Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy News From Montana About Mr. & Mrs. Jones

Mr. and Mrs. Joey Jones
Well. Checking in on email this morning I found an extremely happy news from Spencer Jack's dad, my Favorite Nephew Jason, also known as FNJ, about Spencer Jack's uncle Joey, also known as FNJ2.

Below is the happy news....


I just wanted to update you on some family happenings. 

This morning, I received a text from my best friend.

That friend informed me that he was scheduled to make his first ever court appearance today.

This afternoon, whilst at work, I received a picture of Spencer's Uncle Joey kissing his bride, which I have attached.

I asked my friend, via text, if I could share this photo with you.   He responded quickly with 'yes!'

Later tonight I was privileged to talk to him via phone.

Joey told me he married Monique today at the Helena Municipal Courthouse at about 3:15 PM (mountain time).

He sounded so happy.   He said Monique was so happy too.

I am so happy for Joey and Monique.  And I am sure many others are too.

Also, I can't wait to be an Uncle.  I am told that this will happen in early October.

Thought you would enjoy all this good news. 


Friday, March 16, 2018

Windy Ride To A Wichita Falls Urban Lake

I am ready for the end the day after day after day of blustery wind blowing across the prairie buffeting me with its gusty bluster whilst rolling my wheels on a salubrious bout of endorphin inducing aerobic stimulation.

At least the wind was warm today, so there was that to be happy about. And the allergy activating tree pollen seems to be taking a break, judging by this morning not being viewed through burning, watery eyes for an hour or so upon getting vertical.

When my previous bike was stolen, in addition to the bike being taken, that which was attached to the bike went along with the thief, including the bag in which I carried my phone, camera, keys and other stuff.

So, I have been doing some bike accessory replacing. Including the black bag you see above, attached to the handlebars. In the six years since I last bought bike stuff there have been some changes. For instance, the bike bag now comes with a handy smart phone see-through water-proof pocket at the top. This has proved to be extremely convenient, now able to quickly check the time, or who is calling, or texting.

In today's illustrative photo the bike is on the Bridge of Sikes, at the west end of one of Wichita Falls many urban lakes. Wichita Falls does not actually identify the lakes inside its city limits as being "urban lakes".

The only town I have ever known which calls a lake inside its border an "urban lake" is Fort Worth. And in that case it is an imaginary lake which is really a pond, and even calling it a pond is being generous. It is more a proposed wide spot in a river which may one day actually exist, way in the future.

The Wichita Falls urban lake I rolled around today is Sikes Lake. Sikes Lake is about a quarter mile from my abode. About a mile south of my abode there is another Wichita Falls urban lake. That one is called Lake Wichita.

I had planned on rolling to Lake Wichita today, with a quick run up Mount Wichita, what with being in training for mountain hiking. But, as soon as I got on the Circle Trail I decided I did not want to fight against the wind, in that direction. So, I let the wind push me the other direction, all the way to Hamilton Park, and beyond. Eventually making it to the aforementioned Sikes Lake.

Tomorrow even if the wind is not being windy I won't be biking south to Lake Wichita. Tomorrow I'm heading north...

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Warming Up Biking The Stress Free Wichita Falls Paved Trails

I do not remember if I remembered to mention that I found myself a replacement for the bike which was stolen in broad daylight from its locked carport position, a week before the last iteration of Christmas.

The new bike seems to be a better bike than the stolen bike. It is lighter and rides real smooth and quiet. The stolen bike was nearing the end of its lifespan.

You can tell by my super smiling selfie face how happy the new bike causes me to be.

I suppose I should point out the obvious and make clear that that is my new bike behind me. Further behind me is the new playground type installation in Hamilton Park. This is an extremely futuristic, extremely abstract playground type installation. I have seen kids puzzling as to how to play on this playground type installation.

Wichita Falls is quite modern with things like playground type installations. And having modern restroom facilities in the town's many parks, unlike another Texas town with which I was formerly familiar, where outhouses are the norm, but that's the Fort Worth Way, providing the town's few tourists with a third world experience without need of a passport.

Also, unlike that other Texas town, the town of Wichita Falls has plenty of sidewalks. And paved trails. And paved alleys. Making for stress free wheel rolling without having much vehicular interference.

I am hoping to make my way up to the Pacific Northwest within a reasonable time frame. So that I can go mountain biking with Theo, and Ruby and David if they are up to it. And go mountain hiking with Maxine.

Maxine took me on my first real Cascade Mountain hiking adventure decades ago. Hiking up Mount Baker from the Schreiber's Meadow access point. If I am remembering right, and sometimes I do, I have not hiked up Mount Baker since I did so with Spencer Jack's uncle Joey, way back in the previous century, at some point in the 1990s.

So, I am having to amp up my endorphin inducing aerobic activity in order to get myself in sufficiently good shape to go mountain biking with Theo and mountain hiking with Maxine.

I am hoping today is the last day where the outer world is chilly, with the return of regular warm air from this point forward, until next October, or later...

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Theo Sleeps Through Tacoma Heat Wave Whilst Uncle Durango's Head Aches

Tacoma's cutest twins, Ruby and Theo, have been going through another bout of the flu, worse, by some accounts, than their Disneyland related flu bout of late January.

Yesterday I learned Theo's condition had morphed into an ear infection.

This morning, when inquiring about Theo's condition, I asked if Theo had been outside enjoying the record breaking heat wave that was in the news due to heating up Western Washington much more than the March norm.

Theo's mama then texted me the photo of Theo you see here, taken on Sunday, when his mama suggested he go outside for some hoped for sunny salubriousness.

Instead Theo's mama, when checking on him shortly thereafter, found Theo sound asleep. Since this was totally not the active Theo norm, mama Kristin was called, and soon Theo was having some urgent care at mama Kristin's Urgent Care facility, where the ear infection was discovered.

Decades ago, when I was in the Theo age frame, I had bad ear infections which I remember as being terribly painful.

A couple days ago I watched the famous All in the Family episode where Edith was overwhelmed trying to take care of sick Archie, Gloria and the Meathead, so she called Aunt Maude to ask for help, with Maude coming to the rescue, making for one of the funniest episodes of that funny series, an episode so talked about that Maude soon had her own spin off series.

I'm thinking if this ongoing series of Tacoma ailments keeps having David, Theo and Ruby sick, and their parental units worn out, that Uncle Durango might need to come to the rescue.

Yeah, I'm sure that would be a big help.

Escaping Texas would certainly help with Uncle Durango's current unhealthy misery. As in the return of allergy woes. I suffered not a bit whilst in Arizona. And never have any sort of allergy woe when I am in Washington. But here in Texas, the last couple years, tree pollen has been a vexing misery. The latest iteration of such has had me awake since about three this morning, with a headache, now abated.

I have had some blogging fodder I wanted to blog about, but I've just not felt up to it. Maybe tomorrow, or the day after, or the day after that....

Sunday, March 11, 2018

The Real Work Begins To Sink Panther Island & J.D. Granger

A day or two ago I heard from someone named Anonymous, anonymously pointing me to that which you see here...

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Looking For Fort Worth Star-Telegram Straight Talk...": 

Now the Real Work Begins: JD Granger Keeps Panther Island Project Afloat

Catching up with the executive director of the Trinity River Vision Authority.

It is in a publication called Fort Worth Magazine we catch up with J.D. Granger. This article is the most ridiculous piece of embarrassingly inept propaganda yet regarding the debacle which has become America's Biggest Boondoggle.

Let's take a look at this ridiculous puff piece about J.D. Granger and the Boondoggle he is so proud of.

Just the title of this article is absurd. After years of nothing much happening now the real work of floating an imaginary island begins?


The first two paragraphs after being told we are catching up with the executive director of the Trinity River Vision Authority...

When you’re in charge of one of the biggest projects on one of the biggest landmarks of Fort Worth — the Trinity River — there’s no doubt you’re busy. Couple that with being a dad, a frequent traveler and, not to mention, the son of a U.S. representative.

Such is the life of JD Granger, executive director of the Trinity River Vision Authority (TRVA). Aside from managing flood control and hosting events like Panther Island Ice and Rockin’ the River, one of the biggest things on TRVA’s plate right now is the Panther Island project — an estimated $910 million development that intends to bring housing, restaurants, entertainment and a San Antonio-style riverwalk to the northside of downtown. All in all, the development will span 88 miles down the Trinity.

One of the biggest projects? On one of the biggest landmarks?

The writer of this article thinks J.D. is managing flood control. Wrap your brain around that, if you can. And yet, even though J.D. is so busy managing flood control he finds time to host an ice rink for a few weeks during the winter, along with Rockin' the Polluted River in inner tubes. But, according to this inept writer, the biggest thing on J.D.'s busy plate is the Panther Island project, the cost of which this writer has ballooned to almost a billion bucks. Just for the imaginary island. And this development, you know, the Panther Island project, will span 88 miles down the Trinity.

Wouldn't 88 miles down the Trinity take one way east past Dallas? I had no idea the over reach of America's Biggest Boondoggle had grown so big.

And then this gem of a paragraph...

This year, the nitty-gritty begins. With much of the prep work finishing up, Granger says more vertical construction is set to take place — think breaking ground on a multifamily and the beginnings of the riverwalk.

Nitty gritty must be an engineering term about which I am not familiar. Years ago, back when J.D. and his mother ignited a TNT explosion to celebrate the start of construction of three simple little bridges being built over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to that imaginary island, J.D. told his clueless minions that now we would be seeing vertical construction taking place, thus the minions would finally be seeing some progress of the long blind vision. The prep work is finishing up? Did we not just recently learn that J.D. and his incompetent cohorts were shocked to discover they needed many millions more for infrastructure work on the imaginary island?

So, it would seem some more prep work is needed before that nitty gritty can begin.

The level of idiotic hubris expressed in this article astounds. Before we get to the embarrassing Q and A section there is this paragraph...

Granger handles all that and still finds time to drive his kids to sports activities and go tubing down the river (incognito, might we add). He took some time out of his jam-packed schedule to chat with us on how the vision is coming along and what life is like on the river.

Oh my. Granger handles all that flood control, ice skating and river floating hosting, which, of course, he does incognito, and yet finds time out of his busy schedule to share how his imaginary vision is coming along and what his life on the river is like.

Now, let's get to the aforementioned Q & A...

Q.  What’s your favorite thing to do along the river?
A.  Along? My favorite thing is to be in our river tubing at Sunday Funday at Panther Island Pavilion. I’ll float and chat with people far and near. I hold back telling them what I do. I soak in their thoughts about our river, the event and Fort Worth at-large. They always say, “I never thought about getting in the Trinity River. This is great.” I know I look like a madman smiling ear to ear.

I almost feel like uttering the cliche "I have no words". But, what an idiot Kay's son seems to be. His favorite thing is spending Sunday's floating in the e.coli infested river, chatting with fellow floaters, far and near in the river. Never telling his fellow floaters that the floating is his brilliant idea, whilst he enjoys listening to thoughts waxing poetic about the wonders of getting in the Trinity River and Fort Worth at large. Which renders J.D. to be a smiling madman.

And now the next Q & A...

Q.  How is the Panther Island project coming along?
A.  Killing it. We’re about one-third of the way through the project. We are about to wrap up the phase that provides little reward — clearing the way for vertical construction. Now, the excitement begins. Bridges are well underway. The bypass channel is in final design. The first multifamily project and riverwalk section begins this spring. And, we are working with several more developers on some great projects that would extend the Panther Island River Walk in the near future.

Wait? What? Did J.D. just suffer some sort of Freudian Slip? Asked how the Panther Island project is coming along J.D. accurately admits he is killing it? I think many would agree that hiring someone totally unqualified to oversee such a project would have the likely consequence of eventually killing the project.

J.D. is telling us America's Biggest Boondoggle is about one-third of the way through the project.

Let's see, the Trinity River Vision was foisted on the Fort Worth public back in 2002. That is 16 years ago. With the project, according to its imbecile executive director about one-third complete, that means we have 32 years to go for project completion.

32 years takes us to 2050. Halfway to the next century.

The way this slow motion pseudo public works project has been limping along 2050 seems like an optimistic target.

And now another embarrassing Question and Answer...

Q.  Your mom is Kay Granger. How closely do you follow each other’s career?
A.  We do more than follow. We partnered to complete the delivery of the river project. She committed to coordinating all federal needs. I committed to coordinating all state and local needs. And, we promised each other that neither could leave until everything is on autopilot. But, don’t get me wrong — she is still Mom. She calls me at least twice every weekend for me to come over and “fix” her TV remote, iPad, thermostat, phone ... Please. Please. Take her electronics from her. She is in denial.

Uh. Isn't it pretty much common knowledge J.D. was given this job, for which he had zero qualifications, so as to motivate his mother to secure federal pork barrel dollars? Which she has done, albeit with limited success, hence part of the slow motion project problem. So, according to J.D., the Granger Gang has partnered to coordinate this project, promising each other not to leave until the slow motion project is on autopilot.

With J.D. telling us the project is only one-third complete, how old will his mother be in 2050? Let's see, Kay was born in 1943, which will make her around 107 in 2050, when her son projects this ill begotten project may be completed. Somehow I think there is a good chance Kay (and her son) will be leaving this project, one way or another, well before 2050.

On to the next embarrassing Q & A....

Q.  What else do you talk about?
A.  Our brains multitask at all times, and we are the restless sort. We think it’s normal. However, it can be exhausting to others, especially loved ones. We relax by enjoying a glass of wine, while playing gin rummy, and talking nonstop about our community’s needs and what we could do to help. My kids think our conversations are very boring. My friends say they are stressful. But we love them, and that it is how we relax.

Does the word "delusional" cross anyone else's mind reading this tripe? J.D. and his mom are restless sorts, with brains afire multitasking. Boozing it up whilst playing cards engaging in nonstop talk about what they can do about Fort Worth's many needs.

Oh my, those must be some interesting conversations. The pair has been so successful doing so much for so long to Fort Worth. Fort Worth is so lucky having this pair doing so much for, or to, the town. Do they discuss how embarrassing it is that they exploded TNT years ago to celebrate the start of construction of three simple little bridges, with a four year construction timeline, which are still not built, four years later? Do they talk about how embarrassing it is that they are involved in, and have helped cause, what has become known as America's Biggest Boondoggle?

Are these embarrassing Questions and Answers ever gonna stop...

Q.  What keeps you grounded?
A.  People. I love them. All of them. I eat out almost every meal — in large part because I crave the conversations and input of people outside my circle. From the waitstaff, to the bartender, or the couple sitting next to me, the conversations always challenge me. Listening to others describe where they are from, why they chose their neighborhood, or thoughts on different Fort Worth districts provide wonderful honest input. Those conversations are brain candy.

Oh yes, that has been a concern of many people, wondering what in the world keeps J.D. Granger grounded, what with his busy schedule and all he is accomplishing for the imaginary benefit of Fort Worth. And now we know, it is people who keep J.D. grounded. The little people whose conversations provide his simple little mind with brain candy, due to how challenging the conversations are.

Likely the challenging part is people asking J.D. to explain why there is so little to see after what years ago used to be known as the Trinity River Vision. Or, hey J.D., what's up with those stupid looking bridges that don't seem to be getting built?

Two more Questions and Answers and we are done with them...

Q. When not working, what are you doing?
A. Traveling. Every trip teaches me new things to bring home and affirms why I love Fort Worth.

Q. What should we expect to see from Panther Island in 2018?
A.  Almost full completion of the White Settlement Bridge. Great progress on the Henderson and Main Street bridges. Wrapping up the first phase of Riverside Park and Gateway Park. The groundbreaking of Panther Island’s first multifamily project. The first section of River Walk. And, we hope to announce another mixed-use project that truly captures the vision the community described for Panther Island.

Where in the world is J.D. traveling to from which he brings things home affirmation of why he loves Fort Worth? It can't be modern parts of America to which he is traveling.

According to J.D. in 2018 we may see the almost completion of one of the Boondoggle's bridges which began being constructed four years ago? With some progress on the other two bridges being built in slow motion over dry land?

This is all smoke and mirrors.

And the people of Fort Worth really should be ashamed of themselves for putting up with, and tolerating, this nonsense.

J.D. Granger needs to be fired. Fort Worth needs to grow up and stop doing business via what is known as the Fort Worth Way, where a small oligarchy rules the town, ineptly, and boot out those who have done so much damage for so long, including booting Kay Granger from Congress.

I know it won't happen. There are too many sheep who call Fort Worth home. Too many people who pay too little attention to what they don't think they have any say about.

With the power of the vote apparently an alien concept.

Recently we blogged about Anonymously Wondering If J.D. Granger Is Paid Enough To Direct America's Biggest Boondoggle where we all learned J.D. is currently being paid around $200,000 a year, plus an expense account, plus other perks, to manage what has become, largely due to his incompetent inexperience, America's Biggest Boondoggle.

This needs to stop. The plug needs to be pulled. The damage to Fort Worth needs to stop.

America's Biggest Boondoggle is only going to get worse. The cost is going to continue to go up. The flood diversion channel is not even yet designed, with its cost not yet estimated. There are so many potential pitfalls, including those absurd bridges currently looking like teeter totter seesaws, now referred to locally as the Yeehaw Seesaws.

I just don't get it. From first exposure it has seemed obvious Fort Worth suffers from what amounts to being a civic inferiority complex, for good reason.

Being the location of American's Biggest Boondoggle only exacerbates that civic inferiority complex. Pulling the plug on this Boondoggle would be the first step to Fort Worth growing up and finally becoming a town wearing its Big City Pants.

Or it can continue operating the Fort Worth Way, currently with the help of the Granger Gang...

Friday, March 9, 2018

Not Skiing With Spencer Jack In Texas Hiking Camelback Mountain

Yes, I can guess what you are thinking, that being that Spencer Jack and his dad, my favorite nephew, Jason, are visiting Texas and in the photo are riding the transit device which takes one to the summit of Mount Wichita, to have themselves some skiing fun.


You guessed wrong.

Spencer Jack has never been to Texas and refuses to visit the Lone Star State until the state is purged of embarrassments like Ted Cruz, and other embarrassments of similar sort.

Such as not allowing medicinal marijuana.

What you see here is Spencer Jack riding a device called a chairlift, which is used to lift one to an elevation high up a snow covered geographic feature known as a mountain.

Spencer Jack did not disclose to which Washington ski location he had taken his dad, whether it was Stevens Pass, Snoqualmie Summit, Mount Baker or one of the other Washington ski zones. But, I'm guessing it's Stevens, Snoqualmie or Baker, due to those being the closest to Mount Vernon ski areas with chairlifts.

In the second photo documentation documenting Spencer Jack's ski trip I think we can rule out both Mount Baker and Stevens Pass, due to what looks to be a highway overpass in the background.

Then again, a highway overpass may have been added to the Stevens Pass summit zone since I was last at that location.

Spencer Jack and his dad did not make it to Arizona last month whilst I was there, despite multiple incidents indicating such was going to happen.

Spencer Jack's grandpa, my little brother Jake, is currently recovering from getting his back operated on. When that recovery is history I'm planning on returning to Arizona where Spencer Jack's grandpa and I are going to hike to the summit of Camelback Mountain, where there is no chairlift to facilitate easy summit access.

It would make for a mighty fine hike if Spencer Jack and his dad would be in Arizona at that point in time to lead his grandpa and favorite uncle to the top of Camelback, a location to which Spencer Jack's dad has already hiked, supposedly, though no photo documentation has been provided proving such to be the case.

UPDATE: Spencer Jack's spokesperson called to inform us that it was to Stevens Pass he took his dad skiing, and that an overpass has been added to the pass since last I passed by that location.

UPDATE #2: In the newly found text accompanying Spencer Jack's Stevens Pass photos we learn that yesterday Spencer skipped school to go skiing because it was his 11th birthday and skiing with his dad is how he chose to celebrate being two years from turning into a teenager....

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Eventually One Of The Texas People Voting Today


It wasn't easy, but eventually I managed to do my voting duty today.

Apparently today was the first time I have not early voted in my current Texas location. Which means when I showed up at my regular voting location, in the Sikes Senter Mall, there was nary a voting booth to be seen.

I then asked my phone if it knew where the Wichita Falls voting locations were located.

My phone directed me to a location nearer my abode than the Sikes Senter Mall, that being the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles location on Southwest Parkway.

So I made my way back south to Southwest Parkway where I eventually parked after seeing a "VOTE HERE" sign.

I made my way through a byzantine maze to the voting location. Handed over my voter registration card and my driver's license I.D., which is still inexplicably required in Texas, the producing an I.D. thing.

I was then informed I was in the wrong voting location, that my voting location was in the First Christian Church on Taft Boulevard, across the street from Midwestern State University.

There is more than one Christian church at this location on Taft, but the First Christian name is the name of the church, not a reference to its location in the lineup of other Christian churches.

Eventually I found my way to another "VOTE HERE" sign, which you see below.

After following another byzantine maze I eventually found my voting location.

I'd forgotten that in a Texas primary election one does not get what is known as a secret ballot.

After proving one is an eligible voter one is asked if one wants the Republican or the Democrat ballot.

One has to answer this question, out loud, twice.

How embarrassing it must be if one wants to vote Republican to have to announce such out loud for all to hear.

I understand the concept of controlling which primary ballot one gets to vote on, thus helping solve the problem of cross over voters voting for a horrible Republican candidate to help guarantee the Republicans lose against a much better Democrat candidate. For instance, voting for Ted Cruz so there'd be a slimy, creepy Republican opponent for Democrat Beto O'Rourke.

But why can this choice not be made secretly? As in after one enters ones voting code, then selecting, in private, which party ballot one wishes to be voting on?

And why does Texas make voting so difficult? With so many voting locations, which seem to vary with each election? A church voting location? That sort of seems an unseemly thing, what with that whole separation of church and state concept.

I don't remember the last time I ever went to a voting poll location in Washington. Sometime in the 1980s, would be my guess. Washington long ago went to the permanent absentee ballot option, where one got mailed a ballot which one returns by mail. That method has been refined over the years to the point now a registered Washington voter gets their ballot in the mail, and then drops it in one of the many conveniently located ballot boxes.

I just returned from a month in the Arizona version of modern America. Texas always seems so quaint in so many ways when I return from modern America...

Monday, March 5, 2018

Wichita Falls Prairie Dog Town Bulldozed After Border Wall Destroyed

Yesterday, late in the afternoon of the first Sunday of March, I received an urgent notice notifying me the Wichita Falls Prairie Dog Town had suffered a massive attack which had knocked down the border wall surrounding Prairie Dog Town, with Prairie Dog Town then bulldozed into oblivion.

This sounded dire.

I was shocked and quickly gathered up my documentation tools and made my way to my motorized vehicle transport to drive the short distance west to Prairie Dog Town.

When the outskirts came into view I was relieved to see the Prairie Dog Town suburbs had not been molested.

But then Prairie Dog Town came into view and it was worse than my imagination imagined. I pulled into the now dirt covered parking lot and saw the forlorn prairie dog you see above, above ground, surveying the damage done to his town.

Multiple prairie dogs were on top of their town's ruins, working to rebuild, such as the little guy you see below.

Another overview of the destruction zone, with another prairie dog seen working on rebuilding.

Across the street from the now destroyed Prairie Dog Town, suburb dwellers were seen above ground looking at the remains of their town, a trio of such you see below.

I am assuming there is a good reason Prairie Dog Town was attacked and its walls removed. It looks like where the wall previously existed a new foundation has been poured, perhaps for the erection of a new wall, with the possibility a new improved Prairie Dog Town may rise from the rubble.

We can only hope.

The prairie dogs seemed to be in good spirits. I was greeted by a lot of barking and a few prairie dogs running towards me hoping for some vittles. I did not think to bring any vittles in my rush to check out what had happened to the Wichita Falls Prairie Dog Town.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Nephew Joey In Mount Vernon's Lincoln Theater Leads To Texas Theater Eyesores

Incoming this morning, via email, from Spencer Jack's dad, my nephew Joey's big brother, Jason.

Message in email...

In case you no longer subscribe to the Skagit Valley Herald, I’ll share a photo which featured in today’s newspaper.

Well, I am a couple thousand miles distant from the Skagit Valley, and so a delivery subscription with the Skagit Valley's newspaper is not doable.

Hence I had not seen this photo of Spencer Jack's Uncle Joey climbing amongst the rafters in Mount Vernon's Lincoln Theater.

Joey is an electrician doing electrical stuff for Mount Vernon's Dimensional Communications.

I last saw Joey in October of 2015 in Grapevine, Texas. Joey was in Dallas installing some electrical stuff at an Expedia extension office.

I can not remember the precise details, but at some point in time in the last century I found myself sort of in the same location we see Joey, high above the Lincoln Theater seats below.

Seeing this photo of Joey in the Lincoln Theater got me thinking, yet again, about the profound differences between the towns I was familiar with up North and West, and the towns I have become familiar in the South.

In the South the legit concept of using eminent domain to take property for the public good is often abused. Maybe the concept is misunderstood.

Up North and West if a property owner's property falls into a state of dis-repair, as in becomes an abandoned eyesore, a city will take action to fix the problem, enabled and empowered by city ordinance designed to prevent such.

For the public good.

Mount Vernon, in its theater heyday, had three downtown movie theaters, the Lincoln, Lido and Lyric, if I am remembering the Lincoln's fellow theater's names correctly.

Again, if I am remembering correctly, the Lyric long ago was re-purposed with a new non-theater purpose. The Lido, at the north end of downtown, continued in some sort of theater form, I think. The Lincoln, at the south end of downtown, was restored to its heyday glory and received National Historic Site status of some sort.

Meanwhile, ever since I first saw it way back late in the previous century, in the Fort Worth Stockyards zone, there has been an abandoned eyesore theater, the New Isis Theater, with its marquee always announcing a revival which never comes.

Whoever owns the New Isis Theater property is not told by the city to clean up the mess. The mess just lingers, year after year, decade after decade, mucking up the visual appeal of Fort Worth's only tourist attraction.

I don't know why such is allowed in towns in Texas, in towns which will abuse eminent domain to take a person's property, but not to take abandoned eyesore property. This phenomenon has not only been seen in the Texas town of Fort Worth.

My eyes have seen abandoned property eyesores in many Texas towns. And in Oklahoma, now that you are causing me to think about it.

In the current Texas town in which I am habitating, Wichita Falls, there are multiple instances of abandoned buildings of the eyesore sort which would not be allowed in other locations in America.

Soon after my arrival in Wichita Falls I blogged about some of these instances in Hoagie Jackson Leads Me To Tour Eastside Wichita Falls Eyesore Infestation. How many years, or decades, are such things allowed to linger in decay mode in this part of the country?

Such is yet one more question to which I've never found an answer...

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Looking For Fort Worth Star-Telegram Straight Talk About The Boondoggle's Homage To A Trash Can

This is the third installment in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Straight Talk series about the Panther Island Boondoggle.

Today let's talk about America's Biggest Boondoggle's "Wind Roundabout" Public Art which the locals have taken to calling an Homage to an Aluminum Trash Can.

Via the Trinity River Vision Authority propaganda website, from almost three years ago, on a page titled “Wind Roundabout” Public Art Coming to Panther Island we read the following paragraph...

Work continues on the new piece of public art coming soon to Panther Island. Located in the center of the new roundabout that connects White Settlement and Henderson Street on Panther Island, Ned Kahn’s Wind Roundabout is a 30 foot tall kinetic sculpture that will be visible to motorists entering the roundabout, providing a visual focal point amid the anticipated growth and development of Panther Island.

This Trinity River Vision Authority information was dated May 26th, 2015, like I said, almost three years ago, approximately one year after America's Biggest Boondoggle's ridiculous TNT exploding ceremony marking the start of construction of three simple little bridges being built over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

Below you get a look at the completed Homage to an Aluminum Trash Can, at the center of that roundabout serving as a focal point for that anticipated growth and development on that imaginary island, whose growth and development remains stalled on that imaginary island, three years later.

Here's some straight talk for you, Star-Telegram.

Why was a million bucks spent on this ridiculous piece of public art, spent by a public agency now asking voters to approve a quarter billion buck bond?

Why did the Trinity Vision Authority authorize the spending of money on this installation at the center of this roundabout which is still not fully constructed with the roads in the area not fully repaired and fully functional, years after property was stolen by abusing eminent domain by falsely claiming said property was needed for the public good?

While the public has never been allowed to vote for this ill fated fake flood control and economic scheme, which clearly must be of little actual import, judging by the slow motion multi-decade, ever shifting to the far future, project timeline.

Why was this million dollar monstrosity installed before the roundabout was moving cars? Before the nearby simple little bridge was built over dry land? Why was money spent on this? When the actual project is not sufficiently funded to a level to facilitate actually actualizing the project in a timely fashion such as towns wearing their Big City Pants manage to do with public works projects deemed necessary for the public good?

Why has the Star-Telegram not asked any questions of the sort we have asked? It's not too late, what with the Star-Telegram's newfound appreciation of the concept of straight talk, that being a phrase which is another way of saying "tell the truth".

Also in the Star-Telegram Straight Talk Series...

Panther Island Straight Talk Per Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Request

Will Fort Worth's Yeehaw Seesaws Teeter Totter Into Oblivion?