Monday, July 11, 2016


Photo of Concrete Recycling Operation off Precinct Line and Norwood 

Got dust in your houses, cars, lungs?                                                                                                        

Do you know what's in that dust?

We used to have just plain old dirt dust from all the truck traffic and heavy equipment being used in the mining operations off Precinct Line, Norwood, and Trinity Blvd, but now we have silica dust.

Why do we have silica dust?

Because now we have 2 UNAUTHORIZED concrete recycling operations near our homes. No State-required air quality permits.  No City-required zoning.  No public hearings.  The developer just did it!

Remember the recent battle between the developer and the White Lake Hills neighborhoods?  This is exactly what they were fighting.  They didn't want a concrete recycling operation near their neighborhoods.  They stuck together and beat it! At least for now. The developer can try again in a year. Or maybe the developer won't bother and will just do this developer did!?

What's so dangerous about concrete recycling? What's silica dust?

This is what OSHA says about it:  

"Crystalline silica is an important industrial material found abundantly in the earth's crust.  Quartz, the most common form of silica, is a component of sand, stone, rock, concrete, brick, block, and mortar.   

Silica dust is hazardous when very small (respirable) particles are inhaled.  These respirable dust particles can penetrate into the lungs and cause disabling and sometimes fatal lung diseases, including silicosis and lung cancer, as well as kidney disease.

Exposure to respirable silica occurs when cutting, sawing, drilling, and crushing of concrete, ceramic tiles, rock, and stone products." 

The Fort Worth Weekly recently published a short article about these unauthorized industrial operations but said our neighborhoods "aren't bothered".  

I think uninformed is more the case.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Fort Worth: Got Permits?

Question:  What’s worse than developer Wallace Hall trying to put a concrete recycling plant near east side neighborhoods?
Answer: Developer Ken Newell operating two concrete recycling plants near east side neighborhoods without permits or public hearings!
That’s exactly what Metroplex Sand & Gravel, owned by developer Ken Newell, is doing. At least Wallace Hall followed the rules.  Ken Newell has been developing without permits and expired permits for decades. Sure, he’s been caught a couple of times, but at the very worst, Fort Worth issued him a Notice of Violation and then allowed him to get the permit after the fact.  

Do you think the average citizen could get away with putting a concrete recycling plant in their front yard?  I don’t think so.  We’re issued citations and fined for the heinous acts of leaving our trash cans at the curb too long, building a fence a few inches too high, or worse, being the victim of a house fire. And we’re subjected to an army of city inspectors when building an oh-so-potentially-hazardous storage shed in our backyard.
Meanwhile, Ken Newell is allowed to operate concrete recycling plants without permits, public hearings, and inspections. These are industrial activities which spew carbon dioxide, silica, and dust into the air, into our lungs, and into our homes on the east side of Fort Worth.     
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the City of Fort Worth’s Environmental Division of Air Quality claim they were unaware of these operations until Wallace Hall’s plans brought attention to concrete recycling activities.  
Anyone want to bet what the consequences for developer Ken Newell will be?
To be continued…..  

Monday, April 18, 2016



Irresponsible industry and two-timing politicians and government agencies changed my life. As a Fort Worth citizen devastated by the negative impacts of urban gas drilling, I’m excited to announce the Fort Worth premiere of the documentary Dear President Obama, The Clean Energy Revolution Is Now.

The film is produced and directed by National Geographic’s Jon Bowermaster and takes a cross-country look at drilling, highlights stories of its victims, contamination, and the false promise of economic boom, and emphasizes the need for clean energy solutions. Several Fort Worth and area citizens are in this film.

I’m honored to be on the discussion panel with Jon Bowermaster, noted oceans expert, award-winning journalist, author, filmmaker, and six-time grantee of the National Geographic Expeditions Council; Dr. Bill Luker, Jr., Urban Environmental Economist with a PhD. in Economics from UT-Austin; Mark Miller, Ph.D. in petroleum engineering, retired professor of petroleum engineering at UT-Austin, and current candidate for Texas Railroad Commission; and Calvin Tillman, former Mayor of DISH, Texas and current Deputy Mayor of Aubrey, Texas. Our panel will be moderated by Reverend Kyev Tatum, minister, civil rights activist, former collegiate athlete, and university administrator.

There are only 250 seats available for the Fort Worth viewing and they’re going fast so please reserve your free tickets at:

WHEN: April 21, 2016
5 PM to 8 PM
WHERE: The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
3200 Darnell Street
Fort Worth, Texas 76107
WHAT: Reception with cash bar begins at 5 PM. Meet the director, panel, and locals interviewed for the film.
Discussion panel at 6 PM.
Film premieres at 7 PM and is 110 minutes in length. The panel will be available after the film to answer your questions and discuss ways you can help.
WHY YOU SHOULD ATTEND: Because we're all affected by irresponsible drilling and paid-off politicians and government agencies.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Permitting Affluenza

On March 9, 2016, our wonderful Fort Worth Zoning Commission voted 7-2 in favor of establishing a larger boundary around the historic Stockyards.  I, like many others, are thrilled with their decision and proud of them for representing the people's wishes.

The developers are acting like spoiled brats!  The larger boundary doesn't mean the area can't be developed, it just means more care and consideration will be taken into what is built in the area.  Lord knows permitting oversight in Fort Worth is on the endangered species list.

Just this week, Fort Worth's Asst. City Manager Fernando Costa had to eat some crow regarding permitting problems.  This ain't their first rodeo either.  Fort Worth is knee-deep in permitting snafus by developers who have an over-developed sense of entitlement and who are way too used to asking forgiveness instead of permission.  The developers know all too well that if their permitting problem is ever actually caught, the City won't make them take it down.  Below is just one example.

Developers in Fort Worth seem to enjoy permitting privileges the average citizen could only dream of and our Zoning Commissioners, minus the 2 who sold out, sent a message to developers and elected officials that Fort Worth's history is more precious than money.

By the way, our Zoning Commissioners aren't elected, they are appointed, and I wouldn't be surprised if some of them get booted off the Zoning Commission as a result of their Stockyards-friendly, people-approved, developers-disappointed decision.  We need to support our brave Zoning Commissioners and thank them for speaking up for us.  

I think we should pack City Hall on April 5, 2016 and take note of which City Councilperson represents their citizens and which ones represent the developers.   The ones that don't represent the people need to be voted off the island!