The first poll results are in and the choice between two tail designs for American Airlines planes appears to be a dead heat.In an online poll conducted the past two days, Star-Telegram readers were evenly split between the old American Airlines logo and the new flag design that now adorns several of the carrier’s new planes.With more than 890 votes clicked, the old AA eagle design was winning with 51 percent of the vote late Wednesday afternoon, while the carrier’s new tail flag design garnered 49 percent. Just 17 votes separated the two.Voters took to social media to express their feelings.“The new one!!!” reader Ivan Tolj tweeted on Tuesday “The old represents AMR legacy, so it should only be used in Retrojets now on.”On Monday, American’s new CEO Doug Parker announced that employees will be asked to decide on the tail design for the carrier in response to questions about the merged airline’s future livery.Parker said the current light silver paint scheme would remain on the fuselage but workers could choose between the new American flag design on the tail (which was unveiled in January) or the old AA eagle logo.Some readers already miss the polished silver look which was not one of the livery choices.“All I can say is it will be a sad day when there are no more big silver birds in the Grapevine sky,” Antoinette Haste said on Twitter.Employees have until Jan. 2 to vote.Of course, our readers votes won’t count in Parker’s decision, but we thought it would be fun to test public opinion. The poll is still up at Star-Telegram.com, so keep voting!British paper finds ‘Fracking Hell’ in PonderGreat Britain is facing a decision over whether to allow drilling for shale gas, so The Guardian, a British newspaper known for its investigative journalism, sent a team to tiny Ponder, between Denton and Decatur, for a report on how natural gas production has played out in the Barnett Shale.What did they find? Well, the headline might say it all: “Fracking hell: what it’s really like to live next to a shale gas well.” In the article and a video, residents in a development of recently built homes near the intersection of FM 2449 and FM 156 describe their experiences with odors, noise and disruption when Devon Energy drilled new wells in 2011 barely 300 feet from their property. One said a “gritty white powder” that settled on the car took the paint when she tried to wash it off.None of the homeowners, nor the developer, holds mineral rights, the Guardian reported. Devon Energy erected sound blankets around the site but the homeowners told the paper that it hardly helped.Devon spokesman Tim Hartley told the paper: “We are always working to find new and better ways to do what we do with the smallest possible impact that we can have on our neighbours.”According to Texas Railroad Commission records, Devon has been drilling in the immediate area for more than a decade.
Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727 Twitter: @SandraBakerFWST Jim Fuquay, 817-390-7552 Twitter: @jimfuquay Barry Shlachter, 817-390-7718 Twitter: @bshlachter