Sunday, April 28, 2019

Sunny Sunday Two-Headed Goose Sikes Lake Sighting

Thunderstorms thundered through my zone of North Texas, off and on, Saturday night til the sun arrived this last Sunday of the 2019 version of April.

Judging by the puddled pools of water which remained under the now sunny Sunday sky the rain fell in copious amounts last night.

Even so, I am glad I decided to brave the elemental remains to find myself having a mighty fine bike ride, north on the Circle Trail, then through the Wichita Falls version of Beverly Hills, to the MSU campus and then Sikes Lake where I saw that which you see above.

The rumored two-headed goose and its flock of baby geese, more properly referred to as goslings. Today's flock of goslings was much larger than previous sightings of the Sikes Lake newborns. Only a few of the goslings are seen with the two-headed goose.

There appeared to be three separate goose families, all allied together in what appears to be a Goose Tribe. The perimeter of the Goose Tribe is defended by three extremely aggressive honking Goose Guards.

Being stealthy I was able to get past the Goose Guards to take the closeup of the gosling group you see here...

And the ultra closeup of the shy gosling guy you see here...

And that brings us to the end of today's communing with nature...

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Grapple Fort Worth's Bizarre Bridge Battle Boondoggle

This last Saturday morning of the 2019 version of April I woke up my computer to soon see I had been pointed to a post on Facebook, or tagged, or whatever the nomenclature is which means someone has stuck ones Facebook handle on a post so as to get ones attention.

This tagging was Elsie Hotpepper pointing me to yet one more article about America's Biggest Boondoggle. This one is in the Fort Worth Business Press, titled Bridge battle: Businesses, local officials grapple with project delays.
I read the article, then opined on Elsie Hotpepper's Facebook post something along the line of being really tired of this nonsense. I read these articles to find myself annoyed at mention being made of one thing or the other which just is not true.

At least this article did not repeat the ridiculous assertion that those pitiful little bridges being built in slow motion are being built over dry land to save money, and to make for easier construction, when the fact is there will never be any water running under those little bridges until a ditch is dug under them, with Trinity River water diverted into the ditch.

This particular article's worst instance of repeating nonsense without questioning it was repeating the idiocy that that ditch will "add flood control protection as well as carve out an 800-acre center island, which would create waterfront economic development opportunities. The bridges will cross the channel."

Add flood control protection? There has not been a flood of the Trinity River in the location in question since well over a half century ago when levees were built. Waterfront development opportunities? It's a ditch. It's a polluted river. How can anyone think someone this is going to end well, with any sort of viable waterfront opportunities?

I really don't know why I continue to bother opining about this, other than I just find it so aggravating to be eye witness to something so embarrassingly inept. With the nonsense just going on and on, year after year after year.

A couple days ago I blogged about the ridiculous Fort Worth Star-Telegram TRWD board endorsements in a blogging titled Fort Worth Star-Telegram Bizarre TRWD Board Endorsements. That blog post has only had a little over 800 page views when I saw the stats when logging in to write this current post. It feels like preaching to the choir. And never to the numbskulls who might benefit from wising themselves up to their civic reality.

As the Bridge battle: Businesses, local officials grapple with project delays title suggests this latest FW Business Press article about America's Biggest Boondoggle is mainly about the most visible symptom of the problem, that being the simple little bridges being stuck being built in slow motion.

The article points out various elements of the delay, such as "malfunction of design" problems, conflicts with contractors, conflicts with the management of the project. Yet, just like in a Star-Telegram article about this subject, we get zero details about what the precise design problems have been.

The article brings up the the recent revelations posted by the Texas Monitor, about emails discovered from 2016 in which it is clear J.D. Granger mucked around with the design of the bridges, thwarting a preferred design which the state agreed to pay for in total. Read the entire article for all the details, but suffice to say, why is Mary Kelleher the only current TRWD board candidate calling for the obvious? That being the firing of the ineptly unqualified J.D. Granger?

This latest article about America's Biggest Boondoggle is also about all the damage done to businesses affected by the long, messed up construction timeline. In my Facebook comment I opined that in addition to those currently being damaged there were also the hundreds damaged way earlier in this century by the Trinity River Vision's abuse of eminent domain, one of whom is a Fort Worth native, Bob Lukeman, who had his place of business taken, bulldozed whilst still awaiting a hearing in court, left damaged and not whole.

Criminal corruption, in my opinion, on the part of various elements of what passes for government in Fort Worth. And one of the reasons I hold the town in such low regard.

Bob Lukeman also commented on Elsie Hotpepper's Facebook this morning, after I commented.

The Lukeman comment in its entirety...

Wrote this in reply to Mark Greene’s post of the recent FWST article casually calling the levees obsolete and fostering the notion that I guess, we all agree with that.

Well! This is not what the Corp originally said (from the article)...

“The Panther Island project will replace levees the Army Corps of Engineers says are obsolete and pull about 2,400 acres out of the flood plain for what the Corps calls a “standard project flood,” which is the most severe flood considered possible for a region. This is a more traditional flood, such as when a river runs over its banks.”

The first idea about the state of the existing levee system from the Corp came after they routinely examined the current levee system and concluded that they needed to be raised in key areas to comply with the standard project flood requirements. This was budgeted at around 10 million dollars, and if initiated, would have been completed over a decade ago. This plan was disregarded with the ushering in of the TRV development plan and the Central City Corp plan adapted to comply with and compliment the TRV development plan. The statement that the levee system is obsolete is incorrect. These levees work as designed and implemented in the early 1950’s following the disastrous flooding in 1949. It’s the flooding along smaller tributaries and low lying areas that are damaging homes, property, threatening lives and in some cases causing deaths do to high fast flood waters.

I have copies of the Corp maps that show where their studies told them to bolster the existing levees. Anyone who categorizes these levees as obsolete is in the thrall of the development plan that takes down the levees to allow mixed use development right up to the waters edge in the TRV development plan.

Just like the promises of this new urban development, delivered to us via pretty pictures and the illusion of a San Antonio style river walk, the effectiveness of the flood control capabilities of the proposed bypass channel, with its mitigation of large and fast moving flood waters being downstream of the project, are unproven and are part of the same initial plan that submitted bridge designs that needed to be re-engineered at additional cost and are a part of the further delays in getting these bridges built over dry land, with the project claiming that this is a faster and less costly method.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Colorful Suspenseful Redrock Walk In Wichita Falls Lucy Park

The deluges of Tuesday and Wednesday added some colorful water to the Wichita River. But, not enough to flood Lucy Park like other recent deluges did.

This morning's walk across the Lucy Park suspension bridge provided a good look at the high flowing Wichita River, as you can clearly see here.

One would think after eons of water scouring the prairie that there would no longer be enough material to colorfully dye the Wichita River and neighboring Red River the redrock red color they are known for.

I have long been a fan of this color, ever since my first redrock experience in Utah, decades ago.

Earlier this century, I think the year was 2005, I was brought by the Knappsons to a party in the Washington town of Kent. The color scheme of the house in which the party took place was what I took to be shades of redrock. With light turquoise trim.

Ever since then I have wanted that color scheme for my own abode. The closest I have come is my current location, with brown carpet and matching wood floors. And turquoise rocks from Arizona.

Another look at the colorful Wichita River, with the view being from the center of the suspension bridge. Note the color coordinating with the color of the suspension cable complimenting the river color. I am sure this was done on purpose.

North of the suspension bridge I took a break in the Japanese pagoda and took the colorful picture you see here. I do not believe this is a natural collection of Texas wildflowers.

The Texas exterior color scheme is currently at about the most colorful it gets during the year. Soon all that you see in living color will be shades of one color.


Lucky for me brown is my favorite color, if one includes the redrock color as being a shade of brown.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Fort Worth Star-Telegram Bizarre TRWD Board Endorsements

A couple days ago, when I first heard of it via Facebook, I thought someone was making a late April Fool's Day joke posting that the Fort Worth Star-Telegram had endorsed the incumbent octogenarian, Marty Leonard, along with C.B. Team, as their recommendation regarding how those few allowed to vote should vote to represent them on the Tarrant Regional Water District board.

Read the entire Endorsement: Leonard, Team, for TRWD board editorial to get the full ridiculous illogical nonsense spouted in this typically embarrassing bit of Star-Telegram propaganda.

The endorsement starts off by stating the obvious fact that water is important.

And then goes from that bit of obviousness to telling us why this election is important....

That’s just one big reason why the impending election for the Tarrant Regional Water District Board of Directors — early voting in the May 4 election starts Monday, April 22 — should command your attention. We’ll give you another reason — in fact, over one billion of them: the Central City/Panther Island project, a $1.17 billion flood control and economic development program overseen in large part by the water board.

Yes, this is true, America's Biggest Boondoggle, also known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision, has been boondoggling along for most of this century, and that absurd boondoggle, brought upon Fort Worth by the TRWD board, should motivate sensible people to vote to replace those responsible, when given the opportunity to do so.

This boondoggle, when first first foisted on the not allowed to vote for it public, was touted as a vitally needed flood control project, and economic development scheme. This ill-conceived, ineptly implemented mess began near the start of this century, and is currently projected to possibly be completed sometime late in the next decade.

Yes. This is one "vitally needed" flood control project. To control floods where there has been no flooding in well over a half a century due to flood control levees already doing their job. Meanwhile multiple areas of Tarrant County regularly flood, as recently as today, due to irresponsible development, which was not required to properly mitigate the increased water run-off the development has caused.

I eye witnessed this development caused flooding yesterday on my once a month return to the Dallas/Fort Worth zone. I was heading south on 820, intending to exit to Randol Mill Road to check in on Mary Kelleher, but was unable to do so because Randol Mill Road was closed due to that aforementioned bad development caused flooding.

Now, let's take a look at why the Star-Telegram recommended re-electing Marty Leonard...

After interviewing and discussing each of the five candidates for the five-member board’s two available seats — you vote for two of the five — we recommend board veteran Marty Leonard and newcomer Charles “C.B.” Team.

Incumbency isn’t often thought of as a positive anymore, but the truth is that experience and knowledge have to count for something — especially when it comes to providing water to well over 2 million. In this regard, Marty Leonard is, frankly, a gem.

The 82-year-old businesswoman and daughter of the Leonard’s Department Store founder has been key plank of the TRWD board since 2006. Besides riding herd on the Central City flood control project, she has, for instance, been among those overseeing the $2 billion-plus Integrated Pipeline Project being built to eventually supply 200 million more gallons a day to TRWD customers and another 150 million gallons to Dallas.

You don’t learn how to do all this overnight.

Okay, well, I know Marty Leonard is a nice lady. Easy to get along with. I have been told this by person's with first hand experience with Marty Leonard. Those same people have also told me that Marty Leonard pretty much just goes along with what she is told to go along with, at the direction of the TRWD's un-elected boss, Jim Oliver.

Marty Leonard may also be a gem. But, she is not a gem at overseeing anything to do with what the TRWD is charged with overseeing.

The Star-Telegram is actually suggesting Marty Leonard has been riding herd on the TRWD's imaginary flood control project? If so, shouldn't the Star-Telegram be recommending instead that Marty Leonard be removed for being part of creating America's Biggest Boondoggle, and for the dawdling slow motion reality of this un-needed imaginary flood control project?

Marty Leonard has been a "key plank of the TRWD board"? What does that even mean? That integrated pipeline project is another problematic TRWD project, which has long been controversial.

Now, I have been told multiple instances of 82 year old Marty Leonard being charmingly doddery. My favorite is the time at a TRWD board meeting when Marty Leonard told her fellow board members she was walking the Trinity Trail and saw signs warning people not to eat the fish they caught. Marty Leonard asked why we would put up such signs. Unaware, apparently, of the polluted status of the Trinity River and its regularly elevated e.coli levels.

And then we have this ridiculous newspaper's endorsement of C.B. Tram.

Though a first-time candidate, Team, 36, has been attending TRWD meetings for three years and, as one board observer put it to us, is running for the right reasons and “doing his homework.” The son of a well-known ranch family, he teams a land-loving background with experience as a real estate broker — an exquisite combination for this board at this particular time. And despite his real estate background, he wants Panther Island to be a flood-control project first and foremost.

A real estate broker. Who the Star-Telegram tells us is running for the right reasons and who has done his homework via attending TRWD meetings for three years. And he comes from a well-known ranch family, which supposedly gives him a land loving background. And even so he wants the imaginary Panther Island to be a flood control project (where there has been no flooding for way over half a century) before considering anything else, like developing the real estate on the imaginary island.

The Star-Telegram opines Team has the needed experience. But does not endorse Mary Kelleher, who served a four year TRWD board term, and who the Star-Telegram endorsed the last time she ran.

And why did the Star-Telegram choose not to endorse incumbent Jim Lane? Or Gary Moates?

When the Star-Telegram interviewed Mary Kelleher she indicated she would advocate for the resignations of TRWD dictator boss, Jim Oliver, and TRVA executive director, J.D. Granger. And also advocated a thorough forensic audit of the entire Panther Island Boondoggle mess.

While Gary Moates told the Star-Telegram that he thought the ridiculously wasteful Trinity River Panther Island Vision installation on the ground floor of the Star-Telegram building should be removed.

Apparently the Star-Telegram does not think Mary Kelleher or Gary Moates have the "right reasons" to be running.

So, the Star-Telegram basically endorsed a pair of lackeys who will just go along with the incompetent mess which has been an ongoing Fort Worth eyesore for most of this century. With no current end in sight, and the only hope for a fix being booting those responsible...

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Why Anyone Thinks Fort Worth Sports Would Get America Talking

A couple days ago I mentioned seeing a trio of headlines, all in a row, on the front page of the online version of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, with those headlines, just those, before reading the articles, causing the eye rolling head shaking reaction one has when reading something which seems obviously goofy.

Those three headlines were...

This north Fort Worth neighborhood will soon be getting a brand-new liquor store

Consultant for Amazon HQ2 explains how Fort Worth missed out

Why Fort Worth hopes sports is the tourism ticket

We will be discussing that third article headline in detail, but first let's make mention of the other two.

A newspaper in a town with a population nearing a million, on its front page, touts a "brand-new" liquor store which a north Fort Worth neighborhood will be getting soon.

How is that not an embarrassing thing to write a news article about?

And that consultant explaining how Fort Worth missed out on Amazon HQ2. Well, despite the headline, the actual article is more about how the entire Dallas/Fort Worth area missed out.

It does not take any sort of consultant to explain why Fort Worth is unable, despite multiple attempts, to lure any corporation to relocate to Fort Worth.

We have pointed out multiple times that it does not look good for a town to have few streets with sidewalks, to not have modern public mass transit, to not have sufficient city parks, and with way too many of those parks sporting way too many outhouses, and few modern facilities.

And a modern America city, which gets HOT in summer, to not have multiple public city pools is just wrong.

It is also not appealing to any corporation looking to relocate for a town to be hosting the world's biggest experiment in urban gas fracking. Which is an experiment which has mostly failed.

And, in addition to all that, what does Fort Worth think a corporation re-locator thinks when visiting the north end of downtown to find a boarded up eyesore park supposedly celebrating Fort Worth's heritage, with that park's boarded up overlook looking over America's Biggest Boondoggle, a failed public works project which has long been mostly stalled in neutral, with three little bridges partially built, over dry land, for years?

And now on to that Why Fort Worth hopes sports is the tourism ticket article.

First off, this type verbiage is annoyingly dumb.

"Fort Worth hopes..."?

Really? How did the author of this article determine what Fort Worth is hoping?

Can you imagine a similar article headline in a town with a real newspaper?

Why New York City hopes sports is the tourism ticket? Why Austin hopes sports is the tourism ticket? Why Albuquerque hopes sports is the tourism ticket? Why Seattle hopes sports is the tourism ticket?

I've long made note of the fact that Fort Worth gets few tourists, and that there is really only one remotely unique tourist attraction in town, that being the Fort Worth Stockyards.

Let's take a look at why, according to this article, Fort Worth is hoping sports may be the town's tourism ticket.

The first three paragraphs...

Athletics are big business, and Fort Worth wants to grow its slice of the pie.

This weekend’s NCAA women’s gymnastics championship at the Fort Worth Convention Center was expected to bring more than $2 million to the local economy, but that’s a tiny piece of the market. Fans spend more than $10 billion annually traveling for sporting events.

Jason Sands, Visit Fort Worth’s director of sports, thinks the city can tap in to a large chunk of the growing sports tourism market, especially with the 14,000-seat Dickies Arena opening this fall.

Now there's a newsflash for you. Athletics is big business. And apparently Fort Worth, or someone in Fort Worth, wants a slice of that pie.

And, oh my, this weekend's gymnastics championship at Fort Worth's Convention Center is expected to bring more than $2 million to the local economy.

Wow! $2 million! I read that and instantly thought of Austin Powers and Dr. Evil, who, after being in a long coma, wakes up to make a $1 million ransom demand, with Dr. Evil not realizing one million bucks is no longer a HUGE amount. It is a game show prize.

So, Fort Worth has a director of sports who thinks Fort Worth's relatively puny new arena will be able to tap into that growing sports tourism market.

Who thought it was a good idea, marketing wise, to name this new arena "Dickies"? This will just give Fort Worth few tourists one more thing to giggle about.

And then the next paragraph...

The $540 million arena will play host to three years of the collegiate gymnastics finals as well as the first- and second-round games of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament in 2022. Dickies will also host the American Athletic Conference men’s basketball championships from 2020 to 2022.

$540 million is a relatively small price tag for this relatively small arena in a relatively large big city. And some early round and low interest events have already been scheduled for Dickies? Does it not occur to anyone that major venues in major cities were likely not all that interested in hosting these events?

And then there is this gem...

Sporting events, like conventions, draw thousands from across the country and are Fort Worth’s chance to introduce itself to a national audience. Between those who visit and those who see Fort Worth locales on ESPN, sports can be the city’s introduction to tourists, Sands said.

So, now, in 2019, Fort Worth is ready to introduce itself to a national audience? Via sporting events? In Dickies Arena? Okay, so a tourist comes to see some sporting event in Fort Worth, thus introducing the town to the formerly not familiar tourist.

What does that tourist see when not watching those sporting events? A downtown with few hotels, no department stores, few restaurants for a downtown of a relatively large city, no downtown grocery stores. Molly the Trolley offering public transit between downtown, the Stockyards and the museums in the district devoted to culture. That tourist may also see that aforementioned Heritage Park eyesore which has been boarded up for a decade. Or take a look at America's Biggest Boondoggle, asking for an explanation for the odd forms stuck in the air trying to become a bridge.

That sport director we previously mentioned is then quoted with this gem...

“This stuff is immeasurable in terms of elevating Fort Worth in the national conversation,” Sands said.

So, this stuff is immeasurable in how it is able, or not able, to elevate Fort Worth in the national conversation?

Oh yes, I can see how being host to a few random sporting events well be boosting Fort Worth in the national conversation. People all over America will be talking about those Fort Worth gymnastic meets and basketball games, in addition to marveling at the town being host to America's Biggest Boondoggle.

And then a few more paragraphs of nonsense from that Fort Worth director of sports...

These events are just the beginning of Fort Worth as sports destination, Sands said.

He pointed to Omaha, Neb., which has made a name for itself hosting youth and college baseball tournaments as an example of Fort Worth’s ambitions, either with gymnastics or another sport.

“When you think of baseball you think Omaha,” Sands said. “That’s what we’re trying to build here.”

Oh my, these events are just the start of something big! The beginning of Fort Worth becoming an imaginary sports destination.

Like Omaha.

I had no idea that when I, along with the rest of the world, think of Omaha, we think of baseball.

So, that is what that Fort Worth director of sports is trying to build in Fort Worth.

Another Omaha.

I wonder if Omaha has any imaginary islands, bridges stuck over dry land, a downtown with few stores, city parks with world class outhouses, streets without sidewalks and river rocking inner tube parties in a polluted river

One would think that in its current form Fort Worth would not want to be being part of any sort of national conversation...

Monday, April 22, 2019

Wichita Falls Sikes Lake Fynn Family Goose Portrait Posing

What with today being the last day for a couple days with the outdoor world guaranteed to be dry, and lightning strike-free, at my location I decided to go on a long bike ride this morning.

And so it was back for a couple times around Sikes Lake as part of that bike ride.

My first stop at Sikes Lake was at the bucolic bayou scene you see here, with my handlebars pointing west, atop one of the two signature bridges which cross Sikes Lake.

Bridges built over water in less than a year, with no corrupt local congresswoman's son in charge of the building project.

Yesterday slightly north of this bridge I came upon the Fynn Family of Geese and Goslings. I looked for them at the same location today, and found them absent.

But a few minutes later, after crossing the signature Sikes Lake bridge at the north end of the lake, I came upon the Fynn Family at a new location.

I do not think the newborn goslings are yet certified to fly. I also do not know if they have yet been certified to swim. All I have seen them do is be mobile on land, such as when I saw them today in marching mode.

Did the Fynn Family march all the way from the other side of the lake, bravely crossing a bridge?

The geese were in a slightly shady location which was rendering the photo taking not optimal in the lighting department. I tried various settings and eventually just asked the Fynns if they would mind just posing for me whilst I quickly took their picture.

And so, mom and dad stood aside while the five siblings stood still for the photo you see above. And then a loud honk from mom or dad, or both, got them marching in line again.

I was not the only Goose aficionado taking photos and video of the Fynns today. They have become quite a tourist attraction.

Speaking of tourist attractions.

A couple days ago I mentioned three headlines I saw on the front page of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, all in a row, all which had my eyes rolling and head shaking in wonderment. At the time I indicated I had sort of worn out of feeling motivated to have fun making mocking fun of this type nonsense in Fort Worth's pitiful excuse for a newspaper of record in a town of over 800,000 population.

But, today, whilst pedaling, that Why Fort Worth hopes sports is the tourism ticket headline came to mind and had me thinking of all the reasons such an idea is embarrassingly ridiculous, and indicative of a larger civic pathology, which is reflected way too often in that town's one and only newspaper.

Maybe later today or tomorrow we will get around to talking about Fort Worth's forlorn hope to turn sports into a tourism ticket, in a town with few tourists, and few tourist attractions...

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Wichita Falls Goslings Find Tacoma Easter Egg Hunting David, Theo & Ruby With Hopping Henry

On this 2019 version of Easter Sunday I opted out of anything to do with ham, instead making Polish tacos with Kielbasa.

But, before that gourmet feast there was no way I was not going to have some outdoor fun on this most perfect day yet of the year.

It does not take much for me to think I am having fun. Today that meant I had fun rolling my non-mechanized wheels north on the Circle Trail, then taking the Wichita Falls Beverly Hills route to the Midwestern  State University campus, where I stopped in the shade near the MSU fountain to check incoming text messages which had been making noise as I rolled along.

Among the text messages was one inviting me virtually attend a Tacoma Easter Egg Hunt with David, Theo and Ruby, plus a couple dozen more egg hunters.

But, before I virtually went to Tacoma I rolled my wheels around Sikes Lake, where I saw the Easter appropriate scene you see above. A couple of goose parental units with their newborn flock of goslings.

A few days ago I made mention of the fact this goose family has been the victim of a heinous crime, that being the Murder of Uncle Fynn.

So far no one has been arrested for the shooting death of Fynn.

Now, on to that virtual Tacoma Easter Egg Hunt, before we do some Hopping with Henry. I think I forgot to mention we would be Hopping with Henry today.

Above we see the 9th Annual David, Theo and Ruby Backyard Easter Egg Hunt moments before the ribbon was cut to start the hunt.

There were 32 Egg Hunters this year. Ranging from not quite one year old, to one teenager of 13.

It appears David's basket is empty of eggs. This photo must have been taken early in the hunt. As you can see David is a University of Washington fan. I don't know if he is already taking classes. He is a bit of a Sheldon, if you know what I mean.

Of course Ruby excels at finding Easter Eggs.

Ruby's Uncle Jake and I were masters at this when we were David, Theo and Ruby's age.

Many a Golden Egg we would find in the Easter Egg Hunt which took place across the street from our abode, in Burlington's Maiben Park.

Binoculars, along with parental units who did not tell us it was cheating, may have helped with those Golden Egg discoveries.

And then there is Theo.

Of course this Egg Hunting speed demon managed to fill his Easter Egg basket. I

And then a few miles north of Tacoma, in the Skagit Valley town of Clear Lake, we have Spencer Jack's cousin, Henry, doing some Easter Bunny Hopping.

When Henry's Great Aunt Jackie was Henry's size she did her hopping in a device we called the Jolly Jumper. I do not remember if the Jolly Jumper was still around by the time David, Theo and Ruby's mama Michele was of the Jolly Jumping size.

Easter is barely half over and I'm already worn out, what with miles of bike riding, visiting goslings, virtual egg hunting and hopping with Henry.

It's time for a nap. Or another Easter Taco...

Friday, April 19, 2019

Salubrious Sikes Lake Wichita Falls Wildflower Walk

Today I opted to follow my pseudo doctor's advice to stay off my bike and go on a long walk instead, because, according to that pseudo doctor's analysis, my aching joints are due to too much time spent sitting on a saddle and not enough time spent vertical in walk or hike mode.

And so today I took a long walk to Sikes Lake.

I was not long into walking before I realized it had been a long time since I had done such a thing. I soon found walking conducive to thinking about things I might not have thought about whilst engaging in the more active activity of riding a bike.

That and whilst walking I was easily able to stop and smell the roses. Well. Primroses. As in Evening Primroses, currently in their annual bloom mode.

Above you see a patch in the pink at Sikes Lakes.

Walking along whilst thinking I dwelled a moment or two on a subject which has grown old, as in I've grown tired of a particular subject. With that subject being the Texas town I used to live in.

Fort Worth.

This morning's Fort Worth Star-Telegram had way too much mocking material. Three front page headlines right in a row which caused a head shake and eye roll. Below are those three headlines, without the headlines linked to the actual pitifully embarrassing articles...

Why Fort Worth hopes sports is the tourism ticket

This north Fort Worth neighborhood will soon be getting a brand-new liquor store

Consultant for Amazon HQ2 explains how Fort Worth missed out

Anyone who has previously read what I have made note of about Fort Worth can probably guess what I might point out in these three articles.

Two of the three are examples of Fort Worth's tendency to delusion, as reflected in the town's sad excuse for a newspaper.

One of the three is just an embarrassing front page headline to see in a newspaper in a town of over 800,000 population.

I am sort of falling behind in pointing out embarrassing things I've been reading in the Star-Telegram. Maybe I will get around to catching up. Maybe not....

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Two Egrets With No Regrets Monitoring Wichita Falls Rapids

When the sun arrived this morning I opened my bedroom window and heard the roaring of my neighborhood rapids.

The loud rapid roar had me wondering if last night's predicted thunderstorms, with heavy rain, softball sized hail, and possible tornadoes had struck in locations other than my location, which was peaceful all night long, with rain falling on other locations adding more water to the already heavily watered Holliday Creek.

The morning local news brought no info about any storming in the area adding to last Saturday's flooding.

Coming up on noon I exited my abode to push through the wind gusting on the Circle Trail to take a closer look at my neighborhood Holliday Creek rapids.

The rapids did not look all the much more rapid than they looked the day before. I have no idea why the rapids were roaring noisy this morning.

If you look close at the above photo documentation of those rapids you can see an egret on both sides of the whitewater, hoping, I assume, to catch a fish floundering through the high water.

Speaking of flooding. There was fresh nonsense in this morning's Fort Worth Star-Telegram, with the nonsense coming from TRWD board incumbents answering questions about the ongoing TRWD boondoggle scandals. I don't know if I can muster caring enough to point out the absurdity of what those two incumbents are propaganda-izing. It gets sort of tiring doing so...

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Happy Late Birthday Sister Michele

My excuse is I am borderline elderly and increasingly forgetful. That and I currently have way too much troubling my easy to trouble mind..

So, I forgot to make timely note of one of the most significant dates of the year.

April 13.

That being the date my baby sister was born. I can remember that day as if it were yesterday. I will avoid going into all the details, but suffice to say, having an incoming new baby brother or sister was a big deal at the time. So, when I called the hospital from my high school office phone there was a crowd around me awaiting the news.

Later that day Miss Linda Lou and I ventured east to United General Hospital to meet my baby sister, Michele, for the first time.

I am sure Linda Lou saw Michele many a time over the years since that birth day. But it had been many years between that day and Linda Lou seeing Michele once again, way back in August of 2017, at Birch Bay, up near the Canadian border. I suspect Michele has no memory of Linda Lou from when she was a little kid.

I do not know if Michele remembers the pony she used to ride in our Burlington neighborhood. Above we see Michele taking her big sister, Jackie for a ride. By this time, if I remember correctly, Jackie had adjusted to the reality she was no longer the baby sister.

Last month we watched David, Theo and Ruby ride horses off into the desert in Arizona. At the time I remember Michele remarking regarding how tiny Ruby looked riding a big horse. I think Michele, on her horse, named Gertrude, looks even tinier than Ruby.

Let's take a look at baby Michele's first birthday party.

That is Michele being the birthday party centerpiece, in our Burlington backyard, atop the picnic table I made in shop. That is Michele's big sister, Jackie, reaching out to her. In the foreground, on the right, that is Barbara B., who also shows up in the last photo in this birthday series.

But first let's look at Michele's first car.

I do not remember if this car was battery powered, or brother pushing powered. I suspect the latter.

Eventually Michele moved on to bigger cars.

Above we see Michele getting aboard my 65 Mustang Fastback. I lost a lot of never to be replaced things in that Mustang, including my 8 track tape collection which was stolen whilst I was camping at Deception Pass State Park.

I do not remember if the above photo was taken before Michele took me on a drive, like her youngest son, Theo, took me on last month in Arizona.

I truly do not remember Michele ever driving my Mustang, but I suspect she did.

And now another Michele birthday party.

Michele looks to be a few years older than her birthday party perched atop the picnic table. I think I see four candles on the cake. Behind Michele, in white and blue, is the aforementioned Barbara B., who we aforementioned we would be seeing again. Next to Barbara, in darker blue, is big sister, Jackie. I recognize no one else, except maybe the redhead in stripes on the right. That may be Cami M.

I saw both Cami M. and Barbara B. when I was in Arizona last month. Cami showed up at for the swim party at Jackie's, the last Saturday David, Theo, Ruby, Michele and Kristin were in town.

A few days later Barbara B. and her first husband, Dave, showed up, which was an unexpected surprise we all enjoyed greatly.

My somewhat reliable sources tell me that for her next birthday Michele is planning on being in Paris, with David, Theo, Ruby and Kristin. I have not yet been invited to that birthday party....

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Look At Notre Dame With Our Favorite Nephew Jason

Yesterday afternoon when I first heard Notre Dame was in flames the thought crossed my mind that the last time I recollect Notre Dame coming to mind was a couple years ago when Spencer Jack's dad, my Favorite Nephew Jason, texted me a photo of himself sitting on a bench in front of a familiar looking structure.

Looking at that photo Notre Dame crossed my mind, so I Googled for images and soon found an image which matched that photo from Jason.

I texted back that "I am guessing this is not a look at the latest remodel of the Burlington Lutheran Church. It looks like Notre Dame, but I had not been informed you left the United States, let alone being in France".

Jason texted back that he and his mother, she being one of my Favorite Ex-Sister-in-Laws, were in the midst of a short visit to Paris.

So, yesterday afternoon, about two minutes after first learning Notre Dame was in flames, Jason texted me again, and once again all that text message contained was an attachment of that same photo of Jason and Notre Dame he had sent me a couple years ago.

I sat here and thought what an odd coincidence that Jason would send me that photo seconds after thinking of it again.

I then text messaged Jason back. What follows are those messages...

Me: When I saw this happening I thought of you sending me that pic years ago of you and Notre Dame and  me guessing what I was looking at. Sad. It survived the Nazis, but not a renovation.
Jason: It is truly the center of the city. Pictures don't do justice to the gigantic size of the cathedral. Imagine Seattle without the Space Needle, or San Francisco without the Golden Gate Bridge.

Me: Or NYC without the Twin Towers.

Jason: Or Fort Worth without Panther Island.

I must momentarily digress from the text messages to make mention of being amused at Jason's reference to Fort Worth's embarrassment.

Jason making a Panther Island joke is an indicator that Fort Worth being host to America's Biggest Boondoggle is giving the town status it has never had, in the national recognition level type of status, as in actually being known for something. When that upcoming 60 Minutes expose of Fort Worth corruption is broadcast it will really amp up Fort Worth's national notoriety.

Back to the text messages...

Me: Just saw pics your favorite mama put pics of your visit to Notre Dame on Facebook. Why is there so much flammable material ready to burn? I thought such structures were made of masonry and glass.

Jason: I wondered the exact same thing.

Thus ended yesterday's text messages, with Jason and me wondering the exact same thing.

By this morning, with the fire extinguished, we had an answer. The masonry superstructure of Notre Dame was not destroyed by the fire. The fuel for the fire was provided by the massive wooden sub-structure which supported the cathedral's roof.

This morning when I woke up my computer and checked email I found the following photo compilation from Jason...

With the text in the email saying "Yesterday, and another day before Yesterday..."

Monday, April 15, 2019

Help Solve Wichita Falls Sikes Lake Fynn Goose Murder

Yesterday I was shocked to learn of the murder of one of my favorite Sikes Lake geese.


A GoFundMe page has been set up to help raise funds to get Justice For Fynn.

I had an encounter with Fynn just last week, whilst he was in protect his adopted family mode.

Following is the story of Fynn, told on the aforementioned GoFundMe page. Read the story and see if you can understand why Vernon College is being so uncooperative regarding the investigation into the murder of Fynn.

Justice For Fynn

Fynn was a beautiful, majestic, kind, and loyal male Chinese (domesticated) goose who had been abandoned an at outlying pond at the edge of town, it is suspected when his petting zoo went out of business in 2016. Starving and lonely in that not well visited place, I rescued him and took him in for a month of rehabilitation to get his weight back up. When he was in good health, I moved him to Sikes Lake in Wichita Falls, Tx, where others of his kind also resided. After only a short time there, he shrugged off trying to fit in with the other Chinese geese, and he saw a family of wild Canada geese with 11 of their only  days' old goslings, who had just hatched out on the campus of Vernon College, adjacent to Sikes Lake.  Fynn decided that this mom and dad had their hands full protecting 11 babies, so my rescue goose then decided that he, himself,  would also be a goose rehabber, and that these babies needed 3 protectors instead of just 2. And, surprisingly, mommy and daddy Canada goose let him into their family and trusted Fynn, when they would not even trust others of their own kind. Because Fynn was my rescue goose and who always came to me when called and showed affection, the Canada geese also came to trust me and let me mingle in their family, because they trusted that Fynn trusted me. The babies came to know both Fynn and I quite well, and I fed them back up food regularly every 2-3 days. And for the next year they all traveled together as a family, with Fynn often leading them all. They relied on him because he was the largest of them and it made them feel safe that he was among them as an ally.

As the babies turned to juveniles, Summer and Fall turned to Winter, yet, they all stayed together as a family. When Spring came again this year, mommy goose began preparing for nesting once more on the campus of nearby Vernon College, just outside the east entrance. She had done this many years before. What was different this time, is that they now had a new adult family member to help stand guard over the nesting mother. It would have been Fynn's second group of goslings to help raise for this family, but it was his first time here to guard the nest. He often rotated out duties with the daddy goose and gave him a break. Daddy goose usually preferred to stay in a nearby field and keep away other Canada geese. But Fynn preferred to be right here most of the time, guarding the immediate vicinity of the nest. He quickly became known to students and faculty and was adored by many. During my daily visits to leave food and water for the mother and whomever was standing guard, I would often speak at length to people coming and going, and told their story, and Fynn's own story, and would demonstrate to them my close relationship with Fynn, his trust of me, and how harmless and loving he really was. 

Canada goose incubation takes about 24-28 days to hatching. Fynn was very excited to meet the next group of babies, and help raise them. And he was almost there. But sadly, at approximately day 20, Fynn's life was cut short by a murdering, animal abusing, coward, who fired a BB into his chest as he stood his guard post on the morning of April 11, 2019. He was later found by a bystander entering the building and taken to a local bird rescue, where he died just 5 minutes before I could arrive to render him aid or let him know that his daddy was there for him as he passed. That was stolen from me. He was my best friend and a service animal to me, who once saved my life when I was in despair 3 years ago. That's how I first came to find him dumped and lonely in that remote and less well known pond. He was there, wanting to be my friend and feeling my pain, when I needed him most, and because he just so happened to have needed me too. He was stolen from many fans of my rescue, and the local people who also loved him and looked forward to his greeting in the morning. And most of all, he was stolen from his family and the next group of goslings who will now never benefit of his further protection, and will never know him,...nor that their biggest protector died just days before they came into the world.  They now won't know that he ever existed, and was silenced about a week shy of their laying eyes on him as their uncle whom they could also run to for protection.

I am also petitioning Vernon College for release of their security camera footage from at least 2 cameras pointed at the east entrance, landing, and parking lot. When I began investigating Fynn's death and inquiring about camera footage from security and actually making progress in finding students who witnessed something that morning, I was summarily barred from the premises by security for no justifiable reason, under threat of arrest. I had been coming here for 20 straight days to care for these geese and educate passers-by until they hatched, and did the same last year without any complaints whatsoever. But as soon as I start asking questions of students who are ON BREAK from class in a publicly accessible area, I am almost immediately approached and threatened with arrest by security if I return to ANY Vernon College property. This is an outrage. For a few years, I taught a kid's summer camp course for them on wildlife and environmental education. I led field trips to Sikes Lake to show the kids my release of local wildlife that had been rehabbed,  organized a lake shore clean up day with the kids, and was once considered adjunct faculty in the CE program as well. Never a single problem until the day after Fynn's death, when I had been there not more than 20 minutes and the head of security, Ken Terry, saw me and told me to leave under threat of arrest. 

Please help us raise a substantial reward, that will go to anyone providing information that will lead to reliable identification of his killer. Verifiable proof in the form of video, audio, text, witness statements, or confessions that satisfy me to a preponderance of the evidence of the killer's identity will be sufficient.

If you have any information at all about Fynn's murder, please help. And please donate today toward obtaining Justice for Fynn. 

Also need volunteers!

a. Someone who will draft/print hard copy petition for circulation on campus to get physical signatures requesting the release of security camera footage and Vernon College to reverse their baseless ban against me and reinstate my access to care for these geese.

b. Someone who will set up an online petition for circulation online and then share it.

c. Someone who will step up and meet me once a day, or as many times as they can, to receive fresh food and a water bottle from me, to refill the bowls for momma goose until such time as Vernon College reverses their unreasonable and unsubstantiated banning of me from continuing my work as a local wildlife rehabilitator and known face to this particular family of geese.

Thank you

Sunday, April 14, 2019

April Showers Bring Wichita Falls Flowers & Rapids

This second Sunday of the 2019 version of April dawned dry under a blue sky at my current North Texas location.

Yesterday wind blew, rain fell, and thunder boomed all day long.

But, no tornado sirens.

During the worst of yesterday's storming I decided it was a fine time to brave the elements, get under a bumbershoot, and make my way through the temporary moat which tries to block access to my carport in order to take Miss Daisy on a virtual drive to ALDI.

Miss Daisy seemed to enjoy the drive, splashing through the flooded intersections, and then the final turn on the road to ALDI, that being Lawrence Road, which when too much rain falls that road turns into a river, with the flow making the drive to ALDI into a splashy push upriver til finally docking the pseudo boat in the ALDI parking lot.

I heard somewhere that April showers are responsible for bringing May flowers, or something like that. I have no way of knowing if it was yesterday's April showers which brought about the way before May flowers you see my bike's handlebars hovering over in the photo above.

As you can see looking down into the Holliday Creek canyon, below the field of flowers, yesterday's deluge is rendering rapids on Holliday Creek.

When this happens I am always a little surprised that I never see anyone shooting the Holliday Creek rapids in a kayak. It would seem one could have themselves a mighty fine float all the way from the Lake Wichita dam spillway to the Wichita River a few miles downstream.

There must be some dangers of which I am not aware which prevents anyone from taking this Wichita Falls water ride.

By tomorrow chilly temperatures are scheduled to be replaced by heat, so today's running of the furnace will likely be again replaced by the running of the air conditioner. I am hoping today is the last day the furnace will be needed until many months from now...

Friday, April 12, 2019

Mary Kelleher & Gary Moates Must Win May 4 TRWD Board Election

Last night I listened to a town meeting sort of event where Tarrant Regional Water District board candidates, Mary Kelleher and Gary Moates, answered a few questions from citizens concerned about all the issues associated with the TRWD, including America's Biggest Boondoggle, also known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision.

Many aspects of the TRWD's mismanagement were addressed, in addition to the central Trinity River Vision Boondoggle issue.

Listening to the candidates responses it seems clear that among the things they would like to see changed is the employment of TRWD General Manager, Jim Oliver, and TRVA Executive Director, J.D. Granger, with both needing to be removed for multiple reasons.

The TRWD incumbents up for re-election are once again Jim Lane and Marty Leonard. The last time a TRWD board election featured this pair the voting results were part of what brought about the supposedly biggest election fraud investigation in Texas state history.

The election fraud in that particular election seemed obvious for multiple reasons. Such as in the previous TRWD board election Mary Kelleher was elected with the then biggest vote total in TRWD election history. In the following election, if two opponents succeeded in booting Jim Lane and Marty Leonard, then Mary Kelleher would have had two allies on the TRWD board, and thus would no longer be thwarted in bringing about big changes, such as opening the books, transparency, and questioning issues of nepotism, such as the employment of J.D. Granger and relatives of Jim Oliver.

Hence, the TRWD insiders had multiple reasons to resort to any means available to insure they did not lose control of the TRWD board.

Hence, the alleged election fraud.

Now, it clearly sounds ridiculous to allege something like election fraud to explain losing an election. Usually those making such claims make absurd assertions, such as illegal aliens voted.

But, in the TRWD board election in question there were multiple red flags. Such as Lane and Leonard received more votes than Mary Kelleher did in the previous record breaking election.

Lane and Leonard needed to get more votes than Kelleher received, to insure that the challengers did not also get a Kelleher vote level, and thus win the election, booting Lane and Leonard.

That election, which re-elected Lane and Leonard the last time, also had a statistically absurd high level of absentee ballots, which was one of the triggers raising suspicion, in addition to the unlikely vote totals.

Nothing of substance came from that biggest election fraud investigation in Texas history. If I remember right one low level worker was charged with something.

Clearly multiple levels of Texas government had reason to not strongly pursue a fraudulent low level election, what with this happening in a Republican district under the sway of congresswoman Kay Granger, whose son, J.D., was installed in that TRVA Executive Director job for which it is now painfully, pitifully obvious he was not qualified.

And now, once again, Jim Lane and Marty Leonard are up for re-election. And this time, unlike the last time, they face strong opponents in Mary Kelleher and Gary Moates. And this time the stakes are even higher for Jim Oliver and J.D. Granger.

And J.D.'s mother.

If Jim Oliver loses control of the TRWD board there will be multiple consequences.

If whoever committed the election fraud previously, and who succeeded in doing so, why would they not attempt to do so again, what with the stakes being much higher?

May 4 is going to be an interesting day...

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Arresting Record News Today From Tacoma's Queen V

Now this is a bit of interesting unexpected news I learned this morning via Facebook.

Apparently I am going to be arrested, along with Tacoma's Virginia D, known as Queen V, for somehow accidentally breaking into a house whilst intoxicated on bath salts.

Yes, that sounds likely.

Currently Queen V is under house arrest in her Tacoma abode. Multiple government vehicles are blocking all traffic in an out of Queen V's Tacoma compound.

One of the government vehicles is a large bus type conveyance, painted with flowers, making it look like a bad version of a Hippie's VW bus.

The flower laden bus has multiple antennas on its roof, suggesting it may be the command vehicle, or maybe it is now openly monitoring Queen V electronic communication.

We do not know, yet, if this Tacoma police action is in any way related to the Julian Assange arrest in the UK. Queen V has previously denied having any contact with the Wikileaks leaker.

I am fairly certain Bravo is still filming the new season of The Real Housewives of Tacoma, so we may get to see today's Queen V drama at some point in the future...

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Are Fort Worth Feral Cats Restoring LaGrave Field?

I first saw reference made to that which you see here this morning via Facebook.

My reaction to the question asked in this Fort Worth Star-Telegram headline was to wonder why.

As in why would any sane entity want to restore this rundown ballpark one more time? I have seen this ballpark already restored once since I have been observing that special American town of Fort Worth.

Years ago I made a webpage showing what I was appalled to see when I visited this imaginary jewel of a ballpark, in a town of over 800,000. That revival did not last long, and now, in 2019, this pitiful ruin of a ballpark is now located on that equally pitiful imaginary landmark known as Panther Island.

Now, I am aware there are locals who are baseball fanatics who loved watching their hometown Fort Worth Cats play baseball in this pitiful ballpark in a league of teams located in small towns a fraction of the size of Fort Worth.

But, really, this decrepit rundown ballpark is not worthy of any town with pretensions of being a Big City. even before LaGrave Field once again became a rundown eyesore it should have embarrassed locals to have it as their "professional" ballpark.

And then we mix in all the financial shenanigans associated with LaGrave Field. This Are the Fort Worth Cats coming back to a restored LaGrave Field? article does not detail any of those shenanigans of the past.

But, the article does make mention of present day shenanigans. Such as in the following...

The Fort Worth Cats could be coming back to the ballpark north of downtown. Jim Lane, a Tarrant Regional Water District Board member, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Tuesday he expected the board to vote on a contract next week that would bring back the team and restore the stadium.
“Hopefully we’ll be approving a contract to bring the Cats back,” Lane said.

Few other details were available Tuesday afternoon. Water district spokesman Chad Lorance said nothing definitive had been set for the meeting.

The water district agreed to swap the property with the previous owners, Houston-based Panther Acquisition Partners, last July.

Read the entire article for all the land swap shenanigan details.

Now, my memory may not remember all the details, but was not TRWD board member, Jim Lane, instrumental in a previous multi-million dollar deal which helped rescue one of his friends from the bankrupt financial straits he was in as a result of the previous LaGrave Cats failure? And didn't that TRWD deal result in some of that LaGrave land turning into the world's first drive-in movie theater of the 21st century, located adjacent to the now defunct LaGrave Field?

And then there was that more recent TRWD land swap, referenced in this Star-Telegram article, where land currently under Trinity River levees was swapped for other land, all assessed in the millions.

By what criteria is this property value assessed? What with this property all located in the industrial wasteland location of the imaginary island, which likely will never be developed to any higher quality level than what we currently see, unless somehow the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision finally becomes managed in an effective, responsible, timely, properly engineered fashion.

And why is the Tarrant Regional Water District involved in all this property speculation? Let alone having anything to do with reviving an old baseball park...

Monday, April 8, 2019

Majestic Mount Wichita's Many Shades Of Green

Today marks the first actual warm bike riding day so far in the year 2019 at my current North Texas location.

I have previously experienced 2019 being warm, but that was in Arizona in March at a location where it is expected to be somewhat warm all year long, give or take a chilly day or two.

As you can see via the view over my handlebars, looking across an inlet of Lake Wichita, majestic Mount Wichita is currently shining with multiple shades of green.

This past winter there never was enough snow on the ground of sufficient depth to warrant skiing Mount Wichita. And all winter long there was never a freeze deep enough to coat Lake Wichita with ice thick enough for skating.

It is a miracle winter sports continue at this North Texas location, what with the lack of snow and ice. Except in the MPEC (Multi-Purpose Event Center) ice rink venue where ice hockey is played.

Tonight I am looking forward to watching a Texas college I have never heard of til recently beat whoever it is they are playing and thus winning the national championship of college basketball.

I think I have driven through Lubbock, previously, but I have no memory of seeing Texas Tech University...

Sunday, April 7, 2019

April Showers Sunday With Circle Trail Windfalls

Yesterday, on the first Saturday of the 2019 version of April, it was not doable to go ride a bike during my usual bike riding time of the day, due to a bout of rain with occasional thunderbolts rendering outdoor activity temporarily unseemly.

But today, that being the first Sunday of the 2019 version of April, a bike ride was doable during my usual bike riding time of the day.

For the first mile of today's rolling on the Circle Trail I saw no evidence of yesterday's storm. And Holliday Creek was little more than a trickle.

And then I came to that which you see above. A tree, or a big branch of a tree, had fallen, or was blown on top of the Circle Trail, prevented from a total fall down by the fence you see straining to remain vertical.

As you can also see via the above photo, the Rains of Spring have rendered North Texas with a predominantly green color scheme.

Soon wildflowers will be adding some additional color to the dominant green. And then all that color will fade and the dominant color scheme will be my favorite.

Multiple shades of brown...

Friday, April 5, 2019

Fort Worth's Panther Island Boondoggle Budget Woes

Last month the Fort Worth Business Press published an article about the current sad status of the Fort Worth debacle which has become America's Biggest Boondoggle.

That FWBP article was titled During hearing, Army Corps officials express Trinity River Vision support.

That article was not up to the usual Fort Worth Business Press standard of accurately reporting on the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision Boondoggle, and so we blogged about this in New Trinity River Vision Boondoggle Propaganda Source.

And now today multiple people have pointed us to a new article in the FWBP, about the same subject, this one titled Panther Island project not in 2020 budget and which paints a more accurate picture of what a mess this ill-conceived, poorly planned, ineptly implemented embarrassing debacle has become for Fort Worth, whose citizens did not deserve to be so ill-served by those they bear some responsibility for electing, and further responsibility for not rising out of their sheep herd to run the guilty perpetrators out of town.

Read the article for its details about how The Boondoggle's budget has spun out of control with little hope of securing the funding needed to bring the mess to any sort of working conclusion.

I particularly like two one sentence paragraphs in the article. The first of those two paragraphs being...

The project has received about $60.5 million from the Corps budget for this project, although it has received additional transportation funds for construction of three uncompleted bridges that would connect the mainland to the island.

This marks the first time I have read any of Fort Worth's print publications, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Fort Worth Weekly, or the Fort Worth Business Press refer to that which those bridges connect to as "the mainland".  I have long sarcastically repeated a group of words along the line of "The Boondoggles pitiful simple little bridges being built of over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island."

And have repeatedly made the point that surrounding a chunk of land with a cement lined ditch does not an island make, and that it is likely if this ever does actually become a reality it will be yet one more thing that confuses Fort Worth's few tourists. Like for decades referring to the town's downtown as Sundance Square, where there was no square, til a little plaza was finally added a few years ago.

It does not take much imagination to imagine one of those few tourists in the future asking where Panther Island is. To be told you are on Panther Island. How is this an island the tourist will ask? And the local will have no sensible explanation.

And the second of those two paragraphs which I liked...

Critics have nicknamed the project “The Boondoggle.”

Critics have nicknamed the project The Boondoggle? Uh, the project has become a Boondoggle. This is not a nickname. It is a fact. I do not remember when I first realized this was a Boondoggle. Was it when the Trinity River Vision and J.D. Granger foisted that ridiculous, obviously fated to fail, wakeboard pond on the project?

We still have never learned how much money was funneled from the Trinity River Vision to build that pond and re-route the Trinity Trails for that failed wakeboard enterprise. J.D. Granger was a loud advocate for the Cowtown Wakepark. Why was its failure not enough to clue those who can fire him of the need to do so?

If I remember right it was after the arrival of Cowtown Wakepark that J.D. Granger and his minions of party planners foisted Rockin' the Polluted River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats as one more absurd Trinity River Vision product, with outdoor showers to wash off the e.coli, next to modern high quality cement enclosed outhouses.

When I read this latest Fort Worth Business Press article about The Boondoggle, there was, at that point in time, only one comment. A wise comment from one of Fort Worth's wisest citizens...

Clyde Picht Apr 5, 2019 11:20am
Promoters of this fiscal fiasco have been lying about the cost and benefits for so long they now believe what they're saying. Harking back to 2004, it was a $360M project the would reap a $1B increase in tax base. 2005 brought the first cost increase and questions about the management expertise of J D Granger. Subsequent cost increases, program changes in channel width, bridges, catchment basins, etc, etc, have been non-stop. As Richard Conner pointed out in this paper, the way to fix TRV is to fix TRWD. New board members, like Kelleher and Moates, must be elected and the TRWD general manager, Jim Oliver, needs to learn that he works for the Board, not the other way around. Spending $1.16B to achieve an increase in tax base of $1B is economics for idiots. Additionally, $1.16B isn't the end of it. Costs will be substantially higher and completion to the point of getting that $1B tax base increase will be after half the people in Fort Worth are dead.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

David, Theo & Ruby Throwback Thursday To Mesa Arizona

Today is Thursday, the first day of that type in the April version of 2019.

I do not recollect ever previously participating in that "Throwback Thursday" thing which is so popular in some venues.

But, last night I was looking through photos I took last month whilst I was in Arizona, and saw some which caused me to think why not do that Throwback Thursday thing with some of these photos from last month?

The day after the first Thursday of last March, that being Friday, March 8, I had myself the funnest day I have had so far in 2019. I previously made mention of this fun day in David, Theo & Ruby In Mesa's Riverview & Pioneer Parks.

And before we got to those Mesa parks we were Riding Horses With Miss Daisy, David, Theo & Ruby.

Which was the start of that fun day.

Above that would be Ruby swinging in Mesa's Riverview Park. This park is adjacent to Mesa's version of Chicago's Wrigley Field. After we finished with playing on the Riverview Park playground, we went into the Chicago Cub's merchandise store where I was surprised by its size and the variety of Chicago Cubs merchandise.

As who in their right mind would want underwear themed to a baseball club's logo, among other similar silly seeming products?

Along with items which seemed way less silly.

Like t-shirts, jackets, sweat pants, swimming suits, socks, banners, bumper sticker, drink containers of various sorts and other stuff other than underwear.

Back to Mesa's Riverview Park.

Theo is a good climber.

Above we see Theo atop an adobe structure. That would be brother David, in the background, texting his mother with the information that Theo is stuck atop an adobe structure.

After we finished with our Riverview Park climbing and shopping at that Chicago Cub store, we made our way to Mesa's Pioneer Park, which is just slightly to the northeast of Mesa's downtown.

Above you see Ruby pushing a couple kids on a tandem swing, with brother Theo on the opposite side of the swing. I had not previously seen this clever type swing in any of the parks I've visited over the decades. Behind the swing you see part of the enormous, futuristic complex of playground attractions which make this park something the likes of which I had not seen before.

A closer look at that enormous, futurist complex of playground attractions. I believe that is Mama Kristin we see walking on the elevated boardwalk which renders this enormous, futuristic complex accessible to those whose means of motion is sitting on a chair with wheels.


And here we see David pointing the way for Aunt Jackie to roll Miss Daisy across a section of that aforementioned elevated boardwalk.

I believe that is the aforementioned Mama Kristin we see above in front of that green doored structure.

Miss Daisy dubbed the above the best of this type facility she has ever used since using a chair with wheels to roll around the world. The ease of the accessible special section was of a design which one would think would be universally used.

Also clever in the above design is the hand washing water supply is accessed from the outside, thus easily used by someone in picnic mode in need of a hand washing, or access to running water.

I had intended to take a photo of the equally well designed restroom facility in Riverview Park, but I forgot.

Those reading this who live in Fort Worth, who have little awareness of America beyond their town's borders, Mesa is a town adjacent to Tempe and Chandler. Both Tempe and Chandler have successfully lured corporate relocations and developments which Fort Worth has unsuccessfully tried to lure.

It might behoove those who delude themselves to think Fort Worth has any chance at luring such to take a trip to some modern American towns and make note of some of the differences between Fort Worth and those towns.

Such as city parks with ZERO outhouses. Towns with multiple public pools. Towns with amenities free of admission charge to the public. Towns without boarded up eyesores at the heart of their downtown. Towns without embarrassing pseudo public works projects boondoggling along for decades. Towns with streets with sidewalks. Towns with landscaped roads.

Well, you get the picture, and now we throw Thursday back to you...