CBS 11 Report
07/30/04 Floods are direct result of over development.
We need to forget the Trinity Project and focus on restricting overdevelopment
from Denton County to Lancaster. I'm not talking about limiting
development, but creating restrictions that require set asides for permeable
If you want to build a new housing development, all sidewalks and driveways must
It may not make great skateboarding, but it will cut
down on water runoff.
It may not solve all flooding, but it will not add
to the problem.
Controlling watershed run-off is a city and county job - not just the
Corp of Engineers. Other cities, including Austin, have addressed this at
the building code level, requiring new construction to use permeable
paving or on-site retention. No big
But the municipalities have to
do it, or share the blame for deaths every
If Jim Schutze is looking for
conspiracies, may I suggest the Singleton Avenue
Suspension Bridge - whose funding remains shrouded in mystery, but without
which there will be no Trinity Tollway nor fed funds for
I-30 and I -35.
And -- folks, we have a problem, which even
The Dallas Managed News acknowledges.
Growth in south Dallas County paves way for
Thursday, July 29, 2004
New development helps fill city
Wednesday night in Lancaster, it also
helped flood homes.
When 13 inches of rain falls in a few
hours, flooding is the expected result.
But when that rain falls in places
downstream from booming residential and commercial
developments ? as was the case in Lancaster in south Dallas County ? the
flooding will be worse.
"With all that
new paving, the concrete, roofs and Wal-Marts, instead of the water soaking
into the ground, it runs off those structures into the creek," said Eli
Kangas, a project manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
"There's so much upstream development in the area, the water is getting to
the creek sooner. The creek just doesn't have the capacity to handle it."
As many as 200 homes in Lancaster
were flooded Wednesday night and Thursday morning when more than a foot of
rain fell in eight hours, forcing Ten Mile and Bear creeks out of their
banks and into city streets.
... A study performed by the corps a decade ago
found no solution to Lancaster's flooding woes. The
cost of creating a system to stop the flooding was greater than the cost of
repairing homes and businesses when floods occurred, Mr. Kangas said.
... "Some of the cities at higher elevations
in the upper reaches of the river, they don't have the flooding problems, so
they don't see the benefit in participating in the watershed study," said
Kevin Spath, an environmental planner with the Council of Governments.
No city along the Trinity River
or any of the creeks that feed it exists in a vacuum.
Changes to the
permeable surface (dirt/ground that will absorb water) in one town causes
changes all the way down the river. Creating a bottleneck in the Trinity
near Downtown Dallas for aesthetic purposes and to enhance Downtown
redevelopment is not only foolhardy, but dangerous. Cities south
of us should be paying attention, but they are run by the same types as we have
at City Hall. The only progress they recognize are more people and more
rooftops and pavement. When we have a go-go guy from the Corps of
Engineers blaming urban flooding on "new
paving, the concrete, roofs and Wal-Marts, instead of the water soaking into the
ground", you can
ignore the situation.
Well, you can ignore it if you're dead like the two people who drove off a
bridge that was torn out by debris from another bridge that was torn out by
hard/fast flood waters carrying debris.
It was incredibly ironic to have this bridge disaster happen in July when
DallasArena.com has been telling you the true reason behind Our Mayor's
obsession with those Calatrava String Things. If they do what she wants to
do with the Trinity, it will make that muddy, sewer filled glorified creek run
faster and harder with more destructive force that will wipe out our historic
Flooding claims second victim
2 bodies found in floodwaters;
Lancaster area hit hardest,
with more than 13 inches
At least one man was killed Thursday
when his pickup plunged into rushing floodwaters after powerful storms
washed away an Ellis County bridge.
... Arlington firefighters responded to a
rain-related drowning about 8:30 p.m. Thursday in an industrial area in the
1900 block of North Peyco Drive, about a half-mile west of Cooper Street.
... The worst-hit areas appeared to be in southern
Dallas County and portions of Tarrant and Ellis counties.
... The bridge where the body was found is about
two miles downstream from the Ovilla Road bridge, which collapsed sometime
Deputy Sullins said that about 30
officers searched for another possible victim from a second pickup thought
to have been swept into the creek when the bridge fell.
... Authorities said Lancaster public safety
officers performed 19 high-water rescues at the height of the storms, with
at least two people injured.
... Eric Martello, senior forecaster for the
National Weather Service in Fort Worth. "Some parts of the metroplex hardly
had 2 inches of rain, while others had more than 10 inches.
"We didn't expect anything like that.
But, then, that's just the way Mother Nature is sometimes."
... Jerry Johns,
president of the Southwestern Insurance Information Service, placed a
preliminary estimate of the damage from the storms around $20 million. That
comes on the heels of several large storms in June that caused about $400
million in damage. ...
Apparently, the Corp of
Engineers need to rethink their previous analysis of our situation:
cost of creating a system to stop the flooding was greater than the cost of
repairing homes and businesses when floods occurred, Mr. Kangas said.
million could have gone a long way toward finding/creating a solution or even a
means of flooding prevention.
Unfortunately, the message is not getting to the Commissioner who represents
Lancaster and that part of Dallas County. Someone's Man Downtown
Commissioner Price is much more exercised about the Cowboys going to Arlington
than he is about two hundred flooded homes in Lancaster. Guess Someone's Man Downtown is way
too busy to tend to the responsibilities of his office.
The people in Lancaster should be starting a recall.
Having the Cowboys play in Arlington is no different to Dallas taxpayers than
having them play in Irving. For Lancaster taxpayers who have just lost
everything but their lives, where the Cowboys do their business makes no
difference whatsoever. For the families of the two men who drowned on
Commissioner's watch, Someone's Man Downtown's indifference must seem criminal.
Where Jones builds his stadium may make a difference to Dallas County, but not
in tax revenue because Grandpa Jones will leverage a deal where the stadium and
surrounding parking are city owned and off the tax rolls anyway.
It is interesting that Jones is promising no extra development to Arlington,
just a fancy stadium with no mass transit available on a freeway that stays
congested under the best of circumstances.
Remember, Someone's Man Downtown Price said he was only interested in the deal
if there was to be simultaneous development of a shopping mall, office tower and
a hotel, etc. Guess he forgot! Must have something on his mind.
Certainly cannot be the welfare of Lancaster taxpayers.
Cowboys: Dallas deal was 50-50;
Team says offer similar to
Arlington's; county denies formal proposal
The conversation between Mr. Bayoud, a former Texas secretary of state, and
Ms. Keliher apparently was not communicated to other county commissioners.
"The only deal I ever heard about was
a two-thirds [county] and one-third [Cowboys] deal," Commissioner John Wiley
Price said. "At least negotiations were commencing. I never heard that."
Mr. Price added, "It only takes three
votes to prevail on the court."
Commissioner Mike Cantrell cautioned
against assuming Mr. Bayoud's offer compares favorably with the deal that
may be worked out in Arlington.
By building on a public park, Dallas
would not have any land costs. Arlington would have to acquire privately
held land. Even if Arlington contributes only $325 million toward the cost
of the stadium, it could be asked to pick up land and infrastructure costs,
Mr. Cantrell said. ...
Why is it Joe Taxpayer's
responsibility to contribute anything to Grandpa Jones' business?
Taxpayers contribute enough with the cost of a ticket, not to mention the police
time spent chasing and arresting current and former thugs on Grandpa Jones'
There are lots of balls up in the air just now, while Our Stepford Mayor plays
Annette Strauss in La Jolla. We have floods and mayhem. We have
Grandpa Jones extorting fortunes out of local crooked politicians. We have
chaos at City Hall and political games so pervasive our new Police Chief Kunkle
may not be able to pull off the miracle we desperately need to make this city
safer, not to mention habitable.
Jim Schutze has a great column this week -- one of his best. Of course, I
think so because it looks like he's finally come around to thinking a Strong
Mayor form of government may not be worth the price or risk.
Decherd and the boys get downtown. Miller gets the crown.
By Jim Schutze | 2004-07-29
Laura Miller may dance for the cameras, but Robert Decherd at Belo Corp.
pulls the strings
Laura Miller and the old downtown business boys have come to a deal. She
gets a strong-mayor system. They get downtown.
They're set. They're down. They're
ready for the blitz. Everybody else is just waving arms and spluttering.
This is not just a trick play. A
strong-mayor system is a good idea. The existing arrangement is Dallas'
weak, weak, weak system (weak mayor, weak council, weak city manager). The
mayor has no real power, just one vote on a 15-member council. We're a
football team with no coach and consensus huddles.
We need a strong-mayor system. But
not this way--too closed-door, too done-deal, too typical of the way the old
Citizens Council used to operate. For all those reasons, this important
opportunity for reform is at risk. Strong-arm is not the way to get
... The new effort includes a significant change
from previous attempts. In the past, the mayor has said she had no interest
in seeking this reform for herself and would ask that such a reform take
effect only after she left office. Not now. In enthusiastic remarks to The
Dallas Morning News last week, Miller said she now supports changes to take
now I'm sure they're all going to say there is no deal and that the mayor's
support for the LGC is in no way tied to the downtown business clique's
support for Miller's strong-mayor reform. THERE IS NO CONSPIRACY. CITIZENS
WHO KNOW WHAT'S GOOD FOR THEM WILL NOT SAY THERE IS A CONSPIRACY.
have a suggestion: If you don't want to be accused of conspiracy, don't wear
... I watched the mayor's presentation of the LGC
idea to the city council. Members from north and south, white, black and
Latino, were openly suspicious and asked over and over why they would hand
off to a private group the very responsibilities they were elected to
discharge. My favorite was James Fantroy of Southern Dallas. The mayor tried
to assure him this was really just a minor administrative arrangement, but
Fantroy kept saying, "I'm not that country."
... I worry that McKinsey may have been
brought into the picture by the downtown interests with a specific mandate
to come up with recommendations strongly in support of the LGC.
... [Political consultant Pat Cotton]: "...they
had no clue about Texas law, about public health, about any of the
strictures that would make it difficult for us to do what we were hoping to
... Cotton said she had the impression the
McKinsey people knew where they were supposed to wind up politically: "I'm
sure they knew what the end should be," she said.
... I had just finished taking a look at a free
study McKinsey did of the Dallas housing department, ...
one recommendation stuck out like a sore thumb: "Do
not buy out Cadillac Heights; support community development efforts."
... There is no reason why McKinsey even would
have addressed that question, unless somebody had a thumb on the scale.
... First, what was the rationale for stating
ahead of time, before even starting to look at Dallas city government, that
they wouldn't touch the strong-mayor issue?
... Second: If they make any kind of endorsement
of the LGC, they got problems. The LGC plan for downtown is already
associated in the council's mind with Decherd and Belo.
... The game, if there is a game, would be for
Decherd and his group to win the LGC, effectively taking downtown out of
public control. In return they would help crown Miller queen of all the
...As much as I think the strong-mayor system
would be good for the city? As much as I love downtown? If the only way to
get things done is to fence out everybody but the big dogs and treat other
people as if they don't belong, then screw it. Let it all go to hell.
Democracy is worth 10 times the city.
Right on all points,
particularly Cadillac Heights. That neighborhood is in a floodplain.
Nothing should have been built there in the first place. That neighborhood
is polluted with lead. It cannot be fixed. Lead leeches down into
the deep soil, way past 3 or 4 feet. The trees and vegetation pull it up
and out of the soil. Don't believe me? Go over there and stand on a
high place -- almost anything is higher than Cadillac Heights. You will be
struck by the fact that all trees in the area have a white film on the tops of
their canopy -- all trees. Get those people out of Cadillac Heights.
Level all the structures. Give the whole area to the street bums for their
tent city. And prohibit any permanent structures or development from ever
happening there again. Our local shrine to bad planning and permanent
The last thing we should be doing in light of our increasing urban flooding (and
I don't mean Whites fleeing to the suburbs) is doing any building along the
Trinity Trough. Get real!
This is not about being anti-development or a tree hugger. I'm a
Republican for Heaven's sake, and all Liberals know we are greedy, poor-hating
rich people. Not! I'm as a big a protector of property rights as you
get, but we must protect the rights of people who are already here, who have
already invested in their homes and businesses. Destroying their property
rights by allowing the Trinity River mafia to build in the flood plain and
dicker with the hydraulics of the river itself is just wrong and dangerous.
I was really mad at Pete Sessions for his interference in Roxan Staff's council
race. When Martin Frost pulled that stunt of committing all of his
"transportation allocation" to the Trinity Project ($30+ million), it made it
really easy for me to forget my mad and sign on to help Pete.
Martin Frost, Kay Bailey Hutchinson and the rest of the big ticket, big spenders
have vested interests in developing the Trinity River floodplain to the
detriment of every city South of Dallas along the river route. The people
who are trying to salvage their personal treasures and restore their homes today
after this week's flooding should look at those people very carefully in current
and future elections.
Hutchinson is supposedly coming back to run for Governor, which is why Con
Jerk/Ron Kirk announced Thursday that he wanted to run for the Senate again.
I sure hope he does. Fort Worth's Kay Granger is going to run for
Hutchinson's seat, too. She did a lot more for Fort Worth than Kirk did
for Dallas. She left that city in great shape. Kirk left our city in
financial and physical ruin.
If we do the Trinity Project, there will be no money to fix the damage the
inevitable flooding will cause. When there is water standing everywhere
Downtown, Our Downtown Betters (the ODB) will finally have that Downtown lake
their predecessors have forever lusted after.
Let's find out which County
Commissioner was responsible for maintenance of the Ovilla Road Bridge and ask
why we have not heard from him. Let's ask why Commissioner Price and the
County Judge are worrying about Jerry Jones when people are drowning after
trusting our bridges.