That mother of all boondoggles, the Trinity River Vision, has added another “Trinity River (fill in the blanks)” item to its growing maze of acronyms.
Trinity River Communications Joint Venture, headed by none other than Bryan Eppstein, the political consultant-guru who managed the winning campaigns of new Tarrant Regional Water District board members Jim Lane and Marty Leonard, has been given a $900,000 no-bid contract to shore up the project’s sagging “public image” – especially among minorities. Ha! There are questions aplenty on this one without even mentioning the obvious: conflict of interest. Like, maybe if there’d been better minority representation on the TRWD board and on the Trinity River Vision Authority board appointed by the water district board to oversee the TRV and its baby, Trinity Uptown, the white-bread elitists who are now running this show wouldn’t be spending nearly a million of our bucks to “reach out” to minorities. According to Fort Worth City Manager Charles Boswell, a member of the TRVA board that approved it, Eppstein got the job after being recommended by Trinity Uptown executive director J. D. Granger, son of Congresswoman Kay, the driving force behind TRV. Static admits it ain’t easy to follow the acronyms, but they all lead to one thing: You, dear taxpayer, are getting screwed.
When Fort Worth Weekly made mixed-martial-arts fighter Travis Lutter its cover boy in August, Static thought of the old Sports Illustrated jinx – you know, where SI puts a guy on the cover and he tears his Achilles tendon or OD’s on pain meds the next week. What we didn’t count on was the Weekly’s coverage actually protecting Lutter from the jock whammy.
Lutter was chosen to participate in Spike TV’s The Ultimate Fighter reality show this year, where the testosterone channel puts 16 tough guys in a house to see who comes out with his head still attached.
Turned out the Fort’s own was the toughest. In Las Vegas over the weekend, he won the show’s welterweight “title” on national tv. The win was big for Lutter – $100,000 in prize money, another $100,000 endorsement contract, and a shot at the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight belt on Feb. 3 at Mandalay Bay in Vegas.
Lutter, who runs two area gyms where he teaches Brazilian jiu jitsu to police officers, UFC wannabes, and others, is now moving up into the big pay-per-view ranks in this increasingly popular sport. Rooting for the local guy, Static was therefore happy – for once – that the Startlegram never noticed this Fort Worth athlete making good on the national stage. If it had, Lutter might have had to deal with a real media hex. Fight fans, get your $39.95 PPV money ready for the Feb. 3 bout.