Friday, March 31, 2017

No Wichita Falls Sirens Yesterday While Tornado Touches Down In Monroe Washington

This blogging falls into the category of being a variant of blogging about something I read in a west coast online news source which I would not expect to be reading in a Texas online news source, such as the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, about something in Texas.

In other words. It is not unusual to read an article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about a tornado or two touching down in the D/FW zone.

However, it is unusual to read an article in the Seattle Times about a tornado touching down in the Western Washington zone.

In this case, the town of Monroe, where a tornado touched down yesterday, Thursday morning, knocking over a couple RVs, tossing a trampoline and doing some damage to a car.

I do not think the Monroe tornado is going to warrant an F rating.

Monroe is in Snohomish County, If my memory is working correctly Monroe is about 40 miles slightly northeast of Seattle, 20 miles east of Everett, maybe 50 miles slightly southeast of my old home zone in the Skagit Valley.

I hope this Western Washington tornado is not part of a trend, brought about by the ongoing climate change. There are no Tornado Sirens in Western Washington. Tsunami Evacuation Routes, and Volcano Eruption Evacuation Routes. But, no Tornado Sirens....

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Again Hoping To See Fort Worth Boondoggle's Bridge Under Construction

Yesterday, or maybe it was the day before yesterday, an incoming email informed me that Mr. W had mentioned me in Facebook. Or maybe it was that Mr. W had flagged me. I don't remember if it was a mentioning or a flagging. Maybe it was both.

Anyway, when I went to Facebook to see why or what was mentioned or flagged I saw that which you see here.

Mr. and Mrs. W live in a penthouse atop a bluff in downtown Fort Worth overlooking the Trinity River and the area known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision, more commonly known as America's Biggest Boondoggle.

With Mr. and Mrs. W having a Bird's Eye View of America's Biggest Boondoggle in mind, upon first look, I thought I was seeing a photo Mr. W took of America's Biggest Boondoggle's bridges once again under construction.

I only thought such for a second or two, then realized that flat area was not flat Fort Worth land, and that that could not be Fort Worth, what with those hills in the background. If such hills existed in the relatively flat Fort Worth area the hills would likely be known as mountains.

What we are actually looking at above is not a bridge being built over dry land. What we are looking at is a bridge being built over one of the Pacific Ocean's bays called San Francisco Bay, which would make that bridge being constructed the Golden Gate Bridge.

The Golden Gate Bridge, built over water, took about four years to build. I have mentioned this a time or two previous, including mentioning it in Spencer Jack Has Me Wondering Why It Will Take Fort Worth Longer To Build 3 Puny Bridges Over Nothing Than It Took To Build The Golden Gate Bridge.

A couple years ago Fort Worth started building three simple little bridges over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island. That construction  has been halted for over a year, due to the extremely complex engineering problems involved when one builds a bridge over dry land, unlike easy bridge construction, such as the Golden Gate, built over water which moves swiftly due to this phenomenon called tides.

I have blogged about the pitiful Fort Worth bridge building and America's Biggest Boondoggle dozens of times, with one of the most recent times Looking For What Fort Worth's Stalled Boondoggle Needs To Find.

Has anyone seen a Fort Worth Star-Telegram article this month mentioning the one year anniversary of  America's Biggest Boondoggle's stalled bridge construction? How about Fort Worth Weekly?

Fort Worth Weekly used to be the closest thing Fort Worth had to a real newspaper. And then Fort Worth Weekly lost Gayle Reaves with Fort Worth Weekly quickly declining relevance to reality-wise.

Maybe 60 Minutes will come to Fort Worth and do an expose of America's Biggest Boondoggle and the Granger Cartel.

America  deserves  to see the ridiculousness it is helping pay for....

Throwback Thursday To Gar The Texan's Buffalo Butt Beer Swilling Smoking Hot German

This would be one of the rare instances of me participating in what is known as Throwback Thursday.

Long ago, early in this century, the year may have been 2002, possibly 2003, for reasons I no longer remember, I somehow agreed to take Gar the Texan and his then girl friend on a tour of the DFW zone.

Well, the western half of the DFW zone.

Well, pretty much the western half of the western half of the DFW zone.

Anyway, this latest of Gar the Texan's long line of girl friends was one he had met in Germany. She was making her first visit to America, to visit Gar the Texan.

During the course of this extremely long tour of the western half of the western half of the DFW zone I took the tour to the Fort Worth Stockyards.

During the course of wandering the Stockyards eventually we ended up at the location you see above.

Booger Red's Saloon.

Where we had ourselves some of Booger Red's famous Buffalo Butt Beer.

That would be Gar the Texan on the saddle seat in the foreground, with his German girl friend on the saddle seat next to him, enjoying one of her German cigarettes between sips of Buffalo Butt Beer.

I did not get to spend much time with Gar the Texan's German girl friend, but I did spend enough time to conclude she was a keeper. What is not to like about a fraulein who can chain smoke German cigarettes while chugging a gallon of Buffalo Butt Beer?

It did not surprise me to learn, a month or two later, that Gar the Texan and his German girl friend were getting married. The international chemistry was obvious even to my oblivious eyes.

That international union lasted the 2nd or 3rd longest of Gar the Texan's many marriages. Eventually the German was replaced with a good, wholesome, All-American Idahoan who does not smoke and has the good sense to not chug Buffalo Butt Beer, or sit on a saddle in Booger Red's Saloon.

Until the next time, that is my Throwback Thursday for now....

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Texas Storm Chasers Killed Tracking Tornado Causes Skagit Darwinian Selection Thoughts

Earlier on this final Wednesday of 2017's version of March, regarding the past 24 hours, I mentioned It Was A Long Stormy Night Last Night In North Texas and that my Favorite Nephew Jason last night had inquired about what I was experiencing storm-wise.

Then, in this morning's email there was an interesting email from Jason in which he opined regarding the current state of Darwinian Selection in America, you know, that Survival of the Fittest concept where the most worthy have the best luck at passing on their genes to the next generation.

Jason's Darwinian Selection email in its entirety...

FUD --

Earlier today, I had concerns that Darwinism is dead.

Spencer and I checked out some books from the library last night.   This lead me to reading about Skagit pioneers first hand stories of settling the towns of Hamilton, the defunct Sauk City, Lyman, etc. circa the 1890s era.

There can be a lot to be learned by this one particular book.

I was reminded that both men and women often left the family home at a young age.  People, mostly women, sought out strong, smart significant others for reasons of pure survival.

If they followed the weak dumb ones, survival wasn't an option.  Or often lead to a miserable life.

In the book, worries of mother nature were of a concern.  Living close to a raging untamed river with ample dangerous wild life, amongst other dangers, were a daily concern.  Some figured it out, some didn't.

Today I talked to a young woman who works for me about the importance of finding the right mate.  I told her that Darwinism doesn't seem to weed out the dumb like it use to.  I explained that modern governments, perhaps our own, has set up a system to easily reproduce stupid people.  I let her know that I was reading a book last night about a young women who picked a smart husband and avoided tragedy many times over.

I stressed my theory, that being that life will be more pleasant if you choose to surround yourself, or perhaps cohabitate, with the intelligent. 

I further went on to explain my frustration that dumb people thrive in the 2017 version of USA living.

Until tonight's reminder news:  Storm chasers killed in pursuit of tornado

Going to bed tonight, knowing for sure that Darwin's theory still proves true.  At least in Texas.


Now, I do not know if the three Storm Chasers who met an untimely end were Texans. All I know is they met their untimely end in Texas. West Texas to be precise. Two of the Storm Chasers did so for the Weather Channel.

In the CNN video one of the Storm Chasers is quoted as saying something like 'half the people wanna join us as Storm Chasers, while the other half think we are nuts".

Many Storm Chasers are scientists doing investigate field work, chasing storms so as to gather data to help better understand tornado behavior. So, I don't know if Storm Chasers fit the profile of someone doing a risky behavior due to, well, lacking common sense, and then meeting an untimely end, thus enhancing humanity by eliminating them from the gene pool, also known as Darwinian Selection.

But, regardless of that, Jason had some interesting  ideas regarding the current dumbing down of America and what it may mean for the Survival of the American Species....

It Was A Long Stormy Night Last Night In North Texas

Last night, around half past eight, my time, Spencer Jack's dad, my Favorite Nephew Jason, text messaged me asking...

Have you been hit by a thunderstorm tonight? NBC Nightly News reported severe weather for your region.

I replied a long reply which basically said no thunderstorm had yet struck my location, but such was expected to happen as the night progressed.

Sometime around midnight rain being to fall, with some frozen pellets of small size mixed in, judging the pellets to be small because they did not make much noise. Eventually thunder did boom. But the lightning strikes never got closer than about five miles, judging by counting the seconds between flash and boom.

When I woke up my phone this morning I saw Miss Puerto Rico had texted me at two in the morning, telling me all hell have broken out at her location in east Fort Worth, with the power knocked out, wicked wind blowing and tornado sirens blaring.

Soon thereafter, whilst checking in on my various online news sources, I was to learn DFW was hit hard by last night's storm, with tornadoes, hail damage, other wind damage and thousands with their power knocked out.

As you can see above, via the view looking north this morning on the Wichita Falls Circle Trail, the sky is still looking a bit stormy. The wind is still blowing, but the temperature is in the mid 60s, so I was able to have myself a pleasant endorphin inducing high speed walk in my Caribbean neighborhood, going as far as Haiti and then visiting Barbados.

I heard from Miss Puerto Rico a short while ago that her power is still out. I have now been in Wichita Falls for almost a year, with nary a single power outage, not even a flicker.

I think we may be in for a very stormy, windy spring in North Texas and Tornado Alley....

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

17th Anniversary Of Downtown Fort Worth Tornado

I was surprised today when I read it was 17 years ago today that I experienced my first Texas tornado. It seems way more recent than that.

A couple hours from now, 17 years ago, I was driving to downtown Fort Worth, heading south from my Haslet home location, in far north Fort Worth. The house was in Haslet, the mailbox was in Fort Worth.

I was heading to the University of North Texas Medical Center area to meet up with someone, for reasons I no longer remember.

As I headed south I was seeing a weather phenomenon the likes of which I'd never seen. A big dark greenish gray wall of clouds, looking a sort of ominous which seemed to be obvious danger. Lightning was bolting in the greenish gray cloud.

I was a couple miles south of my abode, driving on Blue Mound Road when my phone rang. It was the person I was heading to meet telling me to turn around, that something bad was underway in the downtown Fort Worth zone.

At that point in time it was not  known by the caller that that bad thing was a tornado.  All she knew was everyone had been ordered to head to a safe place.

I did as instructed and turned around. By the time I got back to my abode the proverbial all hell had broken loose.

Huge balls of hail pounded the roof with a volume of noise which made it sound as if the roof could not last long before being pummeled into oblivion.

I do not remember at what point I learned tornadoes had struck Fort Worth. At some point in time during the following hours I learned a young man had been killed by grapefruit sized hail which struck him as he was heading to his car, hoping to move it to cover.

Eventually we learned of the tornadoes, and gradually of the damage done, and others killed. It was hours later I learned the person I had been heading to meet was safe.

I do not remember if it was the following day, or several days later that I pedaled my bike past the barriers blocking off downtown Fort Worth and took photos of the damage. You can see those photos on the webpage  I made about the Fort Worth Tornado. That is three of the photos, in thumbnail version, you see above.

Today, on this 17th Anniversary of the deadly, destructive Fort Worth tornado, the forecast for North Texas is for possibly severe thunderstorms, with hail. The type weather which spawns tornadoes...

Monday, March 27, 2017

Another Smoking Hot Wichita Falls Wok Up Call

In all the years at my previous Texas location I never set off all the fire alarms. As of today I have now done so twice, within a year, at my new Texas location.

Both alarming incidents have been Chinese food related.

The first occurred a couple months ago. I had turned the wok heating unit on high, inserted some oil into the wok, and them went to another room to attend to something else.

When I walked back to the kitchen I instantly saw flames shooting out of the wok. I moved fast and removed the wok from its heat source. And then compounded the problem by pouring flaming oil into the sink.

Pouring flaming wok oil into a sink had a sort of explosive effect.

Soon after the explosion I was able to put out the flames, but not before enough smoke had been generated to set of a half dozen real noisy fire alarms. I quickly opened windows and doors and then one by one killed the fire alarms. Some of the alarms have a button, such as you see above, which one holds down to shut it up.

Literally shut it up. Four of the alarms in this place turn into the robot on Lost in  Space, robotically repeating  "WARNING WARNING WARNING EVACUATE TO A SAFE  PLACE WARNING WARNING WARNING" over and over again. Four alarms in verbal warning mode at once is pretty much an annoying cacophony.

Pushing the shut up button turns the message into something less dramatic, like "You are turning off the fire alarm. Are you sure there is no danger?" Or something like that. It happens so fast it's hard to remember, and I don't feel like starting a fire, whilst holding paper and pen, to get an exact quote.

Two of the alarms do not have a shut up button. To shut them up requires yanking them from the ceiling and pulling the battery.

With today's incident there were no flames, just a little smoke. I was peacefully stirring a wok full of various vegetables when suddenly the nearest fire alarm went off, followed by the others. I quickly removed the wok from its heat source and opened windows and doors and began the shutting up the alarms process.

From this day forth I will try to remember to open the window which is adjacent to the woking location so as to not  go through this a third time...

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Thrashing No Pecan Trees Today In Lucy Park

I have been having myself  some computer aggravation the past two days. Usually I figure out what is causing this type aggravation and then be done with it.

This instance of computer aggravation continues with the cause still  a mystery. I  am giving up typing for now to try some more to figure out what is wrong.

Okay, I am back. Right now I am back typing and so far, with no aggravation.

To escape my computer I went to Lucy Park today for a pleasant Sunday stroll.

That would make that the Lucy Park suspension bridge you are looking at above. A bridge over the Wichita River, built, I assume, when water was flowing through the river, and not the preferred Fort Worth method of slowly trying to build bridges over dry land.

I also assume the Lucy Park Suspension Bridge was likely built in much less time than the now five year projected construction timeline of Fort Worth's pitiful little bridges being built over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island, originally with a four year construction timeline, but currently stalled for over a year.

After crossing the Wichita River via a swaying suspension bridge I was stopped by the sign year see below.

In Lucy Park a sign STOPs one with a warning "DO NOT THRASH PECAN TREES". I have no idea how or why one would want to thrash a pecan tree. The tree right next to this sign was a big oak with a lot of acorns on the ground. I do not know if it is okay to thrash the Lucy Park oak trees.

Flowers were a-blooming today in Lucy Park. I am fairly certain the blooms I saw were not wildflowers. The blooms seemed too organized to be wildflowers.

Above is an example of the aforementioned flowers a-blooming. There were being colorful at the base of the Lucy Park Japanese Pagoda.

Does anyone know why there are so many Japanese style pagoda type structures at various locations in Wichita Falls?

Did Wichita Falls host a Japanese Internment Camp during World  War II. Are the Japanese pagodas some sort of homage to that bad behavior from long ago when Japanese-Americans were unfairly, wrongly victimized?

Well, I seem to have successfully managed to type a few words with nothing interfering. After multiple restores and restarts and file deletions are my compu-woes now over?  I certainly hope so....

Friday, March 24, 2017

Looking For What Fort Worth's Stalled Boondoggle Needs To Find

I saw what you see here this morning in the Seattle Times. Another instance of something I read in a west coast online news source I would not be expecting to be reading in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about something going on in Fort Worth and the county of Tarrant, in which Fort Worth is located.

In the $225 million more needed to build light rail across I-90 bridge article there were a couple bits info of the sort one would not be reading about Fort Worth's bizarre Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision, affectionately known as America's Biggest Boondoggle.

Five paragraphs from the Seattle Times article....

The cost to build light rail on Interstate 90 between Seattle and Bellevue has zoomed $225 million higher than Sound Transit once estimated, now that final engineering work has revealed the challenge of retrofitting the roadway.

Transit-board members voted unanimously to approve a contract increase Thursday afternoon with construction group Kiewit-Hoffman.

The additional money would come out of contingency funds for the Eastside line, without causing delays or a tax increase.

The vote raises the contract amount to $712 million for 7 miles of work, from the International District/Chinatown Station to South Bellevue. It’s a crucial phase in creating a $3.7 billion East Link corridor to downtown Bellevue and Overlake, where train service is scheduled to begin in 2023.

The job includes building the world’s only trackway on a floating bridge. The roadway moves with Lake Washington’s water level and must be kept buoyant despite the weight of tracks, ties and trains to be placed in the existing express lanes.

First off, let's talk about the transparency inherent in the above information. Fort Worth's pitiful Trinity River Vision (short version of the ever changing project name) has had a mysterious malady cause the cessation of construction of the Boondoggle's three simple bridges being built over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island. The bridge construction halt has gone on for over a year now.

The Boondoggle's boondogglers have not shared with the public why their bridge construction area has become a construction ghost town. And due to the fact that Fort Worth does not have a real newspaper engaging in this practice called investigative journalism, no one knows what has actually gone wrong with the Ghost Bridges.

Unlike the Sound Transit Light Rail project, Fort Worth's embarrassing boondoggle has never been funded in the way most public works projects are funded. Voters in the Sound Transit area have approved multiple funding measures over the years. Voters in Fort Worth have never been allowed to vote for what has become a boondoggly mess directed by a local  politician's unqualified son.

The Sound Transit project design has built in contingency funding to cover unforeseen cost increases.
No one knows how much extra funding will be needed if Fort Worth's cloudy vision ever becomes something someone can see. For instance, the diversion dam, which will direct flood waters into the ditch which may be dug under those three stalled bridges, has not been designed and engineered, yet. Who knows how much such a thing will cost?

In one of the above paragraphs from the Seattle Times article mention is made of the fact that the $3.7 billion East Link from downtown Seattle to Bellevue will begin train service in 2023.

In a Star-Telegram propaganda piece about America's Biggest Boondoggle's stalled bridges J.D. Granger was quoted as saying, "the project's infrastructure should be completed by 2023". No one knows what J.D. means by infrastructure.

I am no longer living in the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle zone, so my mailbox no longer sees the bizarre quarterly Trinity River Vision Authority Updates.  Currently I assume the Summer Update has arrived in people's mailboxes and that it is a slick full color propaganda production touting all the floating on the river music events upcoming, along with other bits of fluffy nonsense, with no mention made of the stalled bridges or any of the other myriad problems.

The Trinity River Vision Boondoggle has never had a project timeline. Periodically the propaganda will tout something as having a timeline, such as having a big bang TNT ceremony for the start of construction of one of those bridges, with a  four year project timeline, to build a simple bridge over dry land. Now stalled for over a year.

Public works projects in modern parts of America have project timelines, and full transparency regarding the progress of the project.

For instance, below is a simple graphic from the WSDOT, via the Seattle Times. Have you seen anything similar from America's Biggest Boondoggle? Anything even this simple?

The Trinity River Central City Uptown  Panther Island District Vision can not produce a map showing what is under construction.

I suppose a map could be produced showing what has been constructed, and then gone out of business, like the highly touted Cowtown Wakepark.

I guess a project graphic map could show where the Boondoggle has produced an embarrassing water venue with an imaginary pavilion sitting on an imaginary island, with really cool concrete enclosed outhouses with outdoor showers to wash off the dirty river water when one finishes a Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Float....

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Gruesome Murder Mystery On Wichita Falls Circle Trail

Approximately a quarter mile east of Mount Wichita, on the Circle Trail, in Lake Wichita Park, I came upon the death scene you see here.

If this were located on a road with vehicular traffic I would assume the armadillo was the victim of a hit and run.

But, there is no motorized vehicular traffic on the Circle Trail, except for city employees driving vehicles like oversized golf carts to empty trash cans.

Years ago at Gateway Park in Fort Worth I came upon a murdered armadillo, clearly the victim of a gunshot wound.

The Wichita Falls Circle Trail dead armadillo had no obvious cause of death, at least to my amateur forensic pathologist eyes.

Why would anyone murder an armadillo? Armadillos are such cute creatures. I tried to find the Texas armadillo due to foul play death rate, to no avail, but I did find the declaration by which the armadillo was named the State Small Mammal of Texas....


WHEREAS, The State of Texas traditionally has recognized a variety of official state symbols as tangible representations of the proud spirit and heritage of our state; and

WHEREAS, The bluebonnet, the pecan tree, the Guadalupe bass, and the lightning whelk are examples of some natural specimens that serve to symbolize the great diversity of the Texas landscape, while the state dish, chili, fittingly represents another aspect of our shared culture as Texans; and

WHEREAS, In keeping with this custom, the designation of an Official State Mammal of Texas has been the subject of an extensive statewide mock election participated in by hundreds of elementary schoolchildren throughout our state; and

WHEREAS, The two front-runners in this race have been the armadillo and the longhorn; and

WHEREAS, Once the cornerstone of the Texas cattle industry, an estimated 10 million longhorns were herded from Texas to midwestern and western markets during the quarter century that followed the Civil War, providing invaluable stability to the state's postwar economy; and

WHEREAS, The longhorn's distinctive profile commands an immediate association with the State of Texas nationwide and is fittingly used as a visual symbol by businesses from the Rio Grande Valley to the Panhandle; and

WHEREAS, The other candidate for designation as Official State Mammal, the armadillo is a hardy, pioneering creature that chose to begin migrating here at about the time that Texas became a state; and

WHEREAS, The armadillo possesses many remarkable and unique traits, some of which parallel the attributes that distinguish a true Texan, such as a deep respect and need for the land, the ability to change and adapt, and a fierce undying love for freedom; and

WHEREAS, As proud and indomitable as the state from which they hail, both the longhorn and the armadillo will serve as fitting symbols of Texas' unique heritage; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the 74th Legislature of the State of Texas hereby designate the longhorn the official Large State Mammal of Texas and the armadillo the official Small State Mammal of Texas.

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...

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

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.

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...