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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 6, 2003 2:43 AM. The previous post in this blog was Inspirational Story of the Day. The next post in this blog is Junk journalism. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Thursday, November 6, 2003

Tualatin 140, Portland 0

Alexander B. Craghead of An Artist's Life has moved his writing to a new MT-powered blog location. As the nice lady on the telephone recording says, "Please make a note of it."

It's worthwhile checking in with him again. Craghead points out in a recent post that the Homer Williams Retirement Fund Pork Project (a.k.a. South Waterfront) has resulted in forcing the Lake Oswego vintage trolley out of downtown. Oh, great.

The project has also already forced Pacific Metal out of its longtime home in the North Macadam district. And of course, that company's getting the heck out of Dodge. Relocating within Portland isn't a viable option, so they're off to Tualatin.

And so another 140 jobs and another property taxpaying business leave Portland. To be replaced by? Tax-abated luxury condos! Thanks, City Council!

Anything for Homer. The city has looked the other way from his shaky track record and the felony record of his partner. I guess we shouldn't be surprised that the bodies have started falling. There'll doubtlessly be plenty more before the lovely condo towers block our views.

Comments (6)

Your statements regarding Portland development rile me up because I almost always agree with your tax and policy ideas. The way I see it, development of the Pearl is great because Portland now has a huge residential population right next to downtown. Many other cities suffer from downtown blight -- high commercial vacancy, crime, and decay. But not Portland. Instead, we're creating an urban center with a high population to services ratio. Doesn't it make sense that concentrating development downtown will pay off over time? I see your frustration -- it's a deal with the devil: developers make out big and new condo owners don't pay their share of property taxes, but during this economic downtime, we've had the biggest urban construction activity in the country, and the tax base will blossom in the future once the abatements expire. Right?

What about north Macadam is so valuable right now to preserve? I bet Pacific Metals is one of the reasons the Willamette is polluted. Why is it a good idea to have carbonized aluminum manufacturing in a high population area?

The bottom line, as I see it, is that there's a lot of risk in the development business. I've seen in many cities that where local governments don't reduce the risk by subsidizing development and the result is downtown blight and even worse suburban sprawl than we've got. By creating the critical mass to make downtown hip, the future of urban Portland is more secure. We'll forget about tax abated condos in 50 years -- but Portland will be one of the best cities in the world, along with Seattle and Vancouver, BC.

Look at what you're saying: A city that's broke should throw tens of millions at a chance that it might look "cool" 50 years from now. No thanks.

The long-term success of the Pearl is far from a done deal, much less this South Waterfront boondoggle. Loading up on high-end housing stock when you've got the worst unemployment in the country is a bad bet.

Plus, who in their right minds are moving to Portland, Oregone to pay $500,000 to live in a condo, listen to their neighbor's stereo all night, not be able to have a car, and have the nearest supermarket 25 blocks away? Those folks aren't going to stay.

In the end, those units in Pearl and North Macadam are just going to cause apartment vacancies in the grand old buildings of Northwest and the Joe Weston motel-looking apartments in Southeast.

Without a real economy to draw people here, there's not going to be any real growth, just a reshuffling of dollars. And guess who's going to get the dollars that get shuffled out of the other landlords' pockets? Homer Williams, Neil Goldschmidt, et al.

You're right, let's chase the manufacturers out of Portland. And let's give the Favored Few developers a complete property tax holiday. Let's let guys like Bogdanski pay for everything.

Hip, my a*s.

Hey jack, thanks for the plug and picking up on this.

A short update. we expect the line will be severed tueday, meaning our christmas trolley runs will only go as far as the Avalon. A few of us will be out at Sheridan Street with the speeders tomorrow, (sunday) to grab some lat photos and gear.

JB -
As usual, your reasoning makes sense.

Not all manufacturing is as bad as metals finishing, though. I wouldn't mind if Esco abandoned 24th and York either.

The other day, I asked a Hoyt Street broker "who's buying all these units?" No revealing answer - the buildings are selling quick. Sure, they could all go vacant, I guess, but wouldn't that just chill sprawl development while the population catches up? Is everybody going to abandon their condos the day they have to pay $8K/year in tax?

Regarding the "hip" thing, I respect your venerable wisdom here, but it seems that when it comes to picking a place to spend time, intangibles are big. People don't enjoy their lives in a run-down town, but they gravitate to good times from all over the world, and take their business with them. Look at NYC, Seattle and Vancouver, BC.

Paradoxically, I think the more expensive a place is, the more valuable it is because it's more exclusive, and so on. Look at Dunthorpe. As a long-time property owner in Portland, haven't you made out big on paper?

Am I full of crap? Set me straight. Thanks.

In response to Dog's "coolness" argument:
I live in Portland because I love the size, the nice people, the old buildings and the great Northwest. Condos in the Pearl District (or in my close-in SE neighborhood) are not going to enhance the quality of life in Portland - and are not going to attract people who love the same things about Portland. If you want to be as "cool" as Seattle, please just move there. I am terrified that Portland is headed toward the enforced niceness of Seattle. It wasn't too many years ago that Seattle developed the area just north of downtown... and in the process uprooted a community of arts and music and low/mixed income housing. Now downtown is clean and nice... and boring... but I hear that yuppies feel really safe there. I don't want my city to be exclusive or cool. I really want to be able to afford to live here, and to be surrounded by people who do all sorts of things and make varying amounts of money. The Pearl and other similar development is a threat to what makes Portland great.

Most of my peers seem to agree with you and JB on this, and I'm dynamic, so maybe I'll change my mind. I just need more convincing. Have you heard stories about downtown in the 70s and 80s? It was blighted, but fun because it was so shady. However, crime, vacancy, and sprawl are still expensive problems for the city.

Both arguments for and against development rely on the coolness factor -- it's just that you and JB think that blight shadyness makes for better living than bland yuppyville. Maybe yuppy attitude devours the urban electricity present in a city on the edge. But maybe you're humiliated by the new residents and their expensive lifestyle, and maybe JB's perspective is similarly colored by fond memories growing up in blighted NJ. So blight is good, because it keeps people hungry and development is bad like a pampered trustafarian. Considering the benefits of struggle, that's convincing.

But, an unemotional argument for developing downtown, even when the city is broke, is that development captures otherwise ephemeral capital. Regardless of who owns them, new buildings will be there for a long time. Enough time for the yuppies to move on and a satisfying shady scene to emerge. These diverse residents will continue to enjoy the real benefits of infill: they will consume less energy and time to get around, the city will spend less per resident to maintain services, and crime per resident will decline because of the increased occupancy. All the sketch we love, but for less money and time. That sounds good too, right?


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In Vino Veritas

King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2012
Decoy, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Marqués de Murrieta, Reserva Rioja 2010
Kendall-Jackson, Grand Reserve Cabernet 2009
Seven Hills, Merlot 2013
Los Vascos, Grande Reserve Cabernet 2011
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Forlorn Hope, St. Laurent, Ost-Intrigen 2013
Upper Five, Tempranillo 2010 and 2012
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Topsail, Syrah 2013
Jim Barry, The Lodge Hill Shiraz 2013
Robert Mondavi, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2012
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2014
Boomtown, Cabernet 2013
Boulay, Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Domaine de Durban Muscat 2011
Patricia Green, Estate Pinot Noir 2012
Crios, Cabernet, Mendoza 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Dehesa la Granja, Tempranillo 2008
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #15
Selvapiana, Chianti Ruffina 2012
Joseph Carr, Cabernet 2012
Prendo, Pinot Grigio, Vigneti Delle Dolomiti 2014
Joel Gott, Oregon Pinot Gris 2014
Otazu, Red 2010
Chehalem, Pinot Gris, Three Vineyards 2013
Wente, Merlot, Sandstone 2011
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2012
Monmousseau, Vouvray 2014
Duriguttti, Malbec 2013
Ruby, Pinot Noir 2012
Castellare, Chianti 2013
Lugana, San Benedetto 2013
Canoe Ridge, Cabernet, Horse Heaven Hills 2011
Arcangelo, Negroamaro Rosato
Vale do Bomfim, Douro 2012
Portuga, Branco 2013
Taylor Fladgate, Late Bottled Vintage Porto 2009
Pete's Mountain, Pinot Noir, Kristina's Reserve 2010
Rodney Strong, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Bookwalter, Subplot No. 28, 2012
Coppola, Sofia, Rose 2014
Kirkland, Napa Cabernet 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve, Napa Meritage 2011
Kramer, Chardonnay Estate 2012
Forlorn Hope, Que Saudade 2013
Ramos, Premium Tinto, Alentejano 2012
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Bottego Vinaia, Pinot Grigio Trentino 2013
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Pete's Mountain, Elijah's Reserve Cabernet, 2007
Beaulieu, George Latour Cabernet 1998
Januik, Merlot 2011
Torricino, Campania Falanghina 2013
Edmunds St. John, Heart of Gold 2012
Chloe, Pinot Grigio, Valdadige 2013
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir 2013
Kirkland, Pinot Grigio, Friuli 2013
St. Francis, Red Splash 2011
Rodney Strong, Canernet, Alexander Valley 2011
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Taylor Fladgate, Porto 2007
Portuga, Rose 2013
Domaine Digioia-Royer, Chambolle-Musigny, Vielles Vignes Les Premieres 2008
Locations, F Red Blend
El Perro Verde, Rueda 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red 2010
Chloe, Pinot Grigio, Valdadige 2013
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir 2013
Kirkland, Pinot Grigio, Friuli 2013
St. Francis, Red Splash 2011
Rodney Strong, Canernet, Alexander Valley 2011
Erath, Pinot Blanc 2013
Taylor Fladgate, Porto 2007
Portuga, Rose 2013
Domaine Digioia-Royer, Chambolle-Musigny, Vielles Vignes Les Premieres 2008
Locations, F Red Blend
El Perro Verde, Rueda 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red 2
If You See Kay, Red 2011
Turnbull, Old Bull Red 2010
Cherry Tart, Cherry Pie Pinot Noir 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Cabernet, Oakville 2012
Benton Lane, Pinot Gris 2012
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Reserva 2008
Haden Fig, Pinot Noir 2012
Pendulum Red 2011
Vina Real, Plata, Crianza Rioja 2009
Edmunds St. John, Bone/Jolly, Gamay Noir Rose 2013
Bookwalter, Subplot No. 26
Ayna, Tempranillo 2011
Pete's Mountain, Pinot Noir, Haley's Block 2010
Apaltagua, Reserva Camenere 2012
Lugana, San Benedetto 2012
Argyle Brut 2007
Wildewood Pinot Gris 2012
Anciano, Tempranillo Reserva 2007
Santa Rita, Reserva Cabernet 2009
Casone, Toscana 2008
Fonseca Porto, Bin No. 27
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Trader Joe's, Grower's Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
Zenato, Lugana San Benedetto 2012
Vintjs, Cabernet 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White 2012
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Fletcher, Shiraz 2010
Picollo, Gavi 2011
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Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
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William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
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Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 69
At this date last year: 110
Total run in 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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