, but we can tell you it was fun to read.  The ST calling out an elected official instead of saying, yes, spend money on whatever "they" want.  And then one of "them" saying, quit writing trash.

If we don't have a real "news"paper, at least they provide some entertainment...

Why did the city hold 20 public meetings to receive public input? If we ask for public input, should we not be prepared to respond in a tangible way? 

We've been asking that for years, Danny...

Broad categories like “Urban Villages” or “Transit Oriented Development” require the public to trust city staff and future councils with millions in unspecified spending on as-yet unnamed projects. My proposal would redirect some of those dollars to specific projects approved by the council and subject to voter approval.

What's the difference?

In a private, for-profit water vendor and a public agency?

Don't answer that, it was rhetorical.

Though the Fort Worth Star-Telegram makes it sound like we all have a choice WHO we buy water from.

Under Texas law, the city has no choice but to buy water from Monarch at almost any price the company convinces state regulators to approve.

Surprisingly some Texas lawmakers tried to help (?) while Rick Perry said, uh, no.

Monarch, a subsidiary of Covina, Calif.-based SouthWest Water Co., had filed the rate notice with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, an Austin-based agency governed by three full-time commissioners appointed by Gov. Rick Perry.

Texas state Sen. Jane Nelson and state Rep. Charlie Geren tried to help Blue Mound in the last legislative session. They passed a bill allowing Blue Mound (and Blue Mound only) to condemn the water company’s system.

Perry vetoed the bill. In a statement, the governor called the taking of private infrastructure a “disincentive to development.”

Good luck, Blue Mound, people in Tarrant County have been making noise about their "public agency", the Tarrant Regional Water District, for years...Austin can't hear you until you give them a number.

A financial management company identified Texas as the most generous state in the country for granting private water vendors’ rate increases.

All Blue Mound can do is keep making noise and hope someone hears in Austin.

Are you scared?

You need to be.  Not only about what's happening at your local city hall's but that this little girl with a big heart won't get what she's after.

Seems this sweet little Keller girl is trying to raise funds for a wheelchair swing for the local school.  Did we mention, she doesn't use a wheelchair?

Her parents and other volunteers are putting on a haunted house to try and raise the funds, so far they haven't covered their expenses.  Help them out!  It's for a great cause and a great kid, apparently.

Kennedi Baker wants to buy a wheelchair-accessible swing and is eager to scare people into helping her at the Chamber of Chillz.

“In the summer, swinging is one of my favorite things,” the 8-year-old said. “Everybody should be able to swing.”

But the swing Kennedi wants to put on the playground at Shady Grove Elementary in Keller isn’t for her. 
Shopping for a replacement for one that broke in her back yard, the able-bodied girl came across a picture of a wheelchair-accessible model and began to cry, said her mom, Sherri Baker.

“She realized what it was for,” Baker said. “Then she said all kids deserve to feel what it’s like to swing.”
With help from the school’s principal and assistant principal, Kennedi got approval from the Keller school district to use the district’s vendors to buy the swing and get it installed. But because it was her idea, the girl didn’t want the district to foot the $16,000 bill.

Read more in the Star-Telegram's Keller haunted house chillz to the bone article.

Lee Wrights Announces Bid For Governor In Grapevine on November 2


(Grapevine, Texas) Lee Wrights For Texas Governor has scheduled an official announcement dinner in Grapevine, Texas on Saturday, November 2, starting at 7:00 PM at Love & War in Texas in the Governor's Suite Room. “We're very excited to kick off our campaign in the Dallas-Fort Worth area where we have a solid base of support and look forward to meeting many freedom loving friends”, said Thomas Hill, Campaign Manager for Wrights. “This dinner and fundraiser is a part of of 'Battle of Concepcion Money Blast', a fundraising effort commemorating the first major battle of the Texas Revolution. That it will be held at Love & War in Texas in the Governor's Suite is very fitting.”

Lee Wrights is a longtime activist, writer and editor living in Burnet Texas. He is the president of the Foundation For A Free Society. Wrights also serves as Vice Chair of the Libertarian National Committee. This isn't Wrights' first foray into 'top of the ticket' campaigns as he finished second to Governor Gary Johnson for the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination in 2012. He cheerfully supported the Johnson/Gray ticket and continued his successful Million Vote March project. Wrights also managed Dr. Mary J. Ruwart’s 2008 presidential campaign, finishing a very close second to Bob Barr after an exciting six-ballot slugfest at the Libertarian national convention in Denver.

The event will kick off at 7:00 PM, with Wrights and other Libertarian candidates meeting attendees and discussing – one on one - their key concerns about the direction of the state. At approximately 7:30, a few candidates will have an opportunity to introduce themselves and briefly discuss their races. After those speeches, Lee will announce his candidacy and present his libertarian solutions for many of Texas' most pressing problems, while contrasting those solutions with the status-quo offered by other candidates. “We're honored that Mr. Wrights chose Tarrant County to announce his candidacy”, says Allen Patterson, Tarrant County Libertarian Party Chair, adding, “He's been a strong voice for peace, prosperity and individual liberty and we're looking forward to a packed house of enthusiastic supporters!”

Admission is free. Those interested in attending may RSVP for the event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/208304299351327/ and donations are welcome here: http://leewrights.nationbuilder.com/ and at the event! Love & War In Texas is located at 2505 E Grapevine Mills Circle, Grapevine TX 76051

Friday, October 25, 2013

Voting on Propositions in Texas


You'll notice Proposition 6 got a No vote from all the Grassroots groups polled.

That should tell you something.  It should tell you a lot.

YOU can't afford it.

THE GRASSROOTS TEXANS NETWORK
2013 CONSTITUTIONAL ELECTION VOTERS' GUIDE

As you may know, there's election going on in Texas RIGHT NOW.  You can vote between now and November 5, 2013.

There are nine constitutional amendments on the ballot, and there are thousands of opinions, pro and con, on each one.  In the interest of helping to sort out and help Texas grassroots activists made heads or tails out of all of this, Grassroots Texans has collected opinions from various Texas conservative / pro-liberty groups and summarized them below.*  The last column represents Grassroots Texans' "gut feel" as to the consensus--if any--among the groups.   Propositions 2 and 6 were unanimous among the groups.  For Propositions 3, 4 and 5, there was too much diversity of opinion to reasonably say there was a "consensus."

As seen above, the conservative groups we looked at were UNANIMOUSLY in opposition to Proposition 6, which would, if passed, pull 2 Billion dollars out of the Texas Rainy Day Fund.

The full recommendations summarized in the table above can be found at the following links:


We hope this is helpful.  As with all important decisions, we urge all Texas patriots to fully inform themselves and make informed, well-reasoned decisions.

* - The LPT made official recommendations with respect to Propositions 2, 6 and 9 only.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tell the Texas Watercrat's - Hell No

Prop 6 is a joke.  Almost as funny as the Tarrant Regional Water District.

Seems TURF and Empower Texans aren't the only ones using TRWD as an example.

Prop 6 isn't about water, it's about money, and you don't have to look any farther than Tarrant County to see it.

Vote no.  Vote Hell no.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Texas Toll roads = Junk

Just because you build it, doesn't mean they'll come.  If you charge people to drive on a road their taxes already paid for, they'll find another way around.

Looks like the boycott worked.

Texas’ first foreign-owned toll road financed through a controversial public private partnership just got downgraded to junk bond status by Moody’s Investors Service. The Spain-based firm, Cintra (65% ownership), and San Antonio-based Zachry (35% ownership), known as SH 130 Concession Company opened the southern leg of State Highway 130 last November.

Concerned citizens with Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom (TURF) immediately launched a boycott of SH 130. Since then, the anemically low traffic levels signaled trouble from the beginning and Moody’s downgraded the concession company’s rating in April warning of the risk of default. The downgrade this week warns of default unless the company can restructure its debt or attract a substantial increase in traffic.

Just Say No.

Early voting is getting underway and if you're still trying to decide, vote NO on Prop 6.  If you need another reason why, just read this article, where they use the Tarrant Regional Water District as an example...(by the way, TRWD, that's not a good thing!)

Look no further than the Tarrant Regional Water District subsidiary’s recent approval of an outdoor ice rink, and there’s enough to make voters skeptical. The funding is not tied to actual water production or adding capacity, which is what Texas desperately needs, not taxpayer-financed ice rinks nor stealing from rural farmers to shift water from one to another, allowing government under the thumb of special interests to pick the winners and losers.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Well, well, well

Seems like all those wells weren't what they were cracked up to be.  And when the industry rolled in town and promised the moon, they were just kidding.  Remember when the industry owned the Forth of July?  And Christmas? And the libraries?  And the politicians?

Yeah, well, that's over and Fort Worth has decided to jump on the Chesapeake suing bandwagon.  Mayor Price says they don't want to but they owe it to taxpayers.

They owe a lot more than that to taxpayers.  If they really wanted to "protect the taxpayers", they would have done their due diligence before selling off their land, air and water to make a dollar.  Oh, wait, now it's 50 cents...

Read the bare bones in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Then pay attention at election time.  It's costing you a fortune not to.

Mayor Betsy Price said the city was prompted to investigate their dealings with Chesapeake after several other entities, including other cities, filed lawsuits against the Oklahoma-based corporation. 

She said the city did not want to press through with a lawsuit, but that the officials have a duty to the taxpayers. 

A federal lawsuit against Chesapeake was filed in March by Tarrant County landowners, including Ed Bass and Trinity Valley School, citing similar problems. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

WHY is it....



That citizens and newscasters have to call out government employees on their spending?

This story reminds us of the Becky Oliver/TRWD spending fiasco newstory a few years ago.

This one if from CBS, Empower Texans and the city of Fort Worth.  Wait till you see what they spend on liquor.

Arlington hasn't learned their lesson


Trying to silence citizens only comes back to bite you.

Read it in the Arlington Voice.  You know, that place giving taxpayers a voice...

The water ain't blue...

The latest Fort Worth Weekly goes on about the bridges over the forks of the Trinity River.

The line that made us LOL is below.  Now if they could figure out a way to light up the whole river, it might actually be the color of clean water...

After dark, LED lights illuminate the underside of the bridge casting a soothing blue glow across the understory and the water surface. It’s an eye-pleaser both day and night.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Even TURF calls out TRWD

Remember, it's YOUR money. Speak up.

Nix Prop 6: Public drain for private gain

Rural water raid to benefit developers, not average Texan
 
(San Antonio, TX - Monday, October 14, 2013) Have you ever had a kid ask for seconds during a meal before he's even finished what's on his plate? Well, that's what the Texas legislature is asking of voters with Proposition 6 on November 5, pointed out TURF Founder Terri Hall at a press conference Monday at Lion's Field in San Antonio along with a coalition of groups opposing Prop 6. 

Lawmakers want Texans to pass this constitutional amendment to approve more funding for water projects. A similar measure narrowly passed in November 2011 for a $6 billion revolving fund to loan money to local government entities for water infrastructure, outside constitutional debt limitations. Now in 2013, the Texas Legislature is asking voters for permission to raid $2 billion from the state's emergency fund, known as the Rainy Day Fund, to assist local agencies of government in funding water projects from the state's water plan.

Governor Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, and Speaker Joe Straus all committed to making additional water and transportation infrastructure a priority in the 83rd legislative session, yet neither was addressed in the base budget. 

Lawmakers chose to kick the tough decisions directly to the voters asking them to use emergency funds to issue more debt, rather than discipline the use of existing taxes to fund priorities out of the regular budget (which voters have no control over). A second amendment pertaining to transportation will follow in 2014. 

"In essence, they want us to do their jobs for them by putting us in a box. Pass the amendments or get nothing, or so it seems at first glance," Hall contended. 

Asking for more with $6 billion on the table
The first $6 billion in credit the voters approved in 2011 has yet to be tapped, and yet here are lawmakers already asking for more. So why the push for more funding before the last round has even been touched? Because the special interests who want to build and finance these water projects want better credit terms than the already favorable, low-interest $6 billion revolving fund can offer them. 

They want to be able to funnel questionable economic development projects through local water boards and get better credit enhancements, deferred loan repayments, and/or deferred interest payments than they could get with the fund established in 2011. 

Hall put it this way: "In other words, special interests want taxpayers and ratepayers to pick-up the tab for 'gap funding' between project implementation and when they can send customers their first bill."

Considering legislators had a record $8 billion surplus in January and went on a spending spree, having spent 26% more this session than the previous session, and despite Texas having the second highest level of local debt in the nation, lawmakers are still asking voters to issue more local debt and to use the state's emergency funds to do it. 

Harvard grad and State Representative Van Taylor (R - Plano) likened it to giving someone a credit card with a $6 billion credit limit only to have them ask for another $2 billion before charging anything. 

Making water unaffordable
Who has to repay all this debt with interest? Ratepayers and taxpayers.

"But lawmakers seem un-phased by the fact funding local water projects with more state-backed debt will push up the price of water to consumers, possibly to unaffordable levels in very short order," Hall predicted. 

"With other utility bills on the rise, healthcare costs soaring, other taxes going up, full-time gainful employment shrinking, and sustained high food and fuel prices despite the domestic shale oil boom (most is being exported not being used to reduce the cost of gas to U.S. consumers), making an essential element of daily living like water unattainable for working families will push many over the edge into poverty and want."  

Turning scarce dollars into slush funds
There's not sufficient assurance that the true priorities will even get built, nor is there sufficient assurance that these projects will have adequate public input to protect rural Texans' water from being heisted and used to feed urban developers pet projects. Since decisions will be made solely by the un-elected, crony-stacked Water Development Board and funneled through local water districts, there's plenty of opportunity for unnecessary projects to be funded ahead of the true priorities. 

Look no further than the Tarrant Regional Water District subsidiary's recent approval of an outdoor ice rink, and there's enough to make voters skeptical. 

Threat to farmers
One of the big concerns of TURF is that the funding is not tied to actual water production or adding capacity, which is what Texas desperately needs, not taxpayer-financed ice rinks nor stealing from rural farmers that shifts water from one to another, rather than provide a net increase of actual water. 

"Taking water from drought-ridden rural Texans jeopardizes their ability to make a living and to continue to provide all Texans with the food we need for daily living," noted Hall.

Essentially, the way it's set-up, Prop 6 would allow government, under the thumb of special interests, to pick the winners and losers. 

"After the Trans Texas Corridor debacle, the last thing rural Texans need is another threat to their livelihoods and way of life," Hall emphasized. 

Sneaky tactics
To add to the thorny debate, lawmakers signaled they knew Prop 6 was in trouble before they left Austin since they pushed another Rainy Day raid for transportation to November of 2014. House Appropriations Chair Jim Pitts was adamant that passage of the two measures should be tied together to guarantee they either both pass or both fail. Apparently, he worried voters would approve transportation and not water. So rather than truly let the voters decide what they wanted to fund and how, he tried to rig it to ensure passage of both. 

House members balked at directly tying passage of the two measures together fearing it would anger voters, so a handful of conference committee leaders moved the transportation measure to 2014 to appear alone in a completely separate election. Yet when citizens ask for elected leadership on transportation boards, these same legislators opine that holding elections is too expensive. Apparently, their objections don't apply to holding a separate election of their choosing.

Current transportation funding levels cannot even cover road maintenance costs, leaving no money for any new capacity or expansion projects that are sorely needed in congested urban corridors. Over the next two years, the only new capacity is being built with more debt. The total cost of the mounting road debt will exceed $31 billion (in principal and interest). The proposed transportation amendment would divert half of the oil and gas severance taxes that capitalize the Rainy Day Fund to roads, estimated to be $1.2 billion annually. 

Naturally, lawmakers realize how this would look on the ballot alongside a $2 billion raid for water projects so soon after asking for a $6 billion water loan program just two years ago. 

Perhaps they're counting on the short memory of most voters or counting on low information voters to buy into the scare tactics and frightening photos of bone dry lakes courtesy of Water Texas, PAC (funded by Speaker Straus' cronies), trying to convince voters that unless they pass this amendment the state will run out of water.  

TURF and the 'Nix Prop 6' coalition recognize we have dire water needs in our state, but Prop 6 is not the answer. How we secure a sustainable water supply and how we fund it must be transparent, must ensure the public has the ability to sufficiently weigh-in to protect local water supplies from being depleted by outside areas, and must actually fund priorities of public necessity, not used as a means to divert public water supplies and public funds to private interests. 

"Returning to a fiscally sound, pay-as-you-go plan is the best course to ensure a prosperous future. Texas voters ought not to be fooled by the gimmicks and scarce tactics and follow common sense and sound financial principles - if it isn't a good idea for your own household budget, it isn't a good idea for government or the taxpayers, either," Hall urged.

"Vote 'no' on Prop 6 and force lawmakers to use the money voters already approved before asking for more. Better yet, require them to fund basic infrastructure needs -- roads and water -- from our existing taxes in the base budget, not with emergency funds and debt."

TURF's column on Prop 6 here.

No ethics?

Skimming this article, we thought it was written about the Tarrant Regional Water District.  Looking closer, it just sounds like them.  This is coming out of Houston.

Wake up, Texas.  After all, YOU are picking up the tab.

“Now we have the Commission spending taxpayer dollars to hide an audiotape, rather than simply operate in the sunlight,” said Joe Nixon, lead counsel for Empower Texans. “The commissioners not only promised to provide recording, as the recording will show, but then ignored our written request for it. Taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to pay for their bad behavior. A lot of time and money could be saved if the Commission would just release the tape. It’s incomprehensible that they are working so hard to hide their record.”

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

FW Weekly and the Dallas Observer

Both wrote articles this week concerning Fort Worth's portion of the Trinity River. 

The Dallas Observer made us laugh, Hey Fort Worth, your bridge sucks.

The Fort Worth Weekly made us sick.  Well, they didn't, it was really the TRVA that did.  The Weekly just tells you about it.  Thank goodness someone does. 

Kudos to the Weekly for keeping people in the loop.  Kudos to San Antonio for keeping their people safe. Maybe we can copy them on that too.  Kudos to people like Mary Kelleher and Libby Willis for holding elected and appointed "officials" accountable. 

Don't forget the TRVA motto - "Clean swimming, Dirty Living"...yes, we laughed too.

Did the Trinity River Vision Authority cancel tubing events this year and last year because of high levels of dangerous bacteria in the river? It depends on your definition of “because.”

However, the water district only tests water quality in the river once a month — a time period during which pollution levels can vary significantly. So when TRVA spokesman Matt Oliver said the district didn’t cancel events this year and in 2012 due to high levels of bacteria, that was accurate — because the agency didn’t know whether the water that day was dangerously polluted or not. Statistics suggest there was a good chance it was.

The city of San Antonio, by contrast, does weekly testing of its river water and publicizes the results so that people know the pollution levels.

We had a big rain the day before and the day of, and the river was moving too swiftly” for public safety, Oliver said. The fast-moving water washed litter and debris into the river, causing the cancellation, he said.

The other cancellation occurred last July 11. A storm’s high winds and hail damaged the pavilion’s sound system, Oliver said.

Fort Worth League of Neighborhood Associations president Libby Willis and other residents first expressed concerns about water quality three years ago when the TRVA proposed to divert floodwaters to a retention pond in the Riverside neighborhood. Willis’s group consulted with Joon Lee, a University of North Texas Health and Science professor who specializes in public water supplies.

However, no testing for E. coli was performed on either of those dates. So it’s possible that E. coli levels were high enough to warrant canceling the events.

“They’re doing it backward it seems,” she said. “It amazes me when I see all those people in the tubes. It’s a nasty river.”

Willis doesn’t blame the TRVA for the E. coli levels, she said. But she does expect the agency to protect residents who are invited to go tubing.

The San Antonio River is considered dirtier than the Trinity — swimming and water-contact recreation is forbidden near the metropolitan area. But boating is allowed — and testing is frequent.

The TRVA doesn’t do as much testing or publicizing of results, but it does provide a 500-word release that tubers must sign, which includes absolving the agency of responsibility for “any and all claims for bodily injury, death, sickness, disease” and other damages.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Texans - Second Highest debt in the nation...

Stop voting for these people already.  YOU CAN'T afford it.  Just look at the numbers below.....

Thanks to Empower Texans for calling out those spending YOUR cash without much oversight.  Vote in some oversight, would ya?

 And be careful what you vote for when voting for "WATER".

Texas currently has the second-highest per person, local debt in the nation. As of 2011, taxpayers were $233 billion in the hole, with 83% held locally by cities, schools and water districts.

The approval process to issue debt will be at the arbitrary discretion of the Water Development Board, which does not have statutory limitations requiring the funds be used only on projects that expand water production.

They can be used for low-interest loans, credit enhancement agreements, the deferral of interest obligations and other methods. Proposition 6 advocates claim the scope of financing is limited to the 562 projects in the state’s water plan; but that’s somewhat misleading.

Thanks to Republican spendoholics like Charlie Geren (HD-99) in north Texas, districts charged with supplying water like the Tarrant Regional Water District, have been authorized to waste millions of your dollars on economic development slush funds. The TRVA, a subsidiary of TRWD, recently approved plans to build an outdoor ice rink! So much for water…

It begs a very important question: Why would we encourage more state and local borrowing when water districts are allowed to spend millions on projects not related to water production?

House members like Giovanni Capriglione (HD-98), also from north Texas, pleaded for basic transparency requirements that would have posted water project expenditures online for public scrutiny and accountability. Again, the GOP moderates joined Democrats in rejecting those and other debt-related transparency proposals.

We’ve previously criticized the lack of transparency in local bond proposals that are deceiving taxpayers as to the true cost of debt. And now we’re being asked to trust that politicians won’t engage in similar shenanigans at the state level?

Friday, October 4, 2013

WHO is Jerry Jenkins?

Well, if the Fort Worth Star-Telegram was a real "news" paper, they would have told you. If they were a real "news" paper, they would have also told you about the Ethics complaint filed against the old board members and the General Manager, (FW Weekly's Candidate for Alien Abduction) Jim Oliver. This ethics complaint was filed during the Tarrant Regional Water District election. With as many articles as the FWST ran on the water board race, you'd think they'd cover that. Oh wait, it was against their precious incumbents. Again, what's in it for them? Advertising money from their neighbors?  WHO's money is that again?

Thank goodness for people out there doing the FWST's job for them.  Durango told you days before the FWST article, WHO Jerry Jenkins is.

He also asked the question about HOW FWST got their info. Sounds like Mr. Jenkins made that call. WHERE did Mr.Jenkins get his info? Fort Worth Star-Telegram articles? Oh the irony.

Can you file Ethics Complaints on "news" papers?

The paper quotes Mr. Jenkins saying something about you can't go around writing checks all "willy-nilly".  Someone please tell the TRVA that.

And on a side note, is the FWST looking to hire an Editor? Someone please tell them that "Bennett" did not run in the election.

"Bennett, Nold and Kelleher ran on a slate known as “BNK.”"

Thursday, October 3, 2013

What's wrong with this picture?

Durango reports on ethics while the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports on Ice.

Durango has been on a roll lately, reporting on everything from a laughable ethics complaint to the memorial for the child who drowned in Haltom City.

While the FWST reports the Trinity River Vision / Trinity Uptown / Central City / Panther Island will now have an ice skating rink.  Is that a flood control measure or our new water supply?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

No child left behind...

Unless you're poor.

Groups are forming all over Tarrant County for and against the FWISD Bond election.

What do YOU think?

So far there are 3 known groups -

  • It's Ok to Say No to the School Bond
  • FWISD Parents for Kids
  • Citizens Supporting Classroom Excellence

The first one seems to be a group of concerned taxpayers and citizens, the second one seems to be a group of concerned parents, the third one seems to be a concerned group of...Fort Worth Chamber Members?

Really??

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The politicians are coming...to Haltom City??

Thursday afternoon Wendy Davis is expected to announce her run for governor in Haltom City.  Many may be asking WHY Haltom City, the small town political hotbed of Tarrant County.  Well, back in the day, Haltom and Richland High schools both graduated at the Wiley G. Thomas Coliseum.  So, she's making her announcement from the same place she graduated high school.

Don't think this will go unnoticed, as we have already received emails on the protest that Republicans are planning to host at the "church across the street".

Yep, they should all fit right in around these parts.

The showdown starts tomorrow at 3:00, though the protesters ask that you be there early.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Water Texas a No Show

The cross partisan event hosted in Bastrop this weekend sounded a lot like the forum TRIP put on a couple of years ago, that the City of Fort Worth and the Trinity River Vision Authority bailed on.

WHY would those who are looking to spend millions of taxpayer dollars not answer questions of the taxpayers?  Anyone else see a pattern here?

Read about it in the Dallas Morning News.

Don't miss the comment from the event organizer!