Sunday, June 29, 2014

Texas - Toilet to Tap. Drink up

What happened to OUR water?

Men's Journal explains.

Who Stole the Water?

How greed, drought, and rampant overdevelopment are sucking Texas dry.

And so on, from Oregon to grain-belt states like Kansas and Oklahoma: They've faced droughts before, but this one is different, particularly in a place like Texas. Over the course of the last decade, the arid state has run desperately short of rainfall. Reservoirs everywhere have thinned or tapped out – Lake Meredith has nearly gone dry, parching Amarillo and Lubbock; Lavon Lake dwindled to half its size, threatening supplies for Dallas and Fort Worth; and the majestic Rio Grande ran so thin that the city of El Paso put in doomsday restrictions, closing laundries and car washes and ordering its residents not to bathe or wash their clothes. It could always be worse, though: They could live in Wichita Falls, a city of 100,000, northwest of Fort Worth, that's less than two years from running dry. There, they'll be drinking their own wastewater, once it's been treated at the plant. They won't be alone: Other cities in Texas are planning so-called "toilet to tap" conversions.

Trinity River Trash

The Water Board spin off, the Trinity River Vision, is keeping it classy. Good thing they are spending their own money. Oh, wait...none of that is true.

Read about the latest fiasco on Durango.

Friday, June 27, 2014

You heard that right...

No we're not talking about the ads the water board is running on the other stations.

We're talking about the ad on WBAP, for Dallas.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

And the winner is...

Haltom City had a run off election on Saturday and Trae Fowler won, again. That is after having to fight all the rumors that some city employees were spreading (is that legal? ethical?).

There seems to be a lot of rumors floating around Haltom City these days.  Some with proof showing up in snail mail and on doorsteps.

Stay tuned, we have a feeling it's going to get interesting.

You remember the HC EDC, right?

It was featured in the Fort Worth Weekly.

EDC Public Hearing Notice

The Haltom City Economic Development Corporation’s Board of Directors will hold a public hearing at 6:00 p.m. on July 7, 2014 in the Haltom City Hall Pre-Council Room at 5024 Broadway Avenue, Haltom City, Texas.

The purpose of the hearing will be to take comments and suggestions regarding the proposed operating budget for the fiscal year 2014-15. All citizens and other interested parties are invited to attend the hearing and address the members of the Board of Directors. For more information, contact the Haltom City Economic Development Department at 817-222-7700

More, Nothing was ever done....

They are jacking up your air and your water, now it's all gone to sh**.  Literally.

Read about the biosolids battle in Wise County on WFAA.

Is Wise county upstream from YOU?

"The notion that the TCEQ is proactive is a joke,” said Midlothian resident Craig Monk. “They are reactive, and they are only reactive to complaints."

Monk, who lives up the road from one of the largest biosolids operations in Ellis County, has led the push for greater state enforcement. His website,, posts disturbing pictures, publishes petitions and implores the state to do more.

One year ago, the state proposed a $2,500 fine against Renda Environmental in the Wise County case. As of today, Renda continues to appeal and has yet to pay a penny.
"It's been over a year and they've done nothing,” Monk said. “The message that sends to Renda is simple: They can do what they want."

Renda officials declined an on-camera interview, but told us "Renda’s environmental record is exemplary and expects that these matters will be favorably resolved.”
Monk is not stopping. He has started a petition to totally ban the application of biosolids on Ellis County farms, especially pastureland.

One photo on his web site shows cows in the middle of a stockpile of waste.

David Galindo, the state's director of water quality, says cows are not supposed to have that level of contact with biosolids, but he also insists that if rules are followed, biosolids are safe.

Fort Worth Floating

No, we don't mean the Tubing the Trinity/Floating with Feces.  We mean the inadequate storm drainage that caused havoc all over Fort Worth yesterday when a few inches of rain fell.

Since "nothing was ever done", can you image what is going to happen when we get a few feet of rain falling?

We noticed the Fort Worth Police posted pictures of cars and streets under water on 7th street.  Isn't that right in the middle of the Trinity River Vision TIF?  Wasn't the Trinity River Vision supposed to correct flooding?  Oh, the irony.

We saw many jokes about the Tarrant Regional Water District online during yesterday's storm.  Too bad no one will be laughing when someone else dies because of it.

You can check out some of the footage on WFAA.  Storm floods Fort Worth streets.

For those of you who do Tube on the Trinity, you might want to consider skipping it this week.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

No free rides

Texas Toll Roads going bankrupt. WHO really pays?  YOU know the answer.

From San Antonio to Dallas, these roads are failing. And YOU are picking up the tab.

In less than two years in operation, the southern 41-mile stretch which opened in October 2012 with much fanfare and boasting by Governor Rick Perry now faces bankruptcy.

On Interstate 635 in Dallas, Cintra uses congestion tolling (where the toll rate varies based on the level of congestion) and charges Texans 95 cents a mile to access its toll lanes during peak hours. Once the full project is open, it’ll cost more than $24 a day to get to/from work.

Indeed, on I-820, the taxpayers put more cash into the deal than Cintra. So there is simply no way any person confronted with the facts can call P3s free market in ANY way. They’re a form of corporate welfare that socializes the losses while the special interests walk away with all the profits.

Hello, is this thing on??

It's Business Press. It's not online. Surprise...not. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

God Save Texas

That's the name of a new HBO series based onTexas politics.
Are the writers are Star Telegraph readers?

While we're waiting, people like Mary Kelleher, Terri Hall and Calvin Tillman are working to save Texas. One failed agency after another...

Read Calvin's letter and join the League of Independent Voters of Texas.

By the way, whatever side if the gas drilling line you stand on, you have to call BS on this 'policy'.  Their job is to answer to YOU.

Remind them.

“Why is the Railroad Commission Hiding From the Public?” asks Calvin Tillman  
            Former Mayor of the small north Texas town of DISH, Calvin Tillman, filed an open records request today asking the Railroad Commission to provide all correspondence between Railroad Commission officials and staff, the Office of the Governor, other public officials, lobbyists and private enterprises doing business before the RRC, related to “the decision by the RRC to ban staff from doing media interviews.” Click here for the open records request.
            Tillman said, “For years, many local officials like myself, together with thousands of citizens, have done all we could to get the Railroad Commission to listen to the concerns we have about the potential for groundwater contamination, air pollution and destruction of a whole way of life we have in rural Texas by the oil and gas industry's new practice of hydraulic fracturing. My kids got so seriously ill, it forced me to resign and leave my own community. The Railroad Commission continues to demonstrate what we have known for years -- they are captives of the industry."
            Michele Gangnes, water rights activist from Lee County and fellow board member to Tillman with the new League of Independent Voters of Texas, said, "The no-interview policy was put in place a couple of years ago, about the same time the production from fracking ramped up in Texas. But now that fracking, which the Railroad Commission is supposed to regulate, is in the spotlight as a serious contamination risk to our state’s groundwater, citizens are wondering why claims of groundwater contamination have to be emailed to the agency for an ‘official’ but anonymous staff response. And they wonder why the Railroad Commission continues to hide behind the oil and gas industry’s claims that fracking is perfectly safe.“
            A recent WFAA report shed light on the fact that fracking practices in Texas pose very serious contamination risks to our groundwater, regardless of how many scientists for hire have claimed it cannot be proven. "To his credit, Sen. Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) who co-chairs the Joint Interim Committee to Study Water Desalination, asked in a hearing on Monday whether wastewater from fracking has already contaminated underground brackish water, a potential source of fresh water from new mega-dollar desalination projects under consideration. That the question is even being asked by a Republican State Senator speaks volumes," said Linda Curtis, Executive Director of the League o f Independent Voters.
            Tillman, a lifelong Republican and now an unaffiliated independent, has been working with hundreds of local officials throughout the state who want more local control to protect their citizens from eminent domain abuse by pipeline companies and contamination from the fracking industry. Tillman is featured in the popular Gasland and Gasland 2 film documentaries. Gangnes is an attorney and long-time independent voter who helped lead the successful battle to stop the City of San Antonio's "water grab" of Lee and Bastrop counties’ groundwater over ten years ago. She is currently assisting another citizens revolt in those counties to "Stop the Water Grab" by water marketers and some area officials in the IH-35 growth corridor.
          Tillman, Gangnes and longtime independent organizer, Linda Curtis, are working together to build the new non-profit, non-partisan citizens lobby for the state’s millions of non-aligned independent voters and to unite them with those who vote in either party primary and who want reform. The League's purpose is to “unite voters across partisan lines to protect what is uniquely Texan – our land, our water, our clear blue skies and the democratic republic for which we are supposed to stand.” The group's legislative agenda includes ending the practice of straight ticket voting. See more here.

Monday, June 16, 2014

You did it to yourself

HBO is creating a show about Texas politics.

Who could blame them?

Some of our Texas politicians and Texas politics provide the world so much embarrassing material that it's so good (which is bad) that it's like a funny sit-com that writes itself.

Friday, June 13, 2014

YOU are invited

Media Alert 

Citizens’ Groups to Take on State and EPA over 
“Close Enough” DFW Air Plan for New
Smog Standard at Monday Meeting

Downwinders: Agencies “breaking the law” if new controls 
aren’t required for cement kilns and gas compressors

What: Regional Clean Air Meeting on New Anti-Smog Plan
When: Monday, June 16th 10 to 12 noon
(citizen presentations from 11 to 12)
Where: North Central Texas Council of Governments HQ
616 Six flags Road, Arlington
Who: Downwinders at Risk and Texas Sierra Club
Why: State is proposing no new air pollution controls to reach tougher new smog standard by 2018 because it gets “close enough” without them

(Arlington)--- A local group that has a decades-long interest in cleaning-up DFW’s chronic smog problem will tell local officials why the EPA is under a legal obligation to require new controls for major sources of pollution in the next round of clean air planning at this next Monday’s regional meeting at the North Central Texas Council of Governments headquarters in Arlington.

Both the Texas Sierra Club and Downwinders at Risk were asked to present their cases for more controls as part of the requirement under the Clean Air Act to implement all “reasonable available control measures" or “RACM” (pronounced “rack-em”) in the new anti-smog plan that has a deadline of 2018 to reach a tougher ozone pollution standard of 75 parts per billion over an eight hour stretch. DFW has yet to meet the old 1997 standard of 85 ppb.

“Rick Perry’s ‘environmental agency,’ and I use the term loosely, says it doesn’t believe we need any additional pollution controls to reach a level of air quality never before attained in North Texas. The last time they said that, they actually managed to raise smog levels,” complained Downwinders at Risk Director Jim Schermbeck. “We have an excellent case for why the EPA must require the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to do more than sit and watch as the Clean Air Act is willfully violated again. In terms the TCEQ might understand, ‘the chickens are coming home to roost.” TCEQ Chair Bryan Shaw has a degree in Poultry Science.

Specifically, Schermbeck claims requirements for state-of-the-art controls on the Midlothian cement plants, and electric compressors, are long past due, and will argue that ignoring them puts the state’s plan in violation of the RACM section of the federal Clean Air Act. He says there’s a long history of the state going out if its way to obfuscate the obvious impacts these sources have on the areas in DFW with the most stubborn smog problems – Tarrant and Denton Counties. “It’s time to bring safe and legal air to DFW. “

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Panther Island Boondoggle drowning Tarrant Taxpayers

A $65.5 million contract has been awarded by the Texas Department of Transportation for construction of three bridges for the Trinity River Vision boondoggle.  The bridges are the first phase of creating Panther Island, which will include digging a new 1.5 mile channel for the Trinity River, creating a 33-acre lake and an 800-acre island where waterfront development is planned. I wonder just what was the precise origin of this idea?  And then who was so powerful and influential as to get the Water Board and the sycophantic Corps of Engineers to become involved in economic development?  Their business is water supply and flood control.

The bridges will be built before the channel is dug.  Our citizens have patiently endured the construction of a great many bridges for ten long years. Now we are told that these three bridges to nowhere will take four more long years to complete.  Traffic will be rerouted using detour roads or existing streets. Officials have said it is cheaper to build the bridges over dry land rather than waiting for the channel to be completed. But I wonder if the real reason to build three bridges first is because when they are built, a massive public relations project will be launched for the next phase of the boondoggle. Their plan seemingly would be to say it would be foolish with "three beautiful signature bridges" standing not to dig the channel and complete the project.  Then their powerful and richly endowed vote producing machine will swing into action and begin to beat the drums for a $25 million bond program. And then another.  And another.  Like what happened in Dallas to its Trinity project.

This whole boondoggle idea brings to mind another monster "fail-safe" venture.   In 2007 a group of deal makers (KKR, TPG and Goldman Sachs) formed Energy Future Holdings and bought TXU Corp for $45 billion.  The buyout, the largest ever, was fueled by rising natural gas prices and borrowed money. But behold I show you a disaster. Instead of finding the seven golden cities of Cibola, EFH has filed for bankruptcy. It was brought down by falling natural gas prices and the horrendous cost of serving that debt. Unhappy investors who bought into the fantasy have been left holding the bag. What would they give to be able to return to yesterday?  “It is not now as it has been of yore.  “Turn wheresoe’er I may, by night or day, the things which I have seen I now can see no more.”

Who can look into the future and assure us that Trinity River Vision is not a disaster, financial and environmental, waiting to happen?  Silent taxpayers asleep at the steal!  You have never been given a vote on this developers' dream enrichment program. Ask not what this project is going to do for you. Ask what's it going to do to our history, environment and our taxes.

Another word of caution. Trinity River Vision needs Congress to fund half of the $910 million to complete the flood control and economic development project. One is made to wonder what would happen to the boondoggle, three bridges standing, when our powerful Congresswoman, like Jim Wright and Ralph Hall, is no longer on the scene.

My decade long opposition to the boondoggle has not been made easier by the fact that some among its staunchest promoters are my valued friends. I resort to Shakespeare:  “O judgment! Thou art fled to brutish beasts and men have lost their reason."

One thing is for certain.  No one will ever be able to say of the nepotistic Trinity River Vision, whether it be an unbounded success or a catastrophic failure:  "It is not relative."  Pun intended.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

School's out......


DATE: Thursday, June 12, 2014
TIME: 1:30 p.m.
WHERE: Neave & Scott, PC, 1819 S. Buckner Blvd., Dallas, Texas 75217


(Dallas, Texas – June 11, 2014) On March 26, 2014, the trial team of Victoria Neave and Mark Scott obtained a multi-million dollar jury verdict against Fort Worth Independent School District (“FWISD”) on behalf of Mr. Joseph Palazzolo, a former Assistant Principal at FWISD, for FWISD’s blatant retaliation and violations of the Texas Whistleblower Act. Shortly after Mr. Palazzolo reported attendance fraud, discrimination against minority students, and inappropriate sexual relations at FWISD, he was demoted, transferred, and then fired.

During the intense and dramatic week-long trial, a 12-member jury in Wise County, Texas heard emotional and compelling testimony from numerous witnesses and teachers at FWISD who testified regarding the culture of retaliation at FWISD, their fear of testifying, attendance fraud, and unethical and fraudulent practices. Three FWISD Board Members were cross-examined by attorneys Victoria Neave and Mark Scott. The jury found that FWISD had, indeed, retaliated against Mr. Palazzolo and returned a verdict in favor of Mr. Palazzolo in the amount of $2,146,352.09.

On May 29, 2014, the Court signed a Final Judgment confirming the jury’s verdict and awarded additional attorneys’ fees, pre-judgment interest, post-judgment interest, and court costs to Mr. Palazzolo increasing the final judgment against FWISD to more than $2.7 million. The Judge also awarded additional attorneys’ fees to Mr. Palazzolo in the event FWISD appeals. Just days after the Final Judgment was signed, Superintendent Walter Dansby resigned.


In March 2014, Neave & Scott, PC filed a separate lawsuit on behalf of Mr. Palazzolo against Walter Dansby for violations of the Texas Open Meetings Act. Dansby ordered microphones to be placed in a closed session of the FWISD Board Meeting which recorded horrific defamatory statements and publicly broadcast them for the whole world to hear via the World Wide Web. FWISD’s own employees confirm in sworn affidavits that Dansby’s order that microphones be placed in the boardroom of the closed special meeting was “unusual,” “odd” and that “[t]here have never been microphones in the Board conference room for closed, executive sessions, except at the June 17, 2013 Board meeting.” This separate lawsuit is still pending against Dansby.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

You're Invited

The now earthquake-prone region of Azle and Reno will be the focus of the panel discussion “What’s Behind the North Texas Quakes?” set for 7 p.m. June 18 at Azle High School, 1200 Boyd Road.

The area northwest of Fort Worth was rocked by more than 30 minor earthquakes in a three-month span, rattling residents and prompting many of them to ask what was behind the flurry of seismic activity. Seismologists and other researchers are trying to identify a link between the earthquakes and drilling and hydraulic fracking activity, including the disposal of wastewater.

The free event will be hosted by KERA/State Impact Texas.

Panelists include Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, Reno Mayor Lynda Stokes,Heather DeShon, an associate professor of geophysics, and Mose Buchele, a State Impact Texas reporter who has covered the energy industry for many years.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

They are coming for the Stockyards

Sounds like the two old cowboys are having a showdown over our stomping grounds.

So those of you who love it for what it is , better hurry. It's about to be a strip mall.

And don't even get us started on when they finally get their beloved casino down there.

Ever been to Shreveport?

Read all about it here.

Friday, June 6, 2014

If you know what's good for you

You'll be here on the 21st!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

What kind of water does Texas have?

Flaming water.

You can now see it on national 'news'.

Watch Lipsky on MSNBC.

Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Dansby Resigns