Thursday, January 31, 2019

Trinity River Vision Imaginary Flood Control Project Update

Last week Deep Moat III emailed me a link to some information on the Trinity River Vision Authority website, with that link going to the...

Quarterly Project Status Report | September 2018


Is this the online version of the hard copy quarterly propaganda reports which America's Biggest Boondoggle has been sending to mailboxes four times a year, for years?

I don't know.

I would make the assumption that those quarterly propaganda reports, slick full color multi-page productions, are no longer having money wasted on them, what with there being so little to update anyone on regarding that which has become an extremely slow motion public works project which the public has never voted on in any sort of legitimate way.

So, I looked at this online propaganda which details, supposedly accurately, financial aspects and project status aspects of this Fort Worth embarrassment which has been limping along most of this century, with little to show for the effort.

This PROJECT UPDATE report is divided into multiple sections....






You can go to the the TRVA website to read it all, in its full propaganda glory, but let's look at a couple of the propaganda's sections, such as the PHASE COMPLETION WITH TRWD BOND OPTION.

I have no idea what that means. "TRWD BOND OPTION".

But, Phase 2 of this PHASE COMPLETION WITH TRWD BOND OPTION section has a classic piece of the Boondoggle's propaganda, with Phase 2 telling us "Three new traffic bridges over rerouted flood control bypass channel (dry-land construction to save cost)".

That and a PROJECT COST of $81 M, a % OF PROJECT COMPLETE of 54%, with a COMPLETION DATE of 2020.

Re-routed flood control bypass? There is no current flood control bypass in existence. So, how does one re-route something which does not exist? And how many times must it be repeated that those three pitiful little bridges are not being built over dry land in order to save money. There was never any other option but to build those bridges over dry land, since there will never be anything but rain runoff running under those bridges until the cement lined ditch is dug under the bridges, with the Trinity River diverted into that cement lined ditch.

At least the propaganda, in this instance, has dropped the claim that the bridges are being built over dry land to both save money and to speed up construction. What with the construction of those simple bridges now having been going on for over four years, starting way back in 2014 with a then incredible four year project timeline to build the simple bridges, now supposedly not projected to be finished until sometime in the coming decade.

The latest PROJECT SCHEDULE for America's Biggest Boondoggle is the last entry in this latest Project Update.

So, according to the above PROJECT SCHEDULE something called the Town Lake is the last thing scheduled to arrive, around a decade from now, in the year 2028, about three decades after America's Biggest Boondoggle began boondoggling.

Til seeing this PROJECT SCHEDULE I did not know there is a Bypass Channel North, and a Bypass Channel South, with the southern bypass ready to do its bypassing in 2025, a year after the northern bypass begins bypassing.

One can not help but wonder why it takes so long for the Town Lake to show up in town, that and why this little pond is given such an odd name.

Town Lake? Why? Because the pond is in town? Why not call the pond Panther Pond, thus in sync with all the other stuff to which the Panther name has been attached?

Panther Pond has such a nice ring to it...

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Texas Not Ending Testing Vehicle Emissions Or Prohibition In 2020

I saw this this morning on Facebook via Tacoma's Queen V, she being the breakout star of The Real Housewives of Tacoma.

Apparently my old home state of Washington is ending vehicle emissions tests in 2020.

When I lived in Washington the county I lived in, Skagit, did not require one have ones vehicle tested for emissions each year before being allowed to continue to drive legally.

If I remember right only the heavily populated counties in Washington required vehicles getting tested for emissions at the point in time when I still lived in the state. That would be counties like King, Snohomish, Pierce and Spokane. For all I know testing for vehicle emissions had spread to every county, but I suspect not.

When I was first in Texas and learned I needed to get something called a vehicle emissions test as part of a vehicle registration I remember thinking to myself what fresh Texas hell is this? Likely finding out about this fresh Texas hell soon after being introduced to the bizarre concept of dry, damp and wet areas of Texas designating where and what type alcohol could be sold, and where it could be sold and when such could be sold.

Regarding the dry, damp and wet thing I remember being amazed that a remnant of something long gone in most of the rest of America, that being Prohibition, was not long gone in Texas. Eventually I learned other areas of the South also had not totally ended Prohibition, to various degrees.

I long ago gave up trying to understand why the South, and Texas, seems to lag behind the rest of America in so many ways.

I wonder how long after areas of America, such as the west coast states, began trying to combat air pollution by trying to reduce vehicle caused pollution by making vehicles meet some sort of emissions standard, that states like Texas began requiring vehicles reduce emissions to be allowed on the state's roads.

And now one of the west coast states is apparently realizing vehicle emissions testing is no longer vitally needed in order to reduce pollution. That and likely it was realized that forcing vehicle owners to go through this annual nuisance, was just that, an annoying nuisance, the reason of which had been obviated by greatly improved vehicle emissions greatly reducing air pollution.

I remember the first time I was in Los Angeles, at 13 years old, being shocked to see and have my eyes stung by smog for the first time. Such had not yet come to the Pacific Northwest, other than smoke from forest fires.

At 13 years old, and many visits to Southern California in the years that followed, I did not realize that there was a range of mountains to the east of Los Angeles, because the air pollution blocked seeing the San Gabriel Mountains. I remember going to Disneyland on Christmas of 1994 and seeing those mountains for the first time, hovering in the distance like the Cascade Mountain foothills did in my home zone of Western Washington.

Eventually smog did come to Western Washington, at times blocking being able to see the mountains to the north, south, east and west. Sometimes a pink haze hovered over Puget Sound when looking north towards Canada.

And now, apparently the Washington air pollution has improved enough, or vehicle emissions have improved enough, or a combo of both, that vehicle emissions testing is ending in Washington in 2020.

I do not think vehicle emissions testing will be ending any time soon in Texas, because I have been in Texas for around 20 years and I have yet to see the air clear enough to see any mountain range, no matter what direction I look.

And, I have heard nothing about any plan to finally end all aspects of Prohibition in Texas. Well, except, I did read recently that there is some effort to end the Texas Blue Laws which prohibit some alcohol type selling on Sundays....

Monday, January 28, 2019

More Possible TRWD Nepotism With Deep Moates Native Son Claim

What you see here was incoming this afternoon to my phone.

Along with that which you see here the text message accompanying that which you see here was...

"Is this more Tarrant Region Water District nepotism?"

I do not know the answer to that probing question. But, claiming to be a native son does sound like claiming to be a relative, which is key to nepotism.

I do know the answer to another probing question about the same subject, with that question asking me if this Moates guy is one of the Deep Moats, as in Deep Moat, Deep Moat II or Deep Moat III, who have been telling us various tidbits of information about the various nefarious nonsense associated with the TRWD's TRVA ongoing mess which has become known as America's Biggest Boondoggle, or the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Boondoggle.

So, I can tell you with almost 100 % certainty that this Moates guy is not one of the Deep Moats.

As for whether or not Moates is yet one more scandalous example of TRWD nepotism, I do not know.

Is Gary Moates related to Kay Granger? Or Jim Oliver? Maybe an ex-boyfriend of Marty Leonard? A son of Jim Lane? I really don't know.

In the past couple weeks the only one of the Deep Moats we have heard from is Deep Moat III.

We heard from Deep Moat III in Deep Moat III Takes Us To Fort Worth's Panther Island District's Imaginary Unique Features and Deep Moat III Takes Us To Venice In Cowtown Via Fort Worth Weekly.

Regarding the TRWD board and its nepotism problem, I am 100% certain if you vote for Mary Kelleher to once again sit on the TRWD board you can rest assured that Mary Keller is not related to Kay Granger, Jim Oliver, Jim Lane or Marty Leonard, hence no nepotism problem with Mary Kelleher...

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Another Look At Fort Worth Slow Motion Panther Island Bridge Progress

I saw that which you see here this morning via the online version of the Seattle Times.

I saw this and thought to myself, yet one more difference between how things operate in modern democratic America. And how they operate in not so modern, not so democratic, oligarch dominated Fort Worth.

As in, years ago, maybe a full decade, I first came upon massive signage touting the Trinity River Vision Underway. If I recollect correctly I first saw this now totally ironic signage at the location of what became the now long defunct Cowtown Wakepark, which was one of the Trinity River Vision's first boondoggling failures.

Then in February of 2015 I found myself in downtown Fort Worth. While there I took a long walk. During that walk I came upon multiple instances of signage for what by then was turning into America's Biggest Boondoggle. I blogged about this signage in Taking A Look At The Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Products.

That blogging included the photo you see below. Four years later this sign is even more pitifully ironic.

Those bridges are now optimistically projected to be possibly finished sometime in the next decade. Yeah, that is some slow motion progress in motion.

Meanwhile, in Seattle, the fully funded public works project which is replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct with a four lane tunnel under downtown Seattle, along with rebuilding the Seattle waterfront, is due to open the new tunnel to traffic in about a week.

Hence the state spending a few million bucks advertising the new 99 tunnel opening soon to whisk drivers under Seattle from the Space Needle to the stadiums south of downtown.

I do not believe any one spent any money in Seattle, back when the tunnel project began, touting the fact of "99 Tunnel Progress in Motion".

But, now that that tunnel is a reality money is being spent to get drivers used to the idea of driving under downtown Seattle.

That tunnel in Seattle began getting bored about the same time Fort Worth had a TNT exploding ceremony to mark the start of construction of three pitiful little bridges being built over dry land. And now, four years later, with a one year delay due to the tunnel boring machine being injured by an unexpected steel pipe, that Seattle tunnel is finished and ready to open.

While those pitiful Fort Worth bridges being built over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island are nowhere near being completed. And there has never been any sort of sensible explanation as to what the problem is with these Fort Worth bridges.

Whilst looking for that photo I took four years ago of the sign touting Fort Worth Bridge Progress in Motion I came upon yet one more J.D. Granger embarrassment rendered more embarrassing with the passage of time. Those who are not familiar with the Fort Worth Granger Scandal. Local congresswoman Kay Granger's son, J.D., was hired to be the executive director of the Trinity River Vision Authority. J.D. Granger had zero qualifications for such a job, a fact born out by the ongoing embarrassment to Fort Worth which the Trinity River Vision has become.

J.D. Granger was interviewed in an apparently clueless Texas publication. I blogged about this and the stupid stuff Granger uttered in The Real Work Begins To Sink Panther Island & J.D. Granger, including  some Q and A such as the ironic question and answer here...

Q.  How is the Panther Island project coming along?
A.  Killing it. We’re about one-third of the way through the project. We are about to wrap up the phase that provides little reward — clearing the way for vertical construction. Now, the excitement begins. Bridges are well underway. The bypass channel is in final design. The first multifamily project and riverwalk section begins this spring. And, we are working with several more developers on some great projects that would extend the Panther Island River Walk in the near future.

Now, in the first month of 2019, those bridges are not well underway, the way has not been cleared for any sort of construction, what with ground pollution not yet mitigated, what with infrastructure, such as drainage, not yet installed. Riverwalk section? Anyone see any Riverwalk section? Let alone anything extending the apparently imaginary Panther Island River Walk?

This is all so perplexing.

If Fort Worth's voters had done the right thing and booted Kay Granger out of congress, would J.D. then be relieved of the job he has so obviously botched?

Will Fort Worth ever become a modern American city?

Likely not.

Not until the town rids itself of what is known as the notorious Fort Worth Way of ruining a town. I mean, running a town.

Freudian slip....

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Deep Moat III Takes Us To Venice In Cowtown Via Fort Worth Weekly

Deep Moat III moved to Fort Worth years after that which has become America's Biggest Boondoggle began boondoggling, way back early this century.

So, Deep Moat did not know that when this was first foisted on the Fort Worth public it was announced via a banner headline in the Sunday Fort Worth Star-Telegram.


I remember reading that like it was yesterday, wondering what fresh nonsense is this. I was still adjusting to the Star-Telegram's tendency to spout ridiculous hyperbole.

If I remember right touting a lame food court as being modeled after public markets in Europe and Seattle's Pike Place Market, came later, as also did the Star-Telegram touting that a sporting goods store would be the #1 tourist attraction in Texas.

Fort Worth being made into the Vancouver of the South is probably the most absurdly ridiculous thing I've read in the Star-Telegram.

Vancouver has mountains hovering over the town, along with bodies of water connected to the Pacific Ocean, along with a big river named Fraser. Vancouver has hosted a Winter Olympics and an extremely successful World's Fair called Expo '86.

Meanwhile, Fort Worth is currently sponsoring America's Biggest Boondoggle, which no one currently claims will turn Fort Worth into the Vancouver of the South.

Regarding America's Biggest Boondoggle, I told Deep Moat III that back when this started, back near the start of this century, early on there were  controversies regarding Granger property holdings which would benefit from the Trinity Uptown economic development scheme. If I remember right Granger, and others, had to divest themselves of holdings which might benefit from their scheming.

I do not remember where the news of the Granger controversial holdings was published. I suspect it was not in the Star-Telegram, what with that newspaper's tendency to not deal with real news requiring actual investigative journalism. I told Deep Moat the news about the Granger holdings may have been in Fort Worth Weekly.

That got Deep Moat III doing some deep Googling which took Deep Moat III back as far as 2005 in Fort Worth Weekly, to that year's Fort Worth Weekly Turkey Awards.

The Fort Worth Weekly Turkey Award awarded to that which 14 years later has become America's Biggest Boondoggle, is rather revealing, that all those years ago it was already obvious something was dire wrong with this development scheme.

The 2005 Do Turkeys Float Fort Worth Weekly Turkey Award...

When the Trinity River Vision plan was slowly being unveiled over the past few years, it seemed like a decent idea. Take 800 under-used acres on the north side of downtown and turn it into a playground with a lake, canals, 10,000 new housing units, and tons of new commercial and retail real estate. But there was a flaw in the plan (well, OK, several) that nature exposed: Half of the $435 million price tag was to come from federal funds, including $110 million from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a “floodway project.” It didn’t matter then that the Corps said it could do the flood control part of the project for about $10 million. Now, it matters. When Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans and broke that city’s levees, federal flood control spending was, um, diverted — as it should have been. Fort Worth’s plan to spend $110 million on what’s really not much more than a high-end real estate deal is under water right now. What Fort Worth political leadership — Mayor Mike Moncrief, U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, and the Tarrant County Regional Water District — need to do is re-examine the whole Trinity River Vision project. For now, a water-logged turkey to all those who keep pushing this pricey Venice in Cowtown — for not being able to tell the difference between “flood control” and making a lot of money for their big-time real estate developer friends.

Deep Moat III was particularly taken with the Venice in Cowtown concept suggested by this FW Weekly Turkey Award, commenting the following...

Venice in Cowtown, all the way back to 2005. 

What a great slogan for the new Fort Worth. I hope this meme sticks.

Forget horses and cows. We now want gondolas in a new waterfront development instead of levees and green space on the Trinity Trails for horseback riding from the Stockyards to Downtown. 

We want this instead of spending the millions needed to help neighborhoods with real flood control. 

Is this the new Fort Worth Way?

Venice in Cowtown. That seems appropriate in multiple ways. Venice frequently has trouble with too much water flooding the town. Venice has spent a lot of money trying to control the water flooding the town. But Venice is slowing sinking as the ocean water level continue to rise.

Yeah, Venice is a good metaphor for Fort Worth...

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Fort Worth Business Press Up A Creek Regarding Mary Kelleher

Last night my phone received a perplexing text message from a message texter I will call "TEXTER".

The text message from TEXTER and followup text messages from ME.

TEXTER: I thought you said Mary Kelleher had filed to run for the TRWD water board again?

ME: Yes, that is correct, she filed on the first day it was possible to do so. Why are you asking me this?

TEXTER: Because I read a good article about Fort Worth's embarrassing boondoggle and it mentioned other people running, with no mention made of Mary running.

ME: Well, that makes no sense. Was this in the Star-Telegram? I think we have fairly well established that that make believe newspaper is not to be relied on.

TEXTER: No, I read this in an article in the Fort Worth Business Press.

ME: Really? That publication is the closest Fort Worth comes to having a real newspaper. Can you email me the link to this article?


And by this morning TEXTER had emailed me the referenced link to Richard Connor: Up the creek and headed nowhere – Panther Island redux

Well, reading the article I first have to say, it is a good article detailing much of what is so wrong about what used to be the Trinity River Vision, til it morphed into being America's Biggest Boondoggle.

The article mentions that two men have filed to run in the May 4 election for a spot on the TRWD board. And the article mentions that the pair of current board members up for re-election, Marty Leonard and Jim Lane, have not yet filed.

But the article makes absolutely no mention of former TRWD board member, Mary Kelleher, having filed to run again.

However two comments to the article do point out this odd omission. I'll get to those comments later.

First let's look at the mention made of the two men who have filed, C.B. Team and Gary Moates.

Both Charles “C.B.” Team, vice-president and principal at the real estate company Ellis & Tinsley, and Attorney Gary M. Moates plan to run.

Fort Worth, as we all know, is a small/big city. And on the day he filed, there was Moates shopping at Central Market. He is energetic and full of ideas for change and he was more than willing to stop traffic at the checkout counter to talk about the river project and his hopes to alter the winding course it has taken.

I have yet to be told anything troubling about Gary Moates. I can not say the same for C.B. Team. We learned about the concerns about C.B. Team when we learned Deep Moat II Was Concerned CB Team Not Fit For TRWD Board.

This FWBP article also makes positive mention of the TRWD board's new members, elected in the last TRWD board election.

Candidates are filing to run for the water board, folks who have had enough and who know this problem can begin to be fixed by the voters in the May 4 election. The board has five members and two have emerged as leaders for good government, James Hill and Leah King. One more vote and a flood of change could happen, a virtual cascade of solid procedures and good management.

Til reading the above I had read nothing about James Hill and Leah King having any sort of good impact on the TRWD board. The pair certainly have made no news doing so, of the sort Mary Kelleher regularly made.

Now, let's look at some of  what this article has to say about that which has become America's Biggest Boondoggle. The first four paragraphs...

The folks responsible for running the Panther Island project – running it into the ground, some might say – are giving new meaning to that old saying about “being up the creek without a paddle.”

They don’t even have a boat.

Here we are nearly a month into 2019 and we’re still dogged by a story that was not new but had mostly lain dormant until exploding into public awareness late last year: Panther Island, originally called and more commonly known as the Trinity River Vision project, has been horrendously mismanaged and is totally out of control.

A better name might be: Trinity River Lack of Vision.

I thought the above four paragraphs were almost poetic. Though I have to take some exception to the statement saying the story had mostly lain dormant til exploding last year. Seems like myself, and many others, have been pointing out the fact that the Trinity River Vision has been a failing mismanaged Boondoggle for years. And an ongoing embarrassment for Fort Worth, which keeps getting worse, as in more and more embarrassing.

And then this about the Boondoggle's three pitiful little bridges stuck being built in slow motion, over dry land...

The latest news is that construction of the project’s three infamous bridges over not troubled water but in fact no water has fallen further behind schedule. The earliest projected completion date for any of the bridges is late summer 2020. That would be the bridge on White Settlement Road. The nearby Henderson Street bridge won’t be finished before spring 2021, officials say, while the North Main Street leg of the waterless triumvirate is not expected to be ready for traffic until at least late winter 2021.

It is incomprehensible to me why this slow motion bridge building fiasco has not dealt the death blow to the entire embarrassing, mis-managed, corrupt Boondoggle

And then the following two paragraphs hit a particularly loud BINGO...

The Panther Island debacle is managed, or mismanaged, by the Trinity River Vision Authority, which is an offshoot of the Tarrant Regional Water District, the agency charged with overall responsibility for the plan when it was conceived decades ago as a flood control project. Since then, it has grown into a massive economic development undertaking that involves rerouting the Trinity River to create recreational and business activities along a San Antonio-like riverwalk with a newly created island as the centerpiece.

The water district’s board of directors, its general manager Jim Oliver and River Vision Authority executive director J.D. Granger have brought precious little expertise and efficiency to the project but they have managed to bury it in arrogance, obfuscation and even flat-out deception.

Well, nothing to add to what is being said in the above two paragraphs. Except maybe to say the above is the reason #FIRE JD stickers are appearing all over Fort Worth in various locations, including car bumpers and toilet seats.

The following two paragraphs contain an element we blogged about recently...

Water board elections historically draw low voter turnout, which tends to favor incumbents rather than challengers. The two seats up for election this time are currently held by longtime board members Jim Lane and Marty Leonard, who bought a full-page ad in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Jan. 9 to “set the record straight” on Panther Island. The ad was self-serving palaver, a tedious rehash of official explanations and rationalizations for the mess the project has become.

A better tack would have been for Lane and Leonard to apologize for wasting taxpayer money, for being rubber stamps for errant policies and executive arrogance: “We apologize and will do better.”

That full page propaganda advertisement in the Star-Telegram was so absurdly self-serving we felt compelled to Set The Crooked TRWD Record Straight.

Unlike articles in the Star-Telegram, which rarely generate any comments, the Fort Worth Business Press regularly generates worthwhile comments worth reading, including the three below, two of which mention the error of not mentioning the fact that Mary Kelleher is running again for the TRWD board....

Clyde Picht Jan 18, 2019 4:45pm
We can be sure that Oliver's competence was questionable when he hired Granger for what was then a $435M project. He should have been fired by the board when he refused new board member, Mary Kelleher, access to the building and documents she had every right to. Granger on the other hand probably wasn't much of a lawyer if he thought he could walk into a job for which he should have known he was unqualified and unprepared to accept. Well what the heck, it's all taxpayers' money so who's going to complain?

johnmac70 Jan 19, 2019 3:27pm
Richard Conner, you forgot to mention in the article that Mary Kelleher has filed for candidacy on the TRWD. She will fight for accountability and transparency on a board that is famous for the opposite. The Panther Island project is in reality a developers project. Who will benefit the most from the project? Not not the citizens of Fort Worth but developers who will make millions on condos, multi use developments and townhomes. This project is a debacle and an embarrassment for FW!! Stop it now!

kafcampbell Jan 22, 2019 7:56am
I'm not a meteorologist or agronomist, but I do know what the weather is like. I'm baffled as to why the current flood control system, put in place after the 1949 Flood Disaster, is no longer viable. Have we had catastrophic flooding that the Trinity River project thingy is going to prevent? We've had the same weather for decades: hot summers, cold winters, rain that comes all at once, occasional catastrophic winter storms. Yes, Fort Worth has struggled with street and neighborhood flooding, including tragic loss of life. But this project thingy isn't slated to resolve any of those issues... Could it be because those other actually street and neighborhood flooding issues are in lower income parts of town? Hmmm. Exactly what civil engineering problem are we needing fixed? Those levees around the Panther Island thingy and 7th Street have been working marvelously. I drive over them every day and I've not seen a weather event in 30 years that even started to tax the system we set up decades ago and already paid for. Can someone dispute me? Also, put back White Settlement Road as a critical thoroughfare into and out of downtown.

I also noticed that this FWBP article used the verbiage "Up the Creek". That verbiage is quite close to the title of the award winning documentary, "Up a Creek".

Up a Creek documents that which turned one Tarrant County resident into a community activist working to get the local, state and federal governments to do the right thing regarding flooding issues in Tarrant County, rather than wasting resources on an ill-conceived, ineptly implemented pseudo public works project the public did not approve of via the voting method.

In the Up a Creek video you will meet that community activist, and others, such as Clyde Picht, he being the author of the first comment, above. Clyde Picht famously opines in the video that the Star-Telegram could put an end to the Trinity River Vision nonsense if it wanted to do the right thing. I may be slightly paraphrasing from memory regarding Mr. Picht's words.

I also show up in this documentary. But, blink and you will miss it. Elsie Hotpepper can also be seen, if you know where to look.

And here is part one of the Up a Creek documentary video...

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Where In The PNW Were David, Theo & Ruby On Martin Luther King Day?

In incoming email this morning, from Tacoma.

Subject line: "Easy One".

Seeing the subject line and also seeing that photos were attached I knew that I was going to be seeing some photos the location of which should be easy for me to guess, unlike previous instances where I was befuddled.

The text in the email: "Where in the Pacific Northwest were David, Theo & Ruby for Martin Luther King Day?"


I looked at the photos and quickly felt fairly certain I was looking at photos taken in the Snoqualmie Summit zone of the Washington Cascades.

For those unfamiliar with mountains, with their nearest mountains hundreds of miles distant, Snoqualime Summit is the high point of what is known as a mountain pass. As in a pass over a mountain range.

In the Snoqualmie Summit mountain pass case this is the mountain pass Interstate 90 passes over the Cascade Mountains on its way from Seattle, across America, to the East Coast.

There are several ski resorts in the Snoqualmie Summit zone. The only one whose name I remember is Hyak. Let me Google and see if I can find the names of the current Snoqualmie Summit ski resorts.

Oh my, I have been gone too long from my old home zone. Apparently Hyak no longer exists. Hyak is now called Summit East. The other three ski resorts at Snoqualmie Pass are Summit West, Summit Central and Alpental.

Alpental existed when I still lived in the neighborhood, but I forgot the name, only remembering the now no longer in existence Hyak.

The Snoqualmie ski resort zone is a little over 50 miles east of downtown Seattle, accessed via freeway, thus making going skiing a doable thing after work, what with night skiing. Or any time one has some free time and is in the mood to do some slippery sliding whilst trying to keep warm.

That photo at the top is what I believe to be a moving sidewalk type device which brings people wanting to have fun on the snow up a mountain in order to slide back down the mountain. On the moving snow sidewalk, in the front, that is my little sister, mama Michele, leading niece Ruby, and nephews Theo and David.

What follows are a few photos of what David, Theo and Ruby did after reaching the end of that moving snow sidewalk.

Ruby appears to have successfully tubed down the groomed slope. I do not know if that is one of Ruby's brothers coming down behind her in the next lane.

Above we see Theo, Ruby and David taking a break from sliding to pose for a photo to send to their favorite uncle. Well, one of their favorite uncles.

Above appears to be the winter equivalent of what I did with David, Theo and Ruby the last time I was in Washington, August of 2017, when we built sand castles at Birch Bay. Here it appears the twins and David are constructing an igloo. I've no clue how they have managed to make blocks of snow. I just now noticed, Ruby is throwing a snowball, which the photo caught in mid air. I hope the snowball did not hit mama Michele.

So far at my current location we have not had enough snow stick to the ground to warrant opening the Mount Wichita Ski Resort, or that covered moving snow sidewalk which takes one to the summit for a slide back down the mountain.

Winter is about a third gone.

I suspect Winter will turn to Spring at my location without there ever being enough snow to open the Mount Wichita Ski Resort....

UPDATE: Upon further examination it appears that in the photo at the top that the entity identified as David, behind mama Michele, Ruby and Theo, is actually mama Kristen. David's whereabouts in the photo are unknown, but is suspected he is behind mama Kristen, helping attend to the collection of tubed sliding devices.

UPDATE 2: Apparently there is still a ski area at Snoqualmie Summit using the Hyak name, as in Hyak Sno Park.

UPDATE 2 Addendum: Hyak is not a ski area, those are the Summit names. Hyak is a “Sno Park” meaning it’s run by the state and you need a pass to park there, but the parking lot gets plowed and the restrooms are nice. People take off on cross country skis from there. There’s an old rail road track or something that cuts through the trees that’s perfect for hikers,/snowshoers,/XC skiers. But not downhill, that’s all at the three summit places and Alpental.

UPDATE 3: The correct name for the afore referenced Moving Snow Sidewalk is Magic Snow Carpet.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Deep Moat III Takes Us To Fort Worth's Panther Island District's Imaginary Unique Features

I mentioned a day or two ago that a new information source was sending me information, well, links to information, that and thoughtful commentary, about that absurd ongoing  Fort Worth embarrassment which has become known as America's Biggest Boondoggle, or the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision.

A hapless wannabe public works project which has never been approved by the public via a vote approving of project plans properly vetted, such as what happens in democratic, non-corrupt, modern towns in America, and the world, resulting in a mess which has been Boondoggling along for most of this century, with little seen for the inept effort.

We shall know this new information source as Deep Moat III.

Deep Moat III has been doing some Googling, both in decades past and present, pointing us to some interesting information. This may lead to multiple bloggings, with this first Deep Moat III inspired blogging coming from a link to a webpage on the Trinity River Vision Authority website.

On that webpage we get to explore the imaginary unique features of what is currently being called, by the Boondogglers, the Panther Island District.

The Explore the District's Unique Features introduction tell us...


Alongside the Trinity River, you’ll one day find ample new residences, outdoor spaces & riverwalks; pedestrian-friendly streets with a variety of transportation options; new parks, trails, a town lake and more. As new infrastructure and development occurs, the district will transform into a diverse live, work, play community organically grown for everyone. Take some time and explore all that Panther Island has in store.

Before we take some time to explore what Panther Island has in store, I have to make mention of something this imaginary nonsense always reminds me of.

Way back in the 1970s there was a hit TV show called The Rockford Files. In one memorable episode Rockford uncovers a real estate scam out in the California desert where the scammers were busing in elderly marks and conning them into buying property on which to build a retirement home. The scammer would point to the desert and tell the elderly victim this is where the lake will be, with your property being on the lake front, right next to the community center. One elderly person after another fell for the scam.

Of course this particular TV show con job did not include a local congresswoman's son being part of the con, raking in bucks from those being conned, such is the case in Fort Worth. In the end Rockford exposed the fraud. This has yet to happen in Fort Worth, at least, officially, with the Panther Island District con job.

Now let's take a look at all the unique features we learn about via the Boondoggle's website. Go to the link for the whole interactive experience, that and to cause you to wonder how many of your dollars the Boondoggle has spent on its various propaganda websites...

On the website when you click on a "unique feature" the map lights up showing you the location of that unique feature. But, like we already said, you need to go to the link for the complete experience. We'll just list the unique features and comment on them when motivated to do so.

A 33-acre lake will be a focal point for Panther Island. A large public boardwalk will surround the lake, making it the perfect place for recreation on the river. Additionally, winding through the island will be over twelve miles of flowing canals and continuous public walkways. Creating the ability to live, work and play next to the water.

Why do they persist in calling a 33 acre water impoundment the Town Lake?  Town Lake as opposed to Out of Town Lake? Why not Lake Panther? Since that Panther name seems to be so popular. Or Panther Pond, which would seem to be more accurate. And is this 33 acre size the final word? Over the decades the size of that imaginary pond has shrunk and grown over and over again.

Made up of a series of unique urban parks connecting lakes, canals and marinas—all connected by a network of trails and new pedestrian bridges —the Promenade is designed to improve connectivity along the river.

Unique urban parks? Was there a possibility of these being rural parks, what with being near the heart of the city? Will these urban parks be unique because they will have modern restroom facilities, rather than the Fort Worth city park norm of outhouses?

Kayak launch pads, Kayak / watercraft storage, Riverbanks lined with shade trees, 12 ft-wide waterside paths, Water taxi landings, and more on the way.

I do not believe I have ever seen a kayak launch pad. Are these spring loaded? Will these shade trees be counted as among J.D. Granger's thousands of Magic Trees which ward off flooding?

Panther Island has plans for a total of seven new parks, they will be known as The Parks of Panther Island. The development of the parks system will be located along the future site of the bypass channel.

Okay, another mention of parks. And now we know they will be known as The Parks of Panther Island. Located along the future site of the cement lined ditch known as the bypass channel. Future site? We don't yet know where this site will be? Don't we at least know the ditch will be going under the three little bridges stuck in slow motion construction mode?

To ensure continuous pedestrian access throughout Panther Island a series of pedestrian bridges will stretch the bypass channel allowing the trails on the island connect to 72 mile system throughout the city.

Why do these Boondogglers attach the word "Signature" to perfectly ordinary items? The Golden Gate Bridge is a signature bridge, in that it is an iconic symbol of San Francisco. Those new bridges in Dallas are actual signature bridges in that they are unique looking, and alter the Dallas skyline in a way which has the potential to become an iconic symbol of Dallas, like the Reunion Tower is.

The use of modern roundabouts on Panther Island will provide safer roads by cutting average speed and delay time while handling more traffic. They also create a positive environment for vertical development.

I love this one. Thank goodness the Boondogglers opted to go for Modern Roundabouts, rather than Old-Fashioned Roundabouts. Old-Fashioned Roundabouts really have a lot of trouble creating any sort of positive environment for vertical development.

A fixed line will connect Panther Island to downtown establishing smart access from home to the Central Business District thereby reducing the number of cars on the road creating less mobile emissions and better air quality. Inside the island a “circulator” line around the perimeter of Panther Island will connect each development node and serve residents and visitors to Panther Island.

I am assuming what we are talking about here is a streetcar system. Smart access? Thank goodness the Boondogglers are so clever. Were they not they might have opted for dumb access from home to downtown. And what is the plan for creating more jobs in the slightly sleepy downtown Fort Worth area, thus giving reason for thousands of people to live on the imaginary island using smart access to downtown? Maybe downtown Fort Worth will finally get a department store employing some of those living on the imaginary island.

A 1.5 mile bypass channel will be constructed to redirect flood waters around the 800-acres of low lying area to the north of Downtown. Providing necessary flood protection for Fort Worth.

Oh yes, until this cement lined ditch is dug and a flooding Trinity River diverted into it, the area north of downtown Fort Worth is vulnerable to flooding. Oh wait, that's wrong. There has been no flooding in the downtown Fort Worth area ever since levees were built well over half a century ago. However, there are areas of Fort Worth, such as East Fort Worth, and areas of Tarrant County, such as Haltom City, which do have flooding problems, unaddressed, unmitigated flooding problems, which have been deadly multiple times this century. I forget, how many people have drowned in the flooding Trinity River in the area of the imaginary island and the imaginary un-needed flood control where there are already flood control levees? Oh, I remember. No one has drowned in the area being messed up by America's Biggest Boondoggle.

Signature bridges over the future bypass channel are being built now and will allow traffic to enter Panther Island from the north and west. They are located at White Settlement Rd., Henderson St. and N. Main St. These bridges have been artfully designed with the pedestrian experience and mass transportation in mind.

Again with that insipid use of that "Signature" word. We now know what those bridges are going to look like. Nothing even remotely unique. Looking like an ordinary freeway overpass. Artfully designed? Methinks a refund should be demanded from the designing artist. Designed with the pedestrian experience and mass transportation in mind? Unlike most bridges? Is there no one associated with the Boondogglers who vets this type verbal nonsense before it gets published?

Three flood gates will be installed at the portions of the river where the bypass channel and the original river intersect. These gates will remain open at most times, but can be shut during high water events – forcing water through the bypass channel.

I have never understood how this is supposed to work. A flood comes to town, with gates forcing the flood into the bypass ditch. Is this ditch dry otherwise? That would seem to make for a rather sad looking Promenade. Or does the ditch always have water in it? With way more water added when the Trinity is flooding? How does that work? Does the Promenade then get flooded? Or is the ditch a huge, deep, Panama Canal size waterway, HUGE enough to handle a flood?

Panther Island zoning standards were put in place to encourage the responsible, sustainable development of over three million square feet of mixed-use neighborhoods for over 10,000 residential units.

Well, thank goodness zoning standards were put in place so that responsible, sustainable development could be encouraged. Imagine what a nightmare of out of control development might have happened without those Panther Island zoning standards.

There was more ridiculousness on this map which explores the Boondoggle's imaginary unique features.

Such as the Houseboat District. And the Marina District.

So far, apparently, there is no ferry dock or cruise ship terminal. I hope I am not giving the Boondogglers ideas...

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Holland Takes Lead Over Fort Worth In Island Building

I saw this on Facebook this morning.

Apparently my old home country of Holland is building artificial islands.

Looking at the photo illustrating these islands they appear to look to be actual islands, even if they are manmade islands.

One really can not help but wonder if the Netherlanders found themselves Green with Envy upon learning the landlocked American town of Fort Worth was building itself an artificial island, so Holland decided to emulate this.

Yeah, I'm sure that's the case.

Fort Worth has a long history of causing bouts of envy in towns, states, and nations, far and wide. I know this because long ago I read this in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, over and over again.

The Netherlands has actual large bodies of water to work with to build its artificial islands. Whilst landlocked Fort Worth is stuck working with a little river to try and make an island by digging a ditch around a chunk of industrial wasteland.

The Fort Worth island project is well underway. Extremely complicated to engineer bridges have been being constructed for years, over dry land, to connect the Fort Worth mainland to that industrial wasteland that will be Fort Worth's artificial island, if that ditch is ever dug, with water added, under those bridges, which may be completed sometime in the next decade.

Reading the article about the Netherlands' new islands it seems the Dutch have leaped way ahead of Fort Worth in getting its island up and surrounded by water.

Meanwhile, back in America, of late I have found myself blessed with a lot of new info about that which has become America's Biggest Boondoggle, also known as Fort Worth's Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision.

Now with a vision which sees a marina and houseboats. I learned this from my new Boondoggle information gleaner, who I am gonna call Deep Moat III.

I will likely get around to blogging about some of that which Deep Moat III has shown me in the coming week, or two, or three.

If I have said it once, I have said it more than once, it's always something...

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Without Change Fort Worth Will Never Have The Most Cranes In America

I saw that which you see here this morning in the Seattle Times.

No, this is not yet one more instance of our popular series of items we see in west coast news sources which one would not expect to see in a Texas, or, well, a Fort Worth, Texas news source, if Fort Worth, Texas actually had news sources of the sort one is able to read at multiple west coast locations.

No, what I was thinking when I saw this headline was how the right wing nut jobs opined idiotically back a couple years ago when Seattle started raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, with the RWNJ's making up nonsense about restaurants going out of business within a week. When the new minimum wage had not yet gone into effect.

And now, several years later, just a few weeks ago I read an article detailing the dozens upon dozens of new restaurants which had opened in the Seattle zone in the past year.

And now this ongoing boom of construction, which apparently, if the right wing nut jobs were right, which they never are, would be seeing even more construction cranes if Seattle had not gone with that economy crippling increase in the minimum wage.

Meanwhile, in Fort Worth, Texas.

Oh, I guess this is can also be one more instance of our popular series of items we see in west coast news sources which one would not expect to see in a Texas, or, well, a Fort Worth, Texas news source.

What is the minimum wage for restaurant waitstaff in non-booming Fort Worth? Is it still a couple bucks an hour, with the rest of the earnings to be made up by tips?

How many construction cranes does one currently see in the downtown Fort Worth zone? Or in the area north of downtown Fort Worth which has been floundering most of this century with what is basically an imaginary economic development zone, currently struggling to build three simple little bridges to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

How many construction cranes are currently in build mode on that imaginary island?

Fort Worth regularly loses out in any type competition to attract a corporate headquarters to town. It does not take a rocket scientist level urban planner expert to see why. Just that ongoing eyesore of slow motion construction which has become America's Biggest Boondoggle would be enough to scare off any successful corporation looking to re-locate, or open a satellite headquarters.

And to stay on this comparing Fort Worth to Seattle theme, which I know the Fort Worth locals love.

About the same time Fort Worth had a TNT explosion ceremony to celebrate the start of construction of those three simple little bridges being built over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to that imaginary island, Seattle began boring a tunnel under its downtown, using what at the time was the world's biggest boring machine.

The Seattle tunnel project had a four year project timeline, just like Fort Worth's simple bridges. The Seattle tunnel ran into a snag in the form of the boring machine hitting unexpected steel. This delayed the tunnel boring for about a year.

Meanwhile the Fort Worth bridges also quickly hit some sort of never disclosed obstruction which stopped construction for over a year.

The tunnel project in Seattle was fully funded, fully engineered, directed by qualified project engineers. This past week the removal of the Alaskan Way Viaduct began, In less than a month the new tunnel is expected to open to traffic, a little over four years after beginning boring.

Meanwhile, the Fort Worth bridge project is now not projected to be completed until the next decade. The Fort Worth project is not fully funded, is not fully engineered, and is not directed by a qualified project engineer, but is instead directed by the un-qualified son of a local politician, who was hired so as to motivate his mother to secure federal funds for Fort Worth's not fully funded project, a task the mother has largely failed at delivering.

But, Fort Worth keeps re-electing the woman, an instance of what is known as the Fort Worth Way. Or as some locals call it, Fort Worth Nincompoopery.

Maybe Fort Worth should mandate raising the minimum wage and see if that helps raise the town out of its floundering doldrums...

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Will The Panther Island Bridge Nonsense Never End?

I saw that which you see here this morning via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and whilst reading the article an infamous Elsie Hotpepper phrase came to mind...

"Will this nonsense never end?"

And by nonsense we are talking about the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle nonsense, and the nonsense the Fort Worth Star-Telegram publishes in propaganda mode about that nonsense.

You can read this latest piece of Star-Telegram propaganda yourself in When will those Panther Island bridges be open? Not as soon as commuters might hope.

This latest Star-Telegram propaganda article included a photo of one of the Boondoggle's pitiful bridges, now looking like a bridge, with a deck on top of the V-piers which have been awaiting such for years. This photo is buried beyond the end of the article. Why? I don't know. Maybe because the photo is evidence of how pitiful these simple little bridges are.

Below is the photo to which I refer....

Even though construction on the above bridge began with a TNT exploding ceremony way back in 2014, with a then astonishing four year project timeline, the current propaganda has the bridge not completed until the next decade.

Can you believe the Fort Worth propagandists have actually tried to describe this as a signature bridge? You know, a bridge of the iconic symbol sort, like the Golden Gate Bridge, which actually took only four years to build, over actual water, with an actual purpose for building it.

This latest Star-Telegram sort of makes mention of the impending forensic audit of that which has become America's Biggest Boondoggle. But, no mention is made of the J.D. Granger Scandal, which is believed to be the main thing which prompted that impending forensic audit.

There is propaganda about why the V-pier design was chosen, but no mention of how J.D. Granger caused this design and thwarted a better design which the Army Corps of Engineers approved, and would have paid for. Late last year that part of the TRV Scandal was blogged about in America's Biggest Boondoggle Unravels As Trinity River Vision Scandals Grow. This latest Star-Telegram propaganda repeats unsubstantiated nonsense about why that V-pier design was chosen.

Now, let's go through this latest bit of Star-Telegram propaganda and comment as we do so...

Piers sprout from the ground like concrete plants on North Main and Henderson streets north of downtown Fort Worth. On White Settlement Road, the bridge forming over dry land looks almost complete.

The above opening paragraph seems almost poetic. Piers sprouting like concrete plants. And now we know that almost completed bridge is the one on White Settlement Road.

Continuing on...

But the three bridges over the Trinity River connecting the rest of Fort Worth to the yet-to-be completed Panther Island are now between a year and two years behind schedule, construction managers say. Once slated to open by 2019, delays with design and construction have pushed back the opening dates to mid-2020 to 2021.

Yet to be completed Panther Island? Really? Can we please see the project timeline and plan for completing that imaginary island? Between a year and two years behind schedule? Wait. Didn't we just read those bridges began construction with a TNT exploding ceremony way back in 2014. We are currently in 2019. 2021? That is seven years later than 2014.

Continuing to continue on...

Delays were first caused by the unique V-shape pier design, which engineers needed to test, and construction of each pier has further slowed the project.

Yeah, those are some unique pier designs, the likes of which the world has never seen. Requiring engineers to test those unique designs, designs apparently of a real complex nature, hence the long delays, unlike simple bridge projects, you know, like the Golden Gate Bridge, built over swift moving deep tidal currents.


The bridges’ construction is managed by TxDot with the city of Fort Worth as the local partner. They’re part of the larger Panther Island project, a flood control effort that will re-channel the river and create an 800-acre island ripe for redevelopment. The project carries a total cost of $1.16 billion with more than $65 million going to the bridges.

Oh yes, Star-Telegram, let's repeat the flood control propaganda yet again. Flood control in an area which has not flooded for well over a half century due to levees long ago built and paid for. A flood control effort? Just an effort? A try? An attempt? To re-channel the river? That proposed re-channeling is a cement lined ditch running under those three pitiful little bridges, such as the one you see above. Can you picture this? No? I can't either.

Continuing on...

The design focuses the aesthetics on the area below the bridge deck — where the riverwalk would be — leaving the top of the structures for automobile use. TxDot offered to build the three bridges just like Fort Worth’s West Seventh Street bridge, which features bold, lighted arches. The transportation department pledged to do all the design and construction in-house, get the work done by 2016, but Panther Island partners, including TxDot and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, determined the design wouldn’t work with the bypass channel because it relied on too many piers in the water. 

Oh yes, looking at that almost completed West Settlement Road bridge you can see how stunning the aesthetics are of the design. You can just imagine that riverwalk under the bridge. And, what a concept, leaving the top of the bridge for automobile use. How innovative. And the Star-Telegram repeats the nonsense that the West 7th Bridge design would not work, falsely claiming that design has too many piers in the water. When the actual West 7th Bridge has zero piers in the water, which we documented months ago. Just a sec, I will go fetch a photo of the West 7th Street Bridge...

Do you see any piers in the water? To my eyes the above looks like a unique bridge. And one can almost envision a riverwalk under the bridge.

Continuing on...

In the beginning, bridge construction was delayed several years from a potential 2018 completion date partially because TxDot inspectors wanted to take a closer look at the design of the piers to ensure they would support the bridges’ weight, the Star-Telegram reported.

Construction was delayed several years from a potential 2018 completion date? Because inspectors wanted to look closer at the design to ensure they could support a bridge? As reported by the Star-Telegram? Really, Star-Telegram, you are trying to sell this bit of revisionist propaganda? The actual fact of the matter is construction of two of the bridges began soon after that TNT explosion. And then halted. With the halt going on and on for months, and then a year, or longer, with moss growing, weeds sprouting, re-bar rusting, and no article in the Star-Telegram explaining to that newspaper's few readers what the problem was.  It was several years after that TNT explosion start of construction that the Star-Telegram finally addressed the obvious reality that something was dire wrong with that which has become America's Biggest Boondoggle.

Continuing on I am skipping several paragraphs of more nonsense excusing the bridge construction delays. And then we come to the final two paragraphs, with the first one...

TxDot officials have said building the bridges over dry land before the channel is dug saves both time and money. The federal portion of the project — digging the channel — cannot be done until the bridges are complete.

Oh, it is now TxDot officials who are saying the bridges are being built over dry land to save time and money? At that TNT explosion back in 2014 it was everyone from Kay Granger to her hapless offspring, to Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price (and the Star-Telegram) repeating the idiotic nonsense that those bridges were being built over dry land to save time and money.

As we have repeated dozens of times, there was no option but to build those pitiful bridges over dry land, because there never would, or will, be water under them until that cement lined ditch is dug, with the Trinity River diverted into that ditch. And anyone with an iota of common sense can intuit it would have made more sense to integrate the ditch digging with the bridge building so as to facilitate the seamless construction of both. As it is, it seems likely if that ditch ever is dug it is going to present engineering problems digging under those then existing bridges.

And now the final paragraph in this latest piece of Star-Telegram propaganda...

In the meantime, the Trinity River Vision Authority, an arm of the Tarrant Regional Water District overseeing the project, has put out requests for proposals from consulting firms to independently review Panther Island’s management, budget and construction, among other things. A firm should be selected by March 7 with the review done by June 19. No cost has been set for the review.

And, just like all things associated with what has become America's Biggest Boondoggle, this supposed 'independent review' must be of little import, hence the long long time generating it, with a supposed review done date conveniently after the upcoming TRWD board election.

Like Elsie Hotpepper says, over and over again, "Will this nonsense never end?"...

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Deep Moat II Concerned CB Team Not Fit For TRWD Board

Apparently it is time for yet one more Tarrant Region Water District board election. I thought such elections had been suspended pending the outcome of the supposed biggest election fraud investigation in Texas state history.

Apparently I was wrong about that, because there will be a TRWD board election this coming May 4.

Last week I received a couple emails from an individual I will refer to as Deep Moat II, due to already having one Deep Moat telling us stuff about the nefarious dealings of the TRWD and its inept step-child, the TRVA, aka Trinity River Vision Authority, more commonly known as America's Biggest Boondoggle.

Deep Moat II informed us that the CB character you see here is intending to run for a seat on the TRWD board. No, this is not Craig Bickley, after an extreme makeover, trying again. The name of this character is Charles Bailey Team IV, known as CB Team.

Deep Moat II feels it needs to be known that CB Team works for the brokerage firm of Ellis & Tinsley.

So what? You are likely thinking to yourself, as it is unlikely CB Team will try and cover up who it is he works for.


The Tinsley part of Ellis & Tinsley is Vic Tinsley. CB Team's association with Vic Tinsley is the area of concern.

Fort Worth and Tarrant County are widely known as the Eminent Domain Abuse Capital of America.

Examples of such are the properties taken for items such as the Dallas Cowboy Stadium in Arlington or the dozens upon dozens upon dozens of properties taken by the Trinity River Vision, taken under the guise of imaginary flood control, but actually taken as part of a ineptly implemented economic development scheme.

On the Ellis & Tinsley website, in the bio about Vic Tinsley, it is boasted that "Vic has been appointed over 800 times by county and district judges as special commissioner in Eminent Domain cases..."

Over 800 cases of Eminent Domain?

As Deep Moat II said regarding those more than 800 cases of Eminent Domain...

"I didn't realize we had that many properties that needed to be condemned. I am extremely worried about CB Team being on the next TRWD water board and how many other property owners will fall into their eminent domain, property condemnation proceedings in the future?"

Additionally, regarding Vic Tinsley and CB Team, and the TRWD Board, Deep Moat II had this to say...

"It looks to me like this would be a huge conflict of interest and extremely unethical for Vic Tinsley and his commercial investment business to be a part of this in any way."

I assume the "part of this" to which Deep Moat II refers is the "this" being the TRWD Board. As in how can someone associated in any way with so many eminent domain proceedings be part of a Board which regularly uses this means to acquire property, with that acquisition often for dubious ends, such as that associated with what has become America's Biggest Boondoggle?

Like so many of those who have come to oppose much of that which the TRWD and TRVA have done and are doing, Deep Moat II had a personal experience with the roughshod way the TRWD often deals with property owners. And it was that experience with TRWD eminent domain abuse which turned Deep Moat II into an active opponent.

In Deep Moat II's own words, the experience which activated this opponents opposition...

"A retired couple by the name of Patty and Walter Bontke were facing eminent domain proceedings from the Tarrant Regional Water District. Their land in Mansfield had been a dairy farm since the 1960s. They worked hard, they saved and now they were facing a monster that was arrogant, unresponsive and downright mean. They received a ridiculous offer in the mail and the surveyor listed on the letter, Mr Dunn, would never return their phone calls. TRWD was going to cut a swath right through the middle of their property with a pump station which would also landlock the additional property acreage, without paying for it, and block their access to a private road. The story is long but in the end they hired a lawyer and got a fair settlement with access to the private road and access to their additional land.  It was a two-year battle that they were not going to win without help."

It has long seemed apparent to many who have been paying attention that the TRWD is a corrupt entity, operating without sufficient oversight. It would seem a total flush of the water board is the only thing which might bring this monster under control, but doing such is difficult, what with that election fraud problem remaining un-fixed.

Electing someone like CB Team to the TRWD board would seem to only exacerbate the problem.

Multiple Mary Kelleher types are what is needed....

Monday, January 14, 2019

No More Wine Drinking Cart Driving At My Favorite Wichita Falls Walmart

Of late, at least once a week, as I pull out of the carport, I call my mom to ask if she would like to ride with me to Walmart.

Mom always says sure, and then asks what the weather is doing. I then tell mom something like its almost freezing and windy, so bundle up warm.

So, mom is regularly reminded of a Wichita Falls Walmart.

And then this week my favorite Wichita Falls Walmart made the national, and maybe, international news.

Which had mom asking me, the last time she rode with me to Walmart, if I knew that lady who got banned from Walmart for riding around the store on an electric cart drinking wine from a Pringles can.

I told mom I was not aware of knowing this particular wine drinking lady. And that the interesting characters I encounter at this Walmart are one of the reasons I find going there to be entertaining.

The news stories about this woman getting banned from Walmart are not excessively detailed. Usually pretty much nothing more than the headline. I thought those who do not have access to the Wichita Falls news might find the story, as covered in the Wichita Falls Times News Record, to be interesting, and maybe slightly amusing....

Wichita Falls PD: Woman riding cart drinking wine from Pringles can barred from Walmart

Wichita Falls police received a rather unique call Friday morning involving a woman drinking wine in a Walmart parking lot.

Employees requested officers to ban a woman from the local Walmart store after she reportedly had been drinking wine from a Pringles can for several hours while riding on an electric cart.

The incident began shortly after 9 a.m. Friday when officers responded to a call to check on a suspicious person in the parking lot of Walmart, 2700 Central East Fwy.

Officer Jeff Hughes, a WFPD spokesperson, said police were told by dispatchers that they were looking for a woman wearing a blue jacket and black pants.

The woman was reportedly riding on an electric shopping cart more commonly used for people with physical limitations. Officers were also told she was drinking wine from a Pringle's can.

Hughes said the reporting party said the suspect had been riding around in the store's parking lot since 6:30 a.m. while drinking the alcoholic beverage.

When officers arrived, they found the woman in a nearby restaurant, at which point she was notified that she had been barred from the Walmart location.


As you see, even in the local news, the details are minimal. Such as, how does one drink wine from a Pringles can? Are those potato chip cans watertight?  And what was this woman's blood alcohol level after riding around for hours drinking wine from that Pringles can? And was she arrested and charged with a DUI, in addition to being banned from Walmart?

Mom and I have not been to Walmart since the Pringle wine drinking incident. Maybe we'll go there later today. Likely not though. Too cold out there currently for mom's and my delicate nature...

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Chilly Northwest Texas Saturday Imagining Kayaking Wichita Falls Holliday Creek

On this second Saturday of the new year of 2019, with the outer world breezy and feeling like freezing, I battened down my personal hatches, as in I layered on layers of outerwear, and braved that chilly outer world for a short duration of communing with nature.

That communing consisted of walking north on the Circle Trail, which runs on the west side of the Holliday Creek canyon.

At one point I saw the running high Holliday Creek was in roaring rapids mode. So, I made my way down the treacherously steep Holliday Creek canyon wall to the bank of Holliday Creek at the site of those aforementioned roaring rapids, so as to take the photo you see above.

I have long wondered why no one attempts to kayak Holliday Creek when it is running full mode, starting at the base of the Lake Wichita Dam spillway and continuing on til Holliday Creek merges with the Wichita River. Perhaps there is a point of danger of which I am not aware, such as Holliday Creek entering a giant drainage pipe, or some other dangerous element.

One see no NO KAYAKING signs along Holliday Creek, of the sort one sees at Sikes Lake, warning one not to swim, kayak or canoe in Sikes Lake.

A couple days ago I thought Spring had arrived early. And then yesterday rain fell all day, like a stereotypical Winter day in my old home zone in the Pacific Northwest. This is day two of the Texas Northwest seeming way too much like the Pacific Northwest in Winter.

I suspect this cold, gray, damp nonsense will soon abate with Texas turning sunny and warm once again...

Friday, January 11, 2019

Let's Set The Crooked TRWD Record Straight

A day or two or three ago the offices of Elsie Hotpepper sent me an email with the subject line....


The only nonsense in the email was an attached PDF file which turned out to be a scanned image of a recent paid political advertisement in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, paid for by Jim Lane and Marty Leonard.


I thought to myself.

Those two are running for the TRWD board again? After the last time? Which supposedly resulted in the biggest election fraud investigation in Texas state history?

How is that investigation going? Apparently no where.

So I read through this advertisement, and quickly saw it could be more accurately characterized as blatant propaganda of the sort regularly spewed by the Tarrant Regional Water District and its ne'er do well step-child, the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision, more usually referred to as America's Biggest Boondoggle.

We were able to convert most of the PDF file to a format able to be copied. Thus, for illuminating purposes, we will copy all of which we were able to re-format below.

The paid political ad reads like a defensive bout of excuse making trying to spin an alternative reality regarding the TRWD's Boondoggle.

Such as you will read that early in this century a community wide task force was supposedly launched to address the outdated Trinity River levee system (which has prevented flooding in the zone in question ever since the leveees were installed in the 1950s).

The paid political propaganda claims that construction of a bigger levee system had been considered, and rejected, because those supposed new levees would need to be ten feet higher and would require taking 150 of additional condemned land on each side of the river.

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I'm sure that was a realistic proposal, way back when this century started. And, that it would have been a travesty to condemn all that land. Uh, how many acres of property were taken from the 100s of property owners, whose property was taken via the abusing eminent domain method by the Boondoggle which ensued after the rejection of the supposed raise the existing levees option?

So, if this flood control upgrade was so vital, way back when this century began, how come now, almost two decades later, nothing has been done about this dire threat? Apparently the threat was not all that dire, hence the slow motion ongoing Boondoggle.

This paid political propaganda advertisement tries to make the case that the public is misinformed about all which has been accomplished by the TRWD and its TRVA step-child.

The public is not misinformed.

The public drives by the Boondoggle daily, seeing three bridges stuck in slow motion construction for years, trying to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.  The propaganda tries to excuse the bridge part of the boondoggle by bringing up the actual signature bridges that have actually been built in Dallas over the actual Trinity River. Real bridges serving a real purpose.

The propaganda about the Dallas bridges did not successfully convert.

The J.D. Granger part of the ongoing Trinity River Vision Boondoggle Scandal is not addressed in this paid political advertisement.

I suppose to address the J.D. problem is to acknowledge the problem exists. The supposed upcoming forensic audit investigation of America's Biggest Boondoggle is sort of referenced in this propaganda. But no attempt is made to explain the inept management of the project due to its lack of a qualified project engineer executively directing the project such is the case in normal, non corrupt, zero nepotism, public works projects.

Anyway, below is what we were able to convert into readable text from Jim Lane and Marty Leonard's Paid Political Propaganda Advertisement...

2001: TRANSFORMING RIVER FROM FLOOD FOE TO COMMUNITY FRIEND In 2001, the City of Fort Worth partnered with Streams & Valleys Inc., Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD), Tarrant County, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to launch a community-wide task force to address our outdated Trinity River flood control levee system (designed a half century ago). The task force's five goals were straightforward:

1. Flood protection along the river
2. Environmental clean-up
3. Matching flood control federal funding
4. Improved public access to the river
5. Responsible river corridor development

The 7-member TRVA Board meets monthly and is comprised of two board members each from TRWD, City of Fort Worth, and Tarrant County plus a board member representative from the nonprofit Streams & Valleys organization. The TRVA Board selects its own Executive Director and all staff members of TRVA are shared employees of TRWD. Additionally, City of Fort Worth staff members participate on all TRVA committees. TRWD has also provided an interest-free $200 million loan (from its mineral royalty reserve) to the TIF District so local matching funds would be available to immediately start the project.

BIGGER LEVEES OR BYPASS CHANNEL Previously, construction of a bigger levee system (i.e., a bigger ditch for flood waters) along the river corridor had been considered. But the proposed bigger levees would have had to be 10 feet higher - requiring another 150 feet of condemned land on each side of the river. This would have negatively impacted neighborhoods and businesses on the west side and north side of downtown. It would have also negated years of hard work by the community to make the Trinity River corridor more accessible to the public.

2003-2004: TIF DISTRICT CREATED & FEDERAL FUNDING AUTHORIZED To finance the new Trinity River flood control plan, the City, County and TRWD all agreed in 2003 to participate in a Tax Increment.

2006: TRVA CREATED TO COORDINATE LOCAL GOVERNMENT RESPONSIBILITIES To pull it all together, TRWD formed the Trinity River Vision Authority (TRVA) in 2006. Under TRVA's umbrella management, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the local government partners each do their assigned work on the flood control components of the project:

2009: GATEWAY PARK EXTENSION In 2009, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and local government partners improved the project design by relocating overflow flood waters from populated areas west and north of downtown to non-populated areas in the Gateway Park corridor. This expanded the project's flood control protective reach to over 2,400 acres. It also expanded local efforts for environmental restoration which have resulted in the removal of 383,000 tons of toxic and contaminated soil from old industrial sites along the river. This in turn opened up Gateway Park for broader community use and enjoyment.

After more than 200 community input meetings and careful study — the United States Army Corps of Engineers, TRWD, City of Fort Worth, Tarrant County, and Streams & Valleys Inc. jointly rejected the bigger levees proposal and instead endorsed building a new 1.5-mile river bypass channel as the best flood control solution. This launched the Panther Island/Trinity River Vision project (also initially referred to as the “Central City Project” by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers).

FEDERAL-STATE MATCH FUNDING To clear up some misstatements about the project's federal funding status - on October 3, 2018, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a statement clarifying that the Panther Island/ Trinity River Vision project is “authorized” and "eligible” to receive matching federal funding. In fact, as mentioned above, this project has been authorized by two Presidents and two different sessions of Congress (2004 and 2016) and has already received roughly $108 million in matching state-federal funds.

Again, 100% of the project's authorized matching federal funding goes to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for construction of the flood control component of the project. Much of this work will be in the final bypass channel construction phase of the project. As such, not all federal funding is needed now. Still, our local governmental partners are working jointly with our Texas congressional delegation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to be.

THE REST OF THE STORY We hope you find this overview helpful. Our community is using matching local-state-federal funding for the flood control component of this project, while using local funding to responsibly reconnect our community to its river. To paraphrase the late radio commentator Paul Harvey—“Now you know the rest of the story.”

REVIEW & AUDITS ARE STANDARD PROCEDURE For efficiency and transparency, the current programmatic review underway by the TRVA Board is welcomed. This is a very large multi-year infrastructure project involving both federal and state agencies, and several local entities. Currently, review is provided monthly by the TRVA Board and its operational budget is audited annually by third party CPA firms. Additionally, a total of 9 independent economic studies/financing plans have been performed on the project including a new TIF District revenue projection study which will be completed in early 2019.

A final word about TRWD 
There are some other things to note about TRWD's operational track record. In addition to flood protection, we are responsible for supplying the raw water which is then treated by cities for most Tarrant County families. We take this responsibility seriously and are consistently recognized as one of the best water supply districts in Texas. are well known, the two lakes we built in East Texas (Cedar Creek and Richland-Chambers) are arguably the most essential as they supply 85% of TRWD's water supply to Tarrant County.

We mention this not to brag, but to note that some of the recent press and public comments about TRWD are neither accurate nor in context to the talents and accomplishments of its dedicated women and men. You can rest assured, TRWD works hard and we take our responsibilities seriously.

Paid Political Ad by Jim Lane Campaign & Marty Leonard