Thursday, May 20, 2010

A sigh of relief!

Once again, and the second time in two weeks, I am so very proud to be a member of this community. Amidst claims of being fear mongerers, Communists, anti-Americans, and worst of all "liberals", I witnessed countless members of our community stand up and without emotion, without hate, and just stating the facts, make the clearest case ever against urban drilling.

The mineral rights owners were diametrically opposite by spewing hate, emotion and lots of hearsay. The presentation by Titan representative Bobby Dollack was a lesson in how to talk down to a governing group and showing he was discusted to have to be there explaining how great a job he will do instead of being at a Monster Truck rally.

It was so clear that the only need for this facility was wealth and greed hidden behind to guise of wanting to get away from foreign dependence of fossil fuels. Don't they realize that the mood in this country is to get away from the dependence of fossil fuels altogether.

If Mr Hilliard had proposed to erect wind turbines to generate energy or solar panels to harvest a pure clean source of energy, he would have had people lined up to shake his hand and tell him he is truly a fine American with the interests of saving the environment instead of raping it.

I was appalled at the mention of Titan drilling through not one, not two, but three aquifiers enroute to the Barnett motherlode. Knowing that they will have cement encasings of the drills to "protect" those aquafiers. The same cement encasing that Halliburton assured us were poured to protect the Gulf of Mexico. Oh yes one of those water sources is owned by Hilliard. What? A underground water source knows where Hilliards land starts and ends? Totally mindblowing.

A warm thank you to the O and G board for standing up for what is so obviously right even with the death threats that followed their decisions. I was contemplating publishing the rant by Mr Chris Tomlinson on his blog, Shiloh Drilling, but it is so filled with obscenities and hateful threats against anyone that went against his wishes, it even shocked me! I kept a copy of it though, even when he took that post down and replaced it with a milder, but still violence filled and enough veiled threats to cause some serious alarm. Mr Tomlinson, you owe this entire town an apology, and would not be suprised if The F.B.I. hasn't been alerted to his behavior and hopefully he is under surveillance.

Its not over, by any means. This group of "good, christian, Americans" have threatened to bankrupt the town and laugh all the way to the bank. Yes our town is under attack from Oil and Gas companies from Oklahoma with their big money and smarmy tactics of energizing the likes of Tomlinson (who was seated right next to former councilwoman, Jean Levenick and everyones sweetheart, Patsy Mizuer) to reak havoc on our town.

Its good to see the 2010 chapter of this towns ugly past is starting off with a bang.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My rights versus yours

Now that the election is behind us and we have regained common sense to our town, another hurdle is approaching.

Tomorrow night, the Oil and Gas Review board for the town of Flower Mound, will meet to discuss variances for drilling on a large piece of property known as "The Hilliard Airfield". This time its Titan/Cherokee Horn and associates that have purchased Mr Hilliard's mineral rights. As you know The Hilliard Airfield is right there on 2499 before you get to 3040, as you enter our town from the south. Mr Hilliard and his family have owned that land for a long, long time and could be considered some of the most prime real estate in our town. In a letter that Mr Hilliard sent out to his neighbors recently urging them to write in his favor to the Oil and Gas board, he stated, "this radical group of "anti-drillers" want to take away his "right" to claim his minerals, after all, we live in the United States of America and not Communist China". his letter in its entirety is posted here.

Which brings me to my point of his rights versus mine.

I too have the right as a citizen of the United States, to live in a safe environment.
I too have the right as a citizen of the United States, to breath clean air and drink clean water.
I too have the right as a citizen of the United States, to protest the fact that Mr Hilliard is threatening my rights by exercising his own.

Who is right? Who takes the priority here?

A few weeks ago at the town council meeting, the gas leasers all wore stickers saying "Common Sense".

Erecting a drilling platform within 1000 feet of two schools? Is that Common Sense?

Having an eyesore of a drilling platform surrounded by a 40 foot tall "blast Fence" as prospective home buyers or first time guest are greeted as they enter our town? Where is that common sense?

In a town that doesn't allow billboards or business signs to exceed a certain height to allow this monolithic monstrosity to greet everyone that drives that road every day that Mr Hilliard has "his" rights? this is just senseless.

This group of radical "anti-drillers" as we have been called, are being unfairly labeled as Un-American? When in all honesty, most of us feel it is important to harvest the Barnett Shale in a responsible manor and NOT smack dab in the middle of an suburban environment. That can be nothing but common sense.

Seven decades ago when the Hilliard family bought that 96 acres of land in the middle of nowhere and probably for a very small amount of money. Did they know that all us city folk were eventually going to wander out to the country and develop and live and make a community of responsible citizens? Had they known that then maybe they would have settled further north. They had no earthly idea or premonition that a town would develop around them, I'm sure they settled there just to survive with a few crops and some live stock. Did they know they were sitting on a vast empire called the Barnett Shale? Hell, Barnett didn't even know that.

So now, 70 years later, Hilliard wants to cash in 10 thousand fold on his original investment and blight his new neighbors for his prospect of wealth?

Please plan to attend the Oil and Gas board meeting tomorrow at town hall at 6:30 and voice your displeasure, if you can't attend, send an email to to be entered on public record.

We do not want even a slightly remote chance of a catastrophe such as what is happening in the Gulf of Mexico to occur "in our back yards".

*title of thread courtesy of A.C. Newman of the New Pornographers. ( its a band)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mr, Harlan Jefferson

I must say that last year during our town council dealings, I was at odds with Mr Jefferson and was a harsh critic of some of his statements. However, I will be the first to admit, I was wrong and I offer a humble apology.

Mr Jefferson's actions in the last few months have impressed me and the capper of all capers came early Monday morning following the election, Harlan instituted the Moratorium. He followed the will of the people and averted a bold move by Williams by cutting their request for the CCF by an hour. Who couldn't see it coming, Williams trying to sneak one in after their stunning defeat on Saturday.

A cold slap in the face to big business and a heroic gesture to the many residents that set the mandate.

Thank you again, Harlan, and I look forward to future discussions regarding phase two.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Peaceful, Easy Feeling

Yesterday was truly amazing.

As I watched the events wind down after two months of hectic, not knowing what was coming next feelings, it was over by 7:30 last night. The crowds at the Police and Courts Building were dizzying, the constant flow of traffic, all the same minded people not caring if it took an hour or 3 hours to get the task done, it was getting done. The volunteers finding that last wind to go out and stand in the blazing sun holding up a sign was more important than the simplicity of the task. The fact that we were one step ahead of the opposition in everything we did, from the NFL express shuttle, to food and water. The one difference was we were so focus driven they could not match that as hard as they tried.

As the first results rolled out on the TV screen, I knew then it had done what was planned and it couldn't have been scripted any more perfect.

The elation of everyone I ran into at the ZGrill was so euphoric, you could not help having a giddy smile on your face. The job was done and now was time to soak it in because a lot of hard work is yet to come.

To think that now the distinct possibility of not having a toxic waste storage unit in our town will become a reality. The possibility that the signs on Gerault and all up and down Morriss reminding us that Phase One is in progress could soon be obsolete since Phase One will be it. To think that phase two might just go away altogether is a true dream completed. I woke up, remembered it, and lived. To think that huge chunk of wilderness and trees that could have been The Riverwalk will probably remain a lot more tree than apartments makes every breath I take cleaner and sweeter.

All of it was such a wonderful effort by so many extraordinary people who's main goal was to keep breathing clean, sweet air and live in a town that the threat of it disappearing was now remote. That was truly all of our goals, the simplest of emotions drove us to this extraordinary feat we just completed.

When I woke up early this morning, I didn't care I had just got just over 4 hours of sleep before a work day. I went outside to the freshest of mornings with rain clearing the air an hour earlier and the light starting to creep into the eastern sky, it all felt so different. I got on the road and headed south and looked at my town differently, and thoughts of tasks ahead of how to save it behind me. I could take pleasure with it and a clear and evident peace surrounded it.

I can't wait for the day to change the name of this blog to Stopped Morriss 6.
I am sitting here drinking a cup of freshly roasted coffee. You know what? It tastes fantastic this morning. As a matter of fact I cannot remember last time I had a cup this good.

As most of you know last night was a victory for all StopMorriss6 supporters. Even more important it was a great day for democracy. For quite a while groups of residents have fought to have their voices heard by the current town leadership. Regardless of how hard we fought we had to listen to the same broken record; we will listen to you, but ultimately we will ignore you.

The issues that we fought had no party affiliations. What we wanted was a playing field, were our concerns would be taken seriously. We got tired of showing up at game time only to find out that the outcome was rigged.

Last year another group of residents, with completely different concerns came to the same conclusion. This time the issues ranged from urban gas drilling, centralized collection facility to pipelines.

Yesterday’s game had a different outcome. Why? We brought out the most determined players available. We played fair and we secured victory. As we move forward just remember that each and every one of YOU made this possible. All I can say is THANK YOU.

In a few days we will have a new leadership in town. They will face difficult decisions. The problems we are dealing with will not go away overnight, but I am convinced that this new leadership will be more receptive to preserving our town.

I like to congratulate our new referees, Mayor-elect Melissa Northern and new Council Member, Place 4 Steve Lyda. I also like to congratulate Council Member Al Filidoro on his re-election to Place 2 and Council Member Tom Hayden for his involvement on making this possible.

Enjoy your day,


Friday, May 7, 2010

Who has grass roots support?

I am amazed at the number of Northern-Filidoro-Lyda signs in the front lawns of neighborhoods in Wellington, Bridlewood, and along Morriss. They are everywhere! I am equally amazed at the number of Smith-Robinson-Webb signs in front of businesses and for-sale commercial lots. I even got a mailer yesterday from Mayor Smith with a big-name endorsement that she is a "true conservative". When did N-F-L become anti-business liberals? They aren't. In fact, N-F-L has decried the liberal use of Town funds quite vociferously. Truth is, it is hard to find a liberal in Texas whether you like them or not.

Businesses will have just as prosperous of an environment in Flower Mound with N-F-L as with anyone else. Developers will still be welcomed to Flower Mound to build the infrastructure that the people have asked for. And with N-F-L, mineral rights holders will still be able to collect royalties for their minerals; but the drilling/extraction company may actually be REQUIRED to use safe and responsible drilling practices. After all, this is a Town of 60,000+, not the middle of a desert.

GET YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS TO THE POLLS TOMORROW, and tell them the truth about the candidates! Because the uninformed voter may see the Smith-Robinson-Webb signs in front of their Kroger and vote for them. Or worse, they may think they are voting for fiscal conservatives!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sorta Sad

As I drive to work every morning heading south on Morriss to the Airport, I can't help but get a little sad when I see them digging up the median on Gerault. It makes me start to think about last year when we spent endless nights at town hall and walking streets talking to people, standing on corners holding signs and trying to get the word out to everyone who would listen. I think about if we had only knocked on 30 more doors or sent out 30 more flyer's or got 30 more hits on the Blog, Steve Lyda would be celebrating a year on council instead of working so hard to get elected. I think about how when we first met Tom Hayden and he came to one of our meetings to hear what we were talking about and he was convinced we were just trying to get the message out to the town to do the right thing and not the thing that was prescribed in a document from 1978.

If we would have worked harder, last year we wouldn't have to be working so hard again this year to get the people elected that have the best interests of Flower Mound people like you and me and not faceless developers looking for big pay days.

Six years ago, I lost interest in Flower Mound politics when I heard a woman that had the developers best interests in mind and they ran out of town a hard working Mayor and council that wanted to be smart when they built. Gone was the scrutiny, gone was the humility, gone were the guts to fight for residents. We ushered in the Jody Smith era of this towns dirty little history of slimy politics. Its culminated now with Smith contributing large sums of money to her "running mates" just as she did last year. She has bought loyalty of her council members for paltry sums, but just enough for the Dixon's and Wallace's and Tasker's and Webb's and Stones and Robinson's and Levinick's to cow tow to her mantra and only reinforce her narcissistic neurosis.

One thing I am not sad about, is the fact that she is headed for defeat and she knows it. This town has finally woke up and will no longer bend to her whims and royalty like behaviors. No longer will she hide behind her "good conservative" "good christian" jingoism's and be revealed as a hypocrite.

If I am wrong and she somehow slithers back into office, I will be more that sorta sad or sorta mad.

I will probably just move.

Keep me as a neighbor, Elect Northern, Filidoro and Lyda.