We’re at Ice Force 2, People

Road conditions are getting worse, so the city has downgraded (or escalated) matters to Ice Force Level 2. At first, I found this news confusing, since I was under the impression that Ice Force operated much the same as DEFCON, where 1 means nuclear war is imminent.

As evidenced by the NBC 5 chopper video shot this morning around 635 and Royal Lane, you’ve got to be careful out there.

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The Guardian Investigates Fracking in Ponder

The United Kingdom is having its own debate about the costs and benefits of allowing natural gas drilling via hydraulic fracturing (aka fracking), so the Guardian newspaper came to the tiny Denton County community of Ponder to see what life next to gas wells is like.

Their story, and the accompanying video, paints a nightmare scenario:

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All Clichés Are Bigger in Texas Award Nominee: Wildfire Edition

A Texas-based writer really ought to know better. From the San Antonio Business Journal: Everything is bigger in Texas — including the risk for damage to homes as a result of wildfires. The article cites a report stating that more than 54,000 homes in the state are at very high risk of sustaining wildfire damage: […]

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State Approves New North Texas Reservoir

Lake Ralph Hall, an 11,000-acre reservoir to be built in Fannin County to supply the Upper Trinity Regional Water District, was first proposed in 2003. Today it was approved by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Says the Texas Tribune, this was done over the objections of the district’s two biggest customers: the town of […]

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Mother Nature Called. She Wants Her Creek Back.

Instead of assuming its natural ecological role, White Rock Creek is backed up, literally. The waters are stagnant thanks to a debris build-up that resembles a smorgasbord of mixed concrete and algae. Sounds picturesque, right? Well, for Dallas-based photographer Justin Terveen (a local favorite of D’s editorial staff), the creek has become a focal point […]

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Dallas City Council Denies Trinity East Drilling, Though Mayor Urges Them to Call Company’s Bluff

A parade of drilling opponents spoke this afternoon before the Dallas City Council voted down the specific-use permits that would have given Trinity East clearance to drill for natural gas on city park land in northwest Dallas. All these speakers were concerned about the possible environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing and drilling at the site. […]

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Richard Patterson on Jim Schutze’s “Culture Mob”

Richard Patterson is a big-deal British painter who lives in Dallas. After reading my post yesterday about Jim Schutze’s anti-intellectual view of the Nasher, Richard sent me a few words on the topic. And by “few,” I mean 2,400. Bear in mind, he banged out this ditty in about two hours. It makes me angry […]

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Leading Off: 8/12/13

Did Rawlings Put Pension Fund Over Politics With Recent Board Shake Up? Rudy Bush writes about how the changes Mayor Mike Rawlings made to the police and fire pension system’s board of trustees don’t jibe with the conventional city council wisdom that you make sure you have eight allies’ votes in your pocket at all […]

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God* Will End the Houston vs. Dallas Debate

Under warmer temperatures, the natural state of the ocean is 70 feet higher than our civilization has been accustomed to for the last 5,000 years. Warmer temperatures are happening: we are now at 1.5F above the average and creeping upward. New observations show that Antarctica and Greenland ice loss is occurring faster than previous models […]

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Gasland Part II Takes Another Look at the Dangers of Fracking in the Barnett Shale

Last night on HBO, the documentary Gasland Part II premiered. As with the original Gasland, I found director Josh Fox’s filmmaking skills lacking. He mistakes pretension for artsiness, and it’s excruciating to listen to his narration, for he seems…to think…that pausing…every few seconds…will…add profundity…to what…he has..to…..say. Then there’s his closing speech, in which he rambles […]

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Canoe The Trinity With Audubon River Adventures

About a month ago, I got to take the maiden voyage of the Audubon River Adventures. I thought I was just joining Ben Jones, the enthusiastic director of the center, for a quick float. Then I got an email a few days before the trip confirming the other “intrepid explorers.” Joining us were Container Store […]

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As Seismic Activity Mounts, Texas Ignores Connection to Drilling

Energy Wire: Nine months after a National Academy of Sciences panel said oil and gas regulators should take steps to prevent man-made earthquakes, officials in key states are ignoring quake potential as they rewrite their drilling rules. Two major drilling states, California and Texas, are overhauling their drilling rules without looking at the seismic risks […]

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