When Layla Caraway's house was in danger of falling off into a creek, she asked
"Where are the City and County planners when I need them?"
After months of meetings, protests, news interviews, and even news helicopters flying over her property to catch photos of the instant when her house caved into the creek, she finally got some action. But her ordeal proved one thing: "I learned that water planning in Tarrant County was sorely lacking. They are spending nearly a billion dollars on the downtown 'water project', yet when it comes to planning and service out in the community where people really live, there is a lack of research or interest." She said.
Layla has created interest in a new group, that consists of water experts, political activists, planners, researchers, and leaders who also see the need for water planning. Layla and her friendsoften ask why so much money has been spent by taxpayers, on a "Flood control project" which in truth is not for flood control as much as to improve Ft.Worth aesthetics and appeal to property investors in the downtown sector. She has created a following, and always invites taxpayers to write her at firstname.lastname@example.org with issues, questions and requests for help.
Layla is one of the most interesting, dynamic and effective new faces in Tarrant County politics we have observed in years. Watch her, because she is just the kind of person who can change a city. Perhaps she will be the one to bring transparency and taxpayer satisfaction on the water deal.
Kay Granger, after feathering her bed with contributions from big business and the 7th Street Gang lawyers, got her son hired at nearly $150,000 per year (more if perks and expense accounts are considered), to run the project that she set out to get funded by taxpayers, and it has become an example of pork, boondoggle, and petty corruption. While the City of New Orleans still has not gotten all the funding it needs to repair for hurricane and flood damage, Fort Worth is getting a billion dollars so that downtown businesses can have a picture window view of people paddling canoes on the Trinity!
Ben Boothe, who ran against Kay Granger for Mayor, says: "I think the water project is a wonderful project, it would be great to have a river walk downtown. What I hate is the duplicity. It is disingenuous to call this a 'Flood Control' project when the town father's know "flooding" was only a trip wire to manipulate Federal Funds. The specific area of the Trinity being altered downtown has not had a flooding problem for generations. This is a Fort Worth asthetic development project. We should have told the folks in Washington the truth, and we should have given the taxpayers a chance to vote on it. Furthermore, in times of budget deficits, how can a Congresswoman justify spending a billion dollars when 1 out of 10 Amercians are out of jobs. It is inconsistent with every budget balancing ethic of Granger's Republican party."
Ben Boothe of Boothe and Associates, http://www.benboothe.comran for the Tarrant County Water Board a few years ago, "Because I see that we need more involvement by people with some environmental experience, as well as some new ideas in water planning". Boothe is a certified environmentalist by the State of California, and owns Environmental Solutions (http://environment-solutions.com) in Texas. Boothe has worked with Texas leaders, including the Governor's office, to promote and implement new water systems for comunities througout the Southwestern USA.
"98.2% of the water in Texas is brackish, salty and unusable" says Boothe on a speaking tour of Texas cities, speaking to County Judges, Commissioners, and local leaders about ways to tap into the brackish and salt water that abounds in Texas through implementation of desalination plants powered by wind turbines and solar power.
"We can provide almost unlimited supplies of pure drinking water at 1/4 to 1/2 of the cost that most communities now pay to produce drinking water, using our approach as promoted by http://wind-inc.com It has already been proven in Dubai, and in Australia, areas much more arid than the USA, it is time to implement this in the USA." says Boothe.
But this takes us back to the original subject. The lack of good water planning in Tarrant County and other cities. Many towns are literally "drying up", because they cannot produce enough water to support more population or industry. Some towns go to traditional systems of building new reservoirs, or piping in water from other areas, but these are "old school" approaches that are not consistent with modern thinking. Boothe says: "Those days are gone. There are too many environmental and legal issues in doing it the old way. Why spend billions on new reservoirs when we can utilize the salt water that is already under our feet and we don't have to transport that water hundreds of miles. It is already available."
Layla Caraway has ideas. See her interviewed by Saneh of "Venus&Mars" (of You Tube fame)