About Air and Water

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Vote Yes on Proposition 4 - Action Alert from Environment Texas

It is that time of year again. The leaves are falling, pumpkins are wilting on our doorsteps and there are important decisions to be made in the upcoming election.

There are 16 constitutional amendments on the ballot, one of which -- Proposition 4 -- includes funding for critical repairs and maintenance for our state parks. The small percentage of dedicated voters who actually get to the polls determine whether or not these propositions pass, so vote early, vote often and vote "yes" on Proposition 4.

To see early voting polling places, click here.

Information about all 16 propositions.


Texas deserves a world-class parks system, but for years our state parks have been starved of the necessary resources they need. This has caused park ranger lay-offs, reduced access and dilapidated facilities. The state has even considered selling off part of Big Bend Ranch State Park to a private developer.

However, the tide is beginning to turn. Last session the legislature tripled funding for our state parks. Now, voters need to authorize $52 million of that money for essential repairs and maintenance of our parks.

Some of our most cherished state parks like Enchanted Rock, Palo Duro Canyon and Garner State Park will be able to take advantage of these funds. These natural areas are true Texas treasures that all residents should have a chance to visit. They include historic structures, like the Garner Pavilion, where Texans have been two-stepping since the 1930's. Decades of neglect have left these facilities in disrepair. Proposition 4 will ensure that these structures are upgraded and preserved for the future. Battleship Texas will also get $25 million for long-term preservation.

Proposition 4 also includes funding for many other state agencies. This includes money for asbestos abatement, courthouses, historic sites, mental-health hospitals and schools, emergency response centers, the Texas School for the Deaf, Camp Mabry maintenance, new prisons and maintenance of existing prisons (the legislature would need to approve the contruction of new prisons), crime labs, among other things.

Here is how Proposition 4 reads:

"The constitutional amendment authorizing the issuance of up to $1 billion in bonds payable from the general revenues of the state for maintenance, improvement, repair, and construction projects and for the purchase of needed equipment."

We have a lot of work to do to ensure that Texas gets the park systems it deserves. We are working to get the legislature to provide permanent funding for our state parks, so we don't have to fight for their survival every two years. We also need the state to initiate a major land acquisition program so we have more open spaces to explore and enjoy. But before that becomes a reality, we need to pass Proposition 4 on the November ballot.


Luke Metzger
Environment Texas Director

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Travel to other worlds ... UTA Planetarium

Immersive full-dome 3-D Digital planetarium show narrated by Ewan McGregor (Obi wan Kepobi from Star Wars) - Astronaut takes you exporing the worlds of inner and outer space. The movie is projected all around you. You recline in specially constructed chairs which enables you to comfortably view the immersive full-dome planetarium show. Astronaut! (produced from the National Space Centre in England) goes beyond the stereotypical space movie. Experience a rocket launch from inside the body of the astronaut. Float around the international Space Station moving thorugh the microscopic regions of the human body! Discover the beauty and perils as "Chad", the test astronaut experiences everything thrown at him.

Summer Schedule (June 2-August 26):


shows at the UTA Planetarium.

Wed. through Saturdays at 11 a.m.
and Thursday at 7:00 p.m.

Cosmic CSI

shows at the UTA Planetarium 3-D Digital Dome.

Wed. through Saturdays at 2 p.m.

Rock Hall of Fame 1 (The Original)

shows at the UTA Planetarium.

Thursday at 8:00 p.m.

Read more (Warning their flat dull website doesn't give much of a glimmer of the multi-dimensional experience you'll have once you enter the dome of the UTA Planetarium!)

Admission: Adults: $5.00

Seniors, Students, Children: $4.00

UTA Faculty, Staff & Alumni (with ID): $3.00

UTA Studens (with ID): $2.00

Groups of 10 or more with reservation: $3.00

Call 817 272-1183 or e-mail planetarium@uta.edu