Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Bud Kennedy Reporting For Star-Telegram From Fort Worth Of The North

Yesterday I saw that which you see here on Facebook. A posting by a Facebooker named Bud Kennedy sharing the fact that he has been away for a few days in Vancouver, B.C.

The place Bud Kennedy is away from is Fort Worth, Texas, where he can usually be found at a local restaurant or somewhere in the offices of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Bud Kennedy has multiple "journalist" roles. Among them he is the Star-Telegram's food critic, reviewing restaurants. Bud Kennedy also operates as one of the Star-Telegram's propagandists, serving as a mouthpiece for the bizarre good ol' boy and girl network which runs Fort Worth in what is known as The Fort Worth Way.

Put another way, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram is not a real newspaper in the way most other towns have a newspaper covering local news with what is known as journalistic integrity. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram operates more like the old Soviet Union's Pravda, spewing the "party" line.

An example of this is the way Bud Kennedy and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, over the course of the current century, have covered the ongoing pitiful debacle known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision, or, America's Biggest Boondoggle.

Way back when this century started, soon after I arrived in Texas, well before I realized that the Star-Telegram was not a real newspaper of the quality sort I had been reading for decades whilst a resident of Washington, I remember one Sunday morning, opening the Star-Telegram, laying it on the floor, which was my usual reading position back when I still read a hard copy newspaper, getting prone with a hot cup of coffee, opening the newspaper to see a GIANT headline screaming TRINITY UPTOWN TO TURN FORT WORTH INTO THE VANCOUVER OF THE SOUTH.

What fresh ridiculous hell is this I remember laying there and wondering.

What could possibly turn Fort Worth into any semblance of Vancouver? Have any of these people actually been to Vancouver? A town with mountains hovering above it, with large bodies of water surrounding it, with a big scenic river running through it. A town which held one of the most successful World's Fairs ever held, Expo 86. And a Winter Olympics.

What could possibly be done in scenery challenged, clean/clear water challenged, Fort Worth, which could turn it into anything even remotely resembling anything in Vancouver?

And then I read about the "plan" to divert the Trinity River into a channel, thus creating a little lake and canals, which would result in a "waterfront" feature where residential and restaurant and retail developments would develop.

Oh, and three signature bridges.

There was no talk, at the time, about an imaginary island being part of the original vision. Or rockin' the river happy hour inner tube floats. Or an imaginary world class music venue. Or an ice skating rink. Or the first drive-in movie theater of the 21st century. Or a (long failed) wakeboard park lake. Or hiring a low level deputy prosecutor, with zero project engineering experience, as the executive director of the "vision".

The Star-Telegram breathlessly told its readers about this vision to transform Fort Worth. And as the years have passed, with no transformation, with the project evolving into being an embarrassing boondoggle, overseen by a local congresswoman's unqualified son, the Star-Telegram continues to operate as an irresponsible cheerleader for this blighted vision, failing even to report responsibly on the more obvious failures such as the multiple problems regarding the construction of three simple bridges intended to connect the Fort Worth mainland to that aforementioned imaginary island, built over dry land, awaiting the digging of a ditch to go under the bridges.

When I saw Bud Kennedy was in Vancouver I wondered to myself if being in Vancouver he spent any iota of a moment remembering his part in foisting the ridiculous Fort Worth as Vancouver of the South propaganda on his newspaper's readers, when all these years later that vision has become a BIG nothing to see, while the real Vancouver has continued its dynamic growth as one of the gems of the west coast.

So, I Googled "Trinity Uptown Fort Worth Vancouver of the South" to see what, if anything, came up. Well, several instances of the blog you are reading right now came up. Along with defunct links to Star-Telegram articles. And a link to something called the Fort Worth Forum, the Trinity River Vision section of a forum apparently dedicated to what would seem to be the rather limited subject of Architecture in Fort Worth.

The Fort Worth Forum link went to the first page of many pages which have accumulated over the years of the Fort Worth architecture aficionados discussing the Trinity River Vision. This discussion starts in 2004.


Thirteen years ago.

Below I gleaned some of the comment posts from way back in 2004. The posters are, ironically, quite excited about this wonderful vision which they think will quickly be transformative for Fort Worth. As the years have gone by I suspect some level of disappointment has set in. I have previously been told that some who participate in this Fort Worth Forum have been offput by this particular blog and its tendency to clearly indicate Fort Worth is way too often a naked emperor preening about its imaginary beautiful clothes.

And now a select few comments from the Fort Worth Forum...

Posted 15 June 2004 - 09:35 PM
I saw nice TV coverage of the trinity river vision meeting. Very positive, sounds like they have a quick timeline 6-8 year? Also was confused to Fox4 allusion that canals would be constructed to allow boating from Stockyards, and Cultural District to Downtown? Also nice teaser article in the S-T today about the kayaking in the river.

Posted 16 June 2004 - 07:10 AM
I hope they update their website now. And it's good they have a time frame, I was beginning to think the project was dead after not hearing anything for a year. But I'm so glad it's not, that section of town is going to be booming in a decade or so...just watch.

Posted 20 June 2004 - 09:37 AM
Fort Worth: The Vancouver of the South?

Posted 20 June 2004 - 12:05 PM
I absolutely love the plan. I think that the plan gives the city the chance to get national recognition, while also providing a strong incentive for a dense, highly populated and interesting urban environment that most cities would be very envious to have. Do you notice in the plan how the river and lake corridors would preserve prominent views of the county courthouse from long distances?

Posted 21 June 2004 - 08:38 AM
Personally, I'm extremely excited they're using Vancouver as an example. Has anyone here been there? I have, and they've done incredible things with their waterfront and downtown area, and if we use that as a model, we can't go wrong.  And what's this about rowhouses and whatnot? I was under the impression that the city/committee/whatever was stressing not just dense but highrise residential. That was one effect of Vancouver's waterfront-HIGHRISES!!! One more thing, I hope the final name for this district isn't "Trinity Point". It sounds like some cheesy retirement community or something. I think it should be called Uptown or Town Lake, something that defines it as a unique, diverse district rather than one consolidated project.

1 comment:

Cowtown Crude said...

Dud Kennedy winning a Fort Worthy Award:

Dud Kennedy & Trinity River Vision propagandist, Wendy Stane:

Carry on.