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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 15, 2005 1:19 PM. The previous post in this blog was That time again. The next post in this blog is Rejected. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

In the comment bag

My latest streetcar rant has drawn a couple of good responses. First, neo-Couverite blogger Chris Snethen actually took as a challenge my remark that you can get there faster walking than going by Portland Streetcar. He concludes that he can't! Great experiment, Chris. I have some questions about his methodology, though. More on that later.

Meanwhile, a regular reader with serious "libertarian" leanings rolled his mouse over his University of Chicago mouse pad and posted a very thoughtful comment that deserves a thread of its own. He writes:

Hey -- no offense Jack, but you can't have it both ways! If you want government to intrude as often as you do when you think there's something "good" to be done (I dunno -- let's say, reducing global warming, or homelessness, or poverty, or . . . ), you can't really complain when reality rears its ugly head and actual POLITICS comes in to play. You can't separate the specific policies from the framework that grants the government the power to accomplish them. In other words, if you give the government the power to accomplish A, you have likely also given it the power to accomplish B. And you may not like B. This is why it cracks me up so much to hear all the lefties bitch about Bush, the Evil One. He wouldn't be so evil -- or at least not so *effectively* evil -- if the lefties hadn't done so damn much legwork in conferring so damn much power on the federal government. So you don't like the streetcar? Run for dictator. It's the only way to get what you want without also getting what you don't want. For the rest of us (well, for me and the few sensible ones like me), we'll just take strong curbs on government power across the board, thank you very much. That way, I don't get what I want, but at least I don't get what I don't want, either.
Hmmm, so we can't have regulation of air pollution without aerial tram scams? Food for thought. Readers?

Comments (42)

I don't know what this guy was smoking, but he seems to support just throwing up hands at the whole process of government. Fair enough, that means the rest of us have marginally more power.

Your problem, Jack, is that I rarely see you offering competing visions. First, define the "scam" of the aerial tram. Second, propose an alternative budget for both the city and the state in which you live. Third, tell me how you plan to keep Portland's tax base and housing stock growing without more sprawl (or if you like more sprawl, please indicate so).

I don't know what you want, Jack. You're inscrutable. All you do is bitch. Which kind of makes you a little bitch, in my book.

Someone loves his Tram...

Someone who's now banned from this blog... probably Neil G., heh heh.

Now that's funny.

What a surprise: "Though groundbreaking is less than two months away, the project to build an aerial tram connecting condominiums and businesses in the new South Waterfront district to the Oregon Health & Science University campus above finds itself $6 million in the hole."

http://www.kgw.com/news-local/stories/kgw_031505_news_tram_project.13f376c70.html

For the sake of getting all the context of the latest (and unsurprising) news about the lateness and the costs of the tram:

OHSU has agreed to make up the difference, which reinforces the importance of the 3,300-foot tram to the university's expansion plans in the South Waterfront urban renewal area.

OK, so OHSU promises to dig deep and fund the $6M on its own.

Where does OHSU get the money to do this? This is just robbing Peter to pay Paul.

And is OHSU committing to pay to operate the tram, which will probably run deficits over $1 million a year? No. At that point, it's "public transportation," which will be paid for by city and/or Tri-Met taxpayers.

Back to the original query, the key point of the comment Mr. B selected can be summarized:

"If you want government to intrude as often as you do when you think there's something "good" to be done ... you can't really complain when reality rears its ugly head and actual POLITICS comes in to play. You can't separate the specific policies from the framework that grants the government the power to accomplish them."

Of course you can separate out and argue about particular policies. Once we're past anarchy, it's all "politics." It seems to me the history of federal government has included power grabs for some decades now. As a genuine states'-rights-er, I'll blame Lincoln first. The power grabs hence started most with FDR and have continued on.

So yes, we are arguing about power and about policies -- and it's all politics. And one can even find and assort principles in and among them.

Eg: you can argue that a principle of private property use stops where it infringes on public air. And you can contend that the principle of (largely) private enterprise paying its own way argues for OHSU to buy its own tram.

The fight will be political. But one needn't agree that by accepting any regulation one has therefore accepted all.

Where are all of Porkland's Lefty Obstructionists when we need them? They could well be hanging from OHSU's Sky-bridge and waving fistfuls of Lawsuits. Were they bought off with promises of Bike Racks on the Tram Cars? Perhaps we should we tell them how OHSU considers itself Private Enterprise (when it suits them) and they now fall into the Capitalists category.

What is the Tram Scam?
OHSU claiming it to be vital to it's biotech expansion is an empty claim with no basis at all.
Biotech expansion? Fat chance as OHSU's own expert would have told you when he was still in town.
As a mode of transportation? Simple shuttles would provide far more service with way less money.
OHSU will have no use for the Tram anyway as the biotech gamble will fail miserably. The anticipated 30% OHSU use of the tram will never materialize.
OHSU must expand in South Waterfront? BS,they still have space on the hill and in Hillsboro for the meager expansion they are capable of. And it won't be 10,000 biotech jobs.

The Tram Scam is part of the Urban Renewal Scam, the PDC Scam and Density Scam delivering the South Waterfront Scam.
All of which are proving to be detrimental to the very livability they claim to be protecting.

If Portlanders sit by and allow this Tram to devour $40 million plus while so much is in need of revenue they deserve the Tram.

If WW had disposed of the Goldschmidts sooner, it never would have happened.

To interject some facts about OHSU, Peter and Paul. According to OHSU's data, It received $48 million from Oregon in 2003, as part of an operating budget of $1.045 billion. 4.6%. This biennium, the proposal is $53 million from the state. Of the $48 million given by the state, $34 million went back to the state via taxes. Net (if you want to look at it that way): $14 million dollars.

Now, that whole "operating budget" thing is a whole different problem. But it's probably not fair to say that your taxes are paying OHSU's share of this $6 million (or whatever out-of-pocket expenses they may shell out). OHSU is a substantially independent institution.
To quote: "The university, like most businesses, earns the majority of these dollars from its activities and services. More than half of OHSU’s revenue — and expenses — relate to patient
care. About a third of the university’s operating budget is earned from grants, contracts and gifts."

And that whole biotech scam is a damn shame. I was really looking forward to working there. When I realized (late in 2003) that there was no way on God's green Earth that was going to work (at least any time soon), well, let's just say I started contributing to LCLaw's operating budget.

The Tram is "no longer farfetched" the Oregonian editorial says.

Well thank you very much for that. That must be good enough for the public if you say so?????

Hardly.

The Tram never was simply far fetched. It was, and is, an illegitimate and irresponsible waste of public funds. Yes, public. Despite what the O writes.
Urban Renewal dollars will be spent and OHSU, who pays no taxes, has no excess money to pay their largest share. In fact OHSU is in dire straights as it's State funding is being cut, and it's clinic health care services are being reduced.
It's fantasy of a new biotech campus in South Waterfront is just that, fantasy.
So no need for a Tram between campuses because there won't be another campus.
It's truly remarkable how malleable and naive the editorial board can be on these costly boondoggles. Having shared not a shred of genuine analysis on the prospects of success the board launches it's campaign of support as if they have a higher level of understanding.
Foolishness is what they are demonstrating.
For instance, what in the world makes them believe OHSU can afford to "pick up the bulk of the tab"? Either now or spread out over 20 years? Such a cavalier attitude regarding that $24.7 million dollar share is beyond foolish. "Details are still being worked out" the editorial brains tell us.
Once such detail is what happens when OHSU does not meet it's one roll, crap shoot biotech objectives and existing operations flounder? Will OHSU have excess revenue to feed a Tram they don't use?
Is there anyone who believes that a simple "never mind" will clear the debt?
Never mind the practical and fiscal recklessness is the board approach today.
With Urban Renewal dollars funding a portion of the Tram and the cost of money adding millions "scarce general fund dollars" will certainly become scarcer as other areas of the city must fund services to South Waterfront for decades.
Who is the editorial board fooling? We've all read their lectured advice for years.

Today's editorial lecture is the "Tram is not farfetched"
It's a "stunning, stalwart, stout, silent, ingenious, zipper, zapping link that makes South Waterfront possible"

That folks is pure fabrication.

As anyone who has been paying attention knows the catalyst in South Waterfront is the huge public subsidies through Urban Renewal. Free money as developers get to use their own future property taxes to build all the infrastructure they would otherwise have to pay for themselves. A sweet deal for anyone.
Imagine a homeowner's glee if they could apply twenty years of their property taxes to doll up their own home. And while the dolling up is paid back with their own property taxes other property owners will need to pay for their city services.
To prove the obvious we need only wait a few years to see how the crap shoot pans out. To see how affordable and "vital" the Tram would be.
As South Waterfront develops it will become painfully obvious that Tram and the plan were fatally flawed.

OK, fine then if OHSU is such a big and coming institution without much state support, why are they only paying $6M and not the whole $40M for the tram? I believe the terminus of this tram is at OHSU and they seem to be the only beneficiaries of this thing.

They must have made money if they paid $34M in taxes, so poverty is not an exemption in this case.

I think the CoP got taken again. I can hardly wait until they run PGE and then give away free power to induce the "proper" people to build their projects here.

For more on the overall scam that is light rail (you didn't think this crap was just a Portland affair did you? Not when this kind of money is on the line!) P.J. O'Rourke's op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal is a must-read:

http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110006428

Steve,
Don't take my offering of actual facts as a defense of OHSU's position. They SHOULD pay for the tram. They can certainly find the money in reasonable places. Heck, a pay cut for the President would probably cover it in a few years.

Trams and trains - they're all part of the same scam. We have some 70 miles of unpaved roads in Portland, and many more miles of roads in need of repair/improvement. But government keeps finding ways to divert money from the essentials into their pet projects. We voted down light rail. What did we get? Light rail.

Here's a novel idea: quit blowing millions on stuff most people never use. Put that money into stuff we do use - like roads. While you're at it, maybe you can use some of that leftover cash to lower our ungodly high water/sewer tabs.

Spending money on things we do use?

That's pretty tough when all the money goes to things we can't use.

Take Metro's purchase of 8000 acres of open spaces. A fine concept but 8000 acres were moved from taxed private ownership to non-taxed public ownership.
Add to that the purchase price of $136 million and now they have no money for improvements so we can use some of it.
Nice planning. Did we need Metro for this?

Richard thinks we should be building more roads for cars instead of trams and trains, so that we can destroy our air and destroy thousands of homes to build freeways instead of building those awful trams and train tracks. I suppose we could build a spur from I-5 up the hill to the OHSU campus and destroy all those homes on Gibbs instead of just infringing on their back yard nude sunbathing rights.

I for one plan to use the tram to put my bicycle on so that I can more easily bicycle from my plush downtown office job to my luxurious home in the West Hills. That's instead of driving my BMW or my Hummer.

Scenes from Portland past:

You can't tear down Harbor Blvd.! Social engineering - people want to drive their cars! Spend the money on freeways instead!

What! Don't build the Mt. Hood Freeway!?!? We need more freeways, even if thousands of homes must be destroyed - it's progress! And spend it instead on a transit mall and light rail? Social engineering!

Whaddya mean get rid of a parking lot and put some gooey thing called Pioneer Courthouse Square in its place!?! It'll just be a place for bums and other leftists to hang out! And we need places for people to park in downtown Portland!

People living downtown! Ha! The only people who should be living downtown are the janitors cleaning out all those office towers! And besides, we need someplace to put vacant and abandoned industrial buildings, don't we !?!?

Gordo - Please don't imply I am against these mass transit projects. What I against is the downpour of money on them to the exclusion of any other means of transport.

If they are so good for everyone involved then price accordingly to the riders. Of course, you would probably have to 3x fares, but at least be equitable about it.

I need to drive a car to reach customers and do not expect a subsidy from government, however, I do pay for a service I cannot use with TriMet.

Actually, Steve, your comments are quite reasonable - I was mainly castigating Richard for his several comments, and also poking a bit of fun at our host, hopefully not enough to get me banned!

My one quibble (and it's a big one) with your analysis is that your chosen form of transportation has received huge subsidies over the past several decades, and that's even after you take into account the gas tax you've been paying. And I'm not including the indirect costs of large-scale automobile use in terms of air quality, neighborhood livability, even perhaps basic safety issues. Transit subsidies can be seen as an attempt to even the playing field a bit.

Gordo you are unquestionably a fool.

Lost in Portland planning and beyond help.

Supporting the least efficient mass transit hinders effective mass transit.
While bus route requests are rejected and current routes trimmed our system gets worse every time we add rail.
The current transit mall is a loser and the new $165 million expansion is insane. Read a bit on transit malls.
The Tram is insane in every way. As a transit mode, as an investment, as an economic catalyst as a tourist attraction.

Our transportation system is in crisis as it is failing miserably to accommodate growth. In commerce mobility and commuter capacity the region has failed.
Light rail has failed.
Not building the Mt. Hood freeway was a huge mistake. Not building the Westside by-pass was a bigger mistake.
Wasting billions on light rail was an even bigger mistake.
Turning over our transportation system to clowns like you was an EVEN bigger mistake.
The Sellwood Bridge, now closed to truck and transit traffic, is a fine example of your approach. You like to call it planning I'm sure, but in reality it's chaos.

Your light rail hasn't even reduced pollution. That is pure fantasy. It has actually caused more.
No need for a freeway up pill hill. There isn't even demand for a Tram.
Simple shuttles would suffice for a good long time and will prove the Tram was never needed. And when the biotech campus never appears we can halt the shuttles with ease.
What's the rush with the Tram? Are we not gambling in enough ways now?
Tell me Gordo, what happens when the Biotech gamble falls flat?

With your jibberish like this
>Transit subsidies can be seen as an attempt to even the playing field a bitGordo you are unquestionably a fool.

Lost in Portland planning and beyond help.

Supporting the least efficient mass transit hinders effective mass transit.
While bus route requests are rejected and current routes trimmed our system gets worse every time we add rail.
The current transit mall is a loser and the new $165 million expansion is insane. Read a bit on transit malls.
The Tram is insane in every way. As a transit mode, as an investment, as an economic catalyst as a tourist attraction.

Our transportation system is in crisis as it is failing miserably to accommodate growth. In commerce mobility and commuter capacity the region has failed.
Light rail has failed.
Not building the Mt. Hood freeway was a huge mistake. Not building the Westside by-pass was a bigger mistake.
Wasting billions on light rail was an even bigger mistake.
Turning over our transportation system to clowns like you was an EVEN bigger mistake.
The Sellwood Bridge, now closed to truck and transit traffic, is a fine example of your approach. You like to call it planning I'm sure, but in reality it's chaos.

Your light rail hasn't even reduced pollution. That is pure fantasy. It has actually caused more.
No need for a freeway up pill hill. There isn't even demand for a Tram.
Simple shuttles would suffice for a good long time and will prove the Tram was never needed. And when the biotech campus never appears we can halt the shuttles with ease.
What's the rush with the Tram? Are we not gambling in enough ways now?
Tell me Gordo, what happens when the Biotech gamble falls flat?

With your jibberish like this
>Transit subsidies can be seen as an attempt to even the playing field a bit
I know you haven't a clue about anything in transportation.
Safety issues? Your light rail has killed 18 people.
In stark contrast to what hwe have we could have a state of the art bus system with broader more frequent service for many more neighborhoods and people.

If you are going to talk transportation you should bring something more than the TriMet/Metro nonsense.
Otherwise you're a shinning example of the delusion and deception ruining our region.
And you're not even funny.

Let's keep it civil, folks. This is about the issues, not about each other.

Consider me suitably chastised...

or is it chastized?

I love public transit, and have relied on it most of my adult life. I have little but kudos for TriMet bus transit. Insofar as one is going to support public transit, it is worthy, and has become truly excellent over the last 20 years.

The streetcar always seemed to me nothing but a mantle toy for Vera et al. The Max trains were a grand and spectacularly expensive reach, which I have enjoyed a few times, even more by which to doubt their need and speed. OHSU shuttles seem (like they would have been) a more viable option than the tram.

It is grand to dream and scheme as if money were no object, but it should have been for some of these projects.

And if you can't convince me -- carless for pretty much 25 years -- the people you are convincing probably are not using them.

Sorry Jack,
But that was my civil version. I felt the first one was too harsh.

It's funny the smack people talk about the Max trains. Far as I'm concerned, those things are a godsend. I'll grant that the commute to the Couv takes longer via train/car than just car (most times), but that's an immensely easy trip by train. 30 minutes of studying/fun reading/billable hours. Not only that, it's predictable, which means a lot to my munchkins. If I had to drive that commute or take the bus, I'd have to consider moving.
The only possible negative on the train is that it could be a little quicker if, during rush hours, they skipped every other stop once they got to Lloyd Center; that last couple miles takes half the trip time.

The USA doesn't have the density for mass-transit (read: trains) to function. Period. Not even NYC. Tear up Light-Rail/The-Street-Car and let the cars roam free.

P.S. - Does anyone have a link to the study showing the actual study showing that "MAX riders" were actually "Express Bus" riders, redeployed?

Hardly "smack," Jud. The comfort you like is fantastically expensive. I liked it, too, for the relatively few routes it's available for, but it isn't speedy and offers little more than busses do. More to the point, the costs v. benefit ratio comes down spectacularly heavy on the side of costs. No city transit is cheap. All city transit costs way more than most people probably have any idea.

Yes, you might have had to move. Having lived carless most of the last 25 years, I have chosen living quarters in line with available transit. When I last lived in the Lloyd area, MAX didn't save a whole lot of time getting downtown than walking over the Broadway or Burnside bridge -- and I'm not even a fast walker.

Fun ... but. And then it's mostly about the buts.

Sorry, Sally, but according to Scott (see above) you, a person without a car, aren't supposed to exist in the good ol' USA. You're probably one of those European Communists.

Hopefully if Scott gets his wish his house will be the first to be destroyed by one of the necessary new freeways needed to "let the cars roam free." Or better yet, his house can be right next to the freeway.

Sally,
I get your drift, but MAX, for example, is fantastically expensive compared to what? 50,000+ more cars on the road? More freeways? How many years of MAX can you run for the cost of a few more miles of freeway?
I'm willing to buy your "cost vs. benefit = big cost" for something like the Tram, but that's a lot harder argument to make for TriMet or the MAX (specifically). You're talking about a limited rail system that ALREADY carries more than a quarter of all TriMet users and carries more than a quarter of all commuters, period, going out of downtown during rush hour. What would 25% more cars look like on Hwy 26 or I-84? Mass transit is the answer, and when the roads get full, buses don't move.

Neither do streetcars.

Richard, above, clearly is more capable of making the detailed argument than I, Jud. I have followed transit issues for a long time, being (not a communist, Gordo ... thanks for the vote, though :=) well, very stubborn, I guess, usually poor and hating cars. We could all drive Jags probably for the price of Max. And the roadways to drive them on.

I consider that I am as big a transit booster and user as is out there, and I cannot support these mega-expensive metro trains. I don't think the PDX metro area ever was particularly suited to it, but for the dreams of a rather grandiose former mayor. The newer one who put that idiotic streetcar in was just playing with people's money.

Pardon me Jack while I slice up Jud.

Jud,
The Portland area has had enough of your nonsense.
All of the TriMet agenda is built on lies. Even the dumb bumper stickers with 251 cars at home are nothing but tax funded propaganda. However if we hadn't wasted so much on light rail a hell of a lot more cars would be at home.

Most important, Jud, is that you are NOT pro-transit. Light rail is not pro-transit. Neither are the streetcars or the Tram.

If you were indeed pro-transit you would be in favor of efficient transit which provides the broadest service to the most people for the least money.

You are too busy with TriMet rhetoric to understand what is truly good for transit.

You haven't read anything, haven't ventured out of the Portland fantasy and are just a little too comfortable in your folly.

So take a MAX ride and enjoy it all you want.
But know this. Had reasonable and responsible people been directing our transit dollars many more people could be having a fine ride every day from all over the region during many more hours.

You have missed the boat entirely on Portland Transit. Less than 1% of commuters use MAX.
The overall percentage share of commuters using transit from 1980 to 2000 dropped because of wasteful spending on rail.

Our roads are not something which you find glee in diminishing. They are the lifeblood of our economy and livability. With regard to commerce mobility, the Port, business environment, and family time for commuters it is vital to have capacity accommodate growth.

I'll again say, civilly, you are a fool for the folly you dwell in.

Portland and the region has suffered immensely from the chaos our transportation planning has delivered and will for many years to come as we attempt to turn things around.

Richard,

Since I started using public transit I've put 3K fewer miles on my car a year. I wonder if even half the people in this country could cut their miles on their cars by 3K a year, how much less fuel would be be consuming. I'm sure there's some calculation out there that could tell us.

Sid,
You are missing my point.
If it were not for the TriMet/Metro approach to Transit many more people could be putting less miles on their car as well. They have adopted the least efficient transit possible.

TriMet has routinely rejected requests from communities for additional bus service because they say the ridership does not justify the route or additional runs relative to the cost.

When it comes to light rail they have NO SUCH requirement at all.
The build and operate them without the slightest regard for ridership & cost even when they replace successful well traveled bus routes such as on North Interstate.
The blind fever for more rail over all other concerns has been just that.
And it will never be anything more than the boondoggle it is, period.
Regardless of the nifty ride it provides for the relative scant numbers of riders.

If you are pro-transit (is there anyone out there who is anti-transit besides TriMet?) you should be angered that TriMet has lied for decades about what they are doing.

Sid said:
Richard,

Since I started using public transit I've put 3K fewer miles on my car a year. I wonder if even half the people in this country could cut their miles on their cars by 3K a year, how much less fuel would be be consuming. I'm sure there's some calculation out there that could tell us.
Posted by Sid at March 18, 2005 07:14 PM
-----------
Sid, I suggest that you lookup the real data. Modern cars (not SUVs) use less energy per passenger mile than busses and around the same as light rail.

THERE IS NO ENERGY SAVING FROM USING TRANSIT!

You didn't save fuel, but you did have to endure wasted time, overcrowded vehicles and probably enjoyed your commute standing up jammed aganst someone (if at rush hour.)

The rest of us use about the same energy while enjoying air conditioned comfort, AM/FM radio and coffee etc. Try that standing up in a crush loaded Trimet cattle car.

Also:
1. MAX's actual cost is about the same as taxi fare.
2. The whole TriMet system has gotten so expensive that just buying a new little car for every daily rider every 5 years would cost about the same.
3. Cars don't belch black smoke like TriMet busses od.
4. Taxpayer's pay about 80% of the actual cost of your rides on TriMet.

In other words, TriMet riders are on public assistance with respect to transportation.

see: http://209.210.229.130/Transportation/Car_Vs_Tri-Met/TriMet_vs_Car5.htm
or the PDF version:
http://209.210.229.130/Transportation/Car_Vs_Tri-Met/TriMet_vs_Car5.pdf

Jim

Jimmy Jack wrote:
Your problem, Jack, is that I rarely see you offering competing visions. . . . Second, propose an alternative budget for both the city and the state in which you live

Try this:
Tax money goes first to safety (police, fire, courts)
Second to schools (with competition from private sector to keep them efficient)
Third to efficient transportation for all goods and people (ie: roads).

Now we have a safe, efficient, well run city that will attract all of the best people and businesses (like we used to have before smart growth decided to re-engineer the city and its people).

There is no money for someone's vision. But that is good because it is not everyone's vision. Portland's current vision (really, the vision of one idiot from New York, who used to be mayor) is one of form over function. Pretty, but poorly functioning. Wastes tens of millions every year on planning (see saveportland.com). Provides housing subsidies to middle income people out of taxes from the poor.

Bold visions gave us the idea of burying I5 while creating the worst traffic congestion increase in the country. Planners don’t understand that congestion costs money which discourages businesses from placing family wage jobs here. I actually heard on planner say that they need to learn as much about truck traffic as they now know about bicycles and pedestrians. Little wonder that business is leaving Portland.

Bold Visions gave us a light rail system that is as expensive as taxi fare but doesn't even come close to picking you up at your front door. Planners like it though, because it’s not their money that is being wasted.

Bold Visions gave us the highest unemployment rate in the country

Bold visions gave us talk of baseball stadium while under the threat of the shortest school year in the country.

Third, tell me how you plan to keep Portland's tax base and housing stock growing without more sprawl (or if you like more sprawl, please indicate so).

Who needs to keep growing within a fixed area? That just leads to more congestion, pollution, expense and waste. These seem to be inevitably associated with higher density and DECREASED LIVABILITY.

Give me a mundane, well run city and I'll create my own vision for myself. It will not include shoving my vision down your throat, as that idiot from New York did for 12 years. And as the planners still are trying to do (they are really social engineering, but won’t admit it).

Why do you want to save us from sprawl and decrease our livability?

PS:
Here's wishing Gill Kelly great success in his new job, outside of Oregon. He missed his calling is the Mecca of smart growth - Romania:

Romania moved people out of the countryside into giant high density apartment blocks. Destroyed the country. Good example of what planners can screw up. Of course the people rebelled and killed their architect of smart growth, their president for life.)

"You didn't save fuel, but you did have to endure wasted time, overcrowded vehicles and probably enjoyed your commute standing up jammed aganst someone (if at rush hour.)

"The rest of us use about the same energy while enjoying air conditioned comfort, AM/FM radio and coffee etc. Try that standing up in a crush loaded Trimet cattle car.

Have you ever RIDDEN TriMet? Spiels work better if they're anchored somewhere in reality. But that's a rhetorical question, so don't bother to answer it .... PLEASE.

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In Vino Veritas

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
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

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 DermoČ—t - 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: 328
At this date last year: 183
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


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