Tag Archive for: River of Mud Part Dos

Rivers of Mud, Part Dos: Wayne Dolcefino Uncovers More Liberty County Dirt

Wayne Dolcefino, one of the country’s great investigative journalists, has been digging into Colony Ridge, as I have. So when he asked me last week if his videographer could hitch a ride on my helicopter, I said “sure.”

New Dolcefino Video Covers More Dimensions of Flooding Problem

While I shot hundreds of stills over Colony Ridge, his videographer shot 90 minutes of video. Dolcefino edited it together with other footage. His 8-minute video includes:

  • The most recent Liberty County Commissioner’s meeting
  • Attempted interviews with Trey Harris, the Colony Ridge developer
  • Some mind-boggling political donations made by Harris
  • An interview with a Harris County flood official
  • Articles from ReduceFlooding.com, including my recent Colony Ridge post, Rivers of Mud.
Wayne Dolcefino begs Liberty County Judge Jay Knight and commissioners to watch video of drainage violations at Colony Ridge before voting on new plats for the developer. They approved the plats without watching his video.

While I have focused primarily on the physical issues involved in flooding, Dolcefino has also focused on political issues. He literally digs deeper into the problem.

From Colony Ridge to the Liberty County Courthouse

The background for Dolcefino’s latest video is a Liberty County Commissioner’s Court meeting in which he attempted to show Commissioners video of drainage violations in Colony Ridge before they voted on additional plats for the developer.

Commissioners approved the plats after refusing to watch the video. Then, incredibly, one said he didn’t see any proof of violations.

And that – in one brief soundbite – explains why flooding is such a difficult problem to solve.

Colony Ridge violates Liberty County drainage standards because ditches have no backslope interceptor swales to reduce erosion. Most also lack grass.

I highly recommend Dolcefino’s video if you want to understand – in your gut – how politics can affect local flooding.

Out-Scrooging Scrooge

You may also find Trey Harris’ refusal to answer questions about deplorable living conditions in Colony Ridge, coupled with interest rates up to 13% on land purchases, quite interesting. It only took 177 years for someone to out-Scrooge Ebenezer Scrooge, the protagonist from Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol. But, in my opinion, the Colony Ridge developer now sets the standard.

Merry Christmas from Colony Ridge. Photographed December 7, 2020.
Colony Ridge residents living in tents without water or sewer hookups at Christmas time. A fulfillment of the American Dream for many immigrants according to Colony Ridge PR. Photographed December 7, 2020.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 12/13/2020 based on reporting by Wayne Dolcefino

1202 Days since Hurricane Harvey and 451 since Imelda

The thoughts expressed in this post represent opinions on matters of public concern and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.