This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 2, 2003 1:11 AM. The previous post in this blog was Easy on the eyes. The next post in this blog is Building a bunker. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Sunday, March 2, 2003

Minting phrases, not mincing words

Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard tells it like it is, for better or worse. The other day he suggested that the rural legislators who are threatening to disrupt Portland's bailout of its bankrupt public school system should "shut up."

He was also, shall we say, candid when he noticed that the architect "experts" studying potential sites for a major league baseball stadium in Portland aren't inclined to select Leonard's pet site near Interstate 205 in the Lents neighborhood in Southeast Portland. As The Oregonian described it:

Leonard caught wind of disparaging remarks made about the Lents site in some of those meetings and also took exception to HOK's evaluation that surface parking would not be possible on the 130-acre site along Interstate 205 between Southeast Foster Road and Flavel Street.

While Leonard favors the freeway access and future light rail access of the Lents site, HOK clearly leans toward a pedestrian friendly, downtown ballpark.

"That is so elitist, so Pearl (District). I mean, please," Leonard said. "There are so many people who live and work outside of that core area. It's not in the taxpayers' best interest. Don't count me in." ...

"They looked at that [Lents] site and couldn't find a wine and cheese restaurant nearby and dismissed it," Leonard said.

You tell 'em, Randy.

Actually, although some fans are drooling over the Main Post Office land in the Pearl District, the people who have plunked down a half million or more for their groovy lofts in that neighborhood can't possibly want a stadium there. Heck, they've been complaining that too many riffraff east side kids are playing in the water fountain at Jamison Square Park until 8 or 9 on summer nights. I can't imagine they'll be ready for 25,000 fans, along with their cars and litter, streaming through their 'hood at 11:30 or midnight after an extra-inning game. And 81 games a year. And probably winter and spring uses of the stadium for other purposes.

My favored plan would be to put the stadium over at North Broadway and Dixon -- near the Rose Garden, and right on the super-spendy light rail line currently under construction.

And on Commissioner Leonard's site? Why, the Indian casino that's going to pay for it all.

Think about it. Right on I-205.

It's perfect.

As is Leonard's new catch phrase for phoniness in local government: That is so Pearl.

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