07/27/04 ... and Made it a Flood Plain
Once upon a time, Journalist Laura Miller and even
Councilwoman Laura Miller considered the Trinity Project a dangerous road
project. Or at least, that's what she said in those days.
DallasArena.com has surmised that our Laura Miller was taken by aliens and was
replaced with a Stepford Mayor. On
www.Barkingdogs.org, Avi Adelman has another
theory. He thinks she's done an "Evita" on us, and he has done a very
clever new version of the main song from the musical titled
Don't Cry For Me Dallas (Texas) [Because I Can?t Hear
My favorite lines:
So I chose power and glory
Running all over the city with the movers and shakers, because I knew
I could not stay with you common folks,
Come on, you really expected me to?
But back to the Trinity Project
and why we should not do it. It's going to be a disaster and we cannot
|Ned Fritz explains it better than anyone and basically says "when you dig
the river deeper and make it more narrow (by expanding the levees to build Our
Mayor's roads), you make it run faster with more destructive force."
Which, of course, is why the ODB, the Trinity Promoters and Our Mayor are so
hell bent on those Calatrava String Things. Putting the Trinity in
a trough will cause problems we cannot even imagine.
Neither Dallas County nor the City of Dallas
have a watershed development plan. So much of our flooding, including the
inevitable drownings, are self-inflicted.
White Rock Creek is a text book
example of no plan. As is Mill Creek in Deep Ellum
- where storm drainage and sanitary sewer systems
merge. The Trinity Plan is
the logical (illogical? extension of it
all - a giant water cannon aimed at the Trinity forest.
Meddling in DPD demotions is de facto
patronage. You know, the kind you get with a "strong mayor" form of
corruption. Enough reason to drop Ms. Suhm and Mr.
Daniels from consideration as City Manager. And a great opportunity for the
Council to "out" the meddlers.
The urban flooding in Frisco is absolutely what we can expect up and down the
Trinity if Our Mayor's plans come to fruition. I can't believe Belo
allowed this story to see the light of day, but it confirms what DallasArena.com
has been saying for almost 5 years.
Flood of growth hits
New maps may put property in the plain, raise
July 23, 2004
Homeowners who shake their fists to
the sky when the creek swamps their back yards or high water forces them to
take detours should perhaps scowl northward instead of upward.
Thousands of new concrete-laden
subdivisions, parking lots, business parks and shopping malls built over the
last two decades in the northern suburbs have increased the flood risk in
some areas downstream, including neighborhoods in Dallas and Fort Worth.
Downstream homeowners who live just
outside federally designated flood plains could see their properties land
inside them when new maps are completed in the next three years. That means
higher and mandatory flood insurance premiums and potentially reduced
... blame the region's northern growth for the
bulk of the changes.
... Gene Rice, project manager with the Army Corps
of Engineers Fort Worth District. "The more concrete you put down, the less
water can permeate the soil. The more it runs off, and it runs off faster,
and you get higher levels."
From 1982 to 1997, the most recent
data available, developers covered the Dallas-Fort Worth area with 45,000 to
106,000 acres of impervious surface, ...
equivalent to a sheet of solid concrete the size of Frisco and Plano
... Today's flood plain maps were drawn more than
a decade ago, in most cases, and they don't account for all the new roads,
homes and stores.
study of the Upper Trinity River Corridor in the 1990s showed that a
100-year flood would affect 1,082 homes in Dallas and 55 in Fort Worth. A
worst-case scenario would drown more than 12,000 Dallas homes and about
2,300 in Fort Worth.
... Robert Goode, director of
transportation and public works. ... "In
Fort Worth, we don't have as strong a control on development," he said. "As
we continue to develop outlying properties, it can't be getting any better.
It is increasing in intensity. It's also something more people are becoming
... "In the '60s through the '80s the solution was
to build something and let people downstream worry about it," Mr. Goode
said. "It was, 'Get it to the creek and be done with it.' "
... Watching White Rock Creek after a hard
rain illustrates that point. ... the
second-largest watershed in this area to the Trinity River.
... Runoff from Plano is the main cause of a
significant increase in water flow over the last 10 to 15 years,
... The staff at the Royal Oaks Country Club,
where the creek is a water hazard along the course, doesn't need a new study
to tell them they may see more flooding. Club president Steve Boyd said the
club has its own data going back 20 years that show an increase in water
levels and velocity.
... Mr. Boyd also said more water in the creek was
the result of more concrete in and near the flood plain.
This is just common sense.
We have been defying nature, and we always eventually lose the struggle.
All over the country, they are undoing mistakes from the past where human
arrogance exceeded intelligence.
Denton, Plano, Dallas, Arlington, Ft. Worth -- we are all smack dab on top of
prairie land where grass is supposed to grow. Our original stands of trees
were always along a river or creek. The Oaks in Oak Lawn grew beside
Turtle Creek and underground tributaries. There was a balance, and our
forefathers and the current bunch of ODB (Our Downtown Betters) have been
screwing with it almost since the city got started.
We have paved over creeks all over Dallas, forcing the water in unnatural
Paul Kix writes about Mill Creek, one such creek that was turned into a storm
drain in East Dallas/Deep Ellum back in the 40's. We are now paying the
consequences of that decision.
Up the Crick:
To Deep Ellum's problems, add this: an
underground raging river of poop
BY PAUL KIX
| originally published: June 24, 2004
... The sewer lines of Deep Ellum are in serious
disrepair and are getting worse with each passing day, month, year. One
day--some day soon, even--a backup could cause an entire sewer main to
overflow, forcing raw sewage up through each floor drain of each restaurant
and club, up through the manholes, out into the streets.
... The problem is that the sewer lines are
directly under the buildings of Deep Ellum, impossible to get to without
boring a hole through a business or apartment floor or using other obtrusive
and costly techniques. Late last year, the city awarded a contract to
Dallas-based Barson Utilities to construct new sewer lines beneath the
streets of Deep Ellum. The project will be done in two phases
... Once the sewer lines are built, property owners must pay to
connect to the new mains. And this connection will not come cheaply. Some
businesses estimate it could cost as much as $100,000, enough to wipe them
On April 8, 22 Deep Ellum property
owners filed suit against the city of Dallas, alleging that it's the city's
responsibility to pay for each property or resident's connection to the new
sewer lines once they are built. City attorneys say the connection costs
will be kept to a minimum, but the city, by law,
cannot spend public money on private property, or, in this case, private
... The last thing the district needs is months or years of delay.
Aside from the threat of a severe backup dousing the streets of Deep Ellum
in raw sewage, the city and property owners are worried about Mill Creek,
which in the 1940s was converted from a creek to a storm drain that runs
underground through Deep Ellum. Raw sewage is finding its way into Mill
Creek, which eventually empties into the Trinity River. The Environmental
Protection Agency was none too pleased to learn of this in February: It
issued an administrative order demanding the city fix the problem. The
Dallas-based Environmental Conservation Organization, a nonprofit agency,
went a step further, suing the city for its supposed negligence...
Before we continue talking
aobut paving over of Mill Creek, remember that the city is giving $64,000
in tax rebates to a wealthy couple who have already made the repairs to their
$1.6 million private residence that happens to have been designed by a famous
It's not fair:
Tax rebate to
rich couple to rehab home.)
It seems to me that if we can give away over $800,000 a year as Princess
Velveeta says to rich, connected City Hall insiders to fix up their private
residences because someone thinks those houses are historic, we should pay to
hook up the Deep Ellum businesses Kix mentions to the new sewer line. Is
there a single structure in Deep Ellum that does not have historic significance?
Covering up Mill Creek and covering up Cedar Springs and putting the Trinity
into a concrete trough are all stupid, stupid ideas. We are paying dearly
to fix the consequences of what was done to Mill Creek and Cedar Springs, but
that will be nothing compared to what will happen if the Trinity Project gets
We could make the Trinity a beautiful place to look at by doing stuff along the
shore lines, but we will never be able to keep the sewerage out of it.
Even if all the suburbs north and west of us were not dumping stuff into it, we
have our own deteriorating sewer system dumping directly into the Trinity as
Paul Kix writes in
Up the Crick.
Please don't forget our April Day's Non-Joke when we had poop floating down the
Trinity from an equipment malfunction.
It's not just the Trinity stinking --
and it's no April Fool's Day Joke!
Raw sewage floating in Trinity!
If you think it can't get any
worse, you have not been paying attention. If we do not have the money to
repair our existing sewer lines and infrastructure, where will we get the money
to maintain the fake lakes in the Trinity River Project, conservatively
estimated at $3 million annually.
Oh, yeah, we will take it out of employee raises and benefits. We will
freeze our cops and firefighters at the salaries they have at the end of 2004
and keep them at the bottom of the pay scale for metroplex safety personnel.
Just when we were hoping our new Police Chief would be able to get things in
order, we get a headline like this story:
Officials: Politics played into DPD reorganization:
Officials say City Hall has cut demotions; Kunkle plan
includes 8 promotions
July 27, 2004
David Kunkle will unveil a plan today to reorganize the struggling Dallas
Police Department, but some officials say City Hall has blocked his plans to
demote as many top officers as originally intended.
...while three top commanders received notice of
their demotions Monday afternoon, "The picture we saw Friday is not the
picture we saw [Monday]," said one high-ranking police official. The number
of demotions "keeps getting less and less."
In May, city leaders expressed
confidence in their selection of Chief Kunkle and promised him a free hand
in fixing the department's problems.
... Along with the demotions, the promotion of a
few top commanders is part of the chief's mammoth effort to restore
confidence in the department and boost morale among the rank-and-file who
see some top leaders as ineffective and incompetent.
Chief Kunkle and interim City Manager
Mary Suhm, who have worked closely to agree on a final plan, declined to
discuss details of their negotiations about staffing.
... Suhm denied that there had been any
"The chief and
I and [Assistant City Manager] Charles [Daniels] have had a good
discussion," she said. "It's not a negotiation. It's a discussion of what's
best for the city."
... sources said disagreements over how many
top commanders could be demoted delayed the announcement of the department's
reorganization for at least several days. They declined to give details
about how many deputy chiefs were originally slated for demotion.
... "It's getting political now," said the
high-ranking police official. "Some people have called council members and
outside civil leaders and had them call Mary Suhm."
"You can't fix this thing with a
Band-Aid," the official said. "You've got to fix it or not fix it."
The more things change ---
This is exactly why we cannot have Mary Suhm as the City Manager. She will
make us long for the good old days of John Ware. Chief Kunkle may deny her
interference because he has to work with her, but anyone who has been watching
City Hall knows this is so much her style of doing business. Charles
Daniels is the guy who groomed Terrible Bolton and got Benavides to name Bolton
as Chief, without ever interviewing him.
Poor Chief Kunkle must feel like he's rearranging the chairs on the Titanic.
He was left with a real sewer problem after 5 years of Terrible Bolton running
the Police Department into the ground. Kunkle's having to demote some of
the morons Bolton promoted to chief from their sergeant ranks. Good moves
for sure. If you believe Tanya Eiserer's DMN story (and it certainly
sounds plausible), political pressure from some council members protected some
other morons who also needed to go back to a lower level of command.
Don't forget Suhm wants to be the permanent City Manager as bad we do not want
her in that position.
In the end, what Kunkle really needs is more money for his rank and file
officers so he can hire more and successfully compete with other police
departments in the area to retain our experienced officers and interest a better
caliber of applicants for new hires. That, and to be left alone to do his
In the end, all we really need to reverse our municipal misfortunes are more
than one or two on the council and someone in the Mayor's office with a lick of
sense and balance. As it is, we have a bunch of idiots and a stand in for
the woman we elected running things at City Hall, and they are running our town
into the ground.
I often say we should let the Trinity be a river instead of trying to screw it
up and creating an inevitable ecological disaster in the not too distant future.
By the same token, we should let our prairie be a prairie and put a limit on
Neither's likely to happen anymore than we can expect the council to allow our
new Police Chief to do his job without their corrupt fingers in the mix.