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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 13, 2006 9:33 AM. The previous post in this blog was Ten I don't. The next post in this blog is So much for that. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Friday, January 13, 2006

Amanda and the tram

Amanda Fritz, candidate for the Portland City Council seat currently occupied by Commissioner Dan Saltzman, is a psychiatric nurse up at OHSU. As such, I assume, she deals all day long with people with psychological problems. Some of those problems no doubt entail extreme egomania and delusions of grandeur.

This should make her an excellent politician, in whose hands journalists and bloggers will be like putty. We've all got buttons, and she should know how to push them.

For example, about a month ago I mentioned in a comment on this blog that Fritz's stint on the Portland Planning Commission raised my suspicions that she was in on the OHSU Medical Group aerial tram scam [rim shot] that has evoked such criticism. The key moments in the city's ludicrous decision to commit to build the tram -- come hell, high water, or a 200% (and counting) budget overrun -- were in 2002 and 2003, under the reign of Vera Katz. Fritz was on the commission back around that time.

Candidate Fritz not only responded to my comment promptly and off-blog, but in writing, with copies of several documents attached to illustrate her points. Now that made me feel mighty important, people.

That having been said, let's go through what she sent me. The gist of it is, whatever the Planning Commission said generally about the South Waterfront project (then also known as North Macadam), it never endorsed and in fact questioned the inclusion of the aerial tram.

Here is document no. 1, a May 22, 2002 letter from Rick Michaelson, president of the Planning Commision, to the City Council. At the time, the commission was working on something called the Marquam Hill Plan (the tram would run up that hill), or "MHP." Among the things Michaelson said in there was this:

Based on public testimony and discussions at our work sessions, Commission members concluded it is premature to include policy support and Zoning Code amendments related to a suspended cable transportation system as part of the MHP. Commission members felt that a comprehensive analysis of existing policies and regulations relating to these systems was necessary and that a work program to develop new policies and regulations that would apply citywide should be implemented. The Planning Commission also believes that PDOT should proceed with a project assessment phase for the proposed suspended cable transportation system linking Marquam Hill and North Macadam which will be in the form of policy and regulation development work. As part of this analysis the Planning Commission believes strongly that alternative alignment and technology decisions need to be studied as well as a "no-build" alternative. The "no-build" alternative might study a non-suspended cable system alternative, such as increased use of shuttle buses, to move traffic.
Document No. 2 is draft City Council resolution that would have directed the City Engineer to consider, among other things, "a shuttle bus alternative" for the connection between OHSU and SoWhat. I don't know if the language as proposed was passed by the Council or not -- I assume that it was not, but the draft resolution shows that the Planning Commission wanted a no-tram option studied. The third document is an attachment to the second, again recommending that the city study a no-tram scenario.

The fourth and final document is a list of all the changes the City Council made to the Marquam Hill Plan that the Planning Commission produced. As this nine-pager appears to show, many of the amendments that were made to the plan at the behest of the PDC and other SoWhat project proponents were not passed on by the commission. The little asterisks attached to all the items in the transportation section (Topic C) show, according to Fritz, that the Planning Commission either disagreed with, or didn't get a chance to look at, the changes that were made to its plan. She writes: "Many of the requests made by OHSU/North Macadam interests were adopted by the Council, contrary to the Planning Commission recommendation."

The boys in City Hall are all running away from their obvious involvement with the aerial tram [rim shot] (except for Mayor Potter, who can legitimately say he wasn't around). Today in the paper it's all Matt Brown's fault -- I guess neither the city commissioners nor the then-mayor's economic development chief could be expected to question independently the laughable $15.5 million price tag on which the project was sold. Whether their scapegoating will succeed is anyone's guess, but don't expect Fritz to take a fall on the issue. She's saying quite clearly that she wasn't in on it.

Comments (44)

Pardon my ignorance-based confusion. Are we talking about the planning commission or the development commission? Is there a difference?

Two different animals. The planning commission, I believe, is under the control of the City Council.

The Portland Development Commission, on the other hand, is run by a board that's appointed by the mayor, but it doesn't answer to the council -- indeed, in recent years it appears to have answered to no one except its pet developers. One hopes that's changing.

Certainly the bureacrats mislead the council on the cost of the Tram. Some would argue the council was willing.

However the misleading does not stop.

No one should assume the misleading was or is limited to cost estimate.

I today's O is the deception that the Tram spawned the SoWa towers when it was really the many millions in free infrastucture and doubling of building height zoning.

Other deception is the phony notion that the whole area was a toxic wastleland incappable of development other than the heavily $450 million tax subsidized version now unfolding.

Further deception on the Tram cost involves the removal of adequate contigency and the continued absence of a full and genuine life-cycle cost estimate.

Additional deception continues regarding the notion that the Tram is helping OHSU stay in Portland and expand biotech research and jobs.

Additional deception is in the budget that has the urban renewal being paid back from property taxes now known to be exempt on all OHSU properties in SoWa.

The Alexan tax abatement is due to arrive for reconsidering after a previous rejection.
Here is some interesting links to documents from 2001,2002 about arguements against the tram proposal before the city council voted on it. The article in todays Oregonian almost seems to imply that the city council members who voted for the tram were duped and The Oregonian has just now uncovered it. Plenty of people were making pretty reasoned arguements against the Tram Scam way before the city council voted in favor of it. Trying to rewrite the history to absolve themselves is impossible with all the docuemtation available on the internet. Just how stupid do they think we are?

They think we're pretty stupid because, for example, we re-elected Sten after his debacle at the Water Bureau. The electorate in this town holds nobody accountable--re-electing obviously incompetent people time and time again.

You don't get better decisions if you keep re-electing the same people who made bad decisions in the first place--tram, covering the reservoirs, tax abatements for $500K and up condos in the Pearl District, buying PGE, public campaign financing, etc.

Allan L's confusion stemmed from Jack's phrase "Fritz's stint on the Portland Development Commission" in paragraph 3. Her bio lists "Commissioner, Portland Planning Commission from 1996 to 2003."

Jack, your Amanda blog, wallflowers, and others are correct on the assessment that city council wasn't necessarily "duped"-they just played politics and developers with the publics tax dollars. Sorry, I should hve blogged into this blog with my long-winded blog on your "Tram Bad-the O" blog. For those interested scroll down to the blog below.

Mike, thanks for that correction. Of course it was the planning commission, as referred to elsewhere in the post.

That's one bad thing about blogging -- there are no editors, and so the readers have to do the work.

The other element of deception in the project--they left out the one part that would make sense of it all: the downhill ski run.

Since you brought up the subject of editors, I just found out one of my former editors at the Tribune, is the media director for OHSU and the…….[drum roll]………….aerial tram. [cymbal crash] I published my reaction at, as well as on the Oregon Media Insiders site. Life is good.

^ Bill: That says it all about life in this incestual town, doesn't it? In a just world, rather than a drum roll and cymbal crash for her, there would be a gong.

I not only wasn't in on the approval of the tram, Jack, I was one of the leaders of the opposition. I worked with the advocates in the Neighborhood Associations and "No Tram To OHSU" group, and Ernie Bonner and I persuaded the Planning Commission to forward a recommendation that was very different from what Council approved. The Planning Commission portion of the process was a major achievement for citizens gaining the support of those appointed to listen and respond to public input, therefore it was even more disappointing when Council put almost everything back to the way OHSU and the Bureau of Planning had originally requested.

I'll send you the minutes of the last two Planning Commission meetings on the Marquam Hill Plan (referred to in private in 2002 as the Damn Tram Plan) to give you more information, although by that point the No Tram folks, Ernie and I had already persuaded the rest of the Commission that the tram concept wasn't ready for prime time. I was the only Planning Commissioner to express doubts on the likelihood of biotechnology succeeding. I pulled 26 items off the Consent Agenda (as proposed by the Bureau of Planning) in the last hearing. I'm still gleeful that Council missed one or two of the good things I put in the plan, and forgot to change them back - and I'm not telling you which ones, for fear the current Council would still amend them, if they understood the Zoning Code better.

Amanda, I sure wish that you showed up at the council hearings about a year ago when the Council decided to alter/change the four Standards that determines the bulk (FAR), distance to buildings from each other, maximum widths of the buildings, etc.I don't recall you baeing there, but you were off the Planning Commission by then, I think. Why is it that the Council can alter the NM Agreement soon after it was adopted but they cry that they can't alter the tram portion of the Agreement, but they will look into it(as Adams says he is doing)? Politics? Paybacks?

It wouldn't have made any difference if I'd been there, Lee. I stopped attending Council hearings on Marquam Hill and South Waterfront after they demonstrated so clearly that whatever OHSU and the SoWa developers want, they're going to get. I did attend a couple of meetings prior to the changes adopted last year, one in the community and the other at City Hall, to see if Mayor Potter was willing to push for a change in course. It seemed to me that while the Mayor did listen to neighbors' concerns, he was not willing to revisit the underlying deals -- and as it turned out, neither were other members of the Council.

I greatly admire the citizen activists in Corbett-Terwilliger-Lair Hill and Homestead who have continued to work on these projects despite overwhelming evidence that presenting reality doesn't change the outcome very much. For myself, I decided after the Marquam Hill Plan was passed by Council that my time would be better spent preparing to become a City Council member, to provide a voice and a vote for neighbors.

"Whether it was the budget or a guess, it was way off," says Commissioner Erik Sten.

"It's clearly a budget. It's got a lot of numbers in it."--George W. Bush

Let's see... Key provision of a $1.9 billion development deal... No detail... No engineer or architect fees... Let's vote for it anyway and blame the staff.

Add another $15-20M to the Water Bureau fiasco for Sten's cost to the City of Portland.

When Eric voted for the last round of building height, width and spacing changes (all to further "help" the developers) he said,
"I'm not sure if the building will be too tall or not".

The reason is the city staff did not provide ANY drawings or simulations to use and he never asked for any.


I like the comments each city commissioner stated in the past year's vote to change the Agreement before it had even dried-paraphrased:

" Well, we have to modify the increase in buiding widths, increase the floor square footage, decrease the width of spacing between buildings that may go up to 325 ft-32 storys, and etc. because of our commitments to the stakeholders and developers in North Macadam. Now, we know that this decreases views by 25% from what we just agreed to, and that is after we changed the zoning that increased the heights from 35 ft. to 325 ft, and increased density from 2:1 FAR to 12: 1 FAR (only six times denser), but we can only get "signature" (good design for layman) architecture if we make these "modifications"."

Wait, what about the rest of the city signators to this Agreement-600,000 citizens? One might want to check the campaign conributions for each commissioner on this one.

I was drafting a response to some of what I read in this thread last night...but today Amanda Fritz's comments are gone.

I remember them well, but maybe you can let us know why they were removed.

Hmmmm. As soon as I hit "post" on my comment above her comments reappeared in the thread.

I will post the response I had been working on some time today.

There are a few things said in the post and string that need responses.

First, the implication by Amanda Fritz in her comment that she and only she will speak for neighborhoods on the city council is…interesting.

When I first campaigned for the council I did say I was very skeptical of the Tram- as I continue to be.

Each of the concerns I raised was addressed. Now it seems that the answers given to me were intentionally misleading or, in some cases, false.

I will take legitimate criticisms for decisions I make that are wrong…but not when I am essentially lied to by staff in order to avoid my No vote.

It sure would have been helpful to me if a member of the planning commission would have talked with me, either in private or during testimony in front of the council, about specific objections they may have had with the project. I would have listened and, if they were legitimate issues, most probably would have voted against the project.

But no one from the planning commission, including Amanda Fritz, has raised those concerns with me privately or publicly...ever.

Her comment that she snuck in some provisions into the planning code that she now will not disclose for fear the council may repeal them is telling and insulting. I will let each reader decide for themselves what that comment reveals of Amanda’s approach to governance.

Since arriving on the council I believe I have fought hard to represent neighborhoods –and all of the people that live within them- in everything I do.

For an example, I fought the powerful restaurant and liquor industry and lobby to pass Oregon’s first and only Time, Place and Manner ordinance that gives Portland the tool to shut down misbehaving liquor establishments.

The Oregon Restaurant Association lobbied furiously during this past session to pass a bill overturning my ordinance. Neighborhood activists worked with me shoulder to shoulder testifying against the bill. We were ultimately successful in persuading Governor Kulongoski to veto the bill.

I have also fought the tow truck industry in passing Portland’s only Bill of Rights for citizens who have their vehicles unfairly towed by predatory towing companies.

I am currently in the middle of creating a Park out of a 5 acre piece of underutilized Water Bureau land in the Hazelwood neighborhood. The neighborhood will design what they want the park to look like. Amongst the options are a soccer field, a walking track, community garden, a water feature such as is on display along the waterfront in downtown Portland or whatever the neighborhood decides it wants in its new park.

The East Portland Neighborhood Coalition is going to move into the vacant building on the site... free of charge.

I am also fighting the status quo in Portland that has winked and nodded as PGE executives have pillaged rate payers without question for years. There will be much more to come of this in the next few months, but the point is that if some are suggesting my actions and decisions are influenced by the power brokers in Portland you might want to ask Peggy Fowler what her opinion is of that.

I created an agreement between the council that allows any neighbor adversely affected by the Tram going up Gibb Street to sell their house to the city for the market price. I also made sure that the city committed to building a pedestrian bridge from the Corbett-Terwilliger-Lair Hill neighborhood over I-5 to the waterfront development.

I work very hard to make sure I do the right thing in every action I take on the council. I do make mistakes and I fully admit that with the benefit of hindsight I would do a number of things differently…and not just on the subject of the Tram.

Each Council member and the Mayor are fully capable of speaking for themselves. However, notwithstanding that occasionally some of my colleagues and I disagree vigorously on any one of a number of issues, EACH of them are Independent and approach each issue based on what they believe is right and wrong…not who has the biggest check book.

There may be legitimate issues that each of us can be challenged on, but not fighting for neighborhoods is not one of them.

RR: Sure. U voted for the damn tram. U ignored the people and the planning commission. Your "good" deeds for the people don't include the citizens of the areas affected by the tram..they turned out in waves, hired an attorney and you just told them to screw can you sit there and do nothing when businesses in portland must pay license fees and taxes that far exceed those of adjoining cities? How do you allow the city to provide public funding for city you about a citizen vote on the issue? One of your jobs it to remedy the mistakes you made...why not strive to kill the tram project? If it was a mistake why continue the boondoggle? If the city has been mislead by its employees, why not take remedial action? Let's see a little action...not just "gee, i am sorry". DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. If you do not, everything you posted is just hot air. The city should simply stop the tram..nothing less is pure cowardice.

public funding for city elections

Ja.., ooops, I mean...Ron-

If you focused more on getting the facts instead of name calling you might be credible.

I have publicly said I will vote to scrap the Tram before I vote to give any more money to it.

BTW, your "style" reminds me of another blogger.

You don’t have a group home next door to you…do you?

RR: Again you misunderstand or simply beg the question. The issue is not whether the city gives more money..the issue is whether the city should cancel the project..if the project is a mistake and the city was hornswoggled by its own employees, the ex-mayor and the developers, why not terminate the tram? one does not reward fraud and deceit..quit trying to rationalize your actions and do something. The city has no obligation concerning the tram if what you say is true.

Steve: You hit the nail on the head. The question is what does the city intend to do about their "mistake". From what i have seen so far, it intends to do nothing.

oh, no group home.

Rewarding deceit would be to increase the amount of money we promised 3 years ago to pay for the Tram.

If I order a car for $15,000 and upon its arrival the dealer tells me the price is really $45,000, I have the right to walk away.

However, if I insist that I will pay no more than the $15,000 we agree upon originally and he agrees, the only problem at that point is that I will never buy another car from him (fool me once, shame on you…fool me twice, shame on me).

I will, however, gladly drive the one home I ordered from him for the $15,000 I agreed to pay.

Randy, you may be partially right when you state you were "lied to by staff in order to avoid my no vote".

But the Planning Commission did talk to you, by their recommendations reports to the Council concerning North Macadam and particularly the tram. I think you would agree that the written recommendations of a planning commission is a "public means" of addressing you and council and it is required by the zoning code that your bureau oversees.

Also you were "addressed" in another fashion. On Jan.10, 2003 a few weeks after you were sworn into office, at least seven CTLH neighborhood reps(including Stop the Tram rep) and two South Portland (Lincoln Towers and others) met with you and Tye Kovitch in your office for over 1 1/2 hours about North Macadam.

In my notes the tram was one of the major issues. We brought up most of the points we are discussing recently. We questioned: the tram as a functional transportation solution to the enormous traffic increases projected from NM; the intrusion into a city Historical District and to citizen homes and lives; the cost benefit ratio compared to other means, and the already increasing costs and the false budgeting analysis; etc.

This, all before you and the Council voted on the NM Agreement in August.

Many times in PDC, URAC, Planning Commission, Design Commission, and your meetings the tram and NM issues/objections were discussed, before your vote and after. All these agencies are under your and the Council's auspice. You and Council were given many times the opportunity to ask staff if they were lying, or forgetting the whole background info you should have had.

Maybe (I think there is), a mindset in Planning that needs correction.

Now you have more information, and can (which you and all could do anyway) ask for more. What are you and Council going to do? And what does it matter if we disagree on how many times you and Council might have been lied to or misinformed or not informed. The game is up.

RR: Your analogy is a false one. If you were caused to purchase the car for any sum based upon fraudulent representations, you may rescind the sale. The spending of ANY public funds was based upon certian facts which were untrue. The sad truth is that you voted for the damn thing with full knowledge of the lies and you know it. As Jerry and others have posted, you would have to be deaf and blind not to have seen the hand writing on the wall. Hundreds of Portlanders knew it was a scam and the city, as corrupt as usual, could have cared less. Do you remember the developers who tried to develope the area for years before Vera's buddy Homer? Why couldn't they get the city's cooperation? Why did you reject the planning commission's recommendations? Why did the city work hand in hand with the developers and OHSU directly against the will of the people who would be affected by the tram. And what else can you do for them? Sure, build as high as you want..of course, you don't need that much space between the buildings...anything else we can do for you doctors, a little property tax relief.. of course...Why not get a little backbone and stop this fiasco? No, that is way too much to ask...just keep rationalizing and denying...

My comment was directly related to Amanda Fritz claiming

"I not only wasn't in on the approval of the tram, Jack, I was one of the leaders of the opposition."

She never talked or otherwise communicated with me anything about the Tram. As a member of the Planning Commission, I certainly would think if she were leading the opposition to the Tram she would have come to a brand new council members office to make sure he knew what she did.

As far as the Planning Commission report you made reference to, I never saw it. It must have been adopted before I arrived on the council.

And with respect to you expecting me to familiarize myself with every city entities work before I cast a vote, you have to know that is unrealistic. Again, if Amana was in fact leading the opposition to the Tram as a member of the Planning Commission, a better question from you would be to ask her why she did not make sure I knew she was opposing the Tram and why.

I did meet with you and the neighbors and focused on the objections you raised. That is why I insisted that the pedestrian bridge be committed to and the buy out program be created.

I never said, implied or otherwise led you or the neighbors to believe I was going to fight to kill the Tram because it was a bad idea. As I said in my earlier comments, the main concerns I raised relative to the cost/benefit of the Tram vs some other form of transportation to and from the main OHSU campus to South Waterfront were refuted by PDOT staff members.

That turns out to be wrong.

Is the appropriate reaction to pull the plug on the project? It is if the costs required for the city increase beyond what I agreed to three years ago. It is not if our costs stay the same and some other entity beyond PDC and the city pays those costs.

I think it is unfair for a candidate for council to make politically motivated comments at my expense that I happen to know are not accurate. In fact, I do not base my positions on what developers or OHSU wants but, rather, what I consider the right thing to do is after I hear everybody’s position.

I still think the development at South Waterfront is good for the area, the city, the region and the men and women who are earning family wages developing the site.

As I told you and the rest of the CTLH neighborhood assn. the other night, I will not support any more money being spent on the Tram than what was agreed to three years ago under any conditions.

. With respect to costs, the planning commission wanted a study to determine relative costs and Leonard and his cronies rejected it. I think RR needs to start the twelve step process and get out of denial. Then he can stop sidestepping the issue. I mean this guy should be in "Rocky Horror"..."with a step to the left and a step to the right". I mean his car purchase analogy was a classic.

With respect to RR's claim he did what he thought was best for the people of portland, you may want to look at RR's stand on the firemen's pensions and disability liability that are more than one billion dollars underfunded and cost 24 cents of every dollar the city gets in property taxes. Ask the residents of Gibbs street if they think RR has their best interests in mind.

If he had the citizens in mind, he would do everything he could to alleviate this albatross around the necks of the city's homeowners. It is, however, kinda hard to believe he has the citizens in mind when you consider that not only does he get his outlandish pension but that rumor has it that his wife works or worked as an administrator for the pension plan.

Let's see..blame the city employees, blame amanda fritz...who else is RR going to go after? I mean there are those 9,000 businesses not paying business license fees..or those hundreds of thousands of cell phone users..or the media.

Well, "Ron", at least I use my real name.

Say Hi to Cindy for me.

Randy, as you, in the past two years and even before in your campaign have said:

(paraphrased) "North Macadam is the biggest endeavor the city and even the state has ever taken on."

That's true because it is at least $480M in 20 years of public funds (see PDC budget). I would think that you would "familiarze" yourself (staff?) with the largest endeavor ever before you voted, and even after.

The Planning Commission reports were before you for 8 months before the vote. Attention to it's flaws were made by many as well as CTLH, Homestead, SWIRL, SWINI, etc. Sorry that Amanda didn't contact you directly if that is the case.

I ( and others) differ with your take on our Jan 10th, 2003 meeting. After our presentation and discussion about NM you stated: (paraphrased)

"It looks llike NM has been a poor process and has many fallacies."

You applied this condensed summary of your comments/discussions to the tram also. You followed up with the question: "What can I do to help?", and we replied. I have notes of that meeting. Maybe we could compare them to yours and the other people in attendance. There was much more substance than you infer.

Like I said in the earlier blog, the city's tax dollars have increased beyond that agreed at the time of the Agreement for the tram. So, it sounds like you will help "pull the PLUG on the tram".

CTLH and others never said development in NM is not good for the area. As many have pointed out in the past years: fifteen years ago four major stakeholders/developers in NM had serious development proposals for NM. But when the City offered/demanded that the area be developed with Urban Renewal (taxpayer dollars), they like any good business people, waited for the $480M tax subsidies. They were even going to take care of the "toxic" issues.

WE lost 15 years of tax benefits (because the proposals weren't asking for tax breaks), the use of a mile long greenway and etc. All because the City, PDC, planners wanted to play developer, and maybe help a few friends.

At the City Council hearings before the NM Agreement vote, many times presentations were given contradicting the tram "facts" present by planning staff. Couldn't/shouldn't you have questioned Matt Brown and others about these conflicting points: Why didn't you ask if the $15M Agreement tram budget included the architectural/engineering fees, and the other numerous items left out?

Using a variation of your "car analogy", you didn't check under the hood before you bought and ask the obvious questions-"where's the battery" and so forth.

I stupidly always believed that Hearings were about hearing other viewpoints besides staff with followup if there are differences. But when you (council)have an agenda.....I know. And I always thought a planning bureau should be impartial and not an advocate. Stupid.

I know that you work hard and I do not mean to discredit the list of thing you cite in your earlier blogs. Its the tram.

I remember telling you the process leading up to the Tram was bad and asking what I could do to help. When we met I had been on the council six weeks and I was just beginning to see how dysfunctional the various processes were at the city.

Three weeks after I arrived at the city council I asked that a tax abatement be removed from the consent agenda and discussed before it was voted on. My request to discuss the proposed abatement was not met with anything remotely resembling enthusiasm from the then Mayor.

We have gone from that environment three years ago to denying a abatement recently for a similar development and then suspending the program for market rate abatements all together.

Your observation of the planning bureau is a direct result of their control by then Mayor Katz. I admire Vera for many things, but her many strengths did not include being collaborative and inclusive.

If she wanted something, and let there be no doubt that she was the driving force on the council to construct the Tram, she did whatever she could to prevail.

All strategies for developments like South Waterfront occurred in her conference room without the councils participation. Obviously the Mayor has the right to do that, but that kind of a process produces results such as the current mess we are attempting to clean up.

The atmosphere at city hall today cannot be more different. There aren’t pre negotiated deals brought before the council with little explanation or opportunities for discussion. Open debate is now allowed and even encouraged.

None of that was true when I first arrived at council and landed right in the middle of the Tram debate.

From my perspective, and especially if Commissioner Saltzman and I get one more council member to agree with us, the Tram will not be built if it requires any more money than what we have already committed.`

However, if OHSU decides it wants it bad enough to pay the extra costs, I do believe it will be an asset for Portland.

My Dahhh moment came when I started to look into property taxes, and found taxes over the supposed Measure 5 limits, when I learned that the reason was that some legislatures did some tweaking on the measure to clarify it and guess what they exempted from the 3% limits, Fire and Police Disability and Urban Renewal, that just about tells the story about what power and interest is represented and it isn't the taxpayers.

This is sad. Another Commissioner saying he was mis-lead by staff, so we need to get rid of some lower level person even though he voted for it.

So what does that make this now - Erik lied to about $35M on the water computer, Vera lied to about $35M on PGE Park and now poor Mr Leonard (amongst others) being deceived about $30M on a tram which they were only too eager to railroad through? I am holding my breath on the ConvCtr hotel.

Why not see if we can get some educated and unbiased leaders or anyone who has the skill set to financially analyze things that are major expenditures?

I am not blaming anyone. I am simply explaining how this happened from my perspective.

Essentially, again only from my perspective, it is irrelevant if the council was given accurate data or not on the cost of the Tram by the staff or anyone else. I agreed to a certain contribution towards the Tram and I am not going to vote to increase that amount no matter what others explain are the justification for the increased costs.

Commissioner Saltzman and I have said we will not vote to give more money than what we agreed to originally.

If that causes the Tram to not be built, so be it.

"The issue is not whether the city gives more money..the issue is whether the city should cancel the project..if the project is a mistake and the city was hornswoggled by its own employees, the ex-mayor and the developers, why not terminate the tram? one does not reward fraud and deceit..quit trying to rationalize your actions and do something. The city has no obligation concerning the tram if what you say is true."

Remedy. That's what I'd like to see.

I would remind the commissioner that the current budgeted amount (at approximately $45 million) is the third figure to be offered the public as to the total cost of the aerial tram. The city already had the option of saying they wouldn't take delivery, yet they waved it on.

Now OHSU is constructing footings. If the costs go beyond $45 million, will we end up with a $45 million useless "folly"? Then there's the question of how we got to $45 million agreeably, since they started at $12.9 million (IIRC). Where is the remedy for that?

Then, I have a couple of questions that no one has adequately answered yet.

Who will operate the tram? How much will it cost to operate annually? Will there be a charge to ride it?

What happens if a psych patient goes whacko on a ride up?

Does the city pick up the cost of the emergency intervention teams that will be necessary to make rescues?

Will that team be in place in time for the operation of the tram?

I assume these considerations have already been addressed, but I have yet to hear or see an adequate answer. Can anybody here help me out?

"Why not see if we can get some educated and unbiased leaders or anyone who has the skill set to financially analyze things that are major expenditures?"

Don't hold your breath. The posts by Mr. Leonard speak volumes on the mind set of those who enter politics. One possible solution is to make public service mandatory. Everyone who is a citizen will have to serve a term as a member of any public office. Who in their right mind would want to be the Mayor, or a member of the city council? Those who volunteer for such positions are suspect by virtue of wanting the job to begin with. It might be worth experimenting with on a local level and what would we have to lose since the alternative seems to primarily give us the dim witted or the delusional.

RR: My real name is Ronald..My family calls me Ronny..I usually go by Ron. Now why don't you take your foot out of your mouth and apologize? Ron

Randy Leonard wrote:

I created an agreement between the council that allows any neighbor adversely affected by the Tram going up Gibb Street to sell their house to the city for the market price.

In the April 30, 2005, Oregonian you predicted that no one would take advantage of it, though:

"This will bed a program no one will want to take advantage of," predicted Commissioner Randy Leonard. He said the tram and neighborhood improvements will make the properties more valuable.

Are you really proud of a program that you expect no one to sign up for it? Some people call this behavior "going through the motions."

Oregonian typo (don't blame me, I copy/pasted from Nexis): "bed a program" should read "be a program".

Must learn to preview. Bad, Wino, bad.


The Psych patients are supervising and financing Ski Lift construction: they have already gone wacko.

You can't discriminate against people on public transit. Maybe we can turn it into a homeless shelter on nights and weekends?

Come to Portland and see the only aerial homeless shelter in America. What a beautiful country: even the homeless can ride the Ski Lift!


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
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
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
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
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: 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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