Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.



For old times' sake
The bojack bumper sticker -- only $1.50!

To order, click here.







Excellent tunes -- free! And on your browser right now. Just click on Radio Bojack!






E-mail us here.

About

This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 12, 2004 1:51 AM. The previous post in this blog was Portland news roundup. The next post in this blog is Happy birthday. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Archives

Links

Law and Taxation
How Appealing
TaxProf Blog
Mauled Again
Tax Appellate Blog
A Taxing Matter
TaxVox
Tax.com
Josh Marquis
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
The Yin Blog
Ernie the Attorney
Conglomerate
Above the Law
The Volokh Conspiracy
Going Concern
Bag and Baggage
Wealth Strategies Journal
Jim Hamilton's World of Securities Regulation
myCorporateResource.com
World of Work
The Faculty Lounge
Lowering the Bar
OrCon Law

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Utterly Boring.com
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
HinesSight
Onfocus
Jalpuna
Beerdrinker.org
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
Sansego
The View Through the Windshield
Appliance Blog
The Bleat

Hap'nin' Gals
My Whim is Law
Lelo in Nopo
Attorney at Large
Linda Kruschke
The Non-Consumer Advocate
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place
A Pig of Success
Attorney at Large
Margaret and Helen
Kimberlee Jaynes
Cornelia Seigneur
Mireio
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
{AE}
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Althouse
GirlHacker
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Frytopia
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
StumptownBlogger
Rantings of a [Censored] Bus Driver
Jeff Mapes
Vintage Portland
The Portlander
South Waterfront
Amanda Fritz
O City Hall Reporters
Guilty Carnivore
Old Town by Larry Norton
The Alaunt
Bend Blogs
Lost Oregon
Cafe Unknown
Tin Zeroes
David's Oregon Picayune
Mark Nelsen's Weather Blog
Travel Oregon Blog
Portland Daily Photo
Portland Building Ads
Portland Food and Drink.com
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion
LoveSalem

Retired from Blogging
Various Observations...
The Daily E-Mail
Saving James
Portland Freelancer
Furious Nads (b!X)
Izzle Pfaff
The Grich
Kevin Allman
AboutItAll - Oregon
Lost in the Details
Worldwide Pablo
Tales from the Stump
Whitman Boys
Misterblue
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
Twisty
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
Pinktalk
Mellow-Drama
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Rosenblog
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
Blort
Stuff White People Like
Worst of the Web

Valuable Time-Wasters
My Gallery of Jacks
Litterbox, On the Prowl
Litterbox, Bag of Bones
Litterbox, Scratch
Maukie
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
KGW-TV
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
KOIN
Willamette Week
KATU
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB
Topix.net - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
KPTV
Portland Info Net
McMinnville News Register
Lake Oswego Review
The Daily Astorian
Bend Bulletin
Corvallis Gazette-Times
Roseburg News-Review
Medford Mail-Tribune
Ashland Daily Tidings
Newport News-Times
Albany Democrat-Herald
The Eugene Weekly
Portland IndyMedia
The Columbian

Music-Related
The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Seal
Sting
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Thursday, February 12, 2004

And she's buying a stairway to heaven

As Rob over at AboutItAll predicted, a couple of pieces in Wednesday's Oregonian really shizzled my bizzle. They were both about the current state of the most foolish public project I have witnessed in my 25 years in Portland (and that's saying a lot), the OHSU aerial tram.

Wham, tram, thank you, ma'am, Vera. This incredible little toy will allow the doctors at OHSU and their lab workers to ride from Pill Hill to their new biotech-wannabe building in the North Macadam district in three minutes, rather than taking a 10-minute ride in a van.

The cost of that convenience? At least $28.44 million to build -- the vast, vast majority of it being public money -- and who knows how much a year to operate. Nobody's saying how much. I'd guess around $1 million a year. Forever.

There are so many problems here, it's hard to tell where to start. From a political junkie's standpoint, the most significant aspect is that the tram will connect one Neil Goldschmidt client, OHSU, with another N.G. client, Homer Williams, whose development has broken ground down on the old brownfields below. Who's your daddy, Oregon? We all know.

Yesterday's paper pointed up two more problems. The first is that the tram folks are $13 million short of the $28.44 million they need to build.

It's so sad. They sold this to the City Council on a $15.5 million budget, with the mayor saying it was going to be a beautiful picture postcard. Now, at $28.44 million, they've got a nasty looking bunch of concrete boxes and plastic towers about which even the Architecuture Dandy (see below) can't find much good to say.

And where is the other $13 million going to come from? Here's the latest rap from the tram people:

The board also asked an informal finance committee to figure out new revenue sources without asking the city for general fund money, and without reducing city funds designated for transportation maintenance and operation.

The guidelines suggest looking for additional contributors from the Marquam Hill community, such as the Veteran Affairs Medical Center and the Portland Shriners Hospital for Children. OHSU committed to $9 million of the original $15.5 million budget.

Other potential sources include possible tradeoffs for federal funding in the urban renewal area; energy tax credits based on the efficiency of tram operations; and additional property tax money generated by the estimated $1.8 billion of development that the tram is expected to help stimulate.

Mike Lindberg, a former Portland City Council member who serves on the nonprofit board, recalled earlier instances when the city faced shortages for Pioneer Courthouse Square and the Performing Arts Center. Instead of cutting important details, the city found additional money, he said.

I repeat, where is the additional money going to be found this time? I'm sure, in the pockets of people who pay (a) local property tax, (b) state income tax, and (c) federal income tax.

Hey, all you folks who voted against Measure 30, do you want public money to pay another $13 million for the aerial tram?

If not, tell your elected officials. Take two minutes to send a message to Mr. Hopes-He'll-Be-Mayor Jim Francesconi here. Randy Leonard can be contacted by leaving a comment to this post -- he's a pretty regular reader here. I wouldn't bother with Vera or Erik, but you might also try Dan Saltzman. And be sure to drop a line to your state representatives about this, too. Their e-mail addresses can be found here and here.

And don't be fooled by this "urban renewal" mumbo-jumbo. Those are tax dollars. Look on your property tax bill -- you'll see them (or ask to see your landlord's bill -- he or she passes that on to you as a renter).

The idea that the Shriners Hospital should pony up is certainly a new one. When the Shriners call me asking for money, I picture my money helping sick kids, not building eyesores for the benefit of West Hills big shots.

The other huge, new problem with the tram appeared on the front page of the Living section, where the O's Architecture Dandy, Randy Gragg, did one of his design "analyses" of the drawings released so far. This guy cracks me up. He gets on his high horse as "architecture critic" -- of the Portland Oregonian, for crying out loud -- and discusses this collection of junk as if he were giving a guided tour of the Taj Mahal.

Hey, Randy. Open up your thesaurus dialog box and tell it to add these two words: tacky and ugly. Ug. Ly. As in, U to the G to the ly-ly-ly.

Picture postcard? Maybe from Newark.

Comments (24)

You know, I've been wanting biotech to take off in Portland for quite some time now, as I'm a out-of-state researcher with family in the Portland/Van area. But even I, much as I hope this would stimulate biotech development, think this is a hideous idea. Ugh Ugh Ugh. If Portland wants to boost biotech, this isn't the way. If they want to move people, this isn't the way. What's the third strike? Oh yeah, waste of money.

JBog, think the line from Fast Times at Ridgemont High: "U-G-L-Y, you ain't got no alibi. You're ugly, you're ugly..."

Addendum 1: please replace "a" with "an" in the 1st sentence above.

Addendum 2: Can we mention the psychological joy of riding an elevated tram, on skinny supports, that has been subject to budget trimming? "Hmmm, maybe we can save another million by making these struts a little narrower..."

I'll continue to play my role as the repeating broken record on this issue. How can you base a transportation plan for a major development merely on a gimmick that only moves people between businesses? Yes, some people will live in the South Waterfront area but a whole bunch of the people working there will not. As of late I have yet to hear how the city plans to move traffic through or to this area. As a Brooklyn resident we fear the large uptick in traffic past/through our neighborhood to get across an already at-capacity Ross Island Bridge. Of course the Oregon Department of Transportation which controls Powell Blvd..errr.Highway 26 would probably just prefer to turn Powell into another freeway like McLoughlin just south of the Ross Island Bridge.

Uh -- what's a shizzle?

and how does it affect your Nizzle?

With the cost of a tram ballooning (hey! how about using tethered hot-air balloons to move people between Up There and Down There?) and nearly doubling, it's time for the City to revisit using a tunnel and high-speed elevator. The tunnel would be about 1600 feet long if it follows the Gibbs Street alignment. Stick two moving sidewalks inside it, build an elevator at the top end like the ZOOmer, and they're good to go. Lots cheaper than $30 million.

Build the tunnel wide enough to handle a train track, and later on it can be connected to the light rail or to the streetcar.

I don't think the people who voted for Measure 30 or any of its predecessors are that wild about it either.

Well, someone's got to defend the damn thing, so I will. Is it necessary? No. Should we build it if the choice is between a tram or health care? No. But I don't think that's the choice at all. We build things all the time that aren't strictly necessary but that add value to the city. The tram is the kind of showcase amenity that just might convince high-flying biotech firms to locate in the S. Waterfront. In the scheme of things, its cost is a drop in the bucket. It's the kind of gee-whiz thing that differentiates Portland from other comparably sized metro areas that don't have the same cachet. In short, it's the kind of thing that makes Portland Portland.

How's that for a half-assed defense.

Newark would not buy into that Tinker-Toy-looking thing. Besides, that contraption would last about one day in Newark.

I don't know how all the OHSU-types would get up the hill every morning, but it seems like the Zoo Bombers should be able donate some bikes and get them down every afternoon at significantly lower cost.

I think Brett has made better than a half-assed defense of the tram.

And as for the Newark example, I think not building things like trams and planning for the redevelopment of "brownfield" sites like South Macadam and planning for keeping "Pill Hill" in Portland rather than Hillsboro is something that would happen in Newark. If we don't do these kind of big vision things, we'll end up more like Newark ourselves.

If you think the rich West Hills docs of OHSU are going to move their shop to Hillsboro because they don't have an aerial tram, you're about as gullible as the city commissioners.

as for shizzling someone's nizzle....i think everyone ought to figure out what the slang means before they say it...try looking up those words at www.urbandictionary.com...you might be surprised and somewhat ashamed...

I had no idea what it means. Here's what the dictionary says: "Fo shizzle my nizzle" means "I concur, my african american friend."

Is "nizzle" the N-word? I don't get it. For the moment, however, the shame is not upon me. I'm willing to revizzle this, however.

look up nizzle...and as i understand it, nizzle is the "N-word".

Oh, I see that now. O.k., no more nizzle.

Shizzle.

apparently it's ok to say "fo' shizzle mah bizzle" though.

Now you tell me! I'll chizzle it rizzle now.

could always use crizzle instead of Nizzle, crizzle being cracker n all. or "alrighty, my whitey"


heh

Brent, that was a pretty good half-assed defense :) What is keeping high-flying biotechs from Portland is certainly not the lack of a tram. Trust me.

I don't doubt that. Maybe it has something to do with our new Brand Oregon slogan - "Oregon - we tax dreamers."

But even so, I think it's an item that would bolster Portland's quirky image, in the vein of Pioneer Cthse Square, MAX, the Streetcar (which I know is not popular round these parts), Forest Park, etc. I hope that we don't stop building these kinds of things because of a temporary money crunch. They will be around a lot longer than the deficit.

Pio Cthse Square was done largely, if not entirely, with private money. People paid $15 each to buy a brick.

Maybe Neil can give the tram people one of his many millions to get the ball rolling. Don't hold your breath.

I'm a resident of the Arlington Heights neighborhood and wanted to contact someone in the "Zoobombers" group. We live on a corner that the group does alot of yelling on in order to warn each other of oncoming traffic which is a real nuisance when we're awoken late at night. I don't want to spoil the groups fun by involving the cops, so instead I have a quiet solution I wanted to suggest for them to try.

TrackBack

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference And she's buying a stairway to heaven:

» Aerial Tram Faces Design Reductions, Cost Hurdles from The One True b!X's PORTLAND COMMUNIQUE
A pair of articles in today's Oregonian provide an update on the progress of the aerial tram project. First up from the Metro section is a report on the current funding situation for the tram: Proponents of an aerial tram... [Read More]

» The tram scam of portland, oregon from JohnHays.net
In beautiful downtown Portland, OR there is a tram that is mighty important to some strategically place rich people. Most of the financing is coming from the less wealthy taxpayers of Portland. For background information you can go here and... [Read More]

» Aerial Tram Faces Design Reductions, Cost Hurdles from The One True b!X's PORTLAND COMMUNIQUE
Note: This post has been updated. Any and all updates appear at the end of the original post. A pair of articles in today's Oregonian provide an update on the progress of the aerial tram project. First up from the Metro section is a report on the curre... [Read More]


Sponsors


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

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
Louis Jadot, Pouilly-Fuissé 2011
Trader Joe's, Grower's Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
Zenato, Lugana San Benedetto 2012
Vintjs, Cabernet 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White 2012
Rainstorm, Oregon Pinot Gris 2012
Silver Palm, North Coast Cabernet 2011
Andrew Rich, Gewurtztraminer 2008
Rodney Strong, Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Canoe Ridge, Pinot Gris, Expedition 2012
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rose 2012
Dark Horse, Big Red Blend No. 01A
Elk Cove, Pinot Noir Rose 2012
Fletcher, Shiraz 2010
Picollo, Gavi 2011
Domaine Eugene Carrel, Jongieux 2012
Eyrie, Pinot Blanc 2010
Atticus, Pinot Noir 2010
Walter Scott, Pinot Noir, Holstein 2011
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
Coppola, Sofia Rose 2012
Joel Gott, 851 Cabernet 2010
Pol Roget Reserve Sparkling Wine
Mount Eden Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains 2009
Rombauer Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2011
Beringer, Chardonnay, Napa Reserve 2011
Kim Crawford, Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Schloss Vollrads, Spaetlese Rheingau 2010
Belle Glos, Pinot Noir, Clark & Telephone 2010
WillaKenzie, Pinot Noir, Estate Cuvee 2010
Blackbird Vineyards, Arise, Red 2010
Chauteau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2005
Northstar, Merlot 2008
Feather, Cabernet 2007
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Alexander Valley 2002
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2002
Trader Joe's, Chardonnay, Grower's Reserve 2012
Silver Palm, Cabernet, North Coast 2010
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
E. Guigal, Cotes du Rhone 2009
Santa Margherita, Pinot Grigio 2011
Alamos, Cabernet 2011
Cousino Macul, Cabernet, Anitguas Reservas 2009
Dreaming Tree Cabernet 2010
1967, Toscana 2009
Charamba, Douro 2008
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend No. 12
Opula Red Blend 2010
Liberte, Pinot Noir 2010
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red Blend 2010
Woodbridge, Chardonnay 2011
King Estate, Pinot Noir 2011
Famille Perrin, Cotes du Rhone Villages 2010
Columbia Crest, Les Chevaux Red 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White Blend
Familia Bianchi, Malbec 2009
Terrapin Cellars, Pinot Gris 2011
Columbia Crest, Walter Clore Private Reserve 2009
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Termpranillo 2010
Ravenswood, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Quinta das Amoras, Vinho Tinto 2010
Waterbrook, Reserve Merlot 2009
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills, Pinot Grigio 2011
Tarantas, Rose
Chateau Lajarre, Bordeaux 2009
La Vielle Ferme, Rose 2011
Benvolio, Pinot Grigio 2011
Nobilo Icon, Pinot Noir 2009

The Occasional Book

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
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
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: 293
At this date last year: 145
Total run 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


Clicky Web Analytics