Archive for August, 2015
Stop Vista Ridge meeting, Elgin, Texas
We had another packed house, this time in Elgin on Wednesday night. We had more great feedback on our revealing "Stop Vista Ridge" video.
This coming Tuesday's meeting (Sept. 1) in Lockhart has been moved to a larger venue -- the Clark Building in downtown Lockhart (217 S. Main) from 6 to 8 pm. Details here.
The video shown at these events is coming soon to you on YouTube. When you get it, we need your help to share it with others to beef up our petition drive. Have you signed and shared the petition to Gov. Abbott yet? Go here.
Please note that if you live in Hays or Travis counties, what Vista Ridge means to you could well be faster growth due to increased water supply. We hope you're already connecting the dots to unaffordability. It is the current residents who are picking up most all the tab for new roads, new water lines, new schools and public safety for the newcomers. Growth should pay for itself, but it really can't due to Texas laws. Moreover, unbridled population growth and environmental damage are just two of the economic, social and political choices for which Mother Nature will exact her price from future generations.
The last thing central Texans need is hyper-growth over the fast-recharging Edwards aquifer and its sensitive recharge zone, fueled with water permanently removed from the very slow recharging Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer and its Simsboro formation under nearby rural counties. Watch for more on these points in the video.
Please share this message and feel free to leave a comment at the end of the page.
PS We are also in process of setting up meetings in Brazos County (Bryan-College Station) all the way to San Antonio. If you want a meeting in your area, let us know asap! Keep an eye on our Events page.
►Congrats Burleson County on a GREAT first Stop Vista Ridge meeting -- in the city of Caldwell on Tuesday night.
►Next...Elgin...next Wednesday night...details here.
A highlight of Burleson's meeting was when Nathan Ausley, President of the Post Oak Savannah Groundwater Conservation District, admitted that he had leased his water to Metropolitan Water, Scott Carlson's company. This was not new information. What was new was Ausley's audacity in front of hundreds of landowners he supposedly represents to suggest that they could "check the map" to see if his lease was being used for Vista Ridge. (Watch the short video clip of the interchange.)
A follow up meeting is in the works as Burleson countians are on their way to organizing a local League of Independent Voters. How 'bout you?
► If you like the idea of draining aquifers, flooding farm and ranch land for wasteful and destructve reservoirs, or the continued government policies (at all levels) of driving affordability in our urban centers off a cliff as they wave the world to move to Texas, ignore us. If you think it's time for voters to unite across the partisan divide, then...
Sign and share our petition to the Governor, order signs & join the League....and invite us to come to your community, especially if you can't make it to an event already scheduled.
Keep checking in on our events section as meetings continue to be scheduled.
Is it not time to tell those drunk with power to get on out of town on the horse they rode in on?
Ordinary Texans are the only ones with the power to make that happen -- but you've got get on your high horse.
We start our Stop Vista Ridge tour tomorrow in the city of Caldwell, Burleson County, "ground zero" for the game changer in aquifer depletion in Texas. No, we're not going to let that happen, are we Texas?
If you can get to the Caldwell Civic Center, 103 State Hwy. 21, tomorrow (Tues, Aug. 18) at 6 pm, you'll get a sneak preview of the new rendition of Nancy Sinatra's, "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'".
This Thursday, the Independent Ponies are gonna start walking all over Vista Ridge. Watch out! The next email will explain.
We recommend that you attend this meeting tomorrow night and ask Senator Campbell about Vista Ridge. Though this meeting is focused on issues related to the Trinity Aquifer, Senator Campbell needs to hear from her constituents on the Vista Ridge water grab. Details: Monday, August 17, 6 to 8 pm @ Wimberley Community Center, 14208 Ranch Road 12. Details here.
Vista Ridge, the $3.4 billion game-changer in movement of groundwater, is still in play. Easements are being sought for the 142 mile pipeline from Burleson to Bexar counties. On the night before the end of the session, Senator Campbell was pushing hard for a bill amendment to enhance financing opportunities for Vista Ridge AND over-turning the rights of county judges in the 7 counties traversed by Vista Ridge, to a say in the matter.
The attached video of the floor fight is a must-see. Senator Campbell, in the face of clear and outspoken opposition from mostly Republican colleagues, coudn't let it go.
Please note that the League of Independent Voters is holding our own meeting on Vista Ridge on September 22. Details here.
Hoping to hear from you after tomorrow night and to see you on September 22!
►Hundreds are signing this petition to Governor Abbott to stop Vista Ridge. And you? We need thousands. You can even print it out here.
►This Sunday at 6 pm, join our conference call. Reply for details.
Remember this Time Magazine piece from 2004 about the Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC)? Three years later the TTC was dead.
Ten years later, we are faced with the Trans-Texas Water Highway. It's called Vista Ridge.
These guys still haven't given up on the dream of modeling central Texas after southern California -- to build out, pave over and leverage private land and water resources like it and we are their piggy bank.
We cannot let this happen.
What we have now, that we didn't have in 2004, is the League of Independent Voters of Texas. LIV has the capacity to unite voters across party lines, even as we head into a divisive election year.
►Donate to help us hold more of these events along the Vista Ridge pipeline. (Send a check to us at PO Box 651, Bastrop, Texas 78602 or give a secure online donation == see the donate button on the right ====>)
When we -- together -- defeat Vista Ridge, LIV will still be here and ready to build a positive vision for all our communities. You ain't seen nothin' yet! Promise.
Texas needs us more than ever now. Thank you, Texans!
Please sign this petition to Governor Greg Abbott, other statewide officials and San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor urging them to stop the Vista Ridge Water Project and to make growth pay for itself.
Print out this petition on legal size paper here and on letter size paper here.
We don't have a target deadline for delivery to the Governor and others state officials, which includes your state legislators. We need your participation over the coming months to bring this into the next legislative session.
Scott Carlson of Brenham, Texas, "pleaded guilty in a Houston courtroom to stealing $2.4 million from two oil companies he'd worked for as a land man." (San Antonio Express-News, Sunday, August 20, 2006, reprinted here at TTC News Archives.)
Around the time that Carlson received probation, he was door knocking in Burleson and Milam Counties. He had a check in one hand and a water lease in the other on behalf of his company Metropolitan Water Company, aka MetWater.
According to this same Express-News article, "Carlson sold the leases to Layne Water Development of Texas, a subsidiary of a Kansas company, which later sold them to Ross Cummings, an Austin real estate investor who formed a company called Blue Water Systems. Cummings, who in April 2004 paid $500,000 in bond money to free Carlson from jail, said he believed the leases gave landowners a fair shake."
Do you think the vast majority of citizens in Burleson, Milam, Lee, Bastrop and Brazos
Ross Cummings, President, Blue Water Systems
counties, who rely on the same aquifer, got a "fair shake" when the Post Oak Savannah Groundwater Conservation District granted Blue Water Systems a permit to pump 50,000 acre-feet of groundwater per year (over 44 million gallons per day) for Vista Ridge? What about the vast majority of citizens in Burleson and Milam who never signed a lease? Or what about communities who don't want to be over-built in dry areas? And what about hundreds of landowners who will face eminent domain for this 142-mile pipeline? Did they get a "fair shake", hmmm...Mr. Cummings?
Is it the job of the San Antonio real estate lobby to make San Antonio into the water warlords of central Texas? When San Antonio ratepayers finally learn the truth about their water rates and that this water is for developers outside their city, how do you think they're gonna feel?
We're going to get the answers on our Vista Ridge meetings tour, starting on August 18th at ground zero, Burleson County at the Caldwell Civic Center (6 pm to 8 pm). Then on to Elgin, Lockhart, San Marcos, Seguin, San Antonio, Bryan and more! See schedule here.
Isn't it time to ride these water hustlers outta town? Do this!
- Sign this petition: ask Governor Abbott to stop Vista Ridge and to make growth pay for itself! Share it or print it out here and take it to folks.)
- Come to a local meeting -- schedule here and get a yard sign.
- DONATE! We need money for room rentals, advertising, and large signs.
We got to these dynamite followup comments as quick as we could, due today, to the Texas Water Development Board. Today's new comments are here. Last week's are here with the video of the hearing.
PS We know this is a long email, but try to read the Express News piece we reference. It's chock full of important and revealing information.
PPS If you click on the map on this page, it opens to better more detailed map of Vista Ridge. We're working on getting an even better one.
The Vista Ridge Community Meetings are information, education and organizing sessions to tell people what they are not getting from those officials who are pushing a massive water grab in Burleson County, aka the $3.4 billion, 142-mile pipeline called Vista Ridge. Vista Ridge is set to start in 2019 and, if it's built, will drain the Simsboro formation of the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer. Vista Ridge water will be used to build out over the Edwards Aquifer between Austin and San Antonio, and therefore will put the Edwards Aquifer at risk of further pollution. What's more, this water grab will push even more unbridled growth in central Texas -- the key driver of unaffordability. (Click on the map and you'll see a better map.)
Please note that some of these meetings are not yet confirmed so keep checking back and make sure you're on our email list. Click here to sign up to get our emails.
Have you signed our petition to Governor Abbott? Please do so here.
- Burleson & Milam Counties – (Caldwell) – Tuesday, Aug. 18, 6 pm to 8 pm, City of Caldwell Civic Center, 103 W. State Hwy. 21, Caldwell, Texas: details here
- Bastrop County – (Elgin) – Wednesday., Aug. 26, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, First National Bank of Elgin Community Room, 1312 Hwy. 290, Elgin, Texas: details here
- Lee County (Lexington) -- please come to the meeting at the Caldwell Civic Center on Tuesday, August 18 (see the first listing on this page).
- Caldwell County – (Lockhart) – Tuesday, Sept. 1, 6:00 to 8:00 pm, Kreuz BBQ community room, 619 Colorado, Lockhart, Texas: details here
- Hays County – (San Marcos) – Tuesday, Sept. 22, 6 pm to 8 pm, San Marcos Library, 2 Civic Center Drive, San Marcos, Texas: details here
- Bexar County (NE San Antonio) – Wednesday, Sept. 30, Encino Library, 2515 East Evans Road, San Antonio, Texas 78259 (please note that this meeting location and date may change): details here
- Guadalupe & Comal Counties – (Seguin) – location and date to be announced soon
- Brazos County (Bryan-College Station) – location and date to be announced soon