Friday, May 30, 2014

Water Bully

No, we're not talking about the Tarrant Regional Water District, for once.  This time it's Dallas.

When are they going to learn?  Marvin Nichols isn't the answer. Will someone please get the board bobble heads to think outside of the box?

Kudos to Rep. Simpson for standing up for THE PEOPLE.  Wonder if he knows Mary Kelleher?

Earlier this month, the executive administrator of the Texas Water Development Board recommended that the board’s members use their authority to compel water planners in northeast Texas to officially drop their opposition to the project, so that the official State Water Plan would be consistent. This did not sit well with East Texans, including Representative David Simpson, of Longview, one of the leading standard-bearers for the tea party wing of the Republican party in Texas. At a hearing in Arlington early this month, he called the agency a “bully.”

Read This Land Is You Land, Until Dallas Needs It in Texas Monthly.

Obstacles Wasting YOUR money

WHEN will THE PEOPLE of Tarrant County say ENOUGH ALREADY?

WHEN will you tell them to STOP wasting YOUR money?

Remember way back, oh, six months ago, when the "news" papers were touting that the Tarrant Regional Water District was going to hire someone to look into their ethics, or lack thereof?

Remember what Mary Kelleher told the Fort Worth Weekly?

“If what the TRWD is hiring him to do is to help it be more transparent and accountable to the taxpayers, I think that would be great,” she said. “I’m hopeful he will be helpful in convincing the administration that they work for the taxpayers and [that] the taxpayers are entitled to know what is going on.”

However, Kelleher’s hope dimmed when she realized that she’d run across Fischer’s name a few days before. On Nov. 5 she had submitted a public information request seeking what she considered basic information on district records. She received a response from Fischer 10 days later, on his Austin law firm’s letterhead.

“At such time as you are able to provide us with your written reply to this letter, for purposes of clarifying or narrowing your request, we will attempt to respond to your clarified request at that time,” he wrote.

Kelleher now wonders whether Fischer is here to provide transparency or just to act as another obstacle. 

Well, what are we paying Fischer to do now?  Look at campaign finance reports for the past two elections (WHAT does that have to do with taxpayer dollars?) and find a way to keep the two expired term board members on the board without holding an election.

WHAT does that have to do with water?  Maybe we'll hire Fischer to not find out...

Election victory: Power shift to benefit anti-toll cause

(Austin, TX - May 27, 2014) It was another great night for the anti-toll cause in Texas. Today was the Republican primary run-off election and voters toppled the incumbent David Dewhurst, replacing him with tea party favorite State Senator Dan Patrick for the powerful Lt. Governor seat. The campaign got downright nasty with Dewhurst hurling mud about Patrick's past mental health challenges that dated back forty years into the past, drudging up Patrick's attempted suicides to try to win votes. It clearly didn't work. Patrick beat Dewhurst 65%-35%.

Two more tea party favorites also won statewide office easily, perhaps on Patrick coattails: Ken Paxton beat Dan Branch for Attorney General and Sid Miller beat Tommy Merritt for Agriculture Commissioner. Newcomer and tea party leader Konni Burton cleaned up the senate seat vacated by Democrat Wendy Davis in Senate District 10, which is a pick-up for the GOP. Burton was also one of the top anti-toll candidates tonight.

A remarkable race to watch this election night was the nail biter between incumbent State Senator Robert Deuell versus dark horse tea party candidate Bob Hall in District 2. At one point, there was only one vote separating these two and no clear winner as of 10 PM. Deuell also used dirty tactics misrepresenting the court record in Hall's divorce case from decades earlier, accusing him of being a wife beater when, in fact, the court exonerated him from all charges made by his ex-wife. Expect a recount in that race.

But there were notable losses, too. Newcomer Ryan Sitton beat former State Representative conservative Wayne Christian for Railroad Commission, which regulates the oil & gas industry. John Wray edged out grassroots favorite TJ Fabby by just 5-percentage points in the open seat vacated by State Representative and powerful Appropriations Committee Chair Jim Pitts in House District 10.

Conservative sweep
What does all this mean to taxpayers? New conservative leadership in the Senate. Typically, the Texas House is more conservative than the Texas Senate, and conservatives counted on the House to stop bad bills. Now the roles may be reversed. The wild card is whether State Rep. Scott Turner will prevail in the Speaker's race when the legislature comes into session next year, which would make both chambers decidedly conservative and a total political upset against the GOP-crony capitalist establishment.

Under Dewhurst's leadership, Texans experienced a massive shift away from an affordable gas tax funded freeway system to a reliance on tolling (just about everything that moves). The Perry-Dewhurst regime brought us the Trans Texas Corridor, quick take eminent domain, tolling existing freeways, handing our public roads to private toll corporations who charge Texans 95 cents a mile to drive, and using gas taxes and a host of public money to subsidize and guarantee the loans on toll roads.  They took Texas from zero debt for roads to now the highest road debt in the nation at $31 billion (in principle and interest).

Closing this chapter of Texas' transportation history is a Texas-sized step in the right direction. Though Patrick has a poor voting record on transportation, he reached out to anti-toll groups like Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom, which gave him an 'F' on their Report Card. But he managed to earn a 'B' in their Voter Guide, and Patrick signed onto their legislative agenda and promised to work with the grassroots to make things right. He also managed to earn Texans for Toll-free Highways endorsement in the race.

With many new, more conservative senators joining Patrick in his inaugural session as Lt. Governor, like Van Taylor moving over from the House to fill the seat vacated by Paxton and possibly stalwart anti-toll hero Lois Kolkhorst in the seat vacated by Glenn Hegar who won Comptroller, 2015 may well be the year of transportation in the Texas legislature.

Road funding is heading off a fiscal cliff when the Texas Department of Transportation's budget that has been propped up with mounds of debt disappears. The state's gas tax has been frozen at 20-cents/gallon for 20 years and revenues have remained flat even with 1,000 new residents moving to Texas per day. Current House Speaker Joe Straus just announced his plans to introduce a budget to end the 80-yr raid of gas tax for non-transportation purposes. But other diversions like the 25% of gas tax that goes to education ($750 million/yr) and the vehicle sales tax ($3.3 billion/yr) that goes to general revenue still remain. These diversions need to be addressed in order to ensure Texas' public road system is sufficiently funded.

If Patrick goes on to win in November, who he assembles as his committee chairs and transportation team will signal whether or not he's serious about reforms and righting this ship that's been run aground by his predecessors. Despite the grassroots gains from this election cycle, all politicians, regardless of party, must be held accountable for their campaign promises. Our freedom to travel, cost of goods, cost of living, and quality of life depend on it.

Save OUR Water

Regional Round Up – Stop the Water Grab!

June 7 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm | Free
This is the first Regional Round Up for the League of Independent Voters of Texas. We are beefing up our organizing, membership and chapter building now across the state. (So, if you can’t make it to this one, help us plan one in your area). Note: there are 36 districts for the League. This district includes these counties: Bastrop, Lee, Caldwell and Fayette.

Keynote speaker is Calvin Tillman, former mayor of DISH, Texas, founder of and a new interim board member of the League of Independent Voters. Calvin is a leader in the efforts for eminent domain and fracking reform. We will hear a report from Kathleen Hubbard about the battle to protect the Brazos River Bottom area, as well as those in Bastrop, Lee, Caldwell and Fayette counties who are fighting to protect their land, water, air and political rights.

For more information go to the League of Independent Voters of Texas website.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Breitbart's back

And you're gonna be in trouble.

Read the article to find out who is gonna be in trouble.

And why.


Two members of the Texas TEA Party Caucus, along with a Democratic colleague, demanded that the ethically-challenged Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) Board release public documents that a colleague has been after for a year. 

Rep. Jonathan Strickland (R–Bedford) and Rep. Matt Krause (R–Fort Worth) are living up to their Tea Party roots, utilizing a provision under state law that requires public agencies to turn over documents when requested by state legislators. 

The move comes in support of reform-minded Board Member, Mary Kelleher, who believes the documents contain potentially incriminating information regarding the TRWD’s alleged misuse of public funds, cronyism, and numerous other activities surrounding what is known as the “Trinity River Vision Boondoggle.”

There is urgency for release of these documents. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Rollin' in the dough

The Tarrant Regional Water District is handing over more money to Austin attorney Ross Fischer.

Wasn't he the guy they hired to look into the ethics of the board? Now he's looking at campaign finances and how to handle the expired terms of Lane and Leonard.

Speak up. It's YOUR money

TRWD board hires outside counsel to study issue of filling two board seats

FORT WORTH — The Tarrant Regional Water District board voted Tuesday to hire an Austin lawyer to advise the board on filling two board seats that are set to expire.

After being hired by a 4-0 vote, attorney Ross Fischer told the board he expected to have a recommendation at the June meeting. Board member Mary Kelleher, who was censured by the board last month, did not attend Tuesday’s meeting.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Isn't it ironic?

What will they say when the Trinity River Ditch is half dug and out of money?

Star-Telegram sues Chesapeake over royalty payments

A day after the Fort Worth ISD sued Chesapeake Energy over its royalty payment practices, the Star-Telegram filed its own suit against the natural gas producer, alleging two Chesapeake units improperly deducted costs from royalties on one lease and has failed to pay royalties on another. The suit seeks between $200,000 and $1 million in damages. A number of royalty owners in the Barnett Shale, including the cities of Fort Worth and Arlington, and in other states have sued Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake over similar issues. In one of the largest such cases, the company last year paid $7.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit in Pennsylvania alleging underpayments of royalties

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Thank your lucky stars...

For women like Ann Sutherland and Mary Kelleher.

Read about the latest Fort Worth School board scam in the FW Weekly.

Now she’s back on the warpath, with two new issues in her crosshairs –– the amount of money the district has in reserve and another round of central office and non-teacher raises.

Monday, May 12, 2014

River Vision: Money meandering down the drain

Excerpt from article screen-capped on the left---

Dutch legend has it that there was once a small boy who upon  passing a dike on his way to school noticed a slight leak as the sea trickled through a small hole. Knowing that he would be in trouble if he were late for school, the boy poked his finger into the hole and so stemmed the flow of water. Some time later a passerby saw him and went to get help.This came in the form of other men who were able to effect  repairs on the dike and seal up the leak.

Trinity Uptown boondoggle disaster! Little Mary Kelleher, poke your Profiles of Courage finger into the hole in the dam! Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this!

Click the image above to enlarge to 
read the entire article by Don Woodard.

You can't make this stuff up

This was a screen shot sent to us from Sunday morning where the Fort Worth Star-Telegram was posting online that the Haltom City election was won by Trae Fowler.  While it's true that the candidate received more votes than the other two, seems by the time the "news"paper went to print, they had changed their minds and decided it was indeed a runoff.  Thanks for staying on top of the "news" there, boys. Keep up the good work.

Should make for an interesting election seeing how the rumors about the candidates are mostly coming from upper management in Haltom City.  (Their employees are keeping everyone in the loop, thank goodness for the working men and women!).  Do they have ethics policy in HC?  That was rhetorical.  

Though it's not just the so called "leaders" of the city spreading rumors.  Screen shots of a council-person's spouse posts are at best, questionable.  These people are naive enough to think one contested seat (out of the 4 that were up) is the swing vote?

Bless their hearts. They must not be from around here.

"Almost every project involves controversy"

Can you guess which agency said that?  You got it, the Tarrant Regional Water District.  Seems someone might have inflated numbers again.  No one is surprised.  You can read about it in the Texas Tribune.

Calculations in the report suggest that if such conservation measures are built upon as the state water plan continues to be updated, the Dallas-Fort Worth region could reduce its 2060 demand by as much as 200 billion gallons of water a year. That is about as much water as would be supplied by a controversial and expensive water project the region is considering — the $3.3 billion Marvin Nichols Reservoir in East Texas.

“Do I think we can eliminate the need for some projects? Yes. That’s what we’re actively trying to accomplish,” said Dan Buhman, assistant general manager of the Tarrant Regional Water District, which would benefit from Marvin Nichols. But he added that some expensive water projects would have to be built, and almost every project involves controversy.

What's the Magic Number on Texas' Water Needs?, by Neena Satija

Friday, May 9, 2014

In the name of flood control and news...

Not really.  We're talking about Trinity Boondoggles and the Star-telegram. We just wanted to make you laugh this morning. Apparently so did ST.

Durango's got the scoop.

As deep as it's getting in Fort Worth, he's going to need a bigger one---

"In this morning of May 9 Fort Worth Star-Telegram there is a classic example of the Chamber of Commerce type propaganda puffery which has so diminished the Star-Telegram's status as a real newspaper in the eyes of its ever diminishing number of readers."

Thursday, May 8, 2014

A "news"paper really has to ask??

The Daily STEW asked if THE PEOPLE think the Tarrant Regional Water District should look into what fracing, etc. does to our water supply.

THE PEOPLE think the TRWD should have looked into it before they started.

And to the lady with the Dallas question, remember, almost 9,000 people in Tarrant County voted for Mary Kelleher.

Get on the bus, or get under it.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Local Politics - Down and Dirty in Keller

While we expected the dirt to be flung in places like Haltom City, it seems upstream is where the mud is slinging.  Keller's been clogging up our newsfeeds lately.  We told you how the candidates stood up the League of Women Voters event.  Now someone has created a Facebook page called Down & Dirty in Keller Texas.  You can get the scoop there.  And some interesting voicemails from those in the city.

In addition to that, seems a candidate for Keller school board (one supported by Sal Espino...) posted something online saying the world would be a better place if a certain state representative (we won't name here) had been aborted.  WHAT?  Mind you, the state rep he is bullying isn't even over Keller.  Is this the school board candidate's way of saying he supports abortion?  Or just saying this is what you'd have to look forward to if he's elected?  We can't tell.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Lunch Tomorrow

Too bad we didn't read this sooner. Seems everybody thinks the Fort Worth Star-Telegram is a joke.

Host: Kit J.

Where: Fort Worth Star-Telegram

When: Wednesday at 12:00 p.m.

What: This is to be an informational and persuasive demonstration at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram to demand that they stop their policy of secrecy regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). They still refuse to print anything about this bill in the hope that our ignorance will spell its passage; but we won't let that happen. Join us to protest this law and our media that refuses to publicize it. If this proposed treaty becomes law it could mean the end of so much we have fought for over the years.

Can you join us in Fort Worth on Wednesday?

It's back to Austin for the first frackquake hearing

Come to the state capitol on May 12 at 1pm 

Earthquakes across the country have been directly tied to fracking and fracking wastewater injection. And the frackquakes are happening right here in Texas.

In January, we took a bus load of concerned citizens from the Azle area to Austin to demand action. We listed our demands and got the attention of national media. A committee was formed to address our concerns.

 Now, the Subcommittee on Seismic Activity is having its first hearing.

The committee has decided to hear invited testimony only, but it is important for concerned citizens to be present and make their presence felt. Demonstrating high levels of interest on this topic is the only way to keep things moving politically and is why so many in the media and government paid attention last time.

Texas State Capitol Building
1100 Congress Ave
 Room E2 O36 Austin, TX

The meeting starts at 1pm.

Hope you can make it,
Sharon Wilson, Earthworks Texas Organizer

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Keller Politics

Read the letter.

Then pay attention.

You can learn a lot from business owners and citizens.

You can lose a lot too.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Incoming from Haltom City

If you need another reason to vote for Trae Fowler, see the election violation below....

Thursday, May 1, 2014


Obama proposes lifting ban on tolling interstates!

Sec. of Transportation Anthony Foxx unveils Obama's highway bill

Obama highway bill would lift Hutchison's ban on tolling existing interstates

Former Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison ensured Texans were protected against tolls on existing interstates when she imposed a ban in 2007 after TxDOT sent a report to congress asking to do so.

Transportation Commission Chairman Ted Houghton has already floated the idea that TxDOT wants to turn I-35 in Austin into a tollway and turn SH 130 into the freeway (as a way of bailing out that failing toll road).

So TxDOT is salivating over the idea of getting a green light on slapping tolls on our existing interstates. The unlimited, unfettered ability to levy tax at the whim of an un-elected board ought to send shivers down your spine!

TURF along with Texans for Toll-free Highways (formerly known as the San Antonio Toll Party) will fight this proposal with every breath. A new group on the national level has finally come together to fight this, too, called Alliance for Toll-free Interstates. But we need your help!

Please contact Sen. Ted Cruz and respectfully ask him help us keep the Hutchison ban on tolling existing interstates. We need his help to stop this double taxation of Texans!

Question for Arlington

Do Mayor Cluck and His Council Need to Go?

YOU are invited

Transportation Town Hall on May 12th. This meeting will be a time to hear your questions, concerns, and ideas regarding transportation. Also, there will be a panel of six experts from the State and County providing presentations on transportation in HEB.

Where: Birdville Center for Technology & Advanced Learning, 7020 Mid-Cities Blvd, North Richland Hills, TX 76180.

When: May 12, 2014 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM

Who: This event is open to the public and all are welcome to attend

The Panelists for the event will be: 
Judge Glen Whitley of Tarrant County
Commissioner Gary Fickes
Brian Barth of TxDOT
Pete Havel of North Texas Toll Association
Vic Suhm of Tarrant Regional Coalition
Robert Hinkle of North Tarrant Express

The best article on Tarrant County Earthquakes comes from....Dallas

Earthquakes and the Texas Miracle.

Mind you it didn't mention the activist meeting where the new concerned citizens group was formed and got those people on an Austin bound bus, nor did it investigate why the Reno Mayor tried to cancel a meeting with candidates from all over the state 24 hours in advance, but in this quality news drought area, we'll take what we can get.
In the nearly 35 years since she’d anchored her dinner bell on these 11 and a half acres, she’d never felt an earthquake until November 6, 2013. She could look back 150 years, and the historical record would bear no evidence of seismic activity in the area until now. Yet in the last month, there had been more than 20 quakes.

In Reno, residents were advised to boil their water when a 10-inch main broke in two places and 40,000 gallons emptied into the earth. In Azle schools, the children practiced taking cover beneath their desks, just in case the big one struck and the roof collapsed. Whatever novelty the earthquakes held at first had been dissipated by claims home insurance wouldn’t cover and the sound of thunder in a cloudless sky.

Data Shows High Chemical Levels In Denton Air - CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

A California lab showed benzene readings at 6.5 micrograms per cubic meter of air. That is two points higher than the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s limits for long-term exposure risks.

A TCEQ monitoring network that the city refers visitors to on its website does not have equipment in that immediate neighborhood

Arlington's freeways a thing of the past?

360 Tollway Project to convert free lanes to toll lanes in DFW.