Saturday, November 24, 2018

Elsie Hotpepper's Midnight Fort Worth Weekly Cookin' The Trinity River Vision Books Turkey Alert

Last night, shortly before midnight, a few minutes after I'd become horizontal, my phone made its incoming text message noise.

I then struggled to get myself back vertical so as to make it to the location of the phone.

And found it was a message from Elsie Hotpepper. With the message being a screen cap from Fort Worth Weekly's Turkey Awards 2018 edition, specifically the lead Turkey Award, titled Cookin' the Books.

Below is that lead Turkey Award in its entirety....

Cookin' the Books

Turkeys are coming home to roost at Panther Island. The $1.1 billion (and climbing) private economic development plan disguised as a public flood control project is bogging down in its own hubris. Critics say the flood control portion could be completed for much less money, say, around about $20 or $30 million. A billion bucks is vital for flood control, at least according to proponents like Jim Oliver, general manager of the Tarrant Regional Water District, which provides water for 2 million people and implements flood control measures for 11 North Texas counties. Nobody can say exactly how much money is or isn’t needed for flood control because a cost benefit analysis hasn’t been done during the two decades that this project has been kicking around. Why? Because Oliver and water district board members don’t want such a study. Why? Why do you think?

The project is drifting now, even after local taxpayers recently approved $250 million worth of bonds for the water board to issue. Still, at least $700 million more is needed – money that doesn’t appear to be coming from the federal government or anywhere else anytime soon. Fort Worth officials are now demanding an audit, even though most of them have been coddling and enabling Oliver and the water district from the beginning.

It is interesting to me to see how, now that what has become America's Biggest Boondoggle is clearly sinking, that those who might have been accurately reporting this multi-decade embarrassment are only now doing so.

I was not long in Texas, not long in reading the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, before realizing this was not a newspaper of the sort I was used to reading whilst residing on the west coast. I soon realized the Star-Telegram was more of a propaganda organ for the local chamber of commerce, than a legit newspaper of record.

I was not long in Texas before I realized Fort Worth Weekly was the closest Fort Worth came to a real newspaper. That and, at times, the Fort Worth Business Press.

But, it has long seemed to me that Fort Worth Weekly could be more aggressively investigating that which has become America's Biggest Boondoggle. Such as way back during one of the Trinity River Vision's early failures, that being the Cowtown Wakepark.

It did not take much common sense to see that Cowtown Wakepark was not going to work. We still do not know how much public money the Trinity River Vision Authority wasted on the Cowtown Wakepark.

Or the TRVA  and TRWD shenanigans which resulted in the world's first drive-in movie theater of the 21st century. Oddly named something Coyote, rather than the Panther Island label the Boondoggle eventually came to slap on anything associated with its multiple shady operations.

Like Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats at the imaginary Panther Island Pavilion on the imaginary Panther Island at the imaginary world class Panther Island music venue.

And, I am more than a little offput that in Fort Worth Weekly's 2018 Turkey Award about the TRV Cookin' the Books that Boondoggle propaganda is repeated, as in...

"The project is drifting now, even after local taxpayers recently approved $250 million worth of bonds for the water board to issue."

That bond issue which the voters approved remains controversial due to the misleading verbiage on the ballot, as in claiming the $250 million was for flood control and drainage. When, soon after passage, the Boondogglers, such as the TRWD's number one turkey, Jim Oliver, in full hubris mode, claimed the $250 million was for Panther Island. And another of Fort Worth's turkeys, Kay Granger, claimed this misleading ballot measure passing amounted to voters approving of the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision, after years of criticism that the public had never been allowed to vote for what has become America's Biggest Boondoggle.

Yeah, another Fort Worth Weekly 2018 Turkey Award should have been awarded to Kay Granger and her favorite son, J.D., and Kay's future daughter-in-law, Shanna Cate....

UPDATE: Elsie Hotpepper has informed me I was erroneous in saying Kay Granger also needed a 2018 FW Weekly Turkey Award. Turns out Fort Worth's worst congresswoman did get herself a piece of the turkey for we have lost track now of how many times. In its entirety...


Back when Kay Granger was mayor of Fort Worth and considering a run for the U.S. House of Representatives, both Democrats and Republicans wanted her to run on their ticket. She was considered accessible and intelligent and sometimes even sensitive to the needs of her constituents. 

When she decided to run on the Republican ticket, in fact, some conservatives thought she was too liberal. 

Sometime during the last 20 years, that all changed. She has become a rubber stamp for all things right-wing, has not held town hall meetings for years, and, hell, she doesn’t even respond to most reporters’ requests for comments on issues that affect her own district.

So it wasn’t really a surprise that when Vanessa Adia decided to run against her for her District 12 seat Granger chose not to have a single debate with her. Disappointing, yes, but typical of someone who has been in office so long that she has become insulated and isolated, and the little people, even those running against her, just don’t warrant attention.

Kay, your constituents do matter. Time you wake up and come back down to earth. Meanwhile, since you’re apparently doing so well without our help, you must not need much. Therefore, all you’re getting is one turkey foot this year. Enjoy it. It’s all you deserve.

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