Thursday, April 28, 2011

Contact Texas Reps and Senators NOW! Tell Them NO to HB 3105!!!!

Take Action Against HB 3105

H.B. 3105 (Keffer) - Regulatory Takings/Oil and Gas would make a city regulation that damages, destroys, impairs, or prohibits development of a mineral interest subject to the Private Real Property Rights Preservation Act, which would:

  • (1) waive sovereign immunity to suit and liability for a regulatory taking;

  • (2) authorize a private real property owner to bring suit to determine whether the governmental action of a city results in a taking;

  • (3) require a city to prepare a "takings impact assessment" prior to imposing certain regulations; and

  • (4) require a city to post 30-days notice of the adoption of most regulations prior to adoption.

Stop the Presses! Goodbye Home Rule???

Bill:  HB 3105 
Legislative Session: 82(R) Council Document: 82R 5223 PMO-D

Last Action:04/27/2011 H Reported favorably w/o amendment(s)

Caption Version:Introduced
Caption Text:Relating to the applicability of the Private Real Property Rights Preservation Act to certain governmental actions.


Subjects:City Government--General (I0060)

County Government--General (I0096)

Mines & Mineral Resources (I0536)

Property Interests--Eminent Domain (I0615)

Property Interests--Real Property (I0595)

House Committee:Energy Resources

Status:Out of committee

Vote:Ayes=5   Nays=1   Present Not Voting=0   Absent=3

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Proposed New Map Splits Grand Prairie, TX Into 7 Districts

Talk about carving up the city. Hmmm...who else has been carving up the City in recent months? Could the same carvers be influencing this plan??  

Could O&G* be influencing redistricting?
Do Cows Mooooo??

Today on the Texas House Floor, our Westchester neighbor and House District 106 Representative Rodney Anderson (R-Grand Prairie) did a very nice job at the podium.  

Representative Anderson was dignified and well spoken. Being a freshman in Austin is not that easy.  Job well done.

Looks like Mayor England is even talking about a lawsuit if the current proposal gets voted in. Click Here and take a look at the story in the Dallas News today.

Highlights of the story:
If the redistricting plan passes as is, Irving will have four representatives within its city limits and Grand Prairie will have seven. But more important to city officials, the proposed map chops up the crucial districts almost entirely located within the two cities — District 105 in Irving and District 106 in Grand Prairie.

City officials say losing those primary representative voices at the state Capitol would make it almost impossible to promote their agendas.

"It’s devastating to us politically, as far as a voice in Austin is concerned,” Grand Prairie Mayor Charles England said. “I’ve been mayor 19 years, and I can tell you this is the most critical thing that’s faced this city for sure since I’ve been mayor."


England said he’s disappointed and angry with how the proposed map treats Grand Prairie.

"We’re a town of 175,400 people. We’re the 15th-largest city in the state,” he said. “And to come in and take representation out of Grand Prairie for the city and the schools … that is disrespectful as you can get." [emphasis added.]
If the current plan succeeds, and Linda Harper-Brown becomes Westchester's representative in Austin....God Help Us. Please.

*O&G = Oil and Gas Industry

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Opus Scientific hiring

Opus Scientific, basedin Long Island has sever openings in the NY area. According to the company website the company is;

"...a specialized professional staffing firm providing temporary and contract staffing, contract to hire and direct hire recruitment solutions. Opus Scientific supports biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device, cosmetic, chemical, food and other scientific intensive industries that require skilled talent. The core focus areas include research & development, drug discovery, pre-clinical development, clinical research, manufacturing, regulatory affairs, quality assurance, quality control and sales & marketing"

Some of their current openings:

* Compounding & Packaging Manager

* Manager Regulatory Affairs

* Regulatory Affairs Associate

Monday, April 25, 2011


just the other day I saw a dad with this kind of trailer and his daughter in the back as he made his way down a very busy narrow road, the dad is an idiot in my opinion!! read on for my repeat post
this style is just plain dangerous

this is better

I saw a post on talking about a problem a cyclist had with a motorist and his bike and child trailer. He has his daughter in the trailer and got buzzed closely at an intersection. The cyclist blamed the motorist.

I am taking the reverse position in this regards. I do not like to see bike trailers on roads. To me this is just too dangerous and not worth the risks to the child. There are other options, bike trails or roads in housing developments.

A better alternative is to get a good tricycle or small bike for the child. Walk with the child while she rides, more exercise and a better all around activity. I used to jog and my youngest rode his bike next to me. He loved it and we both got exercise.

Or if lucky like me, we had a large hospital parking lot near by, which was most times half empty and especially on weekends. We would bike together to the lot and then play bike games at the lot.

In the Philadelphia area we have many trails for parents to use with children and trailers. I do plead with those parents who think dragging a child in a trailer is safe to find something else to do with the child.

A trip to a park comes to mind. Swings, slides and climbers, way more fun for the child. But get rid of the trailes, just tooooooo dangerous.

Biking in Chester County in Pennsylvania

I live in Chester County, about 30 miles west of Philadelphia. My county is particularly suited for biking. What makes this county so unique is the amount of tertiary roads. This is not found in many areas. Most areas have roads and few secondary roads but not the spider web of little tiny side roads winding down along creeks and past farms and cows and horses and sheep and goats and herons and swans and foals. This is unparalleled in my opinion. I have biked in Santa Barbara, CA, Delray Beach, FL and Ann Arbor and I have yet to see an area that can duplicate the intricate maze of back roads.

The routes are endless that you can ride and not once repeat yourself. The wildlife and birds along the rides include foxes, deer, herons, eagles, bluebirds, red tail hawks and Baltimore orioles to name a few. The horse farms are almost uncountable. Mares and foals and riders on horseback dot the countryside. Creeks meander almost down each and every turn. Some back roads are so back, that nary a car passes.

If you live near or in Chester County and you are not biking, you are missing one fine pasttime. You can bike whether young or old, all you need is a good bike preferably a road bike. With the right equipment you have a life long sport to keep in you in shape as you age.

So what are you waiting for????

Thank you, Rodney Anderson (R-106)

Bill:  HB 3792 
Legislative Session: 82(R) Council Document: 82R 12028 DAK-D

Last Action:

04/06/2011 H Left pending in committee

Caption Version:Introduced
Caption Text:Relating to municipal authority to regulate gas pipelines located within the municipality.

Author:Burnam | Truitt | Anderson, Rodney


Subjects:City Government--Land Use & Zoning (I0064)

Oil & Gas (I0545)

House Committee:Energy Resources

Status:In committee

Friday, April 22, 2011

URGENT!! Please Call Representative Stefani Carter NOW! (512) 463-0454

Representative Stefani Carter 
Please Help Protect Our Communities
We have just learned that 1st Term Representative Stefani Carter (Dallas) has not signed on to making safety a top priority for every Texan.   Only one (1) vote is needed.  Her vote is crucial to Representative Lon Burnam's House Bill 3792 making it out of the Energy Resources Committee.

H.B. 3792 protects surface property owners by ensuring local control over decisions regarding natural gas pipeline locations.
It clarifies that a municipality has the authority to regulate the location of pipelines, compressors, storage tanks, and related facilities within the boundaries of the municipality.
The bill also ensures that an operator wishing to condemn city property to construct a pipeline is required to comply with applicable city ordinances.
Tell the committee members that Texans should have a say in where pipelines and other oil and gas production equipment are located in their cities!

Please call Representative Stefani Carter TODAY. 

Urge Rep. Carter to support H.B. 3792 because Texans should have a say in where shale gas production equipment is located in our cities. New gas gathering pipelines are going in all over Grand Prairie, TX.  This is IMPORTANT to the future safety of Grand Prairie.

Rep. Carter's number in Austin: 

(512) 463-0454

Click on the link above to fill out the petition. And then Call Rep. Carter Now!!  Ask her to support H.B. 3792.  Thank you!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Update: Just in time for EARTH DAY

The Texas Railroad Commission Web site is not NOW fully functioning right now AGAIN.  Access to Drilling Permits Public Queries is unavailable AVAILABLE AGAIN through the Main Page.  Here's what the Main Page says:

The Drilling Permits Public query is currently not available. If you have an RRC On-Line account, you can access the queries after you login. The RRC is currently working to resolve this issue.

So, if you are an "Operator" you can access after you login.  But if you're a CITIZEN seeking information about well sites in your community....NO ACCESS. 

We called Austin to see what's going on...we've been told everything will be back online by tomorrow. We'll see. ONLINE QUERIES FOR DRILLING PERMITS NOW WORKING.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Reservoirs R Us

The Dirty Little Secret

Line 5 to Line 6.  "...You have got a lateral that was drilled and just a small portion of it is underlying the reservoir --- or excuse me, the neighborhood, so I don't know that a MIPA would be applicable to this particular well."  (Testimony from Mr. Dave Henson, Senior Reservoir Engineer for Chesapeake Energy) [emphasis added]

Thanks a bunch, Chesapeake!  It's not like we haven't "felt" like a reservoir for a long time, now.  Yee Haw!!  Read Mr. Louis McBee's incredible cross-examinations of Chesapeake Energy personnel.   Read what our neighbors told the Hearing Examiners and the Senior Attorney for Chesapeake.

This is a must read from beginning to end.

*Transcript of the Barnes Assembly A (Well 3H) Rule 37 Waiver Hearing, Tuesday, February 1, 2011 in Austin, Texas; Chesapeake Energy vs. Grand Prairie, TX Trailwood Neighbors. (No Legal Decision as of April 18, 2011)  Barnes Assembly A Well 3H Form W-1*:  Link

(*Note:  The link to the Permit for Barnes Assembly A is currently unavailable.  Everything should be back up by Friday, April 22, 2011 ~ Good Friday ~ according to the Railroad Commission of Texas.)

Monday, April 11, 2011

clean your bike you moron

Dirty Bike

Sorry about that, but if you do not bother to keep your bike chain and drive train clean, you are begging for trouble. If you spend some serious cash for your bike, then why would you not take the time to learn how to care for it?

Depending on the once a year modified cleaning your bike store will do for your $25 checkup is foolish. First of all, the bike store is not going to do much for $25. If you never clean your bike, ya'd better fork over some dough and get a full drive train cleaning where the bike parts are removed and cleaned in a solution. But even this is NOT enough.

It only takes a few rides for gunk to build up on your chain and in and out of your derailleurs. Your chain has to be cleaned and lubed frequently if you are riding once or twice a week. Some folks clean and lube chain after each ride.

Go out right now and look at your bike. Is the chain all black and covered with what looks like black dirt? Are your back small wheels that wrap your chain covered in grim? Are your brake pads clean? And the list goes on and on.

I ran a bike clinic yesterday and one fellow showed up with a bike covered in black grim. Plus he was also using his bike pump incorrectly therefore he had not put air in his tires since last October. The pressure in his tires was round 50 PSI and he did not even know it.

Why spend gobs of money on a bike and then ignore it??

It is not like I am some mechanical genius but I have taken the time to learn how to maintain my bike. I can change a tire, I can clean my bike and I can lube my bike. If I do not know something I ask someone who knows bikes to help me. How hard is that!

Take care of your bike!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Boone Pickens Sells His Water: Update

I guess Mr. Boone Pickens sees the writing on the wall for shale gas drilling?  Or maybe he just realized everybody knows he owns all that water and that's not necessarily good for one's legacy.

Still, he's going to make 103 million on this sale!!  Not bad. 
The preliminary $103 million deal between Pickens' Dallas-based Mesa Water LP and the Amarillo-based Canadian River Municipal Water Authority for the water rights to 211,000 acres in Roberts County in the Panhandle promised to end long-held concerns in the region that he would sell the water to downstate interests.

UPDATE:  Here's a good explanation of the story behind this story from a Washington Examiner August 21, 2008 story. Not sure if our local papers ever reported it quite this way. Pretty sure they didn't.
Texas oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens is about to make a killing by selling water he doesn’t own. As he does it, it will be praised as a planet-friendly wind project. After he pulls it off, the media will deride it as craven capitalism. In truth, it is one the most audacious examples of politics for profit, showing how big government helps the biggest business steal from the rest of us. The plotline behind Pickens’ water-and-wind scheme is almost too rich to believe. If it were a movie script, reviewers would dismiss it as over-the-top.

Read more at the Washington Examiner

Aubrey McClendon Says, "It's a Big Boy's Game"

In a story appearing in today's Dallas News, Chesapeake CEO  Aubrey McClendon said:

"It's a Big Boy's Game."

Sure thing.  Westchester Neighbors know all about Chesapeake's Big Boy who made himself at home with the Chesapeake MONSTER FRAC Pond last summer.  We expect to see him again, soon, as the weather warms up...and he discovers that his FRAC Pond is still there.

In a speech to the Society of American Business Editors and Writers conference Friday, April 8th, CEO McClendon also said:
I believe every one of these issues or inconveniences we’ve had has an engineering solution or a human solution,” said McClendon, who leads the most active natural gas driller in the country.

Still, the push-back to drilling from environmental activists and neighborhood groups will cost the industry, he said. As lawmakers halt drilling in some areas or add regulations, there are “financial costs, and it’s going to drive smaller companies out of business,” he said.
Read the story.  Be amazed.  No mention of the Barnett Shale in there that I could find.  Maybe he doesn't want his [Dallas] audience to realize how close all the problems are to them. 

But just in case...he's already hedging his bets.  Now, he's going to be fracking for oil.

"He said domestic drilling has added hundreds of billions of dollars to the national economy, and the techniques the industry developed for gas are being applied to oil. A boom in domestic oil could fundamentally change global politics and allow Americans to distance themselves from problems in the Middle East, he said.

“We will increase oil production in the U.S. by 50 percent in the years ahead,” he predicted."

Batten down the hatches, everybody.  The Big Boys are gonna forget big gas and go for the BIG Oil.  No telling what horrors that might bring in the "guinea pig" stage for our communities that are already the all-important "reservoirs" to O&G production.

God. Help Us. Please.

Link to Dallas News Story.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Cloudy Skies Ahead

This was a big week for the borough as it relates to IT. This week brought the beginning of email cloud computing. After a couple of months of investigation and discussion we headed into the cloud earlier this week!

After migrating myself on Tuesday to "the cloud"" a few other were migrated as the week came to a close. The first "victims" included the Police Records clerks, Communication Officers Widmayer, Jones, Lt. Morris and finally Staci King. All were migrated into the Microsoft Cloud without incident. Next week I hope to move the Housing Office, Finance Office, Recreation Office, Borough Council, and a couple more communication officers into the cloud.

Many have asked me recently "why are we moving into the cloud"? Here are some quick answers to these questions:

Why Move Into the Cloud?
1. Less cost to the borough because of reduced hardware and licensing.
2. More efficent data protection.
3. Improved archiving (14 days to 10 years).
4. Ability to continue sustaining a strong ROI (return on investment) for IT.

As I go through this process I will meet with everyone to talk about this exciting change.

the joy of the bike ride

Lots is written today on making our communities green, providing bike lanes and what not. But while many sit around and wait for ideal biking conditions, time is passing when you could be biking. Conditions are never going to be perfect unless on a bike trail. But bike trails are far and few between and are often crowded with families and children and dog walkers.

The best place to ride is ultimately the roads. Now many of you may not live in places that are conveniently located to great road biking. Nothing is preventing you from throwing your bike into the back of your car and driving a few miles to an ideal locale.

If you live on a busy highway or on top of a big hill, find a spot near by where you can park your car and hop on your bike.

Get a map or study Google Maps and plot out a nice ride. There are many sites online that allow you to make a map and print a cue sheet. But good old-fashioned map reading seems to be a dying skill. Try resurrecting it and you will be surprised what horizons open up for you.

Many of you are busy, busy and more busy. Still there is nothing stopping you from taking a few hours once a week and doing a short bike ride. When my children were young, I would get up on Sunday morning at 5 am and go out and do a 2 hour ride. I was home before they woke up. Once my kids were older, I took them on bike rides.

Find a way in your busy schedule to squeeze in one bike ride each week. Trust me, over time you will want to ride more and will start to plan more time for your rides.

A habit starts slowly, one ride at a time and over time more rides. There is nothing comparable to a solo ride to help you unwind or enjoy your own private thoughts whilst you meander along on a country road.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

North Texas Sign of the Year

North Texas Unites to End Gas Drilling! 

April 20, 2011

Sundance Square, Downtown Fort Worth, TX

5:00pm - 7:00pm

Part time Traffic Assistant (tv job)

RNN TV in Rye Brook needs a Part-time Traffic Assistant.

• Organize and maintain ALL tape rooms including, but not limited to, the following:
• Organize RNN, TVE tape room according to PP number
• Organize FiOS DC, LI JobDescription NJ tape room
• Purge any and all outdated longform (infomercial) tapes
• Organize RNN and TVE commercial tapes
• Purge any and all outdated shortform commercial tapes
• Pull all necessary tapes for ALL 6 channels to be brought down to Master Control
• Assist with traffic team on preparing logs in advance. This would lead into eventually working ahead on weekend logs for all stations.
•Assisting in bringing materials to and from Traffic and Master Control as necessary. This includes tapes to be ingested, tapes for the following day, and any other extraneous materials either department may require.


Headhunter seeks unemployed for TV project (NY/NJ/CT)




Seeking unemployed OR under-employed* individuals from traditional families who need to get their careers back on track. Renowned headhunter Stephen Viscusi is seeking unemployed men and women from suburbs in the Tri-State area who have been out of work for up to two (2) years to participate in a career makeover project for a major TV network. Mr. Viscusi will provide significant career advice and guidance by analyzing and providing help with everything from resumes, job interview skills and wardrobe, all with the intention of getting your job, and life, back on track.

We are interested in every field of work except the entertainment industry, both white and blue collar fields.

Individuals must:
- be between the ages of 25-50 years old
- come from a traditional family with children and/or dependents who are willing to appear on camera
- have a high school or college degree
- be able to send in a current resume
- have had a former annual salary between $45-100K+ at one point in time
- be able to list three (3) things that you've lost since being unemployed (or under-employed)
- not have appeared on any other reality docu-series

If you're down-and-out, looking for a new opportunity or in an emergency situation and need a job, apply now!!! Every response will be read.

To apply, contact us at Please include the following information:

- Name
- Age
- Location
- 1-3 pictures of you
- Resume
- Brief description of who you are and how long you've been out of work
- Top three things you've lost since experiencing employment problems

*under-employed - someone who's had a job and was recently demoted, forced to take a pay cut or was given additional duties with no additional pay.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Exploring Cluster One

I realize that there is no information here that can really help you in a technical way but I found this video of Pink Floyd's "Cluster One" matched with some amazing images from the Hubble telescope. It is awe inspiring. Watch this, relax and remember that the universe is unbelievably and unknowingly mass and our problems are nothing in comparison. This piece of music is simply Gilmour's guitar and Rick Wright's keyboards. Genius.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Backing Up Your Files with MOZY

All this talk of the cloud has me revisiting cloud services for the home user. One of the most popular “cloud services” today is in the area of remote backups. As the earthquake and tsunami in Japan has sadly demonstrated, natural disasters do strike, usually without warning. If a natural disaster, fire or theft was to occur to you and your computer was unavailable or destroyed are your files safe?

Because our computers are becoming more and more critical remote backup service providers have been cropping up everywhere these past few years. The Borough of West Chester has been remotely backing up critical data files for years. Should you?

If you store financial files, tax documents, letters, family photos and video you probably should be backing up remotely. There are many providers with many price points. Be sure to check these providers out and protect your files today.

What about Mozy?
Mozy is a great backup service. This service lets you store files online and retrieve them remotely, which is all you really need from an online storage service.

The real reason that Mozy is attractive as an online storage solution is the price; this service’s subscription is practically unbeatable. Another advantage for using this service is the strong security features. Because it is designed to be a backup service, this service has a lot of security measures in place that other online storage services don’t have. If you want to make sure that your data is safe, this service is one of the best places to store it.

Regardless of what you call the service or what it was initially designed to be, this service is a spectacular choice. The combination of cheap storage space with useful features and strong security make this service the perfect place to store files, photos, videos, documents and anything you want to safely store outside of your home computer.

Another great ability of Mozy is that you can back up to 3 computers and remote (usb) drives. Many services such as Carbonite charge additions fees for devices and drives outside of the primary computer. This cost can add up.

Cost for Mozy's Services
2GB for free
125GB, up to 2 computers for $9.99 per month
You can learn more about Mozy at