Friday, June 28, 2013

Spin Doctors

A line about the TRWD altercation in the Fort Worth Business Press article made us LOL.

“Staff members confirmed that Mr. Oliver did not raise his voice during that discussion,” according to the district statement.

So the Water District's take on it (through their paid spokesperson) is- Staff members WHO report TO Mr. Oliver say THEIR BOSS didn't raise his voice.

WHAT else would they say??

They don't want to be yelled at. He's the boss.


Thursday, June 27, 2013


Dear friend of my Dad:

How do you like being told which two days per week you can water? It's about to get worse if you don't get involved. The City of Fort Worth says a survey proves that citizens overwhelmingly support making these restrictions year-round, even if the lakes are overflowing. Their survey was misleading, not even asking specifically about "designated watering days."

Now the city is trying to add fmiher supp01i to their idea of year-round water restrictions by having two public forums that are tightly scripted. The first forum in North Fort Worth on Tuesday night, June 25, attracted only 13 citizens and about 25 to 30 city staffers and paid vendors. The city undoubtedly will use the opinions of those 13 people, filtered through the meeting's controlled small group format, to justify their position.

The second forum is Thursday night, June 27:
Refreshments: 6:00PM
Meeting: 6:30 to 8:30PM
Unity Church of Fort Worth
5051 Trail Lake Drive

I will be at Thursday's forum and am asking you to sacrifice an evening to attend. With light attendance expected, your attendance could play a big part not only in stopping the idea of year-round water restrictions (which would be among the harshest in the nation) in their tracks but also rolling back the current restrictions to make them more flexible and compatible with sound water conservation principles.

Above is part of my analysis of Designated Watering Days and the Woodard Plan for conserving water while making Fort Wotih a friendlier place to live.

I hope to see you Thursday night. If you are unable to attend, please call me about another opportunity on July 9 to bring sanity to our water conservation efforts.

Blake Woodard

Here we go again.

While the Fort Worth Weekly, Fort Worth Bloggers and national reporters are covering what's going on at the Water Board (including that pesky little thing about running out of water), what are the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and the Tarrant Regional Water District up to?

Partying of course.  It's Tarrant County.  Home of the big city in the hole (Fort Worth is still broke, talking layoffs and cutting services, again, as they do every year).  Maybe if they weren't all focused on partying in the contaminated river with their cronies,  they'd be able to focus on little things such as water...Remember back in the day when Cheseapeake owned the 4th of July here?  Their time is up.  As for the Water Board, seems their time is limited.

Notice it's Presented by TRWD, it's Produced by the Trinity River Vision.  And it was emailed by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, their downstairs neighbor.  THAT is what they mean when they tell you, we're all in this together.

Don't get us started on where the fireworks are coming from or the Cardboard Levee slide.  That's a whole other post...

Don't mess with Texas Women

Or the Fort Worth Weekly.  They are the only game in town.

What's your other local "news" paper up to?  We'll show you that later.  Right now we're sharing real news.

Kelleher said Wednesday evening that, following delivery of her letter, she had received an e-mail reply from Oliver indicating that some of the records did not exist, that some of them would be mailed to her, and that on others, the water district staff would seek an opinion from the state attorney general as to whether they had to release the documents. She said Oliver wrote that the water district staff would search for records regarding lobbyists and respond later.

She also asked for e-mails sent to political consultant Bryan Eppstein, documents reflecting contracts with and payments to lobbyists, records of payments to the engineering firm of Freese & Nichols over the last three and a half years, and all of the e-mail correspondence of TRWD board members, Oliver, planning director Wayne Own, and J.D. Granger, executive director of the Trinity River Vision Authority, over approximately the past two months.

Additionally Kelleher asked for numerous documents relating to any real estate transactions between the water district and Oliver or any entity controlled or owned by him.

She said that Oliver’s response, following her letter, indicated that there are no records of any real estate transactions between Oliver and the water district.

Kelleher said that in response to her initial request, King had earlier told her that no minutes or recordings exist of executive sessions or of meetings of the construction committee.

In the letter, she wrote that if Oliver continues to block what she considers to be proper oversight of the water district, “I will be forced to take all necessary actions to fulfill my duties. … I will not be stopped or intimidated in my efforts to fulfill my responsibilities.”

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

This just keeps getting better.

Tarrant County women have been all over the news for the past 24 hours.  Wendy Davis getting a shout out by Twitter from the President, Dr. Ann Sutherland getting bullied by the Fort Worth School Board and now little Miss Mary Kelleher taking on the water board.  For THE PEOPLE. 

What is it they don't want YOU to see?

WHY do they want to keep HER out?

Both Breitbart and Durango broke the news today on the exchange between Director Kelleher and Manager, Jim Oliver.  Read them both.  They are riveting.  One details the meeting.  The other is a copy of the letter Director Kelleher wrote in response to the altercation. Read it, then call the Water Board.  Or email Breitbart.  Heck, even write some more to the only paper in town not talking about the "news".  Better yet, show up at the next board meeting.  Come early, parking and seats are going fast.

In light of these repeated outbursts, in my view, the District should consider whether it is appropriate for you to continue in your current position and/or whether you should be required to take anger management training.

Kelleher immediately asserted her stance, calling for transparency at her swearing-in on June 18, demanding independent audits of District finances and for strict adherence to the Texas Open Meetings Act (violations of which the District is being sued for). This comes on top of her criticism of the District’s judgment in pursuing an ill-advised attempt to siphon water from Oklahoma, for which it was roundly humiliated by a unanimous Supreme Court ruling earlier this month (following a summary judgment at the state level that was affirmed by the district court). The project cost taxpayers $5 million.

Attorneys familiar with Texas’ Open Records Act believe Kelleher, as a duly elected District official, has the right to access all records and need not do so through the procedures outlined in the Open Records Act. She certainly does not need to do so through Oliver, whether as public official or member of the public. The law clearly states that such requests would go through Information Officer King, and that if Oliver was even appointed as Information Officer, he would be required to complete Open Records Training – which he apparently requires in any event.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Money, narcissism and out of control egos...and not a drop to drink

Since the Supreme Court voted unanimously against the Tarrant Regional Water District, and an "outsider" was elected to the board, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has started acting like they care about YOUR opinion on the subject.  They even asked for YOUR opinion on if WE (one would have to assume they mean TRWD, since the WE, the public weren't given the option to sue) are the bad guys when it comes to water?

Well, if they read anything written about the case, they'd know the answer was yes.  However, we have to give them props for even acting like they wanted your opinion.  It's better than their normal cheer-leading for the stupid TRWD/TRV money wasting stunts.

Some of the responses were spot on, and very well said.

You can read them all here.

Below are a few of our favorites.

Insatiable appetite
I don’t understand. What is it about Fort Worth’s insatiable appetite for growth that entitles it to condemn the land of people hundreds of miles away and take their water?

The Trinity River flows through town, and the limits of its watershed should logically have set the limits for Fort Worth’s population.

There’s no reason why additional thousands of people have to move here, living off the resources of East Texas, other than to satisfy the egos of local politicians.
— Dennis Novak, Fort Worth

We’re big enough
How much is enough? How big does the Chamber of Commerce want Fort Worth to be?

Is the thirst for growth insatiable? Is not 750,000 enough?

When it grows to 1 million, will they want 2 million?

Why do we keep giving tax abatements and other incentives to induce corporations to move here?

Do they want this city to become another London? Another New York? Another Tokyo?

Whatever happened to our love of a friendly western woodland where Nature has her way? Or to the blessed Land of Room Enough where the air is full of sunlight and the flag has a big Lone Star?

Is it not obvious that there is not enough water now? How much more will be needed with another million thirsty straws draining it?

How many more big lakes and miles of eminent-domain pipelines? How many more orange-barrel freeways to be widened?
— Don Woodard, Fort Worth

Poisoned the well
I suggest that the TRWD has proven itself incompetent at best in handling the Oklahoma issue.

The Supreme Court didn’t say that we weren’t entitled to the water, but only that we weren’t allowed to invade Oklahoma to obtain it.

By choosing to go to court rather than negotiate in good faith with our partner in the compact, we wasted millions of taxpayer dollars to no positive effect, and instead poisoned the well of good will that stood to benefit us.

Certainly the TRWD, the body charged with providing adequate long-term water resources to our region, has taken upon itself the mantle of “bad guy” in its actions to date in handling this matter, the Trinity River Vision, and other initiatives.

So it is logical that we will be perceived as the “bad guy” going forward, unless the TRWD changes its approach to doing business, its leadership, or both.
— Mark Greene, Fort Worth

Monday, June 24, 2013

Failing the Civic Health Test

City public meetings to take input on measures for water conservation plan AND drought plan June 25 and 27.


North Fort Worth: Tuesday, June 25, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Heritage Trace Church of Christ, 4201 Heritage Trace Pkwy

South Fort Worth: Thursday, June 27, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Unity Church of Fort Worth, 5051 Trail Lake Drive

Due to low water supply source levels, water restrictions kicked in June 3 for residents of Fort Worth.

Read below an invitation to two upcoming meetings on water management from the Fort Worth Water Department.

Meetings are tomorrow night, June 25 and Thursday, June 27.

From the Water Department:  The Fort Worth Water Department needs your input! Join us at public meetings to learn about our city's water supply situation, explore options for water management and offer your views. The Water Department will share your feedback with the City Council in upcoming discussions about Fort Worth's water management plan.

City Manager Tom Higgins told City Council Members in a June 4, 2013 Informal Report, "During these meetings, participants will be provided overview information on water supplies -- current and proposed -- and water efficiency programs already in place. Feedback will be obtained to assess attitudes about what measures should be in a conservation plan -- things that should be done all the time and are long term -- versus what measures should be in a drought plan -- things only in place when water supplies are low and are short-term."

Everyone interested is invited to the meetings. Parking is free, and refreshments will be served.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

House of Cards

The Fort Worth House of cards is swaying. From the Water Board to the School's coming.....

I have sent the below document to numerous people. We need people's help to end all of the shenanigans going on within FWISD. Please advise.

To whom it may concern, 

I am an employee of Fort Worth ISD (FWISD). I am forwarding some links (below) to articles written about a former FWISD employee and friend, Joe Palazzolo, former Assistant Principal and Whistleblower, who has been embattled with the district for the past 3 years over wrongful termination and retaliation. Typically, a type of situation like Mr. Palazzolo's doesn't warrant a special plea to TEA; however, this case involves more than unjust firing. This involves a blatant misuse of power by the FWISD School Board of Trustees and the Superintendent, Walter Dansby. The case thus far, has cost taxpayers almost $500K and counting, to defend the district against their wrongful termination practices. The story links were written by the late Betty Brink, freelance journalist for The Fort Worth Weekly. These articles, especially "Powder Keg", covered attendance fraud, sexual harassment, retaliation, bullying, and embezzlement of Booster club funds at Arlington Heights High School (AHHS). Furthermore, the article influenced the succession of a string of retaliation and bullying toward the complainants (teachers) of AHHS, specifically Mr. Palazzolo, who served as his school's Diversity Representative. I urge you to please read the stories about FWISD and Mr. Palazzolo. 

Additionally, as of last night, a new surprising development was discovered, when the district posted an audio of a special board meeting executive session held on June 17, 2013 on their public district website. Members are heard arrogantly and maliciously belittling Mr. Palazzolo, his character and work ethic. The board members and Superintendent are heard laughing and making light of his impending case against the district and recent mutual agreements made in Decatur, Tex 271st court to resolve the suit. This development found its way to The Weekly, YouTube and other local journalists. Until now, no one has helped to hold FWISD accountable for wasting taxpayer money instead of settling Mr. Palazzolo's case amicably. All Mr. Palazzolo has wanted for the last 3 years is to get his job back and continue serving the students of our district. I don't know how much you can do from your position or if you are even able to help in immediately demanding transparency from FWISD. Our local DA has never helped, even when former AHHS administrators were found guilty of their illegal actions. The Star Telegram and other media outlets have protected the district from reporting anything negative, past and present. 

We can no longer sit idly by and watch our school district implode with constant negative publicity it has received, not only since the Palazzolo case surfaced, but with countless past, as well as other impending lawsuits. Our school district does not have to be this way; we must put our children's education first and foremost. However, it appears our district is putting their unethical and immoral behaviors first! As employees, parents and concerned taxpayers, how can we hold people at FWISD accountable for their questionable practices?  Below are the links I have been speaking of, as well as the link to the board meeting audio. Feel free to contact Mr. Palazzolo at 817-597-0650 or Mr. Eric Griffey, The Weekly journalist covering the Palazzolo case, at 817-319-5554. I ask that my identity remain confidential, since I am still currently employed by FWISD and also feel retaliation could ensue. Thank you for your time

Links to FWISD board meeting audio June 17, 2013 made public 6/21/13 and The Weekly Story

Links to stories on FTW Weekly regarding FWISD and Joe Palazzolo, Whistleblower

Friday, June 21, 2013

Executive session, not so much

The real newspaper in town blows the whistle.


Read about the Fort Worth School District tape of the executive session in the FW Weekly.

Stuff is changing in Cowtown, quick.  Keep up, you know what they say about stuff running downstream.

TRWD putting the IF in TIF

Woodard tells you all about it in the Fort Worth Business Press.

The only noise from Fort Worth Star-Telegram this week is crickets chirping.

Not to worry, we're sure they'll have a TRV promoting article soon.  It's been at least a week, right?

Heads will roll...

A letter to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram puts the $6 million dollar taxpayer loss by Tarrant Regional Water District into perspective.

The letter writer asks a good question of the TRWD - WHO do you think YOU are?

Water poaching

Let’s say a grocery agrees to give to a local food bank the food that isn’t sold before the expiration date. A few years later the food bank sues because the grocery won’t allow the food bank to pick fresh product from the shelves as soon as they are stocked.

How about allowing your dog to eat everything that falls off a picnic plate? What if he decided to eat directly off the plate with you because he was picking up a little dirt with the food off the ground?

Well, that’s what some bright folks at the Tarrant Regional Water District were trying to do — move upstream from the Red River, where we have water rights, to inland Oklahoma rivers and lakes full of fresh water where we don’t have rights. 

Who do we think we are? Where do we make up the $6 million? Heads should roll.

— John T. Johnson III, Arlington

Thursday, June 20, 2013

If you don't learn from history

You're an idiot.

Well, that and you're doomed to repeat it.

An article from last year in the Fort Worth Business Press points out a very costly, catastrophic mistake.  Sounds eerily similar to the very costly, catastrophic mistake the Trinity River Vision will create when it tries to redirect the river....

Just for fun, what will be in the path of the Trinity River?  Oh yes, a billion of your dollars worth of development and a couple million people. Genius.

The problem – and perhaps the solution – goes back to 1928. Fed up with flooding from North Sulphur River, Fannin County farmers decided to tame the river that was ruining their crops. Redirecting the meandering river into a 16-foot wide, 10-foot channel may have kept the river away from the cotton crops.

But it created a much worse problem, said Tom Taylor, executive director of the UTRWD.

The straightened river was twice as steep and ran twice as fast, Taylor said. Over 80 years, the river barreled downstream during heavy rains, wiping out everything in its path including trees and countless bridges, he said.

“It’s now 300 feet wide and 60 feet deep,” Taylor said. “It’s probably the only river in North America that never leaves its banks. It looks like it’s intended to be that way but it’s a catastrophic example of man-made erosion.”

Bad Boys, Bad Boys

What you gonna do when she comes for you?

KERA gives their take on what went down in the TRWD board meeting Tuesday.

Whichever side you're on, you have to admit, the woman has a point.

And by the way, "balked" can be translated into was rude as hell.

From the KERA article.....

Board member Jim Lane balked.

“Why would we want to spend taxpayer funds on another lawyer if we have lawyers already hired by the taxpayers?” questioned Lane.

To which Kelleher pointed out, the district had just lost a legal battle with Oklahoma over water rights that cost the district more than $6 million.

“No offense to our current council but we just lost a huge suit, quite embarrassing. If that was the opinion of our legal counseling I would like an outside one,” responded Kelleher. 

Then some rolled their eyes as Kelleher asked why the engineering firm of Freese and Nichols seemed to be awarded an abundance of work on a new pipeline and other projects.

“When you look at the agendas all you see is Freese and Nichols. Are they the only engineering firm?” Kelleher asked.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Star-Telegram no show, no surprise

While the Fort Worth Star-Telegram had plenty to say during the Tarrant Regional Water Board election (not all of it accurate), they were noticably absent from yesterday's standing room only TRWD board meeting.

The Fort Worth Weekly and the Fort Worth Business Press were there. (While the Biz Press got a few things wrong, at least they took the time to show up and actually REPORT on the meeting.)

KERA was also among the news outlets in attendance.

We are told a FWST columnist linked to the FW Weekly article on his Facebook page.  We were then asked why his own paper didn't cover it?  Good question.  ASK.

Kudos to Mary Kelleher for not backing down from the smirking bullies at the table.  And reminding them that almost 9,000 citizens put her there and she planned on doing right by them, not the board.  What other board member has received that many votes?  That's right, none.  Ever.

There weren’t enough parking spaces for the cars outside, and there weren’t enough chairs for the people inside.

A big turnout is rare at a Tarrant Regional Water District board of directors meetings. The water board isn’t known for transparency and doesn’t exactly embrace outsiders (aka taxpaying citizens) who poke their noses into the board’s business, even though much of it is supposed to be public information.

Board members appeared a bit surprised to see a full house at this morning’s meeting.

The big draw was Mary Kelleher, the only challenger during last month’s citywide election to oust an incumbent and get elected to a board that hadn’t seen a fresh face in a few years.

Following Kelleher’s statement, Jim Lane, another TRWD board director,asked: “What would be total compliance? You either comply or you don’t. You can’t halfway comply.”

Board President Victor Henderson noted that the board was “here in an open session.”

“Correct,” Kelleher replied, “but I want a legal opinion from the outside firm that can assure us that all of the things that we need to exactly have, including the executive sessions, are in compliance with the Texas Open Meetings Act – period.

“We’ve spent so many millions of dollars in legal fees. We have another lawsuit pending that’s alleging that we’re in violation of the open meetings act. I don’t have any idea why the board would not want an outside, independent [opinion], an additional one just to make sure that we’re not [in violation of the act],” she said. “We have a lot to lose; we just lost a lot. I think we serve the community well by getting an additional one, and I don’t understand why my fellow directors wouldn’t be in agreement with me.”

Monday, June 17, 2013

What does Clyde say?

You knew he wouldn't stay silent on the lawsuit everyone but TRWD knew they'd lose.

Read his comments and others in the Fort Worth Business Press.

It's alive...

For years we and others have been trying to get the Fort Worth Star-Telegram to get involved with the Tarrant Regional Water District issues.  By getting involved we meant looking into water supply and flooding issues, not cheerleading for the Trinity River Vision and their hair brained schemes (ie - Floating with Feces, Wakeboarding, Drive-in's and restaurants for their buddies).

Now that the TRWD was slapped in the face in the Supreme Court the Fort Worth Star-Telegram wants to hear from YOU.  We don't know how bad they will mangle your letter, or how many won't get printed, but here's the info:

The Supreme Court’s decision that Oklahoma doesn’t have to sell water to the Tarrant Regional Water District means Fort Worth and Dallas may become very unpopular across North Texas. It puts more pressure on the thirsty big cities to increase supplies in ways like building the Marvin Nichols Reservoir near Mount Pleasant, where the project is very unpopular. Are we bad guys when it comes to water?

Send no more than 150 words with your name, home address and daytime phone to Deadline is Wednesday for publication next Monday.

What he said

A letter to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram made us laugh.

Usually the columns do too.  Isn't that all they are good for?

Bud bias

With nearly every Bud Kennedy column clearly aimed at insulting Christians, Tea Partiers, Republicans, etc., I have to wonder if we’re getting a fair and unbiased review of his hamburger and chicken-fried steak columns.

With his strong distaste for anything even slightly conservative, does he vet his cafe owners before determining if their food is up to his liberal standards or even worthy of a plug?

What if the cafe owner is selling beef from a conservative rancher’s herd, maybe even a rancher who might own a gun? What if the bread delivery guy goes to church? Could these factors muddy the waters for a food critic like Bud Kennedy?

No doubt his annoying anti-everything sells newspapers. Otherwise, his column would be pro-liberal rather than anti-conservative.

Only in podunk towns and the Star-Telegram could you have a political column and a food column written by the same guy.

— David Houk, Fort Worth

Friday, June 14, 2013


The manager of the TRWD speaks on the 6 year, $6 million dollar lawsuit against Oklahoma.

WHERE do you think they got the $6 mil?  If you guessed YOU, you guessed correctly.

Notice how “continued growth and prosperity” remain one of their top priorities.  Funny, we thought their priorities were supposed to be water and flood control.

Did you Float with Feces at the Rocking the River event Thursday?  What did that cost?

Someone tell Oliver to put our money down and hush.

At least they “will look at other options to provide water” now.  Citizens have been asking them to for years.  They were too busy wakeboarding and restaurant building.

If they think the answer is the pipeline (the one their own staff doesn’t recommend and they are being sued over) or Marvin Nichols, maybe we need a new manager…

While we're at it, could we get some new attorney's too?  Cause any who thought this was a good idea need to go.  Stat.

Jim Oliver, general manager of the Tarrant Regional Water District, said that he is disappointed with the decision and that the district will look at other options to provide water for the region.

Securing additional water resources is essential to North Texas’ continued growth and prosperity and will remain one of our top priorities,” Oliver said, adding that the district spent about $6 million fighting the case in court.

Oliver said the district will continue to work with Oklahoma to see whether a deal can be struck for the purchase of water. “We’re still going to try to continue discussions with Oklahoma to see if some kind compromise can be reached, but I’m not going to bet the farm on it,” he said.

“The population in our service area is expected to double over the next 50 years, so we will act quickly to develop new sources,” Oliver said.

Read more here.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

How much did that cost YOU?

The Tarrant Regional Water District just lost their lawsuit (again) to sue Oklahoma and take their water.

The Supreme Court voted against it, unanimously. The Fort Worth Way doesn't work everywhere. And it won't work here much longer.

Now how are they going to fund those Tubing on the Trinity/Rocking the River/Floating with Feces events if they keep spending millions on frivolous lawsuits?

And WHAT are they going to do about that pesky little water supply issue?

Read all about it here....

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Durango rocks.

And makes us laugh.

Down in flames

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram just keeps proving our point.

We need a real paper.

Thanks to the Fort Worth Weekly for scoring yet another point.

Star-Telegram Editorial Board Doesn't Need Onion To Make It Cry.

Ding dong...

Julie Wilson, who has been referred to as a witch by some, has left the building.


Seems Friday will be her last day at Chesapeake.  Now WHY would that be?

Says she's going back to consulting.  We can only guess for WHO.

Friday, June 7, 2013

A veto??

We were asked what happened with Bill 346, Perry veto'd it. Things are getting tough all over for some of those good OLD boys. Stop messing with Texans. You're pissing us off.

Guys like Geren and Seliger don’t like to be challenged. More importantly, they don’t like sunlight being shown on legislative records that run counter to the pictures they paint of themselves back home. Rather than reform, they want to apply political and regulatory pressure to those who oppose them. That meant prying away at the constitutional privacy protections afforded to those who donate to non-profit organizations.

Read more here:

We don't need no stinking zoning...

We do things the Fort Worth Way.

Tuesday the council (Mayor Bicycle Betty was MIA) voted to turn the corner of Northside Drive into an apartment complex. This has been a complex issue that the residents of Oakhurst and Riverside have been dealing with for months. This is the same piece of land that the architect said the Tarrant Regional Water District gave him a portion of. The district then of course said they will lease it.

There are many questions and concerns about this site - traffic, conflict with the zoning plan, the fact that it lies in a floodplain (the renderings show cars parked under water). We were sent an email that the council received.  It has many good points, we are sharing some of them with you below.

Not to worry though, it's not the only place in Fort Worth they are throwing zoning to the wind.  They also voted to sell liquor near schools.  All this in a town that is running out of water and you sit dead stopped on the highway for hours (you can't call it a freeway anymore, not with what it's going to wind up costing you).  WHEN are the residents of Fort Worth going to say enough already?

The project site is a difficult site to develop (witness the change in zoning on the site to accommodate a hotel and restaurant project which failed). It is a floodplain site which will require extensive planning, permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Tarrant Regional Water District, and significant investment to deal with the drainage issues at the site. In an April 5, 2013 story on the project in the Fort Worth Business Press, there is the following quote: "That’s a difficult area to develop," said J.D. Granger, executive director of the Trinity River Vision Authority, referring to the site’s ability to handle flood water.

Fort Worth Weekly of Feb. 6, 2013 in a story on the project included this information: "If they get everything approved and pay for the extension of the drainage into the river, we have tentatively agreed to lease our property for parking," water district spokesman Chad Lorance said.) What is the cost of extension of drainage into the river? Would a developer really agree to add that to the cost of the project? 

It should also be noted that the artist’s beautiful color rendering of the apartment project features a marina and sailboats in the river. The river at the site is presently not deep enough to accommodate sailboats. Who will pay to deepen the river to accommodate these water craft? The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers? Tarrant Regional Water District? The project developer? Is a marina truly a reality at the site? 

There are questions about environmental issues near the Trinity River if this apartment project is built. Within the last couple of years, the Zoning Commission had strong reservations about relocating the City’s auto pound at a site near the river – both for beautification reasons and for issues involved with runoff from automobiles (oil, etc.) into the river. What is different with this proposal? Five hundred apartments with 840 required parking spaces would put a huge number of cars (and attendant runoff) right at the river.
There are other questions about the requested waivers which would allow a five story building at the river’s edge, creating a great view for apartment dwellers, but blocking the view for the general public.
The benefits to the City and the possibilities for preserving this part of the Trinity River greenbelt have not been explored and should be before a final decision is made to encourage this kind of development right on the river in the floodplain and in the greenbelt. 

Doggone it.

The Fort Worth Weekly article about the dogs dying of distemper in the Fort Worth Animal Shelter produced many comments about Bicycle Betsy.  It ain't pretty.  But then again, it's Fort Worth.

Read it here.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Our favorite part of the paper…the readers

The following comments are on several recent articles in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  You’d think the paper would pay as much attention as the citizens do.  Oh well, here’s to wishful thinking.

We all are very aware of the privatization of our electrical providers and how well that’s working for the consumer. Now I see in the May 19 Star-Telegram that the city of Fort Worth is considering the privatization of the water maintenance department.

With the advent of a new exciting bicycle rental business, I guess City Hall does not have time to be bothered with maintaining our boring old water system. Lest we forget, it takes a lot of time finding the money to fill up the bottomless “money pit” known in some circles as “Granger’s Pond.”
— W. B. Slaughter, Fort Worth

The Fort Worth City Council should not consider any new major expenditures until they have fixed our streets. That should and must be their first priority. We're having to wait, again, for the next bond election in May 2014, and we may or may not make that list of streets to be replaced. There are streets on the south side you need a tank to get down.

Our street on the east side has been categorized as a “3” (bad) since at least 2007. The street is crumbling, and it’s dangerously narrow, a problem for the fire department should we have a fire.

The City Council stuck us with bike lanes no one uses, and the Fort Worth Transportation Authority brought us a rent-a-bike program that is sure to fail. The Rivercrest area got all new street signs (of all things) and we can’t get a decent street to live on.

The council needs to take care of business for the residents as a whole, not their friends and special interest projects.
— Susie Fitzgerald, Fort Worth

Jeers: To the Keller City Council that has abandoned the city’s Future Land Use Plan and development standards at the whims of developers who have inundated the city with requests for smaller lots to bulk up their profits. The council presents as a representative of the developer vs. the citizens.
— Pam Morton, Keller

WHAT's it worth?

Apparently the Fort Worth Star-Telegram wants to know what YOU think.

Yeah, we don't buy it either.

Tarrant County’s taxable property values as a whole are up 4.3 percent over last year, according to the Tarrant Appraisal District. Do you believe that's evidence the economy is improving — or that homes are being over-valued by TAD?

Send no more than 150 words with your name, address and daytime phone to Deadline is Wednesday for publication next Monday.

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Private Water

Since it's YOURS, YOU should show up!

Fort Worth Assistant City Manager Fernando Costa will speak about the City's Water Utility Task Force which is studying possible privatization of some or all water services.
The meeting will also feature updates on other news important to neighborhoods: 
* proposed deletion of distance requirements between alcohol sales and schools and hospitals in Mixed Use, Form-based zoning districts, and downtown
* Where is Fort Worth going?  Visioning for 2018 and beyond
* Siting of Natural Gas Line Compressors and Agricultural zoned areas near neighborhoods

The City's new Water Utility Task Force has been holding meetings. The League sends a monitor to observe these meetings.

You can find the webpage for the Water Utility Task Force agendas and powerpoint presentations here
Privatization of city services is drawing lots of scrutiny nationwide.      
Here's the Texas Tribune's late May story on Fort Worth's task force.
Here's a developer's take on water privatization from the Baton Rouge Business Report.
Here's an article on water rates in Flower Mound and how privatization affects those.
Here's WFAA/Channel 8's story on announcement of the Fort Worth task force and its charge.
Here's a piece on Atlanta's 2003 experiment with privatization of water services.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Meet the Beverly Hillbillies

Jeff Prince meets Frank Bracken Weekly style.

Kudos Mr.Prince.

You have been one, a prince, to many folks railroaded by 'the industry'.

Carry on, sir.