Thursday, September 29, 2011

Contacts & Signatures in Microsoft Outlook

Lesson 4 walks you through a couple of different ways of adding contacts to Microsoft Outlook as well as creating your own professional business card that can be automatically attached in your email messages as a signature.

In the previous video I did not demonstrate how to delete unwanted images in your contacts. Well here you go.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Dam. Again. **Important Update**

We have just discovered something crazy.   So, you may ask, what else is new??

The Background: 2010

Chesapeake's Corn Valley Pad Site was administratively permitted by the City of Grand Prairie in the summer of 2010 with very little fanfare ~ even though it was clearly within the 3,000 foot Zone of Exclusion ~ as  defined by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) ~ with their 1996 publication:  Texas Resource Management Plan and Record of Decision This publication defines the Rules going forward for oil and gas drilling activity near the dams and lakes under United States Army Corps of Engineers' jurisdiction.

Two Years Earlier: 2008

On July 15, 2008, Shale gas operator XTO said the following to Grand Prairie, TX City Council (during a Public Hearing about XTO's Lynn Unit):

"...The Corps of Engineers is aware of this activity based on an agreement with the Bureau of Land Management on this property."

~ Walter Dueease, XTO, July 15, 2008


So, as it turns out, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is actually a "Lessor" of XTO's Lynn Unit (located just to the west of the Corn Valley Pad Site and to the northwest of the Joe Pool Lake Dam) ~ with 43+acres of land! The statement in the Minutes of this meeting (Pages 8-10) did not make that fact clear at all.

Unfortunately, this information had escaped us until now.  (A City without a Specific Use Permit for gas drilling is a City headed to Shale Gas He**...)  But let us not digress...

The United States of America owns land within the Lynn Unit and signed a mineral lease with XTO sometime in 2007 or early 2008. Three wells appear to be completed and/or in production at this time.  A total of 7 have been permitted as far as we can tell.

The Deal

Here's the deal. The Bureau of Land Management violated its own Rules when it leased those 43+ acres for shale gas drilling.

It all got rolling when the Grand Prairie, TX City Council approved the setback variance for the Lynn Unit during that July 15, 2008 Public Hearing after Walter Dueease with XTO assured the Council that all was well (Link to the July 15, 2008 GP City Council Meeting, Pages 8-10)

Apparently, neither any Bureau of Land Management personnel or US Army Corps of Engineer personnel were present or spoke during that City Council Public Hearing.  The City Council Minutes reflect only that Mr. Dueease told the Council that USACE was aware of this pad site since the BLM had land there...but there was never any discussion or mention of the Exclusion Zone or that the BLM was a "lessor," for this Unit. 

And now, because of those actions, thousands of people's lives are in peril if there were to be a catastrophic failure of the Joe Pool Lake Dam. Thank you, Commander Muraski of the Fort Worth District of USACE, for your warning.

Our country needs to get its sh** together.

Texas Railroad Commission GIS Map of the area near XTO's Lynn Unit.

The Lynn Unit Plat

(Above) The Lynn Unit Plat (showing the 5 largest lessors).

The Industry Standard P-12 Certificate of Pooling Authority (provides the list of lessors in the "pooled" unit).

(Above) A Service List for a Rule 37 (used when property owners have not signed a lease and the industry needs them)...that's very curious. (**Update 9.26.12: Curious only since the BLM is clearly showing on the P-12 above and this "Certificate of Service" is provided to the Railroad Commission to "prove" that unleased property owners have been notified.)

(Above) The Grand Prairie, TX Shale Gas Drilling Status Report for September 7, 2011.  It shows all activity from the beginning for every well including city permit dates, drilling dates, fracking dates and dates for sales from specific sites.

Larger view of the Grand Prairie, TX Shale Gas Status Report (above) showing July 15, 2008 as the date that the Lynn Unit was voted on by City Council. It also shows that Wells 1H, 2H and 3H are "completed" and were, at one time, "in production."

So, why did the BLM violate its own rules?  Can we possibly say this?

"The BLM looks at it more as a business-driven process," Otto said. "It's not like I have Vice President Cheney calling me up and saying you need to get this done. But there definitely is that unspoken pressure…mostly from the companies, to develop their resources as they'd like to see fit…to get things done and get them done pretty fast." [emphasis added.]

Also, as of March 17, 2011, there's a new document. We're just not clear why this was necessary, since they "reference" the 1996 document right there on Page 1:

**IMPORTANT UPDATE**:   Below is the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Map depicting the Exclusion Zone. This map and additional documents were provided to the City of Grand Prairie, TX during meetings with USACE in early 2011. Documents were received on August 3, 2011 via FOI Request  by the Westchester-Grand Prairie Community Alliance and were important to this report.  

Important Note: Color Emphasis and Labels were added to this Black and White Map for clarity.

Link to Further Information about Exclusion Zone 2 ~ Another XTO Site and A New Blog Post on the Westchester Gasette

It's Fracking Flexible

This FlexFrac frac truck has a very nice parking spot all safe and secure, comfy and cozy at the Lake Prairie Towne Crossing Shopping Center at 360 and Camp Wisdom in Grand Prairie, TX.  There are numerous shale gas pad sites nearby.  Very special.

For those down times at the pad site, FlexFrac can enjoy his friends on Facebook who are apparently spending most of their time in the Fort Worth Cultural District.

Yee Haw.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Managing Your Email in the Cloud

Microsoft Online offers very good quarantine and archving software solutions. All employee's should become familure with the use of the both of these excellent resources. Take a few minutes to learn how to access your email quarrantine and archive.

You can access your quarantine and archive at

Emergency Preparedness Website Launching

The Borough of West Chester is developing an “Emergency Preparedness” webpage which will host as much information as possible for our community in respect to emergency preparedness.

Informational forms, databases and links to other regional, state and federal emergency preparedness websites will be easily accessed from your “home” website for these services.

It is our goal to have this new website in service by the end of fall 2011. You can access the website through the West Chester Police Department website at in the “links” section.
If anyone has any suggestions or ideas please contact West Chester’s Chief Information Officer, William Mann at

This article is scheduled to appear in the Borough of West Chester's Fall 2011 Newsletter.

Microsoft's West Chester Case Study

Earlier this year the Borough of West Chester moved its email services to the “cloud” with Microsoft Online Services. The Borough of West Chester was chosen as one of three Microsoft Cloud Services case studies. Afterward Microsoft published the following article which appeared in various Microsoft Publications and on their website.

The following article was prepared by:

Patricia Brown, Content Strategist
Lane F. Cooper, Editorial Director
Susan Aluise, Senior Editor
William Mann, Chief Information Officer, Borough of West Chester
Ron Braatz, Liftoff, President, LLC.

Borough of West Chester, PA Takes Email to the Cloud;
Cuts Costs While Boosting Efficiency


The Borough of West Chester, PA is a college town with a population of 18,461 (not including non-resident students) about 25 miles west of Philadelphia. It is home to West Chester University and boasts a vibrant small business community. The Borough has a total operating budget of $19 million – and only spends 1 percent of its budget on IT operations to support between 120 and 140 employees. The city keeps its IT staff costs low because one man manages all of the tasks for all departments – including the separate management of police communications systems. As the time approached to refresh the Borough’s technology infrastructure, William “Bill” Mann, chief communications officer and IT manager for the Borough was interested in applying cloud technology to improve operations while reducing costs. He turned to Microsoft and the technology implementation coaching services of LiftOff, LLC to migrate the Borough’s email system to the cloud environment. The results have been impressive.


Bill Mann is not what you would call a job hopper. He started working for the Borough of West Chester right out of high school as departments just began experimenting with computers back in the mid-1980s. He embraced the IT revolution that was heating up then by volunteering to manage computers and communications technology for the police department. He parlayed the volunteer activity into a full time position, and eventually became the lone technologist in the Borough’s government operations.

When Mann finally took over all IT activities for the Borough back in 1999, the first thing he did was merge the separate department-level IT resources. He consolidated all servers into a computer room where every department could connect for shared server access.

“I had so many servers going – file servers, Citrix servers, security servers, along with an Exchange server,” he says.

There were many department-specific IT applications that Mann needed to be able to support. For example, the police department needed people to be able to easily and securely access the system from satellite locations – they used the Citrix servers to accomplish this.

Everyone used Microsoft Outlook, and the productivity application of choice among the Borough’s user community was – and remains – Microsoft Office.

“Over a very short period of time, I decided to consolidate all of those infrastructures and migrate to a single domain,” Mann says.

During the course of keeping up on trends in the IT industry, Mann started hearing a lot about the benefits of cloud computing. He took a keener interest as the time approached for him to upgrade the Borough’s computing and communications infrastructure.

“This was the perfect time for Microsoft to get my business,” he says. West Chester was on a four-year replacement schedule rotation for its servers.

In 2011, the Microsoft Exchange e-mail server came up for replacement. “People rely on mail for everything. If it’s down for a second, people know it,” Mann says. He wanted to find a solution that increased service and connectivity for all the users while making the email management and maintenance easier and less time consuming.

After extensively researching cloud computing solutions and evaluating how they could fit into the Borough’s IT operations, Mann decided to pursue that course. He investigated multiple options – evaluating archiving solutions, backup plans and other critical factors – before determining that Microsoft’s cloud solution was the right way to go for the Borough.

A key benefit he saw in moving to a Microsoft Cloud environment: employees already were familiar with the look, feel and performance of the Microsoft user experience, making the transition easier.


Mann began his research back in November 2010. “If I wanted to move to cloud computing, I knew I had this $20,000 that I had already budgeted for the upgrade of the existing infrastructure sitting here,” he explains. “I knew I could buy a mail server or I could simply buy the best solution.” By February, Mann had made his decision: the Borough of West Chester was going to the cloud. In April, he had inked the deal with Microsoft.

A month later, the Borough of West Chester moved its email services from the on-premises Exchange server to Microsoft’s Exchange Online cloud service. The Borough was able to deliver the functions employees had become used to having in the old environment – unified messaging, fax/scan/copy to email and help desk task orders.

Microsoft also offered Mann a certified Microsoft Partner to help out with any migration challenges: Baltimore-based LiftOff LLC.

“It was like a coaching model,” Mann says. “I learned an awful lot by going through this route.”

“Fortunately for Mann, the Borough had a legacy Exchange server which gave them the most options for migration strategies,” explains Ron Braatz, founder and president of LiftOff. “Because of that, we had the option of doing a controlled migration which results in a less risky, more predictable controlled migration that can be done over a series of days, weeks or even months.”

“I could not have done it without Ron,” Mann says. “It’s tough handling a migration with a staff of one.”

Braatz, a veteran of scores of cloud migration projects in the public sector, worked with Mann on a migration checklist, reviewed the requirements assessment, and collaborated to put in place a structured migration process that would ensure success.

“The assessment phase itself consists of addressing a set of 35 questions, half of which define the project and with the rest designed to uncover any traps or potential pitfalls that I’ve encountered previously,” Braatz explains.

Based on the analysis of the assessment Mann and Braatz laid out a project plan, prioritizing the four or five key decisions that would determine the final results of the project.

One of the most critical decisions was whether to do a so-called “Big Bang” migration – in which the entire transition is executed over a weekend – or opt instead for controlled migration over a longer period of time.

Mann chose the latter.

“While getting it done all at once has its fans, I think that can lead to a lot of unnecessary troubles,” he says.


The benefits of the Microsoft cloud solution for the Borough of West Chester are profound:

• Cost Savings: Since West Chester no longer had to maintain the Exchange mail servers, it no longer has to pay out $20,000 from the coffers to replace those servers every four years. Now, there is a monthly cost of the subscription, which is less than Mann requested in his budget. In 2012, he can retire the city’s stand-by server, which would have cost $10,000, and replace it with the one formerly running Exchange.

• Efficiency: Compared to what Mann felt he could deliver from on-premise solutions, he believes the cloud-based email services are far more efficient and include better security and data protection while offering more flexibility in how employees access their email. Essentially, it delivers more services to users for a much lower up front cost.

• Corporate-Compliant Archiving: Because West Chester is a government entity, it is required to archive files – including email. The cloud solution makes it easier to archive data without creating additional infrastructure requirements. As a result Mann is in a better position to comply with requests from courts or other government entities.

• Backup and Disaster Protection: Instead of all the email residing on a single server in West Chester, Borough data today is mirrored and stored in geo-redundant datacenters managed by Microsoft. The existing remote archive backs up only a single version of the file. “The security and availability that these centers can provide is better than anything I can do,” Mann says.

At the end of the day, the best strategy for organizations is to research options thoroughly and make sure the solution fits the mission. “Every organization has to look at this and say ‘what works best for us’,” Mann says. “For us, the central questions revolved around how to deploy as robust a system possible with a staff of one. You do that by finding a way to manage IT as efficiently as possible. For us that meant moving to the Microsoft Cloud.”

You can read the article as published by Microsoft at

This article is scheduled to appear in the Borough of West Chester's Fall 2011 Newsletter.

You can download Microsoft's Published Article here.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Training Videos

Training Videos are a new feature of the West Chester Employee's Technology Blog. From time to time I will try to post relevant training videos. In addition these training videos will always be easily available on the right sidebar of this fine blog.

You can always visit the new West Chester Tech Blog Youtube channel at

Of course if anyone has any training video suggestions please contact me.

Passwords Got You Down?

Are passwords driving you crazy? Most people would immediately say yes. I know this myself because most of you, my co-workers come to me from time to time holding your head while you report with annoyance and frustration "I forgot my password"! From talking with many of you I realize that alot of people are simply writing these passwords down somewhere. This probably is not the best idea because this paper can wind up in the wrong hands or simply get lost. There are many free services that can help you manage the complex world of passwords.

One of my favorites is "Passpack". Check out this video demonstration. You can access this from any computer plus there are Android and IPhone apps available. Never drive yourself crazy with passwords again. Check out Passpack today.

Did I say it was free?

Toy company just over border in CT is hiring!

Are you looking for a great growing company that is hiring right now in various positions? Check out the open jobs at Melissa & Doug. They are a unique maker of childresns toys based in Wilton, CT. The company is looking to attract applicants from Westchester as well as Connecticut.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Track-It Update

Track-It has been updated. Please take a few moments to learn how to enter and check on your work orders and how to create a Track-It shortcut for your desktop.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dam and Double Dam!

What in the world is going on?
Well, now we see all the drilling and fracking within close proximity to the Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant and the Squaw Creek Dam near Glen Rose, Texas. The map above shows all the horizontal, fracked wells as red circles extending from the pad sites ("completed," or "in production," since the color red indicates either of those possibilities) and all of this is shown on this Texas Railroad Commission GIS Map as being immediately to the West of Comanche Peak and to the West of Highway 144. (see the link to BlueDaze below for all the details).

We wonder if the personnel at Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant were also notified about this activity with the same non-descript Form Letter USACE received about Joe Pool Lake Dam?

Somebody has a lot of explaining to do!!??

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Dear John

CBS11 did another story on the Joe Pool Lake Dam this week. Good news? Not exactly.

One of the commenters had a question for another commenter: "Out of curiosity, exactly why do you think Chesapeake is the “Big Rat”?"  We will attempt to answer that question here.

Dear John,

Chesapeake is conducting drilling activities 850 feet from a Corps of Engineers Dam. They notified the Corps via a FORM Letter that sounded like a promo for shale gas drilling and was not addressed to the appropriate chain of command. It wasn't addressed to anyone. It very likely ended up in the trash. Glad you are curious, John. I think it lowers your own "rat rating."

There is an established 3,000 foot Exclusion Zone for oil and gas drilling activities near Corps of Engineer-controlled dams and lakes and it has been on the books since the mid-1990s. This zone is not arbitrary, but was established by Engineers for the safety and protection of all of us. Here it is, John: Link to Bureau of Land Management TX Resource Management Plan (Page 28)

Even the possibility of a Dam Failure should prevent any responsible O&G company from drilling and fracking in that zone. Don't you think that's reasonable? There are thousands of people within this particular Zone, as well. They may not be "drilling" under the dam, John, but the drilling and fracking is within that Exclusion Zone.

4 more horizontal wells are planned to be drilled and fracked from the Padsite and to the North, East and West. They are not all headed Northwest. As you know, this process of hydrofracking horizontal wells with water, sand and chemicals has only been conducted in the Barnett Shale for a few short years. It's ridiculous to conclude (as apparently Chesapeake has) that there should be some kind of "let's see how it goes philosophy" about this issue and when so many lives can be potentially affected.

So, is Chesapeake a "Big Rat,"?? Maybe. Who knows? They have certainly shown tendencies here, here, here, here and here.

Click Here to Go Over to Bluedaze. TXSharon has weighed in on this, too. It's just such a curious story.

Join us in Williamsburg!

Mid-Atlantic Classical Conversations
Williamsburg Retreat
Great Wolf Lodge
October 23-28, 2011

It's not too late to join other Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut Classical Conversations families for a retreat in Williamsburg at the Great Wolf Lodge as we learn more about US History in Colonial Williamsburg, play on the water slides at GWL together, and have a time of fun family fellowship! Several families have already registered, but there are still some rooms available at this incredible rate!

Great Wolf Lodge Accommodations
Rate good for Sunday, October 23 (arrive) - Friday, October 28 (depart).
$139.00 plus tax per night ($165.89 total): Family, Loft, Kidcabin, Majestic or Grizzly Suites). No minimum stay required!
Reserve your room by September 23rd by calling 1-800-551-WOLF (9653)
Booking Code 1011PACL

*Waterpark passes will be included in the rate based upon the reserved number of people in the room.*
**Each room to receive upon check-in, two 20% coupons for dining in any of the lodge’s food outlets.**

Colonial Williamsburg: October 23-28, 2011

One Day Pass Two Day Pass (must be two consecutive days)
$5.50 – Student $8.50 - Student
$7.50 – Adult $10.50 - Adult

*Tickets need to be purchased in advanced using a credit card (each family will phone in their own orders). Tickets can be mailed or left at GWL for pick-up upon our arrival. Call 1-800-228-8878 and use the code PACL. NO REFUNDS WILL BE GIVEN.

Jamestown & Yorktown Victory Center (guided tour), October 24th
Monday, October 24th
9:30am - 12:00pm: Jamestown Guided Tour

12:00pm - 2:00pm: Lunch ).

2:00pm - 4:00pm: Yorktown Victory Center

Student: $9.00 each
Adults: $9.00 each

You can go ahead and make your own reservations at GWL and also for Colonial Williamsburg.

Please let Lyn Fernandez know if you are planning to join us for even one night in Williamsburg so we can be sure to include you with additional information!

Please feel free to forward this to any of your friends or family (even if they aren’t in CC)!

Please note: There is another CC trip advertised on their website in September. Because many of us did not want to take a break so early in the year, we opted to create a different trip after 6 weeks of class.

Lunch Time Reminder

Parents, please remember to sit with your children during lunch! There have been many youngsters roaming the hallways in groups or by themselves during the lunch hour; also running behind the church building (an area that is definitely off-limits). While we all want to talk with other adults at lunch time, we still need to keep a watch on our own kids. It is possible to do both at the same time :). Let's try to encourage one another in this. Thanks in advance!!!

Jeopardy Boards Update

I still have the following colors available in limited quantities, if anyone is interested: light blue, light green, fuchsia, and teal. I will be offering them for sale on my etsy store very soon, which will be open to everyone, world-wide, so please let me know if you would like me to hold one for you! Price is $40.00 per board.

Fibonacci Numbers

Hi Everyone,

This week in Challenge A, we talked about the "Fibonacci Numbers", which are a mathematical sequence of numbers found in biology. Some examples are: the arrangement of a pinecone, the flowering of an artichoke, the arrangement of leaves on a stem, the spiral of a seashell, the curve of a wave, even the breeding of rabbits and the family tree of honeybees. Very cool to see how God's mathematical laws are seen in biology! Here is a picture of the fibonacci numbers as found on the head of a yellow chamomile flower:

Praise God for His fingerprint on creation!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Oh, My.

So here's Part 2 of the story about an Arlington Church's business deal with Chesapeake:

Wednesday, August 31, 2011
High Point Church's Lake

Sunday, September 4, 2011 High Point Church's Lake

Large Hose Hooked Up to Metered Fire Hydrant
Near High Point Church's Padsite on E. Arbrook 
NW Corner of Highway 360 and Interstate 20

Is It a Very Scary Industrial Accident?

Nope.  It's a Ginormous Water Pump. And It's
Sucking Water Out of This Church's Lake

Re-Plenishing the High Point Church's Lake and/or FRAC Pond From that Arlington, TX Fire Hydrant

So, Where is the Water Going?

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

Musical Interlude

Oh, My

Follow, Follow, Follow, Follow

Follow the Yellow Brick...

Follow the Yellow Brick...

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

We're Off to See the Wizard

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz!!

Ugh. There's No Place Like Home.
~The End~

Click here to see Part 1 of this story. You won't want to miss that, either.

Call the White House Today!

Call 202-456-1111 or 202-456-1414 between 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM Central Time!

**We called the White House.  Join us by making that call. :-)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Non-Disclosure Agreements

Over the past year, we've encountered so many people who often declare, "We've never heard about any problems, before."  Well, friends, this could explain why.

I know Steph Hallowich. She was is was/is my friend. We don’t talk anymore because it’s not safe for her. She has to keep her part of the bargain so her children will be safe. Who wouldn’t do the same? But I think about her often. I imagine them in a new house where children don’t wake up from a sound sleep with blood gushing from their noses or ask, “Mommy, are we going to blow up?”

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Fun App for Learning The States!

If you have an apple mac, iPhone, iPad or touch, you might want to check out "Stack the States". It's a really cute app which goes perfectly with our cycle 3 geography! A word of caution, though: it is addicting :). Here is a video which describes how to play:

Stack the States Video

I have also listed a couple of wonderful geography resources on our Challenge A page: GeoSpy and SheppardSoftware. These free sites turn learning geography into a game, and have become favorites with our children.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Dear Chesapeake

We hope you have had a very nice summer.  It's been a hot one, hasn't it? The Drought has certainly affected all of us. But we see that it hasn't slowed y'all down at all!! We're writing today to simply go over a few ideas.

You told us last summer (2010)...Or rather, one of your colleagues (posing as one of us) yelled it out in no uncertain terms prior to our July 19, 2010 Community Meeting:

It was quite an outburst.  It shook the rafters of The Oaks Baptist Church. So, we knew even then. We knew you just didn't like it. It makes you a little crazy!! So what is it, really? Let's check the definition of moratorium on investopedia:
A period of time in which there is a suspension of a specific activity until future events warrant a removal of the suspension or issues regarding the activity have been resolved.
That definition sounds reasonable and about right, doesn't it? Issues about the possible catastrophic failure of Joe Pool Lake Dam need to be resolved before specific activity (drilling and fracking) can resume. That's one good example of the reason for having one of those ~  sorry ~ we have to write it again, MORATORIUMS.

But wait a minute, what did you do when there was another "Moratorium" in Grand Prairie, TX that was to last up to 6 months, but only lasted 2Remember this?
Chesapeake Neighborhood Rep, Mrs. Laura Patton
December 7, 2010
Grand Prairie, Texas

We certainly remember. It made our Christmas very special. Learning how you, Dear Chesapeake, only wanted to make life in Grand Prairie, TX, grander.  And if you had to, you would invoke something called "Force Majeure" (Starting at around 3:00 Minutes on the Video). You told us we probably hadn't ever heard of that before.  It was so wonderful that you told us all about it. And then we knew.

Maybe you didn't know that all of these actions on your part are very Orwellian.    (You know, up is down, down is up, we only want to help your community, shale gas production is perfectly safe...)

So, Dear Chesapeake, in closing, and to quote one of our totally awesome friends (with the emphasis on you):
Once you know, you can't not know. 
~ Mayor Calvin Tillman

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Failure to Communicate: Update**

Link to the Video

You see, the problem is, municipalities like Grand Prairie, TX have allowed the shale gas operators to "tell them" what is safe and what is not safe. If you watch the video and see Chesapeake's response (Leah King, Sr. Director of Public Affairs for Chesapeake) it's clear that "the company" (even after this report from the United States Army Corps of Engineers aka USACE) continues to push its own agenda.

Fact is, USACE is "planning" to conduct geotechnical testing at this site. To continue with drilling activities under those circumstances is well, dumb.

Oh, never mind. Apparently Chesapeake is A-OK with being DUMB. They do it all the time. We're sure you must know by now.

**Click right here to check out TXSharon's Blog Post (Saturday, September 17, 2011).

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Ordinance providing for a moratorium on the conducting of any natural gas drilling and fracturing activities within 3,000 feet of any dams and other water retention structures owned and/or operated by the United States Army Corps of Engineers.
Joe Pool Lake Dam and Spillway 
(850 Feet from Chesapeake's Drilling and Fracking Activities)

File #: 11-1293 Version: 1 Name: Moratorium on Gas Drilling Activities

From:  Jim Cummings, Environmental Services Director

Ordinance providing for a moratorium on the conducting of any natural gas drilling and fracturing activities within 3,000 feet of any dams and other water retention structures owned and/or operated by the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

Recommended Action:  Approve


The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has expressed concerns regarding natural gas exploration activities within 3,000 feet of dams and other water retention structures. The USACE intends to study this issue in the coming months. A moratorium will provide time for the USACE to initiate engineering studies.


SECTION 4. That this ordinance shall take effect immediately from and after its passage and it is accordingly so ordained.


Monday, September 5, 2011

If It's Not a Nightmare

What is It?

Just a reminder...these Texas Railroad Commission GIS maps don't show the schools where children try to learn so that they may grow up to live healthy, productive lives. 

This map shows the horizontal wells from numerous pad sites as well as the multiple, non-odorized gas gathering pipelines (meaning, if you can't smell it, you won't know if there's a "leak") right in the midst of highly-populated, residential communities in southeastern Arlington, TX. 

If this is not an "Industrial Zone," what is it?

What's For Lunch?

Having a peanut-free campus this year means that we will have to come up with some new options for lunch! If you are wondering what to pack in your cooler for this Thursday, here are some kid-friendly ideas to inspire you :).

*a tortilla roll-up made with turkey slices, American cheese and lettuce
*a tortilla roll-up made with cream cheese, honey and baby carrot shreds
*sandwich on a stick: cubes of bread, cheese, lunch meat, grape tomatoes, pickles slid on a popsicle stick
*hard-boiled eggs
*string cheese
*veggies with ranch dressing
*unsweetened applesauce

A wonderful alternative to peanut butter is a product called "SunButter", which is made from sunflower seeds in a peanut-free and tree nut-free facility. It has 7 grams of protein per serving and has a sweet, nutty taste!

We can also take a cue from LuAnn Reisler and bring a large fruit salad for lunch! It's a naturally sweet treat that is packed with vitamins and fiber.

If you have a favorite peanut-free lunch and snack idea, please share it in the comments section below this post.


Saturday, September 3, 2011

What the Quack is Going On?

The 5,000-member High Point Church was founded in 2000 by Simons and his wife, April, whose brother is Joel Osteen, well-known pastor of the 38,000-member Lakewood Church in Houston. Now High Point meets in a 432,000-square-foot facility in Arlington, near Dallas. Link to Story
Link to the Video of the Tour of High Point

"...SuperNatural Gas the Pastor Says."

Don't miss Part 2 of this supernatural story. Click here.