Monday, March 4, 2019

Why Can't Star-Telegram Tell Why Fort Worth's Panther Island Is So Complicated?

Yesterday on the day known as Sunday, after Elsie Hotpepper and Mr. Wayneman pointed me to it, I found myself opinionizing about that to which I had been pointed, that is the Sunday edition of the hard copy Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

The result of that blogging is what you see here, a screen cap of part of the aforementioned opinionizing post titled Is Fort Worth Star-Telegram Finally Truthfully Reporting About Panther Island Boondoggle?

In that blogging I mentioned that I would withhold judgement on whether or not Fort Worth finally has a real newspaper til I could read the entire article to see if those feeling optimistic that their local newspaper was finally going to act as one, by accurately reporting on the mess which has become America's Biggest Boondoggle, or if the article was yet one more instance of incompetent reporting, combined with blatant propaganda.

The online version of the article in question showed up this morning, on this first Monday of March. The title of the article has been changed from the hard copy version, now acting as if the article is going to answer the question "Why Panther Island is so costly and complicated".

The screen cap from this morning's online Star-Telegram $1.2 billion and no end in sight: Why Panther Island is so costly and complicated article is what you see below...

The online article begins with a video, which is what you see above, above the title. The elderly gentlemen in the video is Woody Frossard, Tarrant Regional Water District Engineer. At the start of the video we are told via a caption "Engineer explains Panther Island flood prevention project".

But what Woody actually does in the video is bizarrely describe why it is impractical to raise the Trinity River levees (which have prevented flooding for well over half a century).

I think this raising the levees bogeyman is what is known as a straw man. As already mentioned, flooding has not been an issue for over a half century in the area claimed to be in vital need of new flood control. That is how this was sold to the apparently gullible public early in this century, that the Trinity River Vision was a flood control and economic development project.

And yet, if this flood control is so vitally needed, why has this project limped along in slow motion ever since it was foisted on the public?

Despite its title the article does not explain what is supposedly so complicated about this project, which seems to be a relatively simple project, compared to actual feats of engineering, such as something like the Golden Gate Bridge (built in less than four years over actual deep, moving, dangerous water), or the Panama Canal, or the new tunnel under downtown Seattle (also built in less than four years).

The majority of America's interstate highway system was built over fewer years than Fort Worth's embarrassing Boondoggle has been boondoggling along.

It always amazes me how few comments are generated by what should seem to be a controversial article in the Star-Telegram, compared to other online newspapers I read, such as the Seattle Times, which on the morning of an article's publication can generate 100s of intelligent, responsive comments, whilst this morning's $1.2 billion and no end in sight: Why Panther Island is so costly and complicated in the Star-Telegram, covering a controversial subject, had generated only one comment by the time I read the article this morning, and that comment is a good one, which speaks to what I have already mentioned...

Beeks Land
Has anyone ever said exactly how much it would have to rain and for how long for the water to crest the levees in the vast majority of the river, from what I see the river has to rise up and out of its banks, then rise another 50 feet in some areas before it goes over the levees. This boondoggle will have a very hard time getting completed with the current leadership, however it looks like everyone will just look the other way and let it drag on. Stay on them for some accountability.

Speaking of that which Beeks Land mentioned about the current leadership of this project.

No mention is made of the recent J.D. Granger controversies. No mention of the hostile work environment he created by having an extra-marital office affair with one of his sub-ordinates. Then promoting the girl friend to a job title for which she, like her boy friend, was not qualified.

No mention was made in this article over the public outrage over learning how much J.D. Granger and former girl friend (now wife, if the Caribbean wedding took place as planned in February) are paid in salary and perks and benefits.

Unless I missed it this article purporting to tell us why this hapless project is so costly, and complicated, does neither. Nor does the article give us an explanation as to why it is taking so long to build three simple little bridges over dry land.

So perplexing...

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