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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The city that works, for some people

Well, Buckman Pool is closed, probably forever. The MLC Pool in Northwest Portland is next. Sorry, no money for repairs, or even routine operation, for that matter.

But we've got millions to work on the Park Blocks downtown, to make the surrounding real estate more valuable. From today's Trib:

Portland Parks & Recreation has selected ZGF Partnership to design three parks that will help tie the area together — a $2 million park on what’s now a parking lot just west of the Fox Tower; a $1.7 million renovation of O’Bryant Square, four blocks to the north; and an unbudgeted renovation of Ankeny Park, between Burnside and Southwest Ankeny Street.

"It's Vera's vision! It will be the next Barcelona!" Whatever.

Comments (28)

Has anyone noticed that O'Bryant park is chock full of rats? Seriously, there are millions of them living under the concrete seats there. Where will they go during the renovation?

I hear they're going over to Lars's booth at El Gaucho.

I thought we passed a parks levy a few years ago that was going to SAVE the Buckman Pool (and other park features). Am I wrong?

This city needs more cowbell.

[for an explanation...]

O'Brien Square is full of rats because the street kids have been feeding them. This has also made the rats a little...um...aggressive.

We did pass a parks levy. And a childrens levy. And a local income tax. And none of them are delivering to the taxpayer that which was promised. Where did all the money go?

Well, for one thing, everytime the PDC gives a tax abatement to one of their projects, the money isn't paid into the general fund and that creates shortages which have to be ade up with higher property taxes and budget trimming measures like these.

I am irate. We passed the measure to save Buckman Pool and as usual Buckman gets the shaft.

Well, for one thing, everytime the PDC gives a tax abatement to one of their projects, the money isn't paid into the general fund and that creates shortages which have to be ade up with higher property taxes and budget trimming measures like these.

But Lily, property tax abatements mean that the California yuppies in their Hummers have more money to spend at Whole Foods in the Pearl! Isn't that worth something to you?

I believe one of McCovey's "7 Habits of Effective People" is: Put the big things in (-to your life) first. I don't know, I never read the book -- but I like the idea.

So when there is not enough public money for public works, then how come any- and everything else can be blamed for having sucked up the finances, EXCEPT The Big Thing, the elephant in the living room, can NOT be blamed?

The schools and pools don't have money because ... ?

Somehow, "... because it was spent on trees and parks" is not the first conclusion I think of to answer the question with. My first answer is: "because The Big Thing got financed first."

Like, remember the $8 billion Halliburton 'lost' last year? Oregon's pro-rated 1% 'share' was $80 million. People don't get how much one billion dollars is. Any number over 100,000 used in conversation or news reports produces the MEGO effect -- My Eyes Glaze Over. A billion here, a billion there, who knows how much that is?
The $80 billion of our tax burden that Congress forked over last week for more Wreck Iraq? Oregon's one percent: $800 million. You could build a few pools AND schools for eight hundred million bongo-bucks. Or just give a rebate, a We Kicked the War Habit Rebate -- divide 800 million among 3 million Oregonians and each living person gets a little less than 300 smackeroonies. 'Scuse me, while I kiss the pie.
Finally, the $800 billion going out in ONE YEAR for gun fun in the sand? Well, you do the math for Oregon's portions -- it's all the numbers from the $80 billion example, times 10. Truly, Oregon's share of Dept. of Defense elephantitis last year ($8 B.) was more than the entire state budget (what? $6 B.) Although there were no WMD's to 'Defense' against. And 'democracy' ain't transplanting too well. And the oil shipped out was less than before we "broke it," (750,000 bbl/day vs. 1,500,000 bbl/day, averages, '04 vs '98, ballpark figures), and, and ... there was what? twenty Oregon kids not dead a year ago. (There is (of 2000 killed) that one percent ratio, again, and very much a Big Thing to put in first for about twenty Oregon families. At least.)
And, no, there's no Buckman Pool ... who knows where the money went?

more cowbell - lovin' it.
it's sad we're paying so much to renovate a parking lot and yet a pool will go unused and probably won't be repurposed for about 10 years and then probably as condos. boy, i sound like jack. i can't wait until the clean money act is approved and we can all get our $150,000 and push those yahoos out of office.

Just remember - the kids breaking into NE houses today, will be breaking into YOUR house next year. Thank Vera (and the current council) for this city's version of A Clockwork Orange.


How can you be sure that the UN's Oil for Food Scandal isn't actually responsible for missing Buckman Pool operating funds?

Several years ago, I suggested the parking lot across from the Fox Tower as an alternative site for the ice rink some business leaders wanted to put on Pioneer Courthouse Square. At the time, the Goodman's didn't even consider selling the property. I wonder how much the City had to pay for the lot. I doubt the Goodman's would sell unless it were a sweetheart deal for them.

Good question, Dave Lister, where did all that money go? I've been paying my taxes, and not to subsidize rich people buying expensive digs. They're going to move & buy here, tax abatement or not, because it's so much more affordable than where they were before. Portland is the city that works.... for the wealthy.

Yo, panch, (per Snoop Dogg or Fi'ty Cent, I can't decide), "I don't think you know." You say UN, I say US, he says OR, she says PDX. My point: Put the big thing in (your sights) first. (And, my bad if it's Covey instead of McCovey -- I was hit on my preschool skull with a baseball bat, concussion excused.)

And, U Clockwork Orange (Cuckoo Wonk Rager), this in today's (4/27) Danny Schechter blog, at MediaChannel.org:

What's behind all the protests in China against Japan? Is it just about textbooks? I have been sent a letter from Asia by a scholar who believes that political forces in Japan may be provoking the protests for reasons that most of the media ignore. If you like conspiracy theories, try this one:
"...the current Japanese Government would like to revise its constitution so that it can become a 'normal' country with armed forces that are not restricted to defensive purposes only and with the flexibility to develop nuclear arms if necessary. There is a sizable proportion of the Japanese population committed to pacifism. It is much easier to persuade these people of the necessity of a constitutional revision if one can portray all the neighbors as being chronically hostile. I believe the entire event has been intentionally planned and scripted by Japan politicians, possibly with the tacit support of the U.S. (that would love to sell them the weapons.)
"...many of the demonstrators are not students but young hooligans looking for an excuse to make trouble. The Chinese Government was caught a little off-guard and is now taking steps to make sure that the demonstrations are peaceful and that Japanese citizens and firms are protected."

Sorry, I can't name the author. Is there a secret deal underway? It has happened before.
Some (wacko conspiracy theorists) say it happened before in a Nine Eleven Op (n.e.o.)-con job, with US-paid mujahadeen (in name only, not suicidally manifestly on-board) taking the fall in a frame-up. Be that as it may or may not, Cuckoo Rager "hooligans" are normally wonk-smart, and figure out being set up by being reduced down to the destitution of no diploma, no day job, no dreams, (Got deity?) -- 'no home, no food, no pets, ain't got no cigarettes' (Roger Miller), and the burned furious self-mutilation residue. 'Set up, like a bowling pin; knocked down, it gets to wearing thin; they just won't Let It Be.' (Grateful Dead)

Bartender: What can I get ya?
Me: I'll have what Tenskwatawa is having. :-)

"Portland is the city that works.... for the wealthy.

Truer words may have been spake sometime somewhere, but these now blur any others from my mind. It's got bumpersnickertiness going for it, too. Recycle!

Nice, katiekat.

"Just remember - the kids breaking into NE houses today, will be breaking into YOUR house next year."

Been there, done that, got out last year. I am still somewhat gratified to see a wider swath of the city attuned to the crime & drug (and pedestrian, as well) problems that, hand-in-hand with the economic splits, I saw consuming too much of a once-wonderful not-TOO-big town.

I usually think Jack is just seeing the negative in a situation. But if I read both columns correctly, it would cost at most, $120,000 to operate Buckman Pool this year and $20,000 a year after that. And yet the city is shelling out $3.7 million two develop two parsk, so that our beloved "street kids" will have a place to smoke crack????? Maybe I'm missing something, because that sounds unbelievable.

Good point, Justin. But really, where did that money go? I know I paid into it, and am pretty sure others did as well.

And where do the users of the Buckman Pool go? The Eastside Community Center? I'm not feeling very optmistic about that. Not sure why....

Imagine what things would be funded with the
$1.5 millon/year in property taxes soon to be exempted for ten tears in just one tower in South Waterfront.
Talk about it tonight on
TVTV cable channel 11
8:00 to 8:50 PM
LIVE-LINK call in


ten years

Portland, the city that works, you over

Parks gave money to the District for maintenance. the district spent Buckman Pool's dollars elsewhere over the years. The pool broke, and no one will fix...because they'd rather spend 34 million on a tram!!!!!!!!!!!

Does anyone realize that these condo project that are being built are using this tax exemption as part of the financing? What is better, a great project with a 10 year tax exeption or a plot of Brownfield property that sits vacant for 25 more years.
Does anyone on this list remember what the Down Town Waterfront URA looked like 10 years ago. You had to lock in the hubs of your 4-wheel drive to get to Bridgeport Brewing. You could actually have bought a building on a quarter block lot for under 200K. Face it, the developers and the urban pioneers that moved into the Pearl have done well. This area was not a slam dunk in 1993. The new development going on in and around the City is beneficial to all, lamenting high prices due to Californians is just sour grapes (when is the last time an Oregonin told someone buying their house that they were offering too much money).


the fight to save Buckman Pool is NOT over. If you want to help, please e-mail or check out our website www.buckmanu.org/savethepool.

It is crucial that we show up to the May 14th budget hearing at Jackson Middle School, 10 am. This is a Saturday morning.

I am also interested in forming small groups of advocates to go talk to council on an individual basis to lobby to keep Buckman.

Please contact me if you want to get involved.



Why are you worried about a piddly little $80 million in Iraq? Don't you remember the $2 billion light rail boondoggle?

THERE is the elephant in ya'lls living room.

Oh... and now they are trying to sneak it into Clark County, but the Clark County Commissioners are begging to balk.


$80 B B Billion in Iraq. Last week alone.

Light rail boondoggle, shmoondoggle -- it carries people into life, (rather than death). And in its end we can sell off the capital equipment, smelter the rails and recover the investment.

Comm. Dan Saltzman points out that the Parks Bureau has been "screwed" in the budget - his words, over the last couple of years because the City has had to pay-out on some lawsuit settlements. But Parks Bureau can budget $2M in improvements to Wilson Pool, 1.6 miles from the new, fancy SW Community Center with 2 pools, and for park improvements in downtown. Sorry, but Buckman and NW Portland can pay for it with the closure of their pools.
City Council Budget Hearing- May 14, 10 a.m. Jackson Middle School-SHOW UP. The Council doesn't read this blog.

Yes, it is true that we were led to believe that the Parks Levy would keep Buckman Pool open. We weren't all dreaming back when we campaigned for it TWICE, once in May 2002 and again in November 2002.

Preliminary information indicates that fixing the pool is not difficult and not $100,000 worth. It is true that PPS has not maintained the pool--like regrouting the tile at least every 2 years.

We need to put pressure on the city to keep the pool in its budget, and we need to put pressure on PPS to maintain our public investments properly. After all, we showed our support for PPS by passing the ITAX. They need to show some public accountability.

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