Additional Content 1234567891011 Last »
FM Diversion and Dam Increases national debt

The Organ Grinders Monkey

An "uncanny" Resemblance

An “uncanny” Resemblance

After reading Craig Whitney’s January 18, 2015 letter to the editor, I could not help but visualize a screeching monkey clanging cymbals for an organ grinder.

That poor lowly organ grinders monkey, tethered to a string, trained to do tricks, attract attention, as well as the important task of collecting money from passers-by.

In this case the organ grinder being the collective that is nebulous to Fargo development interests and the overall Fargo Dam and FM Diversion project.

Craig Whitney’s letter to the editor is anything but insightful.

Letter: Diversion critics short on facts and dishonest about ‘answers’
By Craig Whitney 

As the old saying goes, “people are entitled to their own opinion,” and there are certainly differing opinions out there regarding the F-M diversion, which is designed to provide permanent flood protection for our part of the Red River Valley. Opinions are fine, and I’m certainly not shy about sharing mine, but when opinion tries to trump fact, there’s a problem.

 

What an “INTERESTING” choice of words: “…but when opinion tries to trump fact…”

We’ll get back to that in a bit.

Letter: Diversion critics short on facts and dishonest about ‘answers’
By Craig Whitney

A recent Forum letter to the editor asks for “answers” about the diversion. The writer’s “opinion” is that no answers to why a diversion is needed have been provided. In fact, there is no shortage of answers. Enough answers, in fact, to provide the writer with a very long read or two. And, these facts aren’t hard to find. In addition to websites, meeting after meeting and regular news coverage, it’s all out there.

 

On the contrary, there is plenty of proponent rhetoric but not enough genuine answers that justify the scale and scope of the Fargo Dam and FM Diversion project.

The current Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo metro area footprint is roughly 89 square miles, however, the proposed project would land-grab a footprint around 261 square miles.

Perhaps the person who drafted the letter to editor is questioning the fiscal sense of encumbering future generations of taxpayers with an obligation so that profiteering development interests of today can encroach further into the natural flood plain?

Read more: 2016-01-10 LTE – Need Answers About Diversion

Letter: Diversion critics short on facts and dishonest about ‘answers’
By Craig Whitney

In addition, for the past six years, The Chamber of Fargo Moorhead West Fargo has been on the forefront of not only trying to be part of the solution but being a critical part of the education process to make sure that the answers are there for all to see.

 
You cannot be part of the “solution” when you are an active part of the “problem”.

It is also rather arrogant and presumptuous to define ones role as “being a critical part of the education process”, when the real intent is to further an agenda by disregarding any and all opposition within and outside the project area as being uninformed.

Letter: Diversion critics short on facts and dishonest about ‘answers’
By Craig Whitney 

Another opinion making the rounds is that our congressional delegation, particularly North Dakota’s two U.S. senators, have been insincere as they work tirelessly to deliver a solution that will work best for all. This is both insulting and unfair to Sens. Hoeven and Heitkamp, whose commitment to a fair solution is beyond question. They both have spent their careers in the service of their constituents, and if there is compromise to be made, they will work hard to make it.

 
On the contrary, Sen. Hoeven and Heitkamp failed their North Dakota constituents miserably on the Fargo Dam and FM Diversion agenda. Their indifference towards upstream and downstream interests is evident in the lack of press releases and headlines like those often provided for project proponents.

Both Sen. Hoeven and Heitkamp have placed the taxpayers of North Dakota at a severe disadvantage by pandering to the Fargo vote, rather than reigning in the development interests in Fargo that dig deeper into state and local coffers for flooding issues created by irresponsible flood plain development.

Letter: Diversion critics short on facts and dishonest about ‘answers’
By Craig Whitney 

At some point, however, tough decisions need to be made, or the project won’t continue to move forward. And, that’s exactly what some are aiming for.

 
Nothing more than subjective reasoning by unreasonable people.

The consistent defect in the proponent logic is that the project must advance at all costs or else…, yet these same talking heads never demonstrate the same passion for internal flood protection that could protect the city that exists in the here and now.

Letter: Diversion critics short on facts and dishonest about ‘answers’
By Craig Whitney 

I’m optimistic, however, that because of the many facts provided by experts in so many fields,

 

Theoretical assumptions and junk science do not provide “facts”, no matter how many “yes men” allege they are authentic.

Letter: Diversion critics short on facts and dishonest about ‘answers’
By Craig Whitney 

…and the unquestionable commitment of our congressional delegation – Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., and Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D. – …

 
Where were these congressional delegates when Fargo and Cass County gerrymandered the DPAC vote, which denied property owners two-thirds of their freedom to cast their ballots in the manner of their choosing?

Where were these congressional delegates when Cass County prematurely cast $242 million votes before the DPAC ballots were mailed?

Where were these congressional delegates when Cass County and Fargo failed to proportionally represent the will of constituents in a manner consistent with the ballots cast by property owners?

Unquestionable commitment to Fargo/Cass developers…

Letter: Diversion critics short on facts and dishonest about ‘answers’
By Craig Whitney 

…we are closer than ever to making the valley safe from a natural disaster…

 
That’s an odd contradiction!  In Whitney’s opening paragraph he made the statement:

“which is designed to provide permanent flood protection
for our part of the Red River Valley”

So just exactly how is the “valley safe” from a natural disaster when the project is designed for “our part of the Red River Valley?”

Letter: Diversion critics short on facts and dishonest about ‘answers’
By Craig Whitney 

…that would cripple an economy essential to thousands of people in in Fargo, Moorhead and our surrounding area.

 

If anything is going to cripple the metro economy it will be the burgeoning debt that comes with the construction of the Fargo Dam and FM Diversion project.

Despite the early disingenuous claims that sales tax would cover the project, the Fargo Diversion Authority knew as early as July 2012 that they were at a financial impasse.

Yet, they pressed on and deceitfully encumbered properties with a DPAC assessment and now proponents are proposing to tax future generations with an extended sales tax for an unsustainable project that is on track to bankrupt the city of Fargo.

Letter: Diversion critics short on facts and dishonest about ‘answers’
By Craig Whitney 

That’s not only my opinion, but the opinion of those who truly understand the facts behind the critical need for a Fargo-Moorhead diversion project.

Whitney is president and CEO, Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce.

 

Well, Well, Well… isn’t that special. To rely on the bare assertion that “only those” that drink the kool-aid are truly capable of understanding the facts…

Well Mr Witless, understanding the “alleged facts” that you elude to are not really “facts” at all. They are theoretical assumptions backed by imperfect modeling associated with those wet and wild theories the project need is “critical”.

Don’t take my word for it…, just read the report provided by the USACE. There are 26 references to project assumptions in the Final Environmental Impact Statement. Here are three…

Page 16 FEIS (Final Environmental Impact Statement) – “The panel recommended developing revised flow frequency curves separately for the dry and wet periods and then combining the curves using probabilistic assumptions about future conditions.”

 

3.5.9 Hydraulic and Hydrologic assumptions – “Throughout the second part of Phase 2, work continued to update the hydraulic models and hydrologic data to reflect the 2009 flood event. At the completion of Phase 2, it was determined that a non-traditional hydrologic method would most accurately represent the expected future flow conditions during the period of analysis. In addition, the hydraulic model was re-calibrated to the 2009 event. Both changes were expected to increase estimated flood stages for any given frequency of event and potentially affect the economic analyses.”

 

3.6 FEASIBILITY PHASE 3, 3.6.1 General – “Phase 3 began in March 2010. Primary activities were to refine the plans and identify which of the Minnesota plans would maximize net economic benefits. These refinements included additional analysis of the impacts to the railroads and to the cross sections on the diversion channels. This analysis used the hydrologic assumptions recommended by the EOE panel and the hydraulic model which was calibrated to the 2009 event, which increased estimated flood stages for the larger flood events.”

 

Let’s get back to Whitney’s earlier statement: “…but when opinion tries to trump fact…”

If the entire project is based upon theoretical assumptions, which the USACE openly admits, then the “Expert Opinion Elicitation” (EOE) which relies heavily on those theoretical assumptions is “likewise” no different. Whoops!

Yep, it’s pretty obvious the organ grinder has their monkey clanging cymbals…

Views: 433

Leave a Reply

You can use these XHTML tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <strong>