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...

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