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Wednesday, September 30, 2020
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Opinion One giant leap

One giant leap

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Robert Francis
Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

One giant leap for a woman! One small step toward a boondoggle quietus. This is not the end. It isn’t even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning. But we can wait two more years! Mary Kelleher led the seven-candidate field in the May 11 Water Board voting. Shades of the only racehorse ever to beat Man-O-War. And what was the name of that horse? Upset! And Man-O-War is a pretty good description of the powerful water board. Altogether the four challengers got 52.9 percent of the vote! For a decade in letters to the editor I have been calling on the powers that be to put Trinity River Vision up for a vote by the people. The silence of the water board, city council, commissioners court and our congresswoman, aided and abetted by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, has been deafening. The Star-Telegram has been the star abettor in the property-snatching, squatter-like scheme. I knew Amon Carter, Sr. and Jr. They would have side-tracked this runaway earmark 10 years ago. They published the truism far and wide that the confluence is where Fort Worth and the West began. Go down to the confluence and read the monument for yourself. On Election Day I received the Trinity River Vision’s glossy mailer which advised that “Three signature V-pier bridges will go out for bids this November. Construction is scheduled to begin this winter.” Raw brash in-your-face chutzpah. All of this, mind you, without a taxpayer OK – forget a mandate – for this goofy eminent domain boondoggle to proceed. This begs the question: Who is the real leader of the band who without an ironclad guarantee that the Feds will ante up their half of the billion dollar mother/son project will push the start button for bridges to be strung over a make-believe ditch that may never be dug? Has he no such qualms as tortured General Eisenhower in June 1944? In his World War II memoir Crusade in Europe, Eisenhower told of the gut-wrenching decision in the face of impending ominous weather conditions he had to make in giving the go-ahead to send a hundred thousand boys across a storm-tossed English Channel for the D-Day invasion of Normandy Beach. D-Day originally had been planned for June 5. Because the meteorologists predicted bad weather for June 5, the decision was made to move the invasion to June 6 when the meteorologists predicted a 36-hour window of relatively good weather. Had they not done so, Ike wrote, the result would have been a major disaster because a near hurricane struck the French coast on June 5. The 36-hour window provided little solace because Ike worried that “we might land the first several waves successfully and then find later build-up impracticable, and so have to leave the isolated original attacking forces easy prey to German counteraction.” In light of ominous signs from bankrupt Washington, General V-Pier Bridge Builder, are you really going to push the button? In his election eve water board election editorial, Rich Connor wrote in the Business Press that “The Water Board needs at least one new voice, one fresh perspective, one conscientious member who will represent and advocate for the taxpaying public rather than the political and financial interests of the powerful few who have perpetrated the ever-expanding outrage that is the Trinity River Vision.” Thank God!, Rich Connor. We now have such a member on the board. Her name is Mary Kelleher! Keep the faith, Mary!

Don Woodard is a local Fort Worth businessman.  

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