Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Why Is No Move Fort Worth Building 50 Blocks Of New Sidewalks?

This blogging falls into the category of news I read in west coast online news sources, usually the Seattle Times, about news I would not expect to be reading in a Texas newspaper about a similar subject in Texas, or in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about something to do with Fort Worth.

Today we have a double dose of such items.

The first is a headline on the front page of the Seattle Times, online. An article about a recipe adding marijuana to a homemade chocolate-nut spread.

A couple days ago I read an article about a trio of Texans who were refusing to be Medical Tourists, forced to travel to California, Oregon, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Canada or other civilized areas of the world and America to legally acquire marijuana to treat their medical woe.

If I remember right this trio of Texans were veterans, you know, veterans of military service, wounded defending our supposed freedoms, one of which, for a large part of America, including Texas, is not the freedom to choose to treat an ailment with the well known effective treatment of cannabis, because, you know, unlike being in a war, marijuana is dangerous and needs the government to protect you from its danger.

Over the years I have multiple times verbalized my disgust at Fort Worth's backwardness regarding sidewalks.

(That and Fort Worth's multiple city parks without modern facilities such as running water and restrooms, with, instead, way too many outhouses)

Time and time again, in Fort Worth, I was appalled to see a young mom pushing a baby carriage on a dirt path worn into the side of a busy road.

Or an elderly person wobbling on a cane.

Such third world backwardness would not be tolerated in most towns in America, and much of the rest of the world.

So, this week Seattle's mayor and other city leaders announced a $22 million plan to build 50 blocks of new sidewalks this year.

Funds for this sidewalk upgrade come from the $930 million Move Seattle levy voters voted for in 2015.

Imagine that. A town's voters allowed to vote on something which improves their city. Quite the contrast with a town like Fort Worth, where voters have not been allowed to vote on a public works project with a price tag about the same as Seattle's Move On project.

Fort Worth's public works  project, which the public has never voted for, is known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District, or, more commonly, America's Biggest Boondoggle.

Apparently Seattle is going to upgrade 50 blocks of sidewalks this year.

Fort Worth's Boondoggle has been boondoggling along for most of this century with little constructive to show for the effort, but currently showing a large area of ghost town-like wasteland where a bridge was once being built, with the entire fiasco symbolized by a bizarre traffic roundabout in the ghost town zone with a giant aluminum homage to a trash can at its center...

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Spencer Jack Takes Me Down Ghost Town Memory Lane Over Washington Waterfalls

Last night, somewhere in the 9 in the evening time frame, my phone made its telltale incoming text message noise.

I was distracted by other noises at the time, so it was several minutes later I looked at the phone to see the text message.

It was from Spencer Jack and my Favorite Nephew Jason.

No text message, just three photos of which you see two here.

When I saw the photos on the phone my first reaction was I was looking at Snoqualmie Falls in flood mode.

But then I got the photos off the phone and saw the full size versions and saw that this was not Snoqualmie Falls falling a lot of water.


Looking at the above photo I became almost 100% certain that that which I was looking at is Granite Falls.

Granite Falls is also a town, named after the falls, a few miles to the south (or is it west? I am losing memory of these type details) from where Spencer Jack is taking a picture. Granite Falls is at the southern entry to what is known as the Mountain Loop.

Driving the Mountain Loop takes one into the Cascade Mountains and the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, with many attractions along the way, such as the infamous Big Four Ice Caves. And the Monte Christo ghost town.

In 1889 a gold rush came to this area, with Monte Christo becoming a gold boom town til 1907 and then a sort of tourist town til Monte Christo eventually became the ghost town it is today.

A railroad was built to take the Monte Christo gold out and bring supplies in, with that railroad running, in many locations, alongside the Stillaguamish River, which is the river making the falls you see above.

Building this railroad was quite a feat of engineering, requiring tunnels and treacherous bridges. The railroad did not last long, but remnants remain. Back in the last decade of the previous century Spencer Jack's Favorite Uncle Joey and I hiked the trail which follows the abandoned railroad, along with hundreds of other hikers. It was a scary trail, what with much of it being beside that raging river, with us hikers having to hike on the remains of bridges and make our way through dripping tunnels.

I remember two kayakers passing by and being appalled, knowing as I did that a few miles downstream those kayakers would come to Granite Falls. I figured they must know what they were doing, with a safe exit point before coming to the falls.

If you go to the webpage I made years ago about the Cascade Mountains, you will see some of what one finds on the Mountain Loop, such as Mount Pilchuck, and my Favorite Nephews, Chris and Jeremy taking me to the Big Four Ice Caves.

Like I think I already said, the town of Granite Falls is named after the town's nearby waterfall. The town I am currently in, Wichita Falls, is also named after a waterfall. But, that little three foot waterfall on the Wichita River was obliterated by a flood in 1886.

For 100 years, give or take a year, visitors to Wichita Falls were asking where the waterfall was.

Eventually the townspeople tired of explaining why there was no falls in Wichita Falls, so an artificial waterfall was built, near Lucy Park, visible, when the waterfall is turned on, from the 287 freeway, easily seen if you are southbound, possible to see, if you know where to look, when you are northbound.

I wonder if Spencer Jack has yet taken his dad to Nooksack Falls? Nooksack Falls is the scariest waterfall I have ever been scared by. One can climb to all sorts of precarious locations at Nooksack Falls.

One of the many blessings of living in relatively flat Texas is I have never been scared by a Texas waterfall. Ironically, though, I have been scared by Texas water.

The Trinity River comes to mind...

UDDATE: This morning Spencer Jack sent me video he shot of his dad at Granite Falls. This video arrived upside down and sped up super fast. I was able to turn it upside right and slow the video down, somewhat, but it still sort of looks like a color version of a long ago silent movie---

Monday, March 20, 2017

Can You Watch The Fort Worth Boondoggle's Bridges Make No Progress On Live Cam?

I know what you think you are looking at here.

J.D. Granger and one of his minions in the control room monitoring the ongoing progress of the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision.

Also affectionately known as America's Biggest Boondoggle.

No, that is not America's Biggest Boondoggle's control room you see here in the Trinity River Vision Authority's headquarters on the ground floor of the Boondoggle's partner in propaganda, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

America's Biggest Boondoggle has no control room where the lack of progress of that ongoing slow motion project is monitored.

Is the Boondoggle's live cam still aimed at that one and only of the Boondoggle's three simple little bridges to have sort of  reached construction mode, but halted over a year ago, due to mysterious undisclosed problems?

The control room you are looking at above is not in Fort Worth. It is underground in Seattle. That control room is part of the world's biggest tunnel boring machine, nicknamed Bertha, who is nearing the completion of her boring task.

Unlike Fort Worth, Bertha and other Seattle public works projects are totally transparent operations. When Bertha ran into a snag a couple years ago there was no cover  up, no dissembling, no hiding.

The problem and the fix were all out in the open, literally.

Such a contrast with how a backwards backwater corrupt town like Fort Worth operates.

Or does not operate.

There are multiple online locations where one can monitor the progress of Bertha and the ongoing Seattle waterfront re-build.

Fort Worth's congresswoman, Kay Granger, has dementedly propagandized that Fort Worth's pitiful Trinity River Vision is the largest urban water project in North America.

I mentioned this ridiculous Kay Granger assertion in a blog post on the day the Boondoggle had its explosive start of bridge construction ceremony way back on November 11, 2014. titled A Big Boom Begins Boondoggle Bridge Construction Three Months Late. A couple paragraphs from that blogging, one of which mentions Bertha...

Apparently Kay Granger is not at all surprised at the length of time it is taking to secure those federal dollars, because she knew it was going to take a long time because “It’s the largest urban water project in North America. It’s huge.” 

The only other urban water project currently underway in North America, which I am aware of, is Seattle's re-do of its waterfront seawall, along with replacing a section of waterfront elevated highway with a big tunnel, to the tune of several billion dollars. Already fully funded, with no unseemly begging, 

A couple years ago Bertha hit that snag, well, actually an unexpected big chunk of steel, which halted her for about a year. But, unlike the TRCCUPIV's stalled bridges, Bertha got herself fixed and back to tunneling, and is now nearing the tunnel completion point, in a much shorter time frame than the four years which was originally claimed it was going  to take for the Boondoggle to build three simple little bridges over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

There is no project timeline for Fort Worth's Trinity River Vision. There have been multiple instances of shifting estimates of the completion dates of aspects of the Boondoggle, such as within the past year J.D. Granger has been quoted saying "the project's infrastructure should be completed by 2023".

One can assume that part of that infrastructure is the three simple little bridges being built over dry land whose construction has been halted for a year.

Contrast America's Biggest Boondoggle's lack of any sort of project timeline, or project accountability, or transparency with Seattle's Bertha project. Go to WSDOT's Follow Bertha webpage where you will find all sorts of information, including the interactive project timeline graphic you see screen capped below.
Among the tidbits of info you will find on the Follow Bertha webpage you will find the following up to date stats about Bertha's progress...

UPDATED MON AND THURS
As of March 16, 2017: 556 feet remaining
Total rings built: 1,332 of 1,426
Distance traveled: 8,714 of 9,270 feet
March progress to date: 404 feet
February progress: 930 feet

It would be easy for the Trinity River Vision Boondogglers to update their bridge construction progress...

As of March 20, 2017: ZERO PROGRESS

Below is a WSDOT video tour showing multiple aspects of Bertha and the tunnel she is boring. This video is unique in that it provides a 360 degree look as you watch the video and maneuver the view via the controls at the upper left.

Now, after all this time, wouldn't you think the Trinity River Vision Boondogglers could come up with some sort of video documentation showing all the progress made in this vitally needed flood control and economic development scheme which has been dawdling along for most of this century?

You can take a Stormy Look At Zero Panther Island Bridge Motion Progress before you take the video tour of Bertha below...

Goodbye Winter Hello Spring Looking For Tulips

Scrren cap from Skagit Breaking News via Facebook
No, that is not what is known as a Luenserized look at a North Texas, or Fort Worth, scene you are looking at here.

The mountain foothills in the distance is one clue this is not a North Texas scene.

That and the huge field of daffodils.

This harbinger of spring flowerly view is from my old home zone of the Skagit Valley, with those daffodils blooming in a field in what is known as the Skagit Flats.

The Skagit Flats is one of the world's most fertile agricultural areas.

Only the Netherlands produces more tulips and tulip bulbs than what grow annually on the Skagit  Flats.

A harsher winter than is the norm, with more rain than is the norm, has slowed up the blooming of the flowers this year on the Skagit Flats.

The annual month long Skagit Valley Tulip Festival brings over a million Tulip Tourists to the Skagit Valley.

I have blogged about the Skagit Tulip Festival a time or two, such as Tiptoeing Through The Skagit Valley Tulips, and way back in 2010, The 27th Annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.

I lived in West Mount Vernon way back in the last century during the early years of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. At that point in time I did not like the traffic jams which brought a sort of gridlock to much of the Skagit Flats.

Over the years much of the traffic jam problems have been improved, spreading Tulip Tourists out to more locations, with destinations like Tulip Town, and events in the valley's various towns. And better signage directing incoming tourists to the various freeway exits available.

North Texas gets colorful this time of year too. Not so much via planted fields of flowers, but via Mother Nature in the form of wildflowers.

Spring is the most colorful time of the year to visit Texas...

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Anonymous Wondering About The Rising Fort Worth Cost Of America's Biggest Bridge Boondoggle

It has long puzzled me why I have never read details regarding the "cost" of various elements of what has become America's Biggest Boondoggle, also known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision.

"Costs" such as how much the Boondoggle has spent on its various propaganda productions, both in print media and what turns out to be ironic signage, such as a large billboard touting "Panther Island Bridge Progress in Motion" near where there has been no bridge building motion for a year.

How much has the Boondoggle spent on the Boondoggle's headquarters on the ground floor of the Star-Telegram building? That space must lease for quite a hefty price tag. How much have all those installations showing the imaginary wonders of the Boondoggle cost?

How much extra have J.D. Granger and his minions been paid past what they would have been paid had this public works project progressed and been finished in a timely fashion, such as is the norm in more modern locations on the planet?

How much has J.D. Granger spent taking his minions out to lunch, over and over and over and over again, the many years the Boondoggle has been boondoggling along? How about the Boondoggle's junkets to other towns, or hotel stays in Dallas? How much has been spent on that type thing?

And then we have this relatively small (Boondoggle caused) increased cost brought to our attention by Anonymous.

$2,000 a month paid to Fort Worth and Western Railroad Company (FWWRR) to maintain temporary railroad crossings near two of the Boondoggle's stalled  bridges.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Stormy Look At Zero Panther Island Bridge Motion Progress":

The bridge delays are costing real money. Here's one example that has to be dealt with at the next city council meeting. 

Adopt Appropriation Ordinance to Continue Funding Temporary Railroad Crossing Maintenance for the N. Henderson Street and N. Commerce Street Fort Worth and Western Railroad Crossings as Authorized Under City Secretary Contract No. 44661-A1

RECOMMENDATION:
It is recommended that the City Council adopt the attached Appropriation Ordinance increasing estimated receipts and appropriations in the Intergovernmental Contribution Fund in the amount of $48,000.00 to continue funding temporary railroad crossing maintenance for the N. Henderson Street and N. Commerce Street Fort Worth and Western Railroad crossings as authorized under City Secretary Contract No. 44661-A1.

DISCUSSION:
On October 4, 2013, the City entered into a Compromise Settlement Agreement for TRV Bridges (City Secretary Contract (CSC) No. 44950) with the Fort Worth and Western Railroad Company (FWWRR) whereby the City agreed to maintain the temporary crossings at N. Henderson Street and N. Commerce Street. The temporary at-grade crossings are required for construction of the N. Henderson Street and North Main Street bridges in conjunction with the Trinity River Vision Central City Project.

Under the terms of the Settlement Agreement, the City agreed to pay for monthly maintenance/inspections until the temporary at-grade crossings are no longer needed for the TRV bridges. CTC Inc., was engaged to provide the required maintenance and inspection of the N. Henderson Street and N. Commerce Street crossings and crossing warning systems since they were already providing similar services at other locations within the City (CSC No. 44661).

On February 10, 2015, the City executed Amendment No. 1 to the referenced maintenance contract with the intent that the amendment would remain in full force and renew annually for as long as necessary, but shall terminate when the City ceases using the temporary crossings for regular vehicular traffic. Funding for the initial 24 months of maintenance inspections has since been exhausted.

It is anticipated that the temporary railroad crossing will need to be maintained until February of 2019, or approximately 24 months. CTC's monthly charges for maintenance/inspection services are $2,000.00/month.

The requested $48,000.00 amount is considered TRV-related. Having met its $26.6 million commitment to the TRV Project, the City will be reimbursed the full amount of $48,000.00 by the Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD). Staff will record a receivable every month for reimbursable expenses and the TRV Program Manager in the Planning and Development Department will be responsible for collecting the full reimbursement from TRWD upon project completion. Once reimbursement is received, the revenue will be receipted to the Intergovernmental Contribution Fund.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Long Hot Mount Wichita Walk Turns Me Into An Old Man

Today, soon after discussing Elsie Hotpepper's serious issues with Laundry, I mistakenly thought it a good idea to go on a long, long, long walk.

The long, long, long walk idea seemed to be a good one due to the sudden appearance of summer-like HEAT. As in heat in the 80 to 90 degree zone, which feels HOT, after this long chilly winter.

So, I walked to Lake Wichita.

From my abode, to the scene you see here of a group of fisher men, women and children, fishing from  the one and only Lake Wichita floating fishing dock, I had walked a couple miles.

By the time I reached the top of the Lake Wichita Dam and looked down on the above fishing scene, and Mount Wichita, in the distance, I thought continuing on with my walk, with Mount Wichita as the goal, seemed like a good idea at the time.

Continuing north on the dam I looked back at the floating dock and the boat you see below, floating among the remains of the Lake Wichita Pavilion which burned down in the 1950s.


The Circle Trail is what one walks on to cross Lake Wichita Dam.


It is a long walk across the dam til one eventually reaches the Circle Trail dam exit which leads to the Mount Wichita pseudo volcanic cone.


The above is a scene soon after the Circle Trail leaves the dam. That is a biker you see rolling across that bridge. I had never seen so many people at Lake Wichita as I saw today. Dozens upon dozens of walkers, joggers, bikers, bladers, skateboarders, boaters and those aforementioned people with fishing poles.

The above is the last photo I was able  to take before my camera told me its battery needed re-charging. So, I switched to using my phone to take a couple more pictures.


I currently have my phone's camera set to "Spring Scene" mode. I mention this and having to switch to using the phone, so as to explain the change in the look of the photos, with the photos now looking like what, in Fort  Worth, is known as Luenserizing a photo.


A Luenserized photo is a photo which sort of alters reality. The above is a good example  of Luenserizing a scene, with the resulting photo looking more like a water color painting than a photograph, and not looking all that much like that which my eyes saw.


The last of the Luenserized phone photos shows no one on Mount Wichita. That is a bit ironic, because as soon as I saw Mount Wichita  today I could see people climbing the mountain. A lot of people. But, with none in sight by the time I took the above photo.

So, why did this walk to Mount Wichita turn out to be a bad idea today?

Well, I estimate the total walking mileage to be around 6 or 7 miles. Walked at a fast pace, but not really all that fast.

By the time I got back to my abode I was dragging, feet hurting, exhausted.

At some point during this ordeal I realized I have now become an elderly person, sort of. I used to get a bit impatient  with certain individuals whilst at locations such as Disneyland or Las Vegas, due to the certain individuals complaining about getting worn out from too much walking.

I have never found  myself complaining about getting worn out from too much walking at Disneyland or Las Vegas.

Today I realized Disneyland or Las Vegas would exhaust me if I enjoyed either like I used to. I have not been to Disneyland since Christmas of 1994. I have not been to Las Vegas since some time in 2000. I have been to Six Flags Over  Texas in Arlington a couple times this century, and did not find the experience to be exhausting. A bit boring, but not exhausting. But, Six Flags is no Disneyland, hence not tiring.

I suspect I will be being a bit depressed now, for a few days, as I come to terms with this new reality of realizing I am virtually a decrepit old man....

Friday, March 17, 2017

U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers Thinks Trinity River In Fort Worth Is Navigable

Yesterday on Facebook Peter Cox asked "Which part of the Constitution says that a developer needs permission from the U.S. Army to build an apartment complex?"

As you can see, via the Facebook screen cap, the U.S. Army answered the Cox question, saying, in part, that the USACE is responsible for all navigable waterways in the U.S.

To which I commented...

Durango Jones: The Trinity River as it mucks its way through Fort Worth is navigable? By what? Beer sodden dimwits floating on inner tubes???

The USACE Facebook comment in its entirety...

U.S. Army The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Headquarters is responsible for all navigable waterways in the country. Since the development is on the banks of a navigable waterway the corps must examine the plans to make sure they are not negatively impacting the river or river traffic.

Without the USCAE we would be missing a lot from our daily lives. If you are wondering what else the USACE is responsible for, they are:
- The Nation’s number one federal provider of outdoor recreation.
- Is the Nation's environmental engineer.
- Owns and operates more than 600 dams.
- Operates and maintains 12,000 miles of commercial inland navigation channels.
- Dredges more than 200 million cubic yards of construction and maintenance dredge material annually.
- Maintains 926 coastal, Great Lakes and inland harbors.
- Restores, creates, enhances or preserves tens of thousands of acres of wetlands annually under the Corps’ Regulatory Program.
- Provides a total water supply storage capacity of 329.2 million acre-feet in major Corps lakes.
- Owns and operates 24 percent of the U.S. hydropower capacity or 3 percent of the total U.S. electric capacity.
- Supports Army and Air Force installations.
- Provides technical and construction support to more than 100 countries.
- Manages an Army military construction program between 2006 and 2013 totaling approximately $44.6 billion — the largest construction effort since World War II.
- Researches and develops technologies to protect the nation’s environment and enhance quality of life.
______________

Now if this commenting representative of the USACE had said the Army Corps of Engineers had a say in a riverside apartment complex development because the USACE was responsible for the levees which it built well over half a century ago, levees which have prevented flooding in the downtown Fort Worth zone ever since they were built, well, that type oversight might be understandable.

But, to claim the Trinity River is navigable as it slowly slogs through downtown Fort Worth? That is ridiculous. How many impoundment dams block the river as it flows between the Fort Worth Trinity River levees? I guess one could navigate past those dams by portaging ones boat if the boat was small enough to portage.

And regarding those Trinity River Army Corps of Engineer levees. If the Trinity River Vision, at some time in the distant future, becomes something someone can see, well, part of that un-needed flood control scheme is to remove those levees which have kept downtown Fort Worth flood free for well over half a century.

There are some who opine the reason the Boondoggle's bridge building  has stalled is because it was realized the bridge spans were not wide enough for the flood control ditch, after further engineering analysis determined the ditch had to be wider and deeper in order to contain a big flood.

So, does anyone know what the 2017 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' position is on Fort Worth's Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision's altering of the Trinity River?

One would think there is much more to be concerned about than the building of an apartment complex on the bluff overlooking the Trinity River in downtown Fort Worth...

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Misty Wood Enlightens Me About Diabolically Fishy Bradford Pears

A few days ago I blogged about the trees you see here in a Snowflake Blizzard With Real Desperate Housewives Of Wichita Falls.

In that blogging I wondered what type tree I was seeing which had blown a blizzard of white petal flakes on me.

Then the renowned, appropriately named Texoma horticulturist, Miss D. Wood, also known as Misty Wood, informed me that the type tree which was creating the whiteout of blizzarding flower flakes was known  as a Bradford Pear.

Misty Wood pointed me to an article about the Bradford Pear trees which informed me that It’s official: Bradford Pears are the worst trees, which then led me to KFOR TV's online article in which Oklahoma forestry experts warn against Bradford Pears.

A blurb from the KFOR article...

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Bradford Pear tree looks beautiful but smells terrible, and its scent isn’t the only reason people are cursing the greenery.

“It was deemed the perfect tree. I mean, it’s beautiful in the spring, because it has the flowers and it’s contained. It can grow about anywhere in Oklahoma, and then in the fall it has really great colors,” said Mark Bays, urban forestry coordinator for OK Forestry Services.

They’re also on a watch list for invasive plants in Oklahoma.That’s because, in the last 10 years, the Department of Agriculture started seeing problems with it spreading past its boundaries. “If you have all of these Bradford Pears growing in close proximity to where other native trees are, they start taking from those resources that those native trees need – water in the soil, nutrients in the soil and then they can start crowding out the other trees that naturally should be there,” Bays said.
________________

Among the many complaints about the Bradford Pear one was that it smelled like rotten fish. On my first visit I had not made note of anything fishy. Today when I walked among the Bradford Pears they were no longer sporting any white blooms. And there was nothing fishy about them...

Throwback Thursday Time Machine To Decades Ago

I was looking for a particular photo, scanning through hundreds upon hundreds of non-particular photos, when I came upon the photo you see here.

Since today is Thursday I figured I would indulge in one of my rare instances of participating in that popular Throwback Thursday thing I see on Facebook, where one goes back in time to an earlier era via a photograph.

In this Throwback Thursday photo that would be me on the left.

Standing next to me is Spencer Jack's grandpa, my little brother, Jake, he being the proud papa of my Favorite Nephews, Jason and Joey.

Next to Jake is my little sister, Jackie, the mother of my Favorite Nephews, Christopher and Jeremy, and first wife of my Favorite Brother-in-Law, Jack.

Next to Jackie is my oldest sister, Nancy, currently known as Clancy. This photograph is believed to be the last documented incidence of Clancy wearing a dress.

Missing in this photo is my littlest sister, Michele. I estimate Michele's arrival was around four or five years into the future from the time this photo was taken.

Jackie's hair remains as blonde as it is in this photo. Jackie's sibling's hair color has not remained the same as it is in this photo.

Other than that, except for Clancy, my siblings and I really have not aged all that much since this photo was taken way way way, decades ago, in the previous century....

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Why Bother Voting In Tarrant Regional Water District Board Election?

On May 6, 2017 voting will take place in the Tarrant Regional Water District to elect, or re-elect TRWD Board Members.

Mary Kelleher is running for re-election.

If I were still in the TRWD voting area I would vote for Mary Kelleher.

Or maybe I wouldn't.

Why wouldn't I?

In the last TRWD Board Election the results were so obviously fraudulent that they eventually triggered the biggest voting fraud investigation in Texas history, targeting what may be the most corrupt county in Texas.

Tarrant County.

I have blogged about Tarrant County Election Fraud a number of times....

Evidence Corrupt Tarrant County Political Machine Steals Elections

Tarrant Regional Water District Board Election Fraud

Is The TRWD-Gate Scandal About To Blow Wide Open?

A Noble Look At Probable Election Fraud In The Recent TRWD Board Election

It was the rather obviously fraudulent election results in the last TRWD Board Election which triggered the biggest election  fraud investigation in Texas history.

In that TRWD board election Marty Leonard and Jim Lane were re-elected with a record vote total, topping  the previous record, which was achieved by Mary Kelleher the first time she was elected to the TRWD Board.

Two years ago, Marty Leonard and Jim Lane defeated Craig Bickley and Miki Von Luckner by something like 10,000 votes.

Previously, 10,000 votes was about the number needed to win election to the TRWD Board.

Included in all those extra votes, which re-elected Marty Leonard and Jim Lane, were around 10,000 absentee ballots.

That many absentee ballots is what raised the Election Fraud Red Flag.

I do not know the current status of the supposed state investigation of Tarrant County Election Fraud.

I do not know why anyone, including Mary Kelleher, would go to the bother of running until this Election Fraud question was settled.

I also do not understand how it is that Marty Leonard and Jim Lane have not loudly demanded a resolution to the allegations that they were re-elected fraudulently.

I also do not understand why Marty Leonard and Jim Lane are still TRWD Board Members, as in why they have not, you know, due to their highly ethical  consciences, resigned, whilst demanding a full investigation into how they managed to acquire those thousands of absentee ballots...

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Picht On America's Biggest Boondoggle's Bridge Ghost Town

Yesterday I took a Stormy Look At Zero Panther Island Bridge Motion Progress.

During the course of that stormy look I looked back at a blog post from way back on November 11, 2014 titled A Big Boom Begins Boondoggle Bridge Construction Three Months Late.

That 2014 blog post about the Big Boom was inspired by a bizarre article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram which had instance after instance of ridiculous propaganda, rendered even more ridiculous, reading it again, years later.

That bizarre article, in all its ironic glory, is quoted in its entirety in  the A Big Boom Begins Boondoggle Bridge Construction Three Months Late blogging.

In the Star-Telegram article there is an extremely embarrassing J.D. Granger quote, which was embarrassing way back in 2014, and way more so in 2017, what with those bridges J.D. is touting having turned into a ghost town of abandoned V-Piers.

The J.D. Granger quote...

“The two big things you’ll see over the next year are the three bridges coming out of the ground showing vertical construction — in addition to that, a lot of people have been speculative buying of property waiting for the first sign,” J.D. Granger said.

Bridges coming out of the ground, showing vertical construction? How is that speculative property buying going with those bridges not showing any vertical construction for a year?

Why have J.D. Granger and his coven of cronies not been fired? With an experienced executive project director hired?

Would Kay Granger really block the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision funding if her son was fired from this job for which it is now quite obvious he was not qualified?

Is that the fear?

J.D. must be kept on the public  dole, no matter how inept, to keep his mama happy?

I think both J.D. Granger and his mama should be fired.

Regarding yesterday's stormy look at zero Panther Island progress, one of Fort Worth's seasoned citizens made the following comment...

C Picht has left a new comment on your post "Stormy Look At Zero Panther Island Bridge Motion Progress":

Well, it's like this. The bridges designed by Bing Thom were pretty nice except when they did a hydrological study of the Trinity at the bridge site the volume of water was too great and would cause flooding downstream. So the channel was proposed to be widened to lower the water volume but that would require a longer bridge span. So the bridges were redesigned (inadequately) to accommodate the wider river. But not to worry - the 2009 cost estimate still holds at $208M and won't go up under any circumstances. J D Granger's salary, on the other hand, will go up disproportionately to the success of the project and proportionately to the cost. That's all you need to know. 

Mr. Picht is an amusing, insightful seasoned citizen....

Monday, March 13, 2017

Stormy Look At Zero Panther Island Bridge Motion Progress

Over two years ago, on February 10, 2015, I was in downtown Fort Worth, near where new bridges were supposed to be being constructed.

At that point in time I took the picture you see here, among others, and blogged about what I saw in a blogging titled Taking A Look At The Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Products.

About a year before that, way back in November of 2014, I blogged A Big Boom Begins Boondoggle Bridge Construction Three Months Late about the bizarre TNT exploding ceremony the Trinity River Vision Boondogglers, and its politician enablers, engaged in to mark the start of construction of one of their three simple bridges being built over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

A year later, in October of 2015, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram published one of its more embarrassing pieces of mis-informative propaganda about "Fort Worth's signature V-shaped bridges are under construction and will eventually span the expanded river channel for the Trinity River Vision project." 

I blogged about this Star-Telegram irresponsible act of pseudo journalism in Beautiful Fort Worth V Piers The Likes Of Which The World Has Never Seen.

Six months after the Star-Telegram's ridiculous V-Piers swoon, construction came to a halt. America's Biggest Boondoggle's bridge construction has been halted now for a year. Halted with no explanation and with no local newspaper working to uncover what has gone awry with this aspect of the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision Boondoggle.

Would you not think the Star-Telegram would send one of its intrepid reporters to the ground floor of the Star-Telegram building, where the Trinity River Vision has its headquarters, along with multiple project representations, including 3-D models of all the imaginary wonders this inept, failed public works project claims to be foisting on the public, which the public has never voted for?

Years ago, what eventually became America's Biggest Boondoggle, eminent domain was abused to take property from Fort Worth citizens.

Proper use of eminent domain takes private property for the public good for things like roads, hospitals, schools. With the property owner fully compensated and made whole.

Eminent domain is not supposed to be used for private enterprise. And certainly not when the development scheme increases the property value of some of those enabling the eminent domain abuse. Has there ever been an accounting of Kay Granger's property holdings in the area seen by the Trinity River Vision?

Some of those who had their property stolen fought the theft in court. Some were sued for not accepting the compensation offered. None of this organized crime-like activity has been reported in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

And now, years after property was taken for what was claimed to be a vitally needed flood protection and economic development scheme, nothing has been built to fruition. A project alleged to be vitally needed, and yet enacted in slow motion, or no motion at all, such as is the case with the Boondoggle's bridges.

What follows is a look at one of those notorious bridges no longer being constructed.  These photos are brought to us by one of the victims of the Trinity River Vision's abuse of eminent domain.

In the first picture that aforementioned victim of eminent domain abuse is standing where his business used to be, looking at one of Fort Worth's future tourist attractions.


As we go through these photos we get a closer and closer look at the infamous wooden V-Pier forms.


I have never understood how these piers are supposed to support a road deck.


You reading this in modern parts of America, and the world, have you ever seen something like a bridge under construction looking like the mess you see above?

Before we look further at these photos of the current state of stalled bridge construction I must share with you what the bridges are supposedly supposed to look like upon completion.


The above is from the Trinity River Vision Authority website. Make note of the water channel. With V-Piers in the water.

If you look closely at the above drawing and the illustration at the top you will see that the drawings show two V-Piers, side by side, at each instance of a V-Pier. Did they not get around to building any of the side by side V-Pier pairs? Or did the design get changed?


Again regarding V-Pier pairs, is that what we are seeing above, in the foreground, the foundation of a second V-Pier, awaiting the wooden form being attached to the rebar sticking up out of the top?


How in the world was, or is, cement supposed to be poured in these forms? Maybe the above is not ready for its cement. Supposedly it was a problem with the rebar which brought about the construction halt. I doubt that is the actual reason. I suspect the design failure is much more comprehensive than just a problem with rebar.


Above is a close up look at the foundation of one of the Boondoggle's V-Piers. What a mess.

Looking at this incredibly sloppy construction site, and the V-Piers, several questions come to my mind.

First off, the foundations for the V-Piers.

Was a big hole dug, with a lot of cement poured into the hole, so as to make a solid, impervious to movement, foundation for the V-Piers, and the road deck to be built above the V-Piers?

If cement is poured onto those wooden forms, and the supports then removed, how do the V's not collapse to the ground?

One of the Boondoggle's, and its partner in propaganda, the Star-Telegram's, more ridiculous pieces of misinformation has been that these bridges are being built over dry land so as to save money.

When the fact of the matter is that no water will flow under these bridges until a ditch is dug under them and water is diverted from the Trinity River into that ditch.

In other words, there never was any reasonable option other than building these simple bridges over dry land.

And that is another element I do not understand. That being the ditch. So, you have the bridges built. And now you dig a ditch under the bridges, with V-Piers in the ditch? How do you dig a ditch under an existing bridge without creating all sorts of engineering problems?

If this was just local foolishness with the locals wasting their own money on this inept nonsense it really would be no one's business but the locals, but this inept project is being funded with federal money, to the tune, currently, of more than a half billion bucks.

I do not think most of the Fort Worth locals have any problem with being the host to America's Biggest Boondoggle. Else wise the locals would not have re-elected Kay Granger. Obviously the Fort Worth locals are totally okay with America's Biggest Boondoggle and Kay's son, J.D., being the Executive Director of something most of America would not  tolerate.

But, most of  America does not operate in the Fort Worth Way.

Thank God.....

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Storm Clouds Over Fort Worth's Trinity River Vision Boondoggle

What you are looking at here is the likely future site of a historical marker explaining why those V shaped structures are sticking up out of the ground at this location. sort of a modern era Stonehenge, without the mystery as to how the structures came to be.

I screen capped that which you see here after someone special Facebook tagged me in that particular post.

This photo was taken from the location of one of the many properties stolen years ago, via eminent domain abuse, so that the property could be used as part of what is currently a failed economic development scheme known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision.

More commonly known  as  America's Biggest  Boondoggle.

Those structures pointing to the cloudy sky are wooden V-pier forms that were supposed to be bridge supports for one of the simple little bridges America's Biggest Boondoggle was trying to build over dry land.

Something went dire wrong with the Boondoggle's bridge construction about a year ago, leaving the construction zone the abandoned wasteland you see above.

You reading this in sane locations in America. Your federal tax dollars are helping pay for this nonsense, with those federal funds secured by Fort Worth's congresswoman, Kay Granger, whose unqualified son, J.D., was made the Executive Director of this project (which has become America's  Biggest  Boondoggle) in order to motivate J.D.'s mother to help keep him employed until he reaches retirement age.

Hence this embarrassing public works project dawdling along in slow motion, year after year after year after year. With little to show for the effort.

Well, there are those cool monuments to hubris, nepotism, corruption and eminent domain abuse piercing the Fort Worth sky. We can credit the Boondoggle's vision for those...

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Bogusity On The Circle Trail With Elsie Hotpepper's Laundry

On this last Saturday with the time still Standard, before time springs forward an hour, so as to supposedly save a Daylight hour, I opted to take myself on a noontime walk north on the Circle Trail, eventually entering my Caribbean neighborhood via the town in Spain called Granada, before making my way to Barbados and Haiti.

Whilst on the Circle Trail I saw that which you see here. What appears to be a paternal parental unit watching his boys wade in the pristine waters of Holliday Creek as it rampages through Holliday Gorge on its way to the Wichita River.

Recently I discovered my phone has "scene" settings. The above photo was taken in "spring scene" mode. This mode renders a photo which looks like a hyper reality version of what my eyes actually saw.

In Fort Worth rendering a hyper reality photo version of a scene is known as Luenserizing. It has been awhile since I have seen a  Luenserized photo of some Fort Worth scene. Did the locals wise up to the bogusity of that type photo propaganda and put an end to that nonsense?

I have no idea. But I sure like that word I made up.

Bogusity.

The act of doing something bogus. Or fake.

Even though the sun is currently blocked by a thick layer of clouds the outer world was heated into the 60s whilst I was out in it today. Quite pleasant.

As I walked along the Circle Trail I got a text message from Elsie Hotpepper. I would then sit on a Circle Trail bench to reply and then by the time I had walked a few hundred feet to the next Circle Trail bench a new Hotpepper message would arrive. Very convenient.

Mostly this series of Hotpepper text messages had to do with Elsie's new relationship with Laundry. Due to the cryptic nature of the Hotpepper replies I was unable to glean many details about this Laundry relationship....

Why Is Record Construction Frenzy Not Sweeping Downtown Fort Worth?

This blogging falls into the category of things I read in west coast online news sources, usually the Seattle  Times, which I would be shocked to be reading in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about some similar thing happening in Fort Worth.

Fort Worth has been attempting to have itself a construction frenzy in its downtown zone for most of this century.

Early this century Fort Worth copied a voted-on-by-the-Dallas-public public works project known as the Trinity River Corridor Project.

A couple years after Dallas voters approved their Trinity River Corridor Project a copy cat plan was foisted  on the Fort Worth public, without a public vote.

The Fort Worth river project was originally known at the Trinity River Vision. But, years later, is now known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision.

Or, more commonly, America's Biggest  Boondoggle.

One element of the Dallas river vision is three signature bridges over the Trinity River. Two of those bridges have been built.

Meanwhile, Fort Worth's copycat vision also tried to see three signature bridges, but those bridges eventually became three non-signature simple little bridges being built over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

The construction of Fort Worth's simple bridges began a couple years ago, with an astonishing four year project timeline. However, due to design errors, construction on those simple little bridges has been halted since last March.

No one knows if or when those bridges will ever get built. Or exact details as to the nature of the design errors.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram does not cover local issues, like a bridge building scandal or a public works project's inept mismanagement.

Three paragraphs from the Seattle Times Record construction frenzy sweeps downtown Seattle; more building to come of the sort you likely will never read in the Star-Telegram about similar  activity in downtown Fort Worth.

Seattle’s historic building boom somehow keeps soaring to new heights, and probably won’t slow down anytime soon.

Last June, the Downtown Seattle Association found a record number of buildings were under construction, at least since it began counting in 2005.

But that mark didn’t last long. In its newest tally, released Thursday, the group found 68 major buildings under construction in the greater downtown area at the end of 2016, a new high-point from at least the previous 11 years.

How is it that Fort  Worth has had a supposedly vitally important economic development (along with an unneeded flood control aspect) underway for most of this century with little to show for the effort? Let alone any sort of building boom.

Well, to be fair, and I am always fair, the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision has completed that important aluminum homage to a trash can at the center of the completed roundabout near the wooden V-pier monuments to bad engineering.

Also, to be fair, the TRCCUPID Vision did manage to open a wakeboard park, which quickly became a boondoggle  metaphor for the entire Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision with the wakeboard park's bad design, bad economic model and inept execution.  America's Biggest  Boondoggle has also managed to open an ice skating rink for a few weeks in winter.

And, let us not forget to make note of America's Biggest Boondoggle's success at putting Fort Worth on the map by being the only major American city to host Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats in a polluted river requiring regular testing to make sure the e.coli level is low enough to be safe for humans. With this Rockin' of the River taking place at an imaginary pavilion, on an imaginary island, touted as being the biggest urban waterfront music venue in Texas.

Among the downtown Seattle projects currently under construction is another expansion to the Washington State Convention Center. This is a $1.4 billion expansion. Many of the downtown Seattle construction projects are residential towers. And more downtown hotels.

Unlike Fort Worth, market forces are bringing about the hotel and residential construction, without the need for public assistance, such as Fort Worth required to get the town a new convention center hotel.

Maybe Fort Worth could try that increasing the minimum wage thing, which Seattle enacted a year or two ago, and see if that helps stimulate the sleepy town from its moribund doldrums.

Fort Worth also might want to consider hiring real project engineers to direct its projects, rather than giving the job to a local politician's offspring, so as to  motivate  that politician to secure federal pork barrel funds.

Towns wearing their BIG CITY pants do not rely on corrupt nepotism to secure money for their town's projects. Fort Worth might want to consider sending out an Investigative Task Force to try and discover how it is some  towns manage to graduate to wearing BIG CITY pants rather than small town knickers...

Friday, March 10, 2017

Spencer Jack May Move Somewhere South

Shocking news from Washington.

Text message, with photo documentation, from Spencer Jack's dad, my Favorite Nephew, Jason...

Spencer and I are considering moving south. It snowed in Anacortes yesterday.

I do not know why Spencer Jack and his dad have suddenly become such weather babies.

Maybe it is because they have experienced escaping the Western Washington winter a time or two for warmer southern climates, like that which one finds in Disneyland at Christmas, or Arizona.

Apparently, for months now, the sun has only rarely made appearances in the Western Washington sky, according to another bit of photo documentation from Spencer Jack and his dad.

According to that other bit of photo documentation Seattle has had only 3 sunny, mild days since October.

I do not know, for sure, what counts as a mild day. But I suspect a cold day, with the temperature in sub-freeze mode, but with a clear blue sky does not count as a mild day.

Now, that view of downtown Seattle does look a bit gloomy. Without the cloud cover, from this view, one would be seeing Mount Rainier hovering to the south.

At my current southern location, a couple thousand miles from Seattle, the sky was mostly blue yesterday, with the air heated to somewhere in the 80 degree realm. Today there is a chance of rain, supposedly, with the air chilled from yesterday's 80s to somewhere in the 60s.

Brrrr.....

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Snowflake Blizzard With Real Desperate Housewives Of Wichita Falls

Yesterday, walking along the Circle Trail, with a strong warm wind blowing from the south, I suddenly found myself in a blizzard of white snowflakes.

The white snowflakes were not frozen. They were blowing from the trees you see here.

Spring has already sprung in North Texas. These trees, sprouting white snowflake flowers, have sprouted into blooming mode since I walked by them just a couple days ago.

I don't know what brand of tree these are. Texas Whitebuds? White Crape Myrtles? White Cherry Tree blossoms? I have no idea. However, I do know a Texas horticulturist known as Miss Julie who knows the answers to these type tree questions.

Changing  the subject.

There is this Wichita Falls lady I know who is known as Mrs. Brown. I do not know if Mrs. Brown has a lovely daughter or not.

Yesterday, via Mrs. Brown, I found  myself invited to a social networking event tonight at the Wiskeyta Club.

Near as I can tell this is a meet and greet type production of a group known as the Real Desperate Housewives of Wichita Falls.

During the course of my time in Wichita Falls I have met multiple housewives. I have not experienced any of them as being a particularly desperate type of housewife. Several have seemed quite real though.

I do not know if Mrs. Brown is a Real Desperate Housewife of Wichita Falls, or simply an invitee, such as me, to their soiree at the Wiskeyta Club.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Texas #1 In College Campus Hate Group Recruiting

Shocking news this morning.

Texas, one of the nation's most progressive liberal states, for some apparently unfathomable reason, has more hate groups recruiting haters on college campuses than any of the other states in the union.

The Texas State Legislature has shelved its ongoing in depth discussions about bathrooms to make time for discussing this latest instance of Texas being #1.

This new poetic license ethic regarding "news" is really liberating.

In other words, I made up that bit about the Texas State Legislature ceasing with their ongoing bathroom debates in order to debate more important issues.

The reality of this Texas being #1 in college campus hate group recruiting is that this "news" is not all that shocking.

Hate groups are more of a Southern thing than a Northern, Western, Midwestern or Northeastern thing.

Well, except for  Idaho.

So, since Texas is, by far, the biggest state in the South, both in size and population, it seems logical that Texas college campuses would attract more hate group recruiters than any of the other states where such bad behavior is prone to exist.

I  have not made note of any hate group recruiters making their presence known at my neighborhood Texas college, Midwestern  State University. From what I have seen of the MSU students I don't think such behavior would be tolerated...

In Fort Worth That Trump Boy Don't Act Right

I do not remember where it was I saw that which you see here. Most likely it was via Facebook.

A Lone Man holding a sign which opines the opinion, "TRUMP THAT BOY DON'T ACT RIGHT'.

I could not tell, for certain, that the needed apostrophe was between N and T on the sign.

Above the Lone Man, and his sign, the road sign indicates he is on Granbury Road.

I am assuming this is Granbury Road in Fort Worth. Maybe at the intersection of Granbury Road and Seminary Drive.

Among Fort Worth's 800,000, give or take a person or two, population there are some highly intelligent individuals who possess common sense and an evolved conscience. I know this because I met a few of them during my long incarceration in Fort Worth.

I do not know if I have met this Lone Man with the sign, but due to the message on the Lone Man's sign, I am fairly certain he is a highly intelligent individual who possesses common sense and a conscientious conscience.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Stunning Sikes Lake Wind With Wichita Bluff Views

Til this morning I forgot that yesterday my phone had recorded that which you see here.

A blooming tree of some sort being colorful at Sikes Lake, clearly indicating spring is bout to be sprung.

Cherry tree? Crape Myrtle? I have no idea.

Yesterday morning I returned books to the Wichita Falls Public Library. After that I checked in on the progress at the Wichita Bluff Nature Area, where I quickly determined progress towards completion is progressing quickly.

Such was confirmed this morning via an article in the Wichita Falls Times News Record about stunning views awaiting the Wichita Bluff project's completion.


More often than not the use of that "stunning" word strikes me as ridiculous hyperbole. Actual stunning views are not seen all that often. When you think about it, when was the last time, if ever, you were stunned by a view?

With out thinking too long about it, some of the views I can remember possibly being stunned by are the first time I saw the Grand Canyon, Zion Canyon, Delicate Arch in Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon, Mount Rainier up close, the Railroad Grade Coleman Glacier trail on Mount Baker, multiple other Cascade Mountain trail views and likely multiple other stunning views I am not remembering right now.

Like Devils Tower in Wyoming, that is another view which may have stunned me. Just remembered another one, Houseboating on Lake Powell takes one to one stunning scenic view after another, including the stunner known as Rainbow Bridge.

Maybe if one has never seen anything of the extremely scenic sort one might be stunned by the views one sees on the Wichita Bluffs.

Yesterday I was stunned at Sikes Lake, but not by anything scenic. I was stunned by strong gusts of warm wind. That and that stunningly colorful tree you see at the top....

Monday, March 6, 2017

Underappreciated American Cities Other Than Fort Worth You Should Totally Move To

No, that is not Fort Worth's Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District you are looking at here.

Though I can understand how someone might think so, what with this looking sort of like some of the propaganda which has been foisted on the apparently easily duped Fort Worth citizenry by dupers employed by the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision.

I saw that which you see here in an article titled, all in capitals, UNDERAPPRECIATED AMERICAN CITIES YOU SHOULD TOTALLY MOVE TO.

The underappreciated city you see above, with its already installed river vision, is Providence, Rhode Island.

Fort Worth was not one of the listed underappreciated cities. But, Houston was. I read the article and still don't understand how Houston is underappreciated.  San Diego and Salt Lake City apparently are also underappreciated.

Most of the underappreciated cities I had some awareness of.

A recognized level of national awareness may have been one of the criteria for a city being underappreciated, as in Americans had to have some awareness of the city. Which might explain Fort Worth not being underappreciated. Even though Fort Worth is becoming better known, what with being the host city for what has become known as America's Biggest Boondoggle.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is another of the underappreciated American cities cited in this list of towns you should totally move  to.


As you can see, Milwaukee also has what appears to be its own version of a river vision, already installed and floating boats.

Meanwhile, in underappreciated Fort Worth, that town's river vision has been blindly stumbling along for most of this century, with no project timeline and ever shifting project completion dates.

Such as a couple years ago construction began with a TNT explosion on three simple little bridges being built over dry land, with an incredibly long four year construction timeline. About a year ago construction on those bridges halted due to design errors, with that halt, at the time, only supposed to last about a month. It is now a year later. Anyone seen any action on that one bridge stuck with its wooden V piers piercing the sky?

During the stalled bridge construction period, the project's executive director, Kay Granger's son, J.D., told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that most of the project's infrastructure should be completed by 2023.

The slow motion progress of this project does not much seem to bother the locals. I don't think the majority of the Fort Worth locals have any awareness that public works projects, never submitted to a public vote, built in slow motion, directed by an unqualified local politicians's son, criminally abusing eminent domain, is not the norm in modern democratic locations in America and the world.

Meanwhile, on a sort of related note. Recently the parent of America's Biggest  Boondoggle, the Tarrant Regional Water District, had one of its meetings. These meetings are recorded in video form, viewable by anyone who wants to look.

A couple days ago Elsie Hotpepper emailed me regarding the most recent TRWD meeting with a link to the meeting's video, along with telling me to "check out Agenda  Item 13 on the last TRWD meeting, where at the 1:18 mark Mary Kelleher tries to get J.D. Granger to answer a simple question."

The questioning had something to do with funding America's Biggest Boondoggle, cost estimates, or changing budget estimates, or some such thing. Mary Kelleher asks J.D. who approves the change, to which J.D. answers "the Congress", to which Mary Kelleher asks the question again. And again. After several repeats, back and forth, Mary Kelleher finally pins J.D. down regarding it being J.D.'s mother, not the entire Congress, who is responsible for whatever it is that is being questioned.

I did not listen to the entire meeting and all its agenda items. Was the Boondoggle's bridge debacle discussed? I suspect no is the answer to that question....

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Spencer Jack Blizzard Geographically Confuses Me

Yesterday Spencer Jack and his dad, my Favorite Nephew Jason, sent me that which you see here.

Along with a text message which said...

Just another PNW Blizzard with more snow expected tonight.

I do not know how I ever managed to live in that frigid climate. A couple days ago I read somewhere that February was the coldest on record in my old home zone of Washington.

I have received no reports of the expected additional snow adding to the alleged  blizzard accumulation.

When I saw this picture it was yet one more iteration of an incident  where I find myself having trouble remembering geographic details of my old home zone.

It took me a minute or two to realize that in this picture Spencer Jack and Jason are heading down the hill which has Lincoln Elementary School behind them. Is this called Lincoln Hill? I don't remember, but that does not sound right.

I realized what I was looking at when I noticed Mount Vernon's Tulip Tower in the distance. Which indicated that at the bottom of the hill Spencer Jack and Jason would be either getting on I-5 or going under I-5 to downtown Mount Vernon.

At my current location north of being deep in the heart of Texas there was no blizzard yesterday. And no snow today.  Instead the air is currently being heated to one degree less than 60, under a gray, cloudy sky, which has done a little dripping.

Tomorrow the high is scheduled to reach 84...

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Apparently Neo-Nazis Are Known To Operate In Wichita Falls

Yesterday I happened upon The complete list of American cities where neo-Nazis are known to operate.

This complete list listed the states in which neo-Nazis are operating and the cities in those states where the neo-Nazi operations are supposedly taking place.

Both my old home state of Washington, and the state in which I currently reside, had towns on the neo-Nazi list.

The town I resided in in Washington, prior to moving to Texas, Mount Vernon, is not on the list of Washington towns where neo-Nazis supposedly operate.

Seattle and Spokane are the Washington towns alleged to be harboring neo-Nazis operations.

Mount Vernon may not be a neo-Nazi town, but, the town I reside in currently, Wichita Falls, is on the list of four Texas towns in which the neo-Nazis are supposedly doing their operating.

In addition to Wichita Falls, the Texas towns with neo-Nazis supposedly operating are Austin, San Antonio and Dallas.

I have no way of knowing if by "Dallas" this neo-Nazi list means Dallas/Fort Worth.

Some states, according to this neo-Nazi listing, have no neo-Nazis operating. Such as the state I was born in, Oregon, supposedly has no town with neo-Nazis operating.

And Idaho, a state well known for its surplus of skinheads and lunatic fringe types, supposedly has no towns in which neo-Nazis are known to operate.

Since I have been in Wichita Falls I have seen nothing which has seemed to be of the neo-Nazi ilk.

I have seen some extremely odd tattoo installations combined with odd haircuts whilst walking among shoppers in Wichita Falls' Walmarts.

Maybe I have been obliviously shopping amongst neo-Nazis whilst in Walmart, with zero awareness of such.

But, I don't see how one could be much of a neo-Nazi hater type and shop at the local Walmarts, what with the diversity of people I see shopping and working there.

I wonder when and where the Wichita Falls neo-Nazis meet? Are the meetings open to the public? I have not experienced anything new for a week or two. Attending a neo-Nazi meeting would qualify as doing something new...

Friday, March 3, 2017

Texas Almost Makes Bottom 10 In U.S.News & World Report 50 Best States Rankings

No, my one regular blog reader, what you are looking at here is not a group of Goobers in the polluted Trinity River getting ready to enjoy a Fort Worth Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Float.

The clean water and that volcano looming in the background likely clued you to the fact this is not a look at Fort Worth or any other location in Texas.

What you are looking at is Lake  Washington with Mount Rainier hovering high in the distance. This was an illustrative photo in a Seattle Times article titled Washington is best West Coast state in new national ranking — and 5th overall.

I clicked on the article to quickly learn this national ranking deal was a U.S. News & World Report production titled Best States Rankings.

Using dozens of various measuring metrics U.S. News & World Report made its important Best States determination.

The Top Ten Best States are...

#1  Massachusetts
#2  New Hampshire
#3  Minnesota
#4  North Dakota
#5  Washington
#6  Iowa
#7  Utah
#8  Maryland
#9  Colorado
#10  Vermont

North Dakota at #4? I am guessing treatment of protesters was not factored into the rankings.

And then we have the Bottom Ten Worst States...

#41  West Virginia
#42  Kentucky
#43  Alaska
#44  Oklahoma
#45  South Carolina
#46  New Mexico
#47  Alabama
#48  Arkansas
#49  Mississippi
#50  Louisiana

I am guessing you thought Texas was going to be in the Bottom Ten. Well, you guessed wrong. Texas missed out being in the Bottom Ten, but almost made it there...

#38 Texas

You can click the Best States Rankings link to see the entire list of 50 and learn how these important determinations were made.