Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Fort Worth Having A River Rockin' Happy Birthday Party?

This afternoon of the 6th day of June of 2018, the day known as D-Day, I checked in on Twitter to see the latest nonsense from our Twit in Chief to find the above being the first thing I saw.

A Twitter Tweet from Downtown Fort Worth with the Tweet saying "Today is Fort Worth's birthday! We are a whoppin' 169 years old and have never looked better, in our opinion."

That Tweet, was illustrated by the Twitpic you see above, showing the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth.

The current population of the happy birthday town is 854,113. Fort Worth is the second biggest city in a metropolitan area of around 7 million.

Fort Worth is the home to the fewest corporate headquarters of a town its size in America. I think the number is two. And one of them is Radio Shack.

I do believe it is true what the Downtown Fort Worth tweet said about Fort Worth never looking better.

The town does look a lot better than it looked when I first saw it, decades ago. At least two semi-skyscrapers have been added to the puny downtown skyline in the years since then.

When I first saw Fort Worth directional signs directed the town's few tourists to something called Sundance Square. Where there was no square. Early on I was told that a couple parking lots overlooked by a giant mural of the Chisholm Trail were Sundance Square. Later I was to learn Sundance Square was the bizarrely non-descriptive name given to a multi-block re-development zone of downtown Fort Worth.

Eventually an actual little square was built on those aforementioned parking lots, and given the name Sundance Square Plaza. I do not know if Fort Worth's few tourists are still confused by its downtown being referred to as Sundance Square.

Fort Worth may have never looked better, but the town still looks a bit shoddy.

Shoddy, what with most of the town's city parks not having running water or modern facilities. But plenty of outhouses.

Shoddy, what with an homage to the town's heritage, called Heritage Park, located at the north end of the town's downtown, being a boarded up, cyclone fence surrounded eyesore for years. I am supposing such is still the case, since I've read nothing about Heritage Park having been restored.

Shoddy, what with most of the town's streets having no sidewalks.

Shoddy, what with the downtown public transit system consisting of a converted Australian bus, gussied up and re-tooled as Molly the Trolley.

Shoddy, what with hundreds of acres due north of downtown Fort Worth being the location of what has become America's Biggest Boondoggle, also known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision. An ineptly implemented absurdity touted as a vitally needed flood control and economic development scheme.

So vitally needed that the project has been limping along for most of this century.

I have not driven all of the current rebuilt version of I-35 for a couple years. Have the two exits to Fort Worth's only actual tourist attraction, the Fort Worth Stockyards, been landscaped to a big city worthy level? Or are they still the littered weed infested messes they have been ever since I arrived in Texas?

I have been asked a time or two why I am so critical of Fort Worth, asked this by askers acknowledging the town has a lot of shortcomings, but wondering why I am so offput by the town.


I think it began soon upon my arrival, after subscribing to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and being quickly aware this was not a newspaper of the sort I was long used to reading when I lived in Washington. The delusional chamber of commerce type propaganda quickly grated on my nerves, particularly after I began to realize the level of exaggeration.

Like when what turned out to be an ill conceived embarrassment, the Santa Fe Rail Market, was foisted on downtown Fort Worth, the Star-Telegram helped with the misinformation propaganda touting this as being modeled after Seattle's Pike Place Market and public markets in Europe. When the reality was it would have been considered a lame food court in a run down mall in a small town in the middle of nowhere.

Or when Cabelas was courting Fort Worth, looking for tax breaks and multiple concessions, the Star-Telegram and Fort Worth city government went along with the absurd Cabelas claim this sporting goods store would give Fort Worth the #1 tourist attraction in Texas.

This con was repeated over and over again by multiple toadies, including the Star-Telegram's Bud Kennedy, who claimed this tourist attraction would attract up to 8 million tourists a year.

When I emailed Bud Kennedy pointing out the absurdity of such claims he replied with the accusation that I must be against business, to which I replied, no, I am not against business, but I am against irresponsible misinformation in a newspaper.

Six months later Cabelas announced yet one more Texas Cabelas. Followed by more, including additional Cabelas competing in DFW with Fort Worth's former #1 tourist attraction in Texas.

There has never been a peep of a mea culpa in the Star-Telegram about their part in the Cabelas con job.

On and on it goes, the corrupt shoddiness of how Fort Worth operates. Bizarre things happen in this town, with zero accountability.

The town's corrupt congresswoman's son can be given a job for which he has zero qualifications, with the son paid $200,000 a year, plus perks and benefits, with the son totally failing in directing what has become America's Biggest Boondoggle, currently with three simple little bridges stuck unable to be built over dry land to connect Fort Worth's mainland to an imaginary island.

A town so corrupt that on May 5 a bond election happened with a proposal on the ballot asking those few allowed to vote to approve a quarter billion dollar bond for flood control and drainage. When that is not what the money is for. The bond, approved by fewer than 3% of Fort Worth eligible voters is actually to help fund the floundering Trinity River Vision. The area of what has become America's Biggest Boondoggle is already under flood control levees which have worked flawlessly for well over half a century.

So, yeah, happy birthday Fort Worth, congratulation on looking so good. Is today's birthday party going to take place at Heritage Park? Or is America's Biggest Boondoggle sponsoring one of its infamous Rockin' the River Happy Inner Tube Floats in the polluted Trinity River to mark the joyous occasion?

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