Monday, April 27, 2015

Building The World's Longest Floating Bridge In Four Years While In Fort Worth America's Biggest Boondoggle....

Today we continue with our popular series of bloggings about feats of engineering, mostly of the bridge sort, with project construction timelines of four years, give or take a year or  two.

Looking at these various feats of engineering has been prompted by our befuddlement regarding the construction of three simple little bridges being built over dry land in Fort Worth, Texas, with those three simple little bridges having a four year project timeline.

The bridge you see here, under construction, in a photo screen capped from the WSDOT SR 520 Floating Bridge and Landings Project website, will be the longest floating bridge in the world upon completion.

The SR 520 bridge floats from Seattle on the west end, to near Bill Gates' home, in Medina, on the east side of Lake Washington.

As you can see, the SR 520 bridge is being constructed over water, not dry land.

The Goobers responsible for foisting on Fort Worth the building of these three simple little bridges have actually claimed they are building them over dry land so as to simplify engineering and cut costs. When the actual reason is there are insufficient funds to build the three simple little bridges in a timely fashion.

Fort Worth's three simple little bridges are part of what local congresswoman, Kay Granger, thinks is the biggest urban water construction project currently underway in North America. That urban water construction project is known as the Trinity River Uptown Central City Panther Island Vision Boondoggle, also known as The Boondoggle, also known as America's Biggest Boondoggle.

The current price tag for The Boondoggle's underfunded project is around a billion dollars. The Boondoggle started off costing a couple hundred millions dollars. And then Kay Granger's son, J.D., was hired by his drinking buddy, Jim Oliver, to run the project, which soon had The Boondoggle sponsoring inner tube beer drinking parties in the polluted Trinity River, a wakeboard park, a drive-in movie theater, a restaurant, an ice rink, a beer hall and other wonders in addition to those bridges being built in slow motion.

The Seattle zone's SR 520 Floating Bridge Project is currently slated to cost $4.65 billion.

So, how is this expensive bridge building project funded? Well, let's look at the WSDOT website and get that information.....

Financial Information
This project is funded by a variety of state and federal sources, including SR 520 tolling that began in December 2011.

Imagine that, the money is coming from state and federal sources, which I suppose makes sense since it is a state highway connecting to a federal highway. And a toll has been charged to those crossing the existing bridge since December of 2011.

Fort Worth voters approved building a multi-purpose arena by voting yes to a one dollar toll to those renting a livestock stall in the new arena. How is that project coming along? Is there a project timeline for the arena project?

I wonder if a Seattle area congressperson's kid was hired to direct the SR 520 bridge project so as to secure those federal funds? I suspect not. What with the project appearing to be well underway, that and I think doing such a thing is illegal in progressive, democratic, non-oligarch parts of America.

Now, on to how long til the SR 520 Floating Bridge is ready for drivers to float across it. Back to the WSDOT website  for project time line information...

What is the project timeline?
Late 2011 - Began pontoon construction in Tacoma.
Early 2012 - Began anchor construction in Kenmore.
Spring 2012 - Began bridge construction on eastern shore of Lake Washington.
Spring 2016 - Anticipated date to open new floating bridge to drivers.
Late 2016 - Anticipated date for removal of the existing floating bridge.

Okay, Spring of 2012 bridge construction began from Bill Gates' side of the lake, with the bridge anticipated to be open to drivers in the Spring of 2016.

Four years to build the longest floating bridge in the world.

Over water.

Can anyone point me to a link to a TRWD webpage, or a TRUCCPIVB (Trinity River Uptown Central City Panther Island Vision Boondoggle) webpage where we can glean any financial or project timeline information?

Like, what is the total number of dollars, both in salary and perks, paid so far to Kay Granger's son for mismanaging America's Biggest Boondoggle?

Four years to build the world's longest floating bridge in a progressive, democratic part of America. Four years to build three simple little bridges, over dry land, connecting the mainland to an imaginary island in what is not a progressive, democratic part of America.

One would think the locals would catch on that something ain't quite right with doing things the Fort Worth Way of having a big town run by an oligarchy. One would think the locals would get fed up and insist some changes be made, like starting with the firing of the local congresswoman's son from a job it is now quite clear he was not qualified for, that is, unless, maybe, the locals are perfectly okay with living in the town where America's Biggest Boondoggle is located....

Sunday, April 26, 2015

This Morning My Mailbox Contained A Tale Of Corruption Along With Some TRWD Corruption

An early Sunday morning, pre-swim, opening of my mailbox rendered what I think I would characterize as serendipitous irony.

A letter from Mary Kelleher, with the envelope boldly in red letting me know that what was inside the envelope was "A Tale of Corruption Told From an Insider's Perspective..."

Also in the mailbox was yet one more poster-sized propaganda mailing from the TRWD incumbents and their mouthpieces, Betsy Price and Mike Moncrief.

In Mary Kelleher's Tale of Corruption she cautions...

Now please be forewarned. You can expect to hear some outlandish attacks from people in authority like Mayor Betsy Price, Mike Moncrief, and Kay Granger. I implore you to hold to the facts. You will be told Dallas businessman Monty Bennett of Dallas is trying to steal Fort Worth’s water. NOT TRUE! Monty Bennett is a wealthy businessman who lives in Dallas but he also owns property in Fort Worth and east Texas. Monty is one of many victims of TRWD’s abuse of eminent domain; he just happens to have the financial resources to fight against this abuse.

So, in my mail today I get a warning from Mary Kelleher warning me about the TRWD propaganda which was also in my mailbox.

This latest TRWD propaganda confirms the shamelessness of these ethically challenged miscreants who somehow, in Fort Worth, are seen as legit authority figures.

These Fort Worth authority figures, Betsy and Mike, who Mary warned you about, in this latest propaganda, after their boilerplate attack against the evil Dallas businessman, are quoted saying "Don't be misled by false attacks...."

Oh, the irony.

You really should heed that false attacks warning from Betsy and Mike, but take it as some sort of Freudian slip, where their tortured consciences are warning you not to be misled by their false attacks.

Basically the TRWD incumbents can not run on their record, because that record includes way too many instances of corruption, so they are running against a Dallas Bogeyman, believing, apparently, that Fort Worth voters are stupid and are irrationally paranoid about anything coming from Dallas.

On the reverse side of the propaganda where Betsy and Mike warned us to not be misled by false attacks are their own false attacks (and propaganda) under the Orwellian heading of 6 GOOD REASONS to keep Marty Leonard and Jim Lane PROTECTING OUR LOCAL WATER.

The false attacks (and propaganda) from Betsy and Mike....

Claiming 99% of the money for Marty and Jim's three opponents comes from either the Dallas Businessman Monty Bennett or from outside of Texas.

Not true.

Claiming Bennett has been involved in 7 lawsuits against the TRWD, and to date has lost all of his lawsuits in court.

Where else would one lose a lawsuit? And, not all the cases have been decided. This is what is known as deceptive propaganda. Note that no mention is made of the ongoing Henderson County Grand Jury investigation into TRWD wrongdoing

Claiming Marty and Jim have ensured we have water for Fort Worth and Tarrant County families.

Really? How have these two ensured we have water?

Claiming Marty and Jim have been strong taxpayer watchdogs.

Yes, strong taxpayer watchdogs, if by that one means that these two watched millions of taxpayer dollars get wasted trying to use the courts to take water from Oklahoma. Didn't Marty go along with Jim's taking millions of TRWD taxpayer's dollars to rescue a bankrupt friend by paying way above market value for the bankrupt friend's land on which the world's first drive-in movie theater of the 21st century was built?

Marty and Jim have saved taxpayers millions of dollars through conservation education which has resulted in 104 BILLION gallons of water saved between 2007 and 2013.

The above is so ridiculous I sort of don't know if anything needs to be said to point out the ridiculousness.

Marty and Jim have helped our water board partner with nonprofit groups to expand community use of Gateway Park, Trinity Trails system and Eagle Mountain Park.

How have Marty and Jim helped the water board partner with nonprofit groups in a way which affected Gateway Park? Or the Trinity Trails? I've not been to Eagle Mountain Park. Does that park have modern restroom facilities, with running water? And no outhouses? Marty and Jim's TRWD Boondoggle, currently calling itself Panther Island, for years has had a massive sign installation at Gateway Park touting all the wonders that their cataract clouded vision would bring to Gateway Park, none of which has come to fruition.

But, the signs are nice.

As for that letter from Mary Kelleher which contained the warning about outlandish TRWD incumbent attacks, well turns out I had already read that letter, back on April 15, when it arrived in my email in PDF form.

I blogged about the letter from Mary Kelleher in a blogging titled From The Desk Of Mary Kelleher Why We Need To Elect Bickley & Von Luckner.

Click the link and read the letter, if you want to read a straightforward account about the TRWD from someone who has experienced the corruption up close and very personal.

And don't forget to vote. Early voting begins tomorrow, April 27.......

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A Few Minutes Spent At Prairie Fest With Mary Kelleher & The Chicks

I spent an almost record breaking amount of time at the Prairie Fest today, along with a lot of other people.

I would hazard to guess that today's Prairie Fest broke the record for number of people on the Tandy Hills prairie.

The 10th Anniversary Prairie Fest appeared, by far, to have the most booths, displays and activities I've seen at a Prairie Fest.

However, the belly dancing was a bit subdued this year, at least whilst I was watching. But there was some good hula hooping going on in the hippie van belly dancing tepee area.

Music is a big part of the Prairie Fest, powered by solar generated electricity. As you can see, below, the Prairie Fest is a bit of a Woodstock on the Prairie.

Now that you're making me think about it, I think Woodstock on the Prairie should be the theme of next year's Prairie Fest.

As I walked around the Prairie Fest, taking in all the festivities swirling about me, I came upon one area that was in a frenzy of excitement. What, I wondered, are all these people looking at and doing which seemed to be causing them to have such a mighty fine time?

Turned out to be a wagon full of one week old chicks.

Earlier in the week I had been told that Mary, who has a farm, would be at the Prairie Fest with chicks. At that point in time I was not sure what this meant.

Turns out Mary with the farm is Mary Kelleher, the lone Representative of the People on the TRWD board.

Mary wheeled a wagon full of chicks to the Prairie Fest where she and others, including Layla Caraway, were doing some intense campaigning for Craig Bickley and Michele Von Luckner to join Mary on the TRWD board, replacing Jim Lane and Marty Leonard, who were nowhere to be seen at the Prairie Fest.

I sat with the chicks for awhile. It was interesting, and a bit surprising to me, how many people were tuned into the TRWD board election and totally receptive to the plea to vote out the incumbents. Some of the people sounded more like campaigners than the campaigners.

The young voter above told me he'd named his chick, Peeps. I thought that was cute, but we were all concerned he was holding Peeps way too tightly.

At one point I decided to take a picture of the chick's signage. That caused a bad dog reaction which almost got me bit.

I was asked twice if Craig Bickley and Michele Von Luckner were in attendance. I said that they were not in attendance, but Mary Kelleher was in the room.

With her chicks.

Mary Kelleher in the room seemed to be a satisfactory substitute for the missing candidates.

I did point out that fellow TRWD board candidate, Keith Annis, had a booth, but no one seemed to know who he was. I saw the Keith Annis booth, with Keith Annis manning it all alone. It was sort of pitiful. He could have used some chicks....

10th Anniversary Prairie Fest Opens On The Tandy Hills Under A Clear Blue Sky

The 10th Anniversary Prairie Fest has begun, with People to the Prairie starting to arrive a few minutes ago at the 11am opening, closing when the sun leaves today at sunset.

The Tandy Hills are likely a bit damp today, muddy in places, due to yesterday's heavy rain. But, a little mud won't stop a lot of people from having themselves a mighty fine time communing with the natural world today.

I expect to be among the nature communers sometime in the mid-afternoon time frame.

Twisted Star-Telegram Editorial Endorses Lane & Leonard For Not Doing Things The Right Way

What you are looking at here is a screen cap of the "Keep Lane, Leonard for water district" headline in a bizarre endorsement editorial in Fort Worth's Pravda, also known as the Star-Telegram.

The entire editorial is senseless, but even before you get to that senselessness, the headline and sub-headline are equally senseless.

Endorse Lane and Leonard for re-election, while at the same time saying change is needed because the TRWD does not always do things the right way?

Not the right way? Like when Jim Lane finagled a TRWD rescue for his bankrupt friend by getting the TRWD to pay far above market value for the bankrupt friend's land on which the world's first drive-in movie theater of the 21st century was built?

Of course the Star-Telegram follows the 7th Street Gang's party line by bringing up the Dallas businessman bogeyman, while doing so very hypocritically. In the editorial we read the following paragraph....

Countering the big-dollar financial support for their challengers, Leonard and Lane are backed by a political action committee that had raised almost $500,000 as of early April from well-known Dallas and Fort Worth business leaders including Ed Bass, Ross Perot Jr. and Alice Walton.

Followed a few paragraphs later by this....

More than 97 percent of their financing, a total of almost $100,000 in the first report April 9, is from Dallas hotel executive Monty Bennett, who is also suing TRWD to redirect the pipeline while campaigning against what he calls a “heavy-handed” agency.

So, in the Star-Telegram's corrupt way of looking at the local world it is okay for the TRWD incumbents to get over a half million dollars from Dallas businessmen who have vested interests in keeping the TRWD's crony capitalism un-disturbed. While it is somehow an outrage that a Fort Worth hotel owner, who also does business in Dallas, and who does not want the TRWD to take some of his land, has donated less than 100,000 dollars to the TRWD opponent's campaign.

And let me add that that 97 percent figure the Star-Telegram cites is deceptive. Why not cite the most recent financial report, instead of the first one? Because the percentage would no longer be 97, due to the flood of donations from the fed up public to the Bickley/Von Luckner campaign.

And then there is this editorial gem...

Lane and Leonard also want to continue work on Panther Island, a different $900-million-plus downtown project repairing worn-out levees while adding retail shops, restaurants and apartments on the river’s north bank.

It amuses me how the locals who follow the party line, like sheep, jumped right on board with the ridiculous Panther Island new name for The Boondoggle. One would have thought they learned their lesson after their Sundance Square embarrassment, where for decades Fort Worth's few out of town tourists were confused as to where the square was that the Sundance Square signs pointed to. Usually a helpful local would point to the big parking lots, where, ironically, an actually square was finally built, goofily named Sundance Square Plaza.

And now we have Panther Island, where there is no island, where that which is referred to as an island will only be somewhat surrounded by water only if a ditch is dug to divert some Trinity River water under three little bridges currently being built in slow motion over dry land.

The Star-Telegram thinks Lane and Leonard want to continue working on the imaginary island? Does the Star-Telegram not hold the TRWD board at all responsible for the fact that the Trinity River Uptown Central City Panther Island Vision has become America's Biggest Boondoggle? With very little to show for well over a decade of boondoggling?

And then there is this shoddy cheap shot...

Both Bickley and Von Luckner question project spending and describe TRWD as secretive and crony-riddled. But neither seems familiar with basic state and regional water plans or prepared for the board’s primary task.

Really? Upon what does the Star-Telegram base claiming that Bickley and Von Lucker are unfamiliar with basic state and regional water plans and are not prepared for the board's primary task?

Oh, I forget to mention the stupidest item in that paragraph about Panther Island....

"Panther Island, a different $900-million-plus downtown project repairing worn-out levees."

Worn out levees? This is the first time I have read that those levees which have kept the downtown Fort Worth zone flood-free, for well over half a century, as being worn out.  Exactly in what way does the Star-Telegram think those massive levees are worn out?

And then the Star-Telegram ends its endorsement editorial with....

With their legacy of community leadership, they are best-positioned to help reshape a more responsive board. The Star-Telegram Editorial Board recommends Jim Lane and Martha “Marty” Leonard for the Tarrant Regional Water District board.

Their legacy of community leadership? That legacy is what should get them fired by the voters, and not endorsed by Fort Worth's sad excuse for a local newspaper.

Community leadership? Leading Fort Worth to the distinction of currently hosting America's Biggest Boondoggle?

They are best positioned to help shape a more responsive board? They have been on that un-responsive board the entire time it has been un-responsive. In other words they are responsible for the board being un-responsive.

Legacy? Like the legacy of finagling shady deals using taxpayer funds to rescue a bankrupt friend?

I don't know how the Star-Telegram editorial board can spew this nonsense without being embarrassed by it. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

So Far There Have Been No Murders In The TRWD Board Election

A few minutes ago via an incoming phone call I was told about a TRWD board candidates forum that will be taking place next Wednesday at the Central Library in downtown Fort Worth.

A few minutes later an incoming email had a link to a Fort Worth Business Press article you see partly screen capped here.

Richard Connor, he being the FWBP publisher, pretty much sums up the soap opera drama that TRWD board elections have become in Lights, camera, action! TRWD brings drama to the polls.

The last three paragraphs include the info you need to attend next Wednesday's public forum, along with the news that so far there have been no murders in the TRWD.....

As a newspaper, we are trying to separate fact from fiction, both with our news coverage and by arranging a public forum featuring the water board candidates. The forum will be held at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 29, at the Central Library in downtown Fort Worth, 500 W. Third St. (corner of Third and Lamar, two blocks from the Tarrant County Courthouse).

There have been no murders in the TRWD version of Chinatown – not yet, anyway – and no one’s nose has been slashed, but plenty of noses are already out of joint. With early voting beginning April 27 and political observers predicting that up to $2 million could be spent on the campaign, it’s virtually certain that rhetorical mayhem will run amok by the time May 9 rolls around.

You might want to grab some popcorn. The water board election won’t win any Academy Awards (Chinatown was nominated for 11, won 1) but it should be quite a show.

Is It Time To Pull The Mismanaged Plug On America's Biggest Boondoggle?

Yesterday, while watching the video in the blog post titled Watch Fort Worth's Cowboy Napoleon Get Waterlooed By Craig Bickley & Michele Von Luckner Craig Bickley said something which brought to my mind that which you see here, that being J.D. Granger and his kids cheering for beer and going nuts for runner's butts.

What Craig Bickley said was something about the TRWD needing some adult supervision.

When I heard the adult supervision line I took it to be a reference to J.D. Granger's inept mangling of the Trinity River Uptown Central City Panther Island Vision Boondoggle.

Regarding The Boondoggle, part of that which Craig Bickley said which triggered the Cowboy Napoleon's nonsense filled rant was about The Boondoggle.

Following is my best attempt at transcribing what Craig Bickley said which triggered the Cowboy Napoleon's unfortunate outburst...

"If you look at the Trinity River, whatever the name is now, it is one of the worst managed projects I have ever seen, having gone from a two hundred million something project to now close to a billion dollar project and all they've done is put up an amphitheater, built a restaurant, and started building three bridges over dry land. So, you look at a project like that and you wonder where is our money going? The project is completely backwards. They are trying to get people to get into a nasty river. Why don't you clean up the river first?"

Well. I am assuming by "amphitheater" Mr. Bickley is referring to what The Boondoggle calls Panther Island Pavilion. Where there is no island or pavilion. Mr. Bickley is being very kind in referring to that outhouse serviced eyesore as an amphitheater.

I digress.

So, regarding The Boondoggle being one of the worst managed projects Craig Bickley has ever seen, let's turn our attention back to The Boondoggle's manager, J.D. Granger.

The Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island  Vision Boondoggle is a relatively simple project. As we learned in a blogging from a week or two ago titled The Incredible Alternative Universe Of J.D. Granger & America's Biggest Boondoggle J.D. Granger's involvement with The Boondoggle began in 1999.

In 2006 one of J.D.'s drinking buddies, the TRWD's Jim Oliver, hired J.D., apparently with no TRWD board input, to be the Executive Director of what has become America's Biggest Boondoggle.

J.D. Granger is paid well over $100,000 a year to mis-manage The Boondoggle.

If The Boondoggle was a well run public works project of the sort other town's manage to accomplish, the Trinity River Vision would have long ago become something the people of Fort Worth could see, and possibly enjoy and benefit from.

The Boondoggle dawdling along in slow motion greatly amps up the cost. Just consider the fact that J.D. has been paid over $100,000 a year for years longer than he would have been paid if The Boondoggle was engineered and managed like public works projects are managed in towns which do such things the right way.

Fully funded with a project timeline schedule.

And get them done. On time.

Not the corrupt, nepotism tainted, damn the public, Fort Worth Way.

In addition to J.D. Granger being paid for years after the project should have been completed, what about the salaries of all the other people The Boondoggle employs, being employed all those extra years?

By now J.D. Granger should have been deep into messing up whatever new job his mama got him, instead of still drawing money from The Boondoggle, and the taxpayers.

Regarding the reference to nepotism. In looking for the blogging with the photo of J.D. Granger and his kids touting their beer consumption I happened upon a blogging on that subject, titled Today We Learn How TRWD Nepotism Can Lead To Tacky Cheesy Signs. In that blogging there is the following paragraph....

Speaking of Matt Oliver. Does anyone know how many of the Tarrant Regional Water District's General Manager Jim Oliver's relatives are nepotistically employed by the TRWD?

I believe Matt Oliver is the son of the guy who hired J.D. And he was J.D. Granger's accomplice in the Beer Butt Sign Scandal.

Since that blogging from way back last June we have learned that hiring his son is just the tip of the Jim Oliver/TRWD nepotism iceberg. In a blogging from a couple weeks ago, In Fort Worth Weekly Is J.D. Granger Exhibit A For The TRWD Prosecution Or The Defense? mention was made of Fort Worth Weekly's mention of multiple examples of TRWD nepotism, including the controversial hiring of J.D. Granger.

So, here is what I currently think about America's Biggest Boondoggle.

I think it is time to pull the plug on The Boondoggle. Stop with the slow motion building of three little bridges over dry land connecting the mainland to an imaginary island. Fire J.D. Granger and all his minions.

Then re-think the entire concept of re-developing the Trinity River as it flows past downtown Fort Worth. I have long thought some iterations of the ever changing project were a good idea. What I have long thought was not a good idea was how the project was being implemented.

You do not hire the unqualified son of a local congresswoman to run a public works project in the hope it will motivate his mama to secure federal dollars. That is just a wrong thing to do, a wrong thing which would not be tolerated in progressive, democratic, non-oligarch run parts of America.

The merits of the project should have been sold to the public who then should have been allowed to vote on it, yes or no. If a public works projects has merit the public usually can be convinced to go along with it. I witnessed this more times than I can remember when I lived in a more progressive, more democratic part of America.

If the people of Fort Worth can be convinced to help finance a public works project, then design that project with a project timeline.

And get it done in the lifetime of people currently living on the planet....

Battening Down My North Texas Hatches Before Incoming Weather Drama

I acquired the North Texas storm forecast you see screen capped here via Facebook this morning from my favorite North Texas Meteorologist, John Basham.

The forecast for tomorrow's Tandy Hills Prairie Fest is for a cloud free sky with no tornado, strong winds, lightning, downpour or hail threat.

The same can not be said for the hours leading up to tomorrow's Prairie Fest. I suspect today's and tonight's storming may wreak havoc with getting the Prairie Fest assembled.

Below is the John Basham Facebook forecast in its entirety....

METEOROLOGIST NOTES - 300AM FRIDAY APRIL 24, 2015 - If you live in North Texas YOU MUST pay attention to the weather later this afternoon and this evening. Not only is there a potential for extremely large hail, but the potential exists for a few devastating Tornadoes across North Central Texas and the Dalls/Fort Worth Metroplex. Devastating Tornadoes are defined as Tornadoes with an Enhanced Fujita Scale of EF2 or greater. That would mean Tornadoes with winds of 111mph to over 200mph. While we must wait to see what early morning storms leave us in the way of surface boundaries and what kind of afternoon heating is in place before we know for sure our total risk. With all available data we have right now we need to issue an alert as early as possible for preparedness. We'll be issuing forecasts throughout the day today and updates as needed. Official forecasts are available from the National Weather Service or Storm Prediction Center websites. For rapid alerts and warnings a battery operated NOAA Weather Radio is your most reliable source for real-time warning information. THIS IS NOT AN NWS PRODUCT. Meteorologist John Austin Basham Storm Spotter

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Watch Fort Worth's Cowboy Napoleon Get Waterlooed By Craig Bickley & Michele Von Luckner

What you are looking at here is the five candidates running for a position on the Tarrant Regional Water District board, at a recent forum, debate type of public meeting.

The man holding the microphone is Jim Lane, also known as the Cowboy Napoleon. To the left of the Cowboy Napoleon is Marty Leonard.

The Cowboy Napoleon and Marty Leonard are the TRWD board incumbents. That would make candidates Craig Bickley, Michele Von Luckner and an Annis, whose first name I am not remembering right now, on the other side of Jim Lane.

Below you can watch a YouTube video of this forum. The video is filmed in what I think is known as the cinéma vérité style. That or it was recorded using a phone.

The video is about 48 minutes long. There is a sort of Mayberry RFD feel to it. Mayberry RFD was America's #1 sitcom back in the late 1960s. Mayberry RFD was part of what were known as the CBS rural hayseed comedies, all of which were cancelled early in the 70s when CBS decided to become more urban.

I digress.

However, regarding Mayberry RFD, that first came to my mind when I heard the charming southern twang of Marty Leonard, followed by the Cowboy Napoleon's twang. With the other three sounding more urban, with no twang.

The moderator of this forum seemed just a bit inept. The questions also seemed just a bit inept, for the most part.

However, at about 37 minutes into the video Craig Bickley gets a bit pointed about the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle and a couple other points.

Craig Bickley getting pointed was followed by the Cowboy Napoleon sounding just a bit nuts. I don't know if this moment would be the Cowboy Napoleon's Waterloo if it were to be widely seen. I have also been told this was not the first time Jim Lane has come across as a bit wackydoodle at one of these type events.

During his goofy rant, while attacking the bonafides of Craig Bickley, Jim Lane actually said that the TRWD has won every award in the nation.


Every award in the nation? The Oscar for Best Boondoggle? The Emmy for Best Beer Party? The Grammy for Best Music Festival?

The only award I can think of that has gotten national recognition for the TRWD is having the TRWD's Trinity River Vision Panther Island Uptown Central City Project widely known as America's Biggest Boondoggle.

At another point in Jim Lane's rant he opined that if Craig Bickley actually lived in Fort Worth he might be aware of the thousands of people floating in the Trinity River on Thursday nights.

The Cowboy Napoleon thinks thousands of people float in the Trinity River on Thursday nights? Has he actually been to one of J.D. Granger's Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats?

After Jim Lane finished with his embarrassing rant, which included ranting the boilerplate TRWD incumbent's evil Dallas businessman, Monty Bennett, TRWD takeover plot accusation, Craig Bickley and Michele Von Luckner retorted rather well.

One would have thought they were the lawyers in the room.

If Jim Lane and Marty Leonard and their crony co-horts truly believe the Trinity River is a good thing to immerse people in, why don't they lead by example and join those thousands of imaginary river dunkers when Rockin' the River starts up again in a couple months?

Anyway, for your voting enlightenment, the aforementioned YouTube video....

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Happy Tandy Hills Earth Day With Fort Worth's Beatnik Loving Mayor

Fort Worth Mayor, Tom McCann signing
"National Beatnik Week" proclamation, 1960. (from LIFE magazine)
Or as the Tandy Hills Godfather, Don Young, put it today in an email's subject line:

Happy Triple bEarthday to Tandy Hills 2015.

According to Olive the Prairie Dog's parental unit, way back on this current day of April 22, in 1960, Fort Worth's beatnik-loving mayor, Tom McCann, and the Fort Worth City Council made the momentous decision to spend $138,250 for the 160 acre chunk of land now known as the Tandy Hills Natural Area.

As for the other parts of the triple part of today's bEarthday and the Tandy Hills.

Ten years after Fort Worth's beatnik-loving major decided to buy the Tandy Hills the first Earth Day took place on April 22, 1970.

And then, 40 years later, on April 22, 2010, the Friends of the Tandy Hills Natural Area began a partnership deal with the City of Fort Worth where the city joined in the efforts to protect and restore the Tandy Hills.

The most interesting, to me, part of today's Earth Day Tandy Hills information is the fact that, apparently, way back in the 1960s, Fort Worth had itself a progressive mayor who liked the precursors of hippies, that being beatniks.

How did Fort Worth go from having a progressive beatnik-loving mayor to the era of mayor entities like Kay Granger, Mike Moncrief and Betsy Price? Can you picture any of those three signing a "National Beatnik Week" proclamation?

Well, okay, to be totally fair, which I always am, I guess I can see Betsy Price signing such a proclamation. There is something about Mayor Betsy that makes me think she could easily have been an active hippie during the hippie era. It would not shock me to learn that Mayor Betsy was at Woodstock being a Grateful Dead groupie.

Then again, I am not at all sure the Grateful Dead were at Woodstock....