Saturday, January 5, 2019

Discussing Fort Worth's Island Of Doom Without J.D. Granger

I saw that which you see here, this morning, via an invitation on Facebook.

Apparently on January 26, after decades of hardly anyone discussing it, on that date there will be a Community Discussion about America's Biggest Boondoggle, I mean, the TRWD's Panther Island.

It seems as if it was almost a decade ago I experienced my first community discussion about this pitiful subject. That discussion took place in an auditorium in Fort Worth's Botanic Garden, with the discussion a product of an entity known at the time as TRIP (Trinity River Improvement Project).

If I remember correctly during that time frame there were two such meetings in the Botanic Garden. I think it was at the second meeting I first experienced the wise words of TRWD Board Member, Jim Lane, with those words uttered from a panel of people involved in what has become an embarrassing boondoggle.

J.D. Granger was supposed to be on this panel, but he wimped out at the last minute, which caused a person within my hearing to utter the immortal words "J.D. Granger, what a gutless wonder". I will go see if I can find that blogging  by using the way back machine, well, search tool.

Okay, it was not quite a decade ago, the year 2011 to be more precise, with a blog post telling us Boos Greets News That J.D. Granger Bailed At Last Minute On Tonight's Trinity River Vision Open Discussion Forum. In that blog post I allude to, without detailing, the reason I was told Granger turned gutless.

Again, if I am remembering correctly, at that point in time J.D. Granger was upset that someone had photo documented landscape improvements to his home, which matched the look of the landscaping at the controversial Boondoggle product known as the Woodshed Smokehouse. Someone put those photos on a blog with the implication some shady dealing was involved.

Almost a decade later multiple Fort Worth officials have finally come to realize something is dire wrong with that which has become America's Biggest Boondoggle, and have called for some sort of forensic audit to look into the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision's various shenanigans which have sucked millions of dollars from the public trough, with little to show for the money wasted.

So, later this month there will be another discussion forum about that which has become America's Biggest Boondoggle. Below are the details from the Facebook invitation...

TRWD’s Island of Doom: The Panther Island Boondoggle
Suggested Donation: $10
Sat, Jan 26, 2:00 – 4:00 PM; at TCLP Auditorium – 5751 Kroger Drive, Fort Worth TX 76244

Join us on Saturday, Jan 26 from 2:00 – 4:00 to hear four speakers address growing concerns about the history and viability of Tarrant Regional Water District’s “Panther Island” project. With the project dragging out well over a decade with little to show; Nepotism running rampant; Eminent domain abuse; Astronomically increased budgets; Absence of promised federal funding; and increased flooding potential downstream – there’s no wonder that local news media outlets have begun to look more critically and closely at what appears to be a doomed $1 BILLION+ project.

Many people saw at the beginning, that this project, ostensibly framed as a ‘flood control project’, was really a publicly funded real estate development – with the property provided by theft via eminent domain. Some of these people who saw the problems were Fort Worth City Council members; State Legislators; and even a TRWD Board Member! So many questions remained unanswered by the water district: 

-Where was the funding really coming from – and why is the budget spiraling out of control?
-What land was going to be used – and how was the flooding going to be mitigated?
-What were the US Army Corps of Engineers original recommendations?
-Where would the leadership for such a massive project be found?
-Who really has oversight over this project?

Well, these questions and more were asked (and will be answered) by the speakers you’ll hear at this event:

-Clyde Picht, Former Fort Worth City Council Member
-Lon Burnham, Former State Representative, District 90 (covering Downtown Fort Worth)
-Mary Kelleher, Former Tarrant Regional Water Board Trustee
-Layla Carraway, local activist – who made a documentary, “Up A Creek” about Panther Island (then called ‘Trinity Uptown’) Clips from “Up A Creek” will be shown throughout
-John Spivey, moderator

Learn what happened, how it happened, and what we can do now.

Reading the list of speakers on the Facebook post I feel compelled to remove one of the 'r's from Ms. Caraway's name. But, now that I am thinking about it, maybe she has gone all Hollywood and has changed her original name by adding another 'r' to it.

I don't think I will be able to make it to this discussion, I don't know if I can afford that $10 suggested donation. I wonder if that gutless wonder, J.D. Granger, will be there...

1 comment:

John Spivey said...

Thanks for the mention, Durango. It seemed like the time was right for such a discussion again.