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Difference Between Texas Republican and Democratic Party Platforms

The Editor's Column
 Posted by WhosPlayin on 2010/7/1 3:00:00 (3188 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowState Rep. Garnet Coleman has put together this side-by-side comparison of the party platforms of Texas Democrats versus Texas Republicans. Pretty interesting. Coleman is a Democrat, so of course it's going to be biased, but the quoted parts of the platforms are indeed accurate.

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Amazon.com Moving to Lewisville

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2010/6/30 22:45:35 (1566 reads)

According to Dallas Business Journal, Amazon.com is leasing 1.02 million square feet at the Majestic Airport Center (Edmonds Ln, and Business 121)

Seattle-based Amazon.com, which on Wednesday acquired Carrollton-based Woot Inc., appears headed into a 1.02 million-square-foot warehouse/distribution building at Majestic Airport Center DFW in Lewisville, according to industrial real estate brokers.
Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) will lease the bulk of the Lewisville space, said brokers familiar with the deal.


Read more: Amazon to lease 1 million square feet in Lewisville - Dallas Business Journal

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Idea for Raising School District Revenue

Links, Thoughts, and Open Thread
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2010/6/30 16:42:12 (1067 reads)

Okay, so I have this idea about how a school district or local government could raise a bit of extra revenue. I have no idea whether the tax code would allow it or not; that's for the lawyers to decide.

Basically it goes like this:

Right now your average consumer is strapped for cash, and would pay 20% or higher on an unsecured loan. Yet property taxes are payable all at once each year. On the other hand, governmental entities collect all this money at once, and end up spending it slowly over the course of a year. All of this money sits in bank accounts earning much less than 1% per year in interest.

My idea is to offer taxpayers an "amnesty" of sorts when taxes come due. Basically, the governmental entity would waive penalties and let the taxpayer defer paying the taxes without penalty. You'd charge a 12% annual rate (1% per month) on the outstanding balance, and allow it to be paid out within 8 - 10 months. As long as the taxpayer pays the bill completely within that timeframe, they pay no penalty and are not judged to be in arrears. If they miss it, then all penalties apply.

This way, the governmental entity earns much more interest, and in a win-win situation, the consumer pays much less interest than they would if they had to borrow the money to pay the bill.

Of course, there would be some cost to implement such a program, and state law may not allow it. But if it could be worked out, I think it would be a good idea. Maybe it's only a drop in the bucket though.

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Updated: Farmers Branch Looking to Expand Landfill in Lewisville

Local News, Notes and Events
 Posted by WhosPlayin on 2010/6/28 16:00:00 (7381 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowSince 2008, the City of Farmers Branch has been working on plans to expand its Camelot landfill, which is actually inside the Lewisville City Limits, according to documents we obtained from Farmers Branch.

On April 29th of 2009, Farmers Branch entered into a $1.8 million contract with the engineering firm Weaver Boos Consultants for assistance in obtaining a permit to expand the Camelot landfill vertically or horizontally. The Scope of Work document gives the details of the proposed expansion, including the new footprint. Here is a conceptual drawing of the proposed configuration.

On July 22nd, 2009, Farmers Branch hired the law firm of McElroy, Sullivan & Miller, L.L.C., and Brent W. Ryan to handle regulatory approval for expansion, including licenses from TCEQ and other agencies such as FEMA, USACE, FAA, TxDOT, Texas Parks and Wildife, U.S. Fish and Game, Texas Historical Commission, and City of Lewisville. The contract, without contingencies is estimated at $765,000, but if permits are opposed, the totals could reach $1.6 million.

Farmers Branch Assistant City Manager Matt Benoit says Camelot is estimated to have about 10 to 12 years of useful life left, depending on recycling rates. In the last available TCEQ annual report, Camelot collected 314,173 tons of municipal solid waste in 2008.

The current height of Camelot is at about 63 feet above ground level, but Benoit says that Farmers Branch would like to increase the height by an additional 200 feet, which would top out the landfill at 725 feet above sea level. By comparison, the permitted height of the DFW landfill (Mt. Lewisville) is 625 feet. The ground footprint of Camelot is expected to widen a little, but not substantially. Benoit says that due to the time and expense involved in major permits such as this, the most cost-effective practice is to go for the maximum increase and do it once, rather than going back every few years.

Unlike the DFW landfill, Camelot is currently not a 24 hour operation, so they are able to cover exposed garbage daily to keep smells in check. But in 10 years or so when many area landfills have maxed out, Benoit expects that Camelot will begin to receive the bulk of the area's waste. If this happens, Benoit says they may well have to move to the same practices as DFW landfill with regards to daily cover.

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Texas Blog Roundup - Week Ending 6/27/2010

Texas Progressive Alliance - Blog Roundups
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2010/6/28 15:36:07 (899 reads)
Texas Progressive Alliance - Blog Roundups

The Texas Progressive Alliance is fired up and ready to go with its post-convention blog roundup.

Neil at Texas Liberal offered up four reasons Bill White will beat Rick Perry and, in so doing, become the next Governor of Texas.

John at Bay Area Houston says Before you run for Chair of the Texas Democratic Party get a clue.

As people across the nation react to GASLAND now showing on HBO, TXsharon @ Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS reminds us that the FRAC Act, Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act of 2009, has no Texas co-sponsor.

Musings has a bloggers roundup from the convention.

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