After negotiations, energy companies opt against placing wind farms in Val Verde County

After negotiations, energy companies opt against placing wind farms in Val Verde County

VAL VERDE COUNTY, Texas – In the wide-open spaces of Val Verde County lies the Devils River, one of the last pristine, wild rivers in Texas.  Recently, it was at the center of a monthslong negotiation. “Absolutely. It’s a major win for us and for future generations of Texas and for anyone else who cares about the wide-open spaces in our state,” explained Julie Lewey, with the Devils River Conservancy. The group, made up of landowners along the Devils River and…

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Kinder Morgan ordered to pay another $2.7 million in Hill Country pipeline dispute

Kinder Morgan ordered to pay another $2.7 million in Hill Country pipeline dispute

  • August 15, 2019
  • News

Houston pipeline operator Kinder Morgan has been ordered to pay another $2.7 million in a widening eminent domain dispute out in the Texas Hill Country. A three-member panel of the Blanco County Special Commissioners ordered Kinder Morgan to pay three landowners more than $2.7 million in order to seize parts of their properties for the company’s proposed Permian Highway Pipeline. Kinder Morgan is seeking to build the $2 billion pipeline to move 2.1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per…

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CCCA is bringing nature and wellness to NB

CCCA is bringing nature and wellness to NB

Those struggling with anxiety, depression or feeling down have an opportunity to get a dose of self care thanks to nature. The Comal County Conservation Alliance (CCCA) is presenting a community program “Health & Nature How Nature Cures” on Aug. 13, from 6 to 8 p.m at the Landa Haus in Landa Park. A panel of experts will describe a variety of ecotherapy applications, followed by an opportunity for attendees to engage in small-group discussions with the panelists. Come and…

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Perseid meteor shower will peak in night skies

Perseid meteor shower will peak in night skies

  • August 12, 2019
  • News

All year long as Earth revolves around the sun, it passes through streams of cosmic debris. The resulting meteor showers can light up night skies from dusk to dawn, and if you’re lucky you might be able to catch a glimpse. The next shower you might be able to see is the Perseids. Active between July 17 and Aug. 26, the show peaks around Monday night into Tuesday morning, or Aug. 12-13. The Perseids light up the night sky when…

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Hill Country landowner vindicated by commission: Kinder Morgan ordered to pay fair market value for land

Hill Country landowner vindicated by commission: Kinder Morgan ordered to pay fair market value for land

  • August 9, 2019
  • News

Blanco County, TX – Hill Country landowner Matthew Walsh is breathing easier today after a three-panel special commission of real estate professionals ordered pipeline developer Kinder Morgan to pay damages to his land in the amount of $233,500. This award comes despite Kinder Morgan’s claims that there would be zero damages to the whole property. The ruling by the commission happened Tuesday as part of condemnation proceedings related to Kinder Morgan’s planned Permian Highway Pipeline, a 42-inch, 430-mile natural gas…

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What’s in the way of this Texas pipeline? A cute songbird

What’s in the way of this Texas pipeline? A cute songbird

The golden-cheeked warbler, an endangered songbird native to Central Texas, always seems to be flitting around controversy. It proved to be a roadblock derailing the Texas Department of Transportation’s plans to build a toll road in 2016. Prominent politicians in Texas say protections for the bird infringe on property rights. And in the last few years, the diminutive bird has survived multiple attempts to remove it from the federal endangered species list. Now the warbler is at the center of…

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Sporting goods tax could exclusively go to funding Texas parks and historical sites

Sporting goods tax could exclusively go to funding Texas parks and historical sites

Parks around the State of Texas could start receiving some extra money in the fall. In 1993, legislation was passed in order to more adequately fund the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Up to 94 percent of all of the taxes collected from the purchase of sporting goods were to be used to fund local, regional and state parks, with the other six percent of the taxes collected heading to the Texas Historical Commission in order to maintain the State…

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Apache donates $257,000 to McDonald Observatory

Apache donates $257,000 to McDonald Observatory

  • July 25, 2019
  • News

Apache Corp. gifted $257,000 to the University of Texas’ McDonald Observatory to help with the prevention of light pollution in dark West Texas skies – which are often used for research. The funds will hire additional staff to create resources for the dark skies programs that allow the observatory to collaborate with city councils, county governments and businesses to promote good lighting solutions, according to a release from the observatory. It also will assist with the funding of educational materials…

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Kinder Morgan sues Austin suburb over anti-pipeline ordinance

Kinder Morgan sues Austin suburb over anti-pipeline ordinance

  • July 23, 2019
  • News

Houston pipeline operator Kinder Morgan has sued an Austin suburb over the passage of an ordinance that the company alleges aims to keep a proposed natural gas pipeline out of town, disrupting a project already registered with state regulators. In a 22-page lawsuit filed on Monday in U.S. District Court in Austin, Kinder Morgan alleges that the City of Kyle overstepped state and federal law when city council members passed a July 2 ordinance regulating the construction of natural gas…

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Rep. Zwiener’s HB 4158, ‘Hill Country Night Sky Tourism Bill,’ becomes law

Rep. Zwiener’s HB 4158, ‘Hill Country Night Sky Tourism Bill,’ becomes law

Dark Sky cities in the Texas Hill Country can now use their hotel occupancy tax dollars to protect the night sky. Representative Erin Zwiener’s (D-Driftwood) HB 4158 is now law and effective immediately.  HB 4158, the Hill Country Night Sky Tourism bill, gives small cities in Hays and Blanco Counties another important tool to invest in local tourism efforts. This legislation recognizes the importance of dark skies to visitors and residents of the Hill Country and allows communities to use…

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