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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 3, 2004 9:55 PM. The previous post in this blog was Making the big time. The next post in this blog is Jersey Shore vacation, Part III. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Friday, September 3, 2004


My evening run took me down to the foot of the Hawthorne Bridge tonight. There's a bunch of new lighting on it -- supposed to make it look glamorous or something. It's more the cheap whore look, if you ask me.

What a waste of energy and money. I suspect it's all privately funded, but that just goes to show that there is such a thing as too much money. How many salmon will die to light this thing, night after economically depressed night?

And what kind of community is it that puts ornamental lighting on a bridge when there are people living under it?

UPDATE, 9/4, 12:51 a.m.: I should have known. Another great priority, Diane!

Comments (17)

Oh, actually, here's their news update on it. It was lighted as part of the finale to the Symphony in Waterfront Park this year (which I managed to miss, much to my chagrin).

Is it the weird purple that the Burnside had before?

No, and it's not the little twinkly lights that were on the Hawthorne before. There are a couple of big lights on the tops of the towers, and some floods on the way down (I think). I was running, without my glasses, and this is about 3.5 miles into my loop, and so I can't give too many details.

But the whole idea that this is worth people's time, natural resources, and money is so sad.

"But the whole idea that this is worth people's time, natural resources, and money is so sad."

That pretty much describes Town Hall's priorities these days, doesn't it?

Off-topic, Randy Leonard got nervous when asked if he agreed with Francesconi's comment of "too bad this development happened without City™ involvement" (tv broadcast of Lars Larson I coincidentally caught).

Randy seems like a nice guy, but when pressed on the issue of, "Should the city be allowed to develop on it's own, or have City Hall shove it's Grand Plan™ down folks' throats?".....Randy waffled.

To be fair, Randy looked kinda tired by then. And Lars did jump with the questions. But c'mon Randy, keep up the good work and vote for individual initiative in PDX.

I love Randy, but he "holds his nose and" votes yes on quite a few developer goodies, the tram and the streetcar being the most egregious. And don't expect any different after the election -- I think Fish will go for a lot of the same.

As for Potter, he may never actually vote on anything. From the sound of it, he'll just seize control himself, or turn it all over to a perpetual Town hall meeting. 8c)

Yeah, 'hold his nose' describes what Randy was doing (not literally). He seemed overwhelmed by his peers at City Hall - but also unwilling to fully call 'BS' when he saw it. Just once, it would be nice to see him take everyone else to task.

That might be asking a bit much, but one of these days he might do it. To me he's the straightest shooter that I've seen since I moved here in '78. You may disagree with him, but he's not going to lie to you, or even fudge his position much.

Well put. For all the heat Lars was giving him, Randy didn't fudge. And a non-lying politician is a nice change.

Jack and Scott-

I appreciate the nice comments.

And Jack, I remember when we had an exchange on here a number of months back re "The Street Car." I laid out why I thought it's on going operation funding should not be coming from the transp. general fund. I went on to say that the developers and property owners that benefited from the street car should be paying its entire costs....along with the riders. I defended to you my ultimate vote in favor of the project by saying I did not want to marginalize myself by consistently being the lone voice opposing the direction of the rest of the council

You responded with something to the effect that I was developing a pattern of raising legitimate public policy questions and then, in spite of the concerns I raised, voting for them. If I remember correctly, you were more than a little ticked.

I remember posting a response that was something to the effect of "Point well taken." And I meant it.

To bring you current on my votes since then, I voted no on the proposal to spend $300,000 out of the increase in the parking meter revenues to increase service for the street car. Mike Powell, et al., lobbied the council to decrease the wait for a street car from 14 mins to 11 mins. I made the point that we are $6 million in arrears on repairing existing streets and that to divert $ to improve street car service downtown was an example of the disconnect between city hall and the vast majority of Portlander’s.

Last Wed. I voted “no” on the Local Improvement District that will be formed to help pay for the light rail work to be done downtown. I explained my "no" vote as being caused by the exclusion of condominium owners in the Pearl and the South Auditorium districts. For some reason the Oregonian did not report my comments and “no” vote in the article they wrote the next day on this subject.

As you are probably aware, Local Improvement Districts are the tool used to pave streets and build side walks in neighborhoods throughout Portland. All property owners that adjoin the project pay, there are no exclusions.

While I am still concerned that I remain effective, I do not want to forget who I am and what it is I believe in order to just “get along”. It is a balance, but our discussion here months back helped me get closer to the equilibrium of supporting the council where I should but opposing it where I shouldn’t.

Good point, Randy, about not marginalizing yourself. However, with at least one person leaving the council and perhaps two, this is a good time to stand up for why you're there. And try to have an influence on the newcomer(s), who is (are) promising new leadership.

Randy - Thanks for the well put explanation.

Have you thought about having your own Voting Record (and Explanation) blog? It would give you a chance to keep a running tally of your votes - and reasonings. And given the editing of the Big O, that seems to be useful.

Not a bad idea, Scott. I already have a domain. I will look into doing that....however, if I wrote what I actually think during some of our council discussions, the Mayor may have the Police investigate me again......

Again?! In that case, it's worth it - because you'll know you are on the right track.

Jack wrote:
"How many salmon will die to light this thing, night after economically depressed night?"

as well as:
"I should have known. Another great priority, Diane!"

While I haven't seen the lights on the bridge and can't really talk to the ascetics, I would like to point out that the electricity that is powering these lights is supposed to be renewable "green" power. If PGE is telling the truth on their website, then this means it will either be 100% wind power or 50% wind, 25% geothermal and 25% low-impact hydro. So no salmon should die. Also, the picture of Diane Linn with Willamette Light Brigade Chair Paddy Tillett is actually a picture of Paddy giving Diane money to reimburse the county for installing the lights.

If you buy the whole "pay extra for green power" idea, I guess no salmon will die. But I can't believe that if we turned off those lights, they'd run the wind, geo, etc. any less.

Diane shouldn't even have bothered with a photo op on this one. Rich people like Paddy and his pals have too much money to blow on cr*p.

I LOVE these lights, and think they are very important to the city. Here is why:

Someone once, during the 1930's depression, said "people will pay their last dollar for entertainment." I think it's true; because the physical well being of a human is so integrally tied in with the psychological well being. In the depths of poverty and starvation, people would still pay a nickel to spend the day in the movie theatre or watch an outside play and toss the performers a nickel.

Humans need psychological lifts, things that bring them to a heartfelt state, a sense of divine and a sense of ourselves. Some people do this through a religion or church. Others do this through humour and laughter. But ALL human beings, I feel, need and respond to art. Art and aesthetics help us touch that which is inside of us, our souls, the human spirit.

If I get into grad school, I'll be able at some point to tell you the scientific neurological patterns that goes into this biopsychology. Give me a few years.

I have an example: My living space, my apartment. When it is trashed and messy I feel less ready to take on issues and problems in life as they arrive- say, my unemployment. Yet on the other hand, when it is clean and looking how I artistically like it with my walls painted a soothing colour and a fabulous framed sepia toned picture of a farm on the far wall, I feel more sure of myself and readier to go on an interview. I don't mean anally clean in which I freak over a speck of dust and may be ignoring my internal self; I mean having an outside surity that reflects and enhances my inside calm.

So let's take this knowledge and go macro with it.
Our surroundings, and their aesthetic, have a psychological impact. This is where urban planning comes in. The military urban grid can have psychological effects in making humans feel watched, controlled, and just one tiny entity in a long line others- not individual. This is why you may notice that the more expensive neighborhoods have turning and twisting streets- Laurelhurst, SW Hills, NW near Forest Park hills, Ladd's Addition, etc.

But anyways, the way a city shows and holds itself is indicative and has a huge affect on the citizens that live within it. Our bridge lights are our city putting a pretty picture on our wall in our apartment.

Some may say that the cost is too high. I feel however, that it is a necessary cost as much as a sewer system is. The psychological impact this art has is very important; one of the precious posters mentioned the purple they remembered on the Burnside years ago, even while they currently live in Japan. This shows how much art and memory intersect.

These colourful lights are our city's living room aesthetic, and I for one feel much better with it decorated.


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In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
MarchigĂĽe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
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Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
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Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
GascĂłn, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
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Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
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Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
MarchigĂĽe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
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Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
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Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
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Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
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King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
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Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
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Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
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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
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Keith Richards - Life
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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: 113
At this date last year: 155
Total run in 2016: 155
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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