Friday, April 29, 2016

Fort Worth Preserves Its Rich Heritage Unlike Any Other City In America

I saw that which you see here this morning on Facebook.

A little blurb of text with a link to a website which I think may be the web version of a magazine I have never seen, named, maybe, Fort Worth Texas.

Mr. Spiffy made a comment on this Facebook post, commenting, if I remember right, "That was interesting."

I do not know if Mr. Spiffy was referencing the Facebook blurb as being interesting or if he was referencing the magazine article titled Who Named Fort Worth?

Unlike Mr. Spiffy, I found neither the blurb on Facebook or the article to be interesting.

I found both to be goofy, with the Facebook blurb being of the sort I used to disdain in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, back when that newspaper was still full sized and I was still a subscriber.

My one longtime reader can likely tell what I found goofy in the Facebook blurb from the magazine article. The goofy Star-Telegram type hyperbolic nonsense shows up in the first sentence...

Fort Worth, unlike any other city in the nation, manages to preserve its rich heritage despite dramatic growth.

Unlike any other city in the nation? Fort Worth manages to preserve its rich heritage?

Well, I think I can make a case for that ridiculous claim being true.

Unlike any other city in America, Fort Worth is content to let a park in its downtown which was dedicated to celebrating Fort Worth's heritage, thusly named Heritage Park, be a blighted, cyclone fence surrounded, boarded up, eyesore for year after year after year.

It is highly unlikely any other major city in America would be so sloppy about preserving its heritage, as expressed in an extremely well-designed park, such as Heritage Park.

Way back late in the previous century, on me first exposure to downtown Fort Worth, I made note of a few things. One was being surprised by all the parking lots. I'd never seen a major city whose downtown real estate was so under developed that so many street level parking lots existed.

Two things impressed me, in a positive way, about downtown Fort Worth on that first visit. One was the Water Gardens at the south end of downtown. The other was at the north end of downtown.

Heritage Park.

Now a closed mess, because of how Fort Worth, unlike any other city in America, does not manage to preserve its rich heritage.....

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Have Fort Worth's Fosdick Waterfowl Joined Bedford's Ducks Of Death?

Yesterday when I blogged about Catching Fish While Picnicking In North Richland Hills Linda Spurlock Park I said no, that pond you are looking at is not Fosdick Lake in Fort Worth's Oakland Lake Park, but instead the pond was in North Richland Hills Linda Spurlock Park.

Today the pond you are looking at is not the one in Linda Spurlock Park, but is the pond known as Fosdick Lake in Fort Worth's Oakland Lake Park.

I was in the neighborhood due to the need to visit the Fort Worth Community Credit Union, so I thought, since I was in the vicinity, it was a good opportunity for what may be my last visit to this park for awhile.

Today marked my first shirtless hike of the new year. That is always a watershed event in any year. Due to the recent bouts of deluges we are experiencing a bit of increased humidity, hence the need for minimalist outer wear.

I saw no ducks or turtles today enjoying Fosdick Lake. This is very unusual.

Did the Fosdick Lake duck and turtle population read this week's Fort Worth Weekly Ducks of Death article and decide to leave town before a similar fate befalls them which befell their relatives living a few miles north and east in Bedford in the Bedford Boys Ranch Lake?

If not, where have all the Fosdick ducks and turtles gone?

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Catching Fish While Picnicking In North Richland Hills Linda Spurlock Park

No, that is not Fosdick Lake in Fort Worth's Oakland Lake Park you are looking at here.

I do not know what the name of the lake/pond is, but the park's name I do know.

Linda Spurlock Park in North Richland Hills, a prosperous suburb north and east of Fort Worth.

A prosperous suburb which is able to afford modern restroom facilities and running tap water in its public parks. Even in a small park, like this Linda Spurlock one.

The water in the Linda Spurlock Park pond is clear. Schools of fish visible swimming. Multiple fishermen and fisherboys angling their rods into the pond. No signs warn about consuming fish one might catch.

No visible stream of the creek sort feeds water to this little pond. No signage indicates the pond is regularly stocked, such as one sees posted at the fishing pond in Chisholm Park in Hurst.

North Richland Hills Linda Spurlock Park is an excellent example of what a city park should be. A pleasant location for a picnic, due to running water and those aforementioned modern restroom facilities.

On this particular day a large group was having themselves a mighty fine time centered in the covered picnic pavilion at the south end of the pond. Multiple barbecues were perfuming the air. An elaborate game had been set up which involved colored ping pong balls.

Fort Worth's Oakland Lake Park, and other Fort Worth parks, could be rendered more appealing and likely more used if they were upgraded to modern standards.

And how about an effort to clean up Oakland Lake Park's Fosdick Lake so the fish one catches there are safely edible? How about emulating the Chisholm Park pond in Hurst? How hard would that be to do?

Very perplexing.....

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

On The Tandy Hills Post BioBlitzkreig With Fort Worth Nuts Creeps & Reprobates

This last Tuesday of April of 2016 I was back on the Tandy Hills for what may be my last visit to Fort Worth's best natural area for awhile.

As you can see, the hills are alive with the spectacle of color, mostly green, with an eye pleasing spattering of wildflowers in a variety of colors.

A cloud covered the sky today, a strong wind blew, the air felt hot and humid, requiring minimal outer wear to facilitate a satisfactory comfort level.

For about a week, ending this past Saturday, the Tandy Hills have been teeming with an Army of BioBlitzers.

Today, in multiple locations, I came across the aftermath of the Tandy Hills being BioBlitzed.

Much of last week's BioBlitzing took place in post deluge conditions which rendered much of the Tandy Hills' trails wet and muddy. The BioBlitzkreig left its mark on the trails, an example of that is what you see above.

I am fairly certain that eventually the Tandy Hills Natural Area will revert back to it natural pre-BioBlitzkrieg state, with the rutted trails smoothed over by the passage of time and more rain. That may happen as soon as today.

A time or two over the years I have come upon a scene on the Tandy Hills which I assume is a homeless person's temporary residence. Some of these temporary residences have been quite elaborate campsite set ups. Others are more primitive, such as that which you see below.

A red blanket, with two candles in glass jars setting on the outer edges of the blanket. In the upper middle of the picture is a black backpack. The backpack appeared to be empty, but I did not pick it up for a close up forensic examination.

I had no clue as to what to make of that which you see below, found next to a trail, deep into the heart of the Tandy Hills.

Did someone haul this large chunk of sheet metal deep into the heart of the Tandy Hills? Or did someone find this somewhere off trail and hauled it a short distance to its current location? This is located very close to the Bamboo Tepee which was a Tandy Hills mystery for years, never solved, now long gone, with just slight remnants of bamboo remaining.

What is F W N C & R?

I am guessing F W is Fort Worth. Is N C & R, Nuts, Creeps & Reprobates? Making this chunk of sheet metal a production of the Fort Worth Nuts Creeps and Reprobates organization? I do not know who is currently the leader of the Fort Worth Nuts Creeps and Reprobates....

Monday, April 25, 2016

Is HUGE Hail On The Weather Menu For Tuesday In North Texas?

Worrisome weather prediction report for North Texas for Tuesday from my favorite Texas weatherman, via Facebook....

METEOROLOGIST NOTES - @710AM MON APR 25,2016 - Area: Texas/Oklahoma/Kansas - Timing: Tuesday, April 26th. THIS IS NOT AN NWS PRODUCT. Have been inundated with questions, comments, and concerns regarding the potential for severe storms on Tuesday through Wednesday across the Southern Plains. I have chosen to keep all client updates private at this time as the candid nature of those client-centric forecasts could be alarming to some across this region. That said, It is now time to begin lifting the veil and exposing our significant concerns across the Southern Plains on Tuesday Afternoon and especially evening. I will not go into great detail at this time in my notes but will rather save the details for outlooks later today and Tuesday morning. I will say the following however, there is a SIGNIFICANT CHANCE of EXTREME SEVERE WEATHER TUESDAY AFTERNOON AND TUESDAY NIGHT. This risk will be present along and West of a line from just South of Waco to the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, to Oklahoma, to Central Kansas. Gigantic Hail (Softball Size), Large and Damaging Tornadoes, Damaging Straight Line Winds, and Flash Flooding is possible in this region. My greatest concern for Large Tornadoes actually exists AFTER DARK Tuesday from North Central Texas in Central Oklahoma. Nighttime tornadoes can be especially dangerous as they are much harder to spot. Also, an extremely moist airmass will make the Super-Cell storms, that will produce these tornadoes high-precipitation in nature. This will likely cause any tornadoes that do form to become quickly rain wrapped further obscuring the ability to spot these tornadoes without Doppler radar or power flashes (where damage is already occurring). Tuesday night could easily shape up to be a VERY DANGEROUS situation for people in or close to any storms that form. Earlier in the day on Tuesday from Mid-Afternoon through early evening my greatest concern for severe weather will be GIGANTIC HAIL to SOFTBALL SIZE. We will continue to monitor this very dangerous weather situation and issue updated forecasts and pass along watches and warnings as conditions warrant... - THIS IS NOT AN NWS PRODUCT. Meteorologist John Austin Basham Storm Spotter METOPS - FOR THE VERY LATEST JOIN THE SKYWARN TEXAS FACEBOOK GROUP...

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Anonymous Leads Me To New Bridge Ornamentation Over A Swollen Trinity River

Yesterday, after a visit to Fort Worth's Gateway Park, I blogged about America's Biggest Boondoggle's odd signage which has spread like a virus throughout The Boondoggle's domain.

Someone named Anonymous read that blogging and made a comment which caused my curiosity to take me back to the Gateway Park zone today.

Following is the comment from Anonymous...

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "America & Fort Worth's Biggest Boondoggle's Berserk Signage":

Taking a trip back to your former stomping grounds, did you notice the 1st St. bridge over a rather swollen Trinity River? Close enough to finished to have some strange ornamentation on each corner... 

Above you are looking at that to which Anonymous refers.

In that photo you are looking west across the nearly completed new 1st Street Bridge over the Trinity River, with what Anonymous refers to as "strange ornamentation" at the northeast corner of the bridge. Just as Anonymous indicated, one of these strange ornamentations is at each corner of the bridge.

I did not find this particular bridge ornamentation all that strange. I've seen far stranger things in Fort Worth. Such as America's Biggest Boondoggle's Million Dollar Wind Roundabout Ridiculousness.

In the above photo and the photo below you get a glimpse of the rather swollen Triniity River.

Above we are looking south at the old bridge the new bridge is replacing. And the aforementioned swollen Trinity River. I am fairly certain the old bridge will become part of the new paved trail from Gateway Park, connecting to Quanah Parker Park's trails and the east and west sides of Gateway Park's mountain bike trails, if those trails ever dry out.

This new bridge over the Trinity River was built in less than a year. This new bridge is part of a big upgrade to 1st Street and Randol Mill Road. Three bridges, in total, have now been completed, in less than a year, as part of this upgrade. All three of the bridges dealt with water issues during construction, with the bridge over the Trinity River being hit with more than one flood during construction.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Fort Worth, three simple little bridges are slowly being built over dry land with a four year construction timeline. I have not heard if America's Biggest Boondoggle's bridges are back under construction after a design error caused a halt to construction last month.

I wonder if whoever it is who engineered the construction of this new bridge over the Trinity River could be hired to get The Boondoggle's three simple little bridges built a bit faster?

Let's change the subject from The Boondoggle back to the new bridge over the Trinity River.

In the above photo you are standing on the middle of the new bridge, looking east towards an empty landscape. Fort Worth has so much open space. This particular open space has been rendered a bit of an industrial wasteland, courtesy of disgraced Chesapeake Energy.

Slightly to the left of the middle of the photo notice that bump sticking up above the horizon? That is an old rusted out water tower. To the right of the middle of the photo notice the limbs of a dead tree. Blending into the limbs of the dead tree is the "strange ornamentation" we saw at the top.

Below is another look at the water tower and tree.

The above looks sort of scenic to me. Not the type of scene one expects to see in a crowded urban zone.

I will miss Gateway Park, the Tandy Hills, River Legacy Park, the Village Creek Natural Historical Area and Oakland Lake Park when they are no longer located in what Anonymous refers to as my stomping grounds.....

Saturday, April 23, 2016

America & Fort Worth's Biggest Boondoggle's Berserk Signage

I am almost 100% certain I am not the only person who has noticed the proliferation of signage, such as what you see here, and wondered what fresh tacky hell is this?

The Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island Vision, also known as America's Biggest Boondoggle, has long loved spreading propaganda signage all over the area where The Boondoggle does its boondoggling.

Some of the signage has been of the "Trinity River Vision Underway" sort. I first saw those over a half decade ago, near where the now defunct Cowtown Wakepark sits.

Speaking of Cowtown Wakepark, way back when that easily predicted to fail operation opened, an earlier version of The Boondoggle's signage showed up along the Trinity Trail, informing trail users of the direction and distance to various features one might find along the trail.

Such as the Cowtown Wakepark.

I remember taking a picture of one of those signs and asking what happens with the signage after the easily predicted failure of the Cowtown Wakepark?

As in, does The Boondoggle come along with whiteout and strike out that Cowtown Wakepark element on the sign?

And then there was the follow-up iteration of The Boondoggle's signage, as in the thing you see above.

These signs, to me, look like someone's 1960s idea of something looking futuristic, like one might have seen at a World's Fair, way back then.

The signs are made of thick plastic. Is the design supposed to be some sort of abstraction of a flower opening?

Below is a new Boondoggle sign installation, not yet completed, which I saw yesterday in Gateway Park, near the new Observation Deck on the west side of the park.

How much has America's Biggest Boondoggle spent on all this ridiculous, tacky, cheap looking signage? Should not that information be available to the public? These signs may look cheap, but I suspect they are quite costly to produce.

What with each one needing to be a one of a kind type deal with the special info which that one sign needs to convey, such as we see on the sign at the top, pointing us to two parking lots, a dog park, soccer fields and that aforementioned observation deck.

I do not know how anyone could manage to find the parking lots, dog park, soccer fields or observation deck without this useful sign......

Friday, April 22, 2016

Happy Bearthday From The Tandy HIlls BioBlitz

A Happy Earth Day message from Don Young and the Tandy Hills....

Talk about Cosmic Convergence! 

On this day in 1960, the land now known as Tandy Hills Natural Area was purchased by the City of Fort Worth. That was exactly ten years to the day before Earth Day was founded in 1970. 

And on THIS day, today, the Tandy Hills BioBlitz is born. Starting at 6am and running until 6pm Saturday, Tandy Hills is truly a living laboratory. Stop by and see science and nature in action.

Read more about the Amazing convergence here:

Happy 54th bEarthday Tandy Hills

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Fort Worth Way vs. Adrian Murray vs. New Isis Theater vs. Heritage Park

I have had a lot aggravating me of late. Which has me tardy in verbalizing my aggravation about some aggravating aggravations.

I think it was the Friday before last Friday I was driving along listening to right wing radio, the Chris Salcedo Show on WBAP, to be precise, when I listened to Salcedo hear a man's aggravating tale of the City of Fort Worth being totally insensitive and ham handed in the way city officials dealt with the man in the aftermath of suffering one of the worst things that can happen to someone.

Having ones home seriously damaged by fire.

Later that day Elsie Hotpepper asked me if I'd heard about Adrian. I said I'd heard no news about Adrian. Elsie then told me Adrian's house caught fire and that I would not believe the stupid thing the city did to Adrian that has Adrian in full on attack mode.

I then realized it was Adrian I had listened to on the Chris Salcedo Show.

Adrian Murray is a well known Fort Worth businessman and politician. Adrian ran for the TRWD Board a couple election cycles ago. It was at that point in time I met Adrian Murray. He impressed me. Even though we differ extremely in the political viewpoint area.

You can read what the City of Fort Worth did to Adrian, which totally aggravated him, via the Star-Telegraph in The Fort Worth Way vs. Adrian Murray.

Fort Worth city officials quickly realized they did not want to tangle with the wrath of Adrian Murray. You can read about that in An Update from Adrian Murray.

Now, among the many reasons the bad behavior of Fort Worth city officials puzzled me is this. Within days of someone suffering their home being consumed by flames the City of Fort Worth sends a home owner an insensitive letter, threatening legal action and possible criminal charges if the home owner does not present the city, within a very short time frame, a plan for the repair of the damaged home.

Meanwhile, ever since I have been in Texas I have been appalled at an eyesore the City of Fort Worth allows to fester in the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historical District.

That eyesore I refer to is the long abandoned, boarded up New Isis Theater.

I have blogged about this eyesore multiple times, with the most recent blogging Look Inside Fort Worth Stockyards Renovated New Isis Theater.

That photo you see at the top is a look inside the New Isis Theater.

Why has the city not issued the owner of this Isis mess an order to fix it or face criminal charges?

Has the City of Fort Worth sent a letter to the City of Fort Worth demanding that the city fix the boarded up eyesore known as Heritage Park, located at the north end of Fort Worth's downtown?

Why would the city so aggressively go after a homeowner fire victim whilst ignoring much more public, long standing rundown eyesores?

Like I said, aggravating. And appalling....

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Successful Quest To Find Ally Collins Memorial Plaque In Haltom City's Whites Branch Park

A couple days ago I blogged about A Flooded Walk In Modern, Progressive, Liberal Haltom City's Whites Branch Park.

A few minutes after I hit the publish button on that blogging, Haltom City's modern, progressive, liberal known as Elsie Hotpepper text messaged me something along the line of "You loomed in on uni-sex restroom signs, but ignored the Ally plaque?"

I replied, in my defense, that I did not realize Whites Branch Park was the location of Ally's Playground and the plaque dedicated to Ally's memory.

I told Elsie I would return soon and find that plaque.

Shortly before noon I found myself in the Haltom City Library, where the aforementioned Elsie Hotpepper texted me asking "Are you OK? And have you found that Ally plaque yet?

I texted back that I was not OK, that I was in the Haltom City Library, but would soon journey north in search of the elusive Ally plaque.

So, I headed north on Haltom Road til Haltom Road intersected with Western Center Boulevard. I took a right on Western Center Boulevard, assuming that it eventually turned into Wautaga Boulevard before turning into Mid-Cities Boulevard.

I assumed correctly. A short distance after turning on to Western Center Boulevard I saw the entry to Whites Branch Park.

I walked all over the playground, looking for the Ally Collins Memorial Plaque, to no avail. I walked all over the Splash Park, again to no avail.

I texted Elsie Hotpepper asking where exactly this Ally plaque was located. Elsie Hotpepper did not get back to me before I found the Ally plaque on my own.

My search originally did not succeed because I was looking for a big vertical plaque.

Instead the Ally Collins Memorial Plaque is about the size of an i-Pad, installed flush to the ground, at the northern edge of Ally's Playground.

Ally's Playground is quite well done, along with the Splash Park. I should have thought to take a picture of it, showing the plaque. I shall return, but not today.....