Archive for June, 2015
You're invited to our Independence Celebration! This Thursday, July 2nd, 6 to 8 pm, Neighbors Restaurant, 601 Chestnut, in Bastrop on the beautiful Colorado. Bring a song, a poem, a magic trick or just your independent self. More here.
Your membership dues and donations will help us gear up now to stop the San Antone hose -- aka the 142-mile Vista Ridge water pipeline just as landowners are facing the threat of emiment domain. Help us get these signs out to stop the hose! ►►►►►►
Can't make it to the party? Here's our join/donate page.
Quick updates on the water grabs:
- Forestar Real Estate Group (45,000 AFY = 40 million gallons per day) had their "reservation agreement" with Hays County canceled by the Hays County Comissioner's Court, thanks to 4 out of 5 Commissioners. A big hug to Hays County water watchers who kept pushing for this as good neighbors to the people of the Lost Pines.
- End Op LP (46,000 acre-feet/year = 41 million gallons per day). Lost Pines GCD heard arguments on Wednesday and put this on the agenda for their next meeting on July 15 in Bastrop. More background here and here.
Please note that our conference calls are every other Sunday at 6 pm. Call in tomorrow at 6 sharp: -- call us at 512-213-4511 for the number or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Hoping to see you in Austin (Tuesday at this event), in Bastrop on Thursday might or in East and NE Texas real soon. Tell ya more on the call tomorrow.
Big news, y'all!
Remember, when Forestar Real Estate was given a 12,000 acre-feet-year permit from the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District in July 2013? Forestar turned around and sued Lost Pines GCD for the full 45,000 AFY (41 million gallons per day) and got the Hays County Commissioners Court to sign on to a "reservation agreement" that Forestar used in their litigation against Lost Pines.
Anyway, today, the Hays County Commissioners, canceled the agreement. Read more about it here
If you can make it to Bastrop tomorrow night to hear End Op LP's argument before the Lost Pines GCD for their 46,000 AFY, please do! Starts at 7 pm at the Bastrop Convention Center, 1408 Chestnut. Come a little early if you can, to read some materials we'll have for you.
Thank you all for hanging in there to oppose Forestar -- especially our very good friends in Hays County!
Please attend hearing of Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District, Wednesday, June 24, 7 pm
Bastrop Convention Center, 1408 Chestnut
Today Hays County pulled plug on Forestar water reservation agreement.
Tomorrow, End Op LP's mega-water permit comes back to Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District.
This morning, the Hays County Commissioners Court canceled their groundwater reservation agreement with Forestar Real Estate Group by a vote of 4 to 1. This agreement helped bolster Forestar's continued litigation and pressure tactics against the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District to expand their permit from Lost Pines (granted in July 2013) from 12,000 acre-feet per year to 45,000 AFY (41 million gallons per day).
Tomorrow, another water marketer, End Op LP, is coming back to the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District for 46,000 AFY of groundwater, after having settled their disagreements with local water supplier, Aqua Water Supply Corporation. A state court appeal for disgruntled landowners who were shut out of party status in the Aqua-End Op dispute is still pending in Bastrop County.
Michele Gangnes, board member of the League of Independent Voters of Texas, said "We thank our friends in Hays County who stood up and locked arms with us here in the Lost Pines -- Lee and Bastrop counties -- to speak out against the Forestar contract. The hypocrisy of decrying Electro-Purification's water grab of 2,000 acre-feet from under Hays County, while Hays County was enabling a much bigger grab of their neighbor's water was obvious. Now we look forward to End Op's arguments tomorrow. After we see what Lost Pines GCD is going to do about End Op, we're on to fight 'the San Antone hose', otherwise known as Vista Ridge." Gangnes is also a landowner who lives over the coveted Simsboro formation of the Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer in Lee County and helped lead the grassroots effort that fought off San Antonio Water System's water grab nearly 15 years ago.
Texas media following the central Texas water wars: come on out to Bastrop to see the next chapter unfold.
Now that Gridzilla was sent packin' in the legislative session -- we need your help to sic Gridzilla on the water grabbers themselves. So...come out to these events, or help us set up a meeting in your community.
We appreciate you sharing these important announcements with your friends. Come on out, y'all!!:
This coming Wednesday, June 24th, at 7 pm, join us at the Bastrop Convention Center for a VERY important hearing (canceled last month due to weather) related to water marketers' continued push to over-permit the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer in the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District. End Op LP wants 46,000 acre-feet/year (41 million gallons per day). Your presence tells the LPGCD that you support their efforts to protect the aquifer -- and all our communities facing dewatering and eminent domain seizures. It also sends a message of support to communities where this water may be piped to fuel unsustainable and unaffordable development. Show up and bring your friends! Details here will motivate you to get out to this hearing.
Linda Curtis will be speaking at this event in Austin on Tuesday, June 30th, 6:30-8:30 pm sponsored by the Texas Anti-Corruption Campaign on, "What will be different next time you get ready to vote?" More here -- reserve a seat.
The League of Independent Voters is kicking off a membership drive in each county starting in Bastrop. Come celebrate your independence* (from the party machines) a little early -- on July 2nd, 6 to 8 pm at Neighbor's Restaurant on the Colorado -- before you run off with family. Pick up a new yard sign. This one's a doozy. Come back and visit this page in a day or two and you'll see it. Event details here.
*We also wish to remind you that the League is not a political party. Therefore, we encourage you -- regardless of which primary next March you may or may not vote in -- to help the League influence the debate on protection of our most critical resources and cleaning up the electoral process itself.
Please note that our conference calls will be held every other Sunday at 6 pm (no longer on Saturdays). Our next call is on Sunday, June 28th at 6 pm.
We look forward to seeing you or hearing from you!
We will hold an urgent and special conference call on Sunday evening at 6 pm to discuss some developments in the "water war" impacting all of us in the fight. (No conference call will take place tomorrow morning).
Call the League at 512-213-4511 for the call in number.
ALSO, PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDARS!
All you Texans fighting the dewatering of your communities have a stake in this, so please come in from across the region.
Wednesday, June 24, 6 pm or 7 pm (time uncertain, will let you know)
Bastrop Convention Center
1408 Chestnut Street, Bastrop, Texas
Details: End Op LP's hearing is on their continued attempt for 46,000 acre-feet/year of groundwater from the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District. That's right -- this is in addition to Forestar Real Estate's litigation pressing LPGCD for the full 45,000 AFY (12,000 AFY was not enough for them). To top it all off is, of course, the 142-mile Vista Ridge water pipeline already secured by San Antonio from the Post Oak Savannah GCD. It's all from the Simsboro formation of the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer underlying Burleson, Milam, Lee and Bastrop counties. And yes, the Hays County Commissioners Court that has been up-in-arms about 2,000 AFY bid by Electro-Purification, is helping Forestar with a costly reservation agreement for Simsboro water.
Do you live in the City of Austin? Read this Austin Bulldog article about the lawsuit filed by city activist, Brian Rodgers, represented by former Travis County Judge, Bill Aleshire on city management's continued efforts to thwart the Texas Public Information Act.
Got questions? Reply to this message or give us a call. Thank you!
On a serious note, our hearts go out to all in Texas caught in the wake of the floods and tornadoes.
In the midst of all the chaos, Texans managed to stop the petty-"Larson-y' (as in Rep. Lyle Larson, R-San Antonio) of "Gridzilla" the $2 million study on moving masses of Texas water to the triangle (DFW, Austin and San Antonio , smacked down the anti-petition bill, and even passed a good water bill. But eminent domain reform went down...along with lots of other good bills.
We provide you this report with some humorous relief. As they say, "truth is stranger than fiction." This is all true...including that it's now game on for Vista Ridge San Antonio $3.4 billion water grab some 142-miles away in Burleson County. More soon...
So...during this legislative session did you feel like:
Your chance of getting a bill passed was about as likely as this woman’s chance of getting hit by a meteor? We actually managed to pass one -- HB 3163 -- thanks to freshman Rep. John Cyrier (R-Lockhart) and his capable staff -- to protect water conservation district board members from being sued individually or held liable when performing their duties in good faith.
That you looked like melted dummies from the Madam Tussauds Wax Museum to members of the ________ Committee (fill in the blank) when you testified? But didn't the 11th-hour (Sunday, May 31st at 9 pm), failed amendment for the Vista Ridge 142-mile water pipeline project make you feel better? Watch the Senate give it the stomp!
You might just be beating your head against a wall in the face of a herd of corporate lobbyists who waltzed right in and took their time making scurrilous claims legislators never asked them to prove? "The lobby" killed SB 474, a modest eminent domain reform bill. Watch the the carnage in this video here (starting at about 2 minutes.)
You were just a tad weirded out by the gun-obsessed in this session, while your local control was under serious fire? A cross-partisan populist coalition thankfully laid waste to HB 2595, protecting 103 years of Texans' right to petition in home-rule cities. Watch these powerful testimonies, especially the three mad-dog attorneys!
On the very same night as the floods in central Texas, May 25th, another storm blew in the Texas House as Rep. David Simpson rode hard on Gridzilla, the Trans-Texas Water Highway and the attacks on the rights of regions to have an equal seat at the water planning table before their water is ripped out from underneath them by other regions. Check out the list of 58 other reps who stood with Simpson! (Forgive the bad singing, "These Independent Boots are Gonna Walk All Over You!") click here to watch the House ride 'em high!
These are no big fish stories, despite the little attention received in the media. And it is OH SO TRUE THAT THIS WAS DUE TO YOU and your many phone calls, emails and efforts to spread the word.
Our very serious fight -- to protect our land, our water and our political rights -- has only just begun.
So...don't let them drive you to drinking...start thinking...about what you can do to help us build the independent movement!
There's more coming, but we wanted to get these out to you today.
PS Additional and special thanks to Steve Box (Environmental Stewardship), Judith McGeary (Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, Ken Kramer (Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter), Brian Rodgers (ChangeAustin.org), Brent Golemon, Eleanor Bravo (Food and Water Watch), an anonymous professional lobbyist for all your free advice and LIV board members Michele Gangnes and Calvin Tillman for all your help in the 2015 legislative session!