Mayor Sylvester Turner may actually be the one we can blame for a $500 million-dollar state of the art environmental facility NOT coming to Houston!
And this is the “green” mayor?
Last fall, Houston was in the final running for a huge 70-million-dollar federal energy grant for a state of art environmental facility at the old Champion Paper property. The CERI (Circular Economy Remanufacturing Institute) facility was to be centered around a planned recycling operation to be run by ECO-HUB, the Houston company which had been negotiating a contract with Houston City Hall. It is the same company that has now filed corruption complaints with the Houston City Controller, accusing the Mayor of making sure they couldn’t get the cities business.
Last September, Mayor Sylvester Turner signed a letter of support for CERI, and wrote Houston was finalizing their agreement with ECO-HUB. A few weeks later Turner instead announced a new recycling bidding process. ECO-HUB eventually protested to Houston City Hall and now has taken its complaints about the Mayor public.
When confronted by reporters last week, Mayor Turner claimed the letter from last year doesn’t say it endorses ECO-HUB or its recycling idea, and that, in fact, he never supported the ECO-HUB project. Turner says the letter was meant instead to just help the professor at his alma mater the University of Houston.
Apparently, the folks at CERI thought it was a very clear promise negotiations on the ECO-HUB contract were almost complete. Hard to blame him if you read the letter.
Now, another letter prepared by that very same professor shows Turner was warned that $650 million dollars in bonds for the CERI project would be jeopardized if the City did not sign the contract with ECO-HUB by last Thanksgiving and that it would be nearly impossible to win the DOE grant without the centerpiece of the project being finalized.
The City of Houston lost out on the DOE grant.
The ECO-HUB project was touted as a way to save Houston taxpayers 25 to 40 million dollars a year by mixing all trash and recyclables in just one bin, cutting the number of needed garbage trucks by two thirds, and ending the need for landfills. The waste would instead be separated and then resold into new products.
That was the idea.
ECO-HUB had been unanimously chosen by a nine-member evaluation committee during the Parker administration after the city won a one-million-dollar grant to pursue the idea. Ending the need for dumps seems like a green friendly idea, but Mayor Turner dumped ECO-HUB instead.
Last week the Mayor picked a European company to recycle Houston’s trash the old-fashioned way starting next year. The contract won’t save money, it will cost millions. Up until last Spring, Houstonians weren’t charged a penny for recycling.
Now we are beginning to see how much that recycling decision really is costing Houston’s economy, and how much explaining the Mayor should be doing.
We asked Mayor Turner to respond to the letter the professor told CERI partners he had sent him. City Hall ignored our request for answers, just like they did the bid protest filed by ECOHUB last December.
Sylvester Turner has some explaining to do…
In 2013, the city of Houston unveiled a prestigious million dollar grant to work toward collecting all your trash and recycling and remake much of it into brand new products. The city spent years trying to finalize a deal. Then it fell apart and it’s incredibly tough to figure out why. READ THE REST
The investigation of that controversial County Road 79 road deal in Colorado County is exposing new potential conflicts of interest.
Dolcefino Consulting’s investigation has already helped spark a probe by the Texas Rangers of County Judge Ty Prause. He was the swing vote when Colorado County Commissioners moved to take historic private property for a county road.
Landowner Lesley Carey took the Commissioners to court, and now hearing the latest news, has filed new court papers, questioning the Judge’s conduct. Carey hired Dolcefino Consulting to get to the bottom of the road shenanigans. While searching real estate records, we uncovered another land deal that deserves some ‘splaining.
In June of 2014, Colorado County Commissioner Doug Wessels bought some property near the coast in Matagorda, Texas. Maybe it was just a coincidence, but the seller was John Faltisek, owner of Faltisek paving, who gets lots of business from Colorado County. Three months before the real estate deal with Wessels family, Faltisek got a lucrative county contract. Over the next 2 and a half years, Faltisek was awarded more paving contracts worth three quarters of a million dollars.
Wessels wouldn’t tell us how much he paid for the property, except that it was more than the appraised value of $30,000. He also claims the property wasn’t for sale, until he called Faltisek to ask.
Sounds like something a County Commissioner might want to disclose, in public, so folks would know.
Did either John Faltisek or Commissioner Wessels ever reveal their real estate deal to taxpayers?
Nope. Wait, it gets better.
Wessels admits he did wonder about a potential conflict, but got the OK to vote anyway, and not mention it to taxpayers.
We figured Wessels probably asked the County Attorney, after all, that would be the guy elected to answer those questions and, after all, he is also the local District Attorney, you know, the guy who prosecutes ethics violations.
So did Wessels talk to Jay Johannes? Nope. Wessels asked his frequent phone pal Judge Ty Prause for conflict advice. The same guy now under scrutiny for his possible conflicts of interest.
Who knows what will happen to the Rangers probe, but it is safe to say Colorado County Commissioners have some ‘splaining to do.
They should start with a new vote, changing their mind on the road deal that’s now covered with mud.
The Colorado County District Attorney has asked the Texas Rangers to probe the controversial County Road 79 land deal.
The move comes days after Dolcefino Consulting raised questions about the timing of real estate transactions involving the family of County Judge Ty Prause.
By now the details of this fight near Eagle Lake are becoming well known. Groups representing half a million Texans are on the side of a landowner fighting the takeover of an abandoned trail on her property for a needless extension of County Road 79.
It appears the main beneficiary of the road deal is Alleyton Resources, a big player in those parts.
That’s why the real estate transactions are raising questions.
In July of 2013, after Colorado County adopted a new road map for the county, Schindler Land and Cattle sold 77 acres worth about $600,000 to Darcy Todd Barten, former President of Alleyton. Schindler is a limited partnership of the Prause family. Prause voted on the 79 Road Deal, and never mentioned the prior real estate deal.
The timing of another real estate transaction is also being questioned by landowner Leslie Matthews Carey, who is waging a legal battle with the county over the road deal.
Matthews sued Waller County on February 9th of 2015. Records show Judge Prause offered to change his vote but then changed his mind days later. On February 24th, just days later, the Judge’s mom sold her home to Darmore, an investment company owned by Darcy Todd Barten.
The judge says the transactions have nothing to do with the 79 Road deal and that’s why phone records are important. The Judge says he couldn’t provide us phone records around the time without a subpoena for ATT.
That is one of the reasons the District Attorney is asking for an investigation.
And it is not the only real estate deal involving Colorado County officials that deserve scrutiny. Stay tuned.
Christine Curtis drove all the way from Fountain Valley to bring her three youngest to the Children’s Dental Group clinic in Anaheim.
Before the traumatic visit was over, Curtis says dentists performed up to 11 baby root canals on all her children, all while they were strapped down with Velcro to a chair, sedated with a “chocolate drink.” Taxpayers got the bill for the expensive dental work.
Curtis now believes the work was totally unnecessary. She is one of a growing number of California patients turning to famed Texas dental abuse attorney Jim Moriarty for help in the wake of the infection scandal.
“The assembly line dentistry uncovered at Children’s Dental Group smacks of Medicaid fraud,” says Moriarty. “A full state and federal investigation is owed to U.S. taxpayers. I believe Children’s Dental is over treating these children to make a buck, using higher cost stainless steel crowns, and falsifying the need for baby root canals to increase the cost of taxpayers.”
Moriarty believes the widespread infections of Children’s Dental Group patients is a symptom of the widespread malfeasance of this corporate dentistry.
“I believe the infection outbreak in California could lead to proving Children’s Dental Group is systematically abusing children.”
Moriarty was a legal architect behind the groundbreaking lawsuit against the Small Smiles Dental chain, and now represents the family of 4-year old Neveah Hall, the little girl left severely brain damaged by a bad dentist.
For more information please contact Wayne Dolcefino, President of the Investigative Communications firm Dolcefino Consulting.
E-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org or 713-360-6911.
Affirmative Action was meant to re-dress past and present discrimination… to make sure government contracts were shared with folks who were historically shut out, disadvantaged.
Today, government agencies fall all over themselves to boast about just how much of their government contracts are shared with disadvantaged businesses.
Uptown has three separate government entities, even though they seem to act like one. But they brag about their Affirmative Action Numbers.
So to help their publicity, we thought we would identify the champion of their affirmative action program to help the disadvantaged or discriminated business.
The Gunda Corporation.
They are the company that’s running that plan to tear up Post Oak Blvd for dedicated bus lanes. You know the one that some Uptown officials will make millions from while destroying the private businesses along Post Oak.
We asked Uptown for their MWDBE/SBE expenditures… and lo and behold! Gunda Corporation is the big winner. They’ve been awarded $4.4 million dollars in Uptown contracts during the last three fiscal years. And there’s a lot more coming before the Post Oak disaster is finished.
We won’t tell you where he lives, but we will show you how the President of the Gunda Corporation, Ramesh Gunda lives, so you can see the results of discrimination for yourselves, the results of being shut out of business all these years. Inequities that folks in Uptown are trying to cure.
It’s a million- dollar home that’s about 6,000 square feet. Now that’s affirmative action.UPTOWN MWDBE CONTRACTS 2014-2016
New documents from the Texas Board of Dental Examiners paint a horrible portrait of what happened to 4-year old Neveah Hall, the little girl left brain damaged by Houston dentist Dr. Bethaniel Jefferson.
Investigators say Dr. Jefferson failed to check Neveah’s oxygen levels for two hours during sedation in her office. Oxygen levels shouldn’t drop below 90. At one point Neveah’s dropped to 49. The dentist used the wrong drug to stop the little girl’s seizures, then waited hours to call for emergency help. Testimony shows Dr. Jefferson called her pastor several times, but didn’t call 911 until it was too late.
“Every parent in America must take this as a wake-up call,” says Houston lawyer Jim Moriarty. “Every day bad dentists are hurting our children, from improper sedation to overtreatment to Medicaid fraud. Neveah has suffered horrible brain damage. Other children are now dead.”
Neveah’s story has been viewed by hundreds of thousands of parents on social media. Final action is still pending by the Texas Board of Dental Examiners. For more information, visit www.moriarty.com.
Lawyers accuse a controversial Houston Real Estate Developer of spousal abuse and unusual sleeping habits.
The mom of a 16 -year old girl reportedly drugged and molested by a Houston Area dentist wants him arrested.
Do you know this dentist?
State Dental Board records show Dr. Joshua Robbins of New Caney had his license temporarily suspended after confessing he took Lorazepam from his dental practice, put the drug in a soda
bottle, and then gave it to the daughter of a family friend without her knowledge before fondling her.
The family has hired Houston Attorney Jim Moriarty, famous for his lawsuits against bad dentists, to file a civil lawsuit against Dr. Robbins.
The family has also hired Dolcefino Consulting, the Houston based investigative communications firm, to make sure patients of this New Caney dentist are warned.
Robbins, known as Dr. Josh, was a lead pediatric dentist at Southeast Texas Children’s dentistry at 20875-E FM 1485. A posting on the Dental Clinic’s website says it is undergoing a “transition” in the wake of what they call “personal allegations” involving Robbins.
The Harris County District Attorney has yet to file charges against Robbins, even though the Dental Board acted weeks ago.
You can read the dental complaint against Dr. Josh Robbins by going to www.tsbde.texas.gov.
In less than three years, Uptown developers have moved to add at least 10 million square feet of office buildings, residential skyscrapers, apartment complexes and retail shopping centers.
You know how many turn lanes were added or streets widened to make room for all these new people and cars. ZERO.
Does the Uptown Management District care about anything besides lining the pockets of developers and members of the Uptown Board? Why is the City of Houston is just letting it happen?
Dolcefino Consulting has examined the traffic studies for proposed projects in Uptown and it exposes a cruel joke on Houstonians that isn’t funny at all.
When developers seek permits for new projects, like the 40 story tall Dinerstein apartment skyscraper at San Felipe at Post, or the 830,000 square foot Alpha Tower, or the 363,000 square foot office tower on the 610 Loop, they have to turn in a traffic management study to the City of Houston. We’ve hit the highlights from some of the proposed developments:
1600 West Loop South
In November of 2014 the developers of 1600 West Loop South turned in their final traffic study. The project would include 363,000 square foot of office space, 260 hotel rooms, and 27,000 square feet of new restaurants, right smack dab on the feeder road between San Felipe and Post Oak.
Traffic Engineers used fancy graphs to tell us what we already know. Up to 5 of the major intersections around the project already had an F at rush hour. And yes, from school we know what an F is. The traffic engineers conclude a new turn lane would help, however they decide that’s not possible because there’s not enough room. Not enough right of way.
1717 West Loop South
Just across the Loop will be 400,000 more square feet but traffic engineers conclude the property isn’t wide enough for a right turn lane.
In July of 2013, the real estate blog Swamplot featured a story on the proposed new Apache headquarters in Uptown. 830,000 square feet of office space.
In November, the final traffic study was turned in with another startling revelation. The projects around San Felipe and Post Oak will add traffic. Ya think?
Traffic Engineers said new turn lanes would improve overall service, but guess what, “adding turn lanes is not feasible because of right of way constraints”. For the non-engineer types like
us, that means there’s no room for more turn lanes.
Yet Uptown is fine with tearing out the turn lanes already at the intersection for dedicated bus lanes. That will make that corner one to avoid!
It is one of the reasons the owners of the Cosmopolitan Condo have been screaming foul. They live right by the intersection, and right next door to another planned skyscraper, the 40 story tall
Dinerstein apartment tower.
San Felipe Residential
The Dinerstein project wants to build at the Northwest Corner of one of the busiest intersections in town. San Felipe and Post Oak. 351 high rise apartments and 17,000 square feet of restaurants. A 7 story parking garage. The conclusion. No problem.
“there will be minimal impact to the surrounding intersections when the development is fully built and operational.”
The Walter P. Moore traffic study bases its rosy projection on the proposed Bus Rapid Transit System cutting traffic congestion in Uptown by 4 percent. Where did that number come?
Walter P. Moore, using the companies own study to justify this study.
The BRT plan will actually eliminate one of the critical turn lanes at the intersection, and close off one of the medians where folks can make U turns. The Cosmo folks know that spells
Galleria Gridlock, but hey, the folks making all the deal say everything will be fine.
2200 Post Oak
This office tower will replace a smaller office tower, with 322,000 square feet of office space and 30,000 feet of retail, and 275 more residential units and 168 hotel rooms. Doubt that will
add any more cars?
Maybe we should have gotten a degree in traffic engineering “There will be very little change in delay at the study intersections due to the proposed project”. Sound familiar?
This study by Traffic Engineers raised other questions. It quotes a U.S. Census Report from 2006 that 5 percent of workers living in the City of Houston utilize public transportation as their
primary mode of transportation. They conclude Uptown has better mass transit, therefore twice as many people use it. Guess they never looked at empty bus shelters. We did.
These are just a few of the pictures Dolcefino Consulting took along Metro’s 33 Route on November 12, 2015 between 4 and 6 pm. As you can see, traffic is backed up but very few people are taking the bus.
The engineers talk about the Kingsland Park and Ride Service coming in from Katy. That is Route 285. It existed when this study was done, but not anymore. Metro cancelled it because of
Uptown Park will include a 310 room hotel, 32,500 square feet of restaurants and 487 high rise apartments. Just two months before Uptown starts tearing up trees and medians for the Bus
Rapid Transit Project, this traffic study says this “while the type and the timeline of the transit system is still unclear, it is expected to occur. For this reason, it is recommended that any
current mitigation for this development be limited to signal timing changes.”
That seems to be the Hail Mary no matter what is being built and how big it is.
There’s no room for extra lanes, even turn lanes, so let’s adjust the traffic signals. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
So when folks at the Cosmo can’t get out of their condos, and when the residents of neighborhoods around Uptown are marooned at their homes, remember we tried to warn you.