Sunday, March 31, 2013

Coming Soon, Near YOU

Remember this next time those WHO will profit off the Keystone XL tell you it's safe.

Read more about the spill here

The burst pipe is part of the Pegasus pipeline network, which connects tar sands along the Gulf coast to refineries in Houston. Thousands of gallons of crude oil erupted from the breach around 3:00 p.m. on Friday, spilling through a housing subdivision and into the town’s storm drainage system, fouling drainage ditches and shutting down Highway 365 and Interstate 40.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Pay attention, it's YOUR TURF.

If the following isn't enough to spur you into action, go down to the capitol and help the pregnant lady, would ya? She can't do it alone!

Texas for Sale:
Now Senate seeks to hand TX roads to foreign entities
Your calls and emails are making a difference!

Rep. Larry Phillips' bill, HB 3391, didn't get a hearing last week so it's up for a hearing Tuesday, April 2, in the House Transportation Committee which starts at 8 AM. He's told us he plans to substitute his 'blank check' bill with a more limited one, but it would still hand 19 Texas highways over to private, even foreign, corporations & it still expands to rail!

The same bill is up for a hearing in the Senate Transportation Committee, authored by Sen. Robert Nichols, SB 1730, on Wednesday, April 3 at 8 AM. SB 1488 by Sen. Kirk Watson will be heard the same day and it expands these contracts to RAIL.
More info on these controversial contracts here.
We need YOU to oppose these bills.

We need YOU to do one of the following:
1) Attend the House Transportation Committee hearing Tuesday, April 2 (Rm. E2.012 - starts at 8 AM, but likely won't be heard until the afternoon) to testify against HB 3391 (and FOR HB 1054) AND/OR the Senate Transportation Committee hearing Wednesday, April 3 (Rm. E1.016 at 8 AM) to testify against SB 1730 & SB 1488. These public private partnerships contracts will cost Texas commuters 75 cents a mile to use our public roads.

(Look for Terri Hall to get talking points - long, brunette hair & pregnant belly!);

2) If you can't stay to testify, register against the bills at the Capitol (for the House bill, register AGAINST the bill on the i-Pad looking kiosks outside committee rooms, for the Senate bill, register against the bill in writing on a card on the back table of the committee room);

3) Call the Senate Transportation Committee member (Capitol Switchboard is 512-463-4630) closest to your city and POLITELY tell them to vote 'No on SB 1730 & SB 1488' (more talking points below).

Sen. Robert Nichols (His bill would hand Loop 49 around Tyler to a private/foreign co.) (Tyler to Montgomery Cnty) - 512-463-0103
Sen. Ken Paxton (Collin Cnty to Dallas) - 512-463-0108
Sen. Wendy Davis (Ft. Worth) - 512-463-0110
Sen. Kelly Hancock (Tarrant Cnty to Dallas) - 512-463-0109
Sen. Dan Patrick (Houston) - 512-463-0107
Sen Rodney Ellis (Houston) - 512-463-0113
Sen. Kirk Watson (Austin) - 512-463-0114
Sen. Donna Campbell (San Antonio to S. Travis Cnty) - 512-463-0125
Sen. Carlos Uresti (El Paso to San Antonio) - 512-463-0119

EMAIL the entire Senate Transportation Committee in one click here:

Tell them: "Vote 'No' on SB 1730 & SB 1488. We do not want you to hand Texas roads to private corporations who extract exorbitant toll rates (75 cents/mile) from commuters just to get to work. Texas roads belong to Texans. It's anti-liberty and un-Texan to hand our state sovereignty over public infrastructure to private, even foreign, entities for a HALF CENTURY in sweetheart deals that guarantee profits & congestion on free routes. We don't want this authority to extend to RAIL boondoggles either! Also, vote SB 1029 & SB 1253 OUT OF COMMITTEE to protect Texans from DOUBLE TAXATION by tolling existing free lanes or downgrading free routes with slower speed limits & stop lights."

SPECIAL NOTE: Be sure to include your full name, address, and phone.

Monday, March 25, 2013

WOAH Toll...


A MESSAGE FROM TERRI HALL, Texas United for Reform and Freedom (TURF):

Rep. Larry Phillips' bill, HB 3391, is up for a hearing Tuesday in the House Transportation Committee (Rm. E2.012 @ 8 AM) that would give TxDOT and toll authorities a BLANK CHECK to enter into TRANS TEXAS CORRIDOR-style toll roads that hand control of at least 26 Texas roads every two years until 2017 (and expand it to any or all RAIL projects) to private, even foreign, corporations in sweetheart deals for a HALF CENTURY.

More info on these controversial contracts here.

We need Texans to do one of the following:

1) Attend the House Transportation Committee hearing Tuesday, March 26 (Rm. E2.012 - starts at 8 AM, but likely won't be heard until the afternoon) to testify against this horrible bill that will cost Texas commuters 75 cents a mile to use our public roads; OR

2) If you can't stay to testify, register against the bill at the Capitol (register AGAINST the bill on the i-Pad looking kiosks outside committee rooms); OR

3) Call the House Transportation Committee member (Capitol Switchboard is 512-463-4630) closest to your city and tell them to vote 'No on HB 3391' (more talking points below)

Rep. Larry Phillips (Sherman-Denison/Grayson Cty area) (Phillips says his constituents LOVE toll roads) - 512-463-0297
Rep. George Lavender (East Texas) - 512-463-0692
Rep. Allen Fletcher (Houston) - 512-463-0661
Rep. Debbie Riddle (Houston) - 512-463-0572
Rep. Linda Harper-Brown (Irving/North Texas) - 512-463-0641
Rep. Yvonne Davis (Dallas) - 512-463-0598
Rep. Cindy Burkett (Mesquite/North Texas) - 512-463-0464
Rep. Ruth McClendon (San Antonio) - 512-463-0708
Rep. Joe Pickett (El Paso) - 512-463-0596
Rep. Mando Martinez (Hidalgo County/the Rio Grande Valley) - 512-463-0530
Rep. Robert Guerra (Hidalgo County/the Rio Grande Valley) - 512-463-0578

EMAIL the entire House Transportation Committee in one click here:

Tell them "Vote 'No' on HB 3391. We do not want you to hand Texas roads to private corporations who extract exorbitant toll rates (75 cents/mile) from commuters just to get to work. Texas roads belong to Texans. It's anti-liberty and un-Texan to hand our state sovereignty over public infrastructure to private, even foreign, entities for a HALF CENTURY in sweetheart deals that guarantee profits. We don't want this authority to extend to RAIL boondoggles either!"


There are also bills to give toll authorities their OWN COURTS to be the judge & jury in cases disputing toll fines/fees that would grant them authority to block your car registration. It's the fox guarding the henhouse and eliminates any REAL due process afforded Texans in traditional courts where an unbiased third party hears the case.

HB 3048 - Also to be heard in House Transportation Committee Tuesday, Rm E2.012 @ 8 AM.


HB 1054 - (Lavender) To prohibit the conversion of a FREEway into a tollway. Removes loopholes that have plagued our state since 2003! (Will be heard in House Transportation Committee Tuesday, Rm E2.012 @ 8 AM)
SB 1029 - (Campbell) To prohibit the conversion of a FREEway into a tollway. Removes loopholes that have plagued our state since 2003! (Will be heard in Senate Transportation Committee Wednesday, Rm E1.016 @ 8 AM)
SB 1253 - (Zaffirini) To prohibit TxDOT or toll agencies from downgrading/slowing the free routes adjacent to toll lanes/toll roads. (Read why this bill is necessary here. TxDOT increased the speed limit on SH 130, the first foreign-owned toll road in TX, to 85 MPH and lowered the speed limit on adjacent Hwy 183 from 65 MPH down to 55 MPH). (Will be heard in Senate Transportation Committee Wednesday, Rm E1.016 @ 8 AM)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Congratulations to one of our Watchdogs!

A perfect example of people making a difference in their community!

Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area celebrated the Spring Equinox a day early after being awarded the Green Source DFW Sustainable Leadership Award for Grass Roots Non-profit Organization.

We are humbled by this distinguished honor and invite you to come to Prairie Fest at Tandy Hills on April 27 to see the place that inspired the passion to protect and promote the most valuable 160-acres in Texas.

Don & Debora Young

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

WHO'S suing WHO?

Ed Bass and other "land owners" sue Cheseapeake. 

Now someone is suing the Tarrant Regional Water District. 

Is justice coming to Fort Worth?  To Tarrant County??

Maybe there's something in the water.

Wonder WHO's next? 

WHO broke the story?

Durango.  WHO else?

Monday, March 18, 2013

WHAT was that?

Tarrant County just lit up.

Loud boom and houses shaking from North Richland Hills to Fort Worth.

Lots of things blowing up in Tarrant County lately...

Rumor has it that one was the Weatherford Street bridge. 

WHAT'S next?

Prairie Fest 2013: Prairie to the People

What: Tandy Hills Natural Area celebrates the 8th Prairie Fest. Enjoy free live music and outdoor fun from 11 am until sundown with wildflower hikes and science-based activities for all ages. Relax on the hillside, taking in solar-powered tunes. Good food, flowers and fun! Get to know your local prairie!

Where: Tandy Hills Natural Area, at 3400 View Street in Fort Worth.

Google Map for directions.

When: Saturday, April 27, 11am to sundown

More info at the Tandy Hills website.

YOU are invited


Calling all grassroots conservatives in Texas!  Sound the alarm!  There's trouble brewing in Austin. The "Kings of Texas" are coming for your liberty and your wallets!

Statewide Conference Call with JoAnn Fleming (Director Grassroots America & TEA Party Caucus Advisory Committee Chair) and Terri Hall (TURF Director & Founder - Texas United for Reform & Freedom)

WHEN: Tuesday Night @ 7:00 pm
CALL-IN #: 1-626-677-3000
PASS CODE: 347970

The Problem: Anti-liberty Legislation is ALIVE and WELL in Austin!  Establishment Republicans who do not share our values have plans for you:
  • Plans to mushroom state debt with 100 YEAR BONDS
  • Plans to push debt down to the local level, opening the door for MORE PROPERTY TAX INCREASES. 
  • Plans to hand out more taxpayer dollars to well-connected special interests via CORPORATE WELFARE. 
  • Plans to SABOTAGE THE TERM LIMITS BILLS in the House and Senate. 
  • Plans to build ALL future state highways as CORPORATE TOLL ROADS and sell them off to foreign multinationals (the TransTexas Corridor plan blown up all across the state). 
  • Plans to use eminent domain power for PRIVATE GAIN via transportation policy. 
  • Plans to continue the ACCOUNTING GIMMICKS and SMOKE AND MIRRORS to "balance" the state budget on paper while running up more debt. 
  • Plans to expand Medicaid in the quest for ObamaCare dollars--bankrupting our state in the process. 

The Solution:  YOU ARE THE SOLUTION.  Nobody's coming to save us--but US!

Watch out for liberal and moderate legislators signing up to support Second Amendment and pro-life legislation while stealing your liberty and your children's future!  Don't be fooled!  We must look at THE ENTIRE RECORD -- not just the easy votes.  It's easy to support the 2nd Amendment and be pro-life in Texas...even liberal Republicans can, but they hide a multitude of other sins under those two important issues, hoping you won't look at the rest of their record!  Don't let them get away with it!

Be informed!  Jump on the conference call Tuesday night at 7 PM with JoAnn and Terri.  They are fighting hard for us in Austin!

This is the first of a series of regular calls planned to keep grassroots Texans informed during the session.  Group leaders -- please take this information and get it out to your groups!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

WHY all the cops?

WHY would the Mayor need 5 policemen and cars (one not pictured) to meet with residents in a park?

A couple of weeks ago Mallard Cove residents stood up to city council again.   That was on Tuesday.  On Wednesday the paper wrote an article about it and on Thursday they wrote an editorial.  By Friday some residents in the area were receiving robo calls about the Mayor visiting their neighborhood (for the first time, said many) on Saturday.  Apparently she doesn't travel alone.  Wonder what that costs?

Even with the short notice and bad weather, there was a good turnout.  Some residents took video of the meeting on their Ipad's and cell phones.  Many people asked very pertinent questions, including a boy scout, concerned with compressor stations going in his neighborhood.  There were questions about flooding and the poor conditions of the roads in the area. Mayor Price was asked about an open gate on a well site, she didn't really see the issue with the gate being open. 

If that's the case, why do they fence them in? 

Read the Fort Worth Star-Telegram editorial -

The people who live in Fort Worth's Mallard Cove subdivision, on Randol Mill Road just east of East Loop 820, have good reason to be mad at their City Council and the employees on its legal and zoning staff.

Those neighbors have played by the rules, tightly organized themselves, brought in allies from the nearby River Trails and River Crest subdivisions and successfully fought off a natural gas industry plan to locate a huge 15-unit compressor station adjacent to their homes.

Or at least they successfully fought it 15 months ago. But this phoenix of a project keeps coming back to haunt the neighborhoods, and they find themselves still pouring time and energy into fighting it.
They won again a month ago, when the Zoning Commission turned down another industry request to build the compressors. As industry representatives saw momentum shifting toward the neighbors, they pleaded with the commission to give them more time to come up with alternatives.

On Tuesday night, after the neighbors organized yet another large turnout for a City Council hearing on yet another industry appeal, the council members decided to prolong the agony. They sent the appeal back to the Zoning Commission for more work.

The commission is supposed to hear the case again in April, and it's scheduled to come back to the council May 7.

That has to be a big disappointment for the people in Mallard Cove, River Trails and River Crest. It takes a lot of effort to fight City Hall, and most people don't want to spend years doing it.

Councilman Danny Scarth, whose east/northeast-side District 4 includes these neighborhoods, said the council had received worrisome information during a closed meeting about possible legal ramifications of limiting placement of compressors.

Scarth blamed delays partly on the Texas Open Meetings Act, which limits council action to public meetings with agendas posted at least three days earlier.

That scapegoat won't work. State law does not restrict the city staff in its preparation of proper ordinances to lay before the council.

City Hall owes everyone in Fort Worth a well-crafted zoning ordinance. But it also owes the residents of these neighborhoods an answer that will allow them to get on with their lives.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Well, what do we have here?

Seems normal folks aren’t the only ones getting screwed.

Read in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about Ed Bass and others suing Chesapeake over royalties, or lack thereof.  And Julie Wilson had no comment??  What’s the world coming to?

They may want to brush up on their “good neighbor” campaign.

Fort Worth investor Ed Bass and more than a dozen other landowners in southern Tarrant County have sued units of Chesapeake Energy in federal court in Dallas, accusing the Barnett Shale's second-largest producer of cheating them out of millions of dollars in royalties.

According to the lawsuit, the companies improperly deducted production costs, expressly forbidden by the leases, and used "sham transactions" with two other Chesapeake affiliates to set a below-market price on which royalties were paid, also a breach of lease terms.

It's not the first time Chesapeake has been sued over royalty payments.

In September, it agreed to pay Dallas/Fort Worth Airport more than $5.3 million in additional royalties after nearly three years of litigation over the sales price for gas used by Chesapeake and other issues.

In 2010, Fort Worth resident Robyn Coffey sued Chesapeake, saying its royalty payments were based on a "fictitious price" for natural gas produced in the White Lake Hills area in east Fort Worth.

Under the lease terms, Chesapeake is not allowed to pass along "any part of the costs or expenses" of producing, gathering, transporting or processing gas, the suit states.

The leases require the owners to bear their share of certain expenses up to 75 cents per 1,000 cubic feet (mcf) "under certain conditions," but those conditions never applied, it says.

Chesapeake imposed costs on the owners exceeding 75 cents per mcf, the suit says.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Boom goes Bust

“We’ve done a lot of work looking at tax revenues versus the costs to the community,” he said. “And the real issue is: How does a community cope with what happens after the boom goes bust? You want the drilling for the tax revenue and royalties and jobs it creates. But at some point the impacts generated by the industry — the industrial and social impacts — simply outstrip the benefits of drilling. And for some communities, in the long run, they can wind up worse than they might have been if there had been no drilling at all.”

Read about it in the FW Weekly.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Texas Bullies

Continuing our series of calling bullies out, this time in Texas. 

We told you about freshman Representative Giovonni Capriglione making a splash by introducing legislation that would require politicians to disclose things they should be disclosing. 

Seems the bullies at the state capitol don't like that.  Seems they don't want their voters knowing about their contacts, or contracts.

Now WHY would that be? 

You can read the story in the New York Times, here.  Another local boy making the big time.  Another set of bullies, another lone voice standing up for the citizens.

Those involve question if this has anything to do with Gio's last campaign.  Knowing Tarrant County as we do, we can tell you, Mr.Ramsey, he's doing this for us.  If you have any other questions, come on down to Cowtown.  We'll make your head spin.  As for the "experts...knowing their kind", that explains why they acted so uncivil and childish to someone trying to pass legislation with integrity.

Those of you living in Spring, Texas, may want to ask YOUR Representative, WHY she took such issue with the bill? 

Representative Giovanni Capriglione, Republican of Southlake, in his first appearance before a legislative committee, got a full hazing as the author of an ethics bill that apparently sounds better to the people who don’t have to comply than to the officeholders it would regulate.

His bill would require lawmakers to report any business relationships between their close relatives and any government entity — to show whether and how they and theirs might benefit personally from the officeholders’ official work. 
You would think he had tried to outlaw pecan pie, pistols or pickups.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Mallard Cove

Well, what do you know?

After the council meeting and an editorial in the paper this week, it appears Mayor Price and Councilman Danny Scarth figured out where Mallard Cove is.  Seems they will be holding a walking town hall there tomorrow, Saturday at 9:00 a.m. in the park, that the industry built. 

Some residents got a robo call yesterday about it.  Some residents did not.

Wonder WHY?

Wonder why Danny Scarth, the one called out by the residents earlier this week, would finally come to this neighborhood when it will no longer be part of his district? 

Wonder WHO else will show up?

Same old…

We’re talking about the Fort Worth Star-Telegram editorial on the local elections.

They haven’t told you who to vote for yet, but you know the drill, they say incumbents…

Isn’t that how we got in this mess?

It’s the purest definition of insanity.  Doing the same thing, expecting different results.

We agree with them on a point, “Voters shouldn’t be misled…”  No, they shouldn’t.  So don’t do it again.

Voters shouldn't be misled: The May local elections are serious business.

Representatives at the city and county levels are closest to people who elected them. They're the officials whom residents and neighborhood coalitions have the best chance of influencing. Typically low turnout means local races are where every individual vote can matter most.

The powerful but obscure board of the Tarrant Regional Water District has seven candidates, including three incumbents, running for three seats.

Here’s YOUR chance to say NO more incumbents.

Washington Bullies

So as we were reading on Facebook and blogs tonight, we noticed something. 

People are especially disgusted with the Republican party today.  What surprised us was how surprised they were. 

Now don't go getting all Left and Right on us.  We are a team of both.  And we usually don't get involved in the Washington game, but we find it odd that no one puts two and two together.  Those in Washington, came from YOUR hometown.  YOU sent them there. They've been there a long time.  They've been spending YOUR money this whole time.  THEY are the ones WHO have voted to spend it.  We didn't get in this mess in one term.  So, WHY, R or D, do YOU keep voting them in?

Is there a toll road being put in YOUR town?  Is there a TIF that includes municipal buildings?  YOU did that. 

Yesterday, Rand Paul made history with his filibuster.  More than that, he gave America a voice.  He stood up in spite of the spiteful media and politicians that ridiculed him and demanded an answer, for us, for YOU.

So do us all a favor, actually do yourself one, research YOUR candidates.  Don't blindly follow a career politician over a cliff because they are part of a political party that used to exist.  Those days are over. 

Listen to those speaking out, on both sides.  THEY are trying to tell YOU something.  The more the media vilifies them, the more you might want to listen.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Come on Down

To Austin.

To Citizen Lobby Day 2013

March 12, 2013, from 9am to 4pm at the Texas State Capitol at 1100 Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas.

Meet us on the South Capitol steps.

More info here...

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Call out

We told you that you knew WHO Mary Kelleher was.  Last night she was speaking at City Council trying once again to protect her neighborhood. 

YOU want her protecting YOURS.

Read about it in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, then vote for her in the Tarrant Regional Water District election. 

She calls them as she sees them.  We need more politicians like her.

Council members voted 8-0, with Mayor Betsy Price absent, to send a proposed ordinance change back to the Zoning Commission. They raised questions about whether the ordinance would run afoul of state law, and whether it could have unintended consequences, such as pushing compressor stations into other neighborhoods.

The council stipulated that no applications for compressor stations will be accepted while the Zoning Commission reconsiders the case.

The commission approved the ordinance change and recommended it to the council two weeks ago.

Neighborhood organizer Mary Kelleher accused Councilman Danny Scarth, whose district includes her neighborhood and moved to send the case back, of "reluctance to support our neighborhood" and accused the gas industry of dragging the situation out.

Hey Mister, can you spare $50 million?

That's the estimated amount Fort Worth is short this go around.

Makes you wonder WHAT they spend YOUR money on.

Oh, yes, bicycles and wakeboard parks. 

Read the basics in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  Then remember that next time they start spouting their support for the "leaders" of Fort Worth to enslave you to the debt.

"Our current budget is simply not sustainable," she said, adding that the expenses are much greater than revenue.

While Price didn't give any estimates of how big a deficit the city faces in this year's budget, Chief Financial Officer Horatio Porter put a $50 million price tag on the shortfall.

She also mentioned ongoing developments, from Marine Park Pool on the north side gearing up to open soon to the Trinity Lakes TIF District being poised for millions of dollars of development over the next decade.

Say it isn’t so…

Well, the rumors are true.  Don Young is saddling up to leave Dirty Ol’ Town.

Read about WHY in the FW Weekly.

The citizens of this town just lost another Watchdog.

Happy trails, sir.

Saturday, March 2, 2013


Since the Fort Worth Star-Telegram left out the candidates for the Tarrant Regional Water Board, we thought we'd fill you in.

From the info we've received it looks like there are seven candidates.

The three incumbents (who have voted your money away for years, two of them who voted to extend their own term by a year).

AND...drumroll please -

John Basham.  He's back!
Mary Kelleher.  YOU know WHO she is.
Timothy Nold.  He ran before, he's from the Eagle Mountain area.
Dwayne Herring.  Who looks to be from Amarillo.

Should be a fun and interesting campaign season.  We'll be watching.  Will YOU be voting?

Durango wants to know

He ain't the only one.

Read it all here.  Then ask the "news" WHY they aren't telling.

So, really, why have we here in Fort Worth not read any investigative journalism in the Star-Telegram asking critical questions about the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle?

I know I'd like to know how much is being spent on the liquor supply in J.D. Granger's office.

How much has been spent on junkets?

How much did the bizarre Cowtown Wakepark cost the Trinity River Vision?

How much was spent on the Woodshed Smokehouse?

How much money has been spent on signage?

What is going on with the world's first drive-in theater in decades? Is that drive-in theater part of the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle?

When is the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's re-make of Gateway Park going to take place?

When is the un-needed flood diversion channel scheduled to be completed?

How much money has been spent, so far, on the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle?

If the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle is such a vitally important flood control and economic development project why is the project progressing at such a snail's pace?

How are the victims of the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's eminent domain abuse doing?

And why has the Fort Worth Star-Telegram not devoted any ink to investigating how it was that the unqualified J.D Granger, son of Fort Worth Congresswoman, Kay Granger, was given the job of being in charge of the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle?