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

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Calling McClatchy Shareholders

Wondering why you're losing your audience and money?  Let us count the ways.

It could be the incorrect reporting. 

Or the completely biased take by whoever is left at the local rag.  (We're told today's editorial was written by a photographer). 

It could be the way they miss big, glaring facts. 

It could be how they bully those who don't agree with them. 

Or how they make ignorant, sexist comments.

Take your pick.  And maybe your stock?

We all stopped buying the so called "news" paper in Tarrant County a long time ago, sounds like we're not the only ones.

See Durango for the latest trash generated from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram Editorial Board - "Garbage"

We were sent the following from a reader who is tired of the trash in Fort Worth, both at the "news" paper and at the Tarrant Regional Water District.  Both the paper and the TRWD have become such a joke, it's an embarrassment to Tarrant County, to Texas, to real news outlets and real water districts everywhere.

It's time to take out the trash-----

Very well done on presenting one side, the incumbent boards side. Now lets address some of the things you fail to mention or disclose, and always will, because it doesn't fit your narrative:

First: you call Mary and obstructionist....last I checked one vote in 5 can not obstruct anything. But since you made the accusation. can the editorial board please name me ONE thing Mary has successfully obstructed during her year on the board? And how was she able to do so with only one vote? Words have meanings and I'll eagerly await simply ONE thing she has obstructed. 

Second: You state Kelleher has bombarded the district with open records request. Really? How many is bombarded? When did asking for information become a bad thing? You failed to mention that numerous State Representatives have also requested information from the board and so far have received NOTHING. I think not releasing information qualifies as obstructionist, that title should go to the remaining board, not Mary. 

Third: you state: "Their terms expired in May" but act like that is no big deal. The Texas Appellate court stated their terms expired. The law does not allow for an appointment of an EXPIRED term, only of an UN EXPIRED term. But lets not let the law get in the way.

Fourth: Kelleher was censured..yes. She was censured cause she dares to vote differently from the rest who simply rubber stamp whatever comes before them. In their eyes having a differing opinion and vote is grounds for censure. Read the censure, that is what it boils down to. 

Fifth: You suggest that simply appointing Leonard and Lane would solve the "petty squabbles". You know what else would....disclosing the information Mary, 4 state reps and voters are asking for. It's not that hard. I also find it interesting that because Mary took money from a donor she can't possibly be thinking for herself, rather a tool of the donor. So I presume you make the same judgment of the others on the board right? Are they simply tools of the contractors who do business with the TRWD given that is where most of their donations come from? 

Lastly - this is exactly the kind of piece that leaves Ft Worth once again pondering when we might get a decent paper in this town. One that can look beyond its little downtown club and cover local issues fairly. This editorial is simply garbage.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Monday, July 21, 2014

Sexist Pig??

Durango calls out the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and their least favorite columnist, again.

Can some woman, preferably employed at the Star-Telegram, tell us how Bud Kennedy is still working there?

And here's to hoping the 'Dallas Boogey Man', who owns businesses in Fort Worth, is looking to buy a newspaper.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Drowning in Fort Worth

The Tarrant Regional Water District just keeps on giving.  Not only do they give your money away, they give writers worth their weight all kinds of fodder.

Durango tells you about the latest (probably Fort Worth Star-Telegram driven) attack on Mary Kelleher.

And Don Woodard has been keeping the masses informed by sharing Committees of Correspondence.  Many folks sharing their thoughts on the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle and the TRWD daily.

We'll share one of the more colorful ones here.

Shame on you, Don! 

Criticizing all of those folks just because they’ve found a way to get rich through slick governmental maneuvers regarding the Trinity basin, or the Panther Plain or Rip-Off Acres. Whatever you want to call that area -- and related projects.

That’s called entrepreneurship.

Sounds as if you are jealous that you haven’t dipped into that money bucket. After all it is only taxpayers’ money and so what if none of us had a chance to say yea or nay about these multi-million (soon to be billion) dollar expenditures as they rampaged over the various small businesses that had the fun of being displaced—like it or not. Those Folks know what’s best for us and, of course, it’s just coincidental that it happens to be good for them, maybe you might say, even overwhelmingly good for them…and their relatives and buddies. Like building bridges over water that doesn’t exist—and may never exist!. And anyway, who says bridges have to be built over water. But you should be pleased, because as a taxpayer you’ll be able to cross  over them to get to NoWhereVille. And use them instead of the perfectly adequate bridges that already exist – but aren’t shining, new and sexy—and unexcitedly, are already paid for!

So, Mr. Woodard, rather than complain, why don’t you do something positive—like getting into the action. Just offer the city a contract to build another bridge to go no where and where there is no water. (When you think of it, it makes a lot sense because it is easier to build a bridge where there is no water.) And you must have some brother or son or third cousin once removed you could assign to draw pictures of the bridge-to-be. And they certainly shouldn’t do it for free. And others to be consultants and managers. And every project needs a supreme director with at least a half dozen assistant directors. You certainly must have a son or daughter that would accept an appointment to that position. And, remember, a perquisite definitely is: no experience necessary.

So here’s my advice to you young man:

Simply stated: Rather than complaining, join the gang…oops, sorry about that. I mean…join the civic group, and as a good parent should do: hire your sons, daughters, uncles, aunts, godfathers and godmothers, second cousins once and twice removed. I hope this helped you to see the light! Now get busy and get rich. And don’t bother to clutter up citizens’ minds and the news media with announcements letting them know what you are proposing. And definitely don’t let them give their opinions and by no means should they be able to vote on such boondoggles…Oops again! I meant to say: “such civic projects.”

P.S. Belated thought: Besides taking care of relatives, don’t forget your friends…and I think of myself as one of your good friends and admirers. That fourth bridge you would be designing could be a toll bridge and
because I thought of it, you could make me chief toll collector (so,OK, OK…I’ll give you a percentage kick back). Just a thought.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Fort Worth is at it again. " The public be damned"

The latest scheme is addressed in the Fort Worth Business Press.  Read it, YOU can't afford not to.

The folks at Fort Worth City Hall are trying to pull a fast one. Surprise, surprise, as the long-ago TV sitcom philosopher Gomer Pyle liked to say.

This is the same City Hall, after all, that hatched a $900 million economic development extravaganza disguised as a routine flood control project.

Their latest sleight of hand? They have decided to link a potentially controversial renovation of the bottomless money pit known as the Fort Worth Convention Center with a completely unrelated project that most taxpayers almost certainly will support: construction of a long-discussed multi-purpose arena at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in the Cultural District. Fortunately for alert citizens, the maneuver is as transparent as it is cynical.

City officials will attempt to cloud the waters at today’s pre-council meeting when city staff and representatives of the consulting group Hunden Strategic Partners brief the council on the latest study of the city’s potential as a convention and tourist center.

These questions deserve careful consideration and considerable public input. But city officials aren’t in the consideration and input business when it comes to such things. They want to press ahead with what they believe is best for the city, the public be damned.

In fact, the arena will do no such thing. There is no provision in the law for linking the new arena to demolition of an old arena at a separate facility in another part of town. The connection is just a fabrication by the city to give a project that could be hard to sell to the public a free ride on the back of a project that will be easy to sell. It would appear to be a perfectly legal political strategy but as public policy it’s subterfuge, pure and simple. It’s City Hall trying, again, to mislead and take advantage of its constituents.

Friday, July 11, 2014

THEY don't trust you

The Fort Worth Planning and Zoning Commission denied the plans for the Stockyards redevelopment this week.  Seems they "have a real problem with how quickly this was put in front of the community and in front of us".  The P&Z is still concerned the council will pass it anyway.

We received a copy of the letter sent to the City Council from a citizen.  Read on.  And visit the Stockyards before it's gone...

I oppose any decision on this case, and I note that the Zoning Commission did not recommend its passage.

This case has been known to City Staff for about 2 years, but negatively affected parties have been kept in the dark as is the usual procedure in Fort Worth. This practice should be summarily stopped. It is ruining the city as a place to live and a tourist destination. Further, it violates the intent of maintenance of a Master Plan--an obligation of the city council.

This project is the brainchild of the owner of much of the land in and around the Stockyards, and he has brought in billionaires from Las Vegas, who have no interest in anything but fattening their pocketbooks. Together they have pursued this idea knowing that the people of this city do not want their history and heritage destroyed by outside interests that don't give a damn about history.

The city council is complicit in this back room deal--as was the case with urban gas drilling.

It is time to put an end to this blind obedience to greed. 

Please do not approve this zoning change request, and put a spotlight on any further activities involving the requesting parties. 

TxDOT on notice

Politicians who support this trash, YOU are too.

Read all about the circus here - Stop light onslaught proposed for 281 draws record crowd

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) struck a nerve yesterday, and it wasn’t pretty. Nearly 300 angry residents of the Bulverde-Spring Branch area showed up for what they thought would be a public meeting on the fate of US 281, only to be greeted with a standing room only venue stuffed with more people than the little library could handle and a bunch of aerial maps and consultants who couldn’t or wouldn’t answer their questions. No formal presentation was made by TxDOT to explain what the plan entailed. Attendees were expected to piece everything together on their own and know what to ask in order to get properly informed. The line to get in was wrapped around the room and out the door where attendees waited up to 20 minutes just to enter. No one anticipated the record attendance.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Tale of Two Boondoggles...

That's the title of Don Woodard's latest dissertation in the Fort Worth Business Press.

YOU should pay attention, YOU can't afford not to.

And all you Merle Haggard fans, be sure and check it out.  Don't say you weren't warned.

The tollway was built over the objections of many farmers in the area whose land was legally taken for a highway by eminent domain. For the Trinity River Vision boondoggle, dozens of property owners were forced off their land not to build a highway but for economic development. A large area centered by White Settlement Road, which once flourished in taxpaying businesses, now lies nude and barren waiting for multimillionaire land developers to move in like carpetbaggers. Waving the banner of "flood control" – the promoters acquired this property of "the little people" by eminent domain – or the Sword of Damocles threat thereof.

But it's NOT primarily for flood control. The lion's share, $425 million, is for economic development. The Corps of Engineers has estimated that only $10 million is required for flood control. The Eminent Domain Economic Development Juggernaut of 21st Century Texas, unlike the tanks of China, takes neither pity nor note of the poor little property owner standing in defiance.

Woodard: Fast lane to failure – a tale of two boondoggles?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Water District Bully

Fort Worth Weekly calls out Jim Oliver, again. When Karma finally gets here, we have a feeling she is going to be PISSED.

Water Disputes

Kelleher, Fort Worth Weekly, and many others have danced with the district when it comes to public information, and this is how it often goes: You ask for information. Within 10 working days you get a letter from a lawyer saying district records do not correspond to information you are seeking. For instance, it’s well known that top water district officials put relatives on the agency’s lucrative payroll. But ask the agency for a list of relatives who work there. Ask how many of Oliver’s relatives work there. You won’t get a straight answer. You’ll get a non-answer from a lawyer. However, in Oliver’s mind, that counts as the agency responding to a public information request in a timely manner.

Kelleher closed with a final thought, expressed in the straightforward style that has earned her fans and foes alike. “If we are to move forward in the best interests of the residents and taxpayers of the district, your attempts to bully, intimidate, and harass public officials who demand transparency from the board must stop,” she said. “Your behavior has resulted in a hostile work environment for me and has damaged the reputation of the district.”