Friday, February 26, 2016

The Tale Of Two Town's Stupid White Water Feature's Faulty Visions

This morning my blog subject assignment taskmaster, Elsie Hotpepper, informed me "You must blog about this. I can't wait to read what you have to say about it."


The this to which Elsie Hotpepper referred was an article in the Dallas Observer titled DEMISE OF STUPID WHITE WATER FEATURE IS A CALL TO TAKE BACK OUR RIVER. by the Dallas Observer's observer of the nonsense which goes on in Dallas, Jim Schutze.

Jim Schutze is amusing and makes so much sense the powers that be in Dallas really should pay attention.

I thought I'd already blogged about the subject of the Stupid White Water Feature (SWWF) in Dallas. So, I was a little confused as to why Elsie Hotpepper thought I should blog about this subject again.

That is a screen cap, you see here, of the previous blogging about what Jim Schutze refers to as the SWWF, a blogging titled This Trinity River Whitewater Rapids Plan Would Have Filled Dallas Potholes.

Okay, reading my previous blogging about the SWWF and the latest Dallas Observer posting about this subject I see, I think, why Elsie Hotpepper thought I might want to opine, maybe.

Both Dallas and Fort Worth have Trinity River Vision projects. In both towns the name of the vision morphs with the passing years.

The current version of the Fort Worth vision's name is Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island Vision. Which many locals simply refer to as The Boondoggle.

I don't know what Dallas is currently calling its Trinity River Vision Boondoggle.

Dallas has more to show for its Boondoggle than Fort Worth does. Dallas has completed one actual signature bridge, with another under construction. Fort Worth's Boondoggle currently has one little, non-signature bridge under construction over dry land. The Dallas bridges are being built over water, as in over the Trinity River.

Some day, if the money can be found to dig it, a ditch will be dug under Fort Worth's bridges, with Trinity River water diverted into the ditch, creating a fake island, connecting the Fort Worth mainland to the fake island, which America's Biggest Boondoggle has already named Panther Island, even though there is no island. And probably never will be.

Unlike Fort Worth's Trinity River Vision Boondoggle, the people of Dallas actually were allowed to vote on that town's river vision, with a bond issue passing way back late in the last century, prior to my move to Texas.

I heard about the Dallas Trinity River Vision soon after I arrived in Texas. And then one Sunday morning, early in this century, I was startled by a HUGE banner headline in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, boldly proclaiming Trinity River Uptown to Turn Fort Worth into the Vancouver of the South.

What fresh demented nonsense is this, I remember wondering? Reading the breathless article I remember wondering if anyone on the Star-Telegram staff had actually been to Vancouver and realized how ludicrous this Vancouver of the South claim was.

This incident of Star-Telegram nonsense occurred soon after the Santa Fe Rail Market debacle where the Star-Telegram, also breathlessly, had been promoting an embarrassing, lame, little food court type thing as the first public market in Texas, modeled after public markets in Europe and Seattle's Pike Place Market.

When I saw how pathetic the Santa Fe Rail Market was, the idea that the Star-Telegram would mislead its few readers so outrageously greatly annoyed me. Not only was this not the first public market in Texas, it was not even the first public market in Fort Worth. Had no one on the Star-Telegram staff been to the Dallas Farmers Market? A market which every one of my visitors from the Pacific Northwest has opined reminds them of Pike Place.

Back to the Dallas Observer SWWF article.

So, there's been a brouhaha brewing in Dallas due to the SWWF, this bizarre thing the Dallas Trinity River Vision Boondoggle  installed in the Trinity River to make a white water rapids thrill for the few people in Dallas interested in floating a kayak a short distance over a fake rapids in a polluted river.

Well, it quickly became obvious the SWWF was stupid due to being so dangerous it was deemed unsafe. Only a few million bucks were spent building this theme park attraction, which no one could use.

A few years went by with the SWWF blocking navigation on the Trinity River. The Army Corps of Engineers then came to town, all upset that Dallas had broken a long standing law which forbade such obstructions on a navigable river.

I had no idea til reading such that the Trinity River was considered to be navigable. Just a few miles upstream from Dallas, in Fort Worth, navigation on the Trinity River is not possible due to obstructions placed in the river by the same Army Corps of Engineers which is being all cranky over the Dallas SWWF obstruction. In Fort Worth there are multiple dam-like structures on the river, causing mini-reservoirs and crossings for the Trinity Trail.

If a boat floater made it past the little dams, further upstream, on the West Fork, the boater would find their boat trip halted by the Lake Worth Dam blocking the Trinity River. A person floating their boat on the Clear Fork would soon find their journey ended by the Lake Benbrook Dam.

I would think the bigger issue with the Dallas SWWF on the Trinity is not that it impedes the flow of boat traffic, but that it is a dangerous hazard which serves no purpose.

I long ago opined about thinking it to be so bizarre how Fort Worth basically copied Dallas with Fort Worth's Trinity River Vision, but foisting it on the public, with no public debate, no vote, just a done deal, an ever changing vision which has gone from turning Fort Worth into the Vancouver of the South to being the world's premiere waterfront music venue for inner tube floating beer parties in a polluted river, the world's first drive-in movie theater of the 21st century, an ice skating rink, a beer brewery, countless festivals, an embarrassing work of kinetic art costing almost a million bucks and one little bridge under construction, with celebrating taking place because that bridge's wooden V-pier forms were finally under construction.

Unlike Dallas, Fort Worth has no Jim Schultze pointing out the various Fort Worth absurdities. I think Jim Schultze should expand his observation area to the west, to include Fort Worth, where he will find a rich treasure trove of incredible nonsense.

In other words, while the Dallas Trinity River Vision may be a mess, the Fort Worth Trinity River Vision hired the unqualified son of a local congresswoman, J.D. Granger, to be the Executive Director of the Fort Worth Vision, hoping that this would motivate his mama to secure some pork barrel earmarks to pay for what has become a bizarre boondoggle with little accomplished in a project which has spanned most of this century.

So far the Fort Worth version of a Trinity River Vision is not seeing any white water rapids.

However, due to the Fort Worth Vision's penchant for copying the Dallas Vision, as much as possible (except Fort Worth lost its three signature bridges) the Fort Worth Vision still includes a kayak white water rapids feature. You can see that illustrated in propaganda signage The Boondoggle long ago installed in Fort Worth's Gateway Park, where, currently, The Boondoggle is removing dirt from what will be Gateway Park West, which is where I believe The Boondoggle's white water rapids will be located.

I do not think the Army Corps of Engineers is going to be able to object to the Fort Worth SWWF due to the fact, like I already mentioned, navigation on the Trinity River in Fort Worth has already been impeded by the Army Corps of Engineers....

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