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.