Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Trinity River Vision Should Cataract Kay Granger Out Of Congress

I think I may be about to write the longest blog post I have ever written. So much material.

Yesterday Miss B emailed me regarding an email she had received from a Texas Watchdog, who asked Miss B if she knew how to contact that guy who writes that blog that so frequently mentions America's Biggest Boondoggle.

I told Miss B how the Texas Watchdog could contact me. This morning the Texas Watchdog emailed me, asking about something I really knew nothing about, with a link to a Fort Worth Star-Telegram article which contained the mis-information I knew nothing about. This mis-information was in a Star-Telegram article earlier this month, August 6, I think.

Then, later in the day, Elsie Hotpepper emailed me with a subject line of "Early Birthday Present". The early birthday present was to yet one more Star-Telegram article, an editorial published, I think, on Monday, August 8, about the same subject as the earlier article, that subject being America's Biggest Boondoggle, which the Star-Telegram still, occasionally, refers to as the Trinity River Vision.

Well, now that I've gotten the prelude out of the way, where to begin?

The Star-Telegram article the Texas Watchdog referenced was titled Fort Worth’s water project is finally on the verge of funding.

Let that title sink in. According to the Star-Telegram America's Biggest Boondoggle, after nearly 15 years of boondoggling, is on the verge of finally being funded.

How is this funding on the verge of happening, you might wonder?

This paragraph from the article answers that question...

Granger, a former mayor of the city “where the West begins,” has, after nearly 20 years as a member of the House of Representatives, helped smooth the way for Congress to approve about $520 million in federal funds from the Army Corps of Engineers for the Fort Worth project. It is estimated that the completed cost, which includes nonfederal funding, will be nearly $1 billion.

The Granger being referred to is Kay Granger, mother of J.D., who was hired to be The Boondoggle's Executive Director in order to motivate his mama to do some pork barreling and attach some earmarks to bills to get money to fund this ridiculous project.

So, Granger, after all this time, years and years and years after her unqualified son was hired to muck up a project he was unqualified to execute, has now supposedly smoothed the way to get some of that federal money siphoned to Fort Worth.

But, the article tells us time is running out for the bill to get passed to add this pork to the president's budget.

(Note to president: If this ludicrious waste of public funds gets to your desk, please veto it, or line item it into oblivion.)

The article spends some time explaining various reasons this Kay Granger scheme might fail.

I particularly found the following paragraph of interest...

There are some differences between the House and Senate bills in funding the Trinity Vision project – the House bill authorizes $526.5 million and the Senate $520 million – and the Senate bill stipulates that the assistant secretary of the army for civil works certify that the project meets cost-benefit criteria.

Certify that the project meets cost-benefit criteria?  This "project" has been touted as a much needed flood control project, with the side benefit of providing an economic stimulus to a blighted section of a blighted town. There are areas of Tarrant County in dire need of flood control mitigation. Haltom City and Fossil Creek come to mind. The area where Kay Granger expects the American people to send Fort Worth money has not flooded for over half a century due to the fact that the Army Corps of Engineers built flood control levees that have kept that zone dry ever since.

This ridiculous "vision" has always been a crooked scheme to line the pockets of those who instigated it. What the federal government needs to do, instead of sending money to Fort Worth for a bogus flood control project, is to investigate who, including Kay Granger, stood to have their property values enhanced if the Trinity River Vision ever became something someone could see.

It also might be a good idea to investigate, on a federal level, how and why it was that Kay Granger's unqualified son, a low level district attorney, was hired to direct this project.

Okay, now let's get to the Star-Telegram editorial about this subject.

I will copy the entire short editorial, in its entirety, with its tortured verbiage intact...


The Trinity River Vision project is one step closer to being a reality.

Thanks to the tenacity of its principal advocate in the U.S. Congress, Rep. Kay Granger, the massive flood control and economic development project is close to receiving the congressional authorization needed to ensure its inclusion in the president’s budget.

Approval would unleash $520 million in federal funds from the Army Corps of Engineers — the majority of the estimated money needed to see the almost $1 billion project to its completion.

Granger, a former Fort Worth mayor, has been working for years to secure federal dollars for the endeavor, which, when finished, would divert the Trinity River and create an urban lake and 12 miles of developable waterfront in the northern quadrant of the city.

The funding still has a few hurdles to overcome: The House and Senate have to resolve slight differences in their respective authorization bills, and then legislators have to pass the bill in the time that remain this congressional session.

"Developable waterfront in the northern quadrant of the city"?  Who is on this Star-Telegram Editorial Board? People who have never been to Fort Worth? The northern quadrant of the city is a long distance from the area at the north end of downtown Fort Worth where The Boondoggle is doing its boondoggling.

This editorial was illustrated by that which you see at the top. The infamous TNT explosion which marked the start of construction of The Boondoggle's three simple little bridges being built over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

Underneath that explosive illustration was the following blurb...

Officials detonate a blast on Henderson Street at the official groundbreaking of construction of the Panther Island Bridges being built on Henderson Street, North Main Street and White Settlement in Fort Worth, TX, Monday, Nov. 10, 2014. The ceremony included remarks by Congresswoman Kay Granger, Texas Department of Transportation Commissioner Victor Vandergriff and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price.

Make note of the date of the TNT explosion. Nov. 10, 2014. Almost two years ago. At that point in time The Boondoggle shamelessly informed us that the bridge construction would take four years.

Longer than it took to build the Golden Gate Bridge.

Almost two years after the TNT explosion all that can be seen of the bridge construction is some wooden V-pier forms near the site of the TNT explosion, that being the only one of the three bridges to have had any construction activity.

With that solo bridge construction activity halted months ago due to design problems.

You reading this in sane locations in America. This Boondoggle has been boondoggling along for a long time, Funds have been wasted on parts of the project which have already failed, such as Cowtown Wakepark. J.D. Granger has been making money for years longer than a real project director would have been making money from a legitimate project which should have been long completed, with the legitimate project director having moved on to his next project.

As an indicator of how absurd it is that Kay Granger's son was given this job, do you think, if this project ever does actually come to any sort of fruition, would any other city, anywhere, hire J.D. Granger to be the Executive Director of a public works project, after turning this Fort Worth embarrassment into America's Biggest Boondoggle?

Why is the Star-Telegram still cheerleading this disaster? Are owners of the Star-Telegram among those whose property values will increase if this project ever actually happens? What possible reason would the Star-Telegram have to bring up the subject of those bridges, with no mention made of the fact that building these simple bridges has run into a major snag?

Why does the Star-Telegram not have issue with the fact that The Boondoggle has been boondoggling along for such a long time with so little to show for the effort?

Why does the Star-Telegram not see a problem with a statement such as "Fort Worth's water project is finally on the verge of funding?"

This public works project which the public has never been allowed to vote on  was foisted on Fort Worth almost a decade and a half ago. And now, all that time later this project is finally on the verge of funding? And the local newspaper of record does not find this embarrassing, inept, stupid, irresponsible and, well, idiotic?

And definitely not the way major projects happen in modern locations in America.

Kay Granger needs to be booted out of Congress. Her son needs to be fired. A federal investigation into the various nefarious shenanigans needs to take place. And the plug needs to be pulled on this totally unneeded pseudo flood control project before any more harm is done to Fort Worth.

It's just appalling. 


Anonymous said...

It occurs to me that the reason the TRV bridge construction was halted was due to a lack of funds. That there was enough money to get construction started on one bridge, with the hope that once that bridge construction was underway that Kay Granger could then manage to secure the federal funds her son was hired to motivate her to get. But that plan failed and has turned sort of desperate, as you noted in this blog post I am commenting on.

Abear said...

That is not why it was halted. The funds are in place. If you will notice the rebar that was used was removed. There was a design flaw and they are making changes. Not everything is a conspiracy.

Durango said...

Mr. Abear, I am not aware of anyone suggesting a conspiracy is the explanation for America's Biggest Boondoggle becoming such. However, over half a year ago we were told bridge construction was halted due to design errors, with the fix in place within a month. And yet, now, all this time later, still stalled. Hence people wondering what the possible explanation is. Incompetent management seems a logical foil, particularly when you have the unqualified son of a local congresswoman given, nepotistically, a job for which he had zero qualifications, with results which seem to match that which one might expect from someone with no clue what they were doing....

Abear said... is hard to disagree with your characterization of Mr. Granger.