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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 26, 2005 10:47 PM. The previous post in this blog was Apology. The next post in this blog is H-O-L-M-E. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Friday, August 26, 2005

Reading is fun

I often rag on The Oregonian, sometimes unfairly. And so it's only right that I also testify to that publication's good points. I must confess that rarely have I enjoyed a reading experience as much as I did spending a few minutes with yesterday morning's article on the Portland City Council's rejection of the tax abatement for the proposed luxury rental apartments in the SoWhat district. It just got better and better as it went along, and coupled with an excellent bowl of Wheaties with bananas and Oregon huckleberries, well, it was just a little slice of heaven.

"Trammell Crow has gone by the rules here, but I do think 48 studio units is not sufficient" to attract families to the city, Saltzman said.
O Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are callin'!
Two prominent Portland developers and a lobbyist from the Portland Business Alliance tried to sway the council. They argued that businesses need predictability and that a rejection could damage Portland's credibility for future projects.
Oh please, Lord, let it be so!
"My fear here is that we're going to have everybody's worst nightmare," [Homer] Williams said. "This is going to be a neighborhood where if you're rich, you can live there. And if you're a worker, you're probably not going to live there."
Boo hoo. The only kind of worker these folks care about are black T-shirted single folks who already have tons and tons of empty apartments to choose from all over town -- but not much by way of meaningful career prospects as the city fritters away its economic development potential on Californicated retiree housing. What about working families, Homer? Guess they can stay in the neighborhoods that your good buddy Joe Weston wrecked with junk motel-looking apartments in the '70s.
Cameron Vaughan-Tyler, the Portland Business Alliance's lobbyist, said, "To move the goal posts at this stage of the game is unfair, arbitrary and sends a bad message."
By this point, I'm standing on the kitchen counter stool in my bathrobe, whipping a dish towel around and hooting so loud I'm scaring the kids.
Sten argued against the majority, saying their decision "radically changed the city's policies. . . . I think we should just say this policy is off the books."
Oh please, Lord, may it be so!
A week earlier, Saltzman asked the developers to see whether they could add two-bedroom apartments while setting aside at least 12 percent of all units for moderate-income renters.

Their answer: Adding two or more two-bedroom units would require additional subsidies.

There's their ticket to ride. Amazing that construction guys can't read handwriting on a wall. You can't throw Saltzman a bone with two real apartments? Guess you're looking for a way out the door.

Without their property tax waiver, Trammell Crow executives say the building could become another condo tower. If so, Hinnen said he'll have to find new investors and redesign the building at a loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Williams, though, said South Waterfront would move on just fine without the apartments.

"What the hell?" Williams said after the meeting. "We can make more money building condos."

There's that civic spirit that endears these guys to us all. Hey, Homer, wake up. Your fixer, Neil, is gone. Your marionette, Vera, is out of the picture. Mazziotti's expense account has expired. The real people of Portland are speaking now, at least for the moment. And, mirabile dictu, the people they elected to run the city are finally listening. Time for you to start checking out another pot of tax money for a target. Spokane? Boise?

Comments (19)

There really is nothing better than reading a good newspaper article in the morning. I usually mix in a cup of coffee, and I'm usually reading the Sports page, but I hear you.

The most interesting thing in this article is how tone deaf Sten is on almost every topic now. Any clues on his future, I guess he always has Randy (even he knows which way the wind is blowing if you discount the PGE idiocy) as a friend.

It's important that ordinary people flood the commissioners e-mail with positive KUDO's or their opinion on this. You all know that the TC folks and their paid lobbyists will be hounding the halls of City Hall, they need to hear from regular people. Good luck on the Radio Sunday Jack, I know I will be listening. Kudo's to you also for this Blog.

I am thinking that perhaps good and popular blogs like this one may be influencing our city elders realize there is a public interest beyond aggegated special interests and to LISTEN. As for the Oregonian, some people over there try hard and the paper seems to be improving-and sometimes produces really good articles. BUT if whoever it is who using the front page to promote the agenda of an untoward clique would STOP IT and start INVESTIGATING the clique instead, the crowd over there would hear more compliments and fewer complaints.

Thank you, folks. Some days -- I like to think even most days -- this blog is a good thing. But like so many one-person soapboxes, it's got the disadvantages of not having a collaborator or supervision. And the ability to publish instantly has its clear dangers.

The tax abatement was a good vote but one thing you might ask Randy is regarding his comment two hearings ago when he declared South Waterfront a success.
It may be a success that the property owners/developers successfully partnered with the city to get $277 million in free infrastucture, swepping zone changes to allow 325 ft. buildings and the silly Tram [rim shot].
But it may be a wee bit premature to declare South Waterfront a success since it is just now coming out of the ground.

Cynthia, Randy Leonard's already said his reading of blogger Isaac Lacqudem's analysis of the proposed Alexan tax abatements strongly influenced his decision - he even stated he 'borrowed' some of Isaac's arguments as part of his own statement after his no vote.

Thanks, Betsy, I will check it out. Jack, at least blogs like this balance out the publications like the Oregonian where there is over-cautious know-it-all supervision and not enough intellectual curiosity and critical thinking. I think they help ward off journalistic complacency.

You're right on target here, Jack. You deserve a Pulitzer prize for your wonderful analysis and great writing.

Keep it up!


Understand The O. It is the principal daily owned by the NYC-based Advance Publications - Conde Nast outfit. You know the look and feel. Vanity Fair. The New Yorker. Etc. For their own corporate purposes, their vision of Portland is of a Manhattan-on-the-Willamette, and the editor is a hired gun from back east placed here to prevent reality from interfering with the Old Grey Lady pretension: maintaining one set of rules for those with whom they agree and another set for those with whom they disagree. That is the definition of a "double standard" - more usual in the mix of glitz and glamour rags, but not appropriate at all for a statewide monopoly news daily.

. . .And if you're a worker, you're probably not going to live there."

JK: A lousy 15% non-rich people apartments do not make a mixed neighborhood.

Cameron Vaughan-Tyler, the Portland Business Alliance's lobbyist, said, "To move the goal posts at this stage of the game is unfair, arbitrary and sends a bad message."

JK: The GOOD message is that upper income welfare is being questioned in Portland.

A week earlier, Saltzman asked the developers to see whether they could add two-bedroom apartments while setting aside at least 12 percent of all units for moderate-income renters.

JK: For over $1000 per MONTH per unit subsidy, they can’t put in an extra bedroom?

"What the hell?" Williams said after the meeting. "We can make more money building condos."

Jack: Time for you to start checking out another pot of tax money for a target. Spokane? Boise?

JK: Is it time to print up some bumper stickers? Kick Homer’s thieving butt out of town.

Kick the PDC's theiving butt out of town.

Do some serious and detailed thieving butt analysis, then round THEM ALL up and drive em out of town no matter what their friends on the ethics committees and internal review boards, or at the O say. Seriously, maybe Oregon starts looking a lot like the wild, wild west when our institutions are being too heavily influenced by outlaws.

A couple of years ago, I looked at apartments at The Lovejoy. It is a subsidized building. I was astounded to find that the income limits there were $38K/year, for "low income" housing. The apartment I looked at I believe was $900/month. This was low-income housing and income levels, I thought?

I staggered outside. A woman was standing on the curb and I had to share this discovery with her. "My daughter lives there, and she makes $38K/year. It adds diversity to the Pearl," she rudely snorted.

I expect it is the same sort of "low income" and "diversity" that would have been "subsidized" in SoWhat.

Breathtaking. But as I've said before, I have just never breathed air that rare.

Kick PDC's theiving butt out of town

I kinda like the look of that.

Kick Homer's theiving butt out of town

Looks kinda nice too.

Maybe I'll order up some of each.

There is an indication that the PDC had promised other developers the same tax abatment as the Alexan.

Who are those Developers and what projects?

In the hearings it was said that the PDC staff had been working with Trammel Crow for months.

Doing what?
Beyond the policy of 15% units required to meet the affordable housing tax abaetment what was the PDC doing?

Moreover what could they have been doing in the public's interest if they deliver such a poor recommendation for the public?

The PDC must be opened up to extensive public records requests and investigation.

There is no way the public is currently getting a true tally of costs or activities at that agency.

You are right on target, Dan. I took a tax bill and did some tunneling around in the city budget for numbers.

For a House near Grant HS, @Accessed Value of $222,800 they paid, $391.45 in Urban Renewal Money, $500.94 for the infamous Police and Fire disability fund. Compare this with $82 for the Parks Levy, which brought their Parks spending up to $274.04 or Portland Taxpayers appear to be spending $117.41 more for Urban Renewal then for City Parks. The total City of Portland share was $957.30 which part of is the Parks Roads Police and Fire Services. Compare that with $391.45 for Urban Renewal. Kindo makes one think about prioities in spending and where and why the money is going to Urban Renewal.

I ran the numbers on my own most recent property tax bill here. Of the property tax dollars I pay to the City of Portland, they go here:

"City of Portland" 46.43%
"City of Portland Child Loc Op" 4.11%
"City of Portland Parks Loc Op" 3.99%
"Portland Police/Fire Pension" 24.30%
"Urban Renewal - Portland" 18.99%
"City of Portland Bonds" 2.18%
Total 100.00%


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

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
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
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
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
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
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
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
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
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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Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
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Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
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Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
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Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
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Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
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Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
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Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
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Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
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Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
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Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
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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
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
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Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
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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
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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: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
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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