Monday, June 18, 2018

Nurse Canecracker's Mount Vernon History Took Me To America's Fort Worth Boondoggle

I found that which you see here in my mailbox this morning, sent by Nurse Canecracker, aka, Miss Linda.

A history of the town I lived in before moving to Texas, titled Images of America: Mount Vernon.

I have always liked learning about the history of this, that or any other thing.

This book from Nurse Canecracker answered several questions about Mount Vernon, and the Skagit Valley, which I have wondered about.

Such as when was the bridge across the Skagit connecting downtown Mount Vernon with West Mount Vernon built? I now know it was 1954 that cars first drove across that new bridge.

And when did the two malls in Mount Vernon open? One would think I could remember this, since I was living in the neighborhood at the time.

Well, it was 1971 when the Mount Vernon Mall opened on the north side of College Way, with the Skagit Valley Mall opening two years later, across the street on the south side of College Way.

Those two malls wreaked havoc with downtown Mount Vernon. And then a modern mall opened a couple miles north, on the other side of the Skagit River, in Burlington, eventually causing the two Mount Vernon malls to be demolished, replaced with modern type strip malls.

And now that mall in Burlington, the Cascade Mall, is having trouble staying open, losing all its anchors.

I have wondered what the flooding history of the Skagit River was, before dikes were built to contain the river when it left the narrow valley and entered the delta flood plain.

Well, there were some hellacious floods, photo documented in this book from Miss Linda. I have eye witnessed some hellacious Skagit floods post dikes being built, hence wondering what it was like before those dikes were built.

The Texas town I lived in before moving to my current location, Fort Worth, has had a multi-decade pseudo public works project underway to supposedly address imaginary flood issues which were long ago fixed by the construction of massive levees.

This Fort Worth "flood control" project is known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision. But more commonly known as America's Biggest Boondoggle.

Fort Worth has long wanted to be the best or biggest at something.

And now the town proudly hosts America's Biggest Boondoggle, with an embarrassing mess of a project with three simple little bridges under construction now for years, being built over dry land, to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

With the current state of those bridges being badly engineered seesaws in teeter totter mode, with locals referring to the eyesores as the Yeehaw Seesaws.

A Fort Worth congresswoman's totally unqualified son was put in charge of this ill conceived ineptly implemented plan, paid around $200K a year, plus perks and benefits, to motivate his mother to secure federal funds, with little luck, hence a recent bizarrely corrupt ballot measure conning the ill-informed locals that they were approving a quarter billion bucks for flood control and drainage issues.

And somehow in Texas this type ballot subterfuge is perfectly kosher.

Reading about Mount Vernon's flood history, and how intelligent Americans dealt with flood issues, I amused myself thinking what if someone in Mount Vernon came up with a brilliant plan to take down the Skagit River dikes, then build a flood diversion channel to divert a flooding Skagit around an imaginary island, with canals, creating a sort of San Antonio Riverwalk type venue.

Well, I don't think there is anyone stupid enough any where in the Skagit Valley to come up with something so idiotic, and to amp the idiocy by claiming it was a flood control plan, and an economic development scheme.

Selling such an idea, the economic development scheme, in a town with is already doing quite well, economically, would be laughed at. But, in Fort Worth, those who decide such things, don't laugh. they think it makes sense to create an imaginary island with canals.

And to remove levees which have prevented flooding for decades.

Oh, I almost forgot.

Without any corrupt political shenanigans, with no hiring of a local congresswoman's son to do a job he has no clue how to do.

Mount Vernon has built a Riverwalk type attraction on the Skagit River as it passes past downtown Mount Vernon.

A Riverwalk type attraction with a flood wall which can be put in place quickly when the Skagit goes rogue. A Riverwalk type attraction with a plaza.

And, unlike what is the Fort Worth norm, no outhouses.

All done in a fraction of the time Fort Worth has been boondoggling along with little to show for the effort.

Well, to be fair, those Yeehaw Seesaws have become a bit of a tourist attraction, to the few tourist attracted to Fort Worth. That and the giant million dollar homage to an aluminum trash can, stuck in the center of America's Biggest Boondoggle's roundabout.

Has the Star-Telegram ever looked into how that million dollar homage to an aluminum trash can came to be? Installed years before any other aspect of what has become America's Biggest Boondoggle came to any sort of fruition?

What is J.D. Granger's connection to whoever it was who got the million bucks for that imaginary work of aluminum art?

Is there an Images of America: Fort Worth book? I suspect not...

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