Governor Rick Perry's newest appointee may have broken the deadlock at the Public Utility Commission of Texas, but rigging the electricity marketplace to benefit large generators won't happen without drawing blood. At a PUC meeting late last month, Commissioners Donna Nelson and Brandy Marty each s ... More >>
Let's build a road on the river, not a wall.
Democracy in action last night. Never a pretty picture. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is in charge of flood control in this country, held a meeting at City Hall to update the public on the Trinity River Project, a massive campaign of public works that has dragged on without significant p ... More >>
Two experts from the Monterrey Institute of International Studies have an op-ed piece in The New York Times this morning advocating the abandonment of the National Flood Insurance Program, which is about to stick us taxpayers for $57 billion in rebuilding costs from Hurricane Sandy. If the experts w ... More >>
OK, wait, wait, before we start the party, can I ask a couple questions? Could we maybe just try to put ourselves in a global context first? In July, 2011, the city of Copenhagen was ravaged by the worst flood in recorded history, rated by scientists as a "1,000-year" flood, meaning it could be ex ... More >>
Back in September it was revealed that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wants back $15 million it gave to the city for the Dallas Floodway Extension project, insisting those federal funds were improperly advanced beginning with the first payment made back in '04. In the words of Col. Richard J. M ... More >>
Am I in the happy-news business? Does a bear use air freshener in the woods? Look, I'm just bringing it to you like it is. As bad as the situation with the Trinity River levees may look locally, you should see what it looks like when you put it in perspective with national levee problems. We ... More >>
Click to enlarge this cross-section of the cutoff wall -- seen in this appendix -- the city and HNTB say will bring the levees back to acceptable.Schutze's must-read of the winter has finally arrived: the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Dallas Floodway Environmental Assessment, in which we finally ... More >>
Buried between the lines in a 246-page document released by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today is a significant national story about the future of flood control in American cities. I doubt very many reporters will dig it out. I'll give you the thumbnail sketch. You may wish I had kept my ... More >>
On November 10 I wrote a column for the paper about documents leaked to me from within the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers indicating that the corps has no faith in repairs to the Trinity River levees being proposed by the City of Dallas. I can show the documents to you now. They tell quite a st ... More >>
All right, class, today our lesson is: "Logical Wormholes and Semantic Corkscrews: Translating the Language of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Into More or Less Plain English, or, You Know, Spanish. Whatever. Language How People Talk." But first an ironclad guarantee. This is not a homework ... More >>
From Monday's briefing docs prepared for the council's Trinity River Corridor Project CommitteeWhat you see above is the new plan to improve the Trinity River levees, which is markedly different than the one outlined on Page 46 of the April 2010 Dallas Floodway System briefing that showed the so- ... More >>
Hey, I was out of town last week when the August issue of D hit the streets -- well, given the magazine's target demo, perhaps we should say it hit the winding lanes and parkways -- with an essay titled "Let's Ditch the Trinity River Toll Road." Wow. Pretty remarkable. From the time of the ... More >>
Brigadier General Thomas KulaTwo small but important bits of information from a long U.S. Army Corps of Engineers press gathering this afternoon: First: In order to fix the Trinity River levee system, Dallas will have to build an impervious concrete-like barrier between the levees and the river. ... More >>
The proposed Margaret McDermott Bridge, about which city and TxDOT officials have differing viewsAs we mentioned below, city and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials have called a 1:30 p.m. press conference to announce that more than likely, the Corps will sooner than later sign off on plans to ... More >>
U.S. Army Corps of EngineersFrom the Dallas Floodway Extension Project Description, this 1989 photo: "US175 blocked by water backed up into White Rock Creek. Normally, this is a busy traffic artery leading to the central business district."Wilonsky sent me an interesting Wall Street Journal artic ... More >>
Patrick MichelsWhat you see above are crews using a big-ass crane and a specially made "sling" to set in place the center arch for the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. Oh, and the view? It's from high atop Unfair Park HQ. But you can see it right outside our editorial-side windows. Schutze has been sta ... More >>
Mayor Tom Leppert, seen here during the Trinity River toll road referendumSo tomorrow, on some page of The Dallas Morning News (I assume Page One), Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert will concede that the Trinity River Project has hit the wall. Wall, wall, wall. A story posted on The News's Web site this ... More >>
George Gimarc sent us this photo. Taken in April 1957.Got a little e-mail debate going with Frank Librio, the spokesman for the city of Dallas, which I thought I should share with the Friends of Unfair Park. Always good to get a second opinion. Maybe people will agree with Frank that I have been ... More >>
HUD deputy secretary Ron Sims has quite the résumé, but what does any of it have to do with the Trinity River?Unintentionally hilarious item in The Dallas Morning News today: "Council's Frustration Spills Over," by Rudy Bush on the Metro front, in which council member par excellence Ron Natinsk ... More >>
Photos by Patrick MichelsCrews are out at this very moment trying to repair a section of the Trinity River levees that collapsed yesterday.Pins and needles here.At 2:30 pm the Corps of Engineers releases its report on the city's proposed fix for the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. They're doing it no ... More >>
The Corps of Engineers tells Schutze, ya know, it's not quite sure how much sand's buried in the Trinity River levees. Well, I think I got some interesting stuff here.The city keeps telling people they're going to "fix" the Trinity River levees. Don't much think so. Looks to me like a whole lot of ... More >>
Courtesy the City of DallasThe Pantanal arriving in Houston with the first shipment of steel for the Margaret Hunt Hill BridgeJudy Schmidt at Dallas City Hall forwards along the following message from Mayor Tom Leppert: Till he hears otherwise, Santiago Calatrava's Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge is getti ... More >>
Back during the campaign season for the 2007 referendum on the Trinity River toll road, Dallas Morning News columnist Steve Blow and I got into this really high-flown intellectual debate where I said, "Steve, you're stupid," and he said, "Jim, you're dumb," and I said, "Steve, you're a ninny," and ... More >>
Sam MertenMayor Tom Leppert and Kevin Craig of the U.S. Army Corps of EngineersMayor Tom Leppert reluctantly addressed local media this afternoon regarding City Manager Mary Suhm's earlier announcement that the Trinity River levees will be rated "unacceptable" in 34 of 170 areas by the U.S. Army Co ... More >>
The Trinity River Project should be floating right along. Instead it's sinking under the weight of its own folly.
For supporters of an improved and expensive Trinity River, everything old is new again
When he said it was time to end the blame game, he meant that he had won
The $2 billion Trinity River Plan looks like the Russian sub of local politics
Forget Brooklyn -- Dallas' own Trinity River boosters aim to con you out of tax dollars for seven silly bridges
The Trinity Project hits some expensive setbacks, but leave it to the News to look on the bright side
A shortage of American engineers and programmers spells boom times for brokers who peddle skilled foreign workers at bargain prices. Is it exploitation, or just good business?
The Trinity River Plan's billion-dollar vision of levees, parks, and ponds has Mayor Ron Kirk--and most of Dallas--spellbound. But engineers warn it could lead to a flooding catastrophe and destroy the same poor neighborhoods it's designed to help.