Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Election in Big D

Check out item number 23, and VOTE for TXSharon!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Define Insanity

Doing the same thing and expecting different results.

The Tarrant Regional Water District incumbents have sat on the board for a combined total of almost 60 years. 

In that 60 years, WHAT benefit have they provided you?

A good plan for water supply?  Nope. 
A good plan for cleaning up the river? Nope.
A way to reduce costs?  Nope.

Eminent domain? Yes.
A wake board park and restaurant? Yes.
A billion dollar boondoggle? Yes.

It's time.  "Captain Clean" needs YOUR help.

Early voting starts tomorrow.  VOTE BNK!

John Basham, Timothy Nold and Mary Kelleher. 

Give the citizens THEIR board back. 

Read what Durango has to say here

Saturday, April 27, 2013

This is it! Prairie to the people!

Prairie Fest starts Saturday morning at 11 a.m. Come on in to the greenest festival in Texas. More than 40 green Exhibitors, prairie tours, live music,  from 10 bands, tasty food and beverage, kids stuff and much more at the most valuable 160 acres in Fort Worth. FREE and open to the public. Prairie to the People!


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Same old dog, same old tricks

The Tarrant Regional Water District just spent lots of YOUR money to put out their board report.  Now, knowing many citizens in the district, we have a feeling they'd be happy with that info being free online, or at the very least, being printed on regular paper with black ink.

Sadly, YOUR elected official don't feel the same, as they printed a 10 page color brochure, promoting the incumbents.  Have you ever seen the incumbents promoted in a Water Report before?  Do you think it has anything to do with the Tarrant Regional Water District election being days away?

Don't be fooled.  Again.  Stop the madness.

Vote BNK starting Monday.  Save YOUR water, save YOUR money.


Monday, April 22, 2013

YOU only get one.

Don't screw it up.

URGENT: Texans' Property Taxes to Build Toll Roads???


Fellow Grassroots Texans:

Please find below an URGENT message from Terri Hall of T.U.R.F.



This week, the full Texas House will vote on whether or not to use property taxes & sales taxes to build toll roads using Transportation Reinvestment Zones (TRZs). That means they'll build the road with property tax, but will charge you a TOLL to drive on it - another DOUBLE TAX scheme. It also expands the use of TRZs to fund transit, rail (think street car), even parking lots!

We DEFEATED the expansion of TRZs known as Prop 4 on the Constitutional Amendment election in November 2011 (read about it here), so we can certainly do it again! The senate version of this bill already passed the Senate. Every member of the Senate voted FOR it, so stopping this in the House is a MUST!

It's up to YOU to help us STOP it in the House!


Call your State Representative & make sure they vote AGAINST HB 1716 which allows the use of property tax & sales tax to build toll roads!

>>Find out who your STATE representative is here:


>>You can email using this formula:

first_name . last_name@house.state.tx.us

(Be sure to eliminate any spaces in the actual email address. Include your full name, address, & phone in all written correspondence.)

NOTE: If Speaker Joe Straus is your State Rep., email him here:


He does NOT vote on bills, but controls the calendar and which bills come to the floor for a vote.


>>Call the Capitol Switchboard - (512) 463-4630 (between 8 AM - 5 PM)
 (Give them your zip code & they can connect you to your state rep.)

CLICK BELOW for more urgent


Sunday, April 21, 2013

The man was right.

Remember back when then Councilman Clyde Picht said the Trinity River Vision would cost taxpayers at least a billion dollars?

And when he said Fort Worth should invest in tornado sirens?

That's what people should be concerned with, their safety and their property. 

So, what does Clyde say about the Tarrant Regional Water District candidates and the upcoming election?

Read his letter to the editor in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

In a letter to voters, Mayor Betsy Price tried to justify her support of Tarrant Regional Water District board members. She said the district makes sure we "have a clean, safe and adequate water supply." That's patently false.

It does not provide clean, safe or adequate water. Fort Worth and other consumer cities clean the water for public consumption.

Independent studies have shown that Trinity River water contains contaminants that can harm humans and make eating the fish very risky.

The Wall Street Journal identified Fort Worth as one of the 10 biggest cities running out of water
The water district supports gas drilling on its property in the flood plain and close to lakes. Drilling consumes millions of gallons of water for each well. The revenue is used for economic development, not water resources. The district is scamming the public and needs new and trustworthy leadership.

Vote for John Basham, Timothy Nold and Mary Kelleher.

-- Clyde Picht, Fort Worth

Friday, April 19, 2013

Double Talk

The incumbent endorsing Fort Worth Star-Telegram has been endorsing incumbents today.

We know, no surprise.

Thing is, do they read their own opinion pieces?  There's one that says we need a "fresh start" and one that says "Change is inevitable", then they tell you not to change a thing. Over the years, they agree the board is secretive and votes unanimously without discussion and yet they say keep them?  WHY would they say that?

They mention the board members are all in their late sixties and seventies and have served from 10 - 29 years.  If they have served on the board that long, WHO do YOU think they really work for?

Here are some quotes from the OPINION pieces.  Good thing most folks we know think the ST opinion is as worthless as the paper it is printed on.

Do YOURSELF a favor, vote BNK and take YOUR water board back.

But they have been less successful at nurturing younger and more diverse board leadership to continue that work for another 50 years.

Directors also say they want to expand the board's "Lawn Whisperer" conservation campaign.

For voters interested in change -- and with some good reason -- the roster of challengers is thin.

That's true. Directors say they comply with state law, but they could choose to give more public notice and deliberate more openly. They have not.

Nold also is critical of no-bid contracts issued by the Trinity River Vision Authority, a separate agency that oversees the Trinity Uptown floodway project near downtown. Henderson and the water district general manager, Jim Oliver, also sit on the authority's board.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

WHO is looking out for YOU?

The New York Times is looking at Texas again.  Of course for Oil & Gas.  We can't wait till the start looking at the water.

Get a rope!

Friendliness toward the drilling industry is typical for Texas, where many lawmakers receive campaign contributions from oil and gas groups or have investments in drilling companies. The three elected members of the Railroad Commission of Texas, which oversees the oil and gas industry, have received significant contributions from the very industry they regulate. 

Fort Worth, Dallas on Line 1


The Dallas Morning News writes about the Tarrant Regional Water District. 

Read what the Water District spokesperson had to say.  YOU can't afford not to.

Kudos to Dallas for having a real "news" paper.  Y'all come back real soon!!

And for the rest of you, there's an election coming up.  Pay attention!

Bennett’s lawsuit alleges that the real debate and discussion of water district business — decisions on the pipeline route and awarding of multi-million-dollar design, engineering and construction contracts — takes place not in the public meetings of the board of directors but in secret committee meetings.

Notices about the time, place and agenda of those committee meetings are neither posted publicly ahead of time nor do they appear on the water district’s web site, according to Chad Lorance, a spokesman for the water district.

A little background is in order here for readers unfamiliar with local governments in Texas.

The Texas Attorney General has ruled repeatedly that a governmental body such as a tax-supported water district cannot create committees to deal with a public issue and then allow the committees to meet in secret and make decisions in secret.

I asked Lorance for a legal rationale for why the water district’s committees should not be subject to the state open meetings law. He did not answer directly.

Instead, he cited another statute found in the Texas Water Code. It says, “A meeting of a committee of the board, or a committee composed of representatives of more than one board, where less than a quorum of any one board is present, is not subject to the provisions of the open meetings law.”

One could infer from Lorance’s citation that the water board committees purposely structure their meetings to include less than a quorum to avoid violating the open meetings law. But he did not say that.

“All 339 actions were unanimously adopted by the board,” the lawsuit concluded.

Good Idea

Dear Lone Star and Mayor Tillman,

Thank you for alerting us to this pending legislation.  This is exactly why citizen activists such as yourself are so important.

I attempted to review this bill myself from the State House of Representative web page without much success.  I queried my friend with much State level experience and received the response below*.

I notice that the "Public Hearing" was on 4-10-13.  I wonder if we might get a transcript of those comments given?

I am surprised at the audacity of State Lawmakers to even consider a Bill to take away local authority. It seems that the Republican membership of the Texas House have forgotten the basic tenet of the party is to have less government at the top and for local entities to remain in control.

I would like to see the local activists not only contacting their State Representatives as you have rightly urged, but also to contact City Council members throughout the State. City Councils are the front line in our defense of property.  They are also within the reach of the average citizen.

As they say, "all politics are local". City Councils regularly have discussions and vote for Resolutions in favor or opposing different ideas. This issue would be a perfect example of an issue of some substance and meaning for the Councils' constituents.

Please keep me informed of specific web pages or language so that I might be able to assist my City Council, City Manager and City Attorney in learning about this important Bill.

Thank you again for all your efforts.

 *  Reply from my initial inquiry :

This House Bill was heard in committee last Wednesday the 10, and left pending in the committee.  It is unlikely at this time in the legislative process that there is enough time for it to get out of committee and to the floor for action.  Then, it would need to be picked up by the Senate which probably not occur as there is only some 40 days left in this session.

Last Action: 04/10/2013 H Left pending in committee
Caption Version: Introduced
Caption Text: Relating to the effect of rules and standards adopted by the Railroad Commission of Texas relating to the gas pipeline industry on ordinances, orders or rules adopted by political subdivisions.
Author: Dale | King, Phil
Subjects: Oil & Gas (I0545)
Political Subdivisions (I0588)
House Committee: Energy Resources  
Status: In committee  
Actions: (descending date order)
Description Comment Date Time Journal Page
H Left pending in committee   04/10/2013    
H Testimony taken/registration(s) recorded in committee   04/10/2013    
H Committee substitute considered in committee   04/10/2013    
H Considered in public hearing   04/10/2013    
H Scheduled for public hearing on . . .   04/10/2013    
H Referred to Energy Resources   03/18/2013   780
H Read first time   03/18/2013   780
H Filed   03/07/2013    

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Down in flames

That's how one water board incumbent seemed to go last night at group meeting last night.

There was some confusion on his part to whether or not the Tarrant Regional Water District owned a hunting lease or not.  Apparently that depends on if you call it a deer lease or call it something else.

If you were confused by it, you can read an old article from the FW Weekly on it.  They were reporting on the Water District back in the day (2006).  Too bad no one was listening.  You hear them now?  Did you hear Julie Wilson, (yes, that one) say, “We’re not going to condemn any land for economic development,”  We know several people downtown WHO know that ain't true.

Seems lots of folks at the meeting were upset with Jack Stevens as some of them helped him get elected, now they can't get him to do what he promised, which was look after them and their property. 

The three candidates, John Basham, Timothy Nold and Mark Kelleher fared much better.  Do yourself a favor and vote BNK for the water board.  Otherwise, it's business as usual. And from the looks of it, the locals have had about enough of that.  Hunting season's over.

The water board, as most people call it, has been a low-profile agency for most of the 80 years it’s been around, taking care of four dams and the lakes behind them, selling water to local cities and towns, looking out for flood concerns, and choosing its leaders in elections that often generate anemic turnout. But from time to time, especially when one of the agency’s construction projects requires the taking of private property from those who don’t want to sell, people start getting more curious — and critical — about how the district operates.

“It’s there for the recreational use of our employees,’’ says Board President Victor Henderson. “I think it’s a good thing.”

When an existing board member grew weary of service, he (and until recently all were men) would typically quit before the term was over, allowing the remaining directors to appoint a replacement who could then run for election as an incumbent. Water board elections were often held on days when public interest and turnout was light. In the late 1970s, for example, one election drew fewer than 300 voters.

But district officials say those days are long gone. In recent years, at least three board members have been elected without first having been appointed. And at least one incumbent has been defeated in a recent election. That was in 2004, when businesswoman Gina Puente-Brancato, the only woman and Hispanic to serve on the board, was defeated by retired engineer Jack Stevens.

What’s more, even if they did know when elections were being held, only a fraction of the residents served — or affected — by the agency are eligible to vote for the people who oversee it.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Did he say swimming pool?

This weekend the candidates from District 2 debated over breakfast.

You can read about it here.

One of the interesting items we noticed was Espino discussing the new pool being built on the North side. Did we miss something?  Didn't we close all the pools because Fort Worth couldn't afford them?

WHERE did the money come from for a new one?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Texas House Bill 2828 Removes Local Authority

Message from Calvin Tillman.........

I wanted to make everyone aware of Texas House Bill 2828, which would essentially remove a municipality's ability to regulate ANY aspect of the natural gas pipeline industry.  This would include above ground appurtenances such as compressors and treating equipment.  This bill is being labeled as preventing each town from implementing different safety standard on pipelines; however, if you read the bill listed below it clearly states that it will preempt "any ordinance", "relating to any aspect or phase of the gas pipeline industry".  Furthermore, municipalities have been preempted from implementing safety standards on pipeline companies for decades.

A bank of compressor stations the size of the ones located in DISH, could and would be located wherever the natural gas industry wanted it to be, and there would be nothing that your local government could do to prevent it or even mitigate it.  This would also prevent municipalities from enforcing noise or odor ordinances.  Therefore, it is critical that we take action immediately.  This bill will be voted on in the Energy Resource Committee by Wednesday April 17, 2013; this has to be stopped.  Below are the members of this committee, please make as many phone calls as possible, and share this with as many lists as you can.  If you live in the Barnett Shale or any other shale play, your life will be permanently altered if you do not take action on this bill.

Below is the original bill and attached is a committee sub that is a little bit better, but is just as bad.  Please call each representative listed below, whether you live in their district or not and tell them you oppose House Bill 2828, if they try to explain that this bill only applies to safety standards, simple ask them what do they define as "all municipal ordinances".  I do not reach out very often like this, so I hope you realize the urgency of this situation.  Please call the numbers below, and pass this message on to as many people as possible.

Committee Chair, Jim Keffer
(512) 463-0656

Myra Crownover
(512) 463-0582

Lon Burnam
(512) 463-0740

Terry Canales
(512) 463-0426

Tony Dale (Author) Of course his district is not in a area where there is drilling.
(512) 463-0696

Phil King (Co-Sponsor)
(512) 463-0738

J.M. Lozano
(512) 463-0463

Chris Paddie
(512) 463-0556

Ralph Sheffield
(512) 463-0630

Gene Wu
(512) 463-0492

Welcome to Texas

In a state that claims to be fiscally conservative, its actions continue to show its anything but.

Toll agency seeks sweeping new powers, lawmakers detect misrepresentation.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Cowtown Connections

So Mayor Price wants to hold a fundraiser for the Tarrant Regional Water District incumbents.  Yes, the same Mayor Price who when asked WHY she was giving up her high paying job to run for low paying Mayor, responded, "because Kay Granger asked me to". 

Yes, the same Congresswoman Granger whose son is over the Trinity River Vision Authority, that is the economic development branch of the Tarrant Regional Water District.  The district responsible for flood control and water supply.

This fundraiser will be held at a local restaurant that is owned by Representative Geren (a former Tarrant Regional Water District board member).  Yes, the same Representative Geren that said he passed HB 2639, "because Kay Granger asked me to".  (Which Granger's office denied within the same article). 

Representative Geren recently submitted another bill (HB 3900) that would move all of the Tarrant Regional Water District elections to odd numbered years.  Since the TRWD voted last year to extend three members terms by a year, guess it's only fair the other two get another year. (Did we mention the 3 incumbents have approximately 60 years combined, serving on the water board?)

The fundraiser is for the Clean Water Committee PAC.  The same PAC that spread questionable information during the last water board election.  Seems their address has changed.  Wonder if it had anything to do with disgusted voters crashing the law office they came from?

Since there was some confusion on one of our recent posts,one in which we never said anyone "owned" anything or anyone, let's be clear here - we're just pointing out the connections.  There's a lot of those around 7th street.  Stay tuned for more. 

Do YOURSELF a favor.  Vote for BNK instead of the establishment on election day.  WHO do you think THEY are looking out for?

John Basham, Timothy Nold and Mary Kelleher are running for the Tarrant Regional Water District.  THEY are running for YOU, not downtown, Austin or Washington. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

More Toxic Trinity

From the Fort Worth Weekly

Morris’ job involved crawling around in dangerous chemicals, often dumping the hazardous material into underground pits and sometimes down the storm drains when the pits were full and his supervisors wanted to cut corners.

The company’s old employee roster reads like an oncologist’s former patient list. An alarming number of Technicoat staffers have passed away from cancer, heart disease, or illnesses that are linked to chemical exposure. The two Morris brothers, who now live in Arkansas, fear they may suffer the same fate as their father. Robert worked at Technicoat for five years, and Gary for six. (A third brother, Joe, worked there for a shorter time and has had much less severe medical problems.)

A recent toxicology examination revealed that Robert, now 54, has dangerously high amounts of barium in his blood. That’s one of the carcinogenic chemicals that Technicoat used in its coating for missile launchers.

Monday, April 8, 2013

WHO are they?


YOU can't afford not to.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Location, location, location...

Is it any wonder that the Fort Worth Star-Telegram would have large color ads for the Tarrant Regional Water District, right here at election season?

This is the first time we've seen the board members listed by name.

What about YOU?  

Is that free advertising?

Wait, WHO paid for that?  Oh yes, YOU.

The recent editorial by the supposed "paper of record" concerning the Water Board election said, "Voters shouldn't be misled: The May local elections are serious business."

We couldn't agree more.

WHOSE offices are those under the Star-Telegram neon's?  None other than the Trinity River Vision Authority, also known as the economic development branch of the Tarrant Regional Water District.

WHO pays for that? That's right, you, dear reader.

Wanna stop paying? Pay attention. There is an election coming. YOU can't afford to miss it. 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Help is not on the way...

Help is stuck in traffic on 820.

We continually read on the DFW Scanner that "emergency crews are having difficulty accessing the scene" when something happens on 820 or 183 in the "construction zone". 

Today we witnessed it firsthand.  In the picture above you see the Fire Department, the Police Department and the EMT's sitting in a traffic jam, nowhere near the accident.  With no way to get through.

How would you feel if it were YOUR family they were trying to reach?  Is another two years without an emergency option an option? 

WHO's in charge here anyway?

Friday, April 5, 2013

Wedgewood Square and Overton South

Tonight two hundred people packed into a church and listened to Fort Worth City officials drone on about zoning.   WHY?

Because they wanted a say in what takes place in their neighborhood.  They, like several other neighborhood groups (Oakhurst, Mallard Cove - anyone see a pattern here?), had to find out about these proposed changes, then fight to get enough time to get meetings scheduled.

We wondered why Chesapeake was there, apparently they own land there too.  We're sure they came just to be "good neighbors".

The whole system seems to be backwards.  You ask those it will affect the most, after you do your studies?  Shouldn't you start there?  The meeting seemed like many others we've attended in the county over the past several years.  Talk and show slides until the crowd gets restless, beg everyone not to attack each other, stall...but at some point the residents will take the floor.  Be it in a church or city hall, they came for a reason. 

Some left the meeting mad, "After listening to you tell us what YOU want for an hour, now we can't ask questions?"  Some were outright angry and some were very well spoken. 

Most answers involved the response, "You would need to talk to Councilman Jordan about that".  That was followed up with, "WHERE is he?"  He is in Austin.  At a conference.  While his constituents feel run over and ignored.  More of the Fort Worth Way?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

What's in the water in Tarrant county?

Durango knows.

He's got the latest on the Betsy Price and Robert Cluck blog to Congress about a Tarrant County "water war" and the latest on the Tarrant Regional Water District candidates. 

Now might be a good time to start paying attention.  YOU can't afford not to.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Not if she can help it...

We've told you about Eleanor Fairchild.  She is the one who was arrested with Daryl Hannah, ON HER OWN PROPERTY.

Read the latest in the FW Weekly.  Don't think it can't happen to YOU or your great grandmother.  This is Texas, sadly, it happens every day.  Though this time it's a Canadian company taking her land.

“I called the soil conservation people at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but they said they had no jurisdiction. I called TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality), and they said they couldn’t do anything about erosion. I called the Railroad Commission, and they said they only gave out pipeline permits but have no jurisdiction over them. I called everybody — the Department of Transportation pipeline safety people, the Army Corps of Engineers — who gave the permit to TransCanada to cross my creek and got no response. Even the EPA said they couldn’t do anything until there is a spill.”

“I’ve learned that our government is not there to help us — not when you’re fighting the big guys,” she said. “I think I’ll be an activist for the rest of my life so that others don’t have to go through the same thing.”