Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The TRVA Panther Island Boondoggle Wins A Boondoggle Of An Award

Yesterday Elsie Hotpepper directed me to a bizarre article in the Fort Worth Business Press titled Fort Worth's TRVA receives Urban Land Institute award, which you see screen capped here.

I don't know what has happened to the Fort Worth Business Press, but it seems to have become even more of a cheerleading, chamber of commerce, nonsense printing shill than the Star-Telegram.

For those not local, the TRVA is the Trinity River Vision Authority, also known as Panther Island, but known to many simply as The Boondoggle.

This FWBP article says the "Panther Island project, the revitalization of an 800-acre area north of downtown Fort Worth, was honored as the best “Next Big Idea” at the recent inaugural Urban Land Institute North Texas (ULI NT) Impact Awards in Dallas."

Next Big Idea? Revitalizing an 800 acre area? This Big Idea has been Boondoggling along for well over a decade, with very little revitalization to be seen. One can see a lot of property taken by eminent domain abuse. One can see a simple bridge or two supposedly under construction over dry land, creating a big traffic mess. One can see inner tube parties in the Trinity River

"For this award ULI NT sought innovative ideas with the potential to positively impact the quality of life in the North Texas region."

Innovative ideas with the potential to positively impact the quality of life? Is this a reference to The Boondoggle's Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats?

And then we have an unfortunate J.D. Granger quote...

“We are honored to have our project recognized by such a reputable organization and to have been selected as the winner by our peers. Panther Island is underway now and we are excited to shape the future of Fort Worth.” 

Honored by "our" peers? Apparently there were only two other projects in the running for this extremely prestigious award that had never been awarded before and which no one has ever heard of. The FWBP article makes no mention of what the other two projects were which The Boondoggle was deemed to be better than.

Those other two projects must have been mega-lame, not to be mentioned, and to be beaten by the also mega-lame TRVA Panther Island Boondoggle, where there is no island, where there is no funding to build the proposed project, where three small, simple bridges are being built over dry land with a four year construction timeline, where a local congresswoman's unqualified son was hired to direct the project in the hopes his mother would secure federal earmark pork barrel money to pay for the public works project which the public has never voted on.

One of Fort Worth's most articulate cranky geezers submitted a good comment after he read this FWPB propaganda....

Clyde Picht ·  Top Commenter · Utah State University
A bird in the hand is better than two in the bush. In this case it appears that the TRVA is being awarded for two in the bush. It's worth noting that none of the eight major funding elements have been accomplished on time. The original cost estimate of $360M has ballooned to $908M (2009 dollars). And then there is the final insult to taxpayer injury, that being the promise to only spend $26.6M of For Worth residents' tax dollars on the project. That now has escalated to over $350M tax dollars from both bonds and the TIF. The only certainty in this pork barrel project is that JD Granger will have a lifetime job. Some vision! Some award!

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