12/27/05 Hunt and Bolton
and Uninsured Drivers -- there's a connection.
When the law of the land only applies to some, there
is no law. When there is no law, there are no rules. When there are
no rules, there is anarchy. We live in a lawless city that has been the #1
Crime Capital of the USA for 6 or 7 years. It all starts with Our Downtown
Betters (the ODB) who have created a climate of anything goes if you have the
Dallas is a city of robber barons and street hoodlums. There is no
difference between the street hood who holds a pistol to your head and demands
your money and valuables and the powerful robber baron who holds his power and
wealth to the head of politicians and demands they hand over our municipal money
and valuables for his personal use.
Street hoods use violence to
intimidate their victims to keep quiet. The ODB are
punishing Mayor Miller for standing up to the town's biggest robber. No
matter that she wasn't successful in her effort and that Billionaire Son of a
Bigamist Ray Hunt got his $6.3 million tax abatement, the ODB do not allow mere
citizens to challenge or question their plans for wasting our tax dollars -- not
even when that mere citizen is the Mayor of the City.
Gromer Jeffers Jr.:
Highlights of an action-packed year in
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
... The Hunt debate
Mary Suhm and most of the council supported a $6.3 million tax
abatement for billionaire oilman and developer
Ms. Miller did not.
Her aggressive opposition to the
plan, which included a thinly veiled threat to Ms. Suhm, reminded many of
the mayor's days as a bomb-throwing council watchdog. As a council member,
Ms. Miller routinely criticized Mr. Hunt and opposed plans that would
benefit his interests.
The mayor's opponents contended that
in opposing the $6.3 million abatement, she was simply continuing her feud
with Mr. Hunt. Ms. Miller said she was protecting the interests of Dallas
The council, as expected, approved
the tax break. And the dust-up left many in the
business establishment recommitted to finding a candidate to beat Ms. Miller
in 2007. ...
Isn't that comforting?
Mayor Miller stands up for Dallas taxpayers (both homeowners and business
owners), and the ODB see it as an offense against nature as they think it should
be. If they succeed in ousting Laura Miller, no aspiring politician will
ever stand up to them again. Few would anyway.
was right to oppose the $6.3 million tax abatement for that Son of a
Bigamist Ray Hunt because she knew it was just the beginning of what we will
have to shell out to accommodate his family tradition of choking every cent
out of any deal, and more. Not only will the Hunt blood suckers be
coming back to the council for another transfusion of our tax dollars with
that pending one-sided land swap, but we very likely will have to deck most
of Woodall Rodgers to be sure Hunt's new building has a park at its front
Weeping William Blaydes and
Flip Flop Oakley, et al, will be more than happy to have the ridiculous Woodall
Rodgers Park be even more ridiculously expensive to keep their good buddy, Ray,
happy. Don't know what will happen to their egos when Ray picks someone
else to be his horse to unseat Laura Miller.
Woodall Rodgers park
planners make an effort not to overreach;
Dallas: Building more than 3 parts may be too costly, impractical
December 27, 2005
The question isn't so much whether
Dallas will build a "deck park" spanning Woodall Rodgers Freeway between
Uptown and the downtown Arts District. More important are when, how big, and
at what cost?
Keeping the park under budget ? $60
million ? and on schedule ? completed by decade's end ? may involve building
something smaller than what's in the most expansive proposal, city planners
... anything more extensive than three main park
segments would create several engineering challenges that would probably
cause costs to spike. A six-segment park would, for example, require tons
more building material. Huge fans underneath the deck would probably be
needed to clear automobile exhaust.
... A more realistic scenario is building three
park segments that would cover the canyonlike stretch of Woodall Rodgers
from St. Paul Street to Pearl Street, said Dallas park and recreation
director Paul Dyer.
... A key variable in this
public-private funding venture is billionaire oilman Ray Hunt, who is
building his 15-story Hunt Consolidated international headquarters one block
west of where the deck park's core section would end.
Business people involved in raising
private funding for the park say that Mr. Hunt may
want it extended in front of his headquarters ....
Initial plans for the park, unveiled in February, call for
$20 million in federal funding;
$15 million to $20 million in city funding; and
$15 million to $20 million in private donations.
... To date, the private and public officials
coordinating park plans have secured a $10 million
federal grant and about $3.5 million in private donations, said Jody
Grant, chairman of Texas Capital Bank, who donated $1 million of his own
They will do what Ray Hunt
wants regardless of the cost or time delay or engineering complications.
It's just our tax dollars being spent unwisely. It's not real money.
At least it's not that Billionaire Son of a Bigamist's money.
|The first time I heard someone
talking about putting a lid on Woodall Rodgers and planting a park on the lid, I
was sure it was a joke. This is Dallas. It's hot in the summer and
freezes in the winter. Pretty hard to get grass to grow on real ground,
much less a fake park. That was years before 9/11, and the threat of
terrorism we now live with on a daily basis. All we need is to create
another tunnel for some wacko to sabotage. A tunnel for cars and trucks is
an invitation to disaster.
Putting a lid on Woodall Rogers is probably not a great
place for a park. Since it will shake, smoke and bake, even street people
will avoid it. For a lot less money, we could
build a real park, with real trees with deep roots and lots of shade. You
know, on land.
Putting a lid on Woodall Rogers will
encourage development north of downtown - you
know, where it is direly needed.
When the ODB and city officials started talking
about it for real, I just put it up there with all the other promises not kept
in this town. Supposedly, a park across Woodall Rodgers will hook up
Downtown with the booming Uptown area. Another one of those ODB
transfusions for Downtown's survival?
I love Downtown, but it is not the only part of this city in distress!
It's like deciding to only feed one child when you have 5 or more. What do
you have if it lives and the rest of the family perishes?
Aren't you tired of all the multi-million to multi-billion dollar projects
that are going to be the key to "turning around Downtown"? The Nasher
Collection was supposed to lure airplane loads of tourists and art lovers to
Dallas and pay for our capital investment in all the new streets and sidewalks
and amenities around the Art Museum. Last I heard, even Ray Nasher is
disappointed in the lack of attendance to view his collection of sculptures.
Not only are hordes of tourists not showing up -- crowds of locals are not there
either. As much as they spend, the Park Cities elitists and the ODB are
never going to make Dallas a city of East Coast styled culture lovers.
||Because no one did "hydraulics" testing before the Trinity Project bond
election, the only way to make it work is to demolish our historic viaducts and
construct those ugly and inappropriate String Thing Bridges across a sewer
trough. Again, we are promised tourists will flock to Dallas in droves to
see those ugly things. Mayor Miller calls the String Thing Brides Dallas' Eiffel Tower.
Have you ever gone to a city just to see the local bridge to nowhere?
You might go out of your way while you are in some town to see a particularly
famous bridge, but you are not going to take a trip anywhere specifically to
see some bridge. Particularly when it spans a stinky sewer trough.
Then, there's the question of where we get the money for
the three ugly String Things.
Numbers spark debate in Trinity bridge project;
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
The Trinity River Project has always included plans for a
series of signature bridges, and the Dallas City Council settled upon three
when it approved the project's Balanced Vision Plan.
However, some council members said
the number three is now is open for discussion. In fact, one council member
said a third signature bridge is not needed.
... City Council member Mitchell Rasansky said he
thinks that two bridges is more than plenty.
... Both the first bridge, which is an extension
of the Woodall Rogers Freeway and the second, which will replace the bridge
at Interstate 30, are fully funded.
The third bridge is scheduled to go
at Interstate 35.
But while the Texas Department of
Transportation is replacing the existing bridge regardless, a Calatrava
suspension bridge can more than double the cost.
"...The $65 [to] $70 million
differential between a regular bridge and a Calatrava Bridge, can it be used
for the roads and the streets and other transportation needs for the City of
Dallas?" Rasansky said.
"... I think the Trinity River will be the focal
point of Dallas if we do it right," said Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.
... The debate has arisen at this time largely
because the city has started to discuss the next bond project, and whether
to include some of the funding to make the Interstate 35 bridge something
more than TxDOT standard issue.
What difference does it make
that a String Thing Bridge costs $70 million more than a regular bridge?
The ODB and most politicians with the exception of Councilman Rasansky don't see
$70 million of taxpayers' money as real money. They feel no fiduciary
responsibility to spend our tax dollars wisely.
The ODB and most politicians don't make wise decisions about much of anything.
One of the dumbest things that has happened at City Hall in many a decade was
former City Manager Ted Benavides picking Terrible Bolton to be the Chief of
Police. There was never any justification for selecting Bolton other than
his pigmentation. There were other Black candidates who were much more
qualified. Benavides followed Charles Daniels' recommendation. Some
say Bolton was County Commissioner John Price's man, and Daniels and
Benavides just did what JWP told him and Daniels to do.
However Terrible Bolton got to be Chief of Police, it was a huge mistake the ODB tried to make work. Hiring him was a huge mistake. Keeping
him was a King Kong mistake. Everything the guy touched turned moldy.
Remember that press conference with all those guns exhibited to divert attention
away from the fake drug exposure? What was it he said about getting those
fake drugs off the street would protect the public? Wasn't there something
about his grandmother not being able to tell the difference between sheetrock
and illegal drugs?
Bolton demoted qualified commanders and promoted incompetents. He lowered
the standards of police hires and made excuses for losers. One loser TB rehired just confirmed
his original rating
as "ineligible for rehire" was valid. Knowing that Funches has been
patrolling Northwest Dallas where I live certainly is disquieting, but don't
judge all cops by this rogue because our Northwest substation has a bunch of great
police officers and a Deputy Chief who work hard to improve things in our
Dallas officer faces domestic assault charge
04:15 PM CST on Tuesday, December 27, 2005
An 11-year Dallas police veteran with a
history of disciplinary problems was arrested after Carrollton police said
he assaulted his wife at the couple?s home.
Officer Ransom Funches, 37, who
patrols northwest Dallas, was arrested at about
3 a.m. Monday on a Class C misdemeanor family violence assault charge.
... He quit the department in 1999 and was listed
as ineligible for rehire because of his disciplinary history.
However, former police chief Terrell Bolton rehired
him in 2001.
The difference in Terrible
Bolton and our new Chief David Kunkle is incalculable. You can imagine
where TB would have come down on towing cars of uninsured drivers. It is
disappointing, but not unexpected that Councilman Fantroy would be opposed.
If someone other than Mayor Miller proposed this new crime-fighting tool, Fantroy might support it.
He puts his animosity toward the Mayor ahead of what is good for the city and
his constituents. He seems to assume that most of his constituents are law
breakers who drive around without insurance or a drivers license. That's a
pretty contemptuous attitude toward the residents of his district.
Dallas weighs towing policy;
Miller wants uninsured vehicles involved in accidents
December 27, 2005
... Mayor Laura Miller is floating a new
impounding plan to the City Council ? one in which uninsured drivers
involved in accidents would have their vehicle towed straight to the pound.
The goal, Ms. Miller says, is to keep
people who aren't authorized to drive from getting behind the wheel,
preventing costly, sometimes fatal, accidents. These drivers wouldn't get
their cars back until they show proof of insurance at the pound.
... Locally, Arlington, DeSoto, Haltom City,
Irving and Mesquite impound cars of uninsured drivers ? those who are pulled
over for specific traffic violations as well as those involved in accidents.
Plano and Rockwall County will start towing Sunday.
"When a third
of all car accidents in the city of Dallas involve people who don't have
insurance, it's clear we have to do something about the situation,"
Ms. Miller said.
But the idea, which will be debated
after the holiday break, is receiving criticism from some southern Dallas
council members, who say the measure could unfairly
target immigrants and low-income drivers.
... council member James Fantroy said. "We've got
enough problems trying to reduce our crime ? and now we want to target
people that are living in the southern part [of Dallas], who may not have a
nice, new car. ..."
... The state Department of Public Safety
estimates about one in five Texas drivers has no auto insurance.
Impounding the cars of uninsured
drivers is not about racial or economic profiling, Ms. Miller said.
It's about protecting drivers who are obeying the law.
... "We are specifically targeting the people who
are in an even more egregious situation: They are getting in car wrecks and
the people that are the victims are not able to collect. That's not fair."
The biggest question marks involve
the city's pound: Is there room for more cars? Is there enough manpower to
manage the influx? Will this tie up officers who ought to be on patrol?
"It's a small facility, and from what
I've heard, they already don't have enough staff," Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Elba
Garcia said. "I'm definitely concerned about officers taking too long doing
this. I want them to patrol. I want officers on the
Chief Ward ...
believes there is space in the pound for the upsurge (on an average
day, there are about 375 available spaces in the 2,500-car capacity pound),
he says pound employees would have to work more quickly to get cars in and
out. Vehicles that aren't claimed within 30 days are put up for auction.
... Police officers support the impounding idea,
Chief David Kunkle said. They're sick of responding to
accidents where uninsured drivers give them fake names and addresses,
he said. And they're tired of standing by helplessly as these
same drivers speed away ? leaving their victims with
hefty auto bills and no avenue to collect.
"There are so many drivers just
openly thumbing their nose at the law," he said.
... "Everybody should have a driver's license and
proof of insurance," Chief Kunkle said. "There's really no excuse not to."
For the life of me, I cannot imagine why Councilwoman Garcia would oppose
towing cars of drivers who do not have insurance or a divers license when
they get stopped by a police officer or involved in a wreck. She says she doesn't want officers taking too much time related to
having cars towed when the driver has no insurance or a drivers license.
She wants the officers patrolling the street and not bothering lawbreakers
like uninsured drivers. Does she disapprove when police
officers arrest and jail bank robbers or car thieves? That takes them off the street, too.
Fantjoy doesn't want it
because more than half of his constituents are uninsured!
Ditto Dr. Elbow Room Garcia
and Prof. Thornton Expressway.
It's a litmus test of lawlessness
among one's electorate - District by District.
Let's see how the fence sitters come
down on this one. Something good can come from
this. For or Against will make it a scofflaw meter.
Exactly what are police
officers supposed to do if they are not to get lawbreakers off the
street? If illegal immigrants are driving around without a Texas drivers
license or car insurance, they should have their vehicle confiscated. The
idea that 30% of drivers involved in car accidents are uninsured is frightening.
Mr. Fantroy's concerns are misguided. If lawbreakers have their cars towed
until they can follow the rules, all of our insurance premiums might become more
If a car stays in the pound over a month, we sell it at auction. We can
designate the proceeds of selling cars taken from lawbreakers to hire new police
I've got news for Council members
Fantroy and Garcia. There are illegal drivers in North Dallas, too.
We have lots of people who are not qualified to drive operating great big
vehicles -- as in enormous trucks.
I STRONGLY support towing cars driven by
uninsureds. I have been involved in 2
separate accidents where the drivers not only had no insurance but had no
I would like to see this taken a step
further. If an uninsured
driver is stopped for any driving infraction their car is impounded before
an accident happens. People who do not have insurance by STATE law are not
to be driving that vehicle regardless of whether they live in
South Dallas or North
My gym has been doing extensive
renovation and just finished creating a big play room for children to stay and
be supervised while their parents exercise. The room was just
completed a couple of weeks ago. Christmas Day, some guy in a big pickup
truck raced across the parking lot, jumped the driveway and plowed right into
the wall of the play room. Lord knows what chemical was fueling his brain.
Thank God, it was a holiday and no children were there because someone would
If you think the driver was insured or even had a license, I've got a String
Thing Bridge to sell you.
of Gary Turner, Crime & Politics
We cannot allow people to ignore our laws at any level. If one person does
not have to submit to our rules of government, then no one should have to obey
It doesn't matter the size of the crime. If we have a law, we need to obey
it or get a legislator to change it. We cannot ignore wrong doing, whether
the lawbreaker is poor or a rich robber baron.
We can't allow bad guys to take advantage of us. To acquiesce to wrong
doing is to participate in the lawlessness.
We must take a stand for law and order.
If we must put a lid on Woodall Rodgers (which is a bunch of nonsense anyway),
we should do it the most cost effective and simplest way possible to reduce
immediate construction and future maintenance expense -- no matter what Ray Hunt
and the ODB try to force on us.
Mayor Miller is on the right side
in this towing issue, and we need to get behind her and be sure our council
representative is with her on this. Chip Northrup is also right. How
the council votes on towing cars of illegal drivers will certainly be a good
test of who believes in law and order and who is just at City Hall for self-gain