Sunday, July 21, 2019

Army Corps Of Engineer's Document Contradicts Controversial Riveron Review

Less than a week to go before I return to my regular Internet connection to the world. It is frustrating having a thing or two I feel compelled to opine about, and not being able to easily do so.

The thing or two I am feeling compelled to opine about have to do with the controversial Riveron Review of the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle.

As more and more people read the Riveron Review it has become increasingly clear that a half million bucks was wasted on what amounts to being a review based on multiple falsehoods.

Near the end of the Riveron Review a couple pages list those "interviewed". No one from the Army Corps of Engineers is on that list. The people interviewed, to varying degrees, are those responsible for the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle mess, people like TRWD General Manager, Jim Oliver, and TRVA Executive Director, J.D. Granger.

Whoever did the interviewing apparently accepted the self serving spin spun by the likes of Oliver and Granger.

More on those other obvious obfuscations of truth later, but for now let's just take a look at one falsehood which shows up in the Riveron Review.

That particular falsehood is the Riveron Review's claim that the Army Corps of Engineers had determined the levees needed to be raised by 10 feet to meet some post-Katrina standard.

The following is copied from the Riveron Review...

"Build the existing levees an additional 10 feet taller, requiring an additional 150 feet on each side of riverway, negatively impacting businesses and neighborhoods, and resulting in an even more inaccessible riverfront."

The above makes ZERO sense.

First off, the area in question has not flooded in well over a half century, due to massive levees which have long done their intended job.

Second off, what are these businesses, or neighborhoods which would be affected negatively? The area is an industrial wasteland.

And third off, the Army Corps of Engineers never suggested raising the existing levees another ten feet. Never determined doing such was needed, feasible or recommended.

As we already pointed out, the Riveron Reviewers did not interview anyone from the Army Corps of Engineers. Instead the Riveron Reviewers only interviewed the various foxes who have been ineptly allowed to guard the hen house.

Methinks this half million buck Riveron Review borders on fraud.

The raise the levees part of this scandal came to my attention via email from one of the early victims of the TRWD/TRVA eminent domain abuse, with this victim's business taken a decade ago, followed by a long struggle trying to be made whole from the taking of his property.

Eminent domain is a legit process where property can be taken, with the owner fully compensated, for a project for the public good, like a highway, hospital or school. That type thing. Not for imaginary flood control or an economic development scheme benefiting the schemers.

Clearly this was not a legit eminent domain use for the public good, what with it now being well over a decade with that totally unneeded flood control project not anywhere close to being reality.

Now the motivation behind the Boondogglers misrepresenting the history of their ill fated project we will look at in future blog posts. In the meantime let's look at the email exchange between that aforementioned victim of America's Biggest Boondoggle and a former Fort Worth city councilman...

Bob Lukeman to Durango---

I did not get too far into the Draft before I hit my first WTF moment. 

Bob Lukeman to that aforementioned former Fort Worth city councilman...

This was news to me. Was the Corp initiating the idea of a bypass channel and was the levee fix an across the board 10 foot raise with a property taking element? We had Corp docs that gave the sparse locations of levees that need topping out in way less that 10 feet and no reference to any takings.

You may know more having been on the Council. Makes me think that Riveron was interviewing TRWD staff about the origins, and they were revising history to justify and defend the flood control aspects. 

10 million was the fix as I recall. Not 10 feet more on all the levees. That early of a suggestion to dig a bypass would have been in conjunction with the taking DOWN of certain levees. The 2 points made in the Draft seem to contradict a levee repair plan.

And then this from that aforementioned former Fort Worth city councilman...

I wasn’t aware that the project was in planning as early as 2001. There was never any discussion about the height of the levees or taking 150’ on either side that I was aware of. Sounds like a little historical revisionism although maybe they have the documents to back it up. I believe the channel idea may have come from Gideon/Toal and the corps bought into it. It started downhill in 2005. At least that’s when it was apparent to me.

Cheers, Clyde

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