Friday, October 24, 2014

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price's Studs With A Fort Worth Councilman Who Can't Keep His Pants On

This morning in the email inbox I found a blog comment from someone named Anonymous, pointing me to what Anonymous characterized as "bizarre pics".

The comment from Anonymous....

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Voting On User Fees Of $1 To $2 For Fort Worth Livestock Stalls Is Ridiculous": 

Here are some bizarre pics that you might be able to use or not.

The first is titled Mayor Price and her Studs. I recognize of the studs as a guy who cheated on his wife and then dumped her ages ago.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/fortworthsistercities/8188406586/in/photostream/

Here is Fort Worth city council member Dennis Shingleton wearing a US Navy enlisted uniform like it's a costume. He should know better since he was a Navy officer apparently. No respect I suppose.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/fortworthsistercities/8170448382/

Well, I can see why Anonymous characterized these pics as being bizarre. Amusing and bizarre. Below is the photo of the Fort Worth city council member.


It appears  these shenanigans took place at some sort of Sister Cities event. Prior to seeing these photos I knew that Fort Worth's mayor had secret service type security to protect her, but I did not know that Mayor Price also had a group of studs.

Are Sister Cities events known to be wild party type affairs where  politicians drop trou for the amusement of the party goers?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Voting On User Fees Of $1 To $2 For Fort Worth Livestock Stalls Is Ridiculous

I saw this sign today at the location on View Street where I parked prior to doing some Tandy Hills hill hiking.

Has the Fort Worth Star-Telegram taken an editorial position on this serious issue of voting on Three Propositions related to the new Fort Worth Multipurpose Arena?

As in suggesting voters vote YES to these three ballot items. Three ballot items which are each basically the same thing, as in voting on user fees, such as whether or not to charge a $1 to $2 user fee on livestock stalls.

You reading this in parts of America that have real things to vote for on your ballots, trust me, I am not making this up. Voters are  being asked to vote on Three Propositions regarding fees related to livestock stalls, parking and event tickets.

And somehow, though I've never seen an explanation as to how, voting on these Three Propositions has something to do with the building of a new arena.

Now, who or what is paying for these large yard signs telling people to vote for Props 1, 2 & 3?

I think I've opined previously that I don't understand why Fort Worth voters are not feeling a bit offput at the absurdity of having these Three Propositions on a ballot. Why have Fort Worth's voters not been given the opportunity to vote yes or no on the building of this arena?

I have lived in democratic areas of America where voters get to vote on things like new stadiums, arenas, ballparks. What a concept.

Til now I have never lived in a pseudo-democratic area of America where voters are asked to vote yes or no on user fees for livestock stalls.

Am I alone in thinking having these Three Propositions on a ballot is, well, sort of embarrassing?

I think I will go early vote now. Any guesses as to how I'll be voting on the Three Propositions?

Hiking Brand New Trails On The Tandy Hills Before Treasure Hunting At Town Talk

This morning I read on Facebook that new trails were being blazed on the Tandy Hills.

I was on the Tandy Hills on Sunday and saw no sign of new trails being blazed.

Today I was back on the Tandy Hills, accessing the hills from View Street, not from my usual access point atop the summit of Mount Tandy.

Walking towards the hills I soon came upon three Fort Worth parks department trucks.

Trail blazers I wondered?

Shortly thereafter I came upon obvious new trail, heading west from the View Street trail. That is a serpentine section of the new trail you see in the picture.

Heading north on the new trail I eventually came upon the trail blazers. My first contact was with a trail blazing woman who had lost her gloves. She requested my help in finding them and then quickly proceeded to scold me for incorrectly holding my walking stick.

A short while after the walking stick lecture we found the missing gloves and the rest of the trail blazing crew.

I'd never seen a trail blazing machine until today. That would be what you see below.


The trail blazing machine is sort of like a mini-bulldozer.

Methinks this new trail blazing is a real good thing and will greatly improve the Tandy Hills hiking experience, replacing some of the eroded trails with trails designed not to erode.

After I had had myself sufficient hill hiking I was off to Town Talk for a rare Thursday bout of Treasure Hunting.

Today I got 10 pounds of Italian sausage, two cases of vanilla Siggi yogurt, three pounds of fresh okra, two pounds of ground turkey, extra sharp white cheddar cheese, chicken, smoked sausage, Fuji apples from Wenatchee, tortillas, chicken tamales and soy milk.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Why Is Gas Now Cheaper In Washington Than Texas?

About an hour ago I got myself some gas at Sam's Club. That gas was pumped at $2.75 per gallon of regular unleaded.

Usually when I get gas I call my mom, but today I was in a hurry and it was not a convenient call time. That and I'd just talked to my mom a couple days ago.

When I got back to my abode eventually I woke up my computer and saw email with a couple Facebook messages. Why does Facebook send me these type emails telling me someone has mentioned me on Facebook? I suppose I could find a way to make it stop if I wanted to spend the time doing so.

So, I went to Facebook and eventually saw that which you see here, Miss Chris Sampson bragging about filling her tank for $44 at a measly $2.49 a gallon for regular unleaded.

Miss Sampson lives in Washington, the Seattle suburb of Kent to be specific.

The last time I was in Washington gas was nearing 5 bucks a gallon. At that point in time gas in Texas was well under $4.

So, why is gas now cheaper in Washington than it is in Texas?

I suppose it has something to do with all those new oil wells being drilled in Washington, producing oodles of oil.

No, that's wrong. Not a drop of oil has ever come out of the ground in Washington. It is Texas that is currently pumping oodles of oil, creating an oil boom in West Texas and other Texas locales.

Oil from Alaska used to arrive for refining in Washington. I know new oil is incoming from North Dakota and the refineries in my old home zone of the Skagit Valley have amped up their producing ability, which is one of the reasons why the economy of the Skagit zone is booming.

I don't see how that incoming North Dakota oil would be making Washington gas cheaper than Texas gas. That sure was not the case when Alaskan oil was incoming.

The volatile gas price is perplexing....

Is Fort Worth Really An Anonymous Boom Town?

Yesterday, after I blogged about yesterday's Tarrant Regional Water District Board meeting, specifically mentioning what I thought to be rather dubious remarks by the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Executive Director, J.D. Granger, I got a blog comment from someone calling him or herself Anonymous, which really gave me pause to wonder.

Do I have that "pause to wonder" cliche correct?

Or should it be "pause to think?"

I really am not all that big a fan of pausing to think. Pausing to wonder? Yes, I do like to do that.

Anyway, the comment from Anonymous caused me to  wonder if, unbeknownst to me, Fort Worth is actually a Boom Town....

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "At Today's TRWD Board Meeting We Learn Fort Worth Is The Envy Of Other Cities": 

Look at Fort Worth's growth over the last 12 years. Now look at where NCTCOG projects DFW's greatest growth to occur over the next 10 years.....Fort Worth (west and northwest to be more exact). The City of Fort Worth continues to grow and it has indeed been the envy of other City's regarding the rate of growth and the quality of developments that are being built and that are being planned. There are over 10,000 acres of land being planned for development in Fort Worth. A breath of new life continues to be breathed into our Downtown and inner city areas (Sundance plaza, Near South, Linwood, West 7th, Six Points, etc) Further, we continue to diversify our economy and draw good paying jobs to the area. Alliance area is booming, the Chisholm Parkway has opened vast areas for growth (and good growth at that!)

Why are you so down on Fort Worth? Per capita, our permitting numbers are unparalleled. Only Houston beats our single family starts, but that is a pure numbers to numbers comparison. 

Despite the opinion of Anonymous, I am not down on Fort Worth. I am down on hyping that which is not hypeworthy. I do not think it well serves the locals to pretend that Fort Worth is a paragon of any sort, when it is not.

You want to talk to me about all this "good growth"? With some of that "good growth" being a lot of single family housing starts?

Well, you are not going to talk to me about that without talking to me about the Homeless People City on Lancaster. How many years has it been now since Fort Worth sent a task force to progressive cities out west to learn how they successfully managed their Homeless People Problem?

How about the fact that Fort Worth is so ill-served by something as simple as sidewalks? I cringe every time I see a mom struggling to push a stroller on a dirt path beside an un-sidewalked Fort Worth street.

You want to talk to me about Fort Worth Growth? How about growing up to being a city which has modern facilities, such as restrooms and running water, in your public parks? Amenities which long ago became the norm in more developed, modern parts of America.

Regarding this comment from Anonymous, if I am understanding correctly, Fort Worth is the envy of the civilized world due to its unparalleled permitting numbers? With only Houston having more single family housing starts? And due to the quality of its developments? And due to over 10,000 acres of land being developed? And due to having vast areas for growth?

Where to start?

Does the phrase "URBAN SPRAWL" mean anything to anyone associated with thinking opening vast areas for growth is a really really good thing? Without proper planning? Infrastructure development? And, God forbid we think about public transit.

Quality of development? Really? Quality? Sundance Square Plaza is remarkable only due to the fact that after decades of calling its downtown zone Sundance Square, downtown Fort Worth finally has a square, where parking lots existed, previous to the square.

Most big cities in America do not have parking lots at the core of their downtown because that real estate is too valuable to use to park cars.

Downtown Fort Worth may be the most lifeless big city downtown in America. It certainly is the only downtown of a large American city with not one department store. Not one grocery store. And which is a ghost town on the busiest shopping day of the year, that being the day after Thanksgiving.

Are there any other American towns of Fort Worth's size without a direct public transit connection to its airport?

West 7th? You want to bring that up as an example of being an envy generator? West 7th is remarkable only when one compares it to how bad it was before the Montgomery Plaza renovation sparked a boom in that zone. But, was that boom well designed, well planned?

NO!

The drive through the West 7th zone is through a congested canyon. No setbacks, no wide sidewalks, limited parking. And it ain't pretty when a flood comes to town.

The idea is boggling, to me, that anyone local takes pride in the fact that the urban blight which surrounds downtown Fort Worth is now, after how long, finally being dealt with, albeit, to my eyes, incompetently, as in put on your Big City Pants, Fort Worth, and vote to tax yourselves to fund the public works projects which this town so direly needs, but which are being dealt with like a poor beggar looking for handouts.

Ma Granger, please give us some pork, we needs us some pork. We can't feed ourselves, Ma Granger. If we give your boy, J.D., a job, will you get us some pork, Ma Granger?

The envy of other cities in America? No. The above sentence is more accurate as to how other towns in America view the Fort Worth Way of growing....

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

At Today's TRWD Board Meeting We Learn Fort Worth Is The Envy Of Other Cities

I returned to my phone and computer after a bike tour of my neighborhood to learn that a meeting of the Tarrant Regional Water District Board was under way.

From TRWD Board Director Mary Kelleher, on Facebook---

"Headed to TRWD Board meeting. Please pray for the Board to do what's right for the people!!"

To which one of Mary's many friends said---

"Mary, I don't think prayer is going to help. An election? Maybe."

Then another of Mary's friends said---

"Mary is hammering them this morning. What Jim Oliver hired his sister in law? Man Jim didn't want to answer that question. Little defensive. Go Mary Go!"

Nepotism associated with the TRWD? I am as shocked as that cop was in Casablanca when he learned gambling took place at Rick's.

And then via text messages on my phone I learned some of what J.D. Granger was telling the TRWD Board.

(That is J.D. Granger in the photo above, used for illustrative purposes, with the photo taken at another meeting attended by Mr. Granger)

The two text message tidbits of interest are that J.D. Granger told the TRWD Board that "140,000 people had attended 39 Trinity River Vision Boondoggle Events."

And that "We are the envy of other cities."

140,000 people attended 39 events? That is almost 6,000 people per event.  Anyone out there see that many people at any of the Boondoggle's events? Anyone see that many people ever floating at one of the Boondoggle's Rockin'  the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats?

Did anyone at the TRWD Board meeting ask Mr. Granger by what mechanism the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's vision had evolved into hosting music events, beer parties, inner tube floats and other goofy stuff which seems to have little to do with controlling floods?

"We are the envy of other cities?"

I thought we had retired this embarrassing "envy of" verbiage being associated with anything to do with Fort Worth due to the absolute ludicrousness of saying such a thing.

You in other towns, Haltom City, Richland Hills, Keller, Arlington, Hurst, Bedford, is there anything about Fort Worth that you envy?

Okay, those are Fort Worth suburbs, or surrounding towns.

If towns which see Fort Worth up close can see nothing to envy, how about other towns?

Dallas? Envy anything about Fort Worth? Jealous of the Fort Worth version of the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle?

Oklahoma City? Envy anything about Fort Worth?

Houston? Envy Fort Worth? Austin? San Antonio?

Chicago? New York City? New Orleans? Miami? Los Angeles? Portland? San Francisco? Seattle? Denver? Boston? Philadelphia? Phoenix? Atlanta?

Or even Albuquerque?

Do any of you in big cities in other states envy anything about Fort Worth? Do any of you reading this in other states even know anything about Fort Worth? Other than the town is in Texas and near Dallas?

What is wrong with people in Fort Worth, like J.D.  Granger, that they say things like "Fort Worth is the envy of other cities"? This seems so bizarre  to me. Who is being fooled by this type propaganda? And what is the point of spewing this type nonsense?

It is all very perplexing. As is the nepotism which hired J.D. Granger.....

No City Wide Celebrating For Fort Worth's Guinness World Record Holding Cutting Edge Haunted House

A couple days ago I blogged on one of my other blogs about Halloween Hunting for Haunted Houses in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.

During the course of blogging about the important Haunted Houses in D/FW subject I was surprised to learn that a Fort Worth Haunted House known as the Cutting Edge Haunted House has previously been acknowledged as a Guinness World Record Holder in the prestigious "World's Largest Walk Through Haunted House" category.

I did not know there was anything "Cutting Edge" in Fort Worth, let alone something that was "Cutting Edge" which was the largest in the world.

Up til this point it has been my experience that if there is any remote reason to brag about anything in Fort Worth one sees that bragging reflected in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Sometimes a city wide celebration is the result of the bogus, meaningless award that brings about the bragging.

The most recent bogus award came to my attention when Mr. & Mrs. Galtex Were In Argentina Where They Learned Fort Worth Has America's Top Downtown.

I blogged about that shocking revelation and then learned how this bizarre designation came to be via Elsie Hotpepper Helped Me Learn How Fort Worth Became The Top Downtown In America.

Short version, basically the downtown Fort Worth association sent an award submission full of hyperbolic, exaggerated nonsense to something called the International Downtown Association, which then gave Fort Worth one of their pseudo-prestigious Pinnacle Awards without investigating to see if it were true that Fort Worth's tiny little Sundance Square Plaza attracts thousands of visitors a week, along with other ludicrous claims.

I suspect the Cutting Edge Haunted House doing its haunting outside the Sundance Square zone of extremely exaggerated propaganda may be the reason I had never heard of it winning a Guinness World Record....

Monday, October 20, 2014

Did I Bring West Nile Virus Home With Me After Visiting The Oakland Lake Park Fosdick Lake Turtles?

I got a telepathic call from my Fosdick Lake turtle friends this morning indicating they were in the mood for me to visit them.

So, since I always, or usually, do what my reptile friends ask of me, around noon I drove to Oakland Lake Park to walk around Fosdick Lake so as to visit the Fosdick turtles.

The turtle photo only includes about a third of the number of turtles who were enjoying basking in the sun today.

The Fosdick turtles were not being very skittish, with most of them remaining out of the water, sitting on their logs, staring at me.

Why are the Fosdick turtles so un-skittish whilst the Village Creek Turtles are so high strung, I think I have asked a time or two before?

Soon after the turtle visit, whilst driving back to my abode, I realized I'd been bitten. I do not remember when last I had myself an insect bite in Texas. There are signs in Oakland Lake Park warning about West Nile Virus and mosquito bites.

The bug bite made its presence known due to it causing an itchy, burning sensation. I have now treated this insect attack with Bactine and Calamine Lotion. The itchy, burning sensation has now greatly abated.

I must Google now to find out what the symptoms of West Nile Virus are.......

Early Voting Begins On Three Absurd Arena Ballot Propositions In Fort Worth

In my mailbox this morning, just in time for the start of early voting, I got a new version of a previous mailing about the Fort Worth Multipurpose Arena Election.

The previous mailer featured Fort Worth Mayor, Betsy Price. This time the mailer features Fort Worth businessman, Ed Bass, who shares with us his opinion that "This unique public-private partnership is an opportunity that will benefit Fort Worth for generations to come."

I am unclear as to what the public part of this partnership is. I believe the decision to build this new multipurpose arena was made privately. I do not recollect a public vote on this issue.

I really don't understand the point of the Three Ballot Propositions the public is being asked to vote on.

Three Ballot Propositions, all of which involve approving fees related to the new arena.

Fees, such as a user fee on tickets, a user fee of a dollar or two on livestock stalls and a user fee not to exceed $5 per vehicle for parking.

Seriously?

These type fees need to be voted on and somehow relate to approving of this new arena?

How come Fort Worth voters are not offput at being thrown this bone of voting on something like these Three Ballot Propositions under the guise that they are participating in some sort of decision regarding the building of the new arena?

Are Fort Worth voters actually debating the merits of whether or not to approve of a user fee of $1 to $2 per day on livestock pens?

That is just embarrassing.

If this Fort Worth Multipurpose Arena Election were actually an election where, unlike the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle, the public was actually allowed to vote on this new arena public works project, voting yes or no on a bond issue funding mechanism, such as that which takes place in Big Towns which wear their Big City Pants, I would be voting YES, because I can see clearly that Fort Worth could use a modern arena to replace that Will Rogers antique arena.

However.

I will be voting NO on these Three Ballot Propositions.

Because, I really do not think it will make any difference on the final arena result whether these three absurd propositions get approved, or not....

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Trinity River Vision Boondoggle Go Gateway Propaganda Spews Nonsense In Fort Worth's East Regional Library

Yesterday on my way to the Tandy Hills I stopped in at my neighborhood library, that being the East Regional Library in East Fort Worth, to drop off a book or two.

Whilst hunting for some new books I came upon the signage you see here, saying "Go Gateway" at the top.

I remember seeing a massive Chesapeake Energy propaganda installation in this library, years ago. I don't remember previously seeing a Trinity River Vision Boondoggle propaganda installation touting the clouded Vision's imaginary Gateway Park Master Plan.

Just like the Boondoggle's propaganda installation at Gateway Park the library propaganda installation has a list of amenities which were allegedly requested by the community.

I have asked previously how it was these community-requested amenities came to be requested.

That is the beauty of propaganda. You just get to make stuff up.

The main verbiage on this piece of Trinity River Vision Boondoggle propaganda appears to be the same, or very similar, to that which I previously copied off the Gateway Park propaganda installation. But, it is worth repeating, just for the amusing absurdest aspect of it....

An exciting component of the Trinity River Vision is Gateway Park in Fort Worth's east side. The 1,000-acre park will be filled with community requested recreational amenities, such as a public skate park, an outdoor amphitheater and 15 miles of additional trails. Major strides  will be made in restoring the park's natural ecosystem, including the planting of over 80,000 native oak and pecan trees. This massive effort will fuel development around the park and connect east and southeast neighborhoods to the Trinity River corridor.

Oh, the embarrassing hubris of it all.

None of these community-requested amenities has been built, which, I assume is a big disappointment to those in the community who allegedly requested these amenities.

The Fort Worth Mountain Bike Association has added many miles of mountain bike trails. But that has nothing to do with the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle.

I find it really hard to believe the community requested one of the amenities on the list.

White Water Elements?

Can't you just see someone in the community raising his or her had and requesting white water elements be added to the list of amenities?

What is the point of putting this propaganda in the library? To create the illusion that something is happening when nothing is happening?

Why is there absolutely no mention made of any sort of construction timeline of this imaginary Gateway Park Master Plan? When is the plan scheduled to get under way? When is the plan scheduled to be completed?

When are those 80,000 trees, also known as J.D. Granger's Magic Trees, going to be planted?

I really think this propaganda needs to be removed from the library, before it disillusions oodles of children when they don't see the promised requested amenities come to fruition in their lifetimes.

I mean really, think of the children, the little kid asking mommy when he or she can go float on those white water elements he or she requested.....