Thursday, April 28, 2016

Fort Worth Priorities

While Councilman Sal Espino posts in neighborhood groups soliciting for a raise (mind you you're city services won't improve) real people are being impacted.

There goes another Fort Worth business because 'nothing was ever done and it just got worse'. It's the FW Way.

If you vote to give the Fort Worth council more money and a longer term, well you may just be as naive as they think you are.

See the goodbye note from Marshall Grain.

"Fewer and fewer of our customers are willing to venture into a neighborhood where the streets are roamed by panhandlers, prostitutes and drug addicts."

Fort Worth Store Set to Close on June 30.

A New Vision for Us Will
Benefit Our Friends and Family, and Make Us Stronger

For over 70 years, our Fort Worth location has served the city and surrounding area, and has played a vital role in making Marshall Grain Company a leader in organic gardening. Many of you have loyally shopped with us ever since our doors first opened on East Lancaster back in 1946. So we know that you will be disappointed to hear that our Fort Worth store is closing.

It was a difficult decision, but a necessary step toward a brighter future for Marshall Grain as a whole. And we want you to hear directly from us the reasons for our decision and our plans for our future. 

Unfortunately, the neighborhood surrounding our Fort Worth store has been in decline for many years. Despite concerted effort by the residents and businesses there to reverse the decline, it has become gradually worse each year. Fewer and fewer of our customers are willing to venture into a neighborhood where the streets are roamed by panhandlers, prostitutes and drug addicts. Nor is it a safe area for our employees, suppliers, and others needing to do business with us.

Therefore, as of June 30, our Fort Worth location will close. All of our operations will move to our Grapevine location. Of course, Frosty & Callie will come to live with their cousin Marsha in Grapevine.

Marsha, Frosty, Callie & the rest of us here at Marshall Grain.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Texas Sinkhole

Me and my neighbors trying to be funny. Me on the left, Lary Offut, Jordan Kaiser, Robert Thomas. All funny guys.

If you haven't been following the huge sinkhole issue in Dallas, you're missing out. The shot above is the BEFORE.  The After is what should concern you.  They only good thing (though not for him) is it is happening to our favorite Dallas reporter.  At least you will get the truth on what's going down.

Hey, Reader. I want you to keep a link to this column somewhere so you can send it to the police if the city says an entire block of “known complainers” on Bryan Parkway committed suicide last night by blowing themselves into a sinkhole on purpose.

'100 year Flood'

Explained to you by Texas Monthly-

Yeah, yeah, I know. A 100-year-flood does not mean that these floods happen once a century. Per the United States Geological Survey:

The term “100-year flood” is used in an attempt to simplify the definition of a flood that statistically has a 1-percent chance of occurring in any given year.

This attempt to simplify does so at the expense of offering any meaning whatsoever. You could have 100-year-floods three years running. You could have two 100-year floods in a single year. Or you might go 300 years or more without a single one. Probability is weird like that. Also of note from a probability standpoint: if you gamble with a 1 percent chance of losing once a year for thirty years, you end up with a 25 percent chance of crapping out at least once. Think about those odds the next time you sign a mortgage for a house in what is reassuringly described to you as located in a 100-year floodplain. 

- See more at: The Problems With “100-Year Floods”

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Fort Worth Election

Clyde says- Hell no.

The upcoming May 7 election includes 11 propositions to change or clean up the city charter.

You heard it from Councilman Jungus Jordan. You heard it from League of Neighborhoods President, Libby Willis. Now you're hearing it from me, Clyde Picht, a former four term council member. When I was on the council we were paid $75 per meeting. To be on the council you don't have to leave town and you don't have to travel far for weekly meetings and you can still live in your own home and hold another job. It is a public service and it's an honor to serve. I differ with some in that I think two more council seat would be beneficial. So here are my recommendations:

VOTE YES to create two more council seats. We have had 8 council districts for decades and the city has grown to twice the size and twice the population that is was a mere twenty years ago. It's not so much because of population but the area has grown to over 325 square miles and extends into 5 counties. Many residents will never experience a councilmember being within miles of their house. It's not about ethnicity or race, it's about basic representation. An added bonus would be to create some suburban opposition to the stream of tax giveaways that favor downtown. While some say the council has too much to do, add two more council members to provide some relief.

VOTE NO to extend council terms. Usually council members are not even challenged unless their job is less than generally acceptable. To extend the terms just means less work for the members. The constituents may suffer if their council member isn't performing and has an extra year to slough off.

VOTE NO to stagger terms. I can't recall an election where all the members were replaced at once. It just creates an additional expense of an out of cycle election.

VOTE HELL NO on a pay raise to $45,000 per year. Council members hire four people: City Manager, the one really responsible for running the city (and paid well to do it); City Attorney to provide legal advice and represent the council and city staff; City Secretary who maintains the council agenda and provides administrative help to the council; and City Auditor who audits different departments and confirms accuracy of accounting processes. In addition the council makes policy. That's the way it has been for decades and sometimes they make good policy and sometimes it's bad. Of course they'll only admit to good policy. Sometimes council members will claim they work 40-60 hours a week. Don't believe it. They are obligated to council meetings and selected committee meetings. They also get plenty of perks. Some include overseas travel worth quite a lot. They also get free lunches, parties, retreats, and other fun things. If the same job was worth $75/meeting 11 years ago how can it possibly be worth $45,000/year now with no more work? We'll create a miniature congress where members stay for 40 years and do nothing.

VOTE NO to filling vacant council seats by appointment. The electorate deserves to pick their own person. It doesn't happen that often and it only matters in the council district where a seat is vacated. If the council can give away millions in development tax schemes they can surely find the money for a special election.

Do your fellow Fort Worth residents a favor and share this with them.

Friday, April 22, 2016

More Falling Walls in Fort Worth

More of the same in Fort Worth.  File another story under "nothing was ever done".

Seems there's yet another falling/failing wall in Fort Worth.  And there's lots of finger pointing as usual.  It's not a new issue, it's yet another one that's been going on for years.

No permits, substandard work, code compliance letters and homeowners caught in the crossfire. Sound familiar?

Read about it in the Fort Worth Weekly.

A Large Bill

“They did everything half-ass and as cheap as they could,” Strachan said. “This wall was built before any of the houses were built. My house was built in 2001, and this wall was already here. The city put it in our laps. The city allowed this wall to be built.”

Haltom City

You better vote too.

We've gotten several messages from HC, and they all say the same thing - Keep Stephanie Davenport on the council.

She's the youngest member on the Haltom City council, she is also the only Hispanic member of council.

She was raised in Haltom City, attending David E. Smith Elementary, Haltom Middle and Haltom High School.  She attended TCC and received her degree from UNT in political sciences.  She is currently working on her masters in HR Leadership & Development.

Apparently the HC Firefighter Political Action committee, the entire council and many members of the community are supporting Stephanie Davenport and ask that you do too.

Early voting starts Monday!

Thursday, April 21, 2016


You might want to vote...

See what can happen if you do in this note from Council member Chris Putnam.

If there is a new city council next month we will get these outrageous water bills and rates under control including day one relief for homeowners.  

* Water will go from being a profit center to a cost center.  We will recover the hard cost of water and waste treatment and not a penny more from our residents.  Water should be a basic government service and not run like a business for a profit as the incumbents up for re-election have done.  They even brag about how they created a new source of revenue with these increases which basically amounts to a tax on water.

* We will immediately repeal last year's rate increase residents haven't even felt the effects of yet, and end the unfair so-called "progressive" tiered rate structure.  

* We will join with other partner cities and negotiate better raw water costs from our sole suppliers the TRA and TRWD.

* We will demand that TRWD stop subsidizing Fort Worth's economic development with our resident's water bills, and we will aggressively pursue supplier alternatives including partnering with other cities to pursue alternative sources of raw and treated water.  

* We will fight for Colleyville residents and not "get along to go along" with regional interests that are unfairly profiting off our residents on a basic service like water.  Please vote Newton, Nakamura and Lindamood starting next Monday in early voting at Colleyville City Hall.

Skyrocketing water bills have North Texas cities double-checking meters


Mary says -

Please join us tonight at the Modern in Fort Worth.  6:00.  Don't miss it!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Be heard

This is your Opportunity!  The state is holding public hearings and listening to citizen input about ways to improve the property tax system. See Senator Kelly Hancock's letter below.

Dear Friends,

Last fall, I was appointed to the interim Select Committee on Property Tax Reform and Relief by Lt. Governor Dan Patrick.

Our charge? To find meaningful property tax reform solutions that put Texas homeowners first.
Since the panel was announced, we've traveled the state holding public hearings and listening to citizen input about ways to improve the property tax system. That includes everything from simplifying the appraisal process to keeping more of taxpayers' hard-earned money in their own pockets.

On Wednesday, April 27th, the committee will meet here in North Texas, and I'd like to personally invite you to attend and share your story.

Senate Select Committee on Property Tax Reform & Relief
Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at 8:00 AM*
UT Arlington Campus
E.H. Hereford University Center, Rosebud Theatre
300 West First Street, Arlington

*Public testimony begins at 10:00 AM.
No RSVP required. General parking available in Lot 11.
Tarrant County residents in particular are feeling the strain with home valuations spiking through the roof. How is this issue impacting your family? What do you think should be done to fix it?

We hope to see you at the hearing. If you can't attend but would like to submit your comments to my office, please email me at The more Tarrant County conservatives get involved in the policy-making process, the better!


Kelly Hancock
State Senator, District 9
District Office
9121 Belshire Drive, Suite 200
North Richland Hills, TX 76182
(817) 514-3804

Capitol Office
P.O. Box 12068
Austin, TX 78711
(512) 463-0109

An Update from Adrian Murray

Okay, I know people are wondering what is going on with the code department.  Last night Mayor Price asked Brandon Bennett to call me.  I also heard from Cary Moon, my councilman, this morning.

Brandon Bennett and I just spoke and he was very conciliatory.  He explained how the notification letter evolved into what it is today, which is basically a catchall for natural disasters, neglect, fire and abandonment.  He did admit the letter as is takes a too-heavy handed approach.  I think it became a situation of being too close to the trees to notice the forest.

His staff is going to rework their procedures and create notices that are more specific to the situation.  Home fire will be separated out and treated differently than the others.  He asked that I participate in the process and give input into the draft of the new letter, which they hope to have in place in the next several weeks.

At this point I can only express positive feelings about the response from the city.  Mayor Price acted quickly, there was no denial or pushback from any person involved, the situation was deemed serious and in need of resolution, and a process of correction is underway.  I don't think one can ask more than that.

Most importantly, to me anyway, future victims of home fires will be greeted by a city government that truly cares about helping them get their lives back on track.  I never envisioned that code compliance would become my cause celebre, but I guess we take them as they come.  My only hope was that the city would be motivated to turn a negative into a positive and that's just what has occurred so, in that sense, mission accomplished.

Many thanks to all who expressed interest or became incolved in this adventure.

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Fort Worth Way vs. Adrian Murray

Round 2:

April 11, 2016
Mr. Brandon Bennett
Director of Code Compliance
City of Fort Worth
818 Missouri Ave
Fort Worth, TX 76106

Mr. Bennett,

Losing one’s house to a fire is a devastating experience.  Standing in the street at midnight watching flames engulf your home of many years, knowing your possessions are being destroyed yet still feeling admiration and gratitude for the firemen bravely doing battle – it is at once surreal, traumatizing and fascinating.  I should know.  It happened to me.

On the evening of March 29 we were awakened to a raging fire.  By God’s grace our family – including two dogs – was able to escape unharmed and the fire crew was able to contain much of the damage to the rear of the house, although smoke and water damage was extensive throughout.  Suddenly we were confronted with issues that so many of us just take for granted: Food, shelter and clothing.

Early the following morning the wheels were already in motion.  The insurance adjuster was on the scene, the clean-up crew had already begun, contractors were lining up to submit bids.  The road to full recovery would be long, but it was heartening to see that things were working as they should.  While the events of the prior evening were still fresh and frightening, it was reassuring that good and competent people were now in charge of the rebuilding.  That is, until the letter arrived from your department.

Within days of the fire, while clean-up and recovery efforts were underway, I received a “Notice of Violation” from the Fort Worth Code Compliance Department (attached).  Without bothering to pause for words of condolence, advice or encouragement, the letter instead asserted that due to fire, smoke and water damage, my house was in violation of the building code.  A completely arbitrary and capricious deadline of April 30 was given to correct the violations.  If I needed further time, I was graciously given a whole ten days to submit a plan.

The letter then goes on to state that “if a work plan is not received and /or repairs are not submitted within the time granted, it is the intention of this department to present this property to the Building Standards Commission, which has the authority to order repairs, demolitions and civil penalties.”  If I fail to adequately comply I am warned “…you should be aware that failing to respond could result in both criminal and civil court action.”

Well, how do you do?  I actually received this letter on a Tuesday, exactly one week after the fire.  I didn’t react that day and instead set it aside.  I would, I decided, allow a day for it to sink in and then read it again, just to see if I actually read what I just read.  The following day I did read it again and promptly mailed it back to the code officer with the question, “You’re joking, correct?”, along with a few other will chosen words.

I posted this to Facebook and it went viral locally, with near unanimous outrage at this contemptible reaction by the city to a homeowner who just experienced a devastating loss.  It was picked up the following day by WFAA Channel 8, who ran the story that night.  On Friday I spoke with Chris Salcedo on WBAP.  A letter to the editor ran in the Star Telegram on Saturday.

I am not done yet.

In January of this year Mayor Betsy Price announced a Compassionate City initiative, saying “compassion is the backbone of what strong cities should do.”  A Facebook page – Compassionate Fort Worth – was launched.  Apparently the Code Compliance Department was left off the distribution list.

Do you honestly feel that this type of intimidation and thug-like tactics are an appropriate initial reaction to a taxpaying homeowner who has just been rendered homeless, who just had a lifetime of possessions destroyed by fire?  Do you feel it is proper for the first response of the city to threaten repairs, demolitions, civil penalties and criminal and civil court actions?  Exactly how many homeowners do not immediately begin the process of rebuilding?  One percent?  Two, maybe?  Do you feel it is appropriate for the city government, within days of such a fire, to attempt to cower and browbeat fellow Fort Worthians to hop, skip and jump to the outrageous demands of a government gone wild?  I am told by your department that this letter is standard operating procedure.  If so, your standard operating procedure is a disgrace.  It is shameful, demeaning, abusive and insulting to innocent people who have suffered a loss.  I was also told that the 30 day deadline was not hard and fast.  So why demand it in a letter?  Just because you can?

Even worse, this is a form letter addressed to “Dear Owner/Heir.”  I can only surmise by “Heir” it means that if I happened to have perished in the fire, the following is what is expected of my heirs.  Ghoulish does not even begin to describe the tone of this letter.

I am not concerned about myself.  I fortunately have the means and the resources to land on my feet, provide for my family and eventually return to whole.  My concern is for others, who may be terribly traumatized by such an event, who may have lost more than I lost (including loved ones), who may not know where to turn next, only to run into a buzz saw of threats and intimidation by their own city government, which intuitively seems to believe that its citizens are scofflaws and sharecroppers who must be whipped into submission.  The letter sent to me cannot be unsent and I would never kowtow to your threats.  But I will make it my mission to ensure that no other citizen of this city will ever again be subject to such abuse at a difficult and traumatic time.

Fort Worth’s first response should be an offer to help, to provide and recommend resources to assist property owners in rebuilding in way that will conform to building standards, not add to their stress in a very trying time.  The Fort Worth Code Compliance Department should immediately review its standard procedures for incidents such as this and develop policies which treat victims of disaster humanely and with a commitment to assist, not threaten; a goal of cooperation, not intimidation.

I would give you ten days to develop an acceptable plan, but I’m not that kind of guy.

Nine seems about right.

Adrian Murray
125 Willow Ridge Road
Fort Worth, TX 76103

Mayor Betsy Price
City Manager David Cooke
Councilman Cary Moon
Councilman Sal Espino
Councilman Zim Zimmerman
Councilwoman Gyna Bivens
Councilwoman Ann Zedah
Councilwoman Kelly Allen Gray
Councilman Dennis Singleton
Councilman Jungus Jordan
Jobin Panicker, WFAA-TV
Todd Unger, WFAA-TV
Chris Salcedo, WBAP 820

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Tired of the "news"paper propaganda?

Then you are not alone, Fort Worth.  San Antonio firefighters and residents feel the same about their paper.  So they did something about it. 

Insert all our normal players names into this story and you've got the same old, same old.  They also "glossed over the 35-50 percent hike".  

Doubling down with City Hall on a controversial water project, San Antonio’s daily newspaper delivered a Page One attack on efforts to review the $3.4 billion deal.
Express-News columnist Brian Chasnoff abandoned any pretense of news reporting, writing that a petition drive seeking an independent review by the Texas Public Utilities Commission was designed toundermine” and “sabotage the pipeline project.”
“You know you are doing the right thing when they attempt to vilify you on the front page for  standing up for the taxpayer and motivating others to do so,” Moody said.
“If this project is so wonderful, why are they scared to let the Texas Public Utilities  Commission review it?”
Greg Brockhouse, a spokesman for the firefighters, said the Express-News was “culpable with its silence — and its attacks on those who are defending the rights of taxpayers. This is a big story on the abdication of responsibility by the media.”
Chasnoff’s snarky column contrasted limply with solid reporting by his colleagues.
Earlier, they broke the story the pipeline contractor had applied for an $885 million low-interest state loan to finance the project.
Around the time of its editorial, the newspaper reported the parent company of Abengoa Vista Ridge had filed for bankruptcy.
Another inconvenient truth surfaced when an environmental consultant for Vista Ridge made a maximum $1,000 contribution to Mayor Ivy Taylor following her vote to support the project.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Betsy goes to court...

So Mayor Price went to court hoping it would show she's "dead serious" about "recovering the citizen's money from Chesapeake".  WHY?  So she can give it to Majestic to Disney up the Stockyards?

More All hat, no's the Fort Worth Way.

Remember back when Fort Worth and Chesapeake were besties?

Another Tarrant "Boon"doggle

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has a way with words.  If it was a better way, they'd have more readers.

The title of their latest "Other Voices" piece is called "Naysayers are wrong: TEX Rail a boon for Tarrant".

It was written by the chairman and vice chairman of the Transit Coalition of North Texas.  Now we don't know exactly what that is but if we had to guess, we'd say it's another COG type group where these "chairmen" are appointed by government officials and paid by taxpayers.  Are we close?

We're also guessing the numbers they use comes from data they purchased (with taxpayer funds).

According to them, 9,000 people will be riding this make believe train every day.  That takes us back to when the TRV told us 800 people would attend the drive-in EVERY night.

YOU can't make this up.  But they do...

If you want people to "get on board", maybe you shoudn't start your sales pitch with calling them "wrong".  Just saying.

SOLD...down the river

The Stockyards have been sold out.  Only one council member voted to go with the larger preservation district.  The one that was approved by Planning and Zoning and another city board, as well as a National Historical Preservation group.  WHY would an entire council go against the boards they created to advise them?  WHY has no reporter asked this question?  You do the math...

Wasn't it Betsy who said we didn't need a preservation district in the Stockyards?  She voted for a small one last night.

One more question, why would the Trinity River Vision feel the need to join the Stockyards Business Association?  Again, you do the math.

We just have this to say about last night's vote in Fort Worth -

Ann Zadeh for Mayor!

Divided we fall.

Get it together Tarrant County.

Rail projects, water projects, taxpayer funded schemes...all these could be killed if you think outside your bubble.  These aren't partisan issues and could be stopped if we could stop being distracted by left, right issues.

Think it can't be done?  Think again.  Another Texas city is leading the way.

A Tea Party group, a Firefighter's Union and LULAC just knocked it out of the park.

It irritated City Hall, the Chamber of Commerce and the "news"paper.  We know that's too good of a deal for some of you to pass up, so - we dare you.  Do the same.

Can’t fight city hall? Don’t tell that to a San Antonio coalition of tea partiers, union firefighters and progressive Hispanic activists.

With little money and no media support, a handful of volunteers blocked a $290 million streetcar project pushed by city officials and the powerful Chamber of Commerce.
A loose confederation of individuals and groups – representing right, left and center interests – soon closed ranks.
“The only thing politicians care about is their electability,” Brockhouse told “We quantified that. We could go to a councilman and show him 800 signed [anti-streetcar] petitions in his district and tell him we’re not done yet.”
Jeff Judson, a councilman in neighboring Olmos Park, published an op-ed article noting declining rail ridership in Houston and Dallas, and the corresponding cannibalization of bus service in those cities.
“San Antonio did not do comparisons – they just wanted to know how much it would cost,” Slife recalls.
The city’s newspaper appeared incurious.
“We provided a cost analysis to the editorial board of the Express News. “This caused [Editorial Page Editor] Bruce Davidson to almost come across the table at me he was so upset,” Slife said.