Friday, May 31, 2013

Hail Mary!

Don Woodard has done it again. You don't want to miss it. It's too much fun.

And truthful. Guess we don't have to mention that it's in the Fort Worth Business Press.

An excerpt:

"The silence of the water board, city council, commissioners court and our congresswoman, aided and abetted by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, has been deafening.

The Star-Telegram has been the star abettor in the property-snatching, squatter-like scheme. I knew Amon Carter, Sr. and Jr. They would have side-tracked this runaway earmark 10 years ago. They published the truism far and wide that the confluence is where Fort Worth and the West began. Go down to the confluence and read the monument for yourself."

Click on "One giant leap" image above to enlarge to readable size.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Still no "news"

People keep showing up here wanting to know what's going on with the Tarrant Regional Water District recount.  We even received an email inquiring since there was "nothing in today's paper".  Our first thought was, when is there?  And our second was, WHY is a recount of this scale and magnitude not being reported on?  Oh yes, we live in Tarrant County, that's why.  Where there is no paper of record (aside from the FW Weekly).  Where the "news" source and its columnist spend their time kissing butt to whoever is already in office.  Ever wondered, WHAT'S in it for them?

We do know, after seeing the recount rules, that they too need an overhaul.  Anything that puts a water board member, that wrote NEGATIVE letters containing false information about candidates, as the head of the recount, needs to be reformed.  Immediately. 

And WHY would incumbents be watching the recount?  One that had many votes, and one that scraped by with 90.  Ever wondered, WHAT'S in it for them?

Stay tuned, maybe soon, we'll all know why.  And maybe a national news organization will tell us, since the locals won't.

Anyone 'round here want to buy a paper?

Shots fired

Last year it was a rescued shelter dog, wagging its tail.  This time, it was a grandfather protecting his property. 

The wife of the man killed by Fort Worth police is "disgusted" and wants answers.  Wouldn't YOU?

See it on

Monday, May 27, 2013

We remember

Cobblestone Road Image by Mary Ellen Ecklund
Thank you to our brave men and women and thank you to one of our loyal readers for sharing this poem with us.

We salute you all.......

Cobblestone Road
by Ray Ecklund

The old men saluted, young girls smiled and they waved
As we marched out of town on that sunny Spring day
We held our chins up, just seventeen years old
As we took our first steps on that cobblestone road

We left to serve our nation, to fight our country’s wars
We went to fill our duty on those foreign shores
We left all that we knew, our family and our homes
That day we took our first steps on that cobblestone road

We met those young boys with the same fear in their eyes
We knew that some would live that day and some of us would die
We knew that somewhere a boy’s momma would cry
Along the cobblestone road

We buried our brothers in the fields right where they lay
We gathered together and bowed our heads to pray
We said a blessing for their eternal soul
Then we marched on down that cobblestone road

We marched over mountains and valleys far below
We marched through the summer heat and the winter snows
We continued ever onward, even though
We could see no end to that cobblestone road

We collected our medals and stripes upon our sleeve
Fighting for our country and the things that we believe
We brothers have traveled to every corner of this globe
Since we took those first steps on that cobblestone road

We have seen many a trouble and killed many a men
They say that you can never go home again
We carry that burden so our loved ones will never know
The pain of the march on that cobblestone road

We  long for our home valley and the chapel on the hill
We wonder if there is a candle burning there still
For those young men from so long ago
Who marched out of town on that cobblestone road

Remember them

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Hubris Capitol of Texas - Tarrant County

Don't believe it?

You must not be reading Durango.

You should.  You can't afford not to.

One, two, a billion

Counting in Fort Worth is always an issue.

The Tarrant County Elections office will soon be recounting the votes for the Tarrant Regional Water District.

Good luck, John Basham!

The Watchdog Slaps the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in the Face

And gets a job at a real paper

Coming soon, to the Dallas Morning News. 

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Too little too late

The editorial in the Bipolar paper today gives us enough material for the rest of the week.

The TRWD isn't the only group in need of a "slap in the face" as the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says.  They, themselves are in need of one.  The "news" paper spent all their time talking about the challengers donations while never once mentioning where the incumbents were getting their money (no-bid TRV contractors - YOUR money).

Their food critic spent all his time trashing the challengers on Facebook.  Some of the attacks against the challengers were down right false.  Any reporter worth their weight could have asked the tax assessor about the challenger Marty Leonard called a "tax deadbeat", they would have received the letter we did during the campaign that shows no taxes owed.

By the way, the incumbents long time political consultant should learn some new tricks. He said the same thing about a candidate in the last water board race, it was false too.

WHY did the paper label the challengers as Tea Party candidates, when they were supported by the Tea Party, and the Republican Party and the Democratic Party, and the Libertarian Party and many folks that are tired of downtown partying on their dime.

What was the vote difference between the incumbents and BNK?

4.  Four votes.  Remember that.

The "news" paper also failed to ask WHY the incumbents weren't attending forums or answering to the taxpayers WHO elected them.  Remember that too.  Ask them WHY they didn't report on the TEC complaint against the Water Board members.  And WHY they didn't investigate allegations that they have been aware of for years?

Now the paper is singing a different tune.  Nobody is buying it.  Or the paper.  Just look at their plummeting stock.

Be sure and read the FW Weekly tomorrow for their exclusive interview with Mary Kelleher.

If you want a laugh, you can read the FWST, it's all they are good for anyway.

If the campaign and vote totals in Saturday’s election for three seats on the Tarrant Regional Water District board of directors struck a bit of fear in the hearts of current board members, that would be a good thing.

But barely alive campaigning has been quite the norm in many water board elections, and that’s the problem. Maybe if board members see themselves more as vulnerable to defeat they’ll put a little more effort into sharing what they do with the people who elect them.

But openness is not the board’s strong suit. It may not quite fit the “secret meetings” label advanced by the challengers, but the TRWD is not a constituent-friendly organization. It has a spiffy website, but try going there to find out when the next board or committee meeting is or what’s on the agenda.

Monday, May 13, 2013

What does a hero look like?

Her.  Mary Kelleher. The new Tarrant Regional Water District Board member.

The record setting vote getter in the history of TRWD elections.

The taxpaying citizen that finally got fed up with the lack of response, transparency and ethics and did something about it.

Thank you to all who voted for Mary, and for BNK.

Watch for more good things to come from all of them.  People like them will change the face of Tarrant County.

Go Mary!

Friday, May 10, 2013

So an attorney walks into a 9-12 meeting...

On April Fool's Day, no less.

Does that make him a Tea Partier?

Maybe someone should focus on their own campaign and quit playing in the water.

And THAT is how you report the News

As usual, the FW Weekly lays it out for you.

Wonder WHO will get the story when the board is tossed out on their butt?  We don't.

Among other things, he said the water board has become a “vehicle used by arrogant, overreaching politicians and bureaucrats to roll over taxpayers and property owners with the ill-advised, outrageously expensive boondoggle known as the Trinity River Vision.”

Newspaper publishers don’t generally control editorial content, but it seems unlikely that the pro-incumbent, pro-Trinity River Vision, serial butt kissing Star-Telegram would have embarrassed itself quite as much with its recent water board election coverage had Connor still been there.

If it walks like a duck...

We found some interesting comments on the Dallas Observer article about the TRWD race.

Vote BNK tomorrow.

There needs to be a house-cleaning at that board. The Star-Telegram is totally in bed with the incumbents. The fact they both freaked out then clammed up when Breitbart posted two stories about it makes both look guilty as sin.

WHAT did he say?

As if you needed another reason to vote for BNK on Saturday.

Jim Oliver, TRWD General Manager gives you one.

Well look WHO's back

Richard Connor jumps in the Water Board race.

 Good thing, cause his paper didn't do the best job on reporting.  No mention that the incumbents have received all their donations from their contractors.

The ones they will turn around and give it back to.  Isn't that YOUR money?

And did you notice in the Star-Telegram they said if the challengers killed the contracts it would be devastating.  A real reporter would have asked, To WHO??

Vote BNK tomorrow.

Since when, you’re wondering, is a water board election important to anyone?

Fair question. The answer: since the water board became the vehicle used by arrogant, overreaching politicians and bureaucrats to roll over taxpayers and property owners with the ill-advised, outrageously expensive boondoggle known as the Trinity River Vision.

Unfortunately, in election after election, voters have been content to rubber-stamp incumbent board members or their designated successors in much the same fashion that the board has rubber-stamped the machinations of the Trinity River Vision Authority, the agency charged with implementing the project. It’s time for that to change.

The water board needs at least one new voice, one fresh perspective, one conscientious member who will represent and advocate for the taxpaying public rather than the political and financial interests of the powerful few who have perpetrated the ever-expanding outrage that is the Trinity River Vision.

Seven candidates are seeking three board seats May 11, including three incumbents and four challengers. The top three vote-getters are elected.

Among the challengers, 42-year-old meteorologist John Basham has the best chance of displacing one of the entrenched board members – and the best chance of effecting changes in the way the board operates if he’s elected.

We urge voters to support John Basham.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

WHO to vote for in the water board race?

The usually quiet Tarrant Regional Water District race is causing quite a stir.  It's usually quiet because regular citizens don't usually have the option to stand up to the "7th Street Gang".  They prefer it that way.

But this race is different.  Three challengers are creating a lot of excitement.  You may have read about it in the "news" paper, seeing as how they had several articles in just ONE day this week.  And of course, the daily mandatory Trinity River Vision promotion article (did you know the drive-in opens on Friday.  The parking lot YOU paid for.  Convenient, isn't it?).  WHO knew a water board election was so important?  WHY has one never received that much coverage in Fort Worth Star-Telegram history? Until they voted to postpone their last election, there has been one every two years, right?  They ST always told you to vote for the incumbents.  Have you ever asked WHY? 

We noticed it was quieter today.  We can't help but wonder if that had to do with an outside news organization writing an expose on the TRWD, asking WHY the ST hasn't.  Valid question.

There have been many accusations about the challengers by the incumbents spokespeople.  Notice, they, themselves aren't talking much.  They couldn't be bothered to show up at forums.  They couldn't even be bothered to return a phone call.   Don't they work for YOU?  These don't.

Notice they are having the challengers attacked personally.  Notice the challengers are attacking their record.  What they have done or not done while they've been on the board the last 60 years (combined)?  Need proof?  Go here.

Someone is standing up for YOU. Don't miss the opportunity. Be a part of it.

VOTE Basham, Nold and Kelleher on Saturday. 

YOUR kids will thank you.


That's what the latest piece of propaganda from the Trinity River Vision says.

Odd isn't it that they had a mailer out now, just days before the election?  Odd isn't it that it looks just like the TRWD mailer?

We couldn't agree more, GET UP Saturday and go vote, tell the water board, which is spending so many taxpayer dollars on this joke, to GET OUT.

VOTE BNK Saturday.

If you want more on this ridiculous mailer, check out Durango.  He blows the ST out of the water on news.

On a side note, we didn't see mention made of JD Granger being called out at city council this week for the danger that the Trinity Trails that they are so proud of are causing.

WHY is that?

Does this have anything to do with a national news source reporting on the Tarrant County Corruption?

Adrian Murray has done it again.

Read below, then vote BNK Saturday.


Today, for the first day in a row, Fort Worth’s newspaper of record, the Star Telegram, did not publish a news article, an editorial or a letter to the editor defending the status quo at the Tarrant Regional Water District. Could we be seeing a trend?

Don’t bank on it. If the Star Telegram were truly interested in keeping its dwindling readership informed (which it demonstrably is... not), it might consider spending a little less time attacking the challengers in the TRWD election while providing sycophantic cover for the quislings currently occupying the board, and maybe spend a little more time answering pertinent questions such as, “Why is the Trinity River Vision still in operation?”

The Trinity River Vision is, of course, a political subdivision of the TRWD, which itself is a political subdivision accountable to, well, no one actually. Ostensibly, the TRWD is accountable to the people via the elected board, but the board, with a combined tenure of sixty years of non-accountable rubber-stamping of every single directive of the water district’s staff, may as well not even exist. Its sole purpose is to perform kabuki-like public meetings in which a dissenting voice is never raised and every whim of the staff is unanimously moved, seconded and passed. It’s a farce.

The Star Telegram, of course, knows this. It would be impossible to send a reporter to observe these ritualistic board meetings every three months for the last ten years and not detect a pattern. It could be argued, in fact, that it would take a conscious and deliberate effort not to report on it. Yet the newspaper, in classic Kim Jung Un style, tells its readers only that which it wants them to know, lest the peasants rise up in revolt. Relentlessly harping on the skills and experience of the board members as if saying “Yes” requires any particular cognitive abilities would be comical if it were not so shameful.

Which brings us back to the Trinity River Vision, the grandiose plan to revitalize the city’s decrepit north side. Originally budgeted at $320 million back in 2003, the project has exploded over the years and now carries a price tag just shy of $1.0 billion. The Fort Worth city council, which routinely votes to close libraries, swimming pools and golf courses due to lack of adequate resources, has approved $26 million in taxpayer money to fund the project. The county commissioners’ court, which has never seen an expenditure of public money it didn’t embrace, kicked in another $11 million. Since the redevelopment would be touted as a flood control project, the TRWD ponied up $64 million. This left the TRV $800 million short, so the gap was plugged by magically inventing $320 million in tax revenue to be generated by the new economic activity in the development and $488 million in federal dollars, of which Congress only authorized $220. The make-believe $488 million still remains in the TRV budget.

J.D. Granger was plucked from obscurity as an assistant district attorney and installed as Executive Director of the TRV, even though he had exactly zero experience managing such a huge project. Nevertheless he did have a mother, Congresswoman Kay Granger, who was able to keep thing rolling by earmarking a total of $53 million over the years, most of which was used to acquire property. Then, in 2010, the well went dry with the Congressional ban on earmarks. At the time, J.D. was quoted as saying, "Do I hope we can get some money this year? Yes. Do I know if we can get some money? No. I do know we've been told that earmarks are not being accepted for the Fiscal Year 2011 continuing resolution."

Yet with no prospects of additional federal funding (which, remember, was over half of the project’s budget) the TRWD continued to pour money into the TRV, budgeting $80.7 million for 2011 alone. In one of the more bizarre and questionable transactions, the water district purchased 41 acres of land (a parking lot) around LaGrave Field, home of the Fort Worth Cats, for $17.5 million an agreement which was, of course, unanimously approved by the ever compliant TRWD board. “This is one of the most important land purchases we will make for the flood control and development projects of the TRV," said board member Jim Lane, without bothering to explain how purchasing the parking lot of LaGrave Field had anything to do with flood control. Crowed J.D. Granger: “This is a really big day for the project.”
Whatever it was, it was certainly a really big day for Carl Bell, owner of the Cats, who was teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and foreclosure, unable to continue business operations without an infusion of cash. In its reporting on the transaction, the Star Telegram said that TRV officials insisted it was not a bailout of Bell. Of course it wasn’t. That’s what friends are for.

Stuck with a 41 acre parking lot purchased for flood control in an area that hadn’t had a single flood in sixty years, J.D. had a bit of a dilemma. There’s only so much you can do with a parking lot in a blighted part of town. Then in early 2012, the Tarrant Regional Water District made an announcement. In a surprising unanimous vote the board approved a plan to lease the property for ten years to a group of developers who would construct..…..a drive-in movie theater. The value of the lease was put at $1.7 million. The Star Telegram reported that J.D. Granger could not be reached for comment.

Not surprising, in that he might have been required to answer the question of how a $17.5 million piece of real estate essential for flood control that had nothing whatsoever to do with bailing out Carl Bell could be leased out for 10% of its value over a ten year period. The Star Telegram ended its story with this line: “The $909 million Trinity Uptown project will feature a town lake and 12 miles of waterfront development.”

No it won’t. The TRV is dead in the water. Put a fork in it. In an era of sequestration and budget cuts, Congress is unlikely to give the project another nickel, never mind the additional $435 million in the fantasy budget. So why is the TRV still around, doling out taxpayer money and putting on events like “Tubing the Trinity” (known locally as “Floating with Feces”)? Why hasn’t the “we-have 60-years-of-combined-experience” board of directors at the water board even addressed this issue? What exactly is J.D. Granger doing to earn his $155,000 salary and the perks of office? For that matter, who approved the salaries of the top ten staff members of the TRWD, whose combined salaries exceed $1.8 million? Inquiring minds and all that stuff.

The Star Telegram was similarly uninterested in 2005 when then city councilman and current TRWD board member Jim Lane voted with the rest of the council to give first rights on 33 acres of city owned land next to LaGrave Field to Carl Bell so he could construct $500 million dollars of townhomes, despite the fact that he was delinquent on his taxes. Said the visionary Lane, “"I think this will be a great success. People would love to live around the area, eat around the area, shop around the area. The excitement it will generate is wonderful." As Rick Perry might say: Ooops.

Of course, the Star Telegram is more interested in protecting the powers that be than in asking, much less answering, these questions. When challengers arise to crack open the vault of secrecy and expose the truth of what’s happening on the banks of the Trinity River, the paper of record goes into hyperdrive to discredit them, lest the truth become known.

What exactly is it the Star Telegram is trying to hide?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Down in flames

That's what is happening in the "news" paper industry.  Read about it on

Apparently the Fort Worth Star-Telegram isn't the best investment. 

Maybe if they did reporting, instead of free advertising for their friends downtown, that would be a different story.  It's all about content.  And intent...

Content stinks.

Articles are poorly written and researched, tackling topics that aren’t compelling, and often exhibit unacceptable bias. Journalists are not doing their job.

Here’s an example. I just wrote an explosive investigative piece on corruption at the Tarrant Regional Water District in Fort Worth, Texas. John Basham, a challenger in the upcoming Tarrant Regional Water District election, said he repeatedly told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram — which is owned by The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI) — about this corruption over a period of five years … and never investigated.

Why am I, a financial reporter by trade, doing investigative work that a local newspaper should be doing? Maybe that’s why its daily circulation has crashed over 60% from 537,000 daily in 2007 to 201,000 today. Maybe that’s why the stock has lost 97% of its value since 2005.

Water Board Smear Campaign

We aren't the only ones noticing a pattern here. You'll be happy to know our dear reader has a sign.-----

Tried to get this letter to the editor regarding the Star-Telegram smear campaign but they would not print it.

Re:  Big money is pouring into water board race. If anyone is running a smear campaign it is the Star Telegram who has made it very clear they are throwing their support for the incumbents.  I for one just want to know where to send my $50 to help the Basham-Kelleher-Nold ticket and get a yard sign.

Older than the Watchdog

Earlier we mentioned Former Fort Worth Star-Telegram Watchdog, Dave Lieber, was to host a forum of the TRWD candidates.

Only one incumbent responded to Lieber's request.  Per his Facebook page, quoted below,we learn that the board knows better because they are older...

To that we say, out with the old.  Vote BNK on Saturday.

"This event will not be held tonight due to the non-participation of the three incumbents. One of them called me to decline. (Other two ignored my message.) (Note: I was not sponsor, just an invited moderator.) When we began discussing the issues, he got real defensive. He told me he was older than me and thus, well, whatever. Harry Truman: 'If you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen.' "

What are the odds?

That on a day that the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has three pieces in their "news" paper on the Tarrant Regional Water District challengers that a mailer from the incumbents shows up with a Fort Worth Star-Telegram logo across it?

Thanks to Breitbart for finally shedding some light on this cozy little deal between the Water District and the paper.  Ya'll come back real soon, ya hear?




End the culture of corruption in Tarrant County.

What's in it for him?

We keep getting that question about a local 'news' paper food critic.

In addition to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram posting a fluff article a day on the Trinity River Vision/Tarrant Regional Water District, last night they posted two 'opinion' pieces on the TRWD race.  One talks all about the challenger's donations but makes no mention of the incumbents' donations, most all from their contractors.  From Dallas, as well as out of state.

In the past 14 hours this columnist has posted about the TRWD election on his Facebook page 13 times, 12 of them about the TRWD election challengers.  Those trying to give the citizens representation and a voice.  WHY would anyone who works for a 'news' organization want to silence or impede that?  Do columnists not have a Code of Ethics such as journalists do?

The last post on this Star-Telegram employee's Facebook page has a different tone, he's asking why a local news outlet would be covering a national investigative article on the TRWD.

The question should be WHY isn't his newspaper?  They've had years, nothing (but promoting) was ever done.

So tell us, WHAT is in it for YOU??

Vote BNK on Saturday.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

It's about damn time.

YOU need to read the Tarrant Regional Water District article at

Yes, we said TRWD news article.  If you want to read "opinion" pieces, you know where to go.

When you're done reading, mark your calendar.  Saturday, go vote.  YOUR kids will thank you.

Breitbart News has learned of a broad-ranging, long-term property seizure scheme in Texas’ Tarrant County Regional Water District, in which District employees have abused eminent domain privileges, forced homeowners and businesses off their properties, and awarded no-bid contacts via secret meetings that are never reported to the public.

Nothing was ever done, it just got worse...

We noticed when people were searching for information on the Tarrant Regional Water District elections, they were sometimes being directed to the information on the TRWD election in 2010.

(An election was to be held in 2012, but the water board voted to postpone the election.  You read that right.)

So we looked at the Adrian Murray and John Basham mailer from way back in 2010 to see what had changed. 

What had your wonderful water board done differently that made them any better candidates now? 

Not a damn thing. 

Unless you count the following (all of which YOU paid for, in the name of "flood control"):
  • A polluted wake board park
  • A no bid restaurant in the flood plain
  • A drive-in on contaminated land
  • Tubing parties in a contaminated river
  • 90+ businesses and numerous residents threatened with or forced eminent domain of property
  • Tax burdens with no vote (at least a billion)
  • Voted themselves a raise
  • Voted themselves another year in office
  • Held meetings with no public notice
  • No bid contracts
  • Raised water rates significantly over past 10 years (though they don't raise taxes on the gerrymandered area that gets to vote)
WHY do you think the water board election is setting a record for voting numbers?  That the "news" paper is not only running a fluff piece a day, they are running two TRWD "opinion" pieces tomorrow.  Really?  Everyone knows what their smoke blowing opinion is, can they just shut up already?  WHERE is an Amon Carter when you need him?

So if you are undecided on who to vote for in the water board race, jump on over to Durango and read his posts from May back to April.  Of 2008, or 2009, or 2010, or 2011...or hang out here, you'll get the picture and you'll vote BNK. 

Basham, Nold and Kelleher are not career politicians looking to sell you down the river to their contractor, lobbyist friends.

They are in it with YOU, for YOU.  Can you say the same about the 3 incumbents?

Speaking of them, WHERE are they?  WHY are they having others speak for them? 

YOU want to make a difference?  Then do it. 

On Saturday, when you go to vote for the water board election, VOTE BNK!

Vote em' out!

If anyone knows, it's Adrian Murray.  He ran for the Tarrant Regional Water District last time (the election before the one they voted to cancel).   They went after him the same way they are Timothy Nold.  They aren't very original as they are going after John Basham for the same thing this time, too.  Exerpt from Durango:

Meanwhile, John Basham, an actual contributor to American society, was injured while serving his country, with the consequence, as happens to way too many who serve, of John Basham running into financial woes, whilst recovering from his injuries.

Below is what Adrian has to say about the late taxes, (NOT unpaid).  Any reliable "news" source could have found that information.  Wonder why the ST didn't?

My disdain for the methods of the TRWD board is well known. I have read years worth of board meeting minutes where it is so obvious to anyone with a pulse that the board does not act as an impartial board overseeing the interests of the pu...blic, but is nothing more than a sham, an agent for the private companies they are shelling out money and favors to, a mouthpiece for an extravagantly well-compensated staff who stumbled upon a gold mine known as the Barnett Shale and concocted schemes to share this bounty among themselves and some friends. Whether the members of the board personally gain from this is doubtful and really immaterial. That they look the other way in their marathon sessions voting unanimously to approve everything the staff puts before them is enough to disqualify them from ever being in a position of public trust.

Now, for the first time ever, there is a serious threat to the syndicate which operates out of a sprawling and expanding Taj Mahal on Northside Drive. When I ran for this board in 2010 along with John Basham, we were woefully underfunded and could only scrape together enough money for two mailers. We never really had a chance, but we did open some eyes as to the dirty deeds taking place on the banks of the Trinity River.

But our meager possibilty of actually dethroning Marty Leonard and Jim Lane did not stop stop their campaign team from going all out slime on us. On the day before election day, a mailer hit voters' mail boxes in the district stating that I had recently moved to the area from California "leaving behind a string of tax liens." never mind that the statement was patently false. There simply was no chance at all to refute it as the final vote was the very next day.

They are very good at this, these sultans of slime. They did it last week with Andy (Timothy) Nold. On Monday of last week a letter appeared in mailboxes throughout the area, ostensibly written by Marty Leonard, stating that one of the challengers was a tax deadbeat being sued by the district. (Oddly, this charge came in a letter decrying the tactics of the challengers who were, if they did not stop, about to make our dear sweet board of directors cry.) This was followed a week later by the incumbents with a repeat of the tax deadbeat line.

Of course, none of it was true, as you can see from this pic. It was made up out of whole cloth by a cabal desperate to keep its secrets from being revealed. They'll do and say anything, defile anyone in any way they can, to keep the people out of their vault.

Vote 'em out.

You can take that to the BANK

When a long serving city councilman/community leader, fire fighting, plane flying, purple heart earning man says something, LISTEN.

Just had a brief conversation with Marty, the pot calling the kettle black, Leonard.

Ms. Leonard is a member of the board of the TRWD. Marty sent a letter to voters decrying the qualifications and character of challengers, Basham, Nold, and ...Kelleher and she complained of their "negative" campaigning.

I reminded Marty the she was no more qualified than B, N, & K when she first ran. Her claim to worthiness was that she read and saved a lot of articles on water. Whoopee!

She didn't get upset over the threat of eminent domain against a couple of her wealthy neighbors, to use their land for Trinity Uptown though she criticizes a BNK backer for wanting to keep a TRWD pipeline off his property. It seems to irritate Marty and the rest of the board that the challengers are complying with TRWD and state ethics commission requirements for candidacy. Frankly, I'm tired of their whining and complaining because they can't have a free ride to re-election.

Go vote Saturday for Basham, Nold, and Kelleher. Share this with your voting friends.

TRWD living high on the hog

Has the Trinity River Vision started their Tubing the Trinity, Rocking on the River, Floating with Feces events early this year?  The pig floating in the river seems to indicate that is the case.

Looks like they invited Captain Clean and he's not liking it.  Neither are taxpayers.  Or maybe the photographer captured Captain Clean's expression right after the pig told him how much he already owes for the Trinity River Vision.

The mud slinging is in full swing.  It finally reached Dallas.  (Mind you, BOTH campaigns have received donations from there).

Durango updates you on the lies spread by a current pearl clutching water board member, campaign donations in the TRWD race and the Dallas Observer post

We have a question for those that go to the deer "camp" (a current incumbent recently said they didn't have a deer lease, after a citizen called him out, he called it a "deer camp") how do they kill the deer they hunt there?

Read the comments on Durango's blog.  Unlike the ST, they didn't disappear.  Strange isn't it?  That a "news"paper would not only slant their stories (read about that in the FW Weekly), the would edit election letters AND delete comments.  Again, we have to ask, WHAT is in it for them?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Place your bets

We've been discussing how many times the TRWD incumbent promoting, TRV shilling "news" paper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram) would run fluff articles this week about TRWD.  We didn't have to wait long. Though what does it say when the fluff articles seem to have better fact checkers than the "news" articles?

They just keep proving our point.

So do their employees.  One keeps posting online about the TRWD candidates.  Calls BNK Tea Party candidates.  Oh the horror.  Except again, somebody should check their facts. While the BNK candidates do have support from the Tea Party, they also have support from the Republican Party, the Democratic Party and the Libertarian Party.  They know water is nonpartisan.  You'd think a "news" paper writer would know that.

WHY is the paper so biased in this race?  WHAT is their agenda?

We can't wait to read all about it.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Change "and" to "but"

And the Fort Worth Star-Telegram could have saved some ink.

The unbalanced, biased story on the Tarrant Regional Water Board election, is just further proof Tarrant County needs a real newspaper (aside from Fort Worth Weekly, they can't do it all, too much corruption, not enough reporters).

How many ST reporters does it take to write a balanced article?  Two and an editor wrote the latest, so the answer has to be, at least four?

The quote comes from none other than Vic Henderson, long time water board incumbent.  It's one of the first things he's said in the race.  Otherwise he uses his spokespeople (Kay Granger, J.D. Granger, Bud Kennedy, Betsy Price and Marty Leonard & the ST).

The water district is responsible for 27 miles of the river, he said, and has formed partnerships to provide amenities.

If you change "and" to "but" you'll know WHY the 7th street gang doesn't want anyone else on the board.  If you read the list of donors to the incumbents, you'll know exactly what partnerships he's referring to. 

WHY is the water district providing amenities?  Shouldn't they be providing water?

WHY is the Fort Worth Star-Telegram letting water district employees speak on the race?  WHO is the new owner of ST? 

Read Durango's take on the "article".  As usual, it's a much better read than the paper.

Read more here:

What they really said...

We have received numerous complaints about the Fort Worth Star-Telegram this week.  More than usual.  A lot have to do with their lack of response, or fair reporting in the Tarrant Regional Water Board race. Some have to do with the editing of letters.  We've heard all these complaints for years.  Finally fed up?  Let us know.  We're working on it as fast as we can.  Here's one concerning the Birdville Bond Election.  For $183 million, you'd think it would get a balanced look.  Who are we kidding, this is Fort Worth. 

Kudos to all you Watchdogs out there.  Keep them coming.

Dear Star TeleGRAPH,
Disclamer: The lead-in  paragraphs submitted to the Star-Telegraph
 are solely my own and do not represent the opinion of any other group or individuals. 

The paper which used to offer news about Fort Worth, which was started by the civic minded Amon Carter, published their endorsement of the current  BISD Bond election. Unfortunately, they had neglected to contact the organized opposition to the Bond proposal. You know get both sides of the story before making up your mind, that sort of thing.

While they are entitled to their own opinion, person's in this community wanted to offer an opposing view covering facts and serious discussion of the real needs of the students in this community. After contacting the paper regarding their oversight the Editor, Mike Norman, offer a "guest editorial" from the Citizens for a Better Bond Committee.  Unlike a letter to the editor which is limited to 150 words or less this guest editorial was to be 600 words or less.GREAT! A chance to present the other side of the discussion in the public forum of the press. After much effort by members of the organization to double check all the facts presented and make sure it read well and covered the issue in a comprehensive manner it was submitted to the paper.

Keep in mind, this was with prior discussion with the paper's Editor. The members of the group waited anxiously for the publication.

Then came this reply,
" We received another column submission in opposition to the Birdville bond package and the closing of Richland Elementary. It was written by Councilman Goveas. We've decided to use his column rather than yours. I am sorry that we can't run both, but that would not  be fair since we've only had one from the pro-bond side. You're still welcome to write a 150-word letter to the editor if you wish. The deadline for that is Wednesday, May 1.
Mike Norman
Editorial Director
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

While it is nice to have an equal number of opposing views submitted and published, it certainly is reasonable to expect a continuing flood of letters to be sent in, which they have. Remember this was approved prior and it was submitted early in the discussion.  A number of others have been printed since.

What have we learned here? Alot! The leadership of the above unnamed paper has a real problem with foresight, decision making and following through with what they say.

Below you will find the complete un-invited "Guest Editorial"Thank you for your consideration

Sincerely yours
Ray Ecklund

The Star Telegram has offered an endorsement of the Birdville I.S.D. 2013 Bond proposal.

We must respectfully disagree with the Editorial Board’s conclusion. The realities of school finance, the school district's failing performance record and failure of the district to offer open and transparent leadership to the public were not noted in its editorial endorsement.

The BISD BOND proposal says some of our district schools are decades old and therefore must be torn down at the cost of millions of dollars. This is simply foolish logic. Great universities like Yale, Harvard, and Princeton boast buildings well over 100 years old. It is not the buildings which makes them important institutions, it is the education provided within those walls. BISD voters must not be distracted by the promise of shiny new school buildings. The BISD Trustees should be focused on the real priority, quality education for our children.

It may be economically beneficial for BISD to propose doubling the student population at select regional elementary schools, but is it in the best interest of the children? Many expert studies have established that academic performance in elementary schools declines as school size increases. We must not allow education of our children to fall victim to the ideas of cost savings.

Communities have long been centered on neighborhood schools. The quality of education and location of schools are determining factors for families choosing a home. This bond election proposes to demolish four neighborhood elementary schools and replace them with two large regional schools of 700+ students each. In addition, it proposes to demolish and rebuild two more elementary schools and one middle school. Elementary grade children will be taken away from their neighborhoods and bused miles away.

The main reasons families have moved to, or stay in, the cities that make up BISD is the perception of a high quality education. Unfortunately, in the past three years BISD has seen a substantial drop in the State of Texas overall academic progress measurement “FAST” ranking from the 76% percentile to 46% when comparing comparable Texas school districts. This catastrophic decline in district performance has nothing to do with building facilities. This Bond proposal simply is trying to solve problems we don't have, while at the same time ignoring the real problems we do have.

Superintendent Darrell G. Brown claims the district will save $15 million in operating costs over the next 10 years. His comment fails to mention that interest alone on the new proposed debt is over $73 million for the same 10 years. This $183.2 million bond proposal will actually cost district tax payers $321 million on top of the current debt of $358 million.

Voters should know this bond proposal, unlike any before it, is an “all or nothing” choice. The voters are not given a choice of how the $183million will be spent. There was no public hearing to allow BISD Trustees to answer questions from the public. Their decision was made on recommendation of a select committee appointed by the Trustees

The BISD Trustees are saying to the parents, teachers, property owners and voters, “Don’t worry, just trust us”. We are smarter than that. Voters must always hold their elected officials to the highest standard of openness and transparency. BISD has failed on both of those factors.

Voting against this Bond proposal will give BISD an opportunity to realign its priorities. Quality education for our children should be our number one priority. Responsible voters should vote against the BISD BOND proposal.

Ray Ecklund On behalf of “Citizens for a Better Bond Committee”

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Voter Beware! Insider interest in the TRWD election!

The incumbents spokespeople (notice you haven't heard a peep from the incumbents themselves) are trying to make you think outside interests are controlling the water board race.

Do they mean the donations they have received from out of state?

Maybe you should be more concerned with the inside interests.

Contributions to the incumbents read like a WHO's WHO of TRWD contractors.  You know, those ones they award millions of your dollars to with no bid.

Do your kids a favor, stop the Fort Worth gravy train.  VOTE BNK TODAY!

To see the list of Tarrant Regional Water Board contractors and employees, go see Durango

Voters Beware! Outside interest in the TRWD water board election!

"Voters beware" is what a campaign mailer from the water board incumbents read.  Mayor Price was concerned that outside interests were trying to take over your water supply! 

First of all, WHAT water supply?

Second of all, has Mayor Price seen the incumbents campaign donations?   The incumbents are getting money from Dallas (GASP!) and Austin and cities all over Texas.  Are these the outside interests you were warned about?  Or is it the donors to the incumbents from out of state you should be concerned with?  We hear there are donations from Colorado, Arizona and that state next door we are suing in Federal court to take their water, Oklahoma. 

If they haven't noticed, there is no money in Fort Worth.  That well ran dry.  THEY spent it all.  Maybe some of those campaigns donating should hang on to their money.  They may need it.

Vote BNK.  Today.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Say it again.

Below are some fun facts about the Mayor Price mailer you received.

You can see a photo of the documents at Woodard says.  They were just so good we have to post them again.

Concerning the Water Board incumbents campaign mailer (from THE Don Woodard).

You shall know the facts and the facts will make you free. Here are the facts on each one of the below 4 claims.

1. None of the incumbents had anything to do with building the lakes with which we draw our water: Lake Worth; Lake Bridgeport; Eagle Mountain; Richland-Chambers; Cedar Creek. Our fathers built them. The incumbents are engrossed in building a 33-acre Casino Lake for tourists.

2. Jim Wright, dating from the 1949 flood, is whom I give credit for our levees and flood control. The Star-Telegram reported June 12, 2005 that the Army Corps of Engineers had a plan to control any realistic flooding problem for $10 million.

3. Extensive water conservation efforts. The Lawn Whisperer. Is that it?

4. Wise and conservative stewardship of our tax dollars? Like the goofy billion dollar Trinity Uptown earmark boondoggle?

At least 4 more reason to right there.

Vote for John Basham, Timothy Nold and Mary Kelleher!
YOUR kids will thank you for it!

Adrian says...

Need another reason to vote out the current board of the TRWD? How about 1,800,073? That's the combined salaries of the top ten highest paid staff members, as approved by the board.

Vote Basham, Nold and Kelleher and send the message that you're not an ATM.

There's a lot of folks talking about the water board race.

YOU should be.

Durango Says...

It ain't YOUR board.

It belongs to THE PEOPLE. 

I think Marty Leonard's morally bankrupt low blow directed at John Basham is a fairly good indicator of the quality of character Marty Leonard possesses. She being a self-entitled dowager heiress who has never had to worry about money due to daddy being a department store magnate.

Meanwhile, John Basham, an actual contributor to American society, was injured while serving his country, with the consequence, as happens to way too many who serve, of John Basham running into financial woes, whilst recovering from his injuries.

And Marty Leonard and her corrupt cohorts use this against this man?

This rather sickens me.

Marty Leonard should be ashamed of herself. If this woman had a fraction of an ounce of moral decency she would resign from the TRWD Board due to her wantonly displayed moral bankruptcy.

It further offends me that Marty Leonard has the raw gall to characterize these 3 good people as being unqualified to be elected to "Our Board."


It's the People's Board you pearls clutching self-entitled dowager heiress, NOT "YOUR BOARD."

Read the rest here.

Another thing to take note of, Marty says your tax rate hasn't been raised in 13 years.  When you "call her" to ask her about these things, ask how much your water rate rose during that same period.  When the line goes silent, go vote for BNK.

Woodard says...




click to read what Woodard says about the upcoming TRWD election in its full PDF format.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Water Board Stinks...

That's what one "associate" of the TRWD says about them, he also says "Just hold your nose and do it".


Is that an endorsement??  Smells almost as bad as the Trinity River in summer.  (The same one the water board encourages you to "jump on in".  Right after you sign their waiver that says even if they neglected to tell you it could kill you, they aren't responsible...we knew that...)

Don't believe their lies about the candidates, but do believe what they say about the current board.  With "friends" like these...

By the way, have you noticed you don't hear from these "friends" unless they need money or are spending it?  If they are begging you to vote for incumbents that they know have "gone astray", WHAT is in it for them?  ASK.  Same goes for YOUR employers.

Here's YOUR chance to protect YOUR water and money. 

VOTE for Basham, Nold, and Kelleher.  NOW. 

Below is the surprising "endorsement" from a TRWD associate...


I know that many of you may think like I think. This TRWD group have gone astray and are doing things they should not do and spending money on things they should not. But in this case, the alternative is much worse.

I ask you to go out and vote early and vote often! Pass on to your husbands and wives, and also send to friends.

Just hold your nose and do it.

The alternative is not good for the future growth of Fort Worth.

Says WHO?

Note - we wanted to see what it felt like, so we took the liberty of editing as we saw fit.  We didn't change any sentences, we just removed some.  Don't worry, we are not going to turn into the Startlegram.  We just wanted to see how it was done.

Truth, Justice and the Fort Worth Way

We've been playing catch up with all the election emails we've received. Seems folks are very interested in the Tarrant Regional Water Board election.

And it looks like we're not the only ones playing catch up. In the past two days the TRWD incumbents and their crew have started sending out mailers.  We hear even some in the halls of Austin are being approached about this quiet little election.  Water Board Member, Marty Leonard's NEGATIVE email and letter was first.  Then they sent one for mail in ballots to seniors. (BNK already did that). Some Seniors reported their precinct and voter ID number were in the wrong spots. They wondered if it was a ploy by TRWD or just more sloppy work. Then the "Clean Water Committee" (is that an oxymoron?) PAC sent one showing Mayor Price on one side and the ballot on the other (BNK - been there, done that too). That mailer also mentioned the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. (More on that connection to come...)  Jim Lane left a couple of interesting voicemails around town and of course, a ST employee is shilling for him.  (Shouldn't Jim be concerned with his own race?  The one the downtown crowd doesn't want him to win?)

Kay Granger also sent out an email to her "friends" accusing many people of many things. She made it clear she wants things to stay the same. Since her son is employed by the water district, one would guess so.  One would also guess this was made clear to everyone (and their employees) from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram all the way to the Bank of Texas. 

Mayor Price and Congresswoman Granger both held fundraisers in the past couple of weeks, one for the incumbents and one where they handed out information for the incumbents.

Riddle us this Batman, WHY would local and federal elected officials be so engrossed in the TRWD campaign? Have they met all the candidates? (Aside from Mary Kelleher addressing City Council)? Have they heard all of the candidates speak? There has been no debate (unless you count the conversation between a water district employee and a candidate at a local restaurant). BNK shows up to talk to the voters, the incumbents do not. One incumbent did show up to a recent meeting, after the crowd was finished, we're guessing he wished he hadn't.

WHO do YOU want in office? Someone that will get out among the voters or those WHO YOUR elected officials want to keep in their place? Literally. 

VOTE BNK!  John Basham, Timothy Nold and Mary Kelleher for the Tarrant Regional Water District!

"Who's keeping Watch?"

FW Worth Weekly, thank goodness.

Great title (Numb and Dumber) and look at what really happens when something bad happens. 

He called various state agencies, beginning with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and discovered that none were paying much attention. Each regulatory agency pointed him to a different agency.

Shaw pointed the reporter to other state and federal regulatory agencies, but they denied responsibility as well.

They also get the quote of the day,

"He called the Tarrant Regional Water District, where he got no answers but did discover that each frack job can use millions of gallons of water — which then becomes toxic."

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Once a Watchdog,

Always a Watchdog.

Dave Lieber, the 20 year Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporter, who was laid off, is still watching out for you.  On his Facebook this week he posted the following:

Pet peeve: When officials running for reelection use public money to send out a glossy 12-page "annual report" that arrives one week before the election. That's what the Tarrant Regional Water District did. Campaigning disguised as public business. And these are the same dudes that postponed their own election for a year. Unchallenged power on an issue of major importance. WRONG.

To be honest, maybe it's a good thing Dave doesn't work for the paper anymore. 

The Fort Worth Weekly had the best article on Dave's departure.  We noticed we got a shout out over there from a reader.  Thanks, LA!

Thank heavens for the F W Weekly and the Star Telegraph website – you both are the best source of real news happening in this area.

And another one had a great point about the paper and politics -

The Weekly continues to surge past the Startlegram as the voice of the people. Time for the Star Telegram to recognize that its political intrigues on behalf of the Fort Worth power structure has caused it to go the way of the dinosaur.


To the highest bidder. Yesterday YOUR politicians voted to sell YOU and YOUR roads. Watch out, they are after YOUR water, too.

(Don't forget to vote BNK!)

While it's clever to say the toll element is 'optional,' whether or not Hwy 290, Hwy 183, I-35, Loop 9, Loop 1604 and a host of others get handed to a private toll operator will be decided later by un-elected boards and TxDOT, not Texans or their elected officials whom they can hold accountable.

As far as Texans are concerned, they haven't changed their minds about P3s since the Trans Texas Corridor or the P3 moratorium in 2007 - they do NOT want Texas sovereignty over our public infrastructure handed to private corporations who can gouge taxpayers for 50 years.