The Don Quixote character who picketed, protested, and pummeled city officials the most over urban drilling during the past decade has finally gone and done it.

He’s put his house on the market.

Don Young has been talking about leaving town for more than a year. He grew up here but now characterizes Cowtown as Dirty Ol’ Town. He exhausted himself and put his glass business in financial jeopardy while fighting Big Government and Even Bigger Business over drill sites, compressor stations, pipelines, and pollution.


“I can’t stand Fort Worth anymore,” he said. “I can’t stand all this drilling stuff and the culture that went from easygoing town into this industrial ugliness. It’s everywhere. I know what’s going on underground and in the sky, and it’s just adding to an already bad problem.”

Young was among the first to speak out against urban drilling when it threatened his beloved Tandy Hills Natural Area just east of downtown in 2004. He quickly discovered that the city council, led by oil-and-gas-friendly Mayor Mike Moncrief, would support the drillers to the hilt with little regard for public sentiment, health, or safety.

He did succeed in protecting Tandy Hills, which sits across the street from the house he and his wife, Debora, purchased in 2000. Their efforts to protect the park from drillers led to the creation of the annual Prairie Fest celebration that draws thousands of visitors. Young also founded the nonprofit Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area, which is a finalist for a 2013 Environmental Leadership Award from Green Source DFW, an education project that brings together environmental groups, businesses, and communities and provides them with tools to talk to one another.

Winners will be announced March 19.

The Youngs are planning to move to Marfa.

He’s going to miss Tandy Hills, Young said, but, “Why stay in a place you don’t really like?”


Failing Ethics 101

The trend of selling the name of a facility or event in return for a big wad of cash is unfortunate in so many ways. Years ago it led to renaming a post-season college football game as the Poulan Weed-Eater Independence Bowl. (Now it’s the AdvoCare V100 Bowl — soo much better.)

In 2004 the Texas Rangers were guilty of a much worse dalliance with slime, temporarily renaming their Arlington ballpark Ameriquest Field in return for a reported $75 million from the mortgage company whose predatory lending practices eventually got the company sued — successfully — by attorneys general in 30 states.

All of that, however, pales in comparison to what is happening at Florida Atlantic University. The poobahs at that public college, in return for a measly $6 million, agreed to name the new football facility GEO Group Stadium.

Let’s see, GEO Group — that would be same company whose private prisons and other facilities (including those in Texas) have been at the heart of scandal after scandal. At Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility, for instance, federal investigators found that “egregious and dangerous practices” allowed terrible conditions to flourish, including a record of sexual misconduct that was “among the worst that we have seen in any facility anywhere in the nation.”

College president Mary Jo Saunders said FAU was “incredibly grateful for this wonderful gift.” Students disagreed. They’ve held protests demanding that the university ditch the name and, thus far, have gathered more than 10,000 signatures on a petition.

Saunders has promised to publicly discuss the issue. What’s to discuss? Either drop the stadium name or rechristen Florida Atlantic as “Ewww U.”


  1. I agree with Don Young completely. Fort Worth used to be a nice, funky little town that didn’t exactly cotton to the big business whores who ran Dallas into the ground. Fork Worth had a distinctiveness that made it cool.

    Now I look around at Fort Worth, see the congestion, the fricking frack sites, the toll road construction and immediately that Pretender’s lyric “my city was gone” comes to mind. I can’t wait to get out of this Republican cesspool.

  2. If you’re not happy, get gone. If someone says they’re not happy with Fort Worth because of drilling though, they’re insane. The complexion and attitude of FTW hasn’t changed one bit because of drilling. Young sounds like the petulant child who lost the game so he wants to take his ball and go home. Some people need to get over themselves, waa waa.

    • Your attitude is too bad. I don’t think you understand that Don Young was standing up to for you while your elected leaders were selling you out. If there is a childish response to be found on this page it is yours.
      As a note, if you ever want to leave a comment staking a claim to the higher, more mature ground, try not to end it with the kindergarden taunt of ‘waa waa’. It doesn’t help your cause.

  3. Mike Moncrief sues his own family….his values are not a secret. The Mike Moncrief way….money talks, decency walks. The Foat Wuth Way…Whoooopeee. Nothing new there. Mr. Young…God bless you. You are leaving Fort Worth a much better place. For all your unselfish devotion to preserving God’s creation, I thank you.