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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 24, 2005 1:42 PM. The previous post in this blog was Running out. The next post in this blog is Out and about. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Saturday, September 24, 2005

Maybe the aerial tram [rim shot] will help

Portland's anemic mental health system sure does lead to some interesting moments on the city's lovely transit mall.

Oh, and don't put mail in any mailbox in town -- a meth head has the master key. And nobody does jail time for property crime around here any more.

And don't try to shop on NE Broadway today -- apparently the burglars are shooting at people now.

The livable city. Go by streetcar!

Comments (12)

Bunch of complainers. Blocked streets and Police barricades? This is an every day happening in Salem. We can't sleep without hearing sirens.

Perhaps I could interest you in a Biz Franchise that recycles Police Line Yellow Ribbon? Yes, the knots do iron-out, but you gotta be quick.

Maybe you should consider drafting Sharpe James for mayor.

I think we should double our collective bet on the aerial tram and build one that would connect the convention center to one of the large hotels downtown. This way we'd save money by not building a headquarters hotel for the convention center and we'd have another world class tourist attraction to boost our moribund economy. The police could use the tram to shoot taser darts at people doing drug deals. They could then parachute down from the tram and make the arrests on the spot.

Maybe we could create a new tax for basic services like police, fire and schools.

It could be about 2% of real market value on all property (we would define this tax as NOT a property tax). Then give a 100% credit for tax already paid through the existing property tax.

That ought to collect about $30 million from our current tax freeloaders in the Pearl and other locations through town.

We could get another $60 million or so by grabbing tax dollars paid by properties within urban renewal districts that is currently grabbed by PDC schemes. Too bad we can't welch on the PDC issued bonds as a lesson to bond buyers to not help rape city services.

We also appear to spend around $20 million on planners between the city and Metro. Fire 99% of them.

See for details

We have plenty of money to run basic services, if the politicians would just do their real jobs of running the city, instead of playing amateur developer and amateur businessperson.


The Tram, PDC or Convention Center Hotel.

Business as usual in a town with no memory.

The C.C. hotel will help convention center business just like the $80 million (public bond) dollar floating dry-dock helped our public shipyards.
14 years later, now, the public no longer owns any part of the shipyards, the floating dry dock has been resold to a Red China company in the Bahamas, and the public has nothing. Resold for more than the Port has been paid for the entire 53 acre shipyards and other dry docks and infrastructure.

The new hotel will add to the yearly debt service, increase the existing C. C. losses, lead to a liquidation and the public will have nothing to show for it.

The competition for convention business in many established heavy hitter locales makes Portland a second tier destination.
Building a lavish and unaffordable facility will not make Portland top tier.
This is another con job and scheme perpetrated by the Portland Development Commission.

The Quote I have heard is that "Portland has been kidnapped by Planners." Ribbon cuttings will always be sexier than renovation, I really don't know what the truth is, quite honestly. I was reading a business planning book and the quote I really liked in it was "A Practical Business Plan includes 10 parts implementation for every one part stategy" The problem with most of the plans is they have no practical implementation plan or cash flow calcuations with only two year budgets and no life cycle cost analysis. This is why the City operations budget is in such trouble. It almost follows the conventional wisdom on owning and operating costs vs capital. There was extensive work done on this done by the research in BOMA (Building Owners and Management Association) and the Federal GSA. The total owning and operating costs of an asset over the design life. The capital cost is only about 10% of the total owning and operating costs, if you set aside replacement capital it is 20%. The Portland Building for example is setting aside replacement Capital, however there is none being set aside for the Eastbank Espanade or any of the other Parks properties built by PDC, and now most recently on the proposed SoWA, there is no plan for operating costs as well as requiring general fund money for initial capital. That money needs to come from somewhere, it usually means cutting the basic services elsewhere. In defense of this obvious problem, I understand that Oregon is one of the states that sends more money to DC than it gets back. Econmists will tell you that that money spent on capital improvements multiplies through the local economy. One could say these folks are only trying to make sure Portland gets its "share" of federal funds back into the local economy. Tom McCall's warning comes to mind.

Swimmer at September 25, 2005 07:44 AM:
Tom McCall's warning comes to mind.
Could you refresh us on that warning please?


"We must respect another truism – that unlimited and unregulated growth, leads inexorably to a lowered quality of life." Tom McCall

"""""We must respect another truism – that unlimited and unregulated growth, leads inexorably to a lowered quality of life." Tom McCall"""""

Is that what we had before our current planning chaos?

Not really. There was certainly zoning and envrionmetal protection.
And there would be without the current mess.

The last 20 years around Oregon have not been an era of livability enhancement and protection.

The question Steve, is what assets and services are needed to support a city, or as we demand a livable quality of life type city and what are the incremental population levels and/or density that bump up the cost of those services. Stormwater is a good example, the more dense the less greenspace the bigger the pipe. You go from a rural solution of the grass ditch where the stormwater filters through the soil back to ground water to runnoff and sewer overflows and a bigger pipes and treatment systems. The pipes, pumps, and treatment systems are all require operation and maintenance as well as they depreciate or wear out every year, and need to be replaced every 50 years or so. A limited amount of runoff from a parking lot can drain into a swale and the petroleum products will volitize when the dry season comes and does not require treatment, but the natural treatment capacity is overwhelmed when the size and intensity of use goes up and the cost goes up expotentially. How do we develop a matrix of priorities. Is there one out there that you can reference one can read. Right now tops on my list would be good schools and healthy community activities, feeling safe to walk the streets and not be worried about losing personal property (the point of Jack's posting), and my time to enjoy the city (ie not sitting in gridlock traffic) all losing ground quality of life wise in Portland. How do we solve the problem instead of just complaining about it, or do we move.

Swimmer at September 25, 2005 10:52 AM:
Stormwater is a good example, the more dense the less greenspace the bigger the pipe. You go from a rural solution of the grass ditch where the stormwater filters through the soil back to ground water to runnoff and sewer overflows and a bigger pipes and treatment systems. . . .and the cost goes up expotentially.
But they tell us that high density costs less, saves the environment and reduces pollution. It is even supposed to reduce congestion.

Do you suppose they lied to us? How long will it take Portland to realize the lie?


with all due respect to Gov. McCall, truly an Oregon political giant (and I was around here when he was, so I ain't just reading his clippings), I would ask this question:

Can you point me to a city where increased density of housing and population has improved the quality of life?


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