Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Railroad Commission of Texas: Sheer Torture *Updated**

Some things provide a constant source of torture/frustration to those of us trying to understand why our State of Texas is so deaf, dumb, and blind blonde to the realities of shale gas drilling and fracking.

 Elizabeth Ames Jones, Chairman, Railroad Commission of Texas

We almost missed this story last week. No vote on the Fracking Disclosure Bill.  Goodness. What's the hurry, anyway?  Not to be overly pessimistic, but it's truly not what it claims to be. Even Elizabeth Ames Jones knows that.

We were so focused on our very own Decision on the Barnes Assembly A Well 3H Rule 37 Exception. Of course, the Railroad Commission wouldn't delay that decision. No way. They ruled swiftly and quickly in favor of Chesapeake after a little back and forth about the Complaint/Motion for Rehearing that was filed by the protesters.  *(They called it a "Premature Filing" if you listen to their very brief discussion. Some "local" governing boards would have likely "tabled" this Decision, by the way.)

Here's the Link to the Agenda for last week's meeting. We're Item #3. Here is the 3-Minute Discussion/Decision for Item #3. You'll need RealPlayer to view the video here.)

Update: And if you are so inclined, here's the entire 32-Minute Open Conference Meeting video here.

The video of the entire meeting is well worth watching to see how the RRC really does work in a vacuum. We had been told numerous times that no one would be allowed to speak to the Proposal for Decision. Or speak at all. But then Ms. Jones says something about there being no citizens there to speak to the Commissioners. Well, we certainly would have come if we had known we could talk to you! Maybe next time.

Because, truly, Ms. Jones, we're very LUCKY. We've learned a lot over the past year and during this ordeal ~ more than anyone should ever have to know about our state's Oil and Gas Regulatory Agency. But now we know. And now we can't NOT know.

The Barnes Assembly A Well 3H Rule 37 Hearing was February 1, 2011. The transcript tells the story of citizens up against the senior team of Chesapeake attorneys who live in or near Austin and didn't have to travel through a blizzard to get there.

Nope, the big, strong and powerful Chesapeake attorneys simply got up that Tuesday morning, had a nice breakfast, easily drove into Austin or were already in town. Realized members of our community were somehow at the hearing. Whoops! Had to call in a transcriber. Do a quick review of the case.  And then proceeded to cross-examine our tired and weary neighbors as if they were on trial for crimes against the state. Maybe Chesapeake believes it IS a treasonous crime to NOT SIGN a lease with them. Maybe.

Did we say it was torture?  Sheer torture.
Funny. They do look alike. Very cute.

By the way...

Elizabeth Ames Jones's entire family
is in the oil and gas business!! Her father is Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and her husband is the Director of Venus Exploration

It's literally all in the family. 

How nice that Ms. Jones is in charge of REGULATION of the oil and gas industry for ALL of Texas.

What a deal for the oil and gas industry.  

How lucky can THEY get??!!

WOW! Bless Their Hearts!!

**Updated** ~ We guess she couldn't stand the heat? Time to go home to San Antonio where she faces a battle with her own party.

Click here to read all about Mrs. Jones' recent political decision. The Westchester Gasette will miss her. Honestly, we will. :-)

Protect Yourself While Shopping Online

This is the season for online shopping. Everyone should take a few minutes to remind themselves that we all live in a dangerous online world. At our regularly scheduled training on December 6 I will talk a litte bit about online shopping and protecting yourself. In the meantime start the process of protecting yourself by reading the following article.

Shop With Well Known Establishments
Start at a trusted site rather than shopping with a search engine. Search results can be rigged to lead you to dangerous destinations. If you know the site, chances are it’s safe for shopping!

Shop Only On Secure Sites
Never trust purchasing anything online using your credit card from a site that does not have SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption installed. You can be assured of this by looking in the URL bar for the https:// in front of the website address as well as a padlock image. If you do not see these – do not use your credit card!

Don't Give Up Your Personal Information
Online shopping stores do not need your social security number or your birthday. If the website is asking for this information, shop somewhere else!

Check Your Statements
Don't wait for your bill to come at the end of the month. Go online regularly during the holiday season and look at electronic statements for your credit card, debit card, and checking accounts. Make sure you don't see any fraudulent charges, even originating from sites like PayPal. If you see something wrong, pick up the phone and contact the vendor immediately!

Protect Your PC
Keep your computer update with a good virus and malware application! There are many good free solutions out there like (my personal favorite) Microsoft Security Essentials and AVG.

Don’t Be Lazy With Your Passwords
Strong passwords are critical when banking and shopping online.

Avoid Public Terminals When Shopping
Avoid shopping on public networks. Also keep your in home (wireless) network secure with a strong WEP and use your network to shop online.

One of the Oldest Lessons Out There
If the “deal” online sounds too good to be true it probably is. No one – and I mean no one is selling IPAD’s for $49.99! Stay away from these offers for you own good!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

open letter to older women with kids and families

Today I received an email from a mother of 3, wife and parttime bank teller. She recently went back to horse back riding. She was a talented rider when she was young and in high school. Marriage, 3 kids, husband surviving throat cancer and money woes later, she decided to try horse back riding again. She is in her late 40s.

Here is her post to me.....

It's amazing what riding a good horse for a while can do for me. The first and second lessons had me breathing really hard--it's a lot of work cantering around a ring on a horse and keeping it all together like I did back in the day. Today I wasn't breathing nearly as hard. I even brought my old saddle today that I had up in the garage and used that. The whole thing is like opening up an old dream box for me. The instructors are amazed that I am doing so well at this age, after all these years. It comes back just like riding a bike. Anyway, I don't know how much longer I will be able to afford to do it, but I just wanted to let you know how much fun it has been, and how happy it has made me. I actually feel good at something again in my life.

So what does this have to do with biking??

Biking is an activity you can do as an older woman. You can go out with other like minded folks or bike solo. Join a bike club in your area. Bike on a bike trail.

But find something you can do that does not involve your family or kids. Physical activities enrich your life as you age. You feel good. I have now been biking seriously for 5 or so years. I can jump on my bike and do 50 miles and hardly blink. I climb hills and coast down hills. I see eagles, herons, owls and deer and horses and cows and the list is endless.

I hear all kinds of excuses from older ladies. For once in your life, stop making excuses and using your family and finances as a reason you are not doing something for yourself.

Make the time, pick some type of physical hobby and do it - even just walking around the block is a start. JUST DO IT.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

It's Almost Thanksgiving!!

Hmmm...what could that mean??

Barnes Assembly A Well 3H ~ Rule 37 Exception Decision Scheduled for Tuesday, November 22, 2011!!

Here's the Transcript from the February 1, 2011 Hearing in Austin, TX. (The biggest blizzard North Texans may have ever seen blew in that day ~ but 4 of our protesters were there or represented at the hearing.)

Well, here we go again.  We've discovered a MAJOR error in the correspondence with the Protestants (the Protesters to the Rule 37 Exception).  The process is such an egregious violation of human dignity, that we are really not surprised by anything anymore ~ more on that, later.

Developing Story...

Our City of Grand Prairie, TX's  NEWLY Revised Shale Gas Drilling Ordinance (as of January 18, 2011) states that they are to be notified:

Oh, and the new Rule 37 Notification is retroactive, too:

Sec. 13-521.  Rule 37 exceptions or forced pooling applications
Any company filing a Rule 37 exception or a forced pooling application with the Commission shall be required to provide the City’s Environmental Services Department a copy of such application within 48 hours following such filing. Failure to provide such copy shall be considered a violation of this article and may cause any issued City gas drilling permit to be subject to suspension or revocation as provided by Section 13-512.
Question:  So, did the City of Grand Prairie, TX receive notification as required by the revised Gas Drilling Ordinance??

Clearly, our STATE of Texas Legislature is an abysmal FAILURE. New laws could have been created this past Spring to stop this assault on property owners who don't have the resources to HIRE a legal team to defend their property rights.

AMEN.  And pass the turkey, please.

Friday, November 18, 2011

United States Army Corps of Engineers (Exclusion Zone 1) **New Links**

Just a reminder...

5. Background.  USACE Districts in the Southwestern Division have recently received a number of inquiries and requests in connection with development of oil and gas production facilities near our dams and levees.
They have also received a number of inquiries and requests in connection with development of oil and gas production and transportation of oil and gas through pipelines in close proximity to Corps of Engineers dams.
Major natural gas shale formations currently being developed in the Southwestern Division include the Barnett Shale in North Texas, the Caney Shale in Oklahoma, the Fayetteville Shale in Arkansas, and the Haynesville Shale in northwest Louisiana and Texas.
Concerns have been raised that these activities could result in damage to dams and other important structures at flood risk reduction projects.
The Fort Worth District is in the process of preparing a formal engineering position explaining the risks and recommending a 3,000 foot lateral exclusion Zone.
There is currently no statute or regulation which clearly provides USACE with authority to prevent exploration and drilling activities in those locations in close proximity to major structures where the United States has no real property interest.
Nevertheless, 33 USC 408 provides that it is unlawful for any person to impair the usefulness of any flood control work built by the United States.

Gas Pipeline Accidents Listed

In light of the currently "tabled" vote on the Corn Valley lateral gas gathering pipeline construction ~  (see this blog post and this one) ~ right through the heart of our Westchester community...here is a list of all pipeline accidents in the current year (2011). We don't take any of this lightly. Our homes are only a few hundred feet (and less) from the current plans. Take note. This is serious business.
  • 2011 A gas main being repaired in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania explodes, killing a repair crew member and injuring 6 others on January 18.[654]

  • 2011 Gas pressure regulators failed and caused a gas pressure surge in Fairport Harbor, Ohio, on January 24, causing gas fires in 11 homes, and one apartment. 150 gas appliances were damaged or destroyed, but there were no injuries. Gas company Dominion East Ohio says it found fluids and debris in a failed regulator and is investigating how that happened.[655][656][657]

  • 2011 5 people are killed and 8 homes are destroyed in an apparent gas explosion and fire in Allentown, Pennsylvania on February 10. The NTSB had warned UGI about cast iron gas mains needing replacement after the 1990 gas explosion in that city. Between 1976 and the date of the letter, July 10, 1992, two more gas explosions occurred. Three people were killed, 23 injured and 11 homes were destroyed or damaged in those explosions.[658][659][660]

  • 2011 Late on February 10, a 36 inch diameter gas transmission pipeline explodes near Lisbon, Ohio. No injuries resulted. The cause was from stress on a joint on the pipeline.[661][662]

  • 2011 Early on February 24, a pipeline near Texas City, Texas ruptured, sending up to 5,000 US gallons (19,000 L) of gasoline into Bayou Pierre.[663][664]

  • 2011 Early on March 17, a 20-inch steel natural gas line running through a Minneapolis, Minnesota neighborhood ruptured and gas from it ignited, caused evacuations to buildings nearby, and Interstate 35W was closed from downtown Minneapolis to Highway 62. There were no injuries.[665][666]

  • 2011 A farmer & rancher near White Oak Township, Michigan smelled gasoline on April 13, and discovered gasoline from a products pipeline leaking into a drainage ditch. As of late September, an estimated 460,000 gallons of gasoline had been released, with about 111,000 gallons of it recovered.[667]

  • 2011 On May 19, a 10 inch diameter crude oil pipeline ruptured near Maysville, Oklahoma. Over 42,000 US gallons (160,000 L) of crude were lost. There was no fire. Internal pipeline corrosion was the cause.[668][669]

  • 2011 A 2 inch diameter lateral on a crude oil pipeline rupture in Huntington Beach, California on July 1. A major road, Goldenwest Street, had to be closed for cleaning and pipeline repairs.[670]

  • 2011 Late on July 2, a 12-inch diameter Exxon Mobil crude oil pipeline ruptured, and spilled oil into the Yellowstone River in south-central Montana. Some residents of Laurel, Montana had to be evacuated.[671][672] The break near Billings fouled the riverbank and forced municipalities and irrigation districts to close intakes.[673][674] As much as 1,000 barrels (160 m3), or 42,000 US gallons (160,000 L), of oil spilled before the flow through the damaged pipeline was stopped, officials said.[675] About 140 people were evacuated starting about 12:15 a.m. Saturday due to concerns about possible explosions and the overpowering fumes. All were allowed to return after instruments showed petroleum odors had decreased,[676] although no information was available regarding the concentrations of benzene in air. Speculation involves high water flow in the Yellowstone River may have scoured the river bed and exposed the pipe. Consequently, with three oil refineries are located in the Billings area, the fire chief for the city of Laurel said he asked all three to turn off the flow of oil in their pipelines under the river after the leak was reported. ExxonMobil and Cenex Harvest Refinery did so, and that Conoco Phillips said its pipe was already shutdown.[676] Cenex had a release into the Yellowstone River in September 2002. Exxon Mobil later announced the cleanup would cost $135 million.[677]

  • 2011 On July 20, a six month old 30 inch diameter natural gas pipeline exploded near Gillette, Wyoming, creating a 60-foot (18 m) crater. There was no fire, nor any injuries.[678]

  • 2011 A pipeline carrying jet fuel ruptured in Mango, Florida on July 22. About 31,500 US gallons (119,000 L) of fuel spilled. There was no fire or injuries.[679]

  • 2011 On August 13, an 8 inch diameter NGL pipeline ruptured near Onowa, Iowa at a Missouri River crossing, during flooding conditions. About 3,350 barrels of NGL's were lost. There were no evacuations or injuries, but 2 other pipelines in the same right of way were forced to shut down. [680][681]

  • 2011 A pipeline carrying heating oil was hit by construction workers in East Providence, Rhode Island on August 31, spraying oil on roofs, trees, and pavement, and flowed into storm drains. At least 56,000 US gallons (210,000 L) of oil were spilled.[682]

  • 2011 A Cupertino, California condominium was gutted August 31, after a plastic pipeline fitting cracked, filling the garage with natural gas that exploded just minutes after the owner left for lunch. PG&E later found six other plastic pipe failures near the blast site. The line was an especially problematic type of pipe manufactured by DuPont called Aldyl-A. PG&E has 1,231 miles (1,981 km) of the early-1970s-vintage pipe in its system. Federal regulators singled out pre-1973 Aldyl-A starting in 2002 as being at risk of failing because of premature cracking. Explosions caused by failed Aldyl-A and other types of plastic pipe have killed more than 50 people in the United States since 1971, the federal government says. [683]

  • 2011 On September 20, a farmer digging to lay drainage tile hit a 10 inch diameter gasoline pipeline near Aurelius, New York, spilling about 3,300 US gallons (12 m3) of gasoline. There was no fire or injuries.[684]

  • 2011 A 2 inch diameter crude oil gathering pipeline failed in Oklahoma on October 12, spilling about 120 barrels of oil. There were no injuries or fire from the failure.[685]

  • 2011 Early on November 3, an explosion and fire hit a gas transmission pipeline compressor station near Artemas, Pennsylvania. There were no injuries.[686]

  • 2011 A crew working on a waterline hit a gas distribution pipeline in Fairborn, Ohio on November 12, leading to a gas explosion that killed one man, and injured 5 others, including children.[687]

  • 2011 On November16, a 36 inch diameter gas transmission pipeline exploded and burned near Glouster, Ohio. There were 2 people injured, with 3 homes and a barn destroyed, and 2 more homes and a barn damaged.[688]

  • 2011 Late on November 21, a 24 inch diameter gas transmission pipeline exploded and burned near Batesville, Mississippi. 20 homes were evacuated for a time, but there were no injuries or major property damage.[690]

  • 2011 On December 3, a gas transmission pipeline exploded and burned in Marengo County, Alabama. There were no injuries or serious property damage.[691]

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Elmford company seeks Accounting Assistant

Real Estate Development firm is looking for an Accounting Assistant to support its busy Accounting function. Successful candidate will posses: ability to multi-task, work independently while prioritizing and meeting deadlines.

Successful candidate will be able to demostrate excellent organizational, written and oral communication skills. Candidate must be computer literate with good working knowledge of QuickBooks, Word, Excel and Outlook;

[view full job description]

Pipeline Explosion: Homes Destroyed in Ohio Inferno

This happened Wednesday, November 16, 2011.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dam Again, And Again, And Again. (** Update**)

**Update** ~ The Grand Prairie, Texas City Council "tabled" the vote on this. They removed it from the "Consent Agenda," and then opened it for discussion. Mayor Pro-Tem Jim Swafford led the discussion and thanked Rosemary Reed, President of the Westchester Association of Homeowners (WAHO), for her email expressing serious concern about these gas gathering pipelines ~ in light of the current MORATORIUM on all gas drilling activities in the 3,000 foot Exclusion Zone around Joe Pool Lake.

Definition of CONSENT AGENDA
Items listed on the Consent Agenda for Approval are not public hearing items. These items are considered to be routine and will be approved by one motion and one vote. 
 Grand Prairie, TX City Council Meeting Agenda
November 15, 2011
Consent Agenda Items
 9 11-1440   License to DFW Midstream Services, LLC for gas pipelines along and across portions of Lake Ridge Parkway, Matthew Road, Prairie Lane, Polo Road, Robinson Road, Barn Owl Trail, High Hawk Boulevard and tracts of City owned land in the High Hawk at Martins Meadow Addition.

Oh, Whoops!!  Forgot to mention these small details in the summary for the Consent Agenda:   


License to DFW Midstream Services, LLC for gas pipelines along and across portions of Lake Ridge Parkway, Matthew Road, Prairie Lane, Polo Road, Robinson Road, Barn Owl Trail, High Hawk Boulevard and tracts of City owned land in the High Hawk at Martins Meadow Addition.


Bill Crolley, Director of Planning and Development

Recommended Action


DFW Midstream Services, LLC has requested permission to place gas transmission pipelines along and across portions of Lakeridge Parkway, Matthew Road, Prairie Lane, Polo Road, Robinson Road, Barn Owl Trail, High Hawk Boulevard and tracts of City owned land in the High Hawk at Martins Meadow Addition.
A license from the City is needed to allow DFW Midstream Services, LLC to extend gas gathering pipelines from an existing line at the Barnes Assembly well pad site near Matthew Road and Fish Creek to the Crystal Paradise well pad site near Lakeridge Parkway and Great Southwest Parkway; and to the Corn Valley well pad site near Camp Wisdom Road and Carrier Parkway.

The license agreement is for a term of twenty (20) years with a nine (9) year renewal option. The fee during the
renewal option period is to be adjusted by the increase in the Consumer Price Index.

Financial Consideration

Revenue: $492,305 lump sum advance payment (8,951 linear feet at $2.75 per linear foot per year for 20 years). Funds to be deposited in the Street Capital Projects Fund (400192) 24620.

Over and Out.

Zone of Deception

"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 (USACE)."

See the stories about this here, here, here and here.

See the City of Grand Prairie Agenda for today, Tuesday, November 15, 2011, Page 3. The Agenda wasn't available for viewing online until MONDAY afternoon. Surely that wasn't on purpose. We don't want to think that.

Clearly, there's a disconnect here. We expected that the City of Grand Prairie would not even be considering a gas gathering pipeline construction out to the Corn Valley Pad site due to the Moratorium. The site is under review and study by the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

It begs the question ~ Does USACE know about this??? Do they care?

Was the Moratorium Ordinance simply a stunt? Or maybe the City Manager is just feeling really good right now since he just received a strong endorsement via a BIG raise from the City (the motion was seconded by our own City Councilman Shaleionaire Ron Jensen at the last City Council Meeting).

Renewal of City Manager's Contract

Mayor Pro Tem Swafford moved, seconded by Council Member Jensen, to extend the City Manager's contract to October 31, 2012, increase the City Manager's base salary 3%, and to provide the City Manager with a 5-year CEO Retention Plan with a $30,000/year incentive, both effective October 1, 2011.  The motion carried unanimously.


Mayor Charles England; Mayor Pro Tem Jim Swafford; Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Ruthe Jackson; Council Member Richard Fregoe; Council Member Greg Giessner; Council Member Mark Hepworth; Council Member Ron Jensen and Council Member Bill Thorn
 Wow! That's a BIG raise.

But we're more shocked by this latest development for a vote on the Gas Gathering Pipeline to Corn Valley. But then, this is gasland. Nothing is real. Nothing is honest. And sadly, nothing will ever be the same again. 

From the Agenda Packet:

 DFW Midstream Services, LLC has requested permission to place gas transmission pipelines along and across portions of Lakeridge Parkway, Matthew Road, Prairie Lane, Polo Road, Robinson Road, Barn Owl Trail, High Hawk Boulevard and tracts of City owned land in the High Hawk at Martins Meadow Addition.

A license from the City is needed to allow DFW Midstream Services, LLC to extend gas gathering pipelines from an existing line at the Barnes Assembly well pad site near Matthew Road and Fish Creek to the Crystal Paradise well pad site near Lakeridge Parkway and Great Southwest Parkway; and to the Corn Valley well pad site near Camp Wisdom Road and Carrier Parkway.

The license agreement is for a term of twenty (20) years with a nine (9) year renewal option. The fee during the renewal option period is to be adjusted by the increase in the Consumer Price Index.

DFW Midstream Pipeline Map to be Voted On Tuesday Night, November 15, 2011.

Arlington, TX: Feel Safe or Maybe Not

Drum Roll Please...

Introducing the Arlington, TX  
(Click Here) Community Development & Planning Department
Guiding Arlington's Development
Gas Drilling and Production in the 
Barnett Shale 

Ambitious, High Achievers Are Promoted Quickly

August 2011 Contact Information

(Click Here) to view a City of Arlington Gas Well Inspection Report 
See Page 119 for the CONTACT Info (Above)

Harold Sutton and his Team were clearly very busy in the HOT, dry month of August, 2011.  Be sure to click on the link above to view ALL the Inspection Reports for ALL the Gas Operators doing business in Arlington.  There are a lot of them.  And there are clearly a lot of issues.  But not to worry.

The primary violation on most of them is "No fire extinguisher on site."  Oh, and N/ASounds good, even though many of the pictures show what appear to be a ton of violations. Oh, well.

Then there's this one ~ Chesapeake's Pruett Site at 2000 South Watson Road (Page 92 of the Inspection Report) *with labels and colors added for emphasis*

Clearly, Harold Sutton is a very smart Gas Well Inspector/Former Streetscape Inspector. He knows that being anywhere near a FRAC job is not advisable. Feel safe, Arlington.  Yee Haw.

Welcome to Arlington, TX

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Facebook Scam Alert

A new Facebook scam is making the rounds. If you are on Facebook be aware of this and as always avoid responding to unsolicted email messages.

Today an unsolicited email began appearing that stated it was from Facebook. The email comes with the subject line "Your account has been disabled by an administrator".

Hovering over the links in the email shows that we will visit paflape.smyslzivota.cz instead of Facebook. It’s worth mentioning that the spammers forgot a dot (.) in one of the URL’s rendering the URL irresolvable (paflapesmyslzivota.cz instead of paflape.smyslzivota.cz).

From there we are redirected to viagralevitratestosterone.com, registered on the 13th October 2011 via NETLYNX, INC.

The website viagralevitratestosterone.com sells fake versions of well known prescription drugs such as Viagra, Cialis, Vicodin etc ... in other words the Canadian Pharmacy which is a frontend for GlavMed, a rogue affiliate program run by a Russian cybercrime group.

The domain viagralevitratestosterone.com was also used in a mass spamming campaign two days ago. Reference: AOL Administration Center Notification leads to Canadian Pharmacy.

It is yet unclear if paflape.smyslzivota.cz has been hacked / compromised or not. Visiting the front page directly results in a similar redirect via soft.msk0.ru. The request does not complete at the time of the write-up as PHP errors halt the execution of the redirect script.

If you are a member of Facebook you can learn more and stay up tp date with ongoing spam issues at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Report-Online-Scams/120468575683.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Insurgents R Us

Tonight, Channel 11 reported on the recent industry meeting that was very revealing of how the shale gas industry views the American people. Thanks to Sharon Wilson of the Texas Oil and Gas Accountability Project and Calvin Tillman, the former Mayor of Dish, TX for their efforts.

Westchester neighbors may recall that both Ms. Wilson and Mr. Tillman visited with us during our July 19, 2010 Westchester Town Hall Meeting. 

A BIG Thank You to Channel 11 for their ongoing reporting on the bad behavior and bizarre business practices of this industry.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The East Carpo Affair

Developing Story...OOPS!

And while we're working on that Doozy of a development, be sure to read this. The fractivists are now the insurgents. The shale gas industry sinks to a new, disgusting low.

And then Governor Perry just sinks.**  He really can't help it...

He was just born to torture Texans with his 
unusual style of leadership  
and his interesting musical friends.
Do I hear an "AMEN"?
**Oh, Dear.  The OOPS! Videos are disappearing as fast as a landman can psych you out.  Wow.
Here's a funny alternative in case the one above suddenly disappears.**

Environmental Politics Defined *Updated*

Paul Templet, the former state Environmental Services Agency Director in Louisiana discusses the BIG PICTURE.

The video is a little over 14 minutes that is worth every second of your time. Please watch it and see how we really are in a state of denial in Texas. Mr. Templet paints the picture very clearly. He has a lot to say about ALL of it. 

Thank you, Mr. Templet.

*Important Highlights from the Video*

1) 25,000 more well-paying, permanent jobs can be created from regulation of the Oil and Gas Industry;

2) States with good environments have better economies;

3) In most cases, the gas operators costs for disposal of the waste from drilling operations is not  included in the costs for drilling and fracking;

4) Quality of public officials declines with rise in political interference because the Oil and Gas Industry is pulling the strings;

5) Difficult, at best, to get any regulation of drilling operations (specifically the shale gas industry) from state legislatures (including Texas) due to the influence of money;

6) Bribes may not appear as "bribes" but clearly are ~ for example: an industry representative may offer use of a hunting lodge to a regulatory agency director ~ Truth is:  It's NOT illegal for the Industry to offer.

Monday, November 7, 2011

On October 27 and 28, 2011 I participated in a Microsoft Office 365 event in Harrisburg Pennsylvania and in fact I was the opening presentation titled "Cloud 101". The sound in the beginning is very low because I forgot to wear the microphone. Once the staff stopped me and I setup the microphone the sound gets a little better. I wish I could have taken all of you, my co-workers with me however sadly that was not possible. Anyway here is the next best thing. If you are curious about the "cloud" check out the presentation. Lucky for me I remain "off camera" for the majority of the presentation.

Get Microsoft Silverlight

Technical Note: This video uses Microsoft Silverlight. Take a moment to run the small install in order to watch the video. If you have a 64bit computer you will need to run the 32bit version of Internet Explorer to view the video. You can find your 32bit version of Internet Explorer at C:\Program Files (x86)\Internet Explorer.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Living in a state park

Ridley Creek State Park is only 16 miles from Center City Philadelphia but is an oasis of tranquility and beauty. Get on your bike and take a trip to the park and enjoy the 5 mile mulit-use trail in the park. Get a peek at one of the 24 houses that are rented out on a lottery system. Folks wait 20 or more years to get a chance to rent one of the historic homes, Read about this park at http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/findapark/ridleycreek/index.htm and read the article below for more information on this unusual way to live in nature.

It's a wild life for envied tenants of park dwellings

March 27, 2011|By Mari A. Schaefer, Inquirer Staff Writer

Never mind the drafty windows, or the sagging floorboards, or the lilliputian closets, or the frozen pipes, or the bugs that creep in, or the occasional coyote on the porch.

Scattered through the woods and across the meadows of Ridley Creek State Park are 24 of the most coveted rental homes in Delaware County, with a list of 500 applicants vying to time-travel back a couple of centuries.

The wait can be interminable. The hardy band of tenants who occupy the historic abodes tend to stay put, viewing life in the wilds not as an inconvenience but as a gift.

Built in 1771, hers is hardly the oldest of the dwellings that the state has rented out since it bought the land in the late 1960s and fashioned a 2,606-acre park.

Some are remnants of an early-18th-century village that sprang up around a gristmill and a sawmill. They include what were once the town library, the mill office, several workers' homes, and farmhouses - all anointed in 1976 by the National Register of Historic Places.

Tenants pay $500 to $2,000 a month, but one month a year is rent-free. In return for the break, they take on the labor and cost of minor maintenance and repairs, such as fixing broken windowpanes and torn screens. Projects the magnitude of bathroom renovations or new roofs require park approval, and they earn rent credits for those who do the work themselves. Improvements must be done out of necessity, however, not in surrender to modernity.

Warren Graham, a 60-year-old beekeeper, and Cecile Mann, 59, are among the rare newcomers. They moved into their two-story stone home in early 2010, just in time for record snows.

In a rookie mistake, they parked their car near the house, rather than the end of their 100-yard-long driveway. "We couldn't get out for five days," Mann said.

The house had been empty for a few years while a small bridge to the property was repaired. Animals made their way inside and left their scent. So the couple's first year has been spent scrubbing the walls and cleaning.

"The house was quite neglected, but we have begun to resurrect it," said Graham, whose never-ending to-do list includes a refurbished kitchen and floor and a garden.

"You wonder if you're crazy," he said. "But then, on a spring day, it's" - he paused - "wonderful."