Letters to the Editor, Oct. 13

October 13, 2012

Love, stories have helped the healing

Mic and JoAnn Stephens, along with their family, would like to thank the community of Tolar and the surrounding area for their overwhelming outpouring of love and caring during this period of mourning and grief that we have experienced with the death of our son Riley.

From the visits and love, and the food delivered to us we can only say thank you. We would like to thank each of you by name, but find that almost impossible. Your love and the wonderful stories that have been told over the last few days have lightened our hearts and helped us to begin healing.

We have always known that the best way to live is surrounded by a community that truly takes care of each other.

We have experienced this first hand and are amazed by each special gift that you have given us. Only in Texas and it’s all about family. Riley will be in all of our hearts and minds, forever in spirit.

Mic and JoAnn Stephens, Tolar


Outpouring of support, respect overwhelming

Tolar has said farewell to an American hero.

I was privileged and honored to participate in that farewell. The outpouring of support, respect and affection for Riley Stephens and his family and the show of patriotism was overwhelming.

The ride to the National Cemetery was an amazing experience. We must never forget Riley and his fellow soldiers. The reason we are able to do what we do at home is what they do over there. Thank you Riley. God bless Riley Stephens and his family. God bless our troops. God bless America.

Douglas Lewis, Tolar


Another traffic light unnecessary, costly

Another traffic light?

That’s right! There is ANOTHER traffic light being installed right in front of the Hilton Garden Inn.

Not only will this light be unnecessary it will most surely be very costly. The average traffic light costs $80,000 – $100,000 per intersection.

Costs aside, unnecessary traffic lights are also very energy inefficient. Once this light is installed, hundreds of cars a day will have to do the most energy inefficient thing cars do; 1) use their brakes to stop the momentum of 2 tons of steel and 2) getting two 2 tons of steel back up to speed. Stopping and starting cars is the absolute best way to ensure MPGs drop.

And why will we all be stopping at this useless traffic light? All so one or two cars can turn left on to Pearl. Meanwhile 15-20 cars will have stopped just for these 1-2 cars.

If this country, state or county are ever going to get serious about improving the efficiencies of cars they should start by NOT placing a traffic light at every new intersection that is created.

Craig R. Raupe, Granbury


BRA study – ‘devil is in the details’

I have reviewed in some detail the BRA study (May 2011, link at http://www.brazos.org/generalPdf/Water-Management-CompletedStudy.pdf) that is the basis of the current 1.75:1 reservoir draw down rate. I give the BRA credit for a thorough analysis on potential shoreline facility impacts at various drawdown rates for PK and LG. As is the case in any of these type analyses, the devil is in the details.

They make a couple of very important assumptions that I would challenge and I suggest the LGWOA (Lake Granbury Waterfront Owners Association), city of Granbury and the county should challenge. If changed the potential impact to the draw down rates are significant. By my rough calculations we would have an additional 1.5 feet of water today using a 3.2:1 draw down rate.

The two assumptions are how to define “fair” impacts to both lakes and the depth of water used to determine if docks are usable. The BRA defined “fair” as equal % impacts to shoreline facilities at both lakes. Using their charts (appendix page c-1 and c-2) they would project approximately 500 unusable docks at PK and 1,250 unusable at Lake Granbury at today’s lake levels. This is close to an equal % impact best I can tell.

PK has an estimated total of 1,480 (93% floating) residential docks and Granbury has 3,007 (98% fixed) (see page 10).

Their definition of “fair” works if both lakes had the same number of docks (assuming all of the docks cost about the same to build and maintain). However, the dock counts are dramatically different between the two lakes. Lake Granbury has more than twice the number of docks and twice the investment by residents in them. Based on capital investment in docks the proper definition of “fair” should be a redefined as “a dock for a dock.” A dock at Granbury should be treated as equal to a dock at PK.

Further more, the existing definition used by the BRA doesn’t pass the pressure test of the extremes. All assumptions of this nature should be tested at the extremes to see if they work and make sense. For instance, if PK had only 2 docks and we had our 3,007 then when 50% of PK docks (1 dock) were out of service you would draw down Lake Granbury until 1,504 (50% of ours) docks were also out of service. That just doesn’t make economic sense by any standard.

On a “dock for dock” definition basis when PK has 500 docks out of service (today’s lake level) we in Granbury should have no more than 500 docks also out of service. At today’s lake level at PK (992) the BRA would need to raise our lake level by about 1.5 feet to achieve that result. The resulting draw down rate would be 3.2:1 instead of 1.75:1.

Their assumption on how deep water needs to be for a dock to be useful (2 feet under the dock) works for floating docks but not always on fixed docks. When lake levels are only marginally low this assumption doesn’t matter. However, in drought conditions when lake levels are 3 feet low or more (regardless of draw down rates) floating docks remain usable if they have 2 feet of water under them and fixed docks become dangerous or even impossible to use.

Most fixed docks have limited lengths of cable to lower boats as well as reachable access to winch controls and dock decking. My dock runs out of cable when the lake is at 4 feet low and feels unsafe at 3 feet low. Changes should be made in their modeling to reflect these facts. As an example, “all docks are defined as useful if they have up to 2 feet of water under them for lakes levels up to 3 feet low, for levels below 3 feet low only floating docks with 2 feet of water are usable.” This change would significantly change the impacts to Lake Granbury when projecting beyond 3 feet low water levels (see appendix c-1). This may also change the thinking of draw down rates when PK drops below 992. Today after PK drops below 992 the draw down rate goes to 1:1 (see last page of attached).

Combine my thinking of changing 2 assumptions with acknowledgment that PK has 4 times the water, twice the surface area and twice the depth may make a compelling argument with the BRA and other regulatory bodies. I believe these assumption changes could be incorporated into the modeling done by the consulting firm originally hired by the BRA for a nominal fee. This request, and payment for, could come from the BRA, the city of Granbury, the county or the LGWOA.

Mark Grella, Granbury


E-mail letters to [email protected] or mail to P.O. Box 879, Granbury, Tex. 76048. Include your name, address and daytime phone number.

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