Dolcefino Consulting

The Citizens Against the Landfill in Hempstead will hold a news conference at 10:30 am on Wednesday, October 7th in front of the Waller County Courthouse.

CALH will discuss the historic decision by the Executive Director of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to reject the application for the controversial Highway 6 landfill. The citizens group had raised hundreds of thousands of dollars over 4 years to fight the proposed 15-story garbage dump.

CALH will also deliver a message to Green Group, the Georgia based garbage company that tried to get the landfill deal approved. Last December, CALH and the City of Hempstead won a huge legal judgement from Waller County for the secret dealings between former county officials and the garbage company.

The residents of Hempstead are invited to come to the courthouse to enjoy this victory.

Please contact Wayne Dolcefino at Dolcefino Consulting for additional information.

PRESS CONFERENCE
WHO: Citizens Against the Landfill
WHEN: Wednesday, October 7TH 2015 – 10:30 am
WHERE: Outside Waller County Courthouse
836 Austin Street – Hempstead, Texas 77445

The Houston based Veterans charity Helping a Hero continues to defy calls for the public release of records detailing how they spend millions of dollars in donations.

Now the Harris County District Attorney has imposed a deadline. Helping a Hero must produce records requested by Dolcefino Consulting by the close of business on October 13, 2015, or face prosecution.

Last week Judge Michael Landrum denied the charity request to protect the records, and the Harris County District Attorney is tired of the stalling.

Dolcefino Consulting requested the records 11 months ago, and since then Helping a Hero has sought a variety of ways to keep the records private. The charity has tried twice to get a judge to stop it, and convinced the District Attorney to give them more time because the records were being audited. As that time ran out, Helping a Hero went back to court.

“I wouldn’t give a penny to Helping a Hero”, says Dolcefino Consulting President Wayne Dolcefino. “Charities should be happy to show people how they spend donated money. Especially when the money is given in the names of men and women who suffer from the injuries they received fighting for our country.”

Veterans across the country have criticized charity founder Meredith Iler, and questioned why more donations didn’t go to the adapted homes promised to veterans.

The charity claims it has awarded 100 homes in 22 states.

“Every wounded veteran deserves to see how the money raised in their honor has been spent,” says Dolcefino.  “What’s the big deal? Is Meredith Iler really willing to see the charity criminally indicted to keep the public from seeing how she spends money?”

 The Harvard law school graduated Sylvester Turner rarely goes into a courtroom. Check the records.

That doesn’t stop his law firm from being paid millions of dollars each year, a lot of it from taxpayers!

Documents obtained by Dolcefino Consulting show payments from the City of Houston Housing and Community Development Funds totaling more than $3 million dollars were made to a pair of firms linked to Turner.

Records released this week show Turner’s Law Firm, Barnes and Turner submitted invoices for $332,000 for legal work on a number of affordable housing projects. The last invoice was submitted in May of this year, three months after Turner announced his run for Mayor.

 Turner’s title company was often chosen to handle closing funds for single family home projects in Houston. Documents show the American Title Company handled more than $3 million dollars in transactions. It is not known how much of that money the firm got to keep.

 It’s not his only financial connection to affordable housing. Personal financial disclosure statements show Turner’s firm was paid $175,000 in retainers by a company called 3D Visions Planning Consultants. The company lists several Housing affordable housing projects, and its list of partners includes the Houston Housing and Community Development Department and Harris County Housing Authority.

 This is the latest in a series of discoveries about just how much Sylvester Turner has cashed in on political contracts while “Representing” Houston in the Texas House.

 Turner’s firm made more than $700,000 from the controversial tax collection firm Linebarger, Goggan, Blair and Sampson. The firm likes to use politicians to fill minority hiring goals, instead of truly disadvantaged companies who would love the work.

Maybe that explains why Sylvester Turner remains silent when Linebarger cheats the minority community out of a current share of the HISD tax collection contract.

And maybe that also explains why Sylvester Turner has remained silent as millions of dollars in affordable housing TIRZ funds get wasted.  Several million dollars were spent on empty lots that are still empty years later.

Turner’s law firm is among those paid out of the TIRZ money.

Maybe that explains why Sylvester Turner helped pass an HISD bond election that has broken promises to the minority community.

Turner’s title company made $144,000 on a real estate deal made possible from the bond election.

Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised when a career politician gets taxpayer money while he is paid to protect it.

 Another day, another Baptist Minister says Sylvester Turner has falsely exaggerated his religious support.

Pastor Ricky Bell of Forest Lawn Missionary Baptist Church is the latest to come forward to say he is not endorsing Turner as the career politician now claims.

Monday, Pastor Walter August spoke out.

“I don’t like my name being used when I have not endorsed Mr. Turner”, says Pastor August of the Bethel Family Baptist Church. “I have a responsibility to educate my congregation on the issues in this race, and Proposition 1 is something I feel strongly about.”

Turner is an advocate of the bathroom ordinance that will let men use women’s restrooms. He has been endorsed by the same Gay Caucus that endorsed Mayor Annise Parker.  Those policies have divided this city and attacked churches.

Turner has also claimed the support of the first ladies of many churches, including First Lady Yolanda Bryant of the Island of Hope Church of God in Christ.  Bishop Phillip Bryant’s family took to Facebook to complain.

“She is in full support of Ben Hall. We pray that this Mayoral race will continue to be clean and honest and focused on the issues.”

Speaking of Turner’s actions, Hall said, “It is time for Sylvester Turner to apologize to these men and women of faith”. Integrity is at the very heart of what Houstonians should demand from the next Mayor.”

“Mr. Turner is desperate to stop the growing movement of the religious community to our campaign. Mr. Turner represents a 4th term of Mayor Parker and her divisive agenda.”

Ben Hall has opposed the bathroom ordinance from day one, and has garnered the support of more than 2,000 pastors and churches.

The proposed Highway 6 landfill was dealt a potential death blow Monday afternoon by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. It’s a major victory for Hempstead residents who said the landfill was a risk to drinking water and the beautiful Waller County countryside.

In a letter from the Director of Waste Permits, Pintail Landfill bosses were told the integrity of the landfill program requires their permit application be rejected.

Citizens who oppose the landfill in Hempstead raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight the proposed 15 story tall landfill, holding garage sales and steak dinners to help fund the battle. Residents argued the landfill’s proposed location, near Hempstead and Prairie View, was dangerous to the environment and racist because of the number of minority communities surrounding the site.

Dolcefino Consulting has been involved in this fight for more than two years, exposing the back room deals that allowed Georgia based garbage company Green Group, to cut the deal with some Waller County politicians in the first place.

“The people of Hempstead should be celebrating tonight,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting. “And tomorrow they should launch a campaign to get back the taxpayer money wasted in this fight.”

Last December, Waller County settled a lawsuit by landfill opponents after a jury found the County Commissioners at the time held secret meetings on the landfill deal.

The Executive Director of the TCEQ, says the final straw was evidence the landfill would cut through shallow underground water at the proposed landfill site, posing a huge environmental risk to drinking water.

“We do not think an application amendment is appropriate and the only reasonable course available is to return the application as deficient,” wrote Earl Lott, Director of the Waste Permits Division.

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Ben Hall says it is outrageous that Sylvester Turner has to lie about his support in the religious community.

Pastor Walter August is among those speaking out after Turner falsely claimed support of his campaign.

“I don’t like my name being used when I have not endorsed Mr. Turner,” says Pastor August of the Bethel Family Baptist Church. “I have a responsibility to educate my congregation on the issues in this race, and Proposition 1 is something I feel strongly about.”

Turner is an advocate of the bathroom ordinance that will let men use women’s restrooms. He has been endorsed by the same Gay Caucus that endorsed Mayor Annise Parker. Those policies have divided this city and attacked churches.

Turner has also claimed the support of the first ladies of many churches, including First Lady Yolanda Bryant of the Island of Hope Church of God in Christ. Bishop Phillip Bryant’s family took to Facebook to complain.

“She is in full support of Ben Hall. We pray that this Mayoral race will continue to be clean and honest and focused on the issues.”

Ben Hall has opposed the bathroom ordinance from day one, and has garnered the support of more than 2,000 pastors and churches.

Speaking of Turner’s actions, Hall said, “This is what a career politician does. They exaggerate what they have done for the community and they claim support that doesn’t exist. Houstonians must reject this conduct. To falsely claim support of pastors is a huge insult that should outrage the faith community.”

The legal battle over the huge oyster beds in Galveston Bay escalated again this morning. Galveston County Judge Lonnie Cox approved a temporary restraining order to protect companies with oyster leases now trapped in a fight that could affect public health.

The ruling will stop a Chambers County company called S.T.O.R.M (Sustainable Texas Oyster Resource Management, LLC) from touching the oysters in these state approved lease areas. It is the latest salvo in a legal battle that now involves Judges in Galveston, Chambers and Travis Counties.

“These oyster families have invested years of blood, sweat, tears and a lot of money to cultivate these oyster reefs,” says Attorney Dave Feldman. “We will fight to stop this takeover because it will endanger the public health. Galveston Bay belongs to the people of Texas.”

In April of last year, STORM got a 23,000 acre sweetheart deal from the Chambers-Liberty County Navigation District and says it now controls half the oyster population in Galveston Bay, including public and private reefs approved by the State. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has sued CLCND and STORM on behalf of the People of Texas, claiming the lease is illegal, warning STORM they will pay for any damages to the oysters.

Last week, Chambers County Judge Randy McDonald helped the politically powerful STORM owners, by stopping the state from allowing oyster companies to transfer oysters to safer waters, jeopardizing the safety of the oysters and risking public health.

Oyster companies then went to Galveston County for help.

The next hearing is Thursday morning (Oct. 8, 2015) in Chambers County, where the state will fight to save the oyster population.

uptownbusThe Mayor of Houston had some choice words about the Commissioner for the Texas Transportation Agency. Of course, Annise Parker must not have been thinking about public records when she sent the e-mail to her Chief Development Officer Andy Icken.

Her target was Commissioner Jeff Moseley, who along with Congressman John Culberson was standing in the way of what the Mayor and her Uptown friends said they really wanted, a light rail line down Post Oak Blvd.

“Moseley is still pimping for the congressman,” Parker wrote. “BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) is supposed to look like rail. I assume the ROW, station spacing and turns will still allow conversion if desired in the future.”

“Pimping?” Wonder what the commissioner thinks about that? Or the Congressman?

The backroom deal on the Uptown dedicated bus project is now coming to light. The Mayor and Uptown clearly wanted language that would leave open the chance to eventually turn the bus lanes into a rail line, but without a prohibition against rail Moseley wouldn’t clear the way for the state money for the freeway flyover that would take buses from the Northwest Transit Center into Uptown.

In February 2015, Uptown’s boss told the Mayor’s development czar Metro was still asking for a drawing of a potential rail line. Uptown didn’t even want to put their name on a drawing of a potential rail line on Post Oak because of politics.

And now the political deal has been made, long before they bothered to tell you. Voters would have to now approve any move to put rail on Uptown.

We all want the oysters we eat in our favorite restaurant to be totally safe. Now you can thank a State District Judge in Anahuac if they aren’t!

Judge Randy Mcdonald has stopped the State of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department from allowing anyone to touch the oysters in a large swath of Galveston Bay…and he did it without even notifying the State of Texas of the hearing.  

The state had given oyster producers just two days next week to transfer oysters to safer waters to protect public safety so they could be checked out by the health department before harvesting. Judge Mcdonald’s ruling suddenly stops that. Oh, by the way, his ruling also helps another Chambers County Judge heavily invested in the oyster business. Surprise surprise.

S.T.O.R.M, the company owned by Chambers County Judge Tracy Woody requested the restraining order stopping the oyster rescue mission.  S.T.O.R.M claims it is now the boss of Galveston Bay, not the people of Texas or the oyster companies that have paid for the right to harvest oysters.  STORM says it now controls 23,000 acres of Galveston Bay and has issued trespassing letters.

You may remember S.T.O.R.M. got a sweetheart deal from the Chambers-Liberty County Navigation District last year to lease 23,000 acres of Galveston Bay bottom for a small fraction of what it is worth.  The State of Texas filed suit, saying the deal was illegal and warned S.T.O.R.M they would pay if oysters were damaged.

Last week a Travis County judge killed an attempt to move the lawsuit to S.T.O.R.M.’S hometown of Anahuac, The state also issued orders for oyster companies so they could have Oct 5 and 6th to move their crops before the November harvesting season. Then Judge Woody found his Chambers County Colleague Judge Randy Mcdonald.

“We expected this home town ambush,” says Lisa Halili of Prestige Oysters. “It is just one smelly deal after another, but we are fighting with the People of Texas to stop this madness. This Anahuac home cooking will not stand.”

The restraining order by Judge Mcdonald calls for a hearing Oct 8th, but expect the State of Texas to go to court in the next 48 hours to try and stop the Judge.

Of course, this is Chambers County where the home cooking runs deep. Stay tuned.

uptownbusA once secret e-mail shows City Hall and Uptown officials are hiding the true escalating cost of a controversial project to tear up Post Oak Blvd for dedicated bus lanes.

Dolcefino Consulting spent months fighting for the release of e-mails sent or received by Andy Icken, the powerful development czar under Mayor Parker. It is clear Icken is helping push the Uptown project, which will financially benefit several members of the neighborhood board, especially the Chairman Kendall Miller.

This e-mail should be explained immediately because it could dramatically affect the costs of the bus project. The project makes up most of the quarter of a billion dollar Uptown Capital Improvement Budget up for approval Wednesday at Houston City hall.

On February 2015, John Breeding notified Icken there were multi-million dollar unresolved questions, including who will pay to maintain transit centers. Metro wants Uptown to pay for riders who get on and off in Uptown, construction of a road for buses to access the Bellaire Transit Center and removal of utilities under the bus lanes. There is also debate about making the right of way so that someday it can be converted from bus to rail.

Icken response. How much of this to we have to resolve now?

Uptown Chairman Kendall Miller tells Icken the list is “very expensive” but suggests a negotiation after all the funding is secured. In other words, don’t trouble taxpayers with the multi-million dollar fine print of a project they are totally paying for. It is now October, and the bottom line is still being kept from taxpayers on the eve of a key vote!

“Houston City Council should demand all the numbers now,” says Jim Scarborough of the Uptown Business and Property Owners Association. “They are playing hide and seek with the
taxpayers. That is no way to spend public money.”

In the e-mail, Miller suggests Icken handle negotiations later to figure out how much TIRZ money needs to flow to Metro. This is what happens when you have too many city bureaucracies. If this is such a great transit idea why isn’t the transit agency running the whole show? Why is Uptown, not Metro, building transit centers that will only use Metro buses?

We know budget documents show the cost to buy the land needed to tear up and widen Post Oak has gone up 70% since Houston City Council approved the project. Uptown is now refusing to say how much they are having to pay for land, which could drive the final cost much higher. The vast majority of the property needed for the project has not been bought and lawsuits are promised.

And now we know the proposed Bellaire Uptown Transit Center will barely have any parking, reducing projected commuter ridership by 50%. Why isn’t City Hall crying foul that those transit centers are a mere shell of what they were supposed to be? Why are they so afraid to slow this project down?

And why does the Mayor refuse to wait until the Texas Attorney General rules on whether Metro can legally participate in this “transit project.”. Is the Mayor willing to refund our tax
dollars if she is wrong, like on the rain tax and HERO?

Maybe we should just do what Parker, Icken, Miller, and Breeding want. Approve the money before these multi-million dollar disputes are settled and before we know the real cost.

P.S. Uptown money and Metro money may sound different to politicians, but they are both tax money to the folks paying the bill!

Read the K. Miller Email or see it embedded below.

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