Emails to the Editor Page
Updated   06/09/13 04:25:07 PM
ARCHIVED EMAILS 2005

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Emails to the Editor must come from a valid email address.  LNO will confirm receipt and posting of emails to the Editor.  In the event the email is deemed not valid the posting will be removed.  Emails must contain the name and city of the author. Scroll down to read all emails to the Editor received for the month, emails are posted with most recently time stamped on top. For past month's go to the Navigation pull down and click on Archives of past articles.
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Letters to the editor are posted based on the time stamp at the LNO server with the most recent first.  
Click on year below to see archived emails
2004 emails 2005 emails 2006 emails
December 20, 2005 @ 8.37 pm
Residential Trash Pick Up 

My husband and I are so frustrated with the trash pickup we have been receiving since Colleyville changed over to this new company. The problems we are seeing is trash cans and lids scattered, the cans not always completely emptied, trash left around the area, etc. The company that Colleyville was using before did not create these problems and even some times placed the lids pack on the containers (which were empty). I like to know if anyone else in Colleyville has noticed the change in trash pickup. 

Elli. M. Duplantis
December 19, 2005 @ 2.03 pm
Colleyville Lions Club comes to aid of local family in need
Note;  Tom Westerman, President Colleyville Lions Club, informed LNO today that  the club has arranged for $600 in gift certificates for the family referenced in the email to the editor below:
My Husband is a police officer in Colleyville. He works as a School
Resource Officer at Heritage Middle School. He was notified about a
destitute family. The children attend the school where he works. This
concerns a single Mom with terminal kidney cancer who has two children, a
girl in the 8th grade and a boy who is in the 6th grade. The Mom has been
admitted to the hospital and the children are staying with friends. The
children have many needs but the mother requested a few items so that they
could have some gifts for Christmas: J. C. Penny gift cards so they can get
some shoes and clothes, some music CD's, video games for a PS-2, portable CD
player, and the Mom needs some pajamas. If there is anyway that you could
help these children please contact Linda Eaton-Stephens, School Counselor at
Heritage Middle School, 817-305-4790.

Brenda Wheeler
December 18, 2005 @ 11.12am
Vexed by fitted sheets!
Dear Editor,
I am vexed by a king-size bed we recently purchased! Would you mind if I asked you or your readers for some domestic advice-I have been unable to find an answer anywhere else to this earth-shattering problem.

The fitted sheets for the bed look square, but after a nights sleep, they sometimes start coming loose at the corners or wrinkle up in the middle. Maybe there is a standard for putting a fitted sheet on a bed that I missed in Home-Economics 101.
Does the little tag go in a specific corner, or what? 

By the way, I enjoy your news and features more than any other media source! It gives us the inside information on what really goes on in our communities. 
M. Lee
December 17, 2005 @ 10.06pm
Why is Karen already free?
Kathy Lucchesi called me the other day to tell me of your broadcast on Karen at 1:00pm today on 770 am. I listened, in the car, on the way to Ok & I cannot believe that something hasn't happened as of yet. With Ani, now gone, that almost says that he knew he lied. Why is this taking so long? 

I write Karen a lot hoping to keep her spirits up, but don't know just how much one person can take, especially when we all feel she's innocent. She's a friend of my daughter who lives near Houston so she can only see Karen when she happens to come up this way which isn't really too often.

We pray every day that Karen will be freed and we have tapes of past shows & listened to this last one today and everyone, that knows karen, is glad that someone is really trying to do something. Please keep trying and maybe one day we'll see Karen really free.
Lorraine Vocanti
December 1, 2005 @ 1.25 ;m

I always enjoy the work of LNO.

Here's a story for a "slow news" day. The City, probably Grapevine, finally changed the rules to allow a left turn from two lanes on northbound 121 service road
to a left turn at Hall-Johnson. This proves somebody listens.

Here are my questions. Why is Hall-Johnson 30 mph in Colleyville and 35 mph in Grapevine? Why does 360 change from 60 to 50 mph when headed south into Euless? There are probably other locations like this but these two I know about.
Many times you will see a car stopped near these change points.

Why can't these cities get together and post one speed limit when nothing changes but a city boundary?

Merry Christmas and thanks for your contributions to our community.
Danny C. Holifield

Local News Only took your question to Colleyville Police Chief Tommy Ingram, his response is below:

Ref the reader’s question: 

Speed limits within cities and towns are set by the City Councils via ordinances. Each city has discretion to set speed limits (within Federal standards/guidelines.) Each State gets Federal Highway Funds, which often come with stipulations that may include regulations on speed limits. (This is how all the States were “pressured” to adopt the .08% intoxication levels for DWI cases or risk loosing Federal Highway Funds.)

All major/minor arterial and residential streets in Colleyville have a 30mph speed limit as set by Council. Only Hwy 26 does not. Council has the option to change limits by public vote but probably would not without recommendations that may include a traffic survey study and/or many other factors. 

It is quite common when crossing city limit boundaries that the speed limit will also change to come degree. 

Hope this provides info to respond to your reader!
Tommy Ingram
Chief of Police
Colleyville, Texas
November 6, 2005 @6.43pm
Ref:
Waiting at the Rainbow Bridge 
a column by Nelson Thibodeaux

Nelson,
I am so sorry to hear about the loss of Bear. 

A Local News Only reader,

Rachel Rickman
November 6, 2005 @6.43pm
Ref: Waiting at the Rainbow Bridge 
a column by Nelson Thibodeaux

My heart goes out to you and your family for the loss of your beloved Bear,I've expericced that kind of loss so I know what's it's like. With sincere sympathy Shirley Petty formerly of Colleyville
November 6, 2005 @6.40pm
Ref: Waiting at the Rainbow Bridge 
a column by Nelson Thibodeaux

Obviously you don't know me ..
but, I am so sorry about your dog...
It just really upset me for some reason and then on the website rainbow bridge you can read about some poor animals and how they are tortured.. makes me so sick--
I know I am as attached to my dogs as you all were to yoursand mine getting so much older only makes me dread that day..
Maybe why this upset me so much.. :(Just a comment that's all).

Mike and Sarah Robinson
November 6, 2005 @5.45pm
Ref: Waiting at the Rainbow Bridge 
a column by Nelson Thibodeaux

Rainbow Bridge

Dear Nelson and Jamie,

I just finished reading Rainbow Bridge and I wanted to let you know that I too believe our furry friends let us know that they are feeling better. I lost my Siamese cat Sian in August 03 she was 17 after my husband and I came home from the vet I sat down in the family room in shock. My Mother had passed away in 89 and I had not thought of her in awhile I suddenly had this feeling that my Mom was very happy when I shut my eyes I saw my Mom with Sian in her arms. Jamie hold on to the dream it will bring you comfort. My husband and I have 2 Maltese named Edgar and Elly and a Pom named Emmit. We get Rainbow Bridge. I met Bear several times at your home our daughters were good friends in middle school and I know how lucky Bear was to have such great human parents.

Cathy Peterson
November 3, 2005 @8.38pm
Hi Nelson and family;

A very nice well written and loving remembrance to the many, many moments 
of fun,joy and companionship that Bear Thibodeaux has given you. Bear's 
photo tells it all! What a super friend Bear must have been. Bear will 
remain now as one of those cherished memories never forgotten.

Sincerely,


Clark Smith and family (of Wyoming)
October 27, 2005 @5.19 pm
Sam Cammack

I discovered an article on the internet in your paper with the mention of an attorney Sam Cammack.

If Sam Cammack could be Abner Sam Cammack IV, I am trying to contact him regarding a letter he posted to genealogy.com looking for info on Mississippi Cammack branch of the family. I am from that branch of the family and trying to find and contact him. Thank you for any possible assistance. 

Ann Cammack Keefer
October 17, 2005 @ 1.24 pm
BISD school calendar

Currently in BISD, people have the opportunity to vote on next year's school calendar. Only one vote per child is allowed-let's hope you and your spouse agree! BISD doesn't provide the student with an input unless the parent choses to involve him/her. Those families with multiple students receive multiple votes. Each employee (even those who already get a vote per student) receives a vote. Community members can go to the schools to vote. Voting on-line at www.birdville.k12.tx.us is available or call the aministration office for details. Information about the voting is on each campuses marquee but you still need to investigate how to actually vote if your a community member. Information has been sent home through PTA newsletters, newspapers and so on. The effort by BISD to get the word out is awesome!

From what I understand, there is a calendar committee each year to present these choices. This committee is made up of employees and community members such as "regular joe parent". If you're interested in having input in the calendar, you need to contact the administration NOW and repeatedly to ensure that you have an opportunity to actually serve on this committee. I believe that the school board reviews these calendars prior to the voting process as well.

This year, they provided a calendar for information purposes only that has a September 5 start date.

It is important to remember that this calendar-which is lacking so many breaks-is limited because of the school district's decision about graduation. The possibility of finishing the first week of June can't be an option in BISD.

I'm from the mid-west. School started the day after Labor Day and we finished the first week of June-unless there were a lot of snow days. Our job as students was to go to school. Our drop out rate was low. The number of graduates going onto a secondary education was high. 

Starting school closer to Labor Day gives teachers the opportunity to enrich their abilities by continuing their education AND having a break. It's vital that our teachers have both opportunities each summer.

I personally believe that so many breaks hinder our students' ability to learn. Learning how to begin a project and finish it in a timely manner without needing a break is vital to life after high school. Although breaks in the elementary school may be needed (I believe elementary school teachers outnumber middle/high school teachers), I hope that BISD can soon realize the benefit of a later start date. How about the savings of the electricity cost to cool all these schools for the whole month of August-teachers need to get their rooms ready/training occurs?

I suppose if the number of BISD students who are National Merit Scholars, Presidential Scholars and so on were high-I wouldn't mind the early start date. 

I hope to be able to vote YES to a day after Labor Day calendar before my son graduates. It might just better prepare him for college.

Jennifer LePla
October 7, 2005 @ 12.01 pm
This reader says she knows the young man that spoke to the Market Street VP that resulted in Alan Barron leaving Colleyville..it was her son!
 

The following was forwarded to LNO, apparently as a cc sent to United Supermarket

Dear Sirs,

This letter is being written in reference to the website Local News Only.com. I encourage each of you to check out this website. You will need to go to Front Page and search for Mark Yowell. These are articles concerning your Colleyville store and your RVP Mark Yowell.

I will quote " Yowell based on information from a 17 year old kid of one of the United Market executives, decided to talk to the Colleyville managerial staff concerning Barron's management style. Apparently the kid told Yowell that Barron was unhappy with Yowell's style of management and was thinking about leaving the company." 

I am the mother of "the kid" mentioned in this article. Some of you may remember me as Kim Short, now Kim Anderson. Yes, fortunately Bert Short's ex-wife. I am also Greg Anderson's sister. This "kid" mentioned in the article is Trent Short, my son. Now let me tell the real truth about Trent's conversation with Mark Yowell. Trent was in Wichita Falls in July for a golf tournament. Trent was staying with Mark in his home for the week. According to Trent, Mark begin the conversation asking about his Uncle Greg, how he was doing and so forth. The conversation led to Alan Barron ( because Greg and Alan are good friends ). Trent made a comment about the loss of Alan's parents. He then said, "Yeah Alan may not have to work so hard for United because he may be inheriting some money." Trent was simply making conversation with Mark. He made this assumption on his own, not knowing anything about Alan's situation. My assessment is that Mark was fishing for information from Trent and then twisted the information he got and added to it so he could find reason to pick on Alan and eventually ask Alan to step down. The style of management was never discussed between Mark and Trent. In fact Trent's comment was that "Mark Yowell is a liar."

Now in defense of Trent, let me tell you a little bit about him He is now 18 years old and a very responsible and good kid. I can say nothing but good about his behavior. Teachers, family and friends that know Trent, love him. I have raised him basically alone his whole life. When Bert and I were married..... Bert was always working and not home to parent his boys, and since our divorce in year 2000, for the last 5 years I have raised my two boys alone. I have instilled in both Trent and Jake to have good morals, integrity, dignity and most of all honesty. He is a much different person than his dad. I know you know of Bert's dishonesty and lack of integrity. My point being Trent is a great kid and would NEVER do or say anything to harm 
ANYONE! It is ashamed that Mark Yowell was so deceitful and used an 18 year old kid to get at Alan Barron. To say the least Trent as well as myself are very disappointed in Mark Yowell. Trent has also learned a valuable lesson.

Now I realize that Alan was not demoted and quit because of this conversation. Mark apparently has had it in for Alan Barron for some time and used this conversation to begin his journey to find reason to demote Alan. I know Alan had worked for United Supermarkets for about 20 years. I also know that he has been through allot this past year with the loss of his parents. Alan is a good man with a great heart. He has all of the qualities that a company should want in an employee. He has been nothing but loyal, dependable and an honest family man. I have highest regards and respect for Alan. However there are bigger and better plans for Alan. 

Another good employee that you most recently lost is Greg Anderson. He has been dedicated to United Supermarkets for 17 years. Greg has been another "good" and "honest" man with integrity. He has taken such good care of his stores as well as his family. Greg has made a huge difference in Abilene, Texas and will be missed. Greg has also been a great brother to me as well, through all I have been through in dealing with Bert Short. It took you all a little while to figure out Bert and Kent's scheme. They are both snakes. I know Greg has a great future ahead of him and will make another great employee for someone else. I truly think that with the direction your company is going you will not have many "Greg" and "Alan's" left. It would be of your best intrest to try and hang on to men with character like Greg and Alan and perhaps get rid of some of your Kent and Bert's! The best thing you ever did was firing Bert and Kent. It is my understanding that you have plenty of those character's. 

I as well as many customer's have lost much respect for United Supermarket's for many reasons. 

As far as Mark is concerned, I think he should find a way to apologize to Trent for involving him in such petty work.

I am a simple person in this God forsaken world trying to do the best I can do. I rarely feel a need to write such a letter. However I am sick and tired of Mark Yowell's, Bert Short's and Kent Moore's having their selfish ways!
I hope that you will listen!

Sincerely,

Kim Anderson
October 2, 2005 @ 12.21 pm
More Info on the Grapevine Father Son Robbery Combo  covered in LNO on September 23rd
The two men are from Fort Worth. The father attended several schools in the Metroplex and was expelled from every one of them in his younger years. His mother currently lives in the Rolling Hills addition of South Fort Worth. The son attended Dunbar High School before his father married Shiela Renee Charles from San Antonio in late 2003 and then moved to Wyoming due to a new job. The father served approximately 11 years in prison in Texas for armed robbery only to return into his son's life at the age of sixteen. Before his return the grandmother had custody of Sherman M Harris. 

Name withheld
October 1, 2005 @ 3.37 pm
Just returned from Beaumont
I just returned from the Beaumont and Orange area after helping with a disaster relief organization based in Hurst. You are right the hurricane did a lot of damage and in the rural area it may be weeks before they have water and electricity. There are a lot of people in need, but it is tremendously rewarding to be able to provide them some assistance.

Also, I think this is news worthy. My daughter, Tiffany Cornelius, will be on channel 8 news this Sunday 10-2-05 at 10:20 as Dale Hansen's "Student Athlete of the Week". We live at 3100 Edgewood Ln. in Colleyville and she attends Faith Christian School in Grapevine. McDonalds sponsors the award and they will pay $250 to her school as part of the award. 

Ron Cornelius
September 17 2005 @ 12.57 pm

Starting yesterday I've started classes with the CERT . Civil Emergency Response Team here in North Richland Hills. Each city can have a CERT but only Bedford, Hurst Colleyville, and Keller have one in NE Tarrant County. 
There are now 130 volunteers with the last 30 being in my group #4. The class is six intensive weeks on how to deal with an local or area disaster such as a tornado, earthquake, or heaven forbid CBR attack. CBR is an old term was trained for in the service, it stands for Chemical Biological Radiological. 
I thought since I let my mouth flap a lot with criticism of the Katrina disaster that I'd put my time where my mouth was and roll up my sleeves and do something. It all started last Thursday when I questioned John Lewis, the NRH city councilman about what NRH and the NE Tarrant county was doing to prepare for such a disaster. He is taking this class too and invited me to join him and 28 others. It's an accredited class and when finished by Nov 1 will be qualified to do some serious disaster relief in my neighborhood or across the nation. Last year four of the volunteers worked for two weeks in the Florida Hurricane disaster. 
This NRH contingent work under the aspices of the NRH Fire Department and Sean Hughes is the paid CERT Chief. He not only is a qualified fireman but a certified policeman too. In Fort Worth, the CERT teams work under the police department. 
Last night they outlined the course of study, covered some basic stuff, and an EPA official debriefed a little on Katrina and the huge oil spill disaster. seems as though five of those huge crude oil bunker tanks collapsed that were full of oil and now they have a gigantic oil spill to deal with in addition to the NO problems. He said that it makes the Exxon Valdieze spill look like child's play. It will take years to clean up. Then there is NO proper and the pollution is gigantic. Seems as though many of those folks not wanting to evacuate are meth cookers and some of the explosions and burning homes are from destroyed meth labs burned on purpose to cover up the activity. 
We talked about cadaver recovery and processing. About the structure of the National,State, County, and City responsibility and chain of command. Same type of stuff we did in the first week in the Army basic training. 
I don't know yet but one other thing we did in the Army was to get a battery of shots. Yellow fever was the worst but Cholera ran a close second. Then there was a Small Pox booster, Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid. The worst I ever had was the Gamogloblin that hurt like hell from the time they pulled the huge needle out of my butt and for a whole week I could hardly sit down. And we had to get them every 6 months like Cholera. They didn't say, but if I were going onto the NO area to help out I'd sure like the protection. 
Almost all of these people are a bit younger than I and all have full time jobs, so being in good health I thought I should bring myself up to snuff. Obviously there is a huge manual to study. It's a 3" three ring binder just chuck full that I have to crack today. 
I've been issued an CERT kit including a hard hat, CERT shirts, vest, first aid kit, 5 -1 tool for turning off water and gas valves in the Neighborhood. Waterproof poncho, back pack with rollers like the kind you carry on an aircraft for fast deployment, and other stuff. Then we are to augment it for a three day deployment with out outside support. Food, dry underwear, socks, extra boots, (I'll see if my old steel toe flying boots will still fit. Need to get a good pair of water resistant hunters coveralls. This time of the year there are sales everywhere. Spent about an hour going through what to put into a 72 hour personal and family kit. 
Drinking water seems to be the biggest problem due to volume and weight. You need at least 1 gal person per day. 72 hours is three days or three gallons and at 8 lbs per gallon that's 24 lbs. to haul around not to mention the bulk.
One of the sections in the book is on setting up a neighborhood or site water purification station as in a disaster water is usually a real problem.

Rich Haas
North Richland Hills
Read Sept. 13 article.
September 14, 2005 @ 12.57 pm
Colleyville Courier

Nelson,

What ever happened to doing what it is right?

The web development company I worked for 2 years ago created the
Colleyville Courier web site for free. We struggled with the costs of
maintaining the site as well as adding functionality. Over $20K worth of
time was put into building an excellent web site. We hoped that one day
Aaron & The Colleyville Courier would be able to afford to pay us back. We
provided them with my timesheets so that they knew how much time I was
putting into developing the web site. Everything was database driven and was
built to allow writers to easily add and update content. In the end, when
the site was sold to the investment group we were ignored. My design WAS
STOLEN by the new web design & development company. I fault Aaron for not
standing up and doing what was right and I fault the investors for stealing
from the company I worked for. We thought they'd do the right thing.
Obviously, they could care less.

Chris A.
September 13, 2005 @9.00 am
Nelson:

FYI:

They sure closed this Bedford eatery in a hurry. We just ate there last 
week and when we drovbe by Sunday, the who place was cleaned out, only 
thing left were the walls. If they were losing money you couldn't tell 
it from the crowds there.

Tom Anderson


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Farewell Bedford, Texas and Thank you.
Date: Sun, 11 Sep 2005 07:00:24 -0400

Hoffbrau Steaks Great Steaks, no bull! http://www.hoffbrausteaks.com 

It is with sadness that we announce the closing of our Bedford Hoffbrau 
Steaks location effective immediately.

Tom With the downturn of the general economy around the airport in the 
last few years and with American Airlines downsizing and Delta moving 
their hub, we have seen our sales drop dramatically. We thank you for 
your many years of patronage and support.

Please visit our other locations with the offer below.
Haltom City: 4613 Denton Hwy (Hwy 377 south of 820)
Tel: 817-498-1212
West End: 311 N. Market St, Dallas Tel: 214-742-4663
Ft Worth: 1712 S. University, Tel: 817-870-1952
September 9, 2005 @ 10.51 am
At Least He Admits It

I read Mr. Siskel's column in LNO this week regarding the bond package being proposed by BISD and GCISD. While I can't speak to GCISD, I do have some information on the BISD package and the "issues" brought up in Mr. Siskel's column. As is the modus operandi of he and his friends, Mr. Siskel again asks questions, but offers no answers or solutions, save don't do anything.

As for the new facilities offered by the bond package, Mr. Siskel is correct is stating that they will bring in and help us retain quality teachers for our children. One point he failed to mention is that our teachers are some of the highest paid in the state. Once we offer a quality environment in which they can teach, they will have not only high pay, but the best facilities in the area.

As for Mr. Siskel's view on what is wrong with our current facilities, he is again way off the mark. Many of our schools are over 40 years old. Most of them have totally inadequate electrical service and air conditioning to support even minimal computer stations. When these schools were designed and built computers were the size of a classroom. Now to compete in the global economy our children face, every child needs to have experience with computers and the tools they can provide. The passage of the BISD bond proposal will allow our children to compete not only against our neighboring districts, but throughout the state, nation and world for the college placements scholarships and jobs they want.

This bond proposal has been over a 2 year process. It has been reviewed by not only our school board, but by a panel of community volunteers. It is the right thing to do for our children. Finally, thanks to the efforts of Mr. Siskel and his friends, no senior citizen will have to pay one thin dime for all of the improvements to our area's educational infrastructure, but they will enjoy all of the benefits of a better workforce, increased economic activity and higher property values.

David B. Nelson
NRH
September 7, 2005 @ 10.17 pm
FEMA Debit Cards
David,
Perhaps you can help me with this. I have been trying to find out anything on the FEMA debit cards that are supposed to be issued. No one at the Fort Worth area Red Cross knows any more than the rest of us, but that is because it is a FEMA program.

I understand that people have to be registered with FEMA, but doing that is a nightmare. We were given an 800 number that tells us the system is overloaded and to call back, then hangs up. The online registration is overloaded and won't take registrations. Now, someone has decided to tell all the evacuees in the Metroplex to be at Reunion Arena tomorrow to register. Most people think they will be getting their debit cards then. However, from what I understand, Chase Bank (Bank One) is doing the cards, and they weren't sure they were ready to be handed out yet here. 

Most of the families I have had time to work with are out of cash. They are now all registered with the Red Cross, registered for medical and food stamps. But the ones with cars can't buy any more gasoline. They can't buy anything that food stamps won't pay for. Unemployment checks haven't started arriving. 

Tomorrow I'm taking 3 ladies down to the complex to get them checked out by the doctors. We've been told it will take all day, and they need to go.

Will they miss their only chance at the FEMA card? No one knows.

If you can figure this out for me, call me and let me know.

Nancy Bielik
September 7, 2005 @ 9.31 pm
Insider comments about Alan Baron's departure
Dear Editor,
I am very disturbed about the stories about Alan Baron and Mark Yowell. Alan Baron is one of the most respectable men I have ever known. Mark Yowell talked to my son "the 17 year old" mentioned in your story and twisted and lied about the whole thing.

Alan is a great person and I regret the grief that United Supermarkets and Mark Yowell has put him through. Alan will do well where ever he goes and it is United Supermarkets loss!

I will be glad to give you my view and the real truth about Mark Yowell and this story if you are interested. I am in the process of writing a letter to United Supermarkets and I will be contacting Mark Yowell personally.

Thanks,
Kim Anderson
September 6, 2005 @ 10.36 pm
Bond Election
GCISD is not helping the upcoming 
Bond election by scheduling events at the same time as early voting, discussing the issues with parents and sending them to vote. This is Election Etiquette 101. I'd like to know how something like this was allowed to happen. 

Luann Edwards
September 6, 2005 @ 9.56 am
Amen!

Ms. Beilik, that is the compassion and passion that I admire in you. I am so happy you are taking such a proactive role and that you are doing what you can to help those in need. My only goal was to get us focused on the issues: food, shelter, and other assistance versus finger pointing and blame. 

I will make one point: We haven't opened shelters in our area because neither the State, Tarrant County Emergency Management or the Red Cross have asked us to do so. I am so happy that many churches have opened their doors to the evacuees. It shows that faith based groups are much better at handling these needs than the government. However, there is a system in place to allow us to get the most help to the most people. Our city is following that system. We are not sitting on our hands. We are training people at the request of the Red Cross to help run shelters. Our firefighters are collecting non-persishable food times for evacuees. Our city staff is working with the Red Cross to evaluate locations within our city for new shelters. Our school district is setting up procedures to get evacuated children enrolled in schools and educated. Lastly, and maybe most importantly, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of people like you and me Nancy who are doing what they can to help.

Thanks for all the work you are doing.

David B. Nelson
September 5, 2005 @ 12.26 am
Katrina 

I would like to applaud NRH Mayor Trevino for working on a plan to help Katrina evacuees. It is a daunting effort and I am sure that the Mayor, City Coucil Members, and Citizens of NRH will do everything humanly possible to do our part. 

It has been 6 long days since Katrina hit the Gulf Shores. And it has taken far to long to help evacuees get necessary help. While others plan, there have been groups of people who have actually already worked and offered many services to people who have arrived in the area. Maplewood Baptist Church is one organization that through word of mouth have sent delegates to motels looking for evacuees that need help and then provided the help. The people working there didn't develop a plan, they just knew there was a need and they began the help. They found out where to register people, they found where they could get donations of food immediately, they found the evacuees.

I am not a member of the church, but I have total admiration for the work they have done. And applaud their resolve to jump right in and make things happen. 

Sue Havens-Drake,
 NRH, Texas
September 4, 2005 @ 7.42 pm
Stop talking, start helping
David,
How dare you pull politics into the struggle of the homeless evacuees from Louisiana? I believe there is such a thing as "Southern Hospitality"; I believe we should share it. 

Perhaps you have not read my email to the Council members. I did indeed ask that the City Council consider the use of the Recreation Center. I continue to want to know why that isn't being done. The building has showers, and can easily house 150 people. Fort Worth and many other cities are using their recreation centers to house evacuees as they have showers and room for cots. 

I said I would be willing to work out any necessary logistics to see if it was possible to turn some of our empty box stores into shelters. Other cities are doing the same thing. Why not NRH? Don't we consider our City to be a leader in the Mid Cities area?

We are one of the few cities that has an established Neighborhood Services Group. This is the perfect opportunity to put their talents and contacts to use. I can't think of a better group of people to work with some of the folks I have met in the last few days. We need to share their talents with the rest of the world. 

Maybe you've visited some of our local shelters, perhaps you didn't. I have volunteered in both Fort Worth and at Maplewood Baptist Church here in North Richland Hills. Over the weekend, I have visited hotels and motels that are housing evacuees, found rooms for people to use and delivered food. 

These folks, if you have talked to them, are in shock. The disaster has left them with nothing. No homes, no clothes, no food, no personal belongings. Nothing. Those of us who are more fortunate should be rallying to their aid. We should not be sitting around wondering who is gaining political points.

Nor should we be standing in the way of those who are trying to help the unfortunate victims. As I said in my email, we should consider relaxing the Fire Department's codes regulating the number of people per motel room. Although I have not been able to confirm it, one hotel employee stated that Haltom City has already relaxed their occupancy restrictions. We have not.

You don't need to go to New Orleans to volunteer your services. There is plenty to do here. Families are arriving constantly and need our help now. 

We are all fortunate that our surrounding cities jumped to the rescue of those that need it. NRH should now join them, and do our part.

Maplewood Baptist Church needs food, volunteers to sort clothes and transport people. They also need Wal Mart Gift cards, new underclothes, baby diapers, baby Tylenol, and many other items. They need items such as new pillows, blankets, sheets, dishes, pots and pans, towels and washcloths. Whatever you have in your homes: these folks need. The Church especially needs volunteers for night time work; that is when the buses arrive.

We do not need political rhetoric. If you truly want to help, go to the Church and volunteer your services. It is on Maplewood Drive, near Davis, behind the Batteries Plus Store.

David, if you don't want to be part of the solution, stay out of the way.

Nancy Bielik
NRH City Council
September 3, 2005 @ 9.23 pm
NRH Politics and Katrina Disaster?
Councilwoman Beilik has recently sent a letter to other members of the council decrying North Richland Hill's lack of a response to the tragedy created by Hurricane Katrina. Suzette Christopher, former candidate for mayor in our city and another vocal critic of our city and its servants, also posted a note on her website complaining we are not doing enough. They want us to open every empty building in our city to warehouse people. If Ms. Christopher or Beilik bothered to check with either our own Emergency Management Coordinator or those of the county, they would find that there ideas are not only untenable, but unwanted. Our city is working with all of the municipalities to provide a coordinated, well thought out and truly impactful response to the needs of the evacuees from Louisiana. 

I have been trained as a CERT member and have the skills to help. Yes, I am frustrated. Yes, I want to run down to New Orleans or Mississippi right away, but that is not what is needed. Wisdom and cooperation is needed. Not the political grandstanding of Councilwoman Belilik and Ms. Christopher. It appears more to me that these women want to gain political points than truly help those people in need. I commend their compassion, but let's leave politics out of it. Let's work with the professionals of our public safety departments and the Red Cross and others. Let's continue to pray.

David B. Nelson
North Richland Hills
September 2, 2005 @ 7.09 pm
Imax Theater

Are you going to have movies and, Festivals as the one in the Angelica Theater in Dallas, or just one more Movie-theater place? It is a pity we have to drive all the way there to see a "different movie". Thanks, M.O.Pablo

Maria Ofelia Pablo
Editor's Note:  In previous discussions with the Town Center developer, he indicated that he anticipated there would be film festivals and other activities.  The IMAX will be part of a motion picture complex that will included restaurant and mixed drinks service at this location.  The Colleyville City Council has an amendment to the current movie theater ordinance for consideration on Tuesday, September 6.
September 2, 2005 @ 9.51 am
Hurricane Kids

 Hi
This isn't a typical letter to the editor. I just wanted you all to know that I've been blessed with two new students from the New Orleans area, and if you want to do a story on them or on the amazing way my/our students have welcomed them into our school, please let me know. Thanks.

Shelley Small
Editor's Note: LNO will follow up on this story and other, please feel free to send your personal stories for posting.
September 2, 2005 @ 8.52 am
Help Them Compete

Every 8th grade student in BISD and surrounding school districts hears a presentation in the first part of the Spring semester called "Texas Scholars". Many of your readers have probably made presentations in this program. It encourages students to take a more challenging cirriculum in high school so that they are better prepared for their educational and employment opportunites in the future. One point in the presentation is that our students are competing in a global economy. One in which they are vying against students around the world for not only jobs, but placement, scholarships and grants in college. The bond proposal currently being voted on in BISD will give our students better tools, facilities and technologies to allow them to compete in this global economy. Please vote FOR each of the bond proposals on September 10th!!! Help our kids compete.

David B. Nelson
NRH
Sept. 1, 2005 @9.42 pm
Hi,

I wanted to let you know how much I enjoy Local News Only and thank you
for keeping up on the latest Colleyville news.   I would also like to
request that you do a story on the 9-11 memorial that has been built on
the west side of Pleasant Run north of John McCain.  Thank you and keep
up the good work.

Liane Ashdown
August 23, 2005  2,43 on
Editor of LocalNewsOnly.com,

There was more to contend with in your recent editorial -- "Will our veterans of the Iraq conflict end up being treated like Viet Nam Vets? Only if we allow slanted media to go unchallenged!" -- than I can succinctly respond to, so I will deal only with a few of the matters that trouble me.

First of all, I must commend you on your consistent use of sweeping statements in the piece. The world would indeed be a confusing place if we couldn't use generalizations to help make complex issues easy to understand. I am referring to your comment that "few would disagree that the hateful conduct by the public was spurred on by a media critical of the country's involvement in Viet Nam." Well I disagree. So, too, should anyone who remembers and understands the unnecessary devastation and death caused by our role there. Without the slant of the media (would that be the "truth slant"?), America might have realized its mistake even later, resulting in the deaths of 58,000 more of our young citizens. Holding the media responsible for the evil behavior of a few sociopaths (people who spat on returning soldiers) is like blaming Jesus for the Inquisition.

You also generalized the thoughts and feelings of everyone in attendance at the ceremony when you described the "large crowd of local citizens that...support[ed] our President and the military." As one of those attending both the parade and the ceremony, I feel that my presence there was grossly misinterpreted. I was showing love and support to the soldiers and their families. I feel for their loss, but I do not support the president or his handling of the war. And I know there were more in attendance who felt the same way I did.

Secondly, I think your evaluation of the events of July 2 is slanted. As a member of the Lion's club, and as organizer and emcee of the day's proceedings, you must have been very proud of how things turned out. Contrived as "patriotic" and constructed as a "precious memory", it must have hurt your feelings when The Colleyville Courier neglected to mention it. As a friend of Steven Tucker's family, I thought that your recognition of Steven, Christian Schulz, and the wounded soldiers in attendance was a thoughtful gesture. You could have let the event stand by itself as a touching tribute to the brave soldiers who sacrificed so much. Instead, you turned it into a litmus test to see who's patriotic and who's not. A more telling fact is that within days of receiving news of Steven's death, The Courier had a front-page story about Steven. The only mention of him I ever found on LNO was in articles about the parade. Now I do not doubt that you appreciate his sacrifice for our country, but if one uses LNO headlines as an indicator, it might seem that the parade was more important than news of his death.

So before calling all good citizens to come to your aid in punishing a competitor, please make sure you're not omitting inconvenient facts. Such practices only lead to misinformation that, in your line of work, is a practice that should generally be avoided (like the passive voice).

Alex Bennett, 
Grapevine
August 22, 2005 @9.54 pm
Veterans and the Slanted Media

Mr. Thibodeaux's comments of August 20 are off the mark. As citizens, we are responsible to be sure that a war that sends our children to kill or be killed is truly a last resort and not a war built on lies. The evidence is overwhelming that this is an unnecessary war that calls on our soldiers to do their duty regardless.

Now that we're there, we must ensure that we secure peace and stability for the people of Iraq and the region. However, as in Vietnam, we're not fighting to win. We have a small force. Even when the Iraqi Army is rebuilt, it is not big enough to win. Remember the winning ratio of troops to population or insurgents?

Armor - we didn't learn about unarmored Humvees and soldiers in Somalia. WMD - we secured the Oil Ministry and not the Defense Ministry. Security - we secured the oil fields and not the ammunition dumps or people. 

Saddam's Torture - we provided George's version of Abu Ghraib. Iraqi Borders - we don't protect ours and can't protect Iraq's. It's all about us - we don't really ask for UN military or reconstruction help. 

What is the message in George's actions on our behalf? 

Those who protest the war are not sending the wrong message. The actions of George and Company speak louder than what they say. Who understands this?

Robert J. Torres
Editor's Note: I have some close friends that feel as you do; I don't.  However, the issue was not the stand on the war, the issue was failure to report on a Hometown Heroes Day, while showering the protestor with front page news and a color photograph.  That is slanted regardless of where you stand.  However, since we found out Tuesday, August 23, 2005 from the Star-Telegram that they have purchased the Colleyville Courier, which will be no longer of this world, I guess slanted reporting will be replaced with no reporting of anything by this group.
August 22, 2005 @ 11.13 am
Market St.

Come on people of Colleyville, unite against the big company box
United Supermarkets Stores also known unoffically known as the USSR,lol.
So what, a guy with 20 years in a "grocery store" gets canned, no pun
intended. Do you not go to What-ta-burger when the manager gets canned
there?

All you white-collared workers from Colleyville should be well aware of
the corporate laws and practices. No doubt you've been "wronged" in the
past?

This is a no-brainer!
We don't like him, so he goes.

Drive to other stores, see if it makes a dent, remembering you are one
person, they deal on volume (3-4% margins for the accountants reading).
As the childhood song goes.."your a hair on the wart on the flea on hair
on the wart on the fly on the hair"... you get the picture. The masses will
continue to shop at USSR as always, Alan, will be forgotten, life will
return to normal in Colleyville, and the biggest problem of the day will be
weather to drive the Jag or Mercedes to What-ta-burger.

Alan could have gotten a job at one of the other "Boxes" that the
residence of Colleyville continue to veto being built in Texas' riches ghost
town.

I've got an idea. Why don't you all build a wall around the entire store
so as to keep them kritters in and you safe on the outside. That'll get'r
done.
Buffalo Jeff Moore
Buffalo, New York
August 19, 2005 @ 9.23 
Colleyville Tax Presentation

Last Saturday, August 13, the City of Colleyville under the direction of Bill Lindley and the various departments gave a budget presentation at the community center to show where our tax dollars go. This was an excellent presentation in the form of displays, assistance from members of each department and an excellent oral/visual presentation by Bill Lindley. The humility and disgrace was in the fact that approximately nine (9) citizens showed up! The City Manager and the various departments worked hard to try and make you the tax payers of Colleyville aware of where your tax dollars are spent and you are not interested. Thanks Bill and city employees for a presentation that to my knowledge has never been offered in any previous budget year. I apologize for the tax payers of Colleyville that have no interest in City Government except to gripe when they do not like or agree with some issue.

Frank Whitmire
Colleyville
August 19, 2005 @ 8.59 am
Market Street etc...

I get your LNO updates and appreciate that there is an outlet to hear about goings on in Colleyville. Since I don't write many letters, the format of this will probably be odd, but regarding Market Street and the ongoing saga that I've seen here on your site. 

1. I go to Market Street several times a week and weekends.

2. Had I not been subscribed to LNO, I'd never have known that Alan Barron was the manager or that he was terminated.

I work for the company with the largest capital marketshare in the world and even though I am biased toward my company when selecting products, I go where the quality is #1 and the customer service makes you feel like they genuinely care about you. For people who drive to Fort Worth to go to Central Market, that's just pure crazy. I don't know what happened with Alan and don't really want to know, but what I do know is that great companies always fill voids with comparable quality, if not better. 

I've been to Market Street in Wichita Falls many times as well and had the same treatment that I receive in my very own Colleyville store, so although Alan was important in leading the store, just because he's gone will probably have little to no impact to 99%+ of its patrons. If I knew him personally, I'd probably be a little angry for him, but it's rare these days that companies can hold onto employees for even 10 yrs. But United is a great company focused on Customer Service. I wonder how many employees it takes to run that store.

I was glad that you were able to inject some objectivity into your Aug 16th article, b/c just like all media outlets, you are very biased as well (which adds to the entertainment value I might add). 

For those that are driving to Fort Worth, I guess when you live in a city with more disposable income than Southlake, you can afford to spend the extra money in gas to drive out there. I'd rather spend mine in Colleyville.

Glad you found your Grapefruit and Popcorn...

Bob Braun
Colleyville
August 18, 2005 @ 3.58 pm
Texas Legislators
Glad to read the most recent LNO article that one of our elected officials, Vicki Truitt, is using her "bulldog determination" on a car burglary bill. Sounds like a good bill that we need to enact. However..........I sincerely wish that Ms. Truitt and other elected officials who were sent by the voters to Austin to address the state's major issues and solve major problems would use the same "bulldog determination" on the school finance issue. This critical and well-known issue with its inequitable method of school finance has been hanging around the necks of taxpayers in this area (specifically) for many years without any resolution. At least two sessions and numerous special sessions have yielded "nada"......except of course for the greatly enhanced pension benefits for the elected part-timers. 

Didn't mean to get on a rant here, but where is the "bulldog determination" to try and SOLVE the school funding issue?? This is a difficult and complex issue. However, another special session is about to end and, alas, the elected officials from the Governor down to the most junior Legislator (Leaders???) still can't seem to work it out. Perhaps we need a completely new set of "Leaders" who are willing to take a crack at the most pressing issues of the day! I would hate to be an incumbent running for reelection this November.

Michael T. Muhm
Colleyville
August 17, 2005 @ 12.48 pm
Market Street Colleyville

I read your article and was annoyed yet relieved on the comments you stated about one Mr. Alan Barron. 

I felt that the so-called big rigs..were trying to attempt to rid themselves of Barron for awhile now. And I was used as a tool to maneuver this.

I am an ex-employee for good old 'Market Street United. And I felt I worked for the best boss I have ever had the fortune to work for. And still feel strongly about this. Barron was fair, loyal and a excellent communicator. But United corporate is another thing. They felt Barron treated me to well, and I was his little pet. 

Well, I was. He could count on me, and depend on me to do the job he set down. Others were jealous and bothered by that and felt the desire to start trouble. Corporate was very glad to help with the slander. Slander towards me and Barron as well. After the insult to injury, I was flabbergasted and didn't dare imagine me showing my face there any longer. 
My husband agreed. But I am not as nice as Alan Barron. I feel they will do the same to Eric and have not been a fan of a success that MS Colleyville since day one. I too would hate working at a place with a boss that was hands-on, fair, loyal, communicated well, easy to talk too, friendly, supportive, door-open policy, excited, dependable, blahblahblah...Shall I continue?

One more thing...I work at Central Market now...Soon at the Southlake CM... Something new and better near Colleyville?

Lori Longoria - ex-employee of Market Street and loyal friend of Alan Barron
August 15, 2005 @3.11 pm
Wright Amendment

The Euless City Council's support of the Wright amendment is based on the loud and clear FACT that DFW International Airport has proven itself to be an economic engine for the Dallas/Fort Worth community. It's been a job creator from day one that has helped make North Texas one of the most desirable places in the nation to live and work. Bravo to Euless city officials for standing up for the right thing and protecting this region's investments. 

I urge te NRH City Council to pass a similar resolution and show their support of the Wright Amendment.

I appreciate Eddie Bernice Johnson's stand against the repeal of the Wright amendment. It's time for more local leaders to consider the impact on the entire North Texas community and not just the desires of one greedy airline. Further, I support closing Love Field to all commercial airlines. I believe it to be a safety issue. While our Air Traffic Centers have done a wonderful job keeping the skyes safe over N. Texas, having to handle the conflicting flight patterns of Love and DFW have caused some serious close calls over the years.

Jerry Sorenson
NRH
 August 13, 2005 @ 10.12 am  Voice of Reason
Market Street

This is a time where we need to all put this aside and realize that if We don't support Colleyville then this is just going to be one more place that will be sitting empty is that what you really want! Another building empty in Colleyville? Come on. Please stop this. Remember two wrongs don't make it right..... I think Market Street has been hurt enough. Not that Alan hasn't but this has got to stop. Plus don't you think this is childish to Honk!!!! when you drive by..... Lets grow up and forgive and put this past us. We need to all stick together or there will be no Colleyville. 

Alan if you are reading this I am sorry for what happened to you and your family and I think that is great you wrote LNO to tell people to please continue to shop at Market Street. That just shows one more thing about how wonderful of a man you are and how you can move on and look at some good in this. Best of luck to you and also to Market Street. I in fact will continue to Shop here and support Colleyville and to give Eric Cook a chance. Everyone deserves this don't you think?

Chandi Rudel
Colleyville
August 12 Response 9.04 pm
Point and Counter Point about Market Street and passionate support

Subject: FW: United Supermarkets
Date: Fri, 12 Aug 2005 11:54:52 -0500

Mr. Thibodeaux, I am responding to your article about "United Markets". First of all if you want to take cheap shots at a company, get the name  right.  It is "United Supermarkets." 
 

Michelle,
Thanks for writing, a former employee wrote in and corrected the name as posted on the front page since yesterday;

We have corrected the name as stated.  If we took cheap shots we would not be willing to put our name on stories and columns with full confidence to back our opinions or facts. 
 

August 11, 2005, Colleyville
Market Street owner corporation name corrected
Editor:

The parent company name is United Supermarkets Corporation which owns and operates all Market Street Uniteds' , not United Markets... I worked at Market Street and helped open the Colleyville store. I was a manager and left as of August 5. Alan was a FINE man to work for.
J. Rosenberg 

   Second, why a person is or is not  with a company is none of your business.   A company does have a legal and moral responsibility to keep H.R issues private. 
You are absolutely correct.  The inquiry to United Supermarkets was delivered 2 weeks before we wrote the first column.  As a response to many of our readers, and my own concern, employees of the Market Street store were asked about Alan's whereabouts.  I had personally worked with Allan on a number of community projects.  Alan was a personal friend, as well as a community icon.  After loosing his parents in a tragic wreck only months before, there was a natural concern about his well-being.  Make no mistake about it, we simply asked if Alan was still with the company.  After being ignored, I made calls to the United Supermarket's Communications Director, Eddie Owens.  Mr. Owens told me he had no idea the whereabouts or status of Alan Barron.  We both acknowledged HR issues were sensitive but as a media outlet, we simply wanted to confirm Alan's well-being for our readers.

 I called the Regional VP Mark Yowell, and left a message.  Apparently Mr. Owens called Mr. Yowell and I received a phone call from him.
Then started what I can best describe as a bizarre phone call from Mr. Yowell.  He was rude, and lied.  He told me Alan was still with the company. He told me he was not authorized to tell me where Alan was working however. 
  Now here is where the problem starts.  A simple true statement.  "Mr. Barron is no longer with United Supermarkets, he has decided to pursue interests outside the company and we wish him the best of luck."  OR, "Mr. Barron is still with our firm, he is in the process of making a change due to personal interests and we will pass your message along and ask him to call."  Either way we would have been ok with passing that information to the public.  However, Mr. Yowell apparently had a personal problem with Mr. Barron and, now I know he did, and Yowell unfairly and unnecessarily cast aspersions on Barron's character, in my opinion.
Just because you are a "reporter" does not give you GOD like status and the "right" to know where an employee of a business is,  why they are no longer with the company and  so forth. 
As a reporter, we would be remiss in our responsibility if we did not follow up on an icon of the community.  The store is a critical element in Colleyville and even the City Manager of Colleyville was unaware of Mr. Barron's status.   If you were such a "good friend" of Mr. Barron you would think you would have his home telephone number to ask him yourself.

Mr. Barron and my relationship was always professional. I would contact him at work.  Any friendship grew from working with the man and knowing how concerned he was for the community.  And to your comment I did get his home phone and call him, that is why I am confident on the facts presented. If you get a chance to actually read all the information reported, we think you will note I did talk to Alan.
I have a family member who is a former employee of United Supermarkets.  I can tell you that they do care about their employees and if you come
to Lubbock you will see how much of great company they are, not only for their commitment to our community, but also as a the #1 supermarket
store of choice.
Been there done that, my son went to Texas Tech for his first two years of college.  Further, this is certainly the impression I had of United Markets and our I believe so did the local community at large, that is until the shoddy treatment of Alan Barron.


By the way, I have a very good friend who shops at the Colleyville store probably more than you do and can't agree with the way you say the store now appears.  
Your friend would have to be in the store 7 days per week, because our offices are right down the street and we were in the store at least 5 to 6 days per week.  Plus our personal shopping.  Spent at least $1,200 to $1,500 per month at the Colleyville Market Street from my family and lunch office workers alone. 
Heck, in supermarket spending terms, if Market Street were a Casino, these guys would have been
"comping" me a nice suite with free meals!

Unfortunately your friend's opinion seems to be in the minority from the amount of emails and comments we have received at LNO.  Many can be found on the emails to the editor section on LNO.

My friends was a long time resident in Vernon and Wichita  Falls and has said that the Colleyville store upholds United's values just  like any other store.  So I found your so called column an outright lie  and fabrication.  You should be ashamed of yourself!
  There is adequate additional consumer comment on the site that would disapprove  my column is an outright lie or fabrication.  I personally spoke the the infamous Mr. Yowell and I spoke to Alan Barron personally.  So you can take a hike on this comment.

 And it is not "so called", it is a column and identified as my opinion.  I sure as hell am not ashamed of myself for defending a good man that got treated unfairly. I don't care HOW they treated your family former employer member, that does not appear the case here.

Once again, you are journalist.  You do not have the right to know what goes on with H.R issues at any company, including your own place of employment.  Why don't you tell me how much money you make?  If you should have the right to know H.R issues about anyone you see fit then me, and the rest of your readers, should get to know all about your personal H.R  issues.

Once again as a journalist, I have every right to ask questions and the company should be better prepared to deal with the media, not cover up, not lie, not ignore and not fabricate a cover up.  A simple straight forward answer would have been a better approach to the media and those who care about Alan as a person, not just as the Store Director.

Besides, if I told you how much money I make, you wouldn't believe I could afford to shop at Market Street.



I doubt very seriously you wish to reply, but it would be nice to see that you do!
Michelle Smith
Mortgage Loan Originator

Lubbock
National Bank
Committed to Your Success
Of course, I will respond, because we are very comfortable in our coverage and I am comfortable in my column.  I appreciate your passion for the company and I can tell you no one was more disappointed  and surprised in the attitude of this Yowell character than me.  Alan said the corporate culture was changing.  What a shame, what a let down and I hope they regain their composure in our community.  One way would be to respond appropriately. 

However, now there is a 26 year old kid, getting his first management job, taking a position of a valued member of this community, and from all indications Alan got a raw deal.  That should even make you apprehensive, because I can tell you that Alan certainly doesn't believe he should have been treated in this manner.
 

  But Yowell sneaks down here on Alan's vacation and, rather than discussing his concerns with Alan, torpedoes him with his employees.  In my opinion, Yowell is the one that needs to go.  And whomever first established this fine company's policy needs to reaffirm our faith in United Supermarkets.
Nelson Thibodeaux
  Editor Local News Only.com

August 12, 2005 @ 2.33 pm
Alan & Market street

Hi Nelson; One of the joys of coming to Texas from Wyoming to visit our daughters our son and his family is to look forward the trip over to the Market Street. Mr Barron must be a fine person to receive so many kind words from so many customers. I'm hoping it will be a long time before we see a lowering of quality of any kind at the Market Street and I'm sure it will be a long time for the simple reason Alan has done such a super job providing the on the spot leadership that made it such a super facility in the first place. In fact we will be there again early September as it sure has a long way to go down to keep us away. Meantime, Alan's foot prints will remain and he apparently has the stuff to make more where ever he goes. I wish all concerned the best. Wow! A great place!

Sincerely
Clark Smith,
Cheyenne, Wyoming 
Posted August 11, 2005 @ 6.18 pm
BISD Bond Election
August 11, 2005 @4.14 pm

Vote For BISD Bond Package

I have been pondering the benefits of the currently proposed bond package from BISD. Even taking out of the equation, the obvious benefits to the students of BISD through better technology; improved facilities for those students in many of our schools, especially the younger ones; and the improvements that will allow our student athletes and those in other outdoor extracurricular activities to practice even during our ever increasing red ozone days, I think this package deserves passage. 

Let's look at it from an economic perspective. The new infrastructure, in the form of the new campuses and those that are being improved, will have an immediate positive impact of the property values of the surrounding areas. Additionally, as anyone knows, when younger families are looking for a home, they look first at the schools in the area. It should be apparent to all that these new and improved facilities will bring in an influx of new home buyers. Home buyers who I believe will be willing to pay a higher price for properties near these schools. Of course, there is the obvious positive impact of the monies generated by those people employed to build and refurbish the schools. This will add dollars to our economy too and in many areas of business. There is also evidence that when there are improvements in an area, especially public ones, that surrounding properties begin to clean up and make their assets look nicer. The passage of the BISD bond package on September 10, 2005 is an economic boon for everyone in the QuadCities area.

One final point that I must emphasize. Seniors in our area and all four cities directly affected will not have to pay for any of this bond debt. You will enjoy all of the economic benefits, help your grandchildren, friends and families and not have to spend one dime for it. This should be an easy YES vote for you.

PLEASE VOTE "YES" FOR THE BISD BOND PACKAGE!!

David B. Nelson
North Richland Hills
August 8, 2005 @921.pm
BISD voters are asked to make a sacrifice on September 10 when they decide on a $215 million bond package. The sacrifice is to increase property taxes. 

Is it worth it?

Yes, it’s worth it to senior citizens. 

They have the opportunity to give their grandchildren modern campuses that contain the technology facilities needed to train future workers, who must compete in an ever increasing global economy. 

Yes, it’s worth it to parents whose high school children will graduate from BISD in the next three years. 

By voting yes, they help create communities that are attractive to businesses looking to establish themselves in the Quad Cities. One of the major reasons companies give for locating in a community is good schools. The small investment homeowners make now will increase their property values when they look to sell in the future. 

Yes, it’s worth it to parents with children currently in the district. 

Besides the reasons listed above, this group has the opportunity to lower the annual maintenance and operating costs by an estimated $800,000. 

Like generations before them, BISD voters are being asked to make a small short-term sacrifice for a long-term benefit. I strongly encourage voters to vote FOR all three proposals on September 10. 

Tom Lombard 
North Richland Hills
Aug.10, 2005 @ 10.23 am

Dear Nelson,
As a former resident of Ross Downs in Colleyville from August 2000 until December 2003, I was always moved by your "telling it - like you saw it" style of reporting through LNO. Finally, I am writing to express my appreciation for your courage, dogged determination and intestinal fortitude to speak and write your mind. 
From your numerous articles on local Colleyville politics to your compassionate coverage on Karen Luchessi; I have been impressed. Mind you, I've not always agreed with you on all your views. But then again, our different individual view points is what makes this such a dynamic country to live in! Right? 

Your latest journalistic stirrings have brought to light the interesting state of affairs within the corporate world of United Markets. How disappointed I was to read about Alan Barron, the now former store manager at Market Street. Your link to his personal email allowed me to send Alan a note of my own musings and appreciation late last night.

Anyway, I just wanted to say, "MAHALO-THANK YOU" for doing what your conscience leads you to do through Local News Only. While I don't miss the summer heat or exorbitant taxes in the Lone Star state; I sure do miss the many wonderful people of Texas. Thanks to the internet, I'm still able to keep up with the Colleyville area news through your LNO publication and yes, even the Courier too! Both of your publications allow me to keep up with all the happenings of my former home town...good and not so good!

Thanks to you Nelson, I am able to believe that there will always be a few of us in this world that will speak our mind...no matter how much hot water it might get US into! Keep at the construction work and may the future bring you continued success with reporting the truth!!! Perhaps some day I will have the privilege to meet you and shake your hand. Until then, please know you have a comrade and admirer in Washington state.

All my Aloha,
Nohealani Stewart
Snohomish, Washington 
Aug.10, 2005 @ 8.24 am
Nelson, Thank you and Jamie for the support you have given me. I have attached a letter that I request you consider putting in the paper. It is to the many individuals that have also shown support for me during this time. Many folks have shown concern, and anger. Believe me they have voiced their opinions Colleyville style. The fact is many have communicated their plans to stop shopping at the store. Though I appreciate their concern, I do not wish to have United suffer this kind of reaction. 

We owe it to our community to try and stop this if possible. We need to keep one of the best things Colleyville has going, going. We need to keep these dollars in Colleyville. Yes, I am disappointed in what happen, and how it went down, but I would like to see the store I helped open succeed. 

Please consider this request,

Alan 
Editor's Note:
Alan Barron's letter is below.  This is just one more example of the class of this individual.  Colleyville consumers should make every effort to support businesses in their hometown. However, in my opinion, Market Street should recognize they are not the only option. The Market Street store is in Town Center. Town Center has now attracted a number of other quality tenants with more to come.  Town Center is growing as a major critical commercial success and will continue to do so.  

However some customers may determine a new preference with another Colleyville supermarket is a reasonable selection.  Market Street has severely altered the perception it is a company with a distinctly different customer service and one that supported its employee family.  Town Center will continue to grow because it is in an excellent retail location and should attract top tenants. 

Colleyville offers new quality retailers the potential for a loyal customer base with substantial expendable income.

Apparently Market Street will simply let Colleyville customers make up their own mind on what and where the principles of their organization now stand.

An Open Letter from Alan Barron
Thank you all for you’re over whelming support during this difficult time. We never wish to face times of adversity at any point in our lives. This is the second time in as little as a year that our great community has embraced me. What a great community we live in. 

As for United Supermarkets/Market Street, it will continue to be a part of our community. I devoted 20 years of my life to the company. Despite the indifferences I might have had with the company recently, the fact still remains that United Supermarkets is a good company. 

United Supermarkets has supported me in many endeavors over the years. The most recent was the opportunity to work with and serve the many wonderful individuals at the Colleyville location. We have all worked very hard to give Colleyville the best grocery store possible. 

Though I have departed, there are still many fine individuals that work at Market Street. These folks take their job seriously, and have a tremendous amount of pride in what they do. These individuals depend on you to continue to make Market Street your choice for your grocery needs. 

Market Street and Colleyville go well together, and need each other. My departure will not change this fact. Our community depends on strong relationships to continue to grow. 

It is my request that you continue to shop at Market Street for the above reasons. United is a fine company, there are many great employees there, and Market Street is the best grocery store in the city of Colleyville. Please give Eric Cook and his team a chance to take Market Street to the next level. 

Sincerely,

Alan Barron 

Aug.10, 2005 @ 12.30 am
Market Street - Can you hear the cars going by?
Mr. Yowell,


Do you hear it? 

The sound of cars passing by Market Street to go across Ft. Worth to Central Market. My car is one of them. The really sad thing is, I liked Market Street better. 

Actually living where I live I don't pass by Market Street to get to Central Market, but every time I'm going to Central Market instead of Market Street I plan to go out of my way to drive in front of MS and honk. Maybe others will too. (Hey, now there is a new way for you to do market research. Ask the new manager to include in his reports how many horns he's heard during that reporting period. That way, when your boss wants to know why the Colleyville store's profits are going down you can tell him exactly how many customers who would have shopped there didn't.You can even add that to the PowerPoint graphs. As the profit graph goes down you'll need something going up and if all ex-Market Streeters drive by and honk you'll have one line going up that you can lay across the profit line going down..)

I think it is mind boggling to consider all you have accomplished. Let's see, you've: 

1. Emotionally kicked a loyal employee at an especially bad time in his life. 
2. Caused a good family the pain of insecurity and to learn that twenty years of hard work, sacrifice and life disruptions, to move for the "Company," mean nothing.
3. You have cost, who knows how much, future income for your company. 
4. You got rid of a person who made you look good. 
5. You are even helping the Petroleum industry (don't forget, a lot of us are going to drive up to three times as far to go to Central Market, now that we aren't going to Market Street any more. More miles = more gas = more profits for petroleum industry). 
6. You've also set up a kid, that is probably a rising star in the Company, for a big fall.

Man, you are a "can do," fella. 

If you aren't yet, you might want to be thinking how to put all this on your resume. All the above looks pretty negative if you are needing a new job. How can this be made to sound better? One thing for sure, you have shown an ability to make independent decisions. Forget the bottom line, community feelings and customer loyalty, go ahead and demote him so he will quit. (Were you told to do this, are was it your idea?) And, my oh my, you have demonstrated the courage to use power. Did it feel good? And to put another good spin on it, the six things listed above, you accomplished by yourself, demonstrating you are a "multi-task" kind of guy.

Some people would be ashamed if they had done what you have done to Alan Barron and his family. I wonder if you are sensitive enough to be ashamed and also embarrassed by the stupid move you made for yourself and the company? 

Candidly. Just between us. That egg on your face would have been so better in an omelet, wouldn't it. 

Really now, and trust me on this, based on personal experience these old clichés are true, "What goes around, comes around," or, as the Bible puts it, "you reap what you sow." I hope you like weeds. 

The earthquake you caused for the Barrons, we customer's and United Market may quickly pass, but there is a tsunami coming, so you better head for higher ground, and you've got a long way to climb.

Richard Hall
Aug. 10, 2005 Market Street's Party Line response to emails being received as a result of the LNO story concerning Alan Barron; reads as follows to all;

Thank you so much for your message -- my sincerest apologies for not responding earlier. We value all comments from our customers, and we are especially appreciative for your interest in our Market Street store in Colleyville. 

While it is true that Alan Barron has elected to pursue other business interests in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, we are excited to announce the promotion of Eric Cook, who has been an assistant store director at three of our stores, most recently at our Market Street location in McKinney. Like Alan, Eric is a product of our training program that stresses the importance of community involvement and support. We are certain you will find Eric extremely capable and we trust you will take the opportunity to meet him during your next visit to the store. 

Thank you again for your message, and if you ever have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to let us know. We are committed to making our Colleyville store a great place to shop. 

Warmest regards, 

Eddie Owens, APR
Director of Communications
United Supermarkets, Ltd.
806-791-0780, ext. 224
806-928-0462 (cell)
Aug. 9, 2005 @ 5.14 pm
Market Street reaction
Nelson,

Bet United Supermarkets wishes they would have been a little nicer to LNO! I'm sure they are getting lots of emails, because customer service has definitely taken a nose dive there...

Mary Coffee
August 9 2005 @3.07 pm
Market Street vs. Wal-Mart
Editor
I want to congratulate LNO on its investigative reporting and its sheer doggedness in uncovering the truth about the departure of Alan Barron from Market Street. I only knew Mr. Barron slightly, but I always found him to be genuinely interested in his customers, his business and his community. Market Street was a welcome addition to Colleyville and Mr. Barron made sure the service, atmosphere, quantity, variety and quality of products lived up to or exceeded everyone's expectations. Under his leadership Market Street was also an active and extremely welcome participant in the civic, charitable and social activities of the community.

Although the factual materials presented in your series of articles would seem to indicate that Market Street corporate's decision to offer Mr. Barron a 50% pay cut while exiling him to McKinney is sheer folly, the most disturbing item was the assertion that Market Street management, and particularly the primary actor in this event, Mr. Yowell, wanted to imitate the Wal-Mart management style by forcing the resignation of a 20 year employee. Although it is hard to criticize an organization as profitable as Wal-Mart, not every business can adopt the Wal-Mart model and be successful. There is only one Wal-Mart-and some say thank heaven; but whether you are a Wal-Mart fan or not, one must appreciate the differences between a Wal-Mart and a Market Street.

Mr. Yowell, if he is successful in transforming Market Street into a Wal-Mart, may well find himself and his company perceived entirely differently in the communities where they have, or wish to have, locations. The mention of a new Wal-Mart in almost any community, not just to the snobs in Colleyville, creates consternation and often rabid opposition. Why? Its reputation is the answer. Whether one is talking about the treatment of its employees, its product quality, its service, its community activities or its method of operation, the name Wal-Mart congers up a definite picture in most people's minds. Whether Mr. Yowell wants Market Street to evoke the same picture, I have no way of knowing; but if he does, he seems to be on the road to success.

One piece of advice for Mr. Yowell. As the legendary coach of the Texas Longhorns was fond of saying, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." The Market Street of Alan Barron earned you, Mr. Yowell, your success in Colleyville; but remember, there is always Albertsons, Tom Thumb and soon Central Market.
Frank Carroll
Colleyville
August 8, 2005 Alan Barron and Market Street responses
How about you give everyone the yahoo's email address and and the president of the company also. I would love to email them as I am sure many others would like to do so also. I have really missed not seeing him around and the answer I received while checking out was "I don't know".

Lee Koch
Write the Communications Dir.
I think it would REALLY be great, if customers emailed Mark Yowell, Regional VP. at (940) 691-6216
I share your wife's feelings on this issue. If i found that alan was 
forced due to his family situation I would never shop at Market Street 
again. Keep up the good work.
 Trey Westphal
I found this unprofessional jerk's name on the company's web site. 
If you would like to share some comments, you can reach this "yahoo" ....

Funny way to express yourself. Commenting on someone's apparent unprofessionally using the words jerk and yahoo..... 
What is that saying about the pot and the kettle?
Jay Wegner
Editor's Note:
We were attempting give a verbal description of the VP's unwarranted attitude, looks like we got the message across.

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August 4, 2005 @3.15 pm

I find what Dawn Resier did disgusting.

I also find it disgusting that you printed her home address BEFORE she was 
convicted.

You guys have a warped sense of right and wrong. But, hey, whatever puts the 
kids through college, right?

Lisa Hunter
Editor Note:  If you are referring to the address where the offense took place, Reiser had long since left that house.  In fact, her probation officer testified that Reiser had been in California and in Missouri, in the latter state without permission.  Only one kid left in college is the other graduated (thank goodness), thanks for asking.
July 26, 2005 @2.21 pm
Nelson: 
I listened to the radio show on 770AM on Sat. and thought it was great. I have known the Lucchesi's for over 25 years and they are wonderful people and I can't believe this horrible thing has happened to them. I applaud you for trying to make the public aware that something awful like this could happen.

I was called to jury duty a few months after Karen went to prison and did I let them have it when I said I didn't trust the judicial system. When I mentioned Karen's name and case, I could see they knew what I was talking about and released me immediately. I feel some people in the court system know what a horrible job Mulder did in defending Karen...he put her in jail!!!!

Judy Chaney
July 21, 2005 @ 5.15 pm
Spring Garden arrests
Editor

I think anyone who would even consider taking drugs ought to take a look at what they have done to this once beautiful young woman. Drugs appear to have ruined her life and she could be losing her home. Then Ms. Berquist will be out on the street like the woman arrested with that man breaking into her house. Can't she see this happening to her?

M. Lee

Click on photo to enlarge
July 7, 2005 @ 10.42 am
"Bedford man kills wife with three children in home"
Mr. Thibodeaux:
I'm neither a lawyer nor has any vested interest, but have watched enough television, and read enough newspaper accounts of crimes to believe that "allegedly killed" is the more prudent headline as everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
John Lee

Editor's Note: You are right and "allegedly" has been added to the headline to correct our oversight.
July 6, 2005 @ 10.15 am
The Grand Oak
The article by Linda Baker about the trees in Colleyville was excellent. I too remember the grand oak that stood on LD Lockett Road; it was my landmark for knowing where to turn. I know from personal experience that David Bagwell and Susan Folkert truly are experts in the tree area. The trees David planted on McDonwell School Road will someday serve as a landmark for future generations. In the words of Emerson, "When Nature has work to be done, she creates a genius to do it."

Clayton Husband
July 6, 2005 @ 10.15 am
The Grand Oak
The article by Linda Baker about the trees in Colleyville was excellent. I too remember the grand oak that stood on LD Lockett Road; it was my landmark for knowing where to turn. I know from personal experience that David Bagwell and Susan Folkert truly are experts in the tree area. The trees David planted on McDonwell School Road will someday serve as a landmark for future generations. In the words of Emerson, "When Nature has work to be done, she creates a genius to do it."

Clayton Husband
July 2, 2005 @ 1.34pm
Hometown Heroes Day
Nelson,
Thanks for the tribute to our local heroes. Good job. Real Class.
Skip McDonnell
Colleyville
June 20, 2005 @ 9.10 pm

Thank you, you guys get things done very fast!!

Thanks for inquiry, LNO posted the story concerning Life Flight at a serious wreck on June 20, 2005 at 1.50 pm

June 19, 2005 @ 5.40 pm
On Sat. June 18 at approximately 4:00 am two careflight air ambulances awoke me when they landed in davis memorial methodist church's empty field. Later that day I saw alot of glass next to the curb. I have read or seen nothing in the news about what had happened and was wondering if you knew?

Phil Colbert
NRH
June 19, 2005 @ 7.16 pm
It's great the way the new website looks.. It is so much easier to see the news in this format. Keep up the good work. I am a resident of Euless and it helps keep us up to date on the local happenings. 

Roger Huffman
Euless
June 19, 2005 @ 7.16 pm
It's great the way the new website looks.. It is so much easier to see the news in this format. Keep up the good work. I am a resident of Euless and it helps keep us up to date on the local happenings. 

Roger Huffman
Euless
June 18, 2005 @ 10.09 am
When the Governor calls the Special Session to deal with school finance, we respectively suggest and encourage him to explicitly include a request for consideration of the various contributions that gambling can make to Texas' financial needs. Many other states (including all of the states surrounding Texas) are taking advantage of this voluntary source of revenues. We feel that ignoring this source of revenues, while considering various tax increases (all non-voluntary) is an abdication of legislative responsibility. The only thing that has stopped the introduction of gambling in the past has been the holier-than-thou attitude of a few legislators. They would rather push their religious views, than live up to their responsibilities as legislators by letting the people vote on this issue. It should be noted that school finances are not the only beneficiary from allowing gambling in Texas, but rather many Texas industries will benefit. 

We recently visited the Winstar Casino just inside Oklahoma on I-35 about three miles from the Texas border. While there, we enjoyed their many opportunities for entertainment as did the throng of other people who were inside this enormous building. As would probably be expected given the proximity, many of the patrons there were from Texas. More surprising was the number from the Dallas area. All of the people I talked with were from the DFW area. The drive is easy, and obviously the citizens of Texas are taking full advantage of Oklahoma's vision. 

Another thing that immediately struck us was the need for an 'ante' of $.50 before every hand of Blackjack. We inquired of several of the Winstar people as to why they were charging people to play. The answer is that the casino is not making the charge, but rather the state (the State of Oklahoma) is making the charge and the money goes directly to their school funding! This seemed so ironic to me, because Texans are going to Oklahoma to gamble and supporting Oklahoma schools, when Texas schools are in a funding crisis. This is happening largely because of the narrow mindedness of a minority of the legislators in the Senate. 

We have one other thought to suggest when the Special Session opens. Many states (New York for example, but also our surrounding states) allow account betting at their race tracks. "Account Betting" refers to betting on races from off-track locations via the Internet or via telephone. Some of these states operate this activity and take a direct cut of every bet (for schools or whatever.) This is a very simple, effective way to raise the 'handle' at our tracks, thus raising the quality of the racing (benefiting the Texas horse industry) and to make money for the state. Since the people doing this are already doing so virtually all over the country, probably very little additional "sin" is involved. Maybe the Holy Roller Senators wouldn't object so much to this. 

In closing we would like to note that it is particularly infuriating to see a Senator (supposedly there to represent the voters) threatening to filibuster a gambling bill in order to keep the people from speaking! This is nothing but legislating her idea of morality. It seems to us that the House, the Senate, and the Governor have better things to do than to worry about our morality. After all, they were elected not ordained! 

Alice and Clif Holliday
Colleyville, TX
June 16, 2005 @ 2.13 pm

I do not know how this person, Natalie Berquist, can still have the
protection she has from the District Attorney's office. There is
more to this story from the protection of the District Attorney's
office. She is being protected by someone in the District Attorney
office. Of course , Dee Anderson, could care less. Those poor cats,
who Natalie could care less about, has been subjected to cruelty by
her, Dee Anderson, and every individual that works for him. Can't
they see how "evil" she is or is she sleeping with someone in the
District Attorney's office. Guess who, I know! 

Norita Lane
Colleyville
June 15, 2005 @ 9.26 am
LNO Readers; 
All of us should SALUTE Mike Patterson and Jimmy Reynolds for their Civil War area veteran research. The establishment of a Historical Marker for their families in Colleyville without regard for city boundaries indicates their true love for area history. 

Thank them ,as well as LNO, for making us aware of the history of northeast Tarrant County. 

Ed Havran
Colleyville
Editor's Note: Mr. Patterson will be at the Colleyville Hometown Heroes Day on July 2nd in the History Room located in the Colleyville Center with civil war era information and stories about the area.
May 31, 2005 @ 6.58 pm 
Memorial Day photos
As an old WWII type I want to commend you on the outstanding pictorial coverage of the services at Bluebonnet May 30th. Many of my age group can't make such functions. I do wish more of our citizens could have been there.

LNO does a great service for our NE Tarrant Community.  I appreciate your efforts. 

Ed Havran
Colleyville 
May 30, 2005 @8.59 pm

Natalie Berquist- Repeat Offender!
How on Earth does someone like Natalie Berquist of Colleyville continue to survive outside the law? Her repeat offenses speak volumes about her character, but crimes against innocent pets- NOT ACCEPTABLE!

People like her belong in a contained & controlled environment, as she is obviously a threat to herself AND others!

Karma is Natalie reaping what she has sown- not a pretty picture.

Karen 
May 31, 2005 @ 6.58 pm 
Memorial Day photos
As an old WWII type I want to commend you on the outstanding pictorial coverage of the services at Bluebonnet May 30th. Many of my age group can't make such functions. I do wish more of our citizens could have been there.

LNO does a great service for our NE Tarrant Community.  I appreciate your efforts. 

Ed Havran
Colleyville 
May 30, 2005 @8.59 pm

Natalie Berquist- Repeat Offender!
How on Earth does someone like Natalie Berquist of Colleyville continue to survive outside the law? Her repeat offenses speak volumes about her character, but crimes against innocent pets- NOT ACCEPTABLE!

People like her belong in a contained & controlled environment, as she is obviously a threat to herself AND others!

Karma is Natalie reaping what she has sown- not a pretty picture.

Karen 
May 28, 2005 @6.03 pm
Compliments to Colleyville's Animal Control Officer (ACO)
People who abandon cats, kittens and animals of any kind should be shot. Period. I hope the poor little things find a caring home - they deserve the very best. Our ACO Benton is a wonderful person. I met her when we were trying to rescue a sheltie and she was very kind and caring for the dog after we finally corralled her.
Lee Koch
Colleyville
May 28, 2005 @4.57 pm
Feline Rescue
Many thanks to Colleyville Animal Control Officer Michelle Benton for her good work and caring attitude. As a dedicated cat lover, I was glad to hear that one of our fine Officers rendered such prompt and caring attention to those poor adandoned animals. Hopefully they will now get the home(s) they deserve. THANK YOU!!
Michael T. Muhm
Colleyville
May 25, 2005 @6.09 pm
Rationally telling the truth
We need more citizens like her I loved her article. I enjoy someone who can rationally tell the truth..

DeAynni Hatley
Colleyville   
May 24, 2005 9.12pm
Reality Check
I found Mr. West's article on his web site (NRHonline), "Citizens-Please Shut Up!" to be an inaccurate representation of the pre-council meeting on May 23 in North Richland Hills. I attended the meeting and did not experience anything like his rendition of reality. I am specifically referring to his account of the discussion that centered around Citizen's Presentations at NRH City Council meetings. West states that the Mayor attempted to implement procedures that would discourage presentations. I interpreted the discussion much differently. Although Mayor Trevino began with an option that procedurally is accurately described by West, it seemed
to me that the intent of this initial proposal was to allow city staff the option to give a response to the Citizen's Presentations.  

Once the discussion moved away from this starting point, the Mayor facilitated a sharing of ideas until members of the Council and city staff reached a consensus. I believe it is true that Councilwoman Cox was the first to recommend a change to the initial proposal. 

However, in the end it was a group effort and everyone seemed to feel comfortable with the outcome, including Mayor Trevino. West's statement that Councilman Welch was somehow "supporting the suppression of input" is also off the mark. Unlike West's portrayal of the meeting, my assessment is that Mayor Trevino showed true leadership that allowed for both direction and flexibility and that
all members of the Council (that were present) participated in a meaningful discussion. Progress was made. Although my understanding of these events is a bit less interesting than Mr. West's, I believe it is more accurate .. and considerably more encouraging. 

Tim Barth, North Richland Hills 
May 24, 2005 @ 6.14 pm
No Pole Sign, Just Great Service!
Anyone looking for a good place to service your vehicle needs to check out Callaway's Automotive on Davis, across the street & just south of the Post Office. I took my SUV in for an oil change, brake job and tire rotation. I was very impressed with the cleanliness as soon as I walked in the door. I dropped off my SUV & walked back home. I was offered a ride home but declined since it was a nice day. I got a call about 45 minutes later telling me that I did not need a brake job. I believe the service tech. was Bill and he said that the pads were fine and would last another 15,000 miles. When I went to pick up my vehicle, it was ready. The price was very reasonable and they never tried to sell me something that I did not need. I highly recommend this place plan to give Callaway's all of my business from now on. 

I went to Callaway's specifically because of how it looks; no pole sign & very neat. Callaway's is obviously making every effort to help with the revitalization of NRH & that is why I went there in the first place. Any businesses in NRH that are complying with the city & contributing to the revitilization efforts in NRH show me that they care about my city & they have my business. 

Eric Trainer/NRH
May 24, 2005 @ 2.05 pm
Liberty Park
On Saturday North Richland Hills officially opened Liberty Park with an incredible dedication ceremony. Vicky Loftis and her team did an incredible job! The park is beautiful, the ceremony was touching. The monument is awe-inspiring. You need to visit this park to experience its beauty first hand. Fantastic job!

Suzette Christopher
NRH
May 21, 2005 @ 2.00 pm
Nickolas Bielik
I am shocked by Mr. Sapp and Mr. Nelson. The young man, Nick Bielik, should be applauded that he wrote a letter to the editor. Whether he wrote it or had some help writing it does not really matter. What does matter is that a "young" person is learning about politics, the city he lives in, and unfortunately, the nastiness that some times goes along with the above. One does not see many young people who are willing to be political or who even care. To read this young man's letter to the editor makes my heart and soul soar. It just doesn't seem fair to belittle him for doing so. After all, the election is over.

Sue Drake, NRH
 
May 20, 2005 @ 8.05pm
Taylor Couldn't so Thibodeaux Did
I read with dismay Mr. Price's article in The Courier today regarding
Celebrate Colleyville. I could not believe Mr. Price would let
himself be used this way. Mr. Price was at the same meeting I was. 
The only member who thought there was a problem was Mr. Taylor. The
majority of the members knew the facts. I even read the memo from
Ross Foster for the record. Stating clearly there was no copyright
violation, but Mr. Price simply chose to ignore the facts and run
with the innuendos. 

This committee requested Mr. Thibodeaux to handle the car show venue,
as Mr. Taylor was not. Mr. Taylor had originally been assigned the
car show. Mr. Taylor had even agreed to ask Mr. Thibodeaux to handle
the car show as he had done nothing. In fact, Mr. Taylor did not
work on a Celebrate Colleyville venue last year at all. 

Mr. Thibodeaux successfully brought in over 75 cars totalling well
over $6 million dollars in value at no cost to the city. I would not
hesitate to say the car show was probably the most successful venue
we had. It took months to organize. As a committee of 7, we did not
have the manpower to handle this venue. All costs for the venue was
handled by Mr. Thibodeaux - the city did not pay a cent for this
venue.

Mr. Taylor's and Ms. Korbuly's statements are politically motivated
and have nothing to do with the protection of this event. Seeking
newspaper publicity and sensationalism instead of reading the same
information everyone else had received in their packets. 

The car show was a wonderful event - the T-shirts added something
special. It reminds people of Celebrate Colleyville and provides
anticipation of next years event. For me, well I wear mine almost
nightly. It reminds me how hard my husband worked to make the venue
as special as possible, not just for Celebrate Colleyville, but for
me!

This city owes a debt of gratitude for what Nelson has done. There
would not be a Celebrate Colleyville if it was not for him. In 1998
it was Nelson's dream to have a city wide event that promoted
economic development and community pride. Mr. Price's article is a
complete falsehood and a slap in the face to one who has worked so
hard behind the scenes to make this event successful.

When politics gets in the way of what is best for this city, you
should take a step back and wonder if this committee is for you, Mr.
Taylor. It should not be used as a political pawn. To bring such a
wonderful event down to this level is sad. 

Jamie Thibodeaux
Celebrate Colleyville Chairman 
May 20, 2005 @ 8.14 am 
Same Distortions; Different Issue

Nickolas Adam Bielik's May 15th email is a continuation of the same tactics used by our Councilwoman's husband. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd wager this gentleman is related to her too. It would be a easier argument to swallow if this young man had ever owned a business, yet alone one in our city. Aside from that, he, or someone, apparently did some in-depth research. However, they "spun" it to distort the truth of the business climate in our city. Mervyn's, with over a third of the square footage he mentioned had left our city, has closed all of its stores. Additionally, it was part of the North Hills Mall which we are all aware is being redeveloped to increase the tax base and provide more funds for our city. Other readers have written in and stated that, for the majority of our businesses, the pole sign issue is a non-starter. We are more concerned about the economic vitality of the city, its infrastructure and the demographics of the citizens. For the record, all of these are positive.

I am a business owner in North Richland Hills. I want a city that is growing, has parks, streets and a school district that draws new people and roads and other city services that makes them want to stay. Yes, we would all love to increase our sales tax revenues and I believe we will with the redevelopment of North Hills Mall and the revitalization of the South Grapevine corridor. both issues championed by the majority of our current council. North Richland Hills is a fantastic city to live, raise a family and own a business. Don't believe the distortions of data that those who dislike our city staff and council are offering affect you on those facts. North Richland Hills is the City of Choice in Northeast Tarrant County.

David B. Nelson 
North Richland Hills 
May 20, 2005 @ 5.23 pm
Another One Bites the Dust!
This line appeared on the web site of one of the failed candidates in the May 2005 City Council election. No commentary or explanation was included with this headline other than a link to a list of business moving in or out of the City in the first quarter. The "bite the dust" reference was to the announced closings of a number of Home Depot Expo stores in Texas.

The inference from this and other articles from allied political factions is that somehow our City officials are responsible for NRH business failures.

In a comical discussion of the issue, a ghost written LNO letter from a City Council member's son offered a similar assumption but added an inference the pole sign ordinance that a $700 annual tax difference between Hurst and NRH was a motivating factor for multi million dollar Circuit City store to move from NRH to a satellite location in Northeast Mall that had been vacated by K Mart. 

If one followed the convoluted logic behind this thinking, one would have to believe that somehow Hurst is also to blame for the closing of K Mart and the Ultimate Electronics store just down the street from the Circuit City location. 

Did Hurst contribute to these failures even though they had very large pole signs in front of these businesses? One might also note the large pole sign in from of the Expo store. The flawed logic behind this ridiculous assumption was pointed out in a recent letter to the LNO editor from Ms. La Pla. 

Is it possible that the availability of a pole signs is not a formula for success or failure of a business? 

One of the most successful business corridors in Texas is 1709 in Southlake. This corridor is marked by monument signs versus pole signs and the city has much higher property taxes than NRH. 

This is not an attempt to compare our city to Southlake because NRH has its own values and character that led us to choose it as home. Could it be, however, that location, management, business practices and competition are more important factors in the success of a business than the action of our City government? 

Perhaps some wonder why these folks continue to create negative issues where none exist when this tactic was rejected by the electorate just a few weeks ago. Similarly the question arises as to why they continue malign the reputation of our city officers and elected officials by blaming them for these business losses. How foolish do they believe the voters of NRH are?

Here is a thought. If these individuals have a genuine concern for the future of our city, perhaps they might consider the potential return from investing the same amount of energy in promoting our City values versus degrading them.

Just My Opinion
Ken Sapp, NRH 
May 13, 2005 @10.22 pm
Thanks, Mr. Siskel

I read with great interest and respect your open note to me, Mr. Siskel. I am sorry that I did not appreciate the subtlety of your humor. I do also appreciate your kind words for me. I look forward to the time we meet at a council meeting and your continued input into the city we both apparently love.

David B. Nelson
May 12, 2005 @1.22 pm
An open note: Mr. David B. Nelson, North Richland Hills, TX
Dear David,
Thank you for your help. I hoped you would be amused because that was 
the intent of our email in the wee hours of the morning before the polls 
opened. There obviously was no likelihood that a little fun would change 
any voting behavior. I appreciate your biographical information and 
recognize that your young age should not impair your political efforts 
at all. You probably have done more directly for the Trevino 
administration, and for NRH than have Dog and I. Prior to some health 
issues, I did some trivial voluntary work for the Library. I pay taxes 
exactly as do you except via my landlord who like yourself gains nothing 
from the senior tax freeze. Of course, we both live in NRH. I have no 
doubt that you have and do work hard for your satisfaction, your family, 
your business, and as you see fit, for your city of choice, -- all 
efforts for which you properly can be proud just as I am proud of my 
past efforts similar to yours. Like you, I reared two youngsters here, 
but they have been out of the nest for many years. Dog and I always 
welcome their occasional visits home.

More seriously, one of these days I will enjoy shaking your hand after a 
Council meeting. We disagree on some issues, but our motives do not 
differ and I am confident that I am no less honest than are you.. And I 
think the plane of your campaigning and mine has been conducted on a 
somewhat more venerable level than some others we have watched. Only 
please, do not blame Dog for any of my shortcomings; so long as I 
complete most of my chores, Dog allows me to share his house and 
faithful companionship. He even advised me not to kid you about the NRH 
thing, so you see, his judgment is not all that bad.
Cheers and congratulations on your political victory.
Maury&Dog
 
North Richland Hills
May 10, 2005 @ 1.40 pm
Non-Department funds asked to be accounted
Dear Publisher,

My website, NRHOnline.com - has publicly requested that money 
budgeted to two non-departments be accounted for in full. The amount of 
money is significant, representing over 20% of all property taxes 
collected by the city. The City Manager has responded indirectly to the 
council for only a portion of the funds. In his response, he identifies 
an unbudgeted $360,000 bad debt write off for NRH ambulance service (two 
ambulances) that would appear to be a non-cash item out of the cash 
portion of the budget. His report further identifies significant 
transfers of money from these non-departments to building services that 
exceeds the approved budget. Large sums of money budgeted to these 
departments is still totally unaccounted for.

My concern is more about the lack of either questions or oversight 
by our elected officials. Their indignation that any citizen would 
actually ask a question about the budget is hard to understand.

To resolve this situation, I would like to suggest that the city 
provide a full accounting of the over $15 Million dollars budgeted to 
the two "non-departments" over the current and prior two years, to all 
citizens. If all funds are correctly accounted for and as approved by 
our city council, then this should truly be a non-issue for everyone. 
The lack of response and the sensitivity of city management and the 
council is what is keeping this an open question.

As our citizens can read for themselves, I called these departments 
"slush funds" because of the identification of very large sums of money 
for sundries. Perhaps, future budgets now in development by city staff 
can take a little more time in identifying this very significant portion 
of the tax money collected.

As this is written, there is no allegation of illegal activity, 
rather, the implication that oversight is lacking.

Regards,

Ron West
North Richland Hills 
May 18, 2005 @5.23pm
NRH pole sign issue

As a businesswoman, my greater concern for the success of my business is supply and demand not signage.

NRH's sign policy isn't running off businesses. Signage issues are incredibly low on the list of major concerns. Store front appearance, lighting, parking and the like are far more important than the type of sign.

If I have a product that sells and have a great marketing campaign-customers will find me. Mountasia will reopen. I was told back in March by the seller that it was under contract. Businesses come and go, move into bigger facilities as they grow or downsize as needed according to demand.

Pole signs vs. monument signs don't really make that much difference to the success of a store.  I'm glad that NRH is taking an active role in improving the landscape throughout the city. 

Now-what can be done about removing the telephone poles as well?

Jennifer LePla, NRH 
May 16, 2005 @ 10.30 pm
5k Run/Walk In Memory of Sarah Friend

THANKS TO ALL OF THE PARTICIPANTS THAT RAN OR WALKED TO RAISE MONEY AND AWARENESS FOR THE HYPERTROPHIC CARDIOMYOPATHY ASSOCIATION. SARAH ELIZABETH FRIEND WAS ONLY 13 YEARS OLD WHEN SHE DIED FROM HYPERTROPHIC CARDIOMYOPATHY WHILE AT NRH2O LAST YEAR. SHE WAS A STUDENT AT SMITHFIELD MIDDLE SCHOOL IN NORTH RICHLAND HILLS AND IS MISSED AND LOVED BY MANY MANY FRIENDS AND RELATIVES. THE 5K EVENT RAISED SOMEWHERE AROUND $18,000 FOR THE HCMA. A VERY SPECIAL THANKS TO MAYOR AND MRS. TREVINO AND TO COUNCILWOMAN COMPTON AND HER HUSBAND LARRY FOR PARTICIPATING.

TO THE FRIEND FAMILY LUTHER, LAURA AND KATHERINE WE LOVE YOU AND YOU ARE IN OUR PRAYERS.

GLENN BURTON
North Richland Hills

May 16, 2005 @ 10.27 pm
May 7, 2005 City Elections North Richland Hills
I congratulate Mrs. Compton, Mr. Whitson, Mr. Welsh and Mr. Lewis on their tremendous victory at the polls May 7, 2005. I am at ease that we can now move on with the business at hand with the candidates that are the very best to handle the business of our great city. I know that these 4 candidates along with Councilwoman Johnson and Mayor Trevino will make the best decisions that will be in the best interest for North Richland Hills. 

The very best to all of you,
Glenn Burton
North Richland Hills 
May 15, 2005 @ 10.18am
N.R. Hill’s Discouragement Towards new Businesses
North Richland Hills is a city that is losing its businesses similar to Mountasia which is across the street from TCC. I have attended city council meetings and no one has mentioned the big businesses that the city lost; on the contrary, I only hear how great the city is doing. As a life-long resident of this city I feel obligated to write about this matter. Businesses moving out faster than the city can bring in new ones means something is terribly wrong. Location, steady customers, and price are everything to a new business; the city should reasonably adapt to the needs of new businesses to encourage more of them to move into this city. Businesses looking to set up a store in North Richland Hills have to look at costly factors such as the tax rate and what type of sign they can put in front of their shop.

The new improved sign ordinance doesn’t allow any more pole signs in the city unless they are within two-hundred feet of the freeway. The majority of the businesses in the city don’t own property next to the freeway. This can single-handedly cripple a new business that starts off with no customers. Existing pole signs are not to be used by the businesses that move in; instead, the signs cannot be reused and must be taken down. I understand that some pole signs are distracting and block views of traffic; however, pole signs are used to let customers know that a certain type of shop is present. The city does allow monument signs but the signs sit so low to the ground many of them are unreadable to fast-moving traffic. The Chicken Express at Standley Street and Davis Blvd is readable, but it blocks the view of traffic making it unsafe. Some vehicles can’t see traffic coming from the right making it very dangerous to turn left onto Davis Blvd from Standley Street.

A footnote on #9 Table Permitted Signs clearly states, “Pole signs located outside the freeway Overlay District are prohibited unless part of a major development per Section 13-A-4 (Ordinance #2806).” Major developments are roughly around 200,000 square feet. 

The city is losing more businesses than it’s gaining at a rate of 2-1. The negative net number of businesses coming to this city in the first three months of 2005, totaling thirty-two businesses large and small. It gets worse: N.R.H. had a total of 80,911 square footage of new business; however the city lost a staggering 355,990 square feet. The city lost big businesses like Circuit City (31,902 sq ft), Mervyn’s (108,000 sq ft), and Ross Dress for Less (26,407 sq ft). Mervyn’s square footage is more than the entire business-in footage added together. The city can’t afford to continue to lose businesses, especially at an upsetting rate similar to this.

The alarming tax rate of $0.57 per hundred dollars of value scares big business away from N.R.H. As an example, an electronic store that has one million dollars in building and inventory value: the city takes roughly $5,700 dollars off the top for taxes. Using the same example with the neighboring city of Hurst, whose rate is .499, taxes would come to $4,990. The difference between the two neighboring cities is $710 saved if the business moved to Hurst. 

The businesses in the city may panic if they were given the quarterly Businesses In –Businesses Out summary, regardless of how well their business is singly doing. Perhaps the businesses owners should work with the city to find ways to lower their taxes. The residents of the city have several exemptions such being over the age of 65, being disabled, and the homestead exemption. Another thought is where a business bought or rented has a property a pole sign, shouldn’t the business have the right to use the existing pole sign? All previous signs should be subject to proper uses by the businesses coming into the city. The city should encourage small-medium devolvement of 25,000-200,000 square feet by allowing one sign for the entire outlet. The only exception is that if the outlet extends over two-hundred feet of stretched property. A half/half idea will allow two signs that will be allowable only if they are kept one-hundred feet apart from each other. 

More businesses coming into the city shows the obvious prosperity of the city; on the other hand, N.R.H. is losing businesses faster than gaining. The time of prosperity of the city appears to be over. The ideals and beliefs need to adjust accordingly before more businesses are lost to preventable problems. The pole sign ordinance needs to be negotiable to encourage new businesses small or big. A reasonable tax exemption to the businesses won’t destroy the budget of the city. The next quarterly summary of businesses moving in and out will be worse unless the city starts making major changes in the ordinances. 

Work Citied Page
North Richland Hills. BUSINESS IN –BUSINESS OUT 1st Quarter. January, February, March 2005: April 12, 2005.
Tarrant County Appraisal District. 2004 Tax Rates per $100 Valuation. 2004, May 11, 2005. >
SIGN REGULATIONS. Ordinance No. 2374 as Amended. City of North Richland Hills, Texas: Publication Date October 8, 2004.

Nickolas Adam Bielik
North Richland Hills
May 11, 2005 @10.44 pm
Load of Baloney..do your job
Editor, 
What a load of baloney for the Bedford Police Department to ask the media to withhold the identity of the man arrested in Montana for Kidnapping. Especially for no more reason than to "protect" the victim's identity, who sadly happens to be his 32 year old estranged wife!

This man from Haltom City is suspected of Kidnapping the poor woman across several state lines. Who knows what other crimes he committed and to who else on his way to Montana, for crying out loud. How long are you supposed to be sensitive about it? After he is convicted? The public has a right to know who this man is who walked among us, and the Bedford police, Tarrant County, and the FBI have no business making that decision for us!

Do your job.
M. Lee 
Bedf
ord  
May 11, 2005 @9.10 am
Thanks to Colleyville Lions Club
Thank you Colleyville Lions Club for the 2005 Scholarship and for the joyful
breakfast. It was a fun and professional experience from beginning to end.
Being selected by the Colleyville Lions Club is a highlight of my senior
year. Special thanks to the Scholarship Committee and to all the people who
work so hard during the fundraising efforts. Rest assured that I will do my
best to put your college dollars to work as I enter the fall semester with
the Honors Program at UNT.

It was kind of you to sponsor me at the Lions District 2-E2 Convention on
Saturday, May 7th. I did my best to research and present on the topic, "Stem
Cell Research: Will this lead to a cure for Diabetes?" I did not bring the
trophy of 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place home to Colleyville, but I did open up a
new category for "Honorable Mention." Your money and time have been well
invested. I learned much preparing and I hope that some of the facts and
ideas in my essay made an impact.

It is my honor and pleasure to represent the Colleyville Lions Club at the
essay contest. Lion Nelson Thibodeaux was helpful in connecting me with the
right people. Lion Carol Jervis (from the 2-E2 District Convention) let me
know that my essay got there on time. Lion Dave Perella helped to register
me for the contest and luncheon. Lion Thomas Westerman let me know the
specific contest details and encouraged me by greeting me at the contest
very early Saturday morning. The way the Lions Club works together as a
cheerful team that gets things done is clearly demonstrated. You are all
very good to me and I treasure the experience.

Sincerely,
Kelley Bredon
Colleyville
May 10, 2005 @ 1.20 pm
Setting the record Straight:
If anyone hoped that the negative rhetoric would stop after the election was so soundly decided, think again. This recent post on Suzette Christopher's web site attempts to keep the pot boiling by improperly illustrating the council voting records or by mischaracterizing the comments of others. Christopher's attempt is an echo of the same tactics that lead to her failed election attempt in 2004 and again in 2005 in that it contains inaccuracies and misstatements designed to discredit those serving our city. 

In reading the comments published to her web site (repeated below), I call the readers attention to three specific items:

1) Christopher completely missed the point of David Nelson's previous article "Not enough negative votes" (LNO 4/1/05. Christopher should know that many items go through vetting processes before they get to council. This is the reason the city has Boards and Commissions. 

The council receives a report of the Board or Commission recommendations and in Pre Council have the opportunity to ask questions for clarification. The absence of questions in the Council Chambers does not mean there is no thought behind the decisions. Christopher should note that the same process occurs in State and Federal government and representatives seldom offer explanation prior to their votes, they depend on staff reports to refine their conclusions. . We have a system of representative government and that is the way it works. 

It would be my preference that the public have access to the recommendations though electronic copy but that capability is presently not available. I predict that as time and resources allow, this will also become reality as did the electronic availability of the Code of Ordinances. 

2) If she is going to post results, she should be sure they are correct. For example, in posting the results for the public hearing on the storage facility, she lists Lewis as voting against the issue. He, in fact, made the motion for approval and voted in favor, not against. It was Welch that voted against, she recorded his vote as for. I sincerely hope this was a clerical error but since she was John Lewis' opponent, how can we be sure. Perhaps she should apologize.

3) In a mischaracterization of my comments about "grandstanding: she implies that I was referencing questions. I was not. I was referring to a certain Council Person praising city staff from the dais with statements like "I am very, very pleased with City Staff and their responsiveness" and then criticizing them in separate publications as being unresponsive and irresponsible. That is Grandstanding. It is a fake presentation solely made to draw attention to ones self. 

I have never questioned the Council Member asking for clarification for personal edification or those of the audience and she has not evidence to disprove my statement. 

Her closing comment of: "..wondering why two people who serve the city criticize having a record of voting for the public to view." Assuming that she means David Nelson and Me, the critical content of this statement is that WE ARE serving the city, something she has yet to do. She would also find no published criticism from David or me as to opposing a public record of voting. We frequently see them first hand by attending the council meetings as evidence of our interest. 

That is Just My Opinion
Ken Sapp

From Christopher's Web Site:
"Recently David P. Nelson, NRH Economic Development Board, made an assumption I created a voting record in an attempt to show we needed more negative votes. Far from it - the voting record was created to show which city leaders discussed issues/asked questions during the city council meetings to better inform the citizens. 

It was also created to show how each council member voted. In a recent column by Ken Sapp, Commissioner on NRH Planning & Zoning, referred to a councilperson asking questions and complimenting staff as "grandstanding." I am sure Mr. Sapp, because of serving on Planning & Zoning, understands many of the items discussed during council meetings, but citizens must rely on the agenda. 

For those of you who have seen an agenda it doesn't offer up much explanation. When a councilperson asks questions about agenda items during a council meeting, even though they may know the answer, the citizens do not. This is not grandstanding, this is being informative and open. I am left wondering why two people who serve in the city criticize having a record of discussion and voting for the public to view."

Ken Sapp
North Richland Hills
 
May 10, 2005 @ 4.18 am
Just To Help You
I read with amusement the email of Maury Siskel, the defeated candidate for NRH City Council, posted on May 7, 2005. I just wanted to help let him know who I was. Mr. Siskel, unlike you, I am a person who not only lives in North Richland Hills, but pays taxes here. I am a citizen that has children and a family who use our parks, library and recreation center. I am a business owner who appreciates the friendly atmosphere of the city toward its corporate citizens and the efforts they make to bring in new business and residents to help my business grow. While I know this may be athema to you and your friends, I am a person who tries to better my city and community by actually serving it and volunteering my time to make things better, not just complain and offer no solutions. I am a person who works hard to understand our city and its vision and strives to work with our city staff and public safety professionals to keep them moving forward. I am a person who has been trained by our fire department to help my neighbors in case of a disaster and appreciates the opportunity to do so. So that's who I am Mr. Siskel. A man who lives in our city, pays taxes in our city, volunteers in our city and the community as a whole and cares about making things better, not just looking for fault. One more thing, I also live in a world where one doesn't carry on conversations and apparently receive guidance from his pets.

David B. Nelson
NRH, meaning resident of North Richland Hills
May 10, 2005 @ 1.49 am
Skinner Comments on Senior Center show no compassion
The comments Mark Skinner had to say about a Senior Citizen Center shows no compassion for the Senior Citizens that is the backbone of Colleyville. He must be a very cold and uncaring person. Senior Citizens needs a building of their own. In the Metroplex, every city has their own Senior Citizen Center, but not Colleyville. Oh yes, they do now have what is called "The Village", where the Library, City Hall, etc. is located, but you know what they forgot people needs to park somewhere. Frankly, that is not what a city square should look like. I have lived her since 1973 and enjoyed it more then than I do now.

Don't get me wrong, I love Colleyville and am proud to tell people where I live because the people are friendly and that is what makes a good city. There will always be disagreements on issues but the Council should sit down in private. express their recommendations of an issue to each other before presenting a recommendation or change of an issue to the Colleyville Citizens. Frankly, all the Citizens hear is how the Council is fighting and disagreeing with each other - that is not good. Think about it.

Norita Lane
Colleyville
May 7, 2005 @ 12.05 am
One of the Little People busily sweeping monarchs

..
.thinly veiled attack? ... heal the city? ..." What city is David B. Nelson, NRH talking about? Does this person live in North Richland Hills, TX? Is this city broken? I believe there are some malfunctions in the performance of the Council and the Mayor, but I don't see how the city is broken at all. Maybe David B. Nelson, NRH (whoever he is) should come live in North Richland Hills for a while to become more familiar with our city that he thinks is broken. He should attend some Council meetings (usually on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month) so he can see how responsive, sympathetic, and attentive our Mayor is to Citizen Presentations. This David B. Nelson, NRH fellow should come listen to the extensive, in depth discussions with residents, and the almost never ending discussions of pros and cons that take place prior to the enactment of all city ordinances. I'll bet he would be enchanted! 

Gee, in my little email, I mention two of the larger recent issues and this David B, Nelson, NRH fellow says that I "...keep harping on these two ..." I guess we might examine the ordinance enactment process for, what, maybe a hundred other ordinaces over that last year or two? We could read the meeting minutes to see the extensive exchanges of views between residents, the Mayor, the Council, the City Manager, and the City Attorney before each of these ordinances were enacted. I think this David B. Nelson, NRH might be astonished!

Hmmm... maybe David B. Nelson, NRH (wonder what kind of degree NRH stands for) is from the Land of Oz ....
Betcha' Dog is bigger 'n Toto, too.
Cheers,
Maury&Dog, NRH
 
May 6, 2005 @ 10.35 pm
Gratitude for Colleyville Tree Jamboree Coverage

Thank you for the nice coverage of the Tree Jamboree! It was good of you to have Linda write it up. She did a very good job. We hope to build on our first TJ, so that in the future, people look forward to coming and participating.

Thanks again!
David Bagwell, Dallas  
May 6, 2005 @ 7.51 pm
Councilman Whitson's letter of May 5th

I note that he professes to have a degree in accounting. One of his supporters earlier referred to him as an engineer. If he has any clue to bookkeeping, why can't he look at a budget and find the flaws instead of giving his rubber stamp approval?

Robert McKibben, NRH  
May 6, 2005 @1.49 pm
Good of Few Over Good of Many
Mr. Siskel in his thinly veiled attack on David Whitson's character once again shows that he doesn't really want to heal the city. He simply wants to placate his constituents. It appears plain that he feels that the good of the few should override the good of the entire community. He and his running mates continually harp on an issue in which the system worked as they say it should. An ordinance was put forth, a few vocal citizens rallied and asked that it be re-evaluated, the city staff and P&Z took it under advisement and the ordinance was changed. Yes, that is how representative government works. It works of all of the people, not just the "squeaky wheel". The city struck a balance between the protection of property values and the concerns of the RV owners.

The system worked a second time in relation to the senior tax freeze. It was authorized by state law and an option for a local election was given in that statute. After input from citizens, the council put it to a vote of the people. I and many other opposed the tax freeze, but once it was approved by the citizens that voted, the council honored the will of the people and instituted it.

The opponents keep harping on these two issues, yet in both cases, the system of representative government worked. It appears they will not be happy until it is the will of the few over the will of the many. As you cast your vote tomorrow, think about the candidates who want to work with the system, not dismantle it. Think of the candidates who have and will continue to work with city staff, not disparage and attack them, personally and professionally. Think of the servants of our city who want to protect property values and continue our economic growth versus those who wish only to stop spending and cut programs. As you think of these issues, I am confident you will come to the conclusion that voting for Compton, Lewis, Whitson and Welch is the best choice for the many and our city.

David B. Nelson, NRH 
May 6, 2005 @ 12.55 PM
Misdirection
I stand by my statement that Mr. Barth's original comments concerning Suzette Christopher were misdirected. I will also say, again, that I decry such tactics. Mr. Barth gave only two options, either Suzette was being "dishonest", or she was "distancing herself" from the group. He never allowed for the option of "She's telling the truth." I don't know why, even now, he finds the notion that her statement was exactly true, that she simply does not speak for the group. It's too bad Mr. Barth finds that "unsatisfactory", but that's the group, that's the way it's organized. He's free to work on his group to organize it in whatever fashion he chooses, but please, leave us to our group. There is nothing wrong with a group whose president "presides" over meetings, whose board determines emergency actions, and whose membership decides on platforms and public positions.

The other thing that I find of interest is the notion that questioning Suzette's honesty when she made that statement (which again, is 100% accurate) is OK, but stating that his accusations were "misdirection" was some sort of personal attack. I don't know if the original statements about her were out of ignorance or were deliberate, but they were definitely misdirected. Suzette was being neither dishonest, nor was she distancing herself from our group. The second time he made those accustions, he had been made aware that just as she stated, Suzette does not speak for the group, so he can no longer claim ignorance, or that he doesn't know. He does. He was informed by the vice-president, and the a board member. It's too bad he doesn't care to hear it from anyone but Suzette, but that's simply his choice.

Herb Parsons
NRH
May 6, 2005 @ 9.20 am
What Do We Do Now? -- To The Polls!

I am opposing Mr. Whitson for Place 5 on the NRH Council. My impressions are that Mr. Whitson has been a faithful adherent to the visions of his leader, the Mayor. He appears to believe sincerely that he is a servant of NRH residents. His service has been compromised, however, by very different views by the Mayor as to how government should understand and carry out citizen wishes for NRH. 

Mr. Whitson asserts the beliefs of Council as though they are his own -- I suspect they are, but these beliefs are no longer consistent with the actions of the Council. Moreover, aside from coordinated planning by the Council and Staff, the more significant missing coordination is with NRH citizens.

With the Mayor as the Council spokesman, NRH residents have been informed how the Council will act without regard for expressed citizen concerns. When the RV/Driveway ordinance drew such extensive objections to this usurpation of property rights, the effective date was delayed while the ordinance was sent back to the P&Z Commission "for further study". At the same time, the Mayor openly warned residents not to think the ordinance would be substantively changed -- that residents would have the essence of this ordinance whether they liked it or not. I cannot know, but I suspect Mr. Whitson winced a bit as this episode played out. Most of the remaining provisions of this ordinance can and should belong in the provisions of home owners associations -- not in a single blanket solution imposed mindlessly upon the entire city. 

I suspect Mr. Whitson understands that Councilwoman JoAnn Johnson could hardly serve as the serious arbiter of NRH aesthetic tastes and beautification. Neither Mr. Whitson nor the Mayor nor other Council members had the gumption to calm her lectures to citizens about the meticulous care and extensive resources spent to draw up a sign ordinance that did not even comply with State law.

Under Texas law, a municipality is not obligated to share with citizens any aspect of planned new or revised ordinances prior to enactment by the council. A city certainly is permitted to share such consideration, but it is not required to do so. NRH has elected not to share this responsibility with its own citizens! I know of no occasion when the current Council or Mr. Whitson have raised objections to such blatant secrecy and closed government. Why do Mr. Whitson, the rest of the Council, and the Mayor insist on this concealment from and exclusion of citizen participation? I'm sure in good faith, Mr. Whitson asserts that "Your Council believes in keeping open communication,. .." When one lives so long under familiar slogans, one begins to believe the slogan even after the slogan no longer has any real meaning. Who does our Council keep open communication with? Certainly not with citizens when citizens are deliberately excluded from any such communication. I will help to revitalize mutual good faith with residents -- not just revitalize the commercial properties along Loop 820 and along Grapevine Highway. Good faith takes priority over how much tax money the city can rake in.

Does the city really act in our collective best interest when it threatens using government power to prevent a newly remodeled service station to reopen because the city has decided that its tax revenue will be enhanced more by a different business at that location? We hear a great deal of foolishness about Bedford and tax rollbacks by proponents of the current incumbents. Rather than laughing about such absurd allegations, citizens should become better aware of Hurst, Northeast Mall, and eminent domain law at the local level if we think we are immune to such government greed. On the new Council I will help pass a binding resolution to prohibit NRH from using eminent domain to transfer private property from one private owner to another for private profit or merely for increased tax revenue. How will Mr. Whitson vote in such cases? Some of his colleagues on the Trevino Council have already expressed clear approval of such uses of eminent domain.

Two of the most important issues in this election are the restoration of mutual good faith between the residents and their government and between local businesses and their regulators. I am confident all of us know instances in which businesses operate or have been opened under pleasant circumstances with the city. Many instances are known, however, in which businesses have been threatened, ticketed, and otherwise coerced to submit to inordinate, if not outright illegal, city demands. 

Mr. Whitson says he learned early of the need to communicate with Staff. How about communicating with citizens instead of excluding citizens from the enactment of city ordinances? How can citizens come to the council with problems when they are accused of lying and distorting problems and otherwise are trivialized by the Mayor at the conclusion of Citizen Presentations? Mr. Whitson, to the best of my knowledge, has never shown such crude behavior, but his Mayor and some other members of his Council do behave this way frequently -- sometimes even to the point of laughing at a distressed citizen. Why Mr. Whitson or other Council members have not stopped this charade is not apparent except they have not the backbone to insist on decorum by the Mayor. Again, I suspect Mr. Whitson has winced at such behavior, but he could openly make points of order to stop such boorish actions by our esteemed Mayor.

<>Mr. Whitson trivializes the finding of an $11M error in the public budget by claiming that the error had already been found and communicated to Staff by two other Council members. Then why under such circumstance were the data presented publicly without acknowledging such a known error? Some have made much to-do about Slush Funds. It is true that often the implication of this phrase is to suggest dishonesty or wrongdoing. The fact is the preferred definition of a slush fund is simply a fund raised for undesignated purposes. Budget items cited as slush funds would be more readily accepted without fanfare if they simply were acknowledged as undesignated at a given time -- instead of thumping chests and boasting they are somehow what they are not. NRH needs a candid Mayor and Council that can admit to simple mistakes or to the fact 'I don't know' instead of engaging in the mental masturbation of elaborate defenses of meaningless names for undesignated funds in an attempt to pull their wool over our eyes. 

Mr. Whitson may have served his city, his church, and his employer very well over the years, but there have been so many compliant years with this Mayor and other Council incumbents, that it is time for a refreshing recess. Healing government/citizen wounds will be achieved by electing Suzette Christopher, Kerry West, John Martin, and Maury Siskel to the Council. I promise also that Dog will forego a place on the Council. But he is forgiving -- more than can be said for our Mayor and some Council incumbents.

Sincerely,
Maury&Dog

Maury Siskel is a candidate for Place 5 on the NRH City Council.   
 
May 6, 2005 @ 8.09 am
Mayor accused of being rude to Seniors!
I was amazed at two recent Letters to the Editor in the Star Telegram written by Myrtis Byrd and Councilmember Nancy Biellk accusing our mayor of being rude to senior citizens. I watched City Council the night Ms. Byrd verbally attacked Mayor Trevino as the first speaker of the evening. The mayor made the best of a bad situation by expressing his concern and going on with the business at hand in an attempt to defray an angry citizen. In no way did he treat this senior citizen as a less than first-class resident. 

As a seventy-one year old retired educator I am appalled when ANY elected official is treated with disrespect. What ever happened to respect for those who attempt to serve? Isn't it common courtesy to handle a disagreement in private, i.e. by phone, letter, email, Fax or scheduled visit? Disrupting a public meeting by hostility is the WRONG way to approach anyone. City Council meetings are held to take care of the business of the city. 

Mayor Trevino has been extremely helpful and courteous to this senior citizen and many, many others. I greatly appreciate him and am constantly amazed at his delightful sense of humor...especially in times of stress. 
Gloria Cutrer 
NRH
May 6, 2005 @7.09 am
Let’s make something clear.
Mr. West did not do his homework when he published his article “Lost in the Shuffle”.

In part of his description of me, he stated “….one must assume she will follow the current pattern of ever increasing spending without consideration of any tax relief for our citizens.” 

One should not assume anything. Just take a closer look at my website. Under my mission you will find that I support to “Keep taxes as low as feasible without jeopardizing city services.” 

No one wants higher taxes, especially higher taxes without consideration. It’s ridiculous to think otherwise.
Respectfully,
Suzy Compton
Candidate for NRH City Council Place 3.
May 6, 2005 @ 6.25 am
Voters to determine continued direction
My fellow neighbors I want to take time to thank each and everyone for your support during the past two years serving you on Council. Being on Council is about commitment of serving the residents and providing a quality of life we all expect. As part of this commitment is listing and responding to the residents, otherwise if the Council does not listen to the residents how can a city really focus on a vision for the continued growth and progress for its residents?

Our progressive city has so much to offer to our citizens, businesses, and schools. In the last two years, we have dedicated and constructed new neighborhood and joint school parks, designed and built new hike and bike trail system throughout the city, continued our public arts program, the initiation of the corridor study of Hwy 820 and Hwy 26. In our business community our city is expanding by the recent announcements with the North Hills Hospital addition and the redevelopment of North Hills Mall to commence this year. 

How about our past success stories in our city? We continue to have a top state rated golf course and Iron Horse golf course continues to attract many new golfers to our city. How about NRH20 Water Park, for over 10 years this facility is a main attraction not just for our residents, but for other visitors across the state. Let’s not forget about our Cultural Arts Program, especially the “Lotta Night Music” spring concerts in the park where the families can gather to enjoy the spring evenings and enjoy variations of music entertainment. The city has an award winning library where it has over 250,000 visitors every year with plans for new library in the future.

There is one more success story I must mention is our city employees. This is the group of individuals that make all of our goals and desires come true for our city. For example, we have the finest police and fire department whose goal is to provide the safety and security for all the residents. How about the parks and recreation departments providing quality programs for the young kids and for the young at heart? So many great people, serving a great city!

It is no doubt our city is progressive and this progressiveness has been a joint effort by the leadership of current and past councils and the involvement of our residents. 

For the last eight years I have served on the land use ad hoc committee, served on the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council. Serving is a passion of love, especially in a community you believe in and I believe in the 62,000 residents in our city.

On May 7th you will decide the continued direction for our city and I hope with your vote I can carry on the vision and direction of our city into the future. Thank you for being a resident of our great city. 

Tim Welch, P.E.
NRH City Councilman, Place 7 
Tim Welch Web Site
May 5, 2005 9.47 pm
Plagiarism & Honesty?
Mr. West and his “group’s” lack of understanding the problem with Candidate Christopher’s apparent plagiarism is troubling. Plagiarism is taught all through our schooling years and re-enforced in higher education. When even such entities such as the N.Y. Times and USA Today papers ‘release’ reporters due to plagiarism one should take notice of the severity of the charge and the question on one’s character and ethics. 

Pure and simple plagiarism as defined from Merriam and Webster’s:
“to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own”

This was not an omission, or someone forgetting to give proper credit, but a deliberate attempt to pass off an entire ‘Libertarian published article’ as her own. For anyone to suggest Candidate Christopher was just incorporating ideas is disingenuous at best. 

Candidate Christopher’s campaign theme has been Open, Honest & Responsive government. Candidate Christopher has unfortunately already failed on the second pillar of her campaign slogan. 

My opinion and thoughts,
M.W.Madar, NRH
May 5, 2005 @9.45 pm
Response to Mr. Parsons
Apparently Mr. Parsons has no idea that he and Mr. Sculley questioned my motivations and character. Let me quote, "...we decry the use of misdirection by letters such as Barth's. Our city is capable of better." (Parson, April 15, Ft. Worth Star-Telegram). This statement clearly questions my motivations for writing the Letter to the Editor I wrote by implying I am deliberately trying to "misdirect" the public. Here is what Mr. Sculley says, :"If Barth would have spent "considerable time" reading North Richland HIlls candidates' views and looking at their web sites, he would have the stated the facts more accurately." (Sculley, April 15, Ft. Worth Star-Telegram). I interpret this remark as Sculley suggesting I lied when I said in my letter that I had done just that. My motivations for replying to Mr. Parsons are that I am beginning to think he is sincerely not aware that he and members of his group have a tendency to throw insults at other citizens in the midst of this political campaign. Perhaps my explanation will help him to be more self-aware. As for their response concerning Suzette Christopher, I simply find his and Sculley's clarification unsatisfactory. A response from the candidate herself might be helpful because as he has stated over and over, Parsons does not speak for the candidates. His responses are just his opinions.

Tim Barth, NRH
May 5, 2005 @ 9.40 pm
Oh can you see, or hear?

In his argument “Oh can You See?” Candidate Kerry West comments on Councilwoman Cox’s statements about neighborhood parks.

I respectfully disagree with Candidate West. I read and hear very clearly that Councilwoman Cox does not like neighborhood parks.

One must first realize and take into account that the council minutes provided by the City Staff are not actual transcripts, just notes taken on the meeting. For the actual words one would need to listen to the tape that has been taken at council meetings. 

I think the reader would clearly agree even from the minutes that Councilwoman Cox does not agree with neighborhood parks, she does simply does not like the concept: Councilwoman Cox is aware of the difference between community parks and neighborhood parks, but does not necessarily agree with the concept of the neighborhood park.
The minutes further state that Councilwoman Cox: wanted "Council and Parks and Recreation to know that she does not agree with the concept of neighborhood parks and does not necessarily agree with the change order".

(After listening to the tapes these are nearly the exact words of Councilwoman Cox. Actually the later comment seems to be a direct quote)

Parking is not the issue at neighborhood parks as the park is for the neighborhood, hence the designation. The staff member tries to explain this by making a point in the discussion that the city has developed nearly 29 ‘neighborhood’ parks for the residents of each neighborhood to enjoy.

“The Park System Master Plan geographically shows distribution of
neighborhood parks throughout the city. Under full development the city will be providing neighborhood parks that would be in close proximity in all residential communities.”

I can tell you that my extended family and friends envy the residents of N. Richland Hills for their superb park system. By having neighborhood parks the residents are able to enjoy some ‘green space’ without having to worry about thru traffic and factions from outside communities in our neighborhoods. 

Lost in this fray is what the “Change Order” resolution meant. In its’ simplest form, the contractor was ahead of schedule on the park being discussed. Additional land had become available due to relocation of the new fire station. With the contractor ahead of schedule Mr. Thornton states (from the minutes):
Mr. Thornton advised contractor has made considerable progress and is at a point to continue or stop construction. Staff would like contractor to begin construction with Change Order #2 so project would not have to be put on hold.

So in order to access the funds, that were available, the City could possibly save money by continuing the work and progress by approving the change order. Or the City could delay the project, leave the park unfinished, a construction zone, and run the risk of incurring escalating cost by waiting for the new fiscal year budget to be approved. 

Seems simple enough, money is available, finish the park, get it done. Take benefit of the opportunity to save money! 

The vote to finish the park was approved with two negative votes cast, both from Ron West supported candidates in the last election, Councilwomen Cox and Bielik. 

Does the phrase penny wise and pound-foolish come to mind? 

M.W. Madar, NRH
April 30, 2005 @ 11.42
The Great "for" Controversy

I read with much amusement the article today in your competitor's paper discussing the very, very serious problem of the missing word "for." This is not the traditional Texas "for" such as "we need to light a 'for' under him" or "that deer is too 'for' away to hit." No our community is in an uproar about the missing "for" on some political signs.

Our state government, while allowing school finance, excessive taxation, and other similar problems to languish nevertheless had time to address the most important of issues-that candidates who were not incumbents had to have the word "for" on their campaign material in order to not mislead the public into "thinking" that they were incumbents.

This is yet another example of mindless bureaucratic meddling while ignoring the need for everyone to assume personal responsibility for himself. It is like the government inspector who is caught in a burning barn and he spends his time counting the rat pellets in the flour instead of dousing the fire.

If someone thinks the word "for" would clearly inform the voter who needs that information that the person is not an incumbent, that someone needs a keeper. 

The bottom line is if you do not know whether the person running is your current mayor or councilmen, or is a challenger, then YOU ARE TOO STUPID, IGNORANT AND LAZY to be allowed to exercise the franchise won for you on the beaches of Normandy and the atolls of the South Pacific. Just stay home and watch the insipid fare available on HD TV. You will be doing everyone a favor.

Frank Carroll
Colleyville
May 5, 2005 @8.58 pm
Case Closed
NRH Voters, 
Read Mr. Barth's Column dated 5-4-05, "The Case for Change Has Not Been Made" & then read Herb Parsons response in Email To The Editor dated 5-5-05, "Ethics?". Then go vote on Saturday. 
Patti Trainer/NRH 
May 5, 2005 @8.02 pm
Voting for Lewis, Compton, Welch and Whitson
I read Mr. Tim Barth's column and would like to say that it was very well written. He listed all the logical reasons why I, as a citizen of North Richland Hills, am going to vote for Lewis, Compton, Welch and Whitson. We are indeed moving in a positive direction. Our parks and hiking/biking trails are the envy of North Tarrant. We have a new mall coming and well maintained streets and neighborhoods. But that's not the only reason I'm voting for them.

My most compelling reason for voting for Lewis, Compton, Welch and Whitson is because I believe them to be honest, hard working, down to earth, church-going, all around GOOD people. I've known Suzy Compton for years, and she is someone I am proud to know and admire. She is one of the most upstanding, honest individuals I've ever had the privilege to meet. I've found Mr. Lewis, Welch and Whitson to be of like character. They all possess that volunteer spirit- the spirit to serve their community, and to help make it a better place. I would be comfortable inviting them into my home for dinner. I would be honored to have either one of them teach my child either in school or bible study. My grandmother used to say you can measure a person by the company they keep. Well, Suzy Compton, John Lewis, Tim Welch and David Whitson are keeping pretty good company.

This is why I'm voting for them: I trust these leaders to keep the city's forward momentum going. I trust them to vote responsibly and keep in mind the wishes and needs of ALL the citizens of North Richland Hills, not just my own. But first and foremost, I'm voting for them because they are decent, honorable people with strong moral character. Character First for North Richland Hills. 

Karen Russell
NRH
p.s. To the editor and staff of Local News Only. Thanks for providing this awesome service! You guys rock. 
May 5, 2005 @7.52 pm
You can fool some of the people some of the time!
Ron West declares in his last column that his slate of candidates are the only ones discussing the issues. I am not sure why he titled his column “Lost is in the shuffle” because it seems to me that he is just lost. 

Why would we expect West to be any different at this stage of the campaign when he has so artfully dodged the truth from the beginning? His repeated distortion or twisting the truth may have convinced his followers and perhaps himself but the wisdom and common sense of most NRH residents has allowed them to see through his veil of deceit. 

What does West offer as evidence of his candidate’s discussion of the issues? I hope it is more than, "They have web sites." I encourage voters to look at these web sites to discover that the depth of exploration of the “issues” is a mile wide and an inch deep. 

The “issues” as they call them, are nothing more than criticism and negativity. Where are their positive ideas? More importantly what are their qualifications? Where is their history of public service? Where is the evidence that they have even historically exercised the most basic obligation of a citizen, the vote? 

West may convince himself that the incumbents have not been discussing the issues but the voters know different. Our citizens understand that the world is not defined by campaign rhetoric and are more likely to be influenced by what they have seen and who they know. 

It is on this basis that those who have attended the hundreds of neighborhood coffees, homeowners meetings, face to face dialogues and observed the community service of the incumbents know first hand that Lewis, Compton, Whitson and Welch are responsible people with the integrity and qualifications to lead our city. 

The world is full of critics but short of leaders. There is a plethora of ideas but a dearth of implementers. I believe that the voters know the difference between angry rhetoric and honest service. As the saying goes, “You can fool some of the people some of the time but you can't fool all the people all the time.” 

David Nelson said in letter to the editor recently, the time for talk is over. I certainly agree. It is time for the voters to decide what our city values. 

That is just my opinion.
Ken Sapp
NRH 
May 05, 2005 @1.34pm 
Councilman Whitson Email to the Editor
Dear North Richland Hills Citizens, 

I am here to serve you, all the citizens of our great City. I am completing my second term (four years) as your servant. Your Council believes in keeping open communication, be fiscally responsible, and provide safety and security for all. You can be proud of our City employees because I know they follow these visions. Every year our staff joins the Council in planning for the future. This lets the Staff know we are working together as a team in planning for the future together. During the economic downturn in our city, we required the City Manager to provide a balanced budget. He has followed our wishes. 

One of the things I learned early as a Council member is that we are to communicate with staff always. The citizens come to us with problems. We do not make promises; we say we will work with you and staff to see if we can solve your concern. For every Council meeting and workshop I prepare myself by asking question on the items I am not clear. This is true when preparing for the budget each year. One of our Council members says she was the one that found the $11M dollar error. Yes, she did bring it up at budget, but at least two of the members had already communicated this with City Staff. And no, we do not give our City Manager a Slush Fund. These details for these budgeted items were provided to the Council. 

I have been a volunteer in our city for over twenty years. I began working with the staff of City Cable. Our team of volunteers broadcast all of the BISD football games, and most of the Basketball, Baseball, and Softball sports as well. I continued my service when I moved to North Richland Hills by serving on the Citicable Board and Zoning Board of Adjustments. 

For the last twenty years I have worked at Bell Helicopter, always working in a financial capacity. I am currently a Supervisor in the U.S. Government Pricing Compliance Group. I am a degreed Accountant, graduating from Texas Wesleyan College. 

For the last thirty years I have served my Church, North Richland Hills Baptist Church. I am currently serving in the Pre-School Division in Sunday School as General Secretary. No, I am not Santa Clause, may look like him, but joy comes to my heart to see the smiles on the little ones faces. I have worked for many years helping our kitchen staff. No, it was not because I like to eat, because I do. My love for our Lord and service has blessed me by serving in our family. 

Therefore, I am asking for your support on Saturday by casting your vote for the continued success of our great city. Vote for Lewis, Compton, Welch and Whitson to keep the values and continue the vision. 

GOD BLESS EACH OF YOU. His Servant, David Whitson
May 5, 2005 @ 1.09 pm
Correction:  LNO stated in an Editorial about the Charter Revisions that a Recall Election has not been held in Colleyville. Former Councilman Jim Moore has corrected LNO, we apologize for the error.
Charter Revisions

Colleyville has had a recall election. It was to recall Phil Kelley.
thought you would like to know.

Jim Moore
Colleyville
May 5, 2005 @ 1.09 pm
Ethics?
I read David B. Nelson's response to "Mr. Barth", but I was confused, I couldn't find the column he was referring to. Then, later that night, I found it. I just figured senility was finally setting in.

Then, this morning I noticed something interesting: "Mr. Barth's" column was posted to your website at 3:16 yesterday. David B. Nelson's "response" somehow beat the column to your website by 18 minutes (posted at 2:52). He actually "responded" before the column was even posted, now THAT'S a quick response!!! I think maybe this "teamwork" that The Sapp spoke of goes pretty deep...

I know we can't hold LNO responsible for what Mr. Barth stated in the Star-Telegram, but I find it interesting that he calls Suzette "dishonest" because she correctly stated she does not speak for our group (which he seems to disapprove of). Then when Roy Scully and I correct him, that is somehow an attack. I neither questioned Mr. Barth's motives, nor his character. I simply corrected the falsehoods he was spreading. I don't care if they were deliberate, or simply through ignorance, had he bothered to ASK before attacking, the matter could have been avoided.

Now I see in his column here, he again asks "How can this be when she is president and communications director of that organization, Is this her idea of openness?" This, in spite of the fact that Roy Scully and I both explained "how it can be". Is this HIS idea of "ethical behavior"???

Herb Parsons
NRH
Editor's Note: the date and time of emails to the Editor reflects the time the server recorded receipt, it does not reflect the time it was actually posted on the site.  A correction was made to Mr. Barth's column due to an error by LNO.  Any time a page is opened for editing or posting the time is recorded on the top of the page.  It is entirely possible that Mr. Barth's column was read at an earlier time but because of the correction the time was changed when the correction was made. This email was time stamped at 1.09 pm on May 5, but posted at 6.17.08 pm the same day. This certainly is a faster turn around than any other media.  While this may not address the issues in this email, we felt it only fair that a clarification be provided.
May 05, 2005 @6.47 am
One Individual's Viewpoint
The incumbents' forces gathered for a political rally Saturday at NRH's Beef O'Bradys. I am all for rallies as they portray a view of perfect clarity upon the speakers. Since most of the incumbents talk, vote, and parrot each other, it would be safe to conclude they are of like minds. Mayor Trevino, as the cities figurehead and leader of this political block now running for reelection, spoke at this political rally. His comments were very enlightening, and in this individual's opinion, won himself the "Oscar" for best portrayal of the underbelly of city politics. In fact, it appears the incumbents embody much of what is wrong with the politics of today. Ideas and truth should rein supreme in an ideal election. His and their attacks are neither. The incumbents spokespeople - Sapp, Turnage, Trevino, Johnson & Tolbert, have generated mean spirited lies and innuendo. I will make only a brief pass at the more flagrant items, but as voters, we should be calling the candidates and asking questions in order to make up our own minds.

First, and possibly most important, is a response to fabrications mailed to voters from Councilwoman Jo Ann Johnson. This mailing almost surpasses the mailing she did in the Mayoral election for its creative fiction. This election she claims the challengers (Christopher, West, Martin, and Siskel) have been meeting secretly with a Bedford Citizens Group in order to find a way to cause a tax revolt and damage our city. This is an out and out fabrication designed to scare voters into opposing the very candidates that will champion them for more rights and a bigger voice at city hall. How can this councilperson sit at council meetings looking decent and sweet, and then lie to the very people she claims to represent? You don't have to take my word for it - I urge you to confront her about these lies and ask her for proof. 

The Mayor has tried to discount Maury Siskel as a viable candidate because he owns no property in North Richland Hills. In the early days of this country, you did have to own property to hold office or even vote. Blacks and women were not allowed to vote. Does the Mayor, Sapp, Turnage, Trevino, Johnson & Tolbert, think the old ways are the good ways? By what they have said it appears so. Mr. Siskel has lived in North Richland Hills longer than some of our voters have been alive. He has paid property taxes through his monthly rent check to his landlords. He is an avid proponent of "shop in North Richland Hills" to support our community. Now, he is volunteering to try to help lead this city via public service and the Mayor would like to declare him unfit for duty? Amazing, isn't it?

The Mayor, Sapp, Turnage, Trevino, Johnson & Tolbert, also malign John Martin, another candidate because of his occupation. John Martin is in the Massage Therapy equipment and massage therapy business. The Mayor refers to him as wanting to open massage parlors in North Richland Hills...the connotation being sleazy..massage parlor!! Massage therapists must be certified to work in Texas. Almost anyone that has ever had a muscular/skeletal injury has used a massage therapist. Many chiropractors employ massage therapists as part of their staff. In fact the North Richland Hills Recreation Center has employed massage therapists. Yet our Mayor and others in that political block have tried to discredit John Martin for this. Also pretty amazing, isn't it.

The incumbent political block has tried to paint the challengers as Libertarian, or affiliated with the Libertarian Party. This is untrue and in fact, there isn't supposed to be any political party affiliation associated with a city election. The incumbent political block knows this, but they still try to use fear to cause voters to vote their way.

Essentially, the challengers in this election have stated they want to extend more rights to the citizens. They want to allow the citizens more input into and information out of your city government. They want to end the secrecy that is prevalent now and open your city government to closer examination. 

It is time for a change.

Curtis Christopher
NRH
May 4, 2005 @ 11.46 pm
NRH Challengers Track Record
We're in countdown mode at our house. If this is Thursday, there are only two days till all the voting is finished. Only a few more days of reading strong opinions, leveraged comments and, at times, misleading statements. I'll be happy when the votes are cast and counted and all the people that are normally congenial and well-mannered can return to their normal state.

We have talked to friends and neighbors, on the phone and over the internet, met more folks in the last year and a half since becoming civically active than in all the ten years we've lived here. Some folks we've talked to readily agree that there needs to be a change in City Council leadership, some well-mannered disagree, and a few others are not really interested in what's going on in the city. 

The latter was us until a year and a half ago. We dutifully voted in November elections, but remained decidedly and happily ignorant about city government. Then we became aware of decisions that were being made that impacted us personally and that had been done without any public input - the initial recreational vehicle ordinance that applied to the empty boat trailer in our driveway. We would have to get rid of it or pay to have it stored elsewhere if the incumbent City Council and Mayor had its way. As common, everyday folks got together, we started to discuss a number of different things happening in city leadership and found more things that were hard to swallow. So my husband and several others submitted letters requesting that items be placed on the agenda for discussion and subsequent action, including a vote to allow a senior property tax freeze. We followed the protocol outlined in the city charter/ordinances and were flatly told "NO". After more citizen pressure and two new Council members ready to bring the issue to the agenda, the Council reluctantly allowed a NON-BINDING vote to go before the citizens. After the 2 to 1 pro-freeze decision, the entire Council voted to institute the freeze.

I've heard supporters of the incumbents repeatedly ask what have the challengers done to show their public mindedness? It would seem to me that there is a fairly good track record right here. They helped organize or actively participated in binding together citizens from many walks of life in several common goals. They brought citizen participation to Planning & Zoning meetings to work with the City in amending the zoning ordinance that affected so many trailer, boat, and RV owners. They worked actively to get out more people than have ever participated in any city ballot previously brought before the voters, and then again for the senior tax freeze. They frequently attend and participate in City Council and Planning & Zoning meetings. And the list goes on.

People can be actively involved in the well being of their city long before they sit in the chair on the other side of the dais. Suzette Christopher, John Martin, Maury Siskell and Kerry West have given of their time and efforts well before the ballot process started. I'm casting my vote for their continued involvement, but now as City Council members.

Gini Parsons
North Richland Hills
May 4, 2005 @ 9.28 pm
Column by Tim Barth

I wanted to comment on the column written by Tim Barth. His column "hit the nail on the head". This election is not about any certain group, it is about the citizens of our city. He was able to put down in words what this election is really about. I commend him for writing a positive view amidst all the other political rhetoric I have read.

Eric Trainer/ North Richland Hills
May 4, 2005 @2.52 pm
Well Said, Mr. Barth
My comments, unlike others I have made in the past, will be succinct here. In the column posted by Tim Barth today, we see a concise, dispassionate and logical reasoning of why we should not elect any of the members of the challengers slate in North Richland Hills. The case for a change has not been made. It is that simple. Why should we try to fix what is not broken? We need to continue our positive momentum and re-elect true leaders to our council, not just those who try to say the "right" things for political expediency.

WELL SAID, MR. BARTH!!

David B. Nelson
NRH
May 04, 2005 @ 10.30 am
Don't drag the PTA into Politics

Denise Paul should learn to gather her facts. In today's Star Telegram she had a letter published that claims I am a trouble maker at PTA meetings. Good grief. Where did that come from?

The PTA and PTSA do many good things for our children's schools. They raise money to pay for needed equipment and supplies. They supply volunteers to work with the classes and assist our teachers. Without them, and their many members, our classes wouldn't be the same. Our children are the beneficiaries of their hard work. 

I was on the PTA Board one year when my boys were in Elementary School. That year I was elected Treasurer. Due to a Board resignation, I also took on the duties of Fundraising. I have never served on the PTA Board since that year.

For their entire elementary school years, though, my boys saw me active at the school. I assisted teachers, worked in the library, went on field trips, ate lunch with the kids, etc. I paid my PTA dues.

Once they got to middle school, the boys wanted more independence, and I gave it to them. Although I still paid dues to the PTA, I no longer attended meetings. My time was taken up with other activities of the kids: Little League (which I coached); middle school football, basketball and cross country; band and choir.

The same is true of their high school years: I have attended no PTSA meetings. Time has just not been available, and I have been active in other things. That doesn't mean I have been a bad parent, just busy, like most others.

One son graduated at the age of 16, and is now in his third semester of college. Another, while battling health problems, has gotten his GED and is in his first semester of college. The third is still in High School, taking mostly advanced placement classes. We also have a young man who has lived with us for 1 ½ years, who is not related, that is attending High School.

I fail to see how, if I am at no meetings, I am a negative trouble maker. 

Mrs. Paul has a right to support the candidates of her choice. I have never tried to sway her from her beliefs. Until today, though, we have waved to each other when I drive past her home. Her son has been a visitor in my home. Our boys have gone to school and worked together. To drag their school into the political fray, however, is unconscionable. To do it maliciously is even worse. Mrs. Paul owes the school, the PTSA and me an apology.

Nancy Bielik, 
NRH City Council
May 04, 2005 @ 7.16 am
Candidate for NRH City Council Pl 3
Letter to the Editor:
Dear NRH Citizens, 

I am passionate about serving the citizens of North Richland Hills. My mission has always been about service to others. I hope you will give me the opportunity to serve you for the next two years. 

Life is not about me. It is about those around me. It’s about my family, friends, students, faith community, co-workers, neighbors, fellow citizens, and all people everywhere. Anything that I can do to make the world a better place is important to me. 

It is important to have a vision. Approximately ten years ago, I developed a desire to serve on a city council. That goal has never waned. I have been deeply humbled by being selected to finish an unexpired term. I have enjoyed every minute of the last five months that I have served as your Place 3 council member. 

My experiences as a public school teacher and administrator have helped prepare me for city service. In addition to my degrees under the education umbrella I also have three years of college study in business. Continuous education is important to me. Learning never ceases. 

Life is one big puzzle. When all the pieces are locked together, a beautiful and interesting picture appears. With hard work and dedication our finished puzzle will continue to promote a positive city image as a place where people come to live, work and play.

Thank you for your support.
Suzy Compton
Candidate for NRH City Council Place 3
May 03, 2005 @ 7.06 pm
Grace's Misrepresentation in Colleyville
Dear Sir:

As a Colleyville resident, I am concerned with Mr. Grace's continuing
misrepresentation that he is the incumbent in the Colleyville mayoral race.
My three children attended the mayoral debate at the Colleyville Community
Center and are paying close attention to the Colleyville elections as they
are running for student council positions at their school.

After the Star-Telegram raised the issue of his campaign signs
misrepresenting that he is the incumbent, my children began looking at the
signs as we drove around town, pointing out the ones still flaunting the
rules. They have campaign guidelines that they must follow, five of their
posters had to be reworked for compliance, so it's only natural that they
now see a different set of rules for kids and adults. 

Then on April 29 one of the children brought in the mail and found campaign
literature that still misrepresents that he is the incumbent in the Mayor's
race.

So I helped my kids rework the five rejected posters to meet the school's
rules. Why does Mr. Grace, even after the Star-Telegram made him aware of
the rules, continue to disregard them? 

Pam Morin
Colleyville
May 03, 2005 @ 8.42 am
Reply to Patti Trainer
You stated you saw the pictures and read what I had to say about the new Library being located in Hometown and it was not encouraging. You are correct - it is not encouraging. There will be increased traffic down this street. I hate to think of the problems which could occur should a fire truck need to access this area when there is an increased amount of traffic and/or cars parked in the parking lane. However, you are incorrect saying I stated my position. There is not a position stated, just a picture and a statement to encourage you to think about this - which served its purpose - as you have evidently given this some thought. You also state "It was common knowledge then as it is now that the entrance would not be through Hometown but off Midcities." According to a report from Richard Torres, assistant city manager, "The location of the Library is going to necessitate some street improvement in the vicinity. The realignment of Cardinal/Simmons is a proposed project for the Capital Projects Budget in Fiscal Year 2005-2006. If approved, this project will realign the streets and connect the new library to Mid-Cities Blvd, and Grapevine Highway. Once the library is complete and open, residents will be able to easily access the new facility from both of these major thoroughfares." According to Torres, it hasn't been approved yet. Also, it is reasonable to expect people driving down Davis toward mid-cities will take the first entrance into hometown to access the Library. The other major thoroughfare which would provide access to the Library, but was left out of his letter, is Davis Boulevard. 

Suzette Christopher
May 02, 2005 @ 8.29pm
Not Against The New Library?

I've read the email response from Suzette Christopher to Jane Birks dated 5-2-05 and am curious about her statement "All worked out well and by the way - as I have publicly stated - I am not against the Library in Hometown and will not hinder the efforts of building one if elected. I look forward to working with you and anyone else living in hometown." 

If this is true, why did she post the misleading pictures & comments on her website that Karen Russell talks about in her LNO post dated 4-30-05 "Facts or intentionally misleading"? I saw the pictures & read what she had to say about the new Library being located in Hometown and it was clearly not encouraging.

(http://www.suzettechristopher.com/vision.shtml) Has she changed her position on this & if so, why? Although I am very much in favor of the library & recreation center, the fact that she is/was against it isn't what bothers me. She is entitled to her opinion whether I agree with it or not. The problem is that she posted the very misleading information that quite honestly does seem intentional. It was common knowledge then as it is now that the entrance would not be through Hometown but off Midcities. 


Patti Trainer/NRH
May 02, 2005 @4.23 pm

TWISTING THE TRUTH - A RESPONSE TO JANE BIRKES
You state you went to www.nrhcitizens.com and read a post where I made certain statements. Please go back and re-read as I made none of those statements. In fact that was not my column at all. It was posted by Herb Parsons the webmaster of the www.nrhcitizens.com website as a Web Op-ed piece. It clearly states the title of the page being the Web Op-Ed page and includes the following disclaimer - "The Web Op-Edsection is the web's answer to a newspaper's "Op-Ed" page (editorial opinions). The webmaster provides the server for this web site, registered the domain names, and maintains it. The ability to have a page that is wholly his is the privilege he takes in exchange for those responsibilities.

Please note - the opinions on this page are completely his. They are provided with no editorial control from anyone else in our group. You can contact the webmaster at webmaster@parsonsys.com." 

Jane, I did speak to my mother-in-law the day after the council meeting and she shared the good conversation she had with you. She also shared with you that we were not against the Library and you shared with her that you weren't against one on the southside. All worked out well and by the way - as I have publicly stated - I am not against the Library in Hometown and will not hinder the efforts of building one if elected. I look forward to working with you and anyone else living in hometown.

I would like to think you made an error when reading the column and assumed it was written by me. As you stated in your letter and I ask only the same from you "In the future get the facts (all the facts) before you make such a statement."

Regards,
Suzette Christopher
NRH

May 02, 2005 @3.25 pm
The big "FOR" controversy
No one could have put the "FOR" controversy in the proper words better than Frank Carroll. Thanks for expressing my thoughts exactly.

Frank Whitmire
Colleyville
May 2, 2005 @3.18 pm

David B. Nelson, and "vile ugly remarks"

You know, I'm really tired of having David B. Nelson refer to my remarks as attacks. I've not "attacked" anyone, I've defended myself, and my group. No accusations out of the blue, but rather responses to being called a liar, a terrorist, and having my wife's email and good name used without her consent. 

I especially find it irksome coming from someone like David B. Nelson. My first "introduction" to David was right here on LNO, on a discussion forum sponsored here. David made the accusation that I was deliberately spreading misinformation about Senator Jane Nelson's agreement to appear at our forum. David never once approached me about it. He did call around trying to prove me wrong, but he never once spoke with ME about it. Then, his version of an apology was to say "IF" yadda yadda yadda.

I invite readers to see it for themselves, right here on LNO. Maybe then, they can decide for themselves who the "attack dog" is. I've always heard, you don't want to get in a fight, don't come out swinging.

Herb Parsons
NRH
May 02, 2005 @1.47 pm
Points for Nerve
You have got to give Ron West points for nerve. In a column posted on May 2, 2005, he lists several negative comments allegedly made by supporters of the incumbent council members. Has Mr. West ever read the vile, hateful, vengeful and just plain ugly rhetoric put forth my Mr. Parsons or Bielik? Yes, this has been an unnecessarily ugly campaign. Yes, things have probably been said that many may regret, but the challengers and their supporters have no moral high ground here. 

Additionally, Mr. West's fear mongering regarding vengeance to be taken by the council is just another example of his side's lack of vision. At least he readily admits that they are not running on any issues, but against personalities. The challengers simply do not like the incumbents, our mayor or many of the city staff that they constantly disparage. For them this is not a contest of visions, but one of lashing out against people they do not like.

Finally, I do agree with Mr. West on one point: Our City will move forward, but it will be despite the negative tactics and lack of vision of the challengers.

David B. Nelson
NRH
May 02, 2005 @ 11.41 am
Twisting the Truth
Recently I visited the web site, www.nrhcitizens.com and read the following post made April 26, 2005. This is a classic example of how some people take a little of truth and twist it to benefit their needs. 

In it, Suzette Christopher makes the statement “It should be noted that Mayor Trevino allowed citizens to verbally attack Councilwoman Nancy Bielik, openly campaign against the candidates challenging the incumbents, and then publicly berated others. It should also be noted that the speakers that he allowed to campaign and attack others were all members of the PAC that is opposing the challenge candidates. The same PAC which accepted a $250 donation from Mayor Trevino. It would appear that his "support" is more than just monetary.”

This is nothing further from the actual truth. First, the citizen that spoke about the mayor’s letter to council woman Nancy Bielik (which he never referred to her by name) was read due to the fact that the original Bielik flyer was mailed to us as homeowners. If Council woman Bielik didn't want us to ask the question of the Mayor, then she should have never sent the mailing! 

As concerned citizens, we naturally wanted to address this with the mayor. He shared his response to us (Concerned Citizens of Hometown NRH, PAC). We felt it was unprofessional of Councilwoman Bielik to mail such a mailing, but since she did this to everyone we also felt that everyone deserved to hear what mayor had responded also. Mayor Trevino, it’s nice to know that you didn't stoop to such low levels and address this issue in a mass mailing as Mrs. Bielik. 

I would also like it to known that Mayor Trevino has never donated, “support”, paid any money to the Hometown PAC. I do have records of every donation and he is not one of them. The speakers that Mrs. Christopher referred to are mostly Hometown residents. We are not members of the nrh4u.com PAC. I guess by the reference of campaigning, she is referring to the buttons that we wore? Again, Hometown PAC had these done and not the incumbents, not the nrh4u.com PAC. Can I help it if I thought the design was classy; however I did ask permission to reproduce it? 

It’s common for people who don't know the truth to automatically accuse people. 

It was presented to Ken Sapp how he pulled this off, which he said he had nothing to do with it. Mr. Sapp spoke the truth – he had nothing to do with it. If the challengers missed on this (with the people standing right next to them), how much else have they gotten wrong? 

After all Suzette I spent 20 minutes talking with your mother that night – you could have asked me anything you want. I have nothing to hide, I am proud to support Lewis, Compton, Whitson and Welch. They actually represent the WHOLE truth instead of going half cocked and accusing those who had nothing to do with things. In the future get the facts (all the facts) before you make such a statement.
Regards,

Jane Birkes
NRH
April 30, 2005 @7.47 am
N.R.H at a Crossroads. 
The elections have turned ugly in N.R.H. It seems we now have a collection of citizens, challenging for elected office, gathering together to harass city officials, city staff, and even citizens. Is this the future for N.R.H. should the ‘challenger’s slate’ win the election’? 

Consider the following: this group has had the ‘Paparazzi’ out actually snooping about taking pictures with their cell phone camera. They have people, should we call them shade-tree lawyers, digging into personal tax records and “announcing” their findings without substantiation from our government officials. They have people investigating candidate’s family members and making false assertions of wrongdoing and inappropriate dealings, tarnishing their reputations. They have publicly threatened people right here on LNO. There have been accounts that they are even belittling citizens that will not support their ‘cause’. 

Our city elected officials oversee a City Government that is basically a citizen government. This is not big state politics or national government, but an extension of a neighborhood organization. We should resist the temptation to jump into “slime politics” here in our neighborhood government. 

I shutter to think, given the negative goings-on by these campaign tactics, what our city government would be like under their régime. Would businesses shy away from N.R.H and even leave our city with an elected collection of leaders that constantly dwell on unconstructive criticism? 

Ron West’s, metaphor for a watchdog, the German Shepard is a beautiful breed of dog: loyal, obedient, and a faithful watchdog if handled properly. However, put that same breed of dog into the wrong hands it is then used to harass, intimidate, and frighten people. 

Keep N.R.H. on the high road; please VOTE FOR THE FIRST CANDIDATE IN EACH PLACE: LEWIS, COMPTOM, WHITSON, and WELCH. They have a proven record of moving N. Richland Hills forward. 

That is My Opinion,
M.W.Madar
NRH
April 30, 2005 @ 7.01 am
THEY WILL DO THIS – WE WILL DO THAT

The citizens have heard the stories from the media, from websites, from mailers, from each other. This does not offer the deminsion or clearification which conversations do. Don’t we owe it to the citizens to meet together in a forum and take questions on the issues? I am asking city council candidates in North Richland Hills to meet one evening this week in a public forum and converse with the citizens. Maybe we could enlist the help of Mr. Thibodeaux for a location and time. 

Suzette Christopher
NRH
April 30, 2005 @ 5.46 am
Facts or intentionally misleading?
I took JoAnn Johnson's advice to personally verify some of the allegations I have heard or read about. When I called the City Managers Office I got a very quick response and the answer to my question.

My question concerns information Suzette Christopher has posted on her web site. She is running for City Council, and I would imagine that anything she would post publicly would be factual. 

Not so.

She states on her web site that the council has made Bridge Street "the main street between Davis Blvd. and the new library and recreation center." 

While Bridge Street is "a" main street, it is not "THE" main street to the proposed new Library and Recreation Center. 

This is misinformation at its worst. At best, it's deliberately misleading. 

The City Managers Office verified that the main access roads to the proposed Library and Recreation center will be Simmons and Cardinal. 

Why would she post this misinformation on her web site? Is she deliberately trying to mislead the public with innuendo? What other facts is she bending to suit her needs? 

Karen Russell
NRH
April 30, 2005 @ 5.27 a.m.
The Future of N.R.H. 
As a resident of N.R.H. for the last ten years and being the Father with two young children, this year’s N. Richland Hills election has attracted my attention. 

I have witnessed, and my family has benefited from the continued progress and development of our city. My children have enjoyed playing in the various neighborhood parks throughout the city and they are excited about exploring the new bike trails. My children’s bodies and minds are being molded as they participate in organized sports at the city’s fantastic athletic fields. Our family enjoys NRH20, concerts in the park, and the various holiday events. 

Our neighborhoods have developed in a positive direction as a result of the proper balance between commerce and residential services. All of this combined provides an environment where busy families like mine can make the best use of our precious time, together. A city that is attractive to young families who are interested in maintaining property values for our family’s growth and their security. 

Lately I have heard there is a new slate of individuals that believe we have had enough progress, a group whose efforts would jeopardize our property values, and those who see little value for city provided parks where our children delight and develop. 

Let’s keep the momentum our city has built and re-elect those who have coordinated our cities progress. Please re-elect Councilpersons: Lewis, Comptom, Whitson, and Welch.

Sincerely,
Steve Mullins
NRH
April 29, 2005 @11.19 am
NRH City Council Meeting ..setting the record straight
At the NRH City Council meeting on Monday evening April 25, I read a letter from the Mayor to a citizen of NRH regarding a column written by a member of the City Council. The content of the column was an attempt to make a strong indictment of our Mayor. This column was also sent out as part of a campaign mailing. The Mayor's letter appears on LNO and responds to the allegations made by the Council Member. I think it is important to set the record straight as to MY motivation for reading the Mayor's letter at the City Council meeting.

In my opinion once the column by the City Council member was mailed to NRH citizens this debate moved from the internet to a more public forum. Therefore, in an effort for NRH citizens to hear both sides of the debate I felt it important and fair to read the letter at the meeting on April 25. If the discussion would have remained an internet debate, then I would have not been compelled to read the letter in this public forum. My reasoning is that not all citizens own a computer or have internet service, therefore those who received the mailing were only getting one side of the argument.

It has been said that this was a public attack on the Council Member. If you choose that interpretation then I think you must consider that I also read the allegations made against the Mayor and to a lesser extent other City Council members. One might therefore conclude that by reading the letter there was an attack on just about everyone sitting at the Council. A final point is that neither the Mayor, nor the Council member are presently running for reelection, so I am not sure why reading the letter has been considered "politicking" for the upcoming election.

In the end, you can agree or disagree with my decision. I just want to set the
record straight.

Tim Barth
North Richland Hills
April 29, 2005 @ 11.08 am
Sick of the old guard
I JUST VOTED FOR CHRISTOPHER, MARTIN, SISKEL,AND WEST. I'M SICK OF THE "OLD GUARD" WHO PROTECTED A DRUNKEN POLICE CHIEF TIL HE WAS FORCED BY HIS ACTIONS TO RESIGN HISSELF.I'M SICKER OF THE CITY ATTORNEY, WHOSE LAW OFFICE IS GETTING RICH OFF THE CITIZENS OF N.R.H. PROTECTING THE POLICE DEPT.AND FORMER CHIEF FOR INVADING A WOMAN'S HOME AND KILLING HER SON ON THE BASIS OF A DISGRUNTLED EX IN-LAWS COMPLAINT.BESIDES THE EX COUNCILMAN WHO KILLED A MAN IN A ACCIDENT AND DIDN'T EVEN PAY A FINE. YES I THINK IT'S TIME FOR A CHANGE,ON THESE FACTS ALONE.

LOIS READ
NRH
April 29, 2005 @ 10.07 am
waaaaaaaaaaaa...waaaaaaaaaa Grow Up
In reply to Maury Siskle’s article referring to the last City Council meeting being allowed to become “political” let me just add that a couple of senior citizens, who should know better, made fools of themselves. One would think that anyone of “senior citizen” age would know how to conduct themselves at a public meeting, instead of acting like a couple of ten year olds.

So you didn’t get your way…. Well waaaa waaaaa … when are you planning to grow up? 

At your age you should be ashamed that people twenty years your younger should have to shush you at a public meeting. 

Democracy is a proper airing of ideas at a proper time… should your ideas not be accepted by the majority then it’s time to close your mouth. 

Making loud, obtrusive remarks when all other participants are allowing the proceedings to move forward is as juvenile as was your performance at the council meeting. 

Trouble maker… if the shoe fits, wear it… however, take your immature performance to another forum… oh, and someday, grow up. 

J. Sorenson
NRH
April 29, 2005 10.04 am
Councilwoman Jo Ann Johnson's False Information

I find it regretful that a City Council member of North Richland Hills would use her position to spread misinformation about our group. It is one thing for a member of the city council to support those they want for office, it's another to spread misinformation about a group of citizens simply because said councilperson disapproves of the group.

Contrary to Councilwoman Johnson's allegation, Councilwoman Nancy Bielik is not a member of our group. She and Councilwoman Jo Cox both resigned our group upon being elected to office almost a year ago, since both felt membership could appear to be a conflict of interest.

There has never been an intent of our group to "take over the governing body of NRH". Councilwoman Johnson made such an allegation without ever attending any of our meetings (even though she's been invited) or talking to our officers. I'm not sure where she obtained that information, or if she just made it up, but it's incorrect.

In spite of Councilwoman Johnson's assertion, Ron West was not one of the organizers of our group. Ron West began attending meetings when he sought our endorsement approximately 2 months after our group had their first meeting. Furthermore, Ron has never been on our board of directors or held office in the group. NRH P&Z Commissioner Ken Sapp suggested to me that we should not have allowed Ron to join the group, but our membership has always been open to all that care to come and join, and we are pleased that Ron is one of our members and participates with our group.

Our group has never "lost" an election, as Councilwoman Johnson claims. We've never run for office. Two of the three candidates that we endorsed for city council last year were elected, with the third narrowly losing to Councilwoman Johnson after a similar smear campaign. We also endorsed Suzette Christopher who narrowly lost to Mayor Trevino. We were very strong in our support of the Senior Tax Freeze (which Councilwoman Johnson opposed), which was passed by a 2 to 1 margin. In light of this, I'm not sure what "loss" Councilwoman Johnson is speaking of.

Finally, our group is not meeting with citizens of Bedford, nor are we planning on doing so. Those in Bedford that voted to close the library were City Council Members Hurt, McGlinchey, Conly, and Griffen. None of these Bedford Council Members are part of our group or have met with any of our group leaders. NRH Councilwoman Johnson might be willing to provide information to the contrary if she has it; but to the best of my knowledge, none of our members have met with these folks.

I would hope that in the future, NRH City Council Members would encourage citizen participation in city politics, rather than use their office to spread malicious misinformation about those they disagree with.


Herb Parsons
Vice President, North Richland Hills Citizen's Group
April 29, 2005 @ 7.43 am
Should be intellectual not personal
Down boy. Calm down, Herb. If your wife feels I have attacked her I offer her this apology: MRS. PARSONS, I AM EXTREMELY SORRY IF YOU FELT MY RESPONSE TO YOUR EMAIL WAS A PERSONAL ATTACK. I DID NOT MEAN TO UPSET YOU, BUT SIMPLY TO RESPOND TO YOUR COMMENTS.

Now, that being said, Mr. Parsons you have continued in your consistent style. When you have no way to respond on issues, you try to make personal attacks. You and I can honestly disagree on the issues of this election and the course of our city. Unfortunately, you do not seem to be able to do so without being disagreeable and, yes, to some, intimidating. Mind you, I could care less of what you think of me or any threats you may make, but there are others that seem to care more than me. I have been informed that you have taken it upon yourself to make harassing and threatening phone calls to people supporting the incumbents. Maybe it is just me, but I always thought that the exchange of ideas should be in the public market place.

One more thing I would like to thank you for, Mr. Parsons. I appreciate being compared to John Lewis. I have known John for a number of years and know him to be a man of integrity, honor, hard work and trustworthiness. He is a man who has given much to his community. IF I have correct information, the same can not be said for you or the members of the slate you support. I do not believe that any have served our community in volunteer positions, let alone having worked with the city on any commissions or boards. So, please keep comparing me to John Lewis, a badge I proudly wear.

So, clam down big boy. Again, I offer my apologies to Mrs. Parsons, a lady whom I have not met, but that I understand is quite kind and informed. There can be passionate and honest disagreement, but like Mrs. Parsons, I agree it should be intellectual and not personal.

David B. Nelson
NRH
April 28, 2005 @9.47 am
Councilwoman Recommendation for Colleyville City Council
I urge Colleyville citizens to vote for John Grace for Mayor and Tony Licata for Place 2.  As the incumbent Councilman in Place 2, I feel Tony Licata will continue my mission to develop a fiscally conservative financial plan for City expenditures, fund safety and road improvements as a priority, and continue to improve our economic development opportunities.  He is a quiet-mannered, well-educated professional with a can-do attitude and consensus building skills.  At the same time, John Grace has the experience and knowledge --from prior Council service--to facilitate the achievement of these goals.  His strong leadership and administrative skills, his competence and confidence will help Colleyville "sparkle like a diamond."
Elaine Dolan
Colleyville
April 28, 2005 @7.49 am
Vote not for sale
We have been deeply hurt by some of Mr. Kerry West statements and comments . We are sorry if he misunderstood or mistook any statement made by us. We only vote our conscious and will continue to do so. Our votes or support are not for sale. Never was nor ever will be and urge other citizens to do the same. For the greater good of our community we urge both sides to work together on issues concerning our city of NRH to further enhance a wonderful community. In the long run we will all benefit as citizens. Sincerely David Tober and Denise Llewellyn
NRH
April 27, 2005 @7.40 pm
Woof Woof

Response to David B. Nelson
Dave, I see you follow along with your candidate of choice in your decision to attack a fine decent woman who doesn't happen to agree with your point of view. For the record, my wife and I are two totally independent individuals. She neither asks my permission for her actions, nor does she take responsibility for mine. Trust me, I've heard plenty of comments from her about my "attack dog" (your term, not hers) tactics. How very .... John Lewis-like of you ... to attack HER for MY actions.

For the record, I've not made public false accusations against anyone involved in this election. I did, during the senior tax freeze, privately make a false accusation against Ken Sapp, attributing a comment to him that was instead actually made by one of HIS "attack dogs". Unfortunately, I based that accusation on information that was given to me by the dear lady in question. She apologized to me and to The Sapp for her mistake. I apologized to The Sapp for the mistake as well. He subsequently decided to make the accusation a public issue, while ignoring the apology. He pretended that the apology didn't arrive in time, yet acknowledged last night on the phone that I apologized "within minutes".

Furthermore, on that particular issue, he accused me of "assuming" he said something, when in fact I was misinformed. Of course, he has yet to apologize for HIS false accusation.

Speaking of false accusations, I believe it was you, David, that accused me last year of lying about Senator Jane Nelson's commitment to attend our forum (which you consistently, and incorrectly, referred to as a "rally"). I know, I know, you were misinformed. I accepted your apology, because I understood then, and do now, how mistakes can be made when incorrect information is obtained. Of course those that are not in your clique are held to a different standard ...

As for public name calling, you bet. I call a liar a liar. The Sapp regularly makes statements about the group of which I am vice-president, when he knows they are false. He accused me of handing out political material at council meetings, when in fact I've never done so (again, my dear wife has handed them out for our group, I'm too lazy). I would also state that it's one thing to wear a badge identifying yourself with a group by displaying a symbol concerning an ordinance that's already passed. It's an entirely different thing to wear campaign buttons with candidate names on city property during an election period and to pass out signs on city property. By the way, I never "hid behind trees" to take the pictures of The Sapp handing out signs. I stood in the middle of the parking lot. Just one more lie by The Sapp. Go look at the trees in the city hall parking lot, I'm WAY too big to hide behind any of those little bushes.

As for "intimidation", if it's intimidating to tell a man who misuses my wife's emails that I'll hold him responsible for his actions, then call me the intimidator. Councilman John Lewis should be ashamed that he used citizen emails, not only without their permission, but after they asked him to stop. He should be more ashamed that he edited one of those emails to make it appear the couple writing it agreed with him when they did not.

As for the "credit she took upon herself", I don't know if you're ignorant of the facts, or just trying to misrepresent them, but you should check your information further. City Manager Cunningham ignored numerous requests from citizens for MONTHS to place discussion of a senior tax freeze on the City Council agenda. No reason was ever given, he just refused to do so (we all know the reason). When Jo Cox, Nancy Bielik, Suzette Christopher, and Ron West ran for office, they made the tax freeze part of the campaign platform, promising that it would be brought the council meetings. Jo and Nancy won, so the remaining members of the council could no longer hide behind the City Manager's actions. Former Councilman Frank Metts called members of our group, and those campaigning, "political terrorists", and accused us of "manipulating" senior citizens for our efforts. It was indeed, our efforts that overcame the efforts of yourself, and the PAC that The Sapp founded to fight the senior tax freeze. Furthermore, the city did NOT "follow protocol" in their handling of the tax freeze. To be accurate, they had to consult with the State Attorney General's office to ensure that there actions were legal, because they were so UNUSUAL. Most cities that passed the freeze had the city council vote it up or down without putting it to a public vote and saving tax dollars. Some waited until the citizens forced a vote by petition. Our city leaders did not want to go on record voting against such a volatile issue, so the came up with a new procedure. That way they could say "we just wanted the will of the people". 

I appreciate your desire for your clique to prevail in this election, after the losses they suffered in the last two. You may be right, you may win completely. But then, you predicted "victory" last election, and we saw how that turned out.

Regardless, you show you are of the same ilk as Councilman John Lewis, in going after my wife because of issues you have with me. You go after the person you have the issue with, rather than his wife. If saying that makes me an "attack dog", then all I have to say is "woof woof".
Herb Parsons
NRH
April 27, 2005 @ 4.30pm
Voting is NOT a privilege, but a Constitutional Right
To the editor:

Recently, we received a piece of campaign literature from David Kelly who is running for Mayor of Colleyville. At first I thought it was a nice piece with the expected generalizations and harmless (and meaningless) slogans and promises. Then I got near the end and ran into the following, “Voting is a Privilege – not a Right.” 

I almost choked! This man is running for mayor and he thinks voting is a privilege! A privilege – implying that my voting activity is at the whim of the government! And he’s running for mayor! Voting is a right of every American. It is guaranteed by the US and the Texas Constitutions. It is not a privilege! This man needs a civics lesson, before he aspires to be mayor.

For us, we’ll be voting (it’s our right to do so) for John Grace and Tony Licata. Let us assure you that they know the difference between rights and privileges, and will always stand up to protect your rights and extend your privileges. 

Alice and Clif Holliday
Colleyville
April 27, 2005 @ 11.28 am
Response To Gini Parsons - Look In Your Own Home
I just read the email written by Gini Parsons regarding her desire to hear the issues in the city council races in North Richland Hills and deriding all of the "dirty politics". I do readily agree that there has been an undue amount of such actions. However, I would suggest that she look within her own home first before she goes accusing everyone else of such negative tactics. Her husband, Herb Parsons, has consistently resorted to name calling, false accusations and intimidation in his participation in this campaign. Whether actually chosen for the position or not, he has become the "attack dog" of the slate of opposition candidates.

Additionally, I would like to commend her efforts in becoming involved in local politics. I, too, am relatively new to this arena. However, I would suggest that she takes too much credit upon herself and her friends as it pertains to the senior tax freeze. Our current council followed protocol in putting the issue before the citizens. That was in no way due to any pressure applied by Mrs. Parsons or anyone else. It was in response to the desire of citizens. Once the issue was openly debated and an election held, our council did its duty and followed the will of the people by giving us this, I feel, poorly thought out tax exemption. I made my beliefs known and I lost. Now, we will all have to live with the decision made by the people, not by the council or any political action committee. I think it was apathy that allowed that issue to pass, but on the upside of it, I believe many more citizens will vote in this election and keep another mistake from being made.

David B. Nelson
NRH
April 27, 2005 @ 11.20 am
Soldier's wife thanks LNO viewers for saying sending emails to her husband

I just want to thank all your readers for the outpouring of well wishes and prayers they have sent to my husband, Johnathan Hicks, through LNO. As difficult as it is for me to be here without him, raising our 5 month old daughter; I can't even imagine how difficult it is for him to be halfway across the world, missing her first year of life. 

Knowing that our sacrifices are appreciated makes all the difference to us. I could not be more proud of him or more grateful to our community and our church for stepping in to help us out.

With sincere appreciation, 
Ronnie Hicks 
April 27, 2005 @ 11.03 am
LNO can take it...a compliment that is..Thanks.
I write time and again to express my concerns and ideas about what is going on in North Richland Hills, but I have yet to take the opportunity to thank you for providing this venue. LNO is a great service to our communities. You seem to do your best to remain neutral in all matters, but not avoid any issue in the area.

I just wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for all you do.

David B. Nelson
April 26, 2005 @ 9.09 pm
Time to hear the issues in NRH
I’ve been watching, listening, and amateurishly participating in NRH politics since December 2003, when I first became aware of the original recreational vehicle ordinance passed in October 2003. A group of residents banded together for a common cause as owners of RV’s, boats, trailers, etc or even in passing interest attempted to approach the city to request a reconsideration of this onerous ordinance. It is my strong opinion that no changes would have come to pass without this outcry. Although there were strongly opposing opinions stated by council members and citizens, people maintained a sense of civility. During this process, a then-member of the city council as well as the Mayor stated that if we didn’t like how things were being done, do something about it.

This band of citizens took up the challenge and chose to become better informed about the city, its finances, active attendance at council meetings, and raise questions. They also chose to endorse a slate of candidates. Members of the group became involved by placing signs in their yards and talking to their neighbors. My first encounter with ‘dirty politics’ occurred when a misleading and false letter was circulated about Ron West in particular and the opposition candidates in general by an incumbent candidate. The misinformation served its purpose, but still two new faces appeared on the council.

The NRH Citizens Group banded with the senior citizens of our community in making requests that the City Council wholly deliberate and adopt a resolution to grant a tax freeze to seniors and the disabled. The incumbents would not and, in my opinion under the pressure brought to bear by the community and new Council members, finally agreed to revisit the issue after the matter was placed on a ballot. The people loudly made their opinions know when a record number, approximately 15% of those registered, voted 2 to 1 in favor of the freeze. It was only then that the City Council allowed the matter to be approved. My greatest disappointment during this encounter was the truly ‘dirty politics’ that began to be brazenly bandied about. There was no longer discussion about the pros and cons of the freeze, but assaults on individuals’ character and name calling, including being called ‘political terrorist’ by a then-councilmember. I honestly didn’t think it could get any worse.

I was wrong.

As a resident of NRH, I want to hear about issues. Not name calling, not politicking in council meetings, not disrespect shown to senior citizens. I want to hear from the candidates, not from a bunch of folks finger pointing at other people who are not even running for office. There has been so much mud-slinging, disparaging comments about the lack of character in opposing parties, and bald-faced lies that people should be ashamed of themselves.

With the noted exception of one incumbent, the candidates have kept themselves above the mess. It’s time to hear from them about the issues, their opinions, and propositions for the well-being of our community. 

Gini Parsons
NRH
April 26, 2005 @8.05 pm
What's most important in NRH campaign?
I have just finished reading the latest letters and columns on the NRH campaign and would like to comment on some things that were written.

1. I have written and spoken with both incumbents and challengers for the City Council. Neither Ken Sapp nor Ron Lewis are running for a position. 

2. This is the United States of America where people have the freedom to be conservative or liberal (although I think both of those are used to the extreme far too many times). One has the freedom to call ones self Libertarian, Republican, Democrat, Green, or any of the other names given to parties. There is nothing wrong with being any of these or any two of them, if it pleases one. As a matter of fact it is great that we live in a country where this can happen.

3. None of the candidates have said they are Libertarian, matter of fact, this race has no designated political party attached to it. If there is a card carrying Libertarian, good, it means that there is a political person among us, along with many Republicans and Democrats.

4. Ron West Organization is his own PAC. None of the candidates belong to it. He does not tell the candidates what to say or do. He does support the challengers. He has every right to do so. Just as others support the incumbents.

5. Some of the candidates belong to a citizens group while some of the candidates belong to another citizens group.

6. The incumbents claim that there is a "slate" on the opposition. I guess there is, just like the "slate" of incumbents. There doesn't appear to be anything wrong with that, no matter how one votes, they still can only cast one vote for each place. Voting for Ms. Christopher or Mr. Whitson does not mean one is voting for a slate. They are individuals.

The most important part of this campaign? Vote, not all people on our planet have the freedom to do so.

Sincerely,

Sandra Drake
North Richland Hills
April 26, 2005 @ 5.15 pm
Grace for Mayor of Colleyville
Although I am no longer a citizen of Colleyville, I still care about Colleyville and its future. During the two terms I served on the Colleyville City Council, I felt honored to serve with John Grace. He was by far the one person I can remember serving with that did not let anything slip by him as he examined everything from public hearing’s to the City’s budgets. John’s background as an auditor meant he “crunched” every number on every project that ever was presented to the council for approval. He also felt strongly that we must maintain the tax rate and not impose expensive projects on the Citizens of Colleyville that would increase their taxes. I urge you to vote for John Grace as your next Mayor of Colleyville. 

The past three elections have proven that every vote counts. Several elections have been won or lost by 10 or 15 votes out of the thousands of votes cast. Please exercise your right to vote and I promise a vote for John Grace is a vote for someone who will represent your interests at City Hall.

Steven D. Helling
Councilman 1995 - 1999
April 26, 2005 @ 8.23 am
Throw the Ump, I mean, the Player, Outta Here or Direct Responses to Councilman Lewis

Councilman Lewis continues his game as both umpire and player. I'm glad I don't play baseball, as I'd hate to see him behind the plate. Councilman Lewis has made it clear that he doesn't want to answer questions, referring back to his website - which incidentally, contains no answers to any of the questions put to him by me. But, at the risk of giving "tit for tat", since he won't discuss issues he'd obviously rather avoid, I'll respond to the only responses he gives, excuses.

In his challenge Parsons continually berates a friend of mine by calling him "The Sapp." I will not favor Parsons with a response while using this language. 

But John, that's his name. I think it's a fine name, and suits him well. Sorry if it offends you for me to use "this language", but if it's any consolation, the mention of his name offends a lot of people.

Mr. Parsons request Yes or No answers. He wishes not for me to have the opportunity to respond with language like, "It depends on the situation." My opponent makes statements like "I will never…" He may like a councilperson with a closed mind, but I believe a closed mind would not serve our community well.

Actually, I merely asked that they start off with "yes or no", encouraging each of them to freely expound after they answered. It's interesting that Councilman Lewis deigns to speak for me, stating I may "like a councilperson with a closed mind..." To the contrary, I like a representative that answers questions directly, and is decisive in their positions and actions, and doesn't lie about the viewpoints of others. Yes, these were "soft pitches" to use Councilman Lewis's baseball analogy, but most of the positions came directly from accusations on The Sapp's website. Suzette freely answered, but Councilman Lewis doesn't want to. I can understand his reluctance to make his position on these issues clear.

That said, I'll go along with Councilman Lewis' response that "it depends on the situation". So, his responses might look like this:

One of my questions was Do you, in any manner, support the legalization of drugs, pornography on the internet, or elimination of the social security program? to which I suppose, Councilman Lewis wishes to respond "It depends on the situation." 

Another was Are you, as an incumbent, "controlled" by PAC leader Ken Sapp? Please feel free to elaborate. to which I suppose, Councilman Lewis wishes to respond "It depends on the situation."

I suppose I could go on with similar examples, but you see the pattern. However, there is one where his answer of "see my website" fits perfectly. I had asked Will you pledge to not use private citizen communications with you for your personal advantage without their consent, unless compelled to do so by law? Councilman Lewis has already demonstrated on his website that he is more than willing to use his city provided email to benefit his campaign, even going as far as editing one email to make it appear the McNeese's were supporting his stance when they in fact were opposing it. 

Mr. Parsons is Vice President of a political organization which my opponent fills the office as the President. This is where the "Spit Ball" is thrown. His questions are loaded to benefit my opponent’s points of view.

Actually, the truth of the matter is only two of the questions are so "loaded" (eminent domain and citizen responsiveness), the rest of the "issues" were taken directly from The Sapp's website. The Sapp came up with the crazy accusations. But, even the "loaded" accusation is wrong. Councilman Lewis is confusing things. I support Suzette because of her answers, not that I want the answers because I support her. I want a representative that won't abuse communications from citizens, I want a representative that will clearly answer my questions about eminent domain. I believe many other citizens want the same things.

I promised you readers not to make it a habit of responding to all the rhetoric thrown at me. I thought his "spit Ball" was not worthy of your time or mine. The answers to all his questions have long been available on my web site as well as on my opponent’s web site.
I really hope all you folks noticed, he took as much time to say "I won't answer" as it would have taken to actually respond. I'm not surprised though that he feels I'm not "worthy". Councilman Lewis has made it clear that I, and others like my wife and the McNeeses, are only "worthy" of responses when it suits his needs. I hope others will join me and replace him with someone who finds worth and value in all citizens.

Herb Parsons
NRH

April 25, 2005 @ 9.44 pm
99% Happy
Ms. Beilik-I'm thrilled to know that you take the time to investigate citizens concerns. That says a lot about your character as a councilwoman. I certainly understand that you receive numerous complaints/issues from a number of NRH residents and each is just as important as the next.

It was brought to my attention that you had referenced me in how you got the new "no construction" sign at the Davis entrance to HomeTown. You had referenced the sign ordinance being an issue but this simply wasn't the case. The developer hadn't thought of having a larger, more visible sign to the driver's in the semi trucks and he graciously purchased and installed the wonderful new sign that has been very effective. 

My previous e-mail had a little more to it including quoting you so everyone would know what I was referencing that wasn't posted. It did appear a little oddly worded. My saying that the mayor was instrumental in helping me wasn't to say that he gave me preferential treatment in any way. He simply, by being the mayor, receives more e-mails including all of mine at the time. He passed them along to the appropriate people who assisted me. It was a group effort by city employees who helped me with my issue. Mayor Trevino simply directed my request.

It sounded as if you were taking credit where you shouldn't have. I appreciate that Mayor Trevino hasn't used my issue for any political reasons. He simply did his job. You used my issue to promote something that wasn't accurate. Please do stop next time you drive by. I'm 99% happy with my corner. The 1% is of driver's that attempt the turn and we catch them if we can but no fault lies with the developer or the city. 

Please continue the efforts of the current council as together with past council members, NRH has become a wonderful place to live. I love the connected walking trails, the bike routes, the sculptures, the corridor improvements, the landscaping, and so on.

Jennifer LePla
North Richland Hills
April 25, 2005 @ 8.12 pm
Twisting, Turning and Molding in NRH
I have sat somewhat silent on the sidelines as a 20 year North Richland Hills resident, but I can no longer bite my tongue. I have raised two kids here (or almost raised, I still have two in high school, and one just turned 18 and YES he has voted and voted SMART!). I reviewed recently some of the slanderous garbage on the Ron West web site that I had not seen previously from months past.

One item , although not the most important issue in North Richland Hills, but it stated that since Mayor Trevino has been in office, he has repaved neighborhood streets only with concrete - is there an issue here? Have I missed something? - yes, that bad thing called concrete - low to no maintenance, better looking!! What is wrong with a very nice looking concrete street? In those older areas of town (like where I live, the area
that Ron West wants you to believe is being neglected) it actually revitalizes a neighborhood such as the recent renovations on Wyoming Trail. Now if that is not a nice looking street, Ron West needs new glasses! Just around the corner, a recent renovation on Clark Street was completed with asphalt (yes Ron West is wrong, not EVERY street is being repaved with concrete, although I wish it were true from that aspect). So either Ron West is seriously mistaken, or AGAIN he is twisting, turning, molding, shaping any and everything in such a way so that it fits his Libertarian,
anti-government teachings and his own agenda and that of his slate of candidates, Christopher, Siskel, Martin, West.

I also read with great interest Ron's displeasure with the North Richland Hills Police Department. He criticizes an officer for an "illegal" search warrant in a recent case. Ron, if you have never been a Police Officer and I don't think you have, you obviously have no concept of what it takes to prepare a search and/or arrest warrant. Too often, officers all over this country are sued and then judged for their actions at a later date, even
after having been reviewed by a judge (in this case the warrant would have been signed by a judge). Then years later an appellate judge or judges reviews the facts and disallows the warrant. So here we go, Ron West takes a tragic event and runs with it (he must have good running shoes) and will have you believe that this was an illegal warrant. Now I guess after having been thrown out by a court you can technically call it illegal, but Ron runs with it stirs it, twists it, molds it, shapes it for his own PAC's gain so
that again you will believe that EVERYTHING and I do mean EVERYTHING the
City of NRH does is illegal. He does not point out the fact (and never will in any of his Libertarian teachings) that the officer preparing the warrant had good intentions, but he was judged years later by a higher court, and this incident ended up with very unfortunate consequences.

Then, according to Ron West again, we are building an addition onto fire
station #3 on Davis Blvd that will include a weight/training room for our
good firefighters of the North Richland Hills Fire Department. Mr. West
twists, bends, turns,. molds shapes to his liking by stating that we will
have nothing but tired firefighters from working out too much. What??? God
help me, what does THAT ridiculous statement mean?

Oh yes, that 9 1/2 feet of property (RV ordinance) that I DO NOT own in
front of my house, Ron West and his slate of candidates will have you
believe that the city took away something that you really never owned. I
guess last winter when the city came down my street and installed a NEW
WATER LINE in that 9 1/2 feet of property directly in front of my house,
property that I don't own, I should have stood in front of the back-hoe as
they were digging to revitalize my OLD neighborhood chanting, "I shall not
be moved!" Oh, wait a minute, did I refer to the city as revitalizing my
OLD neighborhood (my house was built in 1958, a NEW water line installed,
that's a good thing!). Nooooo, according to Ron West and his slate of
candidates we are neglected, we don't get anything.

The city recently approved a revitalization plan for the old North Hills Mall - last time I looked on a map that was on the SOUTH side of town, you know, that area that is neglected. The sign ordinance has come up. You know, the city wants to revitalize (there's those pesky words again, THE CITY WANTS TO R-E-V-I-T-A-L-I-Z-E!) older areas of town by having businesses comply with the sign ordinance and do away with the urban blight that we have. As a matter of fact, I have an interstate highway billboard sign at a business on my street (yes, I said an interstate highway billboard sign in
my NEIGHBORHOOD! It's so lovely!) This same business keeps trash piled 6 -
7 feet high behind it - and I'm worried about this business moving to Hurst because we insulted the owner over the sign ordinance?

The Tax Freeze - (I'm getting tired) I certainly am always on-board with helping ALL senior citizens - having a mother that is 79 years old, and who lives in a neighboring city that passed a Tax freeze. Now the only issue I have is that she has lived in the same apartment for 14 years. Yes, I said APARTMENT, she is one of many elderly persons across the state that do not own real estate and get nothing out of this. What is Ron West and his slate of candidates doing for my mother and those like her? Tell me, pleeeeease!!

West and his people have referred to Mayor Trevino and others on the council as "tax evaders", having created an illegal Tax Increment Financing District, illegal sign ordinance, (on and on and on) among other slanderous things with no logical basis at all. Then I read the "Letter to the Editor" from North Richland Hills resident Patti Trainer (*LNO, April 23, 2005). Oh sister I am with you! I quote, "If it is all true, where are the Feds? Where are the State Police? Where is the IRS for crying out loud?"

Just a few tidbits -

1) Why is it bad that we want to spend money on city parks? Please tell
me.

2) Why is it bad that we want to spend money on synchronizing the traffic
lights on Davis Blvd? I have driven this road to work for twenty years,
something needs to be done and NOW! Please tell me.

3) Why is it bad that we want to enforce the city's sign ordinance in an
effort to REVITALIZE (OOOOH, that pesky word again!) older sections of town.
Please tell me.

4) Why is it bad that we want to widen North Tarrant Parkway? Please tell
me.

I speak directly to Ron West, his political action committee and those candidates aligned with him:

As you can see I have many questions. But I will tell you one thing that I am very sure of - I have many friends across this great city and I am spreading the word. My two boys that I have raised into fine young men have many friends associated with high school, sports and other activities - my wife and I know the parents. Those parents live in Home Town, Thornbridge and all areas of the North Richland Hills from Keller, south to Richland Hills, from Haltom City & Watauga, east to Hurst - you will not divide us!
I am as much proud of my 1958 neighborhood and the house I have renovated
and South side of the city that Mayor Trevino and the council wants to revitalize, as the parents in Home Town and Thornbridge are proud of theirs. We will not falter, we will not fail we WILL prevail!

Vote FOR your incumbents, TRUE leadership, STOP the Libertarians -VOTE for LEWIS, COMPTON, WELCH and WHITSON!
God Bless North Richland Hills!

Jeff Paul
North Richland Hills
April 25, 2005 @ 1.16 pm
Colleyville Lions winners
A Hearty Congratulations to Don Noblit and Jon Niemczyk as the Colleyville Lion's Club Melvin Jones award winners for 2005. These fine gentlemen have been strong supporters of the Club and embody the true spirit of Lionism whose motto is "We Serve" . Thank you, Lion Don and Jon!! 

Michael T. Muhm
Colleyville, Texas
April 25, 205 @ 10.10 am
Next time this council member will STOP and say Hello
I was very surprised to see Mrs. LaPla’s email to the editor dated April 23rd. I don’t know what precipitated it, but would love to respond. 

It is my job, as a Council person, to respond to every citizen who contacts me. Sometimes I can help solve a problem, sometimes I can make a referral to the appropriate city staff, and sometimes I can only listen. All are important, and, hopefully, one of the three will be the help needed. 

In the case of Mrs. LaPla, the timing of her presentation to Council was perfect. The developer was presenting to Council the same night. Once her concern was aired, it was very simple to suggest cures at the same meeting. I applaud Mrs. LaPla for her actions. At least once a month I make it a point to drive past her corner. I look for new tire marks, or to see if her rock looks like it’s been moved again. I then proceed to drive through the entire subdivision. 

And yes, I try to give the same attention to everyone. After each heavy rain, I have a circuit I drive through the city. I check out every detention or retention pond I’ve had complaints about. My trip includes the drainage ditches known to clog from debris, street corners known to hold water, and yards known to flood. I don’t knock on doors and let anyone know I’m there, I just do my job and go on to the next spot. 

There’s a joke that a council person knows when the trash hasn’t been picked up. Let me tell you, that’s no joke. I get calls if the trash man is a day late. There are very early morning calls when the commercial dumpster next to a residential property is emptied too early. There are late night calls about drag racing. Sewer lines clog on weekends. These are all problems our citizens need help with, and that’s my job. 

Perhaps Mayor Trevino has been more visible in his activities in Mrs. LaPla’s neighborhood than I have. That’s ok. We are both doing our jobs. I promise, though, that the next time I drive by her home, and we wave to each other, I will stop and say “Hello”. 

Nancy Bielik
NRH City Council
April 25, 2005 @ 9.49 am
Signs and legality
I'd like to address some comments I've seen here on LNO, but first I have a question for Mr Mader. Is "M. W. Mader" the same as "Mike Mader" who has served as Vice President for the Thornbridge Home Owners association? The same HOA that is presided over by "That's just my opinion" Ken Sapp? Did The Sapp "help out" with the email, and leave the "That's just my opinion" signoff? If not, is Mr Mader now going to be accused of plagarism for using it?

On the "legality" issue. My fault. My wife and I put up the signs on Davis BLVD, without realizing that it was considered a highway. There was no intentional legal violation, and as soon as members of our group were informed that it was considered a highway, volunteers went out to remove them. However, some had already been removed by someone else. THAT was a legal violation as well. I would also like to mention that the incumbents have signs attached to signs, with is also a violation. I don't think the incumbents did this. Probably just some well-meaning volunteer just like my wife and I that made a mistake. Maybe Mr Mader is going to question the ethics of those volunteers and the incumbents as well, ya think?

As far as "conflict of interest", it's no conflict of interest for a business owner to support those that he believes are supporting him. As a matter of fact, that's what support is all about.

The property rights issue Mr Mader brings up, all I can say is I don't know of any of our group that has harassed anyone, and I'd say if he's aware of such actions, please let us know who and when, and we'll encourage any of our group members to stop. If they're not members of our group, then I'd suggest he address those that are acting this way. Our group has been getting a LOT of emails lately accusing our members of doing and saying things, when in fact the actions are not by our members at all.

Some of the points Patti Trainer brings up are interesting (I'm assuming Patti is the wife of Eric Trainer, treasurer for the new CCHNRH Home Town PAC).

She stated she has "grown weary" of Ron West's rhetoric. I'd suggest that if she's weary of his opinions, she should stop reading them, rather than insisting that Ron move out of town. I think it's admirable that Ron West is trying to change what he doesn't like. As a reminder, Mayor Oscar Trevino and former councilman Scott Turnage both challenged members of our group to change the elected representatives if we didn't like they job they are doing. We're taking them up on that challenge. It's much more satisfying than moving.

To answer some of her questions:

The "Feds" aren't investigating the alleged ethics violations of the city manager and the mayor, because that's not their jurisdiction, it's the state's. The state IS investigating.

The IRS doesn't investigate personal property tax issues - TAD is the taxing agency for Tarrant County. They did investigate, found that the taxes weren't paid, and as a result, all of those mentioned by Ron West as not paying either finally paid, or are in the process of declaring their taxes.

I'm not sure where Ms. Trainer is getting her information (maybe from The Sapp??) about the number of seats Ron West holds, but it's currently zero. He lost his bid. And, he's not running now. If she believes that controlling a PAC means Ron West controls council members, maybe all of the citizens of North Richland Hills should look closer at the purpose of "her" PAC. I've talked to all of the candidates personally, and I know for sure, Ron West doesn't control them. He supports them. Big difference. 

Finally, she states that this is "her city", and she "won't let what happened in Bedford happen here". Why are some folks so afraid of letting the citizens vote for what they want. That's exactly what happened in Bedford, and I hope exactly what happens in North Richland Hills!!

Herb Parsons
NRH
April 25, 2005 @6 .42 am
Hometown fan
We had to move here because there are not enough jobs in Throckmorton to support a family. Most people have to drive an hour and a half to work twice a day in order to support their family. Our family works hard in order to make enough money to live where we do, taking on extra jobs so that we can make it, in order to have a better way of life for our children. 

We originally moved to Bedford after having stayed in an apartment in NRH when we first came here. The apartments were not the best place to raise children and so we moved to what we thought was a very nice community with a simple house. We had at that point thought “yuck” about NRH. One day I accidentally ended up on Davis and saw the entrance to Home Town and I thought, “Oh my goodness, this is like a little town where we came from”, but nicer. 

When I found out it was considered NRH, I was embarrassed that if I moved there my address would be NRH. I did not think NRH was a nice place as it looked run down to me as a foreigner to the town. But we went forth with moving here and once we started hearing about the growth of the city and the new beginnings, we now have a different perspective on NRH. 

I just could not believe that a town this size could lose a mall. So to hear that it is being revitalized, I am thrilled. The way to build a future for a town is not to stop the growth, its not to vote to stop paying taxes, not to think that everything is “not fair”. We need to work together as a team, as a community, to build a future place for our children and our grandchildren. 

Throckmorton did not think about the future for their children. They only thought about not wanting higher taxes and having those “city folk” come in and build big developments and change their community. Now their children and grandchildren who want to live there have to drive out of town to make a living. To me, driving to the other side of town to get to the library or the recreation center that would take about 10-20 minutes - compared to driving to Wichita Falls or Abilene every day wouldn't be bad. 

Throckmorton in the past 10 years just put together a small library of used/recycled books that they get in donations. Its a small little building that the citizens got together and renovated as it once was where the train use to come in and had been closed for many years.

I have to say it is a shame that people have to revert to giving only half the truth when they tell a story when it comes to such an important decision. I also think it is a shame that people don't want to pay their taxes to help improve a place that we all can call home. It is important for us to “build” a “positive” town that we all can benefit from. 

The City is about each and every one of us doing our part to make this a home. Southlake did a pretty good job of making their town a home that many people want to live in. How many of you have visited Town Center? Didn't you find it inspiring? I owned a shop in Historic Grapevine. That is a town that is growing and yet it is keeping the home town appeal. NRH can do that also, but it is going to take everyone fighting for the future. 

Over-development is not what we have in mind, but a place that still feels like a small hometown, where your neighbor knows each of your family members, your dog’s name, and cares about you. We have that in our subdivision and we need that in all subdivisions. Get out and talk to your neighbor and tell them to vote for the people who care about your City. These are the reasons we support Lewis, Compton, Whitson and Welch because they are for the growth of our town!

Darla and Jim Batchler
North Richland Hills, Texas
April 24, 2005 @ 7.50 pm
Showing True Colors
I was wondering when Mr. Pollard would declare his colors. His disguised attempts in previous letters are tactics we have seen before. His "the candidates won't speak to the issues" is Ron West of the first order. The problem with this scheme this time around is that the citizens aren't buying it. 

Mr. Pollard seems to think I support the incumbents solely to retain my unpaid position as a Commissioner on the Planning and Zoning Board. This is an interesting accusation since I receive no compensation other than knowing I am doing something constructive for our City. If Mr. Pollard would get involved and learn more about our city first hand as I did, he might abandon critical rhetoric and come to respect more the job our leaders have done. I have never claimed our leaders are perfect but they are certainly the best horses in this race. 

As to the incumbents speaking to the issues, what in the world is he talking about? I suggest he stop letting Ron West do his thinking for him. If he expands his source of information he will find that the incumbents ARE out talking to our residents like they always have. Their opinions are on record and it he want to see their issues, go to their Web sites or on NRH4U.com. 

If Pollard is so insistent that the candidates get out front with their issues I ask him, where are Siskel, West, Christopher and Martin? We know the answer, Ron West is the phantom candidate in this race and we all know who is pulling the strings. 

I do agree with Mr. Pollard on one thing. God Bless us All. 
The latter is not an opinion, just a profound desire. 
Ken Sapp
NRH
April 24, 2005 @ 7.09 pm
Lion of the Year - Nelson Thibodeaux
I want to give a Big Congratulations to Nelson Thibodeaux as the Colleyville Lions Club "Lion of the Year". He has been a tireless and generous supporter of this wonderful organization that helps many, many people throughout the community. Lion Nelson is a great example of how citizens can give back to their community.
Thank you, Lion Nelson!!
Michael Muhm
Editor's Note:  The Melvin Jones winners, Don Noblit and Jon Niemczyk and numerous other Lions are the true heroes. I was honored and humbled by the recognition from such a selfless group of humanitarians as the Colleyville Lions Club, many who have worked in the spirit of Lionism for more than 20 years.
April 24, 2005 @ 4.05 pm
No..Yes new site look ok
Boy, it looks like the news layout changed. It's VERY busy. I liked the old layout better.
The headlines do not stand out as much.
Thanks for listening,
Sandy

April 24, 2005 @ 4.12 pm
Ok never mind.....I viewed the LNO for April 20th....I followed it a lot better.....easier to follow. For some reason the Apr.23rd news page just looked so busy.
Thanks for listening again, 
Sandy
Editor's note:  "Whew, that was close, thanks!"
April 23, 2005 @ 8.32 pm
Where is the IRS for crying out loud?
I have grown very weary with the angry rhetoric from the Ron West Organization. Does this group do anything but sit around discussing ridiculous conspiracy theories of how city hall is swindling the taxpayers of NRH? 

West’s list of persecutors is lengthy & includes past & present city officials including our mayor, council members, the city manager & developers. He has accused these people of many crimes including extortion, tax evasion, electioneering, breaking numerous state & federal laws as well as enforcing illegal city ordinances and says all this has been going on for 12 years! Watergate looks like a walk in the park compared to West’s description of NRH. 

If this is all true, where are the Feds? Where are the state police? Where is the IRS for crying out loud?! 

West has recently begun to attack the citizens themselves calling entire neighborhoods within our city “elitists”. Who is next? Our children? Our seniors? At this point, all West needs is 2 of the 4 council seats up for election to have control of our council & our city. 

Since West has such a low opinion of NRH, it’s leaders & it’s citizens; why doesn’t he move?! I’m sure he could find a compound somewhere where everything really could be all about him & he wouldn’t have to work so hard at dividing a city to gain control. 

This is my city & I won’t let what happened to Bedford happen here. Our city is more attractive every day thanks to the efforts of our city council. The North Hills Mall project is a huge step in the right direction to make our city better & stronger. I’m voting for what I see - results; and not what I hear - an endless firestorm of baseless criticism. Lewis, Compton, Welch & Whitson have my vote. 

Patti Trainer
North Richland Hills
April 23, 2005 @ 6.04 pm
Warpiest yet
I have read some warped opinions in my time, but Mr. Sapp and his, 'this is just my opinion', is perhaps one of the warpiest, (is that a word), but you get my drift. I think Mr. Sapp figures if his "incumbent slate" loses the election in NRH, he'll lose his job lambasting the council members who defeat his 'slate'. He knows all the answers to every question put to his 'slate' of incumbents and promotes his 'slate' in every way. Still, and this is just my opinion, his rambling incoherent diatribes trying to be funny and profound at the same time, tends to reveal just how little he actually knows about the challengers and their beliefs. He puts his own spin on what they believe, what they think and what they stand for and yet his every conjecture is based solely on his own warped view of the facts. Too bad. He needs to run for a place on the council and see just how his bias would play out to the voters. I think his present position of water boy for the incumbent 'slate' is not an elected position, but appointed. Of course, his 'incumbent slate' has no answers for anyone. Perhaps they don't wish to tell what they believe as long as Mr. Sapp will carry their water, they will sit silently and selectively quiet. This may be the best strategy for their 'slate'. Nothing original but.........after all they are just an incumbent 'slate'. They are above the fray. Naturally, this is my own personal and now public opinion about Mr. Sapp and his incumbent 'slate'.
God bless us every one, 'slate' and all.
Tom Pollard
NRH
April 23, 2005 @4.05 pm
One nice lady!
Indeed, Ms. Beilik had contacted the other "nice lady" via e-mail to follow up on my issue. I have not seen Ms. Beilik drive through and I hope she makes these kinds of efforts for ALL citizens of NRH. Indeed, my property is in much better shape as I and my neighbors continue to stop the very few semi trucks that drive through when we can. The efforts of the developer and the builders have been awesome in making sure their deliveries are made through the alternate routes. In my opinion, Ms. Beilik's efforts haven't had an impact on my issue.

I don't like being used for political bantering. I, as a citizen, went before the Council because I needed their help. I got the help I needed! My contact has been with our wonderful mayor, Oscar Trevino, not Ms. Beilik. Mayor Trevino has never attempted to use me for any political issue. He treated me as he does each citizen of NRH. 

I like the current vision the Council has for this city. There are some wonderful communities that we looked at throughout NRH and chose HomeTown because it reminds me of my childhood home. I like the projected 820 corridor project and the agreements for improvements between NRH and other cities such as Keller (N. Tarrant Pkwy) and Richland Hills (Grapevine Hwy). This Council has been working on improvements to Rufe Snow and many other areas of NRH. There's more at stake in NRH's upcoming elections than just the library and HomeTown. 

This city and it's current council members, including Ms. Beilik, are making NRH a city where people want to move into to live. NRH has a lot to offer and I support the incumbents who have a vision for the city and are making it truly "The City of Choice!"
Jennifer LePla
North Richland Hills
April 21, 2005 @ 8.05 pm
NRH Election is about everyone not about individuals

This is in reference to the article Ron west wrote titled “Special Privileges for the privileged few’. I don’t know Mr. West, or why he would write such a negative article about Hometown and NRH, but I am very dismayed at the tone of the letter. It seems to me that he is trying very hard to divide this city into the have’s and have not’s. The phrase “privileged few” was mentioned 5 times. He uses the term ‘elitist’ and ‘monarch’ frequently in all of his writings.

I’d like to say to Mr. West and any of the council members who buy into his rhetoric: this election is not about YOU. It’s not about the privileged few you mention so often. It’s not about Hometown, Thornbridge estates, or any other neighborhood you’re calling ‘elitist’ in this city. It’s about the City of North Richland Hills, and ALL of its citizens. It’s about doing what’s best for everyone, no matter what their economic status is. We don’t need a divided city- we don’t need finger pointing from one neighborhood to another. 

It appears Mr. West and his supporters are trying hard to push the city in that direction, and I personally won’t stand for it. I’m going to vote in the upcoming election. And I’m going to vote for the candidates that I feel are working hard to unite the city, not divide it.

If you are a divider, and are connecting yourself to a group whose main purpose is to separate and divide the good citizens of this city, then you have no business being in public office. 

If you are a uniter, and are committed to bringing together all of the citizens of North Richland Hills, then you have my vote. The choice is clear- I’m voting for Welch, Lewis, Whitson and Compton.

Karen Russell
North Richland Hills
April 21, 2005 @ 9.05 am
Likes New Format
I like the new layout. Easy to follow, lots of links, lots of topics.
Good job!
Gini Parsons
North Richland Hills TX
Editor's Note:  The site is in transition to incorporate new communicative capabilities that will soon be made available to critical sources of news such as cities, police departments, schools, organizations, field reporters and yes, even guest columnists. 
The new format is being done to encourage "local ownership" in coverage areas with the ability to be the local media source with the most timely news.
While the final "front end" is not complete, some alterations are being tried out for the next few weeks. Thanks for noticing the changes underway.
April 20, 2005 @ 6.05 pm
NRH Incumbents worried?
It appears to me that the city council members of the NRH City Council who are up for re-election are worried. Their signs would have you believe that if the challengers are elected the city will "go to hell in a handbasket". We are already there! Citizen input is ignored! Fiscal management is non-existent! The city manager is unaccountable and out of control. The mayor is an ego-maniac.Nothing is being done to revitalize the southern sector while we spend millions to beautify the upscale neighborhoods in the north sections. 

In the upcoming election we need to destroy the clique that does not listen to the concerns of the citizens in many areas.

Vote to elect the people endorsed by The North Richland Hills Citizens group. They will try to represent all citizens of NRH.

Andrew Wolff
North Richland Hills, TX 
April 20, 2005 @9.40 am
Council candidate Christopher discusses library.
The following information may be helpful to those who have questions about the Library. 

This is taken from a letter mailed to Maury Siskel from City Manager Cunningham: 

The Loop 820 expansion project will eliminate 55 parking spaces on the northwest side of the facility and all of the parking spaces (45) to the north of the facility (total of 100 parking spaces). In addition, this project will severely limit access to this facility from the service road. With the widening and removal of parking adjacent to the service road, the north entrance will have to be re-oriented. As you know, the community services provided at these locations are heavily used. Last year, the Library experienced 273,225 visits, 290,700 people visited the Recreation Center to attend special events, participate in health and wellness programs and use the exercise facilities, and Municipal Court processed 24,893 violations which resulted in visits to either pay fines or participate in court proceedings. With this kind of activity at this facility, you can see how the loss of 100 parking spaces will severely impact its use; this is in addition to the fact that the current main entrance to the Recreation Center would have to be relocated if the Recreation Center were to remain at this facility, which would require major interior renovations. 

Using the figures Mr. Cunningham provides in his letter and making calculations based on 254 business days a year, the visits per day to the Library calculates to 1076 per day or 108 people per hour on average; 1144 per day or 114 people per hour for a 10 hour day visited the Recreation Center; the court processing 24, 893 violations calculates to about 98 per work day in a 10 hour day of operation, or 10 per hour. 

Currently there are 182 spaces for Library Parking. This is not including spaces for the Recreation Center. 

According to a city report – the new library will have 168 parking spaces. 

In an email from Assistant City Manager Torres he writes, “As you may know, the zoning ordinances of most cities prescribe the number of parking spaces for any given facility or land use, sometimes by seats in a facility and sometimes by the total number of square feet being built. Most certainly we will adhere to our own rules. Hence, the larger the facility, the more parking will be required. The plan for parking has been to utilize shared parking for various facilities in the Hometown Development.”

The following is an exchange of emails between me and the assistant City Manager Richard Torres:----- Original Message -----
From: suzette
To: rtorres@nrhtx.com
Sent: Monday, July 26, 2004 11:09 AM
Subject: HOMETOWN LIBRARY
Mr. Torres,
I was wondering if you know how many parking spaces will be available for the new Hometown Library? Also, are there any preliminary plans I could look at regarding the building site, etc.?
Thank you,
Suzette Christopher

----- Original Message -----
From: Richard Torres
To: suzette
Sent: Tuesday, July 27, 2004 3:15 PM
Subject: RE: HOMETOWN LIBRARY 2ND REQUEST
Suzette,
I have been on the run for the last two days, but I hope to get some breathing in tomorrow at my desk. The answer cannot be given very fast because I have to do a little homework to make sure I give you the correct information. I will get back with you either late today, or probably early tomorrow.
Thanks for your patience.
Richard

From: Richard Torres
To: suzette
Sent: Thursday, August 05, 2004 3:10 PM
Subject: Request for Information on Library
Suzette,
Please allow me to answer the questions you raised regarding a proposed new library. There is no design that is being considered at this time for a new library. No architect has been hired at this time. Although I understand there were some concept drawings done some years ago, I cannot find copies of them in my files, nor will they have any real bearing on the eventual design of the building. The drawings that may have been used or circulated in the past were only done for visual, concept presentation purposes. I am sure that when the time comes to hire an architect to begin the design process we will start from scratch. As far as the parking spaces are concerned, the parking spaces necessary will be dictated by our zoning ordinance. As you may know, the zoning ordinances or most cities prescribe the number of parking spaces for any given facility or land use, sometimes by seats in a facility and sometimes by the total number of square feet being built. Most certainly we will adhere to our own rules. Hence, the larger the facility, the more parking will be required. The plan for parking has been to utilize shared parking for various facilities in the Hometown Development.

Just a little more information for you along this subject line. Approximately 10,000 s.f. of land was authorized by the City Council to be acquired in 2002 for the purpose of building a new library. This was the first part of the acquisition necessary for the new library location. It is estimated that 43,000 s.f. of additional land may be necessary for the proposed building site. The location of the site, the estimate of eventual size, and some level of detail regarding shared parking has already been preliminarily determined through the approved “Home Town North Richland Hills Comprehensive Development Agreement”. The timing of the project is largely being determined through the financial ability of the approved TIF #2 to finance the various projects. Bonds were issued last year to complete the acquisition and to pay for all design costs. At this time we are in a holding pattern.

I hope this information has helped. I am truly sorry for the delay. Please write again if you need additional information.
Richard Torres

---------------------
From: suzette
Sent: Friday, August 06, 2004 6:01 AM
To: Richard Torres
Subject: Re: Request for Information on Library
Richard,
Thank you for getting back to me. I do understand about parking spaces:

"As far as the parking spaces are concerned, the parking spaces necessary will be dictated by our zoning ordinance. As you may know, the zoning ordinances or most cities prescribe the number of parking spaces for any given facility or land use, sometimes by seats in a facility and sometimes by the total number of square feet being built. Most certainly we will adhere to our own rules."

It's the "own rules" that is concerning. At one of the Council Meetings it was stated by a P&Z person that "Hometown is unique in that it has it's own set of rules." I was concerned about these rules and how they would affect the parking - especially since Hometown is being designed as a walk-about neighborhood. I take it by your response, that even though Hometown has their own set of rules as stated at the meeting, they (builders, city, etc) will still have to abide by the ordinances already in place for the city as a whole - not just the ones for Hometown.

What ordinance would I be looking for at the Library in order to read up on this? I will wait for the specs to come out. I would appreciate you keeping me up to date on when these would be available for viewing.

Thank you again for your help,
Suzette Christopher

------------------------------
From: Richard Torres
To: suzette
Sent: Friday, August 06, 2004 5:37 PM
Subject: RE: Request for Information on Library

Suzette,
Just trying to get in a few last minute e-mails before I go home.

There are a different set of development standards that were adopted by the City Council for Hometown, but they are still our rules. I do still feel confident that when it comes time to develop a new library that we will live by these new rules. I will likely oversee the design of the project and have a direct hand in on the design. I intend to make sure that these rules are followed.

I have asked the Planning Department to provide me a set of the rules and regs on Monday for Hometown. I am going to provide these to you, but just give me a day or two to look them over and get to know about them myself. I also want to make sure that these are the specific things you are requesting. I will call or write by mid week with these, if this timetable works for you.

Have a good weekend.
Richard Torres
Assistant City Manager

---------------------------

From: suzette
Sent: Monday, August 9, 2004 9:16 AM
To: Richard Torres
Subject: Re: Request for Information on Library
Richard,
This sounds great! Thank you very much for the information.

Suzette
NOTE: NO FURTHER INFORMATION WAS EVER RECEIVED

I attending a meeting of the Planning & Zoning in which a P&Z member stated Hometown had their own set of rules. I questioned Mr. Torres about these rules to which he replied in an email, “There are a different set of development standards that were adopted by the City Council for Hometown, but they are still our rules. I do still feel confident that when it comes time to develop a new library that we will live by these new rules. I will likely oversee the design of the project and have a direct hand in on the design. I intend to make sure that these rules are followed. I have asked the Planning Department to provide me a set of the rules and regs on Monday for Hometown. I am going to provide these to you, but just give me a day or two to look them over and get to know about them myself. I also want to make sure that these are the specific things you are requesting. I will call or write by mid week with these, if this timetable works for you.”

Email is dated Aug. 2004. As of today no set of rules have been received. 

City Manager Cunningham also states in his letter to Mr. Siskel, “I want to reiterate that there are no current plans to relocate City Hall to Home Town or anywhere else in the City. There is a small section in the TIF 2 District Development Agreement related to City Hall. This was identified in an original plan as there were thoughts that further highway expansion might render City Hall unusable, or the land along Loop 820 would be more valuable as a commercial venture.”

Summary:
Current Library Parking = 182 (Library Only), 402 combined spaces
Less 100 spaces for Loop 820 = 172 (Library Only)
New Library Parking = aprx. 165 as per City report
Current Library Size = aprx. 20,000 sq. ft. (provided by reference dept. NRH Library)
New Library Size = 60,000 sq. ft. as per City report
New city hall located in Hometown: There are no current plans as per Cunningham letter
Hope this helps answer some of your questions,
Suzette Christopher
NRH

April 20, 2005 @ 7.44 am
NRH City Councilwoman Suzy Compton responds to accusations.
Dear Interested Citizens of North Richland Hills, 

The Ron West Organization sent my husband their literature regarding the May 7 City Council Election. The assumptions that are made in the literature are fiction at best. There are citizens who might believe this information to be accurate, when in fact it is not. 

Below are the facts regarding RWO’s erroneous claims that I may have a conflict of interest as a member of the city council. 

The literature received on Saturday, April 16, states that I may have a conflict of interest because my brother is a local home builder in a neighboring community. The facts are as follows: 

1) Yes, my brother is a local home builder. 

2) No, my brother does not live or build in North Richland Hills. He never has, nor will he ever be likely to build in North Richland. Even if he chose to build in our fine city, I say “So what! He has a right to build where he chooses.” 

3) My brother is a custom home builder, not a developer. He purchases finished lots that have already been pre-zoned, pre-platted and are ready for a building permit. Thus, there is no interaction with any city council only city staff. City staff are hired by the city manager not the council. 

4) No, there is not a conflict of interest. I do my thing and my brother does his thing. We do not interfere with each others professional and civic work. 

Mr. West and I have never met. Yet, he tried to discredit me shortly after my appointment to council in December with an article incorrectly stating that my husband was a builder and I am paid with tax dollars due to my employment thus indicating the existence of a conflict of interest. My husband is a teacher and I am paid with school tax dollars not city tax dollars. Mr. West did go back and change his article with the correct information however; I could not find a statement indicating that the article had been edited to reflect accuracy. Shortly after that, Mr. West sent me an e-mail welcoming me to the council and stating that he had not had the “privilege” to meet me. I do not take too kindly to someone trying to discredit me before meeting me then writing me a note using the words “welcome” and “privilege.” 

I want to be elected to the city council because my mission is to serve. This has always been my mission. I have no hidden agenda. Because of my background and my experiences I believe I bring a balance to the council. I have always worked hard for others and will continue to do so. 

It is unfortunate that people such as Mr. West and his organization are using valuable time conjuring up innuendo that is totally unnecessary, incorrect, and a waste of time and energy. 

Suzy Compton
NRH
April 19, 2005 @ 1.46 pm
Mayoral Candidate signs does not have "FOR"
Normally you are ever vigilant and certainly quick to point out possible election code violations. However, I cannot find anything in LNO about John Grace and his signs. I noticed that the signs read JOHN GRACE MAYOR with no clear or obvious FOR in the sign. This makes it appear that Mr. Grace is an incumbent running for re-election rather than being a non-incumbent. Certainly, that is an election code violation. Why the laxity in pointing this out in regard to this candidate? Equal treatment and scrutiny for all should be your credo.

Sarah Kasparian
Colleyville

Editor's Note:  LNO wrote that Mike Taylor originally pointed out the FOR was missing on the Grace signs.  LNO has reported on the sign question before and now has again.
April 19, 2005 @ 1.44 pm

In regard to the comparison parking spaces Nancy Bielik is referring to
in her response to LNO question on April 18th, do the "hundreds of
spaces" she refers to at the current library location include the rec
center parking, municipal court parking, parks and rec department
parking or just the library parking. I don't think the library by itself
has that many parking spaces but admit I have not counted them. I go to
the rec center often and that is the area where parking sometimes is
limited - library parking never appears to be an issue. 

I do not live in Hometown - have lived in NRH since 1986 in an older
home approximately 2 miles northeast of the present library and I am not
sure what she means by "Hometown was envisioned as a neighborhood that
would incorporate all the latest technology in the homes at the time
they are constructed. That includes high speed internet access in every
home. The older homes near the present library don't have these same
amenities." I had no problem getting high speed internet access so I
am not sure what this has to do with anything.

Is this response just another way to "attack" the prior councils (
1999) decisions? I am really tired of the back-stabbing and personal
attacks that have occurred in the press since she has joined the Council,
since many to me seem based on facts that are far from accurate but
they do make for a good copy for the newspapers and unfortunately people
believe what they read. I have no problem with her wanting to make
changes and voicing her opinion on what changes she feels need to be
made - but keep it professional - stick to the facts please. 

Dottie McCary
NRH
April 19, 2005 10.54 am

Thanks to Mr. Pollard for his interest in NRH politics. I believe his interest is sincere and I strongly appreciate his quest for more information. I wish more NRH resident would become more involved. 

His thirst for knowledge about the allegations posted against the incumbents can be easily satisfied. I would first comment that the "Slush Fund" has been discussed extensively on in public media (including LNO). It is now up to readers to determine who they want to believe. 

The same is true for the other allegations. If anyone thinks the sign ordinance is illegal, then turn the city into the Attorney General. Of course it is not illegal, the city Attorney has spoken on this but am not sure what proof Mr. Pollard wants? The allegations continue to be repeated over and over long after they have been answered. 

There are clear differences of opinion and vision for our city. My Pollard and other residents are free to read the web sites of both sides (they are all published) and he can make up their own minds. This election is not about the questions he mentioned, it is about what the "real issues" are and who is telling the truth about them. That is up to the individual voter to determine. God Bless them all in their efforts. 

I heartily agree, vote. 

My Opinion Once More
Ken Sapp
NRH
April 19, 2005 @ 7.47 am

If the present library location is so inadequate, why will it be approved for a library annex? So those who live nearby can walk to it? What about everyone else in NRH who has no library close enough to walk to now and will have no library to walk to when this debacle is over? Sorry, a very unsatisfactory answer, Mrs. Bielik. 

It is understood, however, you had nothing to do with the promises made by city officials before you took office. The more questions citizens ask, the more blatantly unrealistic the answers become. 

How many parking spaces will be lost by the widening of 820? Do we know? Does the roof leak bad enough at the present location to ruin books now? Do we know? How many parking places will be left after the 820 widening? Do we know? How many parking places are needed for a library in our town? Do we know? How much additional space will be provided by the "new" library? How many new books will be purchased? Who selects the books? How many new computers will be added to the "new" library? Who pays for the new equipment, furniture, computers, books, shelving, employees, and various other amenities that "TWO" libraries will require. How about it, council, Mr Mayor, city staff? Does anyone have any answers to any of these questions. Don't blast me for asking, just give us some straight forward answers. Or a polite, "I don't know." 
Does anyone see how we're headed down a slippery slope with no brakes and only a head on collision in front of us?
Two libraries, Pshaw!
Tom Pollard
NRH
April 18, 2005 @ 9.42 am
Everybody agrees on voting is best!
Thanks to Mr. Pollard for his interest in NRH politics. I believe his interest is sincere and I strongly appreciate his quest for more information. I wish more NRH resident would become more involved. 

His thirst for knowledge about the allegations posted against the incumbents can be easily satisfied. I would first comment that the "Slush Fund" has been discussed extensively on in public media (including LNO). It is now up to readers to determine who they want to believe. 

The same is true for the other allegations. If anyone thinks the sign ordinance is illegal, then turn the city into the Attorney General. Of course it is not illegal, the city Attorney has spoken on this but am not sure what proof Mr. Pollard wants? The allegations continue to be repeated over and over long after they have been answered. 

There are clear differences of opinion and vision for our city. My Pollard and other residents are free to read the web sites of both sides (they are all published) and he can make up their own minds. This election is not about the questions he mentioned, it is about what the "real issues" are and who is telling the truth about them. That is up to the individual voter to determine. God Bless them all in their efforts. 

I heartily agree, vote. 

My Opinion Once More
Ken Sapp
NRH
April 15, 2005 @ 4.37 pm
Vote Vote Vote in NRH!
I thank Mr. Sapp for his extended prologue on the incumbents interests and intentions. He, of course, did not answer any questions previously put to the council concerning the conflict of interests, the profiting by Council Members from city projects, their preferential treatment, the slush fund, the private out of town budget hearings, the illegal sign ordinance, etc., etc., etc. 

Just the usual long winded name calling of those who might disagree with the city council. For instance, those who ask probing questions are called the disgruntled minority, they participate in 'tit for tat' politics, (whatever that is), and they attack without foundation. But no answers to those inquiries were forthcoming. Just the same old 'trust me to know who is right'. I'm convinced Mr. Sapp is an honorable man. I don't know him from Adam yet I have no reason not to believe he believes what he says about the people who serve on the council today. And ................ I know who he'll vote for next month.

Yet all his letter told me was that he preferred those presently serving to those who seek to serve, i.e., as he said, the disgruntled minority. I honestly don't think Mr. Sapp wishes harm on NRH. But, neither do I. I want our city to prosper and enjoy open city government and an active, aggressive, involved, do something, business conscious council. Yes, I know about North Hills Mall and I'm elated, but have I heard this song before?
Vote! Vote! Vote!
Not three times please, that line was just for emphasis

Tom Pollard
April 13, 2005 @ 9.13 pm
Only 24 days to election

I'd like to address the candidates and columnists who reside in North
Richland Hills.

Please stop this tit for tat business and discuss something of substance. I
don't really care anymore who called who what. What are you folks actually
going to do if you are elected or if your candidate of choice is elected?

Posting a carefully worded position on your respective websites on various
issues isn't the same thing as discussing the issues. Is it possible to
state positions on these various issues in your columns and respond to your
opponent's position? You know, something like a dialogue? I hope so,
because I'm getting a tired of wading through ad hominem attacks looking for
something I can get behind.

Also, please be careful when you insult your opponents. You might just be
alienating your constituents. Tom Pollard's letter to the editor is right
in line with my thoughts on this subject, so there's no need to restate it.

Think back to a few months ago and remember the debates that preceded the
Presidential election. No matter what Sen. Kerry and Pres. Bush might have
thought of one another, they were polite and actually did speak to the
issues raised. No matter whether you voted for one or the other or neither,
perhaps we could all benefit from you behaving like they did during those
debates.

There are only 24 days left! Please use them wisely.

Ryan Harris
North Richland Hills
April 13, 2005 @ 4.50 pm
The Chase!
Now that's what I call news. Thanks for making the chase available.

Danny Holifield
April 13, 2005 5.22 am
LNO is THE source for breaking news!
I have watched as you presented the facts, (police chase and story on Doug Bachstein). I was impressed! LNO is THE source of breaking news of a local nature!

Alan Linford
April 12, 2005 @ 12.35 am
Just My Opinion
I sincerely hope that I am not called to task for plagiarism by using the above title. That seems to be the tactic of some who like to see their 'columns' in print. 

I read LNO often and have read both Pros and Cons of the verbal war which 
goes on with the city council incumbents, the mayor, and those in opposition. 
I know none of them personally. But I want to know why, if this is a free country
and I can believe as I choose, why if I claim the title of Democrat, Republican, 
Libertarian, or Whig, would that be used against me as a free American? 

Am I not free to believe as I chose? Must I believe like you do or he does or she does? Or am I just free to agree with those in power. I thought I was free to form my own opinions on issues I care about without being ridiculed or condemned for my party affiliation. That is obviously not the opinion of some. 

But that is just opinion... and they are welcome to it. My opinion says I, and you, have the right and privilege to be Libertarians, Democrats, Whigs, or Republicans, or any other political entity with which we choose to align ourselves. That's what Freedom means. If you want me to vote for you, or for whom you prefer, don't continually talk about the "slate" as though it is something sinister. 

The incumbents are also a slate, and mostly vote in a bloc, except for the 
two recently elected lady council members. Are not those bloc voters a slate? 
Sure they are and that's okay. It shows the voters how they believe and how 
they think and how they will continue to believe and think. That's not a bad thing. 

Neither is being in the opposition "slate." So be nice to each other. 
Be calm and be like real Americans should be. Write about issues that face 
out city. Don't continue to label everyone who disagrees with you as members 
of a "slate" or political terrorists. We're Americans just like you and we have 
a right to believe and to be heard as much as you have that same right. I'll say it again, be nice to each other, talk issues, NRH issues, and GOD bless us everyone. 

Tom Pollard
NRH
April 6, 2005 @7.45 pm
Lewis and emails for personal use
I wanted to follow up on your article that you posted as a result of my answers to you via email.

I had stated that Councilman Lewis left out the portions of my wife's email that were not advantageous to him. I did not say that those portions were critical of him. My wife is has a gentle nature, and seldom engages in the type of negativity that Councilman Lewis, or even I, do. I did say that had the entire email been posted, it would have looked different. Had all of the emails been posted, it would have looked VERY different.

My point in that was that he was not the responsive councilman that he made himself appear to be. My wife wrote all of the council members an email asking that action be taken. He took no action other than to drive by the location, then pass the buck. The safety issue remains today, with the homeowners in question essentially forcing children to walk in the street by blocking the very same city-owned right of way that he so vigorously fought RV owners over.

He DID however, change the meaning of another posted email on his website, the one from the McNeeses. Bobby and Nita McNeese sent him an email describing how they voluntarily built a pad for their RV before the RV issue came before the city council. The portion of the email that he left out completely changes the meaning of their email to him. His posting made it sound as if they were in support of his restrictions; however, what he didn't post was the next line after that paragraph, where they wrote:
-----
I don't have any statistics but logic & common sense dictates that a number of NRH senior citizens have budget constraints that prohibit expenditures that you & I were able to absorb.
-----
I think it's despicable that a city councilman uses letters sent to him by his constituents for personal use. Especially when he has been requested to remove them by those that wrote them. It's even worse when he deliberately edits the emails to make them appear to say something that they don't. Surely this is NOT the actions of a "responsive" councilman.

I hope as citizens go to vote, they remember the actions of a councilman that is so willing to use their correspondence with him in whatever manner he sees fit. Should we re-elect this "gentleman", I hope citizens are aware of how their emails to him may be used, or misused.

Herb Parsons
NRH
April 5, 2005 @1.41 pm
Apathy allowed a foothold
It appears to me that the mantra of the opposition slate in North Richland 
Hills is "We don't like or trust the current council". For the record, I do 
not believe any of the candidates has directly said that, but it appears to 
be their only issue. There is a country and western song that says "You 
have to stand for something or you will fall for anything". I have not been 
able to figure out what the the opposition slate stands for (forgive the 
poor grammar). They seem only to look for problems, not solutions. They 
appear to only want to demean and denigrate, not encourage or thank, not 
only our city staff, but the other professionals that work for our great 
city. They continually escalate the war of words, but offer very little, if 
anything, in the way of new and positive ideas. Ideas that will help our 
city grow. Ideas that will allow us to address the growing population and 
the needs for expanded and improved infrastructure. Yes, these needs often 
require money and despite the utopia in which Ms. Christopher and her fellow 
candidates seem to live, they require money and setting aside money for 
future needs is not a waste. We need a spirit of cooperation and I fear, 
from past experience, all we will get is arguments, accusations and a 
failure to work with our city staff.

For those who support the growth of North Richland Hills and the 
improvements to our streets, our public safety capabilities, and our quality 
of life amenities, you too must stand for something. Apathy has allowed a 
vocal and organized minority to get a foothold in our city. If they are 
left unchecked, I fear they will bring all of our city's momentum to a 
screeching halt in the name of open government and responsiveness. I 
challenge each of you to take up Mr. West's challenge and talk to your 
councilmen. I think you will find them responsive and willing to work with 
you. If you remain on the sidelines and fail to get out and vote for our 
incumbents, then you are standing against all we have accomplished and will 
continue to do.

David B. Nelson
Member of the Silent Majority
April 5, 2005 @ 10.34 am
Colleyville City Council
Editor
I hope that voters will carefully consider the choice for Place 2 in the May city elections.  Tony Licata is a long time citizen volunteer, with a BS in Electrical Engineering from Lehigh University and an MBA from Southern Methodist University.  His opponent is running again and again and again.  After two substantial defeats for mayor, Mike. Taylor is now running for a council seat yet again.  We need a concerned resident with a formal educational background and commitment to help manage our city.  We do not want a return to the acrimony style of Mr. Taylor  and his gang simply because he wants to be elected to something or anything!
George Williams
Colleyville
April 1, 2005 @ 1.47 pm
Not enough negative votes in NRH?
Suzette Christopher, a candidate for the North Richland Hills City Council, 
has posted on her website statistics on the voting records of the four 
incumbent members of the council that are up for re-election. Her premise, 
as I understand it, is that there are not enough negative votes cast by 
these members. I wonder what percentage of neigh votes it takes to be a 
proper councilperson? Is it 10%, 20% or even higher?? She apparently views the lack of negativity as a sign of poor government. I see quite the opposite. 
I see this as an indication that the members of the council work well with 
our extremely professional and competent city staff. I see a group of 
people that look for answers, not just problems. I see people who want 
things to move forward, not be mired in endless meetings and reports. It 
appears that Ms. Christopher believes that instead of cooperation with the 
staff and positive action for the city she should be their nemesis.

Our city has moved forward, is growing and is a wonderful place to live 
because of the cooperation of our fantastic city staff and the dedication of 
our council to looking after the best interests of all of the city, not just 
a select few. We can see evidence of this in recent news about the 
redevelopment of North Hills Mall. If not for the forward thinking of our 
council and economic development department, and yes, the setting aside of 
funds to aid in this work along with the foresight to work with our 
neighboring cities, this may not have been possible. The incumbents on the 
ballot in May: Welch, Lewis, Whitson and Compton, are positive about North 
Richland Hills. I fear the slate of challengers want only disarray and 
animosity between the staff and council. Let's move forward, not back. Vote 
for Welch, Lewis, Whitson and Compton in May!!

David B. Nelson
Member of the Silent Majority
North Richland Hills, Texas
March 31, 2005 @ 6.08 pm
LNO or the National Enquirer?
Not sure what your goal is for your email publication... However, if you're trying to become the next National Enquirer--your well on your way...   I was in Printing and Publishing for over 18 yrs. and have dealt with some pretty heavy hitters in the field of Journalism.  I'm live in Southlake and I know that a lot of what goes on here is as bad or worse than any other zip code in the U.S.  I don't know anything about the woman and have absolutely no allegience to the school system.  However, the extent of your coverage on this topic, before the individual is proven guilty, is a real piece of work...Not sure of your Journalism and ethical background, but, you really need to take a look at and review your Mission...You are now blocked from my mailing list and I would, if asked, encourage anyone who I know gets your emails to block you as well--this includes your sponsors / advertisers....
Tim Haitz

Editor's Note: Mr. Haitz may not be aware that I am acutely aware of being charged and receiving adverse publicity prior to being found guilty of anything.  Unfortunately that is the land of free press and LNO certainly was not the only media source to report  the charges.  The article's content was prepared based on press releases from law enforcement and a copy of the actual arrest affidavit. The accused teacher was provided an opportunity to give her side of the story, but elected not to respond to our efforts (or any other media from what I can tell). LNO included the ENTIRE affidavit so viewers could ascertain for themselves statements from all parties, including the accused.  
March 31, 2004 @5.31 am
Dear Editor,

Hopefully you can convey sincere congratulations to the North Richland 
Hills Employees who have successfully begun to resolve the nagging 
problems of North Hills Mall. I along with all residents of NRH are 
grateful for the sheer work and tenacity to bring about what these folks 
have accomplished. There may remain much left to do, but at this point, 
it warrants an unqualified thank you for all that you have done. I guess 
Jake will have to tour it one day on a leash, but he will enjoy it and 
wags his thanks.
Cheers,
Maury&Dog
March 30, 2005 @10.39 pm

I think it's time to call a spade a spade. Ken Sapp is a lying when he
continues to assert that the slate running against his choice of council
members are Libertarians, or even "Libertarian leaning". He knows this
to be false. He is attempting, deliberately, to mislead people into
believing something that is not true. I think it's despicable. Does this
city really need political leaders that continue to deliberately
misstate the views of those they oppose? Does this city really need
leaders that are guided and supported by people of that type of
character? I ask readers to watch and see how the city council
challenger slate conducts themselves in the coming weeks. I don't
believe you'll see the mud-slinging, name calling, and character
assassination you see coming from John Lewis and The Sapp. Character
assassination that began even before the election with John Lewis and
his current campaign treasurer accusing Suzette Christopher of
plagiarism, then asserting that they were doing so in the best
interests of the city!

If The Sapp took the time think about what Ron West was stating in his
satire, whether he agreed with the stance or not, he would have seen
that the Ron's opposition was to the use of the TIF designation, not
with the city cooperating with developers. TIF #2 was NOT a blighted
area, nor are the conditions for a TIF being met. On the other hand, the
North Hills Mall area is CLEARLY a blighted area, and the city was able
to accomplish its redevelopment without the use of a TIF. Sounds to me
like Ron West was right on in this matter.

The Sapp further asserts that "This 'Good News' would not be written,
however, if last years opposition 'slate,' including Ron West, would
have been elected." Ignoring the fact that The Sapp's has no way of
knowing how Suzette Christopher would have lead the council, or how Ron
would have voted, the assertion is false and misleading from multiple
standpoints. Consider the following

1. Two of the four slate members DID get elected last year, and the
North Hills mall development still took place.
2. Of the two that didn't get elected, only one was in a voting
position - Suzette was running for mayor and the mayor only votes in
case of a tie.
3. Had Ron been elected, and had he been opposed to the mall
redevelopment, the vote would STILL have been 6 to 1.

Yet The Sapp asserts that had West and Christopher been elected, none
of this would have happened. Of course, he does end all of his "columns"
with "That is Just My Opinion ." Could it be that The Sapp's opinion on
the matter is pretty much worthless?

Interesting that when I stated that one of his candidates of choice,
John Lewis, did not address issues in my letter to the editor here, said

candidate called it "false" because he had addressed those issues on
his website. Yet, when his opponents CLEARLY have their views posted on
their websites (all but John Martin), John Lewis and The Sapp insist
that they aren't "for" anything, are simply the "anti" candidates, and
that they don't state what they are for. By the way, since websites have
been "plugged" here recently, I invite all the readers here to visit our
NRH Citizen Group's website, to keep up on some of these issues. I hope to have a side by side comparison of what John Lewis and The Sapp have said in the past, compared to what they are
saying now.

It's pretty obvious that The Sapp and John Lewis are desperate, and
have determined that desperate times require desperate measures. Maybe
they should try a little honesty.

Herb Parsons
NRH
March 30, 2005 @9.33 am
Bedford Incumbents Bully Citizens!
It is a rule closely followed by insensitive politicians that:

"Always cut programs and services in the areas that hurt the most people and create the greatest outcry - in order to not have to reduce taxes."

Looking at the morning report in the Star Telegram, it is obvious that the ruling majority in Bedford not only supports this position but has taken on the task of punishing the citizens who denied them the 27% tax increase. With an astounding display of disregard for the city, Mayor Rick Hurt and his 3 cohorts on the council thumbed their respective noses at the citizens of Bedford and showed that they could truly make them pay for denying them their big tax increase. Reason and compromise went out the window.

I am having a hard time understanding their actions. By cutting and closing the items they choose, they are trying to hurt the people who they believe hurt them. A tit for tat that is totally unwarranted. Notice that none of the bureaucracy at city hall was impacted at all. Notice that none of the "brass" in city management took a hit. 

I hope that all the citizens of Bedford - both those for and against the tax rollback - look at the actions of these elected officials and find them unacceptable. Reasonable government would have looked at minimizing the impact rather than creating the greatest hurt for the greatest number of people possible. Apparently, Mr. Hurt and the others think that intimidation and pain is the way to remove future opposition to runaway spending. 

The City of Bedford is a great area with great schools and location. Petty politics - as evidenced by the actions of the council - are more deserving of a third class city with an uncaring populace. Runaway spending and runaway taxation are not problems just in Bedford but across Texas. The legislature wisely implemented a cap that allows active citizen groups to seek a roll back to an 8% increase if the local politico's get too greedy. Bedford demonstrated that the system works and the folks in power decided to make the citizens pay for it. The library and senior center were in the original budget that called for only an 8% increase - but the power brokers want it all.

My hat is off to all the citizens of Bedford and I would encourage all to continue to have faith in the bright future of Bedford. My bet is that if you elect reasonable people to your local government, you can quickly correct these flagrant abuses of power and move Bedford forward. Prime locations develop without payoffs to developers. The quality of citizens and the strategic location of Bedford make it a real place of choice for all future development in the mid cities area. Lower taxes are an incentive to locate in a city for businesses as well as new citizens. Growth in an area should benefit all citizens by lowering the need for more taxes rather than increasing the tax burden on all.

From an outside standpoint, it looks like the real problem in Bedford was not the roll back - rather the runaway spending by the bullies on the City Council under the direction of Rick Hurt.

Ron West
NRH
March 30, 2005 @9.18 am
I am looking for an inexpensive place to neuter a cat in the DFW area. 
Thank You
Laura Becker The following link has some information that should be of interest.
http://archive.localnewsonly.com/PetCorner/05_03_24spca.htm
March 29, 2005 @7.11 am
Slush Fund Definition!
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language shows the definition of "slush fund" as a fund raised for undesignated purposes. Since this is a fund that is undesignated, it seems to me that using it while writing about the discretionary fund in the NRH city budget would be appropriate. So, I am confused as to why it is causing such a storm of letters and articles sent to LNO.

Unless of course, it is used as the definition of Princeton University ie. a fund for buying votes or bribing public officials. To quote Shakespeare, with just a bit editing..."The (gentlemen) doth protest too much, methinks."

Sue Havens-Drake
North Richland Hills, TX
March 28, 2005 @9.38 pm
(Reference paths added by LNO for viewer convenience.)
Wearing Blinders? 
Parsons views are so fixed that he may be unaware that he continues to misrepresent the truth while denying it. Consider the second paragraph in his last writing on the subject. (in the Parson's email below).

Parsons wrote, “However, contrary to your denials and accusations that I "misrepresented or totally fabricated" anything, the rest of the letter was entirely correct. I noticed you failed to address any of those issues.”

I requested the readers to visit my web site to learn my views on issues impacting “My City of Choice” North Richland Hills. On my web site I discuss both my position on the Senior Tax Freeze and Eminent Domain. 

I see my political opponent has now revised her literature, removing the inflammatory charges of our City Manager maintains a “Slush Fund.” Unfortunately she continues to spew false information in its place. She writes, “By his own admission Councilman Lewis didn't have knowledge about what this item funded. He said, “I have requested our city manager to provide all council members the detail in both departments...” This sentence written by Christopher exemplifies the typical misrepresentations she and her allies constantly make. Please view my statements on the subject (in LNO)  and 
(in this section below) 

Parsons wrote on his March 25th comments on LNO. “Here are some facts for folks. It's John Lewis that stated publicly that he believes that taking private property to enrich developers is a good thing, since it increases the tax base and benefits the rest of the citizens

False, is that I said I believed that taking private property to enrich developers is a good thing. True, I stated the citizens of Hurst have benefited by the use of Eminent Domain related to the expansion of the NE Mall. Increased sales tax revenue realized by the City of Hurst does in fact reduce the need for Hurst to have a greater reliance on Property Tax. 

You be the judge. Which candidate speaks truth and which one speaks with a “Forked Tongue”?

Please visit my web site http://www.johnlewis4nrh.com/ to learn my views on issues impacting “My City of Choice” North Richland Hills. 

John H. Lewis 
Councilman, Place 1, NRH
March 23, 2005 @ 3.11 pm
Clarification for Christopher & West


Not surprisingly my political opponent and her mentor have chosen to parley my previous article to meet their own needs or failed to understand my words. Let me say to them very carefully so not to be misunderstood.

I already had an awareness of the accounts making up the two budget pages which they maliciously refer to as “Slush Fund”. I will repeat what was posted in my article on the 22nd. “I posed similar question on these items during my first Council budget session in 2003 and readily received an explanation of the line items summarized in the “Sundry” budget account.” My request to Mr. Cunningham was to benefit all Councilmembers, particularly the two new councilwomen elected last year so they could share the information with their political friends. 

Christopher’s former running mates now have the detail in their hands. There are no “Slush Fund” as trumped up by Christopher and West. The two Non-Departmental Budget pages they have attacked provide for expenses or projects that are not directly related to a particular department and therefore are not allocated to a department expense.

On other matters of which she writes, Christopher is my political opponent in this year’s election, it is not my job to educate her. If she chooses to step out on a limb, so be it. 

Please visit my web site to learn my views on issues impacting “My City of Choice” North Richland Hills.
Councilman Place 1 John Lewis
North Richland Hills City Council.
 March 18, 2005 @ 2.49 pm
Email to West and Followers
It did not take long for the West disciples to respond to my column. The truth evidently does hurt and they are running from it with such vigor that they must have shallow beliefs, are ashamed of their past or are afraid that others might discover what they really think. 

I am confident that one recent respondent asked the candidates their views but as with past issues, he typically only hears what he wants to hear. If the candidates wish to deny they are on a "slate" supported by Ron West, they are free to do so. If they disagree with his views, perhaps they should indicate which of his views they are opposed to. 

The tactics of the man who pulls the strings for the "slate" are not new. He and his disciples have a long history of bombast, name calling, character degradation and misstating facts. I must admit, his running from his Libertarian views did surprise me. I guess he thinks computers do not have memories and that camera images fade with time. Or on the other hand, perhaps he is not yet sure of what he and his "slate" stand for.

The media is filled with written and recorded statements of the "slates" views and I am sure they will all surface at the time such evidence is needed. A reader does not have to dig very deep to see that the apple does not fall too far from the tree. 

Slander, Lies, are pretty strong statements. I believe Integrity and Character count and am willing to let the Almighty, not Ron West, be my Judge on this issue.

No doubt more name calling will result from this response but I will spare readers any additional "tit for tat." As to their request for me to respond to their issues, perhaps they do not understand that others may differ as to what the issues really are for our city. We will find out soon won't we?

My Opinion Again
Ken Sapp
March 18, 2005 @ 8.15 pm
Is the sky falling?
by Maury&Dog

Hmmm ... Dog awakened me with a cold nose nudging my arm, "Come on, 
Maury, it's past my breakfast time." and there is bright sunshine, a deep blue sky, and not a cloud out  there. Even more remarkable, the sky has not
fallen one whit (or even a half whit). Let's see ... it is Thursday -- gosh, did I put out the trash last night? ... yes and there they are -- I can hear the truck and my bag being tossed into it.

How 'bout that ... just regular as can be with no muss or fuss, NRH has the best trash pickup arrangement and workers that I'm aware of in the Metroplex. Other cities require a special container to be snatched up by an automated steel arm; others stipulate which bags must be used, and still others publish a list of materials they will not accept. NRH is great -- taking nearly anything 
you bring to the curb -- including brush if you bundle it. In the spirit of mutual good faith, sometimes the guys will pick it up even when it's not bundled!

Dog enjoyed his food and wanted out to check the yard. Ah, clean, cool, 
dependable water into the cup of instant coffee ... a bit nippy, but the reliable gas furnace comes on. Coffee cup into the microwave ... 3 minutes ... push switch for reliable electricity ... coffee will be ready soon. Cozy, dependable city utilities.

Check sky ... it still has not fallen and out front, the street still looks to be in fine condition. No cave-ins -- just smooth asphalt maintained rather well by the City.

Check sky ... still up there. Come to think of it, in spite of some opponents running City Hall, all of these nice, standard, expected, and taken for granted events have already happened today ... did yesterday ... and probably will happen again tomorrow.

The Mayor and Council opponents will be there for a while yet. They have 
overseen a lot of desired, good events in NRH, but they have been there so long that they exhibit now a certain resentment over the idea that the residents want a more complete picture of what is underway in our city. They seem scornful of the fact that some residents want to voice some ideas to the Mayor and Council in Citizen Presentations. For example, a citizen presents while various Council opponents speak and chuckle to each other; an emotional citizen makes a presentation with deep sympathies for a less fortunate resident of the city -- and one of the opponents laughs openly during her presentation; fifteen or so citizens speak unanimously in opposition to a measure in an Open 
Hearing. Additionally, over one hundred signed forms opposing that measure are entered into the record in the Open Hearing. The Open Hearing ritual is concluded. And with no further comment, the Council opponents vote blithely just as they obviously knew they would before the Council even convened and before any citizen comments.

These are only a few examples of breaches of mutual good faith that have 
developed in NRH -- notwithstanding the fact that the sky is not falling and that we have a great library as well as many effective staff personnel in the police, fire, and other city departments.

Profound differences regarding property rights, property taxes, city financing, some unfortunate internal loyalties, and really dismal adversarial relationships with local businesses all are issues which give rise to the need for opposing the controls being exercised by the present Council opponents.

It should be recognized clearly that the Mayor and incumbent Council 
members probably entered government with sincere ideals of good government. With the insulation of long term, diminished contact with a wide spectrum of residents, the idealism has been buried by an arrogant knowledge of what the residents need -- a presumed "skill" which requires time and practice.Residents accepting such long government tenure must remain ever watchful to ensure that any new crop of 'governors' are not permitted to become such supposedly skilled officeholders. I believe that the present opponents should not be permitted to advocate tolls so that we can drive on existing highways already purchased with past taxes. Wishes of residents should be taken into account when the opponents consider taking a private home or private property for the benefit of a commercial developer and for the benefit of harvesting higher city taxes from a new private owner. This is the current fad interpretation of the phrase in the Constitution: "for the public good". Residents need to be consulted before city property is conveyed to private owners at the potential expense of surrounding homeowners.

The fashion for these "expert" opponents has passed. It is time now to 
reestablish mutual good faith betweenthe governed and the governors. The time is at hand for the City Council to hear ideas, complaints, and compliments from the residents -- to consider these seriously, and to find, whenever feasible, ways to act as requested by the residents. When a good measure of trust exists between residents and their government, there can be mutual pleasures and satisfactions for all concerned parties. The City as a community can 
participate in having accomplished worthwhile actions by means of shared 
thoughts and efforts. This process contrasts sharply with the opponents 
knowing clearly what is "best" for the residents and imposing "the best" 
on them whether they like it or not.

These are some of the reasons why Maury Siskel is thinking and working 
with residents to be elected to the NRH City Council.
Maury Siskel
Cheers,
Maury&Dog
 March 17, 2005 @ 4.58 pm
Why I moved from NRH
After reading Mr. Sapp's column of March 11, it reminded me of the many 
reasons why I moved from NRH several years ago. The City Council does a 
rather good job of riding roughshod over the rights of its citizens. Many 
of the oppressive property regulations and threats of eminent domain actions 
to benefit private enterprises have brought the city down a terribly wrong 
path.

If there are some "Libertarian Candidates" surfacing - then more power to 
them (and less power to the city government). I would support any candidate 
that supports a citizen's right to simply own and control their own 
property. If you don't think the city can claim your home right out from 
under you - oh, say to build a strip mall or whatever, take note of your 
next door neighbors in Hurst when 127 families were displaced to make way 
for the Northeast Mall expansion. I bet they're glad that their displacement 
made room for that new Saks 5th Avenue that will be closing soon!

Protecting one's property, paying less taxes and expecting citizens to be 
held accountable for their freedom isn't such a radical idea!

John Spivey
Grapevine
 March 17, 2005 @ 3.50 pm

The Straw Man and The Sapp
Ken Sapp continues the parody of himself. In one of his recent articles, he attempts to paint the current opposition candidates to the NRH city council as Libertarians, then goes on to blast the Libertarian party as if his assertion bore any relation to truth. Then, in his most recent article, he defined truth for us. I'm surprised he took the time to define it, I'm NOT surprised that he had to look it up. as the Sapp's constant drivel in his "columns" frequently have very little to do with the truth.

Ron West is not running, so his party affiliations, past or present, have nothing to do with the election. Party politics are not supposed to be a part of city elections. City officials have no control of legalization of pornography on the internet, or the Social Security program. None of the opposition candidates are Libertarian. (I know Ken, I asked. You might try that sometime.)

None of the opposition candidates are opposed to neighborhood parks, fire stations, or new development (like Home Town) and street improvements.
And the really big one - Ken Sapp didn't speak to any of the candidates about their beliefs before writing is "article."

Hardly representative of the "fact or reality" that The Sapp quoted from Webster.

It's simple folks, The Sapp made it all up. He didn't speak to the candidates, he didn't question them. He concocted his column out of whole cloth. There's a "strategy" in debate called a straw man attack. This is where, when a person has no valid argument, a false position or attribute is attached and that position or attribute is then attacked.

The Sapp goes on, in his most recent article, to indicate that the slate of opposition candidates somehow are Ron West's slate, as if they belonged to him. He talks about Ron's PAC contributing to the candidates as if that somehow obligates them to Ron West, and makes them "his", requiring them to adopt his stances.

Maybe in The Sapp's world, contributing to a candidate buys them. Or maybe currying favor from the mayor and becoming his lap dog creates ownership, but not in the world of free-thinking citizens. Ron West sees a need for change, and is supporting that change. Hooray for him. I've joined in him that support, and I can speak first hand (wild concept there, huh Ken?) that Ron West's PAC does not control the candidates that it supports. They are individuals and make their own decisions on what they will or will not do. The Sapp sees a swing in citizen activism where the average Joe is taking back control of his city, and that scares The Sapp, and probably the rest of the "old school" cronies that he kowtows to. I say hooray for that as well.

Our city has begun to change back to a city that is controlled by its citizens. I hope we see that change completed this May. More than anything else, I hope the citizens speak to all of the candidates, learn their positions FIRST HAND, then turn out and vote.

Herb Parsons
NRH

 March 17, 2005 @ 1.30 pm
West responds to Sapp column 
Editor
My thanks to Mr. Sapp for adding the definition of truth (Click Here for Sapp's column) to that of lies, slander and malign. He needs to know all of them. If the truth hurts anyone, it is Mr. Sapp, who seems to ignore both truth and facts. His “assumptions” are certainly neither truth nor facts. He has been challenged to support his rantings with fact but has produced no facts at all!

As expected, Mr. Sapp does not even defend his indefensible prior article and continues to spew vitriol to try to impugn the integrity of the challengers to the council in NRH. Hopefully, the readers of LNO having read Mr. Sapp’s slanderous first article, the response from me that calls for documentation and his second slanderous article, will be able to easily ascertain what the real truth is. 

The issues for NRH are clearly stated, the positions listed and the incumbents silent. They have not even responded to the $4.8 Million slush fund that they voted for. Does the silence from the incumbents tell the citizen’s of NRH to consider Mr. Sapp’s columns as representative of their views. If this is so, is this the kind of people you want on the council? 

It is time for everyone to disregard the rantings, diatribe and spewings of Sapp and look to the incumbents and challengers for meaningful responses to the issues facing NRH. 
Ron West
NRH
 March 11, 2005
Once was a member of the Chamber
Hooray!!! Finally perhaps we will get to the bottom of the Colleyville Chamber "social club".  I stopped my membership after one year. As a Colleyville business, I could not justify the money spent, with NO return. There are many more business owners who feel the same; just wander up and down highway 26 and ask how many are pleased with the chamber?

I thought a chamber of commerce was to promote business within the community, bring in new business and attract shoppers to the area. Instead, the chamber promotes itself, and its president. ENOUGH>>>

Good job LNO.
Richard Schneck 
Editor's Note:  The chamber has returned $5,000 to the city without explanation after the article concerning the expenditures of funds. For the original article, Click Here.
March 9, 2005 @ 11.52 am
The Buxton Group paid $60k to find out how much can be spent but council rejects same businesses recommended by Buxton
Dear Editor,

Did anyone else catch the irony in today's article in the Star Telegram about economic development in Colleyville? The City paid the Buxton group $60,000 to find out Colleyville citizen's have $1.9 billion of buying power along Colleyville Blvd. The Buxton Report lists 14 categories of businesses and the most economic potential is in the automotive category. It represents almost $400 million or 21% of the entire $1.9 billion total. Now wasn't it just 5 months ago that the same City Council that wrote the check to Buxton turned down the Pecan Creek project along Hwy 26 because it contained an automotive business? As I recall, the make-up of the project was about 15% auto-related and about 85% mixed retail, office space and restaurants. That is almost the exact same types of businesses and percents recommended in the Buxton Report.

So I guess all this begs the question. Why spend $60,000 to get a report [that most of us probably knew already] and then totally ignore it the first chance you get? Most citizens in Colleyville commute to work. That makes auto business big business in Colleyville as the Buxton Report shows. So why did the Council turn down the Pecan Creek plan? This is the same plan that Ray Perryman, a nominee for the 2005 Nobel Prize in economics, forecasted would raise $536,000 in tax receipts to the City and $340,000 to GCISD. And now we find out Pecan Creek is exactly in sync with the Buxton Report.

The final irony is that the Pecan Creek project included over $1 million of landscaping along Hwy 26--all paid for by the developer. Yet, less than 10 days after turning it down, the Council approved a bond package that asked taxpayers to foot the bill for $3 million of Hwy 26 landscaping. No wonder taxpayers resoundingly defeated that proposal. The end of the story is that Colleyville needs a Council that will listen to its own experts and take the advice it is paying for. Let's hope the new Council learns that lesson.

Keith Staudt
Colleyville 
March 9, 2005 @ 10.14am
After having read your LNO articles, I know you are an 'activist' in issues involving Colleyville. I have an issue that I think is as important as some of those you have recently reported. It is the left turn arrow on SB26 to Thompson Terrace. 

I probably break the law at least 4 times a week by turning left on the red light because it takes forever to change to a green arrow. Is there a way we can petition to whomever to change the 'left turn on arrow' to 'left turn caution on green'? Cobwebs have formed on my steering wheel waiting for the arrow.

Sometimes I will get to the intersection when the light is red for southbound traffic; the light changes to green, but not the left turn arrow. It could take two cycles of lights to finally get the arrow, even if there has been NO oncoming traffic. What gives?

I know that God invented sensors that can be placed on the lights to activate with traffic patterns. At least let those left turners use 'caution' on green.

Can you use your influence on this issue? Many thanks in advance.
Editor's Note:  Information back to LNO is that to modify the light is at a cost to TxDot of about $15,000 (Hwy 26 is a State Road, not City).  TxDot has indicated when they do reconstruction on Hwy 26 that a number of modifications will be made and that they are not willing to spend funds at this time.
March 8, 2005 @ 11.44am
Thanks for the article. Looks great.
I appreciate the exposure for the CPA. (Colleyville Police Academy)
Bill Hudgins, Colleyville Police
March 7, 2005 @ 9.43 PM
Dear LNO,
Thanks so much for your wonderful promotion of the Colleyville Woman's Club 2005 Fashion Show! We're almost sold out (a few seats left), thanks in part to your wonderful publicity. Great article! As a CWC member, I am most appreciative of your support and the public awareness you bring to your readers, educating them of CWC's mission to help others in need.!

Sincerely,
Suzanne Harrington
March 7, 2005 @4.46am
Dear Editor at Local News Only,

Hello my name is Kristina Lupis and I am 14 years old. I live in Sydney, Australia and I am contacting you on this behalf.

My dad had to go on a business trip to Dallas Texas for EDS. When he was there he entered a club and saw the band ‘Emerald City’ band playing. He really enjoyed their performance saying that “they were so talented” and “if you shut your eyes your ears would trick your brain into thinking that they were Maroon 5” .He couldn’t stop talking about the band once he came home. 

My dad’s birthday is coming up on the 24th of February, and my mum, my sister and I thought that it would be a really good idea if you could get the recent album by “Emerald City” as it would be a great present. The only problem is that we live in Australia and we can’t buy the album in stores, as well we can not find a website to purchase the album over the internet. I was surfing the web and found your website and report named SCHEDULE OF CONTINUOUS ENTERTAINMENT AT ART IN THE SQUARE dated Wednesday, April 03, 2002. I know that it may be a problem but it would be really appreciated if you could see if there is a copy of the current album that you could ship over here. We will cover all the costs included for the shipping and the album. 

It would be really greatly appreciated if you could look into this because it would be the world to my dad. 

Thank you for all your time, it is greatly appreciated

Sincerely
Kristina Lupis
Editor's Note:  We have forwarded your request directly to the band's manager.
February 28, 2005 @8.15 pm
Dear Editor:
Please accept my heartfelt appreciation for your assistance in bringing my Cocker Spaniel, Chester Collingsworth, safely home. Your response to my frantic call for help was quick and decisive. In a very short period of time you had posted a picture of Chester, his description, and details of his disappearance on LNO. Knowing that this information would reach thousands of people gave me a great deal of comfort and allowed me to focus on other details to ensure his safe return home.

I have long found Local News Only to be factual reporting with a wealth of civic, political, social, charitable and educational information. However, my appreciation has never been as profound as when you came to my aide and the aide of a beloved animal. In this instance your "Pet Corner" served as a great public service to me and my family.

Again, I am so thankful for your kindness and for your assistance in bringing "my boy" home to me.

Bonnie Carroll

P.S. Many thanks from me too. I have learned that there is "no place like home."

Chester Collingsworth Carroll
February 24, 2005 @11.45 am
Is there a link I can look at to see the information about the Colleyville City Council/Mayor candidates?

Thanks
Kim Hamilton
For the area page listing area candidates, Click here.
February 23, 2005 @ 11.51 am
His dog wasn't there
Maury's dog wasn't at the P&Z meeting that Ken Sapp wrote of; however, I
was. As is typical, Ken Sapp plays loose with the truth.

 In Maury's article, he mentions the P&Z "nearly dropped the RV parking restrictions," and Sapp responds as if this were false. It is exactly the truth. Although the P&Z did indeed pass the amended amendment, it was only by a 4 to 3 majority, and one of those 4 personally told me that she would have preferred to have smaller distance restriction, but it wasn't offered. 


Even without that comment, the fact remains exactly as Maury presented it - one vote is about as "nearly" as one can get.

It is interesting also, that Sapp talks about parliamentary procedure. I approached him after the meeting to mention that the motion that was made was for an amendment. Sapp then made a motion to amend that. I pointed out that I believed that was against parliamentary procedure (amending an amendment). Sapp stated that the city attorney was there, and allowed it, so it must have been according to procedure. The minutes
from that meeting may be found here.

I think it's also worth mentioning that even P&Z Commissioner Bill Schopper felt that Sapp was "hanging his hat" on the "safety issue" in order to ban RV's because they were objectionable, and said so.


But wait, that's not the end of that story. When the measure was brought before the entire city council, a motion was made to accept P&Z's recommendations (including the distance restriction as modified by Sapp). City councilwoman Jo Cox then moved that it be amended from 9.5' to 5.5'. Mayor Trevino asked Councilman Metts if he would accept the amendment, who declined. No such "parliamentary procedure" was offered during the previously mentioned P&Z commission meeting, even though both groups are supposed to follow Robert's Rules of Order. Now, I can't say for sure which procedure was done correctly, but it's pretty obvious (possibly even to Maury's dog) that it can't be that BOTH were correct, even though they were both watched over by the same attorney. Maybe our
city attorney was taking one of his infamous naps during one of the two. The minutes of that meeting can be found here.


Sapp talks about mitigating risks, yet the ordinance specifically allowed that motor vehicles under 7' tall be allowed in the 9.5' "safety zone." Maybe Sapp can explain to Maury, Dog, me, and all the rest of us, how a car in this 9.5' zone is safer than an RV. Keep in mind, that by the P&Z's definition, my small utility trailer that is 3' high is an
"RV" that is not allowed in that 9.5' zone. Reality is that the only "safety factor" involved was that it would offend a much smaller number of voters to ban RV's in that zone, but still allow cars and trucks.

Here's another example of Sapp playing loose with the truth. Sapp asserts that the group that Maury is a member of praised the P&Z for the effort. That is true, but to state that "It is not clear if it is Dog or Maury that disagrees with their position" is false and misleading. Our group took no official position on the final ordinance. To have done so
would have been pointless until a new council is seated. I'm vice-president of that group, and my estimate is that the vast majority of the membership opposed the setback restriction. As a matter of fact, many of our members were part of the dozen or so speakers and 133 letter writers that protested AGAINST the 9.5' restriction that Sapp foisted on the ordinance at the last minute. Of course, all the letters and the protests were ignored, the council did what the mayor wanted, they banned those "monstrosities" that Trevino stated he wouldn't want in his neighborhood.

The fact of the matter is that no size restrictions were brought into the P&Z discussions until Sapp's last minute amendment. To the contrary, those attending were told from the outset by those on the P&Z that size restrictions would be inappropriate. Yet, Sapp introduced them in a last minute amendment that either hides behind safety, or ignores the safety hazard that cars and pickup trucks presents.

The initial goal of this ordinance was exactly what Maury presented, to get rid of RV's. While the protests by RV owners (and others) severely diluted the initial attempt by the council we had at the time to ban RV's, the council majority still succeeded in banning some.

Sapp goes on to talk about no petitions being presented to the city council. I suggest he has made the same error he accuses Maury Siskel of making in a previous column with the word "forum". Maybe he should look up the actual definition of "petition", and then examine records of city council meetings to see how many times citizens came forward asking (petitioning) the city council and city manager to act on the issue. The requests to the city manager were ignored, he would not place it on the agenda for discussion. Finally, when we got new city council members in place, it was acted on.

Finally, Sapp talks about our group's "supposed support of free speech" as if our opposition to a vote was an affront to free speech. Quite the contrary, we knew from the numbers of people in the city that voted to allow such an election that it was obvious that the majority of the voters wanted the tax freeze. Sapp and those that with him tried to
convince voters to vote against it stated several times that this was not the will of the voters. That "intelligent" voters would defeat the freeze. He was wrong. The freeze passed by a 2-1 margin. The city could have been saved a costly election had the majority of the council members been in closer touch with their constituency, and realized that the people did indeed want the freeze.

Sad that Sapp resorts first to berating Kerry West for being a "disciple" of his own father, and now a retired senior citizen who wistfully, and quite humorously, includes "Dog" in his writings. If Sapp would read to understand rather than to berate, maybe he would have
noticed this in other writings by Mr Siskel.

One final note, Sapp asserts that "Contrary to the accusations of some, however, the Council does not march to the beat of my drum." Ken, I don't think many people are asserting that the Council marches to the beat of your drum. Realigty is that many of us believe you are merely the mouthpiece for the old-guard council majority and Oscar Mayor of bologna fame. Maury has his pet dog, and the mayor has his "lap dog." Fortunately, it looks like things may soon change.

Herb Parsons
NRH

February 22, 2005 @ 4.54 pm
Gave full address
You folks probably already caught this, but the obits for 2/21 included
full street address. I think you folks usually 'x' out the last two
digits of street address for privacy sake. Just for future
reference...

Bet you've gotten dozens on this already! Or I could be making a
presumption on something you've been given authority to publish.

I do enjoy your publication, though. Keep up the usual good work.

Gini Parsons
North Richland Hills
Editor's Note:  You are right, one of our readers had originally suggested redacting part of the address, this was an oversight. Thanks for bringing to our attention it has been corrected.
February 23, 2005 @11.33 am
Councilman Skinner's response gets "ugly" 
Click here for email from Skinner

Dear Editor,

It is with deep regret that I feel compelled to address this matter with Mark Skinner. I certainly do not need the grief or the aggravation. This all started as a simple matter when I raised a legitimate complaint about girls softball players having fair access to the new Reagan Park baseball/softball fields. My girls team was chased off the girls field on Sunday by the baseball association even though we were occupying the field first on what had been communicated to CGSA as a first-come-first-served system on Sundays. Rather than create an embarrassing situation by causing a commotion in front of youngsters, my girls and I left Reagan Park and the boys occupied both fields and both batting cages for the rest of the afternoon. 

As a concerned citizen, I wrote what I thought was a "private email" to the Mayor and City Council in which I complained about how my girls team had been bullied off the softball field. To make a dramatic point, I referenced the Jim Crowe era in which supposedly neutral laws and policies were used to keep minorities in their place. I suggested to the Council that they needed to review the rules and policies that applied to Reagan Park to make sure the girls were not being shoved to the "back of the bus." Mr Skinner responded to me by saying I should have been smart enough to follow the rules like the boys. I responded to him that we did follow the rules [first-come-first-served] and I further asked him whether he was not in the least concerned that our young girl athletes could be disadvantaged under current rules and policies. 

That is when things really got ugly. I received the "personal attack" email from Skinner that you published. Subsequently, I learned that Skinner had widely distributed my original complaint email to City Council as well as his vitriolic response to me. Apparently he has a secret email list. It was my fervent desire to keep this matter regarding softball/baseball within the confines of the Council and the Parks Department. As I write this letter, I have already been assured that the matter is being addressed and I have complete confidence that a fair solution will be worked out. So the question I have is what is Mr. Skinner's motivation to make this dispute a huge public issue? Is he trying to embarrass me, the girls organization or the Parks Department? And why did he get so mean-spirited in his response to me?

There is also a greater problem in the actions of Skinner. It is the "freezing" impact that will cause citizens to be fearful to seek redress from elected officials. Citizens in Colleyville should be encouraged to write letters and emails to the Mayor and Council regarding City issues and concerns. We should be able to do so in a free and open manner knowing that we may not always get the answers we want but that at least we have the right to express our opinions. However, in Mr. Skinner's case, citizens will need to think twice for fear of being subject to an unwarranted personal attack, having their volunteer positions jeopardized or threatened and having their private communications dispersed to an unknown list. And at least in my case, there appears to be some direct attempt to try to embarrass me. Because this "freezing" impact can be so damaging to our open democratic government, I hope someone asks for an opinion from our new City Attorney whether it is legal for an elected official to in effect "selectively publish" without permission citizen complaints. 

So the bottom line is this uproar all started because I complained to City Council about my girls team being booted off a public park. It is interesting that not once has Mr. Skinner indicated an iota of concern about the possibility the girls in our City could be disadvantaged and discriminated against. This is a man that has spent a great deal of time and energy trying to convince the citizens of Colleyville to spend millions of dollars to bury utility lines along HWY 26. I have been told that the best measure of a good politician is a person with a "good heart." This is just my opinion but a person who is more concerned about burying power lines than the potential discrimination of our City's young ladies does not seem to pass the "good heart" test. 
Keith Staudt
February 19, 2005 @11.33 am
A lawyer, now I understand
Annette, 

Of course!
I see now why the difference in our respective point of view regarding Councilman Skinner's bad tempered outbursts. You are a lawyer. 
I expect you legal professionals listen to so much similarly delivered discourse that you have become calloused as to what truly is "inappropriate" or "misguided."
And as for the laugh you requested; I hear the same syndrome is also found in New York cabdrivers! 

Merri Lee
February 17, 2005 @9.51pm
Her Judge was banging the gavel and no one was shouting!
Dear Merri,
Here's my email address. saklawyer@sbcglobal.net. Please feel free to send your inappropriate and misguided comments to me directly. I can always use a good laugh.. 

Dear Nelson,
Banging a gavel does not necessarily mean that a shouting match has ensued. Sometimes, it is merely a signal that the person with the gavel wishes to say something. Just the other day, when I was in court the judge was busy banging the gavel but no one was shouting. Really, you must know that your "interpretation" is editorializing and not news. But certainly, since it is your website, you can interpret all you want. My only point was that you cannot pass your interpretations off as news.

Annette Kasparian
Editor's Note: Our "interpretation" of the news is often accompanied by the documents, or in this case the streaming video.  Every news article ever written required the "interpretation" by the journalist, some more than others.  We are comfortable that our presentation of news, unlike local newspapers, is different in that it gives the viewers the opportunity to explore the event much more in-depth. As such, we provide the viewer a unique perspective to determine for themselves their own interpretation, as you have.  Others see it differently. 
February 16, 2005 @8.36pm
Response to: ‘Bond results/Foster leaving’ from Keith Staudt. 
“It is much easier to be critical than to be correct.” Disraeli 

It is with some regret that I must cut short Keith Staudt’s laughter with a dose of reality. I hate to do it since laughter is in such short supply these days with the defeat of Prop 3 and 6 and the guaranteed negative ramifications of such short-sightedness. 

In reply to Mr. Staudt’s statements regarding myself…“Mr. Whitman is a developer that has property interests along HGY 26. So the fact that he is in favor of getting taxpayers to finance underground utilities and landscaping along HGY 26 should not be surprising.”…represents his assumptions and lack of research…rather than the facts. 

Yes our company owns land on Hwy 26 but he’s wrong to assume my positive position on Prop 6 is to have the citizens of Colleyville pay for the burying of the overhead utility lines at our development. He does not know what he talks about. 

In 1998 we negotiated a deal with TXU (when it was a whole company) to bury the overhead lines in front of our developments on 26. The agreement stipulates that when we develop the remainder of our land they, TXU will bury the lines…FREE…in exchange for committing our electric use to TXU. If one looks at our earlier developments, the Phast Phil’s and Cleaner locations…one would not find any overhead electric connections! The poles are still there…but they will come down when we or another concludes the development. 

Regarding Prop 3…the landscaping on 26 was for intersections that TXDOT and the city control, not developers…intended were bricked crosswalks at the major intersections, trees, bushes and flowers in the raised medians that TXDOT will build along 26, in our city….but as a result of the defeat of Prop 3…those medians may all end up to be filled-in with cement…to avoid the ugliness of that situation was the goal and pure intent of Prop 3. 

The true intentions of propositions 3 & 6 were unfortunately never presented correctly…the negative aspects, which are pretty minor compared to the benefits, were blown way out of proportion…every person of any intelligence knows that to sustain a value of any tangible item(s) they must be maintained or they lose their value. To maintain Colleyville as a superior city it has to be maintained…which significantly includes the aesthetics; the curb appeal and without great curb appeal the whole neighborhood loses value…it is a bottom line issue and a simple unarguable fact! 

Mr. Staudt…your assumptions and or facts are single focused and single sourced and poor ones at that.

Kipp Whitman
Colleyville
February 14, 2005 @7.35pm
Skinner was verbally haranguing Dolan and Ayers in video
Editor,
Like Annette Kasparian, I viewed the new video of Councilman Skinner at the Council table, as well as the previous one where he shouted at Councilwoman Dolan regarding email. 

I'm not sure if Ms. Kasparian is indicating that she has a higher level of tolerance about who she permits to speak to HER in such a manner, or if she is just that beat down in her own life that the exchange seemed courteous. But if she believes Mark Skinner wasn't verbally haranguing Elaine Dolan and then Jon Ayers in a very raised voice, then she needs help. 

That guy needs to go to Anger Management classes.

Merri Lee 
February 14, 2005 @5.04pm
Not shouting, but unprofessional 
I agree with Annette’s comment about Skinner’s performance at the council meeting. I think unprofessional and antagonistic would be more accurate descriptions but not shouting. I enjoy LNO.
Delanie Alcorn-Jones
February 14, 2005 @10.33 am
Viewer says Skinner's "tone of voice" in video was "normal" or
"Biased reporting masquerading as news "

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! You continually rant that the Courier needs to separate editorials from news. However, you appear to be completely unable to do the same. I read your headline about a shouting match at Colleyville City Council and then listened to the video. I was amazed that you thought that Mark Skinner speaking in a normal tone was somehow a shouting match. Not only does your spelling and grammar need improvement but your judgment about how much “spin” you should put on articles is terribly flawed by your dislike of certain people. I can appreciate that you started LNO so that you would have a forum for your views but do not call yourself a journalist or your publication “NEWS” if you cannot report fairly and accurately. LNO is not a media outlet when it becomes nothing more than your personal soapbox to be used to launch personal attacks.

Annette Kasparian
Editor's note: If one listens to the video carefully, Mayor Hocutt can be heard (and seen in the top right corner) banging his gavel (to restore order) during Councilman Skinner's "normal tone" of voice when speaking to Mayor Pro Tem Jon Ayers.  Typically the mayor does not bang his gavel to restore order when members are speaking to each other in "normal" tones. We interpreted that as a "shouting match", unlike other media, we are providing a video of the actual event so viewers can make up their own mind.
February 13, 2005 @11.58 am
LNO keeping locals readers informed
Thanks for helping keep us updated on the recent election. Had we not read
LNO, this election would have skipped under the radar of many of us. Good
job.

Linda
Colleyville
February 08, 7.25 am
Bond results/Foster leaving

Dear Editor,

I couldn't help but chuckle when I read Mayor Hocutt's comments about Ross Foster this morning in the Dallas Morning News. Mr. Foster apparently asked for an 88% increase in pay [from $95 to $175 per hour] so the Council by a 5-0 vote decided to open the job up to bid. Foster declined to participate in the bid process. Now Mr Hocutt feels sorry for Ross and says the Council acted "arbitrarily" when it posted Mr. Foster's City Attorney job after 25 years of service. I wonder if that is how Mr Hocutt operates his own business. If an employee [even a darned good one] asks for an 88% increase, does he just open up his check book or does he search the marketplace? Seems to me that the Council and particularly Elaine Dolan is acting prudent with taxpayer dollars and the Mayor is acting fast and loose. Had Mr. Foster asked for an increase in the 10 to 20% range, I don't believe the job would have been "posted" to use the Mayor's words. So it is time to stop shedding crocodile tears on Mr. Foster and simply thank him for his service [for which he was nicely paid] and wish him the best of luck.

I had an even bigger laugh when I read the Courier's Editorial Page and saw Kipp Whitman recommending yes votes to Propostions 3 and 6. Mr. Whitman is a very engaging individual and I personnaly enjoy listening to him. However, Mr Whitman is a developer that has property interests along HGY 26. So the fact that he is in favor of getting taxpayers to finance underground utilities and landscaping along HGY 26 should not be surprising. Typically developers pay those type of expenses but if I was in his shoes I would try to get taxpayers to foot the bill as well! 

Finally, now that the taxpayers have soundly defeated [with the exception of a needed new fire facility] the bond package, what will Mr Skinner say about the "voice of the people?" His communications constantly refer to following the will of the majority of Colleyville citizens. I think the citizens have resoundingly replied by saying don't ask us to pay for utility company and developer boondoggles and don't expect us to float bonds for road maintenance that should be paid from general funds. And perhaps taxpayers were even telling you to think long and hard the next time you turn away a developer that promises to increase our tax base by over a half million dollars per year. Let's hope that Mr. Skinner shows that he can listen to voters as well as he reads emails.

Keith Staudt 
Colleyville 
February 06, 12.47 am
If you pay $10,000 per year in taxes, what's a little more?
Please remove me or unsubcribe my email from your "Local News Only" email alerts as of today.

I have read enough of the information that you put out and see clearly the pattern of negativity. Your information is counterproductive.

You should be ashamed of yourself for actively discouraging residents of Colleyville from making improvements and investing in their city because it will increase taxes. If you pay nearly $10K a year in total property tax already, is a dollar extra a day going to be too much to have a better, safer streets and sidewalks? One sidewalk needed desperately was the right down Pleasant Run Rd that leads to the Village. Guess Moms with strollers can just do without, and drivers speeding down Pleasant Run can just not think twice about the residents walking along the side of the road. No nice Senior Center? Irving has a very nice one, guess our residents can drive there! Haven't been in the TARA subdivision lately but I can bet they are not happy with the poor turnout and results of the bond election.

Sincerely,

Anne Dyson
Editor's note:  Perhaps a majority think paying $10,000 a year in taxes is adequate and government should work harder at fiscal responsibility. Use existing taxes to fix the needs of the city versus simply asking for more money.
After all, even it is more city taxes, it is still the citizen's money.
February 04, 11.01 am
No to Prop 6 in Colleyville
I am writing in opposition to Proposition 6. While the City of Colleyville has many needs, in my opinion, burying the utility lines along SH 26 does not make the top ten. The 13.7 million dollars proposed for this project alone is more than the city's budgeted general fund expenditures for 2005. To put it into prospective, the City of Dallas, with general fund expenditures of over 800 million dollars is struggling to fund 23 million dollars for a new signature bridge across the Trinity River that could have a significant impact on the city's appearance. Furthermore, I don't think the citizens of Colleyville should have to pay for the project when the city has not been willing to require new developments to bury utility lines and has rejected development proposals that have been willing to bury the lines.

Jody Short 
February 02, 9.02 pm
Politics everywhere
I am enjoying the banter about the bond issue. Looks like city politics are about the same everywhere. The only thing changed is the cast of characters. 

Ken Sapp
February 02, 2005 @8.47 pm
More reaction of Ken Sapp column

Ken Sapp is becoming a parody of himself. To offer that someone is a
"disciple" of another, simply because they hold similar beliefs is
interesting to say the least. However, Mr Sapp, as is typical, didn't
bother checking his facts. Whether it's the same "old tired rhetoric" or
not, Maury Siskel did not learn his opinions, or even his tactics, from
Ron West. I knew Maury well before I ever met Ron, and before they knew
each other. Maury was then, and is now, very much his own man. Not to
say that being a "disciple" of Ron would be a bad thing. There are lots
of saps out there that Maury could chose from that could be far worse
role-models.

But let's look further at Sapp's allegation (oh my, I made a pun back
there, didn't I?). If Sapp is asserting that because one holds similar
beliefs to another that makes them a "disciple", than maybe Sapp himself
is a disciple of Mayor Trevino. They certainly seem to espouse many of
the same attitudes and opinions. They were even seen meeting together
privately shortly before the last city council meeting, where Sapp made
an appeal during the citizen's presentation to the mayor and council to
respond to one of Ron West's on-line articles. I don't know what they
were talking about - maybe a disciple/master meeting about the subject
matter, or maybe a quick kiss for luck before he spoke - who knows, but
I'd say there was at least as much fodder for that disciple/master
relation as what he implies (implies Ken, NOT "infers") there is between
Maury and Ron.

Sapp, according to a previous article, was "amused" that Ron West
disagreed with the two council members that he "supported." I find this
confusing. If someone agrees with Ron on everything, it's a discipleship
issue, if not, it's "amusing". Like I said, Sapp's become a parody of
himself.

In a prior article, Sapp states (of Ron West) "Unless West is
clairvoyant or a behavioral scientist, perhaps he should refrain from
such a critical judgment", but tells readers (again, of West) "He, no
doubt would have been more satisfied if the unauthorized use of the
Steven's property had been curtailed at the outset", and "Perhaps West
believes that only his view can be correct", and now offers that Maury
Siskel is a disciple of West's. Maybe it's Sapp that's attempting to
practice clairvoyance.

I'm not going to list all of Sapp's accusations individually, this
little note is already getting too long, but let's look at the political
sign issue. Here's some facts. Ken Sapp's PAC that was opposing the
Senior Tax Freeze put up signs that exceeded the size limits set by city
ordinances for political signs. This means that he was required to get a
permit before erecting those signs. He did not. I'm not sure if he got
the permits later, but that's a moot point, the signs were in fact,
illegal.

Sapp makes much of his support of tax exemptions, and even talks about
private behind the scene agreements about them, but the fact remains,
the city council had the opportunity to place such exemptions in place
months before the tax freeze was voted on, and they did not. So, no such
tax exemptions were "on the table", they only existed in Sapp's
imagination. Again though, it's all moot. Sapp made his views known, the
people heard, and the people voted for what they wanted. So, in spite of
the fact that Sapp believed that the exemptions he had in mind were what
were "best" for those involved, THE VOTERS DIDN'T. I know, I know, it's
hard for Sapp and Trevino's other disciples to understand that just
because they "know better" what's needed for people, they don't always
get their way.

Finally, Sapp makes dire predictions about the outcome of some unnamed
events coming up in the near future. It reminds me of similar dire
predictions he made late last year. He insisted that those seniors HE
knew didn't want the tax freeze, and insisted that the those against it
would prevail. He was wrong. Of course, when his position lost by better
than 2 to 1, he attributed it to the notion that "more seniors must have
voted than non-seniors" (according to the Ft Worth Star-Telegram).

Like I said, Sapp's rants are descending into a collection of parodies
of himself. His butchery of the language, his posturing that he's
somehow better than others, and his duplicitous requests for "civil
discourse" while he personally attacks and accuses anyone who disagrees
with him is becoming a joke. Maybe we should bestow upon him the "honor"
that has been given to Donald Trump, and just refer to him by one name.
I think "The Sapp" fits well.

And yes, that's just my opinion.

Herb Parsons
North Richland Hills
February 01, 2005 @11.07 pm
I see where Keller DWI arrests are double over last year. It seems to me that this increase tracks with recent decisions to sell alcohol in Trophy Club and perhaps some other locations. I would like to urge you to research this and develop this story. A lot of communities are going wet based on an increased tax benefit rationale, which ignores the harmful effect of alcohol on our society.

Thanks for doing such a good job keeping local citizens aware of what's going on in our community.

J. C. Bullard
Colleyville
Editor's Note: LNO has emailed Scott Bradburn of the Keller Police Dept. and asked for any comment on your observations.
January 29, 2005 @ 7.02 pm

Against all bond issues, with reasons....

Some of the Colleyville bond propositions are "good ideas", some are not.
But this is not the real issue here.

I am opposed to funding Colleyville city regular maintenance projects
through special bond propositions that wind-up as significant and permanent
property tax increases. 

Typical maintenance items like these should be funded out of the city annual
budget.

Planning for these might require the city to think ahead more than a few
weeks at a time. Colleyville needs to begin analyzing forecasted street
maintenance and facilities needs weighed against funding Assistant City
Manager salaries, pee-wee football lights, denying revenue generating retail
developments along Hwy 26, and the like. We do this when managing our
grown-up business and personal budgets. Be creative and think years in
advance, not just year-to-year hoping for a bail-out at taxpayer expense.

This a bond proposition is a band-aid for poor financial planning, and I'm
opposed to it in it's entirety for that reason.

D. Williams
January 29, 2005 @ 8.14 am
Skinner should not be criticized...

I would like to comment on your story criticizing Councilman Skinner. Have always found Mark to be a great attribute to our City, and he sure doesn't deserve your harsh words. He stood with hundreds of us citizens who opposed the gas/tire store at the corner of Hwy 26 and McCain Rd. It was him, Councilman Tigue, and Mayor Hocutt, who wanted to kill that project in Spring '04, but instead we wasted Great American's time and money, and another 6 months of Council time. Thanks to Tom Hart's deciding vote on that one, we moved on. 

Like Skinner says, I too was thoroughly disgusted with the Colleyville Can mailing I received this week. It reminded me of the stuff I got before the last May election. Whatever your thoughts are on the Bond election, I think has been well explained in the papers. And thanks to the Courier, I found out that Colleyville Can was founded by Mr. Thibbodeaux. Since he is so good at telling us who invests in the Courier, maybe he will tell us who contributes to Colleyville Can.

Respectfully submitted,
Mel Manuel
Colleyville

Editor's note:  I am NOT THE FOUNDER OF COLLEYVILLE CAN, I don't know how may ways I have got to say that simple fact.  I am a charter supporter of the group's civic activities and political positions. I have never held myself out as the spokesman for CAN, never acted in a capacity as the leader of the group, never chaired a meeting of CAN, and never acted as a moderator for CAN. If you want to know who "invests" in CAN, the group is a PAC and files the appropriate information available to the public.  I do not know who all the contributors to CAN may be since I am not the treasurer.  Finally, should you pull the public records to date, I believe you will find my financial contribution has been limited to the purchase of a couple "Support our Troops" magnetic ribbons.  If you are relying on the Courier for your facts, then I recommend you expand your horizon of research.

Nelson Thibodeaux, Editor

January 28, 2005 @ 7.49 am
What about the trees if the bond passes?
One of the bond propositions involves replacing the retaining wall on Bedford Road near Saddlebrook. Its my understanding that trees will be removed in the process. I think the trees make this road one of the prettiest in Colleyville. Is there any way to find out how many of the trees will have to be removed? I asked one of the homeowner association board members in Saddlebrook and she didn't know any more than I did. I'm afraid that the cheapest and easiest way will be just to cut them all down and I sincerely doubt that they would be replaced with trees of comparable size. My lot backs Bedford Road, so you can imagine my concern.

Thanks for checking it out,
Mindy McClure
Editor's Note:  Colleyville City Manager Bill Lindley said that there is a substantial possibility the trees will be lost.  Lindley said that until work progresses there is no way to know what root damage may occur in the repair work, should the bond issue pass.  Lindley said that while the City will do everything possible to minimize the damage that some trees likely be lost and potentially all the trees.  
January 27, 2005 @ 2.32 pm
John F. Kennedy would probably Vote YES for Propositions 3 and 6. 
I write this letter as a founding and now former member of the SH 26 Advisory Committee which was established by the Colleyville City Council in 2000. 
The Committee was conceived to research and develop commercial design guidelines (Market Street, the Villages), propose changes to the appropriate city regulations in order for the Council to improve existing codes, work with TXDOT to accommodate commercial issues, suggest highway enhancements, and consider modifications to the overhead power/utility lines. Unlike other street projects – unlike other towns – the SH 26 Advisory Committee was charged with ensuring the reconstructed SH 26, our Colleyville Boulevard, would not simply be a street construction project but ultimately a Colleyville enhancement project.

As a third generation developer, I have traveled throughout the country and have seen other great cities, large and small, go by the wayside when the citizens had little or no concern towards the appearance of their city. Without due consideration of the consequences of a “no” vote, the future Colleyville will stutter and ultimately go into decline. This scenario is almost guaranteed as it has played out time and again all over the country. 

Basically, the cost to us, the residents of Colleyville, is about $0.06 per $100 of valuation; this means that a house valued at $400,000 would add approximately $240 per year – only $20 per month – to maintain our great city and retain our home values. If we expect to preserve Colleyville’s reputation as a high-end city, this is a relatively small amount to invest in our future.

The opposition to the SH 26 decorative and utility issues (Propositions 3 & 6) is being led by a very small vocal group of disgruntled, self-serving individuals, including some current and former politicians, who have no vision outside of power to satisfy their own personal needs. The future survival of Colleyville’s growing commercial structure lies in the creative ideas and upgrades to SH 26 
– our Main Street – and specifically, the removal of the overhead power/utility lines. For our commercial areas to thrive, Colleyville’s portion of SH 26 must stand out from the portions in our neighboring cities. Most of those who oppose Propositions 3 & 6 are also those who promote shopping in Colleyville while they themselves do most of their shopping outside the city. A very confused group indeed! If you don’t believe me, go ask the Colleyville retailers.

We are experiencing tremendous population growth in this region. And, as we all know, a major reason that any family decides to locate in a particular city – or remain residents of that city – is largely predicated on the aesthetics of that city, what that city has to offer, and future anticipated home value. For a high-end residential city such as our Colleyville to sustain itself as a ‘quality of life’ city on into the future, our Colleyville must continue to improve itself, plan for the future and take advantage of its assets – especially when the timing is right – and the timing is right – right now! 

True … the aggregate cost of Propositions 3 & 6 are expensive; however, those opposed lack the understanding to realize that it is less expensive to make these enhancements to Colleyville now as any future attempt would be cost-prohibitive … again, now is the only time or these enhancements will never be done.

John Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”…and that’s why I believe JFK would vote “yes” for Propositions 3 and 6. The same rationale can be applied towards our city residents regarding Propositions 3 and 6 …and the call to the residents to Approve Propositions 3 and 6. Let’s ante up the extra $20 per month and keep Colleyville a strong, beautiful and desirable city into the 22nd century.

Vote YES on Propositions 3 and 6.

Sincerely,

Kipp Whitman
Colleyville 
January 27, 2005 @ 2.24 pm
Senior Center shouldn't be sacrificed because of power lines 
Dear Nelson
Thank you for that article. (For column, click here)

I don't like what I read in the Courier from time to time. We are in complete agreement with you on burying the utility lines. It might be nice but it is certainly not necessary and that money could well be spent on more important things. 

We do hope you are in favor of a new Senior Center which is long overdue. I am very unhappy that they put the McPherson Dairy project on the same Proposition as the Senior Center. I know why they did it but it could well cost us a new Senior Center. And that would not be fair. WE have been shoved to the back burner for too long.

Connie Hampton
January 24, 2005 @ 8:00 am
Big Announcement when bicycle tour announced, "nada" when cancelled, 
Have you heard any updates on the United (Market Street) Tour of Texas bicycle race that was scheduled to begin in Colleyville this fall? I was out in Lubbock last week and read that it had been cancelled. I was curious to see if there had been any updates. 

Thanks,

Thomas Cicherski

Editor's Note:  Thanks for the heads up, the event has been cancelled, LNO will carry a notice today.
January 11, 2005 @ 7:43 pm
Ref:  Harold Moore Article
Why isn't this guy in jail?! Suspending his driver's license would be ridiculously inadequate; it won't stop this kind of guy!

Jan Howe
January 9, 2005 @9.35 am
LNO will post but good luck with the other media!

The following is a full copy of an email sent to the Fort Worth Star 
Telegram regarding a lead article in the Star on Sunday 1/9/05. 
John,

Apparently - even when real injustice is underway, you can write 
incomplete information to mislead as much as possible. In the Stevens 
article, you paint Ms. Stevens as fighting back but she has fully 
acquiesced to the city's unfair demands. You fail to point out that she 
has been paying property taxes on the acre where the RV's were stored at 
commercial rates - not agricultural as you present. You fail to mention 
that NRH has happily been spending these taxes since 1994.

You then quote Kristi Tefertiller as "living in the sub-division" which 
is incorrect since TAD records show her address as "vacant inventory". 
She must be part of the developer organization that wants to force the 
move of the RV's to help the sales of all their vacant new homes 
adjacent to Ms. Stevens' property. Incidentally, you might have noted 
that Ms. Tefertiller has very favorable valuation of her $200,000 vacant 
home on the rolls at less than $50,000. (Check this out for yourself on 
TAD rolls.) When I drove the sub-division in early December, I could 
find NO residents the any of the brand new homes.

You quote JoAnn Stout but fail to request copies of the complaints which 
we believe to be nonexistent. Her quote ignores the facts relating to 
the Mayor when 22 residents complained before the placement of a cement 
mixing plant on public lands in the middle of the city but the city 
allowed it anyway. You do not report that Ms. Stevens asked the city 
(in a letter) for a variance for the remainder of her life to help her 
survive.

While coverage of Ms. Steven's plight is appreciated, full and accurate 
reporting would be more of a credit to you and the Star Telegram. Ms. 
Stevens deserves more consideration from the city so
your picture and publication of the issue - inaccurate and incomplete as 
it is - may help.

Regards,

Ron West
North Richland hills
October 10, 2004 @ 2:47 pm.
Editor,

Thanks for the great article and explanation about the Pecan Creek development at John McCain and Hwy 26. The other objection that keeps coming up about the project [again courtesy of Dana Feldman] is environmental concerns. In light of these concerns, I did some research which is presented below. Thought you might want to share it with your readers.

Keith Staudt
7208 belle Meade

Re: Environmental Impact of Proposed Shell Station at McCain and 26

Several citizens have raised questions regarding the environmental impact of the Pecan Creek gas station and its proximity to Bear Creek. Similar questions were raised with Service Star this summer and they responded that all layers of state and federal regulations are scrupulously complied with as the last thing a major company such as Shell wants is an environmental mess. I understand their motivation to be a good corporate citizen in this regard; however, I wanted to independently verify with outside sources if "> July 27, 2004 @ 10:22 pm
Hi,

I am just curious. I just read your article about the tennis courts in Colleyville and I am a little confused. In order to reserve a court, aren't you supposed to pay $2 per player at the Parks office to guarantee your time to reserve a court. When you pay to reserve a court, you are given a piece of paper that has the court number, date and time of reservation and if anyone is on the court, they would have to leave. By reserving a court, you would know that there is actually one available to use. I have done this only once in the past and am not sure that this policy still exists. It seems to me that the instructors should be paying that same fee to the city. This would reserve the court for their use whether it be lessons or for personal play. (I think that the fee is 2.50 if you are a non-resident.)

I would love to know if reserving the court for $2 is still the policy. 

Michelle
Editor's Note:  The Summer Park's brochure states that residents of Colleyville may make a court reservation for $2 per person per 1.5 hour session per court non-residents $4 with same provisions.  However, reservations are subject to availability and the brochure also states that "city tennis programs receive priority over public play."  The Tennis Pro's contract allows him to utilize 5 out of the 6 courts for lessons etc.  There is nothing on the courts to indicate that the has been reserved by any party.

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