Tuesday, December 23, 2014

School's out

But FWISD still needs help.

Learn more here.

You're Invited

Monday, December 8, 2014


Presentation for and against:

PRO - County Judge Glen Whitley

CON - Colleyville City Councilman Chris Putnam

Followed by presentation of a resolution for TCRA members about the project

Why You Should Attend----

  • Learn facts and figures about the project and the proposed routing.
  • Hear what the experience of other communities around the Country has been.
  • Understand the costs - both upfront and operational subsidies - to the taxpayers.
  • Question the presenters about any use of eminent domain.
  • Listen as the presenters discuss the alternatives to such a light rail project.
  • Enjoy some Christmas cheer with other TCRA members.

Glen Whitley is a CPA, now County Judge, who has been involved in the planning and development of the project. He will have data provided by the Regional Transportation Commission of the North Central Texas Council of Governments.

Councilman Chris Putnam is a Senior VP with Synchronoss Technologies, a NASDAQ listed company. He has been part of the Colleyville community since 2006 and can present reasons why the project is of questionable value.

When: Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Time: 6:45 pm Social - meet & greet
7:15 pm Program on TEXRAIL (15 minutes per side)
7:45 pm Presentation and debate on a TEXRAIL resolution
8:00 pm Christmas celebration - libations and light hors d'oeuvres

Where: Rose Room, Fort Worth Botanic Garden
(On the west side of University Blvd. about ¼ mile north of I-30)

Cost: Open to Assembly members and the general public at no charge

Friday, December 5, 2014

TRWD does business in a "walking quorum" 2 of 3 Justice's say it's okay...

Only in Texas.

The 2nd Court of Appeals voted 2-1 in favor of the Tarrant Regional Water District last week.

You can read the case here - and the FWST take on it here.

You can read tons about the Justice's online...

Justice Lee Ann Dauphinot disagreed in a dissenting opinion and said that the board’s two-person committee’s should be subject to the Open Meetings Act if they are effectively being used to conduct the board’s business.

“By allowing TRWD to have meaningful decisions take place in the committee meetings instead of in open board meetings, the majority approves of TRWD’s using what is in essence a walking quorum,” Dauphinot said. “In my opinion, Bennett raised a fact issue about whether TRWD conducts its business in violation of the water code and TOMA. I therefore dissent.”

Fell for Prop 1? Roads vs. Rail

Not all of you live in the 12 county Metroplex region, but all of you have your transportation policy determined by a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). Ours in North TX is the largest in the state, and is called the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC).

And yes, they plan to spend $15.1 BILLION in North Texas on new rail, in addition to the $3.9 BILLION they've already spent. And yes, traditional roadways are the LAST funding priority for your federal, state, county and city tax dollars. Peachy, isn't it?

But the people are not powerless. The below two articles are information that most Texas State legislators are currently unaware of, and they need to hear from you.

Local Officials Are Funding Rail Over Roads:
"Citizens should demand vocal action from their state, county and local officials. After all, the RTC has been granted its power by the legislature. Residents should ask their representatives when roads, not rail, will become the top transportation priority before they attempt to “fix” the problem by recklessly throwing more money at it."

Full Article: http://www.empowertexans.com/features/local-officials-are-funding-rail-over-roads

Prop 1's Toll Prohibition Is Effectively Meaningless:
"Texans who voted for Proposition 1 in the hopes of stopping toll road expansion are in for a big disappointment. Without a statewide prohibition on toll roads, rail and other non-road projects that applies to all state funds, increases in state funding like Prop 1 will actually encourage more waste by the regional governments that ultimately control which projects receive funding...Don't take my word for it, the RTC admits this is true."

Full Article: http://www.empowertexans.com/features/prop-1s-toll-prohibition-is-effectively-meaningless/

No More Tolls!

Join FedEx, UPS, & McDonalds in opposing tolls

You may remember earlier this year that a new national group organized to oppose tolls on federal interstate freeways, the Alliance for Toll-free Interstates. Big names like Walmart, McDonalds, and UPS are FINALLY waking up to the economic destruction tolls across the nation will do to commerce and our pocketbooks.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Starting early

The TRV sent out their 38 page mailer praising themselves for all the things they are taking your money for. You'll have to wait till Spring (just prior to the election to receive the full color, glossy TRWD one).

We're told this didn't come before the TRWD board and Mary Kelleher has already requested the cost of the mailer...we're taking odds on if she gets that or not.

Read Durango's take on the propaganda piece.

YOU can't afford not to.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Turkey’s Ready…

The Fort Worth Weekly Turkey awards never disappoint.  We’ll let Durango tell you about our favorite one.

We’re still working on getting the new image of Dud Kennedy out of our head----

Kennedy donned his saddle shoes, ankle socks, pleated skirt, and FW-emblazoned sweater....

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Tarrant Regional Water District Pipeline in the "news" again

There's been a growing noise in Mansfield over the past several months...It's residents joining together to fight off the Tarrant Regional Water District.  The district well known for taking property for economic development and a $2.3 billion dollar pipeline.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram claims the pipeline will bring water to Dallas-Fort Worth, though the TRWD's own report on the IPL shows the water will be for Dallas.  Is there a new report somewhere?

A civil engineer whose property is in the cross-hairs presented an alternate plan that would impact less citizens (Hey, all you Trinity River Vision eminent domain victims - is this sounding familiar yet?) but the water district says no.  They say it will cost a million dollars more, though it sounds as if they have done no studies to determine that.  A million dollars...seriously? In water board money, that's chump change.  They spent $6 million on a lawsuit against Oklahoma.  And TRV is, at last count, almost a billion.

Below is Mary Kelleher's entire statement to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.   YOU should pay attention, because YOU could be next on their list.

 "When I listened to the residents in Mansfield tell their stories it sounded incredibly similar to the stories I have heard from other people devastated by eminent domain. Their stories sounded just like any average citizen being impacted by government; a litany of phone tag, unreturned calls, and empty promises of hope. I don't believe for one second the TRWD's claim they have chosen the best route for the pipeline. It is my opinion that once TRWD decides to take a property there is no room for discussion. I asked my fellow board members at the board meeting today to please arrange for a meeting with the Mansfield neighborhood but was told it may not be possible due to possible litigation. I don't hold out much hope for their situation, but they are a strong, community with great faith in God. May 2015 will be here soon enough and if this board doesn't do the right thing I have no doubt the people will vote to put directors on the TRWD Board who will."

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

YOU are invited

Dear Friends of the Free Market,

On Saturday, November 22, a key meeting will take place in Wimberley south of Austin.

The two topics will be:

1. what changes should be made to Texas water policies, and
2. what tactics can be applied to bring change.

This is occurring in the aftermath of a big defeat on the San Antonio Vista Ridge pipe line decision that will send water from Burleson County to San Antonio.

Read about the water marketers here: http://independentleaguetx.org/vista-ridge/

Friday, November 14, 2014

It's about time

People are tired of the Tarrant Regional Water District taking land and blowing money with nothing to show for it except high water bills, deer leases and wakeboard parks.

Pay attention, you can't afford not to. YOU could be next.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Frack No!

On November 4, 2014, there was a historical vote in Denton, TX, which of course was when the residents voted to ban hydraulic fracturing within the corporate limits of the city.  This is a bit shocking considering the political make up of this area and the amount of funding that the industry sunk into defeating this measure.  Another interesting thing is the margin of victory for this measure, for all the money that was sunk into this election by the industry, they were not even close to victory.  What is also shocking is that candidate races in the area still went heavily to republicans.  In the Texas State Representative race for House District 64 which encompasses Denton, the republican Myra Crownover easily won with 64 percent of the vote.  So is clear that a large number of republicans supported this ban.

Many years ago, during a meeting with the industry, I voiced my displeasure with the manner in which they did business and told them that if they continued down this path, that no one would want this industry doing business near them.  I hate to so I told you so, but I did.  Now the question is will they ever learn, and the initial response is “no”, they will never learn.  After getting their tails kicked pretty badly in an election where they had all of the advantages, they chose not to change their business practices, and truly try to be the good neighbors they say they are on TV, but they filed a lawsuit.  This makes it clear that they’re never going to try and be a good neighbor.  Instead of running to make amends for their wrong doings, they try force their way into the neighborhoods, continuing to be bad actors.

At least in places like Denton, this probably could have all been avoided if this industry had one ounce of compassion for the communities they do business in.  However, they chose to violate the wishes of the community, resulting in the ban on a technique that was developed a few miles up the road from here.  Denton is also a town that has a large industry presence, with several of these companies having offices and other facilities there.  However, when you trample all over people private property rights, kill their property values, and destroy their quality of life, you should expect something like this.

Instead of trying to work with the communities that they were pissing all over, the industry runs to Austin for help.  To which the Texas Railroad Commissioners came running with bells on.  Unfortunately, the trio better known as the three stooges here in Texas, did nothing more than what the industry did, which was like pouring “gas” on a flame, and made the situation much worse.  Did anybody ever give those who were working on the ban any respect for their complaints?  No, they all just insulted them even more, accusing them being buddies with Putin, and other false and misleading statements, which of course didn’t work, but again fanned the flames.  

I was taught something at young age which was; when you find yourself in a hole…stop digging.  However, the oil and gas industry and their supporters must have missed that little piece of common sense.  The results are that they gave a couple goofballs $800,000.00, which turned out to be a big waste of money.  I know this may be a shock to those in the industry, but after years of misleading and lying to people, nobody trusts you.  Therefore, when you give money to someone that lies on your behalf, that makes them paid liars, and even a fool can spot a paid liar.

What is even more damning for the industry is that the paid liars are losing the battle in other areas as well.  A total of 4 bans on hydraulic fracturing were passed around the country.  And these bans were not implement with millions of dollars from Russian backed environmental groups, but rather by a small group of local citizens.  Normal people who have regular jobs, but are tired of seeing their property rights trampled all over by an industry who couldn’t care less.  One of my most trusted advisors says “there is a billion dollars beneath our feet and they don’t care who they trample on to get it”.  This is truly a case of Goliath being taken down with a slingshot and smooth stone.

Of course, the Texas Railroad Commission is not the only one running to the industry’s aid, the other prostitutes will come running with their aid as well. The Texas Land Office has joined the industry filing a lawsuit.  The Texas Land Office mission states: “The Texas General Land Office serves the schoolchildren, veterans, and all people of Texas by preserving their history, protecting their environment, expanding economic opportunity, and maximizing state revenue through innovative administration and prudent stewardship of state lands and resources.”  Not sure what makes them think they have dog in this fight, other than the fact that most of the Texas elected officials at the state level fight over the opportunity to pimp themselves out to this industry.

State Representative Phil King, of Texas House District 61, who serves on the Energy Resources Committee, has already committed to introducing legislation that removes a Texas municipality’s right to ban hydraulic fracturing.  Of course Representative King, is another who will fight for the opportunity to pimp himself out to the industry, and never look his citizens in the eye while doing it.  Texas House District 61 encompasses the Azle, TX area where they have had the rash of earthquakes caused by the fracking waste injection wells.  However, Representative King did not show up at the meetings held by the state, and has thus far refused to talk with his citizens about these earthquakes.  It must be noted that Representative King has multiple ethics violations and is therefore technically a “crook”.  He also refuses to look me in the eye when I testify before the Energy Resources committee; therefore, I take him as a coward.  He also refuses to take a stand to protect the property rights of hard working Texans.

It is strange that Representative King would choose to remove local control when on his website he states that “Local control and limited government must be the first resort not the last”.  However, it is clear that those positions go out the window when we are talking about the Oil and Gas industry.  When it comes to this subject, it appears that the Austin cronies are good with an overbearing state government, which takes away local control from municipalities.  It is also clear that the Austin Cronies like Representative King, are more than willing to ignore a valid election, and overturn the will of the people.  I guess when you are a prostitute for the oil and gas industry, things like local control and limited government, are just buzzwords.  

One thing that is missed in all of this by the industry and their prostitutes is that the people who are affected by all of this have property rights also.  Our private property rights start where our property line begins, so why doesn’t the industry consider keeping their noise, odors, bright lights, and hazardous chemicals on their side of the fence?  They trespass their crap on our property and expect us to take it.  The hardworking, honest Texans who voted for this ban don’t want a noisy, smelly industrial site, 200 feet from the backdoor, and those other than the industry and their cronies understand that fact.

The people of Denton passed an ordinance that would have helped protect people’s private property rights, and the industry ignored their wishes.  What exactly did the industry expect?  Don’t blame the people of Denton for this ban, blame the industry and the prostitutes who support them.  Common sense tells you that you cannot keep ramming this stuff down the throats of the people without consequences.  So if you’re in the oil and gas industry or are one of their elected prostitutes, it was you who got yourself into this, not environmental groups funded by Russia, but you.  The blame is yours, so take the whipping that you deserve.  
Calvin Tillman
Mayor Emeritus,
Town of DISH, TX
(940) 453-3640

"Those who say it can not be done, should get out of the way of those that are doing it"

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Free Fireball shots!

Not really, but we wouldn't be surprised if they were handing them out on the banks of the Trinity River yesterday morning. You'd have to be drunk to buy what they're selling.

Someone please tell these people to stop talking (and spending) they are embarrassing Fort Worth.

A Big Boom Begins Boondoggle Bridge Construction.

Uh oh, Gio

Last night State Representative, Giovanni Capriglione, set off a firestorm at a Northeast Tarrant Tea Party meeting. He told a room full of Scott Turner supporters he would be supporting Joe Strauss. He said things such as there wasn't even a race and Turner has no chance of winning, nor does he have any experience. Huh...isn't that what they said about Gio when he ran?

We've noticed he tends to lay low and try not to get involved on lots of other issues that affect his district but he seems to be 'out there' on this one.  Wonder if the voters will leave him 'out there' next go around?

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Why people support Mary Kelleher

Press Release
November 7, 2014
Mary Kelleher, Director TRWD
Subject:  Groundbreaking-TRV Panther Island Bridges

On Monday, November 10, 2014, many of Fort Worth's elite will attend a groundbreaking ceremony for the TRV (Trinity River Vision) Panther Island Bridges. As a Director of the TRWD (Tarrant Regional Water District), I received an invitation to this event but I will not be in attendance. I do not want to go down in history as being present for the groundbreaking of what many anticipate, myself included, will be referred to one day as the biggest boondoggle in the history of Fort Worth. I'm disappointed in the decision to move ahead with building bridges over dry land without funding certainty.

Some of you may not know about the TRV project and don’t feel bad because you never actually voted for it.  What you voted for back in 2008 was a proposition which read, “The issuance of public securities for street improvements in the aggregate sum of $150,000,000”.  This proposition passed and has turned into a public/private development scheme using tax revenues to finance a giant waterfront project to attract more people to Fort Worth.  The plan is to divert the Trinity River to create a 33-acre town lake with water-front restaurants, bars, businesses, and condos.

Sounds great…..but there’s one big problem.  This almost billion dollar water project won’t bring one drop of water to Fort Worth and will place even more strain on the limited water supply we do have. It’s irresponsible to spend hundreds of millions of dollars for an economic development project when we are in a record drought and there are cities in Texas running out of water.

This serious issue was raised and the public/private clique responded with claims that this project is necessary for flood control.  Part of the plan calls for lowering the levees so people can have more access to the Trinity River.  Lowering levees increases flood risks.

The TRV is an unnecessary financial risk to the taxpayers, a financial blow to many of the Fort Worth property owners displaced by the taking of their land for this project, and a financial windfall for the chosen individuals, businesses, developers, contractors, and elected officials who have and will benefit from this project.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

If THEY are selling it...

There is a reason YOU shouldn't buy.

If elected officials cram your mailbox and TV with ads for certain propositions , there's a reason. And ask yourself, WHERE are they getting all that money?  Don't fall for the trap.

Read Durango's take on Prop 1, 2 and 3.

Save yourself.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Speaking of Prop 1....

HPRA URGES DEFEAT OF PROPOSITION 1 and calls for reframing our understanding of mobility

The Houston Property Rights Association is announcing its opposition to Proposition 1, the constitutional amendment on the November 4, 2014 Texas ballot that would redirect half the funds flowing to the Rainy Day Fund to the Texas Department of Transportation. The result is that TxDOT would see its annual revenue grow by $1.7 billion yearly, or $3.4 billion each biennium.

Below is a resolution HPRA is circulating around Texas and an article with links to explain our position. After that is a posting from Ballotpedia with more information, including full language of the proposition.

Civil engineers never look at the bottom line on traffic outcomes which is found in Census Bureau reports. That data, which has been consistent for decades, shows that in spite of slow growth in highway capacity the average travel time for Texas commuters stays under half an hour.

It’s probably true that the aging road system needs attention, but defeating Prop 1 means that the whole issue of “road needs” (aka “mobility needs” ) can be rethought with better information to allow a reframing, to be followed with a proposal for a smaller construction program than the $5 billion yearly TxDOT says is needed.

Highway advocates have announced plans to push for more money in the 2015 session. Taxpayers need to recognize this as a watershed moment. A no vote will catalyze a long needed statewide conversation that can bring realism to transportation policy setting.

1. Whereas, There is historical evidence that humans generally keep their average commute times to half an hour or less;

2. Whereas, Some engineers still rely on the classic Levels Of Service metric, though it is a subjective and obsolete standard, fashioned with a questionable goal of maximizing vehicle throughput;

3. Whereas, In recent years engineers are beginning to reject LOS, some preferring to stress Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS), a flexible approach to transportation planning that is now incorporated into Federal Highway Administration policy; 

4. Whereas, In spite of CSS as an alternative way to evaluate mobility needs, many engineers still rely on computer models to project congestion a generation into the future.

5. Whereas, These models of future traffic lack the ability to incorporate changes in road user behavior (most importantly: employers, retailers, and commuters) known to occur that keep most work trips at 30 minutes or less, as reflected in census bureau data;

6. Whereas, Research engineer Tim Lomax, renowned for his work on the Texas Transportation Institute’s (TTI’s) Urban Mobility Report, has acknowledged that the TTI traffic model does not reflect the fact that commuters change jobs, or move to dwellings closer to their jobs, when the time consumed by the worktrip becomes unacceptable; be it

RESOLVED, That people learn how to make a road system serve their purposes in spite of growing congestion, and

RESOLVED, That the (insert group name) is unpersuaded that the Texas Department of Transportation needs $1.7 billion of additional annual revenue to fight congestion, and

RESOLVED, That (group name) urges Texas voters to reject the constitutional amendment diverting an estimated $1.7 billion yearly from the "rainy day fund” to TxDOT.

Kicking butt and taking names

This is how you fix toll road schemes.

Following is an update on the City Council and Hunt County Com. Court Oct. 13 & 14 meetings:

1) Josephine passed a Resolution against the Toll Road

2)  Hunt County Commissioners meeting - no official action - some questions being asked since the meeting

3)  Greenville City Council will repeal their former Resolution supporting the toll road, but is not committed to any no resolution opposing it at this time.

4)  Caddo Mills will bring an opposing Resolution to a vote November 3rd.  It is expected to pass. Caddo Mills Chamber of Commerce came to the Caddo Mills City Council Meeting and asked them to oppose the road. 

5)  Royse City City Council would not allow anyone not in the city limits, not even in their ETJ to speak.  They even would not allow those who were there prior to the meeting finish completing their forms to speak once the meeting started.  initially, they were going to allow everyone to speak.  I believe their attorney advised otherwise.  They are supporters of this road in my opinion.  This action may not be legal because a general law city must have a policy in place to allow for public comments. They cannot change the policy without an official vote on the matter.  I also believe that a couple of those who spoke about repairing a specific road were in the ETJ, not the city.  I will request the forms and check the addresses.  The mayor called a couple of our names to tell us before the meeting they checked our addresses and we could not speak.

6)  Rowlett City Council is drafting a letter of opposition to be sent out by Friday.  Will bring back a formal Resolution opposing the road.

Fort Worth welcomes you - to GET OUT

Another difference in Fort Worth and Dallas.

The Scenic isn't all it's cracked up to be.  It's also on the edge of the Trinity River Vision plan.  Imagine that.

Hats off to the Weekly for reporting real news.

“The [abrupt] eviction is a breach of our trust,” Norris wrote. “We are asking ourselves what else we were told that this company will not keep their word on.”

Cienda Partners did not respond to requests for comments on this story.

Kevin Neal, media and public affairs coordinator for the city, said city officials were unaware of the situation at Scenic Bluffs and that the city’s planning and zoning department has not been in touch with “any parties in these transactions.”

Bill said Parkview offices received a call from Mayor Betsy Price’s office congratulating Joplin on the sale.

Bethke said she tried numerous times to get help from the mayor’s office and was referred to council member Ann Zadeh’s office. Zadeh’s staff referred her to the city housing department. Neither were any help, she said.

 Get Out

Lackluster Granger Greene Debate Forum with an Added Libertarian

While we appreciate the League of Women Voter's hosting a forum for this district WHO rarely sees their "leader", we have to admit, it could use some improvement.

Again, we were surprised they got Granger to show up.  We were also impressed that they included the Libertarian candidate as too many others do not.  If they are a candidate in the race, WHAT gives the "news" the right to leave one out?

The location, which we are sure was free, was small, with terrible parking and not in the most accessible location.

It almost seemed as if they didn't want people to attend.

The moderator wasn't as professional as one would hope for a race of this magnitude and some of the questions were, well, strange.  We were told we couldn't applaud and we couldn't ask questions, and if the question you turned in was directed to just one candidate, those wouldn't be considered.  Only questions that affected us all.  Then they asked the candidates about farm subsidies.  Yes, really.  While it affects us all, as in the fact we pay for it, it probably affects one percent of the folks gathered in that room.

What they didn't ask, which had everyone in the room asking, WHY, was ANYTHING about the Trinity River Vision.  The billion dollar, taxpayer funded, eminent domain scheme in the middle of the district doesn't even deserve a mention?  Things like this are WHY people are fed up with our current "leaders" and those who coddle them.

For the most part the forum was the same as any other forum, except for the repeated burst of applause for Mark Greene's responses.  At least half a dozen times, part of the room burst in to cheers when Greene answered questions or gave his opening statement.  Granger did not receive any.  She did use the word "I" more than any other candidate in attendance.  Some things never change.

Monday, October 13, 2014

You're Invited to a Greene - Granger Debate

You're Invited

Don & Debora Young will deliver a powerpoint presentation on the unvarnished 10-year history of Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area, Monday night at 6:30 p.m., at the monthly meeting of the Fort Worth Chapter of Native Prairie Association of Texas (NPAT)..

Titled, Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it., the program covers significant events, people and relationships that led to the formation and success of the organization from 2004 - 2014.

Westside Presbyterian Church
8700 Chapin Road
Fort Worth, TX 76116

Friday, October 10, 2014

Spanking the Irrelevant Star-Telegram

Durango and his readers are ahead of the curve while the Startlegram can't make the cut.

But we already knew that...

Thursday, October 2, 2014

City of Lavon

We salute you. See the incoming message below....

In a Special called meeting on October 1, 2014 the City of Lavon unanimously passed a Resolution against the Blacklands/Northeast Gateway Toll Road.  After the Resolution was passed each of the Council members voiced their strong objections.  Each objected to a private company owning a toll road for their own profit and the lack of a need for this toll road.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Moving to Texas?

This guy knows what’s up.  YOU should too.

Five of the 20 fastest growing cities in America might be in Texas, but they are also the municipalities moving the quickest toward failure of infrastructure and other acute problems the state's leaders ignore.

And don’t forget…

Our roads are a serious problem.

Check it out on CNN.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

You're Doing it Wrong

Yes, we are sharing a 'ST editorial'. Probably has a lot to do with fact, they didn't write it, therefore it makes sense.

Left, right...whatever side you're on, if you continue allow your lawmakers to allow the theft of citizen property by tollway companies, water districts, industries and whoever else these 'quasi' appointed government bodies see fit...well, tell us again the definition of insanity.

If the Editorial isn't enough to get your attention, is John McCaa?

But it seems every day somebody's taking something from people in the middle class and calling it "progress."

WFAA article----
Uncut: The problem with private eminent domain

Star-Telegram Editorial----
It’s time for Texas to pass eminent domain reform

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Another private tollway & the COG pisses off 1,500

Monday night the meeting for the Blacklands Tollway that had been shut down previously for too many attendees, probably broke a record.  The accounts were anywhere from 1,200 to 1,500 people showed up.  The meeting lasted till after midnight and not one voiced support for the project.

People are finally catching on to the COG and their cronies.  They asked about the feasibility study and (this sounds familiar) WHY it wasn't done yet?  HOW are they supposed to comment on it and it be voted on in a couple of weeks if it's not complete?

Oh and if you weren't aware the COG are Federal employees...funny how that works, isn't it?

There were many discrepancies in the whole scheme and the citizens out there are on it.  You can read about them all here - Private tollway near east Dallas draws ire from record crowd

Friday, September 19, 2014

Water Board buying more radio ads with YOUR money

Oh no, wait, this time it's the Tollway folks.  Sounds original, doesn't it?

Even the contracts sound the same.

Wake up people, it is YOUR money.

You’ve probably heard the radio ads with Alamo Regional Mobility Authority (RMA) Chairman John Clamp touting the benefits of the US 281 toll project. If you’re like me, you got steaming mad that a toll authority is using our tax money to convince the public that tolling our existing freeways is a great idea.

I wanted to find out just how much money they’re sinking into this public relations campaign. An open records request revealed that they’ll spend up to $371,294 for radio and television ads, extensive newspaper ads, billboards, and a massive public ‘outreach’ campaign selling their toll road to your homeowners associations, civic groups, churches, chambers of commerce, and anyone that will let them in the door.

The primary contractor, HNTB, hired Trish DeBerry for the task, whose firm previously bid on the 281 toll project as part of a design-build team before her run for Mayor. Ultimately, the RMA has retained her PR services at a cost of $25,000 a month.

RMA targets toll opposition in taxpayer-funded PR campaign

Politicians for Sale

They are a dime a dozen in Texas.  Cheap!  Unless you're the taxpayer footing the bill.

Munoz' ties to 281 toll road create trail of corruption

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Royalty Rip Off?

So far cities have sued Chesapeake.  The airport sued Chesapeake.  School Districts have sued them.  The Tarrant Regional Water District (of all people!) has sued Chesapeake.  Even the Bass family.

Now, it's YOUR turn. If you feel you were screwed, show up.

  • 6 p.m. Tuesday, September 16 at Brewer High School, 1025 West Loop 820 North
  • 6 p.m. Wednesday, September 17 at River Oaks Community Center, 5300 Blackstone Drive

You can read the entire article @ WFAA.com
Tension grows between driller and royalty owners.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Join them

You could be next.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Blackland Tollway meeting on 9/11

Is that a sign?

We hear there is another meeting on the Blackland Tollway, though many out that way haven't heard about it yet.

Ask WHY.

Thursday, September 11, 2014
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Garland Central Library (Downtown)
North Program Room
625 Austin St
Garland, TX 75040

Blackland Tollway meeting - Take 2

The new date, time and place has been set for the Blackland Tollway meeting.

Maybe the public will get to speak at this one.

The COG and those other groups may want to pack their lunch.

Monday, September 22nd - 6:30
Rockwall Performing Arts Center
1201 T.L. Townsend Drive
Rockwall, Texas 75087

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

YOU are invited!

The Trinity River Vision will be appointing people to the Economic Development Board (read - Slush Fund) on Wednesday at 2:00 at the Tarrant Regional Water District.

Come one, come all!  Learn WHO spends YOUR money on WHAT!!

Come early, we know how they pack the room with their supporters & staff (read - Contractors/Donors) before the scheduled "door opens" time.

We'll see you there!  Fun times!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Calling Collin County

Fire marshal shuts down Blacklands toll road hearing

500 people showed up & just as it was getting hot, they shut it down!

The Northeast Gateway Turnpike would run on the east side of Lake Lavon.

Wow! There's just something about these private toll road scams that get under the skin of Texans.

Last night was the public hearing on this mysterious private Blacklands toll road through Greenville to Rockwall in Dallas and Collin counties. It's been re-routed and re-named the Northeast Gateway Turnpike. The tollway is being done through a completely for-profit private corporation, the Texas Turnpike Corporation, whose parent company is named Public Werks, although the environmental study is being conducted by the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG).

The statute that allowed this company to build private toll roads using EMINENT DOMAIN has since been repealed. Texans changed the Texas Constitution to protect them from eminent domain for private gain, and yet this company was grandfathered in (this is why we opposed the bill, SB 18, because it was chalk full of LOOPHOLES like this!).

The meeting facility only held 250 people and 500 people showed up! But no one said a thing about the capacity crowd until the meeting started to get hot. Conveniently, BEFORE the public comment began, the Fire Marshal shut it down and said they'd have to get another venue that can hold more people and reschedule the meeting in 10-14 days. This is a classic method by bureaucrats and planners to quell public opposition.

Of course, they put it off in hopes of demoralizing the opposition and to thin out the crowd. Remember, the MOST important way to oppose a toll project is to get your opposition ON THE OFFICIAL RECORD through oral or written public comment. You can submit comment orally at the microphone during the hearing or sometimes to a stenographer/court reporter off to the side at the hearings or in writing via email (usually within 10-30 days AFTER the hearing).


We need folks to turnout in even BIGGER numbers when this meeting gets rescheduled. We plan to have volunteers staff tables with clipboards to collect contact information of those opposed to the toll road so we can stay in touch and organize.

If you can help, please contact Terri Hall at terri@texasturf.org

Friday, September 5, 2014

Residents say NO WAY to Tollway

Well, they would have, if they weren't kicked out before getting an opportunity to speak.  The meeting was shut down by the Fire Marshall due to too many people showing up.  Did you hear that?  TOO MANY PEOPLE SHOWED UP!  Collin County, we are very impressed.  It's estimated 500-700 people were in attendance.

We've talked to some of those organizing the fight against the plunder for the Blackland Tollway and we've put them in touch with some others that can help.

Good luck to all!  We have a feeling the elected officials & the COG are going to need it.

If you haven't heard - Don't mess with Texas.  Texans don't like it.

You can get the scoop on WFAA.com.  And stay tuned, we'll have more to come.

Fire marshal shuts down overcrowded toll road meeting

Too many people showed up. Police told News 8 that they counted 360 inside NeSmith's cafeteria, which only holds 200. The fire marshal said it was unsafe and the meeting had to end.

"In my 35 years, we've never had a shutdown meeting because of an overflow crowd. But that's good. They're interested," Morris told News 8.

NCTCOG immediately began looking for new larger venues that could accommodate all the interested residents.

Morris said this public meeting would be rescheduled in the next 10-to-14 days.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Story remains the same, only the names have changed

According to the preliminary maps for the Blackland Tollway /Northeast Gateway Corridor Project, this project will run very close if not through my family’s home and property. While we are not huge acreage holders, we do have a home on two acres and have paid taxes to Rockwall County for over 25 years. Therefore I believe we should have a voice in the approval or dismissal of this project. My wife and I have worked too hard to make our home a beautiful place filled with memories to be cherished for years to come, for it to be torn down and turned into a profit center for a private corporation. I implore you all to fight against this project as there is no need for another “for profit tollway” to be built in this area.  The only private tollway in Texas failed and went bankrupt. The new tollway outside of Tyler is now being subsidized by millions of tax dollars because of low usage and to lower the cost to truck traffic.  All this is doing is allowing TxDot off the hook to use the tax dollars you and I already pay to the State of Texas for improving the infrastructure already in place.  Please help those of us in the direct path of this abomination. It is time to say No More Tollways!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

No more Downtown Parking means..

No more downtown.

We received an email concerning the Bass Hall Parking issue.  It made us think about the Cultural District parking issue.  We noticed we go there much less frequently since we have to pay to park and the garage is always so crowded and/or malfunctioning when you are trying to escape.

They do the same to downtown and we'll go there less frequently than we already do, too.

Tell them what YOU think.

We wanted to bring to your attention a recent story in the Star-Telegram regarding possible parking changes to two large downtown garages near Bass Performance Hall.

If a new lease agreement isn't reached between the Downtown Tax Increment Finance District Board and the garage owners, the 777 Main parking garage located directly behind Bass Hall at the corner of 5th Street and Commerce (which provides free parking to patrons attending Bass Hall performances) and the Sundance Square City Center garages could become paid parking garages.

Please read Downtown board considers less funding for free downtown parking | Business | Star-Telegram.com for further details about the on-going negotiations.

If you would like to express your concerns and provide feedback, there is a Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone Number Three Board of Directors Meeting tomorrow at 9 am. Below are the meeting details.

Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone Number Three
Board of Directors Meeting
Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 9 am
City of Fort Worth Annex Building, Third Floor Conference Room
908 Monroe Street, Fort Worth, TX 76102

Citizen presentations will take place towards the end of the meeting. There is a 3-minute limit per presentation.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Seen this??

Get ready for your toll roads, DFW.

TxDOT bails out toll roads

SH 130 & Loop 49 just for starters

Transportation Commission votes to 'forgive' $55 million loan to Tyler toll authority (for Loop 49) and gives $32 million to subsidize lower truck toll rates on SH 130 (again!). Meanwhile, the toll authority in Tyler is bragging that Loop 49 is enjoying better than expected traffic and higher toll revenues. 

But don't be fooled, just because they say they're getting more traffic than expected does NOT mean they're operating in the black. In fact, the only reason Loop 49 has more toll revenues is a toll rate hike. The reason they needed their TxDOT debt forgiven was their debt load was impeding their ability to issue more debt to extend the tollway to Lindale (another boondoggle). It's also seeking local property taxes to bailout their loser toll project.

On SH 130, TxDOT used some of Cintra's concession money last year to buy down the truck toll rates - so trucks were using the road for the same price as autos. When the subsidies ceased, so did the uptick in truckers using the tollway. So even though Cintra is on the verge of bankruptcy (despite all of TxDOT's help) and in technical default, TxDOT chose to kick them another $32 million in YOUR tax money to, once again, subsidize truck toll rates. So autos are paying to give truckers a discount. Meanwhile, TxDOT is seeking to block us from getting information about these bailouts by asking the Attorney General to keep these records SECRET!

That's just for starters.

Our research has revealed over $10 billion in YOUR tax dollars will subsidize or otherwise prop-up loser toll projects in Texas over the next 10 years. 

This double tax theft of our taxes for toll roads will not stop until we get new leadership at this broken agency.  Thankfully, two new Transportation Commissioners (out of the 5-member commission appointed by the governor that oversees TxDOT) will be appointed early in the next governor's administration. 

We have our eyes on two fabulous, pro-taxpayer potential picks. So stay tuned...

Diversions of road funds to rail

The running total is now up to $700 million in road dollars diverted to rail & trolley cars. In addition to that, TxDOT in concert with local MPOs will spend $48 million on hike & bike trails in San Antonio in next 4 years and another $28 million in DFW. Much more when you include every region. All the while TxDOT whines there's no money to fix our roads without tolls!
While many of these hearings are mundane and purposely set-up in a way to keep the public in the dark, opposition to tolls MUST get on the official record. Creating controversy helps with legal options down the road. Be sure to attend and get your comments on the official record!

DFW - 

Community Workshops on Proposed Toll Managed Lanes in Dallas

Here's their 'sales' job...
"Priced facilities such as toll roads, public-private partnerships and new TEXpress Lanes help expand transportation options when traditional funding falls short of meeting transportation needs. Investing tolls in the transportation system improves safety, reduces congestion, enhances quality of life, spurs economic development and benefits the region.

"TEXpress Lanes and the proposed transition of HOV lanes to Express lanes are two types of facilities that help address transportation demand, air quality concerns and expand mobility options. At the community workshops, transportation partners will review development of these plans, outline how to use the facilities and discuss next steps for transportation in the region."

Don't buy it

You're smart enough to know 'managed' toll lanes do NOT solve congestion they displace it to the free lanes that will remain in gridlock for our lifetimes. Say 'No' to tolls and the waste, fraud, and abuse of our tax dollars. 

Monday, August 25
6:00 PM 
Texas A&M AgriLife Extensions Center
Building E Auditorium
17360 Coit Road
Dallas, TX 75252

Tuesday, August 26
6:00 PM
Euless Library
201 N. Ector Drive
Euless, TX 76039

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Oops, they did it again

The Fort Worth Weekly recently called out the Tarrant Regional Water District for spending taxpayer money on radio ads.

Well guess what? They still do. When asked about it, they said, "I don't know".

Read both Static's this week, they are too good to pass up.

Ads Don’t Add Up

Stand With Mary Kelleher Against Abuse of Power


Friday, August 15, 2014


Breaking news- Rick Perry Indicted??

Abuse of Power??

FBI in Dallas, Grand Jury in Austin, WHO is coming to Tarrant County?

It's been busy out here today.

Stay tuned.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Dallas, Fort Worth - same difference

The FBI is looking at the kick backs and pay offs in Dallas.  We can't wait till they come to Cowtown.

Read all about the John Wiley Price scam on Wfaa.com

Compared to Tarrant County, well, there is no comparison.

Why vendors who allegedly funnelled money to John Wiley Price may not be charged

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

WHERE does your city get water?

If your city purchases water from Fort Worth, via the Tarrant Regional Water District, be prepared. 

YOU are going to get hosed.

You can read about it in the Startlegram

Water rates in Fort Worth are also expected to climb as the price of raw water continues rising, said Kara Shuror, assistant water director for Fort Worth. The cost of water is the “major driver in our water budget and our water rates,” she said.

In 2014, the cost to buy from the district went up 9.5 percent. It is expected to increase 12 percent more in 2015.

In fact, the city expects the cost of water to nearly double within 10 years, costing about $130 million by 2024 compared with the $71.5 million spent on water in 2014.

“This isn’t a one-year issue. This is something we will see in the coming years,” Shuror said.

Shuror said the rates won’t be released until Aug. 12, when the fiscal 2015 budget is presented to the council, but the department is proposing water rate increases.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Stop the Presses!

The seemingly bipolar editorial board at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has written about Ann Sutherland in the past, especially when she was censured for asking for too much information, etc.  (No, the Tarrant Regional Water District is not at all original...and for those of you WHO don't know, there are some very close ties on the Water and School Boards, but we digress, that's a story for another day).

Now the FWST says, Ann is right.  Well, of course she is.  There are still people on this planet who don't run for office for their own political gain.  They stand for what's right, no matter how much the powers that be, or the local "news" paper doesn't like it.

Here's to Fort Worth's real women - may they continue to fight for us, to piss people off and to be censured. They are the ones accomplishing something.  For the rest of those boards, there's a special place reserved for you.

School budget figures need another look

Fort Worth school Trustee Ann Sutherland is raising alarms about the district’s financial reserves dropping perilously low, and she’s right.

Other school board members should pay attention.

On June 24, Sutherland was the only board member to vote against the district’s $696.7 million budget for the 2014-15 school year, which includes $16.5 million to pay for 3 percent salary increases.

“I believe the spending level is unsustainable,” Sutherland said.

Projections presented to the board by district staff experts illustrate her point. The district will spend more than it’s expected to take in during each of the next three years.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Come one, come all!

To a meeting on the biggest Boondoggle Fort Worth ever saw!

Monday August 4th @ 6:00

1000 Calvert Street - Fort Worth

WHO are the partners? WHO profits? WHO pays?

Tired of the BS? Come see us Monday!

Attend an informational open house on Aug. 4 to learn about construction of three signature bridges that will serve as gateways to Panther Island. The bridges will be built on Henderson Street, North Main Street and White Settlement Road and will be finished in 2018.

The informal open house will be 6-7:30 p.m. in the Activities Room at the Police and Fire Training Academy, 1000 Calvert St. Representatives of the city, state and the Trinity River Vision Authority will be present to explain upcoming construction schedules and detours.

The Texas Department of Transportation awarded a $65.5 million contract to Texas Sterling Construction in a joint project between the City of Fort Worth, Trinity River Vision Authority, Tarrant County, the Army Corps of Engineers and the North Central Texas Council of Governments.

Bridge construction will change transportation patterns along White Settlement, Henderson and North Main. Henderson Street north of downtown will be detoured starting in mid-August, and detours on the other two streets will follow. Traffic will be rerouted either on newly constructed detour roads or by using existing streets. On Henderson Street and North Main, a reroute will be in place directly next to the existing roadway to ensure limited traffic interruption.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Dear FBI,

While we are glad you got your man, slide about 30 miles West, would ya?  $950,000 is chump change in Fort Worth dollars.

Read about the John Wiley Price arrest on NBC5.

Price Arrested, Accused of Taking $950K in Bribes

A 13-count indictment released Friday says longtime Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price took $950,000 in bribes in the form of cash, cars and property and that he and his associates committed mail and tax fraud.

Price, 64, is accused of helping companies win lucrative contracts with Dallas County in exchange for the bribes. He is also accused of illegally profiting from county business.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Please Help Support Denton's Fracking Ban for a Frack Free Denton

City Council denied the ban: time to get out the vote!

Dear Star-Telegraph,

First, let me thank you for your support for Denton's fracking ban on behalf of everyone at Earthworks and Frack Free Denton.

At the 8-hour, 500+ person public hearing that ended in a 3am, 5-2 vote against the ban your support kept us going, literally.

As I handed out 'frack free snacks' to keep families' morale high I was so thankful for what you've already done for Denton.

Now we need to get out the vote.

Industry showed up in force at the hearing, traveling from out of state to put their nose where it doesn't belong.

If they're willing to fly people in for a public hearing, I can't even imagine how much money and disinformation will pour into the ballot initiative.

Luckily, we have people on our side. We saw at the hearing that almost every person with a Denton address was for the ban. We need to make sure those people vote in November.

With your support frack free denton will be able to engage experienced canvassers and campaign strategists to help fight this crucial battle to ban fracking in Denton.

Can you spare $50 to build the campaign's momentum?

DONATE NOW: just $50 can get our campaign rolling toward victory in November!

Thank you for your support!

Sharon Wilson, Earthworks Texas Organizer